Feb 20, 2013

GOLDEN PELICANS "Hard Head" 7inch

     With a name like the Golden Pelicans a some things come to mind. Firstly, regional soul bands of the 60's had names similar to it. There were always ones with names like the Incredible Macaws, The Silver Excitements or the Platinum Flamingos.
     Another thing it conjures of an impression of is the name of a bowling league team of some Michigan retirees on snowbird time in Florida or the awesome and/or retarded name of a high school mascot.
     Dropping the needle on the record it is quickly learned there is no post street corner doo-wop/Northern Soul/Funky Broadway thing going on. The band is from Florida though but they don't sound like pensioners throwing gutters and spares.
     That leaves is the awesome and/or retarded thing.
     The tunes here made by some of those party crashing lunkheads, the Slippery Slopes, who bummed out your average Ramones loving/good time having agenda punks by claiming "Pizza, I'm Against It"-antsy and obnoxious is the name of the game. Thinking something like the Candy Snatcher with a bit less Misfits bootlicking (little bellowing-much more shouting), many more times getting kicked out of the all you can eat buffet for eating up all the fried chicken and tossing the bones at the retirees and just as much, if not more, stolen intoxicants the two doses of trashy TOTAL PUNK rock will make any kegger/pool party bash could get the cops to show up no matter how far out in the sticks it may be happening at.

Feb 9, 2013

Lagunitas Brown Shugga

     Who else here spots Petaluma, California's Lagunitas Brewing Company Brown Shugga' on the shelves and start hummin' the Stones song instantly? That's right! I knew I was not the only one.
     Every winter it rolls around and I enjoy the bottles I can find of it. On frostbitten and damp from the Great Lakes winds whipping in kind of evenings the West Coasters have found a was to make it seem more toasty. For some reason though it seems I have never shared my notes on it here.
     Today we will fix that.
     Pours a clear dark amber amber with a 2 finger head that holds tight for a bit then melts into some lacing that resembled what sticks to the side of the glass in a Faygo Rock-n-Rye (or whichever Faygo you choice as most of them work) ice cream float. 
     The aroma is big on caramel malts up front, molasses and maple syrup notes follow it up and a note of pine on the end.  Flavor-wise a roasty caramel introduces itself first. It is followed by the brown sugar adding a twist to the sweetness. That into fresh baked bread notes before they give way to the tart citrusy hops ending. The finish is interesting as it lingering flavor is something tastes akin to having some orange marmalade on a fresh baked muffin with chocolate flecks. It's hearty all the way though which does would fool most people into not remembering that they are drinking something that teeters at the 10% abv label.
     This stock run seems to be at it's end for another year. It wasn't all many shelves in these parts to begin with but it seems winter has at least a few more reminders before it goes to harass some other part of the world. Good thing I have a few more of these stashed away.

Feb 6, 2013

So after waiting for more blood all these years...

      I gave the new My Bloody Valentine stuff a listen when it was blowing up all over the web a couple days ago. It was late at night and I did give it a serious timely examination. Thought it sounded like they picked up right where they left off. Don't know if that's a good thing or not. Haven't gotten back to it yet.
    The biggest contention I have read from some of the online opinion makers is that the band evolved from a twee Byrds/shambling band that eventually eventually into the loud swirly tornado of bliss noise that made Isn't Everything and Loveless.
     It seems some of those people maybe expected the band to go into another evolution. After all, it has been two decades and all that.
In interview through the years MBV masterbrain Kevin Shields has mentioned many different things that he had gotten into musically and stylistically since Loveless came out and perhaps it was hoped some of those things would be integrated into the band's sound rather than sounding like they are standing in the same place. It would have been funny if the band would have taken some weird detour just to see how people would complain (and there are some that are going to complain no matter what) because then it would sound nothing like the band they remember. 

     Some bands who haven't done records in ages have released ones that are decent to really good (Vaselines, Bailter Space, the Feelies, Subsonics fer instance) that sounded they way people knew and remembered them but still had enough fire, energy or cleverness not to sound too much like complete good times/great oldies, let me see if those clothes I wore back in the day when I could really afford to eat 3 square meals a day (but, for some reason, always had beer money) still thing. There wasn't as much expectation or hype around those records as there has been for the new MBV and that's why there have been some really polarized opinions on it so far.

    The band will always have it's blurb in the rock-n-roll history books if, for nothing else, nearly bankrupting it's record label Creation. The rock-doc on the label, Upside Down, is now available in it's entirety on YouTube (and posted above here). It doesn't really touch on that part of the story much but is still an cool watch for people into music history of more recent decade.

