Thursday, March 8, 2012

The sound of a ghost in an empty house

This is the last column I will write from the comfort of my room at the MRR house... It’s pretty empty in here, just full of the junk I am not sure if I want to keep or not, the rest of my stuff is piled up at my new apartment out at the ocean that I am moving into in two days... After over a year of trying to leave the magazine, my time has come. I will still be coordinating from a distance for a few months, while we figure out who is gonna replace me. I don’t have anything to listen to music with, except my laptop which is nearly ten years old. I am currently raging to a band my friend Talya recommended called Dark Times who have a Neon Blud attack with added Midwestern hardcore gnarliness and um a touch of the ’82 Flag demo (no lie), and of course they rule... The girl shouts “I’m sitting right next to you/But I’m living worlds away” and nothing else makes so much sense. I think they are from Norway!!?? Check them out, they have a 7” and a tape and I gotta get them both! That is the thing I love about working on MRR, constant influx of amazing sound inspiration, new tapes, or discovery of an old band that no one ever heard outside of their town, so many punks making their own version of punk all over place, in different eras and geographic locales! I’m definitely not burned out on the punk rock, but am looking forward to being able to work on my own shit, do a band, make my own zine. I will keep writing my column and assisting in a big way at the magazine, but will not be living in the compound and experiencing the madness first hand. Hopefully my writing will reflect this and be less thrown together after a twelve hour shift of magazine work! I gotta say for all the shit talk about Maximum hype bands, the people that live and work here are fucking consumed by music, we lose our shit over it and are in short manic enthusiastic nerds. So much rad shit comes through our PO box and our email inbox, it’s an endless adventure this punk rock... I will miss having instant access to everything, but hopefully I will be able to keep up somehow? Ha!
    It’s not all sunshine and popsicles, there is also a lot of rotten overwrought reproductions of various genres, terrible bar rock, bands that will never play out of their neighborhood bar yet have a PR agent and manager. I think that is the most depressing aspect of music now... I know, the sound world is one of diminishing returns, tours used to pay for themselves, and now gas prices mean unless GoodBurger sponsor your tour you will be stranded and isolated with no gas in your tank and no one watching the show through the screens of their iphone. You gotta have the tour manager, the booking agent, the manager manager, the PR agent, or else... the DIY replication of mainstream industry set up and constructs must prevail. The award for worst record I reviewed last year has got to go to some creep’s concept pop-punk record about stalking and raping a woman. I understand that certain facets of the pop-punk scene have different political standards to the world I exist in, but come the fuck on... Everyone wants to be Peter Sotos now. Even PBR sponsored Warped Tour bros. In ten years time is punk rock gonna be an iApplication sponsored by Monsanto? A frog like croak in the back of some message board cretin’s throat? “Is That All There Is?” sung by a skeletal GG Allin replicant? A text message that no one can be bothered to read? A lifestyle magazine that owns the only venue in town that punks will go to because they get to take all these cool market research studies when they have to take a shit. A crusty who has created the first authentic scabies app.
    I am gonna keep it short this month, we gotta take care of the CA state taxes and I have to clear out the last remaining artifacts cluttering up the surface of my room... You can find me on the internet here: or email me here Layla at