Brain Cell Genocide
The Bobby Lees
The Shaking Fists
The Sinister Six
As There's Something Hard in There rolled into its 11th year in 2021, we eased up on the gas pedal a bit due to time constraints and COVID limiting our show intake. It's been a long ride for us in the blog realm and we're fortunate to have produced copious photos and interviews of and with some of our favorite musicians from the past and present.
Running this blog has solidified our affinity for music and taken it further than we ever dreamed. We're still as passionate about music -- seeing a band tear the roof off the place or having an inspiring chat with an artist -- as we always have been, beginning a multitude of years ago.
We're in this for the long haul and will keep TSHIT going until the fucking wheels fall off.
Here's some quotes of note from a handful of interviews we conducted this year. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!
BRUCE STUCKEY (TOXIC REASONS)
"I've got at least two albums of material I've written over the last seven years. At least," said Stuckey, who notes that the Toxic Reasons records hanging on his wall each represent a different period of his life. There's eight studio albums and a batch of singles and EPs that fired out of the band's cannon.
"Honestly, I am happy with what I've done in the past. I would actually, honestly, like to make one more fucking record. I don't care if anybody gives a fuck, if they like it or not. As long as I like it and put it out, and actually tour it again. Maybe not the way we used to. I honestly don't think I could take that," he said with a laugh.
DAVEY GUNNER (END OF HOPE)
The former Kraut vocalist's reaction after guitarist Ken Wohlrob told him the moniker, End of Hope, whose music is an amalgamation of Black Flag meets Motorhead: "I guess, because in a lot of ways, I'm a pessimist. You know, gloom and doom sort of, I guess gives me my fuel. So I heard that, I was like, 'That just nails it, you know?' But in the same sense, you got to have hope -- that's the one thing that keeps you going."
JEFF PEZZATI (NAKED RAYGUN)
"I think as long as we have good new songs, it gets me excited again," said the vocalist/songwriter regarding the band's recent solid album, "Over the Overlords."
Former Naked Raygun bassist Pierre Kezdy, who passed away from cancer in 2020, wrote some songs and played on the album. Pezzati noted: "He told us before he passed it was important that we get it out and we're doing our best to get it out. And the fact that he wrote a couple of songs for it is really great because he was such a great songwriter. He wrote 'Vanilla Blue' and he wrote 'Treason' by himself and he wrote 'Home' and some really great songs along the way."
FRANK AGNEW (GREG ANTISTA AND THE LONELY STREETS)
The former Adolescents guitar slinger's feelings about the Antista songs on the stellar album "Under the Neon Heat": "There's two things I liked about them immediately: they were simple (and) these are really catchy, good songs. They're sing-along songs. I thought the lyrics were really strong. The overall feel of the songs is upbeat, which I thought, 'Wow, we could all really use this right now.' Because everything had been kind of dark and stuff. And then, of course, the pandemic hit. I also liked it because it allowed me to kind of do a lot of different guitar stuff on it that I normally wouldn't be able to do, but those songs kind of left it wide open for that."
While we were raging the night away by wedging our way up front at raucous, sweat-soaked and mind-blowing gigs beginning some four decades ago, it never crossed our minds that these unhinged, tempestuous activities transpiring in front of us would be remembered copious years into the future.
We were often ridiculed and given the stink eye nearly everywhere we roamed back then for walking the jagged punk rock path. We loved it and didn't give a shit what anyone thought.
We'd hop into cars and drive to the Whisky, Florentine Gardens or the Palladium in Hollywood. There was Godzilla's in the armpit of the San Fernando Valley. Dancing Waters was the spot for your punk pleasure in San Pedro. The Barn at Alpine Village in Torrance hosted some of the best shows of that era, notably a Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, MDC, Zero Boys and Detonators stunner.
Sometimes, things got gnarly like when the owners at Bob's Place in Watts made us all stay inside because some locals were looking for punk blood outside after a Misfits, Necros, Social Distortion, SVDB gig.
We straddled the line between euphoria and danger on some nights. It was our time — and we made the most of it.
But clearly, and thankfully, a multitude of punks wouldn't let it die, and here we are in 2021 talking about The Punk Rock Museum, which is slated to open next year in Las Vegas. According to an old-school fanzine-type-thing I just received in the (actual) mail, the museum will be located at 1422 Western Ave. and will contain punk artifacts and paraphernalia from all over the globe, including Darby Crash's record collection, and heaps of other punks' photos, flyers, fashion, set lists, instruments and more. It's a fucking gold mine!
Hell, you can get married at the museum, and afterwards you can play Fletcher Dragge's guitar or Fat Mike's bass through their own amps that blasted out Pennywise and NOFX tuneage. Want a tattoo? The museum's your spot. They'll probably even allow stage diving and some creepy crawling in the pit.
Speaking of Fat Mike (Burkett), he's the founder, and Dragge is one of the operators. Now, there's no way those guys saw this coming 40 years ago, right? I used to attend gigs with Dragge back in the day, and all we were concerned about was guzzling some beers before TSOL or the Stains tore it up and left us in tatters. Speaking of getting in on the action and fully embracing the moment (seen in the top photo), check out my pal John singing away with Milo during a stellar Descendents set at Mi Casita in Torrance in 1983.
Also on board the museum's team are Lisa Brownlee (general manager and lead curation supervisor), Melanie Coffee (museum director), Alison Braun and Lisa Johnson (both punk photo historians and photo curators), Colin Robert Smith (CEO) and many more.
For more information, visit www.thepunkrockmuseum.com.
Sometimes, the bonus band puts a gargantuan stamp of approval on an already stellar bill. When two bands become three by way of a sizzling, spastic New York powerhouse like The Bobby Lees, you're left with your jaw unhinged and thumping onto the floor.
It was a full-throttle display of punk, garage, metal and rock at the Clock-Out Lounge in Seattle on Nov. 19 thanks to those Bobby Lees and their cranked-up cohorts Warish from San Diego and Deathchant from Highland Park in Los Angeles.
The TSHIT staff and our revved-up crew set up shop in a section nearest the stage and awaited the aural and eye-gouging onslaught.
You already know that the recent addition to the bill, The Bobby Lees, plastered their tunes into our brains and had our coterie chattering away about their blistering set.
Not long after we came up for air, the Deathchant mayhem sprung into action with hair, arms and legs flying every which way and filling the air with heaps of twin-guitar melody that glued all the adrenaline-fueled exertion firmly into place with the music.
When the dust had cleared, the headlining Warish three-piece maintained the solid thrust of the evening with a no-frills set of tunes that rolled along smoothly but packed the required amount of bite to get your blood pumping. Heads bobbed and fists shook within the crowd as the band hammered through its repertoire of heavy tunes that were imbued with a sort of laid-back edge. Think Wipers channeling the Adolescents with chunks of psych/stoner rock wedged into the mix. Can't go wrong with that.
Here's some Cat Rose photos to firmly back up my prose:
THE BOBBY LEES
... UNTIL NEXT TIME