Thursday, April 28, 2011

Guys are obscene / Vile and unclean

Bands need to stop reuniting. Start a new band, a new idea is better than soiling the memory of what you had, of attempting a new reincarnation of something for an audience that demands entertainment in a variety where they know what to expect... or else. People find solace in repetition, in a ritual that they can feel part of where they know what is going to happen next, like watching a rerun of a favorite TV show. Is that what you want out of punk? An all expenses reunion show covers the plane tickets, half original members half original audience, let’s get together for a group photo... Rock around the clock, authentic, established and guaranteed. Sponsored by a youth orientated corporation in exchange for all the personal details of all the attendees; there will be free beer for all.
I have a better idea, maybe write about it, in the style of Richard Meltzer/Lester Bangs/Pushead/another authentic rock scribe. Let the spittle hit the typewriter keys, recapture the days when there was something to be captured, the flaccid entity of rock music compressed into a bile filled sentence that will make all the readers deflate and expand at the same time. Elevate the most average bloke rock reenactment society into something that really meeeeans somethin’ maaan. Or you could blog it. There’s a coffee shop I go to sometimes and one of the guys that works there wears a Triumph motorcycle t-shirt that’s exactly the same as the one Dylan wears on the cover of Highway 61. As if wearing this totem will somehow... do something, bring him closer to that thin high mercury sound. If you simulate something, the right clothes, the sound, the correct collection of references does it make it happen?

“The Godhead. Reminds me of Teddy and the Fratgirls or the Foams in the sense that one gets the notion that these must have been fun gals to hang out with or date. The timeless splendor of the arty urban misfit girl: Her goofy charm and no-holds-barred enthusiasm for all that she found weird, interesting or sexually appetizing. A toast to the art school weirdo outcast girls of the world: May they forever paint their room black or read Hermann Hesse to you in bed! The music is wild, out of control amateuristic slop goes from Electric Eels fuzzed out haterock to drumkits thrown down the stairs to minimal teen-angst and then back. Beautiful stuff. Got this in trade from Thurston Snore for some boring free jazz records back in the day. What a chump!” Johan Kugelberg

This is in reference to the Pervers / Deutscher Abschaum record, technically a split 7” though members of Pervers were also in Deutscher Abschaum. I read an interview with Beta, who was in both bands, where she talks about MRR giving them a great review. I couldn’t figure out if she was talking about a tape if that 7”, but alas, neither are in the collection for me to investigate at this point in time. This record is sinister, dark and otherworldly, really evocative and powerful, not just “crazy wild ladypunk!” All of which mean this is obviously a top want for me, not because I have sexual fantasies about wild crazy girls who play totally like, free music but because... I want to listen to those sounds and be transported out of a world in which the possibilities that women create in aural form are easily packaged up by a record kollector/kritic into “would DO her, she sounds WIIIILD!” It’s just so rad and refreshing to always have your do-ability factioned into every thing you will ever write, record, create as a fresh wild female punker, and it really adds to the music too. To know that basement dwellin’ record skunks would like, totally like to go back in time and bang the Foams. I got into music, into underground DIY punk and hardcore music specifically because of the possibilities that existed with limited resources. What people could do with one or two chords is more interesting than an avalanche of shredding guitar center solo bro-hymns. From Huggy Bear to Sheer Smegma, from Glueams to Neos, Noh Mercy to Flipper. Electric Eels! Void! X_X! What punks come up with on their own terms, with the limitations of cheapness/broke-ness, a lack of resources and access to the rock vocabulary creating it’s own method of speaking. Different languages. When stupid shit, casual flippant misogyny, the endless jock mentality impedes on this invented world it’s... frustrating.
There’s this scene in The Great Rock’n’roll Swindle, where they have some sorta fake ad for Vicious Burgers, reiterating that this is a product, a financial scheme enabling you to buy into the punk rock wholesale. GG, Sid, Lemmy, Iggy, Stiv, just pick a sneer and run to the bank. No need to shift your focus or way of doing things, just buy in! Punk rock’n’fuckin’ roll baby. Punky chips ahoy. You have been given your instructions, now follow them! The legions of drones who think of punk as being this way, an outfit, an FU that meant something maybe in 1978 but now!? Is it a retread? I think of all the crazy girl bands that formed in the wake of punk rock, of post-punk and new wave, no wave and so forth, who found something that worked for them that they could mutate… and how no matter what they created the constraints of their gender is reflected back at them. “Punk is all about not giving a fuck bro, fuck the PC police!” Who gets the freedom to “not give a fuck!?” and how come not giving a fuck basically means not having to think about how your shitty aggro-dude behavior could possibly be alienating to punks who would love to “not give a fuck” but unfortunately due to the constraints of gender, sexuality and or race are not given that option. This train of thought brought to you by the trolls that populate the MRR facebook page. It’s depressing how many men whose opinions are reflected in the mainstream media also seem to need punk…
I had a teacher who claimed that if there were a referendum in regards to abortion it would be made illegal, if there were one about bringing back hanging it would of course be made legal. The people of Britain would have their say; kill the rotten, save the innocent balls of cells. Reading internet comments on newspaper articles is a good way of affirming the idea that said teacher espoused, that some things should be out of the hands of “democracy.” It’s just disconcerting when this shitty reality is reflected in the comments on something Maximum Rocknroll related. This person gets something from MRR!??!
As I was working feverishly on this magazine I listened to a podcast put together by Mary of the awesome Neonates... You can listen to it here:
There are lots of shows to choose from, each one has many amazing secret histories put together by girls from various eras invested in punk, art, destruction, dance and soul... Not every song is a jam, but there are so many things to investigate, it’s like a way more curated version of that female fronted lady punk box set some dude did a few years ago. Some of my faves so far: the band the Take who had a song called “Summer” on a compilation 7” that is somehow related to the Primitive Calculators, which was released in 1979. Angular Australian aggro art. “I Need a Jerk Like You” by Boston art damage Black Cat Bone, has a sleazy Patti Smith intoning over the Lounge Lizards appeal... “This is not what I want / This is just what I get” The singer was in Colorado goth punker group Your Funeral in the early ’80s... The Anemic Boyfriends, girls discussing what guys are really into over this weird anodyne reggae/new wave beat... it’s compulsive stuff. Also: the Chalk Circle and Glueams reissues demonstrate that this is a good month of lady punk history
I hate pictures of people standing together where some of the people are talking on their cellphones, or texting...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

this is the best. bobby soxx is masterpieceful

this is teenage girl punk from NORWAY-all girl band called Razika-as far as I can tell this is their only punk song, the rest is really poppy ska-but this song is great!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

tapes tapes tapes tape it to go

When Cissie was coordinating the magazine with me we used to joke about doing a women in punk issue, without mentioning that that was what was happening. Just do it. See if anyone noticed that every band had women in it. I did a tape review column a few months ago, and said there would be a second part following shortly after, well here it is! This is the inadvertent women in punk edition as most of the tapes have ladies on em. Not all. Nearly though!
d.vassallotti “False X-mas” tape has a morning after haze, a photo with the light bleaching everything out, like someone in the room next to you is listening to the first New Order record. Ghosts and radiator noises. Excellent atmospherics, recommended... Wasn’t sure how to label this, as it arrived in a black envelope with no decipherable band name, but I was informed this human was in the Cult Ritual so I went with the name on the lyric sheet. Cult Maternal 804 E Genesee Tampa FL 33603
Livid are from San Francisco and Oakland and are my current favorite local live band... They are the best. Seeing them play is the best, but since I am not sure if they are playing in your town soon, they made a tape! It’s not quite as raging as the live experience, maybe as it was recorded a bit ago, earlier in the band’s existence? Live they have this Alice Bag swagger that is the best, on tape the Dangerhouse thing still comes over but the danger is a little less intoxicating. One of my friends think they sound too talky-riot grrl, I personally don’t think that’s a dis first off, though I think it was meant as one, but I honestly don’t see it THAT much. On full listen to the tape, I detect a little Bikini Kill Peel Session 7” appeal, but honestly way more Alice Bag bands!! Amelia has a really cool voice and stage presence, and Mason has excellent We Got the Neutron Bomb riffs and the rhythm section will cut your throat if you look at em wrong. Every show this band plays has a million tough girls up front losing their shit. Get it or regret it. Livid: PO Box 40711 SF CA 94140
Hysterics are from Olympia. The first tape got destroyed by the postal service: coincidence??!! The second arrived with two cool pins with bloody tampons in the Black Flag logo that were instantly stolen by me and Mariam. This tape rules so hard, totally raging and classic sounding yet innovative and interesting hardcore from Olympia, it’s so fucking good! Just straight ahead hardcore that I wish all isolated teenage weirdo girls into HC would get sent upon entrance into the scene. Perceptive, angry fuck you lyrics, awesome vocal delivery, seriously one of the best HC tapes of last year in my eyes. People always complain about how girls just aren’t hardcore, just don’t make good hardcore bands, should just stick to uh... whatever it is they do, but fuck that, not every girl band is fucking Spitboy... This shit rules, someone needs to put their band’s record out before they break up as seems to happen to all bands I love. I think this tape is sold out from the band but you can still get it from K records
Firebrand are from New Orleans, feature an ex New Blood and an ex Necro Hippie and manage to capture the Young Marble Giants dreamscape that so many are mining right now without any syrup or plaintive girl wimpiness. They mush it up with an awesome Excuse 17 bratattack making a disconcerting sound that is strong and powerful, important music... More of a post punk experimental idea than grrrl sound, but there are echoes of different personal female takes on the punk idea through out. nomorefiction@gmail.ccom
Goodthrob came with a nervous note about the guitar player was waaay better now, but seriously fuck that, this tape rules regardless of guitar strut. It’s rudimentary stroppy punk that in parts sort of reminds me of the scree of early Gravity records chaos. The more hardcore less indulgent element of that idea, bashed out and readjusted for the needs of hardcore girls in 2011. This band’s existence is exciting! As someone who bought Gravity 7”s in the early ’90s from the Rough Trade basement shop it’s with excitement and amazement that finally in the year 2011 there are English girls making these sounds their own! With added bile and punk snot obvs. I am not sure how to get this tape, but I will keep you updated on any future happenings or you could go to and see if there’s something there? Maybe there will be!
Sceptres put out this awesome tape that may or not be a discog of their 7” output? I think it is but I am writing this in a state of total laziness and don’t feel like scrollin’ through my 7” boxes to investigate. At any rate, it demonstrates the melodic spikey ’78 punker brat majesty in an admirable fashion, vocals somewhere between Fisticuffs Bluff and um, Penetration. Everything is wound up tight for the up all night pogo punx, there’s a Shitty Limits connection, Modern Hate Vibe for life round these parts.
Hell Woman – This is rock tinged hardcore, the riffs are riffs, hardcore for stoner girls? Actually maybe it’s just grunge!?? I mean it’s not really that hardcore, I think the person that got me the tape described them as a HC band. I missed them when they played at the 16th BART station here as I had to work, but I have a feeling I would like it more in that format. It’s pretty cool though, like a more rudimentary Girlschool, emphasis on the rudimentary! From Olympia, not sure how to get one of these?
Deadhead are from Olympia too, Olympian assault on my ears this month! This band is sort of more in the tradition of KARP than any other of the Oly tapes sent in, sort of weird punker space basement dirge with pot leaves drawn on the tape, that signify more than my mere words would. Plus scrawny heavy metal parking lot vocals. When that voice lets rip, it feels like all time is yours, some of the jammier parts lose this essence and power. The band is called Deadhead and are from Olympia. You can smell the smoke on your clothes. Are you gonna submit?! PO Box 8355 OLY WA 98507
?-I picked up this tape after I saw the band play at Thrillhouse, three suburban kids playing what seemed like an inadvertent KBD take on the hardcore idea, totally falling apart FlipperGermsStickmenwithrayguns terrible genius. Not made by knowing kids, but by seeming anti social weirdos, I cannot read their band name on the tape case, nor remember what they were called, and while the tape is no way as rad as they were live, there is no contact info on it so... no use! I should have reviewed this shit when I got it a million years ago. Oh well. They have songs about rotting babies in the street making a sort of welcome matt, and one called “Drooling Blood” and one about killing a bartender who wouldn’t let them play because they were underage. so maybe they are actually 14 year old boys?! I remember there was a girl in the band. I bet that if I saw them again I would not be as impressed, but since they are this crazy mystery band now the mystique exists!
This Tyvek tape on fag tapes smells absolutely terrible, like someone puked in the car you have to ride for the next couple days. That’s OK as my tape player is across the room, and I threw the tape case away from my current position. It’s a collection of live tracks and demos and practices and chopped and screwed stuff. I love Tyvek, they make mostly the sounds that make it clear it’s a good thing to be a punk that is in existence now. If you like this band you probably have a record or tape or two already, I would suggest getting this to add to your Tyvek collection. Listen to all of them in a row and you have a full days activity planned. I have never seen them play as they always play SF when I don’t wanna go out, at bars I don’t like going to. This is not relevant to the review of the tape but I would like to see them play at some point, and I imagine the tape is a good approximation of what that would be like. No contact but you could enter ffag tapes into a internet search engine for shits and giggles.
Panzram are two dudes from Florida, playing angular heavy very ’90s hardcore, in fact this sounds like it could have been on an Old Glory compilation, something like that. It’s pretty cool that this is a two person band, it doesn’t sound like it, it does totally sound like something I would have seen in a basement in Columbus OH in 1995.
Mixed Combat is a mix tape made by the excellent punker DJs at KBOO up in Portland OR featuring many of the amazing sets from visiting bands during the Life During Wartime radio show. A solid representation of the last six or so years of the punk landscapel, from Gorilla Angreb and the Nix to Vivid Sekt and Nerveskade, the Exploding Hearts through to Tragedy and even Fucked Up. I am again not sure how you would get the tape, but you should check out the radio show regardless, lots of MRR shitworkers and even a former coordinator participate!
Well, I have more to get through so maybe there will be more next month? Or at a later date, but I like getting tapes and zines, so if you want to send em in with my name on the envelope, or just send it in for review to MRR regardless. We are still interviewing people for the coordinator position, since I am leaving this summer, but I will still be doing shitwork and writing my column, so submit your coordinator application or start a band, make a tape and send it to me
Layla at