Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Masked Intruder

Posted: May 29, 2014 in Music

So the new Masked Intruder album  has dropped (yep, i said “dropped”) and it is streaming via the below link at altpress. These guys continue to swoon, croon and rock since my last post after seeing them a while back.  Great album worth checking out (and then buying so you can support these guys and help them make bail).



Posted: August 2, 2013 in Music

So, it has been a long while since I last posted.  I have actually seen a bunch of great shows since then (Face to Face, Teenage Bottlerocket, Masked Intruder, Alkaline Trio, Off With Their Heads) so I probably should have been posting about them, all of which were pretty great.  No good reason not to, just didn’t happen.  This begs the question of what I could have drawn, heard, seen or come across that made me actually recall my wordpress password and get to posting…Well, my good friend B who tends to hear about good music well before I ever would (other than Rx Bandits, 1997 that was all me) sent me a text telling me to check out a new band out of St. Joseph MO called Radkey, so I have consulted youtube to find a few tracks and think that these guys are worth checking out.  The singer is channeling the Misfits, but hopefully is less of a prima donna than Danzig.

Draw your own conclusions, but here is a clip.

They play the Fubar on August 23, I plan to check it out, maybe see you there.


Posted: March 20, 2013 in Music

This post has been delayed by life, whoops. About two weeks ago I had the treat of catching the Flatliners at the FUBAR, with some opening bands including Arms Aloft, which I will get to in one quick second. But first, I have something to say about the FUBAR. Where is everyone? This venue, although on the deafeningly loud side of the volume scale, is a fun venue centrally located, but I have to say that every time I see a band at the FUBAR I am surprised by the relatively small size of the crowd. This show was on a Sunday, so maybe everyone was at mass or having a regular Rockwell family dinner, but the Flatliners are a good band and the size of the crowd was not the way STL can keep getting good punk shows folks. How empty? Well, I tried to take a picture of Arms Aloft in a manner that didn’t make me look like one of those people so intent on videotaping a show on my iphone that I might as well be watching later on youtube, so I flung up my arm and took a quick shot. Looks like the Iphone thought it would be hilarious to flip the camera, so instead of Arms Aloft, I got a picture of the three folks behind me and the rest of the bar. Granted I am old and stand in the back, but you get the picture (literally now).


Since I didn’t get a picture of Arms Aloft, I will at least say that they put on a good show for a very small crowd, and would be worth checking out.   Never heard of them, give them a listen.

The Flatliners put in quite an effort.  I must admit that I haven’t done a good job at keeping up with any new music that the band has put out since Cavalcade, but this Canadians still put on a good show and their songs I didn’t know the words to were strong.  It was S’ birthday that night so, Happy Birthday you elderly broad (breaking news S has since cut his hair and returned to his status as a middle aged man from the depths of being an elderly broad).  Here is a pic of the show, since I actually got my phone to agree to take a forward picture at one point. (I would note that this battle with my phone had nothing to do with any beers from 4hands brewing co. or Urban Chestnut brewing co. that might have been on special at the Flying Saucer for $3 a pint per-show.  Any suggestions to the contrary are preposterous.)


These are dated, but two of my favorite Flatliners’ tracks.

This one is actually a video for Carry the Banner.  Query why punk bands have videos of waking up homeless on the streets and then playing music (see Lawrence Arms “Devil’s Taking Names.”  Maybe that is what it is like to tour as a punk band.

last but not least, saw a reference to the Article “Punk Rock is Bullshit” on Brendan Kelly’s twitter feed.  As an aside, if you aren’t reading Brendan’s blog (and are reading this one), bad choice, his is great.  I say read them both, but if you are choosing, don’t be a dummy.  The article is interesting (maybe a little wordy), but definitely check out Red Scare Toby’s response as I think it puts things in the proper perspective.  The crux of Toby’s response (which also made it into the comment of the day from the same publication), albeit a quote or a quote at this point, “Like the dude from Funhouse said, punk rock (and all of art and life, for that matter) is what you make of it.”  Words to live by.  Leave it to someone writing during the winter in Seattle to say that punk rock is bullshit and try to rain on this long running parade.  Is there some bullshit involved, uh, ya, of course.  But for the most part, punk rock (whatever that means to me)  is pretty awesome as far as I am concerned.

