Saturday, January 31, 2015

why i am (among other things) a born-again punk rocker...

... at the age of 44 ;-)

erm, so this is what you (assuming anyone reads this during my lifetime and i haven't totally succeeded in genociding my readership, heh)  get instead of a manifesto this year. i have done enough of those for the time being, i think. for those who don't know what the hell i'm talking about, this is the quick way to get to them in order. now, with that out the way - what the fuck is the point in starting an eighth instalment, as it were, whwen i currently feel i have little or nothing to say round here? i have even listened to some braxton - a bit - and a very few other jazz or improvised/ experimental-creative things, and have been reassured to discover that i really haven't "lost my ear" at all. i just - well, there is a reason, are reasons why i keep being dragged back to this hardcore punk business. it reminds me, at a very important time in my life by the looks of things, of the basic lessons of punk rock, wheresoever it springs up in response to perceived oppression:

- don't let anyone else tell you how to think
- don't let anyone else tell you what to do
- don't let anyone else till you who to be

these are so important, so crucial indeed, that i made sure i laboriously typed them out (ok, it wasn't exactly hard labour - but i am shit typist most of the time so it's ofetn a chore) rather than copy and paste, i made sure i carefully typed them out like spiritual exercises. the first one - well, i have been practising that for years and decades already, since childhood for sure, it is long ingrained already. but the other two, really? i think i rather needed my nose rubbed in them just a bit. hence, just lately most of my life lessons have been coming to me, not via mr braxton's (manifold) horn(s), but from the warped mind of jerry a., mastermind (i use the term advisedly) behind poison idea. - jerry has almost no discernible "vocal talent" to speak of (except of course an innate understanding of how to deploy phrasing, absolutely essential for a punk singer of any stripe) - yet his voice bespeaks both power, vulnerability and a true and valid viewpoint, and he writes remarkably tight songs for a guy with "no musical ability"; and like all such vehicles of great bandleader-composers, PI always sounds like PI right off the bat, whoever is backing the big man behind the mic at the time. (tom "pig champion" roberts, synonymous with the band's notorious image for years and years, died in 2006 age 47.)

anyway... fuck it, right, let's keep this relatively brief for once and just remind myself what i am and am not saying here. i am not closing the blog, since there wil come a time (could even be soon) when i shall have plenty more to say on the music of our maestro. this is a definite i think. meantime -

 - i am seriously considering attempting to launch a new site, using for a name an epithet by which i briefly described myself in these very pages, some while back. (unnecessarily cryptic, say you. you'd probably be right.) i said then that i was a guerrilla musicologist (among other things) and i still very much have that hat on, even if i haven't been communicating it to anyone. maybe that is time to change though. let's see if i actually fucken do it ;-)

any actual braxton-related stuff at all, whatever it may be... will still appear here as and when...

meantime, since i seem to be saying that a lot at the moment, for anyone who gives a flying fuck, here is my current state-of the medium address, or my "top five of punk and hardcore" (in strictly alphabetical order):

bad brains
black flag
poison idea
sex pistols

- the last one in paerticular is doubtless highly controversial to some - and far too "obvious" to others, all of which i care less about than even the usual breed of punk rocker, since of course i have an autistic-spectrum disorder to be factored into the mix as well ;-)  suffice it to say that i can defend it easily enough as and when , but this is not then or thereabouts. - more soon i hope.

happy february everybody :-D

cent x


Anonymous said...

Hi-de-ho, cent - happy new year and all that.

There's not one female in your favorite punk bands. For me, of all punk groups, especially the all-female or mixed groups are still the ones I'm into - or if all-male, the anti-macho ones. I don't try to be politically correct, that's what my soul tells me, what thrills me the most. The Raincoats, Kleenex and The Slits are probably my high triumvirate of punk groups, blablala. What I'm trying to proof here, Lucky sucker... ;)

Back to the roots isn't a bad idea to start the year, Cent! Today I had to look into my email-account, since I had the fear of having forgotten to answer your last mail, but I haven't... :) - and that shouldn't put any pressure towards you, my dear darling!!! Understand?!


centrifuge said...

hahaha... happy valentine's day my dear old friend :)

timing - haven't checked blog since i posted last - till today after soerting out some other major shit at work (yeah i will mail you!! halfway through a reply, will probably scrap and start agin...)

slits are one of the bands near the top of my list but for some reason i keep forgetting them. the others... didn't know/remember that the raincoats were all-female and don't know kleenex at all i don't think. will check out and yeah, i am planning to open the other blog tonight - !

centrifuge said...

