SHITELAND PONIES “CHURCH OF MAD LOVE”
review by Geordie Pleathur
Shiteland Ponies Photography by Callie Biggerstaff
“All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.” (-Edward Snowden)
“Bradley Manning’s conviction is already written into the script. The commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces, Barack Obama, spoiled the plot for all of us when he pronounced Bradley Manning guilty two years ago. “He broke the law,” President Obama stated, when asked on camera at a fundraiser about his position on Mr. Manning. In a civilized society, such a prejudicial statement alone would have resulted in a mistrial.
To convict Bradley Manning, it will be necessary for the US government to conceal crucial parts of his trial. Key portions of the trial are to be conducted in secrecy: 24 prosecution witnesses will give secret testimony in closed session, permitting the judge to claim that secret evidence justifies her decision. But closed justice is no justice at all.
What cannot be shrouded in secrecy will be hidden through obfuscation. The remote situation of the courtroom, the arbitrary and discretionary restrictions on access for journalists, and the deliberate complexity and scale of the case are all designed to drive fact-hungry reporters into the arms of official military PR men, who mill around the Fort Meade press room like over-eager sales assistants. The management of Bradley Manning’s case will not stop at the limits of the courtroom. It has already been revealed that the Pentagon is closely monitoring press coverage and social media discussions on the case.
This is not justice; never could this be justice. The verdict was ordained long ago. Its function is not to determine questions such as guilt or innocence, or truth or falsehood. It is a public relations exercise, designed to provide the government with an alibi for posterity. It is a show of wasteful vengeance; a theatrical warning to people of conscience.
The alleged act in respect of which Bradley Manning is charged is an act of great conscience – the single most important disclosure of subjugated history, ever. There is not a political system anywhere on the earth that has not seen light as a result. In court, in February, Bradley Manning said that he wanted to expose injustice, and to provoke worldwide debate and reform. Bradley Manning is accused of being a whistleblower, a good man, who cared for others and who followed higher orders. Bradley Manning is effectively accused of conspiracy to commit journalism.” (-Julian Assange)
“I wonder when we’ll riot here. Will we ever? This is a global clash of civilization. It is middle to low income people against the super rich, the deep and abiding pathology of the most powerful. The middle class are being eradicated on a global scale. All power is being transferred to MNCs, and taken out of the hands of regular people. While our belts get tighter, our lives exponentially harder here, my countrymen remain silent, not only shouldering this massive transfer of wealth and power upwards, but treating it as if it is normal or healthy. The sickest of the sick, the most facilely misled even viciously defend it – misplacing their anger solely on the US government, as if this government is not in league with the most rapacious corporations on earth. And this belies a devastating lack of understanding history, economics, and the requisites of democracy. I wonder when we will rise to our feet, find our voices and recover our long-lost abili…ty to ensure our own sovereignty again. IF we manage this, the world will be different then. We can never go back. We will never again live the luxury of middle-class ignorance about our levels of consumption. Our lives depend on this – on waking up from this long, dark fantasy. We can be comfortable, yes. We can get there again. But we cannot hide ourselves in our consumption. Neither economics, nor power, nor functioning democracies, nor the very survival of this planet can tolerate our willful ignorance. We must wake to a new world. And find our way out and through it, made anew by our losses, our struggles, our hopes, our slow, global, dawning mass consciousness. We must lead the way to a future that is sustainable for all.” (-Tangerine Bolen)
“The NWO is serious about reducing human population by any means necessary. All of the institutions that are supposed to protect us from genocide and deception have failed or been captured by NWO interests. They’re trying to do it covertly by poisoning our food, water, air and medicines and orchestrating economic collapse to create poverty. They’d rather not risk being found out because that could produce a backlash. After all, there are still many of us and only a few of them. Nonetheless, in their urgency to kill us off more quickly, they’ve gotten sloppy and more of us are waking up to their game. Those of us who wake up early have a sacred duty to wake up others, the same as if we were waking up in a burning dormitory. It is only when most of us are awake that we can take meaningful and effective action. I do my best and I charge all of you, my friends, to make this your task as well. If you have children or would like to someday, we need to make sure there’s still a world for them to live in. Sadly, we are probably not soon enough to prevent mass death, but we are also not so late that extinction is inevitable. The more people we can wake up sooner, the faster we can all adapt to the new reality and the more of us will survive. Please don’t waste a day– from now on, try to do at least one thing a day to make a difference. Time is not money. Time is human lives. The first step is awareness– the more people are aware the harder it becomes for the NWO to carry out their agenda. Go to it!” (-Martin Truther)
“It’s funny that a home would be considered the ‘American Dream’. Everyone needs a home. It should not be a dream. A home is necessary for life. If you look into nature, everything in nature has a home and has what it needs to survive. That is why our culture is unsustainable because it does not work in accordance with the laws of nature. Our capitalist society makes absolutely no sense.” (-Syrena Nicholson)
Q. Did you feel like a star during that time?
A. ( Pause.) I suppose, I did. Yeah, cause if you’re famous, you’re on the TV, you playing to a lot of people, and people come up and talk to you – especially, fans – you’re feeling that. But I never felt any different from what I felt all my life. I mean I didn’t think, particularly, “I’m a star”, it was just me. I was getting all this glory stuff, which is a lot of bullshit, but I still was the same, indeed. But the worst point was when it all finished – being out of work, being penniless: in the end, we had no money, and I had a family, and Bowie didn’t really care about that. He didn’t give me any money, he didn’t give me the percentage I was on, he just let me suffer, which I thought was nasty, so that’s a really bad memory…. (-Trevor Bolder bassist of SPIDERS FROM MARS & URIAN HEEP)
“In an era of radical market deregulation and full spectrum government and corporate surveillance, the arrogant operatives of our authoritarian state demand that we forgo our right to privacy, as, all the while, resisting openness and accountability for themselves. Empire, as a rule, tracks toward tyranny, as capitalism’s natural trajectory becomes oligarchy.
Most of the people born upon this earth arrive with shackles in place, insofar as one soon finds oneself confronted with unreasonable, soul-defying power. Yet: The implicate order of the psyche — the living landscape within termed as one’s soul — will never accept bondage as a given.
Our timeless myths give testimony: A foundling, cast upon the currents of the Nile, will become a dissident prince who will shattered the bonds of internalized slavery and guide the oppressed to the Promised Land. Translation: Locate within yourself what empire casts out — those traits, unrecognized, even scorned — can be marshaled to face down Pharaoh, in all his forms and guises.
Empires are constructed of the stuff of dust, dried dung, and wind-scattered ash. Conversely, the soul abides. The ambitions of Pharaoh are evanescent — a phantasm — while the imagery of the soul is tinged with eternal fire. Music kindles this flame.” (-Phil Rockstroh)
BOSTON KID IN JAIL FOR POSTING RAP LYRICS ON FACEBOOK.
It’s a long rant, so scan down for the review part of the review, or get cozy–this ain’t feckin’ “Spin” & ”Entertainment Weekly”, dig? For a few years, it seemed as if old school rap and hip-hop were the new punk rock. Sal from Electric Frankenstein called N.W.A. “black punk rock”, but sadly, it became all about selling expensive cars and living in the Hamptons, after Tupac and Chuck D. were replaced by P. Diddy and Jay-Z. They lockedup some dumb, young, townie wanna-be Slim Shady in Boston for making ignorant rap brags on Facebook. All the millionaire and billionaire hip-hop guys who have gotten rich in the corporate media by peddling all that puffed up bravado, hyperbole, wild exaggerations, the bluffing big talkin’, frontin’, flossin’ actin’ hard…..but not one Russell Simmons, Beastie Boys, Eminem, Kanye or Jay Z can be bothered to explain to the authorities that dumb, poor kids talkin’ smack about bein gangsta is just dumb poor kids imitating them talking smack about bein gangsta?! I have friends that work for the man in that part of the country, and I am appalled they have chosen to remain silent, as some dumb whiteboy rapper is taken to jail for “terrorism” charges, for talking common, everyday, bogus, rap shit, about being a make-believe tough guy, like his hero, Eminem. Eminem made billions for Interscope with his violent, homophobic, sexist fantasies, ridiculous threats, and groteque exaggerations, but he never faced twenty years in jail for “TERRORISM” charges. Get real. This chump kid is just one of millions of dumbed down, Aspartame and High Fructose Corn Syrup gobbling Slim Shadies imitating Marshall, Fifty Cent, and ICP. Not a word from the corporate media stars, not a word from our former punk rock rabble rousers, who could at least, write a letter to the paper explaining the rap tradition of boasting and bragging and making false threats about being a big mobster. We are becoming a scary gulag society, but no one pays any attention to anything besides their own materialism, hobbies, status. Who cares about freedom of speech, when it’s just an uneducated poor person’s dumb rap lyrics being taken out of context, and persecuted by the government for merely poorly imitating Jay-Z and Kid Rock. It’s all just become about vanity and acquisition on the backs of all those dumb Slim Shadies in jail, or on probation in the land of the supposedly once free. Corrections profiteers promise their shareholders ever fresh crops of “new offenders”, as duel-citizen Rahm Emanuel and the Walton family lobby politicians to close more schools, and police to entrap more kids and patsys with trumped up drug charges. The school to prison pipeline is out of control. Yes, that one judge was convicted for selling kids to the privatized juvie corrections industry, but nationwide, this type of activity is normalized and even glamorized on the “Discovery” channel. You hear about the man who was beaten severely by 25 NYPD cops for jumping a subway turnstile? I just read the dumb Slim Shady kid was freed by a Grand Jury who thankfully recognized he wasn’t making terror threats, every once in awhile, common sense prevails, but not usually when the Scrooge McDuck global elites are runnin’ shit. That’s when you’ll be molested in the airport, spied on in your home and on the phone, have fluoride in your tap water, Aspartame and Splenda steadily being rebranded and covertly put into your milk and soft drinks. People keep consuming the Burger King with the horsemeat in it and thinking about the new Nationalist Superman summertime blockbuster and Kim Kardashian and shit. Remember that Clash song about how he didn’t wanna know what the rich were saying? Because he knew they were all fookin’ liars.
WHILE WE WERE TALKING, I SAW YOU RUNNING OUT….
Lately, I’ve been inundated with all these thankless hordes of upperclass people whose heavily revised and fictionalized public relations moderated identities are built on the ridiculous premise that they made their own good fortune through initiative, hard work, and innovation, and not inheritance and advantaged networking. You probably know them, too, a whole culture socialized to demean the working class. They never, never, never stop bitching about the girl at the checkout counter with her incompetence and poor math skills, the immigrant cabdriver, the stupid fucking waitress who kept them waiting for those extra straws, extra lemon, extra hot water, more bread and olive oil, that bitch should have gone to college, and I told her I wanted more ice, and shes’ not getting a tip. The semi-pro complainers, they always find fault with the maid at the hotel, demanding upgrades. They need to speak to the manager, wherever they go. They are owed something, for all this poor service they are constantly inflicted with, the are often suing the contractors, firing the gardener who asked that his wages be out “on the books” so his family can receive benefits. Infuriated by the sight of a mom on welfare. This is the hallmark of the consumer crazy middle-class, they want you to know they are superior to all those loathsome, deadbeat, lazy, laborers, foodstamp recipients, and immigrants, and nurses aids, and Target workers. To me, there’s really few things as vulgar and repulsive as solidly rich people who still constantly moan and groan about how they “can’t get good help”, how they still need to wring always more labor from their dutiful employees, and how they just don’t have enough money and power and property and belongings, yet. Gross. Okay, you wanna know what’s maybe even worse? It’s when the everyday people, the fans, the street rockers, the rocknroll people, are so trained and conditioned by corporate hierarchy rank and title models they learn from schools and cable tv, to blindly venerate fame and success, that they willingly tolerate, and even celebrate (!) these pushy materialists and Donald Trump asshole bossmen winning by intimidation. The Posh Ex Punk exhales loudly: “(SIGHS!) Monday, it’s the book signing, All those pesky autographs and unkempt peasants wanting their picture taken with me. Tuesday, the punk cruise on the boat, where I have to interact with the ex bandmate’s families, Wednesday, it’s meeting with the perfume marketing reps., before I take my old band fliers to the designer’s boutique space, and approve labels for my line of booze bottles; Thursday-another interview with that damned Kris Needs, who thinks I owe him something because he was the only one writing about our old band for twenty five years, that groupie; and Friday, I have to rub shoulders with all those ikky, ignorant…FANS. Those poor people are so FILTHY. Low-class. Woe is me. Saturday…sucking up to the 70′s dinosaur band, tea with the queen, ya know what I mean? Tell the Todd McFarlane people that I do NOT approve the big nose on my action doll proto-type, Sunday, my massage therapy and team meeting with my psychic, shrink, trainer, vegan chef, and personal dietician. Note to self: that maid skipped the hot tub room last time, I specifically told her I like my towels and white robes FLUFFED. She also forgot to dust my framed Buzzcocks and Cock Sparrer prints in the pinball room. The burden of fortune weighs heavily upon my punk rock shoulders. All this prestige and fan-mail and luxury is so burdensome, and the servants are all so lazy! Why can’t those little people be more PUNK, like me?”
A better question might be, why are street people, us commoners, the debt-slaves, the interns working for free towards the dream of wage slavery, the indentured servants, those of us burdened by insane student debt, unemployed, underpaid, on the dole, or asleep in the car, who aren’t pampered and privileged with fame and material wealth; so eager and willing to suck up to sold-out, punk-era, name-brand bullies, or enable and encourage them, to behave so egregiously, just because they knew somebody in a band from a long time ago, or because they played in a band a long time ago, and determined at some point, that the collective synergy created by that group, their label owner, their management, their producer, some cool club owner, and all their fans is just some trademarked ego buzz they can turn into a product, own, and keep in their pocket, they get a free pass to be obnoxious tyrants and mean-hearted, petty gluttons, forever? Why people unconditionally defend shitty behaviors from ex punks turned mogul celebrity yuppies is just absolutely baffling to me. I don’t care who you know. ‘Gives you no right to shit on people who have less power than you do, just for your personal ego-trip and sadist gratification. Effin’ fascists in hair-dye. If you’ve had some lucky breaks, you ought to be grateful, not hateful. But that’s just me, I’m old fashioned. I don’t model my behavior on “reality shows” and talk radio. We were told that Lou Reed was a creep, why did it take his bodyguards shoving our friends from Thee Hypnotics out of “his” way to make us believe it? And yet, we still pull for the guy and send him good vibes for a quick and steady recovery. Even though I’ve had to confront the hard truth that not all my favorite rocknroll heroes are kind and sweetly benevolent, patient saints, ya know, there is something about those songs they wrote back when they WERE cool….usually, truthfully; almost always when they were poor, that won’t let me give up on them completely, even if they are vindictive and nasty beasts in real life. Pathetic really, I’m almost as bad as those Opologists for Obama, when it comes to my beloved cult figure seventies rock stars. The more I brush with some of them, the more I’m glad I can’t afford NY, any longer, ’cause they’ve been in that celebrity bubble for so long with their every cruelty based, self obsessed insult being “liked” by dozens upon dozens of fawning sycophants, they’ve ALL forgotten how to just be nice. Tragic. Basically anyone employed by the consolidated media in this day and age is, at some level, an overpaid shill for empire. I had an old songwriting amigo who tried to warn me about Bono a decade before he was swanning around with bankster scum and Monsanto shareholders justifying biowar on Africa, like he’s doing somebody a favor. Saint G.M.O., Saint N.W.O., is more like it.
The true investigative journalists and any anti-war voices of yesteryear are spied-on by Obama and Eric Holder, demonized, slandered, or purged from the echo-chamber. Phil Donahue, Dan Rather, Helen Thomas, Keith Olbermann, even 9/11 Truther, Charlie Sheen, and Rosie O’Donnal and Rosanne Barre have been edited-out of popular debate. Ever see Chris Hedges or Ralph Nader on a Sunday Morning Round Table discussion? Nope, three extremist far right war hawks, and two extremist far right war hawks pretending to be affable and empathetic Democrats. Conveniently, many cable programmed echobots have narrowed their if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, suddenly revised definition of punk rock to mean only those who dressed like Humphrey Bogart, or the Fonz, or who wore mohair sweaters during the British garbage strike of the 70′s. That gets most of ‘em off the hook for the relentless grasping for a Gene Simmons lifestyle. Of course, there have ALWAYS been those self-described punks who had no interest or intention of subverting or defying unjust power structures, they just wanted to wear cool, fitted leather from the U.K. We know some of those guys-when Big-Media tells them to like Motley Crue, Culture Club, Gangster Rap, Pro-Wrestling, Spice Girls, or The Real Housewives of New Jersey, they do. You see them at shows with their tattoos, but nine to five, they work at Merrill-Lynch. And BRAG about it. Sad also, that a star of Cyndi Lauper’s soulful stature felt compelled to go on that “Apprentice” show, since the elites weaponized the disinformation monopolies. I love you, Cyndi. Seen that beautiful, new ghetto-blaster CLASH box-set? If I was a rich man….
WHILE I’M SIGNED ON FOR LIFE….
Most of us are so fucking stupid that we’ll automatically keep buying their awful swag and lettin’ ‘em piss on our heads from their swank balconies like Wall Street Swells who attend their concerts, and will continue to pay for their daughter’s drug habits ’til doomsday, because unless our meaningless lives are validated by the same corporate owned war-media, they can never be as valid as the same old sob story about the pain of all that cocaine back in 1978. We have to hear these same threadworn old tales again and again from the same five fat faces, and their kids and sycophants and employees and hangers-on, and for me, it’s like watchin’ reruns of “The Simpsons”, it wasn’t that funny the first fifty fucking times. I know the beautiful Ramones died still pissed off and bitter they never got to become “as big as Springsteen”, and that is sad, but the Springsteen machine has generated lots of money for lots of other punk era people, and I guess I just don’t get that level of selfishness and greed. Eddie Vedder and David Bowie for Target. Steven Tyler for Burger King, yeah sure, man, you eat that poison and feed it to your kids, sure, I believe you. REALLY? Do those guys REALLY THINK THEY NEED MORE MILLIONS? Enough to lie to their fans, and encourage them to consume that fucking horrible fucking bullshit poison? Bummer….I live with mean, angry, melodramatic, poor people, and yeah, for sure, we can be a drag, the crackhead dumpster diving outside for bottles and cans tonight just yelled at me in the parking lot, and all my middle-class friends wanna know why I don’t call the cops on all my neighbors, but what I just don’t get, at all, are all these rooms full of business owning, ex punk, rude effin’ rich people, all still behaving like they are the jealous, bitter underdogs, when they are so, so, obviously winning, and enjoying privileges and luxuries that most of us don’t even want for.
And none of their “peers” will put ‘em straight, neither. As Jeremy White says, “I was very happy to see the Stones have guests like John Fogerty, Tom Waits and Bonnie Raitt, but why all these other douchebags???? C’mon John Mayer, Katy Perry, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga???!!!!! Hacks, all of them! Mick must not know that the Stones are still relevant and they don’t need to associate themselves with these people. What’s next , Justin Bieber? Get Billy Gibbons or Chuck Berry up there !!!!”
I’m not tellin’ YOU what to do, but me, I can no longer support artists who attend soirees hosted by war mongers and toturers, or who serenade bankster scum, or swan around with depopulation agenda billionaire Monsanto fascists and Eugenicists. Fuck those people. They are the one percent.
Meanwhile, SHITELAND PONIES are an exciting gang of good-times rollin’, hard rockin’ pop sensations, produced by our dearly beloved Dogs D’Amour emperor of coolness, the raw food powered, jewelry designer, drummer extraordnaire, and expert on living naturally and living well, BAMTASTIC. Cheers, to the Dogs for reuniting! These young turks, (and we’re all young Turks right now, in solidarity with the people of Turkey, right?) SHITELAND PONIES, bring the melodies, the whoos, the shakin’ tambourines, the crackling psychedelic guitars on slow burn, and cool vocals of all your favorite power pop sensations—think: THE RECORDS, or the BUZZCOCKS with a rocketship energy I ain’t really heard from many bands since maybe, um, JET, or KAISER CHIEFS. “Church Of Mad Love” is a winning hit that any of you who still have money to burn on air conditioned road trip travel this summer are urged to add to your I-PODS, very effin’ cool, fabulous chorus, should come with a maraschino cherry and a little plastic sword over crushed ice, this is exactly the kind of upbeat and energizing rocknroll that the controlled media never lets us hear anymore except in advertisements for Target, or cheesy super hero movies that glamorize the C.I.A. and military.
Tony Snow is the lead voice here, and “Suicide Weather” is just plain cool as fook, scuzzy new wave, ala vintage LOVE & ROCKETS. Also excellent! If I had a radio show, this would be on full blast, happy hour, ultra mondo super frequent rotation. G. Alan Santalesa and Dat T. Ngo are the other vocalists and guitarslingers, Mark Benquenchea on drums. Matt Olivo, Bam, and Olen Budke also lend support. Flash packaging design by your man, BAMTASTIC. You’ve been waiting for a band to come along for quite some time now, with the vibrant pop smarts and all around rocknroll coolness of SHITELAND PONIES. “Horror Movie Star” is a scream, particularly if you do have an actual attachment to a shower scene vixen, of your own. If you liked eighties new wave that they used to play on 120 Minutes, post punk, paisley revival, glam, T. Rex, Dandy Warhols, La’s, Oasis, shoegaze, barroom drink rock with velvet threads and heart-throb scarves, and WHO DOESN’T?—SHITELAND PONIES got the sizzling songs and sequined starpower to ideally soundtrack your summer fun. The last time I can remember discovering a band with so much effortless promise was all the way bank in the dreaded 90′s, when URGE OVERKILL released that outstanding KISS meets CHEAP TRICK album that was such a shimmering revelation while the palm trees and bad food blurred by us, as we guzzled champagne from the bottle with our feet out the window, descending into filthy Old Hollywood, somewhat overconfident that we’d permanently escaped from the dreary 9-5 boxes, mop buckets, piss-tests, malls, shit and lies that corporate slave owners and shareholders had brainwashed us with, at those unforgivable schools.
Last night, I saw a documentary called “TIBET IN SONG”, about how the venal Chinese government banned Tibetan folksongs and beat and killed the people of Tibet for refusing to sing and dance to their own authoritarian anthems, reminding me of when FEAR CHANNEL banned all the anti-war music post 9/11 and MSNBC purged Donahue…because governments and corporations are well aware of the power of music. Why do you think they took such pains to buy off Bono from U2, and took real music off the airwaves immediately following the false flag fascism of the post-Constitutional Divided States Of Battlefield Ex America?
Now I don’t know if SHITELAND PONIES have come to fight the power, or change the world, but when you make great music with this much heart that sounds so fresh and vivid, so colorful and REAL, dynamic, and vital, and alive, it’s bound to have some impact, and make a splash. A visit to their band profile on Reverb Nation confirms that these guys have range, too, other songs reminded me of the VERVE, of 60 FT DOLLS, of LOVE & ROCKETS and MAGNETIC FIELDS! If you love feelgood rocknroll that’s cool, but also has some droll brains and style, and I know that some of you still do, SHITELAND PONIES, is a real good group. Your girlfriend’s friends in the false eyelashes and too small Brian Jonestown Massacre t shirts, will dance for you, like genies, by the swimming pool, if you turn this up.
I shite you not! Go see SHITELAND PONIES and tell ‘em I send love.
Thanks to Callie Biggerstaff for her exceptional photography!
Callie Biggerstaff Photography
WHY WE CAN’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE, ANYMORE: