Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Land mines don't lie

Well heyo there, Wednesday waffles, and welcome to another rootin' tootin' WWA. Fire up your listening device, crack open your beverage of choice, turn the volume up JUST loud enough to annoy people around you but not loud enough that they feel like they can ask you to turn it down, and let's get started. This week features some great songs from bands like Good Riddance, Joy Division, NOFX, Rites of Spring and more.

Annnnnnd here is the link for the web player, for all you webheads.

Let's start the ball rolling on this punkrock potluck with a good ole horrorbilly track. Not From Heaven is a rollin', rollickin' song courtesy of spooky scary LA outfit Rezurex. Rife with dazzling lead guitar riffs and solos and reverb effects, rooted by a driving rhythm section, Not From Heaven checks all the boxes for what you want in your psychobilly. It is the closing track on their 2013 album Psycho Radio....action figures sold separately!

Don't Lie is an anti-war (audio) treatise from the rockin' lads of Dead to Me. Written in 2006, three years after the US invaded Iraq, again, the song serves a biting critique to the dumb-dumb aggression of our cowboy president and sears a mental image of some of the ugliest aspects of armed conflict. Dead to Me is a super group (well, at the very least a marginally-above-average group) of veteran San Francisco musicians, featuring members from a wide array of bands including Western Addiction, Swingin' Utters and New Mexican Disaster Squad.

Alright, I am jonesing hard for some punk rock covers from our buddies Good Riddance. In 2002 GR released Cover Ups, a compilation album of all the covers they had done over the years, spanning the decades from 60s doo-wop, 70s proto-punk and classic rock to 80s hardcore. For this week's listening enjoyment, I decided to include their versions of KISS' I Stole Your Love and Government Issue's Hall of Fame.

I cannot get the taste of DC hardcore out of my ears, so may as well keep it going with the short-lived band Rites of Spring. One of the mainstay acts during the District' infamous Revolution Summer of 1985, which was less of a movement and more a reaction to violent and sexist behaviors in the scene as well as a rejection of how mainstream media portrayed punk rock, Rites of Spring was also one of the early pioneering 'emo' bands; a term used to mock them, although they did focus more on personal and introspective concepts than broader political or social issues. Members of the band would go on to form Fugazi with the seemingly omnipotent Ian MacKaye.

Up next we have the opening track off NOFX's The Longest Line 12" record. Released in 1992, this EP signified the first original content to be produced and distributed through frontman Fat Mike's newly-founded Fat Wreck Chords label. To me, The Death of John Smith really signifies a maturation, or at least turning point, in NOFX's sound; blending some of that mid-tempo, rockabilly sentiment from previous works like White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean with the speed and pop polish heard in future albums like Punk in Drublic or So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes.

After the illustrious Howard Devoto left his first band Buzzcocks, he started post-punk project Magazine. Formed in Manchester (mental thought-out to all the victims of bullshit violence there recently) in 1977, Magazine was a very progressive and influential band, keeping slightly grounded in its punk roots while exploring more avant garde and new wave sounds. Shot by Both Sides was the group's debut single, and was co-written with the help of Devoto's old bandmate, and master (buzz)cock, Pete Shelley.

This next sonic explosion, Golden Eagle, is made possible by folky noise band AJJ. Originally monikered Andrew Jackson Jihad (love that name), the guys bit the PC bullet last year and shortened to just AJJ. Regardless, the dudes in the band will not be stopped in their tireless pursuit to make cool, fresh-sounding tunes - Golden Eagle is off their 6th studio album, 2016's The Bible 2, which was released through SideOneDummy Records.

Louisville Slugger is about what you'd probably expect it to be about, based on the title. Hailing from snow-plagued Boston (that city is really fucking white, in more than one way), the Have Nots continue Beantown's fine tradition of pumping out worthy ska punk bands (see: Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Big D and the Kids Table, etc.) Louisville Slugger is from their sophomore full-length, Proud. Although the song ends on an ambiguous note, I like to think that she took the bat and beat the shit out of him.

We'll close out our weekly masquerade with a spunky (lol) little track from Louisville garage rock band, White Reaper. Little Silver Cross is off the group's latest studio album, The World's Best American Band which just dropped last month. While past works reflected more of a under-produced garage rock sound, this album displays a much more confident and power pop-infused vibe. Go check out more of  World's Best American Band here! They're gonna be playing at DC9 next Tuesday - go to the show!

Alrighty, that's it for this week's merry melodies. Make sure to tune in next Wednesday for your weekly fill of punk rock. As always, keep in touch, send over your requests, dirty laundry, etc. Still haven't gotten any skittles...where are the skittles guys?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I'm kinda saving myself for the scene

Happy Eritrean Independence Day, Wednesday weirdos, and thanks for tuning in to today's installment of WWA; a weekly ode to punk rock playlists, not-super-original puns, and rehashed and marginally comical GIFs. Today's musical feast includes some incredible tunes from bands like The Hold Steady, Guttermouth, Avail, KRS-One, Kill Your Idols, Mission of Burma and so much more. Kick back, turn on the playlist, read along if you must and enjoy the ride.

Annnnd 'allo what's this?! The web player link for all you web surfin' bozos.

To kick things off this week we're off to the races with madman Mark Adkins and his merry crew of sewer possums. Fittingly, Racetrack is the first song off Guttermouth's debut record, Full Length LP, originally released in 1991 through Dr. Strange Records, and then re-released in '96 as The Album Formerly Known as Full Length LP. One of the things I love most about Guttermouth is their consistency of sound...that snotty, irreverent, fast-and-catchy as fuck skate punk imbued in every release they've had (maybe with the exception of Covered with Ants..)

That's When I Reach for My Revolver is a melancholy tune written by an emotive 80s post-punk band. Mission of Burma was congealed in the oil slick-stained snow of Boston in 1979, and was initially a short-lived project, disbanding in 1983 due to guitarist Roger Miller developing tinnitus (not super rock n roll, but respect). This was the opening track of their debut release during this period, a 1981 EP entitled Signals, Calls and Marches. Fortunately for all of us, Mission of Burma got back together in 2002, and have released four new studio albums since.

I am really excited about this next band, Ruby Bones. Heart of Darkness was their teaser single, and the first release off their debut full-length, Ruby Bones, which just dropped last week. The first couple minimalist chug-along verses, featuring only rhythm section, contrast perfectly with the jangly distorted riffs and sing-along melodies that defines the rest of the song. Get more from these New Jersey indie rockers, including the full album, HERE.

OK let's take it back to that snotty SoCal pop punk sound, this time delivered to our ear holes by those jackasses in Diesel Boy. I feel transported back to the 5th grade boy's bathroom, exchanging dirty puns with my prepubescent cohort....the song is called Titty Twister and is off Diesel Boys' first full-length, 1996's Cock Rock. This actually was the first record to be released through Honest Don's Records, which was a subsidiary of Fat Wreck designed to handle material that didn't fit with the rest of the label's repertoire.

Crown on the Ground is a pure pop explosion from Brooklyn bubble noise duo, Sleigh Bells. Composed of vocalist Alexis Krauss and instrumentalist Derek Miller, formerly a guitarist for Miami hardcore act Poison the Well, Sleigh Bells quickly gained a cult following with their unique blend of fuzzy guitar effects and glazey pop structures and melodies. Crown on the Ground was one of many ear-catching tunes off their 2010 debut album Treats.

Scandinavian punk rock holds a very special place at the table here at Wednesdays With Andrew, and Norwegian glitz punk band Turbonegro is passing the fucking bread. Originally named (I am not making this up) Nazipenis, this decidedly anti-PC band of vikings has been singing, dancing and partying since their inception in 1989. Denim Demon is off their 1996 studio album titled (also not fucking making this up) Ass Cobra, the album art of which parodies Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. Big up! alert: legend Jello Biafra said Ass Cobra was one of the best punk rock albums of the 90s.

The Hold Steady is of one of the naughts' quintessential indie rock bands. Led by storyteller Craig Finn and lead guitarist Tad Kaubler, who were both previously in the band Lifter Puller, The Hold Steady mixes americana rock sensibilities with 80s synth-pop, always weaving their compositions artistically through thoughtful arrangements and interesting plot backdrops. Your Little Hoodrat Friend was off their sophomore studio effort, Separation Sunday.

Up next is Visions, courtesy of the rocking ladies of The Beverleys. Reminiscent of contemporary acts like Charly Bliss and Diet Cig, these Torontoniennes (like, toronto in canada) tend to show a bit more teeth and pure 90s grunge soul than some of their peers. Visions is off their 2015 Brutal LP. Go listen to the album now, and also be their friend!

I can't think of an artist that embodies 'the pen is mightier than the sword' philosophy more forcefully than Bronx warrior poet KRS-One. One of the most outspoken and politically-driven rappers I have ever listened to (though granted, I don't listen to a lot of hip hop..), KRS-One packs a fucking punch in all of his lyrical attacks. Outta Here is off his first solo album, Return of the Boom Bap, which also features some of his better-known works like Sound of da Police and I Can't Wake Up.

Shit, look at the time! You need to get back to work, so let's close out this playlist with a classic from pogo-fueled street punks Swingin' Utters. No Place In The Sun is a satisfyingly melodic, sing-along anthem off their breakout album, The Streets of San Francisco, which was produced by Rancid's Lars Frederiksen. This record earned the Utters nationwide recognition for their brand of catchy, traditionally-rooted punk rock sounds.

OK Wednesday wankers, that is a wrap for the week. We squeezed in a lot of good tunes in just under 35 minutes, so let's give ourselves a little pat on the back. I think it may be time to go check out those new Twin Peaks episodes...I hear they're quite gratifyingly tip-top. As always, send me requests, send me love, send me your HUDDLED MASSES YEARNING TO BREATH FREE. Oh, and skittles. send skittles.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Gonna be a borstal breakout!

Happy Wednesday, you mid-week fuddah muckers, and welcome to another WWA punk rock playlist. Let's cool those jets, get some snacks ready and turn the volume up to 11. This week has some real headbangers, courtesy of the likes of Rancid, Sham 69, The Pietasters, David Bowie and a few more. Let's boogie woogie.

Annnnd here's the web player link. Enjoy.

Let's kick off the playlist with a sugary and slightly nutty track, aptly titled Snickers or Reese's, from our friends in Milwaukee pop punk collective Direct Hit! Speedy and hook-heavy, and strategically arranged with thoughtful instrumentation and layered vocals, this song has everything you need to start the day right. Snickers or Reese's is off their debut full-length, Domesplitter, which was really just a collection of re-recorded versions of songs they had already released. At their inception, lead songwriter Nick Woods preferred quick and instant EP and single releases, as opposed to formulating and publishing full-length records.

Awww yiiiissss...Ghost of a Chance is an explosive-laden train of a new track from those intrepid and indomitable Berkely punk rockers, Rancid. The song is the first single the band has released as part of their upcoming album Trouble Maker, which will be available in its entirety on June 9th. This LP will mark the first new project Rancid has done together since 2014's ...Honor is All we Know, and I can tell you this hyena is fucking excited for it. Alright, well I am too worked up to not play another Rancid let's also include a smash hit from their 1993 debut studio album.

This next one is a really rude song aimed at our Norwegian brethren. Fuck You, Norway is a tongue in cheek anthem from Boston punk band Showcase Showdown, who had quite the cult following during their relatively brief stint during the 90s. The band name, an allusion to The Price is Right, should tell you all you need to know about the depth of meaning that they put into their lyrical content. 

Out All Night is a cheerfully soulful ska tune from 8-piece group The Pietasters. Hailing from our nation's capital, these purveyors of pie have helped me meet the obligatory, and self-imposed, DC area band quotient for today's WWA playlist. Out All Night was off the 1997 album Willis, which was their third studio release, this time through Hellcat Records.

OK enough good feels for now. Lazarus is off the late, great David Bowie's requiem album, Blackstar. This was his TWENTY FUCKING FIFTH studio album..that is insane. The song, like much of the rest of this record, is dark and tender, and appears to reflect Bowie's struggle with his own mortality. Indeed, two days after the album's release, the Goblin King passed onto his next plane of existence. Would it be selfish of me to wish he would Lazarus back up to this world, return to us to continue writing great tunes?

Up next is So Grey, So Green, a crisp rock n roll anthem from The Bloody Hollies. Channeling the energy and soul of like-minded garage punk acts like The Stooges, Screaming Females and New Bomb Turks, these Buffalo-based art heads have blended their own flavors of southern and hard rock to make their own unique, bloody sound. So Grey, So Green is off their 2011 album Yours Until the Bitter End.

Disorder is a fuzzy bomb of groovy garage rock n roll brought to you by the good fellas of Meatbodies. Raised in the weirdness of the LA environs, Meatbodies has been serving up me-likey-drugs type of music since their inception in 2013. Disorder is off their eponymously-titled 12 song album, which dropped in 2014. They actually just released their third (and latest) effort earlier this year, titled Alice...go check it out, it's good!

We're going to end the playlist with Sham 69's school rebellion chorale (and inspiration for today's title) Borstal Breakout. Originally released as a live performance recording on their 1978 album Tell Us the Truth, Borstal Breakout would go on to be one of their most successful compositions. Founded in the mid 70s in Hersham by band leaders Jimmy Pursey and Dave Parsons, these motherfuckers are STILL active and playing shows...they also want to be your friend on Facebook, what are ya waiting for??

OK that's our show for this week. Hope you dug the tunes, and found the rambling spew of thoughts to go along with the playlist helpful. As always, feel free to send your feedback, song requests, opinions on 18th century British taxidermy techniques, FREE T-SHIRTS, etc.

Hail Hydra:

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Off with his head, man

Happy diez de mayo, culeros, and welcome to another #WWA playlist! Boy, do we have songs! Good songs? Yea, sure! This week features classics from bands like Screeching Weasel, The Clash, Germs, El Ten Eleven, Millencollin and more.

While you're listening to the playlist, do me (and you, and everyone except Verizon really..) a favor and let the FCC know you support the concept of Net Neutrality, backed by title ii oversight of ISPs. Simply go to (thanks Jonny O!), hit the 'express' button and leave a comment. Also let your senators and congressperson know you're not down with this shit. It will take you under 2 minutes and could help ensure your future internet experience doesn't look like this:

No automatic alt text available.

Alright with that, music time.

Annnd here's the web player link for all you browser shnecks.

We'll kick off the week's shitskrieg of a playlist with those skankin' and rockin' Swedes of Millencollin. No Cigar is the first track off of their 4th studio album, Pennybridge Pioneers, which marked a time where skate and pop punk was getting a makeover and making big commercial waves. Indeed, No Cigar was featured on the soundtrack of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2....fittingly, the name Millencollin is derived from a skateboard trick the guys dick around with, the 'melancholy'.

The Clash's English Civil War is a glossy and fucking awesome derivative of the famous American Civil War song, When Johnny Comes Marching Home. A single off their 2nd full-length, Give 'Em Enough Rope, Joe (brilliant) Strummer (of guitars) wrote this track to denounce the state of affairs in English politics, with the rise of the British National Front and disagreements around the direction of that great little island nation.  Give 'Em Enough Rope is one of my favorite Clash albums; this one also features 'Julie's Been Working For the Drug Squad' and 'Tommy Gun'.

Hot Cakes is a dope little tune from Los Angeles art rock duo El Ten Eleven. Purely instrumental, these guys specialize in crafting layered works, featuring heavy doubleneck guitar and oppressive bass tones, with a lot of emphasis on looping around a leitmotif. Let's boogie.

Cool Kids is a sugary pop anthem off of Screeching Weasel's Bark Like a Dog album, which is essentially a compendium of how to make a commercially and critically successful punk rock record. This marked Ben Weasel and co.'s first collaboration with Fat Wreck. I am also throwing on Baby Fat's Got a Girlfriend, which is off the first half of their (apparent) 2-part punk rock opera, Baby Fat: Act 1. Still waiting on the follow up from that 2015, 27-song (!) release.

Communist Eyes is the second track off old school punk rockers Germs' only album, GI. Released in 1979, and produced by godmother of punk Joan Jett, GI is oft cited as one of the earliest and most influential hardcore albums to come out during that era of LA punk. Singer Darby Crash, who formed the band with guitarist Pat Smear, is often credited with setting the Germs apart with eclectic and impressionist-styled lyrical content.

In the early 80s, on the heels of the Germs' success, came a wave of punk and hardcore bands out of the suburbs of Orange County. Bands like Social Distortion, Agent Orange, Legal Weapon...and these guys, the Adolescents. Unlike about 95% of punk rock songs ever written (with some notable exceptions, cough cough The Decline), this track clocks in at over 5 minutes, which pretty much makes it a punk rock chef-d'œu·vre.

Dog GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
OK, it may be a good time to pump the brakes a bit and get into something a bit more soothing. Easy Star All-Stars' cover of Paranoid Android should do the trick. Off their 2006 OK Computer tribute album, Radiodread, this is a brilliant reggae version of an already beautiful song. Besides the addition of horns, which provides a more hopeful sound to somewhat dark subject material, and a few lyrics changes ('Jah loves his children..'), Easy Star keeps most of the original feeling intact.

Melodic punk anthem Spine is served up courtesy those hooligan motherfuckers of DC's Curse Words. Playing a flavor of fast, pop-first punk, with plenty of sing-along chorus and cheeky half-time breakdowns, these guys are reminiscent of acts like PUP, The Dopamines and the Flatliners. If you're local, go check these assholes out tomorrow night at Clarendon Grill.

We end today's playlist like we began, with a rocking tune written by a band of Swedish skaters. Black City is the title track for Division of Laura Lee's  2002 album, which was released through Burning Heart and Epitaph. Self-described as a "musical tornado" from Gothenburg, Division of LL writes (seemingly) simple and hard hitting fuzzpop, while evoking a complex timbre in their compositions.

Alright, Spicey out. Thanks for listening and be sure to tune in next week for some more punk rock lovin'

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A monster by the age of five

Howdy, Wednesday warriors, and welcome to another dumpster fire of a punk rock one-man song circle #wwa. We have some really great tunes in the mix this week (cough, cough...per usual), thanks to the tireless efforts of all the artists out there pumping out awesome music. This week, the line-up includes some heavy hitters from bands like Fire Party, Death From Above (1979..don't sue them!), Bad Religion, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Fear, Teen Idles, Deerhoof and more. Go listen, be fruitful (like, eat a mango) and enjoy.

Annnnnd here's the web player link for all you web browsin' mutterfockers

We'll kick off the week with a classic tune from the Offspring. Bad Habit is their ode to road rage and off their 3rd studio album, Smash, which is when the band really started to blow up. Back in my day, Bad Habit was every elementary/middle school kid's favorite song to sing, solely because of the gratuitous expletives: "you stupid dumb shit goddam motherfucker!!" Did you know - Smash has sold over 11 million copies globally, which makes it the best selling album off an indie label (Epitaph) of all time.

I finally got around to watching zine boy Scott Crawford's documentary Salad Days. Really awesome work, with some incredible footage and insightful interviews from some of the main players in DC's 80s harDCore scene. For me, as someone who grew up in the area after the first couple waves had already passed, it was especially interesting to see some of the conflicting opinions and infighting within the scene, as well as hearing about some of the external factors that played a part in shaping the music and art that was produced during that time. Anyway...that was the impetus to include a couple songs from that era of DC punk in this playlist...enjoy the Fire Party and Teen Idles tracks!

Say Goodnight is an energetic and fun song from those crazy hijos de puta of Voodoo Glow Skulls. This was the second track off their fifth studio album, Symbolic, which marked a culmination of their trademark VGS sound heard in earlier releases, while also showing a more mature and polished production. Guttermouth's Mark Adkins intros them in the opening (Poltergeist 2-themed) track, We're Back. To this day, Voodoo Glow Skulls remains one of the best live shows I have ever been to.

 horror 1980s poltergeist GIF

Right On, Frankenstein! is one of the best names I've ever heard for a song, and is courtesy of Toronto dance punk duo Death From Above 1979. This was the second track off Death From Above's sophomore full length, 2014's The Physical World. This album was produced by renowned engineer Dave Sardy, who has worked on projects ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers to STP to Helmet to The Ting Tings and Nine Inch Nails, and you can definitely hear the grunge/fuzz pop influence come through.

Let Them Eat War is, surprise surprise, a scathing political diatribe from those political punkers Bad Religion. The song is off their 13th (!!) studio album, The Empire Strikes First, which was released on Mr. Brett's Epitaph label in 2004. True to form, Let Them Eat War is a pop punk arrangement driven by a catchy, palm-muted verse and sugary sing-along chorus. However, this song does have an interesting addition of Sage Francis, rapping over a half-time breakdown during the bridge of the song. I always give two-thumbs up to any cross-genre collaboration, even if it comes off a bit cheesy - so well done guys!

San Francisco's Deerhoof is a refreshingly strange art rock band that has been active since 1994. Blending pop structures with erratic noise rock sounds, Deerhoof has not shied away from experimenting with instrumentation and arrangements. They are also a shining example of DIY ethic, producing and releasing their own records and taking up the mantle of 'tour manager' themselves.  Criminals of the Dream is an airy tune off their latest album, 2016's The Magic.

I included a couple of songs this week from Fear, the prominent and critically lauded hardcore act out of Los Angeles. New York's Alright if You Like Saxaphones is off the band's debut album, released in '82, and serves as a great example of frontman Lee Ving's brand of tongue-in-cheek and irreverent sense of humor.  Neighbors, featuring vocals from Fear's super famous fan John Belushi, was recorded in 1981 but was hiding in Lee Ving's basement only to be released a couple of years ago. I won't go into the whole story, but click here to find out how this song led to a rowdy SNL musical performance, complete with bussed-in punk fans of the likes of Ian Mackaye and Harley Flannagan.

We're ending our WWA playlist today with 5, 6 Kids, written by Michigan post-punk outfit Bear vs. Shark. Who would win that fight? This song was off their 2005 LP, Terrorhawk, which was pushed through Equal Vision Records. The album is an interesting marriage of sounds, pulling from a lot of varying influences. Emotive and rhythmically interesting, I hear a lot of At The Drive-In in this tune, albeit with lead screamer Marc's hardcore vox on top.

Well that's it for today Wednesday wussies. Hope you had fun, let me know what's missing. If you're a band, friendly reminder to keep making awesome music.