Blag Dahlia

The Sinful Dwarf
*special introductory paragraph!
*Venus With Arms EP
*Nina ...And Other Delights

Blag Dahlia is the leader, singer and main songwriter for classic hardcore punk rock band The Dwarves. But he's into other things too! You should read about them, below.

He also did an album under the name "Earl Lee Grace" (also reviewed on this site) so check that out as well!

Venus With Arms EP - Atavistic 1995
Rating = 7

My tum-tum feels like shib.

And I don't like it one bib!

This is all vodka-related, I'd assume. Could be the fish I ate too. Regardless, here's a silly little story of last night's shenanigans. At some point during my meal at Ariba Ariba Mexican Restaurant (or SEXican Restaurant, as you'll soon feel or believe!), I got up to use the tolet. Once I was in there and it was a "toIlet," Mark Prindle decided he'd go too. HA HA ! HA HA ! WORD HUMOR! No, but seriously, I (Mark Prindle) got up to use the men's room. However, I was pissy chagrined to see a young curly-haired boy of 19 walking around the corner towards the restrooms at the same time as myself (me). Thinking I'd have to wait, I suddenly saw the young man walking into the women's restroom. My immediate thought was, "Must be someone in the men's." But then I noticed he was actually being PULLED into the women's restroom -- by none other than a WOMAN! So I went into the bare naked men's room, did my due diligence and returned to the table, where I reported to my wife, "There's a young couple in the women's room - GETTIN' IT ON!" My wife replied, "Really!?" And I said, "Yeah! You should go in and see what they're doing!," not actually thinking that she would go in and see what they were doing. But I don't know my wife like I do! Of course she went in. So I was at the table drinking water after water when suddenly I realized it had been a while since I'd seen my wife. So I wandered over to the restrooms, saw the vacant men's room and heard three voices coming from the women's room. I tried to push my way in but somebody was holding the door closed. Finally my wife came out, I saw that the light was off, and she told me that the guy was afraid I was going to kick his ass. (HA!) Apparently she'd pushed her way in (the door lock doesn't really work), and told them her name was "Samantha." Then she chit-chatted with them for 10 minutes, at some point noticing that the guy had the girl's top off and her breasts were real. Presumably after I got the old nuisance out of there, the young couple 'did it,' but I don't have any solid proof of that. So then we ordered and ate dessert, and 20 minutes later we saw the couple go to the bathroom together AGAIN! So of course my wife followed them in again just to annoy them some more, and then their friend, some fat girl, came over and started yelling for them to come out of the bathroom, and the waiter was telling the manager that people were making out in the bathroom and oh the whole thing was just a rigmarole! The kid was looking at me all scared, going "Sir, I didn't... Sir...." and I'm like, "I know! Don't worry about it." Worst of all, I didn't even get to see the girl with her top off! So now my tum-tum feels like shib.

After Sub Pop unleashed the Dwarves from their hindering contract, Blag gathered up past and future Dwarves members Vadge Moore, Mr. Everything and Wholley Smokkes, and released an EP under his own name. Five songs and 9 1/2 minutes long, Venus With Arms sounds (this will shock you) kinda like the Dwarves! Good raw guitar and drum sounds, excellent sneering vocals as always, and a nice set of diverse little songs. Angry tough punk rocker "Let's Take A Ride," melodic vocal/bass showcase "The Wicked," and slinky dark Sugarfixy rocker "Haunt Me" are the highlights, up there with any of Blag's finest compositions. However, the last two tracks are overly Ramonesy to the point of being complete rip-offs, with "Theme From The Vicelords" mining the generic happy "Rock And Roll High School" la-de-da pop-beach-punk ore, and "The Crucifixion Is Now" revisiting the "I Don't Care"/"I Just Wanna Have Something To Do"/"I'm Affected"/"We Want The Airwaves" chord sequence for the 60 bazillionth time.

But this was all interim stuff anyway; the Dwarves were back in name just two years later (just in time to re-record "The Crucifixion Is Now"!). For a stopgap it did the trick though. Three great songs? Sure! Look for it in your local cheapy bin. I got my copy for 2 dillars.

I was out of dollars.

And I keep my 10 o'clock scholars in a Swiss bank account. Locked up in a safe deposit box. Screaming for air.

