Archive for April 2014

Youth Crew Hardcore

Diana was out of town last week, leaving Andrew to program and broadcast last Thursday's episode of The Way Out all by himself. There aren't many musical styles that Diana and Andrew disagree on, but youth crew hardcore is one genre that she's never really built up a taste for. So, following on last week's Destroy All Music (Part 2) show, Andrew thought it would be fun to take a brief diversion (and a stroll down memory lane) into the youth crew genre while Diana was away.

Youth crew was a sub-genre (or movement, community, scene - whatever you prefer to call it) of the U.S. hardcore punk scene during the mid-to-late 1980s. What you might call the "first wave" of youth crew is typically regarded as happening from about 1984 to 1990. It was largely based out of New York City and the Northeast region, though there were also pockets of activity in Southern California and a few other places like Seattle and D.C. There was a fairly immediate "second wave" of bands that emerged in the early 1990s (Strife, Mouthpiece, Outspoken, Undertow, Battery, et al), with some of these groups taking off in more of a "metalcore" direction (think also: Snapcase, Integrity, Earth Crisis, Hatebreed, Converge). On the heels of metalcore's popularity in the hardcore punk scene, a youth crew revival, or "third wave," followed in the late 1990s with groups like Good Clean Fun, Ten Yard Fight, Floorpunch, In My Eyes, and Kill Your Idols. There are strains of that revival still living on today.

It's difficult to pin youth crew hardcore down to a single sound or style, though there are certain musical characteristics - fast songs with mid-tempo breakdowns, sing-along choruses, guitar harmonics and speed picking, double bass drum - that a lot of youth crew bands shared (as hilariously parodied by Jud Jud). What most united youth crew were the themes of community and brotherhood (the "crew") and, generally speaking, a more optimistic outlook than the other punk bands of the era (which led to youth crew being associated with "posi" or "posi-core," meaning positive). Moral values like straight edge and vegetarianism were also prominent in the youth crew scene - though youth crew and straight edge were not entirely synonymous, as many suppose. It's perhaps because of youth crew's close association with straight edge and the sometimes jock- or gang-like nature of the "crew" mentality that it's often not taken seriously by people outside the scene, then or now.

In many ways, this show could be Part 3 of our Destroy All Music mini-series about early U.S. punk and hardcore. All but a few of these tracks were recorded during the 1980s, and all of these bands easily fit into the hardcore punk category/genre. But we've decided to treat it as a separate thing, since it's so narrowly focused on the one sub-genre or scene.

Here's the playlist for our Thursday, April 10, 2014, broadcast:

Youth of Today - "Youth Crew"
Judge - "New York Crew"
Gorilla Biscuits - "No Reason Why"
Side By Side - "My Life to Live"
Bold - "Nailed to the X"
Wide Awake - "Friendship"
Project X - "Straight Edge Revenge"
Breakdown - "Safe in a Crowd"
Fit of Anger - "Revealing the Truth"
Up Front - "One Step Ahead"
Outburst - "Mission Impossible"
Underdog - "Not Like You"
Turning Point - "Before the Dawn"
Minor Threat - "Straight Edge"
Bad Brains - "Right Brigade"
Cro-Mags - "Don't Tread On Me"
7 Seconds - "The Crew"
Agnostic Front - "United and Strong"
Warzone - "We're the Crew"
Uniform Choice - "Use Your Head"
Insted - "Blind"
Justice League - "Down Again"
Chain of Strength - "True Til Death"
Inside Out - "No Spiritual Surrender"
Brotherhood - "No Tolerance"
Strife - "To An End"

It needs to be noted that this broadcast was plagued by technical errors. When Andrew arrived in the studio, the sound from the control board was completely dead, meaning the audio feed was going out over the air but it couldn't actually be heard in the studio. It's difficult to produce a radio broadcast when you can't hear what you're doing! The beginning of Youth of Today's "Youth Crew" got cut off and there's a section in the middle of Bold's "Nailed to the X" where the audio feed went completely dead for more than half-a-minute. One of the microphones broke during the first voice break. And on and on. So, there are quite a few glitches and pockets of dead air in the recording, and we haven't attempted to clean any of it up for the archived audio stream. Please excuse the mistakes.

Archived streaming audio of this show can be heard here now (playable in Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Opera, and Safari browsers):

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Destroy All Music, Part 2 (Early U.S. Punk & Hardcore)

Back in January, we kicked off a new mini-series of shows called Destroy All Music, dedicated to covering some of the lesser-known corners of late 1970s and early 1980s punk and hardcore music from the U.S. At the time, we had at least three separate hour-long sets planned out, and we could easily add more in the future. That first show in January received some very positive feedback, however for various reasons we got distracted by other topics and didn't broadcast Part 2 of the series until just two weeks ago. We again got lots of calls and tweets, so these particular playlists seem to be striking a chord with our listeners - a fact that we couldn't be more thrilled about. We took a slight diversion with last week's 1980s-90s youth crew hardcore set - a related but specialty affair. To be sure, though, expect Part 3 of Destroy All Music in the not too distant future.

Here's the playlist for Part 2 of Destroy All Music, which was broadcast on Thursday, April 3, 2014:

Circle Jerks - "Live Fast Die Young"
Negative Trend - "I Got Power"
The Flesh Eaters - "So Long"
The Original Sins - "Just 14"
Moving Targets - "Always Calling"
Testors - "Time Is Mine"
Black Market Baby - "Youth Crimes"
Die Kreuzen - "Think For Me"
Battalion of Saints - "Holy Vision"
Jerry's Kids - "I Don't Belong"
Adolescents - "Amoeba"
JFA - "Blatant Localism"
The Freeze - "Broken Bones"
The Suicide Commandos - "Shock Appeal"
Negative FX - "Feel Like a Man"
The Nuns - "Media Control"
D.Y.S. - "Wolfpack"
Urban Waste - "No Hope"
The Lewd - "Kill Yourself"
Urinals - "Ack Ack Ack Ack"
Saccharine Trust - "We Don't Need Freedom"
Victims Family - "Anti-Satan Song for Mom"
Scratch Acid - "Mary Had a Little Drug Problem"
Halo of Flies - "Ballad of Extreme Hate"
Mad Parade - "Court Jester"

Archived streaming audio of this show can be heard here now (playable in Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Opera, and Safari browsers):

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Also On Dischord

We play a lot of 1980s and 90s punk/hardcore and post-hardcore music on The Way Out, and so it's probably not surprising that the Washington, DC-based Dischord Records is one of our all-time favorite record labels. Not only have Ian MacKaye, Jeff Nelson, and company consistently put out good, innovative music over the decades, they've also been consistently eclectic and unconventional in their release choices and their overall approach to the music business. And if you listen to The Way Out regularly, surely you know that eclecticism and nonconformity are traits that we appreciate greatly.

A couple months ago when we were putting together our Destroy All Music series dedicated to more obscure 1970s and 1980s U.S. punk and hardcore, it occurred to us that we could do an entire hour on Dischord bands alone. (Heads up: we'll finally air the long-promised Part 2 of that Destroy All Music series tonight, April 3rd at 10:00 PM CST). It took us a little while, but here's that show: a full hour of lesser-known Dischord bands, which we've called Also on Dischord. Not that these bands are lesser in terms of quality or any other measure - they're all terrific. They just don't have the fame and notoriety of, say, Minor Threat or Fugazi. Indeed, a lot of people only identify Dischord with Ian MacKaye and his Minor Threat and Fugazi bandmates (Brian Baker, Jeff Nelson, Joe Lally, Guy Picciotto, Brendan Canty - all of whom have played in multiple other Dischord bands over the years). And their music is phenomenal, no doubt. But the point we want to make here is that there's so much more to Dischord than just those few bands and musicians. So, let's dig a little deeper and celebrate the rest of the catalog for an hour.

These were the ground rules we set for ourselves while developing the playlist. First, Minor Threat, Fugazi, and pretty much anything featuring MacKaye or other members of those bands was off limits (meaning no Rites of Spring, no Embrace, no Evens, no Teen Idles, no Happy Go Licky, no Joe Lally solo, no Deathfix, et al). Second, we'd also skip the rest of Dischord's more widely popular bands, such as Jawbox, Shudder to Think, S.O.A., Nation of Ulysses, and Q and Not U. And third, we'd bypass some of the other Dischord bands that we keep on fairly regular rotation here on The Way Out, such as Make-Up, Faith, and Void. Obviously, for listeners who are very familiar with Dischord or the hardcore/post-hardcore genres, bands like Dag Nasty, Lungfish, or Circus Lupus are hardly "obscure." Nevertheless, the result is a playlist that we hope represents a range of Dischord's roster both from different eras and different genres/styles.

Here's the playlist for our Thursday, March 27, 2014, broadcast:

The Warmers - "Walking Solves It"
Dag Nasty - "Circles (Dag With Shawn version)"
Marginal Man - "Identity"
Soulside - "Punch the Geek"
Gray Matter - "Burn No Bridges"
Beefeater - "Just Things"
Lungfish - "Descender"
The Capitol City Dusters - "Not Me Now"
Black Eyes - "Speaking in Tongues"
Bluetip - "Castanet"
Hoover - "Shut"
Smart Went Crazy - "Con Art"
Slant 6 - "What Kind of Monster Are You?"
Circus Lupus - "Pop Man"
Snakes - "Snake Rap"

Archived streaming audio of this show can be heard here now (playable in Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Opera, and Safari browsers):

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