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The Dangerous Minds interview with Little Annie (Annie Anxiety Bandez)
09:14 am



Photo by Clinton Querci
The strange and fabulous career of Little Annie, also known as Annie Anxiety and Annie Anxiety Bandez, is like an index of Dangerous Minds’ musical obsessions. We wriggle in the web she weaves. Some connections are personal: DM’s own Howie Pyro was the bassist in her first band, Annie Anxiety and the Asexuals—Annie says below, “Howie is the reason I ended up on stage”—and DM chief Richard Metzger has mentioned his friend’s encounter with Annie at an Islington anarcho-punk festival in 1984. But then, consider that she’s worked with Crass, Coil, Marc Almond, Current 93, Nurse With Wound, Adrian Sherwood and the On-U Sound crew, Youth, Kid Congo Powers, ANOHNI (formerly Antony Hegarty), Keith Levene, Swans, et al.—and then, consider what a shame it is that every article about Little Annie has to mention all these associations in its opening paragraphs, when her own performances, her own powers, are so extraordinary. That’s why all those people wanted to work with her in the first place.

On Little Annie’s latest album, Trace, she is both the torch singer she claims to be and the streetwise narrator of “Bitching Song,” who patiently explains why, no matter your profession, location, or standing in this world, you’re just another bitch. Her wonderful memoir, You Can’t Sing The Blues While Drinking Milk, published in 2013, is scarce in hardcover (this looks like your best bet), but the Kindle version is a steal at $4.99.

When I called Annie last week, my first question was about Hermine, the hurricane then approaching her current base of operations, Miami. Thanks to Julian Schoen and On-U Sound for putting me in touch with this great artist.

Trace (2016)
Annie: I haven’t seen the news all day. I was out shooting. It’s like the rest of the planet; it’s getting gentrified, Miami, so I was out shooting some of these Darth Vader buildings that are going up about ten miles up the road.

Dangerous Minds: So you’re taking pictures, you’re documenting the gentrification of Miami?

Well, you know what it is, a friend of mine, she said—because I love buildings—she goes, “These are really ugly, you’ve got to shoot them” [laughing], you know? And they really are, they’re really sinister-looking skyscrapers. I love skyscrapers, but we’re below sea level here as it is, and they’re really like… gunmetal gray. Like, everything you wouldn’t do in this kind of light, just really ugly. Almost so that they’re beautiful. They’re so sinister, they almost have a kind of eerie beauty to them. I just got a high-definition camera finally so I could shoot and print for online stuff, and I thought, “Oh, that’s a good place to start. Let me get my chops going on some ugly.”

Man, it did not disappoint. They’re using all these gunmetal grays; it looks like either it’s the Church of Scientology or Masons, there’s something really… like prisons for the very rich, you know? Really grim.

So how did you wind up in Miami, Annie?

That’s a good question. You know, it was a place I had no interest in whatsoever. I’d been down here with some friends of mine whose father used to live down here; I came down in ’93, you know, and really it was only a place I ever went to go somewhere else.

New York, I had to move, and all of a sudden I realized, even if it was possible to live anywhere, I realized I wasn’t interested in any of it. So I don’t drive—I’m a confirmed non-driver—and I couldn’t think of where I could live on the East Coast that was near an airport for work, or where I could get away without a car. Miami, it’s difficult, but you can be a non-driver down here. And then, I kind of fell in love with it… one morning I woke up and said “Miami.” I was thinking about that today, I was trying to figure out how that happened.

’Cause I could picture you in Cuba somehow.

In my neighborhood? You could be anywhere in Central America or South America. I would say it’s around 90 percent Spanish-speaking, and there’s French. You hardly ever hear English in my neighborhood. You could walk down one street and it looks like Rio, and another street will look like the West Indies. It’s all new for me.

I guess I was starting to dislike myself. I was starting to become one of those perpetually angry [New Yorkers], “This is gone, and this isn’t like this anymore,” so I wanted somewhere where I didn’t know what it was like, so I have nothing to compare it to. I can’t get nostalgic over it because I don’t know what it was.

Sure, I can imagine. I’m from Los Angeles, and that’s changed so much over the last 20 or 30 years. And New York was so fabulous at one point.

Some of it here feels like New York in the ‘80s. Not always in a good way, too. What I do love about it is what I hate about it. It’s very corrupt. You know, like, I love this: their idea of gentrifying one area was to put a strip joint in it. [laughs] And that’s what I love about it. Literally, like New York used to be, like you could walk a few blocks and you were in a different world? Miami still has that flavor. Not so much the beach, but the inland. My neighborhood’s the last old neighborhood which hasn’t been fucked with yet. They want to, but you’ve got a mixture of, like, millionaires living next to Section 8. It’s really like an eclectic, wonderful little neighborhood two blocks from the beach. But because it hasn’t been gentrified, people don’t want to move here, which is why I wanted to move here. I really do love this area.

But L.A., I’ve got a little crush on Los Angeles from the last time I went there. I was with Baby Dee and we played downtown L.A. and it’s so beautiful, the light! The way the light hits things and the buildings.

There’s something special about the light here, for sure.

It was just gorgeous. We played in a place where Charlie Chaplin had a fistfight with Buster Keaton or something, and the upstairs place, it was some kind of—not three-quarter housing, but some kind of housing association… 

But then you go out, by the same token, I would be there all day, and like, thinking like I’m walking through Calcutta to get home, because I’ve never seen homelessness and pain like that! You’ve got these beautiful buildings, and then the homeless thing in downtown L.A., I just felt so bad for people.

Oh, it’s disgraceful. It’s kind of like what I imagine happened in New York under Giuliani. As the city becomes gentrified, they’re just shoving homeless people into different quarters of town where they’re getting more and more pressed together. There are blocks that are just covered with tents.

Yeah! That’s what I’m—I couldn’t believe it. I was outside having a cigarette. I must have had—in less than 20 minutes, ten people came up and asked me for money, you know? Which I would have gladly given. If I knew I was going into that, I would have gone in with food or something.

Miami is terrible. There’s no safety net for people. There’s no social services as such. They blame the homeless—‘cause we are fighting, they want to gentrify this area—and people will say things like, “If we let the developers in, then it will solve the homeless problem, and the rapes will go down.” And I go, “Wait: unload that sentence. You just called homeless people rapists.”

There’s this way that they deal with the homeless, is to criminalize them. New York is terrible, but Miami… and L.A., I love it and hate it.

State of Grace (with Baby Dee, 2013)
You’re singing my song, Annie. You know Howie Pyro writes for Dangerous Minds?

I love Howie! You know that I’ve known Howie since I was sixteen years old.

He was in the Asexuals, right?

Yeah. Howie is the reason I ended up on stage. Because we were hanging out, we really were like punk kids in the sense of like punk, juvenile delinquent, like little silly kids—we used to put “KICK ME” signs on people’s backs. We were totally juvenile. They asked me to support them, the Blessed, and I’m like, “Yeah!” And I didn’t know what “support” meant. So I had to throw a band together or something. Howie and them really kind of were the ones who—I was writing poetry and doing little bits of I don’t know what, but I didn’t have any direction, I was just being a kid, you know? And it was really because of the Blessed that I ended up in show business. I love Howie; I love those guys so much.

When did you have a sense that you had this voice? I know you didn’t set out to be a performer, and they encouraged you to go on stage. But when did you realize that you had this talent? I just read your memoir, so all this stuff is fresh in my head, you singing at the park in the a cappella group as a teenager…

You know what? It was funny, because I really didn’t realize I had a voice until… actually, very recently. Like, I knew I had a very good sense of… I’m very percussive, so I’ve always had like a sense of cadence. I mean, I was told not to be in the choir, because I was basically a contralto when I was a child. I had this voice—I was a belter, and I could belt like an old gospel singer when I was a little kid, you know? I could belt out old blues songs, and I sounded like I’d been drinking whiskey at age seven, you know what I mean? I had that kind of voice.

It’s only in the last couple of years where I’ve realized the ability I have, you know, like the physicality of singing? I realize that it’s not something that everybody has. ‘Cause I didn’t know what I was doing, I would luck into things, but I never knew how I got there, from point A to B. I just did it because it had to be done. I think it was on the Swans tour: I go, “Wow, now I’m understanding what people say, singing from the diaphragm, and the rest.” I actually didn’t realize what I was born with, you know? I’m shaped like a singer. Some of it actually happens from singing, you get a wider ribcage just from singing. But it was only really recently, I go “Wait, I could do that!” Or that I actually trusted my abilities. I always kinda knew my abilities as a writer, and to keep time: I write like a drummer or a conga player. But it was only really recently that I knew I had something.

