Search Results for "Teenage Bottlerocket"

DS Exclusive: Miguel Chen (Teenage Bottlerocket) on his new book, “I Wanna Be Well: How a Punk Found Peace And You Can Too”

If you’ve willingly plucked your head out of the proverbial sand at any point in the last handful of years, you’ve no doubt become aware that in a macro sense, we’re living in a pretty divisive, unstable time. If you add personal issues and unrest to the pile, the result can swallow you whole, whether you want it to or not. As an outlet, people will turn to a variety of solutions to help stem the tide of negativity; music, the arts, exercise, writing for a small punk-centric website, etc. Some people unfortunately choose more self-destructive paths that they hopefully, someday, are able to make it through minimally scarred. For Miguel Chen, the path seemed dark for a while, but has slowly, steadily become lightened – and enlightened – as it’s gone.

If you’ve been even a casual Dying Scene reader over the years, you’re no doubt familiar with Chen from his role as the bass player for iconic Wyoming pop-punk band Teenage Bottlerocket for more than a decade. Like many bands in this scene, TBR developed a reputation for working hard and partying harder, touring seemingly endlessly and enjoying the experience to the fullest. The annals of rock music history are littered with similar stories, frequently ending in disastrous consequences. “On my own path,” explains Chen, “it (went) from ‘alright, we’re in our band, it’s fun! We’re touring, it’s fun! We’re putting out records, it’s fun! Holy shit, we’re on Fat Wreck Chords, it’s fun! We’re on the road with NOFX, it’s fun!’ And the whole time, it’s just like ‘party, party, party, party, party.” Eventually, you return home from the road, however, and something seems to be missing. “You get home from tour,” Chen explains, “(and it’s) ‘oh fuck, this is boring, I better party. Party, party, party, party, party.’ All of a sudden, years later, it’s like ‘fuck – am I a person who has to drink or do drugs? Is that me?‘.”

While that part of the story might sound endlessly familiar to anyone that’s been in or around the music scene, Chen’s tale takes a bit of an atypical turn. Years of what he considered ultimately ineffective traditional treatment for mental health diagnoses that included bipolar disorder and anxiety – think psychotherapy and medications – led Chen to develop an increased involvement in the practice of sitting mediation. From there, the repeated insistence of friend then brought him into the world of yoga. “Finally I went and tried a class,” he explains, adding “I thought ‘what’s the worst that can happen? I’m going to sweat a bunch and it’s going to suck and I just won’t go back. So I went to my first yoga class, and then the next day I went to my second yoga class and then the next day I went to my third yoga class and I just never stopped.”

Chen went from practicing yoga to teaching at a studio in his hometown of Laramie, Wyoming, to eventually taking over the studio he’d been teaching at and opening a second studio in nearby Cheyenne, Wyoming. He continues to push himself in the punk rock world – Teenage Bottlerocket released a full-length album of covers and an EP of new original material last year – and the yoga world, having just returned from an intense training in Rishikesh, India, that lasted more than a month right before we talked. “It was one of those things where I said I’m just going to dedicate a month of my life to only complete practice,” explains Chen. “From waking up at 5:00 in the morning to start my practice, and I go to bed at 8:30 or 9:00pm, and that’s all my day is all day, every day. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

Chen has also pushed himself positively in a new, creative way; published author. Released last week through Wisdom Publications, Chen teamed up with editor Rod Meade Sperry for the fun and insightful new read, I Wanna Be Well: How A Punk Found Peace And You Can Too. While we’re presently living in what seems to be the age of the memoir, I Wanna Be Well is not your standard rock star autobiography fare. “I knew I didn’t want to just write my story, because who gives a shit,” jokes Chen. “Everybody has a story, everybody can write a book about themselves. I wanted this book to offer something to the readers. I wanted it to be about the reader. So that’s kind of where the idea, including these practices, came into play. Obviously it’s my story – here are things from my life – but at the end of it, that’s pretty much just an anchor point.

Each of the twenty-five chapters that make up I Wanna Be Well is broken into three four parts. First, there’s the lesson, which sometimes contains autobiographical stories and sometimes contains brief teachings from Buddhism or the self-help community, for example. Then comes the “practice” section, in which Chen gives the reader something to learn. Sometimes it’s instructions on how to start basic sitting meditation, some times it’s the steps behind some basic yoga movies, sometimes it’s just tricks to improve your own mindfulness of where you fit in to the world around you. Finally, each chapter culminates in a “tl/dr” tidbit that boils down the practice to its most essential point. “Rod had this genius idea,” tells Chen,”that people have short attention spans, so why don’t we add this thing at the end of each chapter where here’s a practice in a sentence or two for when you don’t want to fucking read the whole thing.

Let it be known that you should read the whole thing, however. It’s a quick read that somehow covers the entire emotional spectrum pretty quickly, from dealing with the loss of his mother to cancer when he was a child to the sudden loss of his sister in an accident less than a year later, to being asked to join one of his favorite bands and to create music with some of his best friends in the world, one of whom (founding TBR drummer Brandon Carlisle) also passed away far too early several years ago. All the while, Chen explains how these incidents have made him who he is today, and how, good or bad, they’ve all served to keep him looking inward and growing outward. “The whole time I was writing this book,” says Chen, “I was thinking ‘man, if even one person really gets it, this whole thing was worth it.‘ I’m grateful to every single person that even thinks about reading it, I’m going to be thankful to every person who reads it, even the people that don’t like it. I’m really grateful to have had this chance and to help.”

Because this is 2018 and the traditional book tour circuit is becoming less and less of “a thing,” there are no formal dates where you can catch Chen promoting his tome just yet. But, as a constantly touring musician, he’s found a way around that. “Luckily I travel a lot anyway,” he explains. “My plan is to kinda keep doing that, except now I’ll bring some books along. I always leave it open when I’m on tour, like hey, this is where I’m going to be, if anyone wants to do yoga or do some medication, shoot me a message.” And occasionally I’ll do events, like I’ll do Yoga For Punks or whatever, and I think I’ll do the same with the book. Like, if you want to pick up the book or talk about it, I’m on tour, come hang out!”

Check out our chat with Chen below, and pick up your copy of I Wanna Be Well at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Target or your local bookstore if you’ve got one!



DS Show Review: FEST 16 Gainesville – Day 3

As I soaked in all of the sights, sounds and smells of FEST 16 in days 1 and 2, I purposely tried to keep day 3 out of my mind.  Day 3 had some great bands that I couldn’t wait to check out, but I knew that getting to day 3 meant that FEST was coming to a close.

I don’t think I was the only one with the aforementioned sentiment, people were going after it hard Saturday night.  I could hear them outside singing and reveling into the wee hours.  I felt ok Sunday morning.  Got some food and coffee in me, and got ready to face the day.  T shirt game was not as important today as the forecast called for unseasonably cool temps.  High of 65 meant that I would don the only sweatshirt I brought.  It has the Chicago flag on the front of it, which prompted a shout of “Oh Calcutta!!” from an apparent Lawrence Arms fan.  After three nights of mayhem, we were delayed getting out the door.  I wanted to catch After the Fall, but we actually arrived too late for that and went straight to High Dive to catch Squirtgun doing a retrospective of all the bands they had been in.  If you don’t know Squirtgun, they are fronted by Mass Giorgini who is probably best known as owner and resident producer at Sonic Iguana.  Some major punk royalty has recorded at SI with Mass at the boards.  Squirtgun broke out some of those tunes in a solid set which included The Riverdales and Screeching Weasel.

Next we grabbed a bite at Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille.  We could’ve heard Apologies I have none, but it was too cold to sit outside.  Sitting in a chain restaurant on Sunday afternoon did not do much to lift me out of the depression of FEST coming to an end.  After lunch, we cruised over to Bo Diddley to catch The Movielife.  I’ve been following these guys for a while and I real wanted to see them at Riot Fest, but a conflict messed that up.  Although they played in a tough spot, Sunday, Outdoors, afternoon, cool day, they represented.  Not my standout set of the FEST, but not bad.

