Monday, February 28, 2011

Back At It...

... I had been in Sacramento Feb. 16th - 21st with my Youth & Government Delegation (incredible youth program in most states in the United States if you're unaware) and set up posts to come while away. I had hoped to jump back in to things a little quicker, but work had other plans (as did finally getting more than 5-6 hours of sleep per day). Being an expectant father also plays in to how one's day is split up. I did however, make a recent trip to the always beloved Dr. Strange Records, picking up some great records, of which many will turn up here. Namely, Blackspot/Triceratops "Banana Split" 7inch, Rubbish Heap 7inch, Carry Nation 7inch, Gordon Solie Motherfuckers "Powerbomb Anthems Vol. 1" 10 inch; I also picked up a copy of the first Missing 23rd lp on Mankind, a personal accomplishment of sorts.

Lots more to come to the blog from my last few visits to Dr. Strange. Also, any of you out there considering moving records of yours, please feel free to get a hold of me , I'm always looking to add to the collection, and I'm always looking for new bands as well as smaller or unknown ones.

In the next week or so you can expect the Ressurection s/t 7inch, the Shroud demo/7inch post, Burn Your Life Down demo (new california band), Blackspot, Abnegation, Rancor, Dirty Dirt & the Dirts, and lots more!

For now, enjoy this little Very Distro ad stuffed inside one of my Rain on the Parade 7inches

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Backside - Disconnected Misdirected

Backside were a "new-school" or skate-punk band from the 90's. Playing a fast punk sound that shared plenty in common with bands like Millencolin (while owing plenty to bands like Bad Religion and other bands that would dominate 90's melodic punk), the Riverside (Corona), California band played constantly while releasing all but their final album themselves.

This full length, their second, comes after their debut lp "No Today" & a 3-song 7inch, and before the "Clever Kids Never Forgive" EP, all released on their own Isolated Records. The band would end with their third album "10 Million Strong" on local label, El Pocho Loco.

Backside wasn't a political band nor a party/joke band, instead I've always seen a good summation in the lyrics to "Safety in Security" - I'm not a patriot, I'm not an anarchist, I'm just a kid in a world that doesn't make much sense. No need to label me for your category, I'm just a kid who doesn't believe in much of anything. Backside definitely had songs with content though, album starter "Seven Minutes" refers to a specific local show where the show quickly devolved into violence as massive fight broke out and the show got cut off, while "The Ones" refers to age old fears and phobias of cultural or political differences and how we can so easily inherit those from our elders if we're not careful.

Overall, a little gem of speedy 90's punk with mildly snotty vocals that brings back waves of memories of seeing them at the Showcase Theatre throughout the mid/late 90's into the early 00's; and it always seemed they were playing with Union 13, Osker, & Swindle. Not a bad thing at all.

DOWNLOAD: Backside - Disconnected Misdirected

PS - I no longer seem to own "No Today" nor can I track it down. If any of you out there do by chance have it, I'd love to get a copy. Email me!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Redemption 87 - S/T, All Guns Poolside, 7inch, Interview & More

Redemption 87 were a mid-late 90's "old school" (for lack of a better way of saying it) Hardcore band from Northern California. Fast songs in the 1:30-2:30 minute range with snarled vocals, start-stop music, a very noticeable bass guitar, and lyrics that ran from denouncing violence, hate and racism to dealing with getting older/changing, but not having to become a complete contradiction of ones previous self.. The vocals were some where similar to BDTW era Youth of Today while the music reflected a combination of an array of many older/original hardcore bands, a sound greatly lacking at the time they formed.

Comprised of older members, they sought to play a sound reminiscent of what they grew up listening to and/or playing in previous bands. With a before & since pedigree that includes Unit Pride, Token Entry, the Nerve Agents, AFI, Skankin' Pickle, Said Radio, and much more; they definitely had experience to draw on.

Redemption 87's "S/T" LP on New Age Records and comp. track on "Guilty By Association" (Indecision Records) were a large part of the soundtrack to years 17-25 of my life, and still get a consistent amount of love and play. Their second album, "All Guns Poolside" continues on in the same vein as the earlier stuff, but with a bit more stripped down sound (probably in part due to not only moving to one guitarist, but having both of their previous guitarists depart) that had a more aggressive sound to it; they still turned out a very good album that stands the test of time as well.

