Friday, October 30, 2009

GG Allin Bobblehead? Order yours today!

I'm not sure just what to think about these punk rock bobbleheads... I think bobbleheads are ridiculous and have never been much of an adult toy collector like many of my friends. A company called Aggronautix has been doing limited runs of punk rock musicians, most of the controversial kind. The Dwarves, Tesco Vee, Milo from The Descendents and GG Allin. Weird. Find out more about it here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chuck Biscuits death report was a hoax!

Interesting, and totally an indication of how easy it is to quickly spread false news as the truth in the Internet age. The story of Chuck Biscuits' death this weekend that spread throughout punk websites, forums and social networking communities was a hoax. Sounds like it was six months in the making fooling the blogger who made the announcement, but Chuck's friends and family have declared it to be totally false, he's actually living here in Seattle as somewhat of a recluse from the punk rock scene these days. Read more about it here. Lame that people joke about this stuff, but yay for Chuck Biscuits still being alive!

This seems like a great time to go back and listen to Chuck's contributions to the world of music. When I was in highschool, riding around in my friend Kathy's car, we totally jammed all the time to the Repo Man soundtrack (he plays on the Circle Jerk track). When I finally really dove into punk around 1986, DOA was a fucking staple, I played Hardcore '81 all the time and would go see the band all the time at places like the OK Hotel and The OffRamp. The first two Danzig albums ruled (he played on the first four), he also spent time The Weirdos who's first two 7"s and LP are insanely awesome if you like that '70s punk sound that bands like The Briefs obviously dug heavily. The Circle Jerks and Social Distortion? These are essential punk rock bands. Go crank some music Biscuits had a part in and watch those YouTube videos I posted earlier. See and hear what great contributions this man has made to not only punk rock, but the greater body of rock'n'roll.

Chuck Biscuits, Punk's Most Famous Drummer, Passes Away

UPDATE: See my latest post, this was a hoax.

Probably the most famous drummer in the punk rock scene, Chuck Biscuits, died October 24th after a long struggle with cancer.

Biscuits began his lengthy drumming career here in the Northwest playing in BC's DOA in the band's early years up through the release of "Hardcore '81." When he left for California, his brother Ken "Dimwit" Montgomery took over duties on skins for DOA. In 1982, Biscuits joined Black Flag and toured with them for half a year, but the only recorded material he's on is bootlegged live shows. He played in The Circle Jerks (he played with them on the "Repo Man" soundtrack), The Weirdos and a few other bands for the following years before landing a permanent gig in Danzig in 1987. Biscuits played in Danzig until 1994, recording on the first four albums, numerous singles, and going on tons of tours. During that time he also laid down some drum track for Run DMC and played in Samhain. In the late '90s he joined and toured with Social Distortion on drums, until 1999 when he quit Social D and drumming in the punk rock scene altogether.

Just to recap, Chuck Biscuits drummed for DOA, Black Flag, The Circle Jerks, Danzig, The Weirdos, Samhain, Run DMC and Social Distortion. Put that resume up against any other punk rock drummer out there. During the past few years Biscuits has been fighting a battle with throat cancer, he passed away on Saturday at the young age of 44. Rest in piece Chuck, you provided a valuable part to the soundtrack of my life.

Here's Biscuits on stage with Danzig in his prime live in 1988:

And here he is playing in The Circle Jerks in late '83 or early '84 (the date on the video is wrong, he was no longer in the band by 1985). Watch and listen to how hard and fast he hits!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jesus Lizard show review

I started off Friday night meeting up with friends at hipster hole the Cha Cha. I make fun of the Cha Cha, but I actually like drinking there, it's dark and has a zillion things to look at (beyond people watching). It was actually a bit of an older less hipster crowd that night, probably because other folks were getting their drink on pre-Jesus Lizard there as well. When my friends I were primed and ready we headed over Neumos. We just missed Black Elk, who I think are good, but nothing special. I ran into Suze right off the bat that used to shoot photos for 10 Things (and Flipside) back in the day. She'd flown in from LA for the show because she thought the LA show was so awesome, plus they wouldn't let photographers bring in real cameras there, and you could at Neumos. The club was full, but not at capacity, which was actually really nice. I'm sure the $25 ticket price (really $32 if you bought them at Rudy's like I did or $36 online) was a deterrent for a lot of people, people on the NW Punk Board mentioned they just couldn't afford it.

