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


I feel like writing out the lyrics to the RAMONES ‘I don’t wanna grow up’ and have that be my column this month. Not because I want to be a child but because I don’t want to be a lame adult. My co-worker is reading a book about a woman who tried to live for a year without buying anything. Just to contextualize, before her great experiment she already owned a house in Vermont and an apartment in Manhattan, and had decided that going to the movies and fine wine were not things she would be able to live without so somehow these things didn’t count in her great strike against consumerism. Also: Skiing didn’t count because hey, she already had a place in Vermont so… well you know. Just to contextualize my own uh involvement in said matter, I did not read this book. Just observed a lot of outraged and bemused grunts from said co-worker and got to listen to a lot of pompous excerpts from said masterwork. It made me think about how out of touch liberal America is, and how somehow this lady adding to the endless glut of crappy post-Bush jnr literature and blogs and shallow media world existences was somehow not part of the problem she was attempting to address. It’s like Liberal Outrage™ as a lifestyle choice; just watch that Al Gore movie about the enironment, buy a Prius, or put a Buck Fush sticker on yr vintage Volvo and uh, there you go all the way to the expensive organic food mart. As you recycle your huge stack of New Yorkers and sip yr Soy Latte, your delicate furrowed brow and Working Assets credit card are doing all they can to save us from doom.
I am not an eager college graduate ready to take on the world with enthusiasm and vigour
and yet I get asked ‘what are you doing with your life’ increasingly often as I age by the Concerned Adults in my life. I work at a rad independent bookstore, making a buck or so over minimum wage, and live in a rent controlled apartment in the most expensive city in America. I am much happier than when I lived in the Other Most Expensive City in America but somehow had a more parent acceptable existence working for the Time Warner Corporation making sure that people got paid for allowing New Line Cinema to use their music in movies such as Next Friday and the trailer for Lord of the Rings. That was 5 yrs ago and to my parents I believe it was the pinnacle of my achievement, a proper grown up job! 401k! Benefits! I only lasted a year as a fast paced adult style yuppie drone, and one of the reasons I am not currently clawing my way viciously up the ladder in Movie Exec powerland is that I didn’t care. There were other more personal reasons that led to the collapse of my potential yuppie scum lifestyle but probably the fact that I did not actually want a corner office on the 57th floor of a Manhattan skyscraper, that would be the main light switch/HELL NO moment. I didn’t enjoy cubicle life, but who does right? But at the same time I didn’t want to be my boss, the Snr VP of Music and Business, who had the Seinfeld theme as his Screen Saver, so every time he left his office we got to hear that awesomely teeth gratingly non- sweet slap bass refrain and who also fervently listened to Yanni and who’s claim to fame was that he’d written a made for TV movie for Kirstie Alley. NO THANKS! I’LL PASS!
One of the perils of getting older and staying punk is watching people abandon ship and start to roll their eyes or smile vacantly at the things that used to mean something to them. I mean seriously, insert a whole boatload of SXE warrior betrayal lyrics here because they all apply. Plus some earnest yet strident fingerpointing please. I don’t think my goal is to stay emotionally and developmentally backwards and just be a perpetual useless adolescent. Uh, I guess punk is essentially an extended adolescence to all intents and purposes, and first world living means lots of time to sit around and be the most self involved creature you can be. I also didn’t mean this to be a lame-o emo finding your inner colorful parachute spiel. But as I get older and find myself doing the things that I could have done pretty much at any age without a BA and also find myself a lot more content and happy than I was when on the path to Great Acheivements in Corporate Adulthood I find myself thinking about boring shit like this ALL THE TIME.
I do not want my own office or business cards. I am sure I will regret this decision when I am a bitter old jerk who hates life and has no money as opposed to a bitter old jerk who hates life with a pension plan and a 2nd house in Vermont. But right now when I skate down the street listening to “I don’t wanna be a rich” by The Guilty Razors (who have a Myspace! Huh??) that world doesn’t make sense to me. I know this seems really juvenile and 15 yr old kid in 711 carpark sneering sell out at anyone with an ounce of direction or responsibility, and I understand the priviledge inherant in all of this naval gazing. I grew up in England when it was still possible to get a university education on the tax payers dime, and I could be a white collar worker. The possibility exists if I wasn’t such a fuck up. I like things on my own terms, and I really do not want to exist on a dinner party conversation planet where I don’t see the irony in thinking about consumption as I ski down a virgin slope far from the welfare lines and housing projects where Buy Nothing Day isn’t a lifestyle choice but a fact of life.
I would welcome correspondence on this subject! And I am sorry I am so rotten at writing back.
write me c/o MRR.

