Tours: Social Distortion

Social DistortionSocial Distortion has announced a string of new tour dates for the Summer. The band released their seventh studio album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, in 2011 via Epitaph Records.

Dates can be found below.

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Greg Graffin – Lincoln’s Funeral Train (Norman Blake)

ANTI-Bad Religion frontman Greg Graffin has premiered a cover of folk artist Norman Blake.  The track in question is “Lincoln’s Funeral Train,” about which he comments:

“This song is such a sorrowful piece of Americana and is deeply significant today. The vision of that black funeral train heading west forever into the sunset is symbolic of today’s flickering Republican torch. The Great Emancipator’s passing is once again relevant: Lincoln was the founding President of the Republican Party, a blip so distant on the horizon that it is hardly recognizable anymore.”

Instrumental accompaniment was provided by Social Distortion members Jonny ‘Two Bags’ Wickersham, Brent Harding and David Hidalgo, and was produced by Brett Gurewitz.  Listen to the track below.

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Social Distortion 25th Anniversary Performance of ‘Self Titled’

SoCal punk legends Social Distortion will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their seminal self titled album for Epic Records with a live performance of the album in full during their upcoming European tour. So far no details have been released on whether this will be a one-off or the location, but suffice it to say fans in one of the cities on the tour are in for a special night.Social Distortion

The full list of dates on the tour are available below.

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Tours: Social Distortion (Europe)

Social DistortionSocial Distortion has announced a string of new tour dates for the Spring this upcoming April in Europe.  Support will be offered from support from Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas and guitarist Jonny Wickersham‘s solo band.  The band released their seventh studio album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, in 2011 via Epitaph Records.

Dates can be found below.

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CJ Ramone Details New Album

CJ RamonePunk legend CJ Ramone has announced his first release since signing on with Fat Wreck Chords, will be a full length titled Last Chance To Dance. The record will drop on November 25th and features a backing band including Dan Root (longtime guitarist for the Adolescents) and Social Distortion  drummer David Hidalgo Jr.

The album can be pre ordered here, and the title track is currently streaming here.

Live Concert Review

Social Distortion, Black Halos, I Hate Kate

Live (April 24th, 2007)

Edmonton Events Centre - Edmonton, Alberta




While most people will go to a Social Distortion concert for the music, the truth of the matter is that there’s so much more to a Social D show than just that. There is an unmistakable atmosphere there which is worth the ticket price itself. First there is the fashion which is simply amazing and a million times better than the emo trend sweeping the nation. You walk in and take a quick glimpse around and you see a wide variety of styles straight from the fifties and sixties. It’s like a step back in time with the greasers, rockabillies, bikers, greased back hair and collared shirts. The girls don’t disappoint either with their dresses; I don’t think you can complain when there’s a bleached blonde woman walking around in a corset with two red roses in her hair like a ’50s pin-up girl. On top of that is the overall maturity of crowd that is evident just by looking at the merch table. Where you would normally see a mass of kids shoving in front of one another, fighting for positioning and trying to grab the merch guy’s attention stood a well ordered line with everyone patiently waiting their turn to buy a shirt. If only it was it was like that at more shows.

But alas, while the atmosphere and fashion is captivating at the start, the reason everyone is there is the music and first up was I Hate Kate which features the former Zebrahead guitarist and singer Justin Mauriello. They put on a very entertaining set despite being quite different than the headliner. It was obvious Mauriello has been a front man for a while as he patrolled the stage with authority and easily got some crowd participation happening. They played a energetic type of pop-punk and went through songs like I’m In Love With A SociopathBed Of Black Roses and Embrace The Curse. I would definitely happily go out and see them again if they came through town which is something I can’t really say about The Black Halos who played an extremely long forty minute set. A few of their songs were entertaining enough, especially when they brought in the gang vocals, but they all melded together in the end and nothing stood out. The singer was trying too hard and really became laughable by the end of it as he repeated the same tricks with the mic over and over again, timed the throws badly and pulled the wire through his mouth as he tried to slur out the vocals. It got to the point where you just wanted them to leave and for Mike Ness and Social Distortion to take the stage. It was a thirty minute wait between bands, but Ness and the band finally came on stage and showed why Social Distortion are an important band in the history of punk.

It’s been thirty years, but the band is still going strong. Its obvious Ness has aged, but his vocals are still as strong as ever and he never once wavered in intensity. He sang his heart out, entertained the crowd and whipped from side to side to give everyone a good view of his golden guitar during the breakdowns. Not only that, but they catered to everyone’s tastes (except for the one guy who kept requesting 1945) as they sampled tracks from their entire career. Newer tracks like Reach For The Sky, Highway 101 and Nickels And Dimes were mixed in with Mommy’s Little Monster, Ball & Chain, and Gotta Know The Rules. Ness proudly shouted that “Hank Williams is more punk than Sid Vicious ever was” before breaking into a sing-along cover of 6 More Miles which was followed by another cover which I couldn’t recognize that was prefaced by “without good black music, there would be no good white music. We’d still just be sitting on porches blowing into jugs.” They also treated the crowd to a new song,Far Behind, which proves they still know how to write a great punk rock tune and can be downloaded here. For their encore the quickly ripped through Prison Bound, Johnny Cash’s Ring Of Fire and ended it all off with Story Of My Life. They never went above and beyond anything and never did any crazy stunts, instead they just played the songs passionately and didn’t both with a mass amount of gimmicks.

Social Distortion are legendary, and the fact that they can still put on a great punk rock show thirty years later just shows us newcomers why they are legendary. There is nothing “hip” or “cool” or “trendy” about them. Everyone there was a true fan, and Ness treated them to a night they won’t soon forget.

The set list:
Road Zombie
Reach For The Sky
Highway 101
Under My Thumb
Bad Luck
Mommy’s Little Monster
Lude Boy
When She Begins
Far Behind
Ball & Chain
Gotta Know The Rules
6 More Miles
Bye Bye Baby
Nickels & Dimes
Prison Bound 
Ring Of Fire
Story Of My Life

Live Concert Review

Social Distortion

Live (April 16th, 2012)

Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, BC




With over thirty years under their belts, Social Distortion have been around the block more than a few times. Their style was so unique it created a new classification dubbed “cow-punk” which was pushed forward with Mike Ness’ signature voice and attitude. Ness and the gang brought that style and swagger with them last night at the Commodore Ballroom for the first of two sold out evenings in Vancouver.

Sporting a black suit and top hat, Ness stepped onto the stage with a confidence that only thirty years in the business can give you. With an elaborate collection of random knickknacks on the stage behind them (traffic signs, intersection lights, and an inflatable dog for example), Social Distortion had their persona down pat as they jumped into the one-two punch of I Was Wrong and the b-side Far Behind and got the crowd moving.

Ness let the music do the talking and rarely took breaks to banter with the audience and when they played Machine Gun Blues, Gimme The Sweet and Lowdown, Sick Boy and Nickels and Dimes, it felt right. There were moments that were a little out of place – like the overly slow Baskerfield and the glaring absence of Mommy’s Little Monster; but the inclusion of Story of My Life before the encore was enough to wipe away the dissatisfaction of missing any other song.

Despite the attitude and the swagger, something still felt amiss within the walls of the Commodore. For the first time in the handful of times I’ve seen Social Distortion, this was the only instance where they truly failed to grab me. It felt, somehow, hollow; like they were going through the motions. It was real and authentic yet slightly forced which took awake from the overall feel of the evening. A somewhat muffled sound system that tended to burry Ness’ classic vocal melodies within the mix was also added an extra layer of annoyance to the show.

Even with the negative aspects of the evening, a bad Social Distortion show remains better than most other bands on their best days and I’d be hard pressed to find many people truly disappointed with the evening. Plus, their choice to end the evening with Ring of Fire was sure to make everyone leave with a fond memory – even if the early parts were sometimes less than stellar.

Social Distortion - Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes

Social Distortion

Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes

Epitaph Records

Rating: 3.5/5




Sometimes it’s hard to remember that Social Distortion only have a grand total of seven albums in their 32 year career. They’re more than simply a punk rock staple, they’re a music staple for all genres and in the same vein, never limit themselves to only the one singular style. They merge punk with blues with country with bluegrass and some sixties pop so well that even in their earlier years they dubbed it the “cow-punk” genre and have never looked back.

On Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, the band’s third album in fifteen years, Social Distortion continue that trend – creating a punk rock album who’s roots are far removed from the 4/4 time signature.

You can hear the difference from the opening chords of California (Hustle and Flow). There’s definite punk leanings embedded throughout, but Ness and the boys don’t stop there and turn the tune into blues/gospel effort propelled even further by a chorus of female vocals singing in the background (kind of like Big D and the Kids Table did with Fluent in Stroll). This isn’t the only time they do that, as the female vocals make appearances in a few tracks – most notably on Can’t Take It With You.

Of course, Hard Times isn’t all gospel and blues – Social D still packs a punch and they’re not afraid to rip it out when needed. So while you may have some alt-country sounds in the six minute middle trackBakersfield, Ness returns to his punk rock days on Gimme The Sweet and Lowdown, Still Alive, Far Side of Nowhere and Diamond in The Rough (a clear highlight). These songs, however, don’t just spit out venomous angst as quick as possible, this is Social Distortion punk rock; and it’s a style that’s unmistakable. The guitar work is controlled and strong, as he takes his time to get where he needs to be. At times it can feel a tad self-indulgence, but then you remember its Social Distortion and they’ve earned the right to do so.

Ness vocals are strong, raspy but clear. His lyrics have evolved past the drug addled content of his youth, but there’s still something unique and sincere in there. I mean, there’s really nothing special in “I wake up, drink my coffee/ put on my pants and comb my hair” but man, that line gets me every time.  Then there’s the simple fact that who else can have an album where one song is about gangsters in the 1930s with lyrics like “I’m a gangster, 1934, Junkies, winos, pimps and whores/ and all you men, women and kids best get out the way” and follow that a few songs later with Writing On The Wall, a love song to his teenage son.  Find another album with that scope of lyrical reach and I’ll be impressed.

Now this isn’t a perfect album, but it doesn’t need to be. This is Social Distortion, a bit more grown up and a bit more produced than ever before. There may be a few forgettable tunes in the mix but as a whole, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes shows how Social Distortion have been able to stay active in the scene for so long despite not spitting out a new album every year. They take their time, and when they do deliver a new one, its well worth the wait.

theHell EP Release

theHELLtheHell, side project of Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba and Atom Willard (ex RFTC, Social Distortion, Angels & Airwaves) have announced via facebook that they will be releasing a 4 track EP in September. This will be the groups second release following 2012’s Sauve Les Requins. 

As soon as further details are available, we will bring them to you!


Rikk Agnew Solo Album to be Re-Issued

Rick AgnewSoCal punk legend Rikk Agnew’s (Social Distortion, The Adolescents, D.I.) 1982 solo album All By Myself has been out of print since the mid 80’s, but now, thanks to Frontier Records it is getting a proper reissue on limited edition coloured vinyl and CD. The record is also available for streaming on their bandcamp page.

There will also be a limited edition (300 copies) cassette release being issued in conjunction with Burger Records.

Video: Social Distortion – Gimme The Sweet And Lowdown

Social Distortion has released an animated music video for the song “Gimme The Sweet And Lowdown” from their seventh studio album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, released last year on Epitaph Records.

Watch the video below.

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Tours: Social Distortion

Social DistortionSocial Distortion has announced a string of new tour dates for the winter season this December in Los Angeles.  The shows will all take place in the House Of Blues venues.  The band released their seventh studio album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, last year on Epitaph Records.

Dates can be found below.

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Social Distortion Releases Two Rare B-sides

Social DistortionLong running punk band Social Distortion have added two new songs to their Facebook page that can be heard in exchange for a “like”. The songs, live performance of “Prison Bound” recorded on BBC Radio 1. and a Sony-era b-side called “Shame on Me,” can be heard here.

Social Distortion released their seventh studio album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, last year on Epitaph Records. They are hitting the road next month with The Toadies in support of the album. The list of dates, included a recently added second show in Vancouver, can be seen below.

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Sharks Free Download and Tour Dates

SharksBritish punk rock band Sharks just released their single “Arcane Effigies” for free download over at

The single is off their highly-anticipated upcoming album, No Gods, which is due out through Rise Records on March 20th. 

The band is also hitting the road with Social Distortion and Frank Turner for a West Coast tour starting January 27th. 

A full listing of dates can be seen below.

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Tours: Social Distortion / Toadies / Riverboat Gamblers

Social DistortionSocial Distortion has announced that they will be headlining an upcoming tour with support being offered by Toadies or Riverboat Gamblers depending on the date.  

The tour will commence in March and run through April with venues in Western Canada and select US cities.

Social Distortion last released Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes in 2011 via Epitaph Records.

Tour dates can be found below.

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New Photos: Foo Fighters, Chuck Ragan, Social Distortion, Frank Turner, Streetlight Manifesto and More!

Chuck Ragan

On this lazy Sunday afternoon, we’re pleased to present your eyes with a gift of looking at a bunch of new live photos that we have added to our ever growing media gallery.

