A sub-division of oldpunks.com

Friday, September 30, 2005

Old School Punk Radio From A Buzzcock's Girlfriend


Hello there...

Yes, I've shamelessly used the fact I am romantically entwined with Buzzcock Mr Steve Diggle to plug my punk radio show, but what's a girl to do?

I want to let you know about my new 2 hour punk / new wave and ska radio show 'The Pogo Session', featured on online rock station the Album Zone on Live 365.com.

You need a user name to log in to the site, but it's free. All Album Zone shows are on rotation a week at a time, but if you manage to catch one of my shows, do let me know what you think.

Warm wishes,

zoë street
music journalist / presenter - 'the pogo sessions'
punk, new wave, ska, dub
Album Zone / Live365.com

e: pogopost@yahoo.co.uk m: 07861 249 645

Punk Rock Punchlines

So far my only lasting contribution to the punk world has been to compile a list of punk rock jokes.

Cole was nice enough to make one up. Here 'tis:
Q. What did the knife say while listening to The Ramones? A. I wanna be serrated!
That's actually very funny. Of course now it becomes property of The Old Punks Megacorp, a division of NeoCon Industries, itself an LLC of ZOG Worldwide.

Top 10 Most Ridiculous Black Metal Pics Of All Time

You won't stop laughing, I guarantee it.

"LOOK AT THOSE F--KING SHIN GUARDS! Since when did Satan have his own ice hockey team?"

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Review: The Arcade Fire - Funeral CD

Funeral is a very good record, fascinating to listen to and beautifully put together. It's a collection of mid and up-tempo funeral dirges you can often dance to, the biggest influences being The Talking Heads, New Order and John Cale of The Velvet Underground. The instrumentation is inspired, mixing orchestra and rock elements with touches of xylophone, accordion, steel drum and mandolin. They even toss in a waltz. Remorseful yet impatient, they end some slower songs with a roaring finale, on "Wake Up" kicking into an uplifting "Lust For Life" fadeout.

Members of Canada's The Arcade Fire lost loved ones in quick succession and Funeral is about loss. Or so I read. The lyrics, as I hear them, are too obtuse to indicate anything amiss. I have no idea what these songs are about really but they read nicely. This from someone who generally pisses on lyrics as poetry, and poetry as answers to existential questions.

There's a lovely sound throughout of instruments being plucked and tuned like when a massive orchestra warms up before a performance. The standard/expected drone of string instruments are, if anything, underplayed, a nice change and a classy choice.

I've never heard anything quite like this and if it's wholly original in its own way I wouldn't be surprised. I highly recommend this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A-Million-Archy for you and me!


Ca-ching!! Can you hear that? That's the sound of peace, love and amillionarchy! Hi, my name is Tim, but my friends call me Terror Tim, because I'm so fierce and s--t. I'm not huge and tough for my age or anything, but if you get kept back enough times in high like I have you eventually get to be one of the bigger guys around.

The other day I was hanging around the mall with Malcolm (code name: Malcolmtempt) and Unsightly Stan, whose super power is always having a cloud of dirt around his body like Pigpen in the Peanuts cartoons. We were grubbing for change because we're anarchists and that's what we do. I wanted to call us Crusties but that's all Stan so it's too obvious, ya know? Anyway, we were bitching to each other about Society and Big Brother and Malcolm's mom's new BMW SUV that kills the planet when it's not dropping us off places, when a thought hit me like a billy club on the head of the oppressed masses by the evil capitalist goon squads!

Sure, I guess all it would take for the world to reject civilization and live peacefully in the huge green forest the world would turn back into in a month or two is a few Starbucks being vandalized, but in the meantime, how about stopping inequality, poverty, hunger and all that by giving everyone a million dollars? Everyone's rich and the same and there's no more reason to hate. Capitalism sucks, but so does being broke. Green Doc Marten toe stompin' boots don't grow on trees you know.

Take away all the money from the rich, who've made it all anyway off the sweat of the working class, like I did last summer when I slaved at McDonalds for a week until my parents couldn't handle my complaining anymore so they raised my allowance instead. I'm sure there's enough for everyone to get a million dollars, and if not just print more money because it's just paper, right? I made money on a xerox machine once and the clerk at the 7-11 just looked at me and asked what kind of moron I was. I was able to tell him what type exactly since I've been tested more times than a cigarette smoking monkey. One day he'll be thanking me for making him rich with that money!

Ok, so you're asking who'll clean toilets and flip burgers and sell donuts if everyone's rich. They'll have to to do it because that's part of the cooperative spirit of amillionarchy! Just like in regular anarchy. That'll be one of the conditions and maybe they'll have to sign something promising they will. Then you might ask what about people who spend all their money and are poor again. Aha! Anyone who has more than his or her million will give back the extra money into a communal fund for those with less than a million dollars to take from. It's perfect!

So, everyone will have a million dollars and we'll all be equal and we'll all be able to buy whatever we want. Anarchy is kinda the same but I don't think I'll be able to buy a new Camaro Z28 that way. My way rocks!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Masturbate For Peace

As per Sondrak, this is the funniest site in the universe:

Masturbate For Peace

The posters are great and my favorite bumper stickers are:

I'm going blind for mankind
As war clouds thicken, choke your chicken
Avoid a scuffle with the 5-knuckle shuffle
There's no time for war if your meat is too sore!
Beat your little man, not Afghanistan


I'm at a loss to explain this but I wish them the best. Somebody's money is on the line here. Scenesters World is so far one set of six punky figurines, some keychains and a button that simply reads "Scenester". Each character has a backstory and I guess they each reflect a young and punk demographic. Brandon is still reeling from his favorite punk band signing to a major label a couple months ago, while Lucky refuses to take money from his parents, and is spare-changing to start a record label to put out a 7-inch record for his band, Spange.

What's the target age for these things? Is it something punk kids buy for themselves or an impulse item for parents with punk kids? They're on sale at Tower, Hot Topic and "other cool places near you".

The word "Scenester" looks funny on paper. Stare at it and after a while it looks like it could be pronounced "Sinister". Does a button that says "Scenester" scream poser, or is there an age where a kid would proudly wear it because that's what they want to be? Uh.......

The Scenesters World site features artwork by Kevin Cross, who you might remember from this cover.

Anti-War, Christopher Hitchen's Foot

Anonymous wrote that I labeled everyone I disagree with a Stalinist. I only call Stalinists Stalinists. Communists I call Communists. If you don't know the evils of Communism and its pure Nazi equivalent, Stalinism, here's a good place to start your edgimuhfication. I refer to Cindy Sheehan an insane hausfrau, Ward Churchill "Whitey Fake-Em-Good", Noam Chomsky "Gnome Crapsky", Bad Religion "Political Pedophiles", Anti-Flag "immensely Inconsequential" and Michael Moore the death of documentary filmmaking as a legitimate art form. Believe you me, I give these nobodies all the respect they deserve.

Don't get me wrong. I hate Rev. Phelps and Pat Robertson, and rednecks and preppies are no better or worse than hippies and organic food snobs, but far left genocidal nimrods are being pushed as the mainstream by cretins and scumbags, and I want the debate of politics to only involve people of good intentions. Phelps and Crapsky can both die in the same fiery pit as far as I'm concerned. No, everything doesn't work in theory and not all opinions are of equal value.

Christopher Hitchens, formerly one of the great minds of the left before discovering the far left is intractably genocidal and suicidal, skewers the phony left in this piece on Slate.com.

If you don't like my politics, don't read my blog. If you don't like what I review, don't read my blog. If you like it here, thanks. If not, go away.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Review: The Descendents – Cool To Be You CD

2004’s Cool To Be You came out 8-ish years after Everything Sucks, which arrived 9-esque years after the one before. Fronted by Milo Auckerman, The Descendents defined nerdy punk desperation from 81-86, setting the stage for modern pop-punk long before Green Day. Everything Sucks was a nice surprise all around as music and nostalgia. Cool To Be You is product. It’s nice to hear the classic sound but as it’s not a strong record it makes them a bit like the house guest who didn’t know when to leave.

Milo has to be in his 40s, and has he graduated from college yet for Christ’s sake? In “Mass Nerder” he channels Timbuk 3’s 1986 embarrassment “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades” with the lyrics “Gonna kick their asses in class/Gonna get good grades!" Cool To Be You starts off strong on the first two tracks but then veers into maudlin middle age introspection and failed gimmicks old and new. “Blast Off” is a poopie joke with the punchline “Blast off at Cape Canaveral/All systems go!/Blast off at Cape Canaveral/4, 3, 2, 1, Blast off!” Another good coffee anthem would have fit the bill.

Then there’s “'Merican”, the Descendents’ stab at political commentary. It’s a Bad Religion song which sounds nothing like the Descendents but a whole lot like Bad Religion. Here’s the lyrics. Yeah, everything sucks so ape a band that approves of Stalinist atrocities. Like I always say about Bad Religion, a hardcore heroin addict should not be allowed to tell anyone how they should lead their lives beyond to be sure not to shoot junk. Milo’s life seems to be one dismal personal failure after another, so his world geopolitical views might also suck today.

I love the Descendents when they're the Descendents, but like it or not it's a limited menu. It's also nice to not wanna grow up, but the old days are long gone.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mykel Board

Former MaximumRockNRoll columnist Mykel Board just released a book compiling writings for that zine, which I recall ran in the 80s. He also had an arty non-punk punk band called Artless. He was asked to leave MRR at some point because he created offenses not in line with dirtball publisher Tim Yohannon's allowed offenses. I followed the hullabaloo at the time but in retrospect everyone involved deserved a beating, and in the bigger picture of life it was a non-event of immense proportions.

Board was a scumbag who wrote about being a scumbag. I think he was allowed to write for MRR just to make everyone else appear more sane. It was hard to figure if was serious or if his tales were made up to enrage. He and his defenders hid behind the excuse of his "honesty" but I think (my memory is bad) he wrote a number of times about having sex with small children.

