• Best of 2009

    Dic 20 2009, 1:37

    It's that time of year again, where I sit around for far too long and think about my favorite music of the year. Every single year I hear/read people saying things like "Oh nothing good came out this year" or "I can't make a list because nothing inspired me," crap like that. I bought less new music this year than years past (not having the most steady job in the world will do that to you) yet I still had to narrow down my initial LP list from the 30s down to its current 15, same with the EPs/7"s. If you think nothing good happened this year, it's your fault. So here we go.


    1. Pissed Jeans - King of Jeans (Sub Pop)
    If 2008 was the year of great anticipation and ultimately crushing disappointment (anticipating college graduation followed by the actual aftermath), 2009 was the year of apathy and shrugged shoulders, as summed up perfectly by the repeated mantra of "False Jesii Pt 2." "I don't bother/I don't bother" the line goes. This is life? Ok, I guess. Repeat ad nauseum. Lyrically and musically crushing, I can't believe that I used to write Pissed Jeans off.

    2. Baroness - Blue Record (Relapse)
    I shouldn't like this band nearly as much as I do but I just can't help it. Listening to any one song on this record out of context is not only awkward, it's fucking dumb. Every interlude, every tossed off guitar lick, every quasi-deep lyric has a place. When they rolled through town last month Reggie's was packed when the fist opening band played. They're going to be rock stars soon and I couldn't be happier for them.

    3. Wasted Time - Futility (Grave Mistake)
    Remember all that apathy I was talking about with Pissed Jeans? For the 17 minutes that I listen to this LP all that apathy disappears, replaced by a boiling rage so intense that I want to go out and punch the first person I encounter in the head, steal their car and crash it straight through the front doors of the nearest bank. This album defines hardcore circa 2009.

    4. No Slogan - Aversion Therapy (Residue)
    For a small period of time I took No Slogan for granted, as weird as that may seem. They seemed to play every third show I went to, always played a solid set of mostly newer tunes, did their thing. After finally getting my hands on the full length, never again. Usually when people use the term "Chicago Punk" they limit their references to the big hitters like Raygun and Pegboy when they should be including No Slogan's arsenal of big riffs and woahs.

    5. Desino Final - Atrapados (La Vida Es Un Mus)
    Somehow the remaining Invasion members managed to simultaneously strip their sound down and increase the innate claustrophobia of the vocals. I'm going on record that I have had at least one confirmed hellish nightmare with Atrapados as the soundtrack.

    6. Future of the Left - Travels With Myself and Another (4AD)
    Initially I wasn't that impressed with this album, but I kept feeling compelled to go back and listen. If I could somehow calculate the amount of time certain songs ended up stuck in my head then "Lapsed Catholics," "You Need Satan More Than He Needs You" and "Land of my Formers" would dominate 2009.

    7. Punch - Punch (625 Thrash)
    My tastes normally don't veer toward the general 625 catalogue, or fastcore or whatever inane microgenre name it has. That said, this album rules and actually makes an album with such a high number of breakdowns tolerable. Most paint scraping female vocals since Erika Daking of F-Minus.

    8. Social Circkle - City Shock (No Way)
    Being a super fan of Social Circkle actually ended up hurting this album's final numerical placement. How's that possible? Well from listening to the March 2008 Sessions cassette and their original 2006 demo religiously, I already had half the LP basically memorized for well over a year before it arrived on my doorstep. Kind of a bummer but the new tunes mix right in with the old ones for an LP that should make even the most jaded of old farts take notice.

    9. Sacred Shock - You're Not With Us (Residue)
    Restraintcore? What? There's a quality about this record that I still can't quite get my head wrapped around nine months later. Don't get me wrong it's hardcore punk rock but there's a restrained, almost subdued nature to it that differentiates Sacred Shock from the field of mindless thrashers. None of this is probably making much sense but keep that in mind on your next listen and you should get it.

    10. Kylesa - Static Tensions (Prosthetic)
    I might be the only person that can honestly say that Pitchfork turned me onto Kylesa. Sure I'd known them, heard stuff in the background at parties or whatever but never really gave a dedicated listen until Pitchfork hosted a stream of this LP. By the time the two drum intro of "Scapegoat" ended with a massive guitar riff I knew I was hooked. I've explored the back catalog a bit now but nothing touches this. True crossover without a single galloping palm muted riff.

    11. Flipper - Love (MVD Audio)
    By virtue of not sucking, this album gets on the list. Seriously. I love Flipper more than any so called "sane" man should so I feared the worst, especially when the first songs went up on myspace. Luckily in context they make sense and this album, while not an all time classic, does signify that there's still juice left in the old Flipper formula.

    12. Converge - Axe to Fall (Epitaph)
    For 11 songs and 30 minutes my head explodes from the manic, monstrous, mega riffs contained in this record. Even without Jacob Bannon's vocals I'd play the hell out of this. On my first listen to "Dark Horse" and "Axe To Fall" my jaw honestly dropped. Unfortunately the last two songs, which total 12 minutes, bore the living shit out of me.

    13. Cult Ritual - LP (Youth Attack) & 14. Propagandhi - Supporting Caste (G7 Welcoming Committee/Smallman)
    This is the tale of two LPs that didn't hold up well over time at all. I listened to both of them like crazy on first release and almost never after about a month. They're not bad records by any means but I just got too wrapped up initially to really listen too much later on. Oh well.

    15. Cococoma - Things Are Not Alright (Goner)
    Sharing the same slot as Drunkdriver last year, I became obsessed with this album last week and only realized I really liked the band about a week before that. CoCoComa have been on the periphery of my interests for a few years but I never bothered to investigate. Luckily a clip of them "performing" on Chic-A-Go-Go came to my attention and next thing I know I'm listening to this LP twice a day for a week and a half right near putting this list together. I'll quote myself from last year's list "Time will tell if this is a smart or stupid choice driven by temporary infatuation."

    Honorable Mentions
    Mika Miko - We Be Xuxa (PPM). Government Warning - Paranoid Mess (Grave Mistake/No Way). Limp Wrist - one sided 12" (Limp Wrist). Marked Men - Ghosts (Dirtnap). Mi Ami - Watersports (Quarterstick).

