Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dangerous Birds: Alpha Romeo/Smile on Your Face (1982)

Before Thalia Zedek was in Live Skull, Uzi, Come or performed as a solo artist, she co-led early-eighties new wave band Dangerous Birds. I will leave it to the vociferous Thalia Zedek following to tell you more about her later more "violent" music but I'm gonna quickly rave about "Smile on You Face". That song is Zedek's half of the sole Dangerous Birds release. The A-Side, "Alpha Romeo", is a pleasant pop tune in The Bangles vein (written by bandmate Lori Green) which later appeared on the D.I.Y. Boston compilation, Mass. Avenue. However, Thalia's intricate, psychedelic but hook-laden B-side, which showed up on on Sub Pop 100 four years after the fact, is the real colossus here.

Alpha Romeo 7" link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, what do you make of "Smile on Your Face"?

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

V.A. Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan Volume Seven

This thirty volume series features artists covering Bob Dylan songs. All of the tracks are recordings of independent origin (ROIO) and hence officially unreleased.

It's ladies night at the Dylan Club and while surely I'll be glad if Norah Jones, Edie Brickel or Ani Difranco never darken the door of this blog again, I'd welcome the return of Lucinda Williams, Patti Smith and Dolly Parton (Don't get me started...) anytime and in fact I will return to the underknown Thalia Zedek very soon.

01 Tangled Up In Blue – KT Tunstall (11-4-05, Later with…Jools Holland / BBC2 London)
02 I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight – Norah Jones (2-28-02, KCRW Studios, Santa Monica, CA)
03 Make You Feel My Love – Joan Osborne (10-29-02, The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA)
04 I’ll Keep it with Mine – Richard and Linda Thompson (5-17-82, The Bottom Line, New York, NY)
05 Visions of Johanna – The Walkabouts (1-19-01, Experience Music Project, Seattle, WA)
06 You’re a Big Girl Now – Thalia Zedek (10-06-04, Quasimodo, Berlin, Germany)
07 Like a Rolling Stone – Barb Jungr (9-26-05, The Barbican Theatre, London)
08 You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go – Madeleine Peyroux (2-18-05, KCRW Studios, Santa Monica, CA)
09 Most of the Time – Ani DiFranco (8-28-97, New World Theatre, Tinley Park, IL)
10 Don’t Think Twice – Susan Tedeschi (11-03 -06, The Ram’s Head, Baltimore, MD)
11 Hard Rain – Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians (4-26-91, Bronco Bowl, Dallas, TX)
12 Dark Eyes – Patti Smith (6-05-01, Village Underground, New York, NY )
13 Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Tracy Chapman (10-6-05, Roseland Theater, Portland, OR )
14 Masters of War – Lucinda Williams (11-21-03, Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA)
15 Blowin’ in the Wind – Dolly Parton (10-06-05, Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO)

Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan Seven link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, don't forget to leave some words about these volumes.

Thanks to Jeffs98119 for compiling these and obatik for the images.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spunkstains (1977-1979) : Volume Six

One of a fifteen-volume bootleg series from the early aughts full of raw punk noise from the likes of: Panic, The Cigarettes, Cybermen, The Exits, X-S Energy and FX.

Spunkstains Volume Six link is in the comments.

Speaking of comments, give us your take on the series thus far.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Off! Live!

Speaking of punk rock vets on the comeback warpath, Keith Morris (BLACK FLAG, CIRCLE JERKS) has, alongside Steve Mcdonald of REDD KROSS, Dimitri Coats from the BURNING BRIDES, Mario Rubalcaba of HOT SNAKES, ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT), started a pummeling new band called Off! (which would make for Morris' second band named after a domestic pesticide).

Here's a live set from the FYF Festival in L.A. on September 10th 2010 to whet your appetiate for the 7" to come in October on Vice Records and the boxed set of singles to follow that!

Off! Live! link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, let us know what the hell you think of this!!

OFFicial site

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jello Biafre & The Guantanamo School of Medicine

Jello's back and making some of the sickest, creepiest music of his career. For proof here's a scathing live performance (including three Dead Kennedys songs) from a 2009 show in Hamburg.