After Movielife, we had some tough conflicts.  Mean Jeans, Toyguitar, Hiccup, and Ray Rocket (Teenage Bottlerocket).  My wife wanted to catch Ray, so we cruised over to Big Lou’s pizza for the show.  I grabbed a couple of beers to perk us up and we sat on the patio there sipping our brews as Ray got set up.  I’m so glad we caught this show, because he conveyed the hungover depressed malaise that everyone was feeling.  Ray asked us to bear with him as he had spent the previous night going door to door at Holiday Inn with The Dopamines.  Paint your own picture there.  As the cool breeze blew through, Ray gave us a solid but chill set, the perfect cure to what ailed us.  He played “Do you wanna go to Tijuana,” dedicated to his twin brother Brandon who passed away in 2015, and covered The Ramones “Pet Sematary.”

The Ray Rocket set definitely perked us up.  We cruised over to Tall Paul’s and caught some of Makewar’s set.  We bellied up to the bar and threw down some of their brewed-in-house craft beer.  The habanero-spiced pale ale stole the show.  It brought the heat!!  We had to cut out of Makewar to get a good spot for Smoking Popes.  Being from Chicago, my wife and I are both big Popes fans.  The Popes never disappoint.  They’ve been around a long time and they know what people want to hear.  They bring the hits one after the other.  They played my fave “No More Smiles” as well as “Megan,” “Paul,” “Rubella.”  One of the many highlights of this set was their cover of MC5’s “Ramblin’ Rose.”  And of course they played “Need You Around.”  When it came to playing Bo Diddley, some bands sounded better than others, but the Popes really rocked this stage.  Safe to say, this set was up there in the top 5 of FEST.

Iron Chic hit the Bo Diddley stage next, so we hung around for that.  IC had a very lively crowd and their brand of punk rock really got the people moving and singing along.  You could tell people were amped for this band.  We watched the set from afar, but we already had tickets to see them in Chicago in December, so we cut out to check some other sets.  We caught Kamikaze Girls at the Wooly.  I have no recollection of it.  I remember bouncing across the street to The Atlantic where Machinist! was playing.  I only caught the last song, wish I had seen more.  This mad dash ended at Rockey’s where we caught the last few songs from The Raging Nathans.  We must’ve been in the right place as a few dignitaries were on hand such as OWTH’s Ryan Young.

One of the reasons I broke the bank and travelled down to FEST this year was Superchunk.  I’ve seen them a handful of times; the first time in 1993.  At one point I remember thinking to myself, “I’m going to buy every Superchunk album that ever comes out.”  Well who knew they would put out like 40 records!?!  I don’t have them all, but I have a lot of them.  So we trekked over to Bo Diddley to catch Sunday’s headliner, Superchunk.  For one, they sounded great.  I’ll give them that.  They didn’t play the full 90 minutes, which was a bit of a bummer.  They also threw in some random tunes like “Hello Hawk” and “I Got Cut.”  Deep cuts aside, they also dropped some fan favorites like: “Slack Motherfucker, Sick to Move, Driveway to Driveway, Hyper Enough, Precision Auto, and Seed Toss.”  The ‘Chunk brought the goods and sent the main stage out in grand fashion.

The main stage might have been done, but we were not!  We popped over to The Wooly, grabbed a brew and caught Meat Wave.  Their new album, “The Incessant” is on my list of the best of 2017.  These guys rock the 3 piece like Alkaline Trio or Husker Du; although their sound is more like Big Black.  I’m definitely going to catch these guys again.  After MW, I made a fatal error.  I decided we should hit Durty Nelly’s to catch Dingus.  For one, I had the complete wrong band.  I guess there are two Dingus’s (Dingi?).  Unfortunately, the one I planned to see was recording an album in Belgium at the time.  I sat there for about a half hour completely confused.  When we came to our senses, I looked my wife in the eye and I could tell she was done.  40 shows over 3 days will tend to wear you out.  I was running on fumes as well.  We decided to call it quits.  I had hoped to catch Night Witch, Teen Agers, and Tiltwheel; but I will have to wait for them to come to town.

