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NOFX & The Election

It’s been just over two weeks since the 2016 American presidential election, and things aren’t really looking up. There have been protests (rightfully so) and racially motivated hate attacks (despicably so). People are confused. They don’t understand how America got to this point. Black, brown and gay people totally understand why, but white America is left in the dark. They underestimated themselves, and their hate.

NOFXThe night of the election I was hanging out at a sold out NOFX show in Edmonton at Union Hall. Before they took the stage, Fat Mike, El Hefe and Melvin had a big group hug, and Mike went over to hug Smelly already at his kit. I was trying to think back to whether they always did this, but I can’t recall. I think the hugs were special that night though – moral support on a night that determines the next four years of their lives.

Fat Mike looked pretty rough, which is kind of standard, but this time it was different.

“I just got off the phone with my daughter and she’s crying,” Mike told the crowd. His daughter – a little girl who wanted to see a very qualified woman become president just as badly as her daddy – was in tears over Trump in the lead. Mike was teary-eyed too. The remainder of the set he kept saying he couldn’t look anyone in the eye. He called for sunglasses, which eventually came, courtesy of Zach Quinn from PEARS, who were also on the bill.

NOFX has been warning against the exact kind of presidency Donald Trump represents – this exact threat to democracy Americans posed for themselves, for over twenty five years.

Their discography is peppered with social and political commentary, brash and unapologetic, condemnatory and sharp. Since War on Errorism, NOFX’s albums became increasingly more critical of the social and political state of America. In retrospect, there was probably no better place to be while awaiting the election results.  

Fat Mike lamented the election for the majority of the set. A rendition of “Fuck the Kids” became “Fuck Republicans.” He apologized to every woman in the room for the sordid state affairs that enabled a highly qualified woman to have to consider a man like Donald Trump an opponent, before dedicating the song “Louise” to us. They played “Murder the Government,” of course, with some extra lyrics pertaining to Trump, and “Ronnie and Mags,” as well as “72 Hookers.” With almost every song preceded by a quip by Mike about the election, the the setlist truly reflected what was weighing on their mind. Before playing “The Idiots are Taking Over,” Mike exclaimed “It’s not the ‘Idiots’ are taking over, it’s the idiot!”

When it became clear Trump won, Mike announced it, and I am not really sure what he said after that, because I was reconciling my own disbelief. I felt like crying too. It’s not even my country, but there is just something inherently sad about the state of America, progress and democracy, that Trump won the presidency. Later “Reeko” made it into the setlist, with extra emphasis on the “it really is that bad.”

Over the past week as analyses from journalists, politicians and celebrities across the world of “what went wrong” rolls in, NOFX lyrics and that night’s setlist can’t help but continuously pop into my head.

Here are a few that truly resonated with me as I have been slowly digesting what Trump for president means for America.NOFX - War On Errorism

There’s no point for democracy if ignorance is celebrated
The Idiots Are Taking Over
War on Errorism, 2003

As of 2013, approximately 14 million adults in the U.S. cannot read, with an additional 20-23% of adults unable to read beyond a grade five level. According to a PEW Research study, over half of Americans get their news from Facebook. Coupled with a recent Buzzfeed news analysis that “the top-performing fake election news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than the top stories from major news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, NBC News, and others,” combined, should clearly lay out the point I am trying to make here. Americans are not interested in truth, nor thinking critically.

Based on these statistics, educational reform should probably be one of Trump’s top priorities, but I feel this is unlikely. On top of that, reading literature for pleasure is also on the decline in America. Literacy, especially media literacy, is integral in a digital age where false information is spread with the click of a button, a share or a like. Many researchers and social behaviourists attribute reading fiction to increased empathy in readers. By reading from someone else’s perspective, readers are able to empathize with the character, and apply that empathy to the world around them.

I don’t know where, or how, America put down the books, and picked up the trash instead. But this election has demonstrated that there really is no point in democracy if ignorance is celebrated. On point with that one NOFX.

The entire song “Leaving Jesusland
Wolves in Wolves clothing, 2006

NOFX - Wolves in Wolves ClothingThe lyrics accuse the “heartland” of not being very “smartland.” It calls out homophobia, obesity, and invites a mass migration of open minded people to the West Coast.

The entire West Coast voted for Hillary Clinton. The entire Bible Belt voted for Trump.

No longer svelte, they gotta punch new holes in the Bible belt. They’ve blown out the fire under the melting pot, the red blood of America is starting to clot. No compromise, no sight thru others’ eyes, they’re just flies spreading pieces of shit. You gotta emigrate, stop living in hate, what makes this country great is dwelling on either side.”

Apparently only 36% of Americans own a valid passport. I mean, there is a lot to read in between the cracks here (immigration status and/or poverty can prevent one from owning a valid passport), but there is merit to that last line, “you gotta emigrate, stop living in hate.” I can’t make too many assumptions about this statistic, because the people who do have passports aren’t necessarily globetrotters, but I do think there is merit to travelling and gaining other perspectives. It also might ease and abate xenophobia to get out of your country and see what other places have to offer.

Breath, ever so soft. We wouldn’t want to break the eggs as we walk
Leave it alone. Follow the grain. We couldn’t stop the irresistible force
.”
Leave it Alone
Punk in Drublic, 1994

I am not sure what this song is actually about, but I can’t help but think in the context of the election, it fits perfectly to the response white America had to Trump winning.

NOFXAccording to exit polls, 53% of white women voted for Trump, and 63% of white men. White, educated and wealthy voters gave Trump the presidency. The lyrics “leave it alone, follow the grain,” and later in the song “leave it the same,” describes these voters perfectly. Trump made the status quo feel as if equality was a very threat to their existence, and these voters did not want to deviate from the norm. Trump convinced them his platform was a deviation from the norm – but he is merely an affirmation of the norm that is the racism, sexism and homophobia Americans experience every day in law, policy and in the streets.

So many people are throwing their hands up in the air saying “How did this happen?” – well the answer, and the irresistible force in this particular instance, is hatred. As Danielle Moodie-Mills so eloquently put it on CBC’s live election coverage “We underestimated, as Americans, how deep our hatred was of the other, how deep white uneducated Americans felt about the demographic shift. We underestimated that level of insidious, blind hatred.

And what you had was a man who went around, he stoked every fire, he lit every branch, every branch, and just opened the floodgates.”

Since her commentary came early in the night, she had no way of knowing it wasn’t just uneducated white Americans, but the ones with college degrees too, and that really speaks to the insidious, subtle nature of racism in America in 2016.

 

NOFX - Vancouver

NOFX

Live In Vancouver (11/04/16)

The Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, BC
By

 
 

 

 

AZlyrics.com has a grand total of 340 songs listed under NOFX.  That’s a lot of songs to choose from when you’re slimming down to create a 25 song set list. It also means that as a fan, you really have no idea what songs you’ll hear on any given night either. In a time where so many shows are preplanned down to a T, that unknown coefficient adds an element of excitement and rawness.

And NOFX are nothing if not raw.

Fat Mike. Eric Melvin. El Hefe and Smelly.  These guys are a band that don’t really give a fuck in the most sincere way. They do what they want and eschew any expectations. It’s little things too. Where most bands drop 20ft banners behind them, NOFX hung a small, tiny version of  their Wolves in Wolf Clothing logo proudly above their stage. The bright yellow almost being swallowed by the blackness behind it.

But that minimalistic sign stands out, becomes a talking point and symbolizes the band: they’re not showboating, they’re just here to play music and have a good time. It’s a simple goal that they complete with style.

Newly sober Fat Mike was still his charismatic self. He was loud, he was abrasive, he was comical and in your face. The banter between him, El Hefe and Eric Melvin is sometimes stupid, sometimes hilarious but always real and unscripted. Even having to do with the drunken shenanigans of Chi Pig makes for an entertaining exchange of words. They jump around, they’re sloppy and make mistakes but no one cares, it’s a punk show where mistakes are meant to happen.

They get political when they need to, the upcoming election gives them cause to play The Idiots Are Taking Over and That One Man I Killed and solemn in remembering Tony Sly on his birthday with the soothing new cut I’m So Sorry Tony. They play their hits – Linoleum  and Bob – but not as encores or opening tracks. They just get lost in the shuffle with no special focus on them and it works because their entire catalogue is swamped with hits.

There’s the older ones, I’m Telling Time, Dinosaurs Will Die, Murder the Government, Eat The Meek and the ultra quick and very simple Fuck The Kids. Then you mix it up with 72 Hookers, We March To The Beat of an Indifferent Drum, Seeing Double at the Triple Rock, Bottles to the Ground and even the brand new I Don’t Like Me Anymore and it’s a varied setlist covering their entire history.

Karina Deniké of The Dance Hall Crashers was even there to help add harmonies and keyboard melodies to Mattersville and the aforementioned I’m So Sorry Tony among others.

The one showmanshippy thing NOFX always manages to pull out is their closing  number. Over the years I’ve seen them end with The Decline,  or Everybody’s A Little Bit Racist from the musical Q. Friday night saw them close out the evening with Pump Up The Valuum‘s Theme From A NOFX Album with Eric Melvin dragging the final melody out for at least an added five minutes to great comedic effect.

It ended the way a NOFX show should end: random, hilarious and unpredictable.

   
nofx-first-ditch-effort

NOFX

First Ditch Effort

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 

Do NOFX need any introduction? after over thirty years, thirteen studio albums and countless EP’s, singles and splits, they have brought us another thirteen tracks on their latest album, First Ditch Effort. This is a deeply personal album, more so than any of their previous recordings, whilst NOFX have shifted lyrically they have retained the character and style that’s been the hallmark of their past releases. First Ditch Effort is an album that couldn’t have come from any other band, and that is meant is a compliment as NOFX have produced one of the best albums of their career with their latest release.

Six Years On Dope opens the album in fine NOFX style, ninety seconds of the kind of blistering opening we’ve all come to know and love, Happy Father’s Day brings a more staccato blast before we get into the first of the classic NOFX tunes on this album, the superb conspiracy theory number Sid and Nancy, and it’s not long before the next one arrives in Oxy-Moronic. Pretty much every track hits the mark, there’s a heartfelt tribute to the much missed Tony Sly on I’m So Sorry Tony before the album ends in epic style with Generation Z. First Ditch Effort carries all the elements of a great NOFX album, musically it spans everything from hardcore to pop punk, the subject matter is everything you’d hope for, there’s the irreverent humour, and the politics are of course present, and it must be pointed out not many bands manage to make succinct political points without once being po-faced about it.

You can hear the impact that the writing of Home Street Home, Fat Mike‘s punk musical, has had on First Ditch Effort, for me it’s added another dimension to their songwriting. Whilst much of the subject matter may be darker, this is an element that’s always been present at on their albums in the past, but not as much to the forefront as it is on this release. First Ditch Effort comes across as a more mature album, I know sometimes that a band maturing means that the fun has been sucked out of them, but this isn’t the case with First Ditch Effort. The humour is still present that always been inherent in their lyrics, but there’s a darker element to the writing, subjects such as self loathing, self identity and personal morality come to the fore, without the album ever once becoming mawkish, and that is an achievement all on it’s own.

If you’re a fan of NOFX the odds are that you’ve all already ordered this and you won’t have been disappointed, this is as good as almost every other NOFX album, for me it falls slightly short of my personal favourite, The War On Errorism, but if you’re a long term fan of NOFX, and I am unashamedly amongst that number since White Trash, Two Heebs And a Bean was released twenty something years ago, then you need this album, and you need it now. NOFX are now well into their fourth decade, but they are still showing that an album can be made without any compromise, barring something ridiculously good being released in the next few months this will in all probability be the best album that I hear this year.

First Ditch Effort can be ordered from Fat Wreck Chords here

NOFX Streams New Album In Full

NOFXNOFX is streaming their upcoming full length, First Ditch Effort, which will drop on October 7, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Give the full disc a spin here courtesy Consequence Of Sound.

Video: NOFX – Oxy Moronic

NOFXNOFX has teamed up with Funny Or Die for the premiere of a brand new music video.  The video features the song ”  The disc will be titled First Ditch Effort and will drop on October 7, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Watch the video below.

Read More…

NOFX Announces New Album; Streams New Song

NOFXNOFX has quietly announced details for their next full length.  The disc will be titled First Ditch Effort and will drop on October 7, 2016 via Fat Wreck Chords.

The first track from the record and cautionary tale of a self destructive habits, “Six Years On Dope,” can be heard below.

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Mild In The Streets

Fat Wreck Chords

Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Who doesn’t love a Fat Wreck Chords compilation, they were a great way to hear new bands, and tracks from upcoming releases, for next to no money, as a bonus there were always a few exclusive tracks thrown into the mix. Along with Epitaph Records Punk-O-Rama series they were responsible for introducing a new generation of fans to some amazing bands. This time round things have changed as this compilation has been done with a different approach, Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged is, in case you hadn’t guessed, a collection of songs from bands and singers from the Fat Wreck Chords stable who have traded in their amplifiers and distortion pedals for acoustic guitars.

This sixteen track compilation is a lengthy affair and content is so varied that you can’t summarise the album, so i’m going to a whistle stop tour of Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged. Tony Sly, of No Use For A Name, opens the album with a soulful piano led version of Under The Garden and The Swingin’ Utters deliver an excellent foottapping country version of Fruitless Fortunes featuring slap bass and violin. Stacey Dee delivers a melancholy number, Everything Is Beautiful, this is one of the songs that is exclusive to this album and to anyone familiar with Bad Cop/Bad Cop this number will come as something of a surprise, this is juxtaposed against Sam Sadowski, of Closet Friends, who delivers some sore throated acoustic blues.

