Sunday, November 15, 2020

Fucked and Bound / Cat Rose unseen photos

All Cat Rose photos

Since most of 2020 has been a bust for shows, we've dug into some of Cat Rose's unseen photos of the raucous and unhinged Fucked and Bound on Jan. 25 at the Clock-Out Lounge in Seattle.

The band recently signed to the Quiet Panic music and art company, and details on its mid-December reissue of F&B's "Suffrage" LP can be found here:


Friday, November 13, 2020

Professor and the Madman returns to the music world with 'Seance'

                       Half of Professor and the Madman, from left, Sean Elliott and Alfie Agnew. Photo by John Gilhooley

By Andy

Is it punk? Is it prog? Does it matter?

With musicians stationed in Orange County, CA and insanely far off in the UK, Professor and the Madman voraciously dig into both realms.

"If there is a prog-punk movement, I'd like to be a part of it, 'cause I think it sounds cool. It's kind of a contradiction in terms," said Sean Elliott, whose band's new album "Seance" has been tagged as prog-punk in the UK press.

"I'm pretty happy with it. There's no record company telling us, 'No, it's not punk enough,' or, 'We can't sell this,' or, 'We can't get radio play.' We walk into it knowing that there is no radio play and no one's gonna like it, and we're still gonna do it," Elliott adds with a snarky laugh. Somewhere in OC, Elliott's longtime partner in PATM crime Alfie Agnew is probably smiling while he's thinking about the new album, which will be released today on the band's own Fullertone Recordings imprint.

While The Damned is the obvious jumping-in point sound-wise -- especially since the UK faction of drummer Rat Scabies and bassist Paul Gray round out the foursome -- there's also myriad other styles that PATM unleashes on "Seance," which offers up 12 songs and just as many moods. Add in some pop, rock and psych sounds and your eardrums are off and running.

After Elliott and Agnew -- who blasted guitar riffs together for punk-rock ragers DI back in the day -- completed their parts for the "Seance" tunes, they fired the files off to Scabies and Gray to work their magic. Like what happened on the band's "Disintegrate Me" album in 2018, the OC lads couldn't wait to get their hands on the UK blokes' finished product.

"We send these songs off. Everyone gets to do their part to it... and then it kind of comes back as this new song," Elliott recalls. "We're always kind of like waiting for, 'OK, I wonder what they did.' Every time we get it back, it's better than what we had expected it to be. As a songwriter, that is like the most fulfilling thing ever. If you write a song, it's very personal, and if someone starts destroying it and puts something that you don't like on the song, it can be frustrating."

Per usual, Elliott and Agnew both trade off vocals and man the guitars and keyboards, while adding in horns and even a tea kettle and bamboo. 

This is the band's fifth album -- including the "Live at the 100 Club" release from a UK gig -- and Scabies has been on board with Elliott and Agnew the whole way (Scabies also emailed his tracks to the guys for the first pair of albums). This is Gray's third time with the gang, and he joined up three years after Scabies met the OC boys in Los Angeles when Elliott's old high school band played a private party with Agnew filling in on bass.

The Critens lured Scabies up on stage to play on their cover of "Smash it Up" and a bond was instantly formed. Elliott and Agnew rekindled their friendship that night as well after not seeing each other for a while.

"Not working with the guy for forever, immediately we got back in and that spirit was still there, then we started recording. It's been real easy for us to work together," Elliott said.

Same thing with Scabies and Gray, Elliott noted: "You send them apart for 25 years, you put 'em right back in and they sound just as good as they did back then. It's because they work well together. Neither of those guys rehearse, they just go for it and it sounds good."

From beer left, Scabies, Elliott, Agnew and Gray. Elliott photoshop creation

Elliott said the songwriting process is all about having fun and throwing a couple of wrenches into the mix to see what PATM can concoct. They engineered and produced "Seance" themselves, so nobody was sticking their head into their studio playpen.

"The music we're doing now is kind of what we were accustomed to growing up, you know? The more fantasy type albums, and just, when you listen to 'em, they would take you someplace else. You know, albums haven't been like that in a long time," Elliott said. "Face it, we're not doing this for the money, so it's for the art of it. And if we're doing it for the art, we're gonna do exactly what we wanna do, and this is what's coming out."

