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Archive for January, 2009

Battalion of Saints: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-18-85

January 27th, 2009 14 comments

I first picked up the Battalion of Saints Fighting Boys EP back in 1983 at the great Starship Records in Tulsa, Oklahoma after being turned on to them by some Bartlesville friends of mine. Being overly enthusiastic 14 year olds, when together we would sometimes call the phone number the band had listed (for booking purposes) on their lyric sheet just so that we could, you know, chat and tell them how swell we all thought they were. Amazingly they didn’t tell us to fuck off, and later on I’d run information gleaned from these phone calls as “Updates on Battalion of Saints” in my fanzine Room 101 (the one here dates from issue #2, early 1984). Battalion were one of the few “metallic tinged” Punk bands that got the mix exactly right for my tastes and over the years I would continue to slavishly pick up any and all releases of theirs I could find, spinning them for hours on end.

Flash forward to summer 1985: by this time the Bats had released their first full LP Second Coming (containing several slightly slicker re-recordings of tunes from the demo tapes, singles & comp tracks already out there) and were booked for a show at the Foolkiller in KC on my 16th birthday. For some reason this and a few other gigs around mid ’85 got held in the basement of the building and though the sound was a bit dodger (George’s vocals suffered the most) I personally liked the “cave vibe” as well as the fact that it didn’t take as many people to fill up.

After sets by the Slabs and the Orange Doe-Nuts, Battalion of Saints finally got up and were ready to crank out what I’d been waiting forever to hear live. There was some more flash around the edges (check out those “Van Halen style” licks on Fighting Boys) and the set was cut a bit short thanks to several strings breaking, but I had no complaints — they were just a great fucking band and as cool in person as they’d been over the phone.

You’ll find a couple of unreleased tunes here; “Number One” (vocals sadly buried but helpfully introduced with “This is a new one, uh it’s called ‘Number One‘, thank you!”), whatever Track 13 is actually entitled (could be a cover for all I know, but a hot song either way), and the last thing which is a quick message that (now deceased) guitarist Chris Smith recorded for me to give to Oklahoma chum Brendan and his sister “Astri or Austry or whatever the fuck her name is.” A great night, a great band and a great birthday present.

Note: Swell guy and fellow KC punk (not to mention letterpress whizz) Bryan Hutcheson thinks he still has pictures from this show — stay tuned in case they materialize.

Battalion of Saints: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-18-85
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Battalion of Saints: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-18-85 (note wrong date)
Click To Enlarge (Note incorrect date on flyer)


Battalion of Saints: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-18-85 (192 kbps)
01 Club Noise/Warming Up (0:12)
02 Second Coming (2:33)
03 Right Or Wrong (1:33)
04 Fighting Boys (1:47)
05 No More Lies (2:26)
06 No Time (2:13)
07 My Mind’s Diseased (2:42)
08 Beefmasters (1:58)
09 Cops Are Out (2:14)
10 Number One (1:58)
11 Animal In Man (1:32)
12 Holy Vision (2:28)
13 Track 13 (2:26)
14 Fair Warning (1:30)
15 (I’m Gonna) Make You Scream (2:14)
16 Message To Brendan (0:33)


N.O.T.A.: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 12-01-84

January 23rd, 2009 5 comments

Jeff from N.O.T.A.: Hey I’ll see you after the show, dick.

I spent a dismal summer living in Bartlesville, OK back in 1983 when I was 13. Though most of my time there was spent in solitude listening to the 7 or 8 tapes I had brought to help me make it through the temporary exile, I was lucky enough to discover and befriend some punk kids who were around my age (that’d be Erik Adams and Brendan Anderson; hi guys!) in the final two weeks of my stay. We quickly became good friends and over the next year or so the three of us would ride the Greyhound bus between Oklahoma to Kansas for visits built around record shopping or punk gigs, and the two of them even contributed Oklahoma scene/show reviews to the first few issues of my ‘zine.