Did he really do that or was it a joke? Was he a scumbag or was it all a lark? I'd like to know.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Review: Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger CD

Another in a growing line of retro-asexual-new wave-dance bands, Newcastle's Maximo Park add a mod sound and energy to the mix, offering a fuzzy yet invigorating set of songs that demand to be played loud. The opening track, "Signal and Sign", starts at a low volume as if to trick you to crank it up. I like this disc especially because I'm a sucker for a clever wall of noise chord progression and cheesy farfisa organ sound. Maximo Park combine the two and had me at hello.

A Certain Trigger sounds like The Cure meets The Jam, with what sounds to me like a Scottish singer. Many of the songs generate new energies within themselves, a rare talent I've come across in bands such as The Lazy Cowgirls and Space Cookie. Most of the notes I wrote while listening to this came down to "great song".

Maximo Park are like The Futureheads and Bloc Party but rougher around the edges, which is a nice niche to scratch.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Review: Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

To paraphrase and sanitize my favorite line from Street Trash (new on DVD but wait for the special edition), "I follow popular culture like old people make love". I don't watch TV, listen to the radio or read music mags. I pick things up mostly from Entertainment Weekly and allmusic.com. For a while I thought Franz Ferdinand were the leaders, if not founders, of the latest new wave revival. They're neither. Their single "Take Me Out" may be the best known in the genre but it's gimmicky and campy. The Futureheads, Interpol, Bloc Party and Maximo Park are so much better. Only about half of their debut disc is worthwhile.

While I enjoy their Joy Division, Wire, New Order and Gang Of Four influences, they also play campy glam and the disco Rod Stewart scorched the earth with in 1978 when he warbled "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Literally, that song, referenced more than once. The good songs are "Jacqueline", "The Dark Of The Matinee", "Cheating On You", "This Fire" and "Michael" (even sung like Sisters Of Mercy) and "40'".

I hate disco. What can I say. White people shouldn't try to shake their groove things, which we don't have anyway. We just have asses. And while I like many old glam songs there's a style of it that makes me wince like a football to the groi-oi-oin. Picture overly happy people clapping in rhythm while a marching band drum major high steps and waves that stupid staff left and right and up and down (no offense to the dude with the Eraserhead hairstyle). That's the glam FF goes for, and if this makes them the most popular band in the genre then once again I'm too cool for school.

Good Bob Mould Interview

At The Onion, America's Finest News Source.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Cameron Archer Speaks Truth To Power

Cameron Archer haunted the web for years with sites analyzing and defending the indefensible - heavy metal bands with long hair, shirtless muscle dudes and stage acts straight from Spinal Tap. Cameron may think otherwise but that's his beat because I say it is! He now has a blogish thing on any topic revealed to him by Jolt Cola and Twinkies. He also has this page, which looks empty but I'm sure is filled with promise.

He wrote to say:

I received a promo of Jello Biafra and the Melvins' Sieg Howdy! today. Great fun. Jello's still pissed off about the guy from Dr. Know touring as the lead singer of Dead Kennedys enough to write a song about it. His attempts at being funny meet with diminished returns, and at this point he seems more and more neurotic with each day. "Kali-Fornia Uber Alles 21st Century"? I'm not amazed the man could make his own song unfunny, as the whole "hippie=nazi" comparison of the original song has been replaced with...well, the song's about Schwarzenegger, the dots connect themselves. Honestly, I worry about Biafra at this point. It's never a good thing when he's aping Elvis Costello by slagging off former bandmembers through song. I hope I never act this way by the time I get to my mid-forties. Not that I'm anything more than dumb now.

Cam, I'm 44 and have never been dumber! If you look up "functional insanity" in the dictionary you won't find Jello's picture there - only because it's not listed. But if it was... ooo baby Jello would be the picture of the boy who came with the wallet.

I asked about the Elvis Costello thing and he clued me in that "'How To Be Dumb' is about former Attractions bassist Bruce Thomas. It's from Mighty Like a Rose, which is 1990's-era Elvis Costello in what seems to be an "angrier middle-aged man" phase he was going through." I met Elvis once around 1982. He was tall and wide, twice the size I was expecting. He seemed nice enough.

Watch The HP Ad featuring The Speedies

Here's a link to a HP page where you can see the commercial featuring the song "Let Me Take Your Foto" by NY's The Speedies. It's the one titled "Road Trip".

It's a catchy little tune and I'm tickled pink to see this happen. Sometimes the little guy DOES catch a break.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Review: Wild Zero DVD

Wild Zero is the strangest punk rock movie ever. It's of a kind with Versus, the other great Japanese zombie action-comedy. It's also the bastard child of every movie in the Something Weird catalog. The movie stars Guitar Wolf, the trash rock psychobilly kings of the far-out east. Listed as Guitar Wolf, Drum Wolf and Bass Wolf, they're like the Ramones in Rock N Roll High School except they blow heads off zombies and Guitar Wolf is a superhero with ninja guitar picks and a samurai guitar on his back. The soundtrack features Guitar Wolf, The Oblivions and Bikini Kill. Throughout the film Guitar Wolf wears a "Punk" t-shirt with the lettering from the old magazine of the same name.

