Long before the letter E stood for a three-letter curse word that some of your favorite bands still can’t manage to utter, it stood for EIDOLON – a Boston-based group that was blending hardcore aesthetics with a pop sensibility years before the rest of the world caught on. It’s not too late to catch up.

1. Cranes
2. Intrusion
3. Marlborough
4. Tathagata
5. Down
6. Truth
7. Note
8. Vent
9. Negate
10. Blind
11. Portray


Long before the letter E stood for a three-letter curse word that some of your favorite bands still can’t manage to utter, it stood for EIDOLON – a Boston-based group that was blending hardcore aesthetics with a pop sensibility years before the rest of the world caught on. It’s not too late to catch up.

C. Todd Ransick: Vocals, Guitar
Vic Bondi: Backing Vocals, Guitar
Ross Stevenson: Bass
Mitch Rothhardt: Drums

Recorded August 1991
Released July 1992

Recorded at Fort Apache, MA
Engineered by Lou Giordano
Produced by Lou & Vic Bondi
Mastered at Future Disc by Eddie Schreyer, CA
Layout by Joseph A. Kleinberg
Typewriter Photo by Tim Owen
Mug Shot by Mike Spriggs

1. Cranes
2. Intrusion
3. Marlborough
4. Tathagata
5. Down
6. Truth
7. Note
8. Vent
9. Negate
10. Blind
11. Portray

Kid Dynamite [I]Four Years in One Gulp[/I] Review

For a name that is so often dropped as a key band of modern hardcore, it’s a bit strange to think of how short Kid Dynamite’s reign really was. It certainly was, as the title suggests, Four Years In One Gulp: a brief yet significant presence in the hardcore scene that ended up as one of the most influential in recent years. This 90-minute DVD attempts to chronicle the band’s short existence with live footage and interviews of the band members and those closest to them.

The interviews are very fun to watch, because they are rarely just one person in a room, but rather groups so as to allow for great interaction amongst friends, resulting in some elaborate storytelling. The two main groups they interview are the band and the roadies, the latter providing some of the more humorous moments of the DVD. Roadie Dave Hause, now a member of The Loved Ones, tells hilarious stories from the road, my personal favourite being a bonus scene where he talks about stealing a member of the Misfits’ jacket.

The direction of the DVD is wonderful, and done in chronological order. It is narrated by singer Jason Shevchuk, and begins right with the first phone calls made to get a band started. You get to hear the band talk about jamming instrumentally without a singer, and there’s even footage of the band performing “Pacifier” at their first ever show. As the band tells stories from the road, it often goes to the aforementioned roadies or to Jade Tree’s Darren Walters (who, as you learn, auditioned for the position of singer of the band) to find another perspective on the story.

Live footage intersects the storytelling every few minutes, and the audio is often rather raw, matching the grainy video footage that is found. At times the poor audio and video quality can get a little frustrating, especially when you can barely make out Jason’s vocals, but for the most part the unrefined quality simply suits the band’s passionate and lightning-fast approach to music.

It should be noted, however, that not all of the audio and video quality of the band is poor, but actually, there is some very nice footage to be found. Unfortunately, Jade Tree decided it would be best to hide the best footage the band had, which was filmed at a CBGB’s reunion show. For those that own the DVD, what you have to do is head into the Bookworms section, and scroll to the end of it, and then highlight the words at the bottom, “A chapter in this book that you haven’t read yet.” The footage from this show is excellent, yet it is puzzling as to why this wouldn’t be showcased on the DVD, or at least be found in a more obvious location.

For those of you who remember the heyday of Kid Dynamite and want to relive the moments, or those who have discovered them recently and want to find out the impact that this band had on the people around them, Jade Tree offers an extremely comprehensive DVD. It’s a very thorough and entertaining disc, and is a must-have for any fan of the band.

Kid Dynamite [I]Four Years in One Gulp[/I] Review

It’s a shame that those outside of the city of brotherly love don’t understand the impact Kid Dynamite had on today’s punk/hardcore music scene. While the genre as we know it today is filled with bands whose CDs we wish we could flush down the toilet, Kid Dynamite were pioneers of the genre. Their fast and aggressive style of music was mixed with catchy, sing-a-long vocals that really were built for a live setting. Having only been able to see the boys perform once during their existence from 1997 to 2000, I can honestly admit that it was one of the most powerful performances I’ve ever seen. Strong words for a glaring band.
For a band that featured former members of the legendary Lifetime, and now has members in quality acts Paint It Black, The Loved Ones and None More Black- Kid Dynamite were destined for something special and they delivered. It’s only fitting I guess that Jade Tree’s first ever DVD release features Kid Dynamite and their brilliant, but short career. Four Years in One Gulp captures the blue-collar character and paints the story of just who this genre-defining band were with live performance footage, life on the road, in the studio, and everywhere else in 90 minutes. It seems to breeze by but it manages to knock you on your ass, just like their music did.

The best aspect of this DVD would have to be the 20 live performances from day one to the end that are captured on film. The footage and sound quality isn’t top of the line and often times a tad grainy and hard to hear, but for this band, a group that called Philadelphia home and embraced the city and the music community, it’s almost fitting the recording isn’t polished and clean. A great piece of footage included is the reunion show bits and pieces we get to see from 2003. We also get a glimpse of how the band prepared for these shows, which is quite the treat. I only wish more footage was included here.

The DVD also does an excellent job of capturing the individual personalities of band members Dan Yemin, David Wagenschutz, Jay Shevchuk, Steve Ferrell and Michael Cotterman. As the DVD unfolds the story of the band, you also see how each member of the group worked in their own individual aspects. You also get a perspective of the band from their roadies and more importantly, their friends, who all add that element of an outside voice; it really helps tie everything together.

Four Years In One Gulp also includes some nifty extras like photo galleries and more general band commentary. The photos are definitely worth taking a peek at. I guess there could have been some more added here, but you can’t forget, this band was not together that long. I think that in itself shows the mark Kid Dynamite left on the music scene. A band that barely lasted four years has its own DVD. There is a reason for that, and the reason is that this band really did make an impact and now those who missed out on this band can understand and see for themselves why they did.

Kid Dynamite [I]Four Years in One Gulp Review[/I]

In addition to watching episodes of the Beavis and Butt-head – The Mike Judge Collection Vol. 1 DVD, I’ve recently watched three band-related DVDs: a 90-minute documentary on Kid Dynamite called Four Years in One Gulp, The Hives’ Tussles in Brussels concert and blink-182′s The Urethra Chronicles. While I enjoyed seeing The Hives rip it up in concert and some older blink-182 videos, seeing Kid Dynamite again was a nice reminder of things.

In the fall of ’98, Jade Tree had three highly-anticipated records coming out. A new EP by The Promise Ring (Boys + Girls), Jets to Brazil’s debut album (Orange Rhyming Dictionary), Kid Dynamite’s self-titled debut album. These three records sounded nothing alike, but I wanted all of them. Already a Promise Ring fan and convinced that bands featuring ex-members of Jawbreaker, Handsome, Texas is the Reason and Lifetime were guaranteed to be great.

In an age when MP3s were few and far between and before peer-to-peer networks were everywhere on the Internet, short clips in the Real Audio format were the standard. No audio was available at the time when I sent my money in, but I couldn’t help it because Jade Tree had a sweet deal. They offered a pre-order where you could get the record a few weeks before it came out in stores. So I just went for it and sent my money in.

While awaiting for my records to arrive, sound clips from each album appeared online. Hearing "Bookworm" by Kid Dynamite and "Resistance is Futile" by Jets to Brazil, I wasn’t too hot with what I heard. I couldn’t wrap my head around KD’s Jason Shevchuk’s voice and I didn’t really enjoy Jets’ Devo-like new wave. I’m glad I got the albums though; it’s amazing when you hear more than one song. That’s the beauty of a record!

Kid Dynamite sounded like a much harder version of Lifetime, but they were not a weak, retooled version of it. They played fast and their songs were very short, but they were all worth the while. Orange Rhyming Dictionary turned out to be a really great album filled with mostly mellowed-out rock songs. I would continue to follow Jets to Brazil closely for years to come, but I wouldn’t be as close a follower of KD.

As a full-time band, Kid Dynamite went full-steam ahead with releasing a number of compilation tracks, split-EP with 88 Fingers Louie, and a second album, Shorter, Faster, Louder. Despite their material being really strong, their flavor was going out on me. As much as I love fast punk rock, I can’t listen to it all the time. Kid Dynamite was a casualty in my changing of taste after a couple of years of listening to a lot of pop-punk and hardcore.

When Kid Dynamite called it quits in 2000, people were incredibly bummed. I was sad to see them go, but I was surprised to see how revered they had become in such a short amount of time. They were thought of as highly as Lifetime, but as its own band. The band has since reunited for a few one-off charity shows in the last few years and every show has been packed to the gills.

All of the band’s story so far is placed together nicely in the Four Years in One Gulp documentary. While there is a great balance of fun and seriousness in the interviews with those involved, the true pearl is seeing amateur video of the band playing live. Though the video quality varies, the band’s performances are always top-notch. Seeing the band attack the songs with so much intensity, I really miss this kind of approach with bands now. Shevchuk goes to town as an engaging frontman with a fireball of energy while his bandmates do the same, but in their own ways.

I could get all nostalgic and think that they don’t make bands like Kid Dynamite anymore. Well, I’m not sure a band just like Kid Dynamite will come out, but I’m not worried. KD was a special band that has remained special in the years to come. I’m glad I did give this band another chance even after being not too impressed with the 30-second Real Audio clip that I heard. I think I should apply this a little more than what I normally do. I don’t want to get ripped off with a lame record, but I shouldn’t be so quick to judge bands (especially with just 30 seconds of an album).

KID DYNAMITE [I]Four Years in One Gulp[/I] review

A stringy-haired Steve Evetts looks into a handheld camera held by Kid Dynamite guitarist Dan Yemin. In his hands he grips a small piece of paper with a 2-letter word on it and a punctuation mark at the end. It’s no larger than 4" x 4", but the font is bold-faced, so you can read it clearly as Evetts presses it against the mixing board. "Dan: This is for your benefit. Note the well-placed ‘GO.’" There is Kid Dynamite’s existence summed up in one small, intentionally metaphorical action: Abbreviated but aggressive. Short but impacting. Brief but powerful. A duration that lasted no more than 4 years, but one that turned heads, and continues to do so today.

Four Years in One Gulp, the melodic hardcore legends’ first full-length feature DVD, captures the band’s history in a chronological fashion with candid looks inside the story of their history. Jade Tree presents an absolutely wonderful collaboration of talking heads’ stories, crisp photos, direct narration from lead singer Jason Shevchuk, a bit of tour footage and a diverse array of interspersed live clips from over the years. The entire sequence leads from the ex-Lifetime members starting to collaborate on the band all the way to the heartbreaking end of the band, and with a look at the band’s reunion shows in 2003.

The major players in terms of the talking heads are the collective band themselves, hanging out in a living room and reminscing of practices and tour occurrences. Jade Tree co-owner and former roadie Darren Walters spills the juice on "inside the van" tidbits, as does former roadies Dave Hause (now singing and playing guitar for the Loved Ones) and Colin McGinnus (now in None More Black), who get plenty of face time themselves with their plethora of stories ("and Spider ate some rancid Doritos…," "they were wrestling in the nude…"). A number of other area band members get their say in, as well.

The sound for the videos are not at their respective maximums, but they suffice well and match the sometimes mildly grainy footage perfectly. The very first shown, "Pacifier," is appropriately from the band’s first ever show, which is hilarious in aspects. Shevchuk looks like he walked out of a chemistry final, while the entirety of the band seemingly refuses to shy away from facing the crowd, including a barefoot, gym clothes-covered Dan Yemin. Temporary bassist Ernie Parada (Grey Area), only played a few shows with the band, but footage is included, which is a great clip of "Shiner," shot from a profile view, but one in which the crowd is right up front and whose faces are clearly visible; everyone from the frumpy-looking but pleased as punch fangirl to the spiky haired fellow who doesn’t seem to know any words but is enjoying himself regardless get their cameos in. Even included is a latter-era clip of the band’s cover of Black Flag’s "Rise Above," taken from the last show of KD’s last tour.

While it tends to solely involve the band killing time, including Yemin deeply concentrated on a round of Mortal Kombat, studio footage from the "recording" of the band’s self-titled debut is here and engaging nonetheless, if not just for Dave Wagenshutz’s ‘STRAIGHT EDGE ISN’T COOL ANYMORE’ shirt.

The DVD briefly looks at the 2003 reunion shows as well, with some rather candid footage of the band in the rehearsal space, practicing for the forthcoming shows. This section of the DVD even manages to include a clip of "Fuckuturn," taken from a secret show played as a warmup a number of days before the official shows at Philadelphia’s First Unitarian Church. The "Heart a Tact" clip here is one of the best on the disc.

Slight mention is even made of the CBGBs benefit from this past August 2005, photos of which are lovely to see.

The extras are worth at least glances, as well. From a quick glimpse, the band commentary appears to be both informative and humorous, which is all you can ask for when it comes to that usually ignored area of DVDs, while Hause and McGinnus team up for more stories.

I have a feeling Kid Dynamite will long be remembered in the minds of all who regard punk rock as an important branch of rock. In the scope of the musical stratosphere, they may be but a blip on the radar, but in hardcore punk, they were kings. The East Coast stalwarts were a band who took an old hat and wore it on their heads like it was the greatest thrift store find of all time. Visual proof is in Four Years in One Gulp, which is a perfect assurance that both Kid Dynamite’s songs and passion for recreating an atmosphere of pure, unbridled punk rock created legacy that will long go unmatched.

KID DYNAMITE [I]Four Years in One Gulp[/I] Review

Yeah, people were deservedly fuckin’ stoked about Kid Dynamite. The band had history: prehistory with Lifetime; post history with Paint It Black, None More Black, and Good Riddance. I personally think Kid Dynamite ruled and were an important bridge between straight-ahead, first generation hardcore and melody-infused modern punk. This is a well-made documentary of a short-lived, great band, that, like that one space shuttle, blew up when it was really taking off. Where the movie excels is in its balance. It’s doesn’t grandstand and put the band on an impossible pedestal nor is it apologetic and mopey. The movie also strikes a balance due to its diversity. It’s part oral history (by the band themselves, long-time fans, and label owners), part well-recorded live performances (from all over the U.S.), part comedy routines (their roadies, who should star in their own public access show), and part reminiscence/therapy session for previously unresolved issues between the band members concerning the abrupt finish to a promising band. Ultimately, all of the members of Kid Dynamite come off looking and acting like real, passionate, and flawed human beings who had a knack for making great music together. In a twist at the end, the band – more popular than ever, it seems- plays a string of sold-out reunion shows to help a long-time friend start his foundation for battling cancer. This movie is the perfect presentation and preservation of a band that should be remembered and regarded as one of the brightest spots in late ’90s/ early ’00s punk. Highly recommended.

88 Fingers Louie / Kid Dynamite [I]Split[/I] Review

When I first started getting into the underground music scene back in high school, I was fortunate to have been a part of Chicago’s booming underground punk scene. One of the bands I quickly fell in love with was 88 Fingers Louie. Shortly after getting their first full-length Behind Bars, I found out that the band had broken up; the break-up however did not last long, and they came back stronger than ever with the comeback album Back on the Streets. Once again, 88 Fingers Louie would disband shortly after that release, but not before releasing the last of their material with none other than Philadelphia, PA’s Kid Dynamite. Now, I know just about everyone has heard about Kid Dynamite, so I won’t go into too much detail surrounding their history, but I will say that these two bands came together in 1999 to release one of the best split EPs ever (in my opinion).

Starting off the EP is 88 Fingers Louie with “Out There,” one of their heavier songs in their collection. This short number then bursts into one of my all-time favorite songs “Slow Chorus Overlap;” even now when I listen to this song I still find myself getting the chills. This song and the next track “Reparation” are two songs that cannot close out a band’s history any better, and truly bring to life the term “saved the best for last.”

Next up on the split is Kid Dynamite. Like 88 Fingers Louie, they also called it quits shortly after this release at the beginning of 2000. Kid Dynamite contributes two short tracks that showcase the band’s blend of melodic punk and hardcore, “Heart A Tact” followed by “Breakin’s A Memory.” To close out the disc, Kid Dynamite pulls off a great cover of the Black Flag song “Rise Above” and really closes out their career as a band just as good as 88 Fingers Louie’s songs.

If there was ever a split that needs to be owned by anyone into the punk/hardcore scene it’s this one. It’s amazing how well these two bands sound together on this split and how both their careers seem to end here. I mentioned it earlier and I’ll say it again, this disc really brings life to the term “saved the best for last.” Even though this CD might not even break the fifteen-minute mark, the staying power and intensity of these 6 songs show the listener why these two groups are legends in their hometown scenes. This disc is a must have.

Philly Punks to Help N.Y. club

Defunct Philly punk act Kid Dynamite will play a benefit show for legendary New York rock club CBGB, which faces eviction over a landlord/tenant dispute.

KD’s Aug. 22 gig is its first since a series of reunion shows here in 2003 that raised more than $20,000 for the Syrentha J. Savio Endowment, a breast-cancer charity. Savio was the wife of photographer Mark Beemer, a friend of the band, who set up the charity after her death that year.

Acts Band Together To Save Legendary Club

NEW YORK — Punk acts young, old and reunited have pledged their support for the legendary New York club CBGB, which is fighting to renew a soon-to-expire lease and may be forced to close shop entirely.

Acts including the Misfits, Thursday, Against Me, Liars, Dead Boys, Gorilla Biscuits and the Vandals will perform at a series of benefit concerts at the club in the coming weeks to raise money.

The Save CBGB fund is earmarked for the club’s legal fees as it lobbies its landlord, the Bowery Residents Committee (BRC), a not-for-profit organization that provides services and shelter to homeless and disabled New Yorkers.

Additional artists set to appear include Living Colour, Flipper, Kid Dynamite, Bush Tetras, Chevelle, the Exit and World Inferno Friendship Society.

Beyond the shows, acts including the Bangles, Elvis Costello and Sting have donated memorabilia for an auction, and the E Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt has made efforts to negotiate with the BRC. Former Talking Heads vocalist David Byrne has also offered to assist in mediation.

"CBGBs supports the BRC’s fight to help the homeless — we just want our lease renewed to keep this historic venue in its original place," says CBGB owner Hilly Kristal.

The conflict stems from a series of rent hikes. According to CBGB spokesperson Scott Goodstein, on several occasions the BRC raised the rent on CBGB’s home at 313 Bowery without properly informing the club, later bringing the issue to court in order to collect interest. The most recent dispute involves about $80,000 in back rent the BRC claims it is owed.

In May, the committee cut off negotiations with Kristal to renew the lease on his space, which will terminate on Aug. 31, citing fire-safety violations, among other problems. According to Goodstein, those charges are merely spin as the landlord looks to double its income from the property. If there were real safety hazards, "the city wouldn’t allow us to be open," he adds. A BRC spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Goodstein says the possibility of moving the club has been ruled out.

"You can’t move the stage and the club that so many bands played on and were launched from," he offers. "I mean, CBs is the Bowery. The only place that that type of New York energy could take place and be expressed in is the Bowery."

Video of the Week: Kid Dynamite – Philadelphia, PA

This week’s video is once again brought to you by sickboi and comes from Kid Dynamite’s final show. The reunion was part of a three day event to benefit the Syrentha Savio Endowment and the April 13th, 2003 show helped raise over $20,000.

You can check it out : Kid Dynamite – "Two For Flinching/K05-0564"

Please take a moment to visit and consider picking up a . The endowment is a non-profit organization that provides funding for chemotherapy and other medication for underprivileged women who cannot afford the growing expense of fighting breast cancer.

KID DYNAMITE [I]Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems[/I] Review

This band really needs no introduction.  Just say the words Kid Dynamite and you will get a plethora of responses.  Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems is a catalogue somewhat of Kid Dynamites short but illustrious career.  The first set of songs are from compilations and splits, followed by five covers including a very cool cover of The Clash’s ‘Hateful’ and Minor Threats ‘I Don’t Wanna Hear It’.  It also includes the original six-song demo and live versions of Kid Dynamite classics.  The layout is very cool where each song gets an explanation of what was going on with Kid Dynamite at that time and how it was recorded.     The record concludes with KD doing a humorous radio-show in Philadelphia.  Oh yea and to top it off you get a DVD packed with live footage, photos, and flyers.  This is great for any Kid Dynamite fan to add to their collection.  Even if you are not a fan of Kid Dynamite and want to learn more about the band this would be a good place to start

KID DYNAMITE [I]Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems[/I] Review

Formed from the ashes of NJ hardcore heroes Lifetime, Kid Dynamite hold an important place in punk rock history, both in their native Philadelphia and beyond. This release chronicles the history of the band through assorted rarities and unreleased material, including tracks culled from a live radio performance. Beginning with “the classics,” the tone for the disc is set for all those unfamiliar with Kid Dynamite’s energetic brand of hardcore punk rock. This is smart move for another reason, as well — often times, rarities CDs end up being fan-only releases, the kind that only someone already interested would bother to pick up. Thanks to great song selection, however, and fantastic liner notes (complete with comments on every single track), this album is as much for those new to the band as long-time fans. Whether it’s to hear what all the fuss is about, or to hear a fantastic cover of Circle Jerks’ “Deny Everything,” this is one rarities collection worth your time.

KID DYNAMITE [I]Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems[/I] Review

I don’t know what I can say to do KID DYNAMITE justice. Few bands have had more of an influence on me than these Philly punk rockers. Even two years after they disbanded, KID DYNAMTE is still prolific and highly praised. This band, quite simply, rips. With “Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems”, the band has put out a record that should broaden their fan base as well as show appreciation towards their fans from when they were still together. “Cheap Shots…” offers up some covers of legendary bands like THE CLASH and BLACK FLAG while also releasing B-sides and a nifty little DVD. Even the booklet on this album is amazing. For a band that only released two full lengths and a split, KID DYNAMITE has managed to bury themselves in the archives of the greatest hardcore punk bands of my lifetime during their three-year existence.

Since their breakup in 2000, the members of KID DYNAMITE have gone on to well-documented futures. Jason Schevchuk took a brief music hiatus before making a return to the scene with NONE MORE BLACK. Guitarist Dan Yemin has picked up vocal duties with the throwback hardcore PAINT IT BLACK. David Wagenshultz went on to play in GOOD RIDDANCE. For all of their new (and generally awesome) projects, KID DYNAMITE will always be considered the highlight of their careers by many fans. “Cheap Shots…” does the band justice, providing further insight into the actual members of the band and the song writing process as well as the bands that influence them. The DVD is a teaser for a KID DYNAMITE DVD that should appeal to everyone who has ever picked up a KID DYNAMITE album. “Cheap Shots” isn’t a “best of” album by any means, but it is a genuine display of the band’s short-lived career. The demos are excellent and the covers are unique (as well as gutsy). The live radio tracks are great for those who are loyal fans. For anyone looking to get into KID DYNAMITE, “Cheap Shots…” is a great introduction to the band and you should go buy a copy right away. For older fans of KID DYNAMITE, “Cheap Shots…” will induce a tinge of nostalgia after rocking your brains out, so buy it. If you’ve never heard of KID DYNAMITE, buy it. Get the general idea here?

KID DYNAMITE [I]Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems[/I] Review

It’s incredibly dismaying to come to the realization that old fashioned hardcore punk, once championed in it’s halcyon days by the likes of Bad Religion, 7 Seconds, and even straight-edgers like Gorilla Biscuits, is becoming a dying art form. Few vestiges of the "old-school" remain, having been supplanted by dumbed-down, assembly-line mall punks, and the ever-increasing commercialization of "emo-core," a genre ironically spawned as a doggedly anti-corporate offshoot of hardcore punk. Could it be that when they dissolved in 2000 Philadelphia’s Kid Dynamite exhaled the last dying breaths of this once gloriously galloping horse? While they didn’t exactly fit the mold of the aforementioned Kid Dynamite undeniably evoked a similar ethos, and in keeping with such, Cheap Shots, a posthumous compilation of rarities, demos, and radio sessions also features appropriately blistering readings of Minor Threat’s "I Don’t Wanna Hear It," and the Circle Jerks 30 second anthem, "Deny Everything," further cementing Dynamite’s reputation as in-your-face hardcore purists to the hilt. It’s their originals of course that are the real emphasis of this album, with each track (averaging a fleeting 90 seconds) being a rigorous exercise in tight, visceral no-bullshit punk, that’s rapidly becoming as extinct as the Dodo. The CD version of Cheap Shots is paired with a short DVD featuring live material and a preview of a more thorough Kid Dynamite full-length DVD coming to a store near you. (

KID DYNAMITE [I]Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems[/I] Review

