Punk Retrospective

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:


Spits / Mouthbreathers / Croissants / Teef / Rad

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

SpitsSomehow, I convinced our bass player to head on down to see The Spits at Luigi's Slice FunGarden in Sacramento last night...he has a new favorite band now...I gained several. It's pretty amazing how quickly I can change my mind about a town, as up 'til this point I'd thought Sacramento was a pretty dull place. It's nice being surprised by real local talent.

Yes, I went to see the Spits, but Rad opened the show with such ferocity and female-fronted hardcore fury that I knew it was going to be a great night. Teef were also a pleasant and funny, punk-as-hell surprise. (Found out later they're also Boats!, but that's another story.) The Croissants were fun in their own snotty, punk-ass way. The Mouthbreathers, from Lawrence, Kansas, with their quick, punk sound and sustained vocals, sound more like one of the new, garage-psych, indie bands, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, considering the fact that all these bands and about 75 fans were crowded into the storage closet @ Luigi's...well, I think it all turned out great!

Well...until the Spits took the stage. Yes, they were as amazing as you'd think, but they were plagued by sound problems for most of the set...which led to some fun, hateful banter between the brothers' Wood. Jarade, our bass player, jumped into the pit for most of the show, while the support posts for a beam made it possible for me to shoot some really crappy video and protect the plastic cup of white wine of another Punk Retrospective crew member. I think we'll be going to more shows in Sacramento if Luigi's will get a corkscrew for the white wine even though it's pretty punk pushing the cork into the bottle with a butter knife.

So, here's Rad, live on KDVS:
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/33130782" params="show_comments=false&auto_play=false&color=3b3a39" width="100%" height="81" iframe="false" /]

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/Croissants-IDontGetToLeave.mp3] Croissants - I Don't Get to Leave Link source

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/PR/Mouthbreathers-OutOfMyHead.mp3] Mouthbreathers - Out of My Head Link source

[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Spits/TheSpits-AllIWant.mp3] Spits - All I Want Link source

Here's that crappy video I mentioned:


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



Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

Why does it take a bunch of old guys to create one of the most exciting, new bands to appear in a number of years? Keith Morris (Black Flag/ Circle Jerks), Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), and Mario Rubalcaba (Earthless/ Hot Snakes/ Rocket From the Crypt) form OFF!, a "super group" that lives up to the title!

It's been a long time since a band played with this much ferocity, and it's exactly what we need right now. 16 songs, in about as many minutes, translates to a wake up call, not only to the whiny indie scene, but to the frustrated masses looking for a soundtrack to tar and feather their (insert your favorite, real-life villain here) to.

The major labels, and independents, could learn a thing or two from the way OFF! are doing things. As you can see below, about 1/4 of the material they've recorded is readily available for free download. The original 7" pressings sold out in a number of days, and with roughly 2 days of recording under their belts, OFF! are being cheered on by notable indie sites for bringing excitement back to music. They've kept their expenses down and created an aura of anticipation around their next move. By re-teaming with iconic artist Raymond Pettibon, releasing energetic and unrestrained music and videos, and playing the 80's hardcore card, they're making products people want to own...not just download.

I'd prefer owning the First Four Eps 7" Box Set on vinyl (available now), but there is a link at the bottom to get "The First Four EP's" on CD. (this is pre-order: release date Feb. 15, 2011)

[play-button:http://offofficial.com/Upsidedown.mp3] OFF! - Upside Down •Link source

[play-button:http://offofficial.com/Darkness.mp3] OFF! - Darkness •Link source

[play-button:http://www.viceland.com/blogs/en/files/2010/11/09-panic-attack.mp3] OFF! - Panic Attack •Link source

[play-button:http://downloads.pitchforkmedia.com/OFF!%20-%20I%20Don%27t%20Belong.mp3] OFF! - I Don't Belong •Link source


Abrasive Wheels

Posted by ElDorkoPunkRetro

The old men are back with a new album, Skum,
and support tour.


[play-button:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16850984/Misc./AbrasiveWheels-MaybeTomorrow.mp3] Abrasive Wheels - Maybe Tomorrow •Link source

Hard to find Abrasive Wheels titles @ GEMM!

Filed under: New music, Review No Comments