Tom Waits – Live 7″ (Glitter and Doom Tour)

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all, my friends who are the most important Mustard Relics of all, a tall glass of water and a wide cup of coffee to you.  I think my New Year’s resolutions are going to be, coming to work on time every day and not taking a nap during lunch.

One of my wife’s old party friends had a son who died of alcohol poisoning a week or so ago, he was 20.  This is of course a real tragedy, him being a young man with so much to live for, as it is when any young person dies.  It got me to thinking about things like fate, luck, divine intervention, etc.  I’m sure if you grew up partying like I did you know someone who died from alcohol poisoning.  For me, in high school it was some kid on a skiing trip (or did he die from hypothermia from passing out in the snow…can’t remember which).  What makes that one person, every so often, die from having just that little bit too much?  Suicide really, even though you have every intention of waking up the next morning (albeit with a massive hangover)), so maybe it’s just playing with fire.  Maybe guys are just young and are doing things like beer bonging hard liquor, I don’t know the exact circumstances.  Sometimes even pro drinkers like the late Amy Winehouse, manage to drink themselves to death.  Starting to babble a bit here, but I certainly can’t understand how I managed to live through all the shit I did and that kid didn’t.

I am not a good singer but I’ve always admired a good voice.
I can’t play any instruments, but I can respect the artistry of playing one.
I’ve never been able to dance, but I’m in awe of someone who is light on their feet.
A band that was all those things, live in 1979…
The B-52’s – Dance This Mess Around

Not sure why I’m not dedicating a whole post to this 7″ as it’s not bad, but it just didn’t hit me hard enough to have a whole post dedicated to it.  The band on the flipside, Spithead, you would think I would really dig with that ska vibe, but somehow they were just average.  Jackbeast on the other hand blew me away, with that kinda touch and go sophisticated feel.  You can get all their stuff from the DIY Irish Hardcore Punk Archive, but do yourself a favor and give at least one of their two tunes a listen.
Jackbeast-01-Scrape #8
Jackbeast-02-Illicit Philtre
Spithead-04-Hard Dog Club

I first got into Tom Waits in college circa 1987, at the hand of my friend Katie who was a one of the boys kind of girls. Dude has been around since the early 70’s doing his thing and I suppose when I first got into him it was kind of trendy among college students to listen to him.  His voice is a make it or break it kind of thing and I guess for me it makes it and the music is a bluesy, folky, cabaret deal.  But I don’t need to blab too much about that.  “Lucinda” and “Bottom of the World” were written by Waits, but with what he does with Ledbetter’s “Ain’t Goin’ Down to the Well” my jaw literally dropped (especially at the chorus).  Start the New Year off right and give that one a listen.


Lucinda-Ain’t Goin’ Down To The Well

Bottom Of The World

Butthole Surfers – Cherub (Fenders, Long Beach, Kali 1986)

Man it is a real ghost town around here, it’s a good thing my survival isn’t based on the success of this place.  I’ll blame it on the holidays and not on the content.  A tall glass of water, a deep glass of juice and a wide cup of coffee to everyone, here’s to hoping you have something to celebrate.

Back in the mid 80’s when I was in high school in the LA/CA area, there was a cable access station, can’t remember if it had a name, that would play Flipside videos (I may have mentioned it before) of live punk/hardcore shows.  Watched that show religiously and would tape every half hour show and watch them all the time.  So I had these tapes with like 12 bands per tape, with bands like the Subhumans, Conflict, Marginal Man, Decry, Reagan Youth, etc.  One of my favorites was the Butthole Surfers one from 1986, in Long Beach.  I kicked myself for not having gone to most of the shows.  I had a car in ’86 and Long Beach was only about an hour’s drive away.  A few years later I would take these tapes with me to college and share them with friends.  The Butthole Surfers one was perfect tripping material.  Somewhere though I lost that tape and I’ve been looking for that Butthole Surfers show ever since.  In-fucking-sane. So…sorta long story short here is my favorite tune from that set…

Worst Case Scenario – s/t 7″

“Friday” is probably on my top ten all time of comedy movies (did not enjoy my experiences with PCP though).  Worked with a guy up in Humboldt, right after graduation, digging ditches and shoveling rock, who had every line in that movie memorized.  Haven’t seen it since I stopped smoking weed, so maybe it’s not so funny now.

