Sunday, August 23, 2015

Song Of The Week: 8/23/15

Song: "Porno And Snuff Films"

Artist: The Lawrence Arms

Album: "Apathy And Exhaustion"

Year: 2002

Place Of Origin: Chicago, Illinois

Years Active: 1999-present


"Porno And Snuff Films" appears to me to be about the music industry. It's how the industry basically strips an artist of all his ideals and goals and art and breaks them down to the point where they fall in line and create what the people in the "big chairs" want to hear. It's about having the artist stop being true to himself and his art to create something for corporate gain. Once you've sold yourself out, your art no longer has any integrity. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many artists who succumb to the corporate thumb. Their creativity and originality is the ultimate cost.

THE LAWRENCE ARMS' DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1999 - "A Guided Tour Of Chicago" (Asian Man Records)
2000 - "Ghost Stories" (Asian Man Records)
2002 - "Apathy And Exhaustion" (Fat Wreck Chords)
2003 - "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (Fat Wreck Chords)
2005 - "Cocktails & Dreams" (Asian Man Records)
2006 - "Oh! Calcutta!" (Fat Wreck Chords)
2014 - "Metropole" (Epitaph Records)


The Lawrence Arms formed as a band back in 1999, though all three members, Brendan Kelly, Chris McCaughan and Neil Hennessy, were already established musicians in the Chicago punk scene. Their debut album, 1999's "A Guided Tour Of Chicago", featured some political overtones which their follow up albums tended to veer away from, featuring more personal and introspective lyrical themes. The band is also known to incorporate history, literature and pop culture themes throughout their lyrics and song titles. The Lawrence Arms released an incredible 6 albums in 7 years! One of the albums being the b-sides and rarities compilation, 2005's "Cocktails & Dreams". While the band is most noted for it's relationship with Fat Mike of NOFX and his label Fat Wreck Chords, their latest release, 2014's "Metropole" was released through another legendary punk rock label, Epitaph Records. This release marked the longest time between full length releases for The Lawrence Arms, 8 years between albums. During that 8 year semi-hiatus, the band members focused on several side projects, most notably The Falcon, which featured Kelly and Hennessy along with Alkaline Trio's Dan Andriano and Rise Against's Todd Mahoney. McCaughan also released solo/acoustic material under the moniker Sundowner. Kelly would also get into the solo acoustic stuff, releasing a split album with Smoke Or Fire's Joe McMahon called "Wasted Potential". Currently, The Lawrence Arms were most recently promoting their last release, "Metropole", which came out in 2014. They are a major player in the Chicago punk scene alongside bands such as Alkaline Trio and Rise Against. Though their success hasn't reached the levels as those two bands mentioned, The Lawrence Arms definitely has the respect of those who matter in punk circles. They are a band that champions the DIY ethic that so defines what punk rock music should be about. That view has put them in direct conflict with the promoters of the Warped Tour, which the members of The Lawrence Arms feels is responsible for killing the scene. The battle between art and corporate is something the members of The Lawrence Arms feels very strongly about and they want art protected and nourished, not saturated or infected by striving for corporate success at the expense of artistic integrity.


1. The Slowest Drink At The Saddest Bar On The Snowiest Day In The Greatest City
2. Seventeener
3. You Are Here
4. Your Gravest Words
5. Great Lakes/Great Escapes
6. Porno And Snuff Films
7. The Devil's Takin' Names
8. 100 Resolutions
9. An Evening Of Extraordinary Circumstance
10. Them Angels Been Talkin'

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