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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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Blast From the Past: Raymond Pettibon

June 18th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #304/Sept 2008 which you can pick up here


photo: Layla Gibbon

The interview started with me walking into his studio and realizing I had left my question sheet in my bag in the kitchen. I was intimidated already and felt super under prepared so I just started rambling about the magazine. Maybe if I had been less nervous and actually asked the questions I planned to rather than resorting to an elaborate five-questions-rolled-into-one confused-sprawl interview style this would have been more focused. So it’s more of a random conversation than an incisive Q and A session. Disclaimers in the introduction? I was so nervous I barely asked about his artwork!

Interview and photos by Layla Gibbon.


MRR: …The way the magazine works, there are two people that are in charge of getting content together, but then some kid in Malaysia can write a scene report about local punk and we would run it. We do have editorial control and there are things we don’t cover, we have a very strong stance in regards to…
Raymond: You keep a strict separation between editorial and the business part of culture, except you run ads.

MRR: (Laughs nervously) I like how strict it is in keeping certain values intact, like we’re pretty much non-profit at this point, and I am sure if we broadened our view we could make a lot more money than we do. But then I like figuring out how to operate in such on such narrow terms, it almost opens up possibilities because you have to figure out how to do things that other magazines probably don’t even have to think about. The nature of the magazine is that you have to be your own boss. There’s no one to tell you what to do, and you have to motivate people to help you do random shitwork, or to contribute content to the magazine with no monetary rewards you know? It’s made me think about the nature of work and free time. Also it makes me happy it’s existed for so long on its own terms.
These books I am making for Wendy, they kind of come from fanzine culture, they have a price on the cover but they sell for so little I am basically giving them away. I like the idea of that. Typically it’s around rock music or comics or films, ham radio, these things that are a labor of love first of all.

I was talking to a collector yesterday about collecting fliers. One of the things I like so much about punk culture is that it’s very disposable, things disappear and get replaced. I was thinking about this in terms of what you do, it seems like at the time when you were producing your fanzines they had a different value to what they have now. Now they’re precious collector objects, but at the time they had a different meaning, they were made in a different context…
Right, they’re precious objects now for one thing because there weren’t that many of them produced. The idea wasn’t to make collectors items, or precious objects. That sort of thing is done all the time now. A first edition of Superman is worth… I mean you’d have to have a first edition of the bible to rival it now, because they were ephemeral and not considered something worth saving at the time. And that is something that’s true about the fliers I did and others did. The way it played out to where they are collectable and now valued at much more than they were in the first place, that was never a surprise for me. I knew enough about… I had a sense of history about it. At the same time it wasn’t the reason that I did them. I still have some of the original fliers for Black Flag that I made. At the time I tried to persuade them to save at least seven or ten of each one for me, and that wasn’t always possible or agreeable to them I suppose.

I mean they’re worth money, but I’ve never sold one you know? But I probably have a different take on the marketplace than Maximum Rocknroll does; to me, it’s more like a given, an act of nature. To try to avoid it, to manipulate it, to co-exist separately from it is an invitation to become co-opted. I guess “sold out” to use terms that one would be familiar with in punk. I’m the least engaged with the marketplace as one can be. It’s against however I was born and bred, rather than an ideological function. Once I do the work, and it leaves my hands, it’s going to be assimilated into the marketplace and I don’t think that’s a bad or terrible thing either. But I can’t be personally responsible for anything beyond making the work, beyond that, what happens to it, who the hell knows. It’s almost like magic, beyond the bounds of physical laws. For all I know they disappear. There’s a lot of questions and dishonesty in that world.

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Blast From the Past: Red Dons

June 17th, 2015 by

This originally ran in MRR #301, June 2008 which you can pick up here

Interview by Paco La Vida en Mus
MRR: Red Dons is the continuation of The Observers. Doug wrote most songs for The Observers and now does in Red Dons. Can you explain how The Observers came to an end and how Red Dons got together?

Douglas: All I can decipher about the demise of The Observers is that our friendships simply fell apart and so the band quickly followed. Sadly, I don’t know all the specific events that lead to the end of the band because I was never included in discussions about breaking up the group. A few days after the guys quit, I asked if they would record two final songs that Kashani and I wrote together. They voted not to and that made it difficult for me to find closure with the project.

It put me in a unique and unfortunate situation. Being the main songwriter and lead singer of the group, I was encouraged by a large number of people to find new members and continue on with the band. The Observers were my life, and I was caught off guard by the others leaving, so I seriously considered reforming the group. I just wasn’t ready for the band to end.

Hajji and I started practicing Observers songs with our first drummer, and Justin came along later after we had worked a little with other guitarists like Adam Becker of Autistic Youth and Defect Defect. Ultimately, we changed the name because after practicing together and discussing ideas for future recordings, we realized the group had taken on an identity of its own. Coming to that point was a yearlong process where we endured defamation and were ostracized in the punk scene. It wasn’t a fun time.

What’s interesting is that the Red Dons are a project that in theory predates The Observers. Hajji and I had been discussing and planning this ever since 2000 when we lived together in college housing. Back then, the Red Dons were intended to be a side project that would only release 7″s. Each 7″ would feature different musicians from various backgrounds making each record diverse in sound and style. We even had a power pop 7″ written and ready to go. For example, in 2002, after I moved back to Portland from Germany and Hajji from Jordan, we started working on Escaping Amman. The design of the record, its artwork, and the song “West Bank” are all products of that time period before The Observers even formed.