For plot refer to this. I'd do it myself but it's a nutzoid movie. There's no structure, too many characters and very little internal logic but it's a fun, funny and quite a pleasantly random experience. The zombies move very slowly, if at all, so when someone gets killed you wonder why they didn't just walk away slowly to escape. Alternate titles could be "The Easily Avoidable Dead" and "Moseying Flesh Eaters". The only effects they get right are heads being blown off so you see it a lot. There's also a definite nod to the lawnmower scene in Dead Alive.

Three (3) times in the film Guitar Wolf screams "Lock N Loll !!", which might make me think of "Flied Lice" except that would be racist and wrong.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Loves Her Cocoa Puffs

Cindy "Sock Puppet" Sheehan, America's #1 insane housewife, came out with a statement that scrambled all nuthouses to high alert in preparation for the arrival of their queen.

She demanded Bush "pull out troops out of occupied New Orleans".

I can't stop laughing at her supposed suffering and righteous hatred. Look at this picture and sing "Hound Dog". I do it in my mind all the time and I always laugh like it's the very first time.

Little Green Footballs got it right in this piece called "How Phony Can They Get?"

If Sheehan didn't exist Karl Rove would have to invent her.

9/22/2005 update: Sheehan only had 30 people show up for her big protest at the White House. Here's a poster.

The Old Punk Fable Of The Scorpion And The Frog

The Scorpion And The Frog.

This fable came to mind yesterday when I was writing about Sham 69 and how they couldn't find places to play (and eventually broke up) because of the violent National Front contingency they attracted and catered to. Scenes don't last forever, and the ones that die fastest allow in berserkers, scumbags and creeps. A few scenes die out with time and apathy, but in the punk world most are destroyed by the hand of assholes:

"You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?" The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog's back. "I could not help myself. It is my nature."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Review: Cock Sparrer - Live: Runnin' Riot Across The USA

This live album, one of five from the band, was recorded on their 2000 tour of the states. I'm not reviewing it except to note the sound quality is better than 2003's Back Home. It's the McGuffin, as Hitchcock used to say. My only point in writing is to say Cock Sparrer is the first and best freakin' Oi band of all time, and if you think otherwise all I'll do is smile like I'm holding back a stinky.

Info on the band is here and here.

If Oi is working class punk for the lads in the pub and the football stands, Cock Sparrer is THE band. If you think it's mindless violence and Road Warrior meets Taxi Driver fetishes, stick with cartoon bands with cartoon logos. On The Simpsons the animal chain of command goes mouse, cat and dog. In Oi the order of excellence is Cock Sparrer, Sham 69 and The Business.

Friends since the age of 11, they formed their first band in1972. Their fast, hard and melodic pub rock came into fashion when the Sex Pistols broke. The single "Runnin' Riot" was released in 1977. Read the band's history. They opted out of the record industry money-go-round (Kink's reference!) and mostly sat it out until 1982. They were going to headline the Wasted Festival this October in San Bernardino but the show was cancelled just today.

Their catalog is unmatched for consistently delivering the goods. They are the most melodic, flexible and creative Oi band. Their studio work is more pub oriented while their live shows are straight ahead rockers. They stand proud when it's right and warn against extremism and destructive nonsense when they see it. Sham 69 flirted with the National Front but couldn't control the monsters they stirred up to begin with. Cock Sparrer also has sense of humor. On Back Home vocalist Colin McFaull opens a tune with "This is a song we've never played before live. In 3 minutes you'll know why". I also think "A.U." is funny even if the printed lyrics say otherwise.

Here's Cock Sparrer lyrics. Start your collection with Bloody Minded and go anywhere else from there. My favorite track at the moment is "Bats Out", which is what you'd get if Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry were in the same band. Berry taped himself urinating on a hooker and Lewis married his 13 year old cousin. Cock Sparrer's just fat and old as far as I know.

What's a cock sparrer? It's a tough guy who fights. It's a long story....

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

New Wave Outpost

I'm a big fan of early New Wave music. Malcolm McLaren wanted to call punk "new wave" after the influential French film movement of 58-64. New Wave as something you could be consistently proud of died when disco was coughing its last and something had to take its place as the next big thing for trendies with boogie fever. What called itself new wave after 81-82 was not what it used to be, and sadly nostalgia for the era tends towards the embarrassing later part.

The New Wave Outpost is a huge site that for me lists a bit towards obscure power pop and limp synth music. An incredible amount of work has gone into it so check it out.

Devo wrote a song called "Fountain Of Filth" somewhere between 1974 and 1977. To me it's the first pure new wave dance song in the new wave style Devo helped make famous. If you know of another one, and not just an old power pop song, let me know.

Bums Meet Capitalism. Everybody Wins.

For the terminally homeless who opt out of collecting cans and bottles for the deposit money there's a new revenue flow --- Bumvertising! (thanks to Sondrak)

My answer, for the bums AND mother earth, is to put a small deposit on many items you find littering streets and parking lots, such as cigarette packs, fast food wrappers and alcohol bottles and cans.

Either that or give a new home to everyone without one!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Old Punk Memory 49

Yesterday & Today Records was located on Rockville Pike in Rockville, and many a weekend found me either there, at Phantasmagoria Records in Wheaton, MD, or Joe's Record Paradise, where the singer of No Trend worked and surprisingly kept very quiet.

