Above, legendary punk trio Hüsker Dü meet Joan Rivers and perform on her Late Show in 1987.
I have a special love for Hüsker Dü as they were my first club show, back in 1985 or so. (My first concert was Styx and, yes, that was amazing too.) Over the years, I've gotten to know Hüsker Dü guitarist/vocalist Bob Mould who is a very warm, funny, and kind gentleman. Bob has a new album, Blue Hearts, coming out September 25 and I can't wait for him to melt my face with another live show sometime in the hopefully not-too-distant future. Below from the forthcoming record is "Forecast of Rain" along with a classic Boing Boing Video performance/interview with Bob produced by the talented team at Remedy Editorial.
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Asya and Dmitry Kozins specialize in intricate wigs, costumes, and sculptures made of paper, like this "Baroque Punk" created for I.C.Art. Check out the short video below: Read the rest
Other Side with Zabrecky is my favorite web series. I do not think Andy Rooney appreciates it much. Read the rest
In 1981, The Go-Go's blew up with "We Got the Beat" and "Our Lips Our Sealed," two tracks from their IRS records debut Beauty and the Beat that hit number one on the Billboard charts and went double platinum. What many don't realize though is that the band, who notably wrote and played all their own music, had been a mainstay in the Los Angeles punk underground since 1978, making the scene with The Germs, X, and Fear. I can't wait for this new Showtime documentary about The Go-Go's pegged on the release of their first album in two decades, titled "Club Zero."
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Richard Simmons gave his heart to the world. It was no small feat to be an energetic & effeminate fitness celebrity in the homophobic ‘80s, and yet he still rose to prominence and encouraged self respect at every size many years before it was cool. Richard’s videos didn’t just have us grapevining for our lives, he encouraged us to get there by loving ourselves.
But now that Richard has retired from the limelight to live a well-earned private life and we’ve long since worn out our VHS copies of Sweatin’ To The Oldies, where to turn for that special brand of campy lo-fi cardio? What if you’re not a hardcore exercise fiend trying to get into a titty flex contest with Terry Crews and are instead just looking for a fun way to keep that ass in motion while sheltering in place?
Legendary punk singer and Violence Girl author Alice Bag’s “Fit for the Apocalypse” workout videos on YouTube are a good place to start. Each episode is the length of a punk song, which isn’t always enough time for a proper workout but, you know, just stream them all consecutively and jog in place while you scrub through to the action. After years of being punished by crappy club music in every spin class ever, this is the exercise soundtrack you’ve been yearning for. Squat and punch along to cool new punk bands like the Linda Lindas and Amyl & the Sniffers or lunge to classics like The Tissues. Along with standard aerobics moves like the grapevine, get ready for new Alice Bag signature classics like "The Hallelejuah" and the “Tit-sa.” Read the rest
35 years ago the band X released their final album with the original lineup. (They put out a couple of albums after that but they don't count because they didn't include guitarist Billy Zoom.)
This month they released a new album called Alphabetland. The music is as good as ever. They just posted a video for one of my favorite songs on the album, "Water & Wine."
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I have friends. They are all in my head. Read the rest
I'm listening to X's new album, released today on Bandcamp, and it's amazingly good -- loaded with energy and Billy Zoom's mind-warping guitar. It's the original line-up and the band's first album in 35 years. It's called Alphabetland and the cover is by artist Wayne White.
From Rolling Stone:
In interviews, the band members have expressed mixed emotions about making a new album. All of them except for Zoom said they would want to make a new one in a 2017 Rolling Stone profile of the group.
“Families are complicated,” Doe said at the time, carefully choosing his words. “There’s certain … Yeah, I’m not gonna go there.”
“It wouldn’t work,” Zoom said. “The chemistry wouldn’t be right. [Some band members] are in different places and stubborn, and I don’t want to go into detail, but it wouldn’t sound like an X record.” The band has yet to explain the change of heart.
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Henry Rollins, the hardest working punk in show business, has launched a new long-form streaming radio show via KCRW in Los Angeles! The four-hour first episode of The Cool Quarantine features tunes from Rollins's massive vinyl and cassette collection punctuated with personal stories about the artists. And as we all know, Rollins really knows how to spin a yarn. From Rolling Stone:
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The debut episode, which runs four hours, features a story about Rollins and his pal, Minor Threat and Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye, seeing Led Zeppelin in 1977 — along with bootleg audio from the concert and a bootleg MacKaye made of the Cramps. Rollins also shares stories about the early days of MacKaye’s Dischord Records — which put out Rollins’ first seven-inch with S.O.A. — and his time in Black Flag.
