Lock Down This Rock!! – 06 – Minty Rosa/Pretty Please

I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it. 

 What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.

Can we get local?

*Pulls shades shut*
*Sits at stark office desk*
*Puts on glasses*
*Tents fingers*
*Stares at you, frowning, for too long*

Everyone is so serious when talking about local bands. Like they’re a heavy responsibility. A cross to bear. Or perhaps an albatross to wear.

Maybe that’s the eggshell effect. Egos are fragile, and shit gets real when you’re typing words that PEPOLE YOU KNOW might read. Internet commenters, you will never have to feel this particular anxiety. But alas, I am not anonymous. Merely wallowing in obscurity.

Anyway, screw all that. I like Minty Rosa. I like their album Pretty Please. You may think that they’re too far into the Punk realm for me. You’re wrong. Short energetic bursts of metal tinged rock. I believe they used to call it Hard Rock before the Cafes took it over? I dunno. They’re loud, punchy, have some great hooks, and Hilarie belts out choruses from the very core of her being. Did I mention the songs are short? My favorite ones seem only more so.

So yeah, you’re missing out is what I’m saying.

Check ’em out!!

Lock Down this Rock!! – 05 – John Wesley Coleman/Last Donkey Show

I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it. 

 What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.

You guys are going to hear a lot about Art. Many years ago, we bonded over The Breeders. That, and the fact that we were the only halfway sane people working in a warehouse rife with heroin abuse, thievery, and bile. What we went through to deliver high priced, useless trinkets to bored, rich folk…

Anyway, Art pointed out that if you took all the great songs from John Wesley Coleman’s brand new solo album (The Last Donkey Show), and mixed them up with the best tracks from his other band’s brand new album (Golden Boys – Dirty Fingernails), you’d have a hell of an album. Such is the curse of the prolific songwriter.

I’m going to talk about The Last Donkey Show here. It has high highs. It has so-so lows. It has a good attitude, and some rocking, garage-y singles about Clowns and babies and Draculas. Which is a bit charming. And as you can probably suss out from the title, there’s a bit debauchery as well.

I really like it when a band loves playing, and wants everyone to know. Enthusiasm is contagious. As are the highlights of The Last Donkey Show.

Check ’em out!!

Lock Down this Rock – 04 – The Ready Stance/Damndest

I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it. 

 What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.

As you may have guessed from all this typed nonsense, I see it as part of my mission in life to evangelize bands. For example, I introduced The Ready Stance to my friend Art. He thanked me, and loved how much they reminded him of the Counting Crows.

This caused me to be conflicted. On one hand, I was successful in my mission. On the other hand, the mere suggestion that I might like a band similar to the Counting Crows made me want to:

  • Take a class in gun safety
  • Apply for a criminal background check with a reputable gun dealer
  • Buy a shotgun
  • Drive out to an abandoned quarry
  • Set up the album upright against some stones
  • Blow the vinyl into the smallest pieces possible, using as many shotgun shells as it takes

When I related this to Art, he mentioned that he could also compare them to The dB’s.

I liked that much better.

Check ’em out!!

Lock Down This Rock!! – Centaurpalooza 2012 edition!

I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it. 

 What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.

Where were you this weekend?

If you were cool, you would have been at Centaurpallooza.

What is this particular Palooza? A mostly punk and rock one filled with bands you won’t find well documented, or documented at all, on radio, music publications, or even online. This is the front lines, folks. This is music at it’s most local, and most honest.

I attended all 3 days of the show. I watched 18 bands. And, that’s right, I’m going to write about ’em!

Note: I’m not here to pass critic judgement on anyone. Not all of these bands were for me, but some very much were. I applaud all of them of playing the show, and for Centaur Guitar for giving them a venue. I didn’t see any shitty bands. And trust me, I know shitty bands. I’ve seen many, many of them.

Note 2: Sorry if I missed your band. I am but a man, one with a bum ankle at that.


  • Erik Anarchy: If Andy Kaufman had a band, and wasn’t a comedian, he may have been Eric. Fascinating. He played what may have been the best, or worst, cover of Paranoid I’ve ever heard. It’s impossible to tell.
  • Burn Champion: So nice to hear some good, old fashioned, metal edged, Northwest hard rock.
  • Isolated Cases: A descendant from the Pere Ubu branch of the Punk Family tree. I don’t feel that they got a good shot, because the guitarist’s amp died, and he played through an old Peavy PA head which made it sound like mush.
  • The Hot LZs: The lead singer looks like a mix between my friend Tom and Ray Davis. This has nothing to to with their dirty, garage rockness. Digressions make me happy. As did the LZs.


  • Skate Drunks – A band that reformed after 20 years. Know what makes this different from the 3 million bands that are getting back together to cash in on their “classic album”? These guys wanted to do this because it was a blast. Skate punk is evergreen.
  • The Ransom – driving, pissed, low end hard rock. I’d say that they kinda remind me of a non-shitty Rage Against the Machine, but that’s an impossible proposition. Later learned that one member was from Poison Idea, which makes total pissed off sense.
  • Iron Lords – big, straight ahead rock with strong female Vox. If you took the classic rock band Heart and hit them with a Growth Ray, then you kinda get the idea. IEh-neeek-chock!
  • Gimmie an X – Descended from the X branch of the family tree. I’m not familiar with X, so this may very well be a cover band. Yeah this has got to be one. Well, that makes for an easy review.

Side note: Good to see so many women representing at the fest. The young boys network you see dominating band photos wearing matching tight jeans, western button up shirts, and sensitive beards is boring.

  • 48 Thrills – Tight, anthemic power punk. The band was taking slugs of champaign on stage, straight from the bottle. I can’t think of a better metaphor for their triumphant riffage.

Stray observation: classic mohawk punks sure overheat easily.

  • Eastside Speed Machine – There are all sorts of kinds of rock. In this bands context, it’s classic Tejano blues based. A little surf, a little boogie, a little Elvis, and a little punk. God, it took me forever to describe psychobilly, but there you go.
  • Pitchfork Motorway – high energy garage-y punk. Exceptional yelling about speeding down the highway to hell that Brian Johnson was on about.
  • Minty Rosa – Pulled the short straw and had to suffer the drunk asshole invading their stage. There’s always one. Don’t be this guy. Just don’t. Of course, it didn’t stop their all out assault of short, sonic punches. Their not so secret weapon is their strong female singer. Splintered, loud pop songs. I dig.
  • Pity Fucks – Dirty punk with maybe some glam tendencies? I like what the garage-y keyboards are bringing to the party.


  • L.R.S.D. – The Last Regimen of Syncopated Drummers. A punk rock drum corps. How can that not be awesome?
  • 6:37 – Today kicks off with some jangle. I always appreciate jangle. Pop songs in the early 80’s underground vein. Talking heads-y, Feelies-y. They just worked “concubines” into a verse for bonus points!
  • Pale Blue Sky –  Melodic rock with a Neil young drawl. Like when he’s turned all the way up with Crazy Horse. Big open chords and big swirling rock songs. Very much my thing. Don’t believe they like Young? They closed with a cover of Mr. Soul.
  • The Cool Whips – Kool Kat blues rock. Music you can snap your fingers to in a dark nightclub. The first truly mellow band of the fest. Not a bad thing.
  • The Evil Egg – The first band with props. Wicked, theatrical, morality plays. Reminds me of the strange antisocial PDX rock of my youth. Transgressive via weird. They could have been on Amphetamine Reptile.
  • The Brother Egg – Two egg bands back to back! Not nearly as evil, Pop songs interpreted through a discordant stomp.
  • Avenue Victor Hugo – creative percussion lays down a bit scarcer, artier groove. Thinking man’s rock, one might call it. Lots of distortion and chimes!

Lock Down this Rock – 03 – Royal Headache, S/T

I like music. I have a band. I’m gonna tell you all about it. 

 What I look for in rock: guitars, melody, guitars, energy, guitars, and guitars.
You ever have one of those fitful nights of sleep, filled with tossing, turning, and panic that manifests itself as a certainty that you are going to die because you have a mosquito bite, and probably have Eastern Equine Encephalitis now? And then somehow wake up refreshed? Such is my life.

What does this have to do with Royal Headache? Let’s see… they’re from Australia, are descended from The Jam/Paul Weller branch of the punk family tree, and like short, short songs. So no, the above have nothing to do with Royal Headache, other than they both exist in my rambling brain.

I have previously tried to share my feelings on this self titled disc by these boys from down under. The comment I got back is that all their songs are too similar. This is great if you like them, and devastating if you don’t. They’re an ‘all-in’ kinda band.

The guitar is full of jangle, and many of their songs ramp up to highway speeds, but I think the vocals stand out as their greatest weapon. The singer obviously comes from a Town Called Malice, and I was suspicious of this at first, but I’ve decided that I don’t find it annoyingly derivative. I’ve decided that I enjoy their immediacy and melody. Upbeat driving music. Good for a Friday afternoon, when you’re waiting on the clock to slowly tick down to the weekend.

Check ’em out!