One of the bands they always raved about (along with Diet of Worms, No Direction, Brown 25 and the Flaming Lips), was N.O.T.A.; local Okie kingpins who published the rad zine OK Decay and had a pair of singles and a cool live tape to their credit. They’d come through and played KC a few times before, but this was my first chance at catching them after a canceled slot opening for the Dead Kennedys bill a month earlier had left me disappointed.

Well as it turns out that DKs gig probably would have been a better bill for N.O.T.A. really. Lots of folks here seemed much more in tune with where headliners (and former speed kings) Hüsker Dü were promising to lead them, and the pure hardcore of N.O.T.A. seemed to harsh the crowd’s collective mellow quite soundly (at the end of this set you can hear a woman cry out “Oh thank God!”). Still the band was tight and solid, with only a weird slapback echo making the precision jackhammering of the drums sound deceitfully loose from time to time. The set is about what you’d expect from this era as well, with plenty of tunes from Live at the Crystal Pistol & the Moscow / Toy Soldiers singles showing up, along with several songs that would wind up on their self titled Rabid Cat LP from ’85.

So while it turns out that this wouldn’t actually be the best N.O.T.A. show I’d ever catch (that would actually be when they opened up for Fishbone at the Outhouse two years later, every element of which seems unlikely to me in retrospect), it was still a good gig from a band that gets a bit lost in the shuffle these days. Worth my time in 1984, and worth your time in 2009.

N.O.T.A. ticket stub (with Hüsker Dü, Micronotz, Orange Doe-Nuts), 12-01-84
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N.O.T.A. flyer (with Hüsker Dü, Micronotz, Orange Doe-Nuts), 12-01-84
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N.O.T.A. flyer (with Hüsker Dü, Micronotz, Orange Doe-Nuts), 12-01-84
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N.O.T.A.: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 12-01-84 (192 kbps)
01 Police Front (1:45)
02 Sick Society (2:28)
03 Fucked Up (2:13)
04 I Should Kill You (2:28)
05 Too Far (1:59)
06 Toy Soldiers (2:01)
07 Keeping You Out (1:48)
08 Propaganda Control (1:48)
09 This Country Once Was Free (2:27)
10 Moscow (2:14)
11 Fairies Wear Boots (Black Sabbath)/Drugs And Sex (3:40)
12 Nightstick Justice (2:41)
13 Cattle Call (2:11)
14 Summer Of 82 (2:49)
15 Identity Crisis (3:43)
16 War On Wankers (2:47)
17 Redneck Mentality (1:11)
18 Frustration (3:32)
19 Suicidal Cowboys (Brown 25) (2:17)


…and since N.O.T.A. closed their set with a Brown 25 cover, and since No Direction kind of evolved into Brown 25 after ND broke up, here are a pair of interviews Jim Blanchard published in his (always excellent) Blatch fanzine back in 1983.

As a side note on Jim (or “Jymm”); in addition to briefly fronting the band Gift, after Blatch he continued with some really cool art that you can check out here, and buy originals of here (you also might have caught some of the inking he did on the last 15 issues of Peter Bagge‘s comic book Hate back in the 1990’s). To top it all off, after the Knockout Pills played a Seattle show in 2006 he came over to tell me that he thought we were really good, so Jim’s okay in my book.

N.O.T.A. and No Direction interviews from Blatch #7, 1983
N.O.T.A. and No Direction interviews from Blatch #7, 1983. Click To Enlarge

7 Seconds: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO 09-21-84

January 16th, 2009 10 comments

I thought LA was rough but you guys make them look like a bunch of wimps!

You could accurately describe the 1984 me as something of a raving little straight edge kid, and as such 7 Seconds spoke pretty directly to my brain. Their speed, their melodic “woah-oh” vocals, their lefty-style personal politics, their “regular guy” look, their fairly “nuance-free” lyrics — all of it worked its magic on me in a big way. I was so smitten by their first two 7″ records (the era that is still my favorite — what a drag that the “United We Stand”/”Old School” sessions got held back for so long) that I even wrote Kevin Seconds a fan letter in 1983, promptly hanging his gracious response up on my wall:

Kevin Seconds terribly polite 1983 letter to Jason
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Given the above it’s fair to say that this night (the Samhain half of which I already wrote about and shared audio from here) found me pretty amped up, and happily 7 Seconds didn’t disappoint. They were fast, tight, passionate and engaging, and even with the spookiness of Samhain waiting in the wings it seemed as though the crowd did their best to respond in turn (for example it was the most neighborly large-scale slamming I’d seen at the VFW to date; plenty of girls and every felled dancer quickly helped up). To top it all off the guys themselves were all friendly to a fault, and Kevin sold me a copy of the recently released Positive Force comp single “Nuke Your Dink” himself, helpfully (and correctly) mentioning how great he thought the No Deal track was. While 7 Seconds’ later musical ventures turned out not to really be my thing (though logical in context of the myriad twists and turns 80’s Punk Rock was to take), this was still a really fun night and the best I would ever see them play — I’m pleased to be able to share it with the world.

7 Seconds sticker, 1984
The sticker that Kevin gave me with the “Nuke Your Dink” single (Click to enlarge)

One kinda funny thing I always think about in relation to this show happened on the ride home with my good friend (and regular show-going punk rockerist) Pete Haney. He asked me what Kevin meant when he ended his introduction of the song “Aggro” with “…’cause you guys are aggro”. I told him that I thought it was some kind of compliment based on all the energy the crowd was putting out, and that I’d heard him use that term in interviews to indicate “positive aggression” or whatever. “Oh,” Pete said, “I thought that maybe because this was the Midwest and there’s so much agriculture out here he was just calling us a bunch of farmers.”

7 Seconds: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO 09-21-8
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7 Seconds: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO 09-21-84 (192 kbps)
01 Strength (1:59)
02 Definite Choice (1:20)
03 Redneck Society (1:11)
04 Five Years Of Lies (1:39)
05 Drug Control (0:44)
06 Bottomless Pit (2:22)
07 In Your Face (1:44)
08 Bully (2:23)
09 Wasted Life (2:26)
10 Regress No Way (1:59)
11 I Have A Dream (1:33)
12 Straight On (0:44)
13 This Is The Angry (Part 2) (3:43)
14 Colorblind (3:04)
15 Aggro (1:57)
16 How Do You Think You’d Feel (2:56)
17 Not Just Boys Fun (1:36)
18 Anti-Klan (1:50)
19 Comitted For Life (1:52)
20 The Crew (2:17)
21 Racism Sucks (3:54)
22 No Authority (1:16)
23 99 Red Balloons (Nena) (Incomplete) (3:17)

Micronotz: Live At The KU Ballroom in Lawrence, KS 05-05-85

January 15th, 2009 4 comments

Here’s a nice long Micronotz set I recorded in 1985 at the SUA and KJHK sponsored end-of-school “Day on Green Hill” event, then only in its second or third year. Aside from the ‘notz, this gig also notably featured headliners the Minutemen, who were on the last day of their 1985 spring tour. While my recording of the Minutmen’s set has sadly been lost over the years, their performance of “Jesus and Tequilla” was caught on video at the time and has since been posted to YouTube (along with a cool D. Boon interview) by my pal Mike Blur:

Originally scheduled to be held on the “green hill” of Campanile, the weather proved to be too unstable for an outdoor gig and the bands were moved into the KU Ballroom (hence Jay’s quip at the end of the set that “it’s not too green but hell, you’re still on a hill”). Befitting this type of general event the turnout was both bigger and more diverse than the usual crowd, and these newcomers found the Micronotz delivering a solid set of tunes off of the then soon-to-be-released “Beast That Devoured Itself” LP (featuring cover art by Randy “Biscuit” Turner, for all you Big Boys fanatics), along with a few covers and a track or two off of what would eventually be their final album “40 Fingers”.

Speaking of those cover songs, one of my favorites around this time was the Abuse tune “No Money”, which was originally released on the very first Fresh Sounds flexi-disc back in 1981. I actually think that the Micronotz had started performing this about a year or so earlier with Steve on vocals (during the “Dean era”), and it always struck me as a very cool nod to an earlier KS punk scene I was sorry to have directly missed out on. As an aside, members of Abuse went on to play in a variety of other good KS (& beyond) bands like Psychic Archie and the Leatherwoods, all of whom had a distinctively more pop thing happening and all of whom were quite good.


