Sep 12, 2012

CRAZY SPIRIT s/t LP

     With the phrase "Hardcore" being used to on reality based TV show all over cable to describing Hip-Hop artists who are hawking a clothing line available at K-Mart people sometimes forget it was used to describe the nastier side of skin flicks and the most pissed off forms of American punk rock.
     This is probably for the best.
     Porn many times more extreme can be found with a click or two of a mouse. Hardcore punk, which was once the sound of bored and disenchanted kids screaming in defiance of all the bullshit around them, somewhere took a hard turn and became a bunch of shaved headed goatee sporting fat ass tough guys armed with palm mutes and a Dimebag Darrell instruction video. Recklessness replaced with uniform syncopation like a bunch of humorless asshole gym class leaders if they formed a band in the locker room.
     Hailing from New York City Crazy Spirit play HARDCORE (but not NYHC as that all seem to have degenerated into the meathead music I was bitching about above) the way it should sound.
     The singer gurgles, grunts and brays like he eats fiberglass insulation for lunch then wraps a bare electrical chord around his neck while spewing almost unintelligible words.  The guitars splatter feedback and going off the rails power chords blur the lines between simple blind drunk rage and absolute criminally insane behavior. Mucho distorted bass rumbles as if it's an avalanche of mud and bowling balls barreling down a mountain while the drummer sounds like he was kicked out of a martial marching band for worshiping the altar of Animal from the Muppets. Whether it's taking your basic Germs thrash (which seems to be the jumping off point most of this band leaps off) on tunes like "Little Boots" and "I'm Dead" or sounding like hicks gone hardcore channeling murder blues made by serial killers on tracks like "Troll" and "I Become A Man"-Crazy Spirit are reclaiming the noise back for the misfits, malcontents and rejects.
TOXICSTATERECORDS@GMAIL.COM  

Sep 11, 2012

A Smashin' Transistors "classic interview" with People's Temple





     What to do when you're two sets of brothers living in a two traffic light town located in the middle of Michigan to stave off boredom? Well, in some cases they would most likely torture small animals, shoot at road signs, knock some girl from their church their made to go to up and develop a meth habit. In the People's Temple case though-they went a completely different route by digging in to their parents record collection then digging deeper and forming a rock-n-roll band.
    One part the Byrds Fifth Dimension, one part Spacemen 3's The Perfect Prescription and lots of other parts consisting of the Rolling Stones, The 13th Floor Elevators and even some 80's UK raincoat rock to name a just a few the band, after recording a handful of 7inch EP's on several different labels, released their debut album Sons Of Stone on the Hozac label this spring. Guitar player/singer Alex gives Smashin' Transistors a little bit of the lowdown. (

-Interview with by Dale (Editors note: This interview originally appeared at the old Smashin' Transistors site in early 2011)

Favorite ever member of the Rolling Stones?

Alex : Keith Richards

Yeah, that's always a given it seems. What about Mick Taylor though?

A: Mick was cool. That's about it. He never really did anything to put himself in the spot light. He's truly second underrated Rolling Stone following Brian Jones.

Name your moment with the Stones, and this coming from a huge Stones fan, where you thought "Man, this is some superlame shit".

A: Honestly I really haven't had a moment like that with the Stones. They are the greatest rock & roll group ever.

C'mon! Not even Dirty Work or Mick Jagger's solo albums?

A: Well, some of the solo Mick Jagger stuff is gay.

Are there any track you skip over on Exile On Mainstreet?
  
A: No that is one of my favorites along with Aftermath.

Not even "I Just Want To See His Face" ?

A: Well, yes. I have at least once.

What's it like being in a band of siblings? Are there a lot of fighting like brothers?

A: It has its positives and negatives, yes lots of fistfights, screaming, arguing and so on, BUT there is a psychic dynamic that we have when we play.

What's the biggest blowup you've guys have had while playing in front of a group of people?

A: On time early on. It was like are 3rd or 4th show and we were playing terrible. I think we stopped midset and knocked a bunch of shit over and started yelling at each other. After a few minutes we continued and finished the rest of are set. Then we knocked a bunch of ceiling tiles out on are last song too.

If Lou Reed and Wayne Kramer got in a fist fight who do you think would win?

A: Ha !! Thats easy Detroit always wins in brawls so Wayne Kramer.

Lou's till got some hair though. Wayne had cool hair one time though. How important is cool hair for rock-n-rolling?

A: Lou's hair is defiantly cooler. Its cool if you have nice hair. If not that sucks.

Listening to what band makes you feel like you're on drugs even though you are not?

A: Spaceman 3

When I say cheese what do you think of?

A: Richard

What song do you thing Richard Cheese would do the People's Temple justice?

A: Jim Jones

Is it safe to assume that you guys chose the band name of the teachings of the Reverend Jim Jones then? Or is it in tribute to Jay Reatard's old digs in Memphis?

A: Its a throwback for Brian Jonestown Massacre, so I guess more Jim Jones.

Speaking of the Brian Jonestown Massacre what kind of notes did you take from the movie DIG?

A:We took a lot of things. Their guitars and amps were the main thing.

What other rock docs have you found inspirational?

A:The Stones doc. about the Altamont Speedway gig .

Growing up in a county where the largest population is the town of Owosso with 15,000 or so did you ever think going there was a trip to "the big city"?

A: No, Lansing was always the big city. But funny you ask that-we actually played are first show in a battle of the bands in Owosso and it sucked!

What sucked about it?

A: Owosso is a shithole of a town and filled with hard-corers and Screamo wannabees. We played with like 6 other hardcore/screamo fags and they all hated us.

It's like that over in my part of the state too. How did you guys end up playing the type of music you do?

A: My parents grew up in the 70's so he listened to the Stones, Kinks, and others. I just dug deeper into the 60's cause that's what interested me and the sound appealed to me more so then new music when I was growing up.

Speaking of your area-Shiwasee county and all that-what's your take on Durand, Michigan? Does everyone there quote Rush Limbaugh on a regular basis or does it just seem like that?

A: HA ! Durand is even shittier than Owosso. I had a girlfriend once who had relatives that lived in Durand and they were all a bunch of weirdo conservatives.

