Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Magic Bean

The Magic Bean has been a fixture in the Springfield DIY music scene for fifteen years now. I remember going to punk shows there when the place fist opened on Kimbrough. It later moved to a location on National across for MSU, where it remains today. I personally dealt with the Bean’s owner Jeff many times when booking shows, and I’m glad someone finally made the effort to put up a Facebook page expressing our collective feelings towards him. Here’s to you, Magic Bean.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Now Or Never-1991 Demo

Ah, we come full circle. The very first post on this blog was the Now Or Never live tape. In that post, I said that NON was the best punk band to ever emerge from the Ozarks. This demo tape confirms that opinion, even if I think the live tape is better. It features a lot of songs not on the live recording, and the rough production can’t hide the fine paying by the band. Thanks again to Dave for providing this stuff.

1. Ten Second Song

2. Now Or Never

3. Ignorance

4. Sexism

5. Changes

6. Stagnation

7. Censorship

8. The Seven Year Itch

9. Cynical Cycle

10. Dr. Frankenstein

11. Expectations

12. Backwards Thinking

13. Fuckhole

14. Thin Man

15. Muckraker


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Force Fed Patriots

I’ve had a lot of requests for some FFP stuff, so I’m glad I was finally able to get a hold of the tapes. Dave (who also ran the Commercial Street Club and sang in Now or Never) was the band’s only constant member, and they went through several incarnations over the years. The original FFP was a punk cover band formed with Dave on guitar, Frank on bass, Chris on vocals, and Debbie on drums in 1987. They only played out a couple of times, but managed to record a two-song demo (one song is a GBH cover originally entitled “Knife’s Edge”; I’m not sure about the other one). The band got back together in 1988 as a three-piece with Dave on guitar, Derek on drums and Kevin on bass (Derek and Kevin later joined the Rising Sun). This time the band wrote some original songs, and once again recorded a two-song demo before splitting up. After Now or Never folded in 1992, Dave decided to make use of the name for a third time. He needed a house band for the Commercial Street Club, and already had a FFP tattoo. This incarnation was around for about a year, with Dave on guitar again, Klint on bass, Kit (aka Eggboy) on vocals and Jody on drums. They recorded the full-length “Flag Flying Parade” demo in 1992. The tape has a goofy, vaguely political style, and features some prank calls made by members of the band (a popular form of entertainment in the days before caller ID). FFP broke up for the final time in 1993.

1987 Demo

1. Edge of a Knife

2. War Games

1988 Demo

3. Force Fed Patriots

4. Polyester Beauty Queen

Flag Flying Parade Demo

5. Bush Duke Puke

6. Force Fed

7. Faith

8. Myself

9. Saturday

10. Fuckin Shit

11. Mistake

12. Hello?

13. Circus

14. Man

15. Rage (live)

16. Mirror

17. Snake

18. Myself II (live)

19. Hello? II

Thanks again to Dave for getting this stuff to me.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Heart Of Rock ‘n Roll Is Still Beating

A while back I wrote a post speculating that there wasn’t much going on in Springfield these days as far as hardcore punk rock goes, but was hoping to be proven wrong. Luckily, I was. I was recently in my hometown, and managed to catch an honest-to-God punk show downtown at Nathan P. Murphy’s. About 40 punks showed up, which is roughly what we drew back in the day. First up was Rogue Nation, a harsh sounding four-piece with an aggressive style (nice Body Count cover, guys). They have a demo CD, several tracks of which are available on their website. The second band that evening was Mr. Bucket, and quite an experience they were. Tight, fast, and raunchy, the band sports some catchy songs as well as a charismatic female vocalist (I think just about any kind of music is improved by female singers). If you’re in or around Springfield anytime soon, check to see if either of these worthy acts is playing. And for God’s sake bring some earplugs. (It’s been too long since my last punk show-I forgot to bring mine. My ears were still ringing the next day.)

On a side note, I recently hit the punk rock mother load in the form of a box of tapes sent to me by Dave, the singer in Now or Never. Lots of choice old stuff, some of which I didn’t even know existed. I’ll be transferring the tapes and posting them over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Arkansas Punk Rock Compilation CD

You may have noticed that all of the punk stuff I’ve posted here so far has been from the Missouri side of the Ozarks. Thankfully, Eric from Fayetteville sent me a link to this compilation, which does a great job of covering the Arkansas Ozark punk scene. Released by the non-profit radio station 88.3 FM and the Art Amiss collective, the CD has 22 tracks from 22 bands, most of them from the Fayetteville area. It’s mostly stuff recorded from 2005-2009, but is notable for having one song by the Malls, a new wave/punk act that formed in 1979. (They were almost certainly the first punk act from Arkansas. Grand Theft Audio should put together a retrospective on those guys). The download also contains a file with bios and contact information on all the bands. This is a great release, and it’s good to know there are still people creating punk music in places you might not expect.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Fistfight In The Parking Lot

OK, this one isn’t Ozark-related, but rarely do you see a mainstream network show do a fairly authentic parody of punk rock. This clip from last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live seems to have been written by someone with an actual background in the style. Anyone taking bets on how long before an actual punk band covers this?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Seduction Of The Innocent: How One Kid Got Into Punk Rock

In another interview segment from Mike, he describes a pivotal time in any punk kid’s life: How he was first exposed to the underground DIY scene.

I grew up on a small beef farm about half an hour from Springfield, and attended k-12 in a small town of about 3,000 white people. I went to my first “real” underground punk show around age 16, in 1990 or ‘91. Months earlier, a friend named Chip and I saw the Dead Milkmen and he was wearing a shirt he’d bought at the show when he was shopping somewhere with his mom. Upon seeing that shirt, these two crazy looking people gave Chip a birthday card that had “happy birthday” scratched out and the time and directions to a show at the Commercial Street Club scrawled inside. Later, he showed me the card and we decided we’d go if we could gather up a couple of carloads of friends for safety. Punk had an exaggerated reputation for being violent, as did all of Commercial Street at that time. I remember it was one of Now or Never’s earliest shows, and I think Walking Octopus or The Rising Sun may also have played that night (they were older local punk bands) and headlining was a band from KC or St. Louis or thereabouts, they may have been called Never Alone or something like that (I just remember they also had “Never” in their name). Now or Never made by far the biggest impression on me of all the bands, but the event itself, the whole unconventional scene, the freaky punkers, the radical political overtones, the dilapidated venue casting menacing shadows on eerie old railroad tracks in the bad part of town, just the absolute craziness of it all completely captivated me and immediately I began to fall in love with the punk movement. None of the other people I came with seemed impressed at all, and none of them ever came to another show, except for Chip who occasionally made one, but I distinctly remember only missing two shows there (one for sickness, one for girlfriend issues) for the next several years until Dave stopped booking at that venue.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Punk Veteran Tells His War Stories

Mike is an old friend of mine, and was involved in the Springfield punk scene for several years before I was. He was interviewed for the Riverfront Times article on the Ozark punk underground that came out last year, but only a small part of the interview was used. Here’s a longer chunk, with Mike answering the question “Did you attend any particularly memorable local punk shows?”

Wow, I’m afraid to even begin to try to answer this, there were so many. There were many shows that seemed to lift me out of my body in an ecstasy I’ve since learned may be akin to religious experience. A positive, joyful, profound release and enlightenment on many levels is what I took away from countless shows, but the ones that make the most interesting stories are the opposite, where serious violence occurred or even where its threat immensely intensified everything. This always seemed to be provoked by nazi skinheads.
There was a show where a fearless band named Demise (from Detroit? Minneapolis? Milwaukie?) stood up to very offended, very angry, and very much larger skinheads during a terrifying live set. What’s just as impressive, Demise came back several months later and played for us again! This time the knuckleheads didn’t show up but the band told us about having their house burned to the ground by angry nazis in their hometown!
There was the time Dave decided to book a show at an old bar further down Commercial Street for a change. Schlong (from the Bay Area, maybe?) was the out-of-town headliners, but they never got to play. Skinheads went on the rampage early on, there was lots of blood and people running everywhere, I hid behind the bar with all the members of Schlong who surprised me when they said they had never seen anything like what was going on and shouldn’t we call the cops!? There was an African-American bar nearby, and eventually an actual riot of sorts broke out between their patrons and the skinheads on the street in front of the bar. That’s when we made our escape, while bottles were thrown at us and cars suddenly screeched to a stop and reversed in high speed away from the melee!
Then there was the return of the infamous, legendary NYC hardcore band Born Against. There first show at Commercial Street dropped our jaws to the floor – none of us had ever witnessed anything that hardcore. But nazis had been waiting for their second visit all day at the club, and attacked them with brass knuckles and such as soon as they tried to exit their van! They fled and called Dave, who set up another venue for them at a friend’s basement and started spreading the word to regulars on where to go. Somehow the nazis found out where it was and showed up in force. After some crazy violence in the guy’s house, the nazis were driven outside and SHARPs were called who quickly showed up and began a face-off with the nazis in this guy’s front yard! I saw clubs, chains, weaponized vodka bottles, an actual meat cleaver, and even a flashed gun before cop sirens started blaring in our direction and everyone scattered. That was the infamous end of the Commercial Street Club (which has now become a police sub-station!). Our town gained some notoriety as Born Against thanked everyone in Springfield, MO who saved them “from certain death” on the inside cover of one of their last albums. Last but certainly not least, there was the GG Allin show in Joplin, for which the aforementioned Syphilis opened, but that’s a whole other phenomenon in itself!