Archive for the ‘The Dickies’ Category


Long before it was cool to make “punk” things for mass consumption, Rhino released this Christmas album.  I bought it because I was pretty tired of Christmas songs back in 1995 and this was a pretty good antidote.

Listening to it twenty years after it came out, I was surprised to hear how many songs would fit pretty nicely in a contemporary rocking playlist.  Although in the true spirit of punk, there are a number of songs that wouldn’t fit at all, either because of the very anti-Christmas sentiment or the bad language.  I have labelled those [NSFC] Not Safe for Christmas.

THE RAVERS-(It’s Gonna Be A) Punk Rock Christmas
This song is actually quite fun.  Santas’s gonna be a Sex Pistol for a Day and Farrah Fawcett is going to change her hair.
THE DICKIES-Silent Night
This is a fairly faithful rendition of the song, just done as a surf punk song with the nasal vocal delivery of The Dickies.  I’ve know this song for decades and have rocked out to it on many a non holiday eve.
SLOPPY SECONDS-Hooray For Santa Claus Theme From ‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians’
This is a rocking cover of the hilarious song from Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.  I can’t even imagine how they know it as I only know the movie from MST3K.
FEAR-Fuck Christmas [NSFC]
This song starts off like a slow ponderous song and then it ends abruptly with a hardcore chant of the title.
THE GREEDIES-A Merry Christmas
This is a fairly straight punkish blend of Christmas songs, puts some pep in your ho ho ho.
THE DAMNED-There Ain’t No Sanity Claus
This song is just great, Christmas themes or no.  In fact I don’t even know what the rest of the words are and it could easily NOT be a Christmas song–except for Santa Ho Ho Hoing at the end.
Kudos to Rhino for adding this aggressively queer song to the mix.  But it is quite explicit.  Also, I never noticed before but the opening chords could easily have the harmonica solo form Blues Traveler’s big hit fit in there very nicely (and wouldn’t that be a hoot).
This is a mildly inappropriate song about sex and drugs but it’s catchy and short.  You could probably slip it in without people noticing.  (That’s what she said).
The Celibate Rifles were an Australian punk band.  I don’t really know them at all.  The verses of the song are fast and hard to understand but they’re darkly comic and the chorus is just a punk version of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”  The end is a fairly straight blues riff.  A fun addition to a party.
RAMONES-Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)
This song is pretty widely accepted as a classic Christmas song now.  Listening to it amid these other punk songs, it made me realize just how far the Ramones drifted away from their punk sound and into a more metal feel.
This is a pretty goofy, sloppy, slurry version of the song.  There’s mention of a helicopter.  It’s a minute of fun.
EL VEZ-Feliz Navinada
This is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  A wildly buzzy guitar, fast chanting of Feliz Navidad and some serious Public Image Limited love thrown in.
HUMPERS-Run, Run Rudolph [NSFC]
This would be a pretty straight punk version of this Christmas song, fun for all, except for the “Check this shit out” comment before the solo.
TVTV$-Daddy Drank Our Xmas Money [NSFC]
This is a sad (funny) drunken tale of a drunk dad spending all of the Christmas money.  It starts out with a slow intro and then a fast punk conclusion.
THE FROGS-Here Comes Santa’s Pussy [NSFC]
 This is a slow creepy song that feels like it’s meant to be really naughty, but it’s just kind of dumb.
MOJO NIXON-Christmas Christmas [NSFC]
I just don’t really like Mojo Nixon (my store could use some fixin’).  I do, however, enjoy the idea that the chorus is done in the style of “Louie Louie.”  But the verses are a bit beyond the pale.
D.I.-Mr. Grinch [NSFC]
The song starts with the melody form the song “Black Sabbath,” but it soon becomes a more standard punk version of the song.  The biggest problem with the song is that it’s nearly 4 minutes long.  People will clamor for the original, which is more fun anyway.
This is a sloppy but faithfully punk version of the song for the first verse.  The second time around is blistering sloppy noise punk.

[READ: December 12, 2017] “The Face”

Once again, I have ordered The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This year, there are brief interviews with each author posted on the date of their story.

Hello. Welcome. It’s finally here: Short Story Advent Calendar time.

If you’re reading along at home, now’s the time to start cracking those seals, one by one, and discover some truly brilliant writing inside. Then check back here each morning for an exclusive interview with the author of that day’s story.

(Want to join in? It’s not too late. Order your copy here.)

This year I’m pairing each story with a holiday disc from our personal collection

This story is told in an interesting way.  It begins with a boy raking leaves in an old couple’s front yard. He’s making money and having some fun (he leaps in the pile and wrestles with the bags once they are full).  Then he sets the pile on fire.

While he’s watching it burn, the homeowner, an 80 year old man comes over to talk to him.  Mr Aurelius asks if was true that the boy had been to Hong Kong.  He had and he told the man some things he saw there (most of what he saw was ferries and dead animals). (more…)

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squish4SOUNDTRACK: RALPH’S WORLD-At the Bottom of the Sea [First Half] (2002).

ralph seaI’m splitting this disc in two parts because there are seventeen tracks on it.  This is one of my favorite Ralph’s World records.  There’s something about the collection of originals and covers that is always varied, always interesting and lots of fun.  (Most Ralph’s World records meet the same criteria, but this one seems to have overall a better collection of songs).  Which is kind of interesting as it is his second kids album.

“At the Bottom of the Sea” is a fun bopping song (with fast lyrics and a slide guitar!).  “Honey for the Bears” is a countryish song that is very fun to sing along to (even if it seems factually questionable).  “The Coffee Song” is also fun to sing along to (what is it about spelling songs that make you want to spell along?).  Even though none of us drink coffee in the house.  “Surfin’ in My Imagination” is, yes, a surf rock song (this album is a nice introduction to different styles of music).

I had the theme from “Harry’s Haunted Halloween Circus” in my head for days before I could remember what it was—it’s a kind of clarinet and tuba riff, slightly off but also mesmerizing like circus music.  I really like it.  I don’t think I ever really listened to the lyrics which are quite “spooky.”  “The Banana Splits Song” is always super fun, whether it’s by Ralph’s World or The Dickies (who are goofy but not really for kids).  “18 Wheels on the Big Rig” was introduced to me by Trout Fishing in America, so I always think their version is best (even if they do it live exactly the same every time). Ralph’s version is good, but just not quite as good as TFiA.  “Clean My Room” is a blues, which I don’t particularly like (I’m nt a fan of the blues, although this one is funny).  The first half ends with “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  Ralph’s version has some extra verses and a whole new scenario as well as a very amusing (to adults) punchline.

The second half will come tomorrow.

[READ: July 20, 2013] Squish #4

Somehow I didn’t even know that there were two new Squish books out.  Hoorah!

Although this particular volume felt a little slim to me.  Not in the size, but in the content.  In this book, Squish joins a soccer team.  His team is terrible, compiled from a mishmash of players, many of whom are simply, terrible.  The coach tries to get everyone excited (blah blah blah) and then Squish is promoted to Captain of the team (because someone volunteered him).

The problem here is that in the book, it is the captain who makes all the decisions regarding the plays and players.  Which is nonsense at that age.  I realize of course that this is fiction and a children’s book and a comic book and that the story wouldn’t coalesce if he wasn’t captain, but it puts a crazy amount of pressure on poor Squish.

The other problem is that it’s a story about sports.  Sports stories always stink because you either win or you lose.  And, in an underdog sports story you lose a lot and then you win. It’s pretty unavoidable.  Although the Holms do a nice twist on it at the end.  But really, most of the book is just scenes of them losing–which sells short the usual snappy dialogue. (more…)

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peach6SOUNDTRACK: THE DICKIES-“Eve of Destruction” (1979).

dickiesI didn’t know the original of this song until I listened to it just now (man it is depressing).  I have known this Dickies cover since the 90s, which speeds up the original almost twice as fast and makes the lyrics pretty much inaudible (which makes it less depressing).

The Dickies have done a lot of great covers, and while this one was never one of my favorites (I’m a “Town without Pity” and “Hair” man, myself), I always enjoyed the “over and over and over again my friend” part (and the squeaky guitars).   And now after listening to the original, I really prefer the cover.

[READ: April 2013] Lucky Peach Issue 6

I haven’t been reviewing Lucky Peach issues in their entirety because they are mostly about food and cooking and recipes and I don’t really have anything to say about that (I enjoy the articles a lot, but I don’t need to comment on them).

But I wanted to bring special attention to this issue, which is all about the Apocalypse.  And there’s a couple reasons for that.  Zombies are huge, that Mayan end of the world business was all fun, and of course everyone seems to think that Obama will cause the end of the world.  But on a more serous level, global warming is unchecked and no one seems to care about the environment at all, and with the weather being as crazy as it is, all bets are off as to what our world will look like even ten years from now.  So why not read a magazine that has recipes for all kinds of things that might still be around in a decade.

The first half of the magazine is all about preparing for the apocalypse.  There’s a degree of tongue in cheekedness in it but it is entirely sincere: there’s plenty of recipes for canning, there’s information about seed savers and a fascinating article about Seafarming, which I seriously hope takes off, as it sounds like it could be a real solution.  There’s some fascinating information about Shelf Life and even a recipe entitled “pollution” which looks like a polluted sea but seems very expensive to make.  I also really enjoyed the brief story about the couple who won a honeymoon in a bomb shelter for two weeks (compete with all of the canned food they could eat–oh, the Fifties). (more…)

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