Friday, November 28, 2008

Punch Him In the Face!

Punch Him in the Face!

Slick suite and Pretty Lies
Greedy bastard with beady eyes
Sweaty palm and neurotic stare
Punch him in the face! Right there!

Trust no one, your on your own
Come and leave this world alone
And you know life is unfair
So punch him in the face! Right there!

Punch him in the face! Right there!
Don’t let him win without a fight
Punch him in the face! Right there!
He may win but he’s not right!

Copyright 2008 Robert G. Rose

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NOFX - Are they ever serious?

Yeah man... they are. But it sure is hard to conduct an interview with a whoopee cushion going off during or just before every answer. Fat Mike and El Hefe came to our studios EARLY (wow!) for their interview, all hung-over/sleep deprived. Or so they say.

I learned during the interview and afterward at the concert, that not necessarily will you get the straight dope from these guys. They don't give many interviews and I can see why. They looked bored stiff during the entire Q and A and it was the most difficult interview I've ever conducted. If they weren't in their 30s and 40s, someone could use the word brat. So we'll go with surly and mischievous.

I thought I was prepared, thought I was a fan who knew his stuff but obviously not, as one carefully crafted question after another simply met either a response of one word answers in the affirmative or negative, barely audible grunts, eye rolls or "I hate that" or just a pure look of boredom from Fat Mike (El Hefe however seemed quite amused at the Whoopee cushion and my cameraman was having a ball as well, he's Dominican and was like, "these crazy Gringos and their music").

But to be clear, even when he's being an ass, Fat Mike was cool. Mad cool. El Hefe was cool too, just working that Whoopee Cushion like it was a musical instrument (and in his hands, maybe it is).

Yet when I review the tapes, there were will be some gems in there. Like Fat Mike showing me his latest injury, a nasty bruise in the ribs from the previous night's show in Canada. The look of awe when describing the punk scene in Latin America and how they all "stick together" like their lives depend on it, which it does; Or when Fat Mike gets serious for a minute and talks about the state of the music industry and how despite their success these guys STILL don't live like Rock Stars, choosing the Holiday Inn over the latest $500 a night, minimalist design flavor of the year hotel, etc.

They did answer with some enthusiasm about the influence of American Latinos on Punk Music over the years, the difference in the West Coast and East Coast scene, El Hefe's horn work, the influence of Reggae, their admiration of Social Distortion. They would see Social Distortion perform live just when they were at the beginning stages of forming NOFX’s own politically controversial, sometimes just plain amusing sound.

* Hint to all future interviewers of this band. DO NOT rely on the bio posted on their website. Dig deeper. The online web bio is hard to decipher fact from fiction and seems designed to throw people off and most importantly amuse.

All in all, the dudes were gracious with my missteps, let me off the hook a couple of times when I totally goofed a question (I'll admit it, I was nervous, they seemed bored and the interview was a long time coming AND I am a big but relatively new fan of theirs). Fat Mike wasn't vicious when he could have been and corrected me nicely when telling me that "Separate the Church and Skate" was not about Skateboarding at all, but really about how corporate marketers and record labels had created Bubble Gum Punk and kids who were really not fans but liked to dress like punks, etc. etc. All stuff I knew already, but it’s cool to hear him say it on tape.

El Hefe referencing Fat Mike posing as a Jewish-Mexican American Latino the whole interview (I should have known!) later called me out on stage (check the video below) on my gullibility. I wasn't embarrassed but instead shocked to have made an impression. As a matter of fact the whole concert was amusing, they are genuinely very, very funny and intelligent band.

In the end, these guys are big time and I felt it. Yes, they protest like they aren't rock stars and I believe them when they say they stay at Holiday Inns when they travel, but when I congratulated them on selling out Irving Plaza for 3 nights solid, they were like, "dude, that's nothing". And they are right. I was just nervously twittering some stuff to fill their bored silence. These guys have sold 6 million records independently before myspace, itunes, youtube all that stuff made it much easier (or at least possible).

NOFX represents not only good music but the essence of West Coast punk. They struggled to make it against all odds, and made it but stay under their own terms and now are helping others do the same.

These guys have their own record label "Fat Wreck Chords", which has a ton of great punk bands on it (including Dillinger 4 and Flatliners, who opened for them and I'll get to in later posts). They led the anti-Bush movement in 2004, before the incredibly low approval ratings on Bush and the War. And they mix enough influences into their music to make any world music lover proud. They are not your run of the mill band or even punk artists. They are smart, obviously talented and above all funny as hell!

And yet gracious and cool. Even when you’re the butt of the joke, you still feel like, hey man; I could hang with these guys some weekend. Or maybe because they make you the butt of their jokes you feel that way.

But alas, they have sold millions of records, sell out concert halls, even stadiums and tons of merchandise and though Fat Mike says the Record Business sucks now and he DISCOURAGES young bands to get into music, he is very savvy, you can tell.

He did not agree to sign the legal releases before the interview, waiting to see if he liked it first and if the questioning wasn't just too stupid for words. I guess I passed the test as they graciously signed the releases and took photos with me and one of our editors, Angelita, who is a big NOFX fan from her West Coast teen years.

I'll post about the NOFX Show which was awesome as well as the Flatliners and Dillinger Four later on. But for now, let me revel in getting one of the rare TV interviews with one of the most legendary punk bands of all time, bar few. Shit man, I'll be the butt of that joke any day of the week. My ego can take it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

GBH - Punk's Poster Child (Man)

GBH, the iconic hard core punk rockers from Birmingham, England have been at it since 1983. Time has not slowed those guys down one bit. They rocked Irving Plaza to a crowd more than 1/2 their age.. hard core kids, wrecking the pit like crazy, overtaking the stage at several points in the show... but the dudes never let up, they kept going. These guys are experts in crowd control.. controlled chaos. It was nuts! I got some decent video but just before things got really good the batteries died.. so needless to say missed the craziest, nuttiest final half of the show where the crowd literally overtook the stage.

Here are a couple of videos none the less. Just imagine twice the intensity and you start to get the picture. Damn I love Punk music. I felt so good coming out of that show.. these guys aren't untouchable rock stars.. they are one of us, part of the crowd. They get it. they understand why they are there and they don't take one single moment or fan for granted, you can tell! Punk is in my blood now.. can't get it out. Don't need a mohawk either. its in my soul. I've been punk all along and had no idea.. it feels good to discover what I am and always have been.. and I'm not alone! GBH rocked and proves that Punk defies age or classification.. so simple, yet so not.

I Love this Shit!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rancid Rocks NYC!

So I finally got to SEE one of, if not the hottest contemporary punk band of all time. With their mainstream "hits" drawing from reggae and ska influences, it was their deeper cuts, the pure punk short riffs that got me and the crowd so excited.. and it was an excited crowd. tickets could only be had by scalpers, as all 5 nights at the Fillmore aka Irving Plaza (or visa versa actually) completely sold out. I paid $60 for mine, but did not negotiate. I'm in a generous mood these days. Loaded up on a couple of rancid shirts as well. all in all, a $100 night and no date (rule of thumb for me, no date to punk shows).


Anyway, I digress.. Punk is not about the money, but damn, Tim Armstrong is a poster child of how to be a successful businessman and a bad ass punk rocker. His on stage persona is super cool, with an Elvis or dare I say, Mike Ness like sneer while showing his guitar chops.

His look was Ness inspired as well, with a rain coat and top hat laid low just above his eyes and a bandana underneath. But Armstrong bounces and moves, not just sneers and as a "lead" sits back and lets his bandmates show their chops and man do they have them. Rancid's bass player is the best I've ever seen. Rancid is tight, but in typical punk fashion, rowdy, raucous and they have things to say. With a new record coming out on my favorite label, Tim Armstrong's own Hellcat Records, I'll be buying that one and all the other songs I don't have in their catalog... All of them.

As I found last night, you have to dig DEEP to get Rancid's true depth. Punk legends in the making if not already there, Rancid fans are a mixture. I was expecting more high stepping, mohawk wearing, old school style street punks, but that was not the case. Lots of girls with guys (Saturday night so it WAS date night in NYC I guess?).. mostly 20 and 30 somethings but definitely it can be said the Rancid fans are not only rabid but diverse. Tim A. gave a shout out to the Operation Ivy fans and they responded... so there is some history there (if you consider 1980s history).

The young ladies next to me heralded from Queens, one was from Chile but of Indian descent. We chatted about some great Spanish rock acts but agreed, that in the U.S. bands like Rancid, they really are getting the young Latin rock fan these days.

Opening for Rancid was Murphy's Law, my 2nd time to see them and 2nd time in less than 2 weeks (see previous post on "The Germs" at Blender theater). I can't say enough about the show these guys put on. Their songs are catchy, and cool but its the on stage presence of Lead Singer Jimmy G. that makes the show. The cat is 43 and celebrating his birthday every day this year. He had his trademark Jaegermester to share with the crowd, defys his age every night by partying hard and he made a hell of very risky stage dive from the speakers high above the stage and just bellow the balcony. You can tell these guys are just happy to be playing. I really love these guys. Check them out on myspace or their website if you get a chance. I plan on buying a cd, maybe even a shirt, just in appreciation for what these guys have to say (i.e. "I love my country, but hate my government" EXACTLY!

It was a great night for Punk Rock and has been a great year for punk in NYC! My next stop is the Psychobilly and Rockabilly Showdown at the Knitting Factory in LA over Labor Day Weekend. Look for photos, videos and more coming to that soon.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Germs Return - NYC

Blender Theatre on 23rd St. NYC was fairly packed last night as the Germs Return to NYC with a new young vocalist, Shane West, with actor looks but credible pipes.

The event opened with Lower East Side (LES) Stitches playing to maybe a hundred folks spread throughout the Blender. I liked the Stitches and so did a group of young, punks / friends who made it their mission to not the low numbers or early hour disway them from keeping the pit a mosh of elbows and high step strut.

You can check out some video of their performance here:


Had never gotten a chance to see these guys and honestly, they were the highlight of the evening for me. NY Hardcore, also repping the lower East Side, vocalist Jimmy G. came out driking Yagermeister, shared generously with the crowd and then proceeded to smoke a joint, throw cans of bud to the crowd and taunt the observers in the back by referring to them as "meter maids" who he fucking hates!

The crowd onstage was almost bigger than the crowd offstage as their posse consisted of mostly 250lb tattooed bruisers and good old NYC blue collar punks. I like it. This is what Punk is about. NYC's answer to the LA Punk Scene is NY Hard Core. In the tradition of Agnostic Front and similar to Metal heads Madball.. but different, unique.. They have their own sound and they could care less about rules. It was raucous. how somebody didn't get their head split open with a budweiser beer can I'll never know.. they were flying all over the place. The pit floor was soaked, people were falling.. elbows were flying.. punks were punking OUT! It was a convention of misfits that would have made any true punker proud.. except there were just too few of them.. the crowd was there for the Germs.. but Murphy's Law stole the show. I'll check these guys out again.. and wear my worst punk gear.. cause your gonna get soaked AND INSULTED. Your also gonna hear some great guitar (Felpe I think?)

Check out the insults first hand here:

Mixing old with the young is The Germs. Pat Smear came out smoking his guitar and hasn't lost a beat. not a lot of energy from the guy but he can play. The music was fast, furious and the stage set was much slicker than Murphy's Law.. I mean they are legends, so I guess they deserve some trappings of success. The crowd was into them and it was a mix of young and old there as well. Shane West is the new lead singer and he looks too damn pretty to be a punk singer but its encouraging.. you don't HAVE to be a MESS to be into punk. It helps, but you don't have to be.

Check out some of their performance right here:

All in all, a good night for Punk Music in NYC.. do I smell a comeback?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hootenanny 2008 Off the Hook!

It was hot.. It was dusty... it was inconvenient... It was Hootenanny 2008. In other words it was perfect. Big props to Derek @ Golden Voice for the press passes and KROQ for the All Access Backstage passes. The backstage passes allowed me and my crew (Rich from Black Cat Entertainment, DJ Rockin Vic and his girl Roxy) to eat, drink and most importantly hang out with my idols, the guys from Social Distortion (who are also the guys for Mike Ness, sans Drummer Charlie Quintana).

I could have thumped Mike Ness on the ear (but would have been nuts to do so) as he drove backstage on his Harley. Hung out by his trailer a bit and got some decent views of Mike with his wife and surfer dude kids, a charming looking family and I have to say I’m happy for the guy (and maybe envious?) considering all he’s been through.

Eventually worked up the nerve to say hello to Brent Harding, Social D. bassist and in true form stumbled around verbally like some silly teenager, but he was mad cool... and though I never worked up the nerve to bother Johnny 2 Bags Wickersham, or Mike Ness himself, you could tell they were damn cool dudes... the whole lot of them. Somebody you’d be happy to drink a beer with, laid back dudes and it’s great to see, because I’ve met tons of famous folks via my day job (TV producer) and I could give three shits about 99.9% of them… some are cool and some are not, you just never know. Social D. is different, I’m nuts over the music, their history, the fact that that band single-handedly changed my entire perspective on life and helped me become a successful entrepreneur..

Yes, that is probably unintended but when I listen to Social D, I am indeed, invincible and some little pencil neck lawyer or banker or pussy New York Ivy leaguer media guy has got nothing on me. I’ll put my brain and certainly my ethics up against them all! Yet, I digress, back to the Hootenanny!

Big Sandy came on early and I got to chat with him a little backstage, and Rockabilly legend Glen Glenn came on to a packed crowd and this guy didn’t let the heat get to him one bit!

First time to see Cadilac Tramps and I liked em! they rocked.

Tiger Army’s fans were out in full force as the band had to do a re-start due to “technical difficulties” but once they were on stage they rocked the place. This band is blowing up, but Nick 13 pissed off some fans backstage by refusing photos with them. He seems like an introverted cat but he needs to remember his fans, they are die-hard loyal. I’m sure he does but looks like he might have had better days, not sure what was up. James Meza the drummer was mad cool as always, hanging out with his boys.

Johnny Knoxville made an appearance and the OC girls were off the hook. I live NYC but man; the OC has got a vibe that brings back childhood memories of true California blondes... something I haven’t seen in a long, long time. One hottie at the lemonade stand was NUTS! Wow! Incredible and she likes Social D... I think I’m in love. A hottie that understands me... if only it was reciprocated.

The car show was hot, stopped by some booths and my good friends at SpitFire Interiors and made some new friends at the legendary clothing store Greenspans. Can’t wait to get down there and get hooked up on some real, authentic gear.

A photo of the Hootenanny are on the gallery and on the myspace page so check it out... and video is coming soon. Awesome weekend.. one for the record books, now if only my other problems would go the hell away!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hootenanny 2008! Look for us!

We'll be rocking out with Mike Ness, Tiger Army and the whole gang on July 5th at the annual Hootenanny. Look for us there and for tickets go here:

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pennywise Rocks NYC!

Went to the Pennywise show at Fillmore (Irving Plaza) last night and it was hot as hell in more ways than one.. At one time Fletcher screaming for some "fucking air" for the fans.. I thought, maybe, maybe we'd all riot.. but all in all it was a hell of a good time.. and the band played just a few songs off their recent CD "Reason to Believe" opening with my favorite "Western World" which is as radio friendly as any Pennywise song I've heard.

The pit took up almost the entire floor, you couldn't run or hide without going upstairs or standing all the way in the back.. this 80% young, 20 something guy crowd was nuts from the 1st song until the last with the stage becoming flooded for the finale "Bro Hymn".

My favorite thing about Pennywise, is they don't discourage stage dives and crowd participation.. they are one of us.. they are punk personified. This is what punk is about... rebelling, speaking your mind, but not putting anybody up on a pedestal.

When reviewing our current presidential choices, Obama got the biggest applause by far among this 99% white crowd and Pennywise responded by saying it would be cool to get a "brother" in the white house.. but later on, basically saying we're fucked anyway.. until the young people at that concert can get in office and change things. I tend to agree.

The U.S. needs to be more like a Pennywise show. Democratic, opinionated, fun and cool! why is the u.s. inundated with such assholes at the present time? so many assholes and so little space to put em.. Until last night, i think they were dumped mostly in NYC.. as I often say, its really, really hard to meet another cool guy.. one whose not gay, trying to fucking pick up on you.. or one who is a fucking metrosexual baby, mama's boy, jealous little bitch.. or a goddamned thug wanna be...

Last night, Pennywise gave me faith.. faith in the greatest city on the planet.. and faith that maybe, just maybe there are some pretty cool cats out there after all.. they just happen to all listen to punk..

If you haven't seen Pennywise live.. you need to.. bring your padding.. its going to get rough but it will be a blast! These guys are mad cool.

See you at the Hootenanny and the NOFX show in NYC!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mike Ness - Tiger Army Rock

I'm really behind on my writing.. but hell, its not a job.. its a hobby. Checked out Mike Ness at Fillmore the other night.. It was slightly different than your typical Social D. show (is there one? even after all these shows, I'm not so sure). Down in the "pit" which wasn't so raucous to the countrified, punkabilly sound.. but hot and sweaty none-the-less.

Bottom line, great show. Came out strong, hitting "don't think twice" really quickly then slowed her down a bit with some "Solitaire" and an acoustic version of "Ball and Chain"... a cool spin on that classic.

He skipped "Six More Miles" at the Tuesday show, not sure about Thursday, but there was no fiddle so maybe that was why. Also, I was hoping he'd do "Ring of Fire" since the vibe was very Johnny Cash, but no dice. He closed out the encore with "I fought the Law" and at that point the punks had overtaken the "pit" and it was a nice bit of moshing and slamdancing by then (only a couple of tempers flared, the crowd was cool).

TIGER ARMY: Sunday night was a totally different scene.. but they came out strong against a backdrop of 40s or 50s country classic. I didn't recognize it but I love Nick 13's continued tip of the hat to class country, the good stuff before Nashville became so GD silly and stupid. Worse than today's hip hop or emo pop, the music industry will f..k up anything I swear.

I digress... it was pure 100% psychobilly though with the New bass player doing most of the talking.. and Nick 13 filling in some gaps.. he seemed to have some guitar issues but he carried on like a pro and ripped through the old Tiger Army classics and the new stuff.. including my favorite "Pain" which he says has a video coming out soon.. that should have been a single long ago in my opinion.

"Devils' Garden", "Outlaw heart" "Atomic" "Cupid's Victim" and the songs from "Regions Beyond" were cool.

I like the new bass player, Jeff Rofredro (who is really the old one, forget his name) as he's a big, bad ass psychobilly MF but I have to admit I miss the previous dude (his name: Jeffry, how is that for confusion). Jeffry was mad cool, when I interviewed him and the Tiger Army gang at the 2007 Warped Tour. Nick 13 was aloof, the drummer James Meza, quite... the gang's management at the time was disorganized and a bit difficult to work with, they said I could shoot the performance, then backtracked on day 2 (after I had already shot on day 1) and in general, were difficult.. but what band isn't, I still respect the band, their vision and most importantly their unique sound. Nick 13 is a talented, passionate dude. He knows exactly where he wants to go and has overcome alot to get his band there.

Last night you see he's a seasoned musician, playing through issues, smiling, happy to be where he is.. you can feel it and the crowd responded. The mix of punks, psychos, skin heads, goth rockers, black, white, Latino, Asian and young and old was a testament to the band's diversity and unique sound. They rocked.. the crowd rocked.. and I think back to how far the band has come from when I first saw them and had no clue who they were when they opened for Social D in 2004. Four year's later, shot drummers, musical bassists, and incredibly diverse sound for a 3 person band and they are bonafide in my book... i wish them the best.

If you want to see the segment I produced on them from the 2007 warped tour, check out

Pennywise then NoFx.. I'm losing my mind.. is punk making a comeback in NYC??!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mike Ness On Solo Tour!

Mike Ness band is BACK!!!

05/02/08 – Indio, CA – Stagecoach Festival
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/05/08 – Dallas, TX – House Of Blues w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/06/08 – Houston, TX – Meridian w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/07/08 – New Orleans, LA – House Of Blues w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/09/08 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/11/08 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/12/08 – Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero Theatre w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/13/08 – New York, NY – The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/16/08 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/19/08 – Detroit, MI – Saint Andrews Hall w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/20/08 – Chicago, IL – Park West w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/23/08 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/25/08 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up Aspen w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

05/26/08 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot w/Jesse Dayton
Click here to purchase tickets:

07/5/08 – Irvine, CA – The Hootenanny at Oak Canyon Ranch Click here to purchase tickets:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Don't Drag Me Down Motherf&*^ers!

Ignorance like a gun in a hand.. reaching out to the promised land

your history books are full of lies, media glitz gonna blind your eyes

eighteen, want to be a man, your grandaddy's in the Ku Klux Klan..

taking 2 steps forward and 4 steps back

want to go to the WHITE house and paint it BLACK!

Mike Ness / Social Distortion "Don't Drag Me Down"