Progress Report

The following things are happening:

  • I got a really long stapler for Xmas to enable the binding of the zine
  • Essentially finished my interview with Pink Eyes
  • Confirmation that I will be releasing copies of the new Germ Attak 7", Death to Cops, with the zine.
So yes, as I have been mentioning for the past 3 posts, blog activity has been scarce, but the zine is still thriving. I wanted to do a post about Christmas punk, not sure if its too late.

In my personal record life, I got a copy of Iron Maiden - Powerslave and Sleep - Dopesmoker for Xmas, along with a couple other records I already owned (I suck at keeping lists organized apparently). I have a bunch of records coming in the mail (from Forcefield, Free Cake, 1234 Go), and the anticipation/anxiety will be the death of me.

From the Pink Eyes interview:

Q: Are there any records that scared you somehow the first time you heard them or perhaps you just found them strange or intolerable, but are now an essential part of your collection?

A: Oh yeah! I hated Integrity the first time I heard them and now they are one of my favorite bands. I remember going over to this dude in Toronto house to buy the Turning Point 7" and seeing a poster of Poison Idea on the wall and laughing at the fact that they had a guy called Pig in the band. I used to just ignore any record with a synth on it when I was digging for obscure records and now I kick myself for doing that.  G.I.S.M. was another band I didn't get at first.


A Quick Update

Posts have been sparse, mostly because this is the worst time of the year for school work. Anyway, update on the zine portion. I was aiming at having this out in  January. This is still totally doable, but I'm  going to push it back to sometime in February, because this zine will be released with a 7", and it just takes a while to get those in.

In the mean time, rather than reading my ramblings about records, check out the new post on Looking For Gold about Fucked Up's new singles collection, Couple Tracks. It's pretty entertaining. You'll see in the photo below the sleeves for the singles included, but some of these don't actually exist... it's all explained in the post.


Chris Colohan (Cursed) Collects

Chris Colohan has a great blog, many great bands past and new, and what must be an expansive record collection.

One of his bands, Burning Love, just completed a UK tour about a month ago. Here's a quick rundown of the BL discography. They recorded a demo tape which was released through Nervehold Records. That sold relatively quickly, and on a Canadian East Coast tour (sold out when they played Ottawa), they dubbed more copies in Montreal. For their UK tour it was pressed to a 7" by 30 Days of Night (Black/Grey/White ltd to 300 and Red/White ltd to 200). That brings us to the present, but the future will be prosperous. They're in cahoots with Deranged to bring a domestic copy of that demo 7", a single for "Don't Ever Change" with a Nick Cave cover on the B-side, and an LP. There's also a potential split 5" in the works with Rot In Hell (haven't heard them but they look like a Holy Terror band, so could be cool), but it's a little unclear who is releasing that.

Anyways, the point of this post was to point out that Chris just updated his blog, where he talks about his record scores from the UK tour. An eclectic mix for sure.


Post Nazi Germany is Great

When imports are brought up, I think most people would think of two things. Crazily expensive (it must be because of the shipping...) Japanese imports with those weird cardboard panels with all the Japanese letters, and the mandatory 3 B Sides that no one in any other hemisphere got. And then there's boring UK imports, which are generally CDs of dumb bands that people buy in malls. Rather than a cool panel like the Japanese have with cool writing, some bald sticker with some Helvetica ripoff typeface proclaims: UK Import. Boring.

I don't know about other music, but it seems like in the underground scene, there's a lot of cool German pressings of stuff. I guess they're not imports, but I import them through the power of eBay I guess. Here's a select few.

Minor Threat's Out of Step EP or LP, I don't even know what to classify it, was pressed in the UK (not all UK stuff is boring I guess) as well as Germany. The trademark blue/turquoise stripe gets a green treatment, and recommended price is a very fair 12 DM (Deutsch Marks). The UK has similar changes; red stripe and £2.50 . What makes the German pressing superior to the others is the song titles are listed in German. Ex: Betray becomes Verraten. How bad ass is that? Despite being a German pressing, this remains on Dischord.

