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V.19 No.46 | 11/18/2010

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Music Attack

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V.19 No.44 | 11/4/2010

Feature

Gidget Goes to Hell

The top five lady-centric punk films

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V.19 No.37 |

Punk Rock

They oughta take a rope and hang me

Roger Miller punk cover at VooDoo Scooters

I love it when I get to see one of those things I want to see before I die.

It happened on Saturday night. My cousin Gina and I went to go see her mail man's punk band play at VooDoo Scooters on Central Avenue.

They were called “Demons” and played good old punk rock. The band is made up of members of Icky and the Yuks, an Albuquerque punk band that's been around as long as I can remember.

Though I was nervous that some strategically placed tiki torches were going to set my polyester shirt on fire and kill me, the band kept my attention.

Then it happened: they played a Roger Miller song, “Dang Me.” I have wanted to hear a punk version of my favorite country guy for as long as I can remember.

And they did it.

The other thing I wanted to see was a dugout and bull pen-clearing baseball fight, and I did back in 2004.

I decided that I had run out my string here on planet earth. I made a beeline to Denny's where I ate a grilled cheese sandwich made out of deep fried cheese sticks in an ultimately futile attempt at suicide.

Alas, I'm still here.

V.19 No.29 |

music

Literally, literary punk

I was feeling superior because I was a plus one on “the list” to see a punk rock show Sunday night.

I traveled from Valencia County with a colleague, Jeana, who is more of a metal fan but who has recently branched out into the punk rock. She had interviewed the drummer and the record company gave her a photo pass to go snaps some shots.

Jeana hurt her ankle and I was having one of those “can’t go outside; something unimaginably horrible will happen to me” days, so both of us had to psyche ourselves up all day. It was a big deal that we managed to scrape ourselves together and brave the flooded highways.

By the way, Jeana has a grandkid. I have been to one other punk show with her and it upped the punkrockicity of the entire affair, going with a grandmother. You can’t buy a metal grandma at Hot Topic. (This is where I apologize for making reference to a woman’s age. Sorry, Jeana; it was necessary.)

One can only imagine our infinite chagrin when we found out we weren’t, in fact, on “the list.” $15 was out of the price range for two broke reporters. Curses.

Rather than rage at the doorman, ala “Knocked Up,” we retreated to a local, corporate donut shop for bad espresso and worse pastry.

As we plotted our next move, Jeana told me she just interviewed an up and coming metal band and hit them with the “What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you on the road?” question.

She said the band was traveling down the highway in, I believe Wisconsin, when they passed a Wal-Mart. In the parking lot were three buses from the VHI show, Rock of Love” Fans of Brett Michaels, the band decided to knock on the door and say hi. They were, of course, rudely rebuffed by a security guard.

Rather than take it lying down, they returned to their tour van, retrieved a stack of fliers, and taped over all the windows on the bus. Revenge.
Jeana told me she couldn’t figure out a way to work this into the story. I told her this was an extremely metal moment, nay, a punk moment. It had to go in. She said she would work on it.

Though I never got to go to the show, this was pretty awesome—sitting in a bad donut shop in the rain, talking about Bret Michaels and rock writing in general. A truly punk rock moment. Or at least a literary one.

V.19 No.28 | 7/15/2010

Music

In the Pit With Andrew WK at Warped Tour

Sweaty kids, bikini tops, shaved ice, swag and more than 75 bands can only mean one only thing: The Vans Warped Tour.

New Mexico State University's practice field was the stage for this year's tour, its 16th, last Wednesday.

More than 75 bands jammed out all day on seven stages to a mix of kids, punks, metal heads and annoyed parents. One of the most intriguing aspects of the tour, however, is the array of bands playing the shows. "Mainstream" acts such as Face to Face, Alkaline Trio, The Bouncing Souls, The Swellers and Andrew WK travel the country in decked out tour buses with managers, roadies and video game consoles. Other bands are struggling to make it to the next show.

"We're trying to scrounge up enough gas money to make it to the next show in San Antonio," said Roger Esparza, bassist for Dose of Adolescence. "I'm just bombing around the parking lot selling CDs and begging for donations."

The Duke City's own The Harlow Defense was featured on the Local Stage, ripping a 20-minute set.

"It was like having my cherry broken," said Mike Kmenta, guitarist and vocalist in Harlow, "by a huge, sunburned dong,"

"It really was similar to having sex for the first time" Kmenta added. "It was sweaty, sloppy, awkward, and it was over as quickly as it began."

One artist in particular was excited to be back on the tour.

“I did Warped back in '03 and hit a rough patch in my career in '05," said Andrew WK. "When my management called me up to tell me we were doing Warped again, it was such a wonderful and exciting surprise."

Andrew said the Warped Tour is a great institution in the music industry, and is one of his favorite crowds to play in front of.

"There's definitely a unique vibe at these shows," he said. "It's not a hippie festival at all, but there's a lot of love and energy,"

"It's all about fun with aggression." he added. "And so many amazing bands are here to let the music fuel it."

He said it's an absolute departure from his recent public appearances.

"I've been doing a show for Cartoon Network called ‘Destroy Build Destroy’ and motivational speaking events. I've lectured at Harvard and Yale, which is just surreal. I've been around 10 years now and I still can't believe it," he said. "It's like watching a movie that I'm the star of sometimes."

One band on tour feels the Warped climate has shifted over the last half decade.

"We did the tour back in '05 and it's definitely a different scene now." said Nick Diener, front man for The Swellers. "MySpace changed it all,"

"Bands used to record a demo and send it out to every label and try to get on any tour, but now they just put their music on their site and the labels discover them."

He said he definitely misses some of Warped's perennial acts like Bad Religion, NOFX and Pennywise. Diener said he wasn't sure the new crops of bands will still be relevant in 10 years.

"I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, but it should take more than getting a song on ‘Glee’ to become relevant."

The end of the day was delivered by none other than Andrew WK, who managed to get the crowd dancing after more than nine hours in the hot Las Cruces sun. "Party Hard," indeed.

V.19 No.23 | 6/10/2010
This ain’t no Nashville pop.
Ira Weinschel/Seven Star Photo

Show Up!

Cryin’ Salty Tears in Yer Beer

Horse Opera croons classic country

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V.19 No.7 | 2/18/2010

Tonight! Exene Cervenka at the Head Shop, Low Spirits

In 15 minutes, punk rockacana queen Exene Cervenka will be at The Zone on San Mateo for an in-store signing/meet-and-greet thing. At 9, she and Dex Romweber of Flat Duo Jets are playing Low Spirits. I interviewed Exene in this week’s paper, edited down for space—if you click here, you can read the full-length she-bang.

V.18 No.45 | 11/5/2009

Music Quiz

Punky Cinema

Film Guide special! Match the movies to the musicians that appeared in them

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V.18 No.41 | 10/8/2009
Justin Sullivan, second from right, leads the charge in old-school British punk outfit New Model Army.
Aimee Candelaria

Music Interview

New Model Army

Punk rock and poetry in motion

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Flyer on the Wall

Icky Reunion

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V.18 No.30 | 7/23/2009

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Skunk’s Not Dead

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