Blasting off into outer space are the gonzo space rock n’ rollers The Scaners. From Lyon France, their mission is to abduct and assimilate the uninitiated with their electro-punk sound. It’s an alien technique meant for the supersonic and intergalactic minded weirdos of this third rock from the sun.Think of their music concoction as boasting a mix of Readymades sprinkled in with Miscalculations and the hollowness of Gary Numan’sTubeway Army.
The Scaners no doubt have an impressive sound and it shows in their recordings. The A-side’s “X-Ray Glasses: On” captures their tenacity. This track is pretty straight forward. It starts off with a synth heavy intro that leads into an abrasive beat. “X-Ray Glasse: On” is perfect to sway and lose one’s the mind to. Lyrically this ditty is simple and repetitive. However, what makes it is the disembodied vocals on top of the hollowness of the electro-punk sound, which is like hearing a cyborg play with a distorted 1970’s punk style.
“Alien Boy” is a fast and furious tune. This is the track that is over as soon as it begins. It follows the same method of electric desolation as previous Scaners material, albeit with a more primitive feel. Think of it as Germs-esque,but electrified.
“I Really Want To Know” has a mode that carries a little more familiarity with tracks like “X-Ray Glasses:On.” It’s fast and frantic as though being like being shocked alive on a live wire. This tune boasts a definable punk spite style. If listeners don’t find themselves pogoing like a mother fucker then something is wrong with the stereo.
These tunes don’t betray notions of a cheap parlor trick or a punk rock sound done repeatedly to death. Quite the opposite, The Scaners inspire signs of life into the spirit of punk with something discernibly exciting. This record invokes a style that is rapid and vibrant. It’s an approach that The Scaners very much their own. Nonetheless, it hints toward the playful line of The Briefs but with a synthetic nature of The Marked Men or Radioactivity.
Even though my favorite track on this record is X-Ray “Glasses:On.” As a whole though, this 7” is some brilliant work. Mind you, this is not music for the faint hearted, but for the stargazed rockers of this age. If anything is to evidenced by this record, this is strong material and I have yet to hear anything to the contrary. Don’t waste time. Be sure to get this record.
Ted Dougherty AKA Teddy Spaghetty has long been involved in the underground music world. While living in New York City, he grew disillusioned with major record label executives only caring about seeking out standard hit makers. He was amazed that so many impressive artists were overlooked and did not have material available.
After moving to Atlanta, Dougherty established the independent label Spaghetty Town Records to provide a means for groups to release records for old and new fans alike. Going strong for the last four years, Dougherty has worked with bands, both domestic and internationally. They are renowned for releasing records by rock n’ roll groups like Los Pepes, Jordan Jones and Faz Waltz.
Among his and his labels growing accomplishments are helping the Italian glam rockers Faz Waltz with their first U.S Tour and performance at Punk Rock Bowling in 2019. Additionally in early 2019, Spaghetty Town Records released the Down South Spaghetty Accidentcompilation which featured Dirty Fences, Cheap Tissue, Criminal Kids, BBQT and others. To learn more, I sat down with Dougherty to chat about Spaghetty Town Records, how the onset of the Coronavirius Pandemic has affected his label and his unwavering passion for underground music .
NixBeat: Tell us a
little about yourself. What inspired you
to jump into the world of rock n’ roll?
Dougherty: I’ve always been a huge music nerd, buying records and cassettes, seeing live music whenever possible, working at my college radio station (WSOU) and even my high school radio station (WCVH). All I ever wanted was to work in music, so I got a job at a major label after university. It was fun for a while, it was the late 90s and there was lots of money coming in. Big parties, big artists, fancy dinners but I knew it couldn’t last forever. After 9/11, a lot of people, including myself, lost their jobs. I was living in New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey, so there was always a great band playing, I was still seeing music all the time. That was nearly 20 years ago, and not much has changed, still seeing shows, buying music but now I’m helping bands release music.
originally from Australia, you lived in New Jersey and now live in Atlanta,
Georgia. What’s the music scene like in these places? How are they similar and
Dougherty : I only lived in Australia for a year when I was born, then another year in my 20s. I was just down there and there is so much great music coming out. I spent about 30 years of my life in New Jersey and New York City, which is a great thing if you’re into music. I could see a band on Friday in New York City and if they were great I could see them again in New Jersey or Philly. I’ve been in Atlanta for over a decade now, my first two years took some adjusting. First thing I noticed, the people in Georgia are really friendly. Not to say that people in New Jersey /New York City aren’t, we’re just different. If someone was too nice to me in New York City I’d assume they were trying to hustle me, in Atlanta they’re usually just being nice. New York City also got every show on every tour. When I moved to Atlanta, I noticed we got skipped over, a lot. It was really frustrating because there is a great scene here with great people. In the last few years it’s been better, getting more bands to come down here. But I can’t complain, we also have great bands in the area that probably don’t play up north a lot either.
NixBeat: I know you DJ
in Atlanta. How did you get involved in DJing and what kind of records do you
like to spin?
Dougherty : I was thinking about this the other day, I’ve been doing this a long time. I started playing records when I was in high school on the radio, we could play what we wanted, it was live, but you don’t see the people and have to take breaks, read PSAs etc. The first time I DJed in public was at LIT Lounge in New York City. I remember being terrified that I didn’t know how to do it, then realized after five minutes that five years on the radio pretty much trained me for it. Since then I’ve played records all over New York City, New Jessey and Atlanta. I have a monthly night at Elmyr, a great long running dive bar here. I’ve been there so long they kind of give me carte blanche to play what I want. Usually the first half of the night is more R&B and soul. As the night progresses it turns into more garage, glam and punk records. Just depends on my mood that night.
NixBeat: If readers were to visit Atlanta, where should they look to check out your DJ sets? Dougherty : Second Saturday of every month at Elmyr in Little 5 Points. It used to be every Saturday, but after a while that becomes work and not fun anymore. But Elmyr has been there for over 20 years, and has great food and drinks. The music will vary DJ to DJ—country, hip hop, punk, metal. It’s great! If you come see me, you’ll hear some punk, garage, soul. It’s a fun night with a mix of Atlantans. Be sure to try a Grizz.
NixBeat: Spaghetty Town
Records releases quite the array of dirty rock n’ roll, punk and glam records.
Some notable artists on your label include Faz Waltz, Pale Lips and Jordan
Jones. What prompted you start your label?
Dougherty: After working for a major for so many years I saw these guys running the label that weren’t into music anymore. I assume they were at one point, but weren’t anymore. My boss once said “I’m into hits!” But I was really into music still. I didn’t want to be like those guys. Years later I was seeing all of these great bands that didn’t have releases out, which seemed odd to me. I said to my wife, if I can get a band on board I’m going to start a label. Four years later here we are, I’m about to put out my 25th release. Still can’t believe it.
NixBeat: How did you
get involved with groups like Faz Waltz, Los Pepes and The Scaners?
Dougherty : An Italian friend turned me onto Faz Waltz. So when I went to Italy, I messaged Faz La Rocca to ask what stores I could pick up his album. Anything to avoid paying international shipping. When he started looking for labels for “Julie” he reached out to me. I was thrilled; I was such a fan of his previous records. As for Scaners and Los Pepes, there are a lot of other similar labels around the world working with cool bands in their own countries. I forget who it was, but different international labels reached out to me. They are usually looking for international partners for a release. It helps with promotion in another country or language, helps cut cost and gets a release into another country without having to charge $20 for shipping. After doing this for a few years I’ve worked with so many great labels now throughout Europe and South America. There is a wonderful community of labels around the world, all trying to do the same thing.
NixBeat: What kind of
criteria do you look for when releasing a group through Spaghetty Town Records?
Dougherty: It used to be “would I buy this?” But it’s changed a bit over time. I’ve realized that not everyone buys or can buy records like I do. Now it’s more like “do I think a lot of people will pay $20 for this?” Other things I look at are online presence, it’s not a make or break, but it helps to have a strong online presence. Are they a band that plays shows, do they tour? Are you part of the music community? Also, do we get along, because we’re about to have a relationship. I’ll need help from you, you’ll need help from me. I’ve been really fortunate that every band I’ve worked with have been good people to work with.
NixBeat: In an
interview with Jerseybeat, published in 2019, you stated that it was hard for
bands to break into the US scene. Why do you think that is?
Dougherty: Big time! America is huge, if you want to do a US tour you need time and money. If you’re not an American band, you’ll likely need a visa too —which is very expensive. Also, rock music scene seems smaller than it used to be. Times change, music changes, I don’t see lots of younger people at shows. I joke with every band “can you get more young people out?” A lot of bands tell me they sell merch to a lot of older guys, which includes me. But there are some really talented bands out there (not just mine), touring their asses off, putting out consistently great records that just can’t seem to break. Do I think there will be a resurgence, absolutely. Hopefully we’ll be around for it.
NixBeat: Faz Waltz’s Faz La Roca said you were largely responsible for getting them their US tour in 2019. What was the process like organizing their and performance at Punk Rock Bowling 2019? Do you think your work paid off?
Dougherty: I’d never booked a tour before in my life. I’ve been part of tours, but never booked one. A lot of bands ask me to help them with things because they feel it looks more professional coming from the label instead of band direct. I’m always happy to help out if i can. So we got Faz Waltz on Punk Rock Bowling first, that was actually the easy part. We then built a tour around it based on what time they had available. It’s hard work. I hear a lot of bands comment about how they hate booking tours, I totally get it now. So many emails, phone calls, making arrangements for vans, hotels etc. For Faz Waltz it was also about getting visas. In the end, it was totally worth it. They played great shows in California and ended their tour at Punk Rock Bowling with a big crowd. Also, Faz himself had never been to the US before, so he was really excited. So he was excited to be here, and also got to play.
NixBeat: In 2019,
Spaghetty Town Records released the Down
South Spaghetty Accident Compilation? This record features groups like
Criminal Kids, BBQT, Cheap Tissue and Dirty Fences. What was the process like
putting this compilation together?
Dougherty: That was a lot of fun, I’m really proud of the Spaghetty Accident. Chase Tail (RMBLR, Dino’s Boys, Heart Attacks) approached me and asked if I’d be interested in releasing a compilation for his annual event “The Down South Showdown”. He told me that he had some bands on board, that it was all new music. When I saw the list I was pretty much sold. At that point bands started sending me their tracks and info for the track. I worked with Alex Hagen from Ravagers on the art and found a pressing plant that said they could have the records in my hand in time for the show. The hardest part for me was the song order and having a good flow with 14 different artists. But I guess DJing for all of these years helped. True story, they arrived at my house about 18 hours before the show. Another good one, I spent so much time checking for spelling errors that I left MAMA off of the cover, every band has their name on the cover. It was about 2 weeks before release and the jackets had already been printed. I was freaking out. But Alex suggested that we make a foil sticker of a pinball, have it say MAMA on it and stick it on the record. It was a great idea and totally saved us. Ravagers and Shelly Shellhorn helped put 500 stickers on the records in my kitchen. With so many people it went by really fast.
NixBeat: What kind of
clientele does Spaghetty Town Records attract?
Dougherty : It’s a real mix, probably because we have different types of bands. But it’s serious music fans and vinyl collectors, largely male. They are from all over the US and the world though. When people who weren’t my friends order from me I get really excited still.
NixBeat: With the onset
of the Corona Virus Pandemic, many States have issues social distancing,
quarantines and even lock downs. How has the pandemic affected you and
Spaghetty Town Records?
Dougherty : I haven’t been working that much in the last few weeks. My wife is able to work from home luckily. As for the label, I’ve noticed a slowdown in sales. I’m not surprised; I’ve lost income from my regular job. A lot of my friends are pretty much unemployed now. There is no touring or live shows. We will be adjusting some release dates. I’m hoping when this is all over people will be hungry to see some live music to help get back to normal life.
NixBeat: How can readers support Spaghetty Town Records in this time of crisis?
Dougherty: If they can, buy records from me and the bands we work with. We depend on people buying from us to fund future releases. Since so many artists lost touring and merch income they can buy online, that’s a huge help. And when clubs and bars open again go out and see live music. I know everyone really wants to get back out there again and play.
NixBeat: What future releases should people look out for in 2020 from Spaghetty Town Records?
Dougherty: We’ve been really lucky to work with so many great bands. I know for sure that Fast Eddy, Killer Hearts, Faz Waltz and Ravagers will be releasing new music this year. I asked Criminal Kids and they said “we fucking better put out new music in 2020!”. There are a few other things in the works that aren’t official yet, but I’m really excited about them.
NixBeat: Where would you like to see Spaghetty Town Records in the next couple of years? Dougherty: We plan to keep cranking out records. There has been talk of finding new ways to help artists grow and make money. I really feel like real rock n’ roll is on an upturn again. Maybe bigger labels will look at guitar driven rock bands again instead of a singer and person with a laptop. As long as people keep buying our records, we’ll keep putting them out.
To those not already familiar with Suicide Generation, there should be warning label on their records. These cats come out of the back alleys of London and in their wake is sonic whirlwind of chaos and destruction. They produce a sound that demands a nod to Detroit’s own The Stooges, but with a sonic flair that is ultimately their own. The results are arguably brain-splitting. Not surprisingly then that their new single Prisoner Of Love follows directly in line with this notion.
The title track “Prisoner Of Love” holds back nothing.Upon listening to this track, one can almost feel the unbridled nature of Suicide Generation blasting through their speakers. It’s a vicious assault of ear-piercing garage punk. If one has been lucky enough to survive one of their shows, then hear this shredding mess ought to bring back fond memories of a live performance. So, beware.
On the B-side of this EP are two tracks boasting of primitive rock n’ roll. The first track “Shitty In The City” harkens toward the raw style of 1970’s punk. It’s kind of along the likes of The Stukas or Johnny and the Self Abusers. If it wasn’t a contemporary song, it’d be surprising that “Shitty In The City” wouldn’t be found on a Killed By Death Compilation.
The other track “Rotten Mind” follows in the somewhere in between “Prisoner Of Love” and “Shitty In The City.” It’s a rapid fire punk number that holds no prisoners and is over almost as soon as it begins. Under the right elicit conditions, this track ought to inspire thrashing out of control. For the uninitiated and delicate “Rotten Mind” is an essential concoction of primal punk rock.
Suicide Generation’s Prisoner Of Love single shows remarkable promise. It’s a record that demonstrates their ability to be tight while still remaining as unbridled and savage as ever. Barring the ability to seem them live, having the volume peaking in the red will give listeners a glance into what it’s like to witness the ferocity of Suicide Generation’s live act—as well as some hearing loss. For that simple reason, check out Prisoner Of Love. It’s not to be overlooked, especially by any self-styled rock n’ roll degenerate.
Los Pepes boast an impressive lineup. They are Ben Primier (Vocals, Guitar), Gui Rujao (guitar, vocals), Seisuke Nakagawa (Bass, Vocals), Kris Kowalski (Drums) with Adam Smith of Newtown Neurotics (performing live Bass.) Their new album “Positive Negative” is a brilliant record. It’s grooves are filled with sonic splitting power pop infused with rapid punk rock.
This record celebrates the natural union between the invigorating sounds of sounds of punk and speedy power pop. Los Pepes style reflects a familiar fury that is akin to bands like The Briefs or Sharp Objects. It also invokes nostalgia for high voltage punk for lovers of The Boys,Motorhead or even Miscalculations.
Positive Negative lives up to the legend of Los Pepes rambunctious nature. This record is filled with hit after hit. Positive Negative is music that captivates with an awe inspiring delivery. When the needle drops on the this record, the result is to immediately succumb to sudden spasmastic shakes and shivers.
Such spasms result to jumping about as if being electrified back into the land of the living— like a rabid pogoing madman. No doubt this is a certain result if the right amount of electrified intensity is induced due to high velocity punk rock ,and a maybe few ales.
This is evident in the first track “Still Belong To Me.” It’s fast and wild and professes a desperate need to kick in the T.V in kind of sound. “Still Belong To Me” wastes no time in simple pleasantries. Rather it’s a tune that blasts the listen clear into the next week. It’s solid opening track.
Personally, my favorite track on Positive Negative is “We Need It.” This is the kind of tune that starts with a strong build up and wallops off with a packing punch. Think of it as cousin to Sharp Objects “Misspent Youth,” but less snotty and a bit tighter. Other tracks in this vein are “Think Back” and “Your Justice.” Some other honorable mentions for immediate consideration include “Let Me Tell You Something” and “Frustration.”
Not acquiring this album would not only be a mistake, but a betrayal of crucial judgment. This record ought to be put on your turntable and blasted from start to finish with the help of some liquid courage inducing vibrancy. If not for you, then do it for the neighbor’s sake. To do anything less may deprive those in close proximity of a vital headache, or inspiration. After all, we need something wild and electric like Los Pepes “Positive Negative” for our bleeding ears and soul.
For almost 10 years, Konrad Keele has operated an all-ages venue for Utah’s punk, hardcore and Ska communities. Standing at about 6’ 2”, Keele dresses casually-not with studs and bristles- and speaks with a reserved, but confident tone. Since 2016, he has owned and operated The Beehive Social Club, located on 666 South and State Street. He seeks to empower his community and friends by providing access to music through his venues. Speaking of his own transformative experiences, Keele says, “I’ve been changed through music. My politics are directly affected by the bands I listen to — my diet, my habits, my whole lifestyle.”
Check out the full article on Konrade Keele and The Beehive Social Club published @ Utah Stories!!
The Blankz White Baby/Sissy Glue 7” Slope Records Street: 07.13 The Blankz = Devo + The Epoxies + The Spits
Born in 2017, The Blankz are a vibrant electrical current of pogo-inducing madness. Together, they are Tommy Blank (vox), Jaime Blank (guitar), Andy Blank (bass), Johnny Blank (drums) and Nikkie Blank (synthesizer), who also fronts The Darts. They are from Phoenix, Arizona, and like their state, they are hot but not bothered. Their debut record, the White Baby/Sissy Glue record, is a lethal combination of orgasmic weirdo pop infused with the sensibilities of raucous punk rock.
Puke, Spit & Guts Eat Hot Lead LP Gladiator Records June 2, 2017
Out of the refuse of history is Puke, Spit & Gut’s long sought after Eat Hot Lead LP. This record is crass-weirdo garage rock infected with an unapologetically hardcore punk style. Puke Spit & Guts came from the San Fernando, California. They are Donny Death, Captain Worm, Dick Head, Marie Manslaughter and Stuicide.
Eat Hot Lead was originally recorded and released in 1980, through Puke Spit & Guts’ own label, Important Records. Decades later, the idea for reissuing this legendary record was taken on by Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles, before Black Gladiator and Slovenly Recordings got ahold of it – a project ten years in the making!
NEWTOWN NEUROTICS PISSED AS A NEWT No Plan Records Street: 03.11 Newtown Neurotics = The Clash + Joe Hill
Newtown Neurotics have re-released a gem from the ‘80s. Pissed As A Newt was the first release from this highly underrated and increasingly important band. This album was recorded live at various locations in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Locations included The Music Machine, London, Dane End Village Hall, Herts (August 1979), Harlow Town Park (June 1980)—among others. Originally a cassette, Pissed As A Newt finally sees the light of day as remastered vinyl by Nick Robbins…..
If one were to choose to walk through the layered depths of the punk rock community, they should strive to find themselves wallowing in the heat of the Punk Rock Bowling Festival. The festival is held on a parking lot adjacent to Fremont, and its largely open space lacks cover from the blistering heat of the sun. One can always purchase a $2 water to stay hydrated, although I’d wager that more money is probably spent on pints and whiskey cokes. The festival attendees are as diverse as the variety of punky hair colors, though there is the fascinating commonality of wearing all black, as if to tempt the wrath of heat exhaustion. The unforgiving heat aside, this gathering serves to inspire community and camaraderie under the banner of all things punk rock. The festival is a space where one can feel at home and comfortable while surrounded by those who celebrate the varied degrees of a storied subculture. Here, one can get all the applicable accessories from clothing, pins, hats and rare records from stalls like that of Anaheim, California’s Radiation Records. Unlike years past which have been largely apolitical, this year’s Punk Rock Bowling has an unofficial theme of denouncing Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump—a sentiment that is easy and popular to get behind.
Nearly 40 years ago, John Doe’s infamous band X hit the L.A. punk scene during a period that defined a pop-culture era. While London and New York saw the rise of rock stars from their respective scenes, L.A.’s own movers and shakers remained largely in the shadows—until now, on account of Doe’s new book, Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk. Filled with the rich personal histories from participants of the L.A. punk movement, Under The Big Black Sun shares L.A.’s history with the world.
Dig the interview with X’s John Doe about Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk published @ SLUG Magazine!!