Live in Hamburg link in is the comments

Speaking of comments, give us you thoughts on the Jello and his new band.

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For more cool live shows, like this one, visit the great new blog, uuughh

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dead Kennedys: A Skateboad Party

My first bootleg, wasn't Dylan, wasn't even the Clash but rather San Francisco anarcho-punks the Dead Kennedys. The D.K.'s, intelligent, shocking and surprisingly musically sophisticated, owned North American punk in the early eighties. Sure, there may have been a touch of mad megalomania to lead singer Jello Biafra but I grew fascinated with his skewed worldview. (I'll always remember this interview with Jello and Frank Discussion of the Feederz, where Jello came off as the calm, rational one while Frank raved about blowing up phone booths as an art form.). I'd already gobbled up all their material then available on Alternative Tentacles; the singles, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, In God We Trust Inc. and Plastic Surgery Disaster; there had to be more...

Then, amongst the records of my friend, The Curator, I found this blue record, a live German (semi) bootleg of a Dead Kennedys show from 1982 . All the songs were familiar but the lengthy diatribes that erupted before, during and after the songs were definitely not. Early punk rock had tried to kill off the then-calcified tradition of the live solo, once best exemplified in the performances of The Who, Jimi Hendrix or a thousand jazz performers I'm not qualified to list. But during DK's shows Jello took vocal solos, not scat-singing like Ella Fitzgerald but extemporizing like a motor-mouthed Lenny Bruce! Soon enough I'd have memorized those bits of banter as if they were carefully-crafted lyrics.

(Not from this show but indicative of Jello's logorrhoea.)

Jello's impromptu battling with the German crowd is especially sharp, when one woman yells "Autograph Goddammit!" he says "I'll autograph it with my dental chart". Jello just cannot shut up, whether he's indicting Alexander Haig, mocking German rocker Heino or lecturing the crowd on the side effects of kepone. It's no shock that Jello's post Dead Kennedys work has been dominated by his spoken word work.

A Skateboard Party link is in the comments (but scroll down a bit)

Speaking of comments, there's always room for Jello-related thoughts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

V.A. Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan Volume Six

This thirty volume series features artists covering Bob Dylan songs. All of the tracks are recordings of independent origin (ROIO) and hence officially unreleased.

This heavily alt-country weighted volume includes lots of MRML favourites like Elvis Costello (bolstered or encumbered, depending on your point of view by Roger McGuinn) , Blue Rodeo (who are actually radio staples up here in Canada), Maria McKee (of Lone Justice) and JASON & THE SCORCHERS!! (hell, yeah).

01 Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues – Alejandro Escovedo (5-31-98, Hattie’s Hat, Seattle, WA)
02 Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You – Blue Rodeo (10-21-97, Martyrs, Chicago, IL)
03 Wallflower – Coffee Creek (7-30-93, Cicero’s Basement, St. Louis, MO)
04 She Belongs to Me – Jimmie Dale Gilmore (10-13-91, KUT-FM, Austin, TX)
05 Absolutely Sweet Marie – Jason and the Scorchers (3-8-84, Irving Plaza, New York City)
06 New Pony – Maria McKee (6-23-93, Logo, Hamburg, Germany) 07 Seven Curses – Tom Russell (2-22-06, The Palms, Winters, CA)
08 Seven Days – The Jayhawks (12/27/97, First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN)
09 Tombstone Blues – The Walkabouts (1-19-01, Experience Music Project, Seattle, WA)
10 Every Grain of Sand – Emmylou Harris with Daniel Lanois (11-23-95, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London)
11 I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight – John Doe and Harry Dean Stanton (8-13-88, McCabe’s Guitar Shop, Santa Monica, CA)
12 Gotta Serve Somebody – David Allan Coe (1-26-83, Hilversum, Netherlands)
13 From a Buick 6 – Chuck Prophet (2006-01-27, Fisherman’s Cafe, Langenau, Germany)
14 Fourth Time Around – Chris Whitley (8-9-03, Sendesaal,Bremen, Germany)
15 Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) – Tim O’Brien (3-27-02, Canopy club, Urbana, IL)
16 Billy – Gillian Welch & David Rawlings (6-20-96, Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA)
17 Don’t Think Twice – Rosanne Cash, Lucinda Williams and Bruce Cockburn (12-9-91, Austin City Limits, Austin, TX)
18 You Ain’t Going Nowhere – Adam Duritz & Friends (4-27-02, Shim Sham Club, New Orleans, LA)
19 Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Elvis Costello and Roger McGuinn (10-30-98, Premio Tenco, San Remo, Italy)
20 I Shall Be Released – Wilco (6-28-05, Metropolis, Montreal, Quebec)

Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan Six link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, don't forget to leave some words about these volumes.

Thanks to Jeffs98119 for compiling these and obatik for the images.

Spunkstains (1977-1979) : Volume Five

One of a fifteen-volume bootleg series from the early aughts full of raw noise from the likes of: The Freeze, The Now, V.I.P.'s, The Jolt, The Zones and good 'ole Johnny Moped.

Spunkstains 5 link is in the comments (track six can be found farther down the comments page)

Speaking of comments whattaya make of this volume?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Jesse Malin: Live in Nottingham

Jesse Malin's new album, Love it To Life, is everything the first single, "Burning on the Bowery", promises:

For my review of Love it to Life please go visit The Big Takeover, where yours truly is doing his best not to fuck up this long-standing punk institution.

For a decent-sounding 2010 bootleg of Malin and his new backing band, St. Mark's Social Live in Nottingham go to the comments.

Comments about the Malin's work are encouraged both here and at the Big Takeover!

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The Dead Milkmen: Smokin' Banana Peels

Thanks to Doug K for the guest post:

The Dead Milkmen. What the hell kind of a name is that? Milkmen are anachronistic at best and dead? How many milkmen typically gather in a group to do their long since unnecessary jobs at which they have now turned up deceased? Who kills the milkman?

Ha ha. I’ve needlessly attempted to deconstruct the name of an semi-obscure punk band in order to entertain you. This is what Joe Jack Talcum and the boys do relentlessly up one side of half-assed slacker anthems and down the other side of stand up comedy routines featuring Joe Jack’s chiming, charming, almost apologetic guitar. He floats around the recordings like an elderly matron checking on each of her ballroom guests to make sure the decorations are exciting enough. Oh and he kinda sings.

Back in the mid eighties when music had to be purchased from reputable vendors I came across a brightly colored record album with the name of the band spelled out in playdough. I bought it immediately what with my cutting edge rock and roll sensibilities screaming the next big thing although it was more the playdough and the ridiculous teenage pot habit that brought me into Scotty’s World. Damn near cried when I heard that song. Here we’d been trying to make friends with the badger, dancing to anything down at Tacoland and spreading out disembowelment towels for the atomic Fern’s blood orgy and now their singing about the newly hairless dog and his many intravenous tubes. It was like Old Yeller for the disenfranchised. And me I guess being middle class and literate and all. But damn, the freakin’ dog dies! How’s that for a kick in your jaded punk ass.

I never forgot the emotional damage that album Bucky Fellini ( change the first letters around) ha ha ah. Good times but then I found myself in the reputable shop again only this time it was the ultimate and final word in formats the cassette tapes I was perusing. The newest Dead Milkmen offering jumped up and spit right in my wishing I was more stoned lightly bearded face. Big Lizard in My Backyard. And there was a picture of a big green lizard and a yellow background that just really tied the picture together. I’ve got to buy this product I screamed internally and then did so. Listening to the cassette was not nearly as funny as I thought it would be. But I’m all messed up on cough syrup now so just like , nevermind. en mmore

Smokin' Banana Peels e.p. link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, tell us what your take on these Dead Milkmen is and whether or not you want to hear more of the rare stuff.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

What a Nice Green Day

In case the Dookie Demos were still too slick, here's an FM broadcast from before the Big Break-Through!

What a Nice Green Day link is in the comments

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Fan Site

Monday, September 13, 2010

V.A. Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan Volume Five

This thirty volume series features artists covering Bob Dylan songs. All of the tracks are recordings of independent origin (ROIO) and hence officially unreleased.

Sometimes you gotta take the good (Johny Cash, Neil Young, Paul Westerberg) with the Lenny Kravitz.

01 Masters of War – Pearl Jam (10-22-06, Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA)
02 Hard Rain – The Waterboys (5-19-86, Pink Pop Festival, Geleen, Holland)
03 This Wheel’s On Fire – The Band (7-17-76, Carter Baron Amphitheatre, Washington DC)
04 It Ain’t Me Babe – Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash (12-8-94,Frank Erwin Center, University Of Texas Austin,TX
05 If Not For You – George Harrison (10-16-92, Madison Square Garden, New York) [replaced in my library with the official release from All Things Must Pass]
06 All I Really Want to Do – Paul Westerberg (4-25-02, KCRW, Santa Monica, CA)
07 Visions of Johanna – The Grateful Dead (4-22-86, Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA)
08 Going, Going, Gone – The GP’s/ Richard Thompson (9-27-81, Capitol Theatre, Horsham, Great Britain)
09 It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Van Morrison (7-9-99, Lorely Open Air Festival, Lorely, Germany)
10 Forever Young – Neil Young with the Grateful Dead (11-3-91, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA)
11 Mr. Tambourine Man – Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark (10-19-77, The Bottom Line, New York)
12 Highway 61 Revisited – Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, and Jackson Browne (11-16-90, Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA)
13 Like a Rolling Stone – The Rolling Stones (9-15-97, Toronto Rehearsal Studio, Toronto, Canada)
14 All Along the Watchtower – Lenny Kravitz and Eric Clapton (10-23-99, White House South Lawn, Washington D.C.)
15 I Shall Be Released – U2 and Friends (6-15-86, Meadowlands, East Rutheford, NJ)
16 Blowin’ in the Wind – Stevie Wonder (4-3-73, Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA)

Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan Five link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, don't forget to leave some words about these volumes.

Thanks to Jeffs98119 for compiling these and obatik for the images.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spunkstains (1977-1979) : Volume Four

One of a fifteen-volume bootleg series from the early aughts full of raw noise from the likes of: Satan's Rats, The Cortinas, Les Dogs, PVC2, Joe Cool and the Killers and Skrewdriver from the days long before that poisonous ideology ruined them.

Spunkstains (1977-1979) : Volume Four link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, what of having a Skrewdriver song here? (I believe posting the original band's work only underscores how racism can destroy anything it touches but others may feel differently.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Basic Radio: Roots Radicals

Here's the demo (plus some live tracks) of the heavier ska of Operation Ivy/Rancid's Matt Freeman and Tim Armstrong first band, Basic Radio, from all the way back in 1986. Not perfect but much of the demo sounds pretty decent and is better than this live footage (whose existence is, in and of itself, kinda impressive).

Roots Radicals link is in the comments

Speaking of comments, let us know what you think of Basic Radio.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rancid: Grease and Garbage

I've bought Rancid albums worth repeated spinnings (and seen them play a pulverizing live show) but none of them ever bettered OP IVY's Energy (more OP IVY here). Whatever the myriad strengths of Rancid, the loss Jesse' Micheal's measured singing style and his more literate, less macho lyrical sense still stings. Grease and Garbage is a bootleg collection of Rancid rarities from the early days that hits hard as hell despite any losses, real or perceived.

Grease and Garbage link is in the comments

Speaking of comments: Are Rancid a better band than Operation Ivy?

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

V.A. Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan Vol. Four

This thirty volume series features artists covering Bob Dylan songs. All of the tracks are recordings of independent origin (ROIO) and hence officially unreleased.

While a bit of the Classic Rock of volume three is still present, this one returns the focus to artists outside of the mainstream (with an alt-country bias) from Elvis Costello to John Doe to Lucinda Williams to Robyn Hitchcock.

1. John Wesley Harding – Jeff Tweedy (3-4-05, The Vic Theatre, Chicago, IL)
2. Mississippi – Sheryl Crow (10-31-99, Bridge Benefit, Mountain View, CA)
3. Blind Willie McTell – Elliott Murphy (2-2-02, Steinhaus, Solingen, Germany)
4. Not Dark Yet – Robyn Hitchcock with John Paul Jones (9-26-05, Barbican Theatre, London)
5. To Ramona – Ron Sexsmith (9-30-97, TT the Bear’s Place, Cambridge, MA)
6. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – Bill Morrissey (1-11-97, Left Bank Cafe, Blue Hill, ME)
7. Tomorrow is a Long Time – Tom Russell (3-4-05, Columbus Music Hall, Columbus, OH)
8. Boots of Spanish Leather – Dervish (6-17-06, Festate, Chiasso, Switzerland)
9. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Lloyd Cole (??-??-93, Black Session Studio, Paris, France)
10. Positively Fourth Street – Lucinda Williams (8-9-91, McCabe’s Guitar Shop, Santa Monica, CA)
11. Buckets of Rain – John Doe with Jennifer Jason Leigh (12-27-95, KCRW Studio, Santa Monica, CA)
12. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – Elvis Costello and Roger McGuinn (10-30-98, Premio Tenco, San Remo, Italy)
13. Going Going Gone – Jerry Garcia (4-10-82, Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ)
14. Desolation Row – Bob Weir (4-28-86, Wolfgang’s, San Francisco, CA)
15. Chimes of Freedom – Warren Zevon (12-2-2000, Theater of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA)
16. I Shall Be Released – Neil Young and Eddie Vedder (10-31-99, Bridge Benefit, Mountain View, CA)
17. The Times They Are a-Changin’ – Bruce Springsteen (12-7-97, Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.)
18. Every Grain of Sand – George Harrison (2-10-88, Rockline, KLOS Studios, Los Angeles, w/Bob "BC" Coburn)

Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan Volume Four link is in the comments.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Whither Mediafire?

Of course darker rumours are Twittering about...

V.A. Spunkstains (1977-1979) Volume Three

One of a fifteen-volume bootleg series from the early aughts full of raw noise from the likes of: Elton Motello, The Radiators, Martin & The Brownshirts, The Cortinas, The Scabs, X-S Energy, The Subs and tonnes more.

Spunkstains 3 link is in the comments

Speaking of comments whattaya make of the slightly less-obscure material on volume three?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Operation Ivy - Unity: The Complete Collection

This big boot compiles all the little boots into one place!

Tracks 1-4 Plea For Peace 7"
Track 5-6 69 Newport 7"
Tracks 7-9 Lint: The King Of Ska 7"
Tracks 10-13 Live At Gilman 7"
Tracks 14-19 Ramones EP 12"
Tracks 20-22 East Bay EP 7"

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Operation Ivy: Seedy

Loved all the great OP IVY comments, so here's some more rare and unreleased material from a Very Small Record label that was not in fact based out of Moosejaw, Saskatchewan.

For a quick explanation of the sources of the material, refer to the "liner notes" below:

And, what the fuck, here's another boxy-sounding live track:

Seedy link is in the comments

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Operation Ivy: Radio Daze

Two radio broadcasts from the brief life of OP IVY.

Speaking of "Sound System" (see above) there are many who claim it's Operation Ivy's emblematic song (with Tim "Lint" Armstrong's vocals dominating it is certainly more Rancid-like). Others, Like Green Day, would claim it's "Knowledge" that is their defining moment. So MRML readers, it's time to weigh in with some more incisive comments as to, "Which is the defining OP IVY song and why?"

Radio Daze link is in the comments

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Operation Ivy: Unreleased Energy

Periodically I go back in time musically. When the present seems a bit dire, as it surely did in back 1989 (Slayer, New Kids on the Block, Bobby Brown - pas merci), I go retro. Then it takes the shock of the new to jolt me out of my state of nostalgia. That's what finding Operation Ivy's Energy in the L.P. racks of Track Records in Vancouver in 1989 did for me. I played that album a thousand times and taped it (sorry it's true) for a thousand people. Energy with those punked-up ska rhythms in songs like "Sound System, those biting lyrics in songs like "Jaded" and those indelible choruses on almost every damn song, just exuded a feeling of now. Now in this now it's a classic - and so it goes.

Unreleased Energy is a cleverly-titled bootleg built around the first session for the Energy album which were scrapped and re-recorded. These rawer version sport different, sometimes extended arrangements and occasionally, as in "Unity", have horns added. A fine document of band who got put on ice before things got Rancid.

Unreleased Energy link is in the comments.

Speaking of Comments give us your take on OP IVY and let us know if you want to hear more rarities.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Them, Me and a Dog Named Dookie

I smashed into my own garage. The old garage, a regular target of tagging by the local gangs, was already unstable and had been jerryrigged with random support beams just to maintain structural integrity. While I only hit it driving at about two kilometers an hour, I knew that dent in the central support was going to bring trouble.

The situation took years before getting problematic but gradually the metal fatigue worsened. First, one of the doors springs just fell off and the door had to be wrenched open. Soon enough, that door, along with the second one, just snapped off their metal casings and had to be left shut or propped open.

It took a long while to find some one, in this case an expert framer, willing to take on a crooked garage. So, once corralled, he and I pushed off those thick steel doors right off their rollers and they landed with a bone-rattling crash. We leaned the doors up against a hastily reinforced fence in the hopes that the scrap metal guys would soon be by.

You see where I live if you leave a piece of scrap metal of any shape or size near the garbage some scavengers who drive up and down the back lane near garbage day in a beaten-up half-tonne will stop and grab it. They sell it to the scrap yard for money and you get rid of your unwieldables - it’s a win-win situation…usually.

This time, however, the doors sat idly for over a week, all the while testing the resolve of the fence’s reinforcements.

Then, a few days later, I arrived home to find my children and their friends at play in the back lane. There, right in the shadow of those enormous doors I watched their whizzing scooters, toddling tricycles and wobbling training wheels kicking up a racket and plumes of dust.

The time came for snacks and the children pulled their little vehicles into the shade of the newly re-framed garage and it’s light aluminum articulated door. We all devoured salty crackers and sweet grapes while the kids set their juice packs, still frozen hard as steel, in the sun to melt.

Then came the men with the truck. Sure enough, the truck was a beaten-to-shit half tonne. Two guys with oil-stained hats and work clothes caked in sweat and dirt jumped out and offered to take the doors.

Without questioning, I told them to take them and sell them for what they were worth, which they figured was about twenty bucks.

While they grabbed the doors with off-setting speed, setting the old door screws clanging onto the pavement, I asked them for the name of the scruffy brown and white mutt with his nose sticking out the passenger side window.

“Dookie” said the less feral of the two.

So the tongue-dangling animal was named after a Green Day album, or perhaps after the slang term for feces from which that album took its title. Either way Dookie looked harmless enough so I made some doggie-talk in his direction before the truck abruptly began backing up, it’s cargo unsecured.

I backed up, with an eye towards the safety of the litter behind me.

Next, I heard two terrific clangs of metal hitting metal, not unlike the sounds when my garage doors springs had finally snapped. Then a tremendous roar of the engine and the truck rocketed forward down the back lane.

I stepped out of the shade of the garage and saw a man wielding a crowbar they way Conan the Barbarian wields a broadsword. In a flurry of words he told me that these two men had just broken into his garage and stolen his father’s electrician’s copper wire. I realized my doors had just been for cover and ballast.

The man, stuck the crowbar into his belt loop, jumped into the car and tore off down the back lane after the heavily endowed thieves.

Not long after the Man with the Crowbar returned embarrassed by his inability to catch the thieves’ unlicensed truck and by his reckless actions. He offered an apology to my family and moved along, warning us to watch our backs because a gang of thieves and their dog were still on the loose.

So I ended up with a new door and an old problem.