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Danny Way vs. Tony Hawk
Today, Saturday July 9th, 2005, Danny Way once again amazed the world with a World Record jump over the Great Wall of China. He landed it on his second attempt. After he landed a straight air over it, he tried it 3 more times, landing backside 360’s over it. Can you believe the guy 360’d the Great Wall of China? That’s fucking insane. Sure, to jump that 61 ft gap is huge, but imagine spinning 360’s over it. Also today, Tony Hawk is gearing up for another stop on his extreme sports whoring arena tour, Boom Boom Huck Jam. Who do you think is earning more money today, and who do you think it earning more respect? I think you know the answer. After looking at the sponsors for both Way and Hawk, you can tell who’s after the money and who’s in it for skateboarding. Danny’s sponsors include: DC Shoes, Plan B, and Independent trucks. Tony’s include: Birdhouse, Adio, McDonalds. Not to mention his earlier endorsements for Bagel Bites, Hot Wheels, and Club Med. Both Tony and Danny are alike. Both were young skateboarding prodigies, Danny with H-Street and Plan B, and Tony with Powell Peralta. Both are known for their vert skating skills. Both own their own skateboard companies. It seems though, as soon as Tony landed the 900, that the endorsements started flowing. He has video games, kids clothing lines, stadium tours. You don’t see Danny Way excepting endorsements for fast food joints or other companies outside of skateboarding every time he breaks a world record, do you? Tony Hawk is a great vert skateboarder, but the choices he’s made and the companies that he’s affiliated himself with since becoming popular are only cheapening skateboarding. Instead of pushing kids to go out and skate, he’s pushing kids to stay inside and play video games, sit at an auditorium and watch extreme sports, or eat the terribly unhealthy food McDonalds. Danny Way has done nothing but push skateboarding in an inventive and positive way. Congratulations Danny on another World Record feat.
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Editors: Adam Sever Chris Pernula Contributing Photographers: Zach Windahl Sam McGuire Adam Krause Thanks: David Lewis, Zach Windahl, Sam McGuire, Tom Ward at Fat Wreck, Alexis Henr y at Epitaph, and all the companies that sent us product.
Cover: Uly Marin - Kickflip - Iowa City, IA Luke Hunt - Back Tail - South Minneapolis Photos: Sam McGuire
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variance - Paper Cuts
How Do You Pay?
Paying in Pain is a rad skate zine from California. They really capture the independent spirit. They have tons of great photos and plenty of well written content. Each issue keeps getting better than the last. This magazine would look awesome if it was on some shiny gloss paper like the major publications. For more information, www.payinginpain.com
Non Stop Party Wagon™
Al Burian is an independent society icon. He writes so well that everyone wants to be like him. In Burn Collector 13, join Al on his travels overseas for a family reunion. Then follow him on his hitchhiking/train journey all around Europe. A great reanby any standards.
Focus Skateboarding Culture Magazine is a new free mag from the East Coast, that covers the East Coast skate scene. Issue 1 features a guest editorial by, Ricky Oyola, and interviews with amateur Darren Harper and pro Chris Cole. It has a lot of nice photos and great design. They also do articles with skate shops (Kinetic), board companies (Syintific), websites (Post22.com) and trick tips. They really took the time to make a good newsprint skate mag, unlike some other news print mags I’ve seen. Future issues should be awesome. www.focusskatemag.com
Dan’s Zine is a cool zine from NJ. It’s put together by Dan Bracaglia. Issue 20 is mostly photos, but they’re quite good. Dan’s Zine also has hilarious fake ads. www.freewebs.com/danskatezine
What’s Your Subject?
Subject is a new newsprint magazine from Chicago/New York. It is published by Liz Schroeder(New York) and Nora O’Donnell (Chicago) and is beautifully art directed by Luckyface.org’s Sarah Eva Krancic. Each issue of Subject focuses on a different subject. Issue one’s subject is “What’s in a Name?” It has interviews with bands Tv on the Radio and Braid and articles about Moms Named Sharon and a feature story of the city of Calcutta. Issue two’s subject is “Carnival!” It has interviews with bands the Fiery Furnaces and Maritime, and articles about various freaks and circus related material. Both issues have been pretty good reads. They have a limited run of 1,000 and it is hard to find. Try checking out their website at www.subjectmag.com, for more information.
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Powell Pat Channita Deck - With most skate brands manufacturing boards out of the U.S., it’s refreshing to ride a board that is pressed in the same warehouse that the company is located. This Powell deck has a nice ride. It’s a little smaller than I’m used to riding, but it spins and flips well. It’s lasted over 3 months. That’s included a session at 3rd Lair, plain street skating, and flatground flip tricks sessions. It’s tail is turning into a razor from so much use. Overall, I would recommend the Pat Channita deck to anyone looking for one. Powell Bombers Wheels 60MM - These Bombers wheels from Powell are an excellent overall wheel. They are grippy and soft for bowl and park riding. And they work great on asphalt. Bones Swiss Bearings - There is a reason why these are the best bearings in the world. For those who don’t know, the ABEC rating doesn’t really apply to skateboarding. ABEC is an acronym for Annual Bearing Engineers Committee. The duty of the ABEC committee is to establish tolerances and specifications for the size and geometric accuracy of all bearings. Companies send their bearings to the committee to be rated. Bearings are rated from 1 to 9, using odd numbers. The higher the number the tighter the tolerance and greater precision.
“Significantly, the ABEC committee doesn't test for axial—or side loads. Skateboarding exerts tremendous axial loads on bearings when skaters slide sideways or boards land on their rails, flexing the wheels over the bearings. Bearing components can deform or be damaged by heavy or repeated axial loads, particularly if they are manufactured to a high tolerance. In the early 1980s, George Powell realized that skateboarding did traditionally unconventional things to bearings. Powell, who has a background in engineering, began to experiment with various bearing designs for skateboarding. The Powell Swiss bearings were the first bearings designed specifically for skateboards. Powell recognized that bearings used in skateboarding should be designed with axial loads in mind, and that unlike bearings made for electric motors, skateboard bearings don't have to spin quite as fast. Machine bearings are typically packed with thick grease, which ensures a long life but is sluggish at low temperatures. For his skateboard bearing, Powell began using a lighter lubricant that was less resistant and retained far less dirt than heavier greases, and synthetic ball retainers instead of metal retainers that are more easily damaged from axial loads.”
So, that’s why the Bones Swiss are the best bearings. To further prove my point, ask any pro that has ridden them or skate some for your self.
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
variance - Walk and Roll
Bastien Salabanzi Etnies Shoe The debut Bastien Shoe from Etnies is quite a comfortable shoe. Lots of padding around the ankle/heel area and a nice thick padded tongue. It has a nice suede and leather combo with cool checkerbox stitching on the sides. The Bastien also comes in some nice colorways, grey/white/gold, black/white, two tone brown, and all black.
Etnies Lo Cut 3 The Lo Cut 3 from Etnies looks more like a shoe to chill in than to skate in. Minimal padding around the heel/ankle area and a thin padded tongue. The Lo Cut is also an all leather shoe with the Etnies Level 2 Foam sole. From a skateboarding aspect, they might be ok if you like having a lightweight shoe, but they might not hold up as well. From a chill aspect, you could rock these to the club in a variety of outfits, or to the corner store for some milk and eggs. Check page 3 for a chance to win these Etnies Lo Cuts!!!
Movement Bearings ABEC 7 I’m the kind of guy who hates cleaning his bearings and have tried to avoid it most of my skateboarding life. But most bearing companies choose to make bearings with removable shields for easy cleaning. Movement designed these bearings with guys like me in mind. It even says so on the box. It also says they make bearings with maximum performance with minimum maintenance, and they’re totally right.
Kyle Berard Accel Wheels 51MM These Kyle Berard wheels from Accel roll good as shit. I mean these fuckers are round. These would be good for street skating only since they’re 51mm. The good thing about Accel Wheels is that they’re guaranteed not to flat spot, and if they do, then you get new ones for free. These Berard Wheels are on the harder side of the wheel spectrum, but as long as they’re not square, they’re good. Check page 3 for a chance to win these Kyle Berard Wheels!!!
