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Never Mind the Bollocks: Frederiksen could care less.

Dirty Bastard

Rancid guitarist does it his way

By Greg Cahill

Lars Frederiksen doesn't give a flying flip. Critics complain that the singer, songwriter and guitarist for the punk band Rancid spray-paints from a limited palette, namely, the Clash, Clash, or Clash. Since joining the Berkeley-based Rancid--formed in 1991 by guitarist and vocalist Tim Armstrong and bassist Matt Freeman, who had honed their chops in the ska-inflected groups Operation Ivy and Dance Hall Crashers, respectively--former U.K. Subs guitarist Frederiksen has agitated detractors who carp that his revivalist approach has forced Rancid into a limited London punk mold, circa 1977.

Yet the influential Rancid have managed to retain their street cred--playing the role of the Rolling Stones to close friends Green Day's Beatles--by turning their back on major-label overtures and cranking out critically acclaimed, street-level, thrash-driven punk that has come more and more to embrace its hardcore edge.

In 2001, Frederiksen--who brings his own band to the Phoenix Theatre this week--released Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards, a solo album loosely built around his experiences growing up in Campbell, Calif., and bristling with angry political and social commentary decrying war, drugs and other maladies.

The follow-up, Viking, also produced by Armstrong, is due in stores this week. Don't expect a major departure in an attempt to appease his critics--Frederiksen couldn't care less what people think of him or his music. "We're not a band out there trying to make people happy," he said in a recent Punk Planet interview. "We're doing what we wanna do and if you like it, that's great--we're totally stoked. But if you don't, hey, that's fine, go your own way. I don't wanna hear about it."


Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards perform Friday, July 2, at the Phoenix Theatre, 201 Washington St., Petaluma. The Briefs and Pistol Grip also appear. 8pm. 707.762.3565.


Music Notes

All she is saying is give peace a chance. While Novato jazz singer and songwriter Pattie Lockard's new protest song lacks the hook-heavy sing-along ease of John Lennon's famous antiwar sloganeering, it does convey a powerful message. Lockard, who describes herself as "too old for American Idol and too young for Boca," has embarked on a 10-city peace tour. Her mission: to send the message to America's leaders that "war is not the answer" by getting 500,000 people to sing her song "What If They Gave a War and No One Came" at noon (PDT) on Sunday, July 4.

"I am a baby boomer who has never given up my dream and always found a way to keep it alive," she says. "I still have a vision that my music will and does have an impact on people. I think 'What If They Gave a War and No One Came' is a song that could really make people get in touch with the fact that we are all connected and that if one of us doesn't make it, the rest of us won't." To hear the song and get the lyrics, visit www.pattielockard.com.

Synchronize your watches.



Spin Du Jour

Various Artists, 'Rock against Bush, Vol. 1' (Fat Wreck Chords)
It's a strange world. Did you happen to read the March 21 article in the New York Times titled "A Bush Surprise: Fright-Wing Support," which describes the cult of confused conservative punk rockers backing our very own Banana Republican presidente? Scary. I spent the recent corporate-media orgy of Reagan tributes (did we bury that guy three times?) listening to the torrent of fiery '80s politico-punk unleashed by Reagan's repressive policies: the Ramones ("Bonzo Goes to Bitburg"), the Dead Kennedys ("Moral Majority"), Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy ("California Über Alles"), the Crucifucks ("Hinckley Had a Vision"), NOFX ("Reagan Sucks") and the Violent Femmes ("Old Mother Reagan"), to name a few. It helped to keep things in perspective. So does Rock against Bush, a quite unconfused 26-track compilation with songs by the likes of Bad Religion, Social Distortion, Fat Mike of NOFX, Jello Biafra, Less Than Jake and the Offspring, whose 1991 antiwar song "Baghdad" shows that those that don't learn from history are destined to go to hell in a flaming handcart. At the low, low price of just six bucks, you can't afford to miss this little history lesson.

--G.C.

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From the June 30-July 6, 2004 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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