Final Conflict Explain Their Break-Up Just in Time For Their Reunion

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Angela Boatwright
This weekend, Alex's Bar celebrates 14 years of coolness with anniversary shows. Friday's lineup includes the recently reunited bands Final Conflict of Orange County/Long Beach, and hardcore band BL'AST! from Santa Cruz. You can also see the Stitches and Smogtown, and Saturday's show features Swingin' Utters, Old Man Markley, the Black Tibetans, Devil Dogs and Transistor LB.

Yeah, those are all great bands to interview, but I knew I had to speak to Final Conflict singer Ron Martinez. Not only was the 48-year-old a staple of Orange County punk (he booked shows everywhere -- including Chain Reaction -- and worked at Greene Records), he's been a friend for a decade and we hadn't spoken in far too long because he moved to Austin, Texas, four years ago, which might have something to do with the healing of my liver.

Friendship aside, Final Conflict was always a powerful live act. And the group's 1987 record Ashes to Ashes slays and if you don't own it, you should because it's like that dream you had when Black Flag and Black Sabbath became the same band.


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The Top Five Black Flag Guitar Recordings

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A recently reunited Black Flag plays tonight and tomorrow at the Observatory, which got me thinking: What songs do I want to hear live? The easy answer is "all of them," but let's face it, I don't want to hear any band do every song they know. Then I started thinking, "Ok, what are my favorite Black Flag songs I sure as hell hope they play?"

This isn't an easy answer seeing as how the group had four singers, one rhythm guitar player, three bassists and six drummers between its initial run from 1976 through 1986. As you might have guessed, each lineup transformed the group into something it wasn't before. Whereas the original lineup with guitarist Greg Ginn, singer Keith Morris, bassist Chuck Dukowski and drummer Bryan Migdol drew heavily from the Ramones, by the time Ginn, singer Henry Rollins, bassist C'el Revuelta and drummer Anthony Martinez toured in 1986, Black Flag was a heavy blues band that borrowed as much from Black Sabbath and Ornette Coleman than they did the Ramones.

Add the fact that Ginn -- the sole constant -- has reformed his group with second singer Ron Reyes (featured on the Jealous Again EP and the documentary The Decline of Western Civilization) and a new rhythm section (bassist Dave Klein and drummer Gregory Moore aka "Drummer") and you've got a headache as pounding as the second side to the band's 1984 record My War.


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Rocket From the Crypt Bassist Petey X Never Says Never When It Comes to His Band Reuniting

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Greg Jacobs
There's no shortage of good bands playing the Ink-N-Iron festival this weekend at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Sadly, we can't pay much attention to bands that are merely "good" when the world's greatest band of all time is playing. That's right, folks -- Rocket From the Crypt is performing Saturday night and if that's not enough to get your ass off the couch--even for a festival focused on cars and tattoos-- then it's time to start reevaluating your life.

It's a big deal any time the world's greatest band plays (full disclosure: I'm kind of a fan), but it's an even bigger deal when the show marks the first time in nearly eight years that the world's greatest band is playing on American soil. An announced show, anyway.

Rocket From the Crypt held an uber-secret gig on Easter at Bar Pink in San Diego (this writer attended), but that performance was for approximately 100 heathens who view the six members of Rocket From the Crypt (singer/guitarist John "Speedo" Reis, bassist Pete "Petey X" Reichert, guitarist Andy "ND" Stamets, drummer Mario "Ruby Mars" Rubalcaba, trumpet player Jason "JC2000" Crane and saxophonist Paul "Apollo 9" O'Beirne) as musical Messiahs whose triumphant return to the stage was infinitely more important to humanity than some bearded hippie who rose from the dead.

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Taken Reunite For Some Unfinished Business at Glass House

Categories: Q&As, reunions

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MySpace
"Let's talk about Taken" reuniting at the Glass House February 23.

Ray Harkins' mother was cornered. Fans of her son's band, Taken, tearfully filled her in on just how much her son's melodic hardcore band pulled their heartstrings. Anaheim club Chain Reaction was packed with 600 devotees that night in 2004 as band members said farewell, setting off for new projects and art school.

Ironically, Taken's last EP Between Two Unseens, which would come out two months later, was the band's biggest yet, capping off a spree that had taken them on U.S. and Canadian tours with This Day Forward, The Rise, and Curl Up and Die.

Expect some misty eyes for another reason though on Saturday, February 23, when Taken reunites at the Glass House in Pomona for a fundraiser. Poppy Monroe DaSilva, who was born February 7, is the daughter of longtime Chain Reaction soundman Christian DaSilva, who was killed in a motorcycle accident July 2012.

