In 2018 Alejandro Escovedo released "The Crossing", an album based on the story of two boys, one Mexican and one Italian, travelling across the United States. “I’ve always lived along the border in California and Texas, so it’s been part of my story,” Escovedo says. But while immigration is fundamental to the evolution of modern America, in recent years it’s has become a hot political topic.
(To accentuate the point, a few hours before my interview with Escovedo, US President Donald Trump invoked emergency powers to secure the funds to continue the building of his border wall between Mexico and the United States.)
Escovedo didn’t set out to write a political album; it’s just that “whenever you talk about immigration at this time it tends to be political because of what’s going on in America”.
In case you missed it - Sydney's Hard-Ons, who have been cranking out their own brand of punk rock for nearly 40 years now) have announced the addition of a new frontman/singer in Tim Rogersfrom You Am I. And today they've released the first single and video with Tim on board, a tearaway punk-pop number called 'Hold Tight".
Tim is a long-time fan of the band, having first seen them play in his teens. And while he of course remains with You Am I as well, he has already recorded an album with the Hard-Ons. A tour was all set to go before lockdowns ramped up, and will definitely happen at some point.
The album “I'm Sorry Sir, That Riff's Been Taken” is out on October 8, and currently available for pre-order and pre-saving. The album will be released on CD, digitally, and in a number of different colors of vinyl, each available in strictly limited quantities. Originally it was just black vinyl and a run on orange - with the orange vinyl having nearly sold out already on pre-orders the band has now added a short blue vinyl run. Fans are suggested to go here to reserve their copies.
A quick follow-up to the news that You Am I's Tim Rogers has joined the Hard-Ons. Pre-orders are open for their album "I'm Sorry Sir, That Riff Has Been Taken" which is out on Cheersquad on LP, CD and digital on October 4. Grab your copy here.
The announcement certainly has people takling. And the official word from the principals? Hard-Ons’ Ray Ahn says: “I’m thrilled to have Tim on board, and I am loving his contribution!”
Bandmate Blackie concurs, "How fucking good is this!!"
And Mr Rogers? “I was already the luckiest goof in rock’n’roll, and I get asked to make a racket with my heroes? Strewth. Wake me up sometime, will ya?”
The first fruit of the partnership, a single “Hold Tight”, is out on all streaming platforms on Friday, August 13.
The label went a bit quiet (because REASONS), but we’re ending 2021 with a BANG!
1. NOT THE JOHNNYS Link and Pin, New Year’s Day 2021 Hoody, Slim and special deputies Kane Dyson and Matt Brown had the audience fit to bust; it was our first proper rock’n’roll show in the beer garden after the Avalon COVID spike. There were a few tears between us when the fellas ripped into ‘Injun Joe’. You can see THE JOHNNYS live at Link and Pin on 9 January, 2022! Tickets here.
10. JAMES DOMESTIC – “FAZE OUT” This just scrapes in as a debut single but by the time The Domestics’ frontman’s album emerges this Spring, it’ll be a shoo-in for end of year lists. A brilliant first effort, “Faze Out” keeps some of the East Anglian hardcore pioneers’ energy but cloaks his Dury-ish man-in-the-pub spiel in junskshop electronica.
9. VIEWS – “MOTHER TAPES ANTHOLOGY 1986-1990” Not sure how this lot passed me by in my student days, but this double from Area Pirata is an excellent introduction to (or reminder of) Brescia band Views. One for paisley underground fans, they borrow the Dü’s knack for belligerence and melody with occasional wigouts into Yo La Tengo lightheadedness.
8. SONNY VINCENT – “SNAKE PIT THERAPY” STILL one of punk’n’roll’s best-kept secrets, Sonnycame within a Rizla’s breadth of going overground and not a moment too soon. The Limit album that came out earlier in the year, fronted by Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling, brought him a whole new audience, but this is really what he does best. A confident resurgence considering the trials of recent years.
Australia most enduring musical contradictions the Hard-Ons have pulled another surprise out of the hat by recruiting You Am I’sTim Rogers as frontman.
The announcement was quietly made on Facebook via a change to their page’s` listed line-ups on Tuesday. A photo of the reconfigured Hard-Ons was released on social media overnight, along with word that a single with their new singer would appear digitally on August 13.
The band parted ways with founding drummer-turned-frontman Keish de Silva in March this year after historical allegations of sexual impropriety.
You Am I released their 11th studio album, “The Lives Of Others”, in May.
Online reaction to recruitment of Rogers has ranged from incredulous to delighted. Rogers' recruitment has beewn a closely-guarded secret for some months.
There’s no word on live shows yet although lockdowns in Australia are making touring problematic for any act with dispersed members.