It's harder to be more obscure and unheralded than John Henry Timmis IV. He barely even tried to sell his own music, almost always giving copies away of his impossibly rare loner-punk 45's. Dieing in 2002, almost 15 years after his last single, from complications resulting from alcoholism, after suffering from the degenerative ear/skull disease mastoiditis-- his potential hardly tapped... until now. Film buffs may know him as the director/producer of the longest movie ever made, The Cure for Insomnia staring Lee Groban reading his same titled 4,080 page poem spliced with porn and heavy metal, clocking in at 87 hours. Virtually unknown until the song "Death Trip" appeared on an obscure bootleg punk compilation Staring Down the Barrel. Interest peaked enough for Plastic Crimewave's Secret History of Chicago Music article to have a write up on him and Drag City/Galactic Zoo to reissue his forgotten masterpiece, Cosmic Lighting. [more inside]
"Two hours of Irish punk rock, new wave, underground and just plain rock-n-roll THUNDER" courtesy of Last Days of Man on Earth 2.0
Not all groups with synthesizers in the 1970s and 1980s were lame Top 40 acts with keytars. Some groups of the era used synths for spastic keyboard bleeps, herky-jerky tempos, and angst-ridden aggression in a style now classified by record collector geeks as synthpunk, minimal synth, or minimal wave. Several famous New Wave acts dabbled in the style before providing soundtracks for Molly Ringwald movies (OMD, Electricty) or singing about waitresses in cocktail bars (the Human League, Being Boiled), but vintage videos from synth punk acts all over the world can be found all over YouTube. [more inside]
Mickey Ween: A security guard came onstage and Gibby threw the alcohol on him. The dude just started backing away, it was clear that Gibby probably would set him on fire. And now, knowing Gibby like I do, it was definitely within the realm of possibility.An Oral History of May 3, 1987: The Day The Butthole Surfers Came to Trenton, New Jersey. Butthole Surfers interviewed in bed, parts 1 and 2, playing The Scott & Gary Show on their first run through New York, parts 1 and 2, playing live in 1985 [low quality], live footage from the 80s. [more inside]
Mark Pesetsky: And Gibby just gave me that psycho look with the Charles Manson eyes. He grabs a bottle of the rubbing alcohol and throws it on me and then starts walking towards me with a lighter. And John, the other bouncer, just jumps offstage. It was every man for himself at that point.
Gibby Haynes: Oh yeah, I do remember that. I mean, I've lit kids' heads on fire and they were smiling!
Pylon guitarist and co-founder Randall Bewley died yesterday of a heart attack at age 53. [more inside]
Cruella de Ville, the band, were formed by fraternal twins (with identical voices) Philomena and Colum Muinzer. They were probably best known for their single, "Those Two Dreadful Children", which appeared on Dr. Demento's show a number of times. CdV were only around for a short time (1982-1984) before dropping off the map
, but thanks to the internets and youtubeses, we can revisit their tiny catalogue: pop nuggets in a manic, cheeky, theatrical punk vein. But just when you thought you'd pegged their sound...
David Goo and the Variety Band have been gigging in London for a few years, but a recent appearance as a soundtrack to an advert could be what propels them to the big time. Merging ska, punk, indie and klezmer influences, read an interview with them here as they speculate on the concept of 'selling out'
Ron Asheton, influential guitarist and bassist for The Stooges and Destroy All Monsters, has passed away at age 60.
Live from the Pink Couch: Punks, Girls, Boys, Warriors, Witches, Kids, Comptrollers, and your new favorite band Best Friends Forever! (boyzone comment flamewar included) [more inside]
Punkcast is a long running series of videos of live underground music in NYC shot by Joly MacFie. Each video is usually one song. The Internet Archive hosts its videos and offers downloads in a variety of formats. MacFie also has a YouTube channel with 480 videos and a video podcast [iTunes link, feedburner link]. Here are a few bands that caught my fancy: The Icicles and The Besties, The Slits (1, 2 ), Andrew W. K., Oneida (1, 2), The Long Blondes, The Gossip, Acid Mothers Temple & Cosmic Inferno, Art Brut, Be Your Own Pet, Cansei de Ser Sexy, Lesbians on Ecstasy, The Fall, Fred Frith, Rose Melberg and Jennifer O'Connor, The Horrors, The Homosexuals, Bat for Lashes, Radio 4 and Teddybears, Kimya Dawson and Tiny Masters of Today, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Nikki Sudden.
30 seconds over Tokyo is a song that is both unpretentious and epic at the same time. Anticipation mixed up with fear, flying, crashing, burning. Nevermind just give it a listen 30 seconds over Tokyo. Rocket from the Tombs, a nasty bit of rock history. Get out a shovel and exhume it's remains. [more inside]
Frank Kerr died on Wednesday, October 15th of throat cancer. The 51-year-old was better known as Frankie Venom, the lead singer of Teenage Head, a punk band from Hamilton, Ontario that some have called Canada's version of The Ramones. The Glasgow native formed the band in 1975 with some high-school friends and they released several popular albums and played at least two shows that ended in riots. After splitting with the group in 1985 due in part to lifestyle issues, Venom later rejoined and began touring again. In 2003, Teenage Head recorded a special cover album with Ramones drummer Marky Ramone that was just released earlier this year. One fan got some video of one of Frankie's last shows in Hamilton.
Aptly named hardcore deconstructionists Fucked Up are slated to play a free, 12-hour show in NYC on Tuesday, October 14th. The show will feature appearances from the likes of John Cale, Matt Sweeney, David Cross, Mobb Deep, Akon, Vivian Girls, U2's The Edge, and others.
The Cornell Evolution Project, which polls prominent evolutionary scientists about their religious beliefs, is part of a PhD thesis by evolutionary paleontologist and UCLA lecturer Greg Graffin. Mr. Graffin is also the lead singer of a band named Bad Religion, whose influential album Suffer turns 20 years old this week. [more inside]
Rat Sound Systems is the original punk rock sound company. Started in LA in the early 80s, it was a stalwart of the early LA punk scene (posters: it did happen). Starting in the 1990s, Rat Sound has been supplying sound for some of rock's biggest acts. They even went corporate, with a client list including Paris Hilton. Since May 2006, founder Dave Rat, who mixes the Red Hot Chili Peppers for the audience, has been keeping a tour blog. [more inside]
Hawaii 70s-80s Punk Museum Back in the late '70s and early '80s, Honolulu had a small but close-knit punk scene. Poi Dog Pondering started out in Hawaii before relocating to Austin, then to Chicago. Two members of Boston's Dambuilders started out as the eXactones. Many other bands -- such as The Wrong and Cringer -- would relocate to the Mainland, hoping to seek an audience they couldn't quite find back home (embedded autoplay audio). Dave Carr was involved with a lot of these bands, and the Hawaii 70s-80s Punk Museum was curated from much of his own collection. [more inside]
What's Folk-Punk? Although celtic-punk groups like the Pogues, Flogging Molly, and the Dropkick Murphys may have been the first bands to combine punk rock with folk music, other groups have been crossing over folk music and punk rock for some time now. [more inside]
People have made some awesome animated videos for Ramones songs, and have uploaded them to Youtube for our viewing pleasure. I Don't Wanna Go To The Basement is probably my favorite. Commando comes in close second. Ramones as legos playing Spiderman wins on sheer novelty. The papercut animation in this video for Blitzkreig Bop is definitely worth a look. Finally, this snippet of the claymation Ramones playing Judy is a Punk is awesome, if painfully short. [more inside]
Death were a proto-punk trio of black Jehovah's Witnesses based out of Detroit back in 1974. They were almost signed to Columbia, but bailed on the label when Columbia wanted them to change their name. Instead, they self-released a 7" which is now quite a collector's item, influenced as it was by, “Iggy and Stooges, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and The Who”. But the story doesn't end there. Recently, Bobby Hackney, whose father played in Death along with two of his uncles, learned of the band and, lo and behold, his dad found the master tapes for their unreleased full-length in his attic. Is a new chapter in punk rock history about to be written?
Dan Treacy and his band Television Personalities have had a long and storied history. Here's a nice little documentary (part one, two, three, four) on 'em. [more inside]
A founding father of DIY indie rock, Will Rigby recounts the pilgrimages to locate underground rock legends Alex Chilton, (during his wry Americana deconstructo anarchy phase), and the 'McCartney' to Chilton's Big Star 'Lennon', the Brydsian Chris Bell. Blogs on bands may not seem to rate but cats with these sensibilities, unlike today, seemed incredibly uncommon then . Also mentioned, the Dbs, Little Diesel, and Mitch Easter. Free Mp3s of the rare 45s included.
In the 1980s, some artists successfully managed the transition from punk rock to rap. Others, not so much.
A guide to prison slang. Texas prison guards' guide to prison slang. Jim Goad's guide to prison slang.(He should know). More prison slang. [more inside]
Max's Kansas City closed 25 years ago this night. Although Hilly Kristal's CBGB's is more iconic and perhaps better known today, Mickey Ruskin's Max's Kansas City (and its infamous back room) was every bit as important to fostering the punk scene of the late 1970s and early 80s. Located a 213 Park Avenue South, just up the street from historic Union Square, Max's played host to the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, the Ramones, Wayne/Jayne County and the Fast, the New York Dolls, and quite a few others. What's standing there today? Why, the 213 Park Avenue South Deli, of course.
New York No Wave Archive. "No Wave was a short-lived but influential music and art movement in downtown New York in the late 1970s and 1980s. The name was a reaction to the sanitized Punk Rock trading under the name 'New wave' for those people who wanted a sanitized version of punk." Also, outside of "No New York."
It was 30 years ago today that Elvis Costello and the Attractions appeared on Saturday Night Live. They'd wanted to play Radio Radio but SNL said no as it was thought to be 'anti-media.' So they started playing Less Than Zero, but stopped eight seconds in and played Radio Radio anyway, which led to them being banned from SNL for 12 years. Tip o' the hat to the Post Punk Progressive Pop Party.
Punk Guitar Heroes - Television's Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd Television, and its guitar pas de deux between Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, fit into the punk scene only because they are the ones basically responsible for CBGB becoming a punk rock club. Verlaine convinced Hilly Kristal to let them practice there and play shows, and the rest is history. [more inside]
The Big-Nosed Bastard from Barking has been very, very busy. In the past month, Billy Bragg has won the Classic Songwriter Award from Q, then collaborated with Beethoven (some of the B-Man's fans mutter darkly), and taken the hand of a small, matronly admirer before kindly giving it back to her, along with an autographed copy of the score. (He's prepared for the fallout: "I'll probably get struck off Morrissey's Christmas card list." ) [more inside]
Paul Raven, bassist of seminal industrial post-punk outfit Killing Joke, has died after suffering from a heart attack at his home in Geneva, Switzerland.
Deadlicious is an English language blog from France focusing on weird and kitschy art of all kinds. Online since May, the last few weeks alone have featured vintage monster model kits, Nazi sex paperback covers, lots of crazy comics (including King Kong) and bizarre action magazines, Hammer vampire posters, old motorbike helmets, Japanese plastic toys, UFO zines from the 1950s and 60s, French art from 1910 depicting the year 2000, as well as some pictures of famed Mexican masked wrestler Santo I'd never seen before. Plus there's over 300 more features in the archives.
Control, the biopic covering the the life and untimely death of Joy Division's singer Ian Curtis, opens in the US today (on a limited release) [ trailer | fan site | on set interview ]. This is director Anton Corbijn's debut full length film [ interview ] and was co-produced by Tony Wilson (a giant in the Manchester and UK music scene, sadly missed. Check out 24 Hour Party People [trailer | clip]) . Control opened in the UK several days ago and the reviews are largely positive [ Guardian | Times Online | Independent | Channel 4 | Time Out | Manchester Evening News ]. [more inside]
Live Loud Acts: archives and playlists for The Pat Duncan Show on WFMU. Hour upon hour of expertly curated punk rock radio. Pat's Myspace page has more info. [more inside]
NickCaveFilter: Fifty years ago this very day, Nicholas Edward Cave [previously] crawled from the womb and started to plot. At 16 he formed his first band which evolved quickly into the Boys Next Door [Shivers]. This in turn mutated into the Birthday Party (1980) who terrorised the post-punk soundscape in Australia and the UK [Release the Bats | Nick the Stripper]. The Birthday Party relocated to England and in 1984 the band imploded in an orgy of drugs and booze. Shortly after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were born [The Ship Song - video & solo live | The Mercy Seat - video & live | Where the Wild Roses Grow], and 23 years and 11 studio albums later (not to mention a best selling book, a great screenplay, some acting and several soundtrack projects) he is still going strong. But, instead of sitting on his musical laurels he decided to get back to basics and, in 2006, grew a huge moustache and formed Grinderman – a four piece with a primeval hybrid Birthday Party/Bad Seeds sound [No Pussy Blues | Honey Bee]. Fellow Mefites, I ask you to raise a glass to Mr. Cave… And, especially if you are not familiar to his work, don’t forget to “look inside” for my primer on the enigma that is Nick Cave, one of the finest song-writers on the face of this miserable planet. [more inside]
Something to Hüsker : Bob Mould, Grant Hart and Greg Norton live with Joan Rivers on the Late Show. Also live versions of the Byrds' Eight Miles High, The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill/I Apologize, Pink Turns to Blue, Every Everything, Makes no Sense at All, Ticket to Ride, New Day Rising, These Important Years, Every Everytime, and a video for Don't Want to Know if You Are Lonely.
"When youth culture becomes monopolized by big business, what are the youth to do? I think we should destroy the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture...the first step to do is destroy the record companies." 1991: The Year Punk Broke
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Throwdown have a message to impart. [One Link YouTube Post, NSFW Language.]
This video is a welcome conclusion to the previous post regarding the arrest of Germ's drummer Don Bolles for possession of "GHB" in the form of Dr. Bronner's soap. In the video David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner's demonstrates how drug field test kits return false positive results for any true natural soap.
Fanboifilter: Bad Brains have a new album out balled Build a Nation. Some people like it, some people kind of like it. The Onion link has one song up, their myspace page has four more, along with a pic of smiling album producer Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys (interview).
Bored of her (award-nominated) years as the glamourpuss of "Family Affairs", thanks to a chance encounter with Rat Scabies, Ebony's found her new calling as the Grace Jones of nu clash, a figurehead for blavers, M.I.A.-meets-Lil Kim-meets-Peaches, "Harry Potter with a vagina". For all those reared on Esg, Bow Wow Wow, Nina Hagen and Delta 5 who weren't able to catch her headlining the Flaming Love Palace at Glastonbury this past weekend: have a read, a look and a listen to the as-yet unsigned Ebony Bones (no, not these). Personal favorites: Don't Fart On My Heart (video) - I'm Ur Future X Wife remix - No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs at 3:08 of Don't Dance So Fast.
Flashback to some '80s punk scene shit.In true punk demeanor this is just an excuse to post some (mike watt) U-Tube.
The site French New-Wave isn't what you think it is. Neither dedicated to the film movement nor the band Nouvelle Vague it instead catalogs French new wave music from the 1980's. It has interviews and much other information, but the real treasure is the media section which includes a photo gallery, streaming radio and, most importantly, links to sites where you can listen to French new wave songs (unfortunately, some of the links don't work).
Gogol Bordello describe their music as "Gypsy Punk." Formerly the Bela Bartoks, singer Eugene Hutz was in the movie Everything Is Illuminated, as was their song Start Wearing Purple.
Filmmaker Julien Temple chronicles the life of Joe Strummer in his new film titled The Future Is Unwritten.
Read classic punk 'zines, without the inky fingers! Too young to have read the first issue of Flipside? Need confirmation that Maximum Rock 'N' Roll was just as boring (does/did anyone actually read those MRR Scene Reports?) and elitist back then as it is now? Do you find it hard to believe that Soul Asylum used to be credible enough to be interviewed by Suburban Voice? Or maybe you just want to marvel/feel-sad-for the obviously painstaking effort someone went through to scan every single page of these 'zines (including HeartattaCk) into PDFs? Well here 'ya go.
"I sometimes wonder if anyone still reads this stuff." Here's an unique perspective for the self-styled brash, anarchist, punkrocker turned maturing, computer-geeky, old git in all of us, or at least those of us who remember John Coltrane's version of My Favorite Things. WrecklessEric dot com contains the words of a man filled with faux passion and finite jest, whose composed some good music and written some good lyrics to go with them. For those of you not that old, Wreckless Eric wrote the song Whole Wide World which is what Will Ferrell sings to Maggie Gyllenhaal in that movie before she jumps his bones. It was just last year. You might have seen it. Eric's done some other things too. I bring this to the blue cuz I happen to be fascinated by the wry, personable, unapologetic, self-referential, egotistical and occasionally self-loathing way the guy writes in his website, and cuz I'm a sucker for the history of punk, cuz I'm a geeky old git who used to fancy himself a shoegazing punk enthusiast. ...and cuz I'm bored.