Friday, October 28, 2011

Freddy Alva shares his thoughts on the upcoming Re-Issue of the New Breed Compilation.

In 1989 Freddy Alva and 
Chaka Malik of New Breed Fanzine unleashed an epic tape compilation that featured an astounding 
thirty-five songs from twenty of 
New York's very best established and up and coming Hardcore acts. After more than twenty years, a fair share of bootlegs and a very active Facebook page dedicated to it's memory; Freddy's recently reborn label is giving it a much deserved and proper re-issue. (For those of you that just went on Ebay to find a tape recorder, not to worry. The re-issue will be available in both Vinyl and CD formats.) As the days to it's release near I got in touch with my old friend to share some thoughts on the epic nature of it's release. Here's what he had to share. James Damion

James: There's been a lot of nostalgia and bootlegs regarding New Breed through the years. When did the decision to make it official happen?

Freddy: I've been thinking about doing a proper reissue for a while, ever since putting it up as a free download in '08. I felt that the compilation deserved a better fate than just an MP3 download & even though I included tons of memorabilia on the website/facebook page for the comp; an actual physical release would put it in its proper context. This all happened to coincide with me re-starting my old label up again. I decided to bring an old friend, Ryan Sikorski from Lush Life, in on the project. 
I wouldn't feel comfortable with anybody else but us doing it, not that I'm a control freak, but this had to done just right. Myself & the people that worked on it, knew that we had to get a certain look & feel to it & I think we did justice to it: the final product is a fitting tribute to how NYHC (& our youth) was in the late '80s.

James: What about the choice to make it a vinyl release?

Freddy: From day one vinyl was the preferred format. Another old friend, Daryl Kahan (who sang for a band on the comp), did an incredible re-mastering job that begged for analog reproduction, so the Lp format was the way to go. He also did an amazing layout for the Lp & Cd. We are including the original full-size 20-page booklet that came with the tape plus a photo collage/liner notes. It all just looks better full-size, not to take anything away from the digipak cd version, but the lp will also include 4 extra tracks not on the original comp plus a "surprise" voice over from a CBGB's regular that some of you might remember.

James: Had there been any other label interest along the way? Or was this a Wardance release from its inception?

Freddy: Several labels approached me in the past couple of years about putting it out, but to be honest, 
I just couldn't give this up to anyone else. Something that is, for all intents & purposes, my baby. 
I know how to put out records & luckily I found the backing to fund this project, along with the technical know-how from good friends to do a quality release. Ryan Lush Life is incredibly supportive, he basically said: "Freddy, this is your vision & we'll do whatever it takes [or costs) to get it done". This whole thing is costing a pretty penny, but the end result far outweighs the decision not to outsource the compilation to any other label.

James: Will Chaka Malik be involved in any way?

Freddy: I got in touch with Chaka about 3 years ago about my plans to put up the comp for download & a possible reissue somewhere down the line. He was cool with the website/download, but was hesitant with the reissue. His argument being of how hard would it be to track down all the bands for approval & how will they be compensated plus the logistics of dealing with a record label; his past major label involvement (being in a band that got signed) had soured him on the whole music business. I let it go at the time, but then at the beginning of the year, when it looked like I could realistically do the LP. I sent him an e-mail refuting all his doubts: 1) I am in touch with all the bands on the comp, they are all more than enthusiastic for the thing to come out. 2) I'll make sure everyone on the comp gets a copy 3) I am putting it out so the buck stops with me. I got his new e-mail, through a mutual friend, & sent him my reasonings. I never heard back , so I can assume he doesn't care/is ok with it or he never received my e-mail. I sure hope it's the former, as he was the co-creator of the comp back in '88. Hopefully we'll be in touch soon & I can send him copies of this testament to an incredible time & place that we were lucky to be a part of.

James: Are all the original tracks going to be featured? 
Any new surprises ?

Freddy: All the original 35 songs are re-mastered on the Lp & Cd. The only difference is that the Lp will have 4 extra tracks: 2 by All For One, a band that was supposed to be on the comp, who says you can't rewrite the past? as well as 2 live tracks from Life's Blood with Sean Murphy singing @CBGB's in '88. As well as the aforementioned "surprise" voice-over. We are also doing an alternate silk-screened Lp cover (200 made) with the New Breed logo in Wild Style graffiti letters.

James: How hard was it to track down all of the bands? Were their any permission or legal issues involved?

Freddy: Like I said earlier, I am in touch with all the bands, at least 1-2 members of each band. I talked to Bill Willson from Blackout records, who's a lawyer now, about his opinion on if I should get contracts or any other legalities drawn up. He basically said that is such a minimal pressing (1,200 lp's/ 1,000 cd's) & I am doing everything out in the open; there's no need at this level to do any of that stuff. The whole thing is costing a lot of money, of course we hope to recoup, but the main thing is that it comes out the way we envisioned it.

James: Aside from Wardance, how will you be distributing the record?

Freddy: Right now, the 2 main distributors that we'll be dealing with is Revelation Records & Phantasm Imports. Mailorder will be through Wardance & Lush Life. The postage is gonna be ridiculous to send a 2X12" plus 20-page booklet, especially to Europe, so we are encouraging people to get it wholesale from those distributors. I can also do smaller quantities, so any DIY distributors can contact me.

James: Judging from the fact that the New Breed comp was basically launched due to your wanting to do something with the band Absolution. Will Wardance be releasing their future LP?

Add caption
Freddy: Well, I can thank Absolution for (once) again inspiring me. Their '08 reunion shows encouraged me to start talking about the comp, then putting it up online, starting my record label up again... all the way to what we're talking about now, the reissue. They are in the midst of recording an Lp now for a really cool label, don't know if I'm supposed to mention the name, but you'll hear all about it once it's ready. I talked to them about the possibility of doing a 7" with new songs & they're into it, but now all the focus is on the upcoming Lp. I would be more than honored to do the 7", especially since recently interviewing Djinji & Gavin for the upcoming New Breed documentary that I'm working on with my friend John Woods. It's amazing how they can put everything in perspective, about things that happened 20-odd years ago, & the impact it had on our lives. Everything we're doing is not retro or nostalgia 'cause it comes from a place that's real. Djinji had a great quote when I saw him last: "Those days were great, I don't want to live in the past, but it's good to know we can revisit them & take what we need for the persons we are today".

James: You mentioned John Woods and the documentary. How did that opportunity come along? Who are some of the people you talked to? When can we expect the doc to be issued. Do you plan on having a screening at John's Nitehawk Cinema?

Freddy: The New Breed Documentary came about from talking to John Woods about having a record release party at his newly opened cinema in Brooklyn called Nitehawk. He suggested: "why don't we throw some live footage from the bands on the comp up on the screen?". That quickly escalated into hey, why don't we interview some of the band members that are still around & people that participated in the scene at that time. At present, we're trying to make a full-fledged documentary incorporating the interviews/live footage/photo & flyer collages plus a narration. Kinda ambitious, but we're trying to edit a workable rough cut to screen for people. The plan is that if we can get some backing down the line, we'll aim for a professional DVD release.

We did about 12 interviews so far with people like Djinji Brown, Gavin Van Vlack, Dave Stein, Carl Killing Time, Brendan Bad Trip, Bill from Blackout Records, Chris in Effect 'zine plus 5 others. It's a good mix of people that played on the comp back then, some did record ran labels/fanzines or just hung out & supported the scene in those times. We got some great material & I don't think there's been a NYHC documentary that's so specific to the years of '87 to '89. I know there's footage from the early 80's scene around & there's a NY documentary from the mid-90's. I think this illuminates an era that for many was a key turning point when CBGB's stopped having HC matinees & the scene splintering into various factions, at which point many people started choosing sides or left the scene altogether.

We were hoping for a mid-November screening date, but the reality of doing hours of editing while holding down full-time jobs/family obligations has revealed itself. We are trying just get it done & not stress out about a deadline. Like I said earlier, it will be a rough cut, until we can the find proper backing; hint, hint! Irregardless, we are committed to see this through; the stuff we've shot is golden & deserves to be preserved & documented. Once everything is in place, we will have the screening at Nitehawk Cinemas with Guest DJ's/Record Giveaways/Drink specials like the Raw Deal Dirty Martini or the Life's Blood Orange Mimosa! Keep an eye out for the invite on Facebook….

Wardance Records  Order Here
New Breed Tape Compilation  Facebook Page

Related Interviews:
My Rifle Interview
The Return of Wardance Records
Freddy Alva

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Images from the CMJ

Last week I got off my lazy butt and attended day two of the CMJ Festival. I got to see some of my favorite new bands and was treated to some new ones. The people were awesome and the vibe was laid back. I started my day with a visit my old stomping ground on the Bowery. Hung out at Bowery Electric and ended my night at my home away from homes Maxwells. I added a shot of The Nico Blues who lit up the stage a week prior at a "Tiny Giants" showcase over in Jersey City. James Damion

The Nico Blues
Soft Reeds 

Canon Logic
Those Mockingbirds
Invisible Lines
Marvin Glover
Lost Romance
Lights Resolve

Void - Sessions 1981-1983

Dischord has been kind enough to release this awesome collection of Void songs and for that I say Thank You!

What you get is the complete never officially released 20 song Hit and Run session from 1981 along with the first 1981 Inner Ear Demo ( including the Flex Your Head songs and the songs that ended up on the Condensed Flesh 7"), two out-takes from the 1982 Inner Ear session, and a couple live songs.

Overall this is a great collection of songs with top notch sound quality, as would be expected from the mighty Dischord label. The Hit and Run session in particular is killer...a must have Lp...Dave G.


These Branches - The Payoff ep 2011 - Kat Kat Records

These Branches from Long Beach Island New Jersey are a 2 piece punk band featuring Nick Hertzberg (guitar/vocals) amd Bryan Batiste ( drums / vocals).

These Branches excellent new ep "The Payoff"gets off to a strong start with the opening track"Profiteer" which brings the Minutemen to my mind, however on the remaining 3 songs on this ep These Branches switch gears a bit and develop a more 90's Emo sound in the vein of bands like Small Brown Bike. Overall I am impressed by These Branches ability to write quirky yet hook filled songs that will keep the listener on their toes from start to finish.

These Branches are getting ready to drop a new ep " The Payoff" on Kat Kat Records on the 30th of October 2011. If my attempt at a describing the bands music sounds good to you then please preorder the new ep from Kat Kat or at least preview the songs for yourself on the Kat Kat Records bandcamp page...Dave G.

Kat Kat Records Preorder
Kat Kat Records Bandcamp

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Holy City Zoo - Building a Strong Foundation.

Here's an excerpt from my upcoming interview with New Brunswick's Holy City Zoo. 
The band is set to release a 7 inch EP on Tiny Giants Records. They've worked tirelessly building a reputation as a "Must See" live act. Here they talk about the importance of basement shows, scene and connecting with the crowd.  James Damion

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Nolan Gate - Alchemy 2011

The Nolan Gate

One of New Jersey's longest running metal monsters has awakened from a 4 year slumber to unleash it's newest album "Alchemy" on the unsuspecting masses.

The Nolan Gate sticks to what they do best on this 7 song album which means you get big angry choruses, heavy rumbling bass, pounding drums and wave after wave of pummeling riffs to keep your head banging. The songs on this new album also have a bit of a looser feel to them, and Paul Andress throws in a few real nice black metal influenced riffs especially in the song Swordsman. I also feel that the vocals on Alchemy are the best that the band has delivered to date.

The Nolan Gate have been pounding it out on the Jersey club scene for 10+ years and in my opinion they are criminally under-appreciated. Please show the band some love and purchase a download of "Alchemy" for a measly $2.00 from their bandcamp page. I can only assume a CD or Lp is in the works as well so keep an eye out for them in the near future...Dave G.

Sample songs:


Purchase "Alchemy"


released 24 October 2011

Recorded at Moonlight Mile Studios in Hoboken, NJ
Engineered and Mixed by Mike Mobius
Mastered by James Plotkin

The Nolan Gate features former members of Snag, Dahlia Seed, Mothman and At All Cost (NYHC) .

