Thursday, February 26, 2009

South County Hardcore part two

another installment from Blank. this time he delves into the world of the phenomenon known as MATOE

South County Hardcore 2001-2006 ; Part 2
Amateur Hour

When Koos shut down and the internet hit, a lot of stuff changed. Koos was a DIY non profit run by some art kids, and was a completely volunteer driven space. Shows were always $5, and I believe they paid the bands pretty well. The venue itself was on Main St. in downtown Santa Ana, in a 1 bedroom house. There was no stage, and you were always packed in very tight. It was where I saw my first few shows. There was an obvious political bent about the place, but it wasn't shoved down your throat. It was a community center used as an art outlet for a lot of kids who had nowhere else to go, everyone got it. They even let taggers paint the walls in the backyard.

Bands early on like Hurricanrana (some of the Donnybrook guys), Bleeding Through, Wrench, Scars of Tomorrow, and Over My Dead Body would play. It was like we saw the same show every weekend, but it didn't get boring. Looking back now bands like Atreyu and Avenged Sevenfold were also playing there and at some of those shows, before they it the Billboard Hot 100. Its funny to think about how they were never really liked in that scene, and never had much of a following. The South County band that would usually play was Matoe. When people saw Matoe, they weren't really sure if they should laugh or join in. Matoe had a pirate theme, and would be in full pirate costume. The crowd would show up dressed the same, and it became some weird ass cult following kinda thing. Matoe held this gimmick for a good while. They tried dropping it and getting serious about their music (which wasn't bad), but it never got going and the gimmick always held a warm spot in South Counties heart.
Finally around 2003, Matoe was done and was going to call it quits. They decided to one more show by this time with the pirate theme again. By that time the scene had changed. Everyone had cell phones, everyone had the internet, Napster was being used to get hardcore around, and Koos was gone. With Koos gone, Chain Reaction and Showcase became dominated by 4 or 5 band tours leaving little room for the local scene. We had to resort to "pay to play" bars like Hogue Barmichaels in Irvine which became notorious for ripping kids off and having a bad staff. Shit really hit the fan during Matoe's last show, ironically during their last song. Kids were all getting rowdy, and something happened between one of the bouncers and one of the kids and the next thing you knew, someone in the band was getting pushed by one of the club staff people. People jumped on the bouncers back, and It spilled out in the parking lot where it became a stand off between a ton of kids and five big security guards. Eventually the security guards seeing how bad they were out numbered, retreated back into the venue and locked the doors. The show was over. Half the crowd was laughing, and half the crowd that actually got into it with the security guards were pissed off. Then out of nowhere some girl threw a brick through the front door of the place, and needless to say you never really saw a good show there again. A police helicoper was up in the air real quick, and everyone retreated to Taco Loco.
With no places left to play, we resorted to finding non venues. A drummer in one of the local bands had an idea. His dad owned a bee removal pesticide company or something, and he had the keys to the companies storage space in the industrial part of Mission Viejo. Some shows went down there but eventually, the space that came to be known as The Pesticide got shut down. I remember having to have 200 kids disappear from the site one time with 5 minutes notice, because the dad was coming to pick something up from the storage space. Sitting in Taco Bell across the center, with 200 kids, we realized the spot just wasn't going to work out. Still looking for places to put on a show we resorted to approaching some of the Youth Groups of local Churches. We knew that the Churches occasionally put on shows with Christian pop punk bands and some Christian hardcore bands, so if we got one or two Christian bands on the bill, we could just pretend like the whole thing was one big Christian hardcore show. I remembered hearing a story of 18 Visions playing in Capo Beach at some church on a show with Unashamed (a popular Christian hardcore band that was pretty accepted in the mainstream hardcore scene in the late 90's) so we figured it may be worth a shot. This never truly worked. It wasn't so much that the Churches were against the music, but were more worried of what the kids would do once the music started.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

South County Hardcore

i asked Blank to write something about St. Edwards to go along with Jon's piece, or maybe about the Hurricane Katrina Benefit show he put on at Saddleback College. What i got was the first installment of blank History of South County Hardcore:

South County Hardcore 2001-2006; Part 1

South County to me was anything south of the Irvine Y (where the 5 and 405 meet), all the way down to the end of San Celemente before the development stops for the power plant and Camp Pendleton.

I entered into the scene in the latter part of my sophomore year of high school and left it by the time I transferred out of community college and moved out of Orange County. I went to Dana Hills High School which for the most part was the heart of hardcore and Straight Edge for South County. Today the scene I think in many ways still remains relevant in Dana Point or at least at the high school, although it spread pretty strongly south into San Clemente and inland into Aliso and Mission Viejo starting in 2000.

During the time I was around and from the history lessons given to me from older members of the scene South County was pretty much always the step sister to the greater OC scene, mainly cause we never had a true venue, or a good record store, or any decent touring bands. If South County was known for anything, it was for causing trouble and being annoying on message boards. Steps (a venue before my time) was around in Capo Beach for a very short period in the latter part of the mid 90's. They had some shows (including Blink 182 before they hit KROQ), but to many of us it was just folklore. Underdog Records, in Laguna, was the closest thing we had to a record store, but it didn't really fully serve the local scene as much as say Bionic did for Huntington. Underdog was owned by one of the dudes from the local punk act The Stitches and looking back now we might have been better off hanging around there and listening to more Black Flag, Bad Brains, and Adolescents and less metal. They never held an in-store that I could remember, and the local hardcore scene (which was more metalcore than punk at the time) and the local punk scene never truly got together. Underdog Records closed a couple of years ago along with Bionic. It appears as if the digital age has not been so kind to the business. South County's best contribution to the scene was a late night hippie sea food taco bar in Laguna called Taco Loco. Just around the corner from a Hare Krishna temple and down the block from the famous Laguna Tattoo, Taco Loco served up late night vegan friendly items to Straight Edge kids, all while playing Reggae music and having images of Mushrooms everywhere. Truly a strange site. We had some history, and some bands, and some relevant people come from the area, but for the most part we didn't know what we were doing and it was more than anything a channel for a lot of teen angst in a very rich conservative area.

They say OC is rich and conservative, but to understand where South County was in the big picture, you had to realize that we were in the suburb of the suburb. In the 70's and 80's Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, and Garden Grove had grown too big and diverse for many of the middle class families that occupied Richard Nixon's Orange County. Now lazy surfer towns like Dana Point, Capo Beach, and San Clemente were to be built up going inland with cookie cutter pink houses for as far as the eye could see. To avoid an elaborate anthropological explanation, it isn't difficult to see why the kids of South County were so confused and angry. In my opinion, we were simply the latest case study in the long line of Southern California punk and hardcore. We were punks, primarily composed of middle class teens with nothing to do with their free time, with no outside political interest, that were either cut from the football team or just not in the mood to live the life MTV told us to. The decline of western civilization, right?

To say it was all white and upper middle class wouldn't be true though. In the scene there were a lot of kids from broken homes who were poorer and just didn't have the means to keep up with their millionaire class mates. And something that always stands out to me looking back on the kids was no matter where you went in South County, Latino hardcore kids were always prevalent. The neighborhoods of La Zanja, The Village, and Harbor Lane (now notoriously know for the gang injunctions by the OC Sheriffs department) were where a lot of hardcore kids were from and hungout. The crew of Straight Edge kids who came before me, The Lords, along with kids throughout the OC scene picked up on some of the Latino fashion, and started wearing Ben Davis pants and shirts, which were banned from schools in the area. On the other side, the younger Latino kids became enamored with hardcore shirts, shows, and all that came with it. I don't want to paint a picture that there was complete racial harmony in the scene, but for the period I was around, Latinos made up a large part of hardcore diaspora.

Given the fact that we were the only scene that didn't have a venue (the Inland Empire had The Showcase in Corona, Central County had Chain Reaction in Anaheim, and San Diego had The Che Cafe on UCSD's campus), it would be up to us to come up with spots to put on shows. We tried community centers, shitty bars run by sketchy people, churches, one time we even did a show at Traveland USA (a giant RV dealership in Irvine). Anytime we were able to convince someone to let us put on a show, the kids would show up, in hoards...


south county VS UnderOath

Jon Vandenburg is a funny little guy. he sent me this:

in the early 2000s (i cant seem to remember when) i was playing in a band fronted by a man who could convince you to play chicken with semis on your bike if it would benefit him or his cause of the day in some way. actually it didnt even have to benefit anything if he was able to get nachos from albertacos out of it. eventually, he convinced a catholic church to allow him to use their dining hall/old church next door to their multi-million dollar new church which overlooked the ocean and had a fabulous pipe organ. anyway, this dining hall ended up being a perfect venue for shows as far as catholic churches go and the church even supplied staff at the shows to run a snack bar and manage the door. i cant remember every band that got sucked/tricked into playing there, but to name a few...stand and fight/impact, bleeding through, hello goodbye, 12 gauge rage, matoe, antenora, and im forgetting tons of others and most of them are probably friends bands but im not sorry, i just forgot. im pretty sure the mistake boycotted playing there though aria asked every other week (and if they didnt they are softies). but, enough of all that, this story involves the time that Underoath in all of their dark christian glory was booked and played at the church. the show soldout to the point that kids were sneaking in through vents from the top floor and breaking sliding glass windows. im not sure how word got out, but apparently underoath had made some ridiuclous request to the effect that they would play for a $4,000 guarantee. Needless to say needles say more i mean needless to say, kids in attendance at the show heard about it and immediately started heckling the band once they were on stage. i remember seeing a hand written poster/ sign that said 'jesus only requested a last meal, prepare to be crucified'. about two songs into their set somebody stage dove, head walked to the front of the stage and punched the singer in the face. they stopped the song half way through as austin, rouse, and i hurled handfulls of pennies toward the band (always aim for the eyes). the singer started to preach about god and violence but was constantly interrupted by kids asking about god and money thus denouncing the catholic church or any church for that matter. they tried to play a few more songs to please the herd of 14 year old girls who were clearly upset that they weren't able to enjoy the show but the girls were silenced as 12 year old blaine threw a milkshake at them. the p.a. was then broken as the band tried to explain how hard it was to be on should have seen their tour bus/chartered yacht on wheels. that ended up being the last show at st. edwards church...until Blank convinced them again to let him use the top floor of their school located on the other side of the parking lot (which ended up being a pretty sweet venue for the one show that was had there).


Speaking of the Lords:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

stuck in the past

there is a new blog around, and its fucking awesome. please do yourself a favor and check it out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Mistake Discography

The Mistake demo was recorded October 16th, 2001. yes, that long ago.
I could fire off for hours about all the crazy shit that went down, but i decided to talk about the recrods. yes, vinyl records.
The Mistake recorded 4 times. for the Demo at Tru One studios in Norwalk, CA
for the "fuck everything up" record at The Distillery in Costa Mesa
for the split with Carry the Casket at Orbit Studios by Paul Miner
and 6 songs with Dan Berienowski (sp) in 2007? 4 of which were released onto the myspace page, 2 have yet to see official release.
Of those 4 sessions, 2 were laid down to vinyl. The "fuck everything up" record had one song that was exclusive to the 7" and one song that was exclusive to the CD, and the CD contained the infamous "live at showcase" recording. The initial session was recorded analog by a dude named Mike McHugh, and The Distillery has laid down such bands as The Aqua Bats, The Black Lips, The Distraction, 16 and fucking Rocket From The Crypt. Alex Tover played drums on that recording and had joined the band the day before. Chris Rouse sang backups. Erick practically BEGGED me to say "fuck you atreyu". i will swear upon everything that it was his idea, and i was against it. i laid those words to tape and the rest is infamy.
The split with CTC was labeled "fuck" or "fuck the mistake" and every song had the word FUCK in the title. Paul Miner came into Orbit Studios and we booked a regular 3 hour practice. we payed paul 100 bucks and he recorded those songs live, then set up a mic in the center of the room and i screamed. no overdubs. the insert to that record is probably one of my favorite layouts ever. we just emailed the lyrics to Cheesegrater, and he blacked out the addresses and printed them out.
the layout for "fuck everything up " was done by Ben Goetting. i just sent him the pic i found in some book about Doc Marten boots and he did the rest. I wanted something that was bright colored because everyone else was doing deathly doom shit, and we wanted to do something different, more "punk". i love the target and i love the purple. we had those shirts for a long time.
this is one of the 15 test presses for "fuck everything up". i made 15 different covers, each with a different old-school punk icon. mine is Jimmy Pursey. i dont even remember what the other ones were. probably The Clash and Capt. Sensible.
these were Vinyl Solution press covers. i wanted to pay homage to some classic records. Dave Mandel did the layouts. Cheesegrater changed the title "How Could Hell Be Any Worse" to "How Could Life Be Any Worse". 50 covers were pressed for each.
this is the generic cover for the split with Carry the Casket. the art for their side was a statue of liberty or some equally awesome stuff. i didnt really pay attention. all of the labels were once again left blank, and we just wrote CTC or MSTK on each side. 500 pressed. 100 were pressed on black and 400 on white.
this is the test press for the split. 8 were pressed, all with this cover.
as noted on the record, 25 were pressed with this cover. i believe we had a show and the "real" covers werent made, so Cheesegrater threw these together with the good ol' rub on letters. i remember giving one to Greg Bacon. i have 2.
another Vinyl Solution press. Cheesegrater was working there at the time, and made 50 of these covers to sell there exclusively.
Mark Mitchell made this cover. Jarvis Cocker giving the two fingered salute. it has a diffrent insert as well. i believe 25 of each of these were made.

Cheesegrater made this 2x7" set to sell at the final show at Showcase Theater. 2o were made. i believe most sold. its both 7"s with a special message from yours truly.
will the mistake record again? maybe. will the mistake ever be forgotten in OC hardcore history? one can only hope.

pretty much, fuck you all.

Cheesegrater EDIT: We had planned, and set in motion, a UK pressing of the "Fuck Everything Up" 7" to be done by our friend Troy. It was to have a song exclusive to that version (thus, you'd have to buy the USA 7", UK 7", and CD to get the entire session). The best part was the layout. I had Ben Goetting switch the colors from purple to a light pink (I think), and change the band name to "THEE MISTAKE" in an homage to Billy Childish (Thee Headcoats, Thee Mighty Caesars, Thee Milkshakes, etc.) For one reason or another, likely my laziness, it was never made.

Friday, February 13, 2009

the Monster Crew - part 1

a while ago, i sent out a few requests for people to write something about the Monster Crew. only two people wrote me back. i asked Dave Itow to write something, knowing full well that he never got along with those dudes. here is his story:

The Mother's Incident

About '97 I was living at a house in huntington with some dudes. We got a call the MonsterXCrew spit on one of our dudes while he was shopping with his mom at Mother's, and they were still eating in the restaurant. So we gathered up some dudes and we ready to rumble. We knew that they liked weapons and figured if we got to them before they got to their cars they might not have as many on them. So we staked out Mother's and waited for them to leave. As they walked out they noticed us walking toward them in the parking lot. tensions were high to say the least. There were about 20 of them and about the same for us. I only recognized a few of them. Most were the SLC kids. The only ones I noticed were Troy, James, and Matt Webber. So right as we were gonna rush em a cop drives in the parking lot. Either perfect timing or someone figured it out and called. Everything got broken up and we all rush to our cars to follow them. They break up and we all stick together and go after two cars. We pull up along side and Troy flashes a gun. WOW!!! The exact reason we wanted to get them before they got to the cars. We follow them to James house. All their other cars were there already, and standing in the street were about 12 dudes with weapons I couldn't even make up names for. I saw maces, bats, hammers, what looked to be a steel pipe with a carburetor welded to the end, and of course Grocery dividers. The Monster crew weapon of choice. Now the HB dudes were all about fist fighting. We didn't carry weapons, this was a little to much. Obviously they weren't into a fair fight. Especially with the gun flashed at us before. So we continued to drive on. No one needs to die. This was the beginning of a long time feud with many more encounters.


another person i asked was Matt Orphan. Matt grew up in Irvine and was a part of the later, more "mature" version of Monster Crew. here is what he wrote, unedited and unabridged

The Monster Crew was a phenomenon I avoided for the first few years of my time in the Southern California hardcore scene. I had old friends and acquaintances who'd joined the Monster Crew who I still kept in touch with, and I stood up with them in the midst of a couple confrontations with gutter punks and nazi skins at Disneyland when numbers got large on both sides of the Tomorrowland battlefield, but as a whole, the Crew held straight edge and veganism as its core doctrines and I had zero interest in either belief. Since I didn't consider myself to be the same animal, I respected them for what they were and stayed away from them. Still, their presence was undeniable. Everyone who hung around the hardcore hotspots knew the names of at least 6 or 7 Monster Crew kids off the top of their heads...even if they'd never met any of them. They were household names and people you gave a wide berth to. If nothing else, everyone could agree that life was a lot easier on their good side than it was in their crosshairs.
To most people, this just sounds like a generic description of a group of common bullies terrorizing the weak...exploiting physical intimidation to make up for a lack of personality or redeeming social qualities. The break with that theory is that most of the Monster Crew were genuinely witty, sharp and likeable guys. Yeah, they could be (and were) total assholes to people, but they were total assholes that other people liked to be around. As far as I was concerned, the majority of the people who found themselves victims of the Monster Crew were begging for it in the first place anyway.
Then things changed. I don't know exactly what happened because it was none of my concern at the time, but it seemed that the ranks exploded with a lack of accountability for who was running around claiming Monster Crew and giving out bastardized memberships. Suddenly every 17 year old tool in a basketball jersey attending their 2nd hardcore show decided they were a member. That crashed pretty fast. The market had been flooded with knock-offs and cheap imposters. People moved on and formed new crews. Oh, and Troy went to jail.
When the dust settled, I had a couple major things in common with the remaining members of the Monster Crew. For one, most of them had started drinking. I loved drinking. Up until that point, I'd been the only drunk guy at Taco Loco on Monday nights. And secondly, we both hated the Lords of South County. I joined the Crew.
At this point, Troy was home for several months between his pre-trial hearings and his trial up in Salt Lake. I spent 5 or 6 nights a week with Troy, Jay, Ryan, Josh and Adam, James, Andy, Mike, Nick, Steve, Ryan G., Greg, Logan, Crazy Justin, etc. There was a lot of drinking. And fighting. At one point we literally averaged 3 fights a week for a whole summer. My girlfriend at the time was thrilled. Most of us had very little love for the hardcore scene anymore and made a nuisance of ourselves at shows and regular hangout places. Eventually the hardcore scene had very little love for us either.
There were so many other hardcore crews in Southern California by the year 2000, no one could keep them straight anymore. All of them wanted to build a rep. A lot of them thought that fighting the Monster Crew would be a good way to do that. Unfortunately, by that time, almost all the remaining members had moved away to Salt Lake, San Francisco and New Orleans. That left 2 or 3 of us who ever really went out to common hangouts and ran into hardcore kids. It didn't matter whether we wanted to rep Monster Crew or not anymore. We were pegged with it. People tried to jump Mike and myself somewhat frequently. It never actually worked out. Old members like Jacob and Billy started hanging around more. Logan and Jeff came down from San Francisco here and there, and we began to rely heavily on our younger generation of friends like Chris, Jimmy and Blake to fill out our numbers in public. Brandon S. was with us a lot as well, although he refused any affiliation with the name of the Monster Crew. He was a friend and ally through a lot of rough times nonetheless.
The sense of brotherhood and reliability I experienced with a lot of these guys was like nothing I'd ever felt before. I've been a scrapper since I was a little kid, but when you throw a punch at someone and 11 guys race to get the second punch in for you, it's a strange feeling. I was always polite and respectful to my Monster Crew brothers because I feared each one of them almost as much as I cared about them.
I know I'm talking about all of this in the past tense, but to be honest, my Monster Crew dog tags are sitting on my nightstand next to my bed. My clan tag on Call of Duty is "MC2K" for Monster Crew 2000. And when I hang out with Jacob or Jay of any of the other guys, we're still Monster Crew as far as I'm concerned. There's gotta be somebody out there who still wants to jump one of us. I'm here.

i will post more as more stories and information is received, but this is a fuckin' good start.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Artist's rendering of ME!!!

I remember this show. it was fucking HOT!!! it was Eighteen Visions, Martyr AD and Poison The Well. the date on the youtube video said 10/21/2001, which makes it about 6 months after i had played bass for PTW on tour. i believe it was Martyr AD's first show here, and as anyone can tell you, the crowd for Martyr AD was fucking frightening. ive only been afraid one other time, during Buried Alive's set at Hellfest 1999.
Anyway, at about 1:40 in this video, at the bottom left of the screen you see someone creep down from the rafters of showcase. this jerk is yours truly. you can see me check the stability of the guitar head, because i was planning to jump off of it. i decide against it and just jump off the drum riser. what a moron.
this video does have some pretty good headwalking though, and is an accurate snapshot of the way show looked around that time.

this video was shot by

Disembodied's only video on the internet

there are several interesting things about this Disembodied clip. First, the fact that it is, as far as i can tell, the ONLY video of Disembodied on the internet. incredible. secondly, Aaron is not singing. Jody, who originally sang for Everlast and was in Race Traitor at some point, is. Apparently Aaron was nowhere to be found, and they had a tour booked.
As Tara explains..
"Aaron flaked, and we went to see Earth Crisis in Milwaukee and met Jody there when his band played and we were like you should come sing for us and he was like OK and we flew him up here for practice a few times without even knowing him".
He apparently didn't have the best personal hygiene, either. "He stayed at our house for a while and he never took showers and he was uncircumcised and he always bragged about how stinky he was. He was a nice guy but liked being a dirty punk rock kid and it got old FAST"
At this point, the band only had out the Existence in Suicide EP and the Confession 7". On the same tour they played at Aaron Stone's dad's church in Costa Mesa.
Jody was left in Boston at the end of that tour because they just didn't want to be in the band with him anymore. "We finished the tour with Justin singing, Joel playing drums and Mark playing guitar, and that was the end of Jody, except for my yellow Descendants shirt."


its really crazy to me that the first show i ever played on a real stage was in the band Enewetak, there were 600 people there, it wasnt in my town.. and oh yeah the video is on fucking youtube.

i became friends with Forrest Locke through his fanzine, TOUGH. back then, in like 1996, you didnt IM people or find someone on a message board. you met new people by picking up their zine and writing a letter and sending it in the mail.
He invited me to the fledgling Koo's Cafe in Santa Ana to see his band ENEWETAK play with this band called JURGIS and this band from San Diego called the Bloody Five, a four piece band who donned masks and just kinda fucked around with the audience a lot.
eventually, i became friends with the entire Orange contingent and what would become the RPT Murder Crew. Mike Cheese gave me a sealed test press of the first Enewetak 7", which is now in the possession of Cheesegrater.
Toby, the bass player of Enewetak, was scheduled to head to Europe with his hot girlfriend who was going to be modeling there, and dragging him along for the ride. Forrest knew that i had some skills in guitar, and asked if I'd like to fill in for Toby while he was away. fuck yeah, i did.
i think the year was 1996, and i began practicing with them in a lockout in Orange. The first LP was already out, maybe "Guns, Elvis loved 'em" as well, and writing for the Easy Rider vol. 1 and the split with Unruh were underway.
One weekend we made our way up to Goleta, which is just north of Santa Barbara to play the Goleta Fest engineered by Kent McLard and the Ebbulition/HeartattaCk consortium. Pretty much what i remember of the fest is as follows:
1. we tried to drive my car up there, broke down, had to be towed back to Orange and borrow Jack's brother's car.
2. it was Disembodied's first west coast show.
3. Guyver-1 played on the floor because it was more "punk"
4. the arizona bands drove out in a U-haul type truck, with a couch in the back that everyone just chilled on
5. Man Is The Bastard put on one of the most memorable shows ive ever seen, to this day.

i dont remember actually playing the show. the hat i was wearing is the same hat as in the photo of the profile of this blog. i believe it said "you wear your x, ill wear mine" or something equally offensive. the song we play in that video is "kill 'em all", the first song i ever recorded.

the first time i ever went out of state with a band was to play in Phoenix with Fall Silent and Tho Ko Losi. we were friends with the King Of The Monsters type bands.

i recorded three songs with Enewetak, on the split 7" with Unruh. it was my first time in a recording studio. i dont remember much about that either, other than toby was already back in town and even though i was around for the writing of the Easy Rider sessions, they elected Toby to play on it and it kinda hurt my feelings. at least i got in for some of it, so i shouldnt complain.

eventually Toby came home and i was out, and was asked to be in 18 Visions because they needed a bass player and had seen me in Enewetak. but thats another story.


About a week (give or take) after September 11, 2001, The Briefs played an in-store at Vinyl Solution Records in Huntington Beach, where I was working at the time.

As they're known to be fans of early punk, have done a number of covers, and were playing in a punk record store, I was expecting them to treat the crowd to something special. A local music journalist who shall remain nameless had the same thought. Therefore, he continually requested they play The Randoms' classic rager "Let's Get Rid of New York" off their Dangerhouse 7". Highly inappropriate, even by punk standards. At first, the band tried to ignore him and brush off the request, but finally they were forced to admit that they just weren't that punk, and instead they played The Weirdos' "Solitary Confinement". They could've at least played "Neutron Bomb".

The Briefs doing their version of the oft-covered "Jet Boy, Jet Girl":

The Randoms "Let's Get Rid of NY" (audio only):

We Are Electrocution

Costa Mesa's Tiki Bar sucked. Bad sound, no parking, terrible bands usually. For years, whoever was booking that place totally dropped the ball. Out of the hundreds of local shows I've attended over the years, I'd guess about 6 have been at the Tiki Bar. CKY circa 2000 was fun, as were a few Innaway shows, Smogtown once or twice, and maybe the Angry Samoans (can't remember if it was here or somewhere else).

Somehow, on November 19, 1999, the Tiki Bar actually had a good show. That night, I went to see The Stitches, Smogtown, and Le Shok. All 3 bands, especially The Stitches, were (are) always a roll of the dice to see live depending on what type of intoxicants the members consumed, but on this night I remember things going relatively smooth. As the story goes, things weren't all they appeared.

The following information is strictly hearsay, but I've heard it from a few sources and have come to believe its validity. Supposedly, Le Shok, dissatisfied with the sound, insulted the sound-guy. It must have been pretty harsh because at some point security chased Hot Rod Todd down the street. Instead of running or fighting, Todd simply turned around, pulled out his 'junk' and began brandishing it / waving it at the security guys. I'm not sure if they were insulted, afraid, or weirded-out, but I'm told whatever they felt caused them to turn around and head back to the club.

Here's Le Shok playing "She Prefers Whips" off the "DNA" 7" at Chain Reaction:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

jav vs. superfandom

When John Pettibone and Derek Fudesco ask youy if you want to shoot dice, you say yes.

It was 2001 and I was touring with Poison The Well. The last show of tour was Seattle, I think the Velvet Elvis. We find the club, start unloading, and head in.

Now, as Cheesegrater will tell you, I fucking loved Undertow. And it just so happens that I love Murder City Devils. Guess who was working "security" at the club? The singer and bass player of said bands. I'm not gona lie, I was kinda starstruck. Then, Johnny came up to me. Recognized me or whatever, I don't really remember. He said he and Derek were playing some crazy dice game, and asked if I wanted to join. I don't remember what the game was, but it involved 6 dice.

On a side note, c-low, however you want to spell it, is a popular way to lose your per diem. On this tour I think a particularly heated game went down somewhere in Florida involving Carley Coma, Jeff The Well, Ryan Primak and myself.

Anyway, I had no idea how to play this game, so I watched. The big boys were obviously unimpressed, and I had trouble following how to play.

We played the show, and afterwards I thought "holy fuck, I didn't even show Derek my Murder City tattoo. That would have been the most awkwardly awesome thing EVER!!!". Think about it. Some random hardcore dude pulls his shirt to reveal a tattoo of your band's lyrics. I can't imagine.

To conclude the story, we ate some place after the show with all the other bands, who were continuing the tour through Canada while we went home. The boys were to drop me back in OC on the way back to Florida. I had a veggie burger at the show, which I'm blaming for making me throw up the entire way home. Even in the middle of the night while everyone in the van was asleep, I drove with one hand while using the other hand to hold the soda cup I was throwing up into. I got home after the 24 hour drive, got in the shower, and sharted/ threw up at the same time. Good times.

Adamantium vs. Bad Brains

have you ever heard that Bad Brains tribute compilation called NEVER GIVE IN: A TRIBUTE TO THE BAD BRAINS? it's pretty awesome. the Moby song on it fucking rules. and it has Ignite, Cave In, Vision Of Disorder, Sepultura, etc.

i always thought it was interesting that Orange County's own Adamantium had a song on it. at the time, we had heard that nobody in Adamantium even liked Bad Brains, and it was Aaron Lisi who engineered the event.
i asked Keith Barney if he wanted to do a piece for about the recording of the song, and here's how the conversation transpired on AIM:

hiimjav: would you be interested in writing something
short for my blog?

heavykxxx: [AWAY] Just one second...
heavykxxx: about anything or what
hiimjav: About the adamantium song on the badbrains
tribute album

heavykxxx: i'm not really a bad brains fan... but
there were awesome
bands on the comp so we picked the
heaviest one we could

heavykxxx: thats not a good story ha
----------------------- 5:34 pm -----------------------
hiimjav: Well that's the thing.. The rumor was that nobody
in your band
even liked bad brains. I just want to write
more like historical and
archival pieces. I'm gonna ask
horowitz rosie and maybe paul miner about
it too
heavykxxx: i mean....
heavykxxx: moby was on it
heavykxxx: just had to
----------------------- 5:39 pm -----------------------
hiimjav: Lol
hiimjav: And that concludes the interview

i also asked Matt Horwitz to write something, and here is the
myspace message i got back:
We recorded it at the guy from Open Hand's studio. The same
day we
recorded 'Virus' for a comp and the another song for
the "as the sun
sets" comp(?). Jim Miner did the solo. I haven't
heard it in a long
time but does Efrem sing on it too?
so there you have it. the whole story, straight from the
horse's mouth. totally fucking interesting huh?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One King Down vs. The Hardcore House

As Cheesegrater previously mentioned, we were "hardcore" and they were "softcore". Anyone who has watched the Throwdown, Bleeding Through, or Indecidion Video Vault dvds, or knows anything about the history of Orange County Hardcore from 1998- present knows that the SOFTCORE house was where bands like Admantium and Throwdown were spawned.
It was a shitty, two bedroom apartment on the border of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, less than a mile from the beach. Denizens included, but not limited to Tommy Love, Brandon Love, Eric Johnson, Aaron Lisi, Keith Barney, and Dan Sena's records. Many a late night Jenga game and Hatebreed stagedive party went down in the living room, and the door policy was very open.
I crashed on the couch for a while, then moved into an apartment on the other side of town with Jason Shockley and Brandon Chamberlain. We were WAY tougher than them, vegan sxe and ready to tell everyone. We were fucking HARDCORE. We had heard of a house of hc kids in Utah who named their house GREYSKULL and I thought it was fucking awesome to name a house. We named ours the totally fucking original HARDCORE HOUSE becuase we were fucking HARDCORE!!!!
Some of those who hung out at the other house did not share our militant views and decided "those guys are hardcore, we are SOFTCORE".
Their house became legendary, ours... not so much.
There were several incidents of the two houses clashing, including actual physical violence once or twice.

One night Shockley and I went to Koo's Cafe to see a show. I don't remember who else played, but ONE KING DOWN was one of the bands. We were super stoked on this band, becuase they had a really modern sound and sung about straightedge. In between songs, Rob Fuscoe announced on the mic that they were in need of a place to stay that night. Jason and I looked at each other, nodded, and I said "you can stay at our house". Right there. In the middle of the show.
The show ended, we stopped at a supermarket on the way home, got home, stayed up talking for a while, and everyone eventualy went to bed. I had to wake up early for work, and left a group of sleeping strangers on my floor. No big deal.
Got home from work around 6 and immediately Brandon said "dude what the fuck happened to our house?" I was shocked and confused, and he directed me to the kitchen.
At some point, the band decided to make pasta. Not a problem... except they DIDN'T FUCKING CLEAN ANYTHING UP. There was shit everyfuckingwhere. Pasta, sauce, pots, bread... a disaster. And no thank you note or anything. They were the WORST house guests I've had, to this day.

About 2 or 3 years later, 18 Visions was playing in Albany, NY with The August Prophecy. Guess who was at the show? Rob Fuscoe. I walked up to him, said "hey, remember me?" he said no, and I said "do you remember fucking up my kitchen in Orange County?"
His smile dropped, and his hand went up to his head and he said
"Oh my god. I'm so fucking sorry. I'm so ashamed of myself, etc etc"

We laughed and played a game of chess, and every time I've seen him since I reminded him of the time his band fucked up my house.

That's Mighty Childish

Even the advent of the internet hasn't made keeping track of prolific poet, writer, painter, and garage-legend Billy Childish easy. How does one even attempt to keep up with a guy who's released hundreds of records? You don't, I long ago decided. I try to catch him whenever he's in my town or I'm in his, and have been pretty successful so far.

Saw Billy with his band The Buff Medways at the Dirty Water Club in London, July 2006. Lucky me, as they broke up soon after. Video not shot by me:

Caught Billy Childish and the Chatham Singers a few weeks earlier in Leytonstone, the town where David Beckham grew up. I missed the train back to wherever I was staying, so I opted for a 2 hour bus ride that sucked. Got a picture of me and Mr. Childish, so it was worth it. Show was with Pete Molinari, who shreds. Check it:

You Are The Divine Machine

Rorschach ceased existing about a year before my time. Doesn't mean I can't be way into them. As such, I've been eye-ing that "You Are The Divine Machine" shirt forever, and finally scored one last week. Check out Casey Watson of Never Healed reppin' his own model:
Needlepack 7" art on the front.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Ditto on Jav's post, plus the following: I was heavy into punk, metal and some crossover when I started hanging out with Jav in earnest circa '93. Slayer, ST, Maiden, Testament, COC, Subhumans (Canadian and UK), Flag (Black, not White), Bad Religion, etc. He'd been to see some HC shows via Newport's legendary O'Flynn sisters and this pro-skater named Quy Nguyen. 411, Blackspot, Mission Impossible... the Workshed Records stable of bands basically. When he introduced me to the 'core, I was blown away. Now, instead of seeing Megadeth once a year at Pacific Ampitheater, I could check out bands once a week. Totally accessible. Plus, it was something to do once the sun went down and you had to leave the beach.

So Jav got me into hardcore and, as much as anyone else, has helped define my experience with it over the last 15+ years. My first viewing of Decline of Western Civilization was at his place on 21st and Orange in Costa Mesa. He gave me a cassette with FYP's "Finish Your Popcorn" on one side, Chorus of Disapproval on the other, that literally changed my life. He was the first person I knew to get a tattoo, and the first I knew to actually be on a vinyl record (Enewetak / Unruh split 7"). His crew of vegan-straightedge toughs was the King George to my group of sleazy, light-hearted surfer dudes' George Washington (or the Hetfield to our Mustaine?). They were 'hardcore', we were 'softcore'. Then he came over to our side. Then they all formed incestuous bands, I released the records, and we went on tour a bunch. When he left 18 Visions, he was ready for something new and so was I. Around 2001/2002 I was teetering on the edge of total HC-dropout. For better or worse (still not sure which), Jav and The Mistake single-handedly saved me from that fate by requiring me to put out their records. They worshipped Left For Dead -- how could I say no?

So that's where we are. I'll post some stories, pictures, videos, links, downloads, whatever I feel like. A lot of it will likely have nothing to do with me or hardcore in particular, but that's what I'm into, so that's what you get. Enjoy.

Jav's first band, 67 Cents (promo photo):

javs intro

i met Cheesegrater in 8th grade, which i guess was 1991?
this kid Austin Hawkins lived across the street from me, and was into heavy metal and skateboarding, and Cheese and this kid Carmello hung out with him.
in 9th or 10th grade i was in my first band, 67 CENTS and Cheese was our manager or something. we covered Misfits and Function, and played our high school and one show with MONDAY C.O.W.
for a while in highschool, he and i were the only ones actively involved in hardcore. we went to every fucking show and were total outcasts. maybe it was the fact that we wore ties to every show and didnt talk to anyone else.
he went out with one of my ex-girlfriends and i didnt talk to him for a couple years.
he started a record label, and put out some seminal Orange County hardcore records. he has roadied for many bands including Throwdown, Martyr AD, and The Vandals, and has traveled all over the fucking world (i love his corrupt Peruvian police story).
he now lives somewhere in the South Pacific, where he practices law for the US Government (what a sellout). it makes it hard to communicate, and i totally had his phone number memorized before.
speaking of selling out, i sold out straightedge in his house, and he was the sole witness.
i think its amazing that some 16 years down the road, two dudes can still tell stories about hardcore. this blog will feature those stories. we will post videos and talk about the shows, flyers, and if anyone else wants to talk about something, drop us a line at