Friday, April 15, 2011
KDVS Fundraiser 2011 begins Sunday night at midnight. So when you hear AFS v. 310 live Monday night or on the archive, I will be asking for your donation to help keep one of the world's best radio stations on the air for a 49th year.
This is my 17th fundraiser show, and I'm very proud to give back to anyone pledging $15 or more the best edition yet of Live on Art for Spastics, compiling carefully selected moments from the best live performances by bands I've been honored to bring down to record live in the KDVS studios. Once again, the sound quality is by and large stellar and vinyl-worthy. Here's an annotated track list...
(See details of how to donate below...)
(1) and (2) UZI RASH "...Succubus Staring at Me..."/"Song #3": Certainly not the true titles of the songs. Some of them were too new for titles at the time. Uzi Rash from Oakland has had a revolving cast of musicians of varying talent levels surrounding the constant member, Max, formerly of The Trashies. This particular lineup introduced a new bassist, Stevo, who leads his own band called Knifey Spoony who are a must-see live unit of fun and devastation. These songs show Uzi Rash at the tightest I've ever heard them, and fractured flow of Max's guitar leads were at the sharpest, yet most exquisite. Fans of early Fall and Pere Ubu must appreciate.
(3) and (4) HOODED "2 Hunters"/"Boyfriend": When you think of Olympia, Washington, and music, most fans of the punk/indie/DIY persuasion recall the city's celebrated preeminence in twee-pop, indie-folk, and riot grrl. All of that music had its time and place, and when you hear so many bands from Olympia, you realize that music still has its place...but it's frozen in time! A recent crop of bands like White Boss, Sonskull, and Broken Water really shatter your preconceptions of the predictable Oly-bred genre-studies. Pointing the way to the future of rock music from the intersection of punk and noise, and bearing the threat of hardcore from the early 80s heyday, this milieu makes music that is smart, immediately impactful, but also unfolds in layers revealing something new on repeated listens. Hooded is one of the lesser knowns from this scene. The singer recalls Doc Dart of The Crucifucks for his adenoids, mania, and metaphors, while the band indulges the philosophical meanderings brilliantly with an improv-influenced, yet composed attack of heavy jazzpunk. And when it's time to rage, it's a helluva maelstrom, bringing to mind "Crushed by the Wheels of Industry" by Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers from their Into the Void LP.
(5) HARI KARI "Heady Cops": I booked Hari Kari sound-unheard when I knew that they were from that same Olympia milieu and shared a drummer with the mighty HPP, and Hooded were their tour-mates. By my estimation, HPP is the perfect hardcore punk band. Truly raging and rebellious, convincingly dangerous and scuzzy, guitar ablaze, and rhythms quick but never blurring...and actually quite rockin'! I've gushed about that voice that sounds so much like Sammy Towne of Fang, and that incredible Ginn-like guitar tone and chops, but the rhythm section of HPP really keeps this juggernaut on the rails. So solid, but with some cool divergences that add the right measure of musicality. Creative, but not showy or proggy. Every extra rhythmic accent is just a cause for another pump of
your fist. But enough about our next band...Hari Kari is the band where drummer Will is free to show more craft, and slow down down the deliberative heavy parts. This band nicely bisects the line between Hüsker Dü and early Melvins.
(6), (7), and (8) HPP "Wrong Age"/"Firecracker"/"Sexual Tension": Like I said, thee perfect HC band. When you look up hardcore in the dictionary, there should be a picture of HPP. And never miss this band if they play live in a city near you!
(9) PIGEON RELIGION "There Are No Boundaries": The scrawlin'est and brawlin'est knuckledragging scuzzpunk devastators of the west! No place in the USA understands oppression better than Arizona (118°F summer temps, medieval tent prison, "Let's see your green card", etc.), so maybe it's only natural that these desert-baked Tempe pummellers strive toward thee infinite riff a'la Brainbombs, but in a style all their own. I wish I could have used a longer track, but most of those had uneven feedback issues on our side. This was the loudest band to visit Studio A. Their wall-like melange of amps barely fit under the rafters. Here's another band you should never miss if you have a chance to catch 'em!
(10) PUFFY AREOLAS "Lutzko Lives": Speaking of knuckledragging scuzzpunk devastation, the Puffies achieved perfection with their hit song from their first 7" celebrating Columbus' preeminent rager from Unholy Two. I loved this riff the first time I heard it. Then I met Lutzko at Gonerfest in Memphis last year, and the ebullient partyhardy yoking and roughhousing that ensued gave me an even higher appreciation of this song. I had to try and match that triumphant party spirit or else I was gonna be knocked prostrate. I was either gonna have all the fun, or none, shriveling away cowardly or indignantly. If Lutzko grabs you by the neck while The Oblivians upped the ante for reunion shows, you just take the ride and enjoy no matter how many people you dislodge. And after you're done, you know that you've had the 2nd most fun of anybody in the room, and you can hardly care if you offended anyone who was dislodged. I felt like we'd just rode through the Hi-Tone on a motorcycle, with Lutzko opening the throttle with abandon, parting the crowd like a knife. When Puffy Areolas extended "Lutzko Lives" to epic length live at KDVS--with dual saxophones accompaniment from Sacto's best skronkers (Davy formerly of Antennas Erupt and Chad formerly of Klondike & York) mostly swirling below the mix--it was like taking that triumphant ride for 12 full minutes. Looking for the ultimate pump-up jam coctail? Play this right after "Cryptozoological Disaster" by Monoshock. You better know your own strength, though. Could be lethal!
(11) BLANK REALM "Acting Strange": Tough break to hafta follow that Puffys jam, huh? Well, the rhythm of this song is just relentless and sinister enough. This family affair of two brothers, a sister, and a friend have made a couple LPs so far of killer dark jams that are perfect for after-hours loner listening. From the sound of their records, I was seriously concerned that I'd hafta babysit a moody buncha lunatics when they visited KDVS from Australia, but they were some of the sweetest folks I've met. Slipping between spontaneous jams and focused songform, their live show splits the difference between the darker postpunk style of Naked on the Vague and the free-and-easy rockin' of UV Race.
(12) SEX CHURCH "Mistaken": The streak of relentless repetition done oh-so-right continues here with Vancouver, Canada's most fantastic psych-punk band. A string broke right in the middle of my favorite one-two punch from their live routine, so we had to scuttle that, but this selection ain't no slouch. If anything, it really shows off the nifty and underrated bass guitar work.
(13) and (14) DEFEKTORS "The Hostage"/"Black September": The Wipers comparisons are plenty justified, but the insistent bouncy rhythm makes the Defektors instantly recognizable. It's hard for me to pick favorites, but for any so-called punk of today which is rooted in some sense of
tradition, I think these guys might be my favorite. If you see me at a show, just be warned that I will sweat completely through my shirt. It's too bad that complimenting a band's "energy" is code-words for "not my cup of tea, but I can't tell you 'Your band sucks' to your face", 'cos their energy is so catching. And saying a band are "nice guys" is even worse, right? But again, could this not be truer? If being likened to The Wipers doesn't make you the definitive band of the Great Northwest, then covering Dead Moon moves you further up the totem pole for sure!
(15) and (16) THE WHINES "title unknown"/"Vacation": Since the 70s, Portland has always had at least one band that makes real rock 'n' roll with primal power and inspiring beauty, often encompassed within the same brilliant riff or heart-wrenching lead or evocative lyrical passage. From the Wipers to Dead Moon to The Hunches to...??? Eat Skull flew south, but I really thought The Whines would be the next to bear that torch, but alas, after giving us one of thee very best LPs of 2010--Hell to Play will be remembered forever, I think--they broke up. I feel very lucky that their final public performance happened right here in Studio A at KDVS, and this unreleased song and their uptempo crowd favorite are from that final night.
(17) THE SHRAPNELLES "Parasite"/"S & M": On their first North American tour with fellow Calgary, Albertans Topless Mongos (who share one member), this all-female band unexpectedly stole some Sacto boys' hearts before local HC heavies Rat Damage set the table for The Homostupids at The Hub. It was just a buncha HC dudes there for a HC show, but the opening act showed up an hour late, so it was quite convenient that these bands from Canada showed up unannounced at the venue, just hoping to see The Homostupids play. I needed somebody to bat leadoff, and these ladies knocked it outta the park on all accounts. Garagey, melodic, and never unladylike, you might think the HC yokels would be disappointed, but they totally slayed...and with enough alacrity to whet the appetite for a night of HC punk that followed. Here I almost felt concerned that I was throwin' these ladies to the wolves, but they achieved a total fan conversion from the front row to the back.
(18) VAPID "1983": Their LP last year was a killer lady-rager of bouncy melodic punk with outstanding singalongs, and a house-show in Davis the night before this was recorded made a sauna out of the living room of Fort Douglass from all the dancing bodies sweating and exhaling. This one really reveals the truth in the VKTMS comparisons they've drawn...especially that voice!
(19) and (20) WHITE LUNG "Loose Heels"/"Magazines": Yet another Vancouver band of awesome ladypower, White Lung nailed it harder than almost any other in their Studio A session. Their It's the Evil LP and a string of 7"es hint at the potency of this band's live show, and I think Fenris quite perfectly captured it here. As the melodic guitar dances around, weaving in and outta the rhythm, it's all about that rhythm section who sound so propulsive and positively militaristic, like feedtime, Venom P. Stinger, or early Killing Joke or The Ex. And that singer is pushing at a maximum maxillofacial blood pressure level.
(21) TOPLESS MONGOS "Bohemian Grave"/"Uptight"/"Roweena": The Shrapnelles' Calgary running mates remind me of one of our favorite garagepunk hero bands, The Drags. Kinda almost exactly with that jagged, frenetic guitar style. I know some people love to smirk and sneer about today's bands that sounds like a band from the past because it helps them get over their own lack of originality (they probably heard someone else say it first). Is that you? Well, we're not talking about the umpteen-millionth Ramones clone or Joy Division mimicry. We're talking about The Drags. I coulda used a lot more songs by The Drags. So, I welcome the Topless Mongos heartily. And they do have other tricks up their sleeves, so make this a band to watch!
(22), (23), and (24) WOUNDED LION "Relaxation is My Specialty"/"Pony People"/"I'm Sad": I actually read a review of Wounded Lion which said they were "post-garage". Really? I read somewhere else that when you see "post-" in front of any genre of music, it's like saying that genre "with all the fun taken out of it". Now that rings pretty true, doesn't it? Wounded Lion is a lovable party-stokin' rockin' goodtimes band with super-clever songs, contagious chorus singalongability, and oodles of personality. As a quantity of fun, they are in the same stratosphere as Tyvek or Coconut Coolouts...which is to say that only hopeless fuddy-duddies can't feel the energy blast through their grinch hearts like an angioplasty of cheer. This has been one of my favorite bands since the first time I saw 'em (after "Pony People" had already been reverberating in my mind daily), so it was an incredible honor to sit in for Monty Buckles (who was away on Lamps duty in Kansas for the weekend) on drums during what is possibly the greatest pop song of this millenium. It was like fantasy bandcamp for me! And Andrew of G. Green filled in Monty's guitar parts on the totally appropos finalé.
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Help me raise $1000 toward the overall station goal of $60,000. Thanks for listening, and thank for your support.
If you can't call in to the donation line (530-754-KDVS or toll-free in the US at 877-399-KDVS) while the show's airing live Monday night from 10pm to 12mid Pacific, you can pledge anytime (NOW?!?) online with the form at this link...
You can pledge any amount, but $15 is the minimum to get my handmade Live on Art for Spastics 2010-2011 CD comp. If you pledge at certain levels, you receive certain gifts...
DJ comp. of your choice
KDVS official bottle opener
Start Pack +
Big Bumper Sticker
Optional Website Shout Out
Economy Pack +
KDVS Shirt of your choosing
Host an hour of KDVS programming! You pick the music, we handle the technical part.
DJ compilation package! CDs compiled by your favorite DJs with rare and eclectic music.
Throw your own dance party! Pick a KDVS DJ to play some tunes with our Mobile DJ Unit for your next event!
There are also packs of CDs and records which you can receive at pledge levels that vary. Basically, we intend to repay you for your pledge with more great radio and as close to dollar-for-dollar value swag as possible. There are records from SS Records, Malt Duck, Weird Forest, Almost Ready, Hardly Art, and more to choose from. You can browse it online. Be sure you get my comp in addition to that. Any pledge of $15 gets it.
Another payment option for convenience is to paypal me your pledge at rickele (AT) gmail (DOT) com, and then indicate on your pledge that you are paying by cash/check. I promise to deliver your pledge in full ASAP, and at the end of the week, I'll indicate all of your pledges as "paid" so that your gifts will be sent out among the earliest to go out. Additionally, I'll be personally involved in the delivery of your swag to the post office even if it means I carry it there myself and pay the postage. For any international pledges, I'll most certainly be personally sending those gifts out because the UC Davis mail system might just sit and wait indefinitely otherwise.
You like what I do here. I appreciate hearing from music fans from all over the world every week, but I wouldn't be doing it if KDVS weren't on the air serving the people of Sacramento, Davis, and the surrounding communities primarily. If you only catch this podcast, you oughta know that there's 100 more DJs here who you can catch on our stream or archive, and nearly all of them are doing great radio here at one of the handful of great radio stations anywhere dedicated to freeform radio.
If you live in Sacramento or Davis, gee...uh...did you see any of these bands in the last year?
Paul Collins' Beat
Are you planning to see any of these shows in the next few months?
14 Iced Bears
Big Black Cloud
R. Stevie Moore
Hunx & His Punx
Shannon & the Clams
Quintron & Miss Pussycat
I gotta buncha others lining up, pending confirmation.
You can never say that nothing fun ever happens here in Davis or Sacto. KDVS makes sure of it. It's one thing for a radio station to sponsor events. "Sure...we'll put our name on that!" Too easy. Even easier when you're in a big city that's known as some kinda major cultural hub. We actually make the fun happen here. We flag down the bands. We go and find a space to make the show happen. We don't use being in a "not a world-class city" as an excuse for letting things go over our head, slip through our hands, and just move through in a blur between San Francisco and Portland. We save you two bridge tolls, half a tank of gas, and a pain in your neck from craning it up to watch your favorite band play on a stage in the big city. We make it happen here!
I'm inspired by all the bands I like, and I hope they have a chance to inspire more of you, and I see it working in the way the excitement rubs off on the musical minds of Sacramento. We're still bummed there's no more Mayyors, but have you guys heard G. Green, Art Lessing, Pistol Pete, Babs Johnson Gang, Buk Buk Bigups, Charles Albright, Matt K. Shrugg, Ellie Fortune, Appetite, Squidz, Sacred Appalachian Hands, Nacho Business, Repressive Proteins, Sex Killers, Produce Produce, Gaarth, Burglars, Waxy Tomb, Mama Buries, etc.? People are getting stoked on music and making friends with strangers.
Sacramento and Davis are a better place to live because KDVS is here. Hell...Fuzzbox Flynn and I are putting down roots. Gotta piece of the rock here...in a neighborhood in transition, no less. We're here to see it grow. It almost makes me believe in fate 'cos I woulda blown this joint for Portland (home of no freeform radio) 10 or 12 years ago. But, no...KDVS is a big factor in why I stayed. It's what I can do to stay involved in music that I have flowing in my blood, but lack the talent to make myself. So, for 17 years, I have pored over about 5 hours of new music per week to find the good stuff and share it with any of you who are interested in new discovery.
We only ask for listener support one week per year, and we raise over 2/3 of KDVS' budget during this fundraiser. We continue to achieve incredible world-class radio as a team of 200 people with varying interests and agendas and other responsibilities such as careers and univerity courseloads, families, etc., and it's all managed by undergraduate students. Sounds like a recipe for infighting and futility, right? Yet, we continue to honor a great legacy and be ambitious about doing more and more. This place is something great.
Again...Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support!
Posted by DJ Rick at 11:55 PM