I feel it needed to mention that their cover of Antidote's "Something Must Be Done" is great and introduced me and surely a lot of other people to a band, that in 1996-97 was nearly lost to many because their record was so rare.

The downloads are in three because they include both lp's, the Spidey Sessions 7inch, the Guilty By Association comp track (which i think is from Spidey, but has better quality), the interview below from Extent Fanzine, and ads for both LP (listed above) and for a 7inch that Extent was supposed to release in 1997 (maybe it became the first few tracks on All Guns Poolside), and scans of the covers/inserts for each album.

ENJOY a great, fun Hardcore band.


Redemption 87 - Self Titled
Redemption 87 - All Guns Poolside
Redemption 87 - 7inch + Interview & Ads

Friday, February 18, 2011

West Coast (Rotting) Stiffs - Blood Stained Minds: 1998 - 2001

The West Coast Stiffs were a Riverside, Ca Punk band in the late 90's. Starting out as a fairly standard Punk band drawing on political & street punk influences before a growing crust/grindcore influence eventually morphed them in to the long running Rotting Stiffs.

The recordings here work backwards from right when that change really first fully formed with the first 3 tracks which are from the "Protest to Death" demo. Tracks 4-10 are from an unreleased demo session when the band was beginning to show their first harder edges, but more in a Discharge/Exploited (Troops) kind of way. Tracks 11-14 are from the bands very first recording, "Riverside Chaos" split EP with local band, (the) Pukes (with whom they shared members). The 15th & final track is actually from after the first EP and was originally for a compilation album that never came out. As is the case with the Headstrong EP and some other local bands that will turn up in this blog, the song is from a 1st gen dub that was recorded on a quickly failing tape deck.

DOWNLOAD: West Coast (Rotting) Stiffs - Blood Stained Minds: 1998-2001

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Dying Days - Life As A Balancing Act/After the Fire EP's

In Dying Days has been used by a few bands in the last year or two, but from 1998-2003 it belonged to these 5 gentlemen from Quebec. Playing a brand of hardcore that definitely had a lot in common with many 90's/early 00's Florida bands; crunchy riffs, double bass, running guitar leads, and thought provoking lyrics; In Dying Days didn't appear to have a specific slant other than thinking. Lyrics that run the gamut of human existence - love, loss, growing up, dissatisfaction with something you love, disdain for your fellow humans, and a hidden Nirvana cover.

The two proper ep's here (there's a third ep that was released first and isn't nearly the same quality, but still worthy of inclusion) are:

Life As A Balancing Act (my first exposure to them) & their final release "After the Fire." LAABA shows the band fully formed, coming into their own with heavy and interesting hardcore that still keeps a fairly quick pace (7 songs, 22 minutes). The opening track, "Guns Don't Kill People, I Do" sets the pace for things (and no, it isnt a pro-gun song; its an admittance that we as people are often the most deadly weapon) and doesn't let up from there. Clear spoken vocals that quickly give way to a very clear & understandable scream, stop/start riffs, and one of the big pluses to me, a very distinguishable bass punctuation to the songs. Other standouts are "To: You Know Who You Are" , "Never Tear Apart", "Grumpy Old Men".

After the Fire is the follow up to Life As A Balancing Act & (unfortunately) the last release before the band came completely undone. 5 songs (plus a hidden Nirvana cover) that take things up a level. Where LAABA had almost a quicker mid-tempo pace to it with guitar leads running through the songs, After the Fire takes the pace up a bit more and infuses breakdowns a bit more to still draw the songs out and show off the heavy. The band was already coming to an end when recording took place, but the band had resolved to record these songs and release them prior to dissolution. As such, the songs don't bear proper titles, but rather corresponding month/day/year titles. A fine way to end an all too brief run as a band, and an example of how some bands are probably better off just doing EP's. Standout tracks: "October 10th, 2001 (1:12 A.M.)" & "July 2nd, 2002 (7:50 P.M.)". "June 9th, 2002 (4:55 P.M.)" also has a riff running through it that just makes me want to pick things up and smash them, especially as the ending refrain boils over, "Feel No Shame In Who You Are!"

