Monday, December 28, 2009

MINOR THREAT: HB WOODLAWN HIGH SCHOOL, ARLINGTON, VA. 10.30.82. AUDIENCE RECORDING.



This is certainly not the cleanest Minor Threat live recording in trading circulation. This recording is audience sourced and the sound quality is considerably distorted. The recording is guitar heavy and it can be safely assumed the taper wear right near the guitar rig. Because this site is motivated to archive all known live recordings by influential bands such as Minor Threat, this show is available here for both listening pleasure and for historical purposes.

The biggest draw to this otherwise tough listen is that this recording features an unreleased song entitled "You Betrayed Me By Growing Up". This track has not been released in any form probably due to the fact that it was never officially recorded. It's unfortunate this wasn't cut at Inner Ear because it seems to be a song with considerable promise even though it's likely this is a working version. Faith, Iron Cross, and DOA also played this show.

I've seen this listed as a video on trade lists over the years but never obtained a copy. If anyone has this or any information on a video recording in circulation, please send me an email.

Track list:

1. Look Back and Laugh (instrumental)
2. You Betrayed Me By Growing Up (unreleased song)
3. Seeing Red
4. Little Friend
5. Straight Edge
6. No Reason
7. Out Of Step
8. It Follows
9. Asshole Dub
10. Steppin' Stone
11. Filler
12. Bottled Violence
13. Minor Threat
14. Sob Story
15. 12XU

THE WARDS: "RIPPED OFF IN BOSTON" 1984 DEMO.



The Wards were the earliest punk band to hail from the state of Vermont, the plentiful land of maple syrup. The Wards released two extraordinarily underrated 7” EPs: “The World Ain’t Pretty and Neither Are We” in 1983 and “Don't Make U.S. Shoot the Pershing II” in 1984. Many of the songs on the debut 7” EP were written as early as 1979 but were recorded and self-released later due to financial limitations and trouble with finding a label that would release their material.

The “Ripped Off In Boston” cassette was the band’s final release following the first two vinyl releases and a subsequent demo recording that was circulated. “Ripped Off In Boston” was christened when the Wards had their van burglarized when it was parked in Kenmore Square. The original cover art of this cassette depicts a gigantic ogre grasping their van in his burly clutches, about to steal the contents of the van. This cassette was recorded in 1984 by Lou Giordano at Radiobeat Studios, who of course well known for recording material by such classic bands as SS Decontrol, Jerry’s Kids, Deep Wound, and the Proletariat.

For lack of a better classification, this release can be considered a demo since it was self-released and not widely disseminated. The tracks are quite similar to vinyl offerings but perhaps with an added aggressiveness due to Giordano's production. It would be nice to see the four releases by the Wards compiled officially and released as one LP.

DOWNLOAD:

Monday, December 14, 2009

MORE THAN A WITNESS PRODUCT IS BORN.



With the genre of hardcore recently celebrating it’s 30-year birthday, the genre’s back catalog is nearly hemorrhaging with classic output. There is certainly still a wealth of timeless material that has not been officially reissued that should be available. Considering that hardcore punk has truly become a genre fixated on it’s own history and that the reissue market is prosperous, it’s time that I get in on that action. Many other contemporary labels have done a fantastic job of reissuing classic records and these labels have served as an influence.

Thus, More Than a Witness Product (clearly a tribute to one of my all-time favorite labels, Fast Product) is born. I suppose it’s only natural that a blog that serves to archive unreleased material would eventually start reissuing classic, out of print hardcore punk records. The aims of the label are to release quality products and ensure that the bands are properly compensated for their material.

The first release will consist of an expanded version of the classic “God Guns Guts” 7” EP by CIA. Not only is this one of my all-time favorite hardcore single, but also I think it’s simply one of the best hardcore punk releases to come out of the early 1980s. These guys are personal friends of mine and I’ve been working closely with them on reissuing this classic EP as an LP with a ton of fantastic unreleased material from the original 7” session along with choice demo and live material. Considering that the original pressing of the 7” is topping out at nearly $300 and consistently selling for at least $250, this reissue should do well.

To answer the emails I've already received, there will be a limited edition mailorder only version you can get from me.

CIA, after releasing one single (and an LP with a radically different lineup) went on to morph into the great 76% Uncertain. They released several great records that you should acquire if you don’t have them already.

I am currently in contact with a few other bands about potential reissues. More news as things become finalized.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

BORN AGAINST & SICK OF IT ALL DEBATE. CRUCIAL CHAOS, WNYU-FM. FM BROADCAST.



To say that this recording is entertaining is putting it quite lightly. Simply put, what begins as as a meeting of the minds quickly turns into a discourse of vitriolic proportions. And it's also the most notoriously known half hour in the history of WNYU radio. On one side, Steve Martin (founder of In Effect Records and formerly of Agnostic Front), Lou and Pete Koller of Sick Of It All, and Sam of Evacuate Records represent the alleged commercially motivated hardcore contingent of the late 1980s New York hardcore scene. The other side, representing the populist, do-it-yourself faction involved in New York hardcore is Sam McPheeters and Adam Nathanson of Born Against/Vermiform Records and Charles Maggio of Rorschach/Gern Blandsten Records.

What begins as an on air radio debate about the principles of censorship, the hardcore economy, and the role of artist in the underground turns into an in-studio brawl. There's certainly some interesting points along the way. McPheeters, Nathanson, and Maggio are populist purists rooted in the tradition of do-it-yourself hardcore and are blatantly calling bullshit on In Effect Records and Sick Of It All because they feel they are selling out.

I find this document to be really captivating. In the archetypal days of hardcore, there were no online message boards for a legion of people to speak with digital courage. Disputes were settled by the primal act of street justice. Considering the zeitgeist of New York hardcore in the late 80s, this debate truly shows the convergence of two separate hardcore scenes with vastly different ideals concerning scene politics. The regional experience of New York hardcore has always been entrenched in working class, tough, and unsophisticated ideals. In my opinion, it's always served as a reaction to the cosmopolitan culture of Manhattan. The second wave of New York hardcore (of which In Effect Records and Sick Of It All were key players) was defined by right-wing philosophies and violence. Born Against, Rorschach, and the other bands that comprised the ABC No Rio scene in the late 1980s served an alternative to this culture. This recording captures this cultural wrangle in real time.

The quality of this tape is satisfactory considering it was recorded in the WNYU studios. This version suffers from the slightest bit of tape hiss that I have yet not tried to correct digitally.

If anyone has the date this was recorded, I would really appreciate it if you could pass this information along to me.

DOWNLOAD:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MORE THAN A WITNESS TAKES ON THE RADIO SILENCE HOLIDAY JAM


If you're going to be in New York area this upcoming Monday night December 14th, I will be spinning classic hardcore records at the Charleston on Bedford & North 7th in Brooklyn. Mark Ryan (of Supertouch), Anthony Pappalardo (author of Radio Silence), David Castillo (Chronic Youth) and Andy Pry will also be spinning records. Walter Schreifels (of Gorilla Biscuits) Band, Birds of Prey, and Give will be performing live. It promises to be a fun evening and you should come out and say hello.

All the DJ action is upstairs and free. The show will be in the basement of the Charleston and costs $8. The first 50 people who pay to get into the show get a limited t-shirt. There will be free Jameson until it runs out. Also, if this isn't tempting enough for you, if you buy any drink at the Charleston you get a free mini pizza.

For those unfamiliar with the Radio Silence book, it's simply a tour de force of hardcore artifacts that you should own. Authors Anthony Pappalardo and Nathan Nedorostek tirelessly rummaged through the collections of such hardcore luminaries as Jeff Nelson, Pat Dubar, Cynthia Connolly, Dave Smalley, Gavin Ogelsby, Walter Schreifels, and many others to produce a comprehensive collection of unseen images, original artwork, rare records, t-shirts, and other great artifacts.

More information about Radio Silence can be found on the official blog for the book: http://www.radiosilencebook.com/

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BL'AST: SPORTMAN'S LODGE, SUN VALLEY, CA. 6.20.85. SOUNDBOARD RECORDING.



