Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Too Much Fighting on the Dance Floor

Good morning boys and girls and welcome back to Wednesdays With Andrew #wwa. Buckle in, you're in for a bumpy ride. As always, feel free to read along as you listen to below's playlist, and share, like, comment, whatever. I am open to requests! So if there's something you wanna hear in the weeks to come, let me know. 

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The Specials – Ghost Town

We kick off this week with an infectious anthem from English ska band The Specials. Fronted by founder and primary songwriter Jerry Dammers, The Specials are credited for leading the ska revival and 2 Tone scene in the UK during the late 70s and early 80s. Ghost Town was originally released as a single in 1981, and spent three weeks at number one in the UK’s Top 40 list. You may also remember this haunting melody and chill backbeat being featured in the movie Shaun of the Dead.

Screeching Weasel – Stupid Girl

Stupid Girl is off Chicago-based band Screeching Weasel’s 8th studio album, Bark Like a Dog. Screeching Weasel, through a career that spans decades and has produced 13 full-length albums, remains highly influential, often being cited for ‘muse-like’ qualities by commercially and critically popular artists. This track highlights their tendency to focus lyrics on girls and love, and get people hooked on that Ramones-eque style of glaze-y pop punk.

Good Riddance – Static

Up next we have another longstanding member of the Fat Wreck Chords family, Good Riddance. Static is off their 1996 sophomore release, A Comprehensive Guide to Moderne Rebellion. Good Riddance quickly rose to prominence during the 90s through their commitment to fast rhythms, hooky melodies and political and social commentary. 

The Kinks – (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman

Formed in London in the early 60s by brothers Dave and Ray Davies, The Kinks were one of the most influential bands of its time, and you can still hear their impact on today’s pop, rock and punk sounds. For their own part, the Davies brothers incorporated many different styles they were exposed to at a young age, ranging from dance hall to rhythm and blues to jazz to good ole rock n roll. (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman comes off their 1979 album Low Budget, and the disco feel of the song was The Kinks’ sarcastic response to their label’s insistence on recording a “club-friendly” album.

Capdown – Ska Wars

This next song is a punch to the face, showcasing the energy, rage and musical diversity that encapsulates British skacore band Capdown. Ska Wars is from their debut album, Civil Disobedients, released in 2000 through Household Name Records. Capdown is as well known for blending genres (influences ranging from punk to reggae to metal to drum+bass to hardcore) as they are for their aggressive tour schedule; reportedly, they played almost 250 live shows a year in the early 2000s.

MxPx – Weak

This is MxPx’s track Weak, off their 1994 debut album Pokinatcha. Released through Christian rock label Tooth & Nail Records, this showcases MxPx’s earlier, rawer sound. Although they eventually found their niche writing more melodic, pop-driven songs, Pokinatcha draws more from earlier hardcore and punk influences, a la Black Flag, Descendents and Minor Threat.

The Dictators – Baby Let’s Twist

Baby Let’s Twist comes from Rock n Roll Hall of Famers and proto-punk legends The Dictators. The song is from their third album, Bloodbrothers, which was hailed positively by critics as a turning point for the band, focused on a more mature and refined sound. Like their previous albums, Bloodbrothers features ‘secret weapon’ and band mascot Handsome Dick Manitoba on lead vocals. If you ever find yourself in East Village, go say hey to him at the bar he owns, Manitoba’s; I hear he’s often around and fun to chat with.

Teddybears ft. Iggy Pop - Punkrocker

If you read my first blog, you may remember me issuing a warning about playing Iggy Pop in excess…this particular manifestation features Mr. Iguana Pop as guest lead vocalist for Swedish electronic band Teddybears. Aptly named Punkrocker, this song is off their 2006 album Soft Machine, released as a collaboration of Big Beat and Columbia records. This whole album is great, and I definitely recommend taking a listen if you get the chance. Originally a grindcore/metal band, Teddybears is now best known for their eclectic mix of musical genres, and for wearing giant bear masks, like all the time.

The Vandals – Ape Shall Never Kill Ape

This next track is The Vandals’ Ape Shall Never Kill Ape, off their fourth studio album Live, Fast Diarrhea. A huge driving force of the 90s punk revival scene, Huntington Beach’s The Vandals preferred to use their music as a vehicle for comedy and sarcasm, as opposed to the more serious political and social stances their contemporaries were staking out.

Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving

We are now transported to the streets of Queens, aimlessly (and unsuccessfully) looking for the right food for the mood, with this stoner saga by New York’s Parquet Courts. Stoned and Starving is off their 2nd full length, Light Up Gold, released through frontman Andrew Savage’s record label Dull Tools.  Light Up Gold proved to be a breakout success, garnering hugely positive reviews and propelling Parquet Courts’ brand of musical stream of consciousness into the national spotlight.

New York Dolls - Trash

We end this week’s episode with another early influencer on the American punk scene, the New York Dolls. Trash comes off of the band’s 1973 eponymous album, released on Mercury Records. Although the New York Dolls had attracted a huge following in lower Manhattan, it took them a few years to land a record deal; labels weren’t eager to take on what they viewed as a huge liability in the cross-dressing, vulgar-laden Dolls. Mercury finally decided to take a bet on them, but ended up losing - although the album was a critical success, and helped pave the way for many bands to come, it was a commercial flop, selling only about 100,000 copies.

Hope you enjoyed the playlist! Share with friends, make requests, let me know what you think, etc.  Until next week...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

There's Nothing Wrong with Me it Must Be All of You

Hey everybody – hope you’re all doing well and in the mood for this week’s Wednesdays With Andrew playlist #wwa. Please enjoy the tunes and feel free to follow along below.

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Scream – Fight/American Justice

We open our playlist with Screams’ double track, Fight/American Justice. Their blend of earsplitin’ chords, breakneck-speed rhythms and unabashed views on society and commercialism make Scream another benchmark in the DC hardcore punk scene. Brothers Peter and Franz Stahl formed Scream in ’81, but arguably their most famous member was Dave Grohl, who recorded and toured with them after original drummer Kent Stax left the band. Franz Stahl (guitar) later went on to help Grohl form rock behemoth Foo Fighters.

Gray Matter – Oscars Eye

Oh, you want some more tunes from the DC punk scene? OK, here’s another one. Oscars Eye is a track from post-hardcore outfit Gray Matter’s first album, Food for Thought. Recorded at Inner Ear studios in 1984, the album was originally released through R&B Records while the members were still finishing up high school. Drummer Dante Ferrando is still very active in DC’s music scene, as majority owner and fearless leader of the Black Cat nightclub, still one of the best spots in the district to catch live music. Bassist/vocalist Steve Niles went on to become a successful comic book author; most notably, his miniseries 30 Days of Night.

AFI – Soap-box Derby

Before AFI became real life versions of the goth kids from South Park (A Fire Inside? Really?), they put out a few melodic punk albums in the early and mid 90s. Soap-box Derby is a great example of their earlier sounds, and was featured on their sophomore record, Very Proud of Ya.

Plague Vendor – Black Sap Scriptures

Next up we have a jibe little tune by Plague Vendor. Black Sap Scriptures is the first track off of their debut album, Free to Eat, released on Epitaph Records in 2014. These SoCal hooligans are making their brash and reckless sound known to the world, an unrelenting energy that shines through in their albums and which is only amplified at their live shows. If you dig this track, I highly recommend checking out their newest release, BLOODSWEAT.

Propagandhi – Head? Chest? Or Foot?

Hailing from Manitoba, Canada Propagandhi was one of the major bands to emerge during the punk renaissance period in the early and mid 90s. Head? Chest? Or Foot? is off of their debut album, How to Clean Everything, released in 1993 on Fat Wreck Chords. Although their last few albums have marked a transition towards a more thrashy, technically complex sound, this track epitomizes their original flavor of skate-influenced melodic hardcore.

PEARS – Hinged by Spine

After the break up of their previous band The Lollies, New Orleansians (?..spellcheck says that ain’t a word) Zach Quinn and Brian Petrus regrouped to form PEARS. Melodic and angry, catchy and hard hitting, unconventionally structured, PEARS have developed a truly unique sound. Hinged by Spine is off their second album, and their first to be released through Fat Wreck Chords, Green Star


Unwritten Law – C.P.K.

C.P.K., short for Crazy Poway Kids, is the opening track off of pop punk band Unwritten Law’s first full length release, Blue Room. Overlaying distinctive melodic hooks on top of a speedy and energetic rhythm section, they quickly attracted a wide national audience. Unwritten Law was a contributor to the early 90s San Diego punk scene, which also saw the rise of acts like Blink-182, Sprung Monkey and Rocket from the Crypt.

Against All Authority – Dinkas when I close my eyes

In this song, political ska punkers Against All Authority decry the oppression of the Dinka tribes in the Arab-controlled government of Sudan. Sadly, this conflict eventually led to a 20-year civil war between the Dinkas and government forces, during which thousands of non-combatants were massacred. With roots in Florida, Against All Authority is well known for their DIY approach to music, crusty ska-core sound and cringe-worthy (in a good way!) vocals. This song is off their album 24 Hour Roadside Resistance, first released in 2000.

Cigar – Mr. Hurtado

West coast punk doesn’t always have to be SoCal or Bay Area!  Cigar formed in Eugene, Oregon and only released one album, Speed is Relative, before disbanding to go onto larger projects. Side note – they were discovered and produced by Fletcher from Pennywise. Cigar’s style of melodic punk breaks any sort of concept of ‘fast fucking drum beats’ you may have had – drummer Jon Sortland shattered the speed barrier when laying down his tracks for this record. This incredible rhythm section, along with the thoughtful composition of beautiful harmonies, makes this one of the more interesting punk albums. Jon Sortland currently tours with Broken Bells as the drummer, bassist and keyboardist.

Joyce Manor – Falling in Love Again

Falling in Love Again is off emo /indie rock outfit Joyce Manor’s third studio album, Never Hungover Again. Released through Epitaph in 2014, this record received very positive reviews from music critics, with Ian Cohen of Pitchfork raving “the ingenuity of each song’s design and the ear-turning nature of every maneuver speaks to Never Hungover Again's inexhaustible quality, the kind of album you can play three times in a row without any part wearing out its welcome." I certainly agree with Ian’s sentiments – I can’t stop listening to these guys.

This is the stuff of nightmares/what happens when I try to photoshop someone's face for one of those stupid JibJab ecards:

The Clash – Police and Thieves

Next up is The Clash’s version of Police and Thieves, originally written and recorded by Kingston reggae artist Junior Murvin. The Clash, one of the early UK punk bands eager to incorporate world musical elements into their recordings, included the cover in in their commercially successful, 1977 eponymous debut album. Unfortunately, Junior wasn’t impressed; his first public reaction to hearing the cover was “They have destroyed Jah work!”

Suicidal Tendencies - Heaven

We close out today’s playlist with funky thrash punk Suicidal Tendencies’ ballad-ish song Heaven, featured on their 1999 album Freedumb. Featuring the popular track from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Cyco Vision, this record was viewed by many as a return to S.T.’s early 80s punk and hardcore roots, from which they had strayed into more funk and metal on previous albums. Amongst many controversies and hiatuses, Suicidal Tendencies has gone through a very long roster of members; perhaps the most famous of which is Robert Trujillo, current bassist for Metallica.

Alright kiddos, that’s it. Thanks for listening and/or reading along, and please share the blog and playlist with anyone who may enjoy it! See ya in a week!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

They Made You a Moron

Hey boys and girls! Welcome to the 2nd installment of Wednesdays with Andrew #WWA. Boy, are you in for a treat this week! Please enjoy the tunes and feel free to follow along as I drop some musings on each song.

You can also listen on Spotify's web player (AND SHARE) here:

Loud Boyz – Hard Feelings

I am very excited to start off this week’s playlist with Loud Boyz’ track Hard Feelings. Loud Boyz is a relative newcomer to the DC scene, but their smashing, in your face style of hardcore punk is getting a lot of attention. Between their catchy melodies, powerful rhythm section and chaotic live shows, this is a band that you’ll find is hard to get out of your head.

