Sunday, May 4, 2014


Anybody remember when rock and roll was dangerous? How long has it been anyway? I mean whatever it is that the powers that be are foisting on everyone today doesn't sound or feel like rock and roll to me. Maybe I'm wrong; but it sure seems to me like the primitive thud has been replaced by the complacent thwap. What I'm hearing called rock and roll today (i.e. the stuff getting played on the radio) sure sounds like a lot of formulaic, robotic drek. It seems all you need now days to be heralded as a rock n roll king is to look the part. A couple of tats, the right kind of clothes, the right hair or lack of it, and your on your way. But remember, actually playing rock and roll will be no good. In fact it will most likely hurt your career.

The mighty and powerful at the top tiers of the music biz are on a mission. That mission seems to be to make music bland, flavorless , and sterile. That want it to be exactly like themselves: Soulless. So they've taken rock and roll and cleaned it up. They've scoured and sanitized it to the point where it has become unrecognizable (at least to me anyway). What they've done is they've taken out the trash. And trash is one of the most important components to what makes the music so great. (I think the same can be said for country music, as well as the blues and jazz). You can't separate the trash element from '50s Elvis. Or the Beatles. Or even the Beach Boys. (Those are dirty Chuck Berry riffs underneath those majestic pop melodies on the early stuff). The Ramones, Blue Cheer,the Stooges, the Germs, the Cramps, the Clash, Motorhead; all trash baby. Garage, psychedelic, heavy metal, and punk were all born in trash. Rock n roll (along with most other great music) was created by dirt poor. It was invented by the penniless blues men and hillbillies, not by a bunch of wine spritzer drinking pussies who now seem to be running the show.

Trash is good. Yet the movers and shakers in the industry seem to disagree. They offer pale substitutes, if they even try at all anymore. As time marches on, rock n roll seems to be being replaced, little by little with something much more bland. Something DE-fanged, sanitized, and safe for the masses. The rock n roller has been replaced by the rocker(a half-assed douche-bag anointed by the music biz and their media allies as representing rock n roll on their terms). Every time I hear the term it always seems to be referring to some fashion plate doink who couldn't rock standing up in a canoe on the ocean during a hurricane. The real stuff is continually pushed to the outside or the underground, and although it's still there, kicks do keep getting harder to find. It seems to me that for the most part, as music evolves it gets worse, not better.

So what can ya do? How do we stave off this insidious onslaught by whatever zombie overlord types are running things? 

Lots of things probably. Start your own band for one thing. Instead of going to see the current tour of has-beens  like Motley Crue and Aerosmith; go find a band of drug addled high school losers, who hang out in the drummer's parents' basement, filled with black light posters, bong smoke, Dead Boys and Screaming Lord Sutch records, and an old black and white TV set that plays nothing but Munsters and Outer Limits reruns; and give them a place to play. You can probably pay 'em in cheeseburgers.

The other thing you can do is pick up an issue of PORK. This thing shouts rock and roll right from the cover and keeps screaming all the way to the end. Bad ass for sure. It's just the kind of trash the world needs right about now.

Rock and roll+weird art+bad ideas is what it says over the title, and with a come on like that how come you don't have a copy in your hands yet. This is the work of one Sean Aaberg along with friends and family; and believe me when I tell you that I get down on my knees every night and give a prayer of thanks for these people.

You'll get stuff on bands like Speed Wolf, Nightmare Boyzzz, Glitter Wizard, and many more that you might wanna give a listen to.(Pretty sure Rolling Stone ain't gonna turn you on to this stuff). You get low brow art, kustom kulture koolness, comics, and cool articles. There's clubs you can join and all kinds of cool stuff you can buy. All of it dripping with true rock n roll soul. This thing is rock n roll as lifestyle. It's like Ed "Big Daddy " Roth, Basil Wolverton, and the Hell's Angels put out a zine. Yeah it's that cool. If for no other reason you should get this just to plaster the thing all over your walls. You'll be the coolest person on your block. So if you (like me) need that trash rock, low living infusion in your world, then you need this. You need this like you need Imodium ad on that interstate bus trip after a long, grueling night of all you can eat burritos and a bottomless cooler of Hamm's beer. So subscribe and I'll see you at the Tiki Bar.


Joe Derderian said...

great, spot-on piece! hope you guys haven't forgotten us-- we're coming atcha a bit earlier this year..!

2014 Firecracker 500 Festival - Iowa City, IA - MAY 29-30-31!

check out the lineup here:

cheers! ~Joe

Unknown said...

Thanks Shep for a great read. I will definitely look into Pork - looks very cool on the surface! I can tell you from a musicians perspective that I feel just as grateful playing for savvy educated listeners. Fuck the masses - I'm afraid that's what they will always be. Sure I would love more people to listen to better music, and read better literature, view true art and expand their minds. It takes a real desire to learn and drive to find those things that help us grow. It will always be the road less traveled and I'm fine with our caravan being small. Cheers, Erik Brown.

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