Rock and Roll

“As long as we’re alive then Punk’s not dead yet!”

Punk Rock is probably some of the most honest music anyone will ever hear. Stripped away are the pretenses of “professional musicianship” leaving in its wake the raw emotion, power, and intellect—or lack thereof—of the music. It can be anything, it can be nothing, it can be everything. Somehow it has endured over the years in many different waves and forms, but to quote The Exploited, “Punk’s not dead!”  It is now 19 years since the Stern Brothers began taking over downtown Las Vegas and it looks like it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Thank goodness for that!

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Album artwork by Raymond Pettibon!

What happens when four musicians record an album in three days? Well, as luck would have it, something amazing happens. At least, that’s the case for the debut release of Big Walnuts Yonder. Though they prefer to consider themselves an anti-supergroup—in that they consciously rebel against the cliche of bringing their known sounds to the group—when your band consists of Mike Watt (Minutemen, The Stooges), Nels Cline (Wilco, Nels Cline Singers), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos), it is hard to resist slapping the “supergroup” label on them, but be warned, because this band is no mere supergroup, and they are full of surprises.

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New sonic explorations from one of the masters

While I’m familiar with most of the seminal works of Sonic Youth, the band members’ solo projects before and after the split were never very big blips on my music radar. I vaguely remember seeing a poster for one of Thurston Moore’s mid-2000s solo tours when I was in college, but not having the time—or the money being a working college student—to go to the show. So out slipped Moore from my consciousness, and thus the boomerang effect brings him back to me.

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