Category Archives: Photography

The Travelling Mixtapes

What’s old is very new again. I remember when cassettes were king, and I sincerely lamented the death of the humble tape. I wrote songs for my first bands onto cassette, and we recorded live rehearsals on tape as well. I still have many of them. Like other people of the 70s and 80s, as time wore on, we adapted to compact disc, and then streaming music from the cloud, as we were weaned off of vinyl and tape.

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The Travelling Mix-tapes

In the last couple of years, I have noticed bands putting out cassettes instead of CDs. And at first I laughed, but then I remembered all the tapes I have sitting in a box, including old 80s post-punk and Hardcore mix-tapes, and I became interested.

Since then, I am buying newly produced tapes from bands like Goya, Druglord and Cherubs, as well as scouring thrift stores for old tapes at a quarter a pop. I was able to find some decent decks at thrift stores, like an old Technics deck from the 80s and a great 1990s Pioneer double cassette deck for dubbing tape to tape. Long story short- I am totally hooked on the outmoded analog technology.

On Facebook, I am a member of some record collector groups; we post photos of our records, mostly the ubiquitous “Now Spinning” posts. Don’t judge!!!! Recently, I have found a couple of cool Cassette tape collector pages on Facebook, we post images of our latest acquisitions, or post tapes for trade. I have traded for some excellent mixtapes, and I have even sold thrift store finds for good money- more importantly, I have met some good people, from all over the world, and our only thing in common in many cases is our love of analog music.

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My 1980s Technics M205 Tapedeck

A few weeks ago, a member of one of those groups, Te Hao Boon from Singapore, posted about an idea that he had. Basically, he wanted to start with 3 blank cassettes, send them to someone abroad, have them record any combination of original songs, cover songs, or a spoken word piece, and then send them to the next person on a list. He called the project The Travelling Mix-Tapes. The hope was that the tapes would travel across the globe to musicians everywhere, and it would be an amazing collaboration between people who have never met. I just finished recording mine- I added to the original, and the covers tapes, with music from my band Isolated Cockpit.

I haven’t been this excited about a music project in a very long time. I got to use my vintage tapedecks to dub my first mixtape in over 25 years. The possibilities are endless too; these tapes, and there will be more sent out as they fill up, can wind up being an amazing sociological experiment, or a massive work of art! Of course, it can also turn out to be a a jumbled mess of garbage, but who cares? The art is in the sending of the tapes, from one tapehead to the next. A globally produced mix-tape. The only thing that may kill the idea before the first tapes are filled is the fact that hardly anybody knows about this.

Receiving my Mix-tapes in the mail. Squeeeeee!

Receiving my Mix-tapes in the mail. Squeeeeee!

There is a Facebook group page, but again, it really hasn’t taken off like it should have. And that is what this little article’s purpose is- to spread the word and send out a call for mix-tape aficionados and musicians alike to get involved. You Post- Punker in Brazil, and bar band guitarist in England, the classically trained violinist in Moscow, and the Trombone player busking on Jackson Square in New Orleans. You all need to add your music to these tapes.

Go to the Travelling Mixtapes Facebook page  and tell them that The Thugbrarian sent you, and get on the mailing list. The aim is for this to be truly global. Te Hao Boon started this venture from Singapore, and so far it has traveled around the United States. I would like to see these tapes hit the four corners. It’s free to join in, although you will be responsible for mailing the package abroad, but the cost is negligible, and the outcome is most assuredly worth the few dollars in shipping.

I have added  a Travelling Mix-Tapes category  to this blog’s header, and I plan on reporting the project’s progress as it moves along. Go join the Facebook Group, and follow this blog for the latest news.

Commence Dubbing.

The Travelling Mixtapes Facebook page can be reached at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheTravellingMixtapes/

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Filed under Music, Photography, Review, Traveling Mix-Tapes Project, Uncharacterized

Punk Posters-1980-2000: the Mentors/Dulac Swade/ The Spo-its

 

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The Mentors at Monaco Bob’s NOLA 1996 Designed by Allen Jeager

 

The Mentors-Dulac Swade and The Spo-its

Monaco Bob’s, New Orleans, La. August 25th 1996

The above poster is for The Mentors show I promoted at the infamous Monaco Bob’s Touchdown Lounge in New Orleans under the Lucky 13 Entertainment moniker. The bill was too good for me to pass up, since every other promoter in NOLA didn’t want to touch this show. This was late 1996, the last Mentors tour with El Duce at the helm, since the very next year he was run down by a train in California. I am sure many have read the rumors (Conspiracy Theories are more like it) concerning the circumstances of his death. Mainly that Courtney Love tried to hire him to kill Kurt Cobain (this is what he says anyway), he turned her down supposedly, and after making these claims during an interview for the documentary Kurt and Courtney, he mysteriously got run over by a train. Hmmmm I am not touching that.

But I will say that this show was nuts. El Duce, as drunk and incoherent as he was before the show, came to life once on stage, giving a truly disgusting (in a good way) performance. The openers were no slouches either. Local New Orleans MetalCore powerhouse Dulac Swade ripped a hole in the stage, as they always did. A favorite band of mine to book back then was the South Carolina sexploitation band The Spo-its. A group that is hard to describe really, with a front man who spews out poetry about some dark stuff, while playing sax with authority, a scantily clad young lady scraping a metal grinder across her steel bikini , and the bare-bottom spanking of willing audience members.This was one of my more interesting shows to say the least.

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Mentors/Dulac Swade and The Spo-its live at Monoco Bobs. Poster designed by Joe annaruma

After the show, I made the mistake of driving El Duce down to the French Quarter to hit some bars. The guy couldn’t form a sentence, much less raise his head by this time. We got to the Hideout on Decatur Street, and he immediately grabbed at a girls breasts. I saw this film before, and I decided to turn around and leave him there. Besides, Twiggy Ramirez from Marilyn Manson was there as well, talking him up, so I figured he could pay for the ensuing damage that was sure to take place. This was just one of many outrageously beautiful shows that I was able to book at Monaco Bob’s. I miss that place sometimes.

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September 1, 2014 · 4:40 pm

Punk Flyers 1980-1990: Black Flag/Milk(RVA)

As some who follow this thread have noticed, the majority of the flyers I post are from Virginia-mainly Norfolk and Richmond. That is where I was during the early 80s, until moving to Philadelphia in 1986. We used to take many road trips to see great bands like MDC, Agnostic Front, Cause for Alarm and Social Distortion in DC, NYC and even Baltimore. But a majority of the bands we loved came to Norfolk, and mostly Richmond, where there was a killer Hardcore and Punk scene which in my estimation rivaled any other city’s scene.

Maybe it was the transient nature of these college towns (ODU, VCU, Va Tech were there)- many of the people I met at shows, or who had introduced me to a great new band were from out-of-town, so this may account for it. personally, I don’t care why the punk scene in Virginia was so amazing, I am just glad that I was here to be a part of it, whether going to a show, promoting a show, or actually getting to perform on a great bill. Being in close proximity to DC, and the Norfolk connection with our friends from NYC made this area a hotbed of touring bands, and great local talent.

Speaking of great local Talent, the two flyers below showcase that very theme-Local talent. Starting with this flyer for an early Black Flag show at The Casablanca in Richmond around 1982. I remember a bunch of us piled into my truck and headed to Richmond from Norfolk, as we did on a regular basis. This was the first time (of 3) that I got to witness Black Flag live, with this being the best show of them all. The place was packed tight, and if memory serves me, this show was what today’s live club shows are not-inexpensive and packed with more fun and energy than should be humanly allowed. The openers were Saccharine Trust from California. They were on SST Records as well and toured with Black Flag a lot. Local heroes Red Cross (later to become White Cross) played most of the good shows in RVA, and they always played like they were the headliners. It helped that they were loved immensely by their local fans, who were a loyal bunch to be sure.

Norfolk had their own local heroes on this bill, and they were Frontline;their big claim to fame was to have 2 songs included on the The master tapes Volume II compilation on Affirmation Records alongside bands such as No Labels and Zero Boys. At the time, that was huge in Norfolk, since none of the other Norfolk Punk bands had that kind of notoriety. Many good HC bands would follow in Frontline’s shadow, but they were still the originals in Norfolk, VA. I am not sure who designed the flyer, most likely someone on the Plan 9 Records staff, who promoted the show.

Black flag flyer

Below is a flyer for a very short-lived band that was actually an early GWAR side project named MILK. I remember this show from 1985 because everyone there was tripping. EVERYBODY!- which added to the mystique of the show I think. Members were, as far as I remember, Dave Brockie, Chris Bopst, Jim Thomson, Ron Curry and Matt Linkous. There could have been more people, but I just don’t remember. This post is about the flyer more than anything else, and it is a beauty! I appreciated the flyers that were all hand designed artwork more than anything else. This flyer was designed by Milk member Ron Curry

Avant garde would be the term I would use to describe the sound-it was more of an art band than a punk band, which makes sense given the fact that most of them were art students at VCU before, or during this performance. The finale had every one of the musicians walk off the stage after what seemed like a 40 minute improvisational jam. The guys just looked up and realized that there were people in the audience-people who were staring with a glazed eye, slack-jawed kind of WTF is this expression. Dave Brockie didn’t get the cue. He remained on stage for about another 10 minutes until someone went up and walked him off. This is how I remember the debut of MILK at New Horizons in Richmond.

My memories of this show consists of an upside down, hazy, awkward and surreal 40 minutes that may or may not have happened at all (I’m told that it actually did), so please, if someone remembers this show clearly, post below and give us your take. I am hoping to get at least 5 posts, and probably 5 completely different descriptions. And that is the beauty of a show like this. Only a handful of people got to experience Milk (I am not totally sure that they performed more than once or twice after this, if at all), and this particular show was not like other shows…it was just weird. Entertaining, but weird.

Milk Flyer

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July 14, 2014 · 7:39 pm

Punk Flyers 1980-2000: Token Entry/Dead kennedys

This week we have a flyer from a show I promoted under Hardway Productions at Revival in Philadelphia, where I booked all-age hardcore shows for a couple of years from 1990-1992. Revival is remembered fondly as an after-hours nightclub that flourished in the 1980s, into early 1990s. I would produce these all-age shows  usually on Sunday afternoons.  Token Entry were a pretty good band from NYC, and whenever I booked them, there would be a huge crowd. They were really nice guys too. On the bill was Dirge, a monster band from New Jersey, the singer Jack-O had a voice like a shot gun, and they were heavy as Hell. The opener was Philadelphia’s Throne of Corruption, a Hardcore band that could never play a show without some kind of fight breaking out. I don’t remember booking many shows at Revival that didn’t involve a stabbing, a bottle across the head, or a big fight in the pit. This doesn’t include times when the manager flipped out and chased kids out with a bat, or maybe the cops raiding the show and beating on kids. Brotherly Love my ass. Good times.Token Entry  Below is a flyer to one of the best shows that I remember seeing in Richmond, Virginia (and I have seen many great Hardcore shows in Richmond). The Dead Kennedys in their prime, July 1982. Casablanca (Later Rockitz, now the Empire) had some of the best shows then, and this was one of the greats. The DKs burned the stage down…and Richmond’s White Cross and Norfolk’s Frontline got everybody warmed up with killer sets. The Void from D.C.  brought it as well-I mean, look at this bill! I might be an old man now, but I got to see these bands in their prime! And for that, I am grateful. This poster was designed by Susan Foster Zimmerman.

 

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If anyone remembers being at either of these shows, leave a comment with any memories of the show, or the bands, or even info about who designed the flyers.

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July 5, 2014 · 7:22 pm

Punk Flyers 1980-1990: Gwar/Serial Killers

This week I have pulled out 2 old flyers from bands that I used to be in. An old GWAR poster from 1986 and a Flyer for a show Throttle played with The Serial Killers from 1990 or 1991 (I am not sure, that era was a blur). If you were at either of these shows, use the comments section and tell me about your experience.

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Gwar @Floodzone 1986

 

This early GWAR flyer is from 1986, GWAR’s 3rd show, featuring the first appearance of Gor Gor and Cardinal Syn at Richmond’s Floodzone. I was lucky enough to be a part of the early “Dim Times” line-up of Gwar as Joey Slutman (1985-1986), a time when early songs were written (Time for Death, Slutman City,Pure as the Arctic Snow) and costumes were designed. The Richmond Dairy  building (affectionately called the Milk Bottle) was the original “Slave Pit”, and many of us lived within the bottle as a  community of artists. Our practice space was there, as was the design studio, where we would spend hours choreographing fight scenes, and making props and costumes. I remember that once we got on stage though, the scenes would regress into a free-for-all improv, since we usually forgot the moves. Video for Pure as the Arctic Snow here.

An interesting fact about this show is that  almost all of the opening bands Armpit, Unseen Force and Geek Maggot Bingo had members become players in future Gwar incarnations. Here is a trivia question that will test the mettle of the most die-hard Bohab: What members of the above mentioned opening bands went on to become members of Gwar? leave your answers in the comments section.

It was a great time to be young, not giving a damn about anything but creating and enjoying the moment. This era was one of the happiest times in my life, and I feel privileged to have been a part of it. I still feel awe when I think that Dave Brockie was able to keep this unwieldy beast going for 30+ years, defying all the odds in making GWAR bigger and more successful over the years, when in reality, most bands experienced the opposite effect. This flyer was designed and illustrated by Hunter Jackson and Dave Brockie, and I remember sitting in the Slave Pit and coloring in the blood splashes on about 50 of the flyers. RIP Dave, you are  missed but never forgotten.

 

 

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Once I moved to Philadelphia in 1986, it took me 2 years to settle in, get to know new people, and find some guys to play music with. I wound up starting a band called Throttle in 1988, and I have played with the same guitarist til this day, still performing some of our early songs with our present band MAN is DOOMED!. Throttle was lucky enough to play with some great bands like The Bad Brains, Helmet, Skinyard, Gruntruck, Dead Milkmen,  Murphy’s Law and many more. One of my favorite shows was when we played with our Philadelphia brothers The Serial Killers at Philly’s venerable club  J.C. Dobbs . I think this was around 1990 or 1991.We always had a fun time with them, and it was great to see them do a reunion show in Philly recently…hopefully it won’t be the last time.

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June 27, 2014 · 12:22 pm

Punk Flyers 1980-2000: Adrenalin OD/D.O.A./Rat Cage Records

This week, I am posting a flyer from 1982 for an Adrenalin OD show featuring some of Richmond’s best punk bands in the opening slots. Also, a flyer for a Punk show that I promoted in New Orleans under Lucky 13 Productions featuring DOA and the great Japanese punk band Ultra Bidet, and finally, a handbill for Rat Cage records from 1982.

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The above flyer was for a record release show (1982) for the mighty White Cross, one of Richmond, Virginia’s premier Punk bands. On the bill for this show are some of the most important Richmond bands of the time, such as the Beex, Graven Image, The Prevaricators, Honor Role, and the debut of Lethal Injection, an early incarnation of the great cross-over band Absence of Malice. My band Judicial Fear was also on the bill, representing Norfolk, Va. The special guest on the bill was New Jersey’s Hardcore Punk juggernaut  Adrenalin O.D. I remember a young girl with a big, fluffy blond mohawk received a compound leg fracture while slamming in the pit. The femur was jutting out, and I watched some people get a little dizzy after witnessing the carnage. Not her though, she took it like a boss. That’s Punk Rock my friendos. To this very day, Richmond, Va. has put out some of the best, and most original music in the country, and just because many of you don’t know it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. This flyer was designed by Pen Rollins, at the time, guitarist for Honor Role.

