Saturday, August 29, 2009

Minutemen - 1 June 1985 - backyard party in Lomita, CA

This footage from a Summer 1985 backyard party where the Minutemen performed for the assembled crowd is a happening display of their working man's punk rock. The vibe is low key and helps produce a straight forwardly rocking set of excellent Minutemen songs.

The documentary We Jam Econo offers a great look at the history and individuals who made up the San Pedro, California combo known as the Minutemen. Also worthy of note for Minutemen knowledge is the chapter devoted to them in Michael Azerrads' Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991 and Michael T. Fournier's 33 1/3 - Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime - a wonderfully thorough examination of their classic double album released on SST Records in 1984.

This is a stripped down, re-worked and re-edited version of a blog I first posted on MySpace in August of 2008, now highlighting the backyard show.


Toadies • Big Foist • Retreat • Anxious Mo-Fo
Theater Is The Life of You • Glory of Man

Have You Ever Seen The Rain • Don't Look Now

Jesus And Tequila

profile from MTVs The Cutting Edge – 1985

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Venom - 2 April 1986 - City Gardens - Trenton, NJ

This Venom "bootleg" was released as an early seven inch on the Ecstatic Peace label and it's induced as much turntable inspired laughter around my pad as The Frogs. It features only the between song banter, but none of the music from a 1986 Venom gig in Trenton, New Jersey.

This Venom show is notable for Black Flag also playing on the bill. Also interesting to note, this was sampled on the Beastie Boys' track "Mark On The Bus" - "'re wild man!" I've always dug Venom and include many of their releases among my records, but this is good and entertaining stuff. There's a lot of Spinal Tap in so much heavy metal...

Venom - Bursting Out
from the 1983 Die Hard 12" single.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

History of the Amen Break - Six-Second Drum Sample

This clip is chock full of info on sampling in general and the use of the heavily sampled drum break from The Winstons song "Amen Brother" (the b-side of the "Color Him Father" single and title track on their 1969 record of the same name) in specifics. The b-side wins again!

In the info section of mobius32's YouTube posting for this clip, they state "Nate Harrison's 2004 video is a meditation on the ownership of culture, the nature of art and creativity, and the history of a remarkable music clip."

Here's some info on The Winstons, taken from sylvette323's YouTube post of the clip below for "Color Him Father" -- "A Washington, D.C.-based soul act led by Richard Spencer, the Winstons signed to Curtom in early 1968 and lasted there for one single, the rousing "Need a Replacement." They had a sound that was somewhat similar to the Impressions, but were unfortunate enough to have signed with Curtom before the label had national distribution, and the single never got the play it should have. A year after leaving Curtom, they hit for the Metromedia label with a huge single called "Color Him Father," which became a Top Ten R&B and pop hit, just missing number one on the R&B list, and also earned a Grammy for Best R&B Song."

The Winstons - Amen Brother

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Van Halen - 1982 - Capital Center, Maryland

I always try and maintain an open mind when a bands sound takes a new direction or they replace key members, especially lead singers. Bands such as Black Flag or AC/DC made changes in front men (for very different reasons) but I continue to enjoy both eras of their music. There are times however, when a line in the sand is drawn and these crucial member shake ups become a deal breaker. For me, such is the case with Van Halen after the parting of ways between David Lee Roth and the rest of the group, and I never had any interest in the post-1984 Van Halen.

The releases from the original line up of Van Halen remain a favorite on my turntable and on compilations I put together. It's larger than life rock and roll that leaves arena sized foot prints in it's wake. Here are some clips from a Capital Center - Largo, Maryland stop on 12 October 1982 during the Diver Down tour.

Romeo Delight


The Full Bug

Runnin' With The Devil

Jamie's Cryin'

Little Guitars

Where Have All The Good Times Gone?

Hang Em' High



Everybody Wants Some/Dave's Tale

Dance The Night Away

Somebody Get Me A Doctor

Ice Cream Man

Intruder/Pretty Woman

Bottoms Up

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

DLR & security drinking

You Really Got Me

Spectreman - Episodes 1 & 2

I watched a lot of Spectreman as a kid. Brought into my home via a Chicago UHF channel, this was even better than when Son of Svengoulie showed Godzilla Versus the Smog Monster because Spectreman episodes showed up Monday through Friday to appreciative adoration from lil rug rats like myself. There were also some other Japanese television imports that served up programs with similarly schlocky effects, roughly synced English dubbing and giant robots and monsters such as The Space Giants or Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot, but my youthful preference remained with Spectreman.

As often is the case, the villains are more interesting than the good guys. Banished and jail escapees from the peace loving "Planet E", Dr. Gori and his loutish lackey Karras are from an alien race of over gesticulating ape-like creatures. Dr. Gori quickly becomes enamored with the Earth but like Iron Eyes Cody, he is incensed by the pollution and damage done to the planet by us humans and vows to get rid of the pesky populace so he and his buddy can claim the planet.

Representing the white hats are the nice folks at Nebula 71 Star, a huge UFO that keeps an eye on Earth but stays hidden in the stars. They see what Dr. Gori has got planned and in response they send the magical, super robot Spectreman. When not battling creatures Spectreman is able to take the form of a human named Jôji Gamô who works for a government group who are an anti-pollution X-Files squad whose duty is investigating pollution and related giant monsters.

The series ran first in Japan from 1971 to 1972. For the English language version, Little Shop of Horrors actor Mel Welles directed, helped produce, co-wrote and voiced characters for the show. The US version also had three song writers put their heads together to produce a theme song that immediately brings The Who's "Pinball Wizard" to mind.

Opening, Preview and Closing Credits

"Gori Targets The Earth" - Episode 1

"Smash Hedoron, The Pollution Monster" - Episode 2

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Jesus Lizard - 29 April 1991 - DC Space

The Jesus Lizard began its existence in Texas - 1988 when former Scratch Acid vocalist David Yow teamed up with guitarist Duane Denison. Shortly thereafter, Yow's fellow band member from Scratch Acid, bassist David Sims joined the fold and everyone moved to Chicago in 1989. Once in Chicago, Jesus Lizard recorded their debut ep Pure with a drum machine filling out the rhythm section. While this initial release is beautifully raucous and strident, the band's sound became fully developed with the addition of drummer Mac McNeilly. 1990 saw the release of Head, both their first full length record as well as the first recordings as a four piece. Their 1991 record Goat is my favorite and the clips below come from a tour supporting it's release.

Studio recordings from The Jesus Lizard have always been a well tuned display of power dynamics at work, but it is in the live setting that their art damaged and primal fury get a chance to fully flex. Always a high energy performing band, early shows sometimes also allowed Yow a chance to display a wardrobe malfunction he called "tight n' shiny" for the audience.

Here are some clips from a 1991 Jesus Lizard show in Washington, DC at the tiny DC Space venue.

Then Comes Dudley


Killer McHann

Lady Shoes

Mouth Breather

One Evening

Bloody Mary

Monkey Trick

Sunday You Need Love

7 vs 8





Friday, August 7, 2009

The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987)

This 1987 BBC program on Robert Crumb mines similar subject matter also covered in Terry Zwigoff's later documentary Crumb. Robert Crumb describes his background, neuroses, turn-ons and artwork with a reflective and self deprecating attitude. He also wrote the script.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Descendents - July 1987 - St. Louis

Great footage of the Descendents (Karl Alvarez - bass, Stephen Egerton - guitar Bill Stevenson - drums and Milo Aukerman - vocals) from 1987 at the venue Mississippi Nights in St. Louis. Saw them that same summer in Chicago days before on this same tour and they put on a great show. It was one of the all ages hardcore shows in the main room of Medusa's and M.I.A., Short Dogs Grow and Chicago's own Lost Cause opened the bill.

A product of the early L.A. punk scene along with the likes of Black Flag and the Minutemen, the Descendents played their brand of hardcore with a notable pop influence to the music and lyrics. This is evident on their covering The Beach Boys number "Wendy" on their 1986 release Enjoy. Many songs highlight either troubles or infatuations with women, while others are very jokey. The music is fast paced and over caffeinated pop punk perfection.


Clean Sheets

Hurtin' Crue




I Like Food




Sour Grapes

Kids On Coffee

I Don't Want To Grow Up

Surburban Home

Good Good Things

I'm Not A Loser


Get The Time

Silly Girl

Enjoy / Midnight Madness

Saturday, August 1, 2009

They Call Me Trinity (1970)

They Call Me Trinity (1970) is the first of three comic spaghetti westerns directed by E.B. Clucher (Enzo Barboni) and starring Terence Hill (Mario Girotti). The others are: 1971s Trinity Is Still My Name! and 1972s Man of the East. All among my favorite Euro-Westerns.

They Call Me Trinity also stars the hulking Bud Spencer (Carlo Pedersoli) as the "brother" of Terrence Hill's Trinity. The two brothers meet up as Bud Spencer's character is impersonating a town's new sheriff under nefarious circumstances. It's from here the movie unfolds. A top notch midnight movie.