Y&T took up 2 small storefronts in a nondescript row of stores anchored by a bakery outlet. You couldn't see it from the street. Most of the stores faced the building next door. The second store, which was rarely open, was stocked to the rafters with 7" records, and if they say they have over a million in stock I wouldn't doubt it. The prices weren't cheap but it sure wasn't like that highway robber scumfugg Bleeker Bob.

Y&T's higher claim to fame was its place in the burgeoning DC punk scene. When Ian sings "Skip, we love you" at the end of "Stepping Stone" he's referring to Y&T owner Skip Groff, who also produced a number of bands and ran the Limp label (read this interview). Many musicians at one time worked there, including Ian Mackaye, Neck Rollins and Tesco Vee. I thought the employees in general had a bad attitude, but Ian was nice to deal with. Skip showed a wary temperament but you couldn't really blame him. The clientele tended towards the personality disordered.

I didn't know Y&T closed almost 3 years ago today. I now live 2,718.5 or so miles away. I can't blame Skip for giving up retail. Imagine all the headaches and dime store con artists he had to deal with.

The Cat Enema That Saved Arbor Day

Fred Couldn't Make Boom Boom

Monday, September 12, 2005

Review: Jonathan Ross Presents: 1-2 FU Punk Rock Music & Culture

At 10:50PM on December 15th, 2004, BBC Three presented a landmark one-hour event in music journalism history. Well, not really, but 1-2 FU is a funny, fast paced and even informative look at the 1st and 2nd wave British punk scenes. Steeped in Jonathan Ross' fond personal memories and feelings of middle-aged inadequacy, it presents serious material in the context it deserves - a healthy dose of indirect mockery. Fans of 24 Hour Party People will recognize and love this brand of fictionalized non-fiction.

The show's central focus is on Ross himself, so if you don't find him appealing you'll probably want to skip this. I thought he was perfect. 1-2 FU is a series of sketch comedy pieces, stream of consciousness ramblings on what it all means and interviews with various old-timers like Vivienne Westwood, Don Letts, Morrissey, Captain Sensible, Dave Vanian, Vic Godard, Ari Up (who seems insane), Mark Perry (Sniffin' Glue fanzine), Marco Pirroni and Jordan (employee at SEX and sometimes model). Years back I realized punks were old enough to be middle aged parents. Looking at Westwood and Jordan it just hit me that punks can now be your great -great grandmother. It looks like the Life Bus ran over Jordan on the freeway and then backed over her again just to make sure.

1-2 FU opens with a grandmother type warning about objectionable language in the show. Then she says a lot of them, even the "C" word. I don't want to listen to a 70-ish old lady curse like a whore. Do you? Later on they show old film of Jordan's saggy glad-bag boobs being zipped into bondage gear. Which reminds me of a joke: 2 flies are eating on a pile of poop. One fly farts and the other looks over and yells "Hey, I'm eating here!"

1-2 FU at first operates on the assumption the 1st wave lasted 18 months (roughly the rein of the Sex Pistols) and then it all went downhill. Later on that changes, which leads me to believe it was written as they went along depending on what those being interviewed said. There's the standard angles of art vs. youth culture vs. the media vs. commerce. As with most if not all punk documentaries, everyone has an axe to grind or an ego to stroke. It's a Rashomon where everyone's too stoned, dumb, angry and or deluded to be taken seriously. "What is punk about?" is a trick question. Punk isn't "about" anything. The effort of defining it specifically disqualifies any explanation that follows.

Near the end The Fat Punks go on stage and sing for the kids. The singer opens by saying "All of us are over 40. Most of us have a waist over 40". Then they do a new song called "Punk Daddy", which goes something like this:

"He can't stay out late/'cos the kids need their school/He think's he's done their lunchbox/But he still thinks it's cool/He's a Punk Daddy//He fell asleep , back in '78/But when he woke up he had a swollen prostate/He's a Punk Daddy//He can't pogo for too long/He don't like the modern songs/He can't believe that it all went wrong/Inflate-Deflate-It's over/Punk Daddy"

Then there's a bit at the end of their cover of "No Future" and the singer is singing "No Future, No Future..." and he adds, as a revelation of factual truth, "Except, there is, really". Now THAT'S funny!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Review: Frog-g-g

Frog-g-g is an unwatchable b-movie and it took two sittings and a liberal use of the 2x forward button to finish it. I waded through to catch a fleeting glimpse of Miss Togar herself, Mary Woronov, who holds the mutant frog baby at the end and looks appalled. It wasn't worth it.

MST3K fans know the process of choosing selections to mock involved sitting through screening of mind-warpingly unwatchable films, many with nothing to even hang on parody. Frog-g-g is one of those films. During the entire fiasco all I could do was imagine James Lipton walking in every 8 seconds saying softly to the actors "....and...begin".

There's good bad movies and bad good movies. In both can be found true b-movie classics. Then there's films that just do and are nothing. Frog-g-g is one of them. The only thing I liked was the actor in the frog suit dancing to the right of the closing credits.

