Words & Deeds

New Boise concerts: comedian Daniel Tosh, punk band The Descendents

Comedian Daniel Tosh is visiting college campuses across the nation during his spring tour.
Comedian Daniel Tosh is visiting college campuses across the nation during his spring tour.

If you’re still waiting for that morning cup of coffee to kick in, here’s some news to wake you up. Taco Bell Arena and the Revolution Concert and Event Center both released notable new shows this morning.

▪  Comedian Daniel Tosh will return for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, at Taco Bell Arena. Tosh, who has mocked Internet videos on Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0” for nearly a decade, last visited Boise in 2010 when he headlined at the Morrison Center.

This gig will be part of his “Tosh.Show” tour, which is rolling through college campuses nationwide. Tosh will perform stand-up comedy along with other comedians and writers from “Tosh.0.”

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for $45, $59.50 and $75 at Ticketmaster or the Taco Bell Arena box office. There also will be 1,000 special student tickets for $20. Those go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Password: tosh.

▪  Hugely influential punk band the Descendents have been booked for an 8 p.m. concert Sunday, Aug. 27, at the Revolution Center in Garden City.

Modern punk groups ranging from Blink 182 to Green Day arguably would not exist without the Descendents. The band hasn’t played the Boise market in, well, a very long time. I do know that they were on the Warped Tour in 1997.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for $29.50 general admission, $59.50 VIP, at Ticketfly.

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Here’s an interview I did with Descendents drummer Bill Stevenson in 2002 when he visited Boise with All:

All about real punk, not the ‘cookie-cutter’ stuff

Bill Stevenson can’t wait for punk rock’s commercial run to stop.

To stop selling sneakers. To stop hanging out with Carson Daly on MTV. To stop unloading millions of records and permeating the airwaves.

“When (punk) goes away, that’s when All will flourish, “ he says.

Stevenson, 38, should know. He manned the drum kit for Black Flag. And he’s been touring with his current bands, All and the Descendents, for 15 and 18 years, respectively.

In recent years, Stevenson has noticed punk taking a hairpin turn for the worse.

“When this mall-punk thing started, everybody smelled the money and everything just went cuckoo, “ he says. “And now, everywhere you turn, there’s a band that’s a knock-off of either us or NOFX. ... But I think in the long run, that stuff will go away. Because it always does.”

When that happens, Stevenson and his bandmates -- Chad Price, Karl Alvarez and Stephen Egerton -- will be waiting with the real stuff. Not only do these guys continue to pump out new material -- last year’s “Live Plus One” was the 13th release of All’s career -- they also champion new bands on their own record label .

Like the members of All, Owned and Operated records is based in Fort Collins, Colo. It’s armed with a roster of uncompromising punk bands, and All is touring with three of them: Wretch Like Me, Someday I and Armstrong.

“Our catalog’s so strong now, it’s ridiculous, “ Stevenson says. “That’s why I decided we might as well put our money where our mouths are and bring the bands out on tour, and let people decide for themselves.

“Even then, we can’t do these bands tons of good, because it’s not like All can pull thousands and thousands of people to the shows. All’s lucky if we can pull hundreds and hundreds to a show.”

The Descendents and All were two of the most influential Los Angeles punk bands during the ’80s, but that doesn’t mean fans will buy tons of tickets in 2002. All has the misfortune of being a “seminal” punk band, but not a “famous” one.

“That means (other) bands like us and people in the industry like us, “ Stevenson says. “But kids don’t like us.”

He’s joking, of course.

But it’s increasingly difficult for him to stomach the successful crop of cookie-cutter punks while his own record label is merely “a place where I put my Black Flag royalties and then they go away.”

Just how bad is today’s punk?

“This is my least favorite style of music: Your Korns, your Limp Bizkit styles, “ Stevenson says. “As much as I hate that stuff, there’s some shred of ambitiousness within some of the arrangements and so forth. And that’s the worst kind of rock. And then punk rock’s even lamer than that. That’s terrible!”

The members of both All and the Descendents (All with singer Milo Aukerman in place of Price), have always prided themselves in producing inspiring, deceptively sophisticated songs. Stevenson grew up listening to his mother’s Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane albums.

But the fact is, he says, most young fans have no idea how to digest complex music. As a result, punk rock has become complacent and diluted.

Still, he refuses to give up hope.

“You’d like to think that if you’re putting good music out there, maybe people will catch onto it a little bit.”