Making records and playing shows: its what I do. What do you want me to say? I just can’t help myself. It’s a thing that is inside of me and I’ve tried to move on and I’ve tried to deny it but I can’t help myself. So I keep going. Above is footage from a raw gig I recently played at one of my favorite NYC venues, TRANS PECOS (playing there again in two weeks). Oh, and I guess it should be mentioned that this gig got a nice preview writeup in The New Yorker. People trying to make sense of contemporary American music, working it out in print, yeah fuck it why not respect. Check it out below.
A few months ago I went to South By Southwest. I was there for less than twelve hours and in that time I did one DJ set and performed one live concert. I played for less than 20 minutes and then 20 minutes after the show was over, me and the band were already back on the highway. We had to get out. There was no other choice. The popular tech/gadget site The Verge wrote a thing about that one show. It was pretty positive. It was a rock and roll show, no doubt no question. Sometimes people forget that there is still real value in that.
First off: RIP PRINCE. There is a lot of shit to say, but I’m going to pretty much keep it at that. It’s hard to know where to begin or end. The man was such a influential figure in my life I’m sure yours, too. He is the greatest of all time and a truly transcendent artist. He is a reminder of how high the bar can be set. I’ll just leave it at that.
This weekend I’m doing a short mini-tour. Extreme Animals say two shows can qualify as a mini-tour and I’m not sure if I fully agree, but fuck it. It’s a mini-tour. BALTIMORE on Friday at JOE SQUARED (FB event) with THE SNEAKS then a big 7 BAND RAGER at the great TRANS-PECOS in QUEENS on Saturday (FB event). Both shows should be great. I’m going to have the band with me and we will be trying our best to keep the spirit alive, in whatever tiny, tiny way we can. American Music. See You In The Pit.
It’s STATE OF THE THUNDER ZONE and it’s back, at least one more time. Do you even remember State Of The Thunder Zone? Maybe some things are better left buried in the pit of YouTube, I have no idea. Long story short in 2013 I did a weekly vlog for an entire year, 52 episodes total. Was I going crazy or did State Of The Thunder Zone make me go crazy? A little bit of column A, a little bit of column B. Regardless it is an insane thing that exists and now I’m doing it again, once more. At least once more! I’m losing my mind but I’m trying to change my life. And growing up is not easy. But fuck it, I’m trying my best. We are all trying our best. Watch it above.
My latest full length “HEARTLAND 99” has been out digitally since last Summer on THUNDER ZONE, but it’s finally getting the physical release that it might just deserve thanks to the great LA-via-Heartland label VINYL INTERNATIONAL, home to classic records by folks like Ariel Pink and TRS-80. You know the score: limited edition, red or black vinyl, download code. All that shit. Put it on and start to dream. Rugged USA-style punk rap rock soul for the weirdos and the losers. One major piece of an always-expanding puzzle. I’m as confused as ever and I’m sure you are too. Everything can feel so bleak on all ends of the spectrum but one amazing thing about music is that it doesn’t play by the same stupid rules as the rest of life. Play it loud and feel alright, if just for a little bit.
Tonight in NYC, a stacked program full of sick shit. Just take a look at that flyer. It might just be… Lit. Regardless of anything really, you know JUICEBOXXX AND THE THUNDER ZONE BAND are going to be bringing our singular style of freaked out anthemic punk rap and doing it the only way we know how. We go on at 10:30 but come early and stay late because there is a lot of vetted great music being pumped out tonight (excited to see NAH for the first time). It’s a community function, the 8 Ball Zines people are going to be in the mix… All sorts of shit. Come out to the gig. Why not? See you there kids, don’t stop dreaming.
OK this one is pretty confusing. It all started with “the book” and then things spiraled from there. Kudler and I barely knew each other that night I got bloodied up at Now That’s Class in Cleveland, swear to god. The screenplay kind of came out of the blue and so did the Reddit shit. Finally, I just figured I would release it on Thunder Zone… I knew it was the right course of action after Lena Dunham for some reason on a podcast said she made out with a rapper named Juiceboxxx at summer camp.
This all sounds like a tangled mess of insanity and maybe it is. Maybe that is one of the things Thunder Zone is really all about. I have no idea. One thing I know is that in the past year my life and music has been refracted through a funhouse mirror of “This American Life” proportions and somehow Kudler nailed the tone. My real message is just to be yourself.
“Too Much Juice” is a “Girls” spec script starring Juiceboxxx written by the artist and musician Ben Kudler. Check out thunderzone.biz for more info.
A Juiceboxxx/Thunder Zone deep cut back from the dead. An important piece of the saga. Music scene is crazy. Life, it just keeps going. What am I talking about? Thunder Zone has reissued a lost Juiceboxxx shirt released even before the record of the same name. Inspired by the GOT IT 4 CHEAP style shirts of the 2000s, inspired by just living life and doing your best. Don’t stop. Don’t be afraid. The world is fucked up and you probably are too but that don’t mean shit. Fuck it. Try your best to change your life. Catalog number TZ041. I DON’T WANNA GO INTO THE DARKNESS.
What is THUNDER ZONE? Well, for one, it’s a YouTube channel. You gotta follow your heart, know what I mean? Sitting in the parking lot and chugging an energy drink. Staying alive. Whatever. Life. Check it out, three brand new pieces of Zone-certified insanity. New DOGS IN ECSTASY video (featuring the pop singer MACYRODMAN) is above (shout to Paper Mag for the premiere). Plus below you got the newest GODS LUCAS content as well as a spirited MOLLY SODA unboxing video for the TWEEN DREAMS VHS. Check it out people! And cop it all on the webstore. Thunder Zone 2016.
OK I’m going on a little tour. With the band. Down south then back up to The Heartland. “SXSW.” You know the drill. Just pure American insanity for the sake of it, an attempt to cut through all the bullshit, because man there is a lot of it. Fuck it all. Kicking it off with a rager in NYC (sick flyer made by BLUNT FANG above) and going strong for one week, give or take. Siked to finally jam with the legendary BOBBY CONN in Chitown among a bunch of other highlights. Sometimes it sickens me that I still give a shit, but what do you want me to say? Music: I love it. Keep it positive kids. What the fuck is wrong with my brain? Punk rock 4 ever.
MARCH 15 BROOKLYN, NY @ SUNNYVALE W/ SHAMS, BLUNT FANG AND ORNAMENT INFO
MARCH 18 AUSTIN, TX @ BARRACUDA INFINITY CAT SXSW W/ GUERILLA TOSS, DIARRHEA PLANET AND MORE INFO
MARCH 19 HOT SPRINGS, AR @ VALLEY OF THE VAPORS FESTINFO
MARCH 20 BLOOMINGTON, IN @ PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE
MARCH 21 CHICAGO, IL @ EMPTY BOTTLE W/ JIMMY WHISPERS, BOBBY CONN AND LALA LALA INFO
MARCH 22 MILWAUKEE, WI @ RIVERWEST PUBLIC HOUSE W/ MIDNIGHT RERUNS, ZED KENZO AND ATHLETIC SUPPLY INFO