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Steve Ignorant sells out Crass and Punk Rock!

April 25, 2011

Steve IgnorantSo this weekend my girlfriend and I went to see Steve Ignorant preform his old Crass songs for one last tour (amusingly enough called “The Last Supper”). Not a bad way to spend a Good Friday if you ask me.

Before the show there was an interview and book signing at Hits and Misses, a small little shop on Queen St. Now before I get into the interview, and meeting Steve Ignorant, let me just say Rotate This has some of the best stock of 7 inch vinyl that I have seen at a store in a long time.Sham 69, Condemned 84, Elvis Costello, Bad Manners? Yep, you can find them all there. So I will soon be broke again, but on the brighter side my record collection will have grown, just making me more correct in saying that my music collection is better than yours. But that is for another post...

Steve Ignorant showed up, and chatted with fans for a bit, and signed a poster for a friend of mine, which was pretty cool. Then the record store clerk started the interview, and Steve did his best to answer all questions tossed to him, telling the odd joke, and basically having a good time. He talked about songs and bands that influenced him, oi music, the Business, his admiration of skinheads who get it right, band fights, growing up in the UK and writing his book. A book which by the sounds of it should be a cool little read, one I will be picking up when I have a few extra bucks... or considering my birthday is in June, if anyone wants to grab me a copy and put a pretty bow on it, that'd be a cool little gift.

Half way through the interview, a young peace punk girl asked Steve some interesting questions. She was asking about how he felt playing without the rest of the Crass, playing in larger venues, and charging 20 bucks a ticket (plus the extra ticket master tossed on to sell the tickets). All were legit questions I thought, and Steve started to give his answers. Not a big deal really. But what did bug me is this little punk girl started to cut him off when he tried to answer all of her questions, accusing him of selling out, betraying the Crass and blah blah blah...

This girl tried to put Steve in his place, and was quite rude and insulting to him, and the unfounded lack of respect bugged me. But Steve, to his credit took it in stride. She told him how he should have made this a DIY (do it yourself) tour, and not play in large “corporate” venues, and the ticket prices were too high. Steve countered (or tried to, she kept cutting his answers down, because she was more “Punk' than him, and she knew it) that he was coming over from the U.K. plane tickets are not cheap, hotels and buses were not cheap, and he wanted this to be a quality tour, and booking agents, sound men, etc etc would all want to get paid for their time and effort. We all have rent to make, bills to pay, mouths to feed (Steve as it turns out has a dog he misses very much), and as great as it would be to tour like it was the 80's all over again, the world has changed, and it just costs more to do things. And you know what? He is right.

The girl then bitched him out about how she wants to remember the Crass as they used to be, as a peace Punk political band, and not a “corporate” one man show. Steve said if she didn't like it, no one was forcing her to go to the show. She then said that she was not... and this bugged me the most.

Now before I go on about my thoughts on this, and why she pissed me off, I'd like to say for the record I've never been the biggest Crass fan. This is not meant as an insult to the Crass, I've just always been in the boss reggae camp, and even a little bit into the older oi sounds. There are Crass songs that I do like however, and for the most part I have always respected a lot of the bands morals and such, so please do not think that what I am about to write comes from some uber fan response. This is not a “you insulted my idol, so I hate you and feel the need to tear you down” posting.

The first thing that bugged me about all this was that Steve was trying to answer this girl 30 something years younger than him, showing her nothing but respect, and treating her as an equal. She did not treat him with the same respect, even though she claimed to be a big fan.

The second thing that bugged me was her going on about “corporate” venues and such. The Opera House (a venue in Toronto) is a far cry from the Rogers Center (or SkyDome as all of you older people reading this might remember it.) or any other big stadium. Yeah we would all love to see the bands we listen to play in our basements or backyards, but for some of the older and more popular bands, this is just not possible. 2000 people will not fit in your backyard (unless you are a rich kid, and if you are having any Punk band play your place might not be the best idea you have ever had). So a medium sized venue is the best bet for fans. And make no mistake, this tour is actually for the fans. Also, I'm looking at the ticket stub right now, and it doesn't say “Coca-Cola presents Steve Ignorant's Crass”. The man is in his 50's and singing Crass songs at the top of your lungs is hard enough on a young persons vocals. Give the guy a break.

Which brings me into point three. I'm in my 30's. Sleeping on a friend ratty old couch or dirty hard floor is really something I'd rather avoid. One night? Not so bad... A weekend? Hard on the back, but it can be done. But for every night for more than 5 months? To hell with that! Even when I was a teen that would have been horrible on my back. Steve Ignorant had to do that back when Crass toured. Do you think that your father could do that (or god help me, depending on the age of whoever is reading this, your grandfather)? Of course not. Let the man have a tour bus and hotels. He has earned it.

Now we get to point four... This tour was not about the money. And it was easy to see that it was not by Steve deciding to hold little book signings at smaller indie places. Anyone and everyone was welcome to come in and talk to Steve. He was autographing anything he was asked to (my girlfriend asked him to autograph a Crass Poster she bought, and commented how she was amazed that he spelled her name right, most people adding extra letters... so under her name he wrote 'mouthy bitch' as a joke, and then signed my name to her poster and wrote 'nice bloke' to everyone's amusement). He posed for photographs with anyone who asked for them, and talked to anyone who wanted to have a quick chat. This is a man who enjoys his fans. And it showed during the book signing, the entire time he was on stage, and the time he spent off stage after the show chatting up fans.

Last but not least, point five. This girl asked some interesting questions. And if she had let Steve answer them, I'm sure she could have asked a few more interesting ones. Then maybe we all could have had a good time at the show. But she wasn't even going to the show. She just stopped by to cut Steve down because he was not as punk anymore in her eyes. When you are passionate and stand for something, this is fantastic. But when you decide to prejudge something before you give it a chance and just show up to prove you are better than everyone else, I have to say, that's not punk, not by a long shot. That makes you a jerk. But you did show us all that Steve can handle jerks, as he easily brushed you aside when it became clear you were just arguing to be a jerk, and continued to amuse everyone with tales of being the singer for the Crass.

I suppose I should mention something about the actual concert itself. Pretty damn good. What, you want to hear more about it? Go buy a ticket and find out for yourself, you wont regret it (unless you are too Punk to enjoy yourself)!


 

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-Kyle Trojan Murphy-
Big Wheel Contributor - Canada

 

 

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Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – Garageland

April 11, 2011

GaragelandSo there I stood, exhausted, shirtless ears ringing covered in sweat and cheap beer. And damn if it wasn’t the greatest feeling ever. We’d finally done it. We played our first show. Well it wasn't really a show it was a party in Mikey's backyard with the express purpose of giving our band a place to finally play. But the important thing was that we had finally crossed that rubicon that separates the punks from the Punk Rockers. We were no longer just three guys and a crappy casio keyboard in a garage we were four guys with a real live drummer in an honest to god band. It had taken over a year of banging out tunes in a cramped garage surrounded by laundry and stacks of CDs but we had finally taken that next giant leap. We were Captain Yoshida straight outta the SGV and we were hell bent on kicking ass, playing fast and inhaling beer like sailors on shore leave in Tijuana. Our mission was a simple one- to rescue punk rock from the legions of the sad weepy boys with shaggy hair and ridiculously long band names that sounded like lines from an 8th grade girls poetry either that or just get someone to give us free booze for playing. Well we did manage to accomplish the latter part. Needless to say we didn't set the world on fire. Over the course of three years we played a handful of gigs at Kellys pub in Arcadia-who made the mistake of paying us with pitchers of Guinness( turns out it would have been cheaper to give us some cash) an infamous Jamesons fueled night at McReds-we sucked royally but they still invited us back, a Halloween Carnival in Eagle Rock, a beach party in Baja and the last night of TranLand in Temple City. Not exactly The Clash at Bonds Casino but good enough for us. Here’s the thing with all this- it all started out as a lark. Me and my friends Mike A. and Eric had gone to see a friends band that was billed as or least perceived by the kids at the show to be punk rock but to us sounded like whiney sad boy music-I know I sound like “bitter old guy” but that’s what it sounded like when I was 25 and im sticking to my story. Any way this event in turn led to the inevitable hollow threat of “we should start our own band and show’em what’s up”. Only thing is we actually followed through on the threat and started writing songs.

Mike was already an awesome guitar player so he naturally took that role Eric picked up the bass and me with my dyed blue hair and complete lack of musical ability became the obvious choice to be the lead singer oh and our crappy keyboard Joe Casio kept the beat on drums-he would eventually get the Pete Best treatment and be replaced by our friend Francois Pantaloons(not his real name I just always wanted to see this in print). For a while it felt like we were living a Rancid song four friends making music taking on the world-even if some of us still lived at home and had to borrow their moms station wagon. And then like a low budget Behind the Music the wheels started to come off-the band not our buddies moms station wagon- and we all just kind of drifted apart for a while and the band was no more. Now if your thinking this is a bit self indulgent you’re probably right but then again aren’t must writers and musicians. Not that I was much of a musician my job was to “sing” and jump around like the bastard love child of Duane Peters and Henry Rollins. Anyway my point was not some much to brag about the time “I was in a band” because I always felt really weird saying that out loud to people because it sounds like a bad pick up line “Oh hello there what do you do? Oh Im in band” and for me being in a band was more about a release and letting go onstage than about possibly making it my life. I guess my real point if I must have one is the fact that anybody out there can be in a punk band and everybody out there should give it a go at least once, you should experience the feeling of someone throwing a beer in your face mid song and practicing the same damn song 10 times in a dank sweaty garage because you’ll never be 25 again. It’s easy to say that  a band sucked but its a lot more fun to try to be in one that doesn’t. To paraphrase Cheech  Its punk rock you don’t have to rehearse you just have to be a punk. Oh yeah just don’t name your band while walking through the Teriyaki sauce section of a grocery store.

-Daniel N-



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Is everyone gonna go GREEN for the Green Issue?

April 1, 2011

Welcome to the Green issueWelcome to the Green Issue

Every year when April rolls around all the print magazines out there put out what they call the “Green Issue”. So like all of them we too have decided to put out a green issue of our own. Being good to the earth is something we all are cool with.

Recycling should be a normal part of your regular routine. Think about it, when you throw a party and after everyone has emptied the contents of all the bottles and cans of their favoriteparty liquid of choice, recycling all of the empties for the cash they represent just helps to offset the cost in a small way of the next party. This reminds us of a funny night out when a bunch of the staffers were at a house party where the drinking got pretty heavy and the chaos ensued. In the midst of this was one of the party goers that had green on his mind. It was like watching a transient that crashed the party, this guy was trolling the party collecting all the bottles and cans on the DL and loading up a trash bag in the kitchen. After watching this guy in action for a while, one of our staffers started to figure out that this guy was not necessarily collecting all the bottles and cans to be green, he was doing it for the green. Over the course of the night he had a couple of trash bags filled up and had them staged by the back door so he could get them out in hopes that no one would really figure out what he was doing. While he was out on the hunt for more empties we took his loot and hid it. Needless to say when he came back and saw his loot was gone he started to trip out, wondering if he had moved the bags and forgot where he put them -After all he was continuously drinking the warm swill at the bottom of many of the empties.

About five minutes had passed and he was now pretty agitated that he thought someone moved in on his score. Since our crew was partying’ where the living room met the kitchen we were the first people he asked, “Hey did you guys see someone take out the trash, they did a shitty job and made a mess”. We then said back to him, “Yea, we knew the guy was doing something wrong when he took these two big bags and put them in broom closet”. He then rushed over to the closet to see the bags he worked so hard to collect were in there. The laughing from our corner was pretty loud and he knew we had everything to do with the relocated loot. In the end things were cool, and all was forgiven once we replaced his warm swill with a fresh cold one. Through the laughing he said that he was just trying to be a responsible world citizen and recycling. In the end, we figured that the unauthorized recycler ended up doing the party’s host a favor by cleaning up a good chunk of what would have been left for him one he woke up in the morning.

Anyhow, getting back to celebrating this “Green Issue” of the magazine. The more we got to thinking about this whole green thing we came to these conclusions. Why is it that the easiest way try to gain nobility in this society is to proclaim, “I’ve gone green!” Why is it that the Green Issues of print magazines are bigger than the normal issues? If you “truly” wanted to have a green issue, wouldn’t that mean that you would have NO issue that month? With that said, we challenge every one to not buy or pick up any print magazine in the month of April and truly celebrate the Green issue. If a magazine wants to really “go green” and have a Green Issue, then they should put their entire issue online so that there are no natural resources used and our landfills can take a breather. Like the guy who was collecting bottles and cans at a party to put some money in his pockets and not really knowing he was being green, on the opposite side you have magazines that put out a big fat Green Issue because to them it is all about the “green” ad dollars it represents to them and to hell with the earth.

Let’s see how many magazines step up and NOT put out an issue in April to prove they have gone green -Don’t hold your breath.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – We were all just money making

February 13, 2011

We were all just money makingLately I’ve been struck by a crisis of faith. It usually happens around 745 am when I make it in to work. I hustle up to the walk way to the glass doors of my school and I catch my reflection-who is that guy in the shirt and tie (well at least Monday through Thursday it’s a shirt and tie, Fridays I can wear a hoodie with the school logo or a flannel) and what’s he doing here. I have an office, a desk and I’m some what of an authority figure. These are three things i never really foresaw back and the day and they lead me to my gnawing question. Did I, Have I Could I have ...sold out.

Ah yes the dreaded S-word okay its actually two words but that’s besides the point. Grammar aside the sellout question has been the bane of every punks existence since the dawn of time. Did Galileo sellout when he recanted his statement that the earth revolves around the sun-yeah you piss off the pope your punk, how about Elvis when he started making movies, the clash when they played Shea stadium, how about The Who by getting old and not dying? And on and on where do you draw the line. Is it really about being successful? Is it really about being comfortable and making a decent amount of money and having a nice house in a nice neighborhood. But isn’t that really the American dream regardless of your taste in music isn’t that what are all striving for, just to be a bit better off than our parents. to maybe be able to afford the cool things we couldn’t  have as kids. Then why the hell do we get ourselves in such a lather about this demon we call selling out. I think its because we’ve been conditioned to equate material comfort and a change of clothes with corporate greed and a loss of ethics and integrity. Its the reason why hipster indie kids like to drink Pabst when they could easily afford Guinness-they’re shooting for street cred instead of enjoying something that actually tastes good. Believe me I’ve inhaled my share of PBR but that’s mainly cause it was close to closing time, I was already drunk and was damn near broke. Apologies to the fine makers of PBR and those who enjoy it but it really does taste kinda crappy unless it’s freezing cold. Any way most of us seem to forget that most of the early Punk bands were on major labels to begin with and they weren’t selling out they were taking the money and running. Some big corporation is gonna throw money at me to have fun and bash out three chords with my friends-damn right Im taking their cash. And what about the case of your favorite band “making it” and all of a sudden all the members buying nice houses in the suburbs. Like anyone of us would do any different. You cant live in that crappy apartment or rental with four of your buddies forever. But anytime anybody gets some modicum of success the knives come out. Sometimes those knives are our own and we start to question ourselves. The reality is that it all comes down to not what you wind up buying or where you live or what you wear but what you really believe in and what you stand for and it also comes down to Metallica. I’ve never been a fan of the band -I like their Misfits covers and the Garage Days Album but that’s about it. But there’s a scene in their behind the music special where Jason Newsted says “Yeah we sell out...every single show”. I do own one of their albums -the one wear they cut their hair and wore suits and everyone called’em sellouts.
So yeah I wear a shirt and tie to work but I also have a neck tattoo and at the end of the day the shirt and tie come off but the tattoo is still there and I can sleep comfortably with my wife and myself.

