Thursday, December 31, 2009

Running out of material and time.


        I might be going back to school next week.  I haven't fully decided so this blog might see a lot less activity in the next few months.  You know how these blogs go.  I see one that's cool and then it's suddenly gone!  I suggest downloading what you can while you can because it might not be here tomorrow!  So yeah blogs are todays zines!  Pretty fucking cool!

        Hopefully the effort I put into this might start a ripple effect and get other people to digitize their old music.  You don't have to send it to me just post it somewhere yourself so I can get it!  If this does motivate you and you have something you want to submit here then it would be really cool if you digitize it and send it to me.  Otherwise it might take me a while to get to it.  Still waiting to get the Substance D demo and some other stuff from Zack Arnold.  Maybe it will come in the mail next year sometime?

        I'm running out of stuff to post anyway.  Hopefully I'll get the Leap Frog Society/Catapult split up here sometime soon?  This zine isn't a blanket Vegas thing.  I only post ridiculously obscure shit that I want to hear.  Not shit that's solely obscure.  So don't send me the Junkie Nuns demo.  Don't send me the Atta Boy Skip demo.  Don't send me the Doom Snake Cult demo.  Actually- strike that.  Go ahead and send the Doom Snake Cult Demo.  Why not?

        Anyway stay tuned for more music sometime in the unforeseeable future.  Current want list:  Blue Ruin demo, Foot Long Demo, Atomic Gods demos, Disrupt demo, Hairball/Forehead split demo.  Any surprising recordings from 91.5 KUNV circa 84-95 especially Rock Avenue shit.  In the meantime enjoy these scans from old issues of Keep Laughing.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lady "Trike" demo on green vinyl

    Lady was one of the more unique bands around 92-94.  Somehow I never got to see them play.  The band was Checko Salgado ex-Schizoid-Bass, Greg Higgins ex-Schizoid- Guitar, and Mike Taf Drums.  This was their first demo that came out in 92.



    I never got to see em but I really loved their second demo "Vicki Campbell Live"  I think that's what it was called.  I'm posting this mainly to see if someone else will post their second one.  I'd really like to hear it again.

    I recall hearing that 2nd demo and seeing comparisons to "shoegazer" bands like the Swirlies which seems really funny in retrospect.  Super pop sounds but obnoxious and raw as fuck.  There was another mystery local demo "released" around that time from a band named Foot Long who also had a similar Swirlies vibe to them.  I want to say that Todd Flanagan was in that band but I' unsure.  Wish I could hear that one again!
 
    This first Lady demo has some of those pop qualities and the music is good but it sounds like a band just starting to find it's sound.  Some good standout songs especially Pinto Bean and Don't Crumb.  Lady was not a hardcore band in the strictest sense of the term but what else could you call it?  Certainly not metal.  It got a good review in the Maximum Rock and Roll demo reviews at the time for those of you keeping score.

    It sounds like the band let the tape roll and did the whole thing in one take.  I broke the songs up when I transferred it so it kind loses some of that feel.  Hopefully I put them in the right order.

    Checko gave me this tape years ago.  It has some cool stickers and a photo negative of the band.  That's the pictures you see here.  After Lady broke up Checko and Mike went on to form Catapult, another stellar Vegas band.

    I heard that they sold out the Huntridge which was quite a feat for a local band back then.  Again, another show I missed.  I think I was busy listening to Carcass and Geto Boys while working at Odyssey Records.





Dwarf Bitch Discography



    Some of these bands were doomed to obscurity because of the stupid names they chose.  Case in point.  I was thinking about how the only bands that get popular with stupid names are death metal bands.  Cannibal Corpse and Cattle Decapitation are really stupid names but somehow these bands manage to have lengthy careers.  That really speaks to the Metal mentality.  The flip side being shitty moronic punk bands with names like the Scumfucks or Anal Cunt both of which are total shit.  There is a huge surplus of ignorant bands flying the punk banner now a days.  But is it really surprising?  Anyway it's all relative.  This blog is a tribute to the worst band names ever!     


