Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dan 10Things on NPR!

At noon today there will be a short interview with me on Ross Reynold's discussion show "The Conversation" on Seattle's NPR station KUOW. Hopefully I won't sound like too much of a dork, I used the opportunity to give The Showbox some criticism for gouging music fans with extraordinarily high fees by using Ticketmaster in a conversation about the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger. I am a big fan of Ross and the show and was surprised to be asked to tape an interview. I'm an opinionated bastard and they'd read both some comments on my blog and the Stranger's Lineout blog about the subject, apparently being a big mouth can occasionally get you somewhere... if local NPR is somewhere. Anyway, if you want to tune into the show or hear it later from their archive, it's available online here, I'm about 40-45 minutes in:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rumors were true with King Cobra

The rumors going around yesterday were true, King Cobra's last official show as a club will be the Friday. Sad! In other Seattle bar news, Hooverville caught fire today and may also be knocked out of commission. If you haven't been to Hooverville, it's the bar across from the Showbox SODO that a lot of people drink at before and in-between bands at the Showbox since it's drinks are so much cheaper and it has a better atmosphere. Mostly as an avid pinball and arcade fan, I'm worried to hear about what happened to