Category Archives: music

VIDEO: Sugarcubes Live in Auburn, Alabama

One more reason I wish I’d gone to Auburn instead of Alabama, the Sugarcubes playing live at the Olympic Stadium in Oct 1988.



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VIDEO: Chelsea Live on Old Grey Whistle Test 1979

The quality sucks, but still great footage of an extraordinary and extremely underrated punk band.

Three songs from the first album:

Your Toy

All The Downs

Twelve Men

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The Lords of Altamont – LIVE

These photos are by Phil Kunin, taken at the Echo in LA, around 2003? Something like that. Great live band.





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Carla Bozulich from The Pages of Sex & Guts 4

From Sex & Guts 4. While I was editing the proof at a coffeehouse in Los Feliz, a young homeless guy with black, crusty feet, wearing a dress and hustling the passers-by, noticed one of these pictures of Carla. He freaked out, saying that he had seen the Geraldine Fibbers in Atlanta and then followed the band to LA. At first I was dismissive, thinking it was the schizophrenia talking, but I found out later that he was a real stalker. A total creep. Of all the madmen that called Los Feliz home, he was one of the most frightening. He terrorized the locals and started fights. I’d seen him get his ass kicked on more than one occasion for talking trash to the wrong dude. The cops must have picked him up twenty times that winter. Whenever I was in the neighborhood, he harangued me about the book, when it was coming out, asking if I could pass a message on to Carla. I avoided him at all cost, but he was impossible to shake once he noticed me. Eventually, he became so unbearable, ignoring my requests to back off, that I poured a hot cup of coffee over his head. He didn’t even blink. Just smiled, like I’d done him a favor.

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The Summer of Dischord

When I was seventeen, I went to DC for a week. I’d spent most of the summer saving up money for the trip, mowing fields and doing basic landscaping for the neighbors in the rural community where I was in foster care. From one job to the next, I rode a John Deere down the narrow backroads with the Doors, Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin blasting out of my Walkman. My new foster parents were former hippies and I spent hours making tapes from their record collection. Even though I considered myself a full-on punkrocker, I grasped the power and energy in those Sixties psych bands. Not that I had much of a choice when it came to listening to new music. With or without the cash, finding the punk albums I wanted in bumfuck Alabama was practically impossible. I was lucky to own a few classics like Never Mind the Bollocks, Mommy’s Little Monster and Plastic Surgery Disasters. My favorite band at the time was Minor Threat. So while I was in DC, I had two objectives: hit every record store in the city, and find out if the Dischord House, which I’d learned about in the movie Another State of Mind, still existed.

We stayed in Alexandria. Each morning we took the subway into town and toured the monuments and art galleries. We spent an entire day at the Smithsonian. I absorbed the culture like a sponge. Besides the overload of art, the political atmosphere was electric. There were constant marches and protests in the streets. People held up signs and chanted slogans for so many causes I couldn’t keep track of them all. But I wanted to join each and every one.

Two days into our trip, we’d just checked out a selection of Picasso’s Blue Period at the National Gallery when we happened upon a rally in Dupont Circle. There was a band playing. As we got closer, I realized it was a punk band. I ran towards the crowd. Nothing was going to hold me back from this experience. I was desperate to see a real punk band play. They were called the Holy Rollers and they played fast kinetic punk. After their set, a funk/hardcore hybrid band hit the stage. The lead singer looked like a satyr, dressed in rags with a scraggly beard. He had wild eyes and his hair was half in braids and half spiked. As he moaned and screamed into the mic, he conducted the band with his gyrations and writhing body.

This was Fidelity Jones.

I was blown away. I was seeing punk rock right before my eyes. And, I came to find out, the rally was a Positive Force event sponsored by Dischord Records. THE Dischord Records. Not only were they still around, they were going stronger than ever. I bought the Positive Force compilation they’d put out and began searching for each band on the album. As one record store, I discovered an entire selection of local bands and bought everything with the Dischord logo. I had left Alabama with almost two hundred dollars from my summer of mowing and I had no intention of going home with a nickel in my pocket.

I scored albums by Fugazi, Scream, Rites of Spring, Gray Matter and one not released by Dischord but recommended by the clerk: Deadline. (It was a time between Fugazi and Deadline for my favorite band the rest of that year.)

After I’d listened to each album at least a hundred times, I sent away for the Dischord catalogue. It arrived a few weeks later, a folded piece of paper with “Stuff We Sell” written above a long list of album titles. At the bottom of the list was #41: Piltdown Lad by Fidelity Jones. I filled out my order form.

Over the next year, as I drove to and from the small college thirty miles away in a beat-up Toyota Tercel, I blasted the stereo, pumping out my growing assortment of tunage, most of which was courtesy of Dischord. I was intensely drawn to the lyrics of these harDCore bands. Environmental causes, remaining positive when faced with adversity and protesting oppression and violence… these were ideas that opened up a whole new world to me, beyond punk rock and sheer aggression there was a social commentary that helped shape my burgeoning world view. At the time, being surrounded by the hostile influence of Southern religion and social mores, these words gave me a glimpse of hope, that there was always more to believe in, that while I may have been stuck in a backwoods town, I wasn’t as crazy as they made me out to be. And that maybe, just maybe, I might make a difference in the world one day. Or at least get the fuck out of Alabama.

(top image via)

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My ax wasn’t much, a black imitation strat the old man bought me from Toys-R-Us. It originally came with a speaker built into the body, but I removed it, covered the hole with electrical tape and plugged into a Kalamazoo amp. I made a royal racket. Except that’s all I could do, since I didn’t know how to make chords or even tune the damn thing. I just positioned my fingers on the fretboard based on pictures in rock mags and went to town.

I was supposed to take guitar lessons when I was around ten. My mother even let me use an old acoustic from her beatnik days. But on the day of my first lesson, when we got to the place where the classes were to be held, they told us the building had burned down the day before.

Disappointed, I told my next door neighbor, a guy slightly older than me who played the guitar pretty good. He offered to give me lessons. Except, instead of teaching me the chords to “Iron Man” like I wanted, he made me watch him jerk off and then gave me the change in his brother’s dresser. Even though I made out with a buck fifty, which was a nice chunk of change, I never went back there for another lesson.

After that, I fiddled around with my mom’s acoustic until she got pissed off at me one day and broke it over my head.

I never stopped dreaming about being in a band and being a rock star though. But I didn’t really see myself as a lead guitar player or a singer. I wanted to be more like Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitar player for AC/DC, who stayed in the background, doing his thing, while Angus got all the attention.

— from A Masque of Infamy

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Vintage Arvin Phonograph Manual

“How to use your Arvin Phonograph”
Model 67P58

Read more »

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The Freeze’s “No Exposure” – a little ditty about fanzines

Here is a satirical look at fanzines from the punk band The Freeze off their first album “Land of the Lost,” released in 1983.

It’s fanzines like mine
That will ruin your scene
‘Cause I see things my way
There’s no in between
My parents finance it
So I do as I please
Bringing all opposition
Down to its knees

You’ll get no exposure
I have no scruples
Brainwashing my hardcore pupils
If your band doesn’t take out
an ad in my zine
I’ll pretend you broke up

My pictures are perfect
My layout precise
To maintain the quality
I jack up the price
One day a band’s in
The next day it’s out
I guess we don’t know what
We’re talking about

Although the sound quality always sucks on these things, here is the song from youtube:

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Show Review: Texas Terri at the Sunset Junction Street Fair 2001

The 2001 Sunset Junction really was a madhouse of hipsters and leather clad exhibitionists, extremely hot with little shade and overpriced EVERYTHING, including the bullshit $5 “donation” at the door.

I avoided most of it because of the heat but made sure not to miss Terri’s set. When I walked up they were blasting through “Raunch City” and then went right into “To The Top.” They played (uhmmm, I’m trying to remember the set list) “Oh Yeah,” “Situation,” “Mafia,” and others I forget. The usual set-ender “On the Street” was made even more phenomenal when T-Ray passed his bass to Mike Watt and they broke into “I Got A Right” by Iggy and the Stooges… fucking stellar!!! T-Ray then proceeded to jump into the swirling moshpit as I got elbowed against a stage monitor, where I remained for the rest of song watching Mike pump that bass for all it was worth!!! Most likely to keep up with Terri and the remaining Stiff Ones who were playing full-tilt!!

This write-up in the LA Weekly suggested that Mike played the whole set, but it was just one song.

Nevertheless, I have to say it was up there as one of my favorite shows, just for sheer energy and because people were actually mixing it up.

Here’s a list of the rock bands playing at the Junction that year.

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