Travis Fristoe was a friend to punks everywhere, whether you hung out with him in Gainesville, or were friends with him through his thoughtful, kind, perceptive, funny, poetic writing via his long running and incredible fanzine, America?, or his music, or were his pen pal. I met him when I was a teenager in college in England, he was studying abroad and happened to be in the town I went to college in, Brighton, on the South Coast. It was sometime in the mid ’90s, and we both made zines and liked Rites of Spring and he made the windy, damp British winter seem less bleak and more of a place in which the idealistic/imaginative possibilities of punk could exist. I ended up crashing on the floor of the Palatka house in Gainesville that summer as a result, the endless chains of punk connectivities. Below are some pieces about Travis and friendship and punk that are in the current issue of MRR. You can support Travis’ family with this GoFundMe, and you can and should pick up the little book he made with Aaron Cometbus about Radon from No Idea… Here’s an interview he did with Lance Hahn. It looks like No Idea also still has some copies of his great zine, America?, but maybe other zine distros do too. You should seek it out, and also grab the Reactionary 3 records — you can listen to their tape here courtesy of Remote Outposts/Greg Harvester.
September 4th, 2015 by Layla
Categories : Obituaries
August 26th, 2015 by Amelia
I met Chris when I was with Perdition on a small Montreal/Albany tour in 2010. I think that’s when I met Chris? Anyway, he’s always been a go-to person in Albany and I wanted to find out more about his label and his recent Noise Annoys record store turned web shop. Here is Chris from Loud Punk Records and Noise Annoys:
Are you from Albany?
Yes I’ve spent almost my entire life bouncing around the Albany area minus a small stint in Boston during 2000.
What was the height of the scene there?
It really depends on how you look at. The late 90s was a really great time to grow up around here in the aspect of the punk scene. It was a really crazy and exciting place during those days. All corners of the scene were really thriving, with shows all the time and a lot less internal divisions and inner scene politics. At the same time it was also a pretty intense and dangerous scene too. You typically couldn’t go to a show without at least a handful of brawls breaking out.But it too really depended on what shows you went to. It taught me a lot of life lessons at a young age, good and bad. The 2005/2006 years were also a really key time locally. The first part of the 2000’s were kind of bleak around here then. There was a resurgence, all of us that had been around for a bit weren’t kids anymore and started filling the shoes of guys like Nate from DEVOID OF FAITH/Gloom Records and others who were the real backbone of what went on around here but were not as active as they once were. There was also a whole new wave of kids that started coming to shows. We had some amazing venues, great bands not only in the local scene but coming through town at the time. It made for a very fun and exciting environment.
What’s it like now?
Albany’s scene comes in waves, though things will be great for a few years, but quiet for a few. Currently it’s a little quiet but your hard pressed to find a scene not in a major city that isn’t in the same position that we are. While some come and go, the core group of dedicated folks around here are still doing what they know and love. Things can only get better and I have no doubt they will.
Categories : Create to Destroy!
August 23rd, 2015 by Grace Ambrose
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!
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 »
Categories : Tour Reports
August 19th, 2015 by Amelia
I met Beau Patrick Coulon in passing in many places over the years. He gets around the USA punk scene and documents it well by camera. I feel like I run into him everywhere. Since I keep seeing his photos published (even in MRR!) I thought I would interview him as to break a bit of the mystery of the man behind the lens:
For better or worse I’ll always be from LA.
Why do you think it’s important that your roots are in the LA punk scene?
It shaped me as an individual early on. I was introduced to squatting and living outside the norms of regular society in the Hollywood punk scene. I don’t know what it was like in other cities but in my neighborhood during the late 80s/early 90s it was junkies, thieves, hookers, gangs, and the daily hustle of survival. 18th St was shooting it out with White Fence in the Yucca Corridor every single day. Gunshots on the hour almost. You had Hollywood Dogs, The Trolls, LA Death Squad, all kinds of skinheads, and oh yeah, Crips & Bloods. Everyone brought their beef to the Blvd. It was a tense time and being punk made you a target. It wasn’t something people got into lightly. There were automatic, often violent, repercussions.
I’m not 100% sure. I remember seeing FEAR at the Hollywood Palladium when I was 14. Me and a bunch of other broke punks rushed the gates. About half of us got in. To be honest I remember the fights I saw at that show more than I remember the bands. In those days I was more into listening to tapes on my crackbox while getting wasted in the alley than watching shows. We had Green Hell Records up off the boulevard and that place ruled, I got some of my first punk tapes there.
The “scene” I came up in, if you can call it that, was hostile. Most the punks I hung out with were pretty fucked up. If you had dreams or ideas beyond the next 40 oz you were chastised for “thinking you were better than everyone else.” Kids were quick to physical violence. You had to develop really thick skin or you wouldn’t make it. It was some toxic ass Darwinism type shit. Mostly we just panhandled, stole shit, turned tricks, whatever it took to get enough money so we could get trashed. There was some solidarity however. If you saw someone who appeared even remotely punk back then, it wasn’t even a question, you had to talk to them. Half out of curiosity, half out of the need for safety in numbers. A lot of people idealize this time period. I do not. There were fun moments for sure, but compared to my life today it was pretty awful.
Are you still connected to the LA scene?
Loosely. It’s different for me now. Most the punks I used to kick it with are either dead, locked up, or moved away. Headline Records on Melrose is probably the last punk hold out in Hollywood. But there’s always cool shit happening in LA. It’s one of the most creative places on the planet. Every time I’m there it seems like there’s some good backyard show, some new collective starting, or interesting project happening. As you know, the East 7th Street Punx do rad stuff. There’s Bridgetown DIY in La Peunte and VLHS in Pomona, both are all ages punk/DIY venues. Musica Para La Destrukcion in South Central makes killer shirts, pins, and tapes. And there are shitloads of excellent punk bands from all around the LA area: BLAZING EYE, GRIMA, DRAPETOMANIA, SADICOS, TOZCOS, AUSENCIA, RAYOS X, to list a few.
Where are you now?
Categories : Create to Destroy!
August 14th, 2015 by Layla
Interview by Brontez
MRR: Do you remember the first gay punker you knew or saw or made an impression?
Paul:I didn’t know any gay punkers. I didn’t know very many gay people let alone punks.
MRR: You can’t remember a first one? I know it’s a hard question; the first one I met was a bitch, so I don’t really count him
Martin: There was one in Chicago who I met when I was into the scene already. He was really cool; his name was Mark Ruvolo—he was in that band No Empathy, and he does a label called Johann’s face. I remember talking to him, and it was pre-me coming out of the closet, me being, “that’s cool man, that’s cool that you’re gay.” I was trying to talk to him, and we’d always see each other at shows, he was an older punk, and he’s still around. I thought that was really awesome. I remember having a conversation with Dan Vapid from Screeching Weasel about what he’d do if he saw two guys making out at a show, and this was pre-coming out, and he was like “I don’t know it’d be kinda weird.” I said if people came after them I would defend them. We were talking about this, we had this weird conversation—I was like why can straight punk kids make out at a show and not queer punk kids. I had discussions with people. But I think the first person I could really have a coming out picture with was Mark Rovulo.
Andrew: In Philly there was this group called the Cabbage Collective that put on shows at the time; this was the early to mid-’90s, where there were lots of people sitting down at shows watching bands thrash around and stuff. It was a little weird sometimes, but they were very into being non-aggressive, women friendly and gay positive, so they created this atmosphere that was accepting. I don’t really know how many gay people were there, but there were other people that were out, like Shawn Gustilo who had written stuff for the Give Me Back comp back in the day. He would be around, and he was gay—that was when I was nineteen or twenty, that was when I had just kinda come out too. So I didn’t know anyone before that. That’s for sure.
MRR: I wanted to ask y’all that for obvious reasons, but I also was thinking about the first time I heard about you guys. I had just moved from Chattanooga to Bloomington to be with my boyfriend, and Bloomington was a town where people left their front doors unlocked, and this other gay dude came in the house to re-steal the Limp Wrist record he had loaned to my boyfriend but he didn’t know we were there and then we had a threeway.
Martin: I remember getting letters from you Brontez.
Categories : Interviews