Monday, February 28, 2005

Greedy Record Companies

It's not that surprising, but the idiots that run the record companies are at it again. Just when it looks like the cash cow of internet downloads is going to pull their sagging sales back into the black, they're talking about raising the prices on downloads. What are they teaching these jackasses in business school these days? Don't they know that if they keep the price down they will sell more. especially if they open the vaults to the rich back catalogs in their possession, but if they raise the prices they will sell less and then blame it all on piracy. Here's the original story.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Another Wally Bangs Band Story - not again - Michael Landon's Ghost part one

I’ve told the story about my old rock bands, Dragula, and The Dislocated( parts one, two, three, four, five), but I’ve never gone into much detail about the punk trio I led in between. That is until now: Michael Landon’s Ghost is calling, the story must be told.

I started jamming with Toby Holmes on some punk rock tunes late in 1990. We were doing Ramones, Fear, and Dead Boys songs – just guitar and bass and screams. I started writing songs too, but there was no serious thought of forming a band even though we did kick around the name Carbonas in honor of the deleted track from Leave Home; “Carbona Not Glue.” The catalyst for forming the band was when Toby took his bass and joined the speed metal punk band Knucklebones led by our common friend Jon Roy Sloan. Jon Roy was a great guy, but Knucklebones was just lame. I couldn’t accept losing Toby for such an act so I asked Toby if he wanted to do some Ramones covers for open mike night at local Murfreesboro club The ‘Boro with Knucklebones drummer Wes White. He said sure (as long as it didn’t interfere with Knucklebones) and soon we started rehearsing. After I showed them some of my originals the die was cast. Knucklebones would soon crumble and a charged up Didjits loving trio would take over for a short flash of time.

The rock and roll dream was hitting me hard and before we even played the open mike night I started to think about the future. I was always writing thoughts and observation into these 80 sheet college notebooks I picked up in the MTSU bookstore so it was natural that thoughts about my new band found their way into the mix. Before I get into the following piece from a notebook titled Nowhere I should explain how the band came to be known as Michael Landon’s Ghost. It was a Saturday in the middle of the day and I was on the phone with Toby setting up the next rehearsal when an infomercial hosted my Michael Landon came on television. I joked with Toby about how the recently deceased Michael Landon’s ghost was on my television. We thought that was some funny stuff and it became the name of the band until we changed it to Pipe Bomb. While the reality of the group didn’t match this fictional take, it very nearly came close.

MLG Take The Stage

Picture this: three guys, one stage, and a stack of amplifiers, a pile of drums, tumult, chaos, bedlam, and all of it loud as hell. I plug my guitar in and one chord later the whole club is awake, hair blown back plastered to their skulls; ears invaded it’s too late for them all, they’ve been infected by the ghost of rock and roll which is something that hasn’t been seen around these parts in a long while. My wingtip shoes are shining like obsidian mirrors and I’m ready to take flight. Wes is pounding the drums with idiot savant fury spit flying form his mouth he’s lost in song. I don’t know if he will even stop before the next song starts; everything bleeds into one. Toby stands to the side with his face bent down over his bass guitar – it looks like he’s nodding off, but how could anyone sleep amidst this decibel discharge – his fingers concentrating on the bass while the bass concentrates on him, it’s like a magnet for his head. Meanwhile I’m halfway to oblivion and beyond. I’m James Dean on his death trip, but I’m gonna make it back. I’ve broken loose from the asylum and somebody’s given me a guitar to flay, I mean play. Sharp and jagged chords swirl in the air with crescendos of feedback and distortion just steel wool ear plugs for the mentally dispossessed in the audience. I’m screaming out “Keep your hands off of my stash” and sweating in my thrift store suit. I’ve got nothing to lose and nothing to prove. Rock and roll may be dead for some but for me it’s the lifeline and for this moment I am alive though grotesquely bent out of shape because I’ve crawled from the Funhouse. When the audience stops trying to fight the sound – that glorious desperate sound the now sound – when their ears finally begin to ring with the knowledge that there is no truth and beauty, but one big UGLY; the most beautiful and truthful thing I know – they will stop feeling their pain and bewilderment but jump for joy instead with a song in their hearts and love in their eyes, which by now has been reduced to tiny flaming embers (what can you expect from such nuclear shock), and they will start chanting, “Toby, Wally, Wes…Toby, Wally, Wes, Michael Landon’s Ghost” softly under their breath and it will sound louder than the show. Then I’ll walk over to the payphone next door and tell Beth that me and the boys will be playing all night, walk back to the club and watch the crowd part like a wave, plug in my old beat up guitar and stoke those shocked embers back to a full blaze and never stop.

Did it really happen that way? It came close and you’ll get the details in part two. Look for it next week.

Jetpack

The Nashville band for today is Jetpack. They have a website. Visit it. But if you can't make it that far, at least listen to one of their songs, "Mathematics", off their new EP The Art Of Building A Moat.

Jetpack flier

Post Punk Diary

Tim over at Post Punk Diary is looking for any punk rock stories circa 1975-1981 for a book he's doing on punk rock. Drop by and say howdy.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

CD Review: De Novo Dahl - Cats And Kittens

dnd

De Novo Dahl have been together since 2001. They released a magnificent EP filled with quirky pop gems in 2003. Their concerts are always a blast with the band members often wearing themed outfits and featuring the kind of audience participation that breaks down the barrier between performer and customer. Nashvillians are notorious about not supporting local bands, yet the Cats And Kittens CD release party sold out Nashville’s Exit/In. So De Novo Dahl are on to something. They’ve captured the zeitgeist of these mixed up times and people are noticing. They’re the talk of Nashville, but will it play in Peoria?

The 2003 EP was concise, sharp, and packed with swift jolts of power pop. Cats And Kittens is ambitious and sprawling – a new wave Tusk. Two years have passed and the band has grown self assured, but never smug. This is tender rock, the kind of band your girlfriend listens to that you can like too. Not that the subject matter is about love, I don’t have a clue what many of the songs are about lyrically; I’m too busy listening to the snap, crackle, and pop of the music.

Musically it is stately, splendid, charming, eccentric, and original. This does not mean that it is sui generis. There are influences aplenty bubbling to the surface of each effervescent song. “Jeffrey” might have been the latest college hit for Grandaddy if they had written it. “I Woke Up Late” is psychedelic new wave rock for video game nerds with a hint of Flaming Lips lurking. David Bowie filtered through Pulp and Blur comes to mind at times – at other points you wonder if admission is charged to the University of Tin Pan Pavement Alley that De Novo Dahl had to have attended at least briefly. They’re not as peanut brittle as Franz Ferdinand; they’re more peanut butter cup like fellow local Nashville new wavers The Features.

Highlights of Cats And Kittens include “All Over Town” with its nervous Cars sound, “Listen Up” and it’s head nodding hipster power pop irony – what will the revolution bring; lollipops and IPODS? “Push Buttons” has a spot on Todd Rundgren circa Something/Anything intro until the drugs and vocals kick in to what will surely go into the odes to masturbation section of the rock and roll hall of fame. I like the pompous granduer and the falsetto snatches of ballad, “Ryan Patrick Huseman Darrow.” “Be Your Man” is the obvious hit track with its chugging abandon. The second disc is a total highlight as it is a remix of the first one. The songs aren’t in the exact same order, nor are they titled the same so part of the fun is playing find the reference. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes not. There are some misfires, most notably on the ironic (at least I hope it is) “The Funk” with its faux disco Casio grooves, but they are very few for a two disc set.

The album is available through indie label Theory 8 which has a roster full of good bands of various styles. De Novo Dahl will also be appearing at Austin’s South By Southwest festival on March 18th. They will likely be one of the acts all of the critics are abuzz about later so be sure and catch them. I know the “new” new wave field is started to get a little crowded, but De Novo Dahl have a spark about them that will help them transcend any trends. They’re timeless and I bet they would have gone over well with Johnny Slash of Square Pegs fame because they are like “a totally different head.”

The Satelliters - Hashish Review

The Satelliters

A grass roots rock and roll movement began decades ago and while a few acts from this scene have managed to hit commercial pay dirt, most either labor in relative obscurity or they at least gain a level of cult acceptance – brilliant semi-toxic mushrooms littering the generally banal musical forest floor. The Satelitters have been plying this particular trade for over ten years and they’ve grown to be a fairly good sized spore in the carcass of rock. What in the hell am I talking about? Well, take a deep breath – count five and hit a garage. It’s all about garage punk for the German boys in The Satelitters whose sound has evolved since they began bashing out well known cover songs back in 1993. Their lo-fi transistor has been traded in for hi-fi stereo and their original songs outshine the covers on their new disc Hashish, their fifth release for Dionysus Records.

Opening track “Go Away” is so prototypical and primitive it makes you wonder how cavemen could make such noise without electricity. Above standard fuzz guitar and wailing harmonica elaborate on the lyrics of a lover scorned, the vocals are spat out with snotty abandon. It’s all so deceptively simple, but there is a depth and analog connection with the past coalescing toward the future perfection of the guitar, bass, drums, organ, and harmonica format. The Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction” was the powder keg lit by The Yardbirds “Train Kept A-Rollin” and when that mother blew there was a band in every town – hell even John Kerry played bass for The Electras. Compilations like the Back From The Grave series and Pebbles have scratched the surface of trashed out garage mayhem, while Nuggets assembled the commercial one hit wonders, but there are mushroom spores everywhere and The Satelliters are standouts.

“Sweet Sensation” is relentless with fuzz guitar gone full spectrum Sixties freak out with some slivers of wah-wah pedal during the solo. There are hints of progression lurking on the epic “The First Rays Of Light” – Hammond organ and as modern a guitar sound as one gets with The Satelitters; the introductory chords straight out of The Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary” – and lucky for us listeners it works subverting my general rule that progression means danger Will Robinson. The Satelliters don’t stray too far from the cave with the dystopic dinosaur bone rattling “Stoneage Man” with its insistent primordial beat. The only clunker found is the cover of the Small Faces “Wam Bam Thank You Mam” – while lead vocalist Steve of The Satelliters has a Jagger swagger he can’t get on the same planet with Steve Marriott.

Garage punk fans take note; Dionysus Records has another winner to add to their stellar catalog. This Hashish can’t be smoked, but it’s still a big high, especially if you’re just discovering the joys of primeval stomp and roll. One word of warning: your Beatles obsessive friends might look down on your ear lust for this sort of music. It just kills them to know that The Yardbirds actually have had a greater impact on rock and roll.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Couple Of Sites I Dig

Not much going on today - just cold and dreary. I should have a Satelliters review up tomorrow and a De Novo Dahl one too.
de novo dahl

In the meantime here are a couple of great sites to visit:

A site related to an anthology of modern American poetry with lots of resources.

And Funk 45 - a site devoted to obscure funk and soul - the grittier the better. Songs are in real audio there.

soul seven

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Fiction: A Brief Glimpse Into Louie Debris

I've been working on a book for a number of years in fits and starts. I suppose it's genre would be a children's fantasy novel. It concerns dimensional time travel mixed with junior high school memories and is set in the year 1978. There are lots of in jokes - for example the fictional setting is a town called Dunsany, Illinois; with Dunsany derived from fantasy author Lord Dunsany. I hope to finish it one of these years. Maybe by posting this I can kickstart the project back to life. What follows is a summary of sorts followed by one scene. Please let me know what you think of this stuff.

Characters from Count Louie Debris:

Jack – junior high school kid who is a lot like the author at that age, apart from being a character in a fictional book of course. He digs comics and horror flicks. He has an above average mind with a shock of long blond hair covering his head, yet he only does average in school, which is normally the way it is for bored kids like him. His best friend is:

Andrew – shares Jack’s interest in comics and horror flicks, but also happens to be the best baseball player in the county, nobody knows this because he’s never picked to play, “I’m like a super hero who never gets to use his powers.”

Jack has a sister named Emily who has just started the 6th grade at Rick Sims Junior High likes bugs and spiders more than anything, except perhaps Count Chocula cereal. For somebody who seems like she would be a geek, she is actually very popular. Her standard response to this dichotomy is “Fear, baby, I use fear.” She’s nice, really.

Rick Sims Junior High is much like every junior high that ever existed. The gym smells like sweat socks and basketballs, and the cafeteria smells like meatloaf, and the playground is still where the blood gets spilled to the school bullies, and at RSJH, the bullies have been incorporated. Minestroni Inc. rules the school.

There are two Minestroni brothers; in fact since RSJH opened in the 60’s, there have always been Minestroni bothers. One brother is big and muscular; he’s the brains of the outfit. The skinny brother is the dumb and dangerous one. They target everybody indiscriminately until the day Emily throws spiders on Lucky, the dumb and dangerous one, “Vinnie’s not gonna like this, your brother has had it!” As you can tell, Jack now gets the preferred customer treatment from the Minestroni’s which means Andrew gets more then his fair share. This is also why Jack and Andrew eat lunch under a stairwell in the maintenance building.

Three teachers are prominent: Ms. Porkk – math and science priestess of boredom. She is as skinny as the number one, but nowhere near as fun.

