Wednesday, November 22, 2017

L7 shoves their way into our life

Our autographed copy of the L7 documentary. Thanks to the "L7: Pretend We're Dead" crew!

To coincide with the dvd release of the stellar documentary, "L7: Pretend We're Dead," here's one of our L7 stories that came to mind while we were watching it in Seattle a few months ago. Our friend Phil (RIP) would surely dig on this film.

By Andy

When Phil first heard the blistering intro to L7’s “Shove” blast out of the speakers, his eyes sparkled and a shit-eating grin formed on his face.

His hands moved slightly, already figuring out the riff. He turned to me and nodded his head. Yes, this song would be a crucial one for us when the drinking and rocking commenced in our upstairs apartment on 5th Street in San Jose, CA.

It was all Cat’s fault. She’s the one who brought L7 into my life in the early ‘90s via a cassette tape of the band’s raucous first two offerings. “Bite the Wax Tadpole,” “Snake Handler,” etc. … fuck, yeah. But it was the really brain-gouging stuff on “Smell the Magic” that pierced our ears and punched our guts to the hilt.

Nothing was safe in that apartment when L7 roared throughout the front room. Once, Phil was so moved that he took a hammer to the figurines of a mini Nativity scene that sat on the window sill.

Another time, the cops barged in because we were unleashing L7 at a deafening volume that bothered the neighbors. Phil mouthed off and that perturbed the men in blue. We all got a tongue lashing, of course.

Later, when Phil had “Shove” ready to roll on his guitar, he cranked up the volume on his amp and I sat nearby banging the crap out of a snare drum that sat on a milk crate. We both screamed the vocals — we never found out if we pissed the neighbors off that time. We even recorded our “session” for playback to Cat and other members of our coterie. That tape is long gone, maybe the victim of Phil’s hammer on a beery night.

Cat had already witnessed L7 in the flesh at several gigs in Hollywood and at UCLA and she proudly told us of her adventures. Lucky.

One of Cat's flyers from back in the day.

But it would soon be time for all of us to head to San Francisco and check out the mighty L7 at the Nightbreak on Haight Street just a few months after “Shove” plowed its way into our lives.

After draining a few beers at the bar, we took our spots up front, wedged against the stage as L7 prepared the onslaught. As the band raged, the crowd surged forward, packing us in even tighter at the front. A few songs in, one of our friends waved an imaginary white flag and was taken into a side room to rest among some bean bags until we retrieved her later.

The band and crowd soldiered on.

Phil’s evil grin emerged when “Shove” finally knifed forth at our welcoming, battered ears. Arms flailed, kneecaps bashed against the stage and screeching voices filled the air. It was pandemonium. It was delirium. It was fucking L7.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Chrome, Blitz and their cohorts keep the Dead Boys alive

Cheetah Chrome in Seattle. (All Andy photos)

By Andy

There wasn’t a piece of baloney in sight.

As I entered the small dressing room, Cheetah Chrome was hunched on a bench and perusing his phone messages. It was a moment of solitude for the axeslinger of the legendary Dead Boys, probably something he didn’t get much of when, say, he was waiting to take the stage at CBGBs back in the day. No yelling, no broken bottles… no lunchmeat, snot or spit hanging from anyone’s shirt or mouth — just a man and his phone.

Chrome looked up when I approached him, we shook hands and I proposed an interview for this blog. He said we could speak after the show and I nodded OK and went back inside the Highline in Seattle to watch the opening band, The Drowns. (Dreadful Children and Wiscon also geared the crowd up for the headliner.)

The interview never happened since we were lost in a sea of elated, sweaty and drunken faces after the band — also featuring original drummer Johnny Blitz — leveled the crowd with the incendiary numbers from their debut album, “Young, Loud and Snotty,” which is celebrating its 40th year on this planet.

The current version of the Dead Boys also features guitarist Jason Kottwitz, bassist Ricky Rat and rambunctious singer Jake Hout (from “zombie” Dead Boys tribute band, the Undead Boys). They recently released a re-recording of the debut, titled “Still Snotty: Young, Loud and Snotty at 40.”

On this wild night, the Dead Boys were in top form and the crowd ate that shit up. One guy to my right — as I was getting pummeled at the front while snapping photos — was nearly jumping out of his skin and blurted out, “Stiv would be proud!”

Yes, Mr. Bators, while his body rests in peace, his fellow evil boys are raging in his memory.

Here’s my pics:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

One-two punch: Fu Manchu and Mos Generator | Cat Rose photos

Fu Manchu, top, and Mos Generator. (All Cat Rose photos)

Two vans packed with rock gear and solid dudes are certainly better than one.

First, gripping their sturdy hands on the wheel as they tear up the road, and then around their instruments and sticks come gig time -- that's what it's all about. All aboard, and give the blacktop and rockers in the club a heavy-duty effort.

That's what Fu Manchu and their partners and purveyors of all things mammoth sounding, Mos Generator, did on their recent five-day run up the West Coast and into Canada.

We and our formidable crew of Seattle and Portland hellraisers checked out the Emerald City stop at Chop Suey last Saturday. Here's Cat Rose's photographic offerings:



Friday, November 10, 2017

Corrosion of Conformity roaring to go with new album, ‘No Cross No Crown’

Corrosion of Conformity in Seattle. (Cat Rose photo)

It’s been a while, right?

After a 12-year hiatus from recording with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan, the venerable and brawny original Corrosion of Conformity trio of drummer Reed Mullin, guitarist Woody Weatherman and bassist Mike Dean have the frontman back in their clutches to bestow upon us a new album, “No Cross No Crown.”

The rock will roll when the album is released on Jan. 12, 2018 by Nuclear Blast Entertainment.

With Keenan back in the fold, the band toured for a year, kicked into the recording process about 10 or 11 months ago and blasted this one out in about 40 days during that timeframe. The last Keenan-fronted COC album was “In the Arms of God” in 2005.

Once again, John Custer was in the producer’s seat to help whip the album into shape in a North Carolina studio.

The 15-song set includes the walloping “The Luddite,” “Little Man” and “Forgive Me”  interspersed with melancholy guitar interludes like “No Cross,” “Matre’s Diem” and “Sacred Isolation.” (New song "Cast the First Stone" below.)

According to an Earsplit PR release, the album’s iconic title comes from a recent tour stop in England.

“We were playing this old church from like the 1500s that had been turned into a performing arts center,” Keenan recalled. “The dressing room had stained glass windows and one of them showed this poor fella being persecuted. Underneath it said, ‘No cross no crown.’ So I just took that idea. We’re not trying to be on a soapbox, but we used it as a catalyst to write songs around.”

Keenan is stoked to be part of the COC steamroller again.

“It’s an honor to be back out there and have an opportunity to do it again in a real way and not some washed-up reunion thing. Even before we wrote the record, we were out there for a year seeing there was a demand for it and that there was a void that we could fill,” he said in the release.