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Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Cow Punk With Billy Disaster #1

Last night’s record was Meat Puppets’ II (1983)

When putting on my headphones to listen to this record, I accidentally played the 1st Meat Puppets record and was like “What in the fuck is this bullshit?!” Having never listened to this band yet knowing how revered they have been for decades, I was worried about writing about it thinking that I would get my ass handed to me. That 1st record is a mess. It’s the kind of music that people say is cool to look alternative, but they don’t really like it at all. wasn’t cow punk. I almost abandoned ship when I realized I had put on the wrong record.

Their 2nd record kicks the shit out of their 1st. What happened between their 1st and 2nd records? Their playing improved tenfold and they went from singing incoherently to writing genuinely good songs with thoughtful and poetic lyrics and introduced their county element. To me, this is the purest form of cow punk.

I’m sitting there listening to this record and really digging the 1st couple of songs, especially the instrumental picking and odd chord progressions of “Magic Toy Missing” when the song “Plateau” comes on. I was like “I love this Nirvana song” and then realized that this came out in ’83 and was their original. It’s such a genius song and I fully began to understand the importance of Meat Puppets. Same goes for the other song Nirvana covered from this record, “Lake of Fire”.

It seems to me that this band had a shitload of talent, an endless supply of weed etc. and said “fuck it if we can’t really sing”. I actually like hearing the imperfections in this album, the occasional out of tune guitar and small rhythm hiccups. The lyrics are cool. And the recording

itself is great. 4 Beers for Meat Puppets’ II 🍺🍺🍺🍺. Tonight’s record will be Country Bob

and the Bloodfarmers’ I Cut Her Heart Out. ♥️You

Cow Punk With Billy Disaster #2

Last night’s record was Country Bob and the Bloodfarmers’ I Cut Her Heart Out (2006)

Imagine if Dead Kennedys and ZZ Top got a case of 2 Buck Chuck and a bag of coke, booked a room at the Bates Motel, put a fistful of quarters in the “Magic Fingers” vibrating bed slot and got busy with nothing but their boots on...their offspring would be Country Bob and the Bloodfarmers.

This band would’ve made a great house band at La Tetilla del Diablo (also known as The Titty Twister) in From Dusk Till Dawn. They are roadhouse punk rock that sings about the devil, stragglers that you might meet at a lonely tavern, murder and cars.

This is one of those rare records where it stars out with a couple of their weaker tracks, then just gets better and better. My favorite song on here is “Murder City Hotrod” with a killer Henry Mancini level guitar riff and groove. Coming in at 2nd place is ‘Hog Wild Redux” with the records best lyrics. Another stand out is the beautiful a cappella “The New Country”. There’s also a great and heavy cover of “16 Tons”.

There isn’t a hell of a lot of materiel to read about this band and I assume they are pretty underground (if they still exist). This album was put out by a small German label called Impact Records. If they ever play Seattle, I’d jump to see them. 4 Beers for Country Bob and the

Bloodfarmers’ I Cut Her Heart Out 🍺🍺🍺🍺. Tonight’s record will be Tex & the Horseheads’

Life’s So Cool. ♥️ You

Cow Punk With Billy Disaster #3

Last night’s record was Tex and the Horseheads’ Life’s So Cool (1985)

The lead singer of this LA band, Texacala Jones (known as The Queen Of Cow punk), kind of reminds me of Sid Vicious, where Sid was probably allowed to be in the Sex Pistols not because he was a good bass player (he sucked), but because he was so cool looking and exuded the punk attitude.

She was a SMOKIN HOT punk rock goth chick that I would have had a poster of on my wall back in the 80’s. But could she sing?...Nope. Now, I get that she’s not trying to be Billie Holiday but her punk swagger just didn’t register with me.

It’s a shame because the The Horseheads are a solid band with some good guitar playing and a good rhythm section. The songwriting isn’t bad either, my favorite song being “I’ll Quit Tomorrow” which went perfectly with my “dry” January.

John Doe produced this record, as it seems they had a pretty good run in the 80’s playing with The Flaming Lips and Circle Jerks etc. I imagine that their shows were a sloppy good time back then. However, I wanted to pull an Irish goodbye when listening to this album. 2 Beers

for Tex and the Horseheads’ Life’s So Cool 🍺🍺 . Tonight’s record will be Hank III’s Straight

To Hell. ♥️You

Cow Punk With Billy Disaster #4

Last night’s record was Hank III’s Straight To Hell (2006)

I imagine that growing up as Hank Williams Jr.’s son, while having its perks, would have SUUUUCCCKKKED! I think Hank Williams Jr. is the worst country artist of his era. Now, do I sing “Family Tradition” along with everyone else in the bar?...Loudly. But honestly, his music doesn’t come close to his contemporaries and it ultimately sounds like KKK Trump supporter love songs like “If the South Woulda Won”, where he sings about how they would of had it made if the Confederate Army would have won the Cilvil War. Fuck Hank Williams Jr.

Hank III made the right choice by leaning more towards his grandpa’s artistic approach. While there are a few songs on this record that are somewhat pandering to his dickhead dad’s audience like “Country Heroes” and “Low Down”, where he suffers through some shoehorned lyrics, there are some truly amazing tracks on this.

The opening song, “Straight To Hell/Satan Is Real” is pure high speed honky tonk country with some KILLER musicianship and bitchin’ lyrics...

‘Well I’m bracin’ these backroads tryin’ to save my life cuz the Sheriff wants to kill me cuz I fucked his wife

I was on the run with a gun in my hand

cuz I like a good time and a one night stand”

Other standout songs are “Pills I Took” and the flame thrower “Smoke and Wine”. It’s awesome that Hank III sounds so much like Hank Sr. and he has what seems like some of the best country pickers in the game to back him up. I bet he puts on a great show. I’ll definitely

listen to more of his records. 4 Beers for Hank III’s Straight To Hell 🍺🍺🍺🍺. Tonight’s

record will be The Pleasure Barons’ Live In Las Vegas. ♥️You

Cow Punk With Billy Disaster #5

Last night’s record was The Pleasure Barons’ Live In Las Vegas (1993)

I am a freak for live albums. I much prefer live albums to studio recordings, my favorites being Pink Floyd’s “Delicate Sound of Thunder”, Cypress Hill’s “Live at the Fillmore”, A Perfect Circle’s “Live at Red Rocks”, Maceo Parker’s “Life on Planet Groove” and Pantera’s “100 Proof”...I could go on and on with live jazz albums and classic rock, but those are for a later review series.

This particular live album checks all of the boxes that I love about these kinds of records...It sounds great and as if you’re at the show (as opposed to straight up board recordings...I’m looking at you Nirvana’s From the Muddy Banks of The Wishkah). I love the live imperfections and the primal energy of live performance.

This band consists of cult veterans Mojo Nixon, Country Dick Montana of The Beat Farmers, and Dave Alvin of The Blasters. They all take turns in the spotlight and...well...Alvin’s guitar work wins the gold medal. By far. I’m just not that big of a fan of Mojo Nixon or The Beat Farmers. I don’t like parody music and comedy songs. I’ve played in bands like that and I guess it must’ve caused permanent damage.

That being said, I didn’t hate listening to this, it really does sound great and the band is super pro...almost too pro. They are so tight that it made me wonder if anyone got fined for flubbing anything. They’re like a pit band in a stage musical.

This also didn’t quite fit the Cow Punk genre in my estimation as it lacked any sort of punk elements. It does get an extra beer because of Dave Alvin’s playing. 2 Beers for The Pleasure

Barons’ Live In Las Vegas 🍺🍺. Tonight’s record will be The Blasters will be Live 1986.


Cow Punk With Billy Disaster #6

Last night’s record was The Blasters Live 1986 (1986)

I’ve never seen The Blasters but I did see David Alvin play in a band that opened up for Mudhoney a few years back. I don’t remember the name of the band but I do remember being blown away watching David Alvin fucking dominate the room with his guitar. I’ll never forget it.

I’ve found it interesting that while doing this Cow Punk series that almost every time I read up about the band I’m doing that day, John Doe’s name is almost always present. He wasn’t in The Blasters but David Alvin did play in X for a short time. I just found that interesting.

Anyhoo...This record is a high energy collection of live performances in ’86 (duh). The band smokes the entire album and I imagine the audiences were going wild, however it’s tough to tell because the recordings are shitty board recordings. I fucking hate that! And the main problem is that the vocals are way too upfront. That sucked for me because I really don’t like the vocal stylings of David’s brother Phil Alvin. It’s like a cringy cross between Elvis and Buddy Holly, like he’s doing a weird dual impersonation. Sorry, I just don’t like it.

Perhaps, I just wasn’t in the mood for this one. The guitar playing shredded throughout the album making it a decent listen, but I’m glad I’m done with it. 2 Beers for The Blasters Live

1986 🍺🍺. Tonight’s record will be X’s Under the Big Black Sun. ♥️You

Cow Punk With Billy Disaster #7 Last night’s record was X’s Under the Big Black Sun (1982)

I met John Doe in a super cool way…A few years ago, a local band I was playin in were the backing band for The Queen of Rock-a-Billy herself, Wanda Jackson. We were playing an afternoon show and John Doe’s band was the opener. The show ended so early that we ended up having an unannounced pop up show with the same lineup at a local roadhouse bar and had a bitchin time. I’m glad that I hadn’t heard of Under the Big Black Sun at that time cuz I might of fan boy’d over him too much.

This record is like a time machine glimpse into early 80’s punk rock LA. Poverty, dysfunctional relationships, drugs and dingy locations. The lyrics are anything but cliché. In fact they are downright poetic. The musical part of the songwriting is not only professional but inventive and the album sounds killer being produced by Ray Manzerick.

What interested me the most in this album was the subject matter coming from the perspective of young adults in such downtrodden circumstances. You can almost smell grime and despair. It’s like everyone in this is lonely together and the music fits perfect. It’s not sad’s purely punk aggression with a country/rock-a-billy base.

Highlights of this record full of highlights…The opening track, “The Hungry Wolf” is an instant classic (how has this record been hiding from me all this time?)…”Dancing with Tears in My Eyes” could have been hit the 50’s and “Blue Spark” that reminds me of Talking Heads.

Because I don’t want to embarrass myself in the future, I hope I never meet John Doe again. 5 Beers for X’s Under the Big Black Sun 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺.

So that’ll do it for this Cow Punk series. I hope you’ll join me for the next series, 90’s Hip Hop! ♥️You.


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