Punk Retrospective

Feeling of Love / Mikal Cronin / White Fence / Ty Segall / G.A.M.H. / 3/2/2012

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Ty Segall @ GAMH 3/2/12Last night was pretty awesome...aside from the fact that the Great American Music Hall frowns on video recording. The Punk Retrospective crew walked in just as The Feeling of Love, a power-trio straight out of Metz,France, finished their first song. My chimichanga over at Los Panchos was worth missing one song for, but it would have been nice to catch their entire set. OK, I'm busted again...it's psych rock...but I'm ElDorkoPunkRetro...I like punk and I like retro music, like 60's garage psych, and I especially like this new wave of punk garage psych that's blooming across the world right now...and the flower that is San Francisco.

We hadn't been here (S.F.) since the big New Years' show...and weren't really sure what to expect from The Feeling of Love. We didn't know how often Ty Segall would be onstage, since he records with nearly everyone on the bill. It turned out great, with The Feeling of Love pulling us into an intense psych trance through the last few minutes of their final song, thus setting the tone for the rest of the night.

Since this group of kids record together so much and are each incredibly talented, it was hard for me to predict what order to expect them in. Mikal Cronin played next, with Ty taking the stage with him. Awesome set from this great songwriter. He writes clean, simple songs then adds in the layers. I once read a Henry Rollins quote where he talked about how lucky todays musicians are to have learned from the old punk and hardcore bands like Black Flag...to get an understanding of lull/intensity...I guess it's something all four of these acts have learned, because they're masters of it.

I didn't record any of Mikals' set on video because...it just wasn't possible at the time. I guess I prefer the Brick and Mortar, since they're more camera friendly, though the Great American Music Hall is beautiful and ornate. The entire dance floor bowed and swayed with the movement of the pit, so much so I thought it may collapse at some point. There were chunks of the balcony railing raining down on the stage at one point...it's good to see a new generation picking up and reviving a moribund rockn'roll.

White Fence was great, maybe not as awesome as the New Years' show, who knows...my eardrums were semi-protected behind some earplugs, because I ended up at the side of the pit right in front of the PA stack. I hadn't quite figured out how to adjust the plugs yet, so my White Fence experience was a bit muddy this time...worth seeing if you haven't. Yeah, it's got a surf edge to it and it's psychedelic, but it's also straight ahead punk rock, sometimes verging on hardcore.

The evening moved upward in intensity as Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Emily Rose and Charlie (Moonhearts) took the stage. Is this what Toad would sound like? Who knows...but it was great! Anyway, it was basically the same configuaration as Mikals' set with Charlie on guitar, too. I'd adjusted the earplugs to allow in some treble by this point, but my tinnitus is unforgiving of these small luxuries. The good news is that bands of this caliber somehow make me feel my hearing loss is acceptable, to a point. The hooks, intense pedal effects and heavy beats grew to a crescendo that left the makeshift barricade in tatters. Get out and see these acts before this scene gets co-opted by the man.

Oh...and I did get some video...enjoy:

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/27704877" iframe="true" /]
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/1661754" iframe="true" /]

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10295501/02%20Dissolve%20Me.mp3] The Feeling of Love - Dissolve Me Link source


Way Out West Fest / Tucson, Arizona / April 13-15, 2012

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

http://www.wayoutwestfestaz.comI didn't wake up today expecting to find a new punk rock hero, but a simple Facebook request from the creator of the Way Out West Festival led me to one. Billy Brooks is in the middle of promoting and pulling everything together for a 60+ band festival in Tucson, AZ and he took time out from what I'm sure is a stressful endeavor to answer a few questions for Punk Retrospective. Inside his answers you will find the kind of brutal honesty and integrity I think is necessary to have an independent music scene. That old, punk, DIY ethic you hear so much about, persistence in the face of corporate competition, building a festival that will promote new music without caving into commercial pressures, the truth about building community through All Ages shows versus the reality of having anyone show up, paying bands all of the profit from passes...I wasn't expecting principles and ruthless candor when I answered that request for help, but the fact is I'm glad that spirit is alive in 2012. Get out to Tucson this spring and support a real music festival and a heroic promoter with genuine integrity.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: How did you start promoting? Were you in a band, did you start setting up local shows or did you dive right into a massive festival?