    Click to listen to one song each from the top 15, courtesy of 8tracks.com. Everyone should use it. http://8tracks.com/blitzzkriegbill/best-of-2009

    EPs/7"s (no particular order or real write up because I'm kind of lazy)

    No Age - Losing Feeling (Sub Pop)

    Deep Sleep - Paranoid Futures (Grave Mistake)

    Condominium - Barricades (Fashionable Idiots)

    The Methadones - Gary Glitter (It's Alive)

    Drunkdriver - Fire Sale (Fashionable Idiots)

    Obliteration - This Is Tomorrow (Nita/Disposable)

    Logic Problem - No Center (Grave Mistake)

    Slices - Slices (Home Invasion)

    Loser Life - Life Number 2 (Rock Bottom)

    Disnihil - Future Cancers (Lifeline)

    Classics of Love - Walking in Shadows (Asian Man)

    Smart Cops - Smart Cops (Sorry State)

    Crow - Flock of Beast (Prank)

    Warcry - Nausea (Warcry)

    The Humanoids - Year of the Snake (Rock Bottom)

    Best LP of 2008 That I Didn't Get Until 2009

    Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Primary Colours (Goner) & Nobunny - Love Visions (1-2-3-4 Go!)
    Nobunny dominated the late winter/spring and Eddy Current Suppression Ring dominated the late summer/fall. Picking between the two is just about impossible so I'll officially call it a tie. I can't wait for both of them to release new stuff in 2010.

    Best Singles Collection

    Deep Sleep - Three Things At Once (Grave Mistake)
    2009 was a weak year for singles collections. Off the top of my head and even after a little digging I can't really come up with too many good ones. Luckily there's this little compact disc, tracing Deep Sleep's trek from an above average hardcore band to a mind meltingly good technical pop punk monster.

    Reissue of the Year

    Death - ...For The Whole World To See (Drag City)
    Clive Davis, I'm going to gouge your eyes out for making this sit unreleased for 34 years. Seriously, fuck you.

    Demos of the Year


    Raw Nerve


    So yeah, that's it for now. In a year I know I'll look back and this and see something I missed or placed too high but that's the joy of this, the snapshot effect.
  • Best of 2008

    Dic 22 2008, 1:22

    It's late enough in the year where this is allowable so here we go.

    Top 15 LPs of 2008

    1. Chronic Seizure - Ancient Wound (Fashionable Idiots/No Way)
    As if this is a surprise to anyone. Chronic Seizure know that simply slapping four chords and some shouting over a fast drumbeat for 35 seconds doesn't make a song. Some of these songs gestated for over two years before finally getting the vinyl treatment and it was well worth the wait. This is how hardcore is supposed to sound; if you can't get into this then you're probably an idiot, you love youth crew or chugga-chugga beatdown shit. You decide which is the worst.

    2. Teenage Bottlerocket - Warning Device (Red Scare)
    Anticipation is a double edged sword. TBR had been playing a decent chunk of these songs for almost two years before the record hit the streets and by the time I actually got it, it was safe to say that I knew fully half the songs. Luckily for them the energy of their live shows carries over to the album because it's stuffed to the brim with the same Ramones-Weaselcore pop punk that the world needs. These guys are getting huge and totally deserve it.

    3. Off With Their Heads - From The Bottom (No Idea)
    To put it lightly, I didn't have a very good summer. As my graduation from college and transition into the real world got closer I thought I had most stuff figured out. Then the bottom dropped out of pretty much all those plans; it wasn't a whole lot of fun. Listening to this record helped me a lot, because as cliche as it sounds, hearing someone else having the same problems or in quite a few case worse ones, it lifts you up. It also doesn't hurt one bit that Off With Their Heads finally reached their long hinted at potential with this LP. "I Am You" indeed.

    4. Total Abuse - Total Abuse (deranged)
    This makes me want to stab myself in the leg every single time I listen to it, and that's a compliment. Total Abuse added in a healthy dose of noise and experimentation to their already roaring hardcore formula and came out a "total" winner. HA HA HA HA GET IT!?!?!? If they actually do break up then we're all fucked.

    5. The Bronx - The Bronx (III) (White Drugs)
    Finally free of their major label contract, The Bronx made hands down their best record so far. They managed to combine the manic energy and pure adrenaline rush of their first LP with the more measured songwriting skills of the second. Lyrically this thing is paranoid as fuck and Matt has never sounded better.

    6. Invasion - La Caza (La Vida Es Un Mus)
    Six songs just isn't fucking enough. Each time I throw it on I want more and end up listening another two or three times it seems. The most obvious thing that makes these guys stand out is the insane echo effect that makes the whole thing sound like the inside of a fever induced nightmare, but even without that they'd still make the list. This is some next level shit people.

    7. Disfear - Live the Storm (Relapse)
    Is "professional crust" an oxymoron? It might be but listeners can't argue with the results if they sound like this. Forget the At The Gates reunion, remember Disfear at Subterranean.

    8. Annihilation Time - III: Tales of the Ancient Age (Tee Pee)
    Thin Lizzy and 1983 era Black Flag. Denim jackets and empty cans of Schlitz. Dudes and punks. Hot summer days and Annihilation Time.

    9. Terrible Twos - Terrible Twos (X!/Criminal IQ)
    Imagine this scene if you will. The essence of the early New Bomb Turks walk into a bar and sees keyboard atmosphere of more recent Locust recordings hitting on his girlfriend. A scrum ensues but in the end the two reunite over a cold beer; they're both missing some teeth and a little bit uglier but they're friends now. That is the most accurate musical description I can give of this band. Not even joking.

    10. World Burns to Death - the Graveyard of Utopia (Prank)
    The most historically accurate band of all time? This LP has Jack Control ranting about the atrocities of Russia over some period that I can't remember. Recorded in Japan, it features guest guitarists from Japan's finest bands laying down solos on just about every song. Completely seriously the credits of the LP list who wrote the lyrics, the music, and who played on the solos. Holy fuck. I just wish it was more than eight songs.

    11. Warcry - Not So Distant Future (Feral Ward)
    Look at the cover art. Look at the name. Know that they share members with Tragedy, From Ashes Rise, Remains The Day and Hellshock. Know that Paul Burdette sings. Know that they strip music down to its most d-beat essentials for eight raging songs. Come on.

