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Behind The Album: Big D and the Kids Table – “How It Goes 2004”

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

It was now 2004 and Big D was a writing machine. Dissimilar to many other bands we were not writing our new songs to impress gatekeepers outside of the our unit in the woeful hope to make it into punk royalty. Instead, we were stirred by everyone in the band’s different inspirations, thus having How It Goes become an eclectic album of musical genres and topical emotions. Every musician was encouraged to write and every idea was worked on with encouragement. Receptivity.

From L.A.X to Safe Haven, Girls Against Drunk Bitches to Burn Something, you can pickup that Big D wasn’t, isn’t and will never be easy to identify. After a colleague of mine implored that the album must start with L.A.X, because of his music business reasoning, I intentionally put The Sounds Of Allston Village before said track to set those who play by his rule book to judge and dismiss the album. Big D does not want to live by any hyperactive music business rules.

People will tell you, “music is a business”. Those people have lost what music is. Sure music takes work; Sure music is more than simply singing a song. Love takes work, being in a relationship takes work, but neither is a business. Music is your heart. Music is your soul. Music is the fire inside you. Music is comfort. Music is a friend. Music is you sharing time with the one you love most. Consider never saying “music is a business” or better, go ahead and say it, but stay away from me. Like I often say, love and music are the last two things you can hold onto after you become an adult and I’m not looking to taint either. Music is a business to business men. Music is life to musicians.

Sophomaniacs told us to start How It Goes with L.A.X, sophomaniacs told us to have 10 songs and not 20, sophomaniacs told us not to do that cover, because logos and art were in, sophomaniacs go on and on and on and on. But in Big D fashion we just did what we collectively wanted to do and we are very proud of How It Goes. You’re Me Now is so weird.

Big D saved up the money needed to record with Jim Siegel at The Outpost by playing shows. Up to this point and beyond Big D members never got paid for playing music or selling albums/t-shirts, we always saved the money to record, buy a van, print shirts, pin, patches or to pay bills (rehearsal space rent, van/trailer insurance, copies of our albums, etc.). And Big D wouldn’t get paid for many years to come. “That’s just how it goes”…we would always say. Being an orphan to the scene, “Well…that’s just how it goes”, was often said to make sense of the always punctual struggles of life.

The cover photo was taken outside 76 Franklin St. (Trash House) in Allston Massachusetts where I lived with Todd (lyrics from Breaking The Bottle) & Johnny Trouble (lyrics from Shining On). The rest of the guys lived walking distance, down the streets of lower Allston. If you can, it’s best to live walking distance from your band mates. Brotherhood. All the lyrics are in that book between my feet. The L.A.X video was shot at this location as well by Dan Dobi. Thanks Dan! Let’s do another video again someday.

Some of my favorite songs from How It Goes are You’re Me Now, Flashlight, Burn Something, Girls Against Drunk Bitches, L.A.X & My Girlfriends On Drugs. People often ask who sang on My Girl Friends On Drugs & Girls Against Drunk Bitches. MGFOD is my good friend Hillary, who is a wonderful light inside an often times dark humanity and she has a wicked fun laugh. GADB is my friend Marz or Mariam (prob not spelled how she prefers). We went to college together; She sang in the sludge-core band Mancain. She would have taken over the world, if the world had been something she wanted.

The tours that followed How It Goes were some of Big D’s favorites. The lot of us still didn’t feel like we were in a real band, more, we felt like a bunch of guys that were somehow allowed to play on the bill and get free beer. We had a beautiful time being too SKA for the punk bands and too punk for the SKA bands. Not many, maybe none, of the successful bands ever chose to make friends with us. But you know, that’s just how it goes and it was always fine by us. Being ugly is underrated.


Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!

10 Punk Songs To Jumpstart Your Week (curated by DS founder Dave Buck)

Ever wonder what the folks who run Dying Scene have been listening to lately?  We’re going to pretend you said “yes” to that question and feature a curated playlist from a different DS editor each week with the intent of exposing you to some new kickass punk bands.  This week we’re kicking things off with Dying Scene founder and head honcho Dave Buck.

Discover some great new tunes, and find out what makes him tick by streaming Dave’s personal picks below.

DS Staff Picks – Jerry’s Top 10 albums of 2017

2017 was a year filled with things I had been looking forward to for a long time as well as some surprises in life, movies, TV (Twin Peaks Season 3 anyone?), and of course in music.  Aside from multiple honorable mentions, which you can see at the bottom, this years list of favorite albums was surprisingly easy to narrow down for me.  Check out what caught my ear this year below!

DS Staff Picks: AnarchoPunk’s Top Ten Albums of 2017

I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of pleasantries because I don’t have time for it, so we’re gonna just hop right into this.  If you wanna know what I’m busy with, check out the Featured Stream section to the right hand section of this page, over there >>> yea, that’s me. Or you could listen to Dying Scene Radio, (The Official Podcast of to hear my silky smooth, baritone voice. Or you could go check out out my Instagram page which features pictures from the 125+ sets I shot this year. Damn….I need a break. In between all of that, I also managed to listen to some pretty fantastic albums! Peep my top ten favorites from the year that was, below!

DS Staff Picks – Dylan’s Top 10 Albums of 2017

Hello, I’m Dylan and I write for Dying Scene. You probably clicked on this because you’d like to know what my Top 10 Albums of 2017 are. Check out my list below.

DS Exclusive: 2017 A Year in Pictures (AnarchoPunk – Los Angeles)

2017 was an awfully busy year for me! I shot four festivals and an uncountable amount of local shows here in The City of Angeles. But for as frantic as it was there was also some pretty big payoffs. My year was filled with multiple life goals like getting to shoot Rancid, Bad Religion and Propagandhi all for the first time. And through it all, I got to meet tons of great folks, all of which deserve thanks in one way or another but would take too much time to acknowledge here. So, I’ll instead just say thanks to the incredible bands that allowed me to take their pictures while most likely being uncomfortably close to them! Keep up all of the great work and I can’t wait to see you all again in 2018! Check out my personal favorite shots from almost every set I shot this year, below!

*For more pics, follow Dying Scene and my personal page over at Instagram!

Dying Scene Founder Dave Buck’s Top 10 Punk Albums of 2017

Sup punk fans. I’m Dave, the super punk looking mofo in the above pic, and I founded this here website 7 or 8 years ago. I won’t waste your time telling you about the trials and tribulations of 2017 or how much the punk scene means to me. That’s not why you’re here. You’re here because you’re curious what an a-hole like me might have selected for his Top 10 Releases of 2017. You want to know if any of my selections overlap with your own or if you’ll discover an unknown gem or two. Well, find my list below, and I encourage you to stream tracks as you go.

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!

Behind The Album: Big D And The Kids Table – “Porch Life” & Melt Banana Split 7-inch (2003)

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

It was now 2003 and Big D’s van wasn’t running, so we had a lot of time off. And what better to do when your band is stranded for the summer than to make a Gangsta Rap version of your tunes? Being a fan of Rap & Hip-Hop and also loving the art of creating music, I wanted to see what it was like to put songs together in these genres. I went back to the old recording model of tempting Lammi with some beer and fun. Lammi and I spent the summer making Porch Life, a hilarious collection of Rap & Hip-hop versions of Big D songs.

However, once completed we learned harshly that not everyone has the same humor. This was the beginning of Big D pissing people off and disappointing listeners to a curiously high level. And we would be sure to continue this trend.

Porch Life got reviewed by well known punk publications. 1-star or 2-stars, that was our professional ratings for this release, followed by angry nail-breaking typed comments like ‘How could they go to Hip-hop?’. This is when it dawned on Big D that people actually took us seriously and that’s not the way to look at this band. Big D never had the goal to be famous or make it in the music industry. I always say that there are people who want to be in a band and then there are musicians. Music itself has always been our payment. People showing up and having a chat with us has always been our payment. Making the band a strict business to which the mission is to write songs for the public and not ourselves hoping to cash in is simply a different person’s goals. For me, music and love are the last pure things you can carry with yourself after childhood and I am not keen on poisoning either. We made this album, for the same reason we make all of our albums – because it’s fun. To reiterate, we have never wanted to construct verses and choruses for mass appeal, rather we do it to impress each other and would rather someone passionately hate our songs than to forfeit our music to the uncreative, the unhumorous, the sophomaniac, deconstuionist, curmudgeons of this world. Yuck.

I mean to be serious for a moment, how can you give Porch Life 1-star when it has Sully B. Nuts prank phone calls sprinkled through it?

Moving on…

It’s no secret that Melt Banana is one of my all time favorite bands and to keep with the trend of pissing the public off we did a split 7” with them. For me this was a dream come true. It was humbling with little sparks of feeling proud flashing in my heart. Our fans didn’t really care for the release and Melt Banana fans showed their canines to us at the show we played together at T. T. The Bears in Cambridge MA. Maybe the public didn’t know that RUN DMC and Slayer played shows together or that The Mighty Mighty Bosstones & Slap Shot were brothers in the scene. However, to be fair not everyone lacked the understanding of why this 7” was neat. A few SKA-Punx’ers and Noise Core’ers knew the score.

My favorite music memory of all time is when I went to the back of T. T.s and Yako the singer of Melt Banana was there and she said to me, “I love your voice.”

And I know my hero would have never said that…if I had decided to cater to the masses.


Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!

Behind The Album: “The Gipsy Hill” ep & “Look What You’ve Done…” (2002)

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

Good Luck had been officially released through Asianman records by Mike Park. Mike offered us the first and only generous act for Big D. He fronted us plane tickets to go on our first U.K./Europe Tour, booked by Ian at Hidden Talent Booking. Big D started writing music on tour and you can hear raw recordings of us doing just that on the Gipsy Hill EP. Gipsy Hill is in South London and it is where we stayed on the floor with our TM / Driver / Life Teacher Ben Corrigan. On these tours we made friends with people who we are still friends with today: Lightyear, P.O. Box, Sonic Boom Six, The Foamers, Mad Skat, 5 Knuckle, Random Hand (Marcia from The Skints), Hard Skin and more. We toured hard during these days – about 250 shows a year.

When we returned to the States we decided to record somewhere new, so we saved up all our touring profits (which wasn’t very much) and headed to The Outpost with Jim Siegel. Jim had recorded most of all the classic Boston hardcore bands and The Dropkick Murphy’s. This was the big time for Big D. We had written way too many new songs after Good Luck, so we decided to record an EP in order to free up ideas as well as capture sonically the special time in our lives in the U.K./Europe. STOMP records in Canada agreed to put out the Gipsy Hill EP and even helped us film with Rej our first music video for The Difference. We had a blast with Matt, Mike and all of the STOMP records family and of course with Rej from 123-Punk. These shows in Canada were explosive. We were at our wildest.

Along with the Gipsy Hill EP we recorded three different tracks for a split release with the U.K. band 5 Knuckle called Look What You’ve Done.… This split has the original recording of L.A.X, which wasn’t physically available to the States until our next full length release.

When I think about these times I feel that Good Luck represented touring the United States and the farmlets across it, while the Gipsy Hill EP / Look What You’ve Done represent, Canada, England, France, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy and more. It represents cold squats, cigarette butt floors for sleeping, new friends, tasty big beers, yummy food, heartbreakingly beautiful hospitality, fist fights for being an American, a sprinter for a home, the birth of poetry for me and beautiful friendship.

The question I was often asked on these excursions of self discovery was – ‘American’s need more culture, why don’t more Americans come here?’ My answer then is what I still say today – ‘American’s can’t afford it, they’d loose their jobs and health care; Only fortunate Americans can afford culture’.

So I will leave you with this…

…if you are young or if you are old, own very little and go see Your World.


Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!

Where Do We Go From Here? – Thoughts On Hatred And Tolerance In Our Community

Before I go too deep into the abyss here, allow me to preface this piece by explaining, perhaps unnecessarily, that the thoughts that follow are mine. I don’t pretend to speak for anyone else on the Dying Scene staff, past, present or future.

With that out of the way, I’m going to do a bit of stating of the obvious for a second; shit, right now, is pretty fucked. The catalyst for this piece, as you might have guessed by now, is the lead up to — and fallout from — whatever took place on the Barb Wire Dolls/Svetlanas/57 tour last week that resulted in two of the three international bands jettisoning that tour just after the halfway mark. I thought it was important to clarify a few points from the initial story that broke, to shut down a few of the more quantum leaps that have been made about what happened, and to expound on a few of the points that I made personally that I think are particularly salient but that might have been lost in the noise.

Dying Scene was not present at Jewel Nightclub in Manchester, New Hampshire, last Friday when the aforementioned tour rolled through. I, myself, was present the night before in Somerville, MA, where the photo gallery you may have seen on these pages came from. (Another writer was present at, and took pictures at, an earlier show on tour.) I interacted positively with members of all three touring bands, and saw them interacting positively with one another (including Svetlanas’ drummer Diste and Barb Wire Dolls’ drummer, Crash, collaborating to help fix a broken kick drum). I enjoyed the hell out of the show. I can – and did – attest personally to the passion that both bands have for their own respective music, as both bands play just as intense whether they’re in front of a crowd of 50, 500, or 5,000. I can attest personally to how passionately Barb Wire Dolls, Svetlanas, and 57, the latter of whom totally caught me by surprise, believe in their product and their music. Based on how the night went, I strongly contemplated heading north the following evening for the show in Manchester, my old stomping grounds. In hindsight, I wish I had gone; not because I could have done anything to fix the situation that I certainly didn’t see coming, but at least to accurately quantify what did, and did not, happen.

According to statements made by both Svetlanas and Barb Wire Dolls as bands and by their individual members, there seems to be consensus that there was an individual that was wearing, at least, an SS skull patch, in addition to what seems to have been an anti-Communist back patch. Again, members of both bands seem to be at odds about a lot in the last few days, obviously, but at least seem to be in agreement about that. Both bands also seem to be in agreement that death threats were made by this individual toward Svetlanas and toward 57 following a confrontation at the show. I wasn’t there, nor were the vast majority of people reading these words. But, statements released by members of both bands who were present seem to support those facts.

I made a comment in the story I posted over the weekend that I was saddened, but not surprised, that an individual wearing an SS skull patch would show up to a show in New Hampshire. I’m not surprised, because I’ve seen it before. Not at Jewel, to be sure, as I’ve never been there. Traditionally, the show calendar at Jewel has trended to the more metal end of the spectrum, which isn’t my personal cup of tea, so I haven’t had the occasion to go. I don’t think that Jewel is a hotbed of Nazi-related activity by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve never heard rumors to the effect that such individuals hang out there, and in fact the word on the street about the place has been increasingly positive since they changed management a while back. I don’t pretend to know the identity of the patch-wearer and subsequent threat-maker in question, and by all accounts, it was an isolated, unfortunate incident that snowballed for myriad reasons. The vitriol in the comment sections here and elsewhere on the internet — I know, I know…don’t read the comments — ran the gamut from praising one band, excoriating the other (and of course vice versa), calling them fake punk, calling Svetlanas fake Russian (is that a thing) and stating that Dying Scene was going to get rolled if we continue support Commies. Gotta admit, I’m still a bit flummoxed by that last one. And all of it — all of it — misses the point. 

No, I said that I was saddened by not surprised because I’ve seen it before in other places, and in other isolated incidents. The swastika spray-painted on the synagogue that family friends in my hometown in southern New Hampshire worshipped in when we were kids were isolated incidents. The racist graffiti that would get scrawled in the dugouts of the Babe Ruth League dugouts we played in from time to time were isolated incidents. The racist graffiti scrawled on the side of a memorial to two of the first professional African-American baseball players in my old hometown was an isolated incident. The Nazi graffiti found on college campuses in Keene and Durham in recent years were isolated incidents. The racist graffiti scrawled across various locations in Concord a few years ago by a local tattoo shop owner were isolated incidents. The individuals that I’ve seen – with my own eyes – walking downtown Manchester with swastika patches, or the incident of racial hatred and subsequent retaliation by fairly well-known anti-racist group that I witnessed outside now-defunct venue in Portsmouth were isolated incidents.

You know what else were isolated incidents? Boosie Badazz last weekend. The church in Texas last weekend. Las Vegas a month ago. New York City a couple weeks ago. The Pulse in Orlando. San Bernadino. Aurora. Sandy Hook. Virginia Tech. The Bataclan. The Ariana Grande show. Dimebag Darrell. They were all isolated incidents. They all happened in places that people are supposed to feel safe and to find solace from the day-to-day bullshit that we all deal with for however long we’re lucky enough to actually be alive and a part of this planet; concerts, schools, churches, movie theaters, shopping malls. The frequency with which events like those above and countless others have occurred with has left some of us – many of us – feeling desensitized; saddened but not surprised.

We tread into murky waters sometimes in the punk rock world because, at the core, the scene is rebellious, especially in the northeast; let’s not forget that some people’s patron saint of all things punk rock, GG Allin, was not coincidentally born and subsequently laid to rest in New Hampshire. It’s a home for the homeless, a beacon for those who feel disenfranchised. It’s confrontational. It encourages you to fuck authority and confront bullshit and question the answers. Hell, one of the things I praised about the Svetlanas gig in Somerville last night was how aggressive and brazenly in-your-face Olga is. That’s part of the draw, and part of what makes them the most “dangerous band in punk,” just like it was part of the draw to have a Korean band and an outspoken ex-Russian band touring the USA – Donald Trump’s USA – with a band formed by natives of Greece. Confrontation and provocation are not uncommonly part of the deal, and that’s fine. 

So if a band or any of its members or an audience member or a club owner or a movie theater patron or a church patron feels a little spooked by somebody or something at the place they go – we all go – to find solace and support and shut off the outside world for a while, that’s important, and it’s valid and for god’s sake it happens all the time in all walks of life, and so you can’t blame them anyone for getting spooked. 

Look, gang; we’re all in this together – showgoers, band members, promoters, club owners, photographers, soundboard operators, stage crew, bartenders, coat check staff. We have an obligation to stand up to hatred, bigotry, racism, sexism, homophobia. We have an obligation to look after each other and to take care of each other and to keep giving voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless and to be a beacon for the disenfranchised. We have to talk to each other and listen to each other and more importantly go to bat for each other by speaking the fuck up and shining a light on the intolerant bullshit. That’s the only way this all works. Shit’s fucked, but it doesn’t have to be.

Peace and love


Behind The Album: Big D And The Kids Table – “Good Luck” (1999)

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

After the release of Shot By Lammi in 1996, Big D toured the States non-stop. Videotape footage of the band on these early tours was captured and can be found on Big D’s Dvd ‘Built Up From Nothing’. We look like puppies. To this day I don’t know how a bunch of 18 & 19 year olds saved up for a van and drove around the U.S. playing music, meeting new friends and laughing endlessly. It was an 8 passenger van and we had 10 musicians. I sat on the back wheel hub and we took turns sitting on a cushion in between the driver seat and shotgun.

We had always been close, but now we were officially brothers and you could hear that in the new songs we were writing for our second full length ‘Good Luck’. The official Big D writing process had solidified itself with the writing of Good Luck. Every idea was positively excepted and worked on. Every musician was encouraged to write a song. We wrote for ourselves and not for the public and still do to this day. Listeners had learned the lyrics to Shot By Lammi and sung them at shows. This made me want to really give them something useful for Good Luck. The process of writing the lyrics began one afternoon when I was walking down a snow covered street in Boston. A homeless man with vitiligo crashed into me grabbing my jacket to stop him from falling to the ice. He looked at me with his green eyes and said, “The only thing I miss is myself”. I wrote most of those lyrics walking down the streets of Boston, occasionally huddling in doorways to write a line here and there. The band was now becoming important to me.

When the songs were finished we did the same process – we went to Big Sound recording in Maine when it was closed and recorded for 24 hours for three days. Again, I believe we only gave Lammi another 300-bucks and some beer. The recording process was simply laughter and music. Afterward I got together with Gary Hedrick (singer of Kicked In The Head) and we put together the artwork. All of the 1950’s clip art was from my families encyclopedia that I used through out my earlier school days and still have today. I may use it again for Big D’s next album. Gary worked on Photoshop 1 on a Mac Performa; It took one full day to render. We had a blast together; Possibly our best time together.

Big D has never been a fortunate band when it comes to connections and opportunity. We have seldom been excepted by them ‘cool bands’. I have always described us as the orphans of the scene. However, persistence is a gift. There have been three kind people in Big D’s 21 years thus far, and the first one to make his introduction is – Mike Parkof Asianman records.

Through this somewhat new thing called email, Mike said he would put Good Luck out on his label. Most of Big D live together at the time and non of us had cellphones yet, so I put a note on Sean P. Rogan’s bed that said – ‘We got signed to Asianman – Meet us at the bar’. And he did.

This band that had been created simply so that 10 freaks could have a fun Friday night was now about to bring the ruckus.


Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!

Behind The Album: Big D And The Kids Table – Live EP & Lounge Split

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

1998, a year after the release of Shot By Lammi, Big D and the Kids Table started playing shows all around the east-coast. We never paid ourselves and we wouldn’t for many years to come. We wouldn’t even use the money to buy ourselves food, we just put the money back into the band – gas, merch and saving up for our first van. One Boston night, a fan showed up to a show named Shawn Flores, he came with gifts – printed Big D t-shirt and Big D patches. He told us that the ones we printed were crappy and that the ink ran off in the rain. We have been printing our merch with Shawn ever since. Steve Foote and myself decided to start building on the idea of Fork In Hand records. We started finding bands like ourselves that could appreciate a little help. Steve and myself knew how these bands could get their music recorded, print a CD, print some merch and book some shows. The first three bands we decided to help were Kicked In The Head, The Sellouts & The Mission 120. We started booking this line up in every VFW, church or basement. Fork In Hand records was now a well known underground Boston label. Steve and I never took a penny, we just put all profits into F.I.H. band’s music.

People kept talking about our “explosive” live show, so we decided to capture that energy in a Live EP. You can hear Kicked In The Head’s Matt & Gary announce us at the start. Big D couldn’t believe that we now could actually record live club recordings and print them on compact disc. The next year the label Montalban Hotel offered to print a 7” vinyl release with the band Lounge. Again we were dumbfounded, ‘someone wants to print us vinyl and we don’t have to pay for it or do any of the efforts to make it happen. And it’s green!?!?’.

All this time we were writing our next full length album that would be released the following year.


Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!

Behind The Album: Big D And The Kids Table – “Crack / Shot By Lammi” (1996 / 1997)

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

The first Big D and The Kids Table release was a cassette titled Crack. I can’t find an image of it. And Giving It Up was the first song we ever wrote. We went to a recording studio hidden in a Boston alley called Toxic Audio. Big D was simply a bunch of friends that wanted to play music together for fun and had no desires to be a real band or try and ‘make it’. We recorded our four songs and really enjoyed hearing our tunes played back. Jon Lammi, who played sax sometimes, guitar other times, said he could record us a full album at Big Sound in Maine when it was closed. It was then that we decided to write Shot By Lammi. We drove up to Maine and recorded the album in a weekend. I remember recording my vocals from about 4AM to sometime. We paid Lammi $300 and some beer.

After Shot By Lammi was recorded we had plans to manufacture cassettes, which was the standard medium. However, one day as I was walking down the streets of Boston I bumped into my friend Tom Appleman. He showed me that his band Epileptic Disco had just printed a Compact Disc aka CD. I couldn’t believe that people like us could have the ability to print this new fancy medium. We did a little research and this began the DIY ethic that Big D would later be known for. The band left Sean P. Rogan and myself to do the artwork. I had no idea what to do, so I put an old family photo on the cover and scratched up the lyrics and liner notes. The layout was done physically – no computers or photoshop.

We decided to start a record label called Fork In Hand records, inspired by Asianman Records. We did this because our friends who were in another band called DREXEL couldn’t afford to print their newly recorded album, so we decided to put their music on our CD as well, because compact discs held so much information that purchasers of the album could get two albums for one.

We pretty much were done with our goals as a band until Epileptic Disc asked us to play a show at The Middle East with Broke & Big Lick. We couldn’t believe we were asked to play a real show and we couldn’t believe we were going to play in a proper club.

We sold Shot By Lammi by meeting up with people on the street that had found a way to contact us. We really enjoyed the record, because we liked hearing what our friendship sounded like.


Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!

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?!