Blue Chip Village - Self Titled EP

"What if Craig Wendren of Shudder to Think decided to start a Jazz fueled Jam band?" That's the question I  had to ask myself upon listening to Brooklyn's Blue Chip Village. The answer to that question and many more can be found on this gem.

The record opens with "Gusto". A song that notifies the listener that their ears are about to be treated to something very special. Ripe with wiry guitars, falseto vocals and a deep bass/drum sound. The overall range and eccentricities are impressive to say the least.

On "Two and the Tag" Mr. Gesualdi plays both 
Mad Hatter and Ringleader with his soaring vocals blaring the chorus 
"Blue electric tango / Bearing sweet mango". 
All is we're treated to some of the sweetest eccentricities of soaring guitars and falling drums. 
The EP comes to a close with "The Biggest Stopwatch You could Ever Imagine" which begins with the vibe of dark, bluesy Jazz cafe. Smoothed out vocals matched with the feel of a stand-up bass and a guitar weeping over its bourbon .

Here is an EP that caught me a little off guard but had me wishing for more. Blue Chip Village is not only worth looking into but a band I would really love to watch grow and expand. Their potential seems limitless. James Damion 

Blue Chip Village  Official
Blue Chip Village  Facebook

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cinema Cinema - Lady Abortion

Cinema Cinema will be playing at  The Charleston in Williamsburg Brooklyn tonight for Day One of the CMJ festival. You've already seen the review. Here's the video for "Lady Abortion", 
the opening track on their new EP "Shoot the Freak".  Be sure to pick up the EP and say hello to 
Ev and Paul if you go.  
James Damion

Cinema Cinema  Band Site
Shoot The Freak  Purchase EP
CMJ  Schedule/Info

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ressurection - I Am Not Discography

I can go all the way back to the days of 
My Space being a relevant networking site (Maybe four or five years) when I first heard chatter about a possible 
Ressurection Discography. 
As more and more time passed my excitement, along with my hopes, faded. Now, thanks to Deathwish Records, 
"I Am Not" Ressurection's complete discography is finally here. The bands entire output has been remixed and remastered. Something their album
"I Refuse" was in desperate need of.
The sound is excellent, bringing new life to a lot of the songs. Aside from the album, the bands S/T and Culture EP's, Compilation, Radio and other live tracks are included. Ressurection hailed from New Jersey and featured former and future members of 108, Lifetime, Deadguy,
Kid Dynamite, Paint it Black, Texas is the Reason, The Van Pelt, Jets to Brazil and others. As the band and its sound evolved they went from a more traditional HXC sound to a darker, heavier, more Metal influenced sound. It was  an interesting and extremely influential evolution.  The X2LP comes on white vinyl with a gatefold cover. 
The band has reunited to play a handful of shows including This is Hardcore in Philly over the summer. 
You can find more listings Here. You couldn't possibly ask for more. James Damion

Buy It Here
Related Interviews:
Norman Brannon  Unite
Tim McMahon  Unite

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gaslight Anthem covers Farside

When I came across this gem I only wished i could have been there. Gaslight Anthem is by far one of my favorite current bands. Here they cover Farside's "I hope you're unhappy". It's two favorites rolled into one. "Dear Music, why are so good to me?" James Damion

My Rifle - Self Titled EP

The long awaited, highly anticipated debut release of 
My Rifle's self titled 7 inch EP is finally here.
For those of you not familiar with My Rifle, the bands personnel read like a New York Hardcore 
Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
(Featuring former members of Life's Blood, Our Gang, Supertouch and Altercation, 
just to name a few.) 
The record really made a quick and lasting impression on this listener.
The songs are marked by excellent musicianship and production. None of which erase any of the songs raw energy. Though My Rifles sound is firmly planted in the band's hardcore routes.
They don't rely on old tricks or safe avenues to achieve their sound. Mixing Hardcore with Metal while adding different elements and angles that deliver powerful results.

The record opens up with "Fall On Your Sword", which has a fast, straight up, menacing hardcore sound. For someone who hasn't been involved in music for more than twenty years, Jason's voice hasn't lost any of the venomous appeal he originally displayed with the band Life's Blood. 
Lews dark and murky bass lines really shine on the track and Andy Guida show why he's one of the most sought after drummers in Hardcore.
The next track "By the Grave of God" slowly grinds the listener under heal. The sound is dark and ruthless with its twists and turns, highlighting Hobi-One's guitar prowess.

Side two opens with "Stars" a short, too the point burst of power that's done nicely.
Storming the Gatekeeper", my first taste of the bands sound, is still my favorite.
They seriously click on all cylinders here. Showing the bands musical range and ability to take chances. The guitar work on here is Maidenesque. I was just floored.

Recorded by the bands drummer Andy Guida with Artwork by the legendary Sean Taggart. The record comes on clear vinyl. My Rifle's debut also marks the return of Freddy Alva's Wardance Records.
It just doesn't get better.

Wardance Records  Buy it here
Related Interviews:
My Rifle  United By Rocket Science
Freddy Alva/Wardance Records  Unite 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Those Mockingbirds Pre- Review and Download

I've been listening to the new EP from Brooklyn's Those Mockingbirds all week. 
It's so refreshing to come across a band that's not afraid to flat out, Rock. I'm working on a review, which will be posted later this week. In the meantime, here's the track I find myself playing over and over again. Once you're done, if you can wait that long, go download the EP.  
Cheers, James Damion

Check the band out live.

10/19/11 - The Bowery Electric - New York, NY (Bang This! CMJ 2011)
10/20/11 - Lulu's - Brooklyn, NY (free)
10/21/11 - Cin-M-Art Space - New York, NY (Reverbnation & DvsG Monthly Music Series)
11/04/11 - Maxwell's - Hoboken, NJ

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Triplehorn - Portland Oregon 2011

Triplehorn is a new 2 piece band out of Portland Oregon featuring Alex Miller and Thomas Rusnak (Rorschach (NJ), Kiss It Goodbye (Seattle), Ambush (Berlin) and King Black Acid (Portland).

Triplehorn have 2 songs available for your listening pleasure, the first is "Grisdale" which can be heard Here and the second "Corners" which can be heard Here. Both of these tracks are heavy, pounding and mean as fuck. I would image Triplehorn is one heavy monster in a live setting. Definitely a band to keep an eye on...Dave G.


P.S. If you are in the Seattle/Portland area be sure to catch Triplehorn live.

October 14th @ El Corazon In Seattle OR
Halloween @ Rotture In Portland OR

Suspect - You Brought This Upon Yourself EP

On the bands debut EP
New Jersey's Suspect deliver a fast, raw, unrelenting sound that grabs hold like a rabid dog clenching it's victims throat.
The band mixes Punk, Hardcore and Thrash rather well. The guitar work displayed here is particularly impressive and make for a perfect partner to the singers throat ripping growls. I'm wondering if the band has heard of Rorschach considering the EP will draw immediate comparisons to the legendary band.
Each of the seven songs carries a similar flag into battle with crushing results.
However, I felt "Kill the Host" set itself apart with it's unique and somewhat misleading bass intro. The EP was recorded during one session at Backroom Studios in Rockaway, NJ.
A great idea considering how the recording really shows off their raw quality. This is a band I'd be very interested in checking out live. If you like it rough. This is definitely the stuff. James Damion

Download it Here.  Bandcamp
Upcoming Show  Click & Go

Sheer Terror - Spite

Not much has changed since Sheer Terror formed back in 1984 and with their first release in almost fifteen years, it doesn't look as if Paul Bearer has mellowed with age.
Spite finds the band in top form, delivering Reverend Paul's signature misery, bitterness, depression and dark wit.
The record opens with
"Blue Shadows Will Fall" which features epic guitar parts and a chorus you'll find yourself growling to immediately. The next track. "Heresy on the Monkey Bars" is so dark and chaotic that I can only describe it as beautiful.
It's amazing when a band can capture a mood so perfectly. Neither song will, however, prepare you  for the records B side. Here, the band  covers the Old 97's "Salome" rather perfectly. The song choice and its delivery throws the listener a most unexpected curve. It's a rally cry to say the least.
One that will surely elicit countless sing alongs and pile ons.
Fans of Sheer Terror know what they're in for. They know exactly what to expect each and every time. It's brutal, angry, miserable.
It's fucking Sheer Terror.
James Damion

Reaper Records   Buy Here

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Nico Blues - Living Proof Video

As long as I'm listening to The Nico Blues new album 
"Blame the Boredom, Blame the Basements". I thought I'd go ahead and post the video for one of my favorite tracks from the album. Look for a review later this week. James Damion

The Nico Blues  Official
The Nico Blues  Facebook

Cinema Cinema - Shoot The Freak EP

On "Shoot the Freak"  Brooklyn's Cinema Cinema put forth three noisy yet diverse tracks that quickly make their way into your subconscious and ricochet around like a stray bullet gone mad. 
The EP opens with 
"Lady Abortion" a  song so dark and phrenetic you would think it was suffering from schizophrenia. 
I can't help but draw immediate comparisons to bands such as Unsane and early Helmet. 
"Please to Meet You, Anesthesia" is a much calmer offering with a chorus  that has you singing along almost immediately, showing the bands diversity and ability to shift gears seamlessly. 
The third track "Day Leash" 
by far my favorite, seems to capsulate the best elements of the first two songs to craft one excellent offering. There are lots of different sounds, angles and vibes on the track. 
None of which seem to prepare the listener for the descent it spirals towards in the end. 
It's eccentricities make for an epic ending. It's unpredictably is notable. 
Here is a band that really feels as if it is still growing and finding its sound. Something that I think most will really enjoy being witness to. Engineered by the legendary Don Zientara at Inner Ear Studios.  The band plans on selling  physical copies at  shows while the realease will be available on itunes and all the major digital outlets as of Tuesday, 10/11/11. 
.James Damion

Cinema Cinema  Band Site
Cinema Cinema  Facebook

Upcoming Shows;

10/16/11 @ The Galaxy Hut, VA (Featuring Don Zientara)
10/18/11 CMJ Festival @ The Charleston.  Brookyn, NY

Friday, October 7, 2011

Making a Scene; New York Hardcore Revisited

"Originally released in 1989 with a scant 79 photos and under 100 pages; this expanded edition brings over 200 photographs as well as reflections from key characters documenting a special time period in one of the most notorious hardcore music scene in the country.
Making a Scene - New York Hardcore in Photos, Lyrics and Commentary Revisited 1985-1988 captures the energy of the New York hardcore music scene in photographs, lyrics, and comments from those involved in their music, their attitudes, and their lifestyle.

Hardcore is a way of life for thousands of band members and fans all over the world. Here, New York City's hardcore movement is represented in all of its outspoken, opinionated, and often contradictory variety. Participants are shown with friends, spouses, even children, performing, dancing, and hanging out. They also explain in their own words and lyrics to songs what they think hardcore is all about.
From moments of quiet intimacy to the controlled mayhem of live shows, Making a Scene documents in a unique way this flourishing and often misunderstood underground style." 

Having picked up the original version at New York City's fanzine mecca See Hear back in 1989. (Only to sell it on Ebay along with most of my cherished fanzine collection ten years later.)  
I was fully aware of "Making A Scene" and its status among fanzines of its time. The original was a 
must-have document of our own scenes history. A time capsule of sorts. It loomed pretty large over a lot of the NYHC fanzines being published at the time with it's slick look and content.

Fast forward more than twenty years since its original release in 1989 and an expanded edition returns  with over two hundred images. (More than double the original seventy-nine featured.) 
The updated commentary helps to expand on its original ideas,  giving the book a sense of perspective. 
I found some of the  original insights from Gavin Van Vlack, (NY Hoods, Absolution) to be quite moving. I also found Brendan Rafferty's (SFA) 2011 assessment of "Who were Hardcore kids?" 
to be dead on. "We were homeless street kids. Affluent suburban kids. Left Wing, Right Wing, Illiterate, Intellectual, drug users, straight edge and so on." "There were countless different personalities and beliefs, but we all had one thing in common." "For whatever reason, we didn't fit in the normal world, so we created our own."
There's a somewhat surprising foreword by Freddy Cricien who was only ten years old when "Making A Scene" began its course. However his story and contribution to both the book and Hardcore in general is priceless.
Though "Making A Scene" doesn't cover a wide array of the opinions, viewpoints, characters and bands.  
It does do an excellent job with those it chooses.
If you had a copy or lost yours somewhere down the road, failed to pick one up when it originally hit the streets or want to get somewhat of an understanding of what it was like, I very highly recommend picking up a copy. James Damion

Order Here;

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

X Marks the Spot

I had just gotten in touch with JJ of the Aquarian a couple of days prior to see if I could get a shot at covering some shows for them. When I got the green light I sent over a list of upcoming shows that peeked my interest. To my surprise and glee the letter X came up almost instantly.
I was well aware of the bands history and the current "Los Angeles" tour. When I couldn't accept the Saturdays Irving Plaza show due to prior commitments, I was bestowed with a pass to Maxwell's that very night. Perfect considering the club is just blocks from my home and I'd be able to catch them in a much more intimate setting.

As I walked into the room the film "The Unheard Music" was in full swing. In all of my years hanging out at Maxwell's, I have yet to see a movie screening. The whole vibe was that of some secret religious ceremony. A large number of worshippers seated on the floor interacting with the screen as if a sermon were being given. The crowd was older than I'm used to seeing there. Not a shocker considering X released the album Los Angeles over thirty years ago. There was one very animated character who was front and center to the screen that seemed to hang on every word often flailing his arms, singing along and even flipping the bird when the film focused on the A&R head that failed to sign X due to their harsh, unmarketable sound. 

As the screen went up the crowd moved forward in anticipation of the mighty X. 
I found a spot
(at least I thought) and got ready for what was about to happen.
The band took the stage to the cheers of the crowd.
The original lineup, intact and looking, pretty damns good. The band quickly launched into their set with the opening track to Los Angeles
"Your Phone's Off the Hook, But You're Not" and just raised the bar from there. As for me,
I was pitted between two very loving younger couples throughout the entire set. My positioning didn't allow for many creative shots. 
At one point I actually saw an opening and jumped on the stage to get to the right side. 
"Gotta get those shots of John Doe!!!" Yet as soon as I got back on the floor I found myself being scolded by some old timer who was filming the whole thing on his cell phone.
(The same guy that was yelling at the movie screen while filming it earlier. It seems I had gotten in front of his pal who was about a foot taller than me. Being the peacekeeper I am I diffused whatever Johnny filmmaker was yelling about and quickly found my old, familiar spot waiting for me. A song or two later I was so enveloped by the sounds of X, the thought of getting the prize winning photo of the night had completely left the room. 

By the third song Xene who had looked a little stationary in the beginning kicked into high gear. Billy Zoom loomed large and carried the same swagger as in the bands heyday.
John Doe stood defiantly as he blasted through song after song and DJ Bonebreak pounded away in the background. Old classics such as "Johnnie Hit and Run  Paulene". "Soul Kitchen", "Sex and Dying in High Society" and "The Unheard Music"
All sound refreshingly new without losing their old Punk charm. Before the night was over they gave an acoustic gift in "See How We Are" and even came back for a short but blazing encore. As the set ended Billy Zoom dipped into his pocket to reach for his camera. Continuing his ritual to get shots of the adoring fans the band shared the night with.
(Pretty cool if you ask me.)  Shortly after the set I got to talking with the bands manager. He told me to stick around to meet the band and get some extra shots with them. I somehow ended up getting into a good conversation with Al Crisifulli of Dromedary records  (Something about making difference, volunteering, leaving a positive foot print.) and before I knew it, X had left the building. Needless to say, it was another memorable night at Maxwell's.  James Damion