Posts Tagged ‘ punk ’

Gogol Bordello isn’t playing with you (but they’re playing Fugazi for you)

Or maybe they kind of are! ToolboxDC got a video of Gogol Bordello covering Fugazi’s “Blueprint” at the 9:30 Club a couple weeks ago.

It’s kind of fun how Eugene Hütz fakes out the audience into thinking he’s about to start playing “Start Wearing Purple” and then tells the crowd “It’s not that song.” Goes to show how all punk songs use the same three chords. But only in the best way, obviously.

Gogol Bordello- Blueprint. live at 9:30 Club, DC 12-28-14 from brian liu on Vimeo.

Thanks to Bandwidth DC for this story. Bonus: They include a link to Atom and His Package’s majestic cover of “Waiting Room.”

Cheers to a rude, reckless and revolutionizing 2015

Now playing:

A friend of mine posted on Facebook about how in 2014, some good things happened and some bad things happened. Then some really bad things happened. Then some really good things happened. And that’s what happens every year.

I agree. 2014 made me cringe, cry and hurt — sometimes in pain, and a lot of other times in laughter. Hell, the last time I posted on here was over a year ago and was a really tough post. A lot more beautiful people were lost the following year. Other people did surprising and beautiful things.

Two nights ago was the first time in years that I actively wrote down stuff I want to give myself 365 days to do and change. One of them is to bring back rudie tuesdays. I missed a lot of moments that I wished I’d written about in 2014. A lot of pieces of life changed for me that year. I don’t want 2015 to go by without a chance to be another voice on the internet drawing my own conclusions and having opinions at a screen.

So among other things that I hope I stand by, I resolve to muse, rant and link regularly again in 2015. I’m shooting for every Tuesday, but let’s not get carried away — bi-weekly is likely where I’ll start.

And in honor of the new year, here’s something old: I finally listened to Bandwidth’s top DC songs of 2014 today. It make me realize that why am I not listening to more Priests all of the time. Every song I hear of theirs rocks, and I always want more loud distortion-filled music by women who rock. Their vocalist has a gritty, powerful, no-apologies voice and Courtney Love-esque hair. Check out the fourth song on Bandwidth’s list: “Right Wing” by Priests. And then go listen to everything else on their Bandcamp.

I can honestly say that in all my years of punk my hair never looked like this

 

PUNK: Chaos to Couture

The exhibit covers punk fashion from the early 1970s through today and features “approximately one hundred designs for men and women,” including “original punk garments and recent, directional fashion to illustrate how haute couture and ready-to-wear borrow punk’s visual symbols.” Like seeing a shirt that says “SPERM” in one of the most refined spaces in New York City!

 

via Gothamist (some images NSFWish)

How does she rock so hard in those shoes?!

How does she rock so hard in those shoes?!

Seriously. I literally have fallen down while trying to put on shoes like that. I wish I could rock out on stage half as hard as Laura Jane, and I could probably only make that happen in flats.

h/t FY!QM

Baby, I’m an Anarchist (Rap Version)

Published on Mar 10, 2013
Check out Greasy’s take on Against me- Baby, I’m an anarchist.
http://www.truthandloyalty.com
http://facebook.com/truthandloyalty

GREASY NICHOLS
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/greasynichol
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/greasynic…
Twitter:http://twitter.com/greasynichols

Found this via Laura Jane Grace on Twitter. It’s glorious. I get a kick out of the CNN logo popping up in the corner from all their footage.

Freas’s vocals …

Freas’s vocals are probably the best part of the whole album. Not that Canino is bad, he has a perfectly fine voice and a great yell when he needs it, but as a friend told me recently, “I’m sick of dude voices,” especially in punk. They’re everywhere and a lot of them tend to sound the same, so the tracks where Freas takes the lead are real stand outs.

From a friend’s review of the latest RVIVR album, The Beauty Between. (You should probably go check out his blog, because it’s awesome.) I was going to write my own review on this album, but then I read his. And it’s basically pretty much everything I wanted to say about it. So read his review, and it’ll be like you’re reading all the things I would’ve written in my review. Also, I’m proud to say I’m the quoted friend who is sick of dude’s voices, especially in punk music. Yet another reason this album is awesome.

Okay okay, this is my last RVIVR post for a while since I know I’ve been posting obsessively about them lately. (At least until they put out a new music video. Or do anything else otherwise awesome.)

In which, Lucero

Listening to: Well, see below

I was planning on writing about women in the punk scene this week.

But it’s late, and I’m tired, so that blog entry will have to wait for tomorrow.

It’ll be a good one, though.

Until then, here’s some Lucero that refuses to leave my brain:

An excerpt of the lyrics that is especially embedded in my cranium this evening:

So what if all my heroes are the losing kind?

We ended up with nothing, but we put up a fight

And most of it was choices we never asked to choose

The rest of it was luck and now we’ve run out of that too

What are you willing to lose?

What are you willing to lose?

I spent every dollar just to try and earn a dime

I’d try to make you hate me just to try and make you mine

It doesn’t really matter if I’m telling you the truth

What you see is all that’s left, the rest is up to you

What are you willing to lose?

In which I contemplate the validity of including an alt-rock band on a punk-rock compilation

Listening to: Descendents/Black Keys/Punk-O-Rama 8
(I’m all over the map today)

The last Punk-O-Rama compilation I ever bought was volume 9.  The last (and also first!) time I saw The Black Keys perform live was this past Saturday at Virgin FreeFest.

Connection: On Punk-O-Rama volume 8, the last song on the first disk is a track called “Thickfreakness” by a band called The Black Keys.

There’s a good chance I wouldn’t enjoy The Keys nearly as much as I do (or at least wouldn’t have come across them when I did) if it hadn’t been for that Punk-O-Rama comp.

The Keys’ performance this year at Free Fest was amazing.  In a move that thoroughly surprised me, the band opened with “Thickfreakness,” which is also the title track off one of their better albums.  While it took a minute to remember where I had first heard the song, recollecting that it was off a punk compilation CD was a bit surprising for present-day me.

What the heck were The Black Keys doing on a Punk-O-Rama comp?  Looking back at the other tracks, for that matter, what the heck were Matchbook Romance, Atmosphere and The Transplants doing on there? And is Epitaph even running the Punk-O-Rama series any more?

While I couldn’t necessarily tell you why some other unfortunate choices for bands were selected on volume 8, it turns out Epitaph stopped making the comps at volume 10 in 2005.  (Incidentally, I somehow picked up the Hot Water Music track from that comp but nothing else.  Not completely sure how.) It was probably a good idea, because by volume 8 I was already questioning what system of musical qualifications the label was using to decide what bands to include on the “punk” compilation.

Still, it begs the question: With such a variety of musical styles on a compilation that started as straight up punk rock music, which is more punk: Including bands that don’t necessarily fit the genre but still rock, or staying true to punk music and the punk identity?

The Black Keys are not, and never were, on the Epitaph label to my (and Wikipedia’s) knowledge.  Sure, some back-door deal could’ve gone on to get them on the album, but that in itself would not be very punk at all.  More likely, whoever was putting the comp together really liked The Black Keys and wanted a song of theirs included on the album.

And take The Transplants–from the first single the band put out, they were criticized for not being punk rock even though it was formed by punk legend Tim Armstrong of Operation Ivy and Rancid fame.  Part of the problem, I think, is people are afraid of change.  Sure, we always crave new music, but throw a curveball like a style of music we’re not expecting from an artist we think we know and all hell can break loose.  The same holds true for a well-established compilation.

By the time Punk-O-Rama volume 8 came around, I thought I knew what to expect from Epitaph on the comps.  I thought volume 7 was a musical masterpiece with a variety of bands I either already loved and respected or were introduced to on the comp and came to love and/or respect by listening to their albums.  I vaguely remember being surprised and a little hurt when I heard volume 8 for the first time.  2003-rudiegirl must’ve been sitting there thinking, “what’s coming out of my stereo?  Am I listening to the Mortal Kombat soundtrack?  Oh, no, it’s just Tim Armstrong’s new punk-rap band. Right.”

Disappointed as I was at first, good came out of that.  The Black Keys are a band I had put on the back burner for years since then, but truly rock.  Especially live, as I can now say from experience.  But the issue still tugs at my music-senses–they just didn’t belong on that Punk-O-Rama volume, no matter how great the song was.

