This is it! The moment I finally get to share with you guys the reason why I signed Southern California skate-punk act Chaser to Dying Scene Records. I’m an absolute sucker for 90’s era punk rock, and Chaser’s new album “Sound The Sirens” sits firmly between ‘94 NOFX and ‘95 No Use For A Name. If you dig double-time drums, anthemic choruses, and big, sunny SoCal “whoa-ohs” you’re going to seriously love this release.
As promised in our feature on a recent Motoblot 2018 participating band, Mystery Actions, we present to you today a full photo gallery of some highlights from the weekend. If you’re not familiar with Motoblot, allow us to fill you in. Now in its fifth year, Motoblot is an annual vintage motorcycle and hot rod street rally that takes place at Chicago’s Cobra Lounge/All Rise Brewing. Hot rods and motorcycles might be the focal point of the weekend, but music is an ever-present force.
Dying Scene had our Doc Martens on the ground all weekend and captured photos of blistering performances from the likes of Supersuckers, The Legendary Shack Shakers, Mothership, Rotten Finko and the Convicts, Mystery Action, Hot Rod Walt and the Psycho-DeVilles, Wreckin’ Ball, and, of course, Nuns Of Brixton (the only Clash cover band that matters). Head below to check out our full photo gallery!
***Editor’s note: Hi gang, Jay Stone here. Meredith and I had been working through some technical glitches over the last few days to try to get these photos up. We got things (we think) buttoned up and had the post that you see here scheduled to run. And then came Wednesday morning’s news about Johnny Wilson, pictured above. For whatever dopey reason, I’d been out of the loop and and it didn’t quite click to me that he’d been playing drums in Nuns Of Brixton. Johnny meant a lot of a lot of people that he crossed paths with in this weird little scene of ours; sincerest condolences go out to all of his family and friends and bandmates.***
DyingScene is absolutely jazzed to bring you the exclusive premiere of Amuse‘s new album, “Shortcuts.” The Indianapolis trio has delivered a solid tour de (that’s Europeanese for “of”) pop punk that has Mike Felumlee’s beautiful, beautiful hands all over it.
Regarding the album, the band states, “I am not going to say we broke new ground on our new album Shortcuts. What I will say is that is that we managed to make sure each track was it’s own thing. We wanted to keep it interesting and diverse. There is a hint of every era of punk rock and pop punk sprinkled through the album.”
The album’s digital release is tomorrow, July 20th on Dodgeball Records. Check out the stream below, along with a handful of summer & fall shows!
JUL 20 – Amuse “Shortcuts” Album Release Show- The Spot Tavern- Lafayette, IN
JUL 23 – Neat Neat Neat Records and Music- Fort Wayne, IN
SEP 14 – 1867 Bar- Lincoln, NE
SEP 16 – Seventh Circle Music Collective- Denver, CO
OCT 2 – Sheas Tavern- Reno, NV
Legendary lead guitarist of MC5 and early punk rock innovator, Wayne Kramer has written a memoir on sale August 14, chronicling his life with MC5 and thereafter, his struggles with addiction and the positivity he’s found through music.
He fought for racial equality with the White Panther Party, became an FBI target, served in federal prison and afterward helped found the non-profit Jail Guitar Doors which aims to rehabilitate inmates with the power of creative musical expression.
Kramer played an intrinsic role in the early institution of the punk rock movement, and has since released ten solo albums and been named one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 100 guitarists of all time.
If you’re into rock and roll history then I wouldn’t miss out on this one. It sounds like a hell of a read. Distributed through Da Cappo Press, find out more about the title here.
Garage Punk band Nerdlinger is blending some finer rock and roll points into their pop-punk sound with their new release “Happy Place”. The Australian band which boasts playing 350+ shows in the past 5 years through Australia, New Zealand and Japan, is currently touring Australia and gearing up for their first North American trip to play Fest in Gainesville, Florida this fall.
