I’m Getting Too Caffienated Waiting on New Descendents Album!

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The Descendents are a major influence on my life philosophy. I follow the All-o-Gistics. Milo Goes to College has never left my car stereo. I drink coffee like a fucking champ. I saw Filmage in an actual movie theater. I see them perform live every opportunity I get. After all these years the day has finally come:

JULY 29, 2016 Hypercaffium Spazzinate will FINALLY be released.

It is on Epitaph Records and can be ordered here. The last release they had on Epitaph was Everything Sucks in 1996. Descendents’ fans have been patient and loyal thus far.We also have been teased the past month with the release of these songs online:

“Without Love”:

“Victim of Me”:

I love both these tracks. “Without Love” is a quintessential Descendents love song and demonstrates what is appealing about their music. Their love songs have so much honesty and truth. I like that they have moved forward from their earlier teenage angst but still have kept their musical and writing style in tact. I can’t wait to hear the rest. The songs are also available on Spotify.

What’s even better than a new album? Seeing that new album live! Luckily with this new release they have also announced tour dates. They will be on major festivals like Riot Fest and Sound on Sound. I will be at both dates and will bring more news from the Descendents’ tour.

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Punk Rock Festivals 2016: Lineups, Reunions, and Hang Overs

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Photo by Tyson Heder

This time of year, in my opinion, is the beginning of punk festival season. I think between Punk Rock Bowling and Fest is the prime picking for festivals in the United States. With these amazing lineups and the Misfits reunion, we can all see the money flying out of our bank accounts. Just remember there is no price on memories even if we might black out and forget….

Here is the break down for every major punk lineup in the U.S. and a few international mentions:

Punk Rock Bowling: Las Vegas, NV( May 26-30), Denver, CO (June 2-4), and Ashbury, NJ (June 10-12)

I am VERY bias when I say this is my favorite festival. I have been several times now and it is the quintessential punk rock festival. All the punk kids having fun against the glitzy Las Vegas lights is a sight to be seen. This festival also brings cool and unique club after shows. Did I mention there is a bowling tournament too? With the gambling, pool parties, and karaoke, the fun never stops in this 24 hour festival. This year they are attempting to branch out by having dates in Ashbury and Denver. Here is the lineups for each date:

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Riot Fest: Chicago, IL (Sept. 16-18) and Denver, CO (Sept. 2-4)

Riot Fest REALLY brought the surprise of the year by only announcing the Misfits reunion in their initial band. They didn’t mention any of their other stellar artists and let us just freak out for a moment because hell froze over for a second. Of course, in our heart of hearts, we could see this happening but no one was holding their breath. But it’s happening! I will be there this September to give all the details of this reunion for you guys. This might be my favorite lineup of all the festivals this year. It has such punk gems as Bad Religion, Lagwagon, NOFX, The Aquabats, Against Me!, and Leftover Crack to name just a few. Both lineups are very similar but it depends on how much you want to see certain headliners and old school favorites. They are still announcing more to each lineup so stay tuned:

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Fest 15: Gainesville, FL (Oct. 28-30)

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Fest is on my bucket list of punk festivals to go to before I die. I think it should be on yours as well. Anyone that I have discussed Fest with says that it is a place where new punk bands are made and found. This year is very special since it is an anniversary for the festival. They have a heavy lineup of alumni playing, which makes it harder to decide who you want to see. This is a great problem to have. So cancel all your Halloween plans now and make it out to Fest 15 this year, check out the official lineup below:Image-14-05-2016-at-01.02.jpg

Remember the Punks Fest: San Antonio, TX (October 1, 2016)

A super surprise for the state of Texas. As a punker growing up in Texas, we tend to miss out on bands from the other coasts that can’t afford to tour here often. So when this festival popped up, the internet lit up! I feel the lineup is equal parts street punk, pop punk, and ska. It will be amazing to see Bigwig, Slapshot, The Exploited again since it has been a hot minute. I think this festival will do well since the venues will cater to every kind of punk. I will also be covering this festival since it is in my backyard, which in Texas means a 2-hour drive.

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Fun Fun Fun Fest: Austin, TX (Nov 6-8)

This has been my favorite local festival for many years now. This 10 year festival is uniquely Austin. These festival people love bands such as the Descendents, GWAR, and Fat Wreck bands, and reunions. And don’t forget tacos. I hope this is not the end of road for this festival since the company has changed owners this past month. It is a great festival that is equal parts electronic, hip hop, comedy, punk, metal, hardcore, and indie rock. Every year they do a recap video and I think it gives a good depiction of what good times to expect. Fingers crossed for another great year and lineup to come!

Other Honorable Mentions:

Since some of these festivals are overseas or have already happened, here is a quick list of festivals to hit up outside the U.S. Get those passports ready!

Get FESTING in 2016 and feel free to share local festivals within the comments. See you out there!

The Dicks from Texas Documentary Release


This documentary was a long time coming. After 16 years, the documentary film project is finally done and is going to be shown this weekend at the Dick’s hometown. The documentary is called “The Dicks From Texas” directed by Cindy Marabito. The reason this film is getting so much regard is because of what the Dicks really meant to the Austin punk scene in the 1980s. The Dicks were a larger than life punk-hardcore band that pushed the envelope of sexuality, politics, and music. They are best known for their songs such as “Hate the Police” and “Kills from the Heart”.

The reason this documentary is important to watch is because it is a piece of Austin’s music history and a pivotal moment in the punk scene. They rocked against Reagan. They played alongside MDC and the Big Boys. Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, and Mike Watt all want to talk about how great this band was. I don’t think I really have to sell much more here.

They are also releasing a tribute album with such bands as The Bulimics, Black Irish Texas, The Fuckemos, and much more. It is currently streaming here: The Dicks From Texas and Friends

Also here is the link to the event April 1st at the North Door: https://www.facebook.com/events/1042028645817597/

Pre-orders and additional information on the documentary can be found here:http://www.thedicksfromtexas.com/dicks.html

Fat Wreck Chords Takes SXSW 2016

Even though most SXSW veterans will say this year’s festival wasn’t above and beyond might not be appreciating the roots of the festival. Growing up punk in Austin, I used to wait on the sidewalks of Emo’s hoping to get into the SXSW Fat Wreck Chords showcase. Those were the golden years of Rock Against Bush for Fat Wreck and we needed NOFX’s anthems then.

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Ray Rocket at Fat Wreck Chords Showcase SXSW2016

Let’s focus on today; we need their help against Trump and to celebrate their classic punk tracks. This year NOFX released their memoir and brought the best of their label roster to SXSW. The showcase at Buffalo Billard’s was intimate enough for the stylings of Ray Rocket’s acoustic set and to rock out in the pit. All the bands I bought albums from this past year were on the lineup: Ray Rocket, The Dirty Nil, Mean Jeans, toyGuitar, Night Birds, and NOFX.

The two bands I haven’t gotten to see within the past years were my most anticipated: Mean Jeans and Night Birds. I was fortunate enough to go to the Fat Wreck Anniversary Tour this past year but did not get to see these gems. Mean Jeans would be my vote for most anticipated band for the fest. NOFX is definitely everyone’s favorite but I am always curious to find out who is going to be the next wave of punk. Mean Jeans has the amazing grit and snarl that true punk rock has, but also contains the roots of the Ramones tangled within every song. Their energy and live show was everything I expected from their music and is a perfect fit for the label.

Night Birds has also been a favorite of mine for the past year. They are the hardcore punk that I need to revival the sweet melodic punk I love. Most of the audience noted that the Night Birds are one the best live band. That is definitely the truth. They come running out the gate and you are coming with them no matter what. Their guitars and angst reels you in and leaves you wanting more.

Of course, the end of the night is topped with the sweet cherry that is NOFX. They are the crowd favorite and everyone goes crazy. Maybe because it was St. Patrick’s Day or the fact they were finally back in Austin but it felt good to have NOFX just play a solid set and have fun with it. I hope this continues to be a traditon with Fat Wreck Chords and SXSW.  The most important part of this festival is to remember why we listen to music in the first place: the classics and new finds.

 

 

 

The Austin Punk Scene Renaissance

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Austin Chronicle Week of February 4-10 2016

 

Austin is stereotypically known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”. You see it plastered all over 6th street and in ads on television. I wish it were more true. When you think about Austin’s love affair with music, it is a beautiful and poetic one. We have the days of the Amardillo World Headquarters, the golden days of blues at Antone’s, and the Austin City Limits show. The brief punk wave happened here in Austin around 1978 with such bands as The Violators, The Dicks, The Skunks, and Big Boys. Austin became an important touring stop for punk/new wave bands during this era.

Travel forward to today. It is very hard to get bands from the East and West coasts to tour in Texas due to costs. This isn’t that stop anymore. Sometimes when I see a movie at the Ritz Alamo Drafthouse, I look at the pictures of Black Flag on the wall. I think, “why can’t we have that again?” They say that desperation is the mother of invention. I believe this is why in the past few years the punk scene in Austin has truly grown. It might be due to punks that moved here from other places in our current population surge. Or maybe there might be another punk wave to about to happen.

The truth is the Austin punk community has had it rough in this town lately. Living in an Indie/EDM scene, we are still the outcasts. Which is fine, we are used to it. But what is making life difficult is the city shutting down our fine establishments for condos and big business money. Since punk is about DIY and resilience, we have decided to join forces in certain ways. There are many advocates out there that booking shows, bars letting us have a weekly spot, and friends supporting each other’s bands. Recently this state of affairs was covered in the Austin Chronicle. Thanks to the help of Tim Segall, writer and member of the band The Hormones, wrote a piece on our scene. See article below:

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I just wanted to add more bands to the list to watch. There are a ton of hard working punks in this town. Unfortunately, print media has a maximum paper size and word count. But here are some more awesome local bands to check out:

 

 

South by Southwest: Occasionally Punk

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Every so often there is a gem of punk in the sea of South by Southwest. The 23 years of the festival have been filled with music from around the world to local artists. Depending on which wave of punk we are currently on, depends on how much of the punk genre is brought in by SXSW. The past  few years we have been missing the Fat Wreck Chords showcase but it looks like that hiatus might be over. NOFX has been added as an offical SXSW artist. They have two dates booked for March 17th and 19th. The venues and times are TBA but the shows are really happening. It might be due to the release of the band’s memoir called “NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories”. NOFX will also be touring with other Fat Wreck band’s Night Birds and Toy Guitar. If case you miss them here in Austin, this mini tour will also be in Houston, TX and New Orleans, LA. See articles below for more details:

 

https://www.punknews.org/article/59997/tours-nofx-night-birds-toyguitar-texas-louisiana

http://www.fatwreck.com/news/detail/933


Sources:
Frankel, Ricky. (2016, Feb. 8). Tours: NOFX/Night Birds/toyGuitar(Texas/Louisana). Retrieved from: https://www.punknews.org/article/59997/tours-nofx-night-birds-toyguitar-texas-louisiana