Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mea Culpa

Mea Culpa was a fun, political punk band from Seattle that played around town quite a bit in the first half of the last decade. The band formed in June of 2000 and played it's first show the following November. In the years after they played throughout the Northwest and had one larger US tour, which was plagued with problems and I think essentially broke up the band. I remember we were in Vegas when they were supposed to play the Double-Down Saloon, so Amy, Carl and I went over to support a hometown band. They didn't show, then called and were broken down somewhere in the desert, so we bailed back to the strip and gambling with our friends. I guess they ended up hitting town and playing the stage at like 4am... at least they got to play, Vegas goes all night.

Mea Culpa released both a single and an LP on local label Empty, both of which are now out of print. They had a catchy blend of street punk and more aggressive '80s punk and were likened to early Clash, Billy Bragg, and early Social Distortion with a little Dead Kennedys thrown in. I really dig their one and only LP. The band broke up in August of 2004. Today Bill plays in Bat Country and Matt is in the Flux Capacitors and Android Hero.

Band members: Bill Bullock on guitar and vocals, Terry Cook on bass, David Byers on guitar and vocals, and Matt McGillivray on drums (Johnny Koubourlis also drummed).

2002 "Corporate Nation" (Empty Records US)
2003 "They Put You In A Mask" (Empty Records US)

A few songs (MP3s):

Waiting for America
Good Cop Bad Cop
Corporate Nation

Lyrics to "Corporate Nation"
Commercialized society, dehumanizing all I see
Welcome to the New American Dream
Culture's a commodity, if it can't be sold it's not worth a thing
Fattened for the kill, no one hears the screams
There are police on every corner, their badges say "Place Your Ad Here"
I turned on the news to try and get the facts
And the only headline that I saw said, "Nothing To See Here."
They sell us freedom with our Coke, but our democracy's a joke
They've got the information
And while we buy into the sham, they're busy tying all our hands
Here in our Corporate Nation
They hook us young like a dealer with a lie to sell
Load us up with junk so we won't see the hell
They're leading us, they're feeding us to
They own the place you work and the shows you see,
Where you lay your head while they define your dreams
It's a free market for them, Stalinism to you
And all the public schools get privatized
But we are told to have no fear
But when Nike owns your high school don't be too surprised
To see sections of the history book on labor disappear
They're gonna teach our children well, what to buy and how to sell
They've got the information
Instead of swastikas, a swoosh, but it's the same old Hitler Youth
Here in our Corporate Nation
Life's more than a transaction for someone to exploit
And unless we take some action, we're gonna end up with no choice
Cultural Monopoly, Undermined Democracy
Welcome to the New American Dream
Our government's been bought and sold so many times we don't even know
Who's holding the reigns in the land of the free
But they keep saying my vote matters
And so I stepped into the booth
But the only thing I got to really choose between
Was the color of their power ties and the puppets in their suits
And I look behind the mask and they've twisted every fact
They've got the information
And I tear away the veil and I see we're all for sale
Here in our corporate nation

Friday, January 22, 2010

Not My Son

My friend Carol used to front an pretty awesome punk band back in the '90s called Not My Son. Here's a video of them that someone posted to YouTube (something I need to do with a bunch of band footage I still have on 8mm):

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tonight in Seatown... Anti-Flag

This is a photo of photo of Anti-Flag playing their first show in Seattle at the old Lake Union Pub from around 1995, just before their first album "Die For the Government" was released. 10 Things tie-in, drummer Pat Thetic's longtime girlfriend Wandi wrote for 10 Things for most of it's existence. Over the years Anti-Flag has toured here a ton of times, released 9 full-length albums, signed with a major (RCA) then left it for an indie label again, and toured the world. They've also remained politically active their entire career. Their music has always blended politics, pop punk and '70s punk in a way that's catchy and fun, while spreading a message. Tonight Anti-Flag plays at Seattle's El Corazon, along with guyliner sporting Aiden, Cancer Bats, Broadway Calls, and Trash Talk. The Dreadful Children will be playing the free afterparty in the lounge.

(El Corazón) While all of these bands reside under the broad umbrella of "punk," it's still a really odd lineup. Do fans of Trash Talk's nihilistic, Infest-inspired tantrums really want to sit through Anti-Flag's Anglophilic punk revival? Will the beards-beers-and-BO hardcore crowd really want to stick around after the Cancer Bats' set to see a bunch of teenagers dressed up like Tim Burton characters fawning for the emo power-balladry of Aiden? And do any of the aforementioned folks want to see Broadway Calls' clean-cut pop punk? Strangely, this tour is titled "The Economy Sucks, Let's Party Tour." If you can somehow appreciate the intended crossover appeal within this eclectic bill, you're in luck. Otherwise, paying $16 to see one band during a recession ain't much of a party. BRIAN COOK

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tonight in Seatown... Success!

I think it's safe to say it's a pretty rare when El Corazon hosts an all local punk show and the one tonight looks pretty damn awesome. Headliners Success! play a catchy anthemy type of melodic punk with gruff vocals that invokes the sound of bands like Rancid, Swingin' Utters and Strawman (and actually a lot of old Allied Records bands), but with their own twist. Check out Succcess! here. Random Orbits play fast, catchy songs, halfway between '90s East Bay melodic punk and Fat Wreck Chords pop punk, with a little hardcore speed thrown in, they remind me a little of Good Riddance. Totally the type of songs you find yourself humming under your breath a day or two after listening to them. Heroes Among Thieves have excellent crunchy guitars, scream along choruses that no doubt brings lots of fist pumping. Catchy pop punkers Smokejumper I've written about a few times before, fans of Seattle pop punk bands of yore like Sicko and Red Rocket check out their songs online. A great showcase of the of the best young bands playing Seattle right now.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jay Reatard found dead

How sad, Pitchfork, and I'm sure tons of other websites, are reporting Jay Reatard is dead:

Very, very sad news: It has been confirmed that Jay Reatard has died. He was 29 years old. More details are forthcoming.

Goner Records writes, "It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our good friend Jay Reatard. Jay died in his sleep last night. We will pass along information about funeral arrangements when they are made public." The Memphis Commerical Appeal reports that Reatard was found in his home at 3:30 am this morning.

Reatard, born Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., was a staple of the Memphis garage rock scene for years before bursting on the national scene with 2006's Blood Visions and subsequently signing to Matador. His most recent album, Watch Me Fall, came out last year.

A statement from Matador reads, "Jay was as full of life as anyone we've ever met, and responsible for so many memorable moments as a person and artist. We’re honored to have known and worked with him, and we will miss him terribly."