Director Cody Jarrett was in a band called China White and now has a band called Teen Machine. His China White (there was more than one) might be the 1981 Huntington Beach beach-punk band.

Friday, September 09, 2005

All Skins Are Punks But Not All Punks Are Skins

My new link buddy Tesco Suicide posted a piece on Skins. Now where did I put that... oh yeah, here it is.

Here's the last paragraph from something I wrote years ago. My personal favorite Oi bands are Cock Sparrer, The Business and Peter and the Test Tube Babies.

I know not all skins are racist and some actually fight nazi Skins. I do think the nazis have irreparably tainted the term “Skinhead”. It’s time to call all non-racist Oi something else, like street punk, and acknowledge that a once proud word has been ruined by losers. Or, keep "Oi" and drop any reference to skinheads. Oi is esoteric to most people but “Skinhead” has become widely synonymous with white power. The word itself is not worth salvaging. Skinheads are a proud lot and won’t stop calling themselves skins on my account.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Punk's In Again? Finally!

My new arch foe Ratface linked to this article, teased with "A spate of upcoming documentaries shows that a movement some had declared dead may be newly relevant for today's youth". And as we all know, documentaries are slaves to fact and objectivity.

It's full of the usual trend humping and wishful thinking - activist journalism applied to pop culture. I've been listening to this music since 1974. How it ranks in Faith Popcorn's trend reports has never concerned me. Some years are better than others but punk ain't going nowhere kids. It'll always be with us, like rap (unfortunately) and Abe Vigoda (more god than man).

As usual, the article pretends punk was and is always about "something". Having musicians explain themselves is as useful as a five year old waxing poetic on the meaning of life. If I've said this once, I've said it at least one time: anyone who tells you they know what punk is and what it stands for is lying to you. Here's a flying wet diaper right now:

Steven Blush, the author of "American Hardcore: A Tribal History," the book on which one of the documentaries is based, agrees that part of the attraction of punk was that it never allowed itself to be co-opted. "In a world where everything is a sellout, a TV commercial, a blur of Hollywood nonsense, it's the one thing that stands as pure."
Oh my god. They interviewed unreadable Marxist theorist Dick Hebdige, whose book on punk is the most impenetrable rape of paper and ink ever. Here's a typical line: "This is not to say that semiotics was easily assimilable within the Cultural Studies project. Though Barthes shared the literary preoccupations of Hoggart and Williams, his work introduced a new Marxist 'problematic' which was alien to the British tradition of concerned and largely untheorized 'social commentary'".

In the article Dick spouts:

"We're now in a hands-off culture of the World Wide Web," says Dick Hebdige, the cultural theorist and UC Santa Barbara film studies professor who wrote the punk anthropological bible, "Subculture: The Meaning of Style," in 1979. "There's [an underlying] desire to get down and dirty. Punk is about rolling in the dirt in the darkness to become strong."

"Punk is about rolling in the dirt in the darkness to become strong". Once again, oh my god. Can't you just smell the mental manure? He makes a very good living putting random words together. His book is here called a "punk anthropological bible". I'm staring at the screen now, unable to come up with words to accurately describe how horribly wrong that is on every level.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New Link Added

I just linked to Ratface's blog, The City Life Of Ratface, which looks like fun. I'm all for fun as long as I can get to sleep at a reasonable hour. And I don't have to get dressed up. Or drive far. or leave the house. Or do nuthin'.

Review: Big Country - The Best Of Big Country

I've often compared a song to Big Country but I've never owned any of their records. The Best Of Big Country raised a question or two that was answered by other people's reviews of their work.

Their big hit was, of course, "In A Big Country", from 1983, featuring their signature sound of a guitar that sounds like a bagpipe, hints at Scottish folk music and an obvious attempt to create stadium-shaking anthems that inspire through sheer humongusness. This high is sought over and over again with pretty fair results but the cumulative effect is, to me, commercial overkill.

What I was wondering was if the repetition was a bad thing (if I wasn't a fan) or a good thing (if I loved them). I like their songs individually but I won't be listening to this whole thing again. I was also trying to determine from the hits if there might be a reason to pick up a regular album where I'd be further rewarded with filler tracks with more variety. I didn't get that sense since every track is recorded to be HUGE.

The review consensus seems to be that Big Country had great songs but never broke through to as large an audience as was expected. While not a one hit band, they're a one sound band, and the Scottish stadium anthem thing has to be a gimmick with limited potential. They could have been limited by the "yeah I get it" factor.

Singer Stuart Adamson was the guitarist for The Skids, who went to that sweet suburbia in the sky.

U2 fans would and should love Big Country. True punks get their teenage Scottish kicks from The Real McKenzies.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Why Work?

This is the Labor Day edition, a day late and a dollar short.

The Futureheads have an annoying song on their altogether great debut cd. Titled "First Day", it depicts the corporate workplace as a death mill for the body and spirit. I'm glad they're writing to a 20-something crowd instead of the homework crew but is this supposed to be clever and insightful? I've been self-employed and worked for companies large and tiny. What they all have in common is they're all royal pains in the arse. If it wasn't work it would be called play. People are no nicer at a food co-op than at General Motors. Hell is other people and they seem to be everywhere. Corporations don't suck - work sucks. How pretentious to pretend otherwise.

Then there's one of the great recruiting tools for anarchy - the Why Work argument. It litters zines and now there's even a web site that's another front in the left's attack on Capitalism. To lazy rich kids there must be an allure to the idea that under pure socialism they wouldn't have to work hard (if at all). Scratch and sniff an anarchist and you'll fall down unconscious, but I wager $100 e-dollars if you ask a few questions these zeds will admit they think they won't have to work after the people's revolution as payment for their efforts for the cause.

There's also CorporationsSuck.com, for people who think corporations and everything else sucks. I've always enjoyed FuggedCompany.com, which at least provides inside information on failing companies.

A billion years ago Crass asked "Do They Owe Us A Living?" If you're a lazy, dumb, useless sack of crap - NO! Why do THEY owe YOU anything besides opportunities to help yourselves? Society is a desert island. Either contribute and share the rewards or fugg off and die. Those in true need get help and the lazy and useless can eat poopies. The laziest Eskimo gets pushed off the ice flow. Ya know what I'm sayin'?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Stevo. He Dead

Stevo was the original lead singer for 80s-90s-00s punk band The Vandals, before the band shifted to the logo, Joe Escalante, and others, each and every one unique and special in their own way.

Stevo killed himself, and there's a memorial website with details on commemorative events.

This e-mail is making the rounds. It says Stevo died from a broken heart after being royally skuh-roooooed by Escalante. It does ramble:

Subject: boycott the vandals! ...please read this> > Hail Stevo! Hail! He was a friend who understood> friendship and a > brother who understood> brotherhood!> > We are bereft, robbed of one of our brightest,> funniest, most > creative talents. What can we say> when the awful news is still so fresh? My mind reels> when I think too > hard about the fact that I> will never again trade old war stories with him,> never again sit > mesmerized at his skill as a> raconteur, never again. He was going to be the> wise-crackingest > codger on the whole porch at the> punk rock old-folks home, his initially-guarded> smile perking us all > up like the sun coming through> the clouds... that smile that he used to keep in> reserve until he was > sure he could trust you. It> was his mark of approval, and as good a reward as> you'll ever get for > anything in this world.> > We don't get to see that smile ever again. We've> been robbed.> > Naturally we all want to know why. How could this> happen? What was in > Stevo's mind in the hours> before he died? And let's just come right out and> ask: Did he kill > himself?> > I don't believe he killed himself. I don't believe> this was anything > but an accident, and I speak> from that very clear-eyed point of view of a person> who has lost a > whole lot of friends over the> years, many of them by their own hands. I think> Stevo died by > accident, overdosed on pills that> were prescribed for the racking pain that was eating> at him night and > day from two busted-up arms> and a bad back.> > It was an accident; a tragic, random, stupid> accident. I still have > to wonder, though, why> Stevo's last phone call to one of his old friends on> the mainland, > just days before his death, was> so full of bitterness. I have to wonder why so many> of my > conversations with Stevo for so many> years circled -- almost obsessively, for him --> around certain events > that took place quite a long> time ago, as though they were forever fresh in his> mind, like wounds > that wouldn't heal. I have to> wonder how Stevo, normally a living, strutting> beacon of confidence > and supernal joy, got so filled> with bitterness and rage and helplessness. I have to> wonder, too, if > it's inappropriate to make a> call for action at a memorial service... but I have> thought on it > long and hard, and I do believe> that Stevo would want it this way. I don't know how> many indignities > and outrages he was forced to> endure in his painfully brief lifetime, but I know> that he only hung > on to a grudge for one single> person in this world, and I do not believe that> Stevo would want us > to forgive and forget about that> person's actions even now. It's time to take up the> cudgels on our > brother's behalf and correct a> great wrong.> > To understand this story you have to know a little> bit about Stevo's > brilliant though truncated> music career, and you have to know something about> Stevo's fellow > musicians. One of them, Stevo's> ex-bandmate, was the person who earned Stevo's> single solitary > grudge. He was the one person at> whom all that distressing, un-Stevolike bitterness> was directed. Joe > Escalante. Correction: Joseph> Patrick Escalante, Esquire, Attorney at Law.> > Joe has managed to not only pocket all the money> that early Vandals > music generates but also to> credit himself as sole author ("words and music by> Joe Escalante") of > songs that were> written and performed before he was even in the> band!> > Joe's theft of Stevo's work was a consuming> frustration for Stevo, an > ugly knot of pain and rage> that at times threatened to define Stevo,> overwhelming that golden > persona we all basked in. When> Stevo saw the credits at the end of the film 'XXX'> it was a blow he > never recovered from. 'Anarchy> Burger, words and music by Joe Escalante' is what> rolled by on the > screen as Stevo's jaw dropped and> his heart broke within him. The line that Vin Diesel> recites in the > movie was completely, purely> Stevo's. Everyone who was around back then knows it> was Stevo's, and > Joe stole it and sold it to> Sony as his own work. That really ate Stevo up. It> wasn't the money > that hurt him so much,> although the $20,000 that Joey pocketed from the> licensing deal with > Sony certainly added insult to> the injury. It was the loss of his cachet, his claim> to fame, and a > very severe tarnishing of his> very brightest memories. It was a betrayal that> Stevo could not > possibly have seen coming, because> Stevo would not have been capable of a betrayal of> that magnitude > himself.> > Once Stevo found out about the deal with Sony for> the film 'XXX' a > number of other disconcerting> facts came to light. An Adidas commercial had aired> featuring 'Urban > Struggle', a song written by> Stevo and Jan before they met Joe. Joe pocketed> $60,000 on that deal. > A Soundscan analysis showed> that the early Vandals records were still selling> strongly fifteen > and even twenty years after their> initial releases, contrary to what Joe had been> telling Stevo, Jan, > and Human the entire time. A> property that Joe claimed was a worthless old dud> turned out to be > the cash cow for Joe's new> line-up of the band, and for Joe's company, Kung Fu> Records. The > latest re-releases of PEACE THRU> VANDALISM and WHEN IN ROME had the credits changed> from the original > pressings, and now each and> every copy stated that Joe had written all the words> and music they > had ever played, all by himself,> including music that was written before he joined> the band.> > Joe is currently sticking to his lie that there was> an agreement by > Stevo and Jan to hand over all> future Vandals earnings they were entitled to (!) in> exchange for > Joe's 'permission' to play a> reunion show in 1989. At various times, Joe has> claimed that there > was a written contract, that it> was a verbal agreement, that he paid Stevo and Jan> in cash for the > deal, or that Stevo and Jan were> paid $5000 from Goldenvoice for the show. His story> changes every > time he tells it, but the thrust> of his lies is that Stevo and Jan agreed to give Joe> all future > earnings from their music (and> credit for authorship to boot, which is absurd) in> exchange for the > right to play a single show. In> reality the only 'agreement' that took place> consisted of absolutely > nothing more than Joe screaming> "F--K YOU F--K YOU F--K YOU, I'M NEVER PAYING YOU> ANOTHER DIME IF YOU > PLAY THIS SHOW!" and> them playing the show anyway.> > It took the band a long while to wake up to what Joe> had done to > them, and that's the only fact in> Joe's favor at all. The delay was at first a matter> of simply being > oblivious to what was going on,> but later Stevo hesitated to pursue Joe over his> vile plagiarism > because he was intimidated; at one> point, Joe stated plainly to Stevo that he was> spending Stevo's > royalty checks and there was nothing> Stevo could do about it because Joe was an attorney.> When the case > finally did make it to court Joe> used his law degree and a pocket full of Stevo, Jan,> and Human's own > royalty money to give them a> good old-fashioned record industry screwing. The> legal team > representing the band told them that> the case was undoubtedly a sure win against Joe, but> only if they had > the money to pay the necessary> legal fees up front. As lawyers do, they took the> easy way out and > took their cut according to> their opportunity. In the process Stevo and Jan and> Human (but > especially Stevo) got the very short> end of the stick.> > If Joe were here, he might try to tell you that> exploiting Stevo's > death to cast the harsh light> of truth on some musty old music industry crimes is> in bad taste. I > know, though, that the thing> that would've made Stevo happiest in his life would> have been to see > Joe's crimes exposed, and to> see the lyrics Joe stole credited properly for a> change. He wanted > Joe to get his comeuppance, and> he wanted his legacy back. He had a constant burning> desire to spend > just a few more moments in the> limelight talking to his fans, his way. More than> anything, he wanted > to take back that thing he> created, wave it around like a flag for all to see,> and explain to > everyone just exactly what> happened to his band, without any meddling from Joe.> Joe, who was > forever trying to control what> Stevo could sing or say, first in the Vandals, and> then in court.> > Stevo nearly made it, too. Jan even had some gigs> lined up. Stevo > begged off by saying that he> had no way to get to the mainland, but the truth is> that he was too > afraid of legal repercussions> from Joe to take the plunge and do a reunion tour.> We got robbed > again. It would have rocked hard,> and maybe it would have lanced that terrible boil> festering on poor > Stevo's happiness.> > We can take Joe down, and when I think of Stevo and> the exemplary > loyalty he had for his friends,> I know in my heart that it is our obligation to take> our best shot. > Let's show Joe that Stevo had> the kind of friends who stick by a man in his> darkest hour, and that > when you steal the thunder of> our tribe and sell it back to us as your own, there> are consequences!> > If you can make a statement regarding the events> described above, > please send it to> atomdebris@gmail.com. > We want to hear from you, > with your first-hand accounts of what happened> between Stevo and Joe Escalante.> > http://stevojensen.com/

Jaw Dropping Dumb

Read this article on act-whore George Clooney's "Common Tuth". It's the single dumbest thing I've read in a long time. The implications of what he's saying.... oh, wow.......

Thursday, September 01, 2005

New Kate Bush Album

After 12 years, Kate Bush, the Stevie Nicks of progressive eccentricity in the 70s and 80s, will release a new album in November. Here's hoping it's more Hounds Of Love than The Sensual World.