Featured Posts

New Blood! ACRYLICS, WULFEN RAG and DÍA FINAL

Formerly a section in MRR magazine, "New Blood" is now a regular feature here on maximumrocknroll.com spotlighting new bands from around the ...

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Create to Destroy! Bizarre Bazaar

Carly is part of the Bizarre Bazaar girl gang unit. Her crew in Oakland are ...

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Record of the Week: SIERPIEN Zawsze Nasze LP

Wow, this is such a gem, already a record-of-the-year contender for me and it’s still ...

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Enfermo at Tupa Tupa Extremo, February 6, 2015. (photo by Carlos Idrovo)

Monday Photo Blog: The Return of Carlos Idrovo

It has been about a year since we last heard from Carlos Idrovo at the Monday ...

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STILLSUIT (R.I.P.)

MRR Radio #1441 • 2/22/15

This week, Greg steers the MRR Radio ship alone through the raging seas of punk...whatever ...

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Create to Destroy! with Larry Livermore


January 7th, 2015 by

CreateToDestroyLogo

I met Larry Livermore through Mike Berdan in Brooklyn right before I moved to the MRR HQ to be the distribution coordinator. It was one of those, “Oh, you have to meet Larry”-type meetings. He had some funny stories about what it was like living in the old MRR HQ with Tim Yo and was definitely a wealth of history for early Bay Area punk. Whatever your opinion of Larry is, from Lookout Records to his involvement with MRR and Punk Planet magazines, few of us can touch the volume that he has contributed to punk over the years. And after 30-plus years, he’s still at it. Here’s Larry Livermore…

Would you consider yourself infamous?
Is that better or worse than being famous? I don’t even know anymore. I think it depends on who you ask.

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What were you doing before punk? I want to see those hippie pictures…
Well, I was always involved in some subculture or another. First I was a greaser and a teenage hooligan, and then, after narrowly escaping prison a couple of times, decided to become a peace-and-love hippie and take a lot of drugs, and then later a glam rocker. But at least in the early days of hippie, before the hairdos and the beards and the self-absorbed delusions got out of hand, there wasn’t as much difference as you’d think between us and the punks of a couple generations later. We were scruffy squatters getting by any way we could and trying to destroy society. Sound familiar?

Where’d the name Livermore come from?
From a mediocre — okay, bad — pulp novel I wrote in 1979 about a nuclear accident at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. People who’d read the manuscript (it was never published, so don’t bother looking) started calling me Lawrence de Livermore (my birth name is Lawrence) to make fun of me, and later, when I needed a pseudonym because so many people were mad at me about Lookout magazine, I turned it into Lawrence D. Livermore. Dropped the D after a while, and then at Gilman, Jesse Michaels and some of the other smart alecs started calling me Larry instead of Lawrence, thinking it would wind me up. Well, the joke was on them, because I’ve been Larry Livermore ever since.

You’ve done a lot in punk — why do you think you have accomplished so much and still continue to do so? Is it a DIY attitude? Perseverance? How have you stayed active for so long?
Done a lot? Maybe. Accomplished a lot? It’s probably too soon to tell. DIY? Well, it was never a religion or an ideology with me, just the way it was. My friends and I were weird enough that no one was going to do stuff for us, so basically if we didn’t do it ourselves it didn’t get done. And how have I stayed active? What else am I gonna do? There’s never anything good on TV.

Tell us about Lookout magazine.
Lookout magazine started as sort of a community newsletter when I lived in the mountains of Northern California. But it turned out that the community didn’t appreciate having a newsletter, especially since I wrote pretty openly about the marijuana cultivation that was at the heart of the local culture and economy. So after a group of angry hippies threatened to burn my house down if I didn’t stop writing about stuff like that, I switched my focus more to music and punk rock, which resulted in my finding a whole new audience in the Bay Area and other urban centers, especially among MRR readers. Learning how to make and distribute a xeroxed zine (I later switched into a newsprint format, thanks to some help and advice from Tim Yohannan) helped me learn the skills I would need when Lookout evolved into a record label.

What was zine culture like back then and print media? How was it used in punk?
As you can probably imagine, it was much, much bigger in those pre-internet days. It was the main way word got out about bands and records and shows and venues. Because of that, there was a huge variety of zines. Some, like MRR and Flipside, tried to cover the whole spectrum of punk-related activities, while others specialized in certain aspects of punk culture, and still others were strictly personal, focusing on the individual writer or writers’ experiences, feelings, and ideas. It was a rich and creative time for that sort of publishing, because for a brief time we had the advantages of new technology like cheap xeroxing and photo reproduction without the competition that would come a few years later from the internet.

What do you think of the shift from print media to internet culture?
I often joke about the MRR letters column being the internet message board of the ’80s and early ’90s because of all the arguments that would rage back and forth there. Lookout magazine’s letters column was much the same way. The difference was that while now you can post a snappy comeback in a matter of seconds, back then it would be a month or two between replies. That gave people more time to think about what they were saying, and also made it less likely that the argument would descend into the mindless hate-spewing that characterizes so many internet disputes.

That being said, I’m not at all anti-internet, even though it can be a bit mind-boggling how rapidly everything has changed since the mid-’90s. I think it must be a little bit like the transformation that happened 500 years earlier, when the printing press came into widespread use and made reading and publishing accessible to the masses instead of being confined to the elite. Then, just as now, people were soon complaining that printing lacked the soul and substance of hand-lettered books, and how it was now possible for any old schmuck to publish any old garbage. But on balance, I think most people would agree that printing turned out to be a good thing for people and civilization, and I believe history will render a similar verdict on the internet. As a person of a certain age, of course, I’ll always be a bit nostalgic about the era of the printed book and zine. But time moves on, and we have to, too, unless we want to get run over by it.

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The Lookouts (and friends) at Gilman. From left: Kamala, Todd Wilder (of Stikky), Jesse Michaels, Marshall Stax (below), and Larry (photo by Murray Bowles)

Tell us about Lookout Records. Why start a label?
My typical answer is that everything on the radio and on the commercial music scene was so awful that I realized if I ever wanted to have any decent records, I’d have to make them myself. That’s still basically true, but probably at least as important was the sense that something amazing was happening in the East Bay and at Gilman Street and that someone needed to document it. Having learned through Lookout magazine that it was possible for even a doofus like myself, using easily available and affordable technology, to reach thousands of people all over the country and the planet, it seemed like a logical next step to move from print into music.

What was it like getting sleeves made and pressing records back then in the Bay? Were you able to keep it local?
We had to get our records pressed at an outfit called Alberti, in Southern California. It was an independent, family-run company that the majority of the West Coast punks used in those days. The people who ran it were into the art and science of making quality vinyl; they weren’t just commercial hacks. Sadly, they’re no longer around. Our LP jackets — also following the lead of other local punk labels like Mordam and Alternative Tentacles — were printed by a company called Ross-Ellis, in Canada, who I believe are still in business today. When it came to 7” sleeves, those were mostly done at my favorite 24-hour copy shop just off Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, where I had a hook-up with the manager, and where I also ran off thousands of copies of Lookout magazine before it went newsprint. Most of our other printing — things like catalogs and LP inserts, lyric sheets, stuff like that, was done locally.

How do you think you contributed to that specific scene in the Bay? It’s pretty crazy that so many of those bands went on to become as big as they did.
That’s kind of a chicken-or-egg question. There’s no way Lookout would have become so successful without the incredibly vibrant and thriving culture that sprung up around Gilman, but I think it’s safe to say that we also, whether for better or worse, helped bring Gilman and the bands that came out of there, to the attention of a much wider audience.

There’s a book called Free Spaces: The Sources of Democratic Change in America, by Sara Evans and Harry Boyte, which I’ve often cited as a partial explanation for what happened at Gilman. The book theorizes that for marginalized cultures to thrive and develop, people need a place where they can gather and work undisturbed and unobserved by the prying eyes and manipulating fingers of the dominant culture.

Gilman was just such a place: pretty much anyone could come there, start a band or an art project of some sort, and find, if not a receptive, at least a supportive audience. But for at least the first couple years, almost no one knew about it except for other punks, artists, and weirdos. Because we had that little mini-world to operate in, we could develop our own ideas and expression without giving much thought to what the outside world might think or not think about us.

You were involved with the early days of 924 Gilman?
Yes, pretty much from the start, though I’d have to point out that we never called it “924 Gilman.” It was the Gilman Street Project at first (I still have the original t-shirt), then “Gilman Street,” then ultimately just plain “Gilman.” The “924 Gilman” name came into use after Tim ended Maximum Rocknroll’s involvement with the club and a new group of people took it over.

How’d you get involved with MRR?
I’d been listening to MRR Radio since the late ’70s, and reading the magazine since it started publishing in 1982, and I’d submitted a couple things about my band and my zine. But I didn’t meet Tim until January of 1986, when Aaron Cometbus introduced me to him at a show at New Method in Emeryville (YOUTH OF TODAY and VIOLENT COERCION, in case you’re wondering). Tim and I hit it off pretty well, both of us being veterans of the 60s scene, and I did a couple more articles and interviews for the magazine (one memorable one with ISOCRACY, for example) before Tim asked me to do a regular column starting in the spring of 1987. The following year I moved into the MRR house on Clipper Street, but that only lasted a few months.

What did you cover in your column?
My MRR column was like a miniature version of Lookout magazine, which meant that I wrote about anything and everything. I was pretty big (and still am) on environmental causes, which Tim was not so keen on (“It’s just a bunch of yuppies who don’t want their views spoiled,” he once said), but I also wrote about mainstream and punk politics, gender and sexuality issues, the never-ending debate about what was or wasn’t “punk,” DIY vs. commercial ethics, violence at punk shows, basically whatever came to mind at any given moment.

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Create to Destroy! Hardcore Victim


December 31st, 2014 by

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I know Yeap from him fronting PISSCHRIST and KROMOSOM as well as his killer label Hardcore Victim. Here is Melbourne, Australia’s Yeap for Create to Destroy

What is Hardcore Victim?
A DIY HC punk label, to put out local bands and friends’ bands from the overseas.

Where are you located? Do you think being in Australia has given you more access to Japanese bands?
Melbourne, Australia. I have many punk friends in Japan from the years of trading and band touring. The geographical positions of our countries definitely make it easier for us to visit each other.

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The In Giu Sotto tape was a ripper! Hearing that for the first time was a memorable moment and I remember playing it for tons of people. How did you wind up doing that cassette? 
I released that tape to help promote ISTERISMO’s first Australian tour. It’s a burner!! I still listen to it a lot! Maybe I should do a repress?

You should totally repress it! What was your first release?
TEARGAS debut 7”. I never really planned to do a label. But they had no one to put out the record. Loving this band and wanting to share their shit with other punks was my motivation to start a label.

What releases do you have coming up?
SCABEATER EP, ISTERISMO 2nd 12″, R.I.P FUCKER, and others soon.

Where do you get your releases pressed? What about sleeves?
I get my releases pressed at United in the USA, or sometimes Samo Media with the help of Havoc Records. The covers are done at Imprint.

I love Imprint — they do a solid job and they are on top of their shit. Is it easier to release cassettes versus vinyl?
It’s easier to release cassettes but expensive to post. But tapes you can sell cheaper and can do smaller runs…so I guess it balances out. Perfect format for new bands. I recommend!

Do you think it is more expensive in Australia to have a label? How do you fund your releases?
Yes it is, because of the ever-growing price of postage. But in order to keep the price of wholesale low, I only have a portion of my releases (that I can sell) sent back here. I had some money that I used to fund the first few releases. Now the cash I get from each release funds the next.

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How do you distribute your records?
My releases are distributed by Havoc, La Vida Es Un Mus, and Punk and Destroy, mostly. All the records are pressed and sent to Felix and he sends the designated quantities to the other parties and me. The rest get sold in the USA. Felix Havoc has been the backbone of this shady operation. I can’t thank him enough.

Do you do individual orders or just wholesale?
I only do wholesale at the moment because I’m very busy. Family life, band, daily life!

Do you distro or do you just have a label?
I just have a label. Sometimes I get a bunch of copies of trades, and I sell it to my circle of friends.

How do you feel about trades? Do you do trades internationally?
I trade when I like the stuff I’m trading with, but only in small quantities. I think trades are important, as a punk. It helps build bridges and communication in the punk scene.

Any last words?
Thanks for the interview! Don’t wait for a label to pick you up — do it yourself, punks!!

How can we best stay up to date on Hardcore Victim?
Read MRR and zines and keep digging those distro crates!



Create to Destroy! Saira Huff


December 24th, 2014 by

CreateToDestroyLogo

I knew of Saira Huff because of DETESTATION but I met first interacted with Saira when I booked her old band FAGGOT at ABC No Rio. Since then she moved from Minneapolis to NYC. While in NYC I watched her continue to be in solid fucking bands, like QUESTION, but I also got to see her really start to take off with her clothing business. Here is Saira Huff on her new store, Saira Huff’s On The Edge Of Time, in Brooklyn…

When did clothes become important to you?
Well, they are a necessity so I would say always?? No seriously I have always loved clothing from as far back as age 2 when my mom dressed me as a cowgirl and a sailor. I was obsessed with what everyone on early-’80s MTV was wearing as a child and taught myself to alter the clothes I had to look like the clothes I couldn’t afford! The obsession really took off at age 13 when I found punk, which allowed me to turn my daily appearance into art. It hasn’t stopped since.

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What do you think of people saying that fashion in punk is stupid and superficial?
Some punks are stupid and superficial regardless of how they dress, and some people aren’t “punk” just because they look the part. What drew me to and has kept me tethered to punk is the freedom of creating yourself as the individual you wish to be, not what is expected of you. Much of that applies to how you choose to appear. People seem to overlook the fact that fashion is an art form, and punk-fashion in all it’s diverse artistry is definitely such! I always thought it our duty as punks to set ourselves apart from the masses so there should and is emphasis on dress. It’s an integral part of our culture!

Amen, sister! When did you start making your own clothes and clothes for other people?
The open sewing class at the institution I was confined in at age 14 was where my first complete garments took form. It was just a room with machines and loads of donated fabric, mostly old curtains and tacky polyester, perfect for punk! I continued making stuff for myself and a few things for friends, although fashion took a back-burner to bands till about 10-12 years ago. Living in Minneapolis gave me time to focus on fashion more fully (6-8 months of brutal winter = inside creative time!)and I put serious focus on mastering technique in my years there. I started doing more commissions and avant garde shows from 2003 to present. I moved to NYC a little over 5 years ago and was tailoring on-site for fashion shows/photo shoots/TV/movies within the first year and opened a gallery/boutique of my designs November 2014.

What bands have you been in?
Primary bands I recorded/toured with: vocals with DETESTATION (formative member, ’95-’98, Portland, OR), guitar with ATROCIOUS MADNESS (formative member ’97-’98, Portland, OR), vocals with EPIDEMIA (’98, Berlin), guitar with A MESS (formative member, ’01-’02, Minneapolis, MN), vocals with RESOLVE (formative member, ’02-’03, Minneapolis, MN), bass with FAGGOT (formative member, ’04-’09, Minneapolis, MN), vocals with QUESTION (formative member, ’06-present, Minneapolis, MN and NYC), bass with RØSENKØPF (formative member, ’10-’12, NYC). I have also played/recorded/toured with other bands/projects part time or fill-in: BLACK SHIT, RAPE SCENE, FUTURE BLONDE’S, MUSTALAINEN, ENCHANTED, BLOODY PHOENIX and I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting!

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What music projects are you currently doing?
My only current band is QUESTION, and we are on a part-time basis for various reasons, one of which is our drummer still lives in Minneapolis and the rest of us live in NYC. We are recording an LP in January and have plans to tour Japan end of 2015. I am always looking for people to play with but my schedule is pretty full and I am very picky about who and what to play!!! I would love to record a solo project where I play all of the instruments but my time is usually absorbed with fashion and design so perhaps someday?? Music will always have a role in my life, it’s just less prominent at the moment to give space for all of the other creative things I love.

How did your design work play a role in a band like FAGGOT or what your did in the Minneapolis punk scene?
I designed and made all of the costume for FAGGOT and challenged myself to make a new set of costumes for most of the shows, sometimes disposable pieces with only a one-time use. The costumes (for band members and an array of dancers) definitely gave us a performance-art element and turned all of our shows into an audience- participating event. We hosted themed- parties and shows which brought out a lot of creativity in an already diverse and active scene in Minneapolis. There was a lot of care and interest put into the projects out there. People in the Midwest don’t have the social hang-ups of coastal or metropolitan cities so there was a lot more letting loose and being wild and, unlike what you would see in NY or Portland! It was partly the best time of my life and partly the most self-destructive … but either way I look back on it, I learned so much and had an amazing time doing it.

Why did you move to NYC?
Specifically to pursue work in fashion. I intended to avoid playing music (impossible?) and focus solely on fashion, which for the most part has happened.

When did you start doing Total Crap?
Total Crap, Unincorporated, started in 2004, my first “label.” I liked the irony of a well designed and constructed piece being called “total crap.” I still print “total crap” on t-shirts/bags but found the name too limiting. As “Saira Huff” I can do whatever I want, I don’t just have to make “total crap.” I transitioned into my own name while formulating new designs for the store.

How has making clothes, organizing fashion shows and creating DIY creative spaces utilized your background in the punk scene?
The do-it-yourself ethos of the punk scene enabled me to feel that I could do whatever I wanted, if I put forth the effort. I applied this towards setting up shows, helping/creating spaces, events, bands, zines and building a life that by all odds should have landed me dead or in jail (I wasn’t set up to succeed in life). For all of my complaints about punk I will always consider and regard it as family. Within punk I was nurtured to believe and rely on myself — if you want something done do it yourself. And why not? I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with work completed, to create is to be free!

Where have you sold Total Crap? Where has it been featured?
Due to my aversion towards the marketing side of business dealings, where and how to sell my work has always been an issue … I have been commissioned by people throughout the years for various stand- alone pieces and costume, and sold a few batches of leather vests and skirts at Trash and Vaudeville on St. Mark’s in NYC. Opening my own retail/showroom location seemed the most feasible answer to the selling question.

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Tell us about the store, Saira Huff’s On The Edge Of Time.
Saira Huff’s On The Edge Of Time is a boutique and workroom for my designs. It is primarily a retail location for my clothing (and an opportunity to pay homage in murals and name to my favorite band, HAWKWIND) but also a venue for showcasing my other interests in interior and graphic design and an archival gallery of all creative works throughout my history. I make all of the new clothing, but also carry a small selection of vintage and music. The store is unique both in content (there are few locations featuring authentic non-commercial punk-inspired design and decor) and that the garments seen on the racks are made before your eyes in the visible workroom at the store. The endeavor is both terrifying and exciting! I believe the best answer to the awful state of the world is to create the life you feasibly wish to live to the best of your ability. To contribute to what moves and inspires. To be one of the too few examples that life can be what you make it to be. That’s The Edge of Time for me.

How difficult was it to find a space?
Not at all, I started looking online and found my location immediately. I signed a 10-year lease at a reasonable rate. It’s not impossible to find a cool space in NYC! Living proof!

How are you handling the logistics — rent, renovating the store space, getting the word out, employees, hours, and so on?
Fortunately, I am still able to tailor freelance to offset operating and cost of living until the store takes off. The rent is reasonable and I used crowd funding to help with some setup costs, which were fortunately minimal. Everything else is a process, some of which I am familiar with and some not. Media and marketing has never been my strong point so I struggle with that the most. My talented, supportive friends and acquaintances have been immeasurably helpful both physically and psychologically. Thanks to all of you!

How can we support your label Saira Huff? How can we stay up on all that you’re involved in?
My social media have regular updates of my assorted involvements and projects (tumblr, facebook, instagram, twitter, yelp, etc). Visits, searches and shares are a huge support and will keep you up to date! You can also visit the store if you are in NYC (located in Greenpoint)
Saira Huff’s On The Edge Of Time
517 Meeker Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Wednesday–Saturday 1pm–8pm, Sunday 1pm–6pm.

Twitter: @SairaHuff
facebook.com/sairahufftheedgeoftime
sairahuff.tumblr.com
Yelp page

Any last words?
Thanks so much for the interview and interest in my projects! Stop by Saira Huff’s On The Edge Of Time if you’re in NYC!!! I will be hosting social events at the store on a weekly basis. Stay tuned! Please support and encourage idealistic visions and diversity! Take chances socially! Explore intellectually! Allow your mind to stay open! There are no absolutes, only in death! Life is for living, why bother breathing otherwise? Exemplify what life could and should be. Give yourself a chance to be the most and best possible!



Read a Book! Valerie Solanas: The Defiant Life of the Woman Who Wrote SCUM (and Shot Andy Warhol)


December 11th, 2014 by

valerie_solanas

Valerie Solanas: The Defiant Life of the Woman Who Wrote SCUM (and Shot Andy Warhol)
Breanne Fahs
The Feminist Press

Review by E. Conner in MRR #380

Valerie Solanas is a strange cultural icon. She is perhaps most often used as a derogatory warning for young women: “the wrong kind of feminist.” In an age of combating #womenagainstfeminism with cupcakey bullshit and Kathleen Hanna documentaries, this lack of historical accuracy and nuance is detrimental. We require Valerie to be represented as what she truly was: a fiercely intellectual militant feminist who died poor and alone because this world kills people like that.

Personally, Valerie is of interest to me in charting these people, the controversial, difficult women that are forgotten and discarded. Even among them Valerie is not alone is her abandonment. The great failures are Valerie Solanas, Lee Lozano and Shulamith Firestone. All attempted to straddle art and politics, all chose madness and obscurity in lieu of becoming washed out in the limelight. Nuts to the Steinems!

In April I visited New York City and was lucky enough to attend a release event at NYU for this book. An intimidating panel included Avital Ronell, Lisa Duggan, Karen Finley and the author, Breanne Fahs. As the panel went on I slowly realized what was happening. I was in a room full of (mostly) beautiful, smart women repeating the word “shit” over and over. I like to think this was the utopia Valerie imagined so long ago.

I understand that in even articulating that idea I’m doing exactly what everyone has ever done to Valerie’s work. I project my own desires into the intricate complications of her life, art and work. We exist in this place where refining women (and other complicated people) into flattened figures is the norm. Is it even possible to tell a story of history in a way that isn’t problematic? It’s so riddled with the afflictions of opinion and memory failure.

Fahs is a delicate biographer. She fills in nuance without betraying the subject. She’s compassionate and holistic. What is produced feels dense. While it’s not a totally critical history, it is one that demands an active participant. The story of Valerie’s years in New York’s Lower East Side, culminating in her infamous act, are bookended by the brutal years that created and destroyed the human being. It’s perhaps not fair to conceptualize a human life as a flickering light with a crescendo.

When one regards the tragedy of Solanas’s life it’s too easy to conjure pity and rely on that as some accurate representation of her total legacy. The truth is Valerie saved us. She undeniably produced a cultural crack-up. The burgeoning feminist consciousness raising movement would have been nothing without her. While so much organization was vulcanized at the time of her arrest, theory too owes her a great debt. Shulamith Firestone’s conceptualized “Smile Strike,” from the far more validated The Dialectic of Sex was preceded by Solanas’ call for the death of niceness. Modern theoretical feminism and queer theory still look towards SCUM for guidance. Kathi Weeks’ “non-work” recalls Valerie’s “un-working.” Sara Ahmed’s “feminist killjoy” and Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman’s beckoning towards an academically sanctioned queer nihilism all have foundations in SCUM.

There has been a tendency to regard Valerie as an accident. She is often removed or distanced from revisionist feminist history. While it’s true that she never did fit in with the publicized movement, she does not deserve to be forgotten. Valerie was as much of a disruption to the slide into co-opting radical feminism towards liberal reformism, or as it’s been suggested, just a disruption in general. Her personal effect on the lives of some of the most cherished minds of this movement is not to be undermined. The correspondence with and testimony of Ti-Grace Atkinson, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Florence Kennedy, Shulamith Firestone and Robin Morgan are all included, finally cementing Solanas in her place among them.

A legacy like this deserves a considerate articulation. Fahs took ten years to write the book Valerie swore she’d write herself. This kind of care for Solanas’ life is uncommonly kind when you consider the treatment Valerie’s work received the second anyone else got their hands on it. All of it has been stolen, lost, edited, misspelled, withheld, hidden, and destroyed.

Even now, the bulk of Valerie’s surviving work (SCUM Manifesto) is printed and distributed largely by the anarchist-publishing house AK Press. Every few years another edition comes out with another forward written by a different person. The most recent edition touts notorious Marilyn Manson fan Michelle Tea’s take on the manifesto. Ms. Tea, once a young radical dyke poet, is now the editor of a popular hipster motherhood blog. While the lesbian mother could be one interpretation of Valerie’s demand for “complete automation” it still feels something like failure. And where does the money go?

Valerie Solanas is an attempt to map the great sources of the paranoia that were Valerie’s downfall. Like any young woman, her sexuality and psychic body were mangled early on. Part of the map of Valerie’s life is strongly situated in the way she defined and declared her vision. Fahs uses Valerie’s own words whenever possible. It’s rather exciting for any Solanas fans out there to get to eek whatever they can out of the quotes from Up Your Ass, various interviews, college newspaper articles, and correspondence that Fahs had access to.

These kinds of considerations are partly due to Fahs’ background in Feminist Studies and Psychology, a very important distinction in the overall tone of the book. Fahs is careful to include the reputation and conditions of not only the institutions that Valerie landed in after shooting Andy Warhol, but critically traces her movements through schools, the hospitals where she gave birth to at least two children, residential hotels, jail cells, collective meetings, diners and beds. You see this complicated figure moving about truly alive and conscious, wading through the same shit as all of us.

I finished the book on the train headed to work. I got off two stops early and rode my bike to the place Valerie died. Alone in a hotel room (and never wanted once) for at least five days. The front of the Bristol Hotel is collaged with handwritten notes regarding hotel policies and notes to UPS drivers. A historical site plaque bulges from the wall. It neglects to mention the two most famous residents, Valerie and Richard Ramirez, aka the “Night Stalker,” notorious serial killer/rapist and Satanist.



Create to Destroy! Blindead Productions


December 10th, 2014 by

CreateToDestroyLogo

Blindead Productions in Sweden has been a serious supporter of punk, and continues to distro the best releases throughout Europe. You may know Krogh from SEX DWARF tours, Distortion Faith zine, his label, or maybe you had a beer with him at the last Varning from Montreal fest. Here is Krogh of Blindead Productions…

What is Blindead Productions? Is it just you who does it?
Yeah, it’s just me. There was a period somewhere around 2002 when we tried to be two people, but it didn’t really work out. Not because we had any problems, it just didn’t last too long. So, with the exception of one year, it’s been me running the show since 1997.

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Blindead Productions is a label dedicated to the music I love — hardcore punk. Vinyl mostly, and some messing around with tapes lately, but the main focus is vinyl. Would be fun to do some sort of book sometime though.

What does “Blindead” mean?
Well, the initial meaning or idea behind it was that we’re already dead, we just don’t know it as the system won’t let us see it. You know, keep us in line, feed the machine, etc., etc. Then it hit me that MISERY has their song “Blindead,” which is an excellent song, and so I rather lie and say it’s an homage to that song. The idea I guess is the same, as the theme of that song isn’t too far off from the idea I had behind the name.

Tell us about Distortion Faith.
This is the zine I do together with Jocke from D-takt & Råpunk. Björn from SMRT Records was also involved in the first five issues but had to leave because of other commitments and lack of time. So far we’ve done six issues and the plan was to have a seventh out in January. That won’t happen because none of us have had the time, but the zine will return sometime this spring, I will make sure of that.

I love doing this zine as I’ve allowed myself not to care too much. Of course I want it to be good, but while in earlier zines I have set up “rules,” I now don’t care if an interview is three questions long or 30, as long as it has at least some content. I promised myself not to do any reviews, but I’ve ended up doing a few anyway and have a few more lined up, but it will not be a recurring thing — done that to death earlier and I pretty much hate it at this point.

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What was ALP tapes? How many different names have you had? Were you a distro or a label first?
ALP Tapes was the very first thing, back in 1997. It started out as something that was supposed to be the label for my band’s demo. The band never recorded anything and I soon realized I’d rather be a label than a musician, so the name stuck for a while and I released ten tapes (nine home copies and one pro printed). Towards the end of ALP Tapes I also had the record label Resist the System, where I released the first CROSSING CHAOS 7” in 2000.

It was when I merged the two that Blindead Productions was born, in 2002. It started out as a label, but very soon became a distro as well — trading tapes and then later on vinyls and some CDs.

Where do you get your records pressed and tapes made? Who do you recommend in Europe?
The Distortion Faith tape was done in England somewhere, Jocke had the contact and I can’t remember. I took care of printing the covers. As for vinyl, I’ve mostly used GZ, but for the WARCOLLAPSE 12” I went with Flight 13 and I will go with them again for the upcoming KRONOFOGDEN LP. I also tried out Mobineko for the HUMAN POWER 7” but I wasn’t very happy with them. Cheap, but not too good. That’s the only place I wouldn’t recommend, other than that I’ve been happy with both GZ and Flight 13.

Where are you in Sweden and what is the scene like? Any bands we should keep an eye on?
I live in Arvika, a small town where absolutely nothing happens. It’s very close to the Norwegian border and I guess Oslo is the closest big town, but I’d rather go to Stockholm to hang out and watch bands.

What was your most popular release?
Hmm, I don’t know. The Distortion Faith comp tape sold out extremely fast, but we only did 250 copies of that one. I guess the KRONOFOGDEN 7” went over really well, at least here in Sweden, but also abroad. I guess some others have been pressed in more copies, but also with more labels, so…

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What are your current projects?
I’ve been putting together the cover for the KRONOFOGDEN LP and making sure Lenny’s drawings fit the sleeve template, and the next step is to finish the insert. Got the mastered tracks just the other day and it’s gonna be a fucking great record! Other than that, I’m still trading and selling the latest release, the INFEKZIOA 7″, to as many places as possible.

Why are zines, tapes, labels, and distros important to punk?
Because they’re easy to do? I mean, you can spend a lot of money printing a zine, but you can also find a cheap printer or copy it yourself. If you have the will to do a zine you can. The same goes for tapes — you can pretty much do everything in your own living room, or go more “professional.” It’s up to you. Labels are less important, I guess, as bands can take care of this themselves, but I’m glad people still want me to put out their records. Distros are important to help keep prices at a decent level and a place where lesser-known bands can get their stuff distributed as well. Keeping prices low is getting harder and harder though.

How did you get into punk and what makes you stay?
I guess I got into the softer style of punk through more mainstream channels and early bands for me were DIA PSALMA, ASTA KASK and EBBA GRÖN. With MOB 47, NO SECURITY and SKITSYSTEM I knew I was hooked for life. EBBA GRÖN, MOB 47 and NO SECURITY are still today, 17–18 years later, three of the best bands I know. What really made me stay is that all of a sudden I was involved in the music I loved, not just a fan — that was really powerful for me.

How can we stay up to date on your releases and projects?
The best way is to check out the website at www.blindeadproductions.com, where I keep info up to date. If you want to go through social medias or newsletters or whatever, you’ll find the info on that there as well. There’s also blindeadproductions.bandcamp.com, where you can check out at least ten full releases, and soon we’ll add the full INFEKZIOA 7″ there, plus a few from the upcoming KRONOFOGDEN LP.