Man, I can’t remember what happened last year! But here are some of my fave things that I’m pretty sure came about in 2013:BLACK BOOT demo – nasty metal with awesome mid-tempo parts DRAPETOMANIA live – RIP my favorite band GLUE live on Xmas – best way to celebrate is with live raw underground punk WASTE MANGAMENT live – I’m a nerd and 2013 was the first time I got to see this band play live. I’ve seen them play 3 times since then. I love it! La Misma – I think their song “Waterfalls” was written in 2013. It’s not out yet but that’s my favorite song written in 2013. PROXY Police Car 7” – My favorite 7” of 2013 for sure! Rockin’ punk metal. MURDURER / BLACK BOOT / DEFORMITY live at Stolen Sleeves – I drank in the hallway MILK MUSIC “No Nothing My Shelter” Song / video – Dylan Sharp directed starring Alex Coxen and CarrieKeith. Desert mime dancin’ BLAZING EYE demo – Sounds evil. I love the drumming and vocals. CONTINGENT demo – Boston melodic real deal new Oi! I love this demo. NOMAD 12” – So groovy and fun. I listened to this non-stop all year. My fave 12” of 2013.
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014
International:Body/Head - Coming Apart Broadcast - Berberian Sound Studio J Graf - The Future is a Faded Song Iceage - You're Nothing M.I.A. - Matangi Pulp - After You 12"/Party Clowns Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Two
Australian:Adalita - All Day Venus The Ancients - Night Bus Cybotron - Friday Night at the Totale Theatre - Reissue Harry Howard and the NDE - Pretty The Necks - Open Scattered Order - Planet Scrape Venom P Stinger - Meet My Friend Venom + What's Yours is Mine + Waiting Room + Walking About - Reissues
Live:Beak> & Anika - Netil House, London Blank Realm - The Tote, Melbourne ESG - Hi-Fi, Melbourne Rowland S Howard Tribute - Palace Theatre, Melbourne HTRK - Howler, Melbourne The Pop Group - Pontin's - Camber Sands UK Television - Pontin's - Camber Sands UK
Books:White Girls - Hilton Als Debt - David Graeber Uncommon - Owen Hatherley Suicide - Édouard Levé The Femicide Machine - Sergio González Rodríguez
Also:1st year of baby Valentine New War UK tour DJing & dancing with ESG! Raymond Pettibon on Twitter
Sunday, January 5, 2014
The 2013 standout releases for me include the 45-track survey of Portland’s all-female punk band Neo Boys, called Sooner or Later (K Records); the West London anarcha-feminist art-punk band Androids of Mu’s Blood Robots (1980), reissued by Water Wing Records; Dark Entries’ compilation from Icelandic post-punk Q4U called Q1 Deluxe Edition (1980-1983); the dreamy Elaines 12” from Brooklyn’s post-punk Household; The Younger Lovers’s latest bouncy LP Sugar in My Pocket (Southpaw) and of course, Shopping’s Consumer Complaints LP (Milk), featuring the ever-amazing Rachel Aggs from Trash Kit.Nyky Gomez may be one of my favorite people I met in 2013. During the week I was on the POC Zine Project tour this October, we shared inappropriately timed jokes and over eleven hours’ worth of trivia and revelations on the drive from Los Angeles to Oakland (Nyky drove the entire stretch, with me co-piloting). This bad bitch bruja runs the brand-new Brown Recluse Zine Distro, boasting a catalog made up of zines written mostly by indigenous peoples and people of color. BCZD is currently fundraising to help support itself, and to furthermore make the entire catalog available to prisoners for free, and to send one copy of every zine in the catalog to existing zine libraries or those starting zine libraries nationally and internationally, especially in indigenous communities and communities of color. Nyky also does the zine Skinned Heart, and her latest issue is by far one of my zine favorites in recent memory. Buy everything from her. From two of my other favorite zinesters, Anna Vo and Osa Atoe put out the interview-heavy fourth issue of Fix My Head in Fall 2013, just in time for the second POC Zine Project tour. This issue of FMH, like the last, documents punx of color in scenes all over the globe, historically and contemporaneously. This issue includes interviews with Mars from Aye Nako, Textaqueen, Melting Pot Massacre, Daighila, and the amazing Taquila Mockingbird about the early days of punk in Los Angeles. I have to say, however, that Osa’s interview with Golnar Nikpour is my runaway favorite interview. Golnar talks about her all-female QPOC hardcore band In School, her time coordinating Maximum Rocknroll, and her genius thoughts on “punk studies.” Rosi writes Not Straight Not White Not Male, a text-heavy (literally, there is no layout) zine about being a genderqueer Vietnamese punk kid in Southern California – a zine after my own heart, sniff sniff. The zine was published in December 2012, but I read it in 2013. Margaret Thatcher died. All our enemies from the ‘80s are dead! I did a lot of great readings this year, but my favorite has to be the Guillotine Press release of PUNK at WORD Bookstore in June 2013. PUNK is the product/process of a years-long conversation between Golnar