Mike Vallely Dual Durometer Accel Wheels Like the Kyle Berard wheels, these wheels roll pretty good also. These Dual Durometer wheels have an outer white core and an inner black core. They are pretty hard and are fast on asphalt. They are a little smaller than I usually ride, but they work just fine for street and park riding. I have tried to do wheel slides in them to see if they flatspot or not, but they are kind of grippy. 8 Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Good & Evil The new Toy Machine video features a very different team from their last team video a few years ago. All of the skaters are young and eager, minus Ed Templeton, he’s not so young but he’s eager. All of the skaters have exceptional parts, but standouts are Josh Harmony and Matt Bennett. Diego Bucchieri has a killer part that shows that the guy is a crazy skateboarder. Good & Evil also has a bunch of fun extra footage from tours, demos and general clowning around. That’s Life One thing that the riders in That’s Life have in common is an over abundance of skaters in tight pants. Except Justin Strubing. His pants are normal size for his figure and his skateboarding is quite good. Again everyone has good parts especially Leo Romero, Corey Duffel and Mike Rusczyk. Dave Hackett Deathbox Deck This is one fatass deck, but they’re better that way. Great for pool/bowl riding or just cruising the streets. Large tail and nose that will bring back the nostalgia of skateboarding days gone by. Great for an old dude reliving his youth or an amateur exploring his roots.
Premier Snowskate - Warrior Series This snowskate from Premier is a great starter board for someone looking to get into snowskating. Steep nose and tail for getting into tricks. This is a plastic model so it is a bit heavy, but it would make for an interesting ride down a hill. It has a plastic shell, with foam padding on top for footing. It also has a slight concave. Premier Snowskate - JP Walker Mini Wood The JP Walker model is for the more experienced snowskater. It resembles a skate deck, except that it is wider and thicker than a skate deck. The Walker is made out of wood that has a coating on the bottom much like on a snowboard. It also has a smaller nose and tail than their plastic models. Turn it Out DVD “Turn it Out” is a DVD put out by Premier as like a promo for their decks. It looks like it is a montage of sponsor me tapes edited into one video. The quality is pretty crappy and dark, but the tricks these kids do on snowskates would even make the most experienced skateboarder wonder how they did it. Some tricks pulled in the video: kickflip backside lipslides, fake/nollie frontside kickflips, heelflips, 360 flips, nose/tail slides and a variety of hand rail tricks. It’s quite something seeing these kids ollie onto rails.
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Bruce Lee Band “Beautiful World” The Bruce Lee Band consists of Mike Park and members of the Rx Bandits as the backing band. The music is inspired by British 2-Tone Ska bands like English Beat and Madness. If you’re still into ska music, then you’ll probably love this album. I know the guys at Radio K’s Rude Radio will. (Asian Man) Bughummer “The Getaway With” Bughummer was a band from Georgia that was in business from 1992-1998. It features Keely Davis, who now plays with Engine Down. It sounds like a heavier version of Slint, as in the fact that it goes from semi quiet to loud and heavy. Previous to getting this CD, I had never heard of Bughummer, and anyone I asked had never heard of them either. It made me wonder why Lovitt would release this 7 years after the band disbanded. I mean the music is good, but I’m sure there wasn’t anyone patiently waiting for this release for 7 years. With this release though, I’m sure more people will be interested in their music, than in the past (Lovitt) Cex “Know Doubt” This is Cex’s first release since Cale Parks from Aloha joined him. “Know Doubt” sounds kind of like a sound collage/sound manipulation album more than anything. The vocals are there but are sometimes hard to hear or make out. All the songs are inventive and good. And one of the song’s lyrics were written by Rjyan’s grandma. (Record Label) Challenger “When Friends Turn Against You” 5 new songs released on the Chezch Label Day After Records. This EP has a different sound than their previous full length, but still sounds good. It should keep you rocking until their next full length is released. Since this was released on a foreign label, it may be hard to find. (Day After) Chin Up Chin Up “s/t” In 2004, Chin Up’s Chris Saathoff was killed in a hit and run in Chicago. The rest of the band contemplated not continuing with the band, but later decided that Chris would have wanted them to stay together. The new Chin Up Chin Up album is a reissue of their first Ep but with extra tracks and a video of “We Should Have Never Lived Like Skyscrapers.” Three of the songs are remixes done by other Chicago artists, Tim Kinsella and Stephen Snydacker. If you’re familiar with their first album, “We Should Have Never Lived Like Skyscrapers,” then you’ll enjoy this. (Flameshovel) Coquettish “High Energy Politics” Whoo, Japanese punk, but sang in English, which makes it sound like its from the US. “High Energy Politics” sounds like early Suicide Machines or Rancid, with punk mixed with ska and hardcore vocals. It’s a pretty good CD. If you’re into bands that are more hardcore punk and not emo punk, then you’d probably dig this. (Asian Man) Criteria “When We Break” Criteria falls into one of those member in a Saddle Creek band that also fronts a band on Saddle Creek. But more specifically, lead guitar/vocal Stephen Pederson used to be in Cursive, but no more. “When We Break” is a good post punk/rock album that is similar to their first release “En Garde.” The opening track, “Prevent the World” is quite good, and will intrigue you enough to listen to the rest of the album. (Saddle Creek) Crooked Fingers “Dignity and Shame” Crooked Fingers is modern pop/folk songs with Latin inspired trumpets. On “Dignity and Shame,” Crooked Fingers invites Australian singer Lara to sing on some of the songs. Lara’s voice is a brilliant addition to singer Eric Bachman’s. The first track is an instrumental Latin trumpet and guitar ensemble, and the same sound shows in later songs. (Merge) Curl Up and Die “But The Past Ain’t Through With Us” “But The Past Ain’t Through With Us” is a great short album from Curl Up and Die. Only 4 songs, but the last one is over 14 minutes long. This is the kind of hardcore/metal that I can get into. The vocals are right on, and the guitars riffs are on target. The last track is mostly slow and quiet but then erupts into an all out thrash fest and finally ends all mellow. (Revelation) Cursive “The Difference Between Houses and Homes” The new Cursive album is a collection of songs taken from their early 7 inches and 2 unreleased tracks. It doesn’t really sound like their last album “The Ugly Organ,” which is their best work. If you like the earlier Cursive sound, then you’ll probably dig this, but if you’re stuck on “The Ugly Organ,” then you might want to pass this up. (Saddle Creek) Darker My Love “S/T” Darker My Love is hard to classify into one genre. They’re not heavy enough to be rock, they’re too heavy to sound indie. They’re right in between. The vocals sort of remind me of Oasis, on some songs, on others it reminds me of Cave In with atmospheric guitars wailing. (Tarantulas)
Chariots (america, north) p: Aaron WoJack Deathray Davies “The Kick and The Snare” Deathray Davies’ follow up to 2003’s “Midnight At The Black Nail Polish Factory,” is a ray of sunshine compared to “Midnight’s” dark sound, pulling influences from bands like The Beatles, The Kinks, Beach Boys and even The Ramones and Replacements. “The Kick and The Snare” is a lot more upbeat than their previous album, and the songs are more layered with horns and other instruments. (Glurp) Del Cielo “Us vs. Them” Del Cielo’s sound could be comparable to the Alkaline Trio, except it’s women playing the instruments and singing and not guys. “Us vs Them” is a soild album with thumpping bass lines and catchy hooks. The drumming and guitar are top notch and the singing is ok. Sometimes I feel that the vocals don’t match the music, but all in all the album sounds good. (Lovitt)
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And who needs D.C. when we’ve got D4?
