Archive for the ‘Punk’ Category

Please Inform the Captain This is a Hijack

July 2, 2010 4 comments
Please Inform the Captain This is a Hijack – S/T 12″ EP (Empire Records, 2003)

This is one of my all-time favorite records for so many different reasons. I was at Super Sabado Gigante Fest in LA in 2003 and my friend Andy shoved this record in my face and demanded I buy it. Based solely on his insistence I knew it was going to be great and when he informed me of the DIY punk royaltly Mike Kirsch (of Pinhead Gunpowder, John Henry West, Bread and Circuits, Torches to Rome) as well as members of Former Members of Alfonsin, I couldn’t wait to get home and listen. Upon first listen, I don’t think any other record has ever confused and delighted me like this record did.

The needle slipped into the groove and a voice whispers through my speakers: “blast off” then ushering in an explosion of sounds that breaks down normal conventions of what a “punk” record ought to sound like. The track is put together like a hip hop instrumental as it loops a funky locked groove squeezed between esoteric samples reminiscent of a blaxploitation soundtrack, but all the while with the artistic conviction of a carefully articulated sound collage. The track ends quickly and a hypnotic riff spirals into your ears, it’s hypnotic, but foreboding, a perfect calm-before-the-storm as it leads into a furious Nation of Ulysses inspired attack. The track ends and and another funky groove is looped while a sampled narration describes the role of the cosmopolitan epicenter. The formula repeats over and over throughout the record, 6 punk songs with a sound collage between each track. Some of these collages are tightly crafted units drawing samples from jazz and funk such as Ramsey Lewis, but other samples are as simple as a joke from Malcolm X.

While this record greatly challenged the normal confines of what defined a “punk” sound, these sample-based creations were not new as Mike Kirsch had previously used a Fela Kuti sample on the Bread and Circuits LP and numerous bands had popularized the use of sampling lines from speeches or movies. However, in the way that so much attention and time is devoted to these sample-based tracks defies cliche and somehow makes the record less of a “punk” record and more of a “political” record. Whether it comes from the polyphonic vocal attack, the driving hypnotic guitars, or the samples that simulate a kind of Black Panther Soul Train, this records exudes agitation in a way that is intelligent, but also in a way that is more accessible than the traditional punk song.

The slick production on the record is mirrored by the amazing design work that makes up lyric booklet. The LP cover itself is not very interesting, but the booklet is done in a crisp style that mirrors the funk and flavor of the samples with the apocalyptic imagery of the fiery riffs. The lyrics are neo-romantic, dripping with post-modern metaphors as the group finds unique ways to criticize capitalism, war and the American government.

This is a record that I will always buy whenever I run into it because I know there is someone who still hasn’t heard it. Give it a listen, expand your musical concepts. In the zip file I have included full scans of the booklet for your viewing pleasure. If you just want to look at the rest of the images, check out my flickr.

In the coming weeks I will post a rip of their second record as well as with an essay discussing sonic protest through the aggressive nature of politically charged hip hop group Public Enemy and Please Inform the Captain This is a Hijack.

Link in the comments. Scans with the help of Eydie McConnell.

Categories: 2003, Punk

DOOD Records back catalog

April 15, 2010 2 comments

DOOD Records was a record label I ran from 2004-2007. DOOD was responsible for 9 releases, with the mission statement from day one being to support my local DIY punk/hardcore community in a way that was creative, fun and motivating. I released only vinyl and it wasn’t until my last year as a label that I released anything that was even available in another format. DOOD has been defunct for some time now, a lot of the bands I worked with have now broken up and a lot of these releases have not (and perhaps will never) see a reissue. For this reason I have decided to make available those releases which are not currently available. Take a trip through time with me…

DOOD01: Lachance/Occam’s Razor – Split 7″
This was the one that started it all out for me. I had been friends with Lachance (Riverside), often booking them at the shows I was putting on. They had nothing but an already years old CDR and we decided to do a record together. They suggested we do a split with their friends Occam’s Razor from Fresno. Lachance were borrowing the epic flowing song style of 90s emo bands like Julia or Still Life, but incorporated a harsher almost thrash-like attack that would blow up living rooms wherever they played. Occam’s Razor were a trio who played shorter songs, incorporating elements of grind with screamo (think Reversal of Man’s ‘Revolution Summer’ record) and I always loved to watch Jordan drum, he hit harder and played faster than most. Fun facts about this record: 1) Occam’s Razor recorded their side with Scott Crouse of Earth Crisis, thus resulting in that very metallic sound they had. Occam’s Razor would continue to record with him and Lachance later recorded their 10″ there as well. 2) Jordan of OR was one of the most creative people I had the opportunity to work with and we pieced together the intricate artwork for this recording to make it look like a criminal file. Those are actually fingerprints of his, mine and Charlie Wagner. Charlie and I spent what seems like months putting together all 500 copies. I also included in each release medical files that I had stolen from an abandoned hospital. The test presses for the record had very eerie photos that I had found at the same hospital. 3) Sergio Amalfitiano (sp?, sorry brother) of ACxDC, Liberaté, Hollywood hipster club fame helped finance this first release. He’s a good guy and I hope he’s still up to some cool stuff.

DOOD03: ACxDC – He Had it Coming 7″
The ACxDC kids had been friends of mine since day one. I had been bugging them endlessly to quit playing in the San Gabriel Valley and do a record. They pulled it together and Militant Records (Andres of Bastardäss) and I put out this now classic powerviolence revival record. This was a great record and moved very fast. ACxDC incorporated all the speed and strength of classic PV bands like Infest or Siege but added the ruthless assault of grind like Discordance Axis with heavy Harley Davidson riffs ala Enewetak. Great band, great record, and from what I hear they recently just did a reunion show. Fun fact about this record is that it was recorded by the unbelievable Erol “Rollie” Ulug who also has done recordings for Graf Orlock, Dangers, Final Fight, Jesus Christ and the Pirate Fuckers and basically every other hardcore/metal band from socal worth listening to.

DOOD04: Lachance – Nietzche Said There’d Be Days Like This 10″
Lachance were picking up steam and really coming into their own at this point. After two split 7″s (the one I released as well as a record they did with Colorado stoners Autokinoton), they were getting their first solo release on the awkward 10″ format. This record was originaly supposed to be a split LP with Mustaphamond, who had released a phenomenal cult classic 7″ on Grey Sky records, but because they were lagging and Lachance was gearing up for a west coast tour we decided to instead release the Lachance material as a 10″. Unfortunately Lachance broke up not too much after they returned home from tour. Fun fact: I silkscreened each of these jackets in my High School print shop class, but because I ran out of time/fucked up the screen I had to individually color in the covers.

DOOD06.5: Owen Hart – One-sided 7″
This is a record I still put on all the time. This was the first solo release I did for a
band not from Southern California, but the Tacoma, Washington crew (Greyskull, Owen Hart, Sidetracked) were like brothers to me at this point and I had been after Owen Hart to do a record for some time. Owen Hart was a powerhouse of Northwest hardcore that never failed to blow away everyone they played for. Mixing up the heavy style of NW hardcore ala Botch with the grind assault of bands like Pig Destroyer and adding heavy doses of Pantera riffs was the perfect combination. This record was originally released for a West Coast tour as a 5″ limited to 100 pieces but they had already sold out by the third day on tour. I rereleased the record later that year as a one-sided 7″ and Hellfish silkscreened the two-color Pantera-themed artwork for the b-side. Phenomenal record and phenomenal people. I don’t think they ever did another record which is truly a shame. If anyone has a copy of the Owen Hart demo or the Divinity of Truth demo please let me know – I don’t have a copy of either anymore!

Categories: Punk, US