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Conan Neutron’s Top Records of 2017

Top 10 albums 2017

(stream and download – Episode 109)

Conan
1. Oxbow – Thin Black Duke
2. Lardo – Sinking
3. christian fitness – slap Bass Hunks
4. Mountain Goats – Goths.
5. SEMINARS – Pricks Die Young
6. Magpies – Annex
7. Crystal Fairy – s/t
8. Dead Rider – Crew Licks
9. Out – Swim Buddiess
10. Fever Ray – Plunge

Josh
1. Palm – Shadow Expert ep
2. Power Trip – Nightmare Logic
3. Maximum Busy Muscle – s/t
4. Bon Air – the Blue Line
5. Fox Face – Spoil + Destroy
6. Radioactivity – infected/Sleep
7. Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness
8. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
9. God Eaters – Xuma
10. Arto Lindsay – Cuidado Madame

all numbering relatively arbitrary

Josh #10: arto lindsay – ilha dos prazeres
Arto Lindsey
Josh: Danger Lady, this is fantastic, very much in the vein of what his recent solo career has been like. It’s this very odd combination of the Brazilian music he’s been playing for a number of years, but he’s still doing weird atonal guitar and he’s singing more melodically but it still sounds like Arto Lindsey. So there’s definitely an experimental edge to it… he played in Chicago… a few months ago with the Beauty Pill and it was just incredible.

Conan: Oh, I thought you meant he played in the BAND Chicago. I was like: where’s that record?

Josh I’d pay good money for that.

Conan “huh, they took an unexpected left turn on that one!”

It was an amazing show and this is a relaxing and romantic kind of record, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

Conan #10: Fever Ray – This Country
Conan: Number 10 for me is a band called Fever Ray, which is 1/2 of the Knife. This is the second Fever Record, I really love the first one it’s a weird, moody, messed up record. I dig it a lot, I dig this one as well, it’s kind of more of the same. I know some people that listen are super not down with Electro stuff or anything remotely that isn’t guitar bass and brash drums and stuff.

Josh: Geez, they are going to hate a lot of my countdown.

Conan: But I think everything that she does is wildly innovative and interesting. We talked a little bit during the break about that last the Knife record. It’s a harsh listen, but it’s awesome and I love that for a band that became so popular off of what was a very simple electro-poppy song with universal appeal, they just say: “ok, that’s done, we’re doing this now!”. I feel to a lesser degree perhaps, the same stuff happens with the Fever Ray material. I like that her viewpoints are LITERALLY written on her face for this record.

Fever Ray – This Country

Josh #9 god eaters – Signs of the Times
Josh: number 9 is a band we’ve discussed previously, as we’ve definitely played with them, seen them recently and they played Conan’s 40 birthday Party, the God Eaters.
Conan: To be perfectly clear, they would be on this list even if it was not for all of that friendship and cross pollination.
Josh: Oh yes, the friend rock, the only reason there are so many friends on this list is that that is what I listen to. That doesn’t have any affect on how amazing they are, and how much you should check them out.
Conan: Yes, this record kicks ass, this would definitely be on my list as well… I guess it would be a conflict of interest, because they play with *ME* as well. But I love it too.
Josh: Oh, don’t doubt that next year when we do this the Body Futures record will probably be on mine.
Conan: Right, so the God Eaters, it’s your pick… but one of the things I like about them is that they are a difficult band to describe. In mood and feel they remind me of the Minutemen, without sounding that much like the Minutemen.
Josh: Yes, and we were talking about this just recently so if you do listen to the show on a regular basis you will have heard something that sounds just like this. It’s how their sound is psychadelic in that it becomes enveloping, and there is some of that with the Minutemen as well. That there is so much going on with so few elements, but there is a lot happening within it. I feel like they echo some of that. Although they sound nothing like the Minutemen at all. It’s the precepts.
Conan: It’s a hell of a record, I’m sure they’ve already outdone it at this point. This is Zuuuma… that’s how you pronounce it right?
Josh: I would think so.
Conan: Hopefully it’s not exzema. Maybe it’s excema?
Josh: maybe, but the song we’re going to listen to is called Signs of the times.

