Sunday, December 26, 2010

Part-Time Whore "Home" LP


     This post is for Nate the guitar player for Part-Time Whore.  I posted the PTW demo a few months ago.  Here are the recordings for what became known as PTW’s proper debut release.  The album entitled Home was “commercially” released as a vinyl LP pressing only.  No CD's were ever pressed.  The mp3’s here are taken from the CD master we sent to the record pressing plant when it was originally released in 1999.

     When I say it was “commercially” released I mean we put it out on our own label guaranteeing it would rarely if ever be heard or seen outside the Las Vegas valley.  I think if we'd ever got around to touring on this record we might have caused an underground ripple but that wasn't to be.    We only pressed 500 copies and I’ve still got like 5 or 10 copies sitting in my parents house.  Which is a pretty good distribution for a DIY release.  Sadly enough.      

     There are so many stories I could share about my experiences with this group.  As far as live shows went we must have played only about 2 or 3 dozen shows in our entire 2 years together.  Somehow all the big shows we played were disastrous.  But when we played to a house full of 10 or 15 people we were like thunder!  Although I do remember playing a big show with the Hellworms and their bass player remarked at how tight he thought we sounded.  Which meant a lot coming from him as he was the bass player for Victim’s Family.    

     There was a riot at our first show.  No joke.  We played some shitty rehearsal hall run by the glam rock idiot from Bangkok Shock.  But it wasn't through the power of our music.  Instead that ugly glam  bastard kept hitting on every girl in the place until finally someone punched him two songs into our set.  I couldn't see much from the stage but I want to say he was assaulted by a few people in the audience.  Anyway the Cock Bangin Bangkok Cock Mock Shock Jock guy rushes to the stage after getting punched and starts flicking his taser which basically cleared the room.   I heard later that someone eye gouged the Bang Cocker I don't know if that's true.  We hurriedly packed up our shit and got ready to leave.  As we loaded the van someone threw a rock through a huge expensive window for the hall.  It felt great hearing that sound after what that idiot did.  And it was a great start to our “career.”


     We played with a bunch of different touring bands including Damad, Word Salad, Hellworms, Quadiliacha, 12 Hour Turn, shit there were several more.  Next time I visit my folks I’ll grab all the flyers I made for those shows and post them here if they haven't already thrown them out. 

     Part-Time Whore was made up of an odd mix of personalities who added up to a unique band.   Everyone had their own musical tastes and agendas for being in the band and none of it seemed to overlap.  When we finally got it together it was a clash of styles based on compromises staked out along lines of musical tastes, talent, or lack thereof, and passion.   

     It’s easy for me to toot the horn for PTW now but when we were together it was often a volatile mix.  I would be hard pressed to say we were a close knit group.  We were friendly but we were partners in crime more than friends.  There was laughter but tension was just as much a part of the mix.  As a result it was mostly business that kept us together and so our work ethic was really solid.

    Nate had just come from uber LV punk combo Boba Fett Youth.  Rob the drummer for PTW was also a fill in drummer for the last stint of BFY’s last tour.  Judd the bass player was in other bands previous to PTW but I couldn’t say much about him as he never seemed to say much himself. 


     After Boba Fett Youth Nate and Rob were eager to go in a more commercial direction with this new project.  They wanted a vocalist who would really sing.  I dare say they looked with some interest to the mainstream music happening at the time.  When I joined I more or less torpedoed their ambitions to be closer to the mainstream mostly through my vocal abilities.  Or lack thereof.  I wanted to be a real vocalist as well and I didn't want to be boxed in to a certain style.  It was mainly a question of finding out how to sing.  More than anything it was important to me that people understood what I had to say.  That's one of the few things we as a band agreed on.  It was my persistence showing up to each practice and making a serious effort and the fact that I kept those dudes entertained and laughing in the first few weeks of the band which turned the tide.  Three weeks in I had officially joined up.

     My vocals created an uneasy nervousness to the music the band was creating.  I'd go so far as to say it barely fit the music at all!  It was a strange combo which made the listener curious as to what the fuck was going on.  We had our pop moments but we didn't have hooks in the traditional sense.  As for my own ambitions I hoped to border on a commercial sound of some sort  just like what the rest of the guys but I didn't want to follow the blueprint of "alternative" crap nor did I want to sound like the bullshit the underground was churning out at that time.

     It was a crappy time for music back then.  In 1998 Nu Metal was king on the radio.  Death Metal  had dug it's own grave full of cliches.  Hardcore was still festering and splintering into even more nonsense genrefications.  Nobody could explain what it was but Emo seemed to be sprouting from hardcores manure stench.  We didn't fit into any of these camps.  So we knew we were doing something right.


     I’ll never claim to be the best singer but just like Ozzy Osbourne I rose to the challenge of being a damned good front man.  For live shows I made a point of composing and reading a new poem for each and every show.  I made it a point to try and break the wall between audience and performer and I actively shook hands with anyone who was watching.  I tried my best to make the shows memorable events.  We were confrontational and totally in your face.  And yet we were friendly about it.  In the beginning I think the idea of hand shaking was a tactic to deal with my own nervousness about being in front of people.  It was my intent to shift the focus from my self back to the audience.  Later on I think this actually helped our audience identify more with us and maybe made them like us more.

     It's really fucking hard to get people to give a shit about your band.  Over the next few months we slowly made some in roads.  We recorded the demo.  We practiced 3 times a week.  We got better.  We started getting noticed.  But internally things got weird.  We all got along on the surface but when we would talk about what the band's direction there were disagreements that kinda blindsided me.

    There were arguments about my poetry, about my shaking hands with the audience, about my abilities as a singer.  There were veiled threats about finding a new singer.  There was pressure to write lyrics for every song.  Even if some songs worked better as instrumentals (Giant Slug).  In short there was a line going up between those who made the music, namely Nate, and the one guy who stepped in to take the music somewhere else once the music had been written.  Me.     

     At that point I felt like I became the whipping boy for the group.  Internal politics became a part of each practice along with writing new songs.   And I didn't have much to stand on.  Because I really was just the singer.  I thought it was obvious that my role was just as important as anyone else in the band.  Instead I became the person who needed to try harder.  Nate was the instigator and the other guys were quick to follow suit.  At that point we were going in a great direction.  I thought about quitting.  But I wanted it so bad and we'd developed such momentum.  I couldn't quit now.      

     I’m not trying to paint the picture of me as the victim and those guys as tormentors.  I am not the easiest person to get along with.  It was only after these initial heated moments that I think we all began to understand the dynamic tensions within the group was what made us so original.  If not for that friction between me and the group we would never have made the incredible musical statement that we did.  While it worked on many levels it was also dysfunctional and that would later prove to be our undoing.  

     It irked me even more when I did the lion’s share of the booking for every show.  I made flyers  that weren’t good enough.  I wrote a grant to release the album through the Nevada Arts Council.  Which strangely pissed them off.  They were against the idea of putting out a record.  They wanted to put out a CD.  They hated the idea that the record was considered a work of “art.”  They hated the idea that we could be considered an “art” band through the writing of the grant. 


     At the time I was really proud of the “art” moniker and I thought we were scoring one for the under appreciated world of rock music but I think they saw it as me getting more credit than I deserved.  I hate to speculate that this was the case.  It's also possible they were just disgusted by the pretentious world of art and didn't want to be associated with it.  I thought it was sexy at the time especially a fucked up ensemble named Part-Time Whore kicking down doors.  Maybe it was a bit of both that pissed them off?

    As history unfolded it’s unavoidable to discuss this album without making mention of the A word.  I can’t deny the appeal the concept of “art” always had for me up til that point.  I did creative stuff and had romantic notions of being an "artist" even if I didn't know what that meant.  
     

     It was never that big of a leap for me to believe that putting out records by underground bands was an artistic pursuit.  I had been inspired for years by the work of Very Small and Bucky Records.  Their output was art to me.  The music was creative and cutting edge.  The artwork on the sleeves was inspired.  The fact that they released only vinyl records was a statement unto itself.  

    Putting that grant together I found that if you can convince yourself what you are doing is art then you can convince anyone.  With that in mind I wrote a received a grant from the Nevada Arts Council for $800 to release Home as an LP.  We christened the label Battle Born Records since half the money came from Nevada.   

    Greg Telles and my brother Mark screen printed all 500 of the covers.  I spent months creating the lyric sheet which was printed inside the record sleeve.  The first 200 were printed with black ink.  The last 300 had green ink.  I asked several friends to submit artwork and the drummer Rob,  Karl Jessen and Matt the Fuck Bowker made great drawings.  I became pen pals with Dierdre Luzwick.  Her work is amazing.  She wrote back and granted us permission to use some of her charcoal drawings.

    We played a great record release show at the CafĂ© Espresso Roma.  We played the first Zinecon.  We sold or gave away most of the records.  The triumphs we achieved were genius and something I will never forget. 


     But the strain between me and the rest of the band couldn't last much longer.  When I think about it now I can see it as a power struggle between Nate and I.  Which I can understand to a certain degree.  They, more like he, would write the music and I would have the last say as to what the songs would mean.  That had to be an uneasy union for Nate to deal with.  But he never came out and told me he didn't like my lyrics which were the cornerstone of what I was contributing.  Since I was making a concerted effort to make the lyrics understandable it was important that they be intelligent lyrics so i didn't look like an asshole.  Instead he took issue with my delivery and the theatrical trappings I was bringing to the live show.  Things which seemed to be helping the band more than hurting.  It got confusing.

     Nate wrote all the music and the band was obviously his.  No one else wrote the music although we all collaborated.  The band would always see me as the new guy.  Not just the new guy but perhaps the least important member of the band?  That was certainly how I was treated.  Even though outside of actually making the music I was responsible for many things including opening myself up to the world through my lyrics, booking every show, getting money from outside the band to press a record, handling the creation of the record... I'm looking like an asshole to beat this into the ground.  As you can see things would eventually come to a head and since I was the vociferous one with a microphone it had to come from my big mouth.    

   We were scheduled to play a show at this comic book store on Flamingo.  We had just released our record a few weeks before.  We were riding high and I was full of myself.  I had the worst attitude ever.  I can see now the release of the record marked the beginning of the end.  The record was done.

    It all rose to the surface.  I would always talk at length on stage.  If it wasn't poetry it was describing the context of songs.  I never censored myself.  That night I had a grudge.  I got on the microphone and bad mouthed another local band.  Something we all agreed I’d never do.  I did that intentionally to piss the guys off.  Plus I just hated that other local group.  I bad mouthed Star Wars.  Which was directed with venom to Nate who considered Star Wars a religion.  I talked an incredible amount of shit in front of dozens of people.  I couldn't have been more foul, ignorant, or disrespectful.  

    This all happened while they guys were setting up.  As we went into the first song I realized how  stupid I sounded.  How much the rock star I was acting.  I really fucking blew it.  It was already too late when I realized how wrong I had been.  We got through the set.  Nate freaked out and we got into a huge argument on stage.  We basically broke up in front of the biggest audience we’d ever played to.  

   It should have ended there.  In front of a crowd of people with me and Nate choking each other to death.  Ok I'm overly dramatic but I gotta say it came close to that for me.

    Somehow weeks later we got back together.  I don't remember the exact words that were said but staying true to the disfunction I assumed all blame.  How could I not?  I shouldn't have exploded in front of a crowd.  But my arguments were pointless against a group who could never validate my point of view.  I was the outsider.  And when I think about it now I say perhaps that was the only way for me to be heard within the group?

   With so much work invested we all felt it was wrong to throw it away.  Just like I'd felt after the first round of arguments developed.  But it was an uneasy truce that wouldn't continue for long.


    We limped along.  We played a few more shows.  Judd took a trip to Europe.  We got my friend Drew to fill in.  This brought even more allusions to the balance of power that was ripping the band apart.  And then it just ended.  I never went back to see if they were practicing.  They never called to ask if I was on my way over.   Instead Part-Time Whore ended silently with a whimper instead of with guns blazing, drama, and fury that it should have been.  

   This project was over in my mind.  Although we had a handful of great new songs which again broadened our style.  I don't know if I would have come back if they'd asked me.  Maybe I would have?  I can't say for sure ten years later.  The record was done and so was the artistic statement.  I made moves to go onto the next project.  Which became Free Radio Las Vegas, later N.O.T.B.A.D.  I wonder to this day if my "artistic" pursuits since Part-Time Whore have been valid, meaningful, or even worthy of me dedicating so much of my life to them.  Since I continue to do them I guess my answer is yes.  At least that's how I feel about it today as I write this here.

      It was a year later that Rob got in touch with me to inform me that the group actually did continue without me.  It turns out my fears were not without foundation.  They did see me as the least important person in the band.  I was replaceable.  I still wanted to show them I supported them so I offered to help them record their new band.  While we were able to lay down a few tracks the tensions again proved to be too great and they never returned to mix the results down.  

      There were never any hard feelings afterward and I like to think I remained friends with Nate and Rob even if we rarely spoke.  I was always closest with Rob and we're still in touch today.  I'm still in touch with Nate as well.  Judd was always a distant person.  I'm not sure what happened to him over the years.

       The Part-Time Whore story doesn’t end there.  Sometime later the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to submit a work of art for their Nevada Now Touring Exhibit Initiative.  I said fuck yeah.  In 2002-03 the record got the tour it truly deserved and finally the record did leave the Las Vegas valley.  The Part-Time Whore record was framed and a CD of the music was played on display in museums all over Nevada including Winnemucca, Pioche, and Goldfield!  As big time as you can get in Nevada.  


    It toured the state for two years.    The citizens of Panaca and Ely must have thought that shit came from another planet.  As a result I started a myspace page so people could hear the songs if they stumbled upon it at a museum.  I forgot the password and the email to that myspace account so it'll probably go away sometime in the near future.  At least this blog post will serve as an internet reminder of what that group did.  And that group did a lot.      


    I’m sure I seem like a cry baby telling this story the way I have.  But I don’t know how else to tell it.  If we weren’t battling it out in that practice space in the way we did then there’s a good chance Part-Time Whore would have sounded like any number of shitty NoFX/Green Day/Engage clones or god knows what other kind of shit making the rounds in 1998.  That’s not fair.  Nate is an incredible song writer/composer.  Anything he would have made without my input would have sounded unique.  I’m just glad we were able to collaborate on something which doesn’t sound too dated to these 2010 ears.  I learned a lot from him.  I hope he is as proud of this record as I am.  And it's my hope that he doesn't think I'm an asshole for sharing those experiences, warts and all, here.  

    Since this story is told entirely from my own point of view I think it might do somewhat of a disservice to the whole Part-Time Whore story.  With ten years of hindsight this is the picture that comes to my mind.  I think the other guys would agree with me at least up to a point.  I can only share what I learned and once again mention that I am forever grateful to Nathan for letting me join his band.      


     Some notes on the sound.  Keep in mind this is not a major label recording.  The sound and representation of some songs leave a little to be desired.  I posted the demo a few months ago because I thought we nailed some songs performancewise on the demo even though that demo was even more lo-fi than this record turned out.  This was recorded on an 8-track cassette.  So it's not gonna blow your speakers.  

     It's not a concept record but from an aesthetic point of view we tied the record together by adding sounds and audio collage which would give it a concept feel.  I'm glad to say that everyone in the band thought this was a good idea at the time.  The inclusion of these sounds was an unusual step for a band at that time.  Sure there were a million bands mining movies or TV for samples on their records but none that I know of who did their own recording of sounds to produce a cinematic storytelling vibe.  The record has more personality as a result and I think it makes it more of an experience rather than just being another collection of songs.  

    I wrote all the lyrics.  So I gotta say something about them.  As mentioned in the demo post it was important that I bring something substantial to the table since I didn’t play an instrument.  Plus I didn't want to look like a jack ass screaming about some shit I didn't actually feel strongly about.  I'm obviously not on the level of Bob Dylan but I’m proud of what I wrote for this band.  Looking back I still live by the words written in the song This Is It.

    I never tried to make politics a centerpiece to PTW although it's easy to see an agenda with a song like Outside of Town.  But who in their right mind thinks a Nuclear Waster Repository at Yucca Mountain is a good idea?  Only a politician I guess.  

   Even though it's a bit heavy handed Communication Is a Weapon seems more philosphical to me rather than being overtly political.  But what's the difference anyway?  All these words stem from personal experience which I think make them more real.  
    I cringe when I think of the stupidity and naivete of Ultimately It's All About Fucking but I think it was worth it to try and do something completely different from what was happening in the underground at the time.  In one of the few reviews written on this record this song was picked out as being different and somewhat daring.  So yeah I think it was worth the embarrassment even all these years later.        


    Will I ever be in a band again?  I’ll never say never.  For all the grief and drama it meant the world to me to stand up against the world with those guys.  I’ve missed that feeling of camaraderie ever since.  No matter what our differences might have been off stage when we were on stage it was us against the world.  I've never been able to duplicate that chemistry, and honestly I’ve tried to make it happen two times since Part-Time Whore broke up.  Neither project held a candle to what we did and I quit shortly thereafter or was kicked out before anything could be recorded from either of those groups.  

    I’m am happy that Nate has taken up the mantle again with his new band Elements of Now.  His talent deserves to shine again.  I wish him only the best and I thank him for making Part-Time Whore such a memorable band.

Download Part-Time Whore "Home" LP

1. It Is To Laugh
2. This Is It! (The Song That Should Have Changed the World)
3.  interlude
4.  I Haven't Got the Courage To Care
5.  If Only...
6.  Communication Is A Weapon
7.  You (Whoever That May Be)
8.  Outside of Town
9.  interlude #2
10.  Kevin Kidd
11.  Ultimately It's All About Fucking
12.  Technocracy 
13.  Giant Slug

    I am not the most computer savvy guy in the world.  I am including two pdf files of the lyric sheet because I obviously feel the lyrics are an important part of what the band did.  I have not gone into a lot of detail on what these lyrics meant to me here because I did enough of that shit with the PTW demo post and because I did enough of that shit on the lyric sheet which was printed at great cost on the inside sleeve of the record.

    The jpeg of the lyrics posted above isn't the best quality.  That's why I'm hoping you'll download the lyric sheet and give it a closer inspection.  The files are rather big.  If you know of a way to shrink these files which will still make them readable please let me know.  I also have a Photoshop file of the lyrics if you have a way of reducing their size while maintaining readable quality.  Thanks for reading.




     I have no video or photographs of Part-Time Whore.  If you have video of us playing please share it with me.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Keep Laughing One Year Anniversary


     Another year down the tubes.  And I find myself here.  I challenged myself to  keep this boat floating for a whole year and I stuck to it somehow squeaking by with a post for every month in the last year.  It’s not all genius in fact many would argue the opposite.  I’ve even come clean admitting that I go back and edit posts well after publishing.  I admit writing is my weakest link.  But I can see I'm getting better and I know it's through my efforts with this blog.   

     It has become somewhat difficult these last few months.  My enthusiasm waned.  I questioned why I’m doing it.  I beat myself up over it.  I patted myself on the back.  I ran through the whole gamut of emotions.  I’m glad I made it a whole year.   

     What have I learned so far from this project?  Did you learn anything?  What does the future hold for KL?  All fair questions.

     I thought I’d be more engaged in writing through this blog but I have to admit it’s become more of a media outlet than anything else.  Every single post has included a download or link to some relevant information which relates to the writing and I’m convinced that few if any are reading the words.   It doesn’t hurt my feelings.   Maybe this was the point of the whole endeavor anyway?  To get these pieces of media out there for the world.  From there the public will decide if they want to experience them.  But it’s more than that.  Especially when you consider the musical side of what this blog has tried to “archive.”

     History is a strange thing.  We are living it everyday.  Some days I wish I’d kept a journal.  There are so many memories I’ll never be able to trigger again.  It makes me sad when I think about it.  Like so many others I can’t be bothered.  This blog has become a launching pad for me to try and retrieve those pieces of the past that are easily walked over as we move forward everyday. 

     While I’ve gone through some steps to try and carve out a “mission statement” I’ve by and large kept KL loose and flexible because honestly I’m figuring it out as I go.  Looking back it’s easy to see two distinct motivations behind the blog.  So in the interest of making things clear for myself I will declare:

     KL is a vehicle to spur a dialogue to make available, archive, and preserve historic music that cannot be found online.  The focus has mainly been recordings made by Las Vegas musicians from the 80’s and 90’s.  But I’m also interested in any audio or video from Las Vegas, NV over the last 30 years.    
   Also KL is a medium for me to publish my own creative endeavors including films, animations, photographs, drawings, and writings. 

     I never wanted to be the authority figure on Las Vegas underground music.  It just pissed me off that I couldn’t find the Fuck Shit Piss “Seven Song Demo” anywhere on the world wide fucking web.  There’s a million and one blogs out there devoted to the crappiest crust bands ever created.  You can find any jazz song recorded between 1930 and 1973.  But if you want to hear Substance D you are shit out of luck because everyone who had that demo threw it away back in 1995? 

     It was my sincere hope that others might see what I’m doing and perhaps make some of those artifacts available for me, and the world, to hear again.  Some people have stepped up.  Are others close behind? 

     A few people have come forward telling me about the buckets of demos they have.  Some have even mentioned sending me copies so I can make them available here.  So far all those people have flaked.  I won’t name names and bitch them out but I will let you know that my supply of local LV demos is dwindling.  This part of Keep Laughing may well be falling off the map in the next few months.  I still have a few records I’m considering making available here but we’ll see how it goes.   

     Once again I will post my wish list here in the hopes that someone out there still has these demos and can make them available to me as either mp3 files or as a hard cassette copy from which I will make mp3 files.  If you have access to any of these audio treasures please get in touch.

Substance D -demo
Catapult- First demo
Foot Long -Demo
Hairball/Forehead -split demo
Disrupt- demo
Nice Sucks- demo
Blue Ruin- demo
Generics- LP? EP?
OI ALTO- demo
Lady- Vicki Campbell demo
Propeller- demo
Organic- 7” & CD
Area 51- demo
System Rejects- demo
Sampson’s Army- LP
Any recordings of KUNV’s Rock Avenue
Any recordings of Fuck Shit Piss on KUNV
Recordings of the Hardcore Show on KUNV
Recordings of Lunch w/ PMRC on KUNV

     There are many many recordings I am forgetting I’m sure of it.  This is just the ones coming to mind today.  If you have access to these recordings please make them available before you die and your stuff gets thrown in a trashcan and hauled out to the LV dump.

     Other things I’ve learned from KL in the last year?  I admit it’s a bit unusual for me to try and combine these efforts to archive and preserve history as well as showcasing my own work in film, music, and other arty bullshit expression.  No one has come out and said they think it’s wrong for me to be doing it this way although someone did stop following KL after I published the photos of the flag I burned on top of Lava Butte. 

     Fuck em.  It all goes back to my main motivation.  I want to be a better writer.  I write and create where the inspiration leads me and I won’t stray from it to please anyone.  My writing is shining a light on a corner of the world that is fading away.  If anyone has taken offense to the criticism I’ve written about a band they were in that existed 20 years ago I can’t apologize.  If you want to set the record straight please write your own blog.

     I see no problem mixing my artwork and perspective with this mission of preserving history.  I follow a long line of obscurity that will never be pushed over into the mainstream.  Putting it all together in one lump on the internet only makes sense as I am more and more aware.  My worldview, expression, and history only has meaning to a few dozen people.  If that.  But it’s important to those few people.  They're told me how important it is.  So KL will continue into 2011.  

     Just the fact that I’m making available music from such disparate scenes as 5150 and Civic Minded 5 is a strange brew unto itself.  The only thread between those two besides Las Vegas locality is the fact that I saw them and understood why they’re both important.        

     This is all of the top of my head here December 14, 2010.  It’s bullshit that I would go back and edit these posts I know.  Eventually I’ll get to the point where I’ll have several articles being written concurrently so that my edits will be happening prior to posting them for the world to see.  I’m learning.  I hope you are too.

     On a side note.  I haven’t mentioned this but I am currently running for Vice President of the Union for which I am a member.  This union being IATSE Local 28 the Stagehands Union based in Portland, Oregon.  I mention this in closing for two reasons.  I wrote a great deal of material in my campaign for which I am most proud.  The year I've spent writing for this blog has helped me immensely in composing that campaign material.  If you are curious check it out.

     Secondly.  I find out the outcome of that election today.  I haven’t been nervous the whole time of this campaign.  But today my nerves are wracked.  Thankfully this blog and what I’ve written just now has calmed my nerves a bit.  Wish me luck.  

     Thanks for supporting Keep Laughing in this the first year.  Can another full year of laughter follow?  Only time will tell.

     I made the above stop motion video last night in honor of KL’s anniversary.  I was hoping to add audio but once again I'll go back and edit it later. 



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Civic Minded 5 demo


     Civic Minded 5 were one of the best local bands in Vegas towards the end of the 90’s.  They were contemporaries of Part-Time Whore and we played with them a handful of times.  They were a good counterpoint to what we were doing.  While PTW was all overblown trying to be intelligent and arty CM5 were just balls out party attack.  Words and concepts weren't as important as the feeling.  Perfect example is the song Chicken Gender.  That song doesn't make a lick of sense and it fuckin rules.    

      Jason was the first guy I met from CM5.  He described their sound as pop punk which by and large is true, but this ain’t no bubblegum shit.  There are harmonies, but the vocals are gravelly and snotty pushing it into more punk rather than pop territory.  Some of these songs even border on the Filth sound where feedback and growls abound.  The first song on this demo is some searing hardcore.  Blistering really. Still I'm willing to bet every song on this demo will stay in your head the rest of the week after one listen.   It’s catchy but I hear equal amounts of aggression and goofiness.  It strikes a good balance which I think is a hard thing to pull off in the cookie cutter world of pop punk.


      I saw them at least a half dozen times.   They were usually pretty solid live although they had a problem keeping drummers.  I don’t know who the drummer was for this recording but the usual cast of characters are present.  That being Billy Venom on bass, Lazer Lavin on guitar, and Jason on the other guitar.  It seems like Jason should have had a flashy nickname but I don’t think he ever did.


      The cover tells you little aside from the fact that it was recorded at A-Able Mini Storage by Shimono in August of 1998.  I forget the significance of the Manatee.  They eat a lot.  I forget the significance of the name Civic Minded 5 as well especially considering they were always a four piece.    
 
      This is from their split demotape with Cobra Versus Mongoose.  Civic Minded 5 later released a record on Recess Records.  I think some of these songs re-surfaced on that record which was a solid release as I recall.  I'm digging the versions heard here.  Raw and lo-fi.  Just like how they sounded live.  


      They were a fun band.  I miss em.  I’m out of the loop and don’t know if they’re still together or not.  Here’s to Civic Minded 5.  I'm sure they're probably drinking right now.  I know I am.    

       Glad these songs are stuck in my head again.  Maybe I’ll try and add more commentary later?  This might be a good time to confess that I go back and edit all the text from these posts well after the fact.  Forgive me.  At least I’m becoming a better writer now right?

Download Civic Minded 5 demo below
1.  Bugman
2.  Daze
3.  Chicken Gender
4.  Wooly




Tuesday, November 9, 2010

East Side Ride



     This video was shot in 2001.  It's nothing to write home about just a short drive from the UNLV area to the Sunrise mountain area and back again.  I think I went to Greg Telles' old house off Owens Ave.  There aren't many people I know in that neighborhood anymore.  Greg Stokey being the only one to come to mind.  Best wishes to Stokey.  Does Larry Jones live on Linn Lane now?  That's a rumor I heard.  

     Ten years ago they put a wall up on Hollywood Ave which completely blocks your view of the city as you're headed down Hollywood.  Typical.  This video shows a portion of the view we all enjoyed before the wall went up.

     It also shows a small bit of the Sir Patrick house I lived in near the airport.  The airport bought the house we were renting and gave us $8,000 each to move away.  Yeah.  That was 2002.  They tore down the whole neighborhood and didn't even have the decency to put up a parking lot.  Not that I'm complaining.  I wish a couple of grand would fall in my lap again.  Come to think of it I'll probably play the lottery again this week.    