Masked Intruder

Posted: February 27, 2013 in Music

Let me paint the picture.  STL Cardinals were in the playoffs October 15, 2012, Game 2 of the NLCS was on the TV and Teenage Bottlerocket was playing the Firebird that night.  Sad to say, the opening bands this night were not going to get the attention that they deserved from this guy.   By the end of the 4th inning the Cardinals were losing pretty badly so we head to the punk rock show, including Masked Intruder.  As a window into my soul, although I avoid being the dumb sports fan who gets violent or aggressive when his team is losing, when the Cardinals are in the playoffs I am on edge and suceptible to depression.  I know, I know, what can you do.   Maybe I am not that punk these days, but this was a totally new band to me.  So Masked Intruder comes out to do their set and I think I am the only one who is surprised that they are wearing brightly colored face-masks.  They also have a Roadie/mech-guy who is dressed in a cop uniform with shorts and a fanny pack.  He stands on the stage arms crossed and at times gets in the crowd.  I think “gimmick band” and begin to shift closer to the TV over the bar until Teenage Bottlerocket takes the stage.  They put on a good show, but if I am being honest I didn’t give them much of a chance.

Fast forward, my buddy B sees them again at Lemmons and says they were great and that I really need to listen to their self titled self-titled debut full length which was originally released in the summer of 2012 on Red Scare, and is slated for re-release on Fat Wreck Chords February 5, 2013.  Time lapses, I ignore this request.  More time lapses.  I read a tweet from Fat Mike that he hasn’t taken this out of his discman (doubtful Fat Mike, doubtful that you have a discman) for a long time.  B sees Masked Intruder in Chicago opening for Brendan Kelley and the Wandering Birds.  B continues to insist I listen to this album and gives me weirdly specific instructions to listen to songs 5 through 8 without interruption a few times and tells me that I will be “du-wopping” by the third time through.  B is right.  Album has great sound and is a great listen.

Word on the street is that Toby will be bringing Masked Intruder back to STL this summer on a Red Scare tour.  I will be there (and less judgey, sorry guys).    As of now, this is the song that I like the most.  B wins.

Dan Andriano

Posted: November 30, 2012 in Music

It’s been a bit since I posted, been to a few shows that I need to write about (Teenage Bottlerocket, Propogandhi) which I will get to (promises, promises) at some point.  I have struggled with what I want to write about Propogandhi.  When you have an album out there like “How to Clean Everything” that is fucking amazing you set the bar pretty high for me.  They evolved, I wish they hadn’t, don’t want o be negative so I will need to think about how to say what I am feeling. 

I digress, this post is about the talented Dan Andriano of Slapstick, Alkaline Trio, what appear to be more side projects than I can list and his solo stuff.  As I have written before, I think, I used to be all about Matt Skiba when it came to A3.  Didn’t have anything against Dan, but was a big Skiba fan.  Even from the beginning when I stumbled into a concert with a high school and American Youth Foundation where I was introduced to Alkaline Trio, the Get Up Kids because I was there to see Dashboard Confessionals.  Thanks to KS for getting me down to Mississippi Nights that evening.  Maybe I have something against shaved heads, whatever it was, I tended to prefer the songs that Matt sang, although I like them all generally.  At the small venue A3 show the Riotfest 2012 Chicago weekend that started to change and I have been listening to a lot more Dan, including watching Dan and Brendan Kelly clips on youtube when I should be working. 

The reason for this post is the song “Of Peace, Quiet and Monsters.”  I stumbled across this one on youtube last weekend while I was doing a little getting dressed rocking out.   I wish I had better, tougher words to express my thoughts on the tune, but I think the best I have is to say that it is beautiful.  Definitely some pain there, but is a song that is going to be added to the “please go to sleep” playlist that will be used when my daughter is introduced into the world in the next month or so.  Give it a listen and watch:

Same song in this video, but Dan gives a little background on the song in the beginning.

Maybe I am getting soft, as I never really have been much for the slow and soft, maybe its related to becoming  a dad, maybe my brain has been taken over by parasites that related to cats that some scientist thinks are to blame for almost everything, who knows, but what I do know it that this song speaks to me.  

As a bonus track, Dan and Brendan playing a Lawrence Arms song “First Eviction Notice.”  Good stuff, what the hell did I do before youtube.  So much music at your finger tips.

Happy Monday

Posted: October 29, 2012 in Music

I still need to write about Sunday at Riotfest?  True.  No more questions, sorry we are out of time.  Seriously, we need to move on and this  kind of  commotion isn’t going to get that bad boy written any faster.  Today is a Monday in need of a theme song.  Here it is.  If today had a theme quote, based on some rough days of my own and others close to me in the last few weeks and this Sandy bearing down on the East Coast, I would say, “When life hands you lemons, say fuck the lemons and bail.”

Great song, great title, great song.  In summation, I think it is great.  Drunk unicorns (someone say Quadricorn and then you better run) are hilarious, at least until they get sloppy and start messing up wishes and goring leprechauns and fairies.

Riotfest Chicago 2012 (Saturday)

Posted: October 17, 2012 in Music, Travel

To pick up where I left off from Riotfest Day 1, Day 2 began and although there were some cobwebs to deal with, and a little bit of a sore back from my awesome bunk bed at the Getaway Hostel, by the time we made our way over to Humbolt Park, things were going pretty well.  Although i will say, if the Chicago cab drivers are still playing that game where they identify hungover people and then drive like arseholes in an effort to make them want to jump out of a moving (well moving if you count accelerating to 60 between stop signs and screeching to a halt every ten feet) cab, then the chick who drove is to Humbolt Park wins the game, no competition.  I wish I knew your name so I could tell all the cab drivers how great you are at making people want to curl up into the fetal position and cry.  Where was I?  Oh, yeah, Riotfest 2012.

So when you are at Riotfest you know that there are going to have to be some choices made, too many great bands to see them all, so decisions must be made.  Check out this schedule for Saturday, what a lineup.

Nobunny.  We wanted to get to the venue in time to see No Bunny, based on recommendations from my friends B&S.  Not my favorite band, but the early slot at the beginning of a long day of rocking is a tough spot.  I bet they got in some good partying the rest of the day.  I also probably didn’t need to see the singer in tightywhities covered in glitter.  I think I am a little bit cranky today based on my cab rant and this, but I am going to go with it and probably be in a good mood by the time I get to Larry and His Flask.  The gift that No Bunny bestowed was the theme song for the Squad, “Assholes, Everywhere.”  Pretty catchy tune, and hard not to repeat over and over again in inappropriate situations.

Frank Turner.  We then caught Frank Turner, which was very worthwhile.  This was actually the first chance that I have had to catch Frank Turner live, and to be honest, I have only listened to him sparingly.  Very glad we checked out this show, he is pretty amazing and although he isn’t the most traditionally punk person that you will ever run across, by the sound of him he is as punk as anyone, plus he is Irish and that is cool (with some limited and unsaid exceptions).  Below is a link to Frank covering Linoleum on youtube.  I feel like I have a bunch of folks singing this song (NOFX original of course), and its a pretty good litmus test of style and ability.  Give it a listen, I think you will see why I have been playing this version into my wifes pregnant stomach on a regular basis to say hello to my little girl to be.

Larry and His Flask.  So, here I am writing about Larry and His Flask and their bluegrassfolkpunkrockabilly again.  I have to say that every time I see these guys I am amazed and how great they are and how much they continue to improve upon their live show and their music, which started at such a high level improvement is pretty cool to see.  I’ve read other blogs and articles about how these guys stole the show at Riotfest 2012.  If I head Riot Mike’s ear I would say that Larry and His Flask would be an awesome, awesome, awesome secret show.  Make it so Riot Mike.   One thing that is undeniable is the level of talent spread across this band.  They pick with the best of them and rock harder than most at the same time, hard to do, awesome to watch.  Check out the clip below, the effort that these guys put into the show and the crowd is fully reciprocated and has to be one of the best live show experiences on the road these days, shit, even some GWAR fans (yes GWAR is both still alive and played Riotfest 2012) were rocking to the show.  I think that this would be a band that I would enjoy grabbing a beer with, but not having a mustache or beard contest.  I could write more about these guys, but I have a fair amount of ground still to cover and hope to see them again soon in STL so I can continue my affair with their shows.

