underground since'89

send vinyl, tapes and zines for review to:

tobi vail P.O. Box 2572 Olympia, WA 98507 USA

email mp3's, links, photos and flyers to:


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


This young woman works as a waitress at my favorite diner in Olympia. I had no idea she had been in prison for two weeks for refusing to testify in a Grand Jury Trial. I believe that these folks are innocent. I believe that this trial is a witch-hunt. Please take a moment to read about what they are up against.

You can write to KTEEO here:

Katherine Olejnik #42592-086

FDC SeaTac,

P.O. Box 13900

Seattle, WA 98198

Because We Must - Statement From A Resister - Leah-Lynn Plante

Statement From A Resister - Leah-Lynn Plante from Because We Must on Vimeo.

“Today is October 10th, 2012 and I am ready to go to prison.” -Leah-Lynn Plante

Local "anarchists" are being targeted for their political affiliations and beliefs.

Some of them, like Leah-Lynn Plante, are refusing to co-operate with authorities in what they consider to be a "witch-hunt".

Sound familiar?

Death to Prison, Freedom to Protest! Free All Political Prisoners!

Monday, October 8, 2012

For Immediate Release: "Free Pussy Riot" MP3 by Tobi Vail


Tobi Vail has released a song called Free Pussy Riot in solidarity with Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, the three jailed members of Pussy Riot who are currently serving two years in prison for performing an anti-Putin song in a Moscow church. Pussy Riot is an anonymous feminist punk collective who play unsanctioned concerts as a means of political protest. Pussy Riot started in Moscow but chapters are forming internationally in solidarity with group members'unjust imprisonment and continued state harassment.

Inspired by Free John Sinclair by John and Yoko, Free Pussy Riot was written for Tobi's recent performance at Primera Persona at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona. Tobi continues to play Free Pussy Riot in her solo set, recently performing it live backed by The Pussy Riot Olympia Solidarity Band at Kitzel's Deli in Olympia, WA as part of an event held to rally international awareness and support for the Russian group. Pussy Riot Olympia videos can be viewed via Tobi's youtube channel

Upon the arrest of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, members of Bikini Kill made statements in solidarity with the group. Tobi's statement is an MP3 edited together with paintings of the group made by Billy Karren and posted on youtube. Tobi also wrote an article about Pussy Riot for eMusic and continues to speak out about their unjust imprisonment via social media. Kathleen Hanna video-taped a statement of support for her blog and has spoken to the music press about the group.

On October 10 Pussy Riot's appeal will be heard by a Russian court. To quote from Tobi's solidarity statement she reads at the end of her song:

Pussy Riot is organizing in Moscow but the struggle for self-determination of women, LGBTQ rights, gender justice and political transparency is an international one. 'Death to Prison, Freedom to Protest' Free Pussy Riot!

Lyrics available upon request. Please share the FREE MP3.

Photo by Sara Peté taken Live at Kitzel's Deli on Friday September 14, 2012

Free Pussy Riot was written by Tobi Vail in collaboration with Pussy Riot Olympia agitator Henri Riot & New York based artist Amy Yao. Tobi Vail plays lead guitar & sings, Henri Riot plays bass & sings, Wild Man James (Spider and the Webs) plays guitar, Kanako Pooknyw (Broken Water) plays drums & sings and Bongo Randy (Spider and the Webs, The Family Stoned) plays percussion. The song was recorded by Dave Harvey.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pussy Riot is extremely radical...

On Friday August 16 three members of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in a work camp for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" for playing a protest song in a church, becoming overnight media sensations all over the world.

Also on Friday Pussy Riot released a new song calling for revolution:

This weekend social networking sites are full of people talking about Pussy Riot.

Why is this such a huge news story right now?

What does it mean that this case has momentum behind it while others don't?

Why this particular struggle and not another at this historical moment in time?

What is the geopolitical meaning of Pussy Riot advocacy?

Some legitimate critiques & points are being made. Others seem to miss the mark.

Asking questions and engaging in critical dialogue is crucial but let us not forget the point:

Pussy Riot is extremely radical.

The fact that they are experiencing their 15 minutes of fame does not change that.

Advocacy from celebrities & western governments/organizations/feminists with their own agenda does not change that.

Let's be humble for a minute and listen to how Pussy Riot & Putin's opposition define issues in order to figure out how we can support their struggle.

Lastly, oppression is not a competition. We all come from different places of privilege and oppression but that doesn't mean we can't work together.

The local and the global are connected.

Feminist solidarity across borders!

Social Justice not retributive justice!

Free Pussy Riot and all political prisoners!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Katya

Dear Katya,

I don't know if you will get this message but I want to write and say Happy Birthday from all of the (old and new) riot grrls and punks in Olympia, WA (who now live all over). We are thinking about you today and have been trying to figure out a way to support you through solidarity work and talking to the press.

I read your statement this morning in English and watched it live in Russian on the internet at 2am. It is incredibly articulate and clear. If anything this trial and your arrest are giving people in the west an education about Russian history, politics and culture.

It is tricky to give words of support without perpetuating the idea that the US is somehow superior to Russia. I disagree that our society is free. Our criminal justice system is racist, classist and punitive. We have one of the biggest prison systems in the history of the world. The death penalty is legal here. People of color are discriminated against and oppressed by the prison industrial complex. There is a prison abolition movement here, which I support.

Political prisoners exist here too. Anyone called a "terrorist" or an anarchist is treated unfairly. At the end of July the FBI raided punk houses in Olympia and Portland looking for anarchists. There is something here called The Green Scare, which we can talk about later, but basically it means people are persecuted for their political affiliations. Additionally, cops beat and jail non-violent anti-war protesters regularly. Activists who protest political conventions are also beaten and jailed. Members of the Occupy movement have been arrested and victimized by police brutality.

Also, as I wrote about in my statement, sexism and sexist oppression exist here as does homophobia and heterosexism - so more than not - I feel we have a common struggle. It is terrible that you are in prison but your unjust imprisonment creates a moral basis for international solidarity. I hope this means the struggle will grow into an international one.

Happy Birthday Katya, we are thinking of you today and hope you will be set free.


Tobi Vail Olympia, WA

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pussy Riot Olympia Releases Statement of Intent

According to recent news reports the Pussy Riot trial begins tomorrow

Please Take Action by signing this advocacy letter via Amnesty International and contacting yr local Russian Embassy and media outlets

Here is a Statement of Intent posted by Pussy Riot Olympia about their recent solidarity action that was captured on video:

Pussy Riot has to keep on expanding. That's one of the reasons we choose to always wear balaclavas—new members can join the bunch and it does not really matter who takes part in the next act—there can be three of us or eight, like in our last gig on the Red Square, or even 15. Pussy Riot is a pulsating and growing body. Do you know anyone who wants to come to Moscow, play illegal concerts, and help us fight Putin and Russian chauvinists? Or maybe they could start their own local Pussy Riot, if Russia is too cold and too far.
- Garadzha, Pussy Riot

As with every story there is how we want the world to know the story and then what really happened. In this story you will get both because there are many people telling it. Some of the members of Pussy Riot Olympia were trying to show support for Pussy Riot Moscow by carrying on what we saw them actually doing, disrupting public space to create dialogue about relevant political and cultural issues.

We looked at what resources we had and made a plan. Some of us knew we could get the controls of the projection booth and lights at a local cinema. We disrupted a matinee screening (a poorly attended screening as you can see in the video) by rigging the fire shutter on the projector to stop functioning such that when we shut off the projector the image burned on screen. (at a planned moment during the manipulative film) Then we hit the lights, rushed the stage, switched over to the cinema's video projector and sound system to play our song and slide show, gave it all we had for two minutes and left the small audience to wonder what happened. We had a few cameras so we filmed the scenes leading up to and just after the action. Then some of us went up to the state capitol building and took over the steps for an impromptu demo that lasted about three minutes. At the end of the video you can see a state patrolman walking out of the building with his lunchbox trying his best to ignore the weird spectacle happening…and probably hoping he didn't get called back to work to diffuse the situation.

In the cinema action we are also deliberately protesting the random mass killing that happened recently in a cinema in the US. These killings have become increasingly regular and are fed by the culture of violence and hate that is the norm in consumerist  feeding frenzies and especially the cinema. We love the cinema. Free the Cinema!

Free Pussy Riot! Start yr own Pussy Riot chapter now.

We have nothing to worry about, because if the repressive Putinist police crooks throw one of us in prison, five, ten fifteen or more girls will put on colorful balaclavas and continue the fight against their symbols of power.
-Kot, Pussy Riot

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pussy Riot Olympia

Pussy Riot Olympia demand the immediate release of Pussy Riot Moscow

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grass Widow - Internal Logic

I interviewed Grass Widow for The Believer and it turned out great. It references this review of Past Time that I wrote for Jigsaw in November 2011. The title of their new record, Internal Logic, is rumored to come from my review! Shhh... It's a great record but it will probably take me a few more listens to figure out why...review forthcoming...in the meantime check out the trailer for the album:


Here is my statement in support of Pussy Riot from April 2012:

“Under Putin we are up for another decade of brutal sexism and conformism as official government policies” -Tyura, Pussy Riot

At the end of 2011, Pussy Riot, a Moscow-based punk feminist collective, performed an illegal show on top of a building at a detention center where political prisoners were being held after participating in an unsanctioned protest of the recent election. Pussy Riot set off flares, hung a banner and sang their song calling for "Death to Prison/Freedom to Protest". This action was videotaped, eventually receiving over 60,000 views on youtube. In a later interview they named this as one of their favorite actions so far, explaining that, "Political detainees could see us from inside their prison cells and they chanted and cheered while we sang." They also claimed that the unit was put on lockdown afterwards because officials didn't know what to do when they realized they couldn't stop Pussy Riot from playing and feared they were about to takeover the prison.

In that same interview Pussy Riot discuss what would happen to them if they were imprisoned, suggesting that their anonymity insulates them as a group, regardless of what happens to them as individuals:

“We have nothing to worry about, because if the repressive Putinist police crooks throw one of us in prison, five, ten fifteen or more girls will put on colorful balaclavas and continue the fight against their symbols of power.”

In early March, just a few days before Putin's re-election, three women believed to be members of Pussy Riot were jailed for allegedly taking part in a "punk prayer" organized by the group at the largest cathedral in Moscow. This action took place on February 21, 2012 culminating in a videotaped performance of a song called Holy Shit. If internet translations can be believed, the song comments on the Russian Orthodox Church's ties to Vladimir Putin, comically calling on the Virgin Mary to become a feminist and join the movement to kick Putin out of office. The lyrics also point out the church's anti-gay, conservative agenda. One line states that "The ghost of freedom is in heaven, gay pride sent to Siberia in chains" another says "In order not to offend the Holy/ women have to give birth and love".

In my reading of this action, Pussy Riot were protesting the political agenda of the church and using humor, performance art and creative protest to call into question the relationship between the church and state in Russian society. The fact that three women allegedly involved were arrested and have been held without trial for the past month and a half shows that this action is considered a threat to the status quo in Russia. This story has remained in the news for several months, forcing a conversation about the role of religion in Russian politics and captivating the attention of an international audience.

Pussy Riot are organizing in Moscow but the struggle for the self-determination of women, LGBTQ rights, gender justice and political transparency is an international one. What can feminists living in other parts of the world do to show our solidarity with Pussy Riot? In thinking about this question, I want to think draw attention to what we have in common. Russia is still demonized in the west and I don't want my statement in support of Pussy Riot to feed into the post-cold war dichotomy of Russia=repression, USA=freedom.

I live in Olympia, WA. Thinking about Pussy Riot makes me want to tell people that there is a struggle against sexism and sexist oppression here. I am harassed on the street regularly by men I don't know. Men in my community are sexist towards women in my community. There is a struggle for access to birth control and abortion here. A local pharmacy refuses to carry Plan B, a legal form of birth control, because they believe that it violates their religious beliefs, which resulted in an organized boycott that led to a lawsuit that is currently in the federal court of appeals. In 2005, The Eastside Women's Clinic clinic was a victim of arson and subsequently denied insurance coverage, which led them to stop performing abortions. Today women who go to Planned Parenthood have to walk past anti-abortion right wing Christians who call women whores for going to the doctor. Sexual violence happens here and women who are raped do not have a criminal justice system that supports them nor does a viable alternative to the prison-industrial complex exist. Women don't have access to affordable childcare, healthcare, equal pay for equal work or wages for housework. Welfare and social services have been cut. Unfortunately this is just the beginning of a very long list.

I really like the fact that Pussy Riot are artists addressing political issues in the symbolic realm. I want to support them in this fight. They have invited us to join them; in their own words:

"Pussy Riot has to keep on expanding. That's one of the reasons we choose to always wear balaclavas—new members can join the bunch and it does not really matter who takes part in the next act—there can be three of us or eight, like in our last gig on the Red Square, or even 15. Pussy Riot is a pulsating and growing body. Do you know anyone who wants to come to Moscow, play illegal concerts, and help us fight Putin and Russian chauvinists? Or maybe they could start their own local Pussy Riot, if Russia is too cold and too far."

We are all Pussy Riot. April 15, April 19 and April 21 have been named days of action. Go to FREEPUSSYRIOT.ORG for more information. Death to Prison, Freedom to Protest! Death to Prison, Freedom to Protest! Death to Prison, Freedom to Protest! Free Pussy Riot! Free Pussy Riot! Free Pussy Riot!

Go here to read an article I wrote about them for eMusic

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 19: Free Pussy Riot Action Day


Show Your Solidarity on the day of the trial

April 19th, the day of the trial is the action day to show your real support and solidarity with the Pussy Riot and their three alleged members unfairly jailed in Moscow !

Take Action and Make Noise:

- protest in front of Russian Embassy in your country
- phone Russian Government
- call press
- wear your balaclavas
- organize a gig
- post on FB / Youtube / Twitter
- send solidarity letters
- donate

Join Our Protest and Demand Immediate Release of Maria, Nadezhda and Ekaterina !

Sunday, April 15, 2012

International Solidarity for Pussy Riot

Death to Prison Freedom of Protest

Today is an international action day to show solidarity with Pussy Riot

Go here to listen to an mp3 of a statement I made in support of them

more free pussy riot paintings by billy karren here

read N. Tolokonnikova's letter from prison

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dear Jigsaw Readers....Spiritual Warriors demo

Dear Jigsaw Readers,

I realize that I promised to write more this year...I also realize that it takes me a long time to feel like I've listened to a record enough times to form my opinion about it enough to really comment on it...which is why there is so much music writing at the end of the year as opposed to at the beginning I think.

A ton of stuff has been happening locally...but before I let another day go by without reporting on it, may I draw your attention to the Spiritual Warriors demo?

Here, just have a listen:

I haven't seen them live yet but I know they've been playing shows.

Ok talk to you later!


Sunday, April 1, 2012


Watch this video Kathleen Hanna made in support of Pussy Riot:

If you haven't been following the stories about them in the news you're about to discover the most exciting thing to happen in both punk and feminism in years.



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Interview with Zarjaz from The Tronics

The Tronics are the best band but nobody knows about them. All that is about to change because a label from New York called What's Your Rupture? is reissuing their music. I found out about them from Jon Slade from Huggy Bear/Comet Gain in the late 90's but they are from the punk/post punk era. One time Jon and I were at a record fair in Brighton and we found a box of Chainsaw Fanzines w/ Tronics flexi discs in them. They were not for sale but were they free? I can't remember. We got a few copies. There's a really cool Tronics interview in the fanzine that I have somewhere. For a long time that is the only information I could find about them. I found all their records with Jon's help and started collecting Zarjaz records. Eventually a website appeared. From the website I discovered they also released a tape, which they made available on CD. Then, in 2005, Zarjaz came to see my band Spider and the Webs play in South London. Mabel from Hello Cuca had contacted him via the website to tell him that we covered a Tronics song (Shark Fucks). It was the last night of our tour and he came to the after party, bringing us a bottle of champagne for the hootenanny. We stayed in touch and I interviewed him last year but forgot to turn the tape recorder on. Whoops. These questions were written by members of Comet Gain and me at a Sunday pub roast.

1. how did the latest releases of the tronics with what’s your rupture? come about?

People have been asking me to reissue Tronics since 1983. When Alan McGee came to me in 1983 he wanted me to re do Tronics. Of course I was too involved in other things and I think this may be the basis of why he has acted so maliciously towards me over the years since.

About a year ago people around me managed to convince me that any reason I had to withhold Tronics was not as great as the people wanting it and I should let them have it, so I got together with What’s Your Rupture?. Kevin Pedersen at WYR? is an important figure in rock n roll. I know, I have seen quite few and I can recognize them.

2. are there any plans to play live?

The Tronics releases have been in the planning stage for a year now and plans to play live have been running parallel. They haven’t managed to come about yet but they will. I mean, well how difficult is it to get Zarjaz on stage? I won’t be playing a Tronics revival or playing under the Tronics name but I will be playing quite a few Tronics songs live.

We are hoping to set up some low key, intimate appearances, here and there, with just me and a guitar, to celebrate Love Backed By Force and then follow that up later on with a full rock n roll band line up, in conjunction with the planned Tronics singles retrospective on WYR?

It’s going to be awesome. Marilyn Monroe is going to be there. Bo Diddley is going to be there. Edie Sedgwick is going to be there.

3. which do you like better - the future or the past and why?

“Love the one you’re with.” When I’m there, either in the past or in the future I love it. Most of all I don’t really relate to the present.

4. what is your favorite period in history?

Probably the time of Nero or just before the French Revolution.

5. what have you been doing in Croatia?

I usually end up in the sea.

6. what's your favorite period of pre-history? (Jurassic, Triassic, cretaceous?)

I tend to go for the Cretaceous. I collect dinosaur teeth and most of the ones I have come from that time.

7. are you interested in the megatooth shark? what is your favorite shark?

The Charcharadon Megalodon by far. This creature was so unimaginable and beyond belief. Remember, this looks like a great white but it’s the size of a jet airliner. I have some Megalodon teeth. Other than that I love all sharks, even tichy ones.

8. how did you meet gabby from the tronics?

I saw her on Bond Street and asked her if she wanted to play some music. She was an actress and wasn’t involved in music at all. We had an interview and a try out rehearsal and she was in. After Tronics she went back to playing Shakespeare on a big stage.

9. who's your favorite guitar player?

Bo Diddley.

10. tell us about baroqueabilly!

The style first began to come over me during the recording of Love Backed By Force. At the same time I had always been experiencing hauntings and weird things. People might say I have hallucinations or I imagine them. I see people. Sometimes they are from the past, sometimes they are black people. I hear things. Sometimes they call my name. The earliest thing I can put my finger on that I heard was a little girl singing, that follows me around. I can feel that she is near sometimes but I never see her. I used to be so confused and concerned by this that my music was going hand in hand with ghosts/hallucinations and supernatural signs/imaginings and I would talk about it openly hoping someone would explain or help.

After a time I began to meet/have visions of dead people who were telling me things. Once I walked into a room full of ancient people who told me I was the Emperor of Rome, descended from Nero. Another time I woke up with my bed surround by them saying “come to us.” They have been with me all the way, showing me things and telling me what to do. If this seems unbelievable to anyone I would say to look at La Leggenda Del Block (II) (2009), or, Oh Praise The Lord With One Consent (download) (2011) and ask how on earth can someone like me, from a very humble background, with no training in classical music or history, or school for that matter, come to make that?

Around 1982, fans at Tronics gigs started calling me Zarjaz, which was a word in the comic 2000AD. I decided to end Tronics and apply the name to my work from then on. Now this may all be a supernatural happening or a psychological problem but by 1983/84 I was living it. I gave everything I owned away, that I didn’t need to operate, like recording machines and my keyboard and surrounded myself in the past and the future. I made the music with a synthesizer and with reference to Clockwork Orange in order to make classical pop music, accessible to ordinary people. If anyone takes the time to look at LLDB they will see that it is more loyal to the music that was actually written than many mainstream classical music releases, made by so called experts. Eventually this would lead to catastrophe.

During this time I was also working on a video project that was to become a three hour slow motion series of dream like images set to my music. The film was called Lustratio, which is an ancient Latin word for purification. While I was making the music I was also videoing, but more importantly editing, all in slow-mo. When I got off the monitor my vision was blurring and I began to see the whole world moving in slow-mo. At the same time I had a terribly troubled relationship with a girl who insisted on taking a lot of speed and alcohol. This made her quite abusive and malicious. Like many troubled relationships I was caught in the trap of keeping the relationship going when I should have got out. One day this girl told me that she had 8 abortions of my babies. Having a baby was one of the greatest things that could have happened to me. I totally love children and I always felt this was a sadness in my life as my circumstances were not good to have a baby. At that time I was confronted with this horror, out of my head, while seeing the world in slow-mo, I looked down and saw children hanging on to my trousers. It was the last straw and I totally went through the floor and ended up in hospital, facing years of psychiatric treatment. I became unable to play musical instruments or read music. I decided to put Lustratio away and make sure no one ever saw it. This was the troubled end of baroquabilly, at least for the time being until I worked my way back to release La Leggenda Del Block (II) in 2009.

I think my classical music as pop music idea in 1983, has been more than exonerated with the pop scene taking on classical music recently, all be it safely but not forgetting to mention Paul McCartney, with his classical pop music, saying things I said in 1983.

11. is it true that you were in a band with tony james?

Around 1982, Tony James asked me to be the front man for his new band. I recorded a vocal over a demo they had of Be Bop Alula. My ideas were totally different to Tony James and I had been working on futuristic, Clockwork Orange, cyber punk rock n roll, since 1981. I already had wardrobes full of futuristic clothes and sets of pictures and video for Lustratio, in knee pads, jet boots and neon hair, baroque clothes and neon red baroque wigs.

Tony James told me the band would be called Nazi Occult Bureau, so because of that I said no to joining. I also saw only trouble looming for them, bands being relationships and relationships being what they are sometimes. But I did suggest that he did bass on some songs I had and I recorded demo songs with him including Inter Block Rock and Luna Love, both being futurist rock n roll anthems.

By 1983, baroquabilly took me over completely and I needed to go with it, so I left Tony James and dedicated myself to making futurist classical pop music. I knew Tony James would have some success with his band but the next time I saw them they had procured a new singer from the New Romantic scene and called themselves Sigue Sigue Sputnik, but Tony James had plagiarized the basic concept of the futuristic Clockwork Orange cyber rock n roll, from me. I have never blamed the other members because Martin Degville joined after me and I never knew him and also, Tony James tended to keep me and the others separate, in different rooms. I only ever discussed my ideas with him, never with the other guys. This has made me feel that he was manipulating

It was at this time that I had the great trauma in my life. While I was undergoing psychiatric treatment and unable to really deal with the situation, I saw the culmination of the plagiarism in the Sputnik record Albinoni vs Starwars, showing a half futurist, half baroque man, drawn by an artist from the comic 2000AD, on the front cover.

Tony James likes to keep these details in rock n roll history quiet, not even mentioning me or my huge influence in any official propaganda. Today the band is split in a terrible struggle, fighting for royalties and who wrote what.

12. what is your favorite band (or bands) of the 78-81 time period?

The Ramones. Teenage Jesus. Red Balune.

13. how did you distribute your records? did you self-release?

Mainly through Rough trade but distribution was much better then than it is today and also independent really meant independent and not financed and promoted by mainstream labels as it is today. Distributors were much more open then, even International ones and that’s how the first Tronics cassette became the first indapendant cassette album to have world wide distribution and recognized so by the NME in 1982.

14. when we hung out in london last year and drove around the city I sort of interviewed you, but I didn't tape it. I remember you talked about some riots on the kings rd and trying out for 'the beatles'....can you recount some of what we talked about that day?

One of my first music industry experiences was in 1978, with Jock McDonald, who some might remember being a manager of John Lydon. I responded to an advert to audition for a Beatles show. The audition was held at the Speakeasy, off Oxford Street. I went along just for the experience not expecting to be chosen. I was called to the stage and asked which Beatle I was, so I said all of them. I played She Loves You. They told me they would call me if they needed me and I left. Jock approached me at the door. He was working there as a resident DJ/promoter. Jock said that it was a set up for publicity. The auditions were fake and they already had the musicians arranged. The best thing was that he thought I was great. He also invited me to go back to the punk club nights that were happening there, with my name on the door. This introduced me to some amazing experience. What’s more, Jock allowed me to use the Speakeasy to audition early Tronics musicians and form my band there.

When I first started going there I normally saw the club manager who was a very astute person. The last time I saw this man he was sat over a pile of paperwork, a twitching, nervous wreck. I heard later that someone had hit the guitarist Denny Lane over the head with a sledge hammer the night before, inside the club. The club closed down soon afterwards.

During this time a situation arose where the old Teds or Rockers were taking offense to the new Punks using Ted clothes and paraphernalia and putting safety pins in them. This lead to a lot of fighting on the streets in London between the two cultures. The kings Road in London was a particular flash point. The road had always had a long standing tradition as being a meeting place for Rockers, in particular on their way to Brighton for the “Brighton Run.” This was a yearly meeting and run on motorbikes to Brighton. There is a very famous tea stand on Battersea Bridge, just off the Kings Road that has become a traditional meeting place for Rockers, Bikers and vintage car enthusiasts.

There were similar conflagrations during the 1960’s of Rockers fighting the newer Mods but these mainly occurred in Brighton at the destination of the “Brighton Run.” Gangs of Rockers would fight gangs of Mods throughout Brighton but mainly a big punch up on the beach. By the end of the 70’s the Rockers were facing trouble both at Brighton but also on their traditional doorstep, the Kings Road, from the Punks, who had set up camp there, mainly through the connections to Malcolm McLaren, who had a famous Punk shop and meeting place there.

Every Saturday, at the height of Punk, the Rockers would gather in the middle of Sloane Square at one end of the Kings Road and the Punks would gather at the Worlds End. At around 1pm, both groups would march up or down the Kings Road and meet in the middle for a fight.

Friday, February 3, 2012

hello it's 2012

photo by Armin C. Antonio

dear jigsaw readers,

hello. it's 2012, I know! I know you know. I messed up. Amy Yao contributed a Best of 2011 list and it was supposed to go up on January 22, which was Chinese New Year...but it didn't happen. Human error. So I will get that up (maybe as a January 22 post, so look backwards if you are reading this in the future!) soon and then move on to the next thing.

Just briefly, the first show I saw in 2012 was The Corin Tucker Band at The Midnight Sun. This event was put on by The Olympia All Ages Project, the folks who brought you The Northern. It was a pretty killer show. Western Hymn opened up. Then Broken Water Played. The Corin Tucker Band headlined and they played all new songs. I have now seen two of their shows. The first one, I think, was a huge show in a giant theater in Portland and it was their first show ever (pretty sure?). This show was kind of the opposite, in the sense that it was a tiny show and didn't sell out but in a way it was similar because they played all new songs, pretty sure they are still learning them/writing them. I thought that was a bold move, because, as someone who is working on new songs, I hesitate to play shows until they are totally finished these days. Why? youtube of course. As a fan I love youtube. As a person-in-a-band, not so much. The songs have to be done when you play a show (ANY SHOW) or else you have to be willing to record a live record at EVERY show to the point to where you are like, ok fuck it. I guess this is an example of how the authority of the author is being challenged by technology (see The Art of Immersion by Frank Rose for more on this idea, review by me forthcoming) ...which ok...if I'm playing drums, what do I care? But if I'm the SINGER SONGWRITER I want to just shoot lasers out of my eyes when I see people recording the shows! Like ok, just stop! Please? Or better yet, don't start.

Anyhow, I digress. The show was cool. Ok I will be honest. I missed the first part of Western Hymn, the first part of Broken Water AND the last part of The Corin Tucker band but that is because part of what we do at shows is hang out right? I mean, there was a lot of walking around and going back to the apartment to meet people and hurrying back to the show to hang out and then my mom txted and was like "when is Corin playing, is it sold out? I am coming to the show" and a friend wanted to know if it was "the real Corin Tucker" or maybe something like "Courtney Love" the band, which is actually Lois and not the singer of Hole. Anyhow, the new songs seem to be shaping up, I look forward to hearing the record and maybe next time I see them play live they will be playing songs they've toured on for awhile so it won't be so hesitant and reserved.

Then Olympia had insane weather so I missed a few shows I was meaning to go see...Hysterics...Crude Thought...Wolves in the Throne Room/Broken Water...oh well, there will be other times to see those same bands. OH. I did also miss going to see Craig Extine's first solo show with Sedan opening up but I do recommend checking out his new album, which is available on CD or tape if you like the acoustic songs on that last Old Haunts Record. I think there was another show that night. Oh yeah, Nudity and maybe Dead Head? Cool bands, will try harder to see them next time. For reals.

On Sunday I did manage to go see Hey Girl, Blues Druid and Pierced Arrows at The Brotherhood. The guy from Hey Girl is like a cross between riot grrl era Allison Wolfe and Will Shatter from Flipper. Totally amazing. They actually remind me of Flowers For Funerals, an early 80's pre-Bratmobile percussive ensemble that did death rock post punk versions of John Waters movies in song form. (But I bet nobody reading this has ever heard that band.) When the girl from Hey Girl sings, they sound kind of like The Pixies or Blood on the Wall maybe. I felt like I was in Arcata when they were playing. I don't know what that means. During the show I was standing in line for the bathroom. A woman said "do you know the band?" I said, which group? She was talking about Hey Girl. She knew the band. She was stoked. I asked about her connection. She said she works with the singer, the guy singer. I said, "oh, where at?" and she said "Brewery City Pizza". Then she paused..."You, know, Pizza Girl??" I didn't know if that meant SHE was THE Pizza Girl or what, but I thought it was a pretty cool interaction. Blues Druid has Dave Harvey on drums and a good bass player. The guitarist kid was skilled but not super soulful in my opinion. It was a groovy groove, that's for sure. Pierced Arrows were ok, not super great. James said it was their best show yet. I don't know because I haven't seen them that many times. I did hear a rumor that Fred and Toody will be playing a set of country ballads somewhere in Portland sometime soon.

Ok that's it so far. I recently was hanging out at Dumpster Values/ Phantom City and everyone was working on stuff -- Perrenial was busy assembling new releases, Broken Water were working on sleeve art for an upcoming 12" and Mary Jane from Polly Darton was laying out a tape cover while she was working the counter at Phantom City. What was I doing? Waiting to use the printer so I could edit some interviews for Sham Pants.

Stay Tuned. 2012 is gonna be a good year.



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Best of 2011 by Joey Casio

The musics of 2011. In this post bloghouse infosphere its hard to pick out what's great from the landscape-our ears are so full of songs they turn into sandgrains and the whole place is an even wash. So you go with what you know and what you've seen:

-TRACEY TRANCE provided the soundtrack to many a late night, in person and on the stereo all over the west coast. Heap some hot oil onto a tape of a rollerink organ player, leave it in the sun next to a dirty magnet, and over dub a fading radio from an indeterminate island in south asia at quarter-volume through a mesh of cardboard, and you'd be halfway there. Transcendent sub-dumpster psychedelia at its finest. Me n' Tyler T.T. made some sounds for the sunrise at thee Mojave Rave' this year. Hands down a high point of the last 365.

-RENE' HELL: I saw Terry Riley play at the art museum on his 90th birthday. It was pretty great, but he has clearly been eclipsed by a generation or three of up and coming composers like Rene' Hell's Jeff Witcher. In his work, interlocking patterns of hypnotically shifting timbres combine to create truly moving instrumental music. Imagine an android letting out a slow, sad sigh as it becomes self aware. Rene Hell is kind of like that. Contemporary as fuck.

-RIND is a new sound echoing from a circuit-laden cathedral where the bomb-holes let you see the stars to gain hope. Lee Relvas layers her voice into in an ominous chorus, and combines it with a backing track that would even the scales on the Melvins or Earth...but this is music from a different century. RIND is utterly transfixing live, as you know if you were lucky enough to catch her on during her epic solo greyhound bus tour.

-HYSTERICS- Sometimes, if a politically-oriented band is truly great, they pull the curtain to the side, and call bullshit on the whole world. Hysterics do this; Not just with their lyrics, which are brilliant, but with the energy they carry in their collective cacophony. It is a thrilling, terrifying and inspiring thing to see and hear. Hysterics are the best hardcore band to emerge in years.

-SEWN LEATHER-Griffin Pyn's SEWN LEATHER is underground dancehall for postmodern times. SEWN LEATHER is an industrial performance art troupe consisting of an unwitting audience and a tape player.
What Technotronic is to hip-house, SEWN LEATHER is to harsh noise. A cult leader without a cult, hopping into the backseat of your van, SEWN LEATHER made the best record of 2011-Sikknastafari Slash Crasstafari.

-Primary Colors- Full disclosure-primary colors are my friends, roomates, colloborators and comrades.
Its a great expirience to see artists you know truly succeed at sharing their aesthetic and idealogical vision with the world. Primary colors unleash a set of totally new tones jumping from tape to synthesiszer and back again, aranged in heavy handed rythms, and then and then and then lock them in with the most manic of percussion,(all metal/ no skin) distorted beyond recognition. Near perfect music. We played togerther on cement strewn trash heap of a beach this year in the shadow of twin smokestacks. Its hard to imagine a more appropriately dystopian setting for this duo.

If I had to choose one “best song” of 2011 it would be this: Lonely Sea (ecstasy mix) by Alexis Blair Penney. Alexis is a singer/artist/performer/dj who blurs a lot of lines when it comes to art, gender and pop music. In this perfomance, Alexis is backed by members of avant-garde house ensemeble MIRACLES CLUB, one of the years best groups in their own right. Sad dance music is a difficult thing to create, but when it is done well, allows us to share in the most intimate and human of experiences.

Alexis Blair Penney - Lonely Sea (Ecstasy Mix Live) from Experimental ½ Hour on Vimeo.

Best of 2011 by Mary Christmas

Mary Christmas’ Top Nine Art Revolutions and Revelations of the year 2011

1. Occupy Wall Street takes over the world, class war begins

2. Art Strike! The Occupy movement inspires the creation of arts & labor working groups that begin to discuss and dismantle the economic structures of the art world that benefit the superrich while leaving artists struggling to pay rent:


3. W.A.G.E. (Working Artists in the Greater Economy) begins official certification process to ensure that New York arts institutions pay fees to artists when exhibiting their work

4. Pepper-Spray Cop takes over the visual landscape, then enters art history.

5. Solidarity with locked-out Sotheby’s art handlers union!

6. Alicia McDaid: The Pleasure Principal. The best and most hilarious art exhibit in Portland in 2011. McDaid inhabits all of the therapists she’s ever had in an epic battle between self-help and self-destruction

7. An Open Letter from a Dancer Who Refused to Participate in Marina Abramovic’s MOCA Performance

8. An Open Letter to Labor Servicing the Culture Industry

9. Super hot, super out lesbian actresses take over Hollywood

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best of 2011 by Myths

Here's our Top Things of 2011:

1. the Alexander McQueen show "Savage Beauty" at the Met.
2. Grimes "Oblivion"
3. M.I.A. "ViCKi LEEKX"
4. thehairpin.com
5. exploring Salem and it's 18th century graveyard
6. watching Julianna Barwick perform

Getting out into nature to communicate with the tree spirits.
Being an auntie to two little itsy bitsy tiny twin babies with dimples!
Slime Show in Rhode Island.
Finishing Our Album! Making a music video. Going on Tour
Dreaming that I discovered an animal that can live forever. It was a pink fleshy mass with four legs and an anus on both sides. It liked to stay warm so I cuddled it against me and it was so happy it grew a little face and smiled and purred and then turned into a pancake.
Listening to my new Steve Reich Violin Phase record I bought last week.
Discovering Brigette Fontain and Areski Belkacem and minimalist dance from the 60s.

Listen to Myths

Friday, January 6, 2012

New song from Grass Widow: Disappearing Industries

This song will soon be available on a split 7" with Nature from M'Lady'S Records:


You can read more about it here

Get excited for 2012!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Best of 2011 by Justin Trosper

Discoveries of 2011 by jtro.

I never consume enough new pop culture every year to really be on top of things. Here is what I found out there:


Travels in the Yucatan, Mexico. My significant other Sarah and I took a trip to the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. It was awesome. We ate lots of new foods, drank some interesting tequila, swam in Ceynotes, and mastered the art of Mexican combat driving. I reacquainted myself with Spanish (I had to ask directions often). Plus I like hammocks. I bought one and a hat and a guayabera shirt. It was the highlight of my year. I, like many others, decided I am going to travel more often to exotic and exciting places. Honorable mentions: Joshua Tree in winter, and “The Loowit Trail.”


“Sangue Freddo” Il Teatro Degli Horrori. Not to sound really cool, but you probably have not heard of this band unless you live in Italy. No, I don’t live in Italy. But I met the guitar player many years ago while traveling there and now he is in this band, which is very popular. They sing in Italian. I think this record is fucking awesome. It sounds like noisy post-hardcore stuff like At the Drive In, Jehu, and Unwound but super produced and with this really dramatic singer who sounds like Ozzy at times and others like Mark E. Smith. He is crazy sounding. I’m kind of clueless but I think they rock harder than any bands in the US (except for the Melvins, duh.)

“Let England Shake” PJ Harvey. PJ is the musician I have followed the most closely for the last ten years. I didn’t really listen too much of her stuff in the 90’s but ever since “Stories from the City…” I’ve been hooked. I dislike the production on this record but I think it is supposed to sound like early 4AD or Flying Nun or K. But, as usual, she freakin delivers the goods with her vocals. I like a good singer and there are not very many good singers so I listen to PJ Harvey because she is a good singer.

Honorable mentions: “The Hunter” Mastodon. Not even close to my favorite by them but it is one of the only bands I care about, so I bought it. Still, there are a couple real scorchers here. You can tell they love music. Retro: “The Power of Expression” Bl’ast (1986); “Souvlaki” Slowdive (1992); “Goat” Jesus Lizard (1991).

Wild Flag live at the Northern, Olympia. It was good to see some stellar musicians who have been around for awhile pull together some decent songs and rock out. I said to myself afterwards, “well, I better get going on this band thing I’ve been thinking about…I just have to think of a name and write a manifesto…”

Honorable mentions: Earth live at the Northern (Summer). Scratch Acid live in Portland (December).


“Savage Detectives” Roberto Bolano (2006). I don’t know how to explain this so I won’t. But it changed something in my brain. It made me want to feel nostalgic. It made me want to read literature again. It made me want write. It made me want to hang out in Mexico City. I don’t think I’ll do any of those things. Read it and weep.

Lots of Honorable mentions: “Nation of Rebels: Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture” Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter (2004); “Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest” David Moskowitz (2010); “Young Men and Fire” Norman Maclean (1993); “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society” Dave Grossman (2009); “Deep Survival” Lawrence Gonzales (2004); “Night Dogs” Kent Anderson (1999); “The Last Good Kiss” James Crumley (1988); “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen” Christopher McDougall (2010); “On the Warrior's Path, Second Edition: Philosophy, Fighting, and Martial Arts Mythology” Daniele Bolelli (2009); “In Search of the Warrior Spirit, Fourth Edition: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets” Richard Strozzi Heckler (2007).


Kung Fu Movies on the “big screen” at OFS. The last couple of years I have been watching more kung fu movies. The good ones are better than any other movies out there and the bad ones are usually funny. The Olympia Film Society brought some dude from Portland twice (film fests) in to show these original prints. I won’t name them by name. It was awesome--if you were there you know. But you probably weren’t! HA-Ha-Ha. Speaking of martial arts…in 2011 I started practicing Doce Pares Escrima (Also known as Kali or Arnis), which is a Filipino martial art, primarily practiced using rattan sticks. I’m into it. You see, they teach you weapons first before you learn empty-handed techniques. That is reverse from most martial arts. The origins of Escrima come from peasant guerilla fighters (influenced by Chinese and Japanese arts and others), where as many other arts evolved in the upper echelons of societies. Get it? Anybody can pick up a stick (but you must learn how to use it). Common machetes and pocket knives are also emphasized. There are no holy swords here.

“Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” movie. In the summer of 2010 I read two of the books by Steig Larssen while working at summer wildfires. But I would have read them even if I was not getting paid. I saw the Swedish movies and enjoyed them too. Now there is an American film version. Despite my annoyance at this, I had to go. I said that as long as they retained the Swedish character of the novels then I’m ok. They did. A new drinking game was created. Every time the characters have sandwiches and coffee you take a shot. You could name it after the original title of the book “Män som hatar kvinnor” but guaranteed to not be popular.

“Kill All Redneck Pricks” movie. It made me laugh, it made me cry. That is usually a sign of a decent movie. I think it is worth watching. This is just the beginning of the Olympia history series…

Honorable mentions: Fugazi video on youtube.

Dude, this video is killer! --it reminds me of the crazy crowd energy of their shows--surging. No other band I have ever seen came close. They definitely stand the test of time for me. They just came out with an impressive live archive website. Check it out.


Ninevah food truck. Olympia, WA. Finally, some decent middle eastern-type food in Olympia. Ever since I moved back from Southern California I have missed my falafel, hummus, and shawarma fix. Word!

Honorable mentions: shrimp tacos at Mad Taco truck in Lacey, Oaxaca Taco truck in Shelton, Al Forno Ferruzza pizza (next to Eastside Tavern—best beer selection in Olympia, yep, I go there sometimes, so what).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Best of 2011 by Mabel Damunt

A short list:

Bleached, their three 7"s . Great songs. Looking forward to hear more.

Single "Noi pomodori" 7". They cover a couple of songs from a 80s record by actress Lucía Bosé. Art cover full of Zippy'ism. Pinheads and tomatoheads.

Rizoma fest in Madrid. John Waters show and Halo Halo and Trash Kit among others playing in the Retiro park.

Hidrogenesse playing at the Museo Cerralbo. A free show and an expensive view.

Ginkas LP. Lots of friends played on this record. Good tunes, Linda Manz homage and Susana from Incrucificables singing "Derrama tu amor"

Best of 2011 by Calvin Johnson

Here are some recordings I listened to over and over again in 2011:

Sewn Leather CS (Friends and Relations Records)
Erin McKinney Earthling CS (Killer Plum)
Psychic Feline “Blood Dolphin” 45 (High Fives and Handshakes)
Lindsay Schief Islinds: Many Minis 2011 CS
Watch It Sparkle 7” EP (Like a Shooting Star)
Love Cuts 7” EP (Nominal Records)
Man the Hunter “Less for You”  45 (Ginko Records)
Mom Greatest Shits CS (Burger)
Hysterics 7” EP (M’Lady Records)
Brave Irene 12” EP (Slumberland)
Flexions Golden Fjord LP (Cairo)
Secret Twin Ill Fit LP
Shana Cleveland & the Sandcastles Oh Man, Cover the Ground CS
Son Skull Birth Scene/Rewind 12” EP (Perennial)
Mansion Music CS (Radical Clatter)
Old Night CS (Ginko)
Margy Pepper CS
The Maxines Queer Mods 7” EP (La-Ti-Da)
The Whines 7” EP (Just for the Hell of It Records)
Katie & the Lichen Kiss and Run CD (Greenbelt Collective)
Stickers 7” EP
Mount Eerie Dawn LP (P.W. Elverum & Sun)
Black Lips Arabia Mountain LP (Vice)
KMVP Sweatbands Understand CS
Point Juncture WA Handsome Orders LP (Mt. Fuji)
Swimsuit Swimsuit LP (Speakertree)

Best of 2011 by Layla Gibbon

My more structured top ten of the year will run in the next issue of MRR in terms of underground DIY punk, but here are somethings I didn't really talk about in that! I am really fried from putting together the latest MRR, but here are a tired human's attempt at writing about some things that really excited me this year! I feel like there were SO MANY cool new bands and tapes and shows and sounds, punk rock is an endless adventure! Everyone form a band ok?! This isn't in order, no hierarchical judgments! Skate for fun or not at all.

A)Osa Otoe-core

Osa is the best writer, Shotgun Seamstress is an incredible project, just reading the introductions is inspiring, makes me want to step it up, really excited for the book of all the zines, and hope that Osa continues to blow minds with her words... As she does with her sounds! The Firebrand/Vegetable tour was one of the coolest this year, both bands operating in the girl punk continuum in new and inspiring manners, serious freak out fan girl time was happening... 2011 was the next step in the new era of amazing girl bands that will soon take over your town, your brain and all of your time. This tour was affirmation of that. (They played with Grass Widow in SF who put out a 7" in 2011 with my fave song of theirs, Milo Minute" such a sneak up on you killer!!!) Anyway OSA-CORE is the future of punk, and I would also like to use this opportunity to shout out to Candice who is also in Firebrand for sending me the tape of her now broken up but incredible HC band NECRO HIPPIES!!! such a good band name! The tape is amazing as is their 12" on Brown Sugar records, a great band, RIP! NOLA girl scene is on fire. 

B) I am not a Pissed Jeans fan but this Flatmates/Shop Assistants styled cover is so rad! Apparently, Jen the girl who sings on this has never been in a band before, it's clear she should start five right away! I listened to this over and over.


This was my favorite tape this year. All girl HC from Canada, this shit is SO RAGING, fall apart destruktion core that sums up what I want from hardcore. this sounds like fucking VOID playing GERMS songs, a total frenzy of noise and dissolution. Fuck this is so good! Actually scratch the GERMS this is just total chaos in vicious doses, this is what every CONFUSE/GAI nerd clone wishes their band was like. Seriously just intense noise with bits of destruction falling on your head, like a Survival Research Laboratory show in your bedroom with the Exorcist playing at the wrong speed in the background while DEEP WOUND knits you a sweater out of your stomach tubes. This is the reason punk exists. Fuck! Seriously, the singer’s voice is fucking possessed! Sick!!!!! 

D)Staring Problem tape: I feel as if I am gonna fall into a lake of my own hyperbole but this is totally great nervous sounding post-punk that’s quiet and unsettling, Allison Stratton vocals and really, the person that is writing these words out is so psyched that there are ladies making sounds as transcendent and rife with possibility / fear / otherworldliness as this. Moderntapes.bandcamp.com

E) Generation Suicida tape. This is a band from LA, the South Central punk scene is so rad that I think half of weird TV moved there from Oly!? might be wrong but at any rate this tape was played constantly, singing drummer who wrote an amazing piece about learning how to drum as a little girl in the zine that I picjked up in 2010(?! maybe before) at a Tuberculosis show at an abandoned beach in SF, and this tape gives me the same feeling that reding that did. Furious punk vengeance, male/female vocals, blood curdling destruktion force! this is why we are punks! Apparently they are even better live

G)Crazy Band LP and Bleached 7"s: post Mika Miko band frenzy section. OK< so bleached want to be bigger than the Fabulous Stains, which is... ok, Not what I want out of life, weird industry showcase despair, but I am not Bleached, so. I guess the world need something to replace the Bangles/GoGos void, but they write amazing Ramones/Zeros esque punkpop heart stompers and I like their last two 7"s best even tho Ooga Booga put out the first one, and Ooga Booga must be obeyed! yes! CRAZY BAND gets all caps as they are THE BEST!!!!!!! Thrasher Skate Rock tapes and Kleenex 7"s!!! Skate on the freeway!!! yes!!! This is EXCITING TO LISTEN TO!!!
this is my fave bleached song tho there is no exciting video to watch

H) H for HOUSEHOLD who make excellent post-Billotte core which I think more should go for... it sort of reminds me of Yellow Fever too!? But it's more desolate and awkward, less warm/comfortable, more post punk, their LP is an essential one ok!? really. Anything that makes me think of Autoclave gets fifty nine awards! household.bandcamp.com

I) Some LPs I liked a lot and couldn't bring myself to file: GG KIng "Esoteric Lore" (AN AMAZING GASSED IN THE GARAGE WEIRDO TIME,) Total COntrol Henge Beat LP,. Crazy Spirit, Shitty Limits Speculate/Accumulate LP, Rational Animals LP, Omegas LP, Cruddy LP, Hygiene LP, Younger Lovers LP, Iceage LP Pheromoans LP.

J) J is for Jigsaw, and these are more affirmations of the girl sound underground that is continuing to operate on its own terms:
SHOPPERS LP is a heartstopper, a winner, a force for good, Meredith does amazing zines, writes amazing songs, and they are on tour right now so go see them play or else!! Obediencia are from Spain and put out my favorite 7" this year: here is a song from it: I also check out: Las Senoras and Atentado so so many cool bands in Spain your brains will explode. Youtube wormhole! The Dark Lion 7" that came out this year was amazing-they were from Pensacola, and ruled, you can check it out there... oh and the Nature 7", so good... yes... m'laddddddys and THE CRUDE THOUGHT DEMO!!!!!!!!!!!! Put that band into you tube!! melt your brain again! the GOOD THROB demo also great! Excited to see the Woolf record! London girl scene end times! and RACHEL AGGS gets all caps bc all her bands are insanely dreamy, from Trash Kit to Cover Girl, and there's another Trash Kit offshoot, Halo Halo that I LOVED but I couldn't figure out how to get the 7"!? and LA LA VASQUES and NEONATES, Wax Idols, CYCLOPS is Tina Luccessi of Trash Women's new band it's SO GOOD! an eye for an eye!!! and SHARP BALLOONS is awesome memphis garage!!! dual vocals!

H) is for listening to bands on PERENNIAL which is the best label (milkmusicsonskullweirdtvwhiteboss), and also to GUN OUTFIT 12" a lot, and Brilliant Colors LP and Veronica Falls LP (tho I will admit I was disappointed, the 7"s were so sick! this LP was sorta... good but not on a level I was expecting) and of course THE COMET GAIN LP I waited SO LONG FOR IT that I thought I was going to die, but it was great. ALSO: I like Azelia Banks a lot. and i got the PET SOUNDS box set and loved it, got to meet brian wilson but he was so tired from three hours of autograph signing of box sets.

I am sure I am forgetting things that I loved, but here is a list so that's that. Start a new band,. I am going to. 2012! SHADIES LADIES REUNION TOUR!? we will play your coliseum!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Best of 2011 by Joaquin de la Puente

My 'top ten of 2011' is a list of popular uprisings that have served to define 2011. Lest we lump them together in some racist monolithic genetically motivated thrust called the 'Arab Spring' let's do the roll call:

1. Tunisia, Dec 17th, 2010- Mohammed Bouazizi, a Tunisian vegetable peddler sets himself on fire and dies after his cart is confiscated by a policewoman who slapped him and spat in his face. Protests explode all over Tunisia and by January,
Zine El Abidine Ben, the ruler for over 24 years is forced to flee the country.

...the "Arab Spring" is born inspiring protests demanding reforms in Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Sudan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain, Libya, Kuwait, Morocco, Syria AND Israel

2. Egypt, February 11th, 2011-Hosni Mubarak is forced from office after hundreds died in protests the Army urges Mubarak to go.

3. Libya, February 15th- Protests explode and within days Gaddafi opponents control Benghazi the second largest city in Libya. By August the opposition controls Tripoli and by October Gaddafi is killed in the streets my opposition militants.

4. Bahrain, March 14th- Saudi and other gulf countries have to send in troops to subdue a Shia uprising.

5. Syria, March-?- In protests against President Assad that began with his forces shooting 5 protesters serving only to ignite further protests in which at least 3000 people have died.

6. Yemen, June 3rd-Demonstrations and violent battles between supporters of President Saleh lead to a bombing of the Presidential Palace in which Saleh is gravely injured.

7. Spain, May-October- On May 15th in 50 cities throughout Spain about 150,000 people came out in protest in solidarity with a movement calling itself the 'Real Democracy Now!' movement that was inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings and the May, 1968 movement in France. The decentralized grassroots democratic protest used encampments and spread the word via social networking in the style of the Iranian student and election protests and Arab Spring revolts served as a template for other movements like the Greek anti-Austerity protests and Occupy Wall Street.

8. Greece, May-August- Inspired by the "Arab Spring" and the Spanish 'Real Democracy Now!' movement. The massive protests and General Strikes that were held against the Greek Government and the International Monetary Fund began in August and were met with violent police crackdowns.

9. England, November 30th- Various Trade Unions organized the biggest General Strike in the UK since the mid-80's. Two million people walked off the job and were joined by tens of thousands of supporters from across the UK. This strike was a part of the massive global anti-austerity protests that had been happening all year in protest of the IMF.

10. Iraq, December 19th- The official withdrawal of "All U.S. Troops" from Iraq 8 and a half years after the most recent invasion. Estimates of Iraqi civilian casualties stands at around 100,000 (though many estimate as many as 1 million civilian casualties) and American troop casualties at 4,415. The infrastructure of Iraq was crippled by the US invasions. Before the invasions Iraq had nearly 100% literacy and health care was widely available and affordable. Health care, education, potable water and electricity are now scarce and unreliable. Iraqi politics remain extremely unstable and the situation there seems to threaten a continuing civil war.

Honorable mention goes to:

Thee Occupy Wall Street movement, that took inspiration from the "Arab Spring" and "Democracia Real Ya!" movements, spun off solidarity protests, strikes and encampments world wide...even here in Olympia! (I was marginally involved in Occupy Olympia from the first official Occupy Olympia protest on October 15th until the encampment's eviction by 50 riot squad-clad State Troopers on December 16th. O.O. was really impressive! 120 tents wrapped around Capitol Lake for like 1/3 of a mile and boasted food, medicine, sanitation, child care, art making, concerts and daily general assemblies, organized marches and committee meetings covering everything from safety to strategies...)

Russia, December, 2011-?- The biggest anti-government protests since the early 90's began on Dec 4th and are continuing now in Jan 2012. As well as calling for annulment of the 2011 legislative elections, the protesters have demanded investigations into what is considered massive voter fraud in Russia, the freeing of political prisoners, investigations into deep seated political corruption and for transparent and democratic general elections.


Young Stalin- Simon Sebag Montefiore
Ten Days That Shook the World- John Reed
Emigrants- W.G. Sebald
Rings of Saturn- W.G. Sebald
King Kong Theory- Virginie Depentes
All the Shah's Men-Stephen Kinzer
Fun With Problems- Robert Stone
Self Defense (the Womanly Art of Self-Care, Intuition and Choice)- Debbie Leung
Orientalism- Edward Said
Gender Trouble- Judith Butler
Raw Power-Josh Bayer
Hugo Cabret- Brian Selznick
Raw Deal- Joey Alone


Hellwoman (Olympia)
A.W.O.T.T. (Moscow)
Sewn Leather (no fixed address)
Animals and Men (England)
Grass Widow (San Francisco)
Invincible (Detroit)
Hysterics (Olympia)
Polly Darton (Olympia)
Craig Extine solo (Olympia)
Peter, Abby and Chad's new unnamed band (Olympia)


Portland International Film Festival-'Aftershock' d.- Feng Xiaogang, 'Silent Souls' d.-Alexsei Fedorchenko, 'Son of Babylon' d.-Mohamed Al-Daradji

True False Film Festival- 'At the Edge of Russia' d.-Micael Marczak, 'The Black Power Mix Tape' d. Goran Olsson, 'Knuckle' d.- Ian Palmer, 'Troll Hunter' d. André Ørvredal

Bermuda Film Festival- 'Gabi on the Roof in July' d.-Lawrence Michael Levine, 'My Perestroika' d. Robin Hessman, 'Shelter' d.-Dragomir Sholev

Sarasota Film Festival- 'Miss Representation' d.-Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 'The Robber' d.-Benjamin Heisenberg, 'Target Video: San Francisco, LA, NY, Europe' d. -Joe Rees

Milwaukee Film Festival- 'The Sleeping Beauty' d.-Catherine Breillat, 'The Last Circus' d.- Alex de la Iglesia, 'Nostalgia for the Light' d.- Patricio Guzman, 'How Much Does Your Building Weigh Mr. Foster?' d.- Carlos Carcas, Noberto Lopez Amad, 'Buddha Mountain' d.- Li Yu, 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart' d.- Johnnie To

Savannah Film Festival- 'Inuk' d.- Mike Magidan, 'Coriolanus' d.- Ralph Fiennes, 'North Atlantic' d.- Bernardo Nasciemiento

Olympia Film Festival- 'Sprout Wings and Fly' d.-Les Blank, 'the City of Life and Death' d. Chaun Lu, 'Klaus Kinski: Jesus Christ Saviour' d. Peter Geyer, 'World on a Wire' d.- Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 'Everyone for Themselves, in Life' d.- J.L. Godard, 'The White Shadow' d.- A. Hitchcock, Graham Cutts, 'Once Upon a Time in Anatolia' d.-Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 'Turin Horse' d.-Bela Tarr, 'We Can't Go Home Anymore' d.- Nicholas Ray

Happy 2012...the end is a new beginning!

Best of 2011 by Jean Smith

1. Writing and editing an entire novel in the month of January as a reaction to losing my job and because the guy I was dating was too jealous to read any of my existing writing. I wrote a book for him. Excerpts of Obliterating History - a guitar making mystery, domination and submission in a small town garage can be found online (the thing with guy didn't work out).

1. a) As the years go by, I appreciate more and more that David's wife Wendy is helpful and supportive (instead of negative and jealous... see above).

2. Creating a stage adaptation to promote David Lester's graphic novel The Listener. Co-presenting events in book stores, libraries and classrooms, ending with a huge Indian buffet at the Bombay Palace near the airport in Toronto.

2. a) Monitoring the exciting reviews of The Listener as they rolled in.

3. Sharing Occupy Wall Street reports from musicians Rick Brown and Hamish Kilgour on Facebook. Intriguing new methods of agitation.

3. a) Being enthralled with Occupy as it began, grew and continues to change the way we understand the world.

3. b) Finding out that Occupy Wall Street originated at the Vancouver based anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters.

4. Borrowing my friend Duane's 1976 Ford camper van and going to Hornby Island for a week.

5. Taking my parents (ninety-one and eighty-six... ages, not names) for a walk in a special universally accessible pathway in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Later, we sat in the car and ate the sandwiches mom made.

6. Basically completing a second novel. The Black Dot Museum of Political Art is about the CIA tainting of abstract expressionism and the cure for narcissism.

7. Email exchanges with Brett of M'Lady Records. Exceptional. Promising.

8. Being included on Tobi Vail's Top Ten List in Artforum Magazine.

9. From April to August I dutifully underwent a series of tests that, as the daughter of a breast cancer survivor and someone labeled high risk, I have come to accept are part of the deal. Core biopsy, needle biopsies and finally, surgical biopsies with nearly a month delay in getting the results because the surgeon went on holidays. It was during that time that I borrowed the van and left town. Fuck waiting. Fuck cancer. It was that beautiful first week of September. I camped alone, made espresso on a hotplate, laughed, rode my bike in a floppy hat and sundress, swam in the sea and used the oven door in the van as a desk for the laptop, up early to write every morning. When I finally got the all clear, I jumped around a bit and then proceeded with the day as usual. Watching my mother go through a radical mastectomy when I was ten (she was fifty) set me on a course of cramming as much into life as possible. When, upon receiving the good news, all one really wants to do is get on with that day's writing, one knows one is on the right path.

9. a) Fuck allowing fear to fuck up one's life.

10. Knowing for sure that if something did go wrong, that I have for sure packed at least three lifetimes worth of everything into this amount of time already. In the latter part of 2011, savoring the excellence of being fifty-two years old without any problems what-so-ever, I took to telling people "I am happy." No touching of wood, no fear of jinxing it. I am happy.

Best of 2011 by Mimi Nguyen

A lot of my bests from this year are about remembering how I totally had a productive and fulfilling creative and intellectual life before I started my tenure-track assistant professor position at a large, but isolated research university, surrounded by Midwestern GM corn- and soybean fields."


-- Seeing Grass Widow and the Raincoats at the Double Door (Chicago)

-- Seeing Janelle Monae at Foelinger at the University of Illinois

-- Participating on the panel at MEET ME AT THE RACE RIOT: People of Color in Zines from 1990 to Today (co-organized by POC Zine Project, Barnard Zine Library, and For the Birds Collective) at Barnard (watch the whole event here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqoW-uhC7W8)

-- Crazy Band, FUCK YOU LP

--Shotgun Seamstress 6, and eager anticipation of the collected zines from M’Lady Records

-- Relatedly, finally meeting Osa Atoe and Mariam Bastani (at MEET ME AT THE RACE RIOT), and otherwise connecting (and re-connecting) with smartass punks in still-crucial conversations about punk histories, punk archives, and punk theories

-- Finishing my freaking manuscript almost sixteen years after I first thought to write about the “gift of freedom” and liberal empire in a graduate seminar (out in 2012, with awesome cover art by the inimitable illustrator Hellen Jo: http://helllllen.org/)

-- Putting the Race Riot compilation zines back into circulation (POC Zine Project, For the Birds Collective, Stranger Danger Distro)

-- Seeing Wild Flag at the Highdive (Champaign, IL)

--The spread of global revolts beginning in Tunsinia at the start of 2011 and ending in Russia at the end, and all those in between that identified transnational capital, authoritarian regimes, and the liberal empires that support both, as radically unfree forms of social organization

-- The Shoppers, Silver Year LP

-- Household, Items (household.bandcamp.com)

-- Finally, all the amazing scholarly books that were published this year, including Dean Spade, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law; Jodi Byrd, Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism; Patricia Ticineto Clough and Craig Willse, eds., Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death; Grace Kyungwon Hong and Roderick Ferguson, eds., Strange Affinities: The Gender and Sexual Politics of Comparative Racialization; Helen Jun, Race for Citizenship: Black Orientalism and Asian Uplift from Pre-Emancipation to Neoliberal America; Nhi Lieu, The American Dream in Vietnamese; Ruby Tapia, American Pietas: Visions of Race, Death, and the Maternal; Chandan Reddy, Freedom with Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the US State; Lamia Karim, Microfinance and Its Discontents: Women in Debt in Bangladesh; and lots more I can’t remember!

Best of 2011 by Griffin Pyn

in no particular order...

-playing at DROP DEAD festival in berlin
-playing in napoli to an audience that included members of
CONTROPOTERE, my favorite band in high school...
-seeing HOAX play 2 nights in a row in new york
-seeing WEIRD TV play a bunch in austin!!!
-skateboarding at the sick skateparks in milan italy and vienna austria
-the movie BRIDESMAIDS
-billy karren's top ten
-hanging out with chris mcdonnell/working on the harsh nayyar record
-moving to arizona
-NUTS! magazine 8th issue release party! so many killer bands!!

Best of 2011 by Nadia Buyse

What a year. What A year. Probably the worst/ most mediocre, yet splendid and heinous simultaneously. Let us inventory the visual/aural/intellectual/emotional splendors of 2011.

In no particular order...

1. Laurel Nakadate @ PS-1

It was like five eyefuls. I’ve never seen such a large space saturated with so many images, so many videos; and each inciting new ways to talk about feminism in contemporary visual culture. Also it is a true testament to the mantra “ALWAYS KEEP WORKING”

2. Secret Drum Band

Gawd I love my friends. I especially Love Lisa Schoneberg, who since I’ve known her has also gone by the name “Lisa Drummer.” This is not just a clever name. Her intuitive percussion has supplemented everyone she collaborates with. I was really excited when I heard that she was composing a 7 piece percussion ensemble. I was even more excited when I found out said ensemble was performing on my birthday. Decked out in fashion by Heather Treadway, this was by far the best show I went to in 2011.

3. Fucking James Franco

Sean Carney, a friend and one of my favorite Portland based performance artist, asked me one night (probably while we were having a drink) If I would like to write a sex story about James Franco for a book he was editing called Fucking James Franco. Ofcourse I said yes but I 40% expected it was a joke. Well it was a joke and an actual book. After one of the most exciting and most talked about Kickstarter.com campaigns I’ve ever seen the book was made and the party was awesome. I’ll never think about James Franco’s butt the same way.

4. Twin Peaks/ Carl Jung’s Red Book

Ok, I’m fully aware that neither one of these things came out this year. But earlier this year I watched Twin Peaks for my first time ever. Also this year the PNCA library got Carl Jung’s Red Book in. My roommate at the time (who is also a hard on psychoanalysis in popular culture like myself) was telling me that in Carl Jung’s book there is a drawing he made that looks exactly like the black Lodge from Twin Peaks. So of course I look it up and its totally true. This was so mind blowing to me because there is no way that Carl Jung could have known about the seminal TV show. And Since the Red Book was a highly guarded unpublished book until 2009 there is no way that David Lynch could have seen this drawing. The subconscious is a scary place.

5. Aezalia Banks

A couple of weeks ago I was crafting with my girl Allison Halter and she says to me… “have you heard Aezalia Banks yet?” I said no and so she played it for me. I’m so happy she did. This is BY FAR the most exciting new American music of 2011.

6. Arab Spring

December 18th 2010, otherwise known as Keith Richards birthday, was the first day of protest for the Tunisian people in hopes to overturn their dictator/president Ben Ali. Because of this demonstration Tunisia is in the process of re-forming their government and re writing their constitution. This also started a backlash of protests all over the Middle East that resulted in multiple corrupt dictators being overthrown, imprisoned and even killed. I also feel that this movement helped to inspire Americans to create their own protest known as the occupy movement. 2011 was the year of the people taking back and stating their rights.

7. El General

Another exciting happening in Tunisia was the emergence of political hip hop into the mainstream. The forerunner of this movement is El General. Makes a girl wish she knew some more Arabic.

8. Moving in with Fiona Campbell, Brett Lyman, and Lisa Schoneberg….resulting in the inevitable courtship of Fifi and Taniwha

In the final week of December the best thing ever happened. I moved from my cold, disgusting punk house into a beautiful home with some of the nicest, funnest and most creative people I know and have had the pleasure of meeting. Brett and Fiona have a cat named Taniwha who has taken a liking to my cat Fifi. Watching them flirt and play with each other is like watching Pepe Lapew chase around his lady love with a painted skunk line. Adorable and hilarious.

9. Mentors

Part of my graduate school experience has been to work one on one with a mentor each semester. This year I have worked with two people, Arnold Kemp and Stephan Slappe. Both of these people have taught me so much and have offered me so much insight into my studio practice and research. Both have also enriched my life with their friendship, talent and praise so much that for me to not acknowledge this as being one of the best parts of my 2011 I would be lying.

Last but not fucking least!


I know that the FLB are actually babies of 2010 but they were/are my favorite band of 2011. They will melt your face. They will shred your head. I can’t tell you how rocking they are and how good those betches are at tailgate partying.