Living out in the sticks where was the place you went to party that the "cops don't know about" even though most likely the cops partied there decades before?

A: Never had a spot like that. Were not that far in the sticks, man. Lansing is like 15-20 min. away and i always had friends who lived in Lansing and on campus. I work at a restaurant in East Lansing, so I started partying with MSU students when I was like 17. It was awesome ! Just imagine the scene from Animal House when they throw the toga party and that what you get in Lansing, especially when you party on campus!

Did you ever try to lift cassingles from the mall "record store" when you were young?

A: Nope. I think cassingles were a bit before my time. I did get caught shoplifting in the mall once though?

What went down?

A: It was during my adolescent juvenile skater days and I was Lifting a shirt or something at this Sporting good store and the manager turned the corner, not just a employee but the manager of the whole store, and basically scared the shit out of me and my friends and let us go.

What topping should NEVER go on pizza.

A: Anchovies

What's the most messed up thing that has happened to you involving fire?

A: Man ...I almost burnt my house down. I have lit myself on fire before. I have almost burnt my car to the ground the list goes on!

What effects pedals would the People's Temple endorse?

A: Any Wah pedal, the Ibenaz Tube Screamer or any of the Boss pedals.

What type of cash would they have to dole out to you to get your endorsement?

A: We would take any money, man.

Now that you have released one of the most bad ass album of 2011-Which one of you is now to most likely do a solo album of Yoko Ono covers and what special guest musicians would they want to play on it.

A: It would be George and he would sing and play all the instruments himself.

Who in the band is most likely to pull a Brian Wilson?

A: William

Who do you have on your wish list for a producer of one of your future records?

A: Anton Newcombe

When it comes to playing rock-n-roll which ranks higher in it's fringe benefits-The chicks or the free party favors?

A: As of right now I wish I could say the chicks, but party favors for sure!

Find out more about People's Temple here.

People's Temple will be playing the Roche Bar in Port Huron on September 29th. Go here for more info.

Aug 19, 2012

Mount Carmel "Real Women" LP

     One theory is that this Ohio trio discovered their dad's record collection AND weed stash on the same day. Being at the guitar player and bassist are brothers that is believable.
     Another more convoluted, but more awesome theory is that they frozen in blocks of bongwater ice since 1972 strict instructions for be thawed out later when boogie based blues rock, after being flogged endlessly by fakers, old farts and dinks who will engage in conversations about "the blues" with you as long as it's only about Clapton and SRV (because, well, everything else was just a lead up to their "innovations and greatness"), needed good swift kick in the ass and proper resuscitation.
     The problem was though the directions of when to defrost them were written down wrong and the band stayed in their icy tomb for much too long and the aforementioned fakers, old farts and dinks seem to think they have won decimating any thick and greasy mashed potato and gravy comfort food groove (thank you Mr. Rick Hall for initially making that observation) thought they won the battle.
     You know the types. The ones that will tell you that "Guys like Robert Johnson and Son House were cool but they played out of tune" and "Sure, the James Gang were ok but it's the triple guitar attack in 'Hotel California' where Joe Walsh really shined."
     It's also likely that those types are the ones responsible for when someone mentions "blues rock" to pals who's taste they respect and they will turn up their nose, give you a sideways glance and want to change the subject to something a bit more obscure.
     Mount Carmel are here to here to bring the music back to the partiers, the weirdoes, the stoners and those who like to sway their hips. Back the types that know it's about having fun-not being told or asked they are from the guy on the mic, not worrying about stage lights and hoping they are people with the 8 grand they have tied up into their guitar, amp and pedals (because we all know the first thing people think of when they they think "Blues Rock" as an effect rack of digital effects, right? How else can you get that authentic sound"?) on stage more than the music itself.
     Pare the songs down to their bare essentials. Trim the fat such as the drum solos and the "We are just more than blues-check out this acoustic part my guitar teacher taught me when I told him when I wanted to learn some classical piece" fruity frills. Keep the songs straight, greasy, to the point and NONE of them over the 5 minute mark.
     From the backyard filled with the smells of burgers cooking on a charcoal fire and MaryJane smoke of the opener "Swaggs", the Bad Company if their bar rock didn't get them signed to Led Zep's label and the "C'mon maybe I know you wanna get get naked cuz you like the way I smell all sweaty" vibe of "Lullaby" Mount Carmel should be blasting out of every restored Monte' Carlo, Cutlass and Riviera, stuffing their pants with 20 dollar bills and having the Black Crowes get those pot leaf embroidered leather pants alternated and bowing to them on stage as the hand them over the crown.
http://www.siltbreeze.com/mtcarmel.htm
     

Aug 13, 2012

Short's Pontius Road Pilsner

     With it being as sweltering, nasty, sticky hot as it has been this Michigan summer the idea of a beer filled with sticky hops or just a general thickness have not been on the top of my sipping list.
     Wanting something a bit light and refresh BUT with flavor after the tastebuds have been attuned to many complexities has lead to a lot of trial, error and disappointments. I knew there was a pilsner out there that would hit the spot though so I kept searching.
      The look of this matched the bright, sunshiny days we've had around here with it's clear, bubbly golden color. It's head small and gone within seconds.
     The aroma is was faint but refreshing with notes of just mowed lawn and lemon slices. Earthy and fizzy. Yep, Smells like a summer day. So far so good.
     The flavor is reminiscent of your standard classic old guy pilsner but a bit more crispness and much more less carbonated corn syrup characteristics. The pilsner malts really stand out in a fresh baked wheat bread kind of way in the front. That's followed by a light but noticeable hop that brings out a white pepper and some bitters in toward the end. That lingers a bit on the finish but doesn't stick around too much to wear out it's welcome on a 97°F day.
     To say that this is the one of the most amazing pilsners I have ever tried with be stretching it a way bit but it is pretty good and worked well with what I was looking for after a day at work then going home to do work in the yard.
http://www.shortsbrewing.com/ 

Aug 3, 2012

The BILL BONDSMEN "Smashin' Transistors Classic Interview"


     I remember a time when a band was considered HARDCORE it meant something way different than what it does now. It didn't mean a billion palm mutes then a mosh part, it didn't mean Warped or Ozfest tours, inventive facial hair and faux leather fashion endorsements.
    Detroit's Bill Bondsmen take me back to a simpler time (High School) when it was called Hardcore PUNK.  Pumped with anger, packed with contempt and sloshing in beer they do the full on rage with a dark sense of humor thing the way I remember it. Here's band's mouth piece Tony "Gabby" 4TG and I yakking for a while about a bunch of shit.
-interview by Dale

 
Okay-Both of us grew up in greater southeastern Michigan so we were raised on Bill Bonds logic but we have an international audience here...So before we go any farther could you explain to the fine readers who Bill Bonds is.

