Tin Ear Tuesday – Riot Fest East Edition Tin Ear Tuesday – Riot Fest East Edition

Oh, dude. OH DUDE! RIOT FEST IS COMING! PHILLY! SATURDAY! YEAH! And me and my friends are hitching a lift (well, taking the train since no one picks up dudes in their 30s these days without a spare case of bear spray in the dash) because, though there’s much about punk rock revivalism that screams cashing in (not selling out, son…that’s different), who gives a shit? X is playing all of Los Angeles! The Descendents are playing! The Dead Milkmen! Samiam? Weston? YEAH! And a whole bunch of other bands I’ve never heard (and more, I have…um…) despite my best intentions. So to get you in the mood to dig out your old matinee stomping boots, I’ve dedicated this Tin Ear Tuesday to this festival. Not all the bands are included in the mix. Those that aren’t get the YouTube treatment at the end. Copacetic? Rock it!

The Descendents – “Bikeage” from Somery…This may be the best punk song every written. Best song ever? Possibly. I rank this with “Under Pressure” and “Born to Run” in the short list of tracks that need to be played every day, without fail, to ensure a perfectly fruitful life. It should be noted that though The Descendents have aged a bit since Milo went to college they’ve always played the spurious punk that gray hair enhances (fast. spare. fun. pissed.) so you know they’ll earn this headlining gig. Besides, they’ve influenced every band on this bill that isn’t X.

Plow United – “Last Call” from Narcolepsy…No lie. My friend went to prom with the singer for this band (I think it was the singer, at least…she mentioned it too many times for me to comfortably ask). I saw him play with his countrypunkamericanabluesblast. They were good but gave no indication of the fury boiling within this band. The emo crash. Gotta say that (nepotism aside) I am really fucking excited to see this band. I’m also embarrassed to say that I missed them completely when they were all sweaty and livid. The hell kinda teenage punk was I?

7 Seconds – “Young ’til I Die” from The Crew…Honestly, the only other 7 Seconds song I know is their cover of “99 Red Balloons” and I only even known this track because I caught Civ playing a surprise gig with the Gorilla Biscuits at the CBGB’s Ray Beez benefit where some dude broke his neck from the excitement of finally hearing it played live. Yeah. Guess that’s an awful connotation but if I’d known this track then I would’ve probably died.

The Dead Milkmen – “Stuart” from Beelzebubba…No one likes this Dead Milkmen song as much as I do. I once played it for a foster dog to get him to love me and he just took a shit on my speaker wires. Man. That dog was awesome. So’s this song. Rodney Anonymous rants harder and goofier than anybody this side of a fat, exploited schizophrenic and I hope to hell that I get to hear him shout about a burrow owl live so I can yell out of time and get awkward looks from other “journalists” playing objective. Or maybe they are. I must hear “Punk Rock Girl” and “Takin’ Retards to the Zoo” too.

Naked Raygun – “Surf Combat” from Throb Throb…I still have a hard time reconciling the fact that Naked Raygun is playing shows. Not sure why. I think it’s Steve Albini (“YOU’RE STILL SEXY, PEZZATI!”). Though if ever there was a punk band that stank of man, it was Naked Raygun. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single member of this band smile. Not even in Pegboy. Is that mention bad form? These dudes can kick the shit out of any band you’re listening to right now. Guaranteed.

The Holy Mess – “Captain, We’re Drinking!” from The Holy Mess…The second of many bands on this list that I haven’t heard before very, VERY recently. Punk as fuck, sure. The darker grind of the SoCal scene. Think NOFX “Lori Meyers” or Screeching Weasel when Ben isn’t punching chicks or singing with a pince nez. Good shit (and not actually from California). Not great. But the growl that gets me out of bed.

Weston – “Retarded” from Got Beat Up…Shut. The. Fuck. Up. I saw Weston at my first hardcore matinee. It was at the Wetlands. Down By Law were headlining. I think Doc Hopper played too and so did the Undead and about ten other bands. I don’t remember any of them. I bought this track as a 7″ before I even had a new record player because I loved it more than I could ever love myself then. Ahem. Pop punk of the nerdiest regard. They’ll play it. It’ll be awesome as ever.

Hot Water Music – “Freightliner” from Fuel for the Hate Game…I never gave a damn about this band. Between all the emotive recommendations I was inundated with in the late 90s/early aughts I lost them somewhere between Small Brown Bike (who I loved) and Leatherface (who I only love through covers). Still their reputation looms large and I’m willing to wager that if it weren’t for them (and a little band called Against Me!) No Idea would be a forgotten imprint. And that, my friends, would be a sin. So, yeah. I look forward to being floored by them and owing all my friends a beer for ever doubting their power.

Samiam – “Hey Brother” from Billy…This girl I never slept with in college (strange statement, I know, but it’s critical to reiterate) once snuck this song onto a Superchunk mix tape she made for me. It was filler at the time but, since we didn’t talk much after that, it took me FOREVER to figure out who the fuck sang it. Samiam. Should’ve known by the tattoo on her back but I was an idiot then. Still am but at least I’m internet savvy (reference CHECK!) these days and this song totally slays.

X – “Sex and Dying in High Society” from Los Angeles…Yeah. This is why we’re going. X is playing Los Angeles. Everything else about this gig is great but this song…this album…fucking seminal. Ageless. And I am all in no matter how far away I get from that dastardly town. Japandroids covered this track on a 7″ recently to remind us all how great this band could be. Too bad they were too drunk in Decline of Western Civilization to ever clear a DVD release. C’mon Exene!

Larry and His Flask – “Beggars Will Ride” from Larry and His Flask…It took GG to teach me how much punk and country had in common but that’s a whole SOOOOWWEEEEEEYYY!!! cry from what this honky tonk up-and-em band is doing and I have to say, though my heart’s with X, this is the fucking band that’s going to blow everyone in the crowd away. And we won’t even be drunk yet. Damn. I love fun.

Shot Baker – “Short on Time” from Take Control…I immediately confused this band with Shotmaker and Maximillian Colby (who I always think are called Max Baker) so I’m just going to assume there are some member contained therein. Huh? Punk rock is confusing. It’s important to remember, though, that these bands are not yelling at you. They’re yelling WITH you. Oh, you’re not yelling? You should probably go home, then.

The Menzingers – “Sir Yes Sir” from A Lesson in the Abuse of Information Technology…I’m sorry. For a minute there, I thought I was about to give you the Mae Shi as a hardcore pop punk emo collective. Not only is punk rock confusing, but it’s also exhausting. I like the just off-tune charm this band has to offer and imagine I’ll enjoy them a whole fuckload more when a few thousand folks are singing along to this or any one of their songs. Punk rock’s good like that. The masses make the matter.

Excitebike – “Life of the Party” from You’re Fucking Out, We’re Fucking In…Oh, man. I hope this is the right band. Remember how I said punk was confusing? Yeah. There are, evidently, quite a few bands named Excitebike. Or maybe there’s just one that moved around a lot and was never sure whether it wanted to be punk or not. I think this is the right one, though. A Kenny Powers reference seems to scream Red Bull Riot to me. No? Maybe? Shit, what do you want? There’s only so much difference between the possible incarnations. Or maybe there isn’t. I don’t know. I’ll just see ya in the pit.

Suicide Machines – “The Real You” from Destruction by Definition…Seriously? This band is playing? I remember seeing them at Irving Plaza in…fsdgfsdfsdf…and feeling old. Wow. All right. Yeah. YEAH! SKAPUNK! I wonder if they’ll get the dude from Bim Skala Bim to pop out and play with them. What was his name? Jimmy? Honestly, though, I loved this band a whole helluva lot despite their flagrant Op Ivy ripoff. They never played this song, though. It was our favorite back in the day. Here’s hoping.

BUT! THAT’S! NOT! ALL!!!!!!!

Riot Fest East is also offering the following acts…

Population Zero…Local street punks. Not my thing but if you have a hardon for new mohicans you should show up early.

The Claw…Local THRASH! ARGH! UHN! I actually think this band will be a lot of mean Philly fun.

Lionize…WAAAAAAY not for me but this track is better than their other funk/reg/gag shit. I think they might be in Clutch.

There are also bands called The Heels and Brother from Another playing but since there are several bands performing under those respective monikers I’m going to err on the side of safety and not glaringly misdirect your ass.

AAAALLLLLL the above being said, tickets remain available for this event via Ticketmaster and Creep Records or the TLA Box Office.

See you, Saturday!



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