rocket-to-russia

So the last time I wrote about the Ramones (entry #33), I actually spent most of the entry writing about the Dead Schembechlers, the “legendary” Wolverine Hate-Core band from C-bus whose first album was actually titled “Rocket to Ann Arbor” in homage to this album.  So as I sit here in the Capitol City, in the midst of *ichigan week, in anticipation of the second biggest matchup in the history of the two schools with OSU currently ranked #2 and scUM chiming in at #3 (not quite as good as #1 vs. #2 in 2006, but I’ll take it) and a potential berth in the third annual college football playoff on the line, it only seems fitting that I continue the trend by writing more about the Schembechlers.  So indulge me for a bit…

I’ve seen every Schembechlers show here in the ‘Bus (6 total), and I have tix to my 7th show this upcoming Black Friday (I missed one in C-town one year, but it was the same show they played here in Cowtown).  In terms of sheer popularity, the band peeked with the show I wrote about last time (entry #33) in 2006 when the teams were ranked #1 and #2 and Bo tragically died the day of the show.  That night they donated the proceeds from the show to Bo’s Heart of a Champion charity and promised to change their name to the “Bastard Sons of Woody”.  That name didn’t stick though, and after a two year hiatus they returned as the Dead Schembechlers.  They had the show booked for the former LC (I don’t even know what the name of the place is now), the biggest venue they had ever played.  However, the week of the show, ESPN had some sort of crappy college football tour sponsored by Samsung and headlined by the All-American Rejects come into town, and the LC bumped the Schembechers to the former House of Crave (crappy name inspired by then White Castle sponsorship…it’s now called the A&R Music Bar), a tiny rock bar next to the LC.  Ticket holders could move freely between the two venues, and ironically the House of Crave was packed to capacity and there were about 3 teenagers in the LC to see the Rejects.

After that, the shows got progressively smaller and more sporadic.  In 2010 they played a “Farewell to Rich Rodriguez” show at Skully’s Music Diner, a small rock club in the Short North.  Then there was a long hiatus (Bo Biafra was kidnapped and spent several years in a Wolverine Death Camp), until the group returned in 2014 to play a “Farewell to Brady Hoke” show at Ace of Cups, a very small rock club in the Olde North district.  This year there is no new music, but the band is playing at Ace of Cups again in anticipation of another Buckeye victory over the Big, Blue Meanies.

Ok, thanks for indulging me.  Now to the Ramones.  I picked up this album for $4.99 at the Barnes & Noble in Mentor last holiday season.  It pretty much sticks to the Ramones formula of simple verse-chorus-verse songs with witty lyrics and no guitar solos.  The subject matter is pretty much tongue-in-cheek teen angst with the occasional fake-surfer song thrown in (“Rockaway Beach”, “Surfin’ Bird”).  It has a little less energy overall than their debut, but it’s still a fun album.

Other lists: “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” is #461 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Ch-ch-changes: We are still in the wake of the meteoric rise of Kid A, so this album is one spot lower than its original ranking of #105.

My favorite track: “Sheena is a Punk Rocker”

Honorable mention: “We’re a Happy Family”

Quote: “There’s no stoppin’ the cretins from hoppin'” (so true after the recent election…)

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