Wednesday, September 23, 2009

About That Photo Show

Great opening night and I sold a bunch of photos, yay! But if you missed it and thought you might stop by Tigertail to check it out while it's hanging, don't. The next day the IRS shut down the bar. Apparently they weren't paying their taxes, like many a politician these days. Word is the matter will be taken care of and it will reopen soon, stay tuned...

Monday, September 14, 2009

My photo show Wednesday!

Amy and I are putting up a photo show of our punk and rock photography this month, the opening party is this Wednesday. This is an open invitation to anyone that reads this blog to come down to the opening!

Featuring the Rock Photography of Amy and Dan Halligan
Opening Party Wednesday, September 16th, 8-11pm
Seattle, WA

Amy and Dan Halligan have been photographing and writing about punk and rock bands for twenty years. In the 1990s they published the Northwest's largest music zine, 10 Things, and in the 2000s their photos and writing were featured in almost every issue of the alternative publication Tablet. Their photography has also been featured in publications like The Stranger, Maximum Rock'n'Roll, Blood & Thunder and Vice Magazine. The Halligan's latest photo show, at Ballard's Tigertail, features explosive live band photography of punk and rock bands. Shining the spotlight on both national and local music, the show includes bands like The Spits, The Fluid, The
Bronx, Go Like Hell, The Hot Rollers, Zero Down and The Briefs.

The opening party is from 8-11pm, Wednesday, September 16th. It promises to be a fun party featuring rock'n'roll drink specials and recorded music from the bands featured in the show, please stop by! Tigertail is located at 704 NW 65th Street in Ballard and has a full bar and food.

The show should be up for about a month. Bands featured include:
The Amazombies, Green River, The Whore Moans, Zero Down, The Spits, The Hollowpoints, The Freeze, The Fluid, The Bronx, The Briefs, Peelander Z, The Hot Rollers, Go Like Hell and The Gloryholes!

The Avengers show photos and review

The Avengers show turned out to be totally awesome. It can be pretty hit and miss going to see punk reunion shows or punk bands that are gettin' on in age, it's usually either great or a total let down. Thankfully, this was one of those great shows, probably the best show I've been to this year. I missed the Paul Collins Beat, but from what I heard, they were excellent. I did catch Pansy Division and they were totally on it. I actually thought they had broken up years ago, but I guess not, they blasted out fun, fast pop punk and had the whole audience dancing. I recognized a bunch of their songs from when they were popular about a decade ago.

By the time The Avengers were setting up, Funhouse was packed. I mean really packed, they even opened up the back parking lot and had it fenced in for crowd overflow. The old punks were out in full force! I spotted Kurt and Kim from the Fastbaks, Alan Milman who put out a pretty obscure early punk 7" with the band the Alan Milman Sect (but most people locally know him as a grouchy record store owner), and tons of gray hair and people from old bands. For the first time in a decade, I felt young at a punk show! Needless to say, it was sweaty and hot inside. The Avengers sounded great. Penelope Houston has had quite a solo career, so her voice was still super strong. With a 40 minute set and one encore, the band played about every song off their one studio LP and couple singles, even including their covers of Money and Pain It Black (the latter was excellent). My only complaint would be the two kids trying to look like Suicidal Psychos in the pit that were pushing and shoving so much that they hit me off guard and my beer bottle bammed into my nose gashing it and making me bleed. But talking with Penelope Houston after they played, she said, "Cool, you bled for our band!" Ha ha ha. Penelope was super nice, hanging out for 30 minutes after the set talking with people and posing for photos. What a great night! I definitely recommend catching The Avengers if you get a chance. I have a feeling it will be just a handful of shows and then that's it. It was a rare opportunity to see a band I loved growing up and they more than lived up to my expectations live. One final pic with me and Penelope Houston:

On sorta a side note, there were a couple local band guys pretty fucked up and acting like hipster jerks to other people, along with snorting coke in the bathroom like it was the fucking Cha Cha. During The Avenger's set when they broke into "Thin White Line" and I looked over to see one of them nodding along all fucked up and thought, oh the irony, I wonder if they even know the lyrics.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Glenn Beck a murderer and rapist?

I love debate, but often fear that in today's world, the skills of satire, sarcasm and wit are disappearing. Extremists on the left and right aren't subtle, don't lay out a well thought out and logical argument, they just shout back and forth with innaccurate insults, swearing, and other ridiculousness. Are Americans to stupid to understand and laugh at satire these days? It indeed does seem so. Take the internet rumors that popped up recently about conservative talking head Glenn Beck. I don't expect everyone to know who Beck is, I don't think I heard of him until the last few months, but these days he seems to be everywhere. The media seems to love covering their dullest knife, their darkest star. Beck's specialty, beyond lying and falsely labeling people as things they are not, seems to be putting forth a negative, and then asking people to disprove it. It's a familiar tactic of Right Wingers, remember when they singled out actors and writers as communist and asked them to defend themselves from the accusations? Beck does this shit all the time.

Anyone remember The Flying Spaghetti Monster? It was a great satirical campaign against the Kansas City School Board that decided the theory of Intelligent Design should be taught alongside Evolution in schools. Some parents of students in Kansas came up with a satirical campaign to mock the ridiculous ruling of the school board to support teaching a wacko religious belief in school, by similarly requesting their alternative belief in a Flying Spaghetti Monster be taught. It got a lot more press and debate going about the ridiculous school board decision catering towards religon than a regular protest ever would have. And it was a great example of how powerful satire can be.

Which brings us to and a growing grass roots web movement across Twitter, Facebook, blogs and news websites to bring up rumors that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. Using Beck's exact tactics against him, hundreds of people are mentioning how they've heard this awful rumor and Beck must stand up, address it, and disprove it. Sounds a little like The Birthers and the debate over Obama's birth certificate, doesn't it? You bet it does! Now, the rumors about Beck may seem a little over the top, but that's exactly what you need to do to execute good satire. If it was too subtle, the joke wouldn't be obvious enough (and it's apparently not obvious enough to a bunch of moronic Conservative bloggers who don't get that it's satire). Plus, Beck has a record of falsely accusing people of some pretty horrible things, including calling our President a racist. In this case, you reap what you sow. Beck's approach is being used against him, only more brilliantly in my opinion, satire of bad behavior is always better than the bad behavior it mocks. And it's working! The rumors are spreading, and sadly many slow-minded Conservatives just aren't getting that it's satire... which makes it all that more funny.

I can't wait to see if Glenn Beck addresses the allegations. All Beck has to do to put these blatant lies to rest is to show us his criminal record, but he continues to hide behind and army of lawyers, even 19 years later :)

The local twist? The city of Mount Vernon is giving Beck the key to the city. He's from there originally and sorta famous all of a sudden, so the Mayor of Mount Vernon wants to capitalize on that fame and get some media attention for Mount Vernon. It seems, however, the people of Mount Vernon aren't too happy with the Mayor's decision. There will be a counter-protest on September 26th when the ceremony is slated to take place. It would be heeeelarious if people showed up with signs mimicking the Birther's signs about Obama needing to prove he was born in the US saying Beck needs to prove he isn't a murderer. I would totally encourage that show of disrespect for Beck!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Avengers LP re-issued and they're touring again!

I wrote a full article on old San Francisco punk band The Avengers last year back here. Needless to say, I've always been a fan of the band, in part because of Penelope Houston's kick ass sneering female vocals and in part because of her great lyrics that were often quite smart satirically. The band had only had a brief career from 1977-1979, probably the highlight was opening for the Sex Pistols. Most of their recorded material, including their LP, was released after the band broke up. I remember scoring the LP back in the late-'80s for a few bucks at a used record shop in Seattle's U-District. By the time the '90s rolled around it was out of print and fairly sought after. CD Presents, who put it out, also did a small run of CDs, which I picked up too.

Thanks to Lookout Records releasing a CD of outtakes and live tracks in 1999 and another label putting out a live Avengers CD in 2004, the band gained a lot of new fans and sparked the interest of their old ones. So much so that Penelope Houston decided to get the band back together for a handful of shows before continuing with her solo career.

Flash forward five years. It appears that someone finally wrangled the rights for the Avengers first LP out of the hands of CD Presents. Amazon now has the CD listed for presale and says it's being re-issued on September 22nd with a second CD:

"Though not released until 1983 the Avengers' self-titled record (aka The Pink Album) features the band's recorded output from 1977-78, from the glorious first wave of punk rock. The Avengers were San Francisco's preeminent punk band, led by Penelope Houston's snarling vocals and Greg Igranham's distorted guitar riffs, and one of the first anywhere to feature a female lead singer. Featuring a second CD of previously unreleased live and studio material."

Sweet! If you've never heard the band, check out their MySpace page. And it gets better for those of us on the West Coast, they are also touring! The Avengers will be playing Funhouse September 11th, this is a show not to be missed!

Here are the full tour dates:
Sep 11 2009, The Funhouse, Seattle, Washington
Sep 12 2009, Dante’s, Portland, Oregon
Sep 13 2009, Musichead Medford, Oregon
Sep 16 2009, Blue Lagoon, Santa Cruz, California
Sep 17 2009, The Uptown, Oakland, California
Sep 18 2009, Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, California
Sep 19 2009, Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana, California
Sep 20 2009, The Echo, Los Angeles, California