Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You're out of your element Donny

"Were you listening to The Dude's story? So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie"
-Walter Shobchak

Lucky you! Today is the daily double, 2 show reviews for the price of 1!

Guttermouth - Counterpunch - Caskitt- Castoff (2/20/15 @ Soda Bar, San Diego CA)

Tonight's theme brought to you by Nostalgia and Fish Tacos.

I was super supposed to go up to Hollywood on Friday for the 9th annual Dre Day celebration show. But by the time I got off work, I just didn't feel like driving up there. My teeth decided to start acting like little pieces of shit, and I was getting tattooed on Saturday, so I had a pretty good excuse for not going. Instead I decided to keep it "local" and head down to San Diego to catch this show.

I also decided at this show that I was going to start taking notes, just to get my general in the moment impressions of everything, and because I think my immediate reactions to stuff is way better than my post reflection. Also, I'm totes super profesh now :P

Pre Show Pizza Party!
After the required preshow pizza and beers, we headed to the Soda Bar. This is something I have always noticed when a punk band who was "big" in the late 90's/early 2000's plays in San Diego, it always attracts the worst fucking people. Lots of goatees, plaid shorts, long socks, neck tattoos, baseball hats and DC and Volcom gear. The type of people who if they said after the show they were immediately heading to the desert to pound Budweisers and ride quads, you wouldn't be that surprised. The type of people where at any second a fight can break out. I mean, the Soda Bar isn't exactly the biggest place in the world, and there was a lot of people packed in there, I grabbed a beer at the bar and was heading towards the stage, and I was trying to get by this dude who was literally standing there flexing on purpose so I couldn't get past him. I mean actual flexing. It was fucking weird. I am a huge fan of 90's skate punk, it is what got me into the punk scene, but god damn it if I don't hate the bro's.


I didn't know who Castoff was prior to this show. I guess they took a long time off, and recently got a new drummer and bass player. The only thing I could think while they were playing was they sound exactly like 90's skate punk. If you think about Bad Religion, Pennywise, Strung Out, or any band like that, but you don't think of a specific song, they were that. I heard a few of the key words in their songs, words like unity, authority, and time. Total 90's Core.
Warped Tour Rating: 1998.
I would like to point out at this time that this guy standing next to me was playing Candy Crush on his phone the entire time.


Look, I have already told you Caskitt is rad, so I don't feel like I have to tell you they killed again. Just, shut up and preorder their new album This Machine Kills Sadness March 10th. It comes out March 31st on Compact Disc and digitally. Notes from my notes: "Did they just cover the Friends theme song? Yes, yes they did"
Warped Tour Rating: Staying home and watching Netflix instead


The trip down memory lane continues! If Castoff was High School, Counterpunch would be my early 20's. Totally have what sounded like the Drive Thru Records sound. Very melodic with some screaming. I could honestly only listen to like 3 songs before I had to go out and smoke a cigarette. I actively try and forget this musical period in my life, so being confronted with my past, I wanted non of it.
Warped Tour Rating: 2006.
That motherfucker is still playing Candy Crush.


Oh boy. So a few years ago I saw Guttermouth play at Rookies Sports Bar (weird, I know) here in Oceanside. It was the worst fucking show I have ever seen. Mark, the singer, was so drunk, stumbling about, falling off stage, forgetting lyrics, and at one point just left the stage, assigning a random audience member to take his place. It was terrible. And not terrible in a Skiba beautiful disaster kind of way, but terrible in a I don't ever want to pay to see Guttermouth play again kind of way. But here I was (way to follow through with your convictions Kevin). So when Mark stumbled by with his puka shell necklace, reeking of weed and booze, I was ready for a repeat. Luckily, Kenny wanted to bail and Ricky knew of a place in Encinitas that has dollar fish tacos which fucking ruled.
Warped Tour Rating: Fish Tacos > Guttermouth

Mac Sabbath - Black Fag (The Hideout, San Diego CA)

I woke up Saturday pumped. It was finally time to get legit tattooed. It's been a while since I got a real tattoo, and I had an appointment with who I consider the best tattoo artist in San Diego, Jasmine Wright (jasminewrightisyourfriend.com). After a few hours of pain, I walked away with actual art etched in my skin forever.
cool star bro
After getting stabbed a bunch, I headed to North Park to wait for the posse to show up. I was going to get pizza again, but I found myself in Live Wire instead drinking a beer. Pliny the Elder actually. I heard good things, and it didn't disappoint. Then #2 came and went. Then number #3. By the time I started on #4, our misfit Avengers assembled and it was time to go watch check out some themed cover bands!

