South Lake Tahoe band fired up about opening for MDC
March 18, 2009
Cooking With Gasoline built itself as a local act that can dovetail with anything else hard, fast and loud that comes to the mountains.
As a result, the band has climbed to its peak three times in its first year: After opening for punk pioneers Agent Orange and TSOL, the South Shore punk quartet still has another big show on the bill Wednesday, March 25, when MDC comes to Whiskey Dick’s Saloon with Embrace the Kill.
“I never imagined in this band’s first year I’d be playing with Agent Orange, MDC, TSOL,” bass player Lou Wolgast told Lake Tahoe Action last month.
Guitarist Nick Taylor agreed: “It hasn’t even been a year yet, so we’ve come a long way.”
Less than a year after starting to play together, Wolgast, Taylor, guitarist and vocalist Nick Ures, and drummer Jordan Kramer not only have made their bones at Burnt Ramen in Richmond but also opened for punk pioneers in TSOL and Agent Orange. That label also fits for MDC.
The band began in Austin, Texas, in 1981 as the Stains, according to Wikipedia. The Stains set the stage for their outspoken descendants MDC with the single “John Wayne Was a Nazi” in 1981. They renamed themselves MDC, and in 1982 moved to San Francisco, where they hooked up with Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys and his like-minded label. Alternative Tentacles released MDC’s debut album, “Millions of Dead Cops,” containing light-speed political screeds such as “Corporate Death Burger,” “America’s So Straight” and “Violent Rednecks.”
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MDC has changed what its initials stood for on its studio releases, from the 1982 debut through “Millions of Damn Christians” (1987) through a reunion album, “Now More Than Ever” in 2002. According to Wikipedia, the title of the 18-song “Magnus Dominus Corpus” (2004) translates as “corpses of the ultimate dominators,” a reference to the clash between Islam and Christianity during the crusades. The original title, “Millions of Dead Contractors,” changed, but the cover art depicts the burned bodies of four Blackwater Security Consulting employees killed in an ambush in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004.
The band has relocated to Portland, Ore. Founding members Dave Dictor (vocals) and Ron Posner (guitar) remain in front a rotating cast of touring drummers and bassists. Founding bass player Mikey Donaldson died in 2007. The current U.S. touring lineup is Dictor, Posner, guitarist Russ Kalita, Mike Smith on bass, and drummer Al Schvitz.
MDC is touring with another Portland band, Embrace the Kill. Jay Crash’s band bills itself as an experimental mix of crusty punk and thrash with a touch of reggae and ska.