Archive for December 30, 2012

Bouncing Souls, The Casualties, Grey Area Home For The Holidays (Live In Asbury Park 12/28/12)


Ah yes, The Bouncing Souls Home For The Holidays… their (and mine) yearly holiday tradition since 2007 where the Souls play 4 nights in Asbury Park with something special going on each night.  I went on Friday at the Stone Pony, because Grey Area was playing and I fucking love those guys.

Team Vibes:

Team Vibes kicked things off for the festive night, and while I don’t know anything about them, it seemed like a decent amount of people were digging their set.  They played slower, Gaslight Anthem-esque music that I’m actually not too crazy about… but I can see them gaining a decent following by people who are into that.

Grey Area:

Fuck yeah.  Even though I was a little bit sick and still really fucking sore from the Paint It Black house show I went to the night before, I was beyond stoked to see these guys.  Although it was only about 5 people (including myself) two stepping and dancing through out their set, a decent amount of people were shouting along every word.

Ernie and crew took the stage and joked around with the crowd about the H20 show they were at last night, cover songs, and generally keeping it light as Grey Area is known to do.  It was a bit strange seeing them with a barrier up since last show I saw them was at Philly’s intimate Fire, but it was still a damn good time with their Lifetime/Kid Dynamite type of melodic hardcore.

Highlights:
Insomnia
Reminder
Right Now
Before Me
No Guarentees (I think)

BONUS: At the end of the show, I overheard some guy talking about how he never heard of Grey Area before, but how they were easily his favorite band of the night.  Fuck yeah.

The Casualties:

I know it’s not “cool” to like The Casualties after the age of 17 (shit, some say 13) but fuck it, and if you’re one of those holier than thou types, fuck you too… The Casualties are always a fun time.  I didn’t anticipate dancing to the gritty street punk sounds of these NY dudes, but once they played “Get Off My Back” I found myself thrashing around in the a circle pit.

It’s funny how much the pit itself was almost like a history of The Casualties legacy: during the newer songs, you saw some younger kids doing their thing and then the old fucks like myself would come out during their Die Hards and For The Punx songs. Current status of the punx?  Upped.

Highlights:
Get Off My Back
Ugly Bastards
Punk Rock Love
Made In NYC
Riot
Police Brutality (I think)
Tomorrow Belongs To Us

The Bouncing Souls:

The Bouncing Souls?  Those fucking NJ moochers.  Regardless of how I feel about their latest albums, The Bouncing Souls will always and forever be my favorite band. They got me through a lot of shit in life over the past decade and them some years I’ve been listening to them, and regardless of the fact I’ve seen them close to 30-40 times, I always get excited to see them again… especially in NJ.

The band took the stage (surprisingly not to Born To Run, as is holiday tradition) and instantly opened with Manthem… Ahh shit.  This was the song I completely annihilated my arm (2 steel plates and 20 screws) to at their show last year, and I’d be fucking lying if I said I don’t get a little panicky every time it comes on.  Except this time around, I was way to stoked and just lost my shit in the pit which I didn’t leave for the entirety of the show.

The Souls setlist was created by Mike Dirnt of Green Day fame, and he had them play songs off of most of their albums, with a pretty strong emphasis on How I Spent My Summer Vacation.  We were rowdy throughout the entire set (I realize now I didn’t watch them at all as I was in the pit the ENTIRE time).  At one point, the band brought up The Loved Ones who played their song Jane which was pretty sweet.  Great Souls show, no serious injuries (a little black eye ain’t no thang), and I think I’m finally convinced of getting a Bouncing Souls tattoo that I’ve been contemplating for the last 10 years.

Set (From what I remember and not in order):
Manthem
Say Anything
Sing Along Forever (I think)
Toilet Song
East Coast Fuck You
Hopeless Romantic
True Believers
Gone
Quick Check Girl
Ballad Of Johnny X
Sarah Saturday
Lean On Sheena
Better Things
I Like Your Mom
The Guest

MP3:
Bouncing Souls – Low Life
Grey Area – Lucky
The Casualties – Get Off My Back

More:
Bouncing Souls “Worst” Album
Bouncing Souls – The Good The Bad And The Argyle
Bouncing Souls Split Series


Paint It Black Secret Holiday House Show (Live In Philly 12/27/12)

When I saw that Paint It Black was playing a rare show in DC and then NJ this winter but left Philly off the list, I had a hunch that they had something up their sleeves for their hometown.  So when I saw that they announced that they were going to play a secret house show in Philly yesterday, you can imagine how stoked I was.