The other ep included is their first attempt and is pretty standard fare, quality alone helps to trap and limit it, but I'm a completest (I think my wife calls it obsessive) and the songs aren't horrid.


DOWNLOAD: In Dying Days - EP's 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pukes - Read Your Bible, Smoke Your Bong (Discography)

(the) Pukes were a local Riverside band with ties to a lot of other local bands, including the long running WC/Rotting Stiffs

This band was full of good friends of mine who played fun shows and was exactly what you would expect; teenage punk rock with a HC Punk feel. Fake blood, Misfits influence, snot, sarcasm, and some 16 year old's ideas of wit. Most of the time it worked, sometimes it flopped. Looking back more than 10 years later, the Split songs still resonate with me. Unfortunately, the "unreleased lp" tracks were recorded with a slightly different line-up and Bryan (singer) was sick. It shows. However, "Fuck James Dean" still comes through and its nice to have "This Place" as it holds a lot of fond memories and reminders of some of the few bright spots of high school.

Fuck James Dean was originally "Destroy", when Rudy left it became FJD. Same music, diff. lyrics. This Place was also a Rudy song, but it remained, and if memory serves it was mostly intact from when he sang it. Riverside Chaos was a joke directed at exactly the type of song that it is. I believe that local band Narcoleptic Youth actually took a shot at the Pukes in an interview referencing the reasoning behind their song "Banks Go Bust." A bit ironic.

The Pukes Last FM Page

The songs should have info. embedded in them, but in case they don't (or you aren't that savvy):

All tracks recorded 1998 - 1999

Vocals: Bryan
Bass, Vocals: Rudy (1,2,4,9,12)
Guitar, Vocals: Kenny
Drums: Nick
Bass: Dan (3,5-8,10,11,13-15)

1,2,4,9 from "Riverside Chaos" Split EP w/ WC/Rotting Stiffs

12 from unreleased End of the World Records comp & sourced from a 10-12 year old 1st gen. dubbed tape

3, 5-8, 10, 11, 13-15 from unreleased full length lp

DOWNLOAD: Pukes - Discography 1998-1999

Monday, February 14, 2011

Evergreen - Trudy Pushpin 7inch

*Another old post from the old What We Want Music Blog, Enjoy!*


Evergreen were a Emo/Hardcore band from Los Angeles during the early 90's. Similar to what was going on in different parts of the US at the time- but with a much more dominant soft side than some of their contemporaries (the band is often called emo/post-hardcore). Think more in line with bands like Indian Summer (emo with the makings of what would influence the Screamo bands) but in a more melodic and straight forward style. Besides this 7inch they have a very highly sought after 12inch, a split 7" with Still Life, and comp songs. A bootleg discography isn't impossible to find for download on-line and their final 7inch is still available from Gravity Records. The bassist went on to be in Antioch Arrow & the drummer is in Rilo Kiley.

DOWNLOAD: Evergreen - "Trudy Pushpin" 7inch

A funny thing about this record, I got it at the bi-annual Claremont College Record Swap from a gentleman who runs a bigger record store from the LA/OC area who shall remain nameless. He had tons of good and even some great records. None of the records have price tags & when you ask him, they're easily 5-10 bucks more than what you would expect (I wasn't alone in this feeling, as a discussion took place later that day). However, this little gem with insert and stamped record dust sleeve intact, was a mere 5 bucks. Not the greatest score in the world, probably not even the best for me at that Record Swap, but a real good one all the same.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Various Artists - Discharged: From Home Front to War Front

Discharge stand as one of the cornerstones of hardcore punk, crust, and d-beat; laying the foundation for everything from Doom to Tragedy. Fast, overdriven, and in your face in the most blunt force-you-to-pay-attention kind of way. Their legacy is one hard earned & well deserved; as such, a tribute comp. like this 7inch is not only fitting, but almost dead on with the band selections paying tribute.

Nausea (who probably owe the most direct thanks to Discharge), Final Conflict, Neurosis, Four One One, & Extreme Noise Terror all turn in their own renditions of Discharge classics with Nausea & Four One One being the biggest standouts (in my opinion), though none of the songs lag.

I originally came across this while originally compiling the 411 "Discog." for the old What We Want Blog, when an attentive blogger noticed I didn't have their Discharge cover (of which I was not aware) and sent me a link to the whole comp that they had ripped. Very worth sharing on it's own, so enjoy!

DOWNLOAD: Discharged: From Home Front to War Front

PS- I do not own this and have only seen it go for some pricier numbers, so if you have a copy you want to part with, email me.

Headstrong - Self Titled EP

Headstrong were a Punk band from Southern California existing in the late 90's/early 00's. To the best of my knowledge, the 6 songs here comprise the bands total studio output. The songs themselves; the first 5 being from a split with fellow San Bernardino band Stand Out (with whom they shared members) & the 6th being from an unreleased compilation, range from fairly standard snotty punk (disease, you cut you bleed) to hardcore punk (drama queen, bounty hunters). Standard fare for punk lyrics & alternating vocals between primary singer/guitarist CJ & primary guitarist Pat. The compilation track is culled from a 1st gen dub of the unreleased comp and suffers from being converted from a substandard tape deck (hey, im in the market for a good one if you have one youre looking to part with one) and features original guitarist Steve.

Guitarist/singer Pat also played in BHB; Steve (drums) would go on to sing in Stand Out & This Gun For Hire; Steve (guitar) would also be in Stand Out as well as punk band the Discipline Engine, while vocalist CJ would later join Stand Out on vocals & later guitar. I'm unaware if bassist, Aaron, went on to any other bands. Headstrong dissolved some time around the early 2000's.

DOWNLOAD: Headstrong - "Self-Titled" EP

Quicksand - Divorce & Dine Alone 7inches + B-Sides/Rarities Collection

Let's just say that somehow you're here and you have ABSOLUTELY no idea who Quicksand is. That having been said, they were a hardcore/post-hardcore band in the early/mid-1990's comprised of a who's who of 80's New York Hardcore bands. Taking that pedigree & experience, they traveled new ground in this band, exploring more mid-tempo music with layered guitars and sung, rather than screamed vocals. Drawing equal parts hardcore and rock, they fused a sound that has continued to strongly influence across genres for years.

That being said, the first two things in this download were posted on the old What We Want Blog, ripped from the actual singles themselves; which I must say, both kick ass. The artwork for the Dine Alone 7inch which you see to the left makes the 7inch worth having alone. To the best of my knowledge, the songs here are demos and follows the "s/t" ep released on Revelation Records, predating the first lp, "Slip."

The second 7inch here, "Divorce/Voice Killer" comes after the
"Slip" lp, but predates their final lp "Manic Compression" and was actually released as a promo single. Both 7inches showcase some of Quicksand's finer moments as they move further from a direct hardcore influence and more towards their own signature sound. Rich guitar layering & effects, an ever present bass guitar, and drums that drive things forward through a sound that almost bounces along at times.

The last inclusion here is the "Rarities & B-Sides" fan compilation. I've seen a few different versions of this in the last few years. Usually they contain the same songs, but in a different order and quality. All to often the downloads of this are ripped at 128 kbps, which is just about the musical equivalent of eating McDonals past the age of 10 years old. The one posted here is at 160kbps, save for the last track, Supergenius which I could not find on any of the 160k versions. This compilation features as it says, B-sides and unreleased tracks. There's a fair amount of demo tracks along with some live tracks and what are said to be songs from the record the band was working on when they had briefly reunited in in the late 90's (specifically '98/'99). There's a lot of good tracks here, including a version of the stellar track "Shovel", and my two personal favorites on the compilation, a cover of the Smiths "How Soon Is Now?" (bonus from an import of the "Slip" lp and the unreleased track "In the End." Listen to it, the song can just swallow you whole with that opening riff, and then the vocals just sail right over the song- I try to avoid any flair for the dramatic with the blog, but Quicksand tends to defy most conventions, even now, more than 10 years after parting ways.


