Monday, August 30, 2010

Video a Day #3 - Poison Idea "Marked for Life"

Here's another one to make up for what I missed this weekend. Ray Gurz of Bad American sent me a link to this video (it's included in his interview) and I figured I would post it.

Upcoming Area Shows

Here's a list of Upcoming Shows:


9/10- Benefit to help Walt BTB with attorneys fees and fines with My Turn to Win, Outlast, Get Railed, Dave Phlegmball, and more TBA. Donation of $7 to $10, and a raffle. Prizes include band merch, an original painting by Little Chico ( and more. 6:00 PM The Burners, South Bethlehem (True Blue Promotions)

9/11- Ambergris at Planet Trog. Tickets $10 in advance, $12 day of the show. Free game of laser tag included with ticket purchase. 3:30 PM Planet Trog Whitehall
9/17- CDC/Lionheart/Donnybrook/Call To Preserve/Stand United/More TBA. $10 6:00 PM The Polish Club Phoenixville (Stay On Point Booking)

9/24- Wisdom in Chains, Whut? (from Chicago), Lifeless, Animal Haus, and Unlearn. $7, 7:00 PM The Burners, South Bethlehem (True Blue Promotions)

10/8- "Flashback Fest" w/ Home 33 (last show ever), Cipher, Solomon, and more.The 90s are coming back to get ya...
Yes, Home 33 have confirmed and are playing this! Get stoked! Lineup tba soon! 6:00 PM The Burners, South Bethlehem (True Blue Promotions)

10/31- "Halloween Madness" Halloween is here! It's gonna be a big ol' blowout to celebrate! Costumes, candy, gorey movies, bands, etc... Stay tuned! 2:00 PM The Burners South Bethlehem (True Blue Promotions)

11/18- Altercation Comedy Tour. The Altercation Comedy Tour returns for another dose of stand up comedy and punk music! 6:00 PM The Burners South Bethlehem (True Blue Promotions)

****If anyone knows of any shows going on to add to this list, please let us know

Video a Day #2 - The Casualties "We Are All We Have"

Ok, I know I missed Saturday and Sunday. So today, I'm going to make up with it for 3 videos to get back on track. Here's the first....

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ambergris "This Blows EP" (2010)

Track Listing:
1. The Fall of False Kings
2. This Ends in a Hail of Bullets
3. Life
4. The Well Wisher
5. No One Cares About You
6. Undertow
7. One More Song
8. The Fox

I've been meaning to do a write up on this since the show on the 13th, but kept getting side tracked by one thing or another, so to say it's long overdue would be an understatement. However, I have an Ambergris related story that I want to share with you guys before I go into what I think about this EP.

When Mark and I went to see D.O.A. at the M Room, I noticed that a couple of the guys from Ambergris (Will, Art, and G) were at the show. Mark decided that we should go say hi to them, which I thought was strange since Mark is the one that tells me to not bother people because they know they are in a band and they know people like them and I don't need to be "That guy". Since he suggested that we talk to them, I assumed he had talked to them before. Keep in mind we both had a lot of PBR in our system, so this wasn't really well thought out. We walk up to them, Mark says something like "Hey, you guys are in Ambergris right?" and they say that they are. Mark then briefly says that we've seen them at shows and stuff, and the conversation just falls into an awkward silence. Keep in mind I've been standing there silently the entire time, to prevent from blurting out something drunk and not well thought out. Mark blames the PBR for what came out of his mouth next, but I'm not buying it. He looks right at them and says "This guy just started a blog, and he's going to review your cd". I'm standing there stunned and mortified and one of them (I believe it was G, correct me if I'm wrong) says "If we ever get it released". The only words I can form are "No, he means A Day Late and A Dollar Short" and I promptly proceeded to grab the sleeve of Mark's shirt and pull him away.

After that long rambling story, lets get into this record. All but one of these songs (The Fall of False Kings) was written and previously recorded for their album "A Whales Tale", which saw a limited release. Ambergris went back into the studio and re-recorded the tracks from that album because "the final mix wasn't up to snuff" (direct quote from Truman), and put seven of them on this EP, and will be releasing the others on another (according to Truman when I bought this). Just like "A Day Late and A Dollar Short", I've listened to this record constantly. I love it. I've literally texted Walt at least 3 times talking about how much it kicks ass. It kicks off with "The Fall of False Kings" and it's the perfect way to start. The whole EP is filled with great songs with a distinctly old school type feel. "Undertow" has a distinctly piratey feel. It's catchy and a hell of a lot of fun to listen to. "The Fox" is the perfect way to end the record. It's fast and aggressive with a wicked guitar line.

Come out to the Punk Rock Picnic tomorrow and see Ambergris live. If you're not in the area or for some VALID reason can't make it, check out their Myspace, their Facebook, and their website (where you can and definitely should buy this fucking EP).

Video a Day #1 - Dead Kennedys - Nazi Punks Fuck Off

I decided to resurrect a daily post, but this time instead of it being a record review I want it to be a video of music, and what better way to kick it off than with the Dead Kennedy's?!?!?

2010 Punk Rock Picnic

This is going to be a fairly long post. Tomorrow is the 2nd Annual Lehigh Valley Punk Rock Picnic at Emmaus Community Park. There was a write up about it in the Easton Express Times that I thought I would repost here for you guys to read.

Summer Hardcore Picnic in the Park returns to Emmaus

Friday, August 27, 2010
The Express-Times

Andy Silfies didn't expect to have another picnic. He went to last year's Summer Hardcore Picnic in the Park to enjoy a one-time reunion of some of the Lehigh Valley's oldest punk bands, not thinking it could become anything like a tradition.

"It was going to be a once-and-done thing last year," Silfies says.

But something happened that the organizers didn't plan for. The Summertime Hardcore Picnic in the Park was a hit. The nine-hour festival took place Aug. 8, 2009, at Emmaus Community Park. Silfies, who was not one of the original organizers, estimates 150 to 200 people showed up.

"It was almost like a family thing," he says. "That's why I wanted to continue it."

Borough officials, who were hesitant at first, embraced the event, Silfies says. After the picnic, they put a DVD of the show in a time capsule, he says, and were happy to host the picnic another year.

Starting 12:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 bands will perform at the second annual Punk Rock Summer Picnic at Emmaus Community Park's Performing Arts Pavilion.

Admission for the all-ages picnic is the same as last year's: a nonperishable food donation for Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania. In 2009, 700 pounds of food were donated, according to Ann McManus, the food bank's director.

After the 2009 picnic, Silfies says, it made sense to try to repeat the success.

"Everybody had such a good time that everyone wanted to have it happen again this year," Silfies says.

He didn't have much trouble finding acts. Within hours of getting the message out that he would put on another punk picnic in 2010, Silfies had bands volunteering to perform.

"I put something out there on Facebook and the bands did the work for me," he says.

In some cases, Silfies reached out to bands he wanted to play. Cody Short, a drummer with the band Walter Krug, says Silfies approached them about performing Saturday.

Short was only too happy to get Walter Krug together again. The group, which includes Short's brother, Jesse, was most active in the mid- to late 1990s, Cody Short says.

Walter Krug plays fast, lighthearted songs like "The Ballad of Luke," a song about Luke Skywalker that's as much a ballad as "Anarchy in the U.K."

Short, of Philadelphia, says Saturday's show will be his band's first in quite some time. Their last show was two months ago; before that, about five years, Short estimates. Though Short doesn't live in the Lehigh Valley anymore, he's eager to play in the band again.

"I really like playing with these guys," he says.

Other bands are comparatively new to the punk scene. Bad American just put out their first album, a 7-inch self-titled EP. But singer Ray Gurz, of Emmaus, has been a part of the Lehigh Valley punk scene for years as a member of Tile, Carpenter Ant and other bands. Bad American has a sound like the hardcore punk bands Black Flag or Fang, Gurz says.

"We did have a really good following," Gurz says of Carpenter Ant.

Gurz has been around long enough to see how interest in the local music scene ebbs and flows.

"It's hot for a while and then there'll be a five-year lull" before some new kids start running things again, he says.

Gurz is hopeful Saturday's picnic will help get more people involved. The 2009 concert had a stronger showing than he expected, he says.

"Surprisingly it was a very good turnout," Gurz says.

Silfies says he tried to get more than just hardcore punk bands into the lineup so people get a little variety. People including Silfies.

"If I have to listen to nine hours of punk, I might jump off a cliff," he says.

Silfies moved the date from early August to the end of the month so the event wouldn't interfere with vacations. It also marks the end of summer, he says.

Some of the bands might not slow down their sound but Silfies says the dynamic has changed now that many of the performers are older.

"There's a lot more tired people on stage after 10 minutes," he says.

Adam Richter can be reached at 610-258-7171 or Talk about entertainment at

Also, here's the lineup for tomorrow.

battering ram 1-130
damn dirty apes 145-215
beings 230-300
florence and libby 315-345
bad american 4-430
dead end drive 445-515
slamhounds 530-600
break for some punk rock kareoke- 6-630
track nines 9formerly black 5's, and the lofis) 630-7
ambergris 715-745
walter krug 8-830
cleanup 830-9

I recommend coming to see as much as you can. It's free for fucks sake, all you're asked to bring is a non-perishable food donation for the Second Harvest Food Bank. It's going to be a good time. Here's the Facebook link if you want it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

H2O on a mothaf*ckin' Boat!

Yeah I know this show happened on Sunday, and yeah I know that today is Thursday. I've been debating with myself on what exactly to write about this show. H2O has been around for years, and to simply talk about how good the show was wouldn't do them justice. Obviously they put on a good show, or they wouldn't still be around. It was a good show -- no, fuck that, it was a GREAT show. Now that that's out of the way, lets get into some of my observations.

Overall, it was one of the greatest trips to a show out of the area that I've ever been to. Kate came with me, and it was a different experience going into the city with her than when I've gone with my other friends. I didn't drink at all, which I'm not saying to get a pat on the back or anything, but I think it made it more enjoyable not being bombed for H2O's set.

The boat was like nothing I've ever seen before. I mean I've been on boat tours around NYC before, so I had an idea of what to expect, but this boat was sick. It was a party boat, so it was basically a floating reception hall, but it was as large as I expected it to be. The area that H2O played was small, and kept it (for lack of a better term) intimate.

H2O played for almost an hour and a half which was amazing. They played just about everything I was in the mood to hear, and even though I was disappointed that Freddy Madball wasn't going to be there (Madball is touring Europe with Agnostic Front currently) to sing his part in "Guilty By Association", it was more than made up for when Scott Vogel from Terror filled in. To top it off, John Joseph and Mackie from Cro-Mags came out and did a couple of Cro-Mags songs.

Since the boat was small (relatively speaking), there wasn't a designated pit area. It was basically just a ton of people, crammed into a small area trying to do their thing. Usually this kind of stuff pisses me off because there's always some meathead pushing and being an asshole, but it didn't bother me so much this time. There was pushing, and occasionally someone would try and shove me out of the way to get closer, but I was so focused on what was going on in front of me that I didn't let it bother me.

Overall, this is definitely in my top 3 shows without a doubt. This was H2O's last U.S. show for the remainder of 2010, and I am stoked that I won tickets to it from the Black and Blue Takeover on East Village Radio.

One last thing that I want to mention is that Toby Morse is not only doing his thing with H2O, but he's also going around to schools talking to students about the things he strongly believes in. While I'm not straight edge by any stretch of the imagination, I am a father, and I believe that it's important that kids know that they don't have to drink or smoke pot (or other drugs for that matter) just to fit in. The man sings about living with a PMA, and he lives it. Go check out One Life One Chance

Ryan Bland of Home 33 on the upcoming Flashback Fest!

I wanted to post this after my buddy, Scott, sent it to me. Ryan from Home 33 did a write up of the upcoming Flashback Fest we are booking for October 8th (more info to come). So read what Ryan has to say about this and why Home 33 is back one more time!