Today’s update is a doozy of an update with photos from two different cities covering a wide variety of bands and styles.

First up, we have six new photos albums courtesy of Mike Fajardo out of Denver, Colorado. You can check out his photos of the likes of: The Foo Fighters, Chuck Ragan, Social Distortion, Kyuss Lives!, Psychedelic Furs and Frank Turner right now!

Our second set of photos comes from a recent ska show that took place at the Vogue theatre in Vancouver and was captured by Nick Bukowski.  You can check out pictures of Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto here and here respectively.

Tours: Chuck Ragan / Social Distortion

Punk’s favourite Americana folker Chuck Ragan has announced that he will be hitting the road as support for Social Distortion.  This will mark the third time Ragan has shared the stage with the group, and will also include a handful of headlining shows.  Ragan continues supporting his third full length, Covering Ground, released earlier this year on SideOneDummy Records.

Tour listings can be found below.

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Social Distortion To Appear On Guitar Center Sessions

Social DistortionPunk veterans Social Distortion have taped an upcoming episode of Guitar Center Sessions, a show featured on DIRECTV hosted by Nic Harcourt. The episode is scheduled to air Saturday, August 6th at 10 P.M. ET/PT on Audience Network Channel 239.

Harcourt also conducted a one on one interview with frontman Mike Ness, who is Social Distortion’s only original member, on three decades of punk rock, musical influences, and how rock and roll saved his life.

The episode features performances of songs from their latest record Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes (Epitaph), but will also feature classics such as “Bad Luck” and “Story Of My Life”. Fans can get a preview of Social Distortion performing “California (Hustle And Flow)”on Sessions here.

Red Bull Riot Fest 2011 Announce Line-up

Riot FestRed Bull Riot Fest 2011 has announced it’s biggest line-up of bands to date. Weezer, Social Distortion, and The Descendents are scheduled as headliners for the October festival; however, another major announcement is expected by organizers on Friday, June 24th.

Michael A. Petryshyn, founder of Riot Fest, explained:

“The final headliner announcement is very special for me personally, and almost needless to say, it’s something that I never thought would happen. We thought that this deserves its very own separate announcement and I’m happy to say that we’ll be doing it with a few close friends that you might know this upcoming Friday.”

Also scheduled to appear are ALL, Helmet, The Menzingers, Down By Law, The Copyrights, and the legendary X will be playing their album Los Angeles in its entirety.

The Red Bull Riot Fest is Scheduled for October 5-9 in Chicago, IL at the Congress Theater, Bottom Lounge, Double Door, Cobra Lounge, AAA Warehouse and more.

For the complete band list and info, check out Red Bull Riot Fest 2011.

Red Bull Riot Fest East, which will be in Philadelphia on September 24th, have announced The Descendents, Dead Milkmen, X (play Los Angeles), Hot Water Music, and Samiam among many more.

Video/Short Film: Social Distortion – Machine Gun Blues

Social DistortionAfter their red-carpet premiere on Friday night, Social Distortion have unveiled their music video/short film for their track Machine Gun Blues on the internet.  The video can be seen below.

The single is taking from the band’s latest album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, that was released earlier this year on Epitaph Records.

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Video: Social Distortion-Machine Gun Blues

Social DistortionSocial Distortion will be premiering their new video for “Machine Gun Blues” at a red carpet event tonight in Hollywood.  Coverage will begin at 11:15 pm ET, with the video playing at 11:45 pm ET. The event will be streaming on  The band will then follow up the video with an hour long performance of both old and new songs.

The video depicts lead man Mike Ness as a gangster in 1934 Los Angeles on the run from authorities.  A preview of the video is below.

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Tours: Social Distortion / Chuck Ragan / Sharks

Social DistortionSocial Distortion will be hitting the road this April and May with Sharks and Chuck Ragan the dates are below.

Social Distortion are touring in support of their Epitaph Records debut, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, which was released this month while Sharks will release their debut US album, The Joys Of Living 2008 – 2010, through Rise Records on April 5th.

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Social Distortion Posts Daytrotter Session

Social Distortion DaytrotterSocial Distortion are the latest band to stop by Daytrotter to record a live set for them. Mike Ness and the band recorded a trio of tunes – “Ring Of Fire,” “Reach For The Sky” and “Prison Bound” – all of which can be downloaded or streamed right here.

