Archive for May 2012

3 cheers for 3 more beers!


These days, the phrase “rock ‘n’ roll cliche,” is, well…a cliché. Rock bands party hard. Rock bands sing about partying hard. When they want to divert from songs about partying hard, they write songs about girls. And totally rocking. Escapism serves its purpose – it’s fun, and if you don’t read into it too much, you aren’t offended by the materialism, misogyny, or badly written riffs and lyrics. Cause you know, there’s fireworks and stuff.

Theory of a Deadman trying out for Zoolander II

But every once and a while, there’s a band that breaks from the mold, but is still somehow totally rocking. The Frank is a band that manages exactly that. Take their new  3 More Beers EP. From the title, you can infer three things: that it’s a sequel, they like beer, and if they like beer they MUST BE TOTALLY ROCKING! And you’d be right. However, that’s where the conventions end.


The History of Punk, Class #2


The Edmonton Free School
Saturday 19 May 1:30PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“Punk and Protest: Laws, Counterculture, Action!”

In the late-1970s and early 1980s, the Vancouver punk scene was a vibrant and diverse community. We’ll look at originators like Joey “Shithead” Keithley, his group DOA, and another local band called The Subhumans. Gerry “Useless” Hannah, The Subhuman’s bass player, was a member of the activist group Direct Action. These dissenters were arrested by the RCMP for attacks against property, which sparked a media firestorm. We’ll also discuss Vancouver participants in relation to the wider punk milieu, and the 1980s’ counterculture as a whole.

American Hardcore, pp. 256-260.
The Philosophy of Punk, pp. 112-114
I, Shithead, pp. 125-127.
“The Vancouver 5”
Hannah’s Maximum Rocknroll column, 1984.
Toronto Star, 15 October 1982, p. A1
Toronto Star, 15 October 1982, p. A3

Duff McKagan recalls the Pacific Northwest punk scene
Chris Arnett: The Furies
The Skulls move to Toronto
Vancouver punk scene’s D.I.Y. recording history
Henry Rollins on DOA
The Stiffs – “Fuck You”
Dishrags – “I Don’t Love You” live 1979
DOA – “Disco Sucks”
DOA – “World War III”
The Subhumans – “Firing Squad”
The Subhumans – “Slave to my Dick”
DOA – “Trial by Media”

The Many Sides to Nowhere: Blurring the lines between music and art


Jim Nowhere is a punk rocker. If you were in a debate club, you’d have an easier time convincing someone you didn’t want to be a lawyer or a politician than poking holes in this fact. Heck, if you were a philosopher, even you would have a lot of trouble refuting how true this is.

Yep, he’s a punk. He’s got a punk rock attitude. He’s got a punk rock band. He’s even got a punk rock name. Even though you can call him a punk, you could also call him an artist, and you could call him a folk singer.

What you couldn’t call him is somebody that likes fitting into neat little categories.

Labels? Who needs ’em?


The History of Punk, Class #1


The Edmonton Free School
Saturday 12 May 1:30PM
Location: Humanities 1-14, The University of Alberta
All-Ages, All-Welcome

“What is Punk?”

In this seminar we will trace the origins of punk and see if we can pinpoint its beginning. We will examine the basic tenet of punk, the Do-It-Yourself Ethic, and look at a foundation of the punk community: the fanzine. Ultimately, we’ll wrestle with two important questions – can punk be defined, and does punk have a history?

We Got the Neutron Bomb, pp. 1-5.
A Cultural Dictionary of Punk, pp. 26-27, 169-170, 234-238.
Please Kill Me, pp. 163-173.
When did Punk start? Who Cares?
The Philosophy of Punk, pp. 21-41.

Los Saicos – “Demolicion”
The Sonics – “Strychnine”
Rocket from the Tombs – “30 Seconds Over Tokyo”
Richard Hell and the Voidoids – “Blank Generation”
The Ramones – “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” CBGB 1974
Talking Heads, “Psycho Killer” Live at CBGB, 1975
Blondie with Fred Smith – “I Love Playing With Fire – May 4, 1977”
The Saints – “I’m Stranded”

The Slits – “Vindictive (Peel Session 1977)”

Here’s a working draft of the syllabus that we’ll be reviewing during the first class. Ideas and comments are very welcome!

5 Facts from Harper’s Canada


Happy anniversary! A year ago today enough Canadians voted to give the Conservative Party a majority government. Here’s a few facts we’ve learned since then:

Budget Fact: To be a fiscal conservative, you don’t have to practice fiscal responsibility.

History Fact: A Canadian politician should know more about hockey history than Canadian political history.

Women Fact: There’s no irony in changing the 400 year old definition of when life begins, even when it could put Canada back 400 years.

Environment Fact: Cutting funding to the CBC is better than ratifying Kyoto, if it will stop promotion of shows like Radio 2 Drive.

Canada Fact: It’s more important to mythologize a 200 year old war nobody won than recognize some little document called the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Archives aren’t always quiet


There’s a new archive in town, dedicated to the legendary BBC DJ John Peel. The good archivists will be putting up 100 records from his vast collection every week.

Here’s the link:

And here’s an interview: John Peel Interview MRR