No Volcano’s second “Rubber Dagger” video is “Golden”

Not a band to rest on its laurels, No Volcano has unleashed a second music video from its fourth album “Rubber Dagger, ” well in advance of the November 30 CD release show.

Onus Records is proud to be the first to present this video for “Golden,” a standout track on the new album featuring a vocal guest spot by singer/songwriter and Giant Sand member Lonna Kelley.

“Golden” features a cameo appearance by Lonna Kelley.

The video was filmed and directed by Luke Malone of Alone Wolf Pictures and edited by Jason Willis who directed “Extrovert,” the first video from Rubber Dagger.

With Rubber Dagger, Jim Andreas, Chris Kennedy, James Karnes and William Goethe have carved out a fourth musical go-round that might be No Volcano’s most poppy, hurly-burly meisterwork yet!

Its none-too-subtle send-up of the Fab Four featuring our fab forefathers on a mind-bender may be a sly comment on our country’s current craven tumult. On closer examination, Rubber Dagger offers takes on every slice of life you can expect in  2020 America. Our divisive nation can be dissected along two dueling party lines, “Extrovert” and “Introvert,” both of which the group has conveniently provided vibrant theme songs for. “Extrovert”  previews the album with a new video by director Jason Willis, who crafted the band’s previous videos for “Blackout” and “Day in the Sun.” Our social media disconnection is also duly noted on “Logged In”  as is the end of civility in our national discourse in “Negative Attention.” Even the abandonment of space exploration, once a source of civic pride, is dashed in songs like  “Rocket” and “Lines in Space.”

No Volcano, The Dukes of New Windsor as photographed by Mike Dee.

But all that is bubbling below the surface. This is first and foremost a pop album, possibly the best No Volcano had produced yet. If this were a more enlightened time, No Volcano would be considered a singles band and wear it like a badge of honor. The Beatles allusion on the cover can be vaguely felt musically in the group’s sunshine harmonies and economical song lengths—only two songs crest over three minutes and No Volcano crams a lot of information in what the group likes to call “miniatures.”  You may decry the lack of a middle eight  in a favorite album track that ends too soon but Rubber Dagger is harmonically programmed so each song neatly dovetails into the next, even if  you scramble the album running order (and No Volcano is  fully aware that an album’s sequence is tampered with mightily once it is imported into iTunes, and for this reason they issued their second album in alphabetical order!).

In short, Rubber Dagger is the most flexible yet sharpest precision tool you’ll ever own! You can stream and download it today from Onus Records or if you are one of those holdouts of the whole tactile, hold-it-in-your-grimy-hands sort of person, please come and but physical copy of thealbum at No Volcano’s CD release party at Valley Bar on Saturday, November 30 with special guests SNAKE! SNAKE! SNAKES! + JJCNV

 

No Volcano’s CD release party will be at Valley Bar on Friday, November 30 with special guest w/ SNAKE! SNAKE! SNAKES! + JJCNV

To view the enthralling new No Volcano for “Extrovert,” click here.
To stream the brand new No Volcano album Rubber Dagger, click here.

No Volcano bounce back with “Rubber Dagger”

To paraphrase ol’ MacBeth, “Is this a rubber dagger I see before me?”

To quote Jim Andreas, Chris Kennedy, James Karnes and William Goethe who collectively make up No Volcano directly, “Uhmmm, yeah.”

No Volcano, wishing you and yours the rubbery-ist of daggers.
From left to right, Jim Andreas, William Goethe, Chris Kennedy and James Karnes.

In the back of old comic books, just below the X-ray specs and spiders on a string, a rubber dagger was merely a harmless novelty, something to amuse easily amused friends and neighbors.  In the hands of No Volcano, a Rubber Dagger an instrument of distraction that will most assuredly slay you in 13 swift and sharp cuts. This fourth musical go-round from Sunnyslope’s most progressive musical spawn might be No Volcano’s most poppy, hurly-burly meisterwork yet!

Its none-too-subtle send-up of the Fab Four subbed by our fab forefathers on a mind-bender may be a sly comment on our country’s current craven tumult. On closer examination, Rubber Dagger offers takes on every slice of life you can expect to endure in 2020 America. Our divisive nation can be dissected along two dueling party lines, “Extrovert” and “Introvert,” both of which the group has conveniently provided vibrant theme songs for. “Extrovert”  previews the album with a new video by director Jason Willis, who crafted the band’s previous videos for “Blackout” and “Day in the Sun.” Our social media disconnection is also duly noted on “Logged In”  as is the end of civility in our national discourse in “Negative Attention.” Even the abandonment of space exploration, once a source of civic pride, is dashed in songs like  “Rocket” and “Lines in Space.”

But all that is bubbling below the surface. This is first and foremost a pop album, possibly the best No Volcano had produced yet. If this were a more enlightened time, No Volcano would be considered a singles band and wear it like a badge of honor. The Beatles allusion on the cover can be vaguely felt musically in the group’s sunshine harmonies and economical song lengths—only two songs crest over three minutes and No Volcano crams a lot of information in what the group likes to call “miniatures.”  You may decry the lack of a middle eight  in a favorite album track that ends too soon but Rubber Dagger is harmonically programmed so that each song neatly dovetails into the next, even if  you randomly scramble the album’s running order (and No Volcano is  fully aware that an album’s sequence is fucked with mightily once it is imported into iTunes and for this reason No Volcano issued their second album in alphabetical order!).

Standouts on the album include “Golden,” favored to be the next single and featuring a vocal guest spot by Lonna Kelley and “Miracles,” which features the band rocking out  in waltz time, yet another thing the Liverpudlian sons also brought to the masses. In short, get your grimy hands around  Rubber Dagger, the most flexible yet sharpest precision tool you’ll ever own!

No Volcano’s CD release party will be at Valley Bar on Friday, November 30 with special guest w/ SNAKE! SNAKE! SNAKES! + JJCNV

To view the enthralling new No Volcano for “Extrovert,” click here.
To stream the brand new No Volcano album Rubber Dagger, click here.

Scripts for Dark Lullaby

Thank you for auditioning for this original musical. We’ve enclosed pdfs with brief passages by three of the main characters. We ask that you practice this scene or scenes and work out a song which you think captures the mood of the scene and your singing ability at its best.

If you wish to fill a minor role as either an extra or a member of the chorus, please prepare a brief spoken or sung piece.

Spring releases from San Jacinto Prison Band, World Class Thugs

“Spring” and “release” are two words that make San Jacinto Prison Band’s lawyers take notice but in this case it means Onus Records is readying two new CDs for April, San Jacinto Prison Band’s sophomore effort Unfreedom Rock and World Class Thugs long-awaited (8 years in the making) third album Southwestern Dirt Circuit. With overlap of personnel in both bands it made sense to combine forces for a CD double CD release show at Chopper John’s April 26 with special guest Fatigo.

San Jacinto Prison Band
Unfreedom Rock
Fear of Suge Knight retribution led them to drop “Death Row” from their name but these melodious felons still perform each song as if their life sentence hangs in the balance. Last year, bandleader Serene Dominic assembled the sextet to be the pit band for his musical Dark Lullaby. The band adopted nine of the show’s songs as their live set which made the balance of their first CD, Sing Dark Lullaby.

“We learned the Act One songs from Dark Lullaby first and later learned and recorded the balance of the show for the cast album, ” Dominic says. “A lot of those Act Two songs turned out to be some of the best things we’ve ever done, so we decided to make them part of a new album instead of a standalone EP. Filling out Unfreedom Rock are new versions of four older Serene Dominic songs and two brand new ones written specifically for this band — “Conjugal Visit,” which demonstrates the band’s flexibility to stray into rock-jazz territory, and “Testosterone,” an odd tribute the disco-era Bee Gees which contains falsetto and false bravado in equal measure.

“Sonically, it’s all over the place, which made me think of old Stones’ US albums like December’s Children, which were slapped together from a lot of sources but in retrospect, hung together much better than some of their intended UK albums,” says Dominic, who also created a music video for the CD’s lead-off track, “2791 (A New Delivery System),” a collage of retro
futuristic imagery and men in stripes trying to find a place in the world of tomorrow. Muses Dominic, “It’s a happy song about the future for a change and I hope the video reflects that.

Click here to stream Unfreedom Rock!

Click here to see the band’s hippie co-opted “Unfreedom Rock” commercial.


World Class Thugs
Southwestern Dirt Circuit
Why did this record take so goddamned long? In the time that it would conceive and raise an 8-year-old, World Class Thugs looked after their own collective spawn and spun off into some side projects (Jim Dustan in Psycho Square Dance and San Jacinto Prison, Jim and Jocelyn Fox in RPM Orchestra), all the while woodshedding this collection of tunes about drug fueled years, trazodone men, red eyes and crazy quilts. The long awaited follow-up to their second CD, Curio, sounds very much like the carnival has come to town with some delightful delicacies, a couple of suspect rides and a few sideshow attractions that have gone to seed.

New members to the thug life include Trent Morue (Vinegar Sting, Haunted Cologne) on bass, Andrew Jemsek (Moonlight Magic, San Jacinto Prison Band, Haunted Cologne) on keyboards and accordion and Carter Dukarm (Zany Guys, Psycho Square Dance) on pedal steel.

And Southwestern Dirt Circuit, named after Dustan’s annual birthday jamfest, sounds very good indeed, a melting potpourri of Americana styles and characters who, as Dustan puts it , are “fueled by Arizona oddities and low tales of desert sorrows.”
Click here to stream Southwestern Dirt Circuit.









Click here to view the new video for “2791 (a new delivery system)”!


Onus Records announces Countdown to 2020, Video Vednesday

By now you’re probably already sick of 2019 and waiting for the day you will have 2020 hindsight and everything will make sense. Serene Dominic feels your ennui and that’s why Onus Records is launching the Serene Dominic Countdown to 2020 series. Each day he will post a random song from his Onus Records back catalog picked at random and add any pertinent information about it that will allow you to download it and purchase the album it happens to land on. When possible we will also add a video link to view as well. In doing this together, maybe we can all countdown to a more knowledgable future, at least where Serene Dominic is concerned.

We also will keep releasing Singles of the Weekend when new ones are made available and every Wednesday will be feature a different video of an Onus Recording artist for “Video Vednesday,” an admittedly stupid name for a recurring post that only Zsa Zsa Gabor would not flinch at.

Serene Dominic Countdown to 20/20 Day 364: “Pinch Me”

From Unnatural Blonde, released November 8, 2009

Serene 20/20 Self-Analysis: “People love to muse about the first thing they would do if they ever came into a lot of money or won the lottery. Before 2009 my answer was always the same, have a home recording studio. I never amassed a fortune either way, but that year, I had a decent enough tax return to buy tax return to buy a good microphone and a used MacBook with Garageband on it and that’s how I recorded Unnatural Blonde, a song cycle based on the 1958 movie classic Vertigo which later became the first musical I ever wrote, Swimming in the Head.

“Since the song is written from the viewpoint of Gavin Elster, the Hitchcock cad who kills his rich wife and inherits all her lazy money, I don’t think it offers any insight into my inner life except I like to see people getting big checks. I actually made one for this video which I use when I occasionally do this song as The Human Torch. People like to take pictures with the Human Torch but they like posing with the Torch and a ginormous check for 10 million dollars even more.”

“I also don’t like to work blue but the cussing on this record made me have to put a Parental Advisory Label on the cover. I think there’s a “Mutherfucker” on the Cast Album of Dark Lullaby. Something about musicals, I guess.”

Song it most closely rips off: “It owes a lot to ‘Mickey’s Monkey” which it samples the Rascals version of for this recording, along with their ‘Do You Feel It.’ You know I do.”


Forgotten NZ group accuses The Breakup Society of ripping off song

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The controversy finally addressed for you to finally believe

By Don Gladbee

The Makeup Sect, a forgotten 1960s New Zealand quintet of questionable sideburn origins, has re-emerged from their formaldehyde-pickled dormancy to charge Ed Masley and his band The Breakup Society, whose new single on Onus Records is called “Strength Was Always Your Weakness,” with ripping off their much earlier song, also called “Strength Was Always Your Weakness. ”

“The proof is in the vegemite,” said singer Geoff Thatcher, grey sideburned and visibly hot under the collar. “We released our “Strength Was Always Your Weakness” in May of 1967.”  From out of his liquor cabinet, he pulls his dog-eared copy of the Makeup Sects’ debut 45, released on the equally obscure Fission label and he slaps it on his ancient Victrola with measured alacrity.

“I don’t know what this Masley guy is contriving but the first and third verses are the virtually the same same same!  And the chorus, he’s cocked that up completely. Even his band’s floogin’ name is a complete theft of ours”

“I mean I have kinescopes of us performing it on Teenager’s Choice,” he says about the down-under dance party show that I have to feign complete ignorance of. After an hour of waiting for him to thread the Bell and Howell project, I decided to take his word for it.

I asked Ed Masley about the brewing controversy and if the song and even his own band’s moniker is possibly a tip of the hat to The Makeup Sect. “Tip of the hat?” It’s not in the same haberdashery,” he laughs. “No one, not me, not Serene Dominic, not Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows, both of whom co-wrote the song, ever sat down and said, ‘hey let’s give some props to The Makeup Sect.’  When I brought this up, none of those guys had ever heard of them either. And between us we know a lot of obscure New Zealand bands. The Puppetmasters? Zal and the Gasmatron? The Hygnostic Suggestions? The Butterfly Sandwich? Ever hear of those? Well, we have. But we’ve never heard of The Makeup Sects.”

So we did a lot of digging. But there was nothing in Wikipedia on them so we had to do actual digging. And we found that The Makeup Sect, if they were known for anything, it was for ripping off very well-known British bands. Errr, ONE very well-known British band.

You could do a lot worse in 1966 and early 1967 than worship at the altar of the Rolling Stones and if anyone ever wondered what the music of Aftermath or Between the Buttons might have sounded like sung with authentic Australian accents, they could do no better than this quintet. Stones copyists to a man, The Makeup Sects not only purchased their orange corduroys from the same pants maker that Brian Jones did, they made sure Jones’ bangs and muttonchops were never longer than those of their rhythm guitarist Derek Linseed’s at any given time. Sometimes that emulation ate through the band’s living funds–purchasing all the exotic instruments the blonde Stone had mastered and then discarded with every new Jagger-Richard composition.

“Strength Was Always Your Weakness,” a Thatcher-Lindseed original, if you can call it that. is a prime example of The Makeup Sects’ slavish devotion to the bad boys of rock—fuzz bass, ghostly Chuck Berry licks, snarky lyrics about a messed up chick and simple but insistent drumming.

Had they remained true to these punky R&B roots as they did on their first album, a blatant Between the Buttons lift  called Up The In-Seam, the Sects would’ve been in a very good position to usurp the genuine article, soon to abandon those very same earthy sounds for the folly of Their Satanic Majesties Request. But devotees they were to the end, following their heroes up the primrose paisley path with a disastrous psychedelic opus of their own, Demonic Renaissance Minstrels At Your Service, that all but eroded their fan base. Felled by audience disinterest and the crippling cost of the floral arrangements for the album cover, The Makeup Sects were but a grimy memory by the end of 1968.

 

The above clip contains excerpts of their appearance on Teenager’s Choice combined with pathetic new footage shot in the Eighties, when the band’s dependency on lip-syncing and  wigs became all too obvious.

To stream and purchase The Breakup Society’s “Strength Was Always Your Weakness and other great Breakup Society songs, click here!

DARK LULLABY- The New Film-Noir Musical Opens June 9 &17

dl poster
How do you steel yourself against a random universe that seems determined to turn you into an accidental killing machine?

SHERI AMOURR, the director who brought you such live downtown stage musicals as The Goblin King’s City, A Swimming in the Head and Rocky Horror at the Firehouse, joins forces again with SERENE DOMINIC (writer of A Swimming in The Head) to bring you DARK LULLABY, a new musical based on the 1945 film-noir classic Detour, even though Dark Lullaby’s story arc goes from the mid 1970s to the late 1980s, leaving plenty of room for stylistic musical genre-hopping, from rock to rap to disco to filter in.

The show stars SKY DONOVAN as young Tom Reynolds was a once-gainfully employed guitar player trying to get to the West Coast to reunite with his actress girlfriend Joanna, played by RIVA FIGUEROA. See SHERIDAN WOOD as the femme fatale Lyndetta, determined to derail Tom at all costs and actor/rapper JOOBS as Roscoe Des Moines, the man of means who inadvertently sends Tom off on his downward spiral to the electric chair.

Then thrill to ASHLEY NAFTULE in a dual role as Warden Crosley, the man who tries to keep Tom on the straight and narrow and Mr. Sunniver, the sleazy casting director out to out ME TOO Joanna. Also in a dual role is ERNESTO MONCADA as Mr. Punabi and Father Merv. RYAN AVERY portrays Riley, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Fishoff, (PARKER MORDEN & VERONICA MONICA) whose power and wealth can and will turn the whole town of West Patagonia against Tom! Guiding them on their rendezvous with vengeance is ABIMAEL MONTES GUARDIOLA as Psychic Bobby, the telepathic bounty hunter from Wichita Falls

Writer/co-director SERENE DOMINIC narrates as the older more incarcerated Tom while the SAN JACINTO DEATH ROW PRISON BAND serve as the show’s pit orchestra. Through personal reminiscences, songs and flashbacks, we’ll follow Tom Reynolds’ unintentional killing spree across the United States.

The show will premiere Saturday, June 9 at the new Trunk Space’s Hope Hall (where Catholic masses are held in its less homicidal moments). Showtime is at 8 PM. For advance ticket to this first show, click here.

The second performance will be on Father’s Day night, Sunday, June 17 at The Film Bar, a natural place for a film noir musical to come full circle! Showtime is 8 PM. For advance tickets for this 2nd and final show, click here.

cd prisonFor Serene Dominic, the music from the show has taken a few twists and turns. Originally it was an album he released  in 2016 on Onus Records as he was writing the show. This year, San Jacinto Death Row Prison Band released Sing Dark Lullaby and performed nine songs from the show on it.  The remaining Dark Lullaby songs will be issued on a San Jacinto Death Row Prison Band EP this fall. The band has been making club and bar appearances well before the Dark Lullaby premiere, including a CD release show at The Lost Leaf on May 18.

A full cast album of Dark Lullaby  featuring the voices of the actors with San Jacinto Death Row Prison Band playing behind them, will be issued by Onus Records at the premiere show at Trunk Space on June 9.

Click here to hear songs from the show performed by Serene Dominic and San Jacinto Death Row Prison Band.