Print

The Sicks: Pure Pittsburgh punk!

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

sicksThe debut single from The Sicks — “Pretty Plastic”/“Dose” — is one of the year’s most authentic-sounding punk rock releases, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise given the pedigree.

The members of the Pittsburgh quintet have roots that go back decades, including stints in such heavy-hitters as The Bats, Crow Flies, Aus Rotten, Caustic Christ, Direct Action and Kim Phuc.

The band, which formed two years ago, couldn’t have happened without Kim Phuc splitting, freeing up, for one, roaring frontman Rob Henry.

As veteran punk guitarist Sam Matthews explains, “Rob and I were hanging out a lot together, listening to records and stuff, and at some point realized we’ve known each for years and we’ve never played music together. So, we thought, oh, we should start a band and we’ll just — purity of punk — play all the instruments. Rob doesn’t even play instruments, but I figured I’ll just throw instruments in his hand and we’ll create something.’ That led to us, saying, ‘Oh, we’ll start a band.’ ”

They assembled some of the guys who hang out and talk/argue music at Mind Cure Records on Saturday nights. Joining them in this punk-rock supergroup are guitarist Eric Good and Corey Lyons (both of Caustic Christ and Aus Rotten; Corey also played in Kim Phuc) and drummer Mark Miller (Crow Flies), who has since been replaced by Nick von Krusenstjerna.

“The concept Eric and I had about this is we wanted to be a band that has verses, choruses, middle parts and guitar solos, because it seems like a lot of stuff we’re hearing is people pretty much doing the Nirvana thing: you know, play quiet, play loud, same riff over and over,” Matthews says. “We wanted to go back to what punk was about, to us: sing-along choruses, good riffs, that kind of stuff.”

The guitarist says The Sicks don’t neatly fit into a punk category, and that might be true, but the shorthand here is that “Pretty Plastic” is pure blast of Pistols and “Dose” has the darker shadow of Joy Division.

“We called that ‘Joy Division’ at first until Rob came up with words for it,” Matthews says. “The way we describe ourselves, which started as a joke, but I think it’s really true: proto-punk/punk-rock/post-punk rock, because we’re really just a rock band in a way.”

The Sicks have become the go-to punk band to open for the likes of Negative Approach, Subhumans and Mike Watt, and now the single comes out on Austin-based Fair Warning Records, with a release show Saturday at Gooski’s.

Prepare for the Sicks to be a quick adrenalin jolt. They rage for 20 minutes and Matthews gauges the intensity by “the pile of dead microphones on the floor in the front of the stage.”

The Sicks play Gooski’s, 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill, at 10 p.m. Saturday with Gotobeds and Blood Pressure. 412-681-1658.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Wolf on the gospel of fairness

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf had finished his remarks 

 

Wolf said he believes there are concrete steps that can be taken to change the trends in incarceration: changing sentencing guidelines and decriminalizing marijuana, for example. Too many people make stupid mistakes at a young age, he said, and "end up paying prices much greater than they...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6395-wolf-on-the-gospel-of-fairness

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Growing paperwhites is easy and fun

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog paperwhites 1214Paperwhites are tender, fragrant daffodils which are forced to bloom indoors. Photo by Doug Oster

Every gardener needs something to grow during the winter and anyone can make paperwhites thrive.

One word of warning, they have an intense fragrance that's both loved and hated.

The bulbs can be found for about a dollar a piece at any good garden center. Sometimes they are already potted up, ready to go, other times the bulbs are sold separately. They are also sold in bulb forcing vases. That's a cool way to see them grow and great for kids as the roots are visible.

Everything a paperwhite needs is in the bulb itself. Put it in water or planting mix and it will bloom in just a few weeks. They aren't hardy and can go to the compost after blooming. I've had them survive in an unheated greenhouse, but have never been able to make the bloom again. The foliage is pretty, like any daffodil.

I stagger my plantings, getting bulbs going every couple weeks which provides pretty white flowers and their scent all season.

I love the fragrance, my wife...not so much. But she knows I've got to have some flowers going in the winter.

Try a few paperwhites, they will make the season a little shorter.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Empty Netter Assists - 12-15-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Sidney Crosby (above) was officially diagnosed with the mumps.

-Team physician Dr. Dharmesh Vyas speaks:

-Jim Rutherford speaks:

-Has the Penguins' credibility been put into question?

-The Penguins recalled defenseman Scott Harrington from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Harrington, 21, has appeared in 21 AHL games this season and has five assists.

-EN Says: With Robert Bortuzzo leaving Saturday's game and Olli Maatta's "upper-body" injury looking like it might be more of a long-term situation, the Penguins needed another healthy body on the blue line at the NHL level.

-“They’ve been growing together the past few seasons, getting better. It’s going to be a good challenge for us, to see where we’re at.”  - Marc-Andre Fleury on facing the Lightning tonight.

-Former Penguins goaltender Tomas Vokoun (right) has announced his retirement at the age of 38. In 16 NHL seasons with the Penguins, Canadiens, Predators, Panthers and Capitals, Vokoun appeared in 700 career games and had a 300-288-78 record with a 2.55 goals against average, a .917 save percentage and 51 shutouts. A free agent signing by the Penguins in 2012, Vokoun spent two seasons in Pittsburgh. In 2012-13, Vokoun appeared in 20 games and had a 17-13-4 record with a 2.45 goals against average, a .919 save percentage and three shutouts. Taking over for Marc-Andre Fleury as starter during the 2013 postseason, Vokoun played in 11 games and had a 6-5 record with a 2.01 goals against average, a .933 save percentage and one shutout. Prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, Vokoun was diagnosed with a blood clot in his groin and never played in another NHL game. He left the Penguins this past summer as an unrestricted free agent and never signed with another NHL team. Vokoun also played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Wheeling Nailers (then known as the Thunderbirds) during various times throughout his career.

-An overtime goal and an assist by Adam Payerl gave the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins a 3-2 win against the rival Hershey Bears. Jeff Zatkoff made 20 saves in the victory.

-The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins don't have a ton of size up front.

-Eric Hartzell made 36 saves for the Wheeling Nailers who beat the Reading Royals, 3-2.

-After the Jump: Derick Brassard is also diagnosed with the mumps.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Never Mind

Written by Rob Rogers on .

So, after all of the fighting, hand-wringing, warnings, threats, bullying and ulcer inducing anxiety created by the UPMC/Highmark fight, now UPMC is saying "never mind." Aaaaaaaaaaagh! 

121514 Never Mind

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.