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Punch, War Emblem, Grower, Disinterest Live In Philly (9/10/14)

punch flyer

I moved (yet again) and so am so far behind on posts on account I didn’t have a computer set up because I’m good at life like that, but yesterday I headed to West Philly house Golden Tea House to catch one of my favorite hardcore bands around: Punch.  First off, The Golden Tea House has been on fucking point with the hardcore shows (Dangers, Graf Orlock, and Punch all within the span of a month?  Fuck.)  Second off, I didn’t realize how much Punch exploded.

The kitchen was packed, much more so than the last time I saw them at Barbary two years ago and rightfully so, Punch is easily one of the best hardcore bands around these days.  The show quickly sold out, and shit was off the wall for every band.

Disinterest:
First up were Philly locals Disinterest.  I got there in the middle of their set, but holy fuck were they good.  Playing noisy and aggressive as fuck hardcore, these guys set the tone with people raging throughout their set.  Even the sound problems they experienced worked in their favor, when the vocals suddenly became incredibly distorted, it sounded really badass.  Definitely one of Philly’s up and coming hardcore bands, I’ll have to snag their Demo.

Grower:

Next up were Philly’s Grower.  I haven’t heard these guys before, but they put on a blistering, energetic set with the crowd collectively losing their shit and the guitarist jumping on top of the crowd.  Will need to check out their recorded stuff.

War Emblem:

I’ve caught Philly’s War Emblem once before back in May, and even while being distracted by the NHL playoffs (which the singer was streaming from his phone) they put on a solid set.  Last night was no different.  War Emblem plays incredibly heavy hardcore with plenty of breakdowns and almost has a D-Beat vibe at times.  They played a relatively short set and legitimately excited to be there and playing to the packed house.

Punch:

People say that San Francisco’s Punch is one of the heaviest and best female-fronted hardcore bands around, but I say fuck that: Punch is one of the best hardcore bands around period.  I fell in love with them ever since seeing them live a few years back and checking out their Self Titled album, and their Nothing Lasts EP not only remains one of the most played hardcore albums I have.  After seeing them at the First Unitarian and The Barbary twice, I was stoked to be seeing them at an intimate house show.

The band took the floor and we all immediately erupted.  While there wasn’t much room, the place turned into a frenzy of people climbing on top of the crowd, screaming each word, and the entire room was one giant pit.  They played plenty off of most of their albums, and the new ones completely shred.

If you get a chance, go see Punch live.  They are seriously one of the rawest, most energetic hardcore bands around and don’t make it out to the east coast too often.  With their positive message yet fast and pissed as shit shows, maybe like me, it’ll remind you of why you got into hardcore in the first place.

Highlights: (Nowhere near complete or in order)
Do It Yourself
Time Apart
The Chase
How Nothing Lasts
Don’t Start
Ol Factory
Fuming (I think)

MP3:
Punch – The Chase

More:
Punch – Nothing Lasts
Punch – Self Titled
Ceremony – Violence Violence
Coke Bust – Confined

The Slackers, RK$TDY Live In Philadelphia (12/27/13)

Slackers-skaband

Ok, still finally playing catch up with the show recaps, and so I’m going to make this quick.  But this past Friday I headed to Philly’s North Star Bar to catch ska dudes The Slackers.  The bar and venue was pretty crowded for what I was assuming would be dead for a 21+ ska show, but I was pleasantly surprised when I strolled (or sauntered, if you will) in.

RK$TDY:

I walked in about a quarter through their set, and let me tell you, the second I heard these guys I had a huge smile on my face.  I’ve never heard of RK$STDY before, and I know the name of the band would have you thinking it was some incredibly shitty Ke$ha/Attack Attack type of combo going on, but these guys were about as traditional ska as you could get.

Featuring multiple horns, rhythm guitar, and an upright bass, RK$TDY mostly played instrumental jams that reminded me a bit of Yardbeat, minus The Specials “Free Nelson Mendela” cover.  Definitely a good time, and the perfect opener to get me skanking.

The Slackers:

There was a time period where I would catch The Slackers usually twice a year, but I don’t know if it’s from them not coming to Philly or if I just missed it, but I realized that I have not seen The Slackers in almost 3 years.  The band took the stage, and the intimate room was instantly packed.  I placed myself right up against the stage, but there wasn’t much room to skank.  All good, I was still hurting pretty bad from the Bouncing Souls show a few nights back.

Playing an incredibly tight set, The Slackers had the crowd singing along… bantering telling stories and even doing a few covers (NEVER did I think I’d be skanking along to a ska version of The Misfits Attitude).

Always a great time seeing them, it was good to catch them in a smaller venue.  Good vibes, good times.

Setlist:
Keep Him Away
Yes It’s True
Working Overtime
Watch This
Walking On
Leave Me
Like A Virgin (Madonna cover)
Cooking For Tommy
Bed Is A Boat
Stereo On
Old Dog
BollWeevil
What Went Wrong
No Love
Keep It Simple
Run Away
The Fool
Wasted Days
Attitude (Misfits cover)
Have The Time
Rude and Reckless
Sarah (think they did this one)

MP3:
The Slackers – Mr Tragedy

More Ska For Your Skanky Skanking Soul:
The Slackers – The Great Rocksteady Swindle
The Slackers – Self Medication
Toots And The Maytals – Monkey Man

Off With Their Heads, Morning Glory, Direct Hit Show Recap (Philadelphia 12/11/13)

Wednesday after a day of abusing my body snowboarding, I headed to Philly’s beloved First Unitarian Church basement to catch one hell of a lineup.  Any of these bands on the bill would be good enough for me to go to the show, having Off With Their Heads, Morning Glory, and Direct Hit all together was just a god damn mind melt.  Unfortunately I missed almost all of The Headies, but the last two songs I was able to catch were sick.  So I’ll need to make a point to catch those dudes.

Direct Hit!:
direct hit

I’ve been completely obsessed with Direct Hit as of late.  Their album Brainless God turned me from “hey, that one hardcore split they have with Hold Tight is kinda cool” to “holy fuck these guys rule”.  I caught them once before open for The Copyrights back in July, and while I didn’t know any of their  songs by that point, their pop-punk set blew me away.  This time, I knew the songs and was ready to get rowdy.

The band took the stage, and broke out into “The World Is Ending (No One Cares)” which had many of us in the crowd shouting along.  Direct Hit is incredibly refreshing to see live.  You can tell they are legitimately having a blast on stage, love what they’re doing, and are here to have a good time.

Playing songs from the both Brainless God and and Domesplitter, the band played a tight set even though they were plagued with a few technical difficulties.  Regardless, they powered through without missing a beat, with one of the guitarists throwing his guitar down, saying “fuck it” and just singing along every word.

Probably my favorite set of the night, definitely check them if they come around… or if their side project Galactic Cannibal comes around, check them out too, you lucky son of a bitch.

Setlist: (Not complete or in order)
The World Is Ending (No One Cares)
Buried Alive
Getting What He Asked For
Back To The Tower
Satan Says
A Message To The Angels
They Came For Me (I think)

Morning Glory:
morningglory

Formed from the ashes of Choking Victim years ago, Morning Glory was one of the more prominent crack rock steady bands (Leftover Crack, INDK, etc).  It’s been a few years since I’ve last seen them, and they’ve actually recorded another full length semi recently called Poets Were My Heroes.

The band took the stage, and a small but dedicated group of us started skanking, singing along, and piling on while Ezra kept jumping into the crowd.  As usual Morning Glory played a fun and solid set even if they didn’t play Gang Control and most of the people in the crowd weren’t sure who they were.  Oh god, I’m getting old.

Highlights:
Everything’s a Song To Me
Last Caress (partial Misfits cover)
So You Wanna Be A Cop?
Summerburst
Orphan’s Holiday
Always Alone (Off With Their Heads cover)

Off With Their Heads
Off With Their Heads

Straight up, Off With Their Heads are one of the hardest bands around there.  They’re always recording new music, and they always seem to be on tour, even though I realized it’s been 2 years since I last saw them.  I’ve seen them play all types of venues in Philly from headlining the smaller Barbary and house shows, to the larger Electric Factory supporting bands such as Bad Religion and The Bouncing Souls.  It only was appropriate to finally see them headline a show at The First Unitarian Church basement.

