Written by GE 138.
When the Hell did the Double Clown get air conditioning? LOL You can actually breathe in there now, and it doesn't smell like failure and regretful bad decisions anymore! I was shocked! It was almost like they finally heard all of us complaining about it and finally decided to open up the ol' purse strings and lay out a few shekels to update and improve the AC - kudos! Now if they would only buy an actual solid PA and mics and cables and some monitors and hire a soundman (the return of Bob perhaps?) then maybe I would support the place again. Highly doubtful that's going to happen, but I can dream, can't I? ha ha ha I could actually breathe while I was in there playing drums for Lean 13, the new super group of self-proclaimed assholes making their performance debut last Friday night there, which was shocking. It was hotter than Satan's nutsack outside, so literally the only place to be was inside, where it was nice and cool. Nice. And. Cool. Since every band playing tonight was using my drumset, once the Double Down Radio show was finished, I dragged my kit up there on the stage and started setting up, essentially giving the night it's official kick off. Whoopie.
Opening band Hungry Ass Youth blew it from their opening Cro-Mags cover onwards, playing drunk, fast and loose but they seemed to be having fun, and that's the whole point when you're in Vegas really, isn't it? They had a great sound, rippin' guitarist, vocalist on point and energetic, good drummer, bass player just kind of stood there but that's what bass players do, and if it wasn't for the covers (one an Agnostic Front song they dedicated to Carlos) I'd of liked them more. The original songs they were playing were sooooooooo good, it was sad to see them wasting their stage time on playing covers they kept messing up. I mean, who doesn't know Ace Of Spades, fer Christ's Sake?? LOL The crowd was digging the shit out of them though, so what do I know? Hungry Ass Youth are a good band, just gotta stay away from the covers, maang. I dug em, and I'm looking forward to the upcoming release. Next band As One were a bit too xXHardCoreXx for me, but they were OK, reminding me of bands I'd see play The Hammer House back in the daze (breakdowns sooooo angry!!!). They were hard hitting, loud, and brutally brooooootaaaal. Crowd dug the shit out of them too. I didn't pay them too much attention, because I was preoccupied with talking to a bunch of people who had come out to the gig, but every now and then I'd hear a killer riff and look at the stage and see the band killing it up there. As One. Good stuff.
After a technical difficulty with the bass equipment, the debut of Lean 13 duly commenced. Couldn't tell you how we sounded, couldn't even tell you what the crowd was doing while we played, but all I can tell you is that I was shocked that I could actually breathe while playing the drums up there. It was crazy. I heard people clapping and yelling and stuff, so it wasn't like we sucked or anything... I think. The set went by too quickly, and our half hour was over in like 20 minutes. Few mistakes but they were miniscule. Afterwards quite a few people went out of their way to say some nice words about our performance, and that's always a great thing to hear. Since Los Carajos wasn't playing, and I have no idea why they weren't, the show was officially over, so I packed up my shit, posed for some pictures by the marquee with me band mates, and then Erika and I said our goodbyes and went on our way in search of our usual tacos. Plus we had our friends in Headnoise waiting for us at the house, so we had to get up and go. Everybody was tired, everybody was calling it a night and everybody was heading home. Gawd we're old... ha ha ha ha Nice little night though out at the Double Clown. Who would've thunk it??? lol
Voodoo Glow Skulls / Buck-o-Nine / The Porkers / Guilty By Association / Light 'Em Up @Backstage Bar & Billiards
Written by GE 138.
The parking lot directly behind Triple B's was near capacity by the time Erika and I got Downtown. I mean, we literally got one of the last three parking spots available in the parking lot, and as we were walking towards the backdoor of the venue we heard numerous people complaining to the attendant that there was no place to park and that they wanted their money back. Suckers. When we got to the sidewalk there was a line of people all queued up standing around going nowhere fast, so we decided to head over to Flippin' Good Burgers for a quick grub sesh, where we ran into Carlos S.F.T. and his lovely wife Christy. We chatted with them for a bit before getting our grub on, and after that we headed back to Triple B's to find that the line was still not moving, WTF? Something didn't seem right, and after debating whether to stand in line to wait to get into a gig to only see 1 band on the bill play, I noticed the people standing in line were a little better dressed and a little better smelling than the usual Voodoo Glow Skulls crowd, and that's when I saw someone cut through the line to go directly into Backstage Bar & Billiards, so we crossed the street and did the same, just in time to hear Guilty By Association playing on stage. Turns out that the reason there was a line was because some comedian Hannibal Buress holding court next door at Fremont Country Club, and that's what people were waiting in line for, not the VGS gig.
