Thursday, December 22, 2005

BBHC Top 10: My favorite posts of 2005

The new year approaches, which can only mean one thing -- COUNTDOWNS! On television. On radio. You can't avoid them! Not even on Barebones Hardcore as I count down my Top Ten favorite posts of 2005!

Number 10

Entering the countdown at number ten I think will always be one of my all-time moments here at Barebones Hardcore. On my second post ever, I wrote a nuclear open letter to Alternative Press Magazine after reading their "Bringing It Back: A.P.'s Hardcore Special" feature (issue #201, April 2005). In just my second day of blogging, I drew 6,000 hits as a result of the letter. I got a ton of feedback from many of my new readers. Nobody seemed to like how the AP feature came out. Not even many of the bands that participated in it!

I also got in both a public and private pissing match with a couple of AP employees (Johan Bayer and Scott Heisel) which made it all the more fun. I got a kick out of the fact that there were some people out there in Ohio sitting around wondering what the fuck my problem was. After that, there were some private correspondences between me and another staff member at AP, who asked that all of the email conversations we had remain off the record, which was disappointing to me, because there was a really intresting dialog going on, in my opinion.

I'm almost certain that today, AP's policy on bloggers like me goes something like "AP does not deal with terrorists," which is probably the smart thing to do, because I'll always wipe the floor with posers like Johan Bayer and Scott Heisel.

Anyway, I dropped a dirty bomb on Alternative Press, and it instantly put BBHC on the map, so this moment has to be included in the countdown.

Dear Tiger Bea -- whoops! Alternative Press:

Thank you so much for including Hardcore's ummm... best and brightest in the pages of the Boy Band Bonanza that calls itself "Alternative" Press these days. Your feature, "Bringing It Back: A.P.'s Hardcore Special" read more like a paid advertisement for labels such as Victory, Trustkill, Equal Vision, and Bridge Nine Records than as an authoritative piece on today's Hardcore scene.

The reason that Hardcore music has experienced a massive resurgence over the past 10 years is because labels like Victory Records nearly killed traditional hardcore in the early 1990's. Back then, bands such as Earth Crisis and Snapcase -- metal bands packaged and marketed as Hardcore bands -- were painted as the new face of Hardcore music. Fortunately, a few Hardcore purists saw it more as vandalism and took the musical direction of the scene into their own hands.

By 1995, a handful of bands rejected the status quo of the new scene and started repairing the damage done by Victory -- record by record, show by show. While bands like Ignite, Mouthpiece, Floorpunch, Ten Yard Fight, In My Eyes, 97a and Rain On The Parade would never be able to move the amount of "units" that any of the bands in your feature could move, they were undeniably the reason that Hardcore did not vanish into the metal abyss perpetuated by the likes of Tony Brumell. They were also the reason your magazine now has a Hardcore revival to write about, which by the way, has been going on for 10 years now. Get with the times.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised by how bad your Hardcore special turned out. Not when you charge a handful of outsiders and rookie newbs with writing it. To mix bonified Hardcore bands such as Triple Threat, Righteous Jams, Mental, Paint It Black, Outbreak and Champion in with the likes of overtly metal-influenced bands like Bane, Converge and Terror (who have gone down hill since Todd Jones departed the band on his own terms) shows the true colors of your writing staff, which is decidedly green.

And don't even get me started on Laura Wiebe Taylor. At first, I thought she might have fallen into this assignment as a guesture of gratitude by Johan Bayer after she held his coat while he was off moshing. Instead, it just turned out to be bad judgement. Afterall, why would you select someone with a background in metal to write for your Hardcore special? A google search had her name turn up at Unrestrained Magazine, which is apparently Canada's "Authority on the Metal Underground."

"So what" you say? Well, if your writing staff was more in touch with our scene, they would never compare New Jersey's Triple Threat (a band that meticulously crafts it's complex sound after legendary California acts BL'AST! and Black Flag) to the likes of lunch pail mosh bands like Madball, Terror, and Bane. Such a reckless comparison in a national forum is enough to drive a straight-edge band to drink. Why is there a need for the "Rocks Like:" comparisons anyway? Is this Alternative Press or is it

If you want your magazine to ever have a shred of credibility with the Hardcore scene, you'll have to do better than a couple of half-assed Hardcore "specials" written by a bunch of posers who bend over and let Victory and Trustkill Records ram it home. Until you get it right, I'll continue to wipe my hemorrhoids with your Boy Band rag.

I Have Spoken,

Ronny Little


From the desk of Johan Bayer, editor of that Alternative Press "Bringing It Back: A.P.'s Hardcore Special" feature:

Hey Ronnie,

If Anal Cunt wrote a song about you it would be called:

"You Used To Sing For Rain On The Parade"

Thanks for your input and for once again reinforcing hardcore's sexist stereotypes--I'm sure that all four people who read your blog are very proud! JB
HA! Well, I suppose I deserved that Johan. To set the record straight, the only song floating around out there written about yours truly would be Mouthpiece's "What Remains," but I will gladly lend my name to the Anal Cunt discography if it will help you and your staff find closure for the new asshole I just tore all of you.

It is such rich irony that a guy who works for a magazine filled from cover to cover with pictures of nothing but MALE musicians would call me a sexist. Why don't you page through that March issue of Alternative Press and tell me how many women are pictured that aren't models, actresses, or random girls being asked if tattos are still fashionable? If I'm taking A.P.'s word for it, it looks like the only music worth checking out is the kind made by retarded young white males.

I'll take my four well-informed readers over your magazine's legion of posers any day.

Pose Hard, brah.

Ronny Little

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