Face to Face – Disconnected

I know what you’re thinking; ‘wait…didn’t I used to hear this song on the radio in the 90s?’ Yeah, so what? Sometimes the public at large was fortunate enough to get a glimpse into the wonderfully wacky world of punk rock. California powerhouse Face to Face actually recorded this song like 3 times due to its increasing popularity, and eventually it landed a spot in the soundtrack for the movie Tank Girl.  Face to Face married powerful teen angst with biting hooks to create a brand of pop punk that resonated with a wide audience. Oh and they’re sooooo 90s. So I love them.

NOFX – Champs Elysees

Ahhhhh at long last we come to seminal punksters/taboo-breakers, NOFX. Read No Effects, they are one of the longest-running mainstream successes in punk, helped along by a burgeoning interest in the scene during the early 90s. Formed in 1983 by vocalist/bassist/ringleader Fat Mike, guitarist Eric Melvin and drummer Erik ‘Smelly’ Sandin, the lineup was completed in early 1991 by the addition of guitarist/trumpeter/impressionist El Jefe – and this lineup remains intact to this day. NOFX’s cover of Champs Elysees is featured on their 7th studio release So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes. Vive La France! Definitely my favorite rendition of the song, originally written by Joe Dassin in 1969 (yea I definitely had to look that one up)

Greedy Guts – World of Speed

Speaking of France, this next track comes from puunk rackers (say that in the accent!) Greedy Guts. Hailing from Toulon, France these guys are all about speedy riffs, skateboards and intense head banging. This track, World of Speed, is featured on their 2008 album Songs and Bullets. ENJOY.

Fugazi – Waiting Room

Waiting Room is the first track off Fugazi’s first EP, officially (or unofficially?) known by the moniker 7 Songs. Recorded in Don Zientara’s legendary Inner Ear Studios in beautiful Arlington, VA this represented a major (musical, at least) departure away from Ian Mackaye’s previous acts, most notably Minor Threat.  Fugazi is often cited as one of the most important post-hardcore groups, and was famously contemptuous of the music industry, paving the way for many significant DIY bands in the years to follow.

Fugazi – Merchandise

Fine, fine, fine….we all love Fugazi….here is another one. Merchandise is from their full length debut, Repeater.


Dillinger Four – Last Communion

Hailing from warm and sunny Minneapolis, Dillinger Four is another 90s heavy hitter featuring a consistent member lineup. With their aggressive tones, ‘way over the speed limit’ tempos and catchy-ass melodies, D4 has gained a ton of deserved popularity over the years. Last communion is the 4th tune off their sophomore album Versus God, released through Hopeless Records.

Grey Area – Before Me

Off their self-titled full length release, Before Me perfectly encapsulates Grey Area’s unique blend of melodic hardcore, blistering drums and rockn’roll-rooted lead guitar riffs. Although these New Yorkers still play gigs here and there, they haven’t released an album since 2000, nor have they been doing any serious touring. If you guys are reading, there’s a whole lot of us here on the Interwebz that would love for Grey Area to start playing more!

Dead Kennedys – Halloween

Bay Area bastards Dead Kennedys was one of the most influential hardcore acts during the late 70s and 80s. Headed by the illustrious and industrious frontman Jello Biafra, Dead Kennedys were noted for incorporating surf guitar and satirical contempt of society into their brand of west coast hardcore. This song hails off their sophomore record, Plastic Surgery Disasters. People out on the street, they might glare at you! Interesting tidbit on Jello Biafra – he ran for the Green Party presidential nomination in 2000, and finished a far-off 2nd behind Ralph Nader. He also used to live in the same house as my old college girlfriend’s brother!

Leftöver Crack – Nazi White Trash

Leftöver Crack is the result of throwing crust punk, ska, thrash and hardcore into a blender, turning it on high and then walking away from it forever. Risen from the ashes of ska-core pioneers, Choking Victim, Leftöver Crack quickly became popular through their musical innovation and politically charged lyrics. They reside in Manhattan’s infamous C Squat, and still boast a very active tour schedule.

Shout out to Mike D! Check his (much more informative and articulate) blog here:

Wavves – Heavy Metal Detox

Heavy Metal Detox is the opening track on Wavve’s 5th studio album, appropriately named V. Staying true to their surf garage roots, they weave thoughtful melodies on top of clashing surf guitar licks and fuzzy sounds to create a hazey, hungover vibe for the listener. Building off the success of earlier blues and garage punk bands, like New Bomb Turks, Wavves are keeping the spirit and sound of punk alive for the younger generations.

Millencolin – Chiquita Chaser

Skate/ska band Millencolin has long been a ‘must have’ for any 90s punk fan’s CD collection. Formed in Sweden in 1992, this is yet another band in this week’s playlist that has featured the same original lineup during their entire musical career. I am starting to smell a theme here. Chiquita Chaser is a catchy little diddly off of Millencolin’s first studio album, Same Old Tunes. This album was originally labeled Tiny Tunes and boasted cover art that mimicked the popular Tiny Toons TV show. However, after numerous lawsuits from Warner Bros, Millencolin was forced to relabel and release under the new name Same Old Tunes.

Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen

We end today’s playlist with this gem from the Sex Pistols, widely considered the godfathers of the UK punk movement. Although they were only a band for 2 years and produced just one full length album, you can still hear the rippling effects that they left on today’s popular music. Under the creative and savvy leadership of Malcolm McLaren, Jonny Rotten and the boys attracted a diverse fanbase through their poppy compositions and eagerness to shock with their controversial image and political messages. God Save the Queen, motherfuckers.

Thanks guys for listening and reading along to my random thought spew. Tune in next week for a new playlist on Wednesdays with Andrew! In the meantime, please comment, ‘follow’ or whatever, like shit, etc.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What Poor Gods We Do Make

The concept for Wednesdays with Andrew came about through a mix of sheer boredom of, and major indifference for, songs being played on the radio. Originally, the idea was to do a weekly or bi-weekly podcast…however, on further investigation, I discovered that there are quite a few considerations, primarily around licensing requirements, that makes it a difficult endeavor. Although hard work does indeed pay off, settling is way easier. SOOO I decided to start by just sharing a weekly playlist through this blog, accompanied by some musings so that you can read along while listening. Welcome to Wednesdays with Andrew.

Please feel free to share the playlist here:

And read about it...

Naked Raygun – Rat Patrol

We start off strong with Naked Raygun’s Rat Patrol. This track lends us the name for our debut episode. Naked Raygun’s blistering, unrelenting and unapologetic sound made them a cornerstone in Chicago’s burgeoning 80s punk scene, and left a legacy that influences much of the sound we hear today. Dave Grohl gave Naked Raygun a big shoutout during his Chicago stop for the Sonic Highways project. Dave recalled his first time ever going to a concert, a bill headlined by Naked Raygun in the famed Cubby Bear bar near Wrigley Field.

Joy Division – Disorder

I love this song, it’s so damn catchy and jangly. For some reason, I always think of the cult classic TV show Twin Peaks when I listen to these guys – one of their songs WAS recently featured on Stranger Things, so there’s definitely something goofy and cultish about the sound. Originally named Warsaw, Joy Division was formed after founding members Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook attended a Sex Pistols show. After singer Ian Curtis committed suicide right before their 2nd album dropped, the remaining members would go on to form the legendary synthpop band New Order.

Bigwig – Smile

Bigwig is just one of many great punk bands that the surly state of New Jersey has produced over the years. This song is off their second studio album Stay Asleep, a dazzling collection of fast and gritty melodic tunes. It has always really bugged me that I have never seen them live; I’ve heard great things. 

Agent Orange - Everything Turns Grey

Hells yeah, Agent Orange. Everyone can dig this jam. One of the earliest acts to blend punk rock with surf guitar, these guys were a cornerstone of the 80s California punk scene. I saw them when they came through DC a couple years back, and I can confirm that Agent Orange is not slowing down one bit in their golden years.

Guttermouth – Derek

Speaking of west coast punk, let’s enjoy a track off of Guttermouth’s sophomore record, Friendly People. This album was actually the first release for Nitro Records, the label founded by Offspring frontman Dexter Holland. Guttermouth has enjoyed a long and storied career of abrasive irreverence and outrageous behavior at their live shows.  Banned and blacklisted from numerous venues and tours, this honeybadger  just don’t give a shit.

Oh hey here’s a gif:

Consumed – Bye, Bye Fatman

Although these Brit punkrockers have been around since the mid-90s, I have only just recently really got into them. This song is off their 1998 Fat Wreck abum, Breakfast at Pappa’s, and it absolutely rocks. I think I really enjoy this one, because unlike all the other songs on this playlist, I haven’t already heard it a million times.

