7 posts

Crate Digging #3 – Ladies and Gentlemen, Black Flag

If you have ever wandered past a skate park, rock club or a seedy neighborhood in your town, chances are that you have seen Black Flag’s stark, iconic logo scrawled on the surface of a wall, skate deck or t-shirt. If you are older (or just like hanging out with old punks), you have probably encountered a number of poorly-done tattoo replicas of the band’s Ray Pettibon-designed logo on sagging biceps. The band, like the logo, has become an indispensable insignia of punk anti-authoritarianism and underground culture for marginalized kids everywhere. A quarter century since they disbanded, Black Flag continues to have a strong influence on the worlds of punk, indie, and metal music. Continue reading

Infographic: The Metal Flowchart

What do you think of when you think of metal? For many, it remains a 1980’s punchline: Spinal Tap, big hair, and leather pants. Others with a slightly more recent frame of reference may instead imagine barely comprehensible noise. Both are correct descriptions, but only partially so.

Like its punk and hardcore cousins, the term ‘metal’ encompasses a multitude of sub-genres and micro-genres, some of them ludicrously specific, and many of them sounding nothing like each other. In an attempt to bring some order to the chaos, I have combined my encyclopedic knowledge of metal with the graphical skills of the wonderfully talented tomqvaxy to bring you this genealogical chart: Continue reading

Tuesday Question of the Day: Who was your Favorite Band in High School

Aw, memories. Mine get hazier by the day due to age and certain “lifestyle” choices I have made over the years. I used to be cool (I think) and I used to listen to good music before my responsibilities got in the way. However, my sweet neighbor kid is in high school and he always enthusiastically shares what he is listening to with me. He is crazy for Jay Z. Crazy on the way that only a teenager can be for music. Before pretension, before bitterness, and before life attaches too many memories to your music.

I love it when I hear him singing this in the hallway:

So Crasstalk, what was your favorite band or artist in high school. Who spoke to your little rocker?

Here’s mine, hands down.

All right, you know what to do.




Music Documentary: The Decline of Western Civilization:III

Whoa dude! This is part III of the legendary documentary series on the L.A. music scene. It never got a commercial release and is really hard to find. Part I was on punk rock circa ’79, part II on hair bands circa ’88, part III deals with the gutterpunk scene circa ’97.

I remember going to Hollywood during high school and seeing these guys scare the tourists. One of the girls works (works!) at a clothing shop on Melrose (she’s the kinda-cute girl) but I’m guessing most of these guys are dead or in prison or something. Its shocking and kind of sad, but still a very good documentary.

The rumor was that Penelope Spheeris bowed to pressure from civic leaders and didn’t release this commercially. It would have come out during the whole Rampart scandal, and it would have painted a very negative image of the city. We used to give these guys money and offer them rides to Covenant House (homeless shelter for kids) and wonder why they never took us up on the offer.

When I was sixteen I guess it was kind of secretly appealing to think that someone could just drop out, quit it all, and live with nothing but their wits and some raggedy clothes, maybe have a 40 to look forward to at night.

After watching the doc and learning that most of these kids were horribly abused and drunk 99% of the time, I feel sorry for them. $5 isn’t a lot of money to you or me, but its a fortune to them. Maybe I’m just a sucker, but I think I’ll always give these kinds of people a couple bucks. Anyway, here’s the doc, its pretty good, just lower the volume when the bands are playing and watch it as high-brow social commentary.

The Decline Of The Western Civilization: Part 3 – Gutter Punk (1998) Musidocs.com from documentaries on Veehd.