Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dan O'Mahony - O.C.H.C. frontman extraordinaire

Dan O with No For An Answer at The Anthrax, Photo: Jeff Ladd

Since we set out with DCXX, one person we hoped to include here was none other than Dan O. It took some time, but here we are. Expect tons of great history with the legendary O.C. Hardcore frontman who has never been afraid to speak his mind. Very psyched to have him aboard with us! -Gordo DCXX

The most memorable early show for me had to be a Vandals show in '82 or '83 at the Nest where their singer dropped a rat in a blender and then threw it on the crowd. Either that or a Youth Brigade show in '84 at the Flashdance in Anaheim during which Shawn Stern put the mic in my hand and actually let me sing by myself for about 30 seconds or so. Mark that as my first experience on stage in front of people. In addition to those two I'll never forget the first time I saw 7 Seconds or Uniform Choice. In the case of U.C., seeing someone from my own high school absolutely blow away every other band on the bill taught me something about the accessibility of this music, and the possibility that I could someday do this myself.

The first punk record I ever owned was "Never Mind the Bollocks," and the first American records to really make a dent with me were MDC's "Millions of Dead Cops," Bad Religion's "How Could Hell Be Any Worse," and of course the first two Minor Threat EPs. It's funny, but most people wouldn't suspect that I got my start as a leather jacket and combat boots type infatuated primarily with the English stuff, but that was the case.

Strangely enough the term "straight edge" was explained to me to describe my own behavior. As in here I was a young punk rocker constantly confronted with the pressure to get loaded (especially from my punk rock girlfriend Maya and her friends), and always refusing but completely unaware of the sub-sub-subculture that was straight edge. In '83 or '84 I heard someone explain my lifestyle that way, did my research, and found new kinship in all things Minor Threat, Dischord, SSD, DYS, etc.

O.C.H.C meets N.Y.H.C., No For An Answer at the Hawker Records Free For All show, CBGB's, Photo: Ken Salerno

My earliest friends in hardcore as opposed to plain old punk rock were Billy Rubin, Casey Jones, John Bruce, Mike Murphy, and others. Again we're talking '84/'85. In late '84 I got to know Dubar and Longrie, Joe Foster, etc. More importantly, in mid to late '85 I got to know Gavin Oglesby (previously familiar to me as a legendary local artist and to my perceptions...lady killer). We both had musical ambitions, and having been introduced by mutual friend John Bruce, the three of us ended up in the original Carry Nation lineup along with a drummer friend of ours named Jordan Arthur.

As a teenager I lived with my single parent mother, a very caring but also very permissive woman, whose politics and intelligence continue to influence me even now 19 years since she passed away. My mother put herself through law school in her forties while supporting the two of us virtually by herself. She graduated law school the same month I graduated high school. She came from very humble beginnings and dealt with periods of heartbreaking financial difficulties but managed to achieve her greatest dream before passing away a bit too young at 49. Not a day goes by that I don't wonder how my life would be different had she lived.

Carry Nation came before NFAA, and I had jammed around with a few others before that, but NFAA was really an offshoot of Gavin and I's initial creative chemistry in Carry Nation. I don't remember specifically why one needed to step aside to make the other possible. Certainly when Carry Nation was ressurrected later in '89 with Steve and Frank who had jammed with us only briefly in '85, it bore very little similarity to it's original form.

NFAA was supposed to be mid paced and somewhat melodic like mid-model GI or Stalag 13, Dag Nasty even... whoops!

When Youth of Today came through opening up for 7 Seconds (in '86 I believe) everything changed. They were so aggresive, so bent on networking with everyone they met, knowing those guys made you immediately a part of something. I remember Ray getting my number from Billy and calling me at home even though we'd never met simply because we shared so many friends. We talked for an hour and worked together and sometimes in opposition to each other but always as friends for many years to follow. In those early days the group identity had not yet become quite so codified. By '87/'88 NFAA was making waves of its own and already starting to resist several facets of the youth crew movement. If you look at the lyrics to the "A Thought Crusade" record this resistance is pretty clear.

That said, I will admit to a certain amount of pride in being Revelation's first west coast release...

Dan O and Sterling Wilson with No For An Answer at CBGB's, Photo: Ken Salerno

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Poll results for favorite band with a track on the Blackout Record's Where The Wild Things Are compilation

Outburst at City Gardens delivering it The Hard Way, Photo: Ken Salerno

Considering Outburst took this poll and seems to have beaten the life out of the competition with it, I thought I'd turn to the biggest Outburst fan I know, Ed McKirdy, and let him chime in for these results. -Tim DCXX

The minute Tim told me DCXX was taking a favorites poll with Where The Wild Things Are as the subject, one name instantly came to mind: Outburst. The Outburst tracks on this comp are so hard, so pissed, so undeniably brutal… it almost isn’t even a fair fight.

From the heavily-reverbed, tribal-like drum intro pounding into the chainsaw distortion of the opening riff of “The Hard Way,” Outburst has already decimated the competition. Add in Brian D’s throat shredding vocals, pissed as fuck lyrics, and the brilliant backwards tape effect into the chorus; you have the best song on the comp. Period.

Outburst at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno

“Controlled,” while not rising to the heights of "The Hard Way,” easily takes the number two slot with its crushingly-austere, mid-tempo mosh opening (featuring doubled vocals over the intro - another cool production choice), up-tempo while still violent verses, shifting gears into a heavy payoff return-to-intro mosh towards the end of the song.

The Outburst songs on Where The Wild Things Are solidify them as one of those unique bands who, while devastating live, never quite had the opportunity to capture their full power and potential in the studio. While their Miles to Go 7” is one of my favorites and their demo is an unbeatable classic, it is their tracks on Where The Wild Things Are that finally serve to represent the band at their best, unhindered by the restraints of generic tracking methods. The production (while arguably dated and overly effected) somehow works perfectly for Outburst. The engineer on staff that day just sounds like he gets it.

In short, as great as the efforts by Raw Deal, Breakdown, and Maximum Penalty might have been, song for song, for any other band to have won this poll would have been just plain wrong.

- Ed McKirdy Livewire Records

Brian Donohue of Outburst takes it to the Trenton crowd, Photo: Ken Salerno

Outburst - 104
Raw Deal - 82
Gorilla Biscuits - 70
Life's Blood - 56
Breakdown - 47
Sheer Terror - 26
Uppercut - 19
Maximum Penalty - 18
N.B.S.H. - 4

A Raw Deal sing along at Oliver J's in Allentown PA, Photo: Ken Salerno

Gorilla Biscuits at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another dip into the Revelation files

Original Warzone "Lower East Side Crew" photos and layouts, Photo: Tim DCXX

Actual photo that was torn from a magazine and used for the cover of the Judge "The Storm" 7", Photo: Tim DCXX

Original Gorilla Biscuits "Start Today" Revelation ad mock-ups, Photo: Tim DCXX

Ray Cappo and Pied Piper Production's, Doug Carron. Doug was the guy responsible for booking a lot of those early Revelation band tours (YOT, GB, etc..) and was also the guy well known for his rant on the end of the GB "Start Today" CD. Unfortunately, Doug passed away a few years ago.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More from Jay Laughlin on the history of Turning Point

Turning Point at Club Pizazz, Philadelphia PA, January 1989, Photo: Jeff Ladd

Jay TP brings us more of the Turning Point story in our on-going retrospective on one of NJ's best. -Gordo DCXX

As far as us playing out, the reason we played at the Anthrax or in DC or in Pennsylvania was because there really weren't that many places to play in NJ. There was really just City Gardens. We were supposed to play Scott Hall but I think it got shut down. But we did go out to Pennsylvania. I remember some place in Bethlehem, either Wally's or Oliver J's that was cool. I remember there was a Subway shop up the street and that was the first time I saw a Subway. We'd eat a Subway and go rock out.

We did play a place called the Pipeline in Jersey City a few times. That place was in a really shitty neighborhood. I remember one of my friends from high school drove up in his parents car to see us there and they had one of the first ever "car phones", you know, like one of those huge brick type things. He parked right across the street from the club and when we finished our set and he went outside to leave the car was gone. We called the cops and they said they said they knew where the car probably was but they really don't go into that part of town and that they probably stole the car because it had a car phone. Needless to say he never got his parents car back.

One show really sticks out, a big show. The Icemen were headlining, it was the Fall Brawl in D.C. at Wust Hall. So many people came out to that man, it was sick. We took the cover shot for the Jade Tree discography at that show, I think we were just messing around in the lobby. Nick was always good about bring a camera along for all of our road trips and taking a bunch of photos. I remember watching The Icemen, and I was obviously still into drums so I wanted to watch Mackie. He had his cymbals like as high and as far out as they could go. It was a crazy set up and he was unbelievable. I just watched him from the side of the stage and was blown away.

Steve Crudello with Turning Point at the Anthrax, 1988, Photo: TP

I think it was around this time when we split with Steve on guitar and went back to being a four piece with just me on guitar. I really can't remember the exact reason we kicked Steve out of the band. I'm pretty sure he was starting to be late to practice and shows and stuff. This is pretty funny now, but I remember we would be running late to a show and Steve would insist we stop off somewhere to get coffee and an apple pie or something and Skip would get so pissed at him. Pissed over Steve getting coffee. So great.

I guess we thought he wasn't as dedicated to the band as we were decided to go back to the original four piece. He wasn't really in the band that long. I'd guess about a year or so. It's always shitty when you kick somebody out of a band, but I don't remember any real animosity at the time. Regardless, we now live a few blocks from each other and are still friends.

