Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Worldly Garage Focus: Guitar Wolf

Guitar Wolf, Bass Wolf & Drum Wolf living the Dream
What's that?  There's another Japanese Garage band with an amazing band name and they're coming to the triangle area?  Yes, folks, Guitar Wolf is indeed coming to Local 506 tomorrow, Wednesday, March 28, 2012.  WEDNESDAY WEDNESDAY WEDNESDAY!  and they're gonna show you what this whole garage rock thing's all about!

With three band members (guitar wolf, bass wolf & drum wolf), the band has a great triforce trio power that is sure to knock your socks off!  Plainly, these guys rock.  They've been around since the late 80's and have never stopped expanding their feral-canine empire.  Having over ten full-length records is only one of their highest selling points.  In addition, they have created the space-zombie-rock movie "Wild Zero," a rollicking surreal adventure delving to the heart of the rock n' roll horror cross over.

Yeah, these guys are goofy (and they include the word "jet" in just about everything, including their new 10"!), but they wield really tight songwriting with energetic songs.  Check Jet Generation here!

Anyway, they are playing the 506 tomorrow for $10-$12 and have two great openers.  The show is sure to be a rollicking fun and stumblingly drunk set.  These guys supposedly drink like Andre the Giant and play like the Stooges, which is sure to be a great show with lots of energy and fun!  I'm excited.  You're excited.  We all scream for ice cream!

Get your cheap tix here

Peep the band here!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Callum Plews of Sleeves and Analog Candle

Callum Plews of Sleeves and Analog Candle
When I was 11 years old, I moved with my family to Chicago.  I started in the 6th grade there and one of the first friends I had was Callum Plews, this rad guy who had a funny English accent.  Callum was my best friend then but he left our school after 6th grade and we kind of lost contact.  Recently, we got in touch over Facebook (there really is a use for that site sometimes) and bonded over both becoming music geeks.  Callum had played in a bunch of bands and made music since High School, but I never really heard anything of his until his new album "The Sky Ghost Part 1" by his band Sleeves came out.

I'm so glad that I clicked that link he posted because I absolutely love that album!  It's really wonderfully constructed and layered.  Kim, the permanent vocalist, has a wonderful voice that floats over surreal soundscapes.  And the music is just so rich, but also immediately accessible as it's rooted in an incredible pop sensibility.

The album is streaming on their website (see: http://theskyghost.com/).  You can download the whole album for $3.  THREE DOLLARS!  And you can get a physical album with the unreal album art, lyrics, and some surprises for only $7.

Naturally, I had to ask Callum for an interview.  Aside from quickly catching up and talking about one of our favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, we got down to business in regards to music.  Callum had a lot of really enlightening things to say about how one creates music through production and collaboration that was something I hadn't heard a lot about.  He makes the album immediately personal but alien enough to apply to any individual, regardless of where he or she came from.

It's really an amazing album.  Aside from that, Callum runs a music collective called Analog Candle (see: http://www.analogcandle.com/) that releases Sleeves music as well as other side-projects of Callum's and other bands.  Like the Sleeves album, it's really great.

But Callum explains everything much better, so without further ado...Callum Plews of Analog Candle & Sleeves!

Jordan:  So, what made you start making music?

Callum:  Wow, good question.  I think it was back in high school, joining high school bands and stuff and I really became interested in the recording process.  I went to a bunch of recording studio sessions and recording EPs in high school.  And it was like wow, I really enjoy the recording process a little bit more than making music, and that’s how I got into that, recording other people and music.  Recently I’ve been making more music and recording, but I really like to collaborate and record other people: I’d say it’s a passion of mine.  I’d probably say I started around 16 and 17.

Jordan:  How has the music you made in High School impacted the music you’re making now or the bands that you’re recording?

Callum:  Yeah, I definitely think so.  I think that when you first start making music, you’re doing your best to create something in the moment.  Of course, two months later, you look back and think “oh I should have done that differently” or “I could have done that better.”  You have to understand you did it in the moment; years from now.  Sometimes I look back and think “oh, that’s crappy,” but, you know, I’m proud of it and I’m glad I made it because otherwise I wouldn’t be interested in the stuff I make now, which is a little less rocky and a little more psychedelic.  I don’t know.  It’s different.