Today also sees the brand new album from Social Distortion hit stores through Epitaph Records. The album, Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes, is the first album since 2004’s Sex, Love & Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Stream: Social Distortion – Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes

Social DistortionNext Tuesday the 18th marks the street date of Social Distortion‘s latest release Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes on Epitaph Records but the band is streaming the entire record online right now. It can be heard here.

With every 100,000 streams, the price of the album will drop $1 on, going as low as $7.99. If you share the link on Facebook or Twitter, you will automatically be entered to win a signed Epiphone guitar from Social Distortion.

Social Distortion: California (Hustle and Flow)

Social DistortionThe LA Times has premiered a brand new song from Social Distortion. The song, dubbed California (Hustle and Flow), can be heard below.

The track is set to appear on the band’s upcoming full length and Epitaph Records debut, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, on January 18th, 2011. The record is their first since 2004’s Sex, Love and Rock & Roll

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Tours: Chuck Ragan To Support Social Distortion And Lucero; To Start Writing New Album

Hot Water Music frontman and folk soloist Chuck Ragan has announced that he will be supporting Social Distortion and Lucero as they hit the road together in the new year for a tour spanning January and February.  Ragan released his latest solo record, Gold Country, last year on SideOneDummy Records.

Ragan recently wrapped up a tour with The Gaslight Anthem, and is currently finished up a tour of New Zealand and Australia with via Hot Water Music, alongside Bouncing Souls and Dave Hause.  Ragan intends to write his next solo outing this Winter.

Tour dates can be found below.

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Video: Social Distortion On Jimmy Kimmel Live

Social DistortionSocial Distortion‘s Monday appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live is now available for viewing.  The band played the first track from their upcoming full length, Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes, titled “Machine Gun Blues.”  The album is currently set for a January 18, 2011 release via their new home on Epitaph Records.

Watch the video below.

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Social Distortion To Make TV Debut

Social DistortionSouthern California’s iconic rock ‘n’ roll band Social Distortion will make their long-awaited television debut with a performance of their new single,Machine Gun Blues,” on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!.”  The show airs on December 6 at 12:05 a.m. ET/PT on ABC.

“Machine Gun Blues,” which debuted at #40 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs Chart and is currently #27 on the Alternative Radio Chart, is featured on Social Distortion‘s first studio album in over six years, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, that’s set for release on January 18 through Epitaph Records.

The band also recently announced a 2011 West Coast tour which has already sold out multiple dates in Los Angeles and San Diego and have been confirmed for KROQ’s infamous “Almost Acoustic Christmas” on December 11.  The dates are below.

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Social Distortion – Machine Gun Blues

Social DistortionSocial Distortion has unleashed the first full audio sample from their upcoming full length, Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes.  The first listen comes courtesy California’s KROQ radio, and comes in the form of the song “Machine Gun Blues.”  The track sits smack in the middle of the album’s eleven track run at number five.  The band takes full production credit for the album.  In an accompanying interview frontman Mike Ness comments on his band’s full production responsibilities:

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Ness explains. “I love being on that side of the board. Even though I’ve co-produced all of our records, I always was there for everything. It just came to a point where I was like ‘I think I want to try this, I want to do this ourselves.’ By being at the helm this time allowed so much more focus for me to the fine details of every aspect of it, whether it was performances, or tones, or arrangements, backing vocals….everything.”

Listen to “Machine Gun Blues” here.

Tours: Social Distortion / Lucero / Chuck Ragan

Social DistortionThe legendary and iconic Social Distortion have announced a January/February west coast tour in support of their highly anticipated forthcoming album, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. Touring in support will be Lucero and Chuck Ragan, with The Aggrolites playing select dates.  Tickets will go on sale on Friday, October 29 and can be purchased here

The dates are below.

Social Distortion’s west coast run marks the first time since 2004/2005 the band has done a full tour of the region.  Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes is their first album in over six years and is scheduled for release on January 18 through Epitaph Records. Read More…

Social Distortion Confirms Album Details (Date,Tack Listing, Artwork)

Social DistortionYou read it correctly, Social Distortion have officially announced unveiled details about their long awaited new album. Dubbed Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes, the album is due out January 18, 2011 through Epitaph Records. The eleven track albums is the first album on Epitaph Records and the first record where front man Mike Ness producing the record.

The first single is “Machine Gun Blues” and is described as “a grinding modern day Bonnie & Clyde outlaw style anthem”. “Machine Gun Blues” will be available for download via iTunes on November 16.

The track listing and artwork can be seen below.

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