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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)

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)

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
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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.

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:

Flyer
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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)