Smokin’ Sam Babin is back once again in CPRA newsroom with a new video for “The Return Of Karl Marx”. If you recall Sam is a one man punk rock band and performs all aspects of his tracks. If you look close at the 56 second mark. You can see Sam wearing a CPRA shirt! You can read more up on Sam here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/tag/smokin-sam-babin/.
Favorite Tracks: Blow Smoke Up Your Ass, The Return Of Karl Marx and many more!
Sounds Like: Buzzcocks, The Damned, Zipperz and Subhumans
The One Man Punk Rock band has retuned with a new Greatest Hits collection out 4/20/2021! Our last review “Volume 5: The Return of Karl Marx” back in August 2020 hit almost 500 views alone. Sam has also announced he has joined a (a new solo project) led by Naked Raygun/Big Black, Jeff Pezzati! You check out Sam’s music here, https://smokinsambabin.bandcamp.com/
Sam’s DIY approach is a welcome return to punk rock’s roots. Be sure to support Sam below!
We are stealing cool stories and posting them. Deal with it.
Edward Pittman: A lot of how Toxic Reasons came together is owed to Battlestar Galatica sucking balls one particular Sunday evening during its debut season in ’78/79. A bunch of us who had worked at Dayton’s TGI Fridays would get together and get high. Some were into the sci-fi thing of Battlestar… So, this particular Sunday I’d eaten some blotter acid, and the Cyborgs or some shit were freaking me out so I decided to walk down the apartment complex, (and) walk into the Office to get a pop. I get five floors down and I’m hearing the Sex Pistols being played on an electric guitar. I listen for a minute and it sounds ok. I go up to the door and knock, back then to find anyone who was into Punk was like finding a new best friend.
Bruce Stuckey answers the door and I ask him: “are you guys playing the Pistols?” He says: “yeah”. I ask: “mind if I come in?” Bruce says: “sure, but we are tripping”. I responded: “so am I!”
Inside I met Joel Agne, the other guitarist. He plays on the Warhero single, was on bass to begin with. I go back out to my car and grab some cassettes of the Dead Boys and Shan 69, Gen X. They didn’t know there were more bands. They had been playing in cover band called Exodus, doing parties and stuff- Eagles, Zepplin, Cheap Trick. I was able to steer them away from that with the help of a well-timed visit to Dayton by DOA. Spent the night drinking with Joe and Randy, after that Bruce and Joel were all in.
We got in touch with Jim Carter who was beginning to book bands. He did a small fanzine called ‘I Wanna’, he was managing a New Wave group called The Dates. He introduced us to our first drummer Mark Patterson at a Destroy All Monsters show in Dayton. Mark agreed to come over to Bruce’s place, (where the apartment complex allows for rehearsals). Mark shows up and he is fresh out of high school, 17/18. I’m only 23. Bruce and Joel, 21/22.
But Mark (was) unable to hear real well when we met and thought the name of the band was ‘The Toxic Raisins’, and thought it sounded too ‘new wavey’. He was OK when we straightened him out.
The name ‘Toxic Reasons’ came about from Bruce and I sitting around his dining room table trying to come up with a name cos Jim Carter wanted to put us on a bill at a local club with The Dates and another band, The Rulers. We were writing down stuff, ‘The Torsos’… ‘The Boners’… Bruce blurts out: ‘how about The Toxics? At that moment we were listening to “Never Mind the Bollocks” and John Lydon is screaming “Now I got a reason, it’s no real reason to go under… the Berlin wall” from ‘Holidays in the Sun’, so I says:
‘How about ‘Toxic Reasons’?
Stay tuned for Issue 2 of this story arc….
Courtesy: Edward Pittman and Jared Distortion, thank you
She’s whirling up the criss-cross stairs of a New York staircase when we connect. She tells me she has just woken up. It’s 10:30pm in New York. I take another sip of my cab sav and buckle up. It’s gonna be a ride. We talk about everything aside from the questions I have so diligently prepared. Those are no longer needed, nor wanted. She opens the door to the apartment she shares with her partner. They are sectioning out a loft space utilizing link chain and what appears to be cast-off wooden front doors. Guitars adorn the walls punctuated by scraps of papered art and the authentic weathered brick that every eatery in Denver aspires to emulate.
CPRA: Hey tell me about your cat?
Whitney Flynn: Ya this rescue cat is 4 and has barely any teeth, name’s Kiko.
CPRA: Did Kiko inspire the video for Addvice? (My notes: flying cat loses his shit)
CPRA: Do you have a favorite joke?
WF: Oh my fucking god, yes. This is a horrible fucking joke- the first time I heard it I laughed for an uncomfortable amount of time.
What did Cinderella say when she got to the ball?
<insert gagging sounds here>
CPRA: <laughing hysterically> First time?
CPRA: Tell us about your most recent Days N Daze release, “Show me the Blueprints”.
WF: I feel like this is the first album that people actually took us seriously. We are our songs, we are writing our life story. I was just like, let’s believe in the process to get there. Everybody is fucking broken, but you don’t have to be that bad person. I found an appreciation for my hurt. After I listened to the master for the first time I was like “What the fuck did you just create?” My voice is louder than my own narrative.
CPRA: It seems there is a difference in the harmonies on “Show me the Blueprints” and your earlier work- is there something new going on?
WH: (Marked excitement, nodding in agreement) It was all Johnny (John Carey of Old Man Markley). Johnny is the King of Harmonies. With him, you’re allowed to grow and still be yourself.
CPRA: Do you have a favored track from “Show Me the Blueprints”?
WF: Rewind! I fucking love that song! I wrote it in an hour. I was going through withdrawals. It wasn’t like I wanted a high. I needed something more. I suppose that’s what addicts say, what we all say. I didn’t want the high. I just wanted to be in control of my brain. I wrote this manic love letter to myself- where did your dreams go? Where did everything you aspire to, go?
CPRA: You have a new split with Andrew Paley from The Static Age; “Caroline”. Can you expand on this song and how it came into existence?
WF: They (Management? Aliens? Never did clear that up…) picked this song out for us and I listened to it like 50 times. And cried like 5 times. It was serendipitous. I love that song, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite songs. This was our (Jesse and Whitney) first time recording separate from each other, and my first time recording myself to send over. Such an incredibly rewarding experience. Everyone is trying to find their worth and sometimes the opportunity is just sprung on you. And I did it.
CPRA: So you recorded in New York?
WF: Yea, I recorded here, Jesse in Texas.
CPRA: And this was through FLIX AGENCY in Berlin?
WF: Yea, we didn’t know Andrew (Paley) until we covered his song.
(Caroline was mixed by Kay Petersen and mastered by Jurik Maretzki)
WF: This experience reminds me why we chose this label (Fat Wreck Chords). They’re friends- not pushing you into things. You forget that you are human sometimes. It’s not the feeling of “feed me bullshit and make me look pretty”.
CPRA: What are you listening to?
WF: Attaboy! Oh my gosh, so great! They messaged me back on Facebook! Mac Miller. Mall Rat. Amy O. Post Malone- his song “Circles”- I’m gonna be THAT BITCH who plays it on the ukulele! I get asked to listen to a lot of bands and even if I fucking hate it, there has to be someting that I love.
CPRA: So what have you been up to during the shitshow also known as 2020?
WH: My quarn is I’m just gonna shave my eyebrows forever. I couldn’t find a perfect planner, so I started prototyping my own. I love spreadsheets and post-it notes and highlighters. (She starts pulling reams of paper and packages of neon markers from a blue rolling cart and waving them around like a game show prize model.) There’s a crazy planner community- I found these perfect clips and was like “Yay! All the cool planner people have them!” As far as all of my addictions go, I’m not sure it’s the healthiest! I’ve got some 120# paper (waves that around) and some vellum. My partner Sturgeon (Scott Sturgeon/STZA) got me a craft cart for Christmas. It has three shelves and I’m happy. I should be sponsored by planners. (She busts out another brick of paper) See this- this is the good shit! Oh, and I have a printer now! Here’s my planner. Get your shit together- I’m a different person every day.
