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VA 1996

June and July 1997 Live Reviews



Stray Bullets / Have Nots - 6/1/97 

JUNE 1st, 1997



All Ages@ Safari Nite Club


First off we were on this gig and then off the gig. John had just joined the band and Greg was in California or something. So we tried out this new Drummer. I guess our first clue should have been that he took off his high hat shoe. We lucked out though cause not only was this the worst set we've ever did but it was also the smallest crowd we ever played to. The original plan was to have Joey (SlipKnot/Have Nots/Rejects/all a hole shit load of other bands) play drums but after a fight put up by this new drummer we said OK. As a singer you learn to keep going no matter what and hope for the best. It's kinda like driving on ice. All you can do is keep going and try to keep some control while everything else falls apart around you. After the set the drummer packed up his stuff and left never to be heard from again. No real big loss.


Next up was Stray Bullets. Here's a little pointer to all you bands out there that are planning on touring: If you want to play the club again, don't hit on the promoters girlfriend. Also it helps if you aren't boring and generic. That was the first two strikes the third one was bitching about no one showing up to see your band that no one has ever heard of and trying to blame the promoter.


We just sat outside and drank and listened to the holy rollers from the church next door.


Swingtones / Animal Chin - 6/15/97 

JUNE 15th, 1997



All Ages@ Safari Nite Club


This show proved that even Ska fans can get burned out on seeing the same type of bands over and over. Even though this show had a lot of promo behind it no one showed.


I thought, hey they are both from they same city, they'll more than likely be friends and it might be a fun little show despite the turn out. I was wrong. They hate each other for some reason. I gave the Swingtones headlining because they set up the show first and then Animal Chin was added. So they both show up and a chill filled the air. I've never understood this whole headlining thing. I mean I love being first. You get it over with and then can sit back and enjoy yourself. Also you don't have to babysit the band members that drink when they shouldn't.


Animal Chin came on and did their Ska-core Op-Ivy thing and were quite good. They seem to be pretty much OK with playing with the other band and did their set without saying a word about them. Sure they didn't set the place on fire or anything but they were OK.


Up comes Swingtones and they start that geeky ass, I used to be in the marching band, two-tone ska thing. Ska, where band geeks can become stars. In between songs they slammed Animal Chin on this and on that. In general they spent the whole set bad mouthing them. Maybe if they would just work on getting better instead of talking shit, they may not have sucked so much.


Murphy's Law / Cretin - 6/17/97 

JUNE 17th,1997



All Ages @ Safari Nite Club


There was another band on this bill and for the life of me I can't remember. I remember that the band was good but the name just doesn't come to me. Anyway it was nice to have Murphy's Law back. Jimmy was the only one left from the last time due to the fight that they had after the show here in February.


Cretin was up first with one of the ex-members of the Queers and just guess what they sounded like? The Queers of course. Maybe it's just me but isn't this whole Queers thing just out of control. I mean they were an OK punk band back in their day but then they started doing loves songs and DaVo went out for Ice Cream and never came back. Also what the hell is with the cat thing? OK they're a chick band (boy is that going to piss some people off). So in other words the world may be in need of a lot of things but another Queers type band it is not. Cretin was good but there was too much sugar in the tea.


If you haven't seen Murphy's Law but hated the records, give them a chance because live they are something else. Jimmy has a way of working a crowd and a stage that can not be topped. They are a true joy to see. He has this way of walking into your house and making it his own and that's just what he did. This time there were no fights and no breakup.


Black 47 - 6/26/97 

JUNE 26th, 1997



21 & Over @ Safari Nite Club


I felt that I needed a follow up to SD. So we did this show. It was the biggest money loser I've ever been involved with. That's the chance you take when you're trying to bring music to a town that no one else would bother with. For those of you that don't know who they are, they're a Irish Pub rock band from NYC that has been on the edge of breaking forever. So why do it? Well the Chieftainscan sell out 1000+ seaters here and I thought this may bring in a different crowd. I was wrong.


They did play a great set mixing Irish folk with pop and rock. They seem like kinda a bunch of studio musicians that need a hobby between gigs but they pull it together at times. The thing with Irish music is the stories you tell and Black 47 has mastered that. Just too bad no one bothered to show up.




Yum Yum Trees / Swindle - 7/3/97 

JULY 3rd, 1997



All Ages@ Safari Nite Club


Swindle is a cute little band from San Diego which makes all the little 14 year old girls hearts go pitter patter. Sound wise their new school with just a hint of the old school/gutter thing. They played a good set and left all the girls heart broken.


The Yum Yum Trees are a trashy old school punk band from NYC. They put me in the mind of the Slits. A mix of driving and choppy rhythms with a rough surface above. Some of the members were in Chasing Amy and if you look you'll see their stickers in a few scenes. They were great and I left happy after buying everything they had.


Agent Orange / Blue Meanies - 7/9/97 

JULY 9th,1997




All Ages@ Safari Nite Club


One of the first punk band I ever heard and the first southern California punk record I bought was Agent Orange's Everything Turns Grey. They had played here back in 88 with Underdog (remember those assholes) and the show sucked because the cops showed up and there was this fight. So, this was a feather in my cap and something I wanted to do. So out of the blue the booking agent for The Blue Meanies called me and wanted the date. At first I was pissed because I thought I'd have to dump AO because BM would make more money but after a lot of quick talking I got them to open.


This was the first time I saw Apocalypse and I was blown away. They did this great cover of Little Red Riddinghood that blows the original off the map. I noticed that a lot of the younger kids didn't get their rough gritty sound but that's not surprising.


Ok another hint on booking, caught words. If your unsure of a show drawing enough throw words on like Ska. It may not fill the club completely but it will add about 50 people. I know that the Blue Meanies are not a ska band but they have a horn so that's good enough. I like them. They have this creepy anger to them that grabs you and shakes the shit out of you. Once again the Rudies didn't get it. It wasn't happy and they couldn't do the line dance thing.


Sure Agent Orange shut the door on their punk rock past a long time ago. Sure they talked all kinds of shit on punk and then sued the Offspring but I still can't get them out of my system. There's a deepness to those first records on Posh Boy, that beats the shit out of most of the records that came out in the last 10 years. I mean these are the guys that wrote the sound track to my teen years with songs like America, Bloodstains, Everything Turns Grey, Breakdown, and Living in Darkness and brother and sisters they did them all. It may be Palm and a backup band but the music is just as fresh as it was when they took that 8-track to Rodney back in 79. So I got drunk and for just a little while closed my eyes and pictured myself in that parking lot back in 86 drinking Pabst, breaking bottles and slam dancing with my friends to the car stereo. It was that hopeless and that is great.


Ballgagger / Backwash - 7/19/97 

JULY 19th, 1997




All Ages @ Safari Nite Club


This is by far and away the best show we ever did. I broke a mike stand and hit Paul in the head within the first two songs. We destroyed them and it left me limp and wet. It felt good.


Backwash is an old school band from New Orleans that is filled with good people. They take me back to the mid-80s when bands just played and let everyone else figure out where they belonged and if they could sell records.


Ballgagger is kinda a Riot girl band from LA. Really rough but also good. Everyone said they sucked, so they must be doing something right. Also they had 100% cotton t-shirts for $5.00. My kinda band.


Valetine 6 - 7/19/97 

JULY 19th, 1997



21 & Over @ Safari Nite Club


This was a 21 & over show after an all age show. Valentine is a great band that I kept wondering how I was going to get people in front of. So I had them open for Radio Caroline. Which at the time had one of the biggest draws out of all the local bands.


Valentine 6 is a cross between late Birthday Party and the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds stuff. Dark mournful music with mixes of jazz. Their sound is like murder, ugly and beautiful in it own unchanged surreal way. They sould be doing the sound tracks to David Lynch films. The joy of the evening was watching people slowly move toward the music. Drawn by something deep within. Mission accomplished.


Radio Caroline wrecked all our hearing with their own view of the world. I think this may very well have been their high point. It was one of those nights where either your mood or the band's mood hits a higher point and this was that night for me and them. If they would have broke up that night, they would have lived in the stars. Now it seems they are taken for granted.

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