“For many years, I’ve had this idea for a long-form show,” Rollins said in a statement. “I mean really long-form. Like hours. To do it terrestrially would be difficult because I would be crowding other shows out. But if it was online, hey. It’s as many songs as I want, language issues are not a factor, and if anyone gets bored, they can just turn it off or mark the time they checked out and resume later.”
“The idea is that you’re in your room and Engineer X and I come over with a bunch of records,” he continued. “We play you songs, I tell you stories and we do time together. Now that many of us are under some kind of confinement, we might as well get some good listening happening.
On Friday, Sonic Youth uploaded 12 of their previously unreleased live shows to their Bandcamp archives. The concerts span the bands career, from the late 80s to their final US show in 2011.
Lee Ranaldo writes of the project:
We have a couple of engineers and archivist people that we work with. But we’re still all interested in it, we’ve been maintaining a massive archive that continues to grow. Steve Shelley has been really active in it, and the rest of us a little bit less so, but I’ve been pretty active in helping put together the last bunch of packages that come out. In this case, this guy from Russia just said: “Hey, I’ve got this tape of the show” that we had never heard before, and he wanted to put it out. We kind of batted the idea back and forth of whether we wanted to go that route, and in the end, we gave him our blessings to do it. We’re working on an archival project around Sister right now, which is a massive thing we’ve been working on for a while. And two or three other things as well, something around NYC Ghosts & Flowers, and something around a particular concert we did at the Pompidou Center in Paris with Brigitte Fontaine and Areski [Belkacem] that we’ve been trying to cut the legal tape on and release for like a decade.
Read more about the releases on Spin.
H/t Red Cell
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The Misfits' Glenn Danzig will finally release his long-awaited album of Elvis covers on April 17. In celebration, the horror punk pioneer has also announced two intimate (and expensive) live performances of the material in San Francisco (4/17) and Los Angeles (4/22).
Above, Danzig's take on Elvis's “Let Yourself Go” from his 2015 covers album Skeletons.
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Iggy Pop's "We Are the People" is based on a poem penned in 1970 by his old friend, the great Lou Reed. About the poem, Pop told the BBC back in September, "My God, this is the country today as I understand it, or at least one legitimate portrayal of the country today." Last week, Pop performed "We Are the People" with Reed's widow Laurie Anderson at Carnegie Hall for the Tibet House Benefit and now he's released this striking video performance. The song appears on Pop's latest album Free. From "We Are the People:"
We are the people without land / We are the people without tradition...
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We are the people without sorrow who have moved beyond national pride and indifference to a parody of instinct / We are the people who are desperate beyond emotion because it defies thought / We are the people who conceive our destruction and carry it out lawfully
“Punk,” says a Wuhan hardcore band member, “is a way to help me keep my mind fresh.”
The wonderful Aaron Stewart-Ahn tweeted today, “Something you haven’t been told about Wuhan during this outbreak is that it is China’s punk music capital.”
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Dave Riley, bassist for the influential 1980s Chicago noise-punk band Big Black, has died. He was 59. According to his partner Rachel Brown, he had throat cancer. What a fucking great player, he was. And what a fucking great band. From Rolling Stone:
“Dave was a fantastic musician and a critical part of the Chicago music scene,” (Big Black guitarist Steve) Albini tells Rolling Stone. “He bridged the gap between raw enthusiasm and outstanding musicianship better than anybody else in our peer group and I always admired him for it...”
“When I think about Dave, I think of him onstage, sweating, rolling on his heels, his bass making a rhythmic shrapnel cloud, the densest object in a very heavy construction," Albini wrote in his statement. “Then I think of him after the show, still sweaty but relaxed, easy with his humor and in possession of an impeccably sharp wit, comfortable with himself, comfortable being the hinge-pin of the evening. I miss playing with Dave, and I miss hanging out with him. He was a handful, but like most people we describe that way, he was worth it. Rest easy.”
Below, Big Black (Riley on right):
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Balazs Sarkadi from the Hungarian band Bankrupt ("a refreshingly energetic blend of 90s indie, hip hop and punk rock") writes, "President Trump mocked Greta Thunberg in a recent tweet, which sparkled the idea of a song in which he elaborates his point of view on climate change in a Twitter rant addressed to Greta. The mash-up music video of Minor Problem by Bankrupt is a funny and at the same time cringey compilation of Trump's most awkward moments and loosely associated footage.
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Cecil Castellucci (previously
) is a polymath artist: YA novelist, comics writer, librettist, rock star; her latest book, Girl on Film
, is an extraordinary memoir of her life in the arts, attending New York's School for the Performing Arts (AKA "The Fame School") and being raised by her parents, who are accomplished scientists.