THIS ALBUM'S A KNOCKOUTAnother fall week in Tucson, another CD release party.
But this isn't just any CD release party, nor is the disc being pimped like just another CD. It's the new joint by The Knockout Pills, who confirm the suspicions we had following the band's self-titled debut from last year: The K.O. Pills aren't just the best punk band in Tucson; they're one of the best punk bands in existence right now.
Need confirmation? Look no further than 1+1=Ate, their inaugural release on famed Washington punk label Estrus Records. The album is like a manual on how to keep punk rock vital in an age when the term "punk" conjures up images of kids forking over the money they worked so hard for at Orange Julius, for a new Good Charlotte T-shirt at Hot Topic. The 12 songs here are short, sharp shocks--of the 12, only album-closer "Wait for the Apex" clocks in above three minutes--of indelible melodies that answer the question, "What if we took those old British Invasion albums we love so much, and played them on 45 instead of 33 1/3?" The answer, of course, is pure punk rock 'n' roll bliss. (Bonus trivia: One of the 12 songs is a cover of The Okmoniks' "Summertime Rundown," complete with background screams from the garage-punks themselves.)
If you still haven't seen The Knockout Pills (shame on you!), this week's CD release party provides the perfect catch-up session. Head to Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., at about 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18. Shark Pants and the Cuntifiers open, and be sure to bring some extra cash for your own personal copy of 1+1=Ate. Trust us; you need it. Questions? The number to call is 622-3535.
CRAWL ON CDAnother local CD is being released this week, but you can't buy it. The rather unwieldy title of the disc is Budweiser True Music Presents Tucson Weekly's Club Crawl Vol. 1, and it's only available on a first-come, first-served basis with the purchase of a wristband for this fall's Club Crawl, set to take place Saturday, Oct. 16. The first 2,000 wristbands sold will include a free CD, which includes one track from each of the following local acts: Sunday Afternoon, The Jons, The Deludes, Camp Courageous, the Solace Brothers, the Nick Luca Trio, Cathy Rivers, Amor, The Luminarios, The Retainers, Love Mound, 7 Days of May, Chango Malo and Ph8.
Advance wristbands may be purchased for $8 beginning Friday, Sept. 17, at CD City, 2890 N. Campbell Ave. To ensure a free CD and to save a couple bucks (wristbands will be $10 on the day of the event), pick yours up soon.
JERKS LOVEAs Soundbites watched the Republican National Convention a couple weeks ago, we couldn't help but notice that the song being played to accompany the balloon-dropping melee that followed President Smirking W. Chimp's closing speech was the feel-good '70s hit "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," by Jackie DeShannon. While we're pretty damn sure the song choice was meant to be ironic (that "love" in their "heart" has resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 of our troops and the deaths of countless Iraqis, after all, to say nothing of the multitudes of wounded), we couldn't help but be reminded of the Circle Jerks' cover of the song, and wish it was that version that was being played instead.
The L.A. punk legends' version, which appeared on 1982's Wild in the Streets, begins at the same tempo as DeShannon's version, though it's sung a bit off-key by frontman Keith Morris, a onetime member of Black Flag. But by song's end, the Jerks have sped the tune up to punk-rock pace, with Morris making the words "put a little love in your heart" sound more like a threat at knife's edge than a gentle plea. Come to think of it, we couldn't think of a more appropriate song to close out the RNC.
If an appearance at The Rock a few years ago is any indication, the Circle Jerks are just as dangerous as ever, their combination of humor and political rage intact.
Also on the bill for their return to Tucson this week: influential Brit metallic punks GBH (formerly Charged GBH), who are one of the few punk-era bands that have never split up and reformed during their 25-year course of existence; Red Tape; and The Mean Reds, a fresh-faced foursome of former Tucsonans who relocated to L.A. earlier this year, and specialize in two-minute proggy spazz-punk epics with multiple parts. They made waves earlier this summer by getting kicked off the Warped Tour after the band's singer, Anthony Anzalone, pissed in his pants on stage. And the fun never stops: Anzalone was harassed by the LAPD twice in four days a couple weeks ago for minor infractions, one of which included "impersonating a 12-year-old girl," according to their label's Web site. Their new, self-titled EP (Record Collection) is a killer, and they're far better live.
The Circle Jerks, GBH, Red Tape and The Mean Reds perform an all-ages show at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, at City Limits, 6350 E. Tanque Verde Road. Advance tickets are available for $15.50 at the venue, all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 321-1000. They'll be $17 on the day of the show. For more information, call 733-6262.
LOG III TIMES TWOBefore dragging his monkey paw back out on tour, poon 'n' blueshound one-man-band Bob Log III treats us Tucsonans to not one, but two, chances to fill up on his heady, speed-blues concoction this week.
His first appearance will be as halftime entertainer at this weekend's Tucson Roller Derby season finale championship bout between the Furious Truckstop Waitresses and the Iron Curtain. Performing along with Mr. Log will be Australia's The Town Bikes, whom Log describes as a cross between Britney Spears on crack and the Solid Gold Dancers gone insane. The Bombshelter DJs will spin tunes before and after the action.
It all goes down at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at Bladeworld, 1065 W. Grant Road. Advance tix are available for $7 at the venue or from any rollergirl. They'll be $9 on the day of the event. For further details, head to www.tucsonrollerderby.com.
If you miss Saturday's extravaganza, or if you just can't get enough Log in your diet, your second opportunity to witness the 19th wonder of the world comes the following night, when Bob and The Town Bikes bring along opener Kennedy, an L.A.-based indie-rocker whose songs include "Goatfuck," "Coldpussy" and "Mama Made Me a Pimp," to Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. The show starts around 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, and admission is a five-spot. Call 622-8848 for more info.
TRIPLE TREATThough originally scheduled headliner Jim White has been dropped from the bill, don't let that keep you away from Club Congress on Wednesday, where a nifty triple-bill still awaits you. Tucson faves and Denver residents DeVotchKa are the new headliners, and their merging of Eastern European, Middle Eastern and American folk, pop and punk sounds is not to be missed in a live setting. Also on the bill are two of Tucson's most somnambulant (in the best way possible) acts: the gorgeous windswept country-esque stylings of Loveland, and the breezy jazz-pop whispers of the Nick Luca Trio.
DeVotchKa, Loveland and the Nick Luca Trio perform at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22. Admission is $5. For more information, call 622-8848.
GOT YER MOTOR CITY RIGHT HEREOn their brand-new debut album, Tonight Alive (Sidearm), Dallas' Max Cady remember what a lot of other current Detroit-influenced garage rockers seem to have forgotten: Yes, the Stooges and the MC5 were from Detroit, but so was Ted Nugent (they don't call him the Motor City Madman for nothin'). The band's combination of sleazy punk and cock-rock riffs is more engaging than it should be.
Though their femme-power sloganeering is a bit hamfisted at times, Seattle's Ms. Led manage to transcend that bit of criticism with their catchy, punky power-pop hooks. Imagine a cross between Sleater-Kinney, The Reputation and The Butchies and you're traipsing through the appropriate meadow.
Max Cady, Texas Trash and the Hangovers and Ms. Led perform at 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St. For bonus details, ring 'em up at 622-3535.