Punk Retrospective
27Aug/121

The Genius of Punch and Pie – Part 2

Posted by benjamin_abel

When we shoot shows, it is sometimes hard to enjoy oneself. You have to stand in uncomfortable positions, arms raised, watching a tiny screen. We have a system, where we film three or four songs of a set, try to take in the music for three or four songs, then exit during the closer for a rest or a smoke. Unfortunately, this formula prevents us from fully experiencing the shows most of the time.

That said, it would have been difficult to not enjoy yourself at Punch and Pie. These bands came to play, and inadvertently melt some god dammed faces.

If you’re not aware of whom Urban Wolves are, I feel sorry for you. Sarah McLaughlin, sad one-eyed puppy, hide the swelling tear from your girlfriend sorry. It’s difficult to be an opener, be amazing and not steal the limelight from the headliner. It’s a very fine balance to entertain, enjoy what you’re doing, and still be real. These kids knew what they were doing. “Seasoned musicians” is not a good enough explanation of what I saw. You seriously wanted to dance. How do you dance to punk music? Fuck you, that’s how. The god dammed Urban Wolves are on, don’t question me.

In the first part of this story, I mentioned how Sean Stepp offered to put me on a guest list I was already on. He brings that class with him on stage with Civil War Rust. I disappointingly missed more of this set than I would have liked, but not in vain. Not knowing who he was, I approached Sean and told him what an amazing job he did. We struck up a conversation and I learned he works for Amp Magazine. Holy shit, I was making a friend. Or I was drunk, I guess it was something I’d have to figure out in the morning.

When you watch Bastards of Young, you hear something in their music. You can’t quite make out what it is, but it’s empowering in a way. Lys Mayo (Urban Wolves, Dead Dads) dances wildly beside me as the camera closes, shaking her tall can like a tambourine. In fact, everyone surrounding me is dancing. It’s safe to dance. For a moment, I’m liberated, and who I am or what I’m doing… It doesn’t matter, only the chanting of on and on from “In the Diggins…” matters. Lys bends down in front of me and grabs Sean Hills’ set list, writing “New Reaction” over it in blue sharpie, throwing it at Sean’s feet. Sean picks it up and shows drummer Wyman Harrell, modestly saying, “I like Lys’ idea.” The song starts, and the place goes mother-fucking bat-shit crazy. Where am I and how did I get here? And can I please never leave?

My break came during Red City Radio. When you do what we do, there’s a certain point you don’t care who’s playing anymore, you just want to rest. This was not that opportunity.

I got the privilege to watch from behind the wall at the Press Club, pulling back the curtain and complimenting drummer Dallas Tidwell on his amazing style. He turns and HOLY FUCK, YOU’RE THE GUY I TALKED TO IN LINE FOR THE PISSER!! My life is full of these screwed up coincidences, but it’s been a long, long time since one of them caught me so off guard. It’s safe to dance again. It’s okay to enjoy myself.

It’s night one for me, it’s not yet over, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. Amazing things have already happened.  Justin Hell from The Strange Party introduces himself, as well as band mate Morgan (?). He recognizes me from a podcast. Over the course of the festival, Justin and Morgan turn from a couple of guys I’m not quite sure of to a couple of guys I’m not only glad to have met, but am honored to call friends. Someone mentions Ken Doose’s name, and I recognize it from the internet. This is one of the guys always sharing the Video Magazine. I must meet this man, shake his hand and say thank you. No one bothered to tell me I was approaching a legend, or maybe I would have waited until I was sober. I can’t imagine what this man may have thought about me, but I hope good things. And I received a Bat Guano button for my boldness.  We were introduced to Taper Jim, a fossil of a man, who tapes shows much like we do at Sucker Punk Productions. The genius idea of trading footage came up, something I’m jealous that I didn’t think of myself. We exchanged contact info with Jim and Sean from Civil War Rust, although I admit I can’t remember why Sean wanted me to contact him now. And I couldn't leave without introducing myself to Pat Hills, whom I'd later learn was in the middle of mixing nine albums at the same time.

All of this, plus Sean Hills. We exchanged gratitude about our little video, and I coined the phrase in that moment, the “Man with Million Dollar Ideas.” It’ll catch on, Sean. Promise.

And at the end of the night, outside with all the younger kids, next to Dennis and Erin Jordan’s merch table, Morgan and a friend play an acoustic set. Why? Because that’s how they fucking roll. Accept it.

It was a long, long day at work the next morning. As well it should have been. But I was anxious to get back to the festival. We arrived to a very crowded Luigi’s, and that’s when the Genius of Sean Hills hit me. The Press Club is a 21 and up bar. Bands like Mad Judy and 9:00 News, younger with a younger fan base, needed somewhere else to play. The under age kids needed to experience this as well. And both bands, with their anthem style rifts and unique vocalists drew in that crowd. I’m posted between the sidewall and the stage for both sets, and I enjoy every minute of it.

I get my break during the Secretions, and this is when they bring it. They slam through what sounds like a decade of music. It’s fast and unapologetic. All of this I’m taking in, it’s too much too soon. I’m culture shocked. I have to step outside and get some air. There’s no will or energy to socialize. It’s night two, and my liver cannot keep up. For Christ’s sake, how much more am I going to be able to take before I just pass out from over stimulation?

Blag Dahlia was the break I needed. His quaint, personal acoustic set was both relaxing and funny as hell. He played to the crowd like they were old friends he hadn’t seen in years. I ran over normal recording time because he was just so damn entertaining. I didn’t want to put the camera down because I was afraid I would never see such a charismatic, crowd-friendly person again.

There wouldn’t be any socializing that evening, and I was perfectly okay with that. I was exhausted, shell shocked, and overall still questioning myself about where my place in all of this really was. The beer was as heavy as the sleep, and if my glasses ended up underneath Jasen’s ball sack that evening, I was sure I would be okay with it in the morning.

I was revived the next day, wanting impatiently to be back at Luigi’s. My hand was shaken numerous times upon arrival, for what I cannot say. I sat down with Ken Doose and was schooled on Sacramento’s rich scene history. I honestly felt like a foolish idiot, and yet proud that a guy like Ken would bother with a guy like me. This man, this iconic figure with such a love for music, spending time being one of the biggest supporters of local music and I imagine one of the best fans a band could have, gave a shit about what I was saying. Tiny, insignificant, lost nobody me. I will always be grateful for that conversation.

And that’s what the day was. Amazing conversations with Justin Hell, Mike Boyd from The Walking Dead, Dave Gordus from The Porter Project and numerous others I can’t even remember. Pints of beer turned into pitchers. People began recognizing and realizing who I was, thanking me for filming and telling me I was doing an amazing thing for the scene. All of which branched out from spending the last decade feeling dead inside and wanting so badly to just not be bored with myself anymore. It was like I hadn’t ever been outside.

I was already dancing when Dead Dads came on. I took my spot on the side stage, a perfect angle to watch Lys Mayo beat the fuck out of the drums. Shoeless. Seriously, is there anything this girl doesn’t do? I would later be told that lead singer/guitarist Cory Wiegert would be a good person to trade footage with and that I must… MUST download their EP. I did that. I was not disappointed.

When Know Your Saints played, you could feel the bitter cold of Seattle. The band relocated to Oakland and front man Lucas Andrews had something to say. And I listened intently, trying to not be distracted by the urge to jump around. The band has passion, and they wear it openly. I was left with an impression of awe that would be hard to beat.

Kill Devil is a different kind of beast, and one I’ve enjoyed since I first saw them almost a year ago at the Professional. Mike Boyd and Alex Dorame are wonderful people and we have a rich history of doing one another favors, like when Alex gave us a shout out, “They weren’t asked to be here. They do it because they love it.” You couldn’t ask for such a lovely compliment. Or for a more amazing set. Their whole style is more alternative, true alternative, not punk. But when they play, you can see and hear why they fit in so well with the scene. It’s their home.

This next part is hard for me to describe. I watched this old guy slam beers all day. He had an impressive wizard beard to go with his impressive beer gut. His movements blended in the crowd and you wouldn’t guess he gave a shit about any of the music. This man was obviously here to get smashed and find a bush to pass out in. He also ended up being Davey Quinn from Tiltwheel.

This guy is smashed before he reaches the stage, and he admits he has no idea what the next half hour is going to sound like. His band mates razz him about talking through the whole set, then they debate what song they’re going to play. This intro fell just short of being slightly uncomfortably long. And without notice, the band slams into playing this fast, heart pounding music that I was not expecting.

My job was to get angles of the drummer. The camera never left Davey Quinn. You could see the passion literally flow through this guy’s guitar playing. All the angst, all the anger of a horrible life… All the shitty jobs to make ends meet, all the fucked up girlfriends, all the people passed away. It was all there, right in front of my face. This man paid his dues in this life, and being up on that stage with a guitar in his hand, it’s the ONLY thing he wants. By all accounts of what I saw, this guy should have been a total wreck. He stole the show. Completely blew me away, so much so that I swelled up and almost dropped the camera. I could feel the music in my heart, and it moved me. Tiltwheel did something to me so profound and far off edge for me... It woke me up. There were no filters, no walls, no denial. Just real, true to blood life. Grounded and pumped out of Davey’s guitar.

I wish I could end right there, at the highest point of a festival that was nothing but high points. But it was Saturday, and the day was only half over.

There was a pause between shows. I had to compose myself. And drink. This was all so crazy for me and I had no idea what to expect next. Cold Heart Re-Press, it’s like they knew. They didn’t disappoint. Bear Williams is a genius in his own right, blending a beautiful mix of grunge era alternative rock sounds with punk. Paul Filthy acts out for the camera and I can’t turn away. The man is made for the stage. We have a rule about crossing one another with our camera angles. You just don’t cross in front of one another. Fuck that, I started behind drummer Kiel Gesicki and circled all the way around the stage to Sarah Shintaku and back again. I had to get them all on my camera, it wasn’t worth missing. I didn’t do this for any other band, and it was fantastic.

By the time Hear the Sirens came on, I finally figured it out. My entire life, people kept telling me to listen to music. My fleeting flaw of being way too literal, it never occurred to me to feel the music. Every band clicked in one way or another, and they were no different. The crowd had swollen and they spoke their compliments with dancing and cheers. This is the point I think my face began to melt.

I broke during Union Hearts. No, I didn’t go outside and rest for a moment. I literally spiritually broke down inside. That is how amazing this night, these bands were. It was a surge, a pouring of something other worldly, frothing through my skin, and it broke me. Union Hearts makes the room spin in a way that makes you feel like you’re moving all over the place while you’re standing perfectly still.

Cobra Skulls has an intensity I imagine being akin to lighting yourself on fire and jumping out of a plane while being eaten alive by fire ants. These guys don’t play their instruments, they slay them like a back-talking indentured servant. It was like fucking in a janitor’s closet when you know the custodian is almost done mopping up. What I’m trying to get across here is that they were pretty good. I didn’t walk out of Luigi’s so much as I stumbled out a drunken shamble of the person I used to be.

Sunday, the fest moved back to the Press Club for an early show. I was in a strange mood and didn’t say much to anyone. The last three days had put a lot in my mind and it needed to sort itself out. This was the night I met Cory Wiegert and we briefly talked about trading film. I had a long conversation with Justin Hell about things of the scene nature. To be honest, it was mostly just me listening. It was suggested I talk to Charles Albright, which I never got around to doing. I was growing a new perspective, and I realized I had been selfish with myself by not allowing myself to experience any of this until I was almost 30.

And then The Strange Party started. When you look at Justin Hell, you don’t expect to hear Jerry Only come out of his mouth. It made sense later when I heard he stood in for Vic Salazar at a Left Hand show just the week before. In fact, when you see the band get on the stage, you don’t expect what comes out of them. Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things. Unless they’re at a Strange Party show, because they leave you wanting more. I immediately asked for recordings, which aren’t yet available. I feel like taking methadone to get through the withdrawals.

I saw RAD’s very first show at the Professional last year. They had left an impression on me back then, and I yearned to see them again. I regret waiting a whole year, because they were just as awesome this time around as they were last. What makes RAD so amazing is their ability make you say, “Fuck, that was rad.” Who can pull that off? They can. I felt my skin sliding off my skull again. The thrash from these scene veterans makes you wish you’ve known them all your life. Lory Gilpatric screams so violently into the mic, you wonder if she could punch a hole through your face. And they do it with these huge shit eating grins on their faces, like they’re about to surprise you with a carnival prize.

And then there’s The Walking Dead. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen them play. Something familiar, something I can sing along with. I party with these boys, and ideas are formed and passed around regularly. Front man Andy Harrison had a hand in leading us in the direction we’ve gone. To say anything less than they’re a solid act with class would be an insult. When they’re on stage, they’re top billing performers, and when they’re off, they’re all just one of the guys. I love their sound. Always have, always will.

Everything came to an end for me with Kill the Precedent. Holy fuck. These guys are genius. This isn’t music so much as performing art. They blend their music with costumes, stage presence, film, sound clips and noises that I can only describe as old science fiction sound effects. You have no idea what the hell you’re looking at when it happens, but when it’s done, you’re so glad you saw it. It really is something different, and I don’t say that lightly. While the whole festival was noise candy and some sort of spiritual doping for me, this was by far the most intriguing band I had seen, not for just the elements I mentioned above. These people should be famous.

And that was it. I walked away strangely satisfied by the experience that was Punch and Pie. I would miss the Phenomenauts and Continental. There would be no City of Vain for me, and that was a disappointment. I would leave wishing to have seen the Moans, Prima Donna, the Community, Setting Sons and Cold Feelings. They would all have to be seen at a different time. And that funny feeling came back to me.

Sean Hills, the Man with Million Dollar Ideas, he was doing something in the scene, in the community. He was setting a standard. He was making a point. He was proving this could happen, if we wanted it. And so modest is this man, giving credit where it’s due, shying away from compliments. This wasn’t something he did to gain attention. Like Alex Dormane had said about our company, he did it because he loves it. Because he loves the music and he loves the fan. He is, in my opinion, the new standard of the scene. And yes I would be so bold to say so, even being an outsider coming in for the first time. I don’t believe I would be disagreed with.

Because that funny thing that happened when Urban Wolves started playing… That thing I couldn't describe when listening to Bastards of Young. The feeling I would continue to feel throughout the festival. The thing swelling in my chest that I couldn’t quite pinpoint. The emotion that I continue to feel after experiencing the juggernaut that was Punch and Pie Fest.

Sean Hills put that there. And it’s called revival.

25Aug/120

The Genius of Punch and Pie – Part 1

Posted by benjamin_abel

PunchNPieEl Dorko has asked me to start contributing to Punk Retrospective, and humbled by the offer, I agreed. But before I turn in my first piece of work, I thought it would be fair to give you, the readers, a little background as to how I ended up here. I, although not surprisingly to anyone that knows me well, ended up here through a series of interesting coincidences that snowballed out of my control.

See, I am not a show goer. Or at least until recently, never considered myself as such. That wouldn't be a big deal... Except I'm 29. My experience with the scene up until this point can be compared to a borderline blackout, with glimpses of memories coming back without explanation and an overwhelming feeling of shame about what I may or may not have been listening to. I'm dead serious. My friends still point out pop rock idols I had once as a teenage girl. My particular taste in music was deplorable, and it seemed to leave a dirty taste in others' minds. That's right folks, I have no real street cred, it's all a sham.

Which makes everything even stranger for me because I know the difference between good and bad music. My guilty pleasures as a teen included obscure b sides of Rancid, the Queers and bootleg Anti-Flag. I was exposed to Rage Against the Machine before the radio was, and my brother spun Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel when I came to visit. My father introduced me to Arlo Guthrie while I was still wetting the bed, for christ's sake. I don't know what happened to me, but at some point I strayed from the path and started listening to crap.

And this sad fact continued on for years. Even into early adulthood.

This harsh criticism is an echo of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Grayden Day, formally of Soul Kavity, I Hate Everything and The Walking Dead. He constantly reminds me of who I used to be and keeps me humble... Well, really he gets drunk and belittles me, but it's close to the same thing, right?

I followed his arch through Soul Kavity, which I believe is where we both first encountered Tony and Andy of The Walking Dead. These two would later be the catalyst of some of the things we do at Sucker Punk. Through Grayden's stay in Soul Kavity and The Walking Dead, I never really went to a punk show. The closest I think I can come to is the Offspring, but that was on their Americana tour, and that wasn't quite punk anymore. Following Grayden to his shows for support, I ran into hardcore and metal mostly, music that while I have a great amount of respect and admiration for, I don't enjoy. I don't get it and never really have. And I'm judged just as harshly for this as anything else.

I don't want to confuse anyone, but all this time, there was punk spinning somewhere in the background, but I didn't recognize anyone around me listening to it. I discovered it on my own, through compilations from early Warped Tours and the internet. And even then, it was always “don't listen to Alkaline Trio,” or “why are you listening to that NoFX album? This one is better.” So even what I thought could be tolerable by my peers... Wasn't. Pulling that 7 Seconds tape out of my pocket was completely out of the question. It would just be more ammo, and I'd had enough. I gave up on bringing up music or asking what was worth listening too. That was obviously a part of the world I was never going to understand.

Flash forward years. Many, many years. I had tried developing a role playing game, tried selling a script, tried playing bass in a hard rock band, tried starting a comic book. Nothing was taking so I took a sabbatical to Long Beach for a year. I became a fan of talk radio, specifically SmodCo and RadioLab. I finished Battle of the Drunks, a shitty documentary about an underground drinking competition. My liver almost didn't survive the editing process. Nothing was happening for me down there but the bar, and I wasn't sure what the hell I was going to do. But I knew I wasn't going to survive long if I stayed in Long Beach, so I raced home.

I pulled together Matt Farquhar and Brett Jordan and we began writing. But it wasn't enough. We planned on making movies in the future. It wasn't soon enough. I was getting frustrated. And then, of course, came the inevitable lunches and dinners when you arrive home. The long, tedious, drawn out conversations where you repeat yourself over and over and the person opposite of you doesn't impress you at all. That's when Julie Wuest, an old friend of mine, sparked an idea. She works for the Children's Receiving Home off Auburn Blvd. She had been trying to throw a benefit show for a music program she wanted to start at the home, but was continually stone walled by promoters and venues. I though, “Hey, I know plenty of musicians. Maybe I can get someone to help.” We were next door to Luigi's, so I just strolled over and asked the Walking Dead if they'd help.

Michael Boyd was new to the band, but it sounded exciting to him and everyone else. So we threw a benefit show a few months later, with Keeping Score, Kill Devil, STR and TWD. We thought filming the show would be cool, even though we didn't have a whole lot of equipment yet. Maybe if the footage was good, we could cut a dvd and sell it to the Children's Home. That never happened, because we didn't think of what the sound was going to be like. But this is where the ideas of documentaries began being thrown wildly around. We could make one of TWD's ten year anniversary. Or of Andre Love, because of how crazy his life was. We quickly switched from writers to documentarians. We raised $500 for the home, and we went to look at the footage we got from the show.

It wasn't great. But we could fashion a few things with it here and there and hey... This actually looks really cool. What else do we have... Dude, we should film more shows...

And we did. A bunch of metal shows. The music thing became Brett and Jasen Koster's thing more so than anyone else. And good for them, because they were doing awesome things. But I didn't want to film more bands I didn't know and probably wouldn't like. And it had been a while since I had picked a show to go to, so when I saw Autumn Sky playing with the Secretions, I said “That one. I've heard of both of them and have never listened to either. That show, there.” It was a decent show, but not exactly what I thought it was going to be. (I later learned the Secretions didn't 'bring it' like they normally do because Autumn Sky is way too awesome to play fast.)

We continued branching out. My mind was blown away by Sans Sobriety at the Blue Lamp. I watched Bastards of Young and City of Vain at Concert in the Park. One of my favorite videos I've cut is of A Single Second at the Press Club. And it started making sense. I wanted more. I wanted to know the faces I recognized at shows by name. But I didn't know how to get there. I searched the internet and found Sacramento Punk Shows. And it was there and at all these shows that I started admiring the graphic design in flyers. I thought back to how Joe Maumee used to read local show listings on the air every night, and how insightful the idea was. It's something I wanted to do, but I wasn't a radio guy, I was a video guy. And the idea of the video magazine popped into my head. How hard could it be? It was worth taking a chance. I would send out a pilot episode and plan to start in a month, just to see if anyone responded.

They did. Overwhelmingly. I was immediately contacted by Sunny D at v103, El Dorko from Punk Retrospective,and Bob Tul from Maiden's Sorrow. I was so taken aback from the positive response, I knew I couldn't wait a whole month to get started. I immediately released the first issue, and it just took off. I was emailed by the legendary Sean Hills from Bastards of Young and Punch and Pie Productions. It was short but sweet. Just something saying he thought it was a great idea and to contact him if he could help in any way. I thanked him and asked him to send me flyers when he got them. I wasn't aware at the time that he actually made all the flyers for Punch and Pie. After a few issues, I knew it was something that I had to keep doing, for myself, and for everyone that seemed to appreciate it so much. And thought nothing else of it.

About two months went by, and there was quite a scuttle going around about Punch and Pie Fest. We made the choice to make it to as many of the shows as we could and film as much as possible. It would be business as usual, with the majority of the footage being archived for later, and possibly a music video or two, whatever worked out. Sean emailed me again. He wanted a commercial for Punch and Pie. Yes, Sean. I can do that. I can do that very well.

We met, talked about what he wanted, he showed me his amazing talent in photoshop. Nothing less than impressive. We cut the video together in a few short hours and sat down over pizza and talked about the scene. He offered to let us into the shows for free because he had no other way to repay me. I tried to refuse. It seemed like too much for such a simple thing I helped with. I literally did nothing but help him decide on the flow of the video and then put his work to music. He insisted, and that was that.

These offers and opportunities, they popped up everywhere. El Dorko asked if I'd like to write for Punk Retrospective. Of course I would, but about what? I wasn't making it to too many shows. I didn't know how to review a show. But El Dorko couldn't make it to any of the Punch and Pie shows, so someone had to do it. But how was I going to put together something interesting enough for people to watch? Was my writing still sharp enough for that? And worse, what if I didn't like it and had nothing to write about? How shitty would I look? I was already going to miss the first and last show at the fest, and it didn't look like I was going to make it to the Red City Radio show either. What a half ass journalist move, only getting to half the shows. Was it going to be worth it?

I posted online that I wanted to go, but didn't know if I was going to make it. Sean Stepp from Amp Magazine and Civil War Rust offered to put me on the guest list (little did he know, he he). I just wasn't sure I'd be comfortable going to a Thursday show with work on Friday. Jasen called me. Always the voice of reason, he basically told me to nut up and get down there. So I did, not sure what to expect, feeling like an awkward outsider, and fearful that at any moment someone would recognize me for the fraud I was, ruthlessly outing me and tossing me out of the Press Club. I was tense, unsure and nervous. Even more so than usual.

I walked in and got stamped quietly. I politely shook Sean Hills hand. I ordered a beer, flipped open my camera, and took place at the front of the stage. And then, Just as Urban Wolves slammed into the first chord of their set, something funny happened...

Filed under: Festival, Review No Comments
5Aug/120

SPP Video Magazine, Vol. 1 Issue 8

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

It's a big week in Sacramento...err...Central and Northern California:

27Jul/120

Luigi’s Slice Super Show – 7/24/2012

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

So beyond broke, you can’t even believe…and we really want to see this show.

I know we have already mentioned Sneeze Attack several times because they were so great in Davis and they have theoretically released the new EP, Aurora, on July 22. We have never been to an Arts & Leisure show yet, but Nacho Business were pretty damn good last time we saw them and someone in our office is freaking out because Crystal Stilts are coming all the way from Brooklyn. Can’t go…we simply can’t afford it. Hmmmm…

We really did agree to skip this show, and we were bummed, but then, Tuesday afternoon, bands started getting added to an already stellar lineup and we had to make the drive to Luigi’s…immediately, because the start time for the show was pushed way ahead! I tried to get Benjamin, my new friend from Sucker Punk Productions, to ride down with us, but he had to work.

So, yes, for another shot at seeing La Sera, and our first opportunity to catch Tim Cohen, of The Fresh & Onlys, in his new project called Magic Trick, we threw caution to the wind and used some of our remaining gas to go to the show we wanted to see…now with more!

When we arrived, I saw Sean Hills, from Punch and Pie Productions, postering the wall at Luigi’s…thought I’d talk to him, but he was gone before I could catch him. Sneeze Attack started at about 7:40, which was, apparently, a few minutes before the doors actually opened. Just a slight mix-up made us miss the first two songs…I forgive the kids at the door and their myopic customers.

Anyway, Sneeze Attack has a new drummer, Christine Shelley, and she fits the band just right! The songs we missed were the faster numbers (maybe I haven’t forgiven the door kids yet), but I liked their whole show. Dinogirl broke a string and had to borrow the Nacho Business guitar to complete their set…hey, Sacramento…this is a band ready for some big recognition. Here’s a video sample:

Next up, Nacho Business. These kids are funny, funny, funny. Self-deprecating from word one…Heather says, ”Can’t wait to disappoint you”…and they started off in a way I was almost certain would disappoint me, but turned it around so fast that until now I’d almost forgotten those a cappella moments. They broke down the fourth wall, if there was one there to begin with, and played jangly, pop punky-ness with some sweet harmonies.

Yes, I really enjoyed all the bands, but the biggest surprise of the night was Arts & Leisure.(Previously Baby Grand) There was something about this band that brought the Muffs to mind, no Shattuck scream, just energetic, simple rock songs with a duo of female singers. Gerri White and Becky Cale harmonize beautifully, but each carry the band when singing alone, their own individual attitude shining through. There always seemed to be some sort of endearing, inside joke happening…not sure what it was exactly, but they wore smiles throughout the performance and made everyone like them. Cory Vick is actually a really good guitar player, and some of my favorite moments came when Gerri would join in to finish off a song with a little more growl to her guitar. Maybe it was because I was right in front of her amp, but there was some real power there! Got one song on video:

[play-button:http://www.hardlyart.com/mp3/MagicTrick_Torture.mp3] Magic Trick - Torture direct link to free mp3 from Hardly Art: Magic Trick - Torture

Magic Trick, well…I haven’t seen Tim Cohen play since New Year’s Eve and never in his solo project. What was I expecting? Nothing…I actually had no idea he had a side project, so, even though he played on an acoustic guitar w/ a pickup ( I do love electrified punk distortion, ya know...), I was blown away. This guy is such a talented songwriter…the underground music scene is filled with talent…Tim is in a league with guys like John Dwyer and Mark Sultan. Genius. No, this isn’t ‘punk rock’ in the limited sense, but neither is Johnny Cash or Neil Young, and I still like them. And like them, there is a touch of Americana here, a melodic sorrow stringing everything together. When I spoke with Tim later he called it “sentimental”. Here’s a piece of video I shot when Katy Goodman joined them onstage:

[play-button:http://www.hardlyart.com/mp3/LaSera_PleaseBeMyThirdEye.mp3] La Sera - Please Be My Third Eye direct link to free mp3 from Hardly Art: La Sera - Please Be My Third Eye

Then Katy took the stage with her bandmates in La Sera. She’s always so happy and nice, even when inviting a timid audience to come closer. She writes catchy melodic pop songs and carries the band with her bass lines and smooth, strong voice. But…you know how, on the Ramones first 3 albums, there were songs that really stood out and the rest all kinda blend together. Something like that happens with La Sera, but probably only to me because I’m not too familiar with the material. Don’t get me wrong…it’s good:

And then the Crystal Stilts took the stage. Wooden keys on his keyboard, you say? Oh, and look…there’s Charles Albright helping the band get set up! Sacramento is a wonderful place and, even though I’m going to be deaf for the next couple of days, Luigi’s is not as bad a venue as I originally thought. Anyway, I looked these guys up online before I left, so I had an idea of what they were going to be…boring. I watched part of one video and made up my mind and, as usual, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Again, not punk…maybe more garage-y, but really, this is a psychedelic band, at least live. They opened the curtain behind the band to allow the projection system to cover the stage and band in wacked out patterns…like they do at the big city psych shows and the keyboard player just started making noise. I was still a little afraid when the band started…there was an overwhelming Doors vibe coming over the place, but that was just the visual atmosphere and look of the band. It’s pretty damn amazing what a group of primates with musical instruments can do! Here’s a sample:

So, the show ended, Charles Albright helped the band tear down the drums, while Jerry Perry went around paying the bands and cleaning up the mess. I don’t know how many promoters and bookers put this show together, something like 7, but it flowed as smoothly as any show I’ve seen this year. Big compliments to everyone who made this happen. The audience was great, too…just happy to be seeing live music and getting a chance to dance around a bit.

Now the depressing part, for us…walking past all the merch and not being able to afford one of Katy Goodman’s shirts…can’t get the Crystal Stilts new EP or LP…no art from Dino…but, we did get to talk to Katy, Kyle Forester (keyboards @Crystal Stilts) and Tim Cohen..for a couple minutes while we passed down the line. I told Katy we’d been to her show at Bows and Arrows earlier in the year and asked if she’d been touring the whole time since. She told me she had. Man, I think I’d be tired of touring…I asked if she was and she said no, she loves it and that had only been in March.

Kyle broke in and said Katy’s crazy…she loves to tour and she will stay out for more than five months and still love it. We were asking about merch prices as we worked our way down, just in case something was priced low enough…I said to Tim that I wish we weren’t so broke right now…and that we’d been to the Fresh and Onlys show at Brick and Mortar on New Years. He said,”well buy something from one of these guys, because I live in San Francisco and you’ll probably see me again before you see them.”

That kind of blew me away…most people are so focused on what they’re doing that they don’t even consider someone else. I suppose they’ve all become friends on this tour, I mean Katy was singing along throughout the Magic Trick set, but still…I was affected by the gesture.

I told Tim I was impressed with his solo work from the show, but that I had only heard the Fresh and Onlys stuff before tonight. He said this project was, like I mentioned before, more sentimental, ballads, stuff the full band might not really want to do. I made the mistake of saying, “But you write some stuff in Fresh and Onlys, too, right?” He corrected me…he writes all of it. He wasn’t being egotistical, either. He really is a regular guy…looks a bit rough and tough, but clear-eyed and honest, and I believe him when he says he writes it all. I will be holding him to his insinuation that he might play in my neck of the woods if I contact him…but that’ll probably only happen if he remembers our conversation…good thing I wrote it down!

So, Sacramento, thank you! And please continue to support your local venues, bands, bookers and promoters. The more shows you go to, the more shows there will be. You are voting with your dollars for more music every time you support a show like this one. Every dime you put toward the Sneeze Attack EP makes it that much more likely you’ll see another one put out. Anyway…that’s enough out of me!

I did not see this at the show, might be some weirdness surrounding it? Can't buy it, but you can listen to it!


24Jun/120

Punch and Pie Fest: An Interview with Sean Hills

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Punch and Pie FestOver this past year we have made a point of going to as many music shows as we possibly could. The situation for artists in today's culture is strange, if not nearly incomprehensible, in that the methods of getting your message to an audience are less expensive and more pervasive than at any time in history...but that audience expects you to give your art to them for free. The exceptions to this rule are live shows and merch sales...and this is why, on one level, we at Punk Retrospective make a real effort to get out and support local and touring bands.

Local for us, by the nature of where we're based, includes Reno and Sacramento...on a good day it might also include San Francisco, Long Beach or Seattle.

My attitude toward Sacramento when we first arrived in the area was that it was a boring, detached and isolated political town with nothing but corporate chain stores and a mall. I found Dimple Records, then The Beat, then Phono Select and then went to Luigis to see the Spits when they came through. I was fairly blown away by a couple of local acts (most notably, Rad)...so we started doing a bit more research and found a vibrant scene full of established and emerging artists.

The internet is a fantastic tool when it comes to finding live music, but this is only true because there are people on the other end who, in real life, are working with venues, talking to bands, setting up and promoting shows and putting the info on Facebook, Twitter and sites of all varieties...usually not making much money, either.

I happened upon a group, Punch and Pie, on Facebook that seemed to be near the center of most of the punk activity happening in the Sacramento region...through that group I was able to contact Sean Hills. Sean is one of those dedicated people at the other end of this equation, making shows happen by booking them and playing them. I was able to meet him briefly at a recent show his band played with the Great Apes at The Press Club in Sacramento. Here's some back and forth between us...

ElDorkoPunkRetro: I associate you mainly with your posts in the Punch and Pie group page on Facebook, but I understand you have a band, a festival and do work booking shows. Tell us a little about yourself and your activities as they relate to the music scene.

Sean Hills: My name is Sean, I play in a band called Bastards of Young and I book shows around Sacramento under the name Punch and Pie Productions. Recently I became the booker and promoter at The Press Club in midtown.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Living outside of Sacramento I get a superficial view of what’s happening there. What does the scene look like from the inside? Are there rivalries or factions or is there a lot of cooperation?

Sean Hills: In recent years I’ve seen nothing but positivity and growth in the Sacramento punk rock community. There are a lot of great new bands and everyone is supporting each other. There might be a little competitiveness between bands but there’s no animosity at all. We all want each other to succeed.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: KDVS must play a huge role in the local scene. How closely united are Davis & Sacramento? Do you collaborate?

Sean Hills: KDVS is definitely an amazing supporter of local music. Unfortunately I don’t make it out to Davis very often so I’m a little out of touch with what’s going on out there. I’m not even sure if there’s much of a scene out there these days. I’d love to start booking shows out there at some point though.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: I know a few names off the top of my head that I associate with the punk scene of the greater Sacramento region… Ken Doose. Charles Albright. Sean Hills. Kevin Seconds. How do you feel being part of the short list? Who am I missing?

Sean Hills: Well, I’m very humbled to be included in any list with the people you mentioned. They’ve all done incredible things to uplift the Sacramento punk rock scene. There’s so many people that are involved these days, it’s insane. I can’t even begin to list names because I’m worried that I’ll leave out someone important.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: There seems to be a resurgence in rock music happening. Am I crazy or is there an insane amount of really great music being released? How does this translate to booking shows? I mean, I see 19 bands you’ve booked at the Press Club between the 4th and the 21st. Do touring bands contact you or do you contact them?

Sean Hills: All you have to do is take a look at Sacramento Punk Shows’ listings on Facebook and you can see that there’s usually at least one show happening on every night of the week. There are a lot of new bands getting started and for the first time in a while, a lot of touring bands are starting to come back to Sacramento. The shows are going really well and there’s an enthusiasm I haven’t seen in years.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: What is the state of music, in your opinion? You are in a unique position as an artist in Bastards of Young and as a promoter..how has the internet harmed artists and how has it helped them? What do you think of sites like Bandcamp, Soundcloud, ReverbNation, YouTube, Facebook, etc?

Sean Hills: I think the state of music is pretty incredible right now. The internet has benefited the music scene in many ways and harmed it in other ways. It couldn’t be easier to create and share music with people which is good, but many people don’t buy music anymore which hurts record labels and bands who are trying to make a living. As someone who accepted the fact that I wasn’t ever going to make much money from playing punk rock, it doesn’t bother me that much. But as someone who has been on tour and books shows for touring bands, I know how important it is for people to support these bands as well.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: I remember seeing you would be attending the Way Out West Festival Billy Brooks put on in Tucson. How was that?

Sean Hills: Way Out West Fest is awesome and we have a blast every time we play. Tucson is crazy little town and they’re lucky to have someone like Billy working hard and organizing cool stuff like WOW fest.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: I mentioned your festival in an earlier question…could you give us an early appraisal of how it’s coming together…who’s playing, when and where, etc?

Sean Hills: Punch and Pie Fest is happening from August 15-20 in Sacramento. This is my first step into anything this big so I’m a little worried but I think it going to be a lot of fun. We’ve got some amazing bands confirmed: Cobra Skulls, Tiltwheel, Red City Radio, Phenomenauts and Kill The Precedent just to name a few. The full lineup and schedule is going to be announced soon. Check out Punch and Pie Productions on Facebook and hopefully we’ll have our website up and running soon: www.punchandpiefest.com.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Thank you for taking the time to talk to Punk Retrospective. Anything I’ve forgotten…something you’ve been wanting to say for a long time but haven’t had the soapbox to stand on?

Sean Hills: No, that’s all I can think of right now. Thanks for asking me to do this interview. These were great questions and it encourages me to keep pushing hard.

Here's the latest release from Sean's band, Bastards of Young:

Filed under: Review No Comments
1Jun/120

Sneeze Attack | Bad Daddies | Fine Steps | White Fang @ Luigi’s, Davis

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

It doesn't happen nearly often enough that we randomly pick a show off the Undie Tacos website and go, whether we've heard of your band or not. Last night was that process in slow motion as we went from having heard of one band, Fine Steps, to driving all the way to Davis to catch a show at the 'other' Luigi's. Luigi's Sacramento hurt my ears for a week when the Spits played, mainly because the room is so tiny and the walls so bare and shiny, so I was a bit worried. We were pleasantly surprised to find Sneeze Attack setting up in a great basement space...large enough to handle some noise, yet small enough to make it an intimate show.

Sneeze Attack played a really great set of punk with a bit of a pop edge to it. I caught their first two songs on video and hope to post them soon. Comment on the page if you think I need reminded. I sometimes do... OK...here are the first three songs from the Sneeze Attack set. Go out and watch 'em yourself!

I shot footage of each band, some more than others, but I made a promise to 'Bad Daddies' that I would post theirs first. My computer is crunching the video file right now, probably messing it up, but I hope to publish tonight. I will add the others as I plow through massive amounts of data on this ancient machine.

After Sneeze Attack was the band I drove all the way to Davis to see based on my love of a song medley off their split 7" with White Fang. I didn't know any of that before we left, aside from the fact that the guitar in 'Doesn't Mean I Don't Want to Die/ Tolerance' is one of my favorite sounds ever and it's a damn catchy tune. They ripped through their set in about 20 minutes...totally worth the drive!

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/A-Late/BadDaddies-DoesntMeanIDontWantToDie.mp3]Bad Daddies - Doesn't Mean I Don't Want to Die/ Tolerance Link source

Fine Steps were having a tough night. Their bass player Alex played his last show with the band before moving away and they were plagued with microphone problems through most of their set. I think I shot three of their songs...not sure if any have vocals. Good band, if on the indie side of the spectrum.

I'd been talking with the guys from White Fang most of the night. There was a bit of confusion at the merch table with 4 bands selling their stuff...finally got the 45's I needed. Thanks Camylle! Anyway...I'm lame enough that I had no idea what to expect from White Fang...they were all very nice...too nice. They were helpful, happy...it threw me off. Jerry even told me how long their set would be so I could know to change my card...so by the time they started playing, Nicky with his cowbell, I was sure I was going to hate their music...wrong again! They destroyed the place uniting all the bands that came before in a fun little pit.

It was time to go then and it's time to go now. I am dropping the Bad Daddies video in here now. It's not the huge file I promised everyone, because I had to re-crunch it to get it to upload. The dinosaur Mac is dying, but I hope to post videos of all four acts here soon. I'll let you know as it happens on the FB PunkRetro page...

Filed under: Review No Comments
22May/120

Lasher Keen Northwest Summer Tour 2012

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Bluebird handed me an advance copy of 'Berserker' on March 11, 2012 and allowed me to photograph the original Markus Wolff artwork. I will not post any of that data until the new album, ‘Berserker’ actually comes out in May (postponed), but it really is quite beautiful.

I've spent a pretty good amount of time with the band over the last couple of months and will be writing up a piece on 'Berserker', my experience helping out on the Lara Miranda directed video for 'Rainmaker' (song at the bottom of this page) and what it's like to live within (the outer shell of) the bubble of one of the most creative groupings of musicians I have ever witnessed.

I have been collecting my own video and stills of the band. I've attempted several interviews and have recorded portions of several practices on video. As always, the best conversations seem to happen when no recording device is rolling and the deeply human aspects of all parties rise to the surface...but the depth of this band is always there, even in the physical spaces they create for themselves to live.

Then there is the live performance aspect of Lasher Keen. This is where the band really shines and where you (Portland, Seattle, Eugene, Nevada City and Sacramento) get to witness the current incarnation of this band playing their most intense songs with an incredible variety of instrumentation. Below the ShakyCam® video you can find the tour schedule for roughly the next month. It starts Thursday, so look now and enjoy!!

Thursday May 24th Portland Oregon
Alberta ST. Pub. 1036 NE Alberta St. Portland OR
With Waldteufel & TBA. 8:00 show starts

Friday May 25th Seattle Washington
Northwest Folklife Festival on the Vera Stage
playing from 9:15 ~10:00 pm
As part of the Underground Cascadian Folk Showcase. Visit http://www.nwfolklifefestival.org for more info.

Saturday May 26th Eugene Oregon -Private Event-

Friday June 15th Nevada City California
Stonehouse 107 Sacramento St.
scheduled to perform 9:00
As part of an all day festival featuring many great local Nevada City acts!!

Saturday June 16th in Sacramento California
Luigi’s Fun Garden 1050 20th Street
Show starts at 8:00
With In The Silence

OK...I will post this snippet of the album cover Bluebird posted on the Lasher Keen Facebook page.

13Apr/120

Shames / Spitting Image / Acid Baby Jesus @ Hideout Lounge 4/6/2012

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

ArtifactSo, it’s Good Friday…what should we do? There was talk about heading down to Sacramento to see Boats!, but no one could get too excited about doing the South 80 drive another time this week. Our local show seemed expensive and not too punk, leaving 'stay home' and/or 'go out for burritos' as our best option(s). Then something of a divine intervention took place when another member of the Punk Retrospective Collective noticed the fact that Acid Baby Jesus had lost their show in San Francisco and were now playing in Reno. Should we go? Acid Baby Jesus over Easter weekend in Little Sin City…perfect!

While they’d posted the fact of the Reno gig to their Facebook page, they’d omitted certain details…like time and club. We’d have a decent drive in front of us if we were going to make this work…Facebook messages to the band and Olaf (The Vinyl Avenger), phone calls to Slovenly and an e-mail to April finally paid off, 10pm Hideout Lounge, and, after dropping $70 into the gas tank, we were off!

Yeah, I’ve lived up here about 8 years now, but this is my first show in Reno. We saw Youth Brigade and Adolescents in Sparks…and, well, like that time, I get lost because of Obama and his infrastructure project on the North 80. Seven miles of labyrinthine detour and we finally found the Hideout Lounge. We park, cross the street and I immediately try to enter through the wrong door…yeah, I really am a dork.

Once inside we’re approached by a seemingly random female bar patron who asks us for $5 for the band, to cover their gas, etc, we comply. We ask if the band is in town, she tells us they are, but that they are currently being tattooed. Interesting.

This is a dive bar. The brown paint on the floor has mostly peeled off to bare concrete and the 70’s wood paneling is, surprisingly, almost in mint condition, though covered in beer lights and punk flyers. Two flags drape meaninglessly from the ceiling, one representing Miller High Life, the other is an American Flag with ‘PIGZ’ being the only decipherable word remaining of all the blue marker ink in its white stripes. There’s a really cool bicycle hanging from the ceiling and an awful light enclosure built-in over the bar. Two pool tables are pushed into a corner and are covered with OSB…I wonder aloud if that’s the stage, knowing in the back of my mind that the band will be playing at ground level WITH us! The bathrooms have no signage and, again, this is Nevada, so smoking is still encouraged in the bar. Even though I am suffering from intense nicotine cravings, I love this place!

The ShamesI also love it when the assumptions I make as I go through my life are shattered. For some reason I assumed Acid Baby Jesus would be the only band, since the show wasn’t planned, but rather, just happened. I began to realize I was wrong when I saw a kick drum, with ‘The Shames’ spray paint stenciled across the front, being set up by a guy who didn’t look at all Greek. Around this time I noticed the band walk in…the chick who collected the money appeared to be giving them some of it…I don’t know, it was smoky, the jukebox was playing Turbonegro and Iggy Pop, mohawks were rising and the rest of the Collective was having vodka tonics.

The young men from Acid Baby Jesus were smoking cigarettes and enjoying their first PBR’s of the night by this time. One of them started toward us because there was a huge row of ashtrays on the countertop behind us. I asked about the canceled show and joked around a bit about our long drives from California, eventually finding out his name was Otto. We talked for a bit and were eventually joined by Marko. Fifteen minutes later I realized I should have turned on my recording device, but I sent myself a lame-ass Facebook message to remind myself of the conversation:

“Talked to Marko about the US tour and their Israeli tour. The little guy told me a story about getting electrocuted in a beer filled basemwnt” (sic)

All that is true, but I guess I lied in the prior paragraph…I didn’t find out the little guys name was Otto (guitarist) ‘til later, though Marko (percussion) did introduce himself right away. Either way, I would end up spending about an hour and a half talking with Otto about everything in the world and a few more minutes with Marco after the show. They were all very proud of their Greek “acid” tattoos, including April, their Slovenly Records tour manager.

I was struck by a feeling of familiarity and friendship with this pair very early in the night…something akin to the fast-friends I’d made on film jobs in Los Angeles over the years. The ease of speaking with them made for a fun evening of joking around and I even got to share a little history of the rumored cannibalism at Donner Pass, which they’d passed through earlier in the day. Maybe they were just humoring an old man, but there was a genuine kindness and rapport I hadn’t expected.

What had I expected? Well, truth is I really loved the name of this band from the first time I read it on Spineflower’s Tumblr page last summer, but figured they were going to be another Brian Jonestown Massacre rip-off/tribute band. I'd also mentally lumped them in with a bunch of lame bands some idiots listen to on Blip.fm…so, because of these things I assumed they were going to sound shitty. I also figured that a band from Greece wouldn’t be speaking great English. Yeah, I’m wrong a lot.

PIGZOnce in a while I’d start feeling like I should let Otto get back to his friends and fans…or to play, but he assured me they were not going to play until after the other two bands. At some point in our conversation, he told me he’s 25 years old. They formed Acid Baby Jesus for fun about three years ago and have been touring pretty heavily for the past two years. There is a certain kind of wisdom in this young man. He knows this road life is for the young and is taking full advantage of the opportunity, but he is a young man and misses his girlfriend and family. The economic crisis faced by Greece came up a couple of times, so I know he carries concern for his country…but, at the same time he’s full of energy, quick to laugh, ready to share stories, opinions on food or even offer to buy drinks.

The Shames took the stage sometime around 11:30pm. They were an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. The two young ladies out front brought the crowd into the pit and that guy hitting the skins gave them a tight beat to slam to. It’s melodic punk rock with a bit of attitude. Totally impressed. I will tell you this…they are so much better live than anything on the internet shows, their recordings and YouTube videos do them no justice.

Spitting ImageAfter the Shames came Spitting Image. As if the Shames were all love and light, Spitting Image dredged through some pretty dark territory. Their material was a little more on the hardcore end of the spectrum, but it was more experimental than that. They have a new EP out on their Bandcamp site…you should check it out.

After Spitting Image finished, I started looking at the merch table and made Otto promise he’d get the band to sign an LP if I bought one. April gave him a silver paint pen and he went to work. He gave the album to me with signatures over all the members. I’d watched everyone else sign, but I knew Marko hadn’t touched it. Over his image Otto had written “MIZ”, which I assume means “Ms.” or something along those lines, because when I gave the LP to Marko he drew some breasts and something of a Barbara Feldon hairdo onto his image. A bit more laughing and the band started setting up. I figured it would be a good time to take the LP out to the car so I wouldn’t have to keep track of it during the show.

Spotting them outside the club, I congratulated the Shames on a great show and made a vague promise to help them get a show in California. It would be great if we could open for them, but there’s a lot more practice needing to happen before we play out. There was a lot of smoke outside, too, so I headed back in ‘cuz I didn’t want to miss a minute of Acid Baby Jesus.

The ViewI turned on my little camera and started videotaping about 3 seconds before they actually started playing. It was pure luck. I was about a foot away from Otto, nearly stepping on his effects pedals, and I could feel the crowd growing and surging behind me. When I think back on it now, I’m amazed the band showed absolutely no fear of the crowd or the electrical situation. There was beer a quarter of an inch deep on the floor and all of their effects pedals and amps were plugged into power strips that kept tripping from either pulling too many amps or wetness.

I remembered something I’d read in the Distortioni interview. They were asked a question about their sound being as mixture of garage and psychedelic and which thought more defined their sound. They answered that it was both and none…that it was hard to classify. Space punk, they call it on their Facebook page.

MIZI must admit that I was a bit worried for them when the first two bands played straight-up punk/ hardcore. The defiance I saw in the crowd as they challenged the other two bands, probably their friends, but nonetheless. I thought these poor, nice foreign kids are gonna be eaten alive. But the space punks had captured the audience during the first song and had built momentum. Midway through their set the speed peaked and the crowd came down on all of us. The entire mosh pit lurched into the bands’ area, toppled the singer and his mic and unplugged their guitars, and none of them flinched. For a few moments only Marko could play and sing. The rest of the band began sorting through the snake of wires until suddenly there was bass, then some guitar and then it all came back together and started to gel into something a bit weird.

I don’t drink or use drugs, but I spent the last ten minutes of the Acid Baby Jesus set in a near out-of-body trance. The beat, the volume, the reverb, flange, sweat and vocals all built into a great transcendent noise that swept me into a meditative state of awareness. I began moving back away from the band to see how the rest of the audience was doing and found a bar full of punk people completely tuned in to a deep psychedelic, garage punk experience. It was quite possibly the most intensely mystical, musical experience I’ve ever had.

Their sound is not defined by psychedelic, garage or punk…those words hint at what they do, but when you are with them live you’ll understand that they reach into another level, something other-worldly. The band was really wiped out afterward. We talked about the possibility of meeting up at Austin Psych Fest, then said our goodbyes at around 2:30am. The full moon lit the snow covered mountain pass as I drove through listening to the ringing in my ears.

...and now, my next installment of super dark video from the show (please buy me a decent camera:

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/1281325" height="200" iframe="true" /]

11Mar/120

Terry Malts / Bleeding Rainbow / Crocodiles @ Rickshaw Stop 3/9/12

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

I'll keep this short, because the video is long and, of the three bands, only the Terry Malts truly impressed me. The "Killing Time" album is well worth the price, as the bands' own "chainsaw pop" description is quite fitting. I'm not going to sit here and bash the other bands...maybe it was an off night.

The following extremely dark and overly long video of the Terry Malts pretty much speaks for itself, Negative Approach cover and all:

6Mar/121

LOSERLIST69: The Sacramento Punk Super Archives

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Loserlist69I was looking for internet posts about of the Spits show I attended in Sacramento and accidentally stumbled into a really cool vault of Sacramento punk artifacts, past and present, called Loserlist69. The archive is the work of a very dedicated man named Ken Doose.

The tagline reads:
SACRAMENTO PUNK ROCK -Faded old pics, crusty flyers, show listings, stickers, record reviews, interviews, and various other assorted things that relate to the past and present Sacramento punk rock scene and other interesting places.

I really don't have the time to do this justice right now...but it's an awesome task he seems to have assigned himself and I'm glad to have found it. Maybe one day I'll run into Ken and we can do an interview...until then I'll be browsing through the archives of LOSERLIST69.

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Dicks/lifetimeproblems.mp3] The Dicks - Lifetime Problems Link source