We survived FEST 16, and had an amazing time!  One thing is for sure, we will be marking our calendars for the lineup announcement for FEST 17.  We will be back!



FEST 16 Gainsesville Day 2

Read my review of Day 1 here.

Woke up on Day 2 of the FEST feeling pretty good.  Got fueled up on coffee and complimentary pastries and was ready to hit it.  My T-shirt game was on point.  I had my Broadways T set aside and didn’t have any reservations about it.  Without much fanfare, we bailed the hotel.  The weather was perfect, 80 and sunny, which worked out nicely as many of the acts on our list were playing outside at Bo Diddley Plaza.

We arrived at Bo Diddley just in time to grab a couple of drinks and see The Dirty Nil.  I’m a fan of TDN, I know their music tends more to the pop side of punk and they’ve had issues with people calling them punk.  Call it what you will, I like it.  They brought it in their set.  Maybe they lacked a little energy and that could be due to playing at 2pm.  After Dirty Nil, we caught the second Teenage Bottlerocket set, this time conveniently at Bo Diddley.  Catching them outside didn’t compare to the High Dive show, but it was still amazing.  These guys are pros and they lay it down no matter the time or place.

Off With Their Heads came out next.  Once again at Bo Diddley.  Ryan was in rare form.  He paid some guy in the crowd $20 to dress up as Sully from Avatar.  The guy skulked around the stage for a few songs and then Ryan assisted him into the crowd.  For the rest of the show, the wig was flying through the air like a hairy hawk.  Wish we could have seen more of OWTH as they were in rare form, but we had to cut out because I really wanted to catch Grade.  When I saw that Grade was playing FEST, I had it circled and underlined.  I loved these guys back in 2000, and they pretty much fell completely off my radar.  I gained a new appreciation for their catalog during my fest preparation.  The downside, they were playing at 8 Seconds.  There’s just something about that place that’s a little depressing.  I don’t know if it’s just the way it looks like a typical college campus meat market, whether it’s too dark, whether it’s the shitty sound, or all of the above.  Throw in the fact that not as many other FESTers were as amped as I was for the Grade reunion, and you have the makings of a downer set.  From what I could tell, Grade sounded good, but everything sounds like mud at 8 Seconds, so for these guys, it was just a big mushpile.  We hung out upstairs where a roof blocks the sound even further, making for a quieter muddied mess.

Getting out into the open air really raised our spirits.  We basked in the sun as we headed back to Bo Diddley for Beach Slang.  Whenever BS comes on the ipod, I’m like “Who is this” (good thing) and I had hoped seeing them live would drive that home.  They brought it, the singer has a cool 1980s ruffled tuxedo happening, they busted out a Replacements cover, but it just didn’t make me want to buy all their records.  The next band on the list, Extinction AD, would hopefully get us to the next level with their brand of Pantera-esque metal.  Kudos to E AD, they did their best in a tough venue (8 secs).  They had only about 20 people watching.  They still blew the place away.  The face-melting shredding that usually emits from the lead guitar unfortunately got lost in the muddied 8 Secs reverb that completely drowns out higher registers.

We decided to head over to High Dive to catch the Flatliners.  On the way, we bumped into Mike Felumlee.  We had a quick chat about what bands we were going to see.  I had City of Caterpillar circled and underlined.  Their post-punk, screamo concoction really resonated with me and I had the album on heavy rotation prior to the fest.  Mike said that we should try to catch the Penske File.  He was adamant that it would be one of the best sets of the fest.  Interest piqued.  We waited for like 20 minutes to get in to see the Flatliners.  Caught about 20 minutes of the set.  They were playing The Great Awake front to back.  I don’t have the album.  I have it on my list now though.

One set that stood out as a can’t miss for FEST 16, Against Me doing Reinventing Axl Rose.  After Flatliners, we cruised over to Bo Diddley, grabbed a PBR and staked out a spot.  AM really had great energy, they definitely drew the biggest crowd of the FEST, Bo Diddley was packed.  Instead of opening with Axl, they opened with a retrospective greatest hits set.  They started with “Haunting, Haunted, Haunts” then followed with “333,” “True Trans Soul Rebel,” “Black Me Out,” “I was a teenage anarchist,” and “Thrash Unreal.”  Tough conflicts, but I really wanted to see City of Caterpillar, so we cut out of Bo Diddley.

