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Festival Review: The 7th Annual Altercation Punk Rock BBQ

Saturday March 18th at Kick Butt Coffee in Austin Texas, Altercation Records delivered another incredible day of punk rock fun at the 7th annual Altercation Punk Rock BBQ.

I have been lucky enough to experience the last 4 years of this event held each year in Austin during the South By Southwest Music Conference, and I have to say it is probably my favorite punk event after PRB, although it in no way compares size wise to major events like PRB or The Fest, the people at Altercation know how to throw a party! First off It’s free admission for all ages, there is free BBQ and free Beer for a limited time, this usually last for the first hour or so, during the first two sets, of which there are usually 10-12 sets of amazing bands, half of which are brand new up and comers, others are gritty road warriors who have been at it for years and usually there is at least one old classic band or figure like Cheetah Chrome, Fishbone, or Sylvain Sylvain…This year there were no classic punk acts, I don’t know maybe they are getting harder to come by? This year the venue also changed from the Vortex to a smaller indoor venue called Kick Butt Coffee, at first I was suspect of a punk show of this size in a coffee house, but Kick Butt Coffee is an actual venue with a stage and a full bar.

The place steadily filled and by the 4th set it was mobbed with the crowd spilling out into the parking lot, first up were The Glory Holes out of Memphis who do an all gay oriented Ramones styled pop punk that is really fun…Second to hit the stage was Heels who are a really awesome duo who are sort of like Lucero on speed…followed by New York City’s Jukebox Romantics who always put out a killer performance and this day was no different than the last few times I have seen them, super high energy take no prisoner punk rock…The next band up was a new one on the Altercation label who’s name it took me a minute to figure out; Dr. Beardfacé And The Spaceman, which if you don’t immediately get it is a hybrid of two television characters, Dr. Beardfacé from Scrubs, and Dr. Spaceman from 30 Rock.This band was new and interesting to me, the front woman Kerrie Trube has a really rich voice which during some songs really stood out, I think we will be hearing more from them in the future as their sound and live performance matures…After that was another new band on the Altercation roster The Split Seconds from Washington DC, this might be my favorite new act of 2017, The Split Seconds are a pop punk/retro punk band who have a fresh new sound yet still pull on my spirit of 77 heart strings, I really liked this set…They were followed by The Hangouts who reunited for this show, I love The Hangouts, I have seen them maybe 4 times and they are always great and I was stoked to see them reunite for this show…Next was Boston’s OC45 who do straight up Boston style punk rock, and they do it very well with lots of fist pumping whoa oh’s…American Pinup returned this year and as always delivered a phenomenal set, I don’t know if there is a better voice in rock & roll than Lauren West? This woman I adore…I felt bad for the next band up having to follow American Pinup but Houston’s Grizzly Band did not disappoint by any means, and truly rose to the occasion with a killer alt country set of their own, This is a band that you just have to see live at least once before you die…Mind Spiders were wow, these guys have a post punk garage rock vibe all their own…Then came From Parts Unknown out of Dallas whos Upright bass fueled set was breakneck and furious…And last in the lineup up was F Woods of Mercury Radio Theater form Philadelphia PA who brought solo guitar quirk to the BBQ which was unsurprising considering his regular touring alongside of The Dead Milkmen.

So there you have it the complete lineup, all in all one of the best shows I have been to, I watched all 12 sets and in all honesty have to say that the Altercation Punk Rock BBQ impressed me once again, not only was every band great, but the mix of genres and the placement in the lineup kept it interesting and kept us in the audience wondering what was next…Hope I can make it to number 8

Altercation Records announce SXSW Altercation Punk Rock BBQ 2016

Altercation Records have announced this year’s annual SXSW Punk Rock BBQ. This year’s BBQ features Svetlanas, The Fantastic Plastics, Cheetah Chrome of The Dead Boys, The Grizzly Band, and more, and will be held Saturday, March 19th.

