The kids of the Lana Rebel band are off to Utah for a hopefully fun weekend of partying and music….unfortunately the winds of work are blowing here at the chicken farm and I have to miss out. I was doing a bit of late night punk rock reminiscing when i came across this 1984 performance of Slip It In by Black Flag (duh). The band is pretty much firing all cylinders with Henry flying around all sweaty and macho, while Kira and Bill hold steady and solid to keep the ship afloat. The real show stopper is Ginn though, holy crap he is tearing shit up! His guitar is good and up front here and you really can hear every insane rampage through the fret board as he just cuts loose. Fucking brilliant…
It was great to see so many younger people at the Shellac all ages show last night here at Berbati’s Pan in Portland. Steve Albini and company definitely didn’t disappoint, ripping through a good set of new and old with all the bile, humor and sonic abrasiveness that they are famous for. For me though I felt the show was kind of stolen by Minneapolis post punkers Arc Welder.
I can’t believe I had never heard of or seen these guys in my 20+ years as an aging indie punk musician. Arc Welder were formed in 1987 and can definitely be viewed as an evolution of the Minn punk scene. You can clearly hear the influence of Husker Du at work, although I don’t want to take anything away from them, it’s only a noticeable influence, and they clearly are headed down their own path. It was a treat to watch this energetic trio, especially bassist Bill Graber as he stalked the stage with a perpetual snarl of focused glee on his face. It’s always cool to see a competent bass player unafraid to fill out the sonic realm in a trio by playing chords. Apparently they have not released an album since 1999, but they seem to be an apple in Albini’s eye, so hopefully that will change and we will get to hear some new tunes sometime soon.
In case you were wondering, as I often have, how Steve gets that unique grinding tone, here is a map of his guitar rig, cleverly hidden in that custom aluminum box. Both Steve and Shellac bassist Bob Weston play aluminum necked Travis Bean guitars.