Black Fag

Parking in North Park at these bars is fucking hard. By the time we parked and regrouped and got in, we pretty much missed the band. Caught the last few songs, and from what I could hear, it sounded like it would have been a good time. I will totally try and catch these guys for real next time I have the chance.

Mac Sabbath

McDonalds themed Black Sabbath cover band. These are the words that sold me on going to this show. Unfortunately, the place was so fucking crowded I couldn't get anywhere near the front to try and watch this band. Plus I was pretty drunk at this point, so without the visual aid, and the fact that it was so loud from people talking in the back of the bar, there was no way I could even think about paying attention. Plus the place was getting pretty smoky from the fog machine, and my new tattoo was starting to burn, so I spent most of the time hanging out outside. I did eventually make it back in, and it cleared out enough to be able to catch the last song they played, which was actually kind of cool. Sounded a lot like Sabbath. The singer was dressed like Ronald, the drummer was the Hamburglar, and the bass player and guitarist was the Grimace and Mayor McCheese. Except fucked up metal versions of all these characters. Everybody who did see them seemed to enjoy it, so there's that.
couldn't make this up if I tried
Was super pumped on the Denny's after party though. Eggs, bacon and Mashed Potatoes. Shit ruled.  
So yeah, that's it. Didn't like stuff, missed stuff, got tattooed, got drunk and ate some potatoes. Story of my fucking life. Had fun though, and in the end, isn't that all that really matters?
Until next time turds, I think I have a week off of shows, then its Shell Corporation super fun party weekend!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Burritos and Pancakes

Will's Birthday Show: Ash Williams - Weekender - Sic Waiting - Western Settings - Shinjoku Riot/No Talent (2/13/15 @ Til-Two Club, San Diego CA)

Oh, hello there! I didn't see you come in. It's been a few weeks since I have graced the music scene with my presence, but here we are, back in the saddle. Kevin rides again. Whatever.


This Friday just so happened to be on the 13th. So as is tradition, after 9 soul crushing hours of working, I ventured off to a tattoo shop to grab one of those quick $13 tattoos. Excitedly, I rushed to San Marcos, ran into the shop to sign in, and sat down on the world's most inappropriate and extremely uncomfortable waiting room "chair" that has ever existed (This tattoo shop is super hip, so fashion over functionality, you know?) Have you ever gone somewhere and walked in and just felt like you shouldn't be there? I'm looking around at all the people in the room, and I realize I'm the oldest person here by at least 8 years, I'm still rocking work clothes, and I'm the only guy. These are the types of situations most dudes would fantasize about, but in real life, fuck that, I'm surrounded by annoying children was my only thought (I'm aging very nicely into my personality). Thankfully I overheard that the wait was about 3 hours, so I packed it up and bailed before I had to explain to Chris Hansen why I was there.

The second obstacle to getting to the show was my softball game. Yes, I play adult co-ed slow pitch softball. It's fun, sue me. Our team is The Parking Lot Drinkers, a name we have earned. This weeks game was against our bitter rivals, and old team mates The Velocibatters. We totally fucking lost. But we had fun doing it!*

Two disappointments down, it was time to head down to San Diego to watch some bands!

Shinjoku Riot/No Talent

Only half of both of these bands from Mexico showed up, so instead of letting the people down and canceling their appearance, they did the quick math and realized half a band plus half a band equals a whole band! One mega Tijuana band. Which I completely missed. Traffic down there was a bitch, even at 9 at night. I blame the stupid fake love holiday.

Western Settings

Almost every time these guys play, for whatever reason I just don't watch them. I have no idea why. Maybe its because I know them. Maybe its because I know I'll be able to see them play again. Maybe it was the evolution of Ricky's rat tail to full blown mullet. Whatever the reason, I decided tonight I was going to not only watch them, but actually pay attention, no matter what. It was Will's birthday after all! But after half a song I found myself involuntarily outside smoking a cigarette. Like they play and I just get teleported elsewhere. Luckily some naggy blonde a dear friend was there to remind me I couldn't write about the show if I didn't watch the show. So I ventured back in and forced myself to stay, like a dog, with promises of treats (beer).

I'll be the first to admit when I'm wrong. Most of the time. Sometimes. Maybe. If I'm drunk. What I'm trying to say is, yes I am dumb for not really paying attention to these guys. I'm sorry. The whole band plays with this energy, almost like they enjoy playing music! Audible gasp! Weird right? Tonight was no different, very solid, very good. About halfway through, Ricky had us sing Will happy birthday, which is normally cliché and dumb, but when you have a room of about 75 friends singing to another friend, its actually kind of cool. Another point of interest, is during the last song, they were joined by Kevin White, formerly of Caskitt, currently of living in Florida, who apparently hopped on a plane and flew in to hang out.