The band took the stage and opened with “Nightlife” off of their latest album Home, setting off the crowd into a huge sing along.  At one point, the band played “Theme Song” from their Hospitals EP, and after we completely went off in the crowd, Ryan said “fuck it, that was fun, let’s just do the entire album”.  Fuck yes.

The new songs translated pretty well live, but some felt a little out of place (such as the slower “Don’t Make Me Go” and “Altar Boy”).  Still, it’s always a good time to see Off With Their Heads, and good to see them on a headlining tour again after supporting so many bands the past few years.  Oh, and they played Ten Year Trouble, a song I’ve been requesting forever but they’ve stated in interviews they don’t like playing live.

Setlist (Pretty complete, although not in order)
Nightlife
Focus On Your Family
Start Walking
Drive
Theme Song
Die Today
S.O.S
Your Child Is Dead
Idiot
Hard To Admit
Heroin In NYC
Jackie Lee
Don’t Make Me Go
Shirts
Stolen Away
Janie
Clear The Air
Ten Year Trouble
Fuck This I’m Out

MP3:
Off With Their Heads – Drive
Morning Glory – Poets Were My Heroes
Direct Hit! – I Told You A Lie

Read these or else:
Off With Their Heads – Home
Morning Glory – Shelter From The Spoon
Direct Hit – Brainless God

Kid Dynamite, Kill Your Idols, Black Train Jack Live In Philly (8/8/13)

Faithful housewives readers, I know it’s been a few weeks since my last post, but between moving, jobs, and life… things have been busy to say the least.  But last night I was lucky enough to head out to Philadelphia’s THIS IS HARDCORE FEST, over at the Electric Factory to catch one of my all time favorite bands Kid Dynamite play alongside with Kill Your Idols.  Kid Dynamite announced that this was their last Philly show ever, as they are breaking up after a European tour soon, which is incredibly depressing.

The venue itself had a fair share of people for a cloudy Thursday night, and since it was a hardcore show the fest opted to put up a smaller stage on risers instead of the giant one to allow for stage diving.

BoySetsFire

BoySetsFire

My friends and I got there right as BoySetsFire was starting.  Personally I never really got too into Delaware’s BoySetsFire so I don’t really know any of their songs, but they had a large portion of the crowd singing along.  They played post-hardcore, with some songs being incredibly heavy (the ones I dug) and some coming off a bit too emo for my personal tastes. Still an entertaining set.

Black Train Jack
Black+Train+Jack

Black Train Jack are not very well known, even though it features members of Grey Area and Token Entry, yet their small and loyal fanbase(mostly oldheads like myself) made sure to shout along every word.  I never got a chance to see BTJ, so getting to two step to both Handouts and The Struggle was pretty fucking awesome.

Kill Your Idols
kill your idols

I never got a chance to see Kill Your Idols although I dig them quite a bit.  The charm of Kill Your Idols are their masterful ability to blend incredibly aggressive and abrasive hardcore with some of the most melodic punk around.  Playing a handful of shows since their breakup (do hardcore bands really even breakup anymore), I was highly anticipating seeing their set, and they did not disappoint.

Plenty of stage dives, two stepping, and pile-ons, Kill Your Idols played an incredibly sick set which passed by all too quickly, and even though I was running on only 2 hours of sleep, I managed to rage majority of the time.

Setlist:
Hardcore Circa 99
All Those Wasted Calling Cards
Funeral For A Feeling
What I’ve Become
Nameless
Enjoy The Show
Send In The Clowns
Right Now
Wake Up Sheep
Grey Skies Ahead
Cousin Fred
Autumn
Falling
The Path
Epilogue
Can’t Take This Away

Kid Dynamite
Kid Dynamite

When I first saw Kid Dynamite play a few years back at This Is Hardcore when they first announced a reunion show, I was stoked beyond belief that I would finally be able to see them after years of listening to them.  Fast forward years later, and that same energy and adrenaline flowed through me as they were setting up.  They CLAIM that this was going to be their last show in Philadelphia, but it just doesn’t feel right that they wouldn’t go out with one last First Unitarian Church show… regardless…

The band finished setting up and immediately blasted into Pits And Poison Apples, and didn’t let up for the rest of the night.  Obviously having the biggest crowd reaction (at least since I got there) bodies were flying and lyrics were screamed back at Jason as they played the majority of “Shorter Faster Louder” while sneaking in a few from their Self Titled and a few covers that were featured on Cheap Shots Youth Anthem.

