Thee olde toppe tenne! Cut in half, bargain bin stylee.
1-The mysterious NZ comp 12” that Graham Booth tantalized my ears and brains with, it came out sometime in 1980/1981, featured mostly girl punk bands, had weird blue, kind of psychedelic cover that sort of resembled a ‘70s curtain more than a black light painting if ya know what I’m saying. At any rate I didn’t bother to write anything down—band names, who needs em. I had an idea of the comp title and record label, and assumed I could use the power of the computer search tools available in modern life to
find out more. How wrong I was! There is nothin’ anywhere about this artifact, the search led me to the absolutely insane and amazingcore Y2K Axemen blog. The maniac New Zealand band have provided a most excellent resource and time suck rabbit hole of doom, theaxemen.wordpress.com, into which I suggest you throw yourself if you are interested in downloading tapes of pre-Shoes This High bands, looking at eye damaging art and finding out which over the counter medicines have psychedelic properties. In short if you need to know about New Zealand punk weirdos and the things they conceived of during the ‘80s through ‘til now, that place is a good starting point. I am being purposely vague here, but if anyone knows what I am talking about in regards to this
record and can tape it for me, we would be friends for life. No lie.
2-”Peer Pressure was a Santa Cruz band (1980-1981) involving Kathy McVey, Rosemary Gilman and Patricia Gleseke. Kathy and Rosemary had sat in on some Waybacks shows and then decided to start their own band. They were “driving along and there was this girl standing there at the stoplight with drumsticks in her pocket, and we go ‘Hey, you wanna be in a band?’“ The girl was Patricia. John Peel played their song “I’m
Adult” so often on his radio show that they received fan mail from England.” It sounds like a less rock Bush Tetras, it’s much more shambolic (and thus punker), but with that similar band idea. At any rate of course I couldn’t find much more info about them, beyond an aging Santa Cruz punk Facebook page. I like the idea of the band forming out of some version of the punk nod, one adapted for punk girls…
3-I was going to go see Chain and the Gang, Ian Svenonius’ new band, which I have yet to hear, but alas the excursion was not possible. I have been listening to a lot of tapes recently, as I have a Walkman rather than an iPod, (due to bank balance deficiencies rather than luddite tendencies) and I’ve been listening to these Nation of
Ulysses tapes I got in the dollar bin at Amoeba. I was obsessed with NOU as a kid, and only didn’t go see them play because I was grounded when they played London. The Cupid Car Club 7” is pretty perfect too, but not so much his later stuff. Walking to work listening to NOU makes me want to form a band, a secret society. I have been attempting to get rid of some of the ephemera I carry around with me, the epic piles of fanzines and fliers and magazines that clutter my room and become the bane of my life when I have to move… The gas station jacket, probably last worn in ’95, complete with mottled Heroin patch? Do I need this artifact? Sassiest Boy in America? Nostalgia will sink us all.
4-The Plugz–“Mindless Contentment.” The punk song that gets stuck in my head the most is GG Allin’s “1980s RocknRoll.” This is not the best thing that has ever happened to me. I also get these classic numbers rattling around my thoughts on a way too frequent basis: “You’re so Stark / Raving normal” and also, “No hope for you / No hope for anyone / No hope for the wretched.” If you don’t know the words to these things and they do not reverberate around your skull like an endless woeful infomercial, consider
yourself blessed. This month however I have had the Plugz in my brains, which is quite pleasant.
5-Nu Sensae live. Holy shit. People mentioned Godheadsilo, which also happened when XYX
played. Bass and drums? Reasonably heavy? Pigeon holed! The singer/bassist was sort of
reminiscent of Linda Manz in Out of the Blue. The drummer’s style is transformative, and made me think of listening to Is This My World? It’s not sludge, it’s not no wave, it’s not AmRep, nor KRS, but just heavy interesting music played well with an incredible female vocalist.
layla at maximumrocknroll.com