Des Ark “Loose Lips Sink Ships” I was a bit confused when I first listened to this CD. The only song I had heard prior to this CD was a loud rocking track. The opener on “Loose Lips Sink Ships”, is a mostly acoustic guitar slow ballad. The rest of the songs up until the last one are solid rockers. The ender is a quiet acoustic number. I often wonder how a duo who only play guitar and drums do it, but they do a great job playing their instruments, and keeping the music from getting boring. (Bifocal Media) Despistado “The People of and Their Verses” Despistado’s debut full length and last record ever doesn’t have much to say. The music is good, but the way the vocalist sings it feels like he’s yelling the lyrics at you and there is no variation in his tone. Some of the songs sound the same due to the guitar tuning and playing. Their previous EP was good because it gave you a small dose of the band’s sound. Maybe this would be better if you listened to it in separate listenings. Since the band broke up prior to releasing the album, it is only available online at sites like downloadpunk.com and Itunes.com. (Jade Tree) Euphone “V” Euphone’s previous releases were instrumental albums, but on “V” some of the songs have vocals while the others are instrumental. You could say that this is a departure for Euphone, but it seems to have worked for the best. (Record Label) The Explosion “Black Tape” Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t past Explosion albums be a lot more aggressive and raw? “Black Tape” is a great sounding album, but it seems like this type of catchy, hook driving punk has been played to death recently by all the other punk bands out. Some stand out songs include “Here I Am,” and “We All Fall Down.” (Tarantulas) Full “Desperandum” Vocal by Ms. Wings. Hopefully no relation to the Paul McCartney band Wings. The vocal work is classy and well sung. Ms. Wings has a nice voice, smooth not jagged. Full has a electronic jazz and funk feel to it. I can see this band playing in a dark intimate club setting. (Self Released) Get Him Eat Him “Geography Cones” I can’t even to begin to classify Get Him Eat Him, except that track 5 “Mumble Mumble” is quite awesome. “Geography Cones” is like lo-fi indie jangly eccentric heavy rock. Makes no sense, but shit is good. (Absolutely Kosher) Gold Rush “Ozona” “Ozona” is the UK’s Gold Rush’s tribute to the tiny town in Texas the album is named after. The album starts out with a splash of drum cymbals, followed up by a tambourine, then a neat little guitar riff, that will sure to get your toes tapping. If you pop this disc into your computer, you can watch a video of the album opener, “Wait For The Wheels.” (Truck) Jackson United “Western Ballads” It’s apparent Chris Shiflett has learned a lot from slinging guitar in bands Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and Foo Fighters. He has taken his experience in those bands and put together a great punk album. Each song is catchy and easy to listen to. In a nutshell, it sounds as though Chris blended On a Wire era Get Up Kids and In Reverie era Saves the Day and added some of Weezer’s early pop sensibilities into one rocking album. The first track will pull you in with its rhythm and flow and Track 5 will keep you entertained with its Daft Punk influenced bass and discoesque guitar. (Magnificent Records) Jim Yoshii Pile Up “Picks Us Apart” The 3rd Jim Yoshii Pile Up album sounds quite relaxing. It’s got good interplay between instruments, and they do some cool vocal overlappings. It’s in the same family of Pedro the Lion or Zykos when it comes to overall sound or if you had to lump it into a genre. (Absolutely Kosher) Lake Trout “Not Them, You” I went fishing at the record store and caught Lake Trout’s new album “Not Them, You.” It kind of tastes like Radiohead. Of the 16 tracks, there are 3 4 genres represented. Some of the songs sound like Cave In, some are instrumental. Track 6 is a nice instrumental songs with piano, flute/horn(I think), and live drums, not computerized ones, and if played on big speakers, it sounds great. (Palm) Long View “Mercury” Long View is a major label band from the UK. Mercury is a reissue of their UK hit album, but packaged for American consumers. A lot of the press say that Long View have a U2 “Joshua Tree” sound. I wouldn’t know, I have never listened to any U2 album, so I can’t agree or disagree. The songs are good, but at times seems overproduced and the vocal layerings are sometimes too much. (Columbia) Lords “Swords” Thirteen songs, each under 2 minutes, by this Louisville, KY classic metal/punk band. The vocals sound Motorhead influenced but at a higher pitch. The recording sounds like it was recorded at a live show, like the instruments aren’t as full sounding as they should. (Jade Tree)
The Loved Ones p: Shane McCauley The Loved Ones “s/t” This would be a great CD to have if you’re alone on Valentine’s Day. Others will ask you what you’re doing on Valentine’s Day, and instead of saying “Oh, I’m having Soup for One, and going to bed early” you can say “I’ll be up all night with my Loved Ones.” And if you’re a guy, people will think that you’ll be with a bunch of ladies, and if you’re a girl people will think that you’ll be with a bunch of hot muscley guys, tending to your every need. But you’ll really be alone, rocking out to The Loved Ones EP. (Jade Tree) Make Believe “Shock of Being” With most releases with Tim Kinsella in the band, all credit goes to Tim. In Make Believe, I’m giving credit to Bobby Burg, Nate Kinsella, and Sam Zurick. This may be the most “rock” band that Tim has been in, but if you played it side by side with his other projects, it would be hard to tell them apart. (Flameshovel)
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The Mars Volta “Frances the Mute” If you’re going to listen to The Mars Volta album in one complete sitting be sure you have a couple of hours to spare. The album itself is 77 minutes long, and there are few if no breaks in between songs. And after, you’ll need an hour or so to wrap your head around what you just heard. The music is like nothing I’ve heard, but is one of the best albums of 2005 if not the most original. Listening to The Mars Volta isn’t like listening to a normal band, listening to the Mars Volta is an experience. (GSM/Universal) Mayday “Bushido Karaoke” I’m sure every member of every band on the Saddle Creek Label is also in a side project band that is on Saddle Creek. Examples, Tim Kashner, main band Cursive, side band The Good Life, Coner Oberst, main band Bright Eyes, side band Desaparacidos, Joel Patterson, main band The Faint, side band Broken Spindles, and the list goes on. Mayday is no exception to the main/side band phenomenam that’s going on at Saddle Creek. Mayday is Ted Stevens who you may have heard playing guitar with Cursive. But with Ted, it’s unsure which is the main band and sound is very original and soothing to listen to. Jake Snider has smooth buttery vocals that make Minus the Bear a pleasant listening experience. (Suicide Squeeze) Bob Mould “Body of Song” I’m not familier with Bob Mould’s previous work in Husker Du, Suger, or his solo stuff, so I can’t compare “Body of Song” to anything. What I can tell you is, on some of the songs, he does this electronic thing with his voice that sounds kind of cool. I can tell you that Brendan Canty from Fugazi is a guest musician on this CD. The songs are good and would appeal to anyone who is a fan of Bob’s previous work. (Yep Roc) The Narrator “Such Triumph” Pulling influences from bands from Chicago’s past, i.e. Cap’n Jazz, The Narrator have put together an album that doesn’t copy the Jazz but improves on it. The Narrator’s sound is raw and angular and is never boring to listen to. The track “Wait No Actually” is a stand out. The first part of the song is like nothing else on the album, sounding like it came off an early Promise Ring album. But about halfway through, the tempo breaks and they’re back to normal. Definitely worth a listen. (Flameshovel) The Nein “Wrath of Circuits” When I first listened to “Wrath of Circuits” the first song started out kind of dull, but then towards the end got a lot better and even had a funky breakdown at the end of the song, and the rest of the album continues to evolve from there. The Nein play a sort of rock with samples and sound manipulations. The sounds manipulations and samples add a lot to the original sound of The Nein. (Sonic Unyon) Okay “Low Road” Bright Eyes isn’t the only artist that can release two different albums on the same day. But I’m sure Conor got tons more coverage than Marty from Okay did. And I’d prefer Okay over Oberst’s warbally vocals any day. “Low Road” is a perfect pop record that has distorted guitars and kazoos. Marty was in the band Dilute but had to leave the band due to a chronic stomach disorder that keeps him confined to his house hooked up to an I.V. almost daily. The songs reflect the emotion and struggle, but are upbeat and positive. Okay “High Road” The songs on “High Road” are similar to the ones on “Low Road” but seem to have less distorted guitars but Marty’s signature vocal sound, kind of froggy or croaking, is still there along with his sincerity. Plus any band that uses a kazoo in their songs gets an A+ for originality. (Absolutely Kosher) Pama International “Float Like A Butterfly” Pama International is a group of musicians hailing from London, England. It features members of The Specials, Galliano, Push, The Loafers, Skanga, Paul Weller Band, Andy Hamilton Band, and a special guest appearance by Madness’s Lee Thompson. Now if you know anything about ska or ska’s past, you’ll see that this is a list of some of ska’s best bands. This CD includes 8 songs of ska, dub and rocksteady, plus 4 extra tracks recorded live on the BBC Radio One. (Asian Man) Paint It Black “Paradise” If you enjoyed PiB’s first CD “CVA” then you will totally dig “Paradise.” It’s everything “CVA” was but with longer songs. All of “Paradise’s” songs are over a minute long. Instead of quick bursts of energy, they extend that burst up to 1 minute and 44 seconds on their longest song. 21 minutes spilt up among 14 songs of blistering intensity. (Jade Tree)
