Sunday, July 23, 2017

YEAR END TOP TEN 2016 late posting!

I realized I forgot to post this! My MRR year end top ten from last year

As always it’s hard to summarize a year of listening with only ten records, there are so many LPs, cassettes, bandcamps and 45s that have gotten me through the dogshit reality that is our current epoch, here are my most listened to releases selected to represent 2016. 1)CCTV-all cassettes
Radical art punk music, incisive lyrics to think about, sick riffs to dance to, makes you wanna do something with your tired self. Plus a truly great live band.
2)LITHICS – “Borrowed Floors” LP
The “Too Many Creeps” / SU TISSUE combo of my dreams, front person summons so many dreamy feminist art performative pasts while maintaining a total deadpan style that is to die for, the best dollar store 99 Records dreamscape of the decade.
The  song“Television Addict” as a guidebook and life coach.
4)TERRY – “8 Girls” EP
Not only a near perfect SWELLMAPS-ian pop song, a slicing incursion into the “radical” reality of the neoliberal “lean in” female politician reality in our click bait epoch…
I am putting these even tho the flexi sounds like garbage (the recordings are incredible-why on earth would they waste em on a flexi?!?! Disposable times we live in) I love this band, their recordings don’t quite match up to the live experience yet, but I love living in an era that I can go see a local group who evoke the MODETTES and maybe even the BODYSNATCHERS.
6) GARY WRONG GROUP “Away in Heathen Darkness” 12”
Mutant soundscapes for aggrieved lovers of nothing. I heard this once and instantly sent off for it and it hasn’t left my “new arrivals” pile since. Incendiary BOBBY SOXX vocals over disintegrating synth disgust.
This record sounds like it was made in between confidence and nervousness in a way that creates a killer punk feeling, both stuck and free, with a desperate vocal delivery that feels right for this fucked up reality.
I am putting these on the same line because they are both life transformative groups that seem to be shifting because of band members moving to other locations… The first IN SCHOOL EP didn’t quite capture the total fuck you totality of watching them play for this psycho fan, and this does and it’s so perfect and sick. Each song is total insurrection, furious vengeance and the true transgressive sound of a feminist hardcore. GOOD THROB is simply one of the best ever, just the combination/chemical reaction of band members, the HONEY BANE meets NEGATIVE APPROACHness. All of their records have been perfect and this is no different.
9) NOTS “Cold Line/TVOD” 45
I like the shaky paranoid feeling that this 45 perpetrates, and while I entirely love both NOTS LPS I think that they are a true 45 band in that they wring every possibility out of the format and this record is total demonstration of that fact. Feels like the last tube home after the end of the world.
10) COUNTER INTUITS “Monosyllaby” LP
Ron House for prez.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Layla Gibbon MRR Top Ten of MRR-able records in 2015

The Powers That Be have changed the rules so we aren’t allowed to expound on the records we consumed and were consumed by in the traditional longwinded MRR manner, so if you want to read my full 2015 musical rollercoaster ride (ten LPs! Ten 45s! more than ten cassettes! Ten reissues! you must wait a bit... Also I present to you the “Records that were released in the weird purgatory that is the End of the Year and so missed full consideration for last year’s list AND this year’s list” zone right here in this intro… 2014 slipped thru the cracks: THE INTENDED “Huguenot/The Alchemist” 45, WITCHING WAVES –“Fear of Falling Down” LP… both of which were amongst my most listened to discs of 2015. Anyway here is a tiny slice of the records I was couldn’t stop flippin out to in 2015, perhaps one of the worst years in human memory?!

CCTV – Quiet EP Favorite disc of 2015! Nervous furtive fraught invocations of the indignities of modern life, anxiety and paranoia, everything sounds like it was recorded on a boombox at the wrong speed adding to the strange feeling of otherworldliness, like walking through a dead mall full of fake plants and broken ideas. It’s perfectly retro, really sounds like a recently excavated secret basement from the 1979 New Wave/punk collision, but it’s from now, and is fresh yet eternal. SU TISSUE dreamscape. SACRED PAWS – Six Songs 12” Perfect record! It’s so energizing and uplifting, total power with an untouchable dreamy/introspective feeling that leaves me reeling. This is post-punk insurrection, like what I imagined SLITS sounded like when I found out that NENEH CHERRY was in a later incarnation of the group…Freedom! Everything Rachel Aggs does is 100% and this is no exception. Her guitar style borrows from the coolest early ’80s London post-punk adventure girls and the most transcendent African Highlife and with the addition of her former GOLDEN GRRLS bandmate Eilidh there’s an added extra layer of melancholic beauty to these uplifting numbers. Listened to this an insane amount of times, truly a great LP. PATSY – Tuley Tude High/Paradise 45 I think PATSY features Nathan and Candice from MYSTIC INANE (who put out two of the best 45s this year!) and this demonstrates that you should just buy everything they do. Killer killer killer! If Dez Cadena was a girl and new dimensions in modern rehashes of previous ideas of punk was a possibility. AQUARIAN BLOOD – Savage Mind EP Total destruction! Like ANGRY ANGLES discovered FATHER YOD and PCP and combined all these things into an insane wall of destruction and woe! I think this band is expansive and features many participants but the driving force being former members of NOTS and a current member of EX-CULT should make your blood pressure rise suitably if you have any sense. LIME CRUSH – Graveyard EP Singer sounds like she should be in KLEENEX, music is somewhere between the more garagey HUGGY BEAR stuff and the PHANTOM PREGNANCIES and this 7” is a non stop killer lurching punk attack! SNEAKS – Gymnastics LP Further evidence the DC scene has experienced major / incendiary rejuvenation in the past couple years… Incredible CHANDRA / 99 Records configuration that I just can’t stop listening to. VIAL – You’re Not Safe EP Krista is an incredible and iconic front person, with a remarkable voice, like if DINAH CANCER was a tough HC girl?! I’ve seen em cover LAST RITES’ “Chunks” but they’ve also get compared to FLIPPER and the BAGS! I think of them as a hardcore band but have gotten in arguments with people about it, perhaps because women are never truly “hardcore” according to the general punk populace?! I have no idea how anyone could listen to this and not think that it’s a hardcore record though. The guitar is burly in a classic Touch n Go manner, the lyrics are smart and to the point, and interrogate gentrification and gender constructs as well as total alienation/anxiety. I love this band, and this 45 is killer. BLACK TIME – Aerial Gobs of Love LP All hail BLACK TIME, architects of the brutal and arcane…Transporting the listener to the collapsing concrete shopping centers of London, in which girls and boys as informed as much by the Medway Sound as the Situationist ideal hack out a new / old existence in the ashes of commerce. What other group could summon thoughts of HUGGY BEAR, SWELL MAPS, early Michigan garage sounds, Musique Concrète, girls in bootleg Mary Quant / Bridget Riley get ups reading Sheila Delaney’s teenage works…BLACK TIME is the way and the truth. The sound of irate bedroom masterworks—when Lemmy Caution shouts he’s got no expectations you can feel that tool Jagger’s smug sprawl of expectations slowly eating away at the earth… Janey Too-bad’s voice on the title track makes me wanna grab a Silvertone and join the WHAT FOUR (or the MOD 4). Anyway this is a piercing, shambling, devastating view into two years of bedroom recordings by London’s only garage band  MIDNITE SNAXX – Don’t Wake Me Up/ Shades 45 Never really paid attention to these punkers, I remember their ealier records being sort of more power pop/Bomp! girlsound, which is cool, but not always what I want. Then this sick 45 appeared and I realized I needed to shape the fuck up. Insane KBD/Girls in the Garage hybrid sounds for furious modernists! Kill or be killed. SHITFUCKS – Det Är Ditt Fel EP I described this to a friend as “the Swedish ABORTED with an insane possessed lady who could be in KLEENEX or RUTTO singing” and if that isn’t want you want out of life then I can’t help you.




THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2016: COURTNEYS LP, SPIDER AND THE WEBS LP, WITCHING WAVES LP, IN SCHOOL EP, VEXX, MOZART 45, HYSTERICS discog LP, JJ DOLL triple LP, PIECE WAR 12”, THE WORLD EP (former members of Pang and Penny Machine! Plus Andy Human, coolest new local group!) also the punks demand more Patsy, more Black Abba, more SBSM, more Nots, more ONJ and more CCTV. Along with more Low Life and Constant Mongrel, more Total Control too. As the wise sage Tomata Du Plenty once inferred: if I can’t have what I want / I don’t want anything.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

better late than never: this human's TOP TEN OF 2014 as published in MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL MARCH 2015 issue

I had a big crisis as to whether I should pick my ten most listened to records, or do the usual endless write up of ten EPs and LPs, then spent an epic amount of time freaking out about what to include / what to write about it, all totally fascinating contextual information I am sure. Punk rock is an endless vacation. Writing about music is turgid and wretched. I put a few things that woulda made my YETT last year if MRR had gotten them before 2013 ended, and in that spirit I am going to mention the GG KING LP and the WITCHING WAVES LP which are reviewed in this issue, both technically came out in December, thusly missing the mark for full 2014 consideration / total and complete jamage throughout 2014, and thus will be entered into consideration for 2015 assuming we are not post-nuclear sewage by this time next year. I am also a terrible replicant human that recycled some of my record reviews from the magazine into this list format rather than coming up with more fascinating insights into aural technologies in the face of my useless and incapacitating woes. Alright!
NOTS – “We Are Nots” LP (Goner) After two perfect 45s of URINALS/KLEENEX insurrection a nation of rabid fans wondered how a full length was gonna transform our lives… Continuing onwards into the fluxus continuum with added nihilistic keyboards, it’s a new future for rule breakers and drool makers everywhere. I think when I reviewed this I said it was like watching Daisies with ELECTRIC EELS as the soundtrack. In short the recordings of my dreams. If I can’t have what I want, I don’t want anything…
GOOD THROB – “Fuck Off!” LP Was there a better record summing up this shoddy mindless existence in our blissful neo-liberal end times? Aggressive and antagonistic, idealistic / nihilistic, pinning up the microaggressions of the modern female experience to the inside of yr eyelids like no other group. Like a musical version of Laura Oldfield Ford’s incredible Savage Messiah fanzine, walking through the brutalist wreckage of post-Thatcher Britain littered with plastic bags and casual violence and somehow transforming it into a cut up punk masterpiece… I’ve said it before but any group that can somehow bring to mind NO TREND if they were on Crass Records with a front person that has the charisma and power of fucking “Girl on the Run” meets JOHN BRANNON gets to be the kings of punk.
TOTAL CONTROL – “Typical System” LP (Iron Lung / Aaarght / La Vida Es Un Mus) I found this an impossible record to write about, I agonized over my pathetic five line review for this very rag and in the spirit of that feeling I am going to replicate a couple lines from said review here: “’The Sound of Fear in the Western World,’ Vintage Violence, Berlin ENO / motorik collisions with late era BLITZ. This is a fucking classic, like reading Phillip K Dick on a commuter train in end times capitalist reality, it feels nostalgic and current at the same time. Forever prescient, ironic, but also true enough that it stays with you through these tiresome times.For many reading this Typical System is not going to be "punk" enough, whatever that means, but I can't stop listening to it. It feels both personal and subversive, romantic and dispassionate.”
FLESH WORLD – 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus) I think technically this came out in 2013, but its December release date meant we didn’t get it until 2014 so it gets included! Urgent declarations of post-punk abandon from my current favorite San Francisco liberation force. Propulsive dark excursions which have an early Factory Records appeal, and are lit up by Jess’ voice, which flits from a PYLON like yelp to a perfect C86 SHOP ASSISTANTS lullaby… This record is so incredible, atmospheric and danceable, doomed and eternal. Soundtrack to the devolution of San Francisco.
VEXX – LP (Grazer / M’Ladys) Best Oly band since WEIRD TV… Watching the singer perform is otherworldly, like some new Alice Bag / Isadora Duncan formation… Every aspect of VEXX is exactly right, like if the PATTI SMITH GROUP were on Dangerhouse, so tough and transcendent. That wild psyche/punk guitar sending shards of light direct from speakers into brains, and then there’s the fucking rhythm section! Most incredible current punk drummer!? Cannot wait for the next installation of action and light…
EAST LINK – LP (In the Red) The repetition and totality of sound employed by EASTLINK make all their records perfect for daily commutes, a 59 guitar orchestra with only one riff played eternally until the entire world mutates into a singular beat with dollar store CHROME guitar solos spurting out onto your fellow commuters when necessary for survival.
LOW LIFE – “Dogging” LP (RIP Society) Debased ruminations on decay, lust, inaction over alternately deflated / thuggish post-punk dereliction. The lyrics are almost like a cartoon, a Clockwork Orange / High Rise take on the lives behind the headlines, what the “we’re all going to the dogs” hand-wringing net-curtain twitchers think the maggot filled streets of modern life are teeming with… In musical form.
WATERY LOVE – “Decorative Feeding” LP (In the Red) Further explorations into the impossibilities of Skull Music. VENOM P STINGER and SPIKE IN VAIN if they listened to BREAKDOWN in the metaphorical blender of a literally very useless writer. Why do skulls fall in love.
RAKTA – LP (Dama Da Noite / Nada Nada Discos / 540) Another thing that technically came out in December 2013 that we didn’t review until 2014 so… in it goes! Almost everything anyone has written about RAKTA would make them seem to be something I would avoid; deathrock, tribal polyrhythms and yet… This record is so cool—it looks and sounds incredible, and watching this band destroy SF was one of the highlights of the year. In his MRR review of this record Ray Suburbia references Maya Deren, psychedelica and girl driven deathrock incantations and I wholeheartedly concur. Layers upon layers build up to create a totality of sound, where most post-punk advocates investigate the sparseness of the genre, RAKTA veers away from that, creating an airless space out of dissonance and a complete wash of sound, wild vocals over doomed and danceable auralscapes. So sick!
EX-CULT – “Midnight Passenger” LP (Goner) A stark attack, reflecting lean cruel times; a paranoid, skulking sound with a total speed-for-blood road movie feel; lyrics read like a dime store novel circa 1965, a noir-ish effect enhanced by their economical use of words, desolate landscapes and plummeting human experiences adding to the feel. The music is claustrophobic, with dense layers of guitars and rhythm creating a back to mono punk savagery. Relentless and swaggering, putting the punk back in the garage, this is a taut, high tension sound that mines from fifty different punk ideals.
RUNNERS UP: HUMAN ABFALL – “Tanztee Von Unten” LP (Sounds of Subterrania) / IVY – LP (self-released) / TERCER MUNDO – LP (Cintes Pepe) / LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS – “Collection” LP (Erste Theke Tonträger) / BUCK BILOXI AND THE FUCKS – “Culture Demanufacturer” LP (Total Punk) / NUN – LP (Aarght) / JUANITA Y LOS FEOS –LP (La Vida Es Un Mus) / SHOPPING – “Consumer Complaints” LP (Milk) FARANG – 12” / TRASH KIT – “Confidence” LP (What’s Your Rupture) / PRIESTS – LP (Don Giovanni)
EPs and 45s:
PANG – “Young Professionals” EP (Grazer) I heard a rumor this record wasn’t going to come out, as PANG broke up as all the good ones are wont to do… but the universe prevailed, the fans recoiled in horror and here it is, blowin’ apart society as we know it. Or rather my brains and internal organs were reordered. I have waxed eternal about the genius sounds created by this group enough in these pages, but it’s all true, their genius is eternal, and must be expounded upon! Picture MAGAZINE as all female group, ENO obsessed art school types crafting perfect nerve-y pop at the snap of a finger. Or maybe picture four maniac WIRE fans destroying all art and culture in one 45. This is better than GIRLS AT OUR BEST!
NOTS-Fix/Modern 45 (Goner) Further dada-punk destruction outta Memphis, NOTS will ruin you. More gassed in the garage than the first 45 but if you want total kicks, total action, a record that signifies that now is the time, or rather what now is next, then play this on repeat until it all falls into place! Fervent and furious.
SHEER MAG – “What You Want” EP (Wilsons RC) How to write about a record that is indefinably great, that sounds like good classic rock, but is also scrappy and real like a basement punk band?! It’s low down, mean and eternal, street smart, wild, desperate and assured… And what a voice! I keep thinking this is a power pop record, but not power pop in that vile Power Pearls wimpy milk shit manner, it’s tough city street stomp, “All I do is sit and cry / Living in the city and I don’t know why.” Capturing the dirty summer in the city feeling; couldn’t be anywhere but here, oh but I gotta leave right now or I’m gonna lose it. “Hard Loving” and “What You Want” are the scene stealers for me. Low fidelity end of the summer sounds for troublemakers and broken hearts everywhere. Gimme more.
MYSTIC INANE – “Deep Creep” EP This features at least one ex-NECRO HIPPIE going off in a fried hardcore SACCHARINE TRUST vs. SPIKE IN VAIN wormhole, total tripper maniac sound! Both songs on the A-Side will have you doin’ the creepy crawl round your room in an uncontrollable fashion, so classic and venomous and sick! Candice’s guitar sound brings to mind so many of the greats, eerie and nihilistic and true, formed in a cave somewhere beneath the CRUCIFUCKS and RUDIMENTARY PENI. The vocalist has a death sneer like JACK BREWER meets MARK E. SMITH and even KEITH MORRIS... The rhythm section is tireless and doomed, and fuck, this record is great! The B-side is like slowed down syrupy NEOS.
RAKTA – “Tudo Que É Sólido/Serpente” 45 (Dama da Noite / Nada Nada Discos / La Vida Es Um Mus / 540) Continuing their penchant for creative expansion, avoiding cliché and aiming for the hypnotic over the predictable path… Transcendental, almost MALARIA! like sickness!
GIORGIO MURDERER – “Primitive World” EP (Goner) Post-apocalyptic synth-infused basement punk anthems for dislocated garbage brains, this sounds like it was recorded in 1983 by a maniac-minded miscreant with only dollar store synthesizers and garage sale guitars. All of the songs are insanely catchy and malevolent, and last approximately a minute each. Perfect! What more could you want? Nihilistic Oscar the Grouch destruction sounds. There’s even a spoken word number for all you beatniks…
PIECE WAR – “Apathy” 10” (Epic Sweep) This is a frustrating one to write about because it came out in an edition of 30 lathe cut only, I mean thirty! C’mon! And guess who didn’t manage to get one. I have heard a US label is attempting a reissue so there is hope! Doomed New Zealand punk that I can’t stop listening to, reminds me of GUN OUTFIT and the WIPERS, powerful and sincere, stark and beautiful. So fucking great.
PIG DNA – “Control You Fucker” EP (Night Rider) Apart from being the Bay Area’s only living punk band, PIG DNA have taken it upon themselves to destroy the concepts of punk, noize, music, the internet, good art, bad art, insects, the patriarchy, the government and whatever else you got. Total incendiary sounds, formed in the furious underbelly of noize not music, but this grouping of humans has personality. They swiftly dispense of the problem many practicing this style of music suffer from, that of being a boring clone. The drumming is a manic cloud of fury and enchantment that the rest of the band build upon eloquently and destructively, feedback adding to the totality of experience rather than just being another weak signifier. The artwork and lyrics are further evidence that what is happening here should be studied, expounded upon and used to prevent boredom and settling for second best. The lyrics to the song “Fly” say it better than anything my puny mind could come up with “Oh / You like that shit / Don’t You? / Bad Taste / Shit liker.” I need a PIG DNA t-shirt, mouth guard, breast plate, bubble gum card set, flick knife etc etc Watching them play is the coolest, but if you are not able to do that right now, buy this record instead and shut yourself in a windowless room and play it over and over and over. Nothing is real. America’s only punk band, with the only record that came out in 2014.
PRIMETIME – “Tied Down” EP (La Vida Es Un Mus) If you feel unsure just listen to the title track over and over again and then it will all make sense. Sounds like they could have supported the SLITS but so much cooler and more hilarious than the DELTA 5 or AU PAIRS ever were.
DESTRUYE Y HUYE – “Oscura Sociedad” EP (Verdugo Discos) I was so psyched on this when I got it for review I immediately sent off for a copy of my own. Super sick rudimentary ULTIMO RESORTE style ragers from LA, the insert/lyric sheet poster looks like something that woulda come out with an LA punk band circa 1982, eternal and classic ruckus.
RUNNERS UP: PURA MANIA – both EPS (CVR)/ HYSTERICS – “Can I Live” EP (M’Ladys) / IN SCHOOL – “Praxis of Hate” EP (Kill Test) / BIG ZIT – “Electric Zit Vol. 1” EP (Not Normal) / OOZE – “Big Angry” EP (Not Normal) / LA MISMA– “Arete” EP (Toxic State) / DOWNTOWN BOYS – 45 (Sister Polygon) / LAS VENAS – EP / LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS 45 / FRAU – “Punk Is My Boyfriend” EP (Static Shock) / UNA BÈSTIA INCONTROLABLE- “Nou Món” 45 (Iron Lung)
So many reissues punk is a nostalgic parade: ELECTRIC EELS – all items!/ OWEN MAERCKS “Teenage Sex Therapist” LP / BIKINI KILL – “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah” LP / SLANT 6 – “Soda Pop*Rip Off” LP / SIN 34 – “Do You Feel Safe?” / BOBBY SOXX – 45 /MICHAEL PSYCHO – LP / C.O.M.A – LP/ AUTISTIC BEHAVIOR – LP / CODE BMUS-12″ / CURTIS SEALS / CHRISTIAN D’ORBIT-split 45 / CRIME – “Murder By Guitar” LP / THE SHIVVERS-LP / PLASTIX – “Konsumier Mich” EP / X_X – “Sticky Fingers” LP / DISHRAGS – LP / AMADOTS – LP/ SHOES THIS HIGH – LP / CRISIS 2xLP / REMAREMA – 45 / NEO PUNKZ 45x2 / HUMAN ERROR – LP
KILLER TAPES Coneheads / Penny Machine / Family Outing / Vial / Nandas / The Stops / Cool Bands comp esp CCTV trax / Hagface / Timmy Vulgar /Wet Drag / Slender

