Posts Tagged ‘punk’

A letter from Steve Leckie

Posted on November 8, 2011 by

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Excuse the lapse in posts here; an initial, incomplete draft of the book was finished at the start of the summer, and I spent the last few months clearing out my brain and conducting a few extra interviews to help bring this project to a close. It’s still far from complete, but my head is back in the game, and I’m planning to get back to the business of writing here regularly.

I’m in the middle of finalizing one of the more agonizing sections of the book — the Viletones chapter. With so much information, so many rumours, and so many bizarre personal anecdotes to sort through, it’s been a portion of this story that I’ve struggled to tell. In many ways, the story of the Viletones is best told by Steve Leckie, because, truly, he is the Viletones. Our second interview began with him reading this letter to me, a foolscap piece of my paper with my name written in big, bold letters at the top. When he was done reading it, he didn’t hand it to me. He just folded it back into his pocket and started our interview.

What can you do when the medium of first generation punk requires not a stage but a tight wire because the true craft of punk demanded not a persona but a life? A life to even sacrifice on the altar of a life and death attempt to bear witness to the purity of a spectacle, that in history would be understood by perhaps the Aztecs as in a human sacrifice or maybe general custom. Misunderstanding or doubting that is only proof that those who through their mediocrity stand on the sidelines not only of punk rock, especially Viletones, but any art ahead of its own time. The words of Rimbaud not only told but warned over 100 years ago this spectacle would come, and I, far more than most of first generation punk artists embraced and heeded that future vision. A vision that manifests in high art reality. That punk art is the bastard son of no one. Of no other movement. An orphan. But an Artful Dodger orphan. And the death count in punk is much higher than those Dickens himself could have foreseen, for there is no Fagan to pay off but something much greater. Immortality itself, though an Aztec spectacle of sacrifice, whose virtues have been eroded through time.

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Tyranna

Posted on April 12, 2011 by


A few weeks ago, I was inside my 1989 camper van in a Hamilton parking lot with Mickey DeSadist of the Forgetten Rebels, trying to get a few questions asked before Teenage Head, now with new lead singer Pete MacAulay, hit the stage for their first hometown show since the passing of Frankie Venom. It was one of those strange, high-energy nights where it feels like a packed room full of 200-plus people have known each other for years. Probably because, in this case, they have. I met a lot of great folks that day – Chris Houston from the Rebels, Edgar Breau from Simply Saucer, and, after having only spoken on the phone or over e-mail in the past, Gord Lewis from Teenage Head. So why am I posting a Tyranna song here? Because Mickey and I wasted a significant chunk of our time together talking about how great this band was. I had been listening to their five song EP all day, and he professed to have a CD-R copy in his car that he had been trying to get Chris Houston to check out for weeks.

It wasn’t until 2008 that this release finally saw the light of day. A long-lost treasure of Toronto’s first wave, Tyranna were fantastically ferocious, as songs like “Back Off Baby” attest to. Fronted by Vera “Rabies” Syke, the band’s song have a real raw sonic power, while Syke’s snarling delivering belies some great pop songwriting underneath. One of the greatest lines in the sand between many first wave groups was musical ability; some had it, and other most definitely didn’t. Which isn’t to say that those who couldn’t play didn’t make some amazing contributions, since even the casual observer knows that this isn’t true. But sometimes, it’s great to get group of people who can play, write, and act the part. Tyranna were that group. I mean, look at the photo, right? That shit pops.

Tyranna: “Back Off Baby”

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222s

Posted on April 11, 2011 by

I’m in the middle of The Montreal Chapter right now, and wanted to post what will likely be the titular song for the whole section. “First Studio Bomb” is a great fucking song from the first and, for a time, only punk band from Montreal. The 222s started as a more New York Dolls-y post-glam outfit and morphed into a proper punk band as they were exposed to the stripped down sounds coming out of New York at the end of the decade; the only other form I’ve found this in is as a live track from their 2006 collection Montreal Punk – 78-81, recorded at the Ottawa punk hole the Rotter’s Club. It exemplifies the kind of catchy, driving songs the band were so good at creating, from the hyper-sexual anthem of “Female” (“You look like a female / But you fuck like a man”) to to lightweight “Fun, Fun, Fun.” Perhaps the best thing about the 222s (at least from a storytelling perspective) is that, at the end of their career, they teamed up with the Montreal mob for their final single. The recording sessions ended with the band having a gun pulled on them over ongoing creative differences. The 222s called it a day pretty soon after.

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Popular Mechanix

Posted on March 11, 2011 by

I’m in the midst of trying to wrap my head around the early Winnipeg scene, which I knew little about (aside from the fact that it birthed the best hardcore band ever, Personality Crisis). But where did those prairie weirdos come from? Turns out they came from stuff like this – Popular Mechanix were one of the first punk-ish bands in the city, although, as you can see here, this isn’t quite the Sex Pistols (heads up, this footage comes from a reunion show). That said, it’s still light years ahead of Goddo or Trooper, and laid important groundwork in the city of Winnipeg for bands like Disharge, Lowlife, and, eventually Personality Crisis. They were a pioneering band in a city that wasn’t exactly welcoming of new musical styles, and they offered early punk bands some of their first shows opening up for them, by then an established force in the local music community.

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Infamous Scientists

Posted on March 8, 2011 by

Consisting of some Victorian (as in, from Victoria, BC, not the era of Queen Victoria) youngsters that would later go on to form one of the best bands in the world, ever, Infamous Scientists displayed an unnatural ability to build left-field punk songs out of syncopated rhythms and an uncharacteristically present bass tone at a shockingly early point in their career. Hailing from the same strange scene that birthed the Neos, Pink Steel, and the Dayglo Abortions, Infamous Scientists would later morph into Nomeansno, becoming one of the most recognizable names in Canadian punk on the international stage. But before that, before Wrong, before the Hanson Brothers, there were these teenage geeks playing their hearts out. This shit rules.

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The Bureaucrats

Posted on March 4, 2011 by

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Ottawa has been a tough city to wrap my head around. I hadn’t heard much from anyone in nearby cities as to the relevance or vitality of the early scene. Someone might have mentioned the Rotter’s Club once, but it wasn’t with any great degree of reverence. In my slow crawl across this country, it’s taken me a while, but only the tiniest bit of digging was required to discover some of the amazing punk bands that Ottawa had in the late ’70s and early ’80s. And the Rotter’s Club was the centre of that early scene, hosting bands like DOA and the Dils while giving locals like the Red Squares and the Action a home. Then there’s the Bureaucrats, whose “Feel the Pain” single has been in constant rotation in my house since I first found it on the amazing Killed By Death Records blog this past weekend. An righteous Nerves-type power pop number that really starts to melt my mind after the first chorus, this song might be one of my favourite single-track discoveries of this project so far. It’s the kind of nugget that makes you glad that you just spent your whole weekend attempting to dredge up some nearly-lost part of Canadian history. And also makes you kind of dance awkwardly around your living room when your girlfriend is out.

The Bureaucrats: “Feel the Pain”

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Gentlemen of Horror

Posted on February 17, 2011 by

For the past few days, I’ve been deep in some unnecessarily heady papers about Canadian identity, culture hybridity, cultural drift, the garrison mentality in Canadian literature, and other stuff that I’m mostly just pretending to understand. If it hasn’t been made clear enough already, one of the aspects of early Canadian punk that fascinates me most is the isolation; even in major urban centres like Toronto, bands like the Vilteones existed with the knowledge they they were unlikely to snag the major recording contracts of their American and British peers, which helped created a more unhinged, erratic expression of punk than anywhere else in the world. But what really blows my mind is the punks who lived in parts of Canada that were really, actually, extremely fucking isolated. Places like Kelowna, BC, that bred weirdos like the Gentlemen of Horror, a band that only played about 20 shows but whose recordings regularly sell for several hundred dollars on eBay. While it’s clear that GOH were drawing on a fairly standard set of punk and hardcore influences, the fact that they existed in a cultural vacuum without immediate influences makes their particular blend of those influences an entirely unique one. And that rules.