 

-Daniel N-

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Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – Know The Enemy

December 22, 2010

ChristmasChristmas time always makes me think of Communists. No this has nothing to do with Santa Claus wearing a red suit and the oppressed working class elves stuck in the gulag that his Saint Nick’s North Pole work shop. I actually kind of enjoy going Christmas shopping and watching "Its a Wonderful Life" 27 times -I'm not gonna rail about the commercialization of the day especially not after consuming a certain coffee chains egg nog latte. I was born in 1975 which means I grew up in the 80’s which means I remember the cold war and being afraid of the Russians and Communism being a four letter word -well for a lot of people it still is, but that's beside the point. Besides growing up in constant fear of Soviet domination I also grew up being a bit of a history geek, ok a lot of a history geek. So every year for Christmas in addition to asking for the usual skateboards, Transformers and Nintendos, I also asked for books. Books about military history and fighter planes of the world. I knew the top speed of F-15s, what kind of missiles were on a Mig 23 and how the call signs for Russian missile submarines. Oh yeah I was ready to take on the Russkies and knew how to beat them. To me Rocky IV and Red Dawn were instructional films on how to to stop the evil empire. At age 11 my political ideology was fully realized and my destiny was cast. I was going to join the Air Force and keep the world safe for democracy, no doubt about it. The followers of Stalin and Lenin weren’t going to parachute onto my high school football field.

Well a couple of funny things happened on the way to me becoming Captain America, crusher of Communist. First of all the Soviet Union collapsed by the time I got to high school so my services would no longer be required by the mighty American war machine to help stop the Reds. This would turn out to work in my favor as my fear of heights and poor math skills would have probably kept me from being a fighter pilot anyway. Also I later realized that people in the military have to follow lots of orders, wake up super early and run a lot -so even if  communism hadn’t collapsed the Air Force would have to do without my services. Then there was the time my brother and me were going into the Depeche Mode concert at dodger stadium, the security guard looked at our t-shirts and told us not to start any trouble at the show...

As we all have learned the cold war was nothing more than hot air and overblown propaganda by both sides so what the hell is the point of my half baked holiday history lesson and when the hell am I going to quote Strummer, Rollins or Ness like I usually do. Over time a couple of things have become abundantly clear to me. As we grow older we learn more about ourselves and we start to realize some of the things we thought to be iron clad truths are nothing more than the products of posturing, distortion and fear mongering. The views of the world we have as fifth grade Commie hating history geeks are not the ones we have as 16 year old Punks or 35 year old dads but they do have a lot to do with how we get to where we are at. Suffice it to say those who knew the camo wearing military history book toting kid wouldn’t recognize The Clash loving, Woody Guthrie quoting left leaning adult, but they’re both equal parts of who I am. Oh yeah about those t-shirts mine was the KROQ revolutionize your ears with the Mao like picture and my brother’s had A hammer and sickle and Russian writing -he’d bought it in Berlin a couple of years earlier. IF YOU CANT BEAT EM JOIN EM. MERRY XMAS.

 

-Daniel N-

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Buy Avapro No Prescription

October 19, 2010

Mohawk Town Buy Avapro no prescription, When you’re 19 and 20 and you’re too young to get into any decent bars and there's no parties going on you’ll find all sorts of ways to entertain yourself and waste a perfectly good Friday night. One of the best ways me and my friends had was to buy enough cheap beer to stop a rhino and play drinking games at Mikeys House-yup its a landmark, Fort Worth, Texas. Denver, Colorado, Where can i buy cheapest Avapro online, ask anyone that went to our high school. At the top of our list was a brilliant intellectual endeavor we called categories -someone named a category like baseball teams and you’d go around the table naming teams until some one was stumped or got caught trying to pass off some bit of verbal idiocy like the Bismarck Buffalo Groomers as a real team, order Avapro online c.o.d. Avapro pharmacy, This would inevitably lead to high brow philosophical discussions on life and discourses on the state of world affairs. Actually it lead to nonsensical ramblings and musings on random topics that had nothing to do with anything.



During one of these off kilter games Mikey turned to the table and asked “hey guys remember your all time favorite haircut?” WTF was our bemused reaction as he proceeded to seriously and quite vividly recount in remarkably lucid detail when he got his first flat top at Carl's Barber Shop-another legendary landmark in the SGV, Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee. Portland, Oregon. For years after that night Mikey's innocent but completely ill timed query became a source of ridicule and a metaphor for any inane comment or out of place suggestion by anyone in our group of friends, buy Avapro no prescription. Købe Avapro online, αγοράζουν online Avapro, Because after all a haircut is just a haircut, right its not any kind of milestone and isn’t really relevant to the grand scheme of times.



But recently I’ve started to rethink the significance of Mikey’s beer addled musing and I have started to wonder about my all time favorite haircut and how its been co-opted by douchebags, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Las Vegas, Nevada, Order Avapro from mexican pharmacy, meatheads and obnoxious elementary school kids. Over the past 15 odd years of had a wide variety of interesting cranial stylings and colors from poorly bleached orange Billy Idol spikes to leopard spots to the “gee im getting older better start greasing my hair back like Mike Ness” old punk/greaser look to every color in between, buy Avapro without prescription. Buy Avapro from mexico, But my all time favorite was my first real mohawk my senior year in high school. Up until then I hadn’t really been able to commit fully to the mohawk even though I had the habit of ditching fourth period and going to the afore mentioned Carl's Barber Shop and having old Carl give me some crazy haircut that made me look like bastard offspring of Morrissey and Wolverine, where can i order Avapro without prescription. Buy Avapro no prescription, Then came homecoming week and the guys on my football team decided we should all shave our heads as some kind of display of unity or school spirit or poor judgement. Avapro withdrawal, That is everybody but the pretty boys who came up with all manner of lame brained reasons to not shave their precious locks and me. When my turn came up my buddy Dario, Avapro price, 0.4mg, 0.5mg, 1mg, 2.5mg, who was playing the role of barber looked at me and instantly said “Nah you should get a mohawk” my instant reaction was “hell yeah” followed by “damn my mom is gonna freak” and within moments the issue was resolved, a commitment was made and I was sporting a brand new Joe Strummer circa Combat Rock style Mohawk, kjøpe Avapro online, bestill Avapro online. Reasons to buy Avapro online, To me and I'm sure to a lot of others a Mohawk isn't and wasn’t about style it was about a commitment to stick out like a sore thumb and not giving a damn.



So what if that cute girl in class thought you were a freak or if people in line at the fast food joint gave you a wide berth at least people knew where you stood. More importantly you knew where you stood if others didn't, Avapro from canadian pharmacy. 650mg, 800mg, 875mg, 900mg, I remember one summer after college I was working for my dad installing windows and a customer came into our shop, she looked at the tattoos sneaking out of my short sleeves and the wild sweaty blue mohawk that was revealed as I took off my dirty baseball cap after a long day toiling in the Pomona sun and told me how nice it was that my dad let me work for him because nobody else would given my appearance, Avapro coupon. Detroit, Michigan, San Jose, California, Most people would have been pissed at such an assumption but I just smirked and said “Yeah he’s pretty nice” and let it go. I’d made a commitment.


 


-Daniel N-


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