Maty’s Corner #18

 

Maty’s Corner #18
Amerikan Made Album Review

I recently picked up the album Time by Amerikan Made at their release show. Just good solid straight up no bull shit hard core from Huntington Beach, Ca. All really cool guys and tight live set. The entire Album is solid. Catch these guys live and get a copy of this. I know many punks are looking for something to slam or simply fuck on the floor and break shit to. Here ya go. It’s you time! Find these guys at https://www.facebook.com/amerikan.made.1?fref=ts

-Maty Almost

 

Lookout! Or Else. More Ben Weasel

 

So Larry Livermore put out a book about Lookout Records and appearently misrepresents Screeching Weasel based off of info from John “Jughead”. Less than surprising considering that a lot of the scene is hell bent on maligning Ben Weasel.

-Maty Almost

Now for Ben’s posted thoughts on the book.

So, this Lookout Records book that just came out – what a mess. It focuses way more on SW than I’d imagined it would. If I’d known I was living that comfortably and rent-free in Larry’s head I’d’ve done a few things differently.

But the main thing is the factual errors. And not just the author. You’ve got band members who had no idea what was going on discussing business they had nothing to do with and talking dumb shit.

One example: the author asserts that we supposedly had a deal with Lookout to put Homosexual on MBH and reneged on it. Presumably John is his source since he’s the one quoted.

What actually happened was that Larry refused to sign a deal with us so we agreed with Shred of Dignity to do the Pervo-Devo EP well before signing with Lookout – weeks if not months in advance. Larry refused to agree to release MBH till it was about halfway mixed, and only after I gave him an ultimatum when he 1. started insinuating that he wasn’t going to sign us if we didn’t put Science of Myth as the first track and 2. asked me to renege on our deal with SoD and add Homosexual. I said, “sorry pal, I already have a deal with Matt at SoD. He was willing to take a chance on us when you weren’t.” Matt was in the studio doing a photo shoot with me and Bruce LaBruce for the Pervo-Devo sleeve and Larry hectored and berated the shit out of him trying to get him to give the song up, to no avail. By the time he suggested putting the song on both records he’d alienated Matt to the point where Matt wasn’t even willing to do that (and it seemed dumb and cheap to me anyway to put it on both releases, not that Larry was asking my opinion at that point).

And of course John keeps referring to Matt as “Bruce LaBruce.” Maybe all gay guys look the same to him. Anyway, I was no saint back then, but accusing me of reneging on a deal when it was literally the exact opposite of what I did in spite of a lot of pressure – Larry threatened not to sign us and we had a $750 studio bill to pay, not to mention a dead van and no money to fix it and get back to Chicago from California – is a bit much.

Gub, who played on one tour with us and ended up on a long out of print live radio EP is credited with having been an actual member (he wasn’t – he was filling in till we found someone permanent. Nice guy, but he wasn’t in the band) and, remarkably with having played on two tours, and on the Wiggle album. I mean, all you had to do was look at the jacket to know that’s wrong. Come on.

Our first album apparently cost $200 to make. I wish I hadn’t put in all those hours at the warehouse to pay the $1000 studio bill then! And this is something that has been documented publicly. In fact I’m 99% sure it’s on the liner notes of one of our anthologies. Somebody Google it if you give a shit.

That’s off the top of my head, and I’ve only skimmed this thing so far. Look, the author asked me to participate and I declined so I have only myself to blame for not being the voice of reason responding to John’s many fanciful tales of days of yore but stuff like completely blowing an easily verifiable thing like who played on an album – I don’t get that. Then again, I’ve never tried to write a book like this so maybe this is par for the course. I guess I’ll have to write my own book someday.

-Ben Weasel

 

Maty’s Corner #17

Maty’s Corner #17
DFL: Proud To Be Dead Fucking Last!

Coming out of LA with a teeth kicking sound as aggressive as the name is Dead Fucking Last. This hard core unit led by Crazy Tom has consisted of Mike D and Ad Rock of Beastie Boys, Brian Baker of Minor Threat/ Bad Religion and AWOL of Suicidal Tendencies. More impressive than their past line up is their hard core you can break a skate ramp to. They sound like an older band, reminiscent of the 80’s hard core of the South Bay area.

Their first release, My Crazy Life came out on Grand Royal records. It is informal recording sessions which sound more like a decently produced live album rather than a studio effort. This release set them up as a sound that punches you in the face from the first note and just continues beating till the end. They quickly establish a signature lo fi muffled sound which I’m not sure was an accident.