The Nein which is the side project.The music is good but does a lot of genre hopping, like “Standing in Line at the Gates of Hell” sounds like Crooked Fingers or The Good Life, and other songs kind of Beatle-esque or even folk/country. (Saddle Creek) Minus the Bear “Menos el Oso” If you’ve heard Minus the Bear before, then their sound on Menos el Oso will be nothing new, except that their sound has matured and gotten a lot tighter. They have changed quite a bit from their earlier recordings. No more silly song titles, or songs about donkeys, girls, and parties. Their
Parish School “Alikeness” Parish School is Brian Case From 90 Day Men and is his first solo release.“Alikeness” is an electo piano based album with slow songs and semiwhispery to normal vocals. The songs are mellow and intricate, and the beats are somewhat remindful of the Postal Service. (Record Label)
Rah Bras “EPS” EPS is a remastered collection of their first 3 now out of print EPs.And I honestly don’t know why anyone would want to listen to this crap. It sounds like a shitty jam band improvising lyrics and sound. (Lovitt)
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Come with me you pretty thing and we’ll celebrate with amputations
Rammstein “Reise,Reise” In 12th grade I had Political Science with one of the monotonist teachers ever. Our class was next to a German classroom. Every day the German class would play “Due Hast” and sing along. Our teacher had a hard time talking over the German industrial rock music of Rammstein and I assume that he didn’t like that kind of music. I imagined he listened to adult contemporary, or Kenny G or John Tesh. Music that wasn’t offensive or harsh in any way possible. I don’t think he will be happy when that German class gets a hold of Rammstein’s new album “Reise, Reise,” but those kids learning German will. (Republic/Universal) Reel Big Fish “We’re Not Happy, Till You’re Not Happy” Reel Big Fish’s first release since “Cheer Up” is classic Reel Big Fish. I’m not sure if “We’re Not Happy, Till You're Not Happy” is better or worse than “Cheer Up,” but they’re close. It’s amazing that RBF haven't broken up yet like most other ska band of the Mid 90’s. But with each new release it seems they add more and more cover songs. “We’re Not Happy...” has cover songs by Morrissey, Tracy Chapman, and Social Distortion. RBF’s musicianship and humor is still there but it seems they are lacking in the “coming up with more original songs department.” Overall “We’re Not Happy” is a great ska album and it’s great to see Reel Big Fish still producing music after all these years. I’d take 20 more years of RBF music than listen to the horrible rock, hip hop, and “punk” they play on the radio nowadays. (Jive) album was produced in a smoky studio in Jamaica, but it comes from the sandy beaches of California. This album is pretty bass heavy so next time someone passes you blasting the new 50 Cent, roll up to them, turn the volume up and show them what good music sounds like. Satori features members of Rx Bandits, Link 80 and The Exit. (Asian Man) Say Hi to Your Mom “Ferocious Mopes” One of my favorite bands of the moment, Say Hi To Your Mom has created another great album of wonderful pop songs. If you get this album, read the lyrics, they are just as interesting as the music is. Stand out songs include “The Twenty Second Century” “Yeah, I’m In Love With An Android” and “I’ll think I’ll Be A Good Ghost.” The lyrics are like answers to questions people ask him and are often humorous and inventive. (Euphobia) Schoolyard Heroes “Fantastic Wounds” Imagine if you took Gwen Stefani and bitchslapped her out of her hip hop phase and then teamed her up with Iron Maiden, that's what Schoolyard Heroes sounds like. Ryann Donnelly’s vocals are loud, fierce, and have a small bit of operatic style at times. The best thing about their music is the guitar and drums. Steve Bonnell’s wailing guitar and metal riffs are intense, the last track has a killer guitar solo, totally GNR/Slash influenced. Brian Turner makes the drums sound more interesting than most bands I’ve heard this year. His drumming style is a major part to the sound of this band. (The Control Group) Shai Hulud “A Comprehensive Retrospective” This CD is a retrospective of past Shai Hulud demos and live recordings. Tracks 1-6 are from a demo from 1996, which sound quite good for a demo, standard hardcore stuff with group vocals. Tracks 7-9 are from live from Crucial Chaos at NYU, which sounds like a typical live recording. There is some fun in between song banter that goes on here. Tracks 12-15 are recorded during a practice session at their warehouse. Track 16 is a recording of the song “This Wake I Myself Have Stirred” on a four track. Tracks 17-19 is a recording of songs with new singer Chad Gilbert. The last 5 tracks that round out this CD are guitar solo rhythm tracks which are kind of boring. The booklet that comes with this CD has a lot of information about each song and is actually the best thing about this retrospective. (Revelation)
Say Hi To Your Mom p: M. Vorrasi
Sparrow “The Early Years” Sparrow sounds a lot like The Shins with it’s lofi indie Beatle-esque sound. There are a lot of good upbeat songs on the album that’ll have you hips shaken. If you’re a fan of The Shins, then you should check this album out. (Absolutely Kosher)
Department of Demo-Listen
Calls From Bethany This NJ hardcore band could be compared to Thursday, “Full Collapse” era. CFB has dual vocals, one sings the songs and the other screams the choruses. The songs sound like your typical hardcore love songs, and the production is quite good. It sounds like they took the time to make their music sound good, instead of using cheap recording. You can download songs at www.purevolume.com/callsfrombethany Unsigned bands: Send us your demos/CD-Rs for reveiw. Swimmer’s Ear - Dept. of Demo-Listen P.O. Box 2076, Maple Grove, MN 55311
These Arms Are Snakes p: Robin Laananen Satori “Savor Every Moment” Satori mix reggae, ska, rocksteady, and bluebeat into one heck of an album. It sounds like the
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Spitalfield “Stop Doing Bad Things” Spitalfield's follow-up to their “Remember Right Now” album a few years back is way better. With their new album “Stop Doing Bad Things,” their sound has matured and gotten a lot better. I’d even say that “Stop Doing Bad Things” is better than Jimmy Eat World’s “Futures” album. (Victory) Spitzz “Sick, Savage, Sensual” Guitar driven classic punk with rough vocals and choruses with group yells. There is nothing really exciting about this band. They sound alright, but it’s not something that’s gonna get heavy rotation in my stereo. A fairly short full length with 11 songs coming in just over 22 minutes. (Tarantulas) saying just as much as the lyrics do. It features remixes by members of The Explosion and AFI. (Tarantulas) Statistics “Often Lie” Denver is back with the second installment of his Statistics entity. With each recording he gets farther and farther from his computer roots and gone with a more guitar rocking sound. Not that this is bad. The only downer to this album is it’s nine songs just over a half hour long. He could’ve added 1 or 2 more songs to fill out the album a little. The closing track is an instrumental song which sounds Explosions in the Sky influenced. (Jade Tree) Strike Anywhere “To Live in Discontent” “To Live in Discontent” is basically an anthology of past releases and b-sides. The first 2 tracks were originally released on the “Bread or Revolution” 7'' on Fat Wreck Chords. Tracks 3-8 were previously released as the “Chorus of One” EP. Track 9 is a b-side of the Exit English sessions and track 10 is a song that appeared on a demo CD in 1999. Tracks 1113 are covers of songs by Gorilla Biscuits, Dag Nasty, and Cock Sparrer. Definitely a CD worth checking out. (Jade Tree) The Stnnng “Dignified Sissy” The Stnnng should receive an award for coolest cover artwork and best album title. Their music has left me speechless, though. The vocals are almost spoken, but spoken fast, with a few screams. And the music is heavy but can’t be categorized into metal or thrash or hardcore. Maybe some classic rock influence? The lyrics are great and inventive though. (Modern Radio) Temper Temper “s/t” Temper Temper is a deceiving band. The first 2 tracks start out fast and snyth based, making you think they are going to be like the Faint, then halfway through track 3, boom, out comes the organ. I have nothing against organs, but when they’re not used correctly it becomes annoying. All of the songs are in the same organ dance dark rock and then Track 10. “Heart Like A Fist” is an upbeat positive fast organ rocker. If their other songs were in the same vein of this one, they would have an ultimately better CD. (Revelation) The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower “Love in a Facist Brothel” With a name that’s sure to please the French and artwork that is perverted and disturbing, the music on “Love in a Facist