1- Britton saying that my wanting to see the reunited Stimulators, Harley Flanagan 06 version was in direct contradiction to my last column 2- Jess saying that she likes it when it rains because it means everyone suddenly has the same problem and you kind of know what people are thinking about. 3-when you name things you damn them to the graveyard of ‘not gonna happen’, RIP Productive Summer 06. You could have been. But weren’t. 4-Mika Miko. SO much better at the falling apart calamitous house show than at the uptight women’s studies major from expensive liberal arts college club show. But I am going to continue to name check that band until they truly leave my realm by only playing stadiums and coliseums. SO GOOD. Seeing them play is like yr birthday everyday.5-Lebenden Toten Discog CD. Seriously. This Band. Next Level Rad. 6-Martin talking about organizing a mass heckle of that stupid American Hardcore book dude if he comes to town. 7-Minutemen-working men are pissed. and the liner notes to the American Youth Report comp 8-Rocking out to the Uzbek and Kazakhstan compilations with the Gnar. 9-Calvary LP. The best combination of Post Punk and revolution summer ever. Totally missed this band when they wwere around but I think it’s the only true successful demonstration of a Rites of Spring influence ever. 10-The clip for that Chicago punk film You Weren’t There. It’s on the internet. How much better than American Hardcore does this look? I think all girls at punk shows should do that one girl’s crazy vibration dance. And all punk bands should just be THE EFFIGIES.


On the Lookout for Something Else.
I remember having a conversation with my friend Amy a few years back about how she doesn’t consider herself a punk anymore, and how her idea of punk was so inherantly linked to what she saw as a regurgitated subcultural museum diorama or a lame performance art pastiche that she couldn’t see it as anything other than a cheezy dude puking in an alleyway clad in a studded leather jacket. Growing up in London the postcard punks totally defined my idea of punk too, the wasted time spent just hanging out on the King’s Road or Picadilly Circus mooching off tourists, fulfilling their idea of London, a pound for a photo with an East German Exploited fan. Punks in full costume, most of whom weren’t actually from England but were there as subcultural tourists themselves, trying to find an outlet for their imaginary idea of the authentic punk™ lifestyle after most trad-dad UK punks abandoned ship. The punk idea muted after being flogged to death on TV advert cartoon like compilation tapes, another ghost of a cultural movement laid to rest. Perhaps because of it’s reliance on the shock of the new which soon became the set-in-stone signifiers of what ‘punk’ is, thus the eternal cliché of the postcard punk. If that makes sense, I mean that the initial idea of punk eventually became another capitalistic formula, another way to sell product rather than produce ideas. Things become static and while some people obviously took the possibilities of punk to heart and made it in their own image etc etc for some people punk will always be a cartoon of Sid Vicious, an empty salute to a mythical past.

