Thursday, July 7, 2011
Ever since the Young Republicans "Sabotage Your Cookout" 7" EP came out this area has been in perpetual disarray making it really difficult to find stuff. A few nights ago I finally decided to do some organizing of this mess and in the process I found a small grip of about a dozen "Cookout Edition" red vinyl mailorder only copies. They were buried underneath a heap of cardboard boxes in a drawer that I haven't looked in for months. The "Cookout Edition" features hand silkscreened covers made out of cookout style tablecloths and a different insert along with the EP on red vinyl. These sold out in one weekend when I first advertised their sale so if you'd like one and missed out the first time around, act quick and you'll score one.
Pictured above with the "Cookout Edition" copies are the second pressing mispress copies that are limited to 50 copies. The plant goofed and accidentally pressed 50 with a small hole when I did the repress instead of the large hole version that I ordered, which there are about 1300 of. I still have a small handful of these remaining so if you'd like one, now would be the best time to get one because I have 5 or 6 left before they're gone for good.
There are a few different purchase options. You can buy a "Cookout Edition" or a limited to 50 mispressing or you can buy both.
I'm sick to death of using the Paypal cart system payment method. That piece of shit never works for more than five minutes at a time, so if you'd like to get any of these records, drop me an email: morethanawitness at gmail dot com
Friday, April 22, 2011
For those who are not familiar with Mecht Mensch, they were purveyors of killer Midwest style hardcore in the same vein as Die Kruezen and other bands that pushed paint by numbers style thrash into the domain of the uniquely psychotic. Their debut 5 song 7" EP "Acceptance" is a true testament to dissonant hardcore. This classic EP is reminiscent of the aforementioned Die Kruezen or perhaps No Trend after some really cheap speed. One of the best all-time Midwest hardcore EPs. This 7" was recorded by Butch Vig who'd later go on to produce Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins.
I'm incredibly excited to officially announce that my fourth release will be a Mecht Mensch discography LP. This release will include the absolutely classic "Acceptance" 7" EP from '83 as well as the tracks from the Tar Babies split cassette from '82 as well as other solid unreleased material. This release will feature a beautiful gatefold jacket with tons of great photos, liner notes, and other relevant art & ephemera. This release has been in the making for nearly 10 years but things are now things in perfect alignment and this should be out before summer.
If anyone reading this has any flyers, photos, or any anything cool relating to Mecht Mensch, drop me a line at the email listed here on the blog because I'd love to use this stuff for the release.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
After selling out of the first pressing of 1000 copies of the Young Republicans "Sabotage Your Cookout" 7" EP rather quickly, I called up the plant and ordered a repressing of another quick 300 copies. I guess whoever was operating the record press wasn't paying attention or something and 50 of these 300 repress copies were pressed with a small hole instead of a big hole. I always thought the big hole 7" looked better and much more classic so I never intended on doing any with a small center hole. So if you're keeping score there's 1250 with small hole and only 50 of this 7" with a small hole due to this mistake by the pressing plant.
If anyone would like to order one of these unique singles, you can do that below. I can't imagine these won't last very long so don't sleep if you'd like one.
ALL OF THESE PRICES INCLUDE POSTAGE.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I've long been a fan of regional college radio programs that had the audacity to play hardcore punk on the airwaves during it's formative years. The 1980s American hardcore scene will probably be forever indebted to programs like the seminal Maximum Rock & Roll radio show as well as more regionally focused programs like WNYU-FM's "Noise the Show". These radio shows were so essential at the time because they represented the starkest opposition to the then (and now, sadly) flaccid brand of corporate FM radio. More specifically, these pioneering shows gave listeners a chance to hear all of the great new records that were coming out at the time, advertisements for local hardcore gigs, and interviews with local and touring bands.
The "Adventure Jukebox" was the premier hardcore punk college radio show in the western Connecticut area for quite awhile. Broadcasted from the campus of Western Connecticut State University (my alma mater), this show began sometime in the early 1980s and presumably ended sometime in the late 80s. "Adventure Jukebox" was hosted by a fellow named Darryl Ohrt. Much like the aforementioned MRR & "Noise" radio shows mentioned above, "Adventure Jukebox" focused on all of the rad newly released underground music that was coming out at the time as well as spreading the word about local hardcore punk shows that were happening at the Anthrax in Stamford (and later, Norwalk).These gigs featured top notch touring bands and as well as blossoming local hardcore bands. During the early 80s, the Connecticut hardcore scene was flourishing quickly because of such exciting bands like CIA, Vatican Commandoes, 76% Uncertain, Violent Children, Lost Generation, Reflex From Pain, Seizure, No Milk On Tuesday, Young Republicans, etc. "Adventure Jukebox" was responsible for playing these killer bands on the radio before anyone else.
This specific episode posted here for download is pretty cool because it features a set of crucial tracks hand picked by Danbury native Ray Cappo, right around the time that the mighty Youth of Today formed. The first few tracks on this tape have Daryl Ohrt as DJ but the majority of the tape features Ray. It's possible that Daryl was there in the studio the day this was recorded since the "AJ" was his radio show or those tracks are from an earlier broadcast.
Essentially, this serves as an enjoyable mix tape for me. Ray picks a bunch of ultra classic tracks (all of them, nearly) that are favorites of his and plays them live on the radio. It's really awesome to hear bands like Discharge, 7 Seconds, Code of Honor, DOA, and Urban Waste played on the radio within a few years of these records being released. It must have been very exciting times to hear this kind of music on local radio and be involved in the underground. These days, college radio is far less exciting as it's more or less a bastion of formulaic fluff selected by independent labels with major label tactics. Come to think of it, the disintegration of contemporary college radio into a consolidated mass of CMJ and Pitchfork Media approved sterility is quite ironic when you consider how the medium got it's start.
This broadcast was recorded sometime during 1985. I don't have a more specific date because the cassette master doesn't provide any other information than this year. I've been meaning to ask Ray Cappo if he has any additional information about this tape, but I'd imagine recalling anything like this would be analogous to me remembering something I did when I was 13. You can also see that some tracks were cut out by the original taper.
The FU’s: Beast In My Bed
Rich Kids on LSD: Adolescent Death
White Flag: Psycho Cop
Broken Bones: Problem
DYS: Stand Proud
Jerry’s Kids: I Don’t Belong
Gang Green: Have Fun
The Freeze: Broken Bones
Deep Wound: I Saw It
Scream: Your Wars/Killer
Bad Brains: Coptic Times
Iron Cross: You’re a Rebel
Meatmen: Tooling For Anus
Double O: You’ve Lost
Agnostic Front: Blind Justice
Major Conflict: Out Group
The Mob: Dr Butcher
Urban Waste: Police Brutality
Abused: Drug Free Youth
Adrenaline OD: AOD vs Godzilla
The Misfits: Astro Zombies
The Plasmatics: Monkey Suit
Negative Approach: Your Mistake
Corrosion of Conformity: Tell Me
Verbal Abuse: Power Play
Big Boys: Sound on Sound
Discharge: Hell on Earth
7 Seconds: Boss
7 Seconds: Racism Sucks
7 Seconds: Fight Your Own Fight
Code of Honor: Code of Honor
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I am down to my final copies of my first release, CIA's "God Guts Guns & More" LP. The first pressing of 1000 copies sold out in the blink of an eye and I quickly repressed another 350 copies. Of this second pressing, I have less than 50 copies remaining. If you would like to restock your webstore, distro, or shop, please drop me a line soon so I can help you get some wholesale copies. To the best of my knowledge, Ebullition, Revolver, Revelation, Subterranean, and Get Hip may still have wholesale copies available. If it makes more sense for you to place an order with those folks you can probably get copies from one of them too.
If you'd like to purchase a copy of the record, you can do that right here. All prices INCLUDE POSTAGE. If you'd like to get a copy of the CIA LP and anything from the last distro update, drop me a line and I'll give you the correct total price.
As much as I want all of my releases to remain in print forever, I have 4 new LPs with deluxe packaging coming out this year. It is possible that I may press another 350 copies of the CIA LP at some later date but I cannot guarantee that. This CIA material is timelessly great and I'll do my best to always have some copies around. We'll see.
A few people have asked about the differences between the first and second pressings. I hope to assemble a new webpage shortly with an easy to use webstore for purchasing records and a ton of information, including pressing information on all my releases. In the meantime, here is some information on the pressing differences.
10 test pressings with custom hand silkscreened sleeves featuring alternate cover art and customized labels. Black vinyl. I one or two of these that I would be willing to trade for something cool. If you're interested in this, drop me an email.
White labels with black type.
Does not credit Mark Dudak on the inner sleeve.
Includes a few other typos. See if you can find them all!
Comes with More Than a Witness promo postcard.
Red labels with black type.
Features the words "second pressing" on the printed inner sleeve.
The bottom right hand corner of the inner sleeve credits Chris Prorock for liner notes and layout and gives a special thanks to Chris Minicucci.
Comes with More Than a Witness promo postcard.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
The Effigies were one of the first punk groups to spring up in Chicago, around late 1980. While this claim seems somewhat implausible considering Chicago’s rich musical tradition, it makes sense when you consider that blues, generic bar rock, and even disco dominated most clubs in the city. The open-mindedness of clubs like the Oz (where the “Busted At Oz” compilation was recorded, obviously) and O’Banion’s helped give the first generation fringe acts a chance at honing their chops in public.
