Thursday, August 10, 2017

Four on the floor: Thee Deception, Tacos!, Death Eyes and Cages crash it up in Seattle

Death Eyes x 2. (All Cat Rose photos)

By Andy

Once the initial slashing guitar chords angrily punctured the PA, it was clearly evident what the night would deliver. In other words: shit just got real.

From openers Thee Deception through to Tacos!, Death Eyes and Cages, the ferocious punk/hardcore/noise baton was feverishly passed from band to band until the amps, instruments and musicians gripping them brought the night to a crashing halt. This was a 4x4 relay squad of utmost proportions. We all fucking triumphed in the end.

Cheers to the Victory Lounge in Seattle for displaying the heroism to host such a vicious foursome last Saturday night.

Memories came flooding back of the first time I witnessed the mighty Bl'ast! live in 1985. This night recaptured that level of intensity, for sure. Stoked.

Cat Rose photos supreme:





Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Peters relives punk beginnings during Alarm set in Seattle

Mike Peters of the Alarm in Seattle. (All Andy photos)

By Andy

Mike Peters grinned, raised one hand and informed the crowd that he was about to tell his Sex Pistols story.

The Welshman and leader of the Alarm had probably held court with others a zillion times and excitedly recounted his experience in Chester, UK in 1976, but he was going at it again with a first-time zeal that dragged you right back there with him.

After seeing the Pistols literally destroy the place with their tunes and bravado, Peters — then about 17 years old — shyly approached Johnny Rotten and inquired about anarchy. Peters said that Rotten whirled toward him and barked, “Fuck off!”

Laughter ensued during Tuesday’s night early set at the Triple Door in Seattle.

Peters then launched into a stirring mini version of “Anarchy in the UK” on acoustic guitar, afterward mentioning that not long after his Pistols run-in, he and his mates formed their first punk band, The Toilets.

And then came the Alarm’s epic anthem, “Spirit of ’76,” which was just part of the band’s rousing 1-hour, 45-minute set that featured all the hits off their ‘80s albums, plus the poignant lead track off their debut single, "Unsafe Building," and the later Alarm ripper, "45 RPM."

Peters is the only original member on tap these days — alongside guitarist/bassist and punk mainstay James Stevenson and drummer Paul Davis (Peters’ wife Jules handled keyboards on a few songs) — and the tunes remain as mammoth and meaningful as ever.

PS: I hadn't seen Peters play Alarm songs with a band since 1989, so it was good to watch him belt out these classics again. I witnessed the original foursome in action many times from '86-'89, including the epic "Spirit of '86" UCLA show. Cheers.

They didn't play "Superchannel" or "Two Rivers." (From Jules Jones Peters' Facebook page)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Graham's 'Punk Like Me!' is thoroughly captivating | Book Review

By Elise Thompson

Originally posted on July 28 on The Los Angeles Beat site.

Call in sick and cancel all of your appointments! Lost World Press has just released "Punk Like Me! Liner Notes for a Revolution that Never Happened," and once you start reading it, you will not want any interruptions. Terry James Graham's autobiography is unlike any punk rock memoir you have ever seen. Instead of the usual friendly, conversational style peppered with acerbic wit, Graham's expressive style and unusual phrasing result in a work of creative nonfiction that is thoroughly captivating. Although he can be wordy, none of the words are extraneous. The rhythmic ramblings are often reminiscent of the poetry of Steven Jesse Bernstein. I can easily imagine a band playing jazz-punk fusion in the background as Graham lets the words flow.

“Adjacent” doesn’t have set boundaries, kind of depends on whom you ask. But I know it’s hiding somewhere under the mushroom cloud of baby-boomer fascism that huffs and puffs across L.A.’s endless patchwork of privy and privilege — under the overpasses, in that bleak industrial park and scattered among the stucco boxes that most people call home here in the entertainment capital of the world. It occurs to me as I tool around the streets and boulevards that L.A. is on its back, tongue hanging out, eyes rolled back into its coke-sniffing, Quaalude-popping head.

As he progresses through the atomic age, the British invasion, and the burgeoning Hollywood punk scene, finally chronicling the last wheezes of a moribund Gun Club, Graham adopts the lexicon and cadence of the time, his narrative firmly entrenched in zeitgeist. The second chapter, "The Wayback Machine," in which he recounts the early years of his mother, is downright Pulitzer Prize-worthy as the words come together like a painting.

If not heat, dust. If not dust, thunderstorms; many days a ruinous brew of the three. West Texas in the ’30s had all the makings of a damn good country song, but not much else.

Not only is Graham's writing poetic, it is transportive. When he describes moments of musical awakening, you don't feel like you are sitting at the bar listening to a wizened punk rock crony telling stories of his glory days. When Iggy Pop takes the stage "glaring, pouting and posturing like a rock-and-roll snake come to life" you are there.