I feel like I’ve gotta say it every time, but I love writing these pieces to see what drives the artists I love, and more importantly what treasures are hiding out on their own record shelves. 2021 has already been a busy year for Patrick Shiroishi, already gracing more than a dozen collaborations and releases, including his affecting ode to his grandfather Hidemi. For Patrick’s pick he digs back to his youth spent in DIY spaces in L.A., throwing aside any expectations of deep-nugget jazz inspiration or hidden away release from one of his contemporaries. Follow Patrick’s dive back into the sweat of his youth for an exploration of the debut from Bad Dudes.
“The Smell & Pehrspace in downtown Los Angeles was a huge source of inspiration for me growing up,” reveals Shiroishi. They were both all ages venues that Dylan, Noah, Henry, Ryan, Art and I would go to and consistently have our minds blown even if we didn’t know who was playing. I remember one of those first shows that I went to when I was in high school that really knocked me off my feet featured Upsilon Acrux and Bad Dudes. Upsilon went on to being signed to Cuneiform records (and I was lucky enough to be a part of a later lineup) and Bad Dudes went on to sign to Kill Shaman, but I feel like they never got their flowers… and they really fuckin’ deserved it.”
“I don’t remember if it was that first show where I bought their first record,” Patrick recalls, “or one later down the line (we pretty much went to every single show we knew about), but that CD practically lived in my Discman. From the 22 seconds of that first track to the last hit of “Progressive Wet T-shirt Contest” (what a title), Bad Dudes make every moment of their 31-minute opus count. Infectious melodies with pop infused harmonies dance their way around gorgeous counter lines that always somehow elevate each song, not to mention backed by hard hitting drums that never play a standard beat. Even to this day when I listen to this record, I’m taken back to that first show of theirs that I witnessed…it truly changed my life. Up until then I was only familiar with whatever I was hearing on the radio and punk/emo records I would find at Best Buy or download from Kazaa (remember Kazaa?) and that show single-handedly changed the trajectory of what I thought music could be. Things didn’t have to be in 4/4, vocals didn’t have to be in every song, you can have two melodies intermingling each other with their own harmonies, parts didn’t need to repeat…essentially — there are endless possibilities in music.”
“I’ve listened to this record more times than I can count. In fact, if you asked me to air drum the entire record to you, I’m absolutely sure I can, flawlessly at that. All of this is to say that the music of Bad Dudes is ingrained into my playing, whether one can hear it or not. I’m pretty sure I got drunk several times and told them what their music meant to me, but just in case any of them are reading this I’ll put it into words here: thank you thank you thank you Bad Dudes.”
This one had me digging back through my own files, as Kill Shaman releases definitely turned up in the Blogspot years of RSTB, but I’m not sure they made the site. It’s truly a great find, though, and not as hard to track down as some of the other entries in this series. Bless Bandcamp to that end. You can nab the band’s record from the band’s page or head to Discogs to nestle the physical onto your shelf. Should be a nice back to back with any of Patrick’s outpouring of releases this year!
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.