Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Fastbacks: In the Winter (1989)

So before taking a break to offer encouragement to those in the path of Hurricane Sandy yesterday, we were talking about great Fastbacks albums (more HERE). Which leads us to today's question about your favourite single/E.P. by The Fastbacks. Their first single "It's Your Birthday" or Play Five of Their Favorites would be my amongst my first choices but the band released a veritable slew of excellent singles over their carrier such as this awesome seven inch that puts their mournful-yet-hummable track, "In the Winter", in the spotlight!

So, MRML readers, what's your favourite Fastbacks single? Let us know in the COMMENTS section!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Mighty Day

I talked to a friend here at home last night and his thoughts were all about his aunt in Long Island, NY and the fact that he could not reach her because all the phone lines were jammed. Then I awoke to see the pictures of the raging waters of Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc. So, rather than talk music or politics today, I thought to wish for the speedy arrival of help for those affected all along the coast and for good words to come soon to those around the world waiting for news of their loved ones.

The title of our post comes from the stirring old folk song, "A Mighty Day" which details the 1900 Galveston hurricane.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Fastbacks: Live at the Crocodile Cafe (1996)

Well as we're in the midst of a good series on Seattle's Lords of pop/punk/rock, The Fastbacks (more HERE), it's time to ask you for YOUR favourite Fastbacks albums. Personally, I'd argue that ...And His Orchestra owns the first slot, followed closely by Very Powerful Motor and Answer the Phone, Dummy. After that there would be a few competitors (including a couple of compilations and their last album, Day That Didn't Exist) vying for fourth place.

A1 Out Of The Charts         0:55
A2 Run No More             1:53    
A3 Hung On A Bad Peg         1:41    
A4 The Light`s On You         4:03    
A5 On The Wall             3:46    
A6 Went For A Swim         1:44    
A7 Old Adress Of The Unknown     3:08    
B1 Under The Old Lightbulb     1:34    
B2 I´m Cold             1:30    
B3 In The Observatory         3:44    
B4 On Your Hands         2:22    
B5 They Don´t Care         2:18    
B6 Save Room For Me         2:56    
B7 Rat Race             1:56    

Produced for the "I would like to da that" brothers.

Recorded live with the Crystal Park Mobile Studio.

All songs recorded live, June 26, 1995 at the Crocodile Café, Seattle, Wa, except for one line in "In The Observatory" that Kim forgot.

Issued in 10" gatefold sleeve.

So, what's your favourite Fastbacks album? Let us know in the COMMENTS section!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Big Eyes: Back From the Moon (2012)

I've been hearing lots abut this Seattle punk/pop band lately but this new single is the one that puts the hooks and the crunch togther just so. In fact, this single - from the the vocals to the song titles - reminds me of The Fastbacks, to whom we may be returning soon.

Let us know what you think of Big Eyes 
in the COMMENTS section


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Street Dogs: G.O.P. (2012)

When I highlighted this single a few weeks ago I just said, "Boston's The Street Dogs re-purpose Menace's classic, 'G.L.C.' to attack the class-warriors of the GOP". Since then I've got to hear the whole single (a pounding live version of "Not Without a Purpose takes up the B-side). I also got to read about how The Street Dogs, led by original Dropkick Murphys lead singer Mike McColgan, and their label Pirate Press have been distributing this as free flexi-disc in the swing states and have been documenting their efforts at

While the band have made a point of stating that their motivation here is more anti-G.O.P. then pro-Democrat, the message that the reactionary right's crazies must be must be resisted fiercely is clear as hell. It's also great to see how united Massachusetts is in wanting to make sure that their countrymen don't repeat their error of electing Mitt Romney under the false pretenses of moderation.


July Talk: Selt-Titled, 2012 (full-stream)

Who's up for a new sound?

Sure, there's no new new sounds but sometimes a band chops up  a few familiar sounds and ends up creating

Of course, some will label that newness, such as it is, as 'phony or 'mannered' or (worst of all a) as a mere 'novelty'.

Pay such carpers no mind and check out Toronto's July Talk.

The July Talk's sound is kinda like an open marriage between the White Stripes and Sleigh Bells. Sure, that's just one of those rock-writer glib-isms, maybe you'll feel a need to add in something like Tom Waits kidnapping The Cardigans or Nancy Sinatra riding shotgun with Lemmy in a stolen 1934 Ford V8.


To hear how July Talk blenderize the good, the bad, the ugly and the unforgiven into a potent mix, listen here:

Or watch the video below:

Don't be afraid to give us you opinion
on this new band in the COMMENTS section


Friday, October 26, 2012

The Mahones ft. Jake Burns: Angels and Devils (2012)

Celtic punk mainstays (I saw them at The Royal Albert back in the early nineties!) have unleashed a corker of a single, "Angels and Devils" featuring Stiff Little Fingers mainman, Jake Burns on that rin-gin' gee-tar!


The Fastbacks: Bike, Toy, Gift, Clock (1990)

(A re-imagined re-up for Brushback!)

Almost twenty years ago, August 19th 1991, I saw The Fastbacks hand Fugazi their ass.

The Fastbacks showed the lords of Dischord, who, in all fairness did spend the night in riot control mode, how fresh, alive and thrilling a long-standing punk band could sound. There, in the stultifying confines of a North Vancouver rec center, they outshone the headliners (who'd earned their legend as a locomotive live act with sweat, blood and phlegm) by reeling off one unheard hit after another. After that, I tried to cram their entire history (12"'s, 7"'s, CD re-issues etc.) into one, rainy fall and winter. Never regretted a note of it.

Just to get you started here's the FBX (Kurt Bloch, Kim Warnick, Lulu Gargiulo* plus a drummer, any drummer***) playing live. This show from 1988, lays out the twin-female-vocal pop onslaught backed by BIG ROCK guitars sound ("The Runaways join Cheap Trick and cover Buzzcocks songs" kinda approximates it) that the band would perfect over the next twenty years while ignoring the fashions of each day.

1     Only At Night         2:15    
2     What Wll They All Say?  2:36    
3     Don't Cry For Me     3:28    
4     In The Winter         3:23    
5     I Need Some Help     2:59    
6     Better Than Before     3:21    
7     Always Tomorrow     4:23    
8     Brighton Rock        4:00    
9     Lose     3:03    
10     In America         4:22    
11     Yesterday At Midnight     4:48    
12     Roll Away The Stone    2:47    
13     Swallow My Pride    2:10    
14     Love You More        1:22    
15     Wrong, Wrong, Wrong     3:11    
16     Trouble Sleeping     0:29    

Songs 1 to 10 were recorded 15, August 1988 at Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater.
Songs 11 to 16 were quite recorded 21, September 1988 at Club Vogue. 

Speaking of comments, give us you take on the Fastbacks and let us know if you wanna hear more because there is a LOT of out-of-print material floating around!!

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* Lulu Gargiulo was on hiatus during this period.

** Yes, at one point it was future G N' R man, Duff McKegan

Thursday, October 25, 2012

J Church: Prophylaxis (1994)

I've written a long meditation J Church's Lance Hahn, a man I knew a little bit and admired a lot and I'd be honoured if you'd give it a read over HERE.

Today's' offering, which I have recently procured on vinyl, is the band's second proper album, 1994's Prophylaxis. I initially disliked it as moved the band in darker, less poppy direction but powerful songs like "Why I Liked Bikini Kill" made me see the error of my ways!

Any thoughts on J Church, British albums or otherwise, can be offered in the COMMENTS section!


