Perils of Life
The Blues Gangsters "The Perils of Life" (FURIOUS BABYFACE RECORDS 2009) Dave Ellison - Guitar Dave Fleminger - Bass, Organ, Rhodes Piano Matt Johnson - Drums Kristi Maddocks - Vocals David Rinck - Guitar, Vocals Special Guests: Heather Vorwerck - Cello on "We Are Washed Clean" Dylan Rogers - Blues Rap on "Sometimes I Forget I'm White" Fasten your seatbelts! Here's a searing new disc of eight brand shining new tunes by musicians associated with the Che Underground, the illustrious and brilliantly creative "post-punk" scene that coalesced around San Diego's Ché Cafe in the early 1980s. "The Perils of Life" is the direct result of the virtual (and now live) re-emergence of the Che Underground at the hands of audio historian Matthew Rothenberg, himself a veteran of Che Underground stalwarts Noise 292, as well as the San Francisco-based Amazons and Ho-Hos. The band members now live in various far-flung corners of the globe (Rinck's current outfit the Beathogs is a fixture on the raucous bar scene in Nairobi, Kenya). But geographic obstacles were handily overcome by the fact that the musicians spent years writing and gigging together. Matt Johnson and David Rinck were in the Wallflowers back in the heyday of the Che Underground. Dave Ellison was in the Rockin Dogs, and Dave Fleminger was in pretty much everything (The Answers, The Mirrors, Manual Scan). Kristi Maddocks sang for Everybody Violet, and in fact even wrote some of the lyrics here when she lived in a house full of art-types on Madison Ave that was a locus for the scene back in the day. An added treat are the guest appearances by Heather Vorwerck, currently of the San Francisco-based "chamber pop" duo the Comeuppance, and Dylan Rogers of elemental rock and rollers Sonic Love Affair (SLA). As far as the "what does it sound like?" issue is concerned, basically the music here is straight-up San Diego underground rock and roll. Okay, this is the generation that heard Ziggy Stardust and fell in love with music, and also the one that learned how to play (and why!) when the Sex Pistols and the Ramones were going strong, so you can hear glam and punk rock in there. Yeah, and you might hear the influence of Che Underground inspirations like Johnny Thunders and the New York Dolls, X, the Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop etc, but the musicians in this band are true sons and daughters of San Diego, so this record is at it's heart a product of their city and it's very distinct and exciting music scene. "The Perils of Life" is pretty easy to figure out since they've all led incredibly perilous lives in multiple and outrageous ways. Not just the stuff that can't legally be talked about here, but also they did stuff like traveling the world, and facing life's challenges with courage. Specifically with Kristi, she had a massive stroke a few years ago, brought on by some sort of brain defect called DURA FISTULA/AVM, which led to a hemorrhage and life-threatening brain damage. For her the music is part of her recovery. We're all Blues Gangsters. If you liked the sound of the original Che Underground bands, well then you're bound to dig this, a disc which proudly carries on the illustrious tradition of this enduring (and notorious) "underground" pedigree. If you're new to the scene, well then welcome aboard and hold on tight! And rest assured that there'll be plenty more to come...