Sunday, December 27, 2015


Epicenter Zone. 1994. Photo by Helge Schreiber

   Epicenter Zone was a record store / info shop / zine library / show space / punk hangout that was located at 16th and Valencia in San Francisco's Mission District from 1990 to 1999. It was started by a collective of people that had a strong influence from Maximum Rocknroll (and their money). I don't really feel qualified to talk about the origins because I wasn't there. I also don't feel capable of talking about their demise because I wasn't there for that either. It could've been from the damage caused by a pipe bursting at a HIS HERO IS GONE / GAUZE show, but that happened a full three years before the store actually closed. It could've been because MRR pulled their money out. It could've been because of infighting. I have no clue and don't really care. My experience with Epicenter was short and sweet. I spent an afternoon there reading zines from their library while Lance Hahn worked the counter and played records.
   This past year, a crew of people got together from the Epicenter days to organize a weekend of shows, panels and readings to celebrate the zone's 25th birthday. In the true spirit of the place, people dropped out of the planning left and right. Others said they would do stuff and never followed through. The cheap venue that was booked flaked out pretty last minute and the few organizers left had to book a pricier place and charge a heftier door price. There was also a shitty garage fest in a park across the bay. They ended up losing money on the whole thing. In the end, the entire weekend was distilled down to one long, sprawling all-day show at the Verdi Club with entirely too many bands and too little "stage management." (I previously made a decision to keep this blog positive, but I'm gonna drop the rule for this entry.) I believe that the organizers tried their best to do what they could with the resources and people that were available, but trying to cram that amount of performers (nearly 30 bands) into one day was a logistical nightmare. Some people had obviously not been on a stage in about 15 years and took their time to relish the spotlight for much longer than their allotted 20 minute set times. Other bands just acted like entitled fucking babies. For a scene that was very wary of anything remotely smelling of nostalgia, the event was almost nothing but a nostalgia-flashback...even though there were lots of current bands on the bill and lots of organizers involved who still do not subscribe to that shit. To be fair, I contributed two shit shows to this event. (1). I played a terrible (but still not the worst) set with SHOTWELL that should've been cut short by someone. I couldn't think of a better time for one of those giant hooks that pulls people off of a stage. (2) My current band, SILENT ERA, played a very rushed, sloppy and angry set in the corner of the room for about ten minutes.
  There were some good things though! KICKING GIANT was amazing. SBSM was and still is an unstoppable force. The fry bread being served out front was to die for. GIRLSPERM played their first show! They were so good, but most of the nostalgia punks had already gone home to watch Netflix or something. Gorgeous Vermillion did a cool performance piece that was so quiet that you couldn't walk across the room without disturbing it. There was a Lance Hahn tribute band who played J CHURCH and CRINGER songs...I legit cried because I was mad that Lance died and couldn't be there to just play the new J CHURCH songs that we were all sure he'd still be writing.
   Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that people tried hard to make a fun event and for some people, it was fun, I'm just a huge grump.
   I put together a playlist that was blasted over the PA between bands all day. It's a mix of Epicenter favorites and newer stuff...even stuff from the last few months. I just recorded myself DJ-ing the vinyl on two turntables at the Maximum house. Here it is, split into two very large files...100 songs in all.

I took a break from the blog to work on some other things, like putting out a new zine and working towards putting out a new record (out in 2016). The blog will be more regularly updated now. You can order a zine from Remote Outposts.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

MRR Radio #1473 - 10/4/15 - Service Interruption

   Here's a link to the MRR Radio show I hosted a few weeks ago. I forgot to post it earlier. Obviously, I haven't been posting on here in quite a while and with very little regularity. Things have been pleasantly busy and hectic in the day to day. I can't complain. I'm planning on returning to the blog in late December with a pile of moldy ass tapes for you to enjoy. Until then (and after then), feel free to check out Terminal Escape for all of the fucked up tapes you can handle and keep on keepin' on.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

VARIOUS ARTISTS - "2846 Chapman St" - Comp - Tape - 2002

   Today, I went to a yard sale in Oakland and ran into a tiny boatload of cassettes. Of course, I was drawn to them like a moth to a flame.  The pile was full of Burger Records stuff and since I've made a decision to try and keep this blog mostly positive, I'll just leave that statement there. There were a few gems hidden beneath and I mostly left them hidden beneath because I live in a tiny room now and I could already build a small house out of the tapes  that I currently own. I even found my old band's discography. Unlike many people I know, I love seeing my band's stuff in a yard sale or a dollar bin.
   I walked away from the sale with three tapes. One of them was the SEXY demo tape. I have been looking for this tape for fucking YEARS and I was so happy to have it in my hands. When I got it home and found that it had been dubbed over with super fucking shitty metal, I can't even find the words to convey my disappointment to you right now. Another tape was a home dubbed Japanese garage band who mostly covered SF garage bands from the 90's. The third tape was this one right here.
   I only visited the Chapman Street warehouse a couple of times because it was way out in Fruitvale.. Some people called it the S.P.A.M. warehouse. They put on a ton of shows back in the early 00's, had a beer vending machine and was inhabited by at least 30 people at all times. (That beer vending machine lives on in a current Oakland punk house). One of the only things I remember about visiting there was that I saw a great BANANAS show there. It was packed and the band was in that perfect form of being drunk enough to be really fun but not too wasted to play. I remember that a teenager kept jumping on the stage, grabbing the mic and screaming the words louder than anyone in the band. It sounded terrible and everyone kept dragging her off the stage. For their last song they played the (at that point) new and incredible song "Nautical Theme" and -Oh My God - it sounded so good. When the whole band was about to kick in at the end, we looked and the teenage girl was mounting the stage again to scream the last lyrics with the band. I'm a firm believer in a lack of divisions between band and audience, but there has to be a line drawn sometimes. Someone has to take action. That was the moment when my friend Janelle shouted "NOOOOOOO!!", downed the rest of her beer, threw the empty can as hard as she could, hit the girl in the head, knocked her offstage and the girl was gently crowd-surfed back into the throng. The band sounded great and the girl was wasted and unharmed. I've been hit in the head with empty cans many many times and that shit does not hurt.
   I've already written about almost half of these bands hereherehereherehere AND here. That was TOMMY LASORDA, FLESHIES, LOS RABBIS, POSER POSSE and SEXY. The other bands (CIVIL DYSENTERY, BOZAKS, SCORPION DEATH ROCK, DISMEMBERS and WEAK LEADS) are part of a scene that I know almost nothing about. You can listen for yourself and make up your own stories.

The sound quality ranges from pretty bad to "holy shit"
Still looking for that SEXY demo. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

SBSM - Joy / Rage - Tape - 2015

I put this tape out for my friends in Oakland. 
I have very strong feelings about it
I don't feel like I'm in the position to give you the run down. 

