The newest release on Thunder Zone is one that I am extremely proud of. A true meeting of the minds. American insanity 2016 style. The beat goes on. Let me lay it down for you: two new songs by LA-via-BMORE duo ODWALLA88 featuring a remix from frequent Zone collaborator and cult rap legend LIL UGLY MANE and art from Max Eisenberg aka DJ DOG DICK.
This is an important release and there is a lot to say (to start, ODWALLA88 are a game changing American punk band, and the remix and artwork are just insane kickers that will blow some minds… only on THUNDER ZONE) but the most important thing of all is that you support the goddamn Thunder Zone and buy a few copies RIGHT HERE. It comes with a sticker insert and is limited to 250 hand numbered copies. Please keep going, kids. The world is a fucked up ball of darkness but we all gotta try our best to stay positive and find some sort of meaning.
It started as a newsletter and now it is a radio show: presenting THE BOXXX REPORT RADIO, every second Tuesday of the month on the great London-based internet radio station NTS from 11 AM to 1 PM EST. Playing mostly new-ish music from friends and Thunder Zone affiliates plus just great punk, rap, USA freakout music and whatever else I feel like. Influenced by both John Peel and Funkmaster Flex. High energy. The Boxxx Report Radio: check it out.
The first episode aired a few weeks ago and you can listen to it right here. It introduced some “recurring features” from members of the extended Thunder Zone crew including the DJ George Costanza Song Of The Month and the Dogs In Ecstasy 1-Minute Mix. It also featured an exclusive 20-min mix from the one and only SCHWARZ.
So check it out, and great ready for October and beyond. This world is truly twisted but you gotta keep running.
Next week, I will be going on a four city mini-tour with my old friends EXTREME ANIMALS aka Jacob Ciocci and David Wightman. I have a long history with these two, lets just say we met when I was still in high school and they were on a PAPER RAD tour. I traded them some TROLLS for a bunch of legendary FREE MERCH. Over a decade later and everything has changed, everything is fucked, the world is fucked, my life is fucked, but we all keep going. Because rock and roll needs us, the game needs us. Fuck all the bullshit. The real lifers know. I’m just trying to find a little bit of meaning and freak out.
Why this tour, why now? Well, I’m putting out an Extreme Animals anthology on my fucking confusing-but-sick label THUNDER ZONE and we are hitting the road to celebrate. More on that release very soon. Four days, four cities, a bunch of great bands (Angels In America, Gobby, Flintstones and Val M. aka Unicorn Hard-On to name but a few) one car, one van, THOM FROM SWEATHEART on guitar with me, MIKE B THE G (AKA CITIBIKE MIKE also known as D. Gookin) on drums. Yeah, I got the band. You gotta keep running, kids. RIP ALAN VEGA. I’m losing my mind. See you on the road. Tour dates below.
7/28 PHILADELPHIA @ Lava Space Facebook
7/29 QUEENS NEW YORK CITY @ Trans-Pecos Facebook
7/30 PROVIDENCE @ Tommy’s Place Facebook
7/31 BOSTON @ Gross Outlet Facebook
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.
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.
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.