Within the first 10 seconds of the first song, David Yow was stage diving into the crowd. Awesome. It was a sign of things to come, as the band cranked through material, Yow spend plenty of time out in the crowd, either bouncing off the people at the front of the stage as they propped him up or riding around crowd surfing above the audience. Hell, he crowd surfed all the way from the stage to the back of the venue, a good 300 feet, then back to the stage while somehow still singing into the mic.

There's this great dichotomy in the Jesus Lizard with a very wild, loose performance by Yow that borders on totally out of control and the rest of the band, who plays really tight precise notes and rhythms and seemingly never miss a beat. I think some people don't get that about the Jesus Lizard, because even at 49, Yow is a complete wildman on stage. And people get the impression the whole band is pretty loose--one of my friends that had never seen them before said he was surprised how loose they were after the show. But they aren't really, while Yow's larger-than-life performance is loose, the rest of the band is fucking tight. I read somewhere that Steve Albini said in recording them that they were one of the tightest bands he'd ever worked with.

Anyway, The Jesus Lizard were fucking on it Friday night. It's like they never signed with Capitol Records in 1995 and put out those mediocre records and had the turmoil that led to their break up on 1999. It was as if we were teleported back to The Jesus Lizard of the early 1990s, only the gray hair gave away the 15 years time that had passed. The crowd ate it up, there was a large pit of sweaty bodies pounding against each other the whole show, stopping to reach up their arms to carry and support Yow occasionally as he tumbled over their heads. Great show!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's all politics!

For the most part I'm pretty disappointed by the candidates in Seattle's upcoming elections. Mike McGinn, the supposed progressive candidate for Mayor, has flip flopped on his tunnel stance and promises a lot he can't deliver to the music and arts communities, I'm pretty sure he'll say about anything to get elected at this point. Plus he's way more big government than I am, I think inviting a lot of government involvement in music and the arts always backfires with added bureaucracy and regulation. I'm still voting for him, but it's one of those lesser of two evils situations.

Same with the city council elections, I really wish we had better options. Nick Licata, who was once an advocate for term limits, has been in office way too long. Although his opposition, Jessie Israel, has the energy and enthusiasm Licata totally lacks, she's too green around the gills. I'm totally over Richard Conlin as well. And Dow Constantine totally wastes our money, but it's not like I can vote for Susan Hutchinson, she's anti a woman's right to choose. I'm still voting for all of the progressive/liberal people (well, I voted for Isreal as a protest vote since I know Licata will win), but only because there aren't worthy enough candidates to unseat them. Next time I guess, we definitely need some changes in Seattle's leadership, especially on the city council.

Really, the issues I care about that are on the ballot are the referendums and voting City Attorney Tom Carr out of office. Tom Carr has been a constant thorn in the side of music fans, clubs, bands and concert promoters and it's time to get rid of this guy. Please please please vote for Pete Holmes for City Attorney if you care at all about Seattle's music community. There will be a little protest against Carr tonight at most of the clubs around town. And when you have punk clubs, big clubs, neighborhood bars and big corporate clubs like the AEG-owned Showbox uniting on one issue, you know it's serious to the music community. Here's the press release about tonight's haps:


Seattle nightlife establishments from throughout the City are scared of what will happen if Tom Carr is re-elected on November 3. How scared? In an effort to raise awareness of City Attorney Tom Carr's anti-nightlife policies — and to emphasize the importance of a safe and vibrant nightlife — bar, live music venue and nightclub owners will observe a "minute of silence" on Friday, October 23, 2009, at 11:30 PM.