I'm sure all over the world there's a guy like him in each town. He used to read the news here on TV but he now does ads on TV for furniture. He challenged the equally crazy ex mayor of Detroit, Coleman A. Young, to a boxing match on TV. If you wanna see him check out "Escape From The Planet Of The Apes" where he plays a newscaster.

What about Detroit's current mayor Kwame Kilpatrick? Does he think he's Puff Daddy or some shit?

Well, since I didn't get an invite to the mansion I'll say asshole. He's kind of an unfunny Coleman Young. He's about as ghetto as Coleman but I don't think Bill Bonds will challenge him to a boxing match any time soon. I'm waiting for him to answer a question at a press conference with "Yo mama!"

When did hardcore get all fucked up and take a turn for the worse?

Ahh there's 100 reasons for that. Part of it is that a lot of hardcore bands seem to only listen to hardcore which makes them really derivitive. Like why listen to a band who sound like whatever band sounded like Youth Of Today who sounded like SS Decontrol and DYS when you could just listen to SSD and DYS? This really applies to any genre. Not only that but when metal came in around 86 it opened the floodgates for the jocks you see that act like the people that kicked people like us' asses in high school. I actually ran into a dude who beat me up in high school for being a "punk rock fag" at a bar a few years back and he was suddenly my old friend. Fuck that! Like Cider said "You're not a part of us! You never fucking were!"

 
How do you react when some moron says that they are "totally into hardcore-y'know like Korn and Hatebreed"?

Well, I'm tempted to go on a loooonng rant. I guess if they're dumb enough to like that crap they kind of already said it all didn't they? Personally I'm trying to bring back "hardcore punk" to differentiate between that crap and what bands I like do. Personally, i'd rather talk about the article I read in the van about the guy from Korn that found god cuz now you can say that "god gets Head". HAHAHAHAHA.

Do you ever wanna walk up to those type of kids and rip their piercing out of there faces and when their crying in pain you can say "What the fuck dude. I thought you were all tough and street and shit."?

Well, I don't really see those kids anymore. I'd rather take some of the gangsta hawdcaw kids and drop em off in a non rebuilt part of Detroit and watch them piss themselves. I'd also like to ask some of these kids who all look the same if they genuinely feel they're any different than the 100 kids just like em. I guess I miss the days where you couldn't go to Hot Topic to buy a wardrobe so we all did stupid shit like draw on our pants or screen your own shirts etc. Back when you spiked your own belt.

What's your opinion on songs that have classical guitar type intros ?

Well, Poison Idea had a lot of neo classical moments ("Plastic Bomb") but those were mostly with pianos. I suppose if done right. The intro to "No God" by the Germs sounds pretty classical but I doubt Pat Smear actually played that. Hmmm... I'll take "Sucks" for 100 Alex?

How heavily were you into Metallica in your younger days. They had classical guitar intros. When did you realize they sucked?

Well, I make it no secret that as a kid (like early grade school) I was really into NWOBHM/thrash metal stuff until about 5th grade when I finally heard punk rock. I used to be waaaaaay into Metallica amongst other thrash bands because they were cooler, back then, than most of the stuff you could find at a record store for the most part. I realized they sucked when I heard "And Justice For All" back in 1988. It was so slow and long and boring that it had no exciting aspects. I recall buying it thinking it had to be cool because Pushead did art for it. Boy, was I wrong. I hadn't felt so let down since I first heard "Join The Army" by Suicidal Tendencies...

What do you consider good metal?

I actually listen to a lot of old metal still to this day. Stuff like Venom, Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, etc still get listened to quite a bit. I still dig it because it's essentially punk if you can get past the solos. I wouldn't call Motorhead metal but I guess some people do. I listen to them all the time. I also like a lot of Japanese stuff that's pretty metal like Assault...

Ron Reagan inspired a shit load of bands in the 80's with their rage...Do you think Bush Jr is making the same mark?

Not that I'm aware of. We have a tune kind of about him but not as much. The real difference is that back when Ronnie was prez there was less access to information so when he was caught in some shit it was a big surprise. Now, we're so skeptical and have access to everything the bastard does that I think we're just lulled into being too relaxed about it because it's no shock. "Oh! He lied again... What's on channel 62?" or "Oh! He mispronounced another word..." 
I honestly think we kind of deserve him. After all, is he any dumber, ill mannered, or ill informed than 75% of the people you run into on a daily basis? I honestly don't think so.Today alone I had to listen to some guy at a bar tell me that the Middle Eastern people just want to be left alone but that Kwame is a"nigger" and if we had a white Republican in the mayor's office blah blah blah. A co worker told me that "if you don't believe in Jesus i've got some work to do" and then tried to sell me on evangelical Christianity (ie the words of the bible literally translated to their suiting. These are the fuckers to be scared of... Reagan and both Bush's believe in the same thing. Anyone who has actually read the bible... Look at what's happening in the Middle East, specifically Israel. These whackos are trying to make "Revelations" happen today... Remember Reagan saying that the Anti Christ was here today? Bush has said similar things about Sadaam and the Palestinians... I could go on and on on this topic...). 
Regardless, everyone is insane around us and most of us with two brain cells to rub together are asleep at the wheel because, much like watching your best friend get killed, we're all desensitized and numb...Besides, the focus has changed in punk rock... It's no longer a baby. No more thoughts of "this could change the world". It's more like "this could change me" or "there's nothing I can do so let's just party!" The only people still clinging to the idea of "Anarchy In (insert region)" are nothing but dogmatic bible thumpers with too much time on their hands...

What up with all the cracks you make about the Kinks?