1994 brought DFL to Epitaph Records and the Release of Proud To Be. The first release I came across and what I think may be their best known. The recording quality is slightly better on this. The pace is even more break neck than their debut. It was a classic to play at skate sessions when I was younger. This one has a stand out for me, the title track. At 20 tracks, this long runner of an entirely bad ass hard core album will keep you going from session through hospital or police station trip.

In 1997 they put out Grateful. Their most recent studio album to date. This continues the fashion of sounding more like a live show and fast paced teeth knocking hard core. The band sounds more solid than their previous two efforts and somehow louder.
In 1999 DFL went on Hiatus. Crazy Tom was working on GFP which consists of Tony Alva of… (if you don’t know I’m sorry you lived under a rock), Greg Hetson of Circle Jerks/ Bad Religion and AWOL from Suicidal. As of 2013 DFL has reunited and is playing shows and will, at some point, have some music for us. Better dead last than fucking never. Check them out and stalk them at https://www.facebook.com/proudtobedfl

-Maty Almost

 

Maty’s Corner #16

 

Maty’s Corner #16
Pulley: The Esteem Driven Engine Still Matters

Pulley started up in 1994, right in the beginning thick of the Southern California skate punk revolution of music that shaped my life. This 5 piece hard hitting melodic punk unit is led by Scott Radinsky who was no stranger the punk scene by 94 having been in Scared Straight during its 10 year existence (83-93) being heavy hitters in the Nardcore Mystic Records scene. They then went on to become skate punk greats Ten Foot Pole. Radinsky was in charge of that unit for their first 2 releases then forced to leave due to his pro baseball that he was already 3 years deep into. Being that baseball conflicts with the tour schedule of most punk rock I see it is making sense. That didn’t preclude Radinsky from being the voice of TFP’s seminal single My Wall.
Right outta the gate Pulley was a bit of a super group consisting of Radinsky from his aforementioned bands; Jim Cherry (may his soul be rested) of Strung Out; Matt Riddle of Face To Face and No Use For a Name; and Tony Palermo from Ten Foot Pole and Unwritten Law.

Pulley’s first drop in was 1995’s Esteem Driven Engine. A strong door kicker of a debut from these punk veterans. It slams open with Cashed In which would be a candidate on a best of record. Right away this first album sets a tone for more introspective lyrics which tends to happen to us punks as we get older. Take for instance Bad Religion’s material from the mid 90’s and forward.

Right after this was 97’s 60 Cycle hum. Again a really strong track starts the whole album off on the right foot, or left if ya skate goofy. The most interesting track on this was Noddin’ Off. It kicks like Ten Foot Pole or Scared Straight. I think kinda letting us all know that they remember who they are. Another overall solid effort from this board breaking unit.

1999 brought us @#!*, referred to as self titled. Honestly my favorite album by these guys. I believe it’s also their most popular. The lyrics start getting real introspective and the music on a couple tracks is even a bit dark. It’s still Pulley. The differences show growth in the band and they sound tighter than their first 2 albums. The stand out for me has always been Over It. Somewhat of a scathing indictment of the rat race that even the punk scene can degenerate into. Less of a middle finger and more a wake up call. The more incendiary and equally great track is Nothing To Lose. It’s been the background to a fuck you in my life numerous times. Just a great one to sing with and let something out.

2001 marked Pulley’s first album as a 4 piece, Together Again For The First Time. Jim Cherry had left the band to pursue Zero Down and dropped one solid album with them before he departed us. Despite the missing guitarist, this is as solid and tough an album as pulley had put out. The first real stand out on this is Hooray for me. Another honest critique of the scene from the perspective of growing up but not giving in. The other one that hits me of this effort is Same Sick Feeling. Always sounds like one off of the 99 album and that’s not at all a bad thing.

2004 marked Pulley’s longest gap between albums. Matters shows the band hasn’t lost a bit of edge over their first 10 years. The band just sounds tighter with each offering they put out. It was also dedicated to their guitarist and friend Jim. This for me is like 99’s “self titled”. Most stand out on Matters is Insects Destroy. Has a bit of Bad Religion and Pennywise feel. Makes sense being that they were all label mates for so long. This marks Pulley’s final album on punk rock Olympus of Epitaph records and their last full length to date.

2009 after about 5 years Pulley gave us their first ep on a new label, Time Insensitive Material. Ghost Inside My Skin is the stand out of this short offering. It’s a blend of classic Pulley with some new ideas. The first glimpse of something new to come. 20011 gave us The Long And The Short Of It ep. Coming in at only 3 tracks, it leaves me hoping for a full length in the near future. There’s been rumors swirling around a new full length since 2012. I was fortunate to see them play recently. After 20 years of Pulley and 31 years of Scott Radinsky, neither part shows any sign of letting up for a long time to come. Check out Pulley if you don’t know ‘em, re listen or catch ‘em live if ya do. You can keep up with Pulley over at https://www.facebook.com/pulleymatters
- Maty Almost

Coming attracions!

As of January 2015 we will have a new writer and column. Dave Grimey’s Punk House. The punk house is situated on Maty’s Corner at the intersection of Old School and Yer Fucked. This will be profiles focusing on the more old school bands to include Discharge, GBH and The Clash. I’ve known Dave for 12 years, he’s as old school and hard core as they come. This will be a welcome and awesome edition to the writing here. If ya like it, awesome! If not, tough.

Maty’s Corner #15

Maty’s Corner #15
Havok on Polaris album review

Recently Havok on Polaris’ album Fan Dance Party came across my desk for a review. Musically I’d put it somewhere between the power pop and harder skate punk of the 90’s era. I love it. At 24 tracks sounds like all of the bands influences show through. I’d personally compare them to Parasites, Last Chucks and the Ergs with a touch of Ten Foot Pole and later 7 Seconds and a bit of NOFX and Screeching Weasel’s comical sensibility. They’re a trio outta Lawrence Kansas, yep Kansas has something other than Dorothy and Levinworth. Really tight playing, it’s nice to see pop punk pushing past the 3 chords from time to time. The more hard core readers may not dig these guys, but life sucks without a bit of fun so check ‘em out anyways. This is definitely one of the more exciting offerings of the year from punk rock in genereal. My favorite track off of this is My Radio Sux. While being track one is good enough to get me pumped for the rest of this fast paced good time. You can check in with these guys at https://www.facebook.com/thehavokonpolaris or get releases over at http://thehavokonpolaris.bandcamp.com/album/fan-dance-party

Maty’s Corner #14

header

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maty’s Corner #14
Brigadiers EP Review

So I recently saw Brigadiers and got their Warriors ep. It’s just good honest straight ahead street punk. Really reminds me of Virus Nine. All 5 songs are just a refreshing kick to the face. The playing is as tight onstage as it is on this disc. Stand out track for me was Control. This solid unit hails from somewhere between Riverside County and Costa Mesa. So catch them live and get a copy of this and the new ep they have in the works. Get to know ‘em on their face book https://www.facebook.com/brigadiersband and get a good pit for ‘em.

-Maty Almost

Whether A Rebel Or A Punk, Take Pride In Your Apparel

Alternative Clothing Stores

Punks hanging out on the Kings Road, London 1983

FASHION PUNK:
http://fashionpunk.com

DIRTY SHIRTY:
http://dirtyshirty.com

FOUL MOUTH T-SHIRTS:
http://foulmouthshirts.com

PUNK & PISSED CLOTHING:
http://punkandpissed.com

PUNK STUFF:
http://punkstuff.com

PUNK YOUR CHUCKS:
http://punkyourchucks.com

NO-GODS-NO-MASTERS:
https://no-gods-no-masters.com

ROCKABILLIA:
http://rockabillia.com

CRUST PUNK DISTRO:
http://crustpunks.com

REBEL GIRLZ:
http://rebelgirlz.com

SOUR PUSS CLOTHING:
http://sourpussclothing.com

STEEL BOOTS AND SHOES:
http://steel-boots.com

TOO FAST APPAREL:
http://toofastonline.com
DR. STRANGE RECORDS:
http://www.drstrange.com

78 cropped-7.jpg 56 cropped-18.jpg 9

Up The Punx

www.punxinsolidarity.com

On that note Here’s “Black Flag – My War”

Video

A nice letter from Ben Weasel to Fat Mike

So There’s A Lynch Mob After You!

A primer for the beleaguered punk singer

Fat Mike, you’re having a bad week. You’re in the soup and there’s no use pretending otherwise. But I’m here to help, brother. Take a deep breath, count to ten and sit down while Poppa Weasel shows you how it’s done.

As you may have heard, I had a little trouble along these lines about 3 1/2 years ago when I slugged a woman in one of our crowds who had been showering me with beer, spit and ice cubes (including one right above the old peeper!) all night. Then I got jumped by another lady and popped her one in the kidneys for good measure. Hey, she had like six inches on me; I thought she was a giant condor. Anyhoo, it ended up in living color all over YouTube and within about 90 seconds the mood on the Internet had turned ugly. This formerly beloved, adored, highly respected gentleman was suddenly public enemy number one!

You and I both know this sort of thing barely registered a blip on the radar in punk not so long ago, but times have changed, my friend. It’s a brave new world, and you and I are a couple of dinosaurs, lumbering around, knocking into shit and making a nuisance of ourselves. The kids are not pleased. But not to worry – your PR expert Ben Weasel is here to save the day for you!

First, apologize. I know – you’ve done it. Not good enough. You need to apologize again. And again. And again. You need to keep apologizing for the rest of your life. People who had nothing to do with the incident, who were thousands of miles away at the time, and who have no idea of the context (and couldn’t care less) sincerely believe you owe it to them.

Granted, in my case, I apologized once and then dropped it, but I’m Ben Weasel; people would think I was ill if I kept saying I was sorry. But you’re Fat Mike! You play the game! Heck, you own the team! If you take the ball and go home, the game is over! So you need to play by the rules. And rule number one is eat shit. Lots and lots of shit. And when you think you can’t take any more, stuff some more shit in your cake-hole and swallow, and do it with a big smile on your face.

Second: try to understand that this is never going to end. Ever. You’ll be up on stage at age 80 bragging about all the coke you just did and trying to convince your geriatric fans to vote for Chelsea Clinton and people will still be bringing up the Big Kick. The sooner you wrap your head around this fact, the sooner you can face reality and take action.

Now, if you were me, you could play the heel and use this situation to your advantage; I’m currently making more money and playing in front of larger crowds than ever before. But you suffer from the unfortunate affliction of wanting to be liked and respected by strangers. So you’d better start getting used to disappointment, because people will be throwing this in your face for the rest of your life. It’s not going away.

Next, you’re going to need to get used to the crazies. Not just the yappers and scolders, but the ones who talk about attacking or killing you and who threaten to post your home address on the Internet. Accept that people are going to wish cancer on your kids, claim that you beat your wife, and announce that they hope your children end up doing donkey porn. Trust me brother, I’ve been there. These are the kind of morally righteous men-of-the-people whose rage you’ve piqued, and they will not be ignored.

This may seem insane to you, but if somebody threatens your life on social media, don’t expect Facebook or Twitter to do anything about it except delete the post. You can’t take legal action unless you file a suit. The cops won’t do anything about it either. You’ll have to defend yourself.

I recommend the Mossberg Persuader. Hell of a shotgun. The great thing about the Persuader is it’s got a pistol grip. Easy as pie. Seriously, the guys from Teenage Bottle Rocket could operate it (if they had opposable thumbs). And it doesn’t matter if you can’t shoot. If you fire this fucking thing within about twenty yards of your target you’re going to obliterate it and everything around, behind and possibly underneath it. I’m pretty sure it even destroys things in other dimensions when fired. I know your politics mean you’re supposed to be against guns, but you can’t count on neutralizing every intruder by kicking him in the face. What if you’re in your bathrobe and slippers after having lurched out of bed at 2 pm? Besides, being a rich San Francisco liberal means never having to live by the rules you impose on everyone else, so do yourself a favor and pick up that Persuader.

And, as a backup, get yourself an English Bulldog. Unlike a pit bull, they won’t tear your kid’s face off when you pop out for a loaf of bread, but they will savagely attack an interloper. Our guy Weezy is a peach with our kids, but somebody looks at one of us cross-eyed and he will sink his teeth into flesh and bone with a fury and purpose unparalleled in the animal kingdom. And we had his nuts cut off. Imagine what he’d do with a full set! The mind reels.

So, you’ve groveled for a few days and fortified your bunker. Now it’s time to plead insanity – or the modern version of it, anyway: enter rehab. Make sure to have your publicist spin it just right so everybody gets the message: that wasn’t Fat Mike backhanding a fan to the ground and then drop kicking him in the face when he was defenseless – it was the drugs!

Now, I see you’ve already made some tentative moves in that direction, and that’s good, but not good enough. The idea that painkillers and a sore neck made you commit a felonious attack on a friendly stranger is a bit of a stretch. You need to prove you’re a walking disaster – you need to do your 28 days. And let’s face it, considering that you’ve been reduced to a physical and mental wreck thanks to years of drug and alcohol abuse, it might not be such a bad idea anyway. And you could actually have a little fun! You’d be surprised how many of those 12-steppers have a sense of humor.

