Growing up punk in the Los Angeles wastelands, Jared “Jabroni” Stallings, 25, diffused his adolescent agitation to anoint a local super group named after an expression the satirical geniuses behind South Park use to elicit banality, rabble rabble. Writing and producing a Neil Young meets Curtis Mayfield inspired record aptly titled, ‘Laurel Canyon Second Time a Clown’, Stallings embraces a work ethos as ferocious as the horse tattooed on his right bicep. Conjuring such pantheons of rock and soul to describe his vision seems a lofty proposition only a man who leads his life like the captain of a sinking ship is capable of anchoring. Fortunately, Stallings has a sturdy crew around him and being 1/16th Blackfoot (probably closer to 1/32nd) his heritage soils him both a stoic friend and bard. In response to the inspiration behind the album Stallings admitted, “Why do you love the thing that’s killing you?”
He tells me he’s been writing the songs for eight years now and that their first show scheduled for 11/11/10. I can’t make it. I can’t fathom being on another plane right now. It’s all too much, fourteen hours of flying in one day. Airplanes are a sickness. I get in the shower. My mind is a minefield. I haven’t been inebriated…in almost two weeks. I haven’t ejaculated in that time either. He says he wants to discuss the recording process and I should formulate the questions. I can’t think about that right now. “The thoughts I’m having like piss down the drain.” Why am I on facespace? The ghost of my mother’s shrill rings through my ears as these gutter thoughts cross on, “JESSE, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!” Some savior, I have so-called school tomorrow. I’ve gone delinquent in three of my four classes, ignoring pesky assignments. I’m a seventh year-senior and graduation remains an enigma. My left nostril is stuffing up my right ear, the bags under my eyes are so puffy when I blink it sends a pulsating nasty to the back of my head, I clamp my eyes shut yet I can’t fall asleep. Internally, I’ve a British accent. It’s a pleasure living internally. I need stop mixing William Gibson and Leo Tolstoy. Have I eaten? I miss her. I hate unpacking. I’m over-tired. Stop thinking about her, she’s a figment of the past. I’m jet lag. What time is it? I always knew it would be like this between us, eventually…
The above is frivolous rabble rabble, Not to be confused with the Chicago outfit of the same name, rabble/rabble, the LA foursome fronted by Stallings is taking the form of something more significant than mindless whining and lugubrious lyrical guesswork. Permeating through the Los Angeles music scene like the estrogen in the sewer system, Stallings is almost twenty-five and is ready to give up pissing fire in order to inhale it. It’s been over a decade since his first band, Brigands, helped him yell and scream his way out of high school apathy and play privy to the drug-addled youth reviving at the time, a scene now categorized in neatly laminated binders owned by the ‘alt’ corporate piggy’s like ‘Coolhunters’ and ‘Urban Outfitters’ that researchers of can consult for their next fashion line. In this post-recession decade no one gives a fuck about how they’re known, but who knows them. Stallings is amongst the living; living in and out of death in his Eagle Rock abode waiting to be resurrected. One arm fully sleeved, the transformation of Stallings is well underway.
Now, he’s filling in something even closer to his skin, music. There is a distinct change in his outlook and approach to living. Less than hate is love. “Moving beyond my junkie tattoos’ and enjoying the art of living, living is fucking beautiful. Without that beginning point I would never be interested in finishing my own masturbatory eight-year-old album.” The album is more than a meditation in self-indulgence however, “It was forced upon me by Mikey (Michael Anthony Ayala of Strangbyrd) and Cardo (Ricardo Robles of Rumspringa) and I decided with this one thing I wouldn’t fail, and from there it’s been easy because we took it down to bare bones. Four dudes one room. Regardless of the dudes, the process after that emotional spiritual ground has been simple.” Mostly appalled by this comment for I can’t recall ever hearing the word spiritual sprout from Stallings’ sordid lips I ponder what happened to despair, rage, and deceit? “My spiritual ground is founded in letting go of the construct of others, the others who feel me believing in the destruction of this ugly humanity, because honestly this shell, this planet, this waterless foodless ugly fuck party is useless. I know where I’m going when I lose my shell and really you fucks are in my way, so onto the next!”
No longer angst-ridden jest, Stallings is giving this record his authentic all, “as faggy as it sounds.” This is art. “I’m eight fucking years in. This is the biggest failure of my life and I fucking know failure. But if it pans out the way I know it could then it’ll be my biggest success.” Playing in groups together since they were twelve, Robles isn’t joking when he describes the new sound as “Cuntry Grunge.” For Stallings, this is his attempt to bridge punk to Al Green. “To me this is a gutter punk trying to play roots music. The fuck-up kid who hates being stuck in this shell’s blues.”
Traversing through punk and this newfound expression the new Jared confuses even himself. When asked who will love this album he vulnerably answers, “Hopefully everyone that’s ever been heart broken.” But quickly sidesteps, “But that’s gay as fuck, but really it should work for them, but punk kids will lose their shit, this is the organic step for punk, like what Refused did ten years ago.”
Having no qualms with citing his mentors or as he calls them, “the ones who tried to put the words of the disaffected to melody that made sense to cry and dance to,” Stallings assault rifles through acts sprawling from such musical macrocosms as The Clash, Bad Brains, Desmond Dekker, The Pogues, New York Dolls and even Tupac. Stallings has big plans and rightly so, Rabble Rabble’s “Laurel Canyon Second Time A Clown” promises to reveal the gifted frontman as naked and vulnerable as his bare left arm.
rabble/rabble will be playing November 3rd @ the Cat Club and November 11th with Rumspringa @ Mountain Bar in Chinatown.