While I lived in San Francisco in 1984, I ran with a close knit crew of weirdos, both punks and metal heads. The interesting thing is that we didn’t treat the kids who lived on the street any different from those that had homes. There was a strong sense of sisterhood and brotherhood that bonded us all, and we always had each other backs. When I watch the 1988 documentary SADOBABIES it hits home, because that could be me or my homies. This film follows some Bay Area punks as they go through their daily lives. I’m glad that films like SADOBABIES were made, because they offer a look at a world that was underground and underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream culture. A interesting fact is that many of the kids in this documentary are now dead. I can relate to that, since many of my friends from that era are now dead as well. Check out the film SADOBABIES – it gives a voice to kids that society wanted to dispose of!
When it comes to music I’m a huge fan, especially when artists can take me back to my childhood. One label that does this like no other is D.C.’s Dischord Records and the man behind it, Ian MacKaye. Honestly, the first time I saw him in person I totally lost my shit, and my then 16 year old daughter got to see her father become a fanboy for one of my childhood heroes. Later that day, I got my shit together and introduced myself to Ian, who was awesome! In memory of that day, my now 20 year daughter sent this to me, and I knew I had to share it with our readers. Ian MacKaye changed so much in underground music over the past three decades, it’s almost hard to put into words. Anyway, check out this really cool mini interview he just did with NPR! Minor Threat & Fugazi still rule!!!
The other day, I watched the documentary Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love and Death of a Punk Goddess that tells the tragic story of Marian Anderson of The Insaints. This film made me think about my past and my friends from the punk scene. It also made think about how so many kids in the scene had damaged home lives, but through all of the bullshit they were able to create outstanding art. Marian’s music spoke to a generation of youth that were raised on TV dinners and parental disfunction. She was willing to sacrifice herself for the empowerment of other humans. Let’s not forget that she had an amazing voice and her stage show was off the chain! Check out the killer documentary Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love and Death of a Punk Goddess, narrated by Henry Rollins….RIP to all of the street punks that never made out of the 80′s!
Take it down a little slower, or just get a little weirder…better yet, get a little more FLIPPER. This bunch of sonic freaks crossed all boundaries in the 80′s. I never understood how me and my friends were so into this band in the 80′s because their music went against the norm of our tastes. We all had their album in our collection, plus we all had their logo hand drawn on our jeans. Looking back on it, FLIPPER were way before their time and were willing to create music that was different from the hardcore of the time, which made than heavier and more original than many bands that were on the scene. Thanks to Target Video we can witness them in their full glory. So check out the demented side of American Hardcore and watch FLIPPER – Live Target Video 1980-81 – this band still rules!
New Jersey hellraisers Razorheads sail in on a burst of feedback and get straight to work doling out some rough-as-guts corrosive hardcore that is also insanely catchy. Classic rock riffs and eighties metal swagger are not so much heard as felt through all the chaos that is Black Leather Hounds, whose title perfectly encapsulates Razorheads’ latent cock rock tendencies lurking beneath their ferocious canine snarl. Now you’re not gonna hear any wailing falsetto or hair metal hooks in this slab of noise – if anything, Razorheads’ singer has perfected the art of vocalizing destruction, spewing guttural noise at a pitch that blends almost perfectly with the wall of distortion issuing from the guitarists’ amps – but there are some definite stadium rock stylings buried under all the hardcore raging. Dive bombs abound in the muck as well as the occasional burst of ripping old school shred complete with copious abuse of the whammy bar.
“The Nuke Cult is a vicious gang of criminals. Most members are hooked on the highly addictive and dangerous drug Nuke. The leader of the cult is the superbly insane and deluded Cain. Their hideout is Sludge Plant.”
That description is actually of the villains from ‘RoboCop 2′, but it more or less applies to the cretinous band of thugs responsible for this morally questionable demo tape, Join Or Don’t. Everything about this release is so perfectly apathetic and ramshackle. The production quality is so, so cheap and raw that the oh-so-familiar burst of feedback that screechingly heralds the beginning of virtually every punk/hardcore release in existence sounds closer to a fucking kazoo, and actually triggers the same reaction that burst of feedback probably did when it first snuck its way into recorded music, before years of familiarity consigned it to the friend zone. It shocks you awake and tells you that you’re about to hear something truly, disgustingly punk rock. The ensuing guitar buzzes less like a chainsaw than a circular saw accidentally left on in a garage, careening its way through whatever material happens to be lying around, driven by an impulse of purposeless destruction and absolutely no regard for its own well-being or common decency. Surprisingly, the riffs it churns out are actually catchy as hell, but think less pop song and more urinary infection.
CVLT Nation has a few special projects in the works, and we’re calling them The CVLT Nation Sessions. We are working with some of our favorite bands to cover seminal albums in full, and although we can’t give you too many details right now, we can reveal one of the albums we are covering – Discharge’s Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing! Sydney, Australia’s DARK HORSE just submitted their original recording of “The Nightmare Continues,” and they created a rad music video to go with it! This is a sneak peek of Discharge: The CVLT Nation Sessions and a great representation of how each band is paying special tribute to the band and song with original recordings. Check it out below, and stay tuned for more news soon…
One of the first 7 inches I ever held in my hand was NECROS IQ 32. Back in 1981/82, Touch and Go Records meant just as much as Dischord. My homies and I had mad respect for this Midwest bunch of punks because they were skaters! Live, NECROS was the shit – Barry, their frontman, always gave it his all and we would leave their gigs hyped! When looking back at the 80′s hardcore movement, this ranks high up on my list. When the Misfits couldn’t get no love on the West Coast, NECROS never stopped waving their flag high (Barry rocked the illest Misfits long sleeves). Out of many of the bands that started to incorporate metal into their hardcore, NECROS showed the world it could be done the right way with their classic album Conquest For Death. Seeing them at the Cathay De Grande will always go down as one of my best gigs ever! Fuck the dumb shit, check out this epic footage of NECROS live from 1982!
The other day I found this gem of a photo zine online called TERMINALLY STUPID #6 – DIVING WITH YOUR BOOTS ON 1985. It’s a collection of photos from at least 50 bands. This zine sheds light on what was happening in Vancouver and Toronto at the time, but it also features many bands from the States. On a personal level, looking at these photos takes me back in time to when hardcore kids roamed and we got jumped just for being ourselves…CVLT Nation salutes Dan Walters for sharing this with the world! Here are some of the bands you will see: Black Flag, Battalion of Saints, Youth Brigade, Stretch Marks, Melvins, Toxic Reasons, Verbal Abuse, Big Boys, S.N.F.U and many more…Download TERMINALLY STUPID #6 DIVING WITH YOUR BOOTS ON 1985 and get your stage dive ON!
“Terminally Stupid #6 photozine- DIVING WITH YOUR BOOTS ON- 1985: The Year in Punk & Hardcore… 28 years in the making (well, maybe 1 year in the making and 27 years sitting in a box…), here’s the year of punk and hardcore gigs in Vancouver through the camera lens of a 17 year old suburban kid and his friend with a darkroom (and a better camera), plus a few from out of town. Includes visual scene reports from Vancouver and Toronto circa 1985…Enjoy…”
In 1983, BLACK FLAG were on some next shit and did not give a fuck about trying to fit into a musical box! This was totally evident when they performed in Suicidal Tendencies’ Mike Muir’s garage. This footage captures how bugged out the band was by then, and how they were willing to wave their weirdo flag in the faces of a bunch of Suicidal Boyz…ALL HAIL THE REAL BLACK FLAG!