Special thanks to Estlin Sawyer, Matt Pelletier, Linder Peacock, The Taylor posse, Annie the Great, Brooke and Kris, Erica Manville, Erika Mitchener, Anna, RI Power Yoga, Just Train, and all those who helped me get my head around the past year.
Pardon me while I get all preachy…Here’s some hardcore for your ears…
Gorilla Biscuits – New Direction
Bad Brains – Attitude
H20 – One Life, One Chance
7 Seconds – We’re Gonna Fight
Verbal Assault – Trial
Fugazi – Epic Problem
Operation Ivy – Healthy Body
Youth of Today – Wake Up and Live
Minor Threat – Out of Step
Dag Nasty – Values Here
Rancid – Fall Back Down
All – Educated Idiot
Bad Religion – 21st Century Boy
Pigeon John – Life Goes On
Shelter – Empathy
Gorilla Biscuits – Cats and Dogs
Green Day – Knowledge
Crimpshrine – Easy Answers
Brother Ali – Forest Whitiker
Fifteen – Evolve
Circle Jerks – I’m Alive
The Avengers – We are the One
Here’s the antidote for the poison spilling from the world around you.
Tracks carefully sewn together to create a blanket capable of repelling the monsters of commercial radio and corporate constructed boogey-men bent on owning your every thought.
Break Free. Crank this up and fight the power.
10. Partytime (Zombie Version) – 45 Grave
If you grew up in the 80’s the odds are pretty good that you loves the punk zombie schlock of Return of the Living Dead. Since the world is brimming with zombie-philes, it is only fitting that this screamer starts off the list.
9. The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff
In The Harder The Come, Jimmy Cliff plays Ivanhoe Martin. In real life, he plays the song that make the whole world sing.
8. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) – The Pixies
Prior to its use in Fight Club, this redux appeared in the Christian Slater vehicle Pump Up The Volume. At the time, the film seemed like an aspiring punk-DJ’s dream – on the run from the FCC, telling it like it is, and taking over the airwaves. Now, we simply toss a couple tracks together, release a podcast, and hope for listeners. But, beyond it all, this melodic track stands against the tides like a Colossus of fuzz tone feedback.
7. She’s on it – The Beastie Boys
Back in 1985, The Beastie Boys weren’t quite the internationally renowned pioneers of funk and rap, but a bunch of punks from New York in tight jeans and leather jackets. This track originally appeared on the Krush Groove soundtrack and sorta fizzled until it was re-released in 1987. I guess the world wasn’t ready for snotty nosed punks who hadn’t yet figured out to fight for their right to party.
6. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly – The Pogues
From the Alex Cox film, Straight to Hell, with Joe Strummer, Elvis Costello, The Pogues, Zander Schloss, and numerous other talents of film and song (despite the inclusion a wretchedly caterwauling Courtney Love), this track is a literal remix of Ennio Morricone’s classic opening theme. It is a complete departure from standard Pogues Irish pub-fare and proof that they were a band to be reckoned with.
5. Golf Course – Michael Hutchence Dogs in Space is one of my all-time favorite punk movies. It’s also one of the films I tend to avoid as it give me ‘all the feels’. Dogs in Space is a meandering walk through the final days of a bunch of Australian misfits as they drink, drug, and wait for Skylab to crash and wipe them all out. ‘Golf Course’ is a cover of the track from the real life band The Ears (who are fictionalized in the film) and always seemed like a companion song to Harry Chapin’s ‘Cats in the Cradle’. Do yourself a favor and check this film out, it’s melancholy window into the hedonistic restlessness of a bygone punk era.
Also of note is the killer track “Shivers” from The Boys Next Door which has the amazing line, “I’ve been contemplating suicide / but it really doesn’t suit my style / so I think I’ll just act bored instead.” This song will rip your heart out and keep it alive in an ashtray of burned photographs.
4. When the Shit Hits the Fan – The Circle Jerks
Forget every other pretender to the cinematic throne, Repo Man is the unequivocal king of punk movies. It also has one brilliant soundtrack and The Circle Jerks’ trashy blues infused redux of their satirical anthem is my personal favorite.
3. Trash City – Joe Strummer and the Latino Rockabilly War Permanent Record may be the one Keanu Reeves film you never knew existed. It was an 80’s teen drama that dealt with kids coming to terms with their friend’s suicide in the face of a community that wishes to pretend it never occurred: Way heavier that Breakfast Club and slightly less intense than Reeves’ River’s Edge. This soundtrack featured several of Strummer’s first non-Clash tracks and was way more punk than anything the Clash did in their final years.
2. Pet Semetary – The Ramones This is one of the best Ramones songs written. Lyrically it is significantly more complex than most anything they ever wrote and, following a film about a fresh from the dead 3 year old, it’s a welcome bit of B-movie silliness. In fact, they come dangerously close to writing a Cramps song here. The video is hilarious with its dramatic scene-grabs and Rocky Horror Picture Show-esq cemetery party sequence.
1.Who Did That to You – John Legend
The fact that this song was eligible for a Grammy and overlooked is a sign of a very broken system. This song is everything that cinema soundtracks of the last hundred years should be; its bold, vengeful, rebellious, soulful, and unbelievably kick-ass.
Feel free to DOWNLOAD a mix featuring these songs.
A few weeks ago, I reviewed the epic that is Sean Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus. The tale follows the months before a clone of Jesus (J2) is born and continues into J2’s teen years. Sean is one of my favorite Hellblazer artists so, obviously, when I heard about this book I jumped on it. It has it all and knows how to use it; a IRA tough guy, political debate, religious conflict, cloned polar bears, great characterization, and PUNK ROCK!
There is so much information in this book, that the jumps in scenes can sometimes be a bit jarring, but the overall strength of the narrative is so compelling that it is completely forgivable. Hell, I’m amazed that Vertigo let Murphy do the series. I guess what I’m getting at is that 6 issues is too confining but this story needed to be told and I’m impressed with Murphy’s skills at working with what he had. In a perfect world we may see an expanded edition. It would be worth the price tag.
Episode 33 – Punk Rock Jesus
Anarchy In The U.K. – The Sex Pistols
We Did Alright – Tim Timebomb
Rip ‘Em Off – Showcase Showdown
Propaganda By The Deed – The Pinkerton Thugs
Product of My Environment – Circle Jerks
Bring Out Your Dead – Anti-Flag
1000 More Fools – Bad Religion
Filler – Minor Threat
Values Here – Dag Nasty
Live Free – Youth Of Today
Zero For Conduct – OFF!
Jaded – Operation Ivy
Real World – Hüsker Dü
Ideas Are Bulletproof – The Pist
American Nightmare – The Misfits
Send Me Your Money – Suicidal Tendencies
Wasted Life – Stiff Little Fingers
Innocent – the burdens
1 of the 2 – The Damned
Cats And Dogs – Gorilla Biscuits
You Should Never Have Opened That Door -The Ramones
New Wind – 7 Seconds
Dance of Days – Embrace
Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot – The Buffets
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – F.E.A.R.
In his short but unique series Fell, Warren Ellis writes, “None of you are nothing to me.” Through the brutality and filth of Ellis’ storytelling, that one phrase sums up the feeling he brings to all of his work. There is a central crooked vein of hope that feeds his book’s sprouting characters who fight for the future.
Transmetropolitan is all about hope. It is about turning off your television and iDevice and getting involved with the world. It is a morality tale serviced by a drug-addled bastard whose violent reaction to falsehoods and lies is the stuff of adolescent fantasy. Who among us has daydreamed of knowing the dark secrets of society and dragging them to the attention of the world or sinking political Titanics with icebergs of truth?
Spider Jerusalem is that part in all of us that screams for justice through bullhorns. He is an anti-hero we support for the same reason we read Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail and applaud Bill Hicks or George Carlin. He is the voice in our collective minds that drives us to point at injustice and yell, “Bullshit!”
Transmetropolitan is not just about Spider Jerusalem and his filthy assisitants bringing down a mad President. It isn’t just about bowel-disrupting guns or people with split alien DNA forming religions. It is about the City. It is about looking to your left and right as you live your life and caring about those people too. The end result of Transmet is, if we don’t look out for each other, who will?
