Steven’s Completely Unsolicited Music Lists Of The Year 2013

Steven’s Completely Unsolicited Music Lists Of The Year.

My Top 5 2 albums of the year.

1. David Bowie – The Next Day
I haven’t liked a Bowie record in a very long time so I was surprised when this one hooked me. It’s just one really well-crafted song after another, although I can’t recommend the BONUS tracks.

2. Mudhoney – Vanishing Point
I’ve always liked individual Mudhoney songs but the albums seemed to drag along in spots to me. This one is pretty damn solid and has a few of my favorite tracks ever from them.
I really wish I could mouth off about more albums this year but nothing else hit me as a whole. Few things make me happier than getting in to a new record and then not shutting up about it to people, sigh. Although I was really shocked to dig the new Black Sabbath but not enough to make the list.

My Top 10 14 songs of the year…and one from 2012. In no order.

1. Punk Rock Saved My Life – Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss
(Throw Rag singer & ex-Weirdos/Joe Strummer collaborator)

2. Everything Has Changed – Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran
(Very young/rich pop stars produced by Butch Walker. Had it in my head for days.)

3. Later…When The TV Turns To Static – Glasvegas
(I have no idea who this band is or care that TVs don’t really go to static anymore. Do they?)

4. Sex – 1975
(Nor this one. They are very indie rock but I like it anyway)

5. Finders Keepers – Audacity
(Replacements style punk/rock from Fullerton…they all look 20 or 16)
6. I Like It Small – Mudhoney
(Grunge pioneers/coattail riders from Washington state)

7. Dead Man’s Shoes – The Virginmarys
(3 piece band…that’s all I know)

8. Trojans – Atlas Genius
(Australian guys, very popular song, great sound from that Tele, lots of space in that band)

9. I’d Rather Be High – David Bowie
(Legend/Transvestite from outer space. Angie Bowie’s ex-husband)

10. Ballad Of The Lower East Side – Michael Monroe
(Ex-Hanoi Rocks singer, an even better frontman/singer now than he was 20 years ago)

11. Back To The Wind – Pat Todd & The Rankoutsiders
(Ex-Lazy Cowgirls, one of the best no bullshit bar bands I’ve seen. Plus Angelle always holds their tambourine when we see them live.)

12. Closer – Tegan And Sara
(Um, 2 girls and a MAC? I have no idea but this is very catchy in an ‘80s way.)

13. Royals – Lorde
(Like a lot of radio music these days there are very few instruments on this song. But with hooks like this you don’t need much more than drums and a melody)

14. God Is Dead? – Black Sabbath
(New band? They sound so ‘70s. 😉 It’s almost 9 minutes long and holds my attention. I bet Bill Ward secretly wrote it.)

The whole batch is in a Spotify playlist if you’re so inclined.
Fave Tunes 2013


Book coverAlright so Cheetah Chrome wrote a book chronicling his misadventures in the Dead Boys and beyond but the biggest surprise is… Cheetah’s a good writer. Who knew?

The introduction opens with a heartbreaking account of how he found out that his best friend Stiv had died. This sets the tone from the beginning that this will be an extremely honest and visceral look at his past.

For all the damage that years of drug use have taken on his body, Cheetah’s mind has held on tight to the details of his memories. This includes many great Dead Boys road stories that confirm everything I’ve ever suspected and more (little girl).

Trashed hotel rooms, drugs and booze, fights, sex with underage girls, arrests, all delivered in a very casual way with very little of the “look at me” ego that spills out of other books in this genre.

A couple of the most interesting bits to pop out to me:

– “Young Loud & Snotty” was recorded with the idea that it was just demos.

– Cheetah’s guitar on that record was a cheap Les Paul knockoff through a Sound City head.

– The first time he met Johnny Thunders he threw a drink in Cheetah’s face.

– He gave Iggy a bunch of downers before a Stooges show that resulted in a brief 3 song disaster.

– Many of the stories involve pills, piss, vomit or shit.

I was really impressed at the strength and style of the writing in this memoir. From his early days as a teenage delinquent to the whirlwind rise and fall as a member of Ohio’s premier punk band, the stories and anecdotes are all you’d hoped they’d be.  Do yourself a favor and check this one out.

4 out of 5

Smog Veil
Cheetah Chrome: A Dead Boy’s Tale: From the Front Lines of Punk Rock


You are not as good as Lester Bangs, neither am I.

Autotune and American Idol wouldn’t know Rock n Roll if it passed out in their crotch.

Put down your phone/camera and watch the concert.

Don’t blame the musicians who wrote/played the crappy music at the top of the charts,
blame the people that buy it.


New Generation Superstars - Crash Course artworkFirst off this is a pile driver of a CD, a very dense record, tight songwriting – fans of the early Hellacopters might wanna take note.

This is hard rock but not metal (save for a few “falling down the stairs” drum fills – but what else ya gonna do when the songs are this fast? He does do a cool roll in the breakdown of “White Trash”) with lots of guitar solos over shout along choruses. The guitar playing actually kinda reminds of Blare N Bitch from Betty Blowtorch. Crash Course has a very “live” feel to the recording which I’m always fan of, so bonus there.

There’s a nice dirtiness to New Generation Superstars sound, reminds me of The Sea Hags played at 78 rpm – not quite the same swagger but heavy.

Standout tracks include “Come Over”, “Dope Fiend”, “Done Before” (nice lyrics) & the aforementioned “White Trash”.

We are officially living in what I like to call the post-Backyard Babies era. Not that the boys from Sweden have hung it up but their descendents are growing up and starting to want their own share of the spotlight. New Generation Superstars are ready for their close-up.


4 out of 5