Punk rock, baby.
It's been one of those weeks where nothing seems to be getting my joystick hard. It's probably because I'm still down from this surgery I had, but, well, I just can't get my mojo working. As Elvis would say, "my stuff." It's just kinda flaccid. The biggest thrill I got lately was from watching Bubba Ho-tep again on DVD with my stepdad, Nick. He'd never seen it, and like I keep saying, it's one of the best movies ever made. So go buy it. It just came out within the last 12 months. It's about Elvis. And JFK, too. Only JFK is played by Ossie Davis, and Elvis has a growth on his pecker that emits pus. Together they fight a redneck mummy. Sound crazy? It's one of the most touching films I've ever seen, and it does star my favorite actor, Bruce Campbell.
Anyway, just been listening to the new one from The Fallout called Turning Revolution Into Money on Longshot Records. These blue-beer-drinking hockey-puck chasers from Toronto play that sorta early Clash that rocks and rolls. Not like the later Clash stuff, which was about as thrilling as Liberace playing well on the piano, but sucking on the organ. These guys capture that early and raw sound from the self-titled album The Clash and the follow-up, Give 'Em Enough Rope. Great songs here include "The Tin Canners" and "In This Land." Also dig "Talkin' Punk Rock Civil War." Right on, and good day, eh?
Also from Canaduh, and also on Longshot Records, is the new one by The Operators called 780. The title must refer to their area code or something. But I wouldn't know. I mean, I could look it up on the Internet, but that would mean research and fact checking, and that's just not punk rock. Anyway, these guys, as nice and as clever as they seem, just, well, play art school music. Meaning, it sounds way amateur -- the band can't tune its guitars, or even worse, can't play through Fender guitars and amps, and apparently has never heard of a Rat Box or some other form of proper distortion. That's not to say it's bad. I mean, if you liked Superchunk, Jane's Addiction, Pavement, or any of that other indie crap that tried to pass itself off as real music, you'll probably enjoy this. But to me, it is what it is. Make believe. Like a bunch of guys and girls who get together and start a band and pretend it's real. I'd never do that. To me, it's phony from the start. Call a spade a spade or Furious George a diamond. We did the band to express our non-artistic talents, and mainly to prove that cute little monkeys, and boys screaming onstage, still make 14-year-old girls wet.
The new CD by Daddy called Your Rose on BC Records (www.daddywantsyou.com) is pretty much like the band's last one. With a female lead singer named Laurel, who, by the way, is very cool, along with her boyfriend, Matt, who plays guitar in the band, they do a strange sort of rock opera thing mixed with Bowie and that Cirque du Soleil, those funny Canadian clowns and gymnasts who can stretch to the point of performing oral sex on themselves. Oh, to be that flexible, or to be a dog. Sigh. Anyway, tunes here include "Anticar," "Tranny Smile," and some others. I dig the last track, "Animals," 'cause it feels almost Pink Floyd. These guys are so not punk rock that they totally are. They're gonna be huge -- it's just taking them a while.
Alice Donut put out a new CD in 2004 called Three Sisters. They still owe me for introducing them to Jello Biafra, who became their future label manager. So I ain't saying shit about this good CD, except that it's pretty clever.
You ever hear of a watermarked disc? Neither have I. But I got one. With my name, "George Tabb," printed on it and everything. It's from a band called Hazen Street, and their bio tells me they are the who's who of New York hardcore. Upon listening to this uncopyable piece of plastic poop, I can honestly say that Linkin Park has no competition. The band would have done better to let someone like me load it up on some Napster shit or something. Because I don't care how big they think they are gonna be. This sounds like everything else, and doesn't have a chance, unless, of course, someone has a well-placed relative. I kinda feel sorry for these guys -- I know they can do much better than this. But I guess the golden carrot is too good not to bite at. Hell, I'd do the same thing.
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In the reading department this week, I got an out-of-press book called Compression by Martin Crisis. It was out on some English print house, but it folded and stole his money. Punk Rock. Anyway, if you can find this book, it's about a punk band on tour, and it rules. Very funny, very honest, and yes, it depressed me. But it also made me angry. Thanks, Martin. I needed the wake-up call.
Another book I got this week is How Not to Make It in the Music Business. While I'd like to say nice things about it because the guy who wrote it manages one of my favorite bands, The Little Kings (three of the nicest little people you'll ever meet), this book is about author Nicholas Clemente's adventures in the New Jersey rock scene in the 1980s. Cut that poufy hair and get a job.
Smut Muffin. What can I say? Currently, these guys are my favorite Phoenix band. Got ahold of their three-song CD called Gotta Get Some, and I'm almost blown away. While the second tune on the thing, "Ravage My Heart," just doesn't do it for me, the first and third ones do. Holy cripes, "Punishment" is Lords of the New Church meet The Meatmen. Never mind the great lyrics. And the last one, "Scope," is almost pure Iggy. Man, I can't wait to see these guys play live again. When I get "my stuff" back.
Thank you. Thank you very much.