Monthly Archives: July 2016


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The Upshot: It doesn’t get realer or rawer than this kids. Check the white wax and hear some toons, below. We’ve also got a special live clip for you to check out.


When ex-Lazy Cowgirls’ head honcho Pat Todd hits the stage, it’s hellzapoppin’ time. Longtime Todd fans have known this since the ‘80s, of course, but newcomers to the cause should be forewarned. For Blood & Treasure (Hound Gawd! Records), Todd’s fourth release with his current project the Rankoutsiders, the man renowned for his low, growling, raw, whiskey-soaked vocals, returns in fine form with a new portfolio of hardboiled, bluesy, ball-busting tunes.

In fact, as one would expect, everything about it seems whiskey-soaked, and washed up in the gutter down at the corner of 14th and Nowhere. While Blood & Treasure doesn’t quite meet the total awesomeness of that 2013 album, it has plenty of moments. While there’s a slightly higher percentage of slow songs, compared to that title, Blood & Treasure is seriously kickass on every level. His Rankoutsiders include old L.C bassist, Rick Johnson, L.C/Creamers alum Bob Deagle on drum kit, and R.O./L.A. Guns guitarist Nick Alexander. Jeremy White, Brian Irving and Kevin Keller round out the group. Earle Mankey diddled the knobs, making it all sound bright, tight and just right.

Todd LP

The boys rock their best on “This Counterfeit World,” “My Own Way,” “Don’t Be Sellin’ Emptiness To Me,” and the joyous and infectious “Somedays You Eat The Bear, Somedays The Bear Eats You,” all which have their patented, R.O/L.C. sound.

If there was an inheritor herein to Cowgirls classics like “Goddamn Bottle” or “Rock of Gibraltar,” it would have to be “Gone Are The Days,” a real stomper.

Also, there’s the usual expected tip of the hat to the Rolling Stones on “West Of Your Last Chance” and “Stand Up And Sass Back,” a la early Deadstring Brothers. Even better are several songs that are Dave Edmunds incarnate, “Sugar Coated Love,” “Tell Me Now,” “I Hear You Knockin’” (no, not that one), and “Gone Are The Days.” The only thing missing is Edmunds’ voice, but still, my favorite cuts on the album.

It doesn’t get realer or rawer than this kids, and, like the force majeure that is 14th and Nowhere, it’s bound to be on repeat on your player for quite some time. (Below: watch the Rankoutsiders live at the Liars Club in Chicago this past April.)


THAT’S ‘ROO TO YOU: The 2016 Bonnaroo Music Festival


This is your brain on 100 degrees in the shade. Any questions?


This year marked the fifteen year anniversary for Bonnaroo, and they made sure it would be one to remember. From the addition of real flushing toilets in Centeroo, great food venders, top notch lineup, and a great sponsor like Miller Lite, this year was off the charts.

Miller Lite Girl

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waterslide girl

Peace girl

In the Tennessee June heat, with temperatures reaching close to 100 degrees for all four days, sunscreen, water, and minimal clothing is a must. No one seemed to care too much as they made their way from stage to stage or to the water mushroom.



Chvrches, on the What Stage on Friday afternoon, with Lauren Mayberry singing her heart out and running all over the stage, sounded great and the large crowd was singing along and dancing throughout the set.

Halsey fire

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Up next on the second largest stage was Halsey with such songs as “Gasoline”, “Colors”, “Castle” and “New Americana”. Halsey took the stage in a sexy outfit and green hair and proceed to rock it! Halsey persona on stage matched her outfit and her attitude complete with pyros.

j cole

Jermaine Lamarr Cole, aka J. Cole, played on the Main Stage and even brought out Chance The Rapper to perform “No Problem”; this was a surprise as Chance wasn’t even on the lineup for the weekend.

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LCD Soundsystem

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LCD Soundsystem had the late night spot on the What Stage, which was perfect for a late night dance party. LCD Soundsystem wins the award for having the weekend’s biggest disco ball—with a huge one that came on a crane system from the rear of the stage to finally come to rest right over the head of James Murphy. The stage lights bouncing off of the disco ball were very cool, but also being able to see the large crowd in the mirrors of the ball was a trip.

At  2 a.m. it was time for the sounds of Zed’s Dead. You would think with the day’s heat and a full lineup already in the books that people would be crashed at two in the morning, but you would be dead wrong. Zed had the packed crowd over flowing the This Tent. The crowd was in full dance rave action and left me wanting to see Zeds Dead again as soon as possible.

Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton had a 4 p.m. spot on the main stage during the afternoon, and the heat wasn’t about to let up. This didn’t seem to matter, as the majority of the festival crowd had made their way over to hear this overnight sensation. Stapleton has single-handedly brought back classic country music. With his wife playing and singing next to him on stage, this was a festival highlight for many festival goers.

Nathaniel Ratliff

I first saw Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at the Beale Street Music Festival earlier this year. With a 7 p.m. spot Saturday on the This Tent, Nathaniel’s soulful voice highlighted a mixture of blues, soul, and gospel (great horn section too). And if you think you haven’t heard him yet you are probably wrong: Rateliff is featured in a new Kia commercial, as well as some of his riffs being played in other commercials. He’s definitely on the one-to-watch list.


The Haim sisters played Saturday night on the Which stage and gave an outstanding performance, including a tribute to Prince with “I Would Die 4 U”

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were next on the What Stage at 10:15. From the time Macklemore came on the scene with “Thrift Shop” he has been in the spot light and continues to put out hits. After about five or so songs, lightning was moving into the Manchester area and the organizers had to evacuate Centeroo for safety, promising to continue as soon as the all clear was given. After about an hour delay, the all clear was indeed given and the shows were back on, with Macklemore being able to finish his set.

Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt’s show was also interrupted but continued on after the lighting, with a lot of country fans and women who love country men with muscles. Sam is not only a popular country singer, but has written several hit songs for other big name country artists.

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Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding played at around 12:30 on Saturday after the lightning delay. Ellie had a lot of energy as she danced around and hardly stood still the entire time. Goulding has sold over six million albums and 20 million singles worldwide, and has collaborated with top producers such as Calvin Harris, Skrillex, Zed, and Diplo. This set was a non-stop dance party way into the morning hours.

A much anticipated act this year for Bonnaroo was headliner Pearl Jam. With hits like “Even Flow”, “Jeremy”, “Daughter”, “Corduroy”, and many more they were a great choice to headline. This was the first time back on the farm since 2008.


Miguel gets the award for best onstage dancer of the weekend. His late night set was a high energy set that of course included a favorite of mine “Simple Things”. Go view the video and download the song after you finish this article!


The Super Jam this year was a little different than years past, with a Tribute to Tennessee hosted by Kamasi Washington. This was a good show with the exception of a weak performance from front man Stephan Jenkins (Third Eye Blind), who joked about missing the rehearsal. He covered “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash. Chicano Batman played a great funky version of “Shaft” by Isaac Hayes. Nathaniel Rateliff covered “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City”. Miguel then took the stage to cover Justin Timberlake’s hit song “Sexyback”.

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dead & company

Dead & Company was Sunday’s Headliner and they didn’t let us down. With a non-stop jam session, this was one of the best highlights of the weekend. How can you go wrong with all these great musicians, and with John Mayer, and Bob Weir out front, the crowd was mesmerized throughout the extended set.

Well, back to real world, until next year on the farm where the high fives are a plenty and the people radiate positivity.




Did the world really need one more book about Punk Rock? Particularly by someone who stood at Ground Zero? Yes. Yes, it did. Below, check out some choice videos.


There are bookshelves crammed with tomes about Punk Rock and plenty of those deal with the L.A. punk scene of the late ‘70s. But few are as refreshingly personal as John Doe’s Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk (Da Capo Press).


Though X founder and one of the godfathers of the L.A. punk scene, John Doe, pulled together the focus of this book, there are plenty of personal essays from his friends and fellow band and scene mates to help fill out this book, which he co-wrote with journalist/archivist Tom DeSavia. (The jacket credit reads “with Tom DeSavia and friends.” Meanwhile, Billie Joe Armstrong penned the foreword.)

Before the hardcore kids from Orange County took over the scene in the early ‘80s and turned it into an agro excuse to pummel other kids, punk rock in Los Angeles was a refuge for oddballs of every ilk that had trouble fitting in with their peers. It was a patchwork of Glam kids/Bowie acolytes, Rockabilly refugees, upstart fashion designers, East Coast immigrants, wayward military brats from port cities and Mexican kids who dug loud guitars. This disparate collection bonded over a common need to find solace in likeminded folks, as described again and again in personal essays throughout the book.


Along with Doe’s moving recollections of first emigrating to L.A. from Baltimore and finding Exene Cervenka (his bandmate and one-time wife) within days and starting the wildly influential band X, there are hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking memories from The Go-Go’s Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey, Mike Watt, Henry Rollins and many more. The book also includes dozens of stunning black and white photographs from many of the journalists who documented the scene from its infancy.

Did the world really need one more book about Punk Rock? If you’re asking about this one, then yes. Yes, it did.