Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Nurse the Hate: Hardcore and Punk

The Whiskey Daredevils have undertaken a project in conjunction with our German label Knock-Out Records of recording classic hardcore punk songs a la Daredevil style. This has led to a rather in depth inspection of hardcore and punk from 1977-1988 (or my glory days in the subgenre). It is with this in mind I present to you some must own albums of this time period.

1) Dead Kennedys “Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables”: This is the one that shows the DKs at their best both in attacking the songs as well as direct sensational lyric writing from Jello Biafra. I was busy listening to albums about wizards and magical swords until I heard this. Right then I understood music could be funny, aggressive, and serious at the same time. It became impossible to listen to Rush again…“Holiday in Cambodia” is arguably the first American punk anthem. “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” has a great surf lick, with the added bonus of lyrics that make sense to a guy paying $300 a month for a shitty college apartment. All the hits are on it…”Chemical Warfare”, “Kill the Poor”, “Stealing People’ Mail”, “Funland on the Beach”, and their great cover of “Viva Las Vegas”. If they had put “Police Truck” on it, it may have been one of the best rock records ever.
2) Black Flag “Damaged” : A 19 year old kid told me all music from the 80s sucked. I gave him a copy of this and it caved his head in. All those crappy nu metal bands wish they could harness the raw energy and adolescent rage in this DIY recording. “Six Pack”, “Gimme Gimme Gimme” and “Thirsty and Miserable” are great songs by guys that didn’t really know what they were doing and didn’t give a shit. I saw Rollins do these songs on that West Memphis Benefit tour, and I still felt like putting my head through a wall when anything from this release was played.
3) Fear “The Record”: Sure, there’s some stuff on this that didn’t work. But the stuff that does? “I Don’t Care About You” is perfect. Lee Ving is like that drunk in the back of an airplane whose every word carries unwanted to the front of the plane. You don’t want to listen to him, but you have no choice. I Don’t Care about you/Fuck You! I don’t think he was making that up. How great is “New York’s Alright If You Like Saxaphones”? Stupid and smart at the same time, Fear was like the playground bully that secretly got straight A's.
4) Butthole Surfers “Brown Reason to Live”: I remember the first time I saw the cover of this record, and thought “Are you allowed to release records like this? Shouldn’t the Authorities be called in?”. The distended African children’s bellies in black and white give way to the complete tunelessness (but somehow unforgettable) “The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave”. I still don’t know what the hell “Wichita Cathedral” is all about. Was “Gary Floyd” on this? This record is like the worst acid trip ever, and the evil twin to Pink Floyd’s “Piper at the Gates of Dawn”. Yes, acid can be like a visit to the magical kingdom of H.R. Puffinstuff. It can also be like this...If you need to clear a room at a party, drop this on them and watch the uninitiated run for the doors.
5) Minutemen “Three Way Tie For Last”: I know the trendy pick is for Double Nickles on the Dime, but this might be more accessible. Double Nickles with 48 songs is almost overwhelming. I love the songs “Courage” (with Madonna’s Like A Virgin bass line swiped by Watt), and “The Big Stick” in the way they shine D. Boon’s good heart mixed with his unflappable sense of right/wrong. “Stories” is a quiet, adult, latin flavored, girl-done-me-wrong song. A great cover of the Meat Puppet’s “Lost” (before that Kurt Cobain fella decided to give it a shot), and CCR’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” complete the record. This is a perfect way to see what the fuss was about and build up a strong hunger for more Minutemen. Then you can go tackle Double Nickles…

Random Notes: I strongly advise on ordering a Rogue Double Chocolate Stout when you next have the opportunity. It’s good tasting and good for you….The Indians “home” series vs the Angels has been moved to Milwaukee. How many people will possibly show up to watch? The Brewers don’t draw flies, and I can’t see the people of Milwaukee forking over ten bucks to catch Casey Blake and Trot Nixon in action. Did MLB fuck up early season scheduling or what?...The Cavaliers have the scent of a team ready to tube in the playoffs, don’t they? I hope they win a couple series at least. The NBA Playoffs last until June 23rd. June 23rd!!! If there’s not a local angle, I’m going to be pretty pissed off watching these NBA creeps all summer...I went 3-0 on early MLB gambling action Sunday. I was lucky. I didn't know or have any reason to bet the way I did. Snowy and crappy weather + Sunday afternoon + Direct TV MLB Season ticket= Poorly conceived baseball bets.


At April 11, 2007 at 11:50:00 PM EDT , Blogger Dave in Buffalo said...

I look forward to the covers compilation....where to begin Kraut's Twisted, Dead Boys' Sonic Reducer, Buzzcocks' Oragasm Addict...have fun recording that one. The possibilities are endless!

At April 12, 2007 at 10:59:00 AM EDT , Blogger Ken Miller said...

The "Group Sex" record by the Circle Jerks is essential listening for that period of punk rock.

I have been red hot in early baseball action, going an absolutely unprecedented 11-2! That wasn't by making a bunch of safe -320 bets against Washington and Kansas City every day either, it was 5 underdog plays and 6 favorite plays.

Who do I like today? Check back here later!

At April 12, 2007 at 6:48:00 PM EDT , Blogger Ken Miller said...

Not a lot to get excited about among tonight's games, but one does stick out. I like Toronto hosting Detroit at -130. Normally I don't like putting up that much on a favorite like this, but Detroit played 12 innings last night in Baltimore until about 11:00 PM and then had to fly to Toronto. On top of that Sheffield is mired in a horrific slump, so this is worth a shot.

At April 13, 2007 at 12:04:00 PM EDT , Blogger jdoublea said...

I couldn't agree more. "Punk" to me meant L.A., not London or New York. Ken has already chimed in about Group Sex by The circle Jerks (nice call teen-idol!) and I'd like to include two more. Under The Big Black Sun by X and the sountrack for Repo Man. That one is a bit of a cheat since its a compilation, but what a great comp it is. I saw Fear at Peabody's Downunder and both the DK's and X at the old Variety Theatre on Lorain. Those were good times my brothers. Oh, and no one as mentioned one of the greatest bands EVER. The Cramps!! - JAA

At April 13, 2007 at 12:04:00 PM EDT , Blogger Ken Miller said...

Okay, the Toronto play didn't work out (Detroit won 5-4), but we'll get right back on that horse and find a couple winners today. I'll need something to keep me interested in the sports pages whgile the band is on the road this weekend.

At April 16, 2007 at 12:07:00 PM EDT , Blogger Josh said...

If comps count "Not So Quite On The Western Front" the MRR comp that covers that time period on the west coast is great and has some gems. Also the "Flex Your Head" comp pretty much covers the DC area which can not be forgotten in that time period.

Y'all were on fire in Cincinnati Friday night.

At April 17, 2007 at 11:42:00 AM EDT , Blogger Uncle said...

Hey, Radio Birdman was a hot about that same time.

This would make a great cover song:



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