That’s right people, got some gigs coming up in New York City, where I guess I live, for the moment. Some good ones no doubt, with some great bands. Honestly I’m really siked about all four of these shows, they represent a nice cross-section of East Coast insanity activities. And all of this is not even to begin to mention my lil SXSW (god help us all) tour popping off in March… Stay tuned for more info on that. They are going to shit on all of your dreams but you gotta keep running.
AT THE WALLET BROOKLYN
WITH EARTHEATER, JORDONNA, FIN, DOUGIE POOLE
AT TRANS PECOS QUEENS
WITH CAKES DA KILLA, SPEWING CUM, JAGUAR PYRAMIDS
AT SUNNYVALE BROOKLYN
WITH HARIBO, SHAMS, ORNAMENT, DJS AL B AND EMILY D
AT TRANS PECOS QUEENS
WITH GUERILLA TOSS, MACHINEGIRL
Last fall for one night only, my label/energy drink/whatever Thunder Zone threw a “CMJ Party” in the form of THE THUNDER ZONE MUSIC ACADEMY. Yeah, we have all heard of The Red Bull Music Academy, but this is a whole different beast from a whole different kind of fucked up loser energy drink corporation. True “variety show” style insanity from a wide range of USA freakout heroes. It was a really special night for me because I’m a big fan of everyone who performed. You can watch a little “highlight reel” above and remember: there are no rules in this insane life, try your best and just keep going. Also remember: most labels are boring and predictable, but not Thunder Zone: the bad news bears of this whole damn “industry.”
2K15: what a weird year. They are all weird years, no doubt, but 2015 had its own funky rhythm that I’m still processing and will probably continue to process deep into 2K16. Lets start with the stupid elephant in the room. Anyone who has been paying even the smallest amount of attention to my freaked out “career” as a musician and mogul probably knows about “the book.” Yeah, I’m talking about a thing called The Next Next Level, which is a real book that is in essence about Juiceboxxx (its complicated) written by a man called Leon.
I don’t know where to begin or end with this one, but it came out and got some press and I talked to some people and said some shit that was stupid and some shit that was slightly less stupid and honestly? I don’t know. I really don’t know, my guy. The Fader called me The Great American Rap-Rocker You’re Missing Out On and other publications said far less nice things. At certain points in this process, I felt siked that in some small weird way the music and the message was getting across. I also often felt like a cultural curio whose story wasn’t fully told, and in fact was modified to meet the needs of the author. But because I am a mentally ill person with a compulsion to write songs and jump around like a jackass, I’m still here. None of this shit really matters all that much. The only thing that matters is the music. If it wasn’t for that, I would’ve quit this insanity a long time ago. Check it out, I did something with Rolling Stone magazine that is kind of about “all of the above.”
So what else happened? Winter saw me put out a 28 track mixtape called HIGHWAY TO THE HEARTLAND which featured collaborations with Issue, Dan Deacon, Sweet Valley, White Rainbow, Vice Cooler, Fat Tony, D/P/I, TV Girl, DJ Lucas, 333 Boyz, Shawn Kemp, Schwarz, DJ Douggpound and more. It also featured a 30+ minute sound collage/noise track called THUNDER ZONE INFINITY. The tape is super sloppy and fucked and long and weird, but it was something I felt like I needed to get off of my chest in order to move on.
Right around the same time as “the book,” my newest record HEARTLAND 99 was released digitally (it will be coming out on vinyl, on the label Vinyl International Records, in early March). The record is ten songs and just another notch in my fucked up belt. I was thinking about The Modern Lovers, Public Enemy, Springsteen, Beastie Boys, Primal Scream and a lot more when I was making this. After you cycle through so many “waves” the desire to make something that cuts through time and trends gets stronger than ever. This shit is a work in progress, but I’m always excited to be making music and performing. I also made some videos for the record. Three of them are below, fucking check it.
This year I also kept grinding away on my no-rules label/lifestyle proposition/attempt to find meaning in the madness THUNDER ZONE. I put out more shirts with the legendary LIL UGLY MANE (final run of these going live on the webstore for pre-order next week then the era is over for real). I made two new, professionally-pressed VHS tapes with esteemed freakout producers DOUGGPOUND and MOLLY SODA. Also, two full length tapes/digital releases that I am really proud of: Milwaukee synth grunge mavericks DOGS IN ECSTASY and a collaborative record from the Western Mass rap/new music/punks DJ LUCAS and GODS WISDOM called GODS LUCAS. You think that’s it? That’s not it. Screenplay with NICK DEMARCO. THE THUNDER ZONE MUSIC ACADEMY. THE THUNDER ZONE KICKBACK. The beat goes on. Fuck all the boring bullshit clogging up the pipes, this is Thunder Zone USA and we are here for you.
Also this year I played some gigs (highlights: playing a show with the legendary Malcom Mooney from Can as part of the NADA art fair in Miami, a summer US tour and a fest in Detroit with ANDREW WK. lowlights: slicing my face open at a punk bar in Cleveland in front of 6 people) and of course have been writing a ton of music that I am siked about. I’m working on two records at the same time: a punk rap rager called FREAKED OUT AMERICAN LOSER and an anthemic American pop record called RUSTBELT NIGHTS. I have no goddamn clue or idea. Just follow your stupid dreams and try to stay alive. Growing up is wild. Stay positive. Fuck it man. Enter The Thunder Zone.
New video from DOGS IN ECSTASY, off of their THUNDER ZONE instaclassic WELCOME 2 HELL. This one was shot at a racetrack in Wisconsin and really captures the feeling of ANYTOWN USA. Honest insanity from deep in the Thunder Zone. And that is to say nothing of the song itself, and the guitar solo. Somehow this band makes me think of Devo, The Rentals, THEUSAISAMONSTER, PC Music, Weezer, Lightning Bolt, Sparks and The Breeders all at the same time. Better than pretty much all contemporary indie rock music.
This New Years, there will be not one but two Juiceboxxx shows. I’ll be jamming with THE HEARTLAND BAND (Midwest Chapter) for both and I gotta say, it feels good to be still playing music. I’m trying to keep the faith alive because I believe in rock and roll for whatever stupid reason. First off, I’m going down to Chicago to play with my old Nashville friends JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD and DIARRHEA PLANET. It’s going down at Lincoln Hall and it should be a rager. MORE INFO HERE. Then, believe it or not, I’m going back up to Milwaukee and performing at 5 AM New Years Day with my friends DOGS IN ECSTASY, who just put out an incredible record on my label THUNDER ZONE. Since that show is an “official zone event” there will be Energy Drinks and Free Food and all sorts of bullshit. MORE INFO HERE. Come out, see you in the pit, 2K15 was fucked up (full report soon) lets try to keep it positive in 2K16… Why not.
Live! Tonight! Juiceboxxx back in Far Rockaway, back in the basement, back behind the bar, back into the insanity rock and roll zone that they call “The Red Light District.” Also playing tonight, Drippy Inputs and the legendary M AX NOI MACH, who I first played a show with in I think motherfucking 2004? That’s a long time ago. Shit. Don’t get me started. I don’t really know what to say right now, but I’m thinking. I’m processing. Life of music. Whatever, man. See you at the gig. Fuck it.
OUT NOW on Thunder Zone: The two part Molly Soda“Tween Dreams” series finally gets a physical release in the form of a limited edition VHS tape. We found some deadstock pink tapes and pressed them up pro style and put them in a cool clear case and threw in a poster (why not) and put them up for you to buy. This is straight up 2010’s style DIY video punk in the tradition of Miss Pussycat or Tracy And The Plastics but updated for a new generation of dreamers.
Molly is well known for her internet work but I think with these videos (and a lot of the things she does) she moves beyond whatever cultural slot narrow-minded people have tried to put her in and into a new zone that she can call her own. “Tween Dreams” is timeless and great lo-fi, really. I love these videos and I couldn’t be more siked to put it out on Thunder Zone.
This Thursday, Juiceboxxx And The Thunder Zone Band hit the beach and just fucking freak out. That’s right people, it is Art Basel week in Miami and we are going to be in town playing the after party for the art fair NADA. Also on the bill that night is Sporting Life from the Ratking and Malcom Mooney of CAN. Honestly, I’m just siked to rock. Last time I was in Florida, someone smashed a bottle of hot sauce on my head in the middle of my set. That was in Orlando, but still. The next night I played in Miami and it was fun.
What’s up, people. Got a long overdue THUNDER ZONE UPDATE coming your way. Been a busy fall no doubt no question. Where to start? You already know about THE THUNDER ZONE MUSIC ACADEMY and all of that shit (“the documentary” coming soon), but do you know about DOGS IN ECSTASY? Well, this might be too little too late but “Welcome 2 Hell” (TZ034) is out now on Thunder Zone and, in fact, tapes are sold out for the time being.
You can still dig into this fine release via all respected digital zones, though (cass repress soon). It is a masterpiece of 2015 style damaged electronic general MIDI power post rainbow rock insanity. For fans of Weezer and THEUSAISAMONSTER and maybe even freaked out PC Music style damage. Truly a singular pop rock record featuring longtime BOXXX collaborator Willy D. Fucking grip it and check out the video for “Do Me Ronnie” above.
On the publishing side of things, Thunder Zone also threw down a collaboration with the fresh American storyteller/artist NICK DEMARCO called “Here On Earth.”(TZ032) It is a full on shrinkwrapped screenplay that serves as a companion piece to his 2014 show at Interstate Projects. It features photos from the exhibition and even a poster. It is sick, a weird slice of soulful American culture and a perfect addition to the neverending Thunder Zone saga.. Buy one right now on the webstore or hit up FAMILY in LA for a copy. CHECK OUT A FRESH UNBOXING VIDEO FOR THE THING RIGHT HERE.
And that brings us to what is “on deck” for Zone… GODS LUCAS (TZ035) is the new collaborative tape/digital LP from young Western Mass legends DJ LUCAS and GODS WISDOM. This one right here! This is it. I’m so siked to present this piece of hard to classify Nu Americana to all you ragers out there. Really an “anything goes” type of record… The ideas (and hooks) are just motherfucking flowing. Anytown USA freakout magic that we can all believe in. Check out a music video (which, let it be known, premiered at THE FADER) below.
New fire from the reigning kings of Trip Metal and just all around American music legendsWOLF EYES. I’ve been listening to this band since I was a teenager and I’ve seen them go through lots of twists and turns. With that said, this record right here ranks among one of the best things they have ever done in their almost two decade run. Yeah, it’s that sick!
I could try to compare it to other Wolf Eyes records or say that it is maybe more “song based” and talk about the addition of Crazy Jim into the mix… But fuck all of that, this is just a really great raw rock and roll record done in a fresh style. From The Stooges to Techno, the state of Michigan has always pushed things to the limit, and Wolf Eyes are carrying on a proud freaked out American music tradition. Fucking bang your head!
You can stream the record HERE for the time being. Check it out!