Jan 31, 2013

CHEATER SLICKS "Reality Is A Grape" LP

     When first started telling pals and associates that there was a new Cheater Slicks album coming out a lot of them shrugged and wondered what the hell I was even talking about. Others said "Fuck Yeah" or "It's about time."
     I will leave the shruggers be. If they don't know/don't care about the Cheater Slicks it's their loss. I  am not going to go out of my way to explain the ugly awesomeness of  the band to them. This album was super-rare the day it came out due to the LP pressing run being only 500. It was luck that I was able to get an ACTUAL copy of in my hands because they went fast. The shruggers don't deserve such things.
     With "It's about time" folks it's like "C'mon, man. Are you for real?"
     Sure, it has been a few years (2007) since the band release a full NEW album of "proper songs" (Not to discount 2009's Bats In The Trees in any way as it was quite the ear drum basher but it seemed to be more of a concept album of freeform freakout jams) but it's not like the Slicks are spring chickens or anything.
     Most bands in the frame of age would have packed it in (and one of them would probably put together a blooze or classic rock cover band that plays in bars on the weekends to help pay child support of some shit.) Making their own kind of gnarled, sick Rock-n-Roll noise is in the Cheater Slicks blood but they aren't going to simply crank out a record every year just to make the market happy and they ain't gonna pack in the van for 6 weeks to just sleep on peoples floors at the end of the night. For fans of the bands the record every few years and the slight chance of them playing close by is a rare, cherished even. Basically, as you get older and have learned anything useful-Quality over quantity reigns anyway.
     One thing that has always stood out about the Cheater Slicks sound is for being a very treble friendly band (two guitars, drums and no bass player) is how, as a trio, the mud thick feeling and absolutely disturbed vibe they give off.
     Sounding like something off Iggy & the Stooges Raw Power encased in ice and being chipped away at by an undertaker with a hatchet in his hand the albums title track kicks off manners with an obvious chilling effect. Shards fly stabbing the eardrums while a frigid blast dries, cracks and peels the skin.
     In the hands of a lot of bands the two or three chords would sound like can rock out and all that but in the world of the Cheater Slicks those same chords sound like the guitars are fighting for their lives under stranglehold grips.
     When it comes to cheating songs they are usually some kind of cry in your beer kind of thing. In the case of "Love Ordeal" it sounds more like rage swinging sledgehammers at gnarled guitar strings that some woe tale. "
     Hold On To Your Soul" gives good advice ("If you never want to grow old") but there is something way sinister sounding bubbling to the top.
     If you've ever wondered what Hawkwind would have sounded like if Lemmy was never kicked out of the band but he in turned kicked all the hippies out of the group and then buried the amps in a landfill for a month before making a return for the studio "Half Past High" may very well be the answer.
     Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but looking past the ragged blaring of the noise that surrounds "Current Reflection" there is something quite pretty laying beneath.
     Most bands don't last into a third decade of making music. Most of those that do usually end up giving diminishing returns, sound like they are phoning it in with hopes of getting another paycheck or embarrass themselves trying to stay modern losing touch with what made them so great in the first place. The Cheater Slicks are one of those rare bands that not only still GOT IT but are making even better records than they did in the past while staying loyal to what people dug about them in the first place.

Jan 7, 2013

Kuhnhenn 2012 Wheat Wine Ale

     First things first. There is nothing better than aging a barley or wheat wine. Letting them sit in a bottle, condition and come back to it a year or so later and see what crazy things the sugars and fermentation will do. Usually, from most of the ones I have experienced it is more times than not complete beer bliss. The thing is though it is best if you have two bottles so you can get a taste of it fresh and then one down the road to compare notes.
     THIS is something I should have put in the cellar. I only have been able to get my hands on one so far and there is was teasing me and calling my name. Everything Kuhnhenn's brews is in small, small batches and what ever they make is always epic, over the top and pretty much amazing. I tried to resist. I really did! It's kept calling my name though so I could not resist.
     OK, enough hype here and I haven't even popped the cap off it yet.
     Pouring opaque brown in color til held up to the light where it gives off some ruby red shimmers my curiosity doubles. The shades of barley and wheat wines are always interesting as they vary from one brewers secret to another. The head is minimal and melts fast but does leave a slight cap behind and a constant ring making a thick lace all the way through the sipping.
     The aroma of this is huge as partially leaps out of the glass. A large malty backbone gives off a mix of molasses & caramel which is then wrapped with the scents of concord grape, vanilla and notes of tropical fruit. Interestingly enough for the big 11% abv it packs-the boozy qualities are quite muted on the nose.
     First thing that comes to mind on tasting this is how soft it feels in the mouth and on the tongue. Not bubbly or light but very fluffy. Then the flavors kick in and, my oh my, do they. Quite big some somewhat grape on the front. That is followed by a bit of wheat spiciness. The layers keep coming as there is a bit of smoky caramel next, some dark cherry tartness, brown sugar and clean not to sticky finish of deep lemon. As this brew breathes in the class all these complexities grow much more pronounced but never boss each other out of the way or turn into just to mushy muck of flavors. The alcohol IS there in the flavor but is well hidden though it does bring a tingle to the body letting a person know that even though this is a gentle giant it would get the best of you if you sat down and decided to have session as it would turn into a tussle of trying to walk a straight line after a couple
     Yep, I should have saved this to see how it aged but, like I said, I have only been able to get my hands on only one so far but Boy! Oh Boy! it is sure dang delicious.