Reviewing a Kid Dynamite album is not a very easy issue for myself, as I am a great fan of this band and I know I would not be able to judge well their songs and records as a "real critic". But nevermind that, I will try. The new record from Kid Dynamite is not a new album. "Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems" is a collection of 29 songs, plus one DVD where you can see some amazing live recording and interviews. Speaking of the CD, it features 29 songs divided into five sections: the classics, the covers, the demo outtakes, the unreleased songs with Jay singing, and some live songs recorded on a live radio show. Basically, this disc has it all: 29 good reasons for statring the mosh pit. From the Kid Dynamite stuff like "Heart A Tact", "Give ‘em the Ripped One", "Showofff", "Never Met the Gooch" and "Wristrocket", the album does not have a moment of stop. You can also hear how Kid Dynamite sound when they are recording a demo for a record: even faster and most furious, on such tunes as "Sweet Shop Syndacate" and "Fuckuturn". The unreleased tracks are smashing stuff as well, with Jason spilling blood from his troath, as on "News At 11", "Death And Taxes" and "32 Frames". The band also do cover some punk rock classics, as "Rise Above" from Black Flag, "Deny Everything" from Circle Jerks", "I Don’t Wanna Hear It" from Minor Threat" and a less classic as "Macho Insecurities" from Dead Kennedys. The live radio show is made of seven tracks plus some interview questions during the time: "K05-0564", "The Penske File" and "Ph. Decontrol" are just awesome played live. The DVD instead features live video recordings from some old Kid Dynamite show and from their recent 2003 reunion for benefit shows. This band is a part of hardcore history, if you ever liked hardcore, I think this Kid Dynamite album is the number one MUST BUY ALBUM OF 2003: it contains a piece of hardcore history that we will not live again.

KID DYNAMITE [I]Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems[/I] Review: 9 out of 10

It’s Kid Dynamite, and they’re one of the best bands ever, need I say more? Well, I guess if you’re a fan and you want the low-down on this release it goes like this: Songs from every compilation and split release, cover songs, the original six song demo, a live radio appearance, as well as assorted demo versions of Kid Dynamite classics. Twenty-nine tracks in all as well as a DVD of never before seen live footage and photos as well as flyers. Without a doubt, this is something you have to have. Don’t be stupid, get this release. Damn this band was amazing. Members went on to join or start the following current bands: Paint In Black, Good Riddance and None More Black. For fans of: Lifetime, None More Black, Good Riddance, Strike Anywhere, Trial By Fire.

DYN-O-MITE: Kid Dynamite Reunites

The weekend of April 11, 12 and 13 won’t just be any weekend in Philadelphia – it might just be the greatest weekend ever, and for more people than you might think. Not only will the reunion of Kid Dynamite be a wonderful occasion for tons of kids in the area, but this particular event will be a hundred times more wonderful for Mark Beemer, a renowned photographer from the Washington D.C. area. That’s right, we said Kid Dynamite reunion, but we’ll get to that later.

What’s more important than any performance, by any artist, is where the money made by these three, one weekend only reunion shows will go, and that’s to the Syrentha J. Savio Endowment (SSE). Beemer set up the SSE in memory of his late wife Syrentha, who lost her life to cancer in January 2002. As we all know, cancer is a horrible disease without a cure, but treatment is available through chemotherapy. Unfortunately, chemotherapy is extremely expensive, and is for some unaffordable all together. That’s where the SSE comes in. The SSE helps provide chemotherapy and medications for those individuals who cannot afford them otherwise.

What better way to raise money for such a great cause than to put on a great show? That’s how the reunion of some of the most revered and now infamous bands to come out of Philadelphia (if we do say so ourselves) came to be. When Beemer asked the members of Kid Dynamite to get back together to play a benefit show for the SSE, there was no way they could say no. Thus we come to this weekend, a series of three shows with very special guests The Curse (playing their final shows), Strike Anywhere, Trial by Fire (a special reunion) and Grey Area (another special reunion), that will do nothing but help people both emotionally and financially. Kids will be happy to see some of their favorite bands one last time, and those who are not as fortunate as some us will be happy to be able to receive aid. We can all be assured that Syrentha herself will be smiling as she watches the fun and her legacy contribute to the help of others.

Although these shows sold out the day tickets went on sale, there are other ways in which you can contribute to the SSE. Beemer has released an excellent coffee table book chronicling his 13 years photographing the punk rock community called Stealing Time: 13 Years of Punk Images that is available for $20 from 100% of your purchase will go to the SSE. Fully tax-deductible donations can also be made by sending funds to the following address: The Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, 3970 Reservoir Rd., NW Research Building, Suite E 501, Washington, DC 20007.

For more information on the SSE check out and to see some samples of Beemer’s photography and to order a copy of Stealing Time (do it!) log on to Information on Kid Dynamite can also be found at

Kid Dynamite vocalist Jason Shevchuk and guitarist Dr. Dan Yemin were kind enough to take a few minutes to talk with us about these reunion shows, the Endowment and their respective new projects. Here are their comments.

PULSE WEEKLY: After looking at Jade Tree’s web site, I have come to the conclusion that Mark Beemer’s photography is awesome. I’m definitely going to pick up a copy of his book at the show and I understand that to get tickets for the Sunday show, you also had to buy a copy of Stealing Time.

JASON SHEVCHUK : Yeah. Actually, what they did was they split it up. You could buy 300 [tickets] at Spaceboy in Philly and you could buy 300 from Jade Tree online and the ones that you bought off Jade Tree you had to buy the book, too. He sold a lot of books, it was great, and they are still for sale too, which is cool. It’s a great, great book. But basically he’s been trying to arrange this for a while and we were finally able to open up our schedules and said, “Ok, let’s just set a date and we’ll do it.†So we’ve been talking about this for months and months and months, I would say pretty close to a year we’ve been talking about it and finally, I think it wasn’t until late summer or fall that we actually nailed down a date for when we were gonna do it.

PW: So it was pretty much a no-brainer to say that Kid Dynamite would get back together for a weekend for this particular cause?

JS: Oh yeah. It’s not like we hate each other; we still talk to each other. It’s just, you know, easy. It’s an easy thing to do, why not? Help him out.

PW: How do you feel about the first two shows selling out so quickly?

JS: I’m amazed. I think just a lot of people are just gonna have a good time. I’m also amazed that the third show sold out so quickly.

PW: Was a third show on Sunday something that was planned in advance because there were expectations of Friday and Saturday selling out so quickly?

JS: Well, Sean Agnew, who is booking the show and promoting the show, he pretty much put a third day aside because he thought it was gonna sell out quickly, but no one knew it was gonna be that quick, it was kind of just like, “Well, you know, if there’s a demand for a third show we’ll do it,†and we were like well if there’s going to be a third show, there’s only going to be 50 kids there. A lot of kids bought tickets for both days and that’s what I think made them sell out so quick – because kids bought multiple tickets. I wouldn’t be surprised if 20% of the kids are gonna be there all weekend. The main concern was that since they sold out so quickly, did anyone even know where the money was going? The whole thing’s point was to raise money and at the same time raise awareness. I’m sure we’ll make them aware at the show.

PW: On Friday and Saturday, The Curse and Strike Anywhere will open and on Sunday Trial by Fire and Grey Area will open. Is there a show that you are looking forward to more?

JS: The first one because, you know, it’s the first one. We’ve been practicing and the adrenaline is just going to be there and it’s gonna be out of control.

PW: Is there anyone that you wish was on the bill?

JS: No. Not really. It’s pretty much set by Mark [Beemer]. Mark put on bands that were close to him and that he wanted to see play. Grey Area was kind of our request. Grey Area played our last show and we always joked about it like, “We’ll play together when you guys play together again.†It’s not all the original members, which isn’t the greatest thing, but it’ll still be fun.

PW: With None More Black, will you continue to contribute to the Endowment?

JS: I hope so. If Mark ever needs us, we’ll totally do it.

PW: Do you have any idea how you would contribute?

JS: I don’t know, we have to have a talk about it with Mark. We were talking about doing a live recording of Kid Dynamite, like recording the show live and the proceeds would go to Mark. There are so many ways you could do it. If Mark wants to do a record or something later on, we would totally be into doing it but for right now we have a contract with Fat [Wreck Chords]. Fat actually had an idea of doing a Kid Dynamite live thing but it’s just too close to the time that we’re doing it and we wouldn’t be able to pull the project together so we just said we’ll just do the shows. He [Mark] is gonna have t-shirts for each show, posters, books so he’s gonna make out. I’m totally interested in helping Mark with the endowment, I think it’s a great thing.

