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Photo: Mark Murrmann

Blast From the Past: Hex Dispensers

This originally ran in MRR #318/Nov ‘09, which you can grab here I’ve been buying punk ...

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Punks in the slam pit. (photo by Nora Godoy)

Monday Photo Blog: Nora Godoy

Nora Godoy sent us a few photos to help get the summer kicked into gear ...

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Blast From the Past: The Younger Lovers

This originally ran in MRR #317, October 2009, that issue is sold out but you ...

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It's FaceTime Bitches! Adam's in Australia fer Christ's sake!!!

MRR Radio #1459 • 6/28/15

Technical wizardry and bad taste prevail as Rowdy Ref, Horrible Hal & Rotten Ron attempt ...

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Blast From the Past: GB Jones

This originally ran in MRR #317, October 2009, the Queer issue. That issue is sold ...

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Blast From the Past: Screaming Females


June 23rd, 2015 by

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

Screaming Females is unique in that they have figured out a way to bring incredible guitar work into punk without seeming gratuitous, cheesy, or forced. This is no easy feat. Guitar player, Marissa Paternoster’s spastic guitar bursts (often understated on record in comparison to their live show) manage to maintain remarkable cohesiveness with the music and come across as an extension of the vocals and not merely as a show of talent. Equally remarkable is that the rhythm section, made up of Jarrett Dougherty on drums and King Mike on bass, is not only able to keep up with the powerful guitar work but often able to best it. It’s rare to find three such uniquely talented musicians in any band, let alone in a punk band. In 2006/2007, the band self-released two full-lengths and a 7”. These were followed by two split 7”s in 2008. This year will see the long anticipated third full-length, Power Move, which will be released in April on hometown label, Don Giovanni.

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MRR: How did you meet each other?

Marissa: Mike and I went to high school together, we met there. And I met Jarrett in college at a meeting for a club we were in.

 

MRR: What club were you in?

Marissa: Record label club! It was a really cool club.

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Blast From the Past: The UV Race


June 22nd, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR 329, Oct 2010, which is now sold out.

The UV Race is a punk band from Melbourne, Australia. This September they are going to the United States of America to play some shows, including Goner Fest in Memphis, Tennessee with a shitload of other bands like fellow Melbournians Super Wild Horses and Total Control. If you like going to punk shows, dancing, partying, and having fun, I guarantee you will dig UV Race. If you like going to punk shows and standing around the merch table and then spending all night taking photos of the band on your iPhone, I guarantee you are a fucking loser.

I spoke to DX, Snake and Alex Microwave next to a swamp in a park where the mighty Pisschrist were playing their last ever show. It was freezing cold and I hadn’t prepared any questions. The band ganged up and nearly threw me in the swamp, but you couldn’t really blame them.

Interview by Tim Scott

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MRR: Alex, you are an interview virgin so I will start with you. Is the UV Race the best band you have ever played in?

Alex: Yep.

 

MRR: What is the second best band?

Alex: The Penetrating Stares (the only other one).

 

MRR: And why is UV better than Penetrating Stare?

Alex: Because that Johnny from Extortion is not in it.

 

MRR: Do people in the US know Extortion?

Snake: Yeah they’re popular there.

 

MRR: More popular than UV Race?

Snake: You’d hope so. They hope so.

Alex: We don’t wanna hope so.

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Blast From the Past: Necro Hippies


June 19th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #324, May 2010 which is out of print.

Necro Hippies bring angsty middle school notebook scrawlings to life, blasting the dust off your snotty hardcore records into the eyes of the Internet Age. Stinging proof that not only did punk never die, it was born again yesterday, fully formed as the straight-ahead assault they bring, forged out of the slag heap of the eighties and nineties, equal parts fuzzy sludge and Fizzy Lifting Drink. Drawing their vital alienation from the boozy nether-regions of New Orleans’ Bywater, from the slime at the bottom of the bus-tray, the stray onion ring that saves the day, they hate their jobs, but they will continue to do them for as long as rent’s due; for now, for changing your order, they hate you. Half of them have Germs tattoos. Guess who.

Interview by Nathan Tempey

MRR: Candice, where are you from?

Candice: Arizona.

Chris: That’s a lie.

Josh: I’m from Florida.

Chris: I am from Mandeville. (white people stronghold across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans)

MRR: Woah. (laughter)

Phil: Those are my problems… (laughter) Mandeville.

Chris: Slash Slidell

Phil: I’ve lived in New Orleans for twelve years.

MRR: Yeah, you can say from New Orleans.

Phil: New Orleans.

MRR: Nah, you’re from the North Shore.

Chris: He’s from Mandeville.

Phil: From New Orleans.

MRR: More or less. And how did you all come together as a band?

Candice: Phil was my manager.

Phil: I worked with Candice in, uh…

Candice: The application asked what magazines I read and I wrote that I like to read Maximum Rocknroll…

MRR: For what job?

Candice: For a job at Urban Outfitters. (laughter)

Josh: And Chris was my roommate at the time. He started drumming for them and told me they needed a bass player.

Chris: Phil and I had been playing for a long time before Candice came in.

Candice: And we started out with Phil on drums. And I was playing these weirdo songs.

Chris: It worked out ‘cause I’m a really bad guitar player.

Candice: No you were playing bass, I was playing guitar.

Chris: Oh, yeah. No you’re a bad guitar player, that’s what it was.
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Blast From the Past: Raymond Pettibon


June 18th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #304/Sept 2008 which you can pick up here

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photo: Layla Gibbon

The interview started with me walking into his studio and realizing I had left my question sheet in my bag in the kitchen. I was intimidated already and felt super under prepared so I just started rambling about the magazine. Maybe if I had been less nervous and actually asked the questions I planned to rather than resorting to an elaborate five-questions-rolled-into-one confused-sprawl interview style this would have been more focused. So it’s more of a random conversation than an incisive Q and A session. Disclaimers in the introduction? I was so nervous I barely asked about his artwork!

Interview and photos by Layla Gibbon.

 

MRR: …The way the magazine works, there are two people that are in charge of getting content together, but then some kid in Malaysia can write a scene report about local punk and we would run it. We do have editorial control and there are things we don’t cover, we have a very strong stance in regards to…
Raymond: You keep a strict separation between editorial and the business part of culture, except you run ads.

MRR: (Laughs nervously) I like how strict it is in keeping certain values intact, like we’re pretty much non-profit at this point, and I am sure if we broadened our view we could make a lot more money than we do. But then I like figuring out how to operate in such on such narrow terms, it almost opens up possibilities because you have to figure out how to do things that other magazines probably don’t even have to think about. The nature of the magazine is that you have to be your own boss. There’s no one to tell you what to do, and you have to motivate people to help you do random shitwork, or to contribute content to the magazine with no monetary rewards you know? It’s made me think about the nature of work and free time. Also it makes me happy it’s existed for so long on its own terms.
These books I am making for Wendy, they kind of come from fanzine culture, they have a price on the cover but they sell for so little I am basically giving them away. I like the idea of that. Typically it’s around rock music or comics or films, ham radio, these things that are a labor of love first of all.

I was talking to a collector yesterday about collecting fliers. One of the things I like so much about punk culture is that it’s very disposable, things disappear and get replaced. I was thinking about this in terms of what you do, it seems like at the time when you were producing your fanzines they had a different value to what they have now. Now they’re precious collector objects, but at the time they had a different meaning, they were made in a different context…
Right, they’re precious objects now for one thing because there weren’t that many of them produced. The idea wasn’t to make collectors items, or precious objects. That sort of thing is done all the time now. A first edition of Superman is worth… I mean you’d have to have a first edition of the bible to rival it now, because they were ephemeral and not considered something worth saving at the time. And that is something that’s true about the fliers I did and others did. The way it played out to where they are collectable and now valued at much more than they were in the first place, that was never a surprise for me. I knew enough about… I had a sense of history about it. At the same time it wasn’t the reason that I did them. I still have some of the original fliers for Black Flag that I made. At the time I tried to persuade them to save at least seven or ten of each one for me, and that wasn’t always possible or agreeable to them I suppose.

I mean they’re worth money, but I’ve never sold one you know? But I probably have a different take on the marketplace than Maximum Rocknroll does; to me, it’s more like a given, an act of nature. To try to avoid it, to manipulate it, to co-exist separately from it is an invitation to become co-opted. I guess “sold out” to use terms that one would be familiar with in punk. I’m the least engaged with the marketplace as one can be. It’s against however I was born and bred, rather than an ideological function. Once I do the work, and it leaves my hands, it’s going to be assimilated into the marketplace and I don’t think that’s a bad or terrible thing either. But I can’t be personally responsible for anything beyond making the work, beyond that, what happens to it, who the hell knows. It’s almost like magic, beyond the bounds of physical laws. For all I know they disappear. There’s a lot of questions and dishonesty in that world.

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Blast From the Past: Red Dons


June 17th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #301, June 2008 which you can pick up here

Interview by Paco La Vida en Mus
MRR: Red Dons is the continuation of The Observers. Doug wrote most songs for The Observers and now does in Red Dons. Can you explain how The Observers came to an end and how Red Dons got together?

Douglas: All I can decipher about the demise of The Observers is that our friendships simply fell apart and so the band quickly followed. Sadly, I don’t know all the specific events that lead to the end of the band because I was never included in discussions about breaking up the group. A few days after the guys quit, I asked if they would record two final songs that Kashani and I wrote together. They voted not to and that made it difficult for me to find closure with the project.

It put me in a unique and unfortunate situation. Being the main songwriter and lead singer of the group, I was encouraged by a large number of people to find new members and continue on with the band. The Observers were my life, and I was caught off guard by the others leaving, so I seriously considered reforming the group. I just wasn’t ready for the band to end.

Hajji and I started practicing Observers songs with our first drummer, and Justin came along later after we had worked a little with other guitarists like Adam Becker of Autistic Youth and Defect Defect. Ultimately, we changed the name because after practicing together and discussing ideas for future recordings, we realized the group had taken on an identity of its own. Coming to that point was a yearlong process where we endured defamation and were ostracized in the punk scene. It wasn’t a fun time.

What’s interesting is that the Red Dons are a project that in theory predates The Observers. Hajji and I had been discussing and planning this ever since 2000 when we lived together in college housing. Back then, the Red Dons were intended to be a side project that would only release 7″s. Each 7″ would feature different musicians from various backgrounds making each record diverse in sound and style. We even had a power pop 7″ written and ready to go. For example, in 2002, after I moved back to Portland from Germany and Hajji from Jordan, we started working on Escaping Amman. The design of the record, its artwork, and the song “West Bank” are all products of that time period before The Observers even formed.

With that said, however, the Red Dons identity has changed because of The Observers. Now, the Red Dons aren’t a conceptual side project because they do act as a continuation of The Observers. Some of the original ideas we had for the project have remained, though. One of our main objectives is that the band acts as a sort of collective much like Crass did. With people free to come and go as they please, the band can still collaborate with musicians we admire as well as play whatever we’d like to. It is a way to destroy the rules of punk and frees us up to do many different things.

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