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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: punk, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 9 of 9
1. You shall ride eternal. Shiny, and chrome….New York Antiquarian Book Fair 2016 closing arguments


Part of the experience of a book fair, and not one overly discussed for a reason, are the partnerships and the collaborative aspects of the book trade. You don’t necessarily have to go at this alone. Your comrades have your back (or your spine, [excruciating pun intended] which plays out when scouting or acquiring other material to add to the overall inventory.  How many times have you heard, “Oh, X, would love/need this!?” If you are willing and able, then serendipity has its moments, in addition to critical partnerships.

It was excellent for me to work along side Brian Cassidy, veteran bookseller and long-time Lux Mentis booth partner; Michael Laird, newly discovered witchcraft buddy; book goddess, Kara Accettola; the adorable and sharp, Jonathan Kearns; and equally as adorable and bright, Simon Beattie. I would also like to recognize, the entire Pirages team [good lord, ya’ll need a drink], Ed Sanders and Travis Low [horns up], Fuchsia Voremberg [hugs], Tom Congalton, and Ashley Wildes. I think Ashley encompasses the entire fair sentiment in one image:

Ashley diffuses the situation with mermaid-like qualities, as Kim wishes Ian to contract mind fleas.

Ashley diffuses the situation with mermaid-like qualities, as Kim wishes Ian to contract mind fleas. [Note: drinks handled with appropriate care]

It would be remiss to not recognize some of the book artists and book binders, very important, as representing strong work is a pleasure and a privilege. Both Colin Urbina and Erin Fletcher make overwhelmingly inspiring work, glad to have them in both physical form and function appearing in New York; Michael Kuch, again mind-blowing work; Peter Bogardus; Russell Maret, exceptional new work; Nancy Loeber, representing both fairs [shadow fair]; Christina Amato; Leslie Gerry; Mindy Belloff; María Verónica San Martín; Peter Koch; newly acquired book artist Alexandra Janezic; and of course, the dynamic duo of Marshall Weber and Felice Tebbe at Booklyn. [Do I sound like a broken record or an Oscar speech? geez.]

So, what’s next? Fortunately, we were able to jump over to the “shadow” shows both uptown and across the street to visit both book artists and snap up some “brutally cool” items for down the road to make appearances in iterations of catalog lists forthcoming.  What did strike our fancy this year? A selection of things that caught our eye:

Book of Rates Vermeil, Francois Michel. Trial of an Accused Transsexual in 18th-century France, Mémoire pour Anne Grandjean.... White Stuff, Patti Smith fanzine, 1977-1978 Honey, that Ain't No Romance, Iggy Pop fanzine Edict Regulating Prices for Executions and also for Salaries of Hangmen, 1712 Plethora of dirty pulps and bondage rags Love Poems: Homage to Housman by Samuel M. Steward, queer poet and tattoo artist Photographs of Samuel M. Steward, including images of a young Steward and one photograph with Tom of Finland Kill Me, art book (zine) by Paul Robinson of the Diodes, 1978 Essay Upon Wind, one of 12 copies printed on vellum, c. 1785 Janezic, Alexandra. "Punctuated Weaving" artist book, 2015 Walter L. Main Circus promotional poster


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2. Review: Punk rock and questionable choices are the ties that bind in Curb Stomp #1

curbSWritten by: Ryan Ferrier

Illustrated by: Devaki Neogi

Colors by: Neil Lalonde

Letters by: Colin Bell

Publisher: Boom Studios

The time period of Boom Studio’s limited series Curb Stomp is somewhat tough to pin down. The clothing styles vacillate from the 50s through the 70s, which of course form the template for the hot styles of today. The convenience stores have a modern look, as does the one television set I spotted (there’s nary a cell phone or a computer to be found). At least for now, it doesn’t really matter: Curb Stomp traffics in a genre defined by the pulp novels and exploitation films of those aforementioned eras, so it makes sense that the look of it is something of a review of these periods.

The story itself is also somewhat timeless:  several marginalized neighborhoods surrounding a large city are defined by the gangs that rule them. Newport gang “The Wrath” runs guns and Bayside crew “The Five” runs drugs, leaving the working class people of Old Beach caught between the two. And that’s where the all-woman gang “The Fever” come in. Rather than junk or firearms, The Fever deal justice: with bats, fists and switchblades. “The cops don’t come to Old Beach,”
explains gang-leader Machete Betty,” our justice is D.I.Y.” Rounding out the crew are Violet Volt, Daisy Chain, Derby Girl and Bloody Mary. These ladies are fiercely loyal to each other, as much friends, pillaging each other’s collections for punk rock records, as they are a badass gang of broads who fight dirty.