Micronotz: Live At The KU Ballroom in Lawrence, KS 05-05-85 (192 kbps)
01 Tied To The Tracks (2:32)
02 Invisible (2:32)
03 The American Ruse (MC5) (2:36)
04 Oh Baby (3:35)
05 No Money (Abuse) (2:01)
06 Decide Tomorrow (4:17)
07 Psychodeli (2:17)
08 Cleo (2:20)
09 Way Too Long (2:35)
10 Polyester Slave (3:30)
11 Proud To Be A Farmer (3:06)
12 Brain Arrangement (2:45)
13 Run My Life (1:42)
14 Gimme Some Skin (Iggy Pop) (2:11)
15 War (1:40)
16 Whatcha Trying To Do (2:28)
17 Your Mind Is Empty (2:38)
18 Born To Kick Ass (1:29)
19 Push It Out (2:33)


And hey, just to continue my tradition of posting little extras with every Micronotz recording, here’s the complete 1985 pressbook sent out to hype the “Beast” LP. Aside from the photo and bio you’ll note that much of the material dates back from before Jay joined the group, but it’s still a pretty good roundup of the type of press the band was regularly getting.

1985 Micronotz press kit1985 Micronotz press kit1985 Micronotz press kit
1985 Micronotz press kit1985 Micronotz press kit

No Heroes: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-23-84

January 13th, 2009 12 comments

No Heroes stickerNo Heroes flyerNo Heroes flyer

No Heroes flyerNo Heroes flyerNo Heroes flyer

I first saw No Heroes at a 6/2/84 Foolkiller gig opening up for Winnipeg, Canada’s Personality Crisis. While I was ready for Personality Crisis to tear it up (and they did — what a fucking amazing and underrated band. Check out the book “Warm Beer and Wild Times” to read their whole story), I was pretty shocked when No Heroes just came roaring out of nowhere to play a killer set. Despite hailing from Omaha, their sound was unlike what I was used to from most other Midwest punk bands of the day — though some Toxic Reasons comparisons came to mind they also had at least a few SoCal sounding numbers that wouldn’t have been out of place on an early 80’s Posh Boy release. After their set was done I gushed about how good I thought they’d been (both in person and later in my ‘zine), and struck up a brief/intermittent flyer trading relationship with their drummer Mark Blackman, the results of which you can see represented above.

The show I’m sharing here is actually from a few weeks later though, when they opened for the Freeze (who were great of course; there’s audio from that show and a rather personally embarrassing story forthcoming). To be honest, compared to the earlier gig No Heroes weren’t as on fire here; they battled some gear problems (which I remember them being pretty pissed about later) and had longer gaps between numbers as a result. Still while it maybe isn’t as tight of a performance as the first time I caught them, the upside is that this set was a longer one and more of their songs made it to tape — that’s good news because while the band stuck it out at least another year after this gig (i.e. there might be a demo or something floating around), for all I really know this could be your only chance to hear the pride of Omaha circa 1984. Certainly in retrospect I wish I’d had the prescience to record every local and small band opening the shows I taped — so many of those songs are probably lost forever.

To refresh my memory for this post I did some internet poking and found that a thread running through much of the early Omaha punk scene seems to have been artist and drummer Mark Blackman. Prior to No Heroes he was in a band called Self Gratifukation and later did time in several other groups (Apathy, Nuns with Guns, etc) before settling into his current gig Bad Luck Charm. These days guitarist Phil Thompson is playing with Snakey Billy (with Seth Kirschman, ex-vocalist for Apathy), and if my memory serves me right Omaha producer Jim Homan (yeah, he was ALSO in Apathy) was the second guitarist here. So who was on bass? For the life of me I can’t recall (Jim’s brother Michael, also ex-Apathy? Confirmed! Yes.)– there’s gotta be a ton of folks out there who can fill in more details here, so please feel free to set me straight.

