Friday, December 23, 2011

Three year anniversary

       In case you didn’t notice Keep Laughing has been on a bit of a hiatus as of late.  I’m busy fixing up a house I bought in Portland, Oregon.  Yep I’m a homeowner! 

      As a result my creative life has been playing second banana to a new series of projects at the homestead.  I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and I expect to be back up to my old tricks sometime after the first of the year.  I got a decent response to the post I made about the film series I helped put together 10 years ago so I'm thinking of doing a write-up of numerous collections of films I recommend in the near future.  Also I’ve got three or four different films I’ve made personally in various states of being finished.  Maybe one of them will get finished next year? 

      As mentioned I got no more old school Vegas demos.  If you got demos and you want them included here get in touch.  I’m still interested in hearing ‘em and making ‘em available.  Better yet why don’t you rip them and post them?  I’ll write about ‘em after you tell me where you’ve put ‘em online.  Oh yeah, please make them downloadable too.    

      If you do got some shit worth sharing or you just want to send gifts or money my new address is:

Keep Laughing
5223 N. Montana Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97217

     So for the three year anniversary post of Keep Laughing you get no goodies just explanations of my inactivity.  Tough shit.

     Oh wait I guess I do have something I can share.  Here’s a short video I made of one of my favorite band of all time doing a sound check for me alone.  Yeah that's my lap.  I shot this over the Summer and never posted it.  You should be able to name the band fairly easy.  Bonus points if you can name the song.  See ya in 2012. 

Three years seems like a long time.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Very Small Kick

     Dave Hayes from Very Small Records is doing a kickstarter project until November 21.  Click here to see.  Give him $42 and you get a great hoodie and his entire discography on a DVD/R with 1,111+ tracks!

     I’ve made several references to Dave Hayes throughout this blog.  If you’re unfamiliar with Very Small Records then you been missing out.  Go here and get acquainted.  He lived for a short time in Las Vegas and put out a few records featuring Vegas bands.  He went on tour with Dwarf Bitch and released both their 7” records. 

     I know what you’re thinking.  Who gives a shit?  Well he also put out records for: Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine, Jawbreaker, Green Day, Econochrist, Nuisance,  Schlong, Elmer, the list is endless including some of the best compilation records ever made!  All of it out of print.  When I think back to the music of the 90’s the only stuff I remember fondly is the Very Small shit.  The discography is solid.  If you are at all interested in underground music you should know Very Small Records.  Dave has been an inspirational figure in my life and I thank him very much for the work he’s done with this label.   

     Of course you could go over to his blog and download tons of this stuff for free.  He’s been offering it up free for years.  In fact he’s been talking about doing this DVD/R thing for years and I’m glad he’s finally running with it.  I think if you download from there you should really help a brother out and give to his kickstarter project.

     Plus you get an awesome hoodie with a universal message which will make an excellent x-mas gift this year.  Act quick the deadline is Monday.         

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lunch With the PMRC tape 2

            This is the second tape good buddy Nate Robards sent to me.  Another broadcast of Lunch With the PMRC originally aired on 91.5 KUNV in like 1991?  If you got a clue about the date please share.  Not much in the way of local music on this one.  I hear Checko Salgado in the background during the announcements.  He shares a demo from a Denver band named Small Dog Frenzy.  I think he was making a smart ass statement about the Vegas underground at that time since this was the Local’s Only segment.  Still that Small Dog Frenzy song is a good one.    

            The one local band featured on this tape is a serious winner.  This Tripple Ripple song is on fire!  I’m familiar with the name Tripple Ripple but for some reason I always assumed they were college rock alternative stuff. That's not the case.  This track has some hardcore bite but it’s a well structured song that doesn’t shy away from the guitar solos.  I love this shit.  Not punk, not metal, not alternative, but not shy about taking from those elements without having an allegiance to any of them.  This was before everything got codified and genretized.  I’m not even sure where you’d put this in the rigid labeling, compartmentalizing, minds of today’s music explainers.  Crossover seems like a tame category.  I like the song so who gives a shit? 

            My one complaint, because I gotta have at least one: the singer seems like an afterthought.  Without the reverb on his vocals it would really blow.  Although the effects do add a sinister Celtic Frost vibe to the mix which is cool.  It’s a minor detail in this case.  The music has enough going for it that it doesn’t need front man theatrics vying for your attention. 

            I’ve ripped the rest of the cassette but the real gem here is the Tripple Ripple track.   If you got the demo out there post it fucker.  The label on the tape indicates a Bad Attitudes demo.  I don't know if that's what's on side two.  It might be the girl band that starts off side two but the bleed fucks with the sound so much it's almost not worth checking out.  You can especially hear it between songs but it goes away after a few minutes.  The rest of the cassette is fairly tame 90’s fare.  I don’t know… some of it’s good but most of it reminds me of why the 90’s mostly sucked for music.  They do play the Fastbacks at the end which is cool!  I’ve lumped side two together into one long mp3 files because there's so much bleed it's fucked up.  I'm including it here for the curious.

Overall this tape is a novelty but make no mistake you should download that Tripple Ripple track.

Download below:
91.5 FM KUNV Lunch With the PMRC tape 2 from the collection of Nathan Robards

1. Tripple Ripple- Vermin
2. Jerry Burns chatter
3. Small Dog Frenzy- This Sail
4. KUNV chatter
5. Side one plays out
6. Side Two

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lunch w/ PMRC Locals Only circa 93

           A few years ago I bought a heavy metal magazine named, well the name isn’t important.  I read a few articles and several reviews until half way through the magazine I realized there wasn’t one negative criticism in the whole fucking thing.  It was blowing the horn of metal and it didn’t have one bad thing to say about the dozens or maybe hundreds of bands covered. 

            It was impossible for me to believe that all those bands were beyond reproach so I lost all respect for the integrity of the mag and I threw it and the CD it came with away.  That’s what you’re dealing with here friends.  I refuse to be a cheerleader for past Las Vegas music that I’m helping to unearth.  If I think the band sucks I can’t bite my tongue and act like I give a shit.  That’s one thing I’ve come to realize about this project.  If I piss someone off, which I’m sure I already have then I must be doing something right. 

            It’s not that I give two shits about earning your respect or underscoring some idea of integrity in my writing.  I have to react in the way the material makes me react since the act of digitizing the material makes me a part of the music in my own way.  If I’m taking the time to archive all this shit then that means I’m listening to it at least two or three times which is enough time for me to solidify an opinion on the shit as it reaches my ears today. 

            Specific criticisms aside any “band” that gets together long enough to record something is worthy of respect.  Especially in the stone ages of the 80’s and 90’s.  My opinion comes solely from the recorded music and should not be seen as a reflection of how good the band was live or how important they were to helping the scene to move forward, or backward as the case may be.

