In Harmacy's Way

A new Folk Implosion album is scheduled for release early next year, and several local promoters are currently bidding on a mid-September Sebadoh show in the Valley.

Punk Media Watch
When the April issue of Spin magazine included an ass-kissing feature on prominent national punk 'zine Punk Planet, complete with quotes from PP head man Daniel Sinker, purists' heads everywhere were shaking. How, they wondered, could Sinker have sunk so low? The 'zine's founder rushed to explain in Planet's June-July issue. His story begins with being inexplicably whisked off to New York City, put up in the Plaza Hotel and limoed to a lunch with his secret admirer. The founder of the feast turns out to be none other than Bob Guccione, Penthouse publisher and father of Spin editor and publisher Bob Guccione Jr.

According to Sinker's editorial, Mr. Guccione explained to Daniel that he gave his son Spin because Jr. needed a hobby, but that he thought his "directionless, untalented" kid was fucking up bad. (Based on Bob Jr.'s pathetic P.J. O'Rourke rip-off piece on Sarajevo in Spin's latest ish, Revolver concurs.) Sr. goes on to tell Dan that "his people" think a lot of Punk Planet, and he wants Sinker to work his magic on Spin. Sinker says no. Bob starts begging. "My son's a dope. He needs a man with vision. Do you know what it's like to raise a dope?" Sinker says no again, but he's starting to feel sorry for the old man, so when Bob asks for at least an exclusive profile of Punk Planet, he throws him a bone.

End of story. As you might have guessed, it's complete bullshit. Revolver called Dan and got his version of the real deal, which goes a little something like this: Freelance music writer calls Dan and says he'd like to write up Punk Planet for a local alternative weekly. (Dan says he doesn't remember which one.) Dan agrees. At the end of the interview, said writer informs Dan there's a "small chance" Spin might buy the piece. Dan frowns. Time passes. Dan more or less forgets about it. Someone from Punk Planet's distributor, Vital Music, calls to ask if Dan has seen the Spin piece yet. Dan reads it and is not happy to find his butt clogged with the writer's nose. (The thrust of the Spin piece is that PP is young, punk and vital, whereas the country's other major punk 'zine, Maximumrocknroll, is burnt out, stuck in '77 and close-minded.) Punks everywhere frown. Dan decides to stick it to Spin with one of punk's sharpest knives--satire. Punks everywhere smile. Face saved.

Vinyl Fetish
On to the plastic. Franklin Park, Illinois, record label V.M.S. has released a barrage of live seven-inch recordings of bands like Blanks '77, the Parasites, Sloppy Seconds and the Pink Lincolns playing shows around Illinois. A cut of the Queers playing the Fireside Bowl in Chicago on February 24, 1995, is the first from the V.M. Live series to find its way to the Revolver review pile. Somehow V.M.S. managed to squeeze eight songs onto seven inches, including legendary Queers tunes "I Was a Teenage Bonehead" and "Monster Zero." The sound quality here is sketchy, but it's worth it to have a home version of a Queers concert. The band's manic power-punk and whacked sense of humor come through in fine form on this disc, the perfect soundtrack for getting drunk by yourself. Watch for future V.M. Live slabs from J Church, Quincy Punx and Man . . . or Astroman? (V.M.L., P.O. Box 183, Franklin Park, IL 60131)

Avail has been driving its aggressive, midtempo p-rock all over the nation for the last five years, and the van pulls into the Valley August 30 at Nile Theater. The Richmond, Virginia, band's new record, 4AM Friday, finds Avail continuing to pound away. The record has a fierce edge that keeps you tensed for most of the songs, excluding a nasty "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" cover and the dooby-doo intro'd "Monroe Park." The band slips into Fugazi mode on "McCarthy" and "Fix"--both songs are riddled with hyper power-riffing and anthemic yells. Also like Fugazi, Avail is one of those few bands that can launch a p-rock attack on sociopolitical subjects without sounding like a tired soapbox jumper. (Lookout Records, P.O. Box 11374, Berkeley, CA 94712)

Japanophilia has swept the indie world in the last few years, giving rise to the popularity of bands such as Shonen Knife, American Soul Spiders, Teengenerate and the Boredoms. Now the all-girl 5.6.7.8.s are moving product out of the vinyl racks. Which is a disgrace. These girls play '50s doo-wop rock at its worst. Their new seven-incher, This Record Is Not for Fuckin' Square!, sounds straight out of Al's Diner from Happy Days. "Continental Hop," a full-on "At the Hop" takeoff, represents a startling lack of originality. And the B-side, "Jump Jack Jump," would have sucked even back in '58. (Time Bomb Records, Toporo 51 Bldg., 3F 2-18-18 Nishi Shinsaibashi Chuo-ku Osaka 542, Japan)

I'll be damned, another band from Olympia, Washington. Worst Case Scenario is the latest round in the barrage of bands from this drizzly town of 80,000. Someone must be slipping p-rock pills in the beer up there. Scenario's self-titled first album on Vermiform records is a dark, menacing piece of work. The vocals sound like Napalm Death's singer sucking helium, and the rhythm section freaks out like a head case on speed, jamming behind guitar riffs that strafe from the speakers. If you want evolutionary, new-school punk, this is it. The album starts off with a psycho sax/drums jam on "If You Were a Sparrow, I'd Clip Your Wings." Sound effects and background noise throughout the LP sustain the jarring, paranoid vibe. The lyrics are more or less unintelligible, but it's hard to lose with song titles like "Dead Clients Don't Pay" and "Ignore the Pigs Outside." Once again, Olympia rocks. (Vermiform, P.O. Box 12065, Richmond, VA 23241)

--Brendan Kelley

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