Home 33 @ Flashback Fest OCT 8TH, 2010....

What I'm Thinking....motherf%*kers! lol

by Ryan Bland on Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 2:27am

I'm sending this note to all of my friends who i think liked Home 33 or Helped us out & maybe you were even a part of the band at some point.
I had many great Times in Home 33. When the band started it was in the Lower East Side NYC in 1994. Downtown was still kind of Dangerous to me. CBGB,ABC No Rio, The Gas Station , Nightingales Bar & Coney Island High were our Clubs.

Home 33  (1997)

Home 33 came from two different Lower east side Punk bands....Opposition & Bushmon. The first HOME shows we got banned from a few clubs back then because shit always got broken on stage. To many bands to list but we played with and opened for all the good 90's Hardcore & Post Hardcore bands. Home 33 had Many lineup changes but by the end of it all we made one Demo, Two Albums & Made it on to many Compilations.

We always thought we were outcast at most shows because back then most people just didn't get it. So for it to be almost 15 years later & to have people ask Home 33 to play really blows my mind. I have done various Home 33 reunions with some original members over the years but most of you know it is always a good 3 to 7 year gap before you hear the name Home 33 again

My Boy Scott Raphael singer of a band called Solomon (Who are also playing Flasback Fest) has always supported Home 33 & Most of you might not know this but he is the Motherfucker who has been giving me shit to play music again for many years He talked me into almost every HOME reunion & even United Nations. Always saying "Ryan Just PLAY!!!" Back in the day Scott booked shows in PA & Always hooked up Home 33

Scott called me last month & Asked Home 33 to play Flashback fest....i thought "Hell No!" but he talked me into it. i talked it over with the original drummer Rob Rodrigues who is busy can't play the show (Pro-Skateboarder again these days) but says "Our Music is meant to be shared" & is happy some people want to hear the old HOME songs live.

reunion  show 2005

It's a good thing to do the show because i had a good friend pass away that same week i got asked to play Flashback Fest....i was living with her when i wrote lyrics for all the Early HOME songs....I need a Hardcore Release... I'm going to give this show my Heart & Soul. It will be the Last Time EVER i plan to sing these songs! It looks like our Set will be the 1994 Chutzpah HOME demo & a few other surprises....the lineup is sick....All guys from bands i loved

True Blue Promotions seem like stand up guys & the other bands for Flashback Fest are almost confirmed.....TBA....this will be one not to miss out on!! Some of the Home 33 songs we will play @ Flashback Fest have not been played live for 14 years......

For those of you that live outside of PA that fucking care & Take the will be worth it. We will have Home 33 Merch for the first time in 11 years.

FRIDAY OCT 8TH 6pm-11pm
The Burners
333 Brodhead Ave
Bethlehem PA

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Where's my hooligans? Hub City Stompers at the Burners 8/20/10

While I expected to get this review done the weekend of the show, it simply wasn't possible. Too much going on in a short time frame really cuts down on the opportunities to write in due time. But anyway, here's my brief write up of the show...

First of all, it's always tough to have a show when another show gets booked a couple of blocks away, as was the case this time. Apparently, a punk show benefit got booked not quite two blocks from the Burners and had a good deal of an overlapping crowd interest, thus splitting people between shows. I can't stand that because neither show ends up having as many people as possible since nobody bothered to make sure there wasn't anything booked already. I don't know who booked the other show so I won't slag them directly and I don't know how aware of our show they actually were, though I'm pretty sure they were aware of it. Still, we had fun.

G~SHOK were the first band up to bat. How to describe them? I'd say a blend of rock and punk attitude coming from college kids' first band. I have no idea if it's their first band but that's what it seemed like. They just went up and played and had a fun time doing so. That matters a lot to me because a lot of bands talk big and act self-important, but these guys didn't seem to take themselves seriously and just rocked out and enjoyed themselves.

VIOLENT SOHO, touring from Australia, came on next for the second show in as many nights at the Burners. I was already receiving texts the night before about how great they were so I was excited to see them. To put it mildly, they did not disappoint at all! This band was massive, playing an aggressive 90's grunge era rock that reminded me a lot of the Pixies. They hammered the crowd with a wall of sound, and really blew everyone away. Really good band and worth checking out if you get the chance the next time they come though.

ONE LAW FOR US played their debut next. Featuring former members of The Cutters, they played the type of Oi!-fueled punk that The Cutters started out playing. They really had their act together and played hard, had fun and made a good showcase for what people can expect from them in the future. Seeing Jay Skin on bass was odd since he'd always been on a mic sans instrument, but he's got the knack for playing and maybe that will keep him and Irish Kev from tripping over each other in the future... maybe... (hahaha, those are my boys, and they know I'm messing with them). I'm sure we will see them back again soon.

THE SNAILS, from Lancaster, set up and got into some straight up old style ska. A breath of fresh air considering that most of the time I see a band of younger folks playing "ska", it's sped up pop-punk oriented stuff with some ska riffs. This is what I prefer to hear... Well-crafted danceable ska tunes highlighted by keyboard rather than horns. Fun stuff, and if you like the old moon-stompin' music, I suggest you check these guys out when you can.

AMREV II were up next. My buddy Ron was playing with them on bass and this was the first time he'd played in this type of band so I was interested to hear how it went. Honestly, I keep forgetting how solid a band AMREV II is, and every time I get to see them, I'm reminded that they are a really good punk / ska band. No, I won't call them ska-punk or ska-core or whatever, because they do a good job of blending the two without falling into the same category as a lot of those carbon copy bands are in. It was cool seeing Ron jamming some new style and he did so with flair (not surprising, the guy is incredible on bass anyway). AMREV II got people dancing and played a fun set for everyone.

