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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10 Underrated Punk Albums That Should Be Considered Classics

Categories: Lists, Punk

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It's odd that people who have never met me want to punch me in the throat. Perhaps it's akin to what people like Sean Hannity and Joe Arpaio experience on a daily basis, although I would never want to be compared to them. Luckily, I feel safe in saying there is no comparison. All I've done is tell the story of how my bandmate once hit Danzig and then give my opinion on why a few albums that some people consider classics are really not that great. Again, key words, my opinion.

Anyhow, some of the people who wanted to punch me also suggested I write more positively about albums rather than put anybody down. A few even said I should write about "underrated" albums, and I thought it was a great idea. I'm sure you still might want to punch me, and that is okay. To be honest, there are people I'd like to punch, so I truly understand your frustration. The following albums are in no particular order, so please don't stalk my dog because I put your favorite of these at number four and you think it should be number one, dear reader. Some of them are by well-known bands, too, but I just don't think the records get the recognition they deserve.

So, without further delay, 10 underrated punk albums you should listen to again.

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10 Classic Punk Records That Actually Kind of Suck

Categories: Lists, Punk

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Courtesy of Dead Milkmen
The Dead Milkmen: Bad? No. But classic? Also no.

I put on The Ramones' classic 1977 record Rocket To Russia recently in an attempt to join all of my Facebook friends in their collective sadness at the recent death of Tommy (Erdyli) Ramone. I used to love this record, but now, even though I wanted to feel some sense of loss, it became more and more apparent that after their eponymous first record, the Ramones just kept trying to make the same record over and over again.

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Blag Dahlia of the Dwarves: I Really Only Care About What Women Think

Categories: Interview, Punk, Q&A

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The Dwarves

Blag Dahlia (birth name: Paul Cafaro) of the Dwarves is looking for women to come to the band's show tonight at Yucca Tap Room with the Queers, Masked Intruder, and the Atom Age buck-naked and ready for fun. He knows it gets hot in Phoenix, so "Why not be comfortable?" according to Blag. If the Dwarves singer has any hang-ups, nudity is definitely not one of them.

Talking to Blag Dahlia of the Dwarves is definitely enjoyable. The guy clearly knows how to have a good time, and what is even way more interesting is that he almost perfectly walks the fine line between brilliant and bullshit, evil genius and closet good guy. He seems to revel in any opportunity to playfully push buttons. In fact, he'll freely push his own buttons just to see (and enjoy) your reaction. That is, of course, if you don't react to his jabs at men, women, or....well, people, really. With the Dwarves, anyone and anything is fair game, especially if there is a way to work in quick hits of tits and ass on top of one f- bomb after another.

We sat down and had a nice, polite little chat on the phone with Blag a few nights ago. Here is how it played out.


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Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson Is Wrong About Punk

Categories: Punk

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Todd Owyoung
Bruce!
Bruce Dickinson rules. He's the greatest singer for one of the greatest bands of all time, Iron Maiden. But recently, he unleashed some pretty charged words in an interview with the Guardian. In addition to dropping one of the most incredible quotations ever, "fame is the excrement of creativity," he also said a few harsh words about punk rock, referring to it as rubbish and saying that the lack of talent in punk was an excuse to call it performance art. He goes on to state, "Half the kids that were in punk bands were laughing at the art establishment, going: 'What a fucking bunch of tosspots. Thanks very much, give us the money, and we'll fuck off and stick it up our nose and shag birds.'"

Not totally untrue. The problem, however, lies in his words that immediately follow that thought:

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Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves: "We're Probably Not Going to Do Another Record"

Categories: Punk

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Drew Reynolds
Perfect Pussy

Perfect Pussy has just left Boise, Idaho, and is a few hours into the seven-hour trek to its next show when New Times reaches the band's singer, Meredith Graves. She sounds tired. Not standard-issue, stayed-out-until-3 a.m. tired. You get the feeling that maybe the whole experience of being thrown into the meat-grinder hype machine machine of today's media landscape has created a deep-bone fatigue.

When asked if the band has been writing any new songs, she's blunt.

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Against Me!'s Atom Willard on Laura Jane Grace's Gender Transition: "It's My Journey as Well"

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Ryan Russell
Against Me!

In 2012, Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace took the world by storm when she publicly revealed herself to be transgender. Though had we been paying attention, we would have noticed the not-so-subtle cues in the band's lyrics, like these from "The Ocean": "If I could have chosen / I would have been born a woman / My mother once told me she would have named me Laura."

The past two years have been good for the band. Against Me! recently released its seventh studio album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which at times reads like Laura Jane Grace's diary. The songs are raw and have a strong sense of urgency, as the singer reveals her desires, fears, and secrets.

We recently caught up with Against Me!'s new drummer, Atom Willard, to discuss where the band is now and how Laura Jane Grace is doing.

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Against Me! and Laura Jane Grace's Latest Album Is Brave, Vital

Categories: Punk

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Ryan Russell

Against Me!'s latest album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, may be one of the most important records of the decade. We're deep in a cultural war for gay and women's rights, but we've barely scratched the surface regarding transgender issues. The coming out of someone in the public eye still qualifies as news, yet we rarely hear about folks in the process of a gender transition. So when Against Me! singer Tom Gabel became Laura Jane Grace in 2012, she did more than make a public announcement. She also wrote an incredible, moving album about the experience. And people took notice.

Transgender Dysphoria Blues is possibly the first record of its kind, providing a raw, visceral look into Grace's mind. The title track is a heart-wrenching look into Grace's struggles through an anthemic chorus with a biting edge -- "You want them to see you like they see every other girl / They just see a faggot / They'll hold their breath not to catch the sick."

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