Band Spotlight: Guns Of Brighton

September 1, 2014

Band Spotlight: Guns Of BrightonBoston is the fertile breeding ground for many of the world's favorite bands. From Dropkick Murphys to Mighty Mighty Bosstones, from Street Dogs to Darkbuster, The Ducky Boys to The Freeze, the city's tightly knit underground scene and many dedicated Punk venues make it a great city for bands. And now there's another group set to take the world by storm, "Guns of Brighton".

The band's name is an obvious tribute to the Clash's "Guns of Brixton", a song that focuses on brutal police repression sparking riots and social unrest, and discontent with economic decline. Less obvious for those unfamiliar with Boston geography, Brighton is the neighborhood where the band keeps a practice space. So Guns of Brighton is a nod to the past history of Punk, the current ongoing struggles, and their local roots.

Looking back, the band now seems inevitable. Front man Markie D and drummer Ant had already been playing together for a while in other bands when they decided to start messing around with some Jimmy Cliff covers. They decided to have some fun and met bassist Lee through an ad on Craigslist. After recording a few songs, the band decided they needed another guitar to round out the sound, and Markie D thought of his old friend Mike (formerly of Gang Green). But Mike had already heard the demos, and approached the band about joining up.

The band plays Punk & Roll, forged in Reggae, and soaked in the Boston Punk & Roll sound, with lyrics focused on social justice and action, and riffs that have you humming along the first time through the album, and singing to yourself a good week afterwards. The band put out their first album, "A Selfish Call to Arms" earlier this year. Guns of Brighton have shared the stage with everyone from local favorites The Welch Boys to The Young Dubliners, and this month will even be supporting UK legends "Menace" during their east coast run.

"Like" them on Facebook HERE and get a free MP3 download when you sign up for the mailing list Guns of Brighton at their main page HERE . You can also check out the band's new video for "Heroes of the Past", shot and directed by TJ Welch of the Welch Boys and Sonic Lobotomy, on YouTube HERE

-Jo Problems-
Big Wheel Staff Reporter


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Band Spotlight: Dirty Kid Discount

August 1, 2014

Dirty Kid DiscountDirty Kid Discount is a collaboration of music enthusiasts from storied backgrounds hailing from Portland Oregon. They have described themselves as Thrash Grass/Romantic Nihilism/Campfire Crust/Train Hoppin' Gypsy Punk! Sounds interesting to you? We think so too!

Brought together by their wolfish ways and mutual desire to create original music, they have drawn influences from a variety of powers including traditional folk music, da Punx!, a whole slew of metal, and the music made by their friends and fellow travelers across the world.

Dirty Kid Discount is a Pacific Northwest Punk band composed of a 8 piece lineup which was birthed from the feral womb of parent project the “Ghosttown Rejects” which songwriters Pitch Goose (Acoustic Guitar, Washboard, Vocals), Icarus (Accordion, Piano) Jay Crash (Bass & Vocals), played together in with other friends around the Portland area and beyond. They are joined by Jake Carpenter (Guitar, Trombone & Vocals), Emily Elizondo (Mandolin, Musical Saw & Vocals), Erin Wolf (Banjo & Vocals), and Jesse Cobb (Drums), who are all from accomplished projects in their own right. As of recent they have also added a new part time member, John Underwood on Trumpet and vocals. They routinely host appearances by many of the talented people they've met and continue to meet.

You may have seen this anarcho-olde-timey-gypsy-Punk band play with bands such as the Subhumans, Suicide Machines, Goddamn Gallows, and Larry and his Flask. Or caught their set at Punk Rock Bowling or OC Cruststock. It doesn’t matter if they’re playing to an aggro crowd with a band like RANCID or a cultural arts theater or on the street corner busking for spare change. They are just as much Eastern European folk as they are  aggressive, distorted, gutteral Punk fucking rock! Their music and performance is full of passion and energy. They move and inspire crowds everywhere they play. Their fan base crosses boarders from Punk to folk and everything in between.

Their debut record "A Life Amongst Ruins" features eight tracks of high energy, free spirited, melodic and gutteral waltzes about drinking, ancient folklore, and the anti-christ. Dirty Kid Discount is 100% DIY. They produce their own material with the help of their friend Mike at Smegma Studios, as well as book their own tours.


Dirty Kid Discount is currently working on 6 new tracks in the studio as well as a music video and live footage from tour. With plans for their next release, they also plan to head back out on a full USA tour early next year.

You can keep up with Dirty Kid Discount on Facebook HERE

and listen to their music at Reverb Nation HERE or Band Camp HERE 

Look out for gigs on DKD's upcoming tour, trust us, you will be glad you did!


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Band Spotlight: Los Dharma Bums

July 1, 2014

Los Dharma BumsSoutheast LA's very own Los Dharma Bums are July's Band Spotlight for good reason. If you have a taste for eclectic eccentricity, then this group of dudes comes highly recommended. The bums were formed in 2007 by Mike and Joe Dharma as a two piece (Joe on vox and guitar and mike on drums) just for funsies to play in bars and get free drinks.

The pair quickly realized the response was much more than what was expected and began looking for a bassist. Gabriel and Bryan would join the fold later after running into Mike at the In-n-Out Burger in Downey. Having known the Maldonado brothers (as well as Bryan Ponce) from the Bell High wrestling team, Mike invited them to come jam out at Joe's pad, the house that would become a commune of sorts, doubling as both headquarters and a practice space that they all would spend most of their time a lot of time to just hangout playing video games. Ponce Later took a stab at recording the band on a digital 8 track machine and though the recording proved unsuccessful, he would go on the join them on guitar as their fifth member toward the end of the summer of 2008 having learned the songs all by ear while giving recording a shot.

Mike went on hiatus in October of 2010 prompting a series of drummers beginning with Jesse, then Chris and finally Carlos (the youngest of the Bums) on skins. Mike would return as hype man in 2012 causing ruckus and talking shit on the microphone between songs and inciting dancing and other movement in the crowd.

       Video of The Dharma Bums - Bruce Wayne

Truly a spectacle to behold. In a world of copy cats, Los Dharma Bums stick out like a sore thumb and give hope for anyone worried over the state of independent music. The Bums take different musical cultures and genres and blend everything seamlessly creating a timeless sound, both classic and fresh, familiar and new. Live sets are navigated flawlessly at times starting with anything from a blues classic, 'Goin' up the Country', moving on to Ska tunes like 'Pour Out A Little Liquor', then an Indie song like 'the Telephone Song' and before you know it, you're in a full out Cumbia jam sesh, dancing your butt off next to Mike switching from tambourine over to guiro (percussion).

The band shares enthusiasm and love for vintage and current video games as you may be able to tell by the cover of their self titled EP, or the video for 'The Bruce Wayne' that includes their rendition of 'Streets of Desolation' (from Batman the Video Game for the original NES).

All around the guys take a light-hearted approach to life and it definitely shows if you've ever seen them keep a party going. They came to ROCK and bring FUN to the crowd. These Bums are Southeast LA through and through and plan to keep it that way "until they move to Japan to find wives."

If you're in the LA area, catch Los Dharma Bums next gig on Tuesday Aug. 12th at Harvard & Stone with HOBART W FINK for the low price of FREE.  21+  5221 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

You can listen to some tunes HERE

Or Keep up with them on Facebook HERE


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Band Spot Light: Johnny Madcap And The Distractions

June 1, 2014

Johnny MadcapJune's spotlight is a band that is an amazing representation of the LA local music scene. When the band Madcap stopped playing in 2005 Johnny Madcap the band's main songwriter and singer was left a bit disillusioned by the record industry and fairly fed up with LA's scene of who's who's and who's not's.

So later that year he decided to pack up his things and move to California's high desert. Like an outlaw on the run he disappeared into an environment that was sheltered from the big city where the only bright lights you'd see were the stars in the sky. Always writing songs he spent his nights guitar in hand writing whatever poured out of his, at the time, tortured soul. A few years later one of these nights were not like the rest. While at his house strumming around on a catchy little chord progression he started singing a line over and over "I need some distractions, I wanna go dancin', I wanna turn it way up loud tonight!". That was a song called Distractions and was the first of 10 songs he would write that night. 

