new logo! less hate! more quality! no anarchy!
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WE ARE WOLVES WE ARE WOLVES - 15
Album Reviews - 18 Live Reviews - 17 Film - 23 Skate Spot - 22 Ainsworth - 26 Fiction - 26 Skate - 22 Books - 22 Comics - 27
Alouette! Gentile Alouette, Alouette! Je te plumerai!
LEGS McNEIL - 8
McNeil finally crawls out of the gutter
MATCHBOOK ROMANCE - 16 How to build a career in shop class!
OUR MERCURY - 11 I can’t stop looking at Kinsella’s hair
ATREYU - 11 More quality journalism
P.O.S - 9
Promise of Skill or Piece of Shit? Reader - you decide
MONEEN - 13 Cum see how these boys play!
WARREN KINSELLA - 8
One of them actually breaks their hip during this interview
A GLOBAL THREAT - 13 A punk band from Boston - weird...
STORY OF THE YEAR - 11
The story of the year, buddy, is HOW FUCKIN’ AWESOME I AM!!!!!
BUTTLESS CHAPS - 7
Seven albums and they still don’t hate each other
GO GHETTO TIGER- 10 These people are demented
HYPNOPILOT - 16
Devon Cody’s penis comes up a couple of times
508 - 825 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 1K9 604.734.1611 www.thenervemagazine.com / email@example.com The Don (a/k/a Editor-In-Chief and Publisher) Bradley C. Damsgaard firstname.lastname@example.org Pistol Whipper (a/k/a Music Editor) Adrian Mack email@example.com Shotgun (a/k/a Film Editor) Michael Mann firstname.lastname@example.org Map and Details (a/k/a Skate Shreditors) D-Rock and Miss Kim Launderer (a/k/a Book Editor) Devon Cody email@example.com
THE NARCOLEPTIC VIDEOGRAPHER- 24
What do you call a pussy made out of carboard: pseudo-vag or faux-cunt?
The Henchmen (a/k/a Design & Graphics) Dale De Ruiter Weapons Cleaner (a/k/a Article Editor) Jon Azpiri, Sean Law Surveillance Team (a/k/a Photographers) Laura Murray, Jeremy Van Nieuwkerk, Miss Toby Marie The Muscle (a/k/a Staff Writers) Jason Ainsworth, Cowboy TexAss, Chris Walter, Jason Schreurs, Adam Simpkins, Therese Lanz, Carl Spackler, David Bertrand, Herman Menervemanana, Sean Law, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kid (a/k/a The Intern) Jen Clement Out-of-town Connections (a/k/a Distro and Street Team) Toronto: Rosina Tassone Calgary: Mike Taylor Edmonton: Freecloud Records, Shauna Sirockman Winnipeg: Margo Voncook Whitehorse: Jordi and Jeremy Jones Victoria/Whistler: Jono Jak, Lindsay Seattle/Bellingham: Frank Yahr The Nerve is published monthly by The Nerve Magazine Ltd. The opinions expressed by the writers and artists do not necessarily reflect those of The Nerve Magazine or its editors. The Nerve does not accept responsibility for content in advertisements. The Nerve reserves the right to refuse any advertisement or submission and accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. All content © Copyright The Nerve Magazine 2006. Est. 1999
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CHEAP SHOTZ Colossus Speaks! Hate mail is great and there’s nothing we like more than a well crafted slam. Sadly, the hate mail we’ve been receiving lately has been getting a little derivative and stagnant. Rather than take the onslaught of repetitive hate mail as a sign that we should change, we’re gonna go ahead and suggest that you should change, instead. Just know if you include any of the following in your email, letter or phone-call, you’re not being original or clever and you should try coming up with something else: 1. Writing to express moral outrage and to tell us you aren’t going to read the magazine any more. Not even to see if we print your letter. 2. Saying you could do a better job and alluding that you’re interested in writing for us if only someone would ask. 3. Saying the design of the magazine sucks, looks like it was thrown together by six year olds and alluding to being interested in helping with design if only someone would ask. 4. Threatening to sue for libel/copyright infringement and then not following through. 5. Saying we’re trying to be like Vice 6. Referring to us in the past tense in a clever attempt to suggest we’re going out of business. 7. Saying that local magazines that have gone out of business or print every eight months are far better than us. 8. Identifying yourself as a member of a band featured, taking yourself too seriously, never once considering that articles are written for the benefit of readers and not the media section on your crappy website, and that you really aren’t doing anyone a favour by granting us an interview. 9. Taking offense on someone else’s behalf or name-dropping. 10. Expressing disbelief that you wasted five minutes of your life reading the magazine and possibly asking for compensation. 11. Saying that you wouldn’t wipe your ass, your worst enemy’s ass, or anyone’s ass with the magazine. 12. Not acknowledging that you devour the magazine from cover to cover every month, or not acknowledging that if you don’t pick it up, someone else will. Foundation Restaurant Serves Best Nachos in Town! Speaking of hate mail, it should be made clear that Devon Cody was not responsible for last month’s mean-spirited, needless, and somewhat inaccurate attack on the Foundation restaurant in Cheap Shotz. That particular piece of diabolical and nasty rotteness was produced by the same vindictive and malicious super-bot that oozes all the other rotten filth in this magazine. And much like the cartoonishly evil computer that takes over the world in the 1969 movie Colossus: The Forbin Project, it can’t be stopped, even if it should be. Plus - If we try and “switch it off”, this happens:
Who Gives a Fuck?
Of all the comments aroused in the aforementioned flap – in which Colossus made reckless and stupid innuendos about the Foundation restaurant - the most sobering came from blogger Sean on beyondrobson.com, who said, “The Georgia Straight is for old hippies.” Or something to that effect. Consequently, both Colossus and The Nerve feel satisfied that a huge thermo-nuclear explosion isn’t necessary at this point. Nardwuar DVD Release! Canada’s all time favorite whacked-out gonzoguerrilla journalist supremo (and uber-fave CITR disk jockey) John “Nardwuar the Human Serviette” Ruskin - deemed “a national treasure” by Michael Moore - will be hosting the official DVD release of Doot Doola Doot Doo...Doot Doo! this coming Tuesday, March 7th at UBC’s Norm Theatre. The DVD itself is a quite stu nning fivehours-plus tour-de-force of live concert footage of the Nardster’s enjoyably infamous punk-rawk bands (the Evaporators, Thee Goblins) and over 60 pointed and hilarious encounters with entertainment icons, superpower politicans, people of power and influence, and even Busta Rhymes! The Norm Theatre event is an all-ages affair, with tix running a lousy six bucks (Zulu, Scratch, Red Cat, CITR), and will feature live sets from both the Evaporators and Thee Goblins, plus selected Nardwuar encounters sprayed really big on a projection screen. For more info please visit www.nardwuar.com.
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Westender Connecting the Dots “People under mind control rarely blink. Their eyes stay wide open. And the micro-muscles in their face don’t move properly, so they don’t have proper facial expression. They may always smile. I smiled, I think, the whole time that I was under mind control. I had a little plastic smile plastered on my face. My face looked waxy otherwise, and there was no smile in my eyes, there was no twinkle, no depth to that little smile. There are certain mannerisms that can be recognized. There’s a more rigid stance…” No, no – it’s not a quote from Tamara Taggart’s autobiography, but an excerpt from a 1995 Hustler interview with Mind Control victim Cathy O’Brien. O’Brien showed up in a recent edition of Andreas Ohrt’s always entertaining Curious Times section in Westender, in a little thingy-thing about Dick Cheney’s recent hunting mishap. O’Brien claims that the Veep enjoys hunting humans as a part of the trauma conditioning endured by Mind Control victims, and also alleges that she was raped by Cheney, and that he has a freakishly large penis. The Westender deserves credit for even mentioning O’Brien’s book, Trance-Formation of America, which is consistently dismissed in mainstream circles as the ravings of a whack job. Next up: maybe something about Margie Schoedinger, the Texan woman who tried to file a complaint against George W. Bush for rape, and was dead less than a year later.
This month - Canada’s Political “Prince of Darkness” - Warren Kinsella What album is currently in your Stereo? Arctic Monkeys, Hard Fi, Rakes, Babyshambles mix CD (all legally downloaded!). What book are you currently reading or have most recently read? Blog! How the Newest Media Revolution is Changing Politics, Business, and Culture by David Kline What was the last movie you watched? That Jodi Foster one, where she loses her kid on a plane. (Flightplan – Book Ed.) Name one album, movie or book you consistently recommend to friends. The first Ramones LP Name one album, movie or book you would recommend to an enemy? Anything by Ayn Rand What is a recent guilty pleasure? Watching my kids play hockey. What is your biggest pet peeve? Ralph Klein. Name one bad habit you are extremely proud of? Eating greasy diner food. If you could hang out with any one person throughout history who would it be? Malcolm X or Lenin. Or Christ. What is one thing you want to get done before you die? Return the empties in our garage.
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the new vinyl
Records Too Expensive These Days? How About Collecting Shitty VHS Tapes, Instead?
Mykel Board Spoken Word Reading! Longtime Maximumrocknroll Magazine columnist (and GLBT activist) Mykel Board will be reading excerpts from his latest book I A Me-ist at the Asbalt on Sunday March 26th (other Vancouver appearances are in the works as of this writing). This is a rare Canadian appearance for Mr. Board - one of the most cuttingly intelligent and side-splittingly hilarious writer ever to gleam up the pages of punkdom’s longest-running and most successful zine. Do yourselves a favour and check out http://home.netcom.com/~mykelb/ home.html for more details. Sneaky Limeys Invade Gastown Longtime indie-rock steam-engineer-supreme Mark Bignell is organizing a benefit concert for his Radio Bandcouver program (which he hosts 2:30-4:00pm Thursdays on CFRO 102.7FM) at the Lamplighter Pub in Gastown, on Saturday, March 25th. Don’t expect the evening to be swamped with moptopped Merseybeatniks, though: Mr. Bignell is allowing the participating artists (the lineup includes Orchards and Vines, Andy Collins Band, Matthew Presidente, the Feminists, the Orchid Highway, Phillipe, Mistress Jen and Her Bitches, Willy Krueger, Dan Mangan, and Star Collector, among others) to cover over 40 years of British rock, from the Beatles up to Babyshambles, so who knows what the fuck’ll happen? Between-set features include archived video footage of the Who, the Kinks, the Searchers, Elvis Costello, the Animals, the Buzzcocks, The Cure, Cream, XTC, Squeeze, Supergrass and Christ knows who else. Admission is $10 and all proceeds go towards CFRO 102.7FM, Vancouver’s non-profit co-op radio. In the wake of Bignell’s success with last year’s very enjoyable Kinks tribute night at the Media Club, the next British Invasion should be just as dope. For more information, please call 604-682-3269 (ext.3018) or visit either www. bandcouver.com or www.coopradio.org/listen.
A Drunk Scientologist calls: Sent, Wednesday, February 15th, at 1:20 am Yeah, you gotta wait for this, this is gonna be really good, assuming you have quite a long tape on your, your record. Or whatever. Aaargh… faggots! (Plays guitar, badly. Gives up.) That’s a pretty pathetic chord change actually, I did it myself, you know, normally I have a handler, but, eh… I love your magazine, and all those stories, and the crepe shoes, and pantyhose, and septic cunts and so forth, can’t get enough of it, thank you. A Nerve Mind Control Subject calls: Next message, saved, Monday, February 20th, at 10:17 am Hey guys, uh, it’s Rob *******, the “stupidest phone message 05” (see Issue #56), thanks for putting it in Cheap Shotz. Sorry to give you the hassle of having to put up with my stupid phone message, but I was venting, I was kinda angry, I dunno. I think, uh… Yeah. I’m really sorry if that caused any distress but at least my ridiculous phone message got brought into the world for all eternity. In some ways, I guess life is just one big plastic hassle, but, man, I’m not too worried about it. Anyway. Thanks for your time, and I, uh, really like your magazine. I’m glad you’re doing it. There’s a lot of really great stuff in here, I always thought there was. I was just really frustrated, and I dunno. I think that, uh… HA HA HA HA HA… There’s a lot of music that really goes under the radar, and it’s really cause it really has a very bad image, or just not really a… not a pertinent image to, uh, the music scene in Canada. So anyway, uh, thanks a lot, and I hope you’re having a good day. Cheers.
This month: Dark Secrets Inside Bohemian Grove Found: Sally-Ann in Victoria. $2.00. Plot: An investigative documentary into Bohemian Grove, Northern California, a members-only all-male retreat for Bush, Kissinger, and just about every other policorporate mongoloid in top-tier America. They worship a giant stone owl, ritualistically sacrifice human effigies, and fuck prostitutes. Alex Jones, professional shit disturber and radio-host, leads his well-endowed hussy and crack Brit film crew to infiltrate this midsummer Cremation of Care. Is it Ass? Video quality and editing are embarrassing. 50% of it is throwaway filler, interview subjects are yahoos, Jones relentlessly flogs his tuba. That said, his concern is loud and genuine, the footage seems real (I doubt Jones has the technical know-how to fake it), and it’s exciting in a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! kinda way, unlike the same ol’ dreariness of imperialistic warfare and civilian slaughter. There’s theatrical mumbo-jumbo, robed druidic priests, a screaming burnt ‘corpse’, that big ol’ spookyass owl, all traceable to the Canaanite cults of Moloch, apparently, and eerily reminiscent of Disneyland’s nightly FANTASMIC! performance on Tom Sawyer Island. Sadly, our host Mr. Jones is a loud-mouthed selfgratifying anus with all the subtlety of a Texan Ron Popeil, making himself - and by extension all other truth-seekers (ie: you and me) – killer targets for media ridicule. There’s an absolute wealth of info out there (including ‘legitimate’ media) about the occult/brain-washing/secret society/absolute fucking insanity of the US elite. If even 1/10th is true… hide the children. Run to the hills. It’s over. Rare? Nope. DVD and VHS copies, now packaged with The Order of Death, are available from Jones’ website, www.infowars. com, for the low, low price of $24.95 US.
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ogues covers, an affinity for prohibition era imagery, diverse instrumentation, a whiskey-voiced singer, and punk rock attitude… It all ends up conjuring images of Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly doesn’t it? It’s funny, because as much as Rum Runner comes across as Celtic-punk - on the surface at least - the band members don’t see themselves that way at all. After finishing this interview with lead singer Al, I popped their debut full-length Association in the old CD player and determined he’s right; the songs aren’t really punk rocks songs put through some traditional Celtic filter or vice versa. The songs stand on their own two feet. No matter how you perceive it, Rum Runner’s music and energy is certainly infectious and make them one of the true bright spots in Calgary’s music scene.
punk band at all? Al: Personally I don’t see how the use of country bass lines and drumming, acoustic guitars, banjos and harmonicas have landed us in the Celtic-punk genre. In my opinion, our dabbling in Celtic-punk is limited to our Pogues covers… I suspect that such a first impression was a lasting one to some people. Plus, it’s easier for listeners to immediately file us into a pre-existing genre than to accept that, God forbid, our style varies from song to song.
Nerve: The new single seems like quite a departure from Association. How has your songwriting evolved since your Nerve: It’s quite obvious in listening to your full-length was written? music that the Pogues must have been quite Al: I wrote a lot of the songs on an influence on you. You even recorded a Association when I was 17 or 18 Pogues tribute seven-inch. What is it about years old! The new single, and the the Pogues that grabs you the most? forthcoming album from which it was Al: The best thing about the taken, was written Pogues is the songwriting. It’s easier for listeners by my 21-andI’m not particularly 22-year-old self, to immediately file us and though I’m interested in Irish or Celtic music in general; not naive enough into a I mean, I think it’s quite to think that I’ve impressive the way that pre-existing genre than now attained a By Phil MacGowan was able to worldly wisdom to accept that, god add to the catalogue of an that was absent indigenous genre that had forbid, our style varies from the songs been thriving without him on Association, from song to song. for hundreds of years, but there’s just that much more it’s more the songwriting itself that pulls us to the growth as far as the songwriting goes. Lyrically, Pogues. The Pogues have influenced us in the this has resulted in more storytelling and less exact same way that the Nips have, even though adolescent self-pity. Plus we’ve had a couple the former is a traditional Irish band and the latter years to become better musicians. And I almost is a pop-punk band. Plus, Pogues songs are so forgot; Mike, who played drums on the first album much fun to play! On St. Patrick’s Day we add an has since moved to guitar and we’ve gotten a accordionist, a whistler, and a mandolin player, new drummer, which makes for a far more solid and perform an entire set of Pogues songs as lineup in every way, including when it comes to Rum Runner, Sodomy and the Lash. writing and arranging.
Nerve: So, you don’t see yourself as a Celtic-
Nerve: Do you have a preoccupation with
Heidenreich Party! prohibition-era imagery? Al: A little bit I suppose. We happen to like dressing formally on occasion, which lends itself nicely to the 1920’s gangster imagery and when compiling the artwork for the first album we took a decidedly Prohibition-era approach. It’s more of an extension of an interest in old movies, music and culture than a specific preoccupation with the Prohibition though. Nerve: When does the new single come out? Is there another full-length in the works?
Al: The new single - “Dead Men are Heavier than Broken Hearts” - is gonna be out on Longshot Music by the end of 2005. And I should mention that it’s on thick-ass, blood-splattered clear vinyl! The full-length from which it was taken is completely recorded, mixed and mastered and we’re just working out some business details at present. But it’s gonna be called Rum Runner in Guns at Cyrano’s and we’re really, really happy with it. (Since writing this article, Rum Runner has secured a release on Stumble for early spring) n
Ass-Slappin’ Rootsa-Whatsit Muzik for all Shapes and Sizes!
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By Ferdy Belland
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Come on boys, album number eight isn’t gonna record itself
ancouver’s underground/indie music this, they’ll be supporting their seventh (!) album, scene knows no real one-size-fits-all Where Night Holds Light (Mint), with a crossgeneric ‘sound’ as such. The nation and Canada tour ending at Vancouver’s Railway the world may rightly nod in recognition when Club on March 25th. the names Black Mountain, Pink Mountaintops, The Chaps were first fashioned in Victoria et al are bandied about in hipster media hither back in 1998 by vocalist-guitarist Dave Gowans, and yon, but so many who isn’t averse to wielding artists and groups are After all this time, we banjos, recorders, or even unselfconsciously exploring actual air-raid sirens to get his their own individual styles know how to not piss band’s point across. “There was and sounds - some of which always lots of music around the each other off. get harder and harder to house, but I was the only one offhandedly categorize as the years tick on. who really dabbled with instruments,” Gowans Such a unique (and powerfully talented) bunch of recalls. “My parents’ record collection had a sonic upstarts are the Buttless Chaps, of course lot of the overproduced Nashville stuff - Chet – considered by many to be one of the finest Atkins, Glenn Campbell - when horns were bands in Vancouver today. By the time you read being added to country. I got into the more
now are ars.
stripped-down, minimalist country music later on. But there was always room in my heart for punk rock, and my NoMeansNo records. Growing up skateboarding in Victoria, I saw a lot of punk shows, and I still like seeing punk shows today. When the Chaps first started, we would always play with a lot of punk bands in Winnipeg and Ontario. It seems to have changed over the years… I don’t know why… It was pretty fun.” When asked of the differences and similarities of both Victoria’s and Vancouver’s indie music communities, Gowans notes: “Victoria’s scene is smaller than Vancouver’s, of course, but very supportive. Lot of people would play shows with each other or be involved in everyone else’s bands, singing live at shows. Cool community thing going on. The same sort of cooperation happens here in Vancouver as well, but due to the city’s size, you don’t know as many people as you would in Victoria.” The Buttless Chaps’ current lineup remains, as usual: Lasse Lutick (guitar, banjo, synthesizer), Morgan MacDonald (keyboards), and Torben Wilson (drums). Since July 2005 the Chaps have wisely gone co-ed with the arrival of Vancouver’s beloved musical treasure Ida Nilsen (former brains behind the sadly-missed Sugar Refinery club, and current mastermind behind Great Aunt Ida) on vocals, euphonium, keyboards, and accordion.
“I think everyone still likes being in the Buttless Chaps,” states Gowans. “We all get along really well. After all this time, we know how to not piss each other off. Right now, on the whole, things are going very well. It makes you look forward to going on the road.” The Georgia Straight’s Mike Usinger describes the Chaps as “fiercely original, and often breathtaking,” and he’s right. The Chaps are known far and wide for their energetically charismatic live shows, which never fail to make the spinal cord shudder with the adrenaline thrill of it all. Although their music’s stylistic base might be loosely described as rootsy, there’s way too many avant-garde sound effects going on to confuse them with an old Webb Pierce LP. And the post-’70s prog-rock artsy trappings make the Buttless Chaps sound like ‘frontier music for pioneers’ only if said pioneers are Ray Bradbury’s interplanetary settlers in The Martian Chronicles. It’s out there, but it’s also very familiar and very gripping. And there are just so many good Buttless Chaps songs that stick in your psyche, like warm peanut butter for the soul. Gowans is asked about the Chaps’ musical utilitarianism: “We can play lots of different venues, but there was a time when we were landing shows in more rootsy, mellower rooms and we’d do a more mellow show, but it didn’t feel good. Now we aim to play venues where we can just do our thing, and we’re not big fans of adjusting or dampening our sounds to suit the vibe of the rooms. It’s never a satisfying show, for us or for the audience. Even the new record is a bit mellower than the last one, in certain parts, but I wouldn’t want to deceive anybody into thinking that the Buttless Chaps’ live show was some quiet, intimate roots music. There’ll be some chaos thrown in there somewhere.” n
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Fury’s Hour A (sort-of) Critical Analysis
P.O.S repre “Prom than a N signe divers Minne roster a rap Africa His ra and p his pu frontm P curre I’m s and T not go “I just feel c S Joey E Cadil little S emce they as a r N accom of oth the scene Slug Rhym how and song. “E think are li
By Chris Walter
t was with trepidation that I allowed the Nerve peppers his speech liberally (ha ha “liberally” get talk me into writing this piece. You see, there it?) with invective. I ask him why he didn’t tell us were things about Fury’s Hour by Warren how a punk from a band called the Hot Nasties Kinsella that I didn’t agree with. I questioned the became a political adviser to Jean Chrétien, and way he handled my favourite subject and finished the answer is surprisingly simple. “I wanted the the book feeling as though I had somehow been book to be about punk bands and punk music, cheated. Then, you ask, why would I not eagerly not about me,” he says, following it up with a few accept the assignment and put Warren in the hot swear words just for the fuck of it. The answer is seat? I could fire barbed questions his way, and perfectly logical. I still want to know how he did it, then take everything he said out of context and but Warren will only say that he may put the story slander him all across the country. Why would I in another book. We move on and I ask why he not take this opportunity to knock the almighty included interviews of Good Charlotte and BlinkWarren Kinsella down a few pegs? The answer is 182 in the book who, as you know, are about as simple: I’m a coward. You see, I’ve been loosely punk rock as Stephen Harper. It turns out that he following some of Mr. Kinsella’s very public feuds was assigned (by the publisher, I’m guessing,) with various boneheads, and let’s just say that to cover Good Charlotte. In the case of Blinkhe can dissect the average skinhead faster 182, he wanted to take them to task for making than Emerson crossed such huge assloads of the floor. Sure, I’m no money from punk. Now average skinhead, here’s where it gets “I’ve been following some but I have absolutely interesting: Warren of Mr. Kinsella’s very no desire to go up tells me that Blink-182 against this guy’s was quite candid and public feuds with various acidic tongue and refreshingly honest, boneheads, and let’s just razor-sharp intellect. and not at all what he Go online and read his had expected. When say that he can dissect the venomous diatribes for Blink was in Toronto, average skinhead faster than they only did two yourself if you don’t believe me. It’s hard Emerson crossed the floor” interviews, and one of not to feel sorry for them was for Warren’s Warren’s opponents, book, where they because he rips them apart so badly that you would likely be flamed. Now as Warren tells me want to send flowers or donate money to their this, I’m thinking that his interview with Blink and favourite charity. Okay, scratch that. You wouldn’t my interview with him are very similar. Warren want to donate money to the racist causes that knew that I had pointed questions for him, yet Mr. Kinsella’s enemies support, but you get my he still agreed to do the interview and, like Blink, drift. I’m anti-war – especially when it comes to a he too is refreshingly candid and honest. I was war of words that I am unequipped to fight. expecting him to dance around my questions, Nevertheless, the more I thought about it, the but instead of using Doublespeak, he’s actually more I wanted to ask Mr. Kinsella about his book, answering in easy-to-understand words. if only for my personal satisfaction. I could stick As our conversation comes to a close I hit the Nerve for the long-distance phone bill just to Kinsella up with the biggest gripe I have with put my own mind to rest. So, still wary, I agreed his book, namely why he compared a Nazi goof to do the article and called Warren in Toronto. named George Burdi to the Subhumans’ Gerry We got straight to business, and unlike me, who Hannah. I mean, after all, Gerry wanted to save never swears and is very saint-like, Kinsella the world from nuclear war, whereas Mr. Burdi
Who says lawyers don’t have a sense of humour? simply wanted to kill all the blacks, queers, and Jews. Once again, Warren answers the question directly. “I compared the two because they were both willing to use violence to further their cause. They both thought that violence was an acceptable way to go.” I agree with Warren that Gerry made a poor decision, but I contend that it isn’t fair to put him in the same boat as a dirtbag Nazi. Suddenly, I can feel the warmth slipping from our conversation and I’m glad I saved this
question for last. Ultimately, I agree with Warren on some points but not on others. We do share the belief that punk is not about the way you dress or even your attitude, but what goes on between the ears. Ironically, this is also exactly why I disagree with him about Blink-182 and Gerry Hannah. You don’t think that Warren will sue me, do you? n
Inside Legs McNeil By Boy Howdy
Legs maintaining his youthful
ever meet your heroes, they say. I recently had the distinct pleasure to interview one of my heroes, and you know what? He was a whole lot cooler than people with a lot less to lose by talking with a fucking hack like me. You may have heard of him. He coined this phrase to describe some fucking loser bands in NYC in the mid ‘70s… you know, that word that means so little these days but meant SO FUCKING MUCH to those of us old enough to remember taking a beating for self-expression… yeah, fuckhead: “PUNK!” Legs McNeil took the time to shoot the shit with me on the important things in life (porn, punk, serial killers etc) and even gave the Nerve a “scoop”, but you’ll have to read on to find out what. He was reviewing the new soft cover edition of The Other Hollywood with coauthor Gillian McCain when he took our call. “It
Slippin’ ‘Tween the Thighs of Punk and Porn
looks like it was born to be its modern incarnation and wanted to revisit ALL in paperback,” he says with sides of the story. “From the Mob and the FBI satisfaction. “Lends itself to - cuz it really did start with the Mob.” being all wrinkled and bent, McNeil recently stated online, “I was to lying open on people’s interested in what happens to people who have bathroom floor and being sex on camera for a living.” I wonder aloud if their picked up - randomly! That’s lives are really much different than yours or mine. what sold Please Kill Me.” “If you were smart and okay, you ended up okay,” While writing Please Kill Me, he says. “I really do have a hard time articulating the McNeil/McCain team this because, really, everybody’s story was so developed its own language different. There were people who were abused, as they would ring one then there were the abusers and those who another up and read lines seduced people. And I am talking about women glow from the book. Gillian would too. So if you are this feminist anti-porn person, sigh, “Such degradation,” the book will make your point and if you are a mimicking Ron Asheton of the Stooges. “It was libertine sexually free person, the book will make fun,” he recalls. “We did not think anyone would your point too.” read it - nor did we really care. The desire was So where does punk fit in? “It was really to keep the integrity of the voices intact via the John Holmstrom. He brought that (Dictators) wonderful slang.” record, Go Girl Crazy, up to Connecticut one Thus, a rather engaging style was born. summer. He put it on and I just went crazy. They So why porn? When were singing about our McNeil was 18 - the year lives FINALLY! It wasn’t, “I was a big asshole before Punk Magazine “been through a desert - drunk all the time and - he whipped out a fast on a horse with no and dirty porno, called name.” It was “cars, girls, fucking everything Blow Dry, for quick cash surfin’, beer, nothing else that moved. (tagline: “Shampoo matters here!” teases, Blow Dry I mention that McNeil And it was FUN” pleases!”). “One of the was evidently right in the leads could not maintain a hard-on so the movie middle of everything at a very young age. He kinda flopped,” he laughs. McNeil eventually scoffs, “That’s really crapola, cuz you know I was became fascinated with the p orn industry, also a big asshole - drunk all the time and fucking realized he’d been there from the beginning of everything that moved. And it was FUN. I think
that men and women liked each other more then and that’s another reason why I wanted to do the porn book. Cuz it was kinda like, where did we stop liking each other as much?” I push McNeil to try and find a definitive point where people really DID stop liking each other, and he instantly answers, “I think in the ‘80s. It became about money and careers. It was kind of a subtle change though. When the Rolling Stones were announcing their Steel Wheels Tour at Grand Central Station, it was the day of the Nabisco merger, and all the people were running to the phones during the Stones press conference to find out what the Nabisco decision was. That NEVER would have happened in the ‘60s or ‘70s or the ‘50s.” I probe a little bit deeper and ask what’s on the docket next and find out that McNeil is in the process of (scoop alert!) compiling a Joey Ramone bio for Simon and Schuster, with Mickey Leigh (Joey’s brother). “And that’s turning out to be an AMAZING story,” he says. “Just to learn where Joey had to come from in order to get where he was going. I know he would have hated the book, cuz all of his secrets come out, but I think it just makes him more heroic.” McNeil of course enjoyed the privilege of watching his friends the Ramones hating each other at close range. Affectionately, he tells me, “You know what was weird about the Ramones? They were like cops. They put in their 20 years and then, just when they are ready to open the bar and start enjoying life - they all die!” n
The Nerve March 2006 Page 8
e wears a labret, quarter-inch plugs in both ears, and arms sleeved with ink, neither of which says “Thug Life.” P.O.S. (an ever-alternating acronym that has represented everything from “Piece of Shit” to “Promise of Skill”) looks more like a snowboarder than a rapper. Not surprising, considering the label he’s signed to. Rhymesayers Entertainment is a diverse clan of emcees from the melting pot of Minneapolis. White, Black, Italian and Albino - the roster refutes every preconceived notion of what a rapper looks like. Surprisingly P.O.S., who is African-American, is the least hip-hop of them all. His raps are fused together with coarse medleys and percussive drumbeats, heavily influenced by his punk rock roots. He is also the guitarist and frontman for Building Better Bombs. P.O.S. (which officially stands for P-O-S) is currently touring North America. “It’s really fun. I’m super-proud of it,” he explains, almost Bill and Ted-ly. Something tells me that this dude is not going use the term “nahmean.” He continues, “I just want to put on a show that makes people feel comfortable and welcome, nahmean?” Scratch that. He is as much Dr. Dre as he is Joey Ramone. blame them, P.O.S.’s sophomore album Audition Even in the ninth grade when his punk band contains more live instruments than most hipCadillac Blindside was making the girls swoon, hop heads are used to. little Stefon Alexander was honing his skills as an Intertwined with esoteric samples, his flow is emcee under the name “Pissed Off Stef.” Once erratic - like he suffers from MPD. If he feels they broke up, he found liberty in a solo career like talking, he’ll talk; if he wants to descend into as a rapper. a whisper, he will; when No longer having to he wants to scream, accommodate to the goals there’s nothing stopping “Every time I record a of others, he stepped into But he always hip-hop song that I think him. the Minneapolis hip-hop regresses to his true scene and befriended is just a standard hip-hop nature, spitting rhymes Slug (co-founder of “I ain’t white and song, my friends are like, like, Rhymesayers). “He saw there’s laws for that/ So how hard I was working ‘What’s wrong with you?” I use color safe bleach and said, ‘Come do a at the Laundromat.” song.’” And that was that. P.O.S. is too modest “Every time I record a hip-hop song that I to admit that his new album is unlike anything else think is just a standard hip-hop song, my friends (although it so clearly is) but he does concede are like, ‘What’s wrong with you?’” You can’t that at the very least it’s unique compared to
some belief even ears. e with
Promise of Something Different By Omar Mouallem
his debut, Ipecac Neat. Although the content is similar, the execution is exceptional. “The beats are more abrasive,” he says. “But simpler. It’s more screamy. Touching on every possibility of my range in a cohesive record.” Reminiscing about the process of Audition, P.O.S. reveals the meaning behind the title. “I treated it like an audition,” he says. “I wanted to leave a lasting impression. Whether I get the part or not, they’re gonna remember me the next time.” “[Unlike Ipecac] I can pretty much remember where I was when I wrote every song,” he continues. “I can remember what I was doing on that day.” His most cathartic track is “P.O.S. Is Ruining My Life,” in which he intricately describes the desire to vanish from the world sometimes. “As soon as I wrote it, I felt better,” he says.
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P.O.S. gladly offers music for download on his Myspace account. Record sales are insignificant to his career. “My record’s been out for two weeks and I haven’t asked for my Soundscan, yet. I got a realistic head on my shoulders. My bills are just getting paid, but I’m not really expecting more than that.” Steadily producing content and touring, he doesn’t intend on slowing down. Building Better Bombs just wrapped up its first album. His Doomtree crew is now up to a dozen members – some of whom will accompany P.O.S. when he appears at the Buffalo Club on March 8th - collaborating with each other à la Wu-Tang. On top of all that, he’s working with death metal drummer Michael Pedicone (the Bled) to compose an abrasive dance record. Currently there is no country album slated, but who’s to say where else P.O.S. will spread his seed. n
ssuming that you aren’t one of those we did something with more of a country feel, ignorant cocksuckers who only shows up everyone would start moving their head like they for the headlining band - and if you attended knew the song already. They knew the rhythm.” any of the Vibrators’ Canadian tour dates this past These days, psychobilly music is definitely summer - chances are you are currently perched enjoying broader appeal than it ever did in its upon a rump that has at least one more asshole formative years in the ‘80s. Hellcat’s attention than the average human. By now, the rippage to bands like Tiger Army and Nekromantix has probably healed quite nicely and you are the has pushed the genre a little closer to the proud owner of a perfectly functional new pooper, mainstream, offering a measure of escape for fully capable of farting in stereo, courtesy of one those people – myself included - who are sick of the Canadian psychobilly bands most likely to of cookie-cutter punk. Toxik couldn’t agree more. rip you a new one - the Gutter Demons. After a “Punk rock was a reaction to bands like Led month and a half spent opening for the Vibrators Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac,” he says, “and on a tour that was, by all accounts, fucking wanted to get back to the pure raw rock music. amazing, the Demons returned to Montreal to I think psychobilly pushed that same idea a little complete the follow-up to further, getting back to what their explosive 2004 debut rock ‘n’ roll was all about “People seem to be more Enter the Demons. – just having a good time. into psychobilly on the It was after a show That’s it. That’s all.” in a Winnipeg hotel pub, Of course, it’s inevitable west coast. Especially in however, that the band that any time outsiders take Edmonton and Calgary. heard the tale that would an interest in “their scene”, They know the rhythm.” inspire their newest album. the purists start bitching According to bassist Flipper, like – well - little bitches. the hotel bartender recounted that he was once With an infusion of so much more of the punk invited to an after-hours room party, but decided influence, many old school psychobillies and to go home instead. The next day, he showed up hard-line rockabillies scoff at the notion that for work and was promptly questioned by police there is anything “billy” about many of these about a gruesome murder that had taken place new bands. And while it’s true that the Gutter the previous night. During the interrogation, he Demons’ sound is quite far removed from that realized the violent killings had taken place in of, say, the Meteors, the quest is still the same: the very room he had been invited to, and that to incorporate two genres of great music. Flipper he’d managed to cheat a brutal and horrific can attest to this. “When psychobilly started death. Affected by the tale, guitarist and singer out it was basically rockabilly musicians mixing Johnny Toxik wrote a song about the incident, with punk influences. Now it’s the other way. It’s entitling it and the resulting album Room 209. On mostly punk musicians playing rockabilly” Halloween of last year, the Gutter Demons set When it comes to the “do’s” and “don’t do’s” the album loose, like an incubus charged with of the genre, one thing is certain: psychobilly and molesting your earholes. politics do not mix. A French track from Room Despite getting very little press, the Gutter 209, mind you - “Pauvre Martin” (Poor Martin) Demons have been well received, especially gets me to hoping for a juicy Quebecois poke at in Western Canada. “People seem to be more the former Prime Minister. “No, no,” laughs Toxik. into psychobilly and rockabilly on the west It’s a cover song by a French singer named coast,” says Toxik. “Especially in Edmonton Georges Brassens from back in the ‘60s. It’s and Calgary, and Vancouver actually. Ontario about a man who works all his life digging in a was really hard.” Flipper offers his theory on the field only to end up just digging his own grave.” I band’s western appeal; “Maybe it’s the country can’t help but be amused by the irony. n music background they have over there. Anytime The Nerve March 2006 Page 9
D A Ghost to Kill Again Spectral Double Homicide = Earsplitting Ectoplasmic Ecstasy
By Ferdy Belland
ursting free from a fetid, overcrowded swamp of irrelevant sounda-lookalikes who threaten to strangle the modern indie community with their own all-consuming mediocrity, here comes the cleansing fire of A Ghost To Kill Again - prog as prog can be, emo as emo can be, cool as cool can be - without the precious attitudes or the trendy white belts. Formed by rock-starved and jazz-weary alumni
of Capilano College’s music program, AGTKA might just have the Vancouver monopoly on crafting hard-rocking miniepics that combine sweaty state-of-the-art show-offy chops and imaginative song structure. This is the delivery vehicle for vocalist/guitarist Aaron Joyce’s nakedly vulnerable confessions of the heart, the mind, and all in between. The perfect balance between Sunny Day Real Estate and King Crimson, it can be witnessed live in your wide-eyed face Friday March 31st at the Lamplighter Pub. “I write about, you know, the regular stuff,” Joyce explains about his lyrical storylines. “Failed relationships, ominous mountains, ghost ships, fractal geometry, fear of technology... The kind of things Neil Diamond would have written about if he’d lived in a post-apocalyptic world.” When asked which local artists AGTKA admires, Shredi Knight lead guitarist (and Mars Volta hairstyle fetishist) Alvaro Rojas gushes,
HippieCritzTomorrow’s Drunk Terrorists, Today!
e support terrorists,” explains Horken Lugee, singer/guitarist for Kelowna’s HippieCritz, one night this February as we sit down - or, rather, stand outside in a cold, wet carport - and chat over beers. Asked about the bands’ political side, which is exemplified in songs such as “Diarrhea Nosebleed” and “Captain America”, Horken elaborates: “We are terrorists.” Indeed, this band of unwashed drunken madmen has been terrorizing Western Canada for “a year, year and a half now,” according to Max Prophet (lead guitar), tho’ I could have sworn I saw him (and the band) play some dive in Clear Lake, MB, then puke all over the floor of the place before leaving for Saskatoon, two years ago at the very least. Regardless. HippieCritz stands for much broader issues above and beyond global politics and terrorism. Such as drinking. And life. “Drinking is a part of life,” explains Lugee, when questioned about what is possibly the most recurrent theme in their music. “And we like drinking.” There’s more to it than that, though. “You gotta get with the glue, now, you know,” offers Syphilus
(drums), who rounds out the founding members of the band. “Fuckin’, drinking, drugs… Whatever you can get,” he reasons. The one and only Mr. Awesome, self described “proto-type of God” and Okanagan legend, joined the group on bass after a number of rocky attempts to fill the position, and thus, as the press bio states, “the Greatest Band the Okanagan Ever Spawned was created.” Since then, HippieCritz has played relentlessly, completing a grueling three-week tour of western Canada last July, surprisingly, alive and well. “Too weird to live, too cool to die,” explains Mr. Awesome, commenting on the group’s super human capacity to party which, to this writer, seemingly defies all the rules of biology and physics. What does the future hold for HippieCritz? Fame? Fortune? Terrorist plots against tyrannical government? Lugee says the group plans to release a new EP of songs about “being on the road, hitch-hiking, living in punk houses, and drinking with our mates”, as well as contributing an unreleased track to a forthcoming Cum Sponge compilation 7”. It’ll be hitting the road again in March, arriving at Vancouver’s Pic
“Hey Warsaw! Once again, fuck off!”
By Adam Simpkins
heck it out: for those of you who care little about local bands until they are universally embraced by the rest of the country (I’m casting my gaze upon you, Black
Mountain followers), you might want to sit your pretty pink mountain-bum down for a moment and familiarize yourself with Go Ghetto Tiger. You haven’t heard of Go Ghetto Tiger? That’s
“Lots! There are some great local groups that Aaron Joyce: “Cory is the Pusher Man. He I always listen to. Discs by Calamalka, Golden once made me shotgun a beer in front of his Phoenix, the WPP, Roadbed... And that new parents. I still don’t know why he did that. Alvaro Foster Kare one is REALLY cool. Mongoose is the weakest link in our tricycle race team. And always put on a clinic every time they play, and Sam won’t bring his gong to gigs anymore.” I mean, who doesn’t have a Mongoose magnet Sam Cartwright: “They can’t clean up their on their fridge?” own cotton balls. I mean, come on, there’s a It’s a unique band, comprised of four young garbage right there!” Chilling, isn’t it? It makes men whose near-frightening technical and one wonder how bands like Coheed and Cambria compositional abilities are seemingly evened keep their shit together. out by an infectious, laidAGTKA’s near-future plans back group camaraderie, include recording its debut album I write about the presenting them as down in preparation for a summer tour kind of things Neil of Canada. “I don’t know about to earth and unassuming. This, however, is a horrible the other jokers,” states drummer Diamond would sham, and the hidden wars supreme Sam Cartwright, “But have written about I want to tour Europe. It’s all of A Ghost To Kill Again are soon brought to pale, about the slow spread of prog if he’d lived in a cruel, tabloid light: nostalgia.” post-apocalyptic Alvaro Rojas: “Cory “I certainly don’t see us playing and Sam are always trying a MuchMusic Dance Party in the world. to get me to eat three near future,” states bass wizard toonie burgers at Oscars pub, but I just can’t do Cory Curtis, “but on the other hand, if you’re into it!” cool hard rock grooves and you feel like moving, Cory Curtis: “Alvaro refuses to turn up his I hardly think dancing would be difficult. How do new Marshall head above one. For Christ’s you sway in 13/16 anyway?” Sake! It’s a 4x12 cabinet, man.... What the fuck “I’d dance to our music,” muses Joyce, “but are you doing here?” I’d look like a fucking idiot.” n
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Pub on the 18th. “I’m looking forward to the big drum riser,” says Syphilus. Drum riser? Syphilus nods. What’s next, fireworks and strippers? “I don’t wanna say too much,” says Prophet, “Cuz I probably don’t want you there, but… Check out Scumbala in August. Just a little teaser.” So, noted: Fill your veins with alcohol (sales of which benefit big business and help to enrich government tax coffers); Load up on drugs (preferably those whose sales help fund militia groups and mass corruption of political institutions across the world); Then bring your friends to see HippieCritz before these fuckers are extradited straight to Guantanamo Bay. Final words? “Rock ‘n’ roll. Gimme seven dollar.” – Max Prophet. n
“We Like drinking”
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Go Ghetto Tiger They’re Grrrrrrrrrrrreat! fine, just relax - that’s what we’re here for; GGT is pretty new to the scene, anyhow. Frontman and all-around doofus Marquo Blacquiere played with the R*A*D*I*O for a couple of years and boasts about being a founding member of Naked For Jesus, but is now focusing all of his sights and energy on riding this tiger, this ghetto tiger, to world domination. If you’ve been lucky enough to catch one of its few shows, then you know the deal; GGT is unassuming and unpredictable, always keeping you guessing about where it might turn next. By refusing to be easily peggeddown (to the best of my knowledge), Blacquiere describes his band as “Depeche Mode meets Soul Coughing with a touch of Sigur Rós and a dash of Michael Jackson.” Combine that with the episode of Friends where Ross showcases his “sound” and you’re about halfway to unraveling what this band is all about. When describing the band’s latest EP, Fun Razor, Blacquiere had this to say: “We wanted to capture our live sound on this record. In late July we recruited our synth/feedback player Michael Reed who had a big effect on our sound both live and recorded. Our lyrics are very personal and our themes are dark, but the rhythms are pop and the melody
is chaos.” Awesome! But what’s with the dorky name? “At first I wanted to call the band He- Man Rides The Tiger,” Blacquiere says. “After much consideration on the legal implications, I settled on the play of the words ‘Go Get Them Tiger’ – you know, like Tony The Tiger. I’m sure that’s obvious.” Totally. And as for whether or not GGT feels comfortable in a scene dominated by bland hipsters and blander screamy kids, Blacquiere just shrugs. “If anything, we are trying not to stand out, but more unite ourselves with other bands… but promoters are still confused as to whom we should share a bill with.” That being said, screw with the Tiger’s polished set and they might get their claws out: “We did a show with [Vancouver punk veterans] Warsaw. Somehow they thought it would be acceptable to take their gear off the Lamplighter stage in the middle of our performance. Not only were they rude but they also sucked bad. Hey Warsaw, once again, fuck off.” Ouch. So there’s your warning, Vancouver, in all its glory. Go Ghetto Tiger – who celebrate the release of Fun Razor at Pub 340 on Friday, March 10th - is taking things seriously, but not too seriously, and is in fine form to shake things up. Go get ‘em, boys. n
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THE NERVE MARCH 2005 PAGE 10
Do Grown Men Cry?
By Derek Bolen
n. He of his Alvaro . And ” their e’s a makes mbria
’ll admit, I wanted this interview to go badly. That way, I could preach to the world that Atreyu plays shitty generic screamo, and they’re all a bunch of dickheads. I wanted it even MORE after I pissed away a beautiful Friday afternoon waiting in the Nerve office for a phone call that never came. When I finally spoke to lead screamer Alex Varkatzas a week later, he had to fuck it all up by being sincere and friendly, so in fairness, I should add that when Atreyu’s The Curse came out in 2004, I pretty much played the fuck out of it and thought it was the greatest album ever, and only wanted everyone to think I hated Atreyu because when people insult my taste in music it makes me cry. Atreyu begins a cross-Canada venture in March, with the Taste of Chaos tour.
plans album r tour about mmer “But ’s all prog
Nerve: Have you guys changed your sound at all on the new album? Alex: I think we just kind of grew up. We had five or six months off to figure out what we wanted to do, so the dudes started coming up with songs and messing around. I don’t really come in until after the songs are written because I try not to mess up what they’re doing. I’m kind of an opinionated jerk. I think Mark (McKnight, the new bassist) adds a great element to our rhythm section. Our old bass player Chris (Thomson) didn’t really play much on the recordings anyway. Without bashing him too much, because he’s not here to defend himself, I don’t think Chris was a very good bass
aying n the wizard e into oving, ow do
player compared to Mark.
Let’s Find Out!
Nerve: Word on the street is you guys replaced Chris on the advice of your producer? Alex: Basically, without airing too much of our personal business, GGGarth Richardson told us that Chris wasn’t going to hack it playing bass on the record. The next day, he quit. After that he wanted to come back, but we decided it was for the best if we moved on. Nerve: You’ve played Ozzfest, Warped, and now you’re about to do Taste of Chaos. Does this broaden your audience, or just confuse people? Alex: I remember when we went on one of our first tours, it was support for CKY, and we were like, “Are the 30 hardcore kids who like our band going to jump ship when they see we’re touring with CKY?” But then for every 10 that jumped ship, 40 more jumped on. It’s give and take. I love it. I think it’s a great position to be in. Nerve: Anything you’d like to add? Alex: Our new album A Deathgrip on Yesterday is getting released on March 28th. Thank you to everyone who’s supported us, it means a shitload to us and we’re just normal dudes, and everyone has good and bad days and when you’re having a bad day and kids are digging what you do, it makes it all worthwhile. n
“I’m kind of an opinionated jerk.”
Story of the YearExcuses! Excuses, By Dale DeRuiter
met with Story of the Year just before an allages show at the Croatian Cultural Centre with From First to Last, where we found ourselves surrounded by little post hardcore and emo girlies and a large compliment of underage sluts. I only bring this to your attention because coupled with douchey, androgynous teenie-time boys - these children are as much the Story Of
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The Year as all the bland post-emo emanating from so many PAs across the land. Story of the Year – or SOFTY, if you will - has come to be known for its show. One dude does a back flip and the rest of ‘em just run around the whole time. The reason they seem so bat shit crazy is their first disc, Page Avenue (2003), until recently the only (full length) album available, is very fucking tame and over produced. “Pretty much any producer you work with is going to influence your sound a little bit,” explains guitarist Ryan Phillips. “They’re able to help you by giving you the outside ear and help you develop your songs. For our first record, we got influenced a little more than we wanted to. You know, being a young band getting started…”
Our Mercury By Phil Heidenreich
Phillips continues, “But for our second everyone else was cheating too. After we got record, it has more of a raw, live feel. Our second the opening slot, we just kind of bombarded record is pretty much what our first record should John with our shit and they ended up watching have sounded like, in my opinion. It captures the the home video and thought it was cool, so they band a lot better.” brought us on tour with them.” Both albums were You’ll find a lot of online produced by John Feldman, banter about the difference “There was this frontman for Goldfinger. How between the band’s live contest thing where did they end up with this guy? sound and the albums. “We you had to vote online know what it’s like to be a 16“We kind of forced our way into that whole situation, in a year-old kid, pay $20, $25, for the opening band way, “ laughs bassist Adam bucks to see a show and from five or six bands, $35 Russell. “We played this have the band seem like they and we had a friend of hate playing their own music,” radio festival with Goldfinger that we cheated to win the ours write a computer says Phillips. “It’s your job to opening slot for… There was put on a show. Anything less program that placed this contest thing where you would be fucking lame. You had to vote online for the get to a point when you’re a vote for us every opening band from five or six playing so many shows, you second” bands, and we had a friend get used to doing the same of ours write a computer program that placed a thing at the same time, you get into the rhythm vote for us every second, or whatever. Although of it. If it’s a part where I don’t have to play we feel we would have done well anyway, we anything complicated, I’ll probably do something just wanted to secure it because it seemed like retarded.” n
13 Years and Still Skinny
riting about Edmonton’s Our Mercury makes me feel like a jaded rock journalist. Here’s this great Canadian band that’s existed for over 13 years (albeit in relative obscurity) and I’m suddenly motivated to sing its praises based almost solely on its latest album. But hold on for a moment! Maybe there’s some justification for this. The band had previously played under the moniker of Misdemeanour and gone on to release an EP of somewhat inaccessible ambient, indie rock soundscapes a couple of years later under its current name. Enter Eric Budd, formerly of ska/rocksteady/ dub innovators the Operators 780 on organ. The new album maintains the band’s unique songwriting approach but all of a sudden, the music has become a whole lot catchier. “I think when people hear the new record it’ll be obvious
that he (Budd) has had a major impact on the sound,” says singer/guitarist Ben Stevenson. “The great thing about Eric is that he has all sorts of musical sensibilities, from his huge love of punk, jazz, and especially reggae, and so he has a much bigger vault to grab from than most people would.” If Our Mercury’s music has gone somewhat under the radar up until now, it may have been a blessing in disguise. The boom-bust cycle that seems to be so pervasive among bands in the Edmonton scene hasn’t claimed another casualty in Our Mercury. If anything, it’s allowed the band to mature into what it is now. “One thing we’ve never really had is that cult following, and I think that’s a major reason why we have developed our own sound…because we were incubated so to speak”, suggests Budd. Whether they’re playing with a Clash-
“It’s best not to eat at all the day you play a show”
like punk edge, stretching out with effortless grooves, or paying homage to Motown, the new album From Below and the accompanying tour – which reaches Vancouver on March 6 - is poised to win the band the following it’s worked so long and hard for. Budd’s influence seems sure to help on the road as well, with his fail-safe method of avoiding indigestion while maintaining physique. “It’s best not to eat at all the day you play a show,” he declares. “I mean, how the fuck else are you
going to get skinny and fit into those stylishly undersized black t-shirts when you perform. Everyone knows that’s how to get on MuchMusic these days.” n
The Nerve March 2006 Page 11
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The Nerve March 2006 Page 12
Moneen Mo Problems
By Derek Bolen
“The first week we were there, we were miserable and I was questioning everything”
Kenny’s biggest problem was the hamster in his ass
n a perfect world, Moneen would outsell the Barenaked Ladies, Bryan Adams and Nickelback combined. The Brampton, Ont. natives have been putting out evocative, passionate math-rock-punk-pop spanning eight years and three albums (2000’s Smaller Chairs for the Early 1900s, 2001’s The Theory of Harmonial Value, and 2003’s Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now?). This looks to be their busiest year to date, with a brand new album (Red Tree, being released on Vagrant Worldwide on April 11th), a Canadian tour with Smallman labelmates Choke and Our Mercury – landing in Vancouver on March 6 - a U.S. tour with Vagrant labelmates Saves The Day and Circa Survive, and a documentary following the early stages of the recording process (The Start to This May Be
The End to Another, release date TBA). Despite this, engaging frontman Kenny Bridges took the time to speak to The Nerve about the new record and the struggles Moneen faces, while he was driving to purchase drumsticks (“It never stops with us. When we’re not recording records and things, we’re buying drumsticks.”) “We managed to find the one spot in Baltimore that you don’t need to fear for your life”, says Bridges, when asked about the strange locale Moneen chose to record the album. “It was just really cool being in a different spot, because we were holed up in Brampton in our basements for so long writing the record, when we got to Baltimore, it was a breath of fresh air, just being able to get away from it all and lock ourselves up in a new environment. That’s what we needed.
We couldn’t have recorded this album in Toronto or back home. We just needed no distractions.” As great as he makes it sound, Bridges is the first to admit that recording Red Tree did have it s share of problems. “When you get to that level, all of a sudden everyone has an opinion,” he says. “Which is great, because we really have a good family environment with everyone we work with. But when you first start getting it, it’s really hard to deal with. It wasn’t that people were telling us that the songs weren’t good enough, but we were overthinking it a little. The first week we were there, we were miserable and I was questioning everything, but it turned out really good.” The documentary, shot by longtime friend Alex Liu, is a very vivid portrait of the band as it struggles to find a balance between who they
are and who everyone else wants them to be. “It’s hard for me to give my opinion because I don’t really like watching myself in uncomfortable times, but the documentary captures when we were just starting to let Brian (McTiernan legendary producer) into our world, and we had never worked with the producer in that capacity before, having them be almost a member of the band. So it was really hard for us.” Despite the difficulties the band endured, Bridges is optimistic about the new album. “Now that the record is finished, I can say that by far these are the best songs we’ve ever written,” he declares. “I can’t be more happy about this record, and if we didn’t take the time that we did, the album would have been really crappy.” Canadian music fans finally have a reason to rejoice. n
But Nothing on the Level of the Projected Iranian Oil Bourse
By Jen Clement
f you’re Adrian Mack, paranoid music editor of The Nerve Magazine, searching the internet for “a global threat” probably means you’re in a panic about chemtrails and holy wars in the Middle East. But chances are you’re not Adrian Mack, in which case the words A Global Threat should make you think of the Boston punk band,
and not a (man-made) bird flu pandemic. Indeed, even if their music does hit you like an undetected missile from China – hard and fast - the only threat these boys pose is a hostile takeover over of punk scenes around the world. Having just released its new full length, Where the Sun Never Sets, and with plans to embark
on a North American tour with Strike Anywhere release schedule since its inception in 1997, and With Honor, the three-piece is set to make releasing three full lengths, two EPs, three seven tsunami-sized waves with its music. inches, and three spilt seven inches in that time. Bryan (vocals, guitar), John (Bass), and The new album - a cathartic mix of old school punk Mike (drums) – they apparently don’t have last and hardcore - is a continuation of everything it’s names - just finished up playing six shows in a been doing for the past nine years, but with a row in Los Angeles, in celebration of the release big difference: the band has signed on with BYO of the new album. The new material went over records, home to such luminaries as the Unseen, swimmingly, reports John, on the phone from LA. Throw Rag, and Youth Brigade. But the song “All the kids came out, and remains the same. “People it was a lot of fun,” he says. think there’s a formula,” “The beat to you “They seem to be [enjoying says John, “But there’s no it]. There were a bunch of intended direction that we’re might seem off cue, them singing along, so it was trying to grow in or anything.” but it’s from the cool to see that.” As the first song on Where Being from Boston - a heart.” It’s punk rock. the Sun Never Sets, “AGT city with deep punk rock Crew,” so aptly says: “The It’s unplanned, it’s roots - has no doubt helped beat to you might seem off AGT get to where it is now. cue, but it’s from the heart.” fast, and it’s heavy. “We’re definitely lucky to It’s punk rock. It’s unplanned, So deal with it. be in the area where a lot it’s fast, and it’s heavy. So of punk bands are coming deal with it. A Global Threat out,” says John “We’re fortunate enough to have is set to play Vancouver on March 26th at The other bands around here for getting shows, and Asbalt. “We’ve never been to Canada before,” helping the scene get as big as it is.” John tells us. “We hope everybody comes out to The band has established an exhausting the shows and makes it a good time.” n
The Nerve March 2006 Page 13
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The Nerve March 2006 Page 14
By Tony Newton
iving in a popular city won’t make your band good, but it might focus the media’s attention on your scene. Those acts that are willing to get off their asses and tour might be able to attract some of this scrutiny. Montreal’s We Are Wolves is embarking on its third North American tour. The last two saw the three-piece opening for acts such as the Gossip, You May Know Us By the Trail of the Dead, International Noise Conspiracy, and Deerhoof. Like any band, We Are Wolves had to earn that spot with what is reported to be a ‘kickass’ and ‘sometimes strange’ live show, one that it brings to Vancouver’s Richard’s on Richards on March 6th. But the music isn’t excessively strange, or even technically challenging; pounding rhythms and swooping, lurching, distorted bass hooks, tin can rhythm tracks, synth licks, and the occasional screeched vocal harmony. This could have been Devo in an angrier time. The visual arts aspect is in place to support that conclusion: odd homemade videos, funny outfits, new wave-yet-still-punk sound. For me, the effect is liberating. I’ve needed something to swing to while I’m lighting fires. Thankfully, this group’s music won’t be as easily digested as the more accessible dance-punk experiments of outfits like DFA1979, though the group’s first release on the Mississippi based label Fat Possum, Non-Stop Je Te Plie En Deux, is a dance punk classic. They’ve attempted to mix tribal drumming with dirty, bluesy bass rhythms - and that’s exactly what you get. There’s something unique, semi-childish, and nearly evil in its grooves, and it makes you want to turn the volume up another notch. I’m not going to wank them off and say it’s revolutionary, but,
with its full compliment of adolescent style, We Are Wolves is givn’r like a penis in a vagina factory. We begin by asking drummer Antonin Marquis a simple question I call “Allah, or Jesus?” It’s always popular with the cool kids these days. “Heh heh… Oohh, that’s a tricky one, man!” He replies cheerfully. Yes it is, Antonin. Following a brief silence, we chuckle and I prod for more ammo. Nerve readers demand entertainment at the artist’s expense, and will accept no less than total dominance. Marquis prefers to politely carry on about his band. “Well, we’re actually working on new songs right now but we’re still touring for the first record and playing songs on the first record, although we play like two or three new songs live. We expect the second record to come out within a year, but we have, like, no dates or anything. The other thing for sure is that it will also be out on Fat Possum Records.” A blues label signing a postrock dance band is a strange occurrence. One might think this has something to do with Satan, but the story’s not that drastic, unfortunately. It turns out word-ofmouth was the culprit. “The owner, Mathew (Johnson),” Marquis continues, “He just heard the band and really liked it. He wrote us. We were unsigned and we have to admit we were kind of surprised at the beginning. We were like, how come a blues label would be interested in a dancey, grindy, rock ‘n’ roll band? But he just appreciated that rawness of the band and it was good enough for us. It’s just as simple as that. The guy wrote
us and liked the band and that turned into a record contract deal. Life is easy, man!” Easy for a group that rocks Montreal with a wolf in its name. Marquis gives me some history. “It all started as the big old coming of age story,” he says, “Like, three regular guys being friends, want to play music together, that was like five years ago, and didn’t have a name for, like, two years, they didn’t play one gig. At some point we started opening for touring bands that were playing in Montreal. We did about 10 or 12 shows like that. And then we got this other friend who is now our manager, and he is also a member of the band although he doesn’t play live or anything.” There’s a story that I ask every Montreal band about. It involves zombies and medieval warriors. A musician friend that lives beside a certain park in Montreal tells me there’s these hippies called the Tam Tams - or maybe that’s the instrument they play, I dunno for sure, anyway - they apparently enjoy wearing medieval suits and partake in mock sword battles in the various leafy public spaces of Montreal. During one such battle, however, a pack of rabid zombies stumbled out of the forest and the ensuing scrap was the stuff of legend. “The Tam Tams?” asks Marquis. “Well, I used to go there when I was, like, 12. You’re talking about what’s happening on the mountain? Like the hippies playing tam tams?” I explain to Antonin that I’m referring to a battle between the medievalists and some zombies, and that I’m pretty sure he’s holding back information. I’m right. Turns out they’re called “Les Medievals” and Marquis used to
“Man, Vancouver is scary”
watch them as wee child on Sundays. It also turns out that a girl named Chloe from another band called Aids Wolf is the leader of the Zombie gang. Of course this story has nothing to do with We Are Wolves other than the fact that all these Montreal wolf bands know each other. Now that I’m confident this interview can’t get any better, Marquis one-ups me with the best Vancouver story ever. “Let me tell you this one very quick,” he says. “I got this ticket for speeding on the highway in between Calgary and Vancouver. I was going over the border to Seattle the next day so I was like, ‘I must pay this ticket right now.’ So I went to the place where you pay tickets downtown, near Granville or something, there’s this place and there’s this huge line. The other members of my band are like, ‘Well, it’s your problem, wait in line and we’ll do something else and we’ll meet you later.’ It turns out that it takes me, like, three minutes. The line is really fast. I pay my ticket and I have this meeting with them later in front of this place, so I was just going to wait. There are stairs there, so I sit down and - I’m not joking - going really fast, coming out of nowhere, this guy comes right at me, he stops… and he kicks me in the face. I’m not joking. I stand up and I say in French, cause I was mad, ‘What’s your fucking problem?’ and he goes, ‘Get off my site!’ Man, Vancouver is scary.” Hey, at least our city isn’t a medievalist, zombie- infested hipster Jerusalem. In reality, the only thing We Are Wolves has to be afraid of is being over-hyped, or being booked into venues it isn’t able to fill. And with one label backed release in five years, the big question is: when do we get a new album? According to Marquis, “within a year.” I can’t wait. n
The Nerve March 2006 Page 15
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PHOTO: ANTHONY SAINT
Matchbook How Romance Do You Choose Between College and Mega-Stardom?
By Jenna James happen in movies: an on-the-spot record deal with a big-time label. “By the end of the senior year we got involved with Epitaph,” Stern says. “[We] flew out to sign our contract the day after my graduation.” Epitaph guru Brett Gurewitz discovered these boys right off punknews.org and without delay contacted them to discuss a record deal. Stern explains why he thinks such a rapid decision was made to sign them. “He saw something in our song writing,” the drummer submits. “He is more respectful towards musicianship… and songwriting because he’s in a band himself.” Following the signing, Gurewitz produced the West for Wishing EP, and shortly after that, Epitaph sprung Matchbook Romance’s first full length, Stories and Alibis. In support of its albums, the band has spent the greater part of the past few years playing extensive tour dates. There was Warped. Being awarded a spot
on Warped Tour has developed into some sort of punk rock Grammy, in the sense that it has become thee goal for most contemporary punk bands. Being the most eminent tour within the scene, the artist has the opportunity to join tons of well-known bands and plays to thousands of kids daily, in almost every state and province in North America. Matchbook’s experience of Warped ‘05 came with an eye-opening compliment of chaos and deception, however. “We were given the first four or five weeks this year, but they put it up as if we were playing the entire tour on the website,” he says. “All these kids are like, ‘Why are you missing all these dates?’ I was, like, it had nothing to do with us...” Stern’s final perception of the circumstances? “They used it to their advantage, to some extent, to get more people to come.” There were other tribulations on the road. “In Montana we were at a truck stop and these drunken hillbillies were messing around with our crew,” he recalls. “We were getting back on our
“By the end of the senior year we got involved with Epitaph. We flew out to sign our contract the day after my graduation”
bus and one of the guys comes up to me and was like, ‘Yo! Roll out! These kids are messing around with [the] crew!’ Next thing you know, one of our guys gets jumped and we’re all brawling. It’s good because there were eight of us and four of them.” Did Montana really detest Matchbook that much? Stern says, “They were just drunken assholes. They didn’t know who we were, but we heard that those guys got kicked out of Warped Tour by one of the bands. One of the bands had them kicked out because they were being retards.” Before Stern had to take off and prepare for his set, we discuss his satisfaction with Voices, and he credits the recording environment in bolstering the finished product. “The place where we recorded, Longview Farms, was in the middle of nowhere,” he says. “We wanted to be somewhere where we were away, that had a vibe, and creepy. We wanted to go back to our hippy roots and go out to the woods.” What about the writing process? “We did the same thing we do every time we go to write music, which is write music that inspires us, first and foremost. We have to take into effect what the fans are going to think, but first and foremost, we got to be happy and satisfied.” n
PHOTOS: DEVON CODY
rior to Matchbook Romance hitting the stage for an in-store performance at Toronto’s HMV, The Nerve had the opportunity to talk with drummer Aaron Stern about the band’s newest album Voices. Whatever your opinion of the clean cut, pop meets emo sound that dominates one side of the punk spectrum, I’m willing to admit that Matchbook’s catchy hit single “Monsters” had taken up squatter’s rights in my brain as I scoped the set-up for this event, with a stage ingeniously constructed on the top floor, facing a window that opened out onto the bustle of Yonge St. Voices had only been in stores for a day, but Stern had a lot to share regarding the time period leading up to its release. The five goaloriented young men of Matchbook Romance came together at some point during Stern’s early high school years, and they quickly set about exerting themselves in every which way they could to convert a side project into a career. Stern recounts, “My whole senior year we spent trying to make everything happen. We had gigs every weekend and during the week.” Utilizing the web as its primary marketing tool, Matchbook created an extremely large fan base, leading in turn to the kind of thing that’s only supposed to
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PHOTO: DION ZDUNIC
Hypnopilot Gives Me a Raging Hard-On
By Devon Cody
orporate clone label execs and jaded hard rockers beware! Hypnopilot is on your trail, stalking you like a guilty conscience. They’ll skulk into your city like a shadow. Before you know it, you’ll end up in some dark room, shrouded in a haze of Sativan smoke, whiskey breath, sweat and cigarettes, with no choice but to breathe the narcotic air, totally unaware that your concept of stoner rock is about to be readjusted on a physiological level. Somewhere in the gloom the static buzz of an amplifier will erupt and it will happen. You’ll feel it before you hear it. Like a swarm of two-ton locusts in the confines of your tiny skull, Hypnopilot will unleash a rock revelation of biblical proportions.
Last November this band released a debut so good it made me all gooey in my underpants. For a group that started off essentially as a stoner rock cover band, these Calgarians write fucking great songs. Yet, singer and guitarist Matthew Simmons feels there’s still room for improvement. “Truthfully I’d like to see Hypnopilot go more psychedelic but keep the heaviness. A little like Sons of Otis, or 500 ft of Pipe... super heavy guitars, bass and drums with trippy delayed vocals you get lost in.” Bassist Cory Pierce follows with his two bits, “As long as nobody starts writing sappy power ballads, I’m okay.” When drummer Garwin Poff says Pierce is, “the one who brings the rock ‘n’ roll attitude
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to the band,” I inquire further - intrigued by this Simmons jumps in to save me like a true persona. “Every band’s gotta have a bad ass. gentleman, “Well, it’s a very loud show, lots of We drew names from a hat, and Cory won. He blue smoke, and it has a tendency to make girls didn’t think that was fair, so we drew straws too. kiss each other. A lot. We’re playing another show He won again,” says Simmons. Poff agrees, on April 30th, at the Warehouse in Calgary. Not “He gets wasted at every show [and] when he’s too many local bands can say they’ve played the wasted he talks like Ozzy. He is a nihilist. He Warehouse.” If you’ve got the memory of Tommy believes in nothing and will cut off your johnson!” Chong and can’t retain information for more than Pierce lays his shark eyes on me and, nervously, a month, you can also catch them March 9th at I move on. The Soda in Calgary. So, those of you who are in It’s easy to place Hypnopilot within the need of a rock revelation and maybe a little girlboundaries of the inadequately coined “stoner on-girl action have twice the reason to go check rock” genre but, along with bands like Priestess these guys out! and Pride Tiger, they’re proving that this niche, As the interview comes to a close I wonder: so commonly perceived as static and boring, is if things went perfectly, in accordance with their indeed boiling with talent, scalding the cottagehighest hopes, what would such a talented cheese ass of the Canadian mainstream. So young band like Hypnopilot be doing in five years why haven’t you heard of Hypnopilot then? or so? Selling out stadiums? Nullifying brain What are they doing to get their stuff out there? cells with repeated radio play? Searching for a Simmons responds, “We got good feedback God-fearing bassist? Poff is the first to respond, from a few mp3’s online at download.com/ “In five years I hope to be annoying everyone hypnopilot and went ahead in Canada with our songs with CD production. Since on commercial radio every “Every band’s gotta have then we’ve distributed some 15 minutes while trying to a bad ass. We drew names make it big in the US along to the USA on stonerrock. from a hat, and Cory won. with Our Lady Peace and com. Some have also made their way out to Vancouver Nickleback. Cory would be He didn’t think that was at Red Cat Records and out of the band and the bass fair, so we drew straws Scrape.” In addition, they player from P.O.D would be too. He won again.” tell me they are working on a in.” Pierce glares at Poff small western Canadian tour, then growls at me with a lip hopefully sometime this summer. curl that’d give Billy Idol a perm, “In five years In an attempt to cajole a conversation from we’ll probably all be doing stints in rehab or jail Pierce as he sits there dissecting me with his after selling a billion albums and succumbing to eyes, I ask him to describe what Hypnopilot is the pressures of superstardom. Isn’t that what like live. “I don’t know, I’ve never seen us live,” it’s all about?” Rock ‘n’ roll attitude, indeed. n he replies, snidely, as he butts out his cigarette.
The Nerve Marc h 2006 Page 16
MUSICCONTENTS REVIEWS where Peggy Lee left off. BORING! That was until basslines and the thudsmash-thrill of Jason Dana behind the big traps. Those left in the club were either Foster Kare fans already, or they were Rough Trade fans finding themselves newly introduced to the future of Canadian New Wave. - Ferdy Belland Hard Rubber Orchestra / Peggy Lee Band Vancouver East Cultural Center Saturday, February 11th, 2006 Not really knowing much, if anything, about jazz, classical, new and world music, I could walk into The Cultch with somewhat of an open mind and
turned up the Boogie on this half empty room. Its crushing tone was better than tasteful. Frontman Tony Aguilar’s harmonious melodies were complemented by his throbbing drop D riffing. His concentration could at times be mistaken for, “I’m bored, so give me another shitty Canadian beer”, but then I noticed that he was drinking water. His ability to jam and gel with drummer Luke Herbst and original bassist Meg Castellanos allowed this three piece to shine. Goatsblood had 10 Songs by the Melvins in its veins. The best white drummer of all time would be amazed at the delayed strength of GB’s drummer. Slower and slower and slower than Dale Crover himself? Nope, but he came close. Nice quick set - great finish - with the keys flying over the fridge and crashing.I assume it would
PHOTO: ANTHONY SAINT
Gogol Bordello / Kultur Shock Nightlight Lounge, Bellingham, WA Friday, Feb. 3rd, 2006 Sometimes I get so excited I pee a little, right in my pants. I pee just a little bit. It’s really hardly noticeable at all, unless I’m wearing gray underwear – then it shows up real bad, like pit stains. But it’s not pit sweat. It’s pee. Today I was particularly excited, because I was going to see Gogol Bordello, one of the most interesting and unique bands I’ve discovered in years. So I packed a bag full of cheese whiz sandwiches and spare underwear – none of which was gray – and hit the road for Bellingham. If you’re familiar with Gogol Bordello you might wonder, as I did,
PHOTOS: DEVON CODY
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what in the hell kind of band would possibly fit the bill as the opening act. Tonight it was Kultur Shock, an ethno-punk/metal outfit from Seattle. They aptly handled the task. Singer Gino Yevdjevic wailed away in Croatian while dancing flamboyantly in an urban camo kilt and dreadlock mohawk. I expected to get whacked with nappy Croatian cock ‘n’ balls in my face every time he pirouetted wildly my way. For this reason alone, I was glad to see them leave the stage and make way for the headliners. Due to all the hype surrounding Gogol Bordello’s live show, I was more than a little worried that my expectations might not be met. Fortunately, from the moment these Gypsy punk vagabonds stole the stage, any doubts I had were obliterated. Frontman Eugene Hütz performed like a marionette possessed, engaging the crowd in a frenzy of flailing limbs and funny faces. The energy of the room grew rapidly until my bladder quivered at breaking point. Never have I experienced such an immediate and unwavering exchange of enthusiasm and intensity between a band and its audience. Nor have I ever witnessed an accordion player who could have brought Jimi Hendrix polka dancing back from the grave, vomiting in awe and choking in sheer psychedelic amazement. It all came to a glorious sweaty climax as Hütz sang the encore while surfing the crowd atop a bass drum that had been snatched from the stage – every last one of us smiling and soaked in the salty secretions of joy. - Devon Cody
Carole Pope / Foster Kare / Sarah Wheeler Railway Club, Vancouver, BC Saturday, February 25th, 2005 It’s rare to see the Railway Club not bulging at the seams with teeming masses (OK, dozens) on any given Saturday night, but a not-quite capacity audience was on hand to watch ex-Rough Trade new wave diva Carole Pope strut her stuff. Singer-guitarist Sarah Wheeler (ex-Cunt, the old Sugar Refinery house band) kicked off the evening with an enjoyable set of winning roots-folk rock that showcased her heart-melting backwoods voice and her cute trucker’s hat. Joined onstage by bassist Julie Bavalis (Parlour Steps) and slide-guitar wizard David Gannett, Sarah didn’t have a drummer, but the percussion wasn’t really missed. Sarah is a good songwriter and we look forward to her future gigs. Carole Pope strode onstage as her set began, trim and fit and looming huge yet only five-foot-fuckall. In her slick but streetwise black attire and spiked black hair, Carole reclaimed her role as Canada’s New Wave Demigoddess, easily ruling the stage with confidence but no arrogance. With the more-than-able killer musicianship of (would you believe it) Foster Kare as her backup/pickup band, Carole and Kare snapped out a sharp and sexy set of Rough Trade classics and her solo material, rocking quasipsychedelic songs glorifying personal self-discovery, Ayn Randish positive drive, and loving cunnilingus among the lesbian elite. Well-preserved in all ways and with her smoky voice also in fine form, Carole came off as a winning visual/sonic cross of the best features of Joan Jett and Kim Carnes. One wonders if she’ll hire Foster Kare as her steady band; the crossover was truly that good. Although the Railway Club’s audience thinned out disappointingly post-Carole, the troopers in Foster Kare finished off the night with an hour-long set of their own breathtaking, balls-out material - punchy, angular, angry, soulful three-minute post-rock operas. Chad MacQuarrie, swaying and writhing with eyes closed as his fingers blurred their way across the fretboard of his battered Telecaster, is by far one of the most gifted Vancouver guitarists around, and his skill and expression are more than matched by the adventurous melodicism of Bryan McCallum’s proggy Grumpy ol’ Weaver had tickets to this event and the only one he could drag along was me. So I put on my best-soiled suit and off I go. Weaver has two double wines for us, just to “get started,” he said. God help me if I didn’t need a snot kicker right off the bat to git me through the opening act. What’s that word the kids are using these dayz…oh yeah, PRETENTIOUS? Just a fuckin’ tad. Makin’ all spacey sounds with your cello, guitar playin’ with lots of reverb, drummer goin’ ticky tick on the cymbals. Sounded like a bunch a kids just learnin’ to play. Really could have done without seeing that. It was my turn; off I went to get more wine, 20 bucks for two doubles. The Hard Rubbers started off pretty much
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then guest conductor Giorgio Magnanensi entered. It started off quite soft with lil’ Cam Wilson tickling his violin and all of a sudden, Giorgio points to guitarist Ron Samworth and a fury of nonsense blasts from his amp. Giorgio shakes feverishly and cuts him off. Both Weaver and I almost spit out a mouth full of wine. We look at each other in shock. “What the fuck is this?” I ask. “I don’t know, but it’s fuckin’ awesome!” Weaver exclaims. From that point on, Giorgio lead his band of many across raging seas, into fiery forests, and right through battlegrounds. With passion and vigour he lead, and everyone followed his breath perfectly in sync. Giorgio left and it ended… boring. -Trucker Bill Marah Richard’s on Richards, Vancouver, BC Friday, February 3rd, 2006 Dear Sirs, thanks so much for the press for this evening’s gig, but in the future could you please assign another reporter. Last night’s concert would have been a smashing success were it not for your employee, Mr. Carl Spackler. In all my years in the industry, I have never seen behaviour so appalling, crude, and unwarranted. First of all, Mr. Spackler had the gall to drink the band’s entire rider while they played to a loud and appreciative audience. Then, a very inebriated Mr. Spackler took a smoked salmon from the backstage deli tray, stuffed it partly down the front of his pants, and then stood on a chair yelling “Here Pussy, Pussy!” while white flecks of spittle formed at the corners of his mouth, and his eyes rolled back in his head. Security was called but somehow was unpersuaded of the considerable danger posed by Mr. Spackler, claiming instead, and I quote, “Oh no, that’s Spackler. He’s good people.” Would “good people” generally be given to sitting on the band’s toilet, snorting loudly to themselves, singing “Tonight’s the Night” and muttering excitedly, “Hallelulah! Sweet Jesus, that’s the stuff”??? The man is a menace. And while the members of Marah can’t prove it beyond a doubt, they’re pretty sure it was Mr. Spackler who left a bowel movement in said dressing room toilet. When Mr. Spackler later learned that Serge Bielanko was feeling “under the weather”, he produced a syringe from his sports jacket and proclaimed, ”This will pick you up!” Upon seeing that Serge was not interested in his dubious medical assistance, Mr. Spackler shrugged, lifted his shirt, and injected himself in the stomach, causing a waitress to faint. He also demanded repeatedly that the band play “On the Road Again”, and because he happened to be brandishing a switchblade while loudly cursing the coat rack, the band sought to appease him, fearing he was now a danger both to himself and the entire audience. He later angrily accused Serge Bielanko of “refusing to take a drink with him”, put him in a headlock, and yelled, “Never fuck with the spirit of Doug Sahm!” He also claimed he works for C.S.I.S., that his phone is being tapped, and that he needed the band to provide cover for him by playing as long as they possibly could, or at least until his “lawyer” arrived from Chicago. After the show, Mr. Spackler inhaled nitrous oxide from a large balloon, and then vomited on singer Dave Bielanko’s boots. He then hid behind the bar, screaming that he was being held against his will. Naturally, Marah does not hold the good people of the city of Vancouver responsible for one man’s behaviour, but good Lord, someone should be made to account for what he did in the ladies washroom with that Cuban midget. Decorum, sir, prevents me from further describing the type of sordid shenanigans undertaken by Mr. Spackler in a family magazine. Suffice it to say, from here on in the band and the management of Marah will be denying any future press passes to Mr. Spackler, until we can be assured this type of behaviour won’t occur again. But in response to your earlier request, yes, we will leave Mr. 8 Ball’s name at the door at the next gig. Regards, Dan Hammerfaster, Manager, Marah.
be uncool for Mr. Monotone Yeller to actually use some vocal melody in the set, but, if you’re called Goatsblood, all your friends would probably hate you if you tried to sing, so I understand... it’s in the vision. It was a short, sweet night, and I expect Totimoshi is still wondering why they didn’t let in the 200 people waiting in line outside. They all seemed to have really nice ALDOs on their feet. - Christian Ellis Zolar X / Nim Vind The Waldorf, Vancouver BC Saturday, February 18th, 2006 Some of the best shows I’ve seen in the past few years have been by washed-up old bands from the 1970s. Before seeing this show, my knowledge of Zolar X extended to seeing their lone LP at record collector swap meets, reading about them in the indispensable book We Got The Neutron Bomb, and hearing them on the relatively recent reissue of their work (available via Alternative Tentacles). Zolar X was part of the LA glitter scene of the ‘70s, contemporaries of the likes of Jobriath and Sparks. Doing a sort of low-budget Hollywood version of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust routine (pixie-browed space aliens in silver outfits, speaking their own language), they went nowhere fast in an era where the likes of the Eagles and James Taylor ruled supreme. A cult following sprang up in the wake of their demise and 30 years later the Zolar X mothership crash-lands in Vancouver BC. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, shtick fully intact, Zolar X delivered the goods. The stage featured a Ziggy/Swastika-like ‘X’ backdrop (repeated on their shiny space outfits) and banks of blinking monster computers (the shape of things not to come). Their matching white Eloi wigs and V-brows made them look like angry drag queens at a Twilight Zone shoot, but all of this was really just icing on the cake, because their music was really great. Imagine Anthony Newley-style vocals over an MC5 sonic blast, and decent cosmic/comic lyrics about planet Earth being “just a dot”. They previewed some new material, which also sounded great. Opener Nim Vind has a Misfits kind of crooning thing going on, but he sounds like that guy who was in the band after Danzig quit. - Sean Law Our Mercury / The Failure / Sweet Mercy Mercy The Hi-Fi Club, Calgary, AB Saturday, Feb 26th, 2006 It’s Saturday night in Calgary, I’m out on the town, it’s colder and blacker than Stephen Harper’s cybernetic baboon heart, some drunk Newfie with no sense of personal space is trying to small talk me, and I’m here to see three artsy indie-rock bands. Ordinarily, these circumstances would strike me as torture of the most gruesome variety. Fortunately, several factors redeemed the evening. For one, I’m at the Hi-Fi. This club has quickly become a contender for the best rock bar in Calgary. The room is spacious, the sound system superior, and the furnishings free of discarded hypodermic syringes. Furthermore, there’s the artsy indie-rock bands in question. First on the bill is Sweet Mercy Mercy, composed of members from local favourites Bejia Flor and the Buzzing Bees. They ripped into a very businesslike set of bell-like arpeggios layered over satisfyingly meaty rock chords, topped off by earnest and infectious hollering. Sweet. Next up is the Failure. These guys have punk-rock cred out the wazoo, yet they play with the effortless technical bombast of a young and far less homely Rush. Energetic and relentless, they’re a treat to watch. Any record label executive who doesn’t look at this band and see a goldmine isn’t worth his monthly allocation of blow and hookers. All I can say is: keep at it, lads. Headlining the evening was Edmonton’s Our Mercury, who I have heard hyped unto infinity. Usually I develop an instinctive loathing for the buzz band scenester picks of the moment, but with Our Mercury, this proved impossible. They deliver a passionate and charismatic set reminiscent of Repeater-era Fugazi, but more given to solid, hip-swivelin’ rock grooves and less to art-fag flights of fancy. If anything, they exceed their own hype. I didn’t yell “Slayer!” even once. -Therese Lanz
LIVE Totimoshi / Goatsblood The Red Room, Vancouver, BC Saturday, February 18th, 2006. This is what I like to see at any great sludge metal show: Red Room bouncers that want to kick it with Totimoshi, before their bar turns into a shitty rave for Burnaby tourists. Cobra and Goatsblood opened the show. If you saw Cobra, insert review here ( ). Totimoshi, hailing from Oakland,
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CONTENTS to team a furious musical assault with equally furious lyrics. Barring that minor shortcoming, this is one of the finest punk releases of 2006 thus far. - Derek Bolen
Annihilator Schizo Deluxe AFM I actually worked with a guy who was in Annihilator, right before they started to record the first album. He left the band after guitarist Jeff Waters turned into a Grade-A cunt. If you don’t believe me, then notice that Jeff is always the only member of the band left. Jeff fucked strippers, did tons of coke, boozed it hard with DOA, and claimed that James Hetfield asked to buy his riffs for Metallica’s …And Justice for All. I won’t judge the man for the things he did 17 years ago, but I will judge the man for making music that sounds like somebody purchasing tight pants. This is an awful heap of sonic shit; the rancid sound of the ‘80s metal underground, brought to the 21st century to puke on my soul, heart and mind. Fuck you, Jeff Waters, I hate your music and from what I hear about you, you’re a flaccid cock. Cheers! - David Von Bentley Armalite s/t No Idea After dismantling his full-time project a few years ago, Atom Goren of, you guessed it, Atom and His Package, resisted full-time retirement and formed a supergroup of sorts with his friends from Philly. Including Dan Yemin (Paint it Black, Kid Dynamite), Mike McKee (Amateur Party) and Jeff Ziga (True if Destroyed), Armalite sounds more like a polished, veteran hardcore band, rather than one just thrown together for the hell of it. That being said, there aren’t a lot of surprises or left-turns here. Goren’s trademark bratty voice and lyrics are still up-front, with clever songs that take stabs at the usual culprits (government, music business) and the not so obvious (Atom’s diabetes), all the while being catchy without being too pedantic or hard hitting.
Danko Jones Sleep is the Enemy Aquarius I saw Danko Jones play live, and he moved his head so fast it was a blur. I’m not just fucking with you. It was an actual blur, and it’s that kind of energy that has kept me a huge Danko fan through his first five releases (that spoken word shit doesn’t count). The new album isn’t as hard and fast as We Sweat Blood. Instead it seems that he’s returned to the soul sound off of Born A Lion, resulting in some decent mid-paced tunes. I would even venture so far as to say that this is Danko’s most intelligent album yet. Don’t get me wrong - it still makes you want to drink cheap beer and rock out with your shirt off, inevitably spilling beer all over yourself. Then when some wiener busts up your party and says “Hey, isn’t Danko Jones opening up for Nickelback,” you spin round and reply, “Are you listening to this shit? You love Danko! YOU LOVE DANKO! Besides those fans of Nickelback, when they see Danko’s head move so fast it’s a fucking blur, they’ll shit their minds right there on the spot. Danko is doing them a service. If you can’t bring the kids to the mountain, then bring the fucking Danko to the kids.” As you’re saying this you’re probably frothing at the mouth and covered in beer, and the wiener just thinks you’re insane. You don’t care though. You’re listening to cock rock covered in beer, and that my friend is a treasure all its own. - Dale DeRuiter Deceiver Riding with the Reaper Iron Fist Productions Don’t be deceived by Deceiver’s cover art with that pentagram, the skull and the burning flames. These guys are only wannabe metal maniacs who take the position that the fleeting popularity of Venom and Celtic Frost was nonetheless significant to some poor, sad souls out there. But that doesn’t make it right for these Euro cock polishers to dedicate themselves to the cause of making thrash metal this boring. “Raise your Horns”, “Riding with the Reaper”, and “God of Dead” – these titles are almost funny but actually are just sad, as is the overriding emotion inspired by listening to angry white men screaming about devils or butt plugs. Please Deceiver, stop now, go into a closet and regroup, because there’s no place for this in 2006. - David Von Bentley Ever We Fall We Are But Human Hopeless I made a mistake. I did too much research and, although I’ve never met them, I’ve become attached to the members of Ever We Fall. I know their ages, location, favourite music, and television shows. The result is that I feel really bad now, because I still think the album is boring. The world doesn’t need another Fall Out Boy, the one we’ve got is plenty. Every song sounds just like the one before it, which already sounds like every other teenage “punk” band out there. Most of the songs don’t even really make sense, probably because the members of Ever We Fall are all 18, and nothing worth writing about has happened to them yet. Instead, We Are But Human strings together cryptic sentences mixed with cliches, presumably in the hope of convincing people that they’re wise beyond their years, because they sing about “slamming Jack back”. I’m really tired of young guys singing about bars. If you aren’t old enough to go to a bar, then don’t sing about it, OK? Thanks. - Erika Totalenkrieg
would invest their time in listening to this 60-minutes of plodding, half-time, sleepinducing metal. You could almost call these songs ‘ballads’, if there wasn’t a complete absence of melody. Plus, at an average of six minutes each, most of these songs are four minutes longer than they should be. The musicianship isn’t exactly lacking, but my advice to Eyes of Fire would be to pick up a rhythm section who can bust out something a little more riveting than one beat every four bars. This shit is so slow my MOM would like it. - Derek Bolen Faith No More Faith No More: The Platinum Collection WEA International This is the best album of the year and whatever you do, stay the hell away from it! Don’t buy this! It has great music on it but this is a cheap ploy from a shitty record company to exploit the good name of Faith No More. Please buy King for a Day, Angel Dust, or if you need a greastest hits album, Who Cares A Lot. - Dave Von Bentley George Carlin Life Is Worth Losing Atlantic We certainly haven’t seen the last of the Hippie Dippie Weatherman. That rascally mick gonzoid we know as George Carlin keeps his scathing scatological wit alive, sharp, current, and lightning-quick with yet another classic comedy album. Recorded live at NYC’s Beacon Theatre in November 2005, Life is Worth Losing is another profane yet profound side-splitting romp through everyone’s favourite cocktail-party conversational topics: stupid Americans, autoerotic asphyxia, yeast infections, and suicide. The topic of suicide pops up quite a bit here on this CD. Now that George is recovering well from some Yuletide health nuisances, hopefully we’ll see him live in Vancouver sometime soon on his next stand-up tour. Until then, pick up this CD, keep yourself from being too uptight, and go along for an hour’s worth of nonPC merriment as only George Carlin can deliver. - Ferdy Belland Good Clean Fun Between Christian Rock And A Hard Place Equal Vision No matter how shitty this CD is, it’s already won the ‘cleverest CD title of the year’ award. Which is a good thing,
as envelope pushing as the INC. Nope, Hell is for Heroes ride the regular train pretty closely, so don’t worry about not ‘getting’ the music. There is that tiny bit of synthesizer in there, but that’s ok. Other than that, it sounds like straight ahead American music, which all sounds the same even if we do keep fighting over what genre it is. We know there’s some emo in there, some rock, but naming this shit is getting ridiculous. - Dale DeRuiter In Flames Come Clarity Ferret Have you ever run into a chick from high school that turned into a war pig after a few years of being an easy access cock plug? Well, In Flames was a gorgeous bitch and now it’s cum chugging its way to mediocrity. After 10 years of amazingly layered riffs, screeching violent shit vocals, and weirdly complimentary harmonies, In Flames has now released three disappointing albums in a row. But remember what happens when a decent lady turns into a ball gobbler? She gets more attention then ever before, just like In Flames! With considerable commercial success at its back, the band experiments with guest vocals from Lisa Miskovsky, on a song ironically called “Dead End”… But it’s just the same old In Flames with a dickless singer. Big fucking deal. The title track offers us a glimpse into Anders Fridén lack of range, with his clean singing sounding like a whiny Swedish Jonathan Davis. Experimenting and changing is cool when it comes naturally, but it doesn’t sound natural here. - David Von Bentley Inkwell Rhythm Makers En’Ragophonic Independent A caption on the back of the case states that this is a “genuine ragtime album played by genuine ragtime crusties.” Armed with guitar, washboard, banjo, and washtub bass, it seems upon first listen that these guys would be more inclined to make music with wash supplies than commit acts of personal hygiene with them. Indeed, they put the “dirty” into this popular music of the dirty ‘30s. Though slathered in rotgut and grime, the resulting product is every bit as upbeat and infectious as its traditional cousin. It’s a strange and wonderful brew that’ll have you strutting about like Charlie Chaplin on amphetamines. In the liner notes these guys also thank a strange and wonderful array of what I’m assuming are their influences. They range from Beck to Crass, Leadbelly to Cannibal Corpse, and Tom Waits to Iron Maiden. Now if that don’t spark a fella’s curiosity, I’m not really sure what will. - Devon Cody Martha Berner …this side of yesterday Machine You know it’s going to be painful when one of the lyrics is “You don’t have to like me if you’ve got something better to do.” Thanks, now I’ll stab myself in the face with scissors so I can stop listening. After three plodding “poor me” themed tracks I had slipped into a boredom induced stupor. On the fourth track the beat picked up, and I reconsidered stabbing myself in the face, but it was all in vain. She tried to actually sing, and it didn’t go so well. I guess a breathy voice turns into an off-key growl when trying to become audible. The excessively long songs continued this way until the end, the last song being almost six minutes long. She’s been likened to “Bob Dylan, Natalie Merchant and John Lennon”. Seriously, by who? Your mom doesn’t count. Oh, and by the way, the lead singer of Sloan called, he wants his face back. - Erika Totalenkrieg
Matchbook Romance Voices Epitaph Matchbook Romance’s second full-length effort for Epitaph is decent at best. The only real highlight of the album is the first single, “Monsters”, which appears to be heavily influenced by that OTHER ‘romance’ - you know, the one of the ‘My Chemical’ variety? Sporting a creepysounding guitar riff, a rousing sing-along chorus and a driving bass line, the song showcases the band at its best and most aggressive, yet still can’t avoid sounding like a pale imitation of countless other bands in an already stagnant genre. Which is unfortunate for Matchbook; they’re not lacking in talent, but are completely devoid of creativity. - Derek Bolen
Eyes Of Fire Prisons Century Media I’m a metal fan as much as the next guy, but I can’t understand why anybody
Hell is for Heroes Transmit Disrupt Burning Heart Burning Heart is Epitaph’s Swedish branch, so it’s no surprise that the singer from Hell is for Heroes sounds like that dude from International Noise Conspiracy. Don’t worry though, these guys are not
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The Next Hundred Years s/t Sapling Music So Kyuss is ten years over and the Queens’ best days are behind them; they ain’t even a band anymore, just Josh Homme + session chums and it costs like $50 to see them (in a stadium). And you’re broke, LOSER. Alas, The Next Hundred Years - cheaper and BC grown! “Our Chemical Masters” is ass-smackingly good and could’ve passed as an outtake from Rated R. Tight little stop-go riff pockets to shake a booty or noggin, cleverly treble-y trills, a great drummer who smiles
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a lot, yet an overarching ambience so astoundingly early 90’s it almost pains ya’: grating distortion, dreary chord changes, vocalist Zeb’s pushy crooner’s mope, the whole bit (a dying art, those angst-ridden baritones… weird). He breathes into the mic too much - like Coverdale - but plays a pretty mean violin. “Uma” is a stellar instrumental closer; the cover art will nicely fill the shelf between Opeth’s Deliverance & Damnation, and finally someone named a song “The Perfect Perm”. - Dave Bertrand
- Adam Simpkins Bigwig Reclamation Fearless FUCK YEAH, IT’S A NEW BIGWIG RECORD, MOTHERFUCKERS. Holy shit. I thought these guys were dead or something. It’s been five years since Invitation to Tragedy, and these guys still shred every bit as hard. Despite lacking a song as catchy as “Sore Losers” or “The Girl in the Green Jacket”, Bigwig still stick to what it knows best; churning out blazing three minute political punk tracks attacking the usual punk targets (the U.S. government, Catholic church and scenesters). The worst thing I can say about Bigwig is that it seems to have completely abandoned the sense of humour that served so well on its three previous releases, choosing instead
because the CD is FUCKING SHITTY. The musicianship is on par with what you might find at a junior high Battle of the Bands or in your stoner neighbour’s garage, the lyrics try a little too hard to be tongue-incheek (check out “A Little Bit Emo, A Little Bit Hardcore” or “The Myspace Song”), and the words ‘positive’, ‘hardcore’, and ‘positive hardcore’ appear no less than A MILLION times. Yeah, Good Clean Fun, we get it. You’re positive hardcore. Or positively SHITTY. Look how clever I am. Can I name your next album? - Derek Bolen
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Have you heard of Mastodon? You haven’t? Well punch your nuts right now, and all will be forgiven. Afterwards you will buy all Mastodon albums or suffer the wrath of a knuckle sandwich being fed straight to the family jewels again. Since Mastodon released its albums Remission in 2002 and Leviathan in 2004, its popularity has been snowballing (no, not the snowballing that yours parents have been doing since 1986). Critically hailed, commercially successful, and now on a major record label, Relapse has decided to put out nine re-mastered tracks from Mastodon’s first few forays in the studio. These are cruder than later efforts, and it’s clear Mastodon wasn’t the juggernaut of testicle tramplers that it is now, but it’s still boner crushing hard. Get the others first, get this one last, and put some ice on those precious jewels. - David Von Bentley
NOFX Never Trust a Hippy EP Fat Wreck Chords A good friend of mine once said, “There’s no such thing as bad NOFX”. He actually said this directly after the release of 2003’s War On Errorism, which featured NOFX at its most serious, and, consequently, least listenable. Never Trust a Hippy seems to continue the NOFX trend of producing scathing political attacks, with the title relating directly to the picture of Jesus on the cover, and a song called “I’m Going To Hell For This One” which features the line, “Jesus Christ Superstar, he wants his money, not your love”. The band is best when seamlessly combining political views and offbeat humour on tracks like
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MUSICCONTENTS REVIEWS “Freedom Like a Shopping Cart” or “Herojuana”. Two of the tracks on this EP (“Seeing Double at the Triple Rock” and “The Marxist Brothers”) are taken from the upcoming fulllength Wolves In Wolves Clothing, so there is hope that the album will contain some classic NOFX gems, but this EP left me feeling a little lacking, so I put on “The Decline” instead, NOFX’s 18-minute punk epic and easily one of the greatest songs ever written. If you’re a NOFX fan who doesn’t yet own The Decline EP, I’d recommend buying that before this. Or ANYTHING, for that matter. - Derek Bolen
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The Ordinary Boys Brassbound Warner Taken from a Morrissey song of the same name, the Ordinary Boys do a fantastic job of living up to their name; there’s nothing extraordinary here and Brassbound proves that you don’t have to be gifted songwriters to find your way to the top of the charts. Even though the band recruited Stephen Street (Blur, Smiths) to produce this sophomore effort, the end product leaves little to be desired and much to be ridiculed. From the Madness/Specials inspired hit single “Boys Will Be Boys” through to the more standard Brit-pop bounce of “Thanks To The Girl”, each track sounds like its been filtered through something better and even Street’s production can’t light a spark under these duds. - Adam Simpkins
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Our Mercury From Below Smallman I have no fucking idea what it is with Smallman. Somehow, they continuously manage to find the raddest fucking bands on the planet (Moneen, Choke, The Reason, Layaway Plan, etc…) and consistently put out some of the best Canadian releases in existence. So maybe my expectations were a little higher for Our Mercury than they should have been. I mean, sure, it’s a decent band. They’ve been playing together since they were 15, so they’d fucking better be. The songs are alright - very Hot Water Music-esque, with a driving rythym section and simple chord changes. The organ kind of throws me off… it’s like I’m rocking out at a punk concert, but as soon as the organ kicks in, I’m at a church retreat with some priest fondling my junk. I give this CD two altar boy penises UP. - Derek Bolen
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? and the Mysterians The Best of ? and the Mysterians: Cameo Parkway 1966-1967 ABKCO Why it took Allan Klein so fucking long to get this shit out is beyond me. The guy is a scuzzbag and seems to have no qualms about milking things completely dry. With the sheer rarity factor weighing in on original, official Mysterians releases - 96 Tears (1966) and Action (1967) - you’d think that a greedy motherfucker like Klein would have wasted no time ripping off yet another deserving band so he could refuel the Benz.That these guys still play some really high-energy shows is a testament to the songs laid out here in all their clapped-out glory. Twenty-seven complete garage rawk’n’roll beauties, very nicely remastered so the fucking bass rattles you and the shitty Vox (no, it was NOT a Farfisa) organ undulates with sneer and groove. Containing ALL of the tracks from the originals and tacking on a few interesting morsels for completists, this comp is a nice addition to any
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collection. The oddities include alternate verison of “Midnight Hour” and an interesting Quaalude-take on “96 Tears” that doesn’t live up to the pure joy of the version we all know and love. Rudy Martinez (aka ?) knew how to get a message across, too – “96 Tears” originally being sang as “69 Tears” and “Girl (You Captivate Me)” sang live as “Girl (You Masturbate Me)”. I’m talking Nerveendorsed sleaze bucket rawk ‘n’ roll here! Respect your fucking forefathers! Buy this shit… chicks dig it, and Klein needs some more funny paper to light his cigars with. - Boy Howdy Secondstall Demo Plow’s Ass Fast and sometimes furious punk and or rock from right here in the Lower Mainland. Mach 10 riffs, heavy drums, and the odd melody thrown in the mix. I don’t know whether I should go to rehab for my virtual meth habit or just hit play again, cuz before I knew it, the disc was done and I wanted more. More I tell you. But take note: this is the last time you hear the name Secondstall. Probably by the time this is printed they’ll have a new name, like they were saying. - plow She Wants Revenge s/t Flawless/Geffen I immediately fell in love when I discovered She Wants Revenge on internet radio. It sounds like new Buck 65 but more accessible, mostly for the sound of singer Justin Warfield’s voice. Instead of going beatnik slam like our friend Buck, Warfield’s sad tones resemble Ian Curtis, set to music that sounds Fischerspooner with guitars. The only down side of She Wants Revenge is a darkness that I’m ambivalent about. On one hand, the haunting vocals and deeper sound make me want to wear black pinstripes suits and have lots of crimson red accessories, but the lyrics make me want to do some hot S&M sex. Track five, “Monologue”, states: “If you’re afraid to try just give me the safe word and take your hand and smack me in the mouth.” When I see the video for “Tear You Apart” on MuchMusic, I can’t deny that I want to whisper in my favourite girl’s ear, “I want to fucking tear you apart.” You know, like, love her lots and lots. Yay, creepy sex. - Dale DeRuiter The Right Hook / Bundem DJ Wood Boomtown / TwentyHz In an industry where the mix tape is the standard if mundane way to trade demos and prove skills, there are thankfully a quiet few that see this as an art, and produce a product that doesn’t just end up in my official “who gives a shit” filing system (a box in my closet). In 2005, Wood released the undisputed floor filling heavy weight M.T. champion, Along For the Ride, which covered all things bangin’, grime and dancehall. A few weeks later (the creativity just doesn’t end with this guy), Bundem became 20Hz’s first official release. This massive breakbeat has been received worldwide and has caught the attention and praise of even the Plump DJ’s. Now, only a few weeks after that, the knock-out punch is delivered with Right Hook. This mix is so smooth
and funky you’ll think that you were teleported into an episode of Shaft (yes, that’s a pimp limp). With Wood’s skills, he should be playing at Fabric on the weekly, but I’m glad he’s local. Otherwise, I’d have no one to turn to for my next mix tape fix. You can obtain copies of Wood’s work at Boomtown records or most record stores in town. - High Plains Drifter The Robocop Kraus They Think They Want To Be Robocop Kraus Epitaph So, Epitaph finally gave in and signed a dance punk band. You can’t blame them for wanting to stay current. The Robocop Kraus was the perfect choice because, unlike the Futureheads, these guys only sound a bit like Gang of Four instead of a lot, and instead seem to look to Devo for some weird riffage. - Dale DeRuiter The Subways Young for Eternity Warner Having only been around for a short time, the Subways have packed in an impressive career, even before they’ve reached their 20s. Last year the band was hand-picked by festival organizer Michael Eavis to play the much-coveted opening slot at Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, followed by an appearance on The O.C, not to mention being backed by UK hype-machine the NME, which gave them the usual hyperbolic praise, most of which is welldeserved. The Subways hold an obvious affinity to Nirvana, complete with the big riffs of “Rock and Roll Queen” and “Young for Eternity”, but more often stay on the poppier side, leaning toward Cobain’s followers such as Ash and the Vines. Even though the final product is a little too hygienic (producer Ian Broudie could have left in a few missed notes or vocal strains), Young for Eternity is rarely at fault. It’s safe to believe the hype, this time. - Adam Simpkins Various Artists Bottle Of Smoke: Toronto Rock ‘n’ Roll Compilation Rubber Factory If you ever wanted to know what goes on in “the centre of the universe”, aka Toronto, this is the comp for you. Twentyfive tracks of rip roaring punk and in your face rock ‘n’ roll, featuring the likes of the Fallout, Random Killing, Long Time Coming… An acoustic track or two (or four) is perfectly placed within the mix as well. I could see this disc as a Coles Notes on Tape version of Toronto: Our Scene!!! - Plow Young and Sexy Panic When You Find It Mint Marketed as a Valentine for the lonelyhearts of the world, this third outing from Vancouver’s Young and Sexy is supposedly the type of record you’d want to curl up with before gorging on a 2lb bag of wine-gums and sending instant-messages to other fellow losers on LavaLife. While that does sound depressing, it’s a mark of a good record when it has the power to brighten up your miserable life; only Panic When You Find It isn’t such an album. Marred from the absence of two of Y&S’s keyplayers (Ron Teardrop and Ted Bois), Paul Pittman and Lucy Brain were left to pick up the scraps, which is evident on the clumsy “Without Your Love” and closing clunkers “Trespass on a Thought” and “Satellite”. It’s not so much that this is a bad record, as it still contains the usual baroque-pop charms and killer harmonies, but it definitely pales in comparison to their previous efforts and confirms that we can’t stay young and sexy forever. - Adam Simpkins
The 1960s (1980s Version) Children of Nuggets Various Artists Rhino In 1972 Lenny Kaye compiled a doubleLP set for the Elektra Records label called Nuggets. The first compilation of its kind, it contained a variety of white R’n’B, garage rock, psychedelia, folkrock, and pop sounds from the mid-60s. Two musical terms came into being when Nuggets was released: ‘garage rock’ and ‘punk rock’. The original definition of punk rock was a (record collector) classification ascribed to amateur high school bands from the mid-60s who cranked out snotty teenage versions of the noise made by their musical heroes (Stones/Yardbirds/ Kinks etc.). There were thousands of these groups circa 1964-1967, cranking out 45s, which, more often than not, sank without a trace. Some managed to hit the Hot 100. Some of those got their lone ‘hit’ on the first Nuggets LP. Many bands from the mid-’70s ‘punk rock’ scene were inspired by Nuggets. Anyone that doesn’t recognize the correlation of ‘70s punk to its ‘60s predecessor is an ignoramus. In 1978, Greg Shaw released the first volume of Pebbles, which focused on the ‘garage rock’ phenomenon (the term ‘punk rock’ by this time having taken on different meaning). Both Nuggets and Pebbles would subsequently turn 100s of bands in the late ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s onto garage rock. In 1998, Rhino Records released a four-disc Nuggets box set. An ‘international’ edition, Nuggets 2, was issued in 2001. Now Rhino gives us Children of Nuggets, featuring bands from (loosely) the mid-’80s ‘Garage Rock Revival’. The box set contains four
discs (100 songs) and a book of essays and liner notes. Alec Palao’s essay is great, Little Steven’s is less-so. There is no essay by Greg Shaw (because he’s dead). There are images of old record sleeves, memorabilia and some stunning group photos. But they link incorrect lineup photos to both the Milkshakes and the Hoodoo Gurus. Some selected notes Disc 1: XTC appear as their alter egos, the Dukes Of Stratosphear. The Lyres really get it going with “Help You Ann”. By track six - the Watermelon Men - I am reminded that there were plenty of guitarists in the ‘80s who aped Roger McGuinn. The Soft Boys: dude, Robin Hitchcock is so overrated, him and Mark E. Smith should get married. The Fleshtones - who absolutely SLAYED at a recent Vancouver appearance - give The B-52’s a run for their money with “The Girl From Baltimore”. The Stems - utterly fantastic. The Spongetones: man, this mid-’60s meets the mid-’80s concept is really beginning to fuck with my head. I think maybe this revolution failed because, musically, it was old hat. But what a hat! Alan McGee’s band Biff Bang Pow deliver a track that is as good as anything on Love’s Forever Changes (I’m not kidding). The Times rip off the Spencer Davis Group while singing about television’s The Prisoner. The Pandoras deliver “It’s About Time”. RIP Paula Pierce. Disc 2: The Dream Syndicate “Tell Me When It’s Over”. I’m 15 again and Mars is Heaven. The Cramps,
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MUSIC / DVDCONTENTS REVIEWS “A New Kind of Kick” – at least it’s a rare track. The Long Ryders deliver an archetypal ‘Paisley Pop’ tune. The Revillos, confusing entry, but good fun nonetheless. The Vipers, definitive mid-80s garage band, maybe a bit subdued on this track. The Untamed Youth, fucking great band and track, but it sticks out like a sore thumb – different era, different scene. The La’s – fuck you. These guys plain old suck. No way should they be on here. The Milkshakes: a favourite band, but not their best work. The Bevis Frond, oneman hippy band. One hippy too many. Pass. The Revolving Paint Dream – they sound like their name. Disc 3: The Church, sounds like mid-’80s Goth pop. Whatever. The Barracudas “I Can’t Pretend” – one of the greatest tunes ever recorded! The Flamin’ Groovies successfully channel mid-’60s baroque and folkrock. Julian Cope, cool ‘60s feel but the ‘80s production is a bit winceinducing. Lipstick Killers, fab Aussie punk, perfect for fans of the Saints or the Fun Things. Green On Red, more paisley pop, what was in the water in LA in 1982? Chesterfield Kings, total mid-’80’s garage snot; sounds like it could have been on the first Nuggets LP! The Mummies. What the fuck?! Why use an instrumental track from this band? Seriously, why “Test Drive” and not “A Girl Like You”? DMZ, one of the greatest - later morphed in to the Lyres. The Stems, from Australia, again heavy on the McGuinn. The Plimsouls, more great stuff but considering the amount of McGuinn rip-offs on here I’m shocked that they didn’t include “A Million Miles Away”. Teenage Fanclub, I think it’s a stretch having this band on here once, let alone twice. The StingRays, about time this group got some recognition. Garage archivist Alec Palao got his start with these cats. Laika and The Cosmonauts, what’s with all the instrumentals on here? None of the other Nuggets sets had instros on them – why start now? The Jigsaw Seen, very trippy psych! Bong-hit city! Disc 4: Primal Scream – more McGuinn! The Hoodoo Gurus, great band: wrong tune. The Fuzztones, definitive band of their scene and era. Why use the weaker version of one of their greatest songs? Screaming Trees – why have these NW hippies on here and not the goddamn Mono Men? The Nomads, prototypical Swedish garage punk, very influential group. The Prisoners – “Far Away”, OK they totally fucked up with the track sequencing here. This great song should have been on last. Plasticland, cool neo-garage and psych crossover. Pass the sugar cube. Raybeats, instro meets no wave. The Nerves, true power pop, a term that is often used erroneously. The Wondermints, sounds like fucking Enya or Brian Wilson. Fuck you. OK, that’s it. Somebody give Roger McGuinn a million dollars. Rating: Three Out Of Five. The great stuff is great but the bad stuff is terrible. - Sean Law
bizarrely unique worldview (or the deafening loud plaid wardrobe), one would have to be either paralyzed from the neck up or signed to 604 Records to not find something worthwhile here. A laudable and enjoyable DVD valentine to the world from one of the best Canadians ever. - Ferdy Belland
Nardwuar the Human Serviette Doot Doola Doot Doo...Doot Doo! DVD Nardwuar / Mint Mild-mannered young North Vancouverite (and pop culturevulture extraordinaire) John Ruskin legally changed his name in 1987 to Nardwuar the Human Serviette Canada’s arts/music media hasn’t been the same since. For nearly 20 years in his self-appointed role as Canada’s Clown Prince of Gonzo Journalism, His Nardness has thrust himself into the faces of a rather dazzling and impressive roster of international celebrities - Snoop Doggy Dogg, Mikhail Gorbachev, Slayer, GWAR, Jello Biafra, Dan Quayle, Michael Moore, Gene Simmons, Blowfly, Marilyn Manson, Kelly Rowland, Franz Ferdinand, Pam Grier, Wesley Willis, Ian MacKaye, Jean Chretien, Busta Rhymes, Blur, Vanilla Ice, Thor, Cradle of Filth, fuck... you name it, Nardwuar’s accosted them - all in the name of a good point and a good laugh. His debut DVD anthology Doot Doola Doot Doo...Doot Doo! (titled after the Nardinator’s ‘shave-and-a-haircuttwo-bits’ sign-off scat) collects at least five staggering hours of interviews with all the above-named people, as well as live concert footage of the Nardvark in action fronting both the Evaporators and Thee Goblins. Even if you can’t fathom Nardwuar’s
The Sugarcubes Live in Zabor DVD Rhino The Sugarcubes Live in Zabor DVD was re-leased in the UK in 2004 but is new to North America. Live in Zabor highlights the Sugarcubes unique personalities, while presenting performances from 1988 and 1989. The live show reveals just how screwed-up the Sugarcubes actually were in the 1980s. This takes us back to a time when punk was cool, and Transformers ruled the small screen. The Sugarcubes were the biggest thing to come out of Iceland at the time, even before Sigur Ros and Gus Gus were walking and talking. Live in Zabor focuses on performances in London, Alabama, and Reykjavik, and also includes lessons on traditional Icelandic foods. The film gives unique insight into Icelandic culture and the strange beginnings of Björk, before she went experimental, and way before she started seeing the man behind the Cremaster Cycle, Matthew Barney. If you are anything like me, and adore the music of Björk, than pick this DVD up for sure. - Stina Gray New York Dolls All Dolled Up MVD It’s been an exciting year or so for Dolls freaks, Arthur Kane’s death notwithstanding. We’ve had the remaining members touring and now recording an album. A new biography has been published and a
documentary about Arthur, New York Doll, was released to much acclaim. The most exciting development of all, though, has got to be the release of the All Dolled Up DVD. For years, there’s been a limited amount of visual documentation of the original group: some TV appearances and the Looking for a Kiss 30-minute featurette made by renowned photographer Bob Gruen, who shot roughly 40 hours worth of band shenanigans from ‘73 to ‘75. Some of this aired on New York cable channels years ago, but that was it until now. All Dolled Up constitutes two-plus hours worth of highlights from Gruen’s archives and it’s fucking great. Some impressions: Sylvain was kinda goofy but charming, Johansen was absurdly campy and obnoxious (especially when drunk), Arthur was “innocence personified” (that’s a quote), Jerry Nolan was a monster drummer, and Thunders, at least in those early years, was the epitome of cool. See the luded-out groupies passing out! See the band elicit stares and guffaws at the airport! Most importantly, see the amazing live footage! - Andrew Molloy
form. The band cranks out “Born to Lose”, “Personality Crisis” and the usual faves with aplomb, and it’s pretty fun. But All Dolled Up is THE SHIT. - Andrew Molloy
Thunders, Kane, Nolan You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory MVD Jumping ahead 12 years or so from the period covered in All Dolled Up, this mini-reunion in L.A. features Johnny in fine
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Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big City Shantytown Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall Vintage Canada There are times when life beats you down so bad that you wish you could just escape the shit pit and start from scratch. While most go only as far as the bottom of a bottle, a morning in a stranger’s bed, or a make-believe life on myspace, there are others who will fake deaths, go postal, or hit the road robbing banks to begin a better life across the Mexican border. In this book, Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall documents the strange decision to find his escape in the cold confines of a shack in
Shreditorial: Calgary SLAMpede Slam City Jam will be in Calgary this year. The official word is the Olympics are creating a shortage of suitable Vancouver venues for the 12-year-old contest. While we wonder why a
houses is no more. Vancouver’s bustling real estate market has claimed yet another victim… the Slug Mansion… and as a result the almighty Slug Bowl faces an uncertain future. Sort of a secret, sort of not, for a few years the Slug Bowl gave Vancouver skaters the rare opportunity to session a basically perfect backyard pool… and enjoy a bust factor of zero while we were at it. My first visit to the Slug Bowl was Rosie’s birthday party in April 2004… the day that the footage from the Skull Skates video was shot. I distinctly remember walking into the backyard, looking down into the deep end, feeling the coping, and being scared. And that’s when the fun
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Toronto’s Tent City – a shantytown constructed with misfit love by delinquents, derelicts and drifters on 27 rat-infested acres of poisonous soil on the industrial shores of Lake Ontario. Heavyhearted from a recent break-up and carrying the guilt of a cocaine habit, he abandons his life as a middle class, university-educated English teacher to learn more and write a book about this place. The rules were simple: to survive without a safe stash of money or contact with previous friends, while getting by day-to-day the way the rest of the people there did, be it as a vagrant, beggar, wino, criminal, busker, or con man. Though you wouldn’t think of the place as even remotely inviting with its toxic waterfront views, less than friendly neighbourhood atmosphere, and grim prospects of finding a new girlfriend amidst crackheads and whores, over the course of a year, Bishop-Stall finds the opposite in paradoxical abundance. This is the greatest success of Down to This. Written off the cuff as a sort of daily journal, the author reveals a world that would appear as a caricature of a squatter’s community if one didn’t know this was non-fiction. The people he writes about put me in mind of characters you might find in a Tom Waits song. Like Hawk: the enforcer of Tent City, intimidator extraordinaire and ex-convict who awkwardly displays love and brotherhood through a heart that is too callous to receive it himself. Or Les: industrious pyromaniac and stammering savant, hopelessly in love with Jo-Jo, a prostitute who sucks cocks for crack rocks. Or Randy: the hobo Popeye, sucking back bottles of cough syrup like cans of spinach. The book is moody, precarious, hopeful, grubby, enlightening and often down right funny. Anyone who has ever sought to accurately describe the tangled mess of human virtue and vice will wish they had written this book and anyone with an appreciation for that mess will definitely want to read it. - Devon Cody
huge outdoor event 4 years away would impinge on a smallish indoor event this year, it is true that Slam felt a little sparse in the huge 55,000-seat BC Place. Could it not just go back to the PNE? Maybe it’ll re-energize Slam for the lessjaded Alberta groms to see their favourite pros. Slam changed hands last year and many skate community hardcores are no longer involved. The names we see are new to us. Corporate sponsorship absolutely has its place in these expensive-to-run World Cup competitions, but it’s essential that money be in the service of the culture, not the other way around. Like the old saying goes, it’s a great servant but a cruel master. Can’t put the money cart before the skateboarding horse, ‘cause if there’s one thing skaters do, it’s smell inauthenticity. Calgary does have a very vibrant and energetic skate culture. We hope the new owners ensure authentic skateboarders are integral to the creation of courses, contests, retail and cultural components. One way or another, the Skate Spot will be in Calgary August 25-27. Yet another winter hassle Well it had to happen sometime and the fateful day finally came. The ultimate in Vancouver skate
started… regular visits with Carver Don through the summer… my first grinds on real coping… skating with Stevie D until 10:30pm during the Mansion Christmas dinner ’04, missing the food, and then flying eastward the next morning smack into the middle of an Ontario winter… relaxing in the shallow end after a raging session while Toby Burger’s “Under the Influence” and Blade Killer’s “Backyard Bandits” were projected on the deep end wall under a hail of beer cans… the crazy shit that would go down whenever Trevor or Mike McKinley dropped in… games with sewer beetles… good times. So here’s a huge thankyou to all the Slugs who held down the fort and made the epic sessions possible. Seb, Rosie, Gary, Trevor, Sean, Luke… you guys rule. - Jeff Chan “email@example.com” Seylynn 2 George and Gordon Faulkner’s video “The Seylynn Story” has its downtown premiere at 7:30pm Mon, March 6 at the Media Club, 695 Cambie. $5 cover, proceeds to Surfrider foundation, check www.seylynn.com. -D-Rock and Miss Kim. Email downspace@ telus.net.
PHOTOS: DEREK DeLAND
Beat the Heat Katya Komisaruk AK Press When I first saw this book, a noble force took hold of me. I knew it had to be reviewed in The Nerve. I was convinced our loyal yet less than law-abiding readers would swoon with relief and appreciation and emerge from their hovels with the new-found courage to stick it to the man. Beat the Heat is a collection of how-to tactics for avoiding ugly situations with the men in blue. The author – who obtained her Harvard Law degree while doing a five-year prison stint – seems to have written this book with a soft spot in her heart for the kind of 3rd-grade-educated thugs you see on Dawg the Bounty Hunter. Hence, the book illustrates its points with the simplicity of an Archie comic. Literally. For every lesson given there are comic illustrations which detail encounters with law enforcement gone wrong, then alternately how they would have gone had you taken the advice given in the book. Lessons include how to safely avoid arrest, how to resist police interrogation, how to get your bail lowered, how to get out of jail while your case is pending, and much, more, including sample search warrants, subpoenas and a special section for minors and foreigners. The fundamental lesson of the book however, is based upon the Miranda Rights: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything
you say can and will be used against you in a court of law… yadda yadda yadda.” Beat the Heat redundantly emphasizes that the most important of the Miranda Rights - and therefore the most important tool for avoiding getting thrown in the clink - is the right to remain silent. It wasn’t until after I read this book that I realized that we, as Canadians, don’t actually have the Miranda Rights. I am, after all, a fine, upstanding, law-abiding citizen so I’ve never needed to know this. When a more criminally inclined friend told me that the Charter of Canadian Rights and Freedoms states rights similar to the Mirandas but not inclusive of the right to remain silent, my noble hope of bringing my knowledge of this book to you, my dear readers, was crushed. He assured me as I babbled in disbelief that there was a time that he thought the same as me, but this system of thought came to an end when his valiant attempt to rightfully remain silent landed him, beaten down and sedated, in a rubber room for a week with nothing but a pail to shit in. True story. So, while Beat the Heat is an informative and witty read, the simple fact that the information is so specific to American laws has me hesitating to recommend its practical application here at home. - Devon Cody
Kris Foley, bowl transfer to Spider-Man, RDS
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Short Ends smaller and not as funny as cheap shotz
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Story Time Last month we reported that Vincent Gallo was tryng to sell his sperm on his website VGMerchandise. com for the sum of 1 million dollars. A little pricey for something you could drink so fast, but whatever, Shortly after publication Gallo tried to auction a date with himself off on Ebay. The auction was quickly put to a hault by Ebay staff who forbid such things. As a longshot I e-mailed the general info account on VGMerchandise.com and requested audience with Gallo. I’ve tried to get an interview with Gallo on no less than five seperate occasions. I guess you could think of him as my White Whale. Hey, everyone needs a hobby and mine is bombing minor celebrities with interview requests that they’re going to ignore. I was so excited when firing off the e-mail it even had a typo. I wasn’t expecting to hear from anyone and I’m used to being ignored. This month alone I got shot down for interviews by Michael Winterbottom, Steve Coogan and Alex Cox and that’s a slow month. Imagine my surprise when i got an email back from firstname.lastname@example.org. It was one word in all caps: “NO.” As in “no, I’m not going to talk to you asshole.” Ecstatic, I fired back with a counter proposal and offered to buy something
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Videomatica Alternative Oscar Time Videomatica is holding their annual Alternative Oscars and you can vote online at www. videomatica.bc.ca/alternativeoscars. Looking through the nominations, it would appear the Videomatica staff have a hard on the size of their foriegn releases section for Miranda July and her movie You And Me And Everyone We Know. As an added bonus for filling out the ballot you win $100 in free rentals, which would make a pretty decent addition to your dowery. Movie Time Michael Winterbottom, who could very well be England’s best director right now, made a really great movie called 24 Hour Party that you should all see. It starred Steve Coogan, who could very well be England’s best actor right now. Well the two have reunited for Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story, their attempt at adapting Laurence Sterne’s unfilmable novel. It’s currently out in theatres and you should probbaly go see it.
off his website in exchange for an interview. Gallo replied again, this time with less enthusiasm, with a lowercase “no.” I countered back with an ever so persuasive “c’mon,” and Gallo caved and agreed to meet me for coffee. When we met face to face we had an instant connection and immediately engaged in a long and passionate embrace. Okay that didn’t happen and Gallo
ignored my third e-mail. You read the rest of this story in my blog, which is basically just a bunch of fan fiction where I get it on with famous people. I should add if Gallo did respond, even with a “no” again I would have worked it into an article because three answers, even by e-mail, constitutes an interview. But check out the emails I got anyways.
Oscar Time Here are the official Nerve picks Best Picture: Munich Best Director: Steven Spielberg - Munich Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman - Capote Best Supporting Actor: George Clooney Syriana Best Actress: I choose not to vote Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz - The Constant Gardner Documentary: March of the Penguins Animated Feature: Wallace & Grommit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit Adapted Screenplay: A History of Violence Original Screenplay: I choose not to vote Original Song: “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” - Hustle and Flow
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PHOTOS: DEREK DeLAND
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Christian Scat! By Adrian Mack
o you enjoy scat? How about Christian ‘Scat? I’m talking about Christian Eschatology, of course – the part of theology concerned with our incipient End Times. It’s something you might consider examining if you are in any way alarmed by this prediction offered by The Laboratoire Européen d’Anticipation Politique Europe 2020, just last week: LEAP/E2020, now estimates to over 80% the probability that the week of March 20-26, 2006 will be the beginning of the most significant political crisis the world has known since the Fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, together with an economic and financial crisis of a scope comparable with that of 1929. This last week of March 2006 will be the turning-point of a number of critical developments, resulting in an acceleration of all the factors leading to a major crisis, disregarding any American or Israeli military intervention against Iran. In case such an intervention is conducted, the probability of a major crisis rises up to 100%.” It’s pretty easy to debunk prophecy (talk to the hand Nostradamus! Edgar Cayce! Mayan calendar!!!), but this deceptively dry prediction should give you pause, since LEAP has correctly anticipated events that include the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1988, and the failure of EU Constitution
referenda in 2003. Or maybe they just got lucky. Either way, it’s hard to ignore the apocalyptic imaginations at work behind our current world situation, or the script they seem to be following. What if the Bush administration is the last act in a long and covert program to un-enlighten western thought, making us yearn for the intervention of God? When CIA operative Jim Jones persuaded 914 members of the People’s Temple to drink cyanidelaced Kool Aid in Guyana in 1978, perhaps it was the result of a mindvirus technology designed to make suicide desirable (Fuck! Isn’t it OBVIOUS?). If so, nearly three decades later, the program has gone big – western fundamentalist Christians just can’t wait to jump into the cleansing fire of Armageddon, which will be ably provided by thousands of warheads. Who benefits from this? Bearing in mind that I live in a world of dangerous fantasy, my money is one of two culprits: 1) Extra-dimensional lizards, or 2) the bloodthirsty, psychopathic super-elites of the
(*ahem*) New World Order, who view most of us, to quote Henry Kissinger, as “useless eaters”. They’ve been looking into ways of stabilizing the earth’s population at a manageable one billion or so (white) people for decades. Cue the stagemanaged Rapture. It’s far too late for me, but if you’d like to accept Jesus into your heart right now – and thereby die with a big smug smile on your face as nuclear winds strip the flesh from your bones and your eyes melt – you might want to check out the Left Behind series. Not the 15 or so books by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins – there’s not enough time left for that, but you can watch the three Left Behind movies in a single afternoon! Produced by Canada’s Cloud Ten productions, Left Behind and its first sequel, Tribulation Force, both present the Rapture as a sort-of fucked-up adolescent necro-fetish adventure yarn. If you didn’t catch either of these at your local church, where they were originally exhibited, the DVDs cost a mere $6.99 at Walmart. I can’t exactly vouch for the quality of either film (they both star Growing Pains veteran Kirk Cameron as hot-shot TV reporter Buck Williams, for one thing), but viewers are urged to stick around for the blooper reel on the first one (in Christian movies, actors say “son of a gun” when they accidentally bash their face on a wall), or the incredible scene in Tribulation Force when Rabbi Ben Judah hears the testimony of the ancient ‘Witnesses’ at the Wailing Wall. Despite their obviously fake beards, the world’s “leading authority on rabbinical teaching and ancient scriptures” (but not beards) is consequently moved to convert to Christianity, which I’m sure isn’t at all offensive to any Jews out there. The recently released Left Behind 3: World at War is a collaboration between Cloud Ten and Screen Gems, and it’s actually a pretty good picture if you ignore the story. Christians have been forced underground during the tribulation
Left Behind 3: World at War is actually a pretty good picture if you ignore the story.
time, but Nicolae Carpathia – UN leader / AntiChrist – has figured out a way to poison bibles, thereby killing off the opposition. In keeping with the upscale production, Left Behind 3 includes some very nicely staged action sequences, impressive photography, Lou Gossett Jr. as the President, and a surprisingly good performance from Cameron. Speaking to The Nerve from his home in LA, Director Craig Baxley (Action Jackson) explains how you get Kirk Cameron to look like anything but a retarded goof. “His tendency is to go big,” laughs Baxley, “And on something like this, the words are big. So I was constantly pulling him back.” Baxley admits that he feels the film’s message is “very important”, but he’s no holy roller. “I think Kirk’s a very nice man,” he says delicately, ”But when (he) stood up in the middle of lunch one day, with our crew, and basically went off for 45 minutes, telling people that they were gonna go to hell if they ever sinned, I almost had a mutiny on my hands.” Lest anyone think Cameron’s views are insincere, the Left Behind 3 DVD includes a 25-minute peek at his Way of the Master franchise. After reeling you in with the way-cool kung-fu title, Cameron then proceeds to banish the viewer to Hell unless they do what he says. It’s a form of guerilla evangelism which he actually takes to the street in one segment, where he shames ordinary people into converting. His co-presenter is a midget called Ray Comfort, whose lousy combover suggests that God abandoned him at least 20 years ago. Baxley is surprised to learn that his movie has been saddled with this particular extra. “Well, it’s absolutely sincere,” he sighs. “Without a question.” Cameron has apparently made a killing off Way of the Master, and I can’t help but think that it’s a conflict. If I remember my scripture correctly, Ted Neeley bursts into the Temple, slaps a few goats around, and sings, “My temple should be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!!!” Remember? I think what Neeley is trying to tell us here is that fronting for JC - for dollars - is only gonna get you the ol’ trap door when you meet St. Peter, right? Quietly, Baxley says, “Yeah… without saying too much, I kind of agree with that.” Oh well. I guess I’ll see you in Hell, Kirk Cameron. n
The Narcoleptic Videographer by Michael Mann
he Narcoleptic Videographer first appeared in issue three of the Nerve. 55 issues later we decided to check in again. Back then the Nerve was glossy which around the office is referred to as “the $20 000 mistake.” And the girl who wrote the article on the Narcoleptic Videographer stopped contributing after a staff member slept with her, which around the office is referred to as “old hat.” Sticking together this long speaks volumes as every other group we feature seems to break up after three issues. Oh, and if you’re wondering, I stopped using days, months and years to measure time about 10 issues ago. The Narcoleptic Videographer is not one but nine people. Before you roll your eyes, gaze at the heavens and scream “sweet Mohammed, not another video collective from Vancouver,” keep in mind they’re not political like most collectives. In fact they’re comedy. But before you continue rolling your eyes know that they’re actually funny. The philosophy behind selecting film articles for this magazine is simple: If local people make a selffunded and semi-coherent film they deserve press because finishing a movie is an impressive accomplishment that’s far greater than the end product. Okay, anything with swearing or nudity gets ink as well. The Narcoleptic Videographer delivers on all the criteria and, astonishingly, it’s actually really good.
Actor, writer and co-founder Kevin Spenst explains how the collaborative approach works, “Everybody has a chance to start things off by bringing in a seed of a idea. Usually a very strange warped genetically modified seed. Then Adam Thomas and Chris Bizzocchi look at the idea and stretch it out to find a story arc. Then that goes back to the actors who generally improvise scene by scene.“ Unfortunately the Narcoleptic Videographer currently is without a home, “since the demise of the Blinding Light and The Butchershop we’ve yet to find a really good place to screen.” Well, it looks like the screening room is your DVD player as their latest release is a DVD entitled Greatest Hits Video Mix. It’s six shorts plus a music video and clocks in at105 minutes. Thematically, all the shorts on The Greatest Hits Video Mix deal with the extreme and the absurd, like a can of Mountain Dew riding a bicycle. “We love extremes. Any sort of story that can be found in any sort of extreme. [We like to] bring as many familiar and comfortable things into that tiny little extreme corner and cram as much of the world as possible into that.“ He continues, “There’s no real rational process to anything that we do. It’s always on the fly and quickly happening. Videotapes are being handed to people one minute before something has to happen. We’re operating not only on a
Jen laboured over that birthing vagina and we’re very proud of that.
shoestring budget, but a shoestring budget of time. I think that manic energy comes through in the work itself.” One particularly manic short is the first video on the DVD It’s a Boy where Kevin plays a high school guidance counselor who is way too accepting of his son’s homosexuality. To get into character, Kevin shaved parts of his head to simulate male pattern baldness. “It is one of the freakiest experiences for any man in his 20s or 30s to go through. I had an old man half halo. I felt the line between the slab of meat which is the top of my head and the hair and it sent a jolt of terror through me and I was like, ‘Holy fuck, that’s what could happen.’” Aside from his performance, another stand out from It’s a Boy is a scene where, as part of a twisted family birthday ritual, they reenact their gay son’s birth where he emerges from a cardboard vagina covered in birth canal goo. The trick to making an authentic looking pseudo-vag? Hard work. “Jen laboured over that
birthing vagina and we’re very proud of that. We love that scene so much.”
The Narcoleptic Videographer Greatest Hits Video Mix is currently available at Narco.ca. It should be available at Limelight Video in the notso-distant future and keep your eyes peeled for a screening at Video In as well. n
The Nerve March 2006 Page 24
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