For one minute, nightlife as we know it will cease to exist in Seattle. Participating establishments will use a portion of this minute to inform their patrons of Carr's anti-nightlife policies and the importance of electing his opponent Pete Holmes. Carr, a longstanding opponent of the nightlife industry and the mastermind behind Operation Sobering Thought — a botched "sting" operation that cost the taxpayers over $50,000 and resulted in zero convictions — has continued his efforts to hamper nightlife and the arts as the election approaches.

Many in the nightlife community believe it is the ultimate goal of Carr's office to shut down bars and nightclubs in the City of Seattle, thereby decimating an industry that employs thousands of people and generates nearly $100 million in annual tax revenue.

The Stranger and the Seattle Times over the past week have been giving extensive coverage to the issue of nightlife. The bar, venue and club owners have been particularly fearful in the wake of blistering attacks from Carr's office that occurred at a meeting on October 6 on Capitol Hill. At that meeting, a member of Carr's office threatened to stop pedestrians on the street to find out where they were drinking and then use the information collected to issue citations and possibly revoke the licenses of those nightlife establishments.

"A vote for Carr is a vote against nightlife," said Crocodile Café owner Marcus Charles. "If you want someone who is pro-consensus, pro-music, and pro-arts then Pete Holmes is the only choice." Charles has decided to join the event and to take it one step further: The Crocodile will close down for the entirety of Friday night.

Participating in the Minute of Silence will be the Crocodile Café, Neumos, Moe Bar, Havana, The Saint, Trinity, The Sunset Tavern, Tractor Tavern, Cha Cha Lounge, Bimbos, Baltic Room, Rendezvous, Del Rey, Shorty's, Spitfire Grill, Venom, Amber, Funhouse, Nectar, High Dive, The Red Door, ToST, Skylark Café and Club, Trinity, Cowgirls inc., Tractor Tavern, Sunset Tavern, Lock and Keel Inn, War Room, Century Ballroom, R Place, Seattle Eagle, Quinns Pub, and many others.

"Music and nightlife makes a city great, plain and simple," said Havana owner Quentin Ertel. "Nobody wants to live in a ghost town."

As a show of support, the marquee at Showbox Market will be dark all night.

Yowza! The Jesus Lizard return to Seattle tonight!

I just couldn't bring myself to buy a ticket to the Capitol Hill Block Party to see The Jesus Lizard this Summer. I hate rock'n'roll outside, the sound is always bad, there is usually a higher stage and more distance between the band and the crowd, and outdoor live performances never have the same energy as that inside a dark, stuffy club packed with people and booze flowing. And let's face it, The Jesus Lizard are meant to be playing a packed club of fans, not some big festival that's equally represented with the bridge and tunnel crowd trying to get their rock on and hipster kids that don't know who the fuck David Yow is. Plus, by the time the Block Party was coming up, the rumor was already floating around the music scene that a full tour in clubs would come in October.

So the rumors were true and October has brought a nationwide Jesus Lizard tour. And tonight, Seattle, one of the most fun, heavy, fucked up bands of the '90s will once again play your town, in as close to a setting as they played the last time I saw them, maybe a dozen years ago--at Neumo's. Bring it Mr. Yow, I expect the show of the month from you, I know people flying in from LA just to see this show, you better not disappoint tonight!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


For the most part I wasn't a huge fan of the '90s Olympia music scene. Most of the Kill Rock Stars, K Records and Yo Yo bands were too pop or arty for my tastes. And I kinda think the Olympia scene wasn't a big fan of 10 Things either, because we focused our coverage on heavier and harder punk and rock. But, there are always exceptions, bands we liked and covered, and we always dropped a few hundred issues around town hoping to appeal to Olympia kids into heavier music. While the Oly bands I personally dug were few, there was Bikini Kill, The Fitz of Depression, The Rickets, Godheadsilo... and then there was KARP. KARP were an odd fish for Olympia, they were heavy, used feedback, screamed... to me they seemed to fall somewhere between The Melvins, TAD, Helmet, and a '70s rock band--all things I liked. Now, a good eleven years after the band's end, I'm not sure how great of a business move it is to release upon the world a documentary about KARP, but fuck it, I know I'm looking forward to it.

Apparently the movie, "Kill All Redneck Pricks, KARP Lives 1990 – 1998!" is close to being finished, but they need a little help in funding it's production. So tonight Akimbo, 1776 and the Marionettes of Satan will playing at Cafe Venus and Mars Bar as a benefit for the movie. Filmmaker Bill Badgely will all be present showing some scene from the documentary with commentary. You should check it out! And, just to grease your wheels, here's a teaser from the movie:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Photo show moves to BaBaLouise!

The punk rock photo show Amy and I had up at Tigertail was so explosive that the man had to shut it down the day after it opened! Ha ha ha. But the taxman did lower the hammer on Tigertail, and while I wish them all the best in re-opening soon, the photo show is taking a little walk down the street today to Babalouise. Babalouise is Ballard's very hip and cool hair salon that tons of my friends go to and you should too! It's located at 616 NW 65th Street in Ballard, about halfway between The Dray and Tin Hat. Stop by to check out the place, the photography show, and maybe get the rock'n'roll haircut that will wow your friends. Here's a few of the photos that will be up...

The Bronx, from 2008 at King Cobra

The Gloryholes, from 2005 at Funhouse

The Whoremoans, from 2007 at The High Dive

The Freeze, from 2009 at Funhouse

The Amazombies, from 2004 at Funhouse

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Bomb Turks live at the Vegas Shakedown

This is one of my favorite bands, doing one of my favorite songs, at one of my favorite shows. New Bomb Turks covering Wire's "Mr. Suit" at The Vegas Shakedown August 12th, 2000. What a great weekend! I need to dig up my photos from it. Until then, I leave you with this killer video Gene Mullet uploaded to YouTube:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Come on Republicans, don't ban bacon!

More photos from that Avengers show!

A few people have been bugging me to put up more photos from The Avenengers show last month at Funhouse, so here they are! As usual, click on the pictures for a larger version:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pansy Division

Pansy Division are a pop punk band that formed in San Francisco in the early '90s, and if you can't guess by their name, they are a mostly queer band that sings about gay themes. They are probably the most successful queercore band in part because of their fairly easy to swallow (ha ha) sound. They have piles of records out, having spent the first half of their career on Loookout! and now residing on Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles record label. Half of the current lineup is in the current line-up of The Avengers, hence why the bands toured together up the West Coast last month. These shots are from the show September 11th at Funhouse in Seattle.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Limited Edition signed Germs photo

In the early punk scene, Ronn Spencer ran White Noise Records (VOM, the Avengers), designed the cover art for the Angry Samoans' "Back from Samoa" album, and shot photos of bands like The Controllers, The Germs and The Gears. Spencer recently agreed to print 50 signed and numbered prints of this fairly legendary Germs photo. The press release version of this 1979 photo that's been used over the years was cropped, this is the full version. Copies are $110 postage paid and you should consider buying me one for Christmas! :) More info is here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Jenny Jimenez photo opening on Thursday!

I met Jenny Jimenez back in the early days of my old publication Tablet, I think through my friend Amie. She and Justin Renney were shooting photos all the time at shows I was going to and soon started shooting for Tablet. They became the in-house photographers for the old Crocodile and shot for The Stranger, The Seattle Weekly, Rockrgrl, Paste, No Depression, Spin and more. Jenny has always had a great eye at capturing a moment perfectly, with all the emotion, energy, blood and sweat frozen for a moment in time. Her photos often have that wow factor for me and she's certainly one of the best Northwest live music photographers of the past decade.

Jenny Jimenez' new photo show is called "Show Me Your TIFFs: Ten years of music photography" and is hanging at the Skylark Cafe in West Seattle from now through December 14th. The opening party is this Thursday, October 8th, starting at 6pm. At 9:30pm there will be live performances by singer-songwriter Damien Jurado and ethereal songstress Amy Blaschke... and get this, an all male wet t-shirt contest. The opening party is 21 and over and free. The Skylark is located at 3803 Delridge Way SW in West Seattle.

Sleater Kinney by Jenny Jimenez:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Why you should go to Reverb today!

Reverb is a local music festival (in Seattle, WA for you global readers) that the Seattle Weekly has been putting on for a few years, each year seems decidedly better than the last. Critics might point out it doesn't have all the big names as The Stranger's Capitol Hill Block Party and they'd be right, but Reverb isn't trying to be like the CHBP, it is it's own beast. And the things it has going for it:
  • Reverb takes place in Ballard, a great neighborhood with a bit of an older feel to it than Capitol Hill. The result is it draws less teenyboppers and hipsters, more real music fans (although really, there will be plenty of hipsters that are real music fans).
  • It's cheap! Where many music festivals are pushing $30-$50 ticket prices these days, Reverb is $5 advanced/$7 at door for under-21 folks, $8 advanced/$10 at the door for those 21 and older.
  • It has a great line up of all (or mostly?) local bands
This is my highly subjective guide to who you ought to consider checking out in Ballard on Saturday at Reverb, organized by time-


Trashy Trash DJ set at the Ballard Loft. So I never roll into festivals early, if I do I burn out early. I wait until they got it going on and ease my way in. A perfect way to ease your way into Reverb is at the Ballard Loft with the Trashy Trash DJs spinning a fun mix of trashy rock, soul and whatever grabs them.

Thee Emergency at the Salmon Bay Eagles club. Merging soul, punk and rock not unlike The BellRays and the Dirtbombs, foxy Dita Vox will wow you with her vocals as the band floors you with their heavy, dirty assault.

The Cute Lepers at the Salmon Bay Eagles club. Think the Ramones meet The Knack meet the Buzzcocks. Fast powerpop and catchy pop punk, skinny ties, spiky hair, female back up singers. They have a few records out and kill it live.

The Redwood Plan at the Bit Saloon. I loved Lesli Wood's punky previous band Ms. Led and am intrigued in the new direction she's pushing with fun danceable rock, synths, and a less angry sound.

The Girls at the Sunset. Mining somewhat the same territory as The Cute Lepers, but with a lot less clothes on, The Girls play great catchy punk with a little bit of sleaze thrown in. Always fun live!

The Shook Ones at the Salmon Bay Eagles club. Today's hardcore scene is mostly underground and takes place at somewhat out of the way all-ages clubs. A few of the new crop of bands have emerged out of that scene that even non-hardcore fans should take note of, and one of those is Bellingham's Shook Ones. They spent time on Revelation Records and have multiple albums under their belt, my fave being 2006's "Facetious Folly Feat."
The Keeper at the Bit Saloon. Total D&D wizard stoner rock, using the genre of metal to make fun of the genre of metal. Whereas 3 Inches of Blood claim they don't do this, The Keeper seem to proudly take things over the top.

DJ Taco Supreme at the Ballard Loft. If you need a break from the live music, take a trip South of the border because DJ Taco Supreme always brings the rock'n'roll dance party.

The Coconut Coolouts at the Sunset. Garage rock dance party! The Coconut Coolouts take everything fun from '60s frat rock, early Killed By Death punk, and garage rock and cook up one hell of a party on stage.

There is certainly a lot more going on at Reverb than this, I lean towards the punkier stuff and there is hip hop, rock, pop and more, check out all the details here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

World Extreme Pencil Fighting Championships

It seems while those crazy cats of the Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling League take a break from their main gig (the city is trying to stop their gig by calling it a sport and making them get an insanely expensive insurance policy, when they clearly do underground theater), they are branching out. The World Extreme Pencil Fighting Championships are a brainchild of Rat City Rollergirls announcer (and Bloodhag member) Jake Stratton and local stand-up comedian Owen Straw. Re-envisioning the pencil fighting game many of us played as kids, they've incorporated a number of SSP wrestling personalities and Rollerderby personnel, and have come with a pretty funny fairly improvisational comedy night centered around World Extreme Pencil Fighting. I attended the second one a few weeks ago at the Rendezvous' Jewel Box Theater and it was a riot. These pictures give a little taste, you should definitely look out for the next event!