Since then, as punks have aged and become more jaded, they’ve become more accepting of a variety of styles.  I appreciate much more music than I used to and I try as often as possible to listen to new styles and new bands.  Without that compilation from Epitaph, my experience with quite a few bands might have been very different.  And while I still feel like the label serious stretched the idea of what those comps were going for, I know one thing for certain: I will never, ever enjoy music by Matchbook Romance.

In which I accidentally review another album: “Vacation” by Bomb the Music Industry!

Listening to: “Vacation” by Bomb the Music Industry! Vacation

Note: My plan for this entry really wasn’t to make it a review, but that does seem to be what happened.  Again. Maybe there is something to this stuff?  Anyway, whether or not you’ve heard BTMI’s “Vacation” yet, read on to find out why it’s a solid summer album.  And why second chances are always important.

A QUICK CRITIQUE OF ONE OR TWO SONGS

Today’s “Listening to” album brought to you by music-rudie-thinks-she-hates-the-first-time-around-then-changes-her-mind-about. (yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition.  Sorry, grammar nerds.) I was so, so disappointed in this album the first time I heard it.  (I promise this isn’t the Junior Battles review all over again… done with parentheses now, I also promise.)  I thought the three singles I had heard before the album was released–namely, “Everybody that You Love,” “Hurricane Waves” and “Can’t Complain”–were the only good tracks on the album.  And even out of those, the first one was the only one that really stuck with me.  The second song on the album, “Vocal Coach,” sounded just repetitive, kind of like a “this is the song that never ends…” ditty.  Even with a few listen-throughs, I felt really let down.  BTMI’s last album, “Scrambles,” was a masterpiece in my mind.

Then I vaguely started to remember something.

The first couple of times I listened to “Scrambles,” I thought it was awful.  Where was the insane ska/punk/hardcore/undefinable band I knew and loved from prior albums, who came up with songs like  “I’m Too Cooooool For Music” and “From Martyrdom to Star(tyr)dom” and covered entire Weezer albums at shows?

See, the thing is, BTMI! grows through their albums a ton more than many other bands.  Some bands do a great job of progressing and growing together through their albums while keeping true to one sound–with ska bands, The Slackers are great at this, for example.  In pop punk, every Ergs! album is trustworthy.  But BTMI! doesn’t do things this way, and it’s part of what makes them so awesome.

For instance, one track on the album, which I just now remembered because it just came on, is a 38-second tune that sounds like it was pulled out of the score from “The Little Mermaid.”  It’s part of the reason that when I first got the album, I thought I was being trolled and had downloaded the wrong thing.  I still think it could be shoved into any Disney movie, but now I respect and accept it as part of what makes this crazy album so great.

This is the problem I first had with “Scrambles.” BTMI! doesn’t follow any guidelines or rules regarding genres or style in their music.  Jeff Rosenstock, who writes most of the band’s music, is an incredible, forward-thinking musician.  He helps BTMI! progress their music through each new release, regardless of the style or feeling set up in a prior album.  The reason I was upset with “Scrambles” and “Vacation” was that they weren’t what I was expecting.  After a few listens to really let the music sink in, I realized that’s part of BTMI!’s appeal.  It’s nice to know when you like a certain style of music, but why tie yourself down to it?  BTMI! completely breaks down that idea; they seem to say, “Here’s a new song, kids!  Parts of it sound like the background music to Donkey Kong for SNES mixed with Dillinger Four! Enjoy!”  They don’t let themselves or kids who listen to their music and go to their shows fall into a rut of the same old  junk.

Though I thoroughly love “Album Minus Band,” “Get Warmer,” “Goodbye Cool World” and “To Leave or Die on Long Island,” I feel like the songs on earlier these albums could easily be interchanged from one record to another without me noticing.  With “Scrambles” and “Vacation” (and also “Adults!!!…” even though I haven’t really mentioned that album in this entry), when I hear a track I can immediately place which album it came from.  With the direction these guys are going, I can’t wait to see what’ll be on the next album.  I wouldn’t be surprised if I go through the same dejected, confused, wondering-what-happened-to-them phase for the first few listens, and then fall completely in love with the new album.

This album must be called “Vacation” for a reason, because listening to it just feels like summer.  Plus, you know, all the tracks about surfing.

…I LIED ABOUT THAT “QUICK” PART

Whoops?

MOAR RECORDZ

I will now go listen to this album on fancy schmancy orange and pink vinyl while wearing the shiny new BTMI! t-shirt that came with it and reading every single word on the album cover (kidding!…).  I suggest you do the same.  At least the listening part.

In which I post my first review because I realized “Idle Ages” by Junior Battles is the album of my 2011 summer

Listening to: “Idle Ages” by Junior Battles

I’m not much of a reviewer because I’m not very good at it.  And since reviews are my weak point, I’m not really keen on them.  It’s like one of those vicious cycle things.  Journalism I enjoy, editorials too, but critiques–not my thing.  But I’m going to try it anyway, because this is an album that deserves it.  Hopefully I’ll do it justice.

ON PAPER THE DISTANCE DOESN’T SEEM THAT BAD

On the bus home from work today with my headphones tuned into the aforementioned album, I was thinking about a different topic I planned to be writing about for this entry.  That’s when I realized “Idle Ages” has become the album of my summer.

It was surprising because I put together mixes filled with songs by other bands just for this summer.  I predicted other albums by other bands would become my summer anthems.  And the first few times I listened to “Idle Ages” I was disappointed because I thought Junior Battles’ self-titled EP was the one of the best pop-punk albums since The Queers put out “Summer Hits No. 1.”  But the day before on the bus home I had been listening to Lucero’s “1372 Overton Park” and I realized that album, no matter how summery it sounds to my ears, will forever be a winter album in my brain.  Today’s bus ride gave me the revelation that “Idle Ages” is the same way, but tied to the summer.

ARM IN ARM IN ARM IN ARM

A lot of times people listen to a song and think it must’ve been written for them because it describes their lives so exactly.  I’m no exemption, but I’m realistic enough to know the music probably wasn’t actually written about my life no matter how much it parallels it.  But “Idle Ages” manages this freakishly well for where I am in life right now.

The first three tracks on the album are called “Seventeen,” “Twenty Five” and “Nostalgia at 23.”  Aside from the fact that I’m nearly smack-dab in the middle of those ages–and that lately I’ve been noticing a surprisingly large number of bands have songs about being 25–the nostalgia that “Seventeen” and “23” evoke is impossible for me not to relate to. All the songs contain that same feeling of growing up and not knowing what the hell you’re doing, but somehow getting through it and trying to have as much damn fun as possible anyway.  In fact, that’s how the entire album feels.  Pop punk is definitely a good genre to pull that that off, but way too many pop punk bands don’t get that right.

The best seriously summery albums also make good use of what I like to call the “hopeful chords,” or what Hot Water Music refers to as “Trusty Chords” (I think HWM would concur with me on this one).  “Idle Ages” is filled with these chords without being overloaded.  The band slows things down with “Architecture,” a short 46-second track that serves as a kind of intermission.  It’s the type of song 16-year-old me would’ve skipped over for being too slow, but now it just feels beautiful.  And not in a corny way, even though I know that’s exactly how that sounds as I type it.

Plus, horns.  I’m a sucker for bands that stick a horn section or even just a horn solo into their music.  The track “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” has a horn solo towards the end.  I’m thinking it’s sax, but I can’t be positive because for all the love I have for the instruments, I can’t really for the life of me distinguish between them by sound alone.  Still, that solo rounds out the song, ending a great track with a truly relatable message on a striking note.

WE’LL STILL HAVE OURSELVES WHEN WE DON’T OWN ANYTHING ELSE

The parallels for my 2011 summer go on and on with this album. Losing touch with friends, wanting to fix that, but not knowing how is the theme of “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”.  I’d be lying if I said I don’t have bouts of feeling that way year round, but this summer especially has been one of ruminating on lost and distanced friendships.

Then there’s also moving into a new apartment, participating (read: getting thrown into) adult life/the real world/real life/whatever else you want to call it and just trying to wing it.  This is one of these parts of life that I think pretty much everyone goes through but only some people are able to write successful songs about.  It makes me wonder if I’d feel the same way about this album if I first heard it at age 15 or 30, but that’s something I probably won’t ever know.

THE CLOCK SAYS IT’S 2 AM, WE WAKE UP AT 4

I stole the titles for all the sections in this entry from Junior Battles’ lyrics on “Idle Ages.”  This one is appropriate because I’ll be waking up at 4:30 a.m. tomorrow for work. Is this song about me or what?

Also, drop me a line–is this “review” any good? Should I quit trying the review game and stick to commentary? Or is it even a review at all?  Comments appreciated!

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