Teenage Bottlerocket.  To go from Larry His Flask to Teenage Bottlerocket in one day is the makings of a pretty killer day alone.   Last time I saw Teenage Bottlerocket at Riotfest it was at a secret show at the Cobra Lounge (one of my favorite places in the world to see a show).  TBR put on another great show, although their failure to play Maverick nearly sent my buddy Scott into a tailspin.  Was able to see TBR in STL two days ago where they headlined and played Maverick, so S has almost totally forgiven the band.  As usual TBR is rocking.  Their set is always tight and they cram a very punk rock amount of music into a set, very little talking, very lot rocking, which unless you are Brendan Kelly or Fat Mike should be what you do as a band, especially a young band.   TBR’s most recent release Freak Out is definitely worth buying, super rocking all the way through. 

The Gaslight Anthem.  Was good to catch these guys again.  I just wrote about them, still feel the same way, lets not reinvent the wheel here.

Slapstick.  So round two of Brendan Kelly and Dan Adriano, as Slapstick reunited after god knows how long to play a show.   Other than the Asian Man records 15th anniversary, I believe that this is the first reunion since 1997.  A buddy who was/is in the Secret Cajun Band (RIP Skip) told me a story about touring with Slapstick and shooting fireworks at each other in vans on the Fourth of July in the mid-nineties.  Although much older these days, Slapstick still played a great set (how they remember those songs at this point with limited practice is pretty amazing in and of itself).  Brendan made fun of ska the requisite amount to allow them to get through the set, and the lineup of other artists on the stage was pretty telling as far as how special it was for those guys to get together and play a show.

Dropkick Murphys.  As you may imagine if you read the above, at this point in the day I am getting a little drunk and a bit fatigued.  Since the VIP bracelets had us pretty close to the state for most of the shows, and the Dropkicks have to play one of the loudest shows in the history of history, so I hung out in the lawn and watched their show from a bit of a far.  The Dropkicks did what the Dropkicks do, they were awesome and made me want to hate Red Sox fans less for about a second.  Then they played Nessie, which reminder me of 2004, and I now hate Boston fans more that I did before the concert.  Great show.

Decendants.  Although I have been blessed to see the Decendents (with Milo) at previous Riotfests, it is always a pleasure to see these guys as who knows how long they are going to come out.  For a band that was founded in the late 70s, yes 1970s, it is amazing to see them.  We all have our favorite songs, albeit potentially cliche (who knw how that was spelled until now) mine is Hope.  If anyone is punk rocker on the younger side make sure and do your diligence on this band and realize how cool it is that you can see one of the inspirations of SoCal skate punk/hardcore in 2012.  I didn’t take any pictures, as it was getting dark and I was taking in the show.

Rise Against.  Rise Against headlined the Saturday shows at Humbolt Park.  These guys are just pros.  Although it is unlikely to happen, or least not for a few decades, I would love to see Rise Against at a small venue again.  These guys rock and write songs from the gut.  Have lots of respect for them, however, they are super big right now and their show has to match the size of the arena like crowds they are playing to.  No knocks on them, super excited that they are where they are, but definitely miss seeing them with less effects and on smaller stages.

NOFX (1).  So, NOFX is clearly one of my favorite bands of all time.  The new album SelfEntitled is different but the same.  They are definitely taking some chances, but also retaining their sound and the reason that they have to be seen as one of the best punk bands in history, hands down, no argument, I will fist fight over this.  The night before this show NOFX canceled in Minnesota because Fat Mike was sick.  Well thank god he made the secret show at the Congress.  They played again on Sunday at Humbolt Park, so I will get more gooey about my love for them in the next post.

Writing this post has been about as draining as watching 14 hours of Punk music in the day in question.  Unfortunately I have had zero beers in the production of this post, which wasn’t the case with the 14 hours of awesomeness in question.  What a day, next post will be about Sunday.