As quickly as I could I made my way through the throng of people just standing around looking bored in the back of the venue, heading towards the front of the stage where the action was, Erika in tow, and I only tripped once over someone's feet while doing so. GBA was in the middle of one of their patented fast paced high energy set of tunes, and the faithful in the crowd were jumping and slamming around and fist pumping and singing along to everything Mike was screaming / growling / barking into the microphone. Mike's the consummate pro frontman, and he has a way of charming a crowd into doing his bidding, beer bottle in hand. He did his thing as Bobby and Craig riffed and noodled away behind him, and Craig and David paced it all and kept the bottom end popping and the people moving. They played songs from all their releases; American Decay, Coming Home, and the crowd was digging it big time. Love that they get the response that they do. I never get to see it when I'm behind the kit, so it's kind of cool to watch. Circle pit action was heavy throughout their set and when the band was done playing the applause was well deserved. Guilty By Association always brings it, 100% every time, and this night was no exception. Good stuff.
My camera was acting up during GBA's set, making the process of taking pictures during their set difficult. I tried fucking with my camera while the guys in The Porkers were setting up, but whatever was wrong with my camera was only getting worse, so I didn't take too many pictures of The Porkers while they played, but that didn't matter, because I was so busy watching the band that I didn't really wanna focus on taking pictures of them. They were soooooooooo good! They were energetic, had a great classic Ska sound, top level musicianship all around, and their front man put on one hell of a show. He was engaging, personable, unreserved, and charismatic. It was like you were drawn to him, forced to watch him and what he was doing. The other guys in The Porkers were no slouches, but the bass player had major problems the first few songs of their set, which kind of killed things a bit, but the guitarist, the horn players, and everyone else on the stage were all jumping around and rocking out like Ska players tend to do, and the drummer is that guy who does those 5 minute band career mashup videos on YouTube, for what it's worth. He was really good. The energy in the room was electric, and the crowd was digging the shit out of the band. People were skanking around, just happy and smiling, and The Porkers made it all happen. As if there was any other way to end the set, the band did an Elvis Presley cover, complete with the singer from The Porkers hamming it up and acting like the King himself, posing and posturing it up big time for Burning Love. Yeah, never actually saw The Porkers before (they were background music at some Ska festival I went to years ago) but man, I gotta say, they impressed the ever loving shit out of me with this performance. Gawd damn they were good. I made a beeline after the gig to buy every bit of merch I could get my grubby hands on. I even contributed to the "We like weed" jar on the merch table. ;) The Porkers. Great stuff.
I can only imagine that somewhere in the world there is a huge vacuum strong enough to suck all the energy and good feelings out of a room, and if that vacuum were to have a name, it would be called Buck-O-Nine. Peeeeeeeee-yuuuuuuuuuuwww did they stink!!! I've seen them before and they were OK, but tonight was just not their night, probably because of the crowd though. I stood around embarrassed and horrified watching the crowd of Bro Hymn types put on a testosterone laced display of drunken stupidity, only highlighted by the shitty OPIV and Clash covers the band was mixing in with their original milquetoast tunes. Ugh. They couldn't end quick enough for me, as I was bored to tears during Buck-O-Nine's set. Mediocrity at it's finest. Phooey.
Thank Gawd for the Voodoo Glow Skulls. I can honestly say that I've never seen them play a bad show, no matter how stoned or drunk they were, and I've been seeing them play for well over 25 years now, and tonight was no exception. Sure, Frank's voice is a little rougher, and no drummer ever will be able to fill up Jerry's drunken Vans behind the drum kit, but still, all these years later, they're still fucking phenomenal. Jorge and Eddie are still one of the tightest musical duos you're ever gonna see, and their bass and guitar riffs are what keep the band popping, even after all these years. After clearing the room up of the stink the earlier band filled it up with, the Voodoo Glow Skulls then put on a dazzling display of musicianship that blew everyone else that played before them right off the stage. It was the shit. They may be a bit older and fatter and covered in more tattoos, but the Voodoo Glow Skulls can still bring it anytime they want to, and tonight they brought it. They played all sorts of songs from all throughout their career, Closet Monster, The Band Geek Mafia, Thrift Shop Junkie, Insubordination, etc., and they all sounded great, and the crowd ate up every fucking bit of it, with lots of singing and jumping and skanking and slamming around, with lots of people slipping and sliding in the 1/2" thick layer of beer that was spilled all over the concrete floor of Triple B's. It made for fun people watching, that's for sure. My camera wasn't working for shit, the battery was dead, so I didn't get any pix of Voodoo in action, but that's OK, because I had more fun watching the gig than trying to document it. The band raged on, and when Charlie Brown came around on the setlist, Frank dedicated it to the late great Gabby Gaborno from the Cadillac Tramps, because he said Gabby told him he loved that tune the way they did it, and after a few more songs the Voodoo Glow Skulls called it a night. Nobody left disappointed, that's for sure. It was all chaos and confusion after the gig, and Erika and I made a beeline to the car to get the fuck out of there to head over to Scarlet for their Sisters Of Mercy tribute night. ;)
To see more Pictures of Guilty By Association, please click here. To see more Pictures of The Porkers please click here. Thank you drive through...
