Archive for February, 2011

Back in 1991, I think it was, I went record shopping at my fave record store at the time, Thrash Grind Grunge, in Adelaide. There was this guy named Greg and he was running a distro called Spiral Objective out of the store. All you had to do was bring the catalogue in with you and you got the stuff you wanted at the catalogue price. This was a super awesome idea and I must have spent tons of cash in this place over the years. One Saturday afternoon I was in the store buying records by Green Day and Parasites when Greg was telling me about some other Ramonesy bands that I needed to hear. He played me this album titled ‘My Brain Hurts’ by a band called Screeching Weasel. Within seconds I was hooked. I couldn’t believe my ears. I bought the CD and walked out of the store smiling ear to ear. This couldn’t really be happening, could it? Have I just discovered a band as good as the Ramones and the Hard-Ons? It appears that I had finally found an album that was on par with the likes of ‘Rocket To Russia’ and ‘Love Is A Battlefield of Broken Hearts’. When I got back to my mates house, I played the album to him. We must have listened to it about 10 times in a row. Yeah, 5 hours later we were still listening to it. It didn’t get boring. All we wanted to do was listen to it again and again. That began my love of the Chicago punk rock band, Screeching Weasel. I then set out to find every record, CD, 8-Track, etc. that I could find by the band. It was a hard feat but it needed to be done. I did ok. I didn’t find them all but I managed to get about 95% of them. That works for me. What? You want me to get to the new downloadable song? Hang on a sec, just keep reading… don’t be so impatient. Didn’t your mum teach you anything?

Anyway…

25 years of catchy punk rock… it’s a feat not too many bands can say they have upheld. Okay, technically, one could argue that it hasn’t really been 25 years as they have been split up for a considerable amount of years during that time, playing one off shows here and there and Ben Weasel has done some solo stuff as well, but still, like all good bands, they got back on the horse, and delivered exactly what it is you would want from them: another Screeching Weasel record. They’re a band who never drifted from their style, always sticking to their guns and just going for it. Next month sees the release of the band’s latest album titled ‘First World Manifesto’ on the renowned Fat Wreck Chords label and the lads have been nice enough to allow us a sneak peak into the new record by giving the world a song to download, which you can do so by following this link.

I have heard it and it’s just as I would expect. A fun, uplifting punk rock tune from the Ramones mold. I can’t wait for this album. Should be a hoot! Now, who else is joining me for the Weasel Weekend in Chicago? It’s my birthday, come and celebrate with me and buy me drinks (of water). Let’s rock!

In other Screeching Weasel news, Midway Pictures are releasing a doco / movie on the band and I hope that when it gets released, the DVD comes with about 3 bonus discs of live footage and rehearsals n stuff and that the feature length ‘Disgusteen’ gay vampire movie that Ben Weasel made is included so I don’t have to watch my horrible VHS 27th generation dub of this cult schlock. I could go on but I won’t… click here for more information on this should-be-awesome movie.

You can pre-order the new Screeching Weasel album right here through Interpunk.
Screeching Weasel online
Fat Wreck Chords

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I had heard about this band from seeing bits and pieces on the internet but had no idea what they sounded like. I was originally thinking it was gonna be some kinda stoner sludge rock thing. How wrong I was. What I found here was a 2 piece feed of bluesy swamp twang with shades of rockabilly. It’s lo-fi and groovin’, kinda like something found on an old Estrus 45. Like if you went through this duo’s house, I am sure you’d find the likes of Impala, the Beasts of Bourbon and some LPs of the Birthday Party scattered on the loungeroom floor by the settee. Yes, I said settee. I am trying to be incitive. 

Mother And Son have some realy moody groove goin’ on here in these 11 tracks. It’s kinda like a drunken haunted house soundtrack. You know, depressingly drunk but with an upbeat drum beat. Picture this: you’re walking down a dark alley after leaving a smokey bar, wearing a suit and tie that you have loosened. You go to light up a cigarette and in doing so, see a hot dame in a fur coat asking you for a light. You light her cigarette, the eyes meet and you start talkin’. This album is the soundtrack to that whole scenario. Know what I mean? If you can’t grasp that then you probably never will.

Mother And Son is a pretty interesting album with a unique sound. I hadn’t heard them before but I want to see them live now. This is good, not amazing but definitely good. I enjoyed it. Nice and simple but effective packaging to boot.

Myspace: www.myspace.com/motherandsonmusic
Impedance Records: www.impedancerecords.com

Australia Uber-Alles Tour 2011

Wow, I never thought I’d see the day when this happened but the good folk at KillRockStar Entertainment are doing the unthinkable. The Dead Kennedys were first in Australia in 1983 and now they are back and ready to shake the foundations of our shores again. Now, I know there is the whole argument of the band without Jello Biafra and believe me, after meeting Jello Biafra and thinking the guy was a downright top dude, I too could easily jump on his side of the fence. The thing is, I grew up with this band. I love those tunes. ‘Plastic Surgery Disasters’ is one of my all time favourite punk rock records. Everything about them was awesome. I followed the band closely through tape trading and managed to score myself a shitload of video footage of the band over the years. This is one segment I do have on tape and since the band is touring again, I feel it is relevant to share it with you now…


(This is not from my own tape, I just found this on youtube)

And I mean, let’s face it, Jello Biafra was the heart and soul of that band. But I think that without the 4 of these guys together, the unique sound and the songs that were born wouldn’t sound the way they do. The Dead Kennedys had a punk sound that was different to the likes of the Ramones, The Clash or the Sex Pistols but what they had was something new and exciting. Those albums still sound as fresh today as they did the first time I heard them in 1988 (yes, I was a late bloomer but I’m not THAT old).

So what am I going to expect from this tour? For me, a celebration of the songs of my youth. I know it’s not going to be as amazing as their shows were in the early 80’s but I also think comparing the 2 is kinda pointless. The guys are older, Jello isn’t with them but the others are still touring, letting us kids who werent old enough to experience it the first time to finally have our turn at enjoying the songs that the Dead Kennedys gave us.

The current line-up has Ron “Skip” Greer on vocal duties. For those not in the know, he fronted a band called the Wynona Riders who released some stuff on Lookout Records. I have a 7″ single and their JD Salinger CD which is pretty cool. I like the tunes so for me, seeing him up there singing for the Dead Kennedys will be an interesting experience. Here’s a song I found on youtube of the Wynona Riders for your listening pleasure…

The rest of the band, Klaus Flouride, East bay Ray and DH Peligro are still the backbone to punk rock’s most controversial group. I say controversial because what they were doing in the 80’s with the Frankenchrist album still remains an important story in punk rock history. Hell, even my mum found Jello Biafra quite interesting. She was watching a Dead Kennedys video with me once while she ironed my clothes for school and thought his views were interesting and he made good points. Either that or she thought he was hot… but I think it was the former.

So anyway, the Dead Kennedys hit Australia in April playing the following dates:

WEDNESDAY 6 APRIL – BILLBOARD, MELBOURNE
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au and www.ticketek.com.au

THURSDAY 7 APRIL – HI-FI, BRISBANE
Tickets available from www.thehifi.com.au/brisbane

SATURDAY 9 APRIL – MANNING BAR, SYDNEY
Tickets available from www.moshtix.com.au and www.manningbar.com (1300 762 545)

Tickets on sale 9:00am, Friday 11th of February! (That’s this Friday folks!)

Here’s the link to the Facebook event page.

When the Sex Pistols first toured in 1996 on the Filthy Lucre tour, I went. Why? Cos I knew if I didn’t go and it was awesome, I would have been kicking myself about it. I ended up loving the show. I am sure if I don’t go to this, I will be kicking myself again if I miss it so I will assure you, I’ll be there. Let’s rock! Seeya’s there and I hope they play Moon Over Marin.

So I don’t ever usually review shows I paid a ticket for but I have to rave about this one cos it was heaps awesome n stuff. Here’s the scoop; I bought a ticket cos Iggy & The Stooges was announced. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I was deported from the UK in May last year when I went to see Iggy & The Stooges at the Hammersmith Odeon so finally getting to see them was a big deal for me (I should state that the reason I was deported is that the UK Customs thought I was going to the UK work illegally so they refused me entry and didn’t attempt to ring my friends and confirm my reasons for being in the UK which was to see Iggy & The Stooges!). Then to add to the awesomeness, Andrew WK, The Black Keys, Airbourne and the Jim Jones Revue were added. I was uber excited! Sadly, closer to show time, The Black Keys cancelled their Australian show due to excessive touring burnout. I was kinda sad but once I got there, I didn’t care.

As soon as I got through the gates I headed to see the Jim Jones Revue. I am a huge fan of these cats and so seeing them live was gonna be sweet as! They came on stage to thunderous applause and tore it up, bigtime. I was fuckin stoked! Dancing like a dancey thing, groovin’ and movin’. It was wild. So wild that because I love you peeps, here’s a video I took of the JJR kickin’ off their set with “Dishonest John”…

From the JJR, I headed off quickly to the main stages to catch the last 20 minutes of Melbourne rockers, Airbourne. As always, a great rock n roll show was delivered to the enthusiastic crowd. What a band! Great songs, high energy, the whole kaboodle. Brilliant!

I then headed to see Andrew WK party hard with his band and party hard they did. What a set! AWK is good time party music. On a day that was a scorcher in the weather stakes (38 degrees), the crowd didn’t let that stop them from going fuckin’ apeshit in a huge circle pit once AWK sang his anthemic “Party Hard”. Here’s proof…

I waited around for a bit in the Lilyworld area for Andrew WK to make a solo appearance where he and random members of the crowd sang and played along to spontaneous covers of Billy Joel and The Troggs. It was pretty awesome. I had to laugh. Another good time for all involved. At this point, I managed to have a quick chat to Andrew who was more than nice. A top dude. Also spoke to his band members about Obituary. And why not? Classic stuff!

Time was drawing near for Iggy & The Stooges… a band I was longing to see. When 6:30pm rolled around, securing a front row spot, I was treated to an hour of pure rock n roll as the band launched into “Raw Power” and tore it up, inviting the crowd to get on stage and dance with him during “Shake Appeal” thus causing chaos for the BDO Security at the front of the stage. It took the security 3 songs to remove the crowd from the area between the stage and the barrier. Classic! It was heaps awesome. Want proof? Bust this…

After The Stooges were done, I headed back to Lilyworld as I had been tipped off on a band from Japan called Red Bacteria Vacuum. Well, that was indeed the best decision made that day as these 3 Japanese girls kicked out the fuckin’ jams with a blast of insane punk rock meets metal and pop. Totally off the wall and nothing short of mind-blowing. I suggest you check this band out STAT! When the band were done, I headed off. I didn’t need to sit through Rammstein or Tool. Nothing was going to compare to the bands I had seen that day. Yep, awesome.