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: http://web.me.com/gendertrouble/televisiondinner/TV_DINNER/TV_DINNER.html
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...