Saturday, December 1, 2007

notes from a lousy pen pal

Sometimes when things are happening that are not good you just sort of let them happen. Watching things unfold around you as a result of certain actions you may have enacted but really in the end, doing nothing to alter said set of actions. When you are aware if you say a certain set of words a certain response will occur, but the words roll off of your tongue anyway regardless of cause and effect. There’s a feeling of watching things happen around you, a certain stillness while things collapse, (‘I’m stuck in this uh movie...but it doesn’t move me....) but maybe. Not always dramatics, knowing you are going to be half an hour later than you said but not doing anything to change the course of events. Always too late or too early: it’s the worst.
Things I think about too much and thus talk about too much:
I need to get my stupid ‘meaningful’ teenage sxe tattoo covered
I have no ambition
Why did someone take my Dicks Kill from the Heart LP and Faith Subject to Change on blue? Who is it that went to my mum’s house in the years since I have been living here even knows who those bands are?
I am bored but do not want to do anything to change this.
Plus many other more profound and meaningful things like: ebay, dudes, records, food.
There’s gonna be a new babe den at MRR. Will it be scott’s room? Or bloody’s room? Or hubb’s new bachelor pad? Is hubbs really moving back to NY soon? Is punk rock just the fetishization of ephemera? Why am I unable to write anything except the night before it’s due? Why are people only seen as doing something with their lives if they are talking about going to grad school or actually goin to grad school? What is the point of doing something with your life? Can you tell the differnce between Pissed Jeans, Clockcleaner and Snake Apartment? What about Rabies and WarKrime? What about that picture of Keith Morris and his mom? CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE! What about dudes in bands that play art gallery openings sponsored by PBR and apparently traverse the country by limo, behind Sex Vid’s van, whilst silkscreening merch bandanas? Whilst signing to subsids of Major labels and yet still wanting to be on the cover of MRR. Why are all the manilla envelope emo records in the 50c bin at Amoeba? Except the ones I sold and now want back of course. Why did all the modern bands that submitted fliers for the second book by the Fucked Up and Photocopied dude only submit fliers with their own bands advertised? I mean are Das Oath and Charles Bronson really in the same league as The Controllers and Scratch Acid? Or the Germs and The Brat? Oh bitch please! Why do dudes that are ‘over’ punk still want Sex Vid to play their gallery show? If Hubbs moves to NY will he stop being into punk and instead hang out with Golnar listening to Bulgarian Field Recordings? What’s up with riot dudes? When will it end! Why doesn’t anyone like Shattered Faith? I do! Working Men Are Pissed! Notes and Chords Mean Nothing TO ME! Neither of which has anything to do with Shattered Faith, but you know: join the dots.
What would you do if you slowly replaced all your band mates with random hair metal dudes and then one day your old band was only the replacement hair metal dudes, and not you. Your band name was no longer applicable to anything you were doing musically, invasion of the body snatchers style, so you had to call it LOST. BACKWARDS. Why did Corin from Sleater Kinney do backing vocals for Eddie Vedder’s solo project soundtrack for the new Sean Penn movie? Maybe it’s a riot dude thing. Why is screamo such a horrible sounding genre, both in actual sound, and in genre title? Why do dudes who partook in the emo but are now over it make bad tofu jokes to demonstrate said overness? I mean is anyone even vegetarian anyore? I know people gave up on the whole ending racism thing after it didn’t happen in time for the Endpoint/Falling Forward tour. I guess vegetarianism got taken back by the hippies. Only weedy Arcade Fire fans are vegans now, all the hardcore kids need meat to feed their moshtard antics. The endless reprinted PETA fliers in early sxe zines just cancelled each other our until Floorpunch reunited and people remembered hardcore was just about the brotherhood of man; aggro dance moves and ‘no homo’ jokes.

1-Needles (Ex Crudos, Talk is Poison, California Love...) My new favorite local band? Martin is one of the best front humans ever, the rythmn section of Talk is Poison is legendary and unimpeachable and I am nominating this band for ‘Layla’s new end of year incessant hype band.’ (On a similar note: I also am self-imposing a ban on the words “mika miko’ and ‘finally punk’ until year end top tens. AT LEAST. So look forward to lots of candid infotainment about NEEDLES bc they are my new jam.) The 7” will be available via Martin/Brian at some point. ALSO in that they played the same show; OUTRAGED, I have the back cover of MRR with the Outraged crowd shot from their interview issue on my door. It is easily in my Heartattack style non-linear pictorial and food based year end top ten already. So inspiring that band is, bringing raging hardcore to fuckin Watsonville CA. 2-There’s going to be a new Acid Reflux 7” by years end. 3-Scott Moore is moving to the Bay Area.4-The song Bad Attitude by Articles of Faith. Really though. Like all the time. 5-Red Monkey, like it better now than I did then. Perfect mix of Gang of Four/Circus Lupus/Huggy Bear, maybe a little too anarcho-CRASS and heavy on the punk funk, which in the light of that tired ass nu- millenial revival is hard to take. But Red Monkey was pre all of that boredom.. I like listening to their music. Oh gee. 6-The fact that after hearing a song we played on the radio in SF, Golnar, in NY, won an obscure all girl 80s Dutch punk comp on the ebay and is now forming a band inspired by sounds of said comp. 7-Tobi Celeste- Broken Stones 8-Los Saicos-Demolicion 9-Terraplanes-Shop Talk 10-nothing nothing nothing. Bored bored bored sorry about this! Really though I am. you can write me: I do read it all I just don’t write back and I have no idea why. Maybe I am just a lousy pen pal. Off the pigs.

Monday, November 5, 2007

the song bad attitude by articles of faith

1-I am sitting in my room as always a few days late on this whole column writing business, listening to St Vitus having just eaten a bunch of rice and peas. It’s an exciting life I lead in this super city of excitement and superness. Things I have been freaking out about recently: Getting attacked by crazy junkie dude who I stopped from stealing a bunch of Chrome messenger bags from my work... and how every customer since has merged into said crazy junkie dude. Lady with zillion dollar handbag asking me where the books about Bhutan are? She is totally gonna attack me once she has ransacked the store of Bhutan related goodies for her junkie lair. It is clear that the time has come for me to quit working retail before I become a crazy conspiracy theorist who hates humans and living. I also am sick of customers asking me if it’s great to work at a travcl bookstore since I must get to travel a lot. I am not sure where they draw this masterful theory from, I guess most of the people who shop at our store are oblivious yuppies with savings plans and weekend warrior plans too, but dude I work retail! I can just about pay my rent and bills, I am not going backpacking in the Himalayas anytime soon. I hate feeling like I should be doing something meaningful with my life in termns of how I make my living. I am happy and broke, but I guess just bored.

2-Also why is St Vitus so good and yet all the bands that sound like this now, in the current beard hesh revival are just not as interesting? Also: I went to see Kyuss when I was about 15 with members of Fabric (Who also introduced me to Into Another and Septic Death) and it was the scariest show I went to since my mum took me to see Miles Davis electric when I was 10ish. That was also terrifying; he wore a bright patchwork leather coat, refused to face the audience and made an unholy noise I could not file away neatly. Kyuss was scary because it was completely full of huge gnarly biker dudes, I had to perch on a speaker to aviod destruction. If that show happened now it would be full of ironic huge non gnarly non biker dudes. Whatevers though. I remember the music being so loud I could feel it kind of before I heard it. Same thing when I saw Melvins a year or so, maybe two before, Joe Preston era,. I like that feeling, when the music seems kind of like a second skin it’s so fucking loud. I went to a free bluegrass fest they have every year here, and watched Los Lobos (not bluegrass at all!) do an old Merle Haggard song with John Doe on Vox, it was pretty dreamy, and there was a baby in front of me with trying to get these huge blue noise blocking headphones off it’s head to no avail. It made me think about going to shows since age 11 with no ear plugs ever except when it actually hurts to be without.

3-Per my last column Sex Vid are not doing a 12” after all, they decided to do a 7” or so instead. So all my worries about the corruption of hardcore via the LP were totally unfounded.

4-Another thing that I have been thinking about recently in regards to the Freemo scene also mentioned in my last column is the overwelming posi-ness of it all. It’s suffocatingly positive, like a reading of I’m OK You’re OK! at a yoga retreat in a Saturday Night Live skit on 70s Marin new age living. I consider myself to be relatively positive, cynical yes, but not negative or hateful, but sometimes hanging out with people involved in post art noise scenes makes me feel like I have negi-tourettes. Everyone seems like extras in that cult from Strangers with Candy. Maybe I should move to Cleveland. I am a dismissive bored human right now.

5-Because you know I am not actually that psyched on anything much right now, except for the fact that I am going to see the new Dead Moon band next week, Pierced Arrows. I am so ready for this event to be lifechanging I am actually going to buy tickets in case in sells out. Last time I saw Dead Moon there was a power failure and they didn’t play til 3am, but it made the show so much more weighted and important feeling, the epicness of the wait combined with the power that is Fred and Toody. Someone needs to send me Toody’s solo LP. The first time I saw them play was in Olympia and everyone knew all the words, and they sold out the Capital theatre, so I assumed all their shows were like that. Not quite! I made my friends in England go see them, we all had the Lollpop Shoppe LP and I guess I wasn;’t able to explain adequetely how different Dead Moon were from that. They were NOT INTO IT and thought it was bad bar rock, which is total bullshit obviously. Dead Moon was the way and the truth. Dead Moon were genuine times, and hopefully Pierced Arrows will blow minds and break hearts in a similar way.

6-I do not like or understand the appeal of the Cro Mags but do like Agnostic Front

7-Right now I am not into much of anything as mentioned but I am into the Hippies is Propaganda comp LP and the Os Estudantes 12”..

8- Also: Gerry and the Hollograms, Impatient Youth, Toxin III and Ikkashinju’s Slow Down. Oh and the Modern Lover’s song Some I Care About. Also in non punk related news I have been listening to Hank Snow. is where I am putting all thee oldies of these columns I am churning out if you wanna read the unedited version with all the grammatical errors and spelling improvisations.

Monday, October 1, 2007

love is a kick in the bullmarket

Love is a Kick and a Bullmarket.
I worked at Rough Trade records really briefly when I was about 15 or 14, the one in Covent Garden which I think is closing down now because they put up the rent. (Actually I just found out they are moving out to the East End, the one in Talbot Road will always be there I think, if you are ever in London definitely go check it out, the wall of punk 7”s is pretty amazing...) Covent Garden used to be really seedy, I think the Sex Pistols had a squat there even, it was an old flower market that relocated and left a barren mass of squats and dilapedated buildings, then of course, artistically minded business people opened up stores there. And twenty or thirty years later it’s an outdoor mall pretty much, with the same stores that exist on streets in every town in every place in the western world. There’s no room for Rough Trade records anymore I guess. I wonder what they are going to do with the space, turn it into a boutique? Another rare sneaker store? I think about hanging out with the Huggy Bear girls and watching bands play, going and buying Unwound 45s and fanzines from the Slampt Underground. I saw so many bands in that basement, the Beastie Boys played there once, Blood Sausage, Free Kitten, Pavement I think? I even skipped school to see Courtney Love do an acoustic set there, which boggles the mind at this point but it was before I was into punk so... I wonder if Slam City Skates are moving too? I used to get all my skateboards from there, in the time of small wheels, Plan B videos and huge pants that could house 5 at least in each leg.
I got given a bunch of Dischord tapes by an old punk when I worked at Rough Trade, the Rites of Spring one, the Minor Threat one, and I listened to them until they warped. The pictures on the spine of the Rites of Spring tape made me feel so nostalgic for something I knew nothing about. Images of them climbing trees in winter time, maybe after Revolution Summer? Well punk was nostalgia then too. Everything I remember from the Banned in DC book about Rev Summer was about trying to recreate something lost, the end of childhood frenzy, lost teenage freedoms and the need to make something else other than cynical write offs claiming that things would never be as good again... I remember distinctly looking at the photos and wanting something I couldn’t explain, some other existance, some other world that was only available to me when walking along listening to End on End on my walkman. In another place, in another time.
I am writing this whilst sitting in my room listening to the Hul LP. I have not hung out with anyone for a little while, just picked a zit, ate some ice cream, (for future zit upkeep) thought about how I do not like anything Paul Weller has done after the Jam broke up and also thought about a conversation I had with Golnar today about punk and the glass ceiling politics of the eternal dude circle. (which in itself is an eternal conversation! From the Conflict (US) interview in the May MRR through to Riot Grrrl and this afternoon on a lunch break phone call.) I was reading a zine from my 90s emo sxe pos library (the ones that didn’t get recycled) which was one of my favorites, had a great Sam Mcpheeters interview complete with bloody nose pin up and a rad piece about how homoerotic pits are at sxe shows. Can you even imagine some sxe scenester now having the balls to talk about that? I think they would rather dress up like Agnostic Front and watch Boston Beatdown, just do the jock part without the whole complicated questioning societal values part. It made me randomly google the aforementioned sxe zinester to find out what the dude was doing now, and of course he is a graphic designer that does advertisements for companies like Jeep. His webpage references his zine name still. I can’t imagine the transition from writing about the Earth Liberation Front and being queer in sxe to making adverts for companies that are directly responsible for destroying the earth. But I guess this has turned into yet another column about growing old and selling out and how things I still think are important were just youthful indiscretions to most of my generation. I feel like I should be able to just get over this stuff and just get into Death Cab for Cutie and buying three hundred dollar dresses at Anthropologie or whatever it is punk girls do when they grow out of it. It just occupies my brain too much. Everything: the fact that it all makes me feel so melancholic, the fact that it really is just a phase for most, the fact that I still feel strongly about shows and bands and community and the underground and yet also feel really alienated from most punks. It’s confusing and boring and endless.

I went to a great show at Gilman last week, Government Warning, Wasted Time and Look Back and Laugh. Brian and Tobia set up a BBQ outside, a racist skinhead got knocked out with one punch by a weird time travelling quantum leap crusty/bathing ape druid on a mission, Scott informed me that music is much better now than it was in the 90s and told me a story about Brandon from Government Warning busting in on some sorority girl’s party the night before. He started performing a strip tease which all the party girls were into, and assumed was part of the evening’s entertainment until dudes from Warkrime showed up. Wasted Time were fucking incredible, like Pick Your King through the Ginn blender, so much better than the 7”, Government Warning were also phenomenal, I can’t believe how great they are live, and the to top it off Look Back and Laugh killed it. Made all the non sxe record collectors happy with a Youth of Today cover, made me happy because they totally brought it. I would have gotten crucial but I am too old for that type of thing, plsu wtihout Golnar’s presence it’s hard to focus the cruciality needed. It was such a great show, three incredible bands,... It was funny because the entire teenage thrash scene left as soon as Govt Warning finished, missing LBAL to go back to their million dollar Berkeley Hills homes for a hug from mommy? It has been pointed out that LBAL are mostly in my age group (that is to say agreeably matured, like a fine wine or whatever the sxe version of that metaphor would be) and The Kids are mostly interested in seeing musical acts from their own generation rather than aging wizened crones from mine I guess. It’s just bizarre to me coming from a scene where I would go see Huggy Bear play a Camden bar, or DDI play a Brixton squat. I was so psyched on discovering the underground and punk, and DIY and hardcore I would go see Btallion of Saints AND Sensefield AND Bikini Kill irrepective of how close the members of the bands were to the realms of the ancients. I guess me and my friends were always the one group of teenagers at most shows, so maybe the median age for being into punk when I was growing up in London was more college age than it is here? I remember thinking the aforementioned girls from Huggy Bear were REALLY OLD because they were like 24 or something. Also Carl Hard-Cordova told me a story about going to see Samuel or Junction and thinking the singer was as old as a tree because she was like 28 or something. SO maybe age does play a part in your perceptions of music especially if you live in an area like the Bay, where there are so many different types of shows and bands and scenes you can go through yout entire priviledged teenage existance only watching bands that sound exactly like the Decry Suburban Death Camp LP and not feel like you are missing out on anything.
ALSO: Carl pointed out to me that my dismissal of Fucked Up in the column before last could also be applied to my current dream team Sex Vid. This may be true but Sex Vid’s music makes me want to become a fuckin alchemist or you know, destroy society or start a new band or something in a way that Fucked Up never has. I feel like Sex Vid is perfect burned down basement music which is to say the best kind of music, whereas Fucked Up somehow exists in another space in my mind, it seems more professional and normal and palatable. But Sex Vid are about to put out a 12” which will be a new test, because the 7” is the perfect format, so maybe their run of greatness will be crushed by the new and different format. I feel like the tape and the 7” are the way and truth. Who knows! Not me!
Anyways, off the pigs, if you wanna correspond/want to send me Neos bootlegs write c/o mrr.
1-Life Without Buildings LP and Live CD 2-The New Hope comp of weird old Ohio bands from early 80s check out (the 9/1/07 show) for sounds 3-Ian Svenonius interview in the new ANP quarterly 4-Fugazi-In On The Killtaker and the Glen E Friedman Fugazi book5-The introduction of the term ‘freemo’ into my life, it refers to the noise/art school thing, you know post Lightning Bolt/Fort Thunder fan boy music, lots of contact mics, aggressive floor rolling and gaffer tape and pedals. And adds to my theory that basically this scene is full of the people that would have been in roll on the floor emo bands in the 90s. 6-Homostupids still 7-King Tubby presents Roots of Dub LP 8-Joan Didion. For some reason I can’t find a copy of Play as it Lays but I am kind of obsessed with her right now... 9-Coffee in the morning 10-The Brat 10” and the Wolf and the Lamb-it’s almost too cheesy but it is just so transcendent and great.

this one is all over the place

1-I made someone tell me who died in Harry Potter even though I have not read any of the books or watched any of the films and have no intention of doing so. It made no sense to me obviously, as I have no idea who any of the characters are and it ended up just annoying me; why did I care about such a piece of meaningless (to me) information? I think the curse of the age is too much mindless information and ephemera. I am sure many irritating liberal columnists have said this before, but seriously when more people care about who dies in Harry Potter than the death count in Iraq it would seem to indicate a certain moral collapse… End times fer sure!

2-I have been reading two books by Mike Davis that kind of tie in with this um, apocalyptic vision, one is called Planet of Slums, and is about the new supercities built on sewage and out of the discards of capitalism that are emerging as people in the so-called third world move to large industrial cities from rural areas but find they do not have the means or power to fit in with the way those cities work. The other one is a collection of essays edited by him called Evil Paradise: Dreamworlds of NeoLiberalism. The “evil paradises” are free market utopias built on the unspoken reality of slave labor and robber baron slash-and-burn capitalism. These places are created by the super rich in places like Dubai and Orange County, gated communities and private cities, which are kind of like the flip side of the super city coin. The inhabitants of supercities are living in the economic and literal trash created by those living in ‘dreamland,’ where you can only even walk the streets if you are economically viable (ie oil rich/media rich etc.)
In Davis’ hellish vision of Dubai the divide between the Haves and the Have-Not’s seems almost medieval in its brutality and immorality. Huge cartoonish buildings and man-made mega islands built with oil money and the aforementioned slave labor shield the ultra rich from the indignities of having to pay taxes or in some cases serve time in the countries from which they came. Rebecca Shoenkopf’s Orange County is a little less feudal, and makes for a much lighter read though she still, albeit mockingly, covers the disparities between the inland barrios of Santa Ana and the coastal gated communities of Laguna Canyon. The Gated McMansion-residing ladies buy their over-saturated offspring Mercedes convertibles to stave off their baby-bird-like insatiable hunger and empty rage; It reads like an even more soulless Less Than Zero. There are other chapters about faux California-style gated communities in Hong Kong and Cairo and even in Iran’s desert, so perhaps that will be America’s legacy rather than Bush’s promised democracy in the Middle East. I am envisioning the free market as a stream of vomit; constant and unless you have a boat you are stuck swimming in the slop. I can’t explain it really.

3-Summer in San Francisco never quite feels like how I imagine summer to be. The culmination of summers past and the mythologies of the idea of summer as being all freedom and adventure all the time leave grown up summers with a lot to live up to. After school, unless you are a trust fund type that doesn’t have to work (or maybe a crusty?) summer is only really distinguished from the rest of the year by the weather. Well maybe I am being a little harsh. I live in California which only has two seasons really, and SF pretty much doesn’t have summer at all, until fall, depending on the day. Thusly I have decided that summer is just an idea and that I have to make freedom and adventure all the time happen myself. A couple of days ago Jess and Holly and I drove to Stinson beach and watched tourists gamboling in the water oblivious to the sign asserting that there had been great white shark attacks there in less than six feet of water… The perfect way to end yr California vacation! On the way home we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge listening to Rock Bottom and the Spies’ Rich Girl and The Dils’ Sound of the Rain, total mix tape magic, and we got to avoid the zillion dollar bridge toll because there were three of us. It felt totally triumphant somehow and I made a remark along the lines of ‘the punks win for once!’ which triggered a discussion about how neither Jess nor Holly consider themselves to be punk anymore. I actually did not participate in this discussion because I am and will always be a punk.
BUT it also made me think about a conversation I had with Sharon Cheslow about why she plays noise, at a very summery east bay BBQ. She talked about being an older woman in underground music and the dilemmas and conflicts of art and a wider audience and basement shows and art gallery shows and so on and so forth… and the whole DUDE THING; contre le sexisme! It made me wish I had a tape player because I totally have wanted to interview Sharon for this zine for the longest time, about DC punk histories yes but also about growing old and staying true, staying independent and committed to the underground. You know there is a Chalk Circle myspace now? She made it and it enabled her to get back in touch with two of the other members; pretty fucking cool!! Chalk Circle was one of the few harDCore bands with ladies in, although really I guess they are more arty lady punk than harDCore, like say um, the Teen Idles? I am sure Sharon does not consider herself punk anymore, though she still plays her art damage destruction in basements with punk bands and I totally think she’s a punk. Punk is like summer in San Francisco. It’s a possibility, and an idea, an ideology maybe, or just a moment of mix tape transcendence.
Punk is a youth subculture for sure, I know this, but I for one would not consider myself a punk still if I considered punk as only being represented by kids at Gilman or the mall punk’s Blanks 77 backpatches and sugary Mohawk hairstyles. I think that’s one of the problems I have with the hero worship of Japanese bands by kids here; if those bands existed here they would be corny Mohawk studded jacket style rockstars. Underground punk is and will always be DIY and independent culture, the idea that the bands are essentially the same as the audience. Not fifty dollar shows. It’s so weird to me that they are so obsessed with Discharge aesthetically, but not by the values or politics JUST THE MUSIC SOUND AND CLOTHING! How is that punk? Probably a million skinny jeans clad dudes are rolling their eyes in disgust at this paragraph. I know I am definitely NOT an expert on Japanese punk culture, please write me and correct me on my cultural ignorance, don’t be mean though!
4-I went to see Sonic Youth do Daydream Nation. It was like watching a play/being in church; the audience were so reverent and the Sonic Youth were so mock solemn. Kim looked so rad dancing in a mod striped dress against a tie die light show, go Berkeley community theatre! It was kind of dreamy but also kind of wrong! I hate the indie rock crowd, so depressing and easily sated. I like that era of Sonic Youth; scary death valley Manson girls/ Pettibon doom doom dooom time! Bad Moon Rising! A comment on the end of the summer of love… I wanted to see the Melvins perform Lysol tonight SO BADLY! It's weird how the 90s are being reconstructed right now in mainstream ‘indie’ culture; Dinosaur jr, Slint, Melvins, Sonic Youth, though guess it's more late 80s early 90s. The Pitchfork crowd need their reconstructed war re-enactments! I wonder if it's like the baby boomer freak out in the 80s when every movie had baby boomered music; think about it, The Big Chill, The Outsiders, Stand By Me; REVIVALISTS!! That is happening now but with bands performing entire LPs, it's like a play because if you saw the Melvins in 89 or whatever they wouldn't 'do' the whole of Gluey Porch Treatments, or Slint wouldn't 'do' the whole of Spiderland. They would just play a show; it's total theatre constructionisms. Speaking of which Mike Mckee is writing a book about 90s DIY hardcore (91-94) I am sure he is looking for contributions and if you have any check out his myspace, his name on there is 90’s DIY.
5-I was a teenage straight edge warrior! I’m not anymore! But I still hate it that hanging out in bars is most people’s idea of entertainment. BOOOORING.
6-I have mostly been listening to Leonard Cohen because of seeing McCabe and Mrs Miller for the first time, I guess that’s not very punk. I think about punk a lot and am sorry if I talk about the same thing every month!
7-That’s about it! A bunch of random stuff not very coherently discussed!

