andy - The I-94 Bar

D.F.F.D. - The Dictators (Dictators Multimedia)

DFFD cvrFor those of you with attention span issues here's the short version: All killer and no filler. While "D.F.F.D." (Dictators Forever Forever Dictators) is a perfect album title, they could just as easily called the record "You’re Lucky". The new Dictators album is a phenomenal combination of craft, power, and presentation. It puts together everything that’s great about the first three Dictators albums and the Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom CD, which are all really different as far as I'm concerned.

Decline's demise gives rise to Joeys Coop

All eyes turn to Marrickville in Sydney’s inner-west on April 11 for the debut of Joeys Coop, a band whose ranks read like a who’s who of inner-Sydney underground (and overground) rock.

Don’t Fade Away - Andy Shernoff (self released)

dont-fade-awayWhatever happened to Andy Shernoff? He might have turned his back on his old band but the Dictators’ main songwriter is alive and well enough to be charting his own solo musical course these days. This is his debut solo EP from 2012 and there’s a lot to like about it.

Ex-Dictator Andy Shernoff streams...and he wants you to think about that

His old band-mates might be attracting attention on tour as Dictators NYC but ex-Dictator Andy Shernoff isn’t letting the grass grow under his feet.  He’s been recording, producing and playing solo with a couple of formidable EPs under his belt recently, which you can buy here. This week bought into the streaming debate with a lengthy online rant – plus a new song.

Says Shernoff: “I’ve been a professional musician and songwriter for over 40 years. I live and breathe music. I also own thousands of albums and CD’s … but they sit in my closet because…I prefer to STREAM MUSIC!!!!

Faster and Louder with Andy Shernoff of The Dictators

andy-soloProto-punk legends The Dictators have a Best Of compilation "Faster...Louder: The Dictators Best 1975-2001" out on Australian label Raven. Compiler Ian McFarlane spoke to Andy Shernoff, bass-player/keyboardist for The Dictators, in January 2014. Here's the full interview. 

Faster…Louder. The Dictators’ Best 1975-2001 - The Dictators (Raven)

faster-louderIt’s such an obvious idea it’s a wonder somebody didn’t do it years ago. In the ranks of proto-punk/high-energy rock and roll, New York City’s Dictators stand tall (pun intended) so why wouldn’t you compile 20 of their most lethal weapons on one convenient (Australia only) disc?

Four shows celebrate legendary Max's Kansas City

maxsMax’s Kansas City was one of the legendary New York City scenes of the 1970s, home to Andy Warhol’s crew and a musical stamping ground for the Velvet Underground, Heartbreakers, Iggy & the Stooges and countless others.

It’s the club where Iggy met David Bowie and had his career fortunes revived, Debbie Harry waited on tables, Patti Smith went star-spotting and the Lou Reed era Velvets played their final shows.   

Former Max’s promoter Peter Crowley is hosting a 50th anniversary round of shows from June 4-8 and the line-ups feature some of the best that what’s left of the old-school NYC underground scene.

The Dictators: Go Girl Crazy! 40th Anniversary Reissue - The Dictators (Sony)

go girl crazyThis album did not change my life. It affirmed it. When I was a pre-teen I was way into Pro Wrestling. That translated to automatic retard status among peers and adults. After all, it was fake, only an idiot would be so into it. And having Slade as my favorite band was not earning me any coolness points at school either.

And then, first darned rock mag I ever bought - either Circus or Circus Raves - there was a review by one Gordon Fletcher of this now-classic. Man, it sounded like everything I was looking for. I got the LP right away and was blown away by everything about it.

Most especially the songs of course, but also the graphics - just like my wrestling mags - and the fact that not only did they have wrestling promos on the record, they knew who Verne Gagne and Dick The Bruiser were. They really knew their stuff! Plus, like me, they were Jews from NYC.

Viva Dictators! - The Dictators (Dictators Multimedia)

viva It's rare that you find a disc with which you can't find even insubstantial fault. The Dictators, live and amped-up, are simply one of the best things on this musical planet. If you had to come up with something to balance the lavish praise we and fellow Tators fan-atics are spouting about this, it might be that the contemporary tunes on "Viva" manage to sound exactly like their studio cousins. And that's supposed to be a bad thing?

What Happens Next - Gang of Four (Metropolis/ Membran)

whathappensnextYou may have heard of Gang of Four, maybe even, if you’re very lucky, have seen them.

In 1979, the Gang of Four’s first 7”s had a huge impact on me, particularly their first, "Love Like Anthrax", using feedback as an integral part of the song, drowning us as we heard Jon King’s vocals speaking simply - a little like The Velvet Underground’s "The Gift", but so different that the comparison didn’t occur to me until years later.

Their first LP, "Entertainment!", bristling with slappin bass lines, brittle, spiky guitar runs had me dancing like a demon, and …