Miss Claire File – Jack and Andrew’s beloved befuddled English teacher, she’s young and she’s ditzy, but her heart is made of platinum

Coach Cutlip – sports = stupid, at least in his case

Then there is the Principal of the school: Mr. Principle, he jokes that he was born to do his job. He’s a decent fellow. He’s rumoured to be Victoria Principle’s estranged husband.

These kind people all live in Dunsany, Illinois whose slogan is “We’re not in the middle of nowhere, we’re in the middle of Illinois!” circa 1978. It’s a small town, yet still big enough to not know everybody. This is a good thing. It has a lake nearby named Elsie and a 68-foot statue (that’s 60 foot of base, mind you) of the city’s founder: Dunsany…a Saint Bernard. Trapper Pratchett always insisted the dog started the city so future residents took him at his word. It’s a shame the statue is now in the parking lot of a Pizza Hut.

And into this town arrive Count Louie Debris and his sidekick Ferris Oxide. They have been exiled from the super dimensional land called the Coffin Coast by orders of the madman Howard Devotional, who with his henchmen, the Screaming Springsteens, have toppled the Count from his throne. On the run from these music hating creeps, Debris and company plunged through an interdimensional time hole which was the result of the scientist Buckminster Fullofit tinkering with an old bakelite radio in his garage. Debris, Oxide, and their men…three nameless people in mechanic’s jumpsuits, actually land atop the garage in what we would call 72 GTO, but it’s actually a Coffincruiser, “surely a man of science has heard of parallel cultural development?” The strange thing is that this car can fly and in short order, Debris’ three men comb an area junkyard and soon they have a veritable fleet of cars outfitted to take flight. Fullofit finds them refuge in some caves outside of town where Debris can make his plans for the return to the Coffin Coast. There is a problem; five members of the Screaming Springsteens also made it through later that night when a sporadic burst of static became tuned to an outlaw border radio station.
The other problem is the music that caused the radiowave blip was an obscure cha cha cha number (Cha Cha # 17) by legendary Latin maestro Xavier Nougat. Unless the kids can find a copy of this record or get a border radio station to play the song at the right time, Debris may never get back.

The scene takes place the evening of what is to be Dunsany's first punk rock concert, which Jack wants to attend.

Jack and Emily are eating at the dinner table with their mother and father.
“To what do we owe this momentous occasion?”
“What do you mean?”
“Eating at the dinner table with us. You obviously have an ulterior motive.”
“Jack wants to stick safety pins in his cheeks and go to a punk rock show,” squealed Emily.
“No I don’t,” muttered Jack.
“You do too!! I saw you buy a pack of safety pins at the drugstore today.”
“Liar!”
“Now kids, what’s this all about, Jack,” asked his mother.
“Well… part of what she said is right. I do want to go to the rock show tonight.”
“Is that all? Whew, don’t scare me with visions of those dimpled cheeks being spoiled by diaper pins,” said his mother with relief.
“Not diaper pins, safety pins”
“We heard you Emily,” said Jack’s father.

“Show them the poster,” Emily says.

Jack begrudgingly hands the flyer over listing the Malfunctions, Wonderfuls, The Most, Scat Magnets, The Dislocated, Sanitation Workers of America, Violent Overthrows, Shiny Knives, Pipebomb, The Hearsays, and McCartney’s Wife to his father whose face quickly turned from amused to concern.

“What’s with all of the skulls?” he asked.

“And these groups don’t have very nice names. And I’m assuming McCartney’s Wife isn’t Linda. I don’t know if this music is appropriate for you.”

At this point, Jack was getting desperate so he used his 4th down and 20 play, “You could come Dad. As long as you stand in the back. There’s nothing really super offensive about these bands. They just have silly names. All of the good names, like Beatles and Vanilla Fudge, have been taken.”

The hope was that by telling his father he could come, he would relent to Jack going, but not actually attend himself. Unfortunately for Jack, his pass was intercepted.

“What the heck, I was young once. I think I’ll go!! Did I ever tell you about the days I played in Dunsany’s premier garage/surf band, the Monster Manta Rays?”

Emily, Jack, and mother, “Yes!!!!!”


That's it for now. Hopefully you'll want to read more.

Rick Champion Opened A Hot Dog Stand - Nashville Rock Post 1978 Part Four

Here it is: the final installment of Soulfish Stew's look back at Nashville Rock Post 1978. If you've missed the first three posts, here are the links:

Part One
incudes: Jason and the Nashville Scorchers, The Dusters, Practical Stylists, F.U.C.T., Questionnaires, Dave Cloud, and Cloverbottom

Part Two
includes: The Shazam, No Art, 69 Tribe, Walk The West, Chip and the Chiltons, White Animals, and the Young Nashvillians

Part Three includes: Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks, Jack, Shadow 15, Government Cheese, The Movement, Crop Circle Hoax, and The Enemy/Royal Court Of China

First up in this last part of the series:

lambchop

Wally: Lambchop - From the first moment I saw this band (opening for Superchunk at the long paved over Pantheon) I knew they were different. Most rock bands usually don’t take the stage with seven people unless they’re playing early 70’s style Southern rock. Maybe it was because I was ready to rock out to Superchunk because Lambchop really bored me. I saw them again a few months later and I got the same blah feelings. First impressions are sometimes everything, because I’ve still not come around to their sound. They’ve made a fairly good sized dent in the music world and won critical acclaim across the globe, but they just don’t do a thing for me besides put me to sleep. I called up DD Blank for his take on the band and the idea that leader Kurt Wagner is some sort of genius and I got the following response. I guess I’m not the only one, but surely a few thousand Lambchop fans can’t be wrong.

DD: Lambchop – ZZZZZZ…

Best Years: I guess there's no time like the present

Wally: Raging Fire - Melora Zaner was so dreamy! The ep Family Thing is one reason why I’d never get rid of my record player. That Pristine Records release has to be on the shortlist of all time great Nashville records. If I’m not mistaken, Rick Champion even managed them. Their live shows did indeed rage with fire behind the guitar twirling antics of Mike Godsey. Second release Faith Love Was Made Of on Neo Records was not as good a record and like most bands that never make it big, Raging Fire smoldered out.

DD: Raging Fire A Family Thing EP was a blistering moment in Nashville rock history. It was all over the college charts at the time and with good reason. It was fresh, cool, and rocked like a mother. Find a copy of it today. Melora Zaner, Lee A. Carr, Mike Godsey were great parts to a great band. They were another band that never got as far as they could have in the right situation.

BEST YEARS: 1984-1988

clockhammer

Wally: Clockhammer - During the late 80’s and early 90’s this jazz metal Black Sabbath wannabes band seemed to open every show I attended. I admired the heaviness of their unmelodic tunes that represented a darker underbelly of the city, but I especially liked the king hell bashing of drummer Ken Coomer who later went on to fame with Uncle Tupelo, Wilco and is currently with Swag. Their cds that came out on First Warning (I don’t know if both of these were with Coomer who is reported to have said a reunited Clockhammer sounded like “watered-down Kansas”) were steady sellers when I worked in the record store biz. They probably still are.

DD: Clockhammer - I would never include these guys in a top 20 list, except
perhaps top 20 bands for which I never understood the popularity. I
suffered through them at least once before a Firehose show and that was
enough for me. However, they seem to have a fanatical following and a
former Wilco member drummed for them at one time, so maybe there is
something that I am missing.


BEST YEARS: 1990-1992

Wally: P.M.S. - January 86 I got to see a last show at Cantrells, before it mutated into Panana Reds or some other tropical named hellhole, by the Circle Jerks. The opening act was PMS who were young high school age kids. They were probably terrible, but I was young and thought they were great. There might have been twenty punk kids in the place slamming to them, but it was transcendent. I especially loved it when the singer pretended to hang himself with the microphone and screamed out, "You bet this son has an attitude problem!" Later, after the Circle Jerks, we went to Wendy's to eat and there was PMS at the next table. Through eavesdropping we figured out they were from Brentwood, probably some super rich kids, and that thought cracked us up.
One of the top twenty bands in Nashville post 1978? Not to most, but they always will be to me.

DD: P.M.S. - They were the first hardcore band that I ever saw live followed closely by the Circle Jerks. I was one about 30 kids at that show. They proved that there was nothing to worry about at a punk show in Nashville except that it might rock!


BEST YEARS: 1986

weasel weekly published monthly

DD: Mr. Zero Lee A. Carr - on guitar and a rapper? I didn’t know what to make of this at first. It’s too bad that terrible cover versions of Mr. Zero have taken over the “modern” rock airways. These guys were actually fun and you didn’t feel like they hated for you to listen to them like their current clones.

Wally: Mr. Zero - Well, Lee wasn’t doing the rapping, but he was doing the playing. After playing with The Enemy and then Raging Fire he was one of the pioneers of rock and rap with his band Mr. Zero. They were the only one’s doing this stuff back then. They were true innovators and like most innovators, they were long gone before the civilization known as metal rap came to fruition. These guys were incredibly fun live. They were a party that knew no boundaries specializing in setting the roof on fire. The only possible recorded taste comes from their successors (I believe there’s a connection) the Hard Corpz. Sadly Lee A. Carr passed away a few years ago to little notice in the Nashville rock community.

BEST YEARS: 1987

Wally: Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams - A certain age. A certain generation certainly remembers the Panicmobile, an old junky spray painted car that would always be parked outside their gigs. Late 80’s punks with a soft chewy center, they put out one intoxicating lp titled Will Work For Food that featured off beat ditties galore. The most memorable Glass Onion show for me was one where the guitar player was an hour late. The crowd was getting angry and restless when word got around that he had arrived. The crowd’s anger disappeared as he appeared wearing a life preserver borne on the shoulders of friends. I wonder if they got their name from the Sylvia Plath book or from the song by Nashville’s Tom Fitzgerald which probably got its name from the Sylvia Plath book.

DD: Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams - A great name and fun songs made
these guys a delight for the few years that they were around. "She Just Said No" plays over and over in my head every time I get dumped

BEST YEARS: 1989

bill lloyd

DD: Bill Lloyd - He came from Bowling Green, KY to give us hours of enjoyment time and time again. Popster, rocker, country superstar. Bill can do it all and he still does everyday. A city treasure!

Wally: Bill Lloyd - Don’t forget about the December Boys or Sgt. Arms. Nashville via Bowling Green, he is a ubiquitous part of this town and a heck of a nice guy. I miss talking to him when he would come into Phonoluxe though I don’t miss the work of being a record store clerk. He has played with everybody in all styles. How can you not love somebody that could write a line like “There’s a hole in my heart the size of your Jacuzzi”?

BEST YEARS: 1985-present

By my count, and DD’s the math professor (not me), that’s 28 groups we’ve appraised and found worthy. I’m sure we’ve come nowhere near satisfying the reader’s own choices so let us know who you’ve dug over the years from the fair city on the bank of the Cumberland. Just off the top of my head, let’s see there was Rumble Circus, Factual, Dessau, Grinning Plowmen, Jet Black Factory, Guilt, Tomorrow’s World, Word Uprising, Dr. Gonzo, the Boilers, The Claimstakers who were great, Thee Phantom 5ive, Dragula, Valentine Saloon, the Tennesse Walts, Brad Jone’s Dig Mandrakes, Will Rambeaux, Cruel Blue from the ‘boro, The Wrong Band, Tim Krekel and The Sluggers, The Nerve, Basic Static, Teen Idols, Rednecks In Pain, Lust, Simmonz, In Pursuit, Lambchop, Little Saints, The Thieves, John Jackson and the Rhythm Rockers, Burning Hearts, Freedom of Expression, De Novo Dahl, The Exotic Ones, The Creeping Cruds, Ted Lindsey and the Democrats, Electric Boys, Purple Giraffes, Luxury Liners, Who Hit John, Riff Rath, F Particles, Jonny Master and the Beta Klub, Idle Jets, Bare Jr, Will and the Bushmen who were incredible…can I revise my list? See what I mean? All of this was off the top of our head’s and merely scratches the surface of the great amount of rock and roll Nashville has produced. We didn’t even begin to really examine the 90’s in any real detail, which has seen a boom in talented acts. So, if you’ve been a resident of Nashville for the last 27 years DD and I don’t want to hear any complaining about how bad the music scene was because it just isn’t so.

Let me know who I missed.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Soulfish Stew Recognized By WKRN

Local ABC affiliate WKRN Channel 2 has listed Soulfish Stew as part of their roundup or the best Nashville blogs. Technically I'm not Nashville - Smithville is a good 70 miles away -but I'm sure honored and glad to be included.

Baby Huey reissued

The bad news has gone down (Hunter S. Thompson dead), but here's some good news: The only Baby Huey LP has been reissued. Now I won't have to pull out my 45 of "Mighty Mighty" when I want to hear some thumping funk from the Curtis Mayfield protegé.

Baby Huey

Too Many Ether Binges - Hunter S. Thompson Dead At 67

The Freak Power candidate for sheriff of Aspen is dead at 67. There are 6 entries about the man over at blogcritics.org this morning with more probably on the way. I enjoyed the hell out of his late Sixties and early Seventies writing. I might have to dig out The Great Shark Hunt tonight for old times sake. If you're a Hunter nut, here are links to all 6 posts at blogcritics.

One Two Three Four Five Six

Friday, February 18, 2005

It's Time To Go Racing with a bodhisattva?

I have a confession to make,it's actually not much of one for those that know me well, but I love stock car racing. I always have. I used to make little dirt tracks for my Hot Wheels cars as a kid. I have stood in line for an hour and a half to get Dale Earnhardt Jr's autograph. I went to the grand opening night of the NASCAR Cafe in Nashville years ago just to get a glimpse of Dale Sr., I could have cared less for the restaurant and I assume most felt that way since it didn't last long. When I got to go to Disney World with the wife years ago, we drove to Daytona just to visit the speedway. The wife and I's idea of a dream vacation would be two weeks in Daytona during speed weeks. Of course, we'd want to take the kids with us so we could go to Disney World for a few days. I'll admit that two people with bachelor's degrees liking the sport isn't the norm, but we like what we like and the heck with those that disagree. So when I read this article about Dale Earnhardt and buddhism it made me smile. Not everybody in the stands is an inbred monster who only come to see the wrecks. There are some of us who only want to see Ford drivers wreck.

The Earth Destroyed!!!

I found this piece on How To Destroy The Earth at Geek Press (and you really should check their site every day - it's on the Soulfish Stew sidebar) and damn if it's not one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. I think the destructive capabilities of a bar full of rednecks should have also been taken into consideration to be thorough.

Outrageous Cherry Review

My review of the new Outrageous Cherry CD: Our Love Will Change The World is up over at Blogcritics.org. Stop in and look around.

I'm Not The Only One

To dislike Arthur Miller. When they announced his passing earlier this week and hailing Death Of A Salesman as a classic I shuddered at the memory of reading the play back in college. Sure the play is memorable, but only because I hated it. I thought it was one of the bleakest things I had ever read with such a bitter outlook I was surprised the pages of the text could keep from curdling. I guess that was the point of the thing, but why do people want to subject themselves to such cynicism? I'm not some sentimental positivist, Madame Bovary is one of my favorite novels and it's far from sunny skies, but Death Of A Salesman lacks all nuance. Miller was just mean to write it and even meaner to the poor characters that inhabit the play. I figured my wife and I were the only people around that had critical thoughts on Miller this week, but Colby Cash has a nice small piece to say about the man too.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Rick Champion Opened A Hot Dog Stand - Nashville Rock Post 1978 Part Three

When Rick Champion began booking rock and roll bands at a club called Phranks & Steins off West End Avenue back in 1978 he set in motion a Nashville rock and roll revolution that shows no sign of ever stopping. Sure, there was rock and roll in Nashville before this event, but it was only after punk rock hit these shores that the DIY spirit charged the Mid-South with true electrical mayhem. So far in previous posts we’ve discussed the following rockers: Jason and the Nashville Scorchers, The Dusters, Practical Stylists, Forever Ungratical Corinaric Technikalation, Questionnaires, Dave Cloud, Cloverbottom, The Shazam, No Art, 69 Tribe, Walk The West, Chip and The Chiltons, White Animals, and The Young Nashvillians. Keep reading to see who my friend Dr. DD Blank and I dig up in this: Part 3 of Nashville Rock Post 1978. Keep in mind that this overview is not in order, nor does it seek to be an exhaustive one. We’ll leave that to the real historians out there.

webb

Wally: Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks - From Night Flight cult video favorite to cultural icon, Webb Wilder is the man! Watch his long form videos featuring comedian Shane Caldwell. Read his detective novel. Listen to his phenomenal roots music. Webb is a true renaissance man. I like his version of “The Devil’s Right Hand” better than Steve Earle’s original…and the reason Earle is not on this list is because I consider him to be a country artist. If more folks lived their life by Webb’s credo “Work Hard…Rock Hard…Eat Hard…Sleep Hard…Grow Big…Wear Glasses If You Need ‘Em”, the world would be a better place. Webb also had a role in the movie, The Thing Called Love. It Came From Nashville was recently reissued with bonus tracks so be sure and get a copy. Webb also has a new album titled About Time due out on March 15th.

DD: Webb Wilder and the Beatnecks - Webb was a transplant to Nashville from Mississippi and he has been a definite positive addition to the scene. I first got to see him at the Glass Onion in Belle Meade years ago. It Came From Nashville is in the top five of rock records to come out of Nashville. It was fun. It rocked and it was fully realized. My faves were always “How Long Can She Last” and “Poolside”. What were yours?

it

BEST YEARS: 1985-present

DD: jack - The finest band to ever come out of Murfreesboro. When they were at their zenith and the pistons were all firing in unison, there wasn’t a finer band to ever play Lucy’s Record Shop or Summer Lights for that matter. An amalgam of the Sonics, Beefheart, Zappa, Pere Ubu, and the Kinks, they would be right at home in the current garage scene. They still play occasionally around town. Don’t miss them.

Wally: jack - Not a Nashville band!! They may play in the ‘ville, but they are a Murfreesboro group. DD and I argued about this until the fists were flying. After some black eyes and broken bones (like the days in the pit at an Intruder show) we gave up. He added the Murfreesboro bit and I agreed to include them here. They are personal friends of both of us so keep that in mind. I believe DD covered the influences well. When jack wants to be, they are one of the most courageous bands in the Mid-South combining a No New York sensibility with Creedence type pop smarts. Ooops, more influences noted!! They have been together since 1986 and I can still recall the shows at Murfreesboro dive bar Jabb’s, which usually degenerated into band members fighting to the present day mixture of drunkenness and polish. I said this statement years ago in my an issue of Anti-Society, but I’ll say it again. Go see them and make them rich.

BEST YEARS: 1992-present

Wally: Shadow 15 - Cousin It comes to mind when describing this marriage of Joy Division and Judas Priest, and I’m not talking about the Nashville hardcore band from the 90’s. I’m talking long hair and lots of it. And they featured a women lead guitarist in a non-exploitative way (take that stupid old Nashville Pussy). They put out one fine full-length cassette and a mini lp. The biggest show I saw them play was at the War Memorial Auditorium where a couple of punks got kicked out for fighting during the band’s cover of “Breaking The Law”. Chris Feinstein later played with Iodine. Barry Nelson needs to call the Feinstein brothers up and hit the reunion circuit. Damn, they were good.

DD: Shadow 15 - Longhaired rock and roll from Nashville that didn’t sound like Marshall Tucker or Mötley Crüe! Yeah, they might have been a grunge band if they had come along 5 years later, but they didn’t. They were a rock and roll band in the purest sense.

BEST YEARS: 1984-1987

Come On

DD: Government Cheese -I can’t go through the canned fruit section of the grocery store without singing the chorus of “Yellow Cling Peaches.” When I had lunch at school with my elementary school age cousins, I was secretly hoping that it was “Fish Stick Day.” Government Cheese came out of Bowling Green to give us a well-needed dose of fun.

>Cheese

Wally: Government Cheese - Tommy Womack led this highly charged act from Bowling Green to Nashville superstardom. I loved “The Shrubbery’s Dead Where Danny Used To Fall” and “Mammaw Drives The Bus”. I was very impressed when they played a cover of Jim Carroll’s “People That Died” the first time I saw them. Is drummer Joe Elvis still deejaying? These fellows had longevity too. The last time I remember seeing them was after the Gulf War in the Toot’s parking lot in the ‘boro playing a Memorial Day party. Oh, Womack’s The Cheese Chronicles is a great rock and roll book and is highly recommended. I love the part about their first NYC visit where they ended up sleeping in Grand Central Station. Rumors abound that a sequel is being written.

Cheese

BEST YEARS: 1986-1995

WALLY: The Movement - When Dolly Parton's cousin Richie Owens got tired of trying to make it in heavy metal with Placid Fury (what a name!!) he started a neo-psychedelic group named The Movement who put out one brilliant ep on Richie's Neo Records in 1985. “Together We Can Survive”! They were ubiquitous for about a year mining that 60's Yardbirds style beat until they broke up into oblivion, although Richie was rumored to be seen in overalls working at Dollywood a few years later. He is a very highly regarded dobro player these days and I believe he also led a group called Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau.

DD: The Movement - I was never that hot for these guys until the City Without A
Subway
compilation. With a great hook and a beat you might want to
dance to; "Lost Horizon" was the kind of song that you never forget.
Lead man Richie Owens has turned up lately writing and recording songs
with former Knoxville mainstay Brian Waldschlager. Both have toured
from time to time as the back-up band for Richie's cousin Dolly Parton.

BEST YEARS: 1984-1986

CCH

Wally: Crop Circle Hoax - A 90’s act on the list! They played all the time in the mid 90’s but I never saw them live until I ended up on the same bill during the last weekend series of shows at Lucy’s Record Shop. They were awesome in a tender Yo La Tengo kind of way. Their music would not be out of place on a Hal Hartley movie soundtrack. Everybody needs a girl “that hangs the planets”.

DD: Crop Circle Hoax - It seems like I may have seen these guys in Knoxville
a couple of times, but the time that I remember most was at Lucy's
Record Store right before it shut down. It was great in a Yo La Tengo
sort of indie-pop way, i.e. something that I never grow tired of.

CCH

BEST YEARS: 1995-1998

RCC

Wally: The Enemy /Royal Court of China - Joe Blanton graduated from the Ratz to the Enemy who terrorized Nash Vegas for far too short a time. Their most famous tune’s lyrics were stolen from a telephone pole flier called “Jesus Rides A UFO” put up by some local religious itinerant. Perhaps that’s an apocryphal story, but the song sure rocked. The Enemy became Royal Court of China roundabout 1986 and put out one stellar ep “Off The Beaten Path” with 91 Rock fave “Forget Me Nots” garnering airplay. Management juggernaut Grace Reinbold threw her weight behind the boys and got them a deal with A&M where they released a charming and evocative debut which went nowhere so the husky voiced Blanton turned them into a metal band that put out the ridiculously bad “Geared and Primed”. Sweet oblivion was soon to follow. Blanton resurfaced in the 90’s with a pathetic attempt to become a country artist. Just like Ron Keel did. Nowadays he’s fronting another hard rock band, Door No. 2, out of Florida.

DD: The Enemy /Royal Court of China - I remember reading about how the Enemy sort of morphed into RCC, so I am including them together. “Jesus Rides a UFO” was a street corner poem that was immortalized by the Enemy and after JT Blanton moved on to the band RCC, he started writing his own lyrics and boy did he have some great songs. Let’s never forget “Forget Me Nots.”

BEST YEARS: 1984-1987

Be sure and look for the final installment of Nashville Rock which should be up soon.

Site Traffic

Man, my site traffic has taken a nosedive of epic proportions. I was getting around 30-50 pageviews before I took some time off (not that this is awe inspiring) but now I'm lucky if I get 20 now. It's not the end of the world since I'm doing this primarily for my own amusement, but more readers would sure help my poor little old ego. Maybe I should be more controversial. Kill all cats, now!!

People Can Now Stop Blaming The US

From this link I found at Drudge this morning. People can stop blaming the US for being the biggest gluttons. All of those starving kids in China are taking over. I've seen this issue firsthand in the automotive parts supply business as steel prices have in some cases almost doubled since last year. I hear that Chinese consumption has also impacted the lumber and concrete industries.

The Kid Rock Story Continued

Man, the Kid Rock assault gets weirder as it seems a Vanderbilt college cop pulled the star over that same night. When he found out he had pulled over Kid Rock, he asked him for his autograph and let him go, so Vanderbilt has fired this policeman who had been with the Vandy force for 13 years. Kid Rock should have a benefit concert for that guy. Naturally, the weenie DJ that Kid Rock allegedly punched in the face, Jay Campos, has gotten himself a lawyer. I wouldn't think you need a lawyer in a simple assualt case.

Volunteer Tailgate Party

A new Volunteer Tailgate Party is up at Newsrack Blog. There is also a best of the Rocky Top Brigade 2004 there too. I didn't submit anything to either post - I'm just too busy this week, but stop by and visit with other great Tennessee blogs.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Shades Of Katies To Come

Part three of my continuing series on Nashville Rock post 1978 will be posted this Friday. Also I'm planning a review of The Katies album - a great lost classic of power pop and rock. So keep your eys peeled.

The Katies

Free Kid Rock

This story makes me embarrassed to be from the South. Kid Rock gets arrested for assualt after punching a loser Nashville club DJ in the face. It seems to me that the DJ, Jay Campos, is a big wussie looking to make some cash. I'd understand the charges if Kid Rock would have beat him within an inch of his life or made him look like that dude in the Von Bondies after Jack White got hold of him, but one punch that broke Campos's glasses and put a red mark on his face isn't a reason to get the police invloved. Be a man and take a swing back at Kid Rock. Whatever happened to settling things outside? Campos, you're a loser.

The E-Ones Rocked The House

I heard the E-Ones rocked the house at the Ramones tribute the other night. I wish I could have attended the gig, but a newborn son was just a little more important. Here's their setlist:

R.A.M.O.N.E.S.
Time Bomb
KKK Took My Baby Away
She's the One
I Just Wanna Have Something to Do

Cat Taylor of Rednecks In Pain fame got up and did these next three with them:

Commando
Psychotherapy
Sheena is a Punk Rocker

E1234s

The most important thing is the show raised $800 for the American Cancer Society. Way to go!!

Babies Are Popping Out All Over

Congrats to my brother in-law Reed and his wife Amy on the birth of their first son, John. I guess I'm now uncle Wally.

Monday, February 14, 2005

CTI Jazz review posted at Blogcritics.org

If you're interested in a rerun of the Seventies, check out my CTI jazz review at blogcritics.

Phonoluxe Homeboy Wins A Grammy!!

Congrats to my homeboy Michael Gray for winning a Grammy, just scroll down until you see the Night Train To Nashville entry for best historical album. Now I can say I know a Grammy winner personally! Sure the great Dr. Charles Wolfe at my alma mater of MTSU has won Grammys, but it's not like we're personal buddies or anything.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

A Couple Of Liam Pictures

Here are a couple of Liam pictures. One was taken on the day he was born with big sister Emmy holding him. The other one was taken today while he slept this morning.

Liam and Em

Sleepy Boy

He's doing great and so is the mom. Now if we could only get our two daughters to clean up their room without having to be in there the whole time making sure it gets done.

Blogger News Concerning Comments

From the world domination headquarters of Blogger. Good news everyone! We've updated the way comments work. Among the many improvements are pop-up windows for comments and the ability for commenters to fill in their name and web site info—no Blogger account needed.

Rick Champion Opened A Hot Dog Stand - Nashville Rock Post 1978 Part Two

I called up good friend and once local Middle Tennesse resident Dr. DD Blank and asked him to come up with a list of 20 great Nashville music artists of the last 27 years. I was to do the same. I would then combine the lists with commentary from both of us. Here is part two of the survey of Nashville Rock post 1978.

DD: The Shazam - Hands down the best band out of the city in perhaps a decade. They’ve been hailed by the British music press as one of the top 50 bands around. They may even be the best band in the country. Their power pop incorporates so many great influences that they never sound stale. The records are near perfect. Brad Jones deserves production Grammy’s for Godspeed The Shazam and Tomorrow The World alone. Don’t miss them before they are super-famous.

Wally: The Shazam! - Same band, I just like adding the exclamation point. Hans Rotenberry has a voice as sweet as Alex Chilton’s, Mick Wilson is the heir to Entwhistle, and Scott Ballew is Keith Moon and Dennis Wilson’s love child on drums. Together they are the finest Nashville band of the present. Beloved in England, it’s only a matter of time before they strike gold in their homeland. Little Steven from some backup group called the E-Street Band loves them. Check out their Not Lame releases and run, don’t walk to see them before they get so big they can only play arenas. Forebears are the Who, the Beatles, the Move, Cheap Trick, and ELO. Peers? None, although Jet seems to be working a similar territory all the way to super stardom in the pop narcotic.

BEST YEARS are NOW!!!

DD: No Art - I remember Riverdale High drama class hipster, Tim Davis, who had cool older brothers, telling me in about 1982 that No Art was the best band in Nashville and that he was trying to get them to play a dance at our school, or was that a party at his house. Who remembers anymore? I will always remember their song “English Boys.” They were a great new wave band when even new wave was considered cool.

Wally: No Art - That “English Boys” tune is on the Praxis record Never In Nashville. It features snotty vocals with a great line about “English Boys having suss”. It sounds quaint but still sort of charming after all these years.

BEST YEARS: early 80’s

DD: 69 Tribe - I remember first hearing of them in the fanzine N(ashville) I(ntelligence) R(eport). Then 91 Rock started playing “Bikers”. I never got a copy until I found one at Orpheus Records in Georgetown years later. I was jumping for joy.

WALLY: 69 Tribe - These guys escaped my notice during their heyday. It took William and Mary student DD finding “Bikers” to turn me on. Later, I had a German class under Knoxville punk legend Dennis Shockley (RIP) and one of my fellow students was a lady who was playing bass in the latest incarnation of the band. “Bikers….doing speed, doing ludes, taking chicks from their dudes”

BEST YEARS? Mid-80’s probably

DD: Walk The West - They sort of faltered toward the end. Some would say that they never had it. However, for a brief moment, they were fantastic. I saw a couple of great shows by them over a couple of summers. They were at their best when they were being goofy. Seriousness and hype ultimately were their enemies.

Wally: Walk The West - Paul Kirby dared to entice young girls with candy jellybeans but the “Sheriff of Love” never arrested him. Walk The West are yet another 91 Rock staple from the days when WRVU had just increased their wattage. Capitol Records jumped on the cow punk bandwagon and really pushed Walk The West, but they flopped miserably. They lived at night until their side gigs as the Cactus Brothers became more popular and then they stopped walking.

BEST YEARS: 1985-1987

DD: Chip and the Chiltons - I never got to see these guys live, but I bought their cassette at the Cat’s Records in Murfreesboro and wore it out for a few months. I might still have it somewhere in a shoebox. I wish that I knew what it sounded like again.

Wally: Chip and the Chiltons - I know what it sounds like!! It’s called Where’s My Cat? The cover has a photo of the band atop a table with shotgun shells scattered around. I guess we know what happened to the cat. The music is Southern power pop with a dash of blues thrown in for good measure. Who could forget songs like “Next State Line” or “She Said Yes”? Chip put out a second album, but it wasn’t as good as the homemade cassette that came first.

BEST YEARS: 1986-1987? Is anybody detecting a pattern on these best years? Whether it’s nostalgia or what, the mid 80’s was a rocking good time.

Wally: White Animals - I first saw the video to “Don’t Care” on a show called Saturday Night At The Video on M’boro’s Channel 39. . The WA’s combo of hippie chic and beat music was just what the 18-year-old punk rock poet I fancied myself to be needed, dichotomies be damned.Thanks to Saturday Night At The Video I was also exposed to Nick Lowe and The Style Council. A friend had a copy of the White Animals Ecstasy (I loaned him Kerouac’s On The Road and he loaned me the album) and I was soon in an ecstatic state. Saw them play at Cantrells in 1985 with Boulder, Colorado band The Diet Plan opening on a Sunday afternoon where later out back behind the graffiti drenched wall Kevin Gray talked about how the new album (which was to be a self tittled release variously referred to as Drums In Church or The Purple Album) was going to kick Huey Lewis and Billy Idol’s asses. They were humble and nice and helped to seal a life long romance with rock and roll.

DD: White Animals - They were the first Nashville new rock band that I ever saw live and they lived up to the hype and my expectations and they all even signed my copy of Ecstasy after the show. Hurrah for Nashville rock!

BEST YEARS: 1982-1987

Wally: The Young Nashvillians - Dreadbeat’s greatest recording artists since the White Animals, The Young Nashvillians were all about fun. The story goes that they gave Kevin Gray a homemade tape and that he insisted Dreadbeat release a record by them in addition to having them open shows for the WA’s. They were young college kids who later abandoned the bright lights of stardom for careers, but we’re lucky to have the memory of songs like “Vanderbilt In France”. A CD was issued in the late 90’s compiling their Dreadbeat release with their second self released EP. If you’re lucky you might find it.

DD: The Young Nashvillians - These guys stayed below my radar screen for the entire time that they were together. However, some years later I
finally heard the records and their youthful exuberance alone makes
them candidates for this list. It never hurts that they had the Kevin
Gray seal of approval.

BEST YEARS: 1983-1984

If your favorite hasn't showed up yet, maybe they'll make the next post. Look for part 3 in a week or so.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Liam Has Arrived!

William Alton Wallace was born at 12:44 AM on Friday February 4th. He weighed 8 lbs 9 oz and was 20 and a half inches long. Hence, no posts since Thursday. Mother and son are doing pretty good, Liam's got some minor jaundice issues that we've got to go check on again Wednesday, but we think he's going to be fine. I might post pics Saturday so check back then. Hopefully after that I'll be able to get back on my usual schedule of daily weekday posts.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Dullsville Thursday

Man, what a dreary day it is here in the sportsman's paradise of Smithville, TN. I got nothing today, just news that the baby is well on his way, probably be born sometime tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime, pay a visit to Half Bakered who hosted the Volunteer Tailgate Party this week. He did a great job so go and give him some props.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

My Inner Guru Let Me Down

I play ping pong on my breaks at work. The games get rather intense, but it breaks up the monotony of staring at spreadsheets well. So today my inner guru told me to not worry about the spin of the ball, in fact to not even try to put any spin when I hit the ball. I was going to just let my thought waves manipulate the ball, instead of my wrist. So I didn't play worth crap. Zen and ping pong - they don't work. If you happen to see my inner guru, he's probably drunk and laughing his ass off.

Super Bored Already

It's a good thing I've been listening to my Minor Threat albums this week, because I sure do feel "Out Of Step" with the world as the Super Bowl approaches. I've watched my share of the things over the years, but I've figured out I had more fun on Super Bowl Sunday when I ignored the game. I would usually ride up to Nashville with a friend, get some dinner, and then hit Tower Records which would kill about three hours total. Then the drive home would take another forty minutes and by then the game would probably be close to over. If it was warm enough we'd get out our skateboards and do some damage to ourselves and some concrete. The Super Bowl has obviously become this huge American holiday and while I certainly love America, I hate the idea of enforced frivolity. I never have been much on partying - not that I'm a stick in the mud. I just don't get the point of living life like a constant beer commercial. So this year I'm going to try and avoid the Super Bowl. There'll be no Tower Records trip since odds are good Liam will have showed by then or be in the act of showing, but I'll find something else to do with my time. Last year I watched the game, but I didn't watch the half time show, so if I'm avoiding the whole show this year just think how great it'll probably be. That said, I'll take the Patriots plus 7.

Action Figures

Man, I was worried after the terrorist scumbags captured an action figure. What if Barbie was next? My two daughters, Emmy and Harper would probably be wanting to call in a nuclear strike if that happened, but Inn Of The Last Home has news that should make us all rest easier.

Will Liam Be A Groundhog Baby?

I'm thinking my friend Randy will still be right and he'll come tomorrow, but if he comes today I guess it'll mean at least 18 years of supporting the little critter. The wife says he's staying out whether he sees his shadow or not.

He should be born soon, so if you suddenly notice a day or two with no entries you'll know what's up.

Punk Rock Prime

Oh, the dangers of being a blogcritic - I was actually accused of not being punk! I'll admit the post was about The Doors and that would tend to set the archetypical punk rocker off in this post Operation Ivy/Rancid world, not that there's anything wrong with Op Ivy or Rancid. This got me to thinking about what ten albums would constitute core punk records from my collection. After thinking about it I ended up with ten records that now seem almost mainstream to me after so many years of listening to them, traveling in circles of people that also listen to them, and seeing them make best of lists over the years. I'm going to list them anyways just to see if anybody has a disagreement or anything else to add.

1. The Stooges - debut album set a standard for anti-social angst and heavy rock abandon.

2. The Ramones - debut album is a simple classic that never grows old. It was the template for them for the rest of their career.

3. Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks - snarling, contemptous, and the wall of guitar production create a one off triumph that has never gone out of style no matter how many piss poor records John Lydon has made since.

4. The Clash - debut, British or American version - either one cuts to the quick.

5. Black Flag - Damaged is still a mindblower all these years later with anger to spare and Robo's insane drumming.

6. Bad Brains - debut album on ROIR makes Black Flag almost seem like easy listening.

7. Minor Threat - complete CD since Minor Threat never recorded a bad song. My wife always asks why does Ian have to scream all the time and it makes me laugh.

8. Suicidal Tendencies - first album - this is the one that I think people would disagree with, but the album is hilarious and the speed metal guitar licks point the way to the punk/metal crossover.

9. Minutemen - Double Nickels On The Dime with great lyrics and the nerve to cover some classic rock tunes, gasp. D. Boon will always live in our hearts 'nuff said,

10. Husker Du - New Day Rising had more focus than Zen Arcade and like the Suicidals pointed the way to the future of music whether you think this is good or bad.

That's what I come up with so let me know what albums would make your ten prime list. Next time around I'll try to come up with a list of obscure punk hits.

From Sparta To Kimmel

The Features are going to be on the Jimmy Kimmel show tonight. It's a long way to thhe top if you come from Sparta, TN.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

damn cows

Maybe it was the spicy cheese dip I ate late night - in my defense I had driven the wife to the hospital in yet another false alarm scenario with her as Peter and Liam as the wolf - but man did I have a weird dream. I was chilling in the back yard on a lounge chair under an old oak tree, which in reality doesn't exist, when a bull comes charging through the yard at me. I get out of the lounge chair and run like a maniac to the house thinking to myself - Don't look back. When I reach the safety of my home I finally look back and see cows climbing the tree. It was insane, like some Chik Fila commercial come to life. Why in the hell would a cow climb a tree, and why was I dreaming such weird stuff? Damn cows!