Social Distortion's Mike Ness Hit Rock Bottom Before Reaching the Top

Categories: Punk

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Danny Clinch
Social Distortion

In the song "California (Hustle & Flow)" from Social Distortion's Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, singer Mike Ness professes, "Life gets hard and then it gets good / like I always knew it would."

Ness, the one-time Fullerton, California, street punk and lone surviving member of the legendary So Cal punk band Social Distortion, is as recognizable for living the life he portrays in verse, both the bad and good, as he is by the shades, tattoos, classic punk snarl vocals and cautionary tales.

In short, he has gone from survival mode, having been kicked out of his childhood home at 15, to living life on his terms as a the band's leader, owner of Black Kat Kustoms (est. 2003) clothing line and car and bike parts, and having a solid marriage, two sons, a ranch, and most of all, happiness.

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Anti-Flag Bassist Talks Political Movement, Tom Morello, and Mesa

Categories: Interview, Punk

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Courtesy of Anti-Flag
Pittsburgh political punks Anti-Flag will be playing an anniversary show on Sunday in Mesa.

Anti-Flag, one of the nation's most prominent political punk bands, is playing in the Valley on Sunday, January 4, but it's far from an ordinary show.

The concert will be one of a handful of tour dates in which the band plays their 2003 release, The Terror State, in its entirety to celebrate its (belated) 10-year anniversary.


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This New Replacements Song Is a 24-Minute Noodle Fest

Categories: Punk

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Tony Nelson
Imagine a song that sounds how this picture looks.

For those among the Replacements' fan base who want to know how the sausage gets made, this is the ripper for you. (That, or it's an elaborate prank.)

A 24-minute, 22-second jam sesh titled "Poke Me in My Cage" was uploaded to Soundcloud recently. Credited to Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson, and engineered by the band's guitarist David Minehan, the track is a rambling mess ostensibly held together by drummer Josh Freese. Not to say that there aren't some amusing moments, but just don't expect any concise songcraft at play here.
After about 16 minutes of instrumental wankery and general studio rumbling, strange rants from the guys start to color the recording. It's somewhat jazzy, and is far better than standing directly in the middle a Guitar Center on a Saturday. There's even a kazoo.

Whatever the hell this recording at Wooly Mammoth Sound in Waltham, Massachusetts, is leading to is yet unknown. Supposedly these guys are working on a new album. Time will tell if it turns out to sound just as much like Primus as this does.


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Longtime Mesa Punks Authority Zero Ready 
for New Year's Eve Bash

Categories: Punk

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Kurt Hudson
Authority Zero

Another year's end, another pause for reflection. Maybe 2014 was awful; maybe it was a triumph. The punk rockers from Authority Zero, which formed in Mesa, put themselves closer to the latter side of this spectrum. While admitting that the end of the year brings unwanted politics involving the business side of the music industry, singer Jason DeVore says the band is firmly focused on the future.

Ultimately, it was another successful year of international touring that spanned more than nine months and further promoted their 2013 album, The Tipping Point -- and as far as milestones go, they celebrated their 20th anniversary as a band, a high-water mark for any recording artist.


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10 Most Influential Punk Records of Arizona: #9 - Killer Pussy, Teenage Enema Nurses In Bondage

Categories: Punk

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In late October, we introduced The 10 Most Influential Punk Records of Arizona. Over the next few weeks, we will reveal how we've ranked each record, and we will take an in-depth look at the people and circumstance behind each album's creation.

When I was a young'un, we would often say, "I'm in rag doll city" when we were hungry. This was short for "I'm so hungry I could eat the crotch out of a rag doll through a park bench."

That sort of rolls off the tongue the same way Teenage Enema Nurses in Bondage does, right? The legendarily named first seven-inch EP (33 rpm, no less, and not a 45 rpm) from Killer Pussy is easily one of the 10 most influential Arizona punk rock records and it rolls in at number nine on my list.

Though some might say the 1982 album is not very punk rock. I disagree. This slab of vinyl oozes punk attitude, right down to the cover photo of lead vocalist Lucy LaMode, in what probably was one of the original sexy enema nurse outfits and looking as though she put the "b" in terminal boredom.


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Canadian Punks PUP Bring Their Dramatic, Exciting Punk to Phoenix

Categories: Punk, Show Preview

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Yoshi Cooper, photo courtesy of SideOneDummy Records
PUP brings its high-energy punk-rock to Phoenix this coming Tuesday.

"Do you remember that Simpsons episode where Bart changes schools, and they put him in the 'slow' class? And they have the kid from Canada, saying 'I'm from Canada, and they think I'm slow, ayyy.' It's like that, to sort of adopt that mentality, talk about our igloos and stuff."

Though PUP guitarist Steve Sladkowski is quite amused by his Canadian brethren, contrary to the above statement, the Toronto-based punk band is not a bunch of hosers from the north. Currently embarking on its first U.S. headlining tour, the barely-three-year-old band is set to arrive in Phoenix on October 21 at the Rhythm Room, alongside fellow punk upstarts Hard Girls.

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Does Joyce Manor Have the Right to Complain About Stage-Diving?

Categories: Last Night, Punk

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Melissa Fossum
Joyce Manor

Last night's Joyce Manor show was arguably the perfect format for a punk show. A couple hundred kids were jam-packed into Yucca Tap Room to sing along to the California punkers' sweaty, 40-minute set, which was just shy of 20 songs. The stage banter was kept to a minimum and there was no stage-dive rant to be heard.


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New Children's Book Explains Punk Rock to Kids

Categories: Book Review, Punk

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It is not often a review of a book is longer than the book itself, at least in number of words, but this is not just any book review and the book in question is not just any book. What Every Child Needs to Know About Punk Rock, by Valley resident R. Brad Snyder and his writing partner, New York author and M.D. Marc Engelsgjerd, is the world's first board book geared toward teaching wee ones about music's most misunderstood genre. Even more interesting than that is the fact that it does a pretty good job.


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5 Most Outrageously Costumed Punk Bands

Categories: Punk

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Artist's Facebook page
The Aquabats

In the four-plus decades of punk's angsty rule, it has become easy to get lost in a sea of band T-shirts, jeans, and flannel, not to mention the safety pins and hair glue maintained as the uniform of choice for so many #trupunx and fans of the Casualties. So, when a band arrives to totally subvert that orthodoxy, it has come as a breath of fresh air to the moshing masses, excited (or at least confused) by a band of costumed warriors taking the stage by storm.

Enter The Aquabats.

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Casting Martin Scorsese's New Ramones Movie

Categories: Punk

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By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
A couple weekends ago, word got out that an upcoming Ramones biopic would be helmed by one of America's greatest living filmmakers, Martin Scorsese. The movie would be one of several band-related projects slated for 2016, the 40th anniversary of the bruddas' debut album, Ramones.

Scorsese isn't that odd a choice to direct a film about the groundbreaking punk band. He's a New Yorker who loves music, and directed The Last Waltz and Shine a Light. He also knows what to do with a good story. Like The Wolf of Wall Street or Raging Bull, the tale of the Ramones is a fascinating one, filled with underdogs, victors, losers, users, lovers, betrayers and a litany of insecure gods.


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