I think I have already written about this too much maybe, but it’s something I think about a lot, the notion of punk as a transient idea rather than a fixed reality. It probably has a lot to do with growing older and just being more reflective in general about the main thing that has shaped my life. How when you are young things feel like they are happening everywhere that you aren’t, and then as you age things feel like they have already happened and all that’s left is formaldahyded memories of glory days. It’s so depressing to me that people get stuck on this one moment, the idea of youth as your last chance for freedom, which I think is such a shitty capitalistic construct used to sell jeans and and skincream lifestyles to people who think their moment has passed. Punk is for some a snap shot of their youth, frozen in time, forever to be xeroxed onto all their future endeavours, rather than just the idea of total possibility which can be applied to whatever it is they happen to be doing. I know some people are doomed to be crushed by life, and probably uh that applies to everyone at some point, and maybe going on a renunion tour seems like a good idea, the last time you felt alive or connected to anything was when you were in your teenage hardcore band so why not attempt to reproduce said experience with a collection of dissatisfied beer bellied middle aged men... I mean actually most renunion tours are little more than crass cash ins on nostalgia hungry audiences, I am just attempting to figure out aging ‘punk’ motivations beyond that I guess. The RAMONES/GERMS/ FLIPPER show in particular kind of blew me away, just the fucking concept, especially in the case of the GERMS and FLIPPER who’s appeal to me at least lies in their total disgust for authenticity in music. They both made totally disposable youthful yet terrifying and disparaging music, the sound of mocking laughter and mean pranks and alienated brains, the exact opposite of what they are doing now, pantomiming an idea long lost to their age addled brains. and I am sure it’s been said but the dead members of said bands are surely rolling in their graves. It’s so ridiculous it’s hard to even comment on it seriously. Anyone who went to that show thinking that it was anything other than the ultimate rip off (and thusly maybe punk? Maybe??) is clearly a lunk headed goon.
We have to stop allowing space (ie stop giving them our money) to lame nostalgic old men who once were maybe dangerous and made exciting sounds but now who’s vision is coated in a congealed buttery like substance which is reflected in their creative output. I am not saying that once you reach a certain point you should not be allowed to make music anymore in any way. Just that we need to stop deifying the past and the people who are trapped there. I had to review a Nikki Sudden 7” last month, and that, while not at all replicating anything the SWELL MAPS did sonically, depressed me too. It was straight bar room country music, so boring and trite coming from a man who basically reinvented DIY punk. It felt like another old man trying to find his roots, some kind of authenticity, and I understand why punks like country music, it’s good music from a rebel perspective (well the good stuff, not the shitty radio country-politan elevator music) but it seems like such a well worn cornball path. So the two musical options for growing old and staying punk are being in a poser synthesis of your past musical endeavours or yowling lame truck stop diner myth country truisms? SO BORING.

It’s difficult because any punk music made now is inherantly nostalgic, it’s always going to refer to the past in a way that maybe it didn’t have to in the beginning stages of its inception. It’s become a reverent movement, where knowledge of obscure forefathers of Scandi-beat or whatever is requisite. I think one of the distinguishing factors that separates the music I like (ha!) from generic replicant music is that good music references the past perhaps, but ultimately makes something different and new out of it. One of my favorite records right now is the CRIMINAL DAMAGE LP, or as I like to say, crim dam, which is pretty clearly a BLITZ tribute, but there’s something else about it that doesn’t exist in the other 60 zillion shitty cardboard oi!-lite bands in existance now, a feeling in the music, yet it still sounds so classic and time capsule like. Also LEBENDEN TOTEN, how the influences are so clear and yet listening to it is totally brutal in the best way. It’s not generic, there’s some weird quality to it that makes it transcend the confines of the influences or the imprint of the past.
As information relating to olden days music has become less obscure and less guarded by the salivating record nerds, also because of all of the reissues and the sheer availability of information on the internet more good bands should come into existance. I like seeing bands that are clearly influenced by obscure japanese noise flexis and HUGGY BEAR and REALLY RED. Not that I have, but you know it would be rad. I think that’s why I love MIKA MIKO so much, because they have the possibility explosion of old KLEENEX 7”s with the guitar sounds and snot nosed vengeace of the FIRST FOUR YEARS. It’s such an inspiring combination of ideas, and seeing them play at house shows and basements and all ages spaces just reaffirms the true excitement of possibilities of DIY punk. The audience and the band members totally losing it, sweaty and ridiculous and all for under 5 dollars! So far away from some tame SLITS renunion show, nothing they do now as THE SLITS will ever recapture the total insanity and genius and collapsibility of their first PEEL session or their demo. Nothing. They are totally cashing in on something that was dangerous and fierce and making it a lame world beat old lady jam band compost heap. I think of punk as ridiculous and embarrassing, fun and brave and dumb, good times and total hell all at once. As soon as you lose the idea of punk as being anything other than kicks and freedom and community it just becomes another museum piece. I mean it in both the way people in the scene use their influences now and in the way people of the past exploit their musical histories. I have this old fanzine, Germ of Youth, in which the editor keeps writing “Punk Rock is an endless adventure’ somewhat ironically I am sure, but I feel like that should be the case. It isn’t a prison cell or a rule book or a fancy dress costume. It’s a mess and it’s yours. It’s disposable and it’s permanent and contradictory but it’s ours and we have to make it good or else it’ll just be a bunch of old men rotting in a bar talking about watching Black Flag in 82.

Top ten for the winter months:
1-mika miko at the pine st house!! craziest show i have been to? Well this year maybe? we all got crucial, wasted, and some random person paintbombed the room so we also got covered in paint. they are so fucking good! and they make so much sense at a house show. made me happy to be a punk/live in the bay area/have such rad friends... west oakland is seriously like life after the apocalypse though. the house was way out by the docks surrounded by these crumbling ghost town style buildings, there were random pit bulls running around, totally felt like that movie suburbia. it was weird bc the day felt so static and frozen then the evening was just totally insane and liberating and total kicks affirmative duvet ta etc etc. 2-ultimo resorte 12” rad lady fronted spanish punk, she kind of sounds like Mai of gorilla angreb. Totally awesome. Also Martin’s story about how she punched out Nancy Spungeon. So punk. 3-Golnar’s ‘worst records at MRR’ set for the 1000th radio show. 4-riding my bike after dark 5-ladies and gentlemen the fabulous stains, the song watse of time is the best song ever. Seriously. If anyone has this on a soundtrack pls tape it for me. 6-going vegan 7-black and white photobooths 8-Dis-carriage, latest Portland hype band for sure. I heard they were Champagne punks! 9-Swell Maps Peel sessions 10- The Clean discography.


This week has been titled "out of the bunker onto the bike" or "the
bro-dyssey continues" depending on who you talk to. The dreamy Scott
Moore was in town as was Paul Henry, so not only did Limp Wrist have
an intense writing sesh for their next triple LP but the pit at the 5
zillion Fucked Up shows that also occured was taken to the next level
by their delectable presense. Good times! The animals also were at
once saved and oppressed; from the San Diego chapter of the vegan
reich descending on my house millitia style with a righteous vegan
brunch to free day at the zoo with the wolfpack to the aforementioned
Scott Moore feeding a strange vole-like creature carrots out of his
mouth... Totes ridic. This week in Bay Area shows also included
Peligro Social, the Clorox Girls, many Look Back and Laugh side
projects and the second Club Sandwich event, more on that later tho. I
have been formulating an article on growing old and staying punk, and
then suddenly the deadline for getting this thing in looms up and my
well crafted article is uh, still in the "draft" stage so I just write
about random things instead. I am the champion of digression. Anyway
before I launch into the Homer like retelling of my Bro-dyssey styled
week, I got this awesome correspondence from Lance Hahn in regards to
my first column, specifically the thing I wrote about Unit 3 + Venus.
I am such a nerd, I love it when I get fill in the blank details about
random obscure bands I am obsessed with... Like one time my friend
Scott found this single in the dollar bin at Amoeba by a band called
Ama-Dots, it looked punk, plus Ohio in the early 80s? Definitely worth
checking out... We played it and it totally blew our brains out, like
a better Bush Tetras, informed by the ladies of early Rough Trade but
not as earnest dead pan politico, kind of arch and mocking, less
direct, more fucked up even... So I had to procure my own copy, this
was in the days before myspace crust (which I only just found out
about. Mind is blown!) meaning less viper like record nerdage on the
net, a mystical time when bargains were still possible, anyway, I got
the single on ebay for 3 bucks. I think it costs a lot more now. The
seller sent it to me with a huge package of show fliers, radio
playlists... Just the rad ephemera of punk that tends to disappear,
but that really puts bands and scenes into context. Ama-dots, as far
as I remember, played shows with both Bad Brains AND The
Contortions-so fucking rad!! That is the best thing about having
access to the huge pile of zines that Steve Subterranean donated to
the MRR archive, just to have random snotty kid opinions on bands that
are considered part of the canon nowadays. To read about bands and
shows that are legendary now but were just what was happening in that
juncture in time for whomever wrote the article... Also see that
Italian punk zine reprint thing that just came out for a similar idea.
I feel like my favorite contradiction in punk is it's permanent yet
disposable nature, how some things get written in stone and other
things totally evaporate, and what's the factor that makes things that
way? I mean there are obvious ones like access to resources, like if
you are a punk in close proximity to Hollywood you get to be in
Decline of the Western Civ pt 1, whereas if you are a punk in a random
town in TN you get Poison Idea arranging an entire tour around getting
ahold of your 7" of which only 200 made it into circulation ie: KORO.
Also I had this rad conversation with someone who helped put together
that Jim Jocoy book "We're Desperate" that came out a few years back,
with unnamed pictures of punks from LA and NY, and how intially they
were going to get everyone's name onto their image, but then they
decided it would be radder to have everyone in there without
distinctions between the audience and the band members/more notorious
scenesters. I think the names are in the back of the book, but I
think it's so cool that it takes away the legend's status and just
puts them in the context of the kids that helped create the
movement/scene in one big line up.
Anyway, on to Lance Hahn, note the lame introduction of a dreaded
stage mother into my idealistic notion of Unit 3 plus Venus, which
further demonstrates how punk in Hollywood is always going to be
"When I was a kid growing up in Hawaii there was one punk club called 3Ds. It
was in Waikiki and was for tourists and college kids. They were pretty
fucked but would sometimes bring okay bands over. They would operate like a
'70s club where a band would come over and play a residency for a week or
so. They brought over Agent Orange and the Circle Jerks. It was okay. They
were mostly into new wave. At the height of their popularity, they also
brought over Unit 3 w/ Venus. They actually were sorta popular in the
underground very briefly for two reasons. First of all, I think they were on
one of the Rodney on the ROQ compilations. Those records were the BIGGEST
source for kids not in the know to find out about new bands. It's funny to
think that everyone was so into those comps. But that's how a lot of people
heard Black Flag, The Minutemen and the Adolescents for the first time.
Also, they appeared on New Wave Theater which was a horrible cable access
type show out of LA. It would play late at night and in the era before MTV
it was where a lot of punks got to see bands for the first time. In both
cases they played the song "I Like Boys" and it was sort of a hit.

But the punks hated them. First of all, they were a fake band. The actual
band were her mom and dad and forced her to sing. It was sort of like a new
wave Bonnet-Ramsey situation. I wanna say her mom was something like a
sleazy Hollywood agent. The hardcore punks in Hawaii made fun of them and
Venus started crying. It was actually kind of mean.

The funny thing about her and the kid from Mad Parade is that they were just
kids. The used to pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend, whatever that
means. Even though it was totally uncool at the time, the kid from Mad
Parade got REALLY into the second Adam and the Ants record and would show up
at gigs dressed like an indian. It was very cute.

Anyway, just wanted to make a note as it's pretty rare when you get to
communicate with anyone about something like Unit 3 w/ Venus (who I did
like, incidentally)... "

I think Hubbard already said something about this in his column in the
last issue with the rad Hjertestop/Guy Smiley from the Muppets style
cover, but Lance is having some lame medical problems, so you and yr
friends should form a Unit 3/Mad Society style band and do a benefit
for him. American health care is a shitsystem, so weird living in a
country where health care is considered a priviledge for the wealthy
and not a right for all... I think you can read about it here: Also if you want to listen to Unit 3 or
Mad Society both me and Golnar have played them on various MRR radio
shows, so I am sure if you go to the MRR website and look in the
archive section you can download a show and skate to it or somethin?
What else? Not much! I did/used to do a zine called Chimps when I
lived in England and I am trying to locate some back issues, so if you
have any, specifically issues 1-5 and 7, pls send them to me via MRR
and I will xerox and mail them back. Unless you want them banished
from yr life.
You could also write me here but I am REALLY LAME at writing people
back: (c/o MRR) Just a warning.
Summer Jams:
1-Learning that Poison Idea planned their 83 (?) tour around Pig
Champion getting the Fix 7" 2-crucial abbreves 3-going tubing, free
day at the zoo, fucked up live, clorox girls live, peligro social
live. Christy in town... Productive Summer 06 all in one week. 4-Chloe
Puke's Pizza Cab idea 5-Can I say the proper reissue of the Koro 7"
even though I already mentioned it in here at least three times? yes i
can. 6-The Eyes TAQN 7" 7-Mika Miko LP. DUDE. So good, total eternal
top ten material. 8-Chaos-Get out of my pocket 9-Nervous Students and
Hot Tub shows upcoming. 10-Having to pick between a Look Back and
Laugh, Mindless Mutant and Young Offenders show OR a Carbonas show.
Yay areaaaaaaaaa...