The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog

You better believe that influential proto-punk band The Stooges will be making a lot of appearances on this weekly playlist project. I’ll also be including some stuff Iggy Pop did solo and in collaboration with David Bowie, in the weeks to come.  As the great Iggy said himself: “I like music that's more offensive. I like it to sound like nails on a blackboard, get me wild.” Fuck yeah.

Kid Dynamite – Bench Warmer

This is one of my favorite tunes from Kid Dynamite’s debut album. I think I can say, with 100% objectivity, that Kid Dynamite is the all-time greatest band ever to have existed. Well that may just be gratuitous hyperbole…but Kid Dynamite is certainly the greatest thing to come out of Philly. I saw one of their many, many reunion shows a couple years back, and it was a raucous event. They sure do kick ass live.  A staple of the scene, these former Lifetime rockers went on to start a diverse range of bands, including None More Black, Armalite, The Loved Ones and Paint It Black.

Rancid – Junkie Man

What can I say, this song is just the tits.  Weird, catchy and loud, it is a great example of the lasting mark Rancid made during the 90s punk revival.  I still have a Rancid t-shirt from the 7th grade…more hole than fabric, I still wear THE SHIT out of that thing. Best $7 I’ve ever spent.  Oh, are mohawks still a thing? I feel like you don’t see mohawks that much anymore. Tim Armstrong doesn’t even rock one anymore – he’s just got that weird head tattoo now:


Satanic Surfers – Don’t Skate On My Ramp

This song is off of Satanic Surfers’ 8-song EP, Keep Out! which is my favorite release that these crazy Swedes have put out. On this EP, drummer Rodrigo Alfaro incorporates a lot of polyrhythmic beats, influenced from West African drum circles – pretty fancy for punk. Alfaro later went on to take over vocal duties as well, but Keep Out! features Ulf Eriksson as lead singer.

I won’t normally do dedications, but I do want to dedicate “Don’t Skate On My Ramp” to Donald Trump. Fuck you numnuts.

FIDLAR – Cheap Beer

These guys are probably my favorite band to come out in the last few years. They bring such a refreshing take on the garage punk sound, and I can’t get tired of listening to their first 2 albums. LOUD FUCKING NOISES.  This track is off their debut record, and goes to show the spirit of punk is alive and well. I caught them live at the Black Cat last year, and I think I was one of like 5 people in the sold out crowd that was over the age of 21. Very good to see the young ‘uns showing support for this kind of sound.

Ignite – Veteran

This song is off of melodic hardcore band Ignite’s commercial breakthrough album, A Place Called Home. Here’s a little ‘did ya know’ knowledge – Ignite leadsinger Zoli Teglas toured briefly with Pennywise and even recorded an album with them, while their longtime frontman Jim Lindbergh was working on some solo projects. It didn’t last long, though, and when asked about a 2nd album with Pennywise, Zoli responded "I don't know if there is going to be a next time because we might kill each other in the process."

Anti-Flag – Die For Your Government

One of the earliest experiences at live punk shows I had was going to see Anti-Flag when I was about 15 years old. I had never before seen so many people so fucking angry, seemingly at everything and everyone. The amount of ‘fuck you’s’ and middle fingers being hurled at the crowd really opened my eyes to the passion and energy so commonly attributed to punk culture.

Dag Nasty – One to Two

We’ll end today’s playlist with One to Two, a song from seminal DC hardcore outfit Dag Nasty. Since this playlist is made proudly in Arlington, VA, we’ll be featuring DC/VA songs in each episode, including old and new local flavors.  Oh which reminds me – if you’re in a band or a label and want me to showcase some of your stuff, just send it my way and I’m happy to take a listen. Email at WednesdaysWithAndrew @ gmail .com.

Side note – Dag would be a great baby name.

Alright, well that’s a wrap folks. Thanks for listening and (maybe?) reading along. Subscribe, follow, comment, like, tell your friends? Whatever you want. Please shoot me an email if you have any comments/requests/lists-of-fears that you want to share. Catch ya next Wednesday!