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.
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. ;)
Written by Matt Brown.
What's not to love about Nickel Fuckin' Beer Night at Beauty Bar? Good music, good people and cheap beer. I wish every night could be Nickel Beer Night. I've been trying to slow down the alcohol intake lately and give the old liver a rest so I told myself I would only have ONE beer. But of course as soon as they started lining up those little plastic cups I couldn't help myself. I bought 4 right out of the gate.
That got me nice and greased up for the first band, my good friends in Jerk! There's a lot of opinions out there on this local Pop Punk trio. I'll admit that the first time I saw them I thought they were pretty rough but they are rapidly improving and have definitely grown on me. There's something to be said for simple, unashamed 3 chord Punk Rock with lighthearted lyrics about girls, being 'radical' and lesbians.
After another round (8 to be exact) of nickel beers it was time for one of my favorite local acts: The Pluralses. These guys are a great live show and always get me in a rocking good mood. They're songs are heavy and fast, not to mention hilarious. Singer/bass player Trent usually starts each tune with "This song is about...(something wildly inappropriate)". Also, The Pluralses will be on our Pints With Punks radio show in the next month or so, keep an eye out, it will definitely be fun.
OK, Jerk! was great, Pluralses kicked ass. Time to reload on nickel beers. 4 more and I'm done for the night... I swear...
Now. Time for The Mapes. Honestly I didn't know much about these guys. From what I've heard they're a Local band with a killer live show.
Little. Did. I. Know.
If there was a roof behind Beauty Bar the Mapes would've blown it the fuck off. Aside from their costumes and stage antics, I was amazed at the energy in their music. Absolutely amazing hardcore Punk that had my toes tapping. The crowd filled in and everyone had a great time. I saw all the usual faces. Got a solid buzz on less than $10, What a great evening.
Afterwards I finished off the night with some Tacos El Gordo and headed home to sleep like a baby. Good job Beauty Bar.
Adios, until next time...
First off, thanks to Monica for taking me (dragging me) to go see this film. She's a great friend and I don't know what I'd do without her. <3
So I get to the consumer behemoth that is the Towne Square. I can only imagine that this is what the world would of looked like if the Germans had won the war. I park a million miles away in a big ass parking lot, wander around lost for a while while following signs to the theater which ended at 2 flights of stairs going up. Who the Hell puts a movie theater on top of 2 flights of stairs anyways? Ugh! Monica isn't there yet, but lots of Punk looking people are. She gets there, we grab popcorn and drinks, and make our way inside the theater, where the crowd sitting there looks like they're waiting for a Rancid concert. That is in no way, shape or form a compliment in any way. Through her strong brujeria Monica makes a whole row of fashion Punx shift seats so that we can sit in the back row together. Mongo impressed. We settle down and the movie begins and I immediately want to leave. The shaky premise of Heroin Bob and Trish's love child named Ross going off on a drinking and drug induced bender while on the way to an Extreme Corporal Punishment gig just held no interest for me. The soundtrack was terrible - more Goth than Punk, and the hairpieces / wigs looked like shit. I didn't give a fuck about anybody in the movie. They all sucked. Heroin Bob's son was some poof Goth dandy looking kid, who's only friend was the coolest Punk in SLC, a pretty boy named Crash who apparently had no backstory or history - he was just there, he just was that cool, but you'd never know it by his actions or dialogue in this movie. They were being driven around by this quiet girl named Penny who had a car fetish and a pedo rapist father. Why did the movie mention that about her? I dunno. They didn't explain why these 3 hung around together, and I didn't wanna know. I just wanted to leave. The fact that people in the movie theater were enjoying the movie was nauseating to me. I was hoping that the young Punx in the audience would of lit the movie screen on fire while screaming Anarchy! or some shit, but as always, they disappointed me. Stupid kids. They didn't even tear up the seat cushions when the movie was over or sneak any booze in. The only weed I smelled being smoked in there was coming from me!! Poseurs! LOL
Monica is loving the movie, as well she should. It's a total after school special chick flick, full of pretty, vapid people who speak in 140 characters or less. The soundtrack is horrible, full of what sounds like freshman year Punk Rock bands and classic Goth club hits, and the entire movie, especially the Heroin Bob flashback / interjections, just reek of condescension. It's almost embarrassing to watch the characters from the first movie, Trish, John The Mod (now John The Norwegian Death Metal meathead), Beggar Sean (now Senators Aide Sean), and Handsome Mike (now Mike the sleazy porno kingpin), interact on screen with each other. Did they need the cash that much?? I hope not. After watching everyone having a great time at the ECP gig, with plenty of Dwarves footage thrown in for good measure, somehow Ross ends up on stage and takes the microphone away from the singer of ECP and tells the band to stop playing, and they do. I can't tell you how many times I've seen that happen at the gigs I went to. I really can't, because it's never fucking happened. Now with everyone at the gig waiting to hear what Ross has to say, he proceeds to tell them all to fuck off and that he'd like to fuck them all at once. Then he does a stage dive and nobody catches him. Good, I thought. The angry, insulted crowd then proceeds to stomp the kid, while ECP continues playing in the background. Oh the horror. This is where the movie actually starts at - with Heroin Bob's son Ross getting stomped out, and then the story is told via flashbacks to bring you up to speed. Then Senator's Aide Sean and John The Norwegian Death Metaller come crashing in and fight their way through the crowd to save Ross from being stomped out flatter and thinner than this movie's premise, and they drag Ross outside to confront his mother Trish and the ghost of Heroin Bob that hangs over them all. Then they all hug. Then Ross, who was making fun of Penny for looking like a dude the whole movie, suddenly says he loves her, she says she loves him back, and they head off with Crash, who is just walking out of the gig, and the trio of Punks head off into the moonlight together, leaving the old folks standing there smiling and waving and wishing them well on their journey. Where was Crash when his friend Ross was getting jumped? Who knows? Then Heroin Bob comes back on screen to say who cares about any of this shit in the movie and then he reminds us that he's still dead and flips everybody off. The End.
As the credits rolled and the lights went up, I could hear people voicing their disappointment and disgust with the movie. "I can't believe I paid for that shit" and "I can't believe that I sat through that shit" were 2 of the more popular sentiments being voiced by the departing crowd. The only ones I heard saying anything good about this piece of shit movie were the fashion Punx who looked like they could be extras in an Exploited video circa 1985. They loved it. They thought it was the Punkiest thing they had ever seen. "That movie was tight" I heard one of them say as Monica and I were leaving, which for this generation was a Shakespearean statement! LOL This whole farce was brought forth by some Gofunding type of scheme, which should tell you all you need to know about this movie, because if it was a good movie, somebody, anybody, would of released it and distributed it. What company doesn't wanna make $$$, right? Yeah, but the fact that this movie was brought about by what basically amounts to charity / begging on the Internet tells you it's not very good, and it really, really isn't. There's a couple of good moments, like the Ross beer buying scene, or the Sean getting maced drama, but that's it, and even that is stretching it a bit. Punks Dead: SLC Punk 2 is a sad, sad movie, full of poorly fleshed out characters and mind numbingly dumb story lines and arcs, and lacking the wit, charm, passion, and brevity of the first one. It's like that high school Punk band you see struggling to maintain composure while opening up for the big bands at the big venue for the big gig. You know they suck, but you cheer them on because it's mean to be truthful and laugh and boooooo them off the stage like they deserve to be. Punk's Dead: SLC Punk 2 is like that struggling opening band. You know they suck, but you look for something, anything, to like about them. The problem is that there is nothing to like about this movie. Nothing. Unless you're one of the mindless fashion Punx still in high school, or thinking and dressing like you are.
I'd tell you to avoid seeing this movie at all costs, but you know you're gonna see it anyways, you Punk Rock motherfuckers you. :-) James Merendino, you should be ashamed of yourself for this travesty...
Punk's Dead: SLC Punk 2 is available nationally in select theaters. Check the Punk's Dead: SLC Punk 2 Facebook page by clicking here to see where and when it's being shown. The movie will also be available via DVD and video on demand on March 8th. Whoop dee fucking doo.