Page 1

CONFLICT
 54

A FREE PUBLICATION FROM YOUR CLOSE FRIENDS AT CUMBUCKET MEDIA : MORE VENAL THAN BUZZMEDIA SINCE 2003

A Conversation With John Petkovic! I think I’m like some in a sci-fi movie who’s always trapped in the immediate present. We had been asked to do shows before and never thought about it.
 GC : Branson, MO, I’m assuming. 
 JP : Yeah, basically it’s all Branson, anyway. Is there that much of a different between Branson and the indie rock reunion circuit?Every day is a reunion to me.
 GC : You've probably heard others say this, but as someone who'd not seen you guys play together in decades, it was shocking how little had changed -- maybe 5-10% more proficiency but there was nothing about it that felt cobbled together. It was like you guys had stumbled out of a time capsule. I guess I'm saying it did not sound like a band that had taken a generational sabbatical.
 JP : Well, that band was always a bit of a mess - and I think that turned out to be a good thing... people always say they never fit in with whatever time, but they think of it in a collective way. “we the Smashing Pumpkins never fit in" --but we never fit in, even in our own band.
 GC : I can see that. If i go back to the o.g. DOS you guys always looked like you were in a band. Just 4 different bands.
 JP: Ha ha, yeah I know, totally -- we started at a super early age -- and at that point the people that end up in bands together are the result of a wide net. And we formed not even to be a band, but to play the Ground Round. We just thought it would be funny.
 GC : For years after hearing about that, I could never drive past a Ground Round without imagining you guys getting the plug pulled.


APRIL 2014

After consecutive days immersing myself in the newly issued Death of Samantha 2XLP, ‘If Memory Serves Us Well’ (St. Valentine) — rehearsal recordings of old material from December 2011, prior to the band’s pair of Austin shows at Beerland and Trailer Space the following March —- it occurred to me the time was ripe to put DOS vocalist/ guitarist John Petkovic IN THE BOX as they like to say in all the appointment TV cop shows. Petkovic, whose cultural contributions include but are not limited to Cobra Verde, Sweet Apple, Scarcity Of Tanks, a brief tenure in a middle period lineup of Guided By Voices, and journalistic outbursts for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, graciously submitted to the following instant message barrage without being told ALL OF IT WAS ON THE RECORD. Sorry, John.

JP : We played early on with the Gun Club and Steve-O was trying to curry favor with Jeffrey Lee Pierce so he could snatch his vodka. Except he thought they were called Gun Control. Jeffrey Lee is looking at him like he’s this idiot but a lovable idiot --- until he drank all their vodka. We were pretty far from the rational world --- it’s funny when I see all these bands from back then talking about how they were DIY... and we were DIY --- but DON’T IT YRSELF
 GC : I fondly remember you and Steve-O in NYC in the mid 1980's and him making New Music Seminar badges with his DIY laminate machine.
 JP : He used to wear an orange jumpsuit and pretend he was in charge of the parking lot by the punk rock clubs to see if he could sucker people out of $5.
 GC : Is there anything weird about playing music you wrote and recorded such a long time ago?


By Gerard Cosloy

!

GC: Alright. so what possesses a bunch of guys with other musical pursuits, life accomplishments, common sense, etc. to reconvene as DOS so many centuries after the fact?
 JP : A cigarette. I went out for a cigarette one day walking down superior avenue toward a gas station and as I was walking down the street and saw (bassist) Dave James -- and he was smoking. I hadn’t seen him in 10 years at least. He was like, “what are you doing here?” And I’m like “what are you doing here?” We both were in that area for years, working there... and he’s like, “wanna do some music some time?” Doug (Gillard) had been in town just a few days before that. I was never the sentimental type and had never imagined doing DOS again. 
 


CANTSTOPTHEBLEEDING.COM

JP: I don’t remember that stuff too much, or

actually never made a conscious effort to remember it. I never went back to listen to the stuff and didn’t even listen to the old stuff when we started getting together, so i kind of don’t have much memory of the tunes, and don’t have a problem playing ‘em. Steve-O was saying I should go back and listen to get the words right - but I thought it would be interesting to see if memory serves you well… (cont. page 2)

!


(cont. from page 1)

!

GC : That's pretty amazing, because if you hadn't revealed where or when the new album was recorded, you probably could've passed it off as something from 1988.
 JP: Really? wow, i thought it sounded better than those, ha ha. I guess i should go back and listen to that old stuff and compare. 
 GC : The more you play it, the more funny things pop out -- where you're going with the phrasing , lots of the back and forth guitar stuff with you and Doug, but yeah, it really could've been presented as rehearsal recordings from 25 years ago. You guys and a handful of others would've known the difference.
 JP: I really think that things are codified not just by age or time or place but your recollection of them.
 GC : That's true too. People have their own relationship to the songs based on where they were in their lives, who they were fucking, how much of that era they wanna forget, etc.
 JP : You know, I’ve been thinking about these reunions -- not bands per se , but these kind of reunions we have with time and place, and I was wondering if its the place or time or the age of the person --what would you say?
 GC : A little of both.
 JP : Is there a certain age most people look back to?
 GC : Probably college or shortly afterwards. Those seem to be the times people wanna relive the most. Not me, but others.
 JP : I always wonder what it is about these times that are so alluring to people? I’e wondered if its a blessing or a curse to be trapped in the present. On one hand, its liberating. On the other, you don’t have a lot of the connections that others have.
 GC : I’m guessing here, but it's a combo of those were the times when they were having fun, trying different shit, learning who they were...before they got crushed by career stuff, family pressure, any number of age/health things. they connect it to fave bands/shows/records sometimes convincing themselves that whatever is happening now must be inferior by comparison.
 JP : Do you ever look back at a certain time and think it was better? Or more fondly than say a year ago -- or now, or 5 years ago?
 GC : Not in terms of music or my life, but perhaps in regards to something like, the state of a region or a neighborhood. I definitely think about NYC that way.(I will probably think about Austin that way in about 30 minutes)
 JP : Yeah, me too -- I do think about Cleveland that way. And America -- I do lament the decline of the working class. No doubt, I look at NY with horror. You must be horrified with Austin -- to be talking with someone in Cleveland as Austin takes over as the most important place on the planet. Really, my looking back is more about external things.
 GC : Yes, well, we have experienced Jeffrey Tambor and Tom Arnold sightings in the past 72 hours, so this IS the cultural hub of the USA.
 JP : ha ha, we’ve got nothing like that in Cleveland.
 GC : Where does Kyrie Irving live?
 JP :2iI think downtown -- man, he is guarded by the team like its the CIA. Barely talks ever. The Cavs are a weird organization. 


GC : You ever have any communication w/ Dan Gilbert?
 JP : Never - i would talk with (Danny) Ferry, he was a cool guy, really a pure hoops fan - looked to watch any and all. Gilbert is a new money guy with all these new corporate sayings. I guess I do look back to the old America in that regard -- there seem to be all these guys with new money who try and make themselves not seem stodgy and want to use all the stupid 21st century branding. That’s what makes me pine for the 20th, 19th, 18th centuries and go back a couple thousand years.
 GC : I know all that vintage steampunk stuff sounds fun but remember thats before they cured polio, freed the slaves and invented cable.
 JP : What do you think of bars that serve in mason jars? Gourmet hamburgers? Dude, what is the deal with the cult of authenticity?
 GC : The thing about authenticity....celebrate it where it exists right now. Don't try to mimic stuff from 20 or 200 years ago.
 JP : I know, but thats what its all about --- the attempt to manufacture authenticity... kitsch ..... so Charles Ramsey, the dude who found those girls in that guys house (Ariel Castro) is an everyman, celebrated as a common folk. And what was he eating? A Big Mac. He wasn’t eating a gourmet chef burger. So after his notoriety all these chef burger type places roll out a promotion -- where Charles Ramsey gets to eat in their place for free.
 GC : Oh for fuck’s sake. 
 JP: …and he says , “fuck that, don’t be selling no Charles Ramsey Burger” to make money off him.
 GC : I’m guessing an Ariel Castro Burger wouldn’t go down too well. 
 JP : So here is the most authentic real deal man turning down all these authentic real deal burgers. So what is real and authentic?
 GC : Is Matthew Wascovich a vegetarian?
 JP: I used to wonder about him, but never could ask --sensitive issue. Hey, so you taking care of Bim? He says you do wonders for him. I mean, he often wonders what you do for him.
 GC : It's cool. I'm just spending the dog's college fund on trying to make Bim more attractive for Third Man. Trouble is, the dog doesn’t have a very big college fund. 
 JP : Dude, you got the best dog. My cat is 26 pounds. Wally Bally is freaking huge. I take him to the vet and he just sits on my lap as the other dogs sniff -- he disdains such overzealous displays. He sits on the couch like a man waiting for me to bring him a beer. He pretty much doesn’t give a fuck about anything.. He scoffs at enthusiasm. It reminds me of playing with J (Mascis) at times. 
 GC : You ever contemplate leaving Cleveland?
 JP: I really dig Los Angeles. I’m working on some crazy movie out there with some friends. It started out as a fun thing, with me basically wandering around Los Angeles in a spacesuit, but since then its a bit more real. Kim Fowley is in it, Mark Boone and some other people. I can’t act, but I don’t have to talk.
 GC: EYE CANDY. alright, the wrap it up box is squawking. We can look forward to Sweet Apple shows soonish? Any further DOS action? 
 JP : yeah, Sweet Apple record out April 8 --- gonna record dos new record and do shows,.... Cobra Verde.... and bunch of stuff. 
 GC : Awesome. We salute your half century or so of continued brilliance in the arts recorded and otherwise! (THE END)
 (www.deathofsamantha.com) 



Illuminato have some high comedy appeal or personality (albeit thoroughly negative).— that this band was recently feted as the city’s best by a collection of Austin bloggers is a colossal embarrassment to all involved. And that some of the dopes responsible allegedly have good intentions is of little consolation when they’re actively championing music this dire. 


Ragtime Frank - Live At St. George's (NGL)

!

If I was being quizzed for The Wire's Jukebox Jury, I'd probably have guessed this was post-Din Dredd Foole. I'd have been wrong, of course, and there's also no chance I'll ever be asked to participate in such an interrogation. And that's fine with me -- where's their Jukebox Executioner, Jukebox Public Defender, Jukebox Overly Ambitious District Attorney, Jukebox Sketch Artist or Jukebox Courtroom Reporter?
 


Black Books - s/t (self-released)

!

Anyone willingly calling themselves “shoegaze” in 2014 is strolling thru life with a giant “KICK ME” sign around their necks. Soulless, sexless, pro-rock for the new generation of real estate agents and Google employees who’d like a token local band to support. Sorry to go all class warfare on these dudes, who seem like pleasant enough chaps (if deadly dull) but this is some of the least inspirational stuff I’ve ever heard. At least the Venus

V3 - Live At Bernies ‘97

!

There’s been some interweb back and forth about the origin/distribution of these recordings and I’m not gonna weigh on such sensitive matters except to say if you’re not familiar with the late Jim Shepard’s staggering contributions to moderne rock, you missed the boat on one of that generation darkest, deepest talents. With the collected V3/Vertical Slit works in limbo these days, ‘Live At Bernie’s’ is a slim, albeit vital slice of Shepard at full strength - negotiate nothing, tear it ALL down.


FROM THE DESK OF RANDY L :

(EDITOR'S NOTE : FAMED BASEBALL EXECUTIVE / CONSUMER RIGHTS ADVOCATE RANDY L. OF THE BRONX IS A FREQUENT CONTRIBUTOR TO THE SPORTS BLOG ARM OF THE CUMBUCKET MEDIA EMPIRE. UPON HEARING THAT ONE OF THE FANZINE WORLD'S MOST REVERED TITLES WAS CELEBRATING A 35TH BIRTHDAY, HE OFFERED, NAY, INSISTED ON CONTRIBUTING THE FOLLOWING GUEST EDITORIAL - GC) Dear Friends, Sad-Sack “Record Collectors” and members of the Yankee Universe :

!

We’re in the middle of preparing for a 2014 season that I fully expect will result in nothing less than a 28th World Championship for the greatest franchise in al of professional sports. Meanwhile, most of this publication’s readers are preparing for their 3rd eviction notice from their landlords in the last 6 months.  What we have here is what you might call, “a cultural disconnect”.  

!

For instance, I recently became aware your beloved editor had recently found himself in what I’m told is called a “flame war” with another arrested adolescent over something called The Austin Music Blogger Awards.

!

Though I tend not to concern myself with minor awards shows in towns too small or pathetic to host a major league baseball franchise, I do have a wealth of life experience I’m willing to share because I’m a very giving, loving person.

!

So you weren’t voted Austin’s Top Music Blogger. Boo fucking hoo. The way I see it, that’s a bullet dodged, especially if you’re ever looking to apply for a job with an

! an organization like mine. But how any adult could concern himself with something so trivial is a bigger mystery to me than what Jodi Applegate could possibly see in Michael Kay. 