    12. Pennywise - Reason To Believe (MySpace)
    The band who put out the first punk rock record I ever bought gives away for free their best album in ten years. Say what you will, I clearly don't give a fuck.

    13. Sex Vid - Communal Living (Dom America)
    This came super late in the game so who knows, maybe it would rank higher if I had more than a few scant weeks to listen to it. One of the most hyped and also mysterious bands of the last decade finally puts out a 12", but it's still barely over EP length. Annoying and great until the end I guess.

    14. Triclops! - Out of Africa (Alternative Tentacles)
    I seriously don't even feel qualified to write about this album. A mindfuck of an acid freakout that has vocal effects than render the guy sounding like a tortured baby layered on top of music that in one song managed to combine psychedelic freak outs, pressurized build ups, quiet breakdowns and blastbeats. If you aren't comfortable leaving your comfort zone then don't listen to Triclops!.

    15. Drunkdriver - Born Pregnant (Parts Unknown)
    Time will tell if this is a smart or stupid choice driven by temporary infatuation. I heard this band for the first time literally less than two weeks ago in a record store and immediately I knew I had to find out who/what it was. It sounded like the worst, most blown out YouTube video I could imagine with tortured screams heaped on top. I almost feel wrong for liking this as much as I do.

    Honorable Mentions
    Dustheads - Little Pieces (Don Giovanni). Pisschrist - Victims of Faith (Yellow Dog). Paint It Black - New Lexicon (Jade Tree). Protestant - The Hate The Hollow (Halo of Flies). Report Suspicious Activity - Destroy All Evidence (Alternative Tentacles). Socialcide - Unapproachable (Even Worse). Victims - Killer (Combat Rock/Havoc).

    Top 7"s of 2008 (no particular order)

    The Youths - Generationless (Regulator/S.H.O.)

    Sex Vid - Nests (Dom America)

    Pinhead Gunpowder - West Side Highway (Recess)

    Homostupids - Cat Music (Fashionable Idiots)

    Double Negative - Raw Energy EP (Sorry State)

    Deep Sleep - Manic Euphoria (Grave Mistake)

    Daylight Robbery - Washtenaw (Residue)

    Canadian Rifle/American Cheeseburger - split (Rock Bottom)

    Aerosols - 3rd EP (Youth Attack)

    The Agenda - Pessimism of the Mind, Optimism of the Will (Fashionable Idiots)

    LP of 2008 That Pitchfork and I Actually Agree On

    No Age - Nouns (Sub Pop)
    And you know what, if it wasn't for the stupid fucking interludes it might have made the actual list instead of making me create a little category for it.

    LP of 2008 That Should Have Come Out In 2005 And While Pretty Good, Is NOT The Second Coming Like Lots Of Annoying Idiots Think It Is

    Dillinger Four - C I V I L W A R (Fat Wreck Chords)
    This is directed at you, Punknews.org comment community.

    Most Overtly Metal LP of 2008 That I Love In A Totally Non-Ironic Fashion

    Lair of the Minotaur - War Metal Battle Master (Southern Lord)
    Look at the cover art. Look at the album title. Investigate song titles like "Horde of Undead Vengeance," "When The Ice Giant Slayed All" and "Black Viper Barbarian Clan." Listen to the riffs. Fucking shred. Repeat.

    Best Album of 2007 That I Didn't Get Until 2008

    Pissed Jeans - Hope For Men (Sub Pop)
    I have no idea why I thought I didn't like this band until recently. At least I can admit to my mistakes and own up to the fact that this album rules.

    Singles Collections of 2008 (3-Way Tie [for last[minutemen references!]})

    The Ergs! - Hindsight Is 20/20 My Friend (Dirtnap)
    Why did they have to break up? WHY!?!?! Further proof that there is no god.

    Jay Reatard - Singles '06-'07 (In The Red) and Matador Singles '08 (Matador)
    One of the most prolific guys out there today proves it by the mere fact that he needs two fucking singles collections in one year! I prefer the '06-'07 one slightly but the more recent offerings show the progression to where he's headed.

    So there you have it. If I think of more stuff I'll add it on but probably not. If you didn't find something good this year then it's your own fucking fault.
  • Best of 2007 list

    Gen 12 2008, 22:28

    Here we go again, it's that time of year. This will eventually be published on Air Raid but since you're oh so lucky to be looking at my myspace profile you get a sneak preview, complete with the fucked up formatting and picture sizes that I don't know how to fix.

    Full Length LPs/CDs

    1. Double Negative – The Wonderful and Frightening World of Double Negative. Trying to explain how awesome this album is in one paragraph is one of the most futile tasks I've ever attempted. Listen to it and you'll understand why. It's non-formulaic hardcore the way it's supposed to be done.

    2. The Arrivals – Marvels of Industry. This album that was the butt of many jokes around the city because of how long it took to come out but it was completely forgiven once I put the CD into my player. Marvels of Industry is chock full of gruff melodies that you won't be able to get out of your head for days

    3. punch in the face – At War With Everybody. This thing took forever to come out but it was totally worth the wait. This LP didn't leave my turn table for a solid week and is still in regular rotation months later. Let's hope it doesn't take several more years for these guys to crank out some more new tunes.

    4. The Ergs! – Upstairs/Downstairs. I didn't think much of this album when it first came out. Unfortunately it took a really shitty situation with a very special lady for me to see the light on this one. Upstairs/Downstairs is disgustingly heartbreaking and obscenely optimistic all at the same time. This was my soundtrack to a mopey, mopey time period but I can still listen to it all the time now that I'm not a walking ghost.

    5. Pig Destroyer – Phantom Limb. Even though I know it's against the entire point of grind, Pig Destroyer elevated themselves to the next level on this album by writing long songs that kick just as much ass as the 45 second bursts of energy.

    6. The Locust – New Erections. They keep finding ways to annoy everyone around me and for that I'm grateful. This album made my cat run away from the speakers in fear.

    7. Coliseum – No Salvation. Coliseum is yet another band that's been around for years yet this was the first record I heard from them. This shit is absolutely pummeling.

    8. The Methadones – This Won't Hurt. There's no new ground broken on this one (well, minus that acoustic number near the end), just the fourth album of well crafted power pop punk from these crafty veterans. The Methadones could probably fart on a snare drum and I'd love it.