Stage banter was kept to an absolute minimum, except for the occasional thanking the crowd for supporting them over the years, asking to keep the lights bright (so no one gets hurt in the pit… actually appreciated), and Dan talking about how Rise Above still gives him chills.

I’m torn about going to NYC to see them.  On one hand, it’s fucking Kid Dynamite and I need to see them every chance I get… on the other, seeing them end at their hometown with that solid set was perfect.

Setlist:

Pits and Poison Apples
Death And Taxes
Cheap Shot Youth Anthem
Copout
Pause
K05-0564
Table 19
PH-Decontrol
Living Daylights
Introduction To Opposites
Gate 68
Rise Above (Black Flag Cover)
Birthdays (Token Entry Cover)
Showoff
Bookworm
Scary Smurf
Never Met The Gooch
Got A Minute
The Penske File
Zuko’s Back In Town
Two For Flinching
Give Em The Ripped One
News At 11
Pacifier
Shiner
Fuck U Turn
Heart A Tact

Mp3:
Kill Your Idols – Right Now
Kid Dynamite – Heart A Tact

There’s Chapters In This Book That I Haven’t Even Read Yet
Kid Dynamite, And The Art Of Moshing Everywhere
Full Kid Dynamite Set (2010)
Kill Your Idols – From Companionship To Competition
Kill Your Idols – No Gimmicks Needed
Kill Your Idols – This Is Just The Beginning

 

Comeback Kid, Wisdom In Chains Live In Philadelphia (6/12/13)

comeback kid philly flyer

I want to tell you a little story (because it makes me warm inside… bonus points if you get the reference): I’ve been a Comeback Kid since they came out with Turn It Around back in 2003, and I finally was getting a chance to see them when they came around my neck of the woods in 2006.  A young me was stoked… until vocalist Scott Wade announced A FEW DAYS BEFORE I GOT TO SEE THEM that he was quitting the band, and that the guitarist was taking over vocal duties.  I was pretty bummed out, and went to see them (or more like Figure Four covering Comeback Kid songs) and while I had fun, it was not the same.  I’ve seen them one other time since then, and again, while fun… not really the same.

Then I saw that Comeback Kid was doing an anniversary tour with Scott playing songs exclusively off of the first two albums (the only ones I knew).  Yeah, no way I was missing that one. I showed up to Philly’s heralded First Unitarian Church basement, and holy shit, it was packed with 300 people and fucking hot as all fuck, but I wasn’t going to let that deter me.  I got there in time for Wisdom in Chains, who I actually enjoy a bit.

Wisdom In Chains

For the longest time, I always thought Wisdom In Chains were your typical “OMG SO TOUGHZ” band, with lyrics about fighting and plenty of chunky breakdowns that brutal DOODZ in basketball jerseys and Earth Crisis tattoos lost their shit to (a style of hardcore I completely despise).  Sure, there’s some of that, but after actually giving them a chance and listening to them and seeing them a few, they actually have way more punk elements than your typical hardcore band and I’ve grown to dig them quite a bit.

Admittedly, I don’t know many of their songs except for their album Die Young, but I can guarentee you I completely lost my shit and two stepped my way through “Fighting In The Streets” and “Liar”.  These PA guys played a solid set with the crowd completely going off, with stage dives and dancing the entire way through.  Every time I see them, I have more and more fun.

Comeback Kid

When Comeback Kid finished soundchecking, the Canadian’s answer to Bane broke straight into “All In A Year”, “Give And Take”, and “Die Tonight”… with the last song being the most accurate, as everyone dancing in the crowd (including myself) completely lost their shit and collectively hyperventilated in the heat.  What the fuck ever, completely worth it.  The band didn’t miss a beat, and embraced all the pile-ons, stage dives and general rowdiness, creating a symbiotic relationship between us and the band with all of us feeding off of each other’s energy.

Things, as they tend to do at hardcore shows got rowdy quick (I took a few fists to the face resulting in a bit of a black eye from a dancer swinging just a bit too high, to which I responded by two stepping harder… nothing was killing this high), and the band didn’t give us a moments rest keeping stage banter to a bare minimum before launching into their next onslaught of “Talk Is Cheap”.  Most in the crowd looked like they were about to die, but we didn’t let up… knowing that this was a once in a lifetime show these days.

Easily the best show I’ve been to all year, if you were in Philly and you like hardcore and missed it… you fucked up big time.

Setlist:

All In A Year
Give and Take
Die Tonight
Talk Is Cheap
Without A Word
Changing Face
Partners In Crime
Always
Lorelei
False Idols Fall
Step Ahead
The Trouble I Love
Our Distance
Final Goodbye
Wake The Dead

MP3:
Comeback Kid – All In A Year
Wisdom In Chains – Fighting In The Streets

You’re All The Same:
Comeback Kid – Turn It Around
Wisdom In Chains – Die Young
American Nightmare – Background Music

 

 

Violent Society, Blanks 77, Combat Crisis (Live In Trenton 4/20/13)

This past Saturday, I headed to my old home state of NJ to catch a bunch of damn good street punk bands that do not play anywhere near often enough.  The show was at Joe’s Mill Hill Saloon, which was this small little dive with a stage in it’s intimate basement, making it feel like any other house show (but with better bathrooms).

Everything about the show reeked of Philly: almost all the bands (minus Blanks 77) and the crowd came out from Philly to party.  I unfortunately missed most of the openers due to traffic, but I got there at the end of Dopestroke’s set, which definitely had people dancing throughout.

Combat Crisis


The first band I was able to catch in it’s entirety was Combat Crisis, the Philly street punk band who’ve made quite a name for themselves.  Combat Crisis had people singing along and sporadic pits throughout their energetic and fun set.  Female fronted punk rock, definitely check them out if you get a chance.

Blanks 77

NJ’s finest party pogo punks, it’s rare for them to play a show these days, so I try to make sure to catch Blanks 77 whenever they come around.  It seemed like the majority of people there were for Blanks 77, and fairly so… these guys (and gal) have been inspiring pogo pits and sing-alongs since 1990.  Us in the crowd were in a frenzy from the opening note, and didn’t really let up for the majority of the show.

Apparently the band is working on some new material as well, which would be pretty damn sweet since their last full length came out in 1998.

Highlights:
I Don’t Wanna Be
Up The System
I Wanna Be A Punk
We Are The Punks
Radio Hits
Void (I think they played this one)
Losing My Brain
Party Train

I missed The Heels because I had to go grab some food (and from the sound of it, I regret missing them), but made it back in perfect time for the other reason I came to the show… Violent Society.

Violent Society:

Violent Society is another band that plays incredibly infrequently these days, and they always put on a damn good show as well.  Some of the crowd thinned after Blanks 77 and The Heels, but there was still a sizeable amount fixed in the basement to see the Philly street punk legends.

Singalongs abound, Violent Society played a bunch from all of their releases… including closing with one of my personal favorites “You’re Gonna Fall”.  Definitely a good time, it made me realize I don’t go to nearly enough street punk shows anymore.

Setlist:
Philly Shreds
I Wanna Know
It’s Only Your Life
Can’t Stop You
Sick Sick Sick
Fashion Song
Behind The Bullshit
Rise Of Punk
Call Me
Coming Back For You
Totally Fucked
We Don’t Believe
Consumed
Violated
The Problem
Alone
Time Of Distraught
Piss On You
Culture Magnet
In Crowd
Why Do You Deny
Mr Suit
Sarges Last Stand
You’re Gonna Fall

MP3:
Violent Society – I Wanna Know
Blanks 77 – Radio Hits

More Punk Rock:
The Unseen – Lower Class Crucifixion
The Virus – Nowhere to Hide
Minor Disturbance – Bullet For You

Buy:
Blanks 77
Violent Society

Paint It Black, Joyce Manor, Loma Prieta, Congenital Death, Bad Side Live In Philly (3/31/13)

It’s the fucking Paint It Black record release show!  I’ve been stoked on this show ever since they announced it, and the fact that Philly local hardcore dudes Bad Side and female fronted hardcore band Congenital Death were on the bill were a huuuuge plus.  I headed to the sold out First Unitarian Church, and while hurting a bit (sprained my ankle, didn’t help my cause at World Inferno) I planned on completely losing my shit regardless.