Friday, August 31, 2007

violins of the cover of mrr is totally punk. and the raincoats aren't a 90s band.

Second Verse same as the First!

1-Sex Vid!!!!! Holy shit! Is it just me or is most of San Francisco walking round in crummy tie dye Sex Vid shirts?
Merchandise it keeps us alive. After seeing them first at the Hemlock I was wondering if it was worth going to the other show because they were just so impossibly great and how could anything else be so exactly what I wanted... But of course the sweaty basement show was like watching like Neos open for Void or being able to eat pizza for every meal with no consequences. Speaking of which; I can't believe people would wanna leave SF. It's fucking great here posers; we have good pizza, and good punks. Spoken in faux Valley girl accent, since I have returned from my brief sojourn to the UK I have seen THREE next level amazing best ever (for sure!) shows. I mean fucking SEX VID!!!! This band is the best. They are like a birthday present and and xmas present without yr family breathing down yr throat. Seriously, watching them play it's hard to believe a band that good is even possible in a climate such as today; doom clad shitty message board fucktard mythologies and depressing bug eyed record vampire cataloging fuckers. Sex Vid are like acid on the eyeballs of those boring dorks. And yes, I finally got a tye die shirt, as did the rest of this dirt bag city and so on and so on. The basement show, which was probably the best ever, at least for right now, I couldn't believe it would be even technically possible to top their previous achievements but they did so with venom and vigour. and I got to bro-down with the legend, True Bromance, with his Corrosion of Conformity/Void tatts etc etc (and that’s a long etc etc). I formed two conceptual bands, New Age Attack and Ancient Rage. Um Sex Vid are totally dreamy and doomy. Lately I have been into walking out to the ocean thru the foggy neanderthal trees listening to Die Kreuzen and the only thing that touches that experience is terms of radness would be watching Sex Vid play a basement show and everyone losing it totally and realizing, Greg Sage style, that now is the time, when is the truth.
2-Then Finally Punk and the New Bloods played a show at the Albany Landfill which I had to work for the duration of, which was a major irritant... BUT I heard a rumour that they were to be playing a show at a top secret bar, that night, in town. I harrassed people and made em all go and everyone that showed up was glad for this, really they were. Finally Punk! All girl Texas destruction like a Lilliput-Mika Miko-Bush Tetras-Amos and Sara-Unit 3+ Venus mash up. I dont know! I dont know! Just go see them; they are on tour now!! You will be totally wretched for missing out on their brand of radness; they trade instruments after every song and are just so genuine and exciting and cool. They have this deadly combo of detatched humor and charming attack, it’s ironic and genuine all at once, and is another situation where it's hard to believe something so rad is happening in front of yr eyes and yet it is... One thing watching them kind of reminded me of was seeing Erase Errata play the Smell when they had just put out their demo. It was a great show-Sharon Cheslow, Erase Errata and Quixotic, and I had never heard of Erase Errata before so they had nothing to prove in my eyes, just another lame support band. Watching them play was like watching the Beatles or something, I can’t exactly explain it, I don’t mean it was as mindblowingly amazing musically maaaan, because, to be honest, I only like about three Beatles songs total... But the thing I like about them as a band is their inherent charisma and individual personas, if that makes sense. They weren’t bland identikit pop idols. Watch a Hard Days Night. This relates to that Erase Errata show because... Um yeah, Erase Errata are not like the Beatles as people. I don’t know them at all personally but they all seem kind of shy and withdrawn; BUT what I mean to say in this long digression is that watching them on stage playing music, each member was so cool and charismatic and it was maybe like a watch where you can see all the machinery and it’s so delicate and intricate but the sum of it also makes an impact.... um! That was the only association I had in regards to watching Finally Punk play. They don’t really sound like Erase Errata, they are more aggressive and confident, but they had that visual excitement and presence, but you know they are PUNKER. Last time I saw them was at a crazy eviction show in Oakland, where kids were climbing out of the windows and throwing fireworks, so being able to actually see them and pay attention made me realize truly how great they are.... Then the New Bloods played. They are totally like what you wish wimmin's music was instead of crystals, mullets and folk song; gritty earthy basement Raincoats style with total fire and ferocity. SO AMAZING!! Live even better than on record: again, really! This may sound weird, but their music was strong and angry but not angsty in a way that makes it easy to write off as another post riot grrrl antagonism. It has this drive and power and authority that is really cool and um powerful? I can’t wait to hear their next record, and am really happy Kill Rock Stars are going to put them out, they are fucking great.
3-You should get all the 7"s and designer merch put out by all the aforementioned bands or lose out. I think that Finally Punk have a new 7" coming out on someone from uh Deerhunter??'s label. Does that sound right? I think so. (Ps there’s a pretty amazing interview with Dennis Cooper and that Deerhunter dude in the new ANP quarterly... the one with Phillis Diller on the cover) Anyways I am sure Kill Rock Stars will distro it; Finally Punk also have a 7” LP and a CDR. KRS are putting out the New Bloods, who have a 7” on Brown Sugar records (or is it burnt sugar?? Dude! I forgot. Brice White’s label...) and a CDR. Sex Vid are gonna be on a top secret division of CTR recs I think? a 12"? oh yeh. It’s not as punk as a 7”, but being that they have already released the two of the best hardcore 7” of this decade I guess it’s cool...
4-Hubb's story about going to see Tortoise with the intent of getting the dude in that band who was also in Mecht Mensch to issue/let him issue some sort of discography. Instead he wound up drinking a bunch of the Fucking Champs' rider and was so wasted by the time Tortoise finished their epic dirge of a set he has no recollection of anything at all except the worst hangover of all time.
5-Someone made fun of me for liking Comet Gain a while back, because apparently they aren’t ‘punk’ enough for the MRR compound. I admit I avoided them for a long time even when our bands would play together (early 90s London grrrl mod explosion) which I think was probably mostly because I hated the girl singer’s voice. As soon as they replaced her with the awesome Rachel, when all the lame people who wanted to ‘make it’ quit the band, I got into it. I would advise getting their last 12” Imagine the Shapes, it’s great, one song which is somehow created in the image of a Television Personalities song that didn’t happen (not sure about the exact story behind this...), the other feel good like a too much to drink, up all nighter on Brighton Beach singing old PP Arnold songs loud and shakily all at once. They are great. Their records always have clunkers and not-quite-made-its, but the last three LPs have all contained enough killer Swell Maps/TVPs/ Go-Betweens/Jam/Dance Stance references to keep this girl satisfied. I guess some of their early stuff is straight c86 indie pop, but they are punk, and more interesting than another boring power pop revival.
6-One day me and Holly met up and went to see Dan Higgs play a generator show on a bus. I don’t think Lungfish have ever been considered punk, and I admittedly only have gotten into them as I have neared crone-hood, ie gotten older... And if you had been at said bus show you priobably would have gotten out yr bullets belts and started trying to make all those D-Beeat war porn record covers a reality RIGHT THERE. BUT it was rad. It was a surprisingly warm day/evening for summer in SF. (Normally it is fuckin cold here all summer, because of some weird weather thing where the hot air of the central valley area of California combined with the ocean and maybe the bay too makes SF a foggy cold non- summery place til about October when it gets HOT for about a week, VAGUE SCIENCE! PROBABLY NOT ACCURATE.) Since it was Pride weekend the cops assumed the bus was a legal part of the festivities and did not get involved in shutting down the obviously illegal generator show. Bus shows rule. I like it when they are at the Albany Landfill or Potrero Del Sol Park under the overpass, but it was super rad being at a generator show in one of the most visible places in SF on a super nice day and not getting fucked with by cops. We hung out a bunch, got heavy into the primal Dan Higgs earth-ocean-sky spirit and left after the third song, ..
7-NOT because we were too punk, but becase we had plans to sneak into a screening of Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames. Which is incidentally as good on the lady punk move scale as Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains. Essential Logic AND Red Crayola on the soundtrack? oh yeh... An all girl 10 speed bike army avenging rapists and molestors? Oh yeh. Twin towers blowing up because of a post socialist revolution women's army plot? Totally! If you wanna see a post-apocalyptic 70s feminist punk movie that kind of makes no sense but is amazing and life changing anyway... this would be the movie. Watching the army of lady avengers on 10 speed bikes, in V formation, riding down empty revolution struck 70s New York City streets was as close to perfection as say, um watching Sex Vid play a bsement show? This movie was made over a period of seven years, so it starts out with afros and Staples Singers and ends with the Bloods (the New York girl punk band from the late 70s) and lots of Warriors style radio code messages. It’s just so inspiring and clumsy and cool...
8-Saw Fucked Up, heard that they are playing a show IN OLYMPIA with Spider and the Webs, AND Sex Vid. This is my dream show, just those two bands.
Fucked Up were actually really great even though I just got bored of them last year after they put out the double LP. Which I have only heard once! How lame am I? But a DOUBLE LP! It doesn’t make me think of Double Nickels on the Dime or Zen Arcade, more like um MDC’s Smoke Circles. Which is like most of that band’s out put bar a 7” or two, a bummer. Last time I saw Fucked Up it was a total old man in the mosh pit jamboree and this time was no different. Lots of aging dudes being manly. It’s like grown folks hardcore. They undeniably have great songs, as was clearly demonstrated by their set. BUT. There’s something missing from them as a band idea, and maybe musically too; the mystery ingredient that makes me crazy about bands like Finally Punk or Sex Vid. It’s like Fucked Up are too calculated, their myth is too self congratulatory and obviously intended to provoke a response. I don’t know, they do have killer songs, but the idea of an entire double LP of sigils and situationalisms, endless mocking irony is not what I want. Obviously that is not a problem in anyway for them or their future world domination program, I am a nerdy girl who likes the Frumpies better than 86 Mentality or whomever their audience like to mosh it up to so I am sure I am not the target message board dude anyways.
9-Mecht Mensch-Die in the Classroom
10-the Autoclave 7” on Dischord

Dudes. I am sorry, I really probably am not going to write you back. I totally suck at even writing to my friends or my family, and I think the only time I was ever able to make correspondence happen was during the halycon 90s emo pooh bear man lifting banner endpoint endracism longsleeve era. BUT maybe I will change.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I am writing this hunched over my mum’s computer in sunny Brentford, west London, where I grew up. Right now I am trying to figure out how the hell I am going to ship 18 years of being a total record nerd to San Francisco without going broke. They don’t have Media Mail here, which is totally rotten obviously. I shipped pretty much the same record collection back to the UK from New York for less than a hundred dollars thanks to Media Mail rates in America. I would say I have two to three thousand records I can’t bear to part with, along with a huge pile of essential teenage mix tape-age. I also uncovered a stockpile of desperate misery in fanzine form, in other words the future Scott Moore library of midwestern emo zines. I will ship those to Scott first class so he can put on his The Hated acoustic tape and rock silently and soulfully as he reads about the sorrows of overprivileged youths in expensive liberal arts schools in Ohio circa ’93.
Before I came here I really couldn’t remember what I had, and kind of assumed I would sell most of my records to pay for the super-expensive plane ticket, but I seriously had really good taste in music when I was a youth (And I am not being arrogant! I mean I had Irma Thomas LPs, the FU’s, Albert Ayler, the Fury 7"!) Plus I think I must have already done (and forgotten about!) the great emo unload before I moved back to America, because I don’t really have any bad emo to get rid of and make vast amounts of money off of on eBay. I totally need the Faith 12" on two different color vinyls, you know, to match my cheesy teenage Faith tattoo. And all those post punk records I picked up for 50p at the Brighton Station car-boot sale? The Pop Group? Rip Rig and Panic? I am weighed down by an inherently un-Zen-like pack-rat instinct and two zillion essential records. I am much less consumption-oriented nowadays, but seeing my record collection in all its glory is awakening the old scary impulses and reminding me of the gaps that need filling; I have a feeling when I return to SF I will be haunting the aisles of Amoeba once more looking for the Shop Assistants LP or the Eyes TAQN 7”.
The day before I came here I came upon a huge tape collection abandoned on the street by someone who was clearly a lame-o baby boomer but who also had great taste in music. Thelonious Monk and Elmore James on the same tape? That kind of thing. It kind of blew me away that someone could just abandon their musical history like that, but I guess with the advent of MP3s and mix CDRs tapes are even more redundant than they were when CDs were first introduced. There’s something more appealing about a mix tape than a CDR, though. CDRs are so disposable and plastic, and I know tapes are too, but somehow they hold more meaning than a blank disc of shiny silver. I broke my tape player on my first day back in London and my mum freaked out because apparently you can’t buy tape players here anymore so I guess the tape really has had its day. CDRs and instant internet music libraries somehow devalue musical taste, I think; when you can download the Desperate Bicycles discography in one fell swoop it kind of takes away the meaning of the music and turns it into just another computer file. But then I know a lot of music is just too hard and/or expensive to find on vinyl, and record nerds are mostly creepy dudes who are more into getting one up on each other than sharing their knowledge/making tapes for less knowledgeable people, and the internet wipes that horrible interaction out in one easy swipe.
I remember reading something Tobi Vail wrote in her zine Jigsaw about when she first saw the Shop Assistants discography online and how happy she was knowing that now girls wouldn’t have to cozy up to some creepy dude to update the gaps in their record collection. Just going through all my mix tapes, and seeing all the terrible tapes various dudes made me as I was getting into hardcore reinforced this fact to me. All the random teenage girls I see at like Gilman shows with super-obscure early-‘80s hardcore-band backpatches on their denim jackets will never have to sit in some creep’s living room taping his records because now they can just download them on soulseek or whatever, subtracting the sleazy dude interaction from the equation. Maybe they won’t have the same appreciation for the music, maybe they won’t ever buy the “bad” Gang Green record or whatever, but at least they won’t have to endure the sliminess of the desperate old man/nerdy teenage girl situation.
I remember having a conversation with Nikki from Huggy Bear about how sad she was that teenage girls hadn’t really formed bands in the wake of the Huggy Bear/Bikini Kill UK tour—besides my band. (We put out a split record with Berkeley’s Raooul in like ’94? On Lookout, a CD of which incidentally and bizarrely is selling at the HMV music store in the mall in Hammer-smith; having never been paid the millions clearly owed to us by Lookout, I and the rest of Skinned Teen intend to seek vast amounts of monetary compensation.) Just before I came here I was at the Maximum house as were members of Jump off a Building and Mika Miko (ooohhh, dreamy!) and I had another similar conversation with Michelle of Mika Miko about how rad it was that Finally Punk exists—obviously the first post-Mika Miko band. I kind of wish there were millions of them, teenage girls armed with a Dischord: Year in 7"s tape and some Greg Ginn guitar doom...and maybe there are, because I am not really super in touch with the teenage girl bedroom noise punk rock scene these days. Knowing that Finally Punk may be breaking up because some of the members are abandoning Texas for school/new futures is kind of bittersweet, but you should most definitely check them out. They themselves are not influenced by hardcore boy sound at all; more like they are influenced by Mika Miko who you know have Negative Approach stickers on their guitars or whatevers. But still! Sitting in my teenage bedroom surrounded by Huggy Bear demo tapes and old Sassy magazines and Girl Germs fanzines makes me wish that girls would rule all towns, and that girls would be inspired to form bands by more than say, Sleater-Kinney. Meaning that I wish that girls had my old No Trend/No New York mix tapes rather than just Le Tigre or whatever mid-level indie rock it is that the ladies are getting down to in bedrooms and practice spaces.
One thing I really wish had existed when I was a teenage girl living in London was the Upset the Rhythm collective. Me and my mum were in Rough Trade yesterday hanging out with a member of Hard Skin (oooh! Namedropper!) and I noticed fliers for a ton of amazing forthcoming shows that Upset the Rhythm are putting on, mostly when I will be back in America unfortunately. It totally made me psyched that people are doing things and making shows and bands happen for more reasons than just getting in the NME, which is and always has been a total vampire on the London music scene, reducing possibility and creativity to just another scene to consume and destroy/dismiss. There have always been anarcho-pie shows in the squats and pubs of South and East London, but anything slightly art-damaged or girl-based always seemed to get consumed and destroyed by the indie rock cynics. My theory used to be that the DIY underground people that made up the flexi disc/tape label scene in the ’80s got into rave culture and that’s where the non-anarcho-pie DIY scene got subsumed. Nothing against South London crusties—except they smell and listen to Oi Polloi. I always wanted the underground people here to be into Black Flag and the Shop Assistants, Huggy Bear and His Hero is Gone. Ha! Re-reading this I am struck by the fact that I am totally into punk in the most lame nostalgia-infused way! The eternal good old days robbing my brains of insight and sharpness. At any rate, that’s all I have to say this month.

Friday, August 24, 2007


When I first moved here from England I swore I would never ever say two things: “CUTE!” and You Guys!” both of which are now firmly and unfortunately ensconsed in my vocabularly. Living in New York was not a problem in regards to said words, but California has wreaked it’s own special havoc on the way I speak. The first phrase, the seemingly innocuous “You Guys!” Every American uses this couplet with little thought, “Are you guys going to the show?” etc etc. I understand the use of the word ‘guys’, it’s seemingly gender neutral, even though it shouldn’t be, it’s used in the plural as if it is, so it makes life easier when dealing with a mass of friends or whatevers. It’s one thing that I know I am going to be mocked mercilessly in regards to when I go back to England in two weeks, it makes me think of over enthusiastic bosses at team building sessions and also the Christian metal fan from Beavis and Butthead cartoons. “You guys!” People that don’t understand that they are viewed as a separate entity from the group trying to affiliate themselves with said group. Cute is totally a hideous word when used to describe anything that isn’t a baby animal, unfortunately, especially in California clothes are cute, houses are cute, neighborhoods are cute, and so it goes on and on. I understand that a puppy is cute, as is a baby polar bear, but why do I find myself describing a certain part of town or an old trolley car in that way? The Californification of the way I talk started a long time ago being that my mum is from Southern California, but I have no excuses for the fact that my conversation is essentially Fast Times at Ridgemount High at all times nowadays. It just makes me laugh that the two phrases I swore would never encroach upon my vocab are now used without thought.
I ran into Golnar on the street yesterday, I was waiting for pizza, she was getting photobooth and she told me with alarm and horror in her voice that she used the word Hella whilst on tour with Condenada and no-one even noticed. She didn’t mean to use the word obviously, it just slipped out, but I guess that is a sure sign that it was time to leave the West Coast. One thing I know she will miss about living in SF is not knowing what washed up grunge lite band are playing at The Independent, the venue across the street from MRR HQ that seems to only feature washed up jam band stalwarts and grunge couldabeens. Candlebox anyone? Sometimes the band names are so ridiculous it’s hard to believe it’s not in actual fact an SNL paraody of some hemp wearing hacky sack jock rock, but no, the people that partake in that particular lifestyle (the frat hippie stoner douchebag jam band planet) clearly just have an even more gruesome vocabulary than me and all my friends combined. I am not sure if I already wrote about this but me and my friend Gabe went to see one of those Bridge School benefits that Neil Young does, which is basically a big meeting of everyone from different generations of that type of crowd to watch various people play their music acoustically. We went because of a) NEIL YOUNG and b) I was still in the throws of my Brian Wilson obsession, and he was gonna play Pet Sounds acoustic. I can assure you however that watching Dave Matthews was not something I ever wanted to experience. And the actual act of watching him affirmed that I was right in my prejudice. Imagine if you will a million different colors of khaki swirling around in one big ecstatic hacky sack match/dance, people losing their shit over what I would hesitate to call music at all. I mean it was basically just a collection of random howls and world beat colonialisms and jazz funk fusion unfortunates, really no order or need for a tune at all. And you are reading the words of someone whose favorite music is early 80s hardcore. We spent the set lying on the floor, eyes closed hands on ears like 5 yr olds stuck at a board meeting.
I also went on tour, albeit briefly, in fact I abandoned my roadie duties pretty speedily. I ‘roadied’ for XBXRX on their east coast tour; my best friend Helen’s band Squids were playing their last ever show with XB. That was the main reason for my heading out there having never seen her band play in their two or three year existence I thought it was about time. They were really great, reminded me of the secret basement girls only meet up stylings of the Raincoats, thanks to Sonya’s drumming they also kind of reminded me of Delta 5 or the Bush Tetras, that propulsive rythmic style. Sonya used to be in the awesome Meltdown, who were a mid 90s all teenage girl no wave band from DC who are simply AMAZING. They were inspired by the Scissor Girls, and have an LP and a 7” which you should totally get. ( has the LP, the 7” might be available from Dischord still) Helen and me were/are in Petty Crime together, we did a 7” on Slampt records when we were teenagers, and will hopefully play more this summer. Because you know, we never broke up, just moved to different towns. Kristen who played bass and guitar in Squids was in this rad Detroit band Red or Dead, who should release their jams for sure. I think another all teenage girl situation. Squids have a new CDR which you should send off for, it’s totally great, and of course they have a I think will get you connected to a CDR.
After Boston I headed to NYC and rolled deep with the original MZA. We drank the best bubble tea available anywhere at Saint’s Alp, and obvies spent a lot of time hanging out on Saint’s Mark (we renamed Saint Marks in honor of the bubble tea place) getting our bootleg GG Allin shirts together. I watched Lightning Bolt play a boring Amphet Reptile circa 95 style set to a crowd of ecstatic drunk college boys,, and watched XBXRX too who actually really reminded of Clikitat Ikatowi for some reason. Maybe the new drumming style is kind of Mario-esque? The show was in this hideous euro rave club in Williamsburg, which was pretty much like an Urban Outfitters store in neighborhood form. Generic blank hipster © times, no one with any sense of adventure, just the skinny jeans pointed glae armies of darkness. Last time I was in NY I was considering moving back there, and this time though i was only there for two days, my mind was changed. I love San Francisco as a place, and now can’t imagine moving. I like not living in what is essentially an outdoor shopping mall. Going there makes me nostalgic for my brief time living in NYC, but seeing Lightning Bolt in a shitty club play boring rock jams made me think of seeing them in shitty dive bars 7 million yrs ago and actually not knowing where they were going to play in a venue, watching the audience run to wherever the sound was emanating from instead of having their huge amp set up make it super explicit that they were playing in the audience! Crrazy!
Anyway that’s about it.
Top Ten
1-Laukaus demo 2-Messthetics best of comp 3-Golnar and Britton’s Dead Moon offshoots obsession 4-the fact that Fred and Toody’s country band has a myspace! So ridic 5-Dag nasty with Shawn singing. 6-Mika Miko 666 EP 7-Christina Billotte’s voice 8-Rites of Spring 8-Ruby Andrews- You Made a Believer out of me 9-Matokie Slaughter-Big Eyed Rabbit 10-pizza


