Friday, October 28, 2005

Goodbye to Dave K...for now

The Last One...

Sorry folks for the long delay but it seems life has taken many turns and I really can’t continue on with this lovely column. As I wish to continue, time runs short on a daily basis. Between taking care of my daughter (yes, I’m a Mr. Mom), running an eBay business, starting an archive CD thing, helping out my sister and father who have just arrived at my home, taking care of household chores, etc... (I can go on but I think you get the point.) It’s really annoying to be so passionate about writing this thing every week to find that you can't put a couple of hours together to get it done. I love hardcore and punk music very deeply. I have found out very quickly even though I have been away for a bit that things basically never changed in the last five years. There is still many good bands and a zillion crappy ones. People are still arguing about the same crap. God what fun, right?

It’s really funny how labels releasing records still are using an ancient form of manufacture and distribution. Bands really don’t need to release a record or a CD anymore. This is true especially with bands just starting out. I don’t even see the point with it. With the internet, you have this ultra fast means of getting your songs out there. You shouldn’t even worry about if you are going to make money or not. You are not going to anyway, so why not just bypass the whole system of doing things? I really can’t believe people even buy CDs anymore. Whether you do a MySpace page or other older methods such as FTP transfers, Usenet Binaries or peer to peer services, you are going to get connected to more people, and more people will hear your stuff. I mean just in the short time doing my latest column thing here on BBHC, I seen some of the dumbest and most generic press kits cross my path. Do you really want your band compared to what’s “hot” at the moment, just so somebody might listen to your release? I really thought by now that labels would find that the major label way doing things doesn’t work. But most labels adopt this for their format. You shouldn’t be promoting a band on your label by how many “units” they have moved. It should be that they are a great band. I also think labels have way too many bands to promote. This leads to many crappy releases that people end up buying. It’s money wasted across the board. Punk and hardcore music are supposed to be beyond that, though time and time again, this is just not the case.

It’s one of the reasons I just asked bands to send in MP3s with the lyrics and artwork. I don’t think you should waste money on review copies. It would also be easier on you when I destroy an unworthy release in a review. Recently, I have read a lot of review sites and never liked it when they told you that you have to send a full release with packaging. This might be OK for the larger labels that have a budget to send out promos, but for the smaller or one off labels, promos are a big expense. If you have to promote a release, a small label can only afford to get it out to the big review mags/websites. If people would just send MP3s, they could plaster the world with the tunes. I still am holding on to the idea that a demo should have more than 3 songs on it. Bands need not to be in such a rush.

It was one cold night in NYC, some time in late 1985/early 1986. There was a show that was happening near Tompkins Square Park (of course in a squat). It was a weird scene. I didn’t know anybody hanging out that night and was just listening in on conversations that were interesting. Over on one of the park benches, sat a few people, in the center was three or four punk girls. One was a very good-looking woman, but very pregnant. Some people I was talking to ventured over by the benches and I only heard a tail end of the girl’s conversation, ”but Amy, what if you have twins!?!” I don’t know why but for some reason that line has always stuck with me. Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about one of the recent punk reissues. Nausea’s “The Punk Terrorist Anthology Vol.2 1985-1988" CD is probably in my eyes the most important punk and hardcore music re-issue in years. I know this is Volume 2, the first was a re-issue of the hideous Lp and some other tracks. To me this is the true Volume One. Nausea was a very important band to me when I first starting going to shows in NYC. They were one of the first true political punk bands I was exposed to, which led me to find out some of older bands that influenced them. Nausea has been featured on the Revelation NYC hardcore compilation with good reason. They were one of the few bands at the time that appealed to everybody in the scene. They totally bridged the gap, skins moshing next to punks and straight-edge kids. Nausea impressed me to no end. The trouble was other than the tracks on the aforementioned comp, they really didn’t have anything else out. There was no “demo” sold (as far as I know...I was a big tape trader and nobody had it). They were big on t-shirts and everybody had at least one. I am glad to see that somebody finally released the “Electrodes” shirt again, it was my favorite. The point is along with bands like Krakdown & NY Hoods, Nausea were one of those bands who either had very little out or nobody approached them about doing a proper release.

Well, better late than never. This is a big release in more ways than one. Over 30 tracks here, all from different sessions are presented here. The first few are from a demo, which like I said, I had no knowledge of. It’s funny that I hadn’t heard their songs played in their proper way for over 15 years, but knew each note of them by heart. Most people would never release that Nausea had some great mosh parts. "Clutches" is a good example. The tracks further along vary in quality and this is to be expected, though they blow away most modern tunes. I love the fact that a couple of tracks features Amy singing solo. Some of my favorite Nausea shows were between the time Neil left and regrettably Al came in, Amy kicked ass. There is a couple of cover songs, including my favorite “Real Enemy” by the Business, which sadly should have been a live version because this track is not too hot. The live tracks are solid, loved Neil’s banter between songs. The last song on the disc is my overall favorite (did they call me?), “Electrodes”, which sums up the band’s stance on animal experimentation very well. A fucking anthem.

When I got a hold of this, I must have played it through 10 times to make up for lost time. I really can’t believe it took so long to get out there. No longer will this band be remembered for that bastard LP that disappointed so many long time fans. This are the way the songs were meant to be heard. They slay, kick ass, and trounce the competition. If you truly only buy one CD this year, this is the one.

Again sorry to everybody for letting you think that this was going to be a big blown out ongoing thing. If you sent stuff for review, I'm going to send it along to other 'zines and websites. Honestly, though much of it was crap. Big thanks to Brett Beach for the monetary assist. He has been more than patient with me and I will get the money back to you as fast as I can. Same to my sister. Next release for my fanzine archive label will be the It's Alive fanzine CD. Fred Hammer is a great guy and when this gets out there it'll be huge. Fred, I'll get the 'zines out to you very soon (if I can only get five minutes to do this). I have been in talks with a couple of others to release their older stuff. Hopefully it'll all pan out. If you got the Hardware CD (thank you) but if you liked or disliked it, let me know. Feedback has been slow and since this is a newer concept, some people don't understand what it's all about. When the It's Alive CD is out there will be a big advertising blitz for the two and I hope to get some people to interview me on the projects.

I may still do something for BBHC when things are less hectic. I want to do e-mail interviews with some of the older folks that influenced me in the punk scene. Ronny asked me to look into doing some kind of radio show (podcast?) and that would be fun because it would involve no thought on my end. I know I can put out one of the best HC/punk shows out there. Been looking into that too. I still be posting on the Livewire board (best around), so you can all make fun of me if you wish. 'Til then...

Fuck MTV, it's not for me... (X3)

Dave K.


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