They didn't have a solid plan in mind when beginning the "Seance" sessions. They just let their creativity flow and trekked to meaningful and exciting ground. Along the way, they were calling upon the spirit of some of their favorite bands like the Kinks, Pink Floyd and Cheap Trick. The good stuff, Elliott said.

"I'm a believer in the album revealing itself eventually. We're working on it and moving forward and sometimes we don't know what's going to come out of it. So as far as what were we thinking, we didn't, it was just instinct to do it and see what happens," Elliott said.

It's tough for Elliott to pin down a few of his preferred tracks because they are all key components to the whole deal. Crucial bricks in the entire wall, I guess you could say Floyd-style. 

"It just depends on where you are that day," Elliott said of standout songs. "One of the things that I like about it is you can kind of follow it from where it starts and to where it ends. It's kind of a big circle it takes you in. It's a cool album to take a slow drive to and just enjoy it."

I tell Elliott that about a week before this interview, I just so happened to be driving around Seattle while listening to "Seance." After each stop on my errand run, I couldn't wait to hear what was coming next on the song list. It was a great drive that day with PATM as my passengers.

Monday, November 2, 2020

DC hardcore records are still as crucial as ever

TSHIT photo

By Andy

1981 phoned me up and said they've got demo sessions of the Dischord Records EPs I've ordered.

Just like in the days of yore, when my most recent Dischord package arrived in the mail with SOA, Youth Brigade and Minor Threat demo 7-inchers, I was stoked. I flipped through our collection and grabbed the Teen Idles and Government Issue (on Spontaneous Combustion Records) demo records already nestled in there and fanned all five gems out on the table. Satisfaction.

Next up, I snagged the original EPs that our tall and trusty mailman sporting a pith helmet delivered 39 years ago to my porch in Redondo Beach, CA. It was a mind-spinner to see all these classic and vital records in one place, bookending the past and present with glorious DC hardcore platters. The old ones are, of course, a bit scratchy from copious plays, but they're present and accounted for. 

The red Minor Threat first pressing has an interesting story: After my brother and I spun it countless times in our room, we loaned it to Fletcher (pre-Pennywise) over in Manhattan Beach and expected to have it back in our hands within a week or so. As the weeks dragged by, we learned that Fletcher had passed it on to someone else, and then that punk had done the same. Fuck. After many phone calls and bike rides to peoples' houses, we finally retrieved our gold-star record and have never let it leave the house since. I look back and laugh every time I pull that sucker out for another play.

Cat and I had a blast playing darts while giving the demos a go the past few weeks. Long live DC hardcore.

In honor of all these records existing for us to have our minds blown, here's some quotes from some band members via interviews with our blog:

Youth Brigade drummer Danny Ingram in 2012:

I don’t think there was anything formative that came from playing in Youth Brigade. My memories of Youth Brigade, whether right or wrong, were always that we were quite raw…and teetering on the edge (musically)…kind of like a toy that has been wound too tightly and the springs are about to snap. That said, I have some amazing memories of that time…and hope to put them down on paper at some point. But, to me, the most memorable thing about that time wasn’t the music we made –- it was the friendships that I made…and how they have weathered the punk rock ravages of time. I guess the one important thing is that, as a father, I will likely be able to support my kids in their musical endeavors and better understand what it is they are trying to do.


Government Issue singer John Stabb (RIP) in 2012:

If Tom Lyle didn't stick it out with me for the 8 years that he was in G.I., I don't think I would've kept the G-Issue train a-rolling. Sure we fought like Mick and Keef because being in a band for that long together was like a crazy marriage. Sometimes up and other times incredibly down. But our intense angry/happy relationship fueled the fire that made G.I. what it was. It wasn't the easiest thing to replace longtime drummer/friend Marc Alberstadt but we tried with a short-lived but incredibly talented drummer, Sean Saley (who's now in Pentagram) until Peter Moffett entered the picture. And musically we always just wanted to challenge ourselves and not be predictable. In doing this, we won over newer fans and lost some of the Old Schoolers who missed the bang and howl. That's cool with me.


Minor Threat and Teen Idles, singer and bassist, respectively, Ian MacKaye in 2012 and 2019:

I think Minor Threat, we had a refined sound, and also we'd seen the Bad Brains and the Circle Jerks, we were aware of those bands. Minor Threat... those guys were super players, three of them: Brian and Jeff and Lyle. I think especially Lyle Preslar, the guitar player, I mean he's one of the most unsung guitar players. He's playing full, six-string-position barre chords at that speed-- that's just insane. His accuracy and his rhythms are so incredible.

When I was in the band, we were just caught up in the moment, and obviously being kids, teenagers, we were spending a lot of time screaming at each other, it was such a crazy time. It wasn't until years later that I actually, when I was working on putting together the DVD of some of the videos, that I had kind of a perspective to look at the band and think about their musicality -- and I was stunned, really, to think that Lyle was 17-18 years old and playing that way is just phenomenal.

Jeff was a great drummer... I'm not taking anything away from my work or whatever, I had a really clear vision about the music. A lot of the songs I wrote... I think that that music was something that really resonated and continues to resonate with people. 


(Ian's thoughts on the Slinkees into the Teen Idles):

I wanna be in a band, I just wanted to play music. I wasn't then and I still don't think of it as a career. To me, I just wanna play music. I just do the do, I just work with what's in front of me.

I honestly wasn't thinking about sort of the juxtaposition of me as an audience member or me as a performer because that's kind of the point, they're not that different. We're making a show together, that's what we're doing, the audience and the bands.


SOA guitarist Michael Hampton in 2012 (OK, I'm reaching on this one, but it still works):

I think about some of the (Faith) songs. "It's Time" especially pops in my head. I actually wrote that riff when I was 13 as a "rock" song. Later, it was an SOA song called "Red to Black", I think, with a chorus "influenced" by the fantastic Enzymes, and that became "It's Time" in the Faith.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Pegboy marks 30th anniversary, dedicates gig to Pierre Kezdy

John Haggerty plays with Pegboy on Oct. 17. (Photo by Meredith M. Goldberg)

By Andy

It was a gig to mark Pegboy's 30th anniversary, but it was so much more than hitting that milestone for the rock-solid Chicago band. 

Not only was it a rare, socially distanced gig during a pandemic, it was an emotional tribute and memorial for Pierre Kezdy, the dynamic Chicago bassist and lyricist who passed away from cancer on Oct. 9 at the age of 58. He influenced and inspired scores of musicians during his time with Pegboy, Naked Raygun, Strike Under, Arsenal and Trial By Fire.

On Oct. 17, Pegboy took the stage alongside The Bollweevils, Jake Burns and Local H at the Chicago Drive-In Theater in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Pegboy guitarist John Haggerty, drummer Joe Haggerty, vocalist Larry Damore and bassist Mike Thompson rammed through their set during the windy, overcast and socially distanced atmosphere.

"So windy that I thought my amp would blow over and they had to put sand bags on the cymbal stands so they would not fly away," John said. "At first it was strange to play in front of a crowd largely confined to their cars without the type of direct interaction we are used to. But that quickly passed as soon as we heard all the car horns blaring in unison. Especially when Larry held Pierre's bass aloft and dedicated the show to him. We might not have many, but we have the best fans in the world."

Pegboy vocalist Larry Damore displays Pierre Kezdy's bass. (Photo by Meredith M. Goldberg)

John noted that the show resonated deeply with those people whose lives Kezdy had touched. Pegboy was also humbled by the other artists who played that night, who are all headliners in their own right, he added.

"I knew that Pierre's work had a positive impact on many, but I never realized how many," John said. "It was seeing his first band, Strike Under, that made me realize that you can play live, write songs and make records even if you are not an arena rock band. I joined my first band shortly thereafter."

"Seeing his likeness on a giant screen while playing a show with his bass on stage was very moving to all of us. We thank all who came out despite less than ideal conditions," added the guitarist, who turned 60 the day of the gig and was serenaded with "Happy Birthday" by a socially distanced group of people up front while he was jamming with Local H.

John and Kezdy played, wrote and recorded together in both Pegboy and Naked Raygun for about 25 years total. 

"Besides being a great player and a brilliant songwriter, he was a lot of fun to be in a band with. He had a great sense of humor and would give you the shirt off of his back, without hesitation," John said. "He was a great card player and could drive massive distances without a break. He could do an interview in the afternoon, play a show at night, load gear like a longshoreman then drive us safely back to the hotel. He was the MVP of our band and one of my favorite people in the world."

Now that he's hit the big 6-0 and is still rocking, John sums up his musical trek over the last 40 years, which surely mirrors a multitude of other musicians' experiences.  

"I have very few regrets and I am honored to be associated with so many fine musicians and music lovers," he said.

Naked Raygun from the "All Rise" CD reissue with John Haggerty and Pierre Kezdy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Original members of The Damned reunite for UK tour

Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian in Seattle in 2018. (Cat Rose photo)

Stellar news on The Damned front today as the legendary band has announced that original members Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible and Brian James will reunite for a four-date UK tour in July of 2021. 

Here's the schedule:

July 9

Eventim Apollo Hammersmith

London, United Kingdom

July 16

O2 Academy Birmingham

Birmingham, United Kingdom

July 17

O2 Academy Glasgow

Glasgow, United Kingdom

July 18

O2 Apollo Manchester

Manchester, United Kingdom

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Photo flashback: Cheap Trick strikes 10

Rick Nielsen, Daxx Nielsen and Robin Zander in action. 

So, we've finally been given permission from Cheap Trick's management to share two of Cat Rose's photos (with watermarks) from this ripping show on Aug. 28, 2015, at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA. They opened for Peter Frampton.

“We are the one and only — with no substitutes — Cheap Trick,” Rick Nielsen shouted to the crowd at one point during the energetic set, which featured the guitarist flicking copious picks to fans and giving the throng a thumbs up after nearly every song.

They rolled through "Come On, Come On," "Big Eyes," "Lookout," "Surrender," "I Want You to Want Me," "Dream Police," "Stiff Competition" and much more on the most-rockin' eve.

Daxx and Robin.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Circle Jerks' 'Group Sex' rages on 40 years later with Trust Records reissue


By Andy 

"NUTS!" is one way Keith Morris emotes his feelings about how the Circle Jerks' "Group Sex" album has withstood the test of time.

"I personally am in awe over the attention our album gets this far out from its original release back in 1980," the band's animated singer told us in an email this week.

While the pandemic put a hit on the CJs' 40th anniversary reunion plans this year, Trust Records has helped keep the band's legacy alive with a reissue of that classic punk platter. Our original copy my brother purchased in 1980 is scratched to hell, but still delivers the angst and rage 1,000-fold.

The new edition has been given the remaster treatment and will include five bonus tracks from the band's initial rehearsal in 1980, a deluxe 20-page booklet jam packed with rare photos, flyers and testimonials, and a reprint of a 24-page CJs fanzine from 1980 with pre-orders. Visit

At the age of 14, I first encountered the CJs at the Starwood in Los Angeles at my first punk gig. It was a night I'll never forget.

When Morris and the CJs hit the stage, I was amazed at how the band raged while playing so tight. Guitarist Greg Hetson and bassist Roger Rogerson jumped up and down and drummer Lucky Lehrer shredded away with a wild look on his face. Morris had his usual beer in hand and was as manic as I thought he would be on stage -- turns out my grade-school buddy Tony Ford (who often collected the donations at church sporting engineer boots and a leather jacket) was right.

To top off the CJs' set, brother Ed hopped up on stage, ran across it and dove into the crowd during "Paid Vacation."

Morris fills us in on the raucous band's beginnings.

"When we first started, our situation had us skipping out on the learning to crawl and walking bits and going directly to a swift paced run. Everything was moving fast and we didn't have time to dwell upon the events that were happening to us. The CJs were just going for it!," he said. 

And then they began wearing out their shoes and boots at a blistering pace on the punk scene.

"Writing songs and booking gigs equated to spinning heads, and the recording process for 'Group Sex' went by so quickly that we had no idea as to what we were doing," he added. "Roger, Greg, Lucky and I had absolutely no thoughts towards us helping to create a blueprint for a genre of music."

Our original copy from 1980.