Archive for December, 2008

D.R.I.: Live At The O.D. Ranch in KC, MO 06-24-84

December 22nd, 2008 2 comments

You know, I still fucking love early D.R.I. Admittedly they kinda lost me after “Dealing With It”, but there are still plenty of days when I’m in the mood for those first two 7″s (or the first 12″ & the “Violent Pacification” single, or the first CD, or however you wanna look at it). I don’t know if it’s the era, the songs, the crude recording quality, the pre-Metal writing structure, the youthful energy or just the freshness of my own personal exposure to hyper fast noisy Hardcore (maybe only the earliest Gang Green cuts came close), but its hard to top those first few years of total AUGHHHHHHHHH!

This show was held at the “O.D. Ranch” (the Orange Doe-Nuts’ upstairs loft and namesake of their LP “Back at the Ranch” — I seem to recall that they were later evicted after being charged with “partying during office hours” when Tales of Terror played), and for a house party the sound was really pretty good. D.R.I.’s show was right in the middle of a near-solid week of KC gigs (Sluglords: 6/22/84, The Freeze: 6/23/84, Nick Cave: 6/25/84, JFA: 6/26/84, The Faction: 6/29/84), but even in the midst of my live music sensory overload they managed to make a strong impression. The O.D. Ranch certainly was a cool space and this gig was SweatyHotPacked with plenty of energy and some exuberant (but contained) slamming that looked like a tiny ball of elbows if viewed from a vantage. In listening back I can still ID half of the people who joined in on the mic, and right after the band was done I dashed up to snag one of those giant ceiling-to-floor butcher paper setlists, the spoils of this act triumphantly hanging upon my bedroom wall for months. Considering all of the tiny stuff I’ve held on to over time I have no idea how I eventually managed to lose track of something that huge, but I did. Ah well, at least the recording remains.

D.R.I. J Card
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D.R.I.: Live At The O.D. Ranch in KC, MO 06-24-84 (192 kbps)
01 I Don’t Need Society (1:19)
02 Reaganomics (0:34)
03 Commuter Man (0:51)
04 Plastique (0:18)
05 Why? (0:31)
06 Balance Of Terror (0:36)
07 My Fate To Hate (0:22)
08 Who Am I? (0:31)
09 Money Stinks (0:41)
10 Human Waste (0:20)
11 Yes Ma’am (1:34)
12 Denis’ Problems (0:44)
13 Closet Punk (1:07)
14 How To Act (1:00)
15 Taxes Back (0:48)
16 Equal People (0:42)
17 On My Way Home (1:01)
18 The Beginning Of The End (0:50)
19 Bail Out (1:45)
20 Snap (1:06)
21 The Explorer (1:31)
22 Slit My Wrists (0:21)
23 Busted Again (1:28)
24 Stupid Stupid War (0:50)
25 Counter Attack (0:18)
26 I’d Rather Be Sleeping (1:39)
27 Running Around (0:52)
28 Couch Slouch (1:25)
29 To Open Closed Doors (1:05)
30 God Is Broke (1:00)
31 Soup Kitchen (1:58)
32 Sad To Be (1:53)
33 War Crimes (1:28)
34 Busted (0:41)
35 Draft Me (0:23)
36 First Round Draft Choice (0:32)
37 Capitalist Suck (0:30)
38 Madman (0:43)
39 Misery Loves Company (0:36)
40 No Sense (1:27)
41 Blockhead (3:19)
42 Karma (3:13)
43 No People (2:46)
44 Violent Pacification (Incomplete) (0:51)

Iron Cross: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO 08-11-84

December 21st, 2008 No comments

Jason: What were your thoughts of the Kansas City crowd?

Sab: I had a good time, apart from the two people. But there are always at least two in every crowd.

Andre: Could you explain what they were doing?

Sab: Oh, they were just Sieg-Heiling that’s all, and I don’t have any time for that so I told them off.

Jason: What did you say?

Sab: I said that if they were beaten up by three people in the N.F. (National Front) when they were sixteen, they wouldn’t be doing that.

My exposure to Iron Cross before this night was limited to their tracks on the Flex Your Head comp and a crappy tape recording of the Skinhead Glory single. Thanks to the source quality I’d scarcely spun the tape, but the Flex Your Head tracks really stood out to me due to that killer guitar tone & the overall comparative tempo restraint. Still, aside from reading an interview with Sab in Maximum RocknRoll #11, I barely knew a damn thing about the band and had little clue about the (by then 3 years old) various controversies surrounding them. My ignorance aside, even from this 38 minute set I could see the divisive impact they had on punks of the day; for example at the KC show their cover of Skrewdriver‘s 1977 tune “I Don’t Like You” was met with Sieg-Heiling, and throughout this recording you can hear people mockingly shout stuff like “More Heavy Metal!”, “Slow down!”, “It’s too fast!” and “You’re too wild!”. 1984 Hardcore in a snapshot, I suppose.

I was outside interviewing Naked Raygun (their set from this night has been posted as well, grab it here) when Iron Cross began to play, so while “I Don’t Love You Anymore” starts a bit abruptly, this is pretty much the full show. Interestingly, along with some otherwise unreleased covers by the likes of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones (“We Love You”!), there are a handful of songs here that either never officially came out or are tunes I simply don’t know. To wit, “House of Pain”, whatever Track 07 is really called (which starts with Sab shouting “Whatcha gonna BEEE when you grow up?” & seems to have a chorus of “What is right for you?”), and the “New One” (announced with a preface of “I don’t even know the words yet and we’ll probably fuck it up but you won’t notice the difference”). In taking to Sab after the show (more on that in a second) he mentions their plans to go home and record a full album, so I can only assume these were slated to appear there. If you’re out there Sab I’d love to get the story, there are some cool songs here that (if dead) probably deserve a resurrection.

Also bundled in with the show is a PDF of an interview with Sab that I ran in issue #5 of my ‘zine Room 101. I can’t say that it’s my finest hour as I’m either clueless or silent through most of it, but my friend Andre saved the day by having a couple of actual questions to ask. Despite the ramshackle quality Sab was gracious as could be throughout, so (against all odds) you might actually be somewhat entertained. Topics touched upon include “Straight Edge” (you know, of course), SOA, Naked Raygun & “how Sab got into Punk”. Somehow I managed to avoid asking him what his favorite pizza topping was.

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Iron Cross: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO 08-11-84 (192 kbps)
01 I Don’t Love You Anymore (2:17)
02 House Of Pain (3:28)
03 Shadows In The Night (3:20)
04 I Don’t Like You (Skrewdriver) (2:26)
05 Wolfpack (3:02)
06 Communication Breakdown (Led Zeppelin) (2:52)
07 Track 07 (What Is Right For You) (2:35)
08 You’re A Rebel (4:41)
09 Crucified (3:51)
10 New One (4:45)
11 We Love You (Rolling Stones) [False Start] (0:35)
12 We Love You (Rolling Stones) (3:15)
13 Keith Patterson Announces Upcoming Shows (1:01)

• Here’s the interview in PDF form all by itself.

Hüsker Dü: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 05-12-84

December 20th, 2008 6 comments

Before we get started, I’d like to thank KJHK for making this all possible. Now the band that you’ve been waiting for! Please give a warm, Opera House welcome for, SST recording artists, Hüsker Dü!

May 12th, 1984 was the first time that I ever saw Hüsker Dü. Since I’d dutifully purchased and absorbed all of their albums (being particularly blown away by Metal Circus, easily my most played record the Fall and Winter of 1983) I thought I knew what I was in for. I knew dick.

Not only had I never experienced a band that had so mastered the art of inserting those unrelenting song blocks into their set, but an amazing 13 of the 19 songs they play here (and there were more that my tape recorder missed) were unreleased by them at the time. As a result I spent the next two months playing and replaying this tape in an unwitting prep session not just for their MegaHugeAwesomeDouble LP Zen Arcade (from which they played 7 songs), but also for their HowManyFuckingGreatTunesCanTheyWrite? followup New Day Rising (5 songs here) which was released only 6 months later.

The Lawrence Opera House (now known as Liberty Hall with a great adjacent video store — ask for Doug!) was a big boomy venue with a cool balcony and decrepit charm to spare. As a result the sound here is kind of echoey, but the mix is solid and the Hüskers are tight as hell. If you’re put off at all by the audio don’t fret; I trucked up to Kansas City for their gig the next night as well and, while the set was largely the same, I managed to capture about 6 more songs with a fuller overall sound. That recording will be coming along soon enough so, you know, watch this space for links.

No flyer, but here’s a review of the show from issue #5 of Lisa “Zero” Kelley’s local ‘zine National Priorities:

Hüsker Dü Show Review from National Priorities #5
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Hüsker Dü: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 05-12-84 (192 kbps)
01 Something I Learned Today (2:06)
02 It’s Not Funny Anymore (1:47)
03 From The Gut (1:21)
04 Wheels (1:46)
05 Everything Falls Apart (1:47)
06 The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill (3:16)
07 I Apologize (3:29)
08 Books About UFOs (2:40)
09 Folklore (1:31)
10 If I Told You (2:07)
11 What’s Going On (3:19)
12 Somewhere (2:28)
13 Pink Turns To Blue (2:20)
14 Newest Industry (2:48)
15 Broken Home, Broken Heart (1:56)
16 Diane (3:53)
17 Masochism World (2:32)
18 Eight Miles High (Byrds) (5:03)
19 Statues (Incomplete) (1:59)

Micronotz: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 08-26-85

December 19th, 2008 2 comments

Having barely missed the true heyday of the Embarrassment (the only other real contenders), I can easily say that The Micronotz were by far my favorite local band growing up. At the age of 14 I already knew I was damn lucky to have them around, and listening back on their albums today it’s even more apparent to me. Throughout their relatively short career (5 and a half years) they always delivered a solid and unique garage/Detroit-influenced form of American proto (and post) punk, with increasingly crafty pop-styled song structures showing up a bit more towards the end (translation: reviewers started mentioning Hüsker Dü more and Iggy Pop less). As most people familiar with the Micronotz know, there were two versions of the band; the short breakdown is that after original singer Dean Lubensky left Lawrence in 1984, “Crazy Legs” Jay Hauptli stepped in on vocals / second guitar to complete the new lineup. I’ve always thought that both formations were completely excellent in different ways and I’m sitting on around seven or so recordings from the “Jay Years” that I’ll be happy to share here.

Chronologically this show is actually the last of theirs that I recorded, but I’m starting off with it both because it was a great gig (in multiple respects as they were opening up for the recently reformed Descendents), and because of a conversation I found on the tape when I got home. Turns out that right after the Micronotz finished up their song “40 Fingers”, some fellow from the crowd picked up the recorder I’d left sitting on the mixing board. Assuming that it belonged to the band (and as a side note, old vocalist Dean was actually in attendance here in the crowd), this gentleman helpfully proceeded to solicit reactions about the show from his female companions:

Larry: So what did you think of tonight’s performance, Blair?

Blair: What?

Larry: What did you think of tonight?

Blair: Oh, wonderful! Musically tight. You know, with Dean they had a better show, but now with Jay they’ve got a better, better sound.

Larry: Now that’s Dean, Dean “The Machine”, is that who you’re talking about?

Blair: Right, right, right, right. He had the bod that attracted the girls, but these guys, they’ve got the music ability.

Larry: Thank you. Thank you for your comments.

Blair: You’re welcome Larry.

So there you have it; both a succinct breakdown of the different eras of the band and the final word on the subject. The arguing ends now.

Micronotz live at the Foolkiller, 1985 (Photo by Phillip Heying)
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Micronotz live at the Foolkiller, 1985 (Photo by Phillip Heying)

Micronotz: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 08-26-85 (192 kbps)
01 Stray Cat Blues (Rolling Stones) (1:40)
02 Born To Kick Ass (1:03)
03 Whatcha Trying To Do (2:24)
04 Proud To Be A Farmer (2:42)
05 Psychodeli (2:18)
06 Black And White (2:04)
07 Your Mind Is Empty (2:24)
08 Exit 301 (3:09)
09 Push It Out (2:12)
10 40 Fingers (1:51)
11 Audience Reactions (1:41)

And to round things out, here’s an interview with the guys on tour in early ’85, uploaded to YouTube by SuperFan Mike Blur:

Minutemen: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 07-10-84

December 18th, 2008 3 comments

As a lot of folks seem to enjoy pointing out these days, 1984 was a really amazing year for music. If you lived through it you know that while mainstream America was mostly focused on the likes of Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson & Bruce Springsteen, the outpouring of great stuff via the whole punk rock/underground/whateveryouwannacallit had really hit some kind of fever pitch.

Justifiably perennial on any “Hooray for 1984” list is the Minutemen‘s “Double Nickles On The Dime” LP, and though “What Makes A Man Start Fires” was the first Minutemen release I really fell in love with (and remains my favorite), I certainly concur. Somehow my crummy zine had magically worked itself onto the SST promo list around June, and the day when I came home to discover both “Zen Arcade” & “Double Nickles” waiting on my front porch was an amazing one for sure. Needless to say, after hours and hours of cramming the sounds (it arrived only days before this show) I was very, very excited to finally see the real deal. As you’ll hear they didn’t disappoint.

Despite the sweltering July weather the Foolkiller was packed extra tight with fans, and for my money it was the perfect sized club to catch them in. Subsequent Minutemen shows that I was able to see were at increasingly large venues & the band-to-audience energy understandably lost a lot of punch, but man what a unique & cool bunch of guys. Sure wish they’d been able to stick around longer. Sure wish I’d taken pictures. Sure wish I still had that double sided 1984 tour t-shirt featuring Uncle Sam’s exposed cock.

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Minutemen: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO July 10, 1984 (192 kbps)
01 Toadies (1:36)
02 Retreat (1:49)
03 Anxious Mo-Fo (1:13)
04 Maybe Partying Will Help (1:47)
05 Joe McCarthy’s Ghost (0:53)
06 The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts (1:21)
07 Please Don’t Be Gentle With Me (0:45)
08 God Bows To Math (1:19)
09 Viet Nam (1:32)
10 Love Dance (4:14)
11 Mutiny In Jonestown (1:10)
12 Fake Contest (1:00)
13 The Only Minority (0:56)
14 The Tin Roof (1:39)
15 Mr. Robot’s Holy Orders (2:19)
16 No Exchange (1:36)
17 Static (0:44)
18 Search (0:53)
19 The Punch Line (0:39)
20 Definitions (1:09)
21 Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (Van Halen) (0:39)
22 The Anchor (2:41)
23 Cut (2:04)
24 There Ain’t Shit On T.V. Tonight (1:29)
25 Don’t Look Now (1:50)
26 Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want the Truth? (1:47)
27 Nothing Indeed (1:19)
28 Self-Referenced (1:08)
29 Dream Told By Moto (1:33)
30 The Product (2:34)
31 Corona (Incomplete) (1:27)
32 Plight (Incomplete) (0:58)
33 I Felt Like A Gringo (1:49)
34 Jesus And Tequila (2:52)
35 Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs (2:05)

By the way, a pretty good recording of their (even longer) set from the next night in Columbia MO at the Blue Note is out there too, here’s the flyer:

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and the link to the audio:

The Dicks: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO May 3, 1984

December 17th, 2008 4 comments

Here is where I present aural and visual evidence that when I was 14 years old my parents let me ride an hour and a half up to Kansas City (on a school night!) so that I could see a punk rock band called “The Dicks”.

Making their permission even less likely, I had chosen to bolster my sales pitch for the event by showing them issue #6 of Maximum RocknRoll, which depicted Dicks singer Gary Floyd in drag on the cover with the words “The Dicks: A Commie Faggot Band!??!” scrawled across the top.

 MRR 06

In the end I don’t know if my folks complied because of my persuasive skills or because it was obvious that I was absurdly determined to become entwined with all of this punk rock crap, and they simply decided to embrace that end result sooner rather than later. I strongly suspect the latter, and stronger still I think the secret deal-closer was that they were vaguely impressed with the dedication I had recently shown by slopping out two terrible issues of my very own fanzine “Room 101”, which I was busily sending out all over the globe in apparent obliviousness as to just how much it blew (and for the record, the degree to which it blew was “totally”.)

Luckily the guy who was going to help me make that ‘zine better was also the guy who had invited me to the Dicks show in the first place; his name was Jack Boyd and we’d only recently started hanging out. He was two years my senior and in addition to being a great musician and artist he also had the best Punk Rock record collection I’d ever encountered which he wasn’t at all hesitant about loaning out. Jack would eventually do cool drawings for Room 101, help with interviews as well as record and show reviews, greatly advance the design and layout (Zip-A-Tone! Rub off lettering!) and take all of the cool pictures you see below (exciting contextual note: the peel off letters used here (for “Henry Rollins Interview”, etc) were glow-in-the-dark and came from a box of Cap’n Crunch.)

Room 101 Cover
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Sebastian, Gary, Tim
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It was also in the service of this ‘zine that my Dad offered me the icing on the cake; he would loan out his portable cassette recorder for the night, allowing me to both interview AND record the band. I couldn’t believe it — in one fell swoop this presented the technological means to nail the two biggest desires punk rock had stirred up for me; contribution and documentation. (Running neck in neck of course was urge number three: “collect”, but for that I blame comic books.)

So this was my first “big city” show, my first interview with a band, and the first time I’d ever been entrusted with something as expensive as that tape recorder — looking back I can see that so many things could have gone wrong here, but amazingly nothing did. Kismet! We pulled up and I immediately felt at home in the Foolkiller (a “Folk Cabaret” with a historically liberal performance policy), I met the show promoters Keith Patterson and Eric Schindling (“Group Productions”) and they were both amazingly cool guys who said it was no problem for me to tape the show (I asked if I could leave the recorder by the sound board; my fears of thievery loosing out to the desire to be up in front of the band) and to top it all off I couldn’t have asked for an better first interview than the Dicks.

I dunno, maybe the band felt sorry for me or something (hell, I hadn’t even gone all the way through puberty yet), but despite some really dorky questions (“Is the theme of the new album the same as the single? Peace and no war and stuff like that?”) not one of them ever treated me like the rube I clearly was. In fact you can check it out; I’ve bundled a JPG of the printed interview in with the zip file of the show. Oh and did I mention that their set sounded fucking great too? Hit after hit sounding both tight and raw. Don’t miss snippets of my pre-voice change vocals on “No Fuckin’ War” either (easily confusable with the shriek that Rachel from “Issue” fanzine emits by the end). Uh, sorry about that guys.

Like I said: so many things could have gone wrong here, but instead this evening probably put the next big chunk of my life squarely into motion. My enthusiasm stoked, I started recording and interviewing lots of other bands for my ‘zine, tapping myself into a network of great people both worldwide and right in my own home town. Clearly this good fortune is still paying off today; over a quarter century later I get to share that night with YOU.

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• So here’s the show (comes bundled with a jpg of the interview, as well as large versions of the flyer and the 3 pictures that Jack took)

The Dicks: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO May 3, 1984 (192 kbps)
01 No Nazi’s Friend (4:08)
02 Nobody Asked Me (1:47)
03 The Police (Force) (2:42)
04 Legacy Of Man (3:26)
05 Fake Bands (3:08)
06 Rich Daddy (2:42)
07 Executive Dive (4:11)
08 I Hope You Get Drafted (2:11)
09 Sidewalk Begging (5:09)
10 You’d Better Think Twice (2:13)
11 Anti-Klan (Part 1) (2:11)
12 Decent And Clean (2:48)
13 The Dicks Hate The Police (2:25)
14 No Fuckin’ War (6:24)
15 Little Rock ‘n’ Roller (Incomplete) (1:52)

• And here’s a link to the interview in JPG form all by itself.

Room 101 #4 - Dicks InterviewRoom 101 #4 - Dicks InterviewRoom 101 #4 - Dicks InterviewRoom 101 #4 - Dicks Interview

Room 101 #4 - Dicks InterviewRoom 101 #4 - Dicks InterviewRoom 101 #4 - Dicks InterviewRoom 101 #4 - Dicks Interview

(And hey! I’d still really love to get a copy of that Wrecks demo “Teenage Jive”!)

…and just for the hell of it here’s a clip (shot only one month earlier) of the Dicks performing “Fake Bands” at the Olympic Ballroom in LA

Samhain: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Aug 21, 1984

December 17th, 2008 6 comments

Note: Originally posted on Scar Stuff, 10/6/07

In keeping with the season and my desire to get some more of my old live recordings out there, here’s a complete Samhain show I taped way back in 1984. I’ve only copied this off one or two times over the years, but (as I’ve seen it pop up on a few tape trader lists since then) I guess that was enough for it to start making the rounds. However the good news is that this is the first time it’ll be taken from my original source cassette so even the biggest Samhain fans out there will at least be getting a sonic upgrade.