!

Lemme tell you a thing or two about being snubbed by awards shows ; The Austin Penpals & Musical Enthusiasts Awards have no monopoly on corruption. You think any of my prize labradors, Mariano, CC, Joba and Hank, stand a fighting chance in that hotbed of Aryan privilege that is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?  

!

And what about MLB’s precious “Executive Of The Year” Award? Sure, I hear you saying, “but Randy, isn’t that award limited to General Managers?”, but if that’s the deal, how come it isn’t called “The General Manager Of The Year Award”?  You’re trying to tell me that I put this franchise on my goddamn back, year after year, and a philandering, librarian-fucking schmendrick like Cashman is eligible for a major trophy and I’M NOT?  FUCK THAT SHIT. 

!

Seriously, it’s a disgrace that I’m reduced to comparing my criminal lack of hard-earned recognition to some part-time sportswriter’s crusade to elect some of his (few) cronies, Kings Of The Atonal Losers. In the unlikely event there’s a 55th issue of this thing, you can get Brian Cashman to write a guest editorial. Just wash your hands after he hands it in. 

!

PLAY BALL, RANDY L. 


Technicolor Teeth - “Blood Pool” b/w “Drips” (Accidental Guest)

!

At this risk of blowing my own blower a little more than usual, it was in these very pages a year ago that I predicted of Mexico’s Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, “look for them to hit an Austin Psych Fest in 2015 or 16, probably on the middle of the bill underneath a succession of zero talents.” Fast forward 12 months and VOILA, there’s Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, playing this May’s Austin Psych Fest (underneath a succession of zero talents).  At this rate, I could be banned from Las Vegas. So with that in mind, I’ll issue yet another bold prediction : purely on the strength of the excellent “Blood Pool”, this lot will likely find themselves playing the 2015 or 2016 Austin Psych Fest (underneath yet another succession of zero talents). Put this one on in-between the last 2 Bailterspace albums and thank me when the room stops spinning (www.accidentalguestrecordings.com)


Gentlemen - Sex Tape (Homeless)
 Gentlemen - “Cholera”, “Eastern Hate”, “Pink Spider” 7” (Jeth Row)

!

Venom P. Stingeresque is not yet considered a category bin at local record wagon nor is it commonly recognized as a searchable category at Spotify but those things are as much your fault as mine. At least I’m trying to take a little fucking responsibility with this review. The 7”, hand-assembled w/ Gary Wrong’s claws is straight up spazzhate while the LP features just enough moments of sludge/slump/do-as-LarryLifeless-says-not-as-he-does life lessons to make a genius level one dimensional band a genius level one and a half dimensional band. I’ve never in my life stored things in something called a wheelhouse, so instead I’ll insist you couldn’t possible make two records that are more in my TREEHOUSE FORT. Own both, play ‘em to death, donate to your public library when you expire. (https:// homelessrecords.bandcamp.com, http:// jethrowrecords.blogspot.com)

Chance In Search   (Macho/Paradise Of Bachelors)

!

I haven’t quite made up my mind whether or not “Johnny Cash’s road manager” isn’t polite euphemism for guy-who-scored-pills for Johnny Cash. Either way, Chance Martin aka Alamo Jones aka the Voice In Black aka the Stoned Ranger spent 5 years in his parents’ rumpus room recording this utterly fucked up masterpiece, one of the weirdest, funniest, genre-smashers ever to go from private press (well, as private as a thousand copies could be in 1981) to lavish reissue status. All the more credit if this was accomplished without the assistance of controlled substances, but somewhere between country, boogie, sick Eddie Hazel-style wankery and one song that could almost be a Nashville answer to “Dead Rock’n’Rollers”, we’ve got last year’s most unique archival project.  Almost worth the price of admission for the lengthy interview & behind-thescenes snapshots alone, this work of monumental self-indulgence has to be heard to be believed . (Paradise of Bachelors, PO Box 1402, Carrboro NC Glow God - House Of Distractions (Play Pinball)    I had the pleasure (?) of overhearing someone suggest Glow God were to Nirvana what Parquet Courts are to Pavement and that’s kind of amazing. I mean, even on my best days I can’t insult 4 bands in one sentence. How much the Seattle-damage is or isn’t a conscious thing for OKC’s Glow God is not, believe it or don’t, a very big deal to me. Some of my favorite bands are Beatles acolytes — do I hold it against them?  Alright, maybe a little. But sooner or later the sum of those influences means way less compared to how they play & write together. Ideally, right?  Stylistic leanings aside, Glow God — recently augmented by Denton’s Payton Green (Wiccans, Endless Thoughts) on 2nd guitar — have crafted the kinda hard rock record w/ idiosyncrasies galore. SONGS, TOO.  An absolute excavator-type quartet onstage, and album one is nearly as fantastic (http://playpinballrecords.bigcartel.com)


