Grateful Dead's Bob Joins Jam Session with Mike Watt and Kira. Band Calls Itself:
*special introductory paragraph!
*Weird World: 1977-1981 Time Capsule Volume One
*We Got The Neutron Bomb: Weird World Volume Two

Imagine you're me at age 16 and you're going to see a Circle Jerks reunion concert. First of all, you have a mullet, because you didn't understand the implications of your mother saying, "Sure you can grow your hair long - but only if you let me cut the front so it doesn't get in your eyes!" Secondly, you're wondering why a band of old men in hilarious furry outfits are opening the show - until they tear it up and start rockin'! And then you're pushed into an exciting whirlwind of three-chord catchy surf-spy-rock-punk activation - including some hella great song that seems to only have one different chord and one different line! This is what youth is all about! Watching old men parade around trying to be young again! That was the Condor tour - a watershed moment in the Weirdos' career comparable to the time I saw Yes on the Big Generator tour.

Buttunlime: The Weirdos were a late-70s/early-80s Los Angeles punk rock band who somehow managed to miss out on the historical renown so enjoyed by the bands lucky enough to be filmed for The Decline of Western Civilization (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, X, Alice Bag and the legendary Catholic Discipline band that everybody's always talking about all the time in a special world where people talk about shitty bands all the time). Helmed by brothers Dix and John Denney, the Weirdos played a wonderfully simple mixture of midtempo (occasionally fast, but mostly midtempo) sci-fi-tinged surf-spy minor key chord sequences and happier-sounding melodic chord explosions of beauty and bliss. Though lumped in the "punk" category, they weren't troublemakers or headbangers for the most part. The singer sang (not yelled), the band fooled around with guitar phasers and other such sound-altering production devices, and the melodicism, as rudimentary as it was (I'm not joking - "Helium Bar" really does basically revolve around one different chord for most of the song), was straight out of the early `60s, updated for a late-70's distortion-loving crowd of Ramones fans. And their reunion was quite enjoyable too! I was there for it! Just as I was there for Flipper's record-breaking American Grafishy tour!

No no, I mean the CROWD was breaking records. American Grafishy, to be exact.

Weird World: 1977-1981 Time Capsule Volume One - Frontier 1991.
Rating = 8

This is not the kind of punk rock compilation that screams at you about how much ass it kicks and how good an idea anarchy is (if you're a moron). Instead the Weirdos lure you into an immediate state of on-the-edge-iness with a blast of spacegun noise, vacuum-powered guitar fuzz and all-American vocal accent begging the question, "What's that outside? It looks like a dog!" From there, it's a hook- filled Journey (Don't stop believin'! If you don't own this CD, who's cryin' now?) into a weird underworld of guns, aliens, warfare, futurism, crime and dumb-as-shit young person exclamations ("I'm teenage! And I'm young! Yeah yeah! And I'm STRONG! And I'm WILD! And I'm. TEENAGE!!!!!"). The guitars are overly trebly and high- pitched, the drums are nearly always mixed to sound like the kit is lodged inside a man- sized thimble with towels padding the walls and the singer looks and sounds like somebody you would have just LOATHED in elementary school. Or perhaps I'm projecting. One thing's for sure this album is as good as the fact that you have a dog named Henry! Fourteen songs plucked and sucked from the 1979/80 Action Design and Who What When Where Why? EPs (as close as the Weirdos ever got to an album the first time around), as well as singles and rare demos. And in case you were wondering if Dix and John were good at keeping friends around, this five- year compilation features the work of FOUR different drummers and FIVE different bassists. Which could only mean one thing - Dix and John were so cool, everybody who worked with them died because of such close proximity to their red-hot cancer-ridden coolness.

Speaking of death, I saw a squirrel on its way to God's Final Solution this morning. It kept trying to climb up to a limb to escape all the curious dogs, but it couldn't hold on. Just gasped for breath with its cute little body heaving in and out until it fell, then tried again and again. None of us wanted to put it out of its misery because you never know when a Second Wind will rear its welcome head. But boy was it depressing. I should have given him a little kiss so he could pass away in an atmosphere of love, but he was afraid he'd bite me lip. Poor little cute guy who probably had rabies.

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Condor - Frontier 1990.
Rating =  8

Their first full-length studio album! And only seventy- lillion years too late! Strangely, this turns out not to be an issue. This stuff picks up EXACTLY where the old stuff left off (quite literally - according to the liner notes, these 10 songs were written in 1982, 88, 88, 80, 88, 89, 84, 87, 84 and 84. Wh' Hoppened? I can't do my work! I don't TINK so!). The same spy intrigue chords are all over creation, with Mr. Fleas from the Red Hot Anus Poppers contributing some awfully skillful bass to 60% of the recorded output. As much as I hate to give any member of that horrendous shitband any credit for anything at all ever (aside from the global spread of AIDS), how can I deny that Mr. Fleas increases the musicianship of this record by an exact figure of A LOT%?

So takin' a gander at the song list, I see we have ourselves some neat spy lines, three awesome punk songs (all in a row! Gallopy Fast! Like John Wayne on a horse, but without the big cancer hole in its lung. Then there's a Devoey synth stiff dance number, a tough dark metal lica (the singular of "lice" according to Webster's Unabridged, Incorrect Dictionary), a lousy funk song and a lousier John Mellencamp American Rokk song. And another song that I'm sure is fine. And some pictures of Dix and John Denney dressed like Napoleon. John Denney has a big huge nose that makes him look like he'd be an asshole in person. I hope such is not the case - his songs are good! Rreally really reallyrea llyrea good! As long as you're not expecting bitter social commentary from something called "Cyclops Helicopter," you should hopefully be able to get into the happy diversical Weirdos strain of living, loving and not managing to keep a band together for more than 4 or 5 months at a time.

To wit, natch, The Weirdos music is decidedly fun, colorful, unconcerned with most political issues and to wit slickly produced in sheen and sheer (natch), and decidedly melodic, and to wit, natch, they have a singer that is decidedly SINGING and to wit not just yelling, natch, but not singing all decidedly prissy like Green Day. To wit, that's my first impression, third movement, natch decidedly.

Here's a little knock knock joke I made up today when we lost a $25,000 a month account because the company's a bunch of assholes:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
A guy who's about to get laid!
A guy who's about to get laid who?
A guy who's about to get laid OFF!!!!

Reader Comments
Not much to say here (for once)... I've heard one song by these dudes. My pal lent me the soundtrack to the old Santa Cruz skate video "A Reason For Living" yesterday and it features "Solitary Confinement", apparently from 1977. And it's bloody superb! Oh gosh! Catchy, bit Stooges-y, nice mushy vocals. I was thrilled to bits. One of those songs like "Nervous Breakdown" by Black Flag, or "I Wanna Be Your Dog", first hearing produces an energy rush and big grin like naughty-ass drugs. I will be getting more stuff by these LA mofos, sho 'nuff!
What do you have against the appearance of John Denney? He looks cool and I think his mom is Mike Teevee's mom from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!

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We Got The Neutron Bomb: Weird World Volume Two - Frontier 2003
Rating = 8

It may have taken them twelve years to pull it together, but FINALLY we get volume two of the prolific Weird World series! This is less a coherent collection of tunes or singles though, than it is a sort of "odds and bouncy" collection of leftover diamonds and wafers. Specifically, it includes remixes of two Condor tracks (WHY!?! Even if that album is out of print, it's pretty darned easy to find!), early versions (NINE YEARS early!) of two other Condorsongs, two warped industrial instrumentals from Denney Brothers solo projects (which I never even knew existed! Does anyone out there have them?), two alternate recordings of songs that appeared on the first Weird World, three cover tunes (Love, Link Wray and rockabillyer Hank Mizell) and five original Weirdos compilations previously unavailable on either of the two other albums I've reviewed on this page. Also, a few of them were recorded live and/or in demo stages, so sound quality varies drastically from song to song.

Although, as I said, this album isn't a terribly coherent introduction to the Weirdos, it is by far their most diverse release, whipping back and forth between sparklingly kickass modern-production hard rock, bare-bones Cramps-style scumbilly, rambling crankly punk rock from the earliest days of the genre, out-of-tune bass oddness with synth fuzz, pop-punk from Heaven and surf-spy from Los Angeles - and MORE!

There's not really more.

Though I love nearly every track on here, I'm a bit disappointed by the track listing. There are still several Weirdos songs that are not available on any Frontier release. I imagine this must be due to problems getting permission from former record labels, but if you're a fan, surely you feel the same frustration I do sitting here listening to barely-remixed versions of Condor tracks and a garage quality run-through of "I'm Not Like You" when I still have no clue how "Big Shot (In The Head)," "Hit Man," "Idle Life," "Why Do You Exist?" and "I Feel" might go. :7( Or are they saving them for Weird World III, presumably hitting stores around Fall 2015, when every member of the band is so old, they've already died and been reincarnated as flowers? Do you realize how difficult it is to work the remastering knobs with your petals? Well I do and believe you me, it ain't no walk in the picnic!

I should also note that this here earlier version of "Shining Silver Light" is a 5000% improvement on the already-great Condor version. Unlike the distorted guitar punk-metal action/reaction of the newer version, this 1981 rendition bops along lopily on bass and synths, a wonderful new wave merging of sci-fi and surf-spy.

And by "new wave," I of course mean "the new wave of French cinema." Francois Truffaut fuckin KILLS on that bouncy keyboard! Without him, the song wouldn't just be a blow - it'd be 400 BLOWS!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!HHAHAAAHHAH!H!H!!!HAHH!! Ahhh okay I looked him up on Google.

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