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DS Exclusive: Strange 90’s – A Benefit for Jerry Bryant of JBTV

Friday, March 8th, on the North side of Chicago, almost but not quite directly across the street from Wrigley Field saw a night all about love. Love for Jerry Bryant, love for his creation, JBTV, which ranks the longest running music television program in the US. And by extension love for all those fighting or have fought cancer. Love this night was expressed by two words, “Fuck Cancer.” A chant repeated multiple times throughout one of the city’s most famous music venues, Metro.

Jerry Bryant founded JBTV in 1984 and since that time has been awarded Billboard Music Awards for “Best Local/Regional Alternative Modern Rock Show,” as well as numerous Emmy Awards. Performances are taped in front of a live audience and then broadcast. Green Day and Chicago’s own Smashing Pumpkins were among the countless acts who gained some initial exposure on JBTV. In fact, the latter band made its very first television appearance on JBTV.

On August 20, 2018, JBTV announced that its founder, Bryant, had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer. The diagnosis was followed by six months of chemotherapy. And so there was never any doubt that there soon would be a benefit for Jerry Bryant and this one was a joyous celebration of the man who has done so much for music. The MC for the night was Lauren O’Neil, Q101 personality. It was a night to give him thanks. Another chant heard throughout the night was “Jerry, Jerry.” And when the guest of honor took to the stage, he spent the majority off his time urging everyone to take care of their health, get their tests done and most importantly stay positive in the face of a cancer diagnosis.

Bryant urged everyone in attendance to make sure that last action was taken. He did spent his entire time on stage with a huge smile and as JBTV President Michael Harnett told me by email a few days after the show, “Jerry was thrilled by the turnout and the support of the Chicago Music community.” Harnett added his own take on the night, “It was a great evening and event, very pleased.” JBTV’s partner in making this night such a success was the event, Charity Bomb. Harnett of JBTV credited Charity Bomb with having “…produced the great event.”

A few days after the show I spoke with Charity Bomb founder Matthew Leone by email. In 2010, Leone, bass player for Madina Lake, was brutally assaulted in Chicago near his bandmate/twin brother Nathan’s apartment while attempting to help a woman being beaten by her husband. He suffered brain swelling, a broken jaw, a broken nose and a fractured skull, and was in and out of consciousness for several days. His attacker was later acquitted of the resulting attempted murder charge in a bench trial. Leone described the founding of Charity Bomb. “We launched Charity Bomb because I was severely injured a few years back was the recipient of the same magnitude of love and that we were able to procure for Jerry. In my case, the Smashing Pumpkins stepped up and did a benefit show at the Metro for me.”

The brothers Leone and their Madina Lake bandmates also performed at the benefit, and he also related to me the genesis of this particular event. “Greg from Kill Hannah contacted me and asked for help. This occasion exemplifies our purpose for existing, so it was in immediate yes. It should also be stated that Chicago is a very supportive scene. Everyone in the room was either friends or fondly aware of each other.”

After the benefit for Matthew Leone’s recovery, he was inspired to keep it going. “Subsequently we devoted our lives to giving back for that wonderful experience. We have done several shows in Los Angeles and have five in the calendar for a variety of causes and constituents. Namely our Strange 80s annual benefit for mental health sufferers in the music realm.”

Head below to check out our photos and rundown of the truly memorable night.



Ignite release video for “Nothing Can Stop Me”

Orange County hardcore veterans Ignite have released a video for “Nothing Can Stop Me”, which is from 2016’s A War Against You. The video is out to mark the band’s announcement that they are working on new materal – and tour dates.

See a statement about upcoming plans, the tour schedule (and the video) below.



Sick Of It All release video for “That Crazy White Boy Shit”

Sick Of It All have just released their new album, Wake The Sleeping Dragon, which came out last Friday (November 2nd) via Century Media. To mark the release, the band have released a video for a track from it, “That Crazy White Boy Shit”.

Have a watch below.



Sick Of It All release video for “Wake The Sleeping Dragon”

Sick Of It All have released a lyric video for recent single “Wake The Sleeping Dragon”. The track is the title song from their upcoming 12th studio album,  on November 2nd via Century Media.

You can have a watch below.



Sick of It All stream new track “Wake The Sleeping Dragon”

Hardcore legends Sick Of It All are going release their 12th studio album, “Wake The Sleeping Dragon!” on November 2nd via Century Media but to tingle the tastebuds and get you all going, they are now streaming their title track “Wake The Sleeping Dragon” ahead of the record. 

Check out the new digs below and let us know what you think!



Street Dogs announce dates for Wreck The Halls 2018

Somehow, it’s almost the holiday season again, and while it that doesn’t seem real or fair, that does bring with it some good news…the announcement of the Street Dogs‘ 2018 edition of Wreck The Halls!

Now in its thirteenth year, this year’s Wreck The Halls festivities will take place at Boston’s Brighton Music Hall between December 14 and 16. Openers vary from night by night and include such noteworthy acts as Art Thieves, Noi!se, Slapshot and more. As has been the case in the past, proceeds from the event will benefit the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Foundation. Head below for the full rundown!

Street Dogs’ most recent release, the stellar Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing was released earlier this year on Century Media, and will be on my year-end “best of” list for sure!



Sick Of It All release lyric video for “Inner Vision”

NYHC legends Sick Of It All are to release their 12th studio album, “Wake The Sleeping Dragon!”, on November 2nd via Century Media. Ahead of the record, the band have released a lyric video for “Inner Vision”, which you can have a listen to below.

Pre-orders are up now.



Sick Of It All to release new album “Wake The Sleeping Dragon!”

NYHC legends Sick Of It All have announced that their 12th studio album, “Wake The Sleeping Dragon!”, is to be released on November 2nd. The band have previewed the album artwork, which you can see below. No advance tracks have surfaced yet, but as soon as they do, you’ll be the first to know…

This will be the band’s first new release since 2016’s EP “When The Smoke Clears”. 



Album Review: Street Dogs “Stand for Something or Die for Nothing”

Street Dogs are back with their sixth studio album, which is also their first album in eight years, Stand for Something or Die for Nothing. For the uninitiated, Street Dogs have a working class street punk and roll sound that has never been tighter than what is on display on this album.

The title track “Stand for Something or Die for Nothing” opens up this album. A classic reminder of everything Street Dogs bring to the table, catchy super tight guitars, socio-political lyrical warnings, and gang-vocals that suck the listener right into the narrative. The topics covered are all in the same vein, generated largely by anger with the current political environment. There’s the blue collar “Working Class Heroes”, the immigration story of “The Round Up”, the warning to future generations in “Other Ones”, and the redemption of “The Comeback Zone”. With one highlight being “Angels Calling” featuring Boston rapper Slaine, who’s appearance gives this rowdy song a boost of energy and a sense of urgency. It’s a perfect way to blend genres in a way that will have you hitting repeat.

This album really shines with a couple of emotional tracks, the first being “These Ain’t the Old Days”. An ode to friends who were unable to overcome their struggles. The emotion put forth by Lenny Lashley on this track is extremely touching. The other song is “Lest We Forget”, the story of a Boston kid who moved to New York to be a firefighter and met a tragic end on September 11, 2001. This song has an energy that betrays its melancholic nature. On a first listen it’s a punk rock banger where it is easy to imagine the crowd singing along to every word. However the more you pay attention the more you will realize that this is a heart-breaker, a super catchy sing-along heart-breaker.

Most of Stand for Something or Die for Nothing is blazing punk rock and roll, however Street Dogs show off their chops on a couple of outliers. “Mary on Believer Street” sounds like a 70’s rock song complete with the high register vocals, and guitar work that sounds lifted from Keith Richards. Ironically enough, this album ends with a cover of “Torn and Frayed” off The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St. It’s a faithful cover with Street Dogs soul.

“The dumbing down of America is a reason to write songs in 2018” says lead singer Mike McColgan when discussing this album, “The theme is wake the fuck up and the working class needs to unite across all colors, creeds, nationalities, genders and realize that we are being pitted against each other by snake oil salesmen and autocrats”. Perfectly described and delivered as promised.

4/5 Stars



Sick of It All and Walls of Jericho Announced for Next Year’s “EMP Persistence Tour”

NYHC legends Sick of It All have been announced as the headliner for next year’s edition of the “EMP Persistence Tour”. Walls of Jericho are also on the bill with more acts yet to be revealed. Meanwhile, you can check out the tour’s dates and locations below.

Sick of It All have been in the studio since last March, working on their first full-length record since 2014’s The Last Act of Defiance; they last released the EP When the Smoke Clears in 2016. Walls of Jericho’s latest album, No One Can Save You from Yourself, was also released that year.



Street Dogs stream new song “Angels Calling”

Boston punks, Street Dogs‘ new album Stand for Something or Die for Nothing is due to be released on June 22, 2018. Vinyl, digital, and CD pre-orders are available through Century Media.

Excitement for the upcoming release has been building for a while now. In preparation the band has already leaked a few singles from the album, and today, premiere a new working class anthem called “Angels Calling”, this one featuring Boston rapper Slaine. It’s a catchy tune for the tireless and exasperated, and those who “wanna die with [their] boots on.”

The boys are currently on tour in the U.S., after which they will be on their way back to Europe. Those dates and “Angels Calling” below.



Street Dogs release video for “Other Ones”

Boston-based punk band Street Dogs have released a video for “Other Ones.” The song is the second single from their upcoming album Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing, scheduled for a June 22 release via Century Media.

The highly anticipated LP is the first full length album that the band has released since their 2010 self-titled LP and the first recording since their 2014 split with Noi!se.

Watch the video for “Other Ones” below.



Street Dogs stream second track “Other Ones” off of upcoming album “Stand for Something or Die for Nothing”

Boston punk veterans Street Dogs are now streaming a second track “Other Ones” off of their upcoming album “Stand for Something or Die for Nothing.” The new album will be making it’s way to the public on June 22 from Century Media.

The track serves as an anthem to those who serve in the line of law enforcement and the mental toll it can take on them especially in today’s day and age of a politically and socially charged climate.

You can stream the new track below.



DS Exclusive: Mike McColgan on “Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing,” Street Dogs First New Album In Eight Years

Allow me, if you will, the opportunity to rewind your memory all the way back to August of 2010. For contextual purposes, here are some reminders as to that comparatively much simpler time; Dying Scene was barely a year old (and still had white text on a black background! The horror!); MySpace ruled the social networking landscape; the United States was less than two years into the Obama Administration, and we hadn’t had our eyes opened to the fact that the then-President was a Kenyan Muslim by the reality show host and beauty pageant coordinator Donald J. Trump.

It also marked the last time we were graced with a full-length album from working-class firebrand Boston punk veterans Street Dogs. Little did we know at the time that the dozen-and-a-half tracks on that self-titled album would mark the last time we’d hear from the band for quite some time, and the last time we’d hear from that lineup forever. In the time that’s elapsed since that embarked on a brief hiatus, Pete Sosa replaced Paul Rucker on drums, and Lenny Lashley (Darkbuster, Lenny Lashley’s Gang Of One) and Matt Pruitt (Have Nots) took over on guitar duties for longtime members Tobe Bean and Marcus Hollar. Centered around the backbone of Mike McColgan on vocals and Johnny Rioux on bass, the new lineup put together songs for a few 7-inch releases a few years ago, and slowly got to work on their first full-length as a unit.

Next month, June 22nd, to be exact, the wait for a new full-length Street Dogs album is finally over. Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing is slated for release on the band’s new label home, Century Media, and it couldn’t come at a better time. The album finds the band at their shot-out-of-a-cannon best, and serves as a shot across the bow not only for the powers that be that bought and sold our political system on the backs of the working class, but for those that might choose to sit idly by and let it happen. We caught up with the band’s quintessentially blue-collar Bostonian frontman Mike McColgan to chat about just why and how the band put out their best material to date, more than a decade-and-a-half into their life as a band. As you might imagine, McColgan pulled no punches.

I don’t want to be the punk band that sat that fucking out. A lot of fucking bands are sitting that out, and history won’t be kind to them,” McColgan states emphatically. “I have to be honest about what I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. I have a son, and I want to be able to say ‘We didn’t sit back. We stood up. We said something’.” Whether for personal or social or political reasons, McColgan and crew are well aware that there are some people in the scene that they could alienate but putting forward an album that puts out a cohesive statement in this day and age, and they’re more than okay with that. “We’ve always put our money where our mouth is, behind the hard-working people, and taking action. We’ve tried not to be too overbearing or be like Bono about it. But you’ve got to say something. That’s the whole point of Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing…Do! Fucking! Something! Don’t just sit this out and think it’s going to be okay. The stakes are way too fucking high.

If you are a long-time member of the Street Dogs Army, there are more than a few moments on Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing to remind you why you got into the band in the first place; lock-tight rhythms, rapid-fire guitars, infectious hooks, chant-along gang-style choruses that pull the listener and the audience right smack into the middle of the storyline. Look no further than the album’s title track for a textbook example. But there are also some sounds you might not expect; the late 70’s classic arena rock anthemic guitar and higher register vocals on “Mary On Believer Street,” rapper and fellow Bostonian Slaine making a spitfire cameo on “Angels Calling,” the album’s closing track, a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Torn And Frayed.” In many ways, its those things you’ve grown to love about Street Dogs but performed at a higher level than you’re used to hearing. McColgan credits not only the playing and songwriting stylings of the band’s new members, but the production chops of Rioux, who manned the console on a Street Dogs album solo for the first time (Nate Albert handled the first two albums, Ted Hutt the next two, and Rioux teamed with McColgan’s former Dropkick Murphys bandmate Rick Barton on the self-titled album). “Johnny Rioux came into his own as a producer,” says McColgan. “He pushed me in particular, moreso than anybody, really, really hard. I feel like, at the end of the day, the record really stands up and will stand the test of time. I feel like our fans and maybe some people who don’t even know who the hell we are will like it too.

Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing is not only a great album, it’s a personal album and an important album. It’s tough to encapsulate the breadth and depth of the conversation we had with McColgan into a few lines in an introduction; as is part and parcel when we chat, there’s a lot of ground covered, but perhaps nothing is more poignant than the stories behind some of individual tales that Street Dogs are trying to relate to their listeners on the new album. “These Ain’t The Old Days” looks back at some members of the scene that haven’t, unfortunately, been lucky enough to overcome some of their struggles, namely former Kings of Nuthin’ frontman Torr Skoog who passed away five years ago. The emotion in the song, particularly in Lashley’s vocal contributions, is palpable. “He had to walk out of the studio,” explains McColgan. “He had to take a break. It was that personal and that pivotal and that powerful and that poignant to him.” “The Comeback Zone,” meanwhile, tells three individual tales of redemption that may sound familiar to those that have followed the long-term arc of the careers – and lives – of the band’s individual members.

“Lest We Forget,” though, is perhaps the most personal and emotional song that McColgan has worked on. The song teaches us, the listening audience, about Gerry Dewan, a Boston kid who couldn’t find work on the local fire department, so he moved to New York City and spent a few years working for the New York Fire Department, a budding career that came to a tragic early end on September 11, 2001. McColgan was not only a new recruit to the Boston Fire Department at the time of that fateful day, he was working for Dewan’s brother, William, on the force. “It’s a very, very, very tough thing for me. I’ve been trying to write this song, God, since the Savin Hill days. I’ve written multiple, multiple variations of this song – I’m talking hundreds – because it’s such a heavy, heavy topic, that I was just hellbent on finding the right way to say this and not make it too political.

Head below to check out our full, wide-ranging interview. It’s a pretty special one, particularly as McColgan himself commented on having trouble putting a few feelings into words; noteworthy for a conversation between two guys with Dorchester Irish Catholic roots.

Pre-orders for Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing are still available here.



Street Dogs stream title track from new album “Stand For Something or Die For Nothing”

Street Dogs release their sixth studio album, “Stand For Something or Die For Nothing”, on June 22th via Century Media. Ahead of the album, the band have released the audio for the title track. You can have a listen below.

Full track details and artwork, along with tour dates, were detailed by DS earlier this month.