The Nerve August 2006 Page
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THE NERVE MAGAZINE 508 - 825 Granville St.,Vancouver, B.C.V6Z 1K9 604.734.1611 www.thenervemagazine.com firstname.lastname@example.org The Don (a/k/a Editor-In-Chief and Publisher) Bradley C. Damsgaard email@example.com
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Wiseguy (a/k/a Music Editor) Adrian Mack firstname.lastname@example.org Shotgun (a/k/a Film Editor) Michael Mann email@example.com Map and Details (a/k/a Skate Shreditors) D-Rock and Miss Kim Launderer (a/k/a Book Editor) Devon Cody firstname.lastname@example.org The Henchmen (a/k/a Design & Graphics) Dale De Ruiter, Kristy Sutor Weapons Cleaner (a/k/a Article Editor) Jon Azpiri Surveillance Team (a/k/a Photographers) Devon Cody, Dale De Ruiter, Miss Toby Marie
Sammy Hagar and April Wine get their reputations polished by the young metal vanguard - Herman Menervemanana
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Joan Jett’s bones cause concern and Fat Mike brings Holy War! - Derek Bolen and Dale DeFruiter
The Nerve gives the Two York Dolls the Once Over - Chris Walter
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This is the only interview they’re doing so eat it up - Ferdy Belland Jean Smith gets out her little black book - Robert Dayton
The Muscle (a/k/a Staff Writers) AD MADGRAS, Jason Ainsworth, Cowboy TexAss, Chris
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Walter, Jason Schreurs, Adam Simpkins, Therese Lanz, Carl Spackler, David Bertrand, 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, Kristy Sutor email@example.com Marketing Manager (a/k/a The Suit) Kristy Sutor The Kid (a/k/a The Intern) Aviva Rotstein Out-of-town Connections (a/k/a Distro & Street Team) Toronto: Rosina Tassone Calgary: Mike Taylor Edmonton: Freecloud Records, Bob Prodor 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
The Nerve August 2006 Page
The Nerve August 2006 Page
Cheap shots RIP Eddie Anarchy Any band knows that if it wasn’t for the fans there would be no point playing the songs. One day in July a true music fan passed away - Mr. Eddy Anarchy Kolasinski. He was a true warrior when it came to music and the arts, a supporter of the scene who would go well beyond the call to get a pit started or sing along or just plain rock out at the front of the stage. Music was in his life and his life was in music. There will always be a spot in front of the stage for him and I know he is causing one crazy pit wherever he is now. Rock over London, rock on Chicago. Make a run for the border. - plow Torching the Tudor Pub! As a former resident of Cranbrook BC, I need to file a grievance with the woefully-undermanned proofreading section of the Nerve’s editorial bullpen. In last month’s interview with the wonderful Rodney DeCroo, he was quoted as having lived at the so-called “Treehouse Motel” in Cranbrook BC when he suffered his alcohol/drug-induced psychotic breakdown. I have to say that the notorious venue in question was the Tudor House Hotel, which I believe needs a belated obituary in Cheap Shotz. The former redbrick St. Joseph’s Hospital (built at the turn of the 1900s and indeed home to weird covens of homicidal nuns and all sorts of gothic horror shit; shaped ominously like a crucifix when viewed from the air) which was demobilized at the turn of the 1970s with the construction of Cranbrook Regional Hospital, and as such demoted to seedy status as low-rent housing... and the former chapel / operating room being refitted as a roughneck watering hole; beer kegs were cooled in former mortuary slabs, and the ghosts of patients who died on the operating tables roamed the halls at night. Darcy Webb (Stag Reels) and I had the shit scared out of us when a roost of pigeons burst out of the darkened outer stairwells right while I was drunkenly recounting some Lovecraftish tale or something. Tastefully located on the wrong side of the tracks in Cranbrook’s benighted Slaterville District, the Tudor House Pub’s last hurrah was the period 1998-2001 when band bookings and entertainment coordination courtesy were handled by Yours Truly. For an all-too-brief moment, the Tudor House Pub was one of the very few decent live venues in the BC Interior (and a nice place for Gen-Xers to socialize over reasonably-priced draught) and attracted a surprisingly violence-free crowd of young and old music lovers from across the entire East Kootenay region, all of whom were royally sick of the lessthan-limited Cranbrook nightlife offered by both Shotgun Willy’s Pure Country Saloon and Jughead’s Rock and Roll Cabaret. DOA and the Hanson Brothers unforgettably rocked the creaky old stage, as did countless dozens of Canadian bands alive or defunct. By the time most of the nation’s indie rockers found out about the pub, the hotel’s erstwhile owner Dick Dirksen (who’s long since fled home to Edmonton AB, where I suppose there’s no extradition treaty) decided it was easier to pay a resident crackhead to torch the building for the insurance payout than it was to apply for a provincial heritage grant to restore one of Cranbrook’s last-standing Edwardian buildings. The music is gone, but the memories linger, as does the sad sight of the sagging, charred remains of the Tudor House Hotel... Cranbrook’s very own perpetual WWII movie set. Check it out the next time you pass through Cranbrook, and thank you for correcting your oversight. - Ferdy Belland Thanks for the letter. Hopefully, I’ll never have the opportunity to “pass through Cranbrook.” – Music Ed. Who is Jenny Galt? Local singer Jenny Galt was booted from sensational TV sensation Rockstar: Supernova when she failed to “bring” it, according to a panel of top pop experts that included the
sensational Dave “Face” Navarro, Gilby “You Brought it, Dude” Clarke, Tommy “Bring it” Lee, and Jason “Bringtallica” Newsted. Galt’s performance of the sensational Incubus masterpiece “Ahoy Hoy Hoy, Dandy Jack” failed to impress
attendance that he would also do anything for attention, no matter how pathetic or sick. Lavigne wore a gorgeous offwhite dress designed by cutting edge designer Josef Mengele while Wibley sported a stain on his chin. Wibley was later seen pulling 18” wieners from a big yellow bucket, clapping his hands and saying his own name out loud.
shows, including a May 17th show in NYC, the band’s set at the UK Download Festival, and in the Netherlands. When asked about the possibility of a GNR original lineup reunion, Axl Rose went bat-shit crazy, put his hair in cornrows, incited a riot, and went in to hiding for four years before he was discovered in Saddam Hussein’s spider hole.
the sensational foursome, who were looking for Galt to “bring it.” “You just didn’t bring it,” complained Navarro (through a translator). “In this business,” he continued, “You have to bring it. And you didn’t…” Added Navarro, later, “…bring it.” Part-time musician Navarro is famed for having a tattoo of his own face, right on his face. Galt later told the Province, “I learned a lot about myself, and about bringing it. Mostly, I learned you can’t just go out there and expect to trash any credibility or dignity you once had.You have to work hard to do that.” Added the late comedian Bill Hicks, “C’mon, if you want Satan to stick his spiny cock in your mouth, you gotta do a little coaxing.” Bring it!
Rocked! Looking to get stinky drunk on Granville without having to sell a kidney to pay for drinks? Sick and tired of spending your night chasing broads who suck wallets for a living, only to get curb-stomped by coked-up alpha males looking for victims to keep their Oedipus complexes at bay? Try Rocked Thursdays put on by CFOX and The Plaza. That’s right folks… The Plaza. The owners (ex-Luv Affair) have decided to cater to the rock cretins one day a week. “I said they should make the room a live room because the city needs one. Everyone bitches about it,” says general manager David Hawkes. “It’s to get people back into committing to going out to see some local shows.” What more can you ask for? A great room (with sightlines and sound quality that will remind you of Richard’s on Richards), cheap drinks ($2 highballs and $4 beers), and good rock music, none of that soulless top-forty bullshit. Running the gauntlet of suburban wigger fuckwits that mill about the entrance is sure to keep you fit and nimble too! It’s a win/win situation.
Get Yer Name Tags Out The Nerve’s favorite rock ‘n roll asskickers the Belushis will be embarking on a two-province tour kicking off August 4th in Kelowna, and including dates in Nelson, Banff, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Calgary, Canmore and Golden, assuming, of course, that they don’t drink themselves into alcohol-induced comas first. For full tour dates, check out www.thebelushis.com.
The Lonliest Man in the World San Fransisco’s Craig ‘Hot Lixx Hulahan’ Billmeier became the 4th annual US Air Guitar National Champion this month, after receiving ‘near-perfect scores’. Shortly afterward, Hot Lixx was contacted by Axl Rose about the possibility of joining GNR, out of desperation for anyone who can still draw a crowd. Nobody Cares, Brad Elderly blues-rockers the Black Crowes will be releasing a 2 CD set of unreleased songs and a DVD release of their 1992 film Who Killed That Bird Out On Your Window Sill on August 29th via Rhino Records. Official lucky bastard Chris Robinson will then return to banging walking wet dream Kate Hudson while the rest of the band sinks further in to obscurity due to their homely wives NOT being Goldie Hawn’s daughter.
Nude Pictures of Avril Lavigne! The Nerve would like to congratulate top Canadian superstars Avril Lavigne (12) and her homosexual paramour Derek Wibley (36) who were married in July in a ceremony described by one lucky guest as ‘a ceremony’. Lavigne is perhaps best known as the inventor of punk rock – a form of popular music distinguished by its high production values and generous use of LA-based studio musicians. Wibley, the son of former Monkee Mickey Dolenz, is famed for placing second after that weird Japanese kid in a hot dog eating competition. The highlight of the day was provided during a touching speech by Wibley’s friend and best ‘man’, Sum 41 drummer Mitch Cumsteen, who reminded those in
Fat, Ugly, Looking for Work? In order to address Vancouver’s overwhelming shortage of Burlesque dancers and Burlesque-themed events, The Femme Factory (‘Canada’s premier Burlesque School’) will be holding a one-day five hour workshop entitled ‘How To Become a Femme Fatale in 5 hours’. The event will take place on August 12th from1-6 pm, cost $100, and promises to provide fatties and bar skanks with another outlet for their sexuality until that latest herpes outbreak clears up. Izzy! In GNR news this month, straight out of the ‘My House Is About To Be Reposessed’ files, original rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin has made appearances at a few of GNR’s latest
Gung Ho Fat Choy Good news! The Nerve’s favourite punchline the Gung Hos are re-forming for a one-off show with the world’s sloppiest Mods, the Spitfires.Vancouver Police anticipate an orderly evening of quality family entertainment. Saturday, August 19, at the Pic. Deranged Deranged Records, representing the finest in Gibsons, BC, will be releasing repressings of 7 inches from Fucked Up, Siege, the Tranzmitors, the Bayonettes, Left For Dead, and Burial available through their web store at www.derangedrecords.com. As to why you should give a shit, I’m not entirely sure. The press release left that part out.
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The Nerve August 2006 Page
The Nerve August 2006 Page
The Nerve August 2006 Page
COCK ‘N” BULL CONTINUED
Who Gives a Fuck? With Patterson Hood of Drive-by Truckers
hat album is currently in your Stereo? The new Neko Case record, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood and Alejandro Escovedo’s The Boxing Mirror
was “God Dammit” – the one the REALLY pisses off the grandparents. If you could hang out with any one person throughout history who would it be? That’s something that’d probably change on any given day I was asked. But Franklin D. Roosevelt is up there. I think it’s going to take an FDR to start fixing all the mess.
What is one thing you want to get done before you die? I want to make a movie. I’d like to direct a movie before I die. n
What book are you currently reading or have most recently read? American Pastoral, by Phillip Roth
continued from page 7 Fuck,Thank God!!! Survivor, the musical groundbreakers best remembered (or should I say ‘only remembered) for their Sylvester Stalloneapproved hit “Eye of The Tiger” in 1982, are currently working on a new studio album for release in 2007 with new singer Robin McAuley. Watch for Bill Conti to release HIS comeback album ‘I’m The Guy Who Did The Theme From Rocky. Please Buy My Album’ around the same time. I’m Scared of Chris Walter Local troublemaker and auteur Chris Walter will be conducting yet another reading from yet another book (Welfare Wednesdays) at the Bump ‘n’ Grind Café on August 11th. Don’t miss out, because this could well be the LAST book he ever launches! Lights Out Forever? If you or anyone you know recently came in to $15,000 worth of musical gear, you should probably have it cleaned (semen ruins the equipment). It also may have been stolen from local screamo band Lights Below, who sent us a touching email explaining how they wuz robbed last week. They failed to provide a description of said stolen material, so if you see something you think might belong to them, steal it, sent it to the band, then call the cops and let them sort it all out.Your local music scene will thank you. n
What was the last movie you watched? In Cold Blood. Hadn’t seen it since I watched Capote. It holds up great. Name one album, movie or book you consistently recommend to friends. The movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Name one album, movie or book you would recommend to an enemy? I had to do a song list for the next president to listen to on his inauguration day last election, but shit I can’t even remember what I came up with on that one. What is a recent guilty pleasure? I’m a Hall and Oates fan. There’re actually three big Hall and Oates fans in Drive-By Truckers. What is your biggest pet peeve? Right now? The president! The administration’s mishandling of everything, of our entire country. Especially New Orleans. Name one bad habit you are extremely proud of? I don’t know if I’m proud of my bad habits, but I’ve got enough of them. I’m trying to cuss less in front of my daughter. She said her first cuss word the other day. It
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Every Parent’s Nightmare
By Derek Bolen & Dale De Ruiter
WARPED TOUR 06 D
erek: Ahhhhh, Warped Tour. My favorite marketing-infused ‘punk rock summer camp’ and jailbait convention. It’s a little like Christmas in July, particularly if your Christmas involves ridiculously long food lines, boatloads of overpriced merchandise, scads of scantily-clad high school girls, and advertising shoved down your throat at every turn (which allows ample opportunity for free shit, luckily). I actually make it sound a lot worse than it is. At least I had the pleasure of attending it at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium, which is infinitely preferable to the shitheap that is Race City Speedway in Calgary where I had attended my previous Warped Tours prior to moving to Vancouver. And let’s not forget the music. I gotta admit, even though I find myself recognizing fewer and fewer bands on the bill every year, there were still plenty of quality acts this time around. Dale: I love Warped Tour and unlike some of you a-holes out there, I am not going to let a few teen screams get in between me and my rock. For all of you who bitch about how young the fans are at
Warped, it was actually a lot older this year. Besides, how could underdressed and underage girls ever be a bad thing? If I’m not mistaken, that is pretty much rock and roll fuel right there. So why does everybody hate the young girls that dress like sluts? I think it’s for two reasons: For the guys, it’s simply we can’t fuck them because it’s creepy and wrong. The women hate these young girls because they have those hard teenage breasts that make us all feel old.
the fact the median age in the band is 19. For fans of post-hardcore with insane finger tapping solos a la Van Halen, you must absolutely not miss these guys any time they come through town. One of the better acts of the day. Dale: I missed this band cause I was interviewing the bassist from Underoath. Helmet Dale: Every once in a while we get a chance to see a band from our past who, as far as we were concerned, had completely disappeared. It is always a sort of win/lose situation when we see one of these “nostalgic” bands. On one hand you can re-live your youth, but you can also have unwanted memories triggered by the music. I Listened to Helmet’s Betty extensively in grade 10 - hearing “Wilma’s Rainbow” reminded me of how idealistic I was about the big and unknown world, and yet uncaring about my immediate surroundings. But it also reminded me of the dickheads I smoked pot with. Derek: I wish I’d paid more attention to these guys in the 1990s, when they mattered, because their set absolutely blew me away. Instead, I was too busy listening to shit like Tears for Fears and not getting laid.
Protest The Hero Derek: This was the first band I caught after waiting nearly an hour for the militant grandmother at the press tent to give us our passes, and my annoyance evaporated immediately after witnessing the Whitby, ON fivesome’s furious stage show. Protest the Hero blew me away when they released Kezia earlier this year, and the live show didn’t disappoint as they tore through five of the album’s tracks, including both singles, “Blindfolds Aside” and “Heretics and Killers”. The juvenile stage banter only reinforced how fucking amazing these guys are technically, given
Protest the hero
needed a good nap. But it might have been that the singer was wearing a fucking denim tuxedo at 6 pm in the blazing sun. Whatever the reason, I’d rather listen to their albums at home than put any more effort into seeing them live. The Salads Derek: The pride of Toronto put on a thoroughly en-
All Photos By Dale De Ruiter
Moneen Derek: Far and away the greatest show of the day, and judging by the size of the crowd packed in front of the Vagrant Records stage, these guys are finally starting to get their due. Enigmatic frontman Kenny Bridges bounded around the stage like a meth-addled child, even finding time to do a dive off the amps during the peak of their set, a crowdsing-along rendition of ‘The Passing Of America’, in a moment that sent chills down my spine. Also, drummer Peter Krpan has the best ‘rocking out’ face I have ever seen. The Bled Derek: Despite wanting to see these guys for fucking ever, I was somewhat disappointed by their lacklustre performance. Maybe it was the wine that vocalist James Munoz slammed before their set (who the fuck drinks wine at a punk show? Jesus?), but the band seemed to be sleepily going through the motions with a lack of energy that contrasted with their ferocious musical assault. Decent, but certainly not what I’d expected. Dale: I too was disappointed. They seemed like they
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tertaining high-energy show, despite only having 50 or so people watching as they were tucked in a back corner of the venue on the ‘Ernie Ball Very-DifficultTo-Locate’ stage. The tiny crowd ate it up as the band played energetic party anthem (“Get Loose”) after energetic party anthem (“The Roth Kung Fu”) after energetic party anthem (“Today Is Your Lucky Day”). Definitely a band that deserves more exposure and one I would recommend checking out if/when they make it back west. Dale: I don’t know… thinking about going back to NU PUNK with its ska beats and ridiculous happy singer makes me feel uneasy. Every Time I Die Derek: I knew these guys were ready to bring the rock the second I saw burly guitarst Andy Williams sporting a bitchin’ American flag vest. The band shredded through a mix of songs from 2003’s Hot Damn! and 2005’s Gutter Phenomenon, including mind-blowing renditions of “Kill The Music” and the southern-rock-inspired “The New Black”, and found time to refer to the lineup of tour mates Valient Thorr as ‘a bunch of grizzly bears’. I won’t be surprised at all if we see these guys on the main stage next year. Dale: By far the best band I saw this year. Holy shit these guys were into it. When the band is into it you get into it in a hurry. Being a photographer, I only get to take pictures of a band like this about twice a year. They just ran around and posed and were generally awesome. Usually you can get one or two good pictures at a show but there are far too many to print of this band. As an added bonus I stumbled upon the singer from Valient Thorr in the crowd and
Joan Jett: Her appearance is notable only because she managed to play without shattering one of her fragile old-lady hips.
took a picture with him. I like bears. Joan Jett Derek: She looked like a shrivelled elven grandmother and played a bunch of songs I didn’t know because I’m not that into shrivelled elven grandmothers. The one song she played that I DID know, I fucking hate, because it’s been co-opted by drunken bar skanks and chucklehead frat boys as a party anthem. Her appearance is notable only because she managed to play without shattering one of her fragile old-lady hips. Dale: I finally know who the fuck wrote all those shitty songs people 10 years older than us drink to. NOFX Dale: For an instant party, just take NOFX and add volume. There is no one who can deny that these guys will be fucking awesome when they pick up their instruments. My favourite part of the show was when Fat Mike called all Muslims, Jews, and Christians fucking idiots and said that anyone who gets their answers from a 2000-year-old book is batshit crazy. Anyone who takes pot shots at organized religion can be my cock brother any day of the week. The icing was Underoath had to play right after NOFX (they’re Christian). Derek: I don’t think these guys are capable of NOT putting on a rad show. For one, they have so many awesome songs to pull from that it’s nothing at all for them to pound out a half-hour set. This time around they treated us to a solid play list, including “The Brews”, “Dinosaurs Will Die”, “What’s The Matter With Parents Today”, “She’s Nubs”, “Murder The Government”, “Bob”, and the closest thing
NOFX has ever had to a hit, “Franco Un-American”. I would have been happier if they decided to play “The Decline” in its entirety and fill the other 12 minutes with dick and fart jokes, but apparently Fat Mike’s daughter was in attendance, so, in what was obviously a struggle for NOFX, they had to keep the banter clean. It didn’t matter at all, because they’re funny as fuck, and prove time and time again why they have earned their place in the annals of punk. AFI Dale: Besides NOFX these guys were the biggest band here this year.You could tell from the teeming sea of youth that mashed in front of the stage to watch them. From my vantage point at the front (for photography) I can tell you two things: Davy Havok is the white RuPaul, and shit went down. I don’t know exactly what happened but I looked over and a security guard was holding his stomache and screaming in pain. Seeing a security guard taken out is always disheartening.You see thousands of crying swooning little girls but when you see one of those dudes in a blue shirt go down you get scared cause if something could take down that dude with a handlebar mustache it could sure as fuck take me down. The scene was so crazy right in front of the stage that they only let the photographers stay for two songs. I guess they needed all the extra room to catch the fat shirtless dudes who crowd surf. Motion City Soundtrack Derek: Another one of the better acts of the day, especially considering the energy they brought despite having most of the crowd abandon the lower bowl in favour of watching Alexisonfire on the Vagrant stage. The ‘80s-inspired pop stylings seemed a little out-of-place on a tour with equal amounts of studded leather jacket wearing crusty punks and eyeliner wearing scenester kids, but the devoted crowd pogoed happily as MCS tore through their shiniest, happiest songs from I Am The Movie and Commit This To Memory. Another one of those spine-tingling moments occurred while watching the band play the opening salvo to “LGFUAD” (or “Let’s Get Fucked Up and Die”) while the sun was setting behind them. Or, possibly, I’m just a pussy. Either way, lead singer Justin Pierre definitely had the ‘fucked up’ part covered. At one point, he launched into a rambling monologue about how ‘nutrients are good’. Apparently the futility of bestowing health advice on a bunch of dehydrated, starving, dirty punk fans
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who had probably already blown any money they may have had on merchandise was lost on Mr. Pierre. Perhaps his advice would have been better directed at walking corpse Joan Jett. With the day over, we all shuffled aimlessly through a sea of garbage to our cars and the bullshit traffic jam that awaited. With a last, fleeting look at the tasty, tasty jailbait, the Warped Tour disappeared from our lives for another year. But, rest assured, we’ll see you and your little sister next July. n
Dale:You guys are a Christian band. How is it dealing with this much debauchery. Do you guys ever clash with any of the other bands? Grant Brandell: “We have been doing it so long--being in a non-Christian scene-we go about it as respecting. We know that not everyone is going to believe what we believe and we are expecting differences. Our thing is more like what we believe, and we don’t force anybody. It’s cool if you don’t, if you do, whatever. We don’t throw it in your face.” Underoath subsequently dropped off the Warped tour citing that they need to work on their friendship. But speculation points to Fat Mike, who has been slagging religious groups at every stop along the Warped tour.
b I T W w t W L H a n a l o c m l r l S
ven the most twisted imaginations have their limits. Back in the early ‘80s I bet Tommy Niemeyer and the guys in the Accüsed never imagined that they’d still be grinding out their brand of splatter rock 25 years after the band’s inception. I’m also willing to bet that, even in their strangest dreams, they never saw themselves in 2005, middle-aged, with wives and kids, writing songs titled “Fast Zombies Rule” and “Hooker Fortified Pork Products”. “As we all know, truth is often much more horrifying than anything any of us can imagine,” says Niemeyer. Of course, the guitarist is referring to the sick inspiration Robert Pickton provided Accüsed screecher Blaine Cook last year while writing new material for Oh Martha! - the first album to come from the band in almost 15 years. But one wonders if the events that have taken place since the album’s release have been equally grim.
Drawn and Quartered??? By Devon Cody
Back in 2003, the three surviving members of the Accüsed’s original line-up decided to get together along with long-time friend and drummer Steve Nelson for one show. Things went better than expected and, before they knew it, the old farts spawned an album’s worth of material that everyone in the band deemed “Accüsed-worthy”. Unfortunately shortly thereafter, members Cook, Nelson and bassist Alex Sibbald abruptly left Niemeyer and created another band, Toe Tag. Niemeyer struggles to restrain himself when asked to explain the split, but one thing is sure… bad blood is splattered all over it. “It remains the number one chapter in my ever-growing book titled Punk Ass Moves by Former Friends. If those three motherfuckers can’t tell me why they left, then I can’t tell you either.” However, much like genital warts, the Accüsed don’t just stick around for 25 years, then go away. No siree. In fact, they’re touring to promote
If those three motherfuckers can’t tell me why they left, then I can’t tell you either
Oh Martha! with a new line-up consisting of Brad Mowen (Burning Witch, Sweaty Nipples, Apes of Wrath) on vocals, Prof. Iman A. Phid (The Pleasure Elite) on bass, and Mike Peterson (Apes of Wrath, Bam Bam) on skins. Although Niemeyer’s buzz saw guitar style and spastic riffs are key ingredients in the Accüsed’s music, people are bound to be suspicious. With only one original member, can the Accused maintain the integrity of their original sound? Niemeyer is well aware of the challenge. “Their concerns are also my concerns. The last thing I want is someone thinking I’m gonna attempt to get one over on the fans. I have no delusions about what people expect when they hear the name the Accüsed. It’s my responsibility currently to make sure [the new lineup] represents like a motherfucker! I can honestly say, it does… and then some! There was an Accüsed before Blaine, now there’s an Accüsed after. If you’re a fan of the Accüsed music and sound, this will not disappoint you. If you’re a personal fan of Blaine’s, then it will, cuz
he’s not in it.” Still suspicious? The Accüsed take the stage August 4th at the Cobalt followed by shows in Edmonton on the 5th and 6th.You be the judge. n
Upper Canadian Blues Music notes from in, out and around Toronto, ON by Cameron Gordon
his month’s news report starts with the unexpected, unexplained demise of From Fiction, the popular math/metal outfit that recently released their debut full-length Bloodwork on Last Gang Records. The announcement came on the eve of the annual North by NorthEast festival. Still no word on reasons behind the split or the amount of bruised egos, feelings and/or foreheads involved… There is probably not a more resilient mofo in all of Toronto than Keith Hamilton of the Postage Stamps. In addition to his duties with the band, Keith helms the popular Pitter Patter Nights showcase series. In spite of his willingness to give stage time to some of this city’s finest up-and-comers, Keith has continually been given the shimmy sham, the short end of the stick and the old switcheroo by bar owners and landlords, all of whom shall remain name-
less for the sake of good taste. Luckily, The Session of Queen Street West has agreed to take in Pitter Patter Nights, and Keith already has a steady stream of bookings coming out of his ass for the new digs, including shows with such popular favourites Lunchmeat, Boyfriend Material and Fjord Rowboat. Looks good on him too as Keith doesn’t get nearly enough credit for being a true binding force within the Toronto indie scene. Check the WWW for more details… Gerard Van Herk is one batty duck. By day, he’s a linguistics professor. By night, he does some other stuff. Including stuff like the final Voodoo BBQ, a reunion gig of sorts that went down recently at the Silver Dollar.Van Herk is most known as one half of 1980’s sludgebilly act Deja Voodoo, and the Voodoo BBQs were an annual tradition in the band’s hometown of Montreal. But then the band stopped and the BBQs stopped. Until now. The last ever BBQ featured GVH burning through a number of DV classics plus a reunion set by the House of Knives. By all accounts, the evening was charred
and fatty and just dripping with the savory juices of nostalgia…. The Vatikan, a popular night spot for GTA vampires and their ghoul-friends, buried the hammer for the final time in early July. Since 2000, the bar had catered to Toronto’s goth community and had built a reputation for spinning the finest in heavy-handed industrial, goth, kraut and like-minded music. Unfortunately, an attempt to turn the spot into more of a live music venue shriveled audiences to the size of Frankenstein’s scrotum. I suppose you could say that was the final nail in this coffin… And finally, legendary Toronto promoter Gary Topp has managed to glean the score of all scores, at least from a concert going perspective. Gary has managed to secure a local live date from that elusive purveyor of crooked homespun death folk, Jandek. The hipster fave will be playing a one-off gig on September 17th at The Centre Of Gravity on Gerrard Street. The space is a circus school during daylight hours, which may or may not be funny. Or ironic. n
The Husbands Gettin’ Your Ass Kicked by a Girl By Herman Menervemanana
oddammit, when will the Husbands show up on Little Steven’s Underground Garage? The all-girl three-piece from San Francisco has been making me flip my all-man hairpiece ever since I first heard their second and most recent full-length, There’s Nothing I’d Like More Than to See You Dead. What a fucking wing-ding this album is – from its well-appointed taste in covers (“Never Again” by the Shangri-Las, “Bar-B-Q” by obscure Stax songbird Wendy Rene, “Much Too Late” by Tarheel Slim and Lil’ Anne), to its 13 other crash and reverb lollipop Husband originals, There’s Nothing… demonstrates an impossible-to-fake garage-honed nitty gritty, and none of its songs exceed two minutes. Except for a version of Roy Orbison’s “Running Scared” – delivered like the JAMC being pursued by the ghosts of the Dixie Cups in tatty wedding dresses – which comes in at just over three minutes. Which would make it their “Bohemian Rhapsody”. In short – I’m in love with them (in a purely asexual Pebbles-oriented record nerd way, of course). Little Steven? Are you listening? “Actually we were just talking about Little Steven at lunch,” says guitarist-vocalist Sadie Shaw,
calling from the Husbands central command in San Francisco. “I wanna send him a cd. I love him. He hasn’t called us but if you talk to him, get him to call us.” Will do, Sadie. The Husbands released their first album, Introducing the Sounds of…, in 2003 on Swami Records. It’s no slouch, either (killer version of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”, for one thing), but the second album is gigantic in comparison. “We worked on this record for, like, two years,” Shaw says. “And there’s a big gap between the two records coming out. The first one, it had the merit of being recorded with John Reis (Rocket from the Crypt, Swami Records), and we were a new band, and there was ‘first record’ excitement. It’s dynamic and has energy, but just isn’t as well thought out. I feel that we kinda got more nervy with the slow songs (on There’s Nothing…). Before we were just a lot more like a garage band. We love slow soul songs and blues…” …Which brings us to “Just Like That”, a midtempo, mid-‘60s pop confection and my favourite track from There’s Nothing… It’s perfect. Shaw and Sarah Reed (lead vocals/guitar) both have the kind
of throats Phil Spector would have drilled all the way to teenage millionaire nirvana; a little flat, but all sweet. There’s also a fuck-yeah Question Mark and the Mysterians organ break. These girls (rounded out by Casey Ward on the champagne sparkle vintage Rogers drumkit) have their collective head up the kind of stuff that makes little Herman drool, then. “Obviously we pay homage to a lot of bands,” Shaw says with a laugh, and reels off some favourites: “The Pandoras – I don’t think people know enough about ‘em - the Brood, the Shangri-Las, the Runaways, the Girls from the Garage compilations, the Monster Women, who we’re bringing up North but not to Canada… My new favourite current band is from Canada,” she adds. “The King Khan and BBQ Show.” “Oh yeah, “ I say, and tell Shaw about BBQ’s recent snit-fit on Nardwuar’s show. “It was a righteous rock ‘n’ roll moment,” I assure her. “Nobody was
injured.” “You and I should just get in a big argument,” Shaw suggests, rather sensibly I think. “Okay.You could argue that I’m not nearly well–enough prepared for this interview.” “You call this an interview?!” She barks. The Husbands are playing in Vancouver, September 3rd, at Pub 340. If you miss ‘em then you’re a flowery twat. n
The Nerve August 2006 Page 13
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he Panic Channel is the new LA-based corporate rock band project featuring the ex-members of Jane’s Addiction who haven’t tried to desperately reinvent themselves as DJs and mince into Vancouver every once in a while to spin lame sets at Sonar and rake in $20 cover charges from the depressingly ever-present legions of clueless techno kids. Let’s assess the Panic Channel’s lineup, starting with its biggest dicksqueeze: guitarist Dave Navarro. This mestizo version of Prince obviously didn’t realize the potential he had in the post-Jane’s trio Deconstruction (which also featured ex-Jane’s bassist Eric Avery, who had the good sense to smell the oncoming bullshit and disappear from the mainstream with his indie band Polar Bear forever after), and he blew it big time during his brief stint in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He couldn’t keep his marriage to uber-trophy-wife Carmen Electra intact, either. And now he’s hosting one or two numbfuck reality TV shows where former vocalists for Vancouver also-rans Cherrybomb get the humiliatingly Imperial thumbs-down on global television while has-been geeks like Gilby Clarke, Jason Newsted, and Tommy Lee fuck around in the background. Goes to show what everyone knows as they walk past Main and Hastings: junkies are incompetent. Drummer Stephen Perkins is as rhythmically imaginative as ever, even if the Travis Bickle hairjob he now sports is lamer than a Langley kid’s fauxhawk. Bassist Chris Chaney, a heartless musical opportunist if there ever was one (the modern-day Rudy Sarzo, perhaps?), at least has the brains to keep his mouth shut and look romantic-consumptive for the camera, which is what he’s best at. Which leaves the front man: Steve Isaacs. Believe me, I tried my damnedest to keep a jaded sneer on my face while interviewing this guy, but he was just too damned nice, and he melted my cold, stony heart with his unstoppably positive sincerity. It’s quite obvious that this perky and forthright California singer-songwriter (formerly of Skycycle… and no, I’ve never heard of them, either) has been given one hell of a lucky break and is deliriously happy with his new lot and landlords, so who am I to shit on his parade? He’ll figure it out once he starts wondering why the royalty cheques are so fucking small. Nerve: Is it true that you met Dave Navarro while waiting in a wet-bar lineup while you were backstage at some awards show? Isaacs: Yes! (laughs) In all my travels through all sorts of odd corners in the entertainment business, I’ve run into Dave several times over the years. I was always really impressed by what an affable, friendly guy he truly was. The first time I met him was right at the height of Jane’s Addiction’s popularity, and the next time was right around when he released his solo record, and the time after that was when he was doing the ‘Til Death Do Us Part show with Carmen (Electra) on MTV. Every time I met him he was in different phases of his career, but every time he was the same guy. The same approachable, down-toearth personality, and it never seemed like he really changed all that much. He never once gave me the “I love you, but don’t touch me” attitude. Nerve: With you being the main songwriter, do you find that when it comes time to bring your song sketches into the rehearsal room - do the songs spring into life faster than expected? Isaacs: Each song ended up taking its own path. We ended up not really having a template for
Holy fuck, we are BRINGIN’ IT!
anything. A few of them were songs I’d worked on at home and brought in to the guys more or less fully fleshed-out. A lot of the songs came about by Dave being all excited about a riff. Dave would walk into the room and start jamming on this riff, and then Perkins jumps in on the drums. It takes Perkins about zero-point-zero seconds to know what the right beat is to fit in over Navarro’s parts, which is beautiful. And Chris can play anything, simply because he’s a master of the bass. And then it would be up to me to form that into a song. Other songs were worked out by Dave and I before the other guys came into it. Nerve: Was it intimidating for you? Isaacs: It was, mostly because I was so familiar with Jane’s Addiction, who was a huge band for me, and played a large part in my musical development. I’d be in the jam space and I would realize that it was Stephen Perkins himself bashing away behind the drums, and my mind would snap. I’d think about the first time I saw Jane’s Addiction live at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, and my hair was blown back by it all… Whatever initial intimidation I dealt with was disarmed by how friendly the guys are. Once we all gathered together and I had a guitar on my shoulder, the musical vibe ignited and there was real common respect in the room. And that’s to their credit. I never once felt like I was walking cold into an existing unit, and I’d better watch my back until I made my bones. Nerve: When the time came to assemble the Panic Channel album, did you come into the studio with a wealth of songs and whittle it all down to the best choices? Isaacs: We didn’t hit the studio with 30 songs or anything. It was tough to figure out what type of record we were making. There’s a school of thought which says that albums should only be ten songs long at 45 minutes length. Then there was the recent trend of recording longer albums with more songs. Nerve: So if you’re drawing parallels between the literary and musical worlds, it’s like you’re composing a novel by using not too many chapters to tell the whole story. Isaacs:Yeah, exactly! There’s purpose to the economy of the process, to be sure. Are you creating an album where the listener can digest it all in one sitting and think: ‘I really liked that! I think I’ll rock it again,’ or do you think: ‘well, we’re on a major label and we don’t have a clue what’s going to happen with the whims of corporate agendas, so do we cram it all into one album?’ These days it’s more of a digitally a la carte world, as well. Should we just put as many songs as we can out there into the world that people can get their hands on? So we aimed for a balance there and made an album that wasn’t too short or too sprawling. Nerve: Are we going to see the Panic Channel live in Vancouver anytime soon? Isaacs: Hell yes! The plan is to tour before the end of the year. We have to plan our live shows around Dave’s TV commitments, so for the time being we’re going to play shows mostly in southern California and the Southwest. And your Vancouver is beautiful! I’ve heard such good things, and I’m really, really excited to visit. I’ve heard Vancouver being described as having this San Francisco-meets-Seattle culture. Nerve: Just make sure you describe it as “Funcouver.”
c i n a
The Nerve August 2006 Page 14
l e n n
By Johnny Kroll
a h C
The Panic Channel’s debut album ONe hits stores August 15th n
Run Chico Run
Gracias Por La Musica, Gringo Locos! By Ferdy Belland
There’s no room for rock stardom in Victoria, so people mostly get into music for the right reasons.
