Regular readers will know that features come few and far between on Too Much Rock, but after recently reading No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens, I knew that this was something that I had to share.
The book tells the story of City Gardens – a long-running, and long-suffering club, in the roughest part of Trenton, NJ. The book begins with the birth of the club in the late-'70s, and carries the reader forward to the club's mid-'90s destruction. It's a tale of punk rock bands, hardcore hooligans, new wave dance nights, and all-out riots. It's also the story of how a building owner and a dedicated promoter created a scene that gave a home to the outcasts, inspired countless musicians and writers, and welcomed everyone – well, until it didn't, and everything fell apart. Having spent more Sunday mornings stapling gig flyers to phone polls than sitting in church pews, the stories told in No Slam Dancing were immediately familiar despite my Midwestern locale. And because this is an oral history, the book is nothing but stories – the show-by-show recollections of the promoter who lost money, the band that got spit on, the bouncer that bled, and the kid that slipped in the backdoor when no one was looking.
Author Amy Yates Wuelfing (then Amy Yates) was one of those rule-breaking kids when she attended her first City Gardens concert in 1983. Now, 31 years later, with the help of her co-author Steven DiLodovico, she has written the definitive history of the club by assembling interviews with the bands that played the notorious club, the staff that worked there (including bartender Jon Stewart), and, often most importantly, sharing the stories of the regulars who spent several nights a week in the smelly, cinderblock building. I had a chance to talk to Amy about her book earlier this week.
Podcast #274 takes it easy on you w/ Sun Kil Moon, Randolph's
Leap, Francoise Hardy, Just Handshakes, Spook School, Boy
Parts, & Beck.
On 2/22 Bottle Breakers made it KC debut headlining and all
punk all the time lineup including Steady States and Bummer.
On 2/20 KC cranked up its guitars and partied like the aughts
never happened. Check out my photos and video of Two Knights,
Muscle Worship, Boy Parts, & Gatekeeper.
Caravels anchored an all-ages post-hardcore lineup that also featured Foxing, Special
Explosion, Author and the Illustrator, & Home Lions.
Podcast #273 comes at you w/ Guided By Voices, Eagulls, Tunabunny,
Rev Gusto, Talulah Gosh, Snowbird, & John Holt.
Podcast #272 wonders if you like twee and black metal too. Potty Mouth,
Colour Me Wednesday, Anorak Girl, Dum Dum Girls, Hospitality, Morgan
Delt, & Anagnorisis.
On 1/30 the fiery Screaming Females began a 2-night stand
at Chicago's Hideout. Click for photos and video of the
band and local openers White Mystery.
NOBUNNY packed Township on 1/29 playing a sweaty set to a capacity crowd that never stopped
moving. Check out my photos and video of the band along with local openers The Yolks and
Podcast #271 puts the ladies up front w/ Wharves, Joanna Gruesome,
Bleeding Rainbow, Cars Can Be Blue, Tripping The Light Fantastic,
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, & +/-.
I just realized that admid all of the holiday hubbub I never posted my top albums of 2013. So here they are, in particular order, my favourite albums of 2013:30. Laura Veirs Warp & Weft (Self Released)
Podcast #270 covers the bases w/ Speedy Ortiz, Damien Jurado,
Making Marks, Northern Portrait, Nudie, Stanley Brinks and
Wave Pictures, & Mogwai.
Kansas City sampled the many flavours of punk when Zero Boys,
Ultraman, Mace Batons, & Drop A Grand played Riot Room on
1/12. Check out my photos and video of the show.
Podcast #269 finishes easy w/ Math and Physics Club, Young Girls,
Big Ups, British Sea Power, Avett Brothers, Watson Twins, &
Anagnorisis, Abigail Williams, Mobile Deathcamp, & Habit of
Force blew into Chicago on a cold winter night. Check out
my account, photos, and video of the show.
Podcast #268 starts the year right w/ Sons Of Great Dane, Margo May
X Elias Abid, Shy Boys, Advance Base, Swearin', Mikal Cronin, & Hecate
Podcast #267 counts down my favourite tracks of 2013 including
music by Blank Tapes, Bleeding Rainbow, Kate Nash, Shotgun Jimmie,
Heaven, Caitlin Rose, Josh Berwanger, & Superchunk.
Each Christmas the 3 members of Ultimate Fakebook find themselves
back in KC, and back on the stage. Check out my photos and video
of the band along with openers Jim Crego & The Hillary Watts Riot.
Continuing my homage to WQAX – the little radio station that eventually couldn't – I present my top 35 tracks of 2013, along with three adventure picks. These are not the best songs of 2013, or the most important songs of 2013, but rather my personal favourites.
35. Wild Belle - Keep You
34. Hobbyist - Head of Cliche
33. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Young Presidents
32. The Joy Formidable - Maw Maw Song
31. Missing Monuments - Super Hero
30. Tim Kasher - American Lit
29. The Secret History - Johnny Panic (Forget Everything)
28. Lazy - Childhood Wonder
27. Sin Fang - Young Boys
... See More 26. Laura Stevenson - Runner
25. Neko Case - City Swan
24. Sky Larkin - Loom
23. Waxahatchee - Peace and Quiet
22. The ACBs - Record Store
21. Penny Blacks - Gentleman Marry Brunettes
20. Sugar Stems - Like I Do
19. Fourth of July - Eskimo Brothers
18. FIDLAR - Cheap Beer
17. Kate Nash - OMYGOD!
16. Caitlin Rose - Waitin'
15. Tullycraft - No Tic, All Tac
14. bentcousin - bentpaperboy
13. Prairie Cat - Got Nothin'
12. Caitlin Rose - Menagerie
11. John Paul Keith - Everything's Different Now
10. Wimps - Slept in Late
9. Bleached - Dead In Your Head
8. The Blank Tapes - Don't Ever Get Old
7. Bleeding Rainbow - Waking Dream
6. Kate Nash - Fri-end?
5. Shotgun Jimmie - Skype Date
4. Heaven - Colors in the Whites of Your Eyes
3. Caitlin Rose - Dallas
2. Josh Berwanger - Baby Loses Her Mind
1. Superchunk - Me & You & Jackie Mittoo
And a a couple of "adventure picks" for songs that came out in
2012 that I didn't hear until 2013:
Avett Brothers - I Never Knew You
Iris DeMent - The Night I Learned How Not to Pray
Schwervon! - Daydream Ration
Tracks #8 through #1 can be heard in their entirety in Too Much Rock Podcast #267.top 35, best of
The 2013 Too Much Rock Holiday Extravaganza features Nick Lowe, Dan
Bern, Tammy Wynette, Tuts, Eux Autres, New Found Glory, Bad Religion,
& Josh Atkinson w/ Suzannah Johannes.
Podcast #265 is all business with music from Pity Sex, Schwervon!,
Kristofer Astrom, Arcade Fire, Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle, Nick
Cave, & Bibby & the Astronauts.
Too Much Rock celebrated the 1st release of its Singles Series
at Mills Record Co on 12/7 with Schwervon and Lazy.
Podcast #264 flits around carelessly w/ Man Bear, Colin Meloy,
Andrew Bird, Reggie And The Full Effect, Matthew Sweet &
Susanna Hoffs, Latex Novelties, & Russian Circles.
A Chicago crowd packed into a hot and crowded club on 11/16 to witness the
noisy indie rock of Bottomless Pit, Light Coma, and Rutabega. Check out my
photos and video of the show.
Pocast #263 celebrates the bands that I saw while on tour: TK Webb,
Warm Ones, Northern Lands, Awkward Terrible, Infinity Shred, & Hawk
Podcast #262 blasts you in the face w/ Los Campesinos!, Au Revoir
Simone, Upset, Quasi, Real Kids, Black on Black, & Head and The
Too Much Rock is proud to annouce the innagural release from its new Single Series. First out of the gate is Schwervon! with new crowd favourite "Landlocked" on the A side, and a cover of The Raincoats' "Off Duty Trip" on the back. The band will have the 7" for sale starting November 12th, and are playing a release show at Mills Records in KC on December 7th. Rumor is they're already selling the single on their current European tour, but everyone else can get their first listen below.
For more information on the Singles Series, visit the new Singles section of the website.accouncements, singles series, schwervon
Upcoming shows I care about:
-3/7 Deafheaven @ Granada
-3/8 Communist Daughter @ TBA KC
-3/8 Dead Girls @ Black & Gold
-3/10 Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr @ Bottleneck
3/14 Rotting Out @ Czar Bar
3/15 Russian Circles @ Riot Room
3/17 Flogging Molly @ Uptown
3/18 Entrance Band @ Record Bar
3/19 Speed Ortiz @ Czar
3/20 Black Actress @ Record Bar
3/22 Rev Gusto @ Brick
3/22 Tim Kasher @ KC
3/31 St. Vincent @ Liberty Hall
4/4-4/6 Center of the City Fest @ Black & Gold
4/28 Hold Stead @ Tank Room
4/28 Hold Steady/Deer Tick @ Granada
5/9 Dandy Warhols @ Riot Room
5/13 Slayer @ Uptown
5/13 Matt Pond PA @ Record Bar
5/16 Pagan Fest @ Riot Room
6/1 Swearin' @ Riot Room