Download: Quicksand - Divorce & Dine Alone 7inches + B-Sides collection

Friday, February 11, 2011

Count Me Out - Live on WPRB

Like most time periods in music (no matter how arbitrarily you decide to define a time period) there is a cluster of bands that stand out, head and shoulders above the rest. Richmond, Virgina's Count Me Out are one such band. Helping bridge the gap of the mid/late 90's revival bands (Ten yard Fight, In My Eyes, Fastbreak, etc) to bands who came just ever so slightly after that (staygold, Faded Grey, Over My Dead Body, etc), Count Me Out along with fellow VA natives, Time Flies, kept the flame for fast, straightforward hardcore alive & strong.

Recording an EP & Two Full-lengths in their time, they grew from that straight forward hardcore sound to something more akin to bands like Turning Point & Mouthpiece; taking that tried and true HC framework and adding small touches to set themselves apart from their contemporaries. Their final release, "Permanent" (on Indecision Records) still stands on a level higher than others from the same time, much the same way that In My Eyes last lp "Nothing To Hide" did a few years before.

This live set contains a nice blend of 8 songs that cover the bands recording career, highlighting the newly to be released, "Permanent" LP. Based on when Permanent came out and how everyone is talking about the LP this was most likely recorded sometime either in very late 2001 or early/mid-2002 and then re-broadcast the following year (which is where this source comes from). It was originally played on the Hardon Harry show and replayed by Al on his current show at the time, Sink with California. Enjoy all, a very good band that is far too long gone now. Also keep an eye out, the EP will likely turn up here at some point.

DOWNLOAD: Count Me Out - Live on WPRB

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Life In Pictures - Songs from the Sawmill

Life in Pictures were a Hardcore band hailing from Prescott, Arizona. Playing on the heavier & fast side of things, they brought to the heavy sound the things that made it more hardcore than metal. While every song on this ep clocks in at above 4 minute mark, none of the songs seem to drag on- no building intro that gives way to some dramatic riff; no bludgeoning guitars that keeps smashing your head against the speakers as the song crawls past. Instead, Life in Pictures lends itself more to a simpler version of a sound like Undying had on their final album. Fast, heavy, and certainly able to punish you sonically, but without screwing around with you for half of the time. Play the song, add a well placed breakdown or temp change, maybe the occasional pause, but ultimately, come, destroy, leave. Screamed vocals with some distortion to them & intelligent and socio-political lyrics rather than just garbage or whining about who hurt you.

Life in Pictures also released a full-length (by the sign of the spyglass) that I remember not being very fond of. It didn't hit like this, seemed a little too thought out almost. It might also be that some bands are simply better with an EP than an LP. Either way, they were a very fun band, having seen them playing on both the EP & the LP, neither times disappointed. Full of energy and non-stop the whole time. They played a local show here in a park Gazebo that involved ceramic plates being broken (not by them) and they were great sports about it; especially considering the weirdos some of us locals could be.

Almost all of the band went on to be in the band Hour of the Wolf, while another is in the band the Swim.

Old Band Myspace & LastFm Page

DOWNLOAD: Life in Pictures - Songs from the Sawmill EP

UPDATE: Finally got to scanning, here are the cover/booklet. Click through to bigger scans, enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tomorrows Gone - No Way To Make Time Stand Still (1993-1997)

Tomorrows Gone was a melodic hardcore band from Las Vegas during the early/mid-90's, drawing on bands like Dag Nasty (whom they cover), mixing it with a 90's touch of emo and a bit more of a punk back beat.

Tomorrows Gone recorded two demos, a 7inch, and various comp. tracks before disbanding in 1997. Singer Lance Wells moved to California where he would turn up on Ensign's contribution to the "Devil's Night Out" comp 7inch on Indecision Records (will be posted later). During that time Tomorrow's Gone got together to work on this discography and lay down some music for songs that had not been recorded before their end. When the songs were sent to Lance, the desire to be in a band returned. Tomorrows Gone was unfortunately unable to continue despite the renewed interest, however the demo (inc. new versions of the songs In Silence & Faded Grey) would become the first recordings of the new Las Vegas Hardcore band, Faded Grey. The core of TG would roll into Faded Grey and plow forward with a demo/7inch & full length that built on a similar formula through the early 00's, including TG songs In Silence, Remainder, To Rest, & Faded Grey.

DOWNLOAD: Tomorrows Gone - No Way to Make Time Stand Still

*The original upload of this comes from the great One Path For Me Blog, though it has a new write up and uploaded to our own mediafire. Thanks to One Path for the original upload.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Consequence - Self-Titled 7inch

One of the many Used Bin Bargains from Dr. Strange Records in Alta Loma that I've picked up over the years. This was one of the random ones I happened across and it caught my attention. It had enough songs (5) along with lyrics that at least gave it enough potential to put out a buck or two on.

The first time I put it on, it caught & held my attention. A big acoustic guitar intro that gives you that emotional hardcore feel like Mean Season or Strife's "Slipping", before it jumps forward with it's full hardcore force. Overall a very strong little EP of a longer song or two with some shorter songs mixed in.

Just within the last few months as I looked at starting up a new blog and posting this, I learned that this band would disband with members going on to form the initial line-up of Eyelid with an ex-member of Strife, both bands who would put out some great 90's hardcore that helped shape that decades sound. Not too bad of a start for those members with this record. Enjoy, and if you have more specific info. as far as who was in this band and Eyelid, feel free to share in the comments, I was able to find very little of specific info. and don't currently own any physical copies of Eyelid's stuff.

DOWNLOAD: Consequence - Self-Titled 7inch

In Search of A Tape Deck...

I'm on the lookout for a good tape deck. I will at some point most likely just end up sucking it up and buying a new dual deck, but for the foreseeable future, that isn't a reality from a cost perspective. I've checked out eBay off and on for a year or so now, and it's just a real crap shoot in my opinion, and I have ZERO desire to drop a tape in, only have it eat the tape.

SO, if any of you out there have a deck that for whatever reason you're willing to part with, and it works, get in touch. I'm willing to buy, trade, even convert tapes of yours for you. The end goal is preservation and entertainment as the tapes in the picture to the left are a small amount of the tapes I have that I would like to convert.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inside Out - Live at the Anthrax June 15th, 1990

A real gem for this post, a live Inside Out set. Inside Out, for any of you who might be here and somehow not know who they were; were a hardcore band that existed all too shortly at the end of the 80's/early 90's. They pulled on the musical experience that each of them had from playing in notable 80's HC bands (Beyond, Hardstance, No For An Answer, Justice League, & Chain of Strength to name a few) and fused it into this extremely influential band.

With an all too brief studio output of the "No Spiritual Surrender" EP on Revelation Records and numerous accounts of lots of fully formed songs for their never-recorded full length lp, "Rage Against the Machine", this live set helps to show what was coming for the band before it splintered.

I don't remember where I came across this live set, whether it was another blog or by way of guitarist Vic Dicara. The assorted live songs in the secondary download here most definitely came from Vic, as he had shared them when I had been fortunate enough to go into his Static Void Studios with some friends who were recording with him. Something that always seemed to kind of sum up Inside Out's sound was something Vic once said when we had finally decided to start asking him questions in the studio; he said that essentially the Inside Out sound comes down to the rest of the band going for a Minor Threat sound while Vic was going more for a Slayer sound. Of course it was over simplification, but the general point rings true.

The Anthrax set with 5 unrecorded tracks as well as the entire EP (after uploading this, I discovered that End of Time is Undertone. I don't know who tagged this, but that's how it is. Burning Fight is also split into 2 tracks and inc. a fast 25-30 seconds that were either another song or a part of the song that never got recorded).
The assorted tracks are from various live sources completely unknown to me as Vic just gave the files to friends as is. For me, its a real treat for the early version of the Rage Against the Machine track "Darkness", as well as the song Rage Against the Machine.

Even with knowing how different Inside Out was, the live set offers some real surprises and some real wishes that they had recorded these tracks properly in a studio. Turning Face (also called Turn to Run in other versions) is probably my favorite, though there isn't a bad track.

DOWNLOAD: Inside Out - Live at the Anthrax 1990
DOWNLOAD: Inside Out - assorted Live tracks

*Both photographs pulled from the web, the first one I have no idea who it belongs to, the second one is credited to the great Ken Salerno.

New Direction - Into the Bear Pit EP

New Direction, as the logo says, were from El Segundo, California. They were a hardcore band around in the mid-2000's playing pretty straight forward style of hardcore that mixed in little things to set them apart; hand claps in 'the light brigade', a damn good breakdown in 'I'm bad with names', hints of melody throughout the all-too-short EP (6 songs, less than 10 minutes), and a good mix of singer/guitarist vocals.

Good lyrics that aren't really positive or negative but rather just lyrics relating to life in general & the struggles and experiences that go along with living it, as well as some you could call "political" for lack of a better term. The few times I was able to see New Direction it was always energetic and fun, kind of like a party where there was tons of fun and messing around among friends, but also lots of good discussion too; it comes across on this EP as well. Stand out tracks: the Light Brigade, Intro/A Hymn to the Grace, Into the Bear Pit, & I'm Bad with Names.

New Direction is long gone and has been for awhile now, they do have more recordings (some of which you can listen to on their MySpace page), but attempts to track them down have so far proved unsuccessful- if any of you out there have them or know someone who does, I'd love to get my hands on those and I'd gladly post them up as well.

DOWNLOAD: New Direction - "Into the Bear Pit" EP

Vegan Dinning in & around the Inland Empire, California (Riverside, San Bernardino, Upland, Rancho, etc.) Part One

Vegetarian & Vegan food have gone hand in hand with punk and hardcore from just about the beginnings of both; in the spirit of that and in the spirit of being vegan for the last 8 years (vegetarian for 5 years before that), there will be some semi-regular appearances of posts that briefly highlight 2-3 places around my part of the world that are either exclusively veggie/vegan, or friendly to those diets. First up is a classic from the Inland Empire:

Baker's was founded in San Bernardino, Ca. in the 1950's, continually expanding throughout the Inland region into the current millennium. Offering both burgers & fries along with mexican-american style (burritos & tacos), hence the "America's First Twin Kitchen" moniker.

In the mid-90's as locations were built near and in Loma Linda, CA. which is predominately inhabited by Seventh Day Adventists, a vegetarian menu was crafted. While it offers mostly typical fare- boca burger, fries, tostada, and some different burrito options; one of the things that sets them apart is that they had the burger before it was the hip thing to do, and that they use a fake taco meat which allows them to really add to their burritos/tacos and even chili fries. MOST things on the veggie menu can be made vegan by excluding cheese, sour cream, and/or guacamole. The serving sizes are good, the food good (on the better end of fast food), and the price okay (for the serving size, options, and quality, its what you can expect). Baker's are scattered among the Inland Empire, mostly in Riverside & San Bernardino; with the furthest outliers being Yucaipa & Calimesa in the east and Ontario in the west.

Locations with the Veggie Menu:
Veggie Menu:

Oasis is a Vegetarian cafe in Riverside, Ca. Located off the 91 freeway (very near the 91/15 interchange). Connected to La Sierra Market & across the street from La Sierra University, Oasis is 100% vegetarian (as is the market it is attached to), and has many vegan options that are noted on the menu. They provide a fairly simple and straight forward menu with equal parts american, mexican, along with some south american & mediterranean styled dishes. Prices are fair, with the fake meats and veggies usually prepped daily. The "steak" used for the steak burger, carnitas, and tamales is made from scratch, while they also offer out of the can options for many worthington farms fake meats (hot dogs, chili, etc).

A nice perk to Oasis is the ability to order a nice lunch (I prefer it most for lunch) and then do some shopping while your food is prepared. The store is a bit more pricey on some of the mainstream vegan essentials such as veganese, dayia, & seitan. The flipside to that is that they offer more than a lot of other stores in the immediate area (such as the Riverside Clarks location), including a very good frozen & canned fake meat section and wonderful dried fake meat aisle that makes use of their access to many vendors and ability to bag their own dried meats in bulk. Oasis has outdoor seating (the cafe is attached outside to the store) as well as an indoor section where you could actually pause shopping, eat lunch, and resume your shopping.

Another one on the simple and to the point side, with some definite bonus points for options. The Carnitas, Steak Burger, and Hummus Sandwich are personal faves. The tamales are nice, especially if you havent had them styled in platain leaves.

Oasis on Facebook:

Next time we'll really get into it with some of our more vegan specified treats like Cheezy Pizza & Bright Star.