So let’s see, how to frame this? Well I guess it’d be easy for me to open up by casually bragging about how I snagged a copy of the Misfits “3 Hits From Hell” single (ahem, 1st pressing with Fiend Club insert, if you must know) for 10 cents at Kief’s Records in 1981. Sounds pretty good, right? Well it’s accurate and everything, but to be honest I had no fucking idea who they were at the time. None. In fact I only bought it because it WAS 10 cents, the Misfits logo on the insert was swiped from Famous Monsters magazine, and I noticed that the skull on the back was nicked from the 1972 Amicus “Tales From the Crypt” flick (which had blown my mind during its 1978 re-release). So no, I wasn’t the hippest 12 year old in the world or anything, it was just total blind luck. Kinda de-cools it, I know.

Of course that single was GREAT and I played the hell out of it, but somehow I still managed to keep the Misfits pretty low on my radar over the next few years. In fact I was out of the loop enough that by Sept of 1984 I didn’t even know the band had been broken up for almost a year — not till I saw the flyer for this show which announced that “from the ashes of the Misfits” something called Samhain (which my friend Andre kept telling me was properly pronounced “Sow-ween”) had risen. So while I was curious enough to wanna check ’em out, my investment level wasn’t terribly huge. Really, I was more pumped up about catching 7 Seconds (who were on the same bill) for the first time. Kinda de-cools it, I know.

Flash forward to the show: 7 Seconds went on first and they WERE great; easily the best time I would ever see them over the course of the 80’s. They played a very tight set to a packed floor and when they were done I enthusiastically picked up a copy of the “Nuke Your Dink” single (from Kevin) and a semi-slick fanzine called “Hard Times” (from some other guy) outside the hall. Samhain seemed to be taking forever to set up and when I finally wandered back in I noticed that the crowd had kinda… changed. Instead of the “hyper youth” that had been all over the place 30 minutes earlier, these older looking folks were up front and a bunch of local KC punkettes were confusing me by busily screaming the word “Mommy!” over and over (I hadn’t heard “Walk Among Us” yet). All of a sudden Samhain started playing and to be honest, I didn’t know what to make of them at first either; a lot of their music was slower (with melodies hidden more deeply inside the dirges) than most of what I’d been listening to, and what the hell was this “harmonizer” that they kept demanding be turned on? Where were all of the catchy pop choruses? Did I like this or not?

Well by the end of their set I’d figured out that I liked it a lot (perhaps you can make out some of the, uh, insightful conversation my friends and I are having during the encore clapping), and I played the hell out this tape that fall and for several falls to come, sparking a real obsession. Coming across more of this kinda stuff was somewhat hard in those days (I remember driving for well over 2 hours to the house of a guy I didn’t even know so that I could try and convince him to dub me a crappy 10th generation tape of a few Plan 9 singles), but 23 years later the magic of the internet allows me to easily share my little time-travel memory trip with YOU. All Murder, All Guts, All Fun!

Samhain: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO 09-21-8
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Samhain: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Aug 21, 1984 (192 kbps)
01 All Murder, All Guts, All Fun (3:34)
02 Macabre (2:24)
03 Samhain (1:38)
04 The Shift (2:37)
05 The Howl (2:57)
06 Die Die My Darling (3:33)
07 Moribund (2:11)
08 Halloween II (4:08)
09 I Am Misery (3:01)
10 Horror Biz (2:49)
11 He-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named (1:39)
12 Encore Clapping (1:28)
13 The Hungry End (2:20)
14 Who Killed Marilyn? (1:51)

Butthole Surfers, Otto’s Chemical Lounge, Frightwig: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Oct 31, 1984

December 17th, 2008 3 comments

Note: Originally posted on Scar Stuff, 4/1/06

Captured by my portable tape recorder in 1984 was one of my favorite Halloween nights to date: Frightwig out of San Francisco, Otto’s Chemical Lounge from Minneapolis, and Austin Texas’s own Butthole Surfers, right in the thick of their double drummer strobelight heyday (while Lawrence, KS champs the Mortal Micronotz are on one of the flyers shown below, sadly they didn’t play).

There was already a weird vibe all evening with tons of cool costumes (my favorite being the guy who went as “Lou Reed in a Fishtank” — he’d photocopied the cover of “Transformer” & built an aquarium-like apparatus around his head complete with dangling fish) and a sudden torrential rainstorm outside which effectively pinned the crowd inside all night. I didn’t know Frightwig going in but they came up to me beforehand and fingered my mail-order KISS Army jacket (yeah, I was going as “a KISS fan” — I swear this seemed a lot more novel 22 years ago) and once they started playing they easily won my 15 year old Flipper-fanatic heart. Next up Otto’s Chemical Lounge pulled out a cover-heavy set full of Bluesy/ Bar-Bandish Acid Rock that went right over almost all of my (heavily Punk informed) cultural reference points at the time, and finally after some back and forth between the “Group Productions” promoters (Keith Patterson & Eric Schindling) and the local vice squad, the Butthole Surfers hit the stage. I didn’t really know what to expect since only the “Brown Reason To Live” EP & the “PCPPEP” followup (which was almost all the same songs) had been released at this point, but I kinda doubt I would have been fully prepared no matter what. Gibby came out with 100 clothespins in his hair and rat-traps on his nipples while pushing a shopping cart full of paper and the megaphone he would later grab to sing the opener “Cherub” through. Teresa and King stood behind their drums with a constant strobe shooting up from below, and the rest of the band looked to me like they’d been living in a psychedelic garbage can or something. Just a crazy visual mess (by the end Gibby was nakedly twirling about as the rolls of toilet paper he’d covered himself in throughout the show had fully unraveled) that was equally matched by the music; though I’m not sure if you’ll really be able to tell from this low-fi recording or not. Still these performances have never been shared (and I know how obsessive some of those Butthole Surfers fans get), so enjoy!

Boy, what a great night. I couldn’t hear for the next 3 days.

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Frightwig “Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Oct 31, 1984” (192 kbps)
01 Intro (2:47)
02 Haunted House of Love (5:57)
03 My Crotch Does Not Say ‘Go’ (4:34)
04 Only You (2:09)
05 I Got Lost (4:50)
06 Men Of Good Fortune (Lou Reed) (6:24)
07 The Wanque Off Song (4:42)
08 Hot Papa/She (Kiss) (3:04)
09 Something’s Gotta Change (4:07)
10 A Man’s Got To Do What A Man’s Got To Do (6:13)
11 I’ll Talk To You And Smile (Incomplete) (2:30)

Otto’s Chemical Lounge “Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Oct 31, 1984” (192 kbps)
01 Fire (Hendrix) (2:45)
02 Announcement From Eric (0:34)
03 Track 03 (1:40)
04 Duquette Stomp (2:58)
05 Me And My Mind (2:33)
06 She’s Got Everything (Kinks) (2:09)
07 Roadhouse Blues (Doors) (3:33)
08 I’m Otto Your Mind (2:30)
09 Parchment Farm (Blue Cheer) (5:38)
10 Spillout (3:27)
11 Shakin’ All Over (Mills) (3:05)
12 Gloria (Them) (5:23)
13 Slow Death (Flamin’ Groovies) (3:07)

Butthole Surfers “Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Oct 31, 1984” (192 kbps)
01 Cherub (4:51)
02 Too Parter (3:52)
03 Tornadoes (2:44)
04 Dum Dum (3:06)
05 Cowboy Bob (2:26)
06 Hey (2:20)
07 Mexican Caravan (2:52)
08 BBQ Pope (3:32)
09 Wichita Cathedral (3:06)
10 The Shaw Sleeps In Lee Harvey’s Grave (3:26)
11 Lady Sniff (3:33)
12 Something (8:02)
13 Encore Clapping (1:18)
14 Butthole Surfer (3:55)
15 Psychedelic Jam (8:17)
16 Mark Say Alright (6:50)
17 Hey (2:38)

Naked Raygun: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Aug 11, 1984

December 17th, 2008 No comments

Note: Originally posted on Scar Stuff, 2/22/06

This is a live recording from the first time (of what would eventually be many times) that I ever saw Naked Raygun, and it’s fair to say that they blew me away. I’d only heard the “Flammable Solid” single and a few tracks off the “Code Blue” tape at this point, and I guess I really didn’t know what else to expect (though I certainly DID expect “Surf Combat” — when it starts you can hear my friend Larry shouting “YEAAAH!” and then turning to me with a “Let’s go!” right before we ran into “the pit”). I knew there was a Big Black connection, but (aside from THEIR track on “Code Blue”) had mostly only heard “Steelworker” by them a few times on my local college station & that was little help.

Naked Raygun were opening here for Iron Cross (also recorded, check it out here), and were added to the show a little late — effectively filling in for Heart Attack who had cancelled. Few people in the crowd seemed to know who they were, but they did two short sets (sadly during the second one my tape runs out before “New Dreams” is over) and everyone I talked to walked away really impressed. In retrospect this was something of a transition point for them (I’m told by my friend Randy that “everything off of Basement Screams was pretty much dropped from their live performances about a year later with the exception of the occasional inclusion of Potential Rapist”), but mostly what I can tell you is that I was sorta shocked when they pulled a sax out for a few songs (hey, I was 15 and still really just a hardcore kid for the most part). By the way, what you’re not hearing here is the totally crummy interview I did with them after the show for my zine Room 101. Even at the time I knew it was bad, and I didn’t even run it. You’ll live.

Though Naked Raygun’s name isn’t on it, here’s the only flyer I have left that mentions the show:

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Naked Raygun: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO Aug 11, 1984 (192 kbps)
01 Knock Me Down (2:58)
02 I Don’t Know (3:09)
03 Home Of The Brave (2:18)
04 Mofo (1:53)
05 Stupid (1:23)
06 No Sex (1:56)
07 Surf Combat 1:18)
08 Metastasis (2:25)
09 Gear (2:33)
10 The Strip (2:16)
11 Bomb Shelter (0:52)
12 Tojo (3:00)
13 Swingo (2:50)
14 Only In America (3:18)
15 Managua (4:23)
16 Rat Patrol (2:00)
17 Potential Rapist (5:18)
18 Dog At Large (2:31)
19 New Dreams (Incomplete) (1:02)

RKL: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO May 5, 1985

December 17th, 2008 No comments

Note: Originally posted on Scar Stuff, 2/3/06

I wish it was under better circumstances, but here’s the debut entry from a series of live tapes I made of Punk Rock bands in the mid ’80’s back when I lived in Kansas. I’m kicking it off with this one because Jason Sears, the singer for RKL, died this week (compounding this is that the original drummer Bomber — the guy drumming here — passed away only a few months ago.)

I made this recording on a crummy handheld Sony tape deck upstairs at the old Foolkiller in KC, which is where I saw a lot of my first punk gigs. I took the trip up from Lawrence to KC for shows all the time, but since I was under the driving age and lived about an hour & a half away from the club I was totally dependent on others for the rides up and back. Usually it was no problem, but for some reason this time it wasn’t happening — either no one was interested enough or they weren’t able to pull it off, and I was getting desperate. The lineup looked so good too; it was not only RKL (who I knew from their debut single on Mystic which I had been playing constantly), but also Dr Know who were great when they’d come through 6 months earlier (on their “Plug In Jesus” tour). Eventually it was looking SO grim that I called up the local college radio station (KJHK) and begged them to announce my situation; “15 year old kid wants a ride up to KC to see a hardcore show. Any takers?”. Seemed pretty last ditch to me but as luck would have it, a friend of mine I hadn’t thought to call WAS listening and offered to hook me up (thanks Gil!). My evening was saved, the show was great, and I’m proud to be able to present it to you in all it’s lo-fi glory 21 years later. Like I said, I just wish it was under happier circumstances.

Oh, and the flyer here is one I made for a show that ended up falling through about a year later (I still have the original lurking around). I can’t remember now if the Melvins ended up playing by themselves or if the whole thing was scrapped, but as you can see I more or less just swiped the art from the “It’s A Beautiful Feeling” single whole hog.

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RKL “Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO May 5, 1985” (192 kbps)
01 Why (2:20)
02 US Steal (2:57)
03 Feelings Of Hate (1:54)
04 Pothead (2:38)
05 Tell Me The Truth (1:38)
06 Life In A Bottle (3:27)
07 Right For Me (Life’s A Gamble) (3:36)
08 Love To Hate (2:07)
09 It’s A Beautiful Feeling (2:11)
10 It’s A Beautiful Feeling Part II (2:22)
11 Think Positive (2:50)
12 Ded Ted’s (2:59)
13 Senseless Violence (2:46)
14 Evil In You (1:47)
15 Unborn Child (3:23)