JERSEY BEAT CONFIDENTIAL VOL. 2 JUNE 1989 An Electronic Supplement to J

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*********************************************************************** JERSEY BEAT CONFIDENTIAL VOL. 2 JUNE 1989 *********An Electronic Supplement to Jersey Beat Fanzine ************** RUN IT MARRIES; PUNK IS DEAD by Jim Testa Special To Jersey Beat Confidential EAST NORWALK, CONN. - Dave Run It - cartoonist, fanzine publisher, and onetime runner- up as Flipside's Asshole Of The Year - wed Christine Miller at a small ceremony in this quaint backwater Connecticut community on April 28, 1989, ending the era of "Punk Rock" as we knew it. Run It's marriage has been generally conceded by experts to mark the end of the Punk Rock era which began with the emergence of the Ramones in 1975 and evolved into a furtive underground of pasty-faced tape traders, fanzine editors, insomniacs, and slam dancers which labelled itself an "alternative" to the popular music of the day. Dave Run It guided the seminal Connecticut fanzine Run It through three tumultuous issues, culminating with the release of a 4-song EP that included the first vinyl recording made by Youth Of Today. Run It thus became one of the first fanzines to come with a record, an annoying practice that has been imitated incessantly by inferior publications such as The Bob, Away From The Pulsebeat, The Pope, and Chemical Imbalance. Run It was an early booster of not only YoT but also such seminal rock 'n roll legends as Underdog, Chronic Disorder, and Crippled Youth (later known as Bold), and the fanzine is generally credited with galvinizing the Suburban Connecticut Hardcore Scene which largely changed the face of punk rock music in the late 1980's. Dave is also credited with dubbing Michael Safreed, the editor of Limited Potential, with the nickname "Mike Potential." In later years, Run It became the James Thurber of the indie underground, penning acid- tongued cartoon barbs that skewered the pretentious and self-important bilbos of the pig fucker elite. These cartoons most often appeared in the pages of Jersey Beat, although two post-Run It publications - Boris and Brushback - appeared in limited print runs. Besides once again unleashing the unparalleled wit and incisive social commentary for which he was known, these publications captured the heart of the "Positive Youth" movement with their great humanity and generosity toward mankind. A collection of Dave Run It's work will appear shortly in The Best Of Jersey Beat 1982-1989 - Seven Years Of Bad Luck, to be published by Grot Press. ************************************************** OPERATION IVY Energy, LP Lookout, Box 1000, Laytonville, CA 95454 Due out back in January, then March, it finally showed up in May, and it was well worth the wait. 19 songs in all, the average length is no more than 1:50. What's your pleasure? This lp is sure to include it. Hardcore, ska, reggae: Operation Ivy proves a band can be a Jack of All Trades. It would be interesting to see the crowd they attract. Stuck in my head are the backing vocals and chorus parts, they're great singalongs. Plenty of "Energy" that will please skankers and moshers alike. If you don't believe me, listen to it yourself; one listen and you'll be hooked too. You'll agree it's worth missing an episode of "21 Jump Street" for. - Tom Angelli SOUL SIDE "Bass" EP Dischord, 3819 Beecher St NW, Wash DC 20007 Soulside's first single and that's not the only first here. For the first time you get lyrics and photos of the band, as well as credits as to who plays what. So the shroud of mystery is finally gone. Besides that bonus, this EP has 3 songs - 2 new ones and "Other Side" from their 1st lp played live and with a different arangement. Only complaint with the live track is that the vocals are mixed too low. The 2 new songs continue in the Trigger direction. A FULL sound that includes an incredible rhythm section. Thumping bass and great drum fills. Then there's the ever- powerful, distinctive `loose' guitar playing, and filling in the rest is Bobby Sullivan's voice, full of emotion, conviction, and sincerity. Lyrics focus in on a problem and attack it, cut & dry. One of my favorites around today. - Tom A. ************************************************ JERSEY BEAT'S SPRING '89 PLAYLIST JED - Goo Goo Dolls ENERGY - Operation Ivy "BASS" EP - Soul Side FOUR MILE DAY - Myra Holder Band BORN TO EXPIRE - Leeway LULLABY - Crocodile Shop SALVATION GUARANTEED - Thee Fourgiven PRESIDENT YO LA TENGO - Yo La Tengo ************************************************ THE EX Aural Gorilla, lp Homestead Probably the best Homestead release of 1989 so far. This lp is mandatory but for those defiant bastards who'll resist, we'll explain the situation: Crass-like lyrics that deal with current situations as they should be dealt with, packaged w/ a primitive blast of gritty swamp punk, with vocals presented very originally. Comes with a double-sided poster with lyrics. Even the artwork is extraordinary. The Ex have done a superb job mixing original punk/hardcore and dare I say "noise-art rock". A politically correct thought-provoking slice of wax from the same label that brought you G.G. Allin & The Holymen. - John Lisa SPONGEHEAD Potted Meat Spread, lp Shimmydisc As most Shimmydisc bands are influenced by drugs & alcohol, Spongehead is no exception. Lotsa noisy jazzy jams, repulsive arty/weird lyrics with an occasional tape which drags the tunes through the skum rock mud. Good tunes include "Maybe" and "Share Our Hate." Spongehead can now join Bongwater as being among the most unpredictable bands in alternative music today. Once again, recorded at Noise New York by Kramer. This is the epitome of what can be expected from a fucked up label like Shimmydisc. Love it or go to hell. -John L. POST-HUMOROUS RELIEF Cherubic Delusions, lp Dischord What a strange record this is. The album cover is cheap cardboard and depicts two brass horns. There is also bad, ugly artwork on the back. Who would ever think this is a Dischord release? Well, I guess they're trying to "blast our concept." The music? Well, it's sort like DMZ meets early punk rock obnoxiousness, and actually winds up sounding like more laid back Dinosaur Jr. w/o the Neil Young edge. If you take the time out to decipher the song titles on the lyric sheet, you'll find that you like this lp a lot and probably wind up listening to it in your sleep. Comes on blue vinyl (at least our promo copy did) with funny red flower man instead of a label. This looks like it could be sought after by collectors in a few years. Original and exciting. Thumbs up. - John L. ******************************************* EGG CREAM APOCALYPSE The Dirt Behind The Scum Rock Scene By Jim Testa The Reverb Motherfuckers play it, record labels avoid it, fanzines love it, the Lismar Lounge books it, and Mykel Board says he named it. What're we talking about? We're talking scum. Scum Rock. Catchy little moniker, ain't it? Of course, like most labels, nobody's really sure what it means. The term's been floating around for a while, although it really started to catch on when Mykel Board profiled the New York "Scum Rock" scene last summer in "Downtown" magazine. You could define it geographically: Scum Rock bands play in the Bermuda Triangle of Manhattan Clubland bordered by the Pyramid Club to the east, Downtown Beirut II on Houston Street to the south, and venerable CBGB to the west. The fact that the Bowery is as close as any of these bands ever get to midtown should tell you something right away. All of these clubs - and let's not forget the Lismar Lounge, Nightingale's Bar, or little unmarked holes-in-the-wall like Chameleon, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut or ABC No Rio while we're at it - live up to most people's expectations of scumminess. They're small, dank, dingy places, often with makeshift p.a.'s (although, to be fair, the sound at CBGB or the Pyramid ranks with any club in the city). The bands that play these places by and large can't get gigs anywhere else, and most of them don't want to. The Scum Rock attitude is "Why not?" - like the Reverb Motherfuckers, who take off their clothes and cover themselves with bar-b-q sauce, or Porno Dracula, who do a credible Iggy Goes Las Vegas thing. We are not talking careerism, here, that's for sure. Scum Rock bands don't have any set sound, unless "LOUD" qualifies as a genre unto itself these days. Lots of them stoke the flames of the 70's revival like their more-successful garage- thrash brethrn, Raging Slab or Das Damen, but Scum Rock can come in all shapes and sizes. Freaks, with their day-glo orange presskits and comic-book caricature flyers, suggest a trippy, Roger Corman Acid Rock thing. The Ex-Lovers (formerly Traci Lord's Ex-Lovers) don't even look scummy, and their sound is as sweet as chocolate syrup mixed with seltzer. (Ever have an Egg Cream? They're kind of scummy.) Chris Parrish of Holy Crow looks (and sounds) like Joan Jett but her band has this great Ramones-Go-To-Hell grunge-punk kick, while the runty guys in Hammerbrain, with their spikey hair and tattoos, look like they're gonna gob on ya while they're spewing out their angry, fiery punktoons. "At this point," says Mykel Board, the dean of Scum Rock critics, "Scum Rock has to be any band that won't deny it." See, most of these combos - including the ones I just mentioned - hate being called Scum Rock. The biggest problem is that in Board's original Scum article, he intimated that most scum bands don't play their instruments very well or sing in tune or write good songs, a notion that the bulk of the scum scene denies vehemently. "I'm too young to remember, but it seems to me that everything they used to say about Punk, they're saying now about Scum," says Jon Ment, a sometime-college student, fanzine editor, as well as bassist/singer for the band Slugfest. "I agree that there is a scum scene and I wouldn't deny we're a Scum Rock band, but I don't agree with the stuff Mykel Board wrote about scum bands not being very talented." Frankly, I think Ment is exactly right. Scum bands may be casual about re-tuning between every song, but they are far from untalented - and it's exactly the same sort of reverse snobbism that plagued the Punk scene of the late '70's. Some of the other cool bands making the scum scene include the Unsane (not to be confused with the 8 or 9 other bands called The Unsane around.) Gerard Cosloy picked the NYC Unsane as Best New Live Thrash/Fusion Band (or something) in the last Flipside poll, and he's right. They're real good. Not your typical 3-piece death thrash combo, these guys are loud and shit, but tuneful too, and good lookin'. You can tell they're Thrash/Fusion 'cos they all look so different from one another - the drummer is a blond hippie type, the lead singer/gtr is a tall skinny dude in a baseball cap, and the bassist is a skinhead. (How come if there's a skinhead or a girl in the band, it's always the bassist?) Another excellent if scummy band to watch for is The Thing, fronted by Jesse Ostbaum, who's been kicking around New York looking for a band to be magnificent in for about 5 years now. Well, he finally found it. Between shooting off firecrackers and smoke bombs and screaming his lungs out and waving his long curly hair at the crowd, Jesse gets to listen to his pal Sal Canzonieri wail out some immensely thick harmonic guitar. These guys got the psychokiller melodramatics of the Buttholes, the killer punk- crunch of White Zombie, and the post-psychedelic drone of the Velvet Monkeys at their most possessed. The Thing swears they're not Scum Rock either. Bands like Pussy Galore, the Buttholes, B.A.L.L. (with Shimmydisc's Mark Kramer on bass and Velvet Monkey Don Fleming on guitar), and Sharkey's Machine helped influence and create the Scum Rock scene - but most of those bands have released albums, toured, and play nicer clubs. Call them Scum Alumni. GWAR are Viking Scum. (Any band on Shimmydisc has at least one foot in the slime, by the way. The label's trademark horseshit guitar sound and Manny's Garage-caliber production make almost any Shimmydisc release at least part Scummy.) Ed Gein's Car plays out with the scum bands an awful lot; they're scum-by-association (and, as a New York hardcore band that's neither teenaged, positive, straightedge or on Buy Our Records, they have no real constituency of their own anyway.) Last, and probably even least, nothing on Scum Rock would be complete without some mention of Letch Patrol. If you read Maximum Rock 'N Roll, you probably already know the name - they hold the record for most consecutive mentions in a Scene Report. In fact, self-promotion is what they do best. Lead singer Harris Pankin (who, more than any other human being, sums up the word SCUM in everything he does) even turned the Tompkins Square Park police riot in a Letch Patrol media circus, turning up repeatedly on the evening news and talk shows in a Letch Patrol t-shirt, making sure to mention the band in between showing off a nasty scalp wound (courtesy of some out-of-control NYC cop's nightstick). Unfortunately, Letch Patrol keeps falling apart at the seams. Without a viable lineup for 1989's Scum Fest at CBGB, they did the next best thing - took the stage, made an elaborate show of tuning up for about 15 minutes, and then lip-synched their single. Letch Patrol really epitomizes what Scum Rock is all about - making do at the bottom rung of the rock 'n roll ladder, coping with a dying club scene and an indifferent public, finding ways to make music and have fun. And if you can throw a few pies into the face of Rock 'N Roll while you're at it, all the better. Scum Rock's Greatest Shit "On The Rag Compilation" w/ Hammerbrain, Roadkill, Ex-Lovers (Urban Rag Records) Letch Patrol "Love Is Blind"/"Axe To Grind" 45 Honeymoon Killers "You Turn Me On" EP Buy Our Records The Thing 6 Sick Songs Cassette Reverb Motherfuckers "Route 666" lp Bands Only A Mutha Could Love Compilation CD Mutha Records ************************************************************ If you liked this, you'll love Jersey Beat Fanzine. Only $2 postpaid from Jim Testa 418 Gregory Ave. . Weehawken NJ 07087 #37 Out Now! w/ Agnostic Front Youth of Today Underdog Whiplash plus really neat record reviews of new shit by Yo La Tengo Myra Holder Band NJ Nerd Rock and A lot of photos Demos, fanzines, and lots more stuff X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X Another file downloaded from: The NIRVANAnet(tm) Seven & the Temple of the Screaming Electron Taipan Enigma 510/935-5845 Burn This Flag Zardoz 408/363-9766 realitycheck Poindexter Fortran 510/527-1662 Lies Unlimited Mick Freen 801/278-2699 The New Dork Sublime Biffnix 415/864-DORK The Shrine Rif Raf 206/794-6674 Planet Mirth Simon Jester 510/786-6560 "Raw Data for Raw Nerves" X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X

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