Billy Brooks: Before I decided to take this thing on I had put on a total of one show, one show with one band and it was on about three days notice. Luckily that turned out really well and we had a decent turn out even though the first half of the "show" was open mic night for some really bad comedians. That band was a relative unknown in Tucson at the time, Cheap Girls. Ironically enough months later Ian from Cheap Girls helped me talk myself into this fest thing.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Is the 21+ a logistical thing? Skrappy's Youth Collective would appear to be a great venue for All Ages shows. Any chance next year will have some All Ages shows?

Billy Brooks: It's a logistical and enjoyment thing. Skrappy's is a great space and I do mean GREAT, they do so much for music and the community. If anyone reading this wants to play Tucson, and you should, Skrappy's is a great all ages venue. With all that said the downfalls for putting on a larger fest at a place like Skrappy's for me were: no alcohol, earlier curfew and a single stage. I personally would love an all ages stage or fest but to ask people to travel and pay for a multiple day party then tell them they cannot drink is a hard sell, especially within my group of friends and this musically community as a whole. Maybe one day I will be able to open my own all ages venue with my vision.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: In the AMP interview you say your plan this year was to have a smaller festival than last year, but you actually ended up with more bands. Near the end of the same interview you talk about more "well known" bands wanting large guarantees, but say you expect some of those bands next year...I guess that means you expect another WOWFest next year (great!!) and you've decided to succumb to demands that the festival grow larger? Do you see a benefit to bringing in bigger bands and conversely, do you see a benefit in leaving those bands off the roster?

Billy Brooks: Just to clarify, not all the "bigger" bands we were unable to work out for Way Out West Fest were due to monetary issues, a few had logistical issues and some I just never heard back from. There are plenty of bands I will continue to pursue if the fest can continue to move forward, this year is very crucial for me and the fest in the sense that it's do or die. If everyday mostly mainstream Rancid or Social Distortion fan took a look at the lineup for this fest I'm guessing they would pass because with all the great bands we have there are only a handful that a casual fan of this genre would recognize, that being said I love our lineup this year. I love it. I'm happy with the variety, I'm happy with the talent and more than anything I'm happy with the people we have coming out. The folks in these bands are working their asses off for gas money or less and they want this fest to be a success just like I do, Way Out West Fest was never about money and I hope that shows through with all the profit from passes going to the bands. If I can somehow sustain this I will always have "unknown" bands be a part of Way Out West but I would love to have one to six bands that people in and out of the know get excited about, it's better for everyone.

ElDorkoPunkRetro: Any final thoughts before you get back to work?

Billy Brooks: There are a lot of fests going on and I see more popping, a lot of good ones too, I don't see this community sustaining them all. I really don't. In all honesty Way Out West may be one that goes by the wayside because it has so much working against it with my refusal to seek out sponsorship to going against Coachella and their reunion
machine on the same weekend. I really hope the "punk" community starts coming out to local shows and smaller fests because guess what; without these bands playing their hearts out and skipping meals to put gas in the van there won't be a band like Refused to reunite down the road. We really need to start using our judgment better as punk
consumers and music lovers in general, buy a shirt, get a record and go to a $5 show with bands you've never heard of. If we do this a little more as a community we'll get stronger and we'll be rewarded with great music. I promise this won't put Warped Tour out of business. I will probably never have the money to compete with these big name productions but I feel that we offer something a little more here; we're making friends.

Here are the details you'll need:

Way Out West Fest in Tucson, AZ features over 60 bands from all over
the United States and is set to take place April 13th-15th, 2012. This
is the second installment of what looks to be like an annual event,
with a roster of independent bands and no corporate sponsors to speak
of Way Out West Fest looks to build on last year's success in lieu of
taking place on the same weekend of The Coachella Valley Music and
Arts Annual Festival in Indio, California.

The lineup includes: The Well, Beside Myself, Bobby Joe Ebola and the
Children MacNuggits, Allout Helter, The Mighty Fine, Shovel and Gun,
Static Thought, The Loss, Come On Die Young, The Plurals, American
Lies, Why I Hate, Hands Like Bricks, Horror Squad, Dudes Night, Samuel
Caldwells Revenge, Bonsai, The Shell Corporation, Plainfield Butchers,
Rumspringer, Prosthetic Arms, Civil War Rust, News From The Front,
Seas Will Rise, Said Gun, Fort Worth, The Angry Lemons, Abolitionist,
French Exit, Margate, Tuck & Roll, Radio Crimes, Young///Savage, Tin
Horn Prayer, Holding Onto Sound, Yulia, Perdition, The Sky We Scrape,
Advocate, Lenguas Largas, Success, The Anchor, Arms Aloft, Gunner's
Daughter, The Maxies, Bastards Of Young, The Slow Death, Tiltwheel,
Turkish Techno, BOATS!, Reverend Loose Morals, Rossi H., New York
Taxi, International Dipshit, Jefferson Deathstar, Heroes For Hire,
Flatwheeler, Pretty Boy Thorson, Joey Briggs of the Briggs, Jeff Rowe,
Lizzie Huffman, and The Bertos.

Three day wristbands are only $25 will all wristband profit going to
the bands. More information is available on their website or their Facebook or their Bandcamp, which has tons of free, downloadable music...well, these albums:

Oh...and Boats! will be there!

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/32140517" iframe="true" /]


Thee Oh Sees / The Fresh & Onlys / White Fence / Wounded Lion – NYE – Brick & Mortar – San Francisco

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

AlanForbesOK, I know...my definition of punk keeps expanding, which will probably make some of you out there either very uncomfortable or downright hateful...whatever. It's taken years for people to even begin to recognize the punk thread woven into the history of rock music from it's beginning...why would anyone stop to recognize it in the present? And why, of all places, in the psych garage revival movement? Ha...because that's one of the places it is right now (and has been since the 1960's)!

The Punk Retrospective crew decided we'd all go to San Francisco for New Year's 2012 and sleep in the van to save cash for the return trip home. Obviously, there's something worthwhile happening if you're willing to sleep in a van...the title of the post is a dead giveaway...for $15 a pop we all got to see Wounded Lion from Los Angeles, White Fence, The Fresh & Onlys and Thee Oh Sees while ringing in the New Year and tossing 2011 out like the fucking train wreck/pile of shit/trash heap it turned out to be.

2011 was a good year for rock music...for punk and other streams of independent subculture. And, though I'm still whining about the quality of my gear, it's great getting out and hearing so much live music. Living close to San Francisco has its perks...and when the opportunity to see four independent, original, groundbreaking bands in one conveniently located and hip venue presented itself, I thought, hell yeah, let's sleep in the fuckin' van and take back this fucking city!

DwyerThere was a lot of confusion outside regarding who it was, exactly, that was headlining this event. The Fresh and Onlys appeared on the bill first with White Fence and a special guest to be announced at a later date. When Thee Oh Sees were finally announced, well...a ranking game started that continued up to the New Year. White Fence could have topped this list as "Is Growing Faith" was on several Top 10 lists for 2011, but the Fresh and Onlys have been, and are becoming, even more respected in this scene. In the end I think everyone agreed it was Thee Oh Sees who should top the bill.

Before the show I met Petey Dammit and Alan Forbes, chatted them up a bit and bought a silk-screened copy of the amazing gig poster(shown above) Alan created. I think everyone was pleasantly surprised by Wounded Lion's performance...I swear they opened with a Black Flag cover and continued to impress.

This was our second trip to the Brick and Mortar Music Hall and our second sold out show. By the time White Fence started to play the bar was packed.

So, here's a portion of the White Fence performance I grabbed with my crappy camera. There's a familiarity to the sound, a sixties undercurrent with a touch of Stooges influence, but it's remarkably fresh sounding. Check it out:

I also captured about 14 minutes of Thee Oh Sees performance. As always, you should realize filmed shows are not a true representation of a bands' abilities. Seriously, if you have the chance to see any of the bands on this site, do! Anyway, John Dwyer is always amazing, no exception this night, either drummer alone would have been great, but watching the interaction between them was pretty intense. The audience loved every song and provided a constant swell for crowd surfing. Oh, here's Thee Oh Sees:

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/TheDreamRough.mp3] Thee Oh Sees - The Dream (Rough) Link source (via TheeOhSees)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/CarrionCrawlerRough.mp3] Thee Oh Sees - Carrion Crawler (Rough) Link source (via TheeOhSees)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/IWasDenied.mp3] Thee Oh Sees - I Was Denied Link source (via TheeOhSees)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/TheFreshAndOnlys-Waterfall.mp3] The Fresh and Onlys - Waterfall Link source (via Stereogum)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/WhiteFence-SwaggerVetsandDoubleMoon.mp3] White Fence - Swagger Vets and Double Moon Link source (via TheFader)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/WoundedLion-CreaturesintheCave.mp3] Wounded Lion - Creatures in the Cave Link source (via Spinner)

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/WoundedLion-ImSad.mp3] Wounded Lion - I'm Sad Link source (via ElectricPandaMusic)


Mark Sultan, The Hexxers, Thee Cormans, Death Hymn Number Nine

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Alex/SultanFlyerSo...on Fri, Nov 25, 2011 the whole damn Punk Retrospective gang traveled to Long Beach, California to see Mark Sultan, The Hexxers, Thee Cormans, and Death Hymn Number Nine. There was no way we were going to miss this show...I mean, Mark Sultan's 50 minute epic, War On Rock’n'Roll , is probably the best "new" music I've heard in 2011 (it was released through on his website for free!!!), PLUS he's done a shitload of other awesome music in notable bands, like the Spaceshits, King Khan & BBQ Show, The Almighty Defenders, etc., etc. Tonight he was just Mark Sultan, watching the opening acts while he sold merch.

I was actually fairly impressed by the opening acts. Death Hymn Number 9, The Hexxers, and Thee Cormans played with as much humor, noise, chaos and grace as they could muster without creating a churning pit of violence. The sight of Thee Cormans' muppet-headed tambourine player is still burned into my fragile mind.

The Punk Retrospective crew got a personal visit from Mark after we made some key purchases from his stacks of vinyl. He was very down to earth and wasn't phased by our sudden lack of intelligence. He graciously accepted my compliments on his musical prowess, vocally and with the guitar, but stated that he's mainly a drummer. He said he was nearly toured out...just tired from constantly being on the road. I thanked him for "The War on Rock'n'Roll" and he told me that's basically what he would be playing tonight. I invited Mark to come play a show in Northern California when he hits the road again...I think I got a solid "maybe" out of him before he began setting up his gear.

Mark@Alex's112511Aside from a few cool videos, I don't believe I'd ever actually witnessed a "one-man band". Mark took the stage calling himself a "rock'n'roll enthusiast" and admonished us to "dance and fight and fuck" before he tore it up for 53 minutes. I left the show convinced Mark Sultan had sold his soul to the devil. This man who admits to having no training can sing and play guitar with the best and most soulful performers in rock history. I really can't say enough good things about him...he writes songs that carry a lot of the style and structure of the fifties then drags them through the 60's fuzz, 70's punk and 90's garage to create something unnervingly real, raw and timeless. A white boy from Montreal with all that talent...how else to explain it but a Faustian bargain?

Among my biggest regrets this year, at least professionally, are the limitations I face financially, which translates to not being able to afford the equipment I need to properly capture performances like this. An iPod Touch, a small HD camera with a built in mic, a digital recorder...sure they capture video and audio, but I could only store 17 minutes and 53 seconds of Mark's performance on my SD card...so that's all you're gonna see...

My hope is that Punk Retrospective will take some bigger chances in 2012...splurge a little on shows, cameras and maybe even book a show or two...still interested Mark?


[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Mark-Sultan-Ill-Be-Lovin-You.mp3] Mark Sultan - I'll Be Lovin You Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/BBQ%20-%20I%20Wanna%20Be%20The%20Only%20One.mp3] BBQ - I Wanna Be the Only One Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-King-Khan-BBQ-Show-Shake-Real-Low.mp3] The King Khan and BBQ Show - Shake Real Low Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-Spaceshits-Im-Dead.mp3] The Spaceshits - I'm Dead Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/the_almighty_defenders-cone_of_light.mp3] The Almighty Defenders - Cone of Light Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/The-Ding-Dongs%20-You-Better-Hide.mp3] The Ding Dongs - You Better Hide Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Mind-Controls%20-Self-Immolation-Man.mp3] Mind Controls - Self Immolation Man Link source

[play-button:http://marksultan.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Les-Sexareenos-Low-Low-Low.mp3] Les Sexareenos - Low, Low, Low Link source

Loads more free music on his website...make sure you catch his live show when he starts touring again! He keeps the world fairly updated on where he is here. Oh...and here's that video I promised earlier:


Sucked Into The Blackhole

Posted by saturnword

Blackhole is a very interesting hardcore band from Missouri. One of the screaming voices of today's youth and heralding the DIY ethic of their forefathers, their 2011 release "Keep Out" is sure to satisfy veteran fans of the genre. To this band's credit though, they don't stick to straight hardcore in their songs; there are some interludes of thrash influenced breakdowns and bass solos. An example would be "Homospirituality" which is more metal than punk musically. The track starts out with this amazing clear rumbling bass that took me off-guard when I first heard it. That was the last thing that I expected from a hardcore band and the song is the longest on the demo to boot, coming in at three minutes and some change.

On the other hand though, there are some songs that are definitely straight hardcore like "Cornered" which is short, aggressive, simple, and straight to the point. Lyrically, it's a little hard to explain so I'll just post the lyrics for "Homospirituality" for you to get an idea of the kind of topics this five song demo covers.

Pray for yourself in these trying times. Pray to your sudafed, oxi's and prescription meds. Maybe they'll help you ease the pain inside. From being born into suppression, of spiritual impression. The callus building machine they call church. Full of generalizing terms, for generalizing people. Faith is no longer for the individual. Your religious conventions can't explain how I feel inside.

Sucking at the river of life, through this broken straw.
Just as the laws of the pharisees were created, so are these boxes they have instated. This relationship was never personal. When every step is forever planned I can't get out of this box you've put me in. Sit on the top with your chain, padlocked shut.

I won't be your fish to catch. Won't be your sheep to heard.
Keep your line and crook away from me, save your breath I don't need your words.

I am the product of your systematic spirituality, that failed troubleshoot flowchart. Take me off your rosters, I'm not coming back. You always claimed this was about compassion and understanding. This was really only about turning me into something you can understand. There are no words you can say to describe how I'm feeling. None of these conventions can place the state of my soul.

You can buy their stuff here.

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/Cornerd%20mix%20042611.mp3] Blackhole - Cornored Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/HomoSpirituality%20mix%20042611.mp3] Blackhole - Homospirituality Link source


Jungle Juice

Posted by saturnword

Fucking hardcore punk is alive and kicking. Spotlight is Jungle Juice, a band from Arkansas aka the middle of fucking nowhere, bringing hardcore with some of the most scum laden sleazy bass riffs that I’ve heard in awhile. For a perfect example, check out the fifth track, “Salvation” featuring CT from Rwake doing vocals on their upcoming album “Bastard Sessions.” Expect angst and anger lyrically with the perfect vocal style to express it raw and unfiltered. “Riverside Blues,” the last track, is where the vocals shine the most with the ferocity of a banshee in heat.

I live amongst the scavengers
who’d pick apart the bones of their brothers.
Mindless fucks
with no sense of value for a human life.
They’ll suck you in,
Pull you down, rip apart your ‘soul’.
Left with sense of being saved,
But deprived of your common sense.

This album is short, fleeting and powerful. Enjoy the ride when it’s finally let loose for all to behold.

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/03%2003%20One%20Hitter%20Quitter.mp3] Jungle Juice - One Hitter Quitter Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/05%2005%20Salvation%20ft.%20CT%20of%20Rwake.mp3] Jungle Juice - Salvation ft. CT from Rwake Link source


Love Your Chainsaw

Posted by saturnword

Before the all girl grunge acts and riot grrrl, there was one particularly memorable band from London that was known for their misanthropic female vocalist and raw music. Daisy Chainsaw was composed of Katie Jane Garside, guitarist Crispin Gray (real name John Orion), bassist Richard Adams and Canadian drummer Vince Johnson. Their live performances were the talk of journalists who cited Garside as quite the mental case due to her antics on stage which included, but was not limited to, drinking juice from baby bottles and drilling doll heads. Today I will be highlighting their debut album, “Eleventeen,” which was released in 1992.

As someone who was first a fan of Queen Adreena, Garside and Gray's reunion project after Daisy Chainsaw dissolved, the differences in sound and vocal style is quite jarring. First, there aren't any sweet vocals to contrast with the harsher style in this album; she still has great range using various intonations to accentuate the prevailing emotion in the songs. An example of this is the first song on the album titled, “I Feel Insane,” where it starts out with her laughing like a mentally disturbed person and in-between lyrics she makes indiscernible noises to stress that notion. Lyrics are screamed or sung softly with a violent undercurrent waiting to break free during the next verse. That's basically how every song is done with obvious differences based on each one's atmosphere.

The instrumentals are a mixture between noise and punk rock. Very chaotic and aggressive guitar work, solid rock drumming, and audible bass the holds them all together. Though most of the tracks sound more punk than noise, there are four songs that do break that mold. First being, “Natural Man,” which is sung by a male band member and it has only a very bluegrass acoustic guitar playing to accompany the vocals. Second is “Use Me Use You,” which is close to an eerily abstract, but beautiful, noise track. The last two, “Waiting For The Wolves” and “Everything is Weird,” are very relaxed, bordering on serene, and whimsical rock songs. There is an unidentifiable quirky sense of humor that shines through in every aspect of those two and I'm very much in-love with it.

Despite that, there is one song that is the star of the album for me. “Hope Your Dreams Come True” starts out as a very slow and sexy song. It builds up at a luxurious pace to a very anti-climatically peaceful segment that ends abruptly in short lived chaos and release at the song's end.

There is no set lyrical theme to this album, but if I were categorize it, I would say that it is very introspective with references to human interaction on a social level. Nothing political or especially gruesome, but the perspective they provide is definitely insightful. With that said, you're just going to have to give this a listen yourself to see what I mean!

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/Daisy%20Chainsaw%20-%2001%20-%20I%20Feel%20Insane.mp3] Daisy Chainsaw – I Feel Insane Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/Daisy%20Chainsaw%20-%2004%20-%20Hope%20Your%20Dreams%20Come%20True.mp3] Daisy Chainsaw – Hope Your Dreams Come True Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/Daisy%20Chainsaw%20-%2005%20-%20Natural%20Man.mp3] Daisy Chainsaw – Natural Man Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/Daisy%20Chainsaw%20-%2008%20-%20Use%20Me%20Use%20You.mp3] Daisy Chainsaw – Use Me Use You Link source


Poly Styrene R.I.P. 1957 – 2011

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Poly StyreneThe rumors are now being confirmed, Marian Joan Elliott-Said, better known as Poly Styrene, the voice of the X-Ray Spex, has died. She announced in February that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, then in March released a critically acclaimed album called Generation Indigo.