Thanks to Miss Hannah Tess for the cover art.
Episode 13 – Transmetropolitan
I Love Livin’ In The City – F.E.A.R.
Avenue – The Stumblebums
These Streets – Mutiny
Four Button Suit – The Makers
Self-medication – The Commonwealth of American Natives
While You Were Out – The Orphans
Nobody’s Scream – Mr. Monsterhead
Living – Circle Jerks
Ideas Are Bulletproof – The Pist
Dumbing Down Democracy (Album Version) – Mystery Girls
The Potter’s Field – Fisticuffs
America – Agent Orange
We Shall Not Be Moved – This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb
Rip ‘Em Off – Showcase Showdown
I Need Destruction – Kermit’s Finger
Ambulance – Armitage Shanks
Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight – The Rezillos
Don’t Pray On Me – William Elliott Whitmore
Moment of Truth – Molly Maguires
Thanks, Bastards! – Mischief Brew
Set Me Free – Greenland Whalefishers
Transmetropolitan – The Pogues
Some of the clearest memories I have of my suburban adolescence center around record shopping.
Like most cities in America, and I’ll blindly assume the world, there exists a street which works as a central cultural vein for The Kids. Within the confines of a few blocks lives record stores, pizza places, the art store, the hip clothing store, maybe a comic shop or bookstore. In this oasis from the malls and fast food joints crust punks beg for cigarette money, angry punks rail against the oppressive forces of whichever force is currently oppressing and, like Livingston in the Congo, I made youthful pilgrimages to pick up Black Flag’s My War, The Circle Jerks’ IV, and The Misfits’ Legacy of Brutality.
Objects in my head may be cooler than they appear.
Providence had a street like that. Once. However, that vein has been tapped. Small businesses cleansed from the system and, in their places, surgically implanted Gaps, Urban Outfitters, and Johnny Rockets. The record stores, to mix metaphors, were hunted into extinction and the only trace of their existence lay in the fossil remains of nostalgia. This is what the first tribe to kill the last remaining mammoth must have felt. Sure, there were still buffalo, but that was easy compared to back then.
I miss the smell of too much vinyl and dust in too small a room. I remember the competitive rush of flipping through bins and trying to find the gem before everyone else; the audible territory that, to me, was unexplored possibility and adventure. I remember the older kids scoffing at my juvenile tastes and handing me singles and limited edition LP’s blazing the way with recommendations and suggestions. Record shopping now is like grave robbing now – everyone silently starring at the bins as if sifting through the remnants of mammoth carcass afraid to speak and reveal that anyone of us killed the scene with our want of convenience.
December: Harlan Ellison – Memos from Purgatory/Spiderkiss
A Very Bibliodiscoteque Christmas Special
Set List: Episode 6 – Jaime Hernandez
Prouster – LOS DESENCHUFADOS Al Capone – Ennio Morricone
When the Shit Hits the Fan – Circle Jerks
Teenager In A Box – Government Issue
Political Song For Michael Jackson To Sing – Minutemen
You Make Me Sick – Satans Rats Rebel Rock (Instrumental) – Benny Joy
Sorry – The Easybeats
Police Story – Black Flag
In Control – Stalag 13
2+2 – D.O.A
Go Tell Your Mother – Stisism
Losing My Religion – Tesco Vee’s Hate Police
Dropping Like Flies – Cops&Robbers
Orange Alert – The Briefs
You Can’t Kill Me (I’m Already Dead) – Plow United
The Magnificent Seven – Jack Nitzsche
The Misfit – Airbomb
Freaks are Jumping –The Ills
I’m Going Away, Girl – The Monsters
Hi Mom It’s Me – Toothless George
CLEVER WAY TO CRAWL – Persian Claws
Such Small Hands – La Dispute
Send More Cops –Surgeon Marta
Possessed (remastered) – Suicidal Tendencies
That’s Correct – Darkbuster
Fuck You, Norway – Showcase Showdown