Tapes are pro-dubbed and come with a ten page zine by the band.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

STERILE MIND - Demo - Tape - 2014

    Two friends named Andrew and Travis got together and wrote some 100% no-shit-sick-ass hardcore riffs. Then, they hauled all of their gear into the legendary Dub Master Avery's Atomic Spliff Bunker (okay, it's a windowless hut on Dore Alley in San Francisco...or space...I think) and the two of them played all the instruments to make this incredible demo. As soon as they put it into the world, punks were banging down their door (or more likely, politely texting them) to get the band to play some shows, but the only problem is that there was no band to speak of.
   Originally, they got Michelle to play bass. She's a woman who has never been in a hardcore band and once played on a record that got rejected from Maximum Rock N Roll for being "not punk", but she has more attitude and anger than most of the tourists who have clumsily tried to attach a stud to a leather jacket. They asked me to play drums, even though my history with hardcore is spotty at best. We both lasted one whole practice before they hastily replaced us with more suitable candidates. Robert is now their bass player. If you have even a passing interest in excellent DIY hardcore, there's a good chance he played on a number of records in your collection. Motherfucker has a really good idea about what he's doing. Ben is now their drummer and, unlike me, probably tunes his drums and can play a mosh breakdown beat that will ruin you. They sound fucking tight,
   I've liked this tape since the day I heard it, but yesterday I pointlessly drove to Oakland so that I could sit in traffic (long story. I'll spare you) and listen to this thing over and over again. I might have listened to it 20 times in a row and it was good every fucking time. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you that STERILE MIND is breaking any kind of mold or going out on limbs, but I will tell you that they play compact, blazing, pissed-off, insanely memorable hardcore better than most.
 Also, this band has turned down more jaw-dropping shows than most bands have played in their existence.

The tape is sold out from the band. They've got some new shit on the way "soon".

Totally unrelated: I put out a tape by one of my favorite Oakland bands, SBSM. I love them. I think what they're doing is magical and loud and confusing and weird and haunting and cacophonous and destructive. Sometimes, I have no clue what they're doing and that is part of their beauty. I feel lucky to have a part in putting their music out in the world. Please look for them on their upcoming US tour and you can buy a tape here.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

BIG BLEACH / BAGHEAD - "It's The Big Bag Split" - Tape - 2015

   Stardate: 1998. The location was Maxie, MS. The whole town consists of a mobile home, a house, a church and a graveyard. Some drunks lived in the trailer and didn't seem to give a shit about anything. The house was inhabited by three or four punks who invited touring bands to play in their living room. The other neighbors were dead or only around during church services. Even though the only punks in town lived in that house, the shows were always good and people flocked to them from around the state of Mississippi. Some bands that played there were THE GRUMPIES (Starkville, MS), ONE REASON (Cleveland, MS I think they played their first show ever in Maxie), SUDDENLY SUBHAN (Starkville), LES TURDZ (Biloxi), FYP (San Pedro, CA), OPERATION CLIFF CLAVIN (Bloomington, IN) and many, many more. The people who lived in that house were dedicated to making a scene happen in their town, even if they were 4 of the 9 people who lived in the town. Some of the best shows I ever played in my life were in that house...even the show where someone smacked me in the face with a full beer while I played drums, giving me my first black eye.
   At one of these shows, I was breaking down my drumset on the front porch while making small talk with a member of the (kind of bad) funk/punk band from Hattiesburg, a town 30 miles north with a population of almost 46,000. At the time, all I knew about Hattiesburg is that it was a town that had a really stupid speed trap on the interstate where police had pulled me over at least three times and searched our tour vehicles, looking for any remnants of the pounds of illegal drugs we were sure to have. I asked the dude, "Where do you guys have shows in Hattiesburg?" He said, "Aw man, we don't have nothing like this in Hattiesburg! They've got it made down here." I looked down the street to the graveyard and the empty streets as the crows cawed and the crickets chirped. "Yeah, this is excellent, but surely you've something going shows, bar shows, local bands....something?!" "Naw man. We like to jam out down here. It's all set up."
   I didn't really feel like it was my place to explain DIY to the guy, so we both walked back in as another rowdy band started their set. Fast forward seventeen fucking years and this tape is sitting in my post office box. It's really the first time I've heard of or even thought of Hattiesburg since then, even though I've lived more than half of my life in the south. BIG BLEACH and BAGHEAD are two bands from that town. Both bands are basically all of the same people, but sound different from each other. BIG BLEACH is fun, straightforward punk with female vocals. It sounds like exactly what you want to hear in a moldy ass living room. (I wish the vocals were louder). BAGHEAD is uglier, rawer sounding hardcore punk with male vocals that is lurchy and mean. I'm sure that there's been a rich history of punk and hardcore in the south Mississippi scene between that bad funk / punk band and these two bands, but if you're looking for that history here, you're in the wrong place. Big shout out to BAGHEAD and BIG BLEACH for making (and sending) these tapes, putting on house shows in their town and keeping it real.

BAGHEAD has another demo too. Follow that link to get it.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

SEXY - "Por Vida" - LP - 2004

   One night, I walked over to a show in north Chattanooga at a house with a falling in kitchen (one night, that kitchen's floor fell in during a show, but not this one). I showed up because PANTY RAID was playing, but they were with these two total fuuuuucking goofballs who immediately decided that we were friends and, yes, we were all going to get wasted together. It was a dark period in my life when I lived on a weird, filthy houseboat (no shame. that boat saved my life) anchored in the stinky ass Tennessee River. I was ready to get drunk and die at the drop of a hat. So were these two guys, so we got along great. It wasn't until I saw them tuning up that I even realized that they were in a band playing that night. I thought, "These guys can barely stand. Will they be able to play?" This situation is not uncommon in Chattanooga, but is usually best executed by locals. The touring bands almost always fail and pull off one of the worst sets of their tour. SEXY did not fail. Joined by Baby Ian on bass, they played the best set of the night. The floors were so unstable that their mic stands were bouncing all over the place, but Ashley and Chris (my two new friends) just followed as best they could while wildly pounding out some of the catchiest songs I had heard in years. I didn't buy their demo tape and I still regret it.
    When I moved out to the Bay Area a year later, I hung out with these two fools when I could, at shows, on the street, getting booted out of breweries, on the waterfront, etc, I trekked up to Pacific Heights (aka Specific Whites) to see them play in a cool teen's parent's house (whassup Chloe Puke) and everything seemed wrong. They played two songs and looked at each other...."This sucks. Why do we sound so bad?" Chris pulled a huge jug of wine out of his bag and started chugging it. He passed it to Ashley, who followed suit. As they kept playing, they sounded better and better until they were (as usual) completely annihilating the show.On the bike ride home from the show, I watched Chris get sideswiped by a city bus. He sat on the ground for a second and said "Aw man..." before getting back on his bike and continuing on with us.
   I kept watching them everywhere I could: in shitty bars, in humid Florida warehouses, on the street and in the women's bathroom at Gilman. Once, I yelled "NOOOOOOOOO!!" at them for the entirety of their true-to-form cover of THE BAND'S "Up On Cripple Creek". They almost always seemed to harness that sweet spot of perfect abandon. almost-too-drunk and true freedom when it was all at it's breaking point.
   When I heard they recorded an LP, I wanted to hear it immediately, but I was skeptical. Could this band actually harness the sound of ridiculous, unhinged, drunken abandon? Yeah, they did. This record sounds exactly like SEXY live. Better, even...and to actually read the lyrics made you understand that this band was pretty funny...and fucking sad. Metaphors are few on this LP. They  talk about writing songs on the bus, smoking crack while watching the ships roll in, breaking down in Kettleman City (a shithole if there ever was one), shotgunning 50 beers in the shower to dull the pain, etc. This record also came into my life at a perfect time...when I felt terrible...when I felt okay about listening to songs about pain and heartbreak without thinking too terribly much about how my actions caused serious pain and repercussions to the people around me...when I didn't think too much about how you can write an unforgettable, classic song about someone, but that someone is actually someone, you know? They're a living, breathing human being that has to endure idiots like me blabbing on about this wonderful shit, while they're like "Great...that dude gets to be validated for the rest of his life for being a drunken guy who broke my heart and stole my SMOKING POPES record." That is a simple over-analyzation of a bigger thing, but you get where I'm coming from, right? I love this record. I always will, but I think too much.

There's Craig D's face. He wasn't in the band. 

The song is called "Thank  You Dead and Gone" because the wood block and percussion used on that song was found in the trash outside of DEAD AND GONE's practice space. 
Yes, this is a record...not a tape. It was a request. 
The original press of this LP has a pressing flaw and it has skips in it. The band kept giving me copies of it when I kept telling them that my copy skipped a lot. At one point, I had 8 copies of this record. Thrillhouse Records repressed the LP and made new plates so it doesn't skip. You can still order it from them.
If I wasn't clear, this is one of the best records of the last 15 years. If you've never heard this record and like melodic punk on this blog, this is essential. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

WORK//DEATH - Interstitial - Tape - 2012

   WORK/DEATH is an entity that has been sitting on the back burner of Remote Outposts for quite some time now...not because it's any less important or sonically pleasing than other tapes on this blog, but because I just don't know how to talk about it. I don't really know how to tell you why this might be relevant to your life or even life-changing, but I really, truly think it is.
   I remember one night, Pars and I were trying to explain the importance of WORK/DEATH to a friend, which is always an exercise in futility, because if people don't like something, they just don't like it...and that's fine. If you were to combine both of our explanations into one big glob, it would go something like this: WORK/DEATH is noise, but it's more than noise. It's calculated. It's intentional. It's no fucking joke and there is no fucking around. Also, to some extent, it's the modern day equivalent of classical music for our era.
   I didn't really "get" WORK/DEATH until I saw it live. Scott, the core member of W/D, stepped up to his mess of pedals, keyboards, homemade gear and wires to start his set without fanfare. Watching him compose for the next 25 minutes, creating a wall of noise that completely enveloped every inch of the room, floored me. Many times when I see people create noise music live,  I'm bored to goddamn tears and I can't wait for the idiot with the fucking pedals to stop wasting my time. That feeling doesn't even begin to surface with WORK/DEATH.
   This tape may not be the best start for your journey with WORK/DEATH, if this is your first time hearing them, but this is what I'm giving you. I got this one delivered to me in a stack of tapes from Providence, RI. When I opened up this tape for the first time, a toenail fell out. It seemed fitting, somehow.

Scott told me in an email that he believes that part of the process of listening to music is engaging and interacting with the physical object. I agree. His tapes are sometimes difficult to track down, but maybe you can send some money to Three Songs Of Lenin at P.O. Box 29680, Providence, RI 02909 and see what you get. 
You can also order one of his LP's right here
I'm still upset that I didn't get to see him play in a 19th century mill or completely annihilate a piano in a Rhode Island alleyway. .

Monday, June 1, 2015

THE WHIP - Live - Tape - 2002

Today's post is brought to you by Alex Turner

   THE WHIP was a band from Olympia. It's what happened after KARP. Joe Preston, Jared Warren and Scott Jernigan. They didn't play that many shows, but they did put out a 7", which is great and K Records might still have a few copies of it (?) (ed note - Wantage has copies of it here). These two shows have only 5 songs. I think the ReBar show was their first show? I recorded both of these on a handheld tape recorder and don't even remember being at the Backstage show. Whatever. Enjoy. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

BIG ZIT - "International Player's Club #1 - Tape - 2013

   "Sounds like BAD BRAINS"
  "Internet hype band"
  "I don't listen to hype bands"
   A copy of their tape sold for $75 dollars on Discogs. $75. A demo tape. This stupid demo tape. What fan of BIG ZIT has that kind of money to throw around on a little piece of plastic that is bound to break?
    Whatever. This tape is great. I spent almost nothing on it. It has a homemade cover by the band that is too difficult to scan. If you like completely frenetic, lo fi hardcore, you should already be downloading this...or already have it. I don't care about hype. I just like good music.

BIG ZIT / OOZE double pack cover art added for the benefit of anon commenter tumblr blogger pack 2015-2017

Monday, May 18, 2015

SILENT ERA - Demo - Tape - 2014

   Last night, I went to see BORN  play at a record store in Oakland. Honestly, all I wanted to do was lay in bed all day sipping fizzy water, but if a great band can come all the way here from Iceland, I can drag my lazy ass out of bed and take the train over to see them. Plus, their drummer, Fannar hooked me up with a wonderful place to stay in his country when I went there. I wanted to shake his hand in person since I couldn't in Iceland, because he was in the hospital.
   We talked. We laughed. The band was wonderful. I was dumbfounded that the show was poorly attended, which was directly impacted by the fact that JESUS AND MARY CHAIN and GREEN DAY were playing the same night. Whatever. Fannar asked what band(s) I was playing in these days and I said I was just playing in SILENT ERA. He said he'd try to remember to look us up, but I should just put it on the blog because he reads it all the time. It's always nice to know that people read this thing, especially in other countries, so Fannar, this one is for you.
    I believe SILENT ERA was a band for a couple of years before ever playing a show. I'm not really sure because I wasn't there. Hardly any of us were, because by our 4th show, Matt (guitar) was the only original member. The band was originally Matt, Noelle (bass) and Mackey (drums). They were having a hard time finding a singer and I think a friend from Oakland named Fernando sang for a short time. After that didn't work out, our good friend Michelle came into the fold and the line up seemed pretty solid. The band (finally) played a show in a garage in Oakland and then Mackey quit the band, unceremoniously and without warning.
   At the time, Matt was my roommate. We were sitting in the kitchen one day and he asked me to play drums. I saw how much time and energy the members were putting into the band, which I respect and told him to give me some time to think about it because I didn't want to join if I wasn't going to match that energy. Long story short, I joined. Plus, I was already playing music with Michelle in three other bands, so why not? (All of those are inactive/defunct besides STERILE MIND...but to say that we were ever full members of that band is a misnomer. I just wanted to mention them because they rule.) We hastily got our shit together, played a couple of shows, recorded this demo and then Michelle and Matt went to Europe for six weeks with THE NEW FLESH. Noelle went to South America. I worked at my job. Everyone came back besides Noelle, who now lives in NYC. We wasted no time....okay, that's not true...we definitely wasted some time....we got our friend Julia Booz to play bass and now, finally, things seems solid.
    The band is working on a bunch of new stuff that we plan on recording in September and releasing in some form. This demo was recorded over a weekend in our practice space by Jonny Tsagakis on his large analog tape behemoth. We paid him in alcohol and snacks (and money). I like these songs a lot, but I think our new ones are even better. We have politics that are strong, but I don't feel like I need to explain them right now. I like these people. I like this band.

Thanks to Jonny.
Keep up with our shows and stuff here
Live photo by Martin Sorrondeguy
..Thanks to Robert for the much appreciated ride home.
There ya go, Fannar. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

WOUNDS - "MMXIV" - Tape - 2014

   This is the 511th post on this blog, which is a large number but by no means a milestone. I just wanted to take a moment to say thanks to all of the folks who find their way to the blog and either read all of this silly bullshit I have to say or simply download the music and get the fuck out. When I started this thing, I just wanted to share a lot of my friend's bands...bands who put out only a few copies of their tapes and just shared them locally. I really didn't think anyone would pay attention, but they did. I don't know why, but they did.
   The internet is a strange place full of sad men who like to fill their time asserting their dominance with useless knowledge of shit no one cares about. I'm not saying that I'm any different (besides the dominance part...I don't care about that), but I like that this small section of the internet has been largely devoid of brashness and outright hostility. I appreciate the fact that most of the people who comment on these posts and contact me in other ways have been largely positive experiences. So thank you. Thanks for taking your precious time to look at this or engage in any way. Thanks to bands (and not-bands) for sending me tapes, whether I like them or not. Thanks to 99% of the bands who have been okay with sharing their music for free throughout the world, including such faraway places as India, Russia, The Ukraine and....Canada.
    Also, I feel like I've been slacking on the politics lately. It's been more like "the personal is political", so just in case there's any confusion, here we go with some of my personal guidelines: This is not a review site. If I like a tape, I share it. I don't talk about tapes I don't care for. DIY all the way. I don't even write about bands who use Kickstarter. Fuck Vice. Fuck Pitchfork. Fuck the cops...including the one in your head and people who just film illicit acts on the street and turn it over to law enforcement. DEAD MOON is the best band.  I share a lot of bands comprised of men but I make an  effort to make room for more marginalized voices as well, including women, people of color, trans people, genderqueer people, total fucking outcasts of society, freaks and disabled punks. I do my best to not promote anyone who has sexual assaulters in their band. I've definitely slipped up on that one, but a goddamn sad fact is that it's hard to keep track and I'm sorry for that. Is that it? That might be it.
  Anyway, thanks for being here and thanks if you read this far. Thanks if you didn't too.

  "What's more society and normal than being a misogynist prick? That's totally mainstream culture, so why would you be a punk if you were interested in doing that?" - Erin Yanke.

   Onto the music....Speaking of people who get in touch, Elaan is a supporter of the blog and got in touch to tell me about WOUNDS. Lots of people tell me about bands, but truthfully, it's usually the band they play in. I don't fault people for that. It's cool to be stoked on your own band. Why bother otherwise? Elaan said they'd send me their own personal copy of the tape if I wanted to digitize it for the blog. I was hesitant because what if this person sends me their tape from across the country and I absolutely hate it and I'm like "Oh thanks.."....and then I'm just sitting here with this tape that I don't care about...taking up space with the 999 other tapes in my tiny room? Luckily for all parties involved, it was not a waste of time. WOUNDS was a (I think) short lived band from Portland, OR that featured members of heavy hitters like DEFECT DEFECT (r.i.p. DEEF) and RED DONS. It's dark and urgent and has hooks that sneak out of the mire to stay in your head all day. Their singer does this thing with his voice that reminds me of Nick Blinko on Cacophony...It threw me off at first but I think it's okay now. I'm also totally jealous of how fast their drummer plays sixteenth notes, but I can live with it.

Thanks to Elaan. I'll mail your tape back to you. You should have it. 
Thanks to MRR for letting me use their stereo to rip this tape. Something was off with mine. 
Thanks to the punks worldwide for looking here.
You can buy your own WOUNDS tape here. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

LIQUIDS - "Mat's Demo" - Tape - 2015

   Basically, everything I wanted to write here could be a re-hash of all of the things I wrote in the previous entry, so I'll spare you. The only real difference is that the people I was going to talk about are (in my eyes) still relevant players in the DIY and art community....still active in the scenes they claim to be a part of...still creating and trying to move forward in a world that probably wishes they would just play the hits and let us all have fun.
   The short version: I walked over to the LIGHTNING BOLT show in my neighborhood, which has been sold out for two months. I tried to get in anyway, but it was solidly sold-the-fuck-out. The venue and area around it is....boring. It caters to money and power. It's an old, stale tale and I'm sure you already know it front to back. I would gladly give my money to LIGHTNING BOLT to entertain me for a spell but not that venue. (I hate being vague. It's called The Chapel.)
   Out front, I clicked on the LIQUIDS tape and started walking...and kept walking and walking away from the crowds, the douche bros, the bars, the cars and the Friday night crowds until I realized that I'd probably listened to the fucking tape nine times in a row and now I was on the top of Potrero Hill overlooking all of the city of San Francisco. It got me in a zone. The tape is hyperactive, hook-laden straightforward punk...the kind of shit that you can't explain or make it sound good in print, but once you hear it, you realize it's everything you've been missing. It's the kind of thing I would expect from members of CONEHEADS and OOZE. You can download it for yourself and decide if that description is correct for your worldview or not.
   I'm not a person who looks at messageboards (actually, do people still use these?) or tries to pay attention to the arguments that people have about the current state of punk because my eyes just glaze over. (trust me, I can see the hypocrisy of that statement.) BUT, I've seen the term "hype bands" being thrown around when referring to some current bands and their sudden popularity, such as CONEHEADS, G.L.O.S.S., BIG ZIT, etc.... The thing is, these bands are hyped for a reason...because they're fucking good. Sadie from G.L.O.S.S. told me that when her band was getting ready to press tapes, they had no idea how many to make and they all thought that 600 was a stupid, insane amount of tapes to make., so they made 300 and it sold out immediately. Plus, we're fucking punks and we don't have the money to be throwing around to make a shit ton of stupid tapes that could potentially just sit in a band member's room for years to come. Is this even making sense? I'm just saying that bands just do their thing. Sometimes people latch on to it and sometimes people don't. It's a big world and we have the capacity to enjoy lots of different shit..from CONEHEADS to every single thing ever played on KPOO to TENDER TANTRUM to old scratchy jazz records to harsh noise. Hyped or not. Don't deny yourself great music just because other people like it. And don't lose your shit because you can't track down the original tape because some band doesn't have the money or resources to cater to your every need. I'm done. Enjoy this tape.

Fun fact: Speaking of hype, THE BODY listens to Taylor Swift on tour. 

Next entry will have much less words, I promise. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

MARTY PLAYS MARKY - "Pt II: Marty Bites Back" - Tape - 2015

   I want to preface this entry with the knowledge that I know good and well that it is privileged and babyshit bananas to sit here and talk shit about a huge, awesome event that takes place a few short miles from where I live. I know that there are people who read this blog and live in the middle of nowhere, wishing that they could go to some big stupid ass event rather than skate in the Wal-Mart parking lot again on a Friday night (No shame. That was my teenage years, except it was Piggly Wiggly, not Wal-Mart). With that said, here we go:
   The Anarchist Book Fair took place this past weekend in Oakland and I mostly went to socialize with people who I rarely see. There were good workshops and talks about Ferguson, Mexico, eviction issues, labor practices and women's leadership in anti-capitalist movements. I didn't go to any of them. I walked around through the aisles in what feels more and more like a mall. There's not a lot of trading, haggling or barter happening. It feels like capitalism at work because it is capitalism at work. I found myself talking down V Vale on the price of his full set of Search and Destroy...his legendary newspaper / zine that started in 1977. Issue #1 was newly photocopied and I couldn't bring myself to pay what he was asking. He told me that he would autograph it and I said "I don't want your autograph." I saw his face fall a little bit, but we're fucking punks. We don't have idols. I don't want anyone's fucking autograph. It means nothing to me. I walked away with my money and he kept his zines so I could come back next year and we could try this dance we've been doing for the last five years.
    As I was biking away, I was getting upset about pining for a past that I never passed through. Sure, those zines contain amazing history lessons and photos of things that still inspire me, but I didn't need it at that price...and that condition. Instead, I went home and spent a bunch of money on bands, distros and zines who are creating their music and art much cheaper prices.
   Today, I got 6 tapes in my P.O. box with more on the way. All of 'em were created in the past year by people who would not offer me an autograph, but might offer me a place to sleep if I needed it. This one is called Marty plays Marky....It's a murky back story. Two bands. You're probably familiar with them...THE CONEHEADS and LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS. Mark from the CONES covered a LUMPY and a CAL AND THE CALORIES song on a tape (which you can find here). So, Martin from LUMPY responded to it with a tape of his own, covering THE CONEHEADS, HOT BEEF and some other weird shit. It's good. The sound quality is like a garbage fart. I'm glad I'm listening to this instead of reading Search and Destroy right now.

Order stuff from small distros. Start bands. Support what's happening in your town if it's worth supporting. If it's not, make something that is worth supporting. Respect the history of what you love but don't live in it. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015


   When DEAD MOON broke up in 2006, I was so heartbroken. I honestly felt like I had been dumped by a partner or kicked in the stomach or both. I thought that I had a lifetime of DEAD MOON shows to look forward to. Like, as long as Fred, Toody and Andrew were alive, I could rest assured that they would be there for me when I felt like I was at my lowest. If I was heartbroken, I could put on "Nervous Sooner Changes" and feel like someone felt the same as I did. If I woke up "in the bottom of something being loaded in a dumptruck", I could pull out the "Trash and Burn" LP and feel good enough to start the day...and not only start the day, but hold my head up high and take whatever damage flung itself into my life. The records are still there of course, but it was a whole different feeling to see DEAD MOON live with Fred and Toody's toes touching the edge of the stage while they sang each song with the fiercest conviction I've ever seen.
    So, yeah...I was sad. I should've known that they couldn't stay dormant for long. Within a year, I heard that Fred and Toody were already back with a new band. I can make my guesses as to why they weren't playing with Andrew anymore, but that's the kind of talk left for late night drunken conversations or long van rides in the middle of nowhere. PIERCED ARROWS were already playing some shows in the northwest, but I lived in Indiana, so I had no clue when I'd actually see or hear them until this CD-R made it's way into my hands.
    The band played on KBOO in Portland and it was only their 8th show. Most of the songs on here ended up on their first LP, "Straight To The Heart". They also threw in a DEAD MOON song for good measure and it's not the one or two that you might think it is. The recording is a good live recording, but the performance is a little....uh...rough.
   It might go without saying that I've never felt the same for PIERCED ARROWS as I did for DEAD MOON. I don't know anyone who did. I'm not a fan of reunions or even nostalgia really (I know that this entire blog might make you think otherwise, but it's the truth), but when DEAD MOON announced that they were gonna play a reunion show last year, I didn't hesitate to buy a plane ticket to Portland. I even went this year when they did it again. Now, it just seems like they're a band again...and I'm fine with that. I wouldn't even mind if they put out a new LP. With Fred having heart surgery, Andrew quitting drinking (??) and Toody trying to hold it all together, I can imagine what kind of new desperate sounds they might create.

   But this is about PIERCED ARROWS...and about their show on KBOO when they were just starting out...and how incredibly happy I was to know that they hadn't given up just yet.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MRR Radio #1449

Alex and I were on MRR Radio this week, playing lotsa stuff, including a long set about how we don't give a shit about 4/20. 
Also, check out this picture, taken by my friend Robert in Mongolia...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

BANDA MUERTA - Tape - 2014

   As a teenager, I was really into garage punk, but I luckily fell into quality shit right off the bat with bands like THE MUMMIES, THE BRENTWOODS, THE TRASHWOMEN and whatever the fuck Billy Childish was doing at that point. As I delved deeper in, I just found lots of rehash-trite-bullshit-sixties-rock revival with absolutely no soul. It got boring. It was like hearing the BEATLES but not understanding THE SONICS or PLEASURE SEEKERS. I moved on to pure punk and my usual weirdo vibes.
   Lately, I've been coming back to garage punk because it seems like bands understand it again...or I just wasn't paying attention in the right places (more likely). Letting myself be open to these things again has led me to sitting outside of sold-out MUMMIES reunion shows full of boring fuckheads, looking at overpriced Billy Childish reissues and finding out that Elka Zolot from THE TRASHWOMEN is Kreayshawn's mom. You can't go back, but why the fuck would you want to??!
    Luckily, we can all just look to the future with bands like BANDA MUERTA. I'll admit that when the first song came on, I was not that stoked until about a minute and a half in. Something clicked right then and I really started paying attention. I thought "This singer has no dynamics" and then I thought "This is cool...this singer has no dynamics!" It's just full on all the time and something about it reminds me of the same intensity I feel from the singer of LA URRS. The music itself is raw, urgent and extremely catchy. Like it or don't.

Members of COPYCATS and CARNE
(Calling this band "garage" is kind of a stretch really)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MIX TAPE - 1995

  Besides my old friend, Heather, who I met when I was 5 years old, I only keep in touch with one other friend from the Nascar days of my youth (that reference is so vague that I'm not explaining it...just roll with it). That friend is Angie, who mailed this tape to me at my two room apartment in Huntsville, AL in 1995. No cover, no track listing...just this tape rolled up into a letter, recorded over a battered GEORGE MICHAEL cassingle. Short and to the point. I had no clue that I'd still love every song on this tape 20 years later (20 years!). I had no clue that the Floyd who is mentioned in the first line of the first song would be the same person who now assigns me CD's to review for Maximum Rock N Roll or that that house he made his phone call from (listen to the song) would catch on fire a short distance from where I live now. I didn't know that the third song would still resonate so much harder with me now than it did back then. The last band on the tape, EVERY ALICE ON EARTH, will not be a hit with many (or any) visitors to the blog, but they were a local(ish) band where I grew up and were one the first DIY (I mean this as actual "Do It Yourself", not as an empty slogan used by hardware stores and Pottery Barn) bands I ever saw in my pre-teen years, which made a big impact. In some very, very tiny circles, they are legendary.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

MRR RADIO - #1433 and #1441

   I forgot to post these here, but they've both been posted on the MRR website for weeks now. On episode 1433 of the radio show, I was joined by my neighbor, Jason, who plays in PERMANENT RUIN and JOYRIDE. On episode 1441, I hosted it alone and made a lot of mistakes. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

VARIOUS ARTISTS - "Audio Annihilation" - Tape - 2004

   There are very little details that I know about this tape. I do know that it showed up in my P.O. box years ago with an accompanying zine, but that informative document has been lost after moving between no less than 8 houses, 6 states and 3 time zones. What I can tell you is that this was produced by some stellar folks from San Pedro, CA and was probably meant to document a certain time in their scene, but I'm really fucking it up now. Most of the songs on here are shoddy, lo-fi, live recordings that sound like a really fun time. I can't tell you who any of these bands are because I don't know. LIPSTICK PICKUPS? KILLER DREAMER? You tell me! No, really! I wanna know who sings track 14 because it's my favorite! Also, interspersed between some of the songs are some pretty funny ads for records that were coming out at the time, which is something I wish that happened more often in punk.

Monday, March 9, 2015

TRACEY TRANCE - "101" - Tape - 2013

Today's post is brought to you by Jacob Khepler 

 It's common for a band to make a "tour release"- a limited object you can only get direct from them at shows on tour. Oftentimes it is hastily put together, by bands that don't have a new-enough record to sell at the gigs. As a consequence the tour release is more prone to have goofy shit, live stuff, weird covers, noise parts, and collaborations that would never make the cut on the official release. And as a result of this, a tour release can have a behind-the-scenes feeling, that really makes you think of the band members as human beings. The full release is like a band's thesis. The tour tape shows you what the band is like at home- who they're jamming with and what they're riffing on.

   Anyway, this tape isn't a tour tape, it's like the reverse of a tour tape. It sounds recorded on the road, about being on the road, named after the road, with sounds of the actual road, for the benefit of the friends at home. "Our car broke down in the following 8 places, and each place had a nice new friend, a sunny ditch, a kooky animal, and a romantic feeling". It's very sweet!!!!

    This tape contains Tracey's high wavering falsetto singing a nice little ditty about experiences on the 101 highway (i think), and another song about friends, intercut with road sounds, alternate takes, the same songs fed through effects, and brief verses and bits of other songs that come and go in a nice natural way. It's basically an EP of filler material, but as I said before, that can be very nice. The songs have an easy fun melody and a simple rhyme scheme that really makes them seem like they were initally written while driving, maybe even freestyled, for the amusement of the passenger or passengers. Many parts feature a keyboard, Tracey's main instrument, played in a loping circular manner as fingers slip and slide across the plastic. The whole thing seems to be recorded on a handheld walkman recorder- in quieter moments the compression on the tiny built-in condenser mic swells and you hear the background rush in. Lots of nice highway sounds too- trucks, trains, bridges, bells. Very nice.

    If you are not already a Tracey Trance fan, this tape may be your "101" (qua "introductory class")- these sounds are all present to varying degrees and yes, the music is basically this high all the time (at least). If you like it definitely seek out other releases (especially "Pyber Kub"). If you don't like it, that's totally valid. Do not seek out other releases.

    I have no idea if this title is in reference to the Depeche Mode live album / documentary of the same name. It easily could be, and I don't think it's hurting anyone to pretend it is. I would love it if Tracey did a full-on Depeche Mode cover tape- Tracey if you're reading this, think about it.

 In conclusion, I like Tracey Trance, and I like this tape.

Friday, February 27, 2015


 DISUNDERSTOOD is a zine that my friend Sara Double Ears started in 2002. Initially, she was going to call it "Misunderstood", but I happened to be in the room and said something like "What? Seriously?? It should be called DIS-understood!!" The basic premise of the zine is that she attends punk shows with her notebook in hand and writes down what she thinks the bands are singing about. Since she is a part of the DIY punk community, she can usually be found in houses, storefronts, generator shows and warehouses where the PA is always less that adequate. When you throw in the fact that most of the singers are screaming unintelligibly, it is near impossible to discern what anyone is saying. This is why she wrote down that TRAGEDY was singing about gardening and SEXY sang about eating aspertame together.
  I love the first issue of DISUNDERSTOOD. I might be the biggest fan, which is why I begged Sara to work on issue two for the next ten years. When I saw that it may never happen. I asked if I could just do it myself. Sara happily handed over her unused files of misheard lyrics from the intervening ten years and I got to work, carrying my own notebook to shows all over the US and throughout Europe. Issue two went to print in 2012 with everything from OUTLOOK singing about being a dog to HYSTERICS singing about sledding to TRAGEDY eating shit and bacon.
   I've been self-publishing zines since the mid-1990's and I've never even vaguely entertained the idea of trying to read anything in front of people, mostly because it feels awkward, I don't like the sound of my own voice and being in front of people without the comforting blanket of a loud punk band turns my anxiety level up to 1000. In the fall of 2013, I found myself in Providence, RI for a month. My friend, Mike was setting up a show at (now defunct) Building 16 in Olneyville. For some weird reason, I asked if I could kick off the show with a zine reading from the second issue of DISUNDERSTOOD....the feeling came out of nowhere. He said yeah and I practiced once in my room.
   The reading felt okay. I was a lot less anxious than I thought I'd be, but I still sweated profusely and later threw up behind the building. The audience was really nice. It was cool to hear what people thought was funny and what fell flat. Who knew that one of the bigger laughs would come from the statement, "My band played a show with TRAGEDY in Scotland."? I had no idea that my new friend, Erik was recording the set, but he sent it over to me a couple of days ago. Here ya go...

Both issues of the zine are long out of print. Sara and I are currently collaborating on the third issue. When it is printed, you'll be able to buy it here.
Many thanks to Erik-Dardan Ymeraga for recording the show and sending over the files. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

KARP - "Live At Yo Yo A Go Go" - Tape - 1994

Today's tape and write-up is brought to you by Alex Turner.

This show happened in 1994. 21 years ago, RANCID and KARP played together at an indie rock fest in Olympia. What the fuck? KARP is Olympia's best band. Enjoy.


(ed. note: Sorry if it's misleading that I used the cover of their demo tape for the art.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

FERAL CHILDREN - Tape - 2006

   This tape showed up in a box of stuff sent from the east coast a few months ago and it sat in that box until today. Last week, I was in the home town of FERAL CHILDREN, saw this tape for sale in a record store and thought "Oh yeah, I should dig that tape out when I get home."
   This tape was written, performed and recorded by my friend, Mikey in a house named Little Pancakes. Once, I was there and ate some homemade pizzas after painting a bunch of blue shit on my face. These days, I'm pretty sure some freak-o's still live there. I've walked by and thought I should just knock on the door and hang out, but I never have.
  FERAL CHILDREN sounds rudimentary and wonky...on the verge of collapse and decay. Industrial at times, but never machine-like. Some conventional song structures at times, but like, alternate-reality conventional. Truthfully, I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about right now..I went outside for a while and wanted to kill every motherfucker on the street, so I came home, closed my door, listened to this and it made me feel better,,,like there's other people in the world who just can't take it sometimes and sit in their house and make weird music because it keeps them from randomly punching strangers. Or maybe I'm just projecting.

Friday, February 20, 2015

S.B.S.M. - "Bitter Ends" - Tape - 2014

   There's this thing that happens when you live in town long enough where everyone just assumes that you know everyone. This isn't true. I started hearing about S.B.S.M. around town. When I asked some friends about the band, they would just say "Oh, you know's (these people) and they played that show at (venue I've never heard of) with (that one band everyone cares about but somehow I've never heard of them)" Well, it turns out that I work with a member of S.B.S.M. Oops.
   When I finally tracked down S.B.S.M., they were playing in a tiny basement in West Oakland. Their loud, cacophonous mess of sound was almost overwhelming in a way I haven't felt locally in a long time. The thing that really drew me to them, besides the fact that I was into their music, is that even though it's completely obvious that the three people in this band are very serious about what they do, they don't let that stop them from laughing it off when their broken equipment shorts out mid-song. One of them will use that as an opportunity to explain the song or tell you about an upcoming protest or talk about why they're playing that particular benefit show while the other members change out cables, tear apart wires and try to figure out what the fuck went wrong. And this is all so refreshing for me because I feel like we have entered a stage of punk (and this is just my perspective) where so many bands are trying to be perfect recreations of bygone eras or they're afraid to go out on limbs or they're trying to pose just right for that Instagram photo or whatever the fuck it is that people do. Many bands don't discuss their politics anymore or don't have any politics to speak of whatsoever, but when the whole fucking world is falling apart and there are rape apologists (and rapists) in your audience and cops are killing all the brown people they can possibly get away with and you feel like you're just gonna explode because you can't fucking take it anymore...just fucking talk about it!! Or just take your place in line (or the barstool) next to all the other soulless hardcore bands.

   The other reason I like them is that when they play the last part of ":Godzilla" live, it sounds like 30 bombs going off in a haunted castle nestled in a nightmare world.

They're recording a new tape soon. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

RANCID - "Live at YoYo A Go Go" - Tape - 1994

   In the mid-90's, I went on tour with my band through Florida and the south. On the tour, we played a generator show in the Everglades next to a rotting cow carcass, we played a VFW hall and we played in some living rooms. One night, we were in Cocoa Beach, FL with a night off and heard that RANCID was playing an hour away in Orlando. At this point in time, none of the members of my band paid any attention to major media (or any media for that matter) and we had the idea of driving to the show to see if we could jump on to the bill. Our guitarist, Joey had slept on Tim Armstrong's couch in Berkeley and was pretty good friends with his neighbors in SCREW 32, so we thought it would be easy to play a short set before them. Little did we know that in the intervening years, Tim's roommates would come home to find RANCID shooting a video complete with a camera crew and deli trays in their living room. That video was played on MTV, the band found their way to magazine covers and were now touring in a completely different style than we were. I doubt they had to jump start their van every time they tried to move it or fixed the alternator belt with a shoestring or chewing gum.
   So, when we got to Orlando, the security guards fittingly laughed in our faces when we asked to talk to the band about playing a short set at the show. We dutifully paid our 10 bucks like everyone else and went in to watch the bands. The LUNACHICKS made some speech about how it took a lot of hard work to get to where they were on that big stage. I laughed my ass off at them. Thinking about it now, I can imagine that it was a lot more frustrating for them to get to that point than RANCID, being four women playing punk and metal in the late 80's and early 90's. I'm sure it was also frustrating to think about how Dino, GG Allin's drummer, thought that he had a psychic connection to them and regularly masturbated to pictures of them...but I digress.
   RANCID was good. I also laughed at them. A lot. "And Out Come The Wolves" had just been released so they played a lot of songs from that one.
    We drove back to Cocoa Beach. I took off all of my clothes and walked in to the ocean.

  This tape (that's not it pictured above) was sent over by Alex Turner. It's from the year before I saw them when they played at Yoyo a Go Go in Olympia, WA back in 1994. We're both pretty sure that it was recorded off the board. Alex believes that the details are this: Somebody recorded it, Tobi Vail owned the tape for years, gave it to someone else in Olympia and then it made its way to milk crate at Punkall. Alex brought it back to Oakland and digitized it for you to enjoy. The sound quality is not bad, but a little assy at points.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

ALEX TURNER - Top Ten of 2014

I'm only going to list one thing this year...

  • Black Lives Matter

all the punk shit seems infinity less important

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

MIKE TAYLOR - Top Ten of 2014

   Mike Taylor is an artist, writer and musician living in NYC. I wish he was more present in my life, but this is how we live. Here is a tiny picture of him and his top ten list.

Oh! Mary Robison I just discovered Mary Robison this year. This book was originally a set of 3x5 cards she would make notes on to work her way out of writer's block.  It reads like that- staccato, abbreviated, curt. But her way with minimalism is martial art...the most solid single kick to the chest.

George Saunders I read both Tenth of December  and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline this year. I don't want to say too much about people who use the short story as their main mode of expression, because it's enough to just say that. I'm more into Saunders' use of the theme park as potential site for everything to fall apart.

Dan Talbot "Small Hallucinations" tape., Wasp Video Roadhouse I know Dan as a painter from Providence days, but when I went to see Russian Tsarlag recently, he was there playing these songs live. Really weird stuff...almost like The Shaggs, in that he plays really long, through composed phrases under pretty catchy  lyrical arrangements. I didn't even know he played music! Bonus points for thorough confidence for a man in a new context.

Survival Knife "Loose Power" lp/live, Glacial Pace Justin Trosper, from Unwound. His new band. Like Jimmy Page as Black Flag's second guitarist. Lifers. I love it. I bought the record at the show, that's fun. I saw them at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, which is the lamest possible place for a show. It's like watching Tiffany on her tour of shopping malls, but it's Brooklyn, so everyone there is 100% positive they're fucking a model that night. The band made it worth it though. Adult rock, but for decent adults.

Matt Thurber "Art Comics" Matt spends more time drawing than online, which sets him apart from most contemporary cartoonists.

Patrick Kyle "New Comics" Patrick blew up in the comics world this year, which is like having the shortest possible set of stilts, if you don't know. He's best known for his "Distance Mover" series, but this comic is his best written and best drawn by miles.

Black Rainbow-LP Not just because they're friends, but it's really good!

Rat Columns- live at Death by Audio Recorded, they sound like Love and Rockets, live, it's like if Wire were from Berkeley circa 1992.

Maher Shalal Hash Baz- Live at Issue Project Room I wasn't aware of this band at all, but when Jacob and Sakiko invited me to go see them, I went. Turns out the nucleus of the band, Tori Kudo, is a star in a slightly different constellation than I rotate in. I want to remember it as a 13 piece band, but that's not as important as you checking them out. The music is written as songs, but played without rehearsal by a rotating roster of musicians. It's everything good about basement punk shows: the possibility of the crash, the intensity, the noise. It's political and loving and true only to itself.

Wayne White- "Invisible Ruler" at Joshua Liner Gallery I went to several openings that night, but this was the only one that was full of people smiling. Wayne was there, surrounded by fans of all ages waiting to pump his arm. he seemed really happy. The work, if you don't know it, ranges from the abject cartoon sculptures he designed for Pee Wee's Playhouse, to text blasts imposed over photoreal landscapes saying things like, "I Wanna See The Manager". Zero pretension.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

CLYDE PETERSEN - Top Ten of 2014

Clyde Petersen makes films, talks shit, met my grandma, plays music as YOUR HEART BREAKS and once tolerated me yelling about an apple for a long time.

1. Chopping off my tits. Fucking awesome. Now I look like David Hasselhoff.

 2. This animator who made a Nintendo Power Glove into a blue tooth animation controller.

 3. I got a huge fucking grant from the Dale Chihuly foundation and all I did was talk about loving perverts at the panel interview. I was like, I love John Waters, Paul Rubens and George Quaintance.

 4. I built a giant cardboard castle for the city of Seattle. Then I gave it away on Craigslist to a person who said they ran a shelter at home for rabbits and guinea pigs and that they “would just LOVE it”.

 5. I convinced the Henry Art Gallery to pay me to put on a huge concert on the water with 15 bands. It was free to the public and hundreds of people showed up. We rented all the canoes so no frat boys could use them, and we didn’t even get permits.

 6. I found out about Glow in the Dark Spray paint.

 7. Eastbound and Down. A television show I binge watched after I crashed my bike on the trolley tracks and tore my shoulder. Lots of drugs and hours with some dude named Kenny Powers. This show is so fucked up. I don’t think its for everyone, but it was a good distraction.

 8. Getting together a real rocking new version of Your Heart Breaks. We even have Saxophone Solos. We’re making a new album in May.

 9. I didn’t meet my doing it quota for 3 times a day, but I sure fucking tried.

 10. Resolving for 2015 to never wake up before noon if possible. No alarm clocks. Embracing the night owl.

Friday, January 16, 2015

MARS DIXON - Top Ten of 2014

   Mars is one of my favorite humans. Every time I see him, he's somehow more amazing. Mars plays guitar in AYE NAKO, wears flower-print denim better than anyone, is totally fucking hilarious and loves dogs.

I didn't put things in an order. I just wrote them in this order.

I heard Sammus late in the on Christmas Day having some alone time listening to my podcasts. Listening to Another M reminds me of this sort of heroic melancholy I used to feel while playing Metroid as a kid. I always felt gloomed out about Samus’ story and how she was all alone exploring and fighting all these monsters. Most chiptune music I’ve heard hasn’t really been my thing, but these beats are so tight. They say:
“Another M is a seven-track EP that retells the story of intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran from the classic Nintendo game Metroid as she is imagined by producer, rapper, and feminist warrior Sammus. Using the vehicle of self-produced hip hop beats inspired by the game’s soundtrack in combination with heartfelt lyrics and delivery, Sammus takes listeners on a journey from Samus’ lonely childhood with the Chozo race to her epic battle against the evil Mother Brain.”
On the same day I found Sammus, I also started researching how to make my own chiptunes and am trying to find my copy of Metroid for Gameboy in my closet.
ßLK G33K$ R ©oøL! 8)

Earlier this year, I got invited to a basement show at a house I’ve never been to in Brooklyn. I missed most of the show because I’m anxious as hell and it keeps me from leaving the house on time. I was just climbing down the dark stairs which were barely lit up by Malportado Kids’ projections on the wall behind them as they were playing. I didn't know much about them at that point but right away I knew I was where I was supposed to be. Since then we’ve played a few shows with Downtown Boys and have become band friends. I told Victoria, the vocalist in both bands, how I aspire to be as poignant and unmistakably passionate as her with the things I say in between songs but she pointed out me that my style of stage banter/song explaining is just as meaningful so that's cool. <3 o:p="">

(photo by joe mccann)

 3. The reanimation of my personal love for and deep obsession over video games:  I was born with a NES controller in my hand. Betwixt the year after moving out of my mom’s house til my birthday this past summer, I stopped playing video games pretty much completely, an era of unnecessary self-deprivation. All those years, I would dream video game dreams and sometimes they started off where I’d just be playing the game like normal but then somehow get sucked into the TV and become the character I was playing. I’m so glad to be back where I belong. This has always been my favorite form of escapism. Keeping up with these newfangled ways of communicating via social media, I came up with the hashtag #limpwristedgaming hoping it catches on soon. My gaymer name is xn0txhumanx btw. Much thanks to all my friends who got together and surprised me with a PS3 for my birthday!

Back in March, I went to the release show for his comedy album Waiting For 2042 at Union Hall with the friend who, years ago, told me he was one of the so very few stand up comedians that was actually funny. Janeane Garofalo, Ted Leo and one or two others opened for him. The album title refers to the year white people in America will be the minority according to statistics. Heh heh.

5. Limp Wrist at Chicago’s Fed Up Fest
It was supposed to be a surprise! To keep the bros out, it had been unannounced til a few hours before they played. I found out the night before though. It’s been a while since I went so nuts at a show that my glasses fell off, since my shirt got so soppin’ wet I had to take that shit off and put it in a plastic bag (that I ended up forgetting about for a day -- PU!) and then the new shirt quickly became uselessly soaked too. This was one of my favorite weekends this year.

6. Kendrick Lamar -  i

There were some rough ass weeks in November and December that only felt manageable partly by watching this video and listening to this song on repeat, and singing along to the chorus: “I love myself/One day at a time/Sun gon’ shine”. I struggle to tell people I love them. It’s quite unfathomable to tell myself. This is a 'fake it til you make it' situation.

7. My highlights of hilarious things I’ve posted on Tumblr that helped me get through the year:

They were on my list the last time I made a top 10. Still my favorite band. We played a few shows with them this year, most recently, at Glasslands with Mary Timony’s Ex Hex. It feels cool to be inspired by friends. According to Spotify, all the songs on this EP were in my top 10 list of songs I listened to the most this year.

9. Friends & Community
Growing up in the racist-ass, small-minded town of Horseshit, Arkansas, I would have never thought I’d find myself surrounded by people who actually like and care about me. I purged a lot from my real life contact list. The “friends” who had no respect for me as a black person because they are having a such a great life being colorblind and willfully ignorant. So grateful to have friends who came and visited me while I was recovering from surgery or wrote me letters/emails/texts. So grateful to have friends who hear me when I say I’m not doing ok as I am constantly traumatized by the brutality of police, white vigilantes and the state. So grateful to have cool black friends in my life to relate to and I keep making more like every month.

10. Old stomping grounds (I hate that phrase) - visited Arkansas and the Bay Area
I hadn't really spent time in my hometown in like 6 years til this past summer. It's only ever been painful and exhausting to return but I felt like I needed to. I took some pretty amazing footage of my mother in different environments and some of me exploring one of my elementary schools that had been closed and boarded up. Months later, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all -- What happened? How do I feel about my family?

It had been 4 years since I brought my goofy ass to the Bay. I don't know what took so long. I missed it so much despite how much things have changed there. I loved seeing and hanging out with old friends. The times I walked around alone, I'd find myself totally captivated by the hills, the water and the cloudless sky. That shit is so pretty. Carolyn, you're a turd. I love you!

(Failed panoramic of my mother at one of the many lakes we visited that day.)

(Grumpy on my birthday in my mom's bathroom.)

(Taken by Julia Booze. We met a puppy at Lake Merritt.)