Music News

Punk Rock Karaoke

One's first encounter with the phrase "punk-rock karaoke" may summon the aural gag reflex the same way anchovies ice cream would assault the palate. But once you wrap your noggin around the notion that Punk Rock Karaoke is performed with a live backing band of punk luminaries, the desire to hurl may subside. The selections are mostly pre-'83, when the music meant something more than musical rehash and fashionista-posturing. And the music is loud and live.

No ghastly synth-pop back-up, no Dean Martin of the dive crooning in your general direction. There are just the songs, the live band -- this time featuring MC Eric Melvin of NOFX on guitar, Greg Hetson from Bad Religion and Circle Jerks also on guitar, Steve Soto of Social Distortion and Agent Orange on bass, and Derek O'Brien from Adolescents and 22 Jacks on drums. Oh, and you on vox.

Yes, the music-for-the-masses concept has been hijacked in the best way to give every armchair Iggy or Jello a chance to act out their misspent youth onstage with people who may have played on the very song they want to scream.

Punk Rock Karaoke is in the true spirit of the music, kinda the opposite of ol' Johnny Rotten appearing on the European version of I'm a Celebrity -- Get Me Out of Here.

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Jonathan Bond