Kindred McCune, aka Stinkweed Malone, has left our planet. Took the warp triple-six Doom Ryde straight through our galaxy. Stinkweed was best known to punx, thrashers, vandals and dank smokers as a founding member of the pioneering Redwood City, CA, political grindcore unit, Plutocracy. He was also a founding member and leader of the long running Redwood City hip hop group Shed Dwellaz. Stinkweed was born in San Francisco and grew up on Army Street. He told me he first witnessed punk rock at the legendary Farm. Bands were playing, punks were thrashing and he was breakdancing. “I won’t conform to the norm so I perform in the orange,” he wrote. Plutocracy took grindcore in directions no one else had attempted, blending Black Panther speeches with blast beats and MC Pooh. It took a certain type of person to “get” it. Kindred and Thomas’ twin guitars had a unique and abstract sound.
At the time, I lived in Redwood City, was in a crappy punk band, made zines and bounght Earache records at Tower. I met Thomas at school, he tells me he plays in a band called Plutocracy, gives me the Progress demo and I’m blown away. I became a huge fan of everything these guys did from that point forward. When Plutocracy broke up, No Le$$ twisted wigs back even further! Electric Jungle Violence slid Sabbath style jams into grind riffs while obscure samples popped in and out. The live shows were drunken and dangerous. Stinkweed started the West Bay Koalition and dubbed himself El Presidente. He was constantly creating. He was in so many bands: Agents of Satan, Go Like This, Kalmex & The Riff Merchants, Bullshit Excuse, Shadow People, Apeshit, United Sicko Foundation, Torture Unit, the list goes on.
There was a six hour radio show on KZSU called the West Bay Radio Station Hostage Situation in which he was in every band. I was honored to be a part of the Shed Dwellaz with him. I told him I could DJ and he got me a sampler so I could make beats. Together we recorded hundreds of songs on 4-track. I learned so much about how to create music both from him and with him. He taught me to be myself and not worry about what others would think. If you liked what you were doing, then do it. He hated “kritiks.” And COPS. Fuck, he hated cops.
From the way he strung his guitar strings backwards to his shower cap and pajama stage attire, Stinkweed did it his way. He didn’t have a computer or go on message boards or give a shit about what anyone else thought was cool, he was on his own trip. Whether he was writing a riff or a sixteen or texting bandmates to schedule a jam, his mind was constantly on music. The guy was the most original person I’ve ever met in my life. Larger than life, LOUDER than life. If you ever hung out with him, you walked away with a story. Right before his death he was working on new material with Agents of Satan. He was recording raps and talking about starting a new West Bay Doom Ryderz band. He planned to release a compilation next year and was trying to compile all of the tracks for it. He was working with Pelon from Immortal Fate on the release of a 1992 live session of Plutocracy and Immortal fate on KZSU. The world will be a lot different without his demonic harmonics. Launch a hog leg and puff tuff for Mr. Stinkweed.
Donations on behalf of Kindred McCune can be made to: Redwood City Education Foundation, PO Box 3046, Redwood City, CA 94064. RCEF provides music education to all students in Redwood City – grades 2 to 8