Jan 5, 2013

PINK REASON "Ache For You" 7inch

     Given the adventures he has had and a quite sordid past (see the Smashin' Transistors "Classic Interview" below to get a gist of that) bets were probably placed that Pink Reason's main brain, Kevin De Broux, would not live past the age of 25.
     Not only has he beaten the odds but has kept his band of revolving musicians together, got married and has a kid (who he is holding on to on the front sleeve of this record).
     There's a belief by some that once someone becomes a parent they get all soft, mellow out and, if keep diggin' rock music, it's some kind of Dad Rock. Then again, most people that think that don't have any kids of their own and probably even have a hard time getting a 2nd date.
     Earlier Pink Reason releases had some Skip Spence on a total death trip and signed to 4AD vibe to them. They were haunting and, to a large extent, seemed like the were covered in permafrost. Their records of more recent vintage still have a dark, gothic (but not fruity "goth") tinge to them but the unsettling artiness has made room for a more full on punk rock battering. So much for that Dad Rock theory.
     "Ache For You" is akin to something from Iggy Pop's The Idiot with it's weird squiggly effects making guitars sound like dope fiend elephants trumpeting. Then it's run through a blender of blurt that made Psychedelic Horseshit's crown jewel Magic Flowers Droned (which makes sense as I believe a couple of those cats are Kevin's partners in noise here) so awesome to those that enjoying pissing off perfectly EQ'd audio dinks that whine about tape hiss and insist pro-tools is the best innovation to happen to music since the introduction of the headless bass.
The flipside's "Darken Days" starts out sparse and slow then builds up adding layers of menace possibly reminding the listener of something like Neil Young and Crazy Horse if they all stopped smoking weed BUT replaced it with more really, really bad and dangerous drugs.

Dec 28, 2012

Sierra Nevada Narwhal

     Looking outside the window at the 10 inches of snow that dropped in my yard the last couple of days it is most definitely winter time in these parts. Time for some slow sipping beers that bring a nice warmth to the body and encourage contemplation. Not just contemplation of the beer but just things in general.
     Pouring almost black and letting no light in at all (I tried it in several rooms, against several windows and lamps), minimal head (might be from a super soft pour or the glass as I had one of these a week back and it boomed with an inch and half frothiness that hung on for quite awhile) and slight lacing (again maybe the glass and the soft pour) this is quite a rich looking stout.
     Aromas starting bursting as soon as the hit the glass and filled the room. Reminded me something of a port wine with hints of chocolate and a good dose roasted coffee for good measure. 
     Bitter dark fruits come first in the flavor. Quite rich and distinctive. Notes of bourbon, coffee and a tad of hop bite follow it adding a the first twist to the brews complexity.  Another twist comes in the end as there is a bit of creaminess followed by a dry baker's chocolate finish.
     The mouthfeel of the beer itself is interesting for as thick as it may appear there is bit of airiness to it but is still a bit chewy. The kick of the 10.2% abv is present all throughout the sips but is never overbearing but has enough warmth to make the frigid temps outside not seem so bad. This is a good one to nurse on a day like today where there is no need to go outside, there's a hearty meal cooking in the oven (though one of these is almost a meal in itself) and wool sock provide the perfect buffer zone between feet and a cold floor.

Dec 26, 2012

"I finally realized that I didn't need to be a vegetarian to get pussy" A Smashin Transistors Classic Interview with Pink Reason

(Editors note: This past summer I decided to let the place that hosted the Smashin Transistors website lapse. Didn't feel like paying for it as cash has been tight and it was sorta becoming a secondary place to this one that I was updating. The site was also the place where everything that was on it was hosted and stored there. I did not have any of it backed up on my computer. I scrambled to save as much as I can into my current computer to some day repost the interviews. I have slowly been doing that here.

Kevin De Broux is the brains behind Pink Reason. The band was active for a bit then laid low for awhile. In the past little while though have been showing activity again and have released a couple records. Kevin is an interesting guy in many ways so I figured it was high time to get this conversation I had with him back up on the internet.


Have you ever taken a bullet?

Kevin De Broux: I've never been shot at, but I have had a few guns pulled on me before. It's hard to say how close I came to having someone use one on me though. The closest call was probably after coming home in the middle of the night when I was living on a dope farm. I walked in to find a crazed tweaker on the couch I slept on holding a forty and a pistol. He jumped up and stuck the gun in my face and started yelling at me. I took his forty from his other hand and slammed it, because that's what tough guys do in the movies. He slapped me on the shoulder and told me I was alright kicked open our back door, and shot off some rounds into the air.
After that he rolled up a huge spliff and started telling me a story about cornering Jon Spencer, pushing him around and calling him "Elvis." I'd never met this guy before. I ended up moving out of the place a couple days later, even though it was the best living situation I ever had. A couple weeks later I heard that guy OD'd and died in Minneapolis. He was lying face down in a friends lap for a couple of hours before anyone realized he wasn't nodding. That's probably the closest I ever came. A friend of mine who occasionally plays bass for Pink Reason was shot in the shoulder a while back though at a basement show in Milwaukee. The doctors left the bullet in him because he didn't have insurance.

Guns. Do ya think if the entire country was armed a lot of gansta shit would fall by the wayside or would half the country die in firefights within a year?

KD: I've witnessed the negative effects of gun control first hand. When I lived in Russia guns were illegal so only criminals had guns. What was alot scarier than that was what people resorted to when they weren't able to acquire a gun. When my friend Brock was shot recently, he told me not to believe anyone who tries to play off getting shot like it's no big deal. I was there when he was released from the hospital a couple hours after it happened. The guy was in serious pain. The only thing I can imagine hurting worse than getting shot with a small hot metal bullet, is getting shot with a big, burning flare. When I lived in Russia that is what we carried for protection. The big guys would carry the flare guns, and us little guys got to carry these hand held flares with hard plastic handles. You'd pull off the top and it'd light up like a dagger of fire and then you'd burn out whoever was fucking with you's eyes. I've seen the damage a flare gun does. Nobody wants shit to come to that.
I have no need to carry a gun on me anymore, but I still own a couple. My friend Shaun, who has played with Pink Reason off and on since the get go has a pretty nice arsenal of weapons. He's got an SKS and an AK-47 along with a few pistols and rifles. My friend Czad who is another sometime collaborator of mine has got a few machine guns as well, along with an assortment of pistols and rifles. Come to think of it, alot of my friends and bandmates have pretty large arsenals of automatic weapons and pistols. That said, I don't think guns are toys and none of us ever use them irresponsibly. In fact, playing with guns is the kind of thing that'll cause a severe beatdown around my group of friends. We take that shit pretty seriously.

Didn't you have a deaf guy in the one of the earlier Pink Reason concotions?

KD: Yeah, Dax was the singer of the first incarnation of Pink Reason that ever played live. I saw him about a month and a half ago and he was doing the same shit he's always done. Deaf people can be pretty scary. They're kind of like junkies, once you know one they just come out of the woodwork. They exist on a completely different plane from the rest of society. They have their own culture and standards. I'm sure he's down at the bar right now getting wasted and sexually harassing women and getting violent with anyone calls him out on it.
That guy once cut off part of a dude's lip and tongue with a scissors for grabbing his ass. He got away with it too cause he's deaf. I learned sign language while we were cellmates once. He was in on some pretty serious charges, federal bail jumping and domestic violence and destruction of property. He got out before I did and I was picked up for driving without a license. He had been bugging us for years to let him sing for us before we finally let him. He just happened to ask me once when I was on acid and it seemed like the most brilliant idea ever. At the time we were all convinced that we were going to get rich off of the idea. Unfortunately, when we did play out people just stood there with their mouths on the floor.

On the records is it pretty much just you playing everything so how do the touring line ups come about?

KD: They just kind of happen. The lineup we had for the tour with Psychedelic Horseshit came about because I knew of a few people who were both homeless and unemployed, so I asked them to come out on tour with us. We left for that tour without a drummer and managed to pick up this kid Alex in Cincinatti. We'd never met before, but he's since become a close friend.
Friends of mine from Lafayette came out to the show and just happened to bring him along with. I was asking people in the audience if any of them played drums and he said he did. We basically forced him to come out on the road with us for four weeks the next morning. He was recently unemployed, so he was down for it. Sometimes people offer up their services for the band, which is a pretty new development. Other times I just assemble bands out of members of other bands I'm touring with. It's usually just a matter of assembling a small cast of characters a few days before leaving for tour and then practicing like crazy.

Siltbreeze resurrected itself for Pink Reason and Times New Viking? Is this true or just hype?

KD: Probably just hype. It's true that Tom brought back Siltbreeze for TNV. I was just lucky to have released my first 7" at the right time and sent it to the right person. It was pretty much just a happy accident for me.

