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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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Blog of the Week: Art 4 Punks

March 16th, 2011 by

You can’t always judge a book by its cover, but Art 4 Punks is a record review site with a difference: ignoring the music, blogger Paul D’Elia reviews the artwork and packaging instead. He casts a critical and thoughtful eye on something that is often considered throwaway or even an afterthought by many bands and labels, and highlights those who make an effort to deliver an effective visual counterpart to the music on the record. Paul’s something of a punk rock renaissance man, having played in several bands (including Tear It Up, Dead Nation, and The Rites) and turning out a fair amount of art himself (evidence at screenin4achange.com). I took the opportunity to get some background on the Art 4 Punks blog and get his thoughts on punk cover art. —Allan

How long have you been into design and how did you get into it? Was it from a particular punk record?

I guess I got into design while I was at college. I had started out as a photo student, but I went to a very liberal art college that encouraged you to try any and every medium in order to carve out your own creative path. While I was there the whole world of photography was shifting to digital and I began to lose interest in shooting, so I started working more with screen-printing instead. The only problem was that I needed to have images to print, so I guess that was when I really started to think about building art more in the form of design. Truthfully, I was looking more to vintage poster and skateboard art for inspiration than I was punk records at the time.

Which designers or artists do you look up to (Both ‘punk’ and non-punk)?

Raymond Pettibon is a huge one for me. I love his illustration style, and the art created for Sonic Youth’s “Goo” might be my favorite album he’s done. The skateboard art that Jim Phillips was doing in the 80’s was very important to me while I was learning about screen-printing. Beyond that, anything collage/abstract in content tends to interest me. I’ll spare you the laundry list.

Which current labels and bands do you think are putting out the best-designed product?

Youth Attack and Feral Ward are the two labels that continue to kill it for me: every release is expertly thought out and executed beyond the normal expectations of what a punk record would look like, and I can’t get enough of that. As far as bands, I’d have to say Daylight Robbery and Masshysteri both pulled together some of the most mature/best looking records of the last few years, with an honorable mention to Cola Freaks for their general flawless sense of style. It’s really hard for me to pin a few down because I really do love so much of what I see coming from bands right now… everyone is really upping their game for 2011!

A lot of bands and labels don’t spend a lot of time on graphics/artwork, like there’s something extra-punk about a throwaway aesthetic. Why do you think it’s important?

I have always been a very visual person, so for me when I am listening to a record the visual presentation is nearly as important as the audio… and that is not to say everything needs to look really slick and polished, cause it definitely doesn’t; I think it’s more about effectively creating a vehicle to help deliver the audio message regardless of the budget or available resources.

What are your five all-time favorite punk record covers, and why? And can you name a couple of great records with terrible covers?

Man, that is a really hard question! Let’s start with the good… not necessarily a “top 5” but more like a “5 really really great” covers.

X – Adult Books 45

It’s a great layout all around really, but I really love the front and back cover. It’s smart without coming off too conceptual…. all the Dangerhouse releases were exceptional enough to mention visually. They really had their finger on the pulse of what was happening on an artistic level in punk at the time…

Buzzcocks – Orgasm Addict 45

I’ve loved this record for so many years and I still don’t know which side of the art is up! The beauty of this graphic mystery is that it really doesn’t matter because it looks amazing no matter how you are holding it. AND the back cover is just as beautiful and confusing… it’s the ultimate “punk meets hi-art” example, and it will always be a top cover for me.

Discharge – Realities of War EP

A simple photo turned punk phenomenon… when I think of “punk” looking records, this is what comes to mind (well, this and Hear Nothing…) the simplicity is so striking, sometimes less is more ya know?

Void – Faith/Void split 12″

The color breakup between the black and white on this cover continues to be one of the most creative and sophisticated uses of negative space ever to grace a punk record. The black bar on the bottom creates a really nice balance for the illustration in the center and then the bold type on the top. Without it, it would have just been an illustration, not a composition.

The Misfits – Bullet EP

This cover is pop-culture misappropriation at it’s finest. You take an image everybody knows and arguably feels something about when they see it, photocopy it to oblivion, and then add a touch of red for effect. We all know Kennedy was shot in the head, yet this cover is still shocking the first time you see it. It’s gritty and raw, yet oozing with style. Black. White. Red. This record is king.

As for the bad, there are a lot that come to mind… pretty much any ALL or Descendents record would fall in that category. Both those bands have catalogs full of music I adore and cover art I can’t relate to. I love the Big Boys, but there is a bit of a cringe factor to the Lullabies Help the Brain Grow cover art. Richard Hell and the Voidoids, or any other early 80’s band that just phoned it in with a mediocre photo of themselves and then slapped some Helvetica over top… Really though, there is way more that I am just indifferent to, and I don’t know if that’s better or worse.


Zines is Punks

December 31st, 2010 by

You may have noticed that this decade has been continually sounding the death knell of print. From the dot-com boom, to the blogger revolution, and now the rise of slim digital readers. Well, Atomic Books has had enough, and has thrown down the gauntlet for 2011: The Revenge of Print!: “We are challenging everyone who’s ever made/self-published a zine, a comic or mini-comic before to dust off the ol’ photocopier and make at least one more new issue in 2011.” But why don’t we widen the scope? I’d like to add that if you’ve never made a zine before, you could throw in with the challenge and let 2011 be your year of print revenge too.

But is revenge the right word? In some ways the digital era has made print more accessible. Zines are thriving despite the migration of many would-be zinesters to blogs. You can find out about, order, or download PDFs of zines that would have otherwise would have been too far away in time or distance.

Punks is Hippies is a “user-generated fanzine archive.” A digital archive of zines at first seems a little ironic, but here the web serves its best purpose. It makes what is good and valuable to us as a community available to everyone, it takes what could have been lost or destroyed and adds another layer of protection to prevent it from vanishing forever. Which is a little scary if you were a teenage zinester who hopes your first issues all ended up in the same abyss on fire.

So don’t wrestle too hard mentally over what a zine archive like Punks is Hippies means. Just go look at the decades of punk zines from all over the world. Fill your eyes up, be inspired (because there is a lot to be inspired by). Then go make that zine, usher in yet another year where print, though constantly pronounced dead, refuses to die.

Website of the Week: Do DIY

December 17th, 2010 by

Say hello to your new friend: DoDIY.org.

I was happy to totally randomly come across this very modest, yet enormously useful resource while searching for who-knows-what the other day. It’s basically a listing of DIY venues in the US and Canada, but unlike other sites that try/have tried to do this sort of thing, Do DIY succeeds by keeping its focus realistic, and actually keeping its listings up-to-date and free of fake indie bullshit.

Public Space One in Iowa City, IA (photo by Neil Campau)

Neil Campau of the band WORLD HISTORY maintains the site pretty much all on his own out of his home in Seattle, or wherever he happens to be on tour. I wondered how he managed to keep the listings current, as DIY venues tend to come and go pretty frequently. Neil says:

“It’s all kinds of work, but I get a lot of nice messages from people letting me know that venues are defunct or contacts have changed.  I also spend lots of time booking shows myself, so that helps me keep in the know. And I try go through all of the links on the site once a year.”

As for the criteria for what the site will and will not list, he says that the venues “have to be open to everyone (i.e., all ages),” and, “No sexist, racist, homophobic, ageist, ableist, etc.-kinda-bullshit allowed in their listings.”

It’s heartening to see that ideals like this still matter to a lot of people, and it exemplifies what impresses me so much about this basic, no-frills website. Each venue (or house in many cases) gives a short description of itself, and just skimming through the listings (a seemingly boring endeavor, kinda like reading the phone book) really makes you realize how awesome this DIY thing is, that we have all created and have a hand in keeping alive.

Neil says his plans for the future of  include expanding the resources section, and starting to include listings of venues outside of the US. We hope see the site continue its mission for good while. Viva DIY!

Blog of the Week: Turkish Punk

December 3rd, 2010 by

We’re sick to death of answering emails all day long from people asking us where to find more Turkish punk rock to listen to. Now there is a blog that provides everything you’d ever want and more. It’s called Turkish Punk! Go to it. Download the Turkish punk music. Listen to the Turkish punk music. Be satisfied that all your Turkish punk needs are now fulfilled, and that you may go on with your life as it once was. Peace be with you.

And now, a Google translation. I’m sure it’s perfect:

Nereye dinlemek için daha çok Türk punk rock bulmak için bize soran kişilerin gün boyu e-posta yanıtlama ölümüne hasta konum. Şimdi her zamankinden daha istediğimiz her şeyi sunan bir blog var. Turkish Punk denir! Bunu gidin. Download Türk punk müzik. Türk punk müzik dinleyin. Tüm Türk punk ihtiyaçlarını şimdi yerine getirmek memnun ve bir zamanlar olduğu gibi senin yaşamına devam olabileceğini olun. Barış seninle olsun.

