Articles - Misc. - "The Rust Belt Revolt! @ The Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY"

Friday, April 27, 2001 - I left to pick up my friends Jimmy Freshcut and Elis. We live about six hours from Buffalo, NY, but I knew I had to make the trip. I did it for JOEY! I did it for MICK! I did it for FIFI! Oh who the fuck am I kidding, I did it for ME! I needed this. I needed an expulsion of raw, uneducated, real rock ‘n’ roll! So when I heard about Jimmy Hollywood’s (of the BASEBALL FURIES and TYRADES) RUST BELT REVOLT, taking place on the last weekend of April, I knew it was something that I just had to be at. So here we go! Take it ZEROS!!! "It’s gonna be a wild weekend, I just know it………"

The TRAILER PARK TORNADOS were the opening band on Friday around 11:00 PM. I didn’t really rock out to these guys. They played some standard hardcore punk, with nothing to grab my attention, though the bassist cut his finger and started bleeding… But other that, the TRAILER PARK TORNADOS were nothing to write home about.

Next up was the BLOWTOPS! Now I have their 10" on BIG NECK RECORDS and I really liked it. So, they were on the list of bands to check out. When they got on stage they turned up the heat with the guitar amps throwing out this snarling fuzz that rattled my ears. The singer just wailed out these primal screams of wretchedness and disillusionment. Then, after the first song, this maniac throws down his guitar and heads for the audience’s throat! Screaming right into their faces, taunting, and provoking action. With all the insanity happening the only thing that I could distinguish was the drummer’s solid beat, the only thing that you could grab on to for dear life. And as quickly as the anarchy began, it ended just as abruptly. It was quite a shock for many; the BLOWTOPS can really dish it out. Although I think their live act owes much to Iggy and Stiv, but Ellis and Jimmy seemed to like it.

I needed another beer after the BLOWTOPS’ performance, so during the break I wandered over to the bar to get a Rolling Rock (it’s my favorite beer cause you can change the words around and almost spell "Rock ‘N’ Rolling"). Anyway, when I got back the DAYLIGHT LOVERS were setting up. These boys are from Canaduh and, although I haven’t heard them, I’ve heard a lot about them and was excited to see them play. The ‘LOVERs did not disappoint. They ripped into their set with some ball-bustin’ garage rock ‘n’ roll! They sorta sounded like the SPACESHITS, but with less guitar fuzz. These boys have a straight-up rock ‘n’ roll style, complete with colorful button-down shirts. Towards the end of the DAYLIGHT LOVERS’ set the vocalist stripped down and went ballistic on stage. The energy was there, and I gotta tell ya, my head didn’t not stop boppin’ until they were finished.

That's what I'm talkin' about!!!

After the Canucks packed up, Jay Reatard finally came out and turned on his three keyboards, pushing one button that repeats a couple notes over and over and over. Then the rest on the band set up and began with "Satan Bought Me." They were fuckin’ rockin’ it! I couldn’t distinguish a difference between their live sound and their studio sound. So I just sat back and enjoyed the band that I, basically, came to see. The LOST SOUNDS were #1 on my list of bands that I COULD NOT MISS. So yeah, I was just really enjoying the music and snappin’ a couple pictures here and there. When they got to about the 4th song in their set, all of the sudden, Alicja threw her guitar down, stormed over to Jay, bumped him out of the keyboard’s section and into the center stage! He picked up her guitar and finished Alicja’s song, did one or two more, and then the whole band fuckin’ got off stage! At this point I’m really confused cause I didn’t think anything was wrong… Maybe the mic was cutting out a little, but fuck, I came to Buffalo to see them! YOU GUYS FUCKED UP! I know you don’t wanna sound like shit or anything, but christ, you’re a punk band! YOU’RE BORN OUTTA SHIT!! I’m sorry but, you guys FUCKED UP!!! Afterwards, I was talking to Hollywood and he said they are usually a lot better (not that I had anything to compare it to). The LOST SOUNDS didn’t leave enough on my plate, and I was still hungry. Well, the GUILTY PLEASURES were just the band to feed me pure, unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll!

Who the fuck is cutting Jay Reatard's hair these days?!

Now at about this time I was really, really drunk. So things are a bit hazy, but to my recollection, the next group, the GUILTY PLEASURES, was the best group at the RUST BELT REVOLT! Maybe they just went on at the height of the debauchery, but when they started playing just about everybody in the house had a beer in their hand and was doin’ the hop like a fuckin’ kangaroo! The GUILTY PLEASURES are a sensational garage rock ‘n’ roll band that just tears it up on stage with great music and even better dance moves. There was this one time when singer was swinging the mic around and the fuckin’ thing flew right off the cord and landed right in front of me! It took me a second to realize what had happened (on account of the intoxication), but when I bent over to pick up it up I got slammed by a barrage of befuddled rock ‘n’ rollers! Luckily my friend Ellis caught me before I landed on the broken beer bottles all those boozers were throwing around. I tossed the mic back on the stage and the frenzy proceeded! The GUILTY PLEASURES (and that gaggle of chicks they brought!?) were fuckin’ great live! So dig it baby!

The last band up was Jimmy Hollywood’s group - the BASEBALL FURIES! Now, I have seen a lot of press about these boys over the years, but I never really found myself buying any of their shit, so I was lookin’ to see what they could pump out. You’d think they’d be tired at 3:30 AM, but no fuckin’ way! The ‘FURIES gave it 110% and then some on stage; jumpin’ around and wailin’ on those guitars like there ain’t no tomorrow! This garage punk powerhouse was definitely a high point in the show and, because they’re from Buffalo, every local yokel who was in that bar was shoutin’ for more!

After the show Hollywood gave me the invite to an after-show party. So, seeing how we didn’t have any place to stay, I took advantage of the opportunity and thanked him for letting us crash. After many, many directions to the house, some how (more like by a stroke of luck!) we managed find this cat’s pad. It was cool, they had beer, and we chatted with a few kids; like the girl who went on the Jenny Jones Talk Show to proclaim her love to Rev. Norb!? She claims it was all a joke though… Ok, stop laughing! Then we talked to, I think, the guy who lived at the house about the Buffalo scene. It’s pretty cool how the scene in Buffalo is so focused and everybody knows each other, kinda like my scene, except they like better music. Anyway, after a couple hours it was clear these guys weren’t going to sleep. I was up at 6:30 AM Friday morning, not to mention that long ass trip to Buffalo…we were tired (cause we’re pussies), so we had to jet.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I think we got a total of 3 hours of sleep Saturday morning. Eventually, we found our way to Jimmy’s friend Paul’s house in Buffalo. We didn’t have the guy’s number, so we…sorta…just dropped by. But thank god Paul is such a rad guy; cause he took our sorry asses in and we hung out for the rest of the day (and kicked Ellis and Jimmy’s asses in foosball!) before the next RUST BELT REVOLT show Saturday night.

The first band to play on Saturday was CONCUBINE FORMING. They were a noisy punk rock band that used a drum machine, which didn’t really help me in distinguishing a difference in any of their songs. Maybe I just "didn’t get it" because I desire a catchy tune over noisy, disordered sonic blasts (or most preferably the both in one), but I’d be lying if I said I liked their music.

Up second was the TYRADES! This is Jimmy Hollywood’s side-project and I wanted to see what they were all about. Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed with these guys. They played in a sort of 70’s punk theme, but the music was lifeless, with no hooks to draw one in. Except for a few tunes, their songs weren’t going anywhere. The only thing that impressed me was the vocalist, a young lady who resembles Siouxsie or Penelope Houston, both in spirit and body. But vocals alone cannot save what lacked in the TYRADES that night, so Jimmy, I’d have to say don’t quit the BASEBALL FURIES.

Feeling a little disappointed, I had no clue who was coming on next. To my surprise it was Detroit’s CLONE DEFECTS! These guys had a lot of buzz around them in Buffalo. It seemed like everyone was waiting for the ‘DEFECTS to go on, even Friday night! The CLONE DEFECTS took to the stage like a cyclone! They whirled about in a frenzy of guitars and howling grunts of animalistic rock ‘n’ roll! I had only heard two of their singles, so I wasn’t too familiar with most of the material they played. It seems to me that they are moving more towards a STOOGES/Detroit Rock sound, much to my dismay… I really liked their more experimental 70’s styled punk rawk. Still, they did bring on the noize, and their new shit is pretty fuckin’ good… Better than most of the nonsense out there…

The Clone Defects, AKA the Missing Link!

After the ‘DEFECTS I was pretty tired. I think I spent just about all of my energy on those guys. And the band that followed, MHZ, didn’t help much in keeping my attention neither. They were sort of a DEVO inspired pop punk band. It wasn’t anything intolerable… They did do a tribute to Joey Ramone, but so what, so is everyone else these days. I watched them for a little while, but then had to take a seat, or risk keeling over in front of them.

I fell asleep through most of the following group’s set, the IRVING KLAWS. They’re on Get Hip and I think they were a rockabilly group, but that shit doesn’t get me off, so whatever…

After the IRVING KLAWS’ set I was debating on just leaving. Time check, fuck! It’ll be 48 hours of no sleep soon… A paradox – should I stay and a see who’s next or leave and risk missing what could be the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band ever!? My solution was to simply ask Bart Hart of BIG NECK RECORDS who was left on the bill. Bart says, "Joe, you gotta stay for the MISTREATERS!" Well that solved that question. These cats are out of Wisconsin, and they’re an outrageous garage punk group, and were most certainly "on the list!" I’d be an idiot if I missed a band like the MISTREATERS!

So when these guys pull out two more five-foot amps, I new I was in for something extraordinary. Mustering up as much energy as one could, I got to my feet and awaited the uproar of rock! If there ever was a liquored-up and surly rock ‘n’ roll band before, they haven’t met the MISTREATERS! These guys come out with both arms swingin’! The only time I’ve been amidst louder guitar amps was at a MOTORHEAD show. Chris, the lead singer, was up on stage just belting out these shrieks and jerks like a bat outta hell! He was all, "Someone get some alcohol up here!" And I don’t know how many shots the bartender brought up on stage, and it was a lot, but the MISTREATERS drank every last one of ‘em! Everyone who was left in that bar was up and on their feet! The MISTREATERS are a rock ‘n’ roll group to look out for in 2001!

The last band the play at the RUST BELT REVOLT was the DIRTBOMBS. For those of you who haven’t been following Icki’s columns and compulsives (and foreshame…) the DIRTBOMBS feature one Mick Collins (of GORIES fame) as well as a slew of other seasoned characters from garage rock’s past. Musically, they were rockin’, as rockin’ as one could be at like three in the morning… I really don’t remember much accept I liked them, and…they had TWO DRUMMERS. Yeah, TWO DRUMMERS! I would’ve really liked to stay for the DIRTBOMBS’ full set, and I didn’t want to disappoint Mick, or anyone, but I had to leave.

Two days of total rock ‘n’ roll had taken its toll on my soul. I said my good-byes, gathered up my crew (who where talking to some old skinhead about starting a chemical plant or something on the East Coast…don’t ask…) and motored over to Paul’s house for the best seven hours of sleep I’ve ever had!

Looking back on both days I’d have to say I had more fun at the Friday show, but that might be because I drank a lot more that night, and I had more stamina that night. But the whole experience was great. I bet those of you who were thinking of going or couldn’t go are kicking yourselves right now…and rightly so. For I doubt there will ever be a better display of garage and punk acts in all of 2001. And, the BASEBALL FURIES are moving to Chicago, so there may never be another RUST BELT REVOLT in Buffalo, NY again. And it is with that foreboding message that I bid you farewell.

Thanks to Bart Hart over at BIG NECK RECORDS, Jimmy Hollywood of the BASEBALL FURIES for the directions and stuff, Jimmy Freshcut and Elis for enduring the entire weekend with yours truly (not an easy feat I can assure you), Paul for letting us crash his pad and I’m sorry that Ellis ate all of your jellybeans, and the kids in Buffalo for having such a cool scene and for holding such a monumental showcase of rock ‘n’ roll.

Pictures and article by Joe Domino.

© 2003