Jordan:  So your band sleeves.  What is your role in the band?

Callum:  [Chuckles]  okay, okay, what’s my role?  It started for me in New Orleans, I was taking a break from college – I was kind of between schools.  I was in a really bad state: I had no friends, my girlfriend had broken up with me and I was really depressed and I decided I’ll just start a band called “Sleeves” and wrote my first song in New Orleans and went on Craigslist and found a singer.  It started up as a solo project and I wanted to bring singers in and collaborate with them, but I eventually met Kim, who eventually became the permanent singer and we had a good collaboration going.  So Kim and I recorded our album last year and this year we recruited a violinist named Tabitha and a guitarist named Justice.  I would say my role now is producing music and helping with the collaborative process between the members and also contributing my own songs and trying to give a vision and direction.  But sometimes the other members collaborate and write music without me and I’ll, you know, play a guitar part.  We all have very fluid roles in the band.  I’d say probably producer/songwriter, a guy who helps where it’s needed.

Jordan:  Pretty big transformation within like a year or year and a half.

Callum:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  You know, a lot’s happened since then.  I moved to Boston where there’s a great music scene and being at Northeastern and doing music technology really got me into classical music.  Those influences really moved me and kind of kept pushing me forward.  Sometimes I don’t even go out on weekends, I just produce.  It’s my passion.

Jordan:  So what events or bands influenced the songs you have on your new LP “The Sky Ghost Part 1”?

Callum:  Good question.  I would definitely say Broken Social Scene, Modest Mouse.  Also strangely some classical composers like Debussey or Mahler.  The way they layer their music.  And then kind of electro stuff like Barry Truax and a lot of experimental composers and new music.  You can’t really tell it’s influenced by classical music, but it definitely is when we write a song.

Jordan:  What kind of music would you call it?

Callum:  I would say it’s folk-influenced, but that we try to incorporate some experimental elements too.  We definitely try to add some psychedelic or freak-folk tinge.  Like Akron/Family or Grizzly Bear.  I’m sure you could think of some others too.

Jordan:  The Grizzly Bear comparison was something I thought when I first heard it but, to be honest, I like your band more.  I think it’s rooted in a better pop sensibility, but I saw the layers be something in the two.

Callum:  Yeah, this record is very poppy.  I don’t know how it happened, and we’re going to try and move in a different direction for new stuff.  But yeah, it has that pop element definitely.

Jordan:  So what can expect in the next album?  Is it called “The Sky Ghost Part 2?”

Callum:  Actually, we’re going to do an EP before that, which is going to be a free download, and it’s going to be called the “garden district EP,” which is going to be mostly folk like by Bob Dylan.  We’re actually doing a Bob Dylan/Johnny Cash cover between the two female vocalists, Tabitha and Kim, called “Girl from the North Country.”  It’s going to be a lot more folky and then “Sky Ghost Part 2” is going to come and go back to the psychedelic direction and we’ll generate some ideas about what we want to do with that.

Jordan:  So the EP’s going to be more acoustic based?

Callum:  Definitely more acoustic based.  We’re going to try and do some sort of concept, but it’s definitely going to be more acoustic.  Actually “Sky Ghost” tells a kind of story.  I’m not really sure what it is, but we’re going to try and have the EP be a transition story that sits between parts 1 and 2 that’s kind of a transition between the two.  Whether it’ll be successful, I don’t know, but we’re going to try.

Jordan:  So what would you say the story in Sky Ghost Part 1 is?

Callum:  That’s a good question.  Actually each of the members has a different interpretation.  I kind of think it represents, and it’s cliché, but I think it’s about someone’s life cycle.  I personally think the first song is about rebirth and the second song has the lyrics “I don’t know what you made me for/ you used to be in love, but not anymore” which is kind of like a child’s sensibility.  The second song is about a child and then it moves into being a teenager.  It’s hard to explain.  The other members could probably explain and their interpretations are a lot better, but something like that.

Jordan:  So what’s up with the physical release album?

Callum:  Yeah, there’s going to be 200 copies and we’re sending some to an affiliate label with my friends from Illinois and they’re called “Catpak Records.”  They’re going to get 100 copies and we’re going to have 100 copies and it’s going to be full-panel with all the lyrics and we’ll have secrets to those who ordered one.  I know you ordered one, which is exciting.  It’s definitely worth the $7.  But yeah, we’re going to get 100 copies and sell them at shows and stuff.

Jordan:  Yeah, I’m psyched!  I was really curious about the album art.  Who made it?  What’s the story behind it?

Callum:  Right, well actually that was made by my friend in high school who’s named “Zach Meyer” and I bought the print off of him.  I really like working with people I know, like for example you as opposed to a random blogger.  I feel like I can open up to you (aw, shucks Callum, you’re making me blush) since we’ve been friends since way back when.  I love collaborating with people I know and meeting new people.  But I called him up and we hadn’t spoken in a while and I was like “yo, I’ve got this idea, can you do this and this?” and he drew it up and it worked really nicely.  He’s really talented so I was really grateful for that connection.

Jordan:  I absolutely love that print.  It looks so sweet.

Callum:  Yeah he did a great job.  It’s incredible.  I actually think that print almost tells the story or gives clues to interpretation.  There’s definitely a connection with the moon; it’s a big part of the record.  It’s kind of like a feminine relationship with the moon and how it affects the life.  Maybe “The Sky Ghost Part 2” will be a male relationship with the moon, whatever that is.

Jordan:  Can we look forward to seeing more collaborations with Zach Meyer?

Callum:  I wonder.  Yeah probably.  I was wondering if he could do art for the new album.  I know he released a sort of flip-book with his art work and maybe we could do some sort of collaboration that could be included with the next album.

Jordan:  I’d personally love that.  I’m like geeking out over it.

Callum:  [laughs] I’m glad you like it!

Jordan:  So who’s Atuin, the guy featured on the first track?

Callum:  Oh, Atuin!  (pronounced ATOON).  He’s a French artist I met on Soundcloud.  I love collaborating on Soundcloud.  There’s a lot of musicians I like collaborating with.  But yeah, he’s just like a Soundcloud musician.  He has a unique voice and is a great lyricist.  He wrote his lyrics for his part in that song.  It was really an honor to work with him.

Jordan:  Any plans to press it on vinyl?

Callum:  Yeah, maybe if people respond to Sky Ghost 1 and we get money from shows and  can sell merch and t-shirts.  I think we could definitely press Sky Ghost 2 on vinyl and then maybe go back and press Sky Ghost 1 on vinyl.  Maybe include them in a package.  It’d be awesome to see how people respond to that.  I’d love to make the investment but it could definitely be worth it.  It’s definitely a good idea.  I’m going to steal that idea from you.

Jordan:  It’s definitely an album I’d like to have as a record, to be honest.

Callum:  You listen to a lot of albums on record?

Jordan:  Yeah I pretty much buy everything on vinyl.  I was just at the store and picked up a few records.
Callum:  I know with new records they include a slip of paper with the digital download link so you can get that too.  The vinyl’s only like $12 so it’s a sick deal.

Jordan:  Do you have any plans to tour?

Callum:  Yeah, we’re trying to play some local venues in Boston.  We’re friends with this band called Stone Cold Fox who we’re remixing.  And we’re trying to get some shows with them and this other band.  God, I forgot their name.  But our friend Paige played at the release party for our album with her band "Sounds of Venus" so we’re trying to get some shows.  Hopefully Boston and we’ll try to expand and see where it goes.

Jordan:  So what’s your role in Analog Candle?  You created it yourself?

Callum:  Yeah, yeah, Analog Candle came out around the same time as Sleeves.  It’s kind of an umbrella under which I can release Sleeves.  But then it kind of grew into a collective involving different people and then I started working with this guy in New Zealand who’s actually a professor and he sent me some ambient music and I started mixing them and writing lyrics and then giving them to Kim and she would write lyrics.  So we started a side-project “Sink/Sink” and we put them on Analog Candle too.  I’m also trying to release my roommate’s music on Analog Candle.  It’s kind of growing into a combination of a collective where everyone works on each other’s projects, a recording studio that I have set up in my apartment, and also a label for which we can release music and promote bands and put them on Soundcloud or the website or whatever.

