23 February 2017


The Escape is going on vacation and then going on tour and then going on vacation again. Please find me with RAKTA starting next weekend, then both STERILE MIND and NO STATIK will be playing Everything Is Not OK III the weekend after that....and I believe it will be the first time I have played in Oklahoma since 2002. Then it's off to Mexico for a week, just to make a general nuisance of myself before I trek back to SF through the desert. To tide you over, here are the second and third mix tapes in a series that I made for some dear friends. As I mentioned in the post of the first tape (which was Volume 2 when sequenced alphabetically) a couple of weeks ago, there are common themes through the tapes, several shared artists, and all three start with the same track, and I will likely listen to each of the several times on my drive to Austin which will start in a few hours. 


Friendship is to be valued and treasured, and should be treated with the respect that it deserves. 

21 February 2017

20 February 2017


Perfectly executed bombastic Japanese DBeat hardcore punk. Loud, fast, massive guitars, howling vocals, just the tiniest hint of melody in the riffs...check the "ooopphh!!" after the drums start "Shinjutsu" and if you are raging then you aren't listening. This 2014 demo is exactly what it's supposed to be, and it's exactly what you need. 

19 February 2017


Lurching slogs, lumbering forward with unmistakable and endearing determination. 
Analogies abound.

18 February 2017


The unearthed gems from the would-have-been commercial success stories that never were...the stories are mysteries, and the cassette bins at your local charity shop are likely hiding a few of the gems. Late 1980s suburban Bay Area glam/punk/schlock, LATENT IMAGE harness elements of THE CULT, (then) contemporary IGGY POP, Sunset Strip leads, and Eldridge pomp. Some of the songs are too long (especially the 6+ minute opener "You're Still The One"), but there's something that just clicks about this one....maybe it's because they are clearly so deadly serious. The solo in "Working Girls" is brat pack montage gold, and there's not a hint of irony. I picture some dudes in a garage with flowing locks, who would have their dreams crushed just a few years later when the dirty and underproduced sounds of Seattle took over the airwaves...struggling to add the grit they had spent a would-have-been career sweeping off. Keep digging, my friends.

17 February 2017


Hard to comprehend that the seeds of the current (and now, I suppose, recently past?) crop of mutant hardcore in and around Olympia, Washington were planted more than a decade ago. But alas, it was 2006 when we shared a mobile home with WHITE BOSS at a show that ended with a massive trash fire out back and chants of "MEGA! MEGA! MEGA!" as freeks threw compressed combustibles into the blaze. Low fidelity reality from the radical libertarian void, circa 2007: SEX VID, SISTER, FUNEROT, HIV, HORRIBLE, and LOOSE CHANGE. Pull up your trousers.

16 February 2017


It's cool if I don't always have the right words, isn't it? Because the things that SHAKING HEADS remind me of sound so dreadfully typical so I'm going to keep me references to myself and wait for yours. I'll just say that it's good. And that's it's perfect for those punk occasions when hardcore isn't actually king. I mean, hardcore is obviously king, but we don't always want to be in the king's court all the time, right? 

15 February 2017


The tonnage of life itself can weigh you down in inexplicable ways, and sometimes the tonnage itself is the only relief. I know what I mean when I say that, even though it doesn't make sense when I read the words....but it's a nod to the earnest intensity of this Russian band. I guess we called this "metalcore" or even "modern hardcore" back in the '90s, though all of the era specific genre descriptors seem even emptier now than they did at the time. AFTERLIFE are heavy, powerful, determinedly midtempo slog. The shit takes me someplace, and I am happy to be there. It's not here. So let's go.

14 February 2017


You know those times when you just open your eyes and you are alive? It's a pretty good feeling, and a feeling that we all should have more often. That doesn't really have anything to do with either of the French bands on this tape, but it's a thing I was thinking while I was listening to it....so maybe they are related. Twee/pop from PRÊCHEUR LOOP, really really good shit. Subdued psych/no wave on the flip..."Spare No Time" is a lost Nugget. Get it...feel alive. 

13 February 2017


Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know that you stopped publicly backing and pretending to listen to blistering ear torture distortion with light speed neanderthal beats. I guess I'll try to post some en vogue and/or currently cool things soon. You'll have to suffer through this until then. But on the up side, the THE BOYS cover here is next level awesome. 

12 February 2017


The liberation of solitude and the fruits of home recording join forces on this 32 minute offering from Bay Area project NOTHING BAND.  Filling the shoes of local-esque names like RESIDENTS, FATRIX, and NEGATIVLAND quite nicely, I feel like these are sounds that will be noticed and/or appreciated more in future times, but that is only because "our" vision is too narrow, my friends. And for a very weird and (I swear) completely accidental addition to today's post, I offered you (dear visitors) the 3: Aloner cassette from NOTHING BAND on 12 February 2016. Sometimes things just work out. 


11 February 2017


Impulse buys treat you right, kids. Part ways with unwanted and/or unneeded funds whenever possible and, occasionally, you will be rewarded. In this case, because we are friends, you only have to download. The first one is free. 

10 February 2017


Recently, I made a series of related mix tapes for three friends that will be visiting later this month. I started them all with the same track ("Today's Modern Woman" by SUBTONIX - which is unquestionably one of my favorite, and one of the greatest, punk songs of all time) and kept a few common themes throughout the tapes while still trying to tailor each one my understanding of the tastes and interests of each friend. It's a challenge, but it's a fun one. So each mix has different tracks from HAWKWIND, PAUL SIMON, OMID WALIZADEH and SISTERS OF MERCY. On the one hand, this selection (version #2, in case you can't decipher my title) is a bit more punk than the other two that will all appear here in coming weeks, it also features a creamer from SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK and RARE EARTH's "(I Know) I'm Losing You" (which is to rock music what the aforementioned SUBTONIX track is to punk)....but diversity is what makes a mix tape good for listening. Right? Right. Punk is for meeting friends, mix tapes are for letting you know you love them. 

09 February 2017


Killer '80s Mexican punk, but from 1990. Sometimes they remind me of REZILLOS, the vocals flirt the lazy nasal drawl of PLASTIC BERTRAND while spewing snotty early EBBA GRÖN attitude, and when they wind it up and let it rip? Well, punk rules, ok? But never mind my blithering, just blast "Ya Es Delito Ser Punk" and you won't care about comparisons. 

08 February 2017


This GURR band from Berlin had me hooked from the first note. Andreya's vocals are the first thing the reel you in, and her shrill wails that lead into the chorus of "Super Tired" make it very clear that this outfit is not one to be fukkd with. Hyper infectious dark (but peppy) garage jams with songs that stopped me in my tracks like few things I've heard (DASHER comes to mind, however), the shit is just right. A weird amalgamation of GORILLA ANGREB and DEAD MILKMEN and LOST SOUNDS....it rules. Period. And "Hey My Friend" is like the "Couldn't (If I Tried)" for the new millennium, and if you know what that means then you fukkn know what I'm talking about. 

07 February 2017


Snagged on a complete whim on a recent trip to Southern California, I basically thought this thing looked like it might be cool and figured it was worth a $5 gamble. Live loose, man...let it roll, you can't take it with you, right? So might as well shove some jams into your canal before you move on down the line. And so I gambled, and I was treated to 66 minutes of bleak atmospheric metal. Slow motion heaviness interrupts periods of carefully constructed quietude, with searing vocals that demand as much attention as the morose wailing guitars that permeate the interludes....interludes that create The Fifth Element's aura, but make up a substantial portion of its content. Get dark.

06 February 2017


Think back, if you will, to a time when Noise Punk Mondays were a guarantee. Not a "sometimes, maybe, who knows?" kind of thing, but an "every fukkn Monday" kind of thing here at TE. Distortion reigned. Ineptitude, both deliberate and unintentional, was celebrated. And your work week started with chaos and, hopefully, bombastic bursts of frantic mayhem. Do you miss those days, even as the scene du jour has turned broody and dark and drum machines have replaced pedal boards and chaos punks now listen to the shit I jammed in my bedroom before I knew what punk even was? If you find yourself lost, then I invite you to visit a different place. A place where chaos is made of determination. A place where distortion just happens....it's not planned, but it's not avoided either. It just becomes....and it is allowed. A place where skill and desire clash with a fury that cannot be translated from the ears. A place where LOS PUNK ROCKERS still reign, no matter what is in fashion, because punk rules. OK? OK.

