Tuesday, August 30, 2011



19 songs in just under 24 minutes. The first and only "full-length" from this semi-short-lived Tampa, Florida hardcore/grindcore quartet. Prepare your anus.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE


Thursday, August 25, 2011


Some interesting speculation via JGD's post about Adramalech on The Living Doorway yesterday:

"Since 90% of The Living Doorway's traffic comes from our 'tarded pals over at Illogical Contraption, I'm sure you've noticed by now that Shelby has turned into some corporate shill and doesn't have time to post anymore. Or maybe he's just in jail or something. I don't know. But he's totally MIA and it's important that someone step in to provide the world with more Finnish death metal from the 1990's, at least until he finally gets fired for gross misconduct (or released on his own recognisance) and can start posting again."

Jaime then goes on to confusingly hawk products for my band, which is a) totally appreciated and b) only partially solicited:

"... head over to Apocryphon's OFFICIAL MERCHANDISE PAGE for some back-to-school shopping. It's the least you can do to help build Shelby's new corporate empire... or whatever the fuck he's doing lately.

RIP Cobras.

Wow. First off, I wholly resent the insinuation that I have died, as, to quote Mark Twain, "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated". While the illusion of human existence can be confusing and mystical, I am, in fact, at least 85-90% sure that I am still a resident of the material plane of Earthly being. I am not dead. Just busy.
But second (and more maddening) is the suggestion that I have become some sort of "corporate shill", as if I had a commercial-minded bone in my body. Come on, Jaime. You know me better than that.
While it is true that I may or may not be starting some sort of new phase in my employment, I can neither confirm nor deny at this point that it is in any way a "corporate" power grab and/or a monumental increase in both my annual income and social status. This type of speculation is 100% unconfirmed (at this point) and only partially fueled by extensive media coverage. To wit, I give you the banner headline from a recent Huffington Post article:

I know, I know: the rumors have been rampant for the last couple days, and even though I am forbidden from speaking about the current terms of my employment and/or "CEO status" (their words), I will acknowledge that big wheels are turning. I alluded to such things a few posts ago, and not to be overly cryptic or anything, but FRUITion has arrived. Not that I can confirm anything or whatever. It's all just crazy speculation. Crazy, rampant speculation.

Shame on you, JGD, for stirring up all these silly rumors. It was an enormous breach of our conceptual, digital friendship, and we both know that it is WAY too early to talk about my (purportedly) upcoming ventures into the public spotlight. You know I can't talk about these things yet.
But what I CAN do is share a simple photo with you all. Interpret it as you will:


Anyway, here is some super-top-notch deathened black metal from Temecula, CA circa 1997. This album absolutely DESTROYS.

DRACONIS - Overlords of The Greying Dawn

dl: Unseen Reflections of Interdimensional Transfixions


Monday, August 22, 2011


Sup bros?

I know it's been awhile since I've had a minute to post on IC (I've been working 80 hour weeks, assholes, cut me a break), but the time has come to end my silence with the most important news imaginable:

Apocryphon's OFFICIAL MERCHANDISE PAGE is now online.

I know you clowns are just dying to send me your money, so go over there and get yourself a CD or a T-shirt (or both!).

I mean, just look at that thing! A high-quality cotton T-shirt bearing the infamous design created by our very own IC uber-bro Farron Loathing--for only 12 dollars (plus S&H)?!?!?!

Not to mention the lovingly-crafted, hand-numbered, wooden-box-twine-bound-hand-sewn limited edition CDs we're selling (for ONLY $7!!!). Brother Peter designed and built only 100 of these babies, and they're really going fast. Check this shit out:

Now that's quality craftmanship right there.

Go buy our stuff. We'll have even more of it soon.

In other news, we now have an Encyclopaedia Metallum page as well, along with our old Last.FM, Facebook, and Bandcamp (where you can download our debut EP for free or name your price).

PS: Speaking of shameless, incessant self-promotion, DALTON's "comeback" show is at the Elbo Room in SF tonight with Winter Teeth and The Corruptors. Go to that also.

Eno Meany Miney

I'm gonna level with you here. Of the four albums I'll be putting up here for your delectation, 'Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy' is my personal least favourite, so I'm not gonna say much about it.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad album - far from it - it's just that it doesn't really do as much, musically, for me as the other three.
I guess it's because it's so much more upbeat and melodic than the others that I find it a little dull - which is ironic, as the lyrical content is pretty dark. 'Burning Airlines Give You So Much More' is about an aircrash near Paris in 1974 and 'The Great Pretender' is about an insane machine raping a housewife.

Oh, incidentally, 'Burning Airlines Give You So Much More' is where the ex-Jawbox band, Burning Airlines, that so many people seem to like but I couldn't give a gnats fart about, got their name from. So now you know, unless you already know, in which case, I just reminded you. You're welcome.

Several things of note about the album are that a VERY pre-MTV music video was made for the track 'China, My China'...

...featuring proto-punk icon Judy Nylon of the band Snatch, the lyrics to the track 'The True Wheel' came to Eno in a dream, and inspired the name of the shortlived band he was a member of, along with Phil Manzanera, The 801, who released one so-so live album (although a couple of better quality bootlegs are available), 'The Fat Lady Of Limbourg' allegedly refers to a groupie of voluminous size that Eno bedded on tour, and the entire concept behind the revolutionary/Communist Chinese slant** to the album was said to have been kicked off by Eno chancing upon some postcards featuring images of a revolutionary chinese opera of the same name.

So, there you have it. Some fascinating facts about 'Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy'.

Don't let my lack of enthusiasm put you off, by the way, as it only really suffers in comparison to the other three recordings that surround it - by anyone else's standards, it's a fantastic album...only by my own exacting standards is it a bit boring.