Conan #9
Out – Wound Up.
Conan: This is a record, I feel was very popular amongst our circles, but needs to be heard by more people. It’s most of the band Minutes, but they should be given due difference on their own. It’s the band OUT, or OOT of you are Canadian.
This is off a record called Swim Buddies, because I guess hanging out and going to the pool or the river or something is at thing people like to do right?
Josh: Sure! They seem to like doing it.
Conan: Yeah! They like it.
Josh: But yeah, they discussed a little bit of our lists beforehand and…
Conan: NO DUPES!!! NO DUPES!!!
Josh: Exactly, we’re trying to get as many different songs out to you as possible, but they certainly would have been on my list. They are a fantastic band, they have a TRIUMPH.
Conan: Yes, they have a triumphant aspect to what they do… it comes from the fugazi/hoover-esque DC world, but there is definitely an …

Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track

Hello everybody!
There’s a quick and dirty B-Sides collection from Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends available to listen to here:

Perhaps that will be of interest to you?

Next up: Protons and Electrons…

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…

Top albums of 2016

(stream and download – Episode 92)

It was really hard to get down to 10 for this.
Anybody that says there’s no good music out there has rocks in their head.

The list:

1. Beat Drun Juel – suppressor
2. Whores – Gold
3. Nocturnal Habits – New Skin for Old Children
4. Helms Alee – Stillicide
5. The Cell Phones – No
6. Future of the Left – the Peace and Truce of Future of the Left
7. Blind Shake – Celebrate Your Worth
8. Savak – Best of Luck in Future Endeavors
9. The rutabega – unreliable narrator
10. Christian fitness – this taco is not correct

5 songs that are not on the top 10 records of 2016

1. Melvins – Decay of Lying
2. Big Business – Fathers Day
3. Maple Stave – Call Sign Spider
4. Iggy Pop – Paraguay
5. John Congleton & the Nighty Nite – You are Facing the Wrong Way

LET’S COUNT IT DOWN!

10: Christian fitness – this taco is not correct
Avid listeners and fans of the show will probably remember… probably remember? How could you forget. Episode 89 with Falco, making a record breaking 4th apperance on protonic, this is a great record. I find that a lot of people don’t know it so much. It’s all pretty much Falco, Jack from Future of the Left, Mclusky plays drums. It’s one of the best records that came out this year, that people haven’t paid that much attention that like this kind of music.
Reggie Has Asbestos Training

9. The rutabega – unreliable narrator
This is their second record, the Unreliable Narrator, a little less epic than Brothers The Lights Don’t Work which has been their classic go-to, but the songs are as solid as can be, and very cool. I think you will appreciate it very much, if you haven’t heard it… you really need to. I’m playing one of the lesser known ones here. There is a very specific thing, there’s emotions! there’s feelings! it’s not just noise all the time. You can find it at Comedy Minus One, they are good people, making good music from South Bend Indiana. I happened to pick the one that is the darkest most emotional journey on the record, that’s how we do at Protonic Reversal.
I dig this one, this is the moody closer. I’ve Been the Armour

Also find them at Comedy Minus One
Josh and Garth appeared on the show all the way back in episode 33!

8. Savak – Best of Luck in Future Endeavors
This is a supergroup of sorts, members of Obits and Virgin Islands. I quite like it, I don’t know exactly what I was expecting but it’s a really good hot rocking good time. Episode 84 featured Sohrab of Savak, Obits, Edsel. This record came out early in the year, and I feel like it made a big impact with folks, but I feel like people aren’t giving it the deference it deserves. There’s an almost new wave-y element to it that i’m really into, but this is some serious rock music at the same time.

Also available on Comedy Minus One

7. Blind Shake – Celebrate Your Worth
One of the best bands loosely affiliated with the new garage rock “movement”, they are on their own thing, their own trip. The Blind Shake! Possibly my favorite since Seriousness. Just excellent stuff all around. This one is on Goner.
This one is a little less noisy, and a little more DEVO from Pluto.

6. Future of the Left – the Peace and Truce of Future of the Left
I feel like the last few Future of the Left records are divisive for some reason, people seem to be really into them or not into them at all. And they don’t give them a chance. They dont’ give it a chance. This is a band that keeps getting better, I frankly like them better than mclusky. Which is heretical for a lot of folks and I don’t care. It’s a busy world, out there. You should make time for this one.

Again Episode 89 for Falco’s last appearance

5. The Cell Phones – No
Believe it or not, I find this band a little hard to describe. Truth told, they sound like themselves, but when pressed I say they sound like Tina Turner fronting NoMeansNo, Freddie Mercury fronting DFA1979, Sharon Jones (of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings) fronting the Minutemen, none of that makes much sense, but it gets you to a starting point. The record is called NO, two words. NO. How do you talk about something like this without just saying: “this kicks ass, shut up stupid, and listen!”. It sounds like it’s from another planet, but I mean that as a compliment!

4. Helms Alee – Stillicide
Brace Yourself.
Great band, one of those bands that are just difficult to describe but are top to bottom wonderful. A unique voice in heavy music, melodic, epic, adventerous.
Go find them at Sargent House

3. Nocturnal Habits – New Skin for Old Children
This is Justin Trosper and Sara from Unwound, with some Two Ton Boa action in there as well. It’s amazing, I love this record, i’ve listened to it lots. One of the deeper cuts on this one. Lush as hell and great stuff. Soothing in it’s way.
An alternate universe sequel to Leaves Turn Inside you by Unwound.

Of course Justin Trosper was also on last episode.

2. Whores – Gold

Two time guest on the show. Last appearance was episode 90. This is off the record Gold. It’s a bomber. They …

Conan Neutron Voting Guide – Nov. 2016 – General Election

Vote 2016
Image result for vote
PRESIDENT
Hillary Clinton
SENATE
US Senate: Kamala Harris
CONGRESS
 US House, District 13: Barbara Lee
US House, District 17: No Endorsement (Honda v. Khanna)
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE
State Senate, District 9: Nancy Skinner
State Senate, District 11: Jane Kim
State Assembly, District 18: No endorsement (Rob Bonta)
SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE
Office No. 1: Scott Jackson
AC TRANSIT DIRECTOR, AT LARGE
Chris Peeples
AC TRANSIT DISTRICT DIRECTOR, WARD 2
Greg Harper
EAST BAY REGIONAL DISTRICT DIRECTOR, WARD 2
Audree Jones-Taylor
BART BOARD OF DIRECTORS
District 1: Gail Murray
District 3: Rebecca Saltzman
Distrct 5: John McPartland
District 7: Lateefah Simon
CITY COUNCIL
At -Large- Rebecca Kaplan RCV
CITY ATTORNEY
Barbara Parker (Unopposed)
SCHOOL BOARD:
District 1: Don Macleay
PROPOSITIONS
STATE
51: No – School Construction & Repair Bond
52: Yes – Medi-Cal Matching Fees
53: HELL NO – Require Even More Bonds on the Ballot
54: Yes – Publish Bills 72 Hours Before a Vote
55: No – Extension of Income Tax on the 1%
56: Yes – Tax E-cigs & tax Cigarettes more.
57: HELL YES- Progressive Parole Reform
58: Yes – Allow Multilingual Education in Public Schools
59: Yes – Citizens United Sucks
60: HELL NO – Moralizing Crusade to Require Condoms in Adult Films
61: YES  – Prescription Drug Pricing Change
62: HELL YES – Repeal the Death Penalty
63: Yes – Gavin Newsom’s Vanity Gun Control Prop
64: HELL YES!!! – Marijuana Legalization
65: No – Redirect Money from the Disposable Bag Fee
66: HELL NO!!!! – Kill people faster with the Death Penalty
67: Yes – Protect the Plastic Bag Ban
LOCAL
Alameda County:
A1: Yes – Affordable Housing
City of Alameda:
B1: Yes – Extend Parcel tax for Schools
AC Transit:
C1: Yes – Mass Transit is cool
City of Oakland
G1: Yes – School District Parcel Tax
HH: Yes – Soda Tax
II: Yes – Maximum Lease time of city-owned real properties
JJ: YES!!! – Renter’s rights, and just cause, approval to raise rents.
KK: Yes – Pedestrian Infrastructure Bond
LL: YES!!!! –  charter amendment for citizen oversight of police department
BART
RR: Yes – More mass transit, uneasy
EXPLAIN YOURSELF!!!!
Vote 2016
PRESIDENT
Hillary Clinton
I’m so ready for this to be over, I truly am.
Look: I sucked it up and voted for Kerry / Edwards in 2004 and the third party choices were better that year and the Democratic Candidate weaker. Yet i’m still gnashing teeth because the primary and what Bernie built… look, you get it.
I don’t like Jill Stein, the anti-vaxx stuff is blown out of proportion (she really questions the FDAs role in it and approval, it’s a sane stance), but she is just annoying. She was in an annoying folk group, she plays those annoying hippie drums. She’s annoying! Like most of the things I dislike about the Green Party in one candidate, she’s ivory tower progressive personified, and the best thing about this cycle is that it’s made a Green Party candidate actually speak out on foreign policy beyond “don’t wage war”. As for Gary Johnson… come on… he has not fared well in this era of greater scrutiny. Enough said. Even Bill Weld knows what time it is.
So here I am, advocating for Hillary freaking Clinton. Yeah, I know.
Here’s why: we need to strike a blow for critical thinking, we need to strike a blow against what these years of Tea Party style over-represented white rage represent. It sucks that the champion has to be her, i’m sorry I’ve been listening to the arguments for her for years, I just don’t buy it. I yearn to be proven wrong.
I don’t know if Clinton deserves to win, but Drumpf and the Republicans *DEFINITELY* deserve to lose.
The one thing I LOVE about her is that she’s a ruthless tactician that won’t expect camaraderie and bipartisanship, she will treat it like the blood sport it is and give them the lack of mercy that they have earned. That, I look forward to, it’s been earned.
So that pisses off all of my Green and Libertarian friends, now let me irritate all of the Democratic party regulars and the beltway types I know.
Votes are earned, period.
If you don’t live in a swing state, vote for whoever you want and don’t let anybody guilt you otherwise. . Votes are earned, not transferred.
Don’t listen. IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN A SWING STATE.
If you do. Well, I’m going to ask you to suck it up.
I do think that an election where Clinton wins the electoral college and Drumpf wins the popular vote would be one of the worst possible scenarios I can envision, but don’t let anybody harangue you into voting for somebody you don’t want to. Me? I feel like we need to strike a blow for critical thinking, and insanely that means voting FOR Hillary Clinton.
She doesn’t need to be your favorite, she doesn’t need to be your ideal. You just have to realize that she is the bulwark against this heinous anti-intellectualism, sexist, racist, classist bullshit that we have going on. It’s not enough for that crap to lose, it needs to lose big.
That’s what this election cycle has done, the tire fire needs to go out. Drumpf’s supporters will not go away when he loses, neither will Drumpf… but we need a reset. Look: at this point i’m sure you made up your mind long ago, let’s just get this over with, ok?
She’ll probably be fine, let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and make sure we keep the progressive pressure on, ok?
SENATE
US Senate: Kamala Harris
Everytime I endorse Kamala Harris, I’m a little less enthusiastic about it. She’s so careful, so painfully preparing for the next step up. It’s really annoying. She’s by far the better candidate of the two Democrats. Sanchez would be acceptable in a purple state or red state… …

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

The Colossus of Destiny: A Melvins Tale – Review

There has never been a band quite like the Melvins. Frequently misunderstood, always underestimated and relentless in their pursuit of both challenging and delighting a die hard audience that shifts, changes, and expands almost as much as the music itself. A documentary on them and their 30+ full-length albums over 30 years seems like somewhere between a fool’s errand and a scientific impossibility.

Yet the Colossus of Destiny has managed to pull this off, and so much more. Existing as one of the most compelling documentaries in recent years with a misleading aura of effortlessness. Subtitled “A Melvins Tale”, the impish, gleefully mischievous hint that a raconteur with questionable motives might captivate you, telling you this story by a fire only adds to allure. Spinning a rock and roll story of a band that somehow managed to never quit and has never sucked.

A fantastical creature to be sure!

The tired Behind the Music or Spinal Tap tropes cannot be found in the Melvins Tale. There are no band psychologists, there are no Desmond Childe penned arena ballads. There is no period of execrable lost in the wilderness genre jumping. There is no time for such weakness of spirit.

The Colossus shows that the Melvins are a mighty machine that rolls forward and does not give a whit for your perceptions of what they are or what they should be. Cranking out album after album that continues to surprise and innovate and still never sound quite the same. They never follow a script or formula and always push for the next weird and awesome thing.

Whether it’s showing up in the movie Juno as a casual reference, or as background music in a bar in the best episode of the first season of True detective. There is a cultural saturation that is both undeniable and well deserved. The Melvins are an American band and exist with or without your approval or interest.

The Colossus of Destiny manages to show this through the words of the people not just involved, but around Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover, band mates, label heads, luminaries influenced by their work and yes, Krist Novoselic and Gene Simmons. There are no periods skipped past or glossed over, no punches pulled, the tale is told in a relatively linear matter that includes the inauspicious beginnings right up to the now.