PW: You said that in practice all the chemistry and adrenaline is there. How excited are you to actually be performing as Kid Dynamite again?

JS: Very excited. I think we all are.

PW: Do you think that performing will rekindle any interest in bringing Kid Dynamite back, or will you just concentrate on your respective bands?

JS: This is it; this is what we’re doing. Three shows and that’s it. It’s just fun and good times. We’re having fun together, and there is no point in trying to commercialize on it.

PW: Concerning None More Black, what do you think about the tags that have been added, like ex-Kid Dynamite, to your band? Do you think it helps or would you rather have None More Black’s music speak for itself?

JS: I think it [None More Black] speaks for itself, I mean, you’re gonna get that no matter what you do. If I was ex-President of the United States people would say it’s the band with the dude who used to be President, everybody’s gonna get it and once the record comes out a couple months from now it’s not going to be a big deal. That’s the way I’m looking at it. I tried to fight it when we started, I was like, “I want to base our success on what we are,†but it’s not possible because people talk, you can’t stop every flier from going out and saying ex-Kid Dynamite.

PW: None More Black is awesome by the way.

JS: Oh, thank you.

PW: I listened to Dinners for Suckers over and over the other day and I came across a couple other songs.

JS: Hey man, how’d you get those?

PW: I downloaded them.

JS: From where?

PW: You know … the internet.

JS: Aw man, I thought we were being good. Oh well. It’s cool. Those songs are going on the record anyway but there are different versions. But that’s cool, I’m glad.

PW: Why did you choose to go with Fat Wreck Chords?

JS: Jade Tree didn’t express any interest. They may have, but at the same time I wanted to do something different, you know? To perpetuate the whole ex-Kid Dynamite thing I figured not putting it out on Jade Tree would be a positive thing. Nothing against those guys, they’re great dudes, they’re a great label, I just wanted to do something different. We had a choice between four other labels and Fat was just really, really fast and really persistent and they got the ball rolling quicker than anybody else did. Everyone there is fantastic.

PW: So when can we expect to see None More Black on the road? Any idea who you’ll be playing with?

JS: Our first tour starts June 3rd, the day the record comes out and it’s with Death by Stereo; we’re doing an East Coast tour with them. Then we come back and we’re taking a little breather because Paul is in a band called Kill Your Idols and they’re going to Europe for eight days, so we do that, then we come back and we’re trying to put together some tours for the end of the summer and through the fall.

PW: Ok Jason, that’s it. Thanks a lot.

JS: Cool, thank you.

PULSE WEEKLY: How close are you and Mark Beemer? What kind of relationship do you have?

DR. DAN YEMIN: Well, we’re not old, old friends, we’re basically friends through the whole Jade Tree connection. He grew up with the Jade Tree guys and I’ve been working with them in one form or another since like 1994 and those guys have become some of my closest friends too, so it’s kind of an extended music family, I guess you could say.

PW: Is that mostly the reason why you stayed with Jade Tree for Paint it Black?

DDY: Yeah. I look at it as one ongoing relationship regardless of what band I’m in. You know, there’s something to be said for consistency and I know how they operate inside and out. They also hired our drummer, who’s also the drummer for Kid Dynamite [Dave Wagenschutz], as their office manager. Yea, it’s kind of just all in the family, plus if things go wrong I can drive down there in half an hour and get my hands around the appropriate throat.

PW: How special was it for you for Mark to ask Kid Dynamite to get back together for these benefit shows?

DDY: It’s very special. I think all of us would agree that it’s the only reason on earth that we would get back together and do Kid Dynamite again, not because I don’t love those guys but because the whole idea of a reunion, usually under every other circumstance is pretty self indulgent. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to use something I’ve done artistically to really have sort of a real concrete benefit that I can see. I mean, I like to imagine it will have an emotional effect on a lot of people, I know it has on me, and that’s the feedback I’ve always gotten. It’s nice to be able to really see it, you know what I mean?

PW: What if he would have asked for Lifetime to play?

DDY: I don’t think that would happen. The other guitarist lives in California, plus I don’t think any of the Lifetime guys really know Mark.

PW: What are you going to do during the show to make sure kids are aware of the cause, like those that just bought tickets without realizing the cause or taking the time to look into it?

DDY: Well, that was actually a big concern, especially for Mark, you know, this is really, really personal and important for him and the Endowment, so this is extremely special for him. We were really concerned that that would be the issue, that people would be like, “Oh yeah, Kid Dynamite!†and not even think about the Endowment, so we’re gonna have information and a table and we’re going to say something before we play each night. We also have shirts made up that have the band’s logo on one side and the Endowment’s logo on the other; it’s sort of going to be in the air. The way we structured all the press releases, we always put the Endowment as the primary thing.

The other cool thing is the Philadelphia PBS station is also doing a feature on it, they are focusing on the whole aspect, they’re focusing less on the band and more on the whole aspect of the punk rock community and people basically putting themselves out for each other and supporting each other. They’re interviewing Mark, they’re interviewing me and they’re interviewing Sean Agnew from R5 Productions and then they’re gonna tape the show.

PW: That’s awesome!

DDY: Yeah, I’m very excited about that.

PW: When I was talking to Jason, he said he’s most excited for the first show because it will just be out of control. Is there a certain show you are looking forward to the most, perhaps Sunday with Grey Area?

DDY: It’s hard to say, I mean, this is going to be a typical Yemin answer, I’m gonna walk the fence, I don’t think I’m gonna be able to pick. There’s something good and amazing about each one. I mean, the first one is just going to be ridiculous, it’s going to be the first time we’ve played together live in front of people in three years and it’s just going to be nuts. I think everybody’s gonna be excited, our friends are gonna be excited, we’re playing with The Curse, the guitarist in The Curse is also the guitarist in Paint it Black and we’re very close. Strike Anywhere are close friends of ours, it’s gonna be a love fest, it’s going to be very special for Mark.

The second show is gonna be probably our best show in terms of playing well. Friday I basically have to work up until 7pm and then go to the show, so Saturday I’ll be rested and we’ll probably be tighter as a band. Then Sunday is going to be special because Grey Area is getting back together just to see the show, and Trial by Fire is getting back together just to play the show too.

PW: What has practicing as Kid Dynamite been like?

DDY: Fun. We were worried about where to do it and Jason just said, “Let’s do it in my living room.†He lives right on South Street; he actually lives right above Dave, the drummer, so we won’t get noise complaints from them. We basically just moved all his furniture out of the living room and had all our stuff set up in there, it’s been really fun.

PW: How else will Paint it Black continue to help out Mark and the Endowment, if at all?

DDY: Well, hopefully, just to keep it visible. Also, he put out a book that benefits the Endowment that has pictures of Paint it Black and Kid Dynamite in it and we’ll continue to promote that through the band. One of the other ways he raises the money is that he puts together a Walk-a-thon team, like Race for the Cure and Walk for the Cure and all those things, even though it’s usually down in D.C. where he lives, I try to participate whenever I can. Also, I may give a percentage of Paint it Black profits to the Endowment. I decided with Paint it Black that one of the ways that I could sort of keep my influences pure instead of worrying about selling records was to donate my quarter of the royalties to various causes, that’s what I’m doing for Paint it Black. Part of that will go to the Endowment, the rest of it’s gonna go to Philadelphia area DIY endeavors like the Wooden Shoe, you know, a lot of small set-ups that just make money from benefits and fund raisers and things like that, which I consider vital to the underground artistic community.

PW: What do you think about the ex-Lifetime/Kid Dynamite tag that seems to be attached to Paint it Black?

DDY: It’s fine, I mean, I don’t want to ride on it but it’s the reality. I guess I’m ambivalent, we had some disagreements about that in Kid Dynamite back in the beginning. On one hand people would say it’s a cheap shot to benefit from the notoriety of your old bands, just start from scratch, but on the other hand, and I guess there’s something to be said for that, I think people should have to work hard and not just coast. But what I hope is that Kid Dynamite would have been popular based on what we did even if we hadn’t been “ex-Lifetime.†Maybe that made more people notice in the first place, but if we had sucked, nobody would have cared. Hopefully that will be the same with Paint it Black, I mean Paint it Black’s gonna turn off a lot of Lifetime and Kid Dynamite fans because it’s not melodic at all and people that want the melody aren’t gonna go for it. I always wanted to know what the ex-members of my favorite bands were doing so I think as long as you don’t milk it; it’s not a problem.

PW: Was it a difficult transition from guitar to vocals?

DDY: Doing vocals is way more challenging, oh man, I sound illiterate. Doing vocals is a lot more challenging. I find it to be, first of all, a lot more physically challenging. I feel like I’m about to go to the hospital when we’re done, which is great because it kind of adds to that whole feeling; I prefer to feel exhausted and depleted when we’re done. The whole purpose behind playing short sets, which has always been a priority with Kid Dynamite too, is the fact that I feel that if you can play longer than 20 minutes then you weren’t playing hard enough. I think you should be absolutely spent when you’re done and I’m definitely spent, I feel like I’m gonna puke up my diaphragm when we’re done, it’s really hard.

PW: How is your psychology practice going?

DDY: Oh it’s good; it’s very good, thank you.

PW: Do you have a lot of patients who are fans of your music and come to you because of that or do you gain a lot of fans after the fact that they discover your music?

DDY: I’ve had people come to me because they knew, they were from a punk rock background. You know what, I don’t think anyone’s ever come to me because they were a fan and I would actually try to not have that happen, I would feel out exactly what the motivations were. If it was just like a fan thing I don’t think it would be very helpful because there’s kind of almost a pre-existing relationship, although not a face to face one, and I think that could potentially impede the process of therapy. But if someone came to me because they are from a punk rock background and they know who I am and they figure they’d have an easier time relating to me than some old dude, then that’s fine, and that’s happened quite a few times.

PW: Thanks a lot, Dan.

DDY: Hey man, no problem. Will you be at the show?

PW: Damn straight.

Kid Dynamite [I]Shorter, Faster, Louder[/I] Review

Just as the title suggests, this new (and last?R.I.P) Kid D. album is short, loud, and always fast. Featuring ex-members of Lifetime, this Philadelphia band carried on a legacy of punk rock completely unique and intense to listen to, mainly because they perfectly know how to blend in the finer elements of hardcore. Fans of their first, self-titled release will love this new album.

Kid Dynamite [I]Kid Dynamite[/I] Review

Could Dan Yemin, of Lifetime fame, pull off another masterpiece? He pulled off two with Lifetime. With Kid Dynamite’s first album, he pulled off another.

Formed in 1998, Kid Dynamite consisted of Jason Shevchuk (vocals), Steve Ferrell (bass), Dave Wagenschutz (drums), and of course Yemin, displaying his excellent skills on guitar.

Jade Tree signed the band, and in 1998, the self titled was released. This work displayed Kid Dynamite as one of the leading hardcore acts in the scene. That title was well deserved, as Kid could do something that so many bands couldn’t. What is that? Display nearly the same level of intensity on the stage as you do on the record.

The lyrics on this album are so angrily intense, but they are so amazing. You will not get the true meanings of this band unless you sit down and follow along with the booklet. I could imagine that Jason’s voice must have been killing him after a while. Screaming hurts. Remember that kids.

Dan Yemin. What can I say? Yemin is one of the best hardcore guitarists I’ve ever heard in my life. The guy can play. I’ll look forward to his future projects. Ferrell’s bass work is very good also, as is Wagenschutz’s drum work.

Kid Dynamite’s lyrical topics are much varied. Ranging from the usual girls suck to the just all out rage anger, tales of lonely hardcore tales. Among other things, media deception is the setting for News At 11, one of my favorite tracks of album. Shevchuk just breaks in, the screaming begins, "This just in…another victim died tonight What’s the score? What’s the story?" It’s gripping.

Each song, may it be a lyric, guitar riff, or what not, each song has a moment, small or large, something that just takes you back and shocks you to pieces each listen. Some of my other favorites on the album are Bookworm, The Ronald Miller Story, and Pacifier. Of course, that’s just my opinion, and way aside from the main point this review is trying to prove.

Kid Dynamite’s first album was, and always will be a masterpiece. It will influence hardcore bands down the line. Hell, it probably already has. If you loved Lifetime, you’ll love this. Or, if you’re just looking for a good hardcore listen, pick this up. You’ll thank me.

The End of the Beginning

With moist eyes, Kid Dynamite’s Dan Yemin and Matt Ryan ’00 talk about Yemin’s future. With a doctorate in Psychology and experience in other bands such as Lifetime, the prospect looks positive for Yemin.

“It’s true. We broke up.” Talking with Kid Dynamite guitarist Dan Yemin was bittersweet for me. Being a longtime fan of his old band Lifetime and having recently gotten into Kid Dynamite, I was obviously excited about a chance to chat with him. On the other hand, knowing that Kid Dynamite, like Lifetime, is now also a thing of the past made it a little saddening. Thankfully, Yemin lifted my spirits. The future looks bright for him. And despite all the moping about the demise of hardcore punk, he is still refreshingly excited about it all.

After just two years and two albums, the group’s singer, Jason Shevchuk, decided to drop out of the band. Shevchuk was an integral songwriter in the band, making it virtually impossible to keep Kid Dynamite going without him. The band’s songs stand out today as being particularly fresh and, at the same time, familiar. They managed to write the type of songs hardcore punk seems to need most right now. Their songs can inspire jaded old-timers and remind youngsters of punk’s roots. Yemin explained the writing process in some depth.

“I usually never come in with parts. I come in with the whole song. I teach it to the rest of the band and hammer out the arrangement. While we’re doing that, [Shevchuk’s] in a room with his fingers in his ears coming up with vocal parts. While we’re playing the song over and over again, he is (in his head), coming up with phrasing and melodies. He’ll either merge that with stuff he’s written already or write lyrics specifically for what we came up with. The whole process goes quickly once a song gets to the band, but the process of me getting it ready for the band does not go so quickly. There’s a little more pressure than there was in [my previous band] Lifetime. We give songwriting credit to the whole band, because everyone helps with arrangements, but I come up with the parts and transitions. Lifetime was more of a triumvirate thing. I’d bring stuff in, but by the time Ari and Dave got done with it, it was 100% better.”

When asked if there was any guiding idea or style Kid Dynamite hoped to achieve, Yemin responded, “I never sat down [before Kid Dynamite] and said ‘I’m going to write different types of songs;’ I write what I write. But, your aesthetic vision for the band guides the process of what you filter out and don’t include. I decided Kid Dynamite would have more of a range. It has the melodic stuff, but also wanted some things really abrasive. Regardless of what I did, people were going to compare it with Lifetime. But when you’re mourning the end of something, you want some sort of aesthetic break. Also, I think wanted to pay a little more tribute to the music that brought me up. Although I doubt I’ll ever be a part of a songwriting team as amazing as Lifetime, I did get a little uncomfortable being in a punk/hardcore band with all the songs about relationships and girls. It made [me feel] uncomfortable. You know, so much hardcore stuff has become vacuous. Content-free. Ari’s lyrics were not content free, but I wanted something that was a little more issue-oriented and angry.”

The age of the band members probably accounts for some of the reason why Kid Dynamite blends the old and new so well. Their appeal also spans many different ages. “There was a big generation gap in the band. It was weird to know someone was raised on what you consider new. For example, the historical meaning of Minor Threat and the Clash is a lot different for me and Jay [he’s 23]. I have no pretensions of doing something original. I think it sounded fresh. I wanted it to be really immersed in the roots of punk and hardcore, without sounding retro. Pay tribute and, in doing so, breathe a breath of fresh air into it. The response to the music, for 12 year olds to 32 year olds, was great.”

The excitement shines through not only on record, but also at shows. “We had such a great time, especially in the early days when the band was fresh. On the weekends we’d play with bands like Kill Your Idols and Gray Area on the east coast. Before we were touring, we were still committed to jobs. It was like being a child again because I’d spend the whole week looking forward to the weekend and playing. It was a really exciting time. Having this new band and a lot of older bands interested, in us was great.”

As for the future, Yemin is planning to complete some non-music projects. First up, taking the licensing examine for professional psychology. “I have my doctorate in Psychology. The last hurdle before practicing. I want to work for myself, so I don’t have to work for an idiot. also have [a] little more control over how my time has been spent.”

This shouldn’t sidetrack his music plans, though. Yemin already has a new project in the works. “I’m also getting another band together. I think it will be more open-ended. More like the two songs on the new album that have other people singing on them; extending that concept for a whole album. The reason that came out on the last album is because there were people whose voices I wanted to showcase but hadn’t always had to opportunity to. I always thought something that was amazing about hip-hop records is that they get all their friends jumping in. It creates a really amazing family-like vibe. That’s something hardcore always purports, but it doesn’t always come across. Not the generic 50-guy backup vocal bull[bunion]. That’s played out. But when people first started doing that, it created a community vibe. I want everybody in hardcore whose voice I like to be on the record. I have some songs that I’d like to give people, and others I’d like to have more people together for, playing off of each other. Like that song ‘Three’s a crowd’ on the new record. We played that song live last week [and] it was the most amazing thing ever. It was our last show; there was Kill Your Idols, Grey Area, and Fast Times. All my favorite East Coast bands. Ally and Andy came up on stage to sing with us and it just came off so perfectly.”

“It’s like Wu Tang. When their first record came out, and you heard everybody bouncing off each other, it was like ‘holy [bunion]’ ” I’m sure kids will be saying “holy [bunion]!” as well when they hear future bands Yemin plays in. For the time being, I suggest checking out Kid Dynamite. If you’ve never listened to much hardcore punk before, it’s a great place to start. For those that think nothing good has come out since ’88, wake up! Kid Dynamite proves that these days hardcore can still be moving and fun.

Dan Yemin Talks about Kid Dynamite Reunion Shows

I don’t know too many kids that are into Hardcore that wouldn’t list off KID DYNAMITE as one of their favorites. They were an amazingly powerful and passionate band that came to an end way before their time. This past weekend (April 11th, 12th, & 13th), a little over three years after their last show, KD showed that their passion was equaled by their compassion, as a call from a friend with an amazing cause was the initiation for a weekend of mayhem. Unless you were one of the lucky couple of thousand that were actually able to secure a ticket to the show, this piece is probably as close as you are going to get to the historic event. This is part I of an interview I did with someone whom I have long respected and felt fortunate enough to be able to call a friend, Dr. Dan Yemin, on the who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s, and why’s of the KID DYNAMITE reunion shows. (Please also see the interview with Mark Savio-Beemer [Syrentha Savio Endowment] in this same issue.)

You’re going to have to excuse me for sounding bitter during this interview, but I wasn’t able to make it out to Philly this weekend, and I wasn’t able to get my tickets in the first ten minutes before they sold out!
(laughs) Dude, you’ve been with us since day one. You could have sat on stage with me!
So, let’s have it- how were they?
Sorry, but they were amazing. Those shows were just so insane.
Alright, just to keep from having to ask you questions twice, let’s do this bad boy chronologically. How did KID DYNAMITE reunion shows come about, and how was it being… ya know… I mean, I know the end of KID DYNAMITE was sort of eerily like the end of LIFETIME, (Dan’s previous band) what with a break up two days before the release of the record that would have broken the thing wide open for you. I know there were some raw nerves.
Yeah, there were a lot of bad feelings. Not enough bad feelings to make it ugly, but there was a lot of regret floating around. I’m not one to hold on to grudges. It takes too much energy, so I forgive really easily. It takes like a month of not seeing somebody who I’m mad at to forgive them and get over it. It’s more of the regret of having a couple of bands that I was that emotionally involved with kind of cut off in their prime. That aspect persisted; I just didn’t blame anyone for it.
So how did the shows come about?
It was real simple. Mark Beemer is a good friend. About a year and a half ago he lost his wife to cancer, and it was horrible. It still is horrible. It’s tragic. As weird as it is to say, it’s just awesome what he’s doing with his grief. He has the Syrentha Savio Endowment (SSE), which before this weekend had already raised over $50,000 just doing walk-a-thons, and charity dinners and such. The whole point of the endowment is to sort of honor his wife’s legacy by providing funding for chemotherapy to women who can’t afford it, and raising consciousness about the importance of early detection for breast cancer. I know how committed he’s been to this. I get the email updates every week about the endowment and it’s awesome what he puts into it and does with it. When he asked me if KD would consider doing a show to benefit the endowment, I didn’t even hesitate. All I said was that I didn’t want to coordinate it. I told him to talk to everybody in the band, and if everybody was on board, we’d do whatever it took to make it happen.
Did you think Jason would be into it?
I was pretty sure everybody would be into it. I just didn’t want to take responsibility for finding out. That would have seemed weird.
How in contact had you been with Jason over the years?
I was in contact with Jason sporadically. If I saw him, I always had a hug for him. I knew he had been working really hard on getting his new band together for a while, and I knew that he had been frustrated with that, and…
But doesn’t that frustrate you. I mean, KD ended because he needed to focus more time on film school, and he felt he couldn’t dedicate enough time to a band, so that’s the end of my favorite band. Now he has time to do another band? Is that frustrating?
Yeah, but, you know… Half of me was kind of like- “what the fuck?,” but the other half of me was… I don’t know. I had no illusions that he wouldn’t miss music again in a matter of months. He did what he felt he had to do, and that’s that. I’ve been sporadically angry about it, but, it was what it was, and you can’t change the past.
So how were practices?
We practiced like twice a week for a little over a month, and…
Was that first one pretty rusty?
(laughs) Very rusty! We didn’t remember the songs anymore. I wrote the fucking songs, and I couldn’t remember how to play them! Yeah, like two-thirds of them I had to re-learn.
So were you guys there with both KD albums and a boom box in the practice space trying to re-learn your old songs?
That’s exactly how it was (laughs). We all decided that we would each write down ten songs that we definitely wanted to play, and knowing that there would be a lot of overlap, we figured that we would probably end up with about 25 songs that we all agreed on. That’s exactly how it turned out, so that’s what we re-learned. Some we totally remembered, some we were totally lost, and a lot were in-between those two. But, by the second practice we had them all. That first one was a doozy though.
So by the time you guys took the stage, was it in true KD style?
It felt pretty natural, yeah. We were really nervous. You haven’t played together in like three years, and then all of a sudden you’re playing to over 700 kids a night for three nights, that’s a lot of pressure.
And I’m sure a lot of kids there never got to see you, and of course KD has been built up to this Godly status, deservedly of course, but now you have to go show these kids something on that level.
Yeah, no pressure! (laughs) Yeah, there’s this whole new generation, and we didn’t want to suck. Mainly we didn’t want it to be a cheap shot. We didn’t want it to be like one of those benefit shows for some convicted felon where some old band gets back together and just shows up and slaughters four songs that they hadn’t practiced, and then gets off stage. We wanted to tear the roof off and be as good as we ever were. Maybe we weren’t as good as we ever were, but we certainly worked hard on it. It was cool, my good friend Andy, he plays bass in PAINT IT BLACK (Dan’s current rock outfit), he said “why don’t you, as your last practice, have a house show at my house, and we’ll just invite 50 of our closest friends.”
Wait, are you telling me there was a fourth KD show that weekend, and one was a house party with 50 people?
Yeah, it was amazing.
Well, I’m now 33% percent more bummed than I already was about not being there this weekend.
(laughs) It was just like a dress rehearsal. We got to play in front of our friends who had already seen us, and it totally took the edge off.
So, all the shows sold out pretty damn fast, huh?
Yeah. It was crazy. We didn’t know. We started out planning one show. It surprised us when that sold out so quickly, so we were like- “hey, let’s try to do a second show, and maybe raise some more money for the endowment.” That show sold out even faster. Then we were like- “damn. Should we try a third show, or is that kind of arrogant?” Ultimately it came down to the facts that it will be fun, and it will raise more money for the endowment.
So you guys ended up making well over $20,000 this weekend for the endowment.
Yeah, definitely over $20,000. And that’s after paying for security, and the sound system, and everything. It was also keeping the door price low. Good bands too. STRIKE ANYWHERE came and played the first two nights, The CURSE played their final shows there, and then GRAY AREA got back together to do the third night, and TRIAL BY FIRE opened it up.
I couldn’t imagine seeing you guys and STRIKE ANYWHERE on the same show.
Yeah, that never got to happen in real life, so it was great to have it happen this weekend. They are a favorite of ours. You might know this, but most people don’t know that Thomas (singer of STRIKE ANYWHERE) was the first guy that tried out on vocals for KD.
That was from you being an INQUISITION (Thomas’s prior band) fan, right?
Yeah, I was a huge INQUISITION fan. We just weren’t sure what we were doing with KD at that point, and Thomas would have had to move three or four states over to be with us, and we didn’t want to ask anyone to do that, not knowing where KD was going to go. It just seemed too scary. What a great voice he has though.
It’s funny, ‘cause if he had joined KD, we would probably still be going right now, but… It would have been a different band though.
Yeah, you would have been in a political band for sure.
Yep, for sure.
So, how did it all end after the last show? Is there more KD stuff coming up in the future?
No, never. That was it. It was amazing though. It was a total celebration of life, and what the band was. I don’t think there was a bad vibe all weekend. I was really proud- I had a friend who really isn’t from the punk rock scene, but they came down and watched the shows. They made the observation that all these kids were crammed in there, kids are going nuts and bouncing off the walls, literally, and nobody gets hurt, and if somebody goes down, people pick them back up. That doesn’t happen too much anymore. That was one of the things we always tried to do with KD. We always tried to be the band that would create an atmosphere of respect, even though there’s like total aggressive chaos going on, and it played out like that this weekend. It was beautiful. It was just a big party. There were kids from England and Japan that came over for the shows. It was crazy. And the band all went out to dinner after the shows on Sat & Sun, and it was just, really, really nice. I don’t know. I don’t want to sound like “Mr.-Posi boy” or anything, but it was just a privilege to be a part of this weekend. It was all-good, no bad, and like a big love-fest if you will. It was an honor for sure.

Read part II of the Dan Yemin interview in the August issue of AMP, as he talks about life post KD, the stroke that altered his life, and the new band that came out of it, PAINT IT BLACK (out on Jade Tree Records in July).


“Stealing Time,†a coffee table book of photographs, covers 13 years of DC Hardcore photographer Mark Beemer’s musical experience. With an eclectic mix of 62 bands and artists including Fugazi, Kid Dynamite, The Donnas, Ice Cube and the Get Up Kids, Beemer captures the power and beauty in each of his subjects.
All proceeds from the book go to the Syrentha Savio Endowment Fund, which
helps to pay for chemotherapy and medication for low income cancer patients. With fewer and fewer people able to afford health insurance, treatment can be an impossible expense for a growing majority of people.
“I recently had a chance to talk with Mark about his book, the recent Kid Dynamite reunion show, and the future.

I started the Syrentha Savio Endowment (SSE) in February of 2002, in memory of my wife who had lost her battle with breast cancer in January. I wanted to somehow capture Syrentha’s compassionate spirit and caring nature. In life, Syrentha was always giving, and rarely taking – and I wanted that to persevere, even in her death. After some soul searching, I sat down with the people at the Lombardi Cancer Center, where Syrentha was treated, and talked to them about how best to honor her life and continue to give. And thus, the Syrentha Savio Endowment was born.

About a year ago Dan and Dave Wagenschutz (drummer for Kid Dynamite and Paint it Black) were in DC recording the Paint it Black (PIB) demo at my friend Brian McTernan’s studio Salad Days and I had sort of an epiphany – a live show to benefit the endowment. I asked the guys from PIB if they would be interested in playing a benefit show for the endowment and they both said yes. Later that year, Dan and I were working with Jade Tree Records at Krazy Fest in Louisville, KY. During some down time over the long, hot weekend, I asked Dan what he would say if I asked him to play a benefit show with a re-united Kid Dynamite. Without batting an eye, he said yes. Within a week, I had contacted each of the other members of Kid Dynamite, and by the end of August, the plan for the show was in motion – Kid Dynamite would reunite for a show to benefit SSE. Some time passed, and in mid-January, The Curse played in DC. I talked to Dave Hause and Brendan Hill (both of The Curse) about possibly opening for KD and they jumped at the opportunity, but timing was an issue; The Curse was about to call it quits. I knew I had to act quickly, so I looked at a calendar, called the four KD’ers, called Sean Agnew from R5 Productions and with in 24 hours we had the dates set; Kid Dynamite would play at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia for two shows on April 11th and 12th with The Curse and another, yet to be determined, band. Strike Anywhere jumped onboard within a week, and we had our line-up. Tickets went on sale, and after the two shows sold out in eight hours without any promotion, the decision was made to add a third show. Dave called Grey Area, I called Trial By Fire, and soon they were added to the billing. The next thing I knew, what started as a harmless question during down time at a festival in Kentucky had turned into one of the bigger hardcore events in recent memory.

Oh yes, I was there. As Darren from Jade Tree Records said on Monday after the shows, “There are not words to describe just how amazing these shows were as they were beyond words.†All I can add is that I have never been to an event that better represented the principle of what punk and hardcore is all about – for the kids, by the kids for an amazing cause. As for pictures, I shot 14 rolls; I guess you could say I got some good images.

Well, no. If you flip through the book you will notice there are images from all over. Since finishing high school, I have moved around a bit, living in DC, Vermont, Wisconsin, New York City, New Hampshire, and Minnesota; shooting photographs all the while. In addition, I have toured with some of the bands, giving me the opportunity to shoot them in numerous locales. So, the photographs in the book are pretty representative of the moves I have made.

I have always been a very visual person. Even before I was interested in photography I would study photographs in books for hours, trying to figure out where the photographer was and what had happened moments before and moments after taking the shot. When I went to college I was kind of lost: no real direction. On a whim, I asked for a camera for Christmas and to my surprise I got one – a Nikon 4004s, a basic manual camera with some of Nikon’s first attempts at auto focus and exposure. While at school in Madison, WI, I stumbled upon the student run newspaper and started shooting for them. The Daily Cardinal soon became my second home. I slowly worked my way up the photography ranks, getting better shoots and more sporting events. Most of my first subjects were assigned to me – Big Ten basketball, volleyball and football; too many county councilman meetings; and anti-war demonstrations (which were in abundance as the Desert Storm conflict was raging at the time). Whether shooting for The Cardinal or for myself, I managed to photograph just about everything and anything available to me. While working at The Daily Cardinal, two seminal events occurred that would change my life: I met my wife Syrentha (my first and best subject) and I started shooting bands.

That my early work is an eclectic mix of bands would be an understatement. You have to understand, though, that in the beginning, I shot whatever I was offered. Going to school in Madison does not lend itself to having the opportunity to see, let alone shoot, lots of hardcore shows. So, whenever I was offered a photo pass to shoot, say, an Ice Cube or Anthrax show, I would take it; no matter the band. Once I moved to NYC, I was able to focus more on hardcore music and making a name for myself.

Right before I took the photograph of Ice Cube, I stepped on his bodyguard’s foot. He was not too pleased and looked like he was going to pounce. Fortunately for me, Cube was just about to hit the stage so the bodyguard had to go shield Cube as he ran from his dressing room to the stage.

For now, I plan to concentrate on the endowment and raising money for breast cancer treatment. I would like to see SSE continue to grow, increasing our capacity to assist those in need, both in and outside of the Lombardi Center. My goal in establishing SSE was to create a mechanism that would allow Syrentha’s humanity to continue to touch people, even in her death. I would like to work towards a time when the reach of SSE is nationwide and women and their families across the country can benefit from what we have to offer. As of now, I do not have any plans to publish another book in the near future. But who knows?

Our next big push will be for the National Race for the Cure in Washington, DC on June 7th of this year. It’s a great way to get our name out and for people to take notice. It is also a lot of fun. Last year we had over 140 team members and we would like to break 200 this year. We also plan to walk in many other RFTC’s around the country, including NYC and San Francisco. In addition, we are planning an event in Orange County with Thrice to correspond with the RFTC there.

To learn more about our organization or to join us for any of the RFTC’s and to see how you can get involved in future events please visit

KID DYNAMITE [I]Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems[/I] Review

When two ex-Lifetime members found vocalist Jason Shevchuck (who had done time in groove-metallers Bound), it was like the missing piece of the Kid Dynamite puzzle. Quickly, the band became not only Philadelphia hometown heroes but the talk of the melodic hardcore world. When Shevchuck announced he was leaving the band to pursue film school after a few lightning-fast years, it came as a shock to many (most notably the other members of the band). Now with guitarist Dan Yemin doing Paint It Black and Shevchuck’s own Black band (what’s with that?), None More Black, releasing their long-awaited debut, the time could not have been better for a Kid Dynamite retrospect CD (and bonus sneak peek at an upcoming DVD history). Running through some classic tracks, cover songs, unreleased demos and live radio show songs, Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems has more Kid Dynamite than you can shake two drumsticks at. The classics and covers are amazing, shred-happy melodic hardcore of the highest variety, and the demos and live songs from the radio, well, you know… fans will be happy. The bonus DVD included in this package is a bit disappointing in that it’s just a tease for a longer DVD on the horizon, but overall this package is a must-have for anyone who ever cared about Kid Dynamite, or is the least bit curious about the ongoing swirl of hype surrounding them.