Welfare Jazz

You should listen to Viagra Boys. They use saxophones and synthesizers in an un-ironic way, and it sounds refreshingly punk rock. I’m gonna venture to say that the saxophone hasn’t been cool like this since the Stooges (don’t even talk to me about Morphine, for all the benefits of their music, that shit was not punk rock). Even better than reading this blog post though, you should just watch this video. Then when people ask you how you found out about your new favorite band – you can say you found out about them from me.

If you must, I write a bit more about them after the jump.

Ain’t Nice
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Bleached Has a New Record.

Let Us Now Praise Sexist Critics: A Completely Uncalled for Appraisal of the Fucking Excellent Band Bleached

I’m in my 40’s but I still get obsessed. With bands. I’ll cycle through a newfound artists’ catalog on repeat or dig up some semi-ignored old favorite and listen to nothing else for weeks on end. It’s what I do. And I feel a little silly about it, but whatever, who are you to criticize? I’m speaking my truth here. Isn’t that what this era of woke-ness is all about?

The band I’m about to write about though – this one is tough to cop to, because I’m scared I’ll come off like a perv. Fact is I’m not a perv though. It’s not my fault that the band members are females that are like half my age. More so it’s not the reason I listen to them. The short answer is that Bleached fucking rocks. And I’ve been listening to them for years – I don’t know exactly how many, I’ll guess 5 maybe – and the fact that they’re cute, that shit is irrelevant. So get your mind out of the gutter you sick ill-thinking motherfucker. Shit’s legit and so isn’t my appreciation of them – so if you think it’s weird for a middle-aged dude to be a fan, then that’s on you.

Continue reading “Bleached Has a New Record.”

Skulking Home to Mom

Ah, intrepid youth.

The author at 24

I was reading an article about the Stooges, specifically about the wonderful Stooges documentary, “Gimmie Danger” by Jim Jarmusch. As you are reading this blog, you probably know the Stooges – in their first incarnation – made two amazing records in the years from 1968 to 1971 where they basically invented punk. That statement is simplistic and only partly true, but whatever, it sounds cool. Three of the four members also became junkies. Those albums didn’t sell all that well and by the end of 1971 the band broke up. In the article there’s a quote from Stooges drummer Scott Asheton who says, “I guess I realize the band’s over when I’m sleeping on the floor of some people’s house, and I had no money and I sold my drum set to get bus tickets home to my mom.”

It got me thinking about how tough it is to be young, particularly so when you’re young and hooked on drugs. And how thankful I am for my own mother, who stood by me when I was behaving like a complete shithead. Mom was always there to pick up the pieces. Or at least she tried to.

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The Harley Flanagan Institute for kids that want to write good and do other stuff good. A short history of my dealings with Skinheads.

Apparently, if you are lucky enough to attain a certain age, things that existed in your youth come to appear absurd in the cold light of the present. Such is the case with me, and the phenomenon of skinheads in the Boston hardcore “scene.” It sounds strange to say, but in the mid 80’s, for those of us of a certain temperament, skinheads were a problem, like a real personal safety-style problem. Back in those days in Boston (and New York and D.C.) there was a very real danger of getting your ass kicked by skinheads for myriad offenses, things like having “stupid hair.”

Continue reading “The Harley Flanagan Institute for kids that want to write good and do other stuff good. A short history of my dealings with Skinheads.”

I’m a Terrible Person for what I did to Joey Ramone


Thanks to John Ross Bowie, I’m on a(nother) Ramones kick. Last week I went and saw a pre-opening performance of the play he wrote about the Ramones, called “Four Chords and A Gun.” It’s a fictionalized account of the time the band spent recording their “End of the Century” album with producer Phil Spector.

If you are in LA and somehow read this before July 31st and it’s not sold out, I highly recommend you go see it.

I’m no theater aficionado, but I really enjoyed it…

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That Time I Took LSD and Got Kicked in the Head at a Butthole Surfers Show

A personal recounting of the psycho-pharmacological experience that was a 1987 Butthole Surfers show.

The Butthole Surfers

When people asked me as a teenager what I wanted to do when I grew up I, at some point developed a stock answer. “I’d like to be one of three things,” I’d say. “A Butthole Surfer, A Beastie Boy or a Pogue.”

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You know who really sucks? Dave Grohl, that’s who…

Dave Grohl is guilty of ‘betraying one’s punk rock roots.’ A high crime in my book.

So what, you say? There are a million shitty bands that aren’t worth paying attention to. And life is too short to waste your breath on something one deems not worthy, correct? Well, you’d be right about that, but Dave Grohl was in Nirvana! And Nirvana was my favorite band. Ever. Of all time. As such Dave spent years in close proximity to my favorite artist.

Like a Vietnam vet, “He was there, man!”

 Consider reading the first installment of a new fictional piece I am writing Kurt Cobain Lives In 1994 Kurt Cobain faked his own suicide. 22 years later he’s ending his self-imposed exile.

Continue reading “You know who really sucks? Dave Grohl, that’s who…”