underground since'89

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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.

Best of 2011 by Zarjaz

1. Comet Gain, Howl Of The Lonely Crowd, What’s Your Rupture

2. Crystal Stilts, Through The Floor, Slumberland Records

3. The Bandana Splits, Sometimes, Boy Scout Recordings

4. Rancid Hell Spawn, Abolition Of The Orgasm, Wrench Records

5. Lykke Li, I Follow Rivers, Atlantic/LL Recordings

6. The Dictaphone, Past Future Void, Tolmie Terrapin Press

7. Benjamin Franklynstein, Shout, Ben A Larceny Records

8. Andi Silvas, Drift With Me, Andi Silvas (self release)

9. Magic City Ruse, Radio Boxer, Flower Blade Records

10. The Tilt Room, Achilles High Heels, Punchsylvania Records

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Best of 2011 by Chris Sutton

Here is my best of 2011 list:

Best Band: New War
Best Album: "Homo" by UV Race
Best Song: "Shari Vari" by Dirtbombs
Best Show: The Rats reunion show
Best Guitarist: Bob Desaulniers (Psychic Feline)
Best Drummer: Fiona Campbell (Vivian Girls)
Best Bassist: Hannah Lew (Grass Widow)
Best Keyboards: Peaking Lights
Best Venue: Kenton Club in Portland OR
Best Movie: Beats Rhymes and Life: The travels of a tribe called quest
Best Actor: Bill Hader
Best Actress: Kristin Wiig
Best Food: Whole Bowl

Best things that happened to me in 2011:

1)Hooded Hags 7" release
2)Touring with Dirtbombs
3)Recording with chain and the gang
4)adopting my dog queenie
5)buying a vaporizer

Happy New Year!!!

Best of 2011 by Kelsey Smith

Okay, I'm not as punk as the rest of y'all but here is my best of 2011. I'm consulting my planner to jog my senile brain. Also, I work at the library and volunteer at Northern so they are both a big part of my world- this will be rather evident from my choices. I was going to write short reviews for all of these, but the New Year draws ever closer...

Best Music Shows (in chronological order)

Kimya Dawson, Defiance Ohio, and Your Heart Breaks at the Olympia Timberland Library- January 12th
BOATS with the Fabulous Downey Brothers and Babelazer at Northern- April 4th
D+, Lois, Calvin Johnson and the Maxines, Japanese Tsunami Fundraiser at Northern- April 15th
Mike Watt at the Triple Door- April 27th
Lust Cats of the Gutter and Night of Joy with Morgan and the Organ Donors at Northern- May 3rd
Thao and Mirah with Led to Sea at Northern- May 9th
the Billy Nayer Show with Olympia Free Choir and Romanteek at Northern- June 2nd
Animals and Men with Western Hymn and Morgan and the Organ Donors at Northern- June 25th
Ya Ho Wha 33 with November Witch, Malaikat Dan Singa, and WaMu at Northern- July 7th
Bonfire Madigan with Arrington de Dionyso, Quinn Tuffinuff and Caitlin Rose at Northern- July 12th
24 Hour Zine Thing at Olympia Timberland Library with the Maxines and Happy Noose- July 29th
NUTS release party with a gazillion awesome bands in burned out building during artswalk- October 8th
Helsing Junction Sleepover- August 19-21st
Blue Scholars with TH3RDZ and Bambu at the Royal- September 22nd
Evangelista (Carla Bozulich) with Angelo Spencer, Hysterics and the Hive Dwellers at Midnight Sun- October 13th
Prince at the Tacoma Dome- December 19th

Best Other Performances (also in chronological order)

Nuts #6 zine release party with Broken Water and Hysterics at the Olympia Timberland Library- January 14th
Full Moon Consciousness Raising at Northern- January 19th
Sister Spit at Le Voyeur- March 29th
Printstravaganza show at Northern- three weeks in April
International Pop Underground: a Look Back with Calvin Johnson and Lois Maffeo at the Olympia Timberland Library- June 9th
Type Truck visit- Monday, June 20th in the Old School Parking Lot
Kill All Redneck Pricks documentary at Olympia Film Festival- November 16th

Best Books (read by me, although not necessarily written in 2011)

Rat Girl by Kristin Hersh
Jimmy James Blood by Missy Anne
Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
Signal 1 & 2: a Journal of International Politics (book/zine/magazine?)
The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger
It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Best Zines

Tell it Like it Tiz! #3
Prince Zine
Keeper's Kanzine #2
NUTS #s 6 & 7
Hyena in Petticoats: A Mary Wollstonecraft Zine
Shotgun Seamstress #s 5 & 6
DIY or Don't We? #3
Basic Paper Airplane #5
Rad Dad #17
Because the Boss Belongs to Us: Queer Femmes on Bruce Springsteen
Bus Fare: Olympia to Los Angeles on Public Transit
Excitement and Adventure
Hippie Watching in North America, parts 1 & 2
Shortandqueer #s 15-17

Best Miscellaneous

Kitzel's and the Cornerstone both opened this year, making the amount of delicious food available in downtown Olympia much larger. On a side note: RIP Little Roni's Sandwich Shop.
Nineveh food truck makes me happy, as does the addition of food carts to the downtown core in general
Olyphant- so happy to have a new art supply store run by nice honest folk
Bearded Lady- yes please
Sizizis dies and is reborn
The Reef is reborn and then burns down again- worst of 2011
The Artesian Well looks real nice now
My daughter Cleo looked awesome on the runway wearing a dress made out of yogurt lids by Ruby Re-Usable during the REstore's annual trash fashion show
40 Days of Kindness, Olympia Loves Planned Parenthood Secret Cafe, Pride Parade march, march on the Capitol, art show, bake sales, and loads of street activism, as performed by the Olympia Loves Planned Parenthood contingent
Occupy Olympia and the Occupy Wall Street Movement
Halloween dance party at the Brotherhood with DJ Ira Coyne
Oly Reads Book Club meetings
Daughter gets a new job and is kicking ass in general
Steve Buxbaum is the new mayor of Olympia

Best of 2011 by Greg Harvester

I already submitted a Top Ten list full of great albums and Ep’s that will appear in next month’s issue of Maximum Rock n Roll, so this is my list of “other things that kept me going” in 2011. In no particular order:

1. Taking part in the General Strike of Oakland as part of the larger Occupy Wall Street movement. No matter what the history books say, no matter what the media says about it and no matter what the police continue to do the people of this world, I know that we were doing the right thing. It felt amazing to march with the queer/feminist bloc alongside thousands upon thousands of other likeminded folks without a pig in sight. People cheered us from their doorsteps and we shut down the port…twice.

2. Seeing the Fastbacks in San Francisco. I had my reservations about seeing one of my favorite bands over 10 years after they broke up at a dumb rock club, but they were really a million times better than I could have ever imagined. They were also incredibly humble, appreciative of the crowd and rocked out harder than most people half their age.

3. Moving back to Chattanooga, TN for 3 months. I used to live there years ago and felt out of touch with the bands, the people, and the general day-to-day of my friends there. It was heartwarming to see the thriving vegan restaurant ran by my friends (Sluggo’s North), the awe-inspiring punk-run recording studio (Revolution Sound), the wealth of completely stunning bands (too many to list), insane art projects and so much more.

4. My partner, Anandi being in remission from cancer for the full year. She battled breast cancer and won! With the support of our friends, a good doctor and just plain stubbornness and determination, she made it through and I am completely stoked and proud of her.

5. Writing a music blog. No, this isn’t just self-promotion. By digitizing a lot of my old tapes and putting them online for free download, it has gotten a lot of folks to dig out their old tapes of exciting bands from our past punk history and loan them to me to share with people as far away as Malaysia, Russia and Australia. Also, this allows younger punks to hear all of this awesome stuff that the older ones have been hoarding away in boxes for years. Everyone wins. www.remoteoutposts.blogspot.com

6. Playing in two bands (Neon Piss and Black Rainbow) that I love and help me feel connected to a worldwide punk scene that continues to excite and challenge me well into my mid-thirties. When I was a kid, I viewed 35 years old as ancient, but now I feel like I’m just getting started.

7. Being lucky enough to live in the Bay Area and getting to see bands like Displeasure, Hunting Party, No Statik, Livid, Rank/Xerox and Songs For Moms on a semi-regular basis. All of these bands are local, amazing and exactly what I love about punk in their own different ways.

8. Knowing that Fred and Toody Cole are still touring, recording music and living their lives together after all these years.

9. The publications Nuts!, Mother’s News, Maximum Rock N Roll, Myopic Waiste, Shotgun Seamstress and Broke Ass. All of these help me to realize that I need to stop making excuses and put out a zine in 2012.

10.. The hope that the end-times punk of 2012 will be more urgent, more chaotic, and crazier sounding, but also less sexist, transphobic and dumb. Here’s to the future!

Best of 2011 by Cathy de la Cruz

2011 Highlights in No Particular Order:

Corey Fogel
performing all day at the Hammer Museum. I know Corey plays a lot, but I swear he doesn’t play solo shows as often as he plays with other people/bands and while I was only able to watch him for about an hour, I kind of got lost in that hour, meditation-style. For those of you who don’t know, Corey is a drummer who specializes in improvisation and experimentation.

My students
making incredible films. I am so fortunate to get to teach what I love (filmmaking, animation, writing, art) to a group of awesome kids who made the following films this year:

Very Be Careful
Seriously my favorite live band in L.A. and I’ve gotten some flack about that because there are so many great bands in L.A. and I have so many friends in bands in L,.A., and I think in 2009 I saw this band 12 times! In 2011, I didn’t see them quite as much (maybe 5 times?), but it never got old–they never get old. These dudes play Colombian vallenato music, a traditional cumbia sound that centers around the accordion and it’s pretty much like the crazy L.A. child of that Clash song “Straight to Hell”. Trust me on this one. If that amazing Clash song could give birth, it would have given birth to this band playing these songs. They are pretty much the only band that I’ve seen in ages that gets the whole crowd dancing non-stop for over an hour.

BFI Sight and Sound International Film magazine
I am basically too busy to see movies at this point in my life, so the next best thing is reading about them and keeping a list that now looks like an epic-scroll of what I hope to see in the relaxing future.

Sound Healing
with Jamie Bechtold in L.A. While I often complain about how stressful living in L.A. is, one of the things that has helped to calm and balance my life/energy is sound healing. If you’ve ever done yoga with gongs, then you may know what I’m talking about. There is a woman named Jamie in Echo Park who leads these Sound Baths that are sliding scale and does one-on-one sessions and it’s been super super healing for me.

Keeping up my New Moon Intentions every month!
Strangely living in L.A. and not my time spent in the Pacific Northwest has made me a bit of a hippy and every time there is a new moon (I have a moon calendar, but you can easily do a web search for it), I take the time to reflect on the kind of attitudes, shifts, and sometimes actual things I want to bring in my life during the next 30 days and its been SO helpful.

Astrological readings by Rosie Finn and Sarah Adams
Both folks live in Olympia, WA and both are just absolutely amazing.

Detoxing with raw foods and no caffeine in May/June
I am so glad I did this and hope to make tiny detoxes a regular part of my life in 2012.

still sounding good. Seriously.

Going to Olympia
for six hours and it being the first time I had been there in 6 years! In those 6 hours, I met up with some friends at the San Francisco Street Bakery, got an astrology reading from Rosie (see above), got a slice of Old School Pizza, walked around with my friend Denise Smith and her son Gibson who I was meeting for the first time, bought a shirt at Dumpster Values, ran into Orca Books just to see it for a second, and grabbed a Meconi’s veggie sub for airplane trip back to L.A. and even though it was a frustratingly short trip, even glimpsing at the Olympia Film Society marquee in real life for a minute kind of made it worthwhile. Olympia was an amazing city to go to college in. I know no place is perfect, but I am so grateful for the time I spent there years ago.

Finally buying a printer and putting together a manuscript of my short stories

Feeling like there is finally balance in my life.

The amazing vet who my cat, Earl got to spend her last minutes with.

Jodie Mack’s films
at the L.A. Film Forum! Genius animations that you need to see.

Seeing Glorium
live in Austin as a benefit for Jonathan Toubin at Emo’s. This super lesser known San Antonio/Austin band reunites about once a year since they offically broke up about a decade ago and they kill it every time. I’m actually working on describing what they sound like for a lengthier piece of writing so I’m not going to attempt that here. Just trust me on this one. http://goldenhourrecords.com/glorium/

Having a really great time in my hometown of San Antonio, TX every time I visited.

A brilliantly written funny and sometimes sad (but always strong) blog about sex work from the perspective of a brilliant, funny and strong woman in the sex industry. I feel like I learn more about human nature from one paragraph of this blog than I do from attempting to study philosophy.

THE VOYAGERS by Penny Lane
A found footage essay about love, hope, disaster, etc, Kind of the best short film I’ve seen in ages.

Dawn Kasper
performing at Human Resources blew me away. She is definitely one of my favorite contemporary artists/performance artists. If she is ever performing in your town or you’re in a town where she is performing, YOU MUST GO. She’s currently fundraising to make her art/installation for next year’s Whitney Biennial. On top of being a genius, she’s one of the nicest people ever.

Leopoldine Core
reading her short stories at the Hammer Museum. I foolishly missed this because I was exhausted from traveling, but thankfully it’s available to listen to as a free podcast.

Creativity Candles from Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park/that little vegan restaurant in Follow Your Heart.

at Beyond Baroque. They are a modern music collective who play new music, old music, as long as they “love it” and it shows. Seeing them perform at Beyond Baroque, such a small space for such a big collective, reminded me of DIY shows I used to go to in the late 90s–when it felt like people were doing things because they were passionate about it and excited about it–granted, I’m sure that’s nostalgia painting such a pure picture, but it’s the kind of positive energy I like to be around. Art doesn’t always have to be about suffering, it can be joyous too. Not going to lie–wildUp re-working “oh bondage! up yours!” also had my eternal appreciation for them in a heartbeat.

Crass “Penis Envy” 30th Anniversary
tribute show at the Smell in L.A. I got to DJ! What an honor. I played 7" after 7" of feminist and lady punks bands from the 70s until now. Those are my favorite records to play, but there isn’t ever a time when I get to play them for the public and this was definitely the time. The tribute band included: Allison Wolfe (Bratmobile), Jenna Thornhill (Mika Miko), Rachel Carns (The Need), Paloma Parfrey (The Sharp Ease), Ana Oxygen, Kate Hall (Dunes), Nikki Godinez (Peter Pants), Tara Tavi (Auto Da Fe) Mecca Vazie Andrews (MOVEMENT movement), Inez Perez (Blood-Dumper). Not going to lie, Mecca Vazie Andrews knocked it out of the park that night. The show was sold out and was grrreat with three R’s.

Jack Halberstam
Maggie Nelson, and Wayne Koestenbaum reading at RedCat aka “Ugly Feelings”
Jack and Wayne made me laugh so hard. Maggie made me want to read everything she’s ever written. She is extremely prolific so it may take me awhile, but based on what I have read by her, it will be worth it.

Re-reading all 46 pages of my Evergreen/college undergrad transcripts and feeling really lucky to have had that experience

Staying in L.A. for Thanksgiving

Going to San Francisco and Oakland for my birthday

“Only in Dreams” is definitely my favorite album of the year. It makes me a bit speechless. I wanted to write a 15-page minimum paper about why this album is so great to do it justice, but here I am just writing a sentence or two telling you that they have the 60s girl group and rock influences, they have the instrumentation and style down, but lyrically and content-wise, they managed to create an entire album that on one side appears to be about a broken heart, but upon further inspection is about losing a parent. I just feel like it’s already hard enough to be taken seriously as a woman doing almost anything in this stupid society, especially playing music, so to have an entire album about something so personal and tragic is pretty much the toughest thing I have seen a musician do in a really long time. I love this band, this album and I hope I get to see them live again next year. They are the only band who awed me so much with their performance, I grabbed their set list like I did when I was 15 years old watching my favorite band, once the show was done.

Happy New Year!