Even punks like to celebrate Christmas, which is why Orange County label TKO Records is throwing a shindig Friday at Alex's Bar in Long Beach. The lineup includes TKO-related acts such as Piss N' Blood, Smogtown, the Junk and Reducers S.F., a San Francisco band making its first Southern California appearance in nearly half a decade, along with deejay sets by Gonzo + Low Life Sound System.
We could have talked to bands actually playing this show, but bands are boring. You know who's not boring? TKO head honcho Mark Rainey, who in addition to running his label operates a record store of the same name in Fountain Valley. This reporter can confirm that Rainey also knows how to throw a Vegas bachelor party, so a punk rock Christmas bash should be cake.
OC Weekly: Since punks don't like songs longer than two minutes, give me the briefest history of TKO Records possible.
Mark Rainey: TKO Records was started in San Francisco in 1997. We moved to Orange County in 2004 and opened the store in 2007. We view the corresponding decline of the Orange County Punk scene as mere coincidence.
You run a punk label, yet Christmas is a capitalist institution that celebrates the rich while pissing on the poor. Or something like that. So why throw a party?
Allow me to pull the wool back: Punk Label = Capitalist Institution. Cash from chaos, my man.
Don't you think throwing Hannukah parties would be more punk? I mean, eight straight days of drinking and eight straight mornings of hangovers.
Hannukah, Christmas, Yuletide, Kwanzaa, Ramadan.... We view this time of year as an opportunity to cash in on phony religious sentiments of all stripes with an equal amount of greed and cynicism. We do not discriminate.
What do you get for that punk rocker who seemingly already has everything?
A liver transplant and a gift card from TKO Records.
Any good rare records at the store that people should rush out this second and buy as gifts?
Yes, literally thousands. But more to the point, collector scum should come out to the show to pick up the official bootleg of Reducers S.F.'s Backing The Longshot LP. It's limited to a mere 84 copies on clear vinyl with hand-made sleeves. The original version has been out of print on vinyl for more than a decade.
What's taken Reducers S.F. so long to get down here? Even if they walked, it still wouldn't take five years.
Actually, they ARE walking. Hopefully they'll make it in time. In all seriousness, I'm not sure what's taken so long, but I'd guess the answer has something to do with work, death, taxes, prison sentences, Arctic voyages, or something else obvious.
Have any soccer moms come into the store this holiday season and asked for Born Against? Perhaps a similar story if not Born Against?
No, but the soccer dads are always happy to oblige us with stories about busting heads at the Cuckoo's Nest when they come by to purchase their Agression CDs.
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Bing Crosby and David Bowie -- making Bowie cool or Crosby less cool?
The best part about that collaboration is the obvious tension between those two in the video performance. It warms my heart.
What do you want for Christmas?
I want Ryan Ritchie to show up to the TKO Xmas party and read "A Visit From Saint Vicious" in a leopard Speedo.
Remember that time we went to a bachelor party in Vegas and...oh wait...nevermind.
Yeah, I remember EVERYTHING, and it's going to take a lot of money to keep me quiet.
TKO Christmas Party with Reducers S.F., Smogtown, the Junk, Piss N' Blood and DJ Gonzo + Low Life Sound System, 9 p.m. Alex's Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, (562) 434-8292 or www.alexsbar.com . 21+. $10.