We first heard a few songs from The Fuck Knights Puke All Over Themselves when Dave visited the amazing Albatross Studio for an interview two and a half years ago. With the album’s release show at the Hexagon Bar inked into our li’l black book for (when else?) Friday the 13th, the time frame begs the question: how long does it take to make a garage rock record these days?

We might have known the Fuck Knights‘ second album wouldn’t be the what we’d expect to follow Let It Bleed, a tape-saturating orgy of distorted vocals, frantically-driven drums and feedback fury. What we heard that late night in Mike Wisti’s included ensemble hand claps, Stax-sounding bass vamps and tunes that turned closer to Their Satanic Majesties Request than 12×5.

fuck knights

Maybe we shouldn’t expect less from the band which never ceases to surprise. Yep, once endorsed as “a way cool psychedelic garage band” by Maximumrocknroll,” Fuck Knights were always headed in the same trajectory as Brian Jones’ wide-eyed explorations with the Rolling Stones. And the Fuck Knights’ founder, G.D. Mills, is no less an iconoclast than Jones, though hopefully longer for this world.

We sat down for a beer with Mills here at Hymie’s last week to once again chide him over the band’s name, but also talk about the relationship between the Fuck Knights’ first and second albums, and the awesome bill of bands for their release show on Friday. Here’s a li’l of what we talked about…

Hymies: When we first heard tracks from Puke All Over Themselves, it was alongside songs from Grant Hart’s magnus opus, The Argument, which was being recorded at the same time you started working on this album. The Argument, which was a pretty labored-over album, has long ago been swept from the ‘new arrivals’ bin, and you’re album is just coming out. What took so long?

GD Mills: Money. I drive a taxi. Everyone else who’s played in this band are service people, tending restaurants or doing whatever else to get by. If I had an advance from some label, or if I were independently wealthy or had rich parents, then it wouldn’t have taken that long.

We play a gig, and the best we make is something like seventy-five dollars. Per gig! And that’s before you pay off your bar tab, and on that night you might sell one record. There’s no money in this and that’s why it took so long. But I wanted to do it well, and that’s why work [at Albatross] with Wisti. The recordings are entirely analog. Until we mastered it for the CD to go for the manufacturer, it’s entirely recorded and mixed in analog.

Hymies: How would it be different if you were independently wealthy?

Mills: It would have been done a lot more quickly. Either way, I had to make something better than the first album. It was really important to me, because of lineup changes and because of what I wanted the band to be.

And I should mention it was co-released last fall by two Italian labels, Area Pirata in Pisa and Boss Hoss in Pesaro. This is just the first time it’s been available here, which obviously is really important to me.

Hymie’s: Taking your time in that studio had its benefits. When I was there Grant Hart was there working on The Argument.

Mills: It helped us with that Brian Jones attitude, to try everything but the kitchen sink. We did that. ‘Oh, here’s this instrument, let’s use it.’ There’s that instrument, try that next. Grant had all kinds of stuff set up, and we come along in between the weeks when he was working. And, ‘What’s this?’ Once it was these tubular bells hanging from the ceiling, and I asked about them. Mike just said, ‘Grant is using those. You hit ’em with this little mallet.’ So we tried that. He had his twelve-string guitar there and we used it on “13 Dead Cats.” There was also a bouzouki, which we used.

Hymies: The album explores a lot more territory than Let It Bleed.

Mills: I was trying to escape being typecast. I don’t want to be pigeon-holed, whatever you’d like to call it. I listen to so much music, just like everyone here, and I have a wide frame of reference. With the first Fuck Knights record, I was focused like a laser beam on making a garage punk album. And here I’m reacting against that. There was the thesis, and the second step is the antithesis, which is this album. The third one, the Tarzan tape, is the synthesis of the two. You know, like Hegelian dialectical reasoning, now the synthesis will be the thesis of the next step.

So that’s why there’s short things, some Motown girl group stuff or some Stax leaning stuff. They’re asides. I kept them short because if we took it to a full length it would be corny, like ‘Now we’re gonna be … a reggae band.’ However we do incorporate dub into one of the instrumentals.

People confuse method acting with the person, the performer. It’s not the case a lot of time, with the actor, or with me. People confuse me the person with me the method acting garage rock dude, and that causes a lot of misunderstandings. Especially in a small town like this.

Hymie’s: How much of the new album is Fuck Knights the band, and how much is it G.D. Mills and his band?

Mills: It’s both, because there’s so many itirations of the band. And there’s also pockets where people weren’t there and it was just me. And Mike was the only other person. Can you play the guitar while I play the drums, and I’ll finish the song out doing each overdub. Bass, singing, handclaps, whatever it would be. It helped to have Mike playing the guitar, to keep it in synch. Otherwise it starts to sound like one guy doing everything.

Hymie’s: But has Fuck Knights become like Alice Cooper, where it started out as a band and eventually Alice Cooper became his identity.

Mills: [Laughs] Or its like Raw Power, where it becomes Iggy and the Stooges.

There’s I think three different bands on the album. To round it out there’s stuff which is just G.D. Mills. And every song is mine in the sense that I wrote them. Or in some cases wrote seventy-five percent of what I wanted and worked with David from Liquor Beats Winter, or Jason Medieros, or Ben Bachman from Nightingales, and we’d finish it. Structure it out. That’s how it had been with Joe [Holland] and Joe [Hastings]. That was a divicive thing when Joe Holland left, that I had taken songwriting credit. The person I’m working with needs that credit to feel invested, so those songs are credited that way on the new album.

Hymie’s: Do you need to have a name, like Iggy and the Stooges, at this point?

Mills: I don’t want to change the name, because I’ve already invested so much in it, Fuck Knights as a band. And why do I have to change the name as the band changes? Either way, I’m not going to call it Sir Gregory and his Fuck Knights. The Velvet Underground after John Cale split was still the Velvet Underground

Hymies: Even on that last record.

Mills: And that one, Doug Yule, the King Kong album or whatever. For me the other reason to keep the name is that I wanted the three albums to be my legacy with this band, just like the three Stooges albums. There’s the goal.

Hymie’s: Not that we’ve ever been fans of the band’s name. It’s hard to put on the marquee here when you play in the shop.

Mills: I never thought it was offensive. The word ‘fuck’ isn’t offensive to me, and I wasn’t interested in airplay. I never gave a fuck about it. In Europe we were Make Love Knights, and Caballeros de Fuck, and in France we were Chevaliers de Amor. I don’t think we were trying to stir the pot with the name. We just thought it sounded cool.

Hymie’s: And the title of the new album, Puke All Over Themselves?

Mills: It’s poetic in the sense that it’s excessive. I’m exploring all these ideas in excess. I’m not focused on one thing, like with Let It Bleed.

Hymies: And the look of the new album is different. Where in the past Fuck Knights singles and the first LP had ghoulish cartoons on the covers, almost like R. Crumb meets the Cramps, Puke All Over Themselves has pretty designs. Even the release show poster has the style we’ve started to associate with the Fuck Knights, but the album cover is different.

Mills: Yeah, I did that. I wanted to connect with those classic records which inspired me, Odyssey and Oracle or Their Satanic Majesties Request. It’s also, again, to make it different from the first album.

Hymies: There’s a pretty awesome list of bands on this poster, too. Tell us about the show on Friday.

Mills: We’re gonna bring in a second PA, and have a second stage between the bar and the stage you’re used to. And go back and forth from there. I’m calling them “Target Arena Stage” and “Xcel Center West Stage.”

And these are my favorite bands since I’ve lived in Minneapolis. They’re all fun and awesome and there songs are well-written. Cozy, what can I say, they dress awesome and their songs are great. Fuck Knights tried to play Cozy once, and there songs have little nuances that make them hard to learn. Just like the Ramones. You think it’s easy, but there’s little things they do different. I love that band, they might be my favorite in Minneapolis.

And Narco States, you know those guys. And they were on one of my Four Way Split compilations. What Tyrants, I’d never heard of those guys, but they asked us to play a Monks tribute, probably because of the record we did with Gary Burger. And I told them we could only learn a few songs because we were working on that tape, and they insisted come along and play your own songs for the rest of your set. Then these guys came out and BOOM! They sounded exactly like the Monks. They had the whole energy two, that palpable energy. It was amazing, like you were in Hamburg in ’65 watching the Monks.

Rounding out the bill are Driftwood Pyre, who have a new album out [We have these in the shop], which is like a phoenix reborn from Bridge Club and First Communion Afterparty, FCAP to those of us who were there. And Dead Skull. I really liked the quote from Pork Magazine where they said this band was like AC/DC meets Black Flag. So all Minneapolis bands I’ve come to really love.

Fuck Knights’ album release show for Puke All Over Themselves is Friday the 13th at the Hexagon Bar. Details on Facebook and more about each of the bands can be found here.





uncle scrooge

One of our favorite places over here on East Lake Street is Nostalgia Zone, the incredible comic book shop just a couple blocks west of our building.

We’ve never really been comic book fanatics, but we love reading them with the kids. They have lots of favorites: Batman, Spider-Man , the various Star Wars series, and Bone are all favorites in our house.

And Uncle Scrooge, of course. The author of the classic comics starring the world’s richest duck was Carl Barks, who loved National Geographic and often based the adventures which took Scrooge and his nephews to the far corners of the Earth on real places.

This short, goofy record is hardly as exciting a story as some of Bark’s best, like “Land Beneath the Earth” or “The Adventure in Trala La.” And fans of Duck Tales, the animated series based on Bark’s stories, will find this Uncle Scrooge to be even more gruff and Scottish.

Last month we got an advance copy of Alex “Crankshaft” Larson‘s new album, Tied to the World Behind Me, and we’ve been tearin’ it up to the new collection ever since. We chose his last record, What You Gonna Do?, as one of our favorites of the year for 2013.

The release show for the new album is Wednesday, November 25th at First Avenue, along with the Ike Reilly Assassination, and seems likely to sell out so you might wanna get tickets ahead of time (First Avenue page here). After that we’ll have the LPs in stock here, and Crankshaft has some other great shows in December where you’ll be able to get the album. The LPs come in an awesome gatefold jacket with a 28 page book of artwork for each song, all of which is really beautiful.

One of the best parts of a new Crankshaft album, is that there will be new videos too. Larson writes and directs his videos which are as memorable as his songs. We’ve posted a couple in the past, including this classic, and the “Fill it Up” video in our review of What You Gonna Do?  Here is the video for “Any Other Way.”

luther allisonLuther Allison answered the question in the first song on this awesome LP, where he is backed by a band called the Blues Nebulae.

Allison was never as famous as some of his early employers (which include Howlin’ Wolf and James Cotton) but he led bands on recordings and tours ’til his untimely passing from undiagnosed cancer in 1997. Late in his career he received wide-spread acclaim, including basically owning the Blues Foundation‘s WC Handy awards for several years.

Allison is also unique in being one of the only blues artists to ever record for Motown Records. His three records for the notoriously polished label are distinctly different from the rest of its catalog.

Love Me Mama was his first album, released in 1968 after several years of hard work in the Chicago area.

Whenever asked to explain our somewhat notorious “Difficult Listening” section, we’ve always told people it’s all subjective. Still, we do strive to find LPs for that popular crate which are unequivocally hard on the ears. Some are in bad tasteOther are just weird.

And then there’s the record version of Rule #34: If it makes an annoying sound, there’s an album of it out there somewhere.

temple city kazoo orchestraThe truth is, weird and terrible records are one of the joys of collecting and crate digging. You never know what you’ll find, and if you’re missing out if you can’t have a little fun with it. After all, even the good ones are still just records.

And honestly, we’re really excited when we find a new addition to “Difficult Listening.” Yesterday was no exception, and to answer the question as to whether we can call it a difficult listen without actually playing the entire record: no we can’t. Fortunately this album was mercifully brief.

We present for your enjoyment the Temple City Kazoo Orchestra.


Some facts about Willie Murphy: he was born and raised in Minneapolis, and in 1990 was named a charter member of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, along with Bob Dylan and Prince. And while he is not as famous as those other two, Murphy is a beloved institution in our local music scene.

And if ever pressed to name our favorite record of all time, we’re most likely to offer Running, Jumping, Standing Still, an album which Murphy made with Spider John Koerner in 1969. We posted about it here on the Hymies blog years ago.

But we have lots of other favorite Willie Murphy records, from the classic Willie and the Bees album (which was featured on Secret Stash’s Twin Cities Funk and Soul compilation but remains out of print besides that single track) to the more recent double disc he released on Red House Records. That album, A Shot of Love in a Time of Need, is followed by a collection of archival recordings called Autobiographical Notes.

willieAnd somewhere in the middle is this disc, I Got a Secret. Here Murphy is backed by only a drummer, Donald “Hi Pockets” Robertson, and performs a strange mixture of rock and blues standards. In the middle of the disc is the title track, which Murphy turns into the perfect score for a sunny afternoon at the park.

Some people hate the weather here in Minneapolis, but we love that our season make summer days are a precious commodity.


We are more than excited that local legends Morticia will be playing their first show in several years here at Hymie’s this evening at 5pm. This is a free, all ages show. There will be Halloween treat bags provided by the band for the lucky first thirty visitors. Costumes are encouraged!


This week we have posted music about witches, werewolves and the devil himself, but not yet the most monstrous menace of them all: ourselves. Consider the worlds of “the Lawgiver,” recited in the penultimate scene of The Planet of the Apes:

Beware the beast man, for he is the devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.

In the years since that 1968 film, nearly half the primates on Earth have become endangered to the extent of potential extinction. We are truly the scourge described by Doctor Zaius in that pre-historic cave of the future. And the cost of our neolithic revolution, begun maybe fifteen centuries ago, has grown exponentially. Here we are, individuals overwhelmed by anxiety and disconnect with the natural world. We’ve already quoted Douglas Adams here once this month, but let’s do it once more: maybe “we’ve made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place.”

Our modern Halloween holiday may be derived from the Christian All Hollows Eve of the early centuries, but its roots are undeniably earthy, pagan and primal as the smell of dirt. As long as we have had harvests we have celebrated their coming with offerings and dances — is it any wonder the most beloved Halloween songs are distinguished by their dances — listen to “The Monster Mash” or “Thriller” today?

Yes, we dress to mask our fear. We mock the dead but truly pay tribute. In reaching down to our deepest fears we raise our soul, and those of those we miss and mourn. We are all, ultimately, all monsters, haunting this Earth for all too short a time.

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