    Worst or best name ever, it's hard to say.  Dwarf Bitch will always be in my top three best bands ever from Las Vegas.  The records posted here came out in 1997-98.  While the hardcore scene was fading in the late 80's it still kind of limped along for a few years into the mid 90's.  A core group of bands started playing shows and even records were coming out.  A lot of this was due to the efforts of Boyde Wenger of Bucky records.  

    Out of that momentum Dwarf Bitch was born.  Featuring Jason Palucchi, formerly of Schizoid, on guitar, Greg Telles, formerly of Leap Frog Society, on bass, and Ron Constantine formerly of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, on drums.  They had a track included on the second "Drinking" compilation on Very Small records.  Their first 7" was a split release by Meat Slap Records and Very Small Records and I think that was the last 7" put out by Very Small records.  



    Afterward Ron Constantine got kicked out of the band because, well he's Ron Constantine.  Mark Simmons from Leap Frog Society then joined on drums and a second 7" was released and a subsequent tour of the western United States ensued.  

    Is this LVHC?  Well yes and no.  Remember this came out in the late 90's.  The sound of hardcore had changed quite a bit and Dwarf Bitch informed their sound with outside influences that many LVHC bands didn't know about didn't pay attention to or ignored all together.  


    While it's still very much a punk band they had elements of metal in their sound which was fairly unique at the time.  It's pretty hard driving music  but it doesn't ever go over the edge and retains an unexpected poppy quality with catchy hooks in every song.  It's still hardcore but it's got character very much along the lines of Very Small records releases back then.  Who can I compare them to?  I'd say a mix of Schlong, Born Against, early Iron Maiden, and maybe- shit I don't know you tell me?  Minutemen?  Unlike a lot of late 90's hardcore these songs still sound fresh and innovative.  I don't think any of their releases got a review in Maximum Rock and Roll.  The name was deemed "Politically Incorrect" by that "subversive" magazine.  Another case of Punk rock politics missing the boat and the point.
      

    The lyrics are a tad simplistic but they're still really good.  Especially compared to the crap I've read from other Vegas bands.  This is a good quality scan above so you can read along if you don't understand what's being said.  That's where Dwarf Bitch gets ya!  Great  music and decent enough lyrics. I would say it leans to the metal side more than hardcore but it sounds nothing like that crossover stuff from the 80's.  
     They put out some interesting records that pushed both genres but didn't have a prayer of finding mass acceptance.  Shit, they guaranteed themselves career suicide with the name alone.  Similar story to Fuck Shit Piss.  Names like that are so inflammatory you almost can't say em in public.  I'm thinking that Metal bands can get away with cornball shit like Goatwhore and Ripping Corpse because it's not based in reality and thus it's less offensive.  No question that while Dwarf Bitch had a metal sound the name relegated them to punk territory forever.  Even if they had stuck around long enough to put out a gatefold double LP it would still be too smart ass to be true metal.    

    A lost gem for those who like metal/hardcore shit that is against the grain as well as being smart and smart ass.  One of the best bands ever to come out of Las Vegas but you probably won't download this because the name is so dumb.  Honestly I don't blame you.  If I didn't know any better I'd pass it up myself.  Such is life.



All these releases came with a ton of extras including stickers, found photographs, and other oddities another great Very Small Release!  Cool cover art by Greg Higgins!



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

5150


    Aside from Fuck Shit Piss the premier hardcore band in Las Vegas in the mid 80's was 5150.  I saw them play once or twice at the club "That's Entertainment."  I kinda recall seeing them play with D.I. at the Eagles Lodge near Cashman field but I could be mistaken.
    People used to say there was a heavy Misfits influence in this band.  I have to strain a little to hear it but it's there, especially in the vocals.  Earth AD era Misfits of course.  These guys might have been the only Las Vegas band to actually put some records out back then.  I bought the first record Forever Night at the Record Exchange which later became the Underground.  I'm not sure how I ended up finding the second record Little Miss Succubus but I own both.

    If memory serves their "crew" was called the Intoxicated Force.  I heard this name was coined in reaction to a visit from 7 Seconds from Reno whose crew was known as the Positive Force or something along those lines.  The story, which is mostly hearsay, involved some altercation when 7 Seconds came down to play Vegas, thus Intoxicated Force was born.  Or some shit like that.  I'm sure the real story is infinitely more fascinating...  I only know the rumor and so I'll leave it at that.


    I was only familiar with 5150 on the periphery.  They were furious hardcore.  Not so much going on in the way of hooks but plenty of energy and attitude.  I always loved the out of control feedback they had which was put to good use by many a great hardcore band back then including Corrosion of Conformity and Black Flag.  It can be heard to great effect in the song Murder 101.

    I found these recordings posted on another blog but I can't remember which one.  Apparently both 7" records got packaged together and repressed on one record a few years ago.  It took me by surprise to see this in a record store recently.  It appears to be a bootleg.  I wonder if 5150 knows about this?  


    The track listing is all messed up from the download I found.  I fixed the songs I recognized (Murder 101 and Forever Night) but the Lil Miss Succubus songs I couldn't figure out.  The song Lil Miss Succubus doesn't even appear here.  Or am I mistaken?  Coulda swore the chorus was "Lil Miss Succubus/ Lil Miss Succubus!"  Confusing.  But I'm pretty sure this is still 5150.  Right?  I can't seem to find my 5150 records among my collection.  Maybe someone "borrowed" them?  Either way I can't compare it to the original, so you get what you get.  If I made any mistakes let me know.
    Strange that there would even be a market to repress this stuff, but with the prices rare punk records fetch nowadays it was probably only a matter of time.  Still it seems improbable that someone would pay $20 for the Forever Night 7".  I dunno.  Check out the cheeseball graphic on this repress "Reagan Era Hardcore."  On the inside cover there is no information at all so you wouldn't even know they were from Vegas.  Pretty weak bootleg in my book.  Hopefully the band is clued into the fact that this record is out there.    

    In retrospect I think the "Lil Miss" 7" (Tracks 1-3) holds up better than the "Forever Night" record (tracks 4-5).  Sound quality is better and the song writing is more dynamic.  More info about 5150 can be found here.   


Monday, December 28, 2009

Ryland page from Keep Laughing #3


Fuck Shit Piss 7 Song Demo!



    Hey more FSP? Yep.  Fuck Shit Piss was the best band ever from Las Vegas in my opinion and they were the definitive band of 80's hardcore that no one even knows about.  More than any other band they were the dreams, hopes, and insanity that was hardcore.  Their breaking up ripped the scene apart.  

    What caused the split?  It's too involved to get into here but it involved a clash of ideals.  Ultra right wing politics got involved in the scene and suddenly the peacepunk "movement" was on the rocks.  Allegiances were drawn up and it was like a divide and conquer scenario.  At it's heart the split was political but was it?  It signaled the end of whatever hardcore could have been in my eyes.  The scene died shortly thereafter in a swirl of violence and paranoia becoming Nazi versus anti-Nazi.  The music changed after that.



    God the story doesn't end there by a longshot but back to the music!  The seven song demo finds Fuck Shit Piss sounding a lot more "traditional" hardcore in some ways but still uniquely LVHC!  Drummer Mike Fouts fucking rules.  Great solos from Kevin (what's his last name?!?) that get to the point but are still super inventive.  The band is tight!  Great bass licks from Johnny Bangs but they sound kinda buried in this mix.  And Danny with the charisma and words worth hearing.  I swear I hear a slight JFA influence.  The guitars get all jangly- bordering on surf in some spots but it's got more teeth to it than JFA.

    Standout songs:  shit all of them but Creepy Crawl is a song I think David Hayes from Very Small records would be grinning over.  That might be my fave too but all of these songs are important to me.

    They did an interview on KUNV 91.5 and played this demo on the air when they put it out in 1987 maybe it was 88.  I taped it and that was my copy for years, more like months, until it was eventually borrowed, stolen, or possibly had beer spilled on it.  If you have a copy of that interview please digitize it for christsakes.  Or send it to me and I guess I'll add it to the list of stuff I need to digitize. 

    So glad I got this again!  Thanks again to Jeff Murphy for sending this to me!  Now we can all hear it!  Much thanks to Jeff Hughes for the above picture of FSP at the North LV Elks Lodge which was my first punk show!  1986!    

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lethal Injection 1st demo


    To keep from seeming like a blog dedicated to Fuck Shit Piss I feel compelled to post this the Lethal Injection demo from 1987.

    I saw Lethal a few times during the late 80's and always liked em.  They were a great hardcore band with slight metal leanings.  They put a lot more metal into their sound as they progressed over time and would later claim full allegiance to death metal at the start of the 90's which was a mixed blessing.  They were still really kick ass and tight even when they became full blown metal heads.  The only person I could name from this band is the singer Paco who always seemed like a real stand up guy.  If you know the names of the other guys on this recording please tell me so I can add it here.


    I was present at what I think was their debut show which was Burgiefest in 1987 out on Losee Road back when that was 10 miles outside of town.  This was before the Tubes became known as a "venue."  I think it was also Substance D's first show.  A serious rager.  I was there when the El Camino pulled into the pit filled with Burgie Beer.  


   I only saw them play once or twice in the early 90's.  At that time they were total Death Metal.  I always preferred the hardcore sound but who can blame em for heading to the dark side?  Death metal seems like a natural progression for these guys anyway.  Hardcore was pretty much dead by the early 90's and somehow that guy Mitch from Righteous Pigs jump started a career in metal by hooking up with Mick from Napalm Death around that time.  

    I never had their demo back then but listening to it now I wonder how I could have missed this?  Pure LVHC.  Just enough guitar squaks and bursts of solos to still get away with being labeled hardcore.    
    
    Las Vegas Hardcore was definitely it's own style and very  few records were put out back then.  Demo tapes were the order of the day.  Some will argue that hardcore is hardcore and it all sounds the same but it's hard to miss the unique sounds at play here.  It has a lot of the trappings of hardcore but there are some surprises that make this demo  memorable.  This would have made a damn fine 7" record but at least we got this as a document.  Recommended for those who like Cryptic Slaughter, Wehrmacht, Attitude Adjustment or that similar kickass crossover hardcore sound.   

    I got no pictures of the demo cover and no pictures of Lethal playing live.  The above flyer is from my collection and it's a good example of the mentality you're dealing with from Lethal.  Hey it ain't rocket science.  I guess they're still around?  If you're curious you can learn more here.  I heard they're still around playing gigs.  Fucking awesome.

Thanks to Jeff Murphy from Sausage Hostages for sending me this demo.


Lethal Injection 1st demo download below

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fuck Shit Piss- rehearsal digitized!


    After we stopped rolling tape for the interview I drank another beer and James mentioned that he had a few cassette tapes from old Vegas hardcore bands.  I flipped!

    Turns out he has a few live FSP recordings plus some other random demos.  He let me borrow a few and here's the result of my digitilizing.  Hope I earned my wings with this audio engineering feat.  People are doing this half assed all over the internet/blog world with records skipping and the whole bit so hopefully this digital copy will do the source material justice.

    Speaking of which... the source material as you can imagine is pretty bad.  If you are unfamiliar with Fuck Shit Piss then do not start here!  Download the Call Me Paranoid Demo which has it's own issues but is still eminently better quality than this tape.

    When looking through his tapes we found one that had Foghat written on it and scratched out, then Thompson Twins scratched out, then Tears For Fears scratched out and then it said FSP.

    I didn't digitize that one.  Instead I digitized the tape that is pictured above.  Sure the label says FUCK SHIT PISS 1985-86, but on closer inspection you'll notice this is a Prince and the Revolution tape.  It's copyrighted 1985 so I'm pretty sure this was the album that has Raspberry Beret.  If you start to hear that song bleeding over in the mix then you'll know why.  I didn't detect that after listening to it a few times.  If you hear it let me know.  