Update from Michael Homan via the comments: The lineup was Mark Blackman on drums, Dave Loomis on guitar 1, Jim Homan on guitar 2, Michael Homan on bass and vocals.

Also: this may only be tangentially related, but it would appear that there was recently a large Omaha punk reunion show which amazingly enough my old pal Meghan (from Empty Records, the Rat City Rollergirls, and other general coolness) looks to have been heavily involved in! You can read about and see video and photos from the event here, here, & here among other places. Oh, and be sure to look here for a bunch of old flyers and pics; it’s a pretty amazing archive!

No Heroes: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-23-84
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No Heroes: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-23-84
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No Heroes: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 06-23-84 (192 kbps)
01 TV Preacher (3:06)
02 Read Between The Lines (2:42)
03 Ban The Klan (2:40)
04 Media Burn (2:21)
05 Brainwashed (2:53)
06 Screw Religion (2:13)
07 ASOPB (4:04)
08 Fuck You Jim (0:20)
09 Nothing’s Left (2:26)
10 Thing’s Gotta Change (1:55)
11 Butcher And Murder (1:29)
12 What’s The Cost (3:24)
13 Fun Outta Life (2:15)
14 Once Upon A Time There Was Hiroshima (2:16)
15 Social Reject (3:56)
16 Judgement Day (1:22)
17 Proud American (2:54)
18 Seven Steps (2:14)

The Crucifucks: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 11-04-84

January 11th, 2009 3 comments

Doc Dart: I’d like to thank all you creeps for not showing up at the Kansas City show. A lot more fun without ya.

As befitting the popularity of headliners the Dead Kennedys, there were just a ton of people at this show. As you might well imagine, this meant that in addition to the regulars and enthusiasts of the day there were also an awful lot of casual curiosity seekers in attendance. Casual curiosity seekers whose casual curiosity was no doubt somewhat extinguished by the shrill, whiny and nasally off-key vocals of one Mr. Doc Corbin Dart, the frontman for unadvertised openers The Crucifucks. I saw plenty of hands-over-ears.

On the other hand if you’re like me and you enjoy Doc Dart’s vocals, well then you’ll just find a heap to champion here as they were mixed puh-lenty loud (though maybe not as loud as that Batman loop they started their set with). The lyrics were probably all-too-easy to discern as well, and they were famously some of the most negative and sensationalistic you could encounter at the time (and ultimately a component of some band division, check out Mark Prindle’s Crucifucks review page to read the original guitarist’s take.)

Despite the somewhat mixed reaction (and the fact that my tape ran out after only about 15 minutes) I can attest that the Crucifucks did indeed put on a fine live show this night. In fact I’d say that one of my most vivid memories for the entire evening was when Mr. Dart and his neon animal print shirt stumbled off to the side of the stage and vomited (something I gather he did with a bit of frequency at the time). Showmanship!

Note: As previously mentioned and as represented on the flyer & ticket stub posted below, the Crucifucks were a late addition to the bill and were effectively taking the place of N.O.T.A. (who cancelled and were instead added to a Hüsker Dü show booked for the Lawrence Opera House a month later.)

Ticket Stub (sans Crucifucks)
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Flyer (sans Crucifucks)
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Here’s the flyer from that Kansas City show a month earlier that the creeps didn’t show up for:

Oct 6th Crucifucks show at the VFW#18 in KC, MO (sans creeps)
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The Crucifucks: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 11-04-84 (192 kbps)
01 Similar Items (4:09)
02 I Was/Go Bankrupt And Die (3:08)
03 The Mountain Song (1:32)
04 Hinkley Had A Vision (1:41)
05 Legal Genocide (1:41)
06 Washington (1:55)
07 Oh Where, Oh Where? (1:36)
08 Resurrection (Incomplete) (0:17)

Marginal Man: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 07-03-85

January 11th, 2009 4 comments

You know, Marginal Man always kinda reminded me of the original Alice Cooper group. Something about the nighttime vibe a lot of their music had going on, and even some of Steve Polcari’s vocals — there was just a certain variety of cool happening in their sound that you didn’t hear much of at the time, and straight away I liked it.