Jordan:  So what can we look forward to in the future of Sleeves and Analog candle?

Callum:  Let me think.  I’ll talk about new releases.  We’re talking about releasing my roommate’s album in about two months.  The Sleeves EP in about a month.  My side-project Sink/Sink is releasing an album on Feedback Loop Label and they’re making physical copies.  They’re in Spain or Portugal and they’re selling it for Euros  So that’s coming out April 16 and then a remix album of Sleeves, and my friend’s band Children of Kids.  I recorded them and we’re going to do a physical release and a split/remix album on that.  So yeah, physical releases, just kind of pushing forward.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pat the Bunny and Nick from Ramshackle Glory talk their new album and Plan-It-X!

The Gang in Action!
So what's the deal with Ramshackle Glory and Pat the Bunny?  Ramshackle Glory is an amazing folk-punk band that came out of the American Southwest following lead song-writer "Pat the Bunny's" successful rehabilitation with heroin and alcohol.  The first album "Live the Dream" is an ode to his past as well as an outlook on what will make him a successful human being, in the sense of staying alive.  The band incorporates a lot of really amazing arrangements that are significantly different than Pat's old bands "Johnny Hobo & the Freight Trains" and "Wingnut Dishwashers Union."  There are more instruments, simply put, as well as a more refined recording style.  There are more members of the band and a very clearly unified outlook, which is actually very level-headed and inspiring in the age of a time where Madonna can get away with having a superbowl slogan be "WORLD PEACE."

Pat and the gang also run Savage Wasteland, a music collective out of the Southwest that puts out music and distributes anarchist literature.  These guys are smart too, which, once again, is inspiring and a breath of fresh air.

Pat is a long time friend of Chris Clavin, the guy who runs Plan-It-X.  He actually knocked some sense into me because I had thought that the record label closed down about 5 months ago.  Even last week, their website was different, but now they are up and running (and by that I mean online because I'm a totally unpunk cyborg so my definition of running lies in the ability to use technology [JOKES, FRIENDS, JOKES]).  Pat, in his response, gives a hyperlink to the website down below, so you can see it there.

"Live the Dream" is one of my all-time favorite albums.  The lyrics are very clear and remarkably human.  The songs are fantastic.  In short, you should buy it.  Like seriously.  You can do so here: http://www.ramshackleglory.com/ (< hyperlink, you dweebs!)  In addition, Chris Clavin has recently started a movement to get their first LP pressed on vinyl, a dream I've had even before I was born.  I think I was about 21 at the time.  But needless to say, you should get the album.  I think you can get it digitally or on casette, since they're out of CD's now.

The second album is coming out this year and they are about to play a BUNCH of shows across the continental U.S.

I'm flattered that you came here to only hear my speak.  I have handsome words.  But without further ado...PAT AND NICK FROM RAMSHACKLE GLORY!

Jordan: How did Savage Wasteland get started?

Nick: Most of the people in our band have musical projects outside of
our band.  Having a music collective through which to release all the
different music that all of us make is really fun and allows us to
share the responsibilities involved in putting out albums, while
remaining DIY.

Jordan: Who gets to put out music on the label?

Nick: Anyone in Ramshackle Glory, probably other people too.

Pat: We distribute a Michael Jordan Touchdown Pass release. He's not
in Ramshackle Glory, but he is my brother. The answer so far is that
you can put out music on the label if you are (1) In Ramshackle Glory
or (2) A blood relative of a Ramshackle Glory member.

Jordan: How fundamental are anarchist views to the organization?

Nick: We are a collective, so there is no hierarchy.  Nobody is the
boss, everyone does what they want/can.

Pat: The collective operates according to anarchist principles as much
as possible, as Nick mentioned. Our collective is also anarchist in
the sense that we distribute free anarchist literature at the shows we
play, contribute financially to legal support funds and and other
projects related to anarchist organizing, and use our collective web
presence to spread the word about anarchist ideas and actions. We
specifically focus on spreading the word about stuff happening in
Arizona and Tucson, because that is the local radical community we are
part of.

All of this extends naturally from the individuals in our band. We are
all anarchists, and politically engaged in ways that we consider much
more important than our punk band.

Jordan:  What kinds of things do you read/look at in order to be politically engaged or relevant?

Pat: The answer to that question is changing all the time. Recently
I've been reading some of the analysis that came out of the November
2, 2011 General Strike in Oakland, specifically exploring what a
"strike" is in a contemporary capitalist economy and which social
classes are the subject of a strike in this context. The basic
argument outlined is that, because so few of us in the United States
are employed in the production of commodities through factory
production, the contemporary strike will not take the form of
voluntary withdrawal of labor from that process. Instead, the strike
takes the form of disrupting the flow and distribution of capital.
This is achieved mainly through blockading the routes by which
commodities are distributed (shutting down ports, roads, rails) and
sabotage directed at any stage of commodity production or the
circulation of investment capital (smashing banks, looting stores,

Given this change in the form of the strike, it no longer makes sense
to look at "the working class" as the legitimate or primary subject of
the strike, because voluntary labor withdrawal is only one small part
of what a strike is today. An expanded definition of the
proletariat--all those with nothing to sell in the market economy to
maintain survival except their own skin and labor--is the current
subject of the strike. In addition to wage-workers, many social
elements that Marx would have dismissed as "lumpen-proletariat" are
now at the fore-front of proletarian struggle: the unemployed, the
homeless, petty criminals, etc.

This is not to say that workers are no longer involved in the strike.
Clearly they are, but proletarians who are currently trapped outside
the process of commodity production are no longer mere appendages to a
movement organized by those proletarians trapped inside that process.
The truth of this statement is hinted at in the 2011 Oakland General
Strike, which was called for and pulled off by an Occupy Oakland
encampment composed disproportionately of the homeless and unemployed,
not the industrial proletarians of traditional Marxist theory.

If you're interested in this stuff I recommend checking out
That piece discusses the themes I just touched on with much more
context, nuance, etc. I like interesting analysis that proposes
concrete ways of looking at the struggle and suggests some of the
methods through which that struggle might be carried out. Such
material is depressingly rare from what I see making the rounds of
anarchist news sites and such, but it's still out there if you are
looking for it.

Jordan: How did you all know each other/decide to start a band

Nick: Some of us met in VT, some of us met in New Jersey, some of us
met here [in Tucson].  We ended up recording this album together, then
we decided to be a band.

Jordan: What does the name "Ramshackle Glory" come from?

Nick: We put a bunch of words in a hat and pulled them out and put
them together in different ways.

Jordan: I'm familiar with Pat the Bunny's old bands/projects "Johnny Hobo" & "Wingnut Dishwashers Union," but did the rest of the band play in other bands before?

Nick: We have all been involved in various bands in the past; some of
them still exist, and we put them out. Luke and Douglas are in a
really awesome punk band called Not Sorry. Savage Wasteland is putting
out their next album. Douglas, Luke and I had a band called Devil's
Coachwhip when we started Ramshackle Glory, which kinda dissolved and
is now just the name of my solo project.  Luke just started a new band
called Cottontail, which has a new album coming out soon too.

Jordan: The first album came out after Pat completed rehab and seemed to me to deal  with the highest points of redemption and terrible lows in personal history and society, what kinds of events inspired this?

Pat: It's mostly about getting wasted all the time and shooting
heroin, and what it took for me to stop. Much of it revolves around
the experience of wanting to stop, but not being able to. There is
some exploration of the guilt surrounding things I did while using and
drinking. Other parts are related to a fundamental change in the way I
experience life, to the extent that I no longer need to--or want
to--get loaded. Some of it is about how anarchism and punk integrate
into the principles which guide my recovery from addiction.

Jordan: How does the tone of the second album differ from the first in terms of both  lyrics and musical arrangement?

Pat: This album is much heavier, lyrically and musically. It's
probably more explicitly political, more of the time.

Nick: In terms of musical arrangement, I think this album is way more
exciting.  Recording the last album was pretty much the first thing we
did together as a band, whereas now we have been playing together for
over a year.  We've gotten a lot better at making up cool parts that
sound good together and just playing together in general.

Jordan: Are there any new people playing on the album?

Nick: Yes! Dane is playing bass and Eric is playing Trumpet. It is
really awesome having them in our band!

Jordan: Do you all have any plans to tour outside of the Southwest?

Nick: We are going on a 2 and a half month tour this summer. We will
be playing most places in the continental U.S.

Jordan: What is the craziest show you all have played?

Pat: Lots of the shows we play seem crazy to me, because of the way
people treat us. Our band is not a very big deal: we have a modest fan
base that appreciates the music we make, and we are lucky enough to
have that kind of support lots of places around the country and world.
That's a big deal to us, in the sense that we are lucky to be able to
do what we want to do, on something close to our own terms (at least
so far as anything can be in a capitalist, sexist, racist society
governed by the state).

But a lot of times people interact with us as if our band was a big
deal in a different sense--a sense that makes me uncomfortable. They
want to get autographs and take pictures with us. I don't understand.
We're a punk band. We aren't very cool. We aren't famous. If more than
100 people are at a show we are playing, that's a big show to us.

Many times people treat us like we are cooler than them. I don't like
this, especially because I don't know how to undermine it. As an
anarchist, I cannot passively accept anyone being socially
more-or-less powerful than somebody else. I belong to certain social
groups that are, as a whole, given social power denied to other social
groups—for example, as a man I am granted forms of social power denied
to women—and that's quite enough material for a lifetime of
deconstructing, and trying to subvert, the ways I reinforce various
systems of social hierarchy and authority.

But the way that our band is often treated by people at shows is one
of my only experiences being granted specific social power--as an
individual, and not just as one among a privileged social group. I
suppose I would compare it to finding out you have been elected to a
political office, even though you never ran for it and consistently
declared your opposition to political power.

Some people at shows treat our band in a way that assigns me a social
power that I do not want, but don't know how to destroy. If we don't
give autographs, we make people feel bad—which also reinforces the
nature of hierarchy, namely that those higher up within it are
disproportionately able to inflict suffering and violence on those
lower down. If we give autographs, we perpetuate the idea that we are
people who are worth getting autographs from—as opposed to everyone
else at the show, who presumably was not worth getting an autograph

I am not aware of a graceful solution to this problem, and
encountering it so consistently at shows makes me feel crazy.

Jordan: What are some of your top albums of 2011?

Pat: I wouldn't know. I've mostly been listening to podcasts about the economy.

Jordan:  Has anyone specifically inspired you during both this upcoming album or in the creation of Ramshackle Glory?

Pat: Not really. From my perspective of things, the core members of
Ramshackle Glory were the house mates of Nick, the only punk I
happened to know when I moved to Tucson. I asked him to play on a
record I wanted to make. Nick got his house-mate Douglas to play
banjo, so that Nick could play accordion. Luke came home from work
while we were practicing and offered to play drums. That's where our
band comes from.

All of these people turned out to be some of the most incredible
musicians and human beings that I've ever met, but that was just how
it happened, not the result of any inspiration or planning. The
instrumentation is also more a product of what instruments the people
in our band play, or want to learn how to play, rather than any
conscious decisions.

Jordan: What's the deal with Plan-It-X?  I know Plan-It-X fest is still happening  and you all will be there, but I was surprised that they won't be releasing music really.
Pat: It would be surprising if Plan-It-X wasn't releasing music, but
that's simply not true. There never has been a significant period of
time where PIX didn't release anything, although Chris has talked
off-and-on about stopping the label in the last couple years. The new
Ghost Mice record just came out on Plan-It-X about a month ago. Chris
(the guy most responsible for running Plan-It-X during most of its
operation since 1994) is getting money together to release Ramshackle
Glory vinyl on Plan-It-X by the summer.

He's not going to press CDs anymore, because not many people buy CDs
from Plan-It-X anymore, but releases on tape, vinyl, and digital
formats will continue. (Anyone interested in Plan-It-X should check
out the revamped website at http://www.plan-it-x.com).

Jordan: Thanks again, y'all!  I'll see you for sure at Plan-It-X fest this summer,  but good luck with the album!
Pat: Thanks, see you then! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012




  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach, packed
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust, fitted to a 9-inch glass pie plate


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  ROCK OUT!
Combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender.  DON'T FORGET THE ROCK N ROLL PUNK ROCK GARAGE.   Layer the spinach, bacon, and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the egg mixture on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Cut into 8 wedges.  ROCK PUNK GARAGE

Friday, March 16, 2012

90s Garage: Part 1: Ken Chiodini of the Hate Bombs

Speaking of Bananas magazine, a couple months ago, their issue # 4 had a GREAT feature on the Hate Bombs, a 90s band out of Florida that RAWKED.  These guys had nuts-o shows and 2 great albums that were plain old fun in terms of garage rock.  The feature talks about the history of the band, it's influences and impact on the 90s garage rock scene.  It's an amazing article by Charles Gaskins and one of the highlights of the magazine for me.  I wasn't all that familiar with 90s garage rock outside of the mummies, thee headcoats and some other stuff, and so I actually got in contact with Ken about who to check out.  Needless to say, the bands he got me hip to blew my mind.  The Lyres, The Swingin' Neckbreakers, The Cynics, DMZ (who came a bit earlier but still rock),  the Woggles, The Lime Spiders, and lots more.  All these bands were making really groovy unpretentious music to dance to and have a great time.

When I started my blog, I wanted to introduce more people to the 90s scene because although bands like the Oblivians continue to make themselves relevant through things like Goner, some bands get forgotten.  I was interested in keeping these bands fresh and getting to know the scene well.

So I contacted Ken again and barraged him with a bunch of questions.  He's a really awesome guy though and so he answered them.

I'm planning on finding more people to interview who were in bands at the time, but this is part one of a series of features on 90s garage.

Without further ado...Ken Chiodini of the Hate Bombs!

Jordan:  What were the big garage venues of the 90s and have they continued to function? (I'll do some research on this myself, but if you could send me a list, I'd really appreciate it)

Ken: Big venues- "Garage Friendly" List. Theres more. just search garage festivals of the 90's and see what happens. theres a ton overseas too.
Star Bar-Atlanta Ga.-Hosted "FuzzFest" a few times
Local 506-Chapel Hill N.C.- "Sleezefest"
Go Lounge-Orlando Fl.-The Hate Bombs played w/ 5678's ,the Lyres,the
Woggles,Subsonics etc.at different times.
3B Tavern -Upstate Wa.-"Garage Shock" Estrus Records Dude.
Barristers-Memphis TN"Memphis Back Alley Brawl"
The Casbah-San Diego Ca.
Hollywood Mogules-Hollywood Ca. "Dionysus Demolition Derby"

Jordan:  Was there a central hub, geographically, or was it a group of people?
Ken: It was spread out all over the place. I've never seen the mutual respect for one another like i've seen from that 90's garage era.So the networking was really
cool and easy even before cell phones and internet.

Jordan:  Was there a notion of selling-out if a band made it big, or did this simply rarely happen? 

Ken:  Never happened. and if it did no-one would care as long as the sound was still cool.

Jordan:  Did bands focus on their own aesthetic and making tunes they thought were good rather than make money? 

Ken:  Oh Yeah! don't play garage music if you want to make a lot of money.

Jordan:  Once a band had a following, was it often seen as necessary or expected to help out other good bands?

 Ken: Yes.  

Jordan:  If so, how? 

Ken:  that happened with the hate bombs.  The band Man or Astro man asked if we'd be the support for 3 shows in fla.we were so blown away at their generosity. they even would kick in money from their own guarentees to help us out. Southern Culture on the skids also did the same thing. 