Hailing from Santa Cruz, CA and originally forming under the monicker M.A.D. (standing for Mutually Assured Destruction, of course) in late 1982, Bl'ast (the apostrophe was used to make their visual logo "more dynamic" according to vocalist Clifford Dinsmore) are of my favorite hardcore bands to ever exist. Detractors will often cite that they made a career out of imitating label mates Black Flag but this opinion doesn't lend itself to the fact that Bl'ast were a great band in their own right and definite forerunners of the stoner rock sound. Without question, guitarist Mike Neider and drummer Bill Torgerson selected a Dan Armstrong guitar and Ludwig Vistalite drums respectively because their heroes Black Flag made this look renowned. Henry Rollins mentions this briefly in a "Get In the Van" entry where he clearly discredits the band for being unoriginal and tacky.

Regardless of the fact that "Power Of Expression" LP has been permanently burned into my prefrontal cortex, I still get excited every single time it finds itself on my turntable. This soundboard recording is nearly just as powerful. This 1985 set recorded in Sun Valley, California showcases Bl'ast performing material that would find itself on their debut album shortly after. The sound quality is excellent and the mix is nothing to scoff at. This is a remarkable recording that should find itself in the collection of any self-respecting Bl'ast devotee.

Track list:
1. Our Explanation
2. I Don't Need It
3. Break It Down
4. E.I.B.
5. Fuckin' With My Head
6. School's Out (Alice Cooper)
7. Surf and Destroy
8. The Future
9. It's Alive
10. 12XU (Wire)

DOWNLOAD:

Monday, November 23, 2009

YOUTH BRIGADE: 1981 DEMO



Youth Brigade (not to be confused with the band from Southern California with the same name) were a crucial band that was a part of first wave Washington DC hardcore. Youth Brigade was comprised of several members that had already been in bands from Washington; vocalist Nathan Strejcek sang for the Teen Idles and drummer Danny Ingram had previously been in the Untouchables. After playing their first show in March of 1981 at Washington DC venue Food For Thought, the band brought Bert Queiroz (bass) and Tom Clinton (guitar) into the fold. Shortly before Dischord released their sole record, Youth Brigade opened for Black Flag on their first ever trip to the east coast. The debut EP was entitled "Possible" simply because of an early Dischord fanzine advertisement which stated: "possible record from Youth Brigade soon". After the group disbanded, they appeared on the seminal "Flex Your Head" compilation and various members went on to form Double O, Peer Pressure, Second Wind, and Rain.

This demo has been bootlegged onto vinyl twice. It first surfaced in 1994 on the Ripe Harvest label as a split double 7" with the great No Labels from North Carolina. My copy is on green and pink vinyl. This material surfaced once again on vinyl in 2001 on a split LP with Minor Threat (which also featured their classic debut demo) on the Recollect label that was based in the Netherlands.

This demo features several tracks that were not rerecorded for any subsequent releases. "I Object", "Youth Brigade", "Bouncer", and "Snow Job" were only featured on this demo recording. The rest of tracks were rerecorded for the "Possible" 7" and the "Flex Your Head" compilation LP.

The sound quality is strong considering that this was meant to be used as a demo.

Track list:
1. I Object
2. Full Speed Ahead
3. Last Word
4. Waste Of Time
5. Youth Brigade
6. Bouncer
7. Snow Job
8. Moral Majority

DOWNLOAD:

Friday, November 13, 2009

THE CRUCIFUCKS: "I AM THE ESTABLISHMENT" 1982 DEMO.




My first taste of the Crucifucks came when I received a dubbed copy of their debut album on Alternative Tentacles from my friend's older brother. I had previously seen the band's name in mailorder catalogs prematurely considered the band a favorite based on their monicker. The quality of this cassette suffered from multi-generational hiss (due to the fact that it had been dubbed and redubbed for fledging punkers such as myself) and had many near death experiences in my tape deck from being eaten.