    9. Dillinger Escape Plan – Ire Works. There's a very high chance that this would be up higher if it was released earlier in the year. I'm still trying to wrap my head around all the different elements of Ire Works and I don't know when it'll all clear up. Until then I'll enjoy the confusion.

    10. Subhumans – Internal Riot. I honestly didn't think the Subhumans would ever put out a new album. I had become perfectly happy seeing them roll through town once a year or so playing the hits and the odd new song that I never expected to hear again. Internal Riot mostly harkens back to the classic sound of their early material but also holds elements of their later, more experimental records too. If you've ever been a Subhumans fan you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

    11. Wolfbrigade – Prey to the World. It's amazing what a little bit shorter songs can do for some bands. It seems to be like they dropped a little bit of the D-Beat influence on this one and went for a more straight forward sound. I'm perfectly OK with that.

    12. Ben Weasel – These Ones Are Bitter. I don't understand why there was so much hate for this album. The production might be a bit glossy but it never goes overboard and the stellar tunes can't be ruined.

    13. Criminal Damage – No Solution. Wouldn't it be awesome if Blitz had more than three good songs? Totally man! Then they'd be Criminal Damage. I know the Blitz comparison is played out but it's so uncanny that I really can't say anything else.

    14. The Copyrights – Make Sound. The most prolific band in pop punk hit another home run with this album. It's kind of disgusting that they're set to put out ANOTHER album in January.

    15. Lifetime – Lifetime. I'm not the world's biggest Lifetime fan but this album is really damn good. If they stayed together back in the 90s this would have been their next record.

    Honorable Mentions - Bad Religion – New Maps of Hell, Municipal Waste – The Art of Partying, Severed Head of State – Power Hazard, The Queers – Munki Brain, Pedestrians – Ideal Divide

    EPs & 7"s

    Said Radio – Tidal Waves and Teeth

    Acid Reflux – s/t

    Short Attention – Clever, Maddening, Annoying

    Government Warning – Arrested

    Life Trap – Bleak Reality

    The Catburglars – Holy Shit & You May Be Dumb But I Don't Care

    Born Bad – s/t

    Canadian Rifle – Health & s/t

    Deep Sleep – You're Screwed

    Get Rad/Protestant – split

    Protestant – S/T

    Get Rad – Bastards United

    Socialcide – Burn In Hell Bundy

    Wasted Time – No Shore EP

    Regulations – Different Needs

    Singles/EP Collections

    Pisschrist – Pisslickin' Singles

    Off With Their Heads – All Things Move Toward Their End

    Protestant – As Dead As We Look

    Functional Blackouts – The Best of the Monkees

    Best Record of 2006 That I Didn't Get Until 2007

    Tragedy – Nerve Damage. Why on Earth did I sleep on this band for so long? I always heard the name thrown around but never bothered to investigate it. Sometimes I'm really dumb.

    Biggest Disappointment

    Dropkick Murphys – The Meanest of Times. My expectations were pretty low and they weren't even met. I just came away from it feeling apathetic. It's a really bad sign when out of a sixteen song album only three stick out, and one of them is a cover song.

    The Explosion – Bury Me Standing. It's still unreleased for a reason. Trust me.

    Record That I didn't Hate Nearly as Much as Everyone Else

    The Stooges – The Weirdness. It's not great but it's not really THAT bad.

    Best Shows

    The Stooges/Shellac @ Congress Theater April 15. This was by far the most expensive show I've ever paid to see, topping out at a whopping $50. It was worth every penny. I danced on stage with hundred of other people while The Stooges played "No Fun." Then when it was all over Mike Watt screamed in my face and gave me a gigantic bear hug, lifting me off my feet in the process. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Picture credit unknown. If it's yours get in contact with me and I'll change this.

    Government Warning/Wasted Time/Chronic Seizure/Sin Orden/Canadian Rifle @ Albion House March 11. The finest of Richmond meet the finest in Chicago and we all win. When you're stuck in a rut nothing will pick you up better than a basement show featuring some of the best that the United States has to offer. Government Warning closed their set with a cover of the Adolescents "No Way" and the microphone shocked me so badly that my lips were red and swollen for an entire week but I simply didn't care. Photo by Marie Kanger-Born (www.chicagopunkpix.com)

    Double Negative/Total Fury/Chronic Seizure/Pandemonium/Always Aware @ Subterranean September 22. I'm going to flat out say it: Double Negative put on one of the best hardcore sets I have ever seen. Sometimes it's so unfair to every other band when one is so much better. At the end of Total Fury's set about 40 kids stormed the stage and wreaked complete mayhem; it was one of the coolest shows in memory. Photo by Marie Kanger-Born (www.chicagopunkpix.com)

    The Methadones/The Copyrights/The Shemps/I Farm @ Beat Kitchen, May 26. This was the birth of the five piece Methadones lineup. Midway through the set Ken jumped on stage to play a few numbers and it became by far the best Methadones set I've ever seen, and when you've seen them around twenty times that's saying something. I couldn't find an appropriate picture.

    Punch in the Face/Dropdead/Artimus Pyle/Rager @ Subterranean August 15. I've never seen as many stage dives in my life as I did at this show. Shit was crazy. Photo by Kyle King. (http://www.myspace.com/punxpix)

    The Arrivals/The Brokedowns/Mexican Cheerleader/Millions @ Beat Kitchen June 1. This was the record release show for Marvels of Industry. They were passing out Mardi Gras beads and masks, noise makers, and whistles. By the end of the set Paddy mostly naked except for a t-shirt around his head and aviator shades and had a noise maker sticking out of his ass because it was so hot in there. Totally amazing show. Photo by Melanie Rose (http://www.myspace.com/melanierosephotos)

    Pedestrians/American Cheeseburger/Chronic Seizure @ Albion House May 12. I wasn't prepared for American Cheeseburger at all; 20 straight minutes of thrash only interrupted by war cries of "SCIENTOLOGY!!" Mind = Blown. Picture by me.

    Regulations/No Slogan/Intifada @ Beat Kitchen August 12. I went straight from a White Sox game to this show, therefore it was one of the better days of my life. Picture by me.

    The Ergs!/The Ka-Nives/other mediocre bands @ People's Project July 21. Saturday matinee show where the majority of the crowd was drunk by 1 PM and people started to pass out in the basement. I had to steady myself on the heating duct so that I wouldn't fall right into Mikey's drum set. Per my request The Ergs! played "Pool Pass" and all was right in the world. Picture by me.

    Teenage Bottlerocket/The Scissors @ The Note July 14. In a few more years and a few more albums, people are going to be talking about Teenage Bottelrocket the same way they talk about Screeching Weasel. I am dead serious. Picture by me.

    Wolfbrigade/Pisschrist/La Fraction/Rat Bastards @ Subterranean June 2. Pisschrist flat out stole the show and instantly became my favorite Australian D-beat band out of a crowded field of one. It didn't hurt that Wolfbrigade were amazing as well, and the Rat Bastards ended up staying together afterward. Picture by me.

    Social Circkle/No Slogan/Sin Orden/Chronic Seizure @ Albion House January 5. Someone brought a glitter shaker and let it loose some time during No Slogan's set. I was pulling glitter out of my hair for almost a week afterwards. I couldn't find an appropriate picture.

    Lifetime/The Draft/Four Star Alarm @ Subteranean April 22. I'm not even that big of a Lifetime fan but when you have 300 other people going completely apeshit you can't help but join in. This was the type of show where the audience totally made it what it was. Picture by Christine Connelly, from Lifetime's myspace page..
  • Radio show playlist and shameless plug

    Ott 27 2007, 23:19

    If you see this because of the artist connections and like what you see, tune in to http://www.airraid.net on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3-5 PM CST (Chicago) to listen to me do the best damn punk rock internet radio show ever!

    October 25, 2007

    Sick of It All - pushed too far
    Zeke - on the run
    youth brigade - you don't understand
    Suicidal Tendencies - possessed
    7 Seconds - spread
    Anthrax - got the time
    Circle Jerks - group sex
    G.B.H. - city baby attacked by rats
    Functional Blackouts - tick tick tick tick
    Jellyroll Rockheads - kenji mind is green mind
    MC5 - high school
    Operation Ivy - healthy body sick mind
    The Dils - class war
    The Skulls - incomplete suicide
    The Replacements - beer for breakfast
    Minutemen - little man with a gun in his hand
    Limp Wrist - punk ass queers
    Husker Du - celebrated summer
    From Ashes Rise - nightmares
    Really Red - lockjaw
    Rikk Agnew - yur 2 late
    Megadeth - peace sells
    MDC - radioactive chocolate
    The Hives - abra cadaver
    Ramones - beat on the brat
    Subhumans - mosquitos
    Screeching Weasel - i'm gonna strangle you
    The Copyrights - kids of the black hole
    tsol - darker my love (suburbia)
    Terrible Twos - no new thinking
    Social Circkle - static eyes
    Rocket from the Crypt - born in 69
    Social Distortion - i wasn't born to follow
    Blatz - berkley is my baby and i want to kill it
    Strung Up - i'd rather be smashing christianity
    Void - explode
    Throw Rag - demons in a row
    Bigwig - owned and operated
    The Ergs! - most violent rap group/pray for rain
    Government Warning - arrested
    Chinese Telephones - this time next year
    The Briefs - normal jerks
    Dropdead - at the cost of an animal
    Velvet Underground - white light/white heat
    Teenage Bottlerocket - so cool
    Pinhead Gunpowder - achin' to be
    Killing Joke - primitive
    Direct Control - ronnie's dead
    The Damned - generals
    The Clorox Girls - the one
    D.O.A. - world war iii
    The Arrivals - sorry for saying i'm sorry
    Street Dogs - not without a purpose
    Government Issue - rock n roll bullshit (demo)
    Flipper - ever
    Descendents - 'merican
    D.R.I. - five year plan
    Said Radio - cue the crickets
    Sugar - a good idea
    Buzzcocks - friends
    UK Subs - c.i.d.
    The Suicide Machines - your silence
    Hot Snakes - this mystic decade
    Iggy & The Stooges - raw power
    Koro - 700 club
    American Cheeseburger - cheeseburger
    D.S.-13 - i don't wanna be a skinhead
    Big Black - The Ugly American
    Siege - Walls
    Blight - armageddon
    Rancid - gave it away
    The Queers - definitely
    Groovie Ghoulies - outbreak
    Double Negative - redshift
    Conflict - c.r.a.s.s.
    Chronic Seizure - hypochondriac
    The Catburglars - i hate my job
    The Adolescents - rip it up
    Vitamin X - i can't get enough
    Flux of Pink Indians - charity hillarity
    The Clash - cheat
    The Screamers - 122 hours of fear
    Negative Approach - can't tell no one
    Mr T Experience - dumb little band
    Lords - stigmata rites
    Generation X - 100 punks rule
    Black Flag - jealous again
    American Nightmare - we are
    Black Sabbath - children of the grave
    Wolfbrigade - hide and seek
    The Phenoms - up and die
    The Meatmen - 1 down 3 to go
    The Manges - revenge of the nerds
    The Lillingtons - do it u.s.s.r.
  • My best of 2006

    Gen 13 2007, 23:27

    Here goes nothing.

    Top Albums
    1. The Lillingtons - The Too Late Show. Who would've thought that two years in a row Kody Templeman would be singing on my favorite album? This also marks the first time that I couldn't resist downloading a leak and then re-buying the actual album once it came out.
    2. Sick of It All - Death to Tyrants. Has there ever been a case where a band puts out their best album twenty years after forming? These guys were one of the first hardcore bands I ever truly loved and the fact that I think this album is better than sentimental favorites like Scratch the Surface (the ultimate soundtrack for my long nights working at Jewel) and Call to Arms says a whole lot.
    3. Napalm Death - Smear Campaign. The first few times I listened to this album it sounded like one 50 minute song of noise. That 50 minute song soon turned into a battering ram that made me unable to listen to anything else for days at a time. I'm such a nerd that I even bought the digi-pack version with two bonus songs, thankyouverymuch Metal Haven.
    4. Converge - No Heroes. They finally put out an album where I love all the songs and not just 75-80%. Wow
    5. The Bronx - The Bronx 2006. Surprise of the year perhaps? It's funny how a band I used to hate has climbed up the ranks to one of the favorites. HERE COMES YOUR SHITTY FUTURE!
    6. The Copyrights - Mutiny Pop. Your heros are all assholes (paging Ben Weasel?); these guys are not.
    7. Mission of Burma - The Obliterati. I finally saw the light and went from casual fan to "holy goddamnit this is genius" because of this album and bonus DVD.
    8. Street Dogs - Fading American Dream. Say what you will about the so called "generic pro-union/working class punk rock" that this album contains, there's no one doing this sound better right now.
    9. Some Girls - Heaven's Pregnant Teens. This is the perfect soundtrack to have pumping into your head on a cold, rainy day walking to classes you hate. I had plenty of experiences with it too, trust me.
    10. Ryan's Hope - Apocalypse in Increments. This is what would happen if Down By Law let more of Sam Williams's metal influences creep into the albums. I fucking love it.

    Honorable Mentions
    Riverboat Gamblers - To the Confusion of our Enemies. Bullet Treatment - The Mistake. Guttermouth - Shave the Planet. Killing Joke - Hosannahs From the Basements of Hell. Bigwig - Reclamation. New York Dolls - One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This. Poison Idea - Latest Will and Testament. Victims - Divide and Concquer. Toys That Kill - Shanked! The Living End - State of Emergency. Retching Red - Scarlett Whore of War. Buzzcocks - Flat Pack Philosophy

    Best EPs
    Chronic Seizure - self titled. Report Suspicious Activity - Dreamland. No Slogan - No Pasaran (did this come out in 2006? I think it did).

    Best DVDs
    Bad Brains - Live at CBGBs 1982. Buzzcocks - Live at Shepherd's Bush Empire. [artist]Devo - Live 1980. Joe Strummer - Let's Rock Again. Bad Religion - Live at the Palladium.

    Best album of power pop covers
    The Methadones - 21st Century Power Pop Riot. I would feel like an ass putting this in with the normal album category but it's too damn good not to mention.

    Most resounding "Eh" of the year
    Bouncing Souls - The Gold Record and NOFX - Wolves in Wolves' Clothing. I'm not sure if its due to changing tastes or the fact that these two albums seemed phoned in.

    Best Split of the Year
    Strung Up/Direct Control. I hadn't really heard Direct Control until seeing them this September. Talk about an amazing way to discover a great band. The fact that Strung Up are way better than average too is a hell of a bonus as well.

    Best Shows of 2006
    I saw so many of my favorite bands this year that attempting to rank them in any sort of numerical order would completely futile. Here's a list of some of the best. I'm terrible at remembering things so there's bound to be quite a few missing

    Riot Fest 2006, Congress Theater, November. I heard a lot of grumbling about the promoter, about the huge venue, the asshole staff, but when it boils down to the essentials, this thing fucking ruled. Come on, in one day I saw Naked Raygun, Blue Meanies, 7 Seconds, Youth Brigade, The Toasters, The Bollweevils, I Attack, and many more. Some of the best $23 I ever spent.
    Adolescents/Street Dogs, Beat Kitchen, August. Listen to the intro of "No Way." Listen to it a few thousand more times over the course of a young man's formative teenage years. Imagine the pure euphoria of that young man, now 20 years old, seeing that band for the first time. Try it out, it's a lot of fun.
    X/Rollins Band, House of Blues, August. The HOB fucked me over by starting the show late and making me miss the Gamblers. As much as that pissed me off it was more than made up for by the awe inspiring combination of Cervenka, Doe, Zoom, and Bonebreak. As an added bonus, the Rollins Band set was way better than I was expecting too.
    The Germs, Beat Kitchen, July. I know it's Shane West acting. I don't fucking care. I have a picture with Lorna Doom and you don't.
    Against All Authority/Brain Failure/The Code, Beat Kitchen, March. I've never seen a better example of the band and fans locking onto each other and giving everything they've got for 45 minutes then collapsing out of pure exhaustion. Impossible to describe if you weren't there, but this solidified why I love punk rock.
    Anthrax, House of Blues, January. All out thrash attack. Anthrax are the perfect metal band for me; always rocking but with a goody sense of humor. If only every metal show I went to could have such an atmosphere of fun and lack of meatheads.
    The Epoxies/Phenomenauts/Teenage Bottlerocket, Beat Kitchen, June. Three of my favorite bands to see live all packages together. You might say it was the gimmick tour of the year, and I might say you don't know how to have fun.
    The Methadones/The Bomb, Beat Kitchen, February. When the 12th time that you see a band (The Methadones) is the best you know that it was a good time. Also, this was the only time I've seen them play the Cheap Trick cover.
    Dillinger Four/The Methadones/Toys That Kill, Beat Kitchen, July. After a years of trying and failing I finally saw D4.

    Worst Show of 2006, and so far, my entire life
    Anthrax, The Pearl Room, July. I should have used my punk rock sixth sense and known that seeing a metal show in a far away suburban sports car was a bad idea. I had no idea that the security goons would flat out beat up innocent people and make me fearful for my safety. Never, ever go to the Pearl Room. Trust me.

    Most Nostalgic Show (three way tie!)
    Rancid, House of Blues, two shows, September. It made me feel like I was 13 again and was buying Punk-O-Rama 2 for the first time. I hadn't seen them since I was 15.
    The Living End, House of Blues, November. I had not seen these Aussies since I was 15, and never headlining a show. Once again, you could have put me right back into being a freshman in high school

    Worst Break Up
    The Suicide Machines. I've never, ever been more upset by a band breaking up than by this one. It was more than losing a band, it was like losing a friend.

    Shows I missed because I wasn't 21
    Buzzcocks. Mission of Burma. Blue Meanies. Naked Raygun. Riverboat Gamblers x 2. The Phenoms last show. Fuck being 20.

    2007 ahead!
    I will be 21 on May 23. Fuck you Double Door. Fuck you Note, I'm coming. Iggy and the fucking Stooges. Teenage Bottlerocket. Copyrights. Bad Religion. Many others that aren't coming to mind right now
  • Another lyrics quiz

    Ott 19 2006, 7:55

    I don't want to do any more school work for the night. Fuck you midterms.

    You know the deal. 20 random songs, blah blah blah.

    1. The one minute I saw you, I remember your red shoes

    2. I'm not afraid of life, of the poor man's struggle or the killer's knife

    3. Let me say that I know when I should be confessing, I'm counting everything- my change and blessings

    4. Iggy Pop is playing downtown and I'm outisde in the rain looking around

    5. So your hair's bleached white now, it's in to put Orange County down

    6. Heard about your band in some local page, didn't mention my name

    7. Take fire out of heaven's clenched fist, cracks slip between my desire to keep your broken heart beating

    8. Mourning for what? A lost friend I don't need. I never pressured you to live the way that I do

    9. Don't wanna study on a GI bill, want more action haven't had my fill

    10. Went to a party, I danced all night, I drank 16 beers and I started up a fight

    11. I got an urge I got a surge and it's out of control

    12. It's a lovely place, I think I'll fall asleep in a cemetary

    13. Living day by day, nothing's gone my way, fuck your answers, I didn't ask

    14. You look for a reason, there is no reason why, Nothing's ever simple when a little kid dies

    15. Whenever I'm in doubt about things I do, I listen to the high street wailing sounds in a queue

    16. Advertise the product you make never give but always take, Kill and lie for security your shit on supermarket shelves to see

    17. Man on the bus, screaming about Presley

    18. Tonight we're gonna fuck shit up

    19. Hey you, you don't know me so don't pretend like you do, I hear the shit you say loud your red, white, and blue

    20. OK let's start at the beginning when fishes roamed the sea, they swam around before anything else

    Ramones (there are two of them)
    X Napalm Death X
    The Adolescents
    X The Replacements X
    X Blatz X
    X Dead Kennedys X
    X Subhumans X
    Give Up The Ghost/American Nightmare
    X Dillinger Escape Plan X
    Bouncing Souls
    Pinhead Gunpowder
    Youth Brigade
    X The Soviettes X
    Gorrilla Biscuits
    X Devo X
  • Boycott the Pearl Room in Mokena, IL

    Lug 15 2006, 1:50

    I saw Anthrax there tonight, and the show was pretty much ruined by the venue. Anthrax themselves were amazing. I have no complaints about them. I would've preferred if they wouldn't have done the Among The Livingalbum and played some other songs but they were still great. I still had fun. Here's the set list, and the giant diatribe below is a description of the bullshit I had to deal with.

    Among the Living
    Caught in a Mosh
    I am the Law
    Skeleton in the Closet
    One World
    ADI/Horror of it All
    Imitation of Life
    Got the Time
    Be All End All
    Bring the Noise

    The Peral Room is like The Studio under Rose Red, so much potential just pushed down the fucking drain. My friend and I got there at like, 8:15 so we had to see fifteen minutes of the second band, that's fine. Pantera or something comes on the PA and some of the fools start thrashing around, one of the security guys ropes a guy in and grabs him by the neck. I remark to my friend and say "so are they going to kick out everyone who moves?" This guy who's about Five foot two (and later on I find out works for the club, because he was directing the goons around) says "nah, they're here to keep order, they only step in if someone's hurting someone else." Whatever you say chief.

    We wait for 45 minutes for Anthrax to come on stage. All their amps and drums were already set up. 45 fucking minutes? Come on. It was hot as all hell too, even when the bands weren't playing I was still sweating. So Anthrax comes on and they rule. This place is no fault of their own. They run through all of Among the Living and I'm having a great time. There's no barrier at this place, instead there's a couple of goons in orange shirts there to "keep the peace." This guy is literaly staring at me the entire time, keeps pushing all of us back. He sees a guy taking a picture with his cell phone, he GRABS THE PHONE away from the guy and won't give it back for a few minutes. I'm maybe two or three people away from the stage so I intended to stay up there since it was kind of a fight to get there.

    They start with "Got the Time," one of the greatest cover songs ever, and understandably the energy of the place kicks up a notch. This kid in front of me pushes backwards and then I get slammed back into him, happens all the time. Out of nowhere, like the hand of god or something, this giant hand takes me by the shirt and starts pulling me back, then my other shoulder gets grabbed, and I see this 300, 6'8" guy in a bright orange shirt. I throw up my hands and do the "I'm not resisting you" routine. I'm dumbfounded as to why I'm getting singled out so I ask him, extremely politly, "was I doing something wrong? What happened?" He glares at me and pushes me and says "get out of here." I have my hands up like I'm being arrested the entire time.

    After he pushes me I look around and find that I'm in the "designated moshing area." There's literaly seven of these guys all standing in a circle that's maybe 10 feet wide and five feet long. I'm pissed off because now I'm 20 feet back from the stage and can't see as well and try to move back up but the wall of people is inpenetrable so I spend the last quarter of the show in there. In the "designated moshing area" if you come within five feet of the goons they either A) push you away extremely violently or 2) wrap their arms around you in a fucking sleeper hold and yell into your ear to get away. Between songs these idiot metals heads are shaking these guys' hands and saying "thanks for keeping order man, good job." I was ready to jump out of my skin because I was so angry.

    The last song Anthrax plays is "Bring the Noise." I flip out and start up a circle pit and run around like a madman. Not fifteen seconds in, I get the sleeper hold put on me. Like me, other people start going nuts. People try to crowd surf, and the goons literally rip the people down by their clothes and start punching them if they so much as move. The people are put to the ground and then punched, then promptly "escorted" out without so much as a warning. I don't like crowdsurfers either but this is excessive. They were equal opportunity punchers too, because there were ladies getting punched as well. Scott Ian was talking saying "we'll be back" so I scream out "PLEASE NEVER PLAY HERE AGAIN" and the closest orange shirt SS guy glares me down and is giving me the look of death as people are walking out the door. Once again, idiots thank the goons for "helping out" and shit.

    Fuck The Pearl Room. They're on the shitlist of never going back there again
  • Lyric test

    Mag 22 2006, 9:02

    Food poisoning kept me up until 11 AM last night so my sleep schedule is a little off. Figure out these lyrics, there's a few tough ones

    Step 1: Put your iTunes or equivalent on random.
    Step 2: Post the first line from the first 20 songs that play, not matter how embarassing.
    Step 4: Bold out the songs when someone guesses correctly.
    Step 5: Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is CHEATING!

    1. Posession of a mind is a terrible thing

    2. Born to lose I've lived my life in vain (whoever doesn't get this is a fool)

    3. so i'm caught, so you said, off to jail with a bleeding head

    4. I'm not theirs in product or in name But I've got no true discretion I can speak of

    5. Nothing original of this shit I wear

    6. I'm walking in the street with the latest on my feet

    7. You watch what I say, watch what I say, watch what I do because I really don't care, I really don't care

    8. Something's out there killing everyone, I don't wanna die too young

    9. .357 magum, 9mm handgun, AK47, and an Uzi submachines gun

    10. Everybody at your party, they don't look depressed

    11. She looks pretty good in blue she's worn it out a lot

    12. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon hurry up Harry come on

    13. Just enough water to ensurface the world, oil baron running the government, so I'll start a war

    14. right here all by myself I aint got nobody else

    15. Another night out on the street stopping for my usual seat

    16. If it was for me I thought it'd come so easy, never realized life's just a series of lows and highs

    17. It aint me there's gotta be more to choose from

    18. Picked a spot below the drop knew something was about to fall

    19. I wanna smash it up for all the workers

    20. You're out of touch I do believe, that you're afraid of what you see

    In all honesty, I probably wouldn't get most of these.

    Sham 69 X
    The Stitches
    Generation X
    Mighty Mighty Bosstones X
    Ramones X
    Bouncing Souls X
    7 Seconds
    T.S.O.L. X
    Misfits X
    The Mr. T Experience X
    Andrew W.K. X
    Descendents X
    (International) Noise Conspiracy X
    Groovie Ghoulies X
    Killing Joke
    The GC5
    The Replacements
    The Effigies
    Black Flag X
  • It's 4:42 AM and I can't sleep

    Apr 9 2006, 9:51

    1. Ramones
    First song heard: I don't even know, most likely a badly cut up version of Blitzkrieg Bop
    Song that got me into them: I'm not even sure
    Favorite song: three way tie between Judy is a Punk, Sheena is a Punk Rocker and Howling at the Moon

    2. Screeching Weasel
    First song heard: Dummy Up
    Song that got me into them: Hey Suburbia
    Favorite song: Slogans

    3. F-Minus
    First song heard: Lose Yourself
    Song that got me into them: the The Mind (Epitaph had an MP3 posted and it was spectacular)
    Favorite song: Wake Up Screaming

    4. 7 Seconds
    First song heard: Not Just Boys Fun (via H2O's cover)
    Song that got me into them: Here's Your Warning
    Favorite song: Young 'Til I Die

    5. Teenage Bottlerocket
    First song heard: Bloodbath at Burger King
    Song that got me into them: Bloodbath at Burger King
    Favorite song: Bloodbath at Burger King

    6. The Replacements
    First song heard: Fuck School
    Song that got me into them: Kids Don't Follow
    Favorite song: Favorite Thing

    7. The Lillingtons
    First song heard: I Some Brain Damage
    Song that got me into them: Wait it Out
    Favorite song: Kevin is a Lunatic

    8. The Suicide Machines
    First song heard: S.O.S.
    Song that got me into them: No Face
    Favorite song: DDT or Someone

    9. The Queers
    First song heard: I Hate Your Fucking Guts
    Song that got me into them: Ursula Finally Has Tits
    Favorite Song: Fuck the World

    10. Negative Approach
    First song heard: Negative Approach
    Song that got me into them: Can't Tell No One
    Favorite song: Can't Tell No One
  • Stupid survey time

    Feb 27 2006, 4:19

    I've been reading court opinions about the first amendment for the better part of the last three days so I'm allowed to do this.

    Name your top 10 most played bands on Last.fm: 2/26/2006

    01. Ramones 488
    02. Screeching Weasel 367
    03. F-Minus 310
    04. 7SECONDS 300
    05. Teenage Bottlerocket 269
    06. The Replacements 236
    07. The Lillingtons 217
    08. Minutemen 204
    09. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones 199
    10. The Queers 196

    Now answer the questions according to the numbers:

    -- what was the first song you ever heard by 6?
    "Fuck School"

    -- what is your favourite album of 2?
    Oh man... either My Brain Hurts or Anthem For a New Tomorrow

    -- what is your favourite lyric that 5 has sung?
    "You know there will come a day/I'm gonna make those fuckers pay/Bloodbath at Burger King"

    -- how many times have you seen 4 live?
    Once. And it was one of the best hours of my life.

    -- what is your favourite song by 7?
    "Kevin is a Lunatic"

    -- what is a good memory you have considering the music of 10?
    The fact that I can listen to them at any time and they'll make me smile

    -- is there a song of 3 that makes you sad?
    Nope. If F-Minus makes you sad then you have problems

    -- what is your favourite lyric that 2 has sung?
    Woah... um... "we're gonna slam dance on your grave" comes to mind first, but there are so many great ones.

    -- what is your favourite song by 9?
    "Drunks and Children." Whatever version it's in, I don't care. It has the best horn line in the history of music.

    -- how did you get in to 3?
    I heard them on the Give 'Em The Boot comps, but it wasn't until I downloaded the advance MP3s from "Wake Up Screaming" that it really hit me how great they were.

    -- what was the first song you heard by 1?
    I don't even know, they were just always subconciously (I can never spell that word) there

    -- what is your favourite song by 4?
    This is one that's impossible. Off the top of my head, "Still Believe"

    -- how many time have you seen 9 live?
    Three times, the last three times they came through Chicago. I miss them so much, I'd die if I was able to see them again.

    -- what is a good memory you have concerning 2?
    I used to hate them because a kid I knew in high school was a real jerk and he had a huge Weasel sticker plastered on his folder.

    -- is there a song of 8 that makes you sad?
    Nope. D Boon is incapable of making anyone sad unless you think about how he died.

    -- what is your favourite album of 5?
    Total is one of the best pop-punk albums of all time

    -- what is your favourite lyric that 3 has sung?
    "A bomb tears life from mother and son/God is a bullet heaven's the gun... Wake Up Screaming"

    -- what is your favourite song of 1?
    Judy is a Punk. The absolutly perfect song. If you disagree then go fuck yourself.

    -- what is your favourite song of 10?
    "Ursula Finally Has Tits"

    -- how many times have you seen 8 live?
    None. I was born too late unfortunatly.

    -- what is your favourite album of 1?
    The self titled. It started everything.

    -- what is a great memory you have considering 9?
    I had no idea what the fuck punk rock or ska was when I first heard them but I knew they were good.