Thursday, August 09, 2007
Jack Oblivian's porch, rock n roll guys assembled... that's what I had in my head last night, so I thought I would share it with you today.
This group of well respected men about town, in this line-up, are known as Brand New Love Affairs. They're an international supergroup, and last time I checked my site statistics, people from all over the world are Googling this particular photo. So I'm bringing it front and center today.
Each of the members of Brand New Love Affairs is a great singer and songwriter in his own right. And that's why it is a rare and momentous occasion when they are actually assembled. While three of these guys are within the Memphis/Oxford environs, one of them is way over in Europe.
Is this the face of punk rock today? I think so. You know what I always found interesting about the old punk rockers from LA's Golden Age? Some of the people who have become the most iconic representations of punk rock dressed like regular people. They didn't put on the punk rock FASHION show - not that there's anything wrong with that!
The Dickies - ULTIMATE LA punks - don't they look like regular guys?
In terms of distinctive punk style, I think that Soo Catwoman and Siouxsie Sioux are amazing looking women who had a unique sense of style. Many people took their style and ran with it, far and wide. At the very same time in LA, Pat Bag was styling in a way that also predicted the Goth thing:
Now, let me run down Brand New Love Affairs punk rock cred for ya!
Using the headlining photo as your guide:
In the foreground: Jack Oblivian, one-third of the Oblivians, the most punk rock of bands to come out of America in the 90s who actually had songcraft and chaos work together in their favor. Seated in the center: Roman Aul from Germany's Redondo Beat. This guy is a kid, but with a tremendous knowledge of music from several decades gone by and the chops to pay homage and personalize the stuff. Just like Stiv Bators could wrap his punk self around Motown's "I Stand Accused," Roman Aul can give 21st Century urgency to an R&B based garage thing. Standing center, Memphis Scott Rogers. If he did nothing else in his eclectic and prolific musical life, he has done the best thing anyone anywhere could have done: write and record "Radio Active" with another of his many projects, Dutch Masters. That song is the 21st Century "Sonic Reducer" as a love song. Ain't nothing more punk. Thank you Scott. Finally, back on the right.... from the mighty Neckbones and Preachers Kids, Kid Twist himself -- Tyler Keith. From literary Oxford Mississippi, the heart of Southern gothic culture, Tyler is a master poet, singer and guitar player. He's urgent, crazy and noisy.
This band is as essential as the sum of its parts, and even as individuals, each of these players is an essential contributor to the continuing legacy of garage/punk rock music.
Here they are up close and personal:
Roman and Tennessee-based punk rock lady, April Novak (check her out! Her band Rat Traps were damn fierce)