Category Archives: Music

Review: The Real Tears-Still Drunk & Lonely

The Real Tears-Still Drunk & Lonely (CD)

still drunk and lonely

Norfolk, Virginia’s The Real Tears write crunchy, percussive songs that are the musical equivalent of a 2 minute smack to the lips.  Still Drunk & Lonely is about 12 minutes of expertly crafted Punk/Garage songs . The music is a cross between the Detroit sound that spawned the MC5, with equal parts Motorhead and Poison Idea.The seasoned guitar licks of Alex definitely gives the Real Tears a distinctive 70s punk quality, while the steady crunch of George on rhythm guitar , Dickie on drums and Darbe on Bass add enough punch to knock your eyeballs out.

Last but not least, add the dulcet tones of Darbe’s vocals, a throaty meat-grinder mincing an angry pitbull that’s tethered to a burning tree. A delightful mélange soaked in hatred and blind rage, freckled here and there with specks of melancholy, reflection and resentment. Songs tackle common subjects, such as my personal favorites, about the people who you only know from the bars, titled Night Time Friends, and Up,  which deals with the joy of futility. The whole CD rocks from front to back, 5 loud and fast punk songs like punk songs were meant to be played.

The CD comes out Friday Sept. 18th, and if you are in the Tidewater, Va. area, You can get your copy at the CD Release show at the  Norfolk Tap House, along with The Cemetery Boys, Late to the Party and from New York, The Virginia Gentlemen (Oh! Irony). That is a killer line-up, and there will be plenty of The Real Tears’ new CD Still Drunk & Lonely, as well as  new T-Shirts. If you are unable to attend the release show, you can order from their BandCamp page Here. You can also listen to the free stream of the album, or download a digital version at:



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September 17, 2015 · 12:53 am

The Travelling Mixtapes

What’s old is very new again. I remember when cassettes were king, and I sincerely lamented the death of the humble tape. I wrote songs for my first bands onto cassette, and we recorded live rehearsals on tape as well. I still have many of them. Like other people of the 70s and 80s, as time wore on, we adapted to compact disc, and then streaming music from the cloud, as we were weaned off of vinyl and tape.

cassette tapes

The Travelling Mix-tapes

In the last couple of years, I have noticed bands putting out cassettes instead of CDs. And at first I laughed, but then I remembered all the tapes I have sitting in a box, including old 80s post-punk and Hardcore mix-tapes, and I became interested.

Since then, I am buying newly produced tapes from bands like Goya, Druglord and Cherubs, as well as scouring thrift stores for old tapes at a quarter a pop. I was able to find some decent decks at thrift stores, like an old Technics deck from the 80s and a great 1990s Pioneer double cassette deck for dubbing tape to tape. Long story short- I am totally hooked on the outmoded analog technology.

On Facebook, I am a member of some record collector groups; we post photos of our records, mostly the ubiquitous “Now Spinning” posts. Don’t judge!!!! Recently, I have found a couple of cool Cassette tape collector pages on Facebook, we post images of our latest acquisitions, or post tapes for trade. I have traded for some excellent mixtapes, and I have even sold thrift store finds for good money- more importantly, I have met some good people, from all over the world, and our only thing in common in many cases is our love of analog music.

vintage hifi

My 1980s Technics M205 Tapedeck

A few weeks ago, a member of one of those groups, Te Hao Boon from Singapore, posted about an idea that he had. Basically, he wanted to start with 3 blank cassettes, send them to someone abroad, have them record any combination of original songs, cover songs, or a spoken word piece, and then send them to the next person on a list. He called the project The Travelling Mix-Tapes. The hope was that the tapes would travel across the globe to musicians everywhere, and it would be an amazing collaboration between people who have never met. I just finished recording mine- I added to the original, and the covers tapes, with music from my band Isolated Cockpit.

I haven’t been this excited about a music project in a very long time. I got to use my vintage tapedecks to dub my first mixtape in over 25 years. The possibilities are endless too; these tapes, and there will be more sent out as they fill up, can wind up being an amazing sociological experiment, or a massive work of art! Of course, it can also turn out to be a a jumbled mess of garbage, but who cares? The art is in the sending of the tapes, from one tapehead to the next. A globally produced mix-tape. The only thing that may kill the idea before the first tapes are filled is the fact that hardly anybody knows about this.

Receiving my Mix-tapes in the mail. Squeeeeee!

Receiving my Mix-tapes in the mail. Squeeeeee!

There is a Facebook group page, but again, it really hasn’t taken off like it should have. And that is what this little article’s purpose is- to spread the word and send out a call for mix-tape aficionados and musicians alike to get involved. You Post- Punker in Brazil, and bar band guitarist in England, the classically trained violinist in Moscow, and the Trombone player busking on Jackson Square in New Orleans. You all need to add your music to these tapes.

Go to the Travelling Mixtapes Facebook page  and tell them that The Thugbrarian sent you, and get on the mailing list. The aim is for this to be truly global. Te Hao Boon started this venture from Singapore, and so far it has traveled around the United States. I would like to see these tapes hit the four corners. It’s free to join in, although you will be responsible for mailing the package abroad, but the cost is negligible, and the outcome is most assuredly worth the few dollars in shipping.

I have added  a Travelling Mix-Tapes category  to this blog’s header, and I plan on reporting the project’s progress as it moves along. Go join the Facebook Group, and follow this blog for the latest news.

Commence Dubbing.

The Travelling Mixtapes Facebook page can be reached at:

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Filed under Music, Photography, Review, Traveling Mix-Tapes Project, Uncharacterized

Review: GOYA-Obelisk (STB Records)

Here we go. Like clockwork, the burgeoning Boutique label STB Records will be squeezing out a limited amount of CDs and cassettes of the new GOYA release Obelisk on Saturday August 1st at Noon sharp. If you have listened to the many brutal and magnificent GOYA releases, such as Satan’s Fire, 777, and the limited edition  45rpm eps Nothing but Dead Things, and the Split they did with Wounded Giant (both released by STB Records), then you will know that this is very good news.

GOYA, from Phoenix, AZ., is Jeff Owens – guitar, vocals, Nick Lose – drums, and Ben Clarkson – bass. Three guys that sound like ten.

read my Full review on Core of Destruction Radio @

cassette case

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Review: Wolfmen from Mars-Gamisu


Wolfmen From Mars-Gamisu (May 2015)

So, I was just turned on to Wolfmen from Mars a little while ago, and on the chance that you never heard of them, I am paying it forward. If you like garage, surf, electro-new Wave, industrial and metal, you will probably like these guys. Think Man or Astroman meets Throbbing Gristle, smothered in a thin gooey sauce of doom.

They have a whole bunch of releases available to download on their Bandcamp pageAlong with Gamisu, you will find Wolfmen of Mars vs The Mangled Dead (Pontiki Records). I really love this band, and my only wish is that they would put out some vinyl, cassette, or at least CDs of their catalog, because it needs to be heard by the unwashed masses. Like now! Wolfmen of Mars may be great.

read my full review on Core of Destruction Radio @

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July 25, 2015 · 2:23 pm

Record Review: McRad-Lion Pure (2LP)

lion pure

McRad- Lion Pure (2LP, Not Like You Records)

Read my review of McRad-Lion Pure on Core of Destruction radio here

Skate Punk O.G.s McRad from Philadelphia, Pa, raised the bar in the mid 80s with the release of the EP Dominant Force (1984), and the LP Absence of Sanity (1987), and a few weeks ago, founding member Chuck Treece  released a massive 2 LP  collection titled Lion Pure, which consists of Dominant Force, and Absence of Sanity, as well as a few songs from comps, with some live cuts added. Most striking of all are the two new tunes (Another Chance and McRad Dub for Andy) with H.R. of the Bad Brains singing! The latter is a tribute to Andy Morris, an early drummer for McRad, as well as a close friend, who passed away a few years ago. H.R. digs down to bring up a bit of the old thunder, it’s some of the best recorded vocals he’s done in recent years. In short, this double album is the culmination of Treece’s years in the music scene trenches, and to have H.R. be a part of that is truly huge.

Available at:

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July 14, 2015 · 6:10 pm

Lightsabres-Beheaded Out Sat. June 27th @12:00PM

stb records

Read my review of Lightsabres-Beheaded on the Core of Destruction Radio Blog at


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June 27, 2015 · 12:00 am

Review: Motherslug (NoSlip Records)

Read my review of Motherslug (Australia) on Core of Destruction Radio Blog



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June 20, 2015 · 12:11 am

Music Review: Sunstone-Sunstone

Follow the link to Core of Destruction radio for my review of the Debut release from British Doomsters Sunstone HERE


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Filed under Music, Review

New Review for Iggy Pop and the Stooges-Let’s have some fun: Live at Unganos.

Check out my new review of the RSD 2015 release of the Live Stooges album Have Some Fun: Live at Unganos. It’s on the Core of Destruction Radio music blog right HERE

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May 18, 2015 · 6:43 pm

More Books Less Music for The Thugbrarian Review

I’ve been mixing book reviews with music reviews since the beginning of the Thugbrarian Review- waaaaay back in 2014. Recently I was given a chance to write music reviews for a blog that specializes in most of the music I review, inspect it at your leisure.  It’s affiliated with Core of Destruction radio, an online station devoted to all music dark, heavy, and occasionally soothing.  Last night I posted my first review for them, for the Cherubs new album 2 Ynfynyty. It’s their first in 20 years.

Here is the link, if you’re into punk or noise, you should check Cherubs out.

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I will still be adding the Thugbrarian Set-List after each book review, and I will also be reviewing more regional music on here, but only sporadically. I will be concentrating more on the written word for The Thugbrarian Review. I will be posting links to my reviews on C.O.D., so please check them out at for news and reviews, as well as podcasts of radio shows for listeners of heavy music. And stay tuned for a few early reviews of upcoming books right here.

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April 15, 2015 · 8:19 pm