Check out the flyer with the full lineup below.

The Grizzly Band bass player loses leg in tragic accident, campaign launched to help fund expenses

Here’s a story I hate to write. Matt “Scootch” Appelby, bass player for Houston’s alt-country/punk act The Grizzly Band was traveling with a group of friends when he had to pull over to assist one of the group members with some car troubles. He had parked on the shoulder with his flashers on when a car veered off the highway and struck him.

He was he was medevaced to a hospital in Alexandria Louisiana where they had to make the decision to amputate his left leg just above the knee. Matt is in positive spirits at the moment and has a large group of friends and family support with him in this difficult time.

Friends describe Matt as having “such a big heart [he] would give the shirt right off of his back for anyone.”

A gofundme campaign has been launched to help take the financial burden off of his shoulders until he is able to recover and you can donate to it here.

The Grizzly Band most recently released their second full-length Lost and Found last summer via Altercation Records.

Festival Review: Sixth Annual Rats Nest Run-In (American Pinup, Koffin Kats, Kyle Trocolla and more)

I visited and reported on this show last year and had such a great time I vowed to make the trip back up to New York’s Catskill mountains just outside of Albany to revisit it this year, and I am happy I did.

This was the sixth annual Rats Nest Run-In but only the second for me, it’s a counter culture car show which features predominantly pre 1965 vehicles that are rebuilt by their owners from spare parts of numerous other cars that have been pieced together in all sorts of interesting and imaginary way’s.

The crowd and the mood of this marvelous event is also decidedly counter culture and as diverse as the cars, it’s a really nice mix of old and young hot rodders ranging from infants to the infirmed, there are families with children, psychobilly greasers, and crusty punks walking the large field filled with an endless number of cars, one more interesting than the other.

Dozens and dozens of vendors line the field hawking car parts, tattoo art, retro-rockabilly clothing, and all sorts of interesting crafts and wares that catch your eye, I could have spent a whole day just shopping, but I had bands to see.

Large crowds gather and disperse from the stage (An old semi trailer) as the bands, burlesque performers, and pinup girl contest make their way on and off like clockwork giving the crowd some sort of new sonic or visual adventure every 30-40 minutes or so.

Upon my arrival on Friday I caught a set by The Bothers, a Brooklyn based Rockabilly Roots band that really had it together, they were tight, fun and looked the part with their slicked back hair, high cuffed jeans and tight t shirts…Another great Rockabilly act was Lara Hope and The Arktones featuring Matt Goldpaw of the Arkhams on stand up base, While front gal Lara belted out song after song in a sweet rockin’ voice that was undeniably fitting for this show.

Later when the show moved inside I caught a stellar set by solo artist Kyle Trocolla that blew us all away with his alt country sound and punk lyrics, I am a fan of this genre and I was delighted by this heartfelt gravel voiced set…Next up on the inside stage we saw another new band (new to me anyway) called Pitchfork Militia who delivered a very high energy set and entertained the audience with antics like using a toy fire truck as a guitar slide. Then came The Creepin Cadavers who were an all out Psychobilly assault that was pure high energy fun…And one of my new favorite bands as of that night is The Grizzly Band who came up from Texas and delivered a phenominal alt country set complete with steel guitar, truckers caps, and long beards, all of which added to their authentic sound and feel, and the last band of the evening was again an unexpected surprise called Those Crosstown Rivals who do a punky southern rock, that included hints of classic southern rock with the edge of punk and hints of country that never leaned to much in any direction, lets just say I liked them.

Saturday brought more of the same, so many interesting cars, burlesque and side show acts, and more great music by acts like the rockabilly band Whiskey Kill who did a killer classic rockabilly set, and a really fun and really good Surf band called The Sci Flies who played all the old surf classics while wearing matching Fly masks, later both on the outdoor stage, and again on the indoor stage, American Pinup performed remarkably flawless sets that brought the crowds right to the front of the stage to hear their sets, American Pinup also played this event last year and is an obvious crowd favorite. Finally the night was topped off by the Koffin Kats who as they always do delivered an hour plus of high octane Psychobilly that brought the house down with their unmatched onstage showmanship and operatic vocals that place them at the top of their genre…Thus the evening came to an end.

Sunday we all licked our wounds from the night before, waited to long in line for breakfast then sat in the sun with a lemonade and watched repeat performances by Whiskey Kill, American Pinup, The Bothers and Lara Hope and The Arktones…while awaiting lunch at the free, That’s right free Pig Roast and Tiki Pool Party…by this time much of the crowd had dispersed and headed home leaving maybe 500 or so of us left to enjoy the roasted pigs, nurse our hangovers and listen to more really great music.

This was once again a wonderful weekend and I hope to attend it again next year…I just hope my liver can survive it.

Show Review: Altercation Records’ Mid-Summer Night Scream!

Altercation Records has continued to demonstrate the staying power of true underground DIY culture over the past decade, with the Austin / New York label’s annual Punk Rock BBQ and Mid-Summer Night Scream events fast becoming some of the most ‘must-attend’ throw downs in the nation. The 2015 Mid-Summer Night Scream, held in Austin, TX at venue Holy Mountain, proved exceptional even by Altercation standards, and will hold a lasting impression in my mind for a long time to come.

Despite the 108 degree Texas heat and the bittersweet knowledge that Holy Mountain will be closing its doors over a rent raise dispute this coming October, spirits were high from the get-go. Punk rockers are not known for their promptness, but even at 6:30pm an enthusiastic crowd had arrived to catch Scream kick off band Pleasure Tide. Fronted by ex-Assjack vocalist Gary Lindsay, the band channeled fire-and-brimstone lyrics with gypsy-infused melodies to yield a potent punk rock gospel revival that had even the shyest of wallflowers singing along. Lindsay’s voice has never sounded better, a gravel-and-whiskey soaked hybrid best served on the rocks.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not! mainstay The Lizardman brought his circle sideshow out of the big tent and into the club, entertaining and horrifying the crowd by putting a corkscrew through his nasal cavity and having his comedic sideman destroy a cinder block hanging from his earlobes with a sledge hammer. To say you had to be there is an understatement.

All Eyes West proved no-shows, although Dallas’ punkers Fat By The Gallon cranked out the high-energy jams that have secured them opening slots for legends like NOFX and Bouncing Souls. Avenue Rockers, fresh off performing at Punk Rock Bowling Fest, continued to keep the energy high with their Operation Ivy-vibe of ska/punk. Members of local rising street punk band Sniper 66 were spotted in the circle pit, as was the divine Miss Genocide from Burning

The Dirty Charley Band added nice outlaw country flavor to the Scream, mixing songs about the devil and bad women gone worse, while College Station, TX outfit Girl Band channelled a modern-day Runaways. Blue-haired siren Nikki was impossible to look away from, and the band was clearly having a blast delivering their bubblegum punk and sending out a shoutout to ‘the fine art of finger banging’.

Word of mouth was high for ASS, and they did not disappoint. This was my first time seeing the band and will not be my last, as they absolutely dripped energy from the minute they took the stage until the last wringing guitar chord. ASS thrashed like heirs to the Suicidal throne, rocking out with abandon to songs about classic pastimes such as pizza, drugs and wizards. I was impressed to say the least.

Altercation Records’ The Grizzly Band delivered the goods as usual, wringing country-tinged rock from a sweat-drenched Lucero towel. These bearded gents are clearly bound for some next-level stages, having recently provided support for Nashville Pussy and The Supersuckers, so seeing them in the intimate confines of Holy Mountain felt like a true treat.

