New Year, new blog! What has brought new life into me? The one and only the Distillers reunion tour. Everyone thought it would NEVER happen but all my punk girl dreams are coming true in 2018. The reactions have been nothing but positive since the teaser video was released on their social media on January 3. See teaser below:
There are two main reasons this reunion has me excited more than most. I have lived to see the Refused and Misfits reunite after saying they said they never would. The reason I am fan-girling out more than usual would be because this is a female fronted band making big waves in the scene. Growing up my heroes were Joan Jett and Debra Harry. But these are not women of my own generation. Brody Dalle would the closest musician that mirrored how I looked and felt. She didn’t sing about sugary things, didn’t wear pink shit, and she could play amazing guitar. The raspy screams and hit songs are what makes this band shine and beloved even today. Throughout the years this band was filled with controversy and their eventual fallout but I feel no other band filled their void since. I am looking forward to a future album and this tour.
Reason number two I am psyched is because The Distillers apparently love Texas, my home state. We are lucky enough to get 3 city tours for this reunion. Certain punk acts have a hard time getting to Texas because of the location and funding but they are coming straight for us this spring. Photos popped up after the reunion announcement and one of the first dates was El Paso. I was even more thrilled to get tickets to the Austin date. Dallas will be blessed on May 2 at the Curtain Club. See you at the show!
The Distillers, Spring 2018 Tour:
April 25 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
April 27 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
April 28 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
April 29 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrown Palace
May 1 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
May 2 – Dallas, TX @ The Curtain Club
*Favorite reunions so far would be in order: The Misfits, The Descendants, The Refused, and The Impossibles. I think this will be #4 in the top five of all time.*
I just want to start out with stating I think Guttermouth and The Queers are underrated when I comes to being popular in punk rock. Will they ever be a band like Rancid? No. When I want to see quintessential and offensive punk rock; this is where I go. These bands are not politically correct and not here to impress, they are here to be fun punk rock like it is supposed to be.
That being said, this was a show I was super excited for. After all these years of missing them come through town, I got to see The Queers and Agent Orange. I don’t know what I was doing with life that I kept missing these shows but I finally got my act together.
I am thrilled that a local production company Come and Take it Productions, has decided to bring these tours into town and give them a place to play. Needless to say, I got to the show late which usually isn’t my style. I actually like to check out opening bands. I regret not seeing the One Shot Down and the Atom Age. One Shot Down is a local Austin band and I love their hardcore style. The Atom Age I have heard so much about and I love what I have heard from them.
But my heart truly lies with The Queers. I love their sweet pop punk songs but then they turn around and offend me (in a good way). Everyone was going crazy and enjoying songs such as “Murder at The Brady House” and “Love Love Love” which were some of my favorites. They also did two covers; The Ramones “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” and Screeching Weasel’s “Cindy’s on Methadone”.
Guttermouth is one of my favorite bands to see. The first time I saw Guttermouth was the best. In Emo’s heyday in Austin, Guttermouth played there quite a few times. I once saw them throw a kid out for looking like he shopped at Hot Topic (and for being an asshole). From then on, I was a fan for life. They don’t care what they look like or how they sound for that matter. Some of their songs are ridiculously good and well written. Even though the subject lines of their songs are over the top but they are still weirdly relatable.
Lastly, I got to see Agent Orange. I have been a fan for a long time now. Living in Darkness is one of my favorite nihilist punk albums. It is dark surf punk opus. I was happy to see that they still tour and I love hearing their songs. My only real bone to pick is that I wanted their set to have that dark edgy sound rather than how they performed their songs live. I can get over member changes but arrangement changes might be where I draw the line. Regardless, I think all the bands on this tour are underrated in the punk’s vast culture and there should be more line ups like all these bands currently on tour.
This show lineup is where music fans that love punk and indie rock live and coincide. From the Against Me! and The Menzingers t-shirts to the fashion clad hipsters; there is something for everyone. This was my first show of the year and I have to say it was a good pick. Nothing to crazy or heavy but a true quintessential classic.
All of my friends were excited to see Mikey Erg. Personally, I missed this part of the punk history. Like most of the great pop punk we have heard out the New Jersey area, Mikey Erg is definitely is keeping those great songs alive. He does a solo set that is similar to an acoustic solo set. But he is not exactly an “acoustic” guy (sorry Chuck Ragan) so he plays with a guitar and an amp. This is unorthodox but the songs are well written and catchy, exactly what you can expect from 1/3 of The Ergs! His band had a short-lived reunion but I think that might be it for now. His solo stuff is worth checking out if you are getting over a breakup, driving through the east coast, or riding your bicycle in Converse on a Wednesday.
What really sold me on this show was the band Cayetana. I have been annoying my partner by playing this band over and over in the apartment for the past year. I highly believe that “Hot Dad Calendar” is a perfectly written pop song. The lyrics are catchy, the guitar and bass are in synch, and vocals are silly and intense all at the same time. I was glad I was able to see this band live and it definitely made me more of a fan. They have a new album coming out this year which I can’t wait to check out, especially if it is as great as Nervous Like Me. Check out more below:
Speaking of classic albums, Lemuria has mastered this art. Get Better is having its 10th anniversary and it is an album I like to revisit time to time. The best things about Lemuria is there layered vocals and harmonies, riffy guitars, and their self-doubt lyrics with splashes of optimism. Living in a place between pop music and with a dash of punk is a
hard stunt to pull off as a band but Lemuria really makes it work. They probably over think everything as a band but that is something that always pays off for them. From their song structure to the merch they sell, every piece is given care and thought. I think more bands need to over care and get to be this professional. This is why a lot of their fan base (and indie labels) care about what this band does next. I was really glad to see all these artists finally in my hometown and in one of my favorite local venues. 2017 is going to be a great year in music if artists like these keep making pop music in these dark times.
Millencolin has finally done a legit U.S. tour after all these years. As a fan that has been waiting for a tour on this side of the Atlantic, this one was not to be missed. I saw them on a random date last year in Dallas but that left me wanting more from Millencolin. It was awesome that they came back to Texas and gave Austin a shot this time.
For myself, seeing a band like Millencolin was a right of passage. There are certain bands we listened to in our punk journey that we dream about seeing live. Basically any band that was on a Fat Wreck compilation or Punk-O-Rama is on that list. Throughout May and June they are joined by Success and MXPX, which are great additions to this tour. They are also doing tour stops during the Punk Rock Bowling Festival (Las Vegas and Denver dates).
Let’s begin with their opening band Success on this particular tour date. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure what I was about to hear. I just knew they are a band from Seattle. I have read a bunch about them over the past two years since they have been on several festival lineups and have been touring frequently. I was really surprised by their sound because I was built up to believe they were more pop punk than they actually were. When I think of pop punk as a genre, it sometimes can lean on the sugary sweet side. You can tell who their influences are in the punk genre but what was truly fascinating was their overall musical influences they have. They are music nerds and not afraid to show it. They fused their set by playing their songs then would somehow end up playing “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas. These poor guys played their hearts out in the hot Texas humidity and didn’t fail to impress.
Millencolin’s set was everything I expect from them. They played a few songs from their latest release True Brew, thus why the tour is named as such. What I really enjoyed about their set is that I didn’t feel like I saw the same set twice. It consisted of their hits such as “Penguins and Polar Bears”, “Twenty Two”, and “Mr.Clean”. Also my personal favorite “Black Eye”. I know I have seen these songs at the show last year but it honestly felt refreshing rather than repetitive. Especially since this band only does so many releases over the years, it is crucial to stay fresh and innovative for your fans. I definitely feel they keep this idea in mind on their tours and their music. I hope their absence from Texas won’t be the many years it has been and we will get more great music from this band in the future.
I recently saw one of my favorite bands Joyce Manor on tour with Modern Baseball and Say Anything this past month. Unfortunately, some of my content was messed up for a full review of that show. But my favorite moment from this tour is what remains. I can’t describe how much I love the Murder City Devils. So when I see bands like Joyce Manor embrace their love, it is magnificent.
They did a cover of Murder City Devils “Midnight at the Mutter Museum” off the Thelema EP (2001). I thoroughly enjoyed their version from Joyce Manor and I hope you do too.
Notes: My storage space cut out the last bit of the video. Also the non-landscape view is due to poles in the view and my height, apologies on those issues.
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