Going acoustic won’t come as a surprise from everyone on this compilation, for Old Man Markley it’s practically second nature, they deliver a mellower version of Guts ‘N Teeth. For others the acoustic approach doesn’t change anything apart from the volume, it clearly doesn’t matter if you take Anti-Flag’s electric guitars away as they remain as angry and political as ever, Israeli punks Useless ID retain their own sound, they keep the character of their hard edged pop punk intact and Matt Skiba delivers a sinister version of Alkaline Trio‘s Continental. Karine Denike bring a touch of fifties glamour to proceedings, this couldn’t be further away from the Dance Hall Crashers upbeat ska if it tried and Get Dead deliver some stripped down punk rock

We’re on the final leg of the tour now, Lagwagon‘s Joey Cape delivers a mellow acoustic number, American Steel bring some upbeat acoustica that features a mournful accordion break and Laura Jane Grace brings a great number that carries a restrained version of the fury that inhabits Against Me‘s output. The closing trilogy of songs continue to deliver, Russ Rankin brings us a heartrending tale of the loneliness of the road and the toll it takes on relationships, Uke-Hunt do a cover of Olivia Newton John‘s Xanadu, this is rather excellent, like an unplugged Me First And the Gimme Gimmes, and for it’s grand finale the album ends with an epic symphonic version of one of my favourite NOFX tunes, The Decline, personally I wish Fat Mike had done vocals over this rather than just an instrumental but it’s a faithful and bombastic end to an excellent compilation.

Compilations are usually a mixed bag but there is little to dislike on here, the versions are all original and unique takes on songs we have come to know and love, the original tracks don’t feel like they were ideas that were rescued from the wastepaper bin. This, as with every other Fat Wreck Chords compilation, is an essential purchase, if you’re a fan of any of the bands that appear on here I doubt that you’ll be disappointed with new versions or the original material. Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged brings something new to the table on almost every track, the album spans so many genres and styles that it never gets dull, buy this and mellow out for an hour or so.

Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged is available for download and on CD, Vinyl and Coloured vinyl here

Calling All UK Download Festival Attendees

Home Of metalThis is a call to those in the UK who are attending this weekends Download Festival, in particular Black Sabbath fans. Home Of Metal is asking fans to be part of history and they are asking as many people as possible to photograph themselves at the Download Festival on Saturday June 11th. Black Sabbath, who were a significant influence of the early punk scene, will be headlining the main stage at the festival for the last time that evening and they are asking people to tag #homeofmetal and post via twitter and Instagram to contribute to a photo archive that aims to document the event. Given the nature of the line up, NOFX and Pennywise are playing the festival this year, this is an opportunity for those lucky enough to be attending the festival to be part of history

To get more info, contribute to the archive, or become a volunteer go here to tag your memories of the day and capture a unique moment in history.

NOFX

NOFX

El Hefe / Jen Abeyta

Fat Wreck Chords
By on August 5th, 2015 at Bovine Sex Club - Toronto, ON

 

 

To finish our week covering the 25th Anniversary of Fat Wreck Chords, we cap off with our third interview with one of the biggest bands on the label: the one, the only NOFX.

Chatting with their guitarist El Hefe and his wife Jen Abeyta (who together co-own their own label Cyber Tracks), we talk about the rise in popularity for both NOFX and Fat Wreck over the years, and his undying love for Taylor Swift.

Also remember to read our interviews with Masked Intruder and Chixdiggit too!


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NOFX - Fat Wreck Chords

NOFX

Backstage Passport Soundtrack

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

There are a handful of bands that immediately come to mind when some mentions mid-90s skate punk. Many bratty teens grew up listening to the humorous whine of Fat Mike & the guys of NOFX. They have attempted to delve into political topics through their songs over the years, but they are definitely not intellectuals like Propagandhi. The NOFX that most fell in love with way back in 1992 blends satirical commentary on every day life with over the top ridiculousness. In some ways, they are like the Andy Kaufman of punk rock, intentionally offensive and almost always hilarious.

A few years after the initial airing of the Backstage Passport documentary, the soundtrack is finally being released (although it does contain songs from the upcoming second season as well). For those who never witnessed the original episodes, they are worth tracking down to see the band travelling the world, experiencing it in their own special way. The soundtrack itself is a great NOFX collection. It is everything that you would expect from the band: snotty lyrics that poke fun at pretty much everyone, simple musical accompaniment and lots of Christian bashing.

Arming the Proletariat With Potato Guns is a collection of lousy jokes tucked between upbeat ska. It is as offensive as anything the guys have ever come up with. They switch things up with the European influenced melancholy accordion song I Melvin, played aptly by Eric Melvin himself.   They address critics on Insulted by Germans (Again), dismissing their claims with an aural fuck you. There are straight forward skate punk tracks, acoustic atheist slow jams and bouncy ska songs. 

You’ve heard these songs from this band before (with different titles and lyrics) and you know if you will like it or not. Like their punk rock elder statesmen brethren in Bad Religion and Pennywise, you know exactly what you are going to hear at this point in their career. 

Fat Mike and NOFX Announce Home Street Home

NOFXFat Mike and NOFX have announced the release of a brand new punk rock concept project.  The project is titled Home Street Home and will double as both a theatrical play and collaborative full length album. The outing is based on true stories of the authors’ experiences, centres around 16-year old runaway Sue who becomes adopted and accepted by a tribe of homeless teens.  Fat Mike explains his inspiration for the project:

“Ever since I saw Rocky Horror when I was 8, I’ve been intrigued by musicals. Well, not all musicals, just the ones that break the mold. Luckily, I found two people, Jeff Marx and Soma Snakeoil, that love breaking things as much as I do. This is fucking fun!”

Vocalists lending to the album version of the play include Frank Turner, Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, Tony Award winner Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s Stacey Dee, the late Tony Sly of No Use For A Name, and Dance Hall Crashers’ Karina Denike.  Other contributions feature members of Descendents, Lagwagon, Old Man Markley, Mad Caddies, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, The Aggrolites, The Living End, The Real McKenzies, and RKL.\

The album will be due out February 10, 2015 via Fat Wreck Chords

 

Epitaph Records To Re-Release Classic Albums From NOFX and Rancid

EpitaphEpitaph Records is celebrating the 20th anniversary of  NOFX‘s Punk In Drublic and Rancid‘s Let’s Go by remastering and re-releasing them both on vinyl .  Both pressings will be made available on November 24, 2014.

Pre-order for Punk In Drublic can be made here and Let’s Go are available here

Punk Versions Of Classic Video Games Surface

PunktendoA talented person with too much time on their hands has created versions of classic NES games that contain popular punk icons. The games are playable on your browser and feature such titles as Super Mikey Erg! (Super Mario Bros.) and Milo Fu (the Descendents‘ icon goes Kung Fu). 

Other games currently available on the Brooklyn artist’s site Punktendo include NOFX‘s Fat Mike, The Misfits’ Glenn Danzig and the ever lovable criminals Masked Intruder. 

If you have time to waste, you can check the games out here. 

