Monday, August 31, 2009

Methadone Pretty 101 - The Manic Street Preachers

The Manic Street Preachers or simply "The Manics" were a provocative pop/rock band that formed in 1991 sporting glam get up and enough eyeliner to choke Paris Hilton. The Manic Street Preachers consisted of James Dean Bradfield (lead guitarist and vocalist), Nicky Wire (bassist), Sean Moore (drummer/percussionist) and Richie James (rhythm guitarist and lyricist) and have gorgeous catalogue that spans the greater part of twenty years. Early on the Manics were out to make a statement during time in British music that was doing no such thing. They wanted to be louder than what the electronic dance the U.K. was producing mountains of at the time. They wanted to say something musically that no one had really done in that part of the world since the Clash and the Pistols. This band differed as they wanted to please and persuade you rather then just force their material and ideas down your throat as many had previously. People often remember this time for an accident of which highly prolific lyricist Richey James Edwards carved the words "4REAL" into his forearm just missing an artery with a razor blade requiring him to have many stitches after the bands authenticity was questioned.

In the beginning as Brit-pop ruled the charts it was difficult for the band to make a solid go at fame. They did however begin to earn what would be the start of a great following. Eventually they would go on to have eight top ten records, fifteen top ten singles and hit number one three times. The BRIT Awards have voted them "Best British Group" and the band was awarded "Best British Album" in years 1997 and 1999. Three records in, the severely depressed Richey James Edwards went missing in February of 1995 and is presumed deceased to this day. The same month Edwards went missing his car was found near Severn Bridge a bridge located South West England to South Wales that was famous for suicide in past. Despite Edwards lack of musical talent often doing the Sid Vicious thing and hardly playing at times standing on stage more less faking it, he was the constant direction for band and is said to wrote up to 3/4 of the bands lyrics on "The Holy Bible" and has three sole credits as well received a co-write on another two tracks for "Everything Must Go", these were probably the most successful records. The band went on to produce six more records, the last "Journal for Plague Lovers" in (2009) features the lyrics of Edwards left to band from before he west missing. It is said to be a tribute to the lyricist.

If you want to hear a angst-ridden, cynical alternative/pop/rock/Brit-pop band that is plaintive yet often theatrical and provocative... the Manic Street Preachers are for you!!

Another U.K. band that does tremendously well in their home land but does get the credit they deserve in the North America... sad, however I am okay with it as long as the BRITS keep producing fantastic bands.

I suggest you start with 1992's "Generation Terrorists" starting with tracks "Slash 'N' Burn", "Stay Beautiful", "You Love Us" and "Methadone Pretty" before graduating to 2007's "Send Away The Tigers" with tracks like "I'm Just a Patsy" and "Imperial Bodybags" and finally checking out their brilliant most recent work 2009's "Journal for Plague Lovers" in it's entirety.

More simply put, if you want to check out a brilliant band with brilliant lyrics and perfect songs check out the Manics!

Cheers Rockers!!

Manic Street Preachers - You Love Us

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Never Mind The Headliner... Here's The Wildhearts!!

Category: Rock / Metal / Pop Punk

Caution: This band may be addicting. If acts of toe tapping, air guitar and singing along ensue turn up stereo and repeat until satisfied with the love of one of your new favorite bands. You are about to read about a the best band you have never heard but your cousin in the UK loves.

The Wildhearts are a band that have several charting singles and a top ten album in the UK that are often overlooked in North America. I think you should not only know who the are, but also give them a listen. I am sure you will love them. I do! One might believe they have not received commercial stardom do to the their problems within the band often as a result of drugs and depression. Often billed as the UK's most dysfunctional band because of break-ups, revolving members (Ginger being the only regular member) and extracurricular activities. At any point The Wildhearts are an all over the map/energetic band that writes catchy well written rock and roll.

The Wildhearts are a band I have really gotten into over the past year. They are based out of Newcastle England and formed in '89 after Ginger the singer, guitarist and predominant songwriter of the Wildhearts left/got fired from his former band the London Quireboys. In the Quireboys he was more or less a rhythm guitar player for hire and pursued the lead role with the Wildhearts after his leaving the Quireboys. Ginger's influences are stated in their song "29X The Pain", a take on Hüsker Dü's "59 Time The Pain" and list artists such as The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Starz, Big Black, the Queen album Sheer Heart Attack, Cheap Trick, The Clash album London Calling, Jason & the Scorchers, Stiff Little Fingers, Blue Öyster Cult, Kiss, Heart, The Damned, Twisted Sister and Kurt Cobain. These artists combined should give you a pretty good idea of the kind of band the Wildhearts are. Ginger writes almost all of the bands material.

Their songs are often times punk, sometimes poppy, sometimes heavy and all the time rock n roll!!! For example songs like "Suckerpunch" and "Life Is Like A Lovebank, I Want An Overdraft" are for the fans looking for something on the heavier side. Where as "My Baby Is A Headf***" has kind of a surf feel with some well placed keyboards in it. "Lily's Garden" is a more elegant light song. "Red Light/Green Light" is a fun 50's style meets modern punk that calls and answers with nicely added hand claps. "Beautiful Me/Beautiful You" is strictly a power-pop tune and "Aboria" is a pop tune that mixes 90's alt. country with an 80's pop feel and gets rockin' in parts.

With over a dozen variations of the band, currently the band consists of Ginger - vocals and guitar, Scott Sorry (Brides Of Destruction & Amen) - Bass and vocals, C.J (Another original member) - guitar and vocals and Ritch Battersby - drums. The band has ten studio records, four live records, eight compilations and two E.P.s. They have a new record due out August 31 2009 entitled "Chutzpah!" If you are going to check them out, take your pick of any record... minus "Endless Nameless". This was a record from 1997 that was a lot less commercial and really distorted. It is nothing similar to their pop-rock past. Some fans think it's brilliant other like myself find it hard to swallow. It sounds as though Mushroom records whom the band was signed to just before making this record, recorded it in the machine shop using machine shop tools. The rest however are amazing!! Some cool non-studio work is 1999's live "Tokyo Suits Me" and 2008's cover record "Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before, Vol 1."

This band can do no wrong... OK, other than "Endless Nameless" they can do no wrong!

Check it 'em out Rockers!
The Wildhearts - 29 x The Pain (Live)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

"The First Day Of Spring" : Remembering The Gandharvas

1994 was a big year for me as far as music was concerned. I learned about the alternative rock and grunge sound. Before 1994 I loved almost strictly GN'R, Motley Crue, Poison, Aerosmith and Metallica, and while I still love 60% of those bands it was time for something new.

Shortly after my grandfather passed away I started spending more time with cousin Michael. Some of you know him as Mike, some as BDK and some simply as Kash. Mike liked a lot of music I had never been exposed to, so early in 1994 I really got a lot to take in. Everything Primus to Ministry or The Fu-Shnickens and Biohazzard. Not of all of it was good but what I did eventually acquire a taste for was Stone Temple Pilots, Alice In Chains and Nirvana amongst a great deal of others. Little did I know it was that just as I was getting in to this style of music it would be shaken with the loss of Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. I am proud to say like most of my friends I became a fan before this happened... even if it was two or so weeks.

During this time Much Music was what I feel the time when it was at it's peak. There were phenomenal TV shows like "Combat Des Clips", "Spotlight" and "Countdown". When "Much" was still a for the vast majority a music station. During this time "Countdown" was phenomenal. The biggest videos I remember from that time were STP's "Vaseline", Beck's "Loser" and my favorite video of all time The Gandharva's "First Day Of Spring"

The Gandharvas were a Canadian band based out of London Ontario. They were originally called "The Droogs" and later "The London Droogs" (side note, doesn't putting London in front of your band name automatically make it cooler?). It was with their first album "A Soap Bubble and Inertia" that they released their debut single "The First Day Of Spring". "The First Day Of Spring" received a great deal of acclaim when it was nominated for Much Music's Video Of The Year and got Best Song Of The Year from Toronto's Edge 102.1. The band would see some success with 1995's record "Sold For A Smile" with the song "Downtime", a song in which was a great track of the 90's but would not see the same ratings of older brother "The First Day Of Spring".

"The First Day Of Spring" to me is a mixture of the 90's as a whole. It's the weirdness Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" meeting the happiness of "No Rain" by Blind Melon with a slight darkness of Tool's "Sober".

Without further ado, my favorite video ever...

