On the heels of End Of An Ear’s well received ‘Grave City’ compilation of studio recordings, 12XU is releasing two live albums from Dallas’ incredibly influential and fucked-before-their-time STICK MEN WITH RAY GUNS, ‘Property Of Jesus Christ’ (recorded in 1984 at Houston’s Lawndale Art Annex) and ’1000 Lives To Die’ (recorded in 1987 at Dallas’ Theatre Gallery during the band’s final show). Recordings have been restored / beefed up by Jack Control of Enormous Door Mastering, and lacquers cut by Matt Barnhart at Chicago Mastering Service, befitting these crucial documents of one of US punk’s most fearless outfits at the peak of their powers. Though the material has been available on CD and digital download previously, this is the first time these performances from the foursome of Bobby Soxx, Clarke Blacker, Scott Elam and Bob Beeman have been issued on vinyl.
Has any American band before or since come close to making antagonism an art form? I’m sure your short list is fascinating, maybe even worth arguing over. But I’d rather play these albums again. Short of a time machine, it’s as close as you’ll come to being in the thick of unique moments in band vs. audience history that’s unlikely to be matched by anyone in 2016, try as they might.
“I fondly remember Bobby Soxx on his back porch…chopping bibles with a meat clever and throwing a color television at a Mexican family. This band murdered Dallas.” – Gibby Haynes
“Stick Men with Ray Guns formed in 1981 in Dallas, a product of the same 275-mile long cultural petri dish that bred Big Boys, Butthole Surfers, The Dicks, and Scratch Acid. It’s a testament to the influence and depravity of the first wave Texas hardcore scene that SMWRG’s antics have been largely lost to the ages. Their shows, according to local lore, verged on performance art. But scores of bands have since stolen their shtick—fighting audience members, using the mic as a public colonoscopy probe, etc.
The mythology of the Wild Frontman has masked early punk’s capacity to attract people with mental illness. To be a wacko underground vocalist in the early 1980s, especially in places like Texas, meant being someone with an above-average capacity to inflict and receive punishment. Stick Men frontman Bobby Sox excelled at both.” – Sam McPheeters, Vice
(EDITOR’S NOTE : With the second edition of the Sonic Transmission Festival taking place September 23-25 at Austin’s North Door, Rio Rita and Central Presbyterian Church,featuring an amazing lineup including but not limited to Obnox, Chicago Underground Duo, Marshall Trammel, Shit & Shine, USA/Mexico, Gunvor Gustavsen, Paul Giallorenzo, Chad Taylor More Ease and many others, the time seemed rife to quiz festival organizer / onstage fixture Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (The Thing, Young Mothers, Close Erase) about the inspirations behind the event. Also, trying to set the stage for one of those worked feuds with a certain reality TV lynchpin, though Ingebrigt seems reluctant to play along! – GC)
Q: Was there a particular prior event or artist that provided the catalyst for the creation of the festival?
A: Yes, my band The Young Mothers was the whole reason I started this festival last year. TYM have members that as well as being great improvisers are as active in the Texas hip-hop, grindcore, indie rock and jazz scenes, and I wanted to create an event that showcased my band and at the same time represented music from all the different genres within the group.
Q: you’re wearing multiple hats here : curator, promoter, performer. And it’s not like you’ve got nothing else in your creative life going on. Any part of this feel overwhelming?
A: Yes, absolutely! It’s quite overwhelming and sometimes I’m asking my self why the heck I’m doing this. BUT, its extremely rewarding too. I’m learning a lot and it feels valuable to have this experience as a promoter and curator (It’s very easy for musicians to forget all the work that’s behind presenting concerts and it feels important to be experiencing all the different aspects of this!). And of course having to research a lot of new artists for future festivals is very inspiring, I find a lot of great music I probably wouldn’t have if i didn’t start this fest. But maybe the most important aspect is being part of (hopefully) creating a new community in Austin where a lot of presenters and musicians from different ‘scenes’ work together to present creative music!!
Q: Obviously there’s other music fests in and around the region — some more interesting than others — but this the only one I’m aware of that places equal importance towards genres most of the more commercial tests either pay scant attention to or ignore entirely. You’re aware there’s nothing else like this, right?
A: I am aware of this, and this is my whole vision and purpose of the festival! I want to put equal importance to multiple genres and my goal is that it will draw a mixed audience that’ll get new experiences! But, I do realise that it is an ambitious goal and that it might take a while for audiences (and musicians!) to understand what I’m trying to do… But I’m into it for the long haul!!
Q: who are you most looking forward to seeing at STII?
A: I am looking forward to see all the acts! But if I have to pick some; i can’t wait to see Chicago Underground and Rabit on Friday night and a specially Obnox on Saturday. But all the bands will kick ass, so stoked to have them all there!!!
Q: Jon Taffer visits the N.D. the day before the festival starts. Name a couple of the sweeping changes he’s responsible for by the time night one starts INCLUDING THE NEW NAME OF THE VENUE
A: Who (the f**k) is Jon Taffer? Sorry, I might not have experienced enough American popular culture to be able to answer this…sorry!
Q: Pains me to say this but “Sonic Transmissions”-the-name is the weakest thing about this glorious event. Do we have your permission to host a contest to rename the event for 2017 (with the grand prize being a Christian Laettner rookie card from the 1992-93 season)?
A: Hahah, you have my permission. would love to see the suggestions. and if you wanna know; the name was inspired by the book Sonic Transmission by Tim Mitchell about Tom Verlaine, Richard Hell and Television. an interesting read!
It is with considerable sorrow that I must announce the passing of former 12XU publicist Drinky McGlugglug. Drinky, known to his close friends as “Drinky”, served the label tirelessly in London during the early 2000′s and though he was forever pissing himself at record-release launches and being hauled into court for leaving his children at the playground unattended, I’ll still remember his love for the music, the backyard bbq’s, the drinks and the repartee. Mostly the drinks, however.
It was Drinky’s dying wish that 12XU and it’s cavalcade of stars would emerge from the darkest, cowebbiest corners of the underground and someday scale the P.R. heights of his former clients like Men$wear and Dodgy.
“Drinky, you do realize that cobwebbiest isn’t a real word.”
Alas, he couldn’t reply. Because he was dead.
So it is in the memory of this wonderful music industry veteran that I am extending an invitation to a young person (well, younger than Drinky, hopefully) ready to get his or hands (very) dirty in the P.R. game on behalf of this label. Clearly, ownership hasn’t simply burned bridges, they’ve been fucking napalmed. Perhaps by providing a buffer — perhaps one with fewer anger issues/personality defects —- positive changes will occur.
There’s no money, not even what Mo Fuzz would call an “on spec” arrangement*. But there’s piles of records, intense glamor and loads of good stories for the magazine article or blog post you’ll someday write about how poorly you were treated.
(* – if you get one of the bands booked on Uncle Floyd or Wally George’s TV shows, we’ll talk about it)
inquire via info@12XU.net. Your physical appearance is of no consequence, though if you are hideously ugly, you might be asked to utilize an avatar (that’s even uglier). Maybe we’ll play it by ear.
On Monday, the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Skrbina caught up with former minor leaguer / son of ex-White Sox/Mets skipper Jeff Torborg, Dale Torborg (above), whose WCW stint as the KISS Demon was followed by a tenure as Marlins strength and conditioning coach. It was during that third act in the younger Torborg’s American life that he had his fateful encounter with Florida reliever Antonio Alfonseca, detailed by Skrbina as follows :
After spending a year on his father’s staff with the Expos as a strength coach in 2001, Dale took the same job with the Marlins the following year, when Jeff took over as manager. He still was moonlighting as a wrestler.
Father and son had been on the job there but a couple of days when Alfonseca locked himself in an office during spring training. According to Jeff Torborg, the story goes that Alfonseca had sworn at Dale and challenged him to a fight after the two had a disagreement about Dale’s request that Alfonseca weigh himself after arriving to spring training.
Jeff was in the middle of a phone conversation with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria in his office when he heard a noise.
“I said, ‘Dale, is that you?’” Jeff said. “He said, ‘Dad, I’m going to kill your closer.’
“I said, half-jokingly, ‘Don’t kill him till I get off the phone.’ I’m the manager and I’m his father and I’m like, ‘Is he this wild or is this his wrestling mystique?’”
Jeff finally opened the training room door. Dale flew in and stood nose to nose with the 6-5, 250-pound reliever.
In the midst of reminding us that he has the full capacity to publish a PDF sold by Amazon that no one will ever buy (AND CALL IT A BOOK), former Chicago Sun-Times/ESPN/Fanhouse columnist Jay Mariotti took to Twitter last night to remind “bloggers” (ie. A.J. Daulerio), that JAY WON! Sure, Jay might not have had Peter Thiel financing a lawsuit, but surely there’s some karmic payback from Deadspin’s frequent reminds of the domestic violence charges against Jay. Though Mariotti has since deleted a tweet from last night in which he reminds us he was NEVER CONVICTED OF NUTHIN’, here’s a helpful summary of the trumped-up charges against this heroic fighter for the rights of middle-aged white men (who or may not have explosive anger issues).
After all, if if Grantland Rice was alive today, he’d be publishing PDF’s explaining how he didn’t mean to pull his GF’s hair out.