All that had been released when they played this show was the Dischord 12″ “Identity” (well, and the Artificial Peace song “Someone Cares” which they do here), but as you’ll hear from the between song banter their follow up LP “Double Image” was ready to go, and surprisingly enough there are even a couple of tunes that would later turn up on their self titled Giant Records release from 1988. Still for me the big shocker was their closing cover (enigmatically introduced as “another band’s song”) of “Black Magic” off of the 1984 Joe Wood-era TSOL LP “Change Today?”! At the time I scarcely knew anyone else besides me who liked that album (this being the start of the “without Jack it’s crap” backlash), so it was a complete surprise when they pulled it out of their hat.

Aside from the vocals getting lost here and there (you could say that the guitar dominates), the sound is pretty good on this recording, so if you’re a fan you should enjoy this one.

For added context, here’s a rather enthusiastic review my pal Doug wrote about the show (for my fanzine “Room 101”):

Marginal Man show review from Room 101 #8
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…and hey, check it out. I even bought a shirt:

Jason (in Marginal Man shirt) and his Grandma (not in Marginal Man shirt). July, 1985
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Marginal Man Live at the Foolkiller in KC, MO 07-03-85
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Marginal Man: Live At The Foolkiller in KC, MO 07-03-85 (192 kbps)
01 Turn The Tables (3:53)
02 Identity (1:53)
03 Mental Picture (2:03)
04 Tell Me (2:57)
05 I Had a Feeling (5:21)
06 Emotional Scars (1:14)
07 Linger In The Past (3:34)
07 Under a Shadow (2:32)
08 Strange Feeling (2:24)
10 Someone Cares (1:38)
11 Friend (1:40)
12 Marginal Man (2:34)
13 Missing Rungs (2:12)
14 Torn Apart (2:50)
15 Mainstream (5:42)
16 Double Image (4:46)
17 Chocolate Pudding (4:30)
18 Shades of Reason (3:21)
19 Pandora’s Box (2:08)
20 Fallen Pieces (2:48)
21 Black Magic (TSOL) (3:04)

Blind Idiot God: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO 10-23-84

January 10th, 2009 5 comments

Gabe Katz (Blind Idiot God): This one’s for all the pussies down in the bar that won’t come up and hear us. (shouting) You know we drove 250 miles to do this!

Unimpressed gentleman in the audience: That ain’t shit.

Recorded the same night as the ill-fated Dr. Know set which I posted earlier, this was the first time I was able to hear Blind Idot God. At the time all I knew about them was that their demo tape had been mentioned in MRR#14/given a “top twenty” listing by Pushead, and that there was some strong local chatter concerning them in KC. Still I guess I had no real idea what to expect.

MRR #14 St. Louis Scene Report
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MRR #14 Pushead's Top 20
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People who know what they became 3 or 4 years later and have heard their SST and Zorn related output might be a bit surprised at the more single minded hardcore/metal/punk/noise type blasts that dominate this recording, but if you listen closely to the many “Title Unknown” tracks here you’ll be able to find snippets of riffs and ideas that would later get stitched into much longer pieces. This being 1984 there’s nary a hint of Dub to be found, but the “Avant” underpinnings are still very much in evidence — it’s really too bad their set got cut short. Then again I guess the “pussies down in the bar” (and there were more than a few) probably felt differently about that, eh?

Blind Idiot God Live at the VFW#18 in KC, MO 10-23-84
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Blind Idiot God: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO 10-23-84 (192 kbps)
01 Track 01 – Title Unknown (2:43)
02 Track 02 – Title Unknown (1:16)
03 Track 03 – Title Unknown (2:14)
04 Blasting Off (1:38)
05 Track 05 – Title Unknown (1:19)
06 Track 06 – Title Unknown (3:01)
07 Sawtooth (2:25)
08 Track 08 – Title Unknown (1:29)
09 Shifting Sand (3:49)
10 Track 10 – Title Unknown (2:03)
11 Track 11 – Title Unknown (2:19)
12 Track 12 – Title Unknown (2:51)
13 Easing Back (2:11)
14 Track 14 – Title Unknown (0:24)
15 The Police Are Outside/Club Noise (1:23)

Dr. Know: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO 10-23-84

January 10th, 2009 7 comments

Eric Schindling: (stopping the show) I’m sorry, do you wanna be arrested? There are like two cop cars and a paddywagon at the end of the street, they told the owner of the VFW, the manager of the VFW, if it goes on any longer they’re gonna come back to save time ’cause they’re pissed ’cause they were supposed to be, we were supposed to end it about a half hour, forty five minutes ago.