"The First Day Of Spring"

Thanks to JJ Ramone for inspiration for this blog. Check out his and Chris Real's "The Real/Ramone Review" at for more awesomeness!

Cheers Rockers!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

the RIPPERZ - On My Way (show review)

Tonight happened by accident. 10pm tonight I had no idea what I was doing... I went to the Freehouse with my good friend Christy and her friend. After thinking I saw a girl from work Kim but not really we decided to go to Ohanlons... not because of Kim, that was just funny because close up it wasn't Kim at all! Anyways, I am getting off topic.

With little convincing we decided to leave the Freehouse and go to O'hanlons. I need to mention when we were at the Freehouse, I got ID'd and the hot waitress said "WOW, put that back" I think it was a compliment...

ANYWHO! The 3 of us went to Ohanlons. My friend Christy tortured me with AWFUL music all the way there. Two seconds from getting there I found the Age Of Electrics "Ugly" but at last we are there.

We get inside and I don't for once see too many people I know. We get beers and move to the dance floor/concert area... I hear harder stuff come over the P.A. and think to myself "FUCK! Another dark metal/industrial band" not cluing that we are at O'hanlons Irish Pub.

So very hesitant we stay for the band about to start... I am really not looking forward to this, however I see my friends Andrew and Ricki (Love you guys!) and they proceed to tell me how when they were in Mexico they met this band that gave them a cd they liked. Turns out it was the band getting ready to start. Okay, well I know Andrew does not like what I like to call "Possessed Cookie Monster Metal"

They look like an indie three piece band I had not cared about a million times. Average looking bass player... average looking drummer...brush cut/big beard singer... Oh yeah setting myself up for the fall.

NOT THE CASE AT ALL!! From bar one, this band for the lack of better words KICKED FUCKING ASS!!! Now the Hot Blood Bombers are bar none my favorite local band but wow this band gave them a run for their money. It was good to see Anna there and have some kinda bomber presence. If my opinion means anything that statement speaks mountains of compliment.

The band played soooooo tight. The singer was in the audience, the drummer sang killer harmonies, the bass player kicked it home ever song and the vocals were nothing shy of beautiful. Now the vocals had a rasp in parts and it was clean in other parts. The singer definitely knows what is right for the song. I could not stop smiling the entire time. The only way I can describe it is if the Kings of Leon fucked Bruce Springsteen mixed with a rock-a-billy feel but a little heavier. This three piece band was thick as hell!! Helen Keller would have heard a ten piece band. They were jaw dropping. It was elegant and rocking all at the same time.

This show made spending 10.00 on the openers cd because you didn't know and didn't see them worth it. I still got a RIPPERZ cd and recommend you do too.

Welcome back anytime as far as I am concerned! I have listened to the cd since getting home and it's awesome too!

Cheers Rockers!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Dead Weather - Horehound (album review)

The Dead Weather is a super-group including the following members: Alison Mosshart on vocals (of The Kills and Discount), Jack White on drums (of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs), Dean Fertita on guitar (of Queens of the Stone Age) and Jack Lawrence on bass (of The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes).

The Dead Weather nicely keeps a float in a pool of sound. It opens with "60 Feet Tall" a slow bluesy guitar heavy song meets calm smoke filled pool room diva. You can feel yourself in that smoke filled pool room in contemplative state while transfixed on the beautiful singer as she croons away.

During the record the band really has their own parts working perfectly together to give each member their time to shine on it. The most constant being White's drums beats and maybe more importantly Mosshart's sneering vocals. This is not ignoring the thunderous bass lines and the bluesy and often time 70's wank guitar leads mixed with electronic samples and great keyboards. At times I get kind of a Beastie Boys melded with Stevie Nicks meets modern day clothing/skate commercial. This may be the closest I ever get to electronic but hey I like this record so I am ok with that. This record that is full of 60/70's sneers and grinds that are good once in a while.

Although with "Treat Me Like Your Mother" an overconfident self deserving cool track I doubt it will get anybody standing on the edge of a couch playing air guitar in front of the picture window. It's more of a sitting on the couch staring at the turned off T.V or just sitting there while you close your eyes and enjoy the atmosphere of Horehound. The record stays pretty consistent all the way through. The highlight for me is the first single from the record "Hang You From the Heavens" not following too far behind is a close second in the Seven Nation Army/Hardest Button to Button reminiscent "Rocking Horse". Keep this slow motion strut of a record in mind for a long drive or chill evening around the house.

The Dead Weather "Treat Me Like Your Mother"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ma' Made A Lot Of Quiche On The Farm

A colleague at work today told me that when he was young he was eating quiche and told his uncle that he did not like it. His uncle simply replied to him with "It's like country music, you will like it when you are older." What his uncle had meant by that was that it's one of those things that when you get older you begin appreciate it and maybe will like it. My colleague told me this after I had told him what I was going to write about in my next article for SPUN. If you haven't already guessed it, the article is aimed at defending country music. I know a lot of you think I have lost my mind, being a self proclaimed "Rocker!" and all but it comes down to roots for me personally, at least that's why I think I get it anyway. A good friend of mine told me once, that everyone in music has roots. I couldn't agree more. I am a self proclaimed rocker. However before I was introduced to Poison, GNR and Motley Crue at a very young age, my roots were firmly cemented in "County & Western". See a little background here... I grew up in a town of 10,000 people called Weyburn Sk (Please don't hold it against me!) where there was a boat load of different genre's of music... boat load of top forty mind you but a boatload none the less. That being said, my father grew up in a town of 250 people... tiny. I spent a lot of my time there at my grandparents, different aunt and uncle's farms and later had permanent friends there. I always felt a special connection to that place (Pangman Sk) and often times think back to it. Country music and hard work is Pangman. I always felt that Pangman and surrounding towns were the province's heartland. Well to a sheltered boy from Weyburn it really seemed that way and in a way still does. I think I get my country roots from growing up in Pangman/Weyburn mixed with my mother and grandmother in Weyburn's love for the Grand Old Opry, the local radio station CFSL and my Uncle Dale whom played in bands for years and had a hero by the name of Merle Haggard. That's my roots!

As I grew up and discovered rock n roll, how I loved it and much I had in common with it. It was easy to go with the crowd and say they I disliked or even hated the music I was raised on. I have always loved rock n roll regardless if it was my aunts Buddy Holly cassette or my infatuation with 1987's original motion picture "La Bamba", it was country music I was raised on and I turned my back to it. It took me a long time to realize that I didn't hate country music, that it was really brainwashing of sorts.

I think people often keep this mentality quite often into adulthood or even worse forever. To have such a great despise for an entire genre is ridiculous, and it's those people I have aimed this article at. I can see where rap and metal do not have as much in common with country music but even still, to write off an entire genre? What floors me even more is the people that like top 40 pop and rock n roll. So much of it is similar, the melodies, similar chord progressions and even lyrics. Don't give me that "My dog ran away, my wife left me, I'm broke" crap because sit down and listen to the music you love and tell me it doesn't speak ninety percent about hard times, bad luck, money or love. The sound is not all that different, some even cross over. Tell me that The Georgia Satellites, CCR, Jackson Browne or even The Eagles were not county... sure The Eagles and JB were "California Country", but try again... country none less.

There is what I like to call "Real County" and "Pop Country". Now I always tell people I am a fan of real country. See I don't think Shania or Big & Rich are country at all. That being said it's not all the Willie, Waylon, Merle and Johnny era. There have been a lot of great country artists over the years. What about Dwight Yoakam, Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart and my personal favorite Steve Earle. I used to say that that is when it died, that the 80's/90's had the last of the great country artists. Not true however, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban can shred! It is in my humble but accurate opinion that in general country guitar players are the best guitar players out there. Think of the slide work and double picking alone which lets them stand out over the average guitar player. They never get recognized for it though. Those boys know how to write a good song too. There is a little band from not all too far from these parts named Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans that have been gaining quite the notoriety around these here parts as of late. Maybe you have heard of them.

There are plenty of rock stars that pass off country as rock n roll too. Try Soul Asylum's "Brand New Shine" or The Gin Blossom's "Cheatin'". Ok, maybe you don't know those but Kiss's "Hard Luck Woman" must ring a bell? Hell, even the late great Ray Charles put out entire records of "Country & Western".

Tell me you don't love Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler" or Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues"?

Now surely it's not all good by any stretch, but either is rock n roll... at all. Hedley, Theory Of A Deadman or Good Charlotte anyone? Yet I am constantly baffled and reminded of people who state "I hate country music!".

Think of this way... Rock N Roll as a lot more sub genres to weed out what you don't want to here, for example emo. Where as country (my favorite kind of tree) blends a lot more, enabling the listener to stereotype a lot easier. Country music doesn't hold your hand and point you in the right direction, sometimes you just have to look at a map.

So as I sit here, listening to the Dirt Band getting ready to play Farm Town on facebook thinking to myself, what someone told me today "Kent, I also heard a quote. "Real men don't eat quiche."". I know I don't agree with it and am going to ask for a large helping at my first opportunity to try it.


Still a Rocker! (just going to eat quiche once in a while)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hollywood Ending: An Interview with Frankie Whyte of Frankie Whyte and the Dead Idols

A couple years back I was looking for some new music to listen to. I was tired of what I was listening to and the radio didn't/doesn't have much to offer. I went to myspace and went linking though band pages until I found one that really caught my eye. Frankie Whyte and the Dead Idols was the band. I think it was a cross between the design of their myspace, the look of the band, or the fact that this little Toronto band had tunes that packed a big punch. That day I won a 5 song EP and have been a fan of the band ever since. Frankie Whyte is a female vocalist/guitar player of a 4 piece rock band ripping up the area. It is with my pleasure and without further ado to give to you the first Spun interview.

Spun: For someone who may not know, what genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?

FW: Rock N' Roll. Straight up. What else is there? I'm joking! As for influences, they vary - we listen to a lot of music! To state the obvious though, anything from ... Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith .. to .. Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles. It all rocks.

Spun: When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?

FW: This band formed 2 and a half years ago. and the previously listed influences/bands, are what inspired us to get it together.

Spun: What was the first record you ever bought and do you still own it?

FW: Tragically Hip - Phantom Power. Still own it. Still buy any album the Hip delivers. It's all great.

Spun: What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

FW: The biggest challenge would have to be, just simply being heard and getting people to care. Of course, we need to follow that up by giving the people a REASON to care, and I think we do that really well - through our show, we like to entertain. But also, through caring about those who come to see us, in the same way that they care about us.

You play and you play and you play, and you earn your stripes, and no one gives a shit. And then one day, for one reason or another, people slowly start to care, your club gets fuller, your cds sell faster - and that is a really good feeling. So I suppose we've overcome that to an extent or to a level, but each level is followed by the next and the next. I'm sure it's never ending. Even Kiss just broke their attendance record, at 90,000 people in Quebec - and they've been playing for nearly 40 years. See? Never ending!

Spun: If you could share a bill with any artist not having yet played
a bill with who would it be?

FW: I'd love to play with Bruce Springsteen, but I doubt that's even remotely realistic due to our genre vs. his genre alone. Bon Jovi, 100%, as well. And, probably a better fit. If you know me, then you know that Richie Sambora is one of my favorite guitar players - dare I say it - of all time. Truth.

Spun: Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set play list?

FW: Well, we perform our entire EP! We're still searching for our perfect set, and the set varies depending on the show and the amount of time we have on stage. As for covers, they are always fun once and a while! We used to tear up Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue and Toys In The Attic by Aerosmith, those were always crowd pleasers, but I don't think we've played them in over a year. Covers are good and all, but you want your own songs to be the crowd pleasers, in the same way that Kickstart My Heart is to Motley. We don't put any major emphasis on playing cover songs.

Spun: The band is starting a tour tomorrow, what cds must come on the van or bus?

FW: Depends on which member you ask.. for Danny, anything by The Beatles. For Zach, anything by Rob Zombie or Alice Cooper. For me, any of those bands, but also - The Police, Def Leppard etc etc.

Spun: If you were not making music, what is it you suspect you'd be occupying your time with?

FW: I can't picture not playing music, so ask me this question again when I'm 90 years old. .. fuck it, I'll probably still answer in the same regard.

Spun: Is there anything that has to be on the band rider at shows? Or is there anything that can't be on it?

FW: Nothing HAS to be on our rider! haaaa! If people want to give us stuff for free, we'll take whatever they want to give us! That being said, I do drink way too much gatorade - to the point where it's probably unheatlhy. When we played the Bell Centre they gave us two coolers full. Like I said, way too much gatorade!

Spun: Do you have any other hobbies besides, obviously, making music?

FW: Making music isn't a hobby, it's what I do with my life. But my hobbies include longboarding, surfing, anything with a board under my feet.

Spun: Do you have a worst show story? Any major train wrecks?

FW: There are always things that happen that are out of control at shows, we've been pretty lucky. The worst show we've ever played was only in front of 5 people at a tiny place in Kensington Market. If I tried to explain to you why it was our worst show, it probably wouldn't seem like that big of a deal, but ask any one of us - worst - and we all knew it. Luckily though, one of the 5 people there dug us enough to give us a spot at a relatively new bar at the time, called Rok Boutique. It became our home - and so goes the telling of the story about going from people not caring... to a club full of people caring. Everyone in Rok, we were all there for the same reasons, it was a real community of like minded people. I'll never forget those experiences.

Spun: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.

FW: We'll be opening for Our Lady Peace on August 28th in Sudbury Ont - should be a great show, and you should be there because, well, why would you want to be the ONE person who doesn't come out for one of the last big rock shows of the summer with one of Canada's greatest bands (I mean Our Lady Peace, not FWDI - haaaaa!)? Come out and get rocked!

Spun: What would you consider the highlight of your career so far and

FW: If you asked any one of us, the highlight of our career as of yet, would probably be opening for KISS. That is huge for us. But also, another personal highlight for us would be creating and maintaining our relationship with our producer, Duncan Coutts (OLP) and our label (fortybysixty). They're our team, and they've been with us since day one. Their belief in us, and their guidance is extremely inspiring.

Spun: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?

FW: We have a myspace, we have a website, we have a facebook, we have a twitter... pretty much everything and anything anyone is on! you can find all of those links here:

Spun: Lastly just give me two words to end this interview.

FW: I'm goin' with 6 words, sorry Kent! :) "See U @ The Rock Show".

Friday, August 14, 2009

RIP Allen Shellenberger (Lit)

Lit for the last ten years have put out great records. Some have sold well and some have sold not so well, however this doesnt change the fact that in my opinion they were all fantastic. They put out tongue in cheek well written Rock N Roll heavily saturated in pop and drizzled in a punk feel. Lits music is very tasty. The lyrics are fun and clever while the music is driving. Lits lyrics and music have gotten me through many an ex girlfriend many!

A big part Lits driving force was their long time drummer Allen Shellenberg. Unfortunately, Allen left this world of ours after his mere forty revolutions around the sun having suffered from brain cancer today.

I am sure he will be missed by all. Hopefully hes enjoying a cold one with John Bonham and Keith Moon right now with tunes cranked and a smile on his face looking down on us. Hes in a better place.

RIP Allen Shellenberger

Lit - Lipstick and Bruises (Official Music Video) - Funny video clips are a click away

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Darlings Of Chelsea - The Mimico Sessions EP

From the opening guitars of "I Want Your Love" this six song ep is a train chug-a-long sexy boot to the face. Early on you can hear mostly all the influences from bandmates collectively from The Black Halos, Kill Cheerleader, Parkas, Robin Black, Scratching Post and CJ Sleez. This band is taking all the best parts of it's predecessors and making one kick ass rock n roll band. It's pop-filled and still heavy and driving. "New Addiction" starts and you can feel your heart beat faster like you are already at the show sweaty and enjoying it in excitement dancing front row and fist in the air. Two songs in and you are already playing air guitar. Helsinki, a Hellacopters cover is perfect. The build revs you up and the hook lets you take off. We are half way through and the fourth song on the docket takes all the previous and rolls it into one, added with some Black Halo's-esque gang vocals "Let's RIOT!, burn it all down!" and I don't know how much more I can take. Jay Millette's guitar work or who I believe it to be playing is charming and brilliant. The last two tracks "Sleazy Rock N Roller" reaks of cool and "Devil Is A Woman" leaves your middle finger in the air at your ex-girlfriend and a smile on your face. This record has 70's swagger written all over with a current balls out twist. If Dallas Winston from the 80's movie "The Outsiders" was a current character and had a favorite band this huge and agressive rock n roll band would be his favorite. A band making rock n roll cool again in what I think is a yuppy approaching time. I hope this band takes over the world. With only six songs in their arsenal their guns are loaded and they are taking back rock n roll.

Social Distortion - Still Alive

Social Distortion 30th Anniversary

City: Saskatoon, SK
Date: Tuesday July 28, 2009
Door Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: The Odeon Events Centre

Well to say that I was excited for this show was a ridiculous understatement. I had been counting down sleeps for about forty five days. So yeah I was stoked to say the least. I am always a bit worried when I go see shows and I am that pumped. It could be a huge let down. Social D just doesn't seem like a let down kind of band. I have never been to a Social D show until this point, having missed all the passed ones. I even missed one with one of my favorite bands opening last time, Vancouver's monochrome punks The Black Halos... I cried a bit about missing that one, so missing this one was not an option.

The weeks leading up to the show were to say the least impatient ones. However, they finally passed and this week had arrived. It seemed a lot of Jessie, JJ and I's conversations were largely based on the upcoming show. Before we all knew it, it was show day... I had been Jaimo-ing all day. I could puke I was so excited. It didn't help that our friend Zandra was lucky enough to be singer Mike Ness' personal assistant. How cool is that? Basically she got paid to go on a date with Mike Ness. I got to tell you I was a little jealous... well, maybe a lot.

So the five of us Jessie, her friend Lindsay, JJ, Shane and myself get to Saskatoon and enjoy a few beverages in anticipation before the show. I am having a good time but can hardly keep from pacing as time is going so slow.

Alas it's finally time to go. We all walk over to the Odeon. The first band The STRANGERS, NOT the Stranglers as I was previously uninformed are about to start. They were a wicked wicked band!! They sound as though they are the offspring as a result of Chuck Berry fucking Rancid. I think it's safe to say that they are punk rock heavily influenced by the 50's, and hey there is no harm in that. They are a perfect band to open the night. I would go see these guys on there own anytime. My only question is how the hell are they not way bigger than they are? They are supporting the supporting band. Crazy! I bought their four song ep for five dollars, good deal!

I had done a little research on the second band Civet prior to the show. So I wasn't entirely in the dark on this one. Civet is an all girl four piece also based out of California. All four girls were gorgeous, but were really good players to boot. So to see them visually is excellent in itself, but their music was quite the treat as well. They label themselves as "Femme Fatale Punk Rock" and have stage names of Ms. Liza Graves, Suzi Homewrecker, Jacqui Valentine and Roxi Darling you can already start to picture it I am sure. Think Brody Dalle of the Distillers meets the Donna's, but more aggressive. The singer sounds like her vocal exercises include drinking gasoline and gargling razor blades. Let's just say there were no ballads

The band I came to see (Social Distortion) hasn't even begun to play yet and it has already been an amazing time.

After a quick band change, the banner is up and the crowd is raring to go. I am front row center and could pee I am so excited. I hate when the wait it excruciating. That being said it would not be the case this time. It wasn't long before Mike Ness, Brent Harding, Jonny "2Bags" Wickersham and Atom Willard hit the stage. Hit the stage is exactly what they did and they hit with full force. They start with a classic "The Creeps" and I can't help but wonder if they are going to be able to keep momentum going? They aren't exactly spring chickens anymore but they must be in good shape because keeping it going is exactly what they do. There was no waiting for songs because every song you heard was the one you were waiting for, at least for me anyway. There were ball busting new ones like "Nickels & Dimes", "Reach For The Sky" and "Highway 101" and then there was the insanity of the back catalogue with songs such as "Sick Boy", "Mommy's Little Monster" and "Ball & Chain". It was the perfect meld of the bands thirty years of material. We got to here an excellent new one "Still Alive" which is to be on the bands new records expected out later this year. I am thinking it is going to be a loud one. I got to hear my favorite Social D song "Don't Drag Me Down" while I was six feet away from Mike Ness. Life is good! Lastly the band leaves with a perfect rendition of "Story Of My Life" in which the crowd sings a long in unison.

This is a legendary band that still has plenty of get up and go.


The setlist was:
The Creeps
Another State of Mind
Mommy’s Little Monster
Sick Boy
Don’t Drag Me Down
Ring of Fire
Bad Luck
Highway 101
Reach For the Sky
Can’t Take it With You
Ball & Chain
Nickles & Dimes
Sometimes I Do
Alone & Forsaken
Prison Bound
Still Alive
Story of My Life

Picture Courtesy of: Jessie Oberik

Rating: Rocky (Original)