DOWNLOAD: Death - Politicians In My Eyes (MP3)
Death of Detroit
Forgotten except by the most fervent punk rock record collectors... Death would likely have remained lost in obscurity if not for the discovery last year of a 1974 demo tape in [bassist] Bobby [Hackney]'s attic. Released [in February] by Drag City Records as "... For the Whole World to See," Death's newly unearthed recordings reveal a remarkable missing link between the high-energy hard rock of Detroit bands like the Stooges and MC5 from the late 1960s and early '70s and the high-velocity assault of punk from its breakthrough years of 1976 and '77. Death's songs "Politicians in My Eyes," "Keep On Knocking" and "Freakin Out" are scorching blasts of feral ur-punk, making the brothers unwitting artistic kin to their punk-pioneer contemporaries the Ramones, in New York; Rocket From the Tombs, in Cleveland; and the Saints, in Brisbane, Australia. They also preceded Bad Brains, the most celebrated African-American punk band, by almost five years. [NYTimes]Just a few months after Drag City breathed life into ...For The Whole World To See, Death (not to be confused with the legendary Floridian death metal band featuring the late Chuck Schuldiner) was resurrected. The Brothers Hackney have scheduled three US shows over the last weekend in September in their former hometown of Detroit (they reside in Bulington, VT), Chicago, and Cleveland. They're also now confirmed to play Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest in November.
No word on who will fill the shoes of guitarist David Hackney (he passed from lung cancer in 2000), though odds are one of the Hackney's sons in Rough Francis will probably be elected. Rough Francis, who routinely cover material by Death, will provide support on all dates (minus Fun Fun Fun). Earlier this year they appeared with members of Death at Joey Ramone's 58th birthday show on May 19th at Irving Plaza. Videos of their performance are posted below.
Death's back story is an interesting one:
In 1975 at Detroit's United Sound Studios with engineer Jim Vitti, they recorded seven songs written by David and Bobby. According to the Hackney family, Columbia Records president Clive Davis funded the recording sessions, but asked the band to change its name to something more commercially palatable than Death. When the Hackneys refused, Davis ceased his support. The following year they self-released 500 copies from the session on the 7" single "Politicians in My Eyes" b/w "Keep on Knocking," on their Tryangle label, which eventually became a collectors' item."Politicians In My Eyes", a song that Jack White of The White Stripes/Dead Weather/The Raconteurs described as "ahead of punk, and ahead of their time," is available for download above (and in one of the videos below). The videos and all tour dates are below...
Death - Freaking Out (Live, Joey Ramone's Birthday Bash, 2009)
Death and Rough Francis - Politicians in my Eyes (Live, Joey Ramone's Birthday Bash 2009)
Rough Francis - 2009 Tour Dates
Aug 21 Nectar's Burlington, Vermont *
Aug 29 242 Main St. Burlington, Vermont !
Sep 25 The Magic Stick Detroit, Michigan #
Sep 26 The Empty Bottle Chicago, Illinois #
Sep 27 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, Ohio #
Nov 7-8 Fun Fun Fun Fest Austin, TX %
* w/ The Vacant Lots, Blowtorch, The Cave Bees
! w/ Death Is Easy (D.I.E.), others
# w/ Death
% Death only