Z is for Frank Zappa

zappaZ is for Frank Zappa…

The King of Weird himself is my last of the alphabands posts…. for now…. Rememeber when i only started at ‘M’ with Mudhoney?….  Yeah, well it’s kinda like cheating…. So, i plan on doing ‘A’ through ‘L’…..  sometime….. Gotta take a little break from them for the moment, but i will finish this project eventually…

A Tribute To The Ramones…

ramones_tributeOver the weekend the last remaining member of the original line up of The Ramones past away.  Tommy Ramone was the first drummer and their early producer.  Their sound was largely due to him.  I had to pay a little tribute, after all, The Ramones may very well be the most important band in my life.  They opened the doors to punk rock and inspired pretty much everyone who came after them.  Their songs are timeless pop gems that could only be made by them.  I would have never stuck to playing guitar if it wasn’t for them.  They couldn’t play when they started.  They gave hope to people who just wanted to do something but didn’t necessarily know how.  They are true originators of punk music, but they made it sound like bubblegum pop that somehow went horribly wrong.

Now that they have all passed (sorry Marky and CJ, we love you too!) i can’t help but think that maybe they are all jamming up in the sky together…  Johnny and Joey didn’t really get along, but time (or death) heals all wounds?  So this one is for the four “brothers” from Queens wrapped in leather.  We love you and miss you…

Y is for Neil Young

neil_youngY is for Neil Young….

Okay, so this may be the most obvious music post I’ve done.  You may say it’s cliche, or whatever you wanna say.  I could have dug deeper for someone who we know less about.  I’m sure there are lots of musicians and bands that start with “Y”, but after thinking about it, i just said fuck it!  Neil is easily one of the most influential music figures around, at least in my life.  I have spent so much time listening to and debating this man.  Stylistically, i pretty much learned how to play guitar from obsessing over him (not that I’m anywhere near his talent).  He has had a profound affect on me.  I’m Canadian after all (and most of our mega stars are a joke – Bieber, Nickelback, the list of bad musicians goes on….), I’m supposed to be this way.  So quit beating around the bush.  He’s the man, deal with it…

X is for X Ray Spex

x_ray_spexX is for X Ray Spex…

X Ray Spex was an english punk band that formed in 1976.  Fronted by Poly Strene, the Spex were part of the first wave of british punks, and what stood them out (aside from Poly herself) was the fact that they had a saxophone as a prominent instrument.  I don’t know as much about the Spex as some of my previous posts, but listening to them it’s easy to see how they solidified their place in music history.  Loud and fast, i need more of this in my life.  Their first single “Oh Bondage, Up Yours” is so effing good, i can’t believe i missed this growing up.  Well there’s no time like the present, so if you need me, i’ll be the one with the stereo cranked at 11…

——-

Made for the alphabands tumblr site…

My 2014 NxNE Recap!

nxne-14Well, i made one last year, so i felt i should do a quick North by Northeast comic this year…  Unfortunately i didn’t really partake in the festivities this year.  There feels like there’s been a shift in the world of NXNE; it feels more corporate and more about money.  Wristbands were just way too expensive… as you can tell if you read the comic above.  Honestly the bands that were billed really didn’t do much for me.  I had seen most of the ones i wanted to already, and i’ll catch the local acts throughout the year.  Seeing Spiritualized would have been amazing… but it’s still too much money for one show…  Aside from that, i’m fine with staying home and not running around like a madman trying to see too many shows, and barely getting into any of them…

W is for Wipers

wipersW is for The Wipers…

The Wipers were a punk rock group from Portland, Oregon, led by Greg Sage.  Their music was dark, fast and heavy!!  They influenced so many to come after them (Nirvana, Melvins, Dinosaur Jr. to name a few).  Their first three albums (Is This Real?, Youth of America, and Over the Edge) could possibly be some of my favourite albums of all time.  Seriously, this band was completely understated and unknown, but bloody awesome!!!!  No one can compete with this when they are at their best.

Maybe you’ve heard Nirvana’s covers of The Wipers; Return of the Rat, and D-7 (i believe both can be found on the box set ‘With the Lights Out’).  You can see why they would be so influential on the Northwest scene of the the 80’s and early 90’s.  Their music was powerful and that’s what drew me to it.  Give it a listen, see for yourself…

———

This image was taken from the CD plate of my first Wipers album.  Made for the alphabands tumblr account..

V is for Chad VanGaalen

chad_vangaalenV is for Chad VanGaalen…

For those who have never heard of Chad, he’s a multi instrument musician, songwriter, instrument builder, producer, (and probably my favourite) animator and illustrator from Calgary, Alberta.  He’s got a couple of handfuls of really good albums which he records himself in his home studio (i believe).  He always seems like he’s got a million projects on the go whether they be for solo projects, or for other bands.  His music videos are super far out and awesome.  His art style is graphically beautiful, dark and disturbing, and weirdly cartoony.  Seriously watch one of his videos; you do not need acid to enjoy them, but it’ll make you feel like yer on it!  And i hear, he’s working on his first feature length animated film for kids!  I’m both super excited and kind of terrified to see what he does!

———–

This illustration was made for the alphabands tumblr site…

U is for The Ugly Ducklings

ugly_ducklingsU is for The Ugly Ducklings…

The Ugly Ducklings were a garage rock band from my hometown of Toronto, Canada.  They were coming up as the folk scene of Yorkville was the main musical focus of the city in the 1960’s.  Of course these guys are before my time, but while everyone else was playing acoustic guitars in coffee shops and reciting sappy poetry, the Ducklings were making an electric racket and singing about breaking up with your girlfriend (who’s just in it for the money anyways…).  I really like The Ugly Ducklings.  Like so many of their garage counterparts they embodied (what i think at least) is the punk rock spirit. There’s not a lot of material out there from the band, but their debut album ‘Somewhere Outside’ is a great collection of what they do best, which is, rock out!

——-

Made for the alphabands tumblr page…

T is for TAD

TAD

T is for TAD….

Unapologetic classic grunge…  TAD might not be one of the first names you think of when you think of the Seattle grunge movement back in the early 90’s, but boy were they a part of the scene.  I believe the first Sub Pop release was TAD back when TAD was just Tad Doyle’s solo endeavour.  They were there from the start.  They went on tour in a tiny van with an unknown band at the time, who we would all later know as Nirvana.  They are heavy as shit, and scary as hell (probably because of their massive leader who liked to stage dive).  I didn’t really know too much about this band (aside from a handful of singles) until i watched their documentary, and got to see the whole story, interesting stuff!  Grunge at it’s grungiest.

If yer interested in learning more about TAD, check out the doc (on Youtube), or the albums ‘God’s Balls’ and ‘8 Way Santa’ (also can be found on Youtube) and kick back in some old school flannel and get stoned.  It’s the best way to do it!

First part of the film is here —-> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMk6FoL842Y

————–

Made for the alphabands tumblr page where artists draw a new music act every week going through the alphabet.

http://www.robbmirsky.com

R is for Jay Reatard

jayreatard

R is for Jay Reatard…

Easily one of the most prolific artists of his generation, Jay played in tons of bands, recorded tons of music, and produced lots of really great stuff too.  Starting at the age of 15, home recording with his guitar, a shitty recorder, and a bucket (which i would steal years later when recording my own bedroom album), Jay starts recording the beginning of what seems like a never-ending discography of great music.  The Reatards, Lost Sounds, Terror Visions, Angry Angles, and of course his solo albums as ‘Jay Reatard’ are just the most recognized of his projects, but theres more under the surface.  Jay died at the beginning of 2010 by an accidental overdose and left a great void in the independent music community.  I still listen to Jay Reatard all the time.  His music is great, and he delves into more than just the punk rock he started with.  Each one of the projects i listed above has got a different sound and vibe, which i love because theres so much variety in his body of work.  I wonder what he would sound like today…..

Theres a really great documentary called ‘Better Than Something’ for anyone who loves Jay, or wants to learn more.

Miss ya bud…..

———

This illustration was made for the alphabands tumblr.  Check it out, there’s some really great artists contributing to this thing!