Support Barcelona’s Can Vies Squatters!


July 8th, 2014 by

We received this report and plea for support from a member of Sota Terra…

The night of May 16th I went to Can Vies to experience one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Siega, Las Otras and Hysterics were playing. Fucking wild. This gig was organized by the womyn’s self-defense collective. Positive energy, friendly people and brutal hardcore. That happened to be the last show at the squat before it got evicted and partially demolished on Monday, the 26th of May.

(Use the cc button above to see subtitles in English and other languages)

The space has been going on in the Sants neighborhood in Barcelona for 17 years. This is probably the last neighborhood in town that still keeps a strong associative network and has an obvious social movements presence on street. It has a long tradition of struggle and resistance that luckily enough has not faded away. That, of course, helped Can Vies stay alive for so long and that may also explain how the protests after the eviction were able to last for a week. Right now, when those arrogant people in power feel so secure, they have just being forced to step back and leave space for people’s self-management.

Can Vies’ building is owned by the public transport corporation of Barcelona and by the city council. It didn’t have an official public use because it was included in a plan to build an unnecessary square. The squat however does have quite a lot of support. It is well rooted in the area and it has been putting lots of public activities, from shows to workshops, meetings, lectures and on, besides having a living space. The day of the eviction one could see people there from a wide rank of ages. Lots of them grew up with Can Vies and now they were confronting the police brutality.

The fact is that if the mass media blamed the riots on an isolated violent group during the first day, on the following they had to shut up in the face of the outpouring of public support. They desperately searched for grumpy neighbors willing to make some goofy statements (“They go to the bakery and don’t pay for the bread…” — really?). But even then the balance was heavier on the squatters side. The protests that began on Monday ended on Saturday after a massive demonstration that gathered thousands of people.

At this point the council had stopped the demolition and was already begging for a negotiation that the squat collective obviously rejected. They instead called for a cleaning of the area and brought some solidary architects to evaluate the state of the building. A plan of reconstruction was brewing with no intervention of any government institution. This is a manifest demonstration of direct action and people’s autonomy — fuck yeah!

Now the Can Vies collective has begun a micro-patronage campaign with the objective of collecting up to 70,000€ (donate at reconstruim.canvies.org). Part of this money will be used for all the needed construction material and the rest will cover the expenses of all the people arrested during the protests. Many professionals have already offered to volunteer on the works.

These events only show one more time the side of Barcelona that the council wants to hide. The one that is fed up with taking shit and suffering the politicians’ selfish decisions. They don’t give a shit about us and we don’t need them for anything. While the protests were going on the council was lamenting the poor image we were showing to the world the same week that the disgusting Primavera Sound festival was happening. Yes, while thousands of hipsters and tourists were dancing and drinking and, of course, wasting lots of money at the other end of town, the machine that started demolishing Can Vies was being set on fire in the Sants neighborhood. Hopefully this light will keep illuminating the city.

Can_Vies_Squat_1

Just to finish: tourist (be it punk or not), fuck off. This is serious, it’s real. 67 persons arrested, two of which are still in custody. Countless people injured, police assaults on private buildings, tortures inside the police truck, people being forced to wear clothes and balaclavas to be taken pictures for future use… If you care, do something. If you don’t, get out of here. Thanks.



Kim Fey/Kim Fern 6/7/73 – 4/20/14


May 3rd, 2014 by

It is with deep, deep grief and sadness, and some rage at the world that I write to tell Maximum Rocknroll of the passing of Kim Fey, known to most in this community as Kim Fern. She passed away early on the morning of April 20, 2014, surrounded by her husband, family, and her best friend.

Kim FernProvidence, Rhode Island

Kim Fern, Providence, RI, June 1998 (photo by Jon Soucy)

Kim had melanoma, which appeared about six years ago, went in remission, and came back about six months ago.

Kim was a well loved, respected, and complicated person with courage to speak up, and to stand up to judgement without letting it get her off track. She published Fern zine for at least 15 years, sang in ELEVENTH HOUR CONFESSION and other bands, traveled and toured extensively, and then moved to and settled in Portland, OR. She was a pioneer in the small ways we all can be, one of the first to go to school, get a career as a teacher, and have the courage to leave it behind because it was unsatisfying. She started a non-profit bike shop, North Portland Bike Works, in 2002 with friends who would become family, and was always there to advise other punks on the weird intricacies of the business world, and being a good boss and business owner. She was one of the first people in our community to buy a house and learn the struggles that come with that, as well as the struggles that came with our changing place in Portland from community members to community leaders.

Kim always remained present, strong, with an open heart and an incredible amount of spirit. She took seriously the duty to live life to its fullest. She appreciated what she had seen and done, and let those experiences open more possibilities. Upon getting her diagnosis, her zest for life grew stronger. Throughout the past six years she lived her life for every single moment. She never gave up the fight, and once again gave us an example of how to live, and how to die. She will be always remembered with love and respect, and much missed.



MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL is looking for a new coordinator duo!


October 15th, 2013 by

Hey punks! MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL is looking for two new coordinators! That’s right — we are in search of new Content Coordinator and a Distro Coordinator. We’re looking for a couple of stand-up punx, organized and honest, brainy and brawny, and willing to commit at least two years to a fast-paced, long-running DIY punk project here in San Francisco.

As MRR’s Distro Coordinator, some of the things you would do on a daily basis include:

  • Lots of communicating with an international base of distributors
  • Processing mailorders
  • Inventory of merchandise
  • Managing subscriptions
  • Monitoring postal costs, print runs, and supply orders
  • Invoicing & debt collecting
  • Prioritizing and delegating various tasks
  • Making flyers, creating ads & doing layouts
  • Being BFFs with the USPS
  • Promotion of the mag and soliciting content!
  • Sticking to very strict deadlines
  • Working on a tight budget while still keepin’ it cheap for the punx!

Just a few things you will find yourself doing as MRR’s Content Coordinator:

  • Communicating with bands, labels, DIY projects, and other punks from around the world to document and promote their efforts across diverse genres and subcultures
  • Soliciting ads and interviews from various labels, distros, fests, and other DIY projects
  • Assigning records and zines to reviewers
  • Maintaining our record collection’s database
  • Preserving the ever-expanding record archive
  • Prioritizing and delegating various tasks
  • Managing account payments and keeping detailed bank records
  • Invoicing & debt-collecting
  • Editing, proofreading, laying out and checking ever word on ALL 120+ pages of content!
  • Creating flyers & ads
  • Daily deadlines!
  • Keeping up with your own monthly column, reviews, and other content

Skills required:

  • Responsibility, reliability, organized and detail-oriented nature
  • Proficiency and comfort with computers (Excel, QuickBooks, InDesign, WordPress and Photoshop are just a few of the programs we use regularly)
  • Ability to communicate well in writing, over the phone and in person, as well as resolve or diffuse conflicts
  • Keen to work with various types of personalities, tastes, and abilities
  • Strong familiarity and enthusiasm for past and current DIY punk & hardcore!!!
  • Sound judgment and ability to work independently, as well as part of a group

Maximum Rocknroll is 100% volunteer-run. Everyone who works here is unpaid, and coordinators live in and run the compound together rent-free in exchange for their efforts.

Don’t delay — get in touch and show us what you’ve got!! mrr {at} maximumrocknroll(.)com

Read here for more info, and a more in-depth look at the Content Coordinator position.



Stevie Stiletto R.I.P.


June 18th, 2013 by

Alberto Rivera was kind enough to send this obituary for the late Florida punk legend Stevie Stiletto.

Ray McKelvey, a.k.a. Stevie Stiletto (photo by Julie Beasley)

Ray McKelvey, a.k.a. Stevie Stiletto (photo by Julie Beasley)

Stevie Stiletto, the better known and public face of Ray McKelvey, passed away at home, on March 24, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida. He had been sick with cancer.

On the surface of it, Stevie’s story is a rock and roll cliché of bad habits, bad luck, and poor timing conspiring against him, but the greater truth is this: Ray and/or Stevie, never quit.

Widely acknowledged as Jacksonville, Florida’s first punk rock band, Ray formed Stevie Stiletto and the Switchblades out of frustration. Tired of listening to records from New York or the UK and reading about his favorite bands performing elsewhere, Ray went DIY before it even had a name, and started his own movement out of the stubborn swamp grass better known as North Florida.

With various incarnations of bands he toured the US And Europe, playing with pretty much everyone. The Ramones, The Dead Kennedys, Iggy Pop, Black Flag — the list goes on and on.

In the mid 1990’s he was scooped up in the frenzy created by punk breakout acts Green Day and The Offspring. But Green Day and The Offspring were anomalies; the only ones from that time to have any notable mainstream commercial success. And Stiletto, along with all the other acts eagerly signed a year or two before, were unceremoniously dumped.

It was at this time that I personally met and played with Ray. About a dozen shows in all. Warm, funny and engaging, his stories seemed almost mythical. Yeah, I slept on East Bay Ray’s couch for a week or two, I think it was in ’84…” or “Dee Dee (Ramone) an’ me were looking for someplace that was open to get a new tattoo…”

In 2009, a documentary called My Life is Great: The Stevie Ray Stilletto Story was released. Filmed by former Jacksonville area resident and longtime fan Kevin Dunn. Dunn is presently working as a college professor in upstate New York. Dunn presents an honest and unflinching look at Ray’s immense talent and oftentimes his deeply flawed shortcomings.

Bands would fall apart, and he would start another one immediately. One band bailed on him, and with shows scheduled, he picked another exisiting band and they backed him so he wouldn’t have to cancel.

Ray was an unflappable and headstrong entertainer. And in the punk community, one of those guys that everyone has seen at some point. Somewhere, Ray’s laughing as he smashes cans of shaving cream with his celestial hammer.

-RIP-



John Holmstrom Remembers Arturo Vega


June 11th, 2013 by

ramonesArturo Vega, one of the most influential visual artists in punk rock — as the designer of the Ramones iconic and much-copied logo, and artistic director for the band for their entire history — passed away in New York City aged 65 on Saturday, June 8th.

He famously described his thoughts on the creation of the Ramones logo:

I saw them as the ultimate all-American band. To me, they reflected the American character in general—an almost childish innocent aggression…. I thought, ‘The Great Seal of the President of the United States’ would be perfect for the Ramones, with the eagle holding arrows—to symbolize strength and the aggression that would be used against whomever dares to attack us—and an olive branch, offered to those who want to be friendly. But we decided to change it a little bit. Instead of the olive branch, we had an apple tree branch, since the Ramones were American as apple pie. And since Johnny was such a baseball fanatic, we had the eagle hold a baseball bat instead of the [Great Seal]‘s arrows.

We asked John Holmstrom — the founder and editor of Punk Magazine and cover illustrator for the Ramones albums Road to Ruin and Rocket to Russia — to share some of his memories of Arturo. We are very grateful to John and GODLIS for taking the time to share their thoughts and photography of their old friend during this difficult time.

Arturo Vega at CBGB, 1977 photo ©GODLIS

Arturo Vega at CBGB, 1977 – photo ©GODLIS

“One of the reasons I was so fascinated by the Ramones was the fact that they had an official Art Director. At the time I was still just an aspiring artist, fresh out of art school, and I thought that since this band had the smarts to hire someone to make their posters, t-shirts etc. was so very cool. I also liked his work a lot—that early poster of the leather jacket with the eagle belt buckle was a very interesting image, so different from your average rock ‘n’ roll art at the time. It was stark, bold, minimalist…

The very first Ramones poster by Arturo Vega

“I think I became aware of his art after I got to know the Ramones better after I published the first couple of issues [of Punk Magazine]. So although he wasn’t a direct influence, he was definitely an artist whose work I admired and respected. There was a bit of a rivalry because he didn’t like the cartoon look that I brought to their record covers, but I never wanted to be The Ramones Art Director, which he loved so much. His stage banners, t-shirts, logo design, album cover artwork, and so many other contributions to what made the Ramones cannot be minimized. Like his friend Curt Hoppe said to me earlier today: “The Ramones emblem is as recognizable a work of art as the Mona Lisa.”

Ramones Logo designed by Arturo Vega

“But his loft on East 2nd Street–wow! He had his paintings on display, hundreds on Ramones t-shirts in a huge closet, and Joey and Dee Dee lived there. And it was almost on top of CBGBs, so when they would perform there, they’d often hang out at home, then walk downstairs into the club and play their set, then go back upstairs. Arturo was kind of supporting them in those early days, so in a way there might not have been the Ramones without his support.

“Over the years, Arturo became more of an employee of the Ramones and less the fine artist he was after the 22 years-plus he worked for the band. He is one of the few people who worked with the band over their entire career, but for a few years afterwards he continued to handle a lot of their merchandising.

“He was just beginning to come into his own as an artist–he recently held a major, career retrospective in Chihuahua, Mexico, his hometown, where he was also working to try to get kids interested in art and away from the drug gang culture. He seemed to be much happier than he was as the Ramones merch guy.

“I am hearing endless stories about what Arturo did for many, many people–small favors, big favors, a helping hand, financial assistance, connecting people with each other, etc. etc. He was a very generous person and a fun person to be around and so an awful lot of people miss him.”

—John Holmstrom, June 10, 2013

Interview with Arturo Vega on Fringe Underground

The Guardian obituary