I will go on record and say that I LOVE THE FUCKING KINKS! All the way up to "Destroyer" which is usually way past most people's cut off points. But! If I hear one more band buttfuck "You Really Got Me" or anything by The Sonics I will fucking puke! It's worse than when ska was big. You worked at a record store so you've had the misfortune of seeing the waves of generic clones for every good idea. If people would take more from the music and do something like The Maharajas from Sweden have done it would be way cooler than rehashed bullshit. Anyone can take any genre and mimic it perfectly but the best bands always add something to it or turn it inside out.


How much fast food and convenience store snacks can a body take?

Well, that's a good question. I can eat burgers like it's goin out of style and my dentist can attest to all the candy i've eaten thru the years. I would have to say that 3 rolls of Sweetarts plus a Jolt and two McDonalds double cheeseburgers is probably the max i've eaten in one day without puking. I don't really eat healthy so i'm probably the wrong guy to ask when too much is enough.

What's your ideal "Power Breakfast".

4 to 5 cigarettes, a diet Mountain Dew (can't handle regular pop unless it's fountain and then I still 50/50 it), and a Starbucks "Double Shot" on a weekday. Maybe a sausage, onion, and cheese omelette slathered in enough hot sauce to kill a cat. That usually puts me in shape to face the world. On a weekend, 1 diet Pepsi, 1 cold beer, 4 to 5 smokes, and whatever I can round up food wise. Usually chips or toast or something lame. Usually while listening to something decidedly "un punk". As of late that means The Faces...

Okay Tony, time for some word association...

-Japan

Musical heaven for me. I will go there soon enough. Too bad about thier porn though...

-Mexican Food

Zumba in Royal Oak.

-Cigarettes

I love you. Now if only my love wasn't killing me at $10 a day.

-Matt Coppens

All around good guy. Looking forward to playing with his crappy band Glorified Trash (Ladies, contain yourselves) in beautiful....(bonus part;) Grand Rapids : Shit hole. Makes Detroit seem stable. Nah, we've had bad luck but there's some cool stuff that goes on there.

-Henry Rollins

"He's not gay. He just does a lot of gay things like weightlifting and poetry." - the only good quote to come from Steven Blush.

-Ace Frehley

The only rock n roll part of KISS. Without him whadda ya got? A snake oil salesman, a sissy who sings nothing but love songs, and a coked out guido who thinks he's Otis Redding.

Vodka or Gin?

NEITHER! Last time I drank vodka I got thrown out of my own show and almost got arrested by the Brooklyn PD. Ended the night passed out in front of some bar. This is after my last vodka moments that ended in me passing out on New Years at 10 pm (smashed my head into the toilet) and the time I threw up at the bar and had to be carried out of the Magic Stick by bouncers and driven home by some girl from another state. Did it all on feeling.... ("You're going the wrong way!") Last time I drank gin I was 15 and I threw up on some christian's birthday cake and passed out on their lawn. I only drink beer now and that's about it.

Can you speculate how Bill Bonds would've handled a Bud Dwyer type situation?

Well, if he was covering it he probably would have just called Bud a pussy and offered to kick his ass despite him being dead. You are talking about the city of Detroit in human form after all. The man is hard as nails! He's our version of Bill Brasky.Speaking of Bill... If anyone has any footage of him, especially his post 9/11 "I'll kick your ass, Osama!" rant, send it this way! I'm also looking for the "groin terrorist" rant about AIDS.

Who's a greater American? Hugh Hefner or John Brannon?

Well, i've never hung around Hef but i'm thinking it's Hef. Isn't the American dream to do nothing yet get rich and have fun doing it? The man could literally glide across a floor of silicone tits any day he wants. He does hang out with some tools but those early Playboys up to the 70's had some style to em. Brannon can sing better but he doesn't have 4 or more hot girls that willingly act as a harem for him does he? The ultimate indicator is who would you rather be? I think we know the answer...

Aug 1, 2012

BLACK TIME "Smashin' Transistors Classic Interview"


Feral! That's a good one word description when trying to explain England's BLACK TIME. Hissing! Clawing itself free and scratching out eyes. Like getting whacked upside the head with a garbage can by a gang of rats the size of a surly bouncer at a dingy bar who's jukebox is stacked with nothing but Link Wray, the Fall, Swell Maps and those who follow them like a cult and all the partons chain smoke and wear dark glasses
-interview by Dale

Band history to start...Isn't there a Hot Wires and/or an Action Time connection to the Black Time?

Lemmy Caution: Yeah, the Action Time was my youthful attempt at mod-punk/girl group stylings – I was listening to a lot of motown and English punk rock in the ATV/Subway Sect/Pop Rivets vein.. I didn’t really have the know-how at the time to get the right sound for the vision and most of the records are watered-down versions of what it was supposed to be. The Hotwires was my last attempt at a band in the romantic sense of the word and totally fucking wasted about 3 years of my life as a result.

What do you recommend for getting blood stains off a carpet?

Janie Too Bad: Red carpets.
Mister Stix: What do you wanna take it off the carpet for?
LC: Scrape it off with over-priced bootleg of obscure euro-punk.

Speaking of "collector" records-Did ya wonder what the hell Peter P.Trash was talking about when he
said he'd have artwork silkscreened onto the vinyl itself?

LC: I didn't have a clue what the fuck he was on about!  I thought maybe something was getting lost in the german/english translation - "I'm going to silkscreen the vinyl!!"
    "You mean the labels?"
    "No, the vinyl!!!"
    "Er, yeah OK mate..."
    The only thing I could imagine it was going to be like was one of those Def Leppard type picture discs. I was really bowled over with the results when I finally got the records in the post - even MORE beautiful than a Def Leppard picture disc - though obviously we're gonna have to work on the songs and Stix might have to lose an arm.

What's your take on all that collector type stuff? Do you have a bunch of stuff like that (completist/comic
book geek type stuff) or do you just buy one copy to rock out too?

