in another place in another time

This month has mostly been spent working on the very item you are holding in your hands. What to say about that? A sarcastic comment about the columns of MRR degenerating into people's per-zine diary doom... I am not sure if it has been formally announced yet, but I will be taking over from Justin as content coordinator in November. We have hired a very capable and awesome distribution coordinator to take over from me, Diane, who will be moving here from Brooklyn. I am looking forward slightly nervously to this new role at the mag, I have been a shitworker here for close to five years and am excited to have a bigger part in the shaping of the content and general direction. That sounds like a spiel from a cover letter, what can I say? What can I say! (The Shawn Brown version though...)

Top Ten for the end of time!

1. When someone asks you to move to a strangely cheap Brooklyn basement and form a band inspired by the first Meat Puppets 7", should you have agreed to that situation right then?? Does the song “In A Car” make you want to exist in some other place instantly?? Right then! In an instant instance! A fucking explosion of... the feeling of endless possibility enclosed in a 7". It’s hardcore before the reduction set in and it sounds like a million things you can’t explain and shouldn’t even have to! What is enough to make one want to quit a job, abandon ship, and take aim for some mysterious basement? Somewhere that kids used to hang out and sneak cigarettes on stoops now taken over by the dreaded yoga mom doom merchants... I guess I’ll stick with nega-times on the SF streets. Those are true signifiers of the end times you know; baby boutiques and craft supply stores, cupcake bakeries. Crochet me a noose, craft revolutionaries! Or perhaps a fourth wave feminist treatise on your Danish modern design blog indicating why endless consumption of niceness ’n’ lifestyles is a viable alternative.

2. The only music I have been listening to this month has been the doomed, mutant, vengeance-filled sounds of Malefice and United Mutation. Too much weight on my mind, until I found a copy of the aforementioned Meat Puppets 7" for cheap because the guy thought that it wasn’t worth anything being that it was not the SST version.... When I first moved here and knew no one I used to slouch around the fanciest parts of town, where the light is always golden and hits the socialite mansions and tech billionaire villas at the most nostalgic, synthetic ’70s soap opera angle. Listening to Void bootlegs or X Los Angeles and staring in at showcase living rooms that have never been lived in, trespassing on golf courses and so forth. This activity was dropped in favor of hanging out with actual human beings, then that was dropped for walking out to the ocean, which was in turn dropped for working a million hours at MRR. A truly all-consuming situation—it’s hard or rather impossible to convey how much your life revolves around the magazine as a coordinator. Walking manically round Pacific Heights listening to Rorschach Protestant feels like playing hooky because there are layouts that need takin’ care of! Distros to contact! A mail room to clean, stacks of back issues to reorganize, interviews to conduct/set up... Bad debts to collect!

3. Other random things that have arisen; a text from RJ to say he picked up The Girls 7" for twenty bucks... The Girls were a proto synth/doomed art punk band from Boston who released one 7" on David Thomas from Pere Ubu’s record label... I say proto-synth because while clearly there are some synths at work the music is more like a furious Pere Ubu “Cloud 149,” Clevo-punk-damaged-drone than anything akin to what The Normal or Nervous Gender were doing. The song “Jeffrey I Hear You” is supposedly about the death of the singer’s twin brother and a subsequent haunting. Listening to this otherworldly 7" with that back-story in mind adds to the eerie fervor brought forth by the sound. Apparently the keyboard player works at a record store in Boston and still has copies of the 7" he will sell to interested parties... Not sure what the exact deal with that is, but I do know this is totally worth hunting down, the cover is scratched-out black and white, an eloquent expression of the manic times contained within! I played it on the radio and Golnar made me fade it out because it creeped her out too much! Is that a good sign?

4. Probably the coolest thing this month was walking in on the Bruce Roehrs led Pierced Arrows interview, and talking to Toody Cole about playing bass and how being a musician totally transformed her sense of herself. I think the tape cut off most of what she said before we noticed it had ended (in fact I know it did since I transcribed most of the interview), but it was super inspiring listening to her talk about how she's gotten more confident and comfortable in her own skin as she's gotten older... A true triumph in the face of a society that writes women off as they grow. I made a bunch of my London friends buy the Lollipop Shoppe/Weeds reissue that came out in Europe in the early 2000s and then forced a Dead Moon show on them to encourage total indoctrination. This test failed; while the greatness of the LP was duly noted, they were somehow unable to recognize the truth, urgency, and honor in the Dead Moon sound, and wrote ’em off as olde-tyme, bar-rock boredom. While I can see how this error of judgment arose, it was still disheartening to see such greatness and power dismissed. The Coles to me represent how to do exactly what you want to do on your own terms whatever the cost—how to make your own life, your own idea of music and existence. It’s true freedom, forging one’s own path ruthlessly in a ruthlessly dull world. Pierced Arrows contains the urgency of the Rats alongside the timeless Dead Moon ideal, creating a sound for those with the ears and the desire to understand the value of such a combination...

5. I would also like to give honorable mentions to the Communal Living 12" by a mysterious band whose name I cannot mention...

6. F, the band from Florida that Sound Idea reissued a few years back, and The Randoms’ Dangerhouse 7"... more of the soundtrack to frustrated anxious times!

7. In new music, for now, I salute the current Homostupids switch from skull to cat music. The Mentally Challenged 7"s have been also consistently over played. Music for the troubled is always the way to go esp. when it’s done right...

8. Last month Cissie mentioned the fact that we are working on some theme issues: a film issue (deadline Oct 15th!), a print media issue (deadline Dec 1st!), a queer issue (no deadline set yet!) and a health issue (deadline Nov 1st.). MRR is what you make it, as is punk rock/DIY in general, duh. We have a lot of cool interviews and articles lined up for the magazine, but if you have an idea or something you want to contribute, please do! Get in touch if you need guidelines. If you live somewhere that hasn’t had a scene report for a few years, why not cover it yourself?
Also, we know our current website kind of sucks. We have had a redesign in the works for a ridiculously epic amount of time, which will eventually include a database of the entire MRR record collection with links to record reviews from the mag. This is a monumental task obviously, and the new website will be up long before this is completed... I am also hoping to create a database of the MRR zine and tape collection. Speaking of which if you are an older punk with demo tapes that you no longer care about, zines or fliers that have lost some of their meaning, we would love to have them for our collection. Please get in touch! Like it says at the front of the magazine we can take tax-deductible donations through Indy Arts and Media...

9. whatwewantisfree.blogspot.com old columns ’n’ shit on thee web

10. layla at maximumrocknroll.com—that’s an email address! Write me! I am kind of a shitty correspondent. Just a word of warning...

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