Search Results for "DS Editorial"

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?!



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.



DS Editorial: A guide to FEST 16 preparation by an overly passionate first-timer

I have to admit something, and it’s not easy. I’m addicted to preparing for The Fest. A cure might be hopeless but I’m hoping that my story can help other like me – first time Fest goers looking for answers to some of the weekend’s logistical questions.

First things first. Lock down your tickets. Then I would suggest locking down your accommodations. The more I deal with the fest, the people, the website, the more I realize that it is meticulously organized and curated. More on that later, but I suggest that people stay in the hotels dedicated to the fest. The Holiday Inn is supposedly located right in the middle of the action. The whole thing is booked by Fest attendees and will thus be an absolute free-for-all during the entire event. I’m not sure I can handle that type of commitment. I booked at the Wyndham. Another Fest hotel that is supposedly a little more chill. Once again I have no frame of reference on this and we shall see. I should also mention that the Holiday Inn has some kind of Flea Market thing happening. I’ve got it pictured where venders and bands can sell merch and other trinkets that would appeal to Fest-goers. Once again, I’m not sure about this. Pure conjecture at this point.

Band Prep: Right now I’m in band-prep stage. You might want to follow my lead on this as it will help you get a handle on the 350 plus bands that are playing The Fest. I was hoping for something a little more user-friendly from the website, but when you’ve got over 100 bands playing a day, there’s probably no “perfect way” to convey the when and where for each band. It looks like this breaks down along philosophical and/or personal-preference lines. Are you looking to stay in one spot and get the most bang for your buck? Then you will be looking at the schedule by location. If you are committed to catching at least a piece of some of the bands on your wish list, then you can break the schedule down by date and time. At this point, I found that I could no longer work with the website, I needed to get some micro-organization going. So I copied the time and date schedules and dropped them into an excel spreadsheet. I broke them up with a tab for each day. I found with a little tinkering you can get the day’s entire schedule in chronological order: my choice for the best way to get a handle on what’s happening when and where.

Phew. Okay. Are you still with me? Step one was to highlight all the bands I definitely wanted to check out. I found it useful to start here and get an idea of what the skeleton of my schedule was gonna look like. I’ve got some locks as you might guess: Against Me (performing Reinventing Axl Rose), Superchunk, Smoking Popes, Hum, 88 Fingers Louie, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Movielife, Pegboy, Off With Their Heads, The Bigger Empty; you get the idea. I had a lot of other bands that I wanted to check as well, and I really want to check some of the cover shows, but I digress. Get you’re a-list, can’t-miss picks in the spreadsheet; mine are highlighted in yellow.

After the skeleton is in place, you can fill in the meat. I chose to highlight these bands in blue. I thought I knew a lot about punk music, emo, screamo, indie, etc. Maybe I do, but I’m always willing to learn more, so I made a dive into some of the bands I hadn’t heard of. Once again the spreadsheet comes in handy for this task. I use eMusic for most of my music purchases these days, so I found it most useful to check out some of the lesser-known (to me at least) bands. You can use YouTube, that would probably be better and I’ve had to resort to it a few times when the band’s music is not available on eMusic. And most of the bands are available on bandcamp as well. One thing that I’m finding as I go through the bands that are new to me: they’re all really good. I spent a day checking out bands and one after another proved to be amazing. Some of the bands I’ve been turned on to (and subsequently really want to check at The Fest): Sinai Vessel, City of Caterpillar (how did I miss these guys?), Apologies I have none, Army of Ponch, Deadaires, Tartar Control and many many more. I’ve got my b-list highlighted in blue. Once again I must tip my hat to The Fest as they obviously know their music and have assembled an amazing lineup this year. I’m thinking you could conceivably just pop into any venue and end up getting into the show happening at the time. Which would require no prep at all. Can’t have that now can we?

OK. So you’ve got your tickets, accommodations, schedule. You’re well on your way to maximum family fun at The Fest. To round out your enjoyment, definitely download the App. Take your spreadsheet and then transfer that info over to the App and it will sort your schedule by date and time. Now you are ready to go mobile! Next, you might want to check out the website. It’s loaded with goodies!! If you haven’t already, download all the Comps!! Get them in heavy rotation on your sonic delivery vehicle of choice. I’m from the old school, so I burned CDs. You might just find one of your new favorite bands in there. I had to juggle my schedule because I came across a must-see through the comp: Tartar Control. I guarantee you’ll find something in there that you might have missed. Hidden gems.

If you are insane like me, you can start planning your wardrobe, but you might not be that hardcore. I just can’t decide if it makes sense to represent for your favorite bands at the fest, or to bust obscure band Ts to give you more street cred. I could go on for days on this subject. Don’t forget your swimsuit!! There are pool parties happening at both the Wyndham and Holiday Inn. I’m guessing that will be a sight to behold.

I really could keep going and drive this whole preparation thing right into the ground, but I think I’ve already lost most of you, so to those who stayed til the end. I’ll see you on Sunday night. Teen Agers and Tiltwheel are my choices to close things out. Let’s get together and toast the fact that we survived. Cheers.



Book Review: Sex Pistols: Poison in the Machine by John Scanlan

Whenever a punk comes to grips with the classics well enough to start being cynical about them, the wet-behind-the-mohawk youngsters inevitably come to the same conclusion, over and over, ad nauseum:

The Sex Pistols were nothing but a boy band!

Yes, it is a sentiment about as new or unique as the equally age appropriate: we’re dying everyday, man or parents don’t know everything. Triteness in motion. We’ve all heard it, and more painfully, it’s probably come out of our own mouths. That’s just how it goes, I guess. Eventually, I got over it, and got back to relishing the Sex Pistols youthful, hateful, frustrated energy along with their perfect, and only, record. Like it or not, Never Mind the Bollocks is a milestone, and I’ll take it over the Ramones or the Clash any day.

John Scanlan’s book Sex Pistols: Poison in the Machine is, whether intended or not, a response to the famous boy band critique. It tells the story of the Sex Pistols with an emphasis on manager and provocateur Malcolm McLaren, from his early days to the dissolution of the Pistols. It’s an interesting story alone, but with this new perspective, dimensions are added.

In punk rock, we are so used to the idea that authenticity is a hallmark of the artists, and the notion that a manager assembled a group to perform music is a mark against its authenticity. As Scanlan details it, the truth is a bit more complicated. What Poison in the Machine successfully argues is not only for the artistry of the Pistols, but also of McLaren himself. It was his obsession with provocation, transgression, and youth culture that eventually led him to form the Sex Pistols. Scanlan follows McLaren trying on different ideas, all surrounding different permutations of what would be the famous clothing store SEX. Eventually, of course, history is made, but never quite how you expect it.

And while McLaren is critical to a lot of threads punk would continue to follow, by telling McLaren’s story, Poison in the Machine also manages to give due credit to the boys in the band as well. It paints the band as more than just its members or its manager– but as a combination of influences, and more importantly, human beings, who are at odds with each others. Scanlan shows us with a collection of well-selected quotes how McLaren’s art project and the Sex Pistols became two different beasts, and then dismantled itself. It’s an almost Frankensteinian turn. When McLaren assembled Jones, Cook, Matlock, and Lydon, he didn’t plan on them having ideas or even vision, and when his monster learned to speak, the creator was out in the weeds.

It’s a fast read, with clean writing and little editorializing. Scanlan has clearly put a lot of work into the fact checking, with a good chunk of the book dedicated to references. He uses quotes and rare photos to give the reader a sense of the time and place, which is as important to the Sex Pistols as the people involved in their rise.

Great book for fans of the band who need a little more ammo in the face of trite dismissals, or punk history buffs alike– Poison in the Machine is a fascinating read.

Sex Pistols: Poison in the Machine by John Scanlan, published by University of Chicago Press.

5/5



June’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

The Von Tramps Fast and Loose

The Von Tramps

While some of you jerks were out having fun at fests, I was chained to a laptop that was chained to a desk that was chained to a bunch of other chains (we really need to clean this place up) in the DyingScene basement with nothing but Bandcamp for company and a bucket of fish heads for sustenance. But despite this hardship, I have scoured the corners of Bandcamp and found six bands from all over the place (all right, maybe more than half are from the midwest, shut up, you can make these decisions when you’ve been chained up with fish heads) which were absolutely the best bands I heard while definitely not on an ether binge or in a fish head-induced fever dream! Please don’t ask how I sneaked in the ether. Uh, anyway, music below!



May’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

Bad Daddies

We’re sure everyone is still preparing for PRB or one of the many upcoming festivals, so we’re keeping it short this month. For May’s installment of Hidden Gems of Bandcamp, we’ll be focusing on bands out of the San Francisco/Bay Area. The East Bay (and the Bay in general) has been known for pumping out some of the best punk bands for decades now. 924 Gilman St. is the venue where many of these local bands such as Rancid, Operation Ivy, and Green Day have gotten their start and we’re sure many more will follow in their path. So, here’s five Bay Area bands that we think will be showing up on everyone’s radars soon! Check em’ out below.



April’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

Trivial Dispute

Springtime is here and Festival Season is in full swing! Over the next few weeks, punks of all flavors will be gathering at weekend long events across North America. Vans Warped Tour, Fest, Pouzza, PRB in multiple cities, Riot Fest, and a ton of incredible smaller local festivalss like Fuck You We Rule OK in Oklahoma and It’s Not Dead down in SoCal all kick off in the near future (or have already happened, La Escalera Fest was insane from what we heard!). One of our favorite things about the festivals is seeing some of the lesser known local bands get to play next to some of the heavyweights of our scene. We’re betting some of the acts featured in April’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp will show up on a few of the many lineups this Spring and Summer. So check out all five, fantastic selections, below! Then, if you see them at your local fest, you can tell all of your loser friends that you’ve heard ’em before!



The Split Seconds’ Drew Champion talks about getting into punk and how it shaped his life

Washington DC’s The Split Seconds front man Drew Champion tells us how he got into punk and how it has influenced his life.

I’ve been listening to punk rock my whole life. My Dad was into The Ramones and a lot of alternative rock. I remember hearing Sheena is a Punk rocker in the car when I was a little kid and having it stuck in my head for days. Later on I got into Green Day and Nirvana because all of my friends older siblings were into that stuff. I had no idea they were singing about doing meth and heroin and stuff, I just thought it sounded cool. After I heard Blink 182’s Dammit I started playing guitar. That catchy riff and the chunky palm mutes just hooked me. I got bored of listening to the super radio-friendly pop punk after a few months and started digging down below the mainstream of punk rock. I wasn’t really into the whiny screamo stuff coming out at that time so I ended up getting into DC Dischord bands like Minor Threat and U and not U, and 70’s bands like The Dead Boys and The Buzzcocks.

Punk rock has been really important in shaping my life. The individualism in punk rock taught me to think critically and to distrust groups of people under the influence of bad ideas. The irony is that it’s often the punks whose group think I find myself rejecting. The DIY ethos of punk rock taught me self reliance. I know that nobody is going to just hand something to me and I need to make things happen myself. That’s the Ian MacKaye influence. The democratic streak in punk rock taught me to treat people without regard to race, sex, sexuality, etc. That’s pretty basic but some people seem to have a hard time with that. Finally the minimalism of punk rock taught me to reject fancy and complicated solutions when something simple and solid will get the job done. The way that Johnny Ramone approached guitar is a good way to approach life I think. Just keep it simple and go for it.

The Split Seconds’ upcoming album Center Of Attention, is set to be released on March 10th via Altercation Records.



January’s Hidden Gems of Bandcamp

The first installment of Hidden Gems for 2017 is hot off the press and the Orginal Content Team has continued their annual tradition of mediocrity. In celebration of another year of employment, they again mailed it in, offering up the least amount of featured artists since last January…way to go team… Luckily, we believe in quality over quantity and all five acts on the list this month are incredible! Even better though, we’re betting they’re not on your radar yet. So, let’s get ’em on there! Check ’em all out below!



DS Staff Picks: Mike Scott’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

2016 was a really solid year for albums for me. In the past, I’ve shied away from end of year lists sometimes, just because I didn’t always think I’d find 10 albums I really loved to write about. But no such problems for this past year. (And that’s without Slayer or Maiden releasing anything.)

The top couple of albums in my list truly have hit me hard. On repeat in my car, on my phone and with me on a lot of my early morning commutes out in the South London cold, I can definitely see a lot of these records staying with me for a long time. So, I’m going to not mention 2016’s questionable votes, referendums and the deaths, but just say my lovely daughter was born this year and I’ll remember it as a great music year…

You can read the full list below.

 

 

 

 

 

 



DS Staff Picks: Midwest Punk’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

There’s been a lot of talk about how shitty 2016 has been, but I don’t get it at all. It was a pretty damn good year for me for the most part, and I think 2016 was an excellent year in music. I was lazy and late in 2015, so I didn’t get a list up, so I figured I better get it done this year. Three or four of my top five bands (depending on where my top five sits on any given day) released new albums this year, and one of them didn’t even make the list, because the year in punk music was just that good.

Whatever you thought of 2016, you can see my full top 10 list below, for whatever it’s worth.



DS Staff Picks: Paul Carr’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

I admit, I’ve  been out of the game a while. I grew up, had kids and musically treaded water for a couple of years. Then in 2016, I found pockets of time to listen to the odd track, then the odd ep and finally I found the time to throw myself fully back into the punk pool. What became clear was that after a couple of years with my finger off the pulse, I had an insatiable desire for the music I love. I was hungrier than ever and 2016 saw plenty of great new music to satisfy my appetite. So below are my picks. They mean more to me than just a list of records, they signify a year of rediscovery.



DS Staff Picks: AnarchoPunk’s Top 10 Albums of 2016

Your favorite molotov cocktail waiter, AnarchoPunk here with my Album of the Year List for 2016! For those unfamiliar with my work, I write the monthly Hidden Gems of Bandcamp piece and manage the Exclusive Premieres and sometimes, you may even hear me on DS Radio doing band interviews. On last year’s AoTY list, I cheated a little bit and included EPs. I’ve held myself to a higher standard (yuck!) in 2016 and limited my selections to LPs only. With that being said, I did include a brief list of my favorite EPs because there were so many rad short albums too. Astute readers will notice a few big names like NOFX, Blink 182 and Descendents missing from my annual list. Good observational skills! With a ton of superb younger acts filling up the ranks, it wasn’t difficult finding bands to replace some of the bigger names who released slightly disappointing albums this year and it took me awhile to whittle it down to just ten records.

So, without further fanfare, check out my Top Ten Albums of 2016 below!



DS Staff Picks – Bizarro Dustin’s Top Albums of 2016

In a lot of ways, 2016 kinda sucked. You can probably figure out what I’m talking about when I say that, and I hope that you would agree. Yet, somehow it was also a really good year. On a personal level, I moved into a new apartment with my girlfriend, left an emotionally abusive and draining job of three years, and started not one, but two jobs, one of which could very well become a career (the only downside to working two jobs is that it gives me less time to devote to Dying Scene). And then there was the music.

Oh yes, the music. Maybe 2016 wasn’t a great year for most things, but the music was terrific. I started narrowing down my list at the beginning of December, and after a day and a half I decided that, much like last year, I wasn’t going to limit myself to ten records. I know that’s against the rules, but breaking all the rules is punk rock.

You can find my list below.

I guess I’ll also throw this out there: I enjoyed Tacocat’s Lost Time, Chris Farren’s Can’t Die, Jeff Rosenstock’s WORRY., Doe’s Some Things Last Longer Than You, and Petrol Girls’ Talk of Violence this year, but not to the point where I felt like they were essential listening in the same way that the following albums were.