Black Flag had a few albums pressed in Germany on what is possibly the coolest label name ever: Aggressive Rockproduktionen. Everything Went Black is pretty cool for a few reasons. First of all, one thing that pisses me off about this album, is that most versions say Everything Went Black on the cover, and then the spine says Everything Went to Black. SST has got to get their shit together like Aggressive Rockproduktionen, who got it right both times. This is also a double LP, but it's a gatefold, with lyrics and pictures of other Aggressive Rockproduktionen releases. The back is similar to the normal one, with a Black Flag bio, but this one is in German. I wonder if the translation is decent or not.

This last one is something I saw on eBay that I don't own, but would like to. The Gorilla Biscuits self titled 7" was apparently pressed on a 12" in Germany. Has the original pressing's lighter blue lettering, and a full size insert, that looks different from the 7" version. Maybe I'll bid hard and include a better writeup for the zine. Speaking of the zine, it will feature other cool German pressings, so you can't always rely on this online garbage as being complete. These photos were garbage, so expect much better photos in the zine that won't result in way too much flash.

Shout out to Soural


I Aint Got Time For This School

Lack of updates is not due to a lack of interest. Rather it is because I have had a lot of school work with it being the end of the semester.

So as a quick post I'm going to plug this new band Virgin Witch. Cool name with even better songs. They are releasing a one sided 7" (screened B side) on Free Cake. It's limited to 666 copies, with the first 100 preorders being special somehow, I think mostly just different colourways. But it doesn't really matter, because those are all gone. This has been on preorder for a long time, with an anticipated release of Halloween, but they didn't make it. It's being screened right now, so should be ready soon. Anyway, you can listen to one song which rips, and has an amazing blitz of a solo here. Id also like to mention that the lyrics are awesome, and the first two lines have been stuck in my head, but not in the kind of way where you want to get them out.

Sights unseen by my eyes
Sights that I recognize


Get in the Van - A Guide to Winnipeg

As everybody knows, road trips are great fun, and there are uncountable different reasons or excuses to leave your own boring city to experience the freshness of a new one. Yes, Ottawa has some great stuff going on within it, as I have uncovered in some previous posts, but sometimes it's just important to leave. How else are you supposed to realize how great you've had it? No matter what reason you had to initially leave your city, one of the highlights is (almost) always the record shopping in a strange city. Whether it's a city where you perused the bins countless times, but always months apart so they're always fresh to you, or a completely new city, where the record shop requires some exploring to find your genre, and further exploring within that bin. Even if nothing is found in this new bin, the experience was worth it.

To elaborate on my point, last winter, around New Years I was visiting family in Winnipeg. I know lots of people will defend this city, and its apparently vibrant scene, but I find it to be mostly but dull and cold. I've never been to a show there though, so maybe it does, but I know it would not be worthy of living a day to day existence in Winnipeg. Anyway, despite this prejudice, I found some cool record stores, and these along with the records I bought would be the highlight of my trip. I also found some sub par record stores, but we'll just ignore those...

The first I went to was called Music Trader. It was a pretty cool shop, but heavier on the CDs than vinyl. They didn't have too much punk, but what they did have was pretty decent. I scored a reissue of the class Government Issue - Make an Effort EP on Dr. Strange Records. The staff was also very friendly, and helped me locate some other stores more suited to my interest.

Next up was Into the Music. This was a fairly large shop, and from what I remember, even in stock between CDs and vinyl. They had a punk and metal section, but it was mostly new. Their used vinyl was mostly catered to the standard rock/pop stuff, but I doubt much rare punk comes through Winnipeg's shops, just as is the case in Ottawa. I didn't buy anything here, but the store was well laid out and I enjoyed browsing. They had some cool Misfits bootleg 7"s, but they were overpriced.

The last stop worthy of mentioning was War On Music. This shop has since changed locations, but hopefully it is still as cool as it was when I went. I came in shortly before close, so I was a bit rushed, but this shop is run by punks for the punk etc. They only carry punk releases, they have zines and other literature for sale, and they had an arcade machine. Apparently they also hold shows there. I bought a couple records here. First was a picture disc; Hard Skin - Hard Nuts and Hard Cunts on Broken Rekids. For the record, I'm not really into picture discs, but I was glad to own a Hard Skin record. I saw them open for Fucked Up in Toronto for their first and only Canadian show earlier that year and they were great. They didn't have any merch left except for a CD and a shopping bag that said "Shopping is for Cunts" or something like that. According to Wikipedia this album has sold over 100,000 copies, but I don't see how that's possible. Anyway, for anyone interested in hearing "a new wave of close shave," check it out. I felt awkward buying something with the word Cunts on it in front of my Uncle and baby cousin, but he didn't seem to mind. The next thing I found was Rabies - Final, a 7" released by Exterminator on grey marbled vinyl. I loved this band's first 7", but their LP, Test Your Might, was lackluster, as least in comparison to their singles. I got them to play it for me as I browsed and this 7" really rips, and its a shame it would be their last, as Final marks the end for this band. Anyone who is into nardcore along the lines of Annihilation Time and ANS would be into this. In fact it sounds a lot like Annihilation Time - I, with the different singer.


A Deranged Order

Most of the music I listen to came out between '77 and '86, so when a cool new band comes along I'm not always on the forefront of these things. I know there are lots of great new bands out there, and those of them that I like general sound like they fit in that given period, or at least were extremely influenced by it. So when I post little reviews or features, I'm not trying to be on the cutting edge, I'm just plugging something I like.

About a month ago I got an order in from the always amazing Deranged. Included were the Total Abuse LP on purple (the label on one side was all bubbly), the Urban Blight demo 7" I should have gotten a long time ago, the Brutal Knights new 12" EP Total Rebellion and the even newer (I think) Nomos 7".  I'll focus on the later two.

Excuse the horrible photo, it's one of the things that will be of more importance for the zine, when I retake them.

First though, I was skeptical of getting the Total Abuse LP. I had heard good things about it, but had also heard lots of bad things about the band themselves, and they had beef going with a band I really like, Seasick. The more powerful force that made me hesitate from getting it though was the fact that some friends of mine saw them and got the LP at the show for only $5. Id have to pay double that plus shipping... but once I saw it was available on coloured vinyl and I was planning on getting some other stuff from Deranged I went ahead and got it.

The new Brutal Knights release is great. Total Rebellion was initially released on P. Trash over in Europe to coincide with their Euro tour. Luckily Deranged had a couple of copies, and this was what really motivated this order. Sounds a bit different then other Brutal Knight records somehow, the vocals seem somewhat subdued or in the background. Still great though, and some really catchy songs such as "This is Electronics" and "Why the Beard?" make this a memorable release. I saw them play on Halloween at the Fucked Up weekend, and dressed as the "Brutal" California Raisins, they played one of the tightest sets I've ever seen them play, and they played both of the aforementioned songs.

This Nomos 7" is quite intriguing. It has that mysterious style of cover art that appears in many hardcore covers lately. There is no words anywhere, but rather a sticker on the plastic sleeve mentions the band name. Its surprisingly good, the music is noisy hardcore with some great slow parts, especially in the song "Pax." The recording is quite muddy and distorted, but if anything it adds to the sound, and falls in line with the mysterious aura they seem to be attempting to erect. It also makes sense since apparently this was originally done as a tape run of 100. Although the cover and the labels offer no information (I had to check the matrix to make sure I was playing side A first), the inside of the sleeve has lyrics, but little other information. The lyrical themes are what you'd expect; broad dwellings on suicide, religion and world's end, but don't get me wrong that's not a bad thing. Deranged put this on vinyl, and mine is white, but I don't know any numbers. Nomos were also supposed to play the Fucked Up Weekend, but couldn't make it to the border. I heard that the drummer or someone hadn't bothered getting a passport.


Enema of the Preorder

I wouldn't normally be one to get excited about any re-issues, but this is definitely something special. Considering this is the band that got me into punk, and punk got me into record collecting, it would be important to own these releases on vinyl. Well Blink 182's Dude Ranch and Enema of the State are being re-released, with a multitude of options. Enema of the State was the first CD of theirs I bought, and Dude Ranch is the obvious favourite, so I'm stoked that these were the two to get reissued. Enema of the State has 6 different colour options, each limited to 500. This album sold like 7 million units, so 3,000 copies will likely sell fast. Dude Ranch has a 180G black release, as well as three colour options, all of which limited to 500 again.

This preorder went live today, but they won't ship until January 12th, so no Christmas gifts here.

Rude Awakenings

Record collecting is no doubt something that has the potential to quickly escalate into a dangerous obsession. Like from drug addictions and women, this obsession can creep its way into the subconscious and reappear in our dreams. I'm not sure whether to call these instances of delusions welcomed good dreams, or hellish nightmares. Like many nightmares, which recur, there is always the same mythical record shop in my dreams, in an unknown city which seems to be laid out similar to downtown Victoria. I seem to associate die cut picture discs hung all over the walls. They carry a lot of punk and alternative music, but its split up and arranged in some unknown sporadic manner, and whenever I think I'm finished shopping, I find a new bin.

My most memorable dream of this record store was finding Minor Threat - Out Of Step, but an old Canadian pressing, with a maple leaf on the lower front cover. I guess I should also mention that I have almost every pressing of this record, including the UK and German import. This Canadian pressing was obviously a huge deal, not only because I didn't own it, but I didn't even realize that it existed. Once I woke up, I was delirious, and it wasn't clear whether I found it, owned it, or if a Canadian pressing even existed. Once I began to reach full consciousness, I realized that there was no Canadian pressing, and I didn't own it. Rude, rude awakening.

A more recent dream was set in a Value Village. Normally, in conscious reality, I don't have the patience to flip through the bins, but in this subconscious paradise, I found a sealed copy of some rare New York Dolls record, which also doesn't exist, but had a colour scheme similar to this Tom Petty record. Remember, dreams don't need to make sense. Anyways, the clever record collectors at Value Village were aware of the value of this record and had it priced at 49 dollars. I peeled off that price tag and found a tag underneath listed at 2 dollars. Bingo bingo bango.

Working on this zine project has been quite exciting for me, and constantly brainstorming new ideas has made me toss and turn in bed unable to sleep. I recently sold some rare NOFX records, 8 of the original 7" of the month club releases on colour. The guy I sold them to referred to these records as his white whale, the ones that had been keeping him up at night.

All in all, it seems records are unhealthy to anyone attempting to maintain a regular sleep pattern.


Perhaps if I just read this very nice magazine it will all go away

This will one day be a zine, which I hope you know by now. So in keeping with this theme, as a continuation from the poster post, and perhaps encouraged by the Going Gaga split I talked about yesterday, this post will be about records that come with zines of some form. The theme is zines but really it's just an excuse to talk about a couple records specifically. Wouldn't it be neat if I reversed this power structure and released a 7" with this zine? I'm thinking about it and exploring various roads that could lead to this ambitious goal. But onto a few zines!

First of all, there's the Going Gaga comp. I talked about this yesterday, but essentially this comp comes with a short zine in which each band designed a page. A pretty awesome concept, but to be honest I think some of the bands could have put a bit more effort into it. Come on guys, create a brand, take lessons from Stalin and create a cult of personality. There are avenues leading to mind control beyond your musical format.

Next up, while were talking about bands that have already been covered, is the Dead Kennedys. Specifically the album in question is Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death. There's quite a bit to say about this from a release stand-point. It was the last release to be approved of by Jello, and thus the last to be released on Alternative Tentacles, before all the legal bullshit between the band (as if they hadn't already suffered enough in the courtroom already). At first glance it seems like a sort of greatest hits compilation, but it is actually different versions of album songs, or completely new songs altogether. The title follows the theme of their whole work, as a compilation would, and ties in nicely with what was said earlier about the poster for Fresh Fruit. Apparently this album has gone gold in the US (500,000 copies), as well as gold in the UK (100,000 copies) making it their best selling release. Woah, this is mind blowing to me. That is an insane amount of records, for any band, and if I had to guess, I would have assumed that Fresh Fruit had landed the gold status.

When I bought this at Vertigo, I bought it for two reasons: it was the Dead Kennedys, and it must have been an older press because it was on Alternative Tentacles without a bar code. When I got somewhere safe and opened it up, surprise after surprise began to hit me. With all the excitement at Vertigo, I didn't even check the status of the record. Boy oh boy, what a sheen, perfectly clean. But what's this? Oh no big deal, just a twenty year old zine hidden inside the sleeve entitled Domestic violence week begins. Just from the front page you know this zine is a hilarious slice of satire. "A sunny day when bodies cam from the sky," and in a small typeface "Perhaps if I just read this very nice magazine it will all go away." Each page of the zine gets a page, with some of the more important songs getting a full two page spread treatment. Like the poster, its mostly collage art to go along with lyrics, but this time it's very much focused song to song. The page for "Holiday in Cambodia" is labelled as a special travel feature. This zine was printed on some newsprint sort of paper, so it has yellowed with age, and it smells like vintage. This was not the last surprise of this dandy of a release though. Ol' Jello himself thought that 15 tracks on the LP weren't enough, so the original release gets a flexi thrown in. This is the only flexi in my collection, and having never seen one before, I wasn't even sure what it was. But it plays, and it plays great. The songs on the flexi share a page in the zine. The final touch is the original mail order card still intact, white as the day it was printed.

Next up is a compilation I found this summer in Montreal at Sonik Records along with a bunch of other great LPs. Another Canadian Comp with a zine, Smash the State Volume Three is a compilation of Canadian punk circa 1978-82, i.e. when Punk ruled hardest. This was released on No Exit records in 1999 I believe. This series started as a book of an entire discography of Canadian punk from the era, and included a bonus 7". They then did 3 volumes of comps, but these comps were different from the KBD comps these bands were initially associated with because they were not single songs, but the entire 7", and they were authorized to be reproduced. It is clear a lot of work went into all of these releases. According to the zine, volume three was over three years in the making. How do you even track down band members from that long ago? Who holds rights to the music? It's hard enough to come by these releases as it is, and even these comps are scarce.

Volume three features eight bands, including two from Ottawa. From Ottawa it feature the Bureaucrats Feel the Pain and the Red Squares Ottawa Today other bands are Gentlemen of Horror, Siggy Magic and the Hey-Hoe Band, Allies, Discords, Reaction, and Da Slyme. The zine is extremely in depth and impressive, as I mentioned, a lot of effort went into this. I'll focus on the parts about Ottawa bands. The Bureaucrats, get two pages with a quick history, basically explaining how punk they were, especially since the Sidwell brothers were from England, and lived there for the '77 explosion. So no, that is not a fake accent. Neat fact: 1,000 copies of their single was pressed, but apparently they only printed off a few hundred sleeves. The Red Squares get three pages worth of press, with their own quick history. Members of this band were also in England for the punk 'splosion. Their single must be impossible to collect all the variations of. 500 were pressed, but the labels were reversed. Some labels were xacto'd and reglued on the proper sides. The cover was supposed to be red on a green background, but it came out orange on yellow, of which 250 sleeves were made. 80 were made with a completely different sleeve advertising the B side rather than Ottawa today on colour xerox, and 50 of these were sent to England. Who knows what the rest look like.

Recently there's been some talk about a Bureaucrats reunion, and someone was wondering if these two bands had ever played together. According to this zine they surely did, multiple times, even outside of the city. It can be seen from the short histories provided that there were many links and similarities between the bands aside from their geography. Both were in England for the birth of Punk, both were considered house bands for the Rotters club, and both seem to have singles without sleeves. Well I guess this comp and zine excuse were a great way to talk about Ottawa punk in a strange abstract way.

I was planning on going over some other records with zines, but I took up more space with these ones than I had anticipated, so this will suffice.

On a final note, another old Ottawa punk band, The Action (who are listed in the Smash the State discography) are playing two reunion shows on November 28 and 29 at the Dom.


New Arrivals

Picked up some new records today. First on this list, but last chronologically is the new AFI, "Crash Love." Keeping this one short and sweet, it's a flashy full cover gatefold cover, with lyrics on the inside. Despite being a gatefold, it's a single LP pressed at 180G. Controversial opinion: "Decemberunderground" > "Crash Love". But I will maintain that Medicate is better than Miss Murder (which sucks).

Earlier in the day I met up with Ian Manhire, the busy man behind Going Gaga, who also plays with amazing local acts The Sedatives and The White Wires (probably other bands I'm not aware of as well). He's probably gonna read this and wonder why these band names aren't in caps. I got two LPs off him, the first is The Sedatives new LP, which is eponymous. Despite this band being local to Ottawa, they don't keep things local. In other markets, they just played a Euro tour, which I heard was a surprisingly great success from their guitarist Emmanuel, who happens to run a great blog about Ottawa happenings. For this tour they also released a 7" on a German label, Taken By Surprise records. Go get this screened cover 7" from Vertigo like I did. I'm off track though, because I'm supposed to be talking about their LP, which was released by Deranged out of Vancouver. In my opinion, Deranged is one of the best labels to put out punk in the last 5 years or more. With a roster including Fucked Up, Brutal Knights, Career Suicide, Statues and Nitad, you know they didn't pick up Sedatives by mistake. This LP rips, but there's nothing too special about the release itself to talk about in this forum.

Secondly, is the Going Gaga comp. This is a compilation of 15 Ottawa bands, put out by a local label. If this were to get any more local they'd have to form a union or something. Anyway, this comp is no crock. Some may be dissuaded by the fact that its a local comp, especially those from other cities, probably with the logic that the bands were picked based on their geography rather than their tunes. 50 of these are in Germany now, and if that doesn't change anyone's mind, as of writing this, I'm nearing the end of side A, and like The Sedatives LP, it rules. Stand out tracks on the A side are going to the Sedatives (Quel surprise...) and the Million Dollar Marxists. Anyway, Ian and his label obviously put a lot into this. It's different from other comps because it is all new exclusive songs, recorded on the same gear by the same people, so it has great flow. Secondly, the packaging is done with a total DIY feel, but it works great. A sheet of paper glued on each side to a blank sleeve. Hand numbered out of 300; awesome. Finally, the finishing touch -- a zine where each page was done by one of the contributing bands. Best page goes to Botched Suicides. 15 copies of this are left with Ian, so get your hands on one of the last copies or else you'll have to find one at a used record store in Germany. It's listed as Volume 1 though, so maybe he'll bless us with a second next year.

Finally I wanted to point out that according to the label sleeve, 12 of the 15 bands have a "the" name. But really I think Suppositories and Fucking Machines would get a "the" as well, meaning only one band, Uranium Comeback" lacks such a moniker. A sign of the times? A Going Gage conspiracy? A coincidence?

PS - Side B is great so far too.


eBay watch

The Misfits's live release of "Evilive" was originally a 7" offered only to Fiend Club members. This pressing is readily identifiable for many reasons; it is a 7" version with the original artwork, but more importantly, on the back cover, there was a drawing of the Crimson Ghost reading a newspaper with the Crimson Ghost on it. If I'm not mistaken this logo was hand stamped, making it all that more special. You could also tell the pressing by the colour of the center labels. Amongst this first fiend pressing there were other special editions limited to 33 or something ridiculous with slightly altered artwork (It gets a little too complicated for the purpose of this post). Later pressings  would have other images on the paper, before moving to a 12" release which would eventually have entirely different artwork. Example of the Fiend Club pressing is shown in picture below, courtesy of the great misfitscentral.com

Anyway, this original fiend club release can easily fetch 600 USD. There is a copy on eBay now that will reach nowhere near that price. This is because the person is advertising it as an original, but it is clearly the 12" reissue, and I have no clue what is going through this guy's head. Maybe he just didn't properly convey what he was trying to say... either way he's wrong.
First pressing from 1987!
Yeah... the Misfits were broken up by then...

Edit: Sold for a whopping 12.50. Pretentious Assholes are smarter than that.

"Record collections should be carefully cultivated, like in horticulture"

Finner linked me to this interview with Stephen Blush, the man behind both renditions of American Hardcore. Another Black Flag fanatic, but his collection certainly dwarfs mine. Other similarities in our collection includes Captain Sensible's infamous "Wot", but I have the 7" as well as the LP (Stephen displays the 12" single.) See for yourself here.

Q: Dirtiest, sexiest , filthiest album cover you know or own?
A: Nig-Heist Snort My Load


The Writing is on the Wall

Of course there are numerous factors that make records desirable to record collectors. Obviously not all records we own can be extremely rare, so sometimes they need additional attributes to make them stand out from all the Fat Wreck in your collection. Amongst many different options, posters definitely match this criteria.  And I mean something more substantial than an insert with lyrics. The appeal of a poster is somewhat ironic because as a record collector, Ill never use the poster for its intended purpose. If the value is of any financial or personal value to me, there's no way I'll allow it to face the peril of everyday life on my wall. Rather, I'll leave it tucked in its sleeve, folds remaining crisp until I decide to look at it again in a few months time. In any case, a good poster will make one record stand out over another. So anyway, here are some examples from my own collection.

A classic has to be the poster for Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables. Actually, the Dead Kennedy's did a great job of the packaging of most of their albums, but I'll get some of their other examples another time. Anyway, its basically just a great black and white collage parodying nuclear family values. A great example of punk art propaganda, but less powerful then what Crass would be constantly creating. This poster is is a 6 panel double sided print, with the lyrics printed on the bottom of one side. Lyrics weren't often printed with records in those days, but most politically motivated bands would print their lyrics, as we'll see with Crass. On another note though, I'll admit this was one of the first records I bought (a used repress), and I had this one on my wall for awhile, but I was not a Pretentious Asshole at that point. I have since learnt the error of my ways.

Next up is Crass - Stations of the Crass. I'd consider this to be Crass' magnus opus, but others would disagree. Maybe not the best punk songs, as they begin to become more noisy, but it is definitely, like its artwork perhaps most representative of the Crass idea. On a personal, emotional level, I associate this album with the fall, which has somewhat of a depressing effect, but that's the way I like my punk. This is most seen with songs like "Contaminational Power." Anyway, most Crass records were not issued in regular sleeves. Rather, a 6 panel posters, similar to the Dead Kennedys one, was printed on a heavy paper and folded around the records. Folding this album is somewhat tricky because it's a double album, but it's an interesting concept. They even did this for many of their 7"s. To elaborate on my previous point, I  certainly couldn't put these posters on my wall because then the records would be left without a sleeve. You'll notice in the pictures that Crass, being a very political band, also printed their lyrics.

Alright, so their poster for their first album is so... powerful that I had to include it too. And now that I'm going over these records again, I notice that these posters are extremely powerful. Perhaps the only presenting their message stronger than their music were these posters. It is possible to readily identify their message and ideals, mostly of a pacified anarchism through the printed lyrics, the artwork (by Gee Vaucher, who was considered a band member although she did not contribute musically), the graffiti campaigns represented in the poster, and even news clippings about them are presenting, acknowledging the huge difference in ideals between them and mainstream culture. Gee's artwork, as seen on the cover and throughout appears at first glance to be collages, similar to the Dead Kennedy's aesthetic, but they are actually intricate original paintings.

Many bands would follow the archetypal Crass imagery as well as format, and Fucked Up would do this with their Litany single. This was a 7" released on Test Pattern records, but would also be released as a very limited 12" single to further emulate the Crass albums. The 6 panel design follows many Crass precedents, especially with another common Crass motif, crucification. Another Fucked Up project, Bergenfield Four would follow the aesthetic with the stenciled letters around the border on the limited version of their 7" on Lowdown records. The version shown is a repress on Havoc, but for those interested I do have the first press on Test Pattern on White out of 2500.

A final poster that I don't know too much about is the Disfear // Doomriders split put out by Deathwish. This one is different from the others that it is a 7" with a 9 panel design and is in... colour! This poster is also one that wraps around the record as the sleeve. It was also available for a short time as a separate print, without the band names on it.. Artwork was done by Thomas Hooper, who seems to have quite a bit of similar artwork being put forth in this scene. This version is the Cream/Beer coloured vinyl out of 300. "All paths lead to nothing, there is only death."

On a final note sorry for the poor photos, Im working on coming up with a better photo set up.


It's My First Time

The first record I ever bought was the UK press of "Girl's not Grey" by AFI, released on Dreamworks, with some involvement by Nitro, in 2003. This single was apparently the less rare version of the two singles released for the song, even though it was a UK import. The B side was a live cover of "The Hanging Garden" by The Cure. Finally, it was poetically pressed on a marble grey vinyl.

I bought it in 2004, online at Interpunk, shortly after moving across the country. Right before I moved, my neighbor died and his widow had given me his record player. I had been talking about how I had wanted to get into records. This desire stemmed from my love of AFI, and seeing their rich past in the record world, mostly through self-released hardcore 7"s. I also remember seeing pre-orders for The Newfits - Project 1950 and making a connection between punk rock culture and records. Luckily I never got the horrible Newfits album, but I still stand by AFI.

Anyways, after moving, and getting this 7", I excitedly played it on my unused record player (which would turn out to be a huge piece of crap. The belt always slipped off and I'd have to take it apart to replace the belt on the drive.) which didn't have any speakers connected to it. I don't know what I was expecting without speakers, but I was enamoured just watching it spin, and was surprised to hear the cartridge emitting a little bit sound itself. I hooked it up to my 5 disc CD player and played it through the AUX input, which was quiet but satisfying. In a new city without any friends or connections, I felt grounded by this record.

This record would also fuel my want to collect records, rather than just own records. This was based on the fact that even before buying it, I knew it was special as it was advertised as Limited Edition. I felt as though I was getting something in line with the Dork 7". I became part of a devoted, specialized fanbase, which I would value considering the new status AFI received with Sing the Sorrow (the beginnings of a pretentious asshole it seems). This feeling would be repeated with my second purchase, Tiger Army's "Ghost Tigers EP". I randomly found Vertigo Records while exploring downtown for my first time and purchased it mostly due to a sticker proclaiming it to be limited to 3000 copies. Before my first 7" I didn't even realize vinyl could be coloured, and the variety of what was out there suddenly became much vaster. Likewise for the "Ghost Tigers" EP, picture discs and 10"s were all new concepts to me, and the culture of record collecting began to unfold in front of me.

Once again, my own scan.

Edit: there used to be an incredibly comprehensive website that hosted all of AFI's discography and pressing information, once again similar (but far beyond) to misfitscentral, but I guess it has changed or is down, because I can't figure out the new site which is a forum.



2008, in terms of record collecting, was defined for me by Black Flag. After listening to Black Flag for several years, something clicked, and I had gained a deeper understanding of the band - and yes that includes the last 2, 3, or 4 + albums depending on how much of a skeptic you are. So a search began to gain ownership of a large chunk of hardcore history; the mighty Black Flag discography, with as many pressings as I could. This would unfortunately be a hunt largely carried out over the internet, but I also found some good stuff in Montreal and through trades. If I compare this scavenger hunt to a baseball games, I've easily covered first base (current pressings), 2nd base has mostly been cleared (Original pressings and promos that aren't too rare) and I've been running to 3rd base (90s reissues on coloured vinyl, which are surprisingly more costly than most first presses). Home base would of course be an original copy of Nervous Breakdown with the Black Cover in a baggie sealed with an SST sticker... one day.

Anyway, I began to document the pressing information of the records, in an effort to createsomething similar to misfitscentral.com, but stopped because I had no scanner for LPs, but you can see my work in progress here.

Creating that site made me change the way I looked at records. Like my Black Flag worship, I dove deeper than ever before, and a hobby became a historical archive. Going through every fine detail of each record, including noting the matrix engravings, uncovered things I would have never noticed before, and hadn't read anywhere else before. Example? 4th Pressing (red cover, gold vinyl) and onward of Nervous Breakdown has a typo of the timing for Nervous Breakdown (2:55 instead of 2:05). A discovery only titillating for assholes I guess.

This is my scan, please don't steal.

Dumb blog

So here is yet another blog about music. This one is different from others in the fact that it has a strong ambition to evolve into a zine by year's end. This blog's purpose then is to ensure that we keep writing, as stagnation has plagued us too long. This is also different from other music blogs because we are too lazy to upload albums for you to download. Instead, being the pretentious assholes that we are, we'll just tell you what you should listen to, and then we'll brag about how rare it is to find and how we have a copy that we paid very little for (oh and did I mention that it's hand numbered?).

Anyway we have lots of ideas, let's see how many we can carry through.

And a quick shout out to the KINGS OF PUNK