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MRR's first fest in almost a decade! Still Not Quiet on the Western Front fest ...

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MRR Radio #1480 • 11/22/15

Amelia, Amanda & John Khan bring you the very best in punk with the jingle ...

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Mollot (photo by Mackenzie Burgess)


“New Blood” is our weekly feature spotlighting new bands from around the world! See below for info ...

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RIP Dickie Hammond (with HDQ)

MRR Radio #1479 • 11/15/15

This week Matt and Lena play mostly new stuff they're digging, as well as a ...

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Reissue of the Week: HEX Poison In The System: The Demos LP

Reissue of the Week: HEX Poison In The System: The Demos LP

HEX – “Poison In The System: The Demos” CD If you liked your punk, the UK ...

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2 METRIC TONS OF STEEL, 100 KILOMETERS AN HOUR: Permanent Ruin on Tour in Europe

August 23rd, 2015 by

San Jose’s Permanent Ruin recently went on tour in Europe. Drummer Rich Gutierez wrote an extensive tour diary, edited by Leslie Patron, a portion of which can be read in MRR 388, available here. Check out the band’s interview in MRR 366 — back issues available in our webstore!

Perm Cru takes Europe

Perm Cru takes Europe


Tuesday, April 21: SFO to Bologna, Italy

I can’t tell if it’s Friday or Thursday. We left on Tuesday and travelled forward through time, and somewhere in the space from Calgary, Alberta to Glasgow, Scotland floating above the clouds we lost Wednesday. We left SFO at 6pm and almost immediately got in a fight. Fred flipped off some lady who honked at us and her husband barreled out of the airport with the bird out yelling in some bullshit ass British accent. I think he was forcing the accent to seem tougher. Fred yelled at him screaming “it’s none of your concern!” with the biggest, widest shit eating grin. The guy didn’t know what to do. I mean come on dude! You aren’t going to fight us so just go inside! We yelled at him to go away and he just kind of stood hard and unsure, then sauntered off. Who wants to pay for an ass kicking over a middle finger really?

Anyway the flight was long! 13 hours and a straight shot from SFO to Istanbul, Turkey. I have a slight head cold and have been dripping buckets of snot nonstop. There was a graveyard of tissue paper surrounding my seat; the lady next to me across the row was pretty horrified. What an unfavorable situation to be in on a plane. I watched 4 movies and listened to some sad music and passed out on this donut pillow that was cutting off my circulation. We landed in Istanbul and had a 3 hour layover, Merm was texting her new crush or real love or future husband or whatever and we all sat at around talking about bands we’d like to start. Mariam tried to do a headstand against a wall, but missed and fell, it was some straight up Jackass shit, Merm Knoxville freaking out the airport crowd. Read the rest of this entry »

Blast From the Past: The Petticoats

August 20th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #312/May ’09. which you can grab here
Stef Petticoat is best known for her pioneering, one-woman punk band, the Petticoats. As a German lesbian, Stef also stands out with her entirely unique approach to the blossoming late 1970s European punk scene. Her self-recorded, self-released Petticoats single was “Record of the Week” on the BBC’s John Peel show in 1980. As the ’80s progressed, Stef also formed the groups Necessary Evil, Amy and the Angels, 69 Lies, and collaborated with Robert Crash. Her trailblazing methods have proved successful in even more fruitful ways—with almost three decades of music, Stef Petticoat’s story is one that illustrates the diverse history of punk.
Interview by Jess Scott
MRR: Let’s start from the beginning: how did you originally get into playing music? What kind of music were you first attracted to?

Stef: According to my baby book I was singing constantly before the age of two. I have no recollection of this. I always liked music. When I started school I learned to play the C Alto and Tenor recorder with the Youth Music School—classical music. When I was about 13, Beat music started. I really liked the Beatles and Rolling Stones, and desperately wanted to learn to play guitar. But my parents said no and I had no money. After I had pestered them for a year they finally gave in and I was given an acoustic guitar for Christmas and had lessons. Unfortunately, the teacher and my parents insisted I learn classical guitar, as this would be the basis for pop music. Later a friend showed me a few chords and I have not really progressed from that! After Beat, of course I was a hippie and loved the Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Jefferson Airplane, etc. And I really liked the Velvet Underground! I grew up in the bourgeois ’50s (I am now 59!) and already as a hippie I felt “out of the system.” But it was punk that really made me think, “This is the best music ever and this is what I want to do!”


MRR: How did you make the jump to being in punk bands then?

Stef: This is all so long ago! I hope I remember it all. After I got infected with punk (in 1976 I think, when I traveled to London and New York City), a friend (male) who was a singer in a band suggested I try it out. I started singing Patti Smith songs with a friend who played the piano. I had bought the Patti Smith songbook in New York and loved it. Then I tried to find a band who wanted a singer, but this turned out to be very difficult. I worked in Aachen at the time and spent my weekends in Bonn (where I used to live).

I auditioned for bands in the Aachen, Bonn, and Cologne area, but they were all boring male rock bands who had never heard of punk. They thought I was too wild and my musical ideas too crazy. So I thought, well, if I really want to make the music I like then I have to go to London or New York! I packed my bags and went to London. The bands I auditioned there were just as boring—what a disappointment! Finally, one day at the women’s arts alliance, one woman told me about someone she knew who might be into the same music as I—and she was! It was Zuni (who is now a student of ecology in New Zealand). She and I hit it off right away. She played the drums and I bought an electric guitar and sang. We found a bass player, (who left shortly after to continue her university studies, so we found another), and an additional guitarist. We called the band Necessary Evil. We wrote songs and played a few gigs, but the other guitarist was a very strong lesbian feminist separatist. I refused to sing her songs, which were only about killing all men. She decided she did not want to play shows for men anymore—but I did! We had a lot of arguments. The other band mates took her side and decided to dissolve the band. This was a great shock to me. After a while I became friends again with Zuni, and the bass player, Trish, who now is a gardener.

 Myspace6-300dpi2 Read the rest of this entry »

MRR Radio #1442 • 3/1/15

March 1st, 2015 by

Mariam’s Hung Over Return (I should have played S.H.I.T.)


Smash your Shit (Intro…You’ve heard this one, it’s a scorcher)
G.L.O.S.S. – G.L.O.S.S. (We’re From the Future)

Piss Test

Piss Test

New Shit
SACRIFICIO – Los Chavos Necesitan un Líder
VIXENS – Silly Punk
GAS RAG – Human Bomb

Weird Shit
BROKEN PRAYER – Pull a Kaczynski
VCR- Fake Freaks (Fuck Off)
PISSE – Ich Fürle Nichts

Dancing Shit
EKOLALIA – La Salvacion
TNT – Empty Sounds

Depressing Shit
DESTRUYE Y HUYE – Oscura Sociedad
RESEAU D’OMBRES – Natural Gesture
THE C-3’S – Fact

Noisy Shit
DEFORMITY – Fracture
NARCOLEPTICS – Cell Degeneration
DHK – Desobedece
KRÖMOSOM – The Future

Talking Shit (Outro)
PISS TEST – Leather Jackets in the Heat
PISS TEST – Used to Skate

Maximum Rocknroll Radio is a weekly radio show and podcast featuring DIY punk, garage rock, hardcore, and more from around the world. Our rotating cast of DJs picks the best of the best from MRR magazine’s astounding, ever-growing vinyl archive. You can find MRR Radio archives, specials, and more at radio.maximumrocknroll.com. Thanks for listening!

Create to Destroy! Sam Lefebvre

October 15th, 2014 by


MRR started as a radio show but is mostly known as a written publication.  I’m unsure if many of its contributors who write often or periodically consider themselves writers, but I consider Sam Lefebvre a writer.  In addition to MRR, Sam has been published  everywhere from our local papers to major magazines. I wanted to know more about what he does outside of our seemingly insulated world of writings from the underground…

Have you always been a writer?
Sure! I remember entertaining the idea of becoming a writer when I was a kid. Then I lost a spelling bee. The defeat rattles my writerly self-image to this day. I wrote a Russian alcoholic story in fourth grade, a psychosexual analysis of Dr. Strangelove in fifth grade, and a paean to the wind in sixth grade. Somehow, I have yet to exhaust embarrassing writing topics, thus my focus on punk.


When did your writing mix with music such as doing zines? What zine are you currently working on?
I wrote lyrics in my early teens, notably a conceptual protest opus about Karl Rove for my first band, and started a zine when I was about seventeen. I felt inspired to make a zine because nothing like that was happening in my peer group. The impulse sprang from a void. I worked in a record store, consumed music voraciously, and felt possessed to try to express how songs made me feel and examine them in their cultural context, which is the same thing I do today.

My main zine project is Degenerate (aka Etrenegade/Degenetrenegade/ Appendegenerate), though I prefer to call it a “mag” and tend to think of it as more of a persisting sickness than a “project.” As an ongoing endeavor, making Degenerate is equal parts self-harm, penance, exercise in writing style, and feverish outpour.

How’d you wind up getting involved at MRR and Alternative Tentacles?
I discovered MRR at the Che Café in San Diego, where I’d take the bus to from the suburbs a lot. On visits to the Bay, I’d call MRR HQ and come over to green tape records. Mariam Bastami encouraged me to move and become a shitworker. Before moving, I also went and saw Jesse Luscious play in his then-reunited Gr’ups and interviewed his bandmates. He mentioned that he ran Alternative Tentacles, I stayed in touch, and he offered me an internship once I moved. I haven’t volunteered at AT for years, and only contribute to MRR sporadically nowadays, but those opportunities initially inspired me to move.

How did you start writing for the SF Weekly and East Bay Express?
A friend passed a copy of Degenerate to the music editor at SF Weekly, who got in touch and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing a concert. I started contributing to the East Bay Express to diversify my outlets, where I became the music editor earlier this year, which ended my Hidden Agenda column and contributions at SF Weekly.

How’d you wind up contributing to Wondering Sound, Spin, and Consequence of Sound?
I pitched to national outlets because contributing to the weeklies mostly limited my scope to local music. Amusingly, one opportunity came after I felt like a well-known publication poached some of my reporting and angle on a local artist for their own story. Instead of getting mad, I reached out and pitched.


How do you feel about bringing the underground to the masses? Do you feel that you’re doing any of the bands you cover a disservice by inviting people who are more mass consumers into the mostly non-corporate DIY world you cover?
What an accusation!

The traditional under/above-ground musical divisions are increasingly flimsy, definitely in the eyes of what music writers decide to pitch. Beyond that, once a recording is released, it’s severed from the artist’s intentions and enters into conversation with the surrounding culture. That’s the case for punk and pop and chip music. I try to engage in that dialog. I write about other genres, but punk is particularly resonant with me on an emotional and physical level, so my coverage skews towards it.

About doing bands a disservice, no. I actually don’t have that much power. Bands disservice themselves by acting foolishly.

As far as the “more mass consumers” bit, I don’t think we should pretend that punks somehow consume less or with more discernment than non-punks. People who just download pop music use a lot less plastic/paper/oil/trees than people whose apartments are full of records.

One of the coolest things about punk, to me, is that it reveres collective, ritualistic activities, like shows. Punk shows can be these amazing environments for celebrating deviance and momentarily subverting the power dynamics that mar the outside world. But a rare balance of venue, people, and sound is needed to make that happen. When punk shows are full of tourists, they’re less likely to tap that potential. I don’t think my writing has invited many tourists into punk shows; regardless, I hope that it has extended conversations instigated by punk to tourists.

These questions have an air of “what we do is secret” ho-hum. Recently, I interviewed a seventy-some-year-old theater organist. He’s played his entire life. He’s never been recorded. He performs with his back to the audience and doesn’t turn around. He’s always the opener. What he does is secret. What punks do is ego-driven and flayed on Tumblr, just like any other niche sort of music. It’s cool that punk retains regional character and homespun scenes despite that, but let’s not be precious.

What zines do you read?
I like some zines because they look great, others because I discover new things, and others because they have provocative ideas. As for recent publications, issues of Distort, Accept the Darkness, Ratcharge, Nuts!, and Make-a-Mess have combined all of those qualities. Honestly, I mostly read magazines lately. While I’ve never been very interested in perzines, I have tremendous respect for writing and self-publishing as a way for people to tell their story in their own words.

What music writers do you follow? 
To paraphrase Cranked up Really High, an unjustly ignored book about punk by Stewart Home (who’d maybe prefer to be plagiarized), I tend to reject the list as an organizing principle. I’ll take this opportunity to recommend Fvck the Media, which sort of falls outside both the zine and music writing camps, The Quietus for essays, and Collapse Board, where I look for good contrarian takes on hip bands.

How can we best keep up to date on your writing?
Well, I have articles basically every week in the East Bay Express. My freelancing activity varies, though I have pieces appearing in Wondering Sound pretty consistently, a site I recommend in general. Otherwise, I’ve capitulated to the usual social media platforms.

MRR Radio #1416.5 • 9/3/14

September 3rd, 2014 by

A bonus, extended one-and-a-half hour MRR Radio show… Mariam and Toronto punks S.H.I.T. storm the MRR HQ, taking over the airwaves!


Intro song:
S.H.I.T. – Mockery


S.H.I.T. (photo by Martin Sorrondeguy)

The Rest of My Bandmates Listen to More Obscure Music Than Me, by Warren
CIDER – Out to Get Me
WIPERS – Over the Edge

Music to Bum You Out, by Brandon
NO TREND – Reality Breakdown
NO JUSTICE – Everything Falls Apart
CRO-MAGS – Death Camps
WIPERS – Follow Blind
WIRE – Mannequin

In My Headache, by Ryan
ZYCLONE – I Hate This World, But I Love My Life
NUBS – Job
SCREAMERS – Punish or Be Damned

Ho Ho’s Hits, by Jose
VILETONES – Dirty Feelin
DISASTER – Glorious
GAI – Extermination

An Abbreviated Trip Around the World, by Greg
INDIGESTI – Silenzio Statico
OTAN – Sociedad Despreciable
OUTO – Slag
CRISIS – Holocaust
RAKTA – Take Your Time

The Invisible Rodie, by Iain
MOBS – Charisma
FINAL COUNT – Imitate a Human
GEIZZ – We Wait for Song of Geizz
CASBAH – Lock the Express
666 –Black Rain

Outro song:
S.H.I.T. – Masochism

Maximum Rocknroll Radio is a weekly radio show and podcast featuring DIY punk, garage rock, hardcore, and more from around the world. Our rotating cast of DJ’s picks the best of the best from MRR magazine’s astounding, ever-growing vinyl archive. You can find MRR Radio archives, specials, and more at radio.maximumrocknroll.com. Thanks for listening!