HUB CITY STOMPERS topped off the bill, calling out everyone who were for some reason still sitting in the bar by getting into "Where's My Hooligans". If you haven't seen HCS before, you are missing out. Punk, ska, both, more... it's hard to pin them down, really. Just suffice it to say that they are a hell of a good time and that's all that really matters. Going from ska riffs and horns and then blasting into moments of hardcore and punk. People danced, knocked each other around a bit, did the usual goings on at The Burners, and HCS obliged the crowd with a great set. We will definitely be getting them back again in the future, so if you missed this one, you will have another chance to see them play soon enough. We are also planning another benefit show in Newark and will have HCS playing. Details of that will be coming soon.

So that's it. Overall, a good night. The crowd could have been a lot bigger, but the Valley tends to be very hit or miss with turnouts. Hopefully, we will be able to start seeing greater turnouts on a regular basis. Still, the crowd had fun, I had fun and the bands had fun. What more can one really want?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bad American - Bad American 7 Inch (2010)

Track Listing:
1. Doozer
2. Brain Dead
3. No One Is Safe
4. Rodent
5. Crossover
6. Snake Doctor
7. Lurker
8. Combat

I know that when I posted the interview with Ray, I said that I was going to post my review of Bad American's debut 7 inch this past weekend. I truly had every intention of doing it, I just didn't realize how hectic my weekend was going to be. I obviously didn't have a chance to do it, so I'm doing it now.

Since Bad American sent me the mediafire link to the 7 inch, I've listened to it at least 20 times. It was something I was eager to listen to because of how much I enjoy them live, and I was completely blown away. Musically every song is tight and aggressive. Ray delivers the lyrics with a ferocity reminiscent of early Poison Idea. From start to finish, it's a great fucking record. The production quality is amazing. The only bad thing I can say about this record is that it's only 8 minutes long. I want more! It's impossible for me to tell you which song I like the best, because they are all well written. Seriously do yourself a favor and click on the link and download this to listen to. Then after you listen to it, go over to bigcartel and buy the damn thing.

Make sure to check out Bad American at the 2nd Annual Lehigh Valley Punk Rock Picnic this Saturday, and also check out their Myspace and their Facebook. If you're into skateboarding, check out Ray's company, Lost Soul Skateboards

Friday, August 20, 2010

Interview with Bad American's Ray Gurz

When I decided that I wanted this blog to turn into a zine, one of the major things I wanted to add was interviews with bands. Once I decided that, it wasn't a tough choice on who I wanted to interview. Ray Gurz was at the top of the list because of how much I like Carpenter Ant's "I Still Have the Drive" and because of how much I like his current project Bad American. Walt introduced me to Ray at the show at the Burner's last Friday, and Ray was more than happy to do it. I emailed my questions to Ray, and he got back to me. So without further delay, here it is......

FTTW: This is the first question in the very first interview I’ve ever done, how do you feel about being my first?

RG: i am amped on people doing cool shit. more action, less talk

I’ve seen you at a couple of shows, the first time when you sang a Carpenter Ant song with Back to Back. Bad American has a more aggressive and raw sound than the Carpenter Ant album I was able to find (I Still Have the Drive). When we talked at the show, you said that you told Cobra that you wanted to do a Black Flag/Poison Idea type band. Was that concept a consensus between you, your brother, and Jamie, or was it an idea you had on your own?

poison idea has hit me real hard this year. just one track got me so pumped. i listened to it for weeks, right before i left the house to go skate.
i also like the purity of it.
i was so tired of just being in a band with non dedicated guys. i wanted to step on toes and bring back what music has missed all these years.
jamie was just down because he wanted to start another band but didn't really want to do the same old hardcore bullshit. cobra stepped it up, wrote some songs and we just went from there. our first drummer had the heart to do it but not the skills. he hates us now. sorry aaron. i found out my brother had the itch to play and i asked. one day, 8 songs later, he was in.

When I saw you guys play with Maximum Penalty at the Burner’s, you really went off about people on their cell phones during the show. Would you say that that’s one of your biggest pet peeves?

a band plays with all they got. and people just fucking text each other with no respect anymore. i would never do it. in between bands but not during sets. i gave up on that one. these kids in Doylestonw hate Bad American because i made fun of one of their friends texting during us during the artspace show. he hates me more because he was sitting on a couch and totally looking bummed on us during my old band, fresh meat, set. so, i gave him something to remember. i flipped a couch over with him sitting in it. it just happens. i lose my shit. that is why i love punk music. i vent.

Since you’re still heavily involved with skateboarding, what are your thoughts on Bethlehem opening up a skatepark, and Easton being in the process of doing the same?

i just think it is about time

Now for a little bit of a goofy question. I’m a pretty big comic book nerd, and I want to know if you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

mind reading

What made you choose mind reading?

what made me choose mind reading? as a power. it wouldn't have me thinking all about what if. i could tell if they are a liar.

When everything is all said and done, what do you want your legacy to be? What do you want to be remembered for/as?

i just want to known for the guy who just lived life to the fullest. i do all the things i do because i love everyone of them. i am just a guy who stop talking and just acted.

I know you've sold out of your Demo and the initial press of the 7" has sold like crazy, and you also have some shows coming up. Anything you're excited about and/or want to promote?

the next fullest commitment is the next lost soul skateboards video. i own this company and i been working my ass of to make it established and one to just be noticed. we skate everything. we are a true diy company. in all aspects. MODERN NEEDS drops this October.

I hope you guys enjoyed this. This is probably the first of many interviews to come. Thanks to Ray for doing this, and thanks to Walt for helping make it happen. Check out Bad American's Myspace Page. They also sent me a link to post so you guys can give their 7" a listen. After you download it, and fall in love with it, here's where you can pick up you're very own copy. Also, don't be a dick. Support Lost Soul Skateboards.

Check back this weekend, and I'll have my review of Bad American's 7".

Show Tonight (Friday)!!!!

If you're in the area, this is the show to be at

Monday, August 16, 2010


After going to shows for several years, about 6 or 7, I’ve come to notice a few things. From traveling to different states and settings for shows, I’ve concluded that hardcore is the same just about wherever you go when it comes to who is running/promoting the show. I’ve grown more partial towards shows controlled by kids in the scene at a venue that isn’t commercialized (a.k.a. “D.I.Y.”, “Do It Yourself”).