Brothel” is ok. It could be classified as fast jangally moshable rock. It’s hard to understand what this band sounds like unless you’ve heard it, even then it still hard to explain. I suggest you download a track before you buy. (Revelation) The Sights “s/t” This Detroit band can be described as a bar band. It’s sad to say, but it’s the truth. They play a blusy rock with organs. It’s the type of music that you could walk into a smokey bar late at night and they’d be in the back kicking the jams out, while enjoying sips from their beers in between songs. It can be well enjoyed in the right setting, but it’s not something you’ll hear being played on college radio. A bonus with this CD is that it comes with a short video that includes an interview with the band mixed in with some live footage. (Scratchie) The Vets “Ad Infinitum” The Vets have a sound like Slint. Quiet parts lead to loud parts and back to quiet parts. But it’s damn good. The album is around 70 minutes long, so listen to it when you’re driving somewhere far, because you need to listen to the album in one sitting, or you just wont get it. (Modern Radio) Tim Kinsella “Crucifix Swastika” This is Tim Kinsella’s 2nd solo release. If you know anything about Tim, then you know that he is a music making machine, often playing in multiple bands at once. All the songs on this solo album were written during his honeymoon. The songs on this release sound similar to what Tim has done with Joan of Arc, but are all of quality. (Record Label) Vox Vermillion “Standing Still You Move Forward” Vox Vermillion has some beautifully sung songs by women. And this is the first release for Slug and Murs new label, Women Records. Most of the songs are over 4 minutes long and have piano and cello in them. Track 3 is cool with it’s upbeat sound and handclaps. (Women Records)
Spoon “Gimme Fiction” I don’t see why everyone loves Spoon and thinks that Britt Daniel is some musical genius. “Gimme Fiction” is a good CD, but is nowhere near where “Kill The Moonlight” was. The songs on “Kill The Moonlight” are a lot more catchy and unforgettable. “Gimme Fiction’s” song are good and well played. “Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine” and “The Delicate Place” are quite good and “Was It You” sounds influenced by the American Analog Set. Overall “Gimme Fiction” is ok but not Britt and Jim’s best work. (Merge) The Static Age “Neon Lights, Electric Nights” The name of the band and title of the album makes it sound like its going to be some electro rock band with bleeps and blips next to screaming guitars. Which is sort of half true. It reminds me of slow 80’s rock with synths. The music makes you feel like the emotion of the music is
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Ones e T h East Coast Punk
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Live Photos: Adam Krause Interview With: Dave Hause
How did the 3 members come together to make The Loved Ones? I roadied for Kid Dynamite in 1998 and 1999 and kept in touch with Spider through the years. I was in a band called The Curse that broke up just before we were going to do a record for Jade Tree and at the time Spider wasn't playing bass for anyone. Sneeringer, we both knew from Trial by Fire, and I was working on Brian Mcternan's house in DC. On the off days during the recording of the last Thrice record, Sneeringer, Spider and I would sneek into the studio and jam, and it ended up being great chemistry...thus, The Loved Ones were born... Since each member of The Loved Ones has been in a band that has had a CD released on Jade Tree, was Jade Tree your first choice for a label? Well, to some degree yes. It was an obvious choice to “start the band out” so to speak on Jade Tree by releasing this EP. We aren't quite sure what label we are going to have put out our full length yet, but Jade Tree is definitely part of our past and part of our family, those guys are great and its been fun working with them again... Since The Loved Ones’ past bands have all broken up, have you taken certain steps to avoid that from happening with this band? I think when you go through a band or two where it doesn't work out, you naturally make certain adjustments to the way you choose to interact in the future. If you are in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex that ends because you are selfish or unfaithful or whatever it may be, typically you think about those things then when you are attempting your next romantic endeavor... Do you think putting a tagline of ex bands on The Loved Ones packaging will turn away or confuse fans expecting to hear music like those previous bands? Well, some. The thing is, we decided to tagline it because I always like to know what people in bands that I enjoyed are up to, so I don't so much mind it. I guess the problem is, if someone loves Paint it Black or something and buys our record expecting that, they may be disappointed. But maybe they also will realize they were mislead and we can lead them onto greener pastures...Just kidding. Has working in the past with bands like The Explosion and The Bouncing Souls, helped with touring with those bands now? Of course. We haven't toured yet with the Explosion, but I suppose it’s just a matter of time. We have played a handful of shows with them though, and our first tour was with The Bouncing Souls. Some people like to give us shit about how we are only on those tours b/c of who we know, but the thing is, you play with who you know. If we knew those people's shitty bands, we would play with them! Instead we are fortunate enough to have some friends in some great bands, so we are afforded some great opportunities. We don't take them for granted and we pour just as much heart into a show with the Bouncing Souls or whoever as we do with local bands on a show we headline. We are passionate regardless of who we play with. 16 Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
How has touring gone so far and how has the response been from fans? We did 10 East Coast dates w/ The Bouncing Souls, Against Me!, Murphy's Law, and Let it Burn in November and it was great. People warmly received us, and we are looking forward to our East Coast Tour in Feb w/ Strike Anywhere and the Unseen. Have you started writing material for a full length, and when do you plan to release one? Yeah, I would say we have it a little over half way written. We plan to record it in June/July 2005 and we will release it frankly whenever a label makes us a deal with which we are comfortable. I would imagine late 2005. Will you be writing more acoustic songs, like “Drastic” for the Full Length? Yes, there are already a couple of acoustic songs in the mix, and probably more coming. What influences the way you write lyrics and music? I would say just general life, mostly the struggles in life. Often times I get inspired by other artist's take on life, and I get compelled to write based on that as well. But usually I write about my immediate surroundings, and sometimes beyond that too. The songs on the EP sound very radio friendly, and could be enjoyable to a large audience. If The Loved Ones were all of a sudden a popular band being played on major radio stations, how would you handle that? I guess I personally would just try to take it as it comes. Luckily there have been many artists who we respect who have gone through that sort of thing that we respect, who did/do it with grace and poise that we can look up to. I also feel like I personally have a strong family and friends network that definitely will tell me if I'm letting things get carried away, so I'm not that worried about it...But thanks for saying that the songs could be enjoyable to a large audience, lets hope they are... Do you think where a band is from geographically influences their sound? Do you think The Loved Ones would sound different if they were from the Mid West or West Coast? Oh sure. I think that geography has a huge impact on the way a band sounds. We would most likely not sound the way we do if we were from either of those places. Regionally the scenes differ, and so do the influences, so naturally the sound does too. They don't get the BOSS on the West Coast man, and we don't get Strung Out...it just doesn't compute... Swimmer’s Ear Magazine 17
If you had to put a show together of bands from the Philadelphia area, past or present, which five bands would definitely play? I would say The O'Jays, The Hooters, Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers, Kid Dynamite and The Loved Ones (if I was putting the show together we would definitely play!) What made you want to get involved with the Philly punk scene? Just a love of the music led to like minded individuals that sort of had a community set up already. I enjoy the Philly scene, but thankfully I have other friends with other interests, too. It can get stuffy, lets put it that way... When did you start playing music and what got you hooked on it? I started playing guitar around age 12. I'm not sure what got me hooked on it, but I played an 8th grade talent show, and the thrill of playing live definitely has infected me ever since. It’s fun and it has grown into a great form of expression since then. I guess then it may have had more to do with girls... What Is planned for the future of The Loved Ones? Well immediately we are going on tour w/ Strike Anywhere in Feb (East Coast), playing record release shows and festivals in March, and then hopefully touring more extensively in April. Long term, is to write songs, record them, and play them to as many people as possible. We are in it for the haul man...
