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!

Black Flag, Saccharine Trust, Tom Troccoli’s Dog: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 09-29-84

January 1st, 2009 6 comments

This was a big one for me. Black Flag were easily one of my favorite bands at the time and their live shows always carried a heavy rep. Since my older brother had caught a 1982 gig from the Henry/Greg/Dez/Chuck/Emil lineup at Off the Wall Hall in Lawrence (and seemed both impressed and unnerved by the experience), and since I’d missed their KC gig on the “My War” tour only 5 months earlier (a show which was cut short by the cops and the cause of some minor local rancor, click below to see the previous attention I’d given this, you know, burning issue in my fanzine), there was no way I was going to blow it here.

Room 101 #5 'Our War'
Click To Enlarge

Erik Adams, one of my earliest “Punk Rock Friends” and the guy who had inspired me to start doing a fanzine in the first place, had taken a Greyhound bus all the way up from Bartelsville, OK specifically for the show, so this was clearly a genuine event. “Slip It In” had only been released a few weeks earlier and once Erik arrived we spent the whole day bouncing around my room playing the record over and over, psyching ourselves up and acting like the hyperactive 15 year olds we were. Come evening we arrived absurdly early and got to talk to a sleepy Kira who was wandering around the hall and promised to “kick ass” for us. In an effort to hold on to everything even longer I had stocked up on blank tapes so as to document every second of audio, and Erik had borrowed a hotshit camera from his Dad that we figured would help spice up the layout of the interview I was gonna try to get (sadly if you check out the interview PDF you’ll note that those grand layout plans didn’t quite pan out. On the recording you can hear Erik shouting about some of the great pictures he was taking but by the end of the show his camera had been stolen. Later when it came time to transcribe the thing I discovered that my typewriter was busted so I crudely hand-wrote everything out instead; that interview layout looked pretty terrible).

By the time Tom Troccoli’s Dog walked on to the stage the Lawrence Opera House was pretty packed and the atmosphere felt very charged to me. A confusing choice as an opener to many I’m sure, they eased everyone into the night with a highly casual and jammy set that came complete with bongos and Grateful Dead covers. Still the Lawrence crowd was positive and receptive to all of this and after an 11 minute version of “Patience” Mr. Troccoli remarked that “If nothing else your endurance is certainly worth noting and thank you very much again for not booing me off of the stage.”

Saccharine Trust quickly set up and then launched into a killer performance composed mostly of tracks off of “Surviving You Always” (which I hadn’t heard) and subtle re-workings of a few “Pagan Icons” numbers (which I knew and loved). At turns Jazzy, noisy and Beat-style-poetic, even at the time I could tell that this stuff was expanding my tiny head. I honestly felt a little dizzy trying to follow what the guitar was doing (I still kinda do), and as a result I returned to this tape often.

Finally Black Flag were ready, and out of what eventually became a half dozen times I would see them, this was probably my favorite set. Spinning out a good mix of hits both old and new (along with a few then-unreleased instrumental numbers — man I really wish there had been more instrumental Flag albums), this was their last truly great lineup in my opinion. Kira and Bill were totally rock solid, Greg was aggressive, atonal and all over the fretboard, and Henry seemed simultaneously wrapped up in layers/totally exposed (with steam clearly rising up off of him the entire show). They all also seemed to be having a genuinely great time, and while the whole “Black Flag Work Ethic” was very much on display, the vibe felt far less serious to me than it would in the years to come. Corroborating my sense of this is Henry’s diary entry from Omaha, NE the next day (later published in Get In The Van):

I was reading Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer today while sitting on the ground in Lawrence, Kansas. Miller talked about how good everything looks when the sun’s out. Even the look in people’s eyes. When I was sitting there in Lawrence, the sun was out and everything looked good. All of a sudden it was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. I couldn’t remember what any other place in the world looked like. I felt like I had been there for a long time. I felt a need to articulate. I couldn’t do it with a photograph. It would have to be with words.

Now hours later, I can only remember the feeling. I can’t even remember what Lawrence looks like.