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mid Year Report

I have pretty much ceased writing for MRR in the columns dept, this is partially bc of a brutal case of writer's block I am currently afflicted with (tho I still review records every month so if you are totally desperate to read my sordid opinions you can read them in black and white newsprint...) I am thinking about turning some of the older columns into a zine/book, not sure if I will, but am actually working on a fanzine too... with interviews!

This is a list I made last month of my mid year JAM REPORT/most of the things you can click on and listen/I was gonna write reports on each release but I lost the will to live after embedding half of  the stupid bandcamps etc I made this list in July, and am adding the following to it: new Life Stinks 45 on total punk,I forgot the other stuff I was going to add (see section on losing will to live).If you click on the band name most will lead to you a bandcamp/listening opportunity. other wise use your intuition


pang-young professionals EP (perfect post eno post punk sounds, like magazine was all girls, dreamiest record of the year... great tragedy they broke up! all in new bands already tho...)
nots-fix/modern 45 (Kleenex meets the Urinals in Memphis? in short another perfect 45 followin on from the perfection of their last. Can't wait for the LP)

la misma-EP on toxic state (think this is sold out but distros probs still have it)

in school-Praxis-EP
multiple man-Body Double/Surface Roads 45
coolies-punk is bread-EP
southern comfort (tho I preferred their 45 from last year)
black lagoon-oxygen EP
red red krovvy
courtneys-lost boys
dark beach
oily boys

watery love
east link
low life
total control
good throb
apathy-war peace
rakta (2013? but Timmy has reissued it)
flesh world (also dec 2013?)
ex cult
lowest form
brain f≠
Juanita y los feos

electric eels 45
x_x LP
dishrags LP
autistic behavior LP
amadots LP
shoes this high 45
c.o.m.a LP
stigmathe 45
simply saucer 45
shivvers LP
crisis 2xLP
remarema 45
neo punkz 45s
human error LP
mary monday 45
alerta roja LP
christian d'orbit/curtis seals 45
Xerox LP

bands i wanna hear more of:
mansion (SF/OAK)
CCTV (Northern indiana scene is insane)
family outing (lond)
witching waves (london)
nandas (NY)
Big Zit (NI)
Sheer Mag
While (rumored new band with Christina Bilotte?!)
Spider and the Webs

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

bazooka smooth

Skinned Teen in the Rough Trade Records basement 
hey I have some stock copies (sealed!) of my teenage band's LP for sale on my discogs page...
some dude wrote about us for the onion (PS that is not the band on our LP cover, our proper cover got rejected by the record label so we took a photo of a bunch of our friends hanging out in a grave yard)
someone wrote a wikipedia about it all too for some reason? how many more inane things can I put here? hmmm I am sure some other dudes have written about skinned teen? oh wait here is a thing I wrote for the BK website about skinned teen forming directly as a result of huggy bear/Bikini kill

Friday, February 21, 2014

2013 rocknroll (sung to the tune of GG's 1980s rocknroll) YEAR END TOP TEN TYME

Layla Gibbon

As always there were things I listened to relentlessly that didn’t make this list because of company policy (ie no records that were released by an indie but distributed by a major label conglomerate or you know, music that falls outside of the Maximum Rocknroll realm for musical reasons etc) and as always it is really hard to sum up a year of sound using words and… 

From the insane cover art to the sounds on the vinyl this is insidious genius; scrape your eyes out blood thirsty raw punk that hasn’t left my listening pile since I got it. Fucking sick sounds and the definition of punk, Violetta’s voice marking the end of time in musical format. If you dug the song she sang on the last RATAS DEL VATICANOS LP grab this ASAP!

Goofy charming CLEAN tribute record by three women who write the most ridiculous ("You're a big big dog on a small small blanket" BEST!) yet heartfelt lyrics over music that makes me feel the same way I do after listening to LOOK BLUE GO PURPLE’s “Cactus Cat.” Sound of the summer, and of skating with your friends, aimless and fearless.

Their demo tape was one of the best of the decade for me, I was nervous about the LP, because you know, recording studios and vinyl can’t help but make things more professional and tidy… But the LP rules, sick HC by an all female group that brings to mind the song “Explode” by VOID, a rare and noble feat. They rule and this record demonstrates that fact.

Oakland’s only band. Protection against being the only women on the last train home. Will make you want to start a band with the meanest and coolest girls in town. Like LYDIA LUNCH formed a hardcore band, but is this HC? It is the most. You know that SLITS song “So Tough?” This is the answer to that question.

Yet another soundtrack to the end of the world: creative destruction, brutalist realism and a response to our endtimes capitalist degradation in musical form; doesn’t feel like a lecture, feels like an invitation to the apocalypse.

Songs about making fanzines and mixtapes, but also about spitting on the pope, the disdainful vocals espousing ideas we can all get behind. UKDIY style like the best post DESPERATE BICYCLES sounds, stuck in a stormy English seaside town making dreary yet dreamy sounds reflecting our dreams both crushed and hopeful… This was a tape but now it’s an LP. Get it or regret it!

Somewhere between the dirge/Xpressway that seems to have infected all Australian music of interest as of recent times and the UKDIY spiel of the first LP. A good place to be stuck.

Sparse reflections on a certain reality, sort of somewhere between YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS and the RAINCOATS with some added early EMBARRASMENT maybe? It’s got the sound of radical feminist punk of the ’70s, smart art school girls making nervous deconstructed punk music for other nervous girls ready to deconstruct society / punk etc.

Droning monotone yowl that sounds ideal on good headphones when it feels like there’s no solution; like a slow motion ROYAL TRUX playing early CHROME, downers and doubt.

POTTY MOUTH combine the melancholic BRATMOBILE songs with the force of early DINOSAUR JR, Homestead Records rather than K Records ya know? CRAZY BAND sound like suburban car park boredom, basement bands, underage cheap beer, in short skate for fun or not at all. Somewhere between JFA and XRAY SPEX. I couldn’t pick between these two acts.


All the ingredients for my ideal 45; KLEENEX girls with a super slight garage lean… Really tough without being a pose, really cool without being a put on. A tough balance to catch, but the band I am most excited to hear more 45s from on this list… Vicious / rambunctious: NOTS has the formula down. Cyclotron-core.

My most listened to record. Another close to perfect 45 for 2013. I am not a huge proponent of the post-punk tinged darkwave / deathrock revival that the punk hordes are creating and consuming, but this record somewhat exists in that context, but it’s miles away from the trite revivalists. Watching PLEASURE LEFTISTS play was transformational. Sound of industrial landscapes in ruin, with more post-Thatcher’s Britain dissolute aftermath of punk than deathrock, like NEW ORDER’s first 45 not CHRISTIAN DEATH. Haley is an amazing front person, sort of IAN CURTIS frantic style in terms of visuals and vocals… Her voice is so cool, like the woman from PYLON meets the aforementioned JOY DIVISION vocalist, hints of chanson too, so insane and rad. I could imagine this band playing with MALARIA! or at the Hacienda. Cleveland.

The EASTLINK 45s that came out last year were from a 2012 tape… Great trebled out synth / guitar thug punk, like a JG Ballard book in 45 form. Metal machine music. Sense of humor / sense of style and further evidence that Australians are making the best sounds; can’t fucking wait for the LP on In the Red this year.

Like MEKONS meets CRISIS. The guitar line is like a bullet, wired and insurgent, the vocalist intones of public transit crowds complaining about a Trans person’s suicide fucking up their commute; the inconvenience and brutality of every day life / griping humanity in a perfect under three minute punk number. Made by ex-members of bands you might have records by, and more demonstration that London is the place right now for punkers…

Intellectual lunks, reminiscent of ancient times Cleveland / Detroit, but from current day San Francisco. San Francisco’s only? The sound of too much drugs / fast food / nihilistic literature / TV; clumps along like a Quaalude and makes for the ideal 45.

