Punk Rock and Donuts founder Jeremy Kitchen on a callback to when punk was smart | In Rotation | Chicago Reader

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Punk Rock and Donuts founder Jeremy Kitchen on a callback to when punk was smart

Plus: Udüsic vocalist Sarah Ryczek on three vital doses of short-and-fast hardcore, Reader listings coordinator Salem Collo-Julin on Rob Tyner’s sweet song for Detroit’s Grande Ballroom, and more


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A Reader staffer shares three musical obsessions, then asks someone (who asks someone else) to take a turn.

Rob Tyner of the MC5 plays “Grande Days” in a 1980s TV clip uploaded to YouTube. - MILES .KITTREDGE/YOUTUBE
  • Miles .Kittredge/YOUTUBE
  • Rob Tyner of the MC5 plays “Grande Days” in a 1980s TV clip uploaded to YouTube.

Salem Collo-Julin, Reader listings coordinator

Cop Rock Take two of the most problematic concepts ever (cops, "rock") and combine them into . . . no, not an Elvis movie, but something very close and with similarly black-and-white morality. Cop Rock was the first and last combo of police drama, TV show, and musical. It ran for 11 episodes on ABC in fall 1990. Created by the same people who brought us Hill Street Blues, it featured the kind of plots you'd expect (i.e., homeless people get evicted from under bridge and cop faces moral quandary; older racist cop gives bad advice to younger cop), but with Broadway-style numbers interspersed . . . no, really. Some insane genius uploaded a supercut of every Cop Rock song to YouTube, but you can get the gist with just the wait-for-the-hidden-keyboard number "Let's Be Careful Out There."

Rob Tyner, "Grande Days" You don't have to be an MC5 fan (or from Detroit) to enjoy this tribute to the legendary Grande Ballroom written by the late Rob Tyner and performed by him on Autoharp, but you should have a heart so you can feel it break with sweetness. I discovered this song via a mid-80s TV clip on YouTube, where Tyner is introduced by Detroit radio legend Dave Dixon.

Audible weeping I maintain a playlist of sad songs where you can actually hear the singer catch a sob in their throat or just plain full-out wail and cry on the recording. I'm a fan of melodrama, and also it's nice to have something to put on the Victrola while entertaining blind dates. Please contact me if you have song suggestions.

Salem is curious what's in the rotation of . . .

Dublin postpunks Fontaines D.C. - DANIEL TOPETE
  • Daniel Topete
  • Dublin postpunks Fontaines D.C.

Jeremy Kitchen, librarian and creator of the Punk Rock and Donuts series

Midwest Live & Loud preshow at Cobra Lounge on Thursday, August 29 The best of the midwest are playing here: the Twin Cities' Victory and Chicago's Fuerza Bruta are the best oi! punk this side of the Mississippi, and Brick Assassin (their last show) are my favorite band in Chicago. Udüsic's guitar player is a fucking shredder in the Greg Ginn mold, and the vocals slay; I've never seen Milwaukee's Law/Less, but I'm excited to. If Crime Spree (RIP) were on the bill, it would have all my favorite Chicago bands of the past five years.

Primitive Man and Full of Hell at Reggies' Rock Club in May Aside from early-90s Unsane, Primitive Man are the loudest band I have ever seen. My eyes were vibrating in my head during one of their sets, which was quite unsettling. The entire club was vibrating. I have only seen a few other bands achieve this kind of wall of sound. Full of Hell are also fantastic live—they get lumped in with grindcore, but they toss in death metal, power electronics, and a little sludge too. Catch these bands at a small venue before it's too late.

Fontaines D.C., Dogrel (2019) This album is a banger, 100 percent. I'm not going to get all Pitchfork here with pretentious SAT adjectives, so I'll leave it at "banger." Dogrel reminds me of when punk used to be intelligent and snotty, not just a bunch of trust-fund kids rolling around on basement floors all over the city complaining about Trump. Comparisons to the Fall are inevitable, but I always found the Fall boring—and these kids are anything but.

Jeremy is curious what's in the rotation of . . .

Virginia hardcore band Haircut - COURTESY THE ARTIST
  • Courtesy the artist
  • Virginia hardcore band Haircut

Sarah Ryczek, vocalist for Udüsic and B.T.T.W.

I like hardcore punk. These reviews are short and fast, as befits the genre. Play loud.

Haircut, Shutting Down seven-inch (2017) Riffs and guts. Enjoy this, and keep an eye out for their new seven-inch from Beach Impediment Records coming soon.

The Stutter, self-titled demo (2019) Philly stalwarts. "Stutter" into "Cackle" is the one-two punch 2019 truly needs.

Game, No One Wins (2019) No one wins but you, because you get to listen to the soundtrack to the apocalypse over and over into the end of days.  v

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