Sunday, July 6, 2008


Summer Jams
1-Death-Politicians in my Eyes/Keep on Knockin.
Death were an African American proto-punk band from early '70s Detroit; clearly you can't go wrong! I like this better than MC5; it's nastier and the riffs are fucking catchy and tough as shit. Sound of the streets, hard stares and back talking good times. I listened to it on repeat for an hour when I first got it so... will... you. You can download this from the Chunklet website. Or numerous other punk orientated forums and message boards. Or pay zillions of dollars for their 7" on ebay.

2-Maniax-we got sent two copies of this CD and each one instantly had numerous people's initials all over it (Can I review this? Can I?) Not sure who won that battle but me and Martin drove round town dropping off issues of the new MRR at record stores whilst singing,'Wendy O! OH! I love you so' (Can I be Yr Butcher Baby?) I already played another song off of this on a MRR radio show where I got in trouble for going over the time limit. Maniax! Teenagers from fucking FRESNO circa 1980, they played shows at the Mab, they got played on MRR radio when Tim n Jello n them were in charge, and were also on the Not So Quiet... comp. Most of the music contained within as far as I can tell is boom box recordings, the CD is 45 songs long, and maybe you aren't ready for that amount of this style. Maybe four or five here and there would be perfect if you aren't equipped for the reality of teenage times in a shitty town. BUT COME ON!! Wise up. This just exemplifies the genius of bored youth in the face of a New Idea, when kids reclaimed music from the tomb of 70s pop radio and Rolling Stone mag. I am sure there were a million bands like this in 1980, this is so charming and ridiculous and awesome and you need to get it together and get this. Also: Can someone interview them for MRR?? Like right now?

3-General Interest Demo- Sarcastic like an older brother who's always one step ahead but still annoying. I like the guitar sound, it reminds me of something I can't think of, like KBD kreepy melodics mushed up with Monorchid or Metamatics even?? It has this post punk influenced DC sound, and then a sharp-witted beach hardcore thing (which is an incongruous reference I know) that reminds me of a weird combination of all of the above. Bass is deep n dumb. Dunno. My writing on the subject of this tape is troubled but I personally would send off for it; I did even! It's snotty and funny and smart and there's nothin wrong with that huh? (4 bucks? 3 bucks? 59 Mytle St Somerville MA 02145)

4-Martin scored the Kalashnikov 45 for a typical Martin-style $20 bucks. "Oh this Betong Hysteria 7"? I found it in a box in an alley behind the showspace etc etc etc" Anyway whatever the story of his big score, he played this for me and I was totally blown away. The singer's voice is incredible, initially it reminded me of a less Exene'd out Mai of Gorilla Angreb, her voice is so much more restrained and cooler sounding though and I am aware I liken WAY too many lady singers to Mai. This is such a great 7”, I am not sure if it has been Bloodstained across Denmark or Killed by Death or anything, but someone should just fuckin reissue it! Just ruling awesome Danish punk with the best kind of lady punk vocals. This just in from Shit-Fi productions:
“Layla, I could've sworn I heard Kalashnikov was getting reissued, but that may not happen due to everything in KBN going haywire after Ungdomshuset was evicted. There was apparently a second Kalashnikov 7" recorded at the time, which never made it past test pressings (or something like that). I think there's a later record that is wave. Members were also in another band called Diarre before Kalashnikov who were on a tape comp and released a demo ltd to something like 25 (which no one has). Diarre is extremely killer raw, simple punk. One song is called "I Hate the New Romantics"! “

5-Silla Electrica will have a 7" out, at some point this summer, courtesy of one half of the Kill Test record label, ie Golnar, not sure what the name of her new endeabour is. I already raved about the demo, not sure where you can get a hold of one at this point, so just wait for the 7”. The duelling male/female vocals with a RAW Spanish punk vengeance style will make you spit blood for weeks. Total frayed at the edges frenzy, parts of it made me think of like the Tyrades trying to play Rappresaglia, but as if garage rock as it is now didn’t ever exist. It’s kind of got the violence of the Tyrades thru the filter of some Italian classix, but is way more street somehow than Tyrades!! You know, if you like punk rock that would sound good whether it came out in 79 or 08 make sure you get this record dudes! No contact info but I will pass it on when I get it! Spanish punk for you thoughtful trashed types.

6-Brilliant Colors are from San Francisco, the last time I saw them play was at this accidental all-girl bands show at the Knockout, with a band with the worst name; Schmool and Grass Widow too. Schmool kind of sounded like Y-Pants but I am not sure they would have ever heard of that band. They had nurse/insect costumes on and were very young, and initially the costume wacky factor made me wanna old lady it at the bar. I am glad I didn’t because the music they made was truly strange and out of sync in a compelling awesome way. They brought to mind Y Pants because the music was kind of creepy but also full of wonder rather than the void-like fury of the no wave…Also kind of Slits demos style, great Palmolive styled drums, really wild and unrestrained sounding. Brilliant Colors have changed rhythm sections since I last saw them, which has made them less C86 shambolic and tighter, sharper focussed somehow. I got a definite Bats feel, maybe even The Clean; some New Zealand was stuck in their throats for sure, but also a total dreamy Shop Assistants wash of veiled threats. They were fucking great, and I am sure they have a Myspace but SF check them out live for sure! Even the hardcore kids were diggin on the sound. Grass Widow played afterwards and instantly created a ladypit of frantic girls who knew all the words. They reminded me of the New Bloods, that sing songy Raincoats feel with more of a post-punk angularity however. Grass Widow were the most popular band, people were freaking out, it was kind of like what I imagine watching Against Me would be like if they were an all girl band that sounded like Raincoats?! The fans were all singing along fervently and totally losing it like girls did at Sleater Kinney shows, but the fervent unison-ness of it all made me think of having to watch this horrific Against Me vid at a random party a few years back. They sound like a less world-beat/primal New Bloods, so I guess Raincoats-lite is the new girl band sound? Kind of cool if it’s true… It was a great show even if I was a little lukewarm on the headliners. It’s a rad feeling being at an accidental all-girl show, where every band was lady fuelled like it was no big thing, as things should be you know?

7-I stole the below from some email newsletter I get; read it and realize that we need to know what The Cardboards, the Shakes and Hans Brinker and the Dykes sound like! And also we need to see the Pittsburgh punk super 8 freak out too!!

“A program of transmissions from Pittsburgh featuring small gauge oddities, punk documents from the late 1970's, home movies, industrial films of heavy industry and selections from the George Romero nostalgia vault. Playing off a combination of home movies that perform celebrity, performance in the punk underground and role playing in the silent film, this program presents aural and visual interplays and turns the tropes of sensorial convention on its ear: a vampire film by deaf children, a punk documentary, sound problems on the Super-8 mag track, a silent work print version of a sound film. Featuring a variety of films I saw originally while living in Pittsburgh in the late 1970's and early 1980's, these works are seared into my memory as fantastic microgems of cinematic invention and sublime eccentricity.

Featured in the program:

Miss You, Natalka Voslakov, Super-8, 1979, 3 mins
Natalka's kids Zoe and Zoltan perform the Rolling Stones classic.

Nosferatu in WPSD, Super-8, 1979, 18 mins
A Super 8mm rendition of the vampire story performed by kids from the
Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf under the guidance of their
teacher Tippi Comden.

Debt Begins at 20, Stephanie Beroes, 16mm, 1980, 40 mins
Part fiction part documentary, with music by The Cardboards, The
Shakes, Hans Brinker and The Dykes.

The Beach Bunnies at the Electric Banana, Peggy Ahwesh, Super-8, 1980,
10 mins
Acting out at the punk club one night.

About Peggy Ahwesh

Peggy Ahwesh came of age with 1970's feminism, Super-8 film and the
punk underground. She works in film and video, is on the editorial board of Ediciones la Calavera, a book publishing initiative. Ahwesh plays music with Barbara Ess (from Y Pants!!) in the band Radio/Guitar. She teaches film and video production at Bard College.”

This along with a conversation in the kitchen with Justin has made me realize that we need to do a punks in the movies themed issue of MRR, covering shit like this as well as the more ‘conventional’ punker cinematic moments. If you have any ideas let us know! I am already thinking about that Chicago punk movie, the Cleveland hardcore movie, the Brazillian one, Joe Rees of Target Video… There’s also a crazy rad thing I saw once as a kid and never again since, called something like Girls Bite Back which had Slits, Mannisch Depressiv, Lilliput and other early 80s/late 70s Euro ladies. And of course Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains is getting a reissue this fall, there’s Times Square which I have never seen even, shit I only saw Repo Man for the first time this year! The Screamers movie, Population One, that for some reason Subterranean still has a bunch of on VHS and yet I never manage to get it together to have enough money to get one when I am in the warehouse…

8-Sex Vid-Communal Living. And the future that is July 4th weekend-three Sex Vid shows, one in my backyard with Nodzz, Gun Outfit, Sisters and Never Healed, then the next day Lebenden Toten and Needles, and the next day Limp Wrist-whole weekend’s gonna be a rager dudes! Run on sentences! Yeah!

9-- I am in my last two weeks of just being a general shitworker at Maximum before I take over from Martin as distribution co-ordinator in July. I don’t think I have ever been more consumed by the magazine; constantly thinking about it and talking about it to the point of being informed that I was only allowed to talk about MRR for three hours straight as a one time thing. Nearly everyone I have talked to that's slightly outside of the Maximum orbit has informed me that we should give up on print media and just turn the mag into a blog or something to that effect. Which is kind of disheartening. And ridiculous?? At any rate each medium has it’s functions and advantages, and I wrote out a huge impassioned argument about the importance of independent print media and was somehow unable to put it in here. It was kind of exhausting to write and probably even worse to read. MRR rulez. I think (know) I am the first distribution coordinator with a column, and hopefully now even though I am going to be working two close-to-full-time jobs at once I will still have things to write about beyond recounting hilarious hijinks at the bulk mail drop off.

10-write me punx. I am a lousy correspondent I warn you… layla at

If you are interested in distributing MRR distro at is where I put the old columns from here on thee internet…