Support Lance's Legacy: J Church Homepage J Church MySpace J Church at No Idea J Church at Interpunk J Church at Amazon J Church at Wikipedia J Church at Discogs We Love Lance Hahn page
Lance Hahn obit at Pop Matters

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jah Wobble: Live in Europe (1981-1983)

(Thanks to Dave Sez for the following)


Jah Wobble - Live in Europe (1981-1983)

And, in thanks for ya general kindness, a punk-funk-dub post of (former P.I.L. bassist) Jah Wobble compiled from two extremely rare recordings from the Dave Sez archives:

1981 - Jah Wobble's Human Condition - Live in Europe (where?). 1981 cassette-only release, digitalized thanks to pheragan and mutant-sounds
Line up: Jah Wobble – vocals & bass; Dave (Animal) Maltby – guitar; Jim Walker - sax
01 Waves
02 The End
03 The Human Condition
04 Soundcheck
05 [Bad quality, omitted]

1982.11.21 - Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart - Vera, Groningen, Netherlands, Dutch radio show recorded thanks to
Line up: Jah Wobble – vocals & bass; Dave (Animal) Maltby – guitar; Annie Whitehead – trombone, Ollie Marland – keyboards, Cliff Venner – drums, Neville Murray – percussion
06 Introduction (1982) [0:12]
07 Hollywood 1 (1982) [7:00]
08 Jam 2 (1982) [7:41]
09 Jam 3 (1982) [8:24]
10 Jam 4 (1982) [6:17]
11 Fading (1982) [4:03]
12 Hollywood 2 (1982) [9:08]

1983.09.03 Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart - Pandora's Music Box Festival, de Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Dutch radio show recorded thanks to
Line up: Jah Wobble – vocals & bass; Dave (Animal) Maltby – guitar; Annie Whitehead – trombone, Ollie Marland – keyboards, Lee Partis – drums, Neville Murray – percussion
13 Invaders (1983) [5:15]
14 Hollywood 2 (1983) [5:49]
15 Snake Charmer (1983) [4:40]
16 Brasil (1983) 4:51]
Bonus: How Much Are They from the live double cd viva!eight, recorded at the Town & Country Club, London on September 6th 1992.
17 How Much Are They (1992) [8:10]

 Let us know your take on fearsome work of Jah Wobble in the COMMENTS section!


Update: the ever-awesome Cherry Red Records is unleashing a new collaboration between Mr. Wobble and fellow ex-P.I.L'er Keith Levene called Yin and Yang.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spermbirds: Thanks (1990)

Another long-running German band (German bands do have a thing for longevity - I see the Scorpions are still rocking us in a hurricane-like manner) who are under-appreciated in the wider-world would be The Spermbirds.

 Cover art by CANADIAN Dave Sim (who may be crazy...)

The Spermbirds were led by an American G.I. named Lee Hollis who was stationed in Germany, which, like The Monks back in the sixties, helped the band create a very particular sound. While The Monks primitivism foreshadowed punk to come, The Spermbirds' loud, fast n' snotty fundamentalism resulted in what was probably the last great eighties hardcore LP that couldn't be called a throwback.

The album, 1986's Something to Prove, while rooted in both the American and British punk styles, seemed most related to California bands from The Angry Samoans to Agent Orange to Dead Kennedys. And the album does kick some righteous ass, despite some wince-inducing sexism that the band has since apologized for.

I'm not conversant with the entire Spermbirds discography but nothing ever seemed to match their debut for hooks, humour and hits and hence why today I'll offer you up the long out-of-print Thanks live CD from 1990, which acts as sort of a 'Best Of'.

1         Something To Prove        
2         Common Thread        
3         Nothing Is Easy        
4         Stronger        
5         Two Feet        
6         Kill Me Quick        
7         With A Gun        
8         Get On The Stage        
9         The Dangers Of Thinking        
10         Only A Phase        
11         You´re Not A Punk        
12         Americans Are Cool        
13         Try Again 



Sunday, October 21, 2012

J Church: Cat Food (1998)

Lance Hahn, who led Cringer and J Church, passed away on Sunday, October 21, 2007, due to complications from kidney disease.

I've written a long meditation on a man I knew a little bit and admired a lot and I'd be honoured if you'd give it a read over HERE.

However, for today's act of remembrance, I'd like to offer up one of the so-called British albums, for which further explanation can be read below.

Release Notes (from here):

Damaged Goods Records, LP / CD, 1998
Band members: Lance (guitar/vocals), Gardner (bass), Adam / Andee (drums), Harriet Scott / Manda Rin (additional vocals)
The Heroic Trio
Sound Guy Smiley
My Favorite Place
More Faye
All Girl Band
The Versace Killer
Asha Blake
City By The Bay
A Well Earned Reputation
Violent Motions Created
Turn To Stone

More info:
Not quite a 'proper' J Church album, this features a mixed bag of seven new tracks, four re-recorded and one - Violent Motions Created - rescued from compilation album obscurity. With a few days off around the time of their Reading Festival performance, much of the album was recorded in a single afternoon at RMS Studios in south London, where the Damned had recorded Machine Gun Ettiquette. The session produced all the originals (except Asha Blake), five Electric Light Orchestra covers, of which Turn To Stone appears here, and the re-worked, re-titled (I Want To See) Faye Wong. That song was previously on the split 7" with Discount, where it was recorded to 8-track. The new version was named 'More' simply because it is a fuller recording.

My Favorite Place gets its third re-working, this time with additional vocals from Harriet Scott. L.A. and A Well Earned Reputation are harder versions of the tracks from Travels In Hyper-Reality.

Harriet additionally sings on The Heroic Trio and Turn To Stone. Manda Rin from Bis is also on those two, as well as All Girl Band and The Versace Killer. Adam drums on Violent Motions Created and the two Travels... re-workings, Andee plays on the rest.

The title continues Lance's love affair with all things feline - see Kittums In A Coma, the My Favorite Place lyrics and much more.

Any thoughts on J Church, British albums or otherwise, can be offered in the COMMENTS section!

Support Lance's Legacy: J Church Homepage J Church MySpace J Church at No Idea J Church at Interpunk J Church at Amazon J Church at Wikipedia J Church at Discogs We Love Lance Hahn page
Lance Hahn obit at Pop Matters

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Politics of Music

How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
Psalm, 137

It's amazing how belligerent right-wing reactionary types can get when the connection between music and politics is brought up.

I know why.

It's fear.

They're afraid to admit how closely linked artistic expression and small-l liberal ideals are.

They're afraid to look at their own music collection and realize that the vast majority of the artists they love, hate the ideology they hold so dear.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you heard a musician issue a cease-and-desist order to The Democratic Party for using one of their songs?

Ask yourself, when have you ever heard a pro-Margaret Thatcher song?

There is an inherent disconnect between artistic expression and right-wing reactionary ideology.

Music, so often, encourage free expression, the sharing of cultural experience as well as the acceptance of the new and the different. Right-wing ideologies, however, frequently demonize free expression, push for the homogenization of culture and condone the bullying of the different. Of course, there have been reactionary musicians from Richard Wagner to Ian Stuart and many more throughout history but their numbers have not grown stronger over the years.

Look at the paltry play list of wash-ups and go-nowhere lunatics that make up the musical right in America (Ted Nugent, Hank Williams Jr., Kid Rock, Big and Rich et al). It's as laughable as the measly list of 'scientists' the oil industry trot out to the media for the sole purpose of delaying the acknowledgement of man-made climate change.

I grant you it is impossible to speak to the views of all musicians. Surely their numbers would encompass a wild range of views from libertarian to non-partisan to Bacchanalian but the paucity of artists in the Republican tent and the abundance of them in the Democratic one must have some significance. 

It seems fair to say that music has long been the province of the outsider, of the marginalized. In some cases the musical talent itself might lead to marginalization and in others the punishing reality of marginalization may encourage people to use an instrument as a means of escape. Either way, many musicians have early experience with bullies who seek to hold and consolidate power with all forms of intimidation.

But they sing and play anyway.

The young Robert Zimmerman had the curtain pulled on him by his high school principal during a performance at Hibbing High school* but Bob Dylan changed the world anyway.

Then, since, as Walter Pater said, "All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music" those musicians refusal to play the silent victim helps inspire the painters, the dancers, the writers, the actors, the cartoonists, the meme creators and multitudes of others to express themselves.

So art untrammeled shows the power that those oft-considered weak can wield - see Sword v. Pen, (1839) - it reminds us all that there are more bullied then bullies. Hence why so many right-wing reactionaries are afraid of the arts and show such contempt for them.

Artists know of this contempt and as a result a great many artists recognize that in that strange land, that right-wing Shangri-La Republicans and their brethren around the world seek to force us into, that they would only be subservient shills for the powerful.

So, the majority of musicians and artists either try to avoid politics or stick together in ragged, often shaky big-tent political coalitions, such as today's Democratic Party in America.

These alliances of the marginalized are not so much about fear as they are about recognizing that self-preservation is not served by throwing your lot in with those that hate and despise you in the vain hope that they'll pass you over when they consolidate power. It's about recognizing that, contra Margaret Thatcher, there is such a thing as society and that when it works, civil society may in fact be humanity's greatest creation.

If I’d thought about it I never would’ve done it, I guess I would’ve let it slide
If I’d lived my life by what others were thinkin’, the heart inside me would’ve died
I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity
Someone had to reach for the risin’ star, I guess it was up to me

Bob Dylan, "Up To Me"

Wiser minds than my own have pondered the role of art in the political sphere, so I'll finish off by simply asking readers for their own take on the intersection of art and politics.

TV Smith: Lucky Us (2012)

I haven't yet secured a copy of the new volume of rarities from TV Smith (more here), formerly of The Adverts (more HERE), this donation-only pair of out-outtakes (especially "The New You") promise some lost wonders

MRML Readers give us your take 
on this old/new TV collection!

Support the man!


Boss Tuenage 

Easy Action



The Talks (ft. Neville Staple): Can Stand The Rain (2012)

The Talks are a young ska/rocksteady band from Hull, UK who've worked hard enough over the last six years to come to the attention of The Specials' Neville Staple, who joins them on their brand-skanking new single, "Can Stand the Rain".

A few of these rude boys, really look like boys but with the song's stuttering chorus, walking bass and propulsive horn line, easily erase any doubts about their maturity.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Fighters Never Quit!

I deeply admire Ta-Nehisi Coates' (more HERE) writing over at The Atlantic but since I'm not a Civil War buff I don't follow his work on a a daily basis. Since, however, I am  a 20th century history buff, Coates' piece comparing Barrack Obama to 1930's boxer Joe Louis (and in Coates' typically tangential style to honourary Canadian Warren Moon) is as considered and thoughtful a discussion of race and politics in 21st century America as you're likely to find anywhere:

Like Joe Louis, like Warren Moon, like any black person significant for the fact of being black, I imagine that Barack Obama would love to have only the burden of being great at his craft. All presidential candidates represent something larger than themselves, and in that sense their loss is always broadly shared. But few classes in America have so little to lose as the one Obama represents. 
(Continue reading here)

(both links via The Daily Dish)

Rock n' Roll Stormtroopers: Bulldozers on the Loose (1998)

German punk band Rock N' Roll Stormtroopers started out as a perfect Dickies-Ramones hybrid and then pretty quickly devolved into a rock parody of some sort or another. Oh well, debuts are funny things...

Interestingly enough this fun, raucous EP, which I am re-upping to follow my Germanic punk series,  is one of the LEAST popular posts I ever did - I mean how do you beat ZERO comments!?!

Can you folks can improve upon that low reader turnout this time?

A1         Shut Your Mouth        
A2         Bulldozers (On The Loose)        
B1         Stupid Jerk        
B2         I'm A Rebel 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chuck Berry Reviews Punk Singles (1980)

From the long-lasting punk zine Jet Lag! here's a 1980 interview with rock n' roll godfather, Chuck Berry, where he reviews singles from The Clash The Sex Pistols, The Ramones and a whole lot more!

(Click images to enlarge!)

Page one

Page two (with the the reviews marked C.B.)

Thanks to the user named petsounds01 for the recommendation.

Let us know what you think of Chuck's take on his bastard sons in the COMMENTS section!

Pants on Fire!

Politifact notes Romney's blatant lying:

The notion that President Barack Obama started his presidency with an "apology tour" is a persistent and false Republican talking point that we have debunked a number of times.

Mitt Romney is sticking to it.

The Republican presidential nominee repeated it during his second debate against Obama at Hofstra University on Oct. 16, 2012, in response to an audience member’s question about the September 2012 Libya attack.

"The president's policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour and pursue a strategy of leading from behind, and this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes," he said.

We checked Romney’s "apology" attack when he used it at the Republican National Convention  (read the rest of the entry here

I suspect the reason that member of the right wing pundiocracy are so pissed at Candy Crowley is that she called Romney out on lie when they are trying to build an entire campaign centered on innuendo, distortion and outright lies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Don't Call it a Comeback, He's Been Here For Years!

Do I think Obama won the second presidential debate?


Do I think Romney lost the debate?


Do I think this debate as one-sided as the first one?


If you're going to claim Romney took this one, you better be getting paid by RNC or its overlords. Sure, this wasn't quite as lop-sided as The Debacle in Denver but that just makes this loss more pronounced - it's now obvious that Romney can only compete when Obama phones it in. Truth is, Mittens' October Surprise was to feign being a moderate after a few years of playing 'severe conservative". That bait-and-switch tactic clearly threw Obama for a loop in round one but that just left a now-vulnerable Romney on even-playing field with his better for round two. Clearly, the now-departed Mrs. Ann Dunham recommended that her son knock Mitt out!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Donots ft. Frank Turner: So Long (2012)

On their new single, "So Long", German pop-punk band The Donots have joined forces with English folk-punker Frank Turner (more HERE). Together the bros have turned in a full-blooded folk-rocker that could be like a 21st century Big Country song!

Let us know what you think of this Anglo-German folk-punk festival in the COMMENTS section!



Monday, October 15, 2012

Die Ärzte: Is That Still Punk Rock? (2012)

Regular reader Herr Pauli has broadened my perspective be pointing out that in Germany most punk fans often fall in to two camps, those who follow Die Toten Hosen (more HERE) and those who follow Die Ärzte. Now the name, Die Ärzte ('The Doctors'), was vaguely familiar to me but truthfully, until Herr Pauli got me to Wikipedia them, I was unaware that they've been around as long as DTH and share an affinity for catchy songs, crunchy guitars and crazy antics.  This single, "Ist Das Noch Punkrock?" ('Is That Still Punk Rock?'), from their latest album is a funny, poppy and crunchy blast: 

For those of you who need to know the lyrics in English (like me!) here they are in both languages:

Ist Das Noch Punkrock?

