Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Scott Adams REVIEW!!!

The Dicks

The Dicks From Texas


The great American hardcore explosion came at just the right moment for a generation of misfits, freaks, and weirdos; people who for whatever reason just couldn’t fit into normal life or even into the existing youth cultures.
Austin, Texas hardcore band the Dicks was a prime example of this. Fronted by Gary Floyd, an oversized openly gay man in the middle of Texas who was likely to dress in drag, a nurse uniform or a Klan outfit, the Dicks would have had their place in punk history cemented by the release of The Dicks Hate the Police, a bluesy howl of a song using black humor to make a point against police harassment, and a true American punk classic.
The Dicks from Texas, is the latest documentary delving into a slice of punk history unknown by many casual fans, and strives to show the influence and importance of both the Dicks and the early ’80s Austin punk scene.
Floyd saw both the Ramones and Sex Pistols in Texas and was so inspired he started telling friends he was in a band called the Dicks. The band existed in Floyd’s mind and a series of posters until springing into existence with founding members Buxf Parrott, Pat Deason and Glen Taylor. Self-described “stars with sweaty armpits,” the Dicks formed friendships with fellow Texas punks the Big Boys and MDC, toured the country, released two albums as well as the groundbreaking debut 7″ and built up a fan base in Austin that felt more like a family a like-minded weirdos than a usual band-fan dynamic.
Amateurish in the best way, the film captures subjects speaking directly to the people behind the camera with asides like “… y’all were at that party,” which adds to the documentary’s homemade charm. Along with surviving band members including a bearded, genial Floyd, the documentary features punk documentary mainstays Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins, as well as a large number of female interviewees, which is a surprisingly nice change from the usual male-centric documentary subjects. Utilizing old photographs and previously unseen performance footage The Dicks from Texas is as much a love letter to friends and family of the Austin punk scene as it is to the band and is recommended to fans of punk history and groups of freaks and misfits sticking together to form a community in the midst of indifference or outright hatred.

Scott Adams

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Scanner Zine Reviews The Dicks From Texas

THE DICKS FROM TEXAS {MVD} Subtitled ‘The Men, The Myth, The Music’, this 70 minute documentary tells the story of one of the most confrontational and incendiary bands that not only Texas ever produced, but Punk Rock as a whole. For those who don’t know, THE DICKS formed in Austin, Texas in 1979 and were fronted by Gary Floyd who was openly gay and would frequently dress in drag. He was also bellicose, politically challenging, had a fixation for Maoist symbolism and had a voice that was powerful and rich, just like some of the finest Blues guys, but imbibed with the spirit and fury of Punk Rock.

After a few soundbite interview snippets, the film starts with a Gary Floyd interview telling the story of his formative years - and of seeing the SEX PISTOLS in San Fran. From there, it’s the familiar story of band formation including the fake posters Floyd made before the band got together and the band’s live debut at the Punk Prom in 1980. Those interviewed include all band members, many from the Austin scene of the time and notables Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, David Yow, Texas Terri, Mike Watt, Pat Doyle (OFFENDERS) and Randy ‘Biscuit’ Turner. The interviews are separated by some great stills and excellent home-movie footage of not just the band in concert but of its environs.

Of course, with a band like THE DICKS, there are myriad stories but several people mention that the band looked like it had just crawled out of prison and were a genuinely frightening experience to the uninitiated. One story included was that of Floyd stuck liver down his panties and then threw it into the audience. Elsewhere there is reference to the all-inclusive attitude of the Austin scene at this time; there were no unwritten ‘cool’ codes of dress more a case of if you were there, you were already included. Rollins makes an interesting analogy in that the Austin scene was more like a "weirdo Collective" than what he knew from the West Coast.

The legendary Raul’s venue is discussed, as is the band’s close ties with the BIG BOYS and its first move to San Francisco that resulted in its inclusion on the Rock Against Reagan tour with MDC.

The film climaxes with the passing of guitarist Glenn Taylor, Floyd moving back to San Fran and the formation of SISTER DOUBLE HAPPINESS (although no mention of THE DICKS Mk II or the ‘These People’ album) before looking at the reunion of the original line-up some 20 years after they split and the band’s induction into the Austin Music Hall Of Fame.

As for bonuses, you get a couple of live gigs. The first is recorded at On Broadway (San Francisco) in 1982 and opens with a FLIPPER-challenging ‘Kill From The Heart’. The second gig is from Akron, Ohio on the Rock Against Reagan tour from 1983 and it’s a brutal, intense gig opening with ‘Dicks Hate The Police’ that sees slammers launching from all angles and the band in totally destructive musical form while ‘Bourgeois Fascist Pig’ sees Floyd go crowd surfing.

Director Cindy Marabito has crafted an informative and highly entertaining film that’s essential viewing for anyone with an interest in this Punk Rock thing. It’s been a genuine labour of love too, having taken 16 years of work. If there is a negative, it’s that some of the interviews are either recorded somewhere with a lot of background noise (usually a bar), lack clear diction or have a DICKS backing track playing under them that’s too loud. The narrative also tends to wander a little rather than sticking to a distinct time line.

Somehow though, the lo-fi attitude kinda works to its benefit and the resulting film is sincere, intimate and grabs the attention. 

Now - I wonder if there is any chance of a sequel, called THE DICKS FROM SAN FRANCISCO? (09.03.16) 
Hit HERE for material review prior to 2015 including:

The Impaler Speaks about The Dicks From Texas

The Dicks From Texas
The Dicks From Texas | directed by Cindy Marabito

The tagline for The Dicks From Texas is ‘the men, the myth, the music’ – certainly a fitting description for this documentary film about one of the most outrageous and influential punk bands of all time.

First-time director Cindy Marabito has pulled off a real coup with this documentary, delivering a film that looks and feels more like a lovingly curated compilation of family movies than anything else – a perfect touch for her subjects. Friends, family, and fans tell the Dicks story, from their Austin, Texas, origins in the late 1970s – a place and a time when concepts like embracing homosexuality and holding an affinity for communist revolutionaries like Chairman Mao were not exactly going to win you many friends in the above-ground world – to their induction into the Austin Music Awards Hall Of Fame in 2008, and beyond.

Interviews spanning decades – with subjects including original Dicks (vocalist Gary Floyd, also of Sister Double Happiness; late guitarist Glen Taylor; bassist Buxf Parrott, and drummer Pat Deason), latter-day Dicks (like drummer Lynn Perko, also of SDH), Texas punk compatriots (late Big Boys vocalist Randy ‘Biscuit’ Turner; Offenders drummer Pat Doyle; late Offenders guitarist Tony Johnson; Scratch Acid/The Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow; Butthole Surfers drummer King Coffey; rawk bad-ass Texas Terri), national punk admirers (Minor Threat/Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye; S.O.A./Black Flag vocalist Henry Rollins; Minutemen/fIREHOSE bassist Mike Watt; Black Flag/DC3/Misfits guitarist/vocalist Dez Cadena), and an amazing array of friends and family – are cut with live footage and hundreds of vintage photos to tell the tale of how a ‘poster band’ that didn’t actually exist not only came to life, but actually went on to influence 4 decades (and counting) of punks, activists, and oddballs.

The biggest thrill in this package, for me, is the bonus live footage: 7 songs captured by Target Video mastermind Joe Rees at San Francisco’s On Broadway in 1982 and 5 more filmed by Vicki Sprague at the Akron, Ohio, stop on 1983’s Rock Against Reagan tour.

To paraphrase Jello BiafraDicks ├╝ber alles! The Impaler
Official website: The Dicks From Texas | Twitter: @texasdicks

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Great review from FFANZEEN!

Text © Robert Barry Francos / FFanzeen, 2015
Images from the Internet

The Dicks from Texas
Produced and directed by Cindy Marabito
MVD Visual
70 minutes, 2015

Bands less-subtly named after body parts arose in the late ‘70s. The first I knew of was the Tits (from Rhode Island, I believe), an art rock performance duo that I saw at Max’s Kansas City. This was followed by the Clits (saw them at Irving Plaza), the Cunts, the Kuntz, and arguably, the Dickies. Likewise, Queercore has its forerunners to the Dicks, such as Lance Loud and the Mumps, the Student Teachers, and again arguably, the Speedies (who were definitely more pop, but had a punk edge). But the Dicks were a whole ‘nother ball of leather.

At a time when Texas was possibly even more rigid than it is now (including Austin), the ‘80s spawned a number of scenes around the State that would change and charge up some of the less countrified young’ns, if not the old guard (or most of the rural countryside, as their voting direction indicates). The Dicks were in the front line of that change, fronted by the self-proclaimed out of the closet and overweight Maoist, Gary Floyd. The rest of the band kind of formed around him, from 1980 through 1983, and then again in 2004.

This doc is, on one hand, your basic history of the nascent scene (basically Southern Rock), how the Dicks formed, and then how an almost new scene emerged around the band. Most of the talking head interviews are from the Dicks, the other bands on the scene such as the Torn Panties, Sister Double Happiness and especially the band-members-in-arms, the Big Boys (no mention that I noticed of MDC), and from other regular members of the audience (including the film’s director), many of whom went on to their own fame as writers, photographers and artists. Then, of course, there are the big name cameos that all punk/hardcore docs must have these days, in this case the nearly omni-documentary-presence of Ian MacKaye (of Minor Threat, Fugazi, etc.), Henry Rollins (Black Flag) and Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE, etc.). Making a rare appearance is Texas Terri, who is an interesting person in her own right. But I digress…

But then, on the other hand, this comes across more like an Oral History, which improves the narrative a bit. Rather than single set-ups where the person tells his story and then has it sewn into the fabric of the story, the main players are shown in various locations, and also with others, who spurn on stories that would probably not have been inspired if they were by themselves (such as Floyd bringing his mother to… well, you’ll have to see it). Amusingly, for example, three members of the aforementioned Torn Panties are laying (dressed, but under the covers) in a twin-sided bed that is too small for all of them, or others are sitting in bars, at home, etc.

Laced into the history are tons of still photos and videos (b-roll type) of the Little Mexico area (the Bowery of Austin, apparently) both then and now, including of many of the people in the video. The documentary, though, is actually broken into two pieces, which is appropriate because the Dicks had more than one life. After moving to San Fran, the band went on tour, and when they played their home turf at the end of it, the band stayed and Floyd went back to SF.

Following that segment and a brief “In Memorium” not just for Glen Taylor, the guitarist from the Dicks who passed, but also members of the scene, the band reformed on a lark in 2004, and is still playing. It picks up Phase 2 at 55 minutes or so, and continues on. At 70 minutes, the film is the perfect length to keep the audience both informed and interested.

There are some fun outtakes during the credits, and the only extra is actually quite a special one, namely two live shows from 1982 and 1983, when the band was in its prime and with the original line-up. Considering it was obviously VHS tape masters, the first is pretty clear in both sound and visual. The second has a bit more noise and fuzz in the sound, but still helps give a better picture of why the Dicks had its cult following.

One of the differences between this and most of the other band/scene combo documentaries is that this does not discuss the end of the scene, its main focus at the end is the band. This was a nicely done film.