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Show Review: Hallowmas 20 With World/Inferno Friendship Society

All photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
World/Inferno Friendship Society truly puts on one of the best Halloween spectacles in the world.

Danielle Kolker of Brooklyn based folk-punk band Out of System Transfer had to turn down a gig with her other project, Funk Rust Brass Band, on Oct. 31 to tend to a religious obligation. That spiritual commitment was World/Inferno Friendship Society’s annual Halloween rowdy down Hallowmas at The Warsaw. As much as Kolker was half joking with her bandmates about why she had to miss the show, calling what transpired in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on All Hallow’s Eve a religious experience isn’t that far from the truth.

The chief pontificator of The Great Pumpkin Jack Terricloth lead his congregation of crusties, misfits, punks, and weirdos on a nearly two-hour long vision quest of intrigue and drama culminating in a rousing rendition of the old World/Inferno hymn “Pumpkin Time.” Terricloth is a cult unto himself and with his absurdly talented brood behind him, it’s hard not fall hook, line, and sinker for his silver-tongued sermons revolving around the aforementioned gourde, the history of WIFS, and the finer points of mischief-making.

It goes without saying that Halloween is a big night in New York City and even with the likes of Gwar and the Parliament Funkadelic putting on competing shows within the borders of the Big Apple WIFS loyal Infernites still made their way to the National Polish Home in Northwest Brooklyn to worship at the altar of the Great Pumpkin. For those who were counted, they were given a real treat of a show for the 20th annual Hallowmas.

It was definitely an intimate affair for World/Inferno and all the Infernites.

On this special evening World/Inferno decided not to open with their usual score “Tattoos Fade” and went instead with “Ich Erinnere Mich An Die Weimarer Republik” and allowed the crowd to sing out the masterful lyrics “I’m a fag, I’m a Jew, how do you do? That’s Mr. Anarchist to you,” but really the whole evening was just one big singalong. The band went through tunes like “Politics of Passing Out,” “The Brother of the Mayor of Bridgewater,” “And Embarked on a Life of Poverty,” “American Mercurial” “Addicted to Bad Ideas,” “Your Younger Man,” and slew of others while the crowd sloshed along dancing, singing, and drinking. WIFS even had their opening act the Lowdown Brass Band jump on stage to add a few extra horns to certain numbers including the opener and “Pumpkin Time.”

With all the costume-clad dancers and the overall design of The Warsaw the whole event kind of felt like a school dance … if your school hired a band fronted by the twisted love child of Frank Sinatra and Elvira who was possibly baptized by satan. But that’s the real fun of Hallowmas, it’s a night to leave the pretension at home and just jump in the Moshpit dressed as Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan.

There was no way Bill and Ted were going to miss this rock show.

After 20-years of being one of New York City’s best kept Halloween secrets World/Inferno says they are ready for 20 more. Hell, when the fans who are now half the age of the band still come out in droves for the chance to party it up with the Pumpkin King it’s easy to see why Hallowmas is still one of the best punk events in NYC and by far the best yearly punk shows still kicking in the Volcano.

The Lowdown Brass Band really takes their name to heart as they decided to get down low onto the venue’s floor to entertain the hordes.

The Lowdown Brass Band and Of Death opened the evening. Lowdown captured the crowd with their marching band style tunes and high energy. While the crusties got to moshing to Of Deaths almost alt-country affectations.

Here’s hoping Travis James and the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists can open Hallowmas 21 and hats off to Terricloth and the gang for giving all the miscreants something to do on Halloween until the bars close and the real fun can begin.



DS Editorial & Show Review: Worldwide Street Generation (Barb Wire Dolls, Svetlanas & 57)

By Michael Sorensen

Don’t judge a book by its cover. That’s what we’re taught as young future forward independent thinkers. However, on December 27th, 2014, I came across an online ad for a band called Barb Wire Dolls playing at the now defunct Blank Club in San Jose. Although not familiar with their music, their name suggested they don’t play smooth jazz and their look supported my suspicion that they may be brewing up my cup of tea.

What I witnessed that night was one of the most memorable live shows I can recall. This band didn’t aim to reinvent the wheel, but rather execute upon a blueprint laid out by one of their main influences – Darby Crash of The Germs. Play loud fast rock n’ roll music with bollocks, delivered with a dose of authenticity!

Hailing from the Greek island of Crete, the band was formed by singer Isis Queen and guitarist Pyn Doll. The band was born of the Ikarus Artist Commune, an elusive retreat in the mountains of Avdou. The commune, co-founded by Pyn, is a place where like-minded residents spend their time pursuing their artistic endeavors and surfing the legendary Cretan coast.

After crafting their sound while playing shows in their native Greece, Barb Wire Dolls were discovered by KROQ host Rodney Bingenheimer – who’s also responsible for discovering such relatively unknown bands as Sex Pistols, Guns N’ Roses, and Nirvana. It’s safe to say that Rodney’s attention casts a bright light. The Barb Wire Dolls did what many have done before – sold their belongings and embarked on a pilgrimage to Hollywood. Their journey, however, was a bit longer than the American bands before them. In December of 2010, the Dolls made history by becoming the first Greek band to play in America, and oh by the way it was a sold out show at The Roxy.

The band capitalized on this debut by touring relentlessly, playing over 300 shows between 2012 and 2013! Their omnipresent tour-de-rock eventually led to the eternal godfather of loud fast music, our rock n roll warlord Lemmy Kilmister, who upon hearing the Dolls personally signed them to his newly created label. With a new home at Motorhead Music, they continue to tour, record, and surf all over the world.

The first time I met the people behind this sonic rock n’ roll force was Super Bowl Sunday in February of 2015. The Barb Wire Dolls had announced a secret show in their practice space at KOOS Studio in San Pedro, and I just happened to be in Southern California for work anyway. I showed up at the studio and watched the Barb Wire Dolls deliver another epic frenzied performance to about a dozen people, most of whom I assume were from other bands and just happened to be in the studio practicing. After the set I introduced myself to Isis, Pyn, and drummer Krash. This was before Lemmy had caught wind of them and they were talking about shopping their record around to labels, looking for the right fit. In true DIY fashion, Isis hooked me up with a hand-numbered, white label copy of their unreleased album – complete with lipstick on the sleeve. We talked about surfing spots, punk music, and their upcoming trip back home to Greece.

I would go on to see Barb Wire Dolls another 8 times over the next 2 years between the Bay Area, Hollywood, and Vegas. Each time they would attract new Street Generation converts and amass a larger global following. However, their work ethic, DIY roots, and humility are always intact. They are always available before and after the show to say hello, and they always remember old friends from the shows over the years.

That brings us to now. As the fates would have it, while I’m on a 2-month homecoming from Asia, the Barb Wire Dolls are back in San Francisco with one of the most incredible international lineups I’ve ever seen, including the Svetlanas from Russia and 57 from South Korea. As I arrived at the DNA Lounge, Pyn was leaning against the wall outside, coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Krash was in line at the next-door pizza place, carbing up for the show, while Isis Queen was upstairs reacquainting herself with old friends near the merch table (featuring items custom made by Isis herself).

Like the Dolls did before them, 57 are one of the first South Korean bands to tour the U.S., and oh my lord did they bring the noise! I may be dating myself here, but they are a rock duo similar in makeup to alternative ’90’s band Local H, featuring only guitar and drums. The similarities end there, and please don’t let their lack of band personnel dissuade you from thinking they aren’t an absolute sonic powerhouse. As soon as these two otherwise quiet and restrained individuals took the stage, they unleashed a barrage of frenzied guitars and chaotic drum-beats featuring constantly changing time signatures and effects. Their sound can best be described as if At The Drive ordered a Dillinger Escape Plan with a side of Lo-Fi garage goodness.

Next up was Svetlanas. Wanna know how you’ve earned your stripes in the punk scene? Well, being banned from your home country would certainly do it. Having been described as the most dangerous band in the world, Svetlanas certainly live up to the title by being labeled enemies of the state due to their confrontational brand of political dissent. Constantly on the road while in exile from their homeland, it’s safe to say they are certainly not here to sway the outcome of any election. Rather, they want to deliver their consistent message complete with a pair of middle fingers in the air. The band’s singer and primary energy source is the pint-sized Olga, but please don’t underestimate this agent of chaos. While the band is on stage, Olga is bouncing around across the entire venue. If you are within her sights, she will be up in your face screaming lyrics like “no hope no way” and “let’s get drunk”, accompanied by the intense stares of a woman possessed. You will not be comfortable while they are performing, but isn’t that what we all came here for?!

Finally, Isis Queen hit the stage and proclaimed, “We’re the Barb Wire Dolls and we play rock n’ roll.”. Truer words were never spoken! While they ripped through new cuts from their album Rub My Mind and staples like Revolution, they slowed it down for ballads like I Will Sail and Where Mountains Drink Wine. In addition to the core members, the current lineup includes bassist Iriel Blaque and a rhythm guitarist whose name I didn’t get. They are constantly expanding their sound and reaching new audiences the world over. I knew from the moment I heard them years ago that they would be an influential force in the live music scene for many years to come.

After their set, I caught up with Isis Queen, who remembered my white and red leather jacket. We briefly talked about NorCal surf spots, their new album, and my upcoming move to the Philippines. I attempted to lure the band there by mentioning the Pinoy surf jaunt Siargao.

So, there you have it. I just revealed one of the greatest kept secrets in music today – The Barb Wire Dolls. On a cold Tuesday night at DNA Lounge in San Francisco, myself and a couple dozen others witnessed one of the greatest international lineups the world has ever known. 57 was there. Svetlanas was there. Barb Wire Dolls was there. Blaq Dahlia from The Dwarves was there. Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedy’s fame was there. Were you there?!



DS Editorial: The Night I Videotaped Circle Jerks & Fear And Barely Lived To Tell About It

Words by Loren Kantor

In the winter of 1981, I responded to a backpage ad in Flipside, an independent zine covering the Los Angeles punk rock scene. The ad read: “Videographer needed to document local punk shows.” I’d spent several thousand dollars on a Panasonic video camera and was looking for a way to recoup the investment. I called the number and spoke with Boris, a man with a heavy Slavic accent. He told me to meet him on Wednesday night at the Stardust Ballroom, an old big band venue at the corner of Western & Sunset in East Hollywood.

All I had to do was videotape several hours of punk rock performances and Boris would pay me $300. It sounded simple enough. I’d been a drummer in high school with a love for prog-rock bands like Genesis and King Crimson. I didn’t know much about punk. I’d heard the Sex Pistols and the Clash. I figured punk was just another outlet for teen angst and rebellion, the essence of all rock ‘n’ roll.

The band list that night included the Circle Jerks, Fear and Black Flag. This would be an epic LA show, but I had no way of knowing this at the time. Boris met me outside the venue. He wore a dark sharkskin suit and his face was pockmarked with acne scars. He introduced me to El Duce, a local punk legend who would be my chaperone that evening. El Duce was a menacing singer for the “rape rock” band The Mentors. He was a bald Latino with a ratty beard, sanpaku eyes and a hairy belly protruding beneath a tight t-shirt. He was rude, crass and prone to spitting on and cursing women. (One of his songs included the lyrics, “Bend up and smell my anal vapor, your face is my toilet paper.”) Boris said, “As long as you stay near him no one will fuck with you.”

Boris said he’d meet me on the sidewalk after the show. I followed El Duce into the lobby past a mass of white teens wearing t-shirts and jeans. People gave El Duce a wide berth as he flashed the finger and made fart sounds with his lips. I noticed several skinheads beating the crap out of a longhair near the concession stand. I also had long hair. I turned on my video camera and started taping. My camera would be my invisibility cloak, my instrument of anonymity.

El Duce disappeared into the crowd leaving me without a security detail. I entered the performance space as the Circle Jerks were playing “Live Fast Die Young.” Singer Keith Morris thrashed around stage screaming indecipherable vocals into the microphone. The music was frenetic with distorted guitar, pulsing bass and hyperactive drums. I searched for a vantage point to position my camera. There was an opening left of stage, directly beneath a large amp. I turned on my portable light and carved through the crowd like a snowplow.

There were about 200 people in the audience. Most were calm except a few trying to start a mosh pit. As the Circle Jerks stormed through their playlist, the throng pushed against me and the slam dancing began in earnest. I was struck by a few wayward arm thrusts but I was more concerned for the camera than my own personal safety.

At the end of the set I followed the Circle Jerks backstage. I entered a small room with graffiti-covered walls, a torn couch and several broken chairs. Guitarist Greg Hetson thrust a beer into my hand. He urged me to roll camera as he yelled directly into the lens. “We’re making history tonight. LA is the center of the punk universe.” Someone else screamed, “The Pistols are pussies.” El Duce entered the room, dropped his pants and grabbed his testicles. Everyone was excited, caught in the magnitude of the evening.

That was when I sensed a menacing presence in the corner. He was a short, stocky man with close-cropped hair, muscular neck and piercing blue eyes. He was quiet and tense, oozing rage like a tiger caught in a steel trap. I pointed the camera toward him. He flipped me off and scowled. I turned away, intimidated. El Duce admonished me, “Don’t diss Lee, man. He’ll mess you up.” He referred to Lee Ving, the notorious lead singer of Fear. To this day I’ve never met a scarier human being.

I returned to the auditorium and was greeted by a stench of body odor and stale beer. The room was now packed with thousands of screaming, shirtless fans. My previous camera position was filled. I made a fateful decision, climbing atop the eight-foot high amplifier on the stage. From there I could tape the performance without anyone blocking my view. The sound might be muffled but I was clear of the mosh pit and out of harm’s way.

As Fear began their set, the crowd roared. Suddenly everything was chaos. Their first song was “I Love Livin’ In The City.” Moshers blitzed the stage and smashed into each other like bowling pins. Two beefy bouncers grabbed the aggressive fans and hurled them into the oscillating mass. A band member played an out-of-tune saxophone. Lee Ving stumbled backwards, bodies flying around him. At one point, he looked my way. This caught the crowd’s attention as if they suddenly noticed me for the first time.

