X marks the garage sale: Buy Exene Cervenka’s stuff!

exene
 
Donnaland Vintage Variety has announced that an “ECLECTIC 4-day VINTAGE & ANTIQUE sale” will be held in Santa Ana, CA this week. Among the items offered include some fantastic vintage jewelry, a really, really cool old Dutch bicycle, and, interestingly, set lists and posters from the legendary and seminal L.A. punk band X, original artwork by that band’s co-lead singer Exene Cervenka, and even some guitars of hers. And indeed, though this is a multi-family sale, it turns out the majority of the items are Cervenka’s. The sale’s inventory page features this quote from the woman herself:

Calling all Betty Crocker Punk Rockers!!! 100 years of Americana needs good home. Treasured memories of the past can live on in your hands! Like a small inheritance, but without the squabbling with siblings!

I got a good chuckle out of “Betty Crocker Punk Rockers.”

The address of the sale will be made public on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, and the sale itself begins on Thursday the 13th at noon. This Rickenbacker guitar shown below is really making me wish I was in the Santa Ana area. The bike’s not too shabby, either.
 
exene rickenbacker
1955 Rickenbacker Combo 600
 
exene bicycle
Electra bicycle, made in Amsterdam
 
exene silvertone
Early ‘60s amp-in-case Sivertone guitar. RIDICULOUSLY cool.
 
exene posters
Assorted posters, many for X, plus an X set list
 
exene jewelry 1
 
exene jewelry 2
 
exene jewelry 3
A ton of cool vintage jewelry
 
exene painting
”Greek Tragedy,” original artwork by Exene Cervenka
 
exene knives
A metric shitload of knives. Um, OK.
 
A brief and far from complete primer for those who don’t know: X were by far one of the greatest bands to emerge from L.A.’s early punk scene. Their first three LPs, the independent Los Angeles and Wild Gift, plus the major label debut Under the Big Black Sun, all remain essential. Cervenka and the band’s bassist (also her then-husband) John Doe sang gripping harmonic dual leads that are still capable of haunting the dreams of the unsuspecting. The band later took a rootsward turn that, in addition to being pretty damn good musically (see especially See How We Are and its single “4th of July”), foreshadowed the emergence of Alt-Country. They’ve periodically reunited, and continue to tour. The anthemic “Los Angeles,” from their debut LP, is exemplary of their early sound.
 

 
And just because it’s just too damn fun, here’s a 1983 Letterman appearance, wherein they sing Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Breathless,” from the Richard Gere remake of the 1960 Jean-Luc Godard film by that title. The interview segment is great, don’t skip ahead to the song!
 

 
A mighty grateful tip of the hat to Swag for alerting me to this.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
The Clash play ‘Safe European Home’ in newly unearthed live footage
02.07.2014
05:37 am

Topics:
Activism
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Clash


 
Web series The Big Fun Show, a project of One Billion Acts of Peace, has unearthed some unreleased footage of The Clash performing at Detroit USA’s Motor City Roller Rink in 1980. They’ve posted “Safe European Home,” from the LP Give Em Enough Rope, with the promise that if the video gets 100,000 views, they’ll post more of the show.

The video has been up for a few days now, and the hit count is still well below 5,000, so maybe we could give them a little hand? One Billion Acts of Peace is a charitable organization worth knowing about. A project of Peace Jam, it’s “an international global citizen’s movement led by thirteen Nobel Peace Laureates and designed to tackle the toughest issues facing humanity.”

Between now and December 31, 2018, average citizens around the world will work together to create one billion high quality projects addressing the root causes of the most important problems facing our planet—crucial areas like rights for women and children, access to clean water for all, and alleviating extreme poverty.

Additional information on the project is available at their web site. But OK, optimism, social change and Nobel Peace Prizes are all maybe a little hippie-ish for some of you, and you clicked on this to see The Clash. I’ll not keep you waiting.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
A 7-year-old’s drawings of classic rap albums


 
Via the fantastic So Bad So Good blog comes word of the talented lad Yung Lenox, who at age 7 is filling his Instagram account with his own re-creations of classic hip hop album art, with some punk and metal in the mix as well. Now, I’ve never known a kid who didn’t love to draw, but this kid shows some promise a bit beyond his years. He’s also admirably prolific, and enterprising to boot—he has an online store where he’s selling prints of his work. There’s little else I could add but to question whether he’s even allowed to listen to any of these, but since that does little to illuminate the actual work, let’s just have a look at the images.
 

Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
 

Ice Cube, Amerikkkas Most Wanted
 

Dr. Octagon, Dr Octagonecologyst
 

2Pac, All Eyez on Me
 

A Tribe Called Quest, The Low End Theory
 

Slayer, Live: Decade of Aggression
 

Minor Threat, Minor Threat
 

2 Live Crew, As Nasty As They Wanna Be

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
‘City Job’: Evil new video from The Icarus Line
02.04.2014
11:00 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Icarus Line


Photo by Al De Perez

The Icarus Line are not here to play nice. Witness “City Job,” the new single taken from their 2013 longplayer Slave Vows. The video was directed by the group’s longtime collaborator, fashion photographer and documentarian Ward Robinson and was shot at a secret location somewhere deep in the heart of East Los Angeles, during the middle of the night.

I don’t know what it all means. I don’t really want to know, either.

Icarus Line leader Joe Cardamone has recently completed production work with The Stooges and Pink Mountaintops. The Icarus Line’s Avowed Slavery, a 12” companion to last year’s Slave Vows is due to be released soon.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
What a twat: Extremely awkward Pussy Riot interview is extremely awkward
02.04.2014
09:10 am

Topics:
Feminism
Punk
Television

Tags:
Pussy Riot


That is one impressive ‘death stare’ she’s flinging at Provincial Paddy there, ain’t it?

In their first European television appearance since they were released from Russian prison, Irish talkshow host Brendan O’Connor interviewed Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, managing to make himself look like—this is so, so easy—a complete twat. They can’t even—indeed they do not tryto —hide their exasperation at his astonishingly witless questions.

To begin with the Saturday Night Show presenter repeatedly refers to the formerly imprisoned feminist activists as “girls.” It goes (rapidly) downhill from there and ends when he asks them what they think about Madonna and if she is a “freedom fighter, like them”!

They so clearly think O’Conner is an asshole. Even Graham Norton would have been a better choice to interview them!

The “girls” will be in New York this week for an Amnesty International event.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
‘Just like punk, except it’s cars’: Subaru’s unintentionally hilarious ‘grunge’ commercial


 
The out-of-left-field commercial success of grunge in the early ‘90s took practically everyone by surprise, and produced a lot of amusing and embarrassing attempts to play catch-up (couture flannel on fashion runways and the brilliantly played grunge-speak hoax at the expense of the New York TImes were among my favorites), but watching the advertising and marketing industries in particular caught with their pants down was illuminating. Never before or since have the massive promotional machines that drive the American status-anxiety economy been caught so unprepared, and forced to scramble so publicly to chase a demographic it hadn’t yet even begun to comprehend. Some of them nailed it—Fruitopia, for example, was pretty gross, and its pandering was shamefully transparent, but they sure did sell a metric shitload of sugar-water for awhile. But successes aren’t as funny as massive public failures.

In 1992, somebody decided that it would be a great idea to sell Subaru’s newly-introduced Impreza by filming a grunge kid making proto-Dane Cook gesticulations and explaining to us that “This car is like PUNK ROCK!” Nevermind (sorry) that in spite of grunge chart successes most people still thought of punk as the milieu of unhygienic, violent, misanthropic dropouts—because IT WAS. Never mind the utter absurdity of drawing an equivalence between an explosive expression of rage against complacency and a drab, modest grocery store assault vehicle. And never mind that almost nobody who might be moved by such an appeal had money or credit for a brand new car. There were so many perfectly sensible arguments against attempting such a stupefyingly dumb marketing tactic, and yet this happened anyway… Talk about Crass commercialism (again, sorry!)

Astute readers (and people who can see the plainly visible caption on the video) may recognize the young actor in this total mistake as Jeremy Davies, who would quickly overcome all this unfortunate business with his starring role in the well-received indie feature Spanking The Monkey. He’d go on to a lauded performance in Saving Private Ryan, and he even appeared in Lars von Trier’s daring experimental films Dogville and Manderlay. His filmography is impressive, but he’s probably most widely recognized from his portrayal of Daniel Faraday in seasons four and five of ABC’s cult hit Lost.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
Sex Pistols, Clash and Motörhead covered Celtic folk style by Vyvyan from ‘The Young Ones’


 
Dangerous Minds has checked in on English actor/comedian/musician Adrian Edmondson before, to talk about The Idiot Bastard Band, his group with Bonzo Dog/Monty Python habitué Neil Innes, and his beloved BBC comedy The Young Ones, on which he played the insane and violent postcard-punker archetype Vyvyan Basterd. But we’ve only given passing mention to his fine band The Bad Shepherds, and that’s just absurd. The band’s specialty is Celtic folk covers of classic punk, though songs like Elvis Costello’s “Shipbuilding” and Kraftwerk’s “The Model” have found their way into the repertoire. They’ve released three albums worth of such interpretations, 2009’s Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera!, 2010’s By Hook Or By Crook and last year’s Mud, Blood & Beer.
 

 
Given Edmondson’s history in comedy, you could be forgiven for assuming this was a joke band, an inversion of the tired old novelty punk covers trip. But before you leap to conclude that, hear Edmondson out in these excerpts from an excellent recent interview with Outline Online

The whole mechanic of taking on cover songs is a huge mantle for you to take on; has there ever been a song that’s been too difficult, that’s wriggled away from you, that can’t be tamed?

Oh, hundreds of ‘em. Loads of ‘em. Yeah, we try loads of stuff and what we do probably represents about a quarter of what we try to do. It’s not that we don’t like the ones that don’t work, it’s just we haven’t found a way of doing it. We generally take the songs completely to pieces and then put them back together again without thinking about the original and try and find instrumentation for them. Primarily they fall down on lyrics because I’m a middle-aged man and they’ve got to suit my age, and most folk and most punk songs surprisingly do because they’re surprisingly adult in content, most of the punk canon, y’know. They were written by people who were really thinking; they’re not just solipsistic, selfish kind of ‘ooh, I’m in love, I’m not in love’ songs. They’re about social commentary and social protest and things like that and it’s very exciting. But some songs, for example, we’ve tried a few songs by The Damned and none of them worked because they’re all – and I don’t mean this to deride The Damned but they’re all just a bit childish when you take them to bits and you read the lyrics without thinking about what the music’s about. It just doesn’t work. It doesn’t go anywhere. We tried moving up the years as well thinking there must be a load of stuff in the 80s with Tears for Fears and OMD and stuff like that, so we scoured through those and tried to work on that and again, that kinda falls short, lyrically. It’s too childish. I mean, they’re brilliant, original things but they don’t fit the ethos of our band; they don’t become folk songs.

What is it about those genres that seem to lend themselves so well?


Because they’re forgotten songs and people all imagine that that sort of era is full of jumping up and down, shouting and spitting and it didn’t mean anything apart from anger in the performance. They’re disastrously wrong; they’re some of the most complex songs. The idea that all punk songs are three-chord wonders is completely erroneous. There are vastly complicated chord sequences and tuning in some of the songs we play.

 

The Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy In The U.K.”
 

The Clash’s “London Calling”

After the jump, Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades” and more…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
The Fat White Family want to inject you with their ‘Wet Hot Beef’
01.28.2014
05:25 pm

Topics:
Class War
Music
Punk

Tags:
Fat White Family


 
Like… well, like a lot of other people—I’m hardly alone in this opinion—I’m prepared to call The Fat White Family the best new group in rock and roll. They’re obnoxious. They’re trashy. They’re brash, they’re young, they’re (quite) wasted and they don’t give a fuck. According to one journalist, they stink. Musically, they remind me of The Fall, The Birthday Party, The Cramps, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Captain Beefheart. They’re Marxists. They make completely insane videos and their debut album, Champagne Apocalypse, is one of the best things released last year. These randy, freaky, sleazy, druggy motherfuckers are committed.

What’s not to love?

If the epic “Wet Hot Beef (Parts I,II & III)” from their recent EP (a three-song/two song split with Taman Shud favoring Fat White Family) is anything to go by, 2014 is going to be their year, but right now, they’re broke and trying to raise some dosh to do a short American tour:

Alas, my budget for flying out to tour America currently stands at £3.47. With the rest of the group languishing in similar or worse financial hopelessness, we are turning to you, sisters and brothers, to fund our venture; don’t let those yanks go away thinking that all this country produces is middle of the road, safe as houses homogenized industry crap, send them the Fat White Family, make a difference, make a pledge….

In return for your pledge we are offering ourselves up body and soul, for the next 6 weeks we are on sale. You can have the band come around to your house and cook you dinner, you can have any member of the band give you a special massage, you can purchase a 25 track limited edition anthology of rarities and b-sides, you can have us do some casual labour on your property, there is no low to which we shall not comfortably stoop; the future of bad taste is in your hands, don’t let it slide through your fingers and mucky your shoes.

The list of available rewards for donating include: massages; a “Primal Scream workshop”(?); drum lessons; dinner for two with The Fat White Family cooked by a band member; you can sing backing vocals onstage with the group; be in one of their videos, get a tattoo from the drummer, some original art or even a show at your own home. They were also offering a limited edition CD of unreleased material with handmade artwork, but sadly they’ve all been snatched up already.

The Fat White Family’s US tour is supposed to be some dates at SXSW and then a crawl up the Eastern seaboard. I hope they get out to Los Angeles, too. In February, they’re taking their act on the road across the UK.
 

 

“Cream of the Young” (DO watch this one until the end, won’t you?)
 

“Wet Hot Beef (Parts I,II & III)”
 

“Auto Neutron”
 

“Heaven on Earth” (directed by the notorious comic artist Mike Diana)
 
Plenty more of The Fat White Family after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Bad Music for Bad People: The second best Cramps footage you’ll ever see!
01.28.2014
12:41 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Cramps
Kid Congo Powers


 
This might not be the very best footage of The Cramps you’ll ever see—that designation would probably be bestowed upon the infamous video shot at the Napa, CA mental hospital in 1978—but it’s most probably the second best. Oh yes…

This is The Cramps—Lux, Ivy, Nick Knox and Kid Congo Powers—caught live at the Mudd Club in NYC, at their prime, in 1981. The source for this was a broadcast of Paul Tschinkel’s Inner-Tube and it was apparently taped off the air. Recently it turned up on the Dime a Dozen torrent tracker and then on YouTube. I’ve owned—for about 25 years—a really good low generation dub of the final three songs, so to see the entire set is pretty glorious.

A few years ago, Paul Tschinkel teased the Internet by releasing a little bit of what he’s got and here’s what I wrote:

Since I was only ever able to catch a few of them on TV (I moved to NYC the year it went off the air), I was always on the look-out for bootlegs of a cable access program called Paul Tschinkel’s Inner-Tube, perhaps THE greatest (I can’t imagine what would compare to it) underground video archive of late 70, early 80s punk, post-punk, No Wave and New Wave music that exists.

The Gun Club, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, The Cramps, Blondie, Talking Heads, James Chance and the Contortions, Johnny Thunders, Television, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Dead Boys, The Ramones, Siouxsie and The Banshees… the list of bands seen on Inner-Tube goes on and on and on. Shows often shot in color, with two cameras and sound board audio. Performances taped at CBGB, Mudd Club, Danceteria, Max’s Kansas City, Irving Plaza and usually the camera was right up front.

Inner-Tube ran for ten years on Manhattan Cable (meaning that you could only watch it if you lived in Manhattan, the outer boroughs didn’t get it, TV Party, Midnight Blue or The Robin Byrd Show, either). Seriously, it was the best of the best. Unbelievable shit.

I’ve been waiting in vain for years, hoping for a proper DVD release of the “best of” Inner-Tube, but the rights issues would probably make that a nightmare. Now it looks like Tschinkel is starting to put some on YouTube. This should be encouraged!

I wrote that two years ago. Since then Paul has released precious little of his treasure trove on YouTube. Hopefully he’ll note the interest in this Cramps post and give us some more? Pretty please???

The sole downside of this amazing video is that Poison Ivy spends much of the time behind a big pillar, hidden from the camera. You do see her, but not as much as you might want to.

Set list:
“Don’t Eat Stuff Off The Sidewalk”
“New Kind Of Kick”
“The Green Fuz”
“Can’t Find My Mind”
“Goo Goo Muck”
“Natives Are Restless”
“TV Set”
“Sunglasses After Dark”
“Voodoo Idol”
“Human Fly”
“I Was A Teenage Werewolf”
“Beautiful Gardens”

If this doesn’t get you off, then you don’t like rock and roll… and get the fuck off this blog.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Ramones drop some truth on a little know-it-all (a young Marilyn Manson?) on Nickelodeon, 1981
01.28.2014
10:01 am

Topics:
Punk
Television

Tags:
Marilyn Manson
Ramones


 
The Ramones appeared on Nickelodeon’s Livewire in 1981, on the cusp of the release of their Pleasant Dreams LP. It could have just been a cool artifact of an important punk band incongruously showing up on a kids show. But no, some self-satisfied little weed decided to ask a wiseass question about producer Phil Spector’s involvement with the End of the Century album, not to actually find out the answer, but to show off how all “insidery” he was and to belittle the band.

To their immense credit, The Ramones answered the smartass’ pitifully thrown gauntlet with a great deal of class. Joey starts strong, and though he drifts off-topic, Johnny saves the moment with a succinct and thoughtful statement of purpose.
 

 
An amusing aside: when you go to the YouTube page for this video—which you’ll have to if you want to watch it, as embedding, unfortunately, is disabled—the uploader makes the claim that the smirking brat is a young Marilyn Manson. I think the differences in appearance outweigh the admittedly striking similarities. Not only is this trying-too-hard little fistpuppet’s facial structure not quite like Manson’s (cheeks and chin are both much wider), Manson spent his childhood and teens in Ohio and Florida, and the eminently punchable, way-too-proud-of-itself assface of the smug little taintbreather in the video is emitting an accent that’s pure New York. Plus, Manson would have been 12 then, and this kid seems more like 14 or 15 to me. Not ruling out the possibility altogether, and I certainly don’t fancy myself the last word on it, but my best educated guess/hunch is “nuh-uh.”
 

Behold: a wasteland where proper awe in the presence of genius vanishes like flatus into a squall.
 

Behold: actual young Marilyn Manson. I say “very close but no cigar,” but judge for yourself.
 
Lastly, what might have been a fine money-shot fades out too quickly, but stay attentive at the end, and you’ll catch Joey’s answer to the question from the girl in the awesomely Welcome Back Kotterish outfit. She, her question, and Joey’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it answer are all fantastic.

Watch it here.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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