Regardless of these significant sonic impairments, I could easily understand that Doc Corbin Dart was a brainchild. His vocals are simply unreasonable and defy any logical comparisons due to their shrill quality. I suppose one could say that Doc Corbin Dart sounded like Jello Biafra raised to the tenth power or even at times, Roger Rabbit. These days, Doc Corbin Dart has legally changed his name to "26" and has totally renounced this debut album and the concept of swearing.

Without further delay, here is the first Crucifucks demo tape. This was recorded in Lansing, Michigan in 1982. This demo was recorded approximately a year and a half before the debut album was released. "Leave Me Alone" was not recorded for the first album and is only featured on this demo tape.

Track list:
1. Democracy Spawns Bad Taste
2. Go Bankrupt and Die
3. Legal Genocide
4. You Give Me the Creeps
5. Marching For Trash
6. Cops For Fertilizer
7. I Am the Establishment
8. Leave Me Alone
9. No One Can Make Me Play Along With All Of This
10. Hinckley Had a Vision

DOWNLOAD:
LINK REMOVED PER REQUEST BY ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

BLACK FLAG: POLLIWOG PARK, MANHATTAN BEACH, CA. 7.22.79. AUDIENCE RECORDING.



After playing a handful of local gigs and making a small name for themselves during the first part of 1979, Black Flag was somehow booked to perform in front of little over 1000 people on a Sunday afternoon in Manhattan Beach's Polliwog Park on July 22, 1979. Clearly the event organizer had no knowledge of what Black Flag represented. The Tourists and Big Wow were two new wave groups that opened the show and I have read in some sources that Black Flag was a last minute replacement. Either that or Greg Ginn did his typical finagling when it came to speaking to a promoter; Ginn's angle to bypass a booking refusal was to tell a promoter that Black Flag were "a rock group with jazz influences".

The crowd of Southern Californian families had no idea what was about to hit them that afternoon. Expecting a relaxing Sunday afternoon in the park while casually listening to a tame, bearded Eagles type rock group, onlookers were treated to the unadulterated vitriol of a young Black Flag. One fan reflected on seeing Black Flag that day: "They played for my winning Little League team that day. They were a last minute replacement band. We threw chicken bones and watermelon at them". 100 or so ardent Black Flag fans turned out for the performance and acted totally unruly. A local newspaper described that crowd as "jumping up and down in the traditional punk pogo and pelted the band and nearby crowd with oranges, tomatoes, watermelons, cans, rocks, and bottles".

The audience source of this recording is indeed primitive sounding for the casual listener of Black Flag. Regardless of the quality, this is truly a significant and historic performance. It's incredible to think that this performance even lasted 24 minutes (6 minutes of it being an actual riot) and that the plug wasn't pulled on the band during one of the first few songs. Unfortunately there is considerable clipping during "Machine" and a drop out during "I've Had It". Regardless, this is an enjoyable listen and truly a lasting punk rock document from an era when bands were truly confrontational.

If anyone has a different source of this performance, I would love a copy.

Track list:
1. Don't Care
2. White Minority
3. I've Heard It Before
4. Machine
5. I've Had It (cut)
6. Nervous Breakdown
7. Spray Paint
8. Jealous Again
9. Police Story
10. Promoter speaking to the crowd/rioting
11. Revenge
12. Fix Me
13. Depression
14. Louie Louie

DOWNLOAD:

Friday, November 6, 2009

DIE KREUZEN: 1982 DEMO.



Die Kreuzen are simply one of the best hardcore bands to ever exist. They were first known as the Stellas and quickly changed their name to a rough German translation meaning “the crosses” or “sign of the cross”. After contributing tracks to the “Charred Remains” cassette compilation and the “Master Tape” compilation album, they unleashed the mighty “Cows and Beer” 7” EP, which ranks as one of the greatest hardcore records ever produced.

The period prior to “Cows and Beer” consists of the aforementioned compilation tracks as well as two extraordinary demo tapes. These demos are better than most other bands' officially released output from the time period. This specific post will focus on the 1982 demo. I will post the 1983 demo in the near future.

Track List:

1. This Hope
2. Pain
3. Hate Me
4. In School
5. On the Street
6. Hate Me
7. Get 'em
8. Enemies
9. Fighting

DOWNLOAD:
http://www.mediafire.com/?mkr3z4mw0rz

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

FEEDERZ: LIVING ROOM DEMO 1979/80.



To me, the finest punk groups with the greatest sense of cultural vitality possess the skill to move past the simple confines of the genre. The Feederz are one of the finest examples of such bands. Before even playing a gig, the band distributed literature that was interpreted as being a terrorist communiqué. Their first gig was highlighted by singer Frank Discussion firing blanks from anAR-15 assault riffle into the audience. In 1982, Discussion composed an anti-school manifesto entitled “Bored With School” that posed as an announcement from the Arizona Department of Education. These pamphlets were somehow not checked for content and distributed in large quantities. Facing inevitable prosecution, Discussion fled Arizona and took refuge in San Francisco were the second lineup of the Feederz was formed.

Some testimony to their recorded output is clearly necessary. “Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss?” is simply one of the best hardcore records ever released. The tracks are truly diverse and show that the band was musically competent and ideologically clever. The lyrical themes reside beyond the confines of political correctness while also being truly seditious. In situationalist fashion, the sleeve of the album is enshrined in sandpaper so that it could damage and thus devalue your other albums.

The “Living Room” demo was recorded in late 1979 and early 1980 and feature the first lineup of the group. These tracks were recorded in bass player Clear Bob's living room. All four songs from the "Jesus" EP are included on this demo as well as many tracks from the yet to be recorded debut LP. "Peter Gunn Theme" was compiled on the all California "Killed By Death" Volume 12 and “Stop Your Killing Me” has been compiled on “Killed By Death” Volume 14.

Track list:
1. Subscription (cut)
2. Just Like Your Mom (Vox Pop)
3. Mommy’s Gone
4. Dead Bodies
5. Avon Lady
6. RU 19
7. Jesus
8. Smile
9. Peter Gunn Theme
10. Terrorist
11. Stop You’re Killing Me
12. Destruction Unit
13. Vulvateen

DOWNLOAD:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

TEENAGE HEAD: HEATWAVE FESTIVAL, MOSPORT PARK, BOWMANVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA. 8.23.80. FM BROADCAST.



You wind up setting the standards pretty high when you name your band after one of the Flamin’ Groovies best songs. When considering the early output of Teenage Head, they rarely fell short of these great expectations.

Arguably the most popular Canadian punk rock band at the time, Teenage Head played early on a bill of new wave heavyweights. Holly and the Italians, Rockpile, Graham Parker, the B52’s, Talking Heads, Pretenders, and Elvis Costello and the Attractions also performed. The Clash were originally supposed to headline the festival but either cancelled at the last minute or were detained at Customs. The promoters of the Heatwave Festival lost a considerable amount of money because they expected 100,000 people to purchase tickets but only half that number attended.

This Teenage Head set was broadcast on FM radio. This set features songs from their debut classic self-titled album and “Wild One” from the “Frantic City” album. One reviewer described the Teenage Head set as: “two scraggly guys playing guitar and bass, and a crop-haired singer in long-tailed livery coat and eyeliner. ... good ol' head-banging ramalama punk rock. A large and vocal following cheered them on, and they played with confidence, as if they belong up front of all those people." Teenage Head's live album featured a picture of them performing at the Heatwave Festival.

Soundboard recordings also exist for the Talking Heads, Pretenders, and Costello sets and are in circulation.

Track list:

1. Top Down
2. Wild One
3. Picture My Face
4. Some Kinda Fun
5. Alimony
6. Everybody's Growin' Old
7. Let's Shake
8. Lucy Potato
9. Brand New Cadillac
10. You're Tearing Me Apart
11. Somethin' Else
12. Kissin' The Carpet
13. Disgusteen
14. C'mon Everybody

DOWNLOAD:

http://www.mediafire.com/?b2nyzgvgoz4

Thursday, October 22, 2009

IGNITION: BIELEFELD, GERMANY 11.27.87. AUDIENCE RECORDING.



I have to say, at the end of the day, Ignition are my favorite harDCore band. Ignition's lyrics and music were both very moving and interesting to an era of DC music filled with absolute garbage. While I'd heard Ignition on an early mix tape I received from an older friend sometime in 1995 I didn't buy their CD discography until later on sometime at the end of 1997, but I found Ignition musically, aesthetically, and lyrically very interesting.

This show comes from their European tour in 1987. I have no idea what the venue is, but I am curious to find out. The recording is very noisy and dirty, which blended with their more melodic musical style makes for an interesting audience recording.

Track list:
1. Consequence
2. Anxiety Asking
3. Cancellation
4. So Moving
5. Proven Hollow
6. Rebuilding
7. Buy and Sell
8. Previous
9. Temporary
10. Sinker
11. Anger Means
12. Throttle
13. Non Verbum
14. I Got a Right

Download:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

MORE THAN A WITNESS WELCOMES CONTRIBUTOR WILLIAM PATRICK WEND.

I came in contact with William several years ago when I discovered that he was a fellow tape trader. He posted his tape trading comprised of live shows and demo recordings on the Revelation Records message board. We quickly began a correspondence and proceeded to send each other recordings that we were both eager to hear. When I was thinking of qualified people that could contribute to this blog, I immediately thought of William. His knowledge concerning unreleased, live, and demo hardcore recordings is extensive.

William is responsible for an incredible site dedicated to archiving hardcore show flyers. This collection is impressive and is a must see for anyone interested in the artwork and history of hardcore. This site can be viewed here: http://www.hardcoreshowflyers.com/

He will be contributing some of his favorite demo and live material to More Than a Witness. Please stay tuned for some of William’s favorite hard to find material.

Friday, October 2, 2009

BUZZCOCKS: THE ROXY, LONDON, ENGLAND 4.2.77. SOUNDBOARD RECORDING.



Many people truly enjoyed the first Buzzcocks post that I submitted here on More Than a Witness, so here is yet another fantastic show recorded during early 1977. Making their live debut in July 1976 (providing support for the Sex Pistols second ever Manchester gig), this excellent soundboard recording documents the group shortly after they made the transition from Howard Devoto (he returned to college for one year than formed the mighty Magazine shortly after leaving a pursuit in academia) to Pete Shelley as group vocalist. Shelley's high-pitched, melodic vocals were a standout during the first wave of English punk because they stood in stark contrast to the gruff, atonal stylings of both inferior punkers and the majority of pub rock holdovers.

Sporadically, a soundboard recording will surface that is nearly flawless. This is one of those documents. This soundboard recording is bright, evenly mixed, and truly captures the spirit of seeing one of the greatest punk groups of all time growing up in public.

Tracklist:
1. Orgasm Addict
2. No Reply
3. Get On Our Own
4. Fast Cars
5. What Do I Get?
6. Friends of Mine
7. Sixteen
8. Time's Up
9. Oh Shit
10. Boredom

DOWNLOAD:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

THE REACTORS: UNRELEASED 1979 REHEARSAL DEMOS.



The Reactors are well known in the Killed By Death collecting circles for their painfully rare 45 "I Want Sex". Many of us first became aware of this track after it appeared on "Killed By Death #14". Since nearly any of us can afford one of these illusive wax platters, we are lucky that the Italian label Rave-Up released a great retrospective of nearly everything that the band recorded. I say "nearly" because this collection leaves off three classic rehearsal demos recorded by the band. After that project was compiled, Shep Ginzburg (singer/guitarist) unearthed one more long forgotten tape.

Here are Shep's memories of the session:

"It was recorded in our rehearsal space on 46th and 8th Ave (among the hookers and dope dealers). We miked up everything and ran the wires out into the hallway. I had my friend Tom Lowden mix the band through a pair of headphones, and we recorded it to reel to reel mono, because our console was monophonic. Tom had a very tough time because we played so loud that he couldn't tell what was coming from the headphones and what was just in the hall bleeding from the room".

These tracks were recorded in 1979 after the Reactors made their move from Bridgeport, CT to New York. Sheperd Ginzburg plays guitar and sings, Bob Payes plays bass and Cathy Burke provides drums.

These versions have never been released or have been circulated in any fashion before now.

Tracklist:
1. I'm A Reactor
2. Dock Of The Bay (Redding)
3. University Eternity


DOWNLOAD:

THE CLITBOYS: "DETOUR" DEMO, 1982.



The Clitboys hailed from Milwaukee and are perhaps best known for being name checked as one of Bambi's favorite bands in the Meatmen track "Punker-ama" on their "War of the Superbikes" album. The hilarious song implies that the Clitboys (along with MDC and Crucifix) were a stiff hardcore group that sung about stale political issues of the day. Perhaps they weren't Chomskyan in their ideological approach, but they tackled some issues that were unique ("Gays OK", "Slogan Boy") considering the punk-jock climate of 1983. Regardless, I always have enjoyed their "We Don't Play the Game" 7" EP on Feedback Records. This was released in 1983 and although many dismiss it as generic stop-and-go Midwest hardcore, it's actually an enjoyable listen.

This 1982 demo is quite similar to their 7" EP. As a matter of fact, the recordings of "Have Faith", "So Funny" and "We Don't Play the Game" were later featured on their debut record. The tracks on this demo are reminiscent of the first JFA 7" but with less prominent vocals. I'm waiting for someone to cut a bootleg LP of several classic Midwest hardcore demos on one LP. This demo would be an excellent fit on such an item.

These 8 tracks on this demo were also available on the "First Strike" compilation cassette released by BCT in 1983.

Tracklist:
1. Time for Another War
2. Have Faith
3. I Hate the KKK
4. Apathy Rules
5. So Funny
6. Rat Race
7. Gotta Go to War
8. We Don't Play the Game

DOWNLOAD:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

X FACTOR: "BLUE BASEMENT" DEMO, SPRING 1982.



X-Factor were arguably one of the earliest Connecticut bands that had an identifiable proto- hardcore sound. Prior to 1982, there had been a thriving punk scene in New Haven and the surrounding area but these bands had a straightforward punk sound or leaned toward playing power-pop or new wave. It wasn't until 1982 that a faster and more aggressive sound emerged from Connecticut, which originated from the city of Bridgeport.

Most readers of this blog are probably quite familiar with
CIA and Lost Generation (who also called Bridgeport home). These groups formed around the same time these demos were recorded and went on to release classic records. X-Factor however would fade into obscurity due to some member changes only to be reborn as Reflex From Pain with the addition of a new singer and guitarist. The core of X-Factor first played together in a band called the Xtras. Are you starting to detect a pattern in the names here? Yeah, I refer to them as the lineage of "X" bands. Bill Knapp is the common denominator in all these X bands. He played drums in these bands and several other bands that came afterward.

The line up for this demo consists of Bill Knapp on drums, Steve Schneider playing guitar, Dave Ware on bass and John "Ziggy" Viens providing vocals.

Bill and Steve had played in the
The Xtras and 532X prior to X-Factor. Dave Ware played in Reflex From Pain and 76% Uncertain (again with Bill Knapp on drums) after the demise of X-Factor. Ziggy sang for ADX after leaving X-Factor.

Blue Basement Studios was a pseudonym for Bill Knapp's parents basement named after the shade of paint on the walls. Many of the early Connecticut hardcore bands recorded here. The
Vatican Commandos, CIA, and the Violent Children all cut material there. This batch of X-Factor songs were recorded in the spring of '82 and is their second demo. The songs "Media Control" and "American Express" were later re-recorded by Reflex From Pain.

I will post several more great unreleased Connecticut hardcore artifacts in the near future.

DOWNLOAD:

Monday, September 14, 2009

MORE THAN A WITNESS WELCOMES CONTRIBUTOR JOE SNOW



Referring to Joe Snow as a Connecticut hardcore fixture would probably be putting it pretty lightly. Growing up in Connecticut and attending hardcore shows by the mid 80s, Joe was a mainstay at the Anthrax club photographing all of the classic bands of the era. Many of his photographs can be seen garnishing countless late 80s hardcore records. Once I even heard a story that his wife Sue used to drive Crippled Youth to shows they were playing when they were too young to drive.

In recent years, Joe has revived the classic label Incas Records. Incas was responsible for classic releases throughout the 1980s by bands such as 76% Uncertain, Lost Generation, Vatican Commandoes, CIA, and the Connecticut Fun compilation. In recent years, Incas has re-released the classic Connecticut Fun compilation and a fantastic CD collection titled “Up All Night” that chronicles the first wave of Connecticut punk rock.

Joe has a vast knowledge of hardcore coupled with an impressive collection of unreleased material that has never seen the light of day. Much of this material will be showcased on this site. I am very excited to have Joe as a contributor here at More Than a Witness and am looking forward to what he is going to share on this site.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

NO TREND: HOLLYWOOD, CA 11.19.83. SOUNDBOARD RECORDING.




No Trend are easily one of my favorite bands of the hardcore era. They were rejects in a scene comprised of so-called misfits. Defining themselves in opposition to the narrow hardcore acts of their day, No Trend seemed to despise everything in their path. For example, they didn’t make many friends when they were crammed flyers that read: “No Trend, No Scene, No Movement” into all the Coke machines that the Georgetown/Washington DC straight edge types bought soda from. Ultimately, the goal of No Trend was to turn the hardcore scene inside out in an effort to expunge the narrow-minded types from ever turning up. This dialectical approach served to alienate the insular factions within the scene while finding smarter people who were still into the dictates of aggressive music.

Their approach to music was more akin to Flipper or the Butthole Surfers. The first demo, the “Teen Love” 7”, and the “Too Many Humans” 12” are all superb examples of abrasive and sardonic deviations from the dim-witted hardcore norm. These records probably confused a great deal of people at the time, but those who liked it understood what it was all about.

Taking the road in a damaged ’76 Ford ambulance, they played all of the major venues on the hardcore map in 1983.This live recording is a great soundboard of a show played in Hollywood on November 11, 1983. This soundboard recording is crisp and clear. From what I recall, this recording is better than the live tracks on the official No Trend CD. Unfortunately this set is not complete as there are only 4 songs included here. It’s highly probable that a complete recording of this show exists. If you have a complete recording of this show, please get in touch.

Track List:
1. Do As You're Told
2. Fashion Tips For the 80's.
3. Mindless Little Insects
4. Mass Sterilization Caused By Venereal Disease

DOWNLOAD:
http://www.mediafire.com/?mlynynmwdhm

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

BAD BRAINS: CBGB, NEW YORK, NY 12.25.81 SOUNDBOARD RECORDING.




Now that hardcore is at the ripe age of approximately 30 years old, it’s effortless to conclude that the Bad Brains were the leading pioneers of the entire genre. This is quite ironic considering the fact that group objected that the term “hardcore” be used to describe the characteristics of their music. Critics of the band often cite them as being homophobic based on 1982 interviews in both Flipside (#31) and Forced Exposure (#2) where singer HR refers to shooting homosexuals. And then there’s the well-documented incident in Texas during the same year that involved members of the Big Boys and MDC that had homosexual leanings. These incidents of folly would permanently damage the reputation of any other band that was less talented and innovative than the Bad Brains. If anything this stands as an extraordinary testament to their greatness: stating unambiguously dodgy ideologies to a politically correct audience and still being respected by them.

This post will be the first of numerous entries devoted to the documentation of live Bad Brains material. This Christmas ’81 gig is not the preeminent Bad Brains live bootleg in circulation but it’s nothing to scoff at either. (In my opinion, if you’re a fan of the Bad Brains almost any soundboard live recording before 1987 or so is worth owing). Maybe this recording isn’t the most flawless soundboard recording by these guys in circulation, but you get thirteen and a half minutes of music that will melt your face. HR's custom introduction to "Supertouch" is awe-inspiring enough to induce goose bumps before the song even begins!

I've seen this recording listed on various trade lists as being 20 minutes in length. If anyone has the 20 minute version (or the full show for that matter), please contact me through the site.

Setlist:
1. 12XU (Wire)
2. Don't Need It
3. Supertouch/Shitfit
4. Big Takeover
5. Riot Squad
6. I

DOWNLOAD: