Five Reasons to Go to It's Not Dead Fest

Categories: Punk as Fuck

Taken from the OC Weekly archives
The Adolescents, OC punk royalty.
With Taste of Chaos happening tomorrow (10/3) and It's Not Dead Fest going on next Saturday (10/10), you may be wondering whether or not it's worth it to drive all the way to San Bernardino for two straight Saturdays in a row.

Since it's a little late to convince you to go to Taste of Chaos (you can't change your nonexistent plans on 24 hours notice), here are five reasons you should at least go to It's Not Dead Fest (INDF).

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The Hi-Fi Rockfest Dials up the Punk Oldies at the Queen Mary

Naked Raygun performs at Hi-Fi Rockfest in Long Beach. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Hi-Fi Rockfest
Queen Mary

Coming straight out of the gates of Hell, the Hi-Fi Rockfest brought several old school rock and punk bands -- or, more accurately, various members from old school punk bands -- to the shores of Long Beach to perform for a day in the shadow of the Queen Mary cruise ship. Over the course of 12 hours, 11 bands entertained a fairly modest sized crowd with their high energy performances. The name in the headline position of the festival's banner was Dead Kennedys, but there were many influential bands and musicians in attendance which collectively forged a terrific day of music.

Some of the bands built from various members of vintage acts included: Luicidal, which was formed by Louiche Mayorga and R.J. Herrera (respectively, the bassist and drummer from Suicidal Tendencies); Year of the Dragon, featuring "Dirty" Walter A. Kibby II (vocalist / trumpet player from Fishbone); and Dirty Filthy Mugs, which is fronted by vocalist Matt Wedgley (former vocalist for Viva Hate and The Force). These bands, as well as The Two Tens, Downtown Brown, and True Rivals, performed 30 minute sets during the first half of the day. Following that, the allotted set times increased commensurate with the star power of the performers and the band names.

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MELTED and The Originalites Rock Out at a Green Party Rally

The Originalites perform at Calling All Rebels. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
MELTED and The Originalites
Delhi Center

Music and politics have always made strange bedfellows. A song can often function as a political tool via its reflection of social and political events. However, when it is used as a symbol for an ideology, things start to get muddy; artists and their messages are sometimes used to market something which may be totally alien to their personal philosophies or to the intentions behind their messages -- take, for example, the recent fiasco with Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" at the Kim Davis rally. Furthermore, it was somewhat ironic that local punk rock band MELTED and reggae rock troupe The Originalites performed at a Green party rally since neither one of them has ever been painted as a political band.

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Social Distortion Breaks Out Hits, Covers, and Life Lessons at the Observatory

John Gilhooley
Social Distortion

It shouldn't be much of a surprise that the crowd at Social Distortion's 3-nights-in-four-days run at the Observatory (broken up by Travis Scott on Monday) brought out a lot of what OC has to offer. Considering that the self-titled album being celebrated/performed may be one of the most important albums in OC music history, you would think the shows should bring all types of the area's music fans to the Santa Ana venue. You'd be right.

From 16-year-old punk kids to 60-year-old tattooed ladies, cholos in their plaid workshirts to soul patch-wearing former frat boys who would fit in better at a Dave Matthews Band concert, all walks of OC life stood shoulder-to-shoulder on Tuesday night (and Sunday night, but that's a story for a different time) to watch Mike Ness sing a bunch of 25-year-old tunes.

See also: Mike Ness Looks Back, Focusing on the Past of Social Distortion

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Long Beach Psyclone Festival Was a Slice of Rockabilly Heaven

Photo of Inazuma by Scott Feinblatt
Long Beach Psyclone Weekender
Sea Port Marina Hotel

There is easily enough of a contingent of psychobilly fans throughout SoCal to keep festivals like Long Beach Psyclone rockin' and a rollin' all night long. As it was, the psychobilly and rockabilly music festival only lasted until 2 a.m.; however, since the fest lasted for four days, one could say that it evened out in the end.

Each day of the 4th annual Long Beach Psyclone weekender began at sundown. There were brunches, barbecues, and pool parties with the bands (featuring several performances) and a Big Red Bus tour as well, which this reviewer unfortunately missed out on. However, gauging from Friday night at the Seaport Marina Hotel, where the festival was held, organizer Brando Von Badsville and his co-promoter, Jose Noriega, have established a solid event, which featured an impressive cross-section of bands from around the world.

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Berserktown II Brings Eclectic Craziness to The Observatory

Priests Perform at Berserktown II. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Berserktown II
The Observatory

Look out, here comes another themed music festival! Berserktown II (the sequel to last year's Berserktown festival, obviously) brought punks, metalheads, and those who could pass as civilians to The Observatory for three fun filled days of celebrating disenfranchisement. There was no straight uniform for this crowd; for, true punks and fans of old-school industrial music have never really coalesced into a tidy demographic. The name of the game, here, was eclecticism, and the line-up backed that theme up on every level.

As in many festivals, the quality of the musicians tended to increase as the day went on. Naturally, this is not universal -- one can always find charming surprises in the early hours -- but, as I was fairly blind going into this festival [I only knew that the noise rock band Royal Trux was headlining on the day I was available to attend], I didn't have a solid grasp of its ethos. Before long, I pieced it together: these are bands that don't follow anybody's rules and are probably never going to hit the big time. Mind you, this is not a condemnation.

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Skapeche Mode Lead a Glowing Local Roster at Slidebar

Skapeche Mode performs at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
The great thing about seeing local bands perform at a local venue (apart from the likelihood that the concert will be free) is that you really get to weigh the band by its musical and performance merits instead of by its popularity or any major buzz that it may have developed. Even in the case of The Radioactive Chicken Heads and Skapeche Mode, which already have developed enough of a following to pack the back room at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen, in Fullerton, the bands must truly shine in order to cultivate, maintain, and expand their fan bases. On Friday night, Slidebar hosted the aforementioned bands as well as Tiktaalik and MELTED, and each band subsequently showed what they could do given around 30 minutes of stage time.

Tiktaalik performs at The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
The first up was Tiktaalik. This high-concept, "post-core," three-piece outfit sounded like the soundtrack of someone who was being chased through a junkyard by wind-up robots. The lyrics were not that clearly discernible, but the guitarist / lead singer's Cobainesque shouting at one point seemed to reveal something about voluntary exile into disenfranchisement. The bassist laid down the solid tracks of this roller coaster ride while the drummer's vicious percussive attacks cleared the roller coaster's path with the relentlessness of a wrecking ball.

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10 Underrated Punk Albums That Should Be Considered Classics

Categories: Punk as Fuck

By: Tom Reardon

It's odd that people who have never met me want to punch me in the throat. Perhaps it's akin to what people like Sean Hannity and Joe Arpaio experience on a daily basis, although I would never want to be compared to them. Luckily, I feel safe in saying there is no comparison. All I've done is tell the story of how my bandmate once hit Danzig and then give my opinion on why a few albums that some people consider classics are really not that great. Again, key words, my opinion.

Anyhow, some of the people who wanted to punch me also suggested I write more positively about albums rather than put anybody down. A few even said I should write about "underrated" albums, and I thought it was a great idea. I'm sure you still might want to punch me, and that is okay. To be honest, there are people I'd like to punch, so I truly understand your frustration. The following albums are in no particular order, so please don't stalk my dog because I put your favorite of these at number four and you think it should be number one, dear reader. Some of them are by well-known bands, too, but I just don't think the records get the recognition they deserve.

So, without further delay, 10 underrated punk albums you should listen to again.

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10 Reasons the Misfits are Still Relevant

Thumbnail image for misfitspic.jpg
So what they only have one original member left? The Misfits are still one of the most important punk bands of all time, and they're at the Observatory for three nights this weekend.

Before you go check them out, here are 10 reasons the Misfits are still relevant.

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See Neil Young's Cinematic Side at Shakey Fest

Promotional Image of Neil Young
Neil Young completists, rock historians, and fans of underground cinema, gather ye round! Something rare and off-kilter is going down, and you're not going to want to miss it. For fifty years, Neil Young has been writing, recording, and performing in numerous genres of music, both as a solo act as well as with various groups; however, while most people can recognize some of his tunes; such as "Cinnamon Girl," "Heart of Gold," and "Ohio;" few are the individuals who are versed in his film catalog. This weekend, the Cinefamily, a Los Angeles nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the art and community of cinema, will be showcasing a series of films by and about Neil Young.

The series, called Shakey Fest, is named after Bernard Shakey, Young's filmmaking pseudonym, and it features a newly restored director's cut of Human Highway. The new cut of Highway, a post-apocalyptic musical comedy that was shot in 1982 and co-directed with Dean Stockwell, recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Once Hadrian Belove, the Executive Director and one of the co-founders of Cinefamily, became aware of the restoration, he contacted the film's distributor in the hope of featuring it in a film festival devoted to Shakey's works.

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