I have not heard the new album yet, but the X-Ray Spex' Germ Free Adolescents is a groundbreaking classic by any definition. The voice of Poly Styrene, though trained for opera, will forever be remembered for it's seductive ferocity. The X-Ray Spex formed in 1976, placing them in the first wave of British punk, with Poly Styrene as an archetype among archetypes.


[play-button:http://jennywoolworth.ch/us/mp3s/XRaySpex_OhBondageUpYours.mp3] X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage Up Yours! Link source

[play-button:http://krucoff.com/media/X-Ray-Spex_Art-I-Ficial.mp3] X-Ray Spex Art-I-Ficial Link source

[play-button:http://www.badmintonstamps.com/downloads/xray-dayglo.mp3] X-Ray Spex - The Day The World Turned Day-Glo Link source


Trouble In The Camera Club: A Photographic Narrative of Toronto’s Punk History 1976 – 1980

Posted by Cribs

The Ramones - New Yorker Theatre 1977

I must admit to being green with envy while pouring over Don Pyle's new book - Trouble In The Camera Club. Not just because he saw pretty much anyone who was anyone in the Toronto punk rock scene of the late 70s. Not because he documented the trip with his camera, and kept a lot of ephemera, resulting in one bad ass ride down memory lane. But because I was just a little too young to experience the scene the same way he did. Either way, I certainly identify with Pyle's life, growing up in a small suburban Toronto neighbourhood, jonesing for new music in the record shop bins, getting into clubs underage, and ultimately wanting something more out of the music I listened to. But I was just a little too late, and although the scene was still great in the early to late 80s, it wasn't the same. 

TITCC confirms and documents that Toronto was indeed a hot spot for the emergence of punk in North America. Yes there was the homegrown talent: The Viletones (Steven Leckie delivers the book's introduction), Teenage Head, The Diodes, and many others, but Pyle maintains that because of Canada's colonial umbilical cord to Britain, it was easy for the wave of "big" British punk bands to hop over to the country's biggest city - The Clash, The Stranglers, 999, The Vibrators. Yet Pyle finds it hard to ignore what was coming out of New York: The Dolls, The Stooges, Blondie, and everything of course, centres around The Ramones. It's difficult to measure the impact that The Ramones had, but it's clear it is seminal and far reaching for a lot of us, as much so as The Beatles, Stones, Dylan, or even Elvis. Pyle clearly remembers being in a record store and hearing The Ramones first album come on over the speakers, it was his epiphany, the moment when he realised the power of this new music and the scene that went along with it.

So armed with his camera he set out to document his immersion into something that would shape the rest of his life. TITCC is laid out chronologically and starts with a Patti Smith show at Seneca College  in 1976 and ends with a Ramones show at RPM in 1987, at which Pyle's band Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet opened. Each show is accompanied by photos, posters, ticket stubs and the like, as well as Pyle's own memories. It is an impressive collection: Iggy Pop, Dead Boys, Runaways, Cheap Trick, Blondie, XTC, The Heartbreakers, The Damned, The Ramones, all in their prime, and all in very small venues, usually run down clubs. The amazing thing about this collection is the photographs had never been seen before 2007. For close to 30 years Pyle sat on the negatives, eventually restoring them and featuring them in a show at the Beaver Bar in Toronto. We're lucky he did, TITCC is a literal punk rock treasure, and it makes me wish I had kept everything myself. Regrets, I've had a few....

Don Pyle is also a well known musician having been in the bands Crash Kills Five, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet (who opened for The Ramones), King Cobb Steelie, Fifth Column, Greek Buck and Phono-Comb. He is also a composer and a producer/engineer who has worked with The Sadies, Peaches and Iggy Pop to name a few.

The book will be launched in fine fashion on May 4th, for anyone near Toronto (follow the link to buy the book as well)


Prints are available at http://www.donpyle.com/titcc_pages/titcc2.html.

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Shadowy/02%20Reid%27s%20Situation.mp3] Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - Reid's Situation Link source


Jack, Off Jill!

Posted by saturnword

We all have that one special band that reminds us of our angsty teenage years. That band for me is Jack Off Jill. During that time, I used to skip college classes a lot with one of my closest friends, Aleia. Before you ask for clarification, I started attending college at 16 so I was still socially eligible for the teen angst card. Leia owns this awesome purple hunk of metal that sang to me the spirit of liberation. She used to take me for rides in it, sometimes all night, not buying anything with no real destination and the only thing to keep us company in the stillness was Jack Off Jill's “Clear Hearts Grey Flowers” and our then unperfected story-telling techniques.

I must admit that at the very beginning, I didn't enjoy the harsher vocal work in a good deal of the songs so the one that I truly enjoyed was “Vivica” for it's harmoniously depressive nature. In addition to that, I disliked love songs immensely. Their The Cure cover at the end of the album was usually skipped, but I would humor Leia when she wanted to hear it. As time passed, I started to appreciate the angry vocals a lot more and “Lovesong” didn't seem so bad afterall.

This album single-handily made me much more receptive to metal, punk and so much more as I got older. You see, the thing is that most music that I was raised listening to ranged from traditional Egyptian dance music to Egypt's version of Western classical music (it's basically music that keeps the integrity of the Egyptian folk sound while refining it using Western instruments). That type of music usually had one of two effects on you, it either made you want to dance or it made you incredibly sad. There was no chaotic angry sounding music. That being said, the versatile vocal work and bass pervasive music was a great segue way into harsher stuff later on.

One of the most interesting things about Jack Off Jill is it's genre label. Fans are very confused as to what it should be classified as. Some would classify them as riot grrrl, but I highly disagree with that. As covered in another review, riot grrrl was a cultural movement as much as it was a musical one. The inception of Jack Off Jill had nothing to do with that scene. Jessicka, the heart of the band, was discovered by Marilyn Manson during the time that his gig, The Spooky Kids, could have been considered as noise/gothic rock. The main inspiration for the Jack Off Jill's lyrics and music style was The Cure, teenage feminine issues, and Jessicka's brainstorming sessions with Manson. In light of all this, I feel that it is safe to say that this band belongs under the broad label that is gothic rock.

Jessicka's vocals still amaze me and reminds me quite a bit of Katie Garside. She goes from cloyingly sweet to homicidal with some build-up, but a lot of the time the transformation is instantaneous. Instrumentally, the ride is smooth with solid rock drums melodic keyboards, and strong audible basslines that are the highlights in many songs. The guitar doesn't take center stage and, refreshingly enough, there are no guitar solos. Musically and lyrically, this band is one of the least pretentious outfits that I have ever come across. For that, I am very glad because they have helped me push through many tough times. I suppose my ex was partially right when he used to say: “What did I do? You only listen to them when you're pissed.”

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/06%20-%20Jack%20Off%20Jill%20-%20Author%20Unknown.mp3] Jack Off Jill – Author Unknown Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/07%20-%20Jack%20Off%20Jill%20-%20Vivica.mp3] Jack Off Jill – Vivica Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/12%20-%20Jack%20Off%20Jill%20-%20Star%20No%20Star.mp3] Jack Off Jill – Star no Star Link source

[play-button:http://domesticgenocide.com/audio/66%20-%20Jack%20Off%20Jill%20-%20Lovesong.mp3] Jack Off Jill – Lovesong Link source