    Something tells me you might not listen to this more than once anyway unless you're a diehard FSP fan.  But I wouldn't be surprised if some of you do just that.  I've never heard some of these songs before most notably FSP on Everything.  

    I didn't know the names of quite a few songs.  If you know the song titles fess up and I'll change them here.  This was my first attempt at digitizing from a cassette.  Being that it's a rehearsal songs are grouped together.  It's hardcore so the songs go by fast anyway.

     James nailed it in the interview, these guys really did have a jazzy style.  Super catchy.  The songs I left untitled are the songs I've never heard before.  It's funny how straight up poppy those songs come off.  The hardcore sound is still there but they were really broad in terms of style.  At that time most hardcore bands were just furious energy but these guys definitely had their share of hooks.

    The run down is as follows to the best of my knowledge:  drums: Mike Fouts, Vocals: Danny Breedon, Bass: Johnny Bangs, Guitar: Kevin.  As usual any gaps you can fill in will help the history books.  Not sure when this tape was recorded either.  I'm assuming 85-86.  No other date is evident on the tape itself. 

    A word of warning- the tape started in the middle of a song and ended in the middle of a song.  Also, when I digitized them I might have mixed up the order.  If you got a better copy get in touch.  While you're at it how about sending me more stickers, graphics, and photos if you got em?  Jeez is this blog turning into an FSP blog or what?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Message to Nid.


    This is a mix I made for Nid.  Haven't seen him much since we stopped being roommates.

    When we lived together I remember buying an Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark LP, I think it was Architecture and Morality, great record.  He thought so too and I remember him playing it once in a while.  In retrospect this sounds pretty queer bordering on gay.

    A few weeks ago I found an OMD 7" and decided to send it to him because he's been pestering me for about three years to burn him a CD by the band Fastbacks.  I never found that CD although something tells me I still have it.  Whatever the case I decided to make him this powerpop compilation in leui of Fastbacks.

    I was pretty into the powerpop scene for a while and I still love it when I hear a good mix.  I guarantee you will either love it or hate it.  Some will lump this music into generic genre names like powerpop, mod, or new wave.  It's all POP to me but I do hear clear distinctions from some of these bands.  I would call the Odds a Mod band, but I can clearly hear powerpop in the New Toys song on here.  My bro thinks it sounds like music from an 80's teen movie and I think he's not too far off base.  I can envision credits rolling over songs like X-Ray Proof or Big Burden.  I'd love to see a movie like that!

    It's all about hooks!  As much as people wanna dissect the music it's super basic bubblegum pop with more balls.  By the end of the song- you know the song!    And it's damn genius when it comes out right.  My favorites tend to be those with a hint of sadness added to the brew.  This mix is a decent intro but it tends to focus on the obscure.  With more time I would have included tracks from: the Shoes, 20/20, SVT, and probably Pezband, all bands slightly less obscure right?  But this mix is just big enough to fit on one CD.  So feel free to burn one!  

    I still like this style, but when I discovered mp3 blogs with millions of powerpop songs I got a little put off by the scene.  Pre-internet this stuff seemed so incredible.  So obscure and secretive.  Hidden.   But there's a reason why most of that stuff is obscure.  Most of it sucks.  Plus people who are into powerpop tend to have a serious attitude.  I declare a fatwah on anyone who claims to be Mod or anyone who rides a scooter.  Although I still lose my shit when I see a skinhead girl.  So hot!     

    I think the Power Pearls vinyl bootleg series that came out in the late 90's pretty much nailed the style for me and I took liberally from that series for this mix.  But I've also included tracks from the Metrojets series which is great powerpop/glam compilation.  If you like this shit then here's a good place to find more.  I always wanted to make a good powerpop mix and this one is made special for Nid.  Now you can hear it too!  Guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step!
    
    Hopefully Nid likes this comp.  It's not OMD but it's pretty girly.  Which makes me wonder where have all the rude girls gone?  

Download a POP Message To Nid  

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Drew Livingood: Actor.


    Here's an old short film I made starring rock star Drew Livingood.  Subversive eh?  Nice production values for a student film.  Don't feel pressured it's only 35 seconds.

    I shot this in Fall of 1997.  I didn't get around to transferring it to digital until 2007.  After which I decided to put sound on it.  It was an assignment for Film Production 101.  I was supposed to devise a "Five Shot" edit, meaning five separate cuts of someone handing something to someone else.  Or something along those lines.  Instead I composed this artsy-fartsy symbol heavy student film with some decent production values.   
   
    The place that did the "telecine" transfer sucked royally.  It's pixelated all over the place mainly because the film was slightly underexposed.  If you have access to a telecine and you can hook me up with a better transfer please let me know.  Who am I kidding?  This film's only got so much life left in her.  I'll never be able to fix this shit.  Still I think it's really entertaining in a pseudo Bunuel way.  


      In case you missed the meaning this was a statement on bureaucracy. 

     Super thanks to my friend Bombo for providing the killer blastbeats and helping to make this a real film.

Download Policy 
starring Drew Livingood


or just watch it here:

Fuck Shit Piss- Call Me Paranoid 5 song demo

    Why isn't there a huge blog dedicated to this band alone?  They were the essence of what hardcore punk was all about as a movement and as a catalyst for change. They're also the band that proved just how weak hardcore ultimately was when you try to consider it as a movement,  leaving a huge footprint in Vegas music history but falling far short of changing the world.  Their story had all the drama and intensity that made hardcore so powerful and emotional and in some ways tragic.    Music scenes are built on people and people aren't perfect so perhaps they were doomed to fail from the start.  But no band before or since has had such an amazing back story.  They exemplified the best and the worst of hardcore's promise.  I haven't even started to describe their music yet, which was catchy, intelligent, and of all things played on a professional level.  

    Books, documentary films- just about any history or reference to hardcore says it happened in the late 70's and ended around 1983.  But none of these douchebags seems to give much regard to the thousands of bands that developed as hardcore moved from the big cities to the smaller communities.  The Las Vegas hardcore scene lasted well into the late 80's but eventually blew itself apart shortly after the breakup of Fuck Shit Piss.  It was an ugly end to that chapter in musical history which went out in a violent and scary way as nazi skinheads grew in number and suddenly the scene was split down the middle.  It's a long story I won't get into here but one I'd like to return to on this blog.

    The music is amazingly catchy hardcore with a definite west coast flavor.  I think it's because of this band that I always thought east coast hardcore was second best.  But don't get me wrong the west coast has some shitty hardcore bands as well.  

    Fuck Shit Piss had plenty of hooks and they weren't overly concerned with speed. Great political lyrics by Danny Breedon.  Johnny Bangs on the bass.  Incredible Mike Fouts on drums.  Jeez I always forget the guitar player on this demo.  He nails it though!  If you got any old Fuck Shit Piss stickers send em my way!!!

    I guess someone is supposed to send me the other FSP 7 song demo sometime soon.  After I digitize that I'll post it here too.

    If you haven't heard their music or heard of them, and chances are good you haven't then do yourself a favor and download this now. Thanks to Michelle Fournier for the sticker!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pinball pichures.


It's the only thing I have on my computer right now so why not enjoy these pix of some classic games.  Games courtesy of that weird guy with the pinball museum on Trop between Maryland and Pecos.  Don't get me wrong he's cool but yeah a little weird.  But what would you expect from a pinball wizzard?



I remember meeting this pinball guy, Tim Arnold, when he used to open up his garage/warehouse and let people come in and play all the games they wanted for $5 a throw.  He would do it twice a year as a fundraiser for the Salvation Army I believe.  It was BYOB but he also provided chips and dips and the whole spread.  Nice guy.

I found out about this character when I saw a flyer for one of his fundraisers was posted on the bulletin board at the Whitney Library.  There was a great picture of Groucho Marx on the flyer.  I wouldn't have noticed it otherwise.  Nice touch.

If you find yourself walking along Tropicana be sure to stop by the pinball museum's new location near Casey's Camera!  That Mario Andretti game is a good one.   Go here  and see.

Keep Laughing was taken.

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