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Conan Neutron’s Top Records of 2018

Conan Neutron’s top records of 2018:
1. Tropical Fuck Storm – a Laughing Death in Meatspace (TFS Band)
2. Lung – All the Kings Horses 
3. sewingneedle – User Error
4. Screaming Females– All at Once 
5. Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens
6. Body Futures– Maybe It’s Just the Weather 
7. Poster Children – Grand Bargain
8. Christian Fitness – Nuance the Musical 
9. Haunted Heads – Everything We Agreed About 
10. TONGUE PARTY – Looking for a Painful Death

Honorable Mentions: 
BLAHA– Survival Climb
The God Eaters – Fading Horizons
Gouge Away – Burnt Sugar
WORK – Strictly Cruis’n
Mister Dude – Party Tape
The Messthetics – s/t
Dale Crover – Fickle Finger of Fate
(the) Melvins – Pinkus Abortion Technician 
Lung – Bottom of the Barrel 
The Hand – When All Of The Shit Hits All Of The Fans (The Hand Vol. 3 & 4)

I listened to a LOT of records over the year, but these were the ones that that I listened to the most. And at some point, you have to just let the train leave the station.
I’ll put the links below

I’m sure I missed a few, that’s fine. The point is: there’s a ton of amazing music out there. Go listen to it! And I guess, like the show’s FB page if you support this kind of deep dive. 
Note: this is slightly different from the best of 2018 show, which was a team effort and will be a different post

1. Tropical Fuck Storm – A Laughing Death in Meat Space
Absolutely powerful stuff. Great songs with incredible left turns. Moody, claustrophobic and staggeringly self aware, like a sentient computer raised on Bill Hicks comedy specials, Howard Zinn, Black MIrror and Twin Peaks. I heard this blind, knowing nothing of any other or previous bands and loved it. Maybe you will too? It’s a hell of a ride. Possible record of the year.
RIYL: the pAperchAse, Dead Rider, Leonard Cohen, the Knife

2. Lung – All the King’s Horses
LUNG are back with a new album. You’ll never believe that a band with just Cello, vocals and drums can sound so full. Propulsive, Heavy, tuneful and thoughtful. Incredible lyrics, powerful arrangements and songs that stick with you for long after you stop listening. 

The only problem is they have a very unique sound, which isn’t always rewarded. I need you to trust me when I say that this is WELL worth your time and one of the best records of 2018. 

Bonus: a timely David Bowie cover.

3. sewingneedle – user error
Remarkably acrobatic musicianship paired with gorgeous harmonies. Musically, sewingneedle can hold their own with the fiercest noise rock band, yet there is melody and harmony. What madness is this? Great songs, great repeated listenability. 

RIYL: jawbox, slint, Polvo, Chavez, Shudder to Think, Shiner.
https://sewingneedle.bandcamp.com/album/user-error

4. Screaming FemalesAll At Once
Probably the best Screaming Females record yet… totally rips. A consistently great and hard working live band delivers their go-to record on record, what. 7? Not counting the live one. Incredible. These’s an adventure rock song on here and a song that legit sounds like it could be played as a prom. (I mean that as a compliment.)
As an aside, this is one of the records on my list that was probably most widely heard, yet wasn’t on that many lists. That’s really dumb. It’s great!
RIYL: Dinosaur Jr. Pixies, Silkworm
https://screamingfemales.bandcamp.com/album/all-at-once

5. Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens
Hello! Do you live under a rock? Yes? Ok! This is the long awaited 4th record by the formerly dead, now living rock quartet HOT SNAKES. It’s fueled by the riffs of John Reis and the vocals of Rick Froberg. A certain magic happens with these two powerhouses together. The music is an inheritor of bands like the Wipers and Crime, while bringing some of the academic polyrhythms/punk-prog of Drive Like Jehu too. It’s exactly what the Doctor ordered.
https://hotsnakes.bandcamp.com/album/jericho-sirens

6. Body Futures – Maybe it’s Just the Weather
B-52s and Shudder To Think superhero team-up, Dismemberment Plan covering the New Pornographers. Whatever! Body Futures play music as unique as their name, it’s catchy it’s angular and it’s absolutely vital. Let’s get down to it boppers. 
https://bodyfutures.bandcamp.com/…/maybe-its-just-the…

7. Poster Children – Grand Bargain
First Poster Children album in years and it’s an absolute corker! Intelligent lyrics, catchy riffs, hooks for days and frantic energy are all on deck. Music for the modern revolution. RIYL: Buzzcocks, Sonic Youth, Talking Heads, Husker Du
https://store.posterchildren.com/album/grand-bargain

https://store.posterchildren.com/album/grand-bargain

8. christian fitness – nuance: the musical 
Nuance makes heavy use of strings and adult arrangements? (not pornography, you understand.). There aren’t any “candle in the wind” style ballads, or any regrettable ska numbers, but after 3 rock-solid, rockers certain to please fans of mclusky and fotl. This one is different, denser, & a little more challenging. Delivered with a smirk of sardonicism and a twinge of dystopian theatrical heights. There’s a lot here, but it keeps me coming back to listen regularly. Fantastic album.
https://christianfitness.bandcamp.com/…/nuance-the-musical

9. Haunted Heads – Everything We Agreed About
Unforgettable hooks, raucous riffs and superior songwriting. In a different time Haunted Heads would be the darlings of the indie rock world. RIYL: Built to Spill (at their least jammy!), Sebadoh (at their most stable) and the Thermals. 
https://hauntedheads.bandcamp.com/…/everything-we…

10. TONGUE PARTY – Looking for a Painful Death
Minneapolis purveyors of the heavy come through with their best effort to date! Bringing forth the boundless energy of KARP along with a mid-period AmRep sensibility, Tongue Party’s brand of relentless touring and hard work has resulted in their most badass and immediate record yet. Learning Curve Records
https://tongueparty.bandcamp.com/…/looking-for-a…

HONORABLE MENTIONS!

HONORABLE MENTION 1: BLAHA – Survival Climb
Mike Blaha of the Blind Shake has a hell ass rock quarter, this is their most raucous to date and it’s sure to please those that like their rock both wiry and engaged. Worthy of a listen to anybody interested in the cross roads of post-punk and garage rock. 
https://nocoastrecordings.bandcamp.com/…/blaha-survival…

HONORABLE MENTION 2: The God Eaters – Fading Horizons
the pride of Marquette Michigan come out with another ep of noise rocky solid rippers! Ferocious, Precocious and that’s my prognosis. RIYL: Minutemen, Vaz, The Big Boys
https://thegodeaters.bandcamp.com/album/fading-horizons

HONORABLE MENTION 3: Gouge Away – Burnt Sugar
A fascinating band! Sometimes hardcore, sometimes a bit more noiserock… strong songs and a powerful lady singer. A band to watch!

HONORABLE MENTION 4: WORK – Strictly Cruis’n
WORK are back, w/a tight new slab of some serious rock ‘n roll. (Well, not so serious if you consider the song titles… ) nevertheless, wry wordplay, clever songwriting & an intent to bring the damage w/ rock solid rhythms and hooky leads are on deck. Fans of the Minutemen, Spoon at their brattiest & loudest, Obits, & early ZZ Top can get stoked. This is ROCK music (ROCK, all caps, just like the band name WORK.) coming from a punk place. It’s well worth your time. Gotta gotta get to the show!
https://workmke.bandcamp.com/album/strictly-cruisn

HONORABLE MENTION #5: Mister Dude – Party Tape
WHAM! Mister Dude upside yo’ face. Deep feeling good about bad time jams, with some heavy Octave radness from two of the fellas from Police Teeth. The rock pedigree of SEMINARS, USS Horsewhip, etc. is as notable as the music itself. It’s a fun listen and a damn good ride. Party Tape indeed.
https://misterdude.bandcamp.com/album/party-tape

HONORABLE MENTION #6: The Messthetics – s/t
Killer instrumental goodness with one of the best rhythm sections of all time, Joe Lally and Brendan Canty of fugazi. Guitarist Anthony Pirog may not have the same level of punk rock notoriety, but he more than makes up for it with a level of acrobatic guitar exploration that rivals some of the greats. A great starting position for a worthy and notable new band. RIYL: Nels Cline Singers

HONORABLE MENTION #7: Dale Crover – The Fickle Finger of Fate
He’s not just half of the core of the Mighty Melvins, he’s not just the drum genius who makes things happen with me in Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends, he’s a talented songwriter, guitar player and singer and this is totally and completely worth your time! Cool songs, a little more classic rock than you might expect and worth a listen. Check it out, chocky. Awesome, vibe-y record with hidden hooks. 
https://melvinsofficial.bandcamp.com/…/the-fickle…

HONORABLE MENTION #8: (the) Melvins – Pinkus Abortion Technician. 
Mo’ Melvins! Long may they run, some fun covers and Don’t Forget to Breathe is one of my favorite Melvins songs in years.
https://melvinsofficial.bandcamp.com/…/pinkus-abortion…

HONORABLE MENTION #9: Lung – Bottom of the Barrel
What? Lung again? Yup.
Frenzied and furious Cello, Vocals and Drums badassery. Absolute earworms that comes at you from an aggressive punk/post-punk place but has an incredible sense of melody, hooks and purpose. This is legit plus stuff and I can’t think of a single band they really sound like. Just get it.
it’s technically 2017, but on the 2018 list for a technicality. Whatever! it’s still a great record. 

HONORABLE MENTION #10: The Hand – When All Of The Shit Hits All Of The Fans (The Hand Vol. 3 & 4)
Mysterious, elusive and irresistible, the HAND has done more than any band since the Residents in putting together a band image that forces you to judge them on the merits of the music. It’s quite the feat! However, I will say that this is zak sally, karl tebeest, and dale flattum. Zak played in Low and Enemymine, and Dale played in Steel Pole Bathtub, Milk Cult and Novex. Anyway, that’s a lot of front loading, this is raucous and hooky noiserock that can simultaneously evoke the Birthday Party, the Velvet Underground, the Melvins 

The HAND pull off a very special thing, by making all of their releases very limited edition and HYPER unique, hand made and limited edition. It’s easy to tell that multiple members of the band come from the world of comics, because this is a world to be invited into. 
https://the-hand.bandcamp.com/…/when-all-of-the-shit…

https://gougeawayfl.bandcamp.com/

Protons and Electrons: Atom 6 – Petulant Messiah / Rally – HVAC

Rally, a simple one word name, but a hell of a band. They are both catchy but have some skronk and grind. Michael from Rally has been a NeutronFriends sideman on the guitar numerous times, drummer Dan not only ran Conan and Tony’s old label… but he has sat in with NeutronFriends on drums as well. I’m pretty sure this is their first release, looking forward to many more!

Oh yeah, NeutronFriends side is about messianic figures that turn out to be total jerks. It happens. The badass leads at the end are all NeutronFriends live guitar player Erica Strout of Motherfucker.


Protons and Electrons: Atom 5 – This is the Line / Reptoid – No Human

Protons and Electrons: Atom 5 – This is the Line / Reptoid – No Human

What is there to say about the magificent Reptoid? A sight to behold and the only live act I can think of that sounds like an actual alien invasion. There’s a human that has a passing similarity that has held down the drum position in some live Neutron Friends outings. Said human is a tireless runner of sound and pizza aficionado, but that has nothing to do with the absolutely terrifying alien presence that is the mighty REPTOID. Prepare yourself humans! Prepare yourself.

Oh yeah, our song features the Earthquaker Devices Bit Commander heavily. However, it does not sound like Lardo. Adjust your expectations accordingly.


March 2018 – Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends Tour Documentary

The mighty Erica Jean Strout of Motherfucker, is not only a guitar wizard in Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends, She’s a very talented filmmaker as well. Thrill to this mini-documentary she made of the March 2018 tour. Featuring music by Body Futures, Twelves, SEMINARS, Lonesome Traveler, Lords of Sealand, Continues and more!

Don’t forget to subscribe to her youtube channel as well!


Protons and Electrons: Atom 3 – RECANT! / Thoughts Detecting Machines – Alllies

Atom 3 of the Protons and Electrons series is now available to listen and order. As always: Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends is Conan Neutron, Tony Ash and Dale Crover (of (the) Melvins​) providing the A-Side: RECANT! and on the B-side is Mr. Rick Valentin of Thoughts Detecting Machines​ (and Poster Children​… of course) with Alllies.

Like all of the Protons and Electrons series, this is a digital single, paired with a physical 7″ release that is available to mailorder. There will be 12 of these in total.

RECANT! is riff heavy rumination on heresy and the process of heresy becoming fact.

Rick contributes an excellent guitar track to a future Protons and Electrons release, but most importantly he is part of this series because of what Thoughts Detecting Machines is.

A one man band in the sense of being a self-contained live and recording unit, not in the “bass drum strapped to back and cymbals between legs” sort of way, the way Thoughts Detecting Machines operates has been an inspiration to Team Neutron Friends.

Find a way to say “yes” to awesome opportunities, strip things down to their barest essentials and challenge yourself to dig deeper, try something different and let go of familiar anxieties.

In any case, you can listen to it here and you can order the 7″ as well. Thanks!

https://neutronfriends.bandcamp.com/album/protons-and-electrons-atom-3-recant-thoughts-detecting-machines-alllies


PRF West Coast IV – 2017: April 21st-23rd

The fourth west coast version of the PRF BBQ.

NO MORE ADVANCE PASSES AVAILABLE.

Passes available at the gate.

SCHEDULE:

SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED AS OF MARCH 1st!

The fourth west coast edition of the PRF BBQ.
Friday – April 21st – The Nightlight, 311 Broadway, Oakland, CA – 21+. 6PM-1AM

Saturday – April 22nd – Mosswood Park Amphitheater, 3612 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94609, noon – 8.

Sunday – April 23rd – Mosswood Park Amphitheater, 3612 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94609, noon – 8.

Passes ABSOLUTELY should be purchased in advance at: http://prfbbq.org/
It’s $40 for the whole weekend. Passes available on March 1st.

21+ Friday, All Ages Saturday and Sunday.
12 and under free.

e-mail to prf@prfbbq.org

bands playing:
Motherfucker
Mike Morasky (of Steel Pole Bathtub) and Noah Landis (of Neurosis)
Bathysphere
Beat Drun Juel
Cartographer
Justin Trosper (of Unwound)
Catastrophe Girlfriend
Charmless
Cinder Cone
Color TV
Conan Neutron and the Secret Friends
Dryland
Externs
Flat Black
HalphioriO
Kind Fall
Magpies
Quivers
Reptoid
Rip Room
Roland
The Mass
The Tunnel
Tiny Peloton
Underpass Brass
War Brides


Shiny Grey Monotone Interview with Conan

Conan answered some questions from Shiny Grey Monotone.

Here it is: Secret Friends are discussed, as well as Replicator, Mount Vicious, Victory and Associates all with candor and honesty.
Dale Crover, David Yow, Industrial guest appearances Radio NOPE and damn near everything else.

Also includes a weighty “awesome band” list is that would be a worthy homework assignment for any discerning rocker. I can already think of at least a half dozen bands I forgot to include. Damn!

Here it is.

conan neutron.
you may recognize the name.
and even if you don’t you’ll still find yourself saying “that’s a pretty kick-ass name. why couldn’t my parents name me conan neutron. i hate my parents!” and then running into your room and slamming the door behind you and then cranking up the stereo. and this is the point where’d you’d forgotten that you hadn’t taken out that BEST OF ABBA cd and now everyone knows your dirty little secret.

moving on.

and before all of this begins i need to clear something up: conan is in no way shape or form related to jimmy. don’t bring it up.  the last time that happened it wasn’t so nice. you may have heard about it on the news.

also: never mention that pointer sisters song either. just don’t.

moving on.

some of you may have heard of some bands with names like:
replicator
mount vicious
victory and associates

you may have even seen them around here on SGM island.
and if you haven’t you’ve just been voted off.

nowadays he’s fronting/playing guitar in a band with some of his secret friends.
and no i’m not going to tell you who they are.
that’s his job.

Q: seeing as how you and your secret friends league have just been brought up…tell us all about that.

A: Sure, this is like my weirdo rock version of the Avengers, or something. Every player is a superstar totally capable of badass acts of heroism and power on their own, but coming together for a greater purpose. I suppose that would make me Captain America. I guess Tony Ash is Iron Man and Dale Crover is the Hulk? Wait, no Thor. Toshi Kasai is… uh… Nick Fury?
Wait… this is dumb.
Another way to look at it, is this is my version of the the Bad Seeds or something. The players sometimes change and cycle in, but the basic core remains the same and the songs come from me originally before being twisted, contorted and shaped into whatever dark forces come together at the end. It’s my version of rock ‘n roll. And that includes a world where Melvins, Bon Scott era AC/DC, DEVO, Unwound, The Jesus Lizard and Thin Lizzy all should be lauded equally. You get me? It’s rock, but with the no bullshit or excuses attitude that can only come from people that live and breathe punk rock/noise rock or whatever the hell you want to call it.
From my standpoint, it’s a little bit of every band I’ve ever been in, and a little bit something entirely different, I’m writing the kind of music I’d like to hear and trying to use all of the lessons I’ve learned over the years to make that a really cool thing. I’m surrounded by great and brilliant people and one of the best rhythm sections a guitarist could hope for. Pretty cool.

