This is the last column I will write in this spot; the coordinator columns always go at the end of the columns section, put in at the last minute after a month of working on the magazine, a collection of hurried thoughts congealed into words by tired brains, usually at 3am, before the mag goes to the printer... And as of May 1st 2012 I am no longer coordinator of Maximum Rocknroll. I have been doing this for four years, I think writing my column for six? And it’s time for a new regime; this next month I will be training our new content coordinator Lydia, who just got here from Greece, and it feels like it’s the end an era. I will not be in charge of Maximum Rocknroll from here on out! It’s all in Mariam and Lydia’s hands. I am looking forward to seeing what sort of things they come up with to fill these pages and I will still contribute to the magazine, but just as a shitworker, no longer as the dark overlord of content production. Listening to Martin Hannett “First Aspect of the Same Thing” looking out my window at the street lights reflecting on the ocean, it’s a weird empty feeling but I am looking forward to a future I know nothing about unfolding.
Today at work a kid with an amazing hand-drawn Minor Threat t-shirt came in and when I commented on his handiwork told me he liked my column. Another person bought the Touch & Go book but I didn’t feel like talking about it; I did talk with some enthusiastic art school kids from the Deptford about squatting in Camberwell. Camberwell Now. I am listening to the song “Working Nights” by Camberwell Now as a result, experiencing the subject matter as the song plays, working nights working nights. Gotta get up at zero AM and ride my bike out through the park to MRR, lay out the columns and upload the proof to the printer then go the North Beach to my job that pays the rent (in theory), and serve a different kind of public. “Do you have Fifty Shades of Grey/the Hunger Games/That Book About Steve Jobs?” “No. But you can get it at Costco.” “Is there a Barnes and Noble or something around here?!?!” “NO, they all went out of business in this city because people like you only buy things online.” “There aren’t any bookstores in this town!” “There are actually a ton, just none in Fisherman’s Wharf, tourist. May I borrow your concealed weapon and blow my brains out? I am sick of talking to you and your endless army.” I will listen to Camberwell Now and Martin Hannett all day, subsist on Ritz crackers and bad vibes. Just those two songs. Over and over. And the New Order Peel Session where they play dub versions, the first one. “Turn the heater off... tonight.”
Usually when I am having the 2am inspiration dried out column writing session, I write about shows I have gone to or bands I am obsessed with. Well, the only show I went to this month was Merchandise, which for everyone I went with seemed to be a total bust, but I had a good time! It made me think of looseness of Arthur Russell songs, secret worlds created. I listened to the first Merchandise LP on repeat for most of last year, and when the D Vassalotti LP came out, though MRR could not review it I put it on almost every day for a month whilst spending the minimal time you get to spend in your room as a MRR coordinator. (Living where you work is not very conducive to mooching around in your room if you are an obsessive workaholic type... which is what the magazine demands!) I was not into raging hard before I moved into the MRR house, and my life continued on the trajectory of not going to DJ nights, or twelve band shows at houses in Oakland that probably have no chance of finishing before the last BART heads back over to San Francisco, and I have a feeling that this arc will continue. As stated previously I will continue to write for the magazine, and to come up with content—which incidentally you should too. Anyone can submit an interview! Anyone! Seriously, interview your friend’s band, or someone that has influenced you that you are not friends with that is a punk... I think the first interview I submitted was with Sharon Cheslow, who was one of the photographers/authors behind the classic Banned in DC, and I actually did it for my zine Chimps but it came out so cool I submitted it to the magazine. If you think the editing is shitty write the email@example.com and volunteer your services as a proof reader, same with layout. If you want to advertise your punk CD-R distribution network email firstname.lastname@example.org for rates. If you are an insane genius comic artist who is somewhere between Julie Doucet, Pettibon and Nick Blinko submit your work to email@example.com. The content coordinators are the deciders in terms of what gets run in the magazine, as their job title would indicate, so there is no guarantee your interview with Stig and the Skip Diggers will run, but if Mariam and Lydia are charmed by the band’s witty quips, even though they have never heard them as they have never played outside of Romford, but they are of course DIY as death, (no corporate bozos in the mag) maybe they will choose will run it. So send it in already! Did I already write about how much our new distro coordinator rules!? Francesca moved in a month or so ago, and she is the best. Negative and charming like all the best punx are, always busting out weird secret girl records, like for instance the Fifth Column record that came out in 1990, an LP that has songs that go between NeoBoys and Shop Assistants! It’s so good! Who knew that “All Women Are Bitches” was just a random blip of boredom on that band’s career trail. She made me a tape of all the jams. And that Florida 7” comp with Morbid Opera on it that someone put on a mix tape for me years ago but I never knew who the band was. “Go ahead! Go ahead Go Aheeeeeaaaaaaaaaaah….”
OK, so it’s 5am, the sun is risen and I need more coffee. I am listening to the Termites version of “Tell Me” from Girls in the Garage. It’s so good, teenage desperation, desolate like alleyways and it makes me wanna listen to Frumpies 7”s and eat popcorn for dinner. Also did you know that “Why Don’t You Smile Now” wasn’t a Delmonas song? It’s a Cale/Reed collaboration from when they were more Tin Pan Alley attempters. I learned this fact that maybe the whole world knows within the last two years: “You said you had everything you need / You said he could give you much more than me / Why don’t you smile now...” You can look it up on You Tube, by the All Night Workers, this is my song this morning. Also listen to the Delmonas version because Black Ludella, she’s been lyin to me... There used to be a record store in Camden that pretty much only sold Vinyl Japan/Hangman related records, it was next to a store that sold Doctor Martin boots and other workboots to skinhead types, actually inside the Camden Lock tube station, so me and all my teenage cohorts had all the Headcoatees/Childish access needed to develop our minds as youths and head towards delinquency as creation rather than any other existence offered to teenage girls growing up in London in the early 1990s. I wanna be a Delmona when I grow up. OK I think that’s enough of my rambling insanity for this month. I will be back writing columns in this space, but if you want to you can email me at Layla@maximumrocknroll.com my old columns are here: whatwewantisfree.blogspot.com and I think I am gonna compile them all into one fanzine type of thing at some point this year. Make a mess.
Brace said I should do this column as a top ten thing like I used to, so here is something: 1: Chloe Sevigny owns the jacket that Linda Manz wore in Out of the Blue!? 2: I am the last punk 3: I like the Beach Boys better than Discharge/the D-beat 4: Eat it 5: “Notes and Chords Mean Nothing to Me” / “We Don’t Need Freedom” 6: Mariam, Francesca and me are gonna go to Berkeley when all the rich college kids abandon ship for their country homes and get all the computers and things they apparently leave behind. (Francesca has an powerbook some future billionaire of America left in a dumpster last year! College kids, what the fuck! CAN YOU EVEN imagine being that privileged that you would throw your thousand dollar computer into a dumpster?! My computer is gonna be ten years old this year! I want a free one from some trillionaire frat brat) 7: Hey Tobi did the Up All Nighters ever record anything!? 8: The Tortura tape is really good... London punk girls righting wrongs. 9: Someone send me the Quix*o*tic LP and the Cupid Car Club demo tape OK!? also write me letters. No creeps!
All girls start bands and skate gangs.