Blog of the Week: Kill Your Pet Puppy

September 23rd, 2010 by

If you’ve ever had the fortune of stumbling upon the Kill Your Pet Puppy blog site, you know that it contains an almost overwhelming stockpile of rare and interesting ephemera from the early ’80s UK anarcho-punk diaspora. One does not skim KYPP but gets utterly lost in its myriad of downloads, interviews, photos, anecdotes, flyers and reminiscences. No band is too obscure to be covered on Kill Your Pet Puppy, and it’s coverage is certainly not limited to the UK anarcho scene. I asked one of the site’s main forces, Tony Puppy, for background and insight about how and why the website exists. As expected, I got an extensive, in depth reply, but I’ve done my best to filter and regurgitate the highlights here…

Tony D, aka Tony Puppy, was the editor of one of the earliest punk fanzines, Ripped and Torn, from 1976 to 1979. After a brief self-imposed exile to Europe, he got out his typewriter again and started the Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine, which went on public sale at an ADAM AND THE ANTS concert in Camden, North London, on New Year’s Eve 1979. Kill Your Pet Puppy reflected punk life as it was under the newly elected Thatcher cosh: squatting, skinhead NF and British Movement attacks, speed being replaced by Tuinal, and scraping a rainbow life from the hell of reality. Kill Your Pet Puppy was at the forefront of a cultural landscape and an alternative world of squats, squatted venues and self-sufficiency that became known as ‘anarcho punk’. They were liberating times.


Kill Your Pet Puppy, the website, was started in October 2007. Feeling that books like The Day the Country Died focused too much on the music and not the ideas and culture of anarcho-punk, Tony, Al Puppy and Penguin (the site’s main contributors) originally planned to write a book of their own, with contributions from various people such as Bob Short from BLOOD AND ROSES (whose pieces on the 3am site were inspirational). As life got in the way of this plan, the KYPP crew instead decided to start a MySpace page, and then a Photobucket site with notable contributions by photographer Mick Lugworm. Gerard of the band FLOWERS IN THE DUSTBIN came into the fray and helped set up the KYPP blog site as it exists today. The website has developed through many people’s photos, scans of printed material, downloadable music and written contributions into a communication point for those who were there, those who wish to know more about the time and as something that is as culturally significant today as it was then.

The Heretics

All musical uploads on Penguin’s posts are from original vinyl or cassettes recorded onto his hard drive through his stereo system. Penguin has informed me in the past that he has not listened to these rare tapes or dusted off some of those rare records he uploads onto the site for many many years! Penguin has continued to source and upload the most incredible stuff, such as a clutch of CRASS rehearsal tapes and many many live recordings from the most obscure venues of the most obscure but much loved bands of the time. He has also uploaded many alternative mix cassettes by bands like LACK OF KNOWLEDGE and POISON GIRLS. Nowhere in the world have these tapes ever been issued, premiered only on Kill Your Pet Puppy (although no doubt by now, some bloggers would have ripped Penguin’s original links of his original material for their own sites – but that is cool).

Some of the biggest contributions, though, are entered by browsers in the comments sections attached to the posts, where topics take off and build to a life of their own. It has been great to see the site grow through our readers’ input, which is the reason it was set up as a blog rather than a web-site: I wanted it to be a participatory experience and it has done that in spades. The site has over 700 comments on one post alone, and over 500 on another. The site to date has over 800 individual posts with over 15,000 comments attached to said posts. Many many old punks that were around in the scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s have now found each other again through this site a long way before Facebook style ‘punks reunited’ sites were existing.

One young punk who was convicted of ‘murder’ in the squats of Campbell Buildings, Waterloo, in the summer of 1980 when he was still a teenager has recently been sent letters of support and presents from Kill Your Pet Puppy browsers to his prison cell, and it is a pleasant feeling to know that the ‘Free Gary Critchley’ campaign was started from the comments section on a post from Kill Your Pet Puppy. A fact which I still find rather remarkable and touching, even more so if he were to be rightly released.

I asked for some tips on where to start, since the site is quite overwhelming on first viewing. Most of the suggestions are linked in the text of this post, but there are a few more below. Now, as Tony says, “Get on the site and fill your boots!”

The Mob‘s No Doves Fly Here post with Mark and Josef commenting in the text

Mike and Toxic Grafity CRASS edition fanzine

and finally, KILLING JOKE, written by Malicious Damage Operatives