Sunday, June 30, 2024

Hot Water Music, Quicksand and Tim Barry, 6/28/24, Showbox in Seattle/ Cat Rose photos

Hot Water Music (All Cat Rose photos)

"It's a special thing for me. It's connecting with people who feel the same way about music. It makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck" -- Chuck Ragan, Hot Water Music




Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Mould will return to the road on solo electric tour this fall

Cat Rose photo

Today, Bob Mould announced a 2024 fall solo electric tour through New England, the Midwest and the Southeast through September and October. 

“I'm looking forward to bringing even more new material to everyone this fall. Generally speaking, the new compositions are brief, catchy, and simplistic in structure. The focus of this writing cycle is memorable pop songs, and I can't wait to test drive the new work in this stripped down Solo Electric setting!" Mould said on his social media pages.

As a companion to the tour dates reveal, today he also unveils a live recording of a new unreleased song “Breathing Room (Live Solo Electric),” his first since 2020, and one of many new songs to come, according to Mould.

For tour dates, visit

To hear the song, visit

Monday, June 17, 2024

Rolling along with Magrann's 'Miles Per Gallon' / Book review

Mike Magrann with CH3 in Seattle in 2018. (Cat Rose photo)

By Andy

This wouldn't be the first time that I shed tears while reading Mike Magrann's literary offerings. 

While sharing eloquent, edgy and witty anecdotes about his powerhouse band CH3 on the liner notes of its "Rejected" cassette in 1989, I was eagerly drawn -- again -- into their intriguing world of music, friendship, highs and lows. By story's end, my jaw was slightly locked as I mewled, smiled and shook my head after experiencing the vivid and relatable writing style that one hopes to locate and covet amongst the bazillion words that are cemented onto pages.

A bit of crying is a good thing while poring over the written word (you won't lose any punk points, I promise). That shows that the writer has moved you, made you feel a part of their orbit for a while. You belong with them.

And like the gashing and swirling opening riffs of CH3's "Catholic Boy" and "Indian Summer," singer/guitarist/songwriter Magrann continues to rattle those trusty fingers upon a laptop keyboard and fully engages us once again with his debut book, "Miles Per Gallon." DiWulf Publishing does us all an immense favor by placing this 334-page tome in front of our welcoming eyes and minds. Major score.

In the summer of 1983, while I was sweating it out in the kitchen at Carl's Jr. and swiping fries when the boss wasn't looking, Magrann and CH3 were plowing across the US and portions of Canada in their nearly unstoppable Blue & White Chevy van to plunk their punked-up tunes and beery chaos onto club stages and into the homes of fellow bands, pals and whoever would take a chance on these road-worn fellows and their rambunctious roadies.

Magrann masterfully guides us through the twists and turns of the joys and horrors of touring and makes us wish we were there -- well, some of the time -- alongside the ragged and rugged CH3 coterie. You'll see yourself in there somewhere: their beer is your beer; their solid or shitty set is yours. You get it. Add in a brawl or two, another triumph and disappointment and you're nestled in the Blue & White with this crew and bounding across the states and Great White North. It's not always pretty, but it's fucking enticing and entertaining. We need to know about these adventures and decide for ourselves -- with Magrann's words echoing through our hopeful/resistant heads -- should we stay or should we go? (When I corresponded with the punk band Mad Parade back in the day and said that my band Sorex was planning a tour, their response was, "Don't go! haha.")

Family and friendships are paramount elements to Magrann's story, as well. When the band is not tearing up the road, the author brilliantly weaves family life and his comradeship with lifelong pal and CH3 guitarist Kimm Gardener into "Miles Per Gallon." These are surely the most touching parts to this book and, once again, you feel as if you're there at the dinner table or in the practice room while you vigorously flip the pages to see the outcomes of the myriad situations that are presented to the reader. 

However, my main concern was hoping that Magrann and Gardener would discover that someone eventually bought their debut EP at Zed Records in Long Beach, CA. I smiled and guffawed when this story came across my radar.

This is where my connection with the band enters the story. One Saturday during my birthday month of October in 1981, my mom toted me to Zed's and handed me a pair of $20s and said she would return in an hour after hitting some local shops. While inside Zed's, I spotted the CH3 EP immediately since I had heard one of the Cerritos, CA, unit's snarling tunes on Rodney on the Roq's radio show. Who were these goofy-looking dudes on the back cover? Which one was the razor-sharp vocalist? 

Anyway, I purchased the CH3 EP along with DOA's "Hardcore '81," Minor Threat's debut EP and "The Future Looks Bright Ahead" compilation tape.

Perhaps on that fine day (I'd like to think so, anyway), Magrann and Gardener were in the shop on one of their excursions and spotted me at the register as the cashier tossed them a wink that someone was going for it. The CH3 EP would soon be happily spinning on their turntable at home. "Does that kid know what he's getting himself into?" they might say with a chuckle. Who knows? I had now become part of the CH3 world and soon witnessed their smashing live show at the Cuckoo's Nest in Costa Mesa, CA. 

And as I write this review, I'm still on board with the guys. Magrann remains one of the key scribes in my sphere (often contributing to this blog) and it was tough to see "Miles Per Gallon" come to an end. When his proverbial tank is once again filled with golden words, I'll be waiting to crack open the book and tag along for the ride.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Fan Club, Spurr and Swamp Wife entertain the backyarders / Cat Rose photos

Fan Club. (All Cat Rose photos)

By Andy 

Ah, the backyard band parties. We know them all too well -- toss the lawn darts and croquet mallets off to the side and fucking go for it. 

Back in the day, we attended our fair share of these punk soirees in the South Bay sector of Southern California that featured the Descendents, Con 800 (pre-Pennywise), Anti, my own ensemble Sorex and more.      

In 1983, a band of high-schoolers, The Boys Club, tore up the local party circuit, playing punk and new-wave cover tunes. Led by future Pennywise vocalist Jim Lindberg, the band also featured my buddy Mike Filce on guitar, among others. I once sang part of the Misfits' "We Are 138" with them at a school talent show in Torrance. Anyway, one evening, the band played a house party in Hermosa. During their second set, the cops crashed the rager, everyone was booted and a scuffle broke out between some partygoers and the fuzz.

Fast-forward to June 8 of this year, and we've got Fan Club, Spurr and Swamp Wife delivering the tunes that slither into the punk, hardcore and alt/post punk realms and get the crowd buzzing at the Club House in Seattle. Next door at The Evil House -- perched higher above the CH and separated from us by a tall chain link fence and conglomeration of foliage -- bands are bashing it out to their own revelers. 

In a sort-of punk Treaty of the U-District, the two houses agree to stagger the set times so the bands don't battle it out and ravage attendees' eardrums. Evil gig-goers peek down to watch CH bands while some of our participants scale the fence to get a partial glimpse of their action up the way. While the music blares down below, skankers bash into each other, kicking up dirt and grass in energetic lawn-mowing fashion. 

Afterward, myriad beer cans and bottles are strewn about the yard as band members pack up their instruments and bid farewell to the gracious, leather-jacketed hosts. Nearby, a recycling container is overflowing with used aluminum and glass drinking receptacles, so the punks lent a crucial hand in the clean-up effort that the residents were probably dreading that evening or the next morning. 

As techno music now pumps from the adjacent abode, I toss a can on the pile and join the others on a stroll into the night.

Here are Cat Rose's photos from the Club House: