Black Bombers & The Sweet Things


“Color me unimpressed. Where was the sit-in when Congress was cutting $5 billion from food stamps? Where is the sit-in for affordable housing as Congress continues to cut HUD to shreds? Where is the sit-in against police brutality in our cities? Where is the sit-in against the Supreme Court ruling yesterday that guts the Fourth Amendment and revives ‘stop and frisk’ policing? Where is the sit in to demand equitable funding for our nation’s public schools? Where is the sit-in to end racism and the criminal justice system? This smacks of election year tomfoolery. And have those of you who supported the filibuster and the passage of this bill actually looked at what’s in it? Its a bill that justifies the existence of a “terrorist watch list” which we know is a Muslim and Arab watch list that actually has nothing to do with terrorism. The so-called terror list would not stop most of the “mass shootings” in this country that happen to involve white men. The obsession with the so-called terror list, which, by the way, has almost one million people listed on it, perpetuates the climate of fear and racism directed at Brown communities. Sometimes its not better to settle for ‘just do something’ when the result is greater isolation, marginalization and oppression of Brown people who have suffered enough in the name of fighting terrorism.” (-Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor)

“We are leaving New York. We plan to travel a bit down in our native south, and then leave the U.S. The ugliness of the culture has grown unbearable. I don’t mean the sublimity of a monster type of ugliness nor a Yeatsian terrible beauty. No. I am referring to snarling, red-faced bully ugliness; a supercilious putdown sort of ugliness of the spirit; a reeking landfill ugliness; a xenophobic Trump jibe and Clinton smug entitlement to power sort of ugliness. We do not seek the tyranny of beauty. At my age, speaking of the sublimely ugly, I experience the beauty known by Quasimodo as he straddled the enormous, ringing cathedral bells of Notre Dame. In his agony, exile, and alienation, he sought communion with the very form of beauty that rendered him deaf. Loving the world afflicts the spirit. Yet one feels its beauty as an overwhelming vibrato through the mortal body. I can no longer endure the sound of the U.S. death rattle and I cannot find any justification for having my son subjected to its odious tones. We are not searching for the perfect; merely, a reprieve from constant insults to our hearts.” (-Phil Rockstroh)

“The good thing about being disillusioned with the system is you have no more illusions. Millions are waking up to corporate media-political establishment bias and how it turns us against each other and our own interests, not to mention other people and our planet. You are not alone – we are growing stronger every day!” (-Jill Stein)

“Nothing to see here, folks. Just the neocons and their sycophants helping the Project for a New American Century check off the goals in their document ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses’. They needed a new Pearl Harbor to get their war on, and voila, here comes 9/11. Yet to ask questions is to be ridiculed by Maddow and Maher and Taibbi and Chomsky. There is no liberal media.” (-Anne Johnson )

“I ain’t draft dodging. I ain’t burning no flag. I ain’t running to Canada. I’m staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I’ve been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for 4 or 5 more, but I ain’t going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I’ll die right here, right now, fightin’ you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won’t even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won’t even stand up for my rights here at home.”  (-Muhammad Ali)

“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father.” (-Muhammad Ali)

“Democracy, in this late stage of capitalism, has been replaced with a system of legalized bribery. All branches of government, including the courts, along with the systems of entertainment and news, are wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state. Electoral politics are elaborate puppet shows.” – (Chris Hedges, got a BA in English Literature at Colgate University, got a Masters of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, journalist, author, educator)

“The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.” (-Eugene Debs)

“I have yet to come across a single gender-separated bathroom in France. I’m sure they exist somewhere, but even at the fast food joint there was one single bathroom with multiple stalls for everyone. Men, women, and those who identify as neither all use the same communal bathroom and there are NO FUCKING PROBLEMS. America, insularity is the issue. Insularity breeds closed-mindedness and prejudice.” (-Alley Valkyrie)

“Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.” (― Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater)

“Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking.” (-Frederick Buechner)

“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” (-Friedrich Nietzsche)

“All the broken and shunned creatures, someone’s got to care for them. Who shall it be if not us. ” (- Dr Sweet, Penny Dreadful)

“The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on — because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions.” (-Noam Chomsky)


It’s a short ride, it’s a slippery slope, all those who come here, abandon hope…Alan Byron possesses the damned, doomed howl of the disillusioned, the disaffected, the furious derelict left behind to die for his crimes against capitalist conformity. If you know me, you know Ray Birch played for one of my all-time fave glam bands, Gunfire Dance, as well as the mighty, mighty Godfathers; and you know Dave Twist from Kusworth and the Tenderhooks. Drummer Dave Twist brings an uplifting musicality to the bashing booze brawl reminiscent of Thee Hypnotics and MC5. Bassist Ray Birch plays tight, sinewy basslines reminiscent of Killing Joke, Sisters Of Mercy, and Lords of The New Church  – that sexy, sultry, gothic groove. Together, they write killer instinct songs with the precise execution and red light atmosphere of Thee Hypnotics, with the angst ridden and doom laden cries of hate and anger of the Mummies or Action Swingers. While the real rocknroll community reels from the seemingly sudden deaths of Bowie, Prince, Lemmy, Scotty Moore, Alan Vega and several more of our underground favorites, and so many of us are sick to our guts of the globalist wars and brutally racist and militarized police force, and bullshit media-monopolies misinforming our former families and so-called peers, we take some faint consolation from the bona fide and genuine smash it up, diehard rocknroll motherfuckery embodied by these lads from Birmingham with their off their meds, psychobilly ache and groan and Mystery Train drumming and urgent, carnal, early light, wolf cries from the ledge. If Richard Hell and Thurston Moore weren’t such self conscious egomaniacs…if the fancy pants accountant Jon Spencer Blues frat boys were forced to eat TV dinners and live outside and got punched in the eye about one hundred times…. they might be as convincing and authoritative as the depraved and downhearted blues punks we hear bellowing in the back-lit alleyways. Sometimes, most times, lost souls have the most soul. You’re a middle aged success ’cause your face is a mess…Black Bombers remind me of my dead brothers who all got fired from record store jobs for heavy drinking…the houseless field slaves and injured geniuses cast to wonder around in the elements asking themselves, if they maybe ain’t better off with their bruises and backpacks and stains and infections, than all their former school chums with the big trucks and biometric time clocks, and urine tests and haircut ratracing. “Maybe I’m crazy…maybe I’m free!” While ruthless, racist Murkkkans cheer for rutless police state fascist warpigs like Hillary and Trump, and mortgage their kids to attend concerts by botoxed blowhard billionaire sports fan dickheads doing another stadium rawk, rip-off victory lap, cash grab, and selling hundred dollar t shirts to dumbfuck tv watchers who never really cared for music, do they? Black Bombers open for Brian James and Honest John Plain and even appear in big time fifteen-dollar magazines in the UK because English folks still somehow remember what real rocknroll sounds like. Sinking ship shanties and mash notes from dirty squats where the utilities are shut off, with Sex Pistols rage and These Immortal Souls world weary photo-realism, Black Bombers ain’t livin’ in no make believe paradise city…they are street fightin’ survivors who seen the ruins and know we’re losin’…so we might as well stay up all night on speed, painting, and laughing, singing, and weeping, for tomorrow, we die. Songs like “Crazy” and “Save Me”, “Nameless” and “That Kind” are caustic garage soul wailings from brave hearted romantics reduced to making erratic, dine n dash, desperation moves. If you are tired of formulaic, top forty white boy rappers and titty job girl “singers” and their nauseatingly transparent “self affirmation” anthems, and only ever really relate to seditionary janitors with emotional problems and rebel hearts, if you wasted half your embarrassing life on dreams that can’t come true, if you know it’s just too late for you, if you loved bands like the Damned and Beasts Of Bourbon but don’t have a record collection anymore, if you ever found yourself walking around in the cold rain with a wet grocery bag of collectible books, having to pawn them to the dickhead record store boner with the inheritance and folk art for pennies, if you are still scarred from a painful stint being pummeled by random strangers and trust funded gentrification sadists when your stripper girlfriend kicked you out and you had nowhere to go, Black Bombers got that short on rent Cheater Slicks spooky psychosis and Jeffrey Lee Pierce pent up religious fervor. If you like that surfy, spy movie, post-punk, wild eyed, track marked, pissy mattress, Lower East Side, art-park, crash pad, garage punk feel, that deviant bands like Black Snakes, Dragbeat, the Phantoms, and Pillbox did so well, and resent all the phonies on the take with the redundant tribute bands, if you have more in common with dysfunctional poets with ruined lives, street crazies, bums, and radical protesters than you do with V.I.P. room celebrities and secretaries and weight-lifters and office casual pencil pushers, this is probably the band you’ve been looking for. Get some.


‘Had originally intended on integrating this rave into the next lengthy column, but honestly, I’m just so unbelievably motherfucking gung ho about these dangerously cool glitter kids, I feel an urgent desire to immediately add my raspy voice to the growing chorus of true believers who are singing their praises, ’cause we deserve rocknroll like this, we need it, now, more than ever, and I was waiting, like, forever, for the next ones to arrive. When authentic rocknroll walks in the room, you feel it, it’s a powerful and inspirational thing of righteous beauty. Can you dig it?  I was just thinkin’ about how the gentrification brunchers and hedge fund wankers and Evil Dick, deep state dystopia has kind of effectively grounded “we, the people”, like naughty school children, with their Robocop clampdowns on free speech, total surveillance of our social lives, and TSA airport molestations, now, you can’t even “opt out” of Michael Chertoff’s Rapiscan porno screeners, it’s mandatory, like those no refusal blood draw checkpoints. What “freedoms” do those uniformed goon squads with the big night-sticks even tell their families they are still defending? You can’t walk down the street without getting stopped and frisked, you can’t exist in public spaces without money to burn on beer that tastes bad and waffle fries, you can’t protest, you have no rights, the enforcement class have become homicidal Judge Dredds, and they casually beat Autistic homeless men, Israeli IDF trained ratpack style, and shoot down kids in the park. Stole the love right out our hearts. Everything has gotten so jive under the fear mongering corporatist media rule-even the liberals of today are all as uptight and joyless as the mean, pinch-faced, conservatives-they’re all a buncha P.M.R.C. cops and “just say no” drug war Nancys, ya know? Scolders and prudes, spinsters, and temperance leaguers. Where are all the wild ones, the happy hedonists, and horny fun hog whores for glory? I want some larger than life cartoon characters to burn the system down, at least, metaphorically, ya know? As David Lee Roth once said, “sprinkle my ashes over the eighties!”  I’m not into this techno Kardashian fascist 1984 shit. Whatever happened to the good times? Ain’t there one damn song that can make me breakout the booze and have some laughs? At first, I’d just seen a lot of pix posted on social media of Sweet Thing Sam all dressed up in purple scarves and swanning around the other side of the velvet ropes with various former D-Generations, Heartbreakers, B-Girls, Cycle Sluts From Hell, Famous Dictator wives, and his hero, Danny Nordahl, noted evil boy extraordinaire, from the Throbs; and in spite of his somehow, simultaneously, looking exactly like both Steven Tyler AND Joe Perry, Sam Harris, from afar, initially, just seemed like still another professional friend of a friend of a friend of a friend who had strategically parlayed his show-biz connections into a gentrification era NYC nightclub celebrity DJ status, but he steadily charmed me into his fan club (still waiting for the badge and secret decoder ring) with his sly wit, authoritative outlaw country music expertise, Robert Smith bedhead, sincere appreciation of Gunfire Dance, and shameless, devil may care all-night rockin’, all aboard for fun time, bedraggled, leopard printed starman antics, best captured on film by Toilet Boy singer and world class photographer, Miss Guy. Sometimes, I felt a bit Queen Bitchy towards the dude, in all honesty, ya know, just’ cause, well, as a twenty-nothing punk brat, one thousand years ago, I had stomped around the same sidewalks in the same hoop earrings, blue black hairdye, and “Is Nothing Sacred” t shirt, rushing to danger, and winding up nowhere. I’m still like, the blackened chewing gum and faded graffiti, stuck back there, on those streets. So whenever I see Soulman Sam groping super duper sugary star-lit starlet, Sarah Silverman, I can’t help but sing to myself, “why didn’t I stay, why didn’t I stay”? (*Obviously, I wrote that last bit before her offensive comments at the DNC) In this gratuitous age of “American Idol” makeover models, it is a rare joy for me to confess when I profoundly underestimate a band’s talent and starpower. For many months, I was only expecting still another so-so gang of mediocre Thunders jokers, just goin’ through the half-hearted motions of covering “Chinese Rocks”, yet again and again, at this week’s tired Johnny Tribute Show. “OOOOOH….AHHHH. OOOOHHH…AHHH”. I am so pleased and elated to testify that these Sweet Things are some sensationally sleazy, rule breaking, cocksure motherfuckers with snaky guitars and sneering vocals  that actually eclipse many of your eighties hairband faves. I love the classy artwork, the gorgeous vocals of their backup singer. I love everything about this band. They are the modern day Throbs, or Quireboys, at least. All they are missing is Little Richard and a wardrobe budget for more pairs of purple and pink leather pants. Lots of people get Sam mixed-up with my ace pal, Marty E from Midnight Crisis, because they both look like seventies Aerosmith in their newsboy caps and handbags and glad rags, spinning vintage punk rock at various decadent glitter soirees at debaucherous downtown Manhattan night clubs. Sam’s suave bandmate, Lorne, used to play in the criminally under-rated, Dimestore Haloes, the Boston Clash meets Hanoi kids, who never made it big, but had the lyrics, looks, songs, and personalities that deserved a fairer squint in the spotlight that never quite came, in spite of years of critical acclaim, probably due to the lines of grungy jock corporate rock bands, that crowded up the media and marquees in the terrible 90′s alternative era, in the shadows of Seattle. I’ve seen so many bands come and go, since the Haloes, that were just faint echoes. All those Blank City Blankers bands. I knew Haloes singer, Chaz, and several of his cohorts briefly in our tattered youth, we were a little rivalrous back in the day, we were mostly quarreling over custody of various talented mutual collaborators, and once had a memorably epic, brooding goth-off at the bowling alley, but he had more guitar playing ability and lyrical talent in his black fingernail polished pinky than the many armies of tattooed love boys who’ve come around since. I think he’s got a band called Cheap Cassettes somewhere, so look for them, if you like glam and power pop. Don’t hate him just because he still has better hair than you. I remember how his ex wife was also a marvelous writer, who once called me, “a wasted wandering wanton rebel without a band”. She said that about me in print, ha, and she was not wrong. Truth hurts. I like Lorne’s Sweet Things better than the Biters, Prima Donna, or probably even, D-Generation. They are entertaining, hell raising, beer drinking, cigarette smoking, unrepentant rocknroll standouts, with serious musical talent, in a dead dull, mostly heartless and cowardly, day and age, where everything else seems like another boring this years’ model reboot. Along with The Sacred, Dirty Eyes, and Dr. Boogie, they are among the few remaining youngish real rocknroll bands of aging delinquents I still care about. Say what you want about their tauntingly hysterical song titles like, “Cocaine Asslicker Blues”, but the Sweet Things are still liver than you’ll ever be, and are always, at LEAST, stylish and fun and outrageously entertaining, when few others even know what entertainment is. I like these dudes, and I’m a bitter old man who wanted their gig. The chief difference between these fellas and all the forgotten, never was, no hopers and ex feather boa wearers of Christmas Past, is the Sweet Things wisely banded together and totally stepped up, as a united rocknroll street gang, and deliver like nobody’s business with this old school Aerosmith reminiscent single, while Steve Tyler shills for Burger King. ”Love To Leave”, is a righteous kiss-off to all us shit talking, sour-puss, scenesters and jealous hearted, opinion havers. “Tomorrow can’t wait on yesterday!” It’s so good. It’s like the Joneses and Quireboys, with an extra overdose of Rolling Stones. This tune is like their very own, bona fide, “Before They Make Me Run” rogue’s anthem. Dave Tierney is one talented motherfucker. What a badass band. I love it to tears. It’s just undeniably outstanding as hell. A totally defiant hit the road and forget the nine to fiver squares, tequila sipping cowboy song, all silver spurs, and dirty syringes, and filthy bras unapologetically hanging from the hotel suite chandelier. I can’t help but love it. It’s like “Gypsy Road” for gutter punks. Fuckin A! Right. Don’t buy this single unless you love the Faces and the Humpers. It’s fucking splendidly hellacious, flagrantly audacious, and full of courageous rebel soul, and suspiciously energetic, whiskey fuelled excellence. Some fucking secretary is gonna call the cops. All the best bands always make you wanna start your own group and Dr. Boogie and Sweet Things got me jonesin’ to link up with another Mick Ronson figure and take another punishing stab at rocknroll, even here, in my fat middle age, but, baby I’m a dreamer…I really love my Sweet Thangs. I can’t give ‘em up! The power pop guitars on “Cocaine Asslicker Blues” sound like a convenience store slushy with vodka that you take to the bowling alley, that ruins the flavor of your bubble gum, but you keep chewin’ it anyway ’cause the speed is kickin’ in…and you are reminding yourself not to stare at the girl in the stripy halter top….and you got some old Diamond Dogs tune stuck in your head, and your eyes accidentally keep drifting back to her cleavage…the guitars are just boss as hell. Dave Fried nails down the wicked beat. The lead vocals sound a little like Smack and Hollywood Brats on this tune-it’s extraordinarily sleazy rock action with hysterically snotty lyrics. The Sweet Things truly amaze me with their junksick in the seventies style guitars and nasty guttersnipe caterwauling. Dude sounds like all your favorite singers and even yells, “well, alrite!”, just like Cheetah Chrome. “Through The Cracks Of The City” is like the Beat Angels driving around in a shitty car with the Veins, it’s a real cool time tonight-like a lost pop gem from 1979. I’m excited about these cats. Let me assure you that the Sweet Things songwriting is in an advanced class with Dr. Boogie-these lads got that elusive “it” quality and deserve all the success they got coming their way! Absolute Thrillsville! I can’t believe all these fearless wildboys just got to open up for a reformed Circus Of Power-on a boat, while dressed up like sailors! Wowiee-zowiie!! Hats off to the man on top of the world! Marvelous work, lads! Enjoy Yourself!