I'm an idiot, this is a known fact. It always takes a while for a band I eventually end up liking to actually click in my brain. I have seen Western Settings play a ton of times, I have their old EP on my iPod, I have even streamed their new full length that's coming. I've liked this band, but I've kept them at arms length. This show has made me finally want to fully embrace Western Settings in nice big warm awkward holding it for too long hug.

Disappointed Will wasn't wearing a party hat

Sic Waiting

I'm not going to lie, I mostly wanted to watch Jared and company because Jared has a broken foot, and I thought seeing him hobble around on stage in a cast would make me feel better about myself. And it totally did. In spite of that, I think WS left some of their energy on the stage, because this is probably the best I have seen Sic Waiting play yet. Jason broke a bass string he was rocking so hard. A bass string! Those fuckers are thick. Very well done. I was thoroughly impressed with the San Diego music scene that night.
Nice cast bro.
I wanted to watch Weekender, I have heard really good things about them, but unfortunately the night kind of devolved into a drunken shit show. So while I didn't watch Weekender or Ash Williams, I did smoke an entire pack of cigarettes, took shots of what tastes like Listerine, and watched part of Beverly Hills Cop II on mute. Kenny was really hammered, and wouldn't shut up about breakfast foods. Particularly pancakes and breakfast pizza. I have one note in my phone that Jess had me take:
Life's weird man, like we are hear now and tomorrow we're like, "I just want to eat some pancakes" (makes pancake eating motion), and then we are back at work"
So that pretty much sums up where the night went. Which don't get me wrong, I absolutely love. I had a blast. Good night, good music, good friends. Party.
Next weekend should be a good one. Friday is Dre day in Hollywood, which is a celebration of Dr. Dre's birthday with a bunch of bands playing and covering Dre produced songs, and games and shit in-between. And Saturday is Mac Sabbath, a Black Sabbath / McDonalds cover band. Look them up. Please.
*that's a lie. Losing is never fun. fact. Win or die.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Lets Talk New Music: toyGuitar

toyGuitar - In This Mess - Fat Wreck Chords

I knew nothing about the band toyGuitar except they are signed to Fat. Then I saw them play not to long ago with Lagwagon in LA. I was excited to see them, everyone kept saying how awesome they were and how I would probably like them. Well, I didn't. It honestly kind of bummed me out a little. I wanted to like this band, but I couldn't get into it. But, forever being the optimist I am, decided maybe it was just that particular show or that particular venue. Its hard to actually hear a new band in a place like that.
So, I was stoked when I downloaded this album. Was this when Kevin finally became a toyGuitar fan? Nope. Turns out, I just don't like this band. Listening to this album, the first thing I thought was it sounds like the old-other-singer-who-wasn't-Chicken from Dead to Me doing a terrible Lou Reed impression. Turns out, I wasn't wrong. It finally clicked why people kept telling me I'd like this band. "It's Jack's new band" they would say. And I'd just kind of be like ,"Cool. Who the fuck is Jack?" Jack is Jack Dalyrymple, who has been in or is still in or recently rejoined: One Man Army, Dead to Me, The Re-Volts and The Swingin' Utters. It makes perfect sense why people thought I would like this as well. I SHOULD like this band.
Musically, this record is solid. A little bit Garage Rock, a little bit Pop Punk. The guitars, bass and drums all sound great, I actually really like the music. The last song on this album, Loose in a Room fucking shreds. So what's the problem? Weirdly enough, my issue is Jack Dalyrymple. I really like One Man Army, and I fucking LOVE Dead to Me. I don't know why, but I absolutely can not stand his voice on this album. I think it's a combination of the way it was recorded and the fucking weird way that he is actually singing the songs. Seriously, the music part sounds great, well recorded and well mixed. I can hear and pick out each instrument. Meanwhile the vocals sound like as they were about to record them, a worm hole opened up and Jack traveled back in time to the 60's inadvertently walking in on the recording of The Velvet Underground & Nico, where he had to wrestle Andy Warhol in a cage match and won, graciously accepting his prize of an era appropriate "state of the art" microphone, and when he was handed his prize, brushed ever so lightly against the prize givers finger sending an electroshock between them and sending him back to the appropriate year, where he decided as a homage to his 5th dimensional adventure, he would use that microphone. Also, right before that, he was listening to a lot of Violent Femmes and it kind of influenced the way he sang. Whatever was going on there, I don't like it and it ruined the whole thing.

Opinion: 3/10 - Music is good, vocals are to weird to ignore.