Saturday, November 30, 2013

One Kim, two Kims gone: Pixies dismiss Shattuck

Kim Shattuck will no longer be playing with the Pixies. (Sean T. Rayburn)

Here's the deal: Kim Shattuck has been sacked from her duties as the Pixies' touring bass player.

On her Facebook page yesterday, Shattuck wrote: "Super disappointed to learn that my time with the Pixies ended today. Amazing experience. Looking forward to focusing my attention back on the Muffs and our upcoming new album. All the best to everyone."

Shattuck replaced original bassist Kim Deal in January 2013 and played her first gig with the band on Sept. 6 in Los Angeles. Shattuck currently sings and plays guitar for the Muffs and previously played bass for the Pandoras (1985-90).

According to a Dec. 9 press release, Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle, ZWAN, The Entrance Band) will be joining the Pixies as touring bassist for the North American, South American and European summer concerts.

“We are really looking forward to playing with her on these dates,” said drummer David Lovering. “Working with different bass players is very new for the band, but we’re having a great time doing it.”

The band's upcoming North American tour is set to begin Jan. 15 in Toronto. There are already six sold-out shows on the 33-date tour.

The band recently completed a 17-date, sold-out European tour, which began in Vienna, Austria, on Nov. 1 and finished with a pair of dates at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, England, on Nov. 24-25.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ron Reyes' tenure as Black Flag's singer is over

Ron Reyes with Black Flag in Seattle on July 19. (Cat Rose photo)

Black Flag's recent Australian tour -- titled "Hits and Pits" -- was probably less hits and more pits for singer Ron Reyes, who announced on his Facebook page today that he's no longer a member of the band. (He also gave us permission to relay this information to readers.)

Reyes wrote that on the final date of the tour on Nov. 24 at the Capitol in Perth, Greg Ginn's right-hand man Mike V -- who also sings for Ginn's Good for You -- walked on stage with two songs remaining, took the mic from his hands and told him to leave. He added that Mike V sang the remaining two songs.

While it may have been an odd way to end things, Reyes noted that he feels a great sense of relief that his time in the band is over.

Reyes said he saw the writing on the wall from the outset of the band's reformation in January of this year. Things didn't click fully music-wise and he feels the band fell short in delivering Black Flag-worthy performances.

There's a lot more to the story, like band discord and the whole Black Flag versus Flag thing.

You can read his note on our Facebook page:!/permalink.php?story_fbid=615710081823077&id=203462809714475

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Top gig: Dead Kennedys and the Germs, 1978

Courtesy of

In a new segment, we asked readers to reminisce about their top gigs. The most raging, eye-opening, influential outings that they've experienced. Here we go:

By David Yohn

It was Nov. 1978. I was in the Navy and had just been transferred to Mare Island, north of San Francisco.

I was in love with the Ramones and The Clash and Blondie and Siouxsie and was just digging this new band called the Sex Pistols.

One of my new Navy buddies said he was going to SF to see Dead Kennedys and I said "I'm in!" and went along.

It was my first time at The Mab. The show started out awful. When we arrived, some local band whose name I can't remember opened and really sucked. The club was hot and stinky and dirty. I thought I had made a big mistake.

Then the Germs played a short set that really peaked my attention. I knew of them from reading about them, and even though their set was short and Darby Crash was obviously stoned out of his mind, they rocked.

I had a couple beers and we waited while equipment was moved, then DK hit the stage. FUCK. They absolutely blew my socks off and I became a life-long fan. They played a long set and it was the first time I had seen so much stage diving. The pit was intense.

After that show, I must have seen them perform 100 times in every dive in the SF Bay Area and also at places like The Whisky in LA. I bought everything of theirs I could find.

I was so sad when the Mab closed. Years later, I ended up managing college radio station KSJS in San Jose and we made punk music part of the format. I was able to bring Jello Biafra to do a spoken word performance at San Jose State and took him to Original Joe's afterwards for dinner. He is an intense dude off stage as much as on! But it was the '78 show at the Fab Mab that turned me into a hardcore fan for life.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Metal nite in Tacoma: And headbanging for all

Barefoot Barnacle bassist.
Czar headbangers.

