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MRR Radio #1587 • 12/10/17

This week Matt pulls some rarities out of the vault to make the scums and punks drool. Intro song: STENGTE DØRER ...

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MRR Radio #1586 • 12/3/17

On this week's MRR Radio, Rob goes ballistic for late '70s and early '80s Bloodstains punk rock from around the ...

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Maximum Rocknroll #416 • Jan 2018

Another new year, another exciting issue of Maximum Rocknroll! MRR #416, our January 2018 issue, begins with a sad note as we ...

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"Who gives a fuck?"

MRR Radio #1585 • 11/26/17

“[...] Elvis gives them a short speech about the death pangs that humanity must go through in order to reach ...

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MRR Radio #1584 • 11/19/17

Another fuct up Rotten Ron and Horrrible Halitosis Punker Power Hour. Intro song: DRUGCHARGE - Husk Rotten Ron fucks it up so you ...

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MRR Radio #1304 • 7/9/12

July 9th, 2012 by

MRR Radio is a weekly radio show featuring the best DIY punk, garage rock and hardcore from the astounding, ever-growing Maximum Rocknroll record collection. You can find the MRR Radio podcast, as well as specials, archives, and more info at radio.maximumrocknroll.com. Thanks for listening, and stay tuned!

THIS WEEK: Fred, Pete, Langford and Lydiya enlighten the world through records, science, history, and some records that may or may not be punk. You decide!!!


Intro song:
DOGJAW – Miser

Neon Piss (photo by Ricky Adam)

Fred – New Records
THIS WAR GOES ON – This Shitty Life
NEON PISS – Tubula Rosa
1981 – Cycle
TOYS THAT KILL – Mobbed by the 3’s
WOOLF – Patch

Pete – Questionably Punk
THE CLEAN – Odditty
MOSS ICON – I’m Back Sleeping or Fucking or Something
BENT SHAPES – Boys to Men
CHRIS BROKAW – Winter Song

Langford – …Like Galileo Dropped the Orange
RAPE REVENGE – Donors List
APOGEE SOUND CLUB – You Fill Me With Inertia
NATION OF ULYSSES – Spectra-Sonic Sound
WEIRDOS – We Got the Neutron Bomb

Lydia – Time Is the Longest Distance Between Two Places
MOSKWA – Ja Wiem Ty Wiesz
HATESTORY – Wrony Na Sniegu

Outro song:

Monday Photo Blog: Deep down in the vaults – Part 1

July 9th, 2012 by

Allow me to dust the cobwebs off before we get to this  Monday Photo Blog. For the month of July in celebration of MRR’s 30th anniversary (send us something in the way of pearl to celebrate if you must) we’re going into the archives and pulling out some buried gems and bringing them back out to the light. This week we’re posting some bands that all, coincidentally, start with the letter ‘A’.







Send your tour photos, bands that have come through your town, the best of your local bands, etc. to: . Include your name, a link to your website (or flickr, Facebook, or whatever), and the band (or subject), date and location of each photo. Just send your best photos — edit tightly. Three to seven photos is plenty, and it’s best to send pictures of different bands. Please do not send watermarked photos. Please make your photos 72 dpi and about 600–800 pixels at the longest side. Not everything sent in will be posted, and a response is not guaranteed, but we do appreciate all of your contributions. Feel free to submit more than once. Thanks!

MRR 30th Anniversary shitworker bonus: Ryan Murphy!

July 7th, 2012 by

This month, for our 30th Anniversary Issue (MRR #351, August 2012) we surveyed a shitload of Maximum Rocknroll shitworkers about their favorite (and least favorite) things about MRR — memorable features and interviews in the magazine, and experiences working and hanging out at the MRR house. We didn’t have enough room in the zine for all of the responses, so this month on the website we will share some bonus material that we thought was worthy of your time. Today we have ex-shitworker Ryan Murphy, an extremely friendly, hard working young man who spent many a year doing many a task around here. He is well missed…

Favourite MRR feature…
The Raymond Pettibon interview was very well done and a nice change of pace for the magazine. The interviews as a whole bring a lot of interest and valuable content to the reader, it’s something that can be a prized page turner or a complete waste of time. The interviews are the reason I started reading MRR, but now one of the last pages I turn to in the mag. Some of my favorites: Martin Sprouse reflecting on his time w/Tim Yo and MRR, the Really Red interviews (both of them), the history of SF’s Deaf Club, The Fix, The Spits were fun, and any interview beyond “we play, we’re on tour.”