After the show was all over it was time to try for the interview. Maybe it was my youth (and in retrospect I realize that I looked even younger than I was) or maybe it was that whole “good vibe” thing I mentioned earlier, but contrary to other ’84 tour experiences I’ve seen & heard about, Mr. Rollins was clearly in a gregarious and open state of mind. I found him to be funny, friendly as hell and very accommodating to my dorky opener around the whole “so-the-Kansas-City-show-was-kinda-short” thing. He talked about the the ’82 Lawrence gig my brother had seen as well as the Bad Brains, SOA, Teen Idles, his plans to start publishing, a proposed SST side label called “Nixon Records” (intended to serve a similar role for SST that Zapple Records was supposed to serve for Apple), and to top it all off he very graciously tried to set me straight when I mentioned something I’d heard about Nick Cave’s June performance in Kansas City being “self indulgent”. Hats off to Henry!

A side note on the recordings: this being an all-ages Lawrence show there were a higher percentage of people I knew from school in attendance. This was cool because in contrast to a KC gig where I’d stick the tape recorder by the soundboard and cross my fingers that it wouldn’t get stolen, I could now go up front to be near the band and leave my stuff at one of the many Opera House tables under the watchful eyes of my less excitable friends. They would safeguard everything as they drank and tried to pick each other up or whatever, and the next day I would often discover bits of unexpected teenaged chitchat between the songs. I mention all of this because Black Flag’s set has one of my favorite accidental audience snippets, which you can hear at the end of “Swinging Man”:

KL: I’m fucking drunk!
RM: Yeah?
KL: LaLaLaArragh… I never meant to be this drunk… Okay… I didn’t wanna drink this much…
RM: What?
KL: (shouting) I DRANK TOO MUCH!

Cue: Black Flag “Forever Time”

…ahhh, maybe you had to be there.

Black Flag, Saccharine Trust, Tom Troccoli's Dog Ticket Stub
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Black Flag, Saccharine Trust, Tom Troccoli's Dog Flyer
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Tom Troccoli’s Dog: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 09-29-84 (192 kbps)
01 Introduction (0:19)
02 Eyes of The World (Grateful Dead) (2:48)
03 Loser (Grateful Dead) (5:09)
04 Play With Your Poodle (3:44)
05 Camarillo (5:17)
06 Suicide (5:59)
07 Patience (11:05)


Saccharine Trust: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 09-29-84 (192 kbps)
01 Intro/Warming Up (1:22)
02 I Have (1:51)
03 The Giver Takes (2:32)
04 Craving The Center (1:14)
05 Lot’s Seed (2:08)
06 Speak (4:23)
07 Our Discovery (5:59)
08 The Cat. Cracker (5:04)
09 Success And Failure (1:17)
10 A Good Night’s Bleeding (1:53)
11 Peace Frog (Doors) (3:48)
12 YHWH On Acid (5:37)
13 A Human Certainty (7:40)


Black Flag: Live At The Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence, KS 09-29-84 (192 kbps).
(Comes bundled with a PDF of the interview I did.)
01 The Process Of Weeding Out (7:16)
02 Revenge (0:59)
03 Room 13 (2:42)
04 Swinging Man (2:59)
05 Forever Time (2:20)
06 Wound Up (4:10)
07 Slip It In (5:19)
08 My Ghetto (1:34)
09 Black Coffee (4:58)
10 Beat My Head Against The Wall (2:48)
11 Your Last Affront (3:30)
12 The Bars (4:54)
13 Rats Eyes (4:50)
14 Police Story (1:36)
15 Rise Above (2:44)
16 My War (6:37)
17 Nervous Breakdown (2:02)
18 Fix Me (0:54)
19 Jealous Again (2:25)
20 I Love You (3:19)
21 Nothing Left Inside (8:03)
22 Can’t Decide (4:49)
23 Louie Louie (6:46)
24 Club Noise (0:41)


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

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.

Flyer
Click to enlarge


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
Click to enlarge


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)
Click to enlarge
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.

Flyer
Click to enlarge

Flyer
Click to enlarge


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:

Flyer
Click to enlarge

and the link to the audio:

http://www.archive.org/details/minutemen1984-05-12.flacf