LC: Well personally I'm a vinyl junkie 'cos CDs suck but not at the expense of just owning the music - I'll happily have a vinyl repress of something if it sounds decent rather than shell out £££s for the original.  Ultimately I just wanna be able to listen to the track on my fave format - I don't collect records in a completist/investment way 'cos it's not really entering into the spirit.  Records are meant to be loaned out/not returned/taken round people's house for parties/get beer split on them/frayed edges/those sexy circles you get on the sleeve when you've played it a thousand times etc...they're ultimately ephemeral objects of fun to dance, drink, fuck to etc..
    I know a lot of people were bummed about the price of the p trash 12 it was really expensive but then it cost Peter a shitload to make it - I don't think he's making loads of money out of putting out Black Time and Manikins records y'know?  I like the idea of Black Flag and Minor Threat keeping their back cat in stock for ever at a cheap price but there's nowhere that level of demand for our stuff... the fact is if we do a few hundred copies of a record almost everyone that really wants it will be able to get a copy. I think Peter's planning on doing a 'normal' press of 'new vague themes' at some point for all the non-c.scum as well.

What's the saddest song in the world?

MS: True by Spandau Ballet
JTB: The saddest song in the world is "Friends of Mine" by The Zombies. Actually even sadder than that is I Got Knocked Down (But I'll Get Up) by Joey Ramone. Now I feel awful, thanks a lot.
 LC: The theme tune to Sesame Street - they're singing about sunny days and happy days but with the kind of melancholy minor-key wistfulness that convinces you all the kids are the victims of horrible systematic abuse by their parents and teachers.

 
My 6 year old son, Nolan, makes me play the "Crawlin'" single at least once a day. He always says "This song is gonna freak out in a couple seconds." Is it okay to let him freak out when the part he is talking about starts? Can I hold you responsible for any subversion that may take place later?

MS: Blacktime accept no responsibility for kids freaking out and going retarded there's enough of us(why are we mutants?) in blacktime for starters.  I suggest for safety reasons you should get your kid into contemporary 80's jazz and teach him to gingerly tap his foot.

Do you blame that on society?

MS: Being Mutants? No I blame it on the blacktime gene pool.  Freaking out yea ADHD or whatever it is called is a crock of crap.
LC: Being English I blame it on the weather.

Bob Dylan-Genius or fool?

MS: Robert Zimmerman thats his name
JTB: Genius for pissing off hippie purists.
LC: Old people's music

What's your favorite song by the Fall.

MS: The cover of "Jerusalem" hands down for me
JTB: Totally Wired.  It's kind of an obvious choice but you can't deny how great this song is and it just makes you want to dance all over the place to show how totally wired you feel.  I'm usually more Totally Tired though, but that doesn't make such a great song.  Being from California I also relate sentimentally to anyone using the word totally repetitively. To-tal-ly.
LC: "Neighbourhood Of Infinity" - "Used to listen to Link Wray, used to play him every Saturday, god bless Saturday".  Fucking great.

Do you like the Brix era much? It's some of my favorite stuff by them but I've heard some call it their "sell out years".

LC: A lot of the Brix era is really good, especially the first few albums and singles of that phase.  Even something like "Dead Beat Descendent" which is from near the end of the Brix era - killer riff.

So In The Red is doing a CD version of "Blackout". What type of demands did you make to give Mr Hardy the honor the re-releasing it?

MS: Demands were eating an English breakfast every morning for a month explaining the offside rule in football to us and reciting who’s who in the football league
LC: Yeah Larry’s had to shell out for a triple heart bypass ‘cos of all the greasy food.  He’s doing OK I hear but he’s still got to do his major in cockney rhyming slang before we’ll let him do another record.

What should people expect with your second album?

MS: Blacktime football songs
LC: Sensitive acoustic ballads

Silk or Satin?

JTB: Silk nighties are the way to a girl's heart. Satin will also work.
LC: 10 Silk Cut behind the bike sheds.
MS: Nights in white satin sheets with silky chicks.

Ya ever slid off of a bed with satin sheets?

MS: No but once rolled over and hit my head on the wall.

When's the last time you were spotted outside wearing something that wasn't black?

LC: What do you mean go outside??!!!
 MS A few days ago a navy blue i love French girls t-shirt in French.
 JTB: I had to wear purple eyeliner at our last gig because the black one disappeared, a formal apology to the good people of Nottingham.

Nottingham? Did you run into Robin Hood?

JTB: No Robin Hood per se, however there was a drunken whimsical Robin Hood-esque character dancing like crazy during our set as the rest of the crowd quietly moved towards the back of the venue, and exited out the back door. But we're happy to please just one misguided drunkard a night because it's far more fans than we had before.
MS: Blacktime ran into a lot of feedback whilst lost and disillusion driving down Maid Marian way...no Shit.
LC: Yeah we got pulled over by the cops for unsteady driving in our fully load mini metro.  We were all bouncing along to Screamin' Jay Hawkins like in 'Stranger Than Paradise' and it must of caused some swerving.

When was the last time you got in trouble?

JTB: I tried to sneak into a Adobe Illustrator course and not pay for it, because I thought it was 120 pounds. I got caught and the man in charge escorted me out the class and demaned I paid up. I tried to escape but then he told me it was only 30 pounds and I felt really stupid. So uhhh, I am a bit of a rebel for higher learning!
LC: When we were on tour in France and Janie couldn't eat anything 'cos of a stomach ulcer, and I sat opposite during a delicious meal the promoter had cooked us and accidentally blurted out "ohmygod, this is the best meal I've ever had in my life!".  If looks could kill...  You always get really great food when you play in mainland Europe - it's like being on holiday.  I think the UK is more like what I've heard playing in the US is like - you play your set and then the promoter clips you round the ear and tells you to fuck off out of his venue.
MS: Drinking got into trouble with my liver

So, Black Time are kindred spirits with the Real Losers I hear...Ya ever had a barbeque together?

MS: We've got drunk on a boat together and discussed the importance of booger in revenge of the nerds
JTB: We have a picture with The Hand and a huge bowl of mushrooms, that kind of looks as if we were about to do some kind of barbeque. But we just were posing with some huge bowl of mushrooms for some reason.
LC: No BBQ yet, but when I first met the Real Losers they showed me their party trick, which was C-Shake dropping his trousers (sorry, that's 'pants' to you guys) and Hot Dog shoving a beer bottle up his arse (sorry, ass).  I was all downhill from there... The Real Losers are basically the greatest rocknroll band in the world right now - they just get better and better. I'm just some schmuck (hey, I'm picking up the lingo now) who works in an office and messes around with my little punk rock project when I'm not getting wasted, but the Real Losers are THEE real deal.