Q: dale crover. does he still like to stand around the water cooler and wait for folks to walk by so he can tell some of his grunge stories?

A: oh, constantly! He’s always like: “Man, this one time Tad and I pants-ed Krist Noviselic and he…” and we’re like: “OK! COOL DUDE, WE GET IT.”
No, in all seriousness Dale is one of the sweetest dudes in the world, and all of us have tour stories or crazy back in the day stories. It just so happens that some of his involve people that are incredibly, incredibly famous. It’s easy to forget because he’s such a nice fella.
Although he is always shouting: “ok boys, I really want you to GRUNGE OUT on this next one.”
Don’t know what all that is about.

Q: and seeing as how the secret friends are somewhat embedded into the melvins mythos…could there be a possible tour or collaboration of some sort?

A:Well, as far as collaboration. Buzz does backups on two of the songs on Art of the Murder, so that’s sort of already happened… it’s just under my banner so far fewer people paid attention. HAHAHAHA. That said, even with Dale playing drums for me it’s important to note that Melvins are one of my favorite bands of all time. It’s not lost on me, you know? There’s been talk. So far, that’s been it. That said, I think the two acts would compliment each other in interesting ways. Not just for the obvious shared member either.
Who knows? If it did, I would consider myself very lucky indeed to be even further involved in their world. They are the real deal as artists and humans and work harder than any band I can think of. I respect the hell out of their art , their fearlessness and their process, bands could learn a lot from how the Melvins work.

Q: now let’s travel back a bit. when i mention the name replicator what kind of feelings does it invoke? you were together for 8 years. what brought all of that to an end?

A: Great feelings! I loved that band and loved my time in it. We did everything exactly the way we wanted to do it and did a bunch of weird stuff that some people seemed to enjoy. It was completely on our terms and ended when it should have, cool. It meant something to some people, and I’m pretty sure we left the world a wee but better than how it was when that band came into being, or at least more confused.
I still love Ben and Chris and we played a one off for the PRF BBQ West Coast year before last that was a damn fine time and probably employed a good amount of bay area baby sitters.
What brought it to an end? It was time for it to end. That’s it. No drama. We broke up with plenty of advance notice and recorded an ep of our last songs that is one of the better things we did. Not a bad way to call it a day, right?
The weirdest thing is probably talking to young people in new noise rock bands who think that what you are currently playing is somehow the only thing you ever have, or ever will do. Nope. Settled that land, moved on. Still enjoy visiting and looking at the postcards though.

Q: and during your time together you’d played a show as the jesus lizard and you went by the name of the jesus replicator. what kind of training did you go through in order to become david yow? how far into did you go? how long did it take for you to shake all of that off afterward? are you still in the shower trying to wash it away?

A:If you are trying to ask if I learned how to do a Tight ‘n’ shiny, I did not. In all seriousness though, I think Mr. Yow is not only a very gifted vocalist, but a hell of a front man. Some people seem to get it wrong, thinking that his presence is confrontation and violence, there’s just a strange ebb and flow to the energy between him and the crowd. He’s a masterful performer and full of genuinely thrilling unexpectedness. I once saw him sing an entire song from the inside of a t-shirt box at the Merch table. It was an inspiring moment for me.
That isn’t a joke.

Q: and then i’d seen that you took on the yow again at the 2010 PRF BBQ auktoberfest. there’s footage of you on the youtubes performing “puss” with a band called the hype. and i have to say that if someone were to close their eyes and place you and david yow under cups and shuffled you around you’d never be able to tell who was who.