The motive behind putting on a show for a DIY kid is for the love of the music and to support bands. Money is the driving force for other promoters. A majority of the DIY promoters have been in bands or worked closely with them. This give them the understanding of being a band playing a show. Other promoters typically don’t care about the bands, but more about the size of their wallets once the show is over. Hardcore bands are aware that there isn’t much, if any, money in writing and playing the music they love. Passion is what motivates them. Any money that they can make off of a show normally goes towards travel expenses, merch, and recording. DIY promoters do the best they can to give bands enough and a little more to make the show worthwhile. I’ve heard of a non-DIY venue in the central Pennsylvania area forcing bands to pay to play if they don’t sell enough tickets. The same venue also makes bands do an inventory of their merch before and after the show, taking a percentage of the sales. What fucking horseshit! Non-DIY venues charge more per entry to accommodate for security (which is a topic I will get to in a second), sound techs, bartenders, and doormans’ pay. So how much of the money made in ticket sales do you think the bands really get in a place like that?

As of recently, security at shows has been a large conversation piece in the PAHC scene. Two venues in particular that I have been to within the past few months have had issues with controlling what goes down at their shows. At both places an outside company or group of guys were hired to run security. Both shows ended up with fights between my friends/acquaintances and security with them getting kicked out, and no refund. One was with cops getting called and them being arrested. The situation with the police getting involved WAS in the venue’s hands and not the promoter’s, however. Personally, I feel that shows with hardcore kids running security is a lot more successful than shows ran with hired security. Generally someone attending a show is going to respect a friend or acquaintance doing security over a ‘roid-raging meathead who doesn’t like or understand what goes down at a hardcore show. DIY venues, I have noticed, don’t have as many fights because security doesn’t overreact and put someone in handcuffs for a misunderstanding that could have been resolved verbally. There is a mutual respect at DIY venues. This respect extends itself to the promoters, show-goers, and bands. Barricades are not needed between the band and crowd. This along with no asshole bouncers creates an all around better and more intimate atmosphere. One can relax and enjoy the therapy a good show gives without needless distractions.

So moral of the story is: choose a DIY show and venue and support real hardcore. Avoid empty pockets and run-ins with security guards trying to beat you up for “dancing too hard”. This is our scene. Thanks for reading!

"Why can't EVERY night be like tonight?"

Ok, here's my first blog on this webzine. Hopefully you will take something away from it, even if it's just "Wow, this guy rambles!" Rich asked me to do a write up on the show that I booked this past friday (the FOD/McRad show). I'm not going to go into a lot of detail regarding the bands and the performances and all that because Rich already did that. Plus these bands are all amazing and should already have you looking into them and coming to see them without me reiterating what Rich has said. Instead, I'm going to talk about elements of the show that I find particularly interesting and important.

Friday was one of the best shows I've booked in the Valley, if not THE best. Not even because of the lineup, although it WAS rather stellar. No, the reason it was so great is because of the atmosphere that we had throughout the night. From start to finish, we had a solid crowd that was into every band and supported them all. We didn't have the typical irritation of people staying inside the bar all night or hanging around outside while the opening /supporting bands played to an empty room. Even when we had to endure the unfortunate long delay between the first and second band, people were still hanging out upstairs, talking and looking though band merch and being patient. Every band had a great crowd to play to, lots of dancing was happening, everyone just had a lot of fun and that is what this is all about.

Far too often these days, we have shows where people just don't bother to show respect to the bands they don't know by giving them a chance and watching them play. I've never understood that. Not to be "that guy", but when I was a kid and going to shows, I LOVED seeing new bands that I'd never seen before. It didn't matter if they were the first or last band. Yeah, I saw lots of shitty bands play first, and more than once I walked out after a few songs and couldn't take it anymore. But I still at least gave them a shot and gave them the respect I felt they deserved for playing. Those of you who have never been in a band may not understand what it's like to be excited to play a show and spend the time leading up to the show to get ready and be hyped... only to show up and play to 3 people while the rest of the show-goers are standing outside in the parking lot or in the bar ignoring you. Maybe your band sucks, but maybe your band is great. Problem is, only those 3 people are going to know because nobody else bothered to watch. It is heartbreaking and frustrating to be that band, and even though everyone says "we'll play to 5 or 500 people, we don't care", the truth is EVERYONE cares about how many people watch them play. For me, it's a cathartic experience and I'm able to exorcise a lot of personal demons despite the number of people in the room. However, it doesn't bother me as much if the show just has a low turnout. It's knowing that there are a ton of people at the show but the people are too damn selfish to come inside and give you the time of day that bothers me... ESPECIALLY when these same people talk about how they are the hardcore/punk scene and preach respect and unity. These people will shell out 20 bucks at an asshole venue like Crocodile Rock to see some band that is doing a big tour, but they won't pay a meager $5 to see five bands that aren't "big names", let alone drive more than half an hour to see them.

Maybe I'm making a big deal out of it because I talk about this subject a lot with my friends, but I just can't understand that mentality. Friday night, a lot of people saw Rough On Rats for the first time. A band who are local and haven't been around a long time, but are damn good. A lot of other shows, the crowd would miss ROR because they wouldn't bother to see the first band play. This is a real shame. Friday, people didn't spend the entire time in the bar while Ambergris played, instead they got to see just how great their performance was, as it always is. I can't even count how many times I saw a band open a show or be on early that turned out to be a huge band that I hear people say "wow, can you imagine seeing these guys before they blew up?" Yes, I can imagine it because I DID see them play. So many people love the Dropkick Murphys and I saw them when they were the first band on the bill in NJ with Murphys Law and 9 Lives. If that show happened today, imagine how many people would have been standing outside ignoring them play?! How do you know that you aren't missing out on seeing a band you would LOVE while either not going to the show because it isn't "cool" enough or because you were too busy outside chatting or drinking in the bar?

By the way, I am aware that not everyone can go to every show that gets booked. I can't go to a lot because of life responsibilities. However, I make it to what I can, and I book as many as I can. I love putting shows together and I love to see people enjoying themselves at them. i just wish that the majority attitude was "I'm going to go to that show and check out all the bands" instead of "I'm going to go see the hyped band play a show but I'm not wasting my time with whoever else is on the bill". If you were at the show friday, take that feeling you had as each band played and how much fun we all had and bear that in mind next time you get to go to a show. Go check out those bands you don't know. At least give them the courtesy of a song or two before passing judgement. If you're in a band, go to shows other than the ones your band plays, too. I was approached by someone that night to hook his band up at a show soon and the main reason I was happy to do it is because the kid comes out to a ton of shows and supports all the bands.

ok, that's it. No more running on about that subject. Next time I will go on about something else entirely, but friday night was such a shining example of how every show ought to be that I felt it was important to stress this subject. So, 3am, I'm out.

F.O.D. "Home Lobotomy Kit" 2010

At the show Friday night I bought a few cd's and had a very specific plan on the order I was going to listen to them and do write ups for them. Then today I had to run some errands, and decided I would bring F.O.D.'s "Home Lobotomy Kit" with me because it was the only full length I bought, and the extended time in the car would give me an opportunity to listen to most of it. I failed to take into account that it's F.O.D. and even though it was 15 tracks, it was going to go by in a flash.

I've listened to it at least 6 times from start to finish today, which is why it's jumped to the front of the line. It's a great cd. It holds to the formula of other F.O.D. albums I've listened to. A majority of the songs are fast and ferocious musically. The lyrics are well written. F.O.D. may be getting up there in age, but they can still write songs that angst filled teens can relate to. "Slice of South of Heaven" come in the middle of the disc, and breaks it up nicely. The first six songs (and the last eight) with Jim McMonagle's vocals are great, but when bassist Dave Rochon's vocals kick in on track 7, it's a nice change of pace. It also marks the spot where the already great cd kicks it into high gear, with the last 9 tracks ("Slice of South of Heaven" is included in this) being the best on the album. "Racist Boyfriend" is definitely my favorite track. It has a very old school punk sound and stuck out to me immediately when I heard it. The album ends with "Mrs. P.", a song that anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to be someone else, even for a little while. Start to finish this is an album that highly fucking recommend. IF you get to a show that they are playing, do yourself a favor and pick it up. If you can't get to a show, go to their bigcartel page and buy it, you won't regret it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mark Rooster - Reinforce: "One Life Thug Free!"

Here's a great record from a largely overlooked band. Seven songs of fast, catchy, melodic hardcore. The opening track, which shares its name with the album title, is probably the best song this band ever wrote, a fast, intense damning of tough-guy hardcore types, with an awesome breakdown that fits nicely on the end.

The second song, "It's Alright To Show Emotion," is more melodic, a fun tune. "A World Away" includes a long break halfway through, with some unusual instrumental noise, before busting back into the sped-up chorus. It's a cool song, and a bit different from what you might be used to hearing from '88-inspired straight edge bands.

"Yeah! We've Got It!" (these guys love exclamation marks) and "Excuses, Excuses" are fun songs, and the Morrissey-inspired "There's a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends" is a brief instrumental blast which leads into "This Is Not the End," an aggressive sing-along that promises more to come.

That more to come turned out to be their only full-length, "Happy Teenagers Do Not Paint Their Rooms Black!" One of the best things Reinforce had going for them was their ability to blend poppy sounds and catchy choruses with traditional straight edge hardcore. I think they went a bit too far with that in their LP, however. Songs like "Scream and Shout," "Katrina," and "Another Stifled Friday Night" aren't bad, but they break up the album in an awkward way, and it doesn't quite flow. Still definitely worth checking out (I said it's my least favorite of theirs, but I've still listened to it many, many times), as is their first EP, "Youth Shall Sing!"

Still, "One Life Thug Free" is the best they put out. A great record, fast, melodic, with positive lyrics, and a few diversions that make Reinforce stand out from other similar bands.

8/13/10 Show at the Burner's

As usual, the show last night at The Burner's kicked ass. However, I made the mistake of drinking a large Dunkin Donut's Iced Latte with an extra shot of espresso in it during the show, and I've been up all night. That's not really that important, so lets get on to the good stuff. Since there were six bands that played last night, I'm going to try and keep it short and sweet (Plus I'm exhausted, running on cigs and coffee).

Ever since this show was booked (even before F.O.D. was confirmed), Walt was excited about it, and kept telling me how good Rough on Rats was. As usual, he wasn't fucking around. These guys were really good. Quick, fast, aggressive old school punk. They're definitely a great band, and I'm definitely planning on seeing them again. Check out their Myspace, and I took a couple pictures of them and they are here, on my Facebook.

When Mark Rooster and I got to the show, one of the first things Walt said to us was that Straphangers got caught in traffic and didn't leave the Holland Tunnel in Jersey until almost 7:30 pm. After Rough on Rats finished their set, no one else went on until Straphangers arrived. I'll admit, I got a bit impatient, but it was worth it. They kicked ass. I don't know what else to say. Everything about them was awesome. The female lead vocals fit perfectly and the music was tight and aggressive. I picked up their CD (and a t-shirt), so there will be a review of it coming at some point. Here's their Myspace and the pics I took are here. They have a show today at Sinix Rock Bar in Essex, MD tonight, and then several shows in NYC in September. If you have a chance to go to any of these, I highly recommend it.This is the second time that I've seen Bad American. I went into this with high hopes and expectations, and these guys didn't disappoint. Their energy level is intense and you can see that in the pics I took. Their set was tight and aggressive, the way a hardcore/punk set should be. I talked to Ray a bit before they played, and he's agreed to do an interview, so look for that in the coming days. In the mean time, if you haven't listened to them, go over to their Myspace and check them out (because you seriously need to hear these guys). Make sure you check these guys out at the 2010 Lehigh Valley Punk Rock Picnic on the 28th

Before seeing McRad, I listened to 1984's "Dominant Force" once. I basically had as much knowledge of McRad as I did Rough on Rats and Straphangers. To say I was blown away would be a bit of an understatement. Chuck Treese's musicianship is amazing. It's not hard to understand why McRad is considered a Philly Skatepunk legend. There were a lot of people at the show that were psyched to see them. I can understand that, but honestly, in my opinion, I think some of the instrumentals went on a little too long. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, it just wasn't what I was in the mood for at that point. I definitely plan on listening to more of McRad's stuff. Check 'em out on Myspace, and here are the pics.

