Monday, October 20, 2008

Before I Forget

4point0 is playing this Saturday at Funk 'n Waffles. Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8, 4point0 should be on fairly early. Go see them, buy the EP, buy a shirt, dance with me to Scott Farcas and Streetlight Manifesto, it'll be fun.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

And Now It Is Time write about one of my favorite albums.

OK so there are these guys, and they start a band, and they call themselves the Descendents. And then in '81 they put out this album, maybe you've heard of it. It's called Milo Goes To College.

See that guy right there on the cover? That's Milo. He went to college. Got himself a doctorate in biochemistry, actually.

Milo was released in '81. It was a pretty big change-up, musically. It combined the sound of hardcore punk with personal lyrics. Sure the lyrics were about punk standbys such as girls, parents, and not fitting in. But whereas other bands seemed to whine about it, these guys fucking yelled. Loudly, as a matter of fact. Not that yelling was new, Black Flag's Damaged came out at about the same time. But it wasn't "Raaagh fuck the man fuck the system punk as hell roooargh" yelling. It was "FUCK YOU MOM AND DAD I HATE YOU YOU SUCK" yelling, and we can all relate to that at some point.

Like I said, individually, the parts are pretty basic. In fact, taken separately, they aren't that great. Anybody could've written "Parents" for example. But only Milo could shout about it with so much rage and honesty that you have to think "man seriously fuck parents parents suck. Man this guy knows what's up. He knows what it's like to be pissed at mom and dad." Yeah no shit, he probably wrote it because he was pissed at, wait for and dad.

This album sounds a lot rougher than most of their other stuff, both in sound and in feel. It sounds like four guys in a garage just playing loud and singing louder, probably because that's what they were. But that doesn't hurt the album at all. In fact, it makes it even better. Why would you want all that rage and vitriol sounding all polished anyway? Polish this too much and you'd have some damn screamo band and we aren't going there.

For setting a trend, and inspiring 25 years of punks, I'm giving Milo Goes To College four and a half out of five stars.

Stay tuned for Teenage Bottlerocket (maybe?), the Queers (probably), and Screeching Weasel, just as soon as I find some of the stuff I've already written.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So I lied

I'm not going to do either of the albums that I said I would. It's also been less than a week since I put the last one up so bite me, I'm making an effort here. I actually have one all written for Milo Goes to College but I've got something better than that.

I'm going to shamelessly plug my friends' music here. Today we will be talking about 4point0.

4point0 is a rock-ska band from Baldwinsville, NY. They're also the only decent thing to happen in this town, musically, in a while. Visit their myspace so that you can hear what I'm talking about.

I'm going to come right out and say, old-school, generic, basic ska? That shit bores me to tears. Play something besides an upstroke goddammit. Fortunately Making The Grade avoids that entirely. If I had to make a comparison right now to a successful ska band, off the top of my head I'd say Reel Big Fish. I mean I'd probably be wrong but hey, fuck you, this is my blog I can say what I want.

For a band that half of its members are still in high school, these guys are great. The guitar is rockin', the horn section is tight, drums are awesome, and the lyrics are great, when they remember the lyrics.

I've got a couple complaints about the EP, but it's all little shit. What it really amounts to is me not liking the mix on all of the tracks, but not so much that I don't enjoy it anyway.

To sum it all up, if you're in central New York, go check these guys out.
Really, do it. I just told you to and now you have to. One of the perks of writing this blog.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Ok not really, I was just lazy. But enough about me. Let's talk music.
Today we'll be taking a look at one of the best punk albums, ever. Like if you disagree with me about how fucking great this is, you risk getting your throat slit just because you are so wrong. I'm talking, of course, about the first Ramones album.

Ok let me just start out by saying, they could not play or sing or anything worth a damn. But that's part of the appeal of this album: It really is just four dudes rocking out. None of the fancy stuff that a lot of other albums were doing right then. Remember, this was the time of arena rock. This was some radical shit right here.

Simple music rules here. I could fit the lyrics on a napkin, and the chords on a matchbook cover. That doesn't make them any less great. The famous chant of "hey ho, let's go" is still fucking awesome. I guess there's some kind of meaning in these lyrics; Beat On The Brat is about hating stuck-up rich kids, 53rd and 3rd is about Dee Dee sucking dick for heroin money. But really why would you let some silly little thing like meaning get in the way of singing along?

I think that just about covers it. I mean, really how many more ways can I say "I love this album"? Easily one of the best punk albums ever, and it's my personal favorite, narrowly beating out London Calling.
I give the Ramones' debut album a 5/5. Perfection at its....most perfect? I don't know, something like that.

Next time on "Donny's occasional music blog", I'll be doing another of my top three albums; either London Calling or Milo Goes To College.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Uhhhhhh.....Something witty

Happy Monday, time for the first actual post.

I’m going to start this off with the album I’m listening to the most lately: Missed the Boat, by The Steinways.

An introduction is in order. The Steinways are four friends from New York City, who came together a few years ago after their bands fell apart, and made something wonderful. Since then, they’ve put out two 7”s, Rocket Surgery and Unoriginal Recipe, and two full-lengths, Missed the Boat and Gorilla Marketing, which just came out this year.

Listening to Missed the Boat, it’s obvious that the band is fans of Screeching Weasel and The Queers. The short, fast pop-punk, about girls and…well, girls, is infectious and somewhat silly. The band shows a talent for writing memorable hooks, with KTV ending with the line “You’re so pretty, you’re so Asian, kiss me baby, I’m Caucasian.” I mean come on now. Joe Queer wishes he could write a line like that.

Grath, the lead vocalist, manages to convey that same sense of teenage angst and irritation with the ladies that shone through in a lot of MTX songs, while avoiding the dangers of sounding like a whiny little bitch about it. Not an easy task.

Overall, a fun album. It’s not Boogadaboogada, it’s not Love Songs for the Retarded, but it’s damn close. My one complaint is the length. Missed the Boat is 20 tracks, and only 21 minutes long. Not that that’s bad, but it could’ve been a little longer.

The three big pop-punk outfits, MTX, Screeching Weasel, and The Queers, are mostly gone, with just Joe Queer keeping it together. The Steinways look to be taking their place in the trinity for a new generation.

Now we just need a couple more.

I give The Steinways’ Missed the Boat three and a half out of five stars. A valiant effort, a great result, but it could still be better.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

First post, woooo?


This is a punk musics blog. The name comes from a band a friend and I wanted to start and never did.

Basically the point of this is, I write shit about music I'm listening to, and you read it, or not, not like I care. I'm going to be focusing a lot on pop-punk, classic and new, obscure stuff, along with a little melodic hardcore and the stuff in between, and some ska just because fuck you it's my musics blog. Don't expect any reviews of straight up hardcore punk, that shit does not go well with my ears.

First real post will go up tomorrow. Hey, ho, let's go.