With that said, however, the Red Dons identity has changed because of The Observers. Now, the Red Dons aren’t a conceptual side project because they do act as a continuation of The Observers. Some of the original ideas we had for the project have remained, though. One of our main objectives is that the band acts as a sort of collective much like Crass did. With people free to come and go as they please, the band can still collaborate with musicians we admire as well as play whatever we’d like to. It is a way to destroy the rules of punk and frees us up to do many different things.

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Record of the Week: Slugga

June 17th, 2015 by

SLUGGA – “Parasite/Shaved Heads”
This record rules. Stupid, short and direct. “Parasite” is so fucking catchy and punk and perfect. I think my only complaint is their singer sounds a little like Lumpy (of the DUMPERS), but that’s not a big complaint. All that aside, the fucking song is an instant classic and I won’t be surprised when it’s featured on Killed By Death #125 in 2053. “Shaved Heads” slows down just barely and it’s the perfect song for an idiotic creepy crawl through a stupid fucking basement show. Sloppy, but not too sloppy, punk…the kind of shit you wanna hear first thing in the morning before you spend the day punching fuckheads in the face. (Greg Harvester)
(Total Punk)


Blast From the Past: Bum Kon

June 16th, 2015 by

This interview originally ran in MRR #305 which you can pick up from our back issues page here


I don’t know what it’s like now for kids growing up in this modern age—what with the internet, MySpace, mp3s, filesharing, YouTube, and whatever else—but back in my day (the ’90s) you found out about music from your friends. I’m talking about actual real-life in-person interactions (remember those?), or trading tapes through the mail. I’ve got a couple people whose taste in music I trust above all else, and when one of them whispers the name of a band, my ears instinctively perk up. That’s what happened when I heard, “Chris, do you know this group Bum Kon?” A little subsequent research told me they were an early Colorado hardcore band, that they had an EP from 1983 called Drunken Sex Sucks, and that they were named after a Korean policeman who went on a killing spree. Yeah, sounds like it could be cool… Now how do I track down a recording?

Fast-forward a few years, and I make my way out to San Francisco, where Maximum Rocknroll has a library of over 45,000 punk records. Bum Kon was one of the first I pulled out to tape—along with Raw Power Screams from the Gutter LP, Rattus WC Räjähtää LP, the Feederz Jesus EP, the Stalin Mushi LP, October Days 12″, and a couple other as-of-then un-reissued classics. I don’t know what I liked more about Bum Kon—the breakneck-speed blasts of adolescent hardcore punk fury, or the genius art on the cover of the EP.

I soon landed a job working at one of the few remaining major independent music distributors in the country here in SF, where among my co-workers was not only Andrew Murphy, former Denver resident and proprietor of the Colorado-centric Smooch Records, but Bob McDonald, former vocalist of the band Bum Kon. It was during the mastering process for Local Anesthetic, Andrew’s compilation of early Colorado punk singles, that the complete, unmastered, and largely unheard-since-1983 session for the EP turned up. I expected it to be good, but fuck… this thing needed to be released. Though a couple other labels were interested, Andrew’s Smooch imprint was the natural choice. I was thrilled when he asked if MRR wanted to co-release it! Now, with the complete 25-track 1983 recording session out on CD, and the vinyl version coming later this month, we thought it was the perfect time to do an article for the magazine.

Andrew and myself conducted the following interview with Bob McDonald and Johnny Meggitt in August of 2008. Besides doing vocals for Bum Kon throughout their entire career (the EP and two LPs) as well as the illustrious and infamous Bad Circus, Bob more recently sang for the band Mr. & Mr. & Mr. & Mr. Evil, and fronts Hank IV (LP out soon on Siltbreeze!). Johnny is also a veteran of the early Colorado hardcore scene, having been in Child Abuse, Acid Ranch, Brother Rat, and Bad Circus. He was also the vocalist of the now-defunct Subtractions, and currently plays in the Get Offs. We spoke about Bum Kon, their contemporaries in the Colorado scene at the time, Bob and Johnny’s experiences getting into punk in Denver, and quite a bit more. Just prior to the interview, the four of us watched an old video shot at a show in Fort Collins, CO, in 1984. The footage featured performances by Bum Kon, Acid Ranch, and Peace Core, and interviews with members of the band and the audience.

Introduction by Chris Hubbard.

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Reissue of the Week: Flag of Democracy

June 16th, 2015 by

Ah yes, killer reish here of the second best record to ever emerge from the City of Brotherly Love. (YDI 7” is number one if you were curious.) Anyway, F.O.D. seems to have gotten an unfair shake on account of being a “funny band,” and for pressing on far past their peak, but this six-songer is prime, ’80s East Coast suburban, lawn-mowing, hardcore thrash at its finest, a perfect kindred spirit with ADRENALIN O.D. The hyper-speed, snappy thrashers that fill the grooves of this 7” are a crucial piece of the ’80s American hardcore puzzle that definitely need to be digested more than once if you fancy such things. (Justin Briggs)

Since we got sent a giant stack o’ F.O.D reissues which are all reviewed in the new MRR so I thought I’d dig around and find an older mention in ye olde MRR archive… (Taken from issue #5)  You can take a listen to this tape right here courtesy of SRA Records