A:ha! Yes! The Hype… a superstar PRF Karaoke band. Full of members that are in plenty of great bands themselves. Frighteningly accurate. In a better world they’d be the house band for a late night talk show. Maybe hosted by Mark Arm of Mudhoney or Eugene Robinson of Oxbow or something.
Anyway, thanks… it’s a hell of a song. I remembered all the words from that Halloween thing. I thought that was a pretty hilarious move to do a song by Chicago royalty when I’m an Oaklander/California boy through and through.
OH! Something that isn’t on youtube, but I was reminded of… in Replicator, we played with Qui some, both before and after David Yow joined the band. We actually asked him to play Wheelchair Epidemic with us one night. That was cool.
I think that exhausts the David Yow part of the interview.
Oh wait! He’s a great visual artist and did the art for the first Secret Friends record
“the enemy of everyone” too.
SEE? IT ALL COMES BACK TO ME AND MY MUSIC IN THE END. RECORDS STILL FOR SALE AT THE MERCHT TABLE!

Q: and that brings us to mount vicious. the band had 3 guitar players. which of you was the eddie van halen of the group?

A: Ha! I’d say… Alli for sure. IF, and only IF… Eddie Van Halen was played by Rowland S. Howard of the Birthday Party.

Q: the mount vicious bio reveals that mount vicious deliver a powerful live show and are very good at sex. was that in fact true?

A:Yes.

Q: the band didn’t seem to have been together all that long. what happened? did one of you finally get to the point of not being very good at the sex and just wanted to stop?

A:No, we were still all very skillful at it. We had a song called “We Enjoy Fucking (To This Music)” for Pete’s sake. We did more in a year than some bands do in their whole life. That also includes bitter, acrimonious break-ups.  It was my fault, but it was a good run. We made a good record. I learned, licked my wounds and moved on.

Q: i’ve always thought that victory and associates would’ve made the best name for a law firm. had you ever toyed around with maybe making some sort of a promo for the band in the form of one of those infomercials you only seem to see on the tv at 3:00am? because i would’ve totally watched that while sitting there with my bowl of cereal and nuQuil.

A: Only if we could flash our number really quick with a very long and disconcerting amount of disclaimers played as fast as possible afterwards.

Q: what brought about the demise of the victory and associates?

A: The other three dudes were wanting to work more collaboratively, writing more in the practice room. I wanted the exact opposite, to work more off of demos and concentrate on arrangements when we in the same room. Musical differences! HOW THRILLING!
Plus, people just get tired of people you know? Everybody parted as friends, brothers, etc. That’s the stuff that counts, that and the body of work.
Band breaks up, Ultimately not a lot of people cared. Replicator was important to a lot of people, Mount Vicious was starting to be when we called it a day. For the most part V and A just grinded, we never connected that deeply with most people. I don’t know, we liked it! V and A wasn’t really hard rock, post-punk, punk rock, noise rock or any of that. It was a little bit of all of that and totally it’s own thing. It was important to me that it exist as it’s own entity without relying on previous bands. Worked out great! Hahaha.
It’s tough to be a band that doesn’t have a gimmick, hook or schtick these days. You aren’t just competing for people’s attention with what came out that week, you are competing with all of music. That band was all heart and probably deserved better, but the world will keep on a spinnin’ none the less.
I do think Better Luck Next Life is a way better record than most people give it credit for. But damn, if that was the metric… that’s like: most of music.

Q: did i read somewhere that you’d been involved in something called “bitch stole my time machine”? and were you involved with a “band” called caustic?

A: True on both counts! Jesus, nice digging there Columbo. “Bitch Stole My Time Machine” is a song by the excellent Industrial band Everything Goes Cold, who I toured with a few times as a keyboard player and backup vocalist. It’s not really my genre, but they are very good at it and the shows were a blast. Lots of crazy lighting and smoke machine and chicks in bondage gear and what not. I met Matt Fanale (AKA: Caustic) on one of those jaunts and we bonded immediately over old school Touch and Go stuff. All the stuff you would expect. We became pals and he asked if I would contribute a guitar track to a song on his album “the Man Who Wouldn’t Quit.” He wanted it to be somewhere between Wax Trax and T&G when both of those labels were doing legit aggro and heavy stuff. I said: “You bet!” and I gave him a guitar track that sounds like the things he asked for, with maybe a little Andy Gill thrown in.
It’s a fun track! I played it with him once, and was wearing a feather boa on stage. True story.
Oh! “Bitch Stole my Time Machine.” I played Thingamagoop on that, which is a cute little light activated oscilatting synth that looks like a robot. It makes excellent obnoxious noises. It’s very chaotic in a good way. I think it’s the only thing by EGC that I’m on that’s recorded. That band is really Eric’s baby though.
Man, that’s a whole lot of time I just spent talking about other people’s crap. ERIC! MATT! Where’s my check?!?