It's becoming a trend that every time I see Ambergris play when I'm not broke, I spend a bunch of money on their merch. This time was no different, I ended up leaving with a t-shirt and their EP, This Blows (the re-recordings of their album "A Whale's Tale"). Their set was killer. If you haven't heard of them, well then you're missing out. Head over to their Myspace and to the pics and check them out. They are playing today in Newark, NJ at a benefit for Red Bull New York's Joe Vide. If you're in the area between 12 and 5 today, stop by and support the cause. They're also playing playing a pig roast next on the 21st, and also at the 2010 Lehigh Valley Punk Rock Picnic on the 28th.

When Walt told me F.O.D. was playing this show, I couldn't help but get excited. I was so impressed with them when I saw them with D.O.A. (first show I wrote about here), and I couldn't wait to see them again. They didn't disappoint. Everything I said about them 2 months ago, still holds true. They are truly intense. They play furiously, and never relent. The speed of all of their songs just completely boggles my mind. I picked up their new cd, Home Lobotomy Kit, and I can't wait to listen to it. Do yourself a favor and check out their Myspace. There are pics of them too.

I know this one wasn't as detailed as some of the others, hopefully no one minds. This show gave me a lot of stuff to do. I have 3 cd's that I'm looking forward to reviewing, and I have to get started on my interview with Ray from Bad American, so I'm done with this. Peace.

Benefit Show In a Few Hours

Hey guys. Late night post here, because I won't be awake anytime soon to post it before this starts. Today (Saturday 8/14) from 12 to 5, there's a show going on in Newark, NJ that if you're in the area you should definitely go to. It's for a great cause. It's a benefit for Joe Vide, of the MLS Red Bull New York, to help take care of the costs of his chemo to treat Hodgkins Disease. Check it out if you're in the area, and if you can't make it but would like to donate, go to The Friends of Joe Vide and you can donate directly on the website.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Show's Tongiht!!!!!

Two kick ass show's tonight. If you're around Bethlehem tonight you should be at the Burner's shouting "Fuck Musikfest" with Walt, Mark Rooster, and I, and if you're down near Philly and don't have ticket's to This Is Hardcore Fest, then you should be at The Polish Club in Phoenixville for A Day Once Dead's reunion show

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


There was a time that going to Musikfest was the highlight of my summer. It was something that was looked forward to, and the 10 nights it went on were all a chance to have some fun. As the years have progressed it's become a time that I dread. I'm sure that I noticed all the things that currently bother me back in the day, but being a teenager I didn't care.

For the 10 days that Musikfest is going on, going into center city Bethlehem for something non-Musikfest related is a fucking nightmare. Attempting to park anywhere within a mile and a half radius of Main Street is a test of patience and intestinal fortitude. Once you've managed to either get lucky enough to find a free parking spot (or have gotten bent over for $8, give or take, to park in a lot), you have the pleasure of walking the "Main Street Gauntlet" (the term I started using Friday night). Wall to wall teenagers acting like a bunch of brain dead herd animals (no offense to herd animals or animal rights activists) is not something that is remotely fun to walk through. They'll occasionally do something so stupid that you get a good laugh, but 8 times out of 10 they do something (like bowl you over) that makes you want to drop napalm on the whole thing. The only form of currency (i know there are a few places that actually accept cash, but FEW is the key word) that is accepted is the ridiculous Musikfest tickets that cost you 50 cents a pop. Then you get to spend these tickets on overpriced food and beverages. I mean today (Sunday) i noticed a stand selling a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich for 10 tickets. $5 for a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich, are you fucking serious? That better be the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the history of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for them to charge that. I understand that the venders have to charge insane prices because of the substantial cut that I'm sure Musikfest must make from each sale. We'll revisit some of these topics in a little bit, but I don't want to turn this into too long of a rant.

Now we get to the part that relates this bitch session to the blog. The music choices at Musikfest are pretty fucking dismal. A huge majority of the shows at Musikfest are free to the public. That would be fantastic if the public at large wasn't a bunch of herd animals (sound familiar?). Everything you will hear and see is all easily swallowed and digested by the masses, not rocking any boats or ruffling any feathers. I'm not trying to downplay any of the artist's talents, but it's all fairly generic radio friendly stuff. The only time that the bands or artists that can be a bit controversial get to play is on the Main Stage on Sand Island. This is only because people have to pay for these shows, so if you're there you want to see them and won't be offended by their lyrics/behavior. That pretty much makes it an impossibilty for any punk or hardcore band to get a chance to play at Musikfest. Very few have the kind of following to warrant Main Stage, and many have lyrics that would make the Musikfest organizers cringe. There's no room in the Musikfest mission for bands who push the limits of normal society with messages that I want to hear. I don't want to hear bubble gummy pop bullshit. I don't want to hear polka. I don't want to see 85 local cover bands. I want to see music that I connect with. I want to be surrounded by people who are there for the same reasons I am. The atmosphere at Musikfest is stupid. Even though I'm not a fan of the music selection, what bothers me even more (and I'm guilty of it too) is that 75% of the people that go to Musikfest don't even go for the music. They go to eat the food, drink the beer, hang out, and accidently hear some music. Music is secondary to most people who go and to the organizers. Musikfest always was, and always will be a money making machine, therefore being less about music and more about $$$$$$$$$.

As much as I dread Musikfest, I've gone twice already since it started last Friday, and I will probably go a few more times. My friends enjoy going, so I tough it out for them. They just need to make sure I get my hands on a 40 oz to drink on my way there, or they entice me with the promise of Theo's Gyros (the best food at Musikfest for us meateaters and one of the main reasons I go, they also be found in the lovely Quakertown Farmer's Market).

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back with a Clearer Vision and a Crew

Welcome to the "New and Improved" Faster Than The World. As I said a couple of days ago, I wanted to change the blog a bit. I wanted to get away from just doing the same old tedious record reviews. So I've brought in a couple of people to help out with the duties of writing for this, and you will have more variety in your reading. Walt has been around for awhile, so his insight has been invaluable to me. Kate may be the youngest out of the 3 of us, but she knows her shit. Now that she's involved, you'll have pictures to look at too, instead of just album covers and writing. You probably won't have to deal with my promises of posting some pics, and then it never happening. She's the one that takes them, so I'm sure she'll be more on the ball with it. In the coming weeks you'll see this blog change and take shape into something closer resembling a web zine than a blog of someone who is bored. Now that that's out of the way, here's the Crew of Faster Than the World (We all wrote our own bios, eventhough I'm the one posting them):

Kate aka. "Katebreed"
Don’t forget your roots” are lyrics that have stuck in my head for some time now thanks to the band H2O, whom also inspired this blog’s name. My roots reside in punk rock. Never really fitting in when I was in school since a young age, I became rebellious against what was considered “cool”. My teenage angst magnetized me to punk rock. It appealed to my anger, rebellion, and hate for what was popular. Through punk, I discovered its offspring: hardcore. It was faster, harder, and a hell of a lot more angry. As I grew more bitter towards mainstream society with age, my musical taste followed, craving something on the next level. Through hardcore I have met some of the best people in the world, and a few of the worst. I quickly learned it’s more than a genre of music, it’s a way of life. With values such as unity, loyalty, and respect, I feel it’s something that is with me for life.

Another one of my passions is photography. I’ve loved it for many years, but this past year it has become a complete unhealthy obsession. Up until a month ago, I had mainly taken pictures of friends, cities, nature, and cars. I shot shows for a little a few years ago, but stopped. My good friend, Bill Dukes, knew I wanted to get back into shooting live bands, so he asked me to take pictures at his birthday show/fiesta. I had such a blast photographing the show and was quickly reminded of why I loved it before. From that show on I started shooting shows that my friends’ bands were playing and shows that my friends’ were booking. Shortly after that I was asked to be the official photographer for Stay On Point booking, based out of the Phoenixville area, as well as Fistful of Hate online zine and True Blue Promotions. Then along came Rich with a message on Facebook similar to this: “Oh hey, I hope you don’t mind that I used one of your pics for my blog”. We got to talking and eventually he asked me to join his blog and here I am. The End

Rich aka. "Shuddyboy"
I'm not really sure what to say about myself in this little introduction section, so a lot of it may be regurgitated from the very first post I wrote for this blog. If you've read it before congrats, if not enjoy. I'm relatively new to the hardcore scene. I've listened to bands like Agnostic Front and H2O, as well as classic punk bands like The Ramones and the Sex Pistols for years, but it wasn't until the last few years that I became completely immersed in the music itself. Now bands that I've listened to for years and years have slowly started falling off of my radar, to be replaced by bands like Wisdom In Chains, Shelter, and Blood for Blood. There's something about the aggressiveness and the passion that comes through that draws me to hardcore like a moth to flame. At this point in my life, I'm going out of my way to absorb absolutely as much of it as I can, whether it's Youth Crew Straight Edge, chug-a-chug ,more metal oriented, or off the wall stuff. This music has become theraputic for me. It's cathartic. It's the music that helps me sleep at night, yet keeps me awake because I can't stop listening.

Now that the musical part of my bio is done, here's the me shit. I'm a single dad, raising two awesome boys, Dravin and Bradlee. They listen to hardcore with me, and I take them to shows here and there when I know they won't be trampled. I drink, I smoke, I curse like a sailor, and I make no apologies for who I am. My friends are my family, and hardcore has brought a lot of cool people into my life, and given me an outlet to not feel so alone, no matter how shitty I'm feeling.

Walt aka. "Walt BTB"
Veteran of the hardcore scene, been around long enough to have witnessed the ebb and flow of the underground population and the rise and fall of many venues and bands. Did my own cut-and-paste 'zine, Under My Skin, as well as helped and contributed articles, columns, etc to other 'zines over the years. Played in several bands, including Proceed, On Thin Ice and Back To Back. Booking shows since the mid-90's and still trying to do my best to create something out of the bare minimum. Cantankerous and cynical on one hand, positive and hopeful on the other. Certainly unafraid to speak my mind even if it means it's going to offend some fragile egos. This is who I am, that's all you need to know.

Now that you've read the bios of the main contributors, I want to give an honorable mention to two of my friends. Mark Rooster has a contributed an article in the past, and he may still do it occasionally. 9 times out of 10 he's the one that goes to shows with me, and it's a blast to be stomping around at his side. Jim (aka Jimcredible) did a logo for this site that is abso-fucking-lutely amazing, but Kate and I collaborated on the one that you see on the top of the page, and for right now we are attached to it enough that we want to stick with it for a little while. There will be a time in the near future that Jim's design is used, but it's too good for me to not share with you immediately. So here it is:
Enjoy the blog everyone

Monday, August 2, 2010

Throwing around an idea right now

I've found that I really like writing, but doing just record reviews and show reviews has gotten a bit repetitive. I want to turn this blog into more of a web zine. The thought of doing this task on my own is daunting to say the least. I would like to add some more people as contributors to keep things flowing and not just bog this down with my own views and ideals. If anyone is interested in contributing anything I would greatly appreciate it. Ideally I would like to keep this as close to hardcore related as possible, but I'm open to suggestions. If you read this, and would like to help out let me know. You can comment on here, or email me at or on my Facebook