Though the moniker and set-up are firmly grounded in girl-gang pastiche, the racial make-up of the The Fever is a breath of fresh air. Though not explicitly stated, at least three of the group appear to be non-white: Bloody Mary is asian, Violet Volt is black and Machete Betty just might be latino if the cover art is representative. If it seems odd that I’m so unsure of their ethnicity, you just have to see the comic for yourself: Neil Lalonde has had a field day coloring it. His use of bright and contrasting hues gives the book a pop-punk look, an Andy Warhol sensibility. This really worked for me, especially during a scene in which a crooked city politician makes an alliance with the leaders of The Wrath and Five gangs. There, Lalonde’s use of sickly greens and yellows sets the perfect tone.

Speaking of the art, let’s talk about newcomer Devaki Neogi’s beautiful work on this issue. While we’ve seen some very lovely and modern main-stream comic styles from other Boom titles released this year, Neogi’s art reminded me powerfully of the work of seminal indie comic artists like Charles Burns and Daniel Clowes. The characterizations of the Fever members are sexy, but powerful. These ‘aint your silver-age pin-ups. The clothing and styles the individual Fever members sport seem authentic, if a little showy.

And what of the violence? With a title like Curb Stomp, I worried that it might be handled in an exploitative way — in-step with the exploitation films that lend the book it’s look. Not so. There’s an interesting (if a tad unrealistic) truce amongst the gangs that disallows the use of firearms on each other, leaving skirmishes to be settled with fists and bats rather than drive-by’s. The titular scene forms the spine of the tale: and leaves the perpetrator sick to their stomach. Ferrier plays his plan for the four issue series close to the chest, leaving this first installment to mostly introduce the characters and define the borders of the city and it’s denizens. In our  recent interview with the series creator, Ferrier stated the series would have “real social issues and…a lot more messages in it.”  The loose sketch of the story is interesting, and if the later issues match the intensity of the art it might be a very interesting series.


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3. Cute-Meets-Edgy: A Spike In Millennial Style

Youth culture has had a soft spot for metal spikes and a tough image for decades. As the style has become popular again in recent years, Millennials are putting their own spin on it. Sure, spikes and studs signify a badass attitude in general, but... Read the rest of this post

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4. Some treats while to get some energy for this week's challenge...

A nice slice of Chocolate Strawberry Mousse cake...



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5. The Punk and The Preppy

Is or isn't it true the opposites attract? What would a Preppy and a Punker have in common except their love for one another?

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6. Riddle Me Now, Riddle Me Then…

Gordon Thompson is Professor of Music at Skidmore College. His book, Please Please Me: Sixties British Pop, Inside Out, offers an insider’s view of the British pop-music recording industry. Below is a hint to a musical riddle. His introduction is below and be sure to check back tomorrow for the answer and to try his other riddles here. Feel free to guess the answer in the comments.

Sixties British pop created a wealth of musical material that we now describe as classics, not that classicists are likely to embrace them. Not just the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and the Who, but a wealth of musicians of that era competed to produced recordings that would catch the listening public’s attention, draw them to their concerts, and sell disks. This month’s riddle celebrates another anniversary from that milieu.

Riddle me now, riddle me then,
Can you tell me what again?

Brothers rage against the right,
But this song came before the night.

Not quite crooked, and not perverse;
Replace with “girl,” improve the verse.

Proto-punk, a random slice,
A wild guitar, a roll of the dice.

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7. Riddle Me Now, Riddle Me Then…:The Answer

Gordon Thompson is Professor of Music at Skidmore College. His book, Please Please Me: Sixties British Pop, Inside Out, offers an insider’s view of the British pop-music recording industry. Yesterday he puzzled us all with this month’s masterful riddle, below he explains the answer. Were you able to solve it?

Riddle me now, riddle me then,
Can you tell me what again?
Brothers rage against the right,
But this song came before the night.
Not quite crooked, and not perverse;
Replace with “girl,” improve the verse.
Proto-punk, a random slice,
A wild guitar, a roll of the dice.

Forty-five years ago, the summer of 1964 saw the peak of Beatlemania with the release of the film A Hard Day’s Night and its title song. (See last month’s riddle.) Every record producer (called “artist-and-repertoire managers” in the sixties) and would be manager in the United Kingdom scoured the numerous clubs and dance halls looking for the next big act. The previous year had seen bands like Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Searchers rise to prominence along with singers like Billy J Kramer and Dusty Springfield. More acts arrived from the counties almost every week and that summer the Animals from Newcastle (even further north than Liverpool) had a hit with their version of “House of the Rising Sun.”

Nevertheless, everyone had to come to London, the cultural heart of the Isles. To make it, you had to be in the Big Smoke. Not surprisingly, London and vicinity produced its own stars first produced Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, the Dave Clark Five, and eventually the Rolling Stones, the Nashville Teens, and the Zombies. But perhaps the most English of all these groups, with the songwriter who would come to most confidently speak for the working class suburbs emerged onto the scene in the summer of Beatlemania.

Pye Records had already released disks by one local band, but without much success until 4 August 2009 when the Kinks released “You Really Got Me.”

“Brothers rage against the right,
but this song came before the night.

The radioactive core of the Kinks, Ray Davies, had had a revelation about songwriting, a burst of insight that left football and art as hobbies. The band’s first release of one of his songs (“You Still Want Me”) had failed miserably, which is unsurprising given that Davies seems to have written it as a kind of imitation of the Beatles. “You Really Got Me” materialized in the front room of his parents’ house when he and his brother Dave began jamming on a two-chord riff, Ray pounding on their piano and Dave playing his guitar through an amp with a ruptured speaker. What began as a kind of shuffle soon clotted into a raw ostinato of such powerful simplicity that the brothers knew immediately they had something that could drive the dancers who came to their shows.

The Davies Brothers came from a working-class family in the North London suburb of Muswell Hill where Ray Davies had his artistic conversion. All he needed to do was find his muse. That muse turned out to be London and the suburban community in which he still lives. At one point in the mid sixties, frustrated by the greed and obfuscations of the music and publishing industries, Davies contemplated abandoning music, only to have his father fly into a rage over his perception that his son was letting the upper class (the “right”) destroy him too. Ray Davies channeled this contempt for class privilege into a celebration of British life, in both its tender moments and its vicious competitiveness.

His producer, Shel Talmy, helped Davies to select his best work and to capture the band’s sound and the American (Talmy came from Los Angeles) and he says he knew “You Really Got Me” would be a hit. With the success of “You Really Got Me,” he wanted another song that sustained that mood. Davies had written “Tired of Waiting,” but Talmy wanted to defer releasing it until that had capitalized on their first success. Thus, “You Really Got Me,” came before the follow-up release, “All Day and All of the Night.”

“Not quite crooked, and not perverse;
Replace with “girl,” improve the verse.”

The band’s name came in part from their appearance. They had played under names like “The Ray Davies Quartet” and “The Ravens,” but sometime in late 1963 they adopted the name “The Kinks,” probably as a description of the leather and high heels that some of the members wore. One of their managers, Larry Page, may have made the name change decision looking for a way to capture audience attention better.

In 1964, a promoter who had signed the Kinks for his shows sought to improve their stage presentations by asking entertainment veteran Hal Carter to coach them. The Kinks had been including an early version of the song in their stage repertoire, but Carter, perhaps confused by the band’s long hair, wondered whether Davies was singing to a male or female: “Jane, Carol, Sue, bint, tart—even jus plain ‘Girl.’ Whatever you do, you have to make it personal.” Davies recalls in his semi-fictional autobiography that “‘Girl instead of ‘Yeah’ mean a lot to me…’”

“Proto-punk, a random slice,
A wild guitar, a roll of the dice.”

Part of the distinctive guitar sound on “You Really Got Me” came because of brother Dave’s tiny Elpico amplifier acting as a preamp to his Vox AC 30 amplifier. Of course, he did not think of it as a “preamp”; he just tried to run a lead from the Elpico’s tiny speaker and plug it into his Vox. In combination with another amplifier, he nearly electrocuted himself; but after replacing the fuses in the family home and some rewiring of the wires connecting the amplifiers, he arrived at a nearly marvelous sound: “nearly marvelous” because he was still dissatisfied. He had no doubt heard of how American blues musicians played with ripped speakers and resolved to get the same sound by using a blade to put a “slice” into the Elpico’s cone. He could only guess at where to put the cut in the speaker paper, but the result—the consequence of a slice rather than a rip—gave his guitar a unique sound that Shel Talmy captured for posterity.

Dave Davies’ fingering technique—in contrast to his brother who had been getting second-hand classical guitar lessons—sought out the most simple of solutions and helped to popularize a style of playing that punk music later championed. Compared to other guitarists playing in London (such as Eric Clapton of the Yardbirds or session musician Big Jim Sullivan), Dave Davies’ approach was primitive. When the time came for his solo, he thrashed away of barely a half-dozen notes, but with all the aggression he could muster as his brother yelled encouragement at him. This recording represented their last best chance of holding on to a recording contract. Their first two releases had been flops. If this third release similarly failed, they might easily have been looking for another record contract, if not careers in commercial art. Instead, “You Really Got Me” rose steadily in first Britain’s charts and then, North America. Within weeks of its release, the recording sat at the top of most pop recording lists, forty-five years ago.

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8. Punk as Trunk

Punk As Trunk

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever drawn…

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9. Health

A to Z Challenge Day 8: H .     Health is today’s late post.   Have not been Healthy this week and worse over Holiday weekend.  The book review will go missing, while I keep wishing, to be Healthy enough to  review a letter I book.  (The letter L was mistakenly written in place of [...]

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