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The Nerve May 2006 Page 


The Nerve May 2006 Page 


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LADYHAWK

CONTENTS

CONTENTS

LADYHAWK - 15

Cheap Shotz - 07 A Brisk Walk - 12 Album Reviews - 26 PEARLS AND BRASS - 11 Live - 25 I don’t know what the Hell Spackler is talking about DVD - 29 GODS GIRLS - 13 Film - 30 Catfight! Video Games - 31 Ainsworth - 33 UPRISE - 15 Fiction / C.C. Rose - 33 Calgary Kids vs Cultural Wasteland Skate - 32 DAVID P. SMITH - 22 Books - 32 Fat Kids with Big Tits Comics - 35 Crossword - 34 YOUTH BRIGADE / CLIT 45 - 17 Dirtbags! And their new album

S - 16

TURN ON

Respected elders and Star Wars beatdowns

YOUTH B

RIGADE

THE NERVE MAGAZINE 508 - 825 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 1K9 604.734.1611 www.thenervemagazine.com / info@thenervemagazine.com The Don (a/k/a Editor-In-Chief and Publisher) Bradley C. Damsgaard editor@thenervemagazine.com Pistol Whipper (a/k/a Music Editor) Adrian Mack mack@thenervemagazine.com Shotgun (a/k/a Film Editor) Michael Mann mann@thenervemagazine.com Map and Details (a/k/a Skate Shreditors) D-Rock and Miss Kim Launderer (a/k/a Book Editor) Devon Cody cody@thenervemagazine.com The Henchmen (a/k/a Design & Graphics) Dale De Ruiter, Aviva Rotstein

- 17

EDMONTON HARDCORE - 9 UPPER CANADIAN BLUES - 12 THE TURN-ONS - 16 THE PARALLELS - 16 UNITED 93 - 35 THE CREEPSHOW - 16 THE SPINOFFS - 20 BILLY AND THE LOST BOYS - 23 OCTOBERMAN - 23

Weapons Cleaner (a/k/a Article Editor) Jon Azpiri Surveillance Team (a/k/a Photographers) Laura Murray, Jeremy Van Nieuwkerk, Miss Toby Marie The Muscle (a/k/a Staff Writers) Jason Ainsworth, Cowboy TexAss, Chris Walter, Jason Schreurs, Adam Simpkins, Therese Lanz, Carl Spackler, David Bertrand, Herman Menervemanana, Phil Heidenreich, Ferdy Belland, Dave Von Bentley, Devon Cody, Dale De Ruiter, Derek Bolen, Tony Newton, Andrew Molloy, Boy Howdy Plaster Caster (a/k/a Cover Design) Miss Toby Marie Fire Insurance (a/k/a Advertising) Brad Damsgaard advertise@thenervemagazine.com The Kid (a/k/a The Intern) Aviva Rotstein

Out-of-town Connections (a/k/a Distro and Street Team) Toronto: Rosina Tassone Calgary: Mike Taylor Edmonton: Freecloud Records, Shauna Sirockman Winnipeg: Margo Voncook Whitehorse: Jordi and Jeremy Jones Victoria/Whistler: Jono Jak, Lindsay Seattle/Bellingham: Frank Yahr The Nerve is published monthly by The Nerve Magazine Ltd. The opinions expressed by the writers and artists do not necessarily reflect those of The Nerve Magazine or its editors. The Nerve does not accept responsibility for content in advertisements. The Nerve reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or submission and accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. All content © Copyright The Nerve Magazine 2006. Est. 1999

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PLEASE NOTE: NOT ALL BANDS PERFORM IN ALL MARKETS – PLEASE CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR EXACT BAND LINEUP

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stage and play a bunch of nu-country horseshit to a room full of line-dancing retards. He still won’t talk about it. Naturally, Spackler and I feared the worst. On the upside, Owens was opening for Screaming Trees, so even if our hero was wearing his feet of clay on this occasion, we could at least console ourselves with that. It wasn’t necessary. Buck came out and did every fuckin’ stone classic Buck Owens song we ever wanted to hear, and then some. He even did “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass”, his contribution to the very short-lived psychwaltz genre - a genre, it should be noted, that is composed entirely of that one song. Arthur Lee would have written “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass” if the weird-looking goofball from Hee Haw hadn’t gotten there first. Between songs, Owens did a bunch of hoary old routines and talked about his gigantic life, swigging from a big bottle of “medicine” which he claimed was vital to his ailing “diddy-whacker” (he recovered from a bout of throat cancer in ‘93). Peter Buck said afterwards that Mark Lanegan frorn Screaming Trees went out of his way to talk to Buck Owens after the show, and Mark Lanegan doesn’t go out of his way to talk to nobody. Buck Owens died in his sleep on March 25th, 2006, at the age of 76. Most of the obituaries focused on Hee Haw. - Adrian Mack

Mud River CD Release Nerve favourites Mud River went and made an album! Join them for their CD release party, May 13, at Cambrian Hall with the Fabulous Cadaver Dogs. Early show, doors at 8:30. Give Us Yer Money (If You Don’t Mind) Jesus Christ! Those fuckers at Co-Op are after your hard earned cash yet AGAIN!!!!! But this time they’re delivering some SWEET high-test rock ‘n’ roll action to the beleaguered masses who’ve pissed away their weekend beer money! Yep! Ron Barber, host of Powerchord will be hosting a nifty lil shindig at the Radio Station Cafe located at 101 East Hastings (did anyone say Smilin’ Buddha) on the afternoon of Saturday, May 6th! Shit hot motherfucker performances by The Red Hot Lovers, the Jolts, Dirty & the Derelicts, Notch, Phattie Phatty and the Roaches, Gynosaurus X, the Harvest, and the Hounds of Buskerville! Slightly under-amplified entertainment will be provided by an abundance of trou-

label

Farewell to Gizzard Lips Back in 1998, Spackler and I headed down to Seattle to see Buck Owens at Bumbershoot. We were both a little wary, because Owens is a hero to us. Owens is a hero to any red-blooded man or woman, but dummies think he’s just the guy from the cornpone ‘70s TV series Hee Haw. The rest of us know that he was a towering genius who revolutionized country music. In their ‘60s heyday, Buck Owens and His Buckaroos were as tight as the Meters and could rock as hard as any of the longhairs in New York, LA, or London. Guitarist Don Rich played a stinging telecaster, and to the ultra-conservative country music industry of the time, this was about as seemly as tea-bagging Kitty Wells at a church social. Among their hits: “Act Naturally”, “Under Your Spell Again”, “Love’s Gonna Live Here”, “My Heart Skips a Beat”, “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail”, “Buckaroo”, “Open up Your Heart”… you’ve heard ‘em, whether you know it or not. Along with Merle Haggard, who played bass in the first line-up of the Buckaroos, Owens was the architect of the Bakersfield sound; a raw and honest fuckyou to the syrupy Nashville formula that dominated country music at the time. Owens’ vast appeal was such that Ray Charles borrowed “Cryin’ Time” and turned it into one of his most enduring hits, while around the same time the Beatles snagged “Act Naturally”. For a while, the Buckaroos would easily outsell the Fab Four on their own turf (the 1969 live album Buck Owens in London is as crazed and thrilling as Cheap Trick at Budokan, and ends with a hairy-assed cover of “Johnny B. Goode”). Then came Hee Haw, the death of Don Rich in a motorcycle accident in 1974, and Owens’ gradual fade from view until he re-appeared duetting with Dwight Yoakam on 1988’s “Streets of Bakersfield”. That same year, a revived Buck hit the road again, and played at the annual country music festival at Wembley in London. I took two hits of ecstasy and went to see him. Being something of an idiot, I managed to turn up just in time to see Owens say thank you and goodnight. I headed down to the stage, introducing myself to security as a journalist, and explained that I was scheduled to interview Buck Owens for the BBC. This was a complete fabrication, of course – I just wanted to meet him. To this day I’m still utterly flabbergasted that those meatheads bought my story (I looked like shit and I was dribbling.), and so I found myself backstage at Wembley eating from the same craft services table as Waylon Jennings. Eventually, a couple of guys grabbed me, apologized for making me wait, and stuffed me into Buck Owens’ limousine. Five minutes later, Ol’ Gizzard Lips himself (George Jones gave him that nickname) climbed into the car flanked by two of the hottest women I’ve ever seen in my life. Maybe it was the drugs, but to this day, I swear those ladies were from the fucking moon or something. Owens looked tired, old, and sweaty. We both did. We stared at each other for a few minutes and then I extended my hand. “Thanks for everything, Mr. Owens,” I said. He took my hand with a puzzled and slightly suspicious look, told me I was very welcome, and then we stared silently at each other for another minute or two until I split. It’s only occurring to me as I write this that it must have been a frightening situation for him: why was there an asshole sitting in his limousine? Many, many years later – and with trepidation in our hearts - Spackler and I went on our pilgrimage to Seattle. Only weeks earlier, our friend Mr. Slats went on his own pilgrimage to Buck’s Crystal Palace in Bakersfield - a huge nightclub owned by the always very business savvy Mr. Owens. To his horror, Mr. Slats watched the old bastard come out onto his own goddamned

badours including Mr Plow, Sylvyrcloud, Peter La Grand, Rainspider, and Marnie Mains. The show will be broadcast LIVE on CO-Op 102.7 on yer FM dial from 2-8:30, and its fucking FREE (so don’t complain you cheapest of cheapos - donate the usual $10 cover to the station and we’ll all feel better about ourselves in the morning!) Class Pride 3 Weekend A record label respected equally for its stellar live events as its hard-hitting releases and staunch anti-fascist approach, Insurgence Records is busy preparing for its annual spring party, this time in support of its Class Pride Worldwide 3 compilation. Insurgence organizers explain the concept and international scope behind the compilation as an opportunity to showcase their favourite streetrock and hardcore bands from around the world. “We try to get as many countries involved as possible. Twenty-two bands, 16 countries, one voice!” The ever-growing event attracts supporters and fans across North America, particularly after last year’s monumental show featuring a first-ever North American appearance by the legendary skinhead group the Oppressed. “This year there will be a lot of the same people returning. We try to make a party of the entire weekend, so it’s becoming something of an excuse for out-of-towners to pull the stops out and get themselves here for a good time,” say Insurgence organizers. This y e a r ’s e v e n t will have more of a hardcore theme than past festivals and will be headlined by the label’s premier bands; world-renowned skinhead rock ‘n’ rollers the Prowlers, and the upstart politicized hardcore of fellow Montrealers Union Made. Aside from the main event, the “Class Pride Weekend” will also feature a “Dancehall Crasher Evening” where DJs will be spinning the finest in reggae, ska, and northern soul. More than anything, it’s a chance for like-minded skinheads, punks, and others to, “have a laugh, have a say” and takeover a part of Toronto’s Queen Street West for a weekend. For details on the event and/or the soon to be released compilation, check out www.insurgence.net or www. myspace.com/insurgence - Phil Heidenreich High Praise, Indeed! Greetings to thenervemagazine!! i’m a first time reader (loved the articles: faces, minutemen). yours is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise magazine sea of shit. just as i was about to put it down i found ‘The Ainsworth’. i like the ainsworth. he is a role model for journalists everywhere. talk about investigative journalism! phew! whether or not the ainsworth walks the walk or merely writes about it; is irrelavent. It has that creepy aire of authenticity about it that could send a camels colon into convulsions. i look forward to you adventures. sincerely, - The Ennamaugh

spotlight Deranged

W

ell, no one can say that the West Coast indie-label scene is running fallow these days. Every hipster across the globe is aware of Mint and Boompa, but out in - get this - Gibsons, BC, you’ve got Gordon Dufresne running the one-man operation known as Deranged Records. Gibsons is known more for reruns of The Beachcombers than as a sanctuary for lone-wolf hardcore-punk entrepreneurs, but I guess anything’s possible in this Brave New 21st Century World. With North American distribution secured through the knuckles-clenched-white punkers at

who gives a fuck? This month - Local legend Marq DeSouza. Check out his new self-titled album. (marqdesouza.com) What album is currently in your stereo? New York Dolls bootleg of a very recent show. It has the new songs. They sound just like the old songs. That’s a good thing. What book are you currently reading or have most recently read? Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, by Graham Allison. It’s about as much fun as the title sounds. What was the last movie you watched? Walk The Line. I don’t get the raves. I thought it was fucking boring. Name one album, movie or book you consistently recommend to friends? John Wesley Harding, by Bob Dylan. It sometimes gets lost in the giant shadow cast by Blonde On Blonde. Name one album, movie or book you would recommend to an enemy? Probably my album. If my enemies bought it rather than my friends, I’d see at least a four to one increase in sales. What is a recent guilty pleasure? I’ve been working far too hard getting this record out to have any. But now that I’m done, line ‘em up! What is your biggest pet peeve? Tardiness. No doubt about it. Name one bad habit you are extremely proud of? Extreme, consistent pessimism, no matter how rosy the situation. If you could hang out with any one person throughout history who would it be? Howlin’ Wolf. He got his start around the time period where my musical obsessions start and he finished around the time my obsessions ended. What is one thing you want to get done before you die? I’d like to aid and assist somehow in the entire destruction and dismantling of the modern music industry. I think I can help. Competition Time! Chris Walter’s latest book launch for Langside ended in the usual wave of mutilation, with the Neo-Nasties’ Ashtrey providing yet another priceless photo-opportunity during the band’s headlining set. Nerve readers are invited to send in their captions, and the winner will receive a box of Mr. Freezie miniatures served at room temperature. Here’s a few to get things rolling, as submitted by the envious scribes of the Nerve. Hopefully, you can do better: -“What’s this thing? I never noticed it before!” -“Funny, it looked bigger in the picture!” -“No thanks, I choke on small bones” -Tom Cruise saw this picture and ate his wife’s placenta with a boner -If you put your face one inch away from this picture you can actually see a cock.

PHOTO: DEVON CODY

CHEAP SHOTZ

CONTENTS

Ebullition, Deranged Records has over 65 releases in its catalog – in all your favourite formats, including cassette - and featuring works from Leatherface, Holier Than Thou, Rammer, Left For Dead, Haymaker, Dumbstruck, Hacksaw, Out Cold, and even a new 7” from our favourite garage/mod-rockers the Tranzmitors. Now every Whalley-based power-violence unit who couldn’t get spat on by the guys at Slap A Ham Records can find themselves a warm and welcoming home at Deranged, who are doing a bang-up job of showcasing some of the most cutting-edge (and truly punk) leather-jacket aggro noise. Good Charlotte wannabes need not apply. - Ferdy Belland

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The Nerve May 2006 Page 


CONTENTS

It’s Positive Aggression Edmonton Hardcore Faces the Music

By Bryan Carroll

J

ohn Kennedy is concerned about what you think of hardcore music. As a wellknown promoter and the guitarist for one of Edmonton’s best hardcore bands, E-Town Beatdown, Kennedy has recently become the de facto face of hardcore in this city. Kennedy isn’t happy about the way hardcore has been characterized as of late; he thinks too much credence is being given to the opponents of hardcore who say that it’s a violent and misogynistic subculture. “Your average person is misinformed about the underground,” he says. “I get these questions a lot.” Hardcore isn’t about violence claims Kennedy, it’s about solidarity. What happens in the pit is the physical manifestation of this belief in solidarity. “It’s a positive aggression,” he explains. “It’s not with the intent to hurt - it’s a way to show support and respect to your scene.” These sentiments are echoed by another well-known Edmonton promoter, Eli Klein. Klein has been involved in the punk scene for close to a decade and helped bring the hardcore style to Edmonton, though he is admittedly less involved than he once was. Originally, he found himself attracted to the values espoused by the genre. “It was nice to see a level of community [in hardcore] that wasn’t reflected in the punk rock scene,” says Klein. “Positivity through aggression.” Both have heard the criticisms of hardcore before and both don’t buy it. Kennedy likens moshing to the punk culture that spawned it. “There’s a violent aspect to it, just like punk has its violent aspect,” he says. “You can’t have a subculture with no problems. People are always gonna have problems.” While some hardcore aficionados attempt to downplay its problems, others are trying their best to raise awareness of the violence in order to better control it. As well as being a member of a number of successful underground bands such as the Kasuals and A Last Goodbye, Liam Copeland is the founder of the 780 Anti Violence Coalition, whose goal is to rid the Edmonton scene of this violent aspect. While Copeland isn’t trying to put a stop to the mosh, he claims that the pits in Edmonton are getting to the point that it’s no longer safe to be in them. “Getting an elbow in the face is to be expected sometimes,” explains Copeland, “but I’ve never seen anything quite like what I’ve seen in the past few months.” To illustrate his point, Copeland recalls a show he attended in nearby Drayton Valley at which, he says, 10-year-olds were being assaulted while attempting to remain outside the mosh pit and brass knuckles were eventually pulled which led to the show being shut down by the RCMP. Copeland’s group has been criticised by

members of the hardcore scene for putting its nose where it doesn’t belong. He doesn’t see the validity of this claim. “Everyone deserves to feel safe at shows,” he says. “I’ve gotten a lot of flack about [the coalition] but I’ve also gotten a lot of e-mails from people looking to do more. I can understand why some hardcore kids think it’s ridiculous, but it’s just like any of their crews. I’m just trying to put a crew together that says ‘this isn’t acceptable.’” While Klein and Kennedy both respect Copeland for standing up for what he believes in (another hardcore value, after all), their opinions differ on the effectiveness of his campaign. “It’s a positive force, but I don’t think it’s going to do anything,” says Kennedy. Klein is more optimistic, offering, “at least people are asking questions that they weren’t asking before.” Klein and Kennedy also disagree on whether there is a high level of misogyny within the hardcore community. While Kennedy paints the hardcore scene as the most inclusive of all the scenes in Edmonton, Klein sees it differently. “The mosh [in hardcore] is often gender exclusive,” he says, but adds, “music in general has a gender problem, not just hardcore.” Jaime Krumins agrees. She’s been a member of Edmonton’s hardcore scene for years and admits that while all of music certainly has a long way to go in achieving gender parity, hardcore can be worse. “It has more of a tough guy mentality,” she says. “It’s a boys game. It took me years to gain any sort of respect.” Klein suggests that the issue of misogyny and the issue of violence are related. “If hardcore wasn’t focused on who is the toughest guy in the room,” he says, “it would be more enjoyable for everyone.” Krumins, for her part, insists that while it may be tough for girls to break into hardcore, it is steadily getting better. “It’s gotten a lot easier because it’s becoming a bigger thing,” she says. “It’s way more diverse than it used to be.” Everyone interviewed admitted that the problems within hardcore are caused by a very small number of people within the scene. Kennedy claims that the kids who start problems “tend to filter out over the years” because they aren’t committed to hardcore’s values. Copeland sees his group as the best way to deal with the small number of troublemakers in the scene. “Fifty people can force out two bad apples,” he says. Though no one could offer a total solution to the problems within hardcore, Klein insists that it should be dealt with internally. Hardcore doesn’t need outsiders swooping in to scold everybody, he says. “The problems are inherent and they need to work themselves out.” n

“Your average person is misinformed about the underground”

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Pearl and Brass

CONTENTS

Don’t Go in the Woods! Super Bad Vibes!

of satanic acne. The locals are straight outta a northern Deliverance, always ready with a coldblooded stare and a hiss. Well, it is true that some of my rambling through this country has been under the influence of some fine psychotropic aids, but before you accuse me of Left Coast flakiness, take this piece of evidence under your microscope, Klugman! The album Indian Tower by Nazareth, Pennsylvania’s own Pearls And Brass. They understand that ol’ black magic! Just like so many others before them, it’s a long chain and the boys in Pearls and Brass just clamped on another link. It’s a fine tradition. Sammy Davis Jr had the good sense to seek out Anton LaVey! Jimmy Page bought freaking Aleister Crowley’s castle! Robert Johnson? Shit, he had Hell Hounds on his trail! Christ, just look what happens to anyone who plays Superman! Evil touches down in this world, sometimes like a Dust Devil, (are you noting these freakin’ names?) sometimes like a Twister. You’ve been warned. The boys in Pearls And Brass are young, but much like the woods, their sound is as old as time. Primitive, powerful, and capable of glorious beauty and majestic terror. Like a really heavy dose of LSD, you ride the wave to the edge and hopefully hold on or become a casualty; just another sore fucker who got to close to the sun. The music is thick heavy riffs that come straight from the centre of the earth and smother you in beautiful death defying thunder boogie. The vocals are rich, full and mysterious. The neck-snapping grooves make you instantly nod in a euphoric contact high. Indian Tower refers to a tower in the woods near their hometown of Nazareth (pop. 6,000), where the fellows would hang out, smoke dope,

“We were fortunate to have some old heads in town who steered us in

the right direction.”

drink and generally just get away. I spoke to drummer Josh Martin who, along with his bandmates, has recently left small town life behind and relocated to Philadelphia. I wondered how the change had affected him? “Umm, I pretty much do the same thing, you know? Sit around the house all day and listen to records.” The boys in P&B have good reason to rest in the day; their touring schedule is heating up like a virgin in a volcano. They had put out their first album independently, and when the new record didn’t initially bring much heat, Pearls and Brass decided to hang up its hat, seemingly calling it a day. Then their lucked changed when Indian Tower was heard by David Pajo of indie gods Slint, who plucked them from obscurity and brought the fellows to England to play at the renowned All Tomorrow’s Parties festival. That must have been quite the trip; I asked if they checked out London and the bands. “Ahh, yeah,” says Martin. “We saw the Melvins and Slint, but mostly we were in a little chalet drinking.” The thing about small towns is best summed up in quote by Tom Waits: “ If you get out and see the world a small town can be heaven, but if you never get out it’s a jail.” The fact that this music was created in such rural environment leads me to wonder how? “We were all old punk rock kids and that just opens you up musically,” Martin explains. “We ran into some of the newer heavy bands like Goatsnake and Lowrider, and then we really discovered old

blues, and that was the real awakening. We always listened to Zeppelin and Hendrix, but we had our sound already by the time we discovered Blue Cheer and the Groundhogs. We were also fortunate to have some old heads in town who steered us in the right direction.” The influence of the blues on Pearls and Brass was also a major force behind the band’s unique sound. Not in a typical Blues Hammer honky playin’ the black man’s sound real loud kinda bullshit, but the early Delta groove. Son House, Blind Lemon Jefferson; the real deal has leaked into these boys souls and you best head (sic) on down to yer local record store and get boogied evil style. We talked at some length about the difficulty in securing the right kind of mind altering substances in small towns (and occasionally big) and the need for the band to come here and play in what is know as the Pot Triangle. I began to ask about the evil in the woods when the phone went dead, the power went out, the dog began to howl, all the toys in room came on by themselves the moon disappeared and the wind screamed outside for blood. I lit a candle, cheered the darkness, poured some Wild Turkey on the ground and passed out on the couch singin’ Skip James songs. People want there to only be good in the world, and people in Hell want ice water. n PHOTO: MICHAEL WITHERS

F

ear! Menace! Dread! Heavy dread… There are places in this world that I have felt those forces pressing down on my skull, my body, right thru to my very being, like the pressure of a deep dive in the ocean - you keep you going further and further into the blackness, the cold, and you wonder if your ribs and head will just collapse inward from the horrible pressure. I have felt these forces on me in many places in the world; in the jungles of Cambodia; Aztec ruins in Mexico; thee Mint Records office. And one of the strongest places you can tap into these vibes is the woods of eastern North America. The forest prime-evil, get it? Sure, to most of the GoreTex Mountain Equipment Co-op Army the woods are something you visit in order to be “extreme” or “take it to the max”, and hell, bring your A game all you want honcho, but there are certain spots in those woods where even a braindead Hummer-driving prick must pick up on the signals that they are not welcome. An old evil, something that was here long before us and continues to radiate hate and malice, from whence does it spring? Murder? War? Massacres? Reform Party rallies? Shit, I’ll be fucked, I don’t know what went down, but I do know that it is out there; I’ve felt it, especially in the East. Drive through Manitoba into Ontario in the late fall and you will certainly feel it too. Grey skies and bad juju! Make sure on yer road trip to Creepsville that you stop in at the invitingly named Manitou Springs or maybe have a picnic near the Sleeping Giant, Crystal Lake anyone? Christ, take a hot piss on a Indian burial ground if you feel like pushing yer karmic luck with the cosmic forces that run those long lonely miles. Something bad went down there a long time ago and the land is psychically scarred deep like the worst case

By Carl Spackler

Surviving the Street, and Resurrecting the Dead! Izzy Cox

I

n these days of disposable cookie-cutter shit, it is kind of nice to come across something original every now and again. Someone with a story and a life that runs adrift from the norm; someone who treads off the beaten path and isn’t really too concerned with having “hits”, but attends to the resurrection of a lost art form: songwriting. For Izzy Cox, music is a lost danse macabre permeated by Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Cole Porter. Check the Montreal runaway-cum LA.. songstress – along with her band the Eskimos – on their most recent EP Daddy. This is lived-in music so good it’ll make you weep. Nerve: You refer to your craft as “Dead Art” Cox: I feel that the way that I sing and write music is not largely fashionable at this time. Due to great advances in technology it is very hard for audiences to be subjected to music that is authentic and real. The music I make, the notes I sing, the subjects I talk about is part of a tradition that is dying out. The type of singer I am is part of a murder ballad/folk/roots/blues tradition. Using your voice, yourself, the music, to get a point across by the emotion you are feeling, you might improvise at certain moments to fully emote the notes being played. We are living in a world that is being McDone. And to stand out is harder than it ever has been before. People just don’t have the time or the resources to hone their craft. I feel singers today don’t even have to sing, and why should they bother [with] Pro Tools? Nerve: Montreal - What did growing up there offer you that helped to make you who you are today? Cox: Montreal was and is my only oasis, my artistic rehab. It was the place that defines who I am. The streets are filled [with] my trials and tribulations. I grew up in downtown Montreal, my mother is French Canadian and my father is Texan. The culture of making music and experi-

By Boy Howdy

menting artistically is what Montreal is made of. All my secrets are in Montreal. I was a runaway, drug addict, victim of circumstances, a system kid, a college dropout, a grant artist. And this would have never had happened if I was anywhere else. I know I would have never grown up though if I didn’t fly the coop.

“I was a runaway, drug addict, victim of circumstances, a system kid, a college dropout, and a grant artist” Nerve: What artists made the biggest impression on you growing up? Cox: Unlike most people music was forbidden in my home. So my parents sent me to the Salvation Army to study music. So from the ages of five to 11 years, I was part of that musical community. But I will always remember I stole a hand radio when I was six from Radio Shack and I listened to the radio, at night underneath my pillow, and I listened to classic rock, jazz and oldies stations. And at that age my dad lived a double life and I was his sidekick in the bar world, and got to witness many great jazz and rock artists in live venues. When I ran away I hung out at Foufounes Electriques, and that’s when it all made sense to me. UK Subs, the Nils, Bad Brains, etc. The punk bands of that time saved me in a way. Nerve: The most recent Izzy Cox and the Eskimos E.P, Daddy, made quite a few “Best of” L.A. year-ends. Where next? Cox: Well, we are about to pirate a recording at the Gene Autry Museum. Sixteen songs is the

goal, if we don’t get arrested. Play the hell out of the West Coast, East Coast. Make a point. Get help. Get signed, tour, record again, play Canada, play Europe, record again. My dream is to record and work with Tom Waits, Rick Rubin, and Jon Brion. Nerve: Who is allowed to be a part of your own little “Hollywood Mafia?” It seems that you have a small group of like-minded artists and musicians that you share ideas and space with? Cox: I would say I am associated with many artists but the pattern is this: hyper intelligent, slightly psychotic, widowed and orphaned. Nerve: Who is more punk rock: Billie Holliday; Tom Waits; Billie Joe Armstrong, or Cole Porter? Why? Cox: All those artists I think spoke their truth, followed their gut, stole other peoples melodies, I’m sure they got drunk or stoned, and probably at some time or another slept with someone they don’t remember. Nerve: What did the streets teach you that informs your muse at present? Cox: I’m very lucky to be alive, and as I get older a lot of my peers are dead and gone. When I was 11, I was panhandling and this transgender - about 45 years old - saved my life by telling me about her life and what not to do. Everyone has a story, just the most important stories are sometimes lost because people are not able to talk about their truths and sometimes people just don’t listen. The most important thing is this, there was times in my life that I was ashamed about my life; the things I saw and the things I did to survive. But I realized you can never run from yourself because if you do, you’re about to run yourself into the grave. Nerve: What advice would you give to any

teenage runaway who wanted to get the fuck out of Dodge and head to Hollywood? Cox: Check all of your options. If there are none, then do this. Bring a good picture fake ID. Make up a good elaborate story. Stick to it - no matter what. Remember dates and years to your story. Get good at having a lisp or stuttering problem if you don’t have one for real. Sew money in your clothing. Make sure you know about sex. Stay away from carnival men and pedophiles. If you have no choice and these folks take you out to eat make sure you know the exit of any establishment. And 12 step programs are always plentiful with free coffee and cigarettes. n

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CONTENTS

the thinking man’s head

How Emergenza Broke Graham’s Heart

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t’s always really fun when you try your best to succeed, and instead you get sodomized by a can of Mace. Today’s rant: Emergenza. An international music festival spanning 150 European and North American cities. Emergenza is a huge-scale ‘battle of the bands’ that costs $75 (!!!) per band to join. Each round, the victors progress to bigger and better venues, until the ultimate warrior gets to take part in the Vans Warped tour and the Taubertal Open Air Festival in Germany. You can also win an A&R conference. Fun! Commerce! So how do you win? Well, it’s up to an audience - paying $20 entry to watch unsigned local bands - to salute the air after each band’s performance for a yay or nay vote. According to the Emergenza website: “The greatest advantage of an open audience vote by show of hands is that it is a very fair and clear system. Emergenza can in no way cheat or change the result, as anyone in the audience can see and count the results for themselves. It’s very democratic!” Bullshit. What’s the guarantee? “In the 12 years that Emergenza has existed, we have tried many voting systems, as you may imagine. The one we’re using now - the show of hands - is the most accurate we have found so far… [with] an error margin of more or less 3%. There is often two people counting - for accuracy and fairness.” Well. I saw one gig, at Richard’s on Richards, and there was certainly only one ‘counter’. Her name is Kristine *********, and all her decisions were pre-determined by backstage suckjobs (unconfirmed at press time). I came to support my pals the Stumbler’s Inn. But by the time I’d stumbled in (ha ha), I’d already missed four acts. “All metal, from Surrey,” was the summary. The fifth, Drowning in the

Mainstream, delivered simplistic but pummeling riffs, relentless with little variation. Ministry/ Discharge – minus the samples – meets postPantera hoodie mosh. Not bad. The response was very good. The Inn – folk/psych/country/bar rock with organ (ie: not metal) – were pretty intimidated. But fuck it, they were great! They were… unusually sober. Al and Graham’s vocal dueling was the tightest ever. The response was huge. A fucking CHANT started up. Really, really impressive. Barn-storming. So next was Marble Rye. A pretty weak-kneed indie thing. Done decently enough, I suppose. One time the singer had to remind the audience that a song was over so we’d clap. And finally… HELLRAZOR. Looking very much like the all-Latino metal band Death Angel if they were teenagers and Native and wore boas and danced around like a sub-sub-par, completely gay, poor man’s Crue. No one liked them. Not me, not your dog, not the staff of Dick’s on Dicks. Nobody. So of course they won the damn thing. What the fuck happened? It was RIGGED, douche. Hellrazor’s name was plastered in big bold print all over the fugly awful promo posters, so they had to win. One other band moved on – the underachieving Marble Rye. The outcry at Dick’s was ridiculous. Boos and threats of violence. Shit got tossed around. Kristine ********* got a coupla hefty ‘Fuck You’s’. Somebody stinkbombed the place… more than once. A happening! The point? This city’s gutter-poor artists and musicians need some fuckin’ love, me brothers, not this crockity shit. But like the Joes said, knowing is half the battle. Stumbler’s? I love you guys, but c’mon. You shoulda fuckin’ known better. Geesh. Emergenza??? n

This city’s gutterpoor artists and musicians need some fuckin’ love, me brothers, not this crockity shit.

The Creeping Terror!

Upper Canadian Blues Music Notes from In, Out and Around Toronto, ON

TOKYO POLICE CLUB

By Cameron Gordon

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yrically spazzy and visually slight, all the young dudes in Toronto’s Tokyo Police Club have just released their debut EP A Lesson in Crime on Paper Bag Records and in the process, they’ve been fingered to the knuckle as one of Toronto’s top breakout candidates for 2006. And with good reason. All frenetic angst and fish hooks, the TPC have already made a name for themselves as an incendiary live act and they’ll look to defile small town Ontario in late May with some dates in support of the EP. Google their name to get the particulars… Lye might look pretty on the surface but beneath the

Loose women. Lots of loose women

PHOTO: RYAN FUJIKI

a brisk walkwith mr bertrand

fur, these critters have some pretty sharp teeth… and quite possibly a VD. In April ‘06 alone, the glammy rockers made their New York City debut (playing some room called the Lucky Cat) and hit Montreal, Baltimore and (yes) Toronto in support of their recent acoustic EP Don’t Look at Me. But don’t fret if you think the disc is a sign that Lye is going soft - their recent Canadian Music Week performance was the oral equivalent of the colloquial expression “Screw you, asswipe!”… The punishing metal mulch of the Cancer Bats has been bubbling under since ’04 but the stars seem to be aligning (or whatever) for these chuckers, circa now. The clip for their latest single “100 Grand Canyon” has received a nibble or two over at MuchMusic, and audiences have been going batshit over the band’s rich product, which at times sounds like the thrash-era Metallica or that pissy stuff that half-baked skateboarders listen to. The Bats support NOFX in Halifax, NS this August… Local goofball Wax Mannequin is currently holed up in a hovel somewhere, working on the follow-up to 2004’s The Price. The artist, known to his friends and creditors as Chris Adeney, has been gigging a-plenty in recent months

and his meow-infused butt rock has truly been catching on across the board, from slap-worthy indie rock kids to meth addicts, transient types and other sidewalk trash. Plus loose women. Lots of loose women… By the time of this reading, a brand new full-length from the callous kooks in the Creeping Nobodies will have hit retail. Entitled Sound of Joy, the album was recorded in New York City with Warton Tiers, a stiff-jawed 50-something best known for his work with Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and Nick Cave. The Creeps recently let loose at Sneaky Dee’s alongside Anagram and Vancouver’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, and will look to continue the carnage with some additional live dates this summer …. If the messaging on their website is any indication (and the WWW seldom lies), the Lowest of the Low have officially “gone fishing”. Call it a hiatus if you will but any way you slice it, co-singers/co-songwriters Ron Hawkins and Stephen Stanley are going to concentrate on the solo thing for now and whatever else it is musicians do with their spare time…use your imagination. The Low’s last album was 2004’s comeback Sordid Fiction. n

– comprised of Hellcat (vocals), Sickboy (upright bass / backing vocals), Matt (drums) and Ginty (keyboard / backing vocals) – has stirred up such a huge buzz across Canada. Sickboy begins the interview, recounting the origins of the band: “Hellcat and I had been talking about starting this band together for years, but were busy with other things and just didn’t have the time… we were all playing in other bands, and working full-time. I played a bit of double bass in high school and really wanted to get back into it, and Jen (aka Hellcat) and I wrote a few songs together while we were searching for the rest of the band members.” The challenge of finding the rest of the band didn’t last very long. “At that time, Ginty was an old friend and a huge SKA-head,” Sickboy continues. “We thought having him on the keyboards would add something really cool. We found Matt on the internet, ha ha, and as soon as we all finally got together, it was awesome, almost like we had played together for years.” The result: a divergent sound that Sickboy describes as, “all over the map, from doo-wop, to rockabilly, ska, reggae, punk, and surf.” One of their local influences, the Matadors, have both inspired and bolstered the band’s career. “We were all big fans of The Matadors,” says Sickboy. “They gave us one of our first shows, and started adding us to all their shows… they really helped us out HUGE! Now we’re label mates and releasing our CDs on the same day

(the Matador’s Horrorbilly 9000 is also set for May 2nd release].” Hellcat adds, “They all rock. They all roll. I LOVE YOU MATADORS!!! Canadian independent label Stereo Dynamite has itself been producing a comparable buzz. Sickboy modestly elaborates on his relationship with the label, “Unlike other labels, Adam (Sewell, label co-owner) has played in bands, toured all over North America, been signed, dropped, and still plays in a band (Damn 13). He knows what it’s like to play a show, pack up gear, and drive 26 hours straight without any sleep. We were all brought up with D.I.Y. ethics. There’s no one we’d rather have working our record.” Asked about the recording p r o c e s s f o r S e l l Yo u r S o u l , Sickboy explains, “We recorded with Steve Rizun and finished 11 tracks in two weeks. Steve also mixed and mastered the record.” With the album being recorded in such a short time, I was unsure about just what to expect… and then, with an advance copy in my possession, all doubt evaporated. Random and fanatical dancing sprees followed. “Doghouse” - featuring Hooch from the Matadors – is now on continuous repeat. With their sinister appearance and chillingly melodic tunes, I officially direct every Canadian to check out the Creepshow live in your town as they “creep” across the country this May with the Matadors. The tour winds up in Vancouver at the Railway Club on May 20th. Sorry you have to miss out, Mr. Plow. n

“We’re all over the map, from doo-wop, to rockabilly, ska, reggae, punk, and surf.”

By Jenna James

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ith barely a year under their belt, the Creepshow have generated an uproar throughout Southern Ontario with a fear-provoking psychobilly sound tagged as horrorbilly. Between their forthcoming debut

The Nerve May 2006 Page 12

full-length Sell Your Soul (May 2 via Stereo Dynamite Recordings), and the hauntingly stylish Creepshow handbills that flood the local dives I call venues, it was high time to find out how the mysterious appearance of this fiendish foursome


CONTENTS

“We Never Promised To Empower Anyone” For GodsGirls.com, Punk Rock is Just a Topless Party movement from being turned into a marketing scheme) stopped the word from spreading quite effectively, and as to the musical DIY spirit, it’s awfully hard for anyone to spend 15 years sleeping in a van and eating Ichiban when the major labels are offering four-star hotels and caviar. (If any of you were paying attention, that WAS a Le Tigre song [the current musical project of Riot queen Kathleen Hanna] in that Telus commercial.) I suppose, then, it was only a matter of time

hot female sexuality. I wanted her to, at great lengths, and with keen sociopolitical insight, explain the redeeming cultural value of pictures of naked punk girls. I wanted her to explain her stunning theory of how punk rock ethics are not only not opposed to the concept of alt-porn, but inextricable from them. Well, she didn’t. She didn’t even try. “None of us take punk rock or DIY seriously, that’s just a marketing ploy for Suicide Girls, and they proved it’s not real for them, that it doesn’t exist. Some magazine described us as anti-feminist and irresponsible, I think they wanted to get us down. I’m 22, I am irresponsible. I don’t feel I need to be feminist. Generations before us worked really hard so we could do this, we don’t need to contribute to it.” Ohhhh, I get it!! So the suffragettes chained themselves to lampposts in the 1910s, went on hunger strikes, were brutalized and beaten by police, so you could get naked for a camera!! What a wonderful and fitting tribute to their selfless hard work and sacrifice! Reminds me of a David Cross bit about Bush saying how the Islamic terrorists hate American freedom. David Cross then points out that we use our freedom to produce such masterworks as Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s reality show, The Simple Life - and concludes that he, too, hates American freedom. If “women’s lib” and all the courage and dedication of our foremothers has earned us the right to prance around in our panties on the Internet, well then, I fucking hate women’s lib. But what’s that? Doesn’t the whole aesthetic run a little deeper? Doesn’t being “alternative” mean anything to the God’s Girls, or is it merely a look? “None of us feel that punk rock ideals and feminist ideals are relevant to anyone under PHOTO: MATTHEW COOKE

before the third wave of feminism infected punk rock women. “Okay, everyone,” one can almost hear them say, “we’ve been tattooed revolutionaries, pierced rockers, dyed activists. Time for a brand new bag! Let’s all go get naked in front of a camera.” Which brings us to a new social “revolution”: Suicide Girls. The goddamn website has become a household name by this point. Ted Koppel knows about it, for fucksakes. Guys try to pick me up at bars with the line, “You know, you should be a Suicide Girl.” Little girls with Monroe piercings and pink dreads pine for the day they turn 18 so they, too, can strip for the auto setting on their digital cameras. Tell me, oh underground nation, when did the role of women in alternative culture turn from Riot Grrls to Suicide Girls? And doesn’t anyone else think that’s backsliding, not progress - that our role has changed from cultural movers and shakers, back to eye candy, i.e. where it’s been for the past couple hundred years? Especially since the leftist, progressive ideals of punk rock usually staunchly defend the rights of minorities and marginalized groups. Of course, the proponents of alt-porn (as it’s hilariously called) claim that it IS progress, that it’s empowering, why should punk women not feel free to express their sexuality, blah blah blah, and stodgy old feminazis like me are just trashin’ it because I’m just jealous that I don’t receive 415904139003242 Myspace messages a day saying things to the effect of “OMG u r so hawt”. When I spoke with Annelise, founder of GodsGirls.com, (one of a half-dozen alt-porn sites I’ve seen recently pop up on Myspace) I honestly wanted her to make me a believer. I wanted her to explain her vision to me with such passion that I would have my puritanical notions utterly destroyed in a firestorm of red

25. For us, it’s an aesthetic, a party, an opportunity to have a lot of fun. It’s not political for us.” Oh, so if punk rock is just an aesthetic, then Good Charlotte (with their black neck bandannas, wristbands, Dickies, and fauxhawks) are the epitome of punk rock, while Jello Biafra (who dresses like someone’s weird dad) is just some old unfashionable asshole going on spoken-word tours. Makes sense, no? I mean, you can buy bondage pants at Wal-Mart! But hey, at least she’s up front about it. “The main thing that separates God’s Girls from other alt porn sites is that we’re anti-marketing, we’re not pretending to try and be something we’re not. The whole Suicide Girls feminist angle was an attempt to separate themselves from adult industry. There’s no basis, it’s all crumbling. It’s owned by a man who [allegedly] is abusive to models. We never promised to empower anyone.” Well, I guess that says it more eloquently than I ever could. I don’t know what else there is to say. All the God’s Girls are smokin’ hot, and the pics (snapped by internationally renowned photographers such as Christine Kessler and Matthew Cook) are wonderful. I sincerely hope many of you go to the site, purchase memberships, and pleasure yourselves six ways from Sunday. And as you’re doing so, remember that 86% of rapists admit to regular use of pornography, with 57% admitting actual imitation of pornography scenes in commission of sex crimes… and that rape has risen by 500% in the United States since in 1960, an increase which directly parallels the increase in availability and the severity of pornography… and regions in North America where the circulation of pornography is greater have a proportionately greater rate of sex crime. Oh, and to any ladies who don’t think feminism is relevant to them? Guess what, sweethearts… you still, in the year 2006, make 70 cents an hour for every dollar a man makes for doing the same work. You still live in a world where hundreds of thousands of women, in a culturally condoned practice, get their clitorises sliced off with dirty broken glass. You may be okay with that, but I’m not… I plan on keeping my drawers on and my outdated punk rock feminist ideals intact. n

“I’m 22, I am irresponsible. I don’t feel I need to be feminist.”

PHOTO: CHRISTINE KESSLER

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et me preface this with a quote from Bonnie Raitt: “Any man who’s got a problem with feminists is signaling a major shortage in his pants.” I really couldn’t agree more - just utter the word and you’ll send most knuckle-dragging, Maxim-reading NFL fans diving for cover underneath the nearest couch. To people of this ilk, the very word conjures up images of unshaven cave dykes lurking around every corner, wielding freshly honed knives waiting to harvest their manhood. To some of us, feminism means something quite different. To some of us, it refers to the social revolution whose roaring tide brought us out of the kitchen, out of the unenviable position of unpaid household help-slash-baby factory, out from under the fucking burkha, out into the world, where we were free to pursue whatever ambitions and desires we choose. How could something so vital eventually come to carry such a hideous stigma? (I have this long-standing theory that the “feminazi” - you know, the unshaven cave dyke I spoke of earlier - does not in fact exist. I have never met one, and I’ve attended women’s studies at university AND frequented lesbian bars. No one I know has ever met one. The feminazi, in my opinion, is a bogeyman for misogynists - a mythical creature formed out of the nightmares of assholes who are made unbearably uncomfortable by the reality of women thinking and speaking for themselves. But I digress.) Let me give you a (very) brief history of feminism, as reckoned by modern academia. (Shit! I said “feminism” and “academia” in the same sentence, in the pages of Nerve Magazine? I must be fucking insane! Please come back, I’ll start talking about the porn site soon, I promise!) The first wave of feminism occurred as early as the late 1800s and consisted of women saying “We want to be considered persons under the law, with equal rights.” The second wave of feminism hit around the ‘60s and ‘70s, with women proclaiming “We want to be able to do whatever men do, be doctors and lawyers, with all the same social and sexual freedoms that men have.” The third wave of feminism started poking its head around the 1990s or so. What did those pesky women want this time? Give those broads an inch and they’ll cut off all six, they will! Well, this time the women were saying “We want to be doctors and lawyers, but we want to be SEXY doctors and lawyers.” How does this all dovetail with the world of punk rock, you ask? Well, the punk rock world underwent social evolution much like the rest of society (only it took more time… I’m blaming all the weed and 26ers). In the early ‘90s, a true cultural revolution took place. Women were diving into underground music as never before - they were publishing zines, starting record labels, and playing in bands that were fiercely political, ear splittingly loud, and defiantly sloppy. If the spirit of punk rock can be defined as dangerous, socially unacceptable, anti-convention, DIY, as the oppressed people of the grassroots flipping a furious bird at the bloated powers that be, then no sub-sub-subculture embodied it better than Riot Grrl. But Riot Grrl’s own principles proved to be its demise. Their famous media silence (RG’s leaders refused to speak to the media to prevent the

By Thérèse Lanz

Hello boys. Please enjoy your feelings of conflict The Nerve May 2006 Page 13


The Nerve May 2006 Page 14


CONTENTS

Lo-fi, Bagged-on, and Backmasked! By Adrian Mack “We wanted it to be a live album,” Darcy continues. “The mics were set up and we just went in and started playing songs, and everything sounded exactly the same. We were like, awesome! But something we never thought of is that you’re ears get tired of hearing the exact same thing.” The solution? “Every song was recorded on a different day,” Darcy explains, “And we had to tear down every day because this is a jam space for other people. We’d tear down, set up – there was no possible way every song could sound the same.” This falls into the category of Audio Voodoo, a subject that Ladyhawk understand intuitively. Even if you replicate the conditions with total precision, it’s still gonna come out different. Sound is inexplicable, ineffable, and spooky as fuck. That’s why Neil Young only records when there’s a full moon. Long Till Morning – is their “stoner anthem”, according to Sean. Didn’t see that coming. Ryan reveals that he was going for a Mick Fleetwood drum sound. “I was really jammin’ on Rumours at the time. The drum sound is like a punch in the face, but what I wanna know with Mick Fleetwood – what’s the deal with the dangly balls between his legs? Even in pictures of really old Fleetwood Mac, he’s got those dangly balls. What is that?” I think they’re meant to symbolize dangly balls, I offer. “Long Till Morning” is heartbreaking, gorgeous, spacey, languid and weird. It reminds me of a song called “Fly” by obscure Vancouver hippies JK and Co. “For this part,” says Ryan, “I was playing trumpet, Duffy was playing saxophone, Josh (Black Mountain) was playing a cymbal.” “I was passed out,” says Sean. “Matt (Wood) from Pride Tiger did some backmasking in there,” Ryan continues. ”So when you get the record, you can play it backwards, and there’s a hidden message. Came in Brave – This one is hard to remember. Ryan was saying something about a “deadly red-headed cousin” as if I would know what he means by that. I’ve been on a fast for three days, so I’m gapping out from the Scooby snacks. Things come into focus again, and I hear Sean say this, with a big, serene smile: “It’s kinda lumpy – I’m coming down or it’s coming up or something.” What does he mean by that? “Came in Brave”, incidentally, is partly about Ladyhawk’s house burning down, and partly about errant vocalist Duffy’s struggles with reality. “Duffy had gone to bed and the rest of us had gone out for a night on the town.” Sean begins. “He was laying in bed and smelled something. He got up, he was almost asleep, and our roommate had put laundry in the dryer in the rickety old basement before she left. So he opened the door and immediately, the fire came out of the dryer and started burning everything.” So far so scary. So what does Duffy do next? “He started writing a note,” Darcy says, between heaves of laughter. “To the rest of the roommates! Writing a note is, like, step three! ‘Hey guys, the house caught on fire. I’ll just write a note then I’ll go back to bed.’” Says Ryan,” I have the note on my fridge. It says, “Hey guys, the dryer caught…” Then he’s like, I’m gonna call my mom. Then, somewhere inside, he’s like, ‘No, I’m gonna call 911.’” Just so you know, Ryan finds the lyrics to be, “very traditional in a hymnal way. I’m all about Mennonite hymns, man. ‘The Old Rugged Cross’ – beautiful tune.” Advice – “Another crowd pleaser,” Sean reckons. Sean: A total drunken, meandering song. We play it better when we’re shit-faced.