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Nina ...And Other Delights - MVDAudio 2006
Rating = 4

This is Blag Dahlia, for the very first time in his entire lengthy career, not putting forth any effort at all. He reads two chapters from his sleazy new sexploitation book Nina, two of his "How To Write Good" columns, and one funny letter he sent to a skateboard company, and the rest of the disc is (a) boring hullaballoo he made up after pressing 'record,' and (b) his answers to a bunch of softball questions lobbed at him by a radio interviewer. What is the point of this? With Jello Biafra, you know you're getting information from a bunch of articles Jello read in the paper. With Henry Rollins, you know you're getting funny stories from his real life. But this is neither. This is Blag Dahlia trying to make up one-man comedy skits off the top of his head and SUCKING COMPLETE DICK at it. I mean, he's always been nice to me so I'm not putting him down, but you have to put effort into things if you expect other people to enjoy them. Nobody is clever enough to just start talking into a microphone (especially while high on cocaine, as the track "How To Write Good: Cocaine" suggests Blag was when recording nonsense like "Christ Comes Back" and "This Old Whore") and have it be worth hearing. This is unclever, unfunny, unpointful balderdash backed with dopey rap beats and simplistic synth riffs. Let's say this to be fair: The Dwarves are one of the greatest hardcore punk bands of all time. But we must add: Blag Dahlia apparently does not understand where his strongest talents lie, and seems to think he can do anything he wants and it will be hilarious and brilliant. Unfortunately, this is not the case -- not only for him, but for anybody. For example, this is a terrible, boring review.

A few funny gags from this disc: "Sigmund Freud, inventor of the penis...", "People who ride skateboards are just jocks with wheels," that's all I wrote donw. Look, Nina is a fun, cute, cheap, short little book that will give you a boner because Blag's entire point in writing it was to give himself a boner (it's about a blossoming young woman with braces who fucks everybody -- before fucking them over), but most of this CD is just nonsense he threw together in ten minutes for shits and pisses. For example, it begins with a couple of minutes of Blag talking about how he wants whatever he wants when he wants it. In what way is this intended to be thought-provoking or entertaining? There was a time when I assumed that Blag's overblown arrogance was a joke. But now I'm not so sure. Who else, aside from Chevy Chase, would release a CD full of so much self-obsessed, pointless garbage? "Christ Comes Back"? Not funny at all, even though he cracks himself up while reciting it. "The Legend Of L-Mo"? Makes no sense. Even one of his columns stinks, and he wrote it BEFOREHAND!

WHAT THE SAM HILL, BLAG? Why did you release this? You should have just recorded an audiobook of the perfectly entertaining Nina! Or better yet, a softcore pornography video of it starring Misty Mundae! (before she retired from good movies and started trying to get actual acting jobs as "Erin Brown")! Instead, we get this grab bag of occasionally witty writing ("Extreme Skate Abuse" honestly is funny) and just.... NOTHING AT ALL!

The reason people know the name "Blag Dahlia" is because he's proven his excellent songwriting talent over and over again. But nobody wants to spend their hard-stolen money just to wallow in his 'me me me' bullhockey. (*flips a bird; feels guilty, turns it upright again*)

Arrogance isn't cute or entertaining. It's irritating. And if you choose to make your persona an 'arrogant' one, you must be able to back it up with creative and/or entertaining material. THIS CD DOESN'T COME CLOSE TO QUALIFYING. I know goddamned well that Mr. Dahlia would never release a Dwarves CD this half-assed, so what the hell IS THIS!? Is it just intended to be an advertisement for his book?

Having said that, The Fall is like my second or third favorite band of all time yet Mark E. Smith's spoken word CDs are absolutely unlistenable. And I think we all know how excruciating (and DUMB) GG Allin's spoken word works were/was/is. So it's not just Blag.

I'm exhausted. If Snow White had Seven Dwarves, I'd be Exhausted Dwarf.

Wait! DID YOU SEE THAT??? I told you! It always comes back to The Dwarves!!!

Reader Comments
Well, as Blag once said (to you, of all people), "If I took a shit, I'd like it."

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Uhhh... But don't mind ME! Buy your Blag Dahlia CDs here! Because they're GREAT!

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