*insert 'pink oboe' joke here.

** Also, I just realised that to the uptight, overly PC eye, this could seem like a racial slur. It isn't, obviously, it's just unfortunate wording on my part, but I'm keeping it in anyway, so fuck you.

BTW, if I was a punk, my punk name would be Rachel Intolerance.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


"Brian Eno? Isn't he that guy who invented 'ambient music'?"
Well....yeah, I guess.

"Isn't he that bald guy who produced U2 and fucking Coldplay?"

Well....yeah, guilty as charged...BUT he also made four outstanding albums of art rock back in the seventies that he, quite frankly, just doesn't get enough love for.

While all the pseuds and hipsters wax poetic about 'Discreet Music' and 'Music For Airports', I'm diggin' his non-ambient work with Robert Fripp, his pre-Talking Heads Talking Heads-isms and his bold attempt to find a genuine use for Phil Collins (which he DOES, with aplomb).

I mean, I ask you, LOOK at the dude! Does he look like some po-faced chinstroking pseudo-intellectual? in THAT jacket??*

No, when Eno left Roxy Music in 1973, taking all their mojo with him, he did what people didn't really expect him to do, considering he was the 'non-musician' (his words) and resident brain box of the band...he made an absolutely KILLER solo album that, in MY humble opinion, totally outshines anything Roxy Music EVER did.

So, in order to edumacate youse heathen scum, I'll be posting up the first four Eno 'vocal' albums here over the course of the week, possibly followed by a li'l treat in the shape of an 'odds and ends' comp of singles, radio session tracks and whatnot, if you're all good li'l ladies 'n' germs.

Here Come The Warm Jets was something that I don't think anyone was expecting. Despite Eno's rep as a ladies man and top shagger, he was commonly regarded as an arty oddball who made bleepy-bloopy noises, and so any kind of solo album he made would probably be 'difficult'. '...Jets' totally blows that notion out of the water by being chock-full of arty funk, off-kilter pop-rock and possibly Robert Fripp's finest recorded guitar solo...

'Baby's On Fire' was actually the first thing Eno wrote for this record and the damn thing sounds fresh as a daisy today. Minimal, artful loping groove, odd, camply-arch lyrics and vocal and THAT solo. It's a total WINNER, as is the entire record. A stone-cold classic. Oh, and for lovers of bleepy-bloopy Eno, check out the end of the exceptionally English 'Dead Finks Tell No Tales'. Sounds like a malfunctioning Cylon.

*actually, he looks totally like Elrond

Friday, August 12, 2011


Brainoil are finally back with a new album (after an eight year recording hiatus), and it's easily my favourite album of 2011 so far. Since getting Death Of This Dry Season it's been on an infinite loop around here, only interrupted by the occasional dose of cleansing power violence.

Obviously I'm not posting the new album (you can buy it here), so here's their 2003 self titled for anyone who still hasn't heard it. It's the same lineup as on the new record, and the same destructive mix of addictive sludgy riffs, up-tempo doom and buzzing crusty hardcore. Great stuff and absolutely essential.

If you're new to the band you should also check out their killer split with Cruevo that Shelbro posted waaaay back in January '09.

(click me!)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Anyone ever live with a Selfish Retarted Roommate?

Well I'm gonna vent here. You know when you clean your house and Selfish Retarded Roommate (I'll refer bad roommate as S.R.R) fucks it up in two days. Yeah that kinda roommate, you know the kind where you buy the toilet paper and someone poops three straight days and can't afford tampons. Yeah that kinda roommate, the one where you have to walk S.R.R.'s dog because you fear it will piss or shit all over your janky house.
Yeah that kinda roommate, where S.R.R. fucks right next to you when you are trying to sleep. Yeah that kinda roommate, who just makes a mess. Fully aware this is first world problems and things could be worse. Just had to vent. I'll continue to rant and rave in a more cynical humorous manner from here on out.


OK, here's the deal: ol' Uncle Cobras is gonna be busy as a motherfucker for the next week or two, so things are really gonna slow to a crawl here at IllCon. But humongous gears are turning in the IC Universe, and you can all expect some really awesome things to happen in the near future. First off, Apocryphon is opening for the almighty Orb of Confusion (their last show EVER) at Eli's Mile High in Oakland this Sunday, where we will have our first run of Farron Loathing-designed T-shirts (as well as limited edition, wood-box copies of our debut EP) for sale. Which is cool, but then the following Monday (the 22nd), DALTON returns (with Winter Teeth and The Corruptors) at the Elbo Room in SF, after a long, self-imposed period of introspection and martial arts training. Both of these shows are of course sandwiched around a week in which I'll be getting unceasingly ass-raped at my Real Job, not to mention the Huge Thing On The Horizon that I have been instructed not to speak about yet, upon punishment of execution. So hang tight. Things will be back to normal soon.

To tide you over for a bit, I offer the third full-length album from IllCon favorites Angelcorpse, an unrelenting onslaught of black/death malice every bit as ferocious as its predecessors, 1996's Hammer of Gods and 1998's Exterminate. Pure fucking evil and hatred, so brutal and mind-bending that those weird penis-looking things on the cover are immediately and unequivocally forgiven. Super gnar.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE

In keeping with the old IllCon trend, please note that dude on the left is rocking his own band's T-shirt.


Monday, August 8, 2011


Famous people are stupid. Weird and stupid. And crazy. They're all paranoid and arrogant, which is a dangerous combination. For instance, John Cale almost hit me in the face once. Granted, yes, I had been following him very closely for several blocks, and no, I probably shouldn't have touched him unexpectedly, but he shouldn't have tried to hit me. I don't care what that smart ass judge and his bullshit restraining order says.

