28 March 2017


I ripped this little creamer just before I left for tour, and it got me pretty good. Many (many) listens during my month away, including one especially memorable one in the middle of a crystal clear and pitch black night in the southern Arizona desert. Something about this recording just draws you in...the tracks may be simple but the presentation is deep, and these two kids from Kansas utilize the tools at their disposal to make a compelling collection of sounds. You can call it garage if you like, and in the most literal sense you would be pretty spot on....I think of it as dark and sweaty full power rock 'n roll stripped down to the barest essentials. But I don't get paid to think, so there's that to consider also.

27 March 2017


Howling, filthy, raw, primitive metal. Nothing tight or concise, nothing professional or clean....this is about as primal as it gets, and proof once again that the $1 castaway bins of the world still overflow with bounty. I'm back....did you miss me?

23 February 2017


The Escape is going on vacation and then going on tour and then going on vacation again. Please find me with RAKTA starting next weekend, then both STERILE MIND and NO STATIK will be playing Everything Is Not OK III the weekend after that....and I believe it will be the first time I have played in Oklahoma since 2002. Then it's off to Mexico for a week, just to make a general nuisance of myself before I trek back to SF through the desert. To tide you over, here are the second and third mix tapes in a series that I made for some dear friends. As I mentioned in the post of the first tape (which was Volume 2 when sequenced alphabetically) a couple of weeks ago, there are common themes through the tapes, several shared artists, and all three start with the same track, and I will likely listen to each of the several times on my drive to Austin which will start in a few hours. 


Friendship is to be valued and treasured, and should be treated with the respect that it deserves. 

21 February 2017

20 February 2017


Perfectly executed bombastic Japanese DBeat hardcore punk. Loud, fast, massive guitars, howling vocals, just the tiniest hint of melody in the riffs...check the "ooopphh!!" after the drums start "Shinjutsu" and if you are raging then you aren't listening. This 2014 demo is exactly what it's supposed to be, and it's exactly what you need. 

19 February 2017


Lurching slogs, lumbering forward with unmistakable and endearing determination. 
Analogies abound.

18 February 2017


The unearthed gems from the would-have-been commercial success stories that never were...the stories are mysteries, and the cassette bins at your local charity shop are likely hiding a few of the gems. Late 1980s suburban Bay Area glam/punk/schlock, LATENT IMAGE harness elements of THE CULT, (then) contemporary IGGY POP, Sunset Strip leads, and Eldridge pomp. Some of the songs are too long (especially the 6+ minute opener "You're Still The One"), but there's something that just clicks about this one....maybe it's because they are clearly so deadly serious. The solo in "Working Girls" is brat pack montage gold, and there's not a hint of irony. I picture some dudes in a garage with flowing locks, who would have their dreams crushed just a few years later when the dirty and underproduced sounds of Seattle took over the airwaves...struggling to add the grit they had spent a would-have-been career sweeping off. Keep digging, my friends.

17 February 2017


Hard to comprehend that the seeds of the current (and now, I suppose, recently past?) crop of mutant hardcore in and around Olympia, Washington were planted more than a decade ago. But alas, it was 2006 when we shared a mobile home with WHITE BOSS at a show that ended with a massive trash fire out back and chants of "MEGA! MEGA! MEGA!" as freeks threw compressed combustibles into the blaze. Low fidelity reality from the radical libertarian void, circa 2007: SEX VID, SISTER, FUNEROT, HIV, HORRIBLE, and LOOSE CHANGE. Pull up your trousers.

16 February 2017


It's cool if I don't always have the right words, isn't it? Because the things that SHAKING HEADS remind me of sound so dreadfully typical so I'm going to keep me references to myself and wait for yours. I'll just say that it's good. And that's it's perfect for those punk occasions when hardcore isn't actually king. I mean, hardcore is obviously king, but we don't always want to be in the king's court all the time, right? 

15 February 2017


The tonnage of life itself can weigh you down in inexplicable ways, and sometimes the tonnage itself is the only relief. I know what I mean when I say that, even though it doesn't make sense when I read the words....but it's a nod to the earnest intensity of this Russian band. I guess we called this "metalcore" or even "modern hardcore" back in the '90s, though all of the era specific genre descriptors seem even emptier now than they did at the time. AFTERLIFE are heavy, powerful, determinedly midtempo slog. The shit takes me someplace, and I am happy to be there. It's not here. So let's go.

14 February 2017


You know those times when you just open your eyes and you are alive? It's a pretty good feeling, and a feeling that we all should have more often. That doesn't really have anything to do with either of the French bands on this tape, but it's a thing I was thinking while I was listening to it....so maybe they are related. Twee/pop from PRÊCHEUR LOOP, really really good shit. Subdued psych/no wave on the flip..."Spare No Time" is a lost Nugget. Get it...feel alive. 

13 February 2017


Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know that you stopped publicly backing and pretending to listen to blistering ear torture distortion with light speed neanderthal beats. I guess I'll try to post some en vogue and/or currently cool things soon. You'll have to suffer through this until then. But on the up side, the THE BOYS cover here is next level awesome. 

12 February 2017


The liberation of solitude and the fruits of home recording join forces on this 32 minute offering from Bay Area project NOTHING BAND.  Filling the shoes of local-esque names like RESIDENTS, FATRIX, and NEGATIVLAND quite nicely, I feel like these are sounds that will be noticed and/or appreciated more in future times, but that is only because "our" vision is too narrow, my friends. And for a very weird and (I swear) completely accidental addition to today's post, I offered you (dear visitors) the 3: Aloner cassette from NOTHING BAND on 12 February 2016. Sometimes things just work out. 


11 February 2017


Impulse buys treat you right, kids. Part ways with unwanted and/or unneeded funds whenever possible and, occasionally, you will be rewarded. In this case, because we are friends, you only have to download. The first one is free. 

10 February 2017


Recently, I made a series of related mix tapes for three friends that will be visiting later this month. I started them all with the same track ("Today's Modern Woman" by SUBTONIX - which is unquestionably one of my favorite, and one of the greatest, punk songs of all time) and kept a few common themes throughout the tapes while still trying to tailor each one my understanding of the tastes and interests of each friend. It's a challenge, but it's a fun one. So each mix has different tracks from HAWKWIND, PAUL SIMON, OMID WALIZADEH and SISTERS OF MERCY. On the one hand, this selection (version #2, in case you can't decipher my title) is a bit more punk than the other two that will all appear here in coming weeks, it also features a creamer from SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK and RARE EARTH's "(I Know) I'm Losing You" (which is to rock music what the aforementioned SUBTONIX track is to punk)....but diversity is what makes a mix tape good for listening. Right? Right. Punk is for meeting friends, mix tapes are for letting you know you love them.