At some point in the mix of things, Steve had moved up to NYC and also played with Gorilla Biscuits. (Editor's Note: we brought this up with Jay because very little documentation of this exists, and while we knew it to be true, there has been little detail about his coming and going.) What happened was that we had become friends with the GB guys from playing with them. We would stay with Walter sometimes when we were in the city. Steve stayed tight with them, and he ended up playing bass with them for a few shows. But there wasn't anything weird with Steve leaving GB as far as I heard. I think he just filled in for a handful of shows. I just remember thinking it was cool that he was gonna get to play with GB, that was wild. Like, "damn man, you are playing with cool."

We continued on playing out, and writing what would become the material on the LP...

Jay with Turning Point at the Fall Brawl in DC, Photo: Dave Brown

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bill Wilson of Blackout Records on the "Where The Wild Things Are" compilation LP

Bill Wilson at CBGB's 20 years ago

Blackout! Records head honcho Bill Wilson answers our questions while the current poll is still pending. Put on WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and start moshing. -Gordo DCXX

How did the idea come together to do the "Where The Wild Things Are" comp and how did you pick the bands? Were there any bands that were supposed to be on the comp or that you wanted to be on it that never panned out?

Part of what was so appealing about hardcore to me is that it wasn't just fans separated from bands in an ivory tower. Most people contributed to the greater scene in some way. I didn't play guitar, bass or drums, and was a little too introverted to want to be a front man/singer/screamer. I was an aspiring graphic designer at the time, so I started out illustrating and doing layouts for my friends (Breakdown "brick" logo, Raw Deal "Dealer" t-shirt, and later on the Sheer Terror "Bulldog" logo.)

I liked the music from the SXE bands but despised most of the fanboy sheep. A charismatic leader leading a cult of cheerleaders reeks like high school. The whole Warzone aesthetic of "no obsessions" made more sense to me. I guess I felt more at home with the "other side" of hardcore, more in line with the NY Thrash ROIR cassette or Big City Records "One Big Crowd". The Cro Mags, AF, and Sheer Terror were my favorite bands: raw, angry bastard sons of metal and punk. The next wave of those kinds of bands didn't seem to have a voice, so I wanted to start a label.

The comp was the product of myself and Jim Gibson, a friend from Yonkers and music guru who worked at the local record store. I had the design skills and along with friends in Breakdown and Raw Deal, we both had some money saved from our part time jobs. I bought a book called "How To Make and Sell Your Own Record" at SeeHear and was off to the races.

The bands were really all friends from my days hanging out at CB's and my longtime friendship with the members of Breakdown/Raw Deal. Anthony from Raw Deal knew Outburst, Paul Bearer went to middle school with me in Yonkers, etc. Mike Sentkewitz from Raw Deal knew Norman Bates guys and I wanted them on to have diversity. My only real regret is that Underdog didn't make it on, we originally advertised them on fliers but we never got the track before we went to press.

Sick Of It All / Raw Deal DC road trip, Drago, Bill Wilson, Pete Koller and Carl Porcaro

Any stand out memories or stories regarding the compiling of the comp?

The comp came together pretty easily with people saying yes to be on it, but bands (especially hardcore bands) do tend to procrastinate. So getting the layout pages and masters took a bit longer than we'd planned. I don't really recall any standout drama - most of what I recall is me using press type to set the back cover and the work it took to learn how to do it.

What can you tell us about the classic Raw Deal shot that ended up on the cover of the record? Did you know automatically that would be the cover when you first saw it? Was there any alternate cover shots you were considering?

Wes Harvey was a friend from the scene and an illustrator from Baltimore who was in NYC for school. He did amazing crosshatched historical artwork. He did a great picture of a brawl in an alleyway that we were considering for the cover. Ultimately that became an innersleve.

Drago from Raw Deal was going out with this great photographer, Theresa Kelliher. She took some pics at an Irving Plaza show and I think that became the cover almost instantly when I saw it. Like so many others involved in the comp, she was a part of the "extended family."

Carl Porcaro (Raw Deal) and Bill Wilson on the D train from Fordham Rd. to CBGB's, 1986

A lot of people tend to refer to Revelation's "The Way It Is" comp and Blackout's "Where The Wild Things Are" comp as two of the best NYHC comps to ever come out. How do you feel about that and what compilations are some of your favorites?

It's good to know that other people feel about the record the same way I did when I was making it. I always hoped that it would fit into the great pantheon of comps, from Flex Your Head, This Is Boston Not LA, through the aforementioned ROIR NY Thrash and One Big Crowd collections. I think the Rev and Blackout! comps pretty much are a complete snapshot of that wave of hardcore.

Favorite band / track off the comp?

It's like asking a father to pick a favorite child! As far as impact- I know that Outburst "The Hardway", with that crazy mosh part and Bob Vandermark's trademark "swoosh" at the start created a very memorable beginning.

A ton of people ask me why the comp isn't available as a download or CD (a recent pressing of the LP version is available from Jim at Noiseville.) If it did come out on CD I'd want to make it a true collector's item, and I simply don't have the time to put the same effort in that I did when I was 19. I've been corresponding with Jordan from Rev about a few ideas on things but nothing concrete has solidified yet. The digital version may come out on iTunes over the summer, but I would also like to wait until they come out with more interactive digital packaging.

A "Where The Wild Things Are" favorite, Outburst at CBGB's

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Krakdown live at CBGB's 1988

We've had very little Krakdown content on here since DCXX's inception, but we're hoping that will be changing in the coming weeks. Either way, I came across this interesting Krakdown, two camera angled video on YouTube a year or so ago and tagged it as a favorite. It's not necessarily the highest in quality, but the alternating camera angles and editing definitely lets you know that someone put a little bit of effort in it, which makes in kind of cool.

To coincide with this video, just today I stumbled upon a blog called Blogged and Quartered who have compiled a pretty substantial collection of Krakdown's recorded material. If you're interested in checking out the blog and downloading 41 Krakdown tracks, here's the link: Blogged and Quartered - Tim DCXX

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Highlights from the "Old School Hardcore Kids" group, the NYHC edition

Agnostic Front, Atlanta, Photo: Chris Gorman
Geez I remember first time I saw AF and Freddie sang. He couldnt have been more than 7 or 8 years old. - Eric Boofish Barclay

Agnostic Front at Lupos
Last Lupos Show 7/88 Agnostic Front, Murphy's Law, Scream, Hard Ons, Fidelity Jones. Show was set up by Doug from Pied Piper but promoted by the amateurs at Crossroads Productions after Doug moved back to California. AF left after three songs and we still paid them $1,200! - Brian Simmons

Cro-Mags at CBGB, 1985
God, I didn't even recognize Ray (Cappo)! Do you know the story about the time he saw some lady walking in front of him drop something and he (wanting to be a good boy) picked it up without looking and ran to her yelling "M'am m'am, you dropped this!" at the same time he looked down and realized it was an adult diaper. Of course, as the story goes, she was properly horrified, as was he...urban legend or fact?? Who knows! - Olivia Larrain

Harley being classic Harley

Underdog at the old Ritz, First Superbowl of Hardcore, Photo: Olivia Larrain
I'm pretty sure this is the Superbowl of Hardcore - The First of many so called but I believe this was the original. It was a huge show and one of the last big killer shows at The Ritz on 11th street before the move uptown to 54th street.

This has got to be during 'Over The Edge' because I vividly recall being up in the VIP section at that show with you and Leslie and maybe Alison and dashing down to the stage and diving off into a sea of kids - Feet first of course. And then scampering backstage to repeat cette process. You could really get some air with that stage being so high at The Ritz. - Sean Patrick Murphy

Token Entry with Anthony Communale, Triboro Bridge, 1985

Gorilla Biscuits at the Anthrax with Kevin Egan (Beyond) on top of the crowd, Photo: Brian Boog
Wow... that's some picture! - Kevin Egan

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pat Longrie - Unity / Uniform Choice, the final installment

Uniform Choice at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno

Our interview with UC/Unity's Pat Longrie is at its end. This is the final installment - much thanks to Pat for being awesome and Billy Rubin for making it happen. Still Screaming... -Gordo DCXX

I wanted to chime in for this final entry as well. Like Gordo already mentioned, big thanks to Pat Longrie and Billy Rubin for making this interview happen. I found Pat's words and messages to be a true inspiration 22 years ago and after reading his answers to all these questions, I still find Pat's words to be just as inspirational. The rain begins... -Tim DCXX

UC was a touring machine. What shows stick out? Is it all a blur? Any good stories from the road? What was the band dynamic like for you guys? Was it always best to play in OC on your hometurf?

Uniform Choice loved to play live. Pat Dubar was a powerful front man, Dave was a solid bassist, Victor was as dynamic a hardcore guitarist as I have ever seen and I just loved to go berserk. I fully admit that I was no better than an average drummer but if you ever saw us live we prided ourselves on making sure the audience got its money worth and I loved to perform. As I mentioned earlier, for me it was always about being a part of something bigger than yourself.

We played on so many extraordinary bills that it does sometimes feel like a blur. I will tell you that watching Die Kruetzen at the 930 club in Washington D.C. was incredible. I remember watching the Goo Goo Dolls open up for us in New Jersey and thinking, "that singer has a real interesting voice." Minor Threat, SSD, SNFU, Dag Nasty, 7 Seconds...the list is endless and includes the greatest hardcore bands ever...period.

There were definite rolls that repeated within Uniform Choice. Outwardly, Pat and I drove the band. Together we handled the show booking, shirt designs and sales (Pat’s brother Courtney printed all our stuff ), lyrics, etc., but without the dynamic song writing of Vic and Dave it would all have been for naught. Victor Maynez was an amazing guitar player and remains a very good friend to this day. His down stroke approach to strumming was what guided our sound.

Coming home and playing in front of our peers was always special. The road is exciting but can be frustrating, especially when you place your trust in unreliable booking agents. The only thing that kept Uniform Choice alive during both our tours was the fact that we brought a ton of merchandise to sell. When you drive from Vancouver to Edmonton to Calgary and only make $350.00 Canadian you better either be independently wealthy or have something to sell. It was interesting to run into people who thought selling shirts and records was blasphemy. The fact is that if we didn’t we would never have been able to tour, so the argument fell on deaf ears as far as we were concerned.

A question of controversy: UC has taken a lot of heat over the years for the evolution in sound and image after Screaming For Change. How do you explain this transition, and UC's aesthetic, lyrical content, and sound growth circa 1987 and 1988? How had you personally changed from say, 1985, to 1988, and how did this impact UC?

First of all I want to make it perfectly clear that I only speak from my own personal perspective. If you are quick to bask in other's praises, yet unwilling to take criticism, justly warranted or not, and face things head on, then in my book, you are a coward. Double talk has no place in my life. I love “Screaming” and all it represented and I equally love “Staring” for the exact same reason. They were two halves of a whole. Like it or not transition is a part of everyone’s life. I had something to say but chose to express it differently, that’s it. We spoke of making a clone of Screaming for our second album - that would have been the safe move, but it wouldn’t have been genuine and quite frankly songs like “Cut Of A Different Cause” and “ I Am, You Are” were every bit as hard as anything on the Screaming album. Again, I must stress that the live performances were embraced by our audience because we always played the old with a sprinkle of the new.

I am eternally grateful for the kind words and warmth that people have showed toward Uniform Choice over the years. It is humbling to be connected in some small way to a movement that brought me so much joy. I get that some were disappointed in the sound change that took place. I even agree with some of the criticisms, but the way I look at it is that I would rather have given my blood, sweat and tears and been judged rather than sat idly by on the sidelines and safely point my self-righteous finger.

Pat Longrie with Uniform Choice at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno

Unity then did Blood Days in 1988. How did this come about? Did the band ever play to support this record? Since Unity was essentially your band, how did you feel about this record then and what about now? How did the new songs on that record come about, and what was your tie with Joe Foster through the years while Unity was inactive?

I loved making music so when Dubar tossed around the idea of writing some new Unity material and re-mixing the vocals on the old stuff I was up for it. I liked playing with Johnny Mastro and I liked Joe D. Foster so it was exciting for me to get back together and be creative. For me it was about the process. I went to high school with Johnny and he was already a touring member of UC so that was a natural fit and Joe was always around the scene and had a catchy/hooky guitar melody approach. Legacy is something that always presents a double edged sword. I am proud of all the accomplishments my friends and I have mustered over the years and choose to view my life as ongoing. "You Are One" and “Blood Days” were very meaningful to me and that’s how I judge them. 

Tell me about Uniform Choice’s tours? Please share any good tour stories! Didn’t T-shirts catch on fire in the back of the van? Why did Dave Mellow leave the band? What led to the eventual break up of UC?

The first UC tour was crazy. We bought a plain white extended van with no air conditioning and crammed five people, all our equipment and 200 dozen shirts in and just took off. I guess I could say we had a proper booking agent and a plan but then I’d be lying. We did have shows lined up and we tried to confirm them from the road but it was chaos.

On the way to our first gig of the tour in Detroit I was driving 104 mph through Iowa when we were pulled over by a state trooper. I pulled over and he yelled for me to “exit the vehicle." I could see all the guys peeking through the glass at me getting screamed at by this little cop with a huge wide brimmed hat on. He started out, "Boy what in theeeeeeeee hell do you think you’re doing?! It took me 20 miles to just catch up with you weaving in and out of traffic. Are you aware that you sent two cars crashing into the corn field?” I said "yes sir" and "no sir" and explained that we were in a hurry to get to a concert. He thought I was referring to the Iowa State Fair so he let us leave!

Pat with U.C., Photo: Ken Salerno

We opened up for the great 76% Uncertain at a show in Connecticut and as we began to play “Screaming For Change” we were pelted with coins from the audience. Funny as hell accept for a nickel that hit me in the teeth! Dubar rolled with it after the song and said, “next time could you please throw dollars? They don’t hurt as much."

Yes indeed the t-shirts did catch on fire in the back of the camper that Mr. Dubar let us use. We also shot fireworks out the side door at anything and everything that we passed by in Tennessee. After our final song in Montreal I couldn’t see the low beam coming off the stage and as I was waving goodbye I ran right into it with my forehead and it knocked me straight on my back almost unconscious. If that wasn’t reason enough to laugh, it was so dark that nobody realized I was down as we began our encore!

I just got off the phone with Vic Maynez so I could properly answer the question about Dave leaving and it was pretty much how I remembered. Dave basically joined T.S.O.L. when their bassist went to jail. He always gravitated toward more of a rock sound and with no hard feelings whatsoever he simply left.

Uniform Choice just seemed to run its course. Pat moved to New York with Mind Funk and pursued that genre of music and I had graduated from college and moved on. It is interesting when I read other people’s interpretations about UC, Unity or Wishingwell. Mmost are flattering and some are nasty. I’ll take the good with the bad any day. If you stand up for what you believe in you better be man enough to stand true.

Now that you are a civilian where has life led you? What do you do for a living? Have you missed the creative outlet that being in a band afforded you?

I live in Southern California with my wife and three children. I owned a commercial glass company for a million years and just recently to fill a void in my creative life I chucked it and started Dragline Clothing. Check out the site if you get a chance -

Many thanks to Billy Rubin, Tim and Gordo for the opportunity.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Poll results for favorite Revelation release of 1990

Zack catches his breath in front of the City Gardens crowd, Photo: Ken Salerno

I personally felt that this was a really tough poll, because in my eyes, all of these releases are particularly great. On any given day I could listen to the YOT 7" ten times in a row, then switch over to the Inside Out 7" or Burn 7" and listen to those over and over again. Hell, even with the Judge "The Storm" 7" I could listen to "Forget This Time" a dozen or so times straight. Maybe I'm just a bit insane, but most of these 1990 Rev releases are just about as good if not better than some of the 1988 releases.

Now because you have to pick one, I went with the final Youth Of Today 7". Flawless EP from start to finish. I don't care what anyone says (and I know a lot of people will disagree), but if Youth Of Today had only stuck around a little bit longer to record a full LP's worth of this material, the shit would have been mind blowing. Sammy fully matured on the drums, Walter bringing in a taste of his song writing skills, Porcell bringing a heaviness that had yet to be heard with YOT and Cappo delivering an emotionally charged performance with the lyrics to match. Not to mention, the recording quality is probably my second favorite YOT recording sound, a notch below "Together" off The Way It Is. So yeah, I love this EP, not that I don't love all these other records, but YOT is YOT and in my book, they are second to none.

As for the winner, I don't know what I can say that hasn't been said on here already about Inside Out. We nearly dedicated a full week's worth of posts to Inside Out, so our love for them is no secret. If you missed our Inside Out thoughts and entries and need a refresher's course, feel free to go back into the archives and check that out. Definitely another flawless record and one well worthy of the top spot. -Tim DCXX

The poll results top 3

Rev 019 - Inside Out - 7" - 131
Rev 022 - Burn - 7" - 111

Rev 017 - Youth Of Today - 7" - 100
Rev 018 - Quicksand - 7" - 48
Rev 020 - Judge - The Storm 7" - 43
Rev 021 - Supertouch - The Earth Is Flat - 43
Rev 016 - Shelter - Perfection of Desire - 25

Vic and Alex with Inside Out at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno

Agnostic Front - United and Strong

Roger hits the City Gardens crowd, Photo: Ken Salerno

A scene all divided with no unity
We gotta stick together
And fight for what we believe
There won't be a second chance
We've got to have it soon
Got to stick together
And fight 'em all now
Our friends are more important
We gotta stick together
Support one another
United and strong

Roger and Craig with Agnostic Front at City Gardens, Trenton NJ,
Photo: Ken Salerno

AF sing along, Photo: Ken Salerno

Agnostic Front, City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno

Stigma with AF, Photo: Ken Salerno

AF security keeping things tidy, Photo: Ken Salerno

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Billy Rubin goes to Coronado

John Stabb with Government Issue at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno

Billy Rubin delivers more from his personal punk archives, a never ending vault we hope to constantly draw from here- Gordo DCXX

I am a late bloomer when it comes to technology, but I finally got an iPOD and was going crazy with it one Sunday and I burned Government Issue’s “Joy Ride” Lp. I started to remember when I first got that record and in turn I remembered a really strange So Cal punk rock story.

This had to be in 1985 and I was either 15 or had just turned 16. My parents went on a quickie vacation to Coronado (San Diego). They didn’t trust me to stay home alone so I was forced along for the trip. I was bored out of my mind with no one to hang out with. I was left to roam around Coronado with my skateboard (a 12” wide Alva deck, Gullwing super pro trucks and SIMS snakes wheels). While skating around the island, I found a book/record store that had a very small selection of punk records. I bought GI’s “Joy Ride” and Reagan Youth’s 12” with the big fold out poster/sleeve. That was cool, but it was only about 4pm and I had absolutely nothing else to do. I kept hoping to find a fellow punker to hang out with or a cute girl that would somehow be into a dork like me. I was probably on the verge of resorting to some sort of vandalism or other punk rock kind of foolishness when the most amazing thing happened.

Scream at TT's, Boston Mass, Photo: Karla Brian Simmons

I was skating on the main drag and a car came to a screeching halt right beside me. The people in the car had spotted me because I was wearing blue creepers and a Doggy Style shirt. The car was packed with a bunch of punkers and was driven by a guy named Sergei. This guy Sergei yelled over to me “Do you want to go check out a show?” He told me that SCREAM was playing at some place called Wabash Hall. I asked them if they could give me 15 minutes to skate back to the place my parents were staying and get their permission and then meet them back on the street corner. They agreed, I talked my parents into it, and went to the show.

As it turned out, SCREAM’s van broke down and they didn’t make the show. The upside was that at the show I met Martin Sprouse from Leading Edge zine and later Maximum RocknRoll. Later on I interviewed Martin for THINK zine. A year or two later, I had an “in” at the MRR house in San Francisco because of this chance meeting in San Diego. All of this happened because I was wearing blue creepers and a Doggy Style shirt!

At the time, Doggy Style was one of the two best bands in OC (UC being the other). Over the years I saw Doggy Style play countless shows at venues ranging from VFW halls to roller rinks to Fender's. They always played a great set and as time went on they morphed into a freak show. I’ve gone into the Billy Rubin punk rock archives to find some old pictures of Doggy Style performances. Notice that Brad has a strap-on dildo sticking out of his fly!

Brad X with Doggy Style, Photo: Billy Rubin

Brad X sporting the strap-on and more at Fenders, Photo: Billy Rubin

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jay and Nick -The history of Turning Point continued

Jay, Nick and Skip with Turning Point in D.C., Photo courtesy of: Turning Point

Jay and Nick combine forces to give us the latest installment in the history of Turning Point. You may wanna put on the seven inch while reading this one. -Gordo DCXX

Jay: We did the seven inch at some place in Atlantic City that Steve knew about. It was basically a dude's garage with a small control room built in the corner, and he had the classic Jersey Bon Jovi hair and had no idea what hardcore was, but we had a few bucks so he let us do our thing. It was pretty quick, we just set up and did it live. I think Skip re-tracked his vocals, but that was it. I'm pretty sure he set up a quick mix for the first song and just let it ride for the rest of the songs and we were outta there.

As far as the rumor about Skip's voice being harder on the seven inch because he was sick or had a cold or something, I don't remember that. He may have been sick, but I don't recall that. (Editor's Note: Tim had brought to Jay's attention that Skip had over the years said he hated his vocals on the seven inch and blamed his voice on a cold at the time of recording). Skip was always hard on himself, he was very hard to please. Throughout the band, he loved what we did, but always thought we could have done something better than what we had on tape and that mainly meant he wasn't happy with his vocals. We never had much money to really sit and tweak things in the studio back then and I thought that's what made it good really. We were doing simple songs with limited time and limited recording technology. It was raw and that was a good thing you know? But we were all still really psyched on those songs and that recording.

Darren and Hi-Impact came together because he had a copy of the demo and dug it. I think the first time I met him was at the Kennet Square show. He hadn't even started Hi-Impact yet, he was just a hardcore fan and wanted to start putting out records and he asked us to be his first release. I was like "holy shit!" That was a big deal at the time. Any band with a few tunes and a hundred bucks could cut a demo tape. The thing with a demo tape is that you might buy one at a show and take it home and if it was lame you could just record over it. A seven inch was legit. It made what we were doing in Ken's garage every weekend "real."

Skippy in Schism, Nick in Raw Deal, Turning Point in D.C., Photo courtesy of: Turning Point

Nick: To me, just having done the demo was a big deal. A seven inch really was legit. I remember Darren Hi-Impact got an order from Jello Biafra for the TP seven inch, so weird! And he framed the check. I was like, "dude, that's $3!" He was like, "I don't care man, it's cool." So strange the dude ordered it. I'm pretty sure it gone torn apart in MRR, which was great of course.

I also remember we had some issues printing the seven inch covers. They were done by a dude (Joe On Life)at his high school and there was some issue where we thought we might have to white out the curse words. I think he had to go and like hide it from the teacher or something so that he didn't get in trouble.

Jay: We were mostly playing Connecticut and D.C. and in Pennsylvania. Even after the seven inch, the response was great. Looking back on it now it gave me a false sense of what it means to play out as a live band. I mean, back then, people would just come out to pretty much any hardcore show that was happening that weekend. You went some place, and boom, you had an in-built crowd. I've been doing music for over 20 years, and you realize it isn't like that as you get older. I took it for granted then. That was great thing about hardcore, the in-built audience. It seemed too easy. Back then it was just like, "yeah, just drive up and you'll have a great show, people will know you, people will go off, people will be cool!" We just kinda came to expect that, and you realize later it isn't always gonna be that easy.

The thing too was that back then people would just call us for a show. We didn't have to actively look. I mean, not every show was just handed to us, but people called us. I remember Skippy being all psyched because Ray Cappo called him to ask if we wanted to play City Gardens with Shelter. Skippy was all pumped because Ray of Today called his house and his mom answered! She had no idea who this "Ray" guy was, but it meant the world to Skip. It just seemed as long as we kept writing decent songs and practicing everything else would just fall into place.