Jordan:  Did crossovers between genres ever exist, and did labels who kind of stuck to one kind of music ever reach out to the garagepunk world? (I'm thinking more of the indie and punk spheres of music: subpop/merge/matador and also labels like No Idea/Plan-it-x/Dischord and others) 

Ken:  yes crossovers did exsist between genres like
rockabilly/garage/punk/garagepunk/surf/psych/folk/beat. we all played together pretty well. oh yeah there was this weird time when ska bands were playin with the hate bombs alot. i don't know why. i guess when a state or city is"nowheresville" all the misfit genres hook up. crossover did exist at labels too.matador released lyres records and sub pop released a bunch of weird stuff way off from their grunge reputation. they tried to get the mummies but the mummies being the snotties that they are told sub pop to fuck off!

Jordan:  How did bands tend to make livings?

Ken:  the same as any one. from graphic artists to shipping clerks to mailmen to bar backs to radio station ad men to un employed etc.

Jordan:  Which bands split up and which made new forms? 

Ken:  hate bombs semi split w/occasional reunions, swingin neckbreakers are still around woggles are still
going strong. ya gotta look that one up yerself the list on both sides are endless.

Jordan:  What do you, personally, think about the new garage world, especially artists coming out of San Francisco like Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, Fresh & Onlys, Sic Alps?  But also some of the newer bands coming on record labels like In The Red and Goner Records? 

Ken:  i'll check em out on you tube and let ya know. i'm not hip to them yet.

Jordan:  Does garage rock find itself dealing with the question of being accessible? 

Ken:  To me some of the most popular songs of all time are garage songs like "you really got me" by the kinks or "wild thing" the troggs or "just like me" paul revere and the raiders.it should be number one hits and used in movies and all over the radio
but its not. DJ's are bought and sold these days and programmers want it vanilla across the board so now when people hear something rough and ready they don't know what to do with it. it could be the greatest song in the world.but in a weird way garage bands die on their own swords on purpose cause they want it to stay unafected. no second takes,no polishing up of the vocals,lo-budget,etc.
Jordan:  What kind of evolution happens in the genre? 

Ken:  in the 80's early 90's there was movement towards glam! like a new york dolls vibe. thats cool too i just couldnt do it. as a musician and a writer i prefer to just expand on the many influences that go into garage. i think most garage bands are die hard stubborn people.
Jordan:  Are people receptive to the evolutions?

Ken:  lets say you're in a "garage" band and you ask 4 members of that band what garage is. youd get 4 different answers. but i think theyd all say 2 things,garage is "raw" and is an "attitude". as long as you have that than i think its accepted if you swerve a little.

Jordan:  What do you think is Garage rock's role in music and do you think it is something worthwhile or in need of capturing something new? 

Ken:  it is here to serve as a pallet cleanser to impurities. its the ruffage in a bad diet of mainstream rock.it is not in need of something new cause its right! Its fun! Its danceable! and that stuff is NEVER popular in a jaded world. people are to cool to dance unless its obvious
dance music.It can expand within itself it doesnt have to change but at the same time it does change over time.like the 60's garage is a lot less punk in most cases than 90's garage so mid 70's punk influenced a lot of the 90's garage bands as much as 60's band did. 

Thanks a bunch! 

 any time jordan 
Also, if there are any other resources or people who you think would be good to ask or just contact, please let me know. 

try to find blair buscarino he did a blog in the 90's called banna truffle or he was always on it he also had a mag called "teen scene". he'd be a good one. hes a real cool cat.

Ken later got back to me after checking out some of the bands that I mentioned.  Here's his response to how cool they are.

the answer to your question about sic alps etc etc is this...
sic alps-john lennon vibe garagey yet expanded almost dinosaur jr like em
fresh and onlys-spaghetti western psych experiment like em
the oh sees-fun attitude tongue in cheek garage without being stuck in it like it
ty segall-more indie than garage but a little of both like em
obn iii's-stooges undercurrent to "runnin on fumes" overall sounds a little like the Oblivions
            from Memphis like em
I love seeing this happen again. this is great stuff ,thanks

Stay unique, music fans.