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
How did Hooligan start, and where did the idea for sponsoring bands and not skateboarders come from? Darren and I have always been into punk/hardcore and skating. So back in 2002, I was tour managing 9 Lives and trying to think of cool merch items we could do when we went out on the Warped Tour that year. I thought of 9 Lives skate decks, they liked the idea, so I roped Darren in to help design decks for them and another band I was friendly with, Small Brown Bike. We made up about 50 of each deck and took them on the road. The rest is pretty much history; on that tour I met the guys in Death By Stereo, they liked the idea of having their own deck as well and it started the snowball effect, we picked up Boysetsfire, Strike Anywhere, and so on. How do you go about picking bands for your company? Do bands ever come to you first? Basically, we try to go after bands that we think hold the same ideals as us, the DIY work ethic, bands that actually say something with their music. Not trying to sell an image, it turns out most of them are our favorite bands anyway. A lot of bands have come to us first, its kind of a network, this band tours with that, sees our decks and wants to know if we'd be interested in them. We have picked up some awesome bands like that but, we've turned down a lot of bands too. Who does the design for the boards? Darren & I collaborate on the deck designs plus we've also had guest artists like Shepard Fairey (Bouncing Souls), Tim Gough (Paint It Black) and Andy Cummings (The Esoteric) work on designs too. We're also working on a line of decks with Derek Hess for his Strhess clothing line which we are very psyched about. Do the bands have a lot of input on what their boards will look like, shape and design wise? We work with the bands so we have both have a board we can be proud of. Bands have the final "OK" on the designs and shape. Chuck from Hot Water Music mentioned that he loved the shape of this old Natas board from the 80's, so I went out and found one so we could make a mold of it for the HWM shape. I did the same thing with Dave from Paint It Black, he wanted the PIB board to have an old Rob Roskopp shape so we hooked it up. How many of each board do you make? It depends on the demand we think we are going to have for each design. We have done short runs and ran out but, since we make our own boards we can always press more if we need. The Bouncing Souls model has gone into a bunch of pressings, they move a ton of decks. How are Hooligan boards prices compared to other skateboard companies? We under cut most companies price by $10-$15. We use the same process and wood that most of the top companies do. Our decks are 7-ply Canadian maple cut and pressed right here. We take pride in the fact that our products are made in the US, while companies like Element and World Industries have decided to out source to China to have their decks made. Buy American and Americans work!
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Do bands get board royalties from deck sales? We are just starting to get some distribution in some shops and online sites; once that is in place, we are going to put a royalty deal into motion. Hey, if there are any shops out there that want to carry our decks give me a call!!! Why do you think skateboarding and music go together so well? That's like asking why beer and football go together so well. Music and skating is a way for kindred spirits to come together. I think it kind of goes back to the early 80's when punk rock and skating weren't commercially viable, they were both underground and dangerous. In 1984 a pro-skater would never been scene doing a Hot Pockets commercial and you'd never hear a Buzzcocks song in a SUV commercial, parents tolerated their kids skating and listening to punk rock but, they weren't considered constructive behavior by any means. You'd see Cabellero skating with SST stickers on his board; Thrasher Magazine used to sell these compilation tapes with bands like Cro-Mags, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, SS Decontrol, Agnostic Front, 7 Seconds, Agent Orange, Bad Religion, Social Distortion, Dead Kennedys and Sick Of It All that became the soundtrack to skating. Me and my friends would get our little boom box out, steal some wood, build a ramp and skate until we had to go home. Will there be boards made for all the bands on your roster? Eventually, sometimes it takes a while for a band's deck to come out for one reason or another. For example The Explosion was one of our first bands on the roster and their deck is finally coming out this Summer. Does a band or its members have to skateboard to be considered for your company? Do all the bands on your roster skateboard? There is usually at least one member of each band that is into skating but, its not a requirement. A lot of these guys grew up skating like me, so they do have a history with it and are excited about having their own model skate deck. But its not like I'm going to make them ollie in front of me to make it onto our roster. What should people expect when they pick up a Hooligan Skateboard? A kick ass skateboard! One of our goals is to provide top quality boards at reasonable prices. There is no reason why a board should cost $55 or $60 just because it says "Bam" or "Flip" on it. Kids don't realize it, but so many of the skate companies that they think are independent, grass-roots companies are really owed by large corporate conglomerates and they are the ones driving up the prices. I've had more kids complain to me about the shitty quality of boards put out by some of these top companies are than I care to remember. That really pisses me off, if somebody is bucking up and buying one of your decks it should be built to last. Remember the most expensive isn't necessarily the best. What bands can we expect to be on the roster in the future? We just added The Esoteric (Prosthetic Records) and Smoke Or Fire (Fat Wreck Chords) to the roster. The Street Dogs and Big Wig will be the additions. I've also got some top secret legendary bands that will be added to the roster soon. Definitely no eyeliner, faux-hawked, metalcore bands in matching outfits. We made that mistake once already and had to drop those shitheads Atreyu. -- Check us out on the Warped Tour This Summer!!! Buy more boards!!! Hooliganskate.com
Starting in February 2005, Asian Man Records re-released the out of print Screeching Weasel catalog. They re-released “BoogadaBoogadaBoogada,” followed by “My Brain Hurts,” “Wiggle,” “Anthem For A New Tomorrow,” “How To Make Enemies and Irritate People” and finally “Kill The Musicians.”
BoogadaBoogadaBoogada - The original “Boogada...” album sold over 125,000 copies. It’s a great introduction to Screeching Weasel. The re-release is remastered and redesigned with new liner notes and photos. My Brain Hurts - Probably the best album of their early releases. Many of the Screeching Weasel albums have close to 20 songs or more on them, “My Brain Hurts” comes in at a perfect 14. Just enough to get your SW fix, but not too much t make you bored. Remastered and redesigned with new liner notes, photos and flyers. Wiggle - “Wiggle” has been out of print since September of 2003. It’s a classic punk album. Remastered with a special bonus track and all new artwork with never before seen photos. Anthem For A New Tomorrow - Originally released in 1993, Screeching Weasel’s 5th release takes their signature sound and adds to it with tighter production and catchier melodies. Sold over 100,000 copies world wide with no commercial radio airplay. How To Make Enemies and Irritate People - Classic Screeching Weasel to say the least. Another short album, with only 13 songs. But still has the same amateurish song titles and lyrics. You can really tell what punk bands was influenced by Screeching Weasel’s sound. You’ll hear parts on this album that will remind you of other band’s albums recorded years later. Kill The Musicians - This album includes all of the rare 7 inches, split EPs, and various compilation tracks, collected onto one 31 song CD. Remastered and redesigned with rare photos and new liner notes.
While I Was High
Chris has never been drunk or high in his life, but he’s had plenty of friends who have been. While I was High is a collection of anonymous stories and comics about random peoples’ adventures while intoxicated and fucked up. Imagine smoking weed and getting busted by your elementary school D.A.R.E. Officer. While I Was High is a great collection of humorous short stories.
Blow Me, A Fanzine - The name says it all. A sexy,
provocative zine with a cast of junkies, yuppies, kiddies, oldies and goodies.
Cathartic Reason’s Bleeding Hearts Brigade
Join Jimi and Destiny as they set out to destroy all of the corporate forced happiness companies with a BIC Lighter and a can of gasoline. Bleeding Hearts Brigade is a black and white hand drawn comic by Pen 15 Films leader, Jimi Nguyen. If emo could be translated into comics, then Jimi has done it. It’s love, heart break and fire, wound up in a nicely drawn comic.
Super Friends #1
A zine of found photographs made into funny and disturbing personal ads.
Swimmer’s Ear Back Issues #1 - #15
Get all the past issues of this long running zine featuring skateboarding, snowboarding and independent music. Tons of great photos, interviews, articles and other fun stuff. All of the past issues were limited run, so there are only a few of each issue left.
While I Was High 2
Another hilarious collection of stories while being crunk, fucked up and passed out.
P.O. Box 2076 • Maple Grove, MN 55311
Michael Stenerson - 5050 Gnar Grab Out - Iowa City, IA - p. Sam McGuire
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Originally 21 songs were recorded for a Crooked Fingers double cd, what made you change your mind to make it a single CD with 12 tracks? We just felt like a double album might have been too much all at once...too much clutter. As it was when we put 18 songs together as a double it seemed quite all over the place...that could've been a good thing, too. And I'd be lying if I said I know it's the right thing to do...to make a single record...but you have to decide and do something...so that's what we did. Are you planning on releasing the other 9 songs? Yes. "Ship To Spain" will be released on the Bloodshot Records anniversary CD...And "Carousel" will be released on ITunes as a single with "Call To Love" and a remix version of "There's a Blue Light" on February 1, 2005. "The Ballad of El Cuchillo" and a new version of "New Drink for the Old Drunk" will be on the 4th side of the “Dignity and Shame” vinyl release. "La Maleta Fea" is on the Merge 15th Anniversary CD...All that's left is "Sinisteria," "Let's Not Pretend To Be New Men," "Cannibal," and "Quarantine." The first two--"Sinisteria" and "Pretend"--I'd like to put in the movies and the last two--"Cannibal" and "Quarantine" must go to the doctor...they're sick and need some more attention before they're let loose in the world. Lara Meyerattken's singing is a great compliment to your singing, will she be singing on the Crooked Fingers tour? Lara will sing with us on this tour on only a very few select dates, as she will be busy with other projects during that time. She will very much be a part of the Crooked Fingers family from this point on, though, and that will include future tours and future recordings. In the meantime, the lovely and talented Barbara Trentalange will be singing with us. Do you plan on collaborating with Lara on future Crooked Fingers albums? Yes.
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
interview w/ eric bachman
In terms of writing and recording, what did you do differently with “Dignity and Shame” that you didn't do on your previous albums? The major difference with this record is that we treated it like a live band. We tracked all 22 songs in 7 days, with some overdubs but not as many as usual. And we--more specifically, Martin Feveyear--mixed all 22 songs in 5 days. Other than that, the same due diligence went into the writing that always does...And obviously, there's no quick fix formula for writing well...you have to be patient and open/connected. And, of course, because we recorded the basic tracks together we rehearsed a lot as a band before recording. That made the record more collaborative than in the past...not so much in terms of the songwriting but in terms of arranging. Does it ever bother you that in any press about Crooked Fingers, it mentions Archers of Loaf. Do you think you will always be referred to as Eric Bachmann of Archers of Loaf fame? No...I am very grateful to have been in that band...but no, I don't think I will always be referred to that way...it's already starting to decline, actually. Maybe a lot of people that like Crooked Fingers are too young to know about the last band I was in. Not to mention, December 1998 was the last show/sign of life for that project...that's quite a while ago. Do you plan on doing any more EPs of cover songs? At this moment...No...but I don't know. How is the producing going, what recent albums have you produced? No producing right now...I always consider things when they're presented to me, but I'm far too excited about touring the new record. Also, it wouldn't be fair for me to produce something right now that someone is really inspired about because I wouldn't be able to give it the time and effort it deserves because I'm so focused on Crooked Fingers. What do you have planned for Crooked Fingers in 2005? Touring.
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Having your board gripped for you is such a convenience. The shop where you buy the board will put it on for you, at no charge even. But I’m sure some of you have never thought to do it yourself. Gripping your own board gives you a sense of accomplishment, and if those skate hoes at Zumiez can do it, I’m sure you can too. Follow the directions and soon enough you’ll be on your way. If you’re a grom, get some parent supervision, because even though chicks dig scars, they do not dig dudes with missing fingers.
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You will need a razor blade and a metal file. Make sure your sheet is longer than the board. (fig 0.1, fig 0.2) Step 1: If you’re putting grip on a new board, wipe any dust or dirt off. If you’re regripping your board, take off your trucks and wheels.(fig 1) If you accidentally/intentionally put your griptape over your bolts, you not only look like an idiot, you’ll look like one of those dipshit mall skate store workers who don’t know shit about skating. Step 2: Peel off half of the grip’s backing and lay the grip on one end of the board making sure you’re not putting it on crooked.(fig 2) Hold the other end up and slowly smooth your griptape down making sure there are no air bubbles.(fig 2.1) When you get to the middle of your board peel off the rest of the backing and smooth the rest of the grip out.(fig 2.2) Run your hands over the deck to spot air bubbles.(fig 2.3) If you do find a bubble, poke it with the razor blade and smooth it out. Step 3: Take your razor blade and go around the board cutting off any excess tape.(fig 3) Step 4: Grab your metal file and smooth off the edges so the griptape follows the curves of your deck.(fig 4) If you skip this step, your grip will look like it was put on by a 2 year old. Step 5: Grab a screwdriver and poke holes where your trucks go.(fig 5) Step 6: If you don’t like having the board super grippy, take some of the excess griptape and rub it against the tape on the deck. This will give the grip a day old feel, grippy but not so grippy you can’t move your feet. After that, put your trucks and wheels on and go skate. (fig 6)
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine 27
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
At what point in your life did you decide being a musician was what you wanted to do? It was never a conscious decision on my part to be a musician. It was something that happened that I fell in love with and kept doing. What’s the worst job you have ever had? Every job is a tie until I started doing graphic design and even some of those are absolutely terrible. What would you be doing if you weren't in a band? I would be doing graphic design and not worrying about paying rent Would you rather work for your money or win the lottery? I would rather win the lottery so I could continue playing music with no regard for making money from it. Could you ever work a 40 hour a week, 9 to 5 desk job? It's been a while since I've done so but I think it's possible. It's just a different state of mind. Who do you owe your success to? Success? I wouldn't call it success but I definitely owe where I am at to all the people involved with this band. From the rest of the boys in the band to Jade Tree, David Lewis, Susanne Dawursk and of course everyone that likes our band and bought our record. Thank you.
At what point in your life did you decide being a musician was what you wanted to do? I started playing drums at age 17 literally right after going to Lollapolooza and watching Patty Schemel play drums with Hole. I had never seen a woman play drums like that before and was totally and completely enthralled. I started taking lessons, and in a few months started my first band. I was hooked. What’s the worst job you have ever had? Cashier at Mr. Chicken ‘n Ribs. I am vegan. This was in high school and miserable. I was just vegetarian at the time but still. Ugh. What would you be doing if you weren't in a band? I do other things besides my band that I might focus on more, such as freelance writing and travel, but there isn't anything I would say I am missing out on because of my band. Would you rather work for your money or win the lottery? I'd love to win the lottery! I run a small record label Exotic Fever www.exoticfever.com and I would like to be able to have tons of money to support the rad artists on it! Could you ever work a 40 hour a week, 9 to 5 desk job? Hehe. I do! I am a grantwriter at a national youth violence prevention nonprofit based in DC called The Empower Program www.empowerprogram.org. Who do you owe your success to? My mama. She is the single most loving, energetic person I have ever met!
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
At what point in your life did you decide being a musician was what you wanted to do? I think I was a freshman in high school. I had been going to shows and buying records for a couple of years as a fan of the music but once I started becoming aware of how amazing and vibrant the D.I.Y. scene in Philadelphia was (mainly thanks to shows at the First Unitarian Church and Stalag 13) I knew I had to get involved. And I have been ever since. What’s the worst job you have ever had? I worked in a fried foods joint for about fifteen minutes. Hard up for cash, I accepted a friend's offer of hooking me up with a relatively stress-free position slinging chicken fingers and wings, but when I realized that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the stink of the friers out of my clothes, shoes and hair, I stopped showing up. They could have paid me a hundred dollars an hour and I doubt it'd have been worth it. Thus ended my career in the service industry, hopefully forever. What would you be doing if you weren’t in a band? Probably trying to start one. Or maybe working as a nightclub singer, radiantly going on with my decadent show (even in the face of a second Bush presidency) and holding my many admirers at enough of a distance that I might keep from having to bother with genuinely deep emotions. Would you rather work for your money or win the lottery? How about both? Could you ever work a 40 hour a week, 9 to 5 desk job? I've done it a couple times. It's only as bad as the job itself is. Some of the more creativity-based ones were amazing, barely even like working at all; however some of the ones felt like being in prison. For now I'm content to stay out of that world so I'm more free to tour, help out with R5 Productions' shows and pursue my modeling career.
At what point in your life did you decide being a musician was what you wanted to do? I've never actually decided this actively. I am a dedicated halfassed dilettante who has studied music most of his life. Starting a band seemed like a reasonable thing to do, but I never expected it to be my main occupation. What’s the worst job you have ever had? Fixing classic arcade machines for this complete dick who would challenge me whenever I tried to get paid. What would you be doing if you weren't in a band? I think I would start one of those 'car title' loan places. That or a credit card company. Maybe both. Would you rather work for your money or win the lottery? I would like to win the lottery and devote all of my time to learning interesting things and making stuff. Could you ever work a 40 hour a week, 9 to 5 desk job? Nope. But I can work an 80-hour-a-week, all-over-the-world, very taxing and glamourous job. Turning this band into a successful business has been the most stressful and sweat-inducing thing I have ever done in my working life, and I'm not even doing it alone. Who do you owe your success to? Everyone who works with us through our label, our booking agent, our publicist - David Lewis, everyone in the distribution chain who has said a kind word encouraging buyers to pick up our CDs, and everyone who has ever spent a Dollar/Euro/Kroner/whatever on us. Also, the other bands who taught us how to operate: Avail and Hot Water Music.
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
At what point in your life did you decide being a musician was what you wanted to do? The other guys probably decided by middle school, but it took me a little longer. I didn't start playing guitar until my first year of college. But I would say sometime in the next year or so I'll be ready to make the leap of referring to myself as a musician. What’s the worst job you have ever had? Actually I've kind of liked every job I've ever had, I just get really tired and hungry after an hour or two so I want to leave. I was a dishwasher at University of Delaware when I was in high school, which seems like it would be terrible, but about 15 people who I was friends with got jobs in the same dining hall and we mutinied and pretty much had the run of the place for the next two years. So that was awesome. What would you be doing if you weren't in a band? I'm actually a Law School Graduate, so I guess I would be expected to do something with that. Would you rather work for your money or win the lottery? I think I can speak for all members of Dr. Dog in saying that we would rather win the lottery than not win the lottery. Could you ever work a 40 hour a week, 9 to 5 desk job? I would like to imagine that I could, but I'm not really that interested in finding out. I have mastered living on very small amounts of money just to avoid those type of situations. I do admire a finely crafted desk though. Who do you owe your success to? Our band has been dealt a series of insanely lucky breaks, from being asked to open for My Morning Jacket, to being featured in the New York Times, to having an amazing manager appear out of nowhere to help us out. But more abstractly, we owe our sense of musical success to people like the Beatles, David Bowie, Neil Young, Brian Ferry, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Pavement, Sonic Youth, the Kinks, Nirvana, Sam Cooke, the Clash, R. Stevie Moore, Otis Redding, Brian Eno, Talking Heads, and about a million others. Also, Philadelphia has been very good to us.
At what point in your life did you decide being a musician was what you wanted to do? If I had to pick a point in my youth where I decided that I wanted to be a rocker it would be the summer before my senior year of high school. I was 16 I think, and was playing guitar and singing in this noise punk band called the geEk Aggression. I’m from a medium sized city in upstate NY called Syracuse and in the early 90s there was a huge local hardcore scene. As a really young kid we would skate all week and go to The Lost Horizon for their Hardcore Matinee’s. It was a full days worth of the craziest hardcore bands for like 3 or 4 bucks. Through that I got into bands like Youth of Today, Quicksand, Fugazi, Split Lip and Op Ivy as well as some of the killer local bands like Earth Crisis, Infusion and Framework. I don’t know if it was my age or the just overall standoff-ish attitude of the scene but I didn’t feel like I could be out there doing what those bands were doing. Around ’90 or ’91 this shift happened in the local hardcore scene and all these skateboard kids started going Vegan X-Edge and all of a sudden the scene got even more suffocating. You’d go to the same Sunday shows you had been going to and if you didn’t have huge X’s Sharpie’d to your hands you were scum. I tried to stick around for a while but it just didn’t feel right. A year or two later I met the guys in the band geEk Aggression and started playing guitar with them. Through those guys I got introduced to the greats – Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, Scratch Acid, Ramones. We used to practice almost every day, just getting stoned and making the loudest most angry noise our little bodies could. Once we started playing shows it all started to make sense. At that point I began meeting people, older guys who were in their mid 20s still rocking out. The two people that made the biggest difference in my young rocker-dom were Rob Walsh from the scariest band in Syracuse, SpamHammer and Lee Waters, the drummer of Sonic Whirlpool, who is still the most rock motherfuckers I have ever met. It was actually those guys that got me to Chapel Hill, the rest is history…or something like that…
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Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
What is the worst job you have ever had? I sold vacuum cleaners door to door for Kirby Vacuum. I had to wear nice shirts and a tie. They would sing songs like "Gimme a K. I. R. B. Y. What's it Spell? KIRBY! What do we sell? KIRBY! What do we make? !!MONEY!!" I think I lasted 4 days. I would ride my bike to work and get there all sweaty and have to ‘freshen up’ in the gas station bathroom near the shop, get in a van with a group of hopefuls and knock on doors. It was the utmost in humiliation. A very close second was going door to door collecting money for NCPIRG. They had a killer help wanted add "Earn $300-$500 a week working for the environment" I lasted a little longer there, maybe 3 weeks. I hated interrupting stranger’s lives to ask for money and would usually just sit under trees and read pretending to be working. Needless to say I really sucked at it and I think I only made my weekly minimum one week and that was cause one of the managers felt sorry for me and gave me one of his donations. They would bring us out in groups, drop us off in a neighborhood and leave not to return until late in the evening. We would go all over Chapel Hill and Durham. One day they dropped me off in one of the low income ‘ghettos’ of Durham. I got out of the car and my jaw dropped. I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t do it. I absolutely would not subject these poor people to the spiel I was taught. Our country had cut out very definite areas of low priced housing, keeping the poor legally segregated by the only thing more powerful than laws, money. Yeah sure, segregation is against the laws held upon us by the US Government, but not the laws of economics. I decided that instead of asking for money I was just going to spread the information, one thing that doesn’t flow freely in these parts of the country. I went door to door and instead of giving my "please help us out and give generously" spiel, I told them the facts and as an experiment collected signatures. I think I made it to 4 houses before I was approached by two men, one very large and one small, both drunk. The little one asked me for some change while the big one made his way around to my side and before I knew it he gave me a bear hug, picked me up and the little one rummaged through my wallet and took what little money I had, thus concluding my stint as an environmental activist. What would you be doing if you were not in a band? Probably getting a lot more sleep, having a lot more money and looking for people to play in a band with. Would you rather work for your money or win the lottery? I would love to win the lottery, but only because it would enable me to be able to do more financially for the punk community. Even if I, out of the blue, got a lot of money I would never stop "working". I would just be able to "work" in different ways. 32 Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Instead of being a productive tool making money for something or someone else in exchange for a living wage, I would be working towards helping other people make a living wage through their art in a way that doesn’t compromise what they are doing by commodification for a mainstream demographic. Could you ever work a 40 hour a week, 9 to 5 desk job? I do work a 40 hr a week job right now, actually its usually more than 40 hours a week but my desk is a work bench and my paper work is carving hunks of wood into beautiful guitars. I think the whole desk job thing really comes down to what your options are. I don’t ever believe I’ll be in a band that will afford me to not have to work for someone else in some capacity. If my options were flipping burgers in a place that gave me a hard time for taking time off for tour, wouldn’t let me call in sick and paid me like an indentured servant OR enter data into some computer or design circuit boards on AutoCAD while sitting at a desk in a place that gave me paid vacation and sick days. Well, then you better believe I’d work a desk job. But for now I am lucky enough to make my money with the toil of my hands. Weather it be crafting wood into guitars or building bikes. At least I am producing something I love, even if it does make someone else rich. Who do you owe your success to? I guess the success I have is only possible because of a network of amazing people all over the world that are willing to live a life that is a little harder, do a little more work and get paid only in knowing they are part of something that totally kicks ass. I owe the fact that there are punk clubs and collective show spaces to bands like the Minutemen and Black Flag who were willing to all pile into one van and drive all over the US and play in any shithole bar that would have them. I owe the fact that kids under 18 can come to see shows at clubs to bands like Minor Threat and Fugazi who would only play shows if all ages could come. I owe the fact that there are labels like Bifocal Media and Lovitt Records to all the amazing bands that have been playing subversive music in a subversive way and doing it with the help of small local labels that put out music because they love it and telling the major record labels and the Clear Channel controlled mega radio stations to fuck off. And I guess more than anything else I owe it to MTV, Rolling Stone and Atlantic records for making the most watered down, unoriginal and uninspiring shitbag of a music industry that will continue to turn an ever growing handful of kids away from the mainstream garbage that is shoved down their throats and make them search out truth and meaning in art. Without that music industry true diy punk would cease to exist.
Rider Unknown - p. Zach Windahl
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Rider Unknown - p. Zach Windahl
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Rider Unknown - p. Zach Windahl
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Rider Unknown - p. Zach Windahl
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Michael Anderson - p. Zach Windahl
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Jackson Roman - FS Flip - Ceder Rapids, IA - p. Sam McGuire
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Jackson Roman - Cedar Rapids, IA - p. Sam McGuire
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine 39
Uly Marin - Feeble - Iowa City, IA - p. Sam McGuire
40 Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
Uly Marin - Lipslide - Ceder Rapids, IA - p. Sam McGuire
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine 41
Lilman - Ollie - Iowa City, IA - p. Sam McGuire
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Unknown Rider Josh Folly
Swimmer’s Ear Magazine
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