Saturday, March 07, 2020

The Dishrags & Show # 818

The Dishrags were an all female punk rock based band in Vancouver, BC. Forming in Victoria, BC in 1976 before becoming part of the Vancouver scene, they were also one of the first all female punk bands from Canada. When the band formed the three core members Jade Blade (guitar/vox), Dale power (bass) and Carmen “Scout” Michaud (drums) were still in high school. Initially influenced by bands such as T.Rex and Suzi Quatro, when they discovered the Ramones they became an immediate influence. The music that they made also added elements of other bands such as The Clash to their music. The Dishrags played their first show on July 30th, 1977 at the Japanese Hall opening for another Vancouver pioneering punk band, The Furies. When both of these bands played together at that show, they would go on to influence others in the emerging Vancouver punk scene at the time. This was also apparently the first local punk show in Vancouver. Initially known as Dee Dee & The Dishrags, they would eventually drop the first part of their name and become known as The Dishrags.

A few years later, The Dishrags had opened for almost every band in Vancouver at a punk venue. However, they seemed to be relegated to the headliner slot, while others in the scene seemed to be moving forward and putting out records. But, this would change when they were approached by the Modern Records label. Prior to this, the band’s only musical release was the song “I Don’t Love You” and it was featured on the Vancouver Complication compilation album in 1979. In 1979, The Dishrags opened for The Clash in Vancouver (at the request of The Clash). Bo Diddley, who was also playing with The Clash on their tour at this time, was also a fan of The Dishrags music and invited them to record with him in Miami, but that never materialized. In the summer of 1979, The Dishrags put out their Past Is Past EP. Recorded in Seattle at Triangle Studios and produced by Collin Griffiths and Harry Cool, the EP was made up of three songs, “Past Is Past”, “Love Is Shit (It’s Goodbye)”, and “Tormented”. The title track is the highlight here. With its on edge, buzzing guitars and bass, the song evokes a pop melody amongst the catchy grooves. Lyrically, the song features a mature outlook about everything changing touching on themes of boredom and dissatisfaction with attitude. “Love Is Shit (It’s Goodbye)” is fast paced punk track, while “Tormented” features more buzzsaw Ramones influenced guitars, mixed with bouncy bass and catchy vocals that ooze with teenage rebelliousness.

Shortly after the release of Past Is Past, bassist Dale Power left the group. Kim Hendrickson joined the group on bass and Susan MacGillviray on second guitar. This version of The Dishrags recorded the Death In The Family EP next. Released in June 1980, the EP once again featured three songs “Death In The Family”, “Beware Of Dog” and “All The Pain”. Some reports of the album state that the band headed to London where the EP was produced by Chris Spedding, however, some credits show that the EP was produced by Pointed Sticks guitarist Bill Napier-Hemy. Death In The Family was another strong EP from The Dishrags. The songs on this release featured more complexity in the song writing, but also had a cleaner production style. The title track is an extremely catchy punk song in a Buzzcocks style with strong pop hooks. The rotating basslines lock in with the guitar lines and drums in between Jade Blade’s impassioned vocals. “Beware Of Dog” written by MacGillviray is a faster punk/post-punk track, while “All The Pain”, another written by Jade Blade is the last track on this EP showcasing the bands dual guitar attack within their pop/punk dynamic. Either during or shortly after the recording of this EP, The Dishrags broke up. The EP was self-released, but featured the RCA Victor label on the record.

In 1997, the Love/Hate compilation album was released featuring the music from the band’s two EPs, demos and live recordings. In 2007, There’s No Dee Dee was released by Jem Records featuring the recordings from both their EPs, the Vancouver Complication recording sessions and a live track. In 2014, Three, a compilation album featuring newly discovered live recordings was released on the Supreme Echo record label. A rumoured collection of more Dishrags music entitled Four has been mentioned as a potential future release, but no track listing or further information is available at this time. The Dishrags influenced and inspired the formation of other female punk oriented bands The Devices, The Visitors, Zellots. Following the exit of bassist Dale Powers, Susan MacGillviray and Kim Hendrickson who joined the band line up were from The Devices band that was influenced by The Dishrags initially. The Dishrags never went on to create more music, although Jade Blade did make an album in 2001 called Gaga for Gigi under the band name Volumizer featuring members of The Pointed Sticks and U-J3RKS for Mint Records. Like a lot of punk bands from this era, The Dishrags were around and gone in a flash. The recordings that they did make are still being listened to and are a document of a band during a unique time in music. The Dishrags weren’t always welcomed by audiences due to the fact that they were three young women making punk music, but they broke barriers and challenged conventions. Even if now the past is past, the music they created will always leave a lasting legacy.

International Women's Day Play List 2020 (The Courtneys, U.S. Girls, Maow, The Dishrags):

1. Peach Kelli Pop - Hello Kitty Knife (Gentle Leader - Mint Records/Bachelor Records - 2018)
2. The Weirdies - Volatile (Volatile - The Weirdies - 2010)
3. White Lung - Viva La Rat (It's the Evil - Deranged Records - 2012)
4. Red Mass - Howl (A Hopeless Noise - Label Etiquette - 2020)
5. The Courtneys - Dead Dog (The Courtneys - Hockey Dad Records - 2013)
6. The Courtneys - Silver Velvet (The Courtneys II - Flying Nun Records - 2017)
7. U.S. Girls - 4 American Dollars (Heavy Light - 4AD - 2020)
8. U.S. Girls - Overtime (Heavy Light - 4AD - 2020)
9. Martha and the Muffins - Monotone (Metro Music - Dindisc/Virgin Records - 1980)
10. PONY - Limerence (Limerence - 2019)
11. Papermaps - You're a Fire (Confessions: To Each Their Own Rapture - Sparks Music - 2018)
12. Visibly Choked - Uneven Keel (DEMO) (Uneven Keel Demo - 2020)
13. Julie Dorion - Consolation Prize (I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day - Jagjaguwar - 2009)
14. Lost Patrol - He's Too Far (Second Time Around EP - Ali Records - 1988)
15. The Dishrags - Past is Past (Past is Past - Modern Records - 1979)
16. The Dishrags - Love/Hate (Love/Hate - Other Peoples Music - 1997)
17. Maow - How Does That Grab You (The Unforgiving Sounds of Maow - Mint Records - 1996)
18. Maow - Party Tonite! (The Unforgiving Sounds of Maow - Mint Records - 1996)
19. Cub - Motel 6 (Betti-Cola - Mint Records - 1993)
20. Plumtree - Tropical (Mass Teen Fainting - Cinnamon Toast Records - 1995)
21. The 'B' Girls - Mystery (Who Said Girls Can't Rock? - Other Peoples Music - 1997)
22. Neko Case - This Tornado Loves You (Middle Cyclone - Anti- 2008)
23. Necking - Still Exist (Cut Your Teeth - Mint Records - 2019)
24. Teenanger - Mild Survival (EP LP - Telephone Explosion Recors - 2014)
25. The Modernettes - Static (View from the Bottom EP - Vox Desperatum - 1982)
26. AIDS Wolf - Spit Tastes Like Metal (The Lovvers LP - Skin Graft Records - 2006)
27. The Beaches - Money (Late Show - Universal Music Canada - 2017)
28. Skye Wallace - There is a Wall (Skye Wallace - Kingfisher Bluez - 2019)
29. Tara Watts - Met a Girl (Pale Blue Moon - 2014)
30. Highest Order - Stare Down The Barrel of Today (Still Holding - Idee Fixee Records - 2016)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for March 7.