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This was a flyer for a D.O.A. show that I promoted (Lucky 13 Entertainment) at Monaco Bob’s Touchdown Lounge in New Orleans around 1997. The excellent Japanese punk band Ultra Bide’ were on the bill, as were local Punk legends Backwash. I would like to say that this was a great show, but even though the bands were all amazing, only 9 people paid to get in, with the rest just loitering outside. The hard lessons of music promotion slapped the Hell out of me on this day. I designed this flyer, with the graphic of the exploding bra model being pilfered from a West Coast Punk poster book I had. Again, all cut and paste. Monaco Bob’s was a short-lived little dive club near the Mississippi river that has got to be one of the most decadent places I have ever been to. Some of the things that I have witnessed there have left a permanent scar on my corneas. I would tell some more stories, but I would have to kill you all afterwards. So let’s just say that some of the nights I spent there were legendary. (Can you say Mammary Mondays Amateur Stripper Night?)

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One of my prized pieces of ephemera  is this small handbill from LES Manhattan’s Rat Cage Records. I went there in 1982 to buy the new comp Flex Your Head on Discord records, as well as Bad Religion’s Newest, How Can Hell Be Any Worse? I remember seeing the original Beastie Boys (a hardcore band at its inception on Rat Cage Records) hanging out there-they were all of 15 or 16 years old at the time. While I have lost over 90% of all the flyers I had once owned, this is one of a handful that I was able to hang onto. It is yellowed, and stained, with creases and push-pin holes, but it brings back some great memories for me.   Next post, I will have some more early 80s flyers for Black Flag , MDC, and some newer stuff as well. Stay tuned, and please follow the blog, share it, and post comments if you have any questions or remarks. If you were at any of these shows, chime in and share a story.

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June 18, 2014 · 7:42 pm

Punk Flyers: 1980-1990: Minor Threat/Death Skank 2000/Bad Brains

My first band was a Hardcore Punk band called Judicial Fear, and we hailed from the Norfolk, Va area from 1980-1983. We were lucky enough to play on the same stage with bands like Minor Threat, DOA, and Adrenalin OD, among other great Hardcore and punk bands. Below are a few of the old flyers from shows we played, as well as shows I either went to, or promoted myself. These flyers were designed well before Photoshop or Publisher, relying on old-school cut and paste techniques from the DIY playbook.

 

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The above flyer is for the 1983 DOA/Minor Threat Show at Benny’s in Richmond,Virginia, also on the bill was the seminal Richmond Hardcore Band White Cross-this was one of the most important shows I have ever been involved with to this day! This flyer was designed by Richmond, Va. Artist and graphic designer Doug Dobey

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This flyer was for one of the most historic shows in the area. There was the Mob from NYC of course, but also one of the earliest incarnations of Agnostic Front, and Corrosion of Conformity, before they had any records out. Add The Abused and Richmond’s Death Piggy (pre-Gwar) and Honor Role, and you have a show for the history books.Image

This was when the Bad Brains had reformed with HR singing. Around 1990, or 1991. This was my band Throttle’s first big show, and we got to open with Leeway from NYC as well. An amazing experience to be sure. My band Judicial Fear never got the chance to put out any records, and all we had for years was a basement recording of our set. Unfortunately, that tape was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, when I lived in New Orleans. So, these flyers are all that is left to chronicle our existence. Otherwise, it would be as if we never existed.

This will be a regular post of mine, and each week I will put up 2 or 3 old flyers/posters from 1980-2000, so stay tuned for that, as well as corresponding photos for some of the shows.

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Portraits of… North American Punk Culture From The 80′s & 90’s –

I just ran across this on a FaceBook Punk Rock group page- some really great old Photos of the Richmond, Va. Punk scene by Photographers Cindy Hicks and Thurston Howes are well represented.

Portraits of… North American Punk Culture From The 80′s & 90's –.

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