PHOTO: DALE DE RUITER

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iny and Muscles - two neckless goons from fancy independent US record label Jagjaguwar - meet me at the entrance of Ladyhawk’s secret underground bunker with sheaths of confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure forms. Satisfied that I’m about to do nothing to compromise one of the label’s most delicate new assets, I’m taken inside and introduced to bassist Sean Hawryluk, drummer Ryan Peters, and guitarist Darcy Hancock. The fourth member of Ladyhawk – Duffy Driediger – has refused to meet with me. He’ll pay for this in the long run. This is where Ladyhawk recorded its debut album, here in its exceedingly cosy jam space, dubbed Karachi Vice, where a mirrored portrait of Farrah Fawcett Majors – in her very prime looks benevolently down upon our heroes. I’ve been permitted to hear a preview of the self-titled debut, which will be released in Canada by Storybook on June 6. The cover art, it should be noted, depicts some very picturesque bush country. Sean, gregarious and with no fixed haircut, begins our track by track session: 48 Hours – a gentle opener; rustic, a little herky-jerky. It’s a soft-impact overture, modeled presumably on its composer’s approach to lovemaking. I’m reminded that a gentleman always knocks; he doesn’t just barge in. It fades early. A little prematurely, if you will. “This song is kinda similar to the last song, I find,” Sean explains. “So they work good together.” Like bookends, I ask? Ryan strokes his chin and suggests, “When you throw it on repeat, it’s like a perpetual motion machine. It plays itself.” This guy’s going to be a handful, obviously. He gives me a nod, says, “Spark that doob.” The Dugout – this is up-tempo, with big, brassy, and proud vocals. Like the Poppy Family covering Louie and the Lovers. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. What does Ryan have to say about this one? “You roll really nice joints.” That’s what. “Thank you very much,” I say. “I didn’t think it was a particularly good one, so it means a lot to hear you say that.” “Darcy rolls the pregnant snake and he can get it done in a couple of seconds flat,” Sean adds. “I’m probably a little quicker than this guy,” he continues, pointing at Ryan, “But then, I roll the medium cone.” “For this, we recorded the drums in the hallway,” Ryan says, ignoring Sean. “It sounds cool out there. There’s more of a natural reverb. Hallway reverb. We’re into dirty sounding records, anyway.” Like what? “Vibe-wise I was listening to a lot of old Faces and Rod Stewart,” he says. “They’re so gnarly.” “Never a Dull Moment,” Sean announces, with a look of fear. “The drums and bass on that are so perfect for THE ROCK.” “Or A Nod is as Good as a Wink,” Ryan continues. “There’s pummeling drums. It’s like your head is inside the drum. It’s crushing but with really warm guitars. “So groovy,” says Sean. For a second it looks like he’s floating. My Old Jackknife – this live favourite is a goofy rave-up, fit for cross-legged hairball clap-alongs. Could come in handy in a Farrelly Brothers movie, too. Since we’re talking about the Faces, it falls more on the “Ooh La La” side than it does “Miss Judy’s Farm”. With absolutely no prompting from me, Sean suddenly confesses, “Our record’s pretty wasted, I’d say.” “I have to drink to play,” admits Darcy, a little desolately. Ladyhawk had already recorded the entire album once, but, as Sean reveals, Jagjaguwar “wasn’t sold on the fidelity of the recordings.” And so Colin Stewart and a big-ass reel-to-reel were dragged down into Karachi Vice to give the band a little more sonic boom. “My Old Jackknife” survived the night of the long knives in some ways. “We used the drums from the original take,” Sean tells me. ”We like the lo-fi, bagged-on sound. You know – it’s just fucked up. Not that kickin’ but at the same time kinda kickin’.” “Right,” I nod. And what the fuck are you talking about?

Ryan: When you’re drunk you’re not thinking at all. And the more you think, the more you stink. Darcy: Action without thought is the best kind of action. It’s the most pure. Ryan: The way you work, you always go nuts on a Friday night, no matter what. The weekday recording sessions were like, pfft. But as soon as it was Friday – yeah, we were on it, because it’s just fuckin’ Friday night man. That’s the voodoo again. Sad Eyes/Blue Eyes – Lake country irie. “It’s got the fattest, almost reggae sound, which I was really stoked on,” Sean says, beaming. “Matt (Wood) was in charge of mixing my bass on this one and he did such a great job.” Ryan concurs. “It’s a total reggae jam,” he says, before manfully revealing, “I’m even a fan of dancehall. Sean Paul. ‘I got the right temperature to shelter you from the storm, uh oh.’ It’s total science. It’s music scientifically made to smoke weed to.” Teenage Love Song – another up-tempo shift, with the shitty old drum track still intact. The vocal is great, being slightly out of range, giving it a yearning quality. A highlight. “The vocals are original too, from the demo,” Darcy reveals. Drunk Eyes – has a shitkicker feel. It’s a touching paean to being wasted. “This was written about coming home from Pats or the Astoria every weekend and just wrecking shit,” Darcy announces. “Smashing stuff on your way home for the night,” adds Sean. “Kicking over Dose boxes,” Darcy elaborates. “Every one you find, and there’s a lot of them.” Amber Webber provides celestial harmonies. New Joker – freak folk and Wayne Coyne vocals. The second half sounds like Crazy Horse on Zuma. Sean calls it “The crazy frustration period” song, with a massive musical conflagration at the end drawn from real life. Darcy explains: “Duffy wrote it when it was a weird time, Kelowna was on fire. We were all there, mostly. It was before the band started. Duffy and me were confused, in our mid 20s, and every night he’d come pick me up and we’d go to this beach, which was beautiful. We’d go to the farthest point – like, hike down to this beach and get drunk and smoke joints every night. And the fire started right there

...what I wanna know with Mick Fleetwood – what’s the deal with the dangly balls between his legs?

and burned everything. Burned the whole mountain down and it was our favourite spot.” Sean adds, “My house was the place to go to party, because my dad was super-fucking-radical, but he got really sick that summer and ended up dying. That was part of our crazy frustration period. And our favourite place was burned down.” It’s a pretty heavy song then. Sean smiles. “But it’s definitely uplifting,” he says. “It’s about rollin’ another and lightin’ it up, drivin’ around in the hillside. We all grew up there and we all did that.” “Driving just to get lost,” Ryan says, quietly, as he brings out a 12 dollar piece of shit toy guitar from Value Village with a weird hinged cutaway in the body, appropriate for stashing pills, grass, or Chinese people, probably. “I wrote most of my songs on it,” he says. “New Joker” was recorded over two days. “The acoustic track is on the really bagged-on acoustic guitar,” Sean says, “And we all just sat on the couch wasted as fuck at two in the morning. It was Colin’s idea. We were all shit-faced, arm in arm.” Darcy picks it up: “He said, I want you to play all night, other songs, and when you’re super tired and drunk, and when you’re about ready to go home, I wanna do the beginning of this song.” “The rest of the song was recorded the next night,” Sean continues. Like Neil Young, with “Helpless,” I say. I’m on a bit of a Neil Young thing right now. So is Ryan. He just finished reading Jimmy McDonough’s amazing Neil Young bio, Shakey. “Yeah, but you can still hear Stephen Stills in the background, douching it up,” he comments, on the twilight recording technique used to give “Helpless” its ass-dragging, Mogodon feel. “Neil’s a dick,” he continues. “But that’s fine. I respect that. He wouldn’t have gotten anything done if he wasn’t. I like that (McDonough) doesn’t glorify them. He doesn’t make them seem like they’re any better than any other human beings. And he totally tears into Crosby all the time.” The stop and start terror dynamics at the end of “New Joker” contains an easter egg – Ryan fucks up. “I have a total brain fart and stop playing for a bit,’ he says, anguished. “I was vehemently opposed to keeping it… it’s like tripping at the finish line.” “But we loved it,” says Sean. “It works,” argues Darcy. “It falls out of time, then it comes back in.” Audio Voodoo, in other words. Like I said – Ladyhawk knows it. Not every band can tell you how it feels to feel. These guys do. The album slays. Eat it up! n

The Nerve May 2006 Page 15


CONTENTS

MUSIC

The Turn-ons

Re-establishing Balance after Parallels

F

or a man promoting a new album, the Turn-ons’ vocalist/guitarist Travis DeVries is markedly reserved. Words are selected carefully and voiced cautiously. Yet, he still sees fit to retract the occasional statement and ask that others not see print. Partway through our phone conversation, he admits, “We had a difficult year last year. It really took its toll on the band.” DeVries goes on to explain how Parallels – their third full-length – became, for all intents and purposes, the band’s difficult second album. In his estimation, their self-titled debut was more of a solo project. By their second disc, a permanent line-up was established and a home studio assembled. “I really feel like East was our first album as a band. We took our time with it while we were playing out a lot,” he recalls. All told, East took two years to record and mix. Consequently, a new approach seemed in order for Seattle’s glammy shoegazers. “With Parallels, we went in with a producer, Paul Mahajan (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs),” he shares. “We had 17 songs. We were

just going to go in and get them all done in six days.” While they met their timeframe, the Turn-ons found themselves less than impressed with the finished results. Ultimately, they opted to rerecord two songs in their entirety – including standout “Strange As Snow” – and re-track portions of others. Once the record was completely remixed, it finally saw release in March – well past its original due date. “I really feel strongly now that bands should produce themselves,” states DeVries. “People should have confidence in their own vision.” While the process leading to Parallels may have imparted that valuable lesson, it also cost the band founding member Sharon Oshima, who left on amicable terms. The rueful vocalist confesses, “That was really heartbreaking for us but we knew we had to keep going.” The Turn-ons – who also include Corey Gutch, Erik Blood and William Hallauer – have certainly soldiered on. “We’ve already recorded ten new songs,” reveals DeVries. “We want to

“We had a difficult year last year. It really took its toll on the band.”

PHOTO: BRIAN O’SHEA

By Curtis Woloschuk

shop this new [album] around.” To date, all of the band’s records have been released on their own Childstar label. While proud of their past self-sufficiency, they’d now welcome some assistance. “To run a label, put out your own stuff, really promote it and do everything else that’s involved… We’d like to think we could do it again but it’s been kind of hard on us. We’d just like a bit of a break.” At present, The Turn-ons – who come to Vancouver’s Pub 340 on May 13th - will focus on two more sessions that should see their fourth album

Home Improvements

The Nerve May 2006 Page 16

The Parallels Talk Shop

observes O’Dell. “It’s taken a really long time. They [now] want to go to the front and hang out with the band as opposed to sitting on their barstools.” On record and in performance, the band – which plays at Pub 340, on May 13th - channels their contagious vigour into garagespawned songs that rarely surpass the three minute mark. In conversation, such focus falls to the wayside. Mimicking their multi-part, shout-along vocals, band members rabidly compete for tape time. Segues are de rigueur. Despite a collective effort to stay on topic, there’s talk of Ethiopian food, male nudity and telescopes. Oddly enough, all three subjects relate to Upstart Hi-Fi – the band’s new studio. Their original plan of assembling a recording compound in O’Dell’s backyard was scuttled when costs PHOTO: LAUREN VE SCOTT

T

he Parallels’ onstage antics exemplify frenetic energy rendered in four-part harmony. Jarrod O’Dell bullies his keyboard and almost sends it to the floor. Bassist Tyler Mounteney stomps about in front of flailing drummer “Mick” McDiarmid. Mike Flintoff’s spastic guitar skills are egged on by his convulsive legwork. The quartet’s British Invasion, mod and soul-fuelled cavorting can’t help but provoke a response. Seizure-wary mothers long to lodge spoons in their mouths. Exorcism-happy priests have the holy water at the ready. The kids in the crowd? They frug themselves stupid. In The Parallels’ opinion, it’s about time. “I’ve noticed in the last six months that people are really down with dancing to a live band again,”

through to completion. With a welcome air of enthusiasm, DeVries shares, “We all think that it’s the best thing we’ve done. I’m really happy with it and I never say that. I’m really looking forward to getting it out later this year.” What can listeners expect? “A really amazing drum sound that we’ve never really had,” he gushes. “A lot of ‘70s (Tony) Visconti stuff.” Regarding his noted affection for torrential reverb, he adds, “We’re trying to do more stuff that’s dry rather than drenched.” Evidently, some doubts still persist over that approach. “I don’t know, though. I love reverb.” n

By Curtis Woloschuk

spiralled out of control. “We’re now officially in Gastown,” advises Mounteney. “By some stroke of fate, they allowed us to get cheap rent in the new home of the nouveau riche.” Setting up the studio has been an arduous task. O’Dell jokes, “Right now, I think Upstart Hi-Fi is best described as Tyler and myself clenching our heads in despair and screaming, ‘Why isn’t this working?!’” Despite delays, the band expects to be up, running and recording a new single by the end of April. The production/release of 1961 McLean – The Parallels’ first album – proved equally convoluted. Caught in a personality crisis, they shed a band name (the Hoodwinks), two genres (ska and reggae) and half their recorded tracks. “This time, we’re comfortable with what we’re doing and we know what we’re capable of,” says O’Dell. “There’s now a distinct identity for us to fit into as The Parallels,” states Flintoff. With that

finally established: “We have a collection of new songs that we’re going to start recording at our own pace.” “In the past, we’ve had to block off a whole week to record an album,” adds McDiarmid. “It completely interrupts your life. Now that we have our own space, it’s going to be more natural.” A leisurely approach to recording is hardly the band’s sole motivation for assembling a studio. By latesummer/early-fall, they hope to officially open the doors of Upstart Hi-Fi and lure in various Vancouver projects that have caught their ear. “There’s just so much happening in Vancouver right now,” enthuses Mounteney, who feels a strong affinity with fellow advocates of the DIY ethos. “We’re all friends and we’re all in it for everyone else. For the people that have been working hard to make something happen, it’s really paying off at this point.” n

“I’ve noticed in the last six months that people are really down with dancing to a live band again.”


CONTENTS

Youth Brigade Were Punks Before You Were a Punk

S

hawn Stern of Youth Brigade picks up the phone from his home in Venice Beach and I recognize the voice instantly. I haven’t seen him since ’97 and before that, ’83, but it’s the same voice that shouted, “HEY, CANUCKS!” at my girlfriend and I as we walked down Melrose Avenue in LA. I’d forgotten about the upside down Canadian flag I was wearing on the sleeve of my leather jacket. Indeed, “Canuck” might have seemed like a derogatory term coming from most Americans but the Stern brothers are originally from Toronto, so I was able to let it go. At the time, we’d been staying on his brother Mark’s floor in Hollywood, so it wasn’t as if they weren’t gracious hosts. We’d been up late the night before, guzzling copious quantities of cheap (and weak) Americ a n b e e r. I a s k Shawn if he still lives in Hollywood, and obviously the question takes him back a few years. “We moved away a long time ago,” says Shawn with a low chuckle. “We like it up here by the beach.” So I’m talking with Shawn and asking my stupid questions, but I’m thinking back to when Youth Brigade and Social Distortion burst

into Winnipeg on the BYO tour in 1982. They even brought along a filmmaker who filmed the hot sweaty show for a movie called Another State of Mind that is still in circulation. Twenty-four years later, kids are still talking about how they saw me in the movie, hamming it up in the pit. I have the Stern brothers to thank for that bit of street cred. Thanks guys! Now I hate to wax nostalgic on your sorry asses, but that’s when punk rock was punk rock, not this watered down mall punk shit. It was exciting to know that you could get in a fight just for wearing bleached hair or peg leg jeans. Of course, the guys in Youth Brigade know all about the early and wild days of punk. Back then, they had an infamous punk house in Hollywood which they called Skinhead Manor. They had a beer machine in the foyer, a stage in the living room, and guys like Darby Crash hanging around. The Stern brothers were wide-eyed idealists who wanted to change the world with a punk collective known as The Better Youth Organization. “It takes money to make something like that work, and we didn’t have any,” says Shawn. The house closed down and the Stern brothers moved on.

Youth Brigade were a power trio that consisted of Shawn (guitar/vocals), Adam (bass) and Mark (drums). They moved f r o m To r o n t o t o L . A . where their dad worked in the film industry, and played in cover bands until punk rock hit in 1978. Originally, Youth Brigade was a skinhead swing band but they couldn’t find members willing to shave their heads. They stripped down to a three-piece and began gigging. The songs were simple and anthemic, often with sing-along choruses. When the police shut down the Doghouse in Winnipeg, the kids were singing Youth Brigade’s “Men In Blue” as the cops took them away in the paddy wagon. In 1982, the BYO used the brothers bar mitzvah money to release a compilation LP called Someone Got Their Head Kicked In. Soon after that, BYO released the first Youth Brigade album, which they eventually re-did with several different songs and a new cover. BYO continued to work at a grassroots level, doing promotion, booking, and even security for L.A.-area shows. The late ‘80s saw Youth Brigade change the name to the Brigade, and as was the trend, opt for a more mainstream rock sound. “The late 80’s were a bleak time for punk rock,” Shawn admits sadly. But it wasn’t over yet, not by a long shot. Around ’91, BYO began to sign other punk bands and soon had a large roster. Youth Brigade went back to the original name and returned to their traditional sound, which was a raucous mixture of British Oi! and American hardcore. They tour oc-

Skinhead Manor they had a beer machine in the foyer, a stage in the living room, and guys like Darby Crash hanging around.

Scum and Villainy!

casionally, and because they are Canadian born, can play Canada without the hassles facing most American bands. Now, years later, Shawn thinks hard when I ask him what he thinks of the current state of punk. “Punk rock is about thinking for yourself, but most of the bands out there don’t fit my idea of what punk is. They might as well just be regular rock bands. Still, there are enough good groups to make it worthwhile, and I certainly never dreamed we’d still be playing in our 40s, let alone make any kind of living off it. Life is good.” I’m bummed that I’ll be in Winnipeg when Youth Brigade plays the Wise Hall in Vancouver with the Wednesday Night Heroes on May 7th. Say hi to the boys for me. n

Is Clit 45 the Most Hated Band on Tatooine?

A

lot of hate has been flying towards this grimy punk rock foursome following the emergence of the now-famous clip showcasing Clit 45 hounding Star War nerds, resulting in their roadie getting sucker punched. I have become familiar with the band through a slew of horror stories that have been circulating through the Toronto punk scene for quite a while now. For some dumb fucking reason, I take it upon myself to interview them and look into what it is about Clit 45 that everyone despises. I head over to the Queens Head, a local Toronto pub, to chat with guitarist, Mike and vocalist, Dave. With an inactive website and only a brief biography on the BYO Records site, there isn’t a lot of information out there about Clit 45’s origins, so I request a history lesson. Dave begins with spewing the particulars surrounding their first release, “I worked in a warehouse for a summer and then ripped off the guy because he was an asshole and used that to put out the disc. It was cool. We put it out ourselves. It was a trial and error type of thing. We didn’t know what the fuck we were doing.” Mike jumps in and adds, “There is ADD records that we put out a couple of CDs on, in like 1999 and 2000. That’s run by Mark from the Unseen and it’s a real cool label. If someone runs a label and is (also) in a band, they don’t have the time to put into it. [With] BYO we have national / international distribution and tour support.” If you haven’t already picked up any of their pre-BYO releases, you are shit out of luck since

Clit 45 refuses to re-press. Mike clues me into the reasons why. “Ex-members have them [original tapes]. Some were stolen. We are kind of a different band since then, so it’s not a reflection of what we’re doing. This new release is 12 old songs. We took all the songs we play most and the kids want to hear, and went to the studio to re-record them. We actually recorded at the same studio we did six or seven years ago.” With limited label support prior to signing with BYO, Clit 45 has struggled through several North American tours and, like most bands, dealt with its share of van strife. Mike tells me, “We’re on our fourth van right now. We haven’t had any major problems. The first van blew its transmission in Rhode Island. We drove the second one off the side of the road. Our last van is somewhere in Arkansas right now. It exploded, I don’t even know.” He knocks on wood so as not to jinx himself, but it was to no avail and their van ended up being vandalized at the show that night. I guess superstition won’t protect you when you make hordes of enemies for yourself. Unfortunately, I could not get a hold of the band to offer a comment after this event. On the subject of hatred; you may all be wondering about that Star Wars clip that got the band its asshole reputation. A clip captured from a cameraman filming for Star Wait spread across the web recently on YouTube, four years after the fact. Dave attempts to re-count the situation to Nerve, “I don’t know exactly what happened. I was blacked out too. Our merchandise guy

“It wasn’t just like people were in line for the movie, these guys were super nerds. Who waits for a movie for two months?”