I played a friend of mine some Pink Reason stuff and his response was "Junkie psych...Not acid psych." What do ya think he meant?

KD" I think anyone can figure out what he meant, although I gotta disagree. It's not junkie psych, it's more robitussin blues. I can't think of a single song I ever wrote or recorded while I was on dope. I spent most of my time high nodding out or fuckin' my girlfriend at the time in the ass. Junkie girls love to take it in the ass, this is something I know. To be honest, I found the whole dope thing kinda boring after a fairly brief period, but not before ostracizing myself from all of my friends. Back then I'd walk into a show and someone would lead me outside alone and ask me if I was "alright" like I had a disease or something.
Even after I stopped doing the shit completely and had an actual serious problem with meth, I still couldn't get people to stop asking me about dope. It's so taboo, which is why I was interested in the first place I imagine. A year after I had completely stopped fuckin' with heroin and I was a full blown meth addict I had people bugging me about my heroin addiction and I'd try to explain to them that I thought dope was boring, and was past that, and these were people that knew I was up for days at a time shooting crystal, and they still focused all of their attention on the dope. The whole thing is silly to me. Junkies are silly to me. I've been sick before, not as bad as some people, but I never let it get that bad, cause I never saw the point. Junkies act like they've never had a cold before. Drink some fuckin' alcohol and get over it. The behavior of serious potheads and junkies doesn't seem all that much different to me. Dope is just pot for people who wanna be hardcore. Both can be fun in moderation and get real boring when it becomes a lifestyle.

What's the most unusal thing you ever made a (drug smoking) pipe out of? It ain't gonna be some gay hippie thing like an apple I hope.

KD: I've smoked alot of meth out of lightbulbs in the past. That's probably the strangest thing. I have smoked out of an apple before, but it was those hippies in Goodnight Loving who fashioned that. The strangest thing ever though was probably the crackpipe that my cousin (another touring member of Pink Reason) made out of a trumpet I gave him. I wasn't too happy about that either. While the trumpet wasn't in great shape, it still worked and if I would have known he was going to make a crack pipe out of it, I would have kept the thing myself. Still smoked crack with him out of it though.

So you smoked out of an apple with those Goodnight Loving hippies. They're good people but what's your take on hippies in general?

KD: I've always been interested in the darker side of that cultural phenomena. Death trippin'. Manson. The Weather Underground. The Stooges. That kinda thing.

Who in the state of Wisconsin have you done drugs with that you would never want to do drugs with again?

KD: I've had a few people end up in the hospital as a result of their doing drugs with me. I once paid a neighbor close to a hundred dollars to take a chick to the hospital after she OD'd on meth and started having a seizure. I had been up for days. I tried to flush my drugs but my friends made me hide them in the alley instead, which was probably a good idea since there was a whole lot of it and I hadn't exactly paid for it yet. Nobody would take her to the hospital and I knew I would end up in jail if I did. It was a pretty disgusting scene. It was one of the moments when you realize that everything has gone completely wrong. I didn't even really know the girl. She was my girlfriend at the time's best friend and she had just gotten off of methadone. She told me she'd done alot of meth before, so I cut her a bump, but I've got this problem of having a pretty insane tollerance to most things, and I always end up giving people too much of shit on accident.
I also hospitalized a coworker when I was much younger by giving him eight and a half hits of black geltab his first time trying acid. He listened to bad punk music, so I was trying to "fix" him. I turned on a strobe light and threw on some Throbbing Gristle and when that started to freak him out, I put on some Coltrane to mellow him out. He spent a while after that in an institution. The kid's friends were not very happy with me about that and tried asking me why I thought it was alright to give someone that much acid on their first time. I had to explain to them that I was on about eighteen of them myself and that the kid kept on bugging me for more. I ended up convincing the cops that I was sober as they were strapping him down to a stretcher. He kept on asking "have you ever questioned your own existence?" That was the only thing he could say for a couple hours before the cops came. He asked them that too. I got them to uncuff me and let me go. I convinced them on that much acid that I was sober. I was on probation at the time for possesion of LSD though, so I ended up doing a little time for that one later when I explained it all to my PO.

Who in Wisconsin haven't you done drugs that you would like to?

KD: The writer Uncle Fester was a neighbor mine in Green Bay. He literally wrote the book on clandestine methamphetamine manufacture. He also wrote the book that Japanese death cult used to manufacture the sarin gas they used to gas that subway station. Some magazine once called him "The Most Dangerous Man in America." I haven't done meth in a couple of years now. I have no urge to revisit that part of my life again, but I'm sure it would have been pretty interesting to have stayed up for a few days with him talking chemistry.

So what drugs will you never do again?