Bad Side:

It didn’t take long for me to completely lose my shit, as Bad Side were the first ones up.  I’ve been listening to their demo ever since they released it back in October, and like Dan Yemin said during PIB’s set: “If you showed up late, you fucked up.”

It was my first time seeing them, and they completely tore shit up with their fast as fuck hardcore.  A few of us easily got a pit going, and stage dives were plentiful.  You need to check them out, period.

Congenital Death:

Another Philly local band, these gal and guys often play with Bad Side, so the same set of us who went off during Bad Side continued the antics up through their set.  Congenital Death play brutal powerviolence hardcore, and are often compared to Punch or Death Rats.  They’ve really seemed to find their sound since the last time I caught them at The Barbary, and I definitely need to check their recorded stuff out.

I wound up missing the majority of Loma Prieta’s set, but I was able to catch most of Joyce Manor.

Joyce Manor:

I know that Joyce Manor is all the rage these days, but admittedly I never got a chance to check them out. They definitely had a lot of energy, and fans were constantly stage diving through out the set.  They played that style of pop-punk that is really big (at least here in Philly) similar to Spraynard or Iron Chic, but personally I’m not really a fan of that noodling guitar punk.  They did put on an energetic set though that even I was able to appreciate.

Paint It Black:

Paint It Black playing two Philly shows in the span of a few months?  Be still my heart.  Throughout the interwebs (or the information super highway as I like to call it), Paint It Black have essentially streamed their entire new Invisible EP through various blogs, and I’ve been seriously listening to it nonstop any time I’m near a computer.  So needless to say, I was fucking stoked to hear these new songs live.

Paint It Black took the stage, and immediately busted out into “Greeting Fellow Insomniacs”, the opening track off of Invisible. The band continued their onslaught of aggressive yet melodic hardcore playing songs from their entire discography, keeping the pauses brief.  We in the crowd were constantly barraging Dan with a bunch of pile-ons,  constant dives, and had a pit going through out their entire set (would you expect anything less from their hometown)?

The band thanked us for coming out to the show even though it’s Easter Sunday, and gave us some background on the new EP.

Incredibly tight setlist, they played everything off of Invisible and a lot of my (and crowd) favorites.

Setlist:
Greetings Fellow Insomniacs
Past Tense, Future Perfect
CVA
Exit Wounds
Props For Ventriloquists
Atticus Fitch
Four Deadly Venoms
D.F.W
Salem
Invisible
Election Day
Head First
Pink Slip
Cannibal
Womb Envy
Memorial Day
Little Fists
The Ledge
Surrender
We Will Not

Mp3:
Bad Side – Demo
Paint It Black – Four Simple Steps to Total Life Satisfaction

You Don’t Know This Song, But I Caught You Trying To Sing Along:
Bad Side – Demo Review
Paint it Black – CVA
The Steal – Bright Grey
Lighten Up – Absolutely Not

Buy:
Paint It Black
Bad Side

Desmond Dekker – This Is Desmond Dekkar (For fans of Bob Marley, Toots And The Maytals, Prince Buster)

Ask 10 people their favorite musical artist from Jamaica, and 9 out of 10 are going to say Bob Marley.  The other person is probably going to get Jamaica confused with Cuba and go on some rant about Communism (fuck that guy).

Unless you’re hanging with a bunch of knowledgeable ska nerds (don’t worry, you’re in good company here), you’re probably not going to get Desmond Dekker as an answer, although he is hands down my personal favorite and one of the most influential artists to ever come out of Jamaica. Desmond Dekker’s third full length release This Is Desmond Dekkar is a ska masterpiece and one of the greatest of all time.

It was a time before every single reggae/rocksteady song was about being a rasta and about Jah.  Released back in 1969 on Trojan Records, This Is Desmond Dekkar featured 12 ska/rocksteady/reggae classics, and nearly every one of them is a hit.  While many people suggest new fans check out his greatest hits compilations (and that’s not a terrible idea) I also think the 3rd full length is also a good starting point.  Relaxing yet energetic at the same time, songs such as “007 (Shanty Town)” perfectly demonstrate what Desmond was all about: dynamic vocal delivery over offbeat rhythms. The song “Beautiful And Dangerous” shows just how much vocal ground Desmond could cover with the chorus sounding like a desperate plea, pouring raw emotion into every word.

Even though contemporaries such as Bob Marley (who Desmond Dekker helped make famous by introducing the unknown Bob to his producer) and Toots and The Maytals (who have a bitter song called “Desmond Dekker Came First” with a bit of interesting history behind it) may be more popular these days, Desmond Dekker was one of the most (if not the most important) musicians to ever come out of Jamaica.

MP3:
Desmond Dekker – Beautiful And Dangerous

More Sweet, Sweet Ska:
Scenester 101: How to Be a 3rd Wave Ska Dork
Toots and The Maytals – Monkey Man
The Ethopians
The Slackers – Self Medication

Buy:
Amazon

Texas Is The Reason Live In Philadelphia (2/16/13)

Texas Is The Reason twice in less than 6 months… am I lucky, or what?  Saturday night I got a chance to see Texas Is The Reason again with some friends, only this time I stayed pretty close to home heading out to Philly’s own Union Transfer.  I missed Title Fight (confession time: I’m not a huge Title Fight fan although I heard their new album is killer… maybe I’ll give them another listen) but made it with plenty of time to see Texas Is The Reason.

Preparing for a night of melancholy post hardcore, TITR took the stage to a sold out crowd and told us about how they were dedicating the set to a kid who was terminally ill and had tickets to the show but sadly passed away hours beforehand (and if you know him, my thoughts go out to you).  They said that his parents informed them that the last song he listened to before he died was “Do You Know Who You Are” and so they opened with the instrumental track.

From there on, the band proceeded to play through most of their incredibly short discography with the majority of us oldsters shouting along every word.  While the show never got that rowdy, we definitely lost our shit to songs like “If It’s Here When We Get Back It’s Ours” and “Back And To The Left” (obviously).

The band played tightly, and threw in a new songs (well… they wrote it years ago).  I’m not sure if this is the last time I will ever see Texas Is The Reason, but I feel lucky enough to just be able to catch them twice now.  Anything other reunion shows are just bonuses at this point.

Setlist (From what I remember and not in order at all):
Do You Know Who You Are?
The Magic Bullet Theory
Johnny On The Spot
If It’s Here When We Get Back, It’s Ours
Nickel Wound
Something To Forget
There’s No Way I Can Talk Myself Out Of This One
Dressing Cold
Blue Boy
The Day’s Refrain
Back And To The Left

Encore:
A Jack With One Eye

MP3:
Texas Is The Reason – If It’s Here When We Get Back, It’s Ours

This Is Only Fun For Me:
Texas Is The Reason – Self Titled EP
Lifetime – Hello Bastards

Buy:
Revelation Records

Donovan was rarely injured, then suddenly he was. That’s an incredibly frustrating feeling.

Top 10 Of 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, non-gender identifying people:  the moment you’ve all been waiting for since the moment you were born.  I present to you the Battle Of The Midwestern Housewives top 10 releases of 2012!

Obviously I didn’t get a chance to check everything out that I wanted to (Classics of Love, Hot Water Music’s new album, etc) and I ALWAYS wind up leaving something off the list that should have made it (like Punch’s Nothing Lasts EP would definitely be my #1 of 2011… ah well). In addition, I was saddened that some of my favorite bands didn’t make the cut with their latest (Bouncing Souls, Ceremony), and as good as that new Kesha song is, I spared you all.

10. Morning Glory – Poets Were My Heroes

If we’re going to be totally honest, I wasn’t expecting too much from the latest Morning Glory release.  Sure, I like Ezra’s (Leftover Crack, Choking Victim) project enough, but I thought everything with crack rock steady has been said and done already.  Boy was I surprised to hear strings, pianos, and all sorts of instrumentation on this album.  Clean production, poppy melodies, and punk rock snarl make Poets Were My Heroes one incredibly surprising listen.

Morning Glory – Shelter From The Spoon

9. Municipal Waste – The Fatal Feast

These Richmond crossover thrash kings have exploded over recent years, and I am happy to say that The Fatal Feast was a return to their aggressive, party fest sound that seemed to be missing from their lackluster Massive Aggressive.  Music to break stuff to.

Municipal Waste – Unholy Abductor

8. NOFX – Self Entitled (review coming still)

NOFX have been doing this punk thing for quite some time (30 years now) and they found the formula that works for them.  Some people say that they just release the same album over and over, but you know what?  I like that fucking album.  Sure, you won’t find anything too original here, but that’s what makes it so refreshing in a year that my favorite bands decided to try something new.

NOFX – She Didn’t Lose Her Baby

7. OFF! – OFF!

Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks) is 57 years old with diabetes, and still rocks harder than a strong majority of bands who’s just a fraction of his age. With 16 songs in 15 minutes and aggressive punk rock without any of the frills, you’d think that this was actually recorded in the 80s.

OFF – I Got News For You

6. Best Practices – The EP LP

I don’t know much about the band except for the fact that this release completely kills it. Just like your mom, Best Practices takes a bunch of ingredients, throws it in a blender, and makes a much more delicious smoothie than anyone else who even tries.  Noisy, garage, melodic punk rock that you need to hear.

Best Practices – Future Cougar

5. Ghostlimb – Confluence (review coming still)

Even though I listen to member’s other bands (Graf Orlock, Dangers), I just discovered Ghostlimb this year, and holy shit am I glad I did.  Playing the most melodic hardcore, borderline grindcore imaginable, Ghostlimb turns up the aggression a notch on Confluence to make everything else you listen to just seem so passive.  If you dig Tragedy at all, check this one out.

Ghostlimb – Southeast First

4. Hold Tight/Direct Hit Split


It seems like pop-punk and hardcore have always been closely related, and nothing seems to prove this more than two pop-punk bands joining forces to release one fuck of a release.  Both bands were pretty active in 2012, but I have to admit, this is easily my favorite of any of their releases of the year.  Quick to the point hardcore.

Hold Tight – Always

3. Static Radio NJ – We Are All Beasts

Static Radio NJ is one of those very few bands that I’ve been listening to since the start, and have seen evolve, and actually LIKE their new sound.  Starting off as a straight up hardcore band, Static Radio evolved to playing more Lifetime-esque melodies.  Unfortunately the band called it quits this year, but that shouldn’t stop you from checking out their latest (and last).

Static Radio NJ – I Might Kill

2. Bomb The Music Industry – Vacation

When I first listened to BTMI’s Vacation, I hated it.  It was a complete departure from the ska-punk I know and love from the Brooklynites, but after a friend encouraged me to give it another chance, I completely fell in love.  They slowed it down a bit, and bust out some of the most heartfelt songs we’ve ever heard from them.

Bomb The Music Industry – Sick, Later

1. Propagandhi – Failed States

Propagandhi can do no wrong (well, except for Potemkin City Limits… I didn’t like that album).  The once skate punk now thrash champions return with some of the most aggressive, hard hitting music they’ve ever released… and it’s good… real good.

Propagandhi – Failed States

BONUS:

Just for the fuck of things, here’s a list of my favorite 5 shows I’ve been to in 2012:

5. Cock Sparrer, Street Dogs, Paint It Black @ Union Transfer
4. American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) @ Webster Hall
3. Propagandhi, Comeback Kid, One Win Choice @ Union Transfer
2. Guttermouth, The Scandals, Tonight We Strike @ The Fire
1. Grey Area @ The Fire (1/28/12)

More End Of Year Lists:
Top 10 Of 2011
The Top 11 Albums of 2010
The 10 Best Albums of 2009
Best Of 2008
Best Of 2007