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!