Golden Pelicans - “Burn Everything” b/w “Hell’s Bucket” (Pelican Pow Wow)


!

While some of you dipshits were busy snorting Dorito dust at the fucking Hilton, this Orlando quartet were kicking off last year’s CSTB SXSWZZZZZZ carnival in front of a whopping half dozen people. No matter — in an age where “killed it” is flung around far too casually, these guys were nothing short of deadly. Follically-challenged frontguy King G. will have to suffer the poisoned chalice of being dubbed the new Chris D. for lame-o millennials, mostly because there’s really no other singer who matches his presence (i.e.. super fucking negative) or range (360 degrees of sneer). And much like the Flesh Eaters in their prime, the backing ensemble is more than capable of providing a ripping backdrop.    Their 2nd single is a neat snapshot of whatever they sounded like in a tiny room in 2012, but fuck knows we’d be a fortunate species to get a full length’s worth in 2014.  Another winner from a label that’s on a hell of a streak. (www.pelicanpowwow.com)

Raspberry Bulbs - Deformed Worship (Blackest Ever Black)

! Breakout - “Razor Wire” 7” (On High)

!

Bonus points for depicting Rod Hull’s Emu wielding a baseball bat on the cover. Former Creamers (Austin) front fella Kyle Artip’s new foursome dial down some of his prior band’s (few) arty impulses and come in with fists flying. Make no mistake, Creamers were really good and towards the end, occasionally great.  On evidence of these 4 songs and the past year’s worth of shows, Breakout have not only surpassed Artrip’s prior thing but will soon be  a band no one in their mind will wanna follow.  (http://breakoutaus.bandcamp.com/)

My first intro to this Marco del Rio (Bone Awl) fronted outfit was seeing ‘em by accident in a dry-ice filled LES firetrap that allegedly banned somebody for not playing analog synths (beautiful). What ensued was some of the most chaotic, single-minded ugliness I’ve witnessed in what we’ll very loosely call the punk realm in this generation or any other. The records I’ve overpaid for since more than lived up to that ridiculous night, but last summer’s ‘Deformed Worship’ is about as full realized and deep as something this dirty can manage ;  no disrespect is intended to band or genre(s) when I say this is on the periphery of black metal…and on the well within range of intense, thoughtful shit in general. Calling this one of America’s best bands  is letting other territories off easy.
 (http://blackesteverblack.bigcartel.com) 


Church of Misery - Thy Kingdom Scum (Rise Above)

!

Hoo boy, a very expensive double LP by long-in-thetooth Japanese doom merchants writing love songs to such heroes as the BTK Killer, the Rev. Gary Heidnik, Ian & Myra. What could possibly go wrong?   How about everything? I’m typically willing to give anyone with a pathetic/ predictable crush over SCARY SERIAL KILLERS the benefit of the doubt, I mean, we’ve all been there, right?  WHEN WE WERE 9 FUCKING YEARS OLD.  Church Of Misery have been mining similar thematic territory for several records now and while the boner for Sir Lord Baltimore is easier to forgive than the singleminded fixation on murder-baddies , neither mean much compared to how fucking boring and unnecessary all of it is. There’s contemporary stuff that’s weirder, funnier, more inventive etc. you name it. ‘Thy Kingdom Scum’ is a super studied collection of mannerisms and if you wanna pay 30 dollars for for a pile of mannerisms, get your ass over to my place and we’ll make a deal.

Profile for Gerard Cosloy

Conflict54  

the first issue since 2013's badly received "comeback" edition. John Petkovic (Death Of Samantha, Cobra Verde, Sweet Apple) interview, reco...

Conflict54  

the first issue since 2013's badly received "comeback" edition. John Petkovic (Death Of Samantha, Cobra Verde, Sweet Apple) interview, reco...

Advertisement