IT'S A LIVING… BUT IT'S NOT A LIFE #13.4
J Church and Honey Bear - It's already in the 90s
Still living with the English fear...

 

CRINGER LIVE VIDEO

Okay, for everyone that's behind the times and doesn't have a Pay Pal account, yes, you can send a $10 money order or cashier's check made out to Lance Hahn to 1730 E. Oltorf #135 – Austin, TX 78741. Again, the Pay Pal account is at honeybearrecords@....

 

SUMMER TOUR

We're gonna do a little summer tour partly with Dillinger Four this Summer in the Mid West. I don't know the dates yet. But I know it starts on June 30th in Denton and ends on July 9th with the Soviettes at Beerland in Austin. We will hopefully also be playing with Da Da Swing on the 11th. As soon as I know more, I'll post it.

 

LET THE TRIBE INCREASE

For those of you who don't know, I've been working on a book for the past few years about the UK anarcho punk scene from the late `70s to the end of the `80s. I decided to name it after the classic LP from the Mob as they were always one of my main influences (I almost named the book You Can't Cheat Karma). Anyway, I'm in the final few months of writing. Maximum Rock N Roll has been running the chapters as articles with Antisect being the latest I believe. Recently, I've also sent them the chapters on Amebix, Faction, Anarka and Poppy, the Apostles, Chimp Eats Banana, Dominant Patri and Toxic Shock. Even if you were never into the anarcho scene, I hope you can find some interest in these groups as they tell some interesting stories and represent a time and attitude in punk that for the most part doesn't exist anymore. There is still a great tradition of anarcho bands and there is a wider variety of musical styles relating to that ideology. Hopefully in a decade someone will be writing about the `90s anarcho scene and so forth.

 

2004 "SOCIETE EST UNE FLEUR CARNIVORE" EUROPEAN TOUR DIARY PT. 2

NOVEMBER 23rd – LILLE, France
I feel sorry for the local openers. They get a couple of songs off before the PA Pepe Le Poop's out. We wait with Sainte Catherine's for two hours until they find a replacement. The show must go on! By the end of the night I'm feeling pretty sick. We stay with some kids who live nearby. It's a little like a frat house. I need to get out so I decide to sleep in the van. I walk the empty streets for a couple of hours to clear my head. I figured I might be feeling sick from all the cigarette smoke.

NOVEMBER 24th – LILLE, France (Urban Chaos)
I was deliriously sick all day. I didn't eat anything and just slept in the van. When I get sick on the road, sometimes 16 hours of sleep cures me. Other times, it makes it far worse. This was to be the first of two days off. But Frenchy punker pub, Urban Chaos, said we could play with Sainte Catherines. I was really, really sick and don't remember a thing.

NOVEMBER 25th – POITIERS, France (off)
So, so, so sick. Sleep. No food. Fever. I guess we were supposed to play tonight with Sainte Catherines. No way was that gonna happen.

NOVEMBER 26th – BORDEAUX, France (Local Universel)
So sick. So totally sick. Still, this is the first show to feel like a European tour. A big ass squat, veggie chili and giant, overzealous squatter dogs everywhere you look. Christophe from the great Stonehenge records set up the gig. He's a cool guy but I was far too sick to hang out. I spend a lot of time considering how sickness, overexertion and the freezing weather is affecting my health. I cough myself to sleep in a dark funk.

NOVEMBER 27th – LYON, France (Ground Zero)
The stressful, ridden with illness, French leg ends with an amazing show. Ground Zero is packed and both bands go down storming. I'm so sick I have a hard time enjoying any of it. But it still feels good finishing on a high and the promoter, Muriel, is very sweet. After a ridiculously long walk in the freezing cold, both bands crash out at her flat and she gives me a cool Cringer silk screen she had made years ago.

Tonight was our last show of the tour with David playing guitar. He could only do the first part as he's got work and school obligations he can't get out of. This is gonna be a problem at some point. He catches a ride with some kids after we play to the airport so the last time I see him is onstage.

NOVEMBER 28th – MILAN, Italy (Leon Cavallo)
I haven't been here in years. God, I love the food here. Vats of pasta cooked perfect with an awesome sauce. I love it more than the pizza here.

The gig is great as are the opening band that I think are called the Manges. They're one of the bands on Stardumb which is a pretty solid label. We were supposed to do something for them at one point, but fucked it up somehow. Some mean people say that Stardumb is the best American punk label in Europe. But they've got their own identity. Especially once you see a band like the Manges or the Apers, you know they don't at all sound American.

Sometimes I feel that even big receptive audiences don't really get what we're doing. So few Americans get what bands like us are about, it's hard to imagine people who don't speak English as a first language can relate. But tonight was great. People weren't here just to be entertained by the jumping American chimps.

NOVEMBER 29th – VIAREGGIO, Italy (Matilda)
You know how truck stop food in most countries kind of sucks? Not in Italy! You can get pasta with a sauce and good olive oil on all the tables for three Euros.

Even better, tonight's show is in a really nice restaurant where we eat like kings. Another great Italian gig with a cool crowd, it didn't take us long to hit our stride as a trio. Might even sound better on some songs. The kid doing the show made a projected J Church with Power Point, which was kind of embarrassing though well intentioned. Ah, it was cool. Another great Stardumb related band played with us tonight. The Waukees are a mix of catchy garage and pop punk with a good dose of covers. They were pretty nice kids.

Ben is starting to suffer from his inability to score with the ladies of Europe. In response, he gets really loaded lashing out saying, "Italy is racist!" Later on, he'll think it's as funny as the rest of us do.

NOVEMBER 30th – TORINO, Italy (Antidox)
Sounds like the El Paso squat where we usually play is having some major problems. Unfortunately, we play the Antidox club instead. It's a cool place. It's just a little big for us. Tonight is half full, echoing and boring.

Haymarket Riot opened. I'd never seen or met them before. Kinda reminded me of Tar in a lot of ways. I guess I was expecting something a bit more anarcho with that sort of name.

The great Frontiera also played. I've been a fan since the `80s when they were called Kina. Great melodic Italian punk, I was as much a fan of them as I was of Negazione, CCM and Indigesti. If you don't know either band, everything has been reissued and is well worth tracking down.

DECEMBER 1st – BOLOGNA, Italy (Atlantide)
Went to the Magma Anarchist Collective before the show. Met some cool people and got some cool posters.

I felt a little bad about this show. I just couldn't get it together. It was just one of those shows where I couldn't play right. I felt weirdly limited and completely frustrated. We didn't do an encore despite the great crowd and I felt like a jerk. Maybe I'm still having a hard time with the final days of my illness. Maybe I just haven't had enough sleep these last few days. I could just feel myself out of step the whole night and not playing at full capacity. It's an infuriating feeling.

DECEMBER 2nd – UDINE, Italy (Volturno)
I've always wanted to get to this squat and we did it just in time. Sounds like this was their last show before the place was torn down. It's a fuckin' shame when yet another old squat runs out of time. Another great meal, the squat makes their own olive oil and a great fruit juice of grapes and honey. It's like something the Zeus would drink.

 

IN THE J CHURCH LISTENING ROOM

EPOXIES, THE - Stop The Future CD

I'm not really sure why I love this group so much. New Wave seems so evil. First wave was the blatant commercial co-opting of punk rock. I guess now that punk rock is about as mainstream and commercial as it can get, even new wave seems like a breath of fresh air at times. The Epoxies are sort of like Rocket From The Crypt where you know at least some of it is a put on. But they love it at the same time. It's ironic and a guilty pleasure all at once.

The second album is a lot better than the first album in a lot of ways. The production is miles better which is great. Good new wave needs a good drum sound and well-recorded vocals. The songs are catchy as hell and standup to anything on the first record. In fact they even further mine areas like the Missing Persons and even Blondie. It's You seems like the natural hit. But I'm usually wrong about these things. How can anyone not love this song?

And it's funny. The backing vocals on Robot Man are so, uh, new wave. The record cover even makes me think of Panorama. I'm really looking forward to their Eat To The Beat.
(Fat Wreck Chords)

 

V/A - Anti-War: Anarcho-Punk Compilation Vol. 1 CD

Sean McGhee has been a huge help to me in finding old anarchos to interview for my book on anarcho punk. His first compilation on Overground of classic anarcho-punk is an amazing overview of British punk and how truly varied it was for a time.

On the one hand you've got the more traditionally punk sounding groups like DIRT, Instigators, Omega Tribe, etc. But you also get the country folk punk of the hugely underrated Astronauts. You get the quasi new wave of Youth In Asia. Of course, you get the melodic yet indefinable music Zounds and Flowers In The Dustbin.

Twenty-three bands in all with a little info on each, this is the Time-Life equivalent of the anarcho days. It's all classic stuff. I can't wait for the next two volumes.
(Overground Records)

 

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