Soundman: (talking through the stage monitors) Tell them to go riot down the street and not here.

Eric Schindling: Fuckin’… you tell… why don’t you vote in November against Reagan and then we might have a little bit left.

Soundman: (shouting) Go riot down the street!

Eric Schindling: Right now all the high school kids are, you know, agreeing with these pigs outside so why don’t you, you know, go register if you’re eighteen, and register to vote…

Kyle Toucher (Dr Know): Outside after the show, there’s gonna be a big riot. Everybody line up, get your bricks and bottles ready… down the street, not here, down the street. After that there’s gonna be a few gang fights and shootings…

Not having come to Punk Rock by way of 80’s Metal (NWOBHM or otherwise), few of the first wave “Crossover” bands actually did that much for me. An exception however, was definitely Dr. Know. They took far more from my precious Black Sabbath than they did from the then-current Metal scene and I loved Kyle Toucher’s voice/guitar solos. Plus, despite their more common lyrical themes of religious damage, nuclear holocaust and insanity, something like “Fist Fuck” was tailor-made to win my 15-year-old brain over.

So since “Plug In Jesus” was getting such heavy rotation in my bedroom, the fact that (as you can see from the transcription above) this show got stopped early was a real drag. Around that time there were fairly perpetual noise complaints and police hassles plaguing the VFW though, and this night also featured a sparse turnout combined with some out-of-place looking frowny musclebound dude stomping around the dancefloor shouting “Just play the music, and don’t quit!” (this prompted a lyric change from Kyle Toucher during “God Bless America” along the order of “Kill that jock if you love God”, informing the guy afterwards that “I just sang a song about you! Impromptu even. Situational.”).

Still the gig got shut down, and Dr. Know were sent packing after only 25 minutes. So while the bad news is that this was a pretty short set, the good news is that eight months later I got to catch and record a way better gig when they were on tour with RKL (and about to release the “Burn” single). Watch for it, smart guy.

Note: I arrived late and missed (the always excellent) Power of the Spoken Word, but I did manage to tape Blind Idiot God‘s set, which you can check out here.

Dr. Know at The VFW#18 in KC, MO 10-23-84
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Dr. Know: Live At The VFW#18 in KC, MO 10-23-84 (192 kbps)
01 SATC (Agression) (2:27)
02 Mr Freeze (3:20)
03 What To Do (1:42)
04 God Bless America (2:35)
05 Life Returns (4:01)
06 In That House (4:44)
07 Crucified (2:34)
08 Circle Of Fear (3:56)
09 Two Cop Cars And A Paddywagon (1:21)

Micronotz: Live At Voodoo Manor in Lawrence, KS 10-27-84 / “Underground Music Festival” Booklet

January 4th, 2009 11 comments

Probably the lowest-fi audio I’ll be posting, this is also the earliest recording I have of the Micronotz second incarnation and a document that sounds exactly like what it is; a noisy Midwestern house party. Held at “Voodoo Manor” (the Micronotz practice space and partial residence) over the 1984 Halloween weekend, this was a really fun night. I sure wish I could tell you the names of every other band that played but, while I kind of think Ritual Romance started the show, the only group I remember for sure were the amazing Gardrails and sadly my recording of their preformance has slipped away over the years, perhaps lost forever. (Hey! Anybody have any Gardrails video? C’mon!)

Coming 6 months after Dean’s last performance (at the Underground Music Festival, see below for more) and subsequent Art School exit, this was only the second time I’d seen the revived group with Jay on vocals. While almost every one of these songs was very new to me at the time, it’s safe to say that they quickly became seared into my brain thanks to a combo of the band’s regular gigging presence (click here for a dazzling list of Micronotz performances) and my homemade recordings of as many of their shows that I had blank tapes for. Honestly I only wish I’d started taping them a year earlier too.

So yeah, the sound quality here is pretty rough (at turns muffled, distorted and full of audience chatter) but a house party has always been my favorite way to experience live music. In fact one of the highlights of this recording is probably during “Invisible” (the chorus of which my girlfriend Stacy always sang as “My baby thinks that I’m an imbecile”); just listen to the build of those audience generated “woah-oh-oh-oh” backups. Hey! That’s pure house party!

To set the stage, here are a few representative snaps of the guys playing and hanging around the house that the show was recorded at, all courtesy of (or “swiped from”, if you prefer) the photo pages on Mike Blur’s awesome Micronotz website.
Micronotz at Voodoo ManorMicronotz at Voodoo Manor

Micronotz at Voodoo ManorMicronotz at Voodoo Manor


Micronotz: Live At Voodoo Manor in Lawrence, KS 10-27-84 (192 kbps)
01 Oh Baby (3:27)
02 Born To Kick Ass (1:25)
03 The American Ruse (MC5) (2:26)
04 Invisible (2:39)
05 Whatcha Trying To Do (4:19)
06 Your Mind Is Empty (4:26)
07 Brain Arrangement (2:58)
08 Polyester Slave (3:58)
09 Run My Life (2:29)
10 Gimme Some Skin (Iggy Pop) (2:26)
11 Way Too Long (Incomplete) (0:10)


And hey, for a little “value added bonus”, I’m also posting scans (just click the thumbs to enlarge) of the complete “Underground Music Festival” guide booklet, which gives a nice snapshot (circa April 1984) of the following bands:

Lions and Dogs (Michael Connie Welsh, Jade Gurrs, Todd Newman)
Orange Doe-Nuts (Larry Kenski, Mark Biemuller, Kurt Witt, Donny Byrom, Mike Sims)
Sinclairs (Jean-Paul, Bill Burns, David Olds, Pat Hopewell, Brian)
Mental Crisis (Coby Ellison, Matt Bramlette, Chris Hartman, Brian Green)
The Yardapes (Chris Fowler, Frank Womack, Lisa Vader, Ron Achelpohl, Bruce Eddy)
The Blinkies (Brian English, Doug Snodgrass, Mike Janas, Larry Snodgrass — Say! Does anyone have a copy of the Blinkies demo tape?)
Non Plus (Laird McKay, Vance Hiner, “Boom Boom”, Mark Roseberry)
Gardrails (Tomy Splash/ Tommy Nepsted, Hutch Trash/ Kurt Mangold, Frank Off/ Frank Morris, Bobby Fizz/ Rob Fitzgerald)
Pillbox (Chuck Mead, Vince Ramirez, John Nevin)
Slabs (Joey Dog, Lantz, Jeff, Dave Scar)
Pedaljets (Darrell Laham, Mike Allmayer, Max Worth — Say! Does anybody have a copy of the Other Geese demo tape? Got it! Thanks FJ!)
Micronotz (Dean Lubensky, David Dale, John Harper, Steve Eddy)

Underground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide Booklet
Underground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide BookletUnderground Music Festival Guide Booklet

Front Cover | Lions and Dogs | Orange Doe-Nuts | Sinclairs | Mental Crisis | The Yardapes |
The Blinkies | Non Plus | Gardrails | Pillbox | Slabs | Pedaljets | Micronotz | Back Cover

A little more background: The Underground Music Festival was a two night event held at the Lawrence Opera House, and was ostensibly broken up into vaguely “Pop” and “Punk” evenings. It mostly pulled from Lawrence and Kansas City for talent, and as I recall a couple of the bands didn’t actually get to play (Mental Crisis for sure). I also seem to remember that both nights were to be recorded, but since they weren’t recorded by me, I’m afraid that the booklet is the best I can offer. Enjoy!