IT'S A LIVING… BUT IT'S NOT A LIFE #13.95
J Church and Honey Bear Records - Fall Cold Front
Stranger Things Have Happened...
I've got three, count `em, three new titles on the way. That's right,
three new titles are coming out on Honey Bear. It's truly a banner year
for the label. First of all, the long awaited third live LP is on the
way. Trick Or Treat - Feedback And Distortion (HB024) is on the
way. Once again, it is a live LP limited edition to 20 copies only. They
are almost all sold out already. Get in touch if you want one. If you
already paid, you may want to reconfirm your mailing address just to be
I've also got The Personal Document (HB025) coming to save
some time. That's right. No waits between live LPs. This one was recorded
live at the Crawlspace in Chicago on our first trip ever there. It is
also limited edition to 20 copies. To order one, it is $17 ppd. as the
price of sending stuff to and from New Zealand (not to mention the fact
that it costs a fortune to just do 20 copies) has become astronomical.
Add to that a dollar that just keeps on fucking up… These records
are already a labor of love. I don't want them financially costing me
a fortune as well.
Lastly, I've got the second Cilantro 7". It's also limited edition
with 20 copies of this cover of Sexy Sadie. The seven-song
EP will be $7 ppd. It's perfect for everyone out there that prefers the
acoustic stuff on J Church records. For those of you who don't remember
the first EP some years ago, Cilantro is my four-track, bedroom band.
I'm gonna start working on a full-length LP as soon as I've got a free
To order any of these titles, please Pay Pal me at firstname.lastname@example.org
LET THE TRIBE INCREASE
As many of you know, I'm in the final stages of my book about anarcho
punk. It's been a long road, but I just got a postcard from Penny Rimbaud
about the Crass chapter and that will be the last thing that I work on.
The title is Let The Tribe Increase and is still being serialized
in Maximum Rock N Roll. Stalag 17 are in the latest issue.
AUSTIN CAN'T READ
I like Austin. But I hate Austin. It's not Texas. But it really is Texas.
I used to really love San Francisco. Especially now that I don't live
there, I can say that. But when I lived there, my friends and I would
mostly talk about what a crappy place it was. People would visit and say
things like, "San Francisco is so cool. You must love it here."
The only way I could reply would be with a litany of complaints about
how fucked the city was. Let's face it: every city is fucked. Inequity
and injustice are integral to the urban experience. You put a few hundred
thousand people in one place and you're gonna run into a lot of very stupid
and greedy people. I had my complaints. But I loved San Francisco. I just
knew it well enough that I felt I could say what I felt. It was like I
was so confident in the good parts of the city, I didn't at all feel threatened
and even enjoyed ripping the city apart. At the same time, if you didn't
live there, you couldn't say shit. You know the saying "no-one gets
to beat up my little brother but me". It's that mentality.
In Austin, that sort of love doesn't exist. People here are fucking
totally uptight and insecure about scrutiny of their city. It's like they've
spent so much time fighting the Texas stereotypes (which, I assure you,
are mostly true) that their version of civic pride is this sort of humorless
self-defense that doesn't have much leeway. They actually don't want you
to mess with Texas... But I don't give a shit.
Fuck Austin. I live here too. I've lived here for years and I don't give
a fuck about your psychotic inability to separate a personal attack and
one on the great unwashed of Austin. After some discussion with a few
folks here I've decided to make at least one concession: Texans are not
inherently stupid. No, they're just ignorant and somewhat illiterate.
I work at a video store in Austin. It's hardly the coolest video store
I've ever worked at (and that's a sad reflection on me) but we do have
sections for Wong Kar-Wai, Nagisa Oshima, UFOs and Troma. Still, at least
once a day and often more, we get people coming up to the counter with
a DVD box in hand asking "Duz thyis haiv soobtytles? I doan wanna
have ta read..." Wow. Say that in any other video store that I've
ever worked at and we would have mercilessly mocked you until you left
the building. The very idea that they would "have" to read,
like it's a chore, is crazy. Like their braining is saying "Oh man...
words... I hate words." Jesus Christ, go back to the trailer park
and put down the DVD box with the pretty colors. "Matt Daymun doan
make me read!" I really need to find a job without any human contact...
N THE J CHURCH LISTENING ROOM
DOOMED, THE Live at Reading 27/07/78
DOOMED, THE R.C.A. 1978
DAMNED, THE Live at the Whiskey 07/09/79
As the story goes, the Damned split after Music For Pleasure
came out which was both a critical and commercial disaster. Rat Scabies
quit the band and attempted suicide. Eventually Brian James quit as well.
Soon after, the band regrouped sans James and Lu with Captain Sensible
moving over to guitar and a slew of bass players sitting in including
Lemmy from Motorhead, Henry Badowski of Chelsea and eventually Algy Ward
of the Saints.
Live at Reading is a 10 song recording of the Badowski version
of the group. The audience recording is pretty rough, but it's a great
way to hear rudimentary versions of Anti-Pope and Second
Time Around. Not quite the breakneck speeds of Machine Gun
Etiquette. Instead you get some great punk rock. The set opens with
their great rendition of Teenage Dream, the great punk hit
that never was. I don't know who the White Cats were but I wonder what
their other songs were like. Great renditions Problem Child
and New Rose plus some cool covers here including Pink Floyd's
Arnold Layne of all things.
I'm not totally sure who is playing bass on R.C.A. but it's
a pretty good sounding live record. You get another great version of Teenage
Dream this time better sounding despite the slight fading in and
out during the second verse. This isn't a fantastic sounding recording.
But the vocals are so clear it almost seems like a board recording. Even
the bass sounds great. There's a great version of Problem Child
with Vanian really pushing his voice. Looking At You is great
This live set from the Damned was part of their comeback. Having regained
the name and with Machine Gun Etiquette just around the corner,
the band are at their most chaotic. Clearly wasted, they keep goading
the crowd with the sarcastic ("I heard Tom Verlaine played on this
stage once. God, I'm impressed.") to the constant barrage of "fuck
off and die". The kind of antics you would later expect from the
Replacements were in full effect including spontaneous, crap covers like
Do Ya Think I'm Sexy and changing the words from "Ballroom
Blitz" to "Great Big Tits". It's a raucous audience recording
that still seems powerful propelled by one of the group's best rhythm
sections of Scabies and Ward.
These records are basically everything you would want from bootlegs
of the Doomed/Damned. This is was one of their greatest periods just before
Machine Gun Etiquette put them back on the map. They were
fierce and crazy live. It's a great chance to see the raw energy that
spawned that fantastic third studio album.
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