If there’s a heavier Texas band than Sabbath Crow I have not heard it. Looking like the extended family of The Devil’s Rejects, this power trio absolutely destroyed the Holy Mountain stage. Their cowboy-hat clad guitarist was jaw-dropping to watch, his hands pummeling his guitar with such speed and dexterity it almost seemed comical. The crowd was ecstatic for Crow, and the bar was clearly raised.

Blues Meanies’ vocalist Billy Spunke was up to the task. A Chicago legend, Spunke reunion with the Meanies for 2014’s Riot Fest drew HUGE crowds for good reason. He is a dynamo to watch, and new post-punk project All The Way Korean was impossible to turn away from. Shrouded in smoke and dense red light, Spunke shouted and clawed his way through each song like a demon-possessed, sunglasses-clad preacher.

Finally it was time for USSR import The Svetlanas to play. I had seen the band perform half a set at SXSW a few years back, and was in short amazed. Word of the band has clearly spread like wildfire, as the crowd was wall to wall even at 1 am in anticipation of the band, who are in the US to perform on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour. Singer Olga Svetlana appeared like a female version of Iggy Pop in his primal prime, setting a poster of Putin on fire before the roaring crowd and then diving headfirst into hardcore anthems like “I Must Break You” and “Revenge”. The band recently completed a month of support for The Dwarves and it showed – a well-oiled thrash machine, Svetlanas were simply unstoppable, with bodies constantly flying from the stage into the pit like crash test dummies.

By ignoring trends and completely bypassing the usual cultural trappings of corporate sponsorship that seems to dominate so many other ‘punk’ festivals, the Altercation Mid-Summer Night Scream felt like a true underground music event for the fans – diverse, high-energy and uncompromising, and a great reminder of why so many of us were drawn to the genre in the first place. How Altercation will possibly top this year’s Scream in 2016 is a question I’m glad I am not responsible for answering.

Photo’s by Dave Prewitt

Rats Nest Run-In announces 6 new bands

The annual Rats Nest Run-In car show (and music festival) has announced six more bands that will be joining the fun on August 21st-23rd, 2015 in East Durham, NY (upstate, near Albany).  The new announcements include The Koffin Kats, The Grizzly Band, Kyle Trocolla, Whiskey Kill, Dressed For The Occasion, and The High Five Revival.

In addition to the Rat Rods car show, burlesque, a pin-up contest, a tiki pool party, and pig roast, a number of rockabilly, psychobilly, and americana bands will play over the 3 days. The newly announced bands will be joining American Pinup, Creepin’ Cadavers, Those Crosstown Rivals, Pitchfork Militia, Lara Hope and the Ark Tones, and The Bothers.

We will keep you posted as more information becomes available. Head over here for DyingScene’s rundown of last year’s event.

The Grizzly Band announces tour with Those Crosstown Rivals

Houston’s alt-country/punk act The Grizzly Band are hitting the road with Kentucky rockers Those Crosstown Rivals for a set of 9 shows across the Midwest and East this summer.  You can find all of the dates on the flier above.

The Grizzly Band most recently released their second full-length Lost and Found last summer via Altercation Records.



Music Video: The Grizzly Band – “Stand Up”

Houston’s alt-country/punk act The Grizzly Band have just released a new music video for their track “Stand Up” off their second full-length Lost and Found, which was released earlier last Summer via Altercation Records. You can check out the video below.

If you are not already familiar the band, they deliver solid punk and rock n’ roll tunes that lean heavily toward country without ever leaving their punk roots far behind.

Show Review: Altercation Punk Rock BBQ 2015

So how do you take a miserable fucking day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?

You grab an umbrella, a raincoat, or wrap yourself up in a trash bag and make it over to the 5th annual Altercation Punk Rock BBQ where hundreds of punks show up year after year regardless of the unbelievably shitty weather to hear some great bands and grab some beers and BBQ.

This fifth year of punk rock fun sponsored by Altercation Records was again held at Vortex in Austin Texas and coincided with the SXSW Music conference where thousands of bands and music types from all over the world converge for a week of meet and greet music industry madness, and where anybody who is anybody in punk rock makes their way over to the BBQ that the folks over at Altercation Records throw every year…“What more could you ask for? We have the best fans and the best scene in the world! Look at all these people coming out in the rain to see these bands…and zero assholes, it’s great, just great!” exclaimed Altercation Records co-owner and party host JT Habersaat.

Despite the downpour hundreds of punks descended on the Vortex to check out this years show. Upon arrival there were over 80 people lined up waiting to get in, and even with the rain they just kept coming. This years line up consisted of 12 bands although a few had cancelled due to family emergency, illness, or the rain. But being that it was the Altercation Punk Rock BBQ and there is always a flood of bands who come down to Austin every year eager to play SXSW, those slots were quickly filled and the show went off without a hitch.

With high energy performances by The Sharp Lads who donned dresses and Halloween masks. Alt country by The Grizzly Band, Killer street punk sets by Sniper 66, Riverside Riot, and Three’s Away, along with some old school hardcore punk by fan favorites Two Fisted Law, and a truly stellar set by the American roots band Blackeyed Vermillion the Altercation Punk Rock BBQ once again turned out to be a well balanced meal of punk rock fun with a little something for everyone. This was my favorite event of SX and personally look forward to making it back next year, hopefully under dryer and less muddy conditions.

Below are a few photos of this years event taken by Dave TV, to show you what you missed or remind you of what you experienced.

Altercation Records announce SXSW Altercation Punk Rock BBQ 2015

Altercation Records have announced this year’s annual SXSW Punk Rock BBQ. This year’s BBQ features Lower Class BratsThe Sharp LadsThe Grizzly Band, and more, and will be held this Saturday, March 21st. Check out the flyer and more details below.

Music Video: The Grizzly Band – “Pass the Smoke”

Houston’s alt-country/punk act The Grizzly Band have just released a new music video for their track “Pass the Smoke” off their second full-length Lost and Found, which was released earlier this month via Altercation Records. You can check out the video below.

If you are not already familiar the band, they deliver solid punk and rock n’ roll tunes that lean heavily toward country without ever leaving their punk roots far behind. The 5-piece has recently been picked up by Altercation.

Stream 3 songs off The Grizzly Band’s (punk ‘n roll) new album “Lost And Found”

Altercation Records Alt-Country/Punk act The Grizzly Band has released it’s second full length entitled “Lost And Found”.  If your not already familiar the band delivers solid punk and roll tunes that lean heavily toward country without ever leaving their punk roots far behind.  You can check out a few of the tracks (“Better Than This”, “Pass The Smoke”, “Stand Up”) below.

The Grizzly Band sign to Altercation, plan release of new album “Lost & Found”

Altercation Records, Inc., a long-running punk label based jointly in Austin, Texas and New York, has announced the signing of Houston’s outlaw country-rock 5-piece The Grizzly Band.

“My good friend and amazing Houston musician Jason Bancroft turned me on to Grizzly last summer,” explained Altercation co-owner JT Habersaat. “They played our annual Mid-Summer Night Scream festival and I was instantly interested. They have great energy and are true Texas.”

The band, who combine searing riffs, steel pedal guitar harmonies and the gruff, working-class vocals of leader Chad Grizzly, have long been a fixture of the Houston scene. Often drawing comparisons to the likes of Lucero, Johnny Cash and Chuck Ragan, the band has recently shared the stage with such contemporaries as Zeke, Old Man Markley and Riverboat Gamblers.

“We couldn’t be more excited and proud to join the Altercation Records family,” said guitarist / vocalist Chad Grizzly. “JT and Travis, as well as the other bands on the label, have been really supportive and made us feel right at home with our decision.”

The band’s album “Lost & Found” will see release worldwide later this year. Grizzly is slated to appear on the 2014 Rocklahoma Festival alongside Black Label Society, Deftones and more over Memorial Day weekend.