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February 14, 1986 | CHRIS WILLMAN
"Would you like your taxes done?" asks Keith Clark, extending a hand from behind a large oak desk. An unsuspecting visitor to the Hollywood office of the notorious Circle Jerks can't be blamed for being taken aback at such a query. Perhaps a too-conservative mode of dress or manner has incurred this sarcasm from Clark, the drummer for one of the city's most well-known and long-standing punk bands. But Clark isn't kidding.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 2013 | By Steve Appleford
No band from the nascent Los Angeles punk rock scene of the 1970s and '80s has meant more to subsequent hard-core generations than Black Flag. Few could have expected as much at the time. "I'm totally surprised because we didn't know what we were doing," recalls Keith Morris, the band's founding singer, who quit in 1979 to form his own early hard-core act, the Circle Jerks. "This is who we are, this is what we do: get in the room, turn the amps on and let it blast. " Since the band's breakup in 1986, fans and the curious have had to be content with all the "loudfastrules" recordings left behind, but this summer brings a strange new chapter: two competing versions of the band on tour.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 16, 1988 | MIKE BOEHM, Time Staff Writer
The Dickies and the Circle Jerks hearken back to the early days of L.A. punk and hard-core. But the predictably chaotic Valentine's Day scene they inspired Sunday at Anaheim's Celebrity Theatre hearkened even further back to the days when the pagan courtship rites of Rome hadn't yet evolved into the Christian holiday of love.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2013
POP MUSIC The Los Angeles punk band Off! accomplishes an impressive feat on its self-titled debut album (after last year's collection of EPs): Sixteen songs in under 16 minutes, each a compact, sonic rampage via scream, electric guitar, bass and drum, by four men who understand compressed aggression: Keith Morris (Circle Jerks, Black Flag), Dimitri Coats (Burning Brides, lead villain in the film "Suck"), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), and drummer Mario Rubalcaba (Rocket from the Crypt, Hot Snakes)
ENTERTAINMENT
July 29, 1995 | CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With an entrance that recalls Norm Peterson walking into Cheers, Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris enters the tiny, untidy diner around the corner from his home near downtown Los Angeles. He makes a few hello waves here and there, orders without looking at the menu and says "fire away" to his interviewer. He's obviously been here before.
NEWS
February 7, 1991 | BILL LOCEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Television brings the war into your home. The Circle Jerks could bring the war to your neighborhood when they play the Ventura Theatre on Friday night. No gunfire, just hordes of people slamming, er, dancing. It'll be the pits--the slam pit, actually. The forearm shiver becomes a dance step. Oh, and don't forget your combat boots, steel pot and flak jacket--it'll be just like the real thing, except that combat pay is still not authorized for punk rock concerts.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 1995 | SANDY MASUO
Though they are contemporaries of both Bad Religion (with whom they share guitarist Greg Hetson) and Black Flag, the major label debut by these L.A. punk veterans is refreshingly reckless compared to the cultivated Angst of Bad Religion's recent work. And it's downright fun next to the stark severity of Henry Rollins' post-Black Flag career. Vocalist Keith Morris rants with haphazard vehemence while the remaining Jerks brashly bash their way through these 12 choppy tunes.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 1995 | CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With an entrance that recalls Norm Peterson walking into Cheers, Circle Jerks singer Keith Morris enters the tiny, untidy diner around the corner from his home near downtown Los Angeles. He makes a few hello waves here and there, orders without looking at the menu and says "fire away" to his interviewer. He's obviously been here before. "Sorry I'm late, I just got done with an interview with some guy from Philadelphia," he says. "It's a little crazy." It sure is.
NEWS
September 12, 2002 | STEVE HOCHMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Keith Morris is wondering whether being included as one of the patriarch acts on a show marking 25 years of punk rock might have some negative implications. "Is that 25 years too looong?" he asks, eating a Caesar salad on a restaurant patio in his Silver Lake neighborhood. The lead singer of the Circle Jerks raises his eyebrows above his round glasses and under his long dreadlocks as if daring a retort that perhaps it has been too long.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 1988 | MIKE BOEHM
The scene Sunday night at the Celebrity Theatre in Anaheim had less to do with St. Valentine than St. Vitus. The celebration--featuring veteran Southland punk bands the Dickies and the Circle Jerks--called for contact among slamming, stage-diving fans and, for much of the show, between the punks and a cordon of bouncers who lined the stage. The Dickies relish silliness and have spent 10 years playing virtually everything for laughs.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 25, 2013 | by Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Former first-generation Southern California punk guitarist Mike Atta might not be as known as some of the peers he and his band the Middle Class influenced, but his place in the annals of L.A. rebel music is understood. The band was founded in 1977, and was one of the region's first hard-core punk bands -- if not the first. Need evidence? The lineup for Friday night's benefit concert at the Echoplex, which has been organized in an effort to stem Atta's medical bills from cancer treatments, will feature some of the great names of early L.A. punk.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 19, 2013 | By August Brown
Here's a sign that a punk band is out of touch: When its fortysomething guitarist stands before a sold-out crowd of four thousand mostly white, beefy dudes, and rails against the one thing he hates the most - using a violent homophobic slur to do so. Granted, Pennywise's Fletcher Dragge was trying to rip on his heavy metal-listening high school nemeses, and the rest of the band cringed and mumbled “Not cool” while Dragge tried to walk it...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 1, 2013 | By Randall Roberts
It's odd to think of Los Angeles punk band Redd Kross as a legacy act, considering its bassist Steven McDonald learned his instrument at age 11, shortly before he and older brother Jeff, 15, opened for Black Flag in the early '80s. But more than three decades later, here they are, delivering the kind of fuzzed-out melodies and explosive girl-group harmonies that at their 1980s prime propelled them to near-stardom. Equally strange is the notion that the band, which has returned from a 15-year hiatus with a new studio album, wouldn't be as well known to indie kids in 2012 as peers Sonic Youth, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Dinosaur Jr. are, considering that at Redd Kross' popular peak they were as acclaimed as any of them.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2012 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times
We Got Power! Hardcore Punk Scenes from 1980s Southern California David Markey and Jordan Schwartz Bazillion Points: 288 pp., $39.95 When music historians discuss California rock music, the post-punk burst that rocked Southern California in the early 1980s is often washed away by waves of classic surf music. But as "We Got Power! Hardcore Punk Scenes from 1980s Southern California" reminds us, the energy and spirit that explodedin that short span helped define a youth movement still active and vital 30 years later.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 2012 | By Susan King
The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre is hoping to make your Labor Day with its “Eastwood Westerns” program. The retrospective of Clint Eastwood's best sagebrush sagas begins Monday evening with his final spaghetti western for director Sergio Leone, 1966's “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” which also stars Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef. On tap for Wednesday is “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” the 1976 revisionist Western he also directed. Sondra Locke, who would be Eastwood's collaborator both on and off screen for several years, is also featured.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 1, 2011 | By Steve Appleford, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The first time Sean Carlson organized the FYF Festival, in 2004, he was barely 18 and thrilled just to bring some of his favorite indie bands and comedians to the Echo and other scattered clubs. "No organization," Carlson remembers fondly. "It was just a disaster. It was great. " He presented 30 bands and a dozen comedians (including an unknown Zach Galifianakis) that year for a crowd of 2,500. Carlson made about $8, not yet realizing that he'd begun a career as street-level impresario for an exploding music scene in and around downtown, Silver Lake and Echo Park.
NEWS
April 11, 1991 | BILL LOCEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It seems apparent that once a rock act reaches a certain point of acceptance, new avenues open. Rockers not only can be all they can be; on occasion, they can even be themselves. Remember John Cougar? He did so well that now he can afford to be John Cougar Mellencamp. Then there's John Kay, who used to be Steppenwolf; Arthur Lee & Love, who used to be just Love, and lots of others. Which gets us to Keith Morris' Bug Lamp. Morris, you see, used to be a Jerk. A big Jerk. The main Jerk.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 2011 | By Steve Appleford, Special to the Los Angeles Times
The way Keith Morris holds a microphone is not designed for comfort. He grabs it with one or both hands, elbows locked at rigid angles, and lunges with each syllable as he shouts with epic fury. The eyes bulge, his knees buckle. At 55, the delivery of this punk-rock originator has only intensified with age. In a small rehearsal room on the outskirts of Eagle Rock, Morris is pacing the floor impatiently, much as he did as the founding singer for Black Flag, then for three decades with the Circle Jerks, and now in a new band with an abrupt name — Off!
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2011 | By Jason Gelt, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Today, you can't escape punk rock ? the style, iconography and chord changes are as accessible as Hot Topic and top-40 radio. But punk continues to draw its power from the scene of the late 1970s and early '80s, particularly here in Southern California, and to build on its legacy as a savage underground protest music and an art movement that refused to be defined by money. On Friday, art gallery Subliminal Projects opens a new show of photography, art and ephemera called "Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die," which throws open the chaotic energy of an early punk scene that included such bands as Black Flag, the Minutemen, Redd Kross, Bad Religion, the Germs and others.
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