Human and animal liberation is right, Dom! For those interested in following politically aware punk via the internet and punk aesthetics: The female punk run Thunderhorse Vintage. Peace.
March 11th, 2011 by Paul
Come with us, won’t you, for a look behind the curtain. Here’s an eerily accurate diagram by our UK correspondent Bryony Beynon, showing the inner workings of the MRR headquarters. Speaking as another long-distance shitworker, I can tell you it’s just like being there! I just hope this doesn’t fall into the wring hands…
Categories : Blog!
October 29th, 2010 by Bryony
Halloween is upon us, and if you happen to live in a country that celebrates this, the most goth day of the year, then I’m willing to bet your primary concerns right now are either Pumpkin shortages, or what in the name of Lucifer you’re going to dress as.
Assuming that you’ll be avoiding all those nasty heteronormative clichés (no punk would ever lump for sexy vampire / zombie / witch now, would they?!) like the plague, you could do a lot worse than look to the wildest ever dressed scene for some inspiration. Of course, we’re talking about LA Punk circa 1977-79. As you’ll be wanting to differentiate from this kind of heinous shittery, you’ll need to get specific.
Brendan Mullen’s book ‘Live at the Masque: Nightmares in Punk Alley’ documents the
bands, events and outfits of this scene, from anonymous lurkers to Darby himself, quite often in rare technicolour detail. In addition to this, a radical lady and obsessive archivist of this period is none other than Alice Bag, whose Flickr feed provides a motherlode of OG snapsnots of subterranean self-styled freaky legends.
If you ask me, these combos are way too good to keep to one day of the year, so draw on a Germs Burn, talc up your face a little, and get outlandish!
Categories : Blog!
August 24th, 2010 by Bryony
So is it really worth the effort? Regular faces at the gigs that I put on are routinely shocked at where all these ‘new’ people have come from, and I can only respond along the lines of ‘actual hold-in-your-hand flyers!’
Don’t be complacent — if you live in a big city, there is always someone who’s gonna be interested that you don’t personally know. It might seem hackneyed, but copying flyers and posters and getting them up around town, and beyond the eyeline of yer regular messageboard / Facebook cognoscenti is the key to busy and fun gigs!
The only limit is your imagination. If anyone asks you make a flyer, you should jump at the chance! The most fun job in punk, arguably, where you get to write mini-reviews of bands, pick images and take the theme of the gig wherever you want. What’s not to like? If you’re stuck, a good fail-safe is to use topical images with resonance to those who are gonna see it, so you could lampoon a shamed politician or make a visual link to local campaigns/concerns.
Otherwise, why not subvert the enormous graphical goldmine of the last 40 years of punk and hardcore to promote your night? The book Fucked up and Photocopied is one of the many chronicles of our rich outsider art history when it comes to punk rock flyers, and makes a great resource for scanning and fiddling with. Request it at your local library, do some scanning, and get cutting and pasting.
The ultimate harsh rhetorical ‘Would we force this mutant child to walk a mile to see…INSERT BAND HERE’ works a treat too! Or, If you’ve no computer and you’re handy with a ballpoint then do as they do in South Wales and light box that shit. Every town has a building which could, when squinting, be morphed into the Capitol Building for purposes of a lightning strike Bad Brains rip off!
When the internet eventually explodes, your Photoshop archive will be long gone, so make real life paper flyers and you never know, in thirty years your work might be hanging in some Auction house, too.
Categories : Blog!
August 17th, 2010 by Arwen
Adventures in Nonfiction
Mimi was in town. It had been three years. We went out for Indian food and then coffee. Her dashing girlfriend Fiona was there too, in a vintage vest and tie. I had forgotten that Mimi was left-handed and that she didn’t drink coffee. She still had asymmetrical hair but now she grew herbs, she said, with a shrug, and did bodywork to take care of her fucked-up shoulders. She and Fiona were working on their respective books. Mimi said she was tired of hers, she wanted to write a different book, a series of essays about NGO-sponsored beauty pageants in which landmine victims were awarded solid-gold prostheses, and the for-profit marketing of women’s-prison-made handicrafts to consumers, and other confusing and/or obscene intersections of fashion and oppression. I told her I wished she would hurry up and finish the first book so she could hurry up and write the second.
We talked about how to get these things done when there’s no one around to tell you to do them. No TV, no video games, we agreed. At one point Mimi said that if she were rich she would probably just stay home and play World of Warcraft. We talked about teaching: Fiona presents key points of feminist thought to her students by showing them slides of cute boys. Seeing Zach Braff or whoever floating on-screen beside important tenets of post-colonial theory made them feel less anxious about taking Women’s Studies classes, she said, especially from someone who looked so queer. We talked about binge drinking, grade inflation, and the Midwestern post-adolescent’s lack of affect.
I told Mimi and Fiona how lately I’ve been tiptoeing into a local grassroots literary circle, a place I might someday like to belong. It’s mutually supportive and DIY and otherwise similar to the punk scene in many ways, but I still feel like a kid at my first show, or writing overconsidered letters to zine editors, all awkward and fumbling around with my wings folded behind me and dragging a little on the floor in front of the stage. It’s a strange place to find myself, after having stuck around long enough in punk publishing to have my name scratched on the walls, and to be accepted by people like they accept the walls. We talked about writing zines and blogs and books. I laughed because I had left MRR to attend a top-tier journalism school and now here I was, back again. I said it felt right, I missed it, I needed a smaller feedback loop than the huge film and book projects provide. They take so long and can be so lonely. Mimi shrugged again and said she needed to keep writing too — why did I think she hung on at Punk Planet until Dan Sinker took her off the masthead without even an explanatory email? And that’s also why she does the wonderful threadbared fashion site that’s of course about so much more. I asked, but what is the compulsion to share about, anyway? Why so first-person all the time? Is it some kind of disease? One we share with everyone on Twitter? We’re not 25 years old anymore, clutching Xacto blades, but we haven’t changed. We still keep courting the dynamic terror of creative self-doubt.
Fiona and I finished our coffee. I bragged about touching the Rosetta Stone. Then we talked about what was hot in YA fiction. Mimi recommended a series called Monster Blood Tattoo.
1. Check out San Francisco’s Doomed this week. Yes. All ages. Yes. Maximum plus Thrillhouse plus bands plus baseball. Yes.
2. Surrender is still on tour. Go see them when they come through. OK, they’re peace punk, but they’re also doing…theater. I don’t mean like high school thespians exchanging lines from “Les Miz” in the cafeteria. I mean that they don’t just play, they perform, and they don’t break character, allowing you to fall under their spell. The blindfold still bothers me, but in a good way.
3. I am interviewed by the rejectionist about my film on Ursula K. Le Guin.
Categories : Blog!, Columns, If You Like Parties