I'm just starting to get into french films. Can you give me a quick crash course in what I should check out?

LC: Any early Godard is good (he gets a bit more heavily into experimentation and Marxism as the 60s go on, so the later films can be quite hard work) but yeah check out A BOUT DE SOUFFLE aka BREATHLESS, ALPHAVILLE (which Bladerunner ripped quite a bit off), MASCULIN FEMININ or UNE FEMME EST UNE FEMME are all great and really watchable.  Haven't seen much Truffaut except SHOOT THE PIANIST and THE 400 BLOWS but they are both amazing.  I really like this guy Jean-Pierre Melville who isn't really part of the New Wave scene of 60s french film makers but he made loads of great moody existential crime movies like UN FLIC and La SAMOURAI - Tarantino was definitely taking notes.  There's some great films from the 40s and 50s as well like Jean Renoir's LA GRANDE ILLUSION (great dissection of war and the class divide) and 50s film noirs like LES DIABOLIQUES and RIFIFI.  I don't know that much about modern french cinema - a lot of it seems to be tastefully shot bourgeois melodrama which lives me a bit cold, but I like some of Claire Denis' stuff like BEAU TRAVAIL (anything with Denis Lavant is usually good actually) and the vampire film she did TROUBLE EVERY DAY.

Vincent Price or Christopher Lee?
LC: Christopher Lee for looking so suave and evil in 'Beat Girl'

Jul 31, 2012

The TEARS "Smashin' Transistors Classic Interview"

     Green Bay is small.
     Algoma is infinitesimal.
     When a new band forms around here, ya' tend to know the players, their folks,and what they eat fer breakfast any particular morning about 3 practices in. The Tears even more so for me -- Casey: "I'm going to be doing a new band with nickg,Courtney and Natalie."
Me: "Cool. How's the folks?"
     Courtney and Natalie are sisters that first graced us with the Take Offs, a highschool punk/garage band that coasted by on energy fumes and stumbled even more often due to the fact that nobody could play their fuckin' instruments. A first band, right? Courtney later laid down a Blue Balls tape that showed a knack for catchy songwriting and vocals that at-least-matched Kim from the Muffs in terms of scream-power and kick-inth'-balls sweetness. Very promising. Casey and nickg had already arrived via projects such as the Strong Come Ons, the Knockers, the Catholic Boys and the aforementioned Blue Balls. Would it rock? I was certain. How good would it be? I dun-din know.
      Fast(back) forward to a Milwaukee show where I showed up fashionably late 'n missed their debut. It was pretty packed, and all I heard was "Tears this," "Tears that" and "best debut in years." Lotsa' enthusiasm from a pretty jaded set. Fug. I made plans to meet 'em the next day at the Algoma trailer for the recordings yer hearing here.
     Still had to hear for myself, ya' know?
     We sat back with some brews while everybody yelled at each other 'n set up mics and borin' shit like that. Click-click-click WHHHHOOOOOSSSSSHHHHH! Jesus! Locked groove organ-rattlin' shit-can r 'n r -- the kind that makes you helplessly switch from sippin' to chuggin'. The kind that cuts all the years of lifeless (re)animation away to reveal the raw nerves and inchoate hysteria that made this stuff worthwhile in the FIRST fucking place. The kind that moves me.
     And I'm pretty immovable. And they were adding vocals later, so all I had was the instro-din to play offa'.
     When did Natalie learn how to slide her fingers around a guit-neck like that? She's 17 on this recording, but she brings more soul than labels-fulla' "hip" 30+ black-bang white-belt dudes. Supposedly, our very presence was making her nervous, and since we're assholes, we refused to leave the trailer. "It's much better live where they're comfortable," said Casey.
     Fast(again) forward a couple-few weeks to their second show. The Mystery Girls and Strong Come Ons had just rolled back into town following their US tour. We checked out pics, tour stories, etc., remarked upon how cool it was that folks outside the area seemed to be diggin' the local sound, and downed a good number of beers. It was the tour capper, a tribute to the 'Gals 'n 'Ons, but the Tearswere gonna' open it up. Didn't really think much of it as they plugged in, but(once more) click-click-click WWWWHHHHHOOOOOSSSSSSSHHHHH! Jesus fuck! This is a BAND, a swing-together unit that speaks the same language, and that language is (say it with me) shit-can r 'n r. Courtney drops a beat, the band plays on. Someone throws a corncob at Casey's head, and the band slides on over to cover. Nick forgets a line and Courtney takes over.
     They were easily the band of the night.
     Ya' know, so many "girl" bands have the lowest possible expectations, because they's girls. Guys like eye candy, women like seeing gene-sisters up on stage. They only have to look cute and perten' to rock. Fuck you if you think any differently -- sad or no, it's an ugly fact. Not the Tears -- they're a rock 'n roll BAND, a unit that brings it right between your eyes. They work off a "garage" base, somewhat Pandoras, I guess, but the rhythm section swings it and nickg & Natalie trade off riffs 'n string-shots that YOU KNOW woulda' sounded diff if the Mystery Girls were from Alaska and hadn't smoked us all with dual string-improv dozens of times over the years.
     So yeah -- this is only the beginning, but it might be the most auspicious one I've yet been privy to.
     Casey told nickg's Mom about the time Nick smoked crack when the Strong Come Ons played in Ohio. Green Bay is small. Algoma is infinitesimal. Real rock 'n roll CAN'T come from New York. Not anymore. But small towns are timeless.
     Can you feel the desperation?
-Todd Tricknnee

-Interview by Dale

What's it like hanging out in an Ice Shanty?

Natalie: I think this is a question for the Algoma folk
nickg: Being that I'm from the Shanty Village, you'd think I'd've hung out in at least one shanty. I have not. but after seeing "Grumpy Old Men," i always wanted to get a shanty to sit in while i listened to records. I probably would put a line in the water, but I dont' think i'd really be fishing.
Casey: It's warm and cozy, and full of fishin'.
Courtney: A What?


Have you ever "done it" in a Ice Shanty?

Casey: Done it meaning Fish?  Yes, I have ice fished in an Ice Shanty.
nickg: I don't know what you mean.
Courtney: Done "It"? 

