Friday, March 31, 2006

22 Years Ago Today

Samhain's first show -- March 31, 1984. Rock Hotel.

And yes, that's Lyle Preslar on guitar.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Danzig, in three fun sizes!

I'm not really into toys, but these are so cool. Some quips from the Livewire Board:

"I hear they're life size!" [/rimshot]

"All pre-nose job" [/snark]

Image hotlinked from True Til Jeff.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Straight Edge: Trailer Park Style

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Mart: A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

I don't know if other states have them, but in the great state of Pennsylvania we have indoor flea markets referred to as "Marts." They're awesome. To walk into a mart is like walking into Mos Eisley. By that, I don't mean to imply that Marts are a "wretched hive of scum and villainy," (although I always do manage to see quite a few sketchy people milling about) but more just the fact that at a Mart, the typical crowd looks a bit more alien than other places where people gather in society.

Everything at a Mart is usually pre-owned, close to expiration, a crappy knock-off, or new -- but for some reason -- dirt cheap. Add the mart mutants into the mix, and it completes the Sci-Fi black market vibe: bearded ladies, Romulans, dudes with their arms melted to their sides, more midgets than you can shake a stick at. I always go to the Mart fully expecting to see something amazing. I go for the produce (so fucking cheap) and stay for the people.

This past weekend, I lingered a bit longer than usual, checking out most of the um, "stores." A lot of them had collections of used CDs that you could pick up for $2.00 a pop. I always love coming across hardcore releases nestled between Silverchair and Whitney Houston CDs. No, it's not quite finding "Cough Cool" in a bin somewhere for a quarter, but I always get excited at the prospect of the hardcore deal. Some finds this week:

Sheer Terror "Bulldog Edition" CD -- Blackout!
Negative FX/Last Rites "Discography" CD -- Taang!
Absolution "Discography" CD -- Temperance
Earth Crisis "Slither" CD -- Vicotry
Sensfield -- advanced release CD

In a stunning display of adult crash, I walked away with:

Frank Sinatra "Super Hits" CD
Lyle Lovette and his Large Band CD
Benny Goodman "Big Bands" CD
Sheer Terror "Bulldog Edition" CD
Presidents of the United States CD

I thought all were solid pick-ups. Dinner music for the most part, with a smidge of filthy hate, sprinked with some Top 40 cheese.

The Presidents of the United States CD was a bit of a surprise. I picked it up because I noticed there was a cover of MC5's "Kick Out the Jams," and I was shocked to find that the entire record was pretty good. Think Primus, without the band going out of it's way to be overly bizarre.

Another thing I really dig about the band is their aversion to strings. The bass player has only the top 2 strings on his bass. The guitar player only has the top 3 strings on his axe. They don't use the other strings, so what's the point? How cool is that? I know, I know. All the guitar players out there are saying "dude, you can't keep your guitar in tune without the other strings." Yeah, fine. I'll concede that point. But if hardcore bands would just ditch the extra strings, I truly believe there would be a hell of a lot less post-hardcore bands out there.

While at the mart, I was also reminded of the Super Power I possess. I'm not sure how it would translate in terms of crime fighting or saving humanity, but I have an uncanny ability to spot an ex-skinhead at about 100 paces. It's really odd. I can just look at some dude, size him up immediately, and get a bald-headed vibe. From there, I start to look for other indicators to confirm the gut feeling. First the shoes. Then the presence of tattoos. Then what kind of tatoos (almost always something racist or skinhead. The Lehigh Valley is PACKED with tons of former skins, and I see these a lot). Without noticing any of these first, I always seem to pick up on the vibe. What can I say. It's either a talent or a mutant super power. Either way, fit me for some spandex.

Anyway, that was my weekend of excitement and adventure. It would've been cooler if I got to cut some dude's arm off with my lightsaber, but I'll just go listen to Sheer Terror instead.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tell me you've never done this before.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dwid & the Big Box

I don't want to get in the habit of re-posting things that appeared in other people's zines, but I came across a story about Dwid while I was reading through my Radio Riot collection that was so funny I literally shit myself. Okay, okay...I was reading it on the toilet, so I suppose the result was inevitable, but still -- if you're an Intergrity fan and you never heard this story, I'm certain you'll enjoy it.

The following excerpt appeared in Radio Riot issue number 36, the last issue it published as of June 1994. If you've never read Radio Riot before, you're missing out. It's like sneaking into Matt Gard's (the editor) bedroom, and reading his Hardcore journal. Radio Riot, along with other zines like Combat Stance and Bullshit Monthly ( BS Monthly collection soon to be available through Hardware Media) were the inspirations behind what I did with Fuck You Fanzine. I always liked to think of Fuck You Fanzine as one part RXR, one part Combat Stance, and one part BS Monthly. But I digress. Enjoy the story.

(This story was originally submitted to Radio Riot by BRV Zine in Ohio. The name of the author and the meaning of the initials were never explained)

"This all occured about two years ago. At the time, Dwid was living with me, (sleeping on my bedroom floor). He was also dating this girl who lived in Euchid, Ohio. I think her name was Shannon. Anyway, her birthday was coming up and her friends were planning a party to celebrate it. Of course, they invited Dwid, and he in turn invited me. We were basically clueless, except it was on such and such a day and at such and such a time. Dwid figured since this was a birthday party, he had better bring a gift, but what? He'd only gone out with this girl a couple of times and didn't know this girl all that well.

We decided to go to Parmatown Mall in search of a present. In no time at all, we found ourselves in the middle of a Children's Palace toy store, trying out the crappy skateboards and causing trouble. Dwid became so involved with toys that he and I almost forgot about buying a gift. The party was the following night and we needed to find something really quick. The store was closing, so we made a mad dash for an aisle that had a bunch of close-out sales. Dwid's brilliant idea was to buy whatever came in the biggest box.

This turned out to be a Captain Power battle fortress, on sale for $25.00, no refunds or exchanges.

The thing was immense. I probably could have fit inside the box, it was that big. Keep in mind that he was going to give this to a 16 year-old girl. There was no use debating with him at this point, his mind was made up. We took the goddamn thing home and spent over a half hour wrapping it in newspaper. Time passed by and before you knew it, Dwid and I were knocking on Shannon's door with the monsterous package looming behind us.

One of her friends opened the door and told us to come in. The party was already under way, and consisted of about 30 friends and relatives. In we go with the battle fortress, and everyone takes notice. We're greeted with shouts of "wow! Look at that" and "hey Shannon, someone bought you a present." We realized immediately that no one else had bothered to bring a gift.

The night ended with Shannon opening her huge present. People had been speculating on the contents all night and were anticipating this moment as if it were the unveiling of a beautiful work of art. They didn't leave disappointed, I can tell you that much. You should have seen the look on her face. Complete confusion. Meanwhile, Dwid's laughing like hell and I'm turning so red as to be unbelieved. Chaos ensued.

On the way home, I told Dwid he probably should have bought her flowers, to which he replied, "I don't care, that was punk." He was right, but I don't think they ever went out again."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hardcore Hair Club for Men

(From left to right) Your's Truly with Nate Clemmens of Atari, circa 1994 (when I had hair). Brett Barto of Atari was holding the camera. The picture was taken at Kutztown University in Nate's dorm room. We both used to live in Beck Hall. "Beck: Where the Freaks Are" was the dorm motto, I believe. Lots of punks, skaters, hippies, artsy kids. For a dorm, it was a pretty sweet place to live.

I was a member of the staff at Beck Hall my Sophomore year. At the end of the year, my boss gave out awards to each staff member. Mine read:

"Staff Member Most-likely to Let a Keg Go By the Desk -- Ronny Little."

As a staff member, I banged a girl I was dating in the study lounge once. I was working the over night at the front desk. She was in the lobby working on a design project in the middle of the night, as a lot of graphic design majors often did. When it came time for me to do an hourly round, I snagged the key to the study lounge, asked her to take a walk with me, and you can fill in the rest.

The next morning a friend of mine on staff, Chris, walked up to me at breakfast and said casually "soooo...who did you fuck in the study lounge last night?" Despite the fact that I was choking on my Fruit Loops when he asked, I played it cool.

I denied the charge up and down, left and right. The entire time, Chris was just sitting across the table from me with this smug little "gotcha" look on his face, folding his arms, stroking his chin, nodding in a patronizing way that was annoying me. Totally toying with me as I began to squirm. I think my best defense went something like "whatever Copper. You got no proof."

His response was to put a long, curly brunette pubic hair that looked very much like it could have been mine, onto my cereal. After another 90 seconds of intense interrogation, I cracked.

I wasn't aware that Chris had spent a lot of time in the study lounge. After I got busted, I went and took a look at the sign-out sheet, and it was pages and pages of his signature. Apparently, he had been in the lounge until midnight that night, and then was back down there the following morning at 7:00 a.m.

I had apparently left some, uh, forensics in the study lounge in the form of a condom in the waste basket (I know, what was I thinking) and a pubic hair on his favorite study table. Sensing something was amiss, Chris checked the sign-out log and saw no entries for the times between Midnight and 7:00 a.m. When he went to see which staff member was working the desk and would've had access to the key, all roads led to me. Busted.

Anyway, this picture reminded me of my Freshman and Sophomore year at Kutztown, when I had hair. As I hit my mid-20's, I noticed that my hair began migrating south, taking up permanent residency on my back and ass. What a bummer.

Anyone who wants to join the Hardcore Hairclub for Men, leave a comment. I'll get to work on the t-shirts and merch.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hardcore Archeology -- Jon Stewart

I came from kind of a dysfunctional family when I was growing up. Songs like DRI's Mad Man, Reagan Youth's What Will The Neighbors Think, and Angry Samoan's My Old Man's a Fatso were my anthems. Because of that, I spent as little time at home as possible. In the years since, I have come to love my family; but as a 16 year-old, I had a passionate loathing for all at 29 Birchwood Circle.

I know, I know. It's a total punk rock cliche, but when I was growing up, I was so disconnected from my family that Hardcore was my surrogate clan. In those years, the place where I hung my hardcore hat was at a club in a run-down portion of Trenton on Calhoun Street called City Gardens. I truly considered the place home, and spent as much time as possible there, soaking in all of the bands that made their way through the place.

Many years later, as I began to bump into other dudes who also haunted City Gardens, people started asking me "did you ever hear that Jon Stewart used to bartend at City Gardens?" It was news to me. I remembered dude bartenders at City Gardens, but I couldn't place a face to any of them so many years after the fact (although, I do remember the faces of many of the overzealous bouncers).

For the past few years, it's kind of been this mystery that old City Gardens kids have wondered about, straining their memories, trying to recall if someone looking like Jon Stewart ever handed them a Solo cup filled with tap water for a dollar while making George W. Bush faces.

Since to my knowledge, Jon Stewart has never been in a hardcore band, I don't suppose this is truly Hardcore Archeology, but the following clip is proof positive that, yes City Garden's heads, Jon Stewart did work the bar at City Gardens while you were being tossed out the side doors of the club for stage diving to Agnostic Front.

(If the video hangs while loading, click on the image again and it will take you to You Tube, where it will automatically begin playing)