Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Taylor’

The people at Volcano are great! Anthony Neff used to DM their Dungeons and Dragons games back in the day. You think I’m kidding, ask em about it. Google some of these bands and go see em! Or not, do what you feel like, but it is free, and people will think you’re cool if you go.

Andrew

What happens when a bunch of Tacoma metal workers, box makers, bartenders, cable operators, interpreters, Mormons, Catholics, Atheists, Agnostics, slackers, stoners, go-getters, vagabonds, male sluts, and virgins form a band? Punk-rock-folk reggae-country,  Motherfucker! Yeah!

Imagine that Skankin Pickle got in on the folk-punk/bluegrass thing that’s going around these days-now keep that image in your head-its pretty much The Fun Police. Honestly. The Fun Police have the same lively, occasionally funky, reggae-punk sound. But don’t take my word for it, go check out their Band Camp or their Facebook and have a merry ol’ time. The Fun Police have just released their second full length “Clown Control,” you can get that for dirt cheap off of their Last Fm, or you can download  a free EP HERE.

The Fun Police – Pretty Good Friend

The Fun Police – Far Away

The Fun Police – Dumpster Diving (single edit)

The Fun Police – Unemployment

Andrew


Interesting question: Are there punks in Oklahoma? As it turns out yes, yes indeed. Black Cop is a three piece hardcore band from Stillwater, OK, and its fucking brutal. As in extremely fast, thrash, hardcore, violent, angry, all around quality stuff. They’ve just released their first full length CD off of Torn Shoe Records this January. You can download one track for free off their bandcamp, and honestly, you could pirate the rest really easily from their bandcamp as well…if you’re a soulless bastard.

I would pay attention to these guys, the recording quality on the CD might not be the best, but they’ve got a great 80’s hardcore-thrash kind of sound, which judging by their videos is amazing to see live. If you’re into that kind of thing. Plus! They’re playing this year’s Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW). I had no idea what that is either… but,  a simple google search revealed its kind of a big deal in the South/Southwest world, so that’s got to count for something. So if you’re like me, i.e age < 30, and wish you had a chance to see any 80’s hardcore bands, then these guys would be exactly the opposite of Herpes:  a great thing to catch. (Darion totally added this last part fuck that guy)

This is the video for their track “Unearth,” which you can download for free off of their bandcamp.

Andrew

P.S.

-YAY! This is our 50th blog post. I raise my glass to you, my dear readers!

Few things here. First of all, Kalamazoo Michigan is a real place. Second of all, deep within the recesses of what I thought was a fictional realm invented by doctor suess, is The Extreme Unicorns. Third, I know this is kind of late, but! Nothing Nice to Say is off of hiatus, (wooooo!!!!!!) so that’s pretty cool I guess.

Anyway- The Extreme Unicorns. Vocalist/bassist Lex gives the band that sort of, tamer (relatively speaking) almost riot grrl vocal sound you might find in Slutever or The Gits. Plus, guitarist Tim (one word) and drummer Rob O’Toole have soft gingery beards that have been known to cure blindness.

They do some really great covers of The Misfits and Britney Spears, and! They only have one original song out now, so now is your chance to say you liked them before they were cool!

Go the their website or buy their merch. Listen. Be amazed.

Hybrid Moments (Misfits Cover)

Also check out these awesome tracks from The Extreme Unicorns:

Andrew

To quote Darion Conwell: “enjoy the music, respect the house, and don’t be a dick.” Fun story there, almost got kicked out of this house for being a dick. Not really my fault, I got that they wanted me to be pushing people, I didn’t choose to continue getting pushed by other people, per-say.

Anyways, I’ve already talked about white wards in a past post so I won’t re-engage ranting, but I am quite a fan. You can download their 7″ here. Likewise if you’re into death metal or  hardcore thrash death, Bone Sickness is just fucking dandy to see live. I’ve never seen the other two bands, so out of laziness I’m not going to write anything, but fuck it go anyways. I command you, all twenty-six people who may ever read this.

Andrew

To some people this may seem mind blowing, but there was actually a time when hip-hop artists and punk bands would hang out, maybe even play shows together. Starting in the late 70s and early 80s, there was a time when the rebellious, political sentiments of the two genres actually lead to a surprising amount of collaboration and acknowledgment between artists.  Just for example, the  Beastie Boys became hip hop icons after originally starting as a hardcore punk band way back in 1982.  For a much better article on the early underground coexistence of the two genres check the blog located here. I doubt anyone rapped over sampled hardcore bands, but the idea of the two being in the same scene isn’t nearly as impossible as it would seem today.

Today if you were to go to a local show anywhere (or at least here in the northwest) you probably would not find Hip Hop artists and punks playing the same venue. What caused this rift? Most likley the gross assimilation of the two genres into mainstream culture. I’m sure things are far more complicated than this, but its undeniable that mainstream hip-hop‘s constant references to money being synonymous with greatness doesn’t fit with punk anymore than hip-hop would fit with the now seemingly nonexistent (perhaps somehow replaced by dubstep?) scene of whatever emo was. Likewise is the case with the underground, at least here in the Northwest. I don’t pretend to know everything, but as far as I know the Boom Bap Project playing a show with Rvivr still seems a little far fetched.

Meanwhile deep in the last ten(ish) years of California…

Somewhere in the strange limbo of artists of the California not-quite-mainstream-but-still-not-considered-underground-cus’-their-kinda’-well-known scene, there has been birthed some collaboration between punk and hip-hop artists (i.e Tim Armstrong being featured by Cypress hill here). Most of these collaborations are artists simply writing in another genre, but sometimes include a little experimental genre mixing. Notably a famous shampoo commercial jingle by The Transplants (Once again, still including Tim Armstrong, my apologies to the California Hip Hop Punks for not knowing anybody else).  Still, there are other artists who are not quite changing genres at all; but instead just giving shouts outs and playing basically the same stuff (shit, if you will). Say whatever you will (“no” for example, could be something you’d say) about many of these collaborations or whatever-they-are, at least it seems that they don’t do any real mixing of hardcore punk rock and hip-hop to make one  new weird-ass genre…

Or do they?!

Indeed, ass-whole cynicism aside; there are actually examples of Hip-Hop Punk Rock that in my opinion actually work (in the sense it blends both genres without sounding artificial, forced, or in general: terrible). So here are three very different songs by three very different artists all writing songs that blend punk and hip hop in three very different ways:

Zion I – Amerika

Extremely political. Probably the song that really blends the two genres the most, although be it with a higher emphasis on hip-hop. Listen to the whole thing before you rush to your own cynical judgments.

Leftover Crack – So you wanna be a cop

Leftover Crack, Chocking Victim, Crack Rock Steady Seven, Morning Glory; aren’t they all the exact same fucking band? Not really, but almost. Stza has been the front man and songwriter for pretty much all of them except Morning Glory (although he is still featured on some songs). I met Stza when Starfucking Hipsters were touring in 2009, during the ancient time when we actually booked shows in Olympia. I once heard a drunken rant from Stza claiming that they’ve actually played under a lot of different names in New York, due to constantly being banned from venues.  No idea if that’s true, but regardless! This song goes from old school breakdown to punk chorus, smoothly. I mean really, it works pretty well.

The Have Nots – Secret Machines ft. Cathy Cathotic

OK, so this is literally just a ska punk song until you get around 2:05.  The Have Nots are not exactly the most original thing to happen in 2011; a ska-punk + shout-talk (almost rap?) vocals reminiscent of Jessie Micheals (Op Ivy & Common Rider) + little bit of a pop-punk sound = not really breaking news. I like them, they played quite possibly one of the worst shows I’ve ever thrown in Olympia, and they came all the way from Boston! The lyrics in the chorus of this song feel a little lame to me, but its catchy as fuck. So here yo go, enjoy the sound of a Boston MC rapping over a ska punk break down, because apparently, that happens in Boston.

Finally-

-if you haven’t caught on by now I’m not exactly a Transplants fan (which is ironic, because the first show I ever chipped a tooth at was Rancid). But this is pretty goddamn badass:

Andrew

Imagine if you will, the divinely inspired love child of Super Saturday and Burning Man. Mas Sol promises to be that: a three-day fusion of raging parties, random artistic regurgitation and Bar-B-Q style block parties. Lazlo Steele, Zach Lincoln, Jacob McDonald, together with the support of the Olympia Summer Arts Project and all the supporters from various communities, are organizing the first of what hopes to be an annual celebration of everything. Starting Friday June 10th, happiness and creative excess will overflow from a field in Fort Matlock, WA.

I recently had a chance to meet with Lazlo Steele (aka. Turbo Duck), one of the events biggest organizers, and he described the event as I have summarized here.

This is actually a picture of Helsing Junction 2010, also a music festival in a field. Pictures of Mas Sol don't actually exist yet. Maybe you should take some.

Mas Sol: The Event

In the format of Burning Man, hosted a field in Fort Matlock, WA, Mas Sol will follow a mostly trade based economy with music, food, art and a BYOeverything attitude. Across the field from Mas Sol  (literally translated to “more sun”), theme tents and attendees will feature artwork, performances, and various displays of human creativity. Theme camps are areas consisting of five to seven people who work to provide some sort of themed space to benefit the masses.  Criteria for what constitutes a theme camp range from cool places to hang out, temporary restaurants, to my own personal intention of demoing homemade explosives; when it comes to theme camps, truly, the potential is unlimited. If you are completely uninspired or lost to the notion of Burning Man, check out Phil Steele’s photography of the event here to get the creative juices flowing.

Some larger “theme villages” already planned include a bar and grill type cantina with a small stage for more intimate shows; a Hooka Lounge; a Zen Garden; a Beauty Salon offering free tattoos, hair, and henna; a group of fire artists; and a visual arts camp featuring several graffiti artists and free walls.

Discounts all the way up to free admission are available for anyone who aspires to create a theme camp. We at The Least Pretentious Music Blog Ever are currently in the process of making the Mas Sol website, so attendees wishing to do their own theme camp should contact the festival’s creators on Facebook for now.

Mas Sol will be equipped with most all the necessary amenities for an event of this scale, including first aid members on staff and environmentally friendly composting toilets. So come. Bring everything that you want. There may be free food and free drink assuming people bring enough to share, but the ability of this rests on the notion that every person brings more than enough for their need. There will be power provided by generators, but it is limited. If you plan to use any power, like every other aspect of Mas Sol, to guarantee it will be there, be sure to provide it. Don’t forget your artwork, instruments and bartering materials!

Prices, money, tickets, parking, alcohol, and life

Tickets will soon be available online at purplepass.com, so act fast. Capacity for this event is five hundred and already just over two-hundred attendees have secured a spot. Prices range from $12 for a single day pass to $30 for a three-day pass. Mas Sol will also provide a series of food and drink vouchers available for purchase before the event. Food vouchers will be available for $5 dollars a day or $10 dollars for the weekend; likewise, drink vouchers for 21+ will ideally be available to anyone who also brings a contribution to the communal bar.  Plan accordingly,  without a voucher food and water are not guaranteed. Make sure to bring the bare essentials. Assuming everyone does, there will be a communal surplus and everything will be fine. Mas Sol does not condone irresponsible drug or alcohol use. Creativity and expression are the ultimate goals of this festival.

There is a limited number of parking spaces available at the site, so attendees are encouraged strongly to carpool. If would-be attendants cannot find a ride or prefer not to drive, Lazlo and other coordinators of Mas Sol will be running shuttles to and from the Evergreen State College. If you think you will be using the shuttle service, contact Lazlo or another member through the Facebook page (and later the website) directly as shuttle scheduling is subject to change based on volume.

Guidelines

In the spirit of expression and open mindedness, there are not truly steadfast rules, but you should nevertheless adhere to these two essential guidelines:

  • Take down what you put up. In the spirit of Burning Man, Mas Sol intends to create a village that should leave its field almost as barren as it was found.
  •  Don’t be an asshole. If you don’t know what I mean, don’t worry about it; if you know what I mean, don’t do it, please.
The Future of Mas Sol: We love you

Lazlo has bright hopes for the future of Mas Sol, not only as an annual festival, but to one day establish an eco-village that will hold down the property during the “off season.”

What makes the very idea of this festival possible is the support it receives from the community. The radical participation of the attendees is what will make Mas Sol as wonderful as it aspires to be. To quote Lazlo Steele:

“I could not have even begun to do this without the help of all the who’ve come to lend a hand.”

So come! Be a part of a theme! Be a part of a soon to be annual celebration!  Loose your mind amongst the fields of Washington! The hard working people of Mas Sol cannot do this without you, and frankly, they really wouldn’t want too.

And of course, remember to visit Mas Sol on facebook and show some love.

-Andrew Taylor