Anyway, this isn't really a Dizeazoes story as it has nothing to do with the actual band and it's history or anything like that. I just like the story and thought that it might work well as an addendum to the series, help to sort of bow out on a lighthearted note. I hope that everyone has enjoyed reading these stories and if so I'll hope you'll indulge me a few quick notes. First, it was a project that Wheeler and I had been talking about for over a year and I really have to thank him for being patient with me while I worked on other stories, constantly telling him that "I'm going to get to the Dizeazoes story one day!". Honestly, I really didn't think that I ever would get to it, but one night I got drunk listening to the CD of Dizeazoes recordings he had sent me and I typed out the introduction. Very quickly I started to get the feeling that this was a story that could just go on forever and that's why I decided to divide it up and just hit the most interesting parts.

I'd also like to thank the other members of The Dizeazoes for doing everything they could to accommodate my annoying questions and insistence on a proper timeline and shit like that. I know that it was a long time ago and that it was all just for fun and I'm glad that they didn't just tell me that I was full of shit.

Anyway.... enough of my babbling. Here's the story of the time The Dizeazoes met Chuck Berry straight from Paul Wheeler's keyboard...

"This isn't really a Dizeazoes story, but it involves three of us from the early days of The Dizeazoes. This would have been Larry's first or second year in Columbia, MO, before I joined him there. I was working in a factory in St. Louis at the time. The chances are that The Dizeazoes had begun, but that it was just Larry Dardick and I at that point. We probably didn't even have the name yet, but we may have. I had heard from Mike Shelton that he was going to sing with a band at Chuck Berry's park, which was just outside of Wentzville, MO. Chuck Berry had set up a small club there where bands would play on weekends. I decided that would be a good time to visit Larry. The plan was for me to drive my car to Columbia, MO on Friday night. Saturday night we'd take Larry's car and drive to Wentzville to see Mike's performance, then we'd drive back to Columbia, MO, and on Sunday I'd return to St. Louis.

(Right: Berry Park in Wentzville, MO)

"We had no idea when the show was going to start, so we decided to arrive early in the evening. In actuality we arrived at Chuck Berry's farm in very early evening, or possibly late afternoon. We turned into a big parking lot, drove slowly up to where it looked like the club might be, and who should come out of the front building but Chuck Berry himself. He waved us to come forward and showed us exactly where and how he wanted us to park. He looked at Larry's parking job, gave a satisfied nod, and said, 'If you get the first one parked right, the others just fall in line.'

"We're here to see one of the bands tonight." we stated.

"That'll be in that building over there." Mr. Berry pointed.

"When will it start?" We asked, wondering how long we would have to wait. It looked like it might be quite a while.

"Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies," said Chuck and headed back inside.

So there we were, the only car in the parking lot, not a soul in sight, no idea how long we'd have to wait, or, in fact, if Mike was actually going to be singing that night. I hadn't received any confirmation from him. Neither of us had ever seen Mike Shelton perform. It was obviously something we were willing to go out of our way to see. The idea of having Mike sing for our band had probably never crossed our minds. Plus, the fact that Chuck Berry had just helped Larry park his car was quite the buzz. We headed over to the building that Chuck had pointed out. The door was open, so we walked inside and started investigating the small club. It was empty, so we began exploring, just to see what we could find. I had just come back out onto the stage after checking out the backstage area when Chuck Berry and a woman walked into the club.

"What are you doing in here?" asked Chuck with a certain amount of rebuke in his voice.

"You said the show would be in here. Is there somewhere else we should go?" we wondered, kind of pleased to be talking with the legend again, and maybe even toying in our minds with the idea of relaxing around his guitar shaped pool. Chuck seemed to see the sense in what we were saying, but wasn't completely satisfied.

"Well, if you're going to stay in here, you should pay for your tickets now." he decided.

"How much are tickets?" was our reasonable response.

"Five dollars, each." Chuck replied firmly.

If that's what he wanted, we were certainly willing to oblige, I pulled out a ten dollar bill and asked, "Do you have change?"

Apparently he didn't, so Mr. Berry said, "Later." and he and the woman turned and headed back toward the door. I pulled out my small pocket camera and took a picture of them as they headed away. They were about twenty feet away from me with their backs turned, but Chuck didn't like it, and demanded I hand over the camera. I refused to give it to him, telling him truthfully that it wasn't mine. I had borrowed it. He then demanded the film. I explained to him that it was a new roll and I had just started it. After all, if I gave him the film, I wouldn't be able to take pictures of Mike Shelton's performance. I don't know why my lame explanation worked, but he probably figured it just wasn't worth arguing with me, and he and the woman exited the building and left us to amuse ourselves in whatever fashion pleased us.

Eventually people started to arrive, and we set about trying to talk with the band to see if Mike was actually going to be singing that night. We did find someone who was playing in a band that night. He didn't know if Mike was singing, but promised to try to find out for us, and suggested that we should park in the back of the building because that's where the bands would be arriving and unloading their equipment. We moved Larry's car to the back parking lot, and it took a while longer before we tracked down someone in the band that Mike was supposedly going to sing for. That guy wasn't sure either, but he managed to find out that no, Mike wasn't going to be performing that night. We were walking back around the building to get to our car when we ran into Mr. Chuck Berry again.

"Where are you going?" He asked accusingly.

"We're going back to our car." we explained.

"But your car's over there!" he said, pointing back behind us where he had parked us initially.

"No." we explained, "We moved it. We're parked back around there now."

Chuck didn't seem pleased about that at all. In fact, he seemed unquestionably displeased with having to once again deal with these youngsters, who he hadn't actually caught doing anything wrong, but perhaps were not behaving within his acceptable parameters. He grudgingly said. "Well, OK, but if I see you two doing one more strange thing, you're out of here!"

We headed on back to our car chuckling, partially because without doing anything we had royally pissed off Mr. Chuck Berry, who we both very much respected. The Dizeazoes eventually worked up 'Come On', The Rolling Stones first single, which was written by this very man who had just threatened to boot us off his property. We were also amused because, since Mike wasn't going to play, we had been stopped and interrogated in the act of heading back to our car with the express purpose of getting out of there, exactly the thing Mr. Berry had threatened to make us do. We headed back to Columbia, and very possibly plugged in our guitars and ran through what at that time existed of The Dizeazoes repertoire.

Further reading on early St Louis underground music:

The Moldy Dogs
Akashic Records
Wolfgang and the Noble Oval
BDR Records

Saturday, August 6, 2011


The Dizeazoes didn't so much break up as fragment. I guess. I don't know, it's weird. Even after thirty some years, it seems to remain a sensitive issue, and, in all honesty, I've been reluctant to write about why the band actually dissolved, partly because I know that it will require me to interpret the situation, which is something I really do not want to do for a variety of reasons. I mean, I don't want these guys to hate me, but when it comes down to it, the break up seems to be due to a clash of personalities, which, really everyone should have seen coming. The Dizeazoes were full of very strong personalities with very strong opinions about music (I mean, come on, it was a band made up of Stooges fans in the early 1970s), and for some bands that's a good thing, and for others it's a really bad thing. The Dizeazoes fall somewhere in the middle - it was good and bad and too much and not enough. I guess. Really,it was, at once, a great betrayal of everything the band stood for and the only logical direction the band could possibly move, and pretty much encapsulates the only great argument rock and roll has ever produced: is it just for fun or is it a business. Or is there a business to be made from having fun? Like I said, I don't know.

A quick side note. The reason I've been writing about early St Louis punk rock bands for so long is that I believe that these bands (The Moldy Dogs, The Dizeazoes, etc) developed an early punk rock aesthetic before any one else in the US. That's why I've been so interested in pinpointing The Dizeazoes as the first punk rock band in St Louis, because, really, in my opinion, they were one of the first punk rock bands in the states. We're talking about guys that heard The Stooges and started bands, not guys that heard The Ramones and started bands, or guys that heard the New York Dolls and started bands, or guys that heard Television and started bands, but guys that heard the very early rumblings of punk rock in the music of The Stooges, The MC5, etc, and started a band. From there a small scene developed which attracted like minded individuals that identified themselves as different from the rest of society and, at least in some way, aligned to this music. And this all happened independently of what was going on in New York or London or Philadelphia or wherever. The most important thing I've taken from my research into the early St Louis punk bands is the fact that none of them say "We were influenced by The Ramones!" or even "We were influenced by The Dolls!". And that's because they weren't influenced by them. They were, at the very least, contemporaries of these bands, and deserve some sort of consideration in that regard.

Really, as with every other band regarless of size or popularity or whatever, there is no clear story - it's always someone's fault and everyone's fault all at once. There's a short story and a long story. If you've read my stuff before you know that you're in for the long version.

"One summer Larry and I got back from Columbia, MO and found that Mike Shelton and Greg Carmack had gotten together and decided that some changes needed to be made in The Dizeazoes," says Paul Wheeler.

"They had decided that they didn't much like our choice of material. They didn't like the oldies that we were doing. Plus, Mike thought we should start doing some originals. Although he had some lyrical ideas, he didn't play an instrurment, and so hadn't actually written any songs himself. We did start playing one of my originals, and we started learning some songs chosen by Mike and Greg. As I remember there were a couple of John Cale songs, a solo Lou Reed song, a Brian Eno song that had been a B-side on an English single. It was all pretty obscure stuff, and seemed to me very somber. I didn't much like it, and I didn't see any reason anyone else should or would. In fact, if anybody did like it, I wouldn't want to have much to do with them."

Larry Dardick agrees that there was some internal strife.

"Paul is right about Greg and Mike advocating for artsier songs," says Dardick. "Mike was a real [David] Bowie devotee. I didn't mind trying different styles and did enjoy having some new material. However, this brought us nearer to 'taking ourselves too seriously' than Paul or I would want."

Paul Wheeler agrees that things with The Dizeazoes were getting out of hand.

"Larry and I had pretty much controlled the band up till then," Wheeler continues. "And nobody had really tried to wrest control from us. Larry announced that later that summer he and his girlfriend were going to go on a cross-country trip/vacation. We kept playing with Greg and Mike, and allowed them to choose the direction for the band, though we continued to rehearse in my basement, mostly with equipment that Larry and I had bought. I wasn't enjoying it much, but I was going along with it."

"I had planned an extended car trip to California with my girlfriend, who probably took herself a bit too seriously, during the last half of the summer," says Dardick. "In the weeks prior to the trip, my Dad developed coronary artery disease requiring bypass surgery. I was also working to earn some cash. So I didn't have inordinate amounts of free time."

And then there was the party. The Toler Brothers, who owned an influential record store in St Louis, had arranged a show at the apartment complex in which they lived. Dardick says that he "wasn't as intrigued or motivated" as some of the other members of the band.

"When it turned out that I didn't have to play, I was very comfortable attending the party and ultimately departing at a half reasonable hour," says Dardick.

Here's Wheeler's take, which includes his story about joining The Moldy Dogs.