This column is outrageously late. Ridiculously so. Mostly because I have had one of the most stressful months I can remember, more stressful than when I was looking after my dying grandmother in a dying southern Californian suburb? Perhaps. No definitely not, but still, I have not been able to even decompress enough to read anything more than a magazine let alone write anything entertaining or whatever it is my columns are. Anyways, that is a lame disclaimer but I am writing this under duress...

Last week a tweaker smashed the window of the store I work at, so there were tiny shards of non earthquake safe glass all over the floor, on every book in the store, under my finger nails, in fact we are still finding shards now. It made me envision life working in that book store during an earthquake, which would pretty much be us getting impaled by knife like glass fragments, running around in agony as the earth shook beneath us, soon realizing there was nowhere to go because THE ENTIRE STORE is fronted by non earthquake friendly glass. It would be called DEATH BY SHARDS and would be somewhere between one of those new Korean horror movies and a shitty 70s Michael Caine movie. I think it would make a good epic disaster movie, in the 70s epic disaster movie realm of course. My favorite encounter during the whole ‘bleeding hands! Broken glass!” experience was a random irate Bay Area liberal lady who screamed at me through the gaping window “I came ALL THE WAY FROM BERKELEY! I NEED A BOOK ON SPAIN! TODAY!” She couldn’t fathom that her retail needs were not going to be met by my aforementioned bleeding hands, and was so vile and unpleasant about it that is merely reinforced my ongoing hatred of Bay Area liberal lifestyle types. Who think a bumper sticker, a Volvo and voting democrat somehow exonerates them from being decent human beings, you know because they shop at the farmer’s market? They don’t have to be polite to the little people? They’re totally gonna change the world in their 40000 dollar hemp robes and organic designer jeans. Anyway, the day after that happened our computers crashed, so we spent a week hand writing every single transaction out and having to like DO MATH instead of having the computer do everything for us, which is how I prefer to live my life. Which also sounds like it would make a good 70s style disaster movie. It probably already is one actually. In fact every movie in the 70s was about how computers are going to do everything for us in the future. And now here we are in the future.
Yuppie women in baseball hats: "I'm on the go! Things to do! Go GO GO! That's me!" Their ponytails poking energetically out of the hole in the back of the hat, their manic eyes and “I’m asking you a question? No I’m not actually? Just making a statement? In a passive aggressive way?” style of talking... They listen to female singer songwriter music; the stuff they play in Walgreens and Whole Foods, like Sheryl Crow and Jewel. Which in itself makes me want to stop girls from picking up guitars. Why can't girls be influenced by like Patti Smith or Anne Briggs instead of fuckin Joni or whatevers it is that made the dark force that is Sheryl Crow pick up a guitar. I mean Joni has some jams and I ACTUALLY LIKE FOLK MUSIC ALOT. But please! Lillith Faire and it’s bastard children must be put out of it’s misery. It's not fair to my ears that that is the muzak of now; 'All I wanna do is have some fun, and I got a feeling I’m not the only one...' is seriously like a Cambodian death march to me. It's truly music for those go getter bitches in baseball hats to feel empowered by as they squash the souls of me and my friends in some real estate land grabber deal.
Living in San Francisco can be a little disconcerting sometimes, like when 149 people die because of a car bomb at a Mosque in Iraq and the paper has a story about the history of a Marin lighthouse on the cover that day. Or how the people who started Burning Man are suing eachother over who ‘owns’ that stupid self indugent hippie yuppie douchebag fest. Women are having their reproductive freedoms removed by a terrifying supreme court and the SF Chronicle are writing about yuppie freelancers who work from their laptaps at coffee shops! Not offices! How modern! (The headline to this piece of front page clearly earth-shattering ‘news’ was “Where Neo-Nomad’s Ideas Perculate” The article itself refers to these ‘Neo-Nomads” as new bedoins. Can you think of anything more vile, offensive and straight up ridiculous? We have it on our fridge to remind outselves to never forget the struggle) It’s apparent that people here are so lifestyle orientated that unless they can buy something, profit from something or wear it they are really not going to ‘do’ radical politics at all. It makes me think of an advert that MTV ran during the TV coverage of the second Woodstock, “Change the World without Changing the Channel!” which has stuck with me for years. Like the part of the book Less Than Zero when he drives past a billboard that says Disappear Here.
I feel like Holden Caulfield right now. Not because of any generic yet picturesque sense of alienation, you know the way it turns out just about everyone feels except maybe the automatons who were destined for middle management at mall chain restaurants and insurance firms etc... but for the kind of mean spirited dismissal of anything and everything that will make me feel better about humanity. Human interactions, people's intentions, potential activities, ideas and feelings that don't coalesce with my exacting idea of how things must be right now... I have some strange overthinking problem where everything gets over thought and over wrought and nothing ends up actually happening.
NOT SO RANDOM THING I HATE #2-when men whistle. Maybe they think it's cheery and reassuring? I always think "Psycho Killer! Run!" My worst instance of this was walking from Brixton tube stn to my friend Katie's house really late at night, some dude whistled cheerily and incessantly behind me for a good thirty minutes while I had total heart palpatations and random murderous situations running through my head.

And onto my TOP TEN
1-Comet Gain’s cover of The Clean song Beatnik 2-went to the subterranean warehouse, got the Tronics CD but saw the ACTUAL Screamers movie. not the Target vid but the actual movie they thought was going to make them stars of the future. must get this!! Also someone needs to put out a full Tronics discog CD. STRICTLY SHARK FUCKS! 3-also I totally want a tie dye Sex Vid shirt. Sorry Golnar, now you are gone there is nothing that will keep me from embracing my true self 4-Gerry and the Holograms by Gerry and the Hollograms. AMAZING. This is the music that will play as the soundtrack to my glass shards disaster movie “Look Around Look Around Look Around” I can see it now. You can download this song at the WMFU website, DO IT! 5-Michael Hurley live! Devendra Barhart was doing the merch and I had no idea as I can’t stand the dude or his music, he just looked like a creepy troll forrest hippie, but not an actual one, maybe one from a catalogue or infomercial. Michael Hurley was great, really inspiring and entertaining. He is the best, if you are into mildly eccentric outsider folk music you will dig, if you think Devendra and his band of poser doom merchants fall into this category you are totally mistaken. Their music is for those who think Urban Outfitters commercials are trippy. 6-The Flipper song Earthworm-STILL!! So great. End of time is ours! 7-NO AGE Get Hurt 12” 8-Deep Wound 9-Frumpies Discography 10-Pizza


Well, I just watched for the first time the X movie, The Unheard
Music. The girl in the video store told me not to rent it, a long
winded nonsensical explanation ensued that made no sense relating to
the first five minutes of the movie. The part when a letter from a fan
is read out that asserts that the fan is not going to sue X even
though they re-wrote/stole her life story via the Los Angeles LP,
because that record is so good she doesn't mind. Hmmm. Maybe the video
girl though it was a lame affected set up? Not a real letter? I did
not think it detracted from the movie at all, in fact I think it kind
of added to the world of X, the symbols and codes of Exene's girl-ness
smashed up against the anti hero masculinities of the dudes in that
band. (More of that later) In fact I'm very glad I took the time out
to watch said movie, it made me think a lot about myths and how bands
create worlds that you can 'see' when you are listening to their
records or even just thinking about them whilst going about yr
business. I read that Exene's sister basically invented/inspired
Madonna's style of the early 80s, which resonated with so many girls
at that time... and watching the Unheard Music it was very clear to me
the powerful effect Exene herself has had on rebel girl style and
image. Courtney Love seems to me to be a bad xerox of a bad xerox of
Exene's iconoclastic genius; the religious iconography, the beauty
advertisements of the 1920s through 60s, silent movies, bad girls...
I think it's so much easier for men to find an anti hero identity,
if that makes sense. There are Holden Caulfield's and Jack Kerouac's
and Henry Rollins' and Ian Mackay's falling out of the sky onto every
angry white suburban teenage boy throughout the traumatic adolescent
period. Think about it; Mark Gonzalez and Aaron Cometbus and Bukowski
and Darby Crash and Ian Curtis, providing a million different ideas of
'rebel' masculinity with which one can declare allegiance to. All of
them providing anti-hero mythologies with which a dude can shape his
idea of himself if he deigns to reject the four walled concrete tomb
suburban death camp lifestyle. I remember when I was a teenager it
used to really frustrate me that I couldn't find a female character in
a book that I could relate to in that particular, perhaps simplistic,
reactionary adolescent way. All the women in On The Road are left
cleaning up after the beatnik heroes, which for sure was not a
lifestyle I wanted.
I recall complaining about this, after finishing Bukowski's Ham on Rye
to one of my dad's girlfriends who told me I should read Bonjour
Tristesse, which was written by a French teenager in the 50s
(Francoise Sagan). I would recommend reading it; it's about the
amorality and frustration of youth. The protagonist Cecile, is a
teenage girl who I would put in the Holden Caulfield school of 50s
rich kid psycho-analyctic rebellion, if that makes any sense... She
clearly is not a girl who is going to be rebelling by meekly cleaning
up after heroic alchoholic poets, but there's something about her that
seems as if she can't see herself outside of the male erotic gaze.
While her bratty petulant sexuality was very shocking and liberating
when it came out I am sure, it did not ring true or call to me really.
The first time I found something that felt like it was mine was a
semi-autobiographical book by Katherine Dunn called Truck. I think
it's out of print now, or maybe just hard to find; the only book by
her that's easy to find is Geek Love, which is a good read if a little
too Book Club for my likings. Anyways, Truck is about a 15 year old
girl who runs away, and being that I haven't read it since I was about
that age I can't vouch for it's timelessness or if it would now hit me
in the same way it did then. It was the first time I can remember
reading a book that felt like it was written for a girl like me by a
girl like me.
That seemingly random and unrelated literary (ha!) diversion is
related to me watching the X movie ( I swear!) because it made me
think about how we need to figure out how to make identities for
ourselves as women/girls, and create our own girl culture and girl
heroes that aren't just based on what we are given, so to speak. I am
sure many teenage girls read Sylvia Plath and feel satiated, but what
about if you want adventure and freedom rather than fear and suicide?
I am not sure if I am even making sense at all at this point really,
but I feel like it's so easy to tread water in a stale ocean of pre
built James Dean forever-frozen-in-death rebel immortality, especially
for dudes. The extent to which things and symbols and ideas and
people that used to be considered acts of war against decency, and are
now used to sell cars and snowboard lifestyles is apparent and obvious
I know. I am sure most A and R reps at major labels would say that
Kerouac was their favorite writer and how deeply he changed their life
maaaaan. Male anti hero mythologies are boring and trite and empty and
forever regurgitated, their meaning and power neutered. But then it's
twice as bad when the only women mentioned are the nagry girlfriend,
the rape victim, the housewife.
There's that corny quote that I think Kim Fowley always dredges up in
regards to the RUNAWAYS; how he put them together because of something
Jimi Hendrix said in regards to the fact that in his imagined future,
girls with guitars were going to be the true musical revolutionaries.
Of course th eRunaways didn't really get to be 'true musical
revolutionaries' because they were formed in Kim Fowley's cartoon
lolita stadium rocker mold, plus they didn't 'make it' so they
couldn't fire him and make up their own rules, but I think that's the
point I am trying to make.
When you watch footage of bands like X or even the Clash, bands that
have become their own myths now, note the greased back hair, the 50s
teenage pocket tees and motorcycle boots, rebel images carefully cut
out from Montgomery Clift and Sal Mineo fan magazines from the 50s.
Punk was a reclamation of the shock and terror of 50s rocknroll that
had been silenced by the cozy non realities of FM radio rock, the
casual sleaze of The Eagles has none of the fear and raw sexuality of
say Little Richard or to go later era wise, even the Sonics you know?
So of course punks looked to that prior era for an image to add to the
collage of the punk identity. Which in itself adds to the myth of the
loner rebel hero dude.

Watching Exene sit in her room with the tacked up drawings and
letters, cutting up pictures for her scrapbook, writing lyrics in a
book, on her hands... She looked so self created. She looked like
herself, and also an important part of a line of girl heroes, maybe
not all of them remembered or deified in the same way as fucking
Kerouac or whatever but still... It made me think about the thing the
video girl had said in regards to the supposed lameness of the letter
writing girl in the first part of the movie and what a bogus way of
looking at things that was. The letter writer saw herself in X's songs
and in the Los Angeles LP because she found a myth created for girls
and other fuck ups like her. A world in which she could and did exist
in that did not actually exist itself. I am, like I said ,not sure if
I have explained this correctly, but I am gonna finish up with a top
ten of girls and girl culture artifacts that I would connect with this
idea, to quote Patti Smith, 'We Created it, take it over....' Most of
the time I find anti hero mythologies tired and repressive but here
are some that aren't.
1-uh duh, Patti Smith! Esp the first two records... and the Piss
Factory 45. I would align her with Dylan and even Rimbaud you know...
2-Linda Manz in Out of the Blue. If you haven't seen this you need to.
It's a classic of punk cinema, she is so tough and cool... 3-Ladies
and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains (Hey Andy!) Seriously ladies, this
movie will change your life. 4-The Raincoats first LP, music for the
basement meetings of secret societies of girls 5-Isabelle Eberhardt,
there's definitely some weird colonial messiness in there but she
dressed as a man to explore life in the Middle East in the 20s.
Definitely an answer back to all the swashbuckling male conquerors and
exploiters mythologized by Weekend Warrior types nowadays. 6-Exene!
Therese from The Brat! Alice Bag! Lorna Doom! Even the fucking
Go-Gos-how many rad girls in early LA punk? so many, then think about
SF girls, Penelope, UXA, total punk rock icons for sure, and girl anti
heroes too. 7-The Duchess, from Bo Diddley's band. As cool and tuff
lookin as he once was. I know the ladies in the Cramps were very
inspired by her existence... 8-How about Marianne Faithful or Nico and
Edie Sedgewick? Maybe they aren't quite heroic but they all have that
doomed mythology surrounding them and they are all total icons and
symbols of something. 9-well actually I am at work right now and have
to uh, serve a customer, but I will use this point to make a pithy
comment about women rebels-psycho! crazy! male rebels-daring! foxy! uh
yeah. wimmin's studies 101 yo. 10-write me with yr girl anti heroes


I am FULLY PUMPED ON THINGS RIGHT NOW! really psyched! who knows why; having spent an age in hibernation... (which includes walking out to the beach by myself two or three times a week, thru the park or the sunset district listening to chris bell solo/die kreutzen) and suddenly, things turn into the last song on the VOID side of the VOID faith split. EXPLODE!!!! It's one the traumatic things about being an underachieving person who over analyses things; very little gets done but alot gets observed and enjoyed/dismissed. Things that have been enjoyed- the weird vegan hot dog stand out on Irving and 18th. Also the Jasmine Tea ice cream at the place at 38th and Noriega. Mostly coffee, the ocean, the trees through the fog and Cows and Beer really.
Other things that are firmly in the Kicks Affirmative camp:
1-Barr live! and Marnie Stern. Totes magical humans for sure... One of the things that kind of bugs me about the noise/art damage world is the endless bogus positivity. The most cynical hateful people will suit up with this posi-hippie guise, when it's totally obvious they hate life and good times and are squeezed into too tight neon green ironic clothing that is affecting their will to live. Um no but really, I mean my band plays in this context, Oakland bus shows and art galleries rather than crust crusader warehouses and scabies basement scenes. So I am involved and interested in things musically outside of the minutae of Kangrena 7"s and Black Flag targets vids or whatevers... I think it might actually be the concept of 'scene' that creeps me out. I like being around people who are consumed by the things I am also obsessed with, but just because some kid skates and listens to um the 13th Floor Elevators doesn't mean they are on my team. (This I discovered when I moved to Orange County when I was 21ish to look after my grandmother. After a lifetime of fantasizing about living in California and skating with like minded dorks, the realization that most skaters in California were straight up jock boredom machines was a littlke disarming. Also the OC blows chunks) This all relates to the Barr and Marnie Stern tour because these are definitely not MRR sanctioned artistes, but both demonstrate genuine, non artificial flavored radness. Seeing Marnie shred on her guitar; just the sense of wonder and the lack of constraints made me think of a girl reclaiming that sound from the likes of the Fucking Champs or Lightening Bolt or whatever and removing all the irony and dude-ness and making it about newness and nowness. Not retro douchebag 70s moustache land but some other thing I can't exactly explain. Barr was a band this time, and that was totally grade A uplifting non patronizing feel good times also. I like how Brendan can totally disarm a room, totally blow people away or make them want to fight him. I know the readers of this magazine are probably against it but I am pro team Barr times 3000.
2-Re-reading Absolute Beginners by Colin Macinnes, which you should totally read. I got it from, free book trades! sign up. Anyway it's London in the 50s; the first spark of life and youth after the 2nd World War. MacInnes captures London, particularly West London where I was born and raised with such vigour and force!! Read it, it'll totally make you understand Paul Weller circa The Jam so much more, particularly the dreamier songs like Life from a Window. Mod fuck explosion! It is kind of trashy pulp fiction I know, but so evocative and if you are obsessed with youth subcultures you will heart it. I haven't seen the film they made of it in the 80s, but I am sure it's lousy.
3-Ramones!! Still the most romantic band in the history of time. Golnar says: late 80s Ramones, (I dont wanna be buried in a pet cemetary etc etc) I say... I wanna be yr boyfriend?? Today your love?? C'mon.
4-Anne Briggs and the Ethan Swan explanation of folk being like punk; how one record leads to another, from Nick Drake to Bert Jansch to Anne Briggs and Wizz Jones to to to etc etc etc just like Minor Threat tape to Flex Your Head to the Kids Will Have Their Say or Necros or whatever. I like that part of being a record nerd, the paths and diversions. I am totally obsessed with Irma Thomas, and my favourite Irma Thomas record was one produced and mostly written by one Jerry 'Swamp Dogg', that led me to Doris Duke, also produced by Swamp Dogg. The record's called I'm a Loser, which along with being one of the harshest soul records you've ever heard; a song about the local mill closing resulting in the unemployment of the song's protagonist, which results in said protagonist singing said song from a hotel room bed waiting for her next customer... Anyways Doris Duke was one of Nina Simone's backing singers and so on it goes! I have found a couple of Swamp Dogg's records in thrift stores but none have hit as hard as Irma's Inbetween Tears or I'm a Loser, but maybe he has good 45s or somethin? Much like punk rock and hardcore, soul and r'n'b are 7" genres.
5-Die Kreuzen!! I am not sure if I have already talked about this but dude, I wish someone had played me fucking cows and beer when I was a teenager! I only heard late era Die Kreuzen which is muchly unremarkable to these ears, thusly I avoided this band. But Cows and Beer is exactly the kind of brain wreckage I like. and the first lp? HOLY SHIT!! Seriously; the teenage genius soundtrack to the end of time.
6-Golnar is totally abandoning san francisco, so I will have no one to talk about REALLY RED and HUGGY BEAR. It is so rare to meet a fellow female music nerd who is obsessed with more than one genre of music, and can authoritatively talk of Finnish hardcore, 90s Olympia based girl punk and late 70s SWELL MAPS inspired DIY punk. Who also knows the words to Creedence and the fuckin RONETTES. Her abandoning ship is a total total shitsystem, but I am gonna try and be philosophical and uh make some remark about how life goes on and how most of my closest friends live on the wrong coast or continent, and part of the magical-ness of punk is the fact that you can maintain the bro-dyssey over mass distances no sweat. Right?
7-Maybe I should abandon ship? Except I live rent controlled in a rad neighborhood in one of the most expensive cities in the world, which I love. I don't feel super affiliated with the culture or humans here necessarily but the place itself is so dreamy. I mean mountains and oceans, Mission punk shows and Oakland noise bus shows. One of my favorite things about SF is obviously MRR, I like how it's a collection of total miscreants and weirdos, not a cohesive scene, alot of people who do shitwork here probably haven't been to a punk show in years, alot go to a couple a week or month. Whatever. The point is it isn't a cohesive unit but a mass deformity that somehow functions and creates despite it's failings and endless imminent disasters. One of my favorite feelings is being in my room on my own in a full house, and I kind of feel the same way about the punk scene here. Like I could go to a show, and see my friends, or people I vaguely know from MRR but the scene isn't all there is. I am not sure if that makes any sense at all. It's just a rad feeling having the possibility of punk every week, and one most punks are not privvy to and I know I take it for granted...
9-Pizza is always in my top ten. Whatevers to the pizza snobs who disregard non NY based pizza. Go to Zacharies in Oakland, Arizmendi in SF and more importantly Serranos in the Mission for late night slices.. Good times.
10-what else is good? I am going to England in June for the first time in like 4 years which will be hopefully a druid filled stone circle of a good time. Off the pigs.


I was informed by Golnar that my year end top 10 couldn't include
whimsical Heartattack zine style anecdotes and had to be limited to
music released by punks in 06. Being that as well as having a year end
Top Ten I also have this entire column with which to impart all of my
whimsical Heartattack styled anecdotes I am able to subvert her cruel
limitations. And of course make endless jokes at her expense. But uh
bear in mind that I am writing this from a motel room in Arizona while
my mum watches the Daily Show, which is a little distracting. So my
anecdotes may not be as heart warming or whimsical as they would have
been had I been hitchhiking to a PlanitX fest or moshing at an Avail
show or whatever else the writers of HaC have been up to in 06. Also
bear in mind that most of 06 was spent in my room,alone, Brian Wilson
Style interspersed of course with random Raging Good Times.

First Raging Good Times mention goes to this email, penned by the
mighty Gnar of course in regards to a certain late 80s hardcore
revival. Email of the year! and we didn't go to the Gorilla Biscuits
show in the end. It turned out we were too tired and it was raining
and the show was at a random hesh venue in the middle of nowhere.
After all three of us hustled all of our formerly SXE warrior icon
contacts for guestlist places for weeks. The big plan was to go see
Gorilla Biscuits then go see Team Dresch and write a compare and
contrast report on audience stylings. Didn't happen. Not that sad
because I don't like either band.

"I've been thinking all day (in preparation for the cruciality that
will be the Gorilla Biscuits show) that it's not fair that moronic
edge dudes got control of the phrase "youth crew." You know what I
mean? Basically, I would like to claim the phrase youth crew to mean
radical punx committed to youthful adventure and comradery, not
brotherhood mind you, but more just like kickin' it with your friends
and having fun instead of getting all sweaty in quasi violent, totally
homoerotic monkey dance formations. All I'm saying is that when
separated from Chain of Strength style meanings, the phrase "youth
crew" sounds like it could actually be something really cool. "

So who wants to pass on this new definition to the 50th wave of youth
crew revivalists? They'll have to find another youth movement I guess,
now that their revival of a revival has been declared redundant or
rather reclaimed by thee punx.

Second mention goes to the delightful and elusive Tobia of local
heroes Look Back and Laugh, of course it also relates to Golnar. I
think I missed two Bay Area LBAL shows this year, which was totally
bogus of course and I will make sure that it is something that isn't
repeated in the 07, but at one of these mythical LBAL shows missed by
me, Golnar got crucial. Apparently she 'brough it'. Like kids at
Throwdown shows? Maybe. Who knows, not me that's for sure. I wasn't
there. Anyway I wanted a rematch, and it never happened. Tobia as
front row judge of Golnar's moshtrocities at various LBAL shows, put
it best when she said that Golnar didn;t 'bring it' but simply 'held
it down.' Maybe MRR needs to 'bring it' with a Look Back and laugh
interview this year before they die of old age or perish in a storm or
whatever. LBAL are always in my top ten, they are the best to witness,
total destruction, fear and loathing, bringing true hardcore to the
kids and true believers.

New and exciting experiences award in music goes to a few bands, but
as for touring bands I would have to hand it to Finally Punk and
Kiosk! Seriously. So fucking great!! The show at Mama Buzz was beyond
intensive, the reconstituted oakland city bio diesel bus outside
featuring a live show by Evil Wikked Warrior, noise fiends with an 11
yr old girl singer who has this rad cool kickbacked kim gordon thing
about her, the whole bus shaking with frenzy and delight. Then inside
for Kiosk, Australian fierceness, like lydia lunch sonic youth era
(dude what's with the SY references!!) dark landscapes but punker not
so amphet-reptiled. the singer has this howl that makes you check for
desert landscapes and the tuning of guitar really makes it... The
drums have that disco punk thing but somehow they fuck it up so it
doesnt make you wanna puke. Plus you are on some Manson family summer
camp rather than cocaine white horse doom as those beats usually
infer. anyways... Then when it couldnt get any better Finally Punk
came on, the first true post Mika Miko band? An all girl teenage(?)
sensation that will make you wish you hadn't wasted your precious ear
time on endless boring teen dude Circle Jerk rehashes. Tobi wrote
about how they were the kind of band BK wanted to inspire, and yet I
think it's rad that it took Mika Miko to make girls realise their
potential power and sound...Finally Punk are really fuckin great, like
watching fireworks, instruments switch round, spells and incantations,
riduclous references, uh, just rad. Like meltdown/scissor girls but
not with the dark forrestry more like a run thru the beach at night
pissin on hippies sunrise is now.... uh!! Yeah, Kleenex too, but
really: all girls must form bands!!! Then the house show: final Club
Short eviction party, let's wipe out the community and install the
requisite yuppies scenario and all I have to say is kids not condos!!
The show was total radness, kids climbin thru the windows, dancing,
sweating, exploding, the George Chen free box, total anihilation is
now... Of course you must send off for CDRs and 7"s of these bands,
Kill Rock Stars carries it all I am pretty sure.

Bummer of the year goes to the All Growed Up business card punk record

What is it with lame hardcore boys with straight man 'proper' jobs,
like punk is their 'spare time' 'weekend' activity when they aren't
closing deals and making sure the Singapore account is ok with the
final draft. It's like a box you check on an internet dating site in
the interests section. I mean fuck that! I am not saying you have to
spend your whole life destitute and ground down by your minimum wage
job... but you are the same as the lame shits who puke in alleyways
behind theme bars still in their business suits, closing deals, making
eyes at the chicks in accounts. Except you spend $100 on that 1st
press Poison Idea Pick Your King. Basically you are only distinguished
from yuppie douchebags by WHAT YOU BUY which is not punk. I also hate
people that give up on punk and accept their shitty lot in life, and
go off to die in bars each night after a day at their shitty pick n
pack minimum wage life. It just feels like people give up. Both
lifestyle options mentioned are a fucking cop out.

Best Birthday Frenzy of the year goes to the Erin Yanke beach fest 06.
I taught some Frat girls the art of making fire, always a good thing
to know especially should you find yourself going back in time to the
time of the Neanderthal, unable to make fire you are sure to freeze to
death. Luckily should those chicks find themselves in such a situation
they will be able to figure it out for themselves. There was a Germs
burn in the sky around the moon, only one person puked in the sand,
and there weren't too many harsh Fallopian Jungle Nam style

Best new local band-obviously Peligro Social. HR from Bad Brains mixed
with RIP style Spanish punk is clearly the way forward for Street
Punk. The girl in the white jump suit with painted blood all over it
that looked like she had stepped out of a 79 Screamers audience doing
the worm clearly also set the pace for all future mosh pit actions.
This band is best experienced live, even when they are too wasted to
play they have the magical ability to blow minds.

Anyway, all my HaC style anecdotal-ness has been drained from me by a
5 hour drive through the desert, but don;t worry my friends, I will be
back next month with further dispatches from my learnings on life. No
top ten this month because I have mostly been rocking out to the
sounds of my family talking to me. And my mum singing along with Route
66 oldies radio. And telling a sordid Velvet Underground anecdote to
me mates.


Apparently my usually incisive song ruining skills are in need of repair, because Golnar went to, and enjoyed a New Model Army show. New Model Army were my friend Katie’s Goth brother’s favorite band. He had a Celtic mural painted on his wall, played role playing games in a fake cave in South London in which he wore plastic chain mail and probably wielded a plastic sword against fake, maybe also plastic, goblins and gnomes or whatever people fight in such games. I would put New Model Army in the flesh creeping heeby jeeby GOTH CRUSTY genre. This clearly is something that shouldn’t be allowed and must be stopped. I am not sure how I can make this happen but it’s definitely one of my goals for 2k7. “Every single hippy pagan freakout or weird transcendent goth dance at the New Model Army show made me think of you, but the band was so good that the little mocking voice in the back of my head (yours) did not win out over my enjoyment of the jams. SONG RUINER DENIED!” This is what the pithy, bold Gnar said in regards to her experience and I think it pretty much says it all. Anything involving hippy pagan freakouts and weird transcendant goth dances is clearly the opposite of something the co-ordinator of MRR should be involved in so in the end I am understanding of her decision to hand in her co-ordinatorship. It’s clearly time for her to move on, perhaps her and Carl Cordova will attend Burning Man next year? I hear that that is also transcendant and a hippie freakout but I am not sure how Goth Crusty you can be in the desert. Next time I see Golnar I expect she will be wearing black platform Star Wars power boots with a dread wig.
Americans always get into the randomest of English bands, I remember when the ever so dreamy Scott Moore came to England in ye olde late 90s, he rabidly wanted Newtown Neurotics records. I mean, it was probably the fact that he could finally come clean about his need to cry in public, on the street, beause really, when was the last time you saw a man cry on TV? It’s so oh oh embarrassing. Or maybe it was the ballad about the singer’s penis. Who can say. Not me. I think the Neurotics are painfully embarrassing. It’s like listening to an earnest crustier version of Neil from the Young Ones combined maybe with Rikk, also from the Young Ones talking about his feelings in a warbling, sincere yet barf enducing manner. THE HORROR. THE HORROR. I can’t get behind overly sincere earnest hippie music from my homeland. I prefer the mean snotty venom of Neos or Void and always have. The Punks always ask me why I hate the music produced by the punks of my homeland, and to this I raise a quizzical eyebrow. I love Huggy Bear, most of the early Rough Trade bands, and the art punk bands that everyone likes (you know; wire, the homosexuals, desperate bicycles etc…) and if someone made me pick a buttpatch band I would say that Rudimentary Peni clearly are weird and fucked up enough to be on my team.
Anyway the point being that everyone has embarrassing musical nightmares that they are totally sold on. I would say the time I made myself love Into Another, at age 15 maybe? Whenever the Ignaurus LP came out anyway, well that clearly is embarassing D&D fantasy metal. And I know all the words! I wish I had retained as much from my 5 yrs of secondary school French. Plus my inexplicable love of later period (ie the shameful 90s) emo straightedge is probably a mark against my name. What can I say; I was an uptight SXE riot grrrl in the dark days that we now know as the errrr 90s, so I rocked out to both Falling Forward and the Frumpies. I know all the words to the Man lifting Banner 10”. There I said it. I am sure there are other items of equal hideousness lurking in my recent past, but just because I do not like the chosen sounds that the Vikings of Crust Goth Chaos Punk have endorsed from my homeland does not mean that there is anything wrong with my brain. I maybe have abused my ears with the aforementioned aural disasters on a frequent basis but I am still allowed to ruin the songs that emanated from the squats of Thatcher era England with no remorse.
I was intending to list my favorite places to consume vast amounts of food and have vast amounts of good times in the various towns I have resided in since abandoning my Endpoint Aftertaste record at my mother’s house ie since I left home, but was so consumed with the idea of Golnar in a mass hippie trance with her fellow clog wearing shower shirkers at the New Model Army show, what could I do. I like how most of my columns contain at least a line about what I was going to write about before I launched off on whatever tangent I happen to find myself discussing. It’s how I do.