Nikpour and me about punk (of course) and race, politics, and historiography. I got to read with Jenny Zhang, a brilliant poet and essayist I first met from the blog Fashion for Writers. Jenny and I both read pieces inspired by Wendy Davis’s all-day filibuster of the Texas State legislature against some of the most restrictive anti-abortion proposals in the United States (which ended in the wee hours of the morning of the release). Novelist and all-around star of smart shit Sarah McCarry, who publishes the Guillotine chapbook series, hosted the release and started us off with a champagne toast to Davis. My graduate school friend Steven Lee sent me a video of Helen Slater from The Legend of Billie Jean, one of my favorite movies of all time, saying, “Fair is fair, Mimi!” I totally cried with happiness. In December 2013, I co-organized (with Ruth Nicole Brown, Karen Flynn, and Fiona I.B. Ngô) the Hip Hop and Punk Feminisms conference at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. We wanted to put hip hop and punk feminisms in conversation, especially since all the “third wave feminism” retrospectives seem to somehow ignore the emergence of hip hop feminisms concurrent with riot grrrl feminisms in the same decade. (From our statement: “This symposium stages productive conversations across hip hop and punk feminisms, including questions about the genealogies and as well multiple origin stories for hip hop and punk across diasporas and the globe (against a wholly distinct and discrete genealogy, or singular origin story, for each); about the theories of aesthetics and value that emerge from hip hop and punk cultures, including forms of immanent critique as well as political polemic that imagine futurity or negativity, and the uses and challenges to them from women of color feminisms; and about the ephemeral and haptic qualities of hip hop and punk performances, including the events, actions, and encounters between bodies that shape social and cultural formations within hip hop and punk cultures.”) The highlight for me has to be hosting the intensely powerful, and fiercely generous, Alice Bag in my sleepy cornfield-cornered part of Illinois, and otherwise bringing together some of my favorite zinesters –Nyky, Osa, and Anna—in my college town. Osa and Fiona also played with Alice for an electrifying performance, and may actually become a real band, so I feel I accomplished something this year.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Scenery outside the seen/scene, inside works 2013Acquiring 7 months of sobriety. The birth of my nephew Nico Dean Root. Getting closer with my mom. Returning to college after a 10 year absence. Meister Eckhart selected writings Popol Vuh (the band) + Meditating/Yoga. Riding my bike to Napalm Death. Reading the Cabalistic Keys to The Lord’s Prayer by Manly P. Hall. Tripping out on William Blake paintings and Poems. Resonating with words like “…the flame that kindles desire and illuminates thought never burned for more than a few seconds at a stretch. The rest of the time we tried to remember it." – Rene Daumal
Friday, January 3, 2014
Looking back at 2013 I realized that I went through intense transitions. I moved three times, lived in three different states, and found my home in the most unexpected place; Houston, TX. I fell devastatingly out of love with punk, but with the help of incredible talks with old friends, inspiring art/music, and new friends... I found that LOVE again. With that being said, I didn't make it to as many shows as other years, or bought very many records/tapes/zines, but the music/art that I have mentioned have truly moved me.1) Spending two months in my hometown of Santa Ana, CA. Every morning I was able to have breakfast with my Grandmother, and every night I shared a bed with my closest cousin, Monica. 2) Institute - Demo + Live in Houston 3) Hanging out in Olympia with Hayes Waring, Dave Harvey, and Tanar Stalker. 4) Art by: Sara Abruña + Emma Kohlmann + Daniel Ortuño 5) Spending my summer in Portland: hitting up the tiki bars, going to Tiki Kon, swimming at Hag lake, karaoke, bowling nights, dancing @ hip hop night, being taken in by my dear friend Anne Stark, and sleep overs with Sarah Williams. 6) Hysterics - Live in NY + singing me Happy Birthday @ midnight!! 7) Moving to Houston and discovering I love it and the freaky people in it. 8) Ivy - Demo 9) Las Cruxes + Farewell books in Austin, TX - I'm so happy these places exist and that they're run by amazing people. Kudos to Veronica Ortuño, Mikaylah Bowman, and Travis Kent. 10) The Ukiah Drag - Jazz Mama is Cryin' 11) Taking solo trips to visit Darby Crash's grave and Rozz Williams' urn 12) Crazy Spirit - Live @ New York's Alright Fest 13) Getting tattooed by Christina Gemora 14) La Misma - Demo + Live @ New York's Alright Fest 15) Having a Disneyland Annual Pass and going three times a month! 16) Una Bèstia Incontrolable - Live @ Nuts! #11 Release Party 17) Everything about living in the Highland Park neighborhood of LA, but especially Wombleton Records. 18) Milk Music - Cruise Your Illusion 19) Mystic Inane - Live in Houston 20) Drake - Live in the City of Syrup
Top 11 Movie events of 2013:-Pussy Riot, A Punk Prayer, Anita (Anita Hill Documentary) with Anita Hill hanging out talking to everyone, at Sundance in January. -La Sirga at Portland International Film Festival in February -David Holzman's Diary, Leviathan at True/False Film Festival in Columbia, MO in March -Frances Ha, Towheads, Brave Miss World, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, Maidentrip, Something in the Air, Soft in the Head, The Rambler at Sarasota Film Festival in April -The films of Mary Helena Clark, Saul Levine, Basma Alsharif, Kevin Everson, Peter Miller, Jonathan Schwartz and Seamus Harahan at Media City Film Festival (Windsor, Ontario) in May -Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia, Journey to the West; Conquering the Demons, Trials of Muhammad Ali and Your Day is My Night at the Traverse City Film Festival in August. -Projecting Dovzhenko's Earth with an 18 piece orchestra, 2001: A Space Odysessy, and Wings of Desire reel to reel for over 1000 people in each audience/ watching Up Stream Color and Vanishing Waves in an empty Balcony at the Oriental movie palace during the Milwaukee Film Festival in September/ October. -Playing in the band Госкино with the film October, Ten Days that Shook the Earth, Seeing Erick Lyle, Basma Alsharif and Cary Cronenwett present their movies, also the films Daisies, Burnt Offerings and the Bigamist on 35mm, Born in Flames on 16mm and the movies Nana, Aatsinki: the Story of Arctic Cowboys, Fat Shaker, Warmth and Combat Girls at the Olympia Film Festival in November. -Spring Breakers (movie of the year!…as in, a total product of 2013...also completely great) -The Wolf of Wall Street (!!) -The Act of Killing (!!!)
Thursday, January 2, 2014
I saw new bands more than I listened to new records this year so heres some bands that blew my mind:Swarm - Stillsuit was in Philadelphia in a bike shop when we played with this band that consisted of two drummers, a bassist, a main singer and then a chorus of three women dancing and singing back ups. It was exhilarating and emotional. I'm pretty sure I cried. After tour anytime anyone asked what bands were good this was a always at the top of my list. Permanent Ruin - This band is one of those bands to me that i'm kind of like "yeah, they're a good band" and then I see them and without fail my jaw drops. Non-stop rage, bass and drums unrelenting, a guitar that squeals into chaos constantly and a singer that runs from belting to growling to screaming to holding a note for so fucking long. Vexx - Wet Drag played a bar in Chehalis that stuffed us with free food and was totally one of those instances of the bands watch the bands, no one else really there. The atmosphere was a little awkward and Larsens bass kept cutting out but they still slated the shit out of everything. I've been a big fan of stuff that Maryjane does for awhile now and this definitely fed the obsession Black Dog - This band is somewhere between total sleaze and the heaviest of the heavy. They are so absurd that every time I see them I spend the entire time head banging and laughing hysterically. Their singer consistently wears corpse paint and does push-ups and occasionally brings free weights. This year the line up stretched to include a bass and some general tape loop noise. Basically a bunch of noise freaks decided to start an over the top metal band and its pretty amazing Daisyworld - Grunge at its best. Jaime is such a rad drummer, The guitar keeps a sickly trance, back and fourth boy/girl vocals. Defenitely another band that falls into the category where I like them and then I see them and my jaw drops. Styrofoam Sanchez - These noise weirdos. They all dress in suits and build masks and monoliths out of styrofoam that are ripped to shreds by the end. Earsplitting and filled with doom, a wall full of static and bleeps and growls. I once caught a glance of a lyric sheet and it said something like "the toxic rivers run through your blood" Condominium - This band lands in the space of hardcore that I love, the part that gets real freaky all of the time. They have this seven inch called Carl that jags through an entire intro and then falls in line in the most seasick sense. Everything is barked out in disgust. I saw them live they were wearing flannel. Not new bands I saw favorites: favorite summer of my adult life: 2013 - Basically Stillsuit put out our own record, Wet Drag put out a tape and a seven inch, both went on tour, all experiences were excellent.
Realizing I still have feelings and I can get lost in love and get my heart brokenStarting The Blues with Max Nordile and daring to play quiet Reading The Dialectic of Sex by Shulamith Firestone, getting pretty obsessed Salami and Cheese snack packs Moving into a room with a real window and door Yogurt Anything by Roky Erickson Ok now I'm just rambling...