Kevin Seconds is a dear friend. Because we're still dealing with this pandemic nonsense (stupid Covid), a party couldn't be had. So instead, about 100 of Kevin's friends and family from the punk rock scene sent in an amazing collection of videos wishing him well on his birthday. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to kiss Kevin for being the generally rad human that he is. Happy 60th birthday, Kevin!
We lost the Tower Records chain a couple years ago, and I waited too long during their liquidation sales to get anything good. Sadly we’re losing Dimple Records now as well. At least this time I jumped on the sales quicker; last week Tony and I hit literally every Dimple Records in the Sacramento area and raided the vinyl bins.
The Lemonheads released a new album last week, their second collection of cover songs, “Varshons 2” (we’ll get to a proper review of that album soon - promise). Yes, I’d rather this be an album of originals but a covers album is better than no Lemonheads at all, and maybe this is a sign of more Lemonheads originals coming soon. We can cross our fingers while wishing for more, and enjoy a perfectly good set of new Lemonheads interpretations of other songs. Besides, they’re touring in support of said covers album. So really, we’re getting all the benefits as if this were a set of originals - let’s run with it.
Steve Soto from The Adolescents (and a hundred other bands) passed away last week. I didn't know him well but we have several dear friends in common; I've got various CDs of his in my collection, and saw him live in a few different projects over the years. Personally I've only had two very small interactions with the man.
Material Issue are already a criminally underrated band — everyone knows that. We’ll save the spewing about how they should be huge (but instead are a long time best kept secret for those of us that remember them) and instead just focus on 5 of their deep cuts that really should be well known singalong tracks for the masses. “Valerie Loves Me”, “What Girls Want”, “Diane” — the band knew how to make a big pop song. And some became their singles. Others are equally amazing, yet buried on the albums. In no particular order…
There’s this great community called Balanced Breakfast; it’s a San Francisco monthly meetup for musicians to talk about various facets of the music industry. Last week in the Balanced Breakfast Facebook Group, someone asked this question:
“Does anyone have advice for someone trying to book their first tour? I’d like to do a west coast tour (Santa Cruz, LA, maybe Portland and Seattle) but don’t really have any connections in those areas. Thanks!”
And my answer got some positive feedback so I thought I'd share it here for others. In no particular order...
It’s been 15 years in a row now that these have gone out. I have no plans to ever stop. CD players will continue to fade away; I’ll keep making them until CDs are vintage and retro and I’ll keep making them after that too.
Neutrals were good, really dug them. 1990’s punkish indie rock played by three guys who looked like they were teens in that era. From what I could make out of the lyrics, it sounded like at least a couple of their songs were about California. At one point in their set, they made a joke about the show being a "punk rock parents date night" and asked people to raise their hands if that was true of them. A fair amount of the audience did so...