I headed to West Philly’s Golden Tea House pretty damn early, and the kitchen was already starting to get packed with people.  We love our Paint It Black here in Philly.

Bad Energy:

First up were locals Bad Energy.  These guys (and gal) played a solid set with their blast beat hardcore.  It was a bit hard to hear the vocals (something that was true for the entire show actually), but it’s a house show, so really, who gives a fuck?  A few in the crowd lost their shit, and I’d definitely catch them again.

Attitude Era:

Best band name ever?  Probably.  Attitude Era took the floor next with the singer immediately jumping into the crowd starting a bit of a frenzy.  Think hardcore in the veins of Punch or Coke Bust.  Very short set that was quick and brutal as fuck, just the way hardcore was meant to be played.

Restorations:

Restorations have been making a name for themselves as of late, and these guys were sort of the black sheep of the show with their indie influenced, super melodic punk rock (they were sort of the calm before the Paint It Black storm).  It’s not really my favorite style of punk, but there were plenty of people in the crowd singing along to every word and rocking out.

Paint It Black:

Philly’s own hometown heroes.  There aren’t many bands that reach the success that Paint It Black has, and still play $5 house shows for us.  Last time I saw Paint It Black at a house, it was easily one of the best shows I’ve been to so I was beyond stoked.

The floor was packed, and the second they hit their first note we burst into a frenzy of bumrushing, pile ons, and crowd surfing.  Dan Yemin was throwing himself into the crowd (I’m sure to partially protect the equipment from us maniacs).

At one point, the band wanted to record all of us shouting “GO” so they can put it on their next record they plan on recording this winter “we know it’s cheesy but I really want to do it anyway”.

A damn good show, probably the best surprise holiday gift I’ve gotten this year.

Setlist:
Four Deadly Venoms
The Ledge
Exit Wounds
Atticus Finch
Past Tense, Future Perfect
Pink Slip
Cannibal
C.V.A
White Kids Dying Of Hunger
Election Day
Salem
Womb Envy
This Song Is Short Because It’s Not Political (I think)…
Worms
Memorial Day
We Will Not
The Pharmacist

MP3:
Paint It Black – Memorial Day

Hit The Ground Running, Won’t Slow Down:
Paint It Black – Amnesia
Kid Dynamite, And The Art Of Moshing Everywhere
Lifetime – Hello Bastards

Buy:
Paint It Black

A Punk Rock Christmas Mix


Well it’s finally Christmas, and at least for us east coasters, it’s almost coming to an end.  Hopefully all of you partied hard (and if you don’t celebrate, hopefully you fucking partied hard anyway).

Because I’m in the holiday spirit, here’s a punk rock holiday mix for you all.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to probably go watch Jingle All The Way now (Sinbad and Ahhhhhnoooold for the win) and drink copious amounts of Vitamin C so I can beat this cold and party for New Years.

MP3:
Blink 182 – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas
Nicotine – Do They Know it’s Christmas?
The Vandals – Nothing’s Gonna Ruin My Holiday
Less Than Jake – Grandma Got Runover By A Reindeer
Fear – Fuck Christmas
Pipedown – Carol Of The Bells
The Vandals – Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies
Real Mckenzies – Pagan Holiday
Mighty Mighty Bosstones – This Time Of Year
MU330 – Xmas Card
Atom and His Package – What WE do On Christmas
The Vandals – Oi To The World

More Mixes:
Scenester 101 – How To Be Hardcore
Scenester 101: How to Be a 3rd Wave Ska Dork

Buy:
Interpunk

Bomb The Music Industry, Hop Along, Franz Nicolay (Live In Brooklyn) 12/19/12

This past Wed I got an IM from my good friend up in Brooklyn:

Her: Hey are you still in NY?

Me: No, I’m back in Philly why?

Her: Oh, Bomb The Music Industry is playing with Franz Nicolay.

Me: Oh, well then I obviously should be in NY then.

I instantly bought a ticket on Megabus, and after enduring some traffic on the NJ Turnpike, headed out to Brooklyn’s Public Assembly.  On the way since Bomb The Music Industry (like Wu-Tang) is for the children and the show was a toy drive, we made a pit stop to pick up a Spongebob Squarepants musical instrument set (and I’m not going to lie, it was tempting to keep).  The show was running a bit late, and for the first time in what feels like forever, I was waiting in line for a show.

Franz Nicolay:

I haven’t seen Franz since 2010 at the Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia, and I was excited to see him again.  Franz joked and claimed that no one was there to see him, but the crowd was incredibly lively clapping along to all of his songs.  It wasn’t just his usual solo act though, this time around he brought along someone else who helped switch off instruments with him (we heard the accordion, banjo, and guitar) and provided female vocals on most of the songs.

A decent amount of the songs were off his latest album Do The Struggle which I have yet had a chance to check out, but he was able to sneak in a few older ones, including my favorites Jeff Penalty and The Ballad Of Hollis Wadsworth Mason, Jr (my request for Dead Sailors was denied… awww…)

Hop Along:



I never heard of Hop Along before, but they came highly recommended from some friends and apparently they are from my city of Philly.  The band played punk influenced indie rock, with female vox. Hop Along played some catchy tunes, with the singer’s voice fluctuating from a Laura Stevenson crisp to a Joan Jett like raspy growl.  It was pretty awesome actually.

I couldn’t tell you what songs the band played, but it was an enjoyable set that will probably have me checking out some of their recorded work.

Bomb The Music Industry:

It’s been a whole two weeks since I’ve seen BTMI play what I thought would be the last time I’d get to see them (I’m still skeptical about this breakup) and I gotta say, I think this hometown Brooklyn show blew Philly’s out of the water.

The crowd was dancing harder, the band playing faster and heavier, and all around a rowdier time.  Microphones and equipment were broken, which reminded me a bit of when I used to see Arrogant Sons of Bitches waaaay back in the day (yup, officially an old person now).

The band played songs spanning from all their albums, and we were treated with multiple renditions of Amazing Grace (in ode to somebody in the crowd who lost their glasses).  Stage dives and pits abound, Jeff and company jumped into the crowd themselves a few times.  Easily one of the best Bomb shows I’ve ever been to, and I’ve seen them a bunch.  Oh and they closed with Blow Your Brains Out, which I lost my shit to…

Setlist (From what I remember and not in order…)

Pizza Claus Is Coming To Town
Campaign For a Better Next Weekend
The First Time I Met Sanawon
Fresh Attitude, Young Body
Vocal Coach
Everybody That You Love
25!
Bike Test 1 2 3
Stand There Until You’re Sober
Big Plans Of Sleeping In
Hurricane Waves
Side Projects Are Never Successful
I Don’t Love You Anymore

Encore:
Blow Your Brains On Live TV

MP3:
Bomb the Music Industry – The First Time I Met Sanawon

You All Used To Be Just Like Me, You Fuckers Used To Be Just Like Me:
Bomb The Music Industry – Vacation
Scenester 101: How to Be a 3rd Wave Ska Dork
Bomb The Music Industry – Adults!!! Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing
Bomb the Music Industry – Scrambles
Arrogant Sons Of Bitches – Discography

Buy:
Quote Unquote

Best Practices – The EP LP (For fans of Cloak/Dagger, Joyce Manor, Dillinger Four)

The whole melodic punk rock with emo influences have been all the rage lately, and I missed that bandwagon.  I never really got into Joyce Manor or Latterman (who’ve I been meaning to check out) but any time I’m in the mood for that style and start listening to those bands, I’m just like “I should throw on some Texas Is The Reason or Lifetime.”

Besides, too many of those emo influenced bands just seem to lack the balls/ovaries that makes it punk to begin with.  So how do you keep me interested?  With plenty of aggression, and Rhode Island’s Best Practices do it fucking right on The EP LP.