KD: This one is easy. DOC for sure. It's a phenethylamine. It's a chemical cousin of STP which made big news in the late 60's when scores of users ended up in the hospital. It's effects are like a mix between a psychedelic and methamphetamine. I made a near fatal mistake when measuring out the dosage the first time I experimented with the drug and ended up in a very bad place. I was blinded by hallucinations. Eyes closed or open did not matter all I could see was intense geometrical patterns. Then I started to have a seizure and I began vomiting and pissing myself uncontrollably. Finally I was forced to dial 911 as I was alone. When I got to the hospital my blood pressure was at a critical level. I begged the doctors to give me sedatives but they had never heard of this chemical before and were not sure how to deal with it. I tried calmly explaining to them that if they didn't give me sedatives soon that I would have a heart attack. They ended up agreeing with me and that's about the last thing I remember before falling into an intense dream state where I imagined all kinds of horrible things. When I awoke I had an IV in each arm and a catheter in my cock. I ended up eventually convincing the doctors that I felt sober so they would release me. I was still tripping. I tripped for well over twenty four hours. It was an eye opening experience and nothing I ever wished to repeat.
However, when Pink Reason was in Orlando with Psychedelic Horseshit, one of Rich, the drummer's friends scored us some stuff that was supposed to be acid. I had just told them the night before in Atlanta about my experience with DOC. Anyway, what we took ended up to be DOC and I could tell right away when I tasted it on my tongue. Luckily we all took fairly small dosage, but it was enough to keep all of us from sleeping. I was pretty scared because of my last experience with it. Matt from PH was the only one who liked the experience. We ended up having to drive about ten hours to Mobile without any sleep between the seven of us while all still coming down from this fucked up trip. It wasn't a pleasant experience, but it was an experience nonetheless and made for a good story.

Does Casey of Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones ever call you at really weird hours?

KD: He's done it a few times, but he hasn't done it for a while. I flipped the tables and called him up in the middle of the night one time all wasted just to say "hi" and talk some shit, but it happened to be an evening he had the boy and although he didn't sound upset, he also didn't seem very excited about the call. He hasn't called me late since.

Tell me a little bit about your grindcore past in Hell On Earth..or were Hell On earth not grindcore?

KD: Grindcore? There were definately elements of it in there. I was a huge fan of the stuff at the time. I was listening to alot of Suppression, Napalm Death, AxCx, Discordance Axis and the like, among other things. Others in the band not so much, although, I guess we all listened to whatever else anyone else was listening to as we spent a whole lot of time together. It was a mashup of alot of different influences. Our drummer was turning me on to shit like Zero Boys. He was also obsessed with Mob 47. Our singer loved shit like Manowar and classical music. One of our guitarists listened almost exclusively to Dylan. Our other guitarist added what he called "noise guitar." I think we all kind of just came together with the idea of making something intense. We all wanted to play fast. We were convinced we were the fastest band in the state at the time. I don't know if that was true or not.
Those were good times though. Looking back, not much has changed for me. I was transient back then, as I am now. One of the biggest differences was that back then I survived off of retail theft and dealing acid in addition to the label/distro and screen printing stuff my girl at the time and I would do. These days I'm too worried about prison to sell shit and I haven't shoplifted in years.

A couple of the Hell On Earth guys are in Razorfist, right? What's your take on them?

KD: I believe that opinion on them is pretty unanimous among those who have witnessed them live. It's fun stuff, period. Those guys may be my boys, but I don't think I'm biased here. I can be pretty critical, even with those who I love and respect. If you wanna thrash, those are the dudes you talk to.

Timmy Triplett, the guy who put out the Razorfist CD as well as the Hell On Earth vinyl EP seems like an interesting character. Any idea on what makes him tick?

KD: Tim and I go way back. He is one of the original members of Pink Reason. Him and I used to spend alot of time together back in the day. Around the age of seventeen or so, back when I was in Hell On Earth, him and I started hanging out a whole lot. He just called me up one day and we talked for a long time about music and trippin' on dramamine and for years after that we hung out all the time, smoking shitloads of weed, droppin' lots of acid. He turned me on to Royal Trux. Played me Singles, Live and Unreleased. I had never heard the band before, but we had dropped some acid and he threw it on. It was a pretty life-changing experience for me.
As far as what makes him tick, that's pretty easy, it's the constant search for the "perfect riff." I guess now he just spends most of his time working and running Trigger On The Duten Doo, but I know if nothing else he's still searching the record crates of his mind for that long forgotten stoner jam that contains the heaviest groove in the universe.

Since you lived in the Green Bay area for a bit and hung out with the Mystery Girls from time to time. Have you ever thought they didn't make a good deal with the devil...or they kept missing their appointment with them?

KD: The problem is they kept on trying to find the devil in Canada, and everyone knows the only thing they have up there is beautiful women and good weed. It'd be nice to hear something more from those guys in the future. They were one of the best live bands I've ever seen. I'd have chosen their show over any reunited Stooges or Blue Cheer show anyday. Jordan once accused me of causing the "worst show of [their] careers" after getting a PA taken away from a show we played togeather years ago. He said that we made them sound like Lynyrd Skynyrd. I've always wanted to cover Free Bird and after that I asked Jordan if he'd play lead guitar on a recording of it. He didn't seem amused.

You're not living in Green Bay these days, right? How do you like Columbus? How does it compare to some of the other places you lived in?

KD: Columbus is good. It's not that different from other places I've been in the midwest. The big difference there from Wisconsin is that it's easier for me to make money playing music. My most loyal fans in the world are all in or from Wisconsin, but they're scattered around and their numbers aren't that large. Columbus kinda accepted me in as a local and showed me a good time so I figured it'd be a good place to settle for a while. I needed a change of scenery anyway. Wisconsin was starting to get kind of depressing for me. Most of my closest friends were either moving out of the country, on their way to prison, or else, at the worst "growing up" and moving on, which essentially means spending most of their time with their women and only getting out to goto the bars.
Although I do live in Columbus, so far I've spent as much time hanging out in Lafayette, IN as I have there. I've never really been big about the "home" thing and to say that I live anywhere can be misleading. I've been in a semi-permanent state of transience for the last fifteen years. Moved out of my parents for the first time at twelve years old when I was living in Russia and it's been a trail of couches, closets, vehicles and basements ever since.

How did you end up in Russia anyway?

KD:My parents moved there during Perestroika. They wanted to take part in something important. My mom as always a fiend for Russian literature, and my father has always been pretty nomadic. He ran away from a Boyscout jamboree in Scotland when he was fifteen and spent a summer hitchhiking around Europe. Later in life he was fairly successful for a time as a businessman and spent a whole lot of time overseas when I was real young in places like Japan, Korea and China. When he finally made it to Russia, he fell in love and eventually my parents decided to ditch the relatively comfortable life we had here in the states, sell everything they owned and move the family overseas. I think they sometimes question whether it was the right decision, because it dramatically altered the course of our lives.
My family never really recovered completely from the move. They never reachieved the financial position they were in before we left the country. Things have never really been th same for us since. Personally, I think it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed me as a person. Before Russia I was a very weak person. I was pretty effeminate in my youth and was constantly harassed and physically abused. Life in Russia changed me. By the time I got back at the age of thirteen I had already moved out of my parents, been in street fights, experienced a drug overdose, had a gun to my head, and played a live show with a punk band so I developed a confidence that set me apart from my peers.

How close is Siberia to the way it's portrayed in film and books?

KD: I don't know that I've ever really seen any American movies about Siberia, but it was a pretty anarchic place. Most of my friends from that time are now dead. It was very much like the wild west. At twelve I could head down to the kiosk and pick up a bottle of vodka, and I did frequently. I hung out with hooligans in the courtyards watching them shoot dope. They tried to get me to try it, but luckily I was too scared. Wasn't too scared to try the tranquilizers though and ended up OD'ing on roofies and vodka. I was out for at least a couple of days. I don't know how much danger I was in because the people I was hanging out with just kinda threw me in a room and left me there to die. I just remember waking up, walking out of the flat and when I finally found someone I knew they were really worried cause I'd been gone for a few days. At that time, in that country, life was cheap. That's about all I can really say about it.

Vegans...Should they just shut the fuck up? I mean, it's cool and all and more power to 'em but...live without cheese and meat?

KD: Not a whole lot of people know this, but I myself was a vegetarian for six years. I ended up breaking out of it thanks to help of bratwurst, which is my favorite food in the world. During that time though I did visit Monroe Wisconsin's legendary Cheese Days festival. I was fifteen years old and full of angst and I did not eat a single bite of cheese the whole time I was there, something which I have ever since regretted. Anyway, after six years of not eating meat I finally realized that I didn't need to be a vegetarian to get pussy. Good thing too.

Ever listen to Too Short?

KD: Not since I was about thirteen years old. I used to huff alot of spraypaint back then and hang out with these indians and one of them was really into Too Short. I never cared much for it, I wasn't too big into hip-hop at the time. I mostly listened to 80's hardcore and grindcore back then. I love hip-hop now, but I'm still not too familiar with his stuff. He coined the word "biyatch" though, didn't he?

Yes. Too Short will go down in history books for the word "beyotch" (or however you spell it). What would you like Pink Reason to be noted for?

KD: I don't know exactly what I want "Pink Reason" to be remembered for. I mean, Pink Reason is essentially the creative expression of my life and experiences. I think that I would like to someday be remembered as an explorer and a journalist. I would like to be remembered for searching out extraordinary experiences and sharing the stories and wisdom that those experience gave me.
There's alot more than that, but I feel like this question has me writing my own eulogy. I don't think I have much to worry about in this department. I've always left a strong impression on people, my whole life. Since I was very young people have always reacted strongly to me in one direction or the other. That's something that's always been a source of pride for myself.

What your favorite kind of woman?

KD: I've been with alot of different kinds of women and I like 'em all. My friend Bill used to always say "all women are beautiful in their own way" and it's a nice romantic notion if not always true.
Anyway, what I look for in a woman depends on what I am looking for out of them. Redheads seem good for fuckin'. Black girls are good for the stories. The girls I date are often short, and kinda nerdy with short dark hair. I'm a pretty outgoing, aggressive guy so I like to date girls that are a bit more reserved and submissive sexually. I never limit myself to one kind of woman though.

Ya ever noticed that the out going "crazy/sexy" girls that ya think would be total savages in the sack usually end being the dead fish but the quiet nerdier types seem to be the ones that know how to tear it up?

KD: My father always used to say "I ever tell you about the worst sex I ever had? It was great!" The main problem I've found with girls who are overtly "sexy" is that they tend to be actresses in the sack. Nothing is more annoying that someone acting over the top when yer busy trying to bust a nut. One thing I really like about nerdy girls is despite their sweet and innocent outward appearance, they often have the dirtiest minds, which leads to the dirtiest sex. They are also often alot less jaded and more trusting which can make things alot more fun.

What do you think intergalactic poon is like?

KD: Out of this world, man!

Find out more on Pink Reason here

Dec 13, 2012


     Whenever I hear about someone around this town looking to put to a punk rock band together my ears pick up. "Maybe there will be a band in town worth getting in to again." I wish.
     So far that wish never happens. It's always cats looking to find others that dig Teenage Bottlerocket, NOFX or bald fat guy with a goatee palm mute rock. And, really, people (even "the kids") still listen to NOFX and want to form bands that sound like them?
     For real? They have the whole world at their fingertips-not just what the mall has in stock-AND they don't even have to take the risk of purchasing something that might stink because they can hear it all first yet they're still listening to things that are 10th generation Ramones as told by a history book that it's assumed Green Day wrote or novelty bands with members as old as their dad? UGH! How can such "kids" even consider themselves punk rock.
     Ok, that concludes my "These damn kids today" rant for this post.
     Yeah, I am out of touch and probably don't know what punk rock even is anyway but guys (be them "kids" or "oldsters"), Hank Wood & the Hammerheads, are to these ears the way punk rock SHOULD sound on most days.
     The pent up pizza faced paroxysm of prime 60's trash (including the nastiest blown out organ sounds in almost ever), the hit you in the face with a brick ugliness of the Stooges, the "Damn, this is catchy" thing that was buried under the guitar blasts of the best of the 70's punk gunk, the contempt for most everything of early hardcore (Y'know before all the metal dudes took it down some total asshole streets that jocks live on) and the top end of the 90's garage rock mash up of blues, noise, distortion and hip shakin'/beer swillin' snot and swagger all find themselves in this thick stew.
     The singer yelps like he is jumping around with his underpants on fire while ranting about being broke and the assholes he has to deal with every day while trying to get by in the big city. The band sound like their hands are made of sledge hammers and the bludgeon and pummel the sound into a thick, pounding mass of guts and mud.
      This IS one of the record of this year that if wasn't on my turntable it was always close by so it could be again and again. 

Dec 11, 2012

North Coast Pranqster Golden Ale

     With so many new beers entering the market in these parts each month, meaning so many new things to try, some of the favorites of the past have been forgotten. So many that I have wanted to write about but then never have.
     It has been a while since I have sipped on any of Fort Bragg, Ca. based brewery North Coast's wares. The other night though I saw a few things of their came back in stock at one of the stores I frequent and thought "Hmmm, It IS time to revisit." I have enjoyed many of the things they have made in the past and remembered that I never really put my 2 cents on them in print.
     Panqster pours a crisp and clear golden color with a good amount of sparkling from the bubbles. Not much of a head but a slight frosty white ring and caps hangs through the duration of the glass leaving a spots of lace behind. The Belgian yeast characteristics jump right out in the scent during the pour too. They fill the nose with banana, bubblegum, wheat and a slight bit of white grapes.
     The yeast are up front resembling banana bread in the flavor. They envelope around the other taste nuances of orange peel, dried peaches and honey. It makes for an interesting complexity-especially when notes of white pepper and nutmeg pop up before being blended back into the toasty breadiness again. A delayed warming effect also arrives a few seconds after the finish.
     The feel of the brew is self medium in body.
     When it comes to an American take of the classic Belgian Strong/Golden Ale style Panqster does it quite well.