FAIRLY SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS THAT EVEN A SMALL CHILD WITH DOWN SYNDROME COULD PROBABLY UNDERSTAND: You can click on somebody’s name if you want to skip straight to their list, or you can use that li’l rotary wheel on your mouse to scroll down through the whole thing.
Bill Florio of Lost Locker Combo & The Shemps
Boo of Covered In Bees
Daniel James of Chinese Telephones, Master Heartache, & Motorcycle Prom Dates
Isaac of The Swing Ding Amigos & Shark Pants
Jamie of Bent Outta Shape
Jason Willis of The Knockout Pills
Joe Evans III
Josh Mosh of Fast Crowd Records & The Phuzz
Justin Telephone of The Chinese Telephones
Ken Dirtnap of Dirtnap Records and Green Noise Record Store
Mike G of Drinker’s Purgatory
Nate of Shark Week zine
Paul Trash of Altaira & Tiltwheel
Peej of Billy Reese Peters & Grabass Charlestons
Todd AKA Buttertooth
Yusuke of Blotto!
Two Thousand Five Made Me Feel Alive!
2. Reigning Sound
3. Retiring from the ‘real world’
4. The Replacements
5. Cross-country insanity with BD Durts
6. The Black Lips
7. Multnomah County library card
8. Almighty Do Me A Favor
9. Homemade spring rolls
10. Ryan Leach Mix-Tape Awesomeness
* 26 Kicks to Make the Whole World Pay, Dean Dirg. Phase Two of the Aryan Spazzcore attack upon these shores and this wave is proving just as idiotically intense as the first.
* Not Fucked Enough, The Reatards. Breaking free from the clutches of college radio rock, our hero Jay Reatard comes back to the fold and gets stoopid all over again. Now fucking stay put.
* Raw Dawg, Raw Deal, Functional Blackouts. Frantic, unholy noize from the Windy City. It’ll put hair on your palms.
* Maximum S&M, The Prick. First I found HFOS, then the Regulations and now the Pricks. What the hell’s going on in Sweden? There must be something in the meatballs.
* Electric Guitar, The Regulations. Everything I love about early ’80s no-bullshit hardcore brought back to glorious life and sounding as fresh as ever. And even better live.
* Sieg Howdy!, Jello Biafra with the Melvins. The “Kali-Fornia” Uber Alles redux scewering the Governator is worth the price of admission alone. Plus, I’ve always had a thing for Buzzo’s hairdo.
* Your Mom is a Fucking Mongo, Sir Henry Fiat’s Bastard. Good Sir Henry – without sores – brings back the vintage HFOS trash vibe. What can I say? Mongo shoes fucking never go out of style.
* Blackout, Carbonas. Reatardish garage slop that can give you Spina Bifida if you’re not careful. Shattered Records is quickly becoming my favorite label.
* A Man without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut (book). The creator of Bokonism proves he is nowhere near as out-dated as he suspects he might be. Is it too corny to say this guy is a National Treasure?
* Email to the Universe, Robert Anton Wilson (book). Racked with the pain of Post-Polio Syndrome, the Discordian Pope continues boldly putting whoopee cushions of uncertainty under our most cherished sacred cows. And there’s still zero chance he’ll ever be in Oprah’s Book Club.
* The Corporation (DVD). Not the cream-pie-in-the-corporate-face Michael Moore schtick that makes me laff every time, but a rational and equitable appraisal of the corporation as sociopath. Rating: 5 Walmart Smiley Faces.
Top ten local punk events of 2005
1. Hot Snakes at Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
2. Regulations at The Warehouse, Long Beach
3. Weirdos, Stitches at Troubadour, Hollywood
4. Katon’s Heavy Metal Thunder DJ night at The Pike, Long Beach
5. Pete (Stitches) and Ricky’s (Pushers) Magic Show at The Brigg, Huntington Beach (Even though Pete did too much speed and Ray [Smogtown] had to fill in for the night)
6. Work Sucks at Taco Beach, Long Beach
7. Broken Bottles at Fitzgeralds, Huntington Beach (Jesse got all Pete Townshend with that guitar)
8. Lords of Dogtown (movie) at AMC Theatre, Long Beach
9. Chaos UK, Scarred For Life at Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
10. Turbonegro at House of Blues, Anaheim (The highlight being the furry codpiece, and when the band banner fell to reveal a fighting Gladiator scene)
1. R. Kelly, Trapped in the Closet pt. 1-12 (I’m serious!)
2. Bent Outta Shape, Stray Dog Town LP
3. Flamingo 50, Two Birds One Stone 7″
4. Soviettes, LPIII
5. Army Of Jesus, Rats in the Walls 7″
6. Metalligher on the 4th of July at the Triple Rock Social Club
7. Toys That Kill, Flys 7″
8. Fucked Up, Epics in Minutes CD
9. The Fest 4 pre-show at Sluggo’s in Pensacola
Best live bands I saw in 2005 and where
1. The Ergs, Gainesville, FL
2. Knights of The New Crusade, Jamaica Plain, MA
3. Teengenerate, Hoboken, NJ
4. The Mothballs, Las Vegas, NV
5. The Meat Dept, Phoenix, AZ
6. Zero Boys, New York, NY
7. The Orphans, Long Beach, CA
8. Riverboat Gamblers, New York, NY
9. The Okmoniks, Las Vegas, NV
10. Career Suicide, New York, NY
1. Turbonegro, Party Animals
2. By Blood Alone, Eternally EP
3. Danko Jones, We Sweat Blood
4. American Werewolves, 1968
5. Down to Kill (DTK), Never Safe
6. Guitar Wolf, Golden Black
7. Darkbuster, A Weakness for the Spirits
8. Ramallah, Kill a Celebrity
9. Eggbot, Eggbot Live…
10. Pubcrawlers, Another Night on the Floor
* The Flakes, Back to School
* The Fevers, Love Always Wins
* Graham Parker, Songs of No Consequence
* The Downbeat 5, Victory Motel
* The Konks, Self-titled
* Spottiswoode and His Friends, Building a Road
* Mach 5, Meet Mach 5
* Emily Grogan, Io
* The Mojomatics, A Sweet Mama Gonna Hoodoo Me
* The Dents, Time for Biting
Top ten awesome shows graced by my presence in 2005, and then a way cooler list.
1. Danzig with Doyle (The House of Blues, Chicago, IL)
2. The Raspberries (Waukesha County Fair, Waukesha County Fairgrounds, Waukesha, WI)
3. Corrosion of Conformity and Motorhead (The Rave, Milwaukee, WI)
4. Annihilation Time (Mierdaverde, Madison, WI)
5. The Mystery Girls, The Catholic Boys, The A-Frames, and The Leghounds (Turd’s wedding reception, Turd’s inlaw’s house, Kaukauna, WI)
6. The Tyrades and Guitar Wolf (Abbey Pub, Chicago, IL)
7. Groovie Ghoulies, Toys That Kill, The Fuck Yeahs, lots of champipple, and a drunk tank (Half Pint’s birthday party, The Alamo, Minneapolis, MN)
8. Watch Them Die and Sean (some house, Oakland, CA)
9. Bible of the Devil (Vnuk’s Lounge, Cudahay, WI)
10. The Knockout Pills and The Answer Lies (The Surly Wench Pub, Tucson, AZ)
I wish I could have come up with twice as many of these, ’cause it would have been way cooler than the list I submitted.
Top Five Blacked Out Moments of 2005
5. Emailed a girl from my hometown that I dated five years ago, and told her that I’m in love with her
4. Hitchhiked to Madison, and passed out at the venue Annihilation Time was supposed to play at the next day
3. Broke into my old house that has since been abandoned because I thought I still lived there, and passed out in my old bedroom
2. Threw a potted plant at a hotel security guard from eight stories
1. Rejoined the Chinese Telephones
1. Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story box. Seymour Stein finally gets part of his just dues.
2. Season #3 (most of it, anyway) of Chappelle’s Show. Whether or not it returns is up to Dave, and I haven’t literally cried laughing from a television show since this show premiered three years ago. Cheers, Dave.
3. Celebrating two years with the most fantastic woman in my life on 8-9-05.
4. Howard announcing to go to Sirius (satellite radio) on 1-9-06 and then discovering that Marky Ramone, Handsome Dick Manitoba, and Joan Jett have shows on there, as well. Life is good. And the FCC can go eat a dick. Make it a big one.
5. Goodbye La Whittier, hello Glendale.
6. 10-3-05. Shit happens, sometimes at work.
7. 11-30-05. The darkest of gray clouds sometimes have thee most silver linings.
8. Razorcake getting non-profit status. Operators are standing by, bitches.
9. Lemmy Kilmister turning sixty years old on December 25th, 2005 and still touring the world over with Motorhead (and mighty well, might I add). Rock and roll kills, my ass.
10. Doing 80 on the I-15 to Vegas, barely missing being crushed through the windshield by a flying van wheel by a millisecond (the front end wasn’t so lucky), off-roading (yes, off-roading) a Hyundai Sonata L Series down the freeway dirt median, and sliding what seemed forever to complete safety for Yvonne and myself (the car was a different story). To whoever’s watching us from up there, we thank you indefinitely. Clean underwear sold separately.
Ten rad bands we shared bills with in 2005
The Bananas (Sacramento)
The Corvinas (San Diego)
The Cuntifiers (Tucson)
Thee Double D’s (San Francisco)
Knockout Pills (Tucson)
Th’ Losin’ Streaks (Sacramento)
The Sexies (El Centro)
Shark Pants (Tucson)
Slab City (El Centro)
The Trashies (Seattle)
P.S. There’s a ton more bands that should be here, but whaddaya gonna do?
* The Soviettes, LPIII CD
* Municipal Waste, Hazardous Mutation CD
* Observers, The, So What’s Left Now CD
* Shakira, Fijacion Oral, Vol. 1 CD
* All the shows that I saw at the Long Beach Warehouse and Poison Apple (R.I.P.)
* Bumbklaatt, Ciegos CD
* Maharajas, A Third Opinion CD
* System of a Down, Mesmerize CD
* Horror Pops, Bring It On CD
* Napalm Death, Leader Not Followers, Vol. 2 CD
The Ergs! stupid top ten list of the worst (read: incredible!) country songs to listen to while on tour for two months:
1. “All Jacked Up,” Gretchen Wilson
2. “If you Don’t Wanna Love Me,” Cowboy Troy
3. “XXL,” Keith Anderson
4. “Redneck Yacht Club,” Craig Morgan
5. “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” Joe Nichols
6. “Comin’ to Your City,” Big & Rich
7. “Honkytonk Bedonkadonk,” Trace Adkins
8. “USA Today,” Alan Jackson
9. “Yes!” Chad Brock
10. “Play Somethin Country,” Brooks & Dunn
Top ten fish band names
1. Peter Breams Fleetwood Mackeral
2. Bob Marlin and the Whalers
3. Ozzy Frogspawn
4. Derek and the Dominnows
5. Jefferson Starfish
6. A Seal D Seal
7. Run DMC Horse
8. Sushi Quattro
9. Hake Water Music
10. Salmon and Garfunkel
* Free Radio San Diego benefit: The first time I met the dudes from Dillinger Fart, they played a show, shotgunned Sparks, and introduced me to Mississippi Mud – Vodka and maple syrup.
* Turbonegro: Snuck into the Fillmore just in time for the denim encore.
Fest: Gainesville… Godamn I love you all. “Congrats to all the bands that played. See ya later, smalltime!”
* Japan: Thanks Altaira, Rasputin, Blotto, and Yoichi of Snuffy Smile Records. Chu-Hi Kanpei! Introduced me to a world on the other side of mine that still felt like home.
* Dia de Los Muertos: Celebrated on Nov. 2, also my birthday. I spent the Mexican holiday in Oaxaca drinking in graveyards.
* Punks in the Park: On the outskirts of the Mission District of San Francisco, we drank tall boys and watched: The Bananas, Defiance,Ohio, Onion Flavored Rings, and This Bike is a Pipe Bomb.
* Hot Snakes “last show” at the Casbah in San Diego.
* Against Me! Free at Amoeba Records: They played an “acoustic” free show at Amoeba the day I flew out to Tampa for the Fest. I almost puked while they played, but hungover and stinking I remembered why I will always love them… I hope.
* Sasquatch: This is the year I fell in love with Arcade Fire after seeing them live in Washington. They blew the Pixies, Wilco, Modest Mouse, and even Kanye West into outer spacer.
* Bent Outta Shape/Ringers: house party Oakland
* Lightning Bolt
* The Saturn returns phenomenon
* Punk rock mp3 blogs like www.7inchpunk.com and www.strangereaction.com
* Direct Control, Nuclear Tomorrow EP
* Government Warning, No Way Out EP
* We Jam Econo, the Minutemen documentary
* The Time Flys
* Barry Hannah’s novella, RAY
* Poison Idea, just because
Isaac Swing Ding
* Tokyo Electron, Self-titled LP
* Zombies, Zombie Heaven box set
* Busy Signals, Love and Dust 7″
* Hot Snakes, Peel Sessions 7″
* Sneaky Pinks, Self-titled 7″
* Black Camaro, Hanglider and White People Fucked up the Blues CDs
* Guided By Voices, Human Amusement at Hourly Rates (greatest hits)
* The Pharcyde, Bizzare Ride II
* Every single record by the Reigning Sound
* Hot Snakes, Audit in Progress LP
* Drunken Boat, Turn It 7″
* Modern Machines, Taco Blessing LP
* Crybaby Macarthur, Live and 7″
* Hunchback, Live
* Ergs, Jerseys Best Prancers
* Estevez, live
* Blotto, all
* Lefty Loosie, demo and live
* Gibbons, Hope Inc. LP
* Sluggos in Pensacola, FL
Top ten “retro” mp3 blogs I hit all the damn time:
There are at least about twenty more, so here are some stragglers to make a baker’s dozen:
Top Ten shows of 2005
* Ari Up and the True Warriors at the tiny Zaphod Beeblebrox club in Ottawa. I couldn’t believe that the lead singer of the best band ever was playing to almost no one on a weeknight in my hometown. The show was mind-blowing. She sang lots of Slits songs and she signed my copy of Cut.
* Fat Wreck Chords Tour with the Soviettes, Smoke Or Fire, Epoxies, and Against Me! All ages show at Higher Ground in Burlington, Vermont. A friend and I drove four hours and crossed the damn border just to see this show. It was worth it.
* Gordon Lightfoot at Massey Hall in Toronto. Yes, I’m serious. I’d never seen him before, which is shameful for a Canadian girl.
* Banditas CD release show at Irene’s Pub in Ottawa. Finally the word got out to the rest of the city that this is the best band in Ottawa and people packed the club and drank and danced and yelled and screamed.
* Against Me! and Fifth Hour Hero at Babylon Nightclub in Ottawa. The most crazed and passionate crowd I’ve seen all year. The band thanked everyone for warming up the club. Poor, cold, Florida boys in Canada.
* Sleater Kinney at La Tulipe in Montreal. Those three girls and their guitars, drums, and screaming nearly blew everyone’s heads off.
* Hidden Cameras at Barrymores Nightclub in Ottawa. A goofy, polite, epic dancefest.
* Hi Lo Trons CD release at Barrymores Nightclub in Ottawa. A wild, drunken, epic dancefest.
* Holly Golightly outside at the Ottawa Blues Festival. Why pay $30 for twenty minutes of music when you can sit on the sidewalk and watch through the chain link fence for free? It was great to see snarky, talented Holly playing in the sunshine.
* Mary Timony at Club Soda in Montreal. She was just the opening act and no one else in the crowd cared about her, but I was in awe.
Stuff that didn’t suck 2005, or 78 minutes and 29 seconds that prove I don’t hate everything: The following songs were culled solely from CD releases I received over the past year. The catch to their inclusion was that they had to be from new releases. Some stuff I really liked from the past year (the latest releases by the Fall and the Briefs, for example) were inadvertently overlooked, while others (the Regulations, Out Cold) weren’t on CD so they ain’t on here.
* BellRays, “Voodoo Train.” And now let me break the aforementioned “catch” right off the bat. Technically a reissue, the fact that said reissue came out this year, that the original came out within the last three years and not some twenty-odd years ago, and that I didn’t procure a copy until this year because I’m a total dweeb makes it new to me and, thus, worthy of inclusion here. The tune? Kicks serious soul/punk ass, of course. If you haven’t heard the BellRays, you are seriously doing yourself a disservice.
* Adolescents, “California Son.” Although the time lag between their last LP and their latest rivals only the Dickies, it was more than worth the wait, ’cause the resulting album is a doozy, ranking second only to their debut (and no, Tony didn’t pay me to say that). “California Son” rivals any of their so-called classic tunes and a dare anyone to prove otherwise.
* The Hollow Points, “The Sickness.” Some New Jacks temper an angry, very pointed statement on American foreign policy with a strong dose of pop and give hope that, at the very least, a select few of the current crop of modern bands actually GET that punk rock is about challenging the status quo of the prevailing mainstream culture, not blindly accepting what it spoon-feeds you as “truth.”
* NRA, “N28.” Todd wasn’t too sure I would dig these guys – frankly neither was I – but their album Machine was pretty good and this tune is easily one of the best songs Naked Raygun never got around to writing.
* Kaiser Chiefs, “I Predict a Riot.” Yeah, I like this song. Sue me.
* The Waking Hours, “Some Day Soon.” Some pure, unabashed pop, courtesy of a band featured on the second Kiss or Kill comp.
* OAOT’s, “Take Me.” Another year, another great poppy tune with some ringing Husker drone guitars from these guys. I may well end up a fan of theirs if they don’t knock it off.
* Epoxies, “Wind Me Up.” An uptempo number here from one of the few bands able to dabble in the new wave sound without sounding completely lame doing so. It’s criminal that they aren’t raking in the dough and rivaling Abba’s record sales.
* Soviettes, “Roller Girls.” When I was a wee tot, one of my favorite movies was Kansas City Bomber with Raquel Welch. Given that, it’s a no-brainer that a tune about roller derby would pique my interest. The fact said tune is a barn burner of the first order only makes it that much better.
* The Ponys, “We Shot the World.” Dark, brooding alt-pop with just enough artiness to give it some edge, this tune managed to stand out on an already strong album.
* Killer Dreamer, “Die Die.” Loud, pissed off ‘n’ muscular without relying on speed and heavy metal riffage to demonstrate they can tear shit up with the best of ’em.
* Lords Of Altamont, “Action.” Slithery, fuzzed-out, ’60s-styled slop about obsessin’ and killin’ that packs a mean wallop.
* Observers, “Short Day.” Starts off with an off-kilter beat and then they just rock the fugg out. You just gotta love it when a band does that.
* Narcoleptic Youth, “Dear John (Don’t Drink the Punch).” My favorite tune by them is “Barbi in Bondage,” but this one is another one of those sweet, obnoxious little ditties they seem to excel at dishing up. Hopefully they’ll manage a full-length in 2006.
* The Pegs, “Half Past Fucked.” Too bad Bingenheimer’s been relegated to the crap hours of the weekend and has focused all his attention on lame Brit-pop, as this bit of homegrown beach punk muscle would’ve been wicked huge back in ’81. I wonder how this got past Hostage Records.
* The Diffs, “Master Plan.” Hands down, one of the best straight-up punk rock bands Southern California has to offer.
* Off Kilter, “Bound and Battered.” Makes me wanna break things in all the right ways, this does.
* Swing Ding Amigos, “The Smurf.” Had a hard time picking a single tune from this album, but this one finally won out. High-octane, lo-fi thrashing, demanding that you do one of the lamest dances the ’80s ever produced.
* Varukers, “Where Is Your God.” Yeah, neither the song nor the band are new (although it was taken off a “best of” CD released this year), but it is a monster of a tune from one of the UK’s greatest hardcore bands.
* Dr. Know, “High Paid Prostitute.” I was always a Dr. Know fan, but I gotta say I’m especially fond of the no-holds-barred thrash of the band’s modern incarnation. This tune about reality shows is a prime example of their current direction.
* The Last Priority, “DIY or Die.” It is no small feat that these guys manage to evoke the Mystic Records era of Southern California hardcore sans all the negative baggage the mere mention of that label’s name conjures up. Pure thrash of the highest order here – no metal, no emo, no bullshit.
* Lost Sounds, “Mechanical Feelings.” This venerable band makes a convincing argument that, contrary to popular opinion, synths are NOT the second wimpiest instrument on the planet (after the accordion, of course).
* Rock ‘n’ Roll Monkey and the Robots, “chopgratewhipgrind.” Wasn’t all that impressed with the album as a whole, but this bit of arty freak-out rock is simply marvy. Maybe it’s the Barbie sample at the beginning that makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside.
* Cripples, “Wide-Eyed.” More synth-driven psychosis that’s maybe a smidge more “poppy” than Lost Sounds, but just as addled in delivery.
* Veronica Lipgloss & the Evil Eyes, “Strip Mall Glass.” Northern California is apparently enjoying a death rock/art punk resurgence at the moment, and it’s actually a good thing. “Strip Mall Glass” manages to straddle the fine line between the two genres quite nicely.
* Phantom Limbs, “Swill.” Somewhere in hell sits a merry-go-round blasting this band’s tunes as it spins in wild abandon.
* Black Ice, “Stitched Up.” More foreboding than the band from which it spawned, this Phantom Limbs offshoot takes all that is good from the death rock/goth genres and Osterizes them into a frothy, bleak bit of tribal gloom ‘n’ doom on this track.
* Kiss Kiss, “Thought You Spoke.” A nice bit of dreamy pop for the come-down following all the preceding racket-making.
* Affirmative Action Jackson/Sound of Failure, split EP
* Bent Outta Shape, Stray Dog Town
* The Ergs!, Jersey’s Best Prancers EP
* The Evens, Self-titled
* The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
* The Loved Ones, Self-titled EP
* Modern Machines, Taco Blessing
* Paint It Black, Paradise
* The Soviettes, LP III
* Swing Ding Amigos, Kings of Culo
Josh Benke’s Top 10 Records of 2005 Match Game (match the letters from column B to the proper number in column A to win an enormous cash prize. Mail entries to Razorcake HQ no later than January 15th, 2006. Void where prohibited. Not valid in Vermont.)
1. A. Busy Signals, Love and Dust 7″
2. B. Various Artists, Ikon Records Story 2 X LP
3. C. King Khan & BBQ Show, LP
4. D. Various Artists, Rampage! LP
5. E. The Flakes, Back to School LP
6. F. Black Lips, Let It Bloom LP
7. G. Carbonas, Blackout 7″
8. H. Tokyo Electron, Self-titled LP
9. I. Real Losers, Music for Funsters LP
10. J. Sneaky Pinks, I Can’t Wait 7″
Top 10 Punk Things
1. Touring the Midwest with Tiltwheel and Chinese Telephones and bringing AIDS back in style.
2. Punk Rock Bowling: having sixty people from San Diego in a different state all at the same time.
3. 1,000 beer weekend: seeing D4 twice – once in San Diego and once in L.A. at Fuck Yeah Fest.
4. Being sick in Europe, throwing up blood and riding in the back of Toys That Kill’s van with all the equipment. It was hell at the time, but looking back, it was pretty fucking fun.
5. Seeing Run For Your Fucking Life play their reunion show. It was amazing seeing them all on the same stage again at the same time and knowing that they were all still alive.
6. Getting completely incoherent with Bloodbath And Beyond for an entire week while they were in town recording and playing some shows.
7. Getting the Fuckboyz discography in the mail with six unreleased tracks. To put that shit out makes me a happy boy.
8. Jeff Ott playing at my house and trying to preach about terrorism, but everyone telling him to shut up and play was pretty tits.
9. The Fest: best time ever with the best people ever. If you didn’t go, you’re a fucking idiot. April Cava and I were talking about it the other day and decided if it wasn’t for The Fest and Punk Rock Bowling, we would have shot ourselves in the head by now.
10. Toys That Kill, Tiltwheel, Vena Cava and the hits all playing the Fast Castle eviction party. It was a nice way to go out.
* Knockout Pills at the Surly Wench Pub in Tucson
* Seeing every Bloodbath And Beyond show except Pensacola
* Half-Pint’s birthday featuring Toys That Kill, Groovie Ghoulies, Fuck Yeahs, Rivethead, a dunk tank and champipple at The Alamo in Minneapolis
* Reigning Sound at The Blackout in Chicago
* Marked Men, M.O.T.O., Busy Signals at Bottom Lounge in Chicago
* The Fest 4 in Gainesville
* Dinosaur Jr. at the Metro in Chicago
* Leghounds final show at Champs in Sheboygan
* Clorox Girls, This Dimension LP
* High Tension Wires, Send a Message LP
10. Bad Dudes, Self-titled CD
9. This Blush EP
8. Tsk Tsk, Seven Sirens CD
7. Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness
6. The Ghastly Ones reforming
5. Star Wars Revenge of the Sith. My Darth Vader obsession finally comes full circle
4. From Russia With Love for PlayStation 2. I feel a modern day Pac Man Fever coming on
3. The weekly one-page wonder that is the LA Record
2. Kraftwerk at the Greek
01. 2006: the year my inner voice says all the things my 2005 outer voice didn’t
Yeah, yeah, some of those didn’t actually come out in 2005, but they were either new to me as of last year or were old favorites that I wound up revisiting.
1. Altaira, Weigh Your Conscience CD
2. The Awakening, Final Feast 7″
3. Propaghandi, Potemkin City Limits CD
4. ABORT! zine
5. The Minds, We Got the Pop 7″
6. Rivethead, The Sweet Wine of Youth 12″ EP
7. Fucked Up, Epics in Minutes CD
8. Against Me!, Searching for a Former Clarity CD
9. Jets Vs. Sharks, These Tired Monuments CDEP
10. Fiya, Make Joy, Make Strength CD
* King Khan & BBQ Show, LP
* BBQ, Tie Your Noose LP
* Observers, Where I Stay and Walk Alone 7″s
* Clorox Girls LP
* Reigning Sound, Home for Orphans LP
* Black Lips, Let It Bloom LP
* Beat Beat Beat 7″
* Soviettes, III LP
* Dirtbombs, If You Don’t Already Have A Look 2 x CD
* Career Suicide, Anthology CD
1. Live 8 as seen on MTV: OMG, I totally didn’t realize that there were like starving kids in Africa until I heard about it from Ashley Judd.
2. Reggaeton: Really, one cannot understand how truly irritating Reggaeton is until one spends an hour trying to find a parking spot with the hip-hop/oompah beat vibrating throughout all four corners of the parking lot.
3. Nine Inch Nails: After much analysis, my brother and I found that the lyrics on With Teeth were in fact ghostwritten by a thirteen-year-old Trent Reznor met at Hot Topic.
4. Ashlee Simpson: That poor guy from Milli Vanilli committed suicide after the shame of a lip-synching debacle. What happens to Ashlee Simpson? Her next album tops the Billboard charts.
5. Sony Rootkit software: I’ve got an idea, now that we have successfully sued twelve-year-olds, let’s damage the computers of everyone who actually paid $17 for our CDs.
6. Kelly Clarkeson: Yeah, I kind of have it out for the Top 40 and the anti-rockists who try to defend it. It’s bad enough that I can’t go to the gym without hearing “Since You’ve Been Gone,” but do I really need to hear it at the indie clubs too?
7. Ipod DJing: Part of the fun of DJing is sifting through crates and dusting off records with your shirt before throwing the needle down on it.
8. High Speed Hype: Does anyone else notice that bands seem to drop off the scene radar as soon as the album streets? Sometimes Internet-generated buzz backfires.
9. Kanye West: Really, enough is enough with the Kanye-worshipping already.
10. Product placement: Watch enough videos and you’ll notice that the clips are advertising a song, artist, clothing manufacturer, cell phone company, and soft drink at the same time.
I seriously started questioning whether or not I was going to make it through 2005 in February, and didn’t stop until mid-November. Somehow, in the worst year of my life, some of the best things came from it.
* BWE (Best Weekend Ever): Technically spanning Wednesday through Monday for me, I saw D4 twice, Tiltwheel three times, Toys That Kill twice, The Grabass Charlestons, Killer Dreamer, The Soviettes, Elliot Fucking Smith, and got to spend it with some of my favorite people, eating free ice cream, shooting off fireworks, and drinking things that tasted like summer.
* Bent Outta Shape’s Stray Dog Town: The song “Lapdog” is one of the best things I’ve ever heard on so many levels. The rest of the album is damn near impeccable.
* The Fest IV: Radon would’ve been enough for me, but throw on The Ergs! (who played the most amazing set of the whole weekend to a room full of people probably used to being one of five people freaking out for them, but now they were all together to pack the room), The Marked Men, The Urchin, Smalltown, Vena Cava, and the Razorcake showcase: The Arrivals, Grabass, Toys That Kill, Bent Outta Shape, Sexy, and D4. And then the show at The Cabin with the three-song Blotto! set and Leftie Loosie. But, honestly, even if there were no shows, I still got to see my parents, and most of the friends who make up my family from across the country, and the world.
* Razorcake getting nonprofit status: Two years of some of the most miserable work I’ll ever do finally paid off. And in the same day, we were accepted into the Los Angeles Public Library. Accomplishment and recognition are pretty nice. Comprehending the very real possibility that working my ass off for something I love could actually be my job is a very strange feeling.
* The Because: from Japan, they’re on one of the best split 7″s of the year with Blotto!, and their track, “Let It All Be” on the four-way split As Time Goes by on Snuffy Smile is amazing.
* The Reigning Sound 7″ on Slovenly. “Your Love” and “I’ll Cry.” Yes, both were on Too Much Guitar, but I like this recording better, and, shit, they’re good songs.
And these were all pretty awesome, too:
* The Ergs!, Jersey’s Best Prancers EP
* Fast Castle Eviction Party
* Bloodbath And Beyond
* The Soviettes, LP III
* Dan Padilla/ Chinese Telephones split 7″
* Swing Ding Amigos, Kings of Culo
* Sneaky Pinks 7″
10. Bloodbath And Beyond at the Dollhut in Anaheim. Tall can shotguns and repeat sets should be the standard for 2006.
9. Toys That Kill, Don’t Take My Clone 7″
8. Killer Dreamer & Sexy at Gilman. Billie Joe, yo dude, where’s your pants?
7. The Chinese Telephones/Tiltwheel/Drinkers/Josh Mosh Tour… AIDS.
6. Hot Snakes, Audit in Progress.
5. Rolling Blackouts live, for real.
4. Dillinger Four at the Echo/Fuck Yeah Fest.
3. Swing Ding Amigos, Kings Of Culo, and, oh yeah, first place for best fuckin’ record cover.
2. Soviettes, LP III and 4th o’ July on 4th Street!
1. Federation X, Rally Day
Mr. Z’s Top Ten Bands who have started their own Myspace page:
2. The Answer Lies
3. Toys That Kill
4. Dillinger Four
5. The Soviettes
6. Enemy You
7. Drinkers Purgatory
8. Bobot Adrenaline
9. Alleged Gunmen
10. Rivethead (RIP)
Nate Shark Week
Top Ten Quotes From Tour, 2005:
10. The Ergs! are playing a show in L.A. They have a friend who is a tour manager for big, important bands like Bad Religion. He rattles off a laundry list of things The Ergs! should do to make sure their show goes smoothly. At the end, Jeff turns to me and says, “Nate, can you get me a coffee?”
9. Wolfman, after taking some trucker speed to facilitate a drive from San Diego to San Francisco, can’t stop playing with his nutsack. He lets out a bunch of gibberish, and after being questioned about it replies, “At this point, I’m just a vessel.”
8. After The Flood, Joey Erg learns that his bass amp is ruined. He exclaims, “I must have stepped on god’s dick recently!”
7. Mikey Erg, on his less-than-conventional eating habits: “I’m sort of a chocolate-not-eating guy.”
6. The Trashies pull up to an In and Out Burger, where, after learning of the Secret Menu, Billy Trash orders a “tortoise style with a side of celebration farts.”
5. Driving through Kansas, a sign in the middle of nowhere reads: “Righteousness makes a country great, but sin is a cancer to all people.” Joey Erg replies, “Just what I need, a lecture from a fucking field.”
4. Earlier in Wolfman’s speed binge, he remarks about how sexual he’s feeling: “I feel like a little girl who just sucked a cock for the first time.” Jesse Cody responds, “Well, you’re gonna be filled with my come all night.”
3. The Ergs! are staying at the Small Pool Hacienda. At some point while eating burritos, Davey Tiltwheel opines, “Some people aren’t so cool they’re not aware they’re being bitches.”
2. The Trashies played at The Cereal Factory in Oakland in their briefs. No quote needed.
1. Mikey Erg, in reference to the cover of the Ergs! new 7″, Hello World!: “That’s me coming out of the pussy!”
Thanks to The Ergs! and The Trashies for taking me on tour, all the rad folks I met, and my lovely wife for missing me. Read more about my adventures at sharkweekhq.org or buy an issue of Shark Week from me while I’m on tour.
1. Washouts, I Was a Teenage Washout
2. A-Lines, Self-titled
3. High Tension Wires, Send a Message
4. Epoxies, Stop the Future
5. M.O.T.O., Raw Power
6. Ugly Beats, Bring on the Beats
7. Reatards, Not Fucked Enough
8. Real Losers, Music for Assholes
9. Asteroid B-612, Readin’ Between the Lines
10. Hatepinks, Plastic Bag Ambitions
* The Ergs, Dork Rock Cork Rod (Yeah, I know it didn’t come out in 2005 but this was the year that I got way into it.)
* Swing Ding Amigos, Kings of Culo
* The Soviettes, LP III
* Blood Bath and Beyond, Jihardcore EP
* Against Me!, Searching for a Former Clarity
* Lucero, Nobody’s Darlings
* The Beat Buttons, Self-titled
* The Bomb, Indecision
* Modern Machines, Taco Blessing
* Toys That Kill, Control the Sun
* Vagina Sore Jr., self-titled 7″
* Torche, Self-titled
* R. Kelly Trapped in the Closet DVD
And for fun, here are my top events for 2005 (chronological order)
1. Skatepark of Tampa show weekend (Jan. 21- Jan. 24) Grabass, the Soviettes, The Tim Version and Smoke or Fire all spent the weekend together playing kickass shows and drinking in Gainesville and Tampa. It was the beginning of some beautiful friendships, for sure.
2. No Idea SXSW showcase tour (Mar. 15 – Mar. 19) Grabass Charlestons, Billy Reese Peters, Army of Ponch, Rehasher, Strikeforce Diablo, Stressface, and Whiskey & Co. all pilled into three vans and made our four-day journey to Austin and back. We stopped and rocked Pensacola and New Orleans along the way. There was gambling, blackouts, strange head injuries, a Leprathon, lots of friends in tow, zero sleep, and, of course, the birth of the infamous Troubleshooterz lounge and theme song.
3. San Pedro 4th of July party (July 4) Pedro knows how to fuckin’ party. I was covered in goose bumps and almost brought to tears when Toys That Kill started to play and fireworks, beer, and bodies exploded everywhere.
4. Soviettes/Grabass/Arrivals (July17 – July18 and July 22) Grabass and The Soviettes just completed one of the funnest summer tours imaginable. We closed it out by lounging by the pool and barbecuing for three days in Gainesville with The Arrivals and a score of Gainesville characters. The Soviettes invented the boxed-wine stand.
5. Solo trip out West (Oct.21-Oct.30) Sometimes life gets hard and you just need to get away and press the reset button before you can move on. Spent a week hanging out in San Fran and L.A. with some really great people. This was one the most refreshing trips I’ve ever taken.
6. The FEST 4 (Nov.18-Nov.20) The Fest is by far my favorite holiday. Everything about this weekend made me happy. The bands, the numerous friends from around the world, shows, drugs, booze, parties… it’s like being on a eight-week long world tour but it is all squeezed into one three-day weekend right in your backyard. It was perfect and amazing.
(Wow, the Soviettes where there for five out of six of these. Damn, thanks for the great year guys!)
1. Altaira and Blotto! tour in Japan
2. Fest 4!
3. Tiltwheel’s midwest extravaganza with the Chinese Telephones and Drinkers Purgatory
4. Punk Rock Bowling
5. Bloodbath And Beyond
6. Yusuke whiskey
7. Fuck Yeah Fest
8. Fast Castle eviction party (the end of an era)
10. Gabe Rock’s man panties
* Call Me Lightning, The Trouble We’re In
* Mistreaters, Live in the Twitch House basement
* Maritime, We, the Vehicles
* A Place in the Woods, Helen Hoover
* Lust for Life, Oliver Stone
* Cancer Ward, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
* Releasing my RC 45/DVD just forty-five days before the NLB met the wrecking ball
* No Knife, Riot for Romance
1. Gun Club Reissues
2. Starvations’ last show and record
3. Guilty Hearts’ first record
4. Rob Ritter
5. Jeffrey Lee Pierce
6. Reigning Sound at Troubadour
7. Detroit Cobras’ lady dressing up like Jeffrey Lee Pierce
8. Did Korn breakup yet?
9. Peter Laughner turning fifty-three this year
10. Any show Alexis was at
10. Weirdos, Live on Radio
9. X, Live in Los Angeles
8. Iggy & The Stooges, Telluric Chaos
7. Riverboat Gamblers, 3 song EP
6. Misson Of Burma, Snapshot EP
5. The Slickee Boys, Cybernetic Dreams Of Pi reissue
4. Darkbuster, A Weakness for Spirits
3. The Plimsouls, One Night in America
2. Pseudo Heroes, Nostalgic Lies EP
1. Street Dogs, Back to the World
Todd aka Buttertooth
* Meeting my future wife. What a score. It’s Martini time!
* Seeing Propaghandi finally play in San Diego, even though it was at Soma, a venue that kinda ruins the all ages scene for other clubs in SD. The owner is a dick.
* Reading Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the U.S. Factual information told through the eyes of the oppressed. If you aren’t ashamed of the previous white man’s legacy after reading this, you must not have a conscience.
* Fest 4 in Gainesville FL. Nov. 18-21. Who knew you could drink so much and still remember seeing at least forty bands you love dearly?
* Altaira/Blotto Japanese summer tour. Japan is probably the greatest country in the world. Snuffy Smile Records is on the forefront of understanding what the DIY punk rock culture is all about. Thanks to Yoichi for making it happen. Thanks to Blotto for being such a badass band. Also, thanks to Ojiya for being the Chattanooga of Japan.
* Meneguar, Born at Night CD. I found out about these guys from reviewing for Razorcake and I can’t get enough of it. Bent Outta Shape said they were nice guys too, and added plus.
* Born Against, Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children 12″. It’s old, so sue me. I just got this record back and I am fully reinvigorated to fight the good fight.
* Scores of congressmen and White House aides being indicted for fraudulent and illegal crimes. Can you say family values?
* Seeing Dinosaur Jr. live FINALLY. I never thought Lou Barlow and J. Mascis would stand on the same stage again, much less play songs together. They pulled it off, as well. Took me back to my childhood days of dosing.
* Seeing Dillinger Four, three times in a year. God, those guys rule, even when they are as wasted as I was.
2005 was a rough year. Music came to my rescue. These following bands – either I saw them live or they put out a record in 2005 – meant something extra to me this year beyond just the music they play, at a time when I needed it the most. No order. High rotation.
* Toys That Kill
* Grabass Charlestons
* Bent Outta Shape
* Fucked Up
* The Tim Version
* Swing Ding Amigos
* And, not a band, but in the top three best damn weekends of my life: Fest IV.
Ten records that my one-year old daughter sophia loves
1. Ramones, Anthology (Disc 1)
2. Stiff Little Fingers, All The Best (Disc 1)
3. The Bodies, Addicted to You
4. Smogtown, Domesticviolenceland
5. The Demonics, Ritual on the Beach
6. SNFU, In the Meantime and in Between Time
7. Sugar, Copper Blue
8. The Marked Men, On the Outside
9. Rocket From The Crypt, Live from Camp X-Ray
10. The Hoosegow, The Last Buffet (What can I say? She loves her Dad!)
I really love 7″s. It’s my “top ten seven inches of 2005”!
* Bent Outta Shape / Drunken Boat, split 7″
* The Observers, Where I Stay 7″
* The Because / Dauntless Elite, split 7″
* Signal Lost, You’ll Never Get Us Down Again 7″
* The Ergs! / Modern Machines, split 7″
* Cleveland Bound Death Sentence, Gateway Handshake 7″
* Catholic Boys, Hurt to Hate 7″
* Drunken Boat, Turn It 7″
* Toys That Kill, Don’t Take My Clone 7″
* Dan Padilla / Chinese Telephones, split 7″
But I think this year’s best record is, Bent Outta Shape Stray Dog Town LP and I love The Gibbons CD, The Ringers CD, The Modern Machines 12″. Every Snuffy Smile releases. Hard Skin LP, Chinese Telephones 7″, The Marked Men 7″, Altaira records, The Minds 7″, North Lincoln LP, The Ergs! 7″, Friday Knight / Panty Shanty 7″,Vagina Sore Jr. 7″, Abi Yoyo’s 7″, Zero Fast CD, Grabass LP, Onion Flavored Rings LP, Clorox Girls LP, Bloodbath And Beyond 7″