Imagine if you took The Descendents or Dillinger Four, threw them in a room and made them listen to nothing but Sunny Day Real Estate for months on end and then forced them to record.  That’s pretty much Best Practices for you.  Best Practices deliver 9 punchy melodic punk jams in 12 minutes on The EP LP, and I haven’t been able to stop listening.

Reminding me a lot of Cloak/Dagger, Best Practices has a very garage punk sound to them and with the gargled gravel vocals, is the perfect blend of aggression and pure melody.  The album doesn’t let up for a minute, and keeps the listener hooked with constant stylistic changes.

Definitely one of the better releases of 2012, I highly recommend Best Practices The EP LP for any fan who likes their punk a little more melodic.

MP3:
Best Practices – Future Cougar

Dig This? Check Out:
Cloak/Dagger – We Are
Outclassed – This Might Be Coincidence
Texas Is The Reason – Self Titled EP
Static Radio NJ – We Are All Beasts

Buy:
Tiny Engines

Cut The Shit – Marked For Life (For fans of Municipal Waste, Ceremony, Bones Brigade)

I love all flavors of punk rock, but I have an incredibly soft spot for blistering fast, rip your face off, no fucking frills hardcore in this jaded heart of mine.  Years ago I posted about one of my go to skate records Harmed And Dangerous by the Boston hardcore dudes Cut The Shit (funnily enough it was right around the same time of year as now), but I thought that was the only thing I’d hear by them, as all of their other EPs are out of print.

Little did I know Cut The Shit released a compilation called Marked For Life of all of their other EPs.  Even though the band broke up years ago, I was able to get a copy of the compilation… so christmas came a little bit early for me.  With 27 songs finishing in 26 minutes, Marked For Life is everything hardcore is supposed to be: pissed, primal, and not overly complicated.

If you dig your hardcore without the chunky breakdowns and rowdy as all hell, definitely check out Cut The Shit.  Easily one of my favorites.

MP3:
Cut The Shit – Burn The Dance Clubs

Get Rowdy:
Scenester 101: How To Be An Old School Hardcore Kid In 10 Easy Steps!
La Armada – Self Titled
American Nightmare – Background Music

Buy:
Well Shit. It looks like this is out of print too.

The Vibrators – 25 Years of Pure Mania (For fans of The Clash, The Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols)

Sometimes when I’m driving people somewhere, if I’m in the mood to be nice… I have to remember that not everyone sees the beauty of powerviolence or overly pissed hardcore.  This is when I have to find something more accessible, but something that I want to listen to.  I’m not gonna lie, I usually go with 70s punk rock… and lately I’ve been always wanting to listen to The Vibrators greatest hits album 25 Years Of Pure Mania.


Even though The Vibrators were one of the earliest punk bands originally forming in 1976, most people have no idea who they are.  And that’s a damn shame, because these London boys have some of the catchiest punk rock anthems around. 25 Years Of Pure Mania is a 2 CD release containing all of their most popular hits from almost their entire discography (which is fucking huge by the way) and is a great place for anyone looking to get into the band.

If you dig bands like The Buzzcocks or early Clash, then you need to check out The Vibrators.  They’ve been getting more plays by me than any other band as of late.

MP3:
The Vibrators – Judy Says

More 70s Punk Rock That You Need To Check Out, Or Else:
The Ramones – Mondo Bizarro
The Ramones – Self Titled
The Misfits – Walk Among Us
The Misfits – Static Age
Cock Sparrer – Shock Troops
The Buzzcocks – Singles Go Steady
The Clash – London Calling

Buy:
The Vibrators

(Punk) Cover Monday Pt.1

Well it’s Monday, and you know what that means…  Actually you probably have no fucking clue, because it’s been a few years since I’ve done it, but I’m going to bring it back.  So here is the brand spanking new edition of (Punk) cover Monday where I post cover songs (occasionally with their original.)

So relax, take off your boots and unwind with the sweet sounds of three chorded versions of your favorite songs.

MP3:
Down By Law – 500 Miles (Proclaimers Cover)
Mustard Plug – The Freshman (Verve Pipe Cover, one of my favorite covers)

More:
Scenester 101 – How To Be Hardcore
Scenester 101: How to Be a 3rd Wave Ska Dork

Buy:
Interpunk

Bane – Holding This Moment (For fans of Comeback Kid, American Nightmare, Youth Of Today)


It’s funny to think about how one of the biggest and well known hardcore bands around today started as a side project.  Before Boston’s hardcore band Bane became the behemoth (fuck yeah alliteration) that they are now, they started as a side project from one of the guys in Converge (who was later asked to quit due to his dedication to Bane).

Holding This Moment was the first major release by Bane, an 8 song album consisting of all their early 7-inches, and it fucking rules.  Released back in 1998 when the music scene started to become dominated by metalcore and screamo bands, Bane along with other Boston bands (American Nightmare, Ten Yard Fight) brought good ole fashioned stage diving and mic grabbing to the forefront of hardcore once again.

If you like hardcore at all, get this album.

MP3:
Bane – Count Me Out

Hoods Up:
Scenester 101 – How To Be Hardcore
American Nightmare – Background Music
Ten Yard Fight

Chain Of Strength – The One Thing That Still Holds True Today

Buy:
Equal Vision

Bomb The Music Industry, Laura Stevenson and The Cans Live In Philly (12/2/12)

It’s been a little while since I’ve been to a show.  I didn’t go at all in the month of November and I’m pretty sure the last one I went to was Texas Is The Reason up in NYC.  So needless to say, I was pretty excited to catch Bomb The Music Industry once again in the First Unitarian Church.

Laura Stevenson And The Cans:

I was running late and missed most of the openers, but made it in time to catch Laura Stevenson and The Cans full set.  I’ve heard the name before and didn’t really know anything about them, but just from the name alone I figured they were a folky indie band (Arrah and The Ferns, Florence and The Machines, etc…).  Turns out I was spot on.

I’m not really a big fan of the genre as a whole, and I probably wouldn’t throw it on my stereo in my spare time, but I have to give credit where credit is due.  Laura Stevenson and The Cans played an enjoyable set with catchy tunes, and I have to say… she straight up has a beautiful voice.

Fun fact: Laura Stevenson actually used to be the keyboardist for BTMI, and also does the vocals on “All Ages Show”.

Bomb The Music Industry:

I’ve been a fan of Bomb The Music Industry ever since the demise of Arrogant Sons of Bitches, and have seen them a countless amount of times over the years.  They are easily one of the most DIY bands out there, and you know that whole “pay what you want for the album” that’s so popular today?  Yeah, Jeff from BTMI spearheaded that.

Supposedly this was the last Philly Bomb The Music Industry show (although I have my serious doubts about that) and so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Turns out it was a typical fun BTMI show with all of the false starts, banter onstage and all the other antics .

The band opened up with a surprisingly slower number (“Wednesday Night Drinkball” if I remember correctly), but quickly picked it up with “First Time I Met Sanawon” which had the smallish crowd dancing, stage diving, and singing along for the rest of the set.

BTMI played through a decently long set playing songs from all of their releases, with the majority coming from their latest Vacation.  I know they claim it’ll be their last tour, but I think Jeff will definitely be back in Philly with BTMI, whether it’s the full band or just his iPod.

Setlist From What I Remember (Not In Order)
Wednesday Night Drinkball
The First Time I Met Sanawon
Everybody That You Love
Vocal Coach
New Song
All Ages Shows
Pizza Clause Is Coming To Town (I think)
Even Winning Feels Bad
I Don’t Love You Anymore
Saddr, Weirdr
The Shit That You Hate
Hurricane Waves
Felt Just Like Vacation
25!
Congratulations John, On Joining Every Time I Die
It Shits!!!
Syke! Life Is Awesome!
Future 86

MP3:
Bomb the Music Industry – The First Time I Met Sanawon

“Go To Work, Pay Your Bills, Eat A Dick”
Bomb The Music Industry – Vacation
Scenester 101: How to Be a 3rd Wave Ska Dork
Bomb The Music Industry – Adults!!! Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing
Bomb the Music Industry – Scrambles
Arrogant Sons Of Bitches – Discography

Buy:
Quote Unquote