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Tupac is Back: Six Dead Artists We Should Resurrect Via Hologram

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See also:
*Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac's Hologram
*Top Ten Awkward Coachella Dance Move GIFs
*Coachella: Five Signs You're An Aging Hipster
*Radiohead at Coachella: No Alarms and No Surprises
As many of you know by now, Tupac performed at this year's edition of Coachella via hologram. When he appeared, the much-intoxicated crowd did not know what to do. It was as if Tupac had died and rose again (to many conspiracy theorists, that was a literal take). Now that we know how Dr. Dre and AV Concepts dreamed up Tupac's vision, here are other memorable artists we would like to see come back from the dead in hologram form.More »

Knott's Says No to Another Studio K, Cloud 9 Reunion, But Party Will Rage on Anyway

Categories: reunions
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JC Vera
Cloud 9 Revived
Knott's Berry Farm must've really meant it when they said that Studio K and Cloud 9's reunion party last year was "one night only." Despite some complaints about waiting in long-ass lines at the two bars for the '80s event, all those 30something and 40somethings were hoping to have another chance to relive their youth and dance the night away this year.

The official Knott's Berry Farm "Studio K/Cloud 9" page on Facebook let on in mid-March that a big announcement was forthcoming. Could the reunion party be set to take place once more? The answer to the question came last week in the form of the following video:

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Grandaddy to Reunite

Categories: reunions


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Consequence of Sound just announced that indie rock band Grandaddy has reunited. They've been broken up for six years, but will play a number of shows this year, beginning with a headlining spot at the UK's End of the Road Festival in September.


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Sham 69 to Reunite for Punk Rock Bowling

Categories: reunions
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Seminal streetpunk band Sham 69 is playing at Punk Rock Bowling 2012 in Vegas, reuniting their "classic" 1977-1979 lineup made up of Jimmy Pursey on vocals, Dave Parsons on guitar, Dave Tregunna on bass and Mark Cain on drums.

According to Brooklyn Vegan,
This lineup, also known as the Pursey/Parsons lineup (which may or may not have Mark Cain on drums this time around), is not to be confused with the version of the band led by Tim V (otherwise known as the Tim V lineup) (that's Tim V, Neil Harris, Ian Whitewood, Tony Feedback, and Al Campbell). The Tim V lineup operates out of Sham69.com, and both versions are currently playing live.

Sham 69 will be performing with  Rancid, NOFX, Pennywise, The Adicts, Youth of Today, Street Dogs, Toys That Kill, and more on May 25-28, 2012. Tickets go on sale on Feb. 24. Check out the lineup that's been announced so far after the jump.


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Refused's Coachella Reunion: They Explain Why

Categories: reunions
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Believe it, punks: Refused's Coachella reunion is happening. The Swedish hardcore punk band were only together seven years (from 1991 to 1998), but released three full-length albums before calling it quits. Their album--cult favorite The Shape of Punk to Come--is considered one of the best punk albums ever. But even two years ago lead singer Dennis Lyxzén was telling Excite in an interview:

"To be in that band is one of those things that half the time I'm sympathetic and understanding towards why people would do it. The other half, it's just such a useless maneuver. It's a defeatist attitude but if your objective is to play music with your friends and have a good time, there's no harm in reuniting your band for a couple of shows. For us, there have always been so many other aspects of what we did, that it always felt like a complete no-no. You can't do that shit. Minor Threat never got back together. That's kind of our take on it. With some things, the legend is better than the actual thing."
And now? Here's the reasoning behind the reunion on their homepage.
We never did "The shape of punk to come" justice back when it came out, too tangled up in petty internal bickering to really focus on the job. And suddenly there's this possibility to do it like it was intended. We wanna do it over, do it right. For the people who've kept the music alive through the years, but also for our own sakes.

Check out the whole statement after the jump.
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GV30: Descendents, Black Flag at the Santa Monica Civic Center Last Night

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John Gilhooley/ OC Weekly
Descendents

Descendents, Black Flag and more at GV30
Santa Monica Civic Center
Dec. 19, 2011


Punk isn't dead, it's just really fucking old. And by that, I mean, it's at least 30 because that's how long concert promotion company Goldenvoice has been around. Anyone who knows anything about punk knows that 30 in punk years is the equivalent of 75 in regular years, so last night's show featuring a bunch of classic bands from Southern California punk's halcyon days was more like the high school reunion you wanted to go to instead of the one you actually went to.

Headlining the show was the Descendents, who have been playing one-off shows for about the past year. The foursome -- singer Milo Aukerman, drummer Bill Stevenson, guitarist Stephen Egerton and bassist Karl Alvarez -- have played three shows in Southern California this year, which ain't half bad considering Aukerman lives in Delaware, Egerton in Oklahoma and Stevenson and Alvarez in Colorado.


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