Sunday, December 20, 2009

shoddy factory

I hate it when you get those weird eye twitches, continual reminder of something awry. Maybe it’s a bad diet, or not enough sleep, or just the stress of existence... A sweaty few days wandering through LA with no car and no direction, except a free ticket to Disneyland, and some avocados from my grandparent’s back yard. Then back here in time to fix the proof of the magazine, before we go to print, and it’s column writing time! I used to harass Golnar about how her columns seemed so half-assed sometimes, obviously written at the last possible second, and now I sit in the chair she once sat in I find myself in the same boat. I feel about as inspired as it’s possible to be when waiting for a delayed flight in an airport lounge. I was going to write about going to see the Raincoats, at this epic touring Part Time Punks fest, which was sort of a post-punk version of Holidays in the Sun. Only instead of Splodgenessabounds and the English Dogs, it featured Viv Albertine from the Slits, the Raincoats, a really shoddy Factory act called Section 25, and Savage Republic. Then whatever local acts from whatever town the tour happened in that fitted in with the Part Time Punks aesthetic and didn’t mind that they probably weren’t going to get paid. I know a few bands were advertised as playing at several shows who didn’t play, that were super psyched to play with the Raincoats but got bugged out at the fact that the promoters wanted them to play for free, but were also charging $25 dollars admission… Cash from chaos! There were actually something like twelve bands playing the SF show. It was a grueling night set to test the endurance of both audience and band. First I went to see Cissie’s new band play their first show, with D-Clone and Nerveskade. They were excellent; with Cissie on bass, Vinnie on drums, Daiki on Guitar and Robert Collins on vocals what more could one expect? I left the show early after a long exchange with D-Clone’s road crew about my giant Vulpess badge. (I got it from the LA Rawponx if you find yourself needing one…)

Anyway, my former band mate was playing drums for the Raincoats, so I skipped the $25 dollar entrance fee, and I assumed my late arrival meant I would manage to skip some of the turgid support acts. NOT THE CASE AT ALL. I only missed Grass Widow, who I actually kind of like. A local band played next, called Magic Bullets I think. Imagine an AHA! Cover band playing all the songs from every John Hughes movie. If people think that shit like that is post-punk, in that the word punk is associated at all with what they were doing, they need their brains examined. It was new wave for secretaries’ night out. I can’t remember much about the terrors followed. So many bad bands! The venue felt like the kind of place where they shoot the club scenes for say Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Crow, and in fact Savage Republic sounded like they should have been the band in that sort of TV show/corny movie club scene. They had a Tool/leather trench coat vibe to their sound, and I was told that when the Raincoats finished their soundcheck, the guitarist for savage Republic made fun of how “inept” they were, then started shredding Steve Vai style on his guitar. Why would you book a show with some stupid past-it rock band, who don’t even know who the Raincoats are? Savage Republic were one saxophone solo away from being that shitty band from the Lost Boys.

The Raincoats were great—I was really nervous about seeing them play. My band played with them when they first got back together in 1993, we were teenagers and thought they sounded like hippie mom rock. They played a song with Viv Albertine, which was dreamy, and in general managed to convey the adventurous idea of music that their records encapsulate. It didn’t seem like a pastiche of something that once meant something else, but instead was a continuation of a musical idea that echoes on in girls’ bedroom bands. That’s about all I got room for, more next month I swear!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Human Causes (this is from the queer issue I for got to put it up here)


Hanging out listening to the first Gray Matter 12”, talking about the Dischord bands you missed out on because you heard some later record that did not encapsulate their greatness… Though I guess that could apply to anything, any sound, any idea, any band that started out hardcore and decided that hair metal was the future. I like listening to Revolution Summer music, it just sounds nostalgic to me. Reminds me of being a teenager, skating to see hardcore bands play, trading zines, feeling dramatic, you know the scoop. Things are different now, they were different then, that time is just a memory, rewritten to suit how one wants to regard ones youth. Skip the endless boredom and feelings that you’re never gonna get outta this goddamn town, just a snapshot of walking down the street with your best friend, both listening to the Rites of Spring tape on separate walkmans. I have been thinking about growing old and staying punk a whole lot while putting this issue together. How things change and stay the same. There have been so many discussions about queerness in punk and hardcore, the shifts from the era that I got into hardcore until now, how the internet has wiped out penpals and perzines. Where are the girl gangs that Bikini Kill talked about, that were gonna rule all towns? Punk is ruthless, culture is ruthless, things are deified, museum quality pieces, until they are no longer needed or remembered and they disappear. Riot Grrrl, queer core, XChicksUpFrontPosX—does your girl gang need a name in order to do its work, or is it OK just to labor on in the trenches, no affiliations, no straight edge lady crew to run with, no secret society of drunk dykes in the pit? Can you explain why it’s cool for women and queers to claim this tiny piece of space as their own in the “scene?” Can you explain for the fiftieth time why women cannot be sexist towards men? How easy it is for some guy to shut down the conversation with one dismissive remark? How having a network of other punk girls and queers talking about the shit that gets them down about the scene that they love isn’t gonna wreck some nervous white boys world? Though maybe it should. You just have to accept the shit to be part of this right? You have to accept the drunken insults and shutdowns, the thoughtless remarks and casual dismissals. People leave, they abandon ship because it gets tiresome and boring always being on the defensive. Just because that girl you know, or your one queer friend doesn’t have any problems with sexism or homophobia in the hardcore punk scene must mean that it doesn’t exist. Right?

I know people dismiss the ’90s punk personal-is-political years as being one long boring workshop at a fest with a bunch of bands that whined more than they played, but for me at least coming of age in that calling-you-on-yr-shit culture made me think about what I was taught, and interrogate what punk and hardcore offered me as a girl. It’s weird sitting here writing this shit, month after month, year after year, thinking about

when I first moved here, in ’03 and starting shitworking for the mag that I am now coordinator of. We went to two shows this week, one in someone’s kitchen in the Mission, where a bunch of pop punk bands played, then Libyans took the floor, and as is the case whenever I see a great band at a show such as this, totally reminded me of why I am still here. Total destruction basement hardcore with the raddest lady vocals, the right sound in a room full of psyched kids… Then another touring band, Portland’s Silent Majority, playing with Culture Kids and Fugitive Kind at a birthday generator show at the 16th St BART plaza, a show that didn’t get shut down until the last possible minute. We put together a benefit fest, San Francisco’s Doomed, at the beginning of the month to raise money for the magazine and for a new all ages space for san Francisco. There were two or three shows a night for five consecutive days, with bands ranging from the Bananas to Crime. MRR set up a show with Descarados, Adelitas, Rayos X, Tuberculosis, NN, Send the Dogs and Conquest for Death, at a bar that because of San Francisco’s weird licensing laws can put on all ages shows a couple times a month. You have to pay extra for security, and it’s true that we raised way more money at the 21+ bar show, but it was worth it. I worked door for the first three bands, (yeah it was an epic show) but caught Descarados, who were awesome, reminding me of Revolution Summer desperation mixed with the fury of Southside Chicago punk. Their 12” is great, but if you have a chance to see them do it! Tuberculosis had to cancel due to a run in wit the police shitsystem, though I think I have raved enough about that band and the inspirational South Central LA punk scene that they are part of, along with Rayos X. Hopefully there’s

gonna be a piece in MRR about it all in the not too distant future, and I know Lengua Armada are putting out a 7” or two… Watching the kids, of all ages, races and genders freak the fuck out in the pit, singing along and dancing, to the most raging punk sound, of boredom, rage, alienation and community all at once. Yeah I was not in there with them, something about punks in their thirties? Well, to be honest I don’t think I’ve been in a pit since I was fifteen, I like dancing but…

There was a shitworker band show, where bands ranged from the pummeling noise and fog machine disorientation of the aptly named Celine Dion, to the post-punk almost Zounds-esque Rank/Xerox. And another inadvertent shitworker show, featuring the very sketchy geezers (in both US and UK senses of the words), Young Offenders, and the return of the two Allans, post-Giant Haystacks with the tense herk’n’jerk of Airfix Kits. Anyway I could just list every band that played each show, but I won’t, except to say that Crime were great. Seeing them at a seedy venue with a non-pro-sound pro-attitude soundsystem made them make so much more sense as band that exists now. Thanks to all the bands, and people who came out and supported the fest and the cause! It was fucking exhausting but worth it…

You may wonder why we are accepting tax-deductible donations nowadays. We recently got sent this book, Gimme Something More, which is an oral history of punk in the Bay Area, in the tradition of We Got the Neutron Bomb or Please Kill Me. I don’t think the editors are punks, and you can tell that they focused on more sensationalist aspects of the scene and its history, plus it’s published by a major corporation, so you won’t be reading a review of it in these pages. But the chapter on MRR left me trying to imagine what it must have been like running the magazine at a point in time when it had so much money it was able to give the excess away to other zines, and projects, (like Gilman St) that the magazine aligned with politically and punk-ically. We are definitely not in that position at this point in time. We are getting by, but it’s another era of the magazine, for print media, record stores and book stores in general. We get several emails a month from kids complaining that their local spot has stopped selling Maximum, if this is the case in your town are there any other places that would work? A show space? A skate store? Another bookstore? You can get distro rates if you order five or more of the magazine, and getting a subscription makes it even cheaper than buying it from the newsstand, and you get it before it hits said newsstands. I wanted to write more about the magazines financial situation, but maybe another time…

Thanks to the Mydolls for replacing MRR’s lost Mydolls vinyl (see story on them in the TX punk article) and to Michael for all the scans of the early punk girl zines! So amazing...

new issue of MRR!


Decade-End Top Tens Issue! The first issue of the decade seems a good place to discuss the music of the decade we are leaving. MRR #320, the January 2010 issue, features numerous MRR columnists, shitworkers, and reviewers pontificating on what went before musically, the platters that mattered in the—what do we call ‘em—the zeroes? We also have interviews with cover stars from Japan, D-CLONE, Olympia, Washington’s BROKEN WATER, Montreal’s COMPLICATIONS and street punk from the UK, courtesy of CONTROL. We talk with author Ian Glasper, who has just finished a three volume series on the UK underground, starting from the spiky punk of the early ’80s in Burning Britain, then moving onto the anarcho-punk scene with The Day the Country Died, and ending up with a book on the UK hardcore scene of the late ’80s, Trapped in a Scene. And as always, we feature the most extensive punk music review section in print, plus all yer usual columnists… The cover was designed by Randy Ransome.

Get this issue of MRR here: http://maximumrocknroll.com/2009/12/06/mrr320/

Monday, December 14, 2009

no room at the inn

I think this may be the shortest column I have ever written—we ran outta room, so you’re getting a digested version of my epic struggles this month. What’s been going on you may ask? I have been debating internally as to whether I wanna go see the Raincoats, who are playing the same weekend as Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, somewhat randomly, at separate revival shows. Two opposing ideas of women in music that emerged outta the dank steam of the punk rock. Lydia Lunch and Gina Birch? Wimmin in musique. I have to give a talk at a local literary event about MRR, which is making me nervous. I am an awkward and obnoxious human—how am I gonna translate the aims, past, present and future of this rag you hold in yer hands to the type of crowd that attends such occurrences? What we do is secret!

Monday, November 2, 2009

this is skinny. I don't feel like formatting it. sorry dudes

Hanging out listening to the first Gray Matter
12”, talking about the Dischord bands you
missed out on because you heard some later
record that did not encapsulate their greatness…
Though I guess that could apply to anything,
any sound, any idea, any band that started out
hardcore and decided that hair metal was the
future. I like listening to Revolution Summer
music, it just sounds nostalgic to me. Reminds
me of being a teenager, skating to see hardcore
bands play, trading zines, feeling dramatic, you
know the scoop. Things are different now, they
were different then, that time is just a memory,
rewritten to suit how one wants to regard ones
youth. Skip the endless boredom and feelings
that you’re never gonna get outta this goddamn
town, just a snapshot of walking down the street
with your best friend, both listening to the Rites
of Spring tape on separate walkmans.
I have been thinking about growing old and
staying punk a whole lot while putting this issue
together. How things change and stay the same.
There have been so many discussions about
queerness in punk and hardcore, the shifts from
the era that I got into hardcore until now, how
the internet has wiped out penpals and perzines.
Where are the girl gangs that Bikini Kill talked
about, that were gonna rule all towns? Punk is
ruthless, culture is ruthless, things are deified,
museum quality pieces, until they are no longer
needed or remembered and they disappear. Riot
Grrrl, queer core, XChicksUpFrontPosX—does
your girl gang need a name in order to do its
work, or is it OK just to labor on in the trenches,
no affiliations, no straight edge lady crew to run
with, no secret society of drunk dykes in the pit?
Can you explain why it’s cool for women and
queers to claim this tiny piece of space as their
own in the “scene?” Can you explain for the fiftieth
time why women cannot be sexist to men?
How easy it is for some guy to shut down the
conversation with one dismissive remark? How
having a network of other punk girls and queers
talking about the shit that gets them down about
the scene that they love isn’t gonna wreck some
nervous white boys world? Though maybe it
should. You just have to accept the shit to be part
of this right? You have to accept the drunken
insults and shutdowns, the thoughtless remarks
and casual dismissals. People leave, they abandon
ship because it gets tiresome and boring
always being on the defensive. Just because that
girl you know, or your one queer friend doesn’t
have any problems with sexism or homophobia
in the hardcore punk scene must mean that it
doesn’t exist. Right?
I know people dismiss the ’90s punk personal-
is-political years as being one long boring
workshop at a fest with a bunch of bands that
whined more than they played, but for me at
least coming of age in that calling-you-on-yr-shit
culture made me think about what I was taught,
and interrogate what punk and hardcore offered
me as a girl.
It’s weird sitting here writing this shit, month
after month, year after year, thinking about
when I first moved here, in ’03 and starting shitworking
for the mag that I am now coordinator
of. We went to two shows this week, one in
someone’s kitchen in the Mission, where a
bunch of pop punk bands played, then Libyans
took the floor, and as is the case whenever I see
a great band at a show such as this, totally
reminded me of why I am still here. Total
destruction basement hardcore with the raddest
lady vocals, the right sound in a room full of
psyched kids… Then another touring band,
Portland’s Silent Majority, playing with Culture
Kids and Fugitive Kind at a birthday generator
show at the 16th St BART plaza, a show that didn’t
get shut down until the last possible minute.
We put together a benefit fest, San Francisco’s
Doomed, at the beginning of the month to raise
money for the magazine and for a new all ages
space for san Francisco. There were two or three
shows a night for five consecutive days, with
bands ranging from the Bananas to Crime. MRR
set up a show with Descarados, Adelitas, Rayos
X, Tuberculosis, NN, Send the Dogs and
Conquest for Death, at a bar that because of San
Francisco’s weird licensing laws can put on all
ages shows a couple times a month. You have to
pay extra for security, and it’s true that we raised
way more money at the 21+ bar show, but it was
worth it. I worked door for the first three bands,
(yeah it was an epic show) but caught
Descarados, who were awesome, reminding me
of Revolution Summer desperation mixed with
the fury of Southside Chicago punk. Their 12” is
great, but if you have a chance to see them do it!
Tuberculosis had to cancel due to a run in with
the police shitsystem, though I think I have
raved enough about that band and the inspirational
South Central LA punk scene that they are
part of, along with Rayos X. Hopefully there’s
gonna be a piece in MRR about it all in the not
too distant future, and I know Lengua Armada
are putting out a 7” or two… Watching the kids,
of all ages, races and genders freak the fuck out
in the pit, singing along and dancing, to the most
raging punk sound, of boredom, rage, alienation
and community all at once. Yeah I was not in
there with them, something about punks in their
thirties? Well, to be honest I don’t think I’ve been
in a pit since I was fifteen, I like dancing but…
There was a shitworker band show, where
bands ranged from the pummeling noise and
fog machine disorientation of the aptly named
Celine Dion, to the post-punk almost Zoundsesque
Rank/Xerox. And another inadvertent
shitworker show, featuring the very sketchy
geezers (in both US and UK senses of the words),
Young Offenders, and the return of the two
Allans, post-Giant Haystacks with the tense
herk’n’jerk of Airfix Kits. Anyway I could just
list every band that played each show, but I
won’t, except to say that Crime were great.
Seeing them at a seedy venue with a non-pro
sound pro-attitude soundsystem made them
make so much more sense as a band that exists
now. Thanks to all the bands, and people who
came out and supported the fest and the cause!
It was fucking exhausting but worth it…
You may wonder why we are accepting taxdeductible
donations nowadays. We recently got
sent this book, Gimme Something More, which is
an oral history of punk in the Bay Area, in the
tradition of We Got the Neutron Bomb or Please Kill
Me. I don’t think the editors are punks, and you
can tell that they focused on more sensationalist
aspects of the scene and its history, plus it’s published
by a major corporation, so you won’t be
reading a review of it in these pages. But the
chapter on MRR left me trying to imagine what
it must have been like running the magazine at a
point in time when it had so much money it was
able to give the excess away to other zines, and
projects, (like Gilman St) that the magazine
aligned with politically and punk-ically. We are
definitely not in that position at this point in
time. We are getting by, but it’s another era of the
magazine, for print media, record stores and
book stores in general.
We get several emails a month from kids
complaining that their local spot has stopped
selling Maximum, if this is the case in your town
are there any other places that would work? A
show space? A skate store? Another bookstore?
You can get distro rates if you order five or more
of the magazine, and getting a subscription
makes it even cheaper than buying it from the
newsstand, and you get it before it hits said
newsstands. I wanted to write more about the
magazines financial situation, but maybe another
time… As always layla@maximumrocknroll.
com or whatwewantisfree.blogspot.com for old
columns. Thanks to the Mydolls for replacing
MRR’s lost Mydolls vinyl (see story on them in
the TX punk article) and to Michael for all the
scans of the early punk girl zines! So amazing...

Monday, October 5, 2009

new issue of MRR is out!!!!

Hot off the presses, it’s the November issue of Maximum Rocknroll! This issue features interviews with Spanish distort-punkers DESTINO FINAL, the similarly noisily minded WARNING/WARNING from France, and Mexican punk deconstructionists RATAS DEL VATICANOS. There’s an interview with hardcore legend and CRO MAG, John Joseph and one with the classic genre defining Brazilian hardcore masters RATOS DE PORÃO. Austin, Texas, garage punks HEX DISPENSERS drop us a line, EXPLODE INTO COLORS continue with their post-SLITS/ESG girl-punk experimentation, and we have an Eastern European tour diary from Polish bands ANTIDOTUM and CZOSNEK. The fun doesn’t end there — we’re also covering Canadian hardcore band DISCO ASSAULT, and Chile’s female fronted straightedge hardcore punks FUERA DE LINEA. All of this and the usual columns, news, film and book reviews, plus the most extensive music review section in punk rock!

Get this issue of MRR here: www.maximumrocknroll.com


ALSO!

I did the radio show this week!

http://radio.maximumrocknroll.com/

Layla and Dan stay up late and raid the seven inch box.



Intro song:
BANSHEES – Project Blue

Layla plays a random assortment of new jams
PUTAS MIERDAS – Imagina
GG KING – Drug Zoo
GRASS WIDOW – Tattoo
GUN OUTFIT – Head Enough
FINALLY PUNK – Dear Diary?

Layla plays some new hardcore
WHITE SHIT – Surf Your Life Away
CONDOMINIUM – Barricades
SLICES – I Melt for No-One
HERDS – Windigo
CONDENANDA – Nuevas Raices

Dan Goetz drags out some new stuff also!
ABSURD SYSTEM – Christ War
I HATE THIS – Shapeshifter
NOMOS – The Cunning of Nature
CULT RITUAL – Eat the Police
BROKEN WATER – Boyfriend Hole

Layla digs recent reissues
GAS – League of Golden Maidens
FLERE DØDE PANSERE – Greenham Common
JERK WARD – Angry Salmons
HLM Gang – Autonomie Proletarienne
ELLOS AUN VIVER – Ansias de Poder
KRUG I HUDIK – Helvete

Outro song:
AVENGERS – Cheap Tragedies



AND!!!


T shirt contest winner! Guillem from Barcelona. Randy and Lydia model their new shirts!

We have a new tote bag too-it's all on thee website.


Friday, August 28, 2009

It's not my imagination

I was trying to find a picture of XYX to use to illustrate something on the MRR website, and found a post on a blog about them, the comments section of which contained kids, from their own scene dissing them, and all the other Monterrey punk bands (from Los Llamarada to Ratas Del Vaticano) for being posers. Not only that, but they were accused of being a weak simulation of a sound that other countries do much better, which clearly isn’t the case for any of those bands. And what even does that mean?! Specifically I can’t think of anyone, from some mythical “other country” who does what Ratas Del Vaticano do better, which is to say pummel the audience with an eloquent yet furious and raw punk sound... Their LP is rad, but really does not even come close to capturing the power and energy of seeing them play. Watching a band without a front person can be non-compelling; this band dispels that idea immediately. This was the first time I have seen a band own the stage, without moving at all. They made the Clash look like pantomime dames, their stance combined with true and total spun out fuck you sounds. Hardly anyone was at the show, and I made NN come after band practice, resulting in all of them buying the LP and a five second slam dance. Martin called it when he described them as classic Mexican punk churned up through some raw early Rip Off records style. They fucking ruled and blew me away. If you have a chance to check them out live DO IT. Seriously, go see this fucking band!

XYX played to a similarly sparse crown at San Francisco’s only all ages space, and were similarly crushing, albeit in more of a Godheadsilo style—though to call this band a derivative of anything is to undermine what they do. It’s probably the just the bass and drums only combo that brings to mind that comparison. They are both amazing musicians to watch, and the song writing, particularly on their two 7”s is phenomenal. It’s kind of big and dumb sounding, like a deconstruction of rock music, which after all is what punk is right? And that to me is why their music is so compelling, it’s got this sneer to it and is sorta ugly and stylish, intellectual somehow but dumb in the best way. I liked watching them play at a show they probably weren’t super comfortable playing, being that every other band was an all dude hardcore band of varying types, because it made it clear that they really own their sound and that they have a clear and transmutable band idea they are able to transmit even when out of place…

I can think of few places that have as exciting a scene, at least from an outsider’s perspective as Monterrey right now. I was talking to the kids in Ratas about their other bands, and tapes they’d put out or were putting out, and it was so fucking inspiring, and exemplified to me the punk ideal… Making your own band and sound and scene, representing your friend’s ideas, your community. It’s easy to dismiss what’s happening in your own town as unremarkable compared to mythical scenes that exist elsewhere. People have been doing it since the beginning of time, that feeling of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think that’s what drives people to make something happen, or to throw in the towel, and write off everyone that hasn’t given up as a poser and a rip off. What is punk rock except a rip off anyway? What can you do with three chords? It’s the sound of people figuring out how to make their own sound in the face of shitty, tame rock music…

All of this brings me to one of the most frustrating aspects of punk life in San Francisco—the lack of a decent all ages space! You may have heard rumblings about a five day festival, or rather frenzy that we are putting on in conjunction with Thrillhouse, the purpose of which is to raise the funds to both help Maximum, and to set up a DIY punk run show and community space in San Francisco. I grew up in London, England, where although most shows are held in pubs, you can pretty easily sneak into them from about age 14 and up, since the age limit for drinking is a more reasonable 18 there. And at that time at least there wasn’t a national ID card, so you just had to memorize your fake birth date for the person on the door. I definitely got kicked out of some places for being underage, but they don’t card you unless you try and buy drinks, and I think there might even be some weird law that says it’s ok for kids to go to pubs under certain circumstances… Punk and hardcore are by the kids and for the kids, and 21 and over shows are exclusionary, and bar culture is boring and depressing. MRR columnist and current teenage terror, Brace Belden was unable to attend the aforementioned Ratas Del Vaticano show as a result of his age, along with the fact that his fake ID has a picture of a 60-year-old man on it. 21 as the legal drinking age seems insane to me, I know teenage binge drinkers are a constant tabloid rage subject in the UK, but the fact that you can vote and have sex here at 18, but can’t go see a show at a bar is fucking ridiculous. I went to see Deep Sleep play a couple days ago, same bar as the Ratas Del Vaticano show, and I knew that there would have been at least twice the amount of people there if it had been an all ages show. Having a hardcore show at a bar seems especially inappropriate…

***

So Cissie has announced her decision to move on from MRR this month. I have really enjoyed working with her over this past year, putting together this thing you hold in your hands. Staying up all night the week we go to print, freaking out because we are a couple thousand dollars short on rent and it was due yesterday… The fourteen hour work days and the satisfaction of knowing that we managed to make it happen, whether it’s averting another financial crisis, a printing disaster or finally getting a band we both to love to submit an interview. Running Maximum is easily the most satisfying thing I have ever done. It’s also the hardest I have ever worked; I don’t think you can explain how hard it is until you actually do it. I have worked on the magazine for six years and been close friends with all of the coordinators during that time, and I had no idea until I took on the coordinator challenge what I was getting myself into… Anyway we need you! If you are interested in applying for the position of content coordinator email us, mrr@maximumrocknroll.com and we’ll get you an application. No one gets paid, but you do get to live in the MRR house, amongst the green tape and years of punk rock history…

1-Jerk Ward discography LP (MRR need this if you put this out can you send one for review/the collection?? This band were from the same scene as Neos, similar age and crazed sound...) 2-Mottek–Hypnose LP 3-Dead Clodetes 2nd 7” 4-Skate summer late nights at the DMV 5-Pizza for every meal

Whatwewantisfree.blogspot.com

layla@maximumrocknroll.com

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

we'll walk right through and we'll take it

Anyway I am sitting in my room listening to Tuberculosis, raging female fronted hardcore punk from East LA, and thinking about what an idiot I was for missing them when they played up here with Rayos X (also from East LA) and San Francisco’s own NN. It was, by everyone in attendance’s account, the show of the year, and upon listening to this recording, it’s clear that the weird random anti-social mindset that plagued me that night shoulda been contained... www.myspace.com/rawponxlosangeles is the website that will link you to these kids and their endlessly inspiring activities. A summer tour is planned, that they still need help with some dates; you should make them play your town!
Shit like that is super inspiring to me. Martin and Jose talked about playing the aforementioned show in the NN interview in the last issue of MRR, touching on the idea of punk as an exchange where kids and aging punks get equal inspiration from each other. Rather than one copy-catting the previous generation, and the other being bleary eyed grumpy old man style. Growing old and writing off what the kids are doing? Fuck the “good old days mentality!” That shit is weak, old-man-in-a-sports-bar-by-himself style. Complaint rock! I think what makes punk refreshing compared to other underground r’n’r movements is the aspect of theft, the idea you can take something and re-appropriate it in the subtext of your own life and idea of a good time. Forcing something new out of the old and stale. The post-card punks eternally frozen in time no longer exist; a tourist attraction is not punk. Replicating the past is for those historical re-enactment groups…
Sometimes it feels like the youth are willing to use their sound and scene as a stepping stone to some bogus pseudo-major label boredom, or sneaker sponsorship, but there are always pockets of kids that understand that punk isn’t something you can package. That as soon as you do it loses meaning, becomes an image rather than an idea. It’s depressing to me that the idea of doing something for your community, for reasons other than to make it big have lost currency in other circles. The mid-level indie rock doom of rock festivals, sponsored by sneaker and jean companies—is that what you do this for??? I just read this interview with Beth Ditto, of the Gossip, and while I think she makes a great pop-star, I am slightly irritated at the fact that she feels the need to dismiss the punk scene from whence she came as a collection of people who are achieving nothing because they’re just “preaching to the choir.” I personally do not have a set of goals that can only be achieved by becoming part of the tabloid consciousness, and the playing shows to shithead jocks and vacant trendsetters who just wanna party is also not in my “to do” list. I understand that having transgressive icons in mainstream pop culture is important, but I am not interested in participating in said culture, that’s why I am a punk. That doesn’t make what I’m doing insignificant…
I think it’s also important for punks to be aware of the possibilities of what our culture has to offer, and to not take it for granted. To rise above being a shitty one-dimensional bro-dawg that disparages women and queers. The post ironic Mugger wannabe bro-mags attitude that seems so pervasive currently is tiresome and sometimes makes me wonder why I am still involved in punk.
Here are some current reasons: 1)Destino Final Live and LP 2)Turboslut tape and tourzine 3)Zombie Dogz demo 4)Tuburculosis/Rayos X/Asko CDR sampler 5)Nuclear Family/Secret service: killer Albany punx 6)Foreign Objects demo 7)Mika Miko new LP 8)Skitkids! 9)Dunes! Whatwewantisfree.blogspot.com layla@maximumrocknroll.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

ladytimes

My last two columns have been part of a trilogy based on the feminine rhythm, the sound of the uterus in rock, this is the third and final chapter, for all the wimmin in the place, throw your hands up in despair. A greatest hitz of women in rock, the mishaps and bad puns, the sexist jokes and bad hair days!
1. The Wrecks demo will not be reissued by Grand Theft Audio; the convoluted reason given to this earnest reporter relates to the fact that there are two demo tapes, and a track on an old K! records comp tape! And the songs overlap, and there aren’t enough of them! From the mouth of the source of the knowledge! This seems lame to me, like you only are worth of reissue if you have a double-CD’s worth of material?? Someone do a 7” discography now! (The Wrecks were an all-girl hardcore band from Nevada in the early/mid ’80s, in case you missed my earlier missives)
2. Turboslut broke up! I got an excellent letter and package from the mysterious Beck cursing me for mentioning Heavens To Betsy in the same sentence as her band in a previous column! And also for my callous dismissal of their band name. Interview coming up soon! Legend of thee Turboslut! You can get tapes, a tour zine and a split 12” and you probably should. If you wanna hear the sound of doomed turboslutsavedmylife@gmail.com
3. After getting the MyDolls CD for review in this issue, I suddenly started thinking about that other early ‘80s Austin based girl punk band, The Foams. MRR has a copy of their only 7”, that I currently cannot find of course, but does anyone know what the deal was with this band? Their music is at once charming and sinister, of course they often get compared to The Shaggs, that inept yet confident sound… Do they have anything else? A tape? Need to know! Also need this 7” if you got one?!
4. Apparently there’s a Chalk Circle discography CD in the works, there’s an interview with band member Sharon Cheslow in MRR #298 that details the history of this early ‘80s all-girl DC art-punk band, hangin out in Georgetown… Someone should put that out on vinyl too! A helpful human forwarded me this link, which will lead to Sharon Cheslow’s list of women in punk between 1975 and 1980! A most magnificent resource for all future girl bands to take notes from, and of course, use as ammunition.
www.mindspring.com/~acheslow/AuntMary/bang/wip.html
5. The Brat, East LA’s dreamiest, and the band that define, or rather refine the concept of pop punk also have a discography CD on the way. The picture of them on the cover of the February ‘82 issue of Low Rider magazine is the definition of hip, the band’s stance, Teresa’s presence… A band that looks as good as they sound, that insinuates they have no depth, which is totally not the case. The lyrics are perceptive, politically aware, managing to capture both the lightness and heaviness of youth! From roller skating to state oppression, with grace and style… I am psyched that they are finally gonna get their due. There’s a great interview/retrospective in Razorcake #37, which you can still pick up via their website.
Also! on the MRR stereo with alarming frequency is a tape sent in by Héctor of Cintes Podrides featuring Escroto De Rata and Epidemia…. How much do we heart falling apart desperate Spanish punk? An answer is not necessary. I hear La Vida Es Un Mus are involved somehow in future vinyl production so keep your eyes out.
On the web: whatwewantisfree.blogspot.com or layla@maximumrocknroll.com
You may have noted the back cover, we are working on a new queer punk issue, so if you have an idea for a piece, a secret history, a band you wanna interview, you know the score! The deadline is July 15th. Email or write us!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dear Diary!

This month I watched underage drunk, Brace Belden, and his mutating face watching the Blank Dogs. I also got obsessed with the x_x 7”s, decided it was time to start a band, and had many conversations with different people about Women in Punk and Hardcore. In all caps. It’s a dissertation subject! Your PHD on gender studies and chix in the pit’ll write itself! Or maybe you can write about Riot Grrrl, no one has done that—hell that’s just what the cultural studies field needs. Another thesis about gender ‘n’ punk that focuses on the first, and only all girl youth subculture, aka riot grrrl! Why start a band, or make a zine, when you can write a paper about girls that did that stuff already in the olden days?
The modern age is a tribute to the database, an epic list of things that happened, things that will never happen again, and things you missed out on because of the shitty town you were born in, the shitty year you were born in, and so forth, and so forth. What will people write papers about in the future? That awesome message board discussion about the girls of the late ‘70s Pittsburgh no wave scene, or maybe an analysis of the stage banter of the 50th gen. pizza-thrash skateboard-hardcore revival?
Either way I can’t wait. What about the inevitable coffee table book of all the riot grrrl theses?
***
Here are some bands I will be in very soon, plus several bands that I was in that were just late night long distance telephone conversations: The Teenage Tombs. The Terrible Turncoats. Douche and the Fucking Bags. Nervous Drivers. Fucking French Boyfriends. There are others. I made a list somewhere once. I am also working on a new issue of my fanzine, it’s about women in music, all of our feelings and thoughts compiled in one place.
“Why is the rent always due on the same day, why is the clock always set to the wrong time, and all those other things that conspire against a good time?”
“Girls are the new boys, tag it on cop cars.”
How many hardcore bands are there that are all female? How many all-girl bands consider themselves to be hardcore bands, that are not considered hardcore by “the kids?”
***
How come in The Gender Revolts Simon Reynolds asserts that the Raincoats are the only true “women’s music” that came out of punk? Maybe he adds the Slits to that too. But really? What is women’s music? Stuff that’s ok for Michigan Women’s Fest? Stuff that teenage girls actually wanna listen to? Let’s get essentialist duuuuuuuuude. Feel those feminine rhythms? That’s those Women In Rock! The breakfast of champions. Championed by women rockers only. An exclusive number.
***
Top Ten Women in Rock
1-What Patti Smith has for breakfast
2-How Diamanda Galas feels about Henry Rollins
3-Supermodels wearing Bikini Kill t-shirts on party blogs.
4-All the lady bands that started after they watched Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames.
5-What We Do is Secret. SECRET!
6-That Go-Gos double live bootleg 7”
7-That discography Sharon Cheslow did of every woman in a band between ‘77 and ‘82 that exists somewhere on the internet that I cannot find now.
www.mindspring.com/~acheslow/AuntMary/bang/wip.html
8-That time of the month.
9-Your little sister’s street punk band
10-”Girls should rule all towns” Bikini Kill, 1991.
***
Also!
Is the D-beat a feminine rhythm?
Does anyone even care?
Is Women in Rock the most redundant
phrase? What is rock music at this point?
Sheryl Crow? Joan Jett? A karaoke version of “Kids in America?”
Is there ever going to be a reissue of The Wrecks demo? What about Nog Watt?
Are we gonna drown in irony and the fear of looking stupid or getting ridiculed? Is that why people keep their mouths shut?

Either way, answers on a postcard.
“I Kept it in my bag / Won’t let the authorities have it / Your hot rock / Radiation rock /Meteorite / Outta site!”
Huggy Bear.

Layla at maximumrocknroll dot com

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cult Ritual




this is the next issue of MRR, I designed the cover.

It's not out yet...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dudes!!

Check out the new maximum rocknroll website! We are gonna have an even better one this summer...

www.maximumrocknroll.com

Friday, April 3, 2009

You’ll never see your face in a magazine.

“I was involved in the U.S. hardcore scene through writing, rather than touring. Anne and I worked on one of the earliest DC hardcore zines, Now What?, published in 1981 by Sarah Woodell. Then I became pen pals with guys all over the US through Colin Sears’ and my zine If This Goes On. There was this great network of fanzine writers who were also in punk bands, but they were all guys. My whole attitude was that I didn’t want to be a groupie, I wanted to participate as an equal. I communicated with Thurston Moore who had just started Sonic Youth and did Killer, Barry Hennsler of the Necros who did Smegma Journal, Bob Moore who was in Rebel Truth for a bit, did Noise and ran the label Version Sound, and one of the guys from Jody Foster’s Army who did Phenis. We all just found each other by reading each other’s zines.” (Sharon Cheslow, MRR # 298)

The first fanzine I ever got was because I read a blurb about Bikini Kill in Sassy magazine, an alternateen mag from ye olde ‘90s, and sent off for the zine mentioned. Soon after I read about Huggy Bear, based in my hometown London, who it seemed did a zine for every show they played in the early days at least, and thus my introduction to the world of xeroxed missives. Also trading zines with a lot of sXe girl pen pals at various expensive liberal arts schools in small towns of the American mid-west, as I got more into hardcore. I did my first zine when I was 13, called Drop Babies, which shifted into a more skate and hardcore orientated zine called Chimps, which I theoretically still do. There were always way more girls making zines than making bands, and I always think of how lucky I was as an isolated punk teenager in that era, so many fanzines to send off for and kids to write. Anyway, as we were putting this issue together I was reading a bunch of old zines from different eras, old Pettibon zines, Touch and Go, Forced Exposure and Tobi Vail’s Jigsaw, the Huggy Bear made Reggae Chicken and Parlez-Vous Code Fucker, thinking about the shifting meaning of punk and the different ways of representing it in paper form. We wanted this issue to be something you would pick up, and be inspired to make your own zine, but not just any zine. One that represents what punk is and can be—reactionary and transgressive, creepy and hilarious, political and moronic. Or none of those words...
I think Janelle says it best in the interview with her contained within; something along the lines that hopefully blogs have weeded out all the self-important bloated per-zine types. And thus, NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO WRITE YOUR WEIRDO TREASTISE! Ten page article on the Wipers guitar sound? The punk ladies of East LA? Staying up all night at the donut store? Your all-girl skate gang? I think the secret is to cover what you want to happen, your ideas and adventures rather than making a “grrrl zine” or a “coffee and hitchhiking and bad emo zine.” It’s so fucking depressing reading the same dude’s zine over and over—about travelling the west coast whilst reading Cometbus and Kerouac and drinking diner coffee and having many life changing revelations.
I wanted to write a piece about the secret history of girl zines—Sharon’s quote at the start of this made me think about how zines were such important currency in the early hardcore scene, and yet how transient and disposable they are in comparison to records. Since zines are a primary way that women contribute to punk culture, our ideas and contributions disappear as the moms of former punks make them clear out their bedrooms. I like the idea of punk not being set in stone, kept up forever, flowers by the gravestone in memoriam to old ideas and happenings. But it’s also depressing, like unless Sharon and Cynthia had put together the Banned in DC book I would have had no idea that women were so instrumental in the construction of that scene, because there’s no discography of girl written hardcore zines you know? But then I also get bugged out about getting contacted by endless academics looking to write a book about Riot Grrrl, which I would like to be regarded in the same way as punk, where new generations of girls make it their own, form it in their own image if that makes sense. Rather than ossifying it and making it into some weird postcard punk thing that you must adhere to or else you are doing it wrong! It should be a template for girl punk culture maybe, but just as a basis that you can and should do something, not as a rule book or a formal guide line if that makes sense…
I wrote to a friend from from England who put together a super awesome zine called New Britain, in the early ‘90s because I had this vague recollection of him writing about this teenage girl who made her own zine, in the Crass/anarcho era of English punk, which combined bands she liked and weird hair style tips. He had no memory of this article, so maybe I invented it, but I have carried the idea with me that alongside the forever memorialized Sniffin’ Glue there were secret fanzine girls at work. And there were; one of the women that helped set up the Huggy Bear/Bikini Kill tour that changed my 14 year old life did a zine in ‘77 called Jolt focusing on women’s contributions to punk, and sexism in the scene.
“The very fact that rock, the so-called rebel culture, has always been completely male-dominated just goes to show once more that if there’s one person more oppressed than a teenage boy it’s a teenage girl”
(Lucy Toothpaste, Jolt)
Apparently the Slits went round to her house to hang out after reading the zine, which is so fucking cool. The ultimate punk nod of recognition! The insert to the Ultimo Resorte discography that just came out has a picture of a zine called Femzine, which instantly made me freak out. Created by Dena, an American who moved to England, it was an early ‘80s hardcore zine focusing on women’s involvement in the scene. It featured Vulpess, Sadonation, Ultimo Resorte, and the Wrecks amongst others, and I think maybe there are PDFs of it available online somewhere?? Not sure! I know you can download Dena’s contributions to Flipside via that Operation Phoenix records website, and there’s a cool lady punks in Europe guide from the same era.
It’s a paradox, on one hand the endless coffee table books and talking heads reliving their epic hardcore pasts have made me weary, but then I also am totally consumed by the ephemera of old era punk and hardcore and find it frustrating that only Riot Grrrl ever makes it into any of the books. And that just fits the right boxes, the first all girl youth subculture? I’ll write my MA thesis on that fer sure! It makes me think of how people would say that finally punk ‘made it’ when Green Day and Nirvana did, as if those bands signify such a thing, and the day punk ‘makes it’ is the day punk dies. What we do is secret! Anyway, this is as always just a rambling list of things I have been thinking about but what is more important is that you need to do a fanzine! Seriously, secret society of girls, time to represent your up all night skate sessions and bedroom bands…
Whatwewantisfree.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Off the Hook

Sitting in my room a million miles from anyone I am related to; Israel is decimating the Gaza strip, someone on eBay has bid up a Fingers 7” to five thousand dollars with five days to go. Meanwhile in the land of the brave, I just ate a burrito and am listening to the new Lebenden Toten LP. The part in “Youth of America” when Greg Sage says, “I don’t wanna be born here again / Do you wanna be born here again / This ain’t no existence...” Consumption doesn’t pay when you have nothing to say at two in the morning. Nothing left to buy so why even go to work. The world is about to end and it’s gonna take us out with it. People losing their jobs and living in car park communities, millionaires not being able to afford Lear jets, aging dowager aunts being cheated out of their retirement funds by Ponzi schemists, Pakistani truck drivers being killed by militants on the Khyber Pass because the US doesn’t provide security for them once they’ve delivered their goods to the army bases. Who is “us” anyway? People who didn’t go to grad school that work shitty minimum wage jobs? People with expensive educations making value judgments on those without? The mythical private liberal arts colleges and Ivy League schools where rich girls are formed, and those there on scholarships learn to exclude previous life experiences or to form combative identities based on said experiences… The worst. I spent Xmas making cookies and listening to the Eskorbuto song “Ha Ilegado el Momento (el fin)” over and over. Posh enough for you? Does one ever get over class resentment? Over the fact that grad school or even university isn’t a given in the world I come from? The parents that pay the bills. Doomed till the grave to minimum wage?
So say a sneaker company gives your band free shoes a few times a month, and maybe when you played a record release show for your LP a beer company sponsored the night, and shit, you don’t make any money at your ‘real’ job, so fuck it right? I mean that’s a kind of freeganism (barf!) and hey—you’re totally getting free shit from corporations, sticking it to the man and so forth. The total joy of having to explain why MRR doesn’t review bands on, or distributed by, major labels, and why MTV also negates your band. Mostly to people that should know better. It’s strange to exist in a time where careerist musicians who wanna make it also want the “credibility” of DIY and/or being in MRR. A weird sense of deja-vu—maybe it’s the fact that grunge is back? If your band has a publicist and plays South by Southwest shows sponsored by Levis jeans why do you need MRR? Something that does not exist to provide cred for bands on their way up to the flaccid indie circuit—it’s for bands and people and scenes that exist outside of that world, for the kids by the kids. Not for bands looking for fans, that ultimately wanna play Clear Channel owned venues. That sounds like that part in Decline…where the kid talks about The Cramps coming to town and charging a million dollars and only playing over 21 venues only so the punks can’t go. It’s hard to talk about shit like this without sounding like a cardboard cut out punk-rocker™ and maybe it’s because the generation after mine came of age in an era that wasn’t defined by the Dischord ethic. More to come on this fascinating subject in the future, times a million.
When the idea of something takes the place of anything actually happening, like No Age talking about “DIY” culture on MTV, like KBD hardcore bonzer record speculation, another coffee table about punk rock ephemera, your memories, your talismans, a conversation you had. Like worrying about the lack of ideals in the punk community when children are scrambling for the scraps of corn that drop off the back of delivery trucks in famine ridden Zimbabwe. As if bemoaning the fact that the punks would rather discuss broken Koro 7”s and figure out how to perfectly mimic Power of Expression means anything in the face of total global catastrophe. It’s like the stereotype of parents telling their kids they gotta eat—think of the starving children and so forth, as though the starving children will be affected at all by that days meatloaf consumption, or lack of. As if the kid will be affected by the starving children, an idea, an impossibility in the face of being chauffeured to school in an SUV, and gallon size mayonnaise jars and televisions bigger than windscreen windows.

* * *

All I Gotta Say Is the Kids Don’t Care
1. There’s an all-girl Dead Moon cover band in town called Dead Poon. Not sure what I think about that.
2. Héctor of Spanish punk band Otan did the cover this month, and when we got the proof back from the printer we suddenly realized that it was highly unlikely that any prison readers would actually get copies of the magazine as a result of said cover. So we’ve designed a special, ltd. edition prisoner only cover for this month, which you will only see if you are currently serving time. We often get the magazine sent back to us, returned to sender from prisons for the most random reasons—one example being the issue with the Carbonas on the cover. They’re holding skateboards and looking dirty and goofy, one of them wearing a beret and a striped shirt—that was rejected by an Orange County jail for featuring ‘gang signs.’
3. The Embarrassment LP for when you’re in the mood for some tetchy sounding Midwestern art punk.
4. Paco is reissuing the Ultimo Resorte discography. If you are in the mood for circa ’79 desperate sounding Spanish punk with the best lady vocals you should send off for it! There’s a great interview with the band in the June ’07 MRR (#289) and I know both me and Golnar have played the shit out of their music on MRR radio if you wanna check it out. www.lavidaesunmus.com
5. Moss Icon demo
6. Lebenden Toten – Near Dark LP. Holy shit. Chanel’s voice. Someone interview this band for MRR!
7. Trying to figure out if I still like Mika Miko, maybe I’ll have to reserve judgment until the LP comes out, but the vocals and feel of that stupid Sub Pop members (or eBay only) 7” were not quite it for me… Not sure what the difference is.
8. Arguing with Hubbs about the drums on Is This My World? He says it’s like having Yngwe Malmsteen in a hardcore band, in short a virtuoso who ruins the band. I say: Listen to that record! Undeniable.
9. Finnish Spunk LP
10. whatwewantisfree.blogspot.com my columns on thee web.
Layla at maximumrocknroll.com is the email at which I can be reached—insert lousy correspondent disclaimer.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

nasal boys

A lot of times when you have to make a difficult decision regarding the magazine, there’s an unmistakable voice in the back of your mind intoning, “Tim wouldn’t have done it that way,” or something to that effect. Certain things about the way that the magazine is run are set in stone, most of them for good reason. This isn’t Punk Rock Confidential, so even though we could use the revenue, you aren’t gonna see advertisements for Ramones baby-wear or Social D sneakers anytime soon... We always get into long conversations about whether or not something is punk—or, if it is punk, is it Maximum? Are the Young Marble Giants punk in a way that means they can exist in the same review section as Terveet Kädet? Really? There are reviews of SPK and Diamanda Galas records in early issues of MRR...
One thing that always struck me as a little strange was the fact that there was only one Fugazi record in the record collection. That band shaped how I view punk and DIY culture, and I see them as very much a part of the same idea of punk that MRR represents. It’s well known that a lot of the records missing from MRR’s record library were either rejected or purged because of Tim’s own preferences and prejudices—it was his own personal collection, after all... In recent years, in order to fill these holes, we have in one way or another replaced a lot of classic punk records that he deemed unsuitable—in this issue we have a review of the Raincoats’ debut LP, just reissued on KRS, which was not kept in the collection (though their first 7” was). And Dischord kindly send copies of all the Fugazi records we are missing earlier this month. If you are interested in seeing a list of some of the records we are missing and want to acquire, you can email mrr at maximumrocknroll.com. At some point we hope to have a database of the entire collection online, when our computer wizards are finished with this mammoth task. If you are interested in doing shitwork relating to that, feel free to email our web coordinator Paul here: paul at maximumrocknroll.com.
One of the benefits of visiting MRR or becoming a shitworker here is the ability to make tapes from the insane record collection, with every GG Allin and Velvet Underground record you can imagine, plus all the raddest obscurities, from Mexican synth-punks Size to Pittsburgh lady art-punkers Dress Like Natives. If worst comes to worst and MRR ever does cease to exist, we intend on setting up some sort of arrangement with a library to make sure that the collection is available for anyone who wants access to it for such purposes.
Whatwewantisfree.blogspot.com is where my old columns go to die on the internet. layla at maximumrocknroll.com is where I can be found.