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Mullen on Music

In addition to enabling a budding generation of Los Angeles punk rockers by opening Hollywood punk club the Masque, Brendan Mullen also was a regular contributor to L.A. Weekly. His writings on rock, Latin music and hip-hop have proved to be incredibly prescient.

On DJ Quik:
“DJ Quik is arguably the best documentarian of the West Coastin’ rap scene, both lyrically and sonically. His sharp, clipped rapping voice, as much as Cube’s, Dre’s, Eazy-E’s, Snoop’s or Nate D’s, has pervaded hip-hop’s consciousness of Los Angeles for over a decade. His yarns, Eazy-E-inflected but without the nasal, helium-high Joe Pesci tone, are concise, detailed, reflective, ‘journalistic’ in many ways, rhymed from the perspective of an observer over the sleaziest, filthiest, dopest, most booty-to-the-sky bass and keyboard riffs you’ll ever hear.” —December 12, 2002

On Bad Religion:
“Love it or hate it, the sleek Bad Religion–Epitaph-Westbeach punk-pop sound of layered guitars and harmonized vocals — epitomized by the hit ‘Infected’ — has become the soundtrack to the surfer-rooted extreme-sports-meets-punk-rock culture of contemporary Southern California, a phenomenon that was written off as extinct 20 years ago.” —March 7, 2002

On the first Coachella festival:
“In contempo Europe, it’s no big deal anymore for electronic artists and guitar bands to play the same event, like Glastonbury Fair, the Reading Festival and the many other outdoor fetes, which are probably the only places in the world where you might see thrash-metal monsters Sepultura on the same bill with outer-space soundscapists The Orb. Last year, Bob Dylan and Tony Bennett played Glastonbury alongside the Asian Dub Foundation, Roni Size, and god knows who and what else. Cross-genre interplay ’twixt ’lectronica and organica came to a commercial head two years ago when Britpop kingpin Noel Gallagher collaborated with electronic big-beat titans the Chemical Brothers on ‘Setting Sun,’ a No. 1 radio smash in mainstream Britain. More recently, ambient-pop whiz William Orbit produced Blur’s last album.” —October 14, 1999

On Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi:
“While Super Bowl Sunday is ragin’ full-on for the rest of America, Ian MacKaye is busy meetin’ an’ greetin’ fans and old friends while simultaneously loading out gear after the Evens’ all-ages sold-out-at-five-bucks throw-down in the backroom at McCabe’s in Santa Monica. ‘Who cares about a ball game if Ian’s in town playing his music?’ says Flea, while fellow Chili Pepper John Frusciante nods in vigorous assent. The two worshipful Peppers are hovering among MacKaye’s ‘Music Is Sacred’ circle of true believers, which also includes childhood bud Henry Rollins, who’s hanging out with former Black Flag bandmate Chuck ‘The Duke’ Dukowski.” —March 10, 2005

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