Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pink Kross

More DIY records from the United Kingdom, I can never get enough of them.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Pink Kross.

Punk Or Die EP (Bouvier)
1. Drag Star Racin' Queen
2. No Time For Bimbo
3. I'm Gonna Kill Yr Valentine
4. Punk Rock Riot

The Abomination EP (Modern Independent)
1. Abomination
2. Hot Trash
3. Velocababy
4. Punk Outfit

Prole Life: A Souvenir From Glasgow (Cherry Red)
1. Mommy Is A Punker
2. Pussy Cat A Go Go
3. Chopper Chix
4. Punk Outfit
5. No Time For Bimbo

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Party Fowl

I checked this band out because my buddy Dean put out a single for them on his PPM label. I'm not quite sure what kind of bird would qualify as a "Party Fowl" but right now I'm leaning towards the wild turkey. I say that not because of the bourbon (which I did enjoy when I still drank alcohol), but because my high school American History teacher was obsessed with the wild turkey. Did you know that the turkey was almost the national bird instead of the bald eagle? It was actually Benjamin Franklin's idea:

"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country...

I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Party Fowl.

Party Fowl CS (Self)
1. Twilight Clone
2. Hold On To Your Butts
3. Fuzzkill
4. Kill The Beast
5. Night Of The Living Numbnuts
6. Droppin Bros Like They're Hot
7. Unifrutti
8. Pigger Get The Powder

Party Fowl EP (Post Present Medium)
1. El Toro
2. Hey Hey Hey
3. We're Gonna Eat Your Brains
4. Bloodstains

STD's (Goodbye Boozy)
1. STD's
2. Supertroopers

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Black Pus

I think Brian Chippendale is a very interesting musician. The first time I saw Lightning Bolt it was breathtaking, and I would listen to any band he was in.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Black Pus.

Black Pus (Self)
1. Take Me To The Other Slide
2. Dlidoughnuts
3. Wild (Chip) Monks
4. Transluscent Human
5. Jazzercise 2005
6. Missing Damnation
7. Berserk Is The Best
8. The Foot Is Stronger Than The Arm

Black Pus 2 (Self)
1. Kick Out The Pus
2. The Dexilhellipers
3. The Flying Gluton Brothers/Chirpathonic
4. New Atlantis A
5. New Atlantis B/Ultra-Puss Fuss
6. Cut Off The Face Plant
7. Magic Bullet(in)
8. In The Garden On Brackish Pus
9. Humtronix
10. Humtoronix Humthoronix Remix (Bonus Trax)

Black Pus 3: MetamorPus (Self)
1. Which Is Witch
2. Swampus
3. Kind Companion
4. The Mad Scatter
5. Earth Ain't Enuff
6. Exerschism
7. Washed Out
8. Huckdoll Finn

Black Pus 4: All Aboard The Magic Pus (Self)
1. Dreamon
2. Land Of The Lost
3. My House Is A Mouse
4. Juggernaut
5. Kharma Burn
6. The Wise Toad
7. Pagan 4 President
8. Body On The Tide

Monday, April 27, 2009

Teengirl Fantasy

"Sometimes when I close my eyes I picture a club far away where there is free piña coladas. People are happy and no one can hurt me, not even myself. Suddenly a glitter ball light starts pulsating out of a cube that appeared out of the ocean. It slowly walked towards me and asked me to dance. I figured, why not? The night grew into a sunrise, I sat on a rooftop and cried while falling asleep, but with a glimmer of a smile on my face. It was possibly the most beautiful club I'd ever been to. The pulsating ball of light was called Teengirl Fantasy."

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Teengirl Fantasy.

TGIF EP (Pukekos)
1. Floor to Floor
2. Now That's What I Call Vol. 2
3. Azz Klapz
4. Portofino

Monday, April 20, 2009

Knyfe Hyts

"Knyfe Hyts—borne of Mystery—Some say Newe Yorke Towne, Some say the Titan Wynds of that Great Blacke Sea Karadeniz, and as the Elders have spake—dubiously lynked to that Knowne bande of the borough of Broklyn, Ex Models, though none able to apply great proof to this Conjeckture, certainly Knyfe Hytz hath created Musik as Mysterious and Powerfull as Themselvez…For they allways Headline Each Show for the mere Facte that They hath Burnt Downe the Club. As they hath done at Silent Barn, and on Halloween at Knitting Factory, by Firey Solos.

Indeed they are a Trinity, tho’ converse to that Holy One, for they are Unholy. They go by names—

Bubo V, Diety of the Aoelian Elven,
Brother Khatamkari, Summoner of the Twelve VooDoo Spyritz of Chango,
Brother Minakari, Eater of Gilden Sons

Knyfe Hyts, that new band using Rhythms of Olde, Byfore the grooves of Time. Many have been knowed by Ancients as the Spyrit of the Ancient Pulse, yet none since the Dawn of Civilized Man. It is now Time upon Earth to be Knowed in thine Clubs, as they have shown thems-elves in Human Form playing with the Mortals—Flower Travellin' Band, Love is All, Deerhunter, Oneida, Golden Triangle, Ex Models, Carsick Cars, Marnie Stern, Bob Bert, Japanther, High Places among others, though None can “Smoke The Milk” as Knyfe Hyts jamz…

Of Knyfe Hytz Musikal Candor, It hath been said by lesser sages that the Knyfe Hytz Sounde is as certain to come before, or that the sound is of EX MODELS SMOKING HASHISH—they are the great many fooles, tho’ the Monstrous Bande knowed as Knyfe Hyts hath Spake of the Great Major Musikal Influencez—

Of the poisonous Venom, Of that Olde and Greate Iron Maiden, and of that NEW WAVE OF BRITISH HEAVY METAL, as well as Silver Apples and those Knyfe Hyts known to Worship Fire and Ice, Guitar Solos, Lyre Solos, and Breeds in the Bustyng Tubes of The Speaker Cones.

Though they have much in Store, as has been Prophesyzed by the Elders of Sybilline, they have already Shown Their Musical Nature: ‘KNYFE HYTS’ Cassette, Their Musick Summoned on self titled Tape of Cassette by Party Store Records, thus followed by Tape II: Sword of the Lord, both-the-which tapes soon to be reprinted on mechanical vinyl press by BRAH RECORDS, YET NOT BEFORE THE APRIL 20TH 2009 RELEASE of Pure Vinyl Record, the long-divined SCREMING LOV 12”, of whose existence only 100 copies hath been hand forged by DICK MOVE RECORDS.

They are Known To Have visited the Orient of CHINA in search of spices, with that other cadre of Fools EX MODELS, and Slayed about New York, and Toured the Carnival of Mardi Gras 2008 with navigators Golden Triangle, and the colleges of Newe England with DEERHUNTER. The Knyfe Hyts Band, it lives in Your Brain, for Speed and Shred, and Dies for the Slowe Jam…"

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Knyfe Hyts.

Screming Lov b/w We Go Wanderin' (Dick Move)
1. Screming Lov
2. We Go Wanderin'
3. Screming Lov (Brenmar Remix)


:: Pukekos, Monster Island, Secret Project Robot, Todd P, and Knyfe Hyts Present

:: A Dick Move Production
:: Knyfe Hyts in "Best of Five"
:: Starring Bubo V, Brother Khatamkari, Brother Minakari
:: Invocation in three steps by Micki Pellerano
:: Featuring BJ Rubin as Master of Ceremonies

::: Knyfe Hyts perform Monday's Perfume [the Sheep]: "Hyts (Summer)" to "Sun"
::::: Knyfe Hyts perform Friday's Perfume [the Pig]: "Gnomes" to "Lov U Mor"

::::::: Knyfe Hyts perform "Smoke The Milk"

::::::::: with projections by Mighty Robot A/V Squad, sets by "Mad" Eli Lehrhoff & Co., costuming by Arthur Arbit, and makeup by Vashti Windish.

128 River St @ Metropolitan Ave | Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L-Bedford, G-Metropolitan, JM-Marcy | 9:30pm | all ages | $4.20

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Real Estate

I just got home from seeing them and I'm listening to their CDr at home now and I thought to myself, why not share it with everyone else too. They are fantastic.

Thank you John Chavez for lending me your copy of Atlantic City Expressway. Fortunately I have been promised one of my own now soon.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Real Estate.

Suburban Beverage (Underwater Peoples)
1. Suburban Beverage
2. Black Lake
3. Old Folks

Atlantic City Expressway (Self)
1. Atlantic City
2. Beach Comber
3. Pool Swimmers
4. Suburban Dogs
5. Saturday Morning

Friday, April 17, 2009


I saw Nodzzz in town recently when they played a few shows with Wavves, Woods, Blank Dogs, and Gary War. The Market Hotel show was big and jam packed, and the WBAR show was intimate and jam packed. I liked that I saw a bunch of kids walking out with Wavves LPs and virtually none with CDs. It appears that which was the dying medium switched.

They sold beautiful silkscreened posters at the show, one for the Friday show and another for the Saturday show that combined to make one giant poster. I of course purchased both. I am not a huge collector of such things but I know what I like and those shows were awesome.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Nodzzz.

I Don't Wanna (Smoke Marijuana) b/w We Are The Only Animals (Make A Mess)
1. I Don't Wanna (Smoke Marijuana)
2. We Are The Only Animals

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Slumber Party

Another killer band from Detroit, featuring four girls who know how to harmonize. I saw them play once (I think at some Kill Rock Stars CMJ show), although the precise details are lost to me at the moment.

I purchased the two CDrs somewhat recently; somehow even though they've been out for a few years and appear to be limited to 50 they appear to still be available. If I were you I would buy one before they sell out, as they are handmade and beautiful.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Slumber Party.

Ten Little Pills b/w I Never Dreamed (Kill Rock Stars)
1. Ten Little Pills
2. I Never Dreamed

Covers Up (Self)
1. Manic Monday
2. What Goes On
3. Love Will Tear Us Apart
4. The Philosophy Of The World
5. Lay With Me

Xmass (Self)
1. The Friendly Beasts
2. J.C. Is Born

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meth Teeth

I have really been enjoying these.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Meth Teeth.

Meth Teeth EP (Sweet Rot)
1. Bus Rides
2. Unemployment Forever
3. To My Good Friend
4. Boring Artifacts

Indian Spirits (Ick Ick)
1. Failures Selected By God
2. I Was Wrong
3. My Hearts Heart
4. A Thousand Regrets

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

100 Watt Clock

My friend Matt Owens put out this record many years ago. He has been a good friend to me over the years, and I doubt that I will ever be able to repay him for all the kindness he showed me when I was young and struggling. After the record store I worked at, Midnight Records (an excellent store if you enjoy obscure garage or psych records from the 60s and 70s), was raided by the feds for selling bootleg CDs (I watched my boss get escorted out in handcuffs, was questioned for nearly 5 hours by NYPD, the Postal Police, and even a lawyer from the RIAA -- all over some Allman Brothers recordings) I found myself out of work. I was having a hard time finding gainful employment, so Matt hired me to scan all the artwork for a book he was putting out by Brian Walsby. He also hired me to sit at the gallery he is involved with in Williamsburg, The Riviera.

I have to say that I cannot thank him enough. If I was having a hard time making ends meet he would take me out for lunch. When I was having a hard time paying rent he hired me to do something for him. When I was a young man he even told me that he expected me to have the means to fly him somewhere just for the hell of it by the time I was 27. I may have missed that mark, but I hope someday to be that much of a big shot (at least once for him anyway).

I first met Matt on 12/31/99, not a bad date to meet someone on. We were at a party on the roof of his cousin Katie's apartment right on Bedford and North 7th, although Williamsburg was definitely a very different place back then. I used to get yelled at on the street by Puerto Ricans just about everyday -- I got so used to it that one evening I was walking down the street with Matt and didn't even hear someone yell something at me related to Austin Powers and how I (very vaguely at best) resembled him.

I made sort of a strange impression at that party. I brought my friend Jonathan (now of The Cloud Room), who immediately started talking to the only two young available women in the room. Somehow at ten minutes to midnight the four of us were making out (we all took turns kissing each other, even the boys), which didn't really make us too many friends that night.

After that I made out with my good friend Kelli Williams, who brought me to the party in the first place and introduced me to Matt. They had met at Epicenter previously and Kelli even brought him to see The VSS at Gilman. She was filming that night for a documentary so some months later we awkwardly watched the footage together. Fortunately we had been good friends for such a long time that it became more of a funny story than an embarrassing one.

Then we went over to Knitting Factory to see Mike Simonetti play records (I very nearly talked Katie into joining us, and even though I had her discussing the idea with me on the street she very wisely declined). We closed that place down that night too. He used to have a weekly night in the basement there that pretty much everyone I knew went to every single week and it ruled.

When I first started hanging out with Matt I discovered that he was actually a pretty famous guy with certain people. I appeared on his website for one of his "Seasons" (Spring Hygeine, along with my friend Melissa Ip) and my picture ended up in cool magazines from all over the world.

Matt used to run a record label with his brother Mark called The Buddy System. The most notorious record they released was by 100 Watt Clock, and here is its tale:

"I lived in Austin, TX from 1989 to the summer if 1993. During that time, my brother Mark and I started a small record label called The Buddy System, putting out local punk bands from San Antonio and Austin. We befriended an amazing crew of kids from the small town of Copperas Cover about an hour from Austin. Nobel from Minority/Brick is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. We used to go see shows at this teen club called Little Vegas in Cove and eventually a bunch of the kids moved to Austin.