"As I understood it, Mike had gotten Dennis Toler to throw a party that would feature this new version of The Dizeazoes... One night I went out with Jeff Rosen, who, as I remember, was no longer involved in the practices, because of the changes. We had heard about this duo called The Moldy Dogs who were doing some very cool songs, including a bunch of oldies and some Stooges songs, and who some friends of mine had recommended for us to check them out. They were playing a night at a local University City place called The Pastrami Joynt, and we went and checked it out. Besides Wolf and Paul (who was referred to as “Killer” at the time) there was a guy dressed up in an old brown, leather, pilot's cap, with a strap that went under his chin, and some kind of protective goggles. He was called 'The Human Wah-Wah”, and during Paul's leads on electric guitar, “The Human Wah-Wah” would jiggle the knobs on Paul's amplifier. One of the things that Wolf would do to entertain the crowd at The Pastrami Joynt was to ask the small crowd rock 'n' roll trivia questions. That night our table, mostly Jeff and myself, were able to answer almost all the trivia questions. After their set, Jeff and I went over to talk with them, and I asked them if they had ever considered putting together a band, and let them know that I played bass guitar and would be interested in playing with them. They invited me to come over and play with them in the next couple of days. We hit it off well, and I was added to their group.

"I first called up Larry and let him know. We agreed that we would continue rehearsing with The Dizeazoes and would play Dennis Toler's party, but shortly after that he was going to take off for his summer vacation, and I was going to quit The Dizeazoes and join The Moldy Dogs. Larry was fine with that, and completely understood why I was unhappy with the new direction of The Dizeazoes. I don't think he was terribly happy with it either. I certainly was not interested in continuing to rehearse with Mike and Greg without Larry there, and I'm sure that was a big reason I considered finding a new situation. After having informed Larry of my plans, and gotten his OK, I called up Mike Shelton and informed him that I was planning on leaving The Dizeazoes and joining The Moldy Dogs, but that Larry and I would still be willing to rehearse The Dizeazoes and play Dennis Toler's party as we had planned.

"As I stated previously, we were rehearsing in my parent's basement, with equipment that was almost completely owned by Larry and myself. For me to leave The Dizeazoes meant pretty much that I was disbanding The Dizeazoes. By the by, I believe that Garth Tyson was living and working in upstate New York at the time, and wasn't involved in the group at all at that point. I don't think we had a drummer at that point. I believe that Mike Shelton understood the effect that my leaving The Dizeazoes would have, and considered it a total betrayal. When he told Greg Carmack, he did not mention that Larry and I had offered to go ahead and play Dennis Toler's party. His response to me wanting to leave the band was to cut ties completely. I believe it was through Jon Ashline that The Moldy Dogs were invited to play Dennis Toler's party. When Mike found out he demanded that we not be allowed to play. In fact, as it turned out Mike Shelton sang some songs for The Moldy Dogs at that party, as did Jeff Rosen. I spent most of the party hanging out with Larry Dardick
and Mary Meyer. Oh yes, and it was at that party that I was asked by Bruce Cole to play bass on The Screamin' Mee-mees first EP (left). I said yes. I also talked with Greg Carmack at that party. He was pissed, until I explained to him that Larry and I had offered to continue to rehearse The Dizeazoes and play the party. The plan was for him and Mike to get up and do a performance, just the two of them, but Mike started singing and improvising with Jim Maresca's band, which was probably called Candy at the time, or became Candy shortly after that, and Greg Carmack grabbed his guitar and amplifier and left in disgust. I didn't want to inflame the situation, and I don't think I said a word to Mike Shelton that entire night. I don't think he said a word to me either. Several years later, though, in 1980, I hitchhiked to Chicago to see Iggy Pop perform a show in what he was calling his Nightclubbing Tour. Mike Shelton was living in Chicago at the time and we met through the mutual friend, Carolyn Horyn, who I was hitchhiking with. He told me that he now understood the choices in material that Larry and I had made in The Dizeazoes. In fact, many of the songs that The Dizeazoes had been playing were later covered by various punk bands. Possibly as an act of reconciliation he patted me on the back, and took an Iggy Pop button off his shirt and pinned it on mine. I was shocked and very much saddened to hear about the horrible traffic accident that tragically killed Mike and his family."

There are no more Dizeazoes stories. There are thousands of Dizeazoes stories.

Friday, August 5, 2011


As promised in Monday's post, MYSTIFIER's follow-up to 1992's Wicca (and precursor to 1996's The World Is So Good That Who Made It Does Not Live Here). Smoke meth and worship Satan.

Download HERE

we do pacts with our bearded idol and
have intercourse with female demons
we sin against the father by falsehood
and against the son and the holy ghost by hatred and debauchery
we were jesuits who failed
we hate the roman catholic doctrine
we were accused of heresy
we perished in flames of inquisition



Being first is good. From a historical perspective, the idea of "the first" is incredibly important. For example Neil Armstrong was the first to lie to the world about the fact that he walked on the moon and he's one of the most famous people alive. In music, especially, being first is of utmost importance. It connotates a certain degree of hipness, as if the members of whatever band were possessed with some prescient vision of what the rocking masses needed that no one else around could understand. Black Sabbath was the first heavy metal band, Chuck Berry was the first rock and roll guitarist, etc, as if it all matters at all. But for some reason it does seem to matter and for all intents and purposes, The Dizeazoes were the first punk rock band in St Louis.

I need to be clear about something here. The members of The Dizeazoes do not claim to be the first punk rock band in St Louis. That is my contention, and it is based on the eh, not exactly miniscule, but far from comprehensive, amount of research I've done. So anyone wishing to contest the fact that The Dizeazoes were the first punk rock band in St Louis should bitch to me, not The Dizeazoes. I contend that The Dizeazoes were the first punk rock band (which is different from the first punk band) in St Louis because of their attitude, the music that they played, and, more importantly, their attitude towards the music they played, which was that the music they played was important and they (the band) were not. Which is the way that rock music, regardless of what qualifier you place in front of the word "rock", is supposed to work, but is the exact opposite of how most rock bands work.

(Keep in mind, if you were a member of an unheard of rock band from the early 1970s and you send me an email that says something like "Hey, you're an idiot, we were the first punk rock band in St Louis!" I will respond with "Great! Let's do a story!", and, if you agree, you'll have to put up with me pestering you for months on end ((I've been bothering Paul Wheeler about this for over a year now, and, while he's been incredibly gracious and patient with me, I'm sure I have grated on his nerves a bit. Sorry 'bout that, Mr Wheeler.)

But all of this is just drunk talk, and really, it's not all that important. When I asked the members of The Dizeazoes about the idea that they were the first punk rock band in St Louis the answers were varied. And, really, all of them were more interested in talking about music than talking about the band. Wheeler said "I certainly don't mind that statement,", but qualified it by pointing out that Wolf Roxon and Jon Ashline's bedroom freakout project Wolfgang and the Noble Oval had possibly predated them. Dardick told me that it all depended on my definition of the word "punk". All of which sort of makes my point: even now the members of the band still see themselves as ultimately unimportant, even when confronted with the question that might stake their small place in history. Instead of saying "Yes, we were the first!" they tell me that "Perhaps is a meta-discursive term to use," and babble about bands that played "Kick Out the Jams" at high school dances, or seeing a band called Rush, which was, according to Dardick, "a fairly well known band influenced by the MC5 and Steppnwolf" play in the park on Sundays in Forest Park in St Louis.

It's all very confusing, especially to someone who wasn't there. By the time The Dizeazoes played their first show The Moldy Dogs had already started putting songs together on the campus of Webster College, and other bands like The Welders, were starting to emerge. Steve Scariano, who was an early fan of many of these bands, and today plays in The Jans Project, explains it all better than I can:

"When I first became aware of that little original scene back then, the small handful of bands were all already up and running, so I really have no idea who may have actually been first. Doesn't really matter all that much to me either. I'm just glad they were all there and doing it. I think all of those guys; Dirt Wheeler, Shelton, Norman Schoenfeld, Joey Schadler, the Moldy Dogs guys, Billy Love, Jim Maresca, Bruce Cole, and of course the Welders, all deserve statues in their honor for planting the flag and starting it all here."

I've babbled a lot in this series about how The Dizeazoes were a cover band and the fact that they were a cover band that played music that no one would like is really cool, but The Dizeazoes did dabble with the idea of doing original songs (and, in fact, the subject of original music would eventually be a factor in the bands' dissolution, which will be discussed later).

Wheeler, again:

"I had been writing lyrics since 1970... One day Norman Schoenfeld said to me, 'You have all these lyrics. You play bass. You can write music for your lyrics now.' I guess I was kind of like, 'Really?'. Norman instructed me to bring over my bass and some lyrics. Jeff Rosen came, too. I brought over lyrics I had written for a song called ‘Elevator Mind’. He sat me down and said, 'OK, sing the lyrics you've got.” I started singing, and he started working out some guitar chords to go along with my singing. I simplified them a bit so that I was happier with it, and that was it. Click! Norman had shown me how to put music to my songs. After that, when I wrote lyrics, I generally wrote out some music on my bass to go along with them. I wasn't very confident with my songwriting at that point, though. I did bounce my lyrics and songs off Larry regularly. The first song that we worked up was one called ‘Dead Fed’. It even had background vocals to it. We got Jeff Rosen down in the basement and tried to teach it to him, and it was like bouncing our heads against the wall. Jeff had never heard the song before, so he didn't have a clue how to sing it. Basically, we gave up. It was just easier to play 'real' songs. Admittedly, ‘Dead Fed’ was not one of my better songs. I have dug up other songs from those days and played them, but that was the last time I tried to do anything with ‘Dead Fed’. When Mike Shelton and Greg Carmack took over the direction of the band, one of the things that Mike, especially, wanted to do was original songs. He didn't have any. He may have had some lyrics, but he never showed them to me. I pulled out a song I had written recently, and we worked up and began playing ‘Outside On The Ground’. This was something Mike wanted to do, and it had an easy blues structure, so we started practicing it. Mike's contribution was to change the title (in his mind) to ‘Outside Observation’. As far as I remember there's no recorded version of The Dizeazoes doing ‘Outside On The Ground’.

"‘Dead Fed’ was a rock song about a cute girl who was new in town, and turned out to be a narc. ‘Outside On The Ground’ was a blues/rock song about a guy watching his ex-girlfriend through her window at night. There was also a recording of a riff I had come up with but not done anything with. I just started playing it during a very loose jam session, and the other people there began playing along, and a friend who was there (I believe his last name was something like Ronollo), just started making up lyrics and singing along. That's the one original thing that was actually recorded that The Dizeazoes did. I only had about twenty seconds of it on the tape I recorded the CD from. On the original tape, I remember it going on for several minutes, but it was just a jam, nothing we ever “worked up”.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sick Pleasure/Code of Honor Split - 1982

I am posting this well known punk split from 1982. I don't know anything about the bands except Sick Pleasure was from San Francisco. I am posting it because they do this really cool song called "Get The MUNI Driver." It's about killing the MUNI driver. It's a really good song. I like it so much.


The second Dizeazoes show was even more of a disaster than the first (above is a photo of that show). The Dizeazoes were asked to play at a party in the suburbs of St Louis and were asked to set up in the backyard near a swimming pool, an idea which didn't exactly excite Paul Wheeler.

“I immediately told them that we should not be setting up outside,” says Wheeler, who suggested that the band should set up in the basement.

But the band was forced to set up outside. They had planned on playing several songs, including “Question of Temperature” and “Great Balls of Fire” but never got to them.

“We started playing and got a very good reaction from the party-goers,” says Wheeler. “They were jumping around and seemed pretty excited.”

But almost immediately the band was asked to turn down due to complaints by neighbors.

"After our first song, our host told us their neighbors were complaining, every one played softer and I sang without using a mic," says Jeff Rosen, who attempted to sing that night.

“We had started as quietly as we could imagine playing,” says Wheeler. “After the second song we turned down again and couldn’t even hear each other by then. By the end of the the third song the told us the police were coming and that we had to stop playing. I remember that Lance Tyson, who I had given my camera to, had only taken one picture. He explained that he thought he would have a lot more time to take pictures!”

The Dizeazoes wouldn't perform live again. By 1976 the band would dissolve.

Oh, and if you have the time, you could go here and read my recently published, in-depth interview with New York punk rock legend Sonny Vincent. Mr Vincent talks about his early days in New York, his friendship with Bob Stinson of The Replacements, and other things you might be intersted in.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


In my discussions with the members of The Dizeazoes the subject of beer was popular. In fact, in preparation for the bands first show Larry Dardick said that the band didn't have a great deal of time to prepare, and as a result band approached the opportunity as a chance "to be ourselves, have a good time and drink a few beers". Their beer of choice was Blatz, the unofficial official beer of The Dizeazoes. Dardick preferred Blatz because it "was affordable and sounded cool". Jeff Rosen remembers being with Wheeler and Dardick at "either a liquor store or a super market, looking for beer", when Wheeler saw Blatz on the shelf and "was impressed by the name".

The allure of the name was the fact that it lacked any sort of ostentation.

"How pretentious can a beer named Blatz be?" asked Dardick, parenthetically, in an email.

The beer we know as Blatz today has an interesting history. The Valentin Blatz Brewing Company was founded in Milwaukee in 1850 and, after merging with the City Brewery, produced Milwaukee's first bottled beer in 1874, and thrived throughout the early parts of the 20th century. The Blatz brewery was one of the first to use freshness dates on their bottles, and helped to make Milwaukee a brewing capitol after prohibition. In later years Blatz was purchased by Pabst Brewing Company, then by G Heileman (Old Style), then Stroh's, before eventually ending up, once again, as a Pabst product. In addition to The Dizeazoes, at least one other band important to the history of punk rock were fans of Blatz, these guys, who actually named their band after the beer, of whom,I'm sure many of us have "fond" memories.

Paul Wheeler on the importance of Blatz:

"I had never heard of Blatz beer until I got to Columbia, MO. It was a discount brand, and I became rather obsessed with it. If the store had no Blatz beer, I would go somewhere else to get my beer. Why? I don't think the taste was anything special, though I quickly learned to enjoy it... I became obsessed with it because of the name. It tasted fine, too, but I loved the name which sounded a bit like the result of too much beer hitting the floor.

"We were in college at the time, and had not learned the art of responsible drinking. There was a good amount of drinking going on at rehearsals, though most of us had to limit the drinking to in between the songs. I don't think we ever drank enough to hurt the quality of our rehearsals... As I remember, rehearsals lasted over an hour and under three hours. It was just good fun. Sometimes we worked on a new song, sometimes we just played through songs we knew. Anyone could call out a song. I think it was usually the singers who picked what they wanted to sing. Sometimes they'd shuffle through the lyrics I'd written out and pick something, or we'd pick something, and they'd have to find the lyrics in the pile if they didn't already know them. It was mostly freeform, unless Larry was teaching us a new song. It was a fun way to relax, and we pretended we were being constructive. I'm actually not sure if Blatz was always available in St. Louis, but I love the idea of Blatz being the “official” Dizeazoes beer!"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I've never quite understood what the term "orthodox black metal" is supposed to mean, but according to my top-secret sources, Sweden's FUNERAL MIST are prime purveyors of such a thing, and if that's the case, then I guess you can consider me a big fan. Apparently, strong religious imagery and atmosphere contribute to the appellation "orthodox", which I guess makes sense considering the weird, rambling sermons and Gregorian chanting buried deep beneath the hyperspeed shredding present here. IllCon favorites such as Ljå and/or Tsjuder come to mind while one is being subjected to the complete aural annihilation that is Funeral Mist, and company like that implies only the highest of compliments. This is some super dense, ferocious, ugly shit, coming to ungently fuck you right square in your ear-pussy. No lube will be offered.

Download HERE
Purchase HERE



Jeff Rosen (above, with The Curved Invaders) was one of two vocalists for The Dizeazoes, the other being Mike Shelton, also known as Cosmic Starfire, and The Iggy Guy, and one of the most important figures in the early St Louis punk scene), but, for all intents and purposes, Rosen was the main vocalist for the band. He was the only vocalist to appear at both Dizeazoes shows, or at least the only one who had a chance to sing, and appears on most of the recordings of the band.

Rosen was an old friend of both Wheeler and Dardick. He had known Dardick since elementary school.

"He lived around the corner from me in University City [a neighborhood in St Louis near Washington University]," says Rosen. "Larry and I were music fans, mostly 60s and early 70s rock/pop, and shared the same kind of humor."

Rosen and Wheeler met in high school but didn't become friends until a chance meeting.

"A friend and I met Jeff in Forest Park one lazy day," Wheeler remembers. "Jeff and I recognized each other from high school, knew each other by sight, but had never talked much. We started talking and found that we had a lot in common, our tastes in music, and our sense of humor."

Rosen remembers Wheeler as, first and foremost, a music fan.