sked about the scene in his hometown of Victoria BC, Matt Skillings of Run Chico Run remarks, “It’s great. There’s refreshing stuff happening all the time. I did a bit of sound tech work at the Lucky Bar for a while, and I’m not sure if I would have been exposed to all this great Victoria music if I didn’t do that.Victoria’s the right sized place for people to be doing music. There’s no room for rock stardom here, so people mostly get into music for the right reasons.” Since January 1997, the astounding power duo of Thomas Shields and Matt Skillings have composed, performed and recorded under the moniker of Run Chico Run, and have for some time now firmly established themselves as one of the more talented and unique artists operating on the West Coast - or in Canada, for that matter. Both Tom and Matt are equally adept on vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums, and the songwriting comes fast and furious. When one treats themselves to a RCR show live in the flesh, it’s a thrilling sight to watch from up close as only two guys burst out so much sound and fury, and then pay witness (with equal amusement and astonishment) as both of the Chicos run about onstage and switch instruments in a frenzied blur - the indie-rock version of playing a game of ‘1, 2, 3, Red Light.’ “We’re getting ready to tour this August with the Old Soul from Toronto, and Panurge from Vancouver,” says Skillings. “Two-and-a-half weeks of the joy of driving in the blazing hot sun from Montreal home to Victoria. The tour’s booked east to west, a string of good shows all the way back… but I’ve never done anything like this before; we’re deadheading all the way out to Montreal… from Lethbridge! We must be insane.” Run Chico Run didn’t start out as an inventive duo from the outset; in fact, the band’s early history is a classic example of quality over quantity, trimming away the deadwood, and the powers of improvising, adapting, and overcoming for the better. Formed originally as a standard quartet, the lineup was reduced to a trio following the release of its debut album Lofimofo. For the next year after that, the three-piece RCR finished the Asecretaryspeaks EP and its second album Melee, but the now-and-forever version of the band which we all know and love came about by default in 1998. Facing the second
seven-week jaunt across Canada in its history, RCR’s erstwhile third member decided enough was enough and jumped ship at the last minute. Undaunted, Shields and Skillings (who were getting used to this quitter-bullshit more by design than by choice) honoured the tour dates and did them all as a two-piece, predating Death From Above 1979’s presence by many years and echoing the early efforts of fellow Victorians NoMeansNo. Legend has it that while driving between shows, one Chico would man the wheel while the other Chico would practice playing drums and keyboards simultaneously; one can only imagine the setup inside the tour van. Madness, to be sure, but Shields and Skillings are nothing if not crazy - like the proverbial fox. Besides, there was no one left in the band to bail on them anymore. “After playing together as Run Chico Run for nine years,” reflects Skillings, “the time doesn’t seem to have flown by, exactly… I must be an old guy (laughs). It’s all been great. The hardest part about all of our adventures with the band has been trying to keep track of all the people we meet.You meet lots of good folks when you’re touring, and when you can’t remember them the next time you meet them, you feel like a dick.You don’t forget them because you didn’t love them – you forget them because your brain mushes out on the road. Every once in a while you get blown away by a great fucking band you happen to be playing with, and that always fucking rules. We played recently with Oneida and they were just amazing. Wicked drummer! I love hearing good drummers.” Vancouver’s Boompa Records took interest in Run Chico Run following the 2001 release of their third full-length album A New Peak in Lowdowness, which showed Skillings and Shields becoming more and more comfortable in their two-man songwriting role. The official signing to the label soon followed that, and 2004’s internationally-acclaimed CD Shashbo nailed them firmly into the hipster consciousness with its continual improvement on the band’s unique form. The 2006 release Slow Action showcases even more adventurous rhythms and melodies (if that’s possible) and only goes to show that everybody goes prog sooner or later, once they move beyond those introductory Black Sabbath riffs. “When you’re writing a song, you can approach it like you’re a five-piece band if you want to fill it out that way,” explains Skillings. “On the last album, we wrote songs specifically as a two-piece, where I’m playing the drums one-handed and do only stuff we feel we can pull off live. And that’s fun and challenging and keeps things different. I only play three instruments - drums, guitar, and keyboards – but that can mean a lot of different things when it comes to composing. Tom plays baritone guitar as well, and he’s picked himself up a new synthesizer, testing it out, scratching his chin and checking the tone. We always try to keep it exciting. Trying to write a song is a fun challenge in itself. It doesn’t matter how many people are involved. It’s joyous. I’m not sure what other light I could shed on our two-piece situation. Once you see it, it makes whatever sense it can make. It is what it is… don’t you think?” n
Ghengis Tron Genre Eugenics
ou know that sound adults make in the Peanuts cartoons? WA WA WA WAH. Like it doesn’t matter where Charlie Brown is, all adults sound exactly the same. They even sounded like that when the gang went to France in Bon Voyage Charlie Brown for fuck’s sakes. That in mind, if there was a sound adults all around the world heard whenever obnoxious kids played music too loud, it would probably sound like Poughkeepsie three-piece Genghis Tron. Crunching guitars, screaming vocals and electronic bleeps.You could be listening anything but that’s all adults are ever going to hear prior to yelling, “Turn that shit down.” Fusing electro/idm beats with grindcore/metalcore guitar riffs and vocals, Genghis Tron’s sound is an insane and over-the-top contradiction that lends itself to a million great metaphors.You could literally spend days coming up with good ones. But the best metaphor you could come up with to describe their sound would be to say Genghis Tron sound like a bunny rabbit running in front of a truck - which is also what prematurely ended their tour last summer. Lead screamer, Mookie Singerman, tells the tale. “We had a 13-hour drive between Lubbock, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona, We had to get some of it out of the way the night before so we were driving at like three in the morning. We were all pretty tired and a rabbit jumped in front of the truck and startled the driver. We flipped the truck one and a half times and the trailer flew off. Both the trailer and the truck were totaled. Miraculously, everybody in the truck was okay. Still, that scared us and makes the prospect of touring for so long frightening. But it’s something that comes with the territory.” Despite all that still being fresh in their memories, these guys aren’t letting it get to them too much as they started an epic North American van tour of 56 cities - which will see them in Vancouver on August 30 at the Pic - almost immediately after the release of their debut full-length Dead Mountain Mouth. Recorded by Kurt Ballou of Converge, Dead Mountain Mouth, defies genres as deftly as it will polarize listeners. This, of course, is the point according to Singerman. “[We] really started the band with just an idea to meld really brutal grindcore with ‘90s assshaking booty hip-hop, which you could hear on our first two songs we ever wrote “Ride the Steambolt”
By Michael Mann
and “Rock Candy”. Immediately after we wrote the [Cloak of Love] ep and recorded it we knew, more than anything, instead of referencing other genres we wanted to work on creating our own.” Furthering their aim to both rock and confound you, the album art for Dead Mountain Mouth is equally perplexing. Artist Jon Beasley built a one-foot tall geodesic dome, placed it in the hills of Malibu and lit it on fire as he took pictures. Talking about art, Singerman says, “It’s of the utmost importance to us. A lot of times we get pigeonholed as a metalcore band which is pretty funny because I think we’re pretty far from that. That imagery is insanely misogynistic and clichéd. As with every other aspect of the band, we want our art to stand out and stand on its own.” Their preoccupation with art and genre eugenics might explain why Genghis Tron play a lot heavier than one would suspect by looking at the people in the audience. Much like the Locust or An Albatross, they play hard and scream loud but attract more soul patch stroking art school kids than head-banging metalhead Neanderthals. “Whether that’s through art or through the music, it certainly is reflected in the crowd that comes out to see us. It’s a pretty diverse and eclectic group of kids which allows us to take bands on tour with us that are totally weird…but we never ever want to be confined to one genre in terms of music or art or the types of crowds we’re drawing.” If you’re keeping a running tally of the endless queue of paradoxes this band embodies, you might be wondering: are Genghis Tron some absurd and ironic joke? After a bit of prodding, Singerman breaks down and confesses. “The first EP, there was certainly that going on. I guess we were just trying to fuck with people’s heads. That’s a hard thing to keep up when you’re in a band full time - at this moment it’s our life’s work. It’s hard to be so tongue-in-cheek about everything. Especially after the car accident, we had a lot of family and health issues. The new record has taken a lot more of a serious and darker tone and I guess any irony has been thrown out the window. We all have a good sense of humour but at a certain point if you’re working so hard on everything you kind of have to take it seriously because a lot’s on the line.” n
I guess we were just trying to fuck with people’s heads. That’s a hard thing to keep up when you’re in a band full time.
The Nerve August 2006 Page 15
Silver Jews …Are Getting Back Into You I
fell blindly backwards into the music of Silver Jews. Last year’s release of Tanglewood Numbers on Drag City was my first exposure to the poetic David Berman, and the album graced my turntable for such an extended period, I am wary to admit how long exactly, since it might seem unhealthy and unnatural to most. Some of my friends began to worry when my life became something that only interrupted listens, but I was happy to be held hostage by such a remarkable concoction. Silver Jews made it okay to emphatically smile in the face of heartache, through lost and lonely lyrics with their snickers of humour and hints of folklore, all of it melodically blended with the sounds of 14 other talented musicians including founding fathers of Pavement, Steve Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. Although their contributions can be felt, they by no means overshadow the mastermind behind the effort. It’s David Berman’s low and loosely sung lyrics that are compelling, strung together like freshly laundered linens hung on a country clothesline, with the past cleansed and the promise of new intimacy waiting for the breeze. I wondered why I had not heard of the 12 year Silver Jews’ history. Perhaps it was my poor knitting skills that kept me from the secret inner workings of those tight indie circles. I have since chalked it up to Mr. Berman’s refusal to tour, leaving hell-sized holes in the standard paths of promotional press. With the release of Tanglewood Numbers, he has overcome past prejudices to the best of his abilities and has decided to grace us all with the opportunity to hear his songs live. Still, Berman’s reluctance to tour, recent personal crises, and a classically creative temperament (he also published a book of poetry, Actual Air, in 1999) mingled with my overactive imagination to the extent that I was expecting a Don van Vliet, Andy Partridge, Syd Barrett (RIP) type of guy when I called the Berman residence. Somebody buried in
By Melinda Michalak was a great painting,’ but the main impetus for touring is this album and the time in his life, where he was trying new things. He thrives in the home, so being on tour is more challenging for him then it is for those that are really social, or those who have done it for years.” After listening to past recordings, Tanglewood Numbers seems to be more musically progressive, with a greater attention to detail, creating a subtly rich sound that doesn’t step on the toes of the lyrics. On songs like “There is a Place”, a guitar is made to sound like the bells of a railroad crossing. “To me, it gave the space inside that song,” Berman explains, “Like
They didn’t make Picasso go out and paint his paintings over and over in front of people.
eccentricities and inaccessible to outsiders. When he opened the discussion with his thoughts on Nellie from Little House on the Prairie, I panicked that the roller coaster was about to begin, but what I found instead was a mild and methodical man just trying to make it all work out. Asked about touring, Berman says, “When I am on tour I like the hour-and-15 minute or so set we play the best. Once I am up there, I feel very comfortable. I didn’t think I would, but I feel natural.” Berman’s wife Cassie, a singing, bass-playing Silver Jew herself,
adds, “The tour has been great. Sometimes it seemed the smaller the club, the more fun it was. I don’t think we would have grown as a band or had as good of a time if we only played big venues. We’re playing Pitchfork in Chicago this weekend. I think that is 16000 people. That’s like stultifying, that number of people.” She continues, “In the past, David has gotten a band together just to make an album and that’s about it. He used to say things like, ‘They didn’t make Picasso go out and paint his paintings over and over in front of people. People just thought that
it was bound on one side by the sound of the tracks. I also added a door bell sound for ‘Getting Back Into You’ live, to give it more of a stalker element, like ‘ding dong, here I am, singing this song to you.’” I would be content to only have Silver Jews recordings because of their brilliance, but I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to hear them twist to life and see them twinkle in the kind of light that a live performance can give. On September 6th at Richards on Richards, they will give us all the opportunity to be reassuringly blanketed in this experience. I may have fell blindly backwards into Silver Jews, but my timing was impeccable. n
Thanksgiving ...Not Thanksgiving
By BRock Thiessen
he term “singer/songwriter” is one of those labels that has slowly gathered a fine range of negative connotations over the years, usually invoking images of tedious coffee-shop balladry or soul-searching nonsense that you’re often better off without. Then somewhere down the line someone got the bright idea to start trying to avoid the ugly classification by giving themselves names like Smog, or Palace, or even Mountain Goats. “When I started playing music the idea of being a singer/songwriter was kind of cool,” says Adrian Orange, a.k.a. Thanksgiving, “but as soon as I started playing shows it immediately became, ‘You’d better watch out, or you’re not going to be able to play with the real bands.’” To avoid the deadly curse of the “singer/song-
The Nerve August 2006 Page 16
writer,” the Portland native quickly adopted the Thanksgiving moniker when he was in his early teens and has since made hoards of recordings that go way beyond just a guy singing over a guitar. Adrian Orange’s unique brand of fuzzy outsider-folk isn’t always the easiest to describe and, as a result, is often filed among the likes of Mount Eerie, Little Wings and Karl Blau by the adjectively-challenged like myself. At the tender age of 20, this young man has already recorded an impressively huge backcatalogue that will one day surely rival the likes of even Robert Pollard’s, and he’s nuts about to unleash his newest album, Bitches is Lord. This will mark his 7th full-length since 2002, and - just in case you were confused, Kevin Shield - that’s approximately 1.75
albums a year, OK? When I disturb his Sunday evening game of badminton to quiz him on Bitches, Orange is more than happy to talk. He starts his discourse by explaining how he came up with the title by simply altering a friend’s wallet on which the words “He is Lord” were printed. “The album has a lot of different themes going on that I felt were all related, but I didn’t really know how to tie them all together,” he says. “Then all of a sudden this title just kind of made sense. I felt it united them in a way that seems appropriate in a bold way.” Orange goes on to say that Bitches, which was recorded alone in his Portland home, is really just the next step in the evolution of his last two records, the incredible Cave Days and Moments and the epic triple album, Thanksgiving. While the textures of Orange’s guitars and percussion still possess a certain lo-fi quality, his recording techniques have evolved and been refined, making his newest record the best recorded yet. With respect to Bitches, Orange explains that its theme isn’t far from the one found in Spike Lee’s classic film, Do the Right Thing, which he had just watched for the second time the night before I called. “The movie shows how every person has a choice at every moment to do the right thing or not,” he says. “It shows how everyone is trying to be truthful but, at the same time, is kind of lying to
themselves in one way or another. I don’t know if my album does it as well as that movie, but I’d like to think that I’m going towards that also.” To drive this message of truthfulness home even further, Orange has also decided to pull a Will Oldham on our asses. “I want to be more honest about the world and my songs,” he declares, “and so I thought I should just be more honest about my name and who I am.” As a result, the name Thanksgiving has been temporarily dropped, and his new full-length is instead credited to Adrian Orange. There were plenty of things we could have talked about, but it was obvious that the foremost thing on Orange’s mind was Bitches. After a pleasant chat concerning his friendship/ collaboration with Phil Elverum (Mount Eerie/ the Microphones); the “blood gutters” lining the interior of Marriage Records; and his plans to record with a full band on his next “exciting dance/pop record,” we eventually return to Bitches and some last words to reflect on: “I want it to be a really empowering message because I think that no matter what the government’s doing, and your neighbours are doing, or even your friends are doing, the point is that you have the choice all the time.” Bitches will be out August 8th via Marriage Records, and Thanksgiving will be in Vancouver September 2nd with Good Time John (from Ireland!), venue TBA. So check http://marriagerecs.com/ for details. n
I want to be more honest about the world and my songs
“I Don’t Like Heavy Metal”
By Herman Menervemanana
ike the man says, nothing is certain except for death and taxes. Add heavy metal to that very short list. Heavy metal has survived decades of assault now, but you can’t kill it. Nietzsche managed to kill God, but no man – no matter how super, or even super-duper – can kill heavy metal. If you could put heavy metal in a kiln, for a thousand years… that might work. Not that we have the time to find out. If you hit it with a hammer, it breaks down into a thousand little forms of heavy metal – all of them bursting with new life. All you can do is watch as they scamper off to Norway, or the Cobalt message board, or David Von Bentley’s CD collection. One of those tiny and vicious banger homunculi turned up in Washington, DC, in the form of Darkest Hour: a band that might provide some clues to the genre’s astounding durability. Although clearly indebted to the poe-faced metalvangelists of Gothenburg – the band even managed to crack the somewhat xenophobic outer-shell of Swedish purism to record its second to last album at Studio Fredman – Darkest Hour is also genetically predisposed to prog and a smidgeon of screamo. To give it all a little historic and geographic context, Darkest Hour then flips into hardcore territory as much as anything else, and you can’t help but think of Bad Brains whenever that happens. After six years of mounting acclaim, the band’s newest album, Undoing Ruin, is universally held to be its coming out party, where Darkest Hour’s heightened intelligence – something of a precious metal in the largely braindead community it comes from – is perfectly matched to its monstrous chops and blossoming songwriting talent. Add to this a live show that’s verging on legendary, and it would seem that this is indeed the year, the month, the day of the Darkest Hour. Ironically, Undoing Ruin is also Darkest Hour’s most inward looking piece of work, as if the tempestuous, zig-zagging trajectories that define tracks such as “With a Thousand Words to Say But One” exist as some sort of external map of singer John Henry’s volatile brain-chemistry. My theory about Henry’s lyrical navel-gazing is quite simple: the album was recorded in Vancouver. And we all know that Vancouver is full of fruits and New Age bozos. Did Darkest Hour end up getting cornered by some crystal-touting honky falafel urging them to explore their “feelings”? Guitarist Mike Schleibaum, speaking to the Nerve from his home in the corporate headquarters of America – Washington, DC – puts me straight about that. “We kinda said what we had to say on the Sadist Nation… record and it’s not worth saying again,” he explains. “There’s no need to continually write politi-
cal lyrics. On this record, there were other things going on in (John Henry’s) life that he wanted to express…” VanGroover nonetheless had an impact on the finished product, if Schleibaum’s next statement is anything to go by. His impressions of our fair city? “We loved it.You guys have a much more intelligent drug policy, which is the first thing that we noticed.” The fact that Schleibaum actually lives in Washington DC fascinates me (which in turn amuses him). Among the things I learn: you can fish at the Washington Monument, but you won’t catch anything (“Uh… there’s no fish there,” he tells me, with a ‘stupidest-question-ever’ chuckle). Also, a “crime emergency” was declared a couple of weeks ago, because decent white folk keep getting murdered, and worse. “Basically, it’s just a bunch of crime committed in a white area,” he says. “That’s what it boils down to. We’ve had 12 murders in 12 days, and the last one was a really, really brutal crime – this guy was stabbed and his girlfriend was raped, while they were walking home from a movie or something, in a really nice part of town.” The upshot is a hugely increased police presence, in a city with an already massive police presence. Says Schleibaum, “But it doesn’t really seem to do anything…” Well, there’s the rub. I also get the skinny on those retarded pH scale “Terror Level” warnings gumming up the propaganda and celebrity bulletins on CNN. “When the terror level gets to be orange – which is really high – there’s this grey blimp that circles the city, and it’s very Orwellian. There’s all sorts of special things that happen here, in ‘the heart of the beast’ as you called it.” In the spirit of foreign exchange, I get to tell Schleibaum something about his city that even he doesn’t know: namely, that the extremely right wing daily Washington Times is owned by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. He’s astounded. “Whoa…” he says, softly. “That’s pretty crazy.” Yes it is. It’s completely FUCKED. But we’re not here to talk about America’s behind-the-scenes network of wealthy fascist bully-boys and Mind Control obsessed State-sanctioned Caligaris. “That’s for a
different interview,” chides Schleibaum, although he’s actually referring to Sammy Hagar’s pre-Van Halen work when he says that. What??? Did you know that Sammy Hagar was abducted by aliens in 1968? (Check out the book Alien Rock by Michael C Luckman). Hagar’s publishing company is called The Nine Songs, after the Council of Nine, which is the name given to the nine Egyptian Gods who are otherwise considered to be behind the ET phenomenon. This is horseshit, of course. Total disinformation. Hagar can believe what he wants, but the most plausible explanation for Abduction experiences points to the US military and civilian intelligence communities, for God knows what depraved reason. Darkest Hour, meanwhile, has made contact with an actual, living, breathing, walks-among-us presence from another dimension: Devin Townsend. The local metal messiah produced Undoing Ruin, and Schleibaum is uninhibited about crediting him. “A lot of that leap is down to Devin’s input,” he says, when I declare the new album is by far the band’s best. I write this in a final effort to persuade you, dear reader, to check out Darkest Hour as it travels across Canada in August. If you’re a discerning metalhead, you already have your ticket. If you’re if’n, on the other hand – stop it. Just go. Darkest Hour is on the vanguard of metal’s new frontier. “There are a lot of givens about what Darkest Hour is gonna be. Darkest Hour is gonna be metal, it’s gonna be heavy.You’re not gonna get a ska song on the next record,” Schleibaum says, adding, “(But) there’s huge room in the death metal, thrash metal, heavy metal genre, to move around.” In short, Schleibaum confides, with Undoing Ruin, the band wanted to “shake things up.” And it did. Darkest Hour is keeping the scene honest in that way, and thank God. Now that I’ve made my point, let’s get to my favourite part of any interview – where we shoot the shit about Sammy Hagar’s alien abduction: “Dude, I believe it,” announces Schleibaum. “If I was an alien, fuck! Why wouldn’t I pick Sammy Hagar? I wanna party with Sammy. He seems like a
This is awesome because it’s a Canadian interview, but about a year ago I discovered April Wine. “Roller”. Good song.
nice guy. That’s all I’m saying. I think it’s weird that him and Michael Anthony are on tour, but… so? I’ll say this in an interview, and it can be printed, I also think that there are some really good Sammy Hagar/Van Halen songs.” Shut the fuck up! “I said it, man! Am I saying that he’s better than Dave Lee Roth? Never. Am I saying that Roth-era Van Halen is equal to Hagar-era? No! But I am saying there are some good tunes, man. That’s all I’m saying.” Name one. “Oooh…” I can hear Schleibaum’s wheels turning. “I gotta name a really good one. ‘AFU (Naturally Wired)’. It’s off 5150 I think. Or maybe it’s on OU812 – hold on, I have to look on my cd here because I cannot have you print the wrong info. Actually I’m gonna pull out the vinyl, cause I have it on vinyl.Yeah – it’s on OU812 – good fucking Van Halen song, man.” That’s not what I was expecting to hear today, I say. “Hey, hey,” Schleibaum says. “Shit happens when you get old, that’s all I’m saying.” I’m even older than Schleibaum (who isn’t old, by the way), and I know what he’s talking about.You mellow, your tastes evolve. Broccoli starts to taste good, if you know what I mean. What’s Schleibaum’s favourite Rolling Stones record? “It’s just lame to say Sticky Fingers, eh?” No!!! “It’s funny, in the past couple years I really got into the Stones. Before that they were just too old for me, I never really grasped it. There’s a lot of bands that four or five years ago I would have not liked, but now I love. And it’s weird as you start to open up to different styles of music. I have to say, the most fuckin amazing band that I wrote of for years and despised but now secretly love is Aerosmith. I fucking hated Aerosmith and I still stand behind it: any Aersomith from the ‘90s sucked.” Good Lord, sir – even Nine Lives? “The first two Aerosmith records are fuckin’ awesome. I had a conversation with Danko Jones, I met him at this European fest we played, we like a lot of the same bands, and I says, ‘Have you heard Aerosmith Aerosmith? It’s not that bad!’ And he was like, ‘You need to get Aerosmith Rocks!’ And I just didn’t think there was another good Aerosmith record, cause I really, really don’t like Aerosmith. But I believed him, cause it’s Danko Jones, I’ll check it out, shit… And it’s a good record and I stand corrected. It’s funny – all the guys in DH, we don’t listen to metal all the time, so… we enjoy discovering old bands. This is awesome because it’s a Canadian interview, but about a year ago I discovered April Wine. I love that style of rock, kinda ‘70s, almost pre-glam. ‘Roller’. Good song.” In case this is making any of you nervous, Schleibaum also touts Dillinger Escape Plan (“They make it okay to be intelligent”), Entombed, and the last NIN album. Finally, does Darkest Hour’s success match up with the vision Schleibaum no doubt carried as a young dreamer with a downy new pubis? “You still have to pay for strippers, and that’s weird,” he says, “‘Cause I thought you’d get ‘em for free, but it’s pretty cool. I never thought I would have made it this far, and it still really surprises me when I think, ‘Fuck, I’m gonna be able to pay rent this month’.You always feel like you’re living on borrowed time.” Schleibaum and I wrap things up with a quick reality check. “The funniest thing about doing interviews is, half the time, what they print is not exactly what you said anyway. That’s always the thing. I have been quoted in interviews as saying I don’t like heavy metal. Or I don’t listen to heavy metal, or I don’t like any heavy metal bands. These are things that someone said that I said, that are obviously not true.” I’m gonna make that the title. “Yeah - I don’t like heavy metal”. You heard him, kids! He said it!! n
The Nerve August 2006 Page 17
SOUNDS OF THE UNDERGROUND PNE FORUM
TODD RUNDGREN COMMODORE BALLROOM
RICHARD’S ON RICHARDS
BILLY BRAGG COMMODORE BALLROOM
ELECTRIC SIX RICHARD’S ON RICHARDS
The Nerve August 2006 Page 18
As seen onâ€Ś
$ www.virginmusic.ca www.redjumpsuit.com
1/8/06 Page 13:52:58 The Nerve August 2006 19
No Christ Illusions
By Dave Bertrand
But I’m thinking too hard. It’s Slayer! They burned down GM Place on July 13th (filmed for DVD posterity), headlining the Unholy Alliance Tour with Children of Bodom, Lamb of God, Mastodon, and Thine Eyes Bleed. Backstage, I met the friendly, ferocious, tattooed Mr. King and grilled him on the impending new CD, Christ Illusion. It’s a King album – seven of 10 songs are his – and unlike GHUA which King considers “more street”, Christ Illusion is a broader all-encompassing assault. “Consfearacy”, for example: “It’s sort of my anti-government song,” says King. “I don’t really do politics, but this one, it’s written very general in the way it’s presented. No matter where you live, you hate something about your government. I think the only thing that makes it American is one line: I can’t relate to your verbal idiocy, and that was about Bush, cause Bush always makes up fuckin’ words that don’t exist.” To offend, there’s also Hanneman’s “Jihad”– a Tipper Gore fave – written from the angle of a 9-11 terrorist, and King’s bluntly antiChristian “Cult”. “I think Southern California is becoming it’s own little micro-climate of Bible Belt,” King explains. “All kinds of people into Church and stuff, they’ll have a big back window sticker: ‘[This Company’s] Not of this World’. ‘Jesus Freak’ written in tribal. They’re trying to get cool with Jesus. But if an atheist or a Satanist did that, and put a pentagram on their back window or ‘I Hate God’ or anything, Church-goers would be the first to key your car and break your fuckin’ windows. I think those kind of people in religion – it’s a cult. The biggest cult in the world.” 2005-2006 has been the epoch of the Slayer revival. For the first time since 1990’s Season in the Abyss, founding Slayerite and erstwhile avant-garde musical everyman Dave Lombardo – who looked
like a malnourished junkie backstage at GM – is back on drums. Same goes for Larry Carroll, who puked out the covers of Reign, South, and Seasons. His Christ Illusion canvas features a dying junkie Jesus – two amputated arms, an eye-patch, tattoos (of himself) – standing in an ocean of blood and floating heads. Ah... bloody heads. Last year, Slayer (including Dave) performed its beloved thrash opus Reign in Blood in its entirety, on a 20th anniversary tour. In an unusually theatrical move, the band was doused in torrents of fake gore during the “Raining Blood” grand finale. According to King it made the song a real bitch to perform: “It’s like somebody sprayed WD-40 all over your guitar.” Any chance of another classic album revival tour? “[Reign] is the only one,” King states firmly, “I wouldn’t do South of Heaven, cause I fuckin’ hate “Cleanse the Soul”. It’s what we call a ‘happy riff’. I don’t know how we let that one slip by.” On his rare off days, King’s been crafting a line of his infamous nail-studded wristbands, hoping to one day sell them for $100 apiece. It’s a slow process. “I got stuck around 34,” sighs the King. “My wife, millions of times says, ‘Let me help you put the nails through. Nobody will know.’ Yeah... but I’ll know. And I ain’t going to do that with kids thinking I did this myself. It’s probably going to take me like five years to do them all.” Confiding his trade secrets, I realize King easily has a second career in textiles and accessories. “Everything I’ve worn is homemade,” he states, proudly, “Even on the Show No Mercy album, Hell Awaits, all the shit I used to wear, I made it all. The only way to be unique is if you make it yourself.” DIY, yessir. Slayer rewrote a genre and they still own it. So ‘till next year – Kerry promises another Vancouver Slayer invasion, hopefully in a smaller venue with smaller prices. PRAISE HAIL SATAN. n
PHOTO: DALE DE RUITER
“Religion is a cult. The biggest cult in the world.”
t’s been well over 20 ungodly years now of Slaytanic speed thrash – Jesus! - thanks to the diehard outrageous whammy-strangling guitar duo of Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman; Kerry forever waving that metal flag, Jeff’s old-school hardcore mindset keeping it gritty, straight-up, and mean... But oi! They’re a nasty mess of contradictions – as a day job, Chilean vocalist/bassist Tom Araya preaches death to organized religion and
mythologizes serial murderer-rapists; at home, he’s a Catholic family man. Renowned for perpetually bastardizing the establishment, Slayer, on the post 911 God Hates Us All tour, suddenly shifted gears and reworked “Payback” into a rah-rah revenge anthem for the U.S. War Machine, complete with missile targets on Bin Laden’s head! Try as journalists might (and we have)... these inconsistencies are never answered for.
Is There Anything These Goombahs Can’t Do? (Part One)
Our first trip out this time is down in the States,” explains drummer-vocalist John Wright on the upcoming series of back-to-back marathon tours upon which Vancouver’s amazing NoMeansNo has helped build its hefty legend. “Our first show is September 13th in Seattle, and we’ve got four weeks of shows. We come back for a couple of weeks and then whip down to California and Arizona for two weeks, and then we’ll see if we can slip in a little trip over to Europe before Christmas. France, Spain, Portugal; we’re trying to take in some of the southern climes before winter comes.” This new round of activity from Western Canada’s much-admired and seldom-copied power trio is in sync with the imminent release of NoMeansNo’s latest album, All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt. “I’m pretty pleased with the album,” remarks Wright. “It was a strange collection of songs to start out with, but they coalesced into a little unit there. There were a few songs that didn’t totally blend in that we left off for a later date, but all in all we wanted to do more short, rocking-type songs. The last album (2000’s One) was pretty long and ponderous, and we haven’t done a punk rock album for a while. And it’s definitely one of the better recordings, for sure. Blair (Calibaba) is obviously a very good engineer and producer, and we went specifically to record in a large room this time. The last few albums were made in basement studios, so it was nice to get the bed tracks and the drums in a big room with big sound. And with the new digital recording processes, we had endless amounts of tracks to work with… lots of extra mics around the room. We weren’t limited by the number of tracks like we were in the analog days. It does mean a lot of extra time sifting through
The Nerve August 2006 Page 20
everything you’ve got! The album took a little longer and was a little more expensive than we expected, but it was worth it.” ARLTA has been released internationally on AntAcidAudio, which is another break from NoMeansNo’s traditional relationships with Alternative Tentacles in San Francisco. “AntAcidAudio is basically all the same people as Ipecac Records,” explains Wright. “It’s run by Greg Workman, who’s an old AT manager from back in the 1980s, and we were quite willing and happy to work with him again. So he formed AntAcidAudio as a sister label to Ipecac, so he can do things that he would like that aren’t just Mike Patton’s projects. But essentially he runs both labels, and it’s all the same people working there. He hasn’t put out a lot of stuff besides us and the Eagles of Death Metal. But Greg’s a good friend of ours, so it’s really nice to be working with people we trust.” When asked if the Wright brothers might resurrect their defunct indie label Wrong Records (on which many NMN albums were co-released through AT), John says: “Not really, not as a real record label, I wouldn’t think. None of us aspire to be record executives. Running a label takes a lot of work and a lot of energy and it’s a fulltime occupation. There’s no time to sit behind the drums anymore. There’s a lot of investment and you have to know what you’re doing, too.You have to know how to market records, or else you’ll quickly lose a lot of money and find yourself out of business… not something we long for, really. Wrong Records was kind of a cool idea, just to have some sort of umbrella, since we had distribution through Mordam ages ago, so other bands could actually get their albums manufactured and distributed, but it was set up as a cooperative where
By Ferdy Belland
The last album was pretty long and ponderous, and we haven’t done a punk rock album for a while
the band would pay for it, DIY-style… but it didn’t really pan out too much. We did a few records and it was fun, but bands can’t afford to do it on their own, and we couldn’t afford to finance them. It’s hard. With AT, they always had the Dead Kennedys, which in large part basically financed everything else.You need that one band that really sells well, and brings in the money and the attention, and unless you have that it’s very difficult to keep a label going.” Wright is next asked teaser questions about any new activity from NoMeansNo’s infamously enjoyable side-project band, the Hanson Brothers. “Nothing going on there,” Wright informs the Nerve. “We had a little fun with that during the hockey playoffs, which was cool, but at this point in time we have a pretty full plate of NoMeansNo to look after for the next year or so. We’ll be getting over to do the bulk of Europe again in the spring of 2007.” In September’s issue, John Wright continues with frank discussions about European response to rock
music and youth culture in general (and NoMeansNo in particular), as well as the boons of the Internet to indie bands. Stay tuned! Much more sage musings from a treasured local gem. n
Still Looking For a Kiss By Chris Walter
n a chilly spring evening in 1976, I found myself walking to a Winnipeg record store with my friend Gord. It was not easy to find new albums because the music industry was awash with horrid bands such as Foreigner and Boston, not to mention Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and Yes. As a hot-blooded teenager, I was very excited about rock music, but you could only listen to Hotel California so many times without losing the will to live. As much as I loved rock ‘n’ roll, these were not the best of times. Fortunately, Lester Bangs was helping us find new bands that didn’t suck. Lester, who wrote for rock magazines such as Creem, Trouser Press, and New York Rocker, had pointed us toward Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, who, in our opinion, made Eric Clapton and Robin Trower look like wimps. What good was musical ability if you used it to write lame songs like “Layla”? We needed something new. Gord pushed open the door and we stepped into the music store. A longhaired clerk in a satin shirt barely glanced at us. He seemed much more interested in whoever it was he was talking to on the phone. We walked down the aisles, taking in new releases by REO Speedwagon, Journey, and Kansas. “What a bunch of fucking crap!” said Gord, screwing up his face. I could only nod dumbly. Whenever I walked into a record store, I lost the ability to think and always left with a piece of shit. Lately, I’d been letting Gord pick the albums. “What are we gonna buy then?” I asked, looking around helplessly. Gord set his jaw and I knew that he felt pressure to find something good. Taking a deep breath, he marched over to a shelf and pulled a record off the wall. It was a double album with a black cover by a band called the New York Dolls. I was dubious. “Never heard of ‘em,” I said. “They sound kinda gay.” Gord turned the album over and we saw a picture of the band dressed up in women’s clothing. “Don’t get that!” I said with alarm. “They’re a bunch of drag queens!” But Gord didn’t seem to mind. “Lester Bangs says they’re good,” he said, sticking the album under his jacket. Gord was not a big guy and you could easily see the corners of the album poking through his jacket. “You fool! We’re gonna get caught!” I hissed. I’d already been busted for switching price tags on an Alice Cooper record and was scared shitless. Gord, however, was already on his way out the door. I rushed to catch up and we escaped into the freezing night. Gord hadn’t bothered to tell me that he was broke. Ten minutes later, we were back in the basement apartment we shared with another friend. “Whaddya got there?” asked Brett, beery and loud. Brett wasn’t into rock music the same way that me and Gord were, and was content to play the Rolling Stones endlessly.
“Never mind,” said Gord, cuing the album on his Dual turntable. His reputation was on the line and if this record sucked, he was no better than us. I was sure that I would hate Gord’s pick. The New York Dolls? They looked like girls! And then the music came out of the speakers. It was raunchy and raw, with distorted guitars and pounding drums. The singer had a gruff voice and sounded as if he drank whisky by the gallon. Snatches of harmonica and saxophone would emerge occasionally, only to be swallowed up by the dense guitars. It was dirty and loose, just the way rock ‘n’ roll should be. Gord and I looked at each other. “Holy shit!” said Gord. “Why aren’t these guys huge?” It was a good question, but I guess the world just wasn’t ready for those junkie freaks. The Dolls never made it big, but they proved that you didn’t have to be a musical prodigy to start a band. The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and the Clash picked up where the Dolls left off, and the rest is history. The new bands were often faster and heavier, but it was the Dolls who paved the way, and most of them knew it. Even the current crop of eyeliner wearing, leather covered, black haired, and tattoo sportin’ emo rockers owe a great debt to the rowdy New York rockers. Without the Dolls, Electric Light Orchestra might very well have taken over the world. Without them, Green Day might never have shipped 34.2 billion units. Okay, so there were a few glitches… Anyway, the Dolls crashed and burned a long time ago. No one was surprised when Billy Murcia, Johnny Thunders, and Jerry Nolan died young. It was a surprise, however, when rumours of a Dolls reunion surfaced in 2005. After all, only David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain, and Arthur Kane were still alive. But reunite they did, and when Arthur Kane died shortly after the band reformed, they hired Steve Conte, Sami Yafta, Brian Koonin, and Brian Delaney to fill in the missing pieces. When the Dolls played the Commodore Ballroom in the fall of 2005, I finally got to see David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain, who, for the last 30 years, were the closest thing to heroes I had. Little did I know that not too long after that, I would be talking to Sylvain Sylvain on the phone, chatting about Joey Ramone, Johnny Thunders, and Malcolm
McLaren as if they were not only his old friends, but mine as well. And in a way, they were/are. As soon as I finished gushing over the new album like a prepubescent girl, I asked Sylvain if he had worried about recording the new material. “Well, you always have doubts,” he says, with less of a New York accent than I thought he’d have. “Recording is a special thing. It’s like having babies, I guess. The artist is never quite ready to let the songs go on their own. But yeah, the recording was so much fun, and was easy in a way. Of course, we had a few ideas that sucked the big one. I think we figured out what worked and what didn’t by performing in front of the kids.” When I ask whether there are any more Dolls albums left in the hat, Sylvain laughs. “I hope it doesn’t take another 30 years! I mean sure, why not? You’re never too young and you’re never too old. You just keep going, and if we ever get a chance to make another one, that would be groovy.” Morrissey isn’t my favourite person, so I was hoping that he didn’t play a big part in reuniting the Dolls. It turns out that he was more important than I’d hoped. “He (Morrissey) was instrumental in convincing David. Silly and crazy guys would come along every year and offer me and Arthur good money and stuff, but David wasn’t so easily convinced. Even in his last project, the Harry Smith Band, he would tell the kids, ‘Hey, if you came to hear New York Dolls songs, forget about it. Go ask for your money back!’ The thing about Meltdown (1st reunion date) was that it was only supposed to be two shows. What happened was the audience went nuts, and David himself went nuts. It was fun again.” I want to know what happened to Shadow Morton, who produced Too Much Too Soon. “He wasn’t around and neither was Todd Rundgren, but actually, Jack Douglas, who produced this album, was our first engineer. He’s a close friend, and of course, he’d gone on to produce bands like Aerosmith and stuff. It was cool how that worked out.” It’s impossible for me not to talk about the old days, and ask what his thought were when bands like Television and the Ramones came busting out of CBGB’s in the ‘70s. “Well, I knew why they said ‘Thank you,’ to me, because if it wasn’t for the New York Dolls, there wouldn’t have been all those bands.
Before the Dolls, you had to sell as many records as the Beatles. We broke down those doors.
Before that, you had to sell as many records as the Beatles, and if you were a guitar player, you had to be, like, a Jeff Beck. We broke down those doors; we opened up those windows of opportunity. Patti Smith wouldn’t have gotten a record deal. And if New York hadn’t taken off, then you wouldn’t have had what happened a few years later in England.” I figure that I’d give Sylvain an opportunity to slag Malcolm McLaren. Surely, he must still be choked about the Red Patent Leather fiasco. I mean, that record was the final nail in the Dolls’ coffin. It seems that I was wrong, that he holds no ill will towards Malcolm. “He actually wrote a few nice things about us in The Guardian when we flew over for the Meltdown. I introduced Malcolm and Vivian to the New York Dolls, and the Sex Pistols were supposed to be my band, so I have both sides of the story.” I nudge him again. Isn’t he pissed off, even a little? “No, not really. Malcolm was in love with the Dolls. We both came from the rag business.You know, the clothing business. I was in a knitwear company called Truth and Soul that I started that with Billy Murcia, our first drummer. Back in 1971, I met Malcolm and Vivian at a trade show in Manhattan. On the last Sunday of the show, all the designers and salesmen and everybody, would get together and trade samples. I told David Johansen and Johnny Thunders that I had met these guys who had a clothing company called Let it Rock. I introduced David Johansen and Johnny Thunders to Malcolm and Vivian. I still have clothing samples from that day.Vivian and Malcolm loved the Dolls. We went to England every summer, and we would stop at the shop. Malcolm came in after we had trouble with our managers. He got us a loft on 23rd Street next to the Chelsea Hotel. We got that Red Patent Leather show together, and the rest is history.” It was around this time that it finally dawned on me that I was talking to Sylvain Fucking Sylvain, a guy who plays guitar in one of the most influential rock bands ever. The room took on a surreal glow as I realized I was talking to a guy who had partied with Stiv Bators, Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan, and all my other favourite dead rock stars. We talked for another five or ten minutes, but I think I was babbling because the tape was too hard to decipher later. I forgot to ask my witty questions and frittered away the time talking about Joey Ramone Place and other dumb things. Did you know that the Mercer Arts Center, where the Dolls got their start, collapsed in 1973? I hung up the phone in a daze, wondering what kind of ass I’d made of myself. At least I don’t have to steal the new CD because the record label gave me a promo copy. Now that’s progress! n
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nterview conducted in the Spring of 2006 at Jean Smith’s comfortable abode over tea and much laughter shortly after the tour and release of Mecca Normal’s latest album The Observer on Kill Rock Stars. This is album number 12 in the over 20 year long career of this duo that consists of Jean Smith (vocals) and David Lester (guitar). Much of the subject matter of their new album consists of Jean Smith’s experiences with online dating. Nerve: I’ve definitely noticed with the new album that it’s less jagged and jarring. Smith: I think that I’ve got the long narrative form down pretty good for some of the songs. I guess it started on the last album, The Family Swan. There was a few long narrative pieces. For this one, the one song “Attraction Is Ephemeral”, it’s the last song that we did. I just had this story that I worked a long time on, we just sang it once and taped it, it was done, now we just had to do it the same way in the studio, that was the second time we did it. Nerve: Mecca Normal has been together for 20 years. Was this a conscious change to move in this direction? Smith: There was no master plan. Lester: Just the idea that Jean was moving in the direction of longer narratives - songs that were eight or nine minutes long - that in the course of that I thought that we should have some variation. It’s hard to play the guitar for that length of time. Smith: Hard in what way? Lester: As a listener I’d rather hear other things happening within that. For repeated listenings, I just thought that we could expand and have a bit more fun in the studio to accommodate the longer pieces. Nerve: Would you have had any idea that you’d be together this long back then? Smith: I didn’t even know it was possible to live to this age let alone be a band. Nerve: Have you been able to look back on the work and notice how it has changed along that continuum? Smith: Because I live inside my own mind and all that that entails, I notice more my attitude and how it’s changed in a psychological evolution. There’s nothing that we’ve done that we cringe at. Nerve: Really? I go back even five years ago and find stuff that I have done that I cringe at. Really? Smith: No. I like listening to what we do. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone should listen to it as much as I do. We’re meant to be an additional complementary entity to what else is out there. We’re commentary in a way on what else is happening. We’re a response. People will say to me about this new album for instance, “Whoah.You’re just willing to expose anything.” I’m thinking, “I don’t really expose much of anything,” but I’m getting the impression that something is being interpreted by the listener’s own doing that it’s bringing up something about their circumstance or experiences in that way. There’s nowhere really on the album that it is mentioned that this is online dating. These are just romantic encounters. In fact there is one song that has simply nothing to do with online dating but I would challenge anyone to determine which one that is. We’ve had a couple of reviews that sort of say, “Ew, creepy” which is kind of neat - I like that reaction in a way because I wanted to bring up the controversy of being 46 and feeling attractive and good in life, that I’ve worked some things out and am probably better now than other times in life. At this age you’re not viewed as desirable or attractive within the demographic that society puts forth as what women are, what sexy is. Sexy ends at a certain age. I wanted to bring that up. The photo on the album cover is not specifically meant to be glamorous. It is supposed to be more vulnerable and that there is something else to what is going on than just the dynamic of putting out something as sexy as possible visually. Nerve:There is a certain amount of ageism in our society. Smith: And rock music is about… Nerve:The young and… Smith:Yeah. If a reviewer is going to say, “This is creepy”- also because I’m known as a cultural
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activist or a feminist, it seems like that’s been such a limitation to how I’ve ever been described in the media or how people see a woman onstage - “Oh, she’s pretty heavy and tough” - that you couldn’t be also hilarious and totally attractive or sexy or whatever.You’re allowed one sort of dimension. If you’re a feminist or you’re political that tends to exclude a lot of other complexities that all people are made up of. I wanted to bring those things up. It’s been really neat doing these songs live because it almost seemed that people are really laughing a lot at these songs. Nerve: Well, they’re very funny. Smith: I’m typically very funny. I was more funny when I was drinking which all ended about seven years ago. There’s that transition to being totally sober onstage and a little bit awkward. To have people really laugh at particular lines within a song, first of all they’re really listening, they’re following the narrative and then they look around like, “Oops! Am I supposed to be laughing? This is serious stuff, this is a known feminist.” By the end of the tour that’s how I became more the way I sang it, not as stand up comedy. I knew where people were going to laugh so I allowed for more room to savour the laughter. Nerve: Because it is so confessional it is at times very wry and flippant. It’s two different kinds of putting yourself out there entwined: putting yourself out there with the album and putting yourself out there with having a LavaLife profile. Smith: What happened specifically was even when these dates didn’t work out I felt at least that I could write about it, that there’s some inspiration as an extension of trying to understand - not as sort of like “Man, that guy was a stupid asshole, I’m too good for him anyway.” I really steered clear of propping myself up in ego-based taking things personally as far as why it didn’t work. I wanted to understand more about what was happening. Writing for me is always an extension or a different way to think then you have a document of that, you can watch yourself being accountable to what really happened. I felt that was a valuable part of the experience. Also because you’re learning about the person originally before you meet in the written word, which I think is a valid way, especially for me as communication is an important part of the type of person that I would be looking for. Can they communicate? How do they communicate in the written language? Some of the things that happened on these dates, or the little romances if they extended beyond dates, I just found that I learned so much. I just found opportunities to deal with other issues in my past that I maybe hadn’t known how to really process and define. Nerve:These songs are about relations but are most definitely not clichéd “I love you, you love me.” Lester: That’s what’s great about it is to take subject matter between men and women that has been done to death to a degree, I think that she does it with an incredibly fresh approach because of the quality of her writing. When I came up with the music to “Attraction Is Ephemeral” it was the exact
I didn’t even know it was possible to live to this age let alone be a band thing that I love most, it’s just very simple chords with a few little tricks to it and it has a fluidity to it. I thought that as soon as I came up with it that Jean could put a story to it, to do a longer narrative, and it wouldn’t be boring in terms of the music being simple, it would propel itself along, you get certain chord structures and they build upon themselves without seeming to be repetitive and yet they are. Smith: Thank you for all those compliments, by the way, pal. That’s why you did that so masterfully because when I picked up the piece of paper and just
started it was just the perfect version and luckily we recorded it and we learned it from that. When we recorded it in the studio then we learned how to do it live from that. I still can’t really find the beginning or end. It just rolls along. That we’ve worked together so long – actually, even on the first album I think five out of the 12 songs we’re the first time that we ever did them in that same way. Turned on the tape, Dave played something that I’d never heard before and I sang stuff and that went on the album. Lester: To me this is the great thing about working with Jean for 20 years is that she has the ability to do that.You can just start playing and she’ll start singing and it’ll gel. It doesn’t happen every time but it can work. Many people could never do that, they would never have the bravery to just start singing to something. They would want it all worked out in advance. Nerve:The ability to improvise. Lester:Yes, ability to improvise and to be confident doing that and to produce good work that way. Now not every song is like that. We do have other songs with very set structures and changes where we put a great deal of work into it. It’s just a different kind of song, it isn’t better than the one that comes instantly. Jean can do it either way. Again, that makes it exciting. Nerve: What sets Mecca Normal apart from your other musical projects? Smith: With Mecca Normal I tend to take our mandate from the very beginning into consideration at the very least. Nerve: And that mandate is? Smith: That I’ve learned things that I want to put across to people to make the world a better place.
By Robert Dayton
Ideas about oppression, social issues, poverty, housing, male-female dynamics. Over that time I’ve found other ways than being totally literal that are as valuable and valid, such as respecting the audience and their ability to interpret subtleties and metaphors. And to even interpret it completely other than how I mean it. That because I’m generating something that they will get something and whatever they get is okay with me as a respectful collaboration with the audience. That’s an extension of the mandate and how it’s evolved. Nerve:Yet with the new Mecca Normal album a lot of the subject matter doesn’t seem to be conclusive. Smith: I like that about it. I’m not trying to make a case. Nerve: Have any of these guys that you’ve written about heard these songs? Smith: I don’t know. Nerve: What would you do if they wrote songs about their experiences with you? Smith: I probably wouldn’t hear them either. Nerve:The latest Mecca Normal album isn’t all about dating.The last song has such an ending. I quote, “I’m so limited to the infinite unraveling of the universe.” What a way to end the album! Yet it’s very personal about being on a bus absorbing everything around you. Smith: Everyone gets off the bus before I do. Nerve: Left alone. Smith: In a good way. I like being on the bus alone. You never know who’s going to get on next. n
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The Nerve August 2006 Page 23
CONTENTS Alley Dukes/Farrell Bros/Rocket Fins The Lamplighter,Vancouver, BC Tuesday, July 25th, 2006 Never mind having to wait in line damn near half-anhour to get a beer, the venue not hiring a bouncer for the evening, or the resulting bottle-throwing brawl after the show. They were selling cans of beer for $2.75! This was a jolly good night. The “if
Philosophy. Steve Diggle, resplendent in a loose white shirt with blue polka dots, was all smiles and seemed genuinely happy. And why wouldn’t he be? How many 50-something-yearold men get to travel the world to critical acclaim and adoring audiences? Hell, I’d be grinning too. Anyway, Pete Shelley, who looks more like an investment banker than one of punk’s most respected elder statesmen, also seemed happy but in a less obvious way. Front and centre, and only feet away from the madding crowd, Pete led the band - who were tighter than Stephen Harper’s budget for the study of global warming - through the new songs and into the old. If the crowd had been enthusiastic before, they were now ecstatic. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Doug Doughnut so happy. Oldie after oldie, the Buzzcocks delivered the songs with machine gun precision. As I watched the band, I thought back to the last time the Buzzcocks played Vancouver. Two friends of ours had flown all the way from Montreal for the show, but they partied for three days straight when they got here. When it came time to go to the gig, one of them was passed out cold and could not be revived. Of course, we went to the show without Party Boy, and returned to the apartment later, sweaty and spent. The next day, we convinced our pal that he’d been at the show, stage diving and having a fantastic time. “Really?” he said. “I can’t remember a thing!” For years afterwards, he actually believed that he’d been at the show. Finally, we told him the truth and had a good laugh. Ha ha, what a maroon. Anyway, back to the present, the Buzzcocks were still wowing us, and I’ve never seen such male pattern baldness in the pit.Young and old alike, they smashed each other with a fanaticism usually
returned for an encore that included “Sick City Sometimes” from 2003’s Buzzcocks. Naturally, they finished with “Orgasm Addict” and “Ever Fallen In
The Farrell Bros.
Photo: Devon Cody
Love.” Afterwards, the effable Mr. Diggles hammed for the crowd and shook hands with fans at the front of the stage. It was a fine performance, and because of the increased energy, even better than the last time I saw them in ’99. The Buzzcocks make it okay to be old. Sadly, the support acts were not anything to scream about. Both acts were comprised of thin, good-looking boys, making me suspect that Mr. Shelley picked them for their looks rather than musical ability. Actually, they could play their instruments but the sounds that came from their amplifiers were not to my The Buzzcocks liking. The Adored stuck to a rock format and had little other than bright tattoos to catch my interest. I dunno, they seemed generic and faceless. Speaking of faces, the singer of the Strays is Toby Marriott––son of Steve Marriott of the (Small) Faces. He sang “la la la” too many times for my taste and the band didn’t do much for me. Ashley thought there were all right. Members of both bands do, however, get bonus points for stage diving during the Buzzcocks encore. Damn, I’ve run out of things to say and I’m still short my word count. Fuck it - I’m done. - Chris Walter Murder City Devils Capitol Hill Block Party, Seattle, WA July 29-30, 2006 So, the premise was to fence off a couple of intersections in the ‘cool’ neighbourhood, set up a couple of stages, let about 40 bands play, have some beer gardens and a few burger and merch stands and have a party for two days. Seemed like a good idea. Then they managed to make the headlining act the Murder City Devils reunion show. I’ll be honest with you; like a good portion of the crowd, I didn’t drive two and a half hours to see any of the other bands but them, so don’t expect a review of anything but Murder City… Now I don’t keep up with the times and haven’t seen any of these guys in their post-MCDevil bands, so I was very surprised when they hit the stage at 10 pm looking like a bunch of wild-bushmen with beards. Photo: Jen Dodds
Photo: Devon Cody
serenaded a mostly lilywhite crowd of tourists at the River Rock Casino. Still busting his chops at age 59, Green has inherited the title of “Mr. Excitement” from his long deceased musical hero, Jackie Wilson. Green is much younger than most of the soul music legends of Memphis, Detroit and Georgia, all of whom are either long since dead or, in the case of James Brown, long since crazy. And unlike Brown, Green has tried his best to retain the same full-bodied Memphis feel The Alley Dukes that made him successful to begin with instead of trying to contemporize with a more modern (read: disastrous) sound. At one point, the man known for his sultry heart melting love ballads, cracked a joke. “A woman came up to me in the airport and showed me a picture of her baby … she said ‘this is your fault.’” And indeed, women swooned when Green stomped in place, like his fellow sex symbol of soul, Otis Redding. A man shouted out, “I love you Al!” and Reverend Green responded by wearing his Christianity on his sleeve “A man can’t be in love with another man!” he announced. The strangest point of the night occurred when Green asked the audience to give a round of applause for Stephen Harper for flying his plane to Cyprus. The audience did applaud, more because Al Green had asked them to, not because the lilywhite American tourist crowd had any idea who Stephen Harper was. It didn’t matter. The music was great, the beads of sweat poured from the Reverend’s forehead, he fell to his knees as he hit the high notes, panties were ruined forever, and several hundred white this ain’t rockabilly you can suck my balls” attitude people felt like they were Black for an hour. of the Dukes and the snarly sound of the Farrell - Kliph Nesteroff Bros. didn’t foster the usual scenester atmosphere this fine Tuesday evening. No. Tonight everyone The Buzzcocks/The Strays/The Adored seemed to be out for fun over fashion. The Rocket Red Room,Vancouver, BC Fins did a fine job of priming the audience, and exSunday, July 30, 2005 Deadcats Mick and Chopper played with a newfound vigour you wouldn’t expect from a couple senior citizens.Yes, the Fins showed promise and reaffirmed my belief that rockabilly sounds best with a proper upright. Perhaps the thing I admire most about the next band - the Farrell Bros. - is their ability to create an engaging and entertaining show, without the help of the gimmicks or over the top stage personas. Many other bands in the genre can’t make this claim. Somehow the Bros. succeed in never drawing attention away from their music, yet they’re fun as hell to watch for the sheer stripped down purity of their performance. The case was no different tonight. By the time the Alley Dukes took the stage I had totally forgotten how dangerous cheap beer is. The bastards played to this weakness too, rocking out a wonderfully smutty set that was perfect for two-fisting. Things get a little foggy here, but if memory serves, the Dukes played without fault. Well okay, maybe not without fault, but hey… it’s tough to be critical of a band that had the girls in the crowd flashing their tits all over the place. By the way, what was up with the creep in the front of the stage taking pictures of it all? What a dirtbag. - Devon Cody British pop-punk sensations the Buzzcocks took Al Green the stage last night for a sold out show at the Red Thursday, July 20th, 2006 Room. Ah fuck, I can’t write like this so I’ll have to River Rock Casino, Richmond, BC do it my way.Yep, the Buzzcocks were dishing it out Moist pussy. There were no less than six hundred and the crowd was lapping it up. The punk veterans and forty of them glistening simultaneously here started the set with a handful of energetic and when Al Green, the last of the great soul singers, well-received songs from their latest CD Flat Pack
reserved for nollie nose slides at China Creek or hostile takeovers. The Red Room is a surprisingly good venue, with unobstructed views of the stage and bouncers that lack the usual testosterone overload. Perhaps best of all and despite Diggle’s constant plea for more monitors, the sound was loud and clear. The set ended, but the band soon
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MUSICCONTENTS REVIEWS Gone is the all-black rock uniform, jet black hair. Leslie Hardy, their gorgeous keyboardist, has given up the gothic thing, candles on organ, and could be mistaken for any dirty-blonde co-ed. Spencer Moody, no longer the art curator from hell now sports a beard that would put any hassidic rabbi and/or Valient Thorr to shame… but aside from an extreme makeover, the Devils are still the great live act they were back in ’98, packing the Brickyard to the tits. They played a furiously amazing set, covering material from their three full lengths and most of their last EP, Thelema. There were thousands of people in the street, trampling each other to get closer. Two thousand fists went into the air in unison as the crowd chanted along to “Rum to Whiskey” and “I Want A Lot Now”, cramped into the intersection in all four directions, band in the middle. It was nuts. They were sitting on awnings, climbing up trees, lined up down the block. The only safe place was the beer garden. Hundreds still waiting outside the fence to get in. and I can say one thing they can’t, “I was there, man” - Cowboy TexAss Oneida/Anemones/Run Chico Run The Red Room,Vancouver, BC Thursday, July 20, 2006 Something about Brooklyn’s Oneida always makes me unleash my inner-geek. I’m not sure if it’s that Krautrock thing they do, frontman Fat Bobby’s striking resemblance to my old math tutor or what… but the last time Oneida was here I spent the entire night glued to the Pacman machine, drunkenly trying to impress anyone who’d listen with a high score of 86,358. Because of this unfulfilling experience, I steered clear of any pixilation this time out and promised myself to focus. Two local openers, Run Chico Run and Anemones, held my attention long enough to fight the urge to eat some ghosties, but honestly, I really just wanted to enter the dragon that is Oneida. Finally taking the stage, drummer Kid Millions abruptly guided the band into its repetitious groove thang, which subsequently clouded all higher cognitive abilities. It was an incredibly long set, given added muscle by the chugging guitar of newly baptized fourth member Double Rainbow (aka Phil Manley of Trans Am). The band leaned pretty heavily on its back-catalogue, though the small but appreciative crowd saved its biggest reaction for material from Oneida’s latest, Happy New Year. Manley’s vocal performance of the title track induced uncontrollable drooling, and when Fat Bobby then started smacking those organ keys to everyone’s new favorite Oneida song, “Up With People,” the crowd began to shake like some uncontrollable Peanuts characters on speed. Finally, I have experienced the Oneida live show the way it was intended to be. I can die happy. - BRock Thiessen
Ray Davies The Commodore Ballroom,Vancouver, BC Sunday, July 9th, 2006 Ray Davies drank a lot of beer, made a lot of corny jokes familiar to anybody with an English dad, punched out his guitar player, suffered a nervous breakdown, and then made out with a chick who turned out to be a guy. It was great. Seemingly unaware of the fact that he’s a legend, a genius, and a living God, the most inspiring thing about this night – not including the healthy compliment of hits – was the former Kinks’ low-key approach, which was so casual that the Commodore might as well have been the pub on the cover of Muswell Hillbillies. How refreshing given that most rockers of his vintage treat themselves like exiled poobahs, demanding to be wafted into the venue on a flying carpet preceeded by a train of elephants and a 15year-old girl with her tits out. Also very refreshing was the crapness of his band, which sped up during every song. Or not – I was hammered and singing my guts out, so fuck knows what really happened. I know that I loved every minute, and when I mention that “Set Me Free” was given a Dire Straits/BMW rock treatment and that “You Really Got Me” was re-arranged to include an accordion – please rest assured that it all worked magnificently and nobody got hurt, not even the record collectors (who were out in force). Highlight was “Lazy Afternoon”, and even the new stuff wasn’t half bad. I expect The Alley Dukes some were disappointed that we only got one encore, or that there was no “Waterloo Sunset”, but fuck it. The guy came, and that’s enough. - Adrian Mack Sharp Like Knives Mondragon Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Winnipeg, MB Friday, July 21st, 2006 Sharp Like Knives played at the Mondragon Bookstore and Coffeehouse to a small but enthusiastic crowd. We were in the ‘Peg for the opening of the new skateplaza, and thought we’d check out a show. We liked what we saw. The five-piece kicked out the math rock jams with a surprising danceability, giving a nod to Motown with handclaps and pop-infused synth riffs. Songs like “Holy Gaud” and “We All Lie for a Living” had the crowd dancing spastically, including some Fringe Fest folkies getting a free show at the front window. No indie rock shoe-gazers here; prairie kids like to rock it, and Sharp Like Knives gave them the opportunity. Tight pants in this case will surely make you dance. With influences from Devo to Gang of Four, their sound is definitely of the post-punk variety, but with funkier flavours and a taste of no-wave. Mondragon was a cool venue for a show; right in the heart of Old Market Square and the Fringe Festival, it’s still a pretty underground spot and attracts the converted. In short, lots of fucking fun, even got me stoked enough to pick up their first release, No Pressure, and their 7-inch, nicely done on orange vinyl with handprinted covers. - Miss Kim
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CONTENTS Art Adams Dancing Doll Flying Saucer Art Adams is old. We’re talkin’ grew up in the ‘30s old. He’s so old he could get away with calling Chris Walter kiddo.Yeah… that old. Now that I’ve gotten my point across, let me tell you that Adams can still bang out tunes so rockin’ that they’d shake the gallstones out of the ladies who swooned over him back in the ‘50s. Back then he was recording 45s for Cherry Records - recordings that would earn him the right to attach “rockabilly legend” to his name. A handful of re-worked versions of those recordings have found their way onto this album as well as the original ‘50s version of the title track, “Dancing Doll”.You’ll also find new recordings of songs penned by the likes of Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Chuck Berry and Johnny Horton. This is the real deal from a dude who was there from the get-go. Put down the pomade boys, it’s time to take notes. - Devon Cody Blacktop Five s/t Independent This mysterious cd with no fuckin info that I found sitting on my desk turns out be quite a wheeze! I don’t know about you, but I have a taste for rock ‘n’ roll with Nikki Suddenesque vocals, and Blacktop Five delivers. I
During the recording sessions for this album Cash’s body and voice were failing him. A group of musicians were permanently on call, ready for him if he felt strong enough to record. And although at points his voice is shaky and vulnerable, there is an incredible power
and rawness to this record. The 12 songs on A Hundred Highways are a testament to the perseverance of the spirit above all else. Here death is as much an inspiration as anything else in Cash’s life. Producer Rick Rubin has stated that American V is Cash’s final statement, but during the sessions for this album enough material was recorded for another posthumous release. I doubt we’ve heard the last word from the Man in Black. - A.D. MADGRAS Contra This Machine Kills Mediaskare Entertainment Man, Contra was such a sweet game. Alien ass-kicking at its finest with shirtless heroes Bill and Lance. This album would make a decent soundtrack for taking off your shirt, grabbing a big ass gun, and slaying alien invaders, because I’d rather be listening to metal instead of, say, Enya, while defending my planet violently from aggressive extraterrestrials. Wouldn’t you? - Derek Bolen
like the sloppy harmonies on opening track “Temple of Love”, and I like that the formula is repeated for the next three tracks, until “Twist Off” introduces the band’s other idea: twang. Pop twang. With Nikki Sudden-esque vocals. “Stop” is a re-write of the Supremes/Motown classic, but sounds like Tom Verlaine fronting the Milkshakes. Weird. Kudos to the drummer – whoever the hell you are – for a lovely pocket. Kudos also to the person responsible for the sound, which strikes the right balance between offensive and creamy. Good shit. A quick Google search reveals absolutely fuck all. If you’re interested though, contact blktop5@ gmail.com, and maybe they’ll send you one of these things. I promise it will make your barbecue unstoppable! - Herman Menervemanana The Bouncing Souls The Gold Record Epitaph
Cousin Harley Hillbilly Madness East Side It says right here in the promo package that Cousin Harley (also know as Vancouver’s Paul Pigat), borrows from swing, rockabilly, blues, and jazz, so I’ll go with that.Yep, Hillbilly Madness is some slick shit, smooth enough to help fill the gap left by the passing of Mr. Ray Condo. Not too slick, mind you. There is plenty of bite behind the baritone vocal stylings of Cousin Harley. Round it out with a super-solid rhythm section and a whole lot of mind-bending guitar, and you got yourself a winner. Ray would be proud. - Chris Walter CSS Cansei De Ser Sexy Sub Pop Yet another act in the long line of Brazilian
- Adam Simpkins Damone Out Here All Night Island The opening riff had me expecting good things, but then the very commercial sounding vocals kicked in and ruined it all. To me, it seems as if the vocalist won a reality show to front a rock group. The band isn’t bad at all, but there is nothing they can do to save this album from the bland mediocrity of the singer. She is cut from Much Music cloth and I hope no one can hear this shit drifting from my open window. On the bright side, I found a great used CD store that will give me four bucks for this major label bullshit. - Chris Walter Dysrhythmia Barriers and Passages Relapse Appropriate band name for maniacally crunchy lead-footed free-jazz – bits of John Zorn, Dillinger Escape Plan, Removal, math professors on trucker’s speed – impressively grooveable, despite the gear shift every five seconds. Musicianship is uniformly tremendous, though must say the album and song titles (“Bypass the Solenoid”, “Will the Spirit Prevail?”) are entirely way too fucking serious. At least they can back it up with heady inventiveness and miraculous chops. There’s a lack of vocals, but they aren’t missed – and each microscopic song portion is thorough, catchy and memorable in its own right. ‘Songs’ barely exist in the usual sense of the word. Fans of Dysrhythmia’s accessibly distressing lunacy should pick up (Mr. Bungle bassist) Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant, similarly bonkers but a deeper, darker jazz. Barriers and Passages is only gonna get better with each listen, I can tell. Nine out of 10 for yahoos and freakazoids. - Dave Bertrand The Fabulous Kildonans Bottle Rocket Transistor 66 The Winnipeg punk/metal hooligans are back with yet another vicious full-length attack. There is an added depth to the songs this time around, so they aren’t as immediately catchy. Fear not, after a few listens, they’ll get stuck in your head so bad that not even that horrible “Hands In My Pocket” commercial will be able to dislodge them. Buy two: one for yourself, and one to give to grandma for Christmas. Bottle Rocket will finish the old bag once and for all. - Chris Walter Fallopian Dammit Eat Your Pudding Avebury Could I really take a band called Fallopian seriously? Could they even take themselves seriously? The brightly vintage clad teenage girls on the cover suggested that perhaps this CD contained nothing but the whimsical wailing and juvenile jamming of girls that should know better. The best that I could hope for was that it wouldn’t be vagina rock, plagued by the sorrows of PMS, and what I surprisingly got was a whole lotta spunk. Seventeen, short, sassy-assed songs, musically styled in the 2 ½ -3 chord punkish fun rock vein, all of them refreshing without any hints of seriousness. Although at times the vocals resemble what I can only imagine a cat being swung around by it’s tail to sound like, it’s forgivable because it’s completely premeditated. Lyrically, Dammit… masters such hard hitting themes as potato bugs, rashes, smelly guys, repeated wishes not to get hurled on, “cause that would be gross”, and sex with trees. Topics I’m sure all teenage girls struggle with nowadays. This may be out of reach and easily dismissed by those with a more refined musical palate, but those of you who can appreciate the early efforts of potential talent, combined with the attitude of frivolous youth,YOU might just be the ones who are fit to be tied. - Ethyltron
the assistance of John Tejada. The Mr. Oizo-like bassline to “Apologies” easily makes that the most invigorating track here, while the rest is just too sickly sweet for my taste. I guess four wrongs don’t make a right. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes Fuck The Facts Stigmata High-Five Relapse Death was not the end. They clawed their way out of the grave, intent on eating fresh brains. These zombies were the undead, doomed to walk the earth for eternity. Maggots oozed from orifices and the horrible stench of rotting flesh drifted across the barren landscape. There was no peace for the living, as the undead were intent on making a meal of them. Cemeteries overflowed with zombies, and they were starved for human brains. Bloodcurdling screams filled the air. - Chris Walter
halfway between the ‘Tramp’s Roger Hodgson and Serj Whatshisfuck from System of a Down. “Roller Rink” opens with Pac-Man music, but in practice is way more Capcom (I’m thinking Mega Man III), with a Keith Emerson synth solo and foolhardy Les Claypool vocals. “Nice Dress” has a deep lounge-swing vibe – shuffling snare, shuffling ride – but “The Eye” is just irritating. Dave is confused. - Dave Bertrand Joan of Arc Eventually, All at Once Record Label People’s opinion of Joan of Arc has always been rather divided; there are those who diligently scoop up every morsel dropped by the band
Nina Gordon Bleeding Heart Graffiti Warner Previously songwriter, guitarist and singer with Veruca Salt, the successful grunge-pop crossover band from the early ‘90s, Nina Gordon has reinvented herself and drawn a line under her musical past. Where Vercua Salt was fast-paced rock with some alternative cred, Gordon has morphed from Liz Phair into Sheryl Crow, adopting an easy listening, coffee and its numerous off-shoots, and those who see this collective as an entirely pretentious and obnoxious force. The band is now releasing Eventually, All at Once to delight the devoted and annoy everyone else. This time out, the head agitator, Tim Kinsella, made this recording mostly unaided in his mother’s home on a simple 8-track with the other members periodically laying down the odd texturing or drum track. As a result, we have 10 strippeddown tracks of folked-out droniness that most resemble the loose atmosphere of their grossly overlooked Guitar Duets project and could almost pass as another TK solo record. Rest assured that JOA is at its least irritating here, and it might be worth your while to swallow your pride and give it another chance. - BRock Thiessen table singer-songwriter style. With heavy production and really big on the ‘niceness’ there are no more kick-ass power guitars, and it’s all mainstream pop saccharine now. Following on from Aimee Mann and in some places Natalie Imbruglia, it seems these songs are destined to make it onto compilation CDs played in supermarkets. Definitely an album that will be sold in Starbucks. Given her previous band’s output, it’s fair to say Nina Gordon has paid her dues, and there are certainly some wellwritten songs here. It’s just probably best not to compare them to her former work. - Stephanie Heney Guster Ganging Up On The Sun Reprise After working the college circuit for the better part of the last decade, regaling brew chugging co-eds with quirky but safe acoustic-based pop, Guster have finally decided to leave the safe confines of hot plates and “student crossing” posters to venture into the grown-up world of Adult Alternative. Which is a smart move, obviously, since most of Guster’s early fans are now dropping down payments on suburban splitlevels and economic mini-vans. Ganging Up On The Sun indeed has the mature stamp all over it, with lilting harmonies and pop that would even cast a few head-nods from Mom and Pop, which isn’t to say that the album screams of mid-life crisis like the last from Fountains of Wayne, but there still remains an overriding taste of mediocrity that is hard to shake. Easily digestible, rarely causing itching or burning, this one dissolves like mushy peas. - Adam Simpkins
The Johns In Tune Anko You know your “scene” is in bad shape when the most simple, tried-and-true brand of rock gets touted as one of the most refreshingly new sounds to emerge in years. The Johns are from Southern California. They are a new band. They do not play mall punk. There is a God. - Devon Cody The Lovekill These Moments Are Momentum Astro Magnetics I almost started typing that the Lovekill sound rather similar to These Arms Are Snakes, until I recalled the title of this album (These Moments Are Momentum). Coincidence? I said… coincidence? That’s better.Yeah, I don’t know, it could
Yup, it’s the Bouncing Souls, all right. This seventh full-length release sounds the same as the first six (not necessarily a bad thing - The Bouncing Souls will never be called ‘groundbreaking’, but they excel at what they do). Twelve tracks of solid pop-punk with sing-along choruses, including one track written by a U.S. soldier stationed in Iraq (the cleverly titled “Letter from Iraq”). Old fans will be pleased, and the band will have an opportunity to win some new fans when they play Warped Tour for the millionth time this summer. - Derek Bolen Johnny Cash American V: A Hundred Highways Lost Highway
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Invasion artists, São Paulo’s Cansei De Ser Sexy has been slumming around below the equator for a few years now, polishing its chops in hopes of spreading uninhibited sexiness to the rest of the world. Blurring the lines between Baile Funk (barely) and ‘80s synth/electro pop (considerably), CSS rely on a bevy of inside jokes and broken English narratives with the help of some insanely catchy tunes and seductive lyrics (“Stare at my lips and see they are wet / I know how you are doing by looking at your pants”). From the bouncy “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above” to the almost Yeah Yeah Yeah’s knockoff “Art Bitch”, Cansei De Ser Sexy is a sultry truckload of libidinous fun, its only downfall being that the expiration date on most of these songs is limited and the coolness of CSS may just melt by summer’s end.
James Figurine Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake Plug Research About half way through listening to the album opening “5556668833,” I realized I was wearing a neon muscle shirt, contrasting jogging pants, and my hair was flowing down my neck, curling to my shoulders in a grotesquely mulletous fashion. Had I fallen into a temporal rift or was it just my appearance adapting to the ‘80s synth pop presented to me by James Figurine? Luckily, some more contemporary sunshine house sounds developed quickly thereafter and my form restored itself. Even then, Figurine’s brand of bubblegum technemo still makes Human League sound like bass mad hardcores, despite
Jackfruit Check Ca Independent First of all, that band name is horrid. PITIFUL. As for the title – note that there should be a little hook underneath the ‘C’, as in ‘Ca c’est on francais, mon fuck’. The grammatical unsoundness continues with the song titles (“Mon Lalune”). And yet – it’s exceptionally wellproduced, inventive, guitar-less, off-kilter, and carefree; lots of emphasis on bouncy, bright, boggling key-sounds. A Supertramp influence looms large, much like Jackfruit’s close cousin Bend Sinister. Interestingly, before Sinister it had never occurred to me that Supertramp actually has a fanbase. But how! Vocalist Chris has a versatile, playful wail, a tad grating perhaps,
very well be. At least this relatively young band is off to a good start – you could do much worse than being compared to TAAS. So what you get here is some sharp, angular punk rock that sounds like a glossy Dischord outfit or, really, any above average post-punk band from the late ‘90s. Which is good, but not great. The Lovekill would be better off taking their song writing skills (which they have in spades) and start throwing some fresh wood into the fire. On that note: flame on, gang. - Adam Simpkins Mika Miko C.Y.S.L.A.B.F. Kill Rock Stars
MUSICCONTENTS REVIEWS Mika Miko deliver a fresh brand of new wave punk rock that edges out all of that other pussy shit for sure. Rightly living up to the Black Flag and Slits references, this femme fatale five piece from LA are all over the punk rock map with hints of high end Minutemen guitar, to the DIY song styling attitudes of the Screamers. Listening to this CD just makes you wonder how great it would be to hear it live. It’s tight, chaotic, naturally expressed angst in an urgent way without ever being trivial or endearingly contrived. These musicians shred through dark, raw, hyper songs, and rather than riding on the coat tails of punk, they’re keeping it alive. This kind of shit is damn right necessary for the evolution of music. - Ethyltron The Mutts I Us We You FatCat
Do you like your rock retro, fuzzy, ballsy, unpretentious, and recorded next to a 1971 Chevy van in a wooden garage? If so, this is your new favourite band. I Us We You sees the Brighton quartet polishing their rock for the sake of rock style in the best way possible. The classic riffs and hooks are still there but they’re tighter than their debut EP and the production is more vivid without sacrificing the necessary grit. This mini album will show you exactly why all of your friends’ Rawk for the sake of poontang bands blow all kinds of ass. There’s an obvious difference between being influenced by the Stooges/Black Sabbath and merely wanting to be those bands. Someone needs to introduce the Mutts to the Kings Of Leon… bunch of pussy driven hacks. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes New York Dolls One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This Roadrunner Yeah, I know it’s not really the Dolls but I’m
This upteenth offering from Western Canada’s internationally-beloved prog-punkers (‘Ausfahrt’ is German for ‘exit,’ not ‘assfart,’ so the title is probably hinting at some philosophical statement about mortality or something) is yet another enjoyable tourde-force. Opener “Wake Up” is one of the angriest rallying cries for activism and awareness since hardcore’s 1980s heyday - and things just keep boiling over from there. “In Her Eyes” is another nod to their beloved Ramones; “Faith” starts one off thinking it’s about the troubles of spiritual enlightenment when it’s really about Rob Wright’s dog; “’Til I Die” is - if you can believe this - NoMeansNo’s answer to a rousing Irish-pub singalong, which could be taken as a Canadian feel-good anthem about the zen of shoveling snow. While not displaying the heavy-progressive adventurism of their previous studio effort “One,” ARLTA’s thick, meaty production and songwriting proves that the getlemen of NoMeansNo can gracefully march through their 40s and still be sincere punk rockers on their own terms. Who knows what these nutty grayhairs will cook up next? - Ferdy Belland The Ramones Greatest Hits Rhino Finally - a collection of the Ramones greatest hits! The wait is over! Sure, we had Ramones Mania (Volumes 1 and 2), All The Stuff (And More) (Volumes 1 and 2), Hey! Ho! Let’s Go:The Anthology, Best of the Chrysalis Years, Chrysalis Anthology, not to mention, The Best of The Ramones, but these gems are the Ramones GREATEST hits. The big ones – all on one convenient compacted disk.Yeah, I know all
these songs are on the other cd’s. No, I don’t know why Rhino didn’t include liner notes or any rare and unreleased material on here. What? You don’t need to hear album versions of “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Wanna Be Sedated” again? But those are good songs! Nay, those are great songs! Why do you think they’re included on this, the Ramones GREATEST hits? Man, these songs are great. No, these songs are the greatest. Just wait until Greater Hits comes out.You just wait… sucker. - Adam Simpkins
one. Um, and Soul Asylum for another), but those days are sadly long behind us now. Even so, the group’s watershed albums (that being the successive flawless trio of Let it Be, Tim and Pleased to Meet Me) are given the spotlight here and showcase a band that, albeit drunken and sloppy, could easily write classic material even without a sizeable audience to back it up. - Adam Simpkins Revolution Mother Enjoy the Ride Earshot Revolution Mother is a project of professional skateboarder Mike Vallely. We are to believe that it has been compared to B’last, Black Flag, and Motorhead, but Revolution Mother sounds more like Soundgarden to me. The first song, “Goodbye,” goes on in a dirge-like manner for about five minutes, so maybe it does sound a bit like latter day Flag. Fans of the new hardcore will probably dig Enjoy the Ride, and I don’t hate it, but I get bored easily. Gimme old Black Flag any day. - Chris Walter Roman Candle Wee Hours Revue V2 This album is beginning to take on a life of its
to their advantage, just ask Tiger Army. Those of you who’ve seen the ladies at the rockabilly/ psychobilly shows surely understand what I’m talking about. To their credit, these guys aren’t wearing eyeliner and aren’t clad in the standard rockabilly uniform. Season of Nightmares don’t need to make a fashion statement to gain clout. Their music says it all. - Devon Cody
own. Originally released as Says Pop in 2002, it’s been toured on, shopped around, rerecorded, reworked, and finally re-released four years later with a brand new name. However, as I listen to the alt. country come New York indie album before me, I can’t really say what all the fuss is about. As quirky as the playful studio effects and intros are, there isn’t much about this Revue that really distinguishes it from say Train or Ryan Adams or blah blah blah. Every track is as catchy as it is ultimately forgettable. The few seconds of funk groove in the radioscanning intro to “From An Airplane Window” remains to me the most interesting moment to be found here. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes Scouts Honor I Am the Dust No IdeaI I don’t imagine that Ian MacKaye and Glen
The Replacements Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was?:The Best of The Replacements Rhino Just like most of the Replacements material,
gonna look past that and judge this on its own merits. The original Dolls were all about hooks in the songwriting department and Sylvain, one of the two survivors, was responsible for more of ‘em than most people give him credit for: “Trash”, “Frankenstein”, “Puss ‘n’ Boots”? Sylvain. So I’m elated to report that the new songs are generally pretty great. Most of ‘em could have fit easily onto the first couple Johansen or Sylvain solo albums and been amongst the highlights. Standouts include “Plenty of Music”, “Gotta Get Away from Tommy”, and “Dancing on the Lip of a Volcano” (fuckin’ Stipe) to name a few, but there really aren’t any clunkers. David Jo’s singing and lyrics are top-notch and the production by that old goat Jack Douglas is crisp and mod in the best possible way. Don’t expect Too Much Too Soon II and you probably won’t be disappointed. They’re older and have lived a lot but they can still make great rock ‘n’ roll. Now, I’d love to see some of these new hits performed live, so come on boys - I know you felt loved up here last time. - Andrew Molloy
Season of Nightmares Monster Mash Into the Fifth Dimension Flying Saucer It took me damn near a full month before I could put my finger on who these guys sounded like. The manic guitar licks and backing vocal melodies bring to mind top-shelf Nekromantix and there are moments when I hear hints of Barnyard Ballers, particularly in the vocals. However Monster Mash… is more than the sum of its parts. This is a dynamic collection of well-written songs that will stick in your head with more tenacity than a tumour. “Voodoo Queen” alone will probably require surgical removal. From the photos in the insert, the guys in the band appear to be rather, erm… pretty.Yet another thing working
The Sound of Animals Fighting Lover,The Lord Has Left Us… Equal Vision The Sound of Animals Fighting is a veritable well of ambition that, like so many veritable wells of ambition before it, ends up trying too hard and being mostly un-listenable crap. Comprised of members of Saosin, Chiodos, Finch, Rx Bandits, Days Away and the Autumns, the members each assume an animal persona and wear animal masks when performing, like a Wild Kingdom version of Slipknot. If that’s not pretentious enough for you, they also scatter completely random sound clips and effects throughout the album to make it more ‘ambient’, and sing in no less than four different languages. I was a huge fan of the first EP, but this ends up coming across as a random, disjointed effort (which makes sense, considering every member recorded their parts in complete isolation - once again, admirable yet unsuccessful). Hipster kids will inevitably shit their pants all over it, which makes me hate it even more. - Derek Bolen Thor Devastation of Musculation Smog Veil Aha... another year, another Thor. Another mystical ocean of tragic stupefaction. O
Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.). The finale, ‘Tale of the Wolf/Warriors of the Universe’, is tremendous; just an intro and an unstoppable ‘We are the Champions’ chorus. ALSO: By decree of the Cosmic Orb – you must rent Thor’s 1986 cinematic bonerhead masterpiece, Rock’n’Roll Nightmare, recently revived on DVD. It really, really is the Doctor Zhivago of B-movies. Better than sex. - Dave Bertrand Tuxedomoon Bardo Hotel Soundtrack Crammed The San Francisco born Tuxedomoon collective has been perfecting its avant-garde, posteverything performance art deluge since the late ’70s, having released a dozen or so albums in that time. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from never having heard of them, but hey, that just means I come to this project with a clean mind. Bardo Hotel is the soundtrack to a movie loosely based on a novel about William Burroughs that has yet to be completed. Produced with that film in mind, this odd collection of string/wind-led jazz, interspersed with field recordings, electronic studio effects, and unrecognizable samples of seemingly random conversations certainly and masterfully evokes smoky Naked Lunch cinematics. It’s a hell of a trip, man. Sure makes you want to check out the movie if and when they finish it. - Filmore Mescalito Holmes Vanna The Search Party Never Came Epitaph Vanna’s debut EP is impressive… but only by debut standards. The boys in Vanna have stellar instrumental chops, with dirty, grungy metal riffage reminiscent of Every Time I Die and Between the Buried and Me, and a thunderous
rhythm section with (god bless ‘em) doublekick galore. But then they fuck it all up by throwing in the two worst vocalists I’ve ever heard - a guttural screamer whose growls sound like shit being flung against a wall at 100 miles an hour, and a run-of-the-mill nasal emo singer whose heartfelt yelping is so painful, it makes the screamer sound like Barry fucking Manilow. I’m counting on these guys to mature before the full length arrives. If they don’t, it’ll be the worst case of squandered opportunity since the Democratic Party in the last U.S. Election (seriously, guys… I could have trained a MONKEY to beat Bush). - Derek Bolen
NoMeansNo All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt AntAcidAudio / Caroline
Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was is released during a time when newcomers probably won’t listen and/or care for its worth. With screamo goons, bearded hippies and theatrical Vegas kids dominating the “left of the dial” radio stations, is anyone willing to listen to the collected history of Westerberg and co.? Short answer: no. This compilation is about 10 years too late. Put simply, the Replacements influenced the music of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s more than they were ever given credit for (Cobain’s howl and confessional approach to song writing, for
Danzig will ever make music together. So, I suppose some thanks should be given to Scouts Honor for giving us a wee taste of what the concoction might sound like… had Mr. Straight Edge and the Plump Son of Satan been raised in a barn somewhere in Saskatchewan. What we have here seems to be a strange blend of post-hardcore and oldtime country with chunky blues-inspired hard rock riffs. Sounds interesting, you say? That’s what I thought while reading the press release. Unfortunately the interesting mix falls a little short. Fans of country won’t find empathetic storytelling here and fans of blues will be at a loss looking for soul. However, prairie-born post-hardcoreheads may have just discovered another alternative to Wide Mouth Mason. - Devon Cody
Glory! Our pal Jon-Mikl really digs his action heroics, and there’s something uplifting about such embarrassingly sincere pre-pubescent purity. Musically, it’s metal bar-star/multiinstrumentalist/producer/songwriter Mike Kischnick (Empyria) who truly masterminds Asgard’s finest muscle-rock export. Not that his tunes are any good, mind you, and no compact disc could possibly replicate Thor’s thunderous visual circus (where the Rock Warrior truly reigns supreme). Notable lyrical concepts include Atlantis, a lost race of reptilian supermen, and other theories of psychic ‘reader’ Edgar Cayce and his
V/A Hopelessly Devoted To You Vol. 6 Hopeless/Sub City You can’t go wrong with a 2 CD/DVD compilation album for six bucks... or can you? Featuring hits and “previously unreleased” tracks from the likes of Amber Pacific, Thrice, Against All Authority, Mustard Plug, Guttermouth, the Weakerthans and Avenged Sevenfold, the set made me wonder if Hopeless had put any albums out in the past five years. The DVD was more of the same, with videos for most of said ‘hits’ and filler with bands you’ve never heard of videotaping themselves playing to friends in a basement and calling it a ‘music video’. It’ll make a cheap yet unsatisfying present for the punk fan in your life. - Derek Bolen
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ith the unexpected success of the Alcoholic White Trash album Punk Rock Jihad, Crusty Records has gone from being a minor irritation to a slightly larger one. The Nerve caught up with label president and erstwhile acoustic punk missionary Mr. Plow - as he attempted to board a Ferry without paying - to find out how he’s coping with the surge in Crusty’s fortunes, and whether or not the centre can hold through these times of accelerated growth. Nerve: Give me a history of Crusty in your own words, starting with, “I founded Crusty Records in the year of our Lord…” 1998. And what a mistake it’s been ever since. Just kidding. We’ve done about 25 releases over the last eight years, but nobody really knows that. Nerve: I’m sorry, “We”? Oh, me and my sweatshop in Taiwan that makes all my CDs from scratch. I pay ‘em 35 cents more than Nike. Nerve:Twenty-five releases? What’s your most successful? Sadly I’d have to say Mr Plow because – let me talk as if he’s somebody else – he’s the only goofball that goes out and tours, and tries to sell cds on the
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road. All the other acts either fall apart or they lose the motivation to get out on the road to do what’s supposed to be done. Nerve: What do you do about that? Do you go to Johnny Sizzle, for instance, and say, “Get the fuck on the road, sugar tits!” Sizzle does what he can. He’s gone out on the road a few times, and he’s sold a bunch of CDs. I’m happy with him. If it wasn’t for Sizzle, way back in the day, that’s pretty much what inspired me to do the whole Mr Plow thing, after hearing him one day on Nardwuar’s radio show. But there’s other bands on the label, like Alcoholic White Trash… the reviews on their CD have been pretty fuckin’ amazing actually. I don’t know what’s on Mike’s mind (at the Georgia Straight) but for two weeks in a row he gave non-stop praise to “I Shit My Cunt”. And they went out and did 14 days in Quebec and Ontario with the
Dayglos and that helped out a lot. But then there’s another band, such as Ageing Youth Gang – four old farts that are so fuckin’ old, they can’t even get in a van together and leave Vancouver. Nerve: What’s your most controversial release? I thought this AWT album would be somewhat controversial, considering its called Punk Rock Jihad and has a nice Osama-esque type character on the cover. And with song titles like “I Shit My Cunt”, you’d figure it’d get some attention. But as yet, everybody’s just praising the fuck out of it instead. Nerve: Any offers of a buyout from Warners, Sony or EMI at this point? Oh yeah. We had RCA records and BMG and actually, Columbia House wanted to sell our albums for a penny. We were kinda stoked on the idea, but then I thought about all the sweatshop workers and how hard they would have to work… Their little hands can only do so much. Nerve:You would have to sell 35 cds, per employee, per hour. Exactly. And I have over 500 employees. Nerve: How can someone as seemingly ridiculous as Mr. Plow actually pull off running a record label?
Anyone can run a record label. All you need is a name, and then you put ‘Records’ after it. It doesn’t take a fucking genius. Nerve: But you have to organize the manufacturing, take care of artwork, get product into the stores – it seems incredible to me that you manage to do any of that. Well… yeah. The way you talk it up like that, fuck, now I’m even surprised I’m able to do this. The thing is, the more you do it, the easier it comes as time goes on. What next? I got sweet fuck all. - Herman Menervemanana
smaller and not as funny as cheap shotz
Mel Gibson Doesn’t Care About Jewish People Mel Gibson, the man who killed someone with diplomatic immunity in Lethal Weapon 2, made fun of an Italian guy in Lethal Weapon 3, and punched a Chinaman in Lethal Weapon 4 has God’s chosen people in his sights. TMZ.com is reporting that after being arrested for suspicion of drunk driving, Braveheart went on an anti-Semitic tirade to the arresting officers. Gibson is quoted as saying, “Fucking Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” and then proceeded to ask a female officer, “What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?” Since the incident, Gibson has checked himself into rehab and issued a press release saying, “ I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested, and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable. I am deeply ashamed of everything I said.” Whether or not Gibson’s obvi-
Gibson and his Mayan friend Alan
ous attempt to cash in on recent anti-Israeli sentiment will translate into to success at the box office for his upcoming film, Apocalypto— which is about countless innocent Mayans senselessly dying—remains to be seen. Suri Cruise The world is still waiting with baited breath to see the TomKat offspring. There have been a few reports though. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith says this of Suri Cruise, “She’s one of the sweetest babies I’ve ever met in my life. She’s an absolute beauty and she’s Daddy’s little girl.” Not sounding like she’s reading lines off a cue-card, Pinkett An then went on to exclaim, “She’s the cutest little baby. She’s got a head full of black, beautiful hair. She’s beautiful and they’re very happy and they need to be left alone.” Though we haven’t seen the baby, Nerve Staff Artist H.R. Giger did a drawing of the bizarre mating practices of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. As you can clearly see, Cruise is firmly latched onto the face of devote Scientology follower Katie Holmes and planting his young in her belly. There, young Suri will incubate for three days, feasting on her innards, until she builds up enough strength to burst out of her womb.
Tony Jaa goes to Australia to rescue an elephant. Some people get kneed in the face along the way. September 1 The Wicker Man Neil “In the Company of Men” LaBute remakes the classic hippy horror flick. This Film is Not Yet Rated A circle jerk of with everyone who has ever had problems with the Motion Picture Association of America’s rating system.
artist’s rendering of TomKat coitus
DVD Pick We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen Using rare old concert footage, flannel man Mike Watt, and about 80 ex-punk rockers, director Tim Irwin tells the story of short-lived punk rockers The Minutemen. With a who’s who of the California Punk Scene all lining up to sing the praises of the Minutemen, We Jam Econo proves that the only thing old punks will get behind quicker than an I Hate Bush rally is a movie about a defunct punk rock band.
Opening this month August 11 World Trade Center Ollie does 9/11. Everybody cries and remembers shit they want to forget. August 18 Snakes on a Plane Fuck, what am I going to write about in my blog after this film finally comes out? August 25 The Protector
The Black Crowes Freak ‘n’ Roll… Into the Fog DVD Eagle Vision The Robinson brothers, when once asked about rumours that the band was breaking up, jokingly stated, “Yeah, but we do it backwards, we break up on the road and get back together after the tour.” They then quipped with the same reporter that they break up for 15 minutes all the time. When the notoriously quarrelsome brothers announced the band was taking a “hiatus” in 2002 after their last album Lions, rumours of it being the band’s demise spread
wide and far, and although both brothers did release solo albums during this time, in the end the truth was that they had done only what they said they were going to do, take a break. And so it came as no surprise to fans when the Crowes announced a reunion tour in 2005. This two and a half hour concert DVD was recorded at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and contains 19 songs including 3 covers and all the hits as well as an intimate 14 minute featurette showing the band rehearsing in an apartment, some sound check clips and a collage of shots from backstage. The lineup features the return of Marc Ford (who was asked to leave the band after the Three Snakes and One Charm album due to a bit of a drug habit) and drummer Steve Gorman. The only member missing from the legendary lineup that created 1992’s Southern Harmony and Musical Companion is bass player Johnny Colt. Sven Pipien filled in after he left and is still on bass duties. The band is backed up by a full horn section and the customary black female vocalists giving us the quintessential Black Crowes experience. Shot in high definition with amazing sound production, this concert DVD is a great companion to the band’s 1992 film Who Killed that Bird Out on Your Window Sill. - A.D. MADGRAS
Refused Refused Are Fucking Dead DVD Epitaph/Burning Heart The late ‘90s was kind of a renaissance period for punk, to me at least, and a time when I became heavily interested in the genre. A lot of bands (NOFX, Millencolin, etc.) were putting out their best material. Naturally, when I first heard the seminal Refused album The Shape Of Punk To Come, I shat all over myself. This was some of the most powerful, groundbreaking music I’d ever heard. This DVD has allowed me to rekindle my flame with the band, offering an (over)dramatized account of its final tour and an insightful view into how the individual band members were truly feeling
leading up to the band’s demise. Interviews revealing general feelings of disenchantment and disillusion are interwoven with live performances and sepia footage of the band in its more lighthearted moments, creating an emotionally conflicted image of Refused’s downward spiral, eventually culminating in a final performance that was anti-climactic yet oddly fitting: the police shuts the band down halfway through its first song. Granted, if you’re a gigantic Refused fan, you probably don’t want to watch an hour of them bitching about how shitty everything really is, but I’d recommend this DVD anyway. Implosion aside, Refused Are Fucking Dead is a reminder of why the band remains one of the most revolutionary acts in recent memory (and a million times better than the ridiculously shitty International Noise Conspiracy). - Derek Bolen
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Neil Marshall’s The Descent
s of late, horror movies have been doing a great job of making audiences wince with some top-notch gore. Horror movies have also been doing a great job at teaching us that Japanese people are both superstitious and crazy. Where horror movies have been painfully lacking is in the scare department. That’s about to change. Neil Marshall’s The Descent is the scariest movie that’s been made in some time. Released last year in Europe, the film is finally getting a North American release on August 4 with a brand new ending to boot. You might remember Neil Marshall as the guy who wrote, directed, and edited Dog Soldiers, a gory and joke-laden romp about a group of Scottish Army blokes who get attacked in the wood by werewolves. It was one of the best in the admittedly weak werewolf genre. For The Descent, Marshall turned down the funny and turned up the fright. The plot is a straightforward one - similar stories were done in two other movies last year. An all-female group of spelunkers go underground to explore some caves. Bad shit happens to them. More bad shit happens to them. Then the flesh-eating monsters attack and devour the group one by one. As clichéd as it sounds, the characters are so well drawn that you actually care about them, and that’s why this film destroys. The monsters are almost a moot point, since the film works on its own as a nauseatingly claustrophobic story of a trip gone wrong. Well, that and the fact that it’ll actually make you pee your pants. Nerve: So your movie The Descent scared the shit out of me. Marshall: Cool. Nerve: Is that the typical response you’ve been getting from your film? Marshall:Yeah, it seems to be so far. Which is exactly what I wanted. Nerve: Why do you enjoy putting people up against insurmountable odds? Are you a sick and deeply disturbed man? Marshall: I think I must be deep down. On the surface, the whole nice guy thing is a front. I do get a sense of deep satisfaction from watching everybody scream and jump and run out of the cinema. It must be a power trip or something. Nerve: On the special features of Dog Soldiers,
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someone refers to you saying you wanted to “make a soldier movie with werewolves. Not a werewolf movie with soldiers.” I’m assuming you took this approach to The Descent? Marshall:Yeah, totally. It’s a movie about six cavers who unfortunately run into some trouble but the primary focus of the story is the girls - Sara, in particular and her relationships. That’s something I learned from Dog Soldiers, the importance of character. If you don’t care about the characters, if you’re not with them, it doesn’t matter what horror element or creatures you throw in the mix. No one’s gonna care. Nerve:There’s such good on-screen camaraderie between the characters in your movies. Is this a by-product of working on films with relatively small budgets? Marshall: I think so. Because it’s a small budget you’re not obliged to put star names in there. So you have a bit more of an even-tempered cast where everyone backs up everybody else. We did a bit of bonding with the girls beforehand; we all went caving, climbing, and white water rafting all in training for the film. At the end, they were just really close mates. And in terms of their work on the film, they had everything to gain and nothing to lose. They weren’t particularly well known, so this was a really big deal for them. And they just pulled out all the stops and put in a great effort. Nerve:There’s less humour in The Descent than Dog Soldiers; any particular reason why? Marshall: Part of the reason for making it in the first place was I didn’t feel Dog Soldiers fully achieved my desire to make a scary movie. To me, Dog Soldiers was much more a black comedy horror. So with The Descent, I was very specific and stubborn in my determination to make a terrifying film. In the same vein as the films I grew up with like The Shining,Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Alien and Deliverance. They’re not funny films. They have their moments but they’re not funny films. Also, in Dog Soldiers, most of the humour
By Michael Mann came from the fact that they’re a bunch of soldiers. It’s soldier humour. It wouldn’t have worked with six cavers, they’re civilians not soldiers. They have their own way of doing things. Also, I didn’t want to repeat the formula. Nerve: Why didn’t you edit this film? Marshall: Because of the nature of the budget and the timeline that we were going to do it, we had to be editing it while we were shooting it. So therefore I couldn’t do that. Also, the producer wanted to get a third opinion on it. We met a lot of editors and the guy I chose is an absolute bloody genius. Also, what was great about him, is every so often he’d sit back and let me get in and do some editing. Nerve:You just gotta sneak in there sometimes? Marshall: I couldn’t resist Nerve:There are some recurring things in your movies and maybe you can tell me what you find so appealing about them. Firstly: isolation. Marshall: In terms of survival horror, isolation is something that sticks in the mind. Again, it goes back to The Thing and The Shining and films like that. It’s all about isolation. It’s a great horror theme for me. Nerve: Shitty double-crossing friends. Marshall: I don’t know where that comes from specifically. It might be subconscious but it’s certainly not a conscious thing. It just seems to fit with what’s going on. Nerve: Rotting animal carcasses. Marshall: Absolutely. The cow in Dog Soldiers is continuing on a theme I picked up on in a lot of movies, which is abuse of cattle. Somebody should write a book about that because cattle have a hard time in films. I didn’t help with Dog Soldiers by throwing one onto a fire. Again, it wasn’t necessarily deliberate. There were different reasons for them being there. Nerve: Do-it-yourself surgery. Marshall:Yeah, do-it-yourself surgery is a great way to get under people’s skin. Everybody loved that
Do-it-yourself surgery is a great way to get under people’s skin.
scene in Dog Soldiers so much I couldn’t resist doing the flipside of that where it’s not funny, it’s totally harrowing and it’s not pleasant. Nerve: The Descent came out in the UK last year and is just now getting a North American release but there’s a new ending. Why is that? Marshall: The ending that was in the UK split audiences 50/50. Some people loved it. A lot of people didn’t really like it. When I was first editing the film I toyed with the idea of changing the ending. The only difference is there’s a minute off the end of the film. I did toy with that in the edit suite and thought no, we’ll go with the script and the original idea. It divided British audiences straight down the middle. And then this opportunity came so it’s almost like a second chance and we decided to try the other one. Nerve: What do you think about happy endings in movies? Marshall: I think they’re fine in romantic comedies. If you’re going to make a horror film you want people come out from it kind of reeling from it - not all happy. Even the new ending, I wouldn’t call it happy. Nerve:Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven and Safe) says he doesn’t like having his characters doing heroic things because it’s unfair to audiences as that’s just not how things are. Do you think the same can be said for a happy ending in a horror movie? Marshall: The ending as it stands is no more happy than the ending of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre…I kind of disagree with Todd Haynes on that one. There’s plenty of room for heroism in reality. It’s not regular and it doesn’t happen as much as the negative aspects of life, but it’s there. Nerve:Your next movie is going to be Doomsday. I understand this is not a horror film. Marshall: Not really. It’s dark and it’s brutal and violent. It’s more in the same vein as Escape from New York. Nerve: Are you planning on returning to horror films? Marshall: Absolutely. I’ve got my zombie movie to do but I’m going to wait a while. Nerve:Take your time. Zombie movies will never go out of style. Marshall: I certainly hope not. n
Outlaws of America By Dan Berger AK Press Prior to reading Outlaws of America, I was oblivious to the fact that a group of far-left radicals called The Weathermen and later, The Weather Underground,
ever existed. Apparently I’m an ignorant savage, because the group had a part in many high-profile events throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s radical movement. The book is an in-depth account of the group’s formulation from the remains of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society—a ‘60s student radical group that has recently resurfaced to protest the war in Iraq), and the transition from non-violent protest to domestic terrorism. Outlaws of America is also riddled with tales of the tumultuous events that caused the WU’s eventual demise, including the explosion at a Greenwich Village safe house that killed three members, the infiltration of the group by COINTELPRO (an FBI agency that aimed to infiltrate and subvert dissident groups by implanting undercover agents), and the failed Brinks’ armoured car robbery in 1981 that left three police officers dead and four revolutionaries arrested. Of those four, one was WU founding member David Gilbert, who is currently serving 75 years in prison for his part in the botched attempt. Quotes from Gilbert appear throughout the book, offering a first-hand account of his involvement with the revolutionaries, though he is hardly objective. The same could be said for author Dan Berger, who writes the narration with a nostalgic ‘where have all the domestic terrorists gone?’ tone. Despite this, the book is a thoroughly engaging and informative read, as well as a timely commentary on the widespread social activism and revolutionary spirit of the 1960s and ‘70s that unfortunately seems so absent today. - Derek Bolen
Prisons Inside the New America From Vernookill Creek to Abu Ghraib By David Matlin North Atlantic Books Though this is a topic that I am deeply interested in, I found this book very difficult to read. David Matlin is an English teacher, but despite this fact—or more likely because of it—he comes across as pedantic and hard to follow. Maybe it’s just me, but I had a rough time wrapping my head around sentences such as this: “The real betrayal by the men in power whom we entrusted with our lives has produced an existence so tentative for some that they now carry their own unimaginable sums of toxic consequence, and we, the others who do not wish to be as deeply broken, will go on being broken nonetheless if we do not have the courage to properly trace the backgrounding shadows of our demoralization.” I realize that it is unfair to present this example without giving you more to go on, but trust me; the previous and preceding sentences are equally dense. It seems as if Matlin wrote the book as a creative writing exercise instead of putting the words down in a simple, easy to follow manner. To each their own, but I like clear prose that doesn’t have to be re-read ten times to grasp the meaning. It was a struggle to get through this book, and I would have quit were it not for the fact that I had committed myself to this review. No wonder I dropped out of school in the tenth grade. Still, the facts themselves are extremely alarming. In the USA, there are 1.6 million people behind bars. Sixty-five out of every 100 000 people is an inmate, an increase of 40% since 1989. A disproportionate number of those inmates are Black or Hispanic. The Americans are locked into a vicious circle. As their spending on prisons exceeds that of education,
they create poorly educated citizens who are more likely to deal drugs to pay the bills. Strangely, though Matlin attacks the “New Jack” mentality responsible for the present prison system, he fails to lash out or barely even mention the War On Drugs that is the root cause of it all. In fact, he offers no solution at all for the prison predicament. The War On Drugs is the real culprit here, and until Americans realize that they are fighting a war they cannot win, the prison population will continue to rise. - Chris Walter
Pick up any of the titles reviewed here at duthiebooks.com Life & Limb - Skateboarders Write from the Deep End Edited by Justin Hocking, Jeff Knutson & Jared Jacang Maher Soft Skull Press Book in hand, I decided to plop my ass down in a bus shelter and surround myself with the sound of skateboard wheels. I expected to get absorbed into a book full of shorts about jackasses strapping muscle contractors to their balls or pissing on a bunch of pro skaters while blacked out from a good hard night of drinking. Fuck was I wrong. Actually the strongest stories in the collection were of a more serious nature. Of course, you would expect comedy from a title like “Last Summer Some Hippy Pinched My Stick”—basically a love story between a guy and his skateboard—but it’s not written with comedy as its aim. Contributors include riders like Mark Gonzales, Ed Templeton, Michael Burnett, Jocko Weyland, Justin Hocking and more. Doodles and photography are scattered throughout the book to illustrate the writing. The opening tale “Get Radical” stirred up memories of youth: the first ramp in the neighbourhood, the hot sister of the kid who owned it, and the hopes that his hippy parents would ask the older skaters to take care of the place while they were out of town. Add booze to the mix and what more could a hormone-driven teenage skateboarder ask for besides maybe a set of balls to take advantage of all three? There are stories about fat, uneducated, skankmoms who pick fights with kids who only want to skateboard in peace, people who, to win a $10 000 bet, eat an entire tree. That’s right, a tree. Fibre anyone? How ‘bout blood in your poop? And a story about the job that supported most of the skaters I ever knew… working at the pizza joint. “Ovenman” finally reveals the love and passion that a rider has for his pizza making skills. Something I’m sure you’ve all been just dying to know. Come on. Love stories about dudes and their skateboards? Riders who are passionate about pizza? No wonder skaters make
such lousy boyfriends. Well, at least that guy had a job. In “With Love and Squalor” by Andreas Trolf (the best story in the book and actually an except from his debut novel) the main character David is down on his luck. The poor dude is unemployed, lost his girl, and got kicked out of his friend’s bachelor pad because his buddy’s old lady stopped putting out for fear that David would hear. He shacks up with some random girl he met only a couple of times who’s hot hot hot. But just when things for David are looking up, his luck runs out again when his ex reveals a devastating bit of information that makes me want to up and bitch slap her. Guess you’ll have to buy the book to find out. - Heather O’Brien
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CONTENTS Champions: Return to Arms
Champions: Return to Arms Developer: Snowblind Studios July is a tough month to play video games because of the summer heat.You can only sit around in a pool of your own sweat for so long before that internal guilt sets in and you feel compelled to go outside and soak up some vitamin D. Inevitably it becomes gall darned tough to stay focused with the beach calling. I always find it weird how just going outside makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something when I actually just sat at the beach and napped in the sun. So I gave in and I went to the beach to get some sun. Guess what happened? I got a fucking burn—at wreck beach no less. Apparently my glowing white ass cheeks can’t handle the powerful midday rays. So as a revolt to my inner guilt, I said fuck the sun and set to spend some serious time with the old PlayStation 2. You’re right. I should stay current and get a XBox 360 to keep you, the reader, up to date on the latest releases. Well just send one of those buggers on down to the Nerve office and I will be more than happy to be hip with the times. Actually this release is only available for the PS2, so fuck your nice lives with shiny things and happiness. I’ll stick to my out-dated technology. With so many games, it really is quantity over quality. After all, I am talking about Sony here. So I figured if I really want to ignore the outside world and kill some time while my posterior heals, I should get myself a role playing game to enjoy escapism to its fullest. Champions: Return To Arms would work quite nicely since it is a third person action 3D RPG or, as I like to call it, crack. This style of game keeps me hermitted in the darkness indoors longer than pretty much anything. A friend and I played Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 for 16 hours straight and there was a chunk of my life that whenever I closed my eyes I would see Diablo 2 on the inside of my eyelids. I have to warn you if you do want to play this game you should set aside some serious game time.
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There are seven characters including the classic warrior and wizard archetypes but this game has a tiger berserker and a lizard shaman. Now take a few minutes and let this sink in… you can be a fucking ferocious jungle cat holding a giant two-handed sword who goes berserk and cuts the hell out of monsters with a tornado move. Holy shit! Yeah, I almost came too. The weapons and armor are randomly created in this game so you can find something new every time you go through a level. To get new stuff in the main shop just save and load your game and there will be freshly generated armor and weapons. Don’t waste too much time doing this though because the best stuff is taken off of bosses. There are also gems to give your items custom attributes ranging from health regeneration to added elemental damage. Plus the armor looks different on each of the characters. This can be a bad thing as I ended up spending hours trying to make my character look as bad ass as possible. You’re not even safe from your life being sucked out of your hands after you finish the game because of all the stuff you can do multiple times. There are different difficulty levels that you have to have a certain level character to play. To do the game completely you have to finish it about 5 times. Early in the game you can choose to play as a good guy or an evil bastard working to resurrect some super powerful evil thing, which if I am not mistaken, is the villain from the first game. Depending on your choice some of the levels are different and your interactions with in game characters also change. I played through once as a good character and about ¾ of the way through as an evil character before I decided that Roger’s Video would probably blow up my house if I did not return their game after two weeks of accruing late fees. I would just go to blockbuster because of the no late fees thing but they never have games on their shelves. No one ever returns them because there is no late feels to half scare half guilt them into actually getting off their couch and walking a block to the video store. - Dale De Ruiter
S A T 4 b t t l o B “ L s b R d i S s
A S c ’ O b m k i t S m
CONTENTS TEX & DEX
Boob ‘n’ Lube
Anti-Slam mastermind Perry, heelflip. photo: Jeff Chan Sunday Aug. 13), Leeside progresses (antisocialshop. com), and VSPC’s new Prez/Veep vote is Aug. 12 at antisocial. D-Rock and Miss Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
Skatespot World Tour - Survivors’ Account This summer, Skatespot mediasupernova toured all 4 major international cities, starting with Winnipeg - now international centre number one. Is too, you bullies, judging by its new Plaza at the Forks, maybe the best streetpark yet. A well-composed architectural landscape, it’s big, (stairs, rails, banks, granite ledges) and distinguished by details - 2 sculptures, one a fish-like steel cantilever next to a China Banks replica, one a steel/concrete ribbon we call “My Humps”, plus local skate-art displays. New Line creatively multiplied the banked-ledge-next-tostair element from Vancouver’s plaza; the pool-like bowls include oververt clamshell and cradle. Thanks RJ/Kyle of New Line, to Mr. Burns’ (true fact) donation of $2 million and to Sk8Skates for design input. Opening week saw Koston, Appleyard, Keegan Sauder, Geoff Dermer, Kris Foley and Jim Barnum show and shred. Not bad, prairie town. Ah, Montreal, home of le street shred. This summer South Parc hosts hella comps – check south-parc. com. Don’t miss the hallowed Big-O fullpipe next to ’67 StadeOlympique. (photos at parfond.com). BigO rulers Marc Tison and Barry Walsh are writing a book - “Pipe Fiends” – send Big-O photos/stories to email@example.com. Known for gnarly streetskating, Toronto also harbours Gymbo’s inner city indoor skatepark Shred Central. (check shredcentral.com) Manzanita, Oregon - We surfed, but the Skatallica tour destroys Oregon’s bowls each summer – (grindline.com or dreamlandskateparks.com) Finally, back in Van, Underworld hosted eS Gameof-Skate July 29, Bowl Series wraps up (Whistler,
Anti-Slam On the upcoming events tip, tranny lovers have the promise of a rollicking good time at the Anti-Slam Contest, which is going down at Hastings on August 25th & 26th. The brainchild of Cract Pipe/ESD reps Perry Mylnowski and Bryan Ball, Anti-Slam is… you guessed it… a counterpart to that over-commercialized extravaganza known as Slam City Jam, which, for the first time in the history of the whole entire world, is taking place in Calgary rather than Vancouver. “So long, Stinktown!” So come on out to Anti-Slam everyone, because homegrown events are always the most fun. Vancouver Skatepark Coalition – Changing of the Guard It’s no secret that Vancouver is among the world’s best skate cities.Yeah, downtown’s natural street spots have a pretty serious bust factor these days, what with the caps and security and whathaveyou, but the city does devote a chunk of their budget to building public skateparks. A disproportionately large chunk too, if you compare us to other Canadian cities. And not only that, but City Hall actually listens to skaters when they’re making decisions about what to build with that money. Why am I telling you this? Because the Vancouver Skatepark Coalition, the major voice of the city’s skateboarders, is having its annual general meeting at 7pm, August 12th at Antisocial (Main St. just north of Broadway), which means that this is your chance to vote for the people that you want to run the show. There’s 10 spots open on the board and some of the candidates are… Michelle Pezel for president and yours truly for VP (yes, this is self-promotion and is completely and utterly shameless). If you give a shit, come down and show it. - Jeff Chan “firstname.lastname@example.org
Hanwakan Whitecloud bigspin manuals the carp, Winnipeg Plaza at the Forks. photo: Kim Glennie
Texass: So there I was...minding my own damned business, when all of a sudden I get this text message on my cell phone. Turns out there’s a KYC – KY Championship Wrestling event at the CaddyShack, a strip joint in Maple Ridge. Miss Dexter: Tex is a wrestle-maniac, aka wrestling obsessed dork. All you have to do is say ‘suplex’ and you’ve got his attention. Throw in some tits and whiskey, and we got a night out. Tex: BAM! Dex: don’t make that noise please. Tex: sorry... Maple Ridge, here we come. This championship match screamed Tex n Dex. Dex: So, we didn’t quite know what to expect. I think ole Texass was hoping for some Monday night style extreme hardcore violence Tex: Well, kinda.. I mean a steel chair shot to the head can really make two hot chicks beating the crap out of each other all that more interesting. Let the blood flow. Kick her where it hurts. Dex: Yeah, my thoughts? A little more reasonable Tex: What? you thought they were gonna come out in college wrestling tights, head gear and go at Greco-Roman style in a tub of lubcricant. sheesh. Dex: Either way, it didn’t matter, as long as it wasn’t as painful to watch as that ring and the haggard ole tubbies they used to have ‘wrestle’ when they
brought the ring out back in the old Paradise. Tex: Ah.. the ole Paradise.. Dex: Anyways.. we get there and met up with some of Tex’s “friends” that were already there. Tex: So, since they had been there a little longer, we pestered them with questions about what exactly we were about to get. The responses were something along the lines of ‘aside from no anal penetration, nothing past the third knuckle and anything goes’ Dex: But the confusing part was, there wasn’t a ring or a tub of lube or anything in sight.
Tex: It was like a regular ole strip joint. They had girls go on, get naked, and get off the stage for hours. So we sat. and waiting. And drank. And watched. Terrible way to spend the night. Dex: You loved it. Pervert. Tex: BAM! Dex: Stop making that noise Tex: FINALLY, around ten, they bring out this little sandbox sized.. well.. box. About a foot or so deep, filled with some kind of jelly filled mat. And they start to hand out squirt guns to some of the dumb jocks in the front row. Apparently the squirt guns were filled with mostly KY and some water. Then they bring out two strippers, clad in oversized tshirts and baggy shorts, and had the audience squirt them. Dex: most specifically in the boob and ass regions, because that’s where you need to be lubed, in a wrestling match. Apparently Tex: Apparently. Then the announcer hands the girls two little plastic cups full of KY and booms over the
mic “Grease yourselves up ladies!!’ I’m serious. So they square off. The anticipation and curiosity has come to a climax, as we are all wondering exactly what style of grappling these ladies are going to employ on each other, and exactly what the rules are, if any. The foot high ledge of the wrestling ‘box’ kinda squashed my hopes of any kind of high flying maneovers. But maybe we’d see some good technical wrestling. The two ladies circle each other, eyes locked, serious business looks, wrestling shirts dripping with KY. And then it happened. They both giggled. They lock up and both fall down. The brunette, Taya Fontaine, attempts to pin the girl. That’s apparently not how you win because then they start to roll around. Giggling and jiggling. And then they took each other’s shorts off. Dex: a highly effective move in winning such a match, if you ask me. Tex: I was appalled. The ref called for the bell. Round one had ended. Both girls were bottomless. One had lost their shirt, but still had a bikini top. Neither girl had attempted any kind of power moves or suplexes at this point. They lock up, the
blonde, Paris Pain, removes her own bikini. Soon, they’re both naked. Faces in each other’s crotches like it was a Duo night. Someone was confused and I didn’t think it was me. The girls continue to roll around each other gently, lots of back arching, both girls glistening with lube. Then the ref calls for the bell. Now the crowd cheers for who they think should advance to the next round. That’s how it ends. Drunken assholes yelling determines the winner of such a contest. And for some reason, they chose the blonde. Dex: You liked the brunette. Tex: She was better. Dex: And hotter. Tex: So then we had two more matches, same arrangement. Two rounds. Nakedness, rolling around. Etc. and then the Semi Finals. They remind us that the KY Championship belt is actually on the line here, at the CaddyShack, in Maple Ridge. Then they announce the Semis will be a threeway match, and throw Taya back in, my favourite. I wasn’t complaining anymore. Dex: By this point, I had lost interest and was getting a little drunk. You see one slippery stripper ‘match’, you’ve seen ‘em all. Tex: I don’t even remember what happened but in the end some girl won the belt and it was a really
official looking wrestling belt. Dex: The scribbles you made as ‘notes’ seem to say ‘Darcy Diamond’ Tex: That sounds right. We were all quite proud of her and wished her well. Then we went and ate burgers. Dex: …and they forgot to give us ketchup for our fries. Assholes. n
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By Dan Scum Across 1. Phencyclidine (French crack) 4. Beaver’s business 8. Pasta giant 12. Numbskull 14. A toke of oil flanked by 2 flattened Pieces of hash 15. Airplane toilet sign 17. Popular brand of snuff 18. Joints laced with PCP 20. China White or Mexican Tar 22. Step with both legs 23. According to Eminem, “who they forgot about” 24. # of ounces in 28 grams 25. Amyl nitrate containers 28. Djembe or Tabla 32. In the US, a step down from Fed. 33. Opposite of a little 34. Himalayan guide (abbrv.) 36. The Superior of a monastery 40. Depression 42. Gamma-Hydroxybutric acid 43. “Shout” in Hip Hop lingo 44. Reason 45. Moray and Electric 47. Slang for a dose of cocaine 48. “Cool” Green Day member 50. Solvent used in making drugs 52. Crack (to Garfield the cat) 55. Snitch 56.Virus with A, B, or C 57. Group meditation sound 58. The perfect amount 62. “Benny’s” to pill poppers 66. Microsoft Personal Address website initials 67.Vast body of liquid 68. Animated short, “The Big ____) 69. Hip Hop term meaning, “All of you” 70. Old Witches 71. Scourge of the Great Lakes 72. Shut yer ____! Down 1. Put out a book (abbrv.) 2. Nose Candy 3. Impoverished 4. Barbiturates 5. Are 6. Jib, Ice, Crank, Go Fast The Nerve August 2006 Page 34
7. Hebrew meaning, “Burnt” 8. Be free of 9. And 10. Sherpa, e.g. 11. Clients at a safe injection site 13. Screens for HIV and Hep A,B,C,etc. 16. “Buddy” to a Latino 19. Computer prgrms. 21. Type of film (abbrv.) 26. Salt Lake State 27. Where drugs are made 28. Canadiens 29. California Uber ____’s 30. A person, place or thing 31. Jones 35. Can do 37. Insipid 38. Mish-Mash 39. Starbuck’s size 41. Que ___, ___! 46. Skating Totally Rules Everything Else Totally Sucks 49. OMG 51. Tried to get elected 52. Bloodsucking parasite 53. Stoppage of breathing 54. Hospital’s Drug Dealer? 56. Home Box Office 59. One of Saddam’s sons 60. Celebration 61. Aide 63. Half of a popular rolling paper 64. Nine has only 2 65. Zero
Last Issue’s Answers
The Nerve August 2006 Page 35
A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH THE NEW ALBUM AVAILABLE IN REGULAR AND LTD EDITIONS FEATURING THE SINGLES
“THE REINCARNATION OF BENJAMIN BREEG” & “A DIFFERENT WORLD”
u n d e r ø at h d e f i n e t h e g r e at l i n e
The transcendent new album, featuring “WRITING ON THE WALLS” “5 out of 5!” — ALTERNATIVE PRESS MAGAZINE “(Define the Great Line) could be the best release of the year” - 10 out of 10 — OUTBURN MAGAZINE
DEFINE THE GREAT LINE LTD EDITION THEY’RE ONLY CHASING SAFETY
After touring on the Warped Tour and Taste Of Chaos, and sharing the stage with AFI, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, The Used and many others, SAOSIN are set to unleash their debut album on the world.
09.26.06 Featuring the single
Published on Aug 1, 2006
Published on Aug 1, 2006
The August 2006 of The Nerve features Darkest Hour on the cover. Also includes articles on Genghis Tron, The New York Dolls, Silver Jews, M...