The Western Reserve – Requests! Again! – Episode 023

So many good requests we had to make two episodes! In case you missed it, our 22nd episode of Western Reserve was also all-request. Lots of great music on both episodes and in this one you will hear Brainiac, Supernobody, Rashaan Roland Kirk, Ward Jarvis, James Gang, Ass Ponys, and more. And it is the first (and hopefully last) time Michael Stanley Band gets played on here. Thanks to everyone who requested stuff! Episode 24 will be a regular one before we get into the Holidays and Best of 2018.

Swearing at Motorists – “The Real Thing”
Supernobody – “The Eternal Sky”
Brianiac – “Hot Metal Dobermans”
Rashaan Roland Kirk – “Inflated Tear”
The Ohio Express – “Beg, Borrow, and Steal”
Kelly Lattimore – “Fields of Phosphene”
Ward Jarvis – “Tomahawk”
Michael Stanley Band – “Lover”
Pere Ubu – “Misery Goats”
Wussy – “Halloween”
James Gang – “The Bomber”
Brian Henke – “Waterfalls”
Ass Ponys – “Grim”
Steve Zarate  – “Jewel of the Hocking”

The Western Reserve – Best of 2017 – Episode 12

Another year is in the books and it was a great one for Ohio music. Brian plays some of his favorite songs of the year including Supernobody, Vacation, Van Dale, Pere Ubu, Water Witches, The Magic Words, Day Creeper, The Village Bicycle, Smug Brothers, Bloody Show, R. Ring, Speaking Suns, Obnox, WV White, The Crooked Spines, Buffalo Killers, Ipps, and She Bears. Enjoy!

Supernobody – “Oh Yeah Records”
Vacation – “Blueberry Patch”
Van Dale – “Vacationhead”
Pere Ubu – “Prison of the Senses”
Water Witches – “Totality”
The Magic Words – “Melody Ranch”
Day Creeper – “Allergic to Myself”
The Village Bicycle – “Anyone But You”
Smug Brothers – “My Little Crowd Pleaser”
Bloody Show – “Pyro”
R. Ring – “Cutter”
Speaking Suns – “The Void”
Obnox – “Woe Is Me”
WV White – “Backwards”
The Crooked Spines  – “Keep On”
Buffalo Killers – “Stuck Inside the Realm of Man”
Ipps – “Human Beings Are Garbage”
She Bears – “Lay Out Long”

Rocket From The Tombs at Union Saturday Night!

Rocket From the Tombs, Obnox, and County Pharoahs at The Union on Saturday night. Poster by Jason Frederick

Big awesome show at The Union this Saturday, October 13. Cleveland legends Rocket From the Tombs will be joined by two of Ohio’s finest bands around: Obnox (featuring Lamont Thomas of This Moment in Black History,Bassholes) and The County Pharoahs (Chris Biester of Appalachian Death Ride, Scott Winland and Brandon Robinson of Dropdead Sons). Don’t miss this one. Tickets are available in advance at Haffa’s or at the door tomorrow night. Music starts at 10pm, don’t be late.

From the press release:

“The legendary Rocket From The Tombs, born in 1974, flamed out in 1975, have finally recorded a studio album, delivering “Barfly,” and closing the circle on an incredible journey.

The received wisdom (at least in America) goes that punk rock was invented in New York by the Ramones who reconfigured midwestern hard groove rock and 60s garage singles into a formula that defined punk: short, fast, catchy, and unstoppable. But in some weird parallel universe, punk might have traced its roots to Rocket From The Tombs, a Cleveland band that lasted less than eight months and never made a studio recording.

Three things went wrong for Rocket From The Tombs: a level of drug and alcohol abuse to worry even Keith Richard; a band volatility that rivaled that of The Troggs; and a turnover of drummers that would’ve flummoxed Spinal Tap.

One thing went right: in those eight months they wrote songs that would become punk anthems: “Ain’t It Fun,” “Sonic Reducer,” “Final Solution,” “So Cold,” “What Love Is,” “30 Seconds Over Tokyo,” “Amphetamine.” And they played them like there was no tomorrow. There *was* no tomorrow. They’d used up tomorrow. The band blew apart in July 1975 after an apocalyptic soundcheck that scared the bejeebers out of headliners Television. One faction went on to create the avant-garage rock group Pere Ubu, the other punk stalwarts The Dead Boys.

That might have been the end of the Rocket story except that over the next 25 years a frantic international trading of bootlegs bestowed on the band a legendary status. An album of live and rehearsal tapes, “The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs” (2002), led to a nervous reunion in 2003. The core of the band – David Thomas, Cheetah Chrome and Craig Bell – remained from the old days. They were joined by Television’s Richard Lloyd who replaced Peter Laughner (died 1977). Pere Ubu’s drummer Steve Mehlman was drafted.

The fire still burned. For good and bad. Two tours produced extreme, brutal concerts, but also plenty of late night dust-ups in the parking lots of cheap roadside motels.

“We got that bad attitude thing in our blood,” singer David Thomas said. “Can’t shake it. But at least we’re not young, loud and snotty anymore. We’ve moved on. Now we’re *old*, loud and snotty.”

Taking that attitude in the studio produced “Barfly,” an unreconstructed, unapologetic re-affirmation of the power and glory of guitar rock: guitar solos traded between two masters of the craft, an inventive rhythm section devoted to midwestern groove mania, and a singer who learned all there is to learn from channeling Rob Tyner and Don Van Vliet. “I will amblify you,” Thomas growls in the middle of the album’s fierce opening track “I Sell Soul.” And whatever that might mean… he means it.

The bitter irony of “Romeo & Juliet,” the Cleveland / Detroit nexus of “Sister Love Train” / “Love Train Express,” the manic-obsessive drive of “Maelstrom,” the Robert Calvert sci fi dystopian romance of “Butcherhouse 4,” and the Bukowski grunge of “Pretty” reflect the 70s revisionism that is at the heart of the album’s production.

“Barfly’ delivers a sound that’s not dated or restricted to any passing fad or marketing infatuation. These men are ugly, old, and have not mellowed in any conceivable way. They’ve devoted their lives to raging against the boundaries, and they have been willing to pay the price. “Barfly” dismisses the last 37 years as a waste of time. Cuts it away without a second thought. That, in itself, makes “Barfly” worth the wait.”

OBNOX and COUNTY PHARAOHS are opening the show!!

buy your tickets at HAFFA’S RECORDS TODAY!!