By Andy -- Cat Rose photos

When people pack tight into the band alcove at O'Malley's Irish Pub in Tacoma, WA, everybody needs to stay alert.

Even the cook.

On Saturday night, four metal outfits had attendees thrashing and headbanging in the small space, which is situated in one corner of the sprawling pub (patrons were shooting pool, chucking darts and hobnobbing throughout the rest of the establishment). We were like a hockey ruffian banished to the penalty box.

It wasn't a bad place to be on this occasion.

So, the cook, you ask? Well, after he prepares meals in the kitchen, he has to carefully walk through the metal crowd to deliver his creations to folks throughout the pub. Many times, I thought a plate of onion rings or a French dip would bite the dust, but the man was obviously a seasoned veteran in avoiding any cuisine crashes.

However, much beer was spilled and one pushing-and-shoving instance during Mahnhammer's set brought the security man away from his door duty and into action to break up the scuffle.

Highlight of the evening was the Czar singer yelling at and flipping off an overhead lamp that inexplicably came on during their set in the semi-dark area. Not sure what he was singing about, but the lightbulb clearly took the brunt of his rants. The soundman came to the rescue, hopped on stage, balanced himself nicely while reaching for the bulb and twisted it out. He received a round of applause.




Pee Wee and Barefoot Barnacle

More Cat Rose photos:

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Jerry A. and Poison Idea are still the 'Kings of Punk' / Interview

Poison Idea's Jerry A. in Seattle. (All Andy photos, except where noted)
By Andy

Who knows what the person who coined the phrase, "There's a first time for everything," was thinking about.

Certainly not what I experienced on a recent Friday night.

Jerry A. from Poison Idea and myself are standing face to face in the backstage bathroom at El Corazon in Seattle. He smiles and sits on the edge of the shower tub and drains the last drops of his Pabst Blue Ribbon tall-boy can. He turns to face the toilet, knocks the seat down and offers me a resting place in what now is presumably his office — just like The Fonz in "Happy Days."

So this is where we're doing the interview, I thought. I chuckled to myself, stared at the friendly, beefy vocalist for Portland's legendary, incendiary punk band and began to poke through my list of questions. (I actually wrote them out beforehand, another first; I don't know why, I guess I was expecting to be intimidated and wanted to keep my thoughts on track.)

Twice during our interview, people knock on the bathroom door, peek in and then turn back, giving us our privacy.

After we finish, Jerry A., 49, and I walk out the door and various band members in the adjoining room laugh about us doing the interview in there.

"Ah, we were just fuckin'," Jerry A. sarcastically says with a smile and rise of one eyebrow. He pats me on the back, bids me farewell and I'm on my way back down the stairs en route to tell my tale to Cat and our friends.

Here's what we gabbed about before the Poison Idea gig with the Dwarves, Toxic Holocaust, Toe Tag and the Insurgence:

--- 'Kings of Punk' is gonna be re-released on Southern Lord coming up... what is it about that album that you think still excites people after all these years?

Well, I had to re-listen to it because they gave it to me to write the liner notes, and I really honestly haven't listened to it since it came out. Cuz, I (originally) listened to it and was like, 'Ehh,' it's alright, I thought we just kept doing better records as they came out.

But you go back and listen to this first shit and it stands up to stuff that's still out today. You know, they've got this Hot Topic punk rock shit they call punk rock, because it looks -- whatever -- they say it's more of a uniform than actually pissed off attitude that's mad. (But our) songs are really good, they just hold up.

'Kings of Punk' album cover from 1986.

--- Are you excited playing those songs nowadays still?

Some of the topics might seem really dated. I've lived and learned. The anger's still there.

--- And (people) still go mad for it. (Some of the crowd) is a new generation of people that obviously weren't there to see you guys the first time around.

Yeah, and that's cool cuz every year there's a new batch of 18-year-old kids. And that's fine, maybe they can relate to something that we wrote about then.

I was taking a bus, actually, to one of our shows. And these guys pulled over, like, 'Hey, we're going to the show, get a ride.' I didn't know who they were and I jumped in the car, and they're playing something, and I go, 'This is fucking good, what the fuck is this?' -- and it was Poison Idea (laughter).

--- I heard that you guys have some new songs in the hopper, is that right?

Yeah, well we just wanted to stay busy. We just spent years just fucking around, having different priorities. Basically cleaned all the drug addicts out of the band, one way or another. Unfortunately, some died, some went to prison, and then the ones who didn't go that way, we just said, 'We gotta get our shit together.' I still drink, one of the guys in the band smokes pot, I think, but this is the priority -- the music's first. And then if you wanna have a drink later, that's fine.

Ever since I was a little kid, I've always wanted this. This music is what makes me happy, it's what wakes me up, so we just wanted to stay busy and we started writing new songs. We got the 'Vegetable' back (on guitar) from 'War All the Time,' 'Filthkick,' 'Getting the Fear'--- and he's like, 'Oh, this is great,' and he just came right back where he left off, he's like a big kid.

--- What are you writing about nowadays?

Every song that we have is something that really happened. You can pick any song and I'll tell you the story behind the song. They're little vignettes of personal experiences and what happened. As you grow and learn and stuff, different things in life happen. Some people write books about heartache, mistrust, betrayal, frustration, and it's all there.

I just recently in the last 10 years or so, got into having little dogs. I fucking love dogs, man, they're so loyal, they're cute little things. I might write a song about fucking loyalty, you know? It's just shit that pops up. I'm not gonna write something like, 'Me and You and a Dog Named Boo,' (laughter) but I might write something with the theme.

Just write about what you know -- and if you don't, you're lying. And people can tell.

Unfortunately, we come from a really dark place, and all the songs are really fucking dark because that's what we chose to ensconce ourselves with and live that fucking life. When you do that, shit goes crazy around you.

--- So on that note, 'What Happened to Sunday?' Do you remember what that song was about?

That's just a blackout song from days at a time. One of the last shows we play at Satyricon, we were playing and I woke up behind the drum set. I fucking looked up and I'm like, 'Are we in Texas? Where the fuck are we?' I'm looking around, I didn't know where I was, and we're on stage playing. I wake up, it's like confusion -- that's not good. It's not good in life no matter what you do. But especially, people pay to see this thing? This fucking circus on stage? It's seriously like watching somebody die on stage.

--- Was it just alcohol?

At that time, it was everything, drugs, everything. I went into a fucking coma when I had to stop doing anything for a week, and then I woke up in a hospital and they said, 'You have everything in your system.' They were naming the shit off... everything except marijuana. (They asked) why didn't you have (that)? 'I'm trying to get a job,' and they didn't think that was too funny.

So, I don't do that anymore, because you can't. I haven't done any drugs for 18 months. (He shaped up after an incident in 2012, when he had three toes removed from his right foot as a result of treading on broken glass and slicing the bottom of his foot while drugged out in Portland. His leg swelled up and became infected.)

--- Well, let's go back to a simpler time (laughter), what kind of music did you grow up on as a kid?

Just everything, the rock and roll that was good. I used to read Creem magazine, that was a great publication-- they would tell me all that shit about the Stooges.

I liked rock and roll. My mom said when I was a baby, I was singing Beach Boys shit before I could talk, I was actually doing the harmonies. But I really didn't like the Beach Boys until I got into Brian Wilson years later.

Then, music was not so much escapism, I was a little kid, I was 9, listening to Queen, Roxy Music, Sparks. Stuff like that was glamorous, I could be glamorous in my bedroom listening to this great music. Or I could be heavy listening to Sabbath -- and I was dangerous.

Or when the Ramones came, I actually saw them on their first tour of the West Coast, when I was in seventh grade cuz I was going to concerts all the time. My first concert was Three Dog Night when I was 8 -- and I walked behind the drum set, it was festival seating, and I just was like, 'Wow! This is great!'-- this is when they were heavy. After that, it was BTO, the Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top in the early days. It just piled up and I never stopped going to concerts.

When I left home early when I was 15, because I got into punk rock, then I started scalping tickets to shows cuz that's how I made my money and survived. Invested a hundred bucks in Peter Frampton tickets because I knew it was gonna sell out, and I started selling 'em and got my money back plus my rent -- rent was like fifty bucks.

I think it crashed on Yes in the round. Because I bought all these tickets to Yes, I thought it was gonna (sell out) and I couldn't even give 'em away, man, I was stuck with all these tickets and I went in and I was like, 'No wonder people didn't wanna fucking buy these tickets-- this is horrible.'

I was in a punk band still and I was like, 'This is fucking insane. Time's are changing, man.' I could spend a dollar fifty and see the Wipers, right there, I could stand right next to 'em or I could spend twelve bucks and see Yes in the round -- with lasers!

So punk rock -- just the attitude, the music, the energy, the power. Everything about it woke me up.

At the time I saw the Ramones, I was a huge KISS freak like most idiots at that time were. And I would go to the store and wait for the new KISS record every fucking day, I think it was 'Rock and Roll Over' at that time. It fucking came, and I got it, and I ran home, and I was so excited and I put it on and I sat there and I was just like, 'SHIT! SHIT!' (in disappointment).

I was looking over at my Ramones records and going, 'This is it.' It was the changing of the guard. Overnight, I took my fucking shirt, cut my sleeves off, cut my hair off and that was it. And then started getting the shit beat out of me all the time (roaring laughter) -- for being a fag. But it was worth it.

--- What makes you happy nowadays?

Just being busy, staying alive. Knowing that I'm not on borrowed time, but got another chance. Lot of close calls.

--- What makes you angry?

It's the same shit that always has. The 1 percent of this population running the world. And seeing the kids not eating and homeless, and the system throwing them back to their family and getting abused and getting tormented and having no fucking future and no school and no program to take care of them. And the cycle just keeps getting repeated.

You see this sad, heartbreaking insanity.

--- So if record collectors are pretentious assholes, what do you collect? You mentioned dogs, is there anything interesting, like little glass figurines?

Right before Tom ('Pig Champion' Roberts) died, I was homeless for a couple years. Poison Idea was on hiatus and I'd squat, and I pretty much sold everything. Got divorced from my wife, lost everything. And once I got back on track, I got my shit together and stopped doing drugs, I wanted to start getting all those things again-- I wanted that Finnish punk rock record that I really love, the Lama first album. And then I got the Tex and the Horseheads records that I threw away and I got the Detox record that I wanted.

It was weird, because I always had my Germs singles, even when I was fucking homeless. I had those at my brother's. Me and Charley ('Myrtle Tickner' Nims) the bass player were at a homeless shelter once, and this kid said, 'Hey, we were gonna sell this, but if you would sign it.' They had a fucking 'Feel the Darkness' in their backpack, that was the only CD they had... 'If you sign this, maybe we'll hold onto it.' And I was like, 'Yeah, dude, fucking stay strong, brother, thank you so much.'

--- It follows you ...

It's cool. It's great seeing actual punk rock kids with big Poison Idea things on their back, like fighting with some religious guy on the street. Screaming at him, you know? It's great. I love it. They're full of piss and vinegar, and they should be -- that's what you're supposed to do when you're a kid.

When you're old, you're supposed to collect dogs (laughter) and listen to old punk rock.

--- You can do 'em both, you become more well rounded as you grow older.

Not only collecting that shit, but now I'm getting into crazy shit that I never liked before like Beefheart, his first couple records, and Howlin' Wolf, and all the Chestnut and all the old Sun stuff, the old rockabilly shit, 'Dock' Boggs -- that Appalachia, bluegrass, hillbilly music, whatever you call it.

Music still transforms me. It gives me the same feeling I had when I was 9. I listen to it and it makes me happy. It's like a shower of feeling going over you and it's just so energizing. It saved my life before and it's still keeping me alive.

Rounding out Poison Idea's current lineup, from top to bottom:
Eric 'Vegetable' Olson, Natalie Lucio, Jeff 'The Duck' Walter and Flesh Gordie (photo by Dante Torrieri / Useless Rebel Imaging)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Die Kreuzen's 'Cows and Beer' is coming back at ya in April

Dan Kubinski at the Roadburn Festival in Holland. (Cat Rose photo)

By Andy

Record Store Day just got a whole lot cooler.

And if there ever was a slab of vinyl that should be massively celebrated, it's certainly Die Kreuzen's rip-roaring, paint-peeling "Cows and Beer" 7-inch EP. It severely and pleasurably gave my ears a beating back when it was first released in 1982 through Version Sound.

Six songs, 6 minutes and 24 seconds … "Hate Me," "Pain," "Enemies," "In School," "Think for Me" and "Don't Say Please."

You could play that thing about nine times continuously in an hour — and you'd still want to revisit it again… and again and again! It's safe to say that my friend John's vinyl copy of "Cows and Beer" got a workout that summer as we sat in his Redondo Beach, CA bedroom and soaked up the intense tunes.

And now it's Beer City Skateboards and Records' turn to bring "Cows and Beer" back to the public's ears with an official re-release in special remastered 7-inch and 12-inch deluxe editions on April 19, 2014.

According to a Beer City press release, the new release will feature much improved sound quality and will be pressed on four different colors of vinyl.

"We are doing this because we want to squash the bootleggers," said Die Kreuzen singer Dan Kubinski in the press release. "For years, they have been putting out inferior-quality bullshit and ripping off our fans. We want to give our fans a very clean, crisp, loud-and-heavy version of 'Cows and Beer.' Billy Cicerelli from WMSE did the remastering  — and man, did he do an awesome job! His new version blows the doors and windows off of any other, including the original Version Sound release."

Circerelli remastered the recordings from the original reel-to-reel tapes at Hi-Top Studios, Milwaukee, Wis. Lacquers for both vinyl editions will be cut at Lucky Lacquers by Dave Eck, a seasoned industry veteran based in Middleton, Wis.

The new edition will feature the original lyrics and liner notes, plus new liner notes and photos from '82.

As a bonus, the 12-inch version will include a comic book from the masterful hands of Brian Walsby, who has drawn countless punk record covers, fliers and released a handful of books over the last 30 years.

When John and I finally got to see Die Kreuzen in the flesh at the Cathay De Grande in Hollywood in 1984, Walsby was there, too, journeying from his home in Simi Valley.

It was a chaotic and stellar show for the ages, to say the least.

Cat and I caught the Die Kreuzen guys last April at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands, and it was another dominant gig from the Milwaukee crew of Kubinski, Keith Brammer on bass, Jay Tiller on guitar and Erik Tunison on drums. (Herman Egeness played guitar on "Cows and Beer," but has handed over guitar duties to Tiller.)

So, thank you Die Kreuzen and Beer City for putting this record back in people's hands again. Let the face-melting resume.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Death Became Seattle Last Night

Bobby Hackney of Death. (All Cat Rose photos)

By Andy

Bobby Hackney tilted his head back, allowing his long, braided hair to dangle and sway a bit. The Death bassist/vocalist then closed his eyes, raised his left fist in the air and looked upward.

Hackney passionately told the crowd that his deceased brother David's spirit was with us last night at the band's sold-out gig at Chop Suey in Seattle.

And it was a wild one.

The trio -- consisting of Bobby, his other sibling Dannis on drums and David's successor Bobbie Duncan on guitar -- ripped through songs off its albums, "For the Whole World to See" and "Spiritual, Mental, Physical," recorded in Detroit in the 1970s and finally released in 2009 and 2011. They also slotted some new tunes into the mix as the crowd went off just as hard as the band. It was a roughhouser of an evening -- in a very, very good way -- up front for most of the show, but Death also slowed it down in spots to give us a breather before turning us loose again to match the band's energy.

Duncan, top, and Dannis Hackney, below.

Rock, punk... whatever you wanna call it ... is Death's calling card and they unleashed their tunes with verve last night.

Our ears are ringing, our voices are shot and our bodies are sore this morning, but that's OK. It feels just right.

** Check out the film "A Band Called Death"

** Death has a new single, "Relief" and "Story of the World," out on TryAngle Records