Five Types of Orange County Punks

Categories: Punk as Fuck

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Dave Watt
Orange County has long been a hub of American punk rock, serving as the starting point for major bands including The Adolescents and Social Distortion. With so much history nearby, the county understandably is home to a healthy number of self-identified punk rockers. Just who are these people? We went in search of the five most prevalent types of punk lurking along the local beach fronts and on suburban lawns. Here they are.

See also: Seven People You Meet At a Guitar Store

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The Five Best Dead Kennedys Deep Tracks

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Dead Kennedys Plastic Surgery Disasters album cover
Every punker worth his or her liberty spikes knows the Dead Kennedys songs "California Uber Alles," "Chemical Warfare," "Too Drunk to Fuck," and "Holiday in Cambodia." However, unlike many other '80s American hardcore groups, the San Francisco-based quartet also has a slew of material that is just as interesting (both musically and lyrically) as the so-called "hits."

But for some reason, these songs don't make it to t-shirts or on the backs of leather jackets. Thanks to this list, which details the five best Dead Kennedys non-hits, perhaps they will. Or, more likely, perhaps the group (guitarist East Bay Ray, bassist Klaus Flouride, drummer D.H. Peligro and singer Skip Greer) will play some of these Friday when they come to the Observatory.


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10 Punk Records Turning 25 This Year

Categories: Punk as Fuck

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ALL, Allroy Saves
If you watch too much VH1 for your own good then you know 1990 is the year that gave us Vanilla Ice, Gerardo, and a hundred interchangeable hair metal bands. Thankfully, 1990 also produced a healthy amount of excellent records from the punk rock underground. Here are 10 of our favorites turning 25 this year.

See also: The Best Punk Albums of 2014

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The Five Best Punk Rock Day Jobs

Categories: Punk as Fuck

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Alex Distefano
Cro-Mags singer John Joseph
Believe it or not, but most of your favorite bands do not make a living off their music. If you do the math it seems surprising, because any band with thousands of people buying their records at anywhere from 99 cents to 10 bucks a piece must be earning a living wage, right? Hardly.

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The 10 Best Punk Christmas Songs

Categories: Punk as Fuck

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Andrew Youssef
Warren Fitzgerald of the Vandals on guitar
By: Damian Bloor

Christmas is 2 weeks away and with it will come the fateful holiday party where someone, hopefully not you, drinks too much and tells off a roomful of sullen friends and relations. Far from a time of universal peace and joy, the winter holidays can be fraught with familial resentment and animosity. This makes the season a perfect time to dust off your old punk rock records. We know holiday prep is major drain on time, so as our gift to you, we've assembled a playlist of our 10 favorite Christmas punk songs. Now you should have plenty of time to write insincere cards to people you see once a year. 


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The 10 Best Punk Drummers

Categories: Punk as Fuck

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Andrew Youssef
Brooks Wackerman
Punk Rock may not be known for its musical technicality. But at the same time, one crucial musical component that stands out in any great punk band is the drums. The drummer's role in a punk band is to codify the sounds of the guitar and bass together, by using structure of beats and timing. Speed, energy and aggression are just a few elements that the drums can add to punk music. We now present out list of the 10 Best Punk Drummers.


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Lagwagon Nail the Delicate Art of Aging Gracefully

Categories: Punk as Fuck

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Lisa Johnson

Ever wondered what kind of maladies might befall residents of an old folks' home for punk musicians? All you have to do is crank up Lagwagon's "Falling Apart," on which the long-running Santa Barbara band fast-forward time and imagine what they will look like when they are decrepit and utterly dilapidated. There are all manner of ailments: baldness, osteoporosis, glaucoma, blown-out knees, liver failure, dementia, muscular atrophy, dental decay, etc.

At the particularly mournful-sounding bridge, vocalist Joey Cape's distinctive, kinda-nasal voice wades through despondence: "I'll never be Ozzy/Onstage when I'm 50/I'm gonna look like Elvis/By the time I'm 40/We're already bogus/We're already fading/We'll never be the Rolling Stones/I'm staying home."

There Lagwagon are, infirm and irrelevant. It's a pointedly tragicomic riff on youth disappearing; Cape himself sees the tune as more funny than sad.


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Top Ten Horror Punk Bands

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Wikipedia Commons
Dinah Cancer of 45 Grave

No better way to celebrate Halloween and the season of Fall, than by blasting horror punk. Ah yes, the classic sounds of hardcore punk rock, with hints of goth, death rock, rockabilly, shock rock, psychobilly, metal and even sometimes industrial and pop music.

This musical subset of punk, is a sure way to go if you like songs about zombies, sci-fi, old horror films, monsters and other tales of gloom, mystery,morbidity, in many instances taken from comics, cult films and pop culture's obsession with violence, and the macabre.

We now present ten horror punk bands you need to know this creepy season:


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The Buzzcocks Kill at Bang! Festival

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The Buzzcocks photo by Scott Feinblatt
Bang! Festival
The Observatory
9/20/14

Over time, the typical arc in the life of rock musicians reveals that they are no less whores than any other type of celebrity. Laziness and age beget compromise, and, of course, money makes people do crazy things. However, Saturday night at the Bang! Music Festival (hosted by The Observatory and sponsored by the Weekly), headlining punk rockers The Buzzcocks proved that they are just as full of piss, vinegar and spit as they were nearly 40 years ago.

Sandwiched between headlining acts Los Lobos and X, the raw punk energy of The Buzzcocks stood out. Each of the headliners was allotted a one hour set, and as soon as The Buzzcocks took to the stage, not a second was wasted. There were literally one to five second intervals between each of their upbeat, high-energy songs -- each of which was played appropriately loud. In fact, from the moment guitarist Steve Diggle slung the first of his guitars and strummed it, he ordered the sound man to increase the volume. It's hard to tell whether he was the culprit or an unheeded voice of reason in the off-balance mix of the first few songs in their set. From the first song, the band established a vigorous momentum, and by about the fourth song, the mix was appropriately adjusted, allowing for the discernment of the delicate timbre of Pete Shelley's voice.


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Stiff Little Fingers' Punk Rock Fire Still Burns

Categories: Punk as Fuck

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Before 1980, punk rock was most associated with three bands of three distinct flavors. There were the Sex Pistols, whose loud, over-the-top shtick revolved around rebellion and vitriol; the Ramones, who trafficked in energetic, lovably dopey pop songs; and the Clash, who carried themselves with the sobriety of community activists, focusing on sociopolitical songwriting and a multi-hued sonic palette.

Feeling invigorated by punk's back-to-basics approach and the sense that he was there for music history, a young Jake Burns helped form Stiff Little Fingers, his own punk band, in 1977. Wanting to pattern SLF after one of that trio, Burns went with the third option, establishing an outfit whose explosiveness and smarts still shine today.

"When I heard the Clash, they were writing about things that actually meant something and doing it with an intelligence," the Chicago-based guitarist/vocalist, 56, says. "Obviously, I know there was an intelligence in what the other bands were doing, it was just they buried it under a cartoon image or some form of provoking hysteria. Seeing and hearing the intelligence of what the Clash did connected to me on a similar level to the Dylans and the Marleys of this world."




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