Sturgeon also got me this camera for me to play with. It’s a… uhhh Sony Ziess. I like messing around to see what does what instead of watching YouTube videos and saving time. It’s not a two dimensional relationship (with Sturgeon). I told him if I “had to spend the rest of my life with just one person, it would be you” and he’s like “we’re already doing that”. We are in a one bedroom apartment in New York.
(The atmosphere changes, she becomes quiet and solemn.)
It’s been a rough year. My partner lost his best friend recently.
CPRA: The entire community felt the loss of Alec (Baillie), we mourn beside you. He will be sorely missed.
WF: I lost 16 people this year, including my tattoo artist that did these tattoos (motions to her eyes; which are marked by tiny green lines, a sort of hybrid between kitten whiskers and eye crinkles). I got these tattoos because they are my smile lines. They aren’t ever going to go away.
CPRA: Fuck ya. Don’t ever give up. PMA is key.
WF: I talked with my therapist two days ago. I suppose I’m constantly running away from being jaded. I felt it creeping up on me, that harsh apathy, that disconnect. I felt myself looking at everything and just despising it. Trying to get over these hurdles, like I’ve been here before and I smiled again- that’s pretty much how I deal with my depression. I’m grateful for my band- finding the little joys; it fucking makes a difference. A distraction from the harsh reality. You never get to know what happens if you dip out. I think we need to give each other a little more of a fighting chance. You gotta fight for that shit. Or distract yourself. Go to Buzzfeed and take a quiz. Be like: who am I? You are a pancake with a smile on the side. You are lightly powdered.
(We go outside for a smoke and hear what sounds like music)
WF: Hey this is my favorite song! Is he (Sturgeon) working on something new?
CPRA: I don’t know but it sounds pretty cool.
(We realize at the same time we are listening to construction sounds and it bangs. This is how desperate the world is for shows- we both confused construction noise for music.)
WF: Hey check out this Gretsch I just bought for $250! Isn’t she pretty? (She brandishes a 5 string Hunter green Gretsch)
CPRA: (Nodding) Yeah those Gretsch are a piece of art.
WH: I had to leave all my guitars behind in Texas when I moved to New York. This is the first place I have ever lived for more than a few months. I remember back in Texas, when I first bought my trumpet it was between paying the electricity and paying for the trumpet, and as you do, I paid for the trumpet.
CPRA: Excellent choice.
CPRA: Are there any benefits to livestreaming as opposed to playing a stage?
WF: My anxiety (on stage) got really bad. It made me very cold and unresponsive. When I got on stage, I just choked. If you think too much about existing, it trips you up. My new reality was ‘I’m scared of performing, I’m afraid of playing’. I looked fly as fuck though! And then Covid happened.
CPRA: I read that Jesse loves playing 7th Circle, one of our prized spaces here in Denver.
WF: I know 7th Circle! I love 7th Circle!!! Aaron Saye & Crew were genuinely one of my earliest influences with booking shows in Houston. There’s this pic of my playing “Blue Jays” with the crowd in the background- I do believe that playing 7C was the first time we really felt like we “made it”.
(I looked everywhere for this photo. If you have this picture, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish it with photo credit.)
CPRA: How did “Go Fuck Yourself” land as a secret track on “Show Me the Blueprints”?
WF: (to Sturgeon) Hey, she’s asking about “Go Fuck Yourself”, do you want to answer this?
Sturgeon: Who are you?
CPRA: Colorado Punk Rock Army
Sturgeon: Haha! We had this Lyft lady who was completely naked drive us from Denver- Colorado Springs.
CPRA: Ya that sounds right.
Sturgeon: I always thought that DND should put a song at the end of their record that didn’t sound like them. They didn’t have one, so I offered one of mine. I like old anarcho punk records that have that one acoustic song that really connects. So this was like the reverse of that concept.
CPRA: Cool shit!
CPRA: What is a typical show like for you, Whitney?
WF: It’s like when you make friends for a night. Hi humans- I don’t know what’s happening anymore.
WF: Hey! Can I show you my tattoo?
WF: (pulls down pants and thrusts left hip) Check this out: it says LADY VODKA. They made me get a bandaid under it.
CPRA: Hey, is that a cheetah-print bodysuit?
WF: Haha, ya! I’m strapped in here!
CPRA: Last question: You are slated to appear on the European leg of the upcoming Punk in Drublic tour- what’s going on with that?
WF: Buy all of the tickets. It’s happening. Buy the tickets. The first step to adjusting is buy those tickets. Drink our beers. Buy our tickets. Listen while you sleep.
Sounds Like: Aimless Again,Dorkatron, The Livermores, Penske File, and the Mazlows
It appears Toronto Punks, Hangtime have dropped a new video for “When We Were Young” from their Fall 2020 EP release, ‘Destroy’. Ok so even though this whole quarantine pretty much sucks. It’s awesome bands are still putting so much out!
Favorite Tracks: A.F.D, I’ll Get More, P.M.A, F**ck Old People, Brain Dead, and Throwing Two’s
Proving that age has nothing to do with your punk “Status” are 2 local Denver bands Amazing Flying Dumbasses and Worthless Commodity. Both bands have enjoyed local success and are known as rising stars in the Denver punk rock scene. Amazing Flying Dumbasses have raked in over 7,000 streams on Spotify with “All Cops Are Bastards” being their most popular track. This split is Worthless Commodity’s first public release.
So let’s check out this EP split. The record begins with A.F.D. How many bands have an actual theme song? Well grab your shit and hang on cause we’re hitting the pit on this track! It clocks out at a whopping 53 seconds, I LOVE IT! The next song is “I’ll Get More”. Benny Vigil is straight up angry on this track. Mikey’s drums bring an unleashed energetic power as Connor and Noah join in on bass and guitar. Yet another track I adore!
The last Amazing Flying Dumbasses track on the split is “P.M.A. This is one of my favorite “AFD” tracks and only plays second to “Skate And Destroy” from their “Bruised” album. Worthless Commodity tracks are up next for the review. The first track, “F**K Old People”, comes in like a swift kick to the face. The guitar riff is addicting. The lead singer’s voice reminds me of the late Buzzcock’s singer, Pete Shelley which is incredible.
The next song is “Brain Dead” is what Skabones defines as “Pogo Worthy”! This track has a bit of more hardcore sound with a deep bass line. This is my personal favorite track from Worthless Commodity! The last and definitely not least track on the split is “Throwing Twos”. This anger driven track has kick-ass bass, drums and intense vocals. This track kicks serious ass! I cannot wait to hear more in the future from Worthless Commodity!
The coolest part of this split? The oldest senior band member is 18 years old. So when I said, “Punk’s not dead, it’s still a teen” it proves how amazing and badass our younger musicians can be. So your old “Dad punk” while it may be considered classic, bands like Amazing Flying Dumbasses and Worthless Commodity continue to keep the light burning bright. Be sure to check out the new split on any major music provider. This is a nominee for best local EP release!
Favorite Tracks: Shooting Silver Bullets, When She Bleeds (She Bleeds Bright Green), Copilot/April Fools!, and Bones
Sounds Like: Buzzcocks, Dirty Work, Zipperz and Subhumans
Good Morning Denver Colorado! (In my best Robin Williams impression)
We have been stuck in quarantine for a few weeks now. CPRA has always and will continue to be strong supporters of the DIY scene. We support the underdogs in the fight against the corporate music industry. You know that industry that continues to screw bands over? So today CPRA is proud to present a one man band “Smokin’ Sam Babin!
Originally born and raised in Chicago, IL. Sam has taken his music throughout the states. Let’s show Sam some DIY love and check out his tunes below!
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