Friday, July 23, 2010


Hail,  Roñoso!

Some people just get it wrong. If the boys of Roñoso were walking down the street, mothers would pitch their babies into traffic before exposing them to the gnarly dreadlocks and general scruffiness of Greg Markham (bass, vocals), Miles  (guitar, vocals) and Mike (drums). I don’t want to blow their cover but despite gutwrenching  vocals and heavy crustcore, the three are some of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Time and again I’ve seen Roñoso volunteer for the sacrificial opening slot so touring bands can play to the larger late-arriving crowd.

 photo by Jamie Drummond

As the ‘burque show scene goes from good to bad and back again there’s never a lack of complaint: The scene sucks, nobody cares, where did all my friends go? That however is more prevalent in the bar scene which Roñoso avoids like New Mexico’s own strain of bubonic plague. The hardcore/ crustcore/grindcore/ whatevercore scene is amazingly tight and takes care of its own. Traveling bands never lack for a couch, an enthusiastic crowd or a vegan pizza. Sure, everyone has their differences but hospitality and courtesy is rampant. This is unfathomable to the ordinary citizen who can’t see past “Satanic” lyrics and pictures of skeletal remains. Roñoso refutes its sordid visuals. The band is down with seitan not Satan and write songs about the real evils of society: environmental degradation, mass media and, most horrifying of all, indifference.

Available via download and on glorious vomit-colored 45 rpm 12” vinyl, the latest Roñoso self-release seep and destroy sports the humorous song titles we’ve come to expect from these Marx Brothers of mayhem like  “mayonnaise torture”, “furry toes aflame” and “earth…that septic orb”.

Show your support and go to the show space variously known as The Coalmine, Wunderkind and Ungrind for Roñoso’s tour kickoff and record release gig. Please note that the space is in a residential district and all-ages, with all that implies. Don’t fuck it up. 

No one has ever accused me of knowing anything about hardcore or metal (and rightly so) but I’ll take one Roñoso over ten Ozzys anytime.

Roñoso, Reference Man, Prison of Sound

Friday July 23, 2010
The Coalmine
1016 Coal SW #3


originally appeared in Weekly Alibi 

Thursday, July 22, 2010


The Big Takeover turns 30

For thirty years, Jack Rabid has been our most passionate, intelligent and informed music writer bar none. Others have been more gonzo (Lester Bangs, Creem), more academic (Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone) or carried a bigger punk rock sneer (Kickboy Face, Slash) but Rabid has heart. His long running fanzine turned slick mag The Big Takeover is in fact subtitled “Music With Heart”.

As a teenager, Rabid took the train from the Jersey suburbs to Manhattan for the second wave of the American punk explosion: The Stimulators. Adrenalin O.D. The original punk incarnation of The Beastie Boys. Washington D.C.’s Bad Brains who ushered in intelligent hardcore and, as the some of the few unlikely black faces in the scene, were more fierce and politically aware than self-disenfranchised white kids. Rabid also appropriated the name of their most fierce song for the title of his zine.

Sixty six issues in three decades might not sound like much compared to monthlies like Spin which have outdistanced Rabid in sheer numbers but The Big Takeover has been clocking in at well over one-hundred pages per issue since the late eighties. There’s no fashion layouts, no gossip column, no masturbatory coverage of industry sleazefests like the Grammies. BT is about the music, the creative process and why you should care.

As a reviewer and more importantly an interviewer Rabid carries an encyclopedic knowledge of every album, B-side, demo and gig his subject has produced. He has the unique ability to make you want to read about a band even if you hate their music.

The Big Takeover has a website but the hard copy still packs the bigger punch. In the new issue: Magnetic Fields, The Joy Formidable,  Nomeansno, Sharon Jones, Leatherface, The Nerves, Bob Mould, Thee Oh Sees, Bright Eyes…

Happy Anniversary, Jack. May you point us in the right direction for another thirty years!

originally published in weekly alibi