            My opinion is my opinion and I’ll be damned if I’m going to muffle my gripes in a forum I created.  I’m prepared to accept criticism of my writing if readers feel that strongly. 

            On the horizon I can see a problem but I don’t know how to resolve it.  It’s happened to me twice so far that I started the process of ripping a demo only to find that I think the band blows in every conceivable way.  In both those cases I stopped digitizing because I couldn’t think of one good thing about the music contained on the demo and I didn’t want to waste my time listening to the dreck.  I don’t want to hold back from getting the music out there but I have to be true to myself.  I’m not going to do the work if it’s something I don’t care for or believe in.  And I’m not gonna run the risk of looking like a champion for ANY piece of shit music that got created in that valley.  There is a wide variety of people who come here from all over the world and I can’t unleash shit on them.  They may stop coming by to discover the radical bands that existed alongside the shitty ones. 

            But… it’s also fun to talk shit about horrible music.  In fact it’s more fun and usually more fun to read text filled with piss and vinegar.  And yet, do I really want to piss off people for no good reason aside from the fact that I think they made shitty music?  So I ask you reader:  should I rip stuff that sucks and post it here with commentary that rips the sucky demo apart?  Or,  do I divorce myself from such negativity and refuse to share music that at least a few people will find remarkable.  I don’t know.  I want to be fair but I also want to be real. 

            Fuck fair.  Here’s an interesting recording that I have mixed feelings about.  It was sent to me by my good friend Nate Robards who was the guitar player in Boba Fett Youth (BFY), Part-Time Whore (PTW) and currently Elements of Now (EON).  He sent a package with a few tapes and another package with a t-shirt form EON as well as their new demo CD.  It’s fuckin RAD.

            I ripped the cassette shown here.  I’m guessing he dubbed this cassette before sending it to me as the tape in question looks pretty new and he wrote Nostalgia on it which I’m taking as a swipe at me for all the bullshit I’ve written on this blog.  Very funny Nate.    

            So I’ve got mixed feelings on many levels.  First I’m grateful to Nate and others who’ve sent me stuff they’ve ripped, or sent stuff for me to rip.  It’s been fun and I think people are getting something out of it.  On the other hand I’m a little scared of this exploding in my face and I’m suddenly getting cassettes mailed to me hand over fist.  On the surface this seems like a great thing and I’m not opposed to lifting the floodgates and requesting all nature of cassettes be sent to me if people wanted.  But how many of these cassettes would suck?  Moreover I don’t want to see KL becoming a repository of mediocrity as well as shit I love.  I’m doing this because I love the music first off and I want to hear it.  I’m only releasing it to the public because I hope it will get out there so it can stay out there in the event that maybe if I lose all my shit someday in the future I’ll still have a Leap Frog Society or Fuck Shit Piss collection I can always find to download from someone online.

            In any event I’ve heard from over a dozen people who have demos and shit they’d like to contribute and so far only 15% of those people have come forth to contribute so I guess I shouldn’t be to worried about being overwhelmed by people sending me their KUNV recordings.  Most of which I don’t want to spend hours translating.  But I’ll still offer up my assistance in ripping stuff if it seems like something I’d like.  By now you should know what I like if you’ve been reading along so far.  Mainly hardcore punk demos but I’ve got a soft spot for metal, pop, and other curiosities that Vegas produced along the way.  It’s only fitting I stick to the Vegas themes as a requirement at this point.

            So the broadcast.  I can’t tell you what date this broadcast aired.  It’s got to be like 91-93 which were pretty rocky years for the Vegas underground rock world.  As mentioned previously there was a huge amount of in fighting in the underground.  Nazi versus anti-nazi was at it’s peak around then and so music in my opinion suffered.  I don’t recall a favorite band from this time.  I somehow didn’t hear or see the band Lady until well after they broke up but they were kickin it by this point.  Intentions of Hate was happening.  Wholes,  F.I., Heroines,  god knows there were more but the local bands featured in this broadcast of the Lunch With the Parents Music Resource Center were Junkie Nuns, Foot Long, Bent Tool, and Zub Zub

            Lunch with the PMRC was a radio show aired on 91.5 KUNV in Las Vegas, Nevada during the early 1990’s through the mid 90’s.  It took the place of the Hardcore show which happened in the 80’s and it featured Locals Only for the last hour of each broadcast.  It was a great show and has proven to be a good resource for tracking down music from local bands at that time.  Nate sent a second Locals Only tape which I’ll post sometime in the future. 

            This is where more mixed feelings come into the picture.  I have been looking for the Foot Long demo for years now.  My brother had the demo and we rocked out in my parents garage smoking the weed.  I thought it was a great demo on par with Lady’s second demo.  For a lack of cassette tapes he recorded a Leap Frog Society practice over the Foot Long demo and I never got to hear those song again.  Until now.  It was a nice surprise to hear parts of that demo on this tape.    

            I was never a fan of Junkie Nuns or Bent Tool but they were stalwarts.  Although I admit to understanding the direction Junkie Nuns was trying to go.  They just never seemed to get there.  The effects heavy shit was always almost cool but not cool enough to make it to the finish line for me.  I had the same opinion of many Vegas bands around that time.  The scene was in flux as the 90’s started and I think everyone was hoping for something to rise to the top.  Seemed like we had to relearn everything after the flood.  And so the music was searching for new avenues as well.  Maybe it was desperation that kept me hoping someone would take the reins like Fuck Shit Piss did?  No one from this time period could fill that vacuum but not for a lack of trying. 

            I wanted to like Junkie Nuns even if they looked a little goth which annoyed the hell out of me.   I think they were going for some disjointed industrial punk or something like that.  I think everyone from that time was really into shit like Skinny Puppy, Ministry.  After the release of Thrill Kill Cult's Sex On Wheels I was big on the "industrial music" backlash and I guess I never really got over it.  Hard not to because it's a style and aesthetic that certainly hasn't aged well.  Not to say Junkie Nuns sounds like any of that shit, I mean they didn't even have synths if I recall.  So maybe they were on the Butthole Surfer end of that sound?

         Anyway back then I was still taking psychedelic drugs so I was hoping to zone out on their effects heavy music but every time I saw them a fight broke out or I wasn't high enough.  That’s how I felt about the Wholes.  It was always really close to greatness but they seemed to be holding back.  Tension.  I’m sure both bands were on as many drugs as I was on at the time if not more and that couldn’t have helped things much overall.  These recordings make me think twice about Junkie Nuns.  But I doubt I'll think about them a third time.  I'm probably not high enough.

            Also included here is Bent Tool.  Again not one of my favorite bands from that time but there is plenty of in between song gabbing that's got it's funny moments.

