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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 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!



Introducing Folky-Pop-Punk Act: Dumb Luck (free EP download)

If you dig your pop-punk with a good dose of folky vibes and dueling male/female vocals then I’ve got a new band for you to lend your earballs to. Oregon’s Dumb Luck just released a two song EP titled The Neighbors and you can stream both tracks below. What’s better, if you dig what you hear you can download the release for free.

The Neighbors was co-released via Secret Pennies Reocrds and Diet Pop Records on July 21st. You can purchase the 7-inch vinyl here.



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.



Horrible Things (pop-punk) stream upcoming album “Everybody Else”

Illinois pop-punk band Horrible Things (featuring Tim Reynolds of Hospital Job) are streaming their new record Everybody Else two whole months before its August 15th release via Secret Pennies Records.

Give the record a listen below, and head over to the label’s Bandcamp to pre-order the LP!



Music Video: Shitty Weekend – “Don’t Tell Me Don’t”

Portland’s Shitty Weekend have released a music video for their song “Don’t Tell Me Don’t,” which you can watch below.

“Don’t Tell Me Don’t” comes off the band’s debut album Shit Week which was released on March 8, 2014 through Secret Pennies Records.



Shitty Weekend announce Midwest tour dates

Portland’s Shitty Weekend have announced a short Midwest tour they will be playing this June. The full tour itinerary can be found below.

The band’s debut album Shit Week was released on March 8th, 2014 through Secret Pennies Records. Head over here to read our review of the record.



Album Review: Shitty Weekend – “Shit Week”

The folky hardcore of Portland’s Shitty Weekend is as ramped up and deranged as an amphetamine addicted libertine’s fuck-fest travelogue. It’s messy in all the best ways– loud and unhinged with enough melodic dalliances to make their brand of loud and unhinged unique. The horns blare out bounce and brass, and the guitars shriek through gritted teeth and static distortion; its a circus where every show starts as a firebreathing spectacle and ends in a ball of flames. Shit Week is an explosive, tent burning treat fueled by the ravenous, wide-eyed dereliction of a quartet of enthusiastic artists.

The sprinting opener, “Employee,” is filled with shrieking vocals and rushed melodies, it’s these kinds of tunes that show Shitty Weekend at their best– on the edge of hoarseness, charging forward so fast you’re afraid they’ll trip on their own feet. The next song, “Lord,” is a mid-tempo track that resides a little too neatly in Taxpayers’ territory. This can be attributed to, and perhaps even forgiven as Shitty Weekend is made up of members of both the Taxpayers and Transient, but it still stands that Shit Week as a whole fares better when the band is decidedly not-the-Taxpayers. While most of the other songs are able to break free of that long shadow, the tracks that don’t raise queries as to the necessity of this side project.

“Crabcake” is one of my favorite songs on Shit Week, its chords gallop and lyrics pound through imagery and melody with enough abandon to remind you that this band can slam out some serious bangers when it wants to. The song itself is about the punk scene, DIY shows, and cops, maaan. While I admit, I’m a bit of a jaded listener, I’m still a fucking sucker for stuff like this. “Smoke Weed” follows in this same vein opening with the lyric: “This is a song about rebellion!” and ending with “I bet you’ve never read Steven Blush’s ‘American Hardcore.’” It just goes to show that punk rock remains the best vehicle to comment on itself and for those who are as into navel gazing as I am, these tracks will probably be your favorite.

There’s a brief interlude in “Nothing Lasts Forever,” which is nothing more than a vocal melody of oh’s against a backdrop of galloping horses, sneezes, and the occasional whip crack. It’s cute, in a “Gunsmoke” kind of way, and while nothing to revisit, it does add a level of cohesiveness to the album. Shitty Weekend is a wild band, built on shit-eating sneers and Black Flag worship, but thankfully, they’re anything but self serious.

Shit Week is pure, unbridled energy– it expands and combust, spilling out of the song structure like some kind of sonic napalm. Its a throwback that doesn’t need to be called a throwback to be appreciated, harnessing the spirit of fun and youth that punk rock has always had in its heart and unleashing it through the lens of a new generation with new aesthetic values. I love seeing punk rock embody new attitudes, and I think its safe to say we’re seeing defiant music becoming defiantly musical. Bold songwriters, like Shitty Weekend, are exploring the heart of punk rock without getting too bogged down in the dogma of its expectations. Each generation rebuilds the past in their own image, and in this case, I’m excited to see construction under way.

4/5 Stars



Shitty Weekend (The Taxpayers & Transient) streaming debut album “Shit Week”

Members of Portland’s grindcore band Transient and jazz-punk band The Taxpayers have fused to make folk punk magic in their group Shitty Weekend, in which The Taxpayers’ frontman, guitarist, and banjo-boy Andrew Link supplies vocals.

You can listen to/download their new album “Shit Week” below.

The album was released on March 8, 2014 through Secret Pennies Records



Shitty Weekend (The Taxpayers & Transient) announce debut album “Shit Week”

Members of Portland’s grindcore band Transient and jazz-punk band The Taxpayers have fused to make folk punk magic in their group Shitty Weekend, in which The Taxpayers’ frontman, guitarist, and banjo-boy Andrew Link supplies vocals.

Shitty Weekend’s sound draws from many subgenres of punk, from the depths of 1980’s California hardcore to contemporary folk and surf punk. Their DIY sound shrieks and screeches through polished distortion and screams with the aggression of West coast punk rock.

Shitty Weekend is releasing their debut album “Shit Week” on March 8th. Check out some of their tunes below.