Who's the diva?

Casey: nickg.
nickg: Are you asking who the diva of the band is? Obviously I'm the diva, and you don't have to look much further for the definition.
nickg=diva=nickg. i'll throw down with Celine or Mariah or even Aretha. anytime, dude. Diva upside ya head.
Natalie: Casey is the diva, he's the only one with a real fashion sense.
Courtney: Casey.


What defines a diva?

Courtney: A Really Tight Jean Jacket.
Casey: A diva seems to be someone who has an inflated sense of reality around/about them.  Their demands are unreasonable usually involving extraneous blah...shit like temperature control and fruity additions to their mixed drinks.  Not that nickg asks for anything extra or out of the ordinary, but he's the hardest to please.  If you know what I mean.


Does nickg have multiple personalities?

Natalie: Yes.
Courtney: No, He has a period.
Casey: Yes.  Multiple Multiple personalities. At first you may think it's just drunk = happy nickg w/ sober = unhappy/sad/mean/et cetera nickg but eventually you realize there is the happy drunk nickg, the something other than happy drunk nickg, the something other than happen sober nickg and the not quite happy but still not exactly not happy sober nickg.  There is nothing between sober and drunk though, it's either all or nothing.  It's very complex.  nickg's life is in temporary permanent grayscale.
nickg: I wouldn't know too much about this, but nickg has sworn to me that he does not, in fact, have multiple personalities.

Define the word smooth

Courtney: My Body
nickg: There's so many different ways to use the word smooth. I could say, "dayamn, baby, yo' ass is smooooove like a mothafucka." That doesn't really tell you anything. I like the word "slick" a little better.
Natalie: Dressing like Marty McFly is pretty smooth. 

Did ya ever go through a hip-hop phase? 

Courtney: Fuck Yeah, Fifth Grade!

Casey: Not really.  There were moments back in my pre-formative, formative years that had touches of hip hop.  Summer of 91 or 92 or whenever that one "Summertime" song by Will Smith (does he count) came out.  There were moments of endearment to it for me, but even then it was a guilty guilty pleasure.  A few Snopp Dogg moments.  Most of it was in passing, nothing to live by.
Natalie: I don't think so, does rap count?You can't fuck with "The Chronic"
nickg: I don't know if I'd say hip hop, but one of the first cds I ever bought with my own money was by my brother Warren G. I also really liked slow jams when I was in like 5th grade. I wanted to be in Boys II Men.

Beat on the brat with a baseball bat?

Natalie: Oh yeah!
nickg: I prefer the backside of my hand.
Courtney: Beat on the What? 

What makes Lionel Ritchie so outrageous?


nickg: The obvious answer is that his wife beat him up, and he didn't kill himself. That's pretty outrageous but really i think it goes back to his days in the Commodores. check out the funky hairdos and the OUTRAGEOUS costumes. Silly Lionel Ritchie.
Natalie: It's gotta be the hair.
Courtney: Lionel Who?
Casey: I think that fact that he's introducing Pat Benatar Videos on VH1 classic on Valentine's Day using the relationship turned to marriage between the guitar guy Neal and the singer women pat.  I really don't know Lionel Richie,but I know Pat Benatar made some bad videos. She seemed to be able to handle the Nazi's well, and well that's a good thing.

Care to describe the perfect cheese curd?
Natalie: A good cheese curd is squeaky.
nickg: I'll just say, when you get the perfect cheese curd, you KNOW. and it most likely has the word "renards" somewhere on the package, if we're talkin' the raw curds as opposed to the fried variety.
Casey: Are you talking about the breaded cheese curd or the fresh cheese curd?  While I'm a fan of the breaded cheese curd there is nothing that cantop the unbreaded fresh from the cheese factory made that morning still sitting out under cheese cloth squeaks when you bite into it cheese curd. You haven't really experienced cheese curds until you've experienced them likethis.  You can reheat them after they've sat in the fridge for a few days to regain some of the pure feeling they once had, but it's not exactly the same.
Courtney: Squeaky!

Cheap Wisconsin beer?

Natalie: Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Courtney: PBR me ASAP
Casey:There are so many quality WI beers, and so many I've yet to experience:  Rhinelander, Huber Bock (both brewed by the Huber Brewing Company, Monroe, WI) both cheap and quite tasty, Point is good, Leinekugels is fine too, especially the Creamy Dark, Blatz originated in WI, Milwaukee's Best Ice-it's a Miller Product but it's cheap.

If you could be a cop for one day-What would you do?

Natalie: Arrest Casey for being too sexy.  Then give him my own special "punishment"
Courtney: Make Question Interviews Illegal.
nickg: I'd shoot lots of inanimate things. That's the only reason I'd want to be a cop.

Girls-What's it like touring with two boys?

Natalie: Ha!  Not as easy as you'd think. nickg gets his period.
Courtney:They have worse PMS than we do

Boys-What's it like touring with two girls?

nickg: This is a good question. Lots of people warned me that it would be hell, to be quite honest. actually, though, I'd rather be on tour with these two girls than anyone else i've been on tour with. not to say I like them better than anyone else, but I got along with the band much better while on tour with the Tears than with anyone else. For the most part, anyway. so yeah, sometimes you gotta carry the heavy stuff or whatever....but that makes me feel like a man, or like I'm doin' something besides being a pansy,so I'll take it but yeah we all have our bitchy moments, but I'm far and away the bitchiest. they put up with it remarkably well and it helps. Not to be sappy, but I couldn't be happier with a couple o' girls.
Casey: It's something like I'd imagine heaven to be like.  Perfect.  That's sounds good.  Or they have breasts.  It's really no different than touring with Gus (Strong Come Ons drummer), except the competency level is much higher and they're better looking, smelling and more loveable.

Who do you fear most behind the wheel?

nickg: Casey's really the only one behind the wheel at any given time. I guess i have been afraid a few times, too. I think when I drove one time, no one really loved the idea.
Natalie: nickg.
Casey: Is this from the perspective of being in a vehicle driven by this person or driving along side someone in a different vehicle.  Gus scares me when he drives (that's twice I've made Gus references), and I'm basically the only who drives.  I thought nickg would scare me, but he handled himself quite nicely.
Courtney: Casey In New York State

Are some places just too nice to practice rock-n-roll in?

Courtney: Yes!
nick g: Yeah. Some places are just too nice to BE in, though. I don't wanna fuck shit up, so I try to stay outta nice places. I don't feel as bad if i drop a beer on the floor at the Punk Mahal, as I would if I was in my mom's house.

What gives basements their vibe?

Natalie: Is it the darkness?  Those poles?  I don't know.
Casey: Concrete walls, leaky pipes, over all dankness or Carpet floors, bright lighting, et cetera.
nickg: You need carpet. Carpet is where it's at. And shit on the walls. Not, like, shit shit. Just stuff. Posters, curtains...something. I like being cozy.
Courtney: Vibe.

Would you rather be paid in diamonds or marijuana?

Courtney: What does better on the Black Market?
nickg: Okay, well this depends. Say we get diamonds...are they only worth as much (money-wise) as the pot we passed up to get them? If so, then give me the weed right away. If we got big ol' expensive diamonds, compared to like an 1/8 of weed, gimme the diamonds. Then I'll sell 'em and buy a bunch more weed. Unless it's like the shit my roomate got recently. These dudes tried growing their own and fucked up somehow. They ended up with what I'll call "fools weed." I thought i was getting high for a moment, but then I realized it was just that i was smoking so much, there was no oxygen going to my brain.
Casey: I honestly believe there is too much of an emphasis placed on the material/bodily aspects of this world.  Through performance I transcend conventional boundaries imposed by society, wealth and drugs and gain my most rewarding payment through self-satisfaction.  Diamonds:  sell diamonds, buy marijuana, or something to that effect. 
Natalie: I'd rather be paid in cheeseburgers.

Do the Tears write love songs?

nickg: I can't speak for the rest but all the songs I write are love songs. Awwww.
Casey: "Blew My Baby Away", that's got love running all through it.  "Don't Care About Nothin'" actually has an implied "But You" at the end of it that the others don't even realize. We are capable.
Courtney: Only love songs and songs about puppies.
Natalie: All the Tears songs are love songs.

Jul 29, 2012

thee MAKEOUT PARTY "Jungle Cruise" 7inch

     "We set out to make a ridiculous, pretty pop record" is what thee Makeout Party bassist Lee Noise told me about their first album Play Pretend.
     And they succeeded. Attempts to make a 2nd album though did not work out much though. While the former was adorned with lots of glitter, the latter was put together in a garage putting a bit of gritty dust in the brightly flavored bubble gum snap the band had been known for.
     Disagreements in the direction the songs should go and the usual band strife led to a unfinished halt of the recordings and what was left got shelved unmastered, unmixed and unadorned. Well, until these two tracks surfaced on Austrian label Bachelor after Makeout Party dude Dan decided the world should be able to give them listen in all their semi undressed glory. This even extends to the cover art of the record itself which is a black-n-white drawing with a box of crayons included with it so the listener and DIY the artwork in their own color choices.
      Written about the Disney Adventureland ride "Jungle Cruise" (where Makeout Dan worked at for a bit) is like a song from Beach Party movie minus the production trappings to appeal to those from the age of six to sixty. It's all about the pure fun of the cheesy attraction though sounds a bit woozy in parts. Perhaps from being a little seasick from the ride maybe?
     The flip's "Bittersweet Bubblegum" is about the struggles of writing a song that will get all the kids to sing along. Anyone who has been in such a situation knows that doing such a thing is not as easy as it looks and has probably driven people to the madhouse laboring over it. Sounding like a frustrated Phil Seymour attempting to show a way boozy Big Star the song they are gonna play at the talent show later the same day.
     I have read that other tracks from these session are floating around on cassette as well as the internet. I have not located them yet but if these two songs are anything to go on I will be seeking them out.
http://www.bachelorrecords.com 

Jul 24, 2012

Sneaky Pinks "Smashin' Transistors Classic Interview"

You aren't going to find anything deep in this interview. It's sort of like the music the Sneaky Pinks make. It's just plain dumb...just like their music...And if youre smart enough to know that you realize that you wouldn't have it any other way.


When's the last time you practiced in front of a mirror?

3 NIGHTS AGO THE SNEAKY PINKS DANCED AND PLAYED AIR GUITAR NAKED N WET
TO THE FINGERS.

How long did ya touch yourself afterwards?

WELL... CONSIDERING THE LAST SONG WAS "SHE'S JUST 11" IT DIDN'T LAST TOO
LONG
Cartoon character you most identify with?

MARK BEEF

Do Mexican Buffet joints tremble when he darkens their doorway?

ALABAMA DING-DONG
What's your favorite Mexican buffet place in Tucson?

WENDYS! THE SNEAKY PINKS HATE AUTHENTIC MESSICAN FOOD. I DON'T WANNA
GROW UP WELL. I JUST WANT MY TACO BELL.

Pink leather. Is it a glam thing?

LICK MY LOVE PUMP. GLAM IS DEAD. GLITTER ROCK FOREVER!!!

What's the most trouble you've ever gotten into?

NEVER BEEN CAUGHT.

Which is more punk rock? Stabbing someone or hitting them with
numchucks?

JACK THE RIPPER
"STAB WOUND BABY"-KNOCKOUT PILLS
"I GOT A KNIFE"-BLACK LIPS
"I'M IN LOVE WITH MY KNIFE"-SUBSONICS
"SOOPRIZE PACKAGE"-MUMMIES/SUPERCHARGER
"53RD N 3RD"-RAMONES
UPSTAB
DUCK STAB
ETC.. 

(Note from Dale: After over a decade I have decided to let my SmashinTransistors.Homestead.com site lapse. Due to several situations in my life at the moment, and the fact that I have using this Blogspot page more and more (when I even have the time to work on this one that is) and that site less and less, it has become an expense that I don't really find a necessity to drop the money on each year. Eventually it will be gone from the interweb and everything that was on it will no longer be able to be seen. I am going to try to farm as much as I can from it over the next few weeks and repost the stuff here. I don't know how long Homestead will be keeping the old site up so if I interviewed your band or reviewed your record and you want to save a copy of it for your scrapbook I highly suggest you go to the site in the next couple of weeks and do so.)