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The Modernettes

Posted on February 9, 2011 by

Teen City

I’m currently going over some stuff in John Armstrong’s autobiography, the immensely readable and wonderfully bad behavior-ridden Guilty of Everything. Sent me down a worm hole of Vancouver music videos, of which there are a few, including this one for the Modernettes’ “Barbra”, a certified classic from its era. This song exemplifies what I love about a lot of the Vancouver bands, which is the simple fact that so many of them ended up writing slightly tweaky power-pop songs that, thirty years later, rival anything in the early Elvis Costello catalogue. Best moment in this video comes twenty seconds in when a guy dunks behind Armstrong for no apparent reason other than it seems edgy or hip or something.

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“Punk is leather, lust and liquid”

Posted on February 8, 2011 by

I’ve spent the day combing through the archives of Ubessey, the student paper at University of British Columbia. Founded in 1918, every single issue of the paper is available as a PDF through the library’s online archive. It’s a pretty awesome (biblical usage) collection. I’m sure there’s some incredible non-punk-related gems in there, but I’m obviously tunnel vision-ing for some good photos and interviews with bands like D.O.A. and the Pointed Sticks. In my search, I came across this magical op-ed by Peter Menyasz from January, 1979, all about his experience at a Subhumans show. Titled “Punk is leather, lust and liquid,” it contains such golden journalistic nuggets as

Look closely at the band. You might as well look, there’s nothing worth listening to. The guitarist plays all five chords he’s learned while the bass player pounds his instrument.

And

Dance? Are you sure they’re dancing? All they’re doing is jumping up and down, arms rigidly held at their sides. Heads shake from side to side, and blank stares are the order of the day.

Finally

You flee in terror. Back in the club, the band has stopped playing and people are standing around, not sure what to do now. You feel vaguely sorry for them.

Full text is here [PDF]. Page four, and very much worth your time.

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Red Tide

Posted on February 8, 2011 by

In the interest of coastal fairness, I wanted to post a song from Red Tide, one of my favourite bands from the early Victoria scene. Like Da Slyme and the Reaction in St. John’s, Red Tide were more isolated than the already-pretty-fucking-isolated kids in places like Edmonton and Winnipeg. But unlike those kids, Victoria bands like Red Tide, Infamous Scientists, and the Dayglo Abortions had the Vancouver scene to draw inspiration from. The result seems to be a weird mutation of the already weird mutations of the early Vancouver bands, who were themselves influenced by their proximity to what was happening in California. It’s like a game of sonic broken telephone, but one that starts with the Screamers and ends with Nomeansno.

This Red Tide song comes from a cassette comp called Medium Raw that was archived over at the amazing Model Citizen mp3 blog. For anyone with any interest in the early Victoria scene, there’s an awesomely compressive book / two-disc comp titled All Your Ears Can Hear that was released a few years ago which covers all the fascinatingly bizarre stuff going on in early Victoria. It’s currently out of print, but I’ve been told that it’s getting a second pressing soon. Keep your eyes out, this shit is tight.

Red Tide: “My Son is a Kuwahara”

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The Robins

Posted on February 8, 2011 by

Probably one of my favourite bands to have unearthed for myself over the course of this project is the Robins. The second or third ever punk band from Moncton (the first was the Punks, natch), the Robins were one of many incredible, original, and utterly strange musical projects undertaken by Mark Gaudet, one of the most incredible, original, and utterly strange guys to have emerged from this fine country. Better known for his work in seminal east coast acts Eric’s Trip and Elevator, Gaudet was also Moncton’s first punk, at the core of every single punk band in the city until the early ’80s. The Robins were more left-field than Gaudet’s earlier experimentations, including the proto-metal Purple Knight and aforementioned Punks, and the few recordings that exist from that era (along with a handful of bootlegs floating around on YouTube) showcase a unique band making some strange, strange noise.

You can order a lot of classic east coast recordings and videos through Gaudet’s Venison Creek zine. No resources online. Just give him a call some time at work to get a free zine and catalogue. I’m not even kidding. And it’s totally worth it.

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The Reaction

Posted on February 8, 2011 by

Finally got around to checking out the Reaction discography I got in the mail late last week. These guys were one of two active punk bands in St. John’s, Newfoundland in the late ’70s and early ’80s. No small feat, when you consider how culturally isolated that part of the country was. Unlike their bi-coastal brethren in Victoria, who had the nearby Vancouver scene to draw substantial influence from, punks in St. John’s were nowhere near… anything. A ten hour drive from the western tip of the island, which only gets you a few hours ferry ride from Sydney, Nova Scotia, being a punk in St. John’s in the ’70s is pretty goddamn astounding. That the Reaction and Da Slyme (the other punks in town) managed to nail the sound and aesthetic so effectively is equally goddamn astounding.

This song comes from their two-disc collection, Old and New, which pairs one disc of ’78’-81 material with post-reunion material culled from sessions done in 2005.

The Reaction: “In Tune with the Times”

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Juicebox Recording Co. brings you more truly awesome jams

Posted on February 10, 2009 by

In December, we launched our record label with a totally sweet comp of local dudes and ladies that is probably still worth checking out. Then we released a Christmas album. Now we’re really in the shit.

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The Little Millionaires are the first band to release an actual real-life record here. They’re from Toronto, count ex-members of Ontario punk rock royalty in their ranks (Bombs Over Providence, Marilyn’s Vitamins), and are genuinely good dudes who will drink you under the table and then help you walk home. We’re unbelievably stoked to be a part of bringing rad music by rad people to you, more rad people. And now, a word from the band:

Courtesy of Mr. Adam Cook: The Little Millionaires’ DIY is an STD was a self-made mess in the erstwhile tradition of late ’90s punk bands who used to brag about how poor they lived and much crap they silk screened their name onto. The original less-than-fifty physical copies of this disc were all sold at a Toronto live show in October ’08 and were little more than a spray-painted cardsleeve (that never seemed to dry) and CDs labeled with pictures of the bands’ testicles. Now released digitally with new artwork and fewer balls, DIY is a rough, tough demo and first release from a band that promises… well… nothing.

Download it now and join the party.

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BEST FRIDAYS: with Jerry Filice of Trunk

Posted on January 2, 2009 by

What’s Worst Mondays without a dark and villainous foil? That’s the kind of thinking that forced us to create Best Fridays. So for all our weekend warrior brethren: Wooooo, T-G-I-F, right? Herein we hope to bookend your awful week by quizzing our previous Worst Mondays candidate about slightly more encouraging things. Every Friday!

So the Trunk reunion is tonight. It’s going to be rad. You’ve got Trunk, obz. Plus the Video Dead, featuring JUICEBOXdotcom contributer and super dude Ben Rispin. And The Grave. And Tilt’em. It’s free, and any donations you find fit to offer up will go to a Burlington charity called the Healthy Basket Program. Doors at 9. Red Rooster. Burlington. Pop punk forever.

Best injury
I don’t really have any good/funny injury stories. I’ve broken my nose three times. And I’ve sustained nine concussions. Maybe I do have injury stories, but I just can’t remember them?

Best historical figure
Neil Armstrong. Either that man truly walked on the face of the moon, or he was the greatest actor and liar the world has ever known. Either way, pretty bad-assed!

Best shirt
I’m a big skate tee guy. So I’ve had quite a few over the years that I’ve loved. But I guess if I had to choose one, it will be one that I still own. It’s a Black Label tee with a line of seven bombs on it and says
“Death From Above” below the bombs. No idea why, it’s really nothing special, but I love it. That, and my autographed Gretzky jersey.

Best thing to do with $20
Buy as much beer as it will get you. I highly recommend Pabst Blue Ribbon Light. That shit is gooood.

Best party trick
I can successfully “fall” down the stairs of any home without sustaining a major injury (knock on wood). We used to actually have competitions. I think the prize was usually a chocolate bar.

Best monster
I’m not into monsters. Unless you consider the Bumble from Rudolph to be true a monster? Gretzky was a monster of a hockey player, so I’ll choose good old Wayner.

Best question ever asked of you in an interview. Now answer it:
“Fuck no! That was NOT us! Why the hell would we piss in every ones drinks?! Well, except for that guy. Yeah, we did piss in his drink. Sorry man.”

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WORST MONDAYS: with Jerry Filice of Trunk

Posted on December 29, 2008 by

At JUICEBOX HQ, we’ve never really had a case of the Mondays because we don’t have real-people jobs. But for those feeling a bit garfield this A.M., feel free to wallow in other people’s most hated things. Every Monday!

Sometimes, when I close my eyes really tight, it’s the mid-90s again and pop-punk rules. Then I wake up dudes like this are famous and I get way bummed out. As if to alleviate my seasonal punk rock depression, Trunk are reuniting this week. For one show. January 2. Red Rooster. Burlington. It’s going to be awesome and will make you want to light your stupid cut-offs on fire and buy a nice pair of unnecessarily baggy shorts and a skateboard.

My knowledge of Trunk comes exclusively from dubbed cassette tapes, which is a pretty romantic way to remember any band. They were just hitting their stride when I was finishing middle school, and as a result, they were one of the first punk bands I heard that made me question my devotion to Korn and musical theatre. They ruled.

The band formed in 1992 for a high school talent show. After two cassette releases, they signed to legendary local label Raw Energy Records, where they released Beaned Up Polkas, Yank to Release, and Throwin’ the Horns. Trunk played over 500 shows, toured North America a bunch of times, made three music videos, and starred in commercials for Tiger Toys and Ontario Hydro (easily their greatest achievement). They broke up 1999 without an official farewall show, having opened for bands like Rancid, Propagandhi, Good Riddance, MXPX, The Get Up Kids, DOA, SNFU, Day-Glo Abortions and Gob, and cementing their place in Canada’s pop-punk pantheon.

They went on to play in bands like Somehow Hollow and Grade. And now they’re back for one more show with no cover. Basically, it’s a steal of a deal and it’s going to rule. Peep the Facebook invite here, and peep bassist Jerry Filice’s answers to our awesome questions here:

Worst day-job
Dishwasher at the Keg. I hated every fucking second of it. Smashed shit rather than washing it, hid utensils, threw out dishes, and one night I even cut myself so I could leave early.

Worst haircut
I’m not afraid to admit that for 2 days, I had a “swoop“. Terrible. I’d never been more uncomfortable in my life.

Worst subculture
It’s a tie between dog park people that form cliques at the park, and heavily devoted Starbucks patrons. Why do people that drink Starbucks need that little hand protector on the cup? Is Tim Horton’s coffee somehow colder, or do we Timmy’s drinkers just have less asshole-like hands?

Worst date
The worst date I’ve ever been on is a date that I never actually went on. I went past my usual comfort level and actually approached a girl when I worked at the mall a lifetime ago. I asked her out and she said yes. Then 5 minutes before leaving to pick her up on the night of the date, she called and said she couldn’t go because she forgot she had her cousins birthday party. Oddly enough, she didn’t reschedule with me.

Worst invention
The “Fox Puck“. What a piece of shit! I always thought it had an infrared sensor that the camera picked up for all of our optically challenged friends south of the boarder. But no, just LED lights! ACTUAL lights IN the puck! I saw one on eBay a couple months ago. So not only was it a stupid invention, but it was also a total piece of shit.

Worst purchase
The Goober Patrol CD Vacation. It was the end of my So Cal punk innocence. Up until that point, if it had a Fat Wreck Chords or Epitaph logo on it, I would buy it without a listen. This record was a pile, and forced me to begin to question everything in life. I still hate it to this day, yet keep it in my collection as a reminder.

Worst way to die
In any situation where Jazz is playing. Fuck do I hate Jazz.

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BEST FRIDAYS: with Jeff Rosenstock of Bomb the Music Industry! and Quote Unquote Records

Posted on December 26, 2008 by

What’s Worst Mondays without a dark and villainous foil? That’s the kind of thinking that forced us to create Best Fridays. So for all our weekend warrior brethren: Wooooo, T-G-I-F, right? Herein we hope to bookend your awful week by quizzing our previous Worst Mondays candidate about slightly more encouraging things. Every Friday!

Alright, this hasn’t been our busiest week. But it was Christmas and we started a record label, so between all the turkey and family and free rock and roll, I don’t feel too bad about the state of things over here.

But we didn’t forget about our friend Jeff Rosenstock and his pretty much the best answers to this crap so far. Plus, we stole his idea for an online-only donation-based record label. Seriously, these are the best answers so far. Everyone else, time to step your game up.

Best injury
About a year ago my friend Brett from the Riot Before came to visit New York right when I moved to Brooklyn. I parked my van with all of my stuff in a nicer neighborhood and longboarded to the bar where we met up. While jumping between bars, we rode the longboard together in the rain and everything was fine. When we got to the next bar, I bought Brett a 32 oz. beer but he’s a baby so kept pouring his beer in my cup. When I left it was pretty cold so I decided to skate to the train station instead was a good compromise between skating home drunk or walking to the train station in the cold. I actually made it just about to the train station fine, but when going up the curb I flew in the air and landed on my wrist. Since I was pretty hammered I didn’t feel anything until I woke up at 6 in the morning because the pain was so crazy. It was either a fracture or a sprain, but since I didn’t have health insurance I just bought a 15 dollar brace at the pharmacy, and tried my best to stay off it ’cause I had a tour coming up. However, I couldn’t refrain from going to the bar without my brace and re-fucking my wrist while high fiving someone who had the same sweatshirt as me, bringing me back to the brace for another two weeks. Dumb dumb.

Best historical figure
Is Doug E. Doug a historical figure?

Best shirt
For my kickball team a few years ago, I took a few hours to painstakingly craft a stencil of Karl Malone‘s face for our jerseys (we were Karl Malone and the Mailmen)… the stencil was super thin though, so after like two shirts it looked kinda distorted and gnarly. I got one of the least gnarly shirts and I would wear it every day if it didn’t say “666” on the back of it… I still wear it quite a bit though.

Best thing to do with $20
What is there besides skipping lots of meals, not eating anything but rice, walking or riding your bike instead of taking the subway, getting your music off the internet, asking your friends to put you on guest lists for their five-dollar shows, then spending that twenty dollars on tipping well on overpriced bottles and cans of beers at bars in Brooklyn? I guess the best way to spend $20 is taking your girlfriend out to dinner or buying your buddies a drink. You owe ’em.

Best party trick
I can play songs on my face by slapping my hollowed out cheeks. I can also fit my fist in my mouth.

Best monster
In all honesty I thought that the monster that chased Janice Ian from Mean Girls down the subway tunnel in Cloverfield and then dug into her back and made her eyes bleed and her body explode was pretty fucking bad ass. I also thought the smoke monster on Lost was pretty cool, but we need more action from it!

Best question ever asked of you in an interview. Now answer it:
From Scott Heisel, regarding Alternative Press‘s 100 Bands You Need To Know in 2007:

“Some meaningful quotes from you about the band—your sound; what makes you special; why you do what they do; which is cooler, monkeys or ninjas; stuff like that. Just responding via e-mail is A-OK for this; no need to set up a phone interview. The more in-depth you can be, the better.”

My answer, circa January 2007: [Ed’s note: The following is hilarious, poignant, unedited and far, far, far too long to be on the front page of a blog. Read it.] More… »

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WORST MONDAYS: with Jeff Rosenstock of Bomb the Music Industry! and Quote Unquote Records

Posted on December 22, 2008 by

At JUICEBOX HQ, we’ve never really had a case of the Mondays because we don’t have real-people jobs. But for those feeling a bit garfield this A.M., feel free to wallow in other people’s most hated things. Every Monday!

Well, this worked out nicely. In case you haven’t noticed, we launched a record label on Friday. Then we were worried if we’d have a good Worst Monday/Best Friday this week. Then Jeff Rosenstock got back to us. Besides playing in a sweet punk rock band, Rosenstock is also the dude behind Quote Unquote Records, the label we blatantly stole the model for Juicebox Recording Co. from. So, thanks!

Rosenstock’s musical career starts with the Arrogant Sons of Bitches, a ska-punk band from Long Island. They were pretty good. Then Rosenstock started making music by himself on his laptop and putting it online for free. This is when shit got real. Under the Bomb the Music Industry! moniker, Rosenstock’s weird laptop-punk rock got really interesting. Careening between sounding like Rx Bandits and Neutral Milk Hotel, Rosenstock was making some really exciting music. And he was releasing it in a (as far as we all know) brand-new way: online, for free, and with a sugested PayPal donation. The idea worked. Kids downloaded the band’s music from Quote Unquote Records’ website, they donated enough money to keep the whole thing afloat, and Rosenstock began touring Bomb the Music Industry! as a weird punk rock collective that only sometimes played with a drummer.

Since then, Bomb the Music Industry! has recorded an album with live drums (!!!) and Quote Unquote has released a shitton of great music by bands like Cheeky, the Riot Before, and We Versus the Shark. And, as of last week, they’ve now influenced at least one group of people to totally rip them off. Kudos, bros.

Worst day-job
My least favorite day job was this one temping job I had at an investment banking firm. I know that sounds interesting as hell to begin with, but my duties were particularly thrilling. My job was to push around a soda cart and make sure that each conference room had two cokes, three diet cokes, two snapples, etc. Once or twice a day I would also refill the refrigerators where these sodas were coming from. Pretty sweet, right? A lot of my job consisted of sitting down and doing nothing and staring at the wall. My supervisor who I was sharing a workspace with told me I couldn’t use the internet, so I was relegated to reading the extensions on the wall for hours until my soda cart round came up. One day I was working and there was a newspaper on the desk, so I was reading through it instead of staring at the wall. After about an hour of reading the paper and being told that there was no work to do I clarified, “Well, it’s okay if I read this paper then while I’m waiting to do the soda cart thing,” to which my supervisor said, “Actually, no it isn’t.” When I said, “Okay, well I just really think it isn’t useful for me to sit and stare into space for eight hours,” I was given the exciting task of taking Windex and wiping down all the cabinet doors in the entire office. That job shiiiiiiit.

Worst haircut
I think that the worst haircut I ever had was when I was a kid and I asked my barber to spike my hair, but my brother had already had spiked hair and I guess someone didn’t want us to have the same haircut so my barber gave me what was called a “parrot spike”, which is apparently when your hair is slicked back. So I looked like a fucking asshole eight-year-old, but I guess since I don’t have a photo of that one here’s a photo of me making a decision as an adult to look like a fucking asshole twenty-year-old.

Worst subculture
The worst subculture ever takes place in Brooklyn and can kinda be described as when hipsters hate hipsters. Basically a bunch of kids who are super snobby and pretentious about the music that they like and I guess they feel so guilty about being shitty that they spend a lot of their time making fun of people who act like that. There is an easy cure which is simply being more open minded about the things other people like and not being an asshole if you think their taste is lame. This also applies to white kids who have helped to gentrify their neighborhoods complaining about gentrification as well as college graduates complaining about college kids.

Worst date
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been on a date ’cause I am a pretty bad socializer. One time I was hanging out with my girlfriend at our apartment on a cold day when we were getting cozy in bed and I put on City of God which is based on a true story and has a lot of kids getting murdered. She wasn’t too pumped.

Worst invention
Condoms. Guys, am I right?

Worst purchase
When I was on tour this summer I bought a bunch of keyboards at Guitar Center which they assured me I could return within 60 days (one keyboard) or two years (other keyboard). I bought them just to fuck around with every intention to return them when I got home as I couldn’t afford them, but I was lied to about the return policy and man, I could really use that eight hundred bucks right now more than I can use a heavy ass midi controller with weighted keys and drumpads that don’t do anything. Also, any miniature guitar I’ve ever bought has been a pretty fucking stupid purchase.

Worst way to die
How does pain work? Do you stop feeling pain once it’s just so crazy that you can’t deal with it? If pain is always pain then I think that having your skin peeled off and being eaten alive would be pretty bad. If not though, then getting buried alive would be awful especially cause you’d have to be alive for a while before you die in a small box of your piss and shit. Drowning also seems pretty terrible ’cause breathing rules shit.

Worst Mondays/Best Fridays | | 9 Comments »

Juicebox Recording Co. is Go

Posted on December 19, 2008 by

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In an attempt to get the music we love in this city heard by more people, we have started a record label. Except we are cheap and poor, which, coupled with our youthful technological resourcefulness, means it’s an online-only, donation-based record label. It’s called Juicebox Recording Co. What’s up.

Our first release is a compilation of bands we like from Toronto. Some of the big-money shit on it includes unreleased songs from the Flatliners, Saint Alvia, This is Picture (ex-Mare), the Little Millionaires (ex-Bombs Over Providence), and the Wooden Sky. It’s really great. And is kind of all over the map genre-wise. Which we think is cool.

As for all the online/donation babble, we basically think that awesome music should be readily available to awesome people, who can then make up their own mind as to what that music is worth (monetarily) to them. We stole the whole idea from Quote Unquote Records, who rule and are so punk it kills me. Thanks, dudes.

We hope you enjoy these twenty songs and you tell all your friends all about how much fun you had downloading and listening to them. Music is so fucking great.

Enter the Recording Co. to download your own spectacular, personalized copy now.

Old Stuff | | 6 Comments »

BEST FRIDAYS: with Todd Taylor

Posted on December 19, 2008 by

What’s Worst Mondays without a dark and villainous foil? That’s the kind of thinking that forced us to create Best Fridays. So for all our weekend warrior brethren: Wooooo, T-G-I-F, right? Herein we hope to bookend your awful week by quizzing our previous Worst Mondays candidate about slightly more encouraging things. Every Friday!

Todd Taylor is responsible for one the best fanzines ever, Razorcake. And he edited Flipside. And he wrote some books. Clearly a good dude. Onwards and upwards!

Best injury
I’ve been scalped by going through a windshield. I was ejected from the car, then hit by oncoming traffic. I was thirteen.

I broke my leg so violently skating a pool so that when I looked down, my foot was pointing in the opposite direction. That was two years ago.

I broke my pinkie toe playing crab soccer. High school.

Take your pick.

Best historical figure
Got to go with Gandhi. Motherfucker took no shit but didn’t hit anyone. And unlike Martin Luther King, Jr., he didn’t have the Deacons of Defense behind him when he was preaching nonviolence.

Best shirt
The one I find myself gravitating to is Blöödhag‘s “The Sooner You Go Deaf, The More Time You Have to Read” t-shirt. Fits well and condenses my world view nicely.

Best thing to do with $20
For $20, that pretty much covers an evening of DIY punk rock, a record directly from a touring band, and some bagged beers. That shit’s tight.

Best party trick
I’ve never, ever been out-burped. On a good day, I can do the alphabet.

Best monster
I wholeheartedly recommend The Flesh Eaters. The big-ass monster at the end that’s little more than Nazi-made protoplasm activated by electricity and bad intentions is badass and hilarious at the same time.

Best question ever asked of you in an interview. Now answer it:
Actually, Sean Carswell (co-Razorcake dude) and I were getting interviewed once and Kat Jetson, the interviewer, asked, “If you were a roller coaster, what would you be named?”

Without waiting a second, he replied, “Dangling Fury.”

Worst Mondays/Best Fridays | | 8 Comments »

Sam’s Weekly Attempt To Make “Punk” Bigger In The Sidebar Tag Cloud, Vol. 4: Virgins

Posted on December 18, 2008 by

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This is Sam’s weekly column where he writes about a band he likes and tries to make the punk tag bigger in the sidebar tag cloud. Noble pursuits, dude.

Holy shit you have no idea how hard it is to find pictures of a band named “Virgins”. First of all, they’re not the only one. Secondly, that doesn’t even matter because you’ll never find a picture of either on this damned perv-web. Even searching for some combination of “virgins” and “fest 7”, where I first saw the band, gave me nothing but pictures of Oasis at this year’s Virgin Fest in Toronto. So that’s my day. This is a picture of Sam Johnson, the band’s singer guy, shouting around in his old band, New Mexican Disaster Squad. But just imagine he’s playing slightly more melodic pop-punk-cum-classic-hardcore instead of full-speed-ahead ’80s hardcore, and it will work just fine for you.

So Virgins is Sam’s post-NMDS band, and, not surprisingly, they rule. Where NMDS sounded like Black Flag, Virgins kind of sound like None More Black covering the first half of Minor Threat’s discography. I loved NMDS, and I think it’s even better. Because I just love pop-punk that doesn’t make me feel wimpy. Their debut full-length, Miscarriage, is a 1000% awesome songs recorded by the guy from Lords, so you know it sounds spacious and dirty. It’s got songs about how Religious America is crazy and how Jim Jones was crazy. It’s fast and it’s catchy and it’s gritty and it’s occasionally heavy but not in a real heavy way more just in the sense that it’s got guitars and a bass and drums and is infused with a love of the Damned who I guess weren’t that heavy but whatever it’s awesome all the time.

Old Stuff | | 4 Comments »

WORST MONDAYS: with Todd Taylor

Posted on December 15, 2008 by

At JUICEBOX HQ, we’ve never really had a case of the Mondays because we don’t have real-people jobs. But for those feeling a bit garfield this A.M., feel free to wallow in other people’s most hated things. Every Monday!

It’s always a pleasure to interact with dudes like Todd Taylor, the people who prove that punk rock, with its “ethics” and “ideals,” doesn’t end when you leave high school. Todd Taylor is the proof that you can operate completely outside of mainstream media culture and live. Happily. And contribute to a valuable, viable culture that you actually believe in. For Taylor, that’s punk rock. We’re in.

Taylor is kind of the punk rock journalist guy. He was the managing editor of Flipside, the Los Angeles-based punk fanzine/bible, until it shuttered in 2001. Looking to keep the dream alive, he and Sean Carswell founded Razorcake that same year (for some reason not going with the way-awesomer name Barbed Wire Asshole). Since then, Razorcake has become an institution all its own — a bi-monthly fanzine, a record label, and a partnership with Gorsky Press all keep Taylor and Carwell pretty busy.

Somehow, Taylor has also managed to find time to publish a collection of some his best interviews in Born to Rock and edit a collection of fiction called Shirley Wins, his first novel. He does what he does well, and he does it all through completely independent means and channels. Which rules. We salute you, Mr. Taylor. Now, your turn.

Worst day-job
When I first moved to L.A., I worked for a temp agency. Got a gig at Bank of America Business Credit. Went to work before the sun came up, got off after it came down as the main desk secretary because I’m a fast typist. On the up side, I got to see some yuppie holiday freakouts. A guy broke his hand by karate chopping an elevator door because it didn’t open quickly enough. Ties look like nooses on me and people can tell.

Worst haircut
I’ve only had two non-family-member-doing-it haircuts in my life. Pretty basic shit. Of the two non-family ones, I came out of the hair salon like one of the Thompson Twins. The lady.

Worst subculture
Pretty much any one where I’m greeted by, “What the fuck you looking at, faggot?” which is quite a few of them.

Worst date
I forget if it was prom or homecoming, but the nice lady I lost my virginity to that night said she was sleepy afterwards, so I went home at about 10 p.m. She got back in her car, went to the casino we visited for dinner, then had sex with the comedian we’d seen earlier.

Worst invention
Capitalism appropriated through Social Darwinism into becoming the meanest fucking way to take money from people ever conceived. Or nuclear power/warfare. That turned out to be a real pickle. Third choice would be the for-home combination hot dog bun warmer, hot dog heater. Boil the hot dogs in a pan, put the bun on the lid.

Worst purchase
I thought it was a great purchase at the time. 1972 Ford Courier pickup, mustard, roof rack with tennis balls at the end, so I wouldn’t puncture my skull when I got in. Loved it until it developed a phantom electrical problem. I had a gun pulled on me in Inglewood because the backfire was mistaken as gunfire. Months later, I was driving down the freeway, it backfired the rear of the muffler clean off, the back pressure started an engine fire, and I just sat there for a couple of minutes on the side of the freeway, defeated. I put out the flames right before they’d burned through the fuel line, seconds away from a CHiPs moment.

Worst way to die
When I was a kid, my brother and I would hide from each other and scare and hit one another. One of my best shots was picking the lock on the bathroom door and waiting to see his elbows go up when he was shampooing his hair. That way, I knew he’d have his eyes closed and hands out of the way. I punched him full force through the shower curtain. Probably the best shot I ever got on him. The worst was when I decided to hide in a cedar hope chest. I got in and it locked. Perfect coffin for a kid. About three hours later, my brother, who was making a model plane in the garage, came looking for me and I’d almost asphyxiated. Still have a hard time with cedar and watching baseball on TV. There was a Cardinals game on that I could see through the keyhole. I really thought I was going to die.

Worst Mondays/Best Fridays | | 18 Comments »

Sam’s Weekly Attempt To Make “Punk” Bigger In The Sidebar Tag Cloud, Vol. 3: Whiskey Trench

Posted on December 11, 2008 by

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This is Sam’s weekly column where he writes about a band he likes and tries to make the punk tag bigger in the sidebar tag cloud. Noble pursuits, dude.

Whiskey Trench are this awesome band from Montreal that I first got into when they played all the Saint Catherines‘ Quebec release shows. I was interviewing Hugo from S.C. and I couldn’t really understand what he was saying because I was on a shitty phone and he’s got a pretty thick Quebecois accent and I’m sort of an asshole. So he was talking about this band and it took me a bunch of really intense Googlefying variations of the syllables I was able to decipher before I realized the band was “Whiskey Trench”, which is obviously an insanely rad name. Since then I’ve been convinced that they’re one of the best punk bands in Montreal even though I’ve never seen them live. I was reminded of this fact today when I stumbled on If You Make It, which is basically the best website on the planet. If you check out their section of free (awesome) albums, you can download Whiskey Trench’s The Good Sun, a fast, gritty, super-rad and out-of-print 7″originally released by Dead Broke Rekerds. It’s really good. Go, now.

Old Stuff | | 1 Comment »

Sam’s Weekly Attempt To Make “Punk” Bigger In The Sidebar Tag Cloud, Vol. 2: Iron Chic

Posted on December 4, 2008 by

null This is Sam’s weekly column where he writes about a band he likes and tries to make the punk tag bigger in the sidebar tag cloud. Noble pursuits, dude.

There was this band called Latterman that ruled. They broke up because they’re clearly dinks who don’t care that I never got to see them play. I’ve forgiven them, though, because everything they recorded is fucking perfect and I love it. Anyway, it turns out I’m the dink ’cause I missed seeing Iron Chic, the new, awesome, ex-Latterman band, at the Fest this year. I don’t know where I was or why I wasn’t in fist-pumping attendance, but I wasn’t. And for that, I’m a loser.

Thankfully, the band has seen fit to record a demo and put it on the internet so that total knobs like me can still rock out to their totally sweet and very Latterman-esque tunes. You can download the whole thing for free here. It’s amazing. It’s like One Man Army covering Latterman songs. Or like a great ’77 punk rock band growing sweet beards and playing power pop songs. If you like being in love and driving cars and hanging out with friends and rock and roll and riding your bike and reading books and drinking coffee and heavily distorted bass you will be into this. It’s great great great and I hope next time I’m in a town where they’re playing I don’t just forget and go watch Dillinger Four instead.

Old Stuff | | 1 Comment »

Sam’s Weekly Attempt To Make “Punk” Bigger In The Sidebar Tag Cloud, Vol. 1: Orphan Choir

Posted on November 27, 2008 by

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If you love tags (the little words that get added to the bottom of blog posts to facilitate searching through the site) as much as I do, you spend a lot of time checking out the tag cloud in our sidebar. For a while, “punk” was the biggest one in there, indicating that I write way too much about the same thing all the time. Well, no more. Our good friend Alejandro Alcoba has been on some kind of magic streak of writing stuff and getting cool interviews with people who make these things I don’t really care about called “comics”. And now “comics” is bigger than “obama”, “porn”, and even “wrestling” in that little tag cloud. This has spurred me to start the weekly music column-thing I’ve been talking about trying to do for months, and given it both a purpose and a name. Thanks, Alejandro. You and your picture books are going down.

So: This is Sam’s weekly column where he writes about a band he likes and tries to make the punk tag bigger in the sidebar tag cloud. Noble pursuits, dude.

Orphan Choir are this awesome band from Windsor, Ontario who sound like Small Brown Bike but way more like they’re from Windsor. They just posted three new songs on their MySpace which you should probably listen to if you like No Idea Records, American Steel, or rock music. “New Rituals” sounds like that kick-ass first track from the Hold Steady’s Boys and Girls in America before it turns into a Jawbreaker song, and “Pictures of Saints” is as powerful as anything on the last (awesome) Constantines record. These guys play on December 13 at Rancho Relaxo in Toronto with Horses, and the day before in Waterloo (but do any of you seriously live in Waterloo?), so you should go see them. Horses rule, too. Good night! Good column!

Old Stuff | | 3 Comments »

BEST FRIDAYS: with Ian Stanger of the Fullblast

Posted on August 1, 2008 by

What’s Worst Mondays without a dark and villainous foil? That’s the kind of thinking that forced us to create Best Fridays. So, for all our weekend warrior brethren: Wooooo, T-G-I-F, right? Herein we hope to bookend your awful week by quizzing our previous Worst Mondays candidate about slightly more encouraging things. Every Friday!

So for those of us who cared, the Fullblast reunion/final show happened this Wednesday in Toronto. It was amazing, and at the very end, after playing a song called “Lee Majors, Now There’s A Man In His Prime” with almost every former member of the band on stage at the same time (there were a lot of guitar players over the years), this girl in front of me turned to her boyfriend and said “Fuck, I think I’m going to cry”. It was kind of lame, but I kind of understood. But I’m not cool.

As we outlined on Monday, the Fullblast were never a genre-defining band. They were just a really awesome band that a lot us really loved. Which meant that this reunion/final show (they broke up quick, no final show, kids bummed, etc) felt like some unreal high school reunion where everyone’s actually cool and the music kicks ass. I wrote a really hyperbolic review of the show when I got home that night for Exclaim!. Oh, and Ian Stanger is a cool guy who sings good. He looked like he was living out some weird punk rock movie-of-the-week all night, and it was well deserved and totally amazing.

Best injury
In all our years in the band, I managed to evade significant injury on tour, or, more impressively, on stage. We like to go a little crazy, which means there’s usually flying bodies or headstocks. After four years, I finally took my first headstock to the head in Lake Orion, Michigan. Our bass player, Bri, slammed his headstock down on the top of my head. I collapsed, crawled to the drum riser and sat there to get my bearings… Just as I was about to get back up to continue the song, our guitar player Darran cracked me in the exact same spot with his guitar. After four years of flawless coordination and choreography, I took two ridiculous shots to the head in one set. And the set ruled.

Best historical figure
I was trying to think of something remotely witty to say here, but I’m drawing blanks. I’d probably have to agree with the CBC in their 100 Best Canadians winner Tommy Douglas and his national public healthcare system. It seems to be one of the defining characteristics of life in Canada, so lets go with that.

Best shirt
I’d say the first Lifetime shirt I ever got would be my favourite. A good friend of mine from Hawaii brought it as a present a couple of years ago after she saw them play in New York. The combination of it being one of my favourite bands, the sentimental value of a thoughtful gift, and the fact that it fits like a glove. Good shirt!

Best thing to do with $20
This is complicated, because you can do a bunch of little things with $20, or blow it all on one thing. I’d say my $20 would include a Blue Jays game, Pizza and a bag of Sour Patch Kids.

Best party trick
I don’t have any particular party tricks or talents, but my best friends from high school have the uncanny ability to slap one another in the face harder than any human should be slapped. I think the record for slaps is 211. Also, for anyone out there who is a fan of party-slapping, check out a video on youtube — this kid gets one-slapped and knocked right out. It’s unreal.

Best monster
That’s easy, its Sully from Monsters Inc.

Best question ever asked of you in an interview. Now answer it:
I don’t think we did enough interviews to ever get past the typical questions like “Where did you get your band name from?”, or “What’s the best part of being on tour?”. So instead, I’ve asked my friend Sprack, who bussed in for the show to ask me a question related to the Fullblast.

Question: “Who is your least favourite ex-member of the Fullblast?”.
Answer: Wow, really stirring the pot Sprack. I’m going to take the safe way out of this one and say I love all of them equally.

Old Stuff | | 1 Comment »

‘LOOK, A VIDEO’ SATURDAYS: Hard Core JUICEBOXdotcom

Posted on July 5, 2008 by

We`ve been talking this shit up for the last three months, but our Hard Core Logo Tribute Night will actually be happening on August 14, 2008. Revue Cinema. Bands to be announced, but our boy Bruce McDonald will be doing a post-screening Q+A, and we`ll be watching his personal print of the movie. Basically, it`s going to be the best night of our lives. Full announcement here in the next week, so don`t tell anyone yet.

Old Stuff | | 1 Comment »

BEST FRIDAYS: with Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats

Posted on July 4, 2008 by

What’s Worst Mondays without a dark and villainous foil? That’s the kind of thinking that forced us to create Best Fridays. So, for all our weekend warrior brethren: Wooooo, T-G-I-F, right? Herein we hope to bookend your awful week by quizzing our previous Worst Mondays candidate about slightly more encouraging things. Every Friday!

Welcome back to the program with everyone’s favourite straight edge hardcore kid with a cool haircut, Liam Cormier! Sometime I wish my hair could look like that. But we all have our demons. Mine is being incapable or growing a cool, floppy, dirty-looking mohawk. What’s that? You’re not here for me? Or, right. Cancer Bats kick ass. And so:

Best injury
I split my forehead open at a show in Saskatoon. I was swinging the mic around and caught myself in the head. We still finished the set but I bled everywhere for 40 minutes. For a big sissy like myself, I felt pretty tough and now I have a bad-ass scar above my eye.

Best historical figure
Louis Riel is the biggest bad-ass in Canadian history. He led two revolts against the Canadian government fighting for Metis rights and he established Manitoba. Get your Google on.

Best shirt
The best shirt I’ve ever owned is a limited edition Mike Giant shirt that he made for an art show in Toronto. It was given to me by a friend who had two and I was so so stoked. Mike Giant does a ton of rad shit for Rebel 8 as well that’s a lot easier to track down.

Best thing to do with $20
Put it in the bank. I am broke as a joke.

Best party trick
My friend Olly from Johnny Truant and myself DJ’d a party recently in Brighton UK and we had that shit bumping. We were mixing Rage into Beastie Boys, Damien Marley into Rolling Stones. We had the dance floor going crazy! It was the best trick I ever pulled off.

Best monster
Dracula hands down. Not really a monster but probably the coolest piece of evil you could find out there.

Best question ever asked of you in an interview. Now answer it:
This question is the most original I’ve been asked. I’ll give that award to you.

Worst Mondays/Best Fridays | | 4 Comments »

WORST MONDAYS: with Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats

Posted on June 30, 2008 by

At JUICEBOX HQ, we’ve never really had a case of the Mondays because we don’t have real-people jobs. But for those feeling a bit garfield this A.M., feel free to wallow in other people’s most hated things. Every Monday!

worst3.jpg

Liam Cormier is an intense and cool dude. He sings / says “yeah!” in Cancer Bats, easily one of the most popular bands currently playing heavy shit in Canada. Started in 2004 with long-hair dude Scott Middleton (ex-At the Mercy of Inspiration), the band played a ton of awesome shows and then put out the appropriately awesome Birthing the Giant in 2006, a record that kicked out some of the finest Entombed-style jams this side of Sweden. The record led to a bunch of huge tours, some fine press, and the good fortune of being featured on the same episode of MTV Live as me.

liam.jpg

This year, the band released Hail Destroyer, a record that basically got huge props from everyone everywhere and then made it on to the Polaris Long List, which is a pretty sweet deal since Polaris made a habit of shutting out heavy bands for its first two years. While glowing reviews from the Canadian music press is one thing, a feature on JUICEBOXdotcom is quite another. Ladies and gentlemen, the jewel in Liam Cormier’s hardcore crown:

Worst day-job
I don’t really get bummed out at jobs. Like, driving a fork lift can be awesome, you just have to know how to make it awesome. At the same time, any job would be the worst job. Damn the Man!

Worst haircut
One time I was finishing off a hair cut; I had a set of clippers with no guard, just getting some stray hairs by my ears, when someone opened the bathroom door and bumped my arm, shaving a bald spot into the side of my head. The worst! I wore a hat for a month.

Worst subculture
Neo Nazis. I fucking hate Neo Nazis.

Worst date
The day the Challenger exploded is a date that we will all remember. I was five and the news came on during Leave It To Beaver. Some serious shit.

Worst invention
The txt msg is both the worst and the best invention. It’s cheap and easy, but it is killing the English language and making us all dumber.

Worst purchase
This is another best/worst situation. We’re in Europe right now and I borrowed my friends cell phone to call my girlfriend. Which was the best! But when I finished the half hour call he told me how much it was going to cost and that was the worst! I had just spent 75 euros to call my girlfriend for 30 minutes. No regrets though, I love talking to my girl. Awesome and shitty all rolled into one.

Worst way to die
I would hate to die a virgin.

Worst Mondays/Best Fridays | | 3 Comments »

REVIEW: Monotonix – Live in Toronto, June 14, 2008

Posted on June 17, 2008 by

monotonix.jpg
Photo by Jade Maravillas

The honest truth is that I heard Body Language, the debut EP from these Israeli monsters/rockers, way before I actually had any idea who they were. It showed up on my desk with about a blagillion other records, I listened to it, and I thought it was really good. Kind of Sabbath-meets-Fugazi-meets-twenty-fuzzboxes. Good jams for the kids. As it turns out, this isn’t how most people first hear Monotonix. If I read blogs, apparently I would know this: Monotonix are basically the most insane live band since Iggy and the Stooges. Or at least, they really want to you to think that, and for most of their set, you almost do.

Hailing from Tel Aviv, these guys were in town for NXNE and played something like five shows. Which, after you’ve seen one, seems completely insane. At this, their final Toronto show of the weekend, the band packed Sneaky Dee’s, set up on the floor, and started their set by ripping the video projector off the ceiling. Legend has it these guys are banned from every venue in their hometown, which is why they’re here all the time now, and it kind of makes sense. Vocalist Ami Shalev pushed through the crowd, stole people’s beers, spit them back at confused de-beered dudes, took all the garbage from the bathroom, threw it in the air, and then ended up on top of the crowd for the set’s entire second half. The drummer also concluded the set held aloft by the crowd, and I think I was also holding up a guitar player at one point, but I didn’t have my glasses on, so who really knows. Musically, the band is a mess, but who cares? Monotonix are basically all hype and schtick, but the hype is mostly well-desereved and the schtick kicks ass. It’s not Iggy and it’s not GG, but it’s a fine fucking way to get kicked around on a Saturday night.

Hits & Misses, Live | | 1 Comment »

REVIEW: Nerf Herder – IV

Posted on June 15, 2008 by

iv.jpg I always pop a huge double-boner for this band whenever I hear about them ‘cause a) their name is a total Star Wars homage, and b) they’re the ones responsible for the theme to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Man, that’s a good theme. I think it was like the third thing I ever learned to play on guitar.

Anyway, if you’re paying attention: Star Wars! And Buffy! That’s already a huge amount of dork points in Nerf Herder’s favour. Too bad IV is like the single most derivative record of all time. If you’re gonna be all goofy and mix your punk with your pop and write songs about high school reunions and give them titles like “I’m Not A Loser,” you better be the Descendents or maybe a really good Descendents cover band. You know when you’re 16 and you’re pouring water into your parents’ wine bottle and then your parents have a little soirée and your dad is all, “What the dickens is wrong with this wine?” Imagine the Descendents are the untouched wine bottle, see, and then this Nerf Herder record is the same bottle after you’ve diluted it with all the… uh… you know what, I think you get the drift of what I’m going for here. In conclusion, Milo Goes To College is such a fucking sweet record, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is still totally bitchin’.

Hits & Misses, Music | | 2 Comments »

BEST FRIDAYS!: with Bruce LaBruce

Posted on June 6, 2008 by

What’s Worst Mondays without a dark and villainous foil? That’s the kind of thinking that forced us to create Best Fridays. So, for all our weekend warrior brethren: Wooooo, T-G-I-F, right? Herein we hope to bookend your awful week by quizzing our previous Worst Mondays candidate about slightly more encouraging things. Every Friday!

We return again to Bruce LaBruce. While he’s probably increased in value on the grand scale of awesomeness since Monday, we won’t blab about him again. And not just because we’re lazy.

Best injury
When I was about ten I was playing with home-made slingshots with my hateful older brother one weekend. They were made of mason jar rings. When I was aiming one, I let go of the wrong end and the elastic snapped back and hit my right eye. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced.

My iris – or something – filled up with blood and all I could see was white. I thought I was going to be blind, so I was wailing. My mother said, “Don’t worry, you’ll still have the other eye,” which made me wail even more.

On the way to the hospital we had to stop for gas and a bee got into the car, so my mother had to stand there at the gas station with me wailing while my father shooed it out. It was quite a spectacle.

At the hospital they decided not to operate, but instead I had to lay flat on my back for a week, with both eyes bandaged, and not move. This was very difficult for a ten-year old. It was kind of spooky, and I think it scarred me for life, although I did gain back all the sight in the eye. Now a cataract has formed around the scar.

Best historical figure
Oscar Wilde.

Best shirt
My Raspberry Reich t-shirts (modeled here by my Belgian friend Fred).

Best thing to do with $20
Poppers!

Best party trick
One-handed cartwheel. You can see me do it at the end of my movie Hustler White.

Best monster
Otto! You can see him in my new melancholy gay zombie movie, Otto; or, Up with Dead People. Best monster not of my own creation: Liberace!

Best question ever asked of you in an interview
In a recent interview somebody asked me what my favourite Madonna song was and I said, “Where Life Begins.” Later in the same interview they asked me what was the most embarrassing question I’ve ever been asked was, and I said “What’s my favourite Madonna song.”

Worst Mondays/Best Fridays | | 1 Comment »

WORST MONDAYS: with Bruce LaBruce

Posted on June 2, 2008 by

At JUICEBOX HQ, we’ve never really had a case of the Mondays because we don’t have real-people jobs. But for those feeling a bit garfield this A.M., feel free to wallow in other people’s most hated things. Every Monday!

For our first edition, we give you Toronto’s own Bruce LaBruce. Well, he wasn’t born here, but we own him just the same. If you’ve never heard of him, you’re probably not all that great. But click and recognize.

In the ’80s, Bruce was a shit-kicking punk rocker, establishing the seminal queer punk zine J.D.s with fellow awesome punk G.B. Jones and publishing it until 1991, by which point they had left an indelible mark on both punk and gay culture. But besides being one of two dudes to literally define queercore (read: give it a name and a manifesto), LaBruce also writes some things, takes some pictures and makes some movies (I think we dropped out of the same film program!).

Since his 1991 feature debut, No Skin Off My Ass, he has become one of this country’s (and probably the world’s, we don’t travel much) most revered cult filmmakers, consistently finding totally new weird ways to combine porno, punk rock, and politics in movies like Hustler White and The Raspberry Reich. Oh, and he co-wrote Screeching Weasel’s “I Wanna Be A Homosexual” which is an “awesomely bad ass” song according to Sam, who really doesn’t care about movies.

Bruce is currently doing the festival thing with his new zombie flick, the most excellently titled Otto; or, Up with Dead People, which had its world premiere at Sundance this past January.

Anyway, we could write a lot of awesome things about Bruce LaBruce but this about hate.

JUICEBOX: Worst day-job
LaBRUCE: After high school for two summers I worked at the Bruce Nuclear Power Development Station to help put myself through university. There were three zones of contamination, so every time you went from a higher zone to a lower one you had to monitor your hands and feet in a machine in case you got a big dose. If you got a dose, they hosed you down. It was just like Silkwood. The second summer there I was on an odd-job crew, which meant occasionally cleaning toilets. So I guess the worst day-job I ever had was cleaning toilets at a nuclear power plant.

Worst haircut
In the eighties I sort of dabbled with New Wave before I went Punk, so I used to shave about an inch over each ear but have it long at the top and at the front. It was very, very gay. Fortunately I don’t have photos of it.

Worst subculture
Log Cabin Conservatives

Worst date
I used to date a hustler whom we called Joe the Ho. We were going out for some months, and one night he asked me to meet him at some crappy dive bar off Dundas Street East. I can’t remember the name of it but it was on about a par with the Canada Tavern. When I showed up he was with a kind of butch-looking girl whom he introduced as his girlfriend. I was totally plucked. I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend. To make things worse, she was in the army! He was supposed to be all lefty and anti-that. We got really drunk on cheap pitchers of beer and I ended up in a fight with him. Later he would become a neo-Nazi skinhead, but that’s another story. Still later, when he had AIDS, he used to work the Oak Leaf Steam Baths in a wheelchair! But that’s also another story.

Worst invention
CGI.

Worst purchase
Powder Blue Crushed Velvet Elephant Pants.

Worst way to die
Premature Burial!

Worst Mondays/Best Fridays | | 10 Comments »

REVIEW: Polar Bear Club – Sometimes Things Just Disappear

Posted on May 17, 2008 by

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While Polar Bear Club (the band) look nothing like Polar Bear Club (the righteous dudes from Atlantic City pictured above), their sound is consistently as rad as the huge Phillies fan on the far left, if not as as bad-ass as the rainbow speedo the guy in the middle is rocking. Formed from the ashes of Marathon, a thoroughly underrated post-punk outfit from Rochester, New York, PBC are already well on their way to taking over the world of bearded dudes and chicks with sailor tattoos. With one stellar EP under their belts (The Redder, the Better), this full-length debut comes at a time when The Kids are hungry for someone to take that grimy throne left empty by Hot Water Music in 2006 and really run with it. And Sometimes Things Just Disappear is ready to take that shit all the way to bank. The bank of post-hardcore. Which, everyone should know by now, actually has no money. But godamn, doesn’t it offer some fine feelings of satisfaction. (Red Leader)

Hits & Misses, Music | | 4 Comments »

TIGER BOP! Iggy Pop

Posted on May 14, 2008 by

When we here at JUICEBOXdotcom HQ are afforded the opportunity to talk to someone really actually famous, the first thing on our minds is HOT CELEB GOSSIP. In Tiger Bop!, we cut to the bone of what it means to be a sexy celeb who loves to shop and has secerts and crushes and advice for being in high school. OMGZ.

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What would a date with Iggy Pop be like?
You would dress in something very comfortable and form-fitting. You’d be well-fed and wined and listened to attentively. And then I would try to steer you into bed as quickly as possible.

Which hottie would you want to sing at your b-day party?
Pee Wee Herman.

If you could go shopping with any celeb, who would it be?
If I say Charlie Manson I’m going to get in trouble, so let’s just move along.

What’s your most embarrassing high school memory?
Not being elected class president. I’ve blocked out the most embarrassing moments. I have one, actually. The day I graduated junior high, it was in a beautiful upper-bourgeois neighborhood. I was so happy to be out of school and be free, I kind of got over excited, and as I walked with my friends through their beautiful neighborhood – I was bussed in – I opened up my loose-leaf binder, unclasped it, and flung the hundreds of pieces of paper all over the neighborhood. I instantly knew I had committed a faux pas. I had littered up this beautiful place. I think that was my first indication I wasn’t going to be one of them.

Fave celeb crush?
I don’t go for them that way. I size them up as far as how impressive they are as celebrities, but to me, a celebrity is like a salami. I’d really rather eat steak. Celebrities are poor substitutes for human beings.

Features, Tiger Bop! | | 2 Comments »