Any disciple of 1980s American hardcore knows that the Effigies released a slew of incredible records; practically everything recorded from 1981-83 is faultless and are generally considered to be classics of the genre. They haven’t been as posthumous celebrated by the critics as their local brethren Naked Raygun or Big Black (perhaps because they weren’t as sonically pioneering), but the Effigies have survived amongst those interested in American hardcore that wish for the much appreciated basic aggression of the genre melded with the artistic finesse of UK post punk bands like Killing Joke, the Ruts, and the Stranglers.
Lyrically, it’s obvious to me that the Effigies were intelligent enough to basically withdraw from writing about the emblematic yet already cliché political themes sweeping the hardcore underground. They even caught some heat from a few known fanzines for refusing to carry the usual banners like the other then contemporary bands with names comprised of seemingly endless permutations of words such as: “state”, “control”, “youth”, “faction”, or “army”. Instead the group focused on well placed ambiguous themes (well, at least to your average 18 year old skinhead) that their songs have become known for.
Here’s an outstanding Effigies soundboard tape that I received not long ago from a longtime tape trader. This performance is one that is certainly enjoyable to listen to; the songs are delivered with a rough edged execution while totally hitting the target with clever melodic achievement. I especially dig the slapdash guitar solo in “Quota” and the incensed pace of “Strongbox”, two of their all time classic tracks. The quality of this recording is quite good; it’s a low generation soundboard recording that’s really documents what these dudes could do live. I was thinking about performing a slight EQ to give this tape a little more treble but I decided to keep it as is because this is how it sounded the night it was recorded: mighty, thick, fierce, and wholly uncompromising.
I’m uncertain if this is the entire set from this night due to it’s somewhat short length of 18 minutes. Then again, it seems that some of the between song silences have been removed so I suppose it’s possible this is the complete gig. If anyone has a different version of this gig, I’d love to obtain it.
1. Body Bag
2. Coarse in Vain
3. Guns or Ballots
6. Techno’s Gone
7. Below the Drop
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I’d be wiling to bet my bottom Quaalude that the emblematic naissance of the Los Angeles punk scene originated from Richard Meltzer’s arrival from New York sometime in early 1976. After reading his anti-intellectualist prose in ‘72’s Gulcher, it’s obvious to me that he was bound to actualize himself as the thinking man’s Peter Laughner. This type of lowbrow deconstruction was also ostensible when Meltzer was hired as the master of ceremonies for the final Sex Pistols gig at the Winterland during the start of ’78. Based on an earlier altercation, the show’s promoter barred him from the club. In an act of mythic proportions, Meltzer purportedly turned his leather jacket inside out, slinked past Graham and let loose an inundation of profanities onstage. This brand of treachery toward the farty old dinosaurs was utilized more like a weapon in the seminally brilliant punk group Vom.
The funniest thing about Vom (short for “vomit” of course) was that they were profoundly unfunny on a level that kitsch had not progressed (regressed?) to in Hollywood yet. This self-described “beat combo” formed quickly upon Meltzer’s arrival in Los Angeles. They quickly started terrorizing audiences with their gratuitously stupid sounds and iniquitous stage exploits: their initial sets consisted of launching assorted cow parts from the stage in the direction of the helpless audience.
Vom also consisted of Gregg Turner on vocals, along with Meltzer, “Metal” Mike Saunders (under the stage name of "Ted Klusewski") on drums (both would go on to form the Angry Samoans, the next logical progression both musically and ideologically after a stint in Vom), Dave Guzman on “tuneless rhythm guitar”, Phil Koehn on lead guitar, and Lisa Brenneis on bass. They’d go on to issue the “Live At Surf City” EP on White Noise during the summer of ’78. This offering included such go-nowhere epics like “I’m In Love With Your Mom”, “Too Animalistic” (later retouched by the Samoans), “Punkmobile”, “God Save the Whales” and the record’s best track: “Electrocute Your Cock”.
The latter began with a Ramones-esque drum beat and showcased the lyrics: “Electrocute your cock, electrocute your cock / Looking for a hand job? Stick it in a clock”. This is unbelievably strange considering that Saunders was the first to coin the term “heavy metal” (in a review for Humble Pie’s “As Safe As Yesterday Is” in a 1970 issue of Rolling Stone) and has a graduate degree along with Meltzer being considered one the premier rock writers of our generation and the fact that he had a graduate degree from a stint at Yale.
Let me get to the point: here’s a wonderfully slapdash set from Vom recorded live on stage at the Mabuhay in San Francisco on April 24, 1978. I received this recording many years ago from an old school San Francisco punk tape trader who claimed it was a low generation copy straight from the soundboard master. This gem of an artifact includes tracks not recorded for the “Live At Surf City” EP.
1) My Eyes Have Seen You
2) Louie Louie
3) No Surf Commies
4) Have My Baby
5) Broads Are Equal
6) Pogo Child
8) Dare To Be Dumb
9) (I Am) The Son Of Sam
10) Gimme Nothin'
11) I'm In Love With Your Mom