Mike Gerner and Chris Hodge were two of the standouts from Copperas Cover and went on to start the band Carbomb in 1994-95. Chris was in the legendary band Kids Meal that recorded a full length to be put out on Little Deputy records that I believe never came out. We put out the first Carbomb 7" which is one of my favorite records. Carbomb had a Nation of Ulysses feel and the four track recordings really captured their live energy.

After Carbomb Chris and Mike started the short lived band 100 Watt Clock. The 100 Watt Clock record is commonly referred to as the 'lost' Fugazi record or as I like to refer to it - Faux-gazi. The record was recorded in 1996 by Alap Momin of Dalek at Sweetwood Studios. On the record Chris takes on 'Ian' duties while Mike functions in the 'Guy' role. I really love this record because it captures a very specific time where both Mike and Chris were still experimenting and interpreting different musical genres.

The artwork the 100 Watt Clock we a very special case as well. Mike's friend Roberto did the design and art direction for it. The cover is black on black with a subtle UV of a circuit board and used the 'computer font' for the song titles. The inside lyric sheet integrates the actual lyrics into the circuit board format making the lyrics very hard to read. This was the first time that a band we put out had a very specific vision of the record's look. The end product looks very mysterious I think and in some ways is a contrast to the music.

After the 100 Watt Clock record was released the band broke up shortly after. Needless to say we sat on many copies of this record. The remaining unsold copies found their way to a landfill in New Haven sometime in the early 2000's. Mike and Chris went on to team up one more time with the band Tune In Tokyo. We put out a posthumous full length for them which was far more rock oriented. Mike and Chris remain two of my favorite musicians I have ever met and I have been inspired by both of them.

Chris went on to form the rock outfit Young Heart Attack in Austin. Young Heartattack had a stint on XL Recordings and toured with Motorhead. They still have a very  nice following in England. Mike went on to form the band Vietnam and put out records on Vice and Kemado records. Mike has recently moved to Los Angeles and is doing the ambient eno-esque Dallas Acid.

I was chatting with BJ and we felt that the 100 Clock record would be a great release for Pukekos. Over the years random people have always asked if the 100 Watt Clock was ever put on CD or digitized. Here is it for all to enjoy."

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, 100 Watt Clock.

100 Watt Clock (Buddy System)
1. Capricorn Vs Cancer
2. Pock Mark Out
3. Under The Skin
4. Red Is Red
5. For Your Eyes
6. Glue 2
7. Poumon Conclusion
8. Coloured Slides

L to R: Matt Owens, BJ Rubin. The Last Show; Princeton, 2000. Photo by Alex Klein.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Modest Mouse

The first time I ever heard Modest Mouse was in Santa Cruz, CA. I was staying with some buddies of mine and my friend Courtney was nice enough to put on This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About whilst I went to sleep on the couch. Unfortunately I wasn't sold on it yet.

After that a long line of people tried to sell me on the merits of this band. It wasn't until a little bit later that I finally saw them and changed my mind. They played an instore at Mod Lang to about 20 people and totally killed it. I started buying their records then and there.

I saw them a few more times in the next few years, and I have to say that the best was one of two nights in a row at Bottom Of The Hill, probably sometime in 1997 or 1998. They were unbelievable. I went the second night -- but I've heard the first night was even better.

This CD has been out of print for a while now. I even had a dream once that I saw a vinyl copy of it at Amoeba (I cannot remember the dream exactly but I do know that it wasn't about Modest Mouse -- their record merely made a cameo appearance. Product placement for a fake product, if you will).

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Modest Mouse.

Interstate 8 (Up)
1. Interstate 8
2. All Night Diner
3. Sleepwalking
4. Tundra/Desert
5. Edit The Sad Parts
6. Beach Side Property (Live)
7. Button To Push The Buttons (Live)
8. Novocain Stain (Live)
9. Broke (Live)
10. Whenever I Breathe Out (Live)
11. Edit The Sad Parts (Live)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Mekons

Wow are these records good. If you enjoy postpunk from this era, you are going to love this.

The double seven inch (The Mekons EP) seems like such a bold statement -- it sounds completely different yet is totally in keeping with the other records. I wasn't sure what to call it at first but it felt like a self titled EP to me.

I'll tell you the violin and keyboard are nice touches. I could listen to that record for days, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for double seven inches.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Mekons.

Never Been In A Riot (Fast Product)
1. Never Been In A Riot
2. 32 Weeks
3. Heart And Soul

Where Were You? b/w I'll Have To Dance Then (On My Own) (Fast Product)
1. Where Where You?
2. I'll Have To Dance Then (On My Own)

Work All Week b/w Unknown Wrecks (Virgin)
1. Work All Week
2. Unknown Wrecks

The Mekons EP (Virgin)
1. Teeth
2. Guardian
3. Kill
4. Stay Cool

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bob Dylan

The A side of this record is my ringtone. Which means that everytime I hear this song I think my phone is ringing.

I still love it though. This might very well be my favorite Bob Dylan song.

John Chavez gave me this record. Thanks buddy.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Bob Dylan.

Positively 4th Street b/w From A Buick 6 (Columbia)
1. Positively 4th Street
2. From A Buick 6

Friday, April 10, 2009

The New Hawks

Yet another score from Austin, TX. This record is a real a barnburner, too.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The New Hawks.

2 X 9 b/w Oh Baby (Black Rose)
1. 2 X 9
2. Oh Baby

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thee Oh Sees

I've seen Pink & Brown, Coachwhips, and now Thee Oh Sees and I have to say I've enjoyed each of John Dwyer's bands more than the last. I saw them for the third time recently during a 2am set at Glasslands, and they killed it.

These three records were not in print for long, I was lucky enough to score my copy of Peanut Butter Oven at the Awesome Vistas show at Market Hotel (one of my favorite spots to see bands in Brooklyn). Chris Johanson was selling the records himself at the show and told me that he had an extra copy of Sic Alps' Description Of The Harbor that he would sell me if I came and met him at his studio in Williamsburg. He indeed made me an offer that I could not refuse.

Thanks again for that Chris, it was really nice of you to do that for me. He invited me to go see Silk Flowers with him after that when we discovered we were both friends with Avi. I had to decline as I had other plans that evening, but I always appreciate being invited places.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Thee Oh Sees.

Peanut Butter Oven (Awesome Vistas)
1. Kingsmeat
2. The Freak Was Clean
3. Quadrospazzed
4. Kids In Cars

Thee Oh Sees/The Intelligence (Mt. St. Mtn.)
1. Inquiry Perpitrated
2. Mincing Around The Frocks

Carol Ann b/w Bloody Water (Slowboy)
1. Carol Ann
2. Bloody Water

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


This is my friend Ted McGrath's band. He used to play drums in These Are Powers, but that isn't all he's good for.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Antimagic.

The Sound Of Future Mold To Come (Self)
1. I Want Your Airfare
2. Speak Into The Mouth Spoke
3. Tire Fire Island (Version)
4. I Want Your Airfare (Antimagic And Club Happybest Remix Version)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Mayfair Set

I cannot stop listening to this single. The Mayfair Set is a collaboration between people from Blank Dogs and Dum Dum Girls, and I love it. This record is absolutely a hit single in my world.

I would like to give a shout out to my buddy Mike Sniper, who is responsible for the label Captured Tracks. If he offered a subscription service, I would totally sign up for it.

I also wanted to mention that there are both silver and gold variants of this sleeve, and that I purchased the silver because it seemed like the less desirable of the two. I figured that left to my own devices, I would buy the gold one and most other people would too -- and so I grabbed the one that is more likely to be forgotten.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Mayfair Set.

Already Warm b/w Desert Fun (Captured Tracks)
1. Already Warm
2. Desert Fun

Monday, April 6, 2009


You might already know this about me, but I am a huge fan of The Yummy Fur. Since this band features the singer, I was sold before I ever even heard them.

I got to hang out with them when they played Union Pool a while back. I was stoked because I am always happy to meet someone who has made music that is important to me. However, I was a little bummed that night as my buddy got the last copy of some limited split single they had that I've never seen since.

Oh well.

These are all the singles from their first album, Cookies. You're Supposed To Be My Friend is an enhanced CD and I included the video in the download, just in case that sort of thing appeals to you.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, 1990s.

You Made Me Like It b/w Arcade Precinct (Rough Trade)
1. You Made Me Like It
2. Arcade Precinct

You're Supposed To Be My Friend b/w Hot Feet (Rough Trade)
1. You're Supposed To Be My Friend
2. Hot Feet

You're Supposed To Be My Friend (Rough Trade)
1. You're Supposed To Be My Friend
2. Jingle Bells

See You At The Lights b/w Hayley Mills (Rough Trade)
1. See You At The Lights
2. Hayley Mills

See You At The Lights (Rough Trade)
1. See You At The Lights
2. Super Legal
3. Diabo

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Punching Contest

I have recently been considering my stance on only posting music that I have in my own collection. I decided that in the interest of liberating more cool music from its vinyl cage, I would start posting records from other people's collections, given the condition that everything is either still ripped by me, or ripped specifically for Pukekos.

The first person I thought to ask was Henry Owings, as he is a world class music snob (exactly the sort of person I want working for me). We met once in person, at a Love Of Diagrams show in Atlanta. I was on tour with them at the time, and saw him walking around the club before the show started. As a longtime fan of his excellent Chunklet magazine, I decided that I should walk up and say hello.

We were emailing recently and I asked him if he would like to participate in my brand new, semi-regular column known as From the personal collection of...

He agreed, but told me that he had no way to digitize his records. Being no stranger to such obstacles, I asked him if he would mind mailing me the records so I could do it myself.

Less than a week later I got a package in the mail. I had heard of some of the bands, but not many of them. Even the records with familiar names on them were unfamiliar to me.

So it begins.

From the personal collection of Henry Owings:

"I lived in Pittsburgh for a total of a little over 11 months as I got my MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and in that time I probably absorbed more about music before or since. Even though I was immersed in school (and believe me, I was) I bought more records, went to more shows and, in all honesty, sprouted my deep music nerd roots in that city in that short window of time.

I'll be delving into a lot of records that came out around my time in Pittsburgh on Pukekos. Why? Well, I never see music blogs ever discussing them, that's why! Pittsburgh was a hotbed of music from the late 80's until the mid 90's and it seems that few people seem to remember that. It pisses me off. Much like other regions of the county, Pittsburgh had a definite 'sound'. Very dark. Very aggressive. And very much in awe of the music on the Touch & Go roster. And sure, other cities eventually caught up to Pittsburgh in their love of Soo Young Park (Bitch Magnet, Seam), John Brannon (Negative Approach, Laughing Hyenas) and Pen Rollings (Honor Role, Butterglove, Breadwinner), but they were there at the starting gates. Absolutely no question about it. Salt Chunk Mary, Northern Bushmen and Sludgehammer all predated the almighty Don Caballero, but little is known about them.

And what band even predates them in the late 80's underground rock scene? Punching Contest.

The Punching Contest single was either the second or third Pittsburgh release I purchased upon moving to town. And where did I buy it? Jim's Records. Who sold it to me? None other than Karl Hendricks (of his Trio fame, earlier of Sludgehammer). I rarely see this single floating around (or any Cubist Productions release for that matter) but any time I do see it, I pick it up to give to a friend. Maybe it's just due to sentimental reasons, but I still really love this record.

Punching Contest predated my time in town, but their involvement in town was undeniable. Without a doubt, Damon Fitzgerald (née Che) and Dave Martin are two people that, to this day, are still involved in music. Damon's still the beast behind Don Caballero and The Speaking Canaries... two bands that I'm sure need no introduction. I only met Dave Martin upon leaving Pittsburgh in the dingy backstage of the 9:30 Club in 1991 at a Jesus Lizard show. Shortly thereafter, I started purchasing all releases that came out on his, or rather Mike Lavella's, Mind Cure Records. I'll hopefully be able to discuss some of Mind Cure's releases in the future (The Speaking Canaries 'The Joy of Wine' remains a personal favorite), but for Punching Contest, Dave is just on the mic. And what's Dave doing now? Well, he's been working at Matador for at least 17 years doing direct sales.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Mr. Martin who gave me all the dirt on this single:

'If I am remembering correctly we sort of started in late 1988, but that was really just Damon, Jon Good (Punching Contest bass player) and me talking about being a band. They actually started practicing with Bob Spieler playing guitar, but I had this crazy throat infection and had lost my voice for something like two months so I would go to practice and mostly hang out. Anyway, we slowly got our act together (I say we, but really it was mostly me who didn't have things together. I have very little to no natural musical ability and I certainly can't 'sing'. On the rare occasion that people bring up the band I am quick to tell them that I was definitely the weak link. At some point Matt Marcus joined the band, but I can't remember if it was before or after our first show. Matt was great and had/has boundless energy and is a great guitar player, but he and Damon didn't see eye to eye on most things.

As I remember we played five shows, the last one being in November of 1989. We officially broke up because Jon Good decided to move to State College to Join Slag. Slag were a great band that featured Mike Banfield and Len Jarbek. Jon was replacing George Draguns. Obviously Mike went on to be in Don Caballero, but it should be noted that both Len and George also did time as Don Cab bass players at various points. Anyway, Jon was the guy in the band that EVERYONE got along with and it just seemed impossible to try to continue without him so we called it a day.

We never made it out of Pittsburgh, we were about to play Cleveland and/or Youngstown with Urge Overkill when Jon bailed. We opened some of the more high profile shows like The Ex/No Means No show, Urge Overkill and The Vivians. We also played a big local show at the Sonic Temple, I don't remember much about that one as I got really drunk and ended up throwing up behind the building for a good portion of the rest of the night.

The band consisted of:
Damon C. FitzgeraldDrums. Damon was by far the most talented musician in the band. That isn't to slight anyone else in the band though as Damon is one of the most talented musicians I've ever know. He went on to start Don Caballero and The Speaking Canaries. He's one of my favorite people in the whole world and has had such a profound effect on my life.
Jon GoodBass. As I mentioned Jon quit the band to move to State College to join Slag. They didn't last much longer and he ended up back in PGH for a bit before moving to San Francisco. I haven't heard from him or about him in ages, but he is one of the all time greats -- incredibly opinionated and stubborn in the best ways possible. With Jon you knew where you stood and why.
Matt MarcusGuitar. Matt was also a member of the Crow Flies who had a sort of on again/off again status due to their singer being in the Peace Corps. When that dude was around the Crow Flies were Pittsburgh's best band. They were all a bit older than Damon, Jon and me by 5 or 10 years. Their two records don't really do them justice, but live they had very few rivals in Pittsburgh or anywhere else. Anyway, as I mentioned Matt always had a ton of energy and ideas and he was constantly seeking out new folks to play with. He was also a member of Salt Chunk Mary and probably four or five bands I'm forgetting. He eventually moved to Arizona where he still is I believe. He does sound and tour manages. Hire him, he rules.
Bob SpielerGuitar. Bob was also about 10 years older than Damon, Jon and me and his roots and influences where the classic pre-punk staples of the Stooges, MC5, Alice Cooper, Bowie, etc. I think that this was also one of the things that ultimately led to us breaking up. Not that Damon and Jon weren't into that stuff, but I think what they heard in their heads was not quite the same as what Bob and Matt were hearing. Anyway, Bob went on to some other bands like Master Mechanic who put out a handful of records and is still an all around great guy, lives in Pittsburgh and hopefully still has lots of pinball machines.

Cubist Productions was an offshoot of the Cubist Pop Manifesto fanzine that some kids who went to CMU put out. Those kids were Brian Welcker, Tom Hoffman and Frank Boscoe. Brian later started the record label and called it Cubist Productions. Although he wasn't the original bass player in Sludgehammer he sort of muscled his way in after one or two shows (that might not be the most accurate account of how it went down, but Brian was pretty motivated and when he saw an opening he went for it). He put out some great records though.

Anyway, I remember that I officially met those guys when in their fanzine they reviewed this Honor Role single and most of the review was commenting on what I had wrote on the price sticker of the record at the comic book/record store where I worked and they bought the record. Being so academic they thought that when I wrote 'You're gonna miss it when it's gone' that I was commenting on consumerism and the then infantile stages of the 'collector scum' mentality. I was just making a goofy reference to the song's lyrics. Anyway, that moment opened up our worlds to each other.

I don't know what happened to Brian. After school he was in North Carolina and I heard that he moved to Seattle. It would make sense that wherever he is he's got a lot of money because most people don't go to CMU to be poor. Plus the time frame would have him poised to reap the benefits of the first AND second rounds of internet mania.

The Punching Contest single was recorded by Matt Marcus at his house. Oddly, we were fully broken up before I even recorded my vocals. We also had two songs on the Cats In Our Backyard cassette. I can't remember who put that out, I'm thinking it was either Karl Hendricks or Frank Boscoe or the two of them together, but if I'm wrong I apologize to whomever I am forgetting. I think we recorded 8 or 9 songs total and those four that were released were definitely the best ones. I don't even know where my copy of the recordings is these days.

And finally, there was great drawing that we did where each band member drew themselves and it is, hands down, the best representation of Punching Contest ever. It was in the booklet that came with the Cats In Our Backyard cassette and I'll see if I can find that or anything else, but don't hold your breath as I don't know what I'll be able to find.

I should also mention that I didn't start Mind Cure. Mind Cure was a label run by Mike LaVella of Real Enemy/Half Life. There were a bunch of cassette releases and then the two Half Life singles. After Mike moved to San Francisco I asked him if he minded if I used the name as I was really into the idea of a local label and saw it as a way to continue that. Plus I think it is a great name. I was mostly motivated by thinking that Karl's new songs were really great. It just sort of went on from there until the double whammy of moving to NYC and having a kid at roughly the same time meant I'd have no expendable income to put out records ever again.

In Pittsburgh, like any small scene, it just takes a handful of motivated people to jump start a lot of activity. We were lucky to have some really dedicated and creative people. I know that a lot of folks have said a lot of things about Manny Theiner, but let me say right now I SUPPORT MANNY! I'm not saying that I don't think he's totally off his rocker a lot of the time, but he was a huge supporter of Punching Contest and the scene in general.'"

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Punching Contest.

The Trick b/w Colin Marple 69 (Cubist Productions)
1. The Trick
2. Colin Marple 69

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Teen Titans

I picked this record up on my recent Austin trip, as it is a DIY single put out by a local Austin label and it looked interesting. As you have may noticed this sort of thing is my bread and butter.

I asked my friend Matt Owens if he knew anything about them and he described them as "short lived". He is an old Austin guy so he seemed the natual person to ask.

This record is pretty fun in a high school pep squad sort of way.

The untitled track is the one that features harmonica player Randolph Stockton.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Zee Teen Titans.

We're Wildcats! (Peek-A-Boo)
1. Wildcats S.K.
2. Flying Cobras Of Rock
3. Whiskey
4. Galexina Plays Astro-Pop
5. Killer Pussy
6. Untitled
7. King Texas
8. Drunken Master

Friday, April 3, 2009


The first time I saw Growing was at The Smell some years ago. It was when they still lived in the Northwest, and they were unbelievable. They played in the middle room and the brick walls were literally reverberating from all the sonics coming from their amplifiers. It almost sounded like they were trading off solos, it was completely mindblowing.

The next time I saw them was in Brooklyn. They were seated and had invested in more pedals. It certainly had its moments, but that show at The Smell was AMAZING.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, a single by Growing.

Dry Drunk On Woman b/w Residual Effects (Nail In The Coffin/Megablade)
1. Dry Drunk On Woman
2. Residual Effects

Thursday, April 2, 2009


My friend talked me into buying the Mohinder LP at a show at The Cobalt Cafe way back in 1994. I miss kids bringing their distros to shows, that used to be one of the best ways to find out about new bands before the internet. There is something to be said about handing over cash and receiving goods for it immediately.

I didn't like it at first. I put the record away and didn't pull it out again until the next year.

Apparently something had changed in the intervening time as I didn't find it grating the way I found it before. I found that I actually quite liked it.

Mohinder was a big influence on The Angel Assassins, especially James' drumming. I never saw Mohinder but I have seen him play drums and it is quite a sight to behold.

They were from Cupertino, CA and set up shows at their local library all the time. I wholeheartedly approve as I like to take every opportunity to support public libraries. I even drove 75 miles each way to see shows at the Huntington Beach Library throughout the summer of 1996. The last show I ever saw there was Jimmy Eat World (not a fan) opening for Three Mile Pilot (very much a fan).

GSL released their discography (which also features bonus live material not included here, different from what is on Transient Sequences) a few years ago, but it occurred to me that most of you had probably never actually seen these records before. They are all beautifully silkscreened, and the cover of Mohinder/Nitwits is handpainted as well. Every cover of the Mohinder LP (it is actually a 7", but they called it an LP because it has 8 songs on it) is unique, it was screened on pages from a magazine (although I'm not sure which particular periodical).

I believe Transient Sequences to be a bootleg, despite it claiming to be an Unleaded release. I cannot say for sure one way or the other however.

Members of Mohinder went on to be in such bands as Jenny Piccolo, Calm, Valium Aggelein, Makara, Duster, etc.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, Mohinder.

Oh Nation, You Bleed From Many Wounds, 1896 (Unleaded)
1. To Satisfy
2. Run
3. Give
4. Inhuman Nature
5. Numb

Mohinder/Nitwits (Unleaded/Stinky Feet)
1. Number One
2. Imbalance
3. Itch

Mohinder LP (Gravity)
1. The Mission
2. Alien
3. Division
4. Acceptance
5. The Static Cult
6. Beautiful
7. One Warrior
8. Expiration

Farmhouse Compilation 94 (Farmhouse)
1. 101

Transient Sequences (Unleaded)
1. Ellipse
2. Number Two
3. Give
4. Itch
5. Imbalance
6. 101
7. Channelled
8. Numb