City of Caterpillar was playing at 8 Seconds.  They had a decent crowd considering they shared the same slot as Against Me.  These guys bring the post punk noise and sludge.  The perfect marriage with 8 Secs reverberating sound system.  The cacophony these guys brought almost blew the roof off of the place.  We were digging CofC, but Mike F’s recommendation was gnawing at us.  So we cut out to see Penske File.

After taking a circuitous route and bumping our way through a restaurant full of people enjoying a late meal, we went through a back alley and finally found the venue.  They played the Boca Fiesta/Palomino, which appeared to be a Mexican Restaurant by day, I guess they push the taco and salad bars out of the way to host shows.  Safe to say that making our way to the Penske File paid off.  These guys reminded us of why we got into this music in the first place.  They brought pure raw energy to the stage.  The singer told a story of how one of their original members passed away, and they almost called it quits.  They carried on, and redoubled their efforts.  They thanked the crowd and then broke into “Damned.”  The place lost it.  People stormed the stage and sang along.  Others dove out into the crowd.  These guys had a loyal and rabid group of supporters.  Definitely one of the top 5 sets of FEST.

At this point our schedule had gotten jumbled around.  The Civic Media Center was close by and Typesetter was doing an acoustic set there, so we checked it out.  We only caught the tail end, but they did play a cover of The Replacements “Can’t Hardly Wait.”  I know I wasn’t abducted by aliens during this time frame, but I do have some lost time in here.  We caught The Copyrights at High Dive.  I remember thinking they sounded better than the last time I saw them and that I need to check out their new stuff.  I remember Iron Reagan vividly as they ripped the roof off of 8 Seconds with their inspired brand of Thrash Metal.  The image of IR forever seared into my brain involves the lead singer and the two guitarists swinging their hair in circles to the chugga chugga guitars.

We next found ourselves at High Dive.  Our anticipation of the FEST favorites, The Dopamines, had caused us to arrive early and catch some of Clown Sounds.  Once again, no recollection other than the fact we were there.  One of the toughest conflicts of FEST involved HUM and The Dopamines.  I had HUM firmly on my radar, my wife wanted to see the Dopamines.  We had never seen the Dopamines, so what the heck!  Glad we went.   For one, High Dive is a great place to see a show.  Great sound.  Perfect setting.  They get it.  I have to say after seeing The Dopamines, hearing their stage banter, including their bravado in the fact that “The Copyrights opened for us.  Thanks Copyrights, for opening for us.”  They’re just awesome.  Everything that punk rock should be, a non-stop party.  At one point the crowd pelted them with ice, cups, cans; they didn’t miss a beat.

We did make it over to 8 Secs to see the end of the HUM set.  They played Stars and something I didn’t know.  When you find a good routine that works for you, you stick with it.  So after Hum, we bailed town and hit Taco Bell on the way to our hotel.  Once again, it hit the spot.  I got some sleep, even though a fairly raucous group serenaded us outside doing a singalong at around 3am.  I was too tired to figure out what was going on.  Maybe Laura Jane Grace dropped in for an impromptu set.



DS Show Review: FEST 16 Gainesville Day One

The night before the Fest, my wife and I sat out on the patio at the Wyndham Gainesville and enjoyed the delicious brews we grabbed at HourGlass Brewing on our way up. We sipped wistfully and gazed into the trees. I broke the silence, “Honey, tomorrow there are going to be people swinging in those trees, and running naked in the courtyard.” Obviously I had a slightly exaggerated sense of the debauchery that was to ensue, but only slightly.

