punk Archive

The 411 on 415

Last November I wrote a cover story for SF Weekly; it focused on a series of reissue/compilation CDs on the Liberation Hall label. Those releases contained music originally released on 415 Records, an influential and trend-setting indie label based in San Francisco in the late ‘70s and early-to-mid 1980s. Founded by Howie Klein and Chris

Boxed Set Review: Iggy and the Stooges – From KO to Chaos

In music fan and critical circles, the concept of “blues police” comes up in conversation from time to time. Simply put, blues police is a pejorative term applied to self-anointed arbiters of What Is And Is Not Blues™. These auto-deputized lawgivers would have us believe that, say, Ana Popovic isn’t blues because she didn’t grow

Hundred-word Reviews: February 2021, Part 3

These five are all archival, reissue and/or compilation releases. There’s even a vinyl release here. Wolfgang Lackerschmid & Chet Baker – Quintet Sessions 1979 I was only recently introduced to the sublime collaborative genius of Lackerschmid and Baker via this release. Now, from the same era, comes this archival release. It’s even better, featuring as

Album Review: Jack Oblivian and the Sheiks — Lone Ranger of Love

Jack Oblivian and the Sheiks released Lone Ranger of Love in 2016; as good as it was, it quickly went out of print. But Black and Wyatt Records has had the good sense to reissue it in late 2020. If your taste in music leads you to understand that King Khan and the Shrines’ 2008

Album Review: The Fuzztones — NYC

Though they first came on the scene in the middle of the ‘80s garage rock revival, The Fuzztones have endured. And they’ve remained busy this past decade and a half. Not even considering the three books Rudi Protrudi has authored – nor the documentary film that’s been in development – there’s been a steady stream

Album Review: The Gun Club — Miami

I recall sometime in 1982 when a friend tempted to turn me on to The Gun Club’s Miami. I wasn’t having it: I got most of the way through “Carry Home,” the album’s opening track, and found myself put off by what I thought of as Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s off-key, tuneless wailing. But subsequent years

The Discs: Old New Wave is New Again

When punk and new wave were exploding in New York City in the late ’70s and early 1980s, Allan Day wasn’t old enough to drive a car, much less play a gig in a bar. But the New Jersey youth was inspired to his core by the sounds coming out of the metropolis across the

Album Reviews: Redd Kross — Phaseshifter and Show World

Over the span of a decade-plus, Hawthorne, California band Redd Kross navigated the tricky path from punky indie band to one that sounded like the epitome of arena rock. And they managed the metamorphosis in a way that kept their bratty, pop culture perspective intact. In fact the change to a more radio-friendly sound served

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part One

Today marks the triumphant return of my hundred-word reviews. My last roundup of new releases in the form of brief critical summaries came way back in February, before the world changed. For awhile there, the steady stream of new releases seemed to slow to a trickle; many planned releases were – quite understandably – put

Album Review: Wipers – Is This Real?

Often held up as the first punk band of consequence from the Pacific Northwest, Wipers (no article; just Wipers) played against type and – unlike so many others of the genre – held together (more or less) for more than two decades. And even more atypically for punk, Wipers maintained a high level of quality