I pointed the camera toward the crowd. This was a big mistake. A cup of beer hit me in the chest. Suddenly I felt the amplifier swaying. I looked down and saw two moshers rocking the amp back and forth. Fans cheered. Lee Ving thrust his fist in the air as if to signal his approval.

The amp toppled. I cradled my camera to my chest and prepared for impact. I fell headfirst into a horde of bodies and limbs. People began punching and kicking me. Someone yanked my hair. Others spit at me. I curled into a ball, making myself as small as possible. For some reason I focused on the song that was playing, “Beef Bologna.” I had the thought, “That’s a strange thing to write a song about.”

Someone grabbed me under the armpits and dragged me away. I’ve no idea who it was. He deposited me by the back wall, near the bathroom. My shirt was soaked from sweat and beer. My breathing was labored. I struggled to my feet and shuffled out of the venue. When I reached the sidewalk, I gulped for air. My nose was bleeding but my main concern was my camera. There was a dent in the camera body but it still worked. I pointed at the marquee and took one last shot. Then I staggered to my car and drove home.

The next morning the phone rang at 6:30. It was Boris. He wanted to know why I didn’t meet him after the show. I told him what happened. He wasn’t interested. All he cared was whether I recorded Black Flag. I told him no. He cursed in Slavic. He said there’d been a near riot and a tape of the show would be gold.

He asked if he could get the tape that morning. I told him my camera was damaged and I wanted extra money. He said he would only pay $200 since I didn’t record Black Flag. We agreed on $400. Before delivering the tape, I watched the footage. The performance shots were dark and the sound quality crackled. But the backstage shots of the Circle Jerks and Lee Ving looked great.

It would take a few weeks before my ribs and nose were back to normal. The trauma would take longer to heal. I don’t know why I didn’t make a copy of the tape. Maybe I wanted to put the incident behind me. That would be the last punk show I ever attended.



Show Review: Upstart Street Festival Catskill NY (Dr. Beardface, Kyle Trocolla, Strangers, Pitchfork Militia)

So this last weekend I see an ad on Facebook that reads “Upstart Music-Arts Brewfest and Fleamarket” and what caught my eye was the font in the word Upstart was the same as Upstart Fest and the Upstart Antisocial Campout two of my favorite punk festivals/tours so I went to the page that was linked on the ad and sure enough the good people from Upstart Fest had put together a street festival in the little town of Catskill NY which is maybe an hour and a half north of where I am from in Poughkeepsie.

And  with nothing to do on this fine end of summer day I grabbed two friends and we made the drive up to Catskill NY which turned out to be a really cute little town right on the Hudson River and an easy drive from where we lived. Upon arrival at about noon it appeared the Fest was already in full swing and the street was filled with people, my friends and I grabbed a beer from the Rip Van Winkle Brewery tent and caught the last two songs from a set done by Danny Stitches who looked and sounded like a dead Waylon Jennings, and before you think I’m making fun of Mr. Stitches I’m not, he was done up in rather professional makeup to look like  Frankenstein’s Monster with a black cowboy hat and he sang country songs, and from the little I heard was quite good.

Next followed a poppy band called Ramona Lane, whose front man had a good voice, they weren’t bad and with some polishing and more stage presence may be able to gain some recognition down the line in the new alternative scene. The set after that was by a young looking band called Frances Dean, fans of Nirvana rejoice these guys brought back the dead with this set, the front man stood out as the omnipresent grunge master with a permanent scowl on his face as the rhythm guitarist kept the frantic momentum going as they entertained the growing crowd and local fans.

We shared some delicious spinach and potato pierogis bought some ear rings and another craft beer this time from Keegan Ales which was also really delicious, and then returned to the stage to see Mr. Danny Stitches back up there with a different front man and a full band who called themselves Casanova Frankenstein And The Voodoo Machine. Dressed in black and red bowling shirts and all done up like corpses they rocked out a set of creepy rockabilly songs that got us all thinking that we needed to start getting ready for Halloween. And as it happened they did a really great job and were a lot of fun.

The next three bands slated to appear were a surprise, a very good surprise for me as I know and love them all, Dr. Beardfacé And The Spaceman, Pitchfork Militia, and Kyle Trocolla and his full band The Strangers. I was surprised because there was no mention of any of the performers I could see on the Facebook Ad other than “Bands” so obviously once I read the whiteboard with the full list of bands the day got a whole lot more interesting for me.

Dr. Beardfacé And The Spaceman hit the stage hard, opening the set up with Teenage Runaway, one of my favorite songs off their latest album, and then just rolled into song after song in an almost panicked pace hitting us with one song after another Ramones style for at least 45 minutes the crowd growing as they played and jumping when they layed into their cover of Dramarama’s  anything anything.

A band who I haven’t seen in years was up next, Hudson Valley legends Pitchfork Militia got up and after their first song announced that this was their 23rd year as a band which garnered cheers from their fans and other show goers as they played their infamous brand of “Cow Punk” with front man Peter Head playing his guitar with a toy fire truck to the amazement of onlookers who were unfamiliar with the bands onstage antics.

And finally Kyle Trocolla of Two Fisted Law fame showcased his solo work with the backing of a full band called The Strangers. I was, or am I should say a big fan of Kyle’s solo work, his song writing and his musicianship are on par with contemporaries like Tim Barry and Chuck Regan I believe. And I had heard he occasionally performs his acoustic songs with a full band but have never seen him do it. Let me state for the record he blew us away, I will stand as a firm fan of his solo acoustic stuff and think his last album The Stranger was one of the finest albums of 2016 but hearing those songs played by a full band with all the additional instruments and intricacies a full band can bring was absolutely phenomenal and a really great treat.

So from three Poughkeepsie girls thank you Upstart people for giving us another fine day of music, food, beer, and really interesting vendors and artists…Yes let me not forget to mention the very interesting vendors, artists and craftspeople who made up the bulk of this fine fair as I ramble on about music. There were vendors manning booths selling canned and jarred foods, fruit and vegetables, cool punk clothing, not so cool mainstream clothing (a girl needs that too) vinyl records, really great and interesting artists, jewelers etc. everything and more you could want or ask for in a street festival of this type.

Upstart Music-Arts Brewfest And Fleamarket, We loved you!



Show Review: Punk in Drublic (9/16/17 – Tacoma, WA)

The Punk in Drublic logline is the sort of thing that makes a Pacific Northwest punk a little misty-eyed: craft beer + punk rock. It sounds so simple, yet until now, it hadn’t been done. Fat Mike has managed to combine the unique atmosphere of a punk rock show with a brewfest. As Langston Hughes said, “Hold fast to dreams.”

The tour stops are cities most likely missed on regular circuits. I arrived at the Tacoma stop with the thought, as I’m sure did everyone else: why the fuck is this in Tacoma? The question is probably the answer. NOFX is a band that has been around forever and toured about everywhere you can think of, doing a weird tour of less-sought American cities seems right up their alley. Sometimes the only reason is why not?

