Cody Jones is a badass dad and record label owner. Anchor Eighty Four Records is his other baby and the label has been consistently putting out great music since its inception. Cody helped me rank the top nine bands to come from NorCal and we had a ball/coffee.
9. Judgement Day
SW: I feel like today is my judgement day as I never heard of this act until just now. I want to break free.
CJ: Happy to help! This band was a huge part of the East Bay scene. Anton was very influential in the underground music communities and his talent is quite underrated.
SW: Glad to be a part of the polar shift!
CJ: Me too. I’m cold AF now, Mr. Waldman.
SW: This string based band will warm you up, Mr. Jones. I’m excited to dig into its catalog and get addicted.
8. No Use For A Name
CJ: No use for a name.
SW: You just won me over.
CJ: We’re good at (re)making friends.
SW: This NorCal band is also underrated and is one of Fat Wreck Chords’ highest selling.
CJ: Speaking of Fat Wreck Chords…
SW: The label was on a hot streak in the 90s, but more on Fat later as we strike forward with a local favorite now.
7. The Matches
CJ: Strike a match.
SW: Matchbook romance!
CJ: No. The Matches.
SW: I’m kidding. Gosh. Humor. Gosh. I love this band. Love. Love love. The City Drive opened for The Matches in LA in 2006. Kumar was there. Not the character. The actor. I love this band.
CJ: I love this band too. The Matches is a unique combo of punk and art. And the music itself sounded like no one else.
SW: Band hustled hard and sweat more than most.
CJ: And even more importantly, fun hair all around.
SW: The barbers unhappiness.
6. Good Riddance
SW: Goodbye to #8.
CJ: Good Riddance.
SW: You just won me over. (pauses) See what I did there?
CJ: ANYWAY, Good Riddance won me over when I was looking for fast political music to skate to as a teenager. Being from Santa Cruz, it was cool that GR was also local.
SW: I didn’t skate and I’m not from NorCal, but I loved Fat’s compilations that often featured GR. Can we still be friends?
CJ: In my head.
5. Dead Kennedys
SW: Kennedys. What a fucked up band name.
CJ: Too drunk to fuck. One of my first big punk rock shows was Dead Kennedys at the Catalyst. The bouncer didn’t let me keep the ticket stub. What a dick.
SW: Let’s lynch the landlord.
CJ: K. I lost a shoe in the circle pit.
SW: Cool story, bro. Dead Kennedys will always define NorCal punk rock.
4. Operation Ivy
CJ: Speaking of NorCal punk rock, OpIvy will forever remain punk rock trailblazers. It’s hard not to think about the East bay without Operation Ivy in it.
SW: That’s some knowledge for you. I’d argue that the band helped make “ska” a popular word in America and worldwide as well.
CJ: Lots of Sound Systems blasted this band.
SW: Here we go again.
CJ: Take warning, Waldman.
SW: One of these days, Jones.
CJ: Come to think of it, the East Bay itself has a distinct smell.
SW: Destination: known.
CJ: Like an old friend.
SW: 2/4 of Rancid is 2/4 of OpIvy, and 4/4 of rock.
CJ: Rock. Rancid is a such a comfortable band for me.
SW: What do you mean? What does that mean? What?
CJ: Well, it’s the way I feel. Rancid reminds me of home. The band is like a punk rock blanket.
SW: I guess I need to snuggle to the end of the East bay.
CJ: I’d be very proud of you if you did.
SW: Thanks, girl. I remember when “Sing The Sorrow” conquered the mainstream. Hi, Hunter.
CJ: Sup. This band gave me a fire inside for fast punk a.k.a. Hardcore.
SW: Perfect fit.
CJ: Certainly. I listened to “The Art Of Drowning” and “Black Sails In The Sunset” every day in high school. My formative years were defined by AFI.
SW: I got into ‘em in college but it was quite a wake-up call.
CJ: But nothing quite like…
1. Green Day