Five Underrated Bad Religion Songs

Categories: Punk & Hardcore

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Courtesy of Epitaph Records
Bad Religion

Bad Religion's first album came out in 1982. That's 35 years ago. They're still pumping out new albums and selling concert tickets nationwide.With this kind of longevity comes a massive catalog of hundreds of songs. Therefore, it's understandable that you may have slept on a couple of gems on your way through their catalog. Here are five Bad Religion songs you might want listen to again. If you get lucky, maybe the band will play one of these at their concert at Marquee Theatre on Friday, April 10.

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

Categories: Punk & Hardcore

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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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Hardcore Pioneers Cro-Mags Thankful Still to Be Pummeling Audiences 30 Years Later

Categories: Punk & Hardcore

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Courtesy of Cro-Mags
The Cro-Mags are still putting on hardcore shows 30 years after the release of their seminal album.

Awe is a powerful word.

Upon first listen, 1986's Age of Quarrel by the Cro-Mags was (and still is) capable of rendering mere mortals to a state of awe. For fans of the band and the genre it helped create, awe is both a fitting and fascinating term, especially for those of us west of the Mississippi who have had limited chances to see the New York City band perform in concert.

Twenty-nine years is a long time for a punk rock record to remain relevant, but Age of Quarrel does just that, and the thrill of being able to see the band play these songs in a small Scottsdale venue is more than palpable; it's freaking awesome. For those of you who enjoy energy, put on your dancing shoes (and maybe full-body armor) and get ready to have some fun when one of NYC's best-ever hardcore bands comes to town.

Age of Quarrel turned the world of hardcore punk on its collective ear when it was released. For many of us, it was a perfect blend: well-crafted hardcore punk with a loudly shouted and powerful message of "we can overcome anything, even the bleakest scenarios." There are some thrash and metal sensibilities permeating Age of Quarrel, but these attributes increased the record's power, as well as its ability to unify the oft-divided punk, metal, and hardcore scenes. It was always interesting to see the differently coiffed (and sometimes shaved) heads bob at a party when someone was smart enough to play it.

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8 Best Metal Concerts in February in Phoenix

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Jim Louvau
Marilyn Manson has a new album out, and he's coming to town to promote it.

The start of February made it one of the busiest, most exciting months of 2015 in the Valley of the Sun. More than a million extra people crowded into town for the Phoenix Open, the Superbowl, or the fact that they're just snowbirds. Clearly cause for shots of whiskey and heavy metal. Lucky for all us metalheads, the heavy metal scene isn't resting on its laurels, even with all the other heavy excitement, traffic, and rain around town.

Don't let that keep you indoors, though. There are a ton of great shows around town, which is why we compiled a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of February.

There's local EP release bashes, legends like Napalm Death and Marilyn Manson, and even a show by metal guitarist John 5 on Valentine's Day. I know where I'll be pre-gaming before the strip club.

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

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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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The Best Metal Monday Blogs of 2014

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Metal Blade Records
The Cannibal Corpse interview didn't even make the list, 2014 was so great.

The holiday season is winding down, and we at New Times hope that you had a great 2014. As we look forward to the New Year, I wanted to recap some of the best Metal Mondays blogs of the year.

These were picked based off of social media shares, how much they got music lovers talking, as well as my own favorite interviews. Here's looking forward to a very metal 2015!

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This New Replacements Song Is a 24-Minute Noodle Fest

Categories: Punk & Hardcore

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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 & Hardcore

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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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Lil Jon, Adele, and 10 other Unlikely Heavy Metal Covers

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Screenshot from A Static Lullaby's "Toxic" video
Brittany Spears' "Toxic" is so good, even a hardcore cover doesn't suck.

Whatever your religious beliefs -- Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Athiest -- there's no avoiding the ruckus of the holiday season. For me, Christmas brings a lot of old traditions, love and charitable giving, but there's a lot of needless commercialism that's shoved down everyone's throats starting the day after Halloween.

So kick back and take a break from the stress of shopping, visiting in-laws, gift-wrapping, and terrible holiday song covers by Taylor Swift and Mariah Carey. Seriously -- not only do we have to put up with pop and hip-hop year-round, but then they invade the already-smothering lineup of carols?

Welcome to your heavy metal music break: If mainstream artists can assault your ears via every genre, you can be damn sure that heavy metal steals the thunder now and again, too.
So forget the list of heavy metal Christmas carols.

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Punk Band X Breaks Out the Vibraphone for Acoustic Tour

Categories: Punk & Hardcore

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Frank Fargani
Guess which member of X plays the saxophone.


Members of the legendary punk band X will never "walk on down the road yelling hurry up" to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to be enshrined in its hallowed halls. It has never been their style to self-aggrandize, and yet while bands like the Clash, The Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie have all long since been immortalized with inclusion into the HOF, the time for X is long overdue.

Anti-establishment and anti-corporate, X lit the flame of West Coast punk rock in 1978, and went about the business of creating sonic sounds that were original, political, irreverent, and yet relevant. The band exuded an attitude and movement that was repulsed by the American underbelly of corporate record label greed, which promoted bloated rock guitar fat cats playing eight-minute guitar solos.

X opted for a more urgent sound that filled its three- to four-minute songs with disaffection and desperation, born of rockabilly, soul and country, and bathed in angst and street poetry the likes of Bukowski. Los Angeles' true fearsome foursome burst onto the scene with a music that was lean, mean, and populist first -- popular second.

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