Q: besides the musician thing…what else do you have going on in the neutriverse? also: feel free to use that.

A: The “musician thing”. Oh, you mean the thing I devote my life to? hahahaha. Well, my radio show/podcast “Conan Neutron’s Protonic Reversal” is entering year 3, I think? Every time I’m about ready to quit it, I get some really nice feedback about some episode or another. So I’m going to continue to do those, talking to people that everybody SHOULD care about and what it means to be an artist and do what they do. Playing new and old tunes I love, that kind of stuff.
There are worse ways to spend time.
I launched a 24/7/365 radio station called Radio NOPE early last year that has achieved the purpose of being my favorite station ever! (that’s http://www.radionope.com kids!), there’s currently no ability for profit of course, but I kind of consider it a public service. Hey! Maybe there should be a SGM show on it? (hint, hint!)

Q: another PRFBBQ has come and gone. tell us about that business.

A:Which one? Oakland? Chicago? Louisville? Hahaha, they are all excellent. So many amazing bands, so many great people. I don’t know, anybody reading this is like the total target demo for these things. It’s just all badassery and your new favorite bands.
New discoveries for me this year were:
West Coast – The Tunnel, an already really great band totally stepping it up by mixing some serious Big Black into their late period Birthday Party. Impressive stuff! Also Quivers, who have kind of a Chavez plus Archers of Loaf thing going on.
Chicago-Rented Rooms who kind of slayed my mind, the songs of the dude from the Mekons Jon Langford… who I’ve never paid much attention to.
Louisville- Vibrolas, just really good down and dirty rock and roll, Multicult… kickass NYC noiserock, Them Teeth and War Brides. Great NR bands.

Q: are there any stories that you’d like to regale us with?

A: I’ve met Andrew Dice Clay in person, he’s a remarkably intelligent and soft spoken dude who asks a lot of questions about YOU. Well, not you… me. I guess. No, he did not tell any limericks.
We played Krist Noviselic’s signature Gibson Ripper on both the first two Secret Friends records, by that I mean it was the one Gibson actually gave to him and he later gave to Toshi and the Melvins for the studio. That’s a damn fine instrument there.

Q: so. music. i’m going to assume that you like it. are there any bands out there that you’d like to lay some lip service to?

A: Hurry Up Shotgun (Oakland, CA), B. Hamilton (Oakland, CA),  Porch (Oakland, CA),  Reptoid (Oakland, CA), Oxbow (San Francisco, CA) The Cell Phones (Chicago, IL) Nocturnal Habits (Justin from Unwound with Sara from Unwound on drums), Vibrolas (Lexington, KY), Motherfucker (Athens, GA), Lardo (Chicago, IL), the rutabega (South Bend, IN), Dead Halos (Louisville, KY), Trophy Wives (Louisville, KY), Waxeater (Louisville, KY), John Congleton and the Nighty Nite, SAVAK (Brooklyn, NY), Melvins (duh!), Whores (Atlanta, GA), Multicult (NYC), Manhandle (Alabama or some crap!), Nonagon (Chicago, IL), Buildings (Minneapolis, MN), Magpies (Missoula, MT), SEMINARS (Seattle, WA), Beat Drun Juel (Chicago, IL), THE HAND (Minneapolis, MN), Thoughts Detecting Machines (Bloomington, IL), Minutes and OUT (Those are two different bands, Kalamazoo, MI) Future of the Left (Cardiff) and Falco solo as Christian Fitness are both way legit. Oh! Quivers (San Francisco, CA) I’m sure I’m forgetting something really obvious, but that’s a pretty damn good listening list.
Just go Ask Jeeves all that stuff and you’ll be listening to new stuff before ya know it.
Anybody that says there isn’t any good new music needs to pull their head out of their ass.

Q: and now we’ve come to the part of the show where if’n you have any science you’d like to drop on the folks…..

A: Look! Just because my last name is Neutron doesn’t mean I’m a REAL scientist. That’s just a CHARACTER… Hahaha! Just joking kids, stay in school.

well,mr. neutron. i’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for stopping in for this interview. it was fun. now please exit the building before security has to be called. and don’t forget to stop by the front desk and take a complimentary anything you’d like out of the lost and found.


Last thoughts for 2015

When it comes time for hindsight, i’ve noticed some people tend to dwell on the bummer times, loss, tragedy, what didn’t happen or failed to achieve the desired results.

It’s all part of the tapestry of life, but i’m going to focus on the things that made 2015 great for me and mine. No tags, no links.

-Released “the Enemy of Everyone” by Conan Neutron and the Secret Friends. The first record with songs I wrote and arranged myself. Recorded with a killer new band I put together full of badass players and people. Some people seemed to like it, which is always nice. I dedicated the whole thing to my passed on ex-best friend Clay. RIP you crazy bastard.

-Attended PRF Thundersnow 2015 and had a great time in the Upper peninsula seeing badass bands at a offseason resort hotel on a frozen lake (third year running!)

-Launched Radio NOPE a 24/7/365 streaming internet station/podcast network and bringing together many friends and likeminded shows as well as developing brand new ones.

-Broke my streaming radio show/podcast (Protonic Reversal) away from the community station it started at and moved it to said station. Somehow, after some growing pains, managing to have to the show be better than ever and helping move it along to where it should be. I think 2016 will be a great year for the show.

-Finished writing and arranging the second Secret Friends record.

-Recorded the second Secret Friends record with, again the same badass players and people. It turned out really good. Soon, Soon.

-Threw the second PRF BBQ West in Oakland, hosting many amazing bands from both locally and far away, including the mighty Survival Knife!

-Survival Knife played through the backline, which was all of my music gear (sans drums). (gearnerd alert, and Unwound is one of the reasons I play music)

-Played a cool one-off set from my long defunct noise rock band Replicator at said PRF West event.

-Attended and played PRF BBQ 2015 Chicago with a super fun Secret Friends set.

-Hosted Mr. Brett Eugene Ralph at our place in Oakland for a series of good times, laughs and stories that I never wanted to end.

-Visited Louisville, Kentucky for the first time longer than a gas stop/stop for bandmates to get cigarettes. Attended and played the first PRFBBQ Louisville with the Secret Friends.

-Visited Oahu and the Big Island of Hawaii on a more or less proper human vacation and got to do many, many adventurous things, hiking, snorkeling, etc. including fulfilling my lifelong dream of seeing a live, active volcano up close and hiking the entire 7 mile non-active crater of mighty Kilauea.

-Saw a bunch of fantastic shows Shellac, the Ex, Melvins, Mountain Goats, Flipper w/David Yow, Torche, Melt Banana, John Reis & the Blind Shake. Marc Maron’s comedy live. Many more as well.

-Did a remarkable amount of work stuff that really would only be of interest to other people in the engineering sector I work in, but that were huge strides forward, palpably beneficial and sometimes kind of inventive. It would not be inaccurate to say that some of the work I did helped save some lives, and it certainly helped enrich some.

-Met some really amazing people and strengthened a few loose acquaintances into strong friendships.

-Did my rock solid best to try to make the world a little less crappy in as many ways as I could. (usually small)


Top 10 records of 2015

People like lists, heck… I like lists. This is mine for 2015, as heard on Episode 74 of Protonic Reversal.

1. MotherfuckerConfetti
2. LardoGunmetal Eyes
3. B. HamiltonFight Everything
4. MegaMaulMini-mall
5. Sleater-KinneyNo Cities to Love
6. Le ButcherettesA Raw Youth
7. christian fitnessLove Letters in the Age of Steam
8. Happy FangsCapricorn
9. TorcheRestarter
10. Thoughts Detecting MachinesWork the Circuits


Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends – The Enemy of Everyone

I made a record with Dale Crover on drums, here it is.

Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends – The Enemy of Everyone
The Enemy of Everyone
bandcamp link
http://www.neutronfriends.com/

This record was written and mostly arranged between June 22nd and September 7th 2014 by Conan Neutron. Tracks were recorded at Sound of Sirens studio in Sun Valley, CA between September 11th-15th, 2014 by Toshi Kasai. Vocals for Fight Math were done at Antisleep audio, Oakland, CA by Mr. Eugene Robinson on October 8th, 2014. Those were tracked by Mr. Scott Evans. Mixing was done at Sound of Sirens between October 10th-15th. 2014 by Toshi Kasai.

Mastering was done at Golden Mastering between Jan 27th and Feb 3rd, 2015 by JJ Golden.

Art by David Yow (www.getfaced.net)

Dedicated to the memory of Clay Wofford. R.I.P. (1977-2014)