Just For Fun Concerts EP 2016-13 (Episode 17)

Armed with only my (dim) wit, I have endeavored to put together Episode 17 of Tales From The Dropbox with the singular intent of leaving you with only one question after you finish this episode: why? I say, why not!

Episode 17 contains a collection of rather ripping punk rock songs demonstrating that it will be punk rock, and punk rock alone that will save the world from self-destruction and not that sniveling snot they call pop. Let it be said that none of the artists featured in this week’s episode will appear on TMZ. They will not, by the grace of God, be involved with any of the Kardashians or engage in any scandalous rock star celebrity behavior, because after all, this in punk rock not pop. The “why” question posed above relates to nostalgia: the examination of the past from the long view at the other end of the experience tunnel. While I believe new is awesome, sometimes as reexamination of the past is necessary to give context to the discussion of great music. A nostalgic look means that some things are by design a little fuzzy, but in taking the journey back, I discovered that some of the songs from that period – the far past – should be revisited to see if they still stand up.

So, a touch of nostalgia creeps into this week’s episode. I have included a not so famous but darn catchy “toon” from Vancouver, B.C.’s punk rock legends, D.O.A., and a cover song performed by the amazing Slits. There are a ton of great “old” songs, and these songs that were never radio hits are as good a place as any to start the trip.

As for social justice and other newsworthy issues that are part of each episode’s preamble (freeing me up to just focus on the music during the program rather than get sidetracked), I was surprised to read a story regarding the impact of illegal immigrants not being properly licensed to drive and thereafter becoming involved in numerous fatal crashes with few consequences. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which obtains state-by-state data from the federal government Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database – found that 20 percent of fatal crashes involved an unlicensed driver. From 2010-2014, there was an average of 32,887 road deaths per year, which means 6,577 were caused by unlicensed drivers. Those drivers include citizens with suspended or revoked licenses, and those who never had licenses. Several estimates indicate that 50% of this number involve drivers who don’t belong in the U.S. much less behind a wheel. That is, approximately 3500 deaths per year result from the failure to adequately enforce immigration laws. Staggering. California is the first state permitting licensing of undocumented persons permitting them to obtain both a license and the necessary insurance. However, in other states, persons who are not legally in the country and are not legally licensed to drive, kill people. No matter how you feel about the immigration issue, the licensing issue should be a no-brainer. Immigration is for the federal government to decide, but a drivers license is purely a state concern and states must take steps to prevent individuals from driving illegally. Check out here: http://unlicensedtokill.org/

Final note: If you are offended by, or sensitive to, the liberal and pronounced utilization of the f-word, then perhaps skip the song by D.O.A, okay?

Here is what you’ll find in Episode #17:

  1. Bleached – “Sleepwalking” (Welcome the Worms)
  2. Plaque Vendor – “Chopped” (Blood Sweat)
  3. Wolfpunch – “Sick System” (Fuck the Valium)
  4. Second Best – “Drag Me Down” (Outgrown)
  5. Trial Day 141 – “Again, Again” (Rowing Against Time)
  6. Double Veterans – “Heaven vs. Hell (Double Veterans)
  7. Bad Luck – “I’m the Lion, You’re Dead” (Noise in Your Head)
  8. The Mute Gods – “Night school for Idiots” (Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me)
  9. Violent SoHo – “Blanket” (WACO)
  10. Dead Stars – “In My Mind” (Bright Colors)
  11. Undertipper – “Alcoholics” (Barely Making Cents)
  12. Scott Sorry – “Broken Hearts and 45’s” (When We Were Kings)
  13. The White Noise – “Bloom” (Aren’t You Glad EP)
  14. D.O.A. – “Marijuana Motherfucker” (The Black Spot)
  15. Slits – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (Cut)

They’ll bust yer F@% ass if they wanna … I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew
‘Bout your plans to make me blue …and I’m just about to lose my mind.


Just For Fun Concerts EP 2016-12 (Episode 16)

Shaba-doo-be-doo kids! Another jam packed episode of exotica and esoterica packed into just about an hour. Some of this stuff has been playing in my head over the past several months just awaiting the right moment for me to spring it on you. A little more punk rock than usual, so play loud enough to irritate the dogs and other animals in your life.

As for the social commentary that I normally preface these podcasts with, there is really not much to say this week as most of the “important news” is consumed with the Ted Cruz-Trump comedy show. The already comical nature of the search for the right person to run for the nation’s most important job has devolved into spectacular allegations that Trump’s team planted a story in the National Enquirer – a titan of news journalism – that Cruz had multiple affairs during the couple’s marriage. Under the headlines “5 Romps That Will Destroy Ted Cruz! and “[b]ombshell dirt file includes sexing-closet claim” the Enquirer story sets out claims that Cruz is accomplished at the art of carnal knowledge.  I would have to say on the basis of my review of the article that Cruz is easily the most qualified Republican nominee for POTUS because of his open the “closet” door policy and  his apparent commitment to obtaining the “biggest bang for the smallest investment.” At least this “sex claims” issue has some substance of importance when balanced against the battle of the candidate’s wives. Trump’s spouse, Melania, is undeniably better looking than Heidi Cruz so this is a non-issue.  The debate on these important issues is revealing in choosing the Republican nominee for President because, like most of the lessons learned from the Republican debates, there is little substance to any of the potential candidates and at least on the alleged sex out of marriage policy predicament the Enquirer article shows Cruz to be a man of some substance.

Canada, be prepared. Under a Trump regime you could also have a beautiful wall running along your southern border – to keep Americans from fleeing to Canada. Regardless of your political affiliation, you’ve got to admit this is easily the weirdest political campaign ever run by national candidates in any election cycle.

Finally, I would be remiss in not mentioning the tragedy in Belgium last week. This tragedy, like the bombings in Paris and other large cities that have experienced these cowardly attacks by mentally disturbed zealots, compels an examination of the greatness of human resolve.  As tales of heroism in the wake of chaos are told these tales should remind us all that we are only captives to terror if we choose to let the unknown control the known. This is not to say that people should not take precautions and be prepared – they should. The heroism of the people acting bravely in the moment and the determination and strength of the people of France and Belgium in the aftermath have shown that a government of and for the people can restore confidence to a nation. Further, it is unmistakably true that it is the nation’s citizens that give a nation its strength and hope.

Perhaps one day the world won’t need heroes…


Here is what you’ll find in Episode #16:

  1. VanDeRocker – “Without The Light” (Jupiter’s Kiss)
  2. Electric Century – “Lately” (For the Night to Control)
  3. Pony Time – “Put You There” (Rumors)
  4. Minotaurs – “Stayed To Long” (Weird Waves)
  5. Purling Hiss – “Hey Tate” (Something EP)
  6. Lost In Society – “Generation Why” (Modern Illusion)
  7. The Money Pit – “Big Blue Waves” (The Money Pit)
  8. Mind Spiders – “Ulcer” (Prosthesis)
  9. Animal Teeth – “Trancendentist” (Happy To See You)
  10. Razz – “Turning Shadows” (With Your Hands We’ll Conquer)
  11. Chris Wollard & the Ship Thieves – Rotations (No Anchor)
  12. The Sluts – “Be With You” (The Sluts)
  13. Nothing – “Vertigo Flowers” (Tired of Tomorrow)
  14. Residuels – “Valley of Fire” (Valley of Fire)
  15. Burnt Palms – “Be Mine” (Back On My Wall)

We’re the kids in this new generation and we have no clue…I clean up nice but not today.


Just For Fun Concerts EP 2016-11 (Episode 15)

I found out yesterday from POTUS that the U.S. and Cuba are no longer enemies. I am not sure that if I was Cuban and had fled in order to survive a cruel dictator that it would be so easy to put aside more than 50 years of human rights abuses by that dictator by their own people in order to squelch dissent.

As I am writing this introduction to Episode 15 the news program I am watching, with the sound down, is reporting another deadly terror-inducing attack on innocent persons. Belgium news is reporting that at least 30 persons were killed and approximately 230 wounded while the President is about to attend a baseball game in Cuba. Who would have ever thought there would be a time when Cuba was safer than the city of Brussels, the home of NATO and the capital of the European Union? It is a surely a twisted world when a few isolated nut-jobs have the ability to terrorize the world just because they have decided they can. Even more disturbing is that their actions are morally indefensible, reprehensible, and inconsistent with all morality and yet these nut-jobs persist with their misguided rhetoric which boils down to it is the will of their God – nonsense. Crazy f#^#!!ers. I should probably not write these introductions with a view of the news.

Notwithstanding this sad mood intruder, Episode 15 is all over the map sonically. Musically it is all good! The genre hopping in this episode is truly diverse from pop to indie folk to garage to straight up pop punk and punk rawk! Hopefully, you will utilize the tunes in this podcast in the manner with which they are intended: to infuse a little joy in your life and give you a short break (lasting about one hour) from the fray.

Here is what you’ll find in Episode #15:

  1. Frankie Cosmos – “Floated In” (Next Thing)
  2. Miner – “Running With the Wolves” (Tuanaki)
  3. My Robot Friend – “I’m Not a Young Man” (Open the Book)
  4. Hotel Lights – “Sky High” (Get Your Hand in My Hand)
  5. City Mouth – “Every Single Word” (City Mouth)
  6. Brian Fallon – “Honey Magnolia” (Painkillers)
  7. DMA’s – “The Switch” (Hills End)
  8. Holy Esque – “Rose” (At Hope’s Ravine)
  9. Let Yourself Go – “She Could’ve Sank The Titanic (feat. Trystan Lance)” (The Soundtrack of the Year)
  10. Postcards – “Nineteen Cigarettes” (Are You Happy? EP)
  11. Magic Wands – “Love Soldier” (Jupiter)
  12. Dead Cannons – “Dance Mask” (Nothing Does until It Is)
  13. Moving Parts – “Control Party” (Set)
  14. Run River North – “Ghost” (Drinking From a Salt Pond)
  15. La Sera – “Take My Heart” (Music for Listening To Music To)

So there’s a monster on each one of my shoulders … and at night they come out to play….you’re just a snake taking paths no one else can take.



Just For Fun Concerts EP 2016-10 (Episode 14)

Ahh…the ides of March. Not much significance to this date anymore except to those who have some passing interest in some long dead English guy they called “the Bard” (not the BART – that is a train system in the bay area of northern California). But the reference and significance to the warning by the soothsayer in Julius Caesar – a warning that was ignored by J.C. – may be apropos – today is the second “super” Tuesday of this presidential election season. The ides of March is significant for allegedly being the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44BC and his death marked a turning point in Roman history. This is also the date of the 2nd Watts riot in 1966 resulting in 2 deaths and the removal of all references to Watts along the 110 freeway for more than 40 years. The ides of March was a flare up from the original outbreak of racial violence lasting 6 day that occurred 8 months previously in August 1965. Hence the ides of March is a significant date in Los Angeles history.

In a similar manner this ides of March may also become one of the most significant dates in U.S. history.  The results of today’s democratic and republican primaries may portend a significant change in the future of these United States. As best sung by Matt Johnston (The The) “this is the day your life will surely change this is the day when things fall into place…”

If Trump and Hillary both win out today, then that particular race will be a news media wet dream as “good v. evil” will shape the process until November.

Wherever you stand, register to vote, and vote.

Here is what you’ll find in Episode #14:

  1. Aurora – “Runaway” (All My Demons Greeting Me As Trusted Friends)
  2. Glint – “Guided” (Inverter)
  3. Tracy Bryant – “Shining” (Subterranean)
  4. Cub Sport – “I Feel Bad Now” (This Is Our Vice)
  5. The Run Around – “Until the End” (Reckless One)
  6. Ulrika Spacek – “She’s A Cult” (The Album Paranoia)
  7. Night Knight – “God is a Motherfucker” (Night Knight)
  8. Pete Yorn – “Halifax” (Arranging Time)
  9. 1919 – “Death Note” (Death Note EP)
  10. Wintersleep – “Santa Fe” (The Great Detachment)
  11. Pilot Season – “Dirt” (The Space Between Us EP)
  12. The Feeling – “Spiraling” (The Feeling)
  13. Crater – “Ain’t Right” (Talk to Me So I Can Fall Asleep)
  14. Astronauts, Inc. – “If I Run” (Mind Out Wandering)
  15. Astropol – “Always You and Me” (The Spin Were In)

Terrorize the ones you love the most… I know your waiting for me sitting at the bus stop, waiting.

Just For Fun Concerts EP 2016-09 (Episode 13)

I guess this is the first all female vocal episode. Not sure why it took me so long to fully appreciate the power of the female vocal but it is likely subconscious. I have difficulty connecting with some female voices (you know who you are) and this might have influenced my appreciation of female singers. However, for some inexplicable reason, in the past month or so, I began accumulating a number of songs that moved me in some manner – all featuring female vocalists. In some cases these songs are filled with powerful, interesting and poignant messages and others are much more fluffy content. In all cases, these songs have “je ne sais quoi,” – perhaps it’s a spark that makes each of these songs unique and worth repeated listening. So, hopefully these songs will also make that special connection with you and with that spark … connect with your heart.

Here is what you’ll find in Episode # 13:

  1. Friends of Foes – “Dance in the Dark” (Faults EP)
  2. Muncie Girls – “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” (From Caplan to Belsize)
  3. Lucius – Gone Insane (Good Grief)
  4. Thao & the Get Down Stay Down – “The Evening” (A Man Alive)
  5. The Jezabels – “Smile” (Synthia)
  6. Flowers – “How Do You Do” (Everybody’s Dying to Meet You)
  7. Tuff Love – “Slammer” (Resort)
  8. Hurry Up – “Shit or Fuck” (Hurry Up)
  9. Polica – “Kind” (United Crushers)
  10. Unloved – Guilty of Love” (Guilty of Love)
  11. Feels – “Slippin” (Feels)
  12. Survival Soundtrack – “Snow” (Last the Winter)
  13. Tigertown – Lonely Cities (Lonely Cities EP)
  14. Witching Waves – Pitiless” (Crystal Café)
  15. Postiljonon – “Go! (Reverie)

You say I’m the one who’s gone insane …don’t tell me to smile you don’t know me brother.