"We were fans of the same type of music," says Rosen. "I was impressed by his record collection. He had a lot of obscure albums I'd never heard before. He also turned me on to the Bonzo Dog Band, which is still one of my favorite groups. We also shared an irreverent sense of humor, so we also hit it off pretty well."

At first Rosen was reluctant to join the band, but after attending several rehearsals became excited to participate.

"He just enjoyed spending time with us," says Wheeler. "We were friends, and we needed a lead singer. Plus Jeff was a bit of an exhibitionist. He was not afraid of playing the fool for some attention, and he appreciated an enthusiastic performance, and could be counted on to give one if he got the chance."

"I had fun singing for the Dizeazoes, but I knew that I didn't have a great voice," says Rosen. "So I hammed it up a bit just to have fun with it. They seemed to appreciate it."

As noted, Rosen shared vocal duties for The Dizeazoes with Mike Shelton (below), also known as Cosmic Starfire, and The Iggy Guy. He and Wheeler had met in 1973 when his girlfriend noticed Wheeler wandering around in a homemade Iggy Pop t-shirt.

"Mike's girlfriend spotted me at one point, asked me about it, and said, 'Oh, my boyfriend's going to want one!', recalls Wheeler. "She got my phone number. Mike called me up, and pretty quickly he and I became acquaintances if not friends. It wasn't too long before I had convinced him that he should come and sing with us, 'cause we did a bunch of Stooges songs."

Shelton had played in a few local bands, and had developed a reputation around town as an important figure in the underground music scene. Wheeler considers Shelton's involvement with The Dizeazoes "a major feather in the bands' cap".

Shelton and Rosen shared vocal duties in the band (a third vocalist Terry Henner would also help out, primarily for practices in Columbia, MO, but Henner was also present at the second, and final, Dizeazoes show). Rosen would sing the oldies and Shelton would sing The Stooges material. This would lead to some confusion as The Dizeazoes gained a reputation. Paul Wheeler recalls a funny incident:

"Larry and I were playing with Howard Levinson in Kid Sister and Jeff Rosen was visiting us in Columbia, MO," says Wheeler. "We brought Jeff with us to a Kid Sister rehearsal and introduced him to Howard as one of The Dizeazoes' lead singers. Howard's reaction? 'Oh, did you cut yourself? Did you roll on glass?' Jeff was a bit shocked at the thought of it, may not have even understood the Iggy reference, and vigorously shook his head at the thought of even doing such things. That was Jeff's introduction to Howard. Larry and I knew him by then, and just chuckled at his question."

Mike Shelton was one of the most important, if not the most important, figures of the early St Louis underground, and really, his life is worth an entire article. In my research, his name has constantly emerged as "the guy", the one that everything seemed to revolve around. Mr Shelton, unfortunately, perished in a tragic car accident in 2004. There is a nice tribute to him here.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Greg Carmack joined The Dizeazoes in 1975. He was, as Paul Wheeler says, "quite the wizard on guitar", but, as is usually the case with wizards, was also,"an odd chap".

Wheeler remembers that Carmack was a big fan of Barbara Streisand ("I'm not putting that down," says Wheeler. "I was a big fan of Nancy Sinatra at the time."), and The Velvet Underground, and was responsible for turning Wheeler on to White Light / White Heat. He was known around town for his confidence (arrogance?) and made a point to not play in St Louis rock bands. Wheeler was surprised when he agreed to join the band.

"This guy could play guitar, but was a bit hard to work with," recalls Wheeler. "He put up with us, I think, because we didn’t care that he never bothered to learn the material, we let him play whatever the hell he wanted for the leads, and in certain songs allowed him to go on for as long as he liked... He had been playing steel guitar when I ran into him, but made a point of not playing in St Louis rock bands. I asked him to play with us and he surprised me by agreeing."

Wheeler remembers that he often acted "like a spoiled brat" during practices, but that his work was always superb. On one occasion he asked Carmack to hang out after a rehearsal. Carmack's response was unusually usual.

"He told us, 'No. I'll play in the band, but we're not friends'," says Wheeler, who has since lost touch with Carmack.

"He was an amazing guitarist," continues Wheeler. "Sometimes in his leads his don't give a shit attitude was just brilliant. Check out his lead on 'Down On The Street', where he takes about half a minute to adjust his tone before starting the lead. Meanwhile, his guitar just roars. I loved it!"


Brazil's MYSTIFIER bring plenty of desirable elements to the table with their debut full-length, Wicca: a shit-ton of tinny, flailing, drum-machiney blastbeats, indecipherable, effects-drenched vocals, weird chanting and solemn incantations, weedly-weedly tapping solos, chunky, farting bass, and ethereal, atmospheric keyboards--but the most important element, to be sure, is the stifling, omnipresent aura of pure, unadulterated, Satanic EVIL present here, in the lyrics, the artwork, the aesthetic--but mostly, the deep, haunting weirdness of the MUSIC. Mystifier shred balls with the best of 'em, but there is a touch of off-kilter zaniness--of the "outsider" perspective--to this band that cements their status as one of blackened death metal's most interesting imports.
We last checked in with these guys waaaayyyy too long ago, via a post Brother TMM wrote about 1996's ESL masterpiece The World Is So Good That Who Made It Does Not Live Here, and before that, Mystifier made their IllCon debut with the face-melting track "Give The Human Devil His Due" on the Gummo soundtrack. Wicca is fucking great, but this band only got better as the years went by (I'll provide evidence in the form of 1993's Goetia here soon), and I plan on keeping abreast of their progress with a much higher level of scrutiny in the foreseeable future.
Let's all head out to a misty clearing in the woods and crucify a dude for the Dark Lord to the strains of Wicca tonight, OK? It's not like you've got anything better to do.

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Another band photo from back when they were just wee lads:

Alternate (original?) cover art: