My Writings. My Thoughts.
Labretta Suede & the Motel 6… ? Now how the hell does a band from New Zealand nail that Southern 1960-70s Cramps-esque psycho-rockabilly style? Not sure but they do.
I recognize a few NYC institutions in this video I think, including “Pimps & Pinups” which is where I loyally once got my hair cut before my “stylist” moved to another salon down the street in the Lower East Side.
Seeing this video from director Serg Soza made me homesick for NYC and what passes for a rockabilly scene there (LES & Brooklyn). NYC’s scene is more compact and less strictly defined than say Los Angeles, where if a stand up bass isn’t in the band, well, hell that “ain’t true rockabilly son” and the Cramps (in my opinion after my short stint on the west coast), don’t get the love & respect they deserve.
A whole another post I realize but this has been bugging me for a while, ever since some silly comments on our Dorados Rockabilly Trio’s “Bettie Page” video surfaced. Rockabilly “purist”: When did Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly or Gene Vincent play with a stand up bass? When, when, when did that become a requirement and what judge or jury made that call? I’m not being confrontational or cute, it’s an honest question. I’m either missing a gap in my rockabilly history (very likely) or there was a sudden move by a majority of rockabilly fans to say that unless there is a stand up bass, it’s not true rockabilly.. I digress but I’ll revisit this topic at another time.. you can be sure.
But this does bring up another almost equally interesting question that is well above my pay grade but something I’m curious about none-the-less, how do you differentiate traditional rockabilly (Gene Vincent, etc. played today by performers like Big Sandy or any “Wild Records” recording artists) from bands like The Cramps or Labretta Suede & the Motel 6.
It’s very clear there is a major distinction yet it’s equally clear to me that the genres, meld and over-lap somehow as well.
All I know is that I’m in the heart of the South right now, in the heart of music country and let me tell you this kind of music doesn’t exist in it’s natural environment anymore. It always fascinated me that bands like Social Distortion & Tiger Army weren’t more popular in the south. Their appreciation and use of Roots Country is obvious, yet modern day Nashville and Country Music sounds nothing like the old country songs of the early 20th century or the hey day of the 1950s, which is the only kind of country I can even stomach.
And if it takes a band from New Zealand/Brooklyn to keep alive the hey-day of a musical genre that lost it’s mainstream popularity a long, long time ago.. then so be it. They do a good job and I hope I can catch up with these guys when I get back to the East Coast next week. I bet they’d make a great interview and an even better band to catch live.
BTW.. New Zealand? That’s the “small island” of Australia right? Just joking my Kiwi followers!
Remember our little article way back in 2011 about the band “Los Saicos” where we suggested Lima, Peru might actually be the birthplace of Punk? You don’t? OK, here it is HERE.
Now it seems someone has or is in the process of creating a mini documentary about this very subject to which I say long overdue.
The real story here is not, I believe, is Los Saicos the originators of punk. Of course they are not. They had a punk-ish sound and as one of the guy’s suggest, they were proto-punk and definitely pioneering at the time but to be true punk, not 100% there. But then again, we get into that age old debate of who was? Was it the Ramones? Sex Pistols? bla, bla, bla, bla… arrgghhhh.
The real story I think is how a band in Peru that was only around for a couple of years in the 1960′s could have been rediscovered with such fanfare in the 2000s and remain so influential. It’s an amazing story but one we’re starting to see more and more (“Waiting for Sugarman” has a similar theme). Maybe it’s the internet and facebook and the ability to reconnect with people you’d normally never hear from again.. and it’s both a good and a bad thing.. but when it comes to Los Saicos.. it’s basically a damn good thing.
These guys deserve every bit of recognition they are getting and their music still kicks ass. “Demolition” with it’s simple, repeating chant to “Tear the Train Station down” is about as punk rock as it gets. So I’ll go ahead and say it for what it’s worth, Los Saicos, if there ever was a punk hall of fame (never will be but just imagine ok?).. you’d have a strong, strong case for being in it.
I’ll leave it at that.
Here is the video. Judge for yourself.
While traveling in Guatemala City and covering the big Stage Punk show (missed our write up? Check it HERE), we were delighted to discover the unique sounds of an excellent Western-Surf-Punk band Los Tiros (The Shots).
Now, I’m not sure I ever knew what Western-Surf-Punk means, but after hearling Los Tiros, it’s as natural of a mix of genres as can be and I’m all in. I want more, more, more!
Los Tiros impressed the entire Raw Travel film crew (and the crew isn’t particularly into punk music like myself) so I know these guys have some serious broad appeal. Long story short, we just had to have their music in the show.
Unfortunately, we had little time for chit-chat with the guys after their show but since returning to the U.S., I’ve been corresponding with the guys via email and have gotten to know them a bit better. These guys are for real and I think you ought to give them a listen and trust me, I don’t say this lightly.
I get hit up all the time to cover bands from all over the world. Usually I’m too busy to write something unless I’m just 100% super-impressed.
In this case, I stumbled upon Los Tiros, not the other way around and maybe that is as it should be.
You haven’t heard the last of Los Tiros I’m sure of that. You’ll hear their haunting soundtracks in Raw Travel when it premieres in +70 U.S. cities this October (and worldwide sometime in 2014).
I promise ‘ll post some video of these guys soon as I get reunited with the particular hard drive that contains our Guatemala video in NYC.
But in the meantime visit them at their twitter, their facebook and their website LosTiros.com and at their cool record label HERE and tell me if you don’t think their music is not the most kick ass thing you’ve heard in a while. Go ahead. I dare you!
It’s coming and will be here before you know it. Don’t forget to follow us at Facebook and Twitter and visit the Raw Travel Website which will be updated really, really soon just as soon as I’m back in the U.S. I promise.
Where have I been? Mexico & Central America kids.. for 8 straight weeks and it’s not been easy. I’m in Panama now and I’m almost done taping for Raw Travel (remember to please be our friend on Facebook).
I have some really good news coming soon and some cool content to post from Costa Rica, Panama and more… so please stay tuned and bear with me. If you are leaving comments, then sorry, I have 133 pages and over 2,000 spam comments to get through. Being attacked so I’ll have to just delete them all until I can figure out a solution. Sorry.
In the meantime, enjoy this new video from our buddies in Mexico City.. Las Pipas! Pretty cool huh.
I promised some video and here it is from the Guatemala Punk Show a couple of weeks back as our buddies “Union Stricken” cover The Casualties “Punk Rock Love” with a little help from some friends. We’re heading to San Jose, Costa Rica. Any punks there? Hit us up please!
So good to see my Guate City Punk amigos again after almost exactly 4 years away. And I made some new friends as well. The guys were so gracious to create a punk show just for our arrival. We grabbed some great content, heard some great punk music and overall had a great time in the heart of Guate City.
Special thanks to Hector & James from Warning, the guys from Sudor de Huevos, Union Stricken, Neuro Toxico, Los Tiros and Felix (our pal formerly with Warning) and many, many more. Great show, great time. Look for some video to get uploaded soon. Until then, hopefully these pics will help suffice.
We’re in Belize and CAN’T WAIT TO GET TO A REAL COUNTRY like Guatemala where there is a real underground punk & ska music scene. I’m taking it back to where it all began, way back in the summer of 2009. Almost 4 years later I’ll be back with my old buddies from Warning, Sudor De Heuvos, and more.
I told you I’d be back and now I am on my way. Taking a boat to Livingston on Friday then a bus to Guate on Saturday for the punk show on Sunday. Can’t wait fellas.. See you Sunday! Stay tuned for pics and videos guys. More info HERE.
Read our old blog from our trip in 2009 HERE.
and another one HERE
Overwhelming. That is the feeling of arriving in Mexico City late on a Friday night, dumping luggage at a flea-bag, roach infested hotel and promptly heading to a punk/psychobilly show to watch your buddies, Normandie Blue play a show that you’ve both been talking about for over a year now.
Then the very next day, up early after only 4 hours or so of sleep, upgrading hotels, then off to the El Chopo Flea Market, one of the most legendary and long running (30+ years) underground flea markets in the world. El Chopo only happens on Saturdays and it probably has more tattoos, piercings and underground, goth, metal, punk, rockabilly, psychobilly, you name it underground music genre per square foot than anywhere in the world. It’s crowded and insane and wonderful. While there we finally got to meet and interview our new buddies from Las Pipas Garage Band who filled us in on their psychodelic punk sound and influences. Look for more from them coming up soon here.
Later that night a 5.8 earthquake rocked and swayed our hotel and scared the hell out of us all. Evidently no big deal here but I was regretting being on the top floor for about 20 or 30 seconds that was for sure.. and then some Moctezuma’s Revenge (Food Poisoning).. laying me low..but hey, it’s Mexico. I’m still glad to be here… and we’re just getting started.
So here are a few pics to tide you over until I can get some video and a better description of how things went. Enjoy!
GRACIAS AMIGOS: A big up and thank you to the guys from Las Pipas, Alex from Normandie Blue and his buddies and hookups Armando, Vaselina, Alejandro (Pina) Ruiz Cano, Vanessa and so many more who helped us out while in DF that I can’t possibly name them all. Mexico City punks.. worth the wait. Gracias Por Todo!