      Not much else to add here.  This video is a mix of stop motion and live action.  It's longer than it probably should be and the sound is awful but who gives a shit?  Every picture tells a story.  Here's a million stories coming from the Naked City.

Download East Side Ride here

Sunday, November 7, 2010

DEAD27


    Here's a surprise.  This CD came out in 2003 and features two cool dudes I remember from Vegas circa late 80's early 90's.  Nigel and Tim.  Wish I could party with these guys again because they're good fun.  If you don't know these guys that's ok.  Chances are you know a couple guys just like em in your own little world.    

SIDE NOTE #1
    One night me, Jeff Hughes, Greg Telles and Tim were out on the town drinkin the hell out of some beers when Tim had the bright idea to buy some acid from this girl he knew.

    It's not a good idea to start out sloppy drunk and then take acid.  But that's what we did.  The next stop on that party train was Nigel's house more commonly known as the Schmegma.  

    After a few minutes of tripping in the practice space someone started throwing shit.  Not sure why.  One thing lead to another and within seconds the lamp which was the only light source in the room got smashed throwing the room into total darkness.  Being that I was trippping on LSD it made perfect sense to pick up Nigel's drum set and throw it across the room as well.  Thankfully it didn't hit anyone and it didn't get fucked up.  But I got fucked up that night no question.  I still owe Tim $5 for that dose.  If you're out there Tim get in touch.

    I discovered this band from my old friend Tom Bert.  I guess we're friends?  Tom is another mainstay of the Weird East Side.  He's on Tim and Trav's level as far as being really far out.  He once told me he takes speed so it will limit the amount of marijuana he smokes.


SIDE NOTE #2
     I have a pretty crazy side note about Tom Bert but it's so fucking weird I think it detracts from the real reason for this post, to introduce you to Dead27.  Yeah it's even more fucked up than the story I shared above.  Not only that but it's been hard to solidify in written form because it makes so little sense. Seriously.  If I've made you curious and you wanna hear the Tom story, which also involves a band I was in with Tom, Ron Constantine and Wild Bill, then email me direct and I'll email the story to you.  I'll send you what I've been able to write out so far which barely makes sense when I think about it.  No it's not the drugs this time it's something way more ignant.  My email is chadarad@hotmail.com.  Otherwise let's move on. 


    Years went by after the little "band" we had broke up.  I still kept in touch with Wild Bill and Ron.  I'm not sure why but I did.  I heard from Bill that Tom was in prison for stealing several policeman's bicycles.  More tragically I also heard that his girlfriend of several years died while in labor with their child.  God I hope that's not true.    
    I get nervous listening to news about friends from back then who were last seen doing lines.  Their stories tend to be pretty bad. Jeff Kimberlain disappeared without a trace for 7 years! Still I'm not sure how much of these stories are real and how much are conjecture.  

    I thought I'd find out the truth 3 months ago when Tom contacted me on Facebook.  He thanked me for turning him on to the Intentions of Hate demo from this blog and he sent me a link to download this the Dead 27 CD.  

  
    Stoked to hear Nigel and Tim finally got something going.  I always wondered why they never had a band before.  It's cool shit.  I'll break out some adjectives.  
    Frenetic and nervous hardcore with both feet firmly planted in LVHC.  They're not trying to be trailblazers in terms of experimenting with the genre.  It's pretty much where the style left off back in the late 80's which is cool.  At least they know what they're good at.  It's Las Vegas Hardcore with better production.  Spastic.  Speedy.  Offbeat.  Rough around the edges but there's some unexpected shit happening here in some of the songs.  I want to say it's a more mature style of hardcore but it's more like the opposite.  Regressive hardcore?  So many hardcore bands who later put out "mature" records lost their balls in the translation this recording stays true to aggression.  Some of it is so formula hardcore I almost hear it as pop hooks because that's how I'd expect hardcore to sound but when they get to experimenting they go into some cool shit that stays intense.  There's a stab at melody in some songs which I find a little lukewarm but overall it's a great find for those of us who haven't seen Nige or Tim in a few years.  I don't know who the guitar player is.    


    I hope all these guys are doing good and still making music.  And I hope the best for Tom Bert as well.  After posting a few things on my faceboob he got pissed because I wasn't answering his questions fast enough.  He told me what an asshole I was for leaving him hanging and he told me to fuck off before deleting me from his page.      
    Unsure of how to react I replied "Fuck off you psycho."  That was our last exchange.  Which is unfortunate.  I think he's a cool guy.  But what can I say.  Don't pressure me.   

   I have to wonder how shocking and alien these stories must appear to people who have stumbled here.  I think I'd be shocked and maybe horrified to find this world myself.  If you would've been there you would've gotten your ass kicked!  I'm glad today's world is less violent.  I mean not counting the actual war happening on the other side of the world.  We're still a country at war?  What the fuck?      

    These download links are taken from Tom Bert's Mediafire account.  If you are having trouble downloading them let me know and I'll try to fix it.  


     If I can dedicate this post to anyone it's Tom Bert.  I hope we can be friends again?  I think?  Also dedicated to all the people from all over the world currently dying in Afghanistan because no one seems to be dedicating shit to those people anymore.    


Download Dead 27 CD

     


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Party at the end of the world. BYOB.




     As many years as I lived there it rarely occurred to me that I lived in LAS VEGAS.  It was a rarity for me to go to the strip and I never went into casinos.  The only time I'd gamble was at Lucky's or Smith's when I'd get change from buying a twelve pack.  On a side note I later got trespassed from Smith's and I'll never shop there again.  Fuck them.   

     This video is one of the rare occasions I went to the strip and it's a trip.  Very surreal.  Vegas specializes in that shit.  It looks like a war has just taken place and now everyone was doing jello shots while the bodies were getting cleaned off the streets.  Wonder World is WOW.   

     My home town.  As far as wildly divergent shitholes go it may be the biggest.  And the best!  I won't complain about Vegas.  It's too easy a target.  Plus I don't live there and it used to piss me off when people visiting would talk shit about my city.  I can bitch all I want but you don't live here so go fuck yourself.  Since I'm now a stranger to Vegas you'll hear no more bitchin from me.    


    While it may continue to get stranger for me I have to admit I'll never be a stranger to Vegas. It will never leave my blood even if I wanted it to.  I still stay up late all the time for no reason.  That's gotta be a hold over from Vegas right?  


    I often feel like I'm part of a weird cult because I know so much about Vegas before it blew the fuck up into whatever it is this week.  I miss the Silver Slipper presents Movie of the Evening starting at 2am.  What a great show that was.  Cool theme song too.  Fact is I loved growing up there.  It was a fairly small town up until the early 90's.    Is Terina's Pizza still there on Charleston?   


    There are so many things I miss, but like Zody's most of those things are gone forever.    It'll never be what it was but some things can never change.  The mountains, the desert if you can find it, Ammonium Proclorate in the water table.  


     I wish there was more desert in Vegas.  The desert outside the valley is different.  The Las Vegas valley has it's own style of landscape that I've never seen anywhere else in the South West.  There's a specific look to the desert in the valley.  It's the most beautiful part of the South West.  Even though there's a fucked up city in the middle of it.
  
    Frenchmen Mountain I love you.  I haven't been to the East Side in years and years.  Maybe now there's a Sunrise Station across the street from the temple.  At this point I'd like to name drop Mo Mahoney.  Later on I may mention Michael Schevo.  

     I get lost when I go back to visit.  Traffic.  Garbage.  Bad smells.  Congratulations Vegas you're a big city now!  Sort of.  You've definitely got all the trappings of a big city.  Key word being trap.  Old Ladies Cave.       

     Dedicated to all those people who are currently on the party bus dancing and singing as it starts to go over the cliff.  Al;so dedicated to anyone who's ever come late to a party and bail because you just don't wanna deal with it.   Lastly I'd like to say fuck Rancho!     




Download this clip here

Friday, October 22, 2010

Part-Time Whore demo lyrics


     Here’s the lyrics for the Part-Time Whore demo I promised.  The copy shown here didn’t come with a lyric sheet although I’d hazard a guess that I gave my copy to someone who bought a demo.  I know it’s probably fruitless to ask but if anyone out there has this demo with the lyric sheet I made for it then please get in touch.  Some of these songs ended up on the LP we later released and some lyrics were changed from the versions on the demo.  To make things easier you can download each song by clicking on it's title shown here in blue. 

     I swore if I got the cushy job of singer/front man I would bring something tangible to the table.  I put a lot of time into writing these words as well as singing them and making them work within the sound that Nate developed for the band.  

     All the lyrics for every Part-Time Whore song were written by me.  All the music was a collaboration between all band members but the original embryo of the songs were all written by Nate.

     The first song we wrote which everyone in the band liked was Joe Bowls Takes A Nap.  The irony being that I didn’t write any lyrics for that song.  Unless you count the middle part where I can be heard saying “Listen to me man!” before spilling out a bunch of nonsense grunting. 

      It was a hard job sitting being a lyricist.  I think I got better over time I don’t think it ever got any easier.  Nothing you have a passion for is ever easy.  I needed to write about something I knew.  Something I honestly felt.  The first song I ever wrote and the first song we truly finished was this love song: You (Whoever That Might Be)

When I’m hungry I eat
When I’m tired I sleep
Life is pretty simple I think

But if that’s so true 
How did you get to be so important to me?
If I’m so happy why should this mean shit to me?

Not like I’m falling flat pathetic and needy
Not like I need to believe you need me

There’s a million places I’d rather be
There’s a million stories inside of me

Shit to do
I’m never bored or anything
Friends to keep me on top of everything

A good life so far away from you
Still I heard that fucking song

Then I know I am alone
Wondering which way to go
A balance there’s got to be a caring mixed with a thought of nothing
Too much and I’m a push over
Too little and I’m a cold shoulder
         
It drives me insane
It’s like a game right?
It’s just a game?

I’m trying to find a place to hide
What I need it’s got the better of me
That place is you


    Symptomatic of the dysfunctional relationships I’ve had in my life and the dysfunctional relationship that would soon become this band, this song was based on a woman I had broken up with the year before.  Her drug addiction made it impossible to see her as a real person.  Thus the parenthetical adjunct within the songs title.  Whatever the confusion I felt in that relationship and regardless of whether or not I was truly in love I must admit to having genuine feelings for her.  We broke up amidst bitterness and betrayal and I haven’t seen or spoken with her since.
    I learned a few years ago that she tried to take her own life.  I wished at the time I could fix whatever was wrong with her, although I was as much at fault for the shakiness of our relationship.   It's obvious to me now that you can't "fix" other people.   I can only hope I've been able to fix whatever is wrong with me all these years later. 

    These feelings came to flower in the guise of these lyrics.  I tried very hard to focus on real understandable expression and leave the metaphors and literary devices to the artistically annoying.  After much hand wringing I found that it was impossible to make this a simple statement and indeed used a fair amount of metaphor/allegory/whatever the fuck you want to call it.      


     Much of my motivation for these songs was spelled out in the lyric sheet of the Part-Time Whore LP.  So I don’t want to go into too much detail for these songs. 

I am the world
The world is me
Inside my imagination of where I want to be
Even tears were beautiful things as strange as that may seem

I wasn’t myself
I wasn’t anyone else
I made up everything

Building a tower so high it’s tumbling down
Even my illusion couldn’t be enough
Could I call the bluff

No guarantees left to believe
The truth unfolds robbing me
Too satisfied with the shadow of a dream
My insides can’t hide any longer

If only I couldn’t see
If only the world were only me

     I have to add that out of context this song is whiny cry baby shit.  This song was partially based on a story about a man who was born blind and later had an operation to give him sight.  When he opened his eyes for the first time he went insane because nothing was the way he imagined it.  I mention this in the LP maybe because if I didn’t say something the song seems really childish and stupid?  After some reflection I would probably say this is the worst song lyrically, and yet it's the most pop sound PTW ever had.    


Listen to me man!!! 
Growl!
When I get out of jail!

    See the previous post for the whole story on this song.

I was alone
Thinking maybe there’s no hope
In this town
It left me standing around
Watching
There is no reason to be

He walked up
Stolen wine flowed from his cup
He lost his mind and wished to lose his body

Saw his cuts
Saw him bleed
It occurred to me that everyone wants something

He was alone
I know for sure he had no hope
The town
It made him stand around
No place to go the
The cold just waiting for him
Lights on the street
A stage set for misery

There was something I wanted to say
I couldn’t read much from his face
Things sure looked differently
It was mighty Christian of me
Other people couldn’t see
All these cars kept passing

He spilled his drink
He kept saying it was cold

    I used to go out by myself a lot.  I still do.  One night I went out to the LV strip with my video camera.  Whenever I’d do that inevitably some bum, or gangsta, or crack head would come up and pester me over and over until I’d be forced to leave. 

     I met this guy Kevin Kidd one night.  He had just stolen a bottle of wine from a liquor store.  It was kind of an anomaly because he was a funny intelligent guy.  We talked a bit and he shared some of his wine with me while I filmed random episodes on the strip. 

     He was homeless and dejected but still had some drive.  As I started to make my way home he fell over and cut his hand pretty bad.  I couldn’t do shit for him.  I felt horrible.  He left pretty quickly after that.    

      Ultimately this song makes me feel powerless and maybe a bit privileged   I’m lucky for who I am and what I have.  I will never be ashamed of where I come from.   

Sometimes I think I’m going crazy
Overwhelmed by shit not how it’s supposed to be
I’m so sick of hearing how things used to be
I’m the one in command of these new things

So bored it is to laugh
Not gonna fall for that
Fuck you and fuck your crap

I’d listen to you but you don’t have a clue
It’s like this and this and this

I’ve got more than half a mind to go farther this time
And jump over your pile of shit

Who’s out to shake things up?
It don’t seem so tough
I gotta scream right now
Has everyone forgotten how?

The lyrics in this part sound significantly different from what I’m reading on the lyric sheet from the LP.  I’m stumped until we get to this part:

So transparent I can see thru the act
Running in circles you’ve beaten a path to nowhere for nothing
What else can I do but laugh?

It’s easy to bottle up inside
Thinking everything’s been tried
Respect is due to most before me but now it’s time to write a new fucking story

You’re goddamned right I don’t care
Cause I don’t have a reason to be scared
Refuse to buy this falsity
That’s the way it’s gotta be

Laugh at yourself instead
Cause when you’re dead you’re dead!


     This is the song I hope you listen to if you listen to any of them.  Really spirited and I mean every fuckin word.  Although it sounds like I'm still making up the words at the time of this recording.  I think this recording best captures of the soul of this song as opposed to what you heard on the album.  At least on my end.  Plus the album gets so pretentious with my spoken word piece.
     This song was based in large part on that awful band that inspired me to join Part-Time Whore.  Check the demo post if you really care.  In any event it’s also a call to action against mediocre music and mediocre messages and just mediocrity in general.  A declaration of seriousness about not taking things too seriously.  And so on I could go on like this forever.  It's about curing cancer and saving the lives of puppy dogs everywhere.  Laughing has always been important to me and it continues to be important.  Yeah it's all so very funny motherfucker.   


We’re led to believe  our lives are not complete
How could we have lived before without Technology?
 Progress is an uncut cord producing sterile circuitry
Convenience and laziness makes TV our community?
Boring a hole into your bored skull we’ll make a change to your body
An age of information but for who?
Electrical daydreams is all you need to know
We have to gain more or we are lost
Consume and catch up is our life’s work?
The new chains are wires we are all connected
The future’s been decided the only thing we don’t need now is you
Blue lines across a screen
It’s not a face you’re seeing
It’s your future whether you want it or not
Choices already made for you in a new zoo that hates you for not being new
What kind of world are we building?
A new church to reinvent souls?
A new god computing a more efficient control?


     Hmm.  This song was also a big hit when we played live.  Lyrically it’s a bit puzzling but I think I can understand what I meant.  And yet I’m more connected to computers now than I ever was back then and I can expect to see more of the same in my life and in the lives of others.  I'm convinced the “digital” world we live in will have a day of reckoning sometime in the future.  Mark my words!

     I have no pictures or video footage of Part-Time Whore.  If you got something like that then how about sharing fuck-o?

     Thanks for reading.  I include a download in every post so here’s the song Part-Time Whore recorded for Very Small records Twelve Ounces of Courage comp.  It might have been the best song we ever recorded but it's just my opinion.  



     Shit.  I just realized that by adding this song I'm obligated to post the lyrics to this song as well.  I probably will because they're quite funny.  The name of this song is "Speedcore Never Died It Just Got Faded."  I guess look for the lyrics here in this same post sometime in the future.

    Also... this just in:  I found the original lyric sheet.  You can view it here.