Sunday, January 23, 2011

Show @ Sir Patrick Haus vid



    We had a kick ass house on Sir Patrick Avenue back in the late 90’s early 2000's.  At one time we were the best venue in Vegas not counting that shithole the Cooler Lounge.  Which I guess was an “official” venue.  By definition the house party is always unofficial in Vegas.

    In all honesty I think we only had a handful of shows there.  This was the only show I videotaped at that house.  The main band that night was a group from Austin Texas named Knife In the Water


    I lived at the Sir Patrick house with Checko Salgado.  He's always been plugged in to all kinds of underground bands and obscure scenes and so he set up this show being that he was a huge fan of Knife in the Water.    The band featured here was on tour with them but somehow no one I’ve talked to can remember their name.  If you know the name of this band let me know.  I haven’t got a clue. 

    Again the tape was somewhat damaged and the footage here has a few defects.  A few jumpy stop/starts.  But the sound and image overall isn’t too bad. Just thought I’d get it out there to the few people out there who may find this interesting.  From the video it looks like the average 8 to 10 people were in attendance.  That was a good night for Vegas underground rock circa 2000.    

    The footage of Knife in The Water is in bad shape.  I’ll try and transfer it again some time because my first effort was a shambles of jump cuts and fucked up audio synching issues.  If I can salvage it I’ll post it here in the future.  If I can’t salvage it then fuck it.    

    For now enjoy this cool band playing to some of my buddies in my old house which was bulldozed by the McCarren Airport.   

If you really want to you can download this clip here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Disgruntl 2nd 7"



     Corny is a sweetheart.  I always liked that guy.  Even when he was going through his crack phase I still thought he was cool and a damn fine bass player with a traditional hardcore but by all means brutal style.  I saw him a few years ago when he and Larry Brough came through Portland to see Mastodon play at Roseland.  They had an extra ticket and they hooked me up.  He was off the drugs and thankfully no longer going out with that psycho blonde chick.  She sucked. 

     I even thought Zack the drummer was a nice enough guy.  Actually I always thought he was pretty cool because he’s one of the few people in the “scene” who came up to me and was immediately friendly when I first met him.   Although I must add he was a bit of a crackhead too.  

     I still remember seeing Zack's picture on KLAS TV8 news when they reported how he was wanted  for questioning in regards to allegations that he was masterminding a phone sales pyramid scheme.  He didn't seem savy enough to pull such a d-bag maneuver but when we asked him about it he mentioned  how the job seemed a bit shady but he just worked there.  He couldn't understand how he was being made out to look like one of the bosses.  Apparently the bosses were scamming everyone and then blaming the employees.  I’m not sure what happened with that whole situation.  Come to think of it I have not seen him in person since all that shit went down.  Maybe he’s still underground trying to beat that phoney rap?  Goes to show you having a job sucks.

    Of all the shady characters in this band the winner and d-bag of the century award goes to Eric Z!  Now it’s uncool to slag people in print or online.  It makes me look like an asshole just as much as it makes the aforementioned look like the asshole.  Maybe it makes me look even worse?   The person in question can’t defend themselves and so I'm just a whiney cry baby right?    

     I have to make an exception in Eric Z’s case.  He’s such a cockbag if he somehow found his way to this blog and managed to read any of it he’d more than likely laugh hysterically because he’s such a piece of shit.  I know that sounds rough huh? 


Story #1
     Party at my parents house.  Everyone is invited.  We had a BBQ.  We had a few cases of beer.  It didn’t get out of hand.  No more than a dozen people maybe more. 

     Nobody had any weed.  What the fuck?  How we gonna call this a party with no weed?  Well Eric Z shows up and guess what?  He has a bag on him.  A bag for sale that is.  I felt an obligation as the host to provide the party favors.  Plus I just wanted to get high.  I remember GT pulling me to the side telling me not to do it.  Did I listen?  

    I was strapped for cash and asked EZ to front the bag to me.   He graciously accepted.  After smoking more than half the bag the party realized it tasted like weed, it smelled of weed.  It wasn’t weed.  Not the kind that gets you high anyway.  I couldn’t believe the audacity of the guy to sit there and partake in a quarter ounce of weed even though he knew it wasn’t gonna get anyone off.  We smoked the whole thing during the party and no kind of buzz could be detected from anyone present. 

     Party’s over.  Two days go by.  Guess who calls up to get the $40 I owe him for the phony weed.  Never before had he called me and it turned out he never called me again as long as I knew him.  What an asshole.  Well business is business.  Only dopes use dope so I’m the idiot in that story.

Story # 2
      We had been looking forward to seeing Men’s Recovery Project play at the record store for months!  No good bands ever come through Las Vegas!  Part of that reason might be because of dumb asses like EZ? 

     I videotaped the show.  It might be the best live footage of MRP ever put to tape.  I even sent copies to Sam McPheeters.  He was stoked to see it.  I'm hoping he downloaded it from this blog.  

     One thing you won’t see in that footage is the fight Eric Z got into while watching the show.  The show almost ended all because of fucking dick cheese.  If you watch the vid you can even see the store owner take the microphone and try and reason with Eric Z to stop fucking slam dancing so everyone can appreciate the band.  It’s Men’s Recovery Project for Christ sakes not DRI.  

     When the fighting started I pointed the camera away so as not to encourage the stupid mother fucker.  Anyway there’s that story.

Story #3
    My band Part-Time Whore played a show at a crappy practice space in the middle of town.  I forget the name of the spot.  We played with Word Salad, Damad, Disgruntl,and some other group whose name escapes me.  Disgruntl played first.  I told Eric Z that Part-Time Whore would play a short set and Disgruntl should do the same to ensure all that all the touring bands would get to play.  It was out of respect to Word Salad who got bumped the last time they were in town.  So Disgruntl went ahead and played for about 45 minutes.  Which is a long time for a hardcore band to play mind you. 

     As was the norm for shows at that time there was almost nobody there, just the bands and a few diehards.  Somehow these kids from Arizona found a flyer for the show.   They showed up just as Disgruntl started.  They were young and bouncing around but they weren’t tough guys.   They danced to Disgruntl and kept asking “What’s up with Vegas?”  “Don’t you guys dance?”  “Let’s have a good time”  Good natured stuff.  They were just kids.

     Disgruntl eventually begins to wind down their set when suddenly Eric Z has a problem with his guitar.  He takes it off and throws it on the ground into the pit and flips it off.  Because that’s the kind of theatrical guy he is.  From where I was standing it looked like he fucked up the neck on his guitar pretty good by throwing it to the ground.  It surprised me even more when one of the kids picked it up and started smashing it.  It was already fucked up so what difference could this make.  Well you can imagine.

     Eric punched the top of the kids head and stormed off.  The kids weren’t sure how to react and didn’t dance the rest of the night.  That kinda sucked.  But at least no one got hurt except that bullshit guitar. 


     Maybe I shouldn’t share these awful stories.  It seemed like the underground was filled with these stories from back in the day.  It’s gotta be the drugs that made so many assholes crawl through the Vegas scene.  And it wasn’t just EZ’s fault.  Although usually it was.  Just gross.  It makes me hate punk rock and it’s clich├ęs all the more. 

    It’s also a testament to how much shit we put up with from our friends back then.  Come to think of it I never considered him a friend he was just one of the few who hung out regularly back then.  Everyone complained about what a dip shit he was but no one ever did anything about it.  Really what could you do?  Maybe the fact that there were so few of us who went to shows we were willing to turn a blind eye?  But like I mentioned Eric Z wasn’t the only prick in the gang.  I heard more than a few stories and went to more than a few West Side shows which ended up with people lying on their backs with knives in their stomachs.  Or worse. 

     And there were scores of junkies back then who would shit on you the first opportunity you weren’t looking.  I’ve romanticized my drug use plenty of times on this blog but the truth is drugs are a fucking cowards way to hide too much of the time.  Maybe all the time?   I include myself among those cringing numbers.              

     Of course these stories detract from the matter at hand.  The second Disgruntl 7” record!  I’ve wondered for the last year whether I should post these songs here.  I think the record is good.  It's worth hearing again.  But you decide.

     I might not be chomping at the bit to hear it too often but I think it’s a good record worthy of being heard in the digital age.  If nothing else because Corny and Zack are cool guys.  But Jesus Christ it’s way too fucking long.  Kind of like the hour long sets they would play.  What the fuck man it’s a 7” record and it clocks in at over 12 minutes.  

     The music.  Super competent, brutish, blazing fast hardcore that would stand toe to toe with the Ebola (UK) 7” which was making the rounds at the time.  In fact it’s a dead ringer for Ebola.  If you are a fan of that late 90’s furious hardcore you will eat this with a spoon.  It's a little too tough guy for my taste.  I can imagine elbows swinging in the pit when this stuff is being played.  It does the job though.  I’m a big fan of Song #2 on the Greed Side.  That will always be the signature Disgruntl song to me.  I saw them play at least a half dozen times and that song was always my favorite part of their set.


