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The Cult | MusINK first review
Musink Day 1: The Cult roars once more

February 20th, 2010, 5:02 pm



After witnessing the Cult’s sizzling performance Friday night in Costa Mesa, I regret not catching their Club Nokia gig last summer, at which the group’s 1985 classic Love, given the deluxe reissue treatment last year, was performed in its entirety.

Still, those who braved the cold, wet weather were treated to half that album (more than from any other in the band’s catalog) during a 90-minute set rife with ample hits and some rarities to cap off the first day of the third annual Musink Tattoo Convention & Music Festival.

Singer Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy are the lone holdovers from the original mid-’80s lineup. In the past decade they’ve put out two studio albums (including the criminally ignored Born into This, a 2007 return-to-form) while Astbury also toured with surviving members of the Doors, and Duffy (looking quite like David Beckham these days) spent time with Coloursound and Circus Diablo.

The pair are now augmented by powerhouse drummer John Tempesta (White Zombie, Testament), bassist Chris Wyse and longtime rhythm guitarist Mike Dimkich. They’re currently working on new material with producer Chris Goss (Queens of the Stone Age, Masters of Reality).

Playing to a medium-sized crowd in an exhibition hall at the OC Fair & Event Center, the Cult opened with the rousing AC/DC-esque crunch of “Lil’ Devil” as Astbury vigorously shook a tambourine. An extended “Rain,” awash in shimmering Goth-rock sounds, was simply amazing, Duffy reminding that he’s one of the post-punk era’s best guitarists. He frequently held his Gretsch White Falcon aloft throughout the show, giving old fans and younger Guitar Hero enthusiasts a closeup instructional view.

Both founding members were in talkative moods. Duffy dedicated a tune to frequent producer Bob Rock (I’m not sure if he was in attendance, but the Offspring’s Dexter Holland was) and teased Astbury about “Fire Woman” being one of his least favorites to perform.

That prompted a defensive retort (“I put my heart into it; that’s all I can give you”) and disdain for music journalists that call the Cult “too earnest” (apparently he reads their press). The thunderous tune’s persistent wails did prove taxing to the 47-year-old frontman, who tended to clip various phrasings here and there. But he’s done this live for a long time now, without much detriment to the choruses.

Astbury tossed in an interesting ad-lib during the “Fire Woman” breakdown (“I’ve been thinking / Why must MTV air the Jersey Shore / While we’re at war”), then later prefaced the mesmerizing “ Phoenix ” by singing “this is not a love song” — and asking who in the crowd planned on attending the coming Coachella festival to see PiL.

“We’ve never been invited by Goldenvoice and we started this whole thing,” he said, referring to the Astbury-organized Gathering of the Tribes festival of 1990. The pre-song rant continued: “People come and go, but we’re still here. Don’t talk to me about punk rock. This is acid rock. Prepare for liftoff.” Led by Duffy’s eerie effects, it definitely soared.

Same held true on more recent songs culled from Born into This. “Dirty Little Rockstar,” included a needling, Keith Richards-inspired riff (a la “Undercover of the Night”) and the stop/start rhythm of “I Assassin” featured Duffy’s windmill guitar moves. More standout moments came during the clarion-call guitars and chanting of “Spritwalker,” full group harmonies on “Love Removal Machine” and the razor-sharp closer “She Sells Sanctuary,” which continues to induce goosebumps after a quarter-century. All told, the Cult proved it is still a force to be reckoned with.

Earlier in the evening, pro-BMX rider Rick Thorne and his punk group Good Guys in Black played to a dozen or so people on the outdoor Jagermeister stage, located next to the skate ramp.

“Moving On” came across like a less melodic Unwritten Law, “Whoa Yeah” bore elements of early Social Distortion and an expletive-laden diatribe about Hollywood posers recalled Suicidal Tendencies. Thorne seemed sincere in his song introductions and his bandmates were definitely proficient players.

Back indoors, Long Beach skateboarder Mike Vallely & By the Sword struck a far more aggressive hardcore stance amid a set focused on Black Flag and Minor Threat covers. They were joined by another noted skateboarder/musician, Duane Peters of U.S. Bombs/Die Hunns, for “Rise Above.” The group capped things off with thrashing takes on “Louie Louie” and “Good Guys Don’t Wear White.”

Lollapalooza fave Jim Rose served as MC on the main stage, bringing along his usual odd assortment of characters and and participants up for stunts like the human dartboard and hitting people over the head with a frying pan until they can’t take any more.

Set list: the Cult at Musink, OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa, Feb. 19, 2010
Main set:
Lil’ Devil / Electric Ocean / Rain / Sweet Soul Sister / Revolution / The Witch / I Assassin / Spiritwalker / Edie (Ciao Baby) / Nirvana / Fire Woman / Rise / Phoenix / Dirty Little Rockstar / Wild Flower / Love Removal Machine
Encore: She Sells Sanctuary

Photos by Kevin Warn, The Orange County Register.




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Save The Wolves PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 October 2009
wolfsave.jpgStop the North American Grey Wolf from ending up in the endangered species list once again. 

Urgent Action: Yellowstone Wolf Pack Killed

Yellowstone National Park’s famous Cottonwood Pack has just been destroyed -- all the adult wolves have been killed, and the surviving pups will likely die without the rest of their wolf family.

The Cottonwoods are just some of the latest victims of the federal government’s likely illegal decision to eliminate vital protections for our wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the northern Rockies. Unless we are successful in urging Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to reverse this bad decision, hundreds more wolves will be killed.

Please sign our petition and urge Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to immediately take action to restore protections for these amazing animals.

The Cottonwood wolves are not alone. They’re among the more than 60 wolves already killed in the region -- a disturbingly high number for a hunting season only weeks old.

I was there when the first wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park, and I have personally guided Defenders members to watch the Cottonwood Pack. It is particularly heartbreaking to see one of America's greatest conservation victories slip from our grasp because of a policy mistake. But there is still time to correct it -- and if we act quickly, we can still save the lives of literally hundreds of wolves in the region.

Our wolves need your voice -- and the support of as many others as possible who care about the future of these magnificent animals.

Sign this important petition today. We will personally hand-deliver your signatures to the Department of the Interior as a powerful statement that America supports a lasting future for our wolves.

The next few weeks will be crucial for our wolves in this region. The truth is, the future of wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the northern Rockies is at a crossroads -- and it will take the voices of caring wildlife supporters like you to make a difference.

Last month, a federal judge ruled that we are likely to win our lawsuit to restore protections for these beloved wolves. But with the lives of hundreds of wolves at stake, we can’t wait for the final ruling on our case -- a ruling that will likely not come for many months.

Please sign our petition to Secretary Salazar today.

The Cottonwood wolves were not the first victims of the flawed delisting -- and they certainly won’t be the last. The time has come to correct the unacceptable error made by the Obama administration that continues to erode one of the greatest conservation victories of the last century. Please lend your voice to help save our wolves.

Together, we can ensure that wolves will be an enduring part of America.

Thank you 
Posted by Anne Holmberg  
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