The SHOW / The PICS
1. Johnathan Richman and the Modern Lovers - Self Titled LP, Beserkley (JBZ-0048, 1976)
I blame Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers for all that is known as punk music today. Riding from town to town, tormenting the parents and teachers by filling the heads of young folks with grand ideas of love and government centers.
2. Black Flag: Wasted – Nervous Breakdown 7”, SST Records (SST-01, 1978)
Of all the first wave of punk records that came out of southern CA this one’s my favorite by a long shot. Four songs with Keith Morris (Circle Jerks, Off!) doing the vocals. It sounds funny to say this release was ahead of it’s time, but it was. By a long shot.
3. Urinals: Ack Ack Ack – Year Of The Rats compilation LP, no label (RAT-78, 1988)
I readily admit I don’t know a goddamn thing about the Urinals save that they were from Southern California, released three singles from 1978-1980, and The Minutemen cover this song on both the Ballot Result and 3-Way Tie For Last Lps.
4. X: Los Angeles – Los Angeles LP, Slash Records (23930-1, 1980)
Of course we had to play this song since this episode is all about the history of southern California punk. Absolutely classic LP from 1980. I’d be surprised if anyone listening to this hasn’t heard this album, but if you haven’t, go buy it now!
5. Angry Samoans: Matchstick Men/Posh Boy’s Cock – Return To Samoa, Shakin’ Street Records (Yeah Hup 008, 1990)
Two Angry Samoans obscurities from this bootlegish collection of old songs from the Jeff Dahl days. Posh Boy’s Cock is a re-work of ‘Steaknife’ that was on Back From Samoa and Matchstick Men is originally by Status Quo.
6. M.I.A.: Cold Sweat – Last Rites For M.I.A./Genocide, Smoke Seven Records (Smk7-104, 1982)
Not indigenous to southern CA, M.I.A. moved in from Nevada and released a great album (Murder in a Foreign Place-1984) on Alternative Tentacles, an okay album (Notes From The Underground-1985) on National Trust and an album I just can’t come to like on Flipside. This split LP is the first thing they released and is a lot more rough than what came later. Cold sweat isn’t my favorite song of theirs off of this, but it’s the only one I like that managed to record without a skip halfway through and it’s got the classic ‘fuck the cops’ theme. Alternative Tentacles has reissued almost all of their material so grab it if you like it.
7. Circle Jerks: When The Shit Hit’s The Fan – Golden Shower Of Hits, LAX Records (LAX1051, 1983)
Golden Shower Of Hits, the often looked over third Circle Jerks album, has quite a few good songs on it. When The Shit Hit’s The Fan is also featured in the movie Repo Man where the Circle Jerks perform the song as a lounge band. I think the Circle Jerks were planning on getting back together until Keith (singer) got a better gig with OFF!
8. Battalion of Saints: Beefmasters – “Second Coming” LP, Nutrons Records (E1020, 1984)
Battalion of Saints was only around for five years but left their mark by releasing this fucking awesome LP along with other records that I don’t think are nearly as good. The singer reformed the band in 1995 and they are still playing somewhere. I remember Beefmasters being my friend Jon’s favorite song so this one goes out to him.
9. Descendents: Silly Girl – I Don’t Want To Grow Up LP, New Alliance/SST Records
We could easily do a single show on nothing but the Descendents. For this episode just let it be known that Silly Girl is my favorite Descendents song from 1985.
10. Chemical People: Henry Whitpenn – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly 7”, Chemical People Records (MCF2110, 1986)
Henry Whitpenn is the b-side of the first Chemical People single and sounds way different than the version later recorded for their first LP. Not surprising considering the lineup on this record is totally different from the classic Nazworthy/Urlik/Pina power trio that played on everything else.
11. Bad Religion: Give You Nothing – Suffer LP, Epitaph Records (E-86404, 1988)
After years of absence, Bad Religion came exploding back into the SOCAL picture in 1987 when this album came out. Big words, fast beats, and ooohhh ahhh harmonies like no one had heard made this THE FUCKING ALBUM!!! I would argue that this album almost singlehandedly laid the foundation for all that is fat wreckords/epitaph/mall-punk today. Not necessarily a great thing, but holy shit I cannot overstate how great Suffer is. Songs about quantum mechanics for christsakes! I GIVE YOU ME I GIVE YOU NOTHING!!!!
12. Left Insane: Neck Deep – Toolbox LP, Nemesis Records (NEM-23, 1990)
Total Black Flag/SST/Cruz worship by Left Insane, Toolbox, produced by Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton, is their only LP. Neck Deep is one of the few songs on the record that had vocals, the instrumentals are culled straight from the Process of Weeding Out school.
13. Rocket From The Crypt: Boychucker – Boychucker 7”, Sympathy For The Record Industry (SFRTI-179, 1992)
I like this record because one version was a picture disc and one version that came with three or four “pogs” that no one knew what to do with. If you don’t know, Rocket From The Crypt was a band from San Diego that “broke up” in 2005 and I am still in denial about the whole thing. If you like these guys, check out the singer Speedo’s new band The Night Marchers. They are almost equally awesome and just released a brand new single.
14. Fu Manchu: Don’t Bother Knockin’ (If This Vans Rockin’) – Don’t Bother 7”, Elastic Records (ELS-007, 1993)
Playing slow and heavy but with melody made Fu Manchu one of the first bands I remember being referred to as stoner rock (maybe that should be reefered to, ha!) which I thought was just a more cool way to say something was inspired by 70’s rock. It seems like the perfect music for skate videos and I’m glad they’re still active.
15. The Muffs: Agony – Blond And Blonder LP, Reprise (9 458582, 1995)
Kim Shattuck, singer for The Muffs, used to be in the Pandoras so it should come as no surprise that The Muffs kick ass. Unless you’re like me and you haven’t listened to the Pandoras. Then, while not surprising, it was nice to come across The Muffs who were a catchier and better alternative to the other female fronted bands of the time (L-7/Hole/Lunachicks…). Once at a free show in Milwaukee I saw her steal some douche’s acoustic guitar while the dumbass tried to force himself up on stage while she was playing. They have a new album coming out soon so keep your eye out.
16. NOFX: The Desperation’s Gone – All Of Me 7”, Fat Wreck Chords (FAT-561-7, 1996)
Fifteen years after this song was written and the lyrics sound like they were written last week.
Turn, tune the knob k-go
Some alternal radio
Strategic marketing hype, media, stereotype
Has our music been castrated? Yes
To you it may sound good
To me it sounds all wrong
The notes and chords sound similar
The same forbidden beat, but
The desperation's gone (the song's the same)
But the desperation's gone
Is he singing about his own band?
17. Queens Of The Stone Age: Mexicola – QOTSA, Man’s Ruin Records (MR-151, 1998)
I have to admit I don’t really know a whole hell of a lot about these guys history wise. I know they are from the southern California desert and have some guys from Kyuss in the band. And one of the guys is also in the Eagles of Death Metal. Or maybe two of the guys. This song makes me thing of a more radio friendly, poppy Fu Manchu. The whole album just got the deluxe re-issue treatment with extra songs and whatnot.
Write comments and email the Slew boys about what new records are coming out. And, don't forget about the Slewcast home drinking game.