            But the real gem of this find as mentioned is the Foot Long demo that remained a mystery to me for so many years.  It’s not the Holy Grail of Vegas demos.  But I do give them credit for being so passionate and creative in a time of great indecision during those turbulent years.  This broadcast only includes four of the seven songs from their demo Caffeine and Adrenaline But Mostly Adrenaline.   But the songs hold up.  It sounds like a more Metal version of Lady in some respects.  I knew Todd Flannery the drummer from this band although he won’t return my Facebook prompts.  I didn’t know any of the other guys in this band.  I think.  Although I remember seeing Scott Baxter and his twin brother around a lot back then.  I never talked to them because they looked like the British Bulldogs wrestling duo.  I was prejudice thinking anyone with a bunch of muscles can’t be that cool to hang out with.  Maybe I’m wrong but I kinda doubt it.

            These songs rule.  Glad to score this one again but I’d still love to hear the rest of their demo.  Share if you got it.  I can't remember everyone's names.  Please share that info if you got it as well.    

             Much respect to all these bands for even existing during a war torn changing of the guard for LVHC.        

            I got no pictures to add to this post.  If you want to include some get in touch. 

            I’ve had a bitch of a time embedding a link on this blog which will allow you to download whole folders.  Now Mediafire is charging me $7 a month to host these files and I’ve got so many files on their server that I can’t switch to something else.  So I’m including a link which may work for downloading the whole folder.  You tell me if it works.  This rip has the entire broadcast in the sequence as it is found on the tape.  I’m including links for each individual track if the folder DL doesn’t work for you.  What a pain in the ass. 

Try to download the whole folder here.

OR...Download individual tracks below:

You may have noticed I don't have the titles for these songs.  If you know the titles of any of these songs feel free to share in the comments section.

Friday, September 30, 2011


            I forgot to mention another big reason for why I started ripping old demos for this blog.  Sure I’m disgusted that history is repeatedly getting flushed down the shitter, and yes my brief obsession with music blogs prompted me to create a film deconstructing hardcore punk within the confines of a memorable LSD trip, but ultimately the thrust of the demo portion of this project has been fueled by this smoking audio recorder I bought four years ago. 

            I bought this Edirol R4 professional grade 4 channel hard drive audio recorder with the intention of using it to make more films.  Instead I’ve increasingly been making animated films which doesn’t require real time audio recording.  As a result the R4 sat on the shelf for a long while and I started feeling guilty that I spent a couple hundred bucks for this neat little toy and was barely using it.  The Edirol is my key to making moldy shit encrusted demos sound barely listenable as new mp3 files. 

            The process is fairly simple and not as time consuming as you might imagine.  I pop the cassettes into my cassette deck which I somehow never got rid of, I send the cassette’s signal through my dj mixer which has an XLR out, and the mix goes direct into the Edirol.  The DJ mixer includes a rudimentary three band EQ which has been enough so far to allow me to make a few adjustments to the quality of the signal before it hits the Edirol’s memory.  Considering the source material a three band EQ is all I really need.  And believe me some of these tapes really needed to be cleaned up.  From there I import the clips through USB into my Mac computer and I make the edits using Garageband.  I add no effects and no manipulation in Garageband aside from cutting the music into smaller mp3 files.  After Garageband the clips get imported into itunes where I then convert to mp3. I try to keep the running time the same as the running time on the cassette although I noticed recently that itunes puts a little two second delay at the end of each file which is bullshit.  Anyone know how to get rid of that?  

            During this “mastering” process I’m able to listen to the material usually three or more times which gives me enough ammunition to write my own recollections and observations.  Which is something I neglected to do with the Pinball post.  I started writing long before I heard the demo but it still turned out funny anyway.  So fuck it. 

            The reason I bring this up is to share my process so other people with a similar interest of ripping Vegas past will approach it with a level of care that the material needs.  DON’T GET ME WRONG.  This stuff ain’t Steely Dan.  Most doesn’t need a fine tooth comb to be ripped.  Case in point, I was recently approached by a Michael Larson.  He let me know that he has a stock pile of old KUNV recordings and he’s started a ripping project of his own.  He sent me a link to his first foray into this rediscovered territory and I’ve posted the link below. 

            It’s great he’s taken the time to help archive these lost recordings and I hope my “mastering” advice will go to him with a grain of salt.  This first recording is a marvel of old timey KUNV archeology.  It’s a Local’s Only broadcast from Lunch With the PMRC featuring Zub Zub.  (Ironically the other day my good friend Nate Robards sent me a cassette of a different Lunch w/ the PMRC broadcast which I’ll be sharing in the near future.)

            It’s good to hear and it’s my hope that people who come here may download give it a listen.  My main criticism of the recording is the faint nature of the sound.  The gain needs to be turned way up on this recording.  I’m unaware of how he does these rips but he may be unable to bring this recording volume any higher without including a pre-amp in the process to boost the signal.  The DJ mixer I use acts as a pre-amp for my set up but I mostly use it for the EQ since I think the Edirol has a built in pre-amp.  A stereo receiver can be used as a pre-amp as well.   I also feel a little tightening up with the editing could be in order with this mp3 file.  There are a few “dead air” gaps within the clip that make it a little hard to keep your attention.  Again, I don’t know what equipment he’s using and this is his first attempt.  Let’s hope there’ll be more.    

            I'm nitpicking.  I'm sure you'll agree it’s a wonderful thing that Michael is willing to put time into sharing these treasures.  The mp3 in question is one file that runs about 25-30 minutes in length.  The technical problems inherent in this clip are things that make the recording appear more as a curiosity as opposed to something I might want to listen to more than once.  That’s what I mean when I talk about the level of care needed to maintain the integrity of the music. 

            For these KUNV recordings maybe it is all about nostalgia?  So fuck integrity.  I personally don't mind seeing these broadcasts lumped into one file.  That's how you would hear it on cassette.  It just get's a little dicey when you want to hear one song out of the mix and you're not able to do it without manipulating it yourself.  I'm glad it's getting out there anyway.   

             Whatever the case I'm thankful to Michael and hope he continues bringing us some more hits or shits as the case may be.

Here's the link:

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Old Days (kinda sucked)

            That last post sucked.  It didn’t even have much to do with the band it highlighted and I was going on and on about what’s punk and what’s metal.  It reads like a bad/good letter to Maximum Rock and Roll.  Maybe it’s a good time to clarify for myself and others why I started this blog as I’ve mostly been flying by the seat of my pants following the inspiration where it takes me over the last two years.  Also I expect to be really busy in the next few months and so the amount of time I’ll have to write here will be limited.  Expect sporadic posts through the end of the year. 

            I’ve called myself a film maker in the past.  While that may be somewhat true I’m a communicator and film is just one medium I’m trying to use and understand.  Without rehashing my track record of completed films I’ll admit it’s not all fucking genius.  Considering I’ve never spent a dime of my own money making these films I’ll consider myself at least above average among the obscure, overly critical, stubborn, film producers out there.  I’d be hard pressed to say I’m satisfied with my output, some films have been better than others, but I’m happy with my place in the world of film.  I made it my plan through luck and design to produce as an outsider. As you might deduce I’ve long since given up any hope of having a legitimate career in film production.        

            I don’t feel pressured to do anything I don’t want to do.  But I’ve also resigned myself to continue making films with zero budget.  It’s this laisse faire attitude that keeps me neck deep in new projects.  I tend to start a project, let it get some air, put it on the shelf, then return to it months or years later to find myself newly inspired. 

            I started this film over two years ago.  It began innocently enough as a collection of stop motion experiments.  It was only after shooting and piecing it together that I started to see a bigger place for this piece to exist in my heart.  The visuals came first and from there I was instantly transported to my childhood.  The images were like shadowy snapshots from memories I’d long forgotten.  Specifically a walk home from Sandy Perri’s house after swallowing a powerful dose of LSD.  That walk, by myself from Charleston and Lamb to my house on Linn and Washington was exhilarating. liberating, and intoxicating.  The best trips happen when you’re alone. 

            I began to see this short film as an attempt to make a memory real from the ground up.  As the picture took focus it was a natural development for me to include the music of my youth as the soundtrack to this psychedelic vomit.  As luck would have it I also discovered the phenomenon of the regional or at least genre specific music blog at that time.  It was a real kick to have access to music I’d only dreamed of hearing in the past.  Hardcore punk, metal, hiphop, oldies, soul, you name it.  A cycle of music that was endless and a sizeable amount of bands I’d never even known about.  The frenetic nature of the piece and the obvious background noise to this acid trip so long ago made it apparent that hardcore would be the atmosphere of this teenage mind melt.

            Ever cognizant of the litigious nature of intellectual property I also began to see this obscure hardcore world as a goldmine of limitless sampling possibilities.  There is a bottomless pit of unknown go nowhere hardcore bands that put out one 7” or demotape and were never heard from again.  I could sample the shit out of this underworld without fear of being sued!  It was a perfect fit.

            When I first feel in love with hip hop and it’s sample based nature I’ve wanted to see someone dive in and sample hardcore punk music in a new and unusual way.  It’s too distracting for hiphop to touch it but it seems like someone with skill could make it happen.   It’s too angular and overbearing for electronic musicians to find it of any use, and quite honestly it’s too one dimensional to mix it together in any conventional sense.  It was while purusing the music blogosphere that I came to discover the work of composer John Oswald. 

              Noise and avant garde music has always been a mixed bag to me.  Most of it is a suck fest..  But the album Plexure by Oswald proved to be inspiring in many ways.  Instead of trying to use music to bring a cohesive element into the film I decided to make the film spin out into even more explosive confusion.  Akin to what hardcore at it’s best will do to you after a few hits of LSD.    

            I began doing more research to unearth more hardcore bands with which I could create this new world.  And here’s where I hit a snag.  Turns out my knowledge of hardcore punk isn’t nearly as diverse as I’d thought.  I was familiar with the two or three dozen bands that everyone seems to know but that bottomless pit of obscure hardcore that I now had access to was more daunting than I’d envisioned.  It might be no surprise to you but hardcore is pretty fucking boring if that’s all you listen to for a few weeks.  After a frustrating couple of days I reached a breaking point and realized I was going about this all wrong.  I was too focused on not being sued.  Why?  I’m out here in the middle of nowhere and will never have expectations of making money off of my films.  Why should I be worried about someone going after me for anything I’m doing.  They have to discover that I exist first. 

            I make my films for me.  Even if I was kept from screening or posting any of my films I’ll still know they exist and I’ll still care about them and want them to exist.  So FUCK intellectual property.  I’ll use anything I want.   Breaking down that final wall towards this experiment helped me to complete the film.  And if you hear your band on here and you want to sue me than you know where to reach me.  Also you’re invited to kiss my ass.    

            In the process of finishing this film grand ideas began to swirl around in my fish tank head.  I’ve always wanted to create a video installation.  This wasn’t just a short film this had the potential to become that video installation.  I got it into my head to make a series of 6 or 7 short films with similar content.  Some would be fleshed out stories others would tread the path already laid out here in terms of experimentation and the mining of memories come to life.  More of these memories could be unearthed, more could be learned from the lessons and lesions of the past.  Hardcore punk would again be a major component. 

            It was here that I got to thinking about that loud obnoxious part of my life.  There was no denying that the hardcore scene, as far as I knew about it in contemporary terms was silenced.  Now I know that’s a generalization.  There will probably always be hardcore bands through the end of time.  But as a collective push in today’s culture hardcore as a style has evolved into a myriad of genre specific scenes.  Any shred of unity still seems to manifest itself in unusual ways.  New bands crop up that tend to ape the style, old bands get back together again hopefully not to drag their name in the mud but you can never tell until you’ve already paid the cover charge.  And the history or lack of a history seemed unsettling. 

            There have been half hearted attempts to set the record straight.  It’s almost always a farce.  A shitty 90 minute documenraty does nothing to instill the real passion of those moments.  Some great oral history books have risen to the surface, and in some cases I started seeing some decent blogs that put a measure of perspective on the fleeting fury.  But where was the elusive Vegas blog?  Who was gonna be there to pick up those pieces?  Many of which were probably already buried in the landfill.  

            Why was there no regional blog making music available from the hardcore scene I was privy to?  Where could I find that shit?  Did it still exist?  There were many stories yet untold.  Who’s gonna tell those stories?  What the fuck.  

            Thunder struck and within a few months I began the blog you’re reading here.  It got to be fun and I continued it.  I’ve incorporated my creative impulses into the creation of this blog and it helps inform my continued creative impulses with film production, music production (if you want to call it that) and writing.  I don’t look at it as a rehashing of memories and I don’t see it as nostalgia.  I think I’m still making waves in my own development and maybe I’ll always be that teenage kid trippin balls ready to blow up the fucking world?  That would suit me fine.      

            More to the point this blog in some ways was an outgrowth of the tiny measure of guilt I felt to the nameless, and the famous hardcore bands whose music I used for the soundtrack of this film.  I will make more films and I will hopefully finish and present that video installation sometime in the future.     

           The original name for this film was “The Old Days (kinda sucked).”  It was a reference to hardcore, punk, and underground cultural innuendo.  As great as hardcore was back then it’s also constantly new and evolving, or it should be, so any triumphs that we experienced back then should always pale in comparison to what we’re gonna do today.  And tomorrow.  I changed the name to “Shit You Hear At Parties.”  I wish I’d stayed with the original name.  Whatever…   

            I make no pretentions about being an authority on LVHC (Las Vegas Hardcore) nor do I think I know everything about punk, metal, or all the demonic spawn of said genres.  I just like spending time thinking about the shit.  I’ve hoped others would follow suit and maybe more stories, blogs, zines, or the like would materialize.  Maybe they’ll come later but I have yet to see them at this point. 

           Ultimately some of the reasoning for this blog and this film is that it’s a way for me to give back to the kicking and screaming underground that’s continued to inspire me.  Even in silence.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

pinball demo

            I’m fairly thin on what I know about the band Pinball.  I saw them play the Rainbow Cave at least once, I’m sure I saw them a few more times but I’m not remembering the wheres and whens. 

            I liked em to the limited extent that I remember em.  I think Drew Livingood had this demo because I remember hearing it and liking it all those years ago.  They weren’t mind blowing but it was good to see the scene expanding to include different subsets of expression coming to the fore.  They were on the poppy end of things and that made em stick out from the furious, or at the very least desperate hardcore bands that were filling in the ranks in 93-95.  They looked super young and seemed to be learning as they went.  So it was poppy but sloppy.  Which had a charm.

            Those years were a rejuvenation for the next generation of Vegas bands who took the steering wheel and sent us even deeper into the desert.  Rainbow Cave as it was called (it was right off Rainbow Avenue) was the most popular desert spot for shows at that time.  

            I’ll explain again for the unfamiliar readers, y’see there were no all ages venues in Las Vegas back then.  So we’d set up a generator at these spots in the desert and have shows out in the middle of nowhere.   The sound was never super great but you couldn’t beat the atmosphere.  In retrospect I’d say it took real musicianship to play out in the sticks with just a generator, a shitty PA, and a few small lamps designating the “stage area.” Today there are legions of bands who get monitor mixes, Guitar Center, drink tickets, and … well, walls surrounding them.  It seems like it’s too easy to be in a band today.  Maybe that’s part of why there’s so many shitty bands out there today. 

            Later on the Pabco and Lossee road spots would become popular again but the Caves had more drama and more shit to fuck with plus it was even more dangerous than the other spots which gave it character.  It was on the West side which sucked but whatcha gonna do?  The cave also destroyed a lot of vehicles from people trying to make their way up to the entrance of the cave by taking the shorter jagged path east of the cave as opposed to going around the long way west of the big hill.  Never a smart move but every show someone would attempt it. Music aside I think watching people fuck up their cars was the real entertainment at the Rainbow Cave.

            The main thing I’m remembering from seeing Pinball at the cave was the gangly dude wearing a dress who stood up and started dancing halfway through their set.  He was obviously a part of their “gang” and was familiar with their music.  Maybe that’s the other thing that I’m remembering about them and that time period.  The disparate nature of the scene and really the uneven nature of all “punk scenes.” 

            I remember that “scene” of young bands from 94-97 being cozy and inviting especially compared to the horrible implosion of the hardcore scene years earlier due to nazi/anti-nazi violence that would make going to shows a gamble.  (Will I get knifed at the show tonight?)  I never saw any major fights during that window of Vegas history which was cool but the scene was far from united.  Thinking anything as ill defined and cumbersome as punk rock could induce unity of any stripe is the dream world utopian flip side to the satanic fantasy that Metal perpetuates.  As goofball as that metal mythology presents itself it to be it never strayed from it’s one dimensional roots and in fact perpetuated more unity among it’s audience than punk ever would. 

            I’m still working on my evaluation of punk and metal as social constructs so forgive me if I’m sounding goofy or smart aleclike.  I’m breaking this shit down too seriously because I still love the music and I enjoy the redundancy.  I’m also wondering if we can learn from our mistakes.  I know I’m sounding really insipid with these observations.  Making comparisons that are dated and maybe irrelevant today with the lines blurring and the true natures of both subjective genres coming in to question.   I can’t help it because I enjoy thinking about it.  I still like and respect the music and maybe you’ll agree they’re both maligned as true art forms.  But maybe the fact that they’re not seen as art is what’s made the music so valuable and meaningful?  Both types of these subterranean pop cultures never got caught up in artistic flights of fancy because most participants and fans never thought it was worth pondering.  So why not look even deeper and take all the magic away?

            As pop culture entities they are of the moment and now that moment is 20-30-40 years later.  I think it’s worth investigating and I don’t give a shit what you think.  I have to wonder if it’s still evolving.  Plus it’s hilarious to know there will be serious cultural studies about these scum bag modes of expression when we’re long gone and hardcore/punk/metal/etc. will finally be seen as art.  That’s if the society doesn’t collapse and we all revert to barbarians.  Maybe it will take a collapse before it will finally be seen as art?  That only makes sense.

            My point and academic boner here is in regards to the character flaw endemic to the nebulous “punk scene.”  And I guess it’s because as a more intellectual “movement” I tend to expect more from punk and therefore I’m more disappointed when it doesn’t pan out.  Metal never makes those claims and yet the polished nature of the musicianship brings another level of irony in that it has more gloss and ultimately more nuance to make it appear more artistic. 

            The punk scene propels itself forward as a collection of cliques.  Sometimes united sometimes fighting against itself.  And admittedly, against it’s better nature, it tends to be a collection of clichés.  It’s these cliques that are the strength and weakness of the genre.  It’s unstable and the best of it should always be changing and pushing forward therefore as an experiment, and as a potential powder keg, it can never have the bucks and perhaps the balls behind it that Metal does to make it more understandable to a mass audience.  Because of it’s low budget nature the underground is always something you find out about if you’re in the know.  As a result it’s got an elitist vibe built in to it’s very nature that for good or bad infuses the character.  Some of it is self conscious grand standing because the “punk band” can never be huge in the public eye.  As a result only the cool kids know about the bands.  It’s a self esteem device that makes punk seem a thousand times cooler than it really is/was.  The audience is a part of the underground and that’s where it festers/ages the “little secret” that is so valuable to the scene.  This elitism rears it’s head when the favorite “underground” band crosses the tipping point and is suddenly accepted outside the boundary of where the band first began.  Then you can hear “sellout” on the lips of the betrayed fan who were there when it first started.  Something you’d never hear from a Metal audience. 

            Metal has no sell out language in it’s vocabulary.  Because it has no pretentions about seeing the performers as anything but rock stars.  Whereas one of punk’s firmly held tenets, if such a thing really exists, is the concept of destroying the rock star by tearing down the wall of audience/performer.  Maybe punk even tries it’s hand at destroying rock and roll itself?  I can’t theorize too much on the agenda of punk rock.  It’s too broad in it’s scope.  And ultimately maybe it shouldn’t have too much of an agenda?  The big agenda eventually lead to fascism in the LVHC scene in the late 80’s.  Hardcore destroyed itself when it took itself too seriously.  I can’t speak to other scenes but I’m convinced nazism was a national obsession that eventually creamed the hopes that hardcore could mean much of anything outside being a goofy albeit violent and passionate explosion of creativity that left a  lot of casualties.  Um.  Yeah a trend.   

            And how is this relevant to us now?  Hardcore is history.  Metal somehow survives.  And I don’t want to breakdown metal into it’s divisions (hair bands/death/black/crossover)  and speak to them all.  The fact remains the metal audience has always been united.  For what?  Who gives a shit?  Beer.  Drugs.  Pussy.  Satan.  Basic stuff.  It’s not intellectual.  It’s not punk.  And that’s part of where punk can never find it’s unity.  It’s too wrapped up in details.  And too wrapped up in being cool while acting like it’s not acting cool. 

            And it’s the clique.  It’s the secret.  It’s the start of the hipsterization of all culture.  It started in punk.  And it makes the whole world cool.  And if I’m being honest with myself and my writing I have to share my own elitist feelings to deflate my ego a little and show just how punk I really am.  It pisses me the fuck off.  The self conscious tick of knowing that I was there.  And now everyone’s there.  It’s a part of the culture.  And perhaps there is no counterculture anymore?  It makes me wretch to say from my standpoint, being in my late 30’s watching the nobodies of the world get tattoos, wear their punk fuck t-shirts, piercing their fucking checks.  When I stood up and did that as a teenager I was threatened with physical violence.  The act of doing anything of that sort was a threat.  It’s too easy to be different now.  I was different before you were!  Petty?  Yep.  Spiteful to the next generation?  Check.  Convinced I know the truth and everyone else is full of shit?  Yeah Yeah.  I’m sounding conservative.  I’m sounding like I know it all.  Nothing is more pathetic than an aging hipster.  Believe it or not this analysis can get even more juvenile if I let myself go which is why I’m dropping it here.  And I wonder why these things can’t be taken seriously as art.  Not that I give two shits about art.  Or punk for that matter.  What’s worse than hating punk for not being able to change the world?  Going to a Metal show and hearing that racist, sexist, fucktard of a community try to have an actual conversation between bands.  Maybe it’s time to put all my hope back into hiphop?  Again.  

            What does all this have to do with Pinball.  Very little.  And I don’t mean to paint them with the “stuck up punker” brush.  I’m just using them as a springboard for another stagedive/nosedive into the abyss that is my ego.  What could be more punk or metal than that?  Plus it’s one of the only things I remember about them.  Hearing some elitist douche from my specific scene tell me how stuck up they were for not trying to get closer to his clique.  I can feel my PHD in Punk/Metal studies becoming a reality already.  And I ain’t paying a god damn thing for it you higher education motherfuckers! 

            I’m not trying to single out Pinball by any stretch.  I never talked to em so I don’t even know their story.  They played a few shows with the other bands and then they sauntered off retaining their own identity when I think about it.  Good for them.  But maybe bad for the rest of us because we didn’t get to see em play very often.  

            I started writing this crap weeks before I finally got the demo in the mail.  As mentioned they came across as sloppy/poppy.  Later on they got to be tighter and they later changed the name to the Grrr Meyows.  They weren’t as good as Pinball from my recollection.  But maybe I just thought that because we didn’t hang out?

            I saw Steely Dan play a few weeks ago and it got me to thinking a tiny bit about the audio fidelity of demos I’ve done so far.  The sound quality is mostly awful but I maintain it’s mostly because the source tapes are shitty cassette dubs that might’ve been listened to exclusively in a sun baked car stereo back in the day.  Sometimes those cars got wrecked.   So it sounds like shit.  But what kind of shit?  I took the mids out a tiny bit and beefed up the highs and lows in the mix.  It’s still lo-fi crap.  Which makes it sound pretty great for what it is.  The beginning of the tape has the first few songs starting out way overblown and then immediately compressed.  It’s awful.  Or awfully good.  Depends on your aesthetics fucko.

            What is it?  Sugary sweet candy of a sleazy variety.  Sleazy insomuch that they're sounding really bubblegum but talking about gettin some in almost every song which I totally respect.  That backdrop of sleez is surrounded by innocence that's pretty hard to resist.  The first song is about playing Pacman at the Chuck E Cheese and that's just adorable.  It's not the standard pop punk crap that was vomited all over the late 90's "punk" style nor is it powerpop.  I'll stick with my gut reaction and call it sleazy bubblegum pop for lack of more telling adjectives or more divisive genre classifications.

       I love the simplicity of the whole thing though.  Lot’s of naïve songs that come off simple, direct, and it might make you want to masterbate.  There’s catchy pop moments and some influences might seem apparent.  I hear the Misfits a tad but maybe that’s just me?  It's inventive and rough.  But yeah it doesn't stray far from what you've heard before.  Maybe that makes it even more valuable?  I’m pleased to see none of the songs goes much over the one minute mark.  Which makes this a keeper.  Not something I’ll listen to forever but you might go for it.  Still I think I’ll be listening to Eric B and Rakim tonight after this. 

            Special thanks to the cute girl who sent this to me in the mail.  She wishes to remain anonymous.

Download this pinball demo below

Friday, June 10, 2011

NOTBAD Film Series

            Nevadans Organized To Better Address Diversity (NOTBAD) was the ridiculous name we came up with for the nonprofit that was gonna be a big part of our getting a Low Power FM Radio license from the FCC in the mid 90’s.  It was a goofy acronym that reflected some of our disillusionment and mistrust about how things were going with that process.  After a year of meetings, debates, rallies, and benefit shows we made a lot of noise in the community and raised enough money to start the non-profit but the odds of Free Radio Las Vegas happening became slim over time with the lack of real money being the main issue as it always is in this country. 

            Eventually the idea of a radio station came to a grinding halt and Free Radio Las Vegas became NOTBAD.  As corny as the name sounds it made us a legit cog in the system which gave us a little momentum to continue doing shit for the community, and for kicks.  The name also came to represent our trickster subversive nature and the fundamental reasoning behind FRLV.  It's hard to believe that for all the media outlets there are in Las Vegas there just aren't enough real community voices being heard.  Particularly at that time since there was no cable/community access television in Las Vegas and KUNV had recently changed it’s format silencing a huge portion of the youth voice.  We felt like we were being forced to be an audience to messages that never came close to representing our lives and in the interim we were never given access to the stage.  

            Through a stroke of luck NOTBAD was able to partner with the Las Vegas- Clark County Library District to host an ongoing film series.  This became the main push for NOTBAD and it had some fire behind it with added financial support from the Nevada Arts Council.

            In the beginning I was in charge of programming and so I made it a priority to include the most outlandish controversial films I could find.  But I also wanted to expose Vegas to great works that Vegas residents didn't know about.  This was a direct inspiration from the role KUNV had played in educating me about musical culture when KUNV was at it’s peak in diversity.  I tried to pass that inspiration on in the form of programming good films which were deserving of attention.

            This post spotlights the flyers I made for the series from 2000-2002 because I think we made a positive impact on the community we made some serious statements that I think are worth sharing.  Plus the films are worth checking out.

            I tried to keep the advertising informative and slightly informal as you can see.  Looking back I think some of the writing is just awful on these flyers.  Especially the one for the Kids Are All Right.  It’s embarrassing how bad the text on that one came out.    
        Each month I struggled and juggled to find new themes and pair up films to produce a cohesive program.  It wasn’t always spot on but it was good considering the limited amount of research materials I had and the limitations of our budget.
        At the time the library district had a blanket licensing agreement which allowed us to show any movie we wanted so long as we didn't charge admission and the film was made available for check out through the library.   This was an incredible rare opportunity.  The library still has an ongoing film series but over time they've been forced to narrow the parameters of what can be screened to be within the legal guidelines of motion picture presentation and copyright law.  We were lucky to take full advantage of this window to show some amazing films which are rarely screened anywhere in the world let alone the city of Las Vegas.     
             I always hoped that our series would push the library in the direction of acquiring more significant films for the collection.  These "off the radar" films are still an important part of the collection but for a number of years the library made more of a priority of obtaining multiple copies of first run hollywood films which made the library almost seem like a glorified Blockbuster video.  Now that the library has a new executive director let's hope they start stocking more intelligent fare.

            I wasn’t always a fan of all these films but I respected the work that we presented.  An example I give is the film Fando and Lis by Alehandro Jodorowsky.  To this day I will admit that I don’t exactly like this film.  It’s ugly and incredibly dark.  But I respect the film.  Fando and Lis was only the second film we showed at the very beginning of the series!  We had over 100 people in attendance when we started the film and over half the audience walked out.  I think it’s a true measure of how powerful the art is if it can induce that kind of a reaction.  Even if it's a negative reaction.  

      The films shown above in the series "The Glory of War... The Horror of War" were perhaps our greatest achievement in blatant protest.  These films were shown a few weeks before the invasion of Iraq.  Come and See is an incredible film.

            I've almost completely stopped watching movies all together.  I find I just don’t have the time or I’m not willing to make time unless someone gives me a recommendation.  Here’s a few films I’d recommend watching if you got the time.  

          Enough praise and thanks cannot be heaped onto Kristy Price, Suzanne Scott, the Las Vegas- Clark County Library District, and the Nevada Arts Council for supporting this program and understanding it's value to the Las Vegas community.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Doom Snake Cult

     I’ve been too harsh on Doom Snake Cult in the past.  They were a good band- wait you mean they’re back together?  Wow.  That’s fuckin rad.  No sarcasm implied.  Those dudes deserve any recognition they get and it looks like people are taking notice. 

    I've never been sure of which genre these guys fall into.  It’s Metal.  It’s heavy.  It’s got weird groovy breakdowns which are Sabbathesque in delivery.  They’re striving for a heavy psychedelic vibe and it’s freaking me out.  In all honesty it’s not my thing but I hung out with the singer Ace a few times years after DSC were over and done. He was a lot of fun.  Except when he drunkenly smashed the window to my shitty apartment on Linn lane.  Or was it guitarist Jeff Schwob who done that?    

    They were at their peak during a transitional time in the Vegas underground.  There weren't many other bands gigging around that time in Vegas who I knew about.  Although I should probably mention that the Wholes were also somewhat active around that time.  During those ramshackle years, roughly 90-92, the Vegas underground seemed rarely linked to the outside music world.  I don’t recall too many touring bands who came through town during those years.  The Elks Lodge seemed to still be a venue on occasion but I mostly remember house parties.  I suppose the Huntridge was on the radar at that time but for some reason I didn’t go to many shows there.  I liked it better as a movie theatre.   

    First time I saw Doom Snake Cult was also the first time I ever took what someone told me was Ecstacy.  I don’t know what it was but I shouldn’t have got drunk before it kicked in.  It seemed to fall flat on me.  The drugs I mean.  In any event I didn’t pay attention to Doom Snake Cult although onstage they had one of those trippy carnival wiggling lights you get for popping the balloons with darts on the midway like you’ll see in this video.  I was fucked up at that show but not in a good way. 

     The second time I saw Doom Snake Cult is a complicated story.  Again I got really stoned but had no money for beer.   That night DSC had girls dancing onstage during their set.  One of the girls was really eyeballing me.  The song ended and the girl who’d been flirting with me asks out loud who has a beer while she’s staring straight at me.  At that exact moment the guy next to me, who I didn’t know, puts his full beer down on the stage and goes to tie his shoe.  I impulsively, and stupidly, grab the guy's beer and hand it to the girl at which point the drummer gets pissed off and starts yelling at me as he comes from behind the drum set screaming that this was his girlfriend and blah blah blah, meanwhile the guy who’s beer I stole gets up and finds himself in the altercation, also my brother and all my friends are behind me yelling and screaming as well!  Heavy scene but it just fizzled out and I think Doom Snake Cult even started playing again after a few minutes time.  I didn’t talk to the dancing girl after all that but I remember she kept the beer.  I'd like to take the time now to apologize to that guy whose beer got stolen.  Wherever you may be.  Again, I wasn’t paying attention to DSC as they performed onstage.

     Uh, let’s see, there had to have been a third time I saw them.  I could swear I took mushrooms and saw them.  Maybe not.   Over beers Ace once told me that Doom Snake Cult played a show with White Zombie out at the West Charleston ditch well before White Zombie became WHITE ZOMBIE.  Only a dozen or so people were in attendance from what he said.  Apparently WZ and their roadies were freaking out by the dust being kicked up around their speakers.  I don’t know any details.  If you were there tell me what you saw.  That W. Charleston spot was a weird one.  But which of these desert party spots was normal?

     Doom Snake Cult were an interesting twist on the Doom Metal genre.  A nebulous sounding name for a genre if you ask me.  I used to think of them as Stoner Rock but that might be a misnomer as well since Stoner rock would  become a genre that would later explode for a few seconds in the late 90’s and then slowly fade into obscurity in the 2000’s.  Or is Doom Metal and Stoner Rock the same thing?  I can't keep up or even care much anymore. They certainly were in the same league as bands like Cathedral and maybe even Grief although the weird hippie vibe they would emit made them stand out among the legions of Sabbath worshippers that came in their wake.  Their style was equally menacing  and somewhat laughable but you wouldn't laugh in their face that's for sure.  They were creepier than “punks” or traditional metal heads because of this weirdo hippie vibe.  Kinda like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre family putting together a metal band or a louder Manson family, considering their affinity for psychedelics.  I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say Doom Snake Cult was a psychedelic metal band although I have to strain to hear that psyche influence.  In truth I might only be thinking that because they had the song Acid Orgy and plus I don't know where else you'd place these guys on the hard rock spectrum.    It was hard to see if their delivery was by accident or design although it seems cooler if they stumbled onto it by accident so I’ll just assume that’s what happened.   It’s not something they had to work real hard at nailing down so in that regard they were not posing.  

    They were too mid paced for my tastes but it took balls to try and pry open a style like that in front of crowds who were used to hardcore or at the very least death metal.  Although it should be stated that the umpteenth ska revival was just around the corner at that time.   

     I dig Metal.  It doesn’t have a whole lot of pretensions about it.  It’s a fully developed genre that doesn’t have much leeway in how you ape it.  I respect the adolescent wet dream fantasy world which is a large part of the atmosphere.  The subject matter is largely the same for each style of Metal (Speed Metal/Power Metal/Thrash/Death) and in point of fact I'd say if the lyrics deviate from those subjects too much it might not be considered metal anymore.  There’s a clear delineation of subjects you’re allowed to broach in this realm.  Drugs, woman, motorcycles, kickin ass, getting drunk, Satan, killing people, and other darker facades.  Obviously Death Metal plays up the horrible shit but it’s all cut from the same cloth.  It’s all fantasy.  Which I can respect.

     DSC played up that point in some regards.  I think.  I’m not sure what they're singing about and as with most bands in this genre the lyrics are not all that important in the grand scheme.  In fact the less you know about what these bands are saying the better.  The obvious Conan reference from their name speaks volumes to their Metal mythology or their laziness.  Again I think it's just that outsider status that makes them so unusual and somewhat scary like the Manson hippies.  Living in the desert and appearing vaguely satanic was a potent mix since they don't appear to be clever enough to be faking it.  Which seems to make them even more sinister and unpredictable. 

     Another aspect of Metal I find perplexing is the complete allegiance the fans have for Metal of any stripe.  The fact that Doom Snake Cult's sole release, which I think was really just a demo, is being pressed on insanely expensive vinyl format in 2011 speaks to the reverence metal fans have for any music that resembles Metal.  I'm a bit surprised there would be a market for this music here and now.  I know that sounds like a slight but I only say this in comparison to the huge amount of underground punk records and demos which will never receive any repressing.  The most these hardcore bands can expect is a write up on a second rate blog such as this.  Meanwhile DSC and even Goatlord have super classy pressings which go for big bucks.  Which I suppose is another factor in the divide between punk and metal.  While the ebb and flow of the metal audience comes and goes the fact remains that audience however small throughout America will continue to shell out big money for anything Metal.  It’s a part of the culture.  T-shirts at a metal show generally start at $25.  The punk band that sells a shirt for over $15 is laughed out of the hall.   Even if the hall is packed.  I’m not even gonna bring up the Metal audience outside of America, many of whom will be buying this DSC record. 

     Meanwhile there’s still no real “punk” audience.  And probably there never will be.  There’s the occasional new pressing of upper tier hardcore bands and the irreverent Killed By Death series, which has always been hit or miss, but far too many hardcore bands have been lost in the shuffle.   Is this partly because that target audience might be making that same music themselves?  Possibly but I suspect it will remain that way because it’s just not marketable in the same way Metal is.  Metal will always be a juvenile dream that is dopey but ultimately timeless while hardcore places too much value on reality so it’s shelf life is built in.  It’s always of the here and now and it rarely lives on past that.  Add this to the fact that hardcore, while it seems rigid and codified, is somewhat more pliable than metal.  It has gone on to change and take different forms while metal only seems to change slightly over time especially in regards to lyrical content.  This is an especially unusual development because time was that hardcore was stubborn and unchanging while metal was more accepting of new developments ie. thrash, death, speed.  I'm just going on and on, I have no idea what I'm talking about and it doesn't really matter anyway.  All I know is Doom Snake Cult have a super nice repress that came out this year and they have a sizable internet presence in the form of multiple reviews through multiple blogs.  No other underground Vegas band has anything which compares.  Maybe the metalheads are more obsessed?  Maybe the hardcore heads are always moving forward instead of running in place?  Band's and listeners of today borrow effusively from punk and metal so the line has blurred.  It sometimes seems like the worst elements of each are cropping up to taint it all but I know there's still good bands out there.  You just have to be more selective in what you find I suppose.  Or jut go back to listening to hip hop like I have.

     This is all conjecture and grist for the metal/punk PHD I'm trying to define just to have something to do.  Obviously I'm generalizing just to hear myself write.  I find it interesting.  If you don't why'd you read this far into this post?

     To be fair Doom Snake Cult was peddling this style long before it was fashionable and that is worthy of respect.  It also shows an odd crossover of cultural iconography between the metal of yesterday and the punk ethos.  Since they are still largely obscure it seems like only an elite metal collector would want to add this vinyl repress to his collection.  An elitist attitude consistent with punk record collectors who were used to paying big bucks for original rarities on ebay at the turn of the century.  Original pressings mean big punk points to some idiots out there.  Or in this case big Metal points.  Glad I unloaded some of my vinyl before these repressings and mp3 downloading destroyed the market!  (I got $60 for a TSOL Dance With Me record back in 2004.  Can you believe that?  But I must admit I bought the metal band  Destruction Infernal Overkill LP at a record sale a few weeks ago for $20 but hey that's not as bad as paying $50 for a Dr. Know LP right?)    

     I love spouting my inane philosophical platitudes about shit that only I and 3 or 4 other people would care to ponder in between my fond remembrances of drug induced fits I’ve had.  I’m still considering writing a book about punk and metal.  I think this blog might be training wheels for just such a project.  I got too much time on my hands.           

     Ace is a cool guy.  I always liked him and I think he's a great vocalist for this style.  Lot's of rasp instead of just growl.  I can understand most of what he's singing which works out good.  Glen the guitar player always seemed nice enough but whenever he talked to me it seemed like he was forcing himself to concentrate on what I was saying.  Meanwhile he seemed to understand other people just fine.  Whatever.  He was later a mainstay at the drum circle at Sunset park.  No surprise there.  Even later he started a hippie jam band called the Baccanaul.  I was done with psychedelics at that point.  Or was I?

     I don’t think Jeff Schwab ever liked me that much either.  Whatever.  I’m guessing it was because I dressed vaguely punk and he was an avowed Metalhead.  It’s ridiculous how important those lines seemed back then.  I recall a weirdo freakshow music festival out in Pahrump in the mid 90’s.  I wanna say it was called Pahrumpstock.  Seriously.  I only bring this up because I remember partying with Schwab at this festival and later in the night he passed out underneath his car.  Hilarious.  I always thought he was cool even if he didn't like me so much.    

     I’m surprised to see they’re still kickin it.  I hope it’s the same dudes or at least I hope it’s still Ace, Schwab, or Glenn.  I wouldn’t care if they got a new drummer.

    There are several blogs offering links to download this record as well as some spotty and spot on reviews.  There's even one that offers the demo pictured above.  Doom Snake Cult more popular now than ever before!  ACID ORGY!! LSD!

Blog with the original CD download found here

I have yet to see this new vinyl ripped and posted online but I'm sure it's coming.