Editorial 25 Essential Punk Rock Albums

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My friend Christine recently asked me to compile a list of 25 albums that are quote-unquote essential for anyone that claims they are “in” with the genre should have listened to. Classics, contemporary, etc.

So, I limited myself to 25 and started thinking. What a challenge! I decided to give a brief history of punk. I left out a lot, naturally, and for every record that’s on the list, there are 10-20 other records that could easily be put in their place. I went with historical significance over “quality;” for example, Punk in Drublic isn’t my favorite NOFX album, but it’s important.

I present my list to you, but at the same time ask: what would your essential 25 list look like? Post ‘em if you got ‘em!

And hit the break to see my list.

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Site stuff Catching Up With…

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Hi there! It’s been a while, I know. Things have been busy, as they get around the end of the year. And if you don’t know, I’ve been spending my time as part of the editorial staff over on Punknews.org, delivering news to the masses! It’s been pretty awesome.

My Best of/Year End List will be going up there in the next week or so, and I’ll have a somewhat expanded version up here at that time. And I have a couple of albums to discuss. It’s gonna be good times, let me tell you.

News The Fest 10 now for Android!

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Hey there! If you’re going to THE FEST this year, and use an Android-based smartphone, have I got news for you! I’ve posted my FEST 10 schedule app to the Android Market, and you– YES YOU– can download it to your phone now! Hey wow, right? So hit the link below, and give it a look.

Click here to download the application!

And if you run into any bugs or weird issues, please let me know! I hope to get updates up fairly quickly.

 

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Editorial The Fest 10!

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The Fest

1-2-3 FEST!

It’s that time of year again! The annual installment of The FEST is happening in Gainesville, FL, and the schedule has been posted for everyone to cry over. Conflicts abound. I don’t know about you, but having to choose between Red Collar and Hot Water Music is killing me inside. But it must be done, and no matter who you see, you’re all but guaranteed to have a blast!

You can check out the full schedule here. All in all, aside from a few conflicts- like the one mentioned above, or the overlap of the Against Me!/Red City Radio sets- it’s not too bad. I know I’m excited as all get out, to hang out with everyone, party hard, and see a couple of bands here and there!

Get pumped, and I’ll see you all in Florida!

Hit the break for my tentative schedule, so you can come drink cheap beer with me.

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Review Sharks Come Cruisin’ – A Past We Forget That We Need to Know (2011)

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A Past We Forget That We Need to Know

Sharks Come Cruisin' - A Past We Forget That We Need to Know

Hailing from Providence, RI, Sharks Come Cruisin’– not to be confused, as I did initially, with the Sharks– play music that could be best be described as hopped up sea shanties. There’s a Celtic flair to some of the songs, and when they kick it up with electric instrumentation- as on “Strike the Bell”- it might even cross into Celtic-punk, but unlike so many of the bands that have been tagged in that genre, especially in the commercial wake of the Dropkick Murphys just north of these fellas, it’s not forced, or worse, cheesy.

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Review Frontrunner – A Billion Arnies EP (2011)

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A Billion Arnies

Frontrunner - A Billion Arnies

The first few times I listened to this debut EP from Boston-based hardcore band Frontrunner, I read the title as A Billion Armies, completely missing the obvious reference to an Arnold Palmer can, and the billion or so emptied Arnies littering the picture behind the text. I’m nothing if not observant.

Luckily, for me anyway, the band’s music hits hard enough that even the most obtuse listened- yours truly, in this case- can’t miss the meaning or the intensity.

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Review Bomb the Music Industry! – Vacation (2011)

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Vacation

Bomb the Music Industry! - Vacation

Bomb the Music Industry! seem to be a pretty divisive band. On one hand, you have a substantial, vocal group of proponents who love everything the band does without fail. And then there are their equally vocal detractors, who see their music as ADD-addled goofball nonsense. Indeed, the hyperkinetic ska-influenced rock of BtMI! can be off-putting. I myself was somewhere in the middle; I liked some of their songs (“Ready… Set… No!!!” is a personal favorite) but never got the extreme love, or the extreme hate.

Vacation, though, is a completely different animal from their previous efforts. Sure, the musical progression from Scrambles, the band’s 2010 album, is clear, but it’s still a big leap, and may in fact bring around some of the haters. I had no intention of even checking this out until some friends whose taste I trust recommended it.

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Site stuff Site Maintenance

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Doing some upgrades to the MySQL DB and WordPress, so if the site goes down, that’s why. Stay strong!

Pray for Mojo.

EDIT: Well, that wasn’t bad. Now we at the latest and greatest!

Review Landmines – Commerce and Marx (2011)

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Commerce and Marx

Landmines - Commerce and Marx

Landmines are a melodic hardcore band out of Richmond, VA, which seems to be a ridiculously fertile ground for musicians of the punk rock-associated type. Commerce and Marx is their second full-length, and second for Paper + Plastick, who should need no introduction, what with their very strong roster of bands. I was fortunate enough to catch Landmines on their recent tour promoting this record, so I got to experience some of the tracks live before listening to the record.

The band’s overall sound hasn’t changed too dramatically from their self-titled debut and the interim Hell is What You Make It EP; if you enjoyed their Strike Anywhere-influenced brand of melodic hardcore before, you’ll like what you hear here. If anything, they’ve refined their attack and upped the melodies. For those who missed out on those earlier releases- and really, you should go give them a listen; “Excess and Indifference” from the self-titled, if nothing else- the band offers up thirteen fast, catchy jams with plenty of energy and sing-along choruses.

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Editorial, Review Asian Man Records’ 15th Anniversary Festival (2011)

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AMR15

Asian Man Records 15th Anniversary

Over the past week, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Asian Man Records’ 15th Anniversary Festival in San Francisco. For those unfamiliar, Asian Man Records is a label started by Mike Park of Skankin’ Pickle, The Bruce Lee Band, and The Chinkees. Over the years, Asian Man has released many, many records from bands like Slapstick, Lemuria, The Broadways, as well as helping to launch the careers of bands like Less Than Jake, Alkaline Trio, and The Lawrence Arms. Personally, the first time I found the folded-up mail order one-sheet catalog for Asian Man in a CD- it was Less Than Jake’s Pezcore- was a huge moment in my entrance into punk rock.

The festival was 5 days of shows in San Francisco, with high profile reunions of short-lived but classic Asian Man bands, Slapstick and The Broadways, not to mention bands like Slow Gherkin and MU330. The shows I attended were:

  • Slapstick, MU330, The Chinkees
  • Alkaline Trio, The Hot Toddies, Kepi Ghoulie, The Atom Age
  • The Broadways, Bomb the Music Industry!, Ratasucia, Spraynard
  • The Lawrence Arms, Toys That Kill, Short Round, Spraynard, Chotto Ghetto

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