Monday, May 30, 2011

Fuck power pop, fuck new wave, this is punk rock, you’re a slave: MRR needs a coordinator! Could it be you?

We are still looking for a content coordinator to replace me. We have gotten some great applicants, but as you will see my name is still on the masthead and we gotta do something about that. Maybe you can help? I know you can. MRR is a life consuming organism. As well as, uh, coordinating the magazine coordinators (right now, me and Mariam, or as I should say Mariam and I in order to appease the grammar oppressors), have to work other jobs (apart from Maximum Rocknroll, duh) in order to do things such as eat food, fix our bikes, fight the man and go to shows and so on. Or you know maybe you have student loans to take care of? Did you know the magazine allows you to live in the MRR house at no financial cost?! Yep, it pays yer rent, but you still gotta work. The bookstore I have worked at for the past five years went out of business, so I have been unemployed for four months. I got a job at City Lights books, in North Beach, but they only had one or two days a month open. Not enough to actually exist on. So I figured I would have lots of free time to make tapes and go on bike rides and so forth... attempt to live offa government cheese. But as always seems to be the case with me and MRR the magazine pretty much ate up all that free time.

There is always more to do. You could easily work 60 hour weeks and still not finish all that could be done. I got another job this week, and had to work six days in a row, plus putting together the magazine, and I am pretty tired and burned out right now. This is our busiest week, when we have to put the magazine together and get it to the printers. Sometimes this means sitting in front of a computer from 9am to 3am, and still not getting it all done. The longer you have been here the more it weighs on you.

This is the sort of job that you sort of learn as you go, and the more you learn, the more the responsibility and weight of what you are doing takes over. Most people that have coordinated the magazine you are currently reading have not run a business before, or edited a magazine, or had access to over 40,000 records. Some of the skills needed to do the job will be already there: maybe you know everything about Danish post punk and the history of Memphis garage rock, plus you can photoshop like a maniac and also are really detail oriented and budget conscious. Being able to construct a sentence is important; you will be editing the entire magazine. You are in fact the editing department! Every single article, review, interview, column and scene report is on your shoulders my friend! Does that semi-colon belong there? Or is it just a trick of the eye!? Maybe there’s no such thing. It’s 3am! Who knows. We have shitworker proof-readers, but essentially most of the editing falls on the coordinator’s shoulders. From George Tabb to that Bulgarian scene report, you must make sense of it all. You are also in charge of advertising, financial affairs, plus you are the motivational task force, the mail order department when shitworkers flake. You are the music editor, the news editor, the person who has to figure out why the toilet is leaking and you also get to pick what runs in the magazine! And what plays on the house stereo. Bear in mind we have to cover a wide range of music, not just shit you like, so being aware of what punks are currently listening to is important.

If there is something that’s missing from the magazine that you think you could bring, as stated we are still looking for someone to replace me, so if you are under the impression that you have what it takes... you should email us for an application. You will be running a business so you must be a legal citizen of the USA, and not have say, the IRS or the CIA on your back. You gotta have a vision and sense of what you want to do for the magazine. This is a great opportunity. While there are certain things that we can’t change due to Tim Yohannon’s wishes, and we do work within a certain structure, chiefly only covering underground DIY non-corporate sponsored punk, hardcore and garage... you are in charge of the content. You! You have to contact bands that you think should be in the magazine and attempt to get an interview out of them. You have to write the kids that distro the zine in Kuala Lumpur and ask em why they have never done a scene report... You get to uncover endless crazy records in the record library and figure out a way to write about said experiences in the magazine. We are looking for someone who could run a business, someone who could carry the weight of this thirty year old punk rock institution in the face of the death of print media, of bands selling out for pennies to Japanese car conglomerates who apparently make killer tube socks. We want someone who has an idea of what they want from punk, and what punk and DIY culture does for fuck ups like us and how important it is ultimately to make our own culture on our own terms. By the punks for the punks. But also someone who knows why kids lose their shit over RVIVR and Weird TV, over iceage and Isterismo, who knows about the all girl teenage punk band that just put out a 7” in Oslo, about what’s happening in Japanese hardcore, about the various offshoots of the Marked Men... You gotta know your history too.

One of the reasons I didn’t apply to be coordinator after Paul quit (in like 2004?!) was that I didn’t think I knew enough about music. This was just some stupid undermine-y lady probs bullshit; I have been obsessed with music in an all consuming way since I was thirteen. Maybe I didn’t know the history of Polish punk at that point in time, but the shitworkers at the magazine and the aforementioned insane record collection, along with my own endless curiosity about music filled in the gaps. Everyone has areas of musical knowledge that are more focused or pronounced, but MRR is the self-proclaimed holy bible of punk rock, right? So you gotta have a solid and broad based foundation on which to build. Even if you don’t like Scandi-crust, you must understand its importance and significance to punk rock. Same goes for pop punk, garage, post-punk, shambolic DIY Messthetics-core, power pop, hardcore, thrash, and so on into infinity. We’re looking for music nerds not casual listeners you know? An international punk rock and hardcore obsessive. We also want someone who can reflect and stand up for the magazine’s radical political agenda. This is not a place for group hug personal is political coffee mug sentiments. We are not interested in bumper sticker homilies or casual indifference. Up against the wall motherfuckers!

Basically we are looking for someone who is consumed by DIY, who is ready to move to San Francisco and give this magazine and punk rock the next two or three years of their lives. Are you ready? If this sounds like something you could handle, that you have been waiting for, if you are someone who makes things happen rather than just watches shit pass them by you should fuckin’ email and ask for an application and tell us why we should hire you. This isn’t a casual situation, this is punk rock, it’s do or die. You gotta be passionate about it, don’t send us some shitty email as if you’re applying for a job at Starbucks ya know? We want to know why you should be here, writing a column every month and making sure the world’s punks are getting their monthly fix of inky fingers and esoteric music nerd talk, even if it means you are up at 3am, and you gotta go to your shitty retail job at 9am the next day.... And the night is still young, the workload so endless. Insert appropriate Minutemen lyrics about punk rock being your life, corn doggy. There is a reason this magazine has been around for thirty years, and we need someone who has the vision and focus necessary to continue this tradition!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I made the cover this month and i really like it so there

Another issue of Maximum Rocknroll is hot off the presses. MRR #337, the June 2011 issue, features an interview with one of the architects of punk, John Morton of electric eels and X_X amongst other bands, discussing his Cleveland punk days and artwork. We talk to Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly who put together the amazing recently published Destroy All Movies!!! book, an exhaustive study of punks on the silver screen (and straight to VHS!). And don’t miss our interviews with Finnish hardcore champs YDINPERHE, doom inflected crust punk NUX VOMICA from Portland, Oakland mutants UZI RASH, Southern California psyche-punks WHITE FENCE, and Swedish garage stompers BLACK FEET. Plus, we have a look at the life and struggle of Russian anti-fascist activist “Vanya Kostolom” Khutorskoy, who was tragically murdered by Nazis at age 26; a Buffalo, NY scene report, and a look at a 1980s HC flyer archive in New Orleans: From Stapleguns to Thumbtacks. All of this madness plus the most extensive review section in punk rock, and all the columnists you love to hate!

Buy issue #337 of MRR here: