Michael grew up in the thick of LA punk rock, created fliers, was in a few bands and writes for Strange Reaction, Flipside 2010 and has interviewed many legends. This is his book about growing up in those times and onward to more recent.
Last One To Die is an entertaining and informative look into what it was like to grow up in The LA area of California in the 70's, 80's, 90's to now as a dedicated punk rocker, student. employee, skater, band member, rapper, dad and fighter. It's all in here - struggles, moments of brilliance, dysfunctional families/people, relationships, told in various stories that vary in time period as though you were being told in person. The perspective is great for those of us that have no idea what life was like then and now in that part of CA; something I'd always wished I had done. Some of my favorite stories were Ray and his crazy wife, the 20 mph mudslide to a luckily red lighted street, El Lobo and the knife and razorblade with cops moment...ok, I'm teasing you...because I want you to read this book. There's way more, but I don't like to do long drawn out reviews; rather short and to the point (like a good punk song)... Towards the end are some great interviews Skateboard legend and punk rocker Jay Adams (I've viewed many Jay interviews and this one stands out) , Eric Leach of Symbol Six, Lisa from Frontier Records and the incredibly innovative and talented musician; Rikk Agnew.
I must admit when I first started reading the book it wasn't what I expected, and it turned out to be so much more. It was an honest accounting through the stories of one who lived it with no glam, no self pity through one of the most interesting time periods in music and Skate history that keeps you going page to page til you've stayed up too late or blown off other responsibilities - so grab this book and experience it for yourself.
We decided the best way to test this was to set up a new deck. Our friends at American Nomad sent us a killer Monty Nolder board. We found this tool to be very compact and surprisingly functional. The tool pulls apart and you use cylinder for the mounting nuts while holding with the screwdriver end - it's always easier to tighten a nut than the bolt head end and this had plenty of leverage. It made it easy to pull the new bolt down into the fresh wood.
Next we tried the axle nuts and the placement of the socket below the truck wrench allowed plenty of torque.
All together a convenient and solid tool for any skater.
Great Punk (with a little rock) CD to skate to, throw in to liven up a party or when you're cruisin' around! Why?
It kicks off full throttle with Napalm Love and doesn't hold back. The lyrics in all the songs are intelligent, powerful without being predictable or cliched like a good skate run in a pool or bowl. Eric Leach delivers them with conviction and force stopping short of overdoing like so many bands do. Taz is always there with a great guitar riff to create a killer dynamic. The drumming is solid and mixed in well so it comes through hitting loud and clear backed up by some great bass and second guitar that thickens the tone just right.
The whole CD hits with the sonic force of a gnarly 10 block coping grind. No surprise since Eric and Taz met as skater kids way back and Taz rode for the Zephyr shop team in it's last days. The song Dog Days grew out of the Dogtown way of life. Obvious when you see them live as they have style on stage! They have solid experience having been around since the early days, 1980, and haven't softened with age or become diluted like others that are reuniting.
So - Buy this CD and make sure to see them live because they deliver!
For more info
Houston's own classic Punk Rockers, Chelsea Hotel, have released a ripping new album, Lookin' For Tango. Today, we're putting one of our favorite Texas bands under the microscope. Join in!
Having seen Chelsea Hotel many times live I was nervous(as I am with any modern recording) that it wouldn't do the amazing live show justice. But much to my pleasure it resonates with my fond memories of their raw classic Punk set note for note.
Lookin' For Tango combines the roots of Rock 'n' Roll, with the snarl of acts like the Dead Boys, and the "play it faster" mentality of Hardcore Punk. Or as you may have seen me attempt to classify it as numerous times, Classic NY style Punk. One of the main graces of Chelsea Hotel is the superb balancing act between being tight, focused, raw, and gritty at the same time. The CD only rarely slows down, the main instance being in one of my personal favorites "TCBY", the remainder rocks its way from your speakers to your inner ear in an energetic fury.
Of course of the quality is only logical when the frontman is Robert Conn of legendary early punk, The Pagans, out of Cleveland Ohio. Check out "Her Name Was Jane", and "Six & Change" for some classic tunes.
Bottom Line: Loud guitars, Pounding drums, and rowdy vocals, swirled into a classic NY style Punk sound. For fans of Dead Boys, New York Dolls, Pagans(of course!), Dictators, and really anyone with decent taste in Punk Rock.
American Nomad Skateboards sent us this stimulus package deck. For those of you that don't know, the company is lifelong traveling skater Bill Danforth partnered up with tattoo artist Jay Kelly. The name derived from Bill's reputation of hitting the road and spreading the stoke of skateboarding worldwide via demos, skate camps and more. When Bill comes to town the raging begins and everyone's level of skating goes up a notch. He leaves behind another army of all terrain shredders. Exactly what the world needs!
OK, about the board - it feels just right, like I've been riding it all along. Nice foot wrapping concave, the right amount of flex and stiff enough to feel solid. The shape fits so naturally there was no adjusting to it. The rounded nose is easy to grab and helps avoid shattering. Comes with an adjustable wheelbase of 14.75 and 15.25 inches to fit more riders. It's made in America too! These guys are about skateboarding and make a product that delivers. Demand one from you local shop or grab one off their site AmericanNomadSkates.com.
This is a cd that belongs in everyone's collection so buy it! Why?
Solid, powerful songs with cool hooks and melodies plus great lyrics.
You could shred any pool while listening to it - preferably on a loud stereo.
Raw enough to kick ass with a little polish so the craftsmanship shines through.
Not a song over 3 1/2 minutes.
Your ipod needs some killer new tunes and this cd with it's roots in punk and a little garage rock, twisted just the right amount will do it good.
Oh yeah, it's on a really cool indie label.
Great band out of Austin TX that rocks hard, put some of their skills on vinyl - and damn does it sound good. Dressed To Chill opens with Hot Wheels, Cold Beer, Big Titties is a nitro fueled, all out audio assault great for any backyard pool or park session. B side has the best cover of the Sex Pistols Holidays In The Sun ever! Plenty of bite and snarl while you gnarl some coping. I 've seen them live several times and they kill it! When they hit the stage you will know it's on from the first chord. So when they hit your town go see or be left in the dust.
Thanks to TXpunk for the photos. For more show photos check out TXPunk.net
Just In - New small cone combo bushing set released Sept 2010. Available in individual packs or bushing kits. It's great that they offer so many options to dial in the response of your favorite trucks. No more being stuck with a one bushing style fits all. Thank you Khiro!
See our Previous product review of Khiro Bushings further down this page.
Great band out of Austin TX making some sweet fun music that has the perfect garage/60's sound. This CD starts off with "Take A Stand" that is a faster rocking song reminiscent of their previous release. Then it takes a little more of a folk twist. Strong vocal harmonies and the awesome vintage keyboard sound interacting with the guitars really showcase The Ugly Beats musical ability to capture their/this style and sound on a recording. Enough reading material- go buy it, and definitely see them live to get the full effect. The Ugly Beats make Austin great... Proud to say they're from Texas.
Saw them with The Fleshtones, and it was one of the best Garage Rock shows of the year!
The cool people at Pinks Pizza who sponsor the Skate & Rock event gave us this pizza at the Lee and Joe Jamail skatepark to try when we were out there. This is some seriously great pizza. It was as delicious as it smelled. The dough was nice and soft, covered with very tasty sauce and really flavorful pepperoni. All the ingredients combine for an awesome burst of flavor that will satisfy any hungry skater.
It's obvious that Pink's cares about their quality and skateboarding too! We recommend you chose Pink's next time you want Pizza. They have two locations one in the Heights and the other in Midtown/Montrose so it's close to the park when you skat up some real hunger. You can check their menu out at PinksPizza.com.