hey, thinking about it you're wrong actually. the version of black flag which i probably know best (at time of writing) includes kira roessler on bass. that live album with her and the guy from the descendents on drums is fantastic.

funnily enough PI also unveiled a (young and) female bassist late last year and she even toured with them, not just inside the US either. but she is no longer there and jerry has talked a lot lately about weeding out flakes etc etc so i guess that one didn't work out too well :(


centrifuge said...

here what the fuck am i thinking, there were fucking women in crass as well!!!

check yer facts next time muthafuckahhhhh ;-)

(if i could remember the frigging html to put a hyperlink in there i would link to the album *penis envy* - ONLY joy de vivre and eve libertine sing on that one - so there {{pfffffttt!}}

centrifuge said...

er, i didn't realise slits were actually, like, a (white british middle-class) reggae band?! i am sure they have always been talked up as punk ;-)

admittedly i don't have to stretch too far (even without looking at photos of the band) to see how they moved under that flag of convenience: punk is all-embracing and accepting so long as you come fully *as yourself*, and it quickly teaches cooperation and self-sufficiency all at once. this, i presume, is how it must work if one gets into it while young as part of a scene - in my case it was the underground death metal scene which sucked me in during university while i lived in paris - as opposed to years later, via a random-visitation dip into the great artistic akashic record book ;-)

- and the minutemen were really not a lunk band either, never mind a hardcore band but they have the same core ideals, again. it's just the same or much the same as free jazz and improv etc - inclusive, by necessity of survival but also for the best of reasons; one can see why zorn freaked out over hardcore when he... etc

so anyway yeah, after just three songs of the first slits album i had to play big black, go figure so surprised i was at how utterly lacking in *anrasiveness* it is, a quality i seem to require of all punk bands. (very) possibly they were a lot rougher live, and polished to hell by the studio guys to market them as best as poss huh...

p.s. i will go back to track four after a quick break!

Anonymous said...

cent - forget the slits first album, listen to their official bootleg published on y records, that's the the real deal, there you have the "abrassiveness", and just the right amount for my taste! the album also goes under the title "untitled" or "Y3LP" (the cat. no.) - if you're interested i could send you something, too.

and of course i haven't made ANY homework about the females in the bands you mentioned - i'm a teaser, you should know me by now, and i'm sorry, i know you better, at least i think.

it's quite a change to see a real picture of you as an avatar - at least i think that's you, it's definately not the man of your subject here, the hairs are too short, hahaha! :)

i'll send you a pic of me, too, if you like - i like equality in communication...

p. s.: about punk and aggressiveness - i don't think it has to be a must, but for most people that's probably the way, of course. punk started out like that, but most female bands took the liberty and freed themselves of male rock conventions (as far as my male brain understands it) and made their OWN stuff, kleenex/raincoats and a few others certainly did... but if you call this music PUNK or not, it's up to you... what's punk?

i consider myself a punk inside, and by that i mean against most oppressive rules, for freedom of thinking and fun to do what i like, for social awareness and equality for all people, for the fight against cruelty from whomever, etc etc. you get the picture. but i find it great that you listened to the slits after i mentioned them - you're a very open type... now i have to do my homework and listen to some - poison idea, i guess, the band i know not at all, the others i heard, at least bits of.

that's it for tonight. and what do you mean about the other site - do you start a punk blog or what? i haven't been reading you since - forever, i guess... :S

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

p.s.: "eve libertine" sounds a bit like "viv albertine", name of the slits' guitar player :)

centrifuge said...

yes, i know, i myself hsve noticed the similarity in the past :) between those two singers i mean

that avatar is one of several which i have now sued on the blog over the last few years... taken in a cheap motel room mirror in... well in germany funnily enough, ingolstadt to be precise, audi central of course (which was how we had come to be there on the first occasion - as part of a temporary convoy of TT roadsters and coupes driving down from innsbruck to bologna for the san marino grand prix in '03... audi paid for their own press photographer to take official shots of the cars on the forecourt... the driver-instructor who was leading (...) could not line his car up with ours, as he had driven so fast on the autobahn that a small stone shattered his quarterlight - this was before we headed into the alps to innsbruck of course.

one month later to the day, we had long since left the other guys heading bac to the uk and had pressed on deeper into europe... we had been getting soaked every time we tried to camp (april-may 2003 this was... suspect it coulda been any year tho..!) - we were heading back to ingolstadt for a guaranteed safe night's shelter when we took the same scenic detour as before, through neuburg am donau - and got lost on this same little "bermuda triangle" of a one-way system which had driven us a bit crazy the first time, "in convoy" (i.e. separated into dribs and drabs at the first set of traffic lights... and non-sat-navvers like us left to fend for ourselves!) - second time, blow me if we didn;t get fucken lost on the exact same stretch... got there in the end but it was all a bit groundhog day for while there ;-)

- so the photos were taken that night, after a couple of hard-earned beers. seemed to be a good night for it and did yield a whole load of usable pics - !

centrifuge said...

not singers, christ, you know what i mean ;-) i am very tired but even more blasted i guess. still upright anyway :)

will check that boot then, i did have my suspicions as we have seen..!

the new blog is ANY non "jazz" music i think - but right now that means punk and post-punk, not much else... some girls in the latter, too... :))

so yeah btw, feel free to upload a pic of yourself, or not as you think fit... i left it for ages as you know, but i still aint on facebook..!

Anonymous said...

i see you're already going at the other place. i did some homework and listened to some, but i rather hold myself back and see what your input to those bands is - i just can tell you, that "penis envy" is something i never heard before, and it's a GREAT listen! :)

Anonymous said...

p.s.: in the last few years i came back to a band called "cleric" - and somehow everytime i thought of you while listening (cent=hc?!?). it's very challenging music, and up to now i haven't grew bored listening.

centrifuge said...

i had never heard it before last week, either :) i remember (vividly - as one would!) seeing it in the front window of our local record shop when i was first living "down in the country" in wellington, somerset (i am originally from birmingham, home of black sabbath and napalm death...) - i was nine years old (1979)... and i still remember reading the words WHO CAN SMELL BULLSHIT? in the same window and being illicitly thrilled, not undertanding what i was seeing of course (much much later realising that i was looking at the second of the crass records *bullshit detector* samplers)

- but yes, to return to your point of entry: *penis envy* is a remarkable record, one which squarely and permanently transfixes crass as an ART-punk band, no matter what else they might be; they are as distinct from (say) cockney rejects or the exploited as it's possible to be... but there is no pissing around on it, expeeimental though it might be - it's very very focussed and (of course) consistently thought-provoking. hey, shit , i shd be saving this for the other place, i have already decided that crass is next up and you will soon find out why!!

and yeah thanks for the slits tip, that is a lot more interesting to listen to for sure..! tho' it's not gonna be replacing poison idea in my affections any time soon i don't think ;-)

centrifuge said...


will look that one up...

this slits boot is pretty noisy all right. i have no trouble listening to this. how dfid the record label turn them into a reggae band from THAT?! weird. there is a lot of infectious energy in there for sure :)

centrifuge said...

hey shit, 1981 was it - see i told you i only got into this shit much later :)

Anonymous said...

afaik, most of the slits bootleg was rec. in 1977, whereas their debut is from 1979, where things were completely different in the punk/post-punk business. glad you dig the bootleg. now i won't interfere with your punk thing again, not two have the same taste, and you're up to for something - something different than braxton for a change, that's something! good lucky, cent...

Anonymous said...

there are 2 albums by cleric, both on bandcamp, and both for the price one is willing to pay, from nothing to whatever:

centrifuge said...

yeah, true enough, but feel free to leave comments over there too if anything works for you, or doesn't... i will try and get some actual articles up asap but this is not a good week for it (half term, daughter home from school with me all day!)

i did listen to cleric today though, *regressions* (while cleaning up the kitchen, and said daughter was on her ipad practising her welsh...) er, yeah, that is just the sort of thing i like as it goes!! but i think you knew that... they remind me a lot of mr bungle, sleepytime gorilla museum, that sort of thing so it's not a great surprise they are on trey spruance's label - but they apparently already have their own take on all this stuff... it's incredibly well-layered and folded-in-on-itself, if you see what i mean! they cover a huge amount of ground yet manage to retain the attention, and there is no meandering... i enjoyed it a lot actually, so thanks for that tip :-D

kinabalu said...

Hi, good to see you around, cent. Gone back to punk and all that? I just thought I'd drop in and say that there's a Blastfest in town from tomorrow. So that' still very much part of the scene here and we get tourists from all over the place, Italy all the way to Japan. Not really my scene as you may have gathered, but pretty vital around these parts.

kinabalu said...

Speaking of blastfest and punk rockers in disguise, here's a link to a post of mine at IS from late last year:

centrifuge said...

kinabalu, thanks for the link and nice to read you here! sorr for my apparent rudeness, i stopped checking for a few days once mr lucky and i signed off ;-)

(mail on the way to you...)