Review: No Age, live.

No Age, 7th St. Entry, Mpls, MN, 11/23/10-One would imagine any proper review of a No Age live show would end with line like, "While it may lack the insert big word of your choosing and insert synonym for the exact same big word of its predecessors, make no mistake about it, this is the punk rock of today."  Whereas, this one will simply end accompanied by a photo of jean jacket with a embroidered kitten on the back.  But before I do that, I'd like to bitch about all the people on cell phones at the show. 

Arriving at the Entry shortly before the second of two opening acts began, I surveyed the crowd, as is my wont, to discover the average age, even for an 18+ show was older than expected.  And by older I still mean younger than me.  I should mention that as a dedicated follower of fashion I was surprised to see some folks are still doing the bandanna around the neck thing.  I'm fairly certain this is dead.  And if not, should be.  In fact, I'm now from this moment forward declaring it dead. 

Anyway, you know how when someone tells a ghost story around the campfire they have to do that flashlight under the chin thing?  Well that's what everyone's face looks like at shows these days because everyone stares at their phones non stop.  In fact, the guy next to me was Facebooking on his iPhone during the entire set.  I was so annoyed by this and appalled that he was not making any attempts to disguise such embarrassing behaviour, that I wanted to grab the tall motherfucker by the ear-mom style-and pull him down to me so I could remind him he was in fact at a show. 

Eventually No Age took the stage.  I can't believe I didn't notice this before but the drummer and primary vocalist, Dean Spunt looks and sounds remarkably similar to a young Mike D.  He and guitarist Randy Randall (and touring keyboard player) move effortlessly from new songs to old ones and back again.  On record, the new album Everything In Between is an obvious move into a more palatable direction, just as Nouns was from Weirdo Rippers, but when songs from all three are played interchangeable, the difference in virtually unnoticeable.  It's undeniably, well, No Age.  Whatever that means. 

I wanted to spit my gum in the hair of the next person I saw looking at their motherfucking phone!   

About three quarters through the set they threw in cover of BLACK FLAG'S  Six Pack and thankfully the crowd up front acted appropriately. Of course this moment couldn't go un-Tweeted or texted about, so several people began furiously typing on their phones.  Unbelievable!  You're at a real live show, with real live people, where a real live band is playing right in front of you, and playing Black Flag no less, and instead of choosing to actually experience it, you're...argh! 

It was at this point that I could take no more.  I grabbed a handful of ice from an empty in front of me and began throwing cubes at everyone who was staring at their phones.  In retrospect, I'm quite surprised at myself for doing this, as I was alone, and as much as I hate on stuff like this, rarely do I actually do something about it.  I think everyone got the point.

One should not be surprised by this digital connectivity of the No Age audience, as they are a band whose popularity is in large part due to internet chatter.  But still, they ARE a visceral band.  Quite frankly you're doing yourself and those around you a disservice if you're in the physical location in which it's happening and instead you're Tweeting or Facebooking about it rather than actually doing it.  Fuck, maybe this is the punk rock of today, after all.  That's kind of depressing.

For those of us that kept our phones in our pockets, well, we saw a really good show. (-NO'B)

And now, without further adieu...

No Age, 7th St. Entry, Mpls, MN, 11/23/10


Review: Crocodiles

Crocodiles-Sleep Forever-CD- Second go-around for these San Diegans.  Although a slight departure from the previous sort-of-brash and unfinished sound, it is still in line with the dark dream pop 80s meets double aughts bedroom dance resonating on Summer Of Hate. And while not as aural or loud an experience, comparisons to MY BLOODY VALENTINE would not be totally unwarranted.  As well, Sleep Forever fits perfectly alongside other new releases by lo-fi indie contemporaries NO AGE, JAPANTHER and label-mates WAVVES.  Yes, that means the target demographic is most likely the all-encompassing, yet somewhat off-putting H-word.  That is not to say that this is not a good record for old guys like myself, looking to stay relevant and keep abreast of the "new shit."  Of particular interest are the hazy semi-garage rocker, Billy Speed and the closer, All My Hate And My Hexes Are For You.  The latter--which consists primarily of the title being repeated about a million times over an LCD-type beat--is infectious in a simple kind of way, and in my humble opinion, one of the better songs to come out this year.  Pretty good for some dudes from the city whose name means "A Whale's Vagina."-'10, Fat Possum (-NO'B)


Review: Life Trap

LIFE TRAP-Solitary Confinement-E.P.-7inch-One of the better touring bands to play at Eclipse Records in the last couple years.  Hailing from Tennessee, these guys play ripping hardcore punk.  Like a tiny bit faster AMDI PETERSEN'S ARME' with vocals reminiscent of a slightly less snotty and certainly less irritating QUICNY PUNX.  Short, fast and loud, in the vein of, well, pretty much everyone that plays this stuff.  You know the drill: four dudes in jeans, sleeveless t-shirts and Vans set up on the floor in front of the stage and hammer it out for 15 minutes.  However, these guys stand apart from many of their peers, in that they are extremely tight and oozing genuine energy.  The lyrics--dripping with more f-bombs than an Eddie Murphy stand-up routine from the 80s--are that of the angered-and-disillusioned-bleak-societal-outlook variety, as evidenced by the title track, "The way my life is set up for me is like a fucking trap.  Made one too many mistakes; now there is no turning back.  Caught in fucking cage; my life is like a maze.  Now that I've got nothing to lose, somebody's going to pay."  Similar themes continue throughout, including on the closer, Wasteland, which one can only assume is about their hometown, Nashville, "Why can't you see you're just so full of shit?  Your life's so fucking plastic it makes me fucking sick.  Why can't you see I don't want to live here another day?  Why don't you just fucking go away?!"  Well dudes, although we have our fair share of plastic too, you can always come live here. And play lots of shows.  If records were meth hits, this would be the one that makes your teeth fall out.  A ripper indeed.-'08, No Way (-NO'B)


Review: Harry Balzagna & the Teenie Weenies

HARRY BALZAGNA & THE TEENIE WEENIES-Skate Army E.P.-7inch- I can't remember if I picked this one out of the West Coast Hardcore or Thrash box(Amoeba Records, L.A.)  Sounds like thrash but they appear to be from Costa Mesa, so I can't be sure.  Either way, that hardly matters now does it.  Crossover thrash ala MUNICIPAL WASTE or CROSS EXAMINATION but with less party & metal and more skate & punk.  Vocals reminiscent of the early DIOS MIO.  Very nicely printed sleeve with the standard old-school skate images; royal blue on white, with a shot of pink aerosol underneath for the D.I.Y. three-color win. The second to last song, Not My Kind Of Fun, is sort of a bummer.  "Was my youth a waste of time?  Cuz I didn't get wasted or fried?  Cuz I didn't find cheap romance or attend one school dance?  Did I miss out?"  Ah, I hate to say it man, but, uhm, well, YEAH!  Just what exactly were you doing?  They are redeemed though because they follow that song up with one about farting in class, called Breakin' Ass.  (Hey, that rhymes.)  Not sure if they are still a band.  If so, hopefully they have dropped the Harry Balzagna part of their name.  Wouldn't want them ending up in the Garage Rock box erroneously.  Seriously though; good shit.-'03, Snack Attack!/The World Is Square (-NO'B)


Thoughts on Eyedea

A few people have asked why I haven’t written anything about Eydea passing away. I guess I wasn’t sure what to say. When someone dies, people have a tendency to personalize it—make it about themselves. (I’m guilty of this. Anyone that’s been around here knows that I took the Jay Reatard thing kinda hard.) For the record, I did not know Michael Larson. I was purely a fan boy, in awe of his prowess rocking the mic as Eydea. I bought his records and I went to see him rap…many, many times. Eyedea was a major role player in making the Twin Cities the hip-hop powerhouse it is today. These are a just few I-remember-when moments that have come to mind over the past couple days. I’d like to share them with you…

Headshots Vol 6: Industrial Warfare mixtape
Eyedea’s freestyle recorded live in the 7th St. Entry, rapping about being too young to be in bars…while in a bar.

Collabos with Oddjobs
Whether it was his verses on Oddjobs records or the tape they did together, Bridges Over Hidden Whereabouts, whenever they teamed up it was on some next-gen shit.

Sixth Sense verses on DJ Abilities’ Finally mixtape
Something, something, “Can of Coke,” something, something, “Drinkin’ out the party ball.” (I don’t remember exactly how it goes. I’ll listen to it tonight and update.)

Overhearing him talking at Fifth Element
I was shopping in Fifth Element the first year they were open and Eyedea happen to be in there with his mom. I distinctly remember him talking about how he can’t go to the mall anymore because “these kids won’t leave me alone.” He was a senior in high school.

Battle rapping with Slug
The best live incarnation of Atmosphere was Slug and Eydea & Abilities. There was always a freestyle portion near the end of their set where Slug and Eyedea would battle each other. Eyedea dropped a verse on Slug one night that I will always remember: “Dude, you’re my idol. But you drink too much. Plus, I think you’re suicidal.” Doesn’t sound like much on paper, but when he rapped it, a sold out First Avenue went ape shit bananas.

Watching him watch himself on TV
After he won the freestyle Blaze Battle in Chicago, Ryhmesayers screened it at the Red Sea, followed by an Atmosphere performance. You could see it on the dude’s face as he watched it he was like, “Damn, I was up there with KRS-ONE.”

El-P yelling at him on stage
A Def-Jux tour rolled through town. El-P and Aesop Rock (or was it Mr. Lif?) invited Eyedea up on stage for a freestyle session. Every time the mic got passed to him, he would start talking gibberish and finally El could take no more and yelled at him, “Shut up and rap!” Then he killed them with a dope verse.

Him rapping
My favorite memories of Eyedea are just him rapping. Rapping and rapping and rapping and rapping. Countless times the dude would drop a verse that would have the whole place going “Ooooooooooooooooh!” Dude could rap.

I feel weird casually mentioning these things without much detail. But that’s all I really have in me right now. It’s a total bummer when someone dies so young. Especially someone as talented as Eyedea.



The new issue of HotDogDayz was supposed to come out this summer but, well, things get put on hold sometimes. Especially when you have too many hobbies. IOW, a heavy duty regiment of bratwurst, ice cream and Jersey Shore leaves little time for zine-making. Amirite, or amirite? It's almost finished though. We're so close to being done that we're in the dreaded second-guessing-ourselves/scrap-the-whole-thing-and-start-over stage. We promise it will be out by October. In the meantime...

Last month we quickly threw together an HDD preview slash supplemental mini-zine type thingy called Restore The Power, which is literally half the size of HDD. And then just yesterday we crapped out a preview/supplement to the existing preview/supplement called If You Stink At Getting Ladies, Call Me, which is literally half the size of RTP and literally one fourth the size of HDD. If HDD is the record, RTP is the e.p. and IYSAGL,CM is the single. And this shit is so lo-fi it's like your brain tried to take a nap right after your heart snorted a line and went to the dentist. Here is a preview of the preview(s):

As per the yuge, HotDogDayz is a non profit venture. We are still looking for someone we can donate the proceeds from the upcoming issue of HDD to. If you or someone you know could use a little help, drop us a line at thee.n.o.b@gmail.com or bnb@hotdogdayz.com and give us the deets. No poor-college-student or starving-artist shit though. We're talking real here. The last issue helped cover some medical bills for a person battling cancer, if that gives you an idea.

In the meantime, if you'd like a copy of either of the aforementioned fine preview/supplemental publications, please let us know. You can either donate a buck or two, via the PayPal link on the upper right hand side, or get if for free by doing one of two things: asking nicely OR *sending us a really nasty email that we can post on here.

HotDogDayz new issue out in October. PROMISE~!

*Preferred. You will remain anonymous unless otherwise noted.


Reader Submitted Content: Record Review

Dear HDD,
Hey there, it’s me again. I had another session with my therapist and he said the writing seems to be helping. So here I am again, this time with an album review. It’s my first one ever, but hey, you’re audience really seems to get me, so why not debut it for them, right? Right.


I got off to a bad start with these guys. At first I wanted to hate them because I’m a Japanther fan and these guys—being a another two man band with Japan in their name—were seemingly more popular and thus were a threat to my self-created indie cool guy world. Don’t worry, that doesn’t make sense to me either. I’m not even sure I’m the one that wrote it. I imagine it’s how Minneapolis-St. Paul people feel when the world goes gaga for Vampire Weekend; meanwhile Vampire Hands had been creating far more original music and for quite a bit longer. Anyway, a couple months ago I was a pubic hair’s width away from murdering the internets because it wouldn’t shut up about Japandroids. Then for some strange reason, almost as if I was being controlled by a mind not my own, I went out and bought Post-Nothing. Shit, it is good. In fact it’s a holy fuck kind of good.

I read somewhere that Japandroids were like a Canadian No Age. Well I can confirm that they do in fact sound almost exactly like No Age (not a bad thing) but I believe an argument can be made that Japandroids are the more California of the two. For one, they sing about girls, and to best of my knowledge Canadians don’t even like girls; they like hockey and mayonnaise. And everyone in California likes girls. Even girls like girls in California. Does No Age even have any songs about girls? It doesn’t matter; Japandroids has like a million.

Listening to Post-Nothing is like riding your bike to work on a sunny Friday morning and deciding that today is the day you’re going to stop being such a pussy about consequences and go ahead and finally fuck that chick from the office. Probably not in the office, but like later, after a night of boozing and possibly cocaine. I assume fucking her in the office would be too dangerous; but how would I know, I don’t even own a bike.

All I’m trying to say is it’s a really good record. No it’s not. Yes it is. It’s holy fuck good.



The JUST KIDDING! opening reception last weekend was a pretty-sweet-ass-rad-as-hell-turning-out-better-than-one-would-have-thought kind of event. And as a result, some thank yous are in order...

To the Back Alley Gallery for hosting.

To Craig Drehmel and PBR for the beer sponsorship.

To Jason Austin for playing records.

To CokeWolf for killing our faces off.

To YOU all for coming out.


JUST KIDDING! will be up through the end of the Month. If you'd like to take a look at it, email me and we can set something up. A closing night reception may or may not be in the works as well...


Event Reminder: JUST KIDDING! Opens Tonight!

Tonight is night we're gonna make it right...

CokeWolf will be creating a wall of sound sometime before 10pm.  Earplugs will be provided. 

Myself and DJ Evil Twin (Jason Austin) will be spinning the soundtrack all night.  And what's this I see?  ET partaking in some impromtu art making for the show?
And a new mixtape (cd) called NO, SRSLY will be available for zero dollars.

Now, that's just too much to turn down. See you there!


HDD Presents... NO, SRSLY.

a brand new mixtape (cd) will be available this wknd.
@ no'b's photo show-JUST KIDDING! 
i'm not kidding; the show is called JUST KIDDING! (look)
i saw a sneak peek 
it's on some crazy american story ishnit
tape (cd) is rad too
not kidding
no, srsly


HDD presents-JUST KIDDING!-Feb 26 & 27

It's going to be, as the kids say, "off the hook." Those in attendance will no doubt be imbibing various beverages and unhealthy-yet tasty-snacks. Also, this really rad band CokeWolf is playing on opening night. And if you're lucky I may even spin some of my records as well. (Mostly cheesy reggae, hair metal, Mpls funk and crusty punk.)

Besides, for those of us not living NYC, the opportunity to see a photography show consisting of little artistic merit-if any-is rare.  So, please mark you calendars...

HotDogDayz presents
A Photography Exhibition
featuring Nathan O'Brien

Opening Reception
Fri, Feb 26th, 7-11pm
Sat, Feb 27th, 2-6pm

The Back Alley Gallery
262 East 4th Street #LL2
Lowertown-St. Paul, MN


HDD-Issue #2 Preview

Shits happening.

Also, news on photo exhibit to be finalized very soon. Stay tuned...


Best of 2009: Music

On second thought, perhaps Raekwon's Cuban Linx 2 wouldn't be best album this year.  Seeing as how Kylesa put out Static Tensions and all.  And then there is Psyched To Die's Year One compliation.  Shows?  Shit, I saw Murder City Devils reunion four times this year...in four different cities (A bit excessive, to say the least.)  The last of which, was in Mpls and ended with just enough time to make it across downtown to the aforementioned Kylesa.  Which was the second time-this year-I'd hear them live (counting a sound check--heard, standing in the rain, across the street from the Fine Line)...but the first time I'd actually see them.  Speaking of shows on the same night at different venues: Cage and No Age.  No Cage, naturally.  Did it.  Anyway, fuck rankings; lets just do this A to Z...

Records, CDs, downloads, etc.
Bastard Sons of Bukowski/ Bring That Shit-split
Cage-Depart From Me…
Cage-I Hardly Knew You ep
Cave Singers-Welcome Joy
Coke Wolf-One ep
Condominium-Barricade b/w Big Plans 7"
Crocodiles-Summer of Hate
Dear Landlord-Dream Homes
Digital Leather-Warm Brother
Felt-Felt 3: Tribute to Rosie Perez
Jay Reatard-Watch Me Fall
King Khan & BBQ Show-Invisible Girl
Kylesa-Static Tensions
Loose Crew-Content By Volume
Modest Mouse-No One's First, And You're Next
Party Time High Five!/Terrordactyls-split
P.O.S.-Never Better
Psyched To Die-Year One
Raekwon-Only Built For Cuban Linx…Pt. II
Totally Harsh-demo

Shows, concerts, fests, etc.
Amebix-Triple Rock Social Club
Cage-Triple Rock Social Club
Dillinger Four-D4th of July-Triple Rock Social Club
Distortion Days Crust Fest-The Bedlam Theater
Dwarves-Triple Rock Social Club
Fucked Up-Triple Rock Social Club
Kylesa-Triple Rock Social Club, soundcheck Fine Line Music Club
Municiple Waste/Phobia-Triple Rock Social Club
Murder City Devils-The Showbox, Seattle, WA-The Roseland, Porland, OR-w/The Dead Milkmen, Congress Theater, Chicago, IL-First Avenue, Mpls, MN
No Age-501 Club
Skitkids-Triple Rock Social Club

Davis...Not Elvis (link)
Gimmie Noise 7" Review (link)

Old stuff on heavy rotation during '09
Black Flag-'82 Demos
Brother Reade-Rap Music
Butthole Surfers-everything between '84 and '88
Chain of Strength-The One Thing That Still Holds True
Cloak/Dagger-We Are
Cult Ritual-entire discography
Dios Mio-Prey to God 7"
Jay Reatard-Matador Singles '08
N.N.-s/t 7"
Needles-s/t 7"
Skitkids-Besoket Vid Krubban
Sonic Youth-Goo
The Bug-London Zoo
The Jam-Compact Snap
Just Ice-Back to the Old-School
The Replacements-everything between '81-'87
Tragatelo-s/t lp
V/A-Cleanse The Bacteria comp
Wolfpack (Wolfbrigade)-All Day Hell

 '09 Late pass (aka I want.)
Pissed Jeans-King of Jeans
Cloak/Dagger-Lost Art
Needles-Desastre 7"
La Coka Nostra-A Brand You Can Trust


zine two in production

in progress we regress.


class war.

#2 soon.

two copies of #1 left. last chance. make it happen.


Best of 2009: Film

I went to enough movies last year that I should the have the same vitamin D levels as an overweight goth chick.  Of course I still didn't see every movie that came out, so if you're going to get all butt-hurt becasue G.I. Joe isn't on the list, take a moment to ask if I've seen it (I havn't) before you post insulting comments.  And don't even get me started on Avitar

Best Films (based on the typical reasons people like movies)
500 Days of Summer
Away We Go
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hangover
I Love You, Man
Inglourious Basterds
Sherlock Holmes
Star Trek
Sunshine Cleaning
Taking Woodstock
Up In The Air

Honorable Mention-The Informant, The Invention Of Lying, Last House On The Left, A Serious Man*, Taken, Whatever Works

Snoozefest (aka- did not like)
Public Enemies

Guilty Pleasure
Ninja Assassin

Did Not See But Want To
The Informers

Late Entry From Last Year
The Wackness

Best Theater (based on price, ambiance, and the all important: popcorn)
The Riverview, Mpls, Mn

Honorable Mention-The Heights, Columbia Heights, MN, The Grandview, St. Paul, MN