I got to the venue early enough to walk around and take in the sights. It kind of reminded me of a mini-Punk Rock Bowling, but without the oppressive desert heat. In fact, the green grass and cool air were a welcome change from my past festival experiences. If there’s anyone listening out there: the mild climate of the Northwest is perfect for this type of thing. People were drinking beers and chatting, hyping themselves about the last time they saw NOFX or Bad Religion; decked out in Fat Wreck gear and comparing tasting notes. It was a cool vibe, definitely a unique festival experience. I had the pleasure of trying out Stone’s NOFX collaboration beer– a hoppy lager called Punk In Drublic– and am happy to report it tastes about how you’d expect: a big earthy bouquet of lager maltiness with a strong dose of hops. Pretty damn good, if you ask me.

The biggest problem with the beer side of the operation was that there wasn’t enough. There were ten-thousand punks in Tacoma that night, and they drank all the beer.

Photo credit: Evan Olszko

Impressively, it wasn’t even cheap beer, we’re talking ten-bucks-a-pop festival cups here. Fat Mike got his I-told-you-so in on the mic at the end of the night. For next time, they’ll have to remember that the crowd that goes to see a craft beer/ NOFX show aren’t the one-and-done types. Besides the beer running out into the middle of the final set, the festival went pretty smoothly, excepting for the long beer and merch lines. It’s hard to be too upset, allowing for inexperience with this sort of event. If they do it again (and God, I hope they do it again), they’ll need twice the kegs and the volunteers to go with them.

For the music of the day, I’m happy to say all the bands killed it. Tacoma darlings, the Hilltop Rats opened the show, obviously honored to be in the company of such a strong lineup. They played fast and aggressive skate punk with tons of melody and banter. They were there to get the fest started off right, and they were there to have fun along the way– what else can you expect from a band who played a song called “Jell-O Shots”?

Not to beat a dead horse, but the lines for beer were getting gargantuan by the time the music started in earnest. Unfortunately, the beer line predicament kept me in line for the entirety of Bad Cop/ Bad Cop’s set. From where I was though, they sounded great. Warriors is one of my favorites of the year, and I was happy to hear them play and harmonize with expert precision.

Goldinger was up next and if I had to name a song of their’s to save my life, I would have to gracefully accept a bullet. But, when they came on stage, I was in total awe. Those guys have energy to spare. They were bouncing up and down, kicking out muscular riffs that had folks dancing and singing along. Ska isn’t usually my thing, but man, I had to admit– Goldfinger kinda rocked it.

Less Than Jake had a bunch of energy too, and gave a bashful “Thanks, Fat Mike,” for putting on the punk beer fest. If there was a running theme through the night, it was that the band’s were as enthralled with the novelty of the event as the fans. They opened with “All My Best Friends are Metalheads,” which means, if I had to name one song of Less Than Jake’s to save my life, I could do exactly that.

The gateway band that I can’t shake is Bad Religion. Yeah, there were other bands I listened to when I first got into punk, but Bad Religion is the one that I always come back to. What can I say about them that hasn’t been said? Their set at Punk In Drublic was one of the best I’ve seen from them, they sounded great (especially their harmonies) and opened with “American Jesus” and ended with “Fuck Armageddon… This is Hell.” In between those two, they also played “No Control,” “Do What You Want,” “Generator,” “Los Angeles Is Burning,” and a bunch of their other hits. As he is apt to do, Fat Mike jumped on stage for the bridge of “21st Century (Digital Boy).” At Punk Rock Bowling, he took over bass for “We’re Only Gonna Die.” If there’s one thing Fat Mike likes to do (besides drugs), it’s help Bad Religion keep their set exciting. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again, but it always brings a smile to my face.

I’d only see NOFX once before, but knowing how the band follows whims (you know, like pulling off a punk beer fest in Tacoma), I always figured their sets could be pretty distinct. As per usual, there was the trademark banter, which for a NOFX fan is as much a part of their set as well, you know– songs– but, it was funny and entertaining. Fat Mike riffed on event coordinators not having enough beer and then proceeded to play a lot of classic tracks, changing words for laughs along the way. Seeing NOFX in their element with an audience of ten-thousand was a sight to see. You don’t get many opportunities to sing “Bob” with a choir that size. Everyone was really into it, singing and circle pitting– whether in the pit or not– and I was pleasantly surprised to hear them play one of my favorite deep cuts, “I’m a Huge Fan of Bad Religion,” maybe just because I can relate to the title.

All in all, Tacoma’s Punk in Drublic was a unique spectacle of good beer, great live performances, and some logistics that could stand to be improved. But, as Fat Mike celebratorily said, “This is a punk rock festival for ADULTS!” And it certainly was. There was beer and there was a music, and not a fucking kid in sight.

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

 

 



Show Review: The Menzingers, Laura Stevenson, The Split Seconds, and Kyle Trocolla (8/26/17 – NY)

The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie NY is a beautiful old theater from the 1920’s with old plaster moldings on the ceiling and art deco Egyptian friezes that stare down at you from high above the stage. It’s probably the largest venue of its kind between New York City and Albany, and over the years I have seen so many great bands there to include but not limited to Social Distortion, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Bouncing Souls and dozens of others. In my opinion The Chance does not book enough good or interesting shows as they tend to opt toward Cover and “Tribute” bands and old dinosaurs who are well past their prime attracting show goers who often are also well past their prime.

But this weekend the Mid-Hudson area of NY was treated to a near perfect lineup of young up and coming bands by The Chance that was in general not just a breath of fresh air for the venue but for me as an avid show goer in general, because it seems that even at the hottest live music venues in the northeast rarely do you find a perfect lineup where you don’t have to suffer through a talentless filler band or two to enjoy some top notch entertainment.

This night was as close to magic to me as if I had put together a dream team of bands I’d like to have in some sort of fantasy pick your favorites game, but I never would have put all of this together simply because I don’t know if I would have thought to build a show this way so let me thank whoever it was that made this happen.
The show opened with Kyle Trocolla of Two Fisted Law doing his acoustic stuff from his solo album The Stranger . Kyle stood alone on the large stage of The Chance and hammered out about ten songs or so telling stories of life, love and life on the road that brought a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat, and had the entire crowd cheering and screaming in praise of his set which is quite an achievement when you have 3 bands to go before the headliner everyone came to see… If you’re not already familiar with Kyle and you like Tim Barry and Chuck Regan check him out I believe he is every bit as good as those two are and you will be sure to feel the same.

Next up were new comers to the scene; The Split Seconds from Washington DC. Unfortunately for them being the first electric act on stage the sound guys had to work out the kinks and some feedback issues during their first three songs, but once that was cleared up all I have to say is wow. The Split Seconds brought the energy and brought the fun to this show, my friends and I were all blown away with their tightness and their songs, this band has a solid old school punk sound and feel that is hard for me to put my finger on exactly, so maybe we’ll just take a blender and mix up some of what you like from the late 70’s scenes in New York and London and drop a heavy dose of California 90’s pop punk with a dash or two of classic DC Dischord Records and there you have a recipe for success. This band is one to watch out for and I am so glad I caught this set.

After being so very satisfied by The Split Seconds I was equally satisfied by another new act for me Laura Stevenson. Laura Stevenson of Bomb The Music Industry also does solo work, and on this night played with a full band. I am sorry to say although I am familiar with Laura I don’t know her music and have never seen her live so here I will officially slap myself on the wrist and now announce myself as a convert to the Laura Stevenson cause, she along with her band were great, absolutely great, a little less singer songwriter than the preconceived notions I had in my head, and I would say her style was more of a power pop than an indie or punky sound but who cares what we call it, their performance was stellar and I hope they return to the Hudson Valley soon.

Now without further ado the band we all came to see The Menzingers took the stage, with wild chants and screams from the crowd they just laid into song after song both old and new, getting the crowd more worked up with each song and sing along chorus they played, the pit was packed with fans pumping their fists and singing so loud they often drown out the sound system itself, the positivity and love between the band and the fans was palpable…I have seen The Menzingers three times now, the first two as support for larger touring bands so this was the first time I had seen them headline a show of this size in a room this size and they proved to all in attendance that yes The Menzingers have arrived, and are a headlining act to be recognized. With a combination of fierceness and grace they ended their set and thanked the fans, the venue, and the opening acts before leaving the stage only to return with a couple more songs to appease the crowd chanting for more more more.

This was, if not the perfect show, as close to perfect as it gets, each and every band fit the bill perfectly and each and every band delivered stellar performances, I would return to see this same show for multiple dates if it were possible. Thank you Kyle Trocolla, thank you The Split Seconds, Laura Stevenson, and Thank you The Menzingers for a night I will remember and sing the praises of for weeks, month’s maybe years to come.



Show Review: ‘The Real Will Wood and the Tapeworms’ (Live Album/Concert Film Recording Event)

Dunellen, NJ- Before attending the show at Roxy & Dukes this past Friday, I actually contacted Will Wood to ask if there was anything that I should do to prepare for my first (LIVE) Will Wood and the Tapeworms experience. His response: “That’s like saying meet me at the playground at 3 o’clock, we’re gonna fight, bring brass knuckles. I wouldn’t want to arm my enemies. I wouldn’t want to give you any information that would allow you to be prepared or allow you to be able to defend yourself once the proverbial fan is hit.  It’s not gonna be anything you’ve ever seen before, I promise you that.”

He wasn’t kidding, it was a show experience unlike any other.

Imagine trapeze-artists dropping from the ceiling like spiders dangling from a web, fans that paint their faces with a third eye on their forehead and a diverse crowd made up of “ladies, gentlemen, boys, girls, neithers, boths and inbetweens”; that my friend is just the surface of what you will witness at a WWATT show.

THE REAL WILL WOOD AND THE TAPEWORMS PART TWO’ (Live Album/Concert Film Recording Event) with special guests Bella’s Bartok literally sold out in days and I assure you that everyone who was there realized just how lucky we were to have been in attendance at this intimate concert. A TV crew came around and asked fans “who is the real Will Wood?” and by the end of the show I think we discovered that the real Will Wood was now a part of all of us. If that makes sense, does it? I can’t explain it any other way.

Stand out songs/crowd pleasers: (Not necessarily in this order, I drank bunch of PBR at $4 a pop for a 16 oz. can and my memory got away from me) “Mr. Capgras Encounters a Secondhand Vanity,” “Chemical Overreaction/Compound Fracture,” “Hand Me My Shovel, I’m Going In!,” and “White Knuckle Jerk (Where Do You Get Off?).”All of these songs were sing-alongs as the 90% of the crowd seemed to know all of the lyrics. I expected these songs to be played but it was the encore song that surprised the hell out of me. After the band cleared the stage Will Wood came out by himself and sat down before his keyboard. As he began to play I immediately realized what song it was even with the extended intro but I feel like the crowd was 10 secs behind me as they began to scream in amazement. The song was “Love Me Normally” which I have only seen or heard on a public access TV show appearance and from my understanding it’s not on any albums that I am aware of. This song is a gem and a rarity and it meant so much to the fans that Will decided to end the show with this song. “The lipstick on the mirror are the lyrics to my obituary…”

This show will forever go down in history, not just in our memories but it was recorded and will be released on CD/online in the near future and Will Wood has vowed to give everyone that purchased a ticket to The Real WWATT Show a FREE Copy. There will also be video/film footage in an undetermined format that eventually will be released as well.

To give you some kind of idea of the experience that concert- goers had at The Real Will Wood and the Tapeworms show, I’ve included their latest music video below. The song is entitled Hand Me My Shovel, I’m Going In!” and it’s a very similar feel to the live show. Make-up, sweat, confetti, and Blood.



Show Review: Two Fisted Law’s final show with Jukebox Romantics & Lost In Society (August 12, 2017)

Eventually everything comes to pass, even we as humans will reach the inevitable end and have to face our own mortality…I have often wondered if it would be better to go quickly and silently without any notice of my own end. Or if it would be better to know ahead of time and be able to get all of my affairs in order, say good bye to all my loved ones, enjoy the pleasures of my favorite meals or films one last time and I don’t know maybe have one last party before my eventual demise.

Bands for the most part break up or give up after an internal dispute over art, or money or some personality conflict. And although it may not always come as a surprise to the band members themselves it often is a surprise to the world and to the fans. Well this Saturday I was able to witness a spectacle of punk rock love and brotherhood few have ever been able to experience…After over fifteen years of cross country tours, numerous lineup changes, on stage fistfights, and hundreds of drunken booze soaked practices and shows the boys from Two Fisted Law decided to call it quits in early spring of this year. Professionals that they were they kept every date they had booked on their calendar during 2017 and added one more…The Official Final Show which could not be held in their hometown of Danbury Connecticut due to the closing of their local venues Cousin Larry’s and The Heirloom Arts Theater so was held in neighboring New Milford Connecticut at the surprisingly large and well equipped Fast Eddies Billiards.

Upon arrival I was able to catch the last few frantically fast paced songs by Danbury locals and longtime Two Fisted Law friends Social Standards. The speed and aggression of their front man made me kick myself for missing most of the set and reminded me of my own mantra about always checking out every band at a show.

Next up in the lineup was a crowd favorite The Jukebox Romantics who quickly whipped everyone into a frenzy with front man Mike Terry screaming anthemic vocals to an audience of well-versed fans who sang along to every song while shaking fists into the air while slamming into one another…between songs the band would crack jokes and trade insults while sharing Two Fisted Law stories with the audience, this performance alone was worth the hour and a half drive I had to get to New Milford for this show.

After The Jukebox Romantics left the stage Asbury Park New Jersey’s Lost In Society who have just completed a tour with Face To Face and soon leave for tour with Unwritten Law took the stage and unleashed a super tight set of fast paced pop punk songs that again had the entire place dancing and singing along song after song as front man Zach Moyle leaped all over the stage like a man possessed…It was a truly exceptional performance and I can see why these guys are so popular at the moment.

After Lost In Society had finished the feel of anticipation grew as did the crowd which pushed out of the band area of the venue and crept into the main bar and pool playing sections of the club. In attendance was a who’s who of Northeastern punk bands including members of Damn Broads, Cry Havoc, Enziguri, The Lost Riots and others I’m sorry I recognized but could not identify.

It was now about 11:45 pm Two Fisted Law took the stage and current front man Lance thanked everyone for coming out and thanked the band for having them adopt him into the family and the set began…it was tight it was loud and it was fast as they blazed through song after song Lance screaming into the microphone as if his head was about to burst right off of his neck.

In between every other song Lance or Kyle would tell a little anecdote from a past show, or share some love for someone in the room, they thanked the opening acts all of whom have shared in the long and proud history of Two Fisted Law both on and off the stage. Then maybe 25-30 minutes in Lance invited Big Jym the previous and longtime front man up on stage to do a duet, and both men laid into 3-4 songs together the crowd going completely insane then Lance left the stage and the show continued on with Big Jym singing more fan favorites, another pause and the original drummer Matt Rosenzweig, original bassist Dave Haug and original Guitarist Ricky Foster took the stage with much adulation from the crowd of longtime fans they all shared a couple of jokes and insults back and forth and then Ricky sang a never before performed on stage song from the very first inception of the band from some 15-16 years ago before they all went back into the full show with Jym on vocals and the old lineup still in place the band rocked for over two hours in total playing possibly every song off of every release they had done…and in the end every member got on stage including once short term member Mike Terry of the Jukebox Romantics. Kyle Trocolla then again gave a short thank you speech to all in attendance and explained how the song Late Nights And Bar Fights Was indeed written for, and about, every fan who ever made it to any of their shows, they all shared a shot of whiskey and saluted one another and the crowd and then they all…5 Guitarists, 2 bassists, 2 drummers on 2 drum kits, and 2 front men all playing and singing in unison belted out that song. And they tore the house down…I have seen many great shows, I have seen many touching moments on stage, and I will say that as of today this one song at this one show, with everyone onstage playing their hearts out, and managing with all the booze and emotion to be so fucking tight and deliver the wall of sound that they delivered with that many people on stage playing together was bar none one of the greatest moments in punk rock history and I only which everyone in our world was able to experience that one song…It was truly the thing legends are made of.

R.I.P. Two Fisted Law.

Check out photos from the show by Just Vibe below.



Show Review: Rebellion Festival Day 1

DS recently attended the annual, 4 day punk rock extravaganza that is Rebellion Festival in Blackpool, North West England. Read the first of our reviews of the festival below – looking back at the ridiculously strong line up on day 1.

Rebellion – Day 1

High summer in the UK is unpredictable down in London. One day it’s beautiful, sunbathing weather. The next it’s pissing it down. But, in Blackpool, as a soft southerner, you can be sure to be freezing, regardless of the fact its early August. You find yourself swept off your feet by the blasting wind and greeted by people in t-shirts looking at you funny for shivering. Luckily, the annual pilgrimage up there is for Rebellion – the unique, 4 day punk festival held in the cavernous Winter Gardens. And a couple of us were there for Dying Scene. [Continued below]



Show Review: From Ireland to New York City Leftover Crack Kills

All Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
Leftover Crack made it from the stage in Dublin to the Stage in Brooklyn in less than 24-hours and looked damn good doing it .

Watching Leftover Crack frontman Scott Sturgeon perform in 2017 is somewhat akin to watching the film Logan. He’s getting old and a little beat up, but he’s still every bit as feisty as he was at 21. We even get to see him do battle with X-24 in the form of all the Crack Rock Steady imitators out there copping Stza’s swag — and just like in Logan, the original wins out.

At the ripe old age of 41, Stza finds a way to put on electric shows night after night and from nation to nation. I’m 29, and I don’t think I’d be able to play a show in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday night, then fly straight back to New York City for a 5 p.m. Sunday timeslot in Tompkins Square Park before taking the stage at 10 p.m. in Greenpoint.

But Stza does and he does it well; he brings the explosive performance of a much younger man and mixes it with skills acquired as a frontman over the past twenty years, making for one of the most engaging lead singers in punk. This was my first time seeing Leftover Crack, so I’d never seen Stza play without a guitar before, and the freedom of not having an instrument slung on his back all night really showed in his movement and stage presence.

I, unfortunately, missed the Tompkins set because I had to be at my day job, but when I informed one of the contractors at work, he snuck off across the East River to catch the show. He reappeared with photos and fresh bruises from the mosh pit.

Bass player Alec Baille

In October 2016, Choking Victim played the Warsaw on the 30th and World/Inferno Friendship Society played their annual Hallowmas the following night. In August 2017, World/Inferno led the charge, playing Brooklyn Bazaar on the 5th while Stza rolled out his other mob, Leftover Crack, to close out the weekend on the 6th. Once again, Robert and Andrew over at Scenic Presents managed to attain a festival vibe without crazy high ticket prices (or even a festival).

Stza also let fly that Leftover Crack is working on new material. He said it might take them the better part of a decade to release it, but that it is on the way.



Theatrics and Poise: World/Inferno Friendship Society bring the house down at Brooklyn Bazaar

Photos by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
Jack Terricloth serenading one lucky fan at Brooklyn Bazaar.

The World/Inferno Friendship Society have really only been playing New York three or four times a year as of late, which makes every one of their hometown performances a must see. Their music is complex and beautiful, their sound is raw and powerful, and they bring a level of showmanship and theatricality to the stage that no other punk band on the planet does.

For their last hometown performance before their annual Hallowmas, Mr. Terricloth and his cohort invited Philly ska/punks Teenage Halloween up to the Big Apple to open the evening in Brooklyn Bazaar’s ballroom. They played well and announced that they would be dropping a new record soon on Philadelphia-based Fistolo Records.

Next on the bill was Slackers frontman Vic Ruggiero, who may just be the single most New York human being on the planet (under the age of 60 at least). Vic’s solo sets are like watching New York blues history unfold right before your eyes, and it’s really a thing of beauty. He’s an engaging storyteller, a tremendous guitarist, and a genuine guy.

Vic Ruggiero of The Slackers doing his solo thing.

It’s hard to fill up a stage like Brooklyn Bazaar’s as a solo act, but Vic actually made the room feel full with his electric guitar, a kick drum, a tambourine, and his chest-mounted harmonica. He played his solo stuff, took requests, and even workshopped a new song entitled “Garlic is the Sun” for his hometown crowd. Not all the requests were honored, however, as Vic pointed out to one fan that “if you wanna hear dat one, you’ll need to come to a Slackers show” in his droll New York accent.

As great as Vic was, the crowd was there for one reason and one reason only: to fuck shit up with World/Inferno. The room went bonkers with the first notes of “Tattoos Fade,” and Mr. Terricloth raised a full bottle of Coppola wine to toast the WIFS faithful. The crowd roared along to every lyric of World/Inferno’s opening score, and the ever friendly World/Inferno moshpit sprang into existence. There are punks to help you up in every pit, but something about the WIFS pit is just far more inviting than any other band’s.

Mr. Terricloth raising a toast to his World/Inferno faithful.

In a pre-show interview, Mr. Terricloth had said that Saturday night’s show would be “off the hook,” and he delivered on his word with a big-time performance. The group, which sometimes swells to more than thirteen members, was a lean eight-piece in Greenpoint, but they still packed a mighty punch when performing hits off of Red Eyed Soul like “The Velocity of Love,” “Your Younger Man,” and “Let’s Steal Everything,” among a slew of others.

They went through damn near half their catalogue in a performance that ran nearly two hours, and they did it all with panache. When they left the stage for their admittedly planned encore, the giant who was standing next to me in a denim vest (complete with Choking Victim patch on the back left and Grateful Dead patch on the front right pocket) lept onto the stage and led the crowd in a rousing chant of “tonight we’re gonna fuck shit up” until the band came back.

Ms. Malak

The encore opened with “Politics of Passing Out,” which required Mr. Terricloth to play a little acoustic guitar — in this case, one that he acquired from his old friend Sly Stone back when he was Sly’s driver — and closed with a tune I just don’t know the name of that was selected by WIFS bass player Ms. Malak.



DS Photo Gallery: Pegboy, The Crombies and The Beer Nuts at Chicago’s Motoblot 2017

Motoblot 2017 was held at Cobra Lounge/All Rise Brewing again this year, June 23-25th. This is the 4th year since the event evolved from the decade long Mods vs Rockers Chicago. Motoblot celebrates motorculture, especially inspired by that of 1960’s Great Britain, per festival assistant Nick Goodwin, a self-described petrol-head. Co-Founder Lawrence R. Fletcher estimated the total weekend attendance at 12,000. He told me it was their biggest year to date. “The weather was fabulous and I am sure Sean (McKeough) something to do with it.”

Sean McKeough, who joined founders Fletcher and Martin Cimek, as a partner the 2nd year of Motoblot, and was also the co-founder of Riot Fest and owner of Cobra Lounge, passed away last November.This year’s event was another chance to celebrate his life. A patch reading “McQ,” as McKeough was affectionally known, adorned Motoblot shirts worn by organizers and staffers. Saturday evening, before that night’s headliners kicked off their set, a group of bagpipers played, as friends and family gathered around and revved McKeough’s collection of motorcycles for what was described as one last time.

The music was the centerpiece of the festival. Saturday’s lineup included, among others, three Chicago based bands with varied styles and devoted following inside the city and out: The Crombies; The Beer Nuts; and Pegboy. The Crombies’ performed mostly covers of 2 Tone classics with a few originals sprinkled in. Their rollicking set transformed the parking lot in front of the stage into a dance floor. Among the highlights were “English Civil War” (The Clash); “Lip Up Fatty” (Bad Manners ) and “Monkey Man” (Maytals via The Specials); The Crombies’ original “It’s Not You”; and a reworked version of “Mad at the World” originally written by lead singer Mike Park for his former band Deal’s Gone Bad. The set also included: “Plastic Gangsters” by The 4-Skins; “Hooligans” by the Wailers “Hey, Little Rich Girl” by Roddie Radiation and The Specials, “Wash Wash” by Prince Buster, Gangsters by The Specials; “It’s You” by Toots and the Maytals, “Blood and Fire” by Niney the Observer; “Little Bitch” by the Specials.

The Beer Nuts is described in their Facebook fan page as “Chicago’s most notorious party band.” and advises fans to “Bring a raincoat and Silly String for a night of maximum rock and roll and random sex with strangers.” The band’s mission statement could read simply, “fun” but the group is composed of veterans of Chicago’s punk scene, including: Joe Kelly (Ministry), Herb Rosen (Rights of the Accused; as well as the founder and owner of Chicago’s Liar’s Club), Leanne Murray (Pig Face), Louis Svitek (Ministry), Mike O’Connell (ROTA). At Motoblot, official members of Beer Nuts were joined by others including Vee Sonnets (The Crombies; The Sonnets); Dave Simon (Deal’s Gone Bad; The Crombies; Anger); and Scott Lucas (Local H; Scott Lucas and the Married Men). Beer Nuts shows consist of such songs as “Who’s Got The Yea Yo,” “Blow Me For Beer,” “Woke Up Tied Up” and “Pro Vag.” If you’re interested in neither having fun nor getting doused from flying cups of brew, and continuously flowing bongs, it’s best you head to the rear of the venue or festival grounds to wait for party’s end. And if you are documenting the show or for any other reasons have gear, take cue from the sight of the plastic covered speakers on stage and protect your equipment.

Headliner/Chicago legends, Pegboy gave what seemed to be one of their most highly energetic shows of late. Lead singer Larry Damore, dispensed with the guessing game familiar to Pegboy fans in recent years— at which song would he sit down on stage (and on occasion take his own pulse)? At about the second song he joked to the crowd that they would just get it over with. Damore would return to that position throughout the set, at times dangling his legs over the side of the stage, or lying flat on his back. However, he also repeatedly jumped off, or, slid himself off, the stage to pace in and sing from the photo pit. Numerous times he returned to the makeshift barricade to sing at and within the crowd and, on at least one occasion, surf above it. The barricade held Damore, the photographers scrambling for shots; and the crowd, though it was in continuous sway throughout the set.

“Skinny” Mike Thompson roamed furiously over much of the stage, slinging his bass up and bowing low, in seeming perpetual motion. His bass work; and Joe Haggerty’s ferocious drumming, along with Joe’s brother,  guitarist John Haggerty’s propulsive playing provided the hyperdrive heartbeat to Damore’s gritty and growling vocals.Their setlist did not disappoint, including “Strong Reaction” near the start and closing out with “Hardlight.” The group propelled through others such as “Superstar”, “Through My Fingers,” “Field of Darkness”; and the song Damore joked was responsible for making him independently wealthy, that is, “Revolver,” Pegboy’s driving cover of the Mission of Burma classic “That’s When I reach for my Revolver.” The rest of the set included: “Still Uneasy,” “Not What I Want,” “Locomotivelung,” “Witnessed,” “Fade Away,” “Time Again,” “Never A Question,” “Dangermare,” “Walk On By,” and “Line Up.”

Full Gallery Below!



DS Photo Gallery: JFA returns to Chicago (w/The Dwarves, The Bollweevils, I Attack, and Decent Criminal)

JFA returned to Chicago for their first Windy City show in more than 2 decades

Skate punk legends, with origins in Phoenix, AZ, and Southern CA, JFA (Jodie Foster’s Army) return to Chicago for the first time in more than two decades.  The Dwarves put on a great set as for first time live they ripped though their classic album “The Dwarves are Young + Good Looking,”and then rumbled through other songs as well as the night’s headliner. Local punks The Bollweevils got a rowdy summer send off; I Attack, another local punk band, attacked ferociously; Decent Criminal played a set far more than merely decent.

Taking nothing away from The Dwarves and their terrific set; however, it was JFA that appeared to garner the most excitement and whip the crowd into their most frenzied. And not just from fans in the crowd, but numerous fans in the bands sharing the bill as well. Some other musicians expressing that JFA was THE inspiration for them to get into the punk rock game.

Brian Brannon shares the mic with a fan.

JFA lead singer Brian Brannon frenetically covered most of the stage, dancing and jumping on every bit of stopping only for the briefest of moments here and there to catch his breath, this allowed band mates, Don Redondo on guitar, Corey Stretz on bass; and drummer Carter Blitch to shine in their own moments. The set was dominated by classics from their early days. JFA was officially (according to their cited history) formed just 10 days prior to the attempted but failed assassination of former President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. Hinckley Jr.  famously admitted the reasoning for attempting to kill Reagan was to impress actress Jodie Foster. Guitarist Don Redondo explained that they were partially inspired by the Dead Kennedys’ political tweaking in choosing a band name.  Redondo also added that the climate of increased political and social division also inspired a new track on their as of yet scheduled upcoming release. They played the new track “N/Tolerance” on Friday, with the simple credo of “Just Don’t Be A Dick.”

Corey Stretz of JFA

As noted, perhaps the biggest admirers were in the other bands on the bill, and Redondo spent much of the evening offstage engaged in conversation with drummer Pete Mumford. Mumford is a member of the legendary Chicago punk outfit, The Bollweevils, which lit the stage on fire once again immediately prior to JFA. Redondo and Mumford had a continuing dialogue about the best drummers and bass players in rock history, or at least their favorites (which included drummers Keith Moon, Neil Peart and John Bonham; and bass player John Entwistle.)  Redondo spoke of his belief in the best way to craft a new band, “Start with a great drummer and a great bass player and build from there.”

Don Redondo also spoke of the reasons for the long absence from Chicago: busy lives, other jobs (including Brannon’s other career, as Senior Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy Reserve), families; and added that while the band is not changing its name from Jodie Foster’s Army, its motto as of late could be  thought of as Jodie Foster’s National Guard. That is, “one weekend once a month.”Judging from the reception they received at Reggies Rock Club, the crowd may be asking for far more than that, but were ecstatic and grateful for the band’s return.

As mentioned, The Dwarves and The Bollweevils both lit up the stage as expected. And in the case of Daryl Wilson, the lead singer for beloved Chicago legends The Bollweevils (and namesakes of a 2016 IPA  collaboration with 350 Brewing, “Weevil Wobble”) lit most of the area off stage on fire as well He repeatedly threw his 6′ 5″ frame into the welcoming arms of the crowd.

The Bollweevils are not scheduled to play again in their home region until they return from their journey to Blackpool, United Kingdom. They are confirmed for Rebellion Festival 2017, taking place in early August, along with their friend sin another Chicago favorite, 88 Fingers Louie.

Decent Criminal

Decent Criminal, from Northern California,  started the night off strong fashion with straightforward punk, proving that a show can be solid and rowdy from first note by the opening band to last note from the headliners.

Rob V. of I Attack

I Attack, led by the one man wrecking crew of Rob V. “Jak,” may have been be the cause of the most colorization of the crowd members, as in ending up black and blue; and purple.  Many showing their colorful souvenirs from the set seemed to have smiles on their faces, accompanied by expressions of half disbelief. If there was a Richter Scale equivalent in Circle Pits, the pure rowdiness whipped up by I Attack might, conservatively speaking, hit the 7 plus to 8 range.

This show had a bit of everything for from start to finish and may very well have thrown down the gauntlet for top to bottom billed, non-fest punk shows this summer. It is s summer is still in its infancy with many promising such events on tap, but judging from this night, it will hopefully be long and hot in the very best ways. Head below to check out our full photo gallery from the intense evening!



Show Review & Photo Gallery: Punk Rock Bowling Club Show – Cock Sparrer / Giuda / Drakulas / True Rivals (Backstage Bar and Billiards 5/28/2017

Billed as a Mystery Show the headliner for this Day Two Club Show was listed only as “Special Guests” along with the named opening acts Giuda, True Rivals and Drakulas. Despite knowing some of the people playing the show, I was never able to get anyone to spill the beans, so I was still in the lurch even after getting inside the poorly lit venue. Shortly after taking my seat in the corner, all was revealed by a slightly inebriated oracle who was sitting next to me as I got my camera ready for the shoot. “Did you hear who the special guest was yet? ” I asked doing my best to awkwardly make small talk. “Hell yea!” he retorted ecstatically. “Fucking Cock Sparrer!!! Woooo-hoooo!!! Want a beer?!?” Gotta love Punk Rock Bowling! Check out the show review along with an awesome photo gallery of all of the incredible acts below!



Show Review: Frnkiero and the Patience & Dave Hause and The Mermaid – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (APRIL 18, 2017)

Brooklyn had the honor and privilege not only of catching frnkiero and the Patience on one of their first shows back in the States after a crippling bus accident almost claimed their lives in Australia, but also of the eclectic Dave Hause’s latest project, The Mermaid, on their debut touring circuit, last month – and Jersey Beat was there to document the sights, the sounds, and the smells of it all.

The Mermaid were the openers this tour, but, as everyone who has ever seen Hause perform in any capacity knows, he always steals the show. Hause had recently scaled back his high-energy performances both with The Loved Ones and as a solo artist with his excellent 2013 release, “Devour,” taken on the road with brother Tim as a mellow acoustic set. Now, Hause brings that bounce back with his latest touring band, The Mermaid, in support of Hause’s February release, “Bury Me In Philly.”

A Frank Iero crowd is not the easiest to win over (this fate has only, to the best of my knowledge, been flawlessly achieved by the charming Homeless Gospel Choir and, of course, the impossible not to love live Against Me!). However, The Brothers Hause and the rest of The Mermaid accomplished the task with ease – so much so that the ever-present fan line was just as excited to meet them as they were The Patience, and they all bought cds. I bought a “Dirty Fucker” shirt, which Hause had the entire crowd chanting as an informal fuck you to the current administration.

The album is amazing, and the songs translate incredibly live. And, as always, Dave threw in a jam for us Loved Ones fans in the audience, “C’mon, Kid.” The set went by way too quickly. Hause is always an electriifying performer and a damn fucking good songwriter. If you haven’t grabbed a copy of “Bury Me In Philly” yet, run, don’t walk, to your latest record store / download site and nab one now.

As incredible as The Mermaid were, Iero and The Patience were not to be outdone. Always engaging and fun to watch onstage, Iero has really come into his own as a frontman. These shows see him comfortable and engaged in between songs, trading laughs and sharing anecdotes with the audience. This album, “Parachutes,” informally the sophomore release to 2014’s “Stomachaches,” performed live with three quarters of this current lineup, is really, really good.

Don’t let the innocent faces of this young crowd fool you, kids: this band is punk through and through, and those kids are pretty damn hardcore. Crowdsurfers pepper the pit and beer and sweat hit faces as Iero and the crowd scream every word together. I’m told that it was Iero who insisted that the barricade be removed that night, to eliminate the barrier between band and fan.

The set included the full “Parachutes” album and most of “Stomaches”, as well as a handful of Iero’s solo songs, including “B.F.F.,” which was written by his six-year-old daughter. Their shows are a like a bloodfest of frenetic energy. The band moves so rapidly onstage, that all photographic attempts wind up blurs until they’re in between songs. Everyone’s hair is in their mouths and everyone’s voices are shot at the end of the set – both artist and aficionado.

Iero is a very adept songwriter and interesting performer, and this tour, in particular, is very well worth the trip, but if you can’t make it out, definitely check out “Parachutes,” it’s a total ass-kicker.