Friday, September 10, 2010

random hippie dirge

This is a collection of random things that sprung into my brains. This is not an epic Greek poem, or a Victorian novel, this is not New Journalism, this is not bathroom graffiti. Random brains. Brain springs. We tried to watch the bio-pic cheezecore movie about Dogtown—not the Stacey Peralta documentary, but the movie with actors aping it. It was the sort of movie that whilst watching you wondered how no one involved realized how stupid and corny it was. As a punk I love teensploitation movies, from River’s Edge to Foxes, Out of the Blue to Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains, but I was not able to transmit this love into the transformation of belief required to finish watching the absolute soiled turkey that was Lords of Dogtown. Someone ollies out of their second story bedroom in one of the first scenes, an act of very believable activity for this era of skateboarding especially on a banana board. I didn’t go see the Germs movie or American Hardcore; I probably shoulda seen the latter just for big screen dynamic eye catching ferocious footage of best bands ever. I just got so annoyed by the book I figured the movie would feature that idiot that wrote it in such a way that I might need to rip my eyeballs out after viewing. Maybe movies about culture that you feel a part of that are made for mainstream appeal should just be avoided unless it’s the midnite movie and you got a crew of rowdies? “That guy would not have been wearing a Misfits shirt! Jeez... what year is this supposed to be etc etc etc” At any rate, what do you guys this about the Tater Totz 7” that Cherie Currie sings on? That also has that insane Pat Smear led overblown cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”?
When I first starting doing shitwork at MRR there was some random hippie dirge carved into the sidewalk in front of the house. Something about the spiral tribe? The viral tribe? I have forgotten what it said exactly but it included a shitty mosaic that an angry punk smashed at some point. The city redid the sidewalk, not before a scam punk carved something marking his or her presence... And someone across the street has carved in a selection of sidewalk penises. Or penii? Sidewalk messages. I am currently sitting in my room listening to the Sublime Frequency reissue of Dara Puspita, an insanely good Indonesian all girl garage band from the ‘60s. On headphones... Looking through the booklet that came with the CD and reading about how these musicians suffered for their art via brutal government oppression, weekly grillings, where they were forced to play their hits to assorted officials who would deem whether a song was too wild for the youth of Indonesia... and yet their music is at once liberated sounding, fun and refreshing. The music is sorta Girls in the Garage stylee, except these girls actually played their instruments, they were not just dollybird frontgirls with faceless session musicians or puppets performing some small town producer’s idea of rocknroll. Some of the music borrows hooks from contemporary western rocknroll songs, but they totally transform it into their own sound somehow... Cool.

I have been, as always, been thinking about girl sounds. MRR puts on a show one a month (third Thursday at Balazo!) and this month I think nearly every band had a female musician—one, Mothercountry Motherfuckers, wore masks so I was unable to discern gender. Genderpolice. In the style of previous Mike Kirsch bands witnessed by these eyes, they had a full multi media projection thing behind them and a sorta NOU-ish manifesto band thing going. I like it a lot more than Baader Brains and am excited to get a hold of a tape or other recorded artifact when it surfaces. Former member of John Henry West! No Statik are a reasonably new Bay Area band, I mighta written about them before? Not sure, at any rate I believe a record is to appear on Prank soon enough, but you can and should send off for the demo before that. So good. Most raging female local fronted hardcore since Look Back and Laugh? Possibly, could be due to the ex member of... The ex member of list for this band is sorta epic, but let’s just say they play tight and raging hardcore at volumes and with vigor that make paying attention to anything else futile. Then there was the incredible Necro Hippies show at Thrillhouse, which also featured Diane’s new band Livid, (Diane, soon to be former distro coordinator of this thing you currently hold... More on that in a bit), Livid were the best kind of basement punk, with the most compelling frontwoman, total Alice Bag delivery… The rest of the band had their own rhythm and idea of punk, so it made for a most killer combination with the snarled and stuttered vocals. Really had a most enchanting Dangerhouse situation and the idea that they have just recorded a tape makes this girl extremely happy for the state of Bay Area music. And yep, you read right, Diane is leaving the distribution coordinator position at MRR; Fred Schrunk of Thrillhouse Records will be taking over, starting in July, so if you wanna start selling MRR at shows or at your skate shop you should email Fred rules and is a long time architect of San Francisco punk, setting up the collectively run all volunteer record store and sometime show space Thrillhouse, and also tirelessly searching for a new and legit all ages space for San Francisco. We are super excited to have him as part of the coordinator power trifecta. Back to the show—Necro Hippies ruled, playing trashed out basement hardcore, timeless and true. They have a record on Raw Sugar records out of New Orleans, where they are from, and Candice, the guitarist is involved in a cool all girls show collective No More Fiction… Hardcore for the hardcore.
Anyway-listen to the song “Chronic Thoughts” by Malefice, and I promise next month this column will be less a collection of brain sewage and more a cohesive dissertation of reality.
layla at

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