I think we rolled out of bed on Friday morning around 10. We grabbed some coffee and got ourselves moving. Other than the bands that we wanted to see, we really didn’t have much of a plan or any idea what to expect. The first crisis of the day arose as I was getting dressed. I had decided to wear my The Spits shirt because I thought it was appropriately obscure and it’s yellow which would help keep the sun off of me on what was supposed to be a warm day. As I went through my luggage, I couldn’t find the shirt! I didn’t pack it!! Now what? Noise by numbers? Might give me some Chicago cred but too obscure. Desaparecidos? Naw. The Appleseed Cast. A band I like and have seen? Check. Obscure? I guess. Old shirt? Check. So I went with it.

After slamming a pineapple drink by the pool to the not-so-smooth sounds of Jason Guy Smiley, we decided to head over to the Holiday Inn and get our wristbands. The combination of people, confined space, and flea market atmosphere overwhelmed my senses and although I wanted to shop around, my agoraphobic side told me to get back out in the open air. We managed to fight though the cars and people. Made it to a parking structure and dumped the car. We lucked out with the parking situation. Not too expensive and close enough to the action to drop off any shirts, records, etc. that we accumulated.

The absolute best thing about the fest is the proximity of the different venues. You are never more than a five minute walk from any show. After grabbing a bite, we decided to check out A Wilhelm Scream. We beat the rush. Got our first of about 40 wrist bands, and looked to grab a beer. Eventually I would succumb to the masses and drink the more reasonably-priced PBR, but I started with the Swamphead IPA, which was actually pretty good. Caught a little A Wilhelm Scream and then cut for one of the first Mystery Shows of the weekend. Teenage Bottlerocket at High Dive doing Total in its entirety.

I’ll spare you the suspense. TB crushed it. High Dive is a great venue and I would recommend to future FESTers to see as many shows there as you can. If the choice is between High Dive and 8 Seconds, definitely take the Dive! After catching all 3 TB sets at FEST, I have to say I love these guys. Total was amazing!! They dropped “Skate or Die” and a few others to close out the set. Oddly enough, this was our second set of the fest and it stole the show. We wouldn’t know that until 40 bands later.

I wrote a piece about how to do the FEST, which was odd, because I’d never done it before. Still I had a philosophy in place, and that was to see as many bands as possible. We often had to make tough decisions and cut out early on some good sets, but I wanted to be on the move. So that explains how we hit The Flatliners, caught a bit of DAGS! (bought their record), saw some of Ratboys (not enough), and then hightailed it over to The Wooly to catch Tartar Control. These guys are awesome, the act is hilarious, and they just bring it 100%.

Next we hit Durty Nelly’s to catch The Bigger Empty. This is Mike Felumlee’s (Smoking Popes) other band, where he gets to come out from behind the kit and show off his boyish good looks. Great set from these guys. We moved on to catch Ghouls at Rockey’s where we hung on to catch the beginning of Sinai Vessel. My wife is a bad person and she really wanted to see The Lillingtons at 8 Seconds. We were worried that at one point people would just pick a spot and we wouldn’t be able to get into certain venues. So we cruised out of Sinai Vessel (very sad about that) and went to Pegboy at 8 Seconds.

Certainly Pegboy can turn your mood right around. They sounded great and hearing the songs off of “Strong Reaction” really brought back some mems. But 8 Seconds wasn’t full, and our fears of being shut out were unfounded, so we cruised back to Rockeys to catch Typesetter. Great set by them and afterward I got to catch up with Caleb Cordes of Sinai Vessel. I should mention that I had yet to get a shout out on my shirt and was questioning my choice to wear it. Then I met Caleb and he said “nice shirt.” I told him that SV reminded me of Appleseed Cast. He told me that he worked with Chris from AC on Brokenlegged. That totally blew my mind. The shirt was vindicated!!

FEST has a magic quality, maybe it’s the music, or something in the PBR that acts as the fountain of youth. At this point in the evening, we needed all the energy we could get. We were determined to catch The Lillingtons, so we went back to 8 Seconds and grabbed a couple of PBRs to pep us up. We arrived to the sounds of 88 Fingers Louie. I heard mixed reviews on their sound, but they definitely overcame the limitations of 8 Seconds better than most. I thought they sounded great. I could listen to Mr. Precision play all day. After we drained our PBRs, The Lillingtons came on. We hung on as long as we could, but had to cut out early. I don’t think they played our fave tune “All I hear is Static” so at least we didn’t miss that. We got some much-needed sustenance at the local Taco Bell, and then retired to our room for the evening, pretty amped to crash out so we could get up and do it all over again.



