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


    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.    

    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.

     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  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