Written by GE 138.
Talk about visiting the ghost of Punk Rock past... LOL
What the Hell was I doing back at the Hollywood Palladium on a Sat. night trying to scam tickets to get into a sold out Descendents gig? LOL Was I out of my mind? Probably. I was just finishing up a Youth Gone Mad practice in Whittier, when Gabe from Our Band Sucks (playing 2nd guitar with us, which is really cool) mentioned that the Descendents were playing at the Hollywood Palladium. I had nothing better to do so I said 'fuck it' and packed up my gear and hung out for a bit with everyone before heading towards the freeway to make the trek to Hollyweird. It was either this or go back to my hotel room and do nothing, so I sought the road that lead to adventure.
First off, the traffic on the drive into LA was even more horrific than I remembered. Traffic on Sunset was a nightmare of Lovecraft proportions. Parking? I wanted to kill people. And after all this, I just gave some idiot money for a ticket to a band that I don't want to see, because I know they're going to suck. I know this, and yet I go in anyways and stand among the stinky unwashed masses all paying tribute to these aging shells of humans that once comprised one of the best bands out there, period, and I'm doing it all in the name of... boredom? ha ha ha
I didn't pay much attention to opening band Sharp/Shock, because I was just walking around the Palladium revisiting ghosts of a long gone era. Last time I was here I was on the roof getting high with Bubba Whitesell and Mark Mahoney and Gil Monte during some tattoo convention in the 90's, being chased by Sara Gilbert. And now I was here on the inside and trying to avoid listening to Sharp/Shock, who sounded and looked a lot like Mercy Music, but with testosterone. I'll pass. Modern Baseball just flat out sucked. I don't know who's dick they sucked to get on the bill, but it wasn't enough. Vapid, boring, pseudo Beardcore bullshit with no energy, nothing interesting going on musically, and just massive suckiness coming off the stage in waves. Hipster Punk. Any band that lets a drummer sing a few lines during songs is never good. I stood in the smoking section horrified as people down below on the floor were singing along to what Modern Baseball were playing, acting like the girls you see in those old Beatles live concert films from the 60's. Lame. As. Fuck.
It was only me and a few other addicted, old bored souls who were left standing by ourselves in the smoking section when the Descendents started playing their set, and the floor area got even more packed than it was before, if that was possible. 10,000 cell phones were raised in the air as the band took to the stage. They opened with Everything Sucks, and that pretty much set the tone for the night. The sound inside the Palladium is still shitty, unless you're up close and can hear the amps on the stage, and it didn't help that the band was playing everything a step and a half sloooow. They seriously sounded bad. I was embarrassed. Milo sounded terrible, not even singing most songs, talking and mumbling his way through the lyrics, and unable to finish most of the singing - the crowd was doing a better job singing than he was. His voice was hoarse, cracked often, and was just sad to hear. The more I stuck around, the more depressed I became. They played all the hits, a few surprises (Rotting Out, Victim Of Me), the songs from the new album sucked and I was bored to tears. People were losing their shit and rocking out and singing along, and I was just standing there thinking to myself, 'am I the only one who hears how bad this sounds?'. Apparently I was, because as I was leaving about halfway through their set, people were looking at me like I was insane. Leaving while the Descendents were playing was once anathema, but now it just seemed like the right thing to do. I didn't want those old guys stumbling their way through their set take away the memories of all the great times I've seen the Descendents before. You guys can drink that Kool-Aid. I'll pass.
Written by GE 138.
Can it really be considered a "Punk Rock BBQ" if there's no BBQ grub there? LOL Why, that would be like having "Punk Rock Bowling" without any bowling there, which would be anathema to all the Punks who secretly wished they were Jocks growing up and who now thrive and excel in a sports related way to it all.
Yeah, for me, Sat. nights Punk Rock BBQ gig @ the Bunkhouse was a major bust, which I knew it was going to be when I arrived and was told that everything was back lined and that I wouldn't be able to use my own drum kit, which, of course, is major bullshit. This is the Bunkhouse, NOT the House of Boooooo's. Jagoffs. Every band that played was mediocre at best, with me (and most everybody else it seemed) more prone to hang outside and smoke and drink and enjoy the amazing night air and weather we had than to go inside and be bored to death by the bands playing. I did see on Facebook that Agent 86 tried to pull the ol' 'our drummer gets off work late and we need to play later in the night' trick to no avail. They didn't show up, and instead just posted on Facebook about how fucked up it all was and how it was just another way "The Punk Rock Man" keeps them down... LOL I heard Oceanside Sound System doing their Operation Ivy covers 3rd song into their set from safely outside. Their Sublime meets Rancid sound is very dated and predictable. Phooey. I went inside to watch War Called Home, because they were all dressed up like the nerds that they are, and was surprised to see Grant on bass and vocals now. When did that become a thing? Has it been that long since I've seen the band? Guess so. I liked them. I'm OK with Rich and Seth noodling all over everything. They're good so it's alright. I don't know why people were voicing their displeasure with them. They weren't THAT bad, were they?
That band The Last Gang might as well have been called The Distillers Lite. Just sad and boring. Their drummer was a doosh and they perfectly illustrated a point I have about mediocre bands having a "cute, hott" girl in the band and how it makes every horny guy in the place think the band is good. No girl, and nobody would give a fuck.
Speaking of Agent 86, Mr. Morrison informed me this morning that The Civilians knocked Agent 86 off their long held #1 perch on ReverbNation. I hope it wasn't from our amazeballz (SARCASM) performance at the Bunkhouse on Sat. That was, for me, quite possibly the worst gig I've ever played with them. That back lined drum kit they had up there was complete dog shit. There was no clutch for the high hat stand, meaning I had no control over the cymbals on there. The snare stand was stripped, which meant that it couldn't hold the drum flat, instead letting it hang at a weird 50° angle, meaning I couldn't really hit my snare.
Well so far, I have no snare drum, and no hi-hat cymbals. Great.
The rack tom was 13" and small. Although it's hardware wasn't stripped like everything else on the shitty kit, the hardware which connected it to the kick drum it was mounted to was, and hitting it with any force made it bounce up and down and around like a ping pong ball on crack. The kick drum was kid sized and not used to being kicked hard like it's supposed to be by a full grown man. During sound check it was bouncing all over the place and moving around, and that was because the braces and legs were stripped and barely holding on to the position they were locked in to. The stand used for the ride cymbal could not hold the weight of my cymbal and didn't have any felts or locks on it. My ride cymbal couldn't be hit hard and was resting on top of the mic cable from the mic on the floor tom because the stand couldn't hold it higher. Just. Fucking. Great. The floor tom was probably the best drum of the kit, but that's not saying much, now is it? And last but not least, the other stand for the crash cymbal was one of those spring type ones, used for china crashes mostly, and it being clamped as tightly as it was, when I hit my cymbal it sounded like a broken trash can lid and was like hitting a moving target if I hit it hard because of the spring loaded action. I was thisclose to just walking off the stage and refusing to play, but I knew I would never hear the end of it from the girls in my band, so I just put my head down in embarrassment and lightly played every Civilians songs without being able to do any tom work and cymbal crashes and accents, just sort-of a kick and sort-of a snare sound to every song.
Now here's the funny part - my band mates were like, 'What's wrong? Is everything OK'. 'Wanna play some Cock Sparrer covers?' 'I'm having a great time up here! This is fun!'
Well, it might of been fun for you guys, but for me, it was compete and utter bullshit and not worth the time and effort it took to get out of bed this morning. As soon as our shitty set was over I grabbed my gear and got the fuck out of there as quickly as possible. No BBQ (the chili cheese fries looked great though), shitty drum kit, fuck you Punk Rock BBQ. Never again will I fall for your lies and cheap ass bullshit. To quote the almighty Discharge: Never. Never. Never again. ;)