     The Achilles heel?  Obviously it’s the lyrics.  I got no lyric sheet with my record.  I have to assume it’s because the lyrics are not a dissertation on… well much of anything.  My record didn’t even come with a track listing showing the names for any of the 7 songs on here.     

     Brutal.  Dark.  Desperate.  In need of a buzz.  Any kind you got.  Which is what they were going for anyway.  This falls in the category of inebriated hardcore for the uneducated.  Similar in tone to Dead 27 if not delivery.  I suppose I give them points for the fact that they somehow got it together to record these songs and press them on a record considering the state of intoxication they lived in.  But y'know it's not like they were drunk or anything.  Come to think of it they were probably drunk too.

     It’s a slippery slope.  It’s this lowest common denominator shit that makes me retch when confronted with todays “punk aesthetic.”  Still I think there’s value in this record and I like it although it ultimately leaves me thinking if you don't have anything to say why do you say it so loudly?

     I really wish I had the demo from the next band Corny fronted named H P Lori.  That band seemed to have more on the ball.  I will say Disgruntl could be a solid live band.  I just wish they would play a 20 minute set.  I also need to mention that this was one of the first releases on Panic Inc. Records and a split release with Meat Slap records.  If that means anything.   
  
     I knew it would be a challenge to try and write something positive for this post but look what I have to work with.   I guess you could see this as the other side of the coin after the glowing post I gave to Catapult.  I also need to mention that while I was in the midst of composing this I came across a post from Zack that caught me off guard

    I’m not too computer savvy but is Zack really trying to sell these songs that are not his?  Maybe I’m wrong.  Why did I even bother posting this? Oh forget it.

Download Disgruntl unnamed 7” (They didn’t even bother naming the record and there are no names for the songs)

Greed Side
1.     Song 1 
2.     Song 2
3.     Song 3
     Lust Side
4.     Song 4
5.     Song 5
6.     Song 6
7.     Song 7







Tuesday, January 11, 2011

hi nternet.


     Keep Laughing has been hacked and while I changed my password it might only be a matter of time before someone comes in again and wrecks things.  

     If you try and share something positive and productive from your life its inevitable that someone will come along and piss all over it.  I can't let it bother me since I was expecting something like this to happen eventually anyway.  For all the benefits the internet brings it's still a faceless void of lonely people with time on their hands and sometimes bitterness in their hearts. 

     Just a warning.  If Keep Laughing disappears all together then you might have an idea as to why.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Catapult- Just Another Band Outta Vegas... 7"


     Catapult was a true Vegas original.  They were probably the most musical of the underground bands in the late 90’s.  Musical meaning they were technically proficient and good writers to boot.  Although this album shows their prowess as arrangers more than anything else.

     They were on quite a few records back then.  Let’s see there was the Leap Frog Society split 7”, they were on the Very Small Drinking Compilation, and they had some smokin’ tracks on the Bucky Records Blue Whale compilation which I remember liking quite a bit.  Haven't heard those songs in years.  They also put out at least two demo tapes if I remember correctly.  That first demo is phenomenal!  Haven't heard those songs in years either.  Hopefully I'll get to hear em again in the future.


     This record finds Catapult mining the same territory that a lot of underground bands were digging out come the mid 90’s.  Namely re-recording classic rock tracks and putting a little pepper on em.  The band Sick and Tired did a record of Kenny Rogers covers which was fucking amazing.  One Eye Open did a bunch of TV theme songs.  And the pinnacle, or maybe it was the album that started that trend, was the release of the Tumors record by the band Schlong which was their  re-working of the Rumors album by Fleetwood Mac whittled down to about 6 minutes.  In my opinion that was the best record to come out of the 90’s.  I ain't fuckin kiddin.


     This record came out on Schlong’s Bun Length Records.  Maybe that’s why you never heard it?  As incredible as Schlong were they weren’t the best at promoting and maintaining a record label.  It took me 7 years before I even heard the Guano Starfighter record!  Really how many musicians are good at releasing records?  Very few.  So yeah this record might have got lost in the shuffle to a lot of people.  Now here’s your chance to let one rip!  

    This 7 inch has a lot of staples from Catapults live set at that time.  I love Boston.  I mean the band.  Fuck the city.  The material should be familiar if you live in America.  Unless you live in a cave or a hippie commune or you're under 30 years old.  If that's the case what are you doing here?  


     Catapult had the chops to chop this stuff up and make it something new.  A cool record to kick off the new year.  Born in the 70’s re-imagined in the 90’s re-gifted in the 10’s.  

Download: Catapult- Just Another Band Outta Vegas below