It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Make it all the way through a career [laughs] before you start realizing. Because I’ve never had a pretty voice. I can do that, but if it was pretty, it was by accident. So now I go, “Oh wait, when I do this, this happens. Oh wait, I can get from this octave to another octave.” I’m only just starting to grasp what I’ve been blessed with. Yeah, so, just recent! [laughing] Last few months.

Well, you had an instinctive sense probably of how to work an audience, right?

That, yes. Live, I’m able to… hear people. Even if it’s silent, there’s something I hear from them, a dialogue that I’ve always kind of tapped into. And I don’t know why…

That’s why acting was so hard for me. Acting, I’m starting to learn, you’ve got to access a different part of you. But where there was something on stage, maybe it was what people get from gospel or something—I go into the zone, and when I’m in the zone, I’m able to supersede any ideas of myself, or anything. It’s probably the only time in my life I’m not in my head. I’m totally not in my head. I’m totally not conscious. It’s the safest place in the world, the stage, and it’s because it’s a dialogue, and I don’t know what it is but that’s something I’ve always had, which is why the stage felt so good. You know, to look straight in people’s eyes on stage. 

I mean, recording, I spent my On-U Sound years really getting into the technical side of, not the machinery, but of sound and of craft and the music part. But that other part, that was something that was always there. And it was a problem acting, because I’m so much myself on the stage, and when you go onstage and act, it’s not about being yourself. I mean, I’ve lost parts because I go in and I start rewriting the script in my head. And they want an audition, and you go in, you start going, “That doesn’t feel honest,” and acting isn’t honest. It’s about being believable.

When you’re singing with an audience, it’s absolutely about trusting that they can be themselves and you can be yourselves, because you have a moment of—fuck, it sounds really pretentious, but it’s almost like Zen—you’re so in the moment. Your mind can’t wander; if it does, you’re not in it. You don’t give a fuck what anybody thinks. You know when it’s right. It doesn’t happen all the time, of course, but fortunately, most of the time, where you’re absolutely in this kind of weird communion with other people. It’s such a gift to be able to go there.

Songs from the Coal Mine Canary (2006)
You’re an ordained minister now, Annie?

Yeah. I became ordained basically because I did needle exchange for a while. My main function was, I was outreach, so I’d be on the stroll with sex workers at night, like if they need condoms or syringes or something. But it almost became your beat, where anything that happened within a certain mile radius, I felt like, I gotta deal with—you know, you get a drunk that would fall down, break their arm.

What happened was, I had to call 911. I got the ambulance, and I asked where they’re taking the guy, ‘cause a lot of time with drunks, they would drop them off around the corner, and I wanted to make sure. And they go, “Why, who are you?” And I was standing in front of a church, so it just came out of my mouth, I go, “I’m his minister.” And they go, “Is that your church?” And it was St. Mark’s Church, which is huge, and I go, “Yeah, that’s my church.” And their tone totally changed. It was like, “You don’t understand, we get so burnt out, we pick up the same people day after day, and then they’re right back in the street again,” and all of a sudden they wanted to confess. So I go, “Wow, this could work, you know? Maybe this minister thing isn’t a bad idea.”

Much more after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Patti Smith’s review of ‘The Beach Boys Love You’
10:12 am



The Beach Boys Love You, from 1977, is not everyone’s favorite Beach Boys LP, but it is Bucks Burnett’s. The onetime manager of Tiny Tim believes Love You is of a piece with another ‘77 record that nearly everyone regards as a classic, David Bowie’s Low. Burnett wrote in a recent Facebook post:

My bizarre theory is that the two albums are almost interchangeable. Here it is, ugly medicine in a plastic spoon; this was Brian Wilson’s Berlin trilogy, in one album. Low is Bowie’s Love You.

If you aren’t familiar with The Beach Boys Love You, it’s called that because it was dedicated to Brian Wilson by the other members of the band. One might question whether the album was really the other Beach Boys’ to make a present of in the first place, since its major selling point was that Brian Wilson himself not only produced it, but had written or co-written every song. (“Happy birthday, honey. Here’s that delicious cake you made!”) But it’s the thought that counts, right?

Many of the songs—especially those credited to Brian alone—are marked by an unconventional approach to lyric writing, compared to the way the art is generally practiced by the human people of the planet Earth. Take the often-mocked (but lovely) “Johnny Carson”:

He sits behind his microphone
(John-ny Car-son)
He speaks in such a manly tone
(John-ny Car-son)

Ed McMahon comes on and says “Here’s Johnny!”
Every night at 11:30, he’s so funny.
“It’s nice to have you on the show tonight
I’ll see your act in Vegas—outta sight!”

When guests are boring, he fills up the slack
(John-ny Car-son)
The network makes him break his back
(John-ny Car-son)

Ed McMahon comes on and says “Here’s Johnny!”
Every night at 11:30, he’s so funny.
Don’t you think he’s such a natural guy?
The way he’s kept it up could make you cry.

Who’s a man that we admire?
Johnny Carson is a real live wire.

I think Bucks might be onto something. As far as I can tell, Beach Boys fans who hate this record just can’t stand the words, while I find them oddly affecting. Who but Brian Wilson could have seen his own body torn on the gears of showbiz in the image of Johnny Carson, of all people, or heard “such a manly tone” in the Tonight Show host’s voice? Is the objection that these lyrics give too clear a view into Wilson’s pain and confusion? Whatever: I don’t recall anyone disputing this album’s musical merits, and in my opinion, reconciling oneself to lyrics such as “Honkin, honkin’ down the gosh-darn highway / Tryin’, tryin’ to get past them cars” and “Love is a woman / so tell her she smells good tonight” is an excellent form of spiritual discipline.

Patti Smith looked into this controversy at the time, and “you’re into it or you’re not” was her conclusion. From the October 1977 issue of Hit Parader, here is the confirmed Johnny Carson fan’s review of The Beach Boys Love You:

More after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Attention lefty hipsters: Stop it with the dumb f*cking Black Flag T-shirts celebrating Jill Stein
10:10 am



I’m writing this from Austria, where the Green Party routinely achieves 10-15% of the vote and a similar proportion of the seats in the legislature. Due to the vagaries of runoff voting systems, Green Party candidate Alexander Van der Bellen received a narrow majority of the votes in May to become the nation’s president (an almost entirely ceremonial figure), but the Austrian Constitutional Court annulled the result based on suspicion of tampering, resulting in a re-do of the election, in which it is devoutly to be hoped that Van der Bellen wins a second time, because the alternative is a far-right type named Hofer with vaguely Trumpy (i.e. anti-EU) views.

So that’s Austria. They have a real, functioning Green Party that provides actual services to residents just like regular elected officials do. In our two-party system, we unfortunately have a Green Party that seldom gets more than 1% of the vote in presidential elections and currently has a woman named Jill Stein running. Unlike Alexander Van der Bellen, Stein has somewhere south of zero of ever being elected POTUS.

All this is to explain why this rash of Black Flag T-shirts remixed to celebrate Jill Stein kind of piss me off. Say what you will about Black Flag’s take on punk, Jill Stein just has nothing to do with it, or them, in any way shape or form. Not tangentially, not at all. These “Green Flag” tees are not creative or witty mash-ups, they’re fucking stupid.

As a service here is a photograph of Dr. Jill Stein:

This picture reminds me of that time in 1980 when the Hermosa Beach cops kicked Black Flag out of town
Sorry to be so hard on Dr. Stein, but this was just the last straw. I’d love for the Greens to be putting up a really good candidate, but Stein just isn’t it. And I simply loathe these dumbshit shirts.

Here are some more pics of deluded hipsters (well, models) wearing these awful Black Flag shirts. Why are there so many varieties to choose from? Has anyone seen these out in the wild?

More nauseating “Green Flag” T-shirts after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Ian Dury: Before The Blockheads when he fronted Kilburn and the High Roads
01:09 pm



Ian Dury by Peter Blake.
Picture the scene. Here’s Malcolm McLaren revelling in his role as the pre-eminent tousled-haired punk impresario. He’s busy reinventing himself as Fagin to a band of snotty-nosed street urchins—The Sex Pistols. They’re going to change the world. Bring down the establishment. Create a level playing field. Music will never be the same again. It’s all bubbling through his head like a soap commercial. But first he must teach this band of young punk rockers all about stage presence.

McLaren took the Pistols to a local bar—let’s say it was the Tally Ho or the Hope and Anchor, although really it could have been anyone of the many venues favored by pub rock bands at the time. Inside, McLaren and co. squeeze among the crowd unnoticed, up by the side where they watch the band onstage. Out of them all, it’s Johnny Rotten who is taking the most interest—particularly in the lead singer—a man called Ian Dury.

He notes the way Dury stands—stooped over the microphone counterbalancing his club foot and withered arm—the result of childhood polio. He notes the way Dury spits out the words—glaring at the audience. Dury’s dressed like a music hall act—thrift store clothes, drainpipe trousers, Paisley scarf and a razor blade earring. Give it a month and Rotten has taken some of Dury’s style as his own—even down to the razor blade earring.
The band McLaren and his ruffian charges watched that night was Ian Dury and the Kilburns—the spinoff band from the better known and more influential Kilburn and the High Roads. Kilburn and the High Roads was a ragtag band of musicians, art students and misfits: Ian Dury (vocals), Keith Lucas (guitar), Humphrey Ocean (bass), Rod Melvin (keys), David Newton-Roboman (drums) and Davey Payne (saxophone).

Formed in 1970, Kilburn and the High Roads was one of the most popular bands on the pub rock circuit that flourished in London and its environs during the 1970s.

Pub rock wasn’t for novelty acts or hopeful amateurs—despite how snide music journalists used the term in the 1990s to denigrate bands like Oasis. Pub rock was music played by serious musicians who just wanted to play their music to an audience—any audience.

Let’s also remember that there were not all that many venues where bands could play back in seventies Britain. The ones that were available were usually booked-up months in advance by headline acts. It was therefore bars like the Hope and Anchor, the Tally Ho and Dingwalls—small venues, crammed with sweaty, boozed-up young men and women out for a good time—that offered bands a place to play.

The great Ian Dury performing with Kilburn and the High Roads, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Raw Power’: The vintage ‘zine run by teens who took on rock & punk (and won) back in the mid-70s
11:24 am



The cover of Raw Power magazine featuring Iggy Pop, 1977.

“I’m gonna die anyway and I’d prefer it to be at my leisure.”

—Iggy Pop on his admission that he only planned to live “two more years” back in 1977 in an interview with Raw Power magazine

Founded by the sixteen-year-old duo of Scott Stephens (who wrote under the name “Quick Draw”) and Robert Olshever (aka “Bobalouie”) the LA-based ‘zine Raw Power got started in 1976 and almost immediately got the attention of major record labels who would give Stephens and Olshever an all access pass to rock and punk stars like Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, DEVO, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Van Halen, the Ramones and other musical luminaries that the average sixteen-year-old only got close to by way of their poster-covered bedroom walls.

The teenage masterminds behind Raw Power Magazine (L to R): Robert Olshever (Bobalouie), Scott Stephens (Quick Draw) and Murray Schwartz.
Joined later by Murray Schwartz (who would take photographs for the magazine) Raw Power would publish for about three years and routinely featured all the stuff you’d expect to find in a magazine that fused the worlds of rock and punk together like interviews, album reviews and that—according to an archive of the magazine run by Stephens—LOVED to publish unedited “letter to the editor” many of which were laced with obscenity. And here’s a rather mind-blowing revelation from Stephens which took place during an interview with Ozzy in 1979 right after Osbourne (who repeatedly “teared up” during the interview) had been given his walking papers by Black Sabbath. According to Stephens it was the boys of Raw Power who recommended pint-sized guitar virtuoso Randy Rhoads to Osbourne for his new band which at the time Ozz was considering calling “Son of Sabbath.”

Ozzy was quite depressed during this time but had recently met Sharon Arden and was in the process of putting together a new group that would eventually record “Blizzard of Ozz”. It was during this interview that members of Raw Power suggested to Ozzy that he consider auditioning a guitarist by the name of Randy Rhoads. Randy was the guitarist of Quiet Riot and Raw Power had interviewed them for a cover story for the 2nd issue in 1977. Shortly thereafter Ozzy auditioned Randy and hired him on the spot. The rest is history.

When the 2000 film by Cameron Crowe Almost Famous came out many of folks in the trio’s circle immediately thought that the flick was about them—which should help put some perspective on how much of an impact Raw Power made in its short run despite its humble design and young founders. As I mentioned Stephens runs an archive for Raw Power where you can read through three issues in full, which I did and I can’t lie—it was a blast. I’ve posted a few images from the magazine as well as some fantastic vintage photos of Stephens and his cohorts cavorting with the likes of Ronnie James Dio, Iggy Pop, Geezer Butler and Ozzy among others. Raw Power was also one of the only publications to have the opportunity to get some great live shots of Van Halen (taken by Murray Schwartz) while they were still performing in the LA club scene back in 1977. These had never been seen outside of the magazine until they were posted over at the Van Halen News Desk in 2014.

Scott Stephens of Raw Power Magazine with Iggy Pop, 1977.

Stephens with Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath.
More ‘Raw Power’ after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
The Avengers opening for the Sex Pistols at Winterland
08:24 am



The Avengers were, as their lone studio album testifies, the great West Coast punk band. In a better world (so to speak) they and the Screamers would have looked down on the Sunset Strip from enormous billboards.

It’s belatedly come to my attention that pro-shot footage of the Avengers’ entire January 14, 1978 set at Winterland, opening the Sex Pistols’ final (pre-90s-reunion) show, is up on YouTube. The only Avengers video I’d seen of this vintage before was the blurry and generally unsatisfying Target VHS. By comparison, this is like the color turning on in The Wizard of Oz. It’s a sharp recording of a killer performance, and if nineteen-year-old Penelope Houston’s fierce opener, “The American in Me,” doesn’t resonate with you in 2016, then like Magic 8-Ball says, “Outlook not so good.”

You can also watch the Nuns’ full set from that night and, of course, the Pistols’. What you won’t find on YouTube is a trace of the evening’s emcee, the legendary rock critic Richard Meltzer, who was thrown out before the show ended. He writes:

At the Sex Pistols show in San Francisco I was asked to emcee, and I went out and provoked the audience and they threw things at me and Bill Graham, who was promoting it, chucked me out of the building—what a rush.

See the Avengers in action after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Punk poet John Cooper Clarke sings ‘MacArthur Park’ with the Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell
09:16 am



Richard Harris’ seven-and-a-half-minute reading of Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park” is not for me. I like watching Harris on-screen well enough, and I like Jimmy Webb’s writing, but there’s something about the way Harris cries over the warm wine, soggy cake and “stripèd pair of pants” that is more than I can stand. Besides, I’m from Los Angeles, and when I hear the name “MacArthur Park” I think of gang murders and police beatings, despite the lovely gang murder wedding I once attended there.

But Mick Jagger was right: It’s the singer, not the song. What “MacArthur Park” needs is a voice without a hint of mawkishness, a voice that expresses disgust as easily as regret, a voice that has blown out some of its capacity for self-pity: a voice that belongs to an old Northern person. Replace Richard Harris with Dr. John Cooper Clarke, and I’m on board! Nor does it hurt if he’s singing ex-Strangler Hugh Cornwell’s hot new arrangement of the number, over which Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull takes a flute solo reminiscent of Dave Greenfield’s keys on “No More Heroes.” All that is “sweet, green icing” on the cake.

Clarke and Cornwell on location (via Gigslutz)
The video for Clarke and Cornwell’s “MacArthur Park,” filmed on location, is the first taste of the duo’s upcoming album, and it is a treat. If the sight of John Cooper Clarke circumambulating an LA lake in his ‘66 Dylan duds doesn’t make blood rush to your groin and drool stream from your lips, just wait until he goes into the kitchen and actually bakes the fucking cake!

The video after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
BASS IN YOUR FACE: Excellent footage of the Sex Pistols’ notorious San Antonio gig
11:23 am



When I read about the very recent incident wherein the estimable Mr. John Lydon shrugged off a bleeding head gash inflicted by a bottle-throwing audience member to continue performing as though nothing had happened (this at age 60, folks—a lot of MUCH younger performers have stopped shows for less) I couldn’t help but be reminded of the great moments in early punk lore—the time that the Sex Pistols, on the brief US tour that catalyzed their demise, played Randy’s Rodeo, a former bowling alley converted into a cowboy bar in San Antonio, TX.

Such an inappropriate booking was clearly a deliberate provocation—this was at a time in when civilians still found tales of routine onstage sex and vomiting at punk shows plausible. So a crowd made up of cowboys and heshers (plus some pilgrims from Austin) had come expecting to see the most preposterous rumors about punk made real, and they had no shortage of missiles to hurl at the band—the usual bottles, cans and cups, hot dogs and popcorn, someone even pelted Lydon with whipped cream, which not only doesn’t hurt, it’s surely more welcome than the more customary gobs of spit.

The Pistols did do a fair job of delivering on punk’s rumored promise—singer Lydon, wearing a gay cowboy t-shirt by Tom of Finland and baiting the presumably hostile audience as “cowboy faggots”, farmer-blew snot onto the stage and the fans in front. Bassist Sid Vicious, actually experiencing heroin withdrawal, removed his coat to reveal “GIMMIE A FIX” scrawled on his chest, and endeavored to silence a heckler by bludgeoning him with his bass.

This clip from the 1980 documentary D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage, of the song “New York” from that storied performance, shows pretty much all that’s described above, and it wasn’t even a third of the way through their set. There’s great audience footage as well—rural metalheads air-guitaring, a seemingly normal woman who’d pierced her nose with a safety pin, and at the end, the guy who Vicious hit with his bass admitting he’d deliberately provoked the musician in performance, still cryassing about his retaliation.

What would you give to be able to time-travel to attend this show?

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Revolting Teens Lose Their MINDS! The awesome illustrated covers of ‘Punk Magazine’
01:03 pm



The cover of the first issue of ‘Punk Magazine’ featuring an illustration of Lou Reed by John Holmstrom, January, 1976.
Many of the excellent illustrated covers of Punk Magazine in this post were done by the zine’s cofounder John Holmstrom—the man behind the cover of the Ramones album Road to Ruin and Rocket to Russia as well as other illustrated oddities since embarking on his long career as an artist.

Members of the Sex Pistols and Malcolm Mclaren perusing issue #12 of ‘Punk’ featuring an illustration of Robert Gordon on the cover
A dear friend of mine recently gifted me with a copy of Holmstrom’s 2012 book The Very Best of Punk Magazine and I haven’t put the massive thing down in a month. Though Punk only published for a few short years the book itself is a literal goldmine of punk rock artifacts from beautiful reprints of hard-to-find early issues of Punk, photos, essays and even handwritten anecdotes from Lou Reed, journalist Lester Bangs, Debbie Harry, cartoons drawn by R. Crumb and other visual time-capsules too numerous to mention.

While I’m sure that many of our DM readers already own a copy of this heirloom, if you are not one of them I highly recommend picking one up as it is a much a joy to read as it is just to look at. One of my favorite parts of the book were the images of the illustrated covers of Punk the epitome Holmstrom’s cartoony DIY style which some liken to a giant punk rock coloring book. It’s almost criminal that you can find hardcover copies of the book for about $20 bucks out there but you can and it’s well worth the small investment especially if your memories of the 70s are fuzzy thanks to all that bad acid you dropped and whatnot.

Holmstrom recently announced that he is selling some items from his personal collection such as the first issue of Punk
(pictured at the top of this post). More comic-styled images from the covers of Punk follow.

The cover of issue #10 of ‘Punk Magazine’ featuring a big-headed version of Blondie.
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Family Entertainment’: The Undertones blow the roof off BBC’s Belfast studio, 1979
08:23 am



Ad from ZigZag Magazine, 1979
In November 1979, BBC Northern Ireland aired the premiere of Green Rock, a six-week TV series devoted to Irish groups. The first act on the show was not, pace broadcaster Mike Edgar, Celtic rockers Horslips, but Derry’s mighty punk five-piece, the Undertones.

Captured mid-hurtle between their 1979 debut and 1980’s Hypnotised, the ‘tones blasted through their lovesick juvenilia with maximum pain and pleasure. The set includes two of their “girls talk” songs (“Girls That Don’t Talk” and “The Way Girls Talk,” though not their cover of the Chocolate Watchband’s “Let’s Talk About Girls”) and the single I personally find more affecting than “Teenage Kicks,” “You’ve Got My Number (Why Don’t You Use It).” All that’s missing is “Male Model.”

At Creggan in Derry, 1977 (via Aural Sculptors)
The reunited Undertones—minus their original tremulous voice, Feargal Sharkey, who says he only sings to annoy his children these days—have UK dates booked through November. A remix of “Get Over You” by Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine will be released as a seven-inch in October.

Watch the Undertones after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
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