Miguel Chen (Teenage Bottlerocket) to release new book, “I Wanna Be Well: How A Punk Found Peace and You Can To”

If you’ve gotten to know Miguel Chen over the years, either in person or via social media, you’re no doubt aware that in addition to being a proud Wyomingite and, more importantly, bass player for Teenage Bottlerocket, he’s also a pretty devout yoga practitioner. This coming February, he’ll add another title to that list: published author!

With an assist from Rob Meade Sperry, Miguel has written a book entitled I Wanna Be Well: How A Punk Found Piece And You Can Too. Dubbed “a self-help book for people who hate self-help books,” the book tackles how Miguel was able to begin walking a spiritual path after years of running from his problems. And while books of a spiritual nature can take on a bit of a heady tone, don’t worry: each chapter contains a TL:DR summation in the form of a takeaway point. This is 2017, after all.

I Wanna Be Well is due out February 18th via Wisdom Publications, a leading publisher of Buddhist and mindfulness literature. Pre-orders are available on Amazon right here already. Check it out, and stay tuned for more on this over the next couple months!



Teenage Bottlerocket announce four east coast shows starting September 7th

Teenage Bottlerocket have announced four East Coast dates starting tomorrow, September 7th. They’ll be playing with OC45 and MakeWar. Later this month, Teenage Bottlerocket will be heading on tour in Australia.

Check out the East Coast dates below!



Album Review: Teenage Bottlerocket – “Stealing the Covers”

Back in March, the punk world was all atwitter with the news that everyone’s favorite Ramones-influenced unpretentious popular indie punk band from Wyoming was back in the studio. Then, when Teenage Bottlerocket announced a couple of weeks later that the new album would not contain any new original music but would instead be a cover album, Facebook was littered with disappointment.

Apparently the idea behind Stealing the Covers had been kicked around by the band for at least 10 years and it may even have been late drummer Brandon Carlisle’s idea (reports vary). If that’s the case, then the fact that the first full-length Teenage Bottlerocket album recorded in Brandon’s wake is filled with covers of obscure songs by unknown bands, makes this album an entirely appropriate tribute to co-frontman Ray’s fallen twin.

A drummer change in the lineup can potentially change a band’s sound more than any other position excepting the singer (see blink-182’s transition from Scott to Travis and the Bouncing Souls’ Shal to Michael). But then album opener “The Way I Know” functions similarly to previous album openers “Freak Out” and “In My Head” – no instrumental introductions found here. And that’s the remarkable things about Stealing the Covers: for an album of cover songs with a brand new drummer it really does sound just like another Teenage Bottlerocket album, even early Teenage Bottlerocket – both the opener and the second track, “Back and Forth”, would not have been out of place on Total (2005).

And then the haters be hating: They’re just another Ramones ripoff and Screeching Weasel wannabes; They’re getting slower and slower, mellowing out at least 10% for Tales From Wyoming (2015); They’re old now and should change their name to Middle-Aged Bottlerocket; They write the same song over and over; They record the same album over and over.

But it’s a good song they keep re-writing, and it’s a good album they keep re-recording.

And the familiar TBR sound continues with “College Town” and “Don’t Go.” Really, it isn’t until the new-age synthesizer at the opening of “Robocop is a Halfbreed Sellout” (by short-lived Laramie, WY-based Sprocket Nova) that the listener might scratch his head, raise an eyebrow, and wonder “what the hell?” but even then the song rocks out in typical TBR fashion, and by the time the synthesizer reappears before the final refrain it no longer seems out of place considering the eighties-themed lyrics.

Most of the songs on Stealing the Covers seem to have been selected because someone in the band thought it was funny. We’ve got the 35-second instant classic “Shit Fuck God Damn”, originally by a band called Artimus Maximus which, we learn from the extensive liner notes, first appeared on a four-minute EP with “a good 6 or 7 songs”. Then the band is “riding my rocket ship to the gay parade”, written by another no-namer, The Gullibles, whose members were in junior high at the time and broke up before graduation. “Hat Nerd”, from The Four Eyes, is one of the dumbest songs ever written, according to Kody.

The album closes with a contribution from The Punchlines, a song (named after a punchline) called “Why the Big Pause”. Or maybe “Paws”.  A really long pause separates the first and second halves of the song, but the lyrics are about a bear with big paws. Y’all’ve heard the joke before. And maybe the real punchline is that Teenage Bottlerocket has managed to make an album of cover songs sound just like one of their regular records. The fact that hardly anyone has heard of any of these bands before, let alone any of the songs, is at least a pretty original idea. Don’t be turned off because someone else wrote the songs. Stealing the Covers sure sounds like Teenage Bottlerocket to me.

4.5/5 Stars



Teenage Bottlerocket streaming new covers album and 7″

Wyoming pop-punks Teenage Bottlerocket have made their new covers album and 7″ available to stream. You can listen to Stealing the Covers and Goin’ Back to Wyo below.

Both releases came out on July 14th through Fat Wreck Chords. The band will be touring Europe, Australia, and Hawaii in the coming months.



OC45 announces 2017 summer tour dates

Boston punks OC45 will be touring the U.S. and Canada in August and September, and you can find all the dates and places in the tour poster below.

We already told you about OC45’s September dates with Teenage Bottlerocket and MakeWar, but before that, they will hit venues through the Midwest and Pacific Northwest, including a few dates with Seattle’s Burn Burn Burn.

OC45’s most recent release was this year’s Happy Accidents, which came out in January.  You can find their discography here.



Teenage Bottlerocket add European, Australian & Hawaiian dates to tour

Wyoming pop-punks Teenage Bottlerocket have added a ton of dates to their 2017 tour itinerary. In addition to their previously announced east coast shows with OC45, the band will also be touring Europe, Australia, and Hawaii in the coming months.

See if they’re stopping in a town near you by checking out the tour dates below.

Teenage Bottlerocket will be releasing a covers album, fittingly titled Stealing the Covers, on July 14th through Fat Wreck Chords. They’ll be putting out a new 7″ on that date as well.



Teenage Bottlerocket release video for cover “Why the Big Pause”

Wyoming native pop punks Teenage Bottlerocket have just released a brand spanking new video for their cover of The Punchlines “Why the Big Pause.”

The track will be on their anticipated album “Stealing the Covers” which will hit the streets on July 14th via Fat Wreck Chords. 

Check it out below.



Teenage Bottlerocket announce fall dates with OC45

Teenage Bottlerocket have announced a run of east coast tour dates this fall, with Boston punks OC45 providing support. Check out the dates after the jump.



Teenage Bottlerocket announce new 7″

Wyoming pop-punks Teenage Bottlerocket have announced a new 7″ to coincide with their covers album. It’s called Goin’ Back to Wyo, and it features two brand new, original TBR songs.

Like Stealing the Covers, the 7″ will release on July 14th through Fat Wreck Chords. Pre-orders for both releases went up today and are available here and here, respectively.



Teenage Bottlerocket premiere track from upcoming covers album

Wyoming pop-punks Teenage Bottlerocket are streaming a track from their upcoming album Stealing the Covers. It’s a cover of fellow Laramie, WY band Sprocket Nova’s song “Robocop is a Halfbreed Sellout”. Check it out below.

Stealing the Covers is set to release on July 14th through Fat Wreck Chords. TBR last released Tales from Wyoming in 2015 on Rise Records.



Face To Face, The Vandals & more playing Punk Rock Bowling Denver

Punk Rock Bowling organizers have announced the annual punk festival will be returning to Denver in 2017. Bands featured in the first lineup announcement include Face To Face, The Vandals, Lawrence Arms, Street Dogs, and Teenage Bottlerocket, among others.

The 2017 edition of PRB Denver is set to take place June 2nd and 3rd at Summit Music Hall and Marquis Theater. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 14th. Head over here for more info.