"There are many ways for you to dress for your book signings in the spirit of your punk-rock-themed book without looking like a Halloween trick-or-treater. The key is restraint."
In 1983 I sat cross-legged on the floor of my room, headphones tight against my ears, and placed a record on the platter. The stack of albums next to me was a prime collection of early American hardcore punk—The FUs, Minor Threat, Youth Brigade, 7 Seconds, Crucifix, Negative Approach—but the vinyl that eagerly met the needle was something different.
By the time I laid my teenage, resin-stained fingers on it, “I Had Too Much to Dream” by the Electric Prunes was someone else’s dream long gone by. Released as a single in 1966 and later on the band's first full length album The Electric Prunes, “I Had Too Much [...]
Breaking: Williamsburg threw an indie-style music festival over the weekend, and it seemed pretty well-attended! The organizers at L Magazine did a nice job mixing heavily-sweated acts with lesser-known artists (never an easy balance). Though I continue to believe the lo-fi grind of the Woodsist label is in large part an aesthetic counterfeit job–Neil Young's worst-reviewed 70's record, Journey Through the Past, reconciled wispy pot-headed-ness with nods to gravitas a lot better, which is maybe different from saying it did so "well"–it's certainly claiming a lot of mind-share at the moment. (The label's showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night was solidly packed from the [...]
When Awl pal Sacha Jenkins was a teenager growing up in Queens, he was into graffiti and rap music and, more than anything perhaps, the Washington D.C. hardcore legends The Bad Brains. In the early '90s, with help from his friends Elliott Wilson and the artist and graffiti documentarian Henry Chalfant, Sacha started a music magazine called ego trip. Then he wrote for a bunch of other magazines, one of which gave him an assignment of interviewing Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jennifer. The interview didn't go so well. They didn't get along. "He was kind of a meanie," Sacha says. But through subsequent interaction they became [...]
"Now, Mr. Jones, 30, and his wife, Alicia, 27, are among an emerging group of people in their 20s and 30s who have chosen farming as a career. Many shun industrial, mechanized farming and list punk rock, Karl Marx and the food journalist Michael Pollan as their influences. The Joneses say they and their peers are succeeding because of Oregon’s farmer-foodie culture, which demands grass-fed and pasture-raised meats." —The New York Times
"The real action, though, was on the side streets, populated by the myriad businesses needed to produce a garment, making everything from fabric to pins and needles. There machines and people worked day and night filling the orders left by buyers from across the country. I remember pushing my way through the hundreds of master cutters and patternmakers who crowded the sidewalk along 38th Street at lunchtime, dodging the hand trucks carrying stylish garments that later appeared on the backs of women from east coast to west. This is what the words 'garment district' meant. Every one recognized the garment district not just as a geographic designation, but also [...]
In the 90s music history We Never Learn, Eric Davidson (of the late scuzz-thrash combo New Bomb Turks) makes the case for what he calls "gunk punk." The term is as tossed-off and derelict as it sounds. A group of punk drifters from the late-80s took a heady mélange of horror comics and sci-fi b-movies, a fuck-all approach to recording, Cramps-worship (or -hate), Russ Meyer and Bettie Page, the Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs classic "Woolly Bully," and mixed them into an amphetamine and beer gumbo under the tutelage of figureheads like Billy Childish and Tim Warren. (The latter's "Back From The Grave" compilations-a Nuggets for forgotten [...]
The Clash's London Calling came out thirty years ago today. It still stands as punk rock's crowning achievement. In fact, it's probably as responsible as any other work for the fact that the term "punk rock" seems kind of silly now. The Clash were a punk band, coming out of England with the Sex Pistols in the late '70s. But the music on London Calling ranges from reggae to rockabilly to snazzy pop tunes. It's thoughtful and refined, even gentle at times, and delivered with as much subtlety as spit. It rages and sneers, too, to be sure, but even in that, it proves the futility of thin definition [...]