04 February 2017


It's like this tape bridges decades inside my mind. On the one hand it is a brilliant recreation of classic German punk - I hear shadows of SLIME, BLUT+EISEN, IDEAL and a host of '80s DeutschPunk and Neue Deutschte Welle acts....but these fukkrs (or, "fckrs" if you prefer) sound like themselves in the most perfect way. Jerky FRANZ FERDINAND guitars, sharp and angular song structures - perfectly crafted songs that are, at their base, simply brilliant pop songs. Classify the shit how you like, most modern dolts would file under "post punk" or "indie," but I choose to file under "shit I really like a LOT." So figure that shit out....or, better yet, just listen.

There's more FCKR....and I highly recommend that you shove as much FCKR as you can into your earholes. Your earholes will thank you.


You like punk music, right? Cool. This is punk music. It's harsh and it's raw and it's angry. That's how you like your punk music, right? Cool. because that's how this sounds. You're welcome. 

03 February 2017


Outta sight Southern California garage mutants, THOUGHT PATTERN dust up old and well worn vibes from bands like '90s SF warehouse denizens GAY BARBARIANS while harnessing the energy and irreverence of THE SPITS. "Kimberly" is either the creepiest or the sweet love song ever (why do I have to choose?) while 4-track missives like "The Sound Of One Hand Clapping" are straight out of the 50 MILLION catalog (more under the radar Bay Area references here....I would say I'm sorry, but if you know, then you know) and "God's Country" is a full on guitar frenzied psychrock freak out a la DEBRIS and I hear SPARKS seeping through the tracks more than a few times. What I'm trying to say is that if you want to make it weird, then make it weird....but it helps if you also know how to make it right.

01 February 2017


A foreboding collection of sounds from Danish aural collagist KNÆKKEDE STEMMER. Subdued industrial ominousity reduced to its most primitive form. The next thirty minutes of your life will be quiet, even temporarily peaceful, but there is nothing calm or reassuring about this release.


I will save you the historical context today. EL AVIADOR DRO is a hugely influential Spanish new wave band, and more information about their legacy, history and discography is readily available on the internet. The internet has a lot of things on it. In fact, you are on the internet right now....

My 2003 European Odyssey was full of discoveries. Five months on the continent, countless new friends and acquaintances, some of whom I still call friends today - two tours, nine weeks each, with a Scandinavian vacation in between...it was epic and excellent. Saw tons of good bands, thankfully have forgotten most of the bad ones (if I played with you on those tours and you are reading this now, I am certain that you were in one of the good bands), saw some castles...I mean, it was Europe. They have castles there, so you go see them. ARTIMUS PYLE played a chunk of shows in Germany, France and Spain with THE NOW DENIAL (good ass band) at the start of the whole thing, and we hung out with some really sweet folks in Valencia (the story is long and involved and ultimately not very interesting unless you are generally curious about Tour Odysseys, but it involves a delicious meal, inadequate plumbing, mosaic tile and unusual street parking, feel free to ask me in person someday)...and that's where I heard about Paco. Paco was from Valencia and had moved to London, where we met him a short time later...conveniently, he had organized our gig at The Swan. NATION OF FINKS and HUMAN BOMB played, wild ass weed soaked reggae DJs crushed the front bar...the poster still rests on my wall, the show was killer and we retired to Paco's apartment afterwards. The three of us sat up with him until the wee hours talking about music, learning about new bands (and old bands new to us), I decided to start storing my EP dust sleeves outside the picture sleeves that night (true nerd shit here, but truth is truth, and I try to not be scared of truth). We listened to records. We bought records (like any good salesman, Paco ran a distro and managed to ply plenty of Euros/Pounds Sterling from us that evening....money well spent of course), and Paco played EL AVIADOR DRO. He talked about how they were one of his favorite bands, about how this group of independent and DIY anarchists played insanely popular new wave/dance music....or maybe it was about how this crazy popular new wave/dance band were actually DIY anarchists and pressed and distributed their own records despite offers to enter The Mainstream. I don't remember exactly...I just remember that I loved the tunes and kept thinking how much more I would have loved them if I had heard EL AVIADOR DRO in the '80s when this shit was my fukkn jam without exception. So I was like having this weird time warp flashback, but for music that I had never heard....weird, right? And Paco, because he is smart and perceptive - and a good friend - sensed all of this and made me this tape. So here you go: 90 minutes of EL AVIADOR DRO. There is so much more available to visitors who want more...and that's how the internet is supposed to work. Consider me your shovel....now go dig a hole.