Punk Rock Bowling Announce First Wave Of Bands

punk rock bowlingThe legendary Punk Rock Bowling festival has announced it’s first wave of bands set to play between May 23rd and May 26th in Las Vegas. The festival, now in it’s 16th year, will see Cock Sparrer, Descendents and NOFX headline alongside a number of other bands.

You can see the full list below.

The festival, which is made up of three nights of festivals, four nights of club shows and a two-day bowling tournament will be selling three-day festival and VIP passes from February 1st, single-day tickets from February 22nd and club show tickets from March 15th on their official website.

Read More…

NoFX Stoke Extinguisher

NoFX

Stoke Extinguisher

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Punk icons and 30 year scene veterans NoFX make yet another energetic splash with their rowdy maxi single/EP (you decide) Stoke Extinguisher

This six song attack features a new release, the title track (Stoke Extinguisher) and a cover of the No Use For A Name song, The Shortest Pier which was origanally released on The Songs Of Tony Sly: A Tribute after the unexpected death of the reveared punk frontman. The four remaining tunes are b-sides from the bands 12th studio effort, Self Entitled, released in 2012 on Fat Wreck Chords.

The great thing about NoFX is that they know who they are, know what they like and could care less if you approve or not. Stoke Extinguisher (the song) is proof that even all these years in they still know who they are, still create angry, agressive yet melodic and relevant punk rock.  

Although the title cut is the standout on this 13 minute, 25 second barrage, the other songs are what you want from NoFX. Whether it’s the frenetic romp of I Believe In Godess (not bad at all for a demo version) or the in your face, cynical and ambivalent Wore Out The Soles Of My Party Boots where Fat Mike defiantly proclaims “Call me fat fuck geriatric punk”, this is what NoFX is about. Need more proof? Want the well documented lighter side from these SoCal punks? Take a listen to the whacky My Stepdad’s A Cop And My Stepmpm’s A Domme. And last but not least you have the poser optimism of New Years Revolution to bring it all home.

There are many people out there who think a punk band shouldn’t be around for more than five years, let alone 30. They think hanging around too long equals complacency. Well in my opinion, one of the most punk rock things to do is buck the system, defy the odds and continue to be relvant as hell. Time has very little to do with it. You can look at The Clash and their short tenure or Bad Religion and NoFX and their three decade long assault on the genre and you’ll see it’s the songs that matter, the influence it has on other bands that matter, and not always the flavor of the month band that will come and go without leaving a meaningful mark. How many other bands can release a six song EP and extract this much conversation? Thank you NoFX!

Live Concert Review

NOFX, Anti-Flag, Old Man Markley, Brendan Kelly

Live (October 14 & 15, 2011)

House of Blues - Chicago, IL
By

 
 

 

 

This October, NoFX brought 2 nights of debauchery, booze, and don’t-give-a-fuck punk rock to the Chicago House of Blues. After almost 30 years of playing, the band—all in their mid-40s—can still sell out a venue (2 nights in a row, at that!), make a crowd laugh, and somehow perform while being out-of-their-mind drunk/high. Singer/bassist Fat Mike even made a daring, face-first stage dive onto the concrete floor the first night; ah hell, he’s even more punk than me… It just goes to show that after years of being professional punkers, NoFX is still relevant in today’s scene.  

Brendan Kelly started off the evening with a half-hour set consisting of songs by The Lawrence Arms and The Falcon along with some new original tunes that will likely be on his upcoming solo record. The first night, a kid heckled Kelly for most of his set, calling him a pussy—probably because he thought acoustic guitar is not punk rock. Songs like “The Devil’s Takin’ Names” and “The Unicorn Odyssey” had a decent amount of concert-goers singing along. Kelly talked about how shitty all the music is in children shows his kids watch, so he decided to write his own kid’s song. Kelly’s take is more a depraved song about a dirty old men abducting people and chipping away at their bones, not your typical toddler fare. Kelly also performed a hardcore tune he claims he wrote when he was thirteen about dicks— it was a typical night with Brendan Kelly.

Old Man Markley was next; they’re a punk bluegrass band with 8 members including both male and female vocalists and instruments ranging from the mandolin, autoharp, banjo, fiddle and washboard. OMM was definitely the most energetic band of the evening, and had a huge dance pit going at the Friday night show. I know this is an awful comparison, but since I rarely see bands like this, I felt like I was watching the grown-up Disney Country Bear Jamboree, with much better songs of course. The band seemed to win the hearts of the crowd when they busted out a kazoo and encouraged circle pits. 

About ten years ago when I was 15 years old, I was a big fan of Anti-Flag. In fact, I could probably still sing you all the songs from New Kind of Army and Die for Your Government, but I would definitely consider them one of those bands that you kind of grow out of as you grow up. To my surprise, Anti-Flag is still as popular as ever, even with kids that are old enough to vote. They’re just as good live with the same amount of energy they had ten years ago.

Anti-Flag played a few songs off their major label records, but a good chunk of their set consisted of favorites like “Fuck Police Brutality,” “Underground Network,” along with a cover of the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” which was a big hit. On Friday night during the last song, drummer Pat Thetic brought his bass drum into the crowd and played on the floor surrounded by fans—pretty fantastic. Overall, it is really impressive that they still look and play the way they did ten years ago; it must be because they avoid all those delicious animals and beers, being vegetarian/vegan and straight-edge.

NoFX played two completely different shows Friday and Saturday night. It might have something to do with Fat Mike’s admittedly drug-addicted, alcoholic lifestyle, but with as fucked up as he was Friday, it made for an entertaining show nonetheless. Friday, NoFX played all of their classics, including “Linoleum,” “Leave It Alone,” “Murder the Government,” “Stickin’ In My Eye,” and more. Great, great set list. The only problem was that Mike’s singing was not the best… and I guess there are a lot of words to remember in “Mattersville,” so who can blame him for forgetting a few lines? Their set also started at midnight on Friday, opposed to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, so not only had the band overindulged in drugs and alcohol, but the crowd had as well…at least with booze. The floor was violent—pits would pop up all over the place from one drunk-ass deciding he needed to start crashing into everyone around him. Needless to say, it was a mess and it’s doubtful anyone even noticed Mike was skipping a few words. The only event that made it apparent that Mike was at his crashing point was when he fell off the stage during their last song “Theme from a NoFX album.” One second he was singing onstage, the next he went falling face-first into the floor with mic and bass in hand. I have to applaud him for finishing the song from the floor of the House of Blues, though.

The next night, NoFX were much more composed at the early set time of 8:30. Fat Mike proclaimed, “8:30 isn’t punk time,” and launched into songs like “Dinosaurs Will Die,” “Quart in Session,” and “Fuck the Kids.” During the hour-and-a-half set, there was a decent amount of banter from Fat Mike, but still over an hour of songs, and they were even played well!

They left a few of their classics off the set, instead playing a few more songs off their latest release Coaster. There were Mexican and Jew jokes exchanged between El Jefe and Fat Mike, as well as a few slower jams like “Orphan Year” and “Kill All The White Man.” They even played their cover of Rancid’sRadio.” For anyone who paid to go both nights, the sets were pretty different, no joke was retold, and the stage presence was completely different from one night to the next; totally worth dedicating the weekend to NoFX.

NOFX - Wolves in Wolves Clothing

NOFX

Wolves in Wolves' Clothing

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

What is there to say about NOFX that hasn’t been said a million times before? Pretty much nothing, after going for nearly a quarter of a century, NOFX has done almost everything imaginable in the underground punk scene; and they are back in gear with yet another solid release of classic NOFX sound.

Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing is the band’s umpteenth album, and if you don’t like them yet, you never will – because it’s clear that Fat Mike and his comrades will never, ever change.

The album kicks off slightly slow with 60%, a song which, while has great lyrical content as it glorifies the band when compared to all the emo bands coming up now, is a it too slow for comfort – but they quickly pick up the pace with USA-Holes next. And in a way, that’s the short of formula the band uses the entire album – with a wide range of speeds and sounds all distinctly NOFX.

There’s the reggae-fueled Marxist Brothers (which, along with Seeing Double At The Triple Rock, was on the band’s last EP, Never Trust A Hippy) followed by the highlight of the album, The Man I Killed. This quick little chorus-less anthem has Fat Mike reliving the time when he killed George Bush backed up with a great acoustic melody. The Japanese sex song Cool And Unusual Punishment is followed by the slower album-titled track, which, in turn, is followed by the Spanish Cantado En Espanol.

Really, this is a NOFX album by NOFX. You get exactly what you expect to get from the band. Some immature songs mixed with some political songs. Some weak songs and some spectacular songs. The only really disappointing part of the album is that some of the songs, like Leaving Jesusland and Getting High On The Down Low have been released on other mix CDs and 7inches already – but with eighteen tracks and a bonus song you can’t really complain.

NOFX - War On Errorism

NOFX

War On Errorism

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Ever since their EP, Regaining Unconsciousness came out a couple months ago, I’ve been looking forward to hearing the full length CD by NOFX. Now that I have it in my hands, I am awe-stricken by this album. Full a post-punk songs, mixed along with a couple ska ones too. The CD has 14 tracks on it, some which are less then memorable, but others which will become instant classics in my mind. Creating a CD which isn’t the best compilation of punk rock songs, but one which you will be able to play over and over again.

Opening the liner notes, you will discover a three page introduction from the guys in NOFX. It explains how they think they are more known for their comedy and sophomoric lyrics, but wish to be known for some of their political views as well. This CD will change all of that. The little “essay” is quite interesting to read. Explaining their thoughts on Americans and how they think that they are not the number 1 country, but more like 11 or 12. It is a good read for any person and I highly suggest you read it if you get the chance.

The CD is also enhanced with some nice little videos, including the music video for their single, Franco Un-American (a good video, all cartoon, for an amazing song) and also a video of them performing Idiot Son Of An Asshole live in Vancouver, Canada. The best video on it though is the preview for this video entitled Unprecedented: The Presidential Elections of 2000. It is a video on how many people believe that the 200 elections in Florida were rigged. Watching it really makes you think a lot. This is another thing I highly recommend you watch.

Now onto the actual album, the newest release from NOFX is a CD full of songs you would expect from a band like them, but many songs you wouldn’t expect too. It has some fast paced punk-rock, along with some slower songs and even a ska track or two. The second song, The Irrationality Of Rationalitywhich is a punk rock song about how life is just not fair. And how people who work hard normally get screwed in the end. We then come upon Franco Un-American which remains to be one of my top choices from the album. It is a pop-punkish song, with catchy vocals and tunes. It is a song which gets caught in your head right away and lasts for a while. Read my review of Regaining Unconsciousness for a more in-depth review of it. Idiots Are Taking Over is another song which was on their EP, another great punk rock song. About how, like the name says, idiots are taking over the world.

She’s Nubs is next (track 5), it starts off slow with only a guitar riff and soft vocals before entering into the chorus and picking up the pace to become a fast paced punk-rock song which NOFX are known for. It is a much more comedic song then others, about a girl who has no legs or arms. Mattersville comes next, a song which sounds slightly different from the others has it has the use of a vibraphone and trombone on it. It was originally released on the newest Fat Wreck compilation (Uncontrollable Fatulence) and is a good song to place near the middle of the album.

One song which I was not greatly impressed with was Medio-Core, which is just simply mediocre. Anarchy Camp is a ska song with some comical lyrics like “If you see somebody taking charge, you’ll be expected to beat them“. It is a decent song, but not as good as the band could do.

The shortest song on the album is 13 Stitches (lasting 1:55). It is about some guy gong to concerts and his opinions on them. Then smacking his head against a post and needing stitches. It is a good song which I do enjoy. My favorite track though, is one which took me by total surprised. The final song, Whoops, I OD’d, is a song which I expected to be a fast paced comical one, but instead it was the slowest track and one of the most powerful. About a guy who overdosed on drugs and is dying, thinking about his life. It is by far THE BEST ending track I have heard in a very very long time.

Overall, this is a CD which I will be able to listen to over and over again and never get bored with. The difference in style from one song to another while keeping the same feel keeps your interest and makes the newest efforts by this quartet a amazing one.

NOFX - They've Actually Gotten Worse Live

NOFX

They've Actually Gotten Worse Live

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

There are certain bands where you know exactly what you’ll be getting when you see them live and NOFX are one of those bands. Having been around for over two decades now, Fat Mike and his comrades have crafted a vivid image for themselves, so much so that even if you’ve never seen the quartet in the flesh you still know what it would be like to see them. Slightly sloppy songs that are sped up a bit and fitted with alternate lyrics, played by a band that is up there having fun, tossing a few back and quite probably a little tipsy well before they hit the stage. The songs will be separated by mindless banter that is as awkward as it is comical and they will sample tracks from their entire career. That, in a nutshell, is a NOFX live show; and their second live album, appropriately titled They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live, is solid proof of just that.

Recorded over three nights at San Francisco’s Slim’s, They’ve Actually Gotten Worse is a collection of twenty four songs spanning the length of NOFX‘s career. Of course, with such a massive amount of songs under their belts, there’s no way the band played everyone’s favorite songs on here; but by not sticking to all their massive hits for the live record NOFX once again gave another realistic performance. Because, in reality, when would the band ever stick with playing the same songs over and over again? So while there may be no BobS&M AirlinesLinoleum or Don’t Call Me White, there is Green Corn, You’re Wrong, Lori Meyers, Murder The Government, Franco Unamerican and Stickin’ In My Eye. Plus, there’s a fair amount of those always comical thirty second gems like Monosyllabic Girl, I Wanna Be An Alcoholic, Fuck The Kids and Murder The Government.

Of course, no live show from NOFX would be complete without Fat Mike messing up the lyrics or making some up on the fly and once again, They’ve Actually Gotten Worse provides us with that. While many of the songs do remain the same, you can’t help but smile at the alternate lyrics for Franco Unamerican, Murder The Government and The Longest Line. Plus, the improvised birthday song, Amy’s A Crackwhore, steals the spotlight of the show has it truly conveys the impulsiveness of a NOFX live show.

Sonically, it sounds great. Not only does it flow from one track to another, but you can’t even tell it was recorded over three nights other than the contradicting banter by the band as they alternate from “this is our last chance to get this right” to “we better get this right tomorrow.” There are, however, a few downsides to the record. For instance, I can’t help but shake the feeling that the crowd is faded out a little bit too much in the mix. It, at times, feels as if there’s no one there watching as the crowd is almost indecipherable. It’s not as if it’s a show where the crowd makes a huge impact to the performance, but it does lose it’s live vibe once the banter dies down since the crowd is too low in the mix. The only other real downside is the fact that they tease you with a sample of The Decline as it begins then fades out during the final track, it would have been nice to have a live version of that song too.

Quite frankly though, NOFX have given us a perfectly predictable live album. There are no big shocks or surprises, it is exactly what you’ve come to expect from the group. So if you’ve like them in the past and like live albums, this albums for you; if NOFX isn’t for you, then shake it off and you’re none the worse for wear – it’s a simple as that.

NOFX - The Longest EP

NOFX

The Longest EP

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

In my recent review of The Mad Caddies’ Consensual Selection I questioned the necessity of a “best-of” album. Fans already have all the songs and in today’s day and age, you can get a feel for the band from their MySpace page. And yet, mere days after reviewing that record I couldn’t help but gush overNOFX’s latest compilation: The Longest EP.

I couldn’t really figure out what it was exactly that made The Longest EP so much better than Consensual Selections but I guess it all comes down to logistics. For you see, technically The Longest EP isn’t a “best of” collection (NOFX already did that with The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us)); instead, it’s simply a collection of every one of their EPs ever released along with a few rare tracks as well.
Combining all of the EPs into one release makes it a much more valuable collection; so while yes, I already have the songs from some of their newer EPs – Cokie The Clown and Never Trust A Hippy for example – I don’t own some of their older material like their 1987 EP The PMRC Can Suck On This. This helps makes the album worth while. Certain songs (Concerns of a GOP Neo-Phyte) have never seen the light of day before; and others are acoustic bsides (13 StichesMy Orphan Years) from singles.

Throwing any thought of continuity out the window, the record doesn’t go in any type of chronological order. Their oldest stuff comes last, the newer material in the middle and the stuff from the nineties kick start the so-called EP.  This gives the record a “best of” feel without being a “best of” as the record mixes all of the band’s different eras and topics.  There’s religion bashing  (You’re Wrong, I’m Going To Hell For This One), sex (Perverted, S&M Airlines), booze and drugs (I Wanna Be An Alcoholic, Cokie The Clown), politics (Glass War),  the oddly personal (My Orphan Year) and my favourite – the tongue in cheek music references like 13 Stitches, Everything In Moderation Especially Moderation and Jaw Knee Music.

With thirty songs there’s a few filler tracks but the only song that really should have been left off is the painful War on Errorism Commercial that is neither funny or well placed. The rest all have their place and if the length is a concern to you – don’t worry. It’s all just one EP after another, so you can always just pick one EP and then go onto something else afterwards.

It’s not a great introduction to the band, but for those wanting to fill in some of their collection – The Longest EP is a must have.

NOFX - Never Trust A Hippy

NOFX

Never Trust A Hippy

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

NoFX are back and ready to rock with yet another full length waiting to tear up speakers worldwide, but like the band did with their last full length, War On Errorism, they are making their fans wait a little longer than usual for it, teasing them a bit with a short EP, making their ever rabid fans salivate at the prospect of a full length. But ever second spent sitting there salivating in anticipation can also be spent rocking out to the new EP, Never Trust A Hippy, because frankly the EP is worth rocking out too.

While only twelve minutes long Never Trust A Hippy is still packed full of that NoFX goodness. Like Regaining Unconsciousness, this little EP has two songs, Seeing Double At The Triple Rock and The Marxist Brothers, which will appear on their new full length in May. Those two songs kick off the album perfectly, showing the two sides of the band. First a fun song about drinking and partying at the Triple Rock in Minnesota and the other a much more political outburst with a simple, slow upstroke melody throughout. One thing’s for sure is that these two songs fill the listener with great expectations for Wolves In Wolves’ Clothing.

The remaining four songs are saved for this release itself. The first is a high energy cover of Golden Boys, which starts off slowly but really picks it up as the song movies forward, and from there on the EP never rests. You’re Wrong is a solid, catchy, acoustic song similar to Whoops I Od ‘d, which sees the band pointing out all the faults of society. They follow that up with two quick, one two punches, Everything In Moderation (Especially Moderation) and I’m Going To Hell For This One which bring back the old times of NoFX. Fun, sarcastic, snappy songs.

Really, Never Trust A Hippy is an EP for any NoFX fan. It is classic NoFX, and only really stumbles with the cover song. It is light years beyond their last EP, and I sure as hell can’t wait to hear the actual full length.

NOFX - The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us)

NOFX

The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us)

Epitaph Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Reeko, Franco Un-American, Bob, Stickin’ In My Eye, The Idiots Are Taking Over, Thank God It’s Monday, Don’t Call Me WhiteKill All The White Men. What do all of these things have in common? Well, they are all classicNOFX songs; and unless you’ve been living under the rock in the bottom of your closet for the past twenty years, you damn well better know who NOFX are. And if you don’t? Well, here’s a chance to get to know them.

In all honesty, what is there to say about NOFX that hasn’t been said before? Fat Mike, Eric, Eric, and El Hefe (along with some other members over the years) have been a leading force in the punk rock community for the past twenty-one years. They’ve released over a dozen albums of melodic punk music along with a few classic ska songs along the way. All of these CDs have one common feature to them: they have some amazing songs and some not-so amazing songs. The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us) is a collection of all of those amazing songs. From 1988’s Shut Up Already to 1992’s Bob to 2003’s The Separation Of Skate And Church, they are all on here along with a brand new track called Wore Out The Soles Of My Party Boots.

The album also comes with a twenty-four page booklet chronicling the band’s career. With never before seen pictures, random commentary from Fat Mike, and the worst reviews of their albums they could find, the booklet will entertain any mildly interested fan.

The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By Us) creates a conundrum in my mind. It is a great compilation of some of the best NOFX songs over the past two decades piled together into one CD. If you were a big NOFX fan, then you’ll love this CD; although, if you were a big NOFX fan, you’ll probably already own all of these songs on other CDs. Is it worth the money for the one new track? I doubt it. I’d say just download it. If you never liked NOFX, then why would you even think of looking at a NOFX “best of” collection? In reality, this CD is ideal for people like myself. The people that like NOFX, but don’t know all their back material, only one or two albums. This CD brings together the best songs from one of the most influential bands and throws it into one rock ride, and I hope to see them last yet another twenty-one years.

 

NOFX - Cokie the Clown

NOFX

Cokie the Clown

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

NOFX are a prolific band. It may seem weird to think about it, but who else has eleven studio albums, two live ones, three compilations, a few DVDs, two splits and 26 EPs not counting the mass amount of seven inches they also have laying around? I can’t think of any others, can you? Chances are you can’t becauseNOFX are the punk rock royalty of the scene and always releasing new material in one form or another.

Cokie the Clown, their twenty-sixth EP and newest release, is no different. Its features five songs recorded during the Coaster sessions and held off for a future release; and while none of the tracks on here are as good as the ones that did make the cut for the full length, Cokie the Clown will definitely please anyNOFX fan because at the end of the day, Cokie the Clown is your classic NOFX.

The album kicks off with the title track, a fast paced song about a drug-addled clown playing jokes on other unsuspecting prey. It’s a traditional NOFX song with Fat Mike’s sarcastic lyrics and fast paced momentum. Straight Outta Massachusetts is a more melodic cut, coming in at just over a minute long and singing about moving from coast to coast. Some may remember the track from its brief appearance on the kid TV show Pancake Mountain.

They pick up the pace again with Fermented and Flailing which sounds like a b-side from Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing and Codependence Day which previously appeared on this year’s Warped Tour 2009 compilation; but that doesn’t take away from the energy of the track.

The most surprising track on the EP comes right at the very end with an acoustic version of Coaster‘s My Orphan Year. The oddly-personal song is somewhat reminiscent of Whoops I OD’ d but seems so much more sincere and passionate in the acoustic format. For an EP that started with a song about a clown blowing drugs into people’s faces, this touching song about the death of Fat Mike’s parents seems an odd way to end the release but also helps show a side of NOFX that some people may forget about.

At just under eleven minutes long, Cokie the Clown doesn’t offer much new to the NOFX catalogue but it gives the listener exactly what they expect; and no fan of the band will be disappointed in any way.

NOFX - Coaster

NOFX

Coaster

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Having been around since 1983, NOFX have become a staple in the punk rock community and, like their Epitaph brethren in Bad ReligionNOFX have found a sound and have stuck with it for the past twenty-six years. Their eleventh studio album, Coaster (or Frisbee if you get it on vinyl) is no different and features the classic NOFX sound once again but that’s far from being a bad thing; and yes, it’s better and much more cohesive than Wolves in Wolves Clothing was.

Leaving behind the politically fuelled War On Errorism, Coaster sees NOFX turning their snide little comments towards religious jealous zealots (Best God In Show, Blasphemy (The Victimless Crime)). However, like their politically charged anthems of WOE, these ones are filled with sarcastic little comments that come off both intelligently and comical as if Jon Stewart was unafraid to truly attack something. But religion isn’t the only thing on Fat Mike’s mind these days and that is most definitely a good thing as it enables NOFX to return to their comfort zone of drugs (The Quitter), drinking (First Call, I Am An Alcoholic) and lesbians (the absolutely hilarious and pop-culture rich Creeping Out Sara). These songs see the band’s lyrics really shine because despite the slightly immature content, they’re able to fill each song up with so many name drops and pop culture references that it makes your head spin. No other band could pull off telling the story of Iron Maiden stuck in love triangle dilemma like Fat Mike does. Still, they’re able to show some maturity in the oddly-personal and sincere My Orphan Year, a track who`s lyrical content comes out of the blue like Whoops I`Od.

Musically their the same as ever, keeping their signature punk rock style and sound intact while adding enough of a flare to sound some growth and show off just a tad. Eddie, Bruce and Paul let`s El Hefe and Eric Melvin rip on the guitar like Strung Out (or, I guess, Iron Maiden). Suits And Ladders and The Quitter ramp up the tempo in a clear throw back to some of the band`s earlier material but this time they`re a bit more technically adapt. The Agony of Victory could quickly become an anthem for the underachievers of the world and throws is a blistering solo right smack in the middle. They pull out the reggae vibe in Best God In Show, a track that features the best beat on the album mixed alongside upstrokes and an organ. El Hefe pulls out the trombone for I Am An Alcoholic which also uses a nice female vocal harmony for the verses.

Twenty-six years later, NOFX are still going strong and releasing a CD that is both nostalgic and relevant at the same time, not to mention the fact that it is insanely good.

New Photos: Lucero, Make Do And Mend, Anberlin, Knucklhead and Riot Fest Toronto

Lucero

After fixing a little bug in our media gallery, we’re back with a vengeance and have posted a ton of new photos for you to devour.

We’ll start out West in Denver, Colorado as Mike Fajardo captured an intimate Lucero acoustic show at Illegal Pete’s in April. You can check out those pictures here.

Heading up North, Chris Wedman has been busy up in Calgary, Alberta and recently snapped some photos of Anberlin, Make Do and Mend and Knucklehead with The Hockey Fight.

And finally we hit up the East Coast as our resident Toronto photographer got some images of Riot Fest Toronto last year featuring the likes of NOFX, Descendents, Andrew WK, Lawrence Arms, Hot Water Music and Less Than Jake here.

Tours: NOFX

NOFXNOFX has announced that they will be heading to Europe for some summer tour dates. Dates are below.

The band last released Self Entitled last year via Fat Wreck Chords in 2012.

 

 

Read More…

   

Old Man Markley Finish Sophomore Album

Old Man MarkleyLos Angeles based bluegrass punks Old Man Markley will release their sophomore album, Down Side Up, on March 5th via Fat Wreck Chords.  

The septet’s full-length follow-up to 2011’s critically acclaimed debut Guts n’ Teeth was produced by NOFX frontman Fat Mike, and will be available for pre-order soon.

After two years of relentless touring and winning over thousands of fans, Old Man Markley returned to the little house in Southern California where it all began to record their follow-up, Down Side Up.  Fat Mike and singer/guitarist Johnny Carey shared production credits, the latter of which commented:
With the support of Fat Mike, we went out on a limb with this album. We didn’t restrict our creativity and can’t wait for the world to hear the variety on our album.”

NOFX To Release Massive 30th Anniversary Box Set

NOFXThe legendary NOFX have announced plans to release a massive 30th anniversary box set to celebrate their anniversary. 

The box set, which will be available on February 19th, is limited to only 2500 and features a every studio album they have released, from 1988’s Liberal Animation through 2012’s Self Entitled on vinyl. On top of that, the release will also feature the classic Decline EP as well as the previously unreleased 2xLP for the 7” of the month club.

In total, the box set will feature Liberal Animation, S & M Airlines, Ribbed, White Trash, Two Heebs & A Bean, Punk In Drublic, Heavy Petting Zoo , So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes, Pump Up The Valuum , The Decline, War On Errorism, 7-Inch of the Month Club, Wolves in Wolves Clothing, Coaster and Self-Entitled in a beautiful hardbound box and pressed on colored vinyl with exclusive colors available through both Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph Records. On top of that, the box sets also come with a life-size version of the band’s stage banner and 500 Boxes (250 for Epitaph, 250 for Fat) will be signed by the band.

The set can be pre-ordered here.

Punch Drunk Punk Event in Reno, NV Cancelled.

In a joint press release made by all the bands on their websites, Nofx, Pennywise, Alkaline Trio and Dropkick Murphys have announced their Punch Drunk Punk event in Reno, Nevada is cancelled due to the promoter. 

“It is with great regret that we announce the performances by Dropkick Murphys, NOFX, Pennywise, and Alkaline Trio on the Punch Drunk Punk event at Reno Events Center are cancelled. This cancellation is due to failure by the local promoter, Forever Music to fulfill it’s obligations to all concerned and the bands’ lack of confidence that this show can be presented properly. Our thanks to the staff of Reno Events Center and The Alley for their cooperation. Refunds will be made available at point of purchase. NOFX, Pennywise, and Alkaline Trio thank their fans in Reno for their understanding and look forward to coming to Reno in the future. Dropkick Murphys will play a special intimate show at The Alley in Sparks, Nevada on Saturday November 10. Tickets will be available at the door. Please not Punch Drunk Punk tickets will not be accepted for this show. For info please go to www.thealleysparks.com or www.facebook.com/thealleysparks later this evening for information on this show.”

The Reno-based promotion company, Forever Music, has not commented on the cancellation.
NOFX - Backstage Passport [DVD]

NOFX

Backstage Passport [DVD]

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Last year Fuse aired an eight episode TV series documenting the trials and tribulations of NOFX as they toured the world in an ambitious fourteen month tour. This is a DVD collection of those eight episodes along with two and a half hours of extra footage so anyone who doesn’t live in the United States can now be treated to one of the best band documentaries released in a long time.

NOFX are known for their carefree attitude and wild antics. Having been around since 1983, they are one of the most successful independent punk bands. Throughout their career they’ve done everything themselves, never once relying on major label support. They do what they want, when they want and how they want.

But being a band for a quarter of a decade, things start to all meld together. In their own words, nothing is exciting anymore. Touring the States is now a safe routine. They go, play the same venue, always get a crowd, can be sure the promoter will be professional and always know what to expect. That’s not what punk should be and that’s not always fun. So in classic NOFX fashion, they attempted to break the mold and during a fourteen month period between September 2006 and November 2007, they did just that.

Going back to their old routes, they (well, their manager Kent) independently booked themselves a world tour but this time it was truly a “world” tour. Deciding to play in far off countries that most bands never even attempt to play – some places where no North American punk band have ever played – NOFX booked shows all over the world including Colombia, Peru, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, Indonesia, South Africa, Russia and more. Backstage Passport is the documentation of that adventure. An adventure full of ups, downs, drunken buffoonery, packed punk shows and police barricades.

Since it was made for Fuse, Backstage Passport has the feel of a reality TV show in the way that the show is narrated by the band members and crew who are thinking back to the experience. These interruptions are both good as they help explain what was going on and the thought process of the band members but can also be distracting as there are times where you simply want to see the band’s natural reactions and interpret them for yourself instead of them being dissected for you. But alas, its a TV show and that’s how its set up. A minor hiccup – one which is much less annoying than the clips showing what will happen right after a non-existent commercial break – but a hiccup nonetheless.

But the real find of Backstage Passport is not the format but the content. Backstage Passport invites the viewer into the crazy, unexpected world of not only touring but touring in dangerous, uncharted waters. Nowhere else would you see a band’s crew being held hostage by Peruvian police. Nowhere else would you see thousands of Taiwan police lined up in anticipation of a riot. Nowhere else will you see a band do illegal drugs in Shanghai (the one place where you should never do drugs since it carries the death penalty) on camera and attempt to handle it without going too crazy. Nowhere else will you see a band’s manager fight to get paid or a drum tech threaten to beat up and strangle different people. And nowhere else will you see Fat Mike surf a camel.

Each segment makes you think, makes you excited and shows why NOFX have been able to stay around for so long, the band never takes it seriously or think of it as a career but instead treat it as an adventure. This makes it so that the two episodes that are focused on Kent getting hopelessly drunk seem natural and comical at the same time. Plus, the fact that there is so much time dedicated to the crew gives yet another insight into everything that has to happen behind the scenes. There’s problems getting visas into countries that the band is unaware of and the manager must fix. Someone needs to make sure they get paid at the end of the day and there’s lots of people who need to make sure that the instruments are set up. The crew’s angrier viewpoints often offer a nice contrast to that of the band’s who, at one point, is eating a meal in a fancy restaurant while the crew was behind held hostage by police. Different view points? You bet.

Backstage Passport is a must-see for NOFX fans but on top of that, it is also good enough to be interesting for those simply interested in wild adventures and a more in depth look at what happens behind the scenes of a major world tour.

NOFX - Ten Years Of Fucking Up [DVD]

NOFX

Ten Years Of Fucking Up [DVD]

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Fat Wreck Chords and NoFX have caught up with the times and technology finally. So they’ve decided to re-release the Ten Years Of F*ckin’ Up by NoFX on DVD (instead of VHS). With footage from 1985 to 1993, you get a nice feel for the first 10 (well 9 actually) years of the band’s creation.

The live footage is interesting to see. You have some footage from their 1987 US tour (in which they got 36$ per show for the eight week tour) where they play for anywhere between 6 and 100-150 people and then some footage of their stops in Germany in 1992 and 1993, playing in front of like 25000. A slight difference in the crowd size. But they still always have the same energy no matter what (except for when they were piss drunk). Other live footage which is cool to see is some from the very first Warped Tour in 1987 in Ashton, Oregon. The tour has really blown up compared to what it was back then.

Mixed in between the live performances you get the chance to see some music videos which the band has created over the years. Stickin’ In My EyeShut Up AlreadyS/M Airlines (which was directed by the same guy who did The Ring) and Bob are some of the videos on there. It’s surprising to see the techniques used in music videos back in the early 90s and late 80s compared to today’s videos. Another added bonus is seeing all the guest stars in the music videos (watch the commentary to find out who is who exactly). Finally, they have also managed to squeeze in a bunch of interviews amongst all this chaos. Tour updates from the ’87 Tour and Germany interviews tend to take up the most room, but there were also a couple odd ones here and there. Hearing stories about fights and slipping on terd pieces is always nice to hear.

The commentary by NoFx is very amusing to see. I don’t know how they can remember all these details from events which happened almost 20 years ago, but they do. Filling in all your questions and making some more, they go through videos and performances insulting each other and farting in one another’s faces. The commentary which I was disappointed in was The Vandals’ Commentary on NoFX’s Commentary. I was expecting it to be quite comical, but I found it to be useless.

For any fan of NoFx, this is a must have. And I know I’m looking forward to NoFX: The First 20 Years.