Bob Dob is the patron artist of everyone who will probably have Social Distortion playing at their wedding, assorted birthdays and their funeral. His colorful portraits of diminutive punk rockers, meanie mouseketeers, and pill, pot, cheese, paper bag and amp headed everymen, are instantly captivating, especially for those of us who can’t get through Ball and Chain without getting a little choked up.
Everyone knows of the wide ranging influence of seminal Hermosa Beach punk bands Black Flag, The Circle Jerks and The Descendents. In many ways these bands are bigger now than they have ever been with the new Descendents album on Epitaph records hitting the Billboard top 20 and the reconstituted FLAG blowing away all other bands on festivals with big heavy hitters. All three of these influential bands came from a tiny one square mile town of Hermosa Beach, even went to the same high school. But not everyone knows about The Last, the pioneering Hermosa Beach band that bridged the gap between 60s influenced garage rock and the punk rock to come.
There are a lot of ways to find out about books. Sometimes you get one recommended to you by a friend or read a good review in the newspaper. I spend a ridiculous, unhealthy amount of time in book stores so sometimes I’ll just see one I think I’d like based solely on the cover art, the title or reviews on the back cover, (My wife loves this and the stack of half read books on my nightstand) and this was the case for me with David Eggers. Years ago I saw his first book, “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” on a display table and instantly thought, whoever had the balls to name his book something like that must have some interesting things to say.