Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Record Review by Dave K.

Sorry again for the lack of a name for this pathetic excuse of writing. Still working on that. Didn’t get too much this past week though I’m giving you the heads up on a few things. People, if you want to be reviewed, send your CD/MP3/DVD/books/fanzines to the address below. You don’t have to send jewel cases. Releases can be in the mp3 format (just send a Xerox of the lyrics, cover, etc.) and sending a cdr is fine, too. The page views are increasing every day, so people will see it.

Well, let’s get on with it, shall we? Let’s shall.

I guess some things never change. I recently gave the latest The Accused record a listen, dubbed (What else?) Oh Martha! The Accused were one of those bands I never really got into. I think it’s that their early records came from that whole crossover thing. Listen to this and it’s speedcore ala 1986 all over again. It’s a decent release, musicianship is really tight, recording is good. I just can’t stand all the little metallic licks throughout. If you were a fan of this band, you’ll love it. Sounds like it came out in like 1987 and was given major airplay on a radio station like WSOU (My apologies to people who are not from NJ -- it was the Heavy Metal station that everybody listened to). Others might find it quaint and a little dated, but then again isn’t hardcore? Looks likes they are releasing this themselves, get it at: www.splatterrock.com

Man, I love some of my old friends. Way back when in that golden year of 1989, I met a guy named Charles Maggio. He seemed like a cool dude, so we started to talk, hang out, go to shows (he’s one of the first ABC No Rio people), spending too much time at record conventions and eventually, to see him be a part of one of hardcore’s best band, Rorschach. There are about five people in this world who really know me, and Chuckles is one of them. So it would go to show that he likes to busts my balls by sending stuff from his label, Gern Blandsten for me to review. I’ve know for a long time, he was the biggest Big Boys fan. Don’t know why, way too weird for me. The Wreck Collection is a compilation of various tracks from their wild career. The songs are all over the place musically. Could be straight punk one minute, wild jazzy shit the next. One thing must be said they took great pictures. They were punk for sure. Happy that he got this out, I know it meant a lot to him. Good lord, I can’t even describe The World/Inferno Friendship Society & Miss TK and the Revenge. These releases are way too avant-garde for my avant-garde ass. I think of all the good bands this man likes and cry. Charles, please stop the madness! But really, he has put out a lot of better stuff go check out his site and look around. You can always buy a copy of Autopsy.

Hey, at least one person is reading Barebones Hardcore because I was sent my first ‘zine to review! It’s from England no less. “Blue! Do You Trust That I Do Not Want To See You Die Here Tonight?” (Yes, that is the name, it’s a mouthful) is a half sized personal writing fanzine concentrating on Straight Edge in England. That might sound chessy but actually this is a good read. Part serious/part funny rants about the SxE scene in the UK, there is a couple of interesting pieces on his travels to the Middle East. One deals why there is no punk rock of any kind there. Lots of bad, but funny art. There is a really funny piece called “Ten Reasons Why Ray Cappo is Better Than Jesus Christ”. I howled over that one, especially #5. There is a really good read on touring, with advice on what to bring with you. I guess they have the same typical hardcore BS going on over as well, get used to it, dude. I’m going to have send this one up north to my editor. Since it’s a small run, e-mail first to see if any are left Max.Mitchell@gmail.com Mail address is:Max Mitchell 206 West One Aspect 17 Cavendish Street Sheffield S3 7SS UK

I always look forwards to watching documentaries, especially when they are on a subject matter I know a little something about. Punk: Attitude is such a film by Don Letts. Caught the preview of this on IFC, it will be released on DVD 8/9/05. There has been a few good documentaries covering aspects of punk and hardcore music, such as The Decline of A Western Civilization and Another State of Mind. The reason these worked well was they showed an exact moment in time and gave you a feel of what was going on then. While Punk: Attitude is interesting and entertaining, it tries to cover too much in too short a time. 90 minutes is too small a window to show what happened. What we really need is like a “Ken Burns” type of documentary, a 4 part mini-series to at least even attempt to do what Mr. Letts did here.

It’s begins to show the beginning and seeds of punk rock with rebellion in the 1950’s and through the late 1960’s with the activist movements. The first band shown was the MC5, considered radical at the time and The Velvet Underground. We move along to NYC in early 1970’s with bands like the NY Dolls, Suicide, Television, the Dictators and of course, The Ramones. There is great commentary by people who were there at the time. Christ, they even got Hilly Kristal to be coherent (did you see that CBGB’s “documentary” a couple of years back, the dude was practically asleep!). Then England is the focus (where Don Letts is from) with the Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash, the Buzzcocks, etc. Here is probably the most interesting part of the film. Captain Sensible (of the Damned) is hilarious. A lot of the band footage I have never seen before and was cool to see.

We end up back in America in Los Angeles for the punk scene starting up there in the late 1970’s but it doesn’t really show us anything. The “No Wave” scene is covered briefly. Now we are past the 1 hour mark and this film should really end RIGHT here. This is where it totally falls apart. I mean how are you going to fit like 25 years into a half an hour? They explain that hardcore came from punk and it was basically negative, violent and nasty. One of the bands shown was Agnostic Front. Now I’m glad Roger Miret got to say a few things here, but when you are talking about the early 1980’s, you don’t show footage from the 1990’s! Same weirdness abound when they very briefly go into how in the very early 1980’s in NYC that the hip hop and punk scenes started to hang with each other. Since I wasn’t in NYC in 1982, I can’t comment but you don’t make that claim and then show Beastie Boys videos from 1986 and Public Enemy footage from much later to validate it. Thurston Moore said it correctly that the 1980’s were never properly documented and that really hurt punk in general, since everybody thinks nothing went on. They very briefly talk about Straight Edge w/Ray Cappo making a brief statement, “it was kind of like a counterculture to the counterculture” and show cool Minor Threat clips. The best part of this last half an hour is the early Bad Brains footage. They should release that whole show. It was such a freaking tease.

Of course, they talk about Nirvana and how they brought punk into the mainstream. For my money, it could have been any band, it was just the band a record label decided to push and they just luckily hit. They make it seems like Nirvana were “The Band! A Voice of a generation!” From here, it’s like a bullet train to the end of the film, talking about all the other bands would benefited from this such as Green Day, Blink 182, Rancid, etc. Good lord, I was really happy went this thing was over.

They picked some really good people to give their thoughts and experiences on the history of punk. Henry Rollins (who is always great), Thurston Moore, Jello Biafra, Siouxie Sioux, Steve Jones (who looked bored), Tommy Ramone, Legs McNeil and other well-known punk heroes are the core to this. Many great quotes throughout. Another thing that bothered me was that is was supposed to be a “punk” documentary. Why did they use the standard “let’s letterbox this, offset the person interviewed either left or right with some cool backgrounds or personal effects next to them”. This is like how every documentary is done. Would have been cooler to see people revisit the scene of the crime so to speak. Like showing them outside the clubs or frequented areas that were popular back then. Oh well, in a perfect world right.

Overall, this is another in a long line of poorly presented projects, which has tried to cover a vast subject as “the history of punk”. I just hope it can be done well before I die.

Great clone bands. Wow! What a different about 10 years make. That is about how long it’s been since I last listened to Deadguy’s “Fixation On A Co-Worker” CD. I loved this record (still do), but for some reason never really went back to it. Anyway, is it me or is this like the “lost” Rollins Band Lp? Really, I know that Tim Singer was a big fan of the Hankster and it influenced him in all of his bands, though I just can’t believe how much this sounds exactly like Rollins. If you are like me and haven’t heard it in awhile, give it a listen and see for yourself.

It’s a Radio Riot! Last week, I had given you some info about Al Quint’s radio show and was saying how it reminded me of Pat Duncan’s WFMU show back in NJ. Brett Beach has been telling me like forever that Pat’s show is available over the internet. I just never got around to checking it out until now. Wow. I have been missing out for a long time. Since I moved down to Atlanta, I just never thought I’d be able to listen again. Well, as you know with the internet, almost anything is possible and you can hear Pat Duncan’s show anywhere now. That is just the icing on the cake though. Go to wfmu.org first and find the links to Pat’s show. I don’t know how they do it (must have terabyte servers or something) but you can listen any of Pat’s shows from 2000 on streaming. The options are vast. Choose either Real Player or your MP3 player of choice, and start listening. There are also various bitrate options to choose from. Now you might be asking why the hell would I want to listen to old radio shows? Well, one big thing Pat Duncan is/was know for is having a part of his show dedicated to live bands in the studio. Since, he has cut back a bit on that in recent years, there has been awesome repeats of “live” sets, including some well-known classic sets from a lot of NYC bands in the late 1980’s. This is the stuff we used to wait in our bedrooms, setting up the tape player and waiting in anticipation for the band to start. I know for a fact when I used to trade tapes, that I was usually the first to have it on the lists. Everybody wanted that material.

Luckily, WFMU has a great play list system set up. You can go to the playlist you want and everything in playing order is there, including weblinks if they exist. But the real benefit of this is to find the valuable “live” sets. I still haven’t figured out how to stream and record the music straight to the hard drive (I think most programs out there get blocked by the radio’s website since it’s frowned upon. But I just haven’t kept up with it.), so since my computer is hooked up to the receiver, you can just tape it then use something like Sound Forge to record it back. Hack job, I know. There is so much gold here it’s not funny.

I have always looked up to Pat Duncan because back in the very early 1980’s when I was trying to find music I liked, I came across his show by accident. I taped a lot of full shows back then to play later. I discovered Minor Threat and one of my all-time favorites, Personality Crisis, like the second time I listened. Since, it was a NJ show he played a lot of locals like Bedlam, AOD, Sand In The Face and the all mighty Death Rage! I’m am fortunate enough to have met him, hung out at the radio show many times (One time in 1988, Life’s Blood was going to play live on the air and I brought many NYC bands recordings for him to play since nobody was giving him anything. Thanks to me, the Beyond demo was played for the first time on NJ radio!) and talked to him many times. Great punk/hardcore music/Tangerine Dream fan, Pat Duncan gives everything a chance at least once. If you never heard the show, check it out, better late than never. www.wfmu.org

Dave’s Moldy Oldie Pick of the Week: Fuck, I had something else in mind but I just couldn’t resist. The first Nihilistics Lp is in my all-time top ten hardcore/punk recordings. This record is just one of the best. This is the loudest, most anarchist, self destructive recording your ears will ever have the pleasure of hearing. “Black Sheep” is like my personal song. It’s nice to see that the band has kept control of their recordings and kept them in print. If you don’t have this in your collection somewhere, you are either a new kid just getting into punk (in which case, go get one) or if you have been into punk and hardcore a while, a limp dicked, dead fuck. www.nihilistics.com/main.html

That’s it…see you next week. Send those releases! When I’m on the road doing 85 mph, I need some tunes! Dave K.

David Koenig
1990 Pinehurst View Drive
Grayson, GA 30017


E-mail: Grandnagus69@yahoo.com

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