KQED News on “Songs That Chargo Taught Us”

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 4.03.10 AMThe Side Eyes/Redd Kross, ‘Songs that Chargo Taught Us’ split single

Remember the good ol’ days when rock and punk were about rejecting your parents’ ways, ideally really ticking them off in the process? Well, kids today …

Take 21-year-old Astrid McDonald, singer in the L.A. punkish band the Side Eyes. Not only isn’t she railing against her mom, but on the band’s new vinyl-only single she sings a song written by her mom. Well, her mom happens to be Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Go’s. And the song the Side Eyes does here, “Don’t Talk to Me,” dates from when mom was around the age her daughter is now, back in the late ’70s when Caffey fronted a pre-Go-Go’s trio with drummer D.J. Bonebrake (soon of X) and guitarist Joe Ramirez (Black Randy & the Metro Squad). The name of that band? The Eyes. Yeah, even young McDonald’s band’s name pays homage to mater.

What’s more, the other side of the single is by the veteran L.A. power-punk band Redd Kross, which as you may have already realized features McDonald’s dad, Jeff McDonald, as well as her uncle, Steven. And what’s more more, the song they do is also an old Caffey composition, “Screaming,” a rare one from the very earliest days of the Go-Go’s, notable for the stinging guitar and brusque energy that came to mark Caffey’s famous band’s best work.

Together the songs are presented as “Songs that Chargo Taught Us,” “Chargo” being Caffey’s nickname. Both are sharp, spirited performances, given more meaning for being a deeply loving appreciation to McDonald’s mom and spouse, respectively. It’s wonderful. But seriously, is this any way to have youthful rebellion?




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From KEXP: Live at Bumbershoot 2013, Day 3: Redd Kross


text by Gerrit Feenstra and Jake Uitti

Today, we welcome punk legends Redd Kross to the Music Lounge. Jeff and Steve McDonald have been around the block and back, both as Redd Kross and as the Tourists, staying alive through three decades of changes to the scene and still bringing a visceral show to the stage. Last year, they dropped their first record in fifteen years, Researching The Blues, through Merge Records, and they’ve most recently toured alongside Dinosaur Jr.

After growing and performing alongside other punk heroes like Black Flag and Circle Jerks through the 80s and surviving through most of the 90s, Redd Kross took a hiatus towards the end of the decade. In 1999, the death of guitarist Eddie Kurdziel put the future of the band further into limbo. But in 2006, the band slowly returned to the stage, building steam through a string of California dates and then moving out across the country once again. With a batch of new songs fresh out the door, it’s the perfect time to see the McDonalds once again and remember the raw power that this band can pack.

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As Redd Kross set up for the show, complete with a beat up red guitar, their songs booming and bright, it was clear the KEXP music lounge was ready to fill with sound. Heck, we’d be lucky if the doors stayed on their hinges. ”I’m super pleased to kick things off with a bang,” said the stylish KEXP DJ Kevin Cole, donning a sharp black vest. “Please welcome Redd Kross!”

“Alllright!” shouted bassist Steven McDonald, in black t-shirt, hand through long brown hair. “Are you ready to do this!” The crowd cheered and just like that the set began.

Click here for the full recap and photos.


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Redd Kross Boogies Down at Burger Boogaloo.

Redd Kross @ Burger Boogaloo Oakland, CA July 6, 2013. Photo © 2013 Jon Krop

Redd Kross @ Burger Boogaloo Oakland, CA July 6, 2013. Photo © 2013 Jon Krop

Redd Kross @ Burger Boogaloo Oakland, CA July 6, 2013. Photo © 2013 Jon Krop

Redd Kross are joined by Ty Segall @ Burger Boogaloo Oakland, CA July 6, 2013. Photo © 2013 Jon Krop


SF Weekly’s “Sizzle & Fizzle: Highs and Lows From the Last Week in S.F. Music” :

Burger Boogaloo drew the nostalgia-rock faithful to a battered venue in Oakland’s Mosswood Park, where true old-timers like Jonathan Richman and Redd Kross proved most captivating of the weekend lineup. We dug the throwback vibes of Shannon and the Clams and Fuzz, too.

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“Stay Away From Downtown” voted 2nd ‘Coolest Song In The World’ in 2012 by listeners of Little Steven’s Underground Garage.

Listeners of Little Steven’s Underground Garage have voted “Stay Away From Downtown” by Redd Kross as the 2nd ‘Coolest Song In The World’ for 2012.

1. The Jellybricks – Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide
2. Redd Kross – Stay Away From Downtown
3. Joey Ramone – Rock ‘n’ Roll Is The Answer

Click here for the full list.

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