I find the themed issues to be a lot of fun — the Comics Issue in particular, and April Fool’s. But the film and photo issues have given me places and people to explore in punk I otherwise would not have sought. Likewise, the interesting forays into topics like immigration, health and (of course) politics have really grabbed me. That said, by far the most interesting and relevant series I’ve come across in MRR was the Business in Punk issues (MRR #276 & 277/May & June 2006 — available here). The content was amazing and gave real insight into how punk is approached and engaged in by people across the spectrum. Fucking bananas.

Favorite shitwork…
Reviews were always my favorite, to read and to write. Some of my best memories of San Francisco are at the MRR compound, listening to (review/non-review) records, talking with other shitworkers, writing, dancing, laughing and nerding out about where these god damn sounds came from. So good.

I did mail for many years too, which I liked fine. It was a big investment of time, lugging crates of mail from one part of town to the next. I mostly threw the stuff in a giant bag and rode my bike from the Noe Valley post office to the Western Addition compound. I remember Layla, eyes big, telling me once “I cant believe you haul this stuff up and down that giant hill!” As there is a giant hill that helps create the Noe Valley and separates it from the Castro, which, from there is a straight shot to MRR. I hesitated to speak, but I had to smile — as any seasoned SF cyclist knows, the most direct route is not always the best to take. “I go around,” I say, conceding any unearned praise. Then I laugh and she laughs and we both sigh with relief.

Favorite columnist…

Favorite part of the MRR house?
RECORD COLLECTION (maketapesmaketapesmaketapesmaketapes) and the free bin.

Least favorite thing about MRR…
Deadlines. Green taping sucks too, filing records was no fun, but I would always find new records to listen to that way. It was kinda a zero sum type thing when I would file. I’d grab a stack of rec’s, flip through them, alphabetize the ones I didn’t want to listen to and toss them back on the shelf. But, without exception, while scanning the collection to wedge The Nix record in the right place things like discovering the Nixe, or putting back an Eskorbuto EP only to come across something that looks cool, like Eppu Normaali would happen and that stack of records would be waiting for someone else to file when I left.

Three words you think have best described MRR throughout its 30-year journey…
Labor of Loooove.

Hardest thing/situation you have had to deal with as a shitworker…
Bruce passing was profoundly difficult for MRR as a whole to deal with. At my time there, this was second to none as far as hardship is concerned. He is sorely missed.

Trust issues rarely came up but when they did they were quite frustrating. Theft, mostly records, highlighted the need to keep the compound a place where things were safe but still accessible. The collective nature of the magazine made that tricky, having people live there while the resources of the magazine were open to us all lent itself to protective measures. I always found this difficult to swallow but also completely necessary.

Other long-running zines you like reading…
Burn Collector. Negative Party. Distort.

What would you never change about MRR?
Volunteer status of the staff.

Lots of interesting and weird people have come through the MRR house. Any good stories?
Years back I was lucky enough to meet Luk Haas when he was in San Francisco. At the time the gravity of his reporting and experiences hadn’t really set in on me. But we spoke and hung out he was super interesting and very low key. He looked like a world traveler. If I remember correctly he had on what I think of as a photographers vest — one with a bunch of pockets on the front made of a beige color. I wish I could meet him again and ask him better questions. Truly an amazing and unique character.

What do you do for your “normal” job and is it better?
I used to work at a brewery, I work at a bike shop now, pretty normal stuff. But hell no, it’s not better! Drinking beer, listening to records and having fun while still producing something that matters, something anticipated and enjoyed the world round. I miss that. MRR is unique in the sense that it has such historical significance and is still able to be a relevant source for what it set out to do 30 years ago. It also gave me an outlet that I otherwise would not have had. I was able to read, write, listen and experience things I would have never gotten in my “normal” work place.

Where do you think MRR will be in 30 years from now?
In my mailbox. (Up tha punx!)

Maximum Rocknroll #351 • August 2012
30th Anniversary Issue!

Maximum Rocknroll is celebrating its 30th anniversary with another great issue! It’s true! We invite you to check out MRR #351, August 2012, including some of MRR’s Worst and MRR’s Best from the last 30 years! The mystery of the green tape adorning and protecting MRR’s record collection and archive is revealed, an article about record covers that our founder, Tim Yohannan, painstakingly crafted when he disliked the original art (DIY all the way!) and the results of a survey of Maximum Rocknroll shitworkers about the magazine’s greatest hits — and misses — including the worst MRR cover art! We also have interviews with South Korea’s raw fastcore band BANRAN, local USHC teens STRESSORS, heavy, crusty raw punk from Canada NAPALM RAID, Cali pop punkers GOD EQUALS GENOCIDE, Swedish HC legends SKITSYSTEM, New York City’s all-girl garage group AMERICAN SUN, brutal noisy HC merchants from North Carolina STRIPMINES, FEROCIOUS X discuss their Swedish styled noise punk via Japan, a killer Appleton, WI scene report, and Colombian punk artists Juan y Diëgo. All of this madness plus the most extensive review section in punk rock, and all the columnists you love to hate! Come celebrate with us!

Go to our BACK ISSUES page to order this issue.

The MRR archives unleashed!
MRR #1 — 30 years ago today…

July 3rd, 2012 by

Can you believe Maximum Rocknroll magazine is 30 years old? Now that we can no longer be trusted, we’re finally free to toot our own horn, wallow in the past, and shake our fists at you damn kids! This month we’re commemorating our birthday with a 30th anniversary issue, a special radio show celebrating not only the magazine but 35 years of MRR Radio and 10 years of podcasting, and not last, and certainly not least, we are rolling out downloads of our MRR magazine archives

We’ll be posting the earliest issue MRR magazine this month, and each post will have a special intro by an original Maximum Rocknroll shitworker. No one could have been a better choice to introduce this first issue — MRR #1, published in July 1982 — than Jumpin’ Jeff Bale himself!

Click cover to download Maximum Rocknroll issue #1!

When Paul Curran asked me to write a few words about the origins and early days of MRR for the magazine’s 30th Anniversary, I was originally at a loss for words. After all, the events in question took place thirty years ago, and I honestly cannot recall most of the details about the early founding of MRR. Moreover, since then there has been a lot of water under the bridge — some of it rather toxic — in terms of infighting within the punk underground. I can’t do much about the faulty memory part, all the more so given our not infrequent use of alcohol and drugs back then. But all of the bitter infighting that later developed seems, in retrospect, like little more than a tempest in a teapot. It’s the kind of thing that all too often happens within relatively small, insular subcultural and countercultural milieus, and it always seems to reach a fever pitch in direct proportion to the inability of those milieus to grow, flourish, and, ultimately, transform the wider culture. Since I no longer care or have any hard feelings about this, and haven’t even perused a copy of the magazine for more than ten years, I happily agreed to make a small contribution to MRR’s anniversary issue.

If anyone had suggested to the people who originally founded MRRTim Yo, myself, Ruth Schwartz, Jello Biafra, Mickey Creep (who was then Jello’s roommate), red-haired Mark and his girlfriend — that the magazine we were envisioning, however fuzzily, would continue to be published thirty years hence, we would all have said “no way!” or laughed out loud. If I recall correctly (and I may not be!), one day the idea of putting out a magazine version of the MRR Radio show just sort of popped into Tim’s head. He then consulted with Mickey Creep, who was then publishing Creep magazine, about the mechanics and logistics of putting out such a magazine, and then organized a few preliminary meetings to discuss the launching of MRR. Given Tim’s dedication and organizational skills, this idea soon became a reality. After a couple of issues, Mickey and Mark moved on to other projects, and Jello was too busy to perform any day-to-day tasks related to the zine. Tim, being a workaholic, did the lion’s share of the “shit work,” even after he had recruited numerous young volunteers to work on the zine, whereas my primary task was to edit the record review section, do reviews myself, and write some other things I felt inclined to write.

The primary goals of the magazine were to provide coverage of burgeoning punk scenes worldwide, to link punk scenes and scenesters together, to promote an anti-Establishment ethos, and to review every single punk record release. Although we were all caught up in the enthusiasm of the moment, were upset about the election of Ronald Reagan, and hoped that punk would somehow develop into a more influential culture of opposition, it was never our intention to manipulate or “recruit” young people within the punk underground. Even Tim, who had Maoist sympathies, did not view the MRR staff as some sort of a Leninist “vanguard party” that was designed to mobilize “the masses” for revolution, contrary to the absurd charges of some of our critics. We simply wanted to create a fun, exciting vehicle with which to promote our own ideas and musical tastes, and by extension to stimulate the growth and connectivity of the international punk counterculture. Tim, Jello, and I, in particular, had been obsessive, long-standing lovers and collectors of primitive rock’n’roll for decades, and despite all of its other aspects (some of which, even certain things I wrote, I now regard as cringeworthy), MRR was from the very outset primarily a labor of love by fans who were on a self-appointed mission to promote the best underground r’n’r, which at that juncture was punk. Anyone who claims otherwise is talking nonsense.

From the very beginning, Tim and I agreed that the record reviews in MRR should be short and concise. This was mainly because we did not want to emulate other music magazines, most of which featured long and often pretentious record reviews that usually revealed more about the authors’ narcissistic personalities than about the records being reviewed. This turned out to be a very wise decision, given the enormous and ever-increasing volume of punk records that were sent to MRR for review. It soon became almost unmanageable to review all of them even using our very short review format — it would have been utterly impossible had we opted for a longer review format.

It frankly amazes me that MRR has not only survived the departure of so many of its founders and core staff, but also the tragic death of Tim himself. That is not only a tribute to Tim’s extraordinary organizational abilities, but also to the fact that the magazine managed to inspire so much support and devotion (and an equal amount of hostility and hatred) amongst its readers. One should keep in mind that both love and hatred are emotions that can only be evoked by something that is regarded as very important by the lovers and haters, since one does not feel such strong emotions about objects that are regarded as trivial or unimportant. So here we are, thirty years later, and MRR still comes out like clockwork and, apparently, is still avidly read by certain segments within the punk scene. That is simply amazing!

If I have any retrospective regrets about the early days of MRR, it would be that at the time I was in a phase of my life in which a) I was espousing absurdly simplistic left-wing politics, and b) I was enamored of thrash-style (“hardcore”) punk. In short, when my politics were at their dopiest and when my musical taste was at its nadir.

On the matter of politics, for most of my life I have hated authoritarianism (and, worse still, totalitarianism) and been very contrarian, individualistic, and bitterly opposed to sectarian political “lines” of any kind. And like Mykel Board, I also love to play devil’s advocate and piss people off. (I’ve even manged to piss off Mykel a few times.) However, on two occasions — the first in the wake of the “police riot” at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the second when I first moved out to the Bay Area from the Midwest to attend graduate school at UC Berkeley, which coincided with the election of Reagan — I temporarily lost my senses, got caught up in the moment, and adopted simple-minded political views. We all go through various embarrassing phases in our lives, and this was one of those times. Within a few years I came to my senses and reverted to normal — being nauseated by the left, by the right, and by the center — for which “sins” I was accused by all sides of being in the “enemy” camp. So be it. If narrow-minded political fanatics on all sides of the spectrum don’t like you, you must be doing something right.

[Speaking of politics, the state of America is nowadays far worse than it was during the Reagan era. Indeed, compared to the collection of dim bulbs (à la Palin and Rick Perry), regressive Christian right activists, pseudo-populist Tea Partiers, and “free market fundamentalists” who now dominate the Republican Party, Reagan was a veritable voice of sanity (who even believed — shock!, horror! — that the rich should pay higher taxes), even though he also initiated the deregulation policies that did so much to precipitate the economic mess we are now in. Meanwhile, the ever-increasing corruption of Congress by corporate lobbyists and the lack of effective regulation of the financial sector (thanks mainly to GOP intransigence, but with the acquiescence if not the collusion of all too many Democrats) have turned America into a virtual “banana republic,” in the sense that levels of economic inequality in this country are now approximating that of Third World countries and signs of serious infrastructural and cultural decline are everywhere. If Obama loses the next election, this process of decline will only accelerate. (Not that the Democratic Party is not an integral part of the problem, and the PC left is every bit as odious as ever, if not more so.) In short, given that we are all nowadays confronted by a host of acute structural and political problems, ideological posturing and the adoption of simple-minded politics of any kind — left, right, or centrist — are recipes for disaster. As history has repeatedly demonstrated, it is in times of crisis that the worst sorts of political and religious fanatics tend to come to the fore. Sadly, that is as true with respect to the most sectarian and fanatical segments of the Occupy movement as it is with respect to the most extreme elements of the Tea Party.]

On the matter of music, I embraced super-fast thrash punk for a time, probably because it seemed so extreme and over-the-top, and because it was exhilarating in the same way that the roar of a jet engine is exhilarating. But just like jet noise soon becomes annoying and obnoxious, so too did HC-style punk, at least for me. Hence, unlike the other subgenres of r’n’r that I have always loved — hard-edged British Invasion bands (e.g., the Stones, Yardbirds, Pretty Things, Troggs, Who), ’60s garage punk, rockin’ psychedelia (as opposed to the meandering, noodling, “progressive” type), proto-punk bands (e.g., the Stooges and Dolls), the best glam groups (e.g., Alice Cooper, T-Rex, the Hollywood Brats), mid-tempo ’77-style punk, neo-Mod, and Oi!, “hardcore” simply did not stand the test of time, so much so that I now pretty much detest that subgenre of music (especially its most macho and boneheaded manifestations). Of the thousands of records I currently own, only about ten of them are “hardcore” in terms of musical style (e.g., Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, TSOL, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, 7 Seconds, the Fartz, Terveet Kädet), and I almost never listen to any of them (except the early Black Flag stuff). So I strongly doubt whether I would even like most of the thrash records today that appeared in my Top Ten lists in the earliest issues of MRR. On the contrary, I’d probably be embarrassed to be reminded of what I had recommended back then.

Be that as it may, I once opined in a Hit List column that inveterate, obsessive r’n’r fans such as myself would still be hanging around long after the political activists, pretentious artistes, fashion-conscious phonies, and violent jock-like HC thugs had abandoned the punk scene, and I turned out to be correct. For example, even though I now live quite a ways from San Francisco and even further from Los Angeles, I will still make the trip to see great garage bands in cool underground dives, just as I’ve been doing ever since I was 16 years old — 45 years and over 6,000 gigs ago! With each passing year, I encounter less and less people who I once knew in the punk scene at these gigs. But — along with half a dozen other such fanatics — I’m still going out to see great bands, past and present, and will only stop when I am too physically incapacitated to continue. Sadly, I doubt that this can be said for the overwhelming majority of past MRR staff members and readers, most of whom are much younger than I am. Then again, some of those folks may simply be going to different types of gigs. Like the “hardcore” shows that I now avoid like the plague! Moreover, time permitting, I periodically write a few record reviews for Ugly Things, which in my opinion has been the world’s best r’n’r magazine for decades in terms of its extraordinarily high levels of editor and contributor expertise, factual information, writing panache, musical taste, and enthusiasm for “wild sounds from past dimensions,” including punk from the mid-1970s to the beginning of the 1980s. The lesson here is that inveterate rock’n’rollers never die — they just get older, uglier, and less energetic.

Finally, I’ll sign off now by saying “happy anniversary” to the magazine that I helped to establish three decades ago, even though we have long since parted ways.

—Jeff Bale

PDF download of MRR #1 now available in the MRR Webstore!
Read more of our MRR Archives series here.