Watching this band play was revelatory / incendiary. Liberation and fuck you all in one. Like JOHN BRANNON was a woman and NO TREND was a hardcore band from London. So sick.

This singer of this band has a similar languid vocal tone to Justine from ELASTICA, and the music makes me think of all the bands that formed after hearing ROXY MUSIC, mixed with UV RACE / TOTAL CONTROL and some sorta Messthetics radness. I got so obsessed with this I made someone send me their unreleased tracks (they broke up! Such a bummer), and now I hear those songs are coming out on a 45 and they are playing one more show. Seriously, so cool. Like my birthday everyday.

Savage PUSSY GALORE deconstruction from Australia, girl is out for blood and it’s as brutal as the first BABES IN TOYLAND record but with no grunge, just fuck you punk in a more gassed in the garage rumble with TEENAGE JESUS or something. Sick as hell.

The best FLATMATES / SHOP ASSISTANTS / BUBBLEGUM YELL update from a band that’s usually operating under very different color schemes. The singer’s voice is so cool, makes me wish this band always sounded like this…

Perfect punk/pop for mod rockers, somewhere between the GOBETWEENS and SUBWAY SECT… Brighton alleyways and Crystal Palace leylines.



KAOS - Betonska Djeca LP
DIVISION FOUR-1983 Demo Cassette-12
EGO SUMMIT-The Room Isn’t Big Enough-LP


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

mental violence

a photo on your wall is a record of the past of things you had forgotten of things that couldn't last now that things are different a moment on your own brings back memories and the thoughts will make you crave for old friends some of them you see sometimes some of them are dead don't forget the bad times you swore not to forget the anger, mental violence the worries and the threats sometimes it's nice to see people who used to be really close to you now you've escaped from your dependence don't get another dose

Monday, October 21, 2013

is it all over my face

The idea of writing sometimes is so repulsive. What is more gruesome than rock journalism? Some choad emptying their bowels on an unsuspecting audience, explaining the sound, outlining intentions, tellin’ it like it is brothers and sisters. Is there anything more grim than journaling or personal confessional pieces, a supposed arduous journey on which you found something of yourself and managed to put it on the page nice and neatly, an arc like storyline tying everything together, containing the trials and troubles experienced like packaging tape. I work at a San Francisco literary landmark, and we frequently have readings at said literary landmark, sometimes it’s an occasion, say a certain insurrectionary Hungarian writer, someone whose work shifts landscapes and disturbs mindsets. But most of the time it’s a line up of local luminaries opining and whining, the same vocal tones employed in word delivery, the same shit eventually emerging, the over use of the word I, here it is, my story, for you but mostly for me! Listening to these voices makes me want to contain all my thoughts and ideas. To refrain from inflicting more bad art and feelings on an imagined audience. Just the manner in which these people read their work makes me want to vomit, makes me feel like a surly teenager who just can’t fucking stand it, the most corny of stances, Holden Caulfield as a woman in her thirties. Grim! But spoken word! Is there anything more wretched? The performance of nothing, the tropes and routines employed by these dismal soul patches. Yet another personal narrative diving into the depths of dissatisfaction and inanity, a kitchen sink drama, a horrible childhood all rendered with the subtlety of a mime troupe. It fills me with such horror that I am adding to the garbage pile. Not that I think of myself as a fine writer by any stretch, but over the course of two years of working at my job, listening to some of the most turgid self indulgent bile, it makes you want to throw in the towel somewhat… Reading old columns I have written for MRR is sometimes painful; I can feel the stress and insanity behind the tired words, especially when I was coordinating the magazine, at one point I wanted to make a zine of some of my columns, but… rereading them is work enough! (If you want to you can digest the entire series in one sitting at and no I don’t even own any Articles of Faith recordings! What a poser. I like the phrase but prefer the music of Silver Abuse in terms of Chicago sounds of that era).
Punk is DIY, making your own culture, whether that’s making music, writing fanzines, all the other aspects of culture you can participate in as a punker, and I am not insinuating that because I am no Andre Gide there is no point in me writing at all… Nor am I saying that I think I am part of the wretched personal journey narrators that haunt my workplace. I am sure there are people reading this that would align my words into that school. There has been a push in recent years to move away from the dreaded “per-zine” dredge and unfortunately for this reader (who mostly finds perzines as vile as the aforementioned spoken word enunciators) this has mostly meant a million boring zines full of boring people writing boring things about boring music. There are a few who have stuck out (Brendon Annesley (RIP) and DX are the obvious ones, I would add some of the writers I hired to write columns for this mag, Viktor, Alex Ratcharge, Shiva, Sam, Bryony… a few Midwestern zine writers I am too lazy to go over to my zine pile to dig through and get names…) Rock criticism, music criticism ultimately has the same effect, anyone can do it, and they will so watch your fucking back. Read say, Patti Smith writing in Creem, or Lester Bangs, or Ellen Willis or Tobi Vail, Joe Carducci, read old Forced Exposures, Charlotte Pressler’s writing about the early Cleveland punk scene, and then go read some random music review website. A punk one; that “guy that used to work in a record store but now holds down an office job and writes about noiserock in his home office,” or a mainstream blog rocker one… All these confident casual opinions streaming 24 hours a day relentlessly like air conditioning in an Arizona mall; it feels like a never ending tape loop of the most banal, and again who wants to contribute to the deluge?! People aim for Lester Bangs or maybe more cerebral blogrocker types, Greil Marcus, but much like the pummeling stream of woeful tiki bar attendees and sorority sisters buying Bukowski all day at my work, dreams do not pan out and reality is a lot more painful and difficult to get through.
A long and labored diatribe about why I stopped; when I was writing my columns as coordinator for the most part I was unhappy with their contents.  Running the magazine is so exhausting, a relentless treadmill of woe, and who wants to read about that?! I wrote about it a lot however! Endlessly. If you browse the archive you will witness this fact. Trying to figure out how to write for kicks was part of my vision for post-MRR life as a deadbeat with no future or plans. So here is the personal journey part of my story arc I guess? Barf! I am not sure if I will keep writing a regular column, but I am working on a fanzine and you can email me Layla at and I will keep you updated on that in the distant future when it’s more than a mess of late nights and smeared eyes. Writing from a state of malaise, diffident alienation and so on, in the face of fifty million wannabe Keroaucs who just have to do it or their soul will be all parched.
Sometimes it feel like punk is stuck on a late night rerun binge, a relentless parade of images and snatches of past events reconfigured in less and less interesting ways. Things that seemed absolutely life altering a few months ago suddenly seem tired and dull, losing their shape or meaning. Why is one group of lunkheaded brutalists privileged over another, why does everyone look like extras from a pre-fame Michael J Fox movie or a Sears catalogue man circa 1954?! A long list of boring constructions, with a few bursts of excitement making the rest seem like it’s worth sticking around for?! There’s always something there to remind me.
1) Lose 7” on Subterranean 2) First two Pere Ubu 7”s 3) Lori and the Chameleons – “Touch” and Dorothy – “IConfess” 45s 4) Rosa Yemen – “Herpes Simplex” 5) Electric Eels – “Crummy Fags” 6) anticipation of new releases this fall from Hysterics and Household 7) PleasureLeftists live and 45 on repeat 8) End Result cassettes finally getting reissued!? 9) Magits 10) Flesh World 12” out soon on La Vida Es Un Mus! Oh andHoax live in a cave by my house?!  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

this month's players bw check out my sick html layout

  pleasure leftists! best THIS HEAT! peel sessions are their best roland kirk plays to the animals in the zoo and john cage rides a roundabout HOW TO GET RICH IN ROTTERDAM need this record if anyone wants to send me one this is the best felt record ELECTRIC EELS!!!!!!!!!! all u need to listen to for the rest of time

I don't know if you can listen to this band online but their tape RULES midwest HC is destrukkkkktive right now

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


reading material 2013 so far (only listing incendiary titles that were unputdownable)

ASTRAGAL-albertine sarrazin (if you like Genet and want to read a 1960s french/algerian criminal girl version this will be the one you need. like a steak needs a black eye!)
SAVAGE MESSIAH-laura oldfield ford-a former early 80s anarcho punk girl with a fetish for skinhead boys walks in high heels through the ruins of london brutalism, mapping out a path for dislocated youth. one of those things you can hardly believe exists as you are reading it as it is too perfect, chem trails of dissonance drugs and chaos, theory and destruction
MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN SARAGOSSA- Jan Potocki-I saw the movie first and it blew my mind, but one of my coworkers said the book was better and he was right. absolute insanity! not able to explain just read it.
FLAMETHROWERS-Rachel Kushner-That's Entertainment! One of those books you whip thru like a speed freak, easy to read but about young girls navigating conceptual art in the post warhol NY of the 70s, speed racing on the Nevada Salt Flats, Italian communist revolution, futurists... young girl protagonist inserted into arenas said girls never get to run around makes for kick fueled read. fast fascists
SPEEDBOAT-Renata Adler-a devastating incision into the cultured life, joan didion with more cruel humor. Gonna read pitch dark next
BLOW UP-Julio Cortazar-I picked this up when I worked at another bookstore and it sat on my shelf for years, wasted time. so so so good.
Opium-Cocteau-as with most books about drug use this is also about cultural production/capitalism/literature as lifeboat and death knell and I wish I could recommend it to all the choads who come into my work asking where our non existing self-help section is.
OUT OF THE VINYL DEEPS-ellen willis. feminist rock criticism that is exciting to read from the lester bangs era?! yeah. seriously. it exists.

books that I started that I had to put down BUT WILL FINISH BEFORE 2013 IS OVER/am currently reading-not listing books that were too wretched to finish of which there were two, both new releases.
Against the Day-Thomas Pynchon (fantastical but too heavy to carry to work every day)
Troia-Bonnie Bremser, one of the most brutal books I have read. hard to process. young woman puts herself on the line for her junkie beat husband. the sort of thing you have to come up for air from esp if reading as a female. what life is like for those that miss out on the mythic beat museum blurt and get trampled in the dirt

I feel like I didn;t read enough this year somehow!? head in the clouds lost my focus.