Category Archives: Rock Life

live music, festivals, musicians and music history – curated links about the above – your mileage may vary

David Byrne Journal

David Byrne Journal

David Byrne Journal: 02.20.09: Vancouver

David Byrne Journal: 02.20.09: Vancouver

Internet Archive – Live Music Archive Abbrevs

Internet Archive – Live Music Archive Abbrevs

Friday Night at the Commodore, Hardcore Superheros, DOA + Dayglo Abortions

This Friday night, September 19th, D.O.A. will celebrate their 30th anniversary at The Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver, BC). Led by frontman Joe Shithead Keithley, these punk pioneers will blast through a ton of their bone rattling punk anthems. The boys will also play some of their anti-establishment, kick you in the head tunes from their new album “Northern Avenger,” yeah, the disc that’s drawing great reviews. D.O.A. will be joined in the encore by some of Vancouver’s finest! No, we ain’t talkin’ cops! We’re talkin’ rockingly great guest musicians. See you there.

Ya Hey! D.O.A.

SuddenDeath Records


Interested? Let’s rally up a crew and dig (and possibly document) some Vancouver hardcore history.
hockey lounge

Note signed Hardcore ’81 on the wall of the hockey lounge.

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Levon’s Dirtfarmer Documentary

Levon Helm is one of my all-time heroes – drummer, mandolinist, songwriter, sanger, southern gentleman (Arkansasan), cancer (throat) survivor, actor, friend of Canada and a Grammy winner for his folk album Dirt Farmer. Here’s a little featurette of Levon playing music and talking about the state of the USA for farmers, country folk, and civilians everywhere. “I can’t say, i’m just having a soda.”

Levon Helm – “Only Halfway Home” 20:57
A short film inspired by and featuring music from Levon Helm’s
GRAMMY Award winning album Dirt Farmer.
Features: “Calvary”
(Byron Isaacs); (BMI)
“Poor Old Dirt Farmer”
(Tracy Schwartz); Traditon Music Co., (ASCAP)
“False Hearted Lover Blues”
(Trad, arrangement by Levon Helm, Larry Campbell);
Dirt Farmer Music, Talkhouse Music (BMI)
“Got Me a Woman”
(Paul Kennerley); Irving Music (BMI)

Joey Shithead’s Band of Rebels play for Pot

band of rebels benefit for marc emery

Punk and Pot – two of my fave “things” come together as Vancouver legend Joe Shithead brings his eclectic and musically diverse rock circus out for a once-only rock show in solidarity with Marc Emery the (somewhat self-aggrandizing) seed seller who is hassled by the now-fired, former pit-bull US district attorney John Mackay and other DEA narco-terrorists seeking his extradition to the USA to face re-donk-u-lous charges of conspiricy and mass volume drug peddling.

I’ll be there enjoy the rock and the pot. And you?

Free the BC three Here’s from Sudden Death records announcement:

The long awaited live performance with Joe Shithead Keithley’s Band of Rebels will take place in Vancouver on Thursday December 6th at the Plaza Club. Band of Rebels is Keithley’s solo album, released this past summer that features many of Vancouver’s best musicians. Many of them will be performing at the CD release party, which is also Sudden Death Record’s Christmas party, DVD live recording event and a benefit for Cannabis Canada. The event will also include guest speaker Marc Emery and band Aging Youth Gang.

Joe also did a book – I, Shithead: A Life In Punk – and there is a the full DOA backcatalog available by mail order online too (though i’ve got my $15 aimed at a Bloodied by Unbowed vinyl picture disk at Noize on Seymour).

DOA on DVD with Smash the State

D.O.A. Smash the State DVD release show Sept. 27th The Plaza Club, Vancouver, BC
World renowned punk band D.O.A. is back with the brand new DVD “Smash the State.” It will be released September 25th, 2007 on Joe Shithead’s Sudden Death Records.

This long awaited compilation is loaded with a ton of raw footage shot at four shows in the San Francisco/Bay Area and the infamous Canada Day Anarchist Picnic in Vancouver.

The DVD features D.O.A.’s original line up: Joe Shithead Keithley, Chuck Biscuits, Randy Rampage and Dave Gregg at their best. Smash the State includes 21 classic songs, interviews, newscasts, plus footage of the day anarcho punks took over Vancouver’s Stanley Park on July 1st, 1978.

  • Guest appearances by: Keith Morris (Circle Jerks), Dirk Dirksen (Mabuhay Gardens/San Francisco punk guru), JB Shayne (legendary Vancouver DJ) and Zippy Pinhead (Los Popularos, The Dils)

Canada’s punk godfather Joe Shithead had this to say: “I really wanted people to see the original version of D.O.A. performing. You know, the completely raw band that went out and took on the world. So I gathered together some of the best footage I could find and came up with Smash the State. Most of the footage is taken from shows in San Francisco and the East Bay. This makes a lot of sense, as San Francisco became D.O.A.’s home away from home in the late seventies and into the eighties.

Our very first show outside of Vancouver was in S.F. I took a train, Biscuits and Rampage took a bus and Brad Kent hitch hiked. When we arrived we had to scramble around to find enough gear to play. But it was great, so from that point on, it just took a phone call like “Hey, can D.O.A. play a show with the Avengers and the Dead Kennedys next week?” Of course we fucking can! So we would hop in any old wrecked vehicle we could find, and headed down to the Bay area to help start a punk rock riot.

The last part of the DVD was our fifth show. It was an anarchist gathering in Vancouver‘s Stanley Park on Canada Day in 1978. It was billed as “Anti-Canada Day”. We didn’t have a permit, so the cops tried to stop D.O.A., The Subhumans and Private School from playing that day. Our pal Phil Smith managed to talk a local picnicking church group into lending us their park permit once the picnic was over. This of course infuriated the Vancouver Police, but they could not stop the show. This is documented on Smash the State, there’s even footage of Rampage giving a cop a kiss. Hey, cool shit, but I don’t know if the cop thought so.” – Joe Shithead


For a lot of people all over the world, D.O.A. was either their first exposure to punk rock, or one of their earliest memories of that blistering phenomenon. When you watch Smash the State you’ll understand why D.O.A. has influenced everyone from Green Day to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Henry Rollins to Jello Biafra, Rancid to Nirvana and NOFX to Bad Religion.

The Police Dress Rehersal – Vancouver

Stew!!!!!! Tonight Live.

REM recording in Vancouver

REM Begins Recording in Vancouver

from R.E.M.hq via Heading to Vancouver

I have many things to mention about this …:

1) Story about meeting REM (fairgrounds SLC, UT circa 1985/6, Guadacanal Diary opening) – Buck and Mills were real friendly to a young sprout like me

2) Story about meeting EKap and explaining about REM’s album Fables of the Reconstruction before i realized he was tight with the band

3) Story about telling EKap i saw REM 6 times before Green tour (in 4 time zones to boot) most of which before he was out of elementary school (grizzled am i)

4) Discourse on the transitions of Vancouver as a recording hotspot for various genres (cheesepop, punk, metal, and most recently REM and Police)

5) Commentary about REM’s role in music these days (no Bill Berry, why do they still work so hard?, what is their legacy? (and i don’t mean all the hall of fame sh!t) are they really more important that U2? as i always argued with Corey Demille about in 10th grade)

6) Ponder what happened to my sweet 4-colour-bleed tour book about pondering perpetual motion from (which?) tour (no doubt lost with so much other misc rcok stuff)

7) Reminise about first buying “Murmur” at a record store in Bellingham and rewinding Radio Free Europe a dozen times before moving on to the next tracks (on cassette)

8) Happy memories on “Perfect Circle” as a stealth song for smoothing the ladies (before released much later and some lame band hi-jacked the name making things confusing)

9) Stories of Peter Buck’s other bands and projects i caught or listened to + his wife’s ownership of the Croc Cafe in Seattle (scene of much fun)

10) Recalling buying Dead Letter Office (along with Stewart Copeland’s Rumblefish Soundtrack) on vinyl in Toronto and flying them home with some damage to SLC (Still my fave REM album though Reckoning and Fables are perenial faves too)

11) Rambling about the disconnect i felt with the band when they chezed out with the Shiny Happy Radio Song pablum (but i’m mostly over it now) – shoot not even sure what happened on their last few albums … anyone wanna lend me a copy?

But since i am toiling away, i will just say the REM are recording somewhere in Vancouver – nothing more. 

(photo above uncredited – assumed to be Kaplan’s like this one)

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Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues