Four shows in six nights. At the core were stops by RAD (above), a Sacramento-based thrash revival band that happens to feature my cousin Anthony on bass. On either end of the RAD sandwich were some old favorites… Last night was Ian Svenonius with Chain and the Gang and kicking off the run was Hot Snakes, who reunited for All Tomorrow’s Parties and Fun Fun Fun and is now in the midst of a victory lap for the fans who don’t do festivals.
Opening up the Hot Snakes’ sold-out gig at The Troubadour was Spider Fever. The San Diego band puts the Snakes’ Mario Rubalcaba right in front. If you have any taste in music whatsoever, your innards have already been shaken by his powerful, ruthless drumming (411, Clikatat Ikatowi, Rocket From The Crypt, Earthless, OFF!) and it turns out he rips on guitar and vocals, too. (The other guys ain’t bums, either, coming from The Heartaches and The Widows.) Think MC5 meets DMZ and you’re heading in the right direction–right off a cliff into punk rock ‘n’ roll oblivion. This is no goofy side project but a fully realized unit on a mission to corrupt your soul with two flame-throwing 7″s and a brand-new LP–all great ways to wear down a needle.
Just because I’m not budgeted to hit any shows this month doesn’t mean that I’m not listening to music all the time. And some of it isn’t even from my childhood. This batch of new (and somewhat new) releases isn’t arranged alphabetically but more like how I’d place them on a mixtape. Start off with some garage-y rock, ease into classic reggae, and then hit the punk and thrash. Yeah, right? Longtime Giant Robot fans will recall that I interviewed Strange Boys and Lee Scratch Perry in the pages of the print magazine, while more current readers will remember the online interview with Classics of Love’s Jesse Michaels from just a few weeks ago. As for RAD, only the hardest core/borderline unhealthy Giant Robot maniacs would realize that the bass player Anthony worked at the GR shops on Sawtelle and played on the softball team back in the day.