Punk In Drublic Craft Beer & Music Festival: Forth Worth

I was super pumped that this tour was even considering coming to Austin. This city has a small but great punk scene, it just doesn’t attract major punk tours like other cities. Unfortunately, there were a lot of sad punks here since the venue decided to pull out of the deal two days before. Whatever your opinion on the matter is, real life happens and everyone lost out on a fun Cinco de Mayo.

Except there was a bit of hope to be had. Let me just start out with why I love punk bands and their devoted fan base. The festival decided that if you lost out on the Austin date that the next tour date was available to ticket holders. They also upped the ante by allowing a free plus one. Did I mention that included a beer tasting as well? If this was some other major label band they would have just refunded the money or rescheduled with some public statement. And yes, there were some issues with tickets and other details. If you were able to take that sweet deal it was definitely worthwhile.

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I was one of the lucky ones from Austin. Plus we got to bring some extra friends that couldn’t afford a ticket or couldn’t make the original date.

The set up was interesting and was at the Panther Island Pavillion park in Fort Worth. You get drink tickets for beer tastings from vendors which set up before the music begins. You get 10 tastings which equals about 2 full beers. The selection was half local and half national brewers. It was tough drinking in the hot Texas sun but it was fun hanging out the all the fans before a show. Here’s the lineup:

The first act I caught was the Mad Caddies. I have seen them previously but they are an old favorite. I was excited that they played a couple of new tracks for an album that takes punk songs and makes them ska style. They did a cover of “She” by Green Day which was very fitting for this band. I skipped The Interrupters just because they open for every Hellcat Records tour and I have seen them a thousand times. They are a good band but find them a bit redundant.

The highlight was seeing Bad Religion play Suffer front to back. That is one of the most quintessential punk albums of all time. You could literally see Fat Mike sing the entire album word for word from the side of the stage. That album cover, those lyrics, are absolute perfection every time. They also sprinkled some hits from their vast discography. I honestly have to say they are the highlight of this festival. I think Fat Mike also finds ways to book them on any tour or festival he curates since he feels the same.

 

 

 

NOFX is still NOFX. The small banner and they sometimes can play the songs they write. I think they have an interesting set lists these days. I think they tend to stick to newer albums rather than their hits. I do enjoy First Ditch Effort quite a bit, so this isn’t a bad thing in my opinion. This wasn’t their best set but I am glad that things are on the up and up for NOFX as far as trying new things such as this festival and camp. Here are some highlights from this date and looking forward to September.

 

*** Note from the Editor:

I previously wrote this review before their comments at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas. I was at the festival and will cover the subject in a future piece. Stone Brewery pulled their sponsorship and NOFX was pulled from the remaining festival dates. On their website they also took off the postponed Austin date.

Show Review: The Distillers

This might be the golden age of punk reunions. The last 5 years have brought several bands out of hiding and back to what they do best. There are several listed throughout this blog even. The Distillers have made the list of much-anticipated reunion tours. With these limited dates, there has been a lot of buzz about each show. Most of the week I have been following their press and fans on their journey.

I got to relive the magic at the Mohawk here in Austin, Texas. They didn’t have any local support bands but they choose the L.A. based band The Flytraps for all the tour dates. You can guess their possible inspirations; The Cramps, Joan Jett and the Runaways, and just old school rock and roll. They were a fun opener. Kind of cheesy but it worked on several levels. Kristin Cooper is an amazing bassist and she is a frontwoman extraordinaire. The one thing I couldn’t figure out was if their guitarists looked bored on purpose or was it an act. I have to admit it kept me guessing. Their songs were catchy and had some clever subject matter. I will say they were professionals and got people behind their music. They also got a lot of their merch sold, which bands should take note of their hustle.  Even though they were a great opener for this tour, I think a more street punk type of band would have made the tour even sweeter.

The Distillers came out the gate with “I am a Revenant” which would be my top choice for an opening song. Everything they played was pretty much what I wanted to hear. Their discography is not a large one but every album is great. Setlist below:

  1. I am the Revenant
  2. L.A. Girl
  3. Seneca Falls
  4. Die on a Rope
  5. Sick of it All
  6. The Gallow is God
  7. Oh Serena
  8. Dismantle Me
  9. The Hunger
  10. Love is Paranoid
  11. For Tonight You’re Only Here to Know
  12. Drain the Blood
  13. City of Angels
  14. The Blackest Years

They played a little from each album and my favorite had to be “Die on a Rope”. Unfortunately at the Austin date, Brodie’s voice wasn’t 100%. I think this was to be expected on some level since these albums are intense and have real highs/lows vocally. I think the band did their best collectively to make sure the show went on as planned. I thought her voice sounded beautiful on ” The Hunger” which just starts out with just vocals and guitar. One thought I had originally about this tour was Brodie going to able to sing some of this material since it is very personal and haunting. Luckily it seems liked second nature and the band made it seem effortless.  I was also really thankful to see a ton of women at the show because in most scenes the female gender lacks in representation. I think this is a sign that there needs to be more female fronted/minded bands that represent all of us. This short tour makes me hopeful for the future of women in music and to hear some new tracks from the Distillers themselves.

 

Feel free to comment about other dates on this tour or photos/videos!

Tours: The Distillers Reunion

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!

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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.*

 

Show Review: Guttermouth/The Queers/Agent Orange

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.

 

Show Review: Murder City Devils

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As a music junkie, I listen to music day in and day out. I have been to countless tours and have probably spent almost million dollars on this music fanaticism. I regret nothing.

Since I have worked in the industry and have listened to so many hours of music, I rarely get overly excited about a band. One weekend of my life, my asshole friends got married on the same weekend as Fun Fun Fun Fest. I was sad that I wasn’t at the fest but then there is real life. I bought a ticket for last day of the fest and I thought at the very least I can see one solid day of music.

I want to thank the sound guy at Neutral Milk Hotel for being awful. If he wasn’t so bad and the band wasn’t so depressing, I would have never discovered one of my all time favorite bands: Murder City Devils. I had never heard a single song by them but I thought anything would be better than the horribly mixed sound (I am an audio engineer). I watched the rest of Murder City Devils set and I couldn’t remove my eyes or ears. It felt like a piece of my life that had not be fullfilled was suddenly over full. I felt the electricity that gives you goosebumps and makes you feel suddenly alive. I didn’t even know what I had been missing all this time.

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I devoured all the albums I could after that weekend. They are so dark, beautiful, and had this raw emotion that is very hard to describe. They have been a band 1996 and are on SubPop. They did break up for a moment back in 2001 but go back together in 2006 to play a few festivals. Their last album was in 2014, which was titled “The White Ghost Has Blood on its Hands Again”.

I have seen them as much as I could in recent years. I saw them play in a lightning storm at Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas. I recently saw them in a club venue, the Mohawk in Austin. Texas was blessed to have their tour dates this year, which included San Antonio and Dallas. I didn’t really know what to expect since every show I have seen them in had been a unique experience. Their set list was mixed with old and new songs, which is to be expected. But what really sold me on this show was watching the audience. Their fans are devoted and they get it. They get the darkness and the tougue & cheek of it all. Part of the set Spencer had the mic literally in his mouth because no one should ever take themselves that seriously. I think the best quote about Murder City Devils would be the one from that FFF fest handout that said “Murder City Devils are like the drunk uncle you invite over for Thanksgiving. He ends getting drunk and crashing into a china cabinet.” Maybe it’s a simplified meaning, but they have the allegory just right.