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Renegades of Punk at Studio Gas 07, Brazil. (photo by Alex Almeida "Katira")

Monday Photo Blog: Alex Almeida Katira

It's over to Brazil for this Monday Photo Blog with photos from Alex Almeida "Katira." For more ...

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Los Crudos at Epicenter! (Photo by Matt Average)

MRR Radio #1460 • 7/5/15

Rob and Floyd celebrate Epicenter Zone record store's 25th anniversary. "Open for Holidays, Closed for ...

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WOW what a show: Epicenter reunion…this weekend!

WOW what a show: Epicenter reunion...this weekend!

Epicenter Zone "I was there..." The Epicenter Zone was a "punk project" on the east side of ...

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Blast From the Past: Thrillhouse Records

Blast From the Past: Thrillhouse Records

This ran in MRR #297  which came out in February 2008, you can grab it ...

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Record of the Week: Black Time

Record of the Week: Black Time

BLACK TIME – “Aerial Gobs of Love” LP All hail BLACK TIME, architects of the brutal ...

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Blast From the Past: Hex Dispensers


June 29th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #318/Nov ‘09, which you can grab here

I’ve been buying punk records for 25 years. I’ve heard a lot of good shit. There’s only a couple of bands that are so good that they stand head and shoulders above anything thtas come before. The Hex Dispensers are one of them. Their new LP has been on my turntable almost every day since it came out. I wouldn’t be lying if I told you I’ve listened to a hundred times. The band defy genre…. They have the hooks of the Ramones, darkness of the Wipers with some fucking Danzig/Elvis shit going on. They are the sum of four parts; Alyse’s super tight tribal drumming, Tom’s guitar backbone, Dave’s rolling basslines and slick stage moves topped off with Alex’s crazy blues slides and unique vocals. I’m not even going to go into the ‘ex bands’ bullshit…. They have of course done a ton of good shit previous – how else would they be this good? On top of being a great band they are real fucking people. Along with the Marked Men this band would play my wedding or my funeral.

Interview by Logan Worrell

 

MRR: What do each of you do in the band?
Tom: I play guitar.
Dave: Bass.
Alex: I sing and play guitar.
Alyse: Drums.
Alex: Dave sings too, sometimes.
Alyse: I sing backup
Alex: Alyse sings also.
Dave: Badly.

 

MRR: Why’d you guys decide to start a band with each other?
Tom: We were already in a band together and it seemed like a great idea at that point.
Alex: Alyse, Tom, and I were in a band called This Damn Town, and it was winding down. We decided that we weren’t going to do it anymore because we just hit a wall with it, but we decided that we wanted to keep playing together.
Alyse: Because it worked great
Alex: Yeah, because we have a good rapport. I mean Alyse and I better have a good rapport, we’re married. But we like Tom, kind of, and we thought we wanted to keep playing with him. So we started another band to see how it would go and we liked where it was going,
Dave: You just wanted Tom’s brisket to be within arms reach.
Alex: Basically, yeah.
Tom: Brisket is going to come up in every interview.
Dave: That’s kind of a huge part.

 

Photo: Canderson

Photo: Canderson

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Blast From the Past: The Younger Lovers


June 28th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #317, October 2009, that issue is sold out but you can download it here

DSC03786
The Younger Lovers is Brontez Purnell’s solo project. Me, Brontez and Ramdasha sat together in Central Park to do this interview while the Younger Lovers played shows in NYC this past May. That was me & Ramdasha’s first time hanging out even though we’d had our eyes on each other for at least a couple years cuz you always wanna know who the other black punk kids are when you see them around. Feeling super connected, like old friends, we both talked to Brontez about his newest band, his writing and about the experiences that made him who he is today. He’s added so much personality to every band he’s ever been in and now he’s pouring every ounce of it into his own project and it is de-lic-ious.
Interview by Osa & Ramdasha

 

MRR: When did the Younger Lovers start?
Brontez: It started in 2003. I was in Panty Raid and then we broke up, but there was this song I’d already written for that band, “Sha-Boo-Lee.” I was really into that song and I just told myself that I should still record it by myself. Then I was like, “Why don’t I record a bunch of songs?” I have this friend Vice who was/is in XBXRX. We moved from Alabama to California together. He was recording stuff at this place called Club Short and I was like, “Can you record my EP for free?” and he was like, “Sure!” and so it kicked off then.

 

MRR: The thing I like about the Younger Lovers is that there’s so much of your personality in all of those songs. So when you first wrote “Sha-Boo-Lee” did you have a concept for the kind of music you wanted to make or did that happen naturally?
Brontez: In this weird, metaphysical way, I say both. I knew I wanted to hear cute pop shit again, and I knew I wanted it to be lo-fi because you don’t hear stuff that sounds raw anymore. So intentionally, I wanted it to sound like… I dunno, fucking Motown but on my terms.

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Blast From the Past: GB Jones


June 27th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #317, October 2009, the Queer issue. That issue is sold out but you can download it here

GB Jones & KC Klass Photo:Jenna Von Brucker

GB Jones & KC Klass Photo:Jenna Von Brucker

“G.B. Jones has an uneasy fascination with authority and uses her gender and sexual preference to exploit fantasies of rock & roll, sex, groupies, booze, drugs, money, leather, torn jeans, motorcycles and stardom as an all out assault against values that would strive for assimilation of queer culture into the mainstream. She’s every queer girl and boy’s hero, whether you want her to be or not. Believe it or don’t, she is looking out for every queer’s best interests.”

Arnold J Kemp

G.B. Jones is an artist, a filmmaker, a musician, a writer and publisher of zines. She has been trying to reshape culture since the early ’80s, in many different mediums. JDs, her zine created with Bruce La Bruce challenged so-called alternative cultures to really be alternative; to open it up in terms of gender roles, sexuality, and identity. With Double Bill, created with Caroline Azar, Jena von Brücker, Johnny Noxzema and Rex, she questioned the acceptance of William Burroughs as a queer icon, reminding readers of his misogyny. In the early ’80s she joined the synth-punk band Bunny and the Lakers. In ’85 Jones formed the infamous Fifth Column, whose early ’90s single on K, All Women are Bitches was a defining classic of feminist punk, and a Riot Grrrl anthem. GB is perhaps best known for her film work and has directed and appeared in a number of underground films. In 1990, the two JDs editors held JDs movie nights in London, Toronto, Montreal and San Francisco, showing their no budget films made on Super 8 mm film. The Troublemakers premiered at this time and proved influential, although rarely screened afterwards till the mid ’00s. She starred in No Skin Off My Ass in 1991. Her best-known work from this period is perhaps The Yo-Yo Gang, released in 1992, a 30-minute exploitation movie about girl gangs. This interview focuses on the just-released ten-year Super 8 epic, the mythical Lollipop Generation. Interview by Anonymous Boy

 

MRR: Do you remember when you first got the idea for the storyline for The Lollipop Generation, and what was happening in your life at that time?
G.B. Jones: It was thirteen years ago, in the ’90s and thirteen years is a long time…

 

MRR: When was the oldest piece of footage in the movie shot, and when was the most the most recent?
The oldest footage was shot in the very early ’90s, during tours with Fifth Column, before I had even thought of making The Lollipop Generation. I knew I would use it for something, someday, but in the beginning I was just filming images out of the window of the tour van that I wanted to remember. The most recent scene that was filmed was with Andrew Cecil at Jarvis Collegiate, which is the school they used in the original Degrassi High television show. We filmed that scene in September of this year.

 

MRR: Of the following aspects of filmmaking, which would you say you prefer most: writing, shooting, working with the actors, working with the animal actors, editing, or post-production work?
The writing and shooting and working with the actors is all one thing. On the day we’re shooting we’re figuring out what to do, writing the scene as we go along. The actor is writing the scene as he or she decides how to play the scene, and I’m writing it as I decide how to film it, and it’s really all about what happens at that time, in that location, and what occurs in front of the camera. And that’s exciting. With the dogs, Batgirl and Big Ethel, it was different, but both of them loved being in front of the camera. Every time we would take a camera out they would get so excited, they always had fun so that always made it fun for us too. They loved being movie stars. Editing and post-production is where everything you’ve done gets re-contextualized into the larger framework. You get to watch the scenes with music and hear the voices and see it all come together. You couldn’t pick any one part over another because it’s all so great. But I think the best part is going to the theatre to see it after it’s done.

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Blast From the Past: Gary Floyd


June 26th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #317, October 2009, that issue is sold out but you can download it here

06-GF

Gurdon, Arkansas

December 11, 1952

9:45 a.m.

 

I’m born.

My whole family was from this blink-and-miss-it small town in Arkansas. One little clump of stores here and another there. Two railroad tracks running like rough zippers through town. The tracks full of dead men still spooking the town with lanterns. Gurdon, where Jimmy Witherspoon got knocked on the head with the blues. Where bored lumbermen concocted the International Concatenated Order of the Hoo Hoo, with a black cat as their symbol. A joke that became a weird version of the Elks Club. Although my family moved away due to cutbacks in the Missouri Pacific Railroad (which used to belch black smoke in the old twilight), a few things stuck in my head forever.

When the Butlers moved in next door—Cleda and Gene, with young Brenda, and the first cool person I had ever met, Russell Butler. He was probably only sixteen or so, but to me he was ageless and brought out the need to let my “cool seeds” grow. He was an artist, a beatnik who painted pictures of himself in coffins. I knew I had been influenced. Got my cool seeds sown. A taste of being different, and the shape of things to come.

Going to vacation—Bible school—one hot summer, when the humidity could be sliced with a rusty butter knife. The First Baptist Church: a cool breeze in the auditorium, Kool-Aid painting our lips ruby red, and a fragile mound of cookies. They ended the day by playing the old hymn “Just as I Am.” Tears rolled down my face, and I knew I wanted to give my life to Jesus, so I walked down the aisle into the arms of Brother Nelson. I was saved. I was eight.

The Daisy Queen, early 1960s, when people were rumbling and fawning over radios. My mother’s dream—a place to eat where all the tiny town’s teenagers hung out. Male car hops, and a teen side, which was just a big old room with benches. I could watch them dance loose and free. Girls putting on make-up and drinking Cokes, boys flirting with the big hair girls and dancing too. Me looking, wondering if I could be the boyfriend someday.

Soon, the family was all packed up and moved to Palestine, Texas. New things to freak out about. A new school of hardcore rednecks…pretty eyeliner girls and strapping boys in the shower haze that I remember to this very day.

As my life shifted from Arkansas across the pancake batter Red River to thick piney woods Texas, lyrics were being implanted deep in me. I didn’t know it, but they were becoming a permanent part of my spleen.

My grandfather was poor, poor, poor. He and my grandmother (my father’s parents) were saved by the railroad, which offered a steady job to the lean and hungry people of the time, when some headed west to pick fruit in the bowels of Oregon and some stayed and ate dust for years. My father got a job at the almighty railroad as well. He worked there all his life and left the job only to join the Army and fight in World War II.

He was in Japan after the big bombs fell, loosening the roiling clouds of death that turned entire cities into gutted wastelands. He used to tell me about the shrines people had in their houses. I asked, “How did you see what was in their houses?” He told me, without lingering shame, “We’d just go in and look around.” I asked, “Did you knock?” He laughed deep down and said, “No, that’s not how it worked.” I knew then, right there, there would be no army for me. Fuck that shit.

He came right back to those sturdy engines, those trains, as if the bombs never fell. It was expected of me to do the same.

He told me about going to work for the railroad—the honest pay and hard work, a kind of untrammeled American dream people wanted to believe in even as Vietnam squandered it with napalm and Nixon. Even as I said, yes, grandpa, I could, I knew I would never do it. I knew I wasn’t meant to look down those bleak black tracks and feel like home was beneath them. I couldn’t even pretend to love the heft and bulk, or history, of trains, no matter how many times Elvis purred “Sixteen coaches long…got my baby and gone.”

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Blast From the Past: Condominium


June 25th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR#312, the May 2009 issue which you can pick up here

Interview by Shivaun and Stefan

 

photo: Adam Bulbolz

MRR: Maybe we should start with the boring questions. What’s the history of Condominium? Because I know it started out as a project or whatever.
Matt: I started the band myself. I was originally going to be doing tape releases and it was all going to sound like that Anti-Cimex song “Criminal Trap.” Then I got Brad to help me out just playing guitar and learning the songs and stuff, and we decided it was good enough to be a real band, so we got Kim and Joe, and that’s how we became a real band. We’ve put out a demo, two 7”s, and a live radio tape, all self-released.

MRR: Are you going to keep releasing records yourself?
Matt: We don’t know for sure, because we’ve had friends of ours who have offered to put out our records. I like the idea of releasing our own stuff a lot, but it hasn’t been that successful.
Brad: We’re sitting on like 250 copies of the second 7”.
Kim: And we don’t really go anywhere.
Matt: We don’t play out of town a whole lot, and we don’t play a lot shows in general. It’s hard to sell records when you don’t have any distribution skills.
Brad: Maybe we just need a label to make us cool, because even when we did tour, we didn’t sell very many copies of the record.
Matt: We’ve been talking about putting out a couple records with labels, so we can get all kinds of hype around our band, then go back to putting out our own records so we can hoard all the money for ourselves.

 

photo: Adam Bulbolz

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