An internet buddy of mine called me neurotic once and as bummed as I was that he said that, I’m starting to believe it. Communication via the internet really plays into that, and reading between the lines I can’t control the fact that I get noided when someone doesn’t respond to my messages.  Sort of a vicious circle too that feeds off of itself, because when you get noided you start to do noided things…humph.

My buddy Chris Squire, aka Billy Druid posted up a tune on Facebook that really blew me away, so though I’d share.  Check out a bunch of them and give him support at his Myspace. For now here’s the one I was talking about…
Billy Druid-D.D.C.F.C.-1415 – Terribly Empty Inside

Tripped on the first ZZ Top album (1971) the other day. A lot of BB King (saw him in concert) type stuff, which is okay I guess if you’re into that, but what stood out was a couple of tunes with a sort of a Sabbath-esque vibe. There’s only two or three with that vibe, but this was one…
ZZ Top – Neighbor, Neighbor

First off this is a badass band (but I say that almost all the time).  This time, believe you me, I am correct.  This was one of those records that I bought with a bunch of other records, listened to some of the records, ran out of time, got distracted, or something and totally forgot about this. Most of the time I am a glutton and eat that shit right up, but it’s kind of cool that this little nugget got put on the backburner, only to surprise and delight me at a later date. Second, posting this is sort of a moot point because the band released a discography thing-a-ma-bob a year after this 2nd 7″ was released (1997), called…you guessed it “The Complete Works of Worst Case Scenario”. This is just my taste of the band, so if you’re a serious listener/reader go to Illogical Contraption and get that along with a much better write up.  Outta Olympia, Washington, their first 7″ was released in Lookout (a label we’ve seen a bunch of around here), still looking for that one.  If I had to pick out one, check out “Checkin Out”.


Checkin Out

Twenty Degrees Cooler

Blood Of Christ

A Manson biography Mr. E turned me onto…

Dieselhed – Live

I know I’ve seen this movie, but which one is it? Like the sum total of the experiences in my life, they all run together as singular events separated by locations.

A new pet peeve of mine, motherfuckers who start shit over the internet.  And even though I’ve only run into that a few times, that shit is rampant.  I never used to talk shit unless I planned on getting my ass kicked.  Oh well, I’ve got to keep up with the times.

Getting cold where you guys are at?  I’m reminded every year that I can do below zero temperatures with no problem, but it’s that fuckin’, well below zero, windchill.  No jacket think enough you know?  Makes me think of my landlord working on an oil rig in North Dakota.  Speaking of landlords, we will be homeowners starting February 1st…yeah!

Had a ska moment, does anybody else get those?  Was discussing Madness’ “One Step Beyond”, a song that captured me in the early 80’s to the point where I took classes in saxophone in college.  Just when you think you know everything, I discovered the other night that it was a sped up cover of an incredible original…

So I got to thinking about my live ska experiences, which are very few that I can recall.  Dave Wakeling  of the (English) Beat moved to San Diego while I was living there, so I’d go down to Ocean Beach with the first wife, get high and drunk and see him play (about a dozen times).  He was actually really good, the old tunes and his new ones.  Now that I think about it though, is that ska…hmmm.  My real 1st generation ska moment (twice, once in Humboldt and once in Solana Beach) was seeing the Skatalites.

…an acoustic thing Wakeling did on the radio in San Diego…

dieselhedWe’ve already seen Dieselhed’s round here at the Relics, but it’s hard to go overboard on sweetness. Wikipedia describes them as “a San Francisco-based band, originally from Arcata, California.” I will always think of them as a Humboldt band that spread their wings and escaped,  So many good fucking bands came out of that place, but very few made it out into the big world.  I’ve gone into them on previous posts, so suffice it to say that these guys play some seriously good, sophisticated, quirky, sing along, tight shit.  Here is a vid of them covering Pink Floyd’s “Time”…

…and doing one of my favorite songs.

Balance: European Hardcore by Tom Barry, Photography by Sophia Schorr-Kon

BalanceGot this in the mail the other day and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. UPS beat the hell out of the padded envelope, looked like it had been run over by a truck, so I guess that’s another testimony to the quality of the book, it can take a beating.  I love getting anything in the mail, besides bills, especially records, but anything will do…ever since my days ordering stuff out of the back of comic books when I was a kid. You know being a thrift store shopper I forgot how a nice book with full color high resolution photographs can cost ($40), but let me tell you this is a NICE BOOK. I’m very impressed with the quality committed to something, like a part of the underground scene, which usually takes the form of newsprint or photocopies. The pictures themselves capture youth in motion and devotion, and as I said high resolution and very high quality, to be enjoyed as artwork in themselves. Sophia Schorr-Kon is a no-bullshit photographer. On top of that, Tom Barry is a master of the written word. Very easy reading that just flows, very matter of fact, but insightful as well.  The subject matter too is interseting on it’s own.  I might agree with what some of my friends have put forward, that the American hardcore of the 80’s died in the later half of that decade at the hands of the “boyscout” crews.  The same might be said of European hardcore.  Tom Barry addresses that very quickly though in his introduction, “Many oldschool detractors felt that this was not hardcore, that the sound had changed too much, that it was forgetting its punk and Oi roots.  The truth was that these kids were too young to be influenced by the same sounds; they’d created their own thing and it was spreading through Europe quickly.”  There will always be a continuity in music and an evolution of sorts. Regardless of what you call it, this music and scene is representative of a certain segement of the population, the one that’s on edge.  There’s has to be something for them and of them, something besides what is popular with the masses or the watered underground music that seems to be fashionable with the Hot Topic scene or whatever they have in Europe.  Reading about these guys from France, Portugal, Germany, Poland and England left me rooting for their success.  But they are self determined and don’t need my cheers, they are doing it for themselves.  The classic DIY attitude in action.  Here’s the press thing that I got via email…

“Balance: European Hardcore
Documenting the Bands and Lifestyles of the European Hardcore Music Scene

Borne out of the American punk scene of the late 1970s, hardcore music raged through the 1980s, spreading to towns and cities across the globe. The hardcore network spans all of Europe, and Balance visits every major node of it, opening the doors of the bars and dives that host Europe’s hardcore bands. Capturing the chaos of the mosh pit, the monotony of the office, and the sheer energy of the music, Balance pays homage to the bands, promoters, designers, and supporters who have made the decision to live a hardcore life.

Balance: European Hardcore features striking photography of shows and portraits of influential musicians. Alongside these images, the authors provide insights into the informal rules that give order to the international movement—for example, all lyrics are written and performed in English—allowing readers an insider’s perspective on the enduring but underdocumented music scene.

Balance focuses on the current European scene, documenting the lives of musicians who strike a balance between their day jobs and this vital musical force. From tattooists in Portugal to miners in Poland, Balance uncovers the twin lives of those working to support their passion. Hardcore has always been more than just music and although the performers and fans across the continent speak different languages and live in different places, they are tied to each other through a communal music scene that transcends borders.

Tom Barry is the drummer for London hardcore band Kartel and has been a fixture of the city’s hardcore music scene since the 1990s. He began covering alternative and underground music as a staff writer with Big Cheese magazine before moving into youth work and continuing to contribute to community-focused publications. His writing has covered a variety of subjects, from interviews with Slayer to the content of local school meals.

Sophia Schorr-Kon is a freelance photographer who took up photography at the London College of Communication. She has covered a large range of UK music festivals such as Glastonbury and Bestival. She has also worked with many bands and musicians, shooting for labels such as Sony. Schorr-Kon also works within the political sphere and regularly contributes to the New Statesman.

Mark Batty Publisher ( is an independent publisher dedicated to making distinctive books on the visual art of communicating, showcasing the visual power and innovation of contemporary culture in all of its varied poses. Today, the visual comes at us from more places than ever, and its dissemination is faster and more advanced every year. Books from Mark Batty Publisher capture this acceleration on the pages of every book. Affordable, well designed, thoughtfully created, and produced to last, MBP books are artful products that readers want to hold onto forever.”

You know even though I am kind of slut for getting this book for free and as a result giving it energy here, I’m finding out that’s the relationship that reviewers have with releasers.  By the same token I wouldn’t have given it this much enrgy and space if it wasn’t good.  If you’re the type of person who has a few bucks to spend, likes quality images and words, and just wants to learn little bit about a scene that you might not be familiar with, then this is DEFINITELY worth your time.