Nick on top of the crowd, classic TP, Photo courtesy of: Turning Point

Nick: It was so cool to be playing with bands like Gorilla Biscuits and Judge and stuff. To be playing with them was just awesome. In addition to the shows themselves, a lot of time the trips and and driving were the most fun of all. Packing everyone in Jay's van was awesome. Every weekend was like an adventure. I just always felt like such a young kid, and yet every weekend I was doing somethng so cool. Like we would play a sick show in New York or Connecicut, and afterwards stay at the GB house and be up all night hanging out with cool dudes. I would come to school on Monday and kids were like, "Whoa, dude we went to this cool party at so-and-so's house and then we stayed up until freakin' midnight! It was great! What did you do?" I was just like, "ah, nothing crazy." How was I supposed to explain that?

Even when we weren't going out of state or playing somewhere, we were having a blast. We had the Calzone Crew. (Editor's Note: We asked Nick about the origins of the "Calzone Crew" - TP and their friends). We got that nickname because we would practice on Friday nights, and then we'd go get pizza at this place called Sergio's in Moorestown. Sometimes we'd actually call in our order before even leaving so it was ready when we got there. We did this all the time, so these dudes there got to know us real well and they started to call us the Calzone Crew. The pizza was awesome and the guys were funny. The one dude we called Crazy Eyed Larry, but they were all Italian and would joke around with us. Larry would hit on girls. We'd just eat pizza all night. Once we became friends with Release, they would say how calzones sucked, so we would be like, "no man, the Calzone Crew is gonna come down hard on you" and all this stuff. When we did the seven inch we folded, hand numbered, and stuffed each one. The first 50 had a Sergio's business card inside and some handwritten notes about the Calzone Crew.

Skip and Jay hanging back stage, Photo courtesy of: Turning Point

Jay: As much as we loved playing our own shows and hanging out with our own friends, we loved seeing other bands play. That was just as much fun. We'd look at the City Gardens cards and be psyched to see who was playing. "Oh shit look who's playing in two weeks! And next month!" And that just wasn't City Gardens, it was all over. We traveled. We just loved seeing our favorite bands. Some stand out City Gardens shows I remember seeing were the different Judge and Youth Of Today shows, both of those bands were just awesome. The Judge video show was great, a lot of fun. The first time I saw Inside Out was at City Gardens, and they went on and it was like an explosion. I had never seen anything like it, just incredibly powerful, and insane. Zack was crazy, I remember thinking "this dude is gonna hurt himself."

That first 7 Seconds show still sticks out a lot. Verbal Assault opened that show and I had never heard of them before and they were awesome. We were in high school at the time and to be honest it wasn't like I was on my way to top the Dean's list or anything, but once I started to go to shows more often it really cemented that that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to play music.

Skip, Nick and Steve accompanied by Hard Karl and Greg Release at Club Pizazz, Philadelphia PA, Photo courtesy of: Turning Point

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

John Joseph New York City Urban Warfare Cro-Mag Training

John Joseph New York City Urban Warfare Cro-Mag Training from Polygraph Productions on Vimeo.

John Joseph's book called "Meat Is For Pussies" on vegetarian nutrition, training and the healthy lifestyle will drop this summer on Punkhouse. Thought some of the readers would be interested in checking this out. -Tim DCXX

Monday, May 11, 2009

Isaac Golub - Keepin' It Older School

Ike Chorus chimes in with some of his glory day memories and some great classic flyers - Gordo DCXX

Going to shows in California as a young buck was scary, especially in the time span that I went, from 1981-89. Gangs were rampant, there was Sons of Samoa, Circle One, LA Death Squad, Suicidal, Skins, and plenty more. These guys would not only fight one another, they would tee off on anyone who’s eyes had the smallest glimpse of innocence. I don’t think I could count the amount of times if I tried that I took a Doc to the back, or a barrage of knuckles to the back of my head. The smell of blood, clove cigarettes, Aqua-Net hairspray, sweaty leather, piss, beer, and vomit was the punk rock ozone layer then. Sometimes you would taste these things as well, without choice. The clubs were always dank sewers that reminded me of what the first level of hell would be like. I can say that I probably gave at least a pint of blood and sweat in every club I ever stepped foot in over my lifetime.

I would always see guys like Big Frank Harrison and Black Darryl at these shows, it always made me feel like, “Ok… I don’t know these guys, but if I get in a jam maybe they will recognize me from the Dead Kennedy’s show or The Varukers show…” It was false hope, but hope nonetheless. The music was the reason for the bravery, I loved and still love punk rock. It will never be the way it was in the early 80’s and that’s fine. Here are some shows I went too, I wont break all of them down, I’m sure you can imagine. Enjoy the flyers.