An excellently balanced mix of live footage, interviews and other fascinating nuggets shows you an entry way into the world of Mr. Osborne and Mr. Crover that is damn enlightening. Embodying the least odious parts of the KISS philosophy, which is a unabashed, unabiding love and respect for their fans and for anybody else that comes along along with a gleeful punk rock spirit to do whatever they want at that time despite orthodoxy or trend. The world of the Melvins is laid bare to the viewer in a unique and fascinating way.

Major moments in the bands history are represented including: 51 states in 51 days with Melvins Lite, an iteration of the band with Standup Bass (!) and a much smaller footprint, cracking a Guinness book of records milestone previously held by George Thorogood. However, some of my favorite parts of the film are just quick and candid moments with Buzz and Dale. Short quips that are often funny as hell and very self-aware but speak volumes in their brevity.

Several key figures choosing not to participate in the film is disappointing, but their absence does not hurt the film or the story. At a running time of almost two hours, there could easily be a Part Two and you still couldn’t get the entire story. I can only imagine the decisions on what to leave out to be brutal and heartbreaking. A problem most band documentaries absolutely do not have.

Named from a fantastic, uncompromising and influential John Fante book, it really is the perfect title, The Colossus of Destiny.

What more can I say? This movie, created by two first time filmmakers Bob Hannam and Ryan Sutherby over the course of years is not only a labor of love, it’s essential viewing for those that live the life of rock ‘n roll or are just fascinating at the steadfast endurance of true artists carving together an incredible niche for themselves and continuing as always to press forward.

Watching this film in a theatre full of like-minded travellers and rock ‘n roll warriors was a very special and unique experience for me. Fair warning: for the less hard hearted of you, might find that the theater you are watching in has a bit of dust that might get in your eye.

*In the interests of full disclosure, I do play music with Dale Crover in Secret Friends. However, I come to this as a lifelong fan from the age of 14, with an excitement that can only be borne of seeing one of your favorite bands story unfold in an incredible way.…

Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends – the Art of Murder

Hello, I put out another record. This is another Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends album.
I play guitar and do vocals.
Tony Ash plays bass.
Dale Crover plays drums.

Toshi Kasai produces and engineers.

I like it, perhaps you will too.
The whole thing is a concept record about and around the world of Hannibal Lecter.

Notes:

This record was written and mostly arranged leisurely between November 7th, 2014 and March 7th 2015 by Conan Neutron. Tracks were given final arrangements and recorded at Sound of Sirens studio in Sun Valley, CA between May14th-18th, 2015 by Toshi Kasai. Mixing was done at Sound of Sirens between June 12th- July 28th. 2015 by Toshi Kasai.

Mastering was done at Chicago Mastering Company by Bob Weston: September 2015

Art and layout by Rick Froberg

This record was directly inspired by the Hannibal Lecter series of books by Thomas Harris. Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal and the fascinating interpersonal dynamics between the characters within. As well as some of the other associated material around the characters of said stories. Certain phrases are cited in the lyrical content and are done so with the utmost respect and admiration.

Thanks to Lindsey Neutron, Stephanie Vogt, Jordan Sobolew, Michael Marchant, Erica Strout, Lindsey Charles, Kevin Burkett and the Electrical Guitar Company and to all of the rest of the Friends of the Neutron out there. Secret, explicit or otherwise.

www.neutronfriends.com

All songs © Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Sharealike 3.0 unported (CC BY-NC-SA3.0)
creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
credits
released March 1, 2016

Engineering/Production: Toshi Kasai
Vocals/Guitar: Conan Neutron
Bass: Tony Ash
Drums: Dale Crover
Additional Synth/Organ and Strings: Conan Neutron
Additional Vocals on Avid Fan and Chair of Antlers: Buzz Osborne
Additional Vocals on Eat the Rude and Chair of Antlers: Tony Ash
Additional Harmony Vocals on Quid Pro Quo and The Doctor Will See You Now: Dana Poblete
Additional Percussion and Vocals: Toshi Kasai
Additional Percussion: Dale Crover

Neutron Voting Guide – June 2016

It’s that time again, at *LAST* it’s California’s turn to vote.
So let’s get right down to it, shall we? My choices. With explanations below.

Do it… it’s important. Especially for the Presidential Ticket this year (amazingly!)
govote

PresidentBernie Sanders
US SenateKamala Harris
US House of Representatives, District 13Barbara Lee
California State Senate District 9Nancy Skinner
California State Assembly District 18Write-in
Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Office 1Scott Jackson
Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Office 2Jennifer Madden
Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Office 14Margaret Fujioka
Alameda Board of Education, 3rd Trustee AreaRandy Reynaldo Menjivar

Prop 50: YES
Measure AA: No

Alameda County Democratic Party, Central Committee, Assembly District 18:
1. Randy Reynaldo Menjivar
2. Guillermo D. Elenes
3. Pamela Drake
4. Marlon Mcwilson
5. Diana Prola
6. Peggy Moore
7. Pamela Price
8. Margarita Lacabe
9. Mike Katz-Lacabe
10. Corina Lopez

President – Bernie Sanders
My MAN. Never has a Presidential candidate in my lifetime been so close to my actual political belief system. MOST DEFINITELY never has one that matched so closely gotten so far.

Robert Reich said something really smart:

Hillary Clinton, he says, is the best possible president for running the system we have. But Sanders, he argues, is the only presidential candidate actually trying to change the system we have into the system we deserve.

Perfect! Look: I’ve been a fan of this dude back from when he was just the mayor of Burlington, VT. Into the House and then into the Senate. I really never expected him to run for President, I didn’t think he would be into the hassle of it. However, one of the first things I thought of when I heard he was running was: “Hunh, he could win.” Senator Sanders has legitimately started a movement, and has made it so that California. One of the VERY LAST states to vote actually matters. All of this running against one of the best funded and most powerful non-incumbents in Presidential History.

He’s smart, he’s effective, he brooks no Tom Foolery and he’s managed to make people excited about good progressive policy with populist roots. In any other election he WOULD be the story, as we all know, he is just *A* story in this election.

Listen: I’ve gone on and on about Bernie Sanders and all the reasons to love him. I think most people have picked a side on this contest long ago and are ready to get onto defeating the heinous menace of Donald Drumpf no matter the outcome. However, we still get to vote, and for that i’m grateful. It feels amazing to be able to vote *FOR* something, and I hope he not only wins, but wins BIG. Showing that politics as usual just won’t cut it in the Democratic Party anymore.
Thank you Bernie Sanders for running, for giving people like me something to vote FOR and for perhaps starting an incredible new phase in the Democratic Party.

US Senate – Kamala Harris
What’d I say last time?:
“An attorney general who is against the Death Penalty. Yes! Still pisses me off she has taken little action against the Federal stomping on the Marijuana trade, but she is a dece AG. I wish she would take a stronger stance against the death penalty and for legalization of the weed. But, she has her eyes on bigger things. That’s fine. She’ll be good at that too.”

Yeah, that’ll do. If she gets the Senate seat expect to hear a lot from Kamala Harris for years to come.

I think it’s fantastic that in a sea of white men in the Senate, California has regularly had two ladies representing us. Too bad one of them is Feinstein. Heh.

Kamala is easily the best of a huge field, Loretta Sanchez would be a great candidate for like: Arizona or something. Not California. I think it’s just fine that some of the rowdier parts of the left are all worked up about Harris. The one thing that gives me pause is the Eastbay cell phone surveillance plan she supported. That sucks.

Remember, our weird ass rules has the top two vote getters going against each other. So it’s entirely possible we might be voting for two Democrats in the general too. If it isn’t Kamala vs. Loretta in the general, i’d genuinely be shocked.
Weird!

At least there’s no Schwarzenegger this time.

US House of Representatives – Barbara Lee
One of my favorite Representatives in all of the House. She’s awesome. Easy choice, i’ve voted for her many times, glad to do so again.

California State Senate District 9 – Nancy Skinner, I guess? O
I like Sandre Swanson, I’ve just never seen him do that much. It’s by a nose. Practically a coin flip with these two.
I hear a lot of talk about how Nancy Skinner both is and could BE a big Democratic leader though, and that’s what we need.
So i’m willing to take the plunge on this.

As an aside: I hate how people just switch around jobs with these statehouse roles. Annoying.

California State Assembly District 18 – Write-In
I don’t like Rob Bonta, I think he is exactly the kind of person we don’t need in the state legislature. He doesn’t ever seem to actually do anything, but he seems nice enough and he sticks around long enough that you remember the name.

Here’s what I wrote last time:
“I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t know a damn thing about this Rob Bonta character. At least what he’s done in his current role. I’m sure he’s managed to collect his salary. I forget who I advocated for when he ran. This dude is my assemblyman though… and I barely know he is, and I pay attention to this stuff.

Ugh, the assembly can be important. Why do we have a dude in there who …

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)…