The video for the first single, “Underrated” recreates an intimate venue environment combining shiney lights in a dim room paired with music best fit for your favorite dive, giving us a hint that Nerdlinger is on the rise, and these guys are a band you’re probably going to want to see live… and there’s a guy with no pants on…
“This is an incredible line-up of bands over two days, and combined with Roland Sand’s Moto Beach Classic, this is going to be an awesome show…To be a part of an event like this that’s never been done before is pretty cool. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
These words from legendary Social Distortion front man Mike Ness, and honestly I couldn’t have said it better myself. This event looks absolutely epic, with two days of kickass bands on the beach including Bad Religion, Rancid, TSOL, Suicidal Tendencies and more… combined with a dirt track right on the sand for drag racing…
The Offspring‘s Dexter Holland “Can’t wait to hang out on the beach with some of our SoCal punk friends and idols when we play Surf City Blitz.”
If you’re going to be anywhere around Huntington State Beach October 27 and 28 then you can set up your itinerary right here, with tickets for single day passes starting at $49.50, and going on sale this Friday, July 20.
Custom bikes. Punk. Art… THE BEACH!!! Better to save the date, and pick up some tickets before their gone.
A couple of weekends back — June 22 to 24 — Dying Scene were out and about at the 5th Annual MOTOBLOT Vintage Motorcycle & Hot Rod Street Rally, held at the All Rise Brewing/Cobra Lounge in Chicago, IL. In addition to a number of contests and bike and scooter shows, the three-day festival featured performances from more than two dozen bands, including such varied acts as the Legendary Shack Shakers, Supersuckers, The Creepshow, and Nuns of Brixton, the self-described “Only Clash Cover Band That Matters.” While we’ll bring you photo coverage from the bulk of the festival in another day or so, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight one of the bands present that we’ve never quite covered before: Mystery Actions.
One of Chicago’s most promising up and coming groups, Mystery Actions took the Mods and Rockers stage to deliver yet another fiery performance. So who is Mystery Actions? Allow us at Dying Scene to introduce them to you.
The band is made top of Nikki Beller on lead vocals; Lucy Dekay on guitar, Mary Rose Gonzales on drums; and Sarah Travelstead on bass guitar.
The band was started in early 2013 by bassist Shauna Fay. Per Gonzales, Shauna was looking to start an all girl punk band and recruited with the words “Playing rock and roll is good for the soul.” Gonzales was introduced to Beller and Dekay and from the start the band became the baby of all four as Gonzales describes it. Though Gonzales was the most experienced musician, meeting and jamming with the other three, all first timers on their instruments helped lift her out of the funk she was in.
“I always daydreamed about it, listening to the Supremes or the Ronnettes as a kid, daydreaming on the couch. Oddly enough, “Be My Baby” was our first jam that night we all got together at Superior rehearsal spot” recalls Beller. Later in the year Shauna moved to Portland, OR. The three other members have remained the entire tenure of the group. However, they went through 7 “unofficial” bassists until 2016 and Sarah Travelstead came along to cement the still current lineup.
Per Beller, there have been quite a few exciting moments for her and her bandmates. Among her personal faves, “I’d say our first highlight was opening up for Oi Polloi in 2014. Upon our east coast tour return, we had the pleasure of playing one of the last shows at Chicago’s legendary Double Door, alongside Cocksparrer. Playing with the Buzzcocks for the 2nd in 2017 at the Ritz in San Jose, CA was otherworldly. We recently shared the stage with GBH and the Dead Boys. Other memorable shows would for sure be Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Shonen Knife, Protex, Murphy’s Law, The Freeze, The Queers, Lower Class Brats, Go Betty Go and more to come! We’ve been very lucky and are very grateful.”
Recently, Mystery Actions got their friends and fans involved in trying to land them a spot on Flogging Molly’s Salty Dog Cruise 2018. “I read about the contest from the Flogging Molly cruise Facebook page and decided to enter. I made the video for our entry using pictures of our friends and family along with live shots of our shows,” says Travelstead. Though they did not get the spot, they recall the process as a positive one.
Of course four people will have varying influences and on ideas which shape them as musicians and as a group . As to musical influences, per Beller: “We all have different influences which really helps add to the sound. I have influences all over the board, from Diana Ross of the Supremes and Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes to Vi Subversa (Poison Girls) Honey Bane, Wendy O Williams (The Plasmatics) and Alice Bag (The Bags), Suzuki Quattro, New York Dolls and Girlschool, Motörhead, Prince, Bowie Mick Jagger, Screaming Jay Hawkins, I could go on and on. I also draw out my demons and toxic energy on stage, it’s definitely a release. Before I found punk, I grew up on Rock and Roll music from the 50’s, Chicago blues and the big band era.”
Gonzales had some differing influences: “All of us girls grew up with different influences but our sound has been relatable to the 70s punk feel. I grew up listening to Elvis Presley but when I reached 5th grade I discovered the band No Doubt. Gwen Stefani blew me away as a child. 1 she was a woman and 2nd she did the damn thing. When I reached high school I was obsessed the Buzzcocks and thought Joan Jett was practically god”.
And their outfits? Beller being out in front is especially cognizant of how she presents herself and what helps her performances. “As for outfits, I wear whatever I feel. I’m comfortable with myself and in my power and strength of Womanhood/spiritual being. I like to wear clothing that makes me feel powerful, sexy, innocent, whatever mood I happen to be in that day. I like to bring out my kink and personality in what I wear. Being all female musicians, people like to put us in a separate box. We’re tough and powerful and I like to make that known by the way that I look. Like hey boys, we’re here, we’re comin’ and demand respect. We don’t really plan anything, we work hard and show up, whatever happens on stage is raw and natural, as it should be.”
It’s always intriguing to me how band names are selected. I discussed with Gonzales.”… we booked our first show without having a band name. In order of operation, we wrote songs, booked a show and lastly came up with a band name. Eventually they needed something to put on the flyer so we needed not only a name but we needed it fast. We referred ourselves as “last minute bitches” and thats exactly what we were. We all sat in the middle of our rehearsal space with our note books, calling out random names. If we liked it we wrote it down and started process of elimination. I remembered one of the names Nikki came up with was “Leather daddy and the sailors” but obviously we weren’t gonna use it. hahah Mystery Actions was what stood out. Not only was it a song by The Rezillos but the name just truly meant something to us .”
So what is on the horizon for Mystery Actions? Little doubt more highlights and increasing a fan base to their infectious punk rock and the rowdy, leave it all on the stage performances. One thing sure to increase exponentially the amount of touring. Beller: “we haven’t toured much far away yet, we did an east coast (2016/6 shows) and west coast tour (2017/4 shows down the coast of California). We since got our passports, so more to come!”
Specifically though, they are in the process of finishing up their debut release with producers, Vee Sonnets and Karl Gustafson,( both of whom are members in The Crombies) at Legendary Records. They have several as of yet unreleased tracks. “By late fall it should be in the works and be in people’s hands by the holidays. We’ve also worked with Filmographer Sarah Giroux and will be releasing our first music video for our song, “Line in the Sand.” Next show we look forward to will be September 22nd for Punk the Burbs fest. It’ll be our second time playing with The Queers and our first time playing with The Bollweevils!” Gonzales informs me.
Beller also discussed with me reasons for her excitement at recording. “This will be our first record available and it’s long overdue. I’ll be ecstatic once that baby is in my hands. And when I say baby, I mean it will be the equivalent of holding my non-existent first born child in my arms. We have put so much work and dedication into this band… vinyl is what I want. It lasts forever and I look at it as your footprint, it will last long after we are gone… unless you leave it out in the sun, but then we’ll be a warped candy bowl or ashtray.. which oddly enough, still sounds exciting.”
Mystery Actions is one of the upcoming stars of the Chicago punk scene. They may be based here but with they and their fans alike know they will become know widely outside their rejective zip codes in short order. Anyone who has seen them perform will attest there is no mystery to what make them exciting.
New Jersey-based independent label Don Giovanni Records has announced the start of a Kickstarter as a means to “create a bit of financial breathing room for the label.” Their announcement has made it clear that the project is not a fundraiser to help save the label but will allow them to pay off some debts and help them put out more projects.
They have several rewards set up for those willing to participate in the projects. Rewards will include CDs, LPs, posters, tote bags, t-shirts, etc.