Monday, May 27, 2024

Tongues and Choly, 5/26/24, Cha Cha Lounge in Seattle/ Cat Rose photos


Tongues. (All Cat Rose photos)

"If you don't move to our songs, I'll tell your mothers you smoke weed and have sex." -- Tongues



Friday, May 24, 2024

RIP, Bob Schick: Honor Role vocalist/lyricist

Honor Role's Bob Schick (front) with drummer and brother Steve Schick and guitarist Pen Rollings
at the Fallout Shelter in Raleigh, NC, in 1987. (All photos by Kim Kirchstein)

By Andy

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Bob Schick, who passed away this morning.

The brilliant vocalist/lyricist fronted the stellar Honor Role, Coral, Dynamic Truths and Battered Youth.

I penned this and sent it his way two weeks ago: "Hi Bob, it’s your old pal Andy Nystrom. Just wanted to say that I appreciate your kindness, creativity and conviction and have tried to model myself after you over the years. It’s an honor to be part of the Honor Role fold and I have you to thank for leading the way in bringing me into that realm. I felt an instant connection with you all from day one in Raleigh and still feel it to this day. Thanks for making that young me feel special then and when you stayed with us in Redondo. My mom still asks about you all. We all love you, Bob."

Here's a piece I wrote for this blog in 2011:

Honor Role: Gut-wrenching, eye-opening tuneage

At first listen to Honor Role's album, "The Pretty Song," in Corrosion of Conformity's van with drummer Reed Mullin at the wheel, I wondered what this music was all about.

It was heavy, melodic, quirky, jagged, stunning and something you couldn't turn away from. Listen after listen — and Mullin played it repeatedly — brought about new parts that skipped by you the first time because you were focusing on the vocals and not the guitar, or the drums and not the bass, etc. Each part not only contributes to the whole, but tells its own story, so to speak ... and you want to give equal attention to everything. When you grasp your ears around the whole deal, you find that it's groundbreaking stuff — and still not many people know about it today.

Seeing them live at the Fallout Shelter in Raleigh, NC, in the summer of 1986 gave me hope that honest, gut-wrenching rock was alive and well. It was mesmerizing to witness Schick unleash his passionate, mind-bending vocals and grip the microphone stand tightly while gouging it into the stage.

Lyrically, "Observation" is one of Honor Role's many insightful, brutal journeys into the human condition:

At first glance, man seems a curious breed; Full of will and strength, a noble breed

But under closer scrutiny, threads are observable

These threads and hopes, they do define the thicknesses and weaknesses that form the personality

And as the stress, the stress increases, the threads separate and begin to fray


Then I look inside you, and I know you feel it 

When I pull at your threads, I can see how you react

Though you think I don't notice it, nothing escapes my view

Don't think it's obvious, to see what it takes to manipulate you


When I'm finished, yeah finished for the day, I'll leave you in the corner and go out to play

Leave you in the corner, so you can pull yourself together, pull yourself apart

In time, yeah time, you know, time heals all the wounds of love

Someday we will hold each other close, and probe the lines that are your scars.

Bob and Pen (photo: Kim Kirchstein)

Bassist Chip Jones (photo: Kim Kirchstein)

Steve (photo: Kim Kirchstein)

Monday, May 20, 2024

Stiff Little Fingers level Revolution Hall in Portland / Review and Cat Rose photos

SLF! (All Cat Rose photos)

By Andy

If ever there were perfect punk-rock bookends, these surely put a stamp on that moniker.

Stiff Little Fingers rammed through the gate with a roaring "Suspect Device" ... blasted through 17 more stinging tunes and then finished things off with a banging "Alternative Ulster." 

It was certainly one corker of an evening on May 17 at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon. I won't divulge the rest of the setlist as to not give anything away to those still waiting to see SLF on its current -- and final -- coast-to-coast USA tour. OK, I lied, there was a massive sing-along during "Gotta Gettaway" that put everyone's voices to the test. It was a fucking success!

One busted bus and another one that needed repairs would not halt this crucial "Hate Has No Home Here" tour, which also features fellow Northern Ireland musician Ricky Warwick lighting the fuse at the start. He cranked through a host of originals and a cover of Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak," which he's nailed down with that band and Black Star Riders.

All songs performed on this stellar evening contained immense amounts of passion and grit and plastered smiles on people's faces. Our formidable crew of friends and family from Seattle and Portland was fully immersed in the tunes that were bashed forth and it made for a memorable evening for us all.

So, thanks, Jake, Ali, Steve, Ian and Ricky.

All the best to ya!

** Here's some of Cat Rose's images from the gig ... and cheers to SLF for the photo pass: