What’s up everybody! Welcome to spring! “Brush your teeth and break some bones.” We hope you liked our Art & Comics special last month! Grace and Alex put a lot of work into it, and we’re stoked to be able to present so many radical and creative punks in our pages! We’re also rather gleeful that our April Fool’s prank worked on some people—to set the record straight, no, we will not just run art and comics from now on, we still want you to submit your interviews and guest columns and scene reports and photos! We are always looking for artists to create ads and flyers and whatnot for these pages, our events, our website and such, so get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org with submissions!
We’re back to another regular issue this month, and are simultaneously working on a bunch of other MRR projects as you may know. First off, we are almost all finished with the Los Crudos Discografía 2xLP—Record Store Day pressing plant holdups mean the release date is set for end of April, but it is finally happening—thank you to everyone who pre-ordered for the support and patience! This will be MRR’s seventeenth release (MRR-017) and we are super proud for it to be such a historic band’s collective work! Crudos are gonna be playing some shows when the record is out, so keep your eyes peeled for updates! Working on this release, as well as MRR’s previous record, Sound the Alarms! comp, has taught me a lot about the whole process of putting out a record—the wax, the jackets, the labels, the inserts, the info, the formatting. One day I will dedicate a column to this process, like a basic Record 101 for Dummies (I know I was one). It’s not as hard as you think; as long as you’ve got it all organized, and perhaps a little help from others who have done it many times before, and you can do it too, no doubt!
We have also made some exciting progress with getting the MRR Record Collection Database into a re-searchable format (right now, the 47,000+ entries live in an XL sheet). Ex-MRR coord Cissie and MRR shitworker Jason have both been working their magic at coding poetry and database architecture, and hopefully within the next few months we will have the MRR Database open to the pubic to search through. We are nowhere near done, and we have to do some serious consistency checking, updating, accuracy control etc., (data entry/organization, love it!) but we are just buzzing with joy that this project is taking off! When ready, it will be a searchable database where you can look up any band, record or label that exists in the MRR archive, along with images, links to other database entires and info, and of course the corresponding review from the magazine, (Tim Yo’s review of Discharge’s Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing!)—this and so much more; the cross referencing potential seems endless if you think about the vast archive of materials we have accumulated since 1977 when the radio started and 1982 when the magazine started! If you enjoy geeking out on fact checking or data entry, hit me up at email@example.com and maybe you can help us get this invaluable resource out into the world!
Also, as you may have heard, MRR is working on a massive, global event on May 16, 2015. Our goal is to have as many “MRR Presents” shows as we can around the globe! So far we have at least 50 cities locked down, with at least one in every continent—sans for the North and South Pole, so if you know any punx there tell them to get in touch!! Check further down these pages for info and a map with the cities we have locked down! Basically the idea is that we want to have a day when all punks can partake in a common MRR-focused event. There are time differences, so it’s basically gonna be over 24 hours of punks coming together to support their own local scene and MRR in the process. This idea came to us not only because some people had emailed and asked, “Hey, can we organize a MRR Presents show in out town too?” (as we host such shows once a month at a local club here in SF), but also because it is a brilliant way to create awareness about the magazine and what we do, and to offer a chance for communities around the world to feel connected. This is not just about trying to benefit MRR and get some much needed cash donated; it’s also about having a day dedicated to all the punks who have been and are still involved with this grand institution we call Maximum Rocknroll. Doing what we do for free, for the love of it, for the love of MRR, for the love of punk. There’s thousands of us—just think of all the “MRR punks” you know; either submitting something for review, or whose band was interviewed, or maybe they sent in photos or demos, or helped with editing and layouts… We exist in every continent, in an astounding number of countries! We can all connect on May 16 (by the way, totally unrelated to the Lagwagon song, sheer coincidence), and bask in the knowledge that we di this vast thing on our own, DIY style, but together—no big ass fancy sponsors needed, to bigwig capitalists funding it, no PR company promoting it. The true spirit of DIY, the global punk scene which MRR helped create and nurture will take the world by storm! In a physical sense we’ll congregate locally, and in a metaphorical sense we will all be on the same mental wavelength globally. “The name on everybody’s lips, is gonna be… Maxi Rocker!” Just think, we could break the fuckin’ internet! MRR will be everywhere! Photos will pour into Facebook and Tumblr feeds, Instagram tagging will explode, cities around the world will be wheat-pasted with posters bearing the MRR logo, the sounds of a thousand punk bands will echo around the world like an earthquake. If this sounds like something you would like to be involved in, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info, and also check out our Facebook page and the related event at facebook.com/events/805881439498975.
We are also still looking for a new content coordinator to run this brilliant rag along with coord team supreme Grace and Eli! This is an unpaid position, full time, but if you are the right kind of person, then offering your life and soul to this institution for a couple years should be right up your alley! We are looking for a detail-oriented punk, with excellent organizational skills, an encyclopedic knowledge of the international punk and hardcore scene both past and present, and the ability to live and work in a busy house, lined by 47,000 records, supported by a Board of 15 or so people and over 200 local shitworkers, both local and remote. You will get to live in the MRR house bill and rent free, but you will also have to find a part-time job to support you caffeine / record / junk food consumption habits. I would say the most important thing is to be a fast learner who can juggle multiple projects and deadlines, capable of constant follow up, but not forgetting to take care of yourself, mentally and physically. It’s a truly once-in-a-lifetimes experience, and what you will learn here are things you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Be it the music you discover, the people you meet and interact with from all corners of the earth, the mistakes you make and learn from, the skills you hone, or the projects you complete and feel proud of. I couldn’t learn anywhere else what I have learned here, and I’ve met such creative and enthusiastic and dedicated people, some of the absolute best punks in the whole wide world. I feel truly honoured and fortunate to have been able to sit behind this desk, to have access to this impressive and living archive and to tap into a vast network of cool punks. It is something I always hoped I could hack, and now, three years down the line, I feel ready to conquer anything. For real, if you can do MRR, you can do anything after that. Could you be the next coord to help propel MRR into the future? It is a big, big responsibility, and the stress levels can get high, but it is as noble and as worthy a task as I could ask for in my life. I am sad to have to go, and wish I had the energy and mental strength to continue doing this for another century. Yet there is a reason coords rotate—each system is only as strong as its weakest link and, after a while, you have to be diligent with your pruning, and make room for new growth. I am nowhere near ready to stop being involved in MRR, and I know that once I have my life back on track (to some capacity anyway) I will be able to focus on the long term projects we are working on with renewed passion and dedication.
New York was practically non-stop fabulous! I had a tragically bumpy ride to the airport (don’t drink and fly), but made it to NYC in one piece, and spent almost every minute of the day outside. Chinatown for treats and coffee, 42nd for skyscraper views from new friends’ balconies, the Bowery for bar hopping (Dick Manitoba’s bar ain’t too bad), Central Park for Sunday strolling in the snow, Chelsea for hotel rooftop bars and cocktails! Glammed it up for the Suicide show, which was not a disappointment. Alan Vega has had two stroked in five years, so even though he came on stage with a cane and had to sit down a couple times, his delivery was still rather impressive—he has the Alan Vega moan, the scream, the screech, the drawl and snarl. Martin Rev was raging at the keyboards throughout, not a laptop in sight! He wore a sleeveless vinyl vest with nothing inside and vinyl pants, his butt-crack exposed the whole time—it was epic, he did not give a fuck! They performed some classics (sadly “the sound,” that tinkling, xylophone sound from “Cheree” was not adible) thought I would have been perfectly happy with a pure noise-fest too, inaudible, unrecognizable reverb and fuzz…but they didn’t stray as far into noise and experimentation as they did in their earlier shows in the late ’70s. Sure, they must have been mind blowing back then, breaking convention and bending sound and samples, loops and grooves, but in 2015, I was more than happy to hear the music I loved in a manner that was familiar and comforting. Oh, and Pharamkon was also great, almost brought down the roof with her bass-infused poundings, and I loved how impressed the crowd was that she came down from the stage and walked amongst them—they must have never been to a punk show, heh.
Unpunk Soundtrack: Vatican Shadow’s new 2xLP, Nekromantik OST, Friday the 13th OST, Close Encounters of the third Kind OST, Gojira OST, Sun Ra’s Space is the Place, Madvillain, the Fabulous Flames.
Punk Soundtrack: the Cramps, Prag, the Exploding Hearts, Rixe, Midnite Snaxx, Cal and the Calories, Quaaludes, and of course, the Extremo Nihilismo en Barcelona record! Déme las drogas, déjeme bailar! Until next time, you can reach me at email@example.com