From sunshine to rain the songs poured out of him and seemed to click for the first time in a long time. Like any outlaw the outlaw life comes calling again and if that's what you are you accept it. Johnny had no problem with this. He moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles with a suitcase of songs but no band to play them. Out of the scene for a few years the landscape had changed and his particular brand of Elvis Costello styled pop anthems had taken a back seat to an emo/screamo type of aggressive screaming style rock that had taken over and the haircuts were now certainly longer than what he was rocking. But a good outlaw needs a good gang and so Johnny searched on into all the alleyways and dark places he could find for three. The three that would be able to turn these songs into a reality and create the gang he always wanted. The kinda gang that would follow him into the fire. He knew he had that gang when he found Justin chester on bass, Jan Michael Benesch on drums and Patrick James Guerrero on guitar. Together they became Johnny Madcap and The Distractions!

Photo By Jessica Moncrief

The bands first show in Los Angeles at The now defunct Key Club was sold out. Since then the band has toured the country and shared the stage with such acts as Flogging Molly, The Bouncing Souls, The Descendents, The Addicts, The Toasters and many more. A Distractions show is a sweaty mess of dancing, drinking, screaming and singing your heart out. Life is too short to care too much and Johnny Madcap and The Distractions are the perfect soundtrack to accompany that sentiment.

Everyone that comes to a Distractions show is immediately accepted into their dysfunctional family of not the who's who's and the who's not's anymore but the who cares. Johnny Madcap and The Distractions are a party on CD, on vinyl and definitely on stage. The band is bringing back the danger as well as the heart and soul of rock 'n' roll and not to mention the songs are some of the catchiest you will hear. Anthems for anyone whose ever been broken and need to belong to something again. Well we have a gang for you to join. Johnny Madcap and The Distractions are looking for someone to make bad decisions with. Is it you?

The band has just finished recording their new record which will have a release date this summer. You can find all their previous releases on itunes, amazon, spotify, etc.... and if you'd like to order merch click  HERE.

You can catch the band Friday June 20th at The Redwood in Downtown LA for Johnny Madcap's birthday party. This is gonna be wild! come out and experience what the Distractions do best and that's rock. Keep up with Jonny Madcap and The Distractions on Facebook HERE.



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Band Spot Light: The Objex

May 1, 2014

The ObjexOur May Band Spot Light is one more great reason to make it to the Punk Rock Bowling Festival in Vegas this year EARLY! The Objex will be opening up Day 2 with a bang!

The Objex have been melting faces and creating movement in the pants of show-goers since their inception in 2006. Their current line up consists of Felony Melanie, Jim Nasty, Chili (Joaquin Espinosa), and Ivan Del Real. While The Objex have went through a few line up changes over the years, Felony Melanie and Jim Nasty have maintained the driving force behind the band and pushed through for some great accomplishments including features in multiple independent films, television shows and magazines and even won the Vegas Rocks Award for Best Punk Rock Band 2010 and were nominated for a Hollywood Music Award for best alternative song 2011 and best rock song 2012. They have also released several music videos including "Lethal Lips" and "R.S.V.P".


The Objex have stayed busy over the years writing and recording original material. In 2006 they released a demo “Bound And Gagged”, which along with touring, gained a lot of attention for the band. In January of 2007 they released their debut full length album,  “Attack Of The Objex” and in April of 2010, released the wildly popular album “Reservation For Debauchery”. This month The Objex will be celebrating the release of their new EP "Super Charged Lil Nova" on the 25th at the Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival for a soft release as well as an official CD release party the next night at the Beauty Bar.


The intro track "Fingered" on their album "RSVP for Debauchery" sums up everything that The Objex stand for.

"This album is an exercise in the capitalization of an exploitation that some might unnecessarily violent, sexist and disgusting. We therefore suggest the listener to execute caution and discretion. Although it is not our sole intention to shock, insult or irritate, you have been warned that we are catering to our own, as members of the sexual minority."


They pride themselves on doing and saying whatever the fuck they want. The Objex play Punk Rock hard, fast and nasty. Don't miss them in Vegas this year or any where else the might play near you, The Objex put on one hell of a show!

You can keep up with The Objex HERE


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Band Spot Light: Bad Cop / Bad Cop

April 1, 2014

Bad Cop / Bad CopBad Cop / Bad Cop started in a small and very cold rehearsal space at Koos studio in San Pedro, Ca in 2011.  Stacey Dee had written some Punk Rock songs and with drummer Myra Gallarza and their original bassist.  At their 2nd practice Jennie Cotterill came along and everything changed and for the better The band became more vocally driven with harmonies and trade off lead vocal singing.

Jennie and Stacey started writing songs together, keeping this formula going as it just felt like the right thing to do.  They pulled from their different backgrounds to bring together a definite Punk Rock band, but one that offered the feel of all different genres that they loved.  Stacey and Jennie still use this formula for the band’s songwriting.   

After a year of playing up and down the west coast, Bad Cop / Bad Cop began to gain momentum. They recorded their first demo, “Get Rad”, 5 fun songs, suffering poor recording. Eventually, the band got the opportunity to record at Hurley studios, working with producer, Davey Warsop, who helped the band develop their sound. This became their well-received Self-released EP. Shortly after recording, the band changed bass-players, welcoming the high-energy and expertise of Linh Le.  She was the icing on the proverbial donut.  Not only was Linh a veteran bass-player, but she also brought great stage presence and a strong singing voice to the table.  This gave Bad Cop / Bad Cop something different – really good songs, a kick ass drummer, solid rhythm section and 3-part harmonies.  In Fall of 2013, the band recorded another 4 songs with Davey Warsop at Hurley Studios.

The girls have been allied with the Bears of San Francisco since Myra and Jennie’s Cunt Sparrer days.  A residual of this was Bad Cop / Bad Cop’s playing Lilith Bear, as part of SF Bear Pride Weekend. This proved to be a wild night, complete with bearded drag queens, a fire, shitty sound system, fake mustaches, and NOFX frontman and Fat Wreck Chords owner Fat Mike, himself.Mike dug the band, appreciating their sounding good despite the terrible PA system.   He said he liked all the songs and wanted to put out their 7” on Fat. Three days later, Stacey got a call from Fat Mike saying that Fat Wreck Chords had a meeting and unanimously decided they wanted to sign Bad Cop / Bad Cop. It seemed to be perfect timing as the band had just recorded an EP they had no money to release, and now one of the best Punk Rock labels in the world wanted to put it out!

 Bad Cop / Bad Cop will be playing several release show to support their new 7" that was released on April first. Most notably for Los Angeles locals, they will be at The Redwood in downtown LA on the 12th of April with supporting acts, Johnny Madcap and The Distractions, The Bombpops, Hands Like Bricks and Harry and The Henderson's. You can find more details for this show HERE

But it doesn’t end there…. Bad Cop / Bad Cop are now writing songs for their first full length record.  They will be working with Davey Warsop and Fat Mike on the pre-production and production of their record.  The ladies just played their biggest show to a sold out House of Blues, Hollywood with Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s. The girls were very well received with the Gimme’s posting the next day, “If you haven’t heard of Bad Cop / Bad Cop – You Will!”.  

Bad Cop / Bad Cop

Bad Cop / Bad Cop’s plans for the next few months include writing and recording their upcoming full-length for Fat, playing the Punk Rock Bowling Tournament’s main stage, and touring Europe in August / September of this year.  

These ladies know they couldn’t pull this off without each other.  They’re seasoned, and ready to hit this thing out of the park. They’re a band full of very creative, talented, and forward-thinking people; Jennie Cotterill is a muralist, sculptor and curator (she painted the BOSS LADY cover and designs the majority of Bad Cop merchandise and posters), Linh Le plays in another VERY active Southern California band called Vagrant Nation and can do an uncanny Bobby Hill Impression, Myra Gallarza is left handed but plays her drums right handed, (but air drums left handed) and can crush a can on any part of her body, while Stacey Dee sings on a lot of other people’s records, has been in too many bands to mention, is an actress, a voice over actress and an advocate for animal rights, rescuing every dog or cat she can in the city of Inglewood, where she now resides.

Keep your eyes and ears open for these girls to hit your town. They love new friends, encourage people to come and talk to them and always deliver one hell of a fucking show.

Follow Bad Cop / Bad Cop through the various social media sites listed

Instagram: #badcopbadcop
Twitter: @bcbcmusic


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