Search Results for "The Taxpayers"

A Fistful of Vinyl premieres first video from Rob Taxpayer session, “Goodbye Balance”

Rob Taxpayer (the titular frontperson of The Taxpayers and The Trusty Snakes) visited the home of A Fistful of Vinyl founder Alec’s parents’ house recently to play a few songs. The first premiere is of his solo rendition of “Goodbye Balance” from The Taxpayers’ last album: 2016’s Big Delusion Factory. A cynical-yet-enthusiastic surrender to the tumult of life, substances, and the elusive equilibrium we idealize and pursue, Rob’s talent and charm carry his words and melodies to the soul, and remind you of the easygoing friend who is mysteriously unbothered by what’s missing from life. Rob Taxpayer’s music coalesces influences from the broad expanses of the music universe, blending punk, folk, jazz, southern blues, New Orleans revival, and a handful of both gospel and children’s storytelling. As the front-person of the illustrious jazz-punk group The Taxpayers, Rob has been developing and sharing his solo tunes across the country at DIY venues and singalongs, supported by his “Song of the Week Club” patreon. Find Rob’s work at

Check out the video below to watch the session.

Band Spotlight: Introducing the countrified folk punk of The Trusty Snakes (members of the Taxpayers)

There are few things that make me happier than hearing from the Taxpayer camp. The Taxpayers, if you don’t remember, were the incredibly political, folky, punky, jazzy, and just plain volatile punk band from Portland, OR; they released such incredible albums as God, Forgive These Bastards: Songs From The Forgotten Life Of Henry Turner, Big Delusion Factory, and Cold Hearted Town. 

The Taxpayers are gone for the time being but the people in it aren’t, and by the good graces of DIY, five members have come together to form the Trusty Snakes. The album’s called New American Frontier and it’s surprisingly a pretty earnest country album. And better yet: it’s great fucking music. The songwriting is melancholy and down to earth, blue collar and twangy, born out of a love for a uniquely American storytelling tradition.

Noah Taxpayer had this to say on the band’s beginning:

“Touring around the country and playing grimy punk shows, which we love, we found ourselves buying a lot of cassette tapes. And a lot of them ended up being country. Some obvious well-known artists and weird ass compilations of songs about the nuttiest country-fried nonsense.  We loved them all.  Getting older and our sensibilities changing, country seemed to be the appropriate next step for us as a band.  A lot of the same values of being a DIY punk resonates within country music. So we became the Snakes.  Writing songs about redemption, sadness, hopelessness, inspiration, heartache, and joy.”

While it may not be straight punk, there’s still a lot to say for the form and its relation to punk’s base tenets. Here is music made for the working class, by the working class—a realm of experience oft forgotten, preserved here in the oral tradition. Check out the album below.

DS Exclusive: Rob Taxpayer (The Taxpayers) premieres new video and talks Song of the Week Club anniversary!

Rob Taxpayer is an artist’s artist. This is a man who continuously creates. Whether it be the many exciting, volatile, and ambitious records he’s made with The Taxpayers, or the accompanying novel to God Forgive These Bastards: Songs From the Forgotten Life of Henry Turner, Rob Taxpayer is constantly busy making something. He’s punk in the most classical sense—an individual with a developed perspective and DIY to the bone—following his muse in and out of the strict boundaries punk sets for itself, and redrawing the borders as he sees fit.

Rob’s latest project is the Song of the Week Club, in which he releases a new song every week. August 20th, today, is the anniversary of this insane, impressive project. To commemorate this event, we’re premiering the video for “Gary, Indiana”—a song about Janus, the Roman God of Change “taking Gary, Indiana into her car and carrying the city towards whatever new birth is coming for the post-industrial midwestern city.” 

As an added bonus, Rob sat down with us to talk about the Song of the Week Club, songwriting, his new video, and everything else he’s doing. Check below to see the video and read what Rob has to say about all the cool stuff he’s working on these days.

