D.O.A.'s Talk–Action = O full of compassionate punk storytelling

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      Talk–Action = O (Sudden Death)

      Joey "Shithead" Keithley’s approach to punk rock seems to follow the Thomas Edison formula for genius, namely 99 per cent perspiration and one per cent inspiration. While this pays off in terms of live performances, it doesn’t always work in terms of songwriting, which, since the mid-’80s, has seemed to follow a formulaic approach: take a leftist topic du jour, distill a catch phrase from it, mix in a couple of ya-heys and a guitar solo, and repeat.

      Even when it works (say 2008’s “Police Brutality”), there is a forced feel that sometimes threatens to undermine the sentiments professed.

      Talk–Action = O, happily, mostly dodges this complaint, with strong songs ranging from the compassionate punk storytelling of “I Live In a Car” to the familiar but effective “Lookin’ For A World”. Even when the lyrics aren’t so inspired, which is the case in “That’s Why I’m An Atheist”, the enthusiasm of the delivery compensates.

      There are two absolutely brilliant songs on the album—a cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’?” (pretty much the best punk version of that tune imaginable and perfect for Keithley’s voice), and “Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty and Bones”, a totally delightful, catchy ode to Star Trek where the sincerity is beyond question.

      Sorry, Northern Avenger: this is my favourite D.O.A. album in a long, long time.

      Download This: “Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty and Bones”



      Gerald Finrand

      Jun 24, 2010 at 9:12pm

      Someone needs to tell Joey "Shithead" Keithley how irrelevant he really is. D.O.A. stopped being interesting when Brian "Too Dull" MacLeod tried to turn them into the Headpins... The reggae song was pretty hilarious as well...

      The failed runs for office, the pathetic live shows, multiple 'LAST' reunions and empty sloganeering any time someone points a camera at him should tell him something. 'Shithead' is not a person I would go to for insightful, in depth commentary on anything.

      The last time I made an effort to see them I was rewarded with what looked like a 'punk musical' commercial for Depends starring Joe Slomo and the Addicts..not to mention whichever 'original lineup' guy it was that night looked like a Hastings St tranny on the bad side of 60.
      (Word to the wise: if your pushing 60, don't dye your hair blond unless you actually ARE a woman...)

      Now it's really just another sad cash grab off the rubes still dumb enough to think "punk" was anything other than a fad.

      Please, if you have one shred of self decency left, just stop.
      Your time is well past.

      G Finrand.

      the kid

      Jul 9, 2010 at 4:21pm

      Not to mention that 'Shithead' has donated a bunch of his stuff to the sfu libraries special collections in the hope of institutionalizing his 'legacy'. What kind of a knob rags on the state and various institutions of bourgeois society and then tries to turn himself into an institution by ensrhining his work one of the pilars of class domination?
      I suppose he really is a shithead.

      Gerald's mom

      Aug 19, 2010 at 10:37am

      Gerald, you always were a bit of a weasel. Why would you care if a 60 year old guy wants to still play in a punk band and release records? Let that man alone and get back into the basement and clean up your room!

      A. MacInnis

      Sep 29, 2010 at 1:33pm

      Punk was in no way a fad; it had and still has a profound impact on the lives and value choices of the people who were involved in it, however diluted or complicated its story has become since the 1980's. It did a great deal to create community - something much lacking and sorely needed, for many of those involved - and, as Susanne Tabata rightly points out in her documentary, to establish a Vancouver independent music scene; every music fan in Vancouver has profited, whether they realize it or not, from the risk-taking and rebelliousness of early punks (and from the determination of people like wendythirteen to keep the community alive).

      As for Joe, I haven't always liked DOA's later albums, and I've winced at a few things he's done - from sacking Rampage a few weeks shy of DOA's 30th anniversary show to plugging Warren Kinsella's book, which thrashes Joe's friend Gerry Hannah; but I've never seen a DOA show I didn't enjoy, admire his fortitude and energy, and am grateful as hell for Sudden Death's preservation of local music, keeping material by the Pointed Sticks, Modernettes, the Young Canadians, and even less-well-known but brilliant local bands like the Spores available. And with apologies to the Subhumans, there is no single better Canadian punk album, and maybe no single better Canadian rock album, than DOA's Something Better Change - an enduring classic and an icon of Canadian independent music.

      Y'all should show the man some respect.


      Sep 7, 2012 at 11:08pm

      Clean living. Under difficult circumstances P Weller