We put this magazine together as the MRR house was being worked on—the mortar between the bricks is slowly seeping out, then the water heater broke. Cissie packed up her
things to move to Portland whilst training Mariam who just got here from Chicago. Diane’s band, Opt Out, with shitworkers Robert Collins, Dan Goetz and Trash recorded a demo. People leaving, things falling apart, bands recording, epic changes and endless disasters. We have been listening to Lullabies Make the Brain Grow, Feel the Darkness, Killed by Death #3 and Electrify Me on repeat, caffeinating our brains to full capacity and attempting to get shit done without letting the chaos that currently surrounds us overtake us…
It’s hard to understand or explain the amount of work that this job entails until you actually have to do it. I have been working on the magazine since ’03, but I had no idea how much work my friends who were coordinators did until suddenly I sat surrounded by green taped records, at 3am realizing our sales taxes were due tomorrow,
the layout I was working on just crashed, the roof above the coordinator desk is leaking and no one’s picked up mail for a week… Sometimes we sit from morning coffee until long after the rest of the world has gone to sleep, forgetting to eat, working on this thing. The stress of not knowing if we are going to make rent, all adding to the dreamy and endless interpersonal conflicts that arise in an all volunteer punk
live/work environment… Making this thing you hold in your hands is one of the most satisfying yet also the most difficult and most frustrating things I have ever
done. Getting to interview people that I respect, from Raymond Pettibon to Sharon Cheslow, figuring out who we should interview when we did the Film Issue, working with punks all over the world to make our culture what it is. All of this shit is transformative, but as insinuated above, it’s also absolutely exhausting. Cissie is
leaving San Francisco, and Maximum for Portland, and I will miss her tireless work ethic, her insanely extensive musical knowledge, her sense of humor and the hours of working together to put out the magazine every month. Her band, Vaccuum, with three shitworkers (yep you guessed it—Robert Collins plays in this one too, along with Vinnie Larussa and Daiki) played their last show, and made a demo last week. (It’s
reviewed in the demo section—send off for it punx!) The show was nearly all shitworker
bands, and watching Tim Brooks yell at little Phil from the audience, while his band Airfix Kits killed it on stage, while Bruce Roehrs actually stayed for all the bands that played, reminded me why I love doing this shit. A random collection of people who have incredibly different political views, musical tastes, ways of operating that can somehow work together for no reward other than making punk happen and, you know,
this magazine happen.
Tuberculosis / Rayos X / Poliskitzo / Des Madres El Crisis at Balazo. Tuberculosis’ first song, which I think you can watch on the LA Raw Ponx MySpace—the whole show is up
there—was one of the most incrdible inspiring things I have seen so far this year. As was Opt Out / Jump Off a Building / Duck and Cover at Thrillhouse. The punk community here can feel super alienating and disparate, but at these two shows I felt like something was happening, something worth participating in... Sort of a random column this month, written in chaos, panic and disorder.
Anyway as always I am here:layla at maximumrocknroll.com