The goal here is to convince people that you weren’t in your right mind. Never mind that you’ve done plenty of this stuff before, from spitting on fans to throwing bottles at women’s heads from the stage. If it’s not documented on YouTube, it didn’t happen. You did, however, get caught on video viciously and brutally beating a fan for trying to hug you. Let’s be honest – you’re lucky you’re not sitting in a jail cell right now. Your offer to buy him a beer was hopelessly lame. Come on. The mob isn’t going to be impressed with that, besides which, the guy’s lip is so swollen, torn and bruised from its encounter with the business end of your Doc Marten he won’t be drinking anything for a week.

By the way, you need to stop having your manager stick up for you on social media. It looks dogshit. When he berates some clown on your label for making a lame, feeble joke about this incident and then the guy frantically deletes his tweet, it does not reflect well on you. This is the time for your friends to stand up for you, not your employees. Being who you are, you attract a lot of barnacles and parasites. Take this opportunity to find out once and for all who’s really got your back and who’s just there for the free blow and the opportunity to do business with you. Your employees need to shut up and stay the course.

Now, I had the bad fortune of having a petty, vindictive jagoff for a label owner back during my trouble, and his employees – and even the other bands on his label – followed his lead when he threw me under the bus. He didn’t give a shit who I punched – his problem with me was that his delicate ego had been bruised because somebody got in his ear and convinced him I’d written a mean song about him on the album I’d just released on his label. Paranoia is a hell of a drug. Like I wouldn’t have crowed and gloated till the cows came home if I’d pulled off something that brilliant! That would’ve been one of the great “fuck you” moments in punk; I’d’ve milked every drop of publicity from it and I’m deeply offended by the idea that I’d deny having done it.

But that’s the disadvantage of putting yourself at the financial mercy of a silly, vain, spoiled rich kid. You used to be on Epitaph – you get it. Those kinds of people always kick you when you’re down (hmm, maybe that was a bad choice of words…). But you – you’re in the catbird seat, my friend! You hold the careers of your employees and the bands on your label in the palm of your hand! You’re like a chubbier, dimmer Caesar! You can ruin those smart-alecks if they don’t toe the line, and don’t think they don’t know it! So make sure each and every one of them keeps his mouth shut. Let ‘em know they’ll never work in this town again if they cross you. Sure, they already know it, but it can’t hurt to underline and bold it for them. Then when the smoke clears, you can end radio silence and have your publicist set up a mea culpa tour for you straight out of rehab. You’ll be back serving your audience shots of liquor laced with your own urine in no time at all!

Finally, take some time off. Do your rehab and your apology tour, then take a break. People will have had more than enough Fat Mike by then, and if time doesn’t heal all wounds, it at least helps the scars fade a little. Get some rest and write.

Come to think of it, you were talking about writing a musical a few years ago. Whatever happened to that? This is the perfect time to pick that project back up. After my e-lynching, I hunkered down and wrote an opera about a sociopathic, egomaniacal musician and his merry band of sycophants, leeches and toadies. It’s called Baby Fat and we’re just about done recording the first act with Mike Kennerty of the All-American Rejects. Blag Dahlia from the Dwarves sings the title role; Kat Spazzy (from the great Australian band the Spazzys) sings the female lead, and I’m singing the role of the overgrown frat boy rock star, Tommy Swank. It also features, among others, Todd C. from Toys That Kill, Roger Lima from Less Than Jake and Line Dahlmann from the brilliant Dahlmanns. It’s been great fun and it helped me channel a lot of the nonsense of the past few years into something positive and productive. I’d be glad to give you a few pointers on writing a libretto (it’s tougher than it looks!) and when Screeching Weasel plays San Francisco and LA after the album comes out on Recess Records next June, we’d love for you to come out to the show; we’re hoping to raise the money to dedicate a section of our set to a mini-production of Baby Fat. I think you’ll get a kick (!) out of it.

And as I noted earlier, Screeching Weasel is playing bigger and better shows than ever. Take a little vacation out to Chicago to see us at the Concord Music Hall on November 22nd. We’re playing with the Queers, Flatfoot 56 and of course, the Dwarves. (Let’s just hope Blag doesn’t punch any ladies!)

Chin up, Fatty – great art can come from this, and you can take a well-deserved break from all the punk politics and scenester nonsense you’ve been immersed in lo these many years. Of course, you’re always going to be stuck with that footage of you kicking a defenseless fan in the face for daring to touch you, but hey, that’s better than having to settle a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, right?

So welcome to the Carnival of Schadenfreude, Fat Mike. The bad news is, you’re stuck here for the rest of your life. The good news? You’ve got me for a seatmate, you lucky duck, you!

Besties!

Ben Weasel