Musical Ponderings as of August 2017….

Musical Ponderings as of August 2017….

 

Maplewood, NJ indie rock heroes Allied Chemical released a killer album, Sword Soup, earlier this year.  Eleven (11) songs oozing of Pixie-ish overdrive pop that are a lot of fun and catchy.  My fav songs are “Sun-Filled Living Room” and the trombone drenched “Joey’s Place.”…Jared Hart and  The Scandals  latest release, Lucky Sevens keeps the punk rock flowing and under heavy listening along with 2010’s The Sound of your Stereo…..I still can’t get enough of The Menzingers and can listen to their songs “Mid -Western States” and “Your Wild Years” (especially the latter with the Polish/Irish shout outs since I am of the same breed) forever and ever, both off their latest release After The Party…….. I just discovered the  NJ punk driven rock of Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son, awesome stuff!.….Re-discovered Hot Water Music’s No Division (1999) record.  Songs like “Rooftops” “It’s Hard to Know and “At the End of the Gun” or just a few that I can never get enough of…Been listening to a lot of the Built to Spill Live (2000) record lately, a great collection of some of their earlier, catchiest songs with one of my favorite tunes, “The Plan”, starting things off.  BTS are less “jammy” on this record compared to their live shows now that is subsequently attracting a lot of Phish shirt wearing types…. sigh.  Keep returning to the first Glasvegas record and all its good songs…New Brunswick’s ska-punk sensations The Hub City Stompers recently caught my attention in a major way.  Amazing stuff!  I can listen to the songs “Chatterbox “and I’ve Got a Boot” for hours on repeat.  Rancid’s brand spanking new release, Troublemaker, is very good which also dusted off their classic And Out Comes the Wolves (1995) as well. Too many great songs to list from both.  Cringe all you want but sometimes I get my Grateful Dead on, shamelessly liking and revisiting a few of their songs once every 5 years for oh, 18 minutes.  To make matters more interesting, my favorite Dead song is the one the “heads” hate the most (“Touch of Grey”).  The song is too posi-core lyrically to ignore and too tempting to punk out and just might do so with one of my bands doing a cover one day…. Consistently listening to Joe Strummer and the Mescalero’s’ Streetcore (2003) lately. Enough said.  Breaks my 1/2 Irish heart but just can’t seem to gain traction with The Dropkick Murphys.  Some decent songs alas, but never jumped on the initial DKM wave and then warned repeatedly of many lineup changes since leaving a whisper of the original band so don’t even know where to start so maybe I shouldn’t at all and just stick to what I already know which still isn’t shabby…. the new releases from NYHC legends, Burn (From the Ashes and III Together) aren’t too bad but still can’t touch their self-titled EP debut and Last Great Sea releases.  I finally forgive Syracuse, NY’s Earth Crisis and discovered a song I like (“Firestorm”) on my daily morning run while vacationing in LBI this summer.  Say what you want about Metallica, but their “back to true form” recording, Death Magnetic (2008) just kicks you in the balls and I love it.  No longer the MTV darlings, they come out swinging with such killer tracks like “That Was Just Your Life” and “The End of The Line…”  Can’t get enough of Walter Schreifel’s side project recordings, Surveillance (2016) from the Hardcore super group, Vanishing Life and the 70’s fuzz-wah drenched psych rock of Whatever Witch You Are (2017) from the Dead Heavens (who I saw recently at Garwood, NJ’s Crossroads.  A surprisingly sparse crowd of Wally die-hards catching a killer live set)Missing a ton of good shows as of late.  Due to work and the lack of motivation to do anything on a Friday evening anymore, I sold off my Menzingers, Lucero, Bouncing Souls ticket for the 8/25/17 Asbury Park’s Stone Pony Summer Stage.  I also had to give my 9/30/17 NYC Quicksand show ticket due to hasty ticket purchasing while also having a previous unbreakable engagement.  Missing these kings of Post-Hardcore with a brand-new record coming out soon (first single, “Illuminant,” is very promising) hurts even after seeing them so many times over the years and as early as last year at the House of Vans in Brooklyn.  Finally, I sold tickets to the upcoming Pixies show also at the SPSS later in September.  My wife (who considers Doolittle flawless) and I love the band, but considering it is also our anniversary weekend, a bed and breakfast weekend in Cape May sounds much more appealing….and I picked up two beach books for the trip – Roger Miret’s (Agnostic Front) My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory and Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, OFF!) My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor….and oh, speaking of  the Circle Jerks and great books, a must read is the short and beautifully written The Prodigal Rogerson: The Tragic, Hilarious, and Possibly Apocryphal Story of Circle Jerks Bassist Roger Rogerson in the Golden Age of LA Punk, 1979-1996 by J. Hunter Bennett.  I’m really looking forward to his book reading at the end of month as part of an upcoming kick ass local rock show at the beloved South Orange, NJ’s Elks Lodge (to be announced soon)until that unknown next time….xoxo PJH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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