Actually I wanted to insert one other snide remark. You may notice that some of my top ten has marked similarities to the top ten of a certain co-ordinator in the last issue. This is not my fault. She has been stealing my thoughts in advance for ages in a plot to get me into her crust warrior cult. Anyway, without further ado, top ten mother fuckers.
1-Condenada thanksgiving feast. These ladies definitely took it to the next level. 2-Sex Vid/Jump Off a Building/Cult Logic/White Boss show at Justin’s mansion. Sex Vid are the best hardcore band in America easily, Die Kreutzen Cows and Beer versus Neos versus your brain melting into itself at the possibility that such killer jams were happening in front of yr eyes. Cult Truth were raging hardcore yet were somehow still dreamy and cuuuuute, secret show, secret band, totes ridic. Jump off a Building are my favorite new local band, tho I guess they aren’t that new, just new to me. I like that is the mic hadn’t fucked up the show would have been over in 20 minutes. Even with 4 bands playing. Perfect. 3-the B side to the Spanish Fucked Up single that Paco put out. SO KILLER. everytime I try and write off this band they totally trick me into liking them again. I totally need th Shop Assistants/Dolly Mixture cover 7”s. I know that most of the people (ie dudes) that have these probably have never even heard of either band and are just holding onto them for future bribe money or something. SO LAME. 4-Naked Raygun All Rise/Jettison (which one were we listening to at Martin’s birthday gnar??) 5-Finally Punk 7” excellent TX girl punk, total destruktion 6-Lungfish for winter time skulking 7-Spider and the Webs 7” on K 8-Modern Warfare 7” 9-Going to the east coast for WINTER (insert obligitary amoebix reference) 10-CAVE ROM


I didn’t go see American Hardcore with the ladeez because I have been on a all company is bad company kick recently. I read the book when it came out, which ultimately was a waste of time, but I kind of wanted to see the movie anyway. Just for the live footage, you know being a girl that’s unable to pass up an opportunity to see punks on the big screen etc. Apparently it was pretty much a shitty version of one of those VH1 “I love the 90s!” talking heads shows, where washed up dudes talk about the crucialness of their pasts as their teeth and brains rot around them. It made me think about how sometimes the best documents of an era or a youth movement aren’t the ones that attempt to encompass every aspect and be totally definitive but instead are the ones that just focus on one thing and use that as a viewpoint onto the rest of the subculture. Two good examples of this are the Minutemen documentary, We Jam Econo and the Darby Crash book Lexicon Devil. Lexicon Devil to me at least provides so much of a better insight into the LA punk scene than We Got the Neutron Bomb, which is supposed to be the ultimate history of that time period. I definitely enjoyed reading ...Neutron Bomb, but it just tries to cover too much and loses something along the way. You get a vague sense of all the different scenes and subgroups but lose some of the context, the background information, the reasons why; things get reduced to bitchy scenester gossip and the energy and creativity of the early LA punks somehow doesn’t leave the page. Lexicon Devil, in using the trajectory of Darby Crash’s life as the focal point of the story is somehow able to vividly evoke the vitality and desolation of the era that he came from. Both books use the same format, which I guess could be seen as the literary version of the aforementioned TV show talking heads, where chapters are spliced together from different interviews so it reads like a continual anecdote rather than a straight biography. ANYWAY the point I was trying to make is that Lexicon Devil isn’t just a rose tinted “you hadta be there maaan’ glory days bio-pic. Part of it’s brilliance is the way it manages to convey the seediness of post Manson LA. The exodus of the dying hippie boomer culture feeding into the new mega-corporate yuppie death values, and even creepier post hippie cults. (Scientology anyone?) I think 1970s LA really demonstrates how far the ‘revolutionaries’ of the 60s went in betraying and exploiting for financial gain their former values and selves. (See also David Geffen and any ‘artiste’ signed to Asylum) After reading Lexicon Devil you understand more how this post-idealistic atmosphere combined with what was happening in London and New York, along with the sprawling nature of Los Angeles allowed for so many subcultures to grow without parental supervision or knowledge. It totally evokes that X song The Unheard Music, or the opening scenes of Suburbia with the dogs and the barren highways and abandoned suburban tracts. The size and sprawl of the city allow for a million scrappy scenes to emerge into each other. Darby Crash was formed by punk and by LA and Lexicon Devil really opens up that world in a way that makes him seem less of a cheap screenprinted mall punk t shirt and more human and part of a community of total outcasts and opportunists. The taint of the one industry nature of Los Angeles, ie the movie business, definitely created a different scene than in New York at the same time, which seemed more dominated by downtown art bohemia at least until NY hardcore took over. It also seems like a lot of the pre Hardcore/’81 punks really wanted to ‘make it’, but maybe that was one of the things that hardcore defined, the fact that you didn’t have to be on a major label to be an authentic musical experience and that making it was a false and incomprehensible dream.
It seems to be that unlike a lot of the more artsier bands from the same era that American Hardcore covers, hardcore bands were happier to exist in their own context. Did The Necros see the hardcore scene as some sort of gestation tank/place to establish themselves before they went onto a major like a lot of bands seem to now? People did things because they had to not because they wanted to turn their good times into a money making scheme. That may be me being overly idealistic but when you listen to, for example, the old Dischord 7”s there’s no sense of people wanting to exist outside of the community of bands and zines and kids that make up the world they currently existed in. People wanted to play other towns and meet similar minded kids but I don’t think the ‘making it’ idea comes into fruition in the hardcore context until the mid/late 80s. Again I might be being overly idealistic here.
We Jam Econo pretty much sums up why I am involved in DIY punk, as opposed to prog-electro trance or whatever else I could be stuck on. The idea that anyone can do something, and that the idea and excitement is more important that the execution. The idea that punk is ours to shape and the only reason it gets lame or tired is because you yourself are no longer able to get the same feelings and ideas from it or that you yourself are not making it exciting anymore. The goofiness, trueness and earnestness of the Minutemen is so apparent in every scene. Their music is like small explosions of ideas, arguments, feelings and so are they as people. Seeing that reinforces that punk or hardcore or whatever you want to call it is really about the people that make DIY happen, the individuals who endure endless interminable van rides to shows at Elks Clubs and basements, who form the audience who set up the shows and write the zines and the minimal monetary rewards for said exertions. Doing things to meet other people like you as opposed to white men in suits who wanna do lunch with you and who think your song would sound great in a Volkswagon commercial.
Sometimes I feel like mainstream music is so interchangable, like anyone could be Beyonce, any girl from any Dallas suburb with an ok voice who is willing to diet and devote her life to the worship of herself. I don’t mean that in an American Idol way, like Dare to Dream! You Can Be Beyonce! More like there is a mold and now there are studio tricks that can fix people’s out of tune singing you don’t even have to be able to carry a tune to be a singing sensation. So any unformed wannabe can be poured into that mold, then once they’ve made it, they can develop the ‘personality’ that makes them distinguishable from all the other Avril’s, Jewel’s and Ashanti’s. Punk doesn’t make sense to me in that context. Why do bands want to exist in a world where the thing that is the most exciting freeing idea of all is reduced to the same terminology that everything else in the music industry is grinded to a pulp with. Why would you want the thing you do for fun to be your job? I mean yes it sure would beat working at Walmart or whatever, but punk is not supposed to be your job. It’s supposed to be the thing you use to make your own world outside of their’s. The only thing I can think of that would make it acceptable would be to use the ideas that you got from punk in order to change the way you look at work itself. Punk is not a job. Punk is an idea. It’s free so don’t fuck it up for the rest of us.
Anyway other people have made these points way more eloquently than I have here, I guess I just have been thinking about the American Hardcore movie a lot recently. Partly because of the weirdness of having a New York Times movie reviewer reference early 80s hardcore, and just having the apolitical moronic white dude centric American Hardcore be the mainstream touchstone for a culture I feel strongly about and even part of sometimes. Reading Lexicon Devil makes it clear that there were so many girls and queers and people of color involved in the scene, and it’s so depressing that that just gets whitewashed out because for whatever reason Steven Blush gets to be the dude that defines a culture for that art house dinner party audience.
It’s CMJ week as I write this, and a lot of my friend’s bands are playing showcases there. That whole thing is so totally bogus to me, so boring and tame. Who wants to play a ‘showcase?’ It’s such a high school talent show idea of music. NO AGE from LA are playing a free show with a bunch of other similar minded folks at the same time in the same town that looks way more inspiring than some tired industry meet’n’greet. NO AGE come from a scene that demonstrates a similar idea about LA that I was trying to express earlier, the way that things are able to exist and growin the cracks that exist in a town like LA perhaps because the mainstream there can’t even comprehend not wanting to have your own reality TV show or be on Warped Tour. I think this is especially true in the way that The Smell, the all ages DIY space that they volunteer at, has become an incubator for an ‘our world not theirs’ idea of music that I think is kind of separate from the LA traditional punk/hardcore scene AND the mainstream LA ‘gotta make it’ scene. The fact that downtown LA is so rapidly gentrifying has obviously changed things for the kids that hang out there and run the space and are in bands that play there, and I think I am gonna write more about that in another column/thing for this publication. I just wanted to use NO AGE as an example because I think maybe they are not playing ‘actual’ CMJ (so are they fucking with it or reinforcing it?) but they come from a DIY perspective and make most sense at sweaty basement shows. Like THE SCREAMERS it seems they denounce the value of putting out an actual record, and instead have a DVD you can send off for which you should because they are really cool and inspiring. I think they definitely have that thing that the old LA punk scene had where people were able to exploit the obliviousness of the media culture in LA and make their own kicks in random spots of seeming desolation. NO AGE is an idea explosion, it’s kind of hard to explain but it seems more potent and transformative than their last band THE WIVES. Email suckers.
This random incoherant writing was mostly actually inspired by the fact that Slim Moon sold his interest in Kill Rock Stars and is going to be working in A&R for a major label in New York. How ironic is that? Naming your record label for the thing that you are ultimately going to end up attempting to make happen; I guess it turns out what we needed was MORE rock stars. I had more to say about that but I guess I am unable to make sense of it all right now, so maybe more of that later.
Anyway. Not much of a top ten right now.

top ten:
1-acid reflux demo- so good!! live they were amazing
and the demo is totally going to be up yr street if
you like the pick your king 7" or you know, good
music. email! they have
a 7" coming out on the dude from government warning's
label i think. check them out. albany wolfpack yo.
2-standing in front of poseur by red cross. the
vocals: pre pubert ear bleed! 3-unvalued- vertite
cashee 7" 4-massmedia 12" (thanks martin! i'll take it
to go girl) 5-the beginning spoken word part of Joe
Tex's Be Cool (Willie is Dancing with a Sissy) 6-going
to disneyland next week and having The Eyes song stuck
in my head as a result 7-not liking one of golnar's
jams. the song from the italian comp with the choros
no no no no. i don;t know what it's called but it's
not killer. 8-missed connections. bummer. 9-lungfish
feral hymns 10-standin on the corner by dorothy berry