Baseball Punx interview with Steve Sladkowski (Pup) and Rob Taxpayer (The Taxpayers)

With the recent release of the pretty sweet documentary Baseball Punx, I had the opportunity to interview Steve Sladkowski of PUP and Rob Taxpayer of The Taxpayers. The interview focuses on the similarities between punk rock and baseball, and the general social impact both have on modern-day society.

Check out the wicked cool Baseball Punx documentary here, the Baseball Punx Compilation here, and the interview below.

Baseball Punx documentary streaming now

It’s America’s favorite pastime, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams and Sandy Koufax. These are some of the more notable names who have shaped America’s game. Baseball is as American as apple pie. Punk rock on the other hand is like pop music’s bastard brother. Joey Ramone, Joe Strummer, Greg Graffin, and Henry Rollins are some of the names that helped shape punk rock. So is it possible that a parallel might be drawn between the high-priced spectacle that is the world of professional sports and the down and out DIY of the punk rock world?

Baseball Punx is out to draw that parallel, while sports doesn’t always find itself embraced in the alternative world of punk music. The comparison’s however that could be drawn between the two are undeniable. Admittedly, million dollar contracts, chartered jets, and luxury motels might be a far cry from tour vans, greasy bars and strangers couches. However underneath all that baseball is among the more progressive pro sports leagues. Embracing LBGTQ players and fans alike baseball has done an admirable job of trying to end the homophobic, macho, misogynistic attitudes that are unfortunately still present in many locker rooms around the world. At the same time baseball doesn’t try to silence the players and fans from voicing their displeasure with the state of politics or the injustices of modern-day America.

Likewise it could be said that it wasn’t long ago the punk rock scene was just as full of homophobic, macho, misogynistic attitudes that make the sports world an uncomfortable place for those with alternative lifestyles. However over the years the punk scene has grown up and become a much more all-inclusive space, while also still being the conscience of America as well as the voice for the voiceless.

The ups and downs of America can be tied to both baseball and punk rock. You may have noticed that punk rock is suddenly making an impact in the music world for the first time since that Bush fella was president, and that’s no coincidence. While the NFL faces criticism for players kneeling for the anthem and the NFL turning it’s back on those players MLB has shown support for players who wish to make a “statement”, and while there is still backlash MLB isn’t blaming those players for decreased ratings.

Having more than ninety years on punk rock baseball has clearly had more time to change with the times. While both have grown and become more inclusive there’s still lot’s of work that needs to be done. But as a person who grew up in the homophobic, macho, misogynistic world of highly competitive sports, my escape from that world was punk rock and I never looked back, but now that I have I’m happy to see that the world of sports is starting to come into the 21st century. Just as I’m happy to go to a punk rock show and see people of all shapes, colours and lifestyles.

Baseball Punx does a great job of drawing the many comparisons I’ve outlined above, it’s a great piece. It’ll make you think, the people and bands in the documentary do a great job of giving us insight into why they enjoy baseball and even love it in some cases, but it also shows us how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. Do yourself a favor and check it out below and be sure to check out the Baseball Punx website here. Besides how many of you know who Scott Radinsky is and why he’s the most awesome pitcher to have towed the rubber in MLB?

Rob Taxpayer launches song of the week club

Rob Taxpayer lead singer of The Taxpayers has launched a new Song of the Week Club. Here’s the reason why: “I try to keep in the habit of writing a song every night or so, which ends up being somewhere in the ballpark of 200 songs each year, but only about 10-15 of them end up on records. Me and my cats are the only ones that usually hear those lost demos.” Well now you too can hear what Rob’s cats hear, and trust me when I say those are some lucky cats. 

You can check out Rob’s Song of the Week Club here.

Rob Taxpayer of The Taxpayers announces Song Of The Week Club

This is something cool that all you fans of Portland/New Orleans folk-punk group The Taxpayers will enjoy.  Rob Taxpayer has announced that he is starting up a Song Of The Week Club.  Here’s Rob explaining what it’s all about:

“It’s called “Song of the Week Club”. It’s basically where I send you a song I’ve been working on every week. Sometimes I might tell you how I wrote it, what it’s about, and the chords, which might be interesting to those of you who are thinking about getting into songwriting.

