The Dictators – Every Day Is Saturday – Review

thedictators200The Dictators

Every Day Is Saturday (Norton)
By Martin Popoff

It is around here, anyway, since this manna from heaven arrived. Talk about a gorgeous rarities pack. This thing gathers up 20 tracks plus four radio spots, documenting the side bits of The Dictators‘ classic, legendary alternative career path career. For the eyes – a 24 page booklet mostly consisting of rare photos and tiny print essays from this literary band themselves. Funny, perceptive, substantive. Here’s the history of Ross, Andy, Top Ten, and Handsome Dick from the record collectin’ geek inside out. To the music, and the biggest bit is most of the Bloodbrothers in demo form. Then there are a few other demos, with “Sleepin’ with the TV On” getting a cool soft-ish treatment. Depending how you count, there are five rarities, and all fine gems jostled into the expected and amused punk-with-chops, punk-with-history and yes, more than occasionally heavy uv metal format. Best are “16 Forever” (offered in two versions – ’78 and ’02), “Fireman’s Friend” from ’73, and a ’99 (wilderness years) track called “Laughing Out Loud,” squared off in And You style. As well, “What’s Up With That?” is given a Tom Petty-ish turn, and, if I may survey the 78 minute stickball terrain for a moment, I suppose I’d have to dock a mark for occasionally shoddy sound. Still, all told, call this a celebration of – and clinic by – a band who really lives loud that very specific definition of rock ‘n’ roll you only get from the display cards at record fairs and in Goldmine ads that refuse to volunteer email addresses. Scott lives it, breathes in, displays contempt for those who get it wrong or don’t understand, and Andy is right there, egging him on. These alternate versions underscore the band’s knowing, the only equivalent in the wider world being Nick Tosches’ tingly “he lighted a cigarette.” No thanks to Norton for not sending me one of these and ignoring my emails after I ran probably the first interview-based press on it. Fuck it, felt better buying it anyways.