Thursday, February 26, 2009

Radio Silence

Prime Directive submitted a few items for use in Nathan Nedorostek and Anthony Pappalardo's incredible book Radio Silence. I highly recommend picking up a copy.

Hardcore music emerged just after the first wave of punk rock in the late 1970s. American punk kids who loved the speed and attitude of punk took hold of its spirit, got rid of the “live fast, die young” mind-set and made a brilliant revision: hardcore. The dividing line between punk and hardcore music was in the delivery: less pretense, less melody, and more aggression. This urgency seeped its way from the music into the look of hardcore. There wasn’t time to mold your liberty spikes or shine your Docs, it was jeans and T-shirts, Chuck Taylors and Vans. The skull and safety-pin punk costume was replaced by hi-tops and hooded sweatshirts. Jamie Reid’s ransom note record cover aesthetic gave way to black-and-white photographs of packed shows accompanied by bold and simple typography declaring things like: The Kids Will Have Their Say, and You’re Only Young Once.

Radio Silence documents the ignored space between the Ramones and Nirvana through the words and images of the pre-Internet era where this community built on do-it-yourself ethics thrived. Authors Nathan Nedorostek and Anthony Pappalardo have cataloged private collections of unseen images, personal letters, original artwork, and various ephemera from the hardcore scene circa 1978-1993. Unseen photos lay next to hand-made t-shirts and original artwork brought to life by the words of their creators and fans. Radio Silence includes over 500 images of unseen photographs, illustrations, rare records, t-shirts, and fanzines presented in a manner that abandons the aesthetic clichés normally employed to depict the genre and lets the subject matter speak for itself. Contributions by Jeff Nelson, Dave Smalley, Walter Schreifels, Cynthia Connolly, Pat Dubar, Gus Peña, Rusty Moore, and Gavin Ogelsby with an essay by Mark Owens.
About the Authors

Nathan Nedorostek is an art director living in Brooklyn, New York. Having previously worked for a number of large design studios, Nathan is most comfortable straddling the line between art and commerce. Nathan’s previous books include: All I Can Give You Is Everything, and Eulogy for Marissa Cooper.

Anthony Pappalardo wrote for Slap magazine from 1997 to 2002. He has been published in Alternative Press, Mass Appeal and Magnet since then. Anthony’s previous music projects include Ten Yard Fight, In My Eyes and Get Down. He currently records as the Italian Horn.

More information at their website:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Swingset In June

SWINGSET IN JUNE released an 8 song cassette E.P. in 1998 as a split label release between Prime Directive Records (#3) and Tribute Productions. 5 of the songs were recorded at Doubletime Studios in San Diego, while the other 3 were recorded with Paul Miner at For The Record in Orange.

By the time of the cassette's release, the band, who began in the summer of 1996 with a slightly different lineup (drums and guitar) was on the verge of breaking up. However, according to Sean Rosenthal, the band wanted something "to remember the hard work we put in over the short 2 year period" of its existence. After some discussion, Prime Directive pitched in some (or all?) of the money for the actual cassettes, while Tribute Productions did the envelopes, labels, and booklets. The cassettes were packaged in a white envelope with a booklet (designed by Paul Miner) in a one-time pressing of 200.

If I'm not mistaken, the cassettes were only sold at a single Swingset In June show, which happened to be their last - October 30, 1998 at Showcase Theater with Adamantium (release show for "From The Depths" LP), Throwdown (release show for "S/T" 7"), and Farside. Interestingly, the Swingset In June tape outsold both the Adamantium CD/LP and possibly the Throwdown 7" at this show.

Taking influences by the emo and indie bands of their day [Sunny Day Real Estate, Jimmy Eat World, Mineral, Christie Front Drive, Braid], the line-up featured:

Steve - Vocals
Sean Rosenthal (Adamantium, Farside) - Bass
Garrett Link - Guitar
Brandon Love (Throwdown fill-in) - Guitar
Ken Floyd (Eighteen Visions, First Day Somber) - Drums

Here's the "S/T" E.P. for DOWNLOAD.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Disembodied (Part 1)

Disembodied began in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1995 and broke up in 2000. They released some EP's, a couple LP's, had a few songs on compilations, and did some touring - with Endeavor, One Eyed God Prophecy, Overcast and Shai Hulud among others.

They also had a monumental effect on the hardcore scene at the time. While they might tell you they wore their influences on their sleeve, most hardcore "kids" were oblivious to what those influences were. Disembodied were borrowing elements from certain metal bands, combining it with a hardcore background, and creating heavy, dark, and - most importantly for the future of metallic hardcore - seriously down-tuned music.

One of their first, if not the first, West Coast appearances was at Goleta Fest on July 19, 1996. Either through mailorder or when Justin [drums] had driven, alone, from Minnesota to California for Unbroken's last show in November 1995, a few copies of their "Existence In Suicide" CDep had reached California by this point - resulting in a palpable excitement for their set. This anticipation was somewhat shared by the band, although in a different form. As their bassist, Tara, told me: "I was fucking scared when we got there and they said we were playing last." My recollection is that she had nothing to be scared of as Disembodied absolutely slayed - even with their fill in singer. Again, according to Tara, "Aaron [regular singer] had either quit or got kicked out or both [so] Jodi from Chicago, the singer for [Everlast]" filled in. "We ended up leaving him in Boston on that tour and Justin finished the tour singing and Joel played drums."

Disembodied at Goleta Fest 1996:

3 days after Goleta Fest they played a church (!) on Orange & Cabrillo in Costa Mesa, CA with Enewetak, Endeavor, and Collapse. (Note: Immediately after this show ended, a group of us went directly to the Huntington Beach Library to see Texas Is The Reason & Gameface -- what a great combination of shows). Disembodied would return to Southern California a number of times over the next 4 years steadily becoming one of the largest out of town draws, especially at venues like the now defunct Showcase Theater in Corona, CA. After their break up in 2000 Joel [guitar], Tara [bass], and Justin [drums] formed Martyr A.D. who I had the honor of touring with a few times.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Adamantium "Tradition" 7"

Originally slated for release on Tribute Productions (which released the Adamantium demo), the "Tradition" 7" somehow ended up in the hands of Prime Directive Records (myself) and Softcore Productions (Dom Macaluso of Throwdown's label) - for reasons that now escape me.

Adamantium was born out of the band Collapse who began in South (Orange) County with original Adamantium members Keith Barney (guitar), Matt Horwitz (drums), and Ian McKesson (bass). At a Christian Hardcore show in Temecula, CA (featuring Unashamed, Overcome, and Focal Point), they met Newport-Mesa's Aaron Stone who, later that day, auditioned to sing. After the release of the Collapse demo the band changed their name to Adamantium, and McKesson and 2nd guitarist Chris Dinicola left - being replaced by Sean Rosenthal and Alex Funderburk, respectively. Funderburk was eventually replaced by Aaron Lisi - creating the lineup that would record the "Tradition" 7".

After the locally well-received 3 song demo (as Adamantium), a handful of shows, and some shirts printed in Larry LeBrane's Orange Coast College screen-printing class (an OC punk institution!), the band went into For The Record Studios to record 7 songs with Paul Miner. 3 of those songs would end up on the "Tradition" 7" while the other 4 sat in the vaults until Indecision Records released them on the "Traditions" CD in 2005.

Neither Dom nor I had ever released a record, but we had the guidance of Bastille Records founders Jon and Gabe Bowne, along with an article in HeartattaCk detailing how to make a record (seriously). We mastered it somewhere in L.A., and pressed about 600 copies at Bill Smith. For the tan vinyl I sent a swatch of a pair of tan Dickies to the plant as a sample. Paul Miner did the cover layout while I designed the labels with a type-writer and some clippings of "Bat Boy" from the Weekly World News. I was away at college when the covers were printed so I don't have information re: card stock, etc. The entire product was finished and released in the Fall of 1997.

After the 7" record, they did two full lengths and a split with Bane - all on Indecision Records - along with a few compilation songs including a version of "Re-Ignition" on a Bad Brains Tribute compilation (with Jim Miner of Death By Stereo playing the solo). Life, other bands, and some internal disputes led to the departure of Rosenthal, Barney, and Horwitz before the 2nd full length (although a few of the songs on that record, including "Virus", were written with the original lineup). They were replaced by Jim Schwartz, Dan Sena, and Jarrod Alexander, respectively.

Prime Directive continues to release records, while Softcore Productions' only other release was the Throwdown demo. A Swingset In June CD was briefly discussed, but after their breakup it somehow ended up as a limited (200) cassette only release on Prime Directive.

Adamantium "Tradition" 7" Discography:
○ Test Press - 7 w/ different covers
○ B. Love Press - 10
○ Paul Miner Press - 20
○ Scotch Tape Press - 20
○ Softcore Press - 50
○ Cream Vinyl w/ regular cover - #d / 30
○ Tan Vinyl w/ regular cover - #d / 269
○ Black Vinyl w/ regular cover - the remainder

Youtube: Funeral of Silence (w/ later era lineup):

Interestingly, Mr. Horwitz, Mr. Barney, and Mr. Dinicola currently play in Love Thyne, thus putting 3/5 of Collapse back together.

I have not posted a download link because the entire 7" session is available on the above-mentioned "Traditions" CD on Indecision Records.

Flyers limited to 7" era and before:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

City Scum / Dirty Girls

The CITY SCUM 7" has finally seen the light of day on RICH BITCH RECORDS (Discreet Doll Band, Le Face, etc) in a one-time run of 600 records. No info on how long they existed or how many shows they played - but, like most great punk bands, I'm pretty sure they never made it much further than their local (Orange / Long Beach) bar-venues. CITY SCUM featured, among others, Phil White of the legendary Gods Iron Tooth (Southern California's all-time greatest stoner-doom Eyehategod worshippers) on vocals, and Shane (Discreet Doll Band, Gehenna-fill in) on drums and played great sloppy, dirty, KBD-style punk hardcore. I caught them once at Que Sera (Long Beach) around 2005.

(Warning: Shameless self-promotion)

Speaking of Phil, DIRTY GIRLS was his post-CITY SCUM band featuring Rusty (Le Shok, Treadwell), Andy (Street Trash, Reagan SS), Andrew (Street Trash, Ciril, Crystal Antlers), and Brandon (The Orphans, Ciril). Prime Directive (the makers of this blog) released "Murder Moutain" - a 4 song 7" of negative metallic hardcore ala Gehenna / Eyehategod / Discharge / Holy Terror bands (Integrity, Apt. 213). Ltd. to 500 and still available from REVELATION.
Although they're currently on an indefinite hiatus, I'm told the chance of future shows isn't completely out of the picture, but don't quote me on that...