By Chris Walter

By Jenna James

(Tarek) said that we were there and I walked up to them and said something. He pushed us and Tarek said, ‘don’t push my friend’ and this huge guy comes out of nowhere and pushes us. So we were like fuck it, whatever, and left. We didn’t even know this happened until the next day when our girlfriends and friends were like ‘you

guys started shit with Star Wars guys’”. Mike’s opinion on the situation: “It wasn’t just like people were in line for the movie, these guys were super nerds. Who waits for a movie for two months?” Adds Mike, randomly, “We are very multicultural, like the colors of the rainbow. I am the white boy, he is Mexican, we have a black guy and a half Jew half Jap and our roadie is Arabian.” Okay - so Clit 45 isn’t racist presumably. Clit 45’s time in Toronto amounted to a lot of death glares from other bar patrons during our interview, one very vandalized van, and a few 40 ouncers. Its current tour continues until the end of May, so maybe the best idea is to go to a show and see for yourself. But never let them stay at your house, so I hear anyway. Though the boys really offer nothing new during the interview, Mike does leave us with these words of inspiration, “I am not going to let punk rock ruin my life, I am going to make something out of my life and if it’s not with a band it will be something else. I will Clit 45 preparing to rumble at Sweet Valley High’s community still be a loser scumbag, but, you know...” n Harry Potter weekend

The Nerve May 2006 Page 17


PNE FORUM AUGUST 10 GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS ALSO AT SCRAPE RECORDS

MAY 5

JOEL PLASKETT/MATT MAYS & EL TORPEDO COMMODORE BALLROOM

The Nerve May 2006 Page 18

MAY 17

THE CONCRETES RICHARD’S ON RICHARDS

MAY 17

THE STROKES

EDGEWATER STAGE AT PLAZA OF NATIONS

MAY 24

THE NEW AMSTERDAMS RICHARD’S ON RICHARDS

! 25 UTMAY OLD OROBERTS SSAM BAND COMMODORE BALLROOM

OUT!MAY 27 SOLDARCTIC MONKEYS

COMMODORE BALLROOM


FRIDAY MAY 19

ALL AGE

S!

BURTON CUMMINGS THEATRE WINNIPEG

GENERAL ADMISSION FLOOR RESERVED STANDS

MAY 28

COMMODORE BALLROOM VANCOUVER

DOORS 8PM, SHOW 9PM TICKETS ALSO AT SCRAPE

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

LAWRENCE ARMS AND THE BLACK MARIA

WITH BLOOD MERIDIAN AND CHAD VANGAALEN

MAY 24 RAMADA THEATRE WINNIPEG

MAY 26 MACEWAN BALLROOM CALGARY

MAY 25

MAY 27 THE STARLIGHT ROOM

RICHARD’S ON RICHARDS

EDMONTON

MAY 28 CROATIAN CULTURAL CENTRE – VANCOUVER

TICKETS ALSO AT ZULU, SCRATCH, RED CAT

TICKETS ALSO AT ZULU AND SCRATCH

WINNIPEG

JULY 9 GENERAL ADMISSION FLOOR, RESERVED STANDS DOORS 5PM, SHOW 5:30PM

EDMONTON JULY UT! 11 OLD O

S SHAW CONFERENCE CENTRE GENERAL ADMISSION — DOORS 5PM, SHOW 5:30PM

VANCOUVER

JULY 13

GENERAL MOTORS PLACE METAL BOWL

GENERAL ADMISSION FLOOR, RESERVED STANDS — DOORS 5PM, SHOW 5:30PM TICKETS ALSO AT SCRAPE

T! LD OU MAY 27 SOWOLFMOTHER RICHARD’S ON RICHARDS

JUNE 3

THE CHARLATANS UK COMMODORE BALLROOM

JUNE 4

BRIGHT EYES MALKIN BOWL, STANLEY PARK

JUNE 5

LES CLAYPOOL COMMODORE BALLROOM

JULY 1

SHE WANTS REVENGE CROATIAN CULTURAL CENTRE

JULY 14

REVEREND HORTON HEAT COMMODORE BALLROOM

The Nerve May 2006 Page 19


CONTENTS

The Spinoffs

It’s a Pickle!

By Jason Ainsworth

Ainsworth: Where the hell were you? Matt: I stopped cursing earlier today. I had a chili burrito superhuge platter (he had to put it in a bag.) Justin: Would you consider the words “ho” and “bitch” to be cursing? Matt: No Somebody, possibly Ainsworth: It’s romantic, almost. Matt: I came back from the tour with a sailor’s mouth. I’m not blaming you guys. Justin: Our original drummer quit over cursing. Ainsworth: Double dick action. (A long, almost endless and completely uninteresting discussion on grammar and pluralization occurs now. It has been edited out due to my utter unwillingness to type it down. I’m sorry. It’s Phalluses, not Phalli.) Ainsworth: Where does Scott shop? (Scott just showed up) Justin: He shops. Ainsworth: Did you catch Wrestlemania this year? Justin: I don’t pay attention to wrestling Ainsworth: Oh. Tatanka means Buffalo. How much would you sell out for? To do a new theme for Tatanka, who is in need of a new theme? Justin: Selling out has to be selling out what you do. But for me to write a theme for wrestling, that would be some totally different work. Ainsworth: You put a record out. That’s great news. Scott: Three. Ainsworth: Three records. Oh. (Didn’t do any research. One is a seven inch. Sorry.) Jesus. Scott: Called our first CD Straight Leather Jacket, and now Street Rock Stars. (Interested computer nerds/readers can check out at www. spinoffs.com) Ainsworth: I think music was especially interesting three years ago when they had Avril Levigney, who I really like. Don’t you agree? Somebody (I’m not sure because of the fucking chairs): Well, its not that she doesn’t exist anymore, it’s just that she’s busy with Derek from Sum 41. I think they are engaged. Justin: I challenge you on what was exciting about music three years ago! Ainsworth: Do you like racist humour? Justin: I… Scott: Usually. Ainsworth: Yeah. Did you ever fall off the stage? Justin: Yes, but not during the performance. Scott: When you’re that drunk you don’t notice. Ainsworth: You guys drink!!!???

The Nerve May 2006 Page 20

Justin: From time to time. Some times the drinks are complimentary when you play. Scott: Sometimes the drinks are much more complimentary than the audience. Ainsworth: What’s the whole point of having a stupid band anyways? Justin: Some people find it enjoyable to make music. Not the music that they can just buy, but the music that they made themselves. Scott: Some people play sports, some people play music. Or wrestling. Ainsworth: Soooooooo… when you were 16, right, you listened to records, like GWAR. Now, when you write songs, does it worry you that you might write songs that are just like GWAR? Is the influence of your childish passions still evident? Justin: What if it wasn’t GWAR? Ainsworth: Don’t you ever just think to your self, “Dude, I’m just doing a goddamn Nuge song here?” Justin: But the records I listened to when I was 16 don’t sound like what we do now. We started with the idea of becoming a band 10 years ago. Scott: And then we did. Matt: I was 17 three years ago. I was a little bit past the Spinoffs. Justin: He condescended to join our band. He stooped to our level.

PHOTO: BRIANA HOLLICK

B

im Boom Smash. Punch Smash Boom. Punch and Kick. Music of Punch and Kick. Bopping and kickin rocnroll all face-sex fuck rock. Vegetarian thought music, touch hole raw fuck spint spunk. Three in one, big man on top, all night action. I do not know if the Spinoffs have T-shirts, question was not asked. Loud music, hurts. Bim boom. Three piece. Heterosexuals. This interview took place in the lobby of the Vancouver library where some cocksucking idiot was moving MORE CHAIRS THAN I HAVE EVER SEEN BEFORE IN MY LIFE over cobblestone paving and I hate him and it made the tape really hard to listen to. Also the drummer mumbles, fuck, it’s impossible to hear anything he says and I suspect him of being a vegetarian. Man, that guy is quiet. What’s the point of a vegetarian burrito anyway? I’m sorry this intro isn’t very music-specific, but I don’t know how to do it. Music is a waste of time anyways. Sorry! Sorry! The Spinoffs consist of Justin on yelling and guitar, Scott on bass and Matt on drums. Now, Questions! Mouths of words not spit. The tape was really difficult to listen to because of that jerk with the chairs.

Matt: I played in a dress. Have you guys played in a dress? It was a sailor’s dress, kind of short. Justin: We just toured. We never toured, down the coast to San Diego (San Diego is the hometown of champion wrestler Rey Mysterio - JA) Ainsworth: Did you make any money? Justin: We lost 30 dollars. Scott: I could have stayed home. I lose 30 dollars all the time. Justin: Do you have to just put two dimes instead of a quarter in on matinee Tuesdays? I don’t know how I would feel about haggling over pornography. Matt: I think we all frequent sex shops. Scott: I’d like to see porn magazines in libraries. Take it out, bring it back. We tour about two weeks in the year. I lost a pillow. Matt: The Appollo in Thunder Bay has the best sound in Canada. Second best sound is at the Astoria. Our genre is full of simple people. Simpletons. Justin: I made up a new word. “Trilema”. Ainsworth: You should send it in to the Oxford English Dictionary, and you should write on the envelope, “I’ve thought up a new word!” (another conversation about grammar. Deleted.) (a conversation about Myspace and autism that I don’t remotely understand.) Justin: There’s no “my” in team, Scott. Matt: Computers should never enter into the music. Should never sing a song about the internet. Justin: We never sing about the internet. We’re safe on that. Security Guard: I got to lock it all down now. Scott: That’s one way to end an interview. Get the fuck out of our library. Music nerds should check out their gig on May 4th at the Media Club. They go on second to last. www.spinoffs.com n


CONTENTS

Give ‘em Enough Hope

Calgary Builds a Monument to Uncle Joe

Words and Photos by Jen Clement

P

icture - if you will - one of Calgary’s most notorious punk bands, the Martyr Index, driving home from a show three hours away, on slick as ice Alberta winter roads. Vocalist Mark Bizek, and violinist Phil Cimolai are intensely discussing the fallbacks of their side project; an all-ages music festival called Uprise. “Oh fuck, we haven’t fucking done anything! We should just cancel it!” One of them recalls yelling, when suddenly things take a turn for the worse, and their tour van begins to spin out of control. “We were doing 110 km an hour backwards into the ditch!” Says Bizek, “It was a terrible thing,” continues Cimolai, “And then the van stopped, and it was silent, and then we were like – okay, yeah, I think we should do it!” “We all could have died, I mean there are worse things than having Uprise flop!” Says Bizek, even if the festival - born over a year ago as a benefit concert for the Haymarket Collective - is anticipated to be even bigger and better this year. “Uprise is basically a benefit concert for alternative infrastructure in Calgary,” says Bizek. Last year it helped Haymarket to open its bookstore, so who would benefit this year? “We wanted to do something that was really meaningful to the community that was participating,” says Bizek. The answer seemed obvious when the partners began to think of a venue in which to hold the festival. “What kind of infrastructure does Calgary need? Some sort of rec hall that’s an all ages centre, because that’s something that’s been floating around for years and years and years,” says Bizek. “If we’re going to do Uprise bigger this year, let’s do it for something so huge that nobody can say no.” And so it came to pass that Uprise 2006 would be a fundraiser for the Joe Strummer Memorial Society, who would then use the funds as start-up to build the Joe Strummer Memorial Hall – an all ages rec centre and music venue for the Calgary scene. “Joe Strummer is, I think, one of the most important figures in punk rock, especially when it comes to constructive discourse,” says Bizek. “There was a lot of punk rockers like the Sex Pistols in the ‘70s who were very influential and they were kind of radical in their outlook, but they were also nihilistic,” he says. “At that point in time [the Clash] was one of those groups that kind of gave an alternative vision to punk that said: yeah, everything’s kind of lousy but here’s something we can do.” It’s this inspiring outlook and positive energy that the Joe Strummer Memorial Society hopes will come from the building of an all ages hall. “The last concert the Mes-

caleros played was a benefit for striking firefighters,” notes Bizek. “They were still doing that all the way to the end. His last breath was basically breathing the spirit of punk rock.” This benefit should do the same – but in a larger sense, it is going to breathe the spirit of music. And there is no lack of music in this city. There’s enough, in fact, to provide grounds for the scene to “splinter.” “This is one of the things we’re trying to offset with Uprise,” says Bizek. “We’re trying to provide an example of how all these bands can just get along and work together on something.” The idea is that the more people get involved in cross genre pollination, the more creative the scene will become. “Calgary is actually a strong music city, considering we’re kind of in the heart of a cultural wasteland,” Bizek continues. “We’ve got incredibly diverse music.” Indeed. Being cool with a show that offers everything from metal to polka in one night, Bizek feels, will make the scene grow stronger. If Strummer Hall becomes a place for only punk, or only hardcore, or any single genre – it’s going to die. If everything goes to plan, Strummer Hall will be completely run by volunteers and the kids who hang out there. “We’ve never really had an all ages venue that’s been operated by the community,” says Cimolai. “That’s important.” Bizek continues, “It’s really easy to just open up a youth organization that’s going to be run by adults for the kids, rather than something that’s going to be run by the kids themselves. We’re not interested in doing something that’s just building the same kind of infrastructure that’s around Calgary.” The festival itself is something of a revolt against the status quo. Its organizers

“Calgary is actually a strong music community, considering we’re in the heart of a cultural wasteland”

Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome

THE MARTYR INDEX

wanted Uprise to have an uplifting feel, where people could come and see how positive a punk show could be. From meth awareness workshops, to info tables by all sorts of zines and distribution companies. “We’ve got so many people involved,” says Bizek. “Likeminded people get together and share ideas. All we needed to say was: hey we’re looking for this…” “We’re just doing this straight out of passion,” he adds. “There is nothing we’re going to gain from this – at all. If zero people came, we would lose tons of money that we’ve poured into this event.” Bizek, Cimolai, and the rest of the Joe Strummer Memorial Society just want to get enough people out to Uprise to enable the Strummer Hall to open. “It’s more than losing money,” says Cimolai. “It’s losing faith.” “We could survive, people lose $10,000 and they get by,” Bizek continues. “But you lose faith, and that’s it. That’s all you’ve got, so we believe in this thing. We believe in punk rock, we believe in the power of music. If Uprise flops,” he adds, a little ominously, “I don’t know if I’d ever want to be involved in putting on a show again. What is that Wayne’s World idea? If you play they will come?! That Wayne’s World concert thing is a sham!” He yells. But on the weekend of April 14th and 15th, 36 Calgary bands did play, and the kids did come. They came in droves. Day one brought everyone from skate rockers – the Sheglank’d Shoulders, to Calgary’s sweethearts – Hot Little Rocket, and every band in between, including: Forbidden Dimension, the Von Zippers, Vail Halen, Five Star Affair, the Silent Auction, the Rocky Fortune, Your Bleeding Heart, and the Pants Situation. The center room of the Hillhurst - Sunnyside Community Centre, one of three being used for the festival, was jammed full of culture, and kids were being nicely welcomed at the door by one of the many security guards, or if they were lucky, one of the event’s organizers. For the older kids in the crowd, a beer garden opened each day at 6 o’clock with DJs playing sets the whole night through, and cans of pilsner being sold for three dollars apiece. The adorning Calgary neighborhood was alive for 12 hours with a barrage of kids wandering in and out of the centre, viewing bands as they pleased, and hanging around outside when something disinterested them. Early in the evening, Calgary’s the Incandescence played their last set ever, and nearing the end of the day, security guards were called to the stage as kids went absolutely nuts for up and coming synth-punk super group

Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome, and their sister band, the Pants Situation. Day Two brought an even bigger crowd for a variety of punk and hardcore groups including: Alivia, Knucklehead, Bogart!, Kilbourne, Billy and the Lost Boys, Inner Surge, Rum Runner, and the Failure. The Falling Pianos continued the trend of ending their career at Uprise – and called to stage numerous members from other bands to help out. The Martyr Index played an intense, high energy set to adoring fans, which included the release of hundreds of balloons over the crowd. Finally, Calgary’s Chixdiggit took the stage, strictly playing requests from members of the crowd, and ending Uprise in a cute stage banter-let’s party manner that only KJ Jansen can deliver. So, after adding everyone in Calgary who has a Myspace account, posting on message boards, advertising in numerous Calgary publications, as well as on the radio, and plastering the city with posters; Uprise arrived with a bill that could knock any kid – and some scene veterans, too on their skinny girl pant wearing asses. And they did it all with the equivalent passion, style, and integrity of the man that so inspired them. If this doesn’t bring the scene together, I don’t know what will. n

The Pants Situation

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CONTENTS

MUSIC

The Gospel Accordion to David P. Smith By Adrian Mack

F

amed accordionist Walter Ostanek might have the chops and the looks, and Lawrence Welk’s old squeeze-box jockey Myron Floren arguably brought a certain danger to the instrument, but neither of these icons is fit to lick the inside of David P. Smith’s bellows, if you ask me. The Victoria-based accordionist will happily admit to a lack of sophistication on his instrument, but it doesn’t much matter. As any of the 14 outstanding tracks on his new album Striving For a New Tomorrow will confirm, he’s a songwriter and wit without peer. Much like Madonna, Smith compensates for any technical inhibitions by surrounding himself with an enthusiastic crowd of talented contributors, all of whom dedicate themselves to ensuring that the most important of all things – Smith’s vision – is brought to

Walter Ostanek: ocean of pussy sweet life. And O, what a vision! As Devon Cody proclaimed in his review last month, Striving for a New Tomorrow is an endlessly fascinating walk through Smith’s unbuttoned mind, not to mention something of a laugh riot. “At the tar truck factory picnic,” he sings on “Jackhammer Man”, “A golden coin sun shines benevolently upon fat kids with big tits eating barbeque ribs.” Or how about this, from “Sunday”: “The drunken barfly’s story uncoils, like a 21-foot tapeworm, all covered with shit, while the naked servant gyrates, whipped cream upon her dangling tits, and the men are licking it.” Lest you think Smith is all tits, tits, tits, try this line from “Worst Job”: “The worst job I ever had,” he groans, “Was eating shit out of a bucket. The second worst job I ever had, I used my face for a shovel.” At the risk of emphasizing one side of this multi-faceted artist, Smith happens to be very funny to watch, too, not least of all because the greying 45-year old looks like a beatific and

The Nerve May 2006 Page 22

slightly dopey rabbi, or Ben Stein after a Seconal lunch, or maybe an astrophysics prof who went too far into string theory and never came back. When he complains, in “Monday”, that “I like Chinese food, but this stuff smells like an animal’s bum,” it’s pretty hard not to piss your pants. Mercifully, Smith’s frequent potty-mouth never comes off as cheap, which happens to be something he’s concerned about. “Yeah, that body thing,” he sighs. “Obviously, it’s something I’m aware of. I think I want to move away from that in my songwriting. Not avoid it, but be more careful about it. Some of my earlier songs had a lot more swearing in them, and it’s OK to swear in songs, but you have to be aware of how that can be taken. It may be funny once, but it may be highly uncomfortable another time, or piss someone off, or someone thinks it’s adolescent.” Smith’s songs in any case have enough depth that his habitual saltiness is a nice way of releasing some steam. A closer listen reveals a strong moral voice, and his frequent flights into the fantastic are as melancholy as they are weird. “The Clarity of Whiskey” starts out like a joke, but the punchline is closer to a punch in the gut. “Worst Job” also has a covert agenda. “The other verse is more generally about this bad world,” he explains. “It’s not about jobs at all. And there’s some specific things that inform that verse from my own personal experience that I’m not gonna discuss, but it’s not about jobs…” The bizarre “Holy Pies” turns out to be quite personal, once you get past the rather stunning image of ‘holy pies’ falling from the sky. “‘Holy Pies’ is actually a metaphor for American foreign policy,” laughs Smith. “It’s actually a political song, but people don’t read it that way. ‘The swarming, star-striped sky…’ There you go. It’s not just about America, it’s about Bush invoking God, and Osama Bin Laden invoking Allah – they’re all using religion to justify what they’re doing. It’s something I’m thinking about these days. I grew up in the church and I just discarded those really literal notions, but haven’t quite figured out what all this is all about.” Is Smith haunted by his departure from the church? “No,” he says. “I grew up in the United Church, and my dad was a minister. He passed away and my mother actually married another United Church minister, but, for me it’s just – I didn’t really have a negative experience with the church. I always thought my dad, and the church he was in, were basically trying to do good things. I think what turned it off for me was all the other churches, and the American – not just American – but the evangelical sort of stuff and even the hardcore Catholicism. All the wrong

things that are done in the name of churches. And all the mythology and stuff in terms of the Bible. It’s just hard to accept that after you’ve been educated, but, you know, if we live here as humans, you sense that there’s some sort of spirituality of some type afoot, or… I dunno. I can’t put my finger on it but I know I’ve written two songs with the word ‘Jesus’ in them.” Striving for a New Tomorrow was recorded over two years. It’s a mark of Smith’s standing in Victoria’s music community that, when the project stalled, a benefit was Myrron Floren with Lawrence Welk: dirty Nazis. held for the not-yet-deceased artist in order to finance the rest of the job. Aside from Smith’s regular band “The way the buttons are laid out on the accor- guitarist Scott Henderson, bassist Mike Irwin, dion is just the way the chords in a three chord and drummer Aaron Mogermann – Striving also song are. Your root chord would be the middle boasts contributions from Hank Pine, Lily Fawn, button, and then the button up from that is the Diona Davis, and Paul Pigat among others. “How three and the button down from that is the five. do you play music and have a job and be a dad, It’s like a song right there. And I didn’t know much and… well, it takes you two years to make a re- about chords or writing songs when I started to cord instead of two months,” he sighs. “I was just play the accordion, so it kind of helped me out making the record, and going through some dif- that way.” Is Smith satisfied with his level of acferent things – feeling like quitting, for example. complishment on the big harmonica? He started playing – more or less by accident – when he was 30. “I suppose if I took some lessons and worked on technique, I could do some of the other things that I’d like to do on it,” he reasons. “You know, people that can really play it, they play walking basslines and things like that. I basically play ‘do-do, do-do’, like a country song. But people who can really play it are all over the button side. I can play the piano side fairly well, but I’m pretty simplistic on the button side.” Big deal. Walter Ostanek is probably good on the button side, but he never wrote anything as vast as “Fourth of July” (“grotesque naked men with good old American know how, were sucking on the teat of a dying golden sow”). Myron Floren was probably good on the button side, but his waltz-madness left a legacy of broken Those kind of different things - and then I finally hips in its wake, which means nothing to me or finished it and it was like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t the world of men I inhabit, and Floren certainly give a shit anymore. I just don’t care about this couldn’t have conjured something as mysterifucking record.’” The good people of Northern ous and daft as “New Possum Pie” (“Spent 11 Electric came to the rescue, and Smith now has days on the road, from Nanaimo to Moose Jaw, a home at the increasingly amazing Vancouver- living on Jolt and Twinkies, learned Judo from a based label, alongside Rodney DeCroo, Herald tape.”). Same goes for Lawrence Welk, too. Balls Nix, and Flophouse Jr. It’s especially fitting, as to that miserable old squarehead and his bubble Smith’s songs are really just country numbers in machine. You know who else had a bubble maouter space. As Smith points out, the accordion, chine? Hitler. n “is just a big harmonica, really.” He continues,

“I grew up in the church and I just discarded the really literal notions, but you sense that there’s some sort of spirituality afoot. I can’t put my finger on it but I know I’ve written two songs with the word ‘Jesus’ in them.”


CONTENTS

Octoberman

Those Autumn Leaves That Keep on Falling

T

h e r e ’s a n o l d s a y i n g : w h e r e t h e sun always shines, below there is only desert. Which means that if everything was hunky-dory 24-7, life would be meaningless. One can never know true happiness, success, satisfaction, and accomplishment unless one’s truly tasted the grit of sorrow, failure, dissatisfaction, and leaving things undone. One could almost assign that old saying to the current works of Vancouver’s unique and versatile songwriter Marc Morrissette, which he’s released under the moniker of Octoberman – and was created almost in spite of itself, around the kerfuffles of his previous (soon to be current again?) band, Kids These Days. “It sounds like I put a lot to time into the Octoberman album - almost 16 months - but the work was sporadic and intermittently recorded,” Morrissette informs us. “Most of my efforts were focused on Kids These Days, so I was recording the Octoberman songs on the side, whenever I had the time, with my buddy James (Henderson, drum machine programmer). If Octoberman was my sole focus, the album would’ve hatched sooner. Kids These Days went on indefinite hiatus when one of the bandmembers quit, so we all decided to shelve the band until we all felt collectively rejuvenated enough to get back into it. And so Octoberman ended up being my 100% focus by chance. It was bittersweet for me, since I had time to tour Octoberman because Kids These Days was inactive. Not that Kids These Days is a dead issue, but for the time being I don’t see it starting back up

anytime soon.” By the time you read this, Octoberman will already have performed on Saturday April 29th at the Penthouse for New Music West 2006’s much-ballyhooed White Whale Records showcase, but don’t fret: Octoberman will be gracing the stage at the Railway Club for Thursday May 18th, with guests Kingsway and others TBA. Morrisette confides that the second Octoberman album is already halfway recorded, and summertime touring plans are in the works. In the meantime, the current (brilliant) Octoberman album These Trails are Old and New (which sits comfortably between the modern folk-rock meadowlands of Bonnie Prince Billy on one side and Iron and Wine on the other) can be found in the better record stores in Vancouver and abroad. “I’m trying to combine travel with touring,” says Morrissette, whose recent overseas treks to Southeast Asia and the Middle East (during the outbreak of the current Iraq War) provided much of the colour and character of the stories sung on These Trails are Old and New. Indeed, with a UK tour in the works for Fall 2006 (‘Octoberman,’ indeed) and handfuls of new songs springing forth on an almost daily basis, Marc Morrisette comes across as nothing less than a galvanized young man whose muse, energy and impetus threatens to shoot him off into the skies, let alone across the Atlantic. Once again, another checkmark on Vancouver’s musical scoreboard. So say we all. n

PHOTO: TODD DUYM

By Ferdy Belland

Wanted: Dead or Alive

By Ferdy Belland

W

hen asked how her day is going, young Canadian punk legend Kristen “Billy” Pettinger happily replies: “It’s pretty frickin’ great!” And then gushes on how her exdrummer (and good friend) Casey James Lewis is currently performing in a Pogues tribute act… and rehearsing loudly in the basement studios of Echo Base, their famed Calgary AB command centre. “There’s full-on Pogues tunes shaking the

walls down! I’m totally going to drink SOOO much Guinness!” Which once again proves that one cannot truly celebrate in authentic Irish fashion unless one binges themselves into a completely embarrassing skull-splitting stupor. “I have a new band,” reveals Billy. “Darren Chewka (from Edmonton’s Les Tabernac) and Graham Fraser (from Calgary’s Safe on a Satellite). Funny story… we’d never played a show together, we had three practices, and then we played a show for 200 people – and it was really good! But the first time we were all in the same room together, we flew out to Vancouver to shoot a video, and Darren and Graham finally shake hands and say hello and say: ‘OK, we’re in a video together.’ Good times all around.” Drawing from the musical inspiration of driving, thoughtful pop-punk (Samiam, Jawbreaker, Husker Du) and the poetic, introspective lyrical mindset of backwoods-populist folksy balladeers (Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan) – yes, people, it’s truly true – Billy and the Lost Boys (who can honestly call both Calgary and Vancouver their dual hometowns) have spent every year of the 21st Century (and the last few years of the 20th) indulging in their ongoing mission: that is, endlessly crisscrossing the nation, playing untold hundreds of fiery, sweaty shows (most of them all-ages events) in cities large and hamlets wee, moments that feature the startling onstage energies of the small-yet-superhuman Billy Pettinger. Her blazing guitar prowess flings most of CanPunk’s untalented male-macho-asshole

Billy the Kid and the Lost Boys

contingent into the tar-pits where those Blink 182 shitheads currently stiffen; her ‘follow-the-ricochet-pinball’ stage presence is never insincere or rehearsed; her rhythm sections are always staffed with handsome lugs who are just fuckin’ giv’ner…and to see a fearless young woman with china-doll beauty ruling the roost behind hornrimmed spectacles and an overdriven Gibson SG is enough to send anyone’s heart (regardless of gender or sexual orientation) bursting free from even the most jaded ribcages, to land beating frantically at Pettinger’s tiny Converse Allstar-clad feet…sigh… “We’re finally getting booking help from the Agency Group,” notes Billy, “which is making my life a hell of a lot easier, because I’ve been booking the shit out of us for over three years. We released our new album (entitled Yet Why Not Say What Happened?) independently on our own label (Lost Records).” Billy and the Lost Boys will appear live in Vancouver BC for their all-ages CD Release Party on Saturday May 13th at the Azure (770 Pacific Blvd.), with stunning guest appearances from no less than three high-caliber locals: the Smears, Crystal Pistol, and the Flairs. Jesus! “We’re hoping to get back on the road,” confides Billy. “We haven’t toured very much over the past few months, since it was winter and all, but it’s good to have some downtime to make you remember the things you love, and why you love them.” When asked about Billy’s whispered signing with Universal Records, she laughs, “Yes, that’s the rumour. Our last record was distributed by EMI, but that doesn’t really mean anything, except we get a wider Canadian distribution for the CDs. When I was a kid, I worked the cash registers at A&B Sound, so it was a personal dream to find our albums in those same shelves. We’re trying to see what we can do with the new album. We had a few options offered to us, but we said

‘no’ to all of them. None of them were deals we felt comfortable doing. We could have had a shot at the so-called ‘big time,’ but we chose to do it our way and be brats. Basically, they wanted our souls - and wanted them for about 10 years - and when you’re a kid in a band who’s done everything your own way, you start to get used to doing things your way. It was a good lesson for all of us, because it isn’t often that you have to lay everything you believe in on the table, and realize that we really suck at compromise. I still have to report to work at the Calgary Long and McQuade.” With her much-respected integrity intact (and in no real danger of being consigned to indie-rock oblivion), Billy reflects on her early musical wishes. “Two of my goals in life were to have my records in stores, and to tour Canada ten months of the year. So far, I’ve achieved the first goal, and as for the second – well, we’ve had a bit of a slow year; we took the summer off to write this record, which was a new thing for us. We decided we’d take a break from the incessant touring and just Write Songs, as opposed to having songs pop up here and there for us while we’re on the road. It made me a little stir crazy. I’m used to going out there…waking up and doing what I want to do, every single day. I guess winter is for making records, and summer is for touring.” Billy then gets serious and quiet. “Over the past year and a half, we’ve just gotten tired of the festival and club scene. Not to diss on the festivals and the clubs, by any means, of course… the money’s better, you get to party, and hang out with adults your own age…but it’s way more fun to be poor and hang out with sweet kids. I grew up attending all-ages shows, and I probably wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for all-ages shows. We do our best to always make ourselves available to the kids, and we always will.” n

The Nerve May 2006 Page 23


The Nerve May 2006 Page 24


MUSICCONTENTS REVIEWS

in lieu of his mistake. The Precious Feathers were jammin’ and I wished we’d stayed at the Ronnie Lane movie longer. I’d seen it before but blimey, what a man! Also, we were so stoned to the bone on steaks, wine, reefer, and peyote that the seats at the theatre were perfect to peel back your brain and drink it all in. At any rate, the magical Swedes eventually hit the stage and then took us on a journey of serious highs and, sadly, way too many lows. When Dungen played actual songs, it was formidable and guitarist Reine Fiske had his Jeff Beck Yardbirds shit down. But the build em’ up and break it down jams - in almost every number – broke my spirit too fast. “I knew I hated Sweden,” I said to Alfonse. His female companion reared. Turns out she’s from Stockholm. “Why?” she screamed, furious. I stated that my reasons were plain enough, and gestured to the stage where Benny or Bjorn was twirling about playing another flute solo. Alfonse’s companion sighed and nodded in agreement, and then began apologizing for everything Sweden has ever done wrong. It all came pouring out of her like river thru a fjord. I also confronted her about the Swede’s nasty relationship with the Finns. She blamed it on the rampant alcoholism in her homeland, and hung her head in shame. Prog rock is alive, but it still ain’t well. It’s a fine line between brilliant and super gay, and last nite the Swedes panties were showing. - Carl Spackler The Manvils Honey, Vancouver, BC April 15th, 2006 Girls were screaming, hands on face, giggling, jumping, jiggling, screaming, wavering, dancing… throwing panties on stage. It was like the second coming of Elvis or the Beatles. The guys were all staring, dumbfounded. Mikey Manville pulled one of them dramatic, show-offy flailing arm guitar strums; a girl in the front row faints. Three more take her place. The whole band was in high form. Electric. Manville does a James Brown-esque strut. Droplets of hard rockin’ sweat dance on his brow, glistening with psychedelics, and leap into the air. Then there’s a pause, mid song. The droplets hang in the air.

The guitar and drums crash back in, the climax. Everyone goes wild. Manville gets off the stage and walks through the sea of adoring fans. The impenetrable lineup to the bar parts for the first time all night, for him. He gets up on the bar and keeps playing. Any man as high and drunk as Manville might have fallen to their death. Not Mikey. The new messiah of rock ‘n’ roll. What charisma. What style. See those white, leather boots? That’s what I’m talkin’ about. The Second Coming. I have never seen a room filled with so many hot, sexy women and hot, sexy rock ‘n’ roll as this one. Ten bucks got you in, along with a souvenir copy of the silvery rock gem that is Buried Love… It was no wonder the place was wall to wall; a crotch to ass, drunken rock orgy. Everyone seemed high, the walls were shaking between songs from the techno-bass bleeding in from next door, and I had my hand on some strange girl’s ass. It was a good night. - Cowboy TexAss Destroyer Richard’s on Richards, Vancouver, BC Wednesday, April 12th, 2006 Beards, as far as the eye can see, blowing in the wind like sagebrush tumbleweeds. Unwashed jeans, old boots, and wrinkled leather. Everyone looks like Gene Hackman. The girls look like a younger Gene Hackman. Teenaged angst in its twilight years is a wonderful thing. It makes so much bad art and music. Like cheap cocaine. We move inside because I’m trying to quit smoking. We missed the Christa Min. A shame because I think she may be a sexy little number. Ladyhawk started. And it ended. A very good rock ‘n’ roll band. I would say the best in the city if anyone would listen to me after nine beers. A friend described them as if Danzig killed Gord Downie and then toured all over West Germany in 1989. My other friend said that it sounded as if Hayden had been adopted by the Silver Bullet Band. I liked that one more. Destroyer. As soon as Dan Bjoartny or whatever his name is took the stage, countless music nerds squeezed and weaseled their way to the front, squirming and writhing around like the movie Squirm, which I might add is amazing. Then the music started and any form of fun stopped. The crowd was frozen stiff as if in a Raveen-like trance. I coughed because I had a lung infection and got a slew of dirty looks and elbows. We watched three songs, which could have been one song with a mumbled “thank you very much” every now and then. We said fuck it and went to the Morrissey. Later I invented a game called tattoo where you draw something ironic on someone then pass the pen to your right. This went on until someone drew a swastika on a Jew, which resulted in red wine being dumped all over my white Nomeansno Wrong t-shirt and a barrage of “you’ve gone too far”. I went home in a state. I have one question: if you spend an hour trying to make it look like you don’t care what you look like... oh fuck it. You all know where I’m going with this. Destroyer. Aptly named, because they destroyed the fuck right outta my night. To the Hanson Brothers on Friday at the Astoria! - Waltergeist Isis / Zombi Richard’s on Richards, Vancouver, BC Saturday, April 1st, 2006 Zombi. My girlfriend described them as something you’d hear in a Science World demonstration. Mikey Manville compared them to the theme from Judge Judy’s People’s Court, but more evil. Evil People’s Court. I think everyone else expected a ho-hum metal attack and were pleasantly surprised by this John Carpenter/Fabio Frizzi/ Goblin-influenced prog-rock two-piece. Heavy on the synthesizers, with live drums and occasional bass, this is pure ‘70s horror soundtrack devotion, much like the name – Zombi is the Italian title for George A. Romero’s 1978 Dawn of the Dead (obviously!). I’m more familiar with early self-produced Zombi than their Relapse debut, Cosmos (2004), so was unaware drummer A.E Paterra had evolved into a goddamn WARHORSE. Jesus! Solid-brick shithouse pounding, like Lombardo. Or rather, Peart. Peartardo. Drum rolls left and centre, time signatures I couldn’t equate. Fuck me. Not that leader, bass, and synth lord Steve Moore was a poor show. His multiple sequence programming and horrifically nerdy electro-melodies were probably the closest

I’ll ever get to a Claudio Simonetti concert. One ball-curdling bass loop sent glasses of beer spinning like possessed turbines. Five thumbs up! As for Isis – I dig ‘em plenty, but this second live Vancity showdown left me ponderin’ once again if Isis isn’t a better studio act. Not that the show was weak - torsos twisting with the riffs, frontman Aaron Turner shouting gruff lung-retching horror and spewing huge streams of spittle from his lips. Intense! (Though never a word of friendly banter with the crowd…) Isis specializes in elongated atmospheric drones and tortoise-paced mellow-loud dynamics. Beautiful when you’re trying to enter a billowy, two-doobed, heavy metal slumber – but at a live show it can be sorta…boring? They played more from 2002’s Oceanic this time (yah!), though Panopticon, their latest and dreariest, is still the bread’n’butter. Nary a chord from the mammoth Celestial album of 2000, unfortunately – my personal fave and certainly Isis’ heaviest. And finally, lest we forget; Dick’s on Dicks ejected the crowd at 10:00PM. TEN PEE EM. - Dave Bertrand The Hanson Brothers The Asbalt, Vancouver, BC Friday, April 14th, 2006 We were riding fast. Super fucking fast. As fast as a group of four drunken idiots can ride splitting two bikes. Doubling. My friend J. Stew

Just Found Out My Girlfriends a Robot”, and a bunch more. Things got real hazy midway point. I shoved a girl and told a huge dude to relax. Those Pacific Pilsners are bad fucking news. Then I lost my mind. I guess we went to the Library Public House. The Hanson’s show was good, but the real show started about an hour after they left the stage. - Waltergeist John Doe The Tractor Tavern, Ballard, Wa. Monday, April 10th, 2006 The Tractor Tavern, a low-key blue-collar bar on the outskirts of Seattle, seemed to be a fitting venue for one of punk rocks most important, yet under-appreciated figures, John Doe. It’s been almost 30 years since he co-founded the influential L.A. punk band X, and now, at 52, he’s still going strong. The cavernous bar was packed, with an older, nondescript crowd, and only a handful of greasers and aging punks. With no introduction, and only brief applause, it was John Doe’s opening riff that let the crowd know he was even on stage. With a bottle of beer by his side, and confidence only a musician with a career spanning three decades could possess, JD was at ease, putting on a raw, high energy show. He played songs from his solo albums — a mix of blues / country-rock — X tracks (“In This House That I

PHOTO: JASON LANG

Dungen Richards on Richards, Vancouver, BC Sunday, April 23rd, 2006 I entered the club with a crash and a lurch. My cameraman Alfonse Zapruder was also feeling the ill effects of something we’d ingested during a wonderful spring B.B.Q. earlier in the day. There was some confusion about the guest list: Alfonse had registered with his alias, Dale DeNuder, and of course we’d forgotten all about our subterfuge, even the reason why we had done this was murky in the clamour at the desk. Alfonse also forgot his camera and was forced to do some explaining and some charcoal sketches

John Doe pictured before the show was at the helm of our busted 10 speed. I was on the back. Two giggling jerks riding behind us, screaming. I was about two bottles of holiday issue red wine and three weed brownies into it. The other weren’t. I could see that multi-coloured paint sign beckoning, so I knew we were close to the almighty Astoria. A crowd of multi-coloured punk rockers were smoking cheap smokes out front. “Slow the fuck down!” Cale screeches. He becomes more and more like Screech throughout the night, who I hear is a real prick. My friend used to run Yuk Yuks. At this point things get a bit whack. I decide to go spreadeagle on the back of the bike so that only my ass is touching the seat and at the same time, as if sharing half my brain, J. Stew goes on the handle bars. The result is a tumbling mess directly into the middle of the smoking punks, sprawled out on the Hastings ground. This was our entrance and will not be the last time we are sprawled out on the ground. I hear the start of “Total Goombahs”. We barge inside, tossing 20s at the door guy for no reason. The Hansons took the stage with golf clubs and Vancouver Canucks jerseys, rubbing our eliminations into our faces. The crowd ate it up. The played all the hits, “Can’t Get it Up”, “I

LIVE

Call Home” was a standout), and a couple covers. He belted out every song with heart, hitting the high notes with ease, his voice strong and emphatic. He played both his acoustic and electric Guilds effortlessly, strumming them with conviction. The melancholy in his voice, backed by his stripped down melodies, made for a bare, but raucous one-man performance. Between songs he casually engaged the crowd, with funny musings about death, Merle Haggard (followed by a rendition of Haggard’s “Silver Wings”), and his tendency towards songs in D. He spoke as if he were surrounded by friends. There’s no pretense with John Doe; he’s very much the everyman, and comes across as humble, and good-natured. There isn’t the slightest hint of cynicism or arrogance that one might expect from an old punk, who despite having an acclaimed music career, and devoted fans, has pretty much remained in obscurity. At the end of the night, he hung around signing CDs, and talking with the long line of people who had waited. Outside on the empty street, a semi-drunk grandfather from the front row slowly pedaled away with a newly acquired John Doe autograph on his old bike. - Jason Lang

The Nerve May 2006 Page 25


CONTENTS 46 Short Truth Denied TKO There isn’t a huge difference between this and the Clit 45 CD except the riffs are marginally better and get stuck in my head just a little easier. Is that any help? No? Let me try a bit harder… Truth Denied rocks like a motherfucker and is angrier than George Bush watching a Michael Moore movie. Yeah, that sucks, I know. Maybe I’ve just od’d on punk rock. It’s okay though - I’ll turn the TV to the Mush Music channel, and after a few minutes of that shit, punk will be fresh and new again. Anyone want a job? The pay ain’t so great but you’ll get all sorts of swell music for free. - Chris Walter The Bellrays Have a Little Faith Cheap Lullaby The Bellrays new album captures the sound of an already-great band reaching their full potential and making the best music of their career. Have a Little Faith distills all their strengths (awesome vocals, powerful ensemble playing, and songwriting) into 38 minutes of righteous rock’n’soul. You might recall that amazing lead singer Lisa Kekaula did time last year with the DKT/MC5 tour (it would have been nice to have her at the Vancouver show instead of... Dando). The collaboration makes sense because I imagine this is what the 5 might have sounded like if they didn’t break up after three albums. You could hear the soul influences in the Bellrays past work but here they really stretch out, from the Curtis Mayfieldinfluenced opener “Tell the Lie” through the supple (did I just say “supple”?) wah-ballad “Have a Little Faith in Me”. Don’t fret, though, cos there’s plenty of scuzzy hard rockin’ guitar here as well on numbers like “Snotgun”(!), and “Detroit Breakdown”. It’s a perfect balance, actually. The Bellrays play the Red Room on May 20th and I’m predicting it’s gonna be one of the best shows of the year. - Andrew Molloy

Bi Level The Songbird AMPstl Decent, poppy-punk rock, a la Blink-182 meets Jimmy Eat World. I’m sure these guys would have been more at home four or five years ago during the height of the pop-punk craze, but I guess they missed the memo on that one. It kind of remind me of some of the bands we used to get to play at the shitty hall in Salmon Arm while a bunch of 14-year-olds got loaded. They always seemed to enjoy themselves, so I guess I’ll give this album a thumbs up. - Derek Bolen Billy and the Lost Boys Yet Why Not Say What Happened? Lost Another solid and snappy effort from everyone’s favorite half-Vancouverite / half-Calgarian melodo-rocking poppunk firebrand Billy Pettinger and her current Lost Boys. Slickly produced by Blair Calibaba and many months in the making, YWNSWH? features a Dagwood Sandwich’s worth of multi-layered harmony vocals (which may be a tad too forward in the mix, but the flaws on this album are minimal), blistering quasi-prog drumkit wizardry, and that slash-and-burn holyshit-did-you-hear-that guitar attack which Billy will always be known for. Fuck all the lingering Blink-182 / Sum-41 horseshit - this is all the MuchMusic-friendly pop punk anyone will ever need ever again (and I fucking DESPISE pop punk for the most part, so this is a brave thing for me to admit). But Billy and the Lost Boys have always stood apart from the pack with true

street-level integrity, an almost Mennonitish indie-rock work ethic, and outstanding musicianship. With this (her seventh?) album, it’s telling that the track “Before You Know It” is a confession of the grinding road weariness. This from a Canadian punk legend who’s barely 25 years old. In fact, there’s a current of emotional reflection here which differs from many of Billy’s previous tunes of personal pride and empowerment. While there’s never any danger of an overall corporate makeover, YWNSWH? is her most accessible work yet. - Ferdy Belland Bogart! In a Post Oil World… Meter This record was pretty much made to be reviewed in Nerve Magazine. Hell, this record should be some sort of unofficial soundtrack for Nerve Magazine - fast, explosive raunch’n’roll that gleefully hopscotches over the line between sexy and sleazy. Frontwoman Miesha’s vocals are destined to be compared to Gwen Stefani’s, but it’s Gwen Stefani as a scrappy knuckleduster-wielding alley kitten rather than a pouty spoiled fashion princess. The whole female-fronted dirty rawk thing is a tried-and-true formula, but Bogart! puts a unique spin on it by shunning obvious hooks and going for pure speed and authentic grit. Fans of the Bellrays and the late, great Vagiants, take note. - Thérèse Lanz Buckcherry 15 Universal Well, well, well, who knew you could fit a desperate cry for help into a plastic jewel case six inches square? Josh Todd and Keith Nelson have staffed a new Buckcherry lineup with also-rans and nobodies and reattempt to establish themselves as the 21st Century version of LA Guns, to no avail. Eleven lame songs which try their damnedest to shock, thrill, and rock you like a hurricane, when one of Damsgaard’s chili farts blows stronger (and meatier, to boot). Opener track “So Far” is another one of those autobiographical recounts of Todd’s forays into Motley Crue personal etiquette, and even the ballsiest song “Crazy Bitch” comes off more Spinal Tap than Nashville Pussy. These guys had a momentary media flare around 1997-98 and are trying so very hard to pull themselves up from the anonymity brink in these post-Vines/Hives/Roberts days, but there’s nothing that Buckcherry can do that local Vancouver monsters like Crystal Pistol or the Black Halos (shit, even those Spreadeagle nincompoops) cannot do much, much better. Buckcherry can fuck off. - Johnny Kroll Built to Spill You in Reverse Warner Few would argue that Built to Spill’s long-awaited new album is anything but mediocre. The decision to go this one alone and leave behind valued producer Phil Ek leaves us with a recording that lacks any real cohesion or direction, and the ideas are stretched much too thin; songs meander aimlessly, forcing the listener to trudge through excessive instrumental noodling and soloing. A prime example of this is the truly obnoxious Egyptian-reggae stylings of “Mess with Time”. Someone at Warner really needed to come in and sort these guys out. Also, I can only guess what horrible ideas were flying when they chose the artwork here. You in Reverse will likely leave fans scratching their heads and asking, “I waited five years for this?” - BRock Thiessen

late ‘80s, and still a few years away from their comparatively more free range efforts, Sonic Youth’s pent up absurdity crept out in the form of a 1988 full length collection of random karaoke covers, ambient feedback, humming silence, and even some hardcore old school hip-hop. Bits of spoken word poetry and abstract rap-rock also squeeze their way out under the Madonna tainted maiden name and misleading Beatles parody title. Just goes to show you there’s some weird shit in all of us that can appear unexpectedly, but don’t forget this is SY’s job. You probably couldn’t get away with this kind of shit at your work and, even if you could, it wouldn’t be as funny anyway. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes

Clit 45 2, 4, 6, 8… BYO I dunno, this band has it all: the look, the supercharged guitars, the gang shouts, the punk-as-fuck attitude, but it didn’t grab me by the balls the way I thought it would. Maybe it’s because there are so many punk bands out there now that it takes more than just speed and energy to stand out. I liked 2, 4, 6, 8… better the second time around so maybe it will continue to grow on me. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t dislike this, it just didn’t leave a huge dent in my head. Also, I just noticed that all the tracks but two are previously released on other albums. Huh? - Chris Walter Dresden Dolls Yes Virginia Roadrunner To the casual listener, sure, Yes Virginia doesn’t seem like a very good idea: a mix of affected German theatrical pomp mixed with feminist indie-rock? Really? Wow. But given an adequate amount of tolerance and patience, Dresden Dolls succeeds at worming its way into your heart; it’s about time someone threw a little camp into this increasingly unimaginative scene, anyway. Pianist/singer Amanda Palmer is the focal point of this two-piece, her songs ranging from the confrontational (“Backstabber”) to the awkwardly confessional (the squirm inducing “First Orgasm”) with each track showing a keen sense of originality and fine craftsmanship. The Tori Amos meets Gertrude Stein meets Lili Von Shtupp shtick may throw you off at first, so a few small doses is recommended for the first timer. - Adam Simpkins Faktion Take It All Away Roadrunner Who’s genius idea was it to release a CD that has one song followed by a bunch of station ID’s done by the band? Is this supposed to be a joke or something? Because honestly, the only thing remotely funny is how terrible the song is. It has commercial play written all over it. Standard generic heavy rock that you would expect to hear on “The Power Hour” at some Midwest radio station hosted by a 60 year old DJ wearing a Nickleback tour jacket. If Our Lady Peace and Default were to somehow have an angry baby, this is what it would sound like. Now that I think about it, having so little music makes perfect sense. The less music they showcase, the less people would know how shitty they are. Couldn’t fool me though. Roadrunner is usually pretty consistent, so they’re forgiven for this stinker. If I were Roadrunner though, I would take all of the money I was planning to spend on promoting this band and I would put it to better use – vintage Transformers toys. It’s impossible to find Omega Supreme in the original packaging. - Seth Fischer

Fidgital Vintage Red Fidgital Digital Fidgital’s press release boasts “Canada’s #1 nationally-charting pop electronica band release a concept album for 2006”. And that, my friends, is exactly what I don’t need. This band from right here in Vancouver has somehow managed to jam every horseshit music trend from the last 20 years into one album for you to enjoy in a single 45 minute sitting. I’m not just blowing hot air because I happen to be one of those anti-techno homophobes, either. This album actually sucks by any standard. Fidgital - I am sorry if I hurt your feelings but please don’t mix swing candy house and Prince and expect me to like it. - Dale De Ruiter

First Reign s/t Independent Once upon a time in Abbotsford, Bertrand and his brethren were the resident heavy metal hooligans. Younger neighbourhood ‘bangers (half of First Reign) could only gaze up in wonder at our glorious pubescent titanium purity. Now – of course – they’re better musicians than I ever was, 122% more metal, and have far better beards (I can’t even grow one). In sum: super-tight soaring melodic galloping thrash, well played, well composed and deceptively religious. Guitarist/back-up growler/key songsmith Ryan MacDonald is a dead-ringer for Jesus, only shorter (Christ was 6’4”, 198 lbs.). Singer Dallas Erickson’s clean-lunged epic wail is in the sub-Valhalla realm of Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kursch, maybe less stratospheric. Straight’n’narrow traditionalist is the overall style (acoustic outros!), possibly better suited to mainland Europe. Nonetheless, these boys – including the superb, pummeling rhythm section of drummer Sean Lang and bassist Russ O’Shea – have got chops and vigor to rival the big league alumni. Guitarist Chris Holtz even drew some wicked cover art. So go forth little ones! Give’r shit. - Dave Bertrand Giant Drag Hearts and Unicorns Interscope My word count allowance doesn’t allow me to fully describe how much I loved this. The opener sounds so much like an MBV Loveless track that I checked to see if it was a cover. It wasn’t, but a good place to start I reckon. As miaowing ad libs break out, I know I’m going to take to this enormously. The vocals are delicious; Annie Hardy’s singing sounds like Tricky took Tegan and Sara on a date and really corrupted them. When the guitars go acoustic, they float along perfectly with the strange effects. I feel like I’m being lured into a David Lynch production of Alice in Wonderland; I can see Sonic Youth in there, partying with PJ Harvey and dancing to these wickedly intoxicating lullabies. The song “High Friends in Places” is “Pretty on the Inside” where weird replaces aggression. Just perfect. This is unusual, uncontrived, original, and brilliant. - Stephanie Heney

There are so many punk bands around nowadays that it is increasingly difficult for any group to sound original, but Hook and the Daggers make the grade with flying colours. Song titles such as “SelfProclaimed Anarchists are Usually Just Douche Bags” and “The Rain On my Car is a Baptism” are also a plus. Whew, made it all the way through the review without mentioning that Kurt Cobain was also from Olympia. D’oh! - Chris Walter

Freshkills Creeps and Lovers Arclight Jesus Christ, hasn’t the whole ‘nu-NewYork-City-Rock’ genre hit its saturation point yet? I’ve had to listen to an endless parade of shitty Strokes clones for FIVE FUCKING YEARS. I say it’s time we put garage rock back in the garage. Or build a fucking wall around New York City. - Derek Bolen I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness Fear Is On Our Side Secretly Canadian This Austin, Texas, band has finally unleashed a proper follow-up to its selftitled 2003 EP (produced by Britt Daniel of Spoon) and there’s nothing to fear. ILYBICD has unexpectedly managed to steer away from all the usual pitfalls encountered by most bands of the serious, brooding, “I have a hard-on for Ian Curtis” genre. This feat is due to restraint and oldfashioned good taste, much of it thanks to producer Paul Barker (Ministry, Revolting Cocks), who worked behind the boards this time around. Barker and the band have chosen to rely on warm, lush, soothing sounds, not unlike those found on M83 or Ulrich Schnauss, instead of trying for those poppier radio hooks. Fear Is On Our Side invites us to bathe in the soft glow of city lights and to find someone warm to share those points of radiance with. - BRock Thiessen

The Jolts Jinx Haute Voltage What can I say? This Vancouver act caught me completely off guard with their highly infectious and crazy sound. Call it garage/ rock/ punk or whatever you want, but the tunes jump right off the CD and into your head. In fact, they’re in there right now AND THEY WON’T COME OUT! I’m stoked to have discovered a local band that can kick out the jams with such style and energy. Jolts? I say fuck yeah! - Chris Walter

ALBUM

The Nerve May 2006 Page 26

Ciccone Youth The Whitey Album Geffen In a moment of ecstasy induced profundity at a conference for the Channel 4 series Disinformation, comic writer Grant Morrison proposed that the failure of hippy and rave culture was that they tried to convince themselves they had no dark side to their soul. But when you ignore your ugly side (the part of you that could kill your mother if need be), it can manifest itself in odd ways. With a spirit of irony or boredom in the face of their biggest, arguably most commercial releases in the

Hook and the Daggers This is Ballroom Thrash Moodkiller I first heard this trio from Olympia, Washington on the Dirtier Inch Volume 2 compilation, and they managed to stand out even on that high quality disc. Hook and the Daggers play garage/ punk at a dizzying speed and there is never a dull moment. From the opening bars of “Fuck You Punk This is Ballroom Thrash” to the closing notes of the last song, they jump up and down on your tits and won’t get off.

Kid Lithium Has Vanished Without a Trace Independent Self-produced, Kid Lithium orchestrates some of the best beats known to Vancouver. His versatility is most impressive as he seamlessly presses West Coast rider music with East Coast crowd-movers. And within each beat are


MUSICCONTENTS REVIEWS moving bridges that break the repetitious loops that so many rap albums suffer from. Lyrically his content stays pretty consistent. Consistently random, that is. Lithium offers no commitment to the beat, scurrilously slurring with off-the-cuff rhymes. With more motherfuckers than a foster home, listen as he blends inelegance with intelligence, bouncing from pussy to Friedrich Nietzsche. On “I’m Out” he admits, “I never knew how to use parenthesis.” Though scatterbrained, I bet Lithium has never once suffered from writers block. As a result, Lithium’s songs may not work for you in pieces, but as a whole the album can swallow you with its nonchalant charm. Bobbing your head from your point of appreciation till the end. - Omar Mouallem

Kid Rock and the Twisted Brown Trucker Band ‘Live’ Trucker Atlantic I was never a big fan of Kid Rock and I figured listening to his bullshit live would make me want to kill myself. But I have to be honest, I really got off on this album. Essentially it’s just a collection of Rock’s biggest hits performed in front of a hometown Detroit crowd. The energy and the showmanship that Rock is known to bring to the stage really shines on this CD. The sound is clear and there’s just the right amount of crowd noise to give this the “live concert” ambiance while not interfering with the actual music. Rock jumps from country to southern rock to hip-hop while giving the kiddies all of the big songs that they paid to hear. If you like Kid Rock, just not enough to spend more than 20 bucks on him, this is for you. BONUS – since it was recorded in 2000, we get to hear Joe C. bust loose on the mic. I love midgets! - Seth Fischer

Machete Avenue    The First Cuts Underground Operations I’ve come to expect a certain type of music from Underground Operations, the Toronto label behind such cutting edge bands as the Brat Attack and Protest the Hero. Maybe that’s why I have a slight problem with Machete Avenue - this is some slow shit. It sounds like those lumbering epic ‘comedown’ songs that metal bands always put on their CD with piano and acoustic guitar and some lyrics about how much this person loves that person. This whole album is that gay song. It sounds like City and Colour with a shitty version of the guy from Leatherface singing. - Dale De Ruiter

spawned a much darker and surrealist affair than previous outings, involving tales of solitary sailors, male-bonding support groups, frightened housewives and hopeless TV addicts - all through a digital wash of arpeggiated synthesizers and cold, crackling rhythms. What’s most striking about all of this is the extreme way Karin Dreijer Andersson’s vocals have been stretched and manipulated into a wide array of characters to suit the atmosphere of each track. Silent Shout definitely surpasses the Knife’s previous accomplishments – it’s their finest and most focused work to date. - BRock Thiessen Lacuna Coil Karmacode Century Media It must be gutting for a band to slog away for years with only moderate success, and then another group that sounds just like you makes it huge, eclipsing all your hard work and originality. In fact, Evanescence sound so much like Lacuna Coil that they’re doomed to be evermore compared to them in reviews. The winning formula of celtic folk vocals over a hard-rock-yetpop backdrop just doesn’t seem to have elevated “Italy’s biggest rock export” in the same way. To be fair, there’s some real beauty on here, and the track “Within Me” would be magnificent performed by Tori Amos. However, most of the songs are about a third longer than they need to be, and when synths appear, everything goes all Siegfried and Roy. Worst of all: the closing pub rock murder of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence”. Karmacode teeters on good, but ultimately topples onto the other side. - Stephanie Heney

Mammatus s/t Holy Mountain These flannel warriors of Corralitos, CA first caught my ear over the inhouse stereo system at Zulu while I was browsing for used vinyl. Then they caught my eye with their album cover, which features the ‘70s Heavy Metal magazine fantasy-terror art of Arik Roper, who’s a Phillipe Druillet fan if I ever saw one. The music? Well, the complete track listing has “The Righteous Path through the Forest of Old,” “The Outer Rim,” “Dragon of the Deep (Part One),” and “Dragon of the Deep (Part Two),” so my guess is... yep, stoner rock. Very well-crafted Sabbath-riffy stoner rock - with long, long, prog-rock / psychedeliathemed arrangements, with occasional vocals swirling up from echoey depths. The drummer can’t leave that crash cymbal alone, the bass almost (but not quite) crowds out the Tony Iommi / Tom Warrior guitar assault, and it’s all I can do to fumble my bong fast enough out of the stashbox under my bed. Forty-five minutes of convincing (and refreshing) rock which utterly obliterates anything we’re forced to hear on CFOX these days. Now if only these cats can make it across the border for a Pub 340 show with Hezzakya...THEN my life will be complete for the moment. - Ferdy Belland

and these guys are the dark horse who will probably get their due when it’s too late, but make no mistake: Buried Love deserves huge raves. I’m raving. The band has precious chemistry and the frontman is ridiculous. Plus, the cover is insane. - Adrian Mack Maritime We, the Vehicles Flameshovel This will likely prove to be one of the most pleasant surprises of 2006. Unlike Maritime’s last stale and monotonous offering, Glass Floor, everything here sounds rejuvenated and, well, actually good. This is by far the best thing Davey von Bohlen – vocalist of the now deceased Promise Ring – has done since the emoboy classic Nothing Feels Good. Tracks like “Parade of Punk Rock T-shirts” and “No One Will Remember” (which sounds like some stripped-down Mice Parade bside) have the power to invoke stupid grins and unconscious foot tapping. This LP sounds as if it has been soaking in layer upon layer of pop-goodness. Trust the overly optimistic Japanese voice shouting that it’s OK and everything is going to be fine at the start of We, The Vehicles. You can pull those old Promise Ring records back out from under the bed now. - BRock Thiessen Maroon When Worlds Collide Century Media Much to its chagrin, German metalcore pioneers Maroon have yet to receive due credit for the scene they essentially spawned from their own filthy hands. You’d think that after 60 odd years we’d be able to forgive the Krauts for their notorious blunders and missteps, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. We’d sooner give laurels to Hatebreed and In Flames rather than offering celebratory nods to, you know, those people. Time to unlearn, kids: Maroon are the kings of this castle and When Worlds Collide is a dominating record, brimming with low-end thunder and fiery riffs, only allowing breathing room in the few classically tinged, instrumental interludes. And while WWC is an unrestrained powerhouse, it doesn’t do that much to add to an increasingly stagnant genre – but at least we know now who to thank for it. Now it’s our turn for atonement: we’re sorry! - Adam Simpkins Men, Women & Children s/t Reprise Without a doubt, the short-lived discopunk scene was owned entirely by the Rapture. With the groundbreaking 2002 single “House of Jealous Lovers” up to their watershed debut released the following year, the NYC via San Diego foursome made an impressive, if minor, dent in music history. The End. What’s this, then? We’ve got more? Uh-oh, looks like Bob from Marketing forgot to forward the death certificate to Men, Women & Children - the new project fronted by former Glassjaw guitarist Todd Weinstock. Even though the punchy single “Dance In My Blood” launches the album on a mild high, the formula of chicken-scratch guitars mixed with 4/4 dance beats becomes monotonous by the second and third tracks. By the album’s midway point, assuming you’ve made it this far, songs arduously bleed through to the next offering little substance or variation. It’s now official: disco-punk sucks. - Adam Simpkins

complete disaster. Overall, Showtunes will not make any new converts, but it probably won’t cause Mr. Merritt to lose any of his loyal followers either. - BRock Thiessen

Million Dollar Marxists I Don’t Wanna Evolve Seeing Eye (7”) Anyone who reads my shit knows that I love the hell outta the Million Dollar Marxists, so don’t act surprised when I goosh all over this single like a zit-faced schoolboy on his first date. The M$M trademarks are all here: the insane riffs, the machine gun drums and atomic bass, the deranged vocals and acerbic wit. I can’t compare the Marxists to the punk legends I grew up with, but can only tell you that they make me feel the same way inside. Kudos to Vancouver’s Seeing Eye Records for recognizing the real deal when they hear it. - Chris Walter Ministry Rio Grande Blood 13th Planet Ministry’s 11th album begins with a splicedup spiel from an ominous George W. Bush proclaiming: “I’m a weapon of mass destruction / I’m a brutal dictator / and I’m evil.” Not as original or funny as say, Negativland, but nevertheless an effective prelude to this thundering, no-nonsense album that lambastes the US government and its foreign policy with unforgiving force. While this furor is commonplace for Al Jourgensen and co., the band hasn’t played with this much precision and consistency since Psalm 69. One could argue that some of these tracks fall into the “no duh” category, like the clichéd titled “Fear (Is Big Business)” and “Lies Lies Lies,” but until the US ceases to elect warmongering cowboys like GWB, it’s good to know that bands like Ministry are still viable and passionate enough to get the last word in. - Adam Simpkins Moneen The Red Tree Vagrant This is the album that I’d always suspected Moneen was capable of from having seen their live performances. Their earlier records were earnest and enthusiastic, but still lacking in power, like a Yorkshire terrier fervently trying to get over the baby gate. This album is a bullmastiff bowling the fucker right over. If emo is indeed passé, then Moneen has moved seamlessly into a new era by adding a heaping helping of pure rock chutzpah to their emoting. The lengthy song titles are still intact (case in point: “There Are A Million Reasons For Why This May Not Work… And Just One Good One For Why It Will”) but this album has the definite feel of a band evolving and taking its shit to the next level. Oh, and mad points for the cool packaging. - Thérèse Lanz

and drug addled malaise, among them odes to Yoko “Raid” Ono and Patti Smith. This album is not an affront to the rest of SY. In fact, while Moore doesn’t sound so much lost without two other strong voices here as he does occasionally bored, Psychic Hearts is probably best left to more avid Youth fans to be consumed as a companion piece to Thurston’s real legacy. For the rest of you, go find some reissues with Kim Gordon involved. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes Murs & 9th Wonder Murray’s Revenge Record Collection The hardest working rapper, Murs, has teamed up with producer 9th Wonder for a second time to release his strongest work to date. Murray’s Revenge is the first credible rap album to exclude any profanity and not sacrifice itself to fluff and commercialism. Lyrically Murs is, as always, clever and honest, professing his average guy raps over 9th’s nostalgic soul samples. Many are quick to discredit 9th because his sound rests within old records. Insert drum beat, loop it, and lay down the vocals. But 9th’s taste in music is commendable on its own. Pulling from forgotten soul and Motown, and making it fresh and contemporary. “Murray’s Law” is a reality check to gangster rappers, while “L.A.” is an homage that could make Wayne Gretzky homesick. “Dark Skinned White Girls” is a dedication to white girls growing up on hip-hop and black girls who love indie rock. - Omar Mouallem

My Chemical Romance Life on the Murder Scene Reprise This is a bumper 3 CD set, and for the fans (unfathomably, millions of them), it presents super duper value for money, containing just about every extra you could desire. I liked the live audio CD best, a high-energy range of MCR’s geek-‘punk’angst hits, with some demos, and the sound quality is fantastic. You appreciate this even more when you watch the DVD live performances: lots of sweating and headbanging, but audio quality doesn’t translate on the filmed sets. To be fair, the band really does give it some live. Despite gothic leanings, MCR produces watchable videos, and the ‘behind scenes’ clips are fun. The ‘diary’ DVD really is for the devoted, as it’s a laboured elaboration on their self worth (of Marilyn-Manson ego size proportions). The band claims, without irony, to save lives; and no matter how genuine their conviction, this comes across as pretentious. - Stephanie Heney Nazi Dogs Chase the Man TKO These Germans have the audacity to call themselves Nazi Dogs! They should be lined up against the nearest wall and shot! They should be­ - what, they’re not Nazis? They’re a cartoony 77-style punk band with catchy songs and a wicked sense of humour? My bad. - Chris Walter

REVIEWS

The Knife Silent Shout Rabid When last we heard from the Knife, they were gifting fellow countryman, Jose Gonzales, with their mini-hit, “Heartbeats”, to be used in a commercial for the Corporates. It now seems as if this brothersister duo has crawled their way into the occult to record their third full-length, Silent Shout. This shift in theology has

The Manvils Buried Love Independent The highlights on Buried Love add up to a real feast. The ‘oohs’ on “Bible Billy” (which could be from Rust Never Sleeps); the ‘oohs’ on most of the songs, as a matter of fact; the elastic riff that powers “Between the Lashes”; the new wavey “Undertow”, wherein vocalist Mike Manville’s croon falls somehwere between Richard Butler and a cock rock Morrissey sponsored by Schneider’s Hot Rods. “Missing You” made me think of the Gun Club. Vancouver is full of amazing rock bands all of a sudden,

Stephin Merritt Showtunes Nonesuch From the moment that Stephin Merritt released the lavishly praised 69 Love Songs under the Magnetic Fields moniker, everyone knew that things would never be the same again. From then on, he has continuously leaned towards compositions like those found in some Busby Berkeley musical. The frustrating Showtunes is no exception, and is therefore strictly for the Merritt-obsessed. Others might struggle with its running order - 26 songs, from three different operas, appearing in no logical order whatsoever. In the end, listeners will likely find themselves feeling fractured and lost. Luckily there are enough clever tunes, a few familiar voices from 69 Love Songs, and moments of pure lyrical genius to save this album from being a

Thurston Moore Psychic Hearts Geffen If Sonic Youth is a noise-rock rainbow, Moore is its loudest colour. While his first – and some would argue most important – solo album Psychic Hearts obviously brings that specific Thurston shade into greater relief, it still consists largely of that one colour and could never approach the diversity of SY’s recordings, despite the assistance of regular drummer Steve Shelley. Joined also by freelance guitarist Tim Foljahn (Cat Power), Moore used his debut to explore slightly more minimal pop aspects, with the exception of the slow moving, 20 minute “Elegy For All The Dead Rock Stars.” Lyrically, Thurston spiked his usual vein of disenfranchised slackerdom

Nine Inch Nails Every Day is Exactly the Same Nothing Trent Reznor is BACK. He cleaned up and realized his manager stole all his money. He released With Teeth, claiming he was trying to go back to his Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral roots. The critics raved. But the critics jumped the gun, because for Trent Reznor to be truly back to pants-wetting goodness, he needs to release a remix EP that makes you question which versions you like better;

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CONTENTS the album tacks or the remixes. Well dear reader, before you listen to Every Day is Exactly the Same, make sure you put a diaper on you head cause you’re gonna shit your mind. It’s glorious. Here we have two remixes each of three of the best tracks from With Teeth: “Everyday is Exactly the Same”, “The Hand that Feeds”, and “Only Each”. They’re all so good I can’t choose a favourite. - Dale De Ruiter Octoberman These Trails Are Old and New White Whale Whereas the music of Marc Morrisette’s main (semiretired?) Vancouver band Kids These Days leans more towards synth-flavoured angular psychedelia and post-punk, his Octoberman songs are gentler, more serene, more dreamy-mellow soundscapes that hearken to the sort of stuff you’d find written by folks like Will Oldham or Sam Beam. Tunes and tales inspired by his lengthy wanderings across Canada and Asia come to heart-warming candlelight with the aid of his subtle yet big-eared musical chums (James Henderson, Graham Cristofferson, Rob Josephson, C.L. McLaughlin, Jason Starnes, Brook Houglum, and Brian Chan). “X-Pat” tells the story of those who hike the world over with Canadian flags stitched into their rucksacks, while “Face On My Smile” makes anyone with a heart and a spirit both glint out a tear and twitch hesitantly at the lips. One of the more lasting musical efforts released by a Vancouver artist this year so far, and with a second Octoberman album rumoured to be released before year’s end, perhaps there’s something to be said about new power rising from the ashes. And it doesn’t redline the decibel meter, either; fancy that. - Ferdy Belland Pink Mountaintops Axis of Evol Jagjaguwar Axis of Evol focuses on a different side of Stephen McBean than his audience might be accustomed to. Here, McBean has totally pulled off dropping the majority of his sex laden lyrics, dance party vibes and drum machine kicks in exchange for airy, floating and downcast sounds. But fear not, dear listener, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unlike past releases, these seven songs lazily stretch across the room and slowly burrow their way into you, searching for some form of shelter. This is partly due to the fact that the massive touring - and filling Coldplay’s opening slot - has done wonders on McBean’s vocal chords, making the melodies more varied and engaging this time around. And dare I say that even the ghost of Spacemen 3 repeatedly haunts this album. Axis of Evol is the perfect soundtrack for your warm spring nights after the winter hibernation. - BRock Thiessen

Revolting Cocks Cocked and Loaded 13th Planet “Remember: the Revolting Cocks are making the world a better place for you and you hog bitch girlfriend,” or so the record sleeve claims. If you are unfamiliar with the Revolting Cocks, no one can really blame you – there hasn’t been an album of new material since Linger Ficken’ Good, 13 years ago. The band’s members have constantly changed since its formation in 1985 as one of Al Jourgensen’s many side projects. Ever since that guy cleaned up he’s been giving us throw back ‘90s industrial rock pure awesomeness. The new line up for Cocked and Loaded is a Super Star cast of the ‘90s including Jourgensen, Gibby Haynes, and Jello Biafra, plus a couple of the members from Cheap Trick added to the broth. That’s right: Cheap fucking Trick. Rick Nielsen lends some surf guitar riffage to a couple of tracks. Cocked and Loaded does not let any of you little heartthrobs down, although I do have to warn you that it sounds pretty much the same as old Ministry and the like. If you don’t like, then don’t bother with this, because its beauty will be wasted on you, you fucking heathen. - Dale De Ruiter The Salads The Big Picture Kindling Music I hate to sound like my dad, (sorry Pa) but every song on this sounds exactly the same. I can picture a group of talented musicians, jaded after 10 years devoid of success, being told by a record company

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suit (with no concept of flooding the market), exactly what the song recipe is to be ‘big’. Formulaic Foo Fighters rock-out-chug-chug, emo vocals, floaty bit, rock out, interspersed with ska beats and requisite distorted vocals. On every track. The result is a bland, slickly-produced, generic, lukewarm rock sound that lends itself to a teen audience tv soundtrack. In fact, this is the band that could play the Degrassi: Next Generation prom; nicely packaged, alluding to rebellion yet substance-free and ironically just as conformist as chart pop. After nine tracks of exactly the same song, the album closes with a string of injoke samples, which is just noise. Even dads are right sometimes. - Stephanie Heney Saves The Day Sound The Alarm Vagrant Initially, I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to give this album a good review. I was a GIGANTIC Saves The Day fan through its first three albums (Can’t Slow Down, Through Being Cool and Stay What You Are), but the offering prior to this one (2003’s In Reverie) was so horrendously shitty it made me spontaneously shit every time I heard it. Luckily, Sound The Alarm harkens back to the Stay What You Are era - plenty of upbeat, jangling guitar, sing-along choruses and deliciously dark lyrics. “Say You’ll Never Leave” showcases the band rocking its hardest since puberty hit, and “Bones” employs a drum beat that shifts from dance-rock to punk almost effortlessly. Of course, there are the requisite emo plodders like “Don’t Know Why” and the title track, but these are few and far between. I’m happy to inform you that no diaper is required for listening to this album. - Derek Bolen Sonic Youth s/t Geffen You must have at least heard of - if not respect/love - Sonic Youth by now. You’ve had over 20 years to get word, but if not, this is as good a place to start as any. Originally released in 1982 as a five-track EP, the ideas that began to take shape on SY’s debut are still being felt today. Every year, hundreds of desperate garage bands put out watered down version of this disc with little success – some of them giving up completely and fucking off to form Fall Out Boy. Now lovingly remastered and revised, those derivative hacks will have to try even harder now as those tight bastards at Geffen have enhanced the tracklisting with seven live cuts by the still youthful Youth recorded in 1981, and a misnamed demo. Take that, your hopes and dreams. This EP was on the verge of the No Wave/post-punk movement; all we’re on the verge of now is a worldwide conservative theocracy. As such, the cultural significance of this still very relevant historical document cannot be argued. Those who do not know the past are doomed to repeat it, so save us all a lot of time and effort and check this out before you start putting an album together, alright? - Filmore Mescalito Holmes

The Sounds Dying to Say This to You New Line Well, it started off promising. The bouncy, in-yourface opening track “Song With a Mission” - easily the strongest on the album - is tinged with just the right amount of rock aggression and pop presence to make for a catchy, danceable ditty that’s more fun than clubbing baby seals on a sunny Nunavut afternoon. And although the next two songs follow suit sufficiently, the album continues on somewhat of a downward slope, sliding further and further from rock ‘n’ roll to something you might hear on the soundtrack of an after school TV special. Don’t get me wrong - all you “dance punks” out there are surely going to eat this up like a bunch of Pickton piglets. And, granted, there are fleeting moments when the band makes attempts to return to that perfect mix of pop and rock, but after showing such promise with the opener, I can’t help but feel a little bit deceived. - Devon Cody Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome 5 Song E.P Independent First things first: Sudden Infant Dance Syndrome is the best name for a band ever in the history of

history. That being said, on we go. After doing my usual online investigation, I could only find two tidbits: SIDS is from Calgary and they’re quite young. I was expecting whiney garbage, but instead my face was rocked off with some peppy dance punk. The first song starts with, “This is a song about freedom,” and then proceeds to ask, “Who ya gonna take to the prom?” Excuse me while I die from awesomeness. There isn’t one single second of this EP that I didn’t enjoy. How could you not love a band that sings about Harry Potter? My only complaint is that all the songs kind of sound the same; but when they’re this good, who cares? - Erika Totalenkrieg

The Television Personalities My Dark Places Domino What function does music hold in our lives? From hearing Television Personalities latest, it’s apparent that for principle songwriter Dan Treacy, music has taken on the crucial role of pop therapy. My Dark Places is the first release from these indie-pop legends since Treacy was an extended guest on a UK prison boat, and primarily focuses on his mending and readjustment. This doesn’t always create the most comfortable listening experience and at times leaves the listener feeling a bit soiled, even though hints of doom and gloom have always resided at the heart of Treacy’s songs. That being said, what really makes this album work is that 30 years into his career, Treacy has provided enough pop gems and shining moments here to remind us that those dark clouds can part, allowing the sun to shine down. If Treacy can find comfort around him, then why can’t you? - BRock Thiessen Thanksgiving Cave Days and Moments Marriage One gets the impression that Adrian Orange was a curious child with an inability to sit still, and that these traits have carried over into his adulthood as Thanksgiving. Since starting his pilgrimage four years ago, Orange has yet to stop producing and releasing sounds into the world. This is now the time to pick up and listen, as Cave Days… is his most unified and focused record to date. Like the last series of Mount Eerie releases, Orange’s principle theme is how our inner-self constantly struggles to understand and communicate with our surrounding environment. With his soft steel strings, fuzzy background beats, and flowing vocal lectures, Orange attempts to battle this conundrum through the folk ballads found within Cave Days with an unceasing ambition to create and produce something of beauty and meaning. - BRock Thiessen The Threat Red Dawn Slanty Shanty I didn’t like the name of this Toronto group and thought this would suck but I was wrong. The Threat features female/ male vocals that reveal an affinity for X amongst others. They aren’t reinventing the wheel or anything here but this is a good mix of garage, rockabilly, and punk. Fresh and energetic. - Chris Walter Threat From Outer Space Stay Fluid E.P. Conception Listen, there’s nothing I would like more than to like all genres of music. I wish I could but, hell, I’m picky. Maybe that’s why I was never able to get into this EP. I hate funk. It died for me when the Red Hot Chili Peppers made One Hot Minute or when Morphine’s frontman died. I mention these other bands because that’s who I thought of while listening to this. Heavy on the bass and chock full of funk, these guys even occasionally meander into Rage Against The Machine territory. If you’re into this style than you will probably dig Stay Fluid, but I’m gonna file it under M for “meh”. Also, why do so many bands insist on putting a zillion different versions of the same song on an EP? I’m not gonna go up to someone at a Threat concert and ask, “Which do you prefer, the “Audio Ahdea Awdio” remix or the “Steady Diggin’ Workshop” remix? If someone asked me that I would punch them in the face. And then I would punch myself in the face for being at their concert. - Seth Fischer


MUSICCONTENTS REVIEWS Thrice Red Sky EP Island ‘Meh’ is all I can really say about this six song EP. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much a Thrice fan as the next guy (assuming the next guy is a huge fucking Thrice fan). But the two unreleased tracks from the Vheissu sessions (“Flags of Dawn” and “Weight of Glory”) demonstrate exactly WHY they weren’t included on the album: they’re sadly subpar. This six song EP also includes the obligatory acoustic version of a previously released song (“Under a Killing Moon”, from 2003’s The Artist in the Ambulance), and three tracks from Vheissu recorded live from an in-store performance in Santa Monica (“For Miles”, “Red Sky”, and “Of Dust and Nations”) that hardly do justice to the band’s normally high-energy live performances. Save your money and put it towards a ticket to catch Thrice when it comes to town next (or not...Thrice was unable to play the Vancouver date of its headlining tour with My Chemical Romance due to a scheduling conflict, and for some reason the Taste of Chaos tour featuring Thrice and the Deftones was inexplicably absent from Vancouver this year). - Derek Bolen The Town Pants Weight of Words Maximum Music I thought I had decreed the entire Celticrock subgenre dead and irrelevant when I gave Great Big Shit’s new album a steeltoed boot to the shillelagh a few issues back, but by the ghost of Kilkenny, lads, here comes the fucking Town Pants with yet another Shit Parade fer yer listenin’ pleasure! Ten tales of non-viable rockmeets-reel hybrids, which, despite the Arran Islands instrumentation, have little or no energy on record (which is the, er, bane of the overwhelming majority of Celtic rock bands... the Dropkick Murphys and the Real McKenzies have nothing to fear from the Town Pants). Here’s a song about rum running! Here’s another song about old Vancouver town - didn’t that three-legged Aussie bastard Rolf Harris already write this song? Fuck me. When one studies Irish culture and Irish history, you notice

that the Irish are all too good at losing all around, and “Weight of Words” is another Irish loser. King Brian Boru died fighting off the Vikings for this shit? - Johnny Kroll Venom Metal Black Santuary What is a Cronos? Well he’s a frottage loving man who wears a metal studded codpiece while singing and playing bass for dollar bin champions, Venom. These closet dwelling metal demons (really, only Cronos) have been putting out records since 1982, the first three of which created the template for the many who followed. The problem is, Venom ran out of ideas by 1984; remarkably, a lot later than they should have considering they make the dudes in Spinal Tap look like brain rocket surgeon engineers. Fast-forward to the year 2006 and we have a band that has seemingly come to realize it will never be relevant again. The question then becomes, “Why fucking try?” So instead of creating highly produced basement rapist soundtracks, fit only the queerest leather-clad Man-on-Man dominator, Venom has made a sloppy sounding shit-crystalled turd... and it’s not that bad. If you wanna hear Venom sounding like Satan’s cock exploding a load of thrash metal, then this is the record to get off too. From “Antechrist” (sic) all the way to “Metal Black”, we get 14 songs of uncompromising bullshit nonsense that makes me nostalgic for a simpler time when metal studs near my cock wasn’t a pathetic reference to my sex life. - David Von Bentley Wolfmother s/t Universal Thanks largely in part to the recent, unprecedented Lupine Promotion Initiative set forth by the World Wildlife Fund (you know, the one that offers bands thousands of dollars and priceless hype in exchange for having ‘wolf’ in their name), Australia’s Wolfmother has amassed a sizeable following and favourable accolades from all points of the globe. Warranted? Howl can

you deny them? Bred on big ol’ Sabbath riffs and plenty of Robert Plant, the band may sound slightly anachronistic (ironically, its most current sounding stuff echoes the best of the White Stripes), but the meat of the matter is that this debut is a psychedelic tapestry of groovy goodness. Tune in, drop out, all that: Wolfmother is the new leader of the pack. - Adam Simpkins

Yakuza Samsara Prosthetic I seem to remember Yakuza as ‘TOOL with saxophones’, or the band with the 43-minute song (on 2002’s Way of the Dead). Well, I blundered it completely on the Tool reference, but the sexy saxes remain! Little oddball spurts of MOR’d jazz amidst the mid-‘90s death-mosh, with traipses into echo-thick psych-noodling and ‘world music’ (album’s called Samsara, after all), plus one helluva Phil Anselmo imitation on “Plecostomus” and a lot of Napalm Death. These disparate styles fail to merge as swell as they could have, with Yakuza opting to follow the Nile method (ethnic instrumental-metal-metalmetal-ethnic instrumental-metal) and a generally over-emphasized metal-centric obligation, shafting some potentially creative experiments. Still, it’s plenty dark, moody and interesting, and late in the album we get a trio of big, spacy epics with reverb to Neptune and cleaner vox. Matt

Bayles’ (ISIS, Pearl Jam, Botch) production effectively balances the scathing with the beautiful, and though Yakuza claim to be reminiscent of John Coltrane’s entire career, I just dunno… - Dave Bertrand Rob Zombie Educated Horses Geffen In Sweden, bestiality is legal, but animal cruelty is illegal. A 2005 report by the Swedish Animal Welfare Agency expressed strong concerns over the increase in reports of horse ripping incidents (horse ripping is the mutilation of Mr. Ed’s cock which usually occurs during a sexual act). This report was given to the sausage suckers in Sweden’s government who said, “It is not appropriate to call for a ban.” Also, according to some studies, as many as 8-10 % of Sweden’s sexually active adults have had a significant sexual experience with an animal. My sweet Satan these are disturbing (and true) facts! Man’s best friend is like your real best friend; he’s fucking your woman/man! So what does that have to do with Rob Zombie’s first solo album since 2001’s Sinister Urge? The title Educated Horses made me immediately think of Sweden’s legal system. But I digress, and should probably point out that “Foxy, Foxy” seems to be the only zoophilia related track. The others are heavy (“American Witch”), catchy (“The Lords of Salem”), sexy (“Foxy, Foxy”), and fun (“Let it all Bleed Out”). In my opinion, this is Zombie’s best solo affair to date and the perfect soundtrack to suck, fuck, or beat off a hung and well-educated horse to. - David Von Bentley V/A Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey Universal So someone else besides Penelope Spheeris finally made a documentary about heavy metal which attempts to convince everyone that metalheads aren’t just stupid rednecks who consider themselves too cool to openly listen to country ‘n’ western. While the finer academic nigglings of that irrelevant concept can be needlessly hashed over by other meatheads, the rest

of us can listen to this truly respectable compilation of heavy metal through the years. Blue Cheer’s “Summertime Blues” marks the late ‘60s genesis of the genre, through the 1970s (Motorhead’s “Killed by Death” and Rush’s early Zeppelinesque number “Working Man”), to the turn-ofthe-‘80s NWOBHM rebirth (Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed be Thy Name”), the MTV-era chestnuts (Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It”), the blueprints of the death/thrash subgenres (Venom’s “Blood Lust” and Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil,” which those assholes in Metallica robbed note-for-note), and moments from Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, Slipknot, Children of Bodom, and Emperor, which impressively show the intense progressions of metal’s extreme fringes over the past 20 years. But there’s a few things lacking here. First off, the only Black Sabbath track is “Heaven and Hell,” and anyone who continues to glorify Ronnie James Dio is a fucking idiot - the same way asshole Ozzy fans keep arguing the nonexistent merits of Mr. Sharon’s numbfuck Jake E. Lee period. And what the fuck is Accept’s “Balls to the Wall” doing anywhere besides the discount bin at Charlie’s Music? Only Satan knows for sure. - Ferdy Belland

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CONTENTS

MUSIC / DVD REVIEWS

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer at The Isle of Wight, 1970: The Birth of a Band DVD Eagle Rock   Filmmaker Murray Lerner initially made the trek to the Isle of Wight in 1970 to document what would become one of Jimi Hendrix’ last performances. Over 20 years later, Lerner made his way up through the muck of music rights clearances to release his Hendrix opus, which – although not one of Hendrix’ better gigs - would spawn a proliferation of concert films employing the wealth of footage captured by Lerner and his seven cameramen, including the dramatic festival overview Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival, as well as features focused solely on the performances of the Who, Jethro Tull, and Miles Davis. The Birth of a Band is the fifth of Murray Lerner’s Isle of Wight spinoffs, and while essential for any ELP fan

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due to the extensive performance footage, the structure of the film as a “documentary” seems a little sloppy. Recycled footage from other Isle of Wight films is meshed with presumed B-roll shots of beachgoers and dismayed islanders whose superfluous use obscures what people are really interested in seeing; namely, the band. But when the band is front and center, it’s a spectacle that even ELP’s most fervent detractors have to take note of. \ The performance was billed as the band’s “debut” (erroneously - they had played to a crowd of 3,000 earlier in the week as a warm-up), but the three members were hardly unknowns: Keith Emerson had come from the Nice, Greg Lake from King Crimson, and Carl Palmer from Atomic Rooster and the Crazy World of Arthur Brown. As such, ELP was being billed as a “supergroup” before ever laying down a single track. But the third annual Isle of Wight Festival would mark a change in music that the bombast and egotistical selfindulgence of ELP would come to signify. Keith Emerson - whose gaudy sequined suit and wide-brimmed chapeau wins him the pimp of the year award – says they used showmanship to augment the performance, because he knew some people just wouldn’t groove on the music itself. As a result, ELP shows were rife with acrobatics, jaw-dropping solos that seemed to require an inhuman level of energy, and the maltreatment of lumbering experimental equipment – such as Bob Moog’s invention of the same name. The Moog synthesizer was still a temperamental instrument at the time,

and by all accounts no one was quite sure it would even function properly during the concert. But it did, and Emerson would become one of the its most outspoken champions in the years to come. Emerson leaps over the keyboard repeatedly, stands on top, rocks it back and forth while playing, and shoves giant knives between the keys – the latter a gimmick that won him the scoring gig on Argento’s Inferno. In the talking-head portion of the doc (which is a little top-heavy; you don’t see the band perform a whole song for nearly a half-hour into the program), Emerson speaks of the multiple injuries he sustained from his onstage antics. The name “Spinal Tap” comes up more than once in the interviews. The performance itself is not entrylevel ELP by any means. The first album was about to be released, but rather than the comparatively crowdfriendly “Lucky Man” or “Knife-Edge”, they launch into a 35-minute rock rendition of “Mussgorsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition” which could have – and should have – alienated the crowd completely. But instead, the British press (the late John Peel excepted) hailed them as “so good they’re frightening”, and when the eponymous album came out a few months later, it went straight to number 5 in the charts. It was this show that fuelled ELP’s success, and love them or hate them, it’s not hard to see why. Eagle Rock can be lauded for their taste in music but their DVD productions are frequently spare; a CD side that features the band’s partial set in audio-mode, and a superior sound mix (5.1 surround – and a mix that favors Carl Palmer, I might add) are the only ‘extras’ on offer; but in this case it’s fitting, since the film is kind of a special feature in itself. The Isle of Wight movies are best viewed as a package, because they’re about polemic as much as performance; Message to Love provides a necessary context that this DVD on its own can’t substitute. - Kier-la Janisse

Wight Out

An Interview with Murray Lerner Director Murray Lerner is not especially prolific, but his thorough documentation of the third annual Isle of Wight Festival (1970) has allowed him to carve out a niche for himself; 36 years later, he’s still making a career out of the 210 hours of film he shot over those few days. He’s overseeing the sound mix on all the Isle of Wight DVDs, which are gradually hitting the market after decades of trying to clear all the music rights. Lerner was kind enough to answer some questions for me despite the fact that I pissed him off by telling him I thought the ELP DVD seemed “rushed”. Nerve: How did you get involved with filming the Isle of Wight? Were you invited to come film, or was it your idea? Lerner: It was a combination of both. The promoters US agent called and asked if I could lease my Newport Film Festival for showing at the forthcoming festival. I said yes but added, what about a new film? I had been looking for a festival situation where the tensions between the growing commercialism of the music business and the idealism of the music content would surface and boil over. I predicted this would happen at the Isle of Wight, and after seeing Woodstock, which didn’t get into that in any way, I was really determined to do such a film, including the revelation of what goes on behind the scenes. Nerve: Where did funding come from? Lerner: Perhaps you mean where did lack of funding! It was a hodgepodge of my personal money, debts, lab deferments, and some cash from the promoters. Nerve: Did you foresee disaster at the festival? Lerner: I didn’t foresee disaster, just tensions, and I hope the subtext of the film was that the festival went on, often to the delight of the audience; and even the aggressive attitude of the audience was at times imitative peer pressure. Nerve: Robert Christgau in his review of Message to Love seems to suggest that you had a polemic agenda going in - that you ignored all the people having a

good time in favor of emphasizing a class schism, and the hypocritical behavior of those on both sides of the fence. Lerner: I didn’t have an agenda, but an interpretation based on the facts before me. Nerve: How many more Isle of Wight films do you see coming out of this? Lerner: About five or six. Nerve: Was there any footage of the “free” tent with Hawkwind and The Pink Fairies? Lerner: I’m not sure. I’d have to check this out. Nerve: Why did two decades pass before you started releasing these films? Lerner: I wasn’t a good salesman!! Everyone whom I showed my demo reel to was enthusiastic, but backed out at the last minute, except, finally, at the last minute, Geoff Kempin convinced Castle to back it. Nerve: What was your own impression of the band at the time, and what was the crowd reaction? Although they were supposedly critically lauded after this performance, it’s hard to imagine 600,000 people grooving to their epic version of “Mussgorsky’s Pictures”... Lerner: It’s hard to judge what you’re asking from the vantage point of shooting on the stage, but I do think that the audience that heard them really dug the performance. I think that they were ready for this approach – and the cannon blast helped! - Kier-la Janisse


CONTENTS

Short Ends smaller and not as funny as cheap shotz enjoy that make you feel good. Enough with this Atom Egoyan shit where you walk out of the theatre wanting to slash your wrists. I went with my Dad and he liked it so much he re-adjusted the will so I get the house.

Gimme my keys, I’m OK to drive Charles Manson Update Received a letter from the prison Charles Manson is incarcerated in and my heart quickened. Sadly, it contained the letter I sent him and a rejection letter that cited the $5 I included in the letter to cover return postage. The letter has been sent out again, this time with no money in it. The Rocket A lot of people will hate on you for admitting you like hockey but I’m fine with it. This is a really good Canadian movie and they should make more films like this. You know, movies people

Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis VVS Films are Canada’s finest direct to DVD distributor. They put out such awesome crap and are one of a handful of companies that cut trailers with nudity in them. Necropolis is the fifth or sixth entry into Return of the Living Dead saga which is odd because everyone I’ve talked to didn’t know they made more than two. One person I talked to gave me an elaborate story of how the director of the original Return of the Living Dead is a pedophile and worked at a 70s pedomag called Finger. Anyhow, this is a pretty standard low budget zombie film directed by Ellory Elkayem, who made a movie called 8 Legged Freaks a few years back. You’d think he’d be eager to talk to us but apparently he’s finished doing press for this film and is a little burnt out because he received so many press requests for this shitty Z-grade horror flick.

film adaptation of that mysterious (and homoerotic) book everyone seems to love.

May 26 X-Men: The Last Stand Another X-Men movie with that fucking drunk Kelsey Grammer playing Beast. Art School Confidential The little flower poking it’s head up through all the shit this month looks like it’s going to be Art School Confidential. Directed by Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World, Bad Santa), this movie mocks art school students and the art community which is great because we’ve been doing that for years. It follows the story of a gifted artist who sees a total hack receive all the accolades he feels he deserves. Art School Confidential is

based on a comic by Daniel Clowes who also did Ghost World, which should be required viewing for high school students prior to sending them out into the real world. DVD Pick Hawaii, Oslo The latest addition Mongrel Media’s stellar festival collection. Directed by Erik Poppe, Hawaii, Oslo is a Norwegian drama that starts with a guy having a dream of something horrible happening. Then we watch as five stories are told that all lead up to the disaster happening. A bit of a downer. It won the award for best film at the Association of Norwegian Films Critics AND the Norwegian International Film Festival. I bet you don’t even know where Norway is.

One line synopsis’ of the barrage of horrible, but probably enjoyable, summer films opening in May. May 5 Mission: Impossible III A homoerotic spy battle between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tom Cruise . May 12 Poseidon Wolfgang Perterson remakes a disaster flick where das boot flips over and likely has heavy homoerotic overtones. May 19 The Da Vinci Code Tom Hanks and Ron Howard team up in the

Shanks on a Plane Worst In-Flight Movie Ever

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’m an aficionado of tacky post 9/11 memorabilia and that isn’t a joke. From a visit to New York, shortly after the towers went down, I was able to purchase all sorts of goodies from the kind vendors who were parked across the street from WTC crater. I bought 9/11 t-shirts, toques, hats, paperweights, commemorative shot glasses and calendars. My best purchase was something called a terrorist body bag. It’s really just a potato sack with pictures of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein on it with the following words: “Terrorist body bag. Directions: Locate - Capture - KILL! Stuff wretched remains in bag. SEND TO HELL!” The terrorist body bag hangs on my wall, as it’s a work of art and I’m convinced it’s going to be worth a million dollars one day. All the stuff that labels itself ‘rare and collectable’ isn’t going to be worth shit because people are collecting it and looking after it. No one is collecting this cheap shit I’ve accumulated so they’re the real cultural artifacts of value. So that’s my motivation for seeing United 93, a new film that’s the tale of the plane from 9/11 that missed its target. So my question is this: does anybody else really want to see this fucking movie? I went into this movie with my knives drawn and ready to tear the shit out of it. But United 93 is not a bad movie. For what it is, it’s good. It’s really well made and might be the most disturbing and nauseating film since Irreversible. The movie is written and directed by Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Identity) and there are no other names or faces you’d recognize attached to this film. A quick look on imdb.com and the entire casts

appears to be extras from television. There are a lot “Juror Number 4’s” and “Guy sitting at the bar” on the resumes of all of these actors. The star of this movie is the events that took place. And really, is there a bigger star in America than 9/11? Stylistically, it’s shot with a handheld, documentary-style, guy-holding-the-camera has ADD aesthetic, like an episode of The Shield. Lots of quick controlled zooms and focus pulls. It’s jittery claustrophobic eye candy. And at one point, just before the first plane hit the tower in the movie I felt a little bile come up. Thematically, this movie is akin to The Passion of the Chirst. They’re both dramatic recreations of an epic event based solely on highly suspect assumptions. You know what’s going to happen and you see the movie expecting to be punished. Despite the efforts of the people on the plane, no one is going to swoop in and save them. There’s no rainbow after the storm. United 93 is to American jingoism what The Passion is to Christianity. This isn’t the “Thank you for saving from the aliens” jingoism from Independence Day than makes you scream “America, fuck yeah.” No, United 93 aims directly at your heart and it hits. But when you’re using ammo as big as a Boeing 747 it’s pretty damn hard to miss. The shameless pandering to American sentimentality aside, there are three good reasons why you could hate this movie: 1) It’s too soon. Even after 2000 years, a lot of people complained that watching someone getting realistically flogged and crucified was too much. We’re at 4.5 years now and people still have to watch what they say about 9/11. Reading some early reviews in Right Wing media, they’re calling you a bad American if you don’t see this film. Which is tantamount to being a terrorist. Which means you and your whole family deserve to get locked up in Gitmo or, at the very least, blown up in your sleep. 2) It’s bullshit. I’m sure every person with a blog and theories about ‘what really happened’ will have a field day with this movie. The entire plot is built around the assumption that the plane was not shot down and the people on this plane were American heroes who gave their lives to save others. At the end of the movie, after the

plane goes down, they put up some chronological data to further discredit any naysayers. If you wanted to take it a step further, you could even say this film is to remind people what they’re afraid of and use that to justify further aggression overseas. A little more kindling for the violent and paranoid fire if you will. 3) They’re cashing in on tragedy. Sure, there’s some charity that partial proceeds are going to be donated to but is crass commercialism ever a fitting tribute? Of course not, but that’s the American way. Perhaps the oddest promotional technique this movie employs is how there’s downloadable wallpaper for your computer on the movie’s website. Thankfully they decided against making United 93 instant messenger buddy icons It’ll be interesting to see if middle America will vote with their wallets and check out United 93 they way people flocked to see The Passion of the Christ. With the DVD undoubtedly becoming available close to the five year anniversary, United 93 is sure to be a popular 9/11 stocking stuffer. They have those, right? So is this a tasteful way to remember these people who lost their lives? No, it’s horrible. United 93 is like exquisite turd that you give a name to, take a picture of then show to your friends. No matter what’s it’s name is, how pleasing it’s shape is or the colour, it’s still a piece of shit. If this movie does well, I fear the repercussions. Does that mean the moviegoers will have to suffer through more harrowing tales of 9/11 in the future. I could easily see this movie done again through the perspective of New York firefighter as an ordinary person put in an extraordinary but ultimately doomed situation that will have people sobbing in the aisles. But this isn’t going to happen. Because it is too soon, United 93 is propaganda and it is a tacky cash grab. I’m just pissed that they’re not selling shirts. Here’s a drinking game to play based on this movie. Every time you see a quick, almost subliminal shot, saluting American patriotism, chug a can of Budweiser. You’ll be wasted before the movie is half over and it’ll make United 93 easier to watch. n

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Tomb Raider: Legend Developer: Crystal Dynamics Publisher: Eidos Interactive Tomb Raider: Legend is the 7th installment of the popular series that has captivated the minds of people of all shapes and sizes—mostly teenage boys—for ten years. The new Tomb raider promises a lot with its massive advertising campaign using the tag line: “you have to see it to believe it”. Most likely because the new developer, Crystal Dynamics (Gex and Legacy of Kain), smoothed out the graphics and the physics of not only the landscape, but the main character Laura Croft. Laura has been revamped to appear more realistic by making her more expressive and believably proportioned. The 20 year old British model Karima Adebibe was the muse for the new visuals. But not to fret, Laura is still a fetching piece of eye candy with lots of cut screen movies to maximize the character’s new hip shaking walk and large boobies. Using some ridiculously high number of polygons, Crystal Dynamics managed to make the game look and feel much more realistic than its awkwardly controlled ancestors. The levels are large and are the aesthetics are impressive. The ledges, poles and all the other pieces of environment you must do acrobatics on appear realistic and naturally placed. The storyline of the game takes you all over the globe. As you venture from ancient tombs to cityscapes to snow covered peaks, the plot is developed as Laura searches for her lost mother. Along the way you discover a bitter and estranged friend that you left for dead in a botched excavation when you were younger and still a dirt digger. Instead of dying, she relied on an ancient demon to save her life. Inevitably, her and her pet monster are searching for the same sword fragments as you. The unknown artifacts are the key to a portal that leads to a mystical plain through

which your mother was sucked after a plane crash in ancient ruins. Of course your old anthropologist chum’s motives are dubious as she is trying to obtain godlike powers while you just want your mommy. Final Fight: Street Wise Deloper: Capcom Production Studio 8 Publisher: Capcom USA If you’re like me, you remember Final Fight from your childhood. It was the game that cemented the glory of side scrolling street combat. The new installment, which comes 15 years after the original version, is a 3D adventure fighter that manages to stay true to the Final Fight franchise. You follow Kyle Travers as he tries to locate his kidnapped brother (Cody Travers from the first Final Fight). Along the way you meet the other characters from the original game and learn new skills and combos. The games rating system is based on respect points that you get by kicking ass and progressing through the story. Bigger combos mean bigger respect rewards. Don’t punch hookers, though, otherwise the gang bangers in Japan Town won’t give you your props. Final Fight is riddled with mini-games that range from annoying to addictive. There’s a game of darts, a shooting gallery and that annoying “one space missing slide puzzle game” that you hated as a kid. The highlight to these little breaks is one where you squish cockroaches in the local diner while listening to some weird Japanese styled pop song. An interesting feature here in which you can buy the soundtrack with money you pick up along the way. Since you should be spending all you money buying power-ups and combos, this feature is a little bit shoddy. The fact that you can’t purchase metal until level two and you start off with a 7 tracks that are all hip hop is also a punch in the nuts. -Dale DeRuiter

FINAL FIGHT: STREET WISE

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Shreditorial: Telus Snow Festival Spring is here, the sun is shining, the rain is gone, it’s hot out. This can mean only one thing: snowboarding. Free is Free I remember renting my first snowboard from Ken Achenbach at the original Snoboard Shop in Kensington in Calgary around ’87-’88. We were feeling a little confined by the Baby Boomer-run world of skiing and were looking for something we could call our own. Something without preconceptions, something more free. Later, scraping down ice on edgeless “Treelines” with rubbery highbacks, I realized that we were paying for our newfound freedom by enduring primitive equipment, funny looks, and having to take special skill tests to ride skier-run mountains. Snowboarding was our baby, a chilly sister to skateboarding, and while she was ass-ugly with a lazy eye and a clubfoot, she was our baby and we loved her, Zinka and all. Fast forward to the 2006 Telus World Ski, Snowboard and Consumer Product Festival. I rode up on the free Snowbus.ca while enjoying a free Mountain Dew Energy and watching a free screening of the Matrix, I picked up my free 10-day media pass, wrote down results for 5 minutes, then enjoying my free ride for the rest of the day accompanied by my free iTunes playlist on my free TD Bank iPod Shuffle. After a free return trip sipping free Lipton Brisk Ice Tea and a free screening of “Old School”, a refreshing shower with free Axe “Snake Peel” shower scrub and a shave with a free Schick Xtreme Triple Blade razor, I took some time to reflect on just how much “free” really means to me. And it means a lot. So when I look at this new generation of skate-influenced rail shredders and snowboardinfluenced park skiers, I ask myself, Logan Short, fs

who are we to deny this generation their own freedom, even if for some it means going back to reinvent skiing? Kids are like those bomb-defusing robots, willing to be destroyed in order to rid the world of dangerous or toxic materials such as ski ballet, especially that trick where you plant the poles in your nuts. If it takes switch 1080’s, snowboard style, and some broken necks to do it, so be it. The good news is that the 99% of you kids that land that shit and live will likely get laid, and the 1% that croaks or lies vegetable-like probably wouldn’t have gotten any anyway. So more power to ya. Telus Library Rail Session It seems like some skaters question snowboarding’s authenticity because it’s derivative of skateboarding and skiing. Which is very true and accurate except that skateboarding itself is derivative of surfing, and - gulp – rollerskating.( Hold your nose all you want, those wheels still smell like unicorns and rainbows). This leaves us with the last bastion of purity, surfing, consisting of humans (apes aping chimpanzees) aping dolphins. So what we had April 8 at the VPL was skiers imitating snowboarders imitating surfers imitating dolphins on imitation handrails over imitation stairs in front of our imitation Roman Coliseum. The only things that were “real” were talent, guts, fun, and pant-sag coin slots. Now, I’m not gonna argue that snowboarding rails is as hard as skating them, but it’s way harder than, say, sitting on the couch discussing authenticity. So tell me this, all you skate purists: if “real” is so much better than “artificial”, why does your mom’s jawline look so much better than it did 6 months ago? And couldn’t they do something about her harelip and hairy back while they were at it?

Photo: Kim Glennie

TOMB RAIDER: LEGEND

boardslide, Library Rail Session

Good Granville! What is that? Normally I avoid Granville St., but the good folks at the Buffalo Club have given me a reason to change my ways. “Totally Board Mondays” are officially the new best way to end the start of your week. Their recipe for success? Get Seb to build them a four-foot mini-ramp with lightningfast coping, stock up their bar with alcohol, get some live bands to play loud music, and watch the fun-loving crowds roll in. I caught the action on the second night and there was some good shit happening. Paul Carter, Johnny Dread, and Quebecois Louis have lip skills up the yin-yang and are always fun to watch… Jimbow was blazing around with the eye of the tiger during his rare on-board appearance, did I see an invert?… back smiths always make me smile and Brody did a bunch of them… Perry’s hand must be getting better because he tossed a dog-piss to fakie and some lengthy crooked grinds… that little Blind dude, Grant Patterson, was throwing down some tech… a guy I’d never seen before (“hey Gord, who’s that dude?” “That’s Liberal, he’s been away selling cars, he’s barely skated in 10 years”) was killing it… and Jesse stomped one big-ass frontside flip. How long has it been since you could wander into a Vancouver bar and join in on a ripping mini-ramp session? Longer than the time I’ve been in town, that’s for sure. So let’s keep a good thing going. Get your sorry ass off the

Photo: Jeff Cole

VIDEO GAMES

Mike Faux, hippie hip flippy. couch and head down to the Buffalo Club on Monday night. - Jeff Chan (grand_wazoo@hotmail.com)


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The Man That Matters By Jason Ainsworth

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Bad News by Tom Fenton Regan books/ Harper Collins

A book about the decline of reporting, the business of news, and the Danger to us all.” This tag line makes you wonder if this is going to be dry writing by a long winded journalist and, for the first two chapters, it is. Tom Fenton takes some time to enlighten us with the problems affecting the American news businesses. With painstaking precision he repeatedly points out that the major reason journalism is on the decline is that network executives are trying to save money. Unfortunately this book teeters on the line of redundancy, as Fenton is basically preaching to the already converted. He reveals many examples which show how American press companies are making foreign news gathering virtually unprofitable and nullifying any incentive for providers of this service, therefore keeping the public more and more in the dark. If you can muscle through the tripe of the first quarter of the book, the latter portion is quite interesting and very relevant. Some of the later chapters are so enlightening that they should be recommended reading for everyone, no exceptions. Chapter 7 “History and Geography” is a prime example. The author gives objective thumbnail histories of some of the crises plaguing the world today. For instance, he brings to question the oil-hungry motives of the USA. Apparently it can be seen as a good thing if the US wants to secure oil reserves - if they don’t, either the Russians or

the Muslims will. This may sound paranoid but it is exactly the grey area that should be looked at rather than trying to see current events in only black and white. With this new information brought to light, you can’t help but reconsider your hatred for US foreign policy. Yes it sucks, but what would happen if it didn’t exist? Perhaps the policies go way beyond terrorism and greed and aim for long-term stability? The Iraq war is just one example of this. Fenton goes further and delves into other global calamities. Past, present and possible future concerns are addressed and are an excellent starting point for anyone sick of being in the dark about agendas and annexations going on in distant lands. Also covered are government and corporate spin tactics and how they affect the media. Fenton basically walks you through the processes which bureaucrats use to get away with their many evils. Finally and not to be missed is a chapter talking to other journalists involved in broadcast news. It offers the view points of some of the biggest anchors and producers in the business. I recommend this book to everyone because it’s more than just a good informative read. It is an admission by journalists that their line of work is flawed and that they recognize the evils that it represents. -Dale DeRuiter

’ve had just about enough of this “gay” nonsense, thank you. Becoming a gay wasn’t about the intimacy, the beautiful intimacy, sharing and togetherness of sucking some freak’s cock. Not for me, anyway. It was about hating women. And it was about money. I’m not going to lie to you guys. I had man on man golden juice allanal fisting gay sex two-in on two in three Manila death match anal sex fistorama with two cocks and sex with children sex with boys of two years old hardcore legend sex with animals that are male sex with tools, negros, sex with black cock oh my god… and I did it for the money. I know what you think! “Hey, fucker, you fat old ugly bastard with hair falling out everywhere and all greasy and mucous, and the hair is falling out everywhere…. Nobody pay to suck your cock, which is small and bends to the left and has sores on it and is greasy and not sexy.!! Fuck you!” And you’d be right. They paid me to suck their cocks, you see. Let me tell you, a lot of penis, sometimes Black, sometimes Asian, sometimes other, has gone in this mouth. Hoots, yes. Man, I have just sucked back that cock like a vacation! Mmmmm. It was tasty and zesty. Anyway, after a mountain of cock, and some anal adventures I don’t want to talk about. (sexin-ass ejaculate dripping all over my car), I had made about thirty dollars. I’m a very affordable male whore, due to being sucky. I may suck, but by god, I suck. That’s my motto, and I live by it. I am also drug and disease free, not that you care. Oh, no, mister left-winger social constructivist punk rock singer, I’m just a hole for you to come in. I’m just a piece of man beef with a hole that you can objectify, treating my preciousness like an object. You will never love me enough to let me cry on you, or for us to maybe, I don’t know… cry together? Let’s cry together after making love with golden shower full-fist action and I have sex with your brother or son, both underage like a criminal or a creep. Screw off and leave me alone to cry. Listen… can you hear the wind cry? Can you? NO you cannot because the wind does not have two cocks in its ear, both gay. The weather does not have gay multiracial insexuousness all the time and the weather won’t cuddle you when you cry. But I’ll suck your cock for five dollars. Or nothing. You can fuck me for nothing if you PROMISE not to wear a prophylactic. I love that feeling. M. Anyway, I was fuckin’ this guy on Tuesday that I just met ten seconds ago.(Homosexuality makes you promiscuous!) and I really got that guy off good. Fuck, did he come. I was literally swimming, nude, in this man’s semen. It was everywhere, in my greasy hair. I hope his semen, his cute little sperms got along well with all the other men’s sperm that was in there. Homosexuality makes you promiscuous. I don’t mind, I think its FUNNY! I have never laughed so much. So the fag I just screwed leans over while were cuddling like a pair of fags and takes the

cigarette out of my mouth and sucks it and puts it in my mouth which is drippin with his own cockmucous and says to me, “do you want to make some extra money making gay man-onman porno films?’ I said okay Regret it now. This is why my parents will never talk to me again. They’re rich, too. It was awful. It was in a hotel room. My friend, so called gayfriend, false friend it turns out, gave me the number of some guy to call. He sent me to this stupid hotel room. There were like, twenty guys there. I was shocked. “What’s with all the fags?” I shrieked, while undressing. “So glad you turned up!! We’re doing a facial cumbath scene! It’ll be great! Shut up!” Needless to say, this creep was Italian. I lay on the floor, nude, with my backpussy ready for anything. Bah! Those jerks just wanted my mouth. They weren’t interested in my HIV test at all! Good. After sucking about a million cocks I just wanted to cuddle, but no. Another million cocks to suck. It was so boring for me! As boring as this article is, it was! Then the two billion cocks all erupted all over my face, and I was left unsatisfied. I was sexually unsatisfied, because the red-hot sex action wasn’t so hot. It sucked, really. It was all caught on film. The movie is called “Cumkrazy Boyz” and can be ordered by calling the company at 604 720 7632. Ask for Ed. The one question everybody asks a gay is, how do you get rid of the taste? The answer? Dirty Martinis. If a man orders a dirty martini you know he’s been sucking cock just minutes before, and is a whore. The truth is, I haven’t licked the semen off my hand since I turned thirty. Thanks for reading. I’m straight again, Ladies, by the way. No more gay sex all in all fag tricks turn on golden action racist fuck-fest suck cock all nite action cuddling for me. No. n

The movie is called “Cumkrazy Boyz” and can be ordered by calling the company at 604-720-7632. Ask for Ed.

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By Dan Scum Across 1. ______ Apso 6. Blue and green bank machine 9. “Buffalo ______ won’t ya come...” 13. Formal address for a lady 14. 2nd fire sign 15. Ran away and marry 17. See 67A 19. Mad dog foaming and snarling 20. Unit of geologic time consisting of 1 or more periods 21. Huskies or Malamutes pulling a sled 23. Scrape by with meager resources 24. Registered Social Worker 27. Italian Greyhound Club 29. Spa 30. Body of government 31. Card in a hole or up a sleeve 32. Golfmobile 34. No one has 2 36. Fire Dog 39. Thou shalt not _____ 43. Pyromaniac’s crime 44. Opposite of endo (not outdo) 45. Barbera’s partner 46. Betty Ford Clinic e.g. 47. With 17 Across: African lion hound 49. Famous mummy 51. Slowly leak 52. Revolutionary Guevara 53. ____ Vegas 56. Underhanded 58. Sierra Echo Hotel in CB speak 59. Opposites of fro’s 60. Frank’s 2nd wife 61. Sodium Hydroxides 63. Socioeconomic Status, briefly 65. Mold 67. Rescue Dog 72. Farmer’s dog of song 73. Chinese way 74. Small restaurant 75. Hip spelling of “Dog” 76. Opposite of NNN on a questionnaire 77. Famous Bull Terrier ______ Mackenzie Down 1. In dog foods it means lamb/millet/rice 2. Expression of defiance 3. Fuss 4. Smooth Operator of 80’s pop 5. Dog breed whose types include Old Southern White, Scott or Johnson type

The Nerve May 2006 Page 34

6. Boxer 7. Crossword answer in “American Psycho” 8. Pooch pacifiers 9. Cop dogs 10. In the style of 11. Most ears have ‘em (some ears don’t!) 12. Bulldog on looney tunes 16. God’s garden in Genesis 18. Rhymes with “faggot” (AFHV) 22. Great Primate Family 24. Ranger’s owner on M.A.S.H 25. To strike with sudden fear 26. Like a Corgi dog 28. Olde tyme towne loudmouth 33. Yellow cars 35. Puncture with a shiv 37. Castle’s protection 38. Lymphatic system points 40. Make law 41. Pizza fish (abv) 42. Tahoe ‘n’ Titicaca 48. Gooses 50. Poodle size 53. Mutton source 54. Evade 55. Steam bath 57. West Highland Terrier 62. Command for Fido 64. Cut 66. London area airport 68. What Bart calls his dog 69. Sumerian sky God 70. Pit Bull nose colour 71. Vets Last Issue’s Answers


The Nerve May 2006 Page 35


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The Nerve Magazine - May 2006