"Fick dich und deine Schwester" hast du dir tätowiert
No future, das war gestern, seitdem ist viel passiert
Sie heißt Andrea, ihre Haare sind blau
Ihr habt Verkehr und du gibst es zwar nicht zu, aber sie ist deine Traumfrau

Aber ist das noch Punkrock
Wie dein Herz schlägt, wenn sie dich küsst?
Ist das noch Punkrock
Wenn euer Lieblingslied in den Charts ist?
Das hat so den Coolnessfaktor
Von einem Gartentraktor
Ist das noch Punkrock?
Ich glaube nicht

Früher warst du dabei, wenn eine Wanne brannte
Dieses Jahr am ersten Mai besuchst du ihre Tante
Seit es Andrea gibt, kommst du nicht mehr saufen
Ihr geht zu Ikea, um euch für die neue Bude eine Küche zu kaufen

Aber ist das noch Punkrock
Wie dein Herz schlägt, wenn sie dich küsst?
Ist das noch Punkrock
Dass euer Lieblingslied in den Charts ist?
Ich will euch nicht den Spaß verderben
Aber musste Sid dafür sterben?
Ist das noch Punkrock?

Du machst nichts mehr ohne sie
Ihr seid so ein bisschen wie
Tom Cruise und Scientology
Gefährlich, gefährlich
Gut geht das auf Dauer nicht
Du verstehst meine Trauer nicht
Das ist wirklich bedauerlich
Ganz ehrlich, denn

Ist das noch Punkrock
Wie dein Herz schlägt, wenn sie dich küsst?
Ist das noch Punkrock
Wenn euer Lieblingslied in den Charts ist?
Ihr solltet euch immer fragen
Was würde Stiv Bators sagen?
Ist das noch Punkrock?
Ich glaube nicht

Is That Still Punk Rock?

"Fuck you and your sister" you got tattooed
No future, that was yesterday. Since then a lot happened
Her name is Andrea, her hair is blue
You two are having intercourse and you surely don't admit it, but she is your dream girl

But is that still punk rock
How your heart beats when she kisses you?
Is that still punk rock
If your guys's favorite song is in the charts?
That has the coolness factor
Of a garden tractor
Is that still punk rock?
I don't think so

Earlier you were involved when a police van burned
This year on Mayday you're visiting her aunt
Since Andrea has been there, you don't come drinking anymore
You two go to Ikea to buy a new kitchen for the new room

Is that still punk rock
How your heart beats when she kisses you?
Is that still punk rock
If your guys's favorite song is in the charts?
I don't want to spoil your fun
But did Sid have to die for this?
Is that still punk rock?

You don't do anything without her anymore
You two are a little like
Tom Cruise and Scientology
dangerous, dangerous
That doesn't go well in the long run
You don't understand my grief
That is really unfortunate
In all honesty, because

Is that still punk rock
How your heart beats when she kisses you?
Is that still punk rock
If your guys's favorite song is in the charts?
You should always ask yourselves
What would Stiv Bators say?
Is that still punk rock?
I don't think so

Readers. what's your take on this battle of the German punks,  Die Toten Hosen vs. Die Ärzte? Your thought are welcome in the COMMENTS section!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Die Toten Hosen: Rock Me Amadeus (2012)

German punk-stars, Die Toten Hosen (more HERE) - and massive TV Smith fans (see HERE) - recently unleashed a new album called Ballast Der Republik. The album has all the expected massed guitars and soaring choruses that make you want to shout-along to whatever the fuck they're saying.

As the bonus disk, the band recorded a set of amped-up covers of influential German artists. I'll confess to my own ignorance and say I only recognize Kraftwerk's "The Model" and eighties synth-pop staple, "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco:

Let us know what you make of DTH giving Amadeus a roughing up in the COMMENTS section.

Support DTH! 




T.V. Smith & Die Toten Hosen: Only One Flavour (2001)

TV Smith (more here), formerly of The Adverts (more HERE) re-recorded some of his best work with German super-punk-stars Die Toten Hosen (his fourth biggest fans). The album, Useless: The Very Best of T.V. Smith proves his peculiar genius. Specifically, TV proves what a deft re-interpreter of his own material he really is because he never gets caught in that old stuff vs. new stuff war that artists and their fans can get dragged into. To TV, it's all the present:

Musically, Die Toten Hosen's (more here) backing him up on material spanning much of his career (but, sadly, not 1979-1983) proves how devastatingly consistent and relentlessly inventive the man is. Lyrically, TV and co. chose songs like "Gather Your Things and Go" and "My String Will Snap" that portray a world out-of-sorts, a world unjustly turned upside down. While Smith's never had truck with religion, he decries the wickedness of the world like a biblical prophet, just listen to his voice-of-one-screaming-in-the-wilderness anthem, "Get Ready for the Axe to Drop" for proof. To hear TV and the Dead Pants (as they might be known in English) work this theme to its most brutal effect, witness "Expensive Being Poor" one of the most excoriating broadsides ever written, a sharp paradox wrapped in a tune you could hum yourself to death with:

Smith's worldview is never clearer than on the album's sole new track, "Only One Flavour". Here, TV hoists himself up onto the rickety platform of the post-Communist left and, in a pique and at a peak, decries the monotony of political discourse in a capitalist society (see how even that sentence sounds awfully pre-1989). Useless, which shows off Smith's catalog of stirring songs that mix punk brio with folk tropes and that joyously hammer away at the the necessity at looking at our problems through different eyes (though maybe not Gary Gilmore's), is anything but.

So while the physical version (LP, CD) of Useless is seemingly out-of-print, the MP3 is back at iTunes, but to hear the single go to the COMMENTS section

                         (Images courtesy of Record Collectors of the World Unite)

MRML Readers give us your take on the TV/DTH alliance and tell us if you want to hear more!

Support the man!


Boss Tuenage 

Easy Action



Friday, October 12, 2012

Biden Put the Hurt on Ryan

Do I think Joe Biden won the VP debate


Do I think Paul Ryan lost?


Do I think this was as lop-sided as the last debate?

Not quite.

Biden's laughter, perhaps over done, was crucial. As Romney proved in the last debate this Republican ticket is not honest about the rights of women, the deficit, their tax plan, their military expenditures, their own record or just about anything else you can name. I'm not claiming that the Obama's record is perfect, just that Romney's campaign has been trying to run a post-truth campaign (see "we won't have out campaign dictated by fact-checkers etc.) becuase they think that no one will effectively call them on it.

So Biden eviscerated Ryan by laughing at the lies and then, with a great big grin, carving up those lies like a Thanksgiving turkey. Can you fact-check Biden's speech? Sure, but that doesn't allow you to create any sort of equivalency with Ryan's weapons-grade malarky!

Take it away my fellow Winnipeggers:

The Week in Video (with OFF! and Jack Black, Boice, Street Dogs, Big Bird, and Morrissey and Cobert)

First off, OFF! and Jack Black join togther to make retro-tastic video for the band's song , "Wrong". 

By contrast here's some power-pop by a new voice named boice, which didn't hit me as hard when I first watched as it did when I detached from my computer and still heard the song playing in my head. 

While we're in sunnier territory, feel free to check out Brisbane, Australia's Cub Scout's slightly breathy take on indie-pop:

Boston's The Street Dogs re-purpose Menace's classic, "GLC" to attack the class-warriors of the GOP:

While the Street Dogs attack his party, Big Bird goes after Mittens personally:

Lastly, let us not miss Morrissey in a deeply strange interview with Colbert:

Have a view on any of these videos?
Seen some interesting new videos?
Let us know in the COMMENTS section!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

TV Smith and Suzy & Los Quattro (2003)

TV Smith (more here), formerly of The Adverts (more HERE), drafted Spanish punks Suzy & Los Quattro to be his partners-in crime for this 2003 release.

Smith and Suzy rip off the Adverts "New Church" from Crossing the Red Sea and also take TV's solo song, "What If" from Generation Y.

The gang pulls it off with guts but it's the cool vocal interplay with Suzy that once again proves just how much TV can get away with.

MRML Readers, give us your take on Suzy and Smith's misdeeds and tell us if you want me to keep the TV  blaring!

Support the man!


Boss Tuenage 

Easy Action