It’ll be through the platform Patreon, because I’m not terribly computer savvy and can’t figure it out on my own.

I generally write and record a demo song every other night, and only about 5% of those songs end up being songs we use for Taxpayers albums. I’ve been getting sad that nobody hears these songs except for me and the cats, and I thought that this would be a nice way to connect with the world on a more regular basis than the once-per-year-album the Taxpayers usually put out.”

You can sign up for this club over at Patreon for just 5 bucks a month!

DS Interview: Rob Taxpayer (The Taxpayers) on new album, punk ethos, and dream gig

The Taxpayers were the first band to ever convert me live. I saw them with Bomb the Music Industry! and the Sidekicks at the now defunct Backspace many years ago. It was a night to remember. The band ripped through their set, but also taught us dances and threw blow-up animals into the pit to be knocked around. They showed me what a good live band was supposed to be, while proving that serious and fun don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The Taxpayers can have it both ways, and seeing them do it so successfully has made me a lifelong fan. The night, the stage, the show is for fun. The album is for art. A band can have both– and the Taxpayers regularly do.

Big Delusion Factory is their latest in a long series of wonderfully intricate punk albums and I was lucky enough to sit down with vocalist/guitarist Rob Taxpayer to discuss that and much more.

Click here for full interview.

DS Exclusive: The Taxpayers stream 2 songs off upcoming album “Big Delusion Factory”

This summer The Taxpayers will unleash their new album Big Delusion Factory through Secret Pennies Records. Personally I’ve been anxiously awaiting this album since they released Cold Hearted Town three long years ago, which is why I’m so stoked to premiere the album’s first two tracks “Call Me Linda” and “Easy Money” for you guys today.

Give the tunes a listen and read a bit about their inspiration from singer Rob Taxpayer below.

The Taxpayers announce new album “Big Delusion Factory”

Portland/New Orleans folk-punk group The Taxpayers have just announced their newest album Big Delusion Factory.

The album is set to be released on May 1st, and you can check out the cover art to the left.  The band had this to say about the new release:

“Big Delusion Factory is the story of a woman who tells everyone to call her Linda (even though that’s not her name). It follows her increasing volatility and frustration with the rapid changes happening in the city around her after a natural disaster.”

The Taxpayers last released Cold Hearted Town on June 15th, 2013.

Plan-It-X offer entire catalog for $134.96

So this is something a little different. Those fine folks over at Plan-It-X have just put their entire catalog on sale for exactly $134.96. It’s definitely a hefty sum, especially since punk-rockers of the folk variety aren’t exactly known for rolling in disposable income. Than again, this collection does include albums such as The Taxpayer’s “God Forgive These Bastards”, Ramshackle Glory’s “Live The Dream”, and the Ghost Mice/AJJ split, arguably three of the greatest folk-punk albums of all time. So hey, if your wallets feeling a little hefty, and you wanna hugely expand your folk-punk collection, check out the labels Bandcamp page here.

Fringe Sound Records launches Kickstarter to fund Neutral Milk Hotel tribute

Shiny new record label Fringe Sound, founded by music journalist James Carlson, is looking to release a tribute to indie rock stalwarts Neutral Milk Hotel, and is using Kickstarter to fund the project.

Bands like Mischief Brew, Off With Their Heads, and The Taxpayers have already signed on. The project goal is $17,800, which is going to cover studio time and initial pressing costs.

For more information, check out the fundraiser here.

Album Review: The Taxpayers – “Cold Hearted Town”

Cold Hearted Town is not only a continuation, but a regrouping. Following their epic masterpiece God Forgive These Bastards, whatever The Taxpayers decided to do next would have to face down the grandiloquence of their last effort. Cold Hearted Town scales down the scope this time around with only twenty-two minutes to its name and a stripped down soundscape. While not bad by any means, I found myself missing the ambition and experimentalism of their previous work and wishing Cold Hearted Town aimed for something higher.

“Cold Hearted Town Part 1” opens the album with a swampy blues atmosphere, no doubt a tribute to their new co-hometown New Orleans. The jazzy horns– perhaps God Forgive These Bastards’ most identifiable characteristic– are back but this time a bit more accessible in their application, giving the song an almost film noir feel. Rob Taxpayer is as passionate a shouter as ever, the sound of his voice simultaneously raw and melodic. The songs companion piece, “Cold Hearted Town Part 2” features some of The Taxpayers’ best lyricism to date, painting a stark portrait of a poverty and crime-ridden town. One particularly chilling couplet caught my ear in particular: “Buy a suicide connection, or a child for half the price: you can treat him like a dog and only feed him bowls of rice.”

“Plant Oak” is driven by acoustic guitar and bluesy harmonica. It’s slow and meditative, bringing a palpable melancholy to the already dark lyricism. The following song, “Lynch Pins” is more recognizably punk in its tempo– but of course still permeated with The Taxpayers’ trademark non-punk instrumentation. Its insistent beat is its strength, pushing one’s body into its own stilted rhythm.  It’s with “Blackridge Theme” where Cold Hearted Town loses a lot of luster with me. I’ve never been one for instrumentals, especially boring, repetitive ones. While sometimes an instrumental can be a compositionally worthy addition, or serve a distinct purpose in regards to an album’s flow, “Blackridge Theme” ultimately drowns in its own extended runtime, destined only to be skipped in future listens.

I’ve always loved The Taxpayers’ the most when they bring their hardcore influences to the forefront and filter them through the prism of their own unique style. “Something in the Water” is one of the more interesting tracks on the album– featuring female backup vocals, Rob Taxpayers’ hardcore vocal delivery, and some truly jazzy horn lines. It’s a shame it ends so soon, as it’s one of the few songs that feels like it could’ve found a home on God Forgive These Bastards. “Evil Men” is an acoustic track and a fitting, if not slightly unambitious, ending to Cold Hearted Town. The song is catchy, bouncy, and features some great imagery (Lonnie is dead face down in the water. His bloated back grows red as the sun grows hotter). “Evil Men” wraps things up neatly with its final chorus, a classically punk rock sentiment: “These liars, killers, and evil men have collected the land and are in power again. You can hide under a rock or you can turn yourself in, but they are ruthless, hungry, and in power again.”

Cold Hearted Town is undoubtedly a good album, maybe even very good, but compared to the transcendent God Forgive These Bastards, its hard not to look at is as a regrouping– a mulligan, if you will, from fan to artist, still riding the high that was their last record. The Taxpayers are a great band, and Cold Hearted Town doesn’t diminish that reputation, but it serves as a iron-clad reminder that The Taxpayers’ are best when they’re pushing punk’s boundaries, not working within them.

3.5/5 Stars

The Taxpayers streaming “Cold Hearted Town”

Portland/New Orleans folk-punk group The Taxpayers are streaming their soon-to-be-released album Cold Hearted Town.

Check it out here.

Cold Hearted Town, which drops June 15, is the follow up to The Taxpayers’ last release, 2012′s God Forgive these Bastards: Songs from the Forgotten Life of Henry Turner, which was released by Asian Man Records/Really Records/Useless State Records/Plan-it-X Records and Cantankerous Titles.

Ramshackle Glory announce US summer tour w/ The Taxpayers

Arizona folk punks Ramshackle Glory have announced they will be hitting the road this summer for a US tour with The Taxpayers.

Click here for details on the tour. Many of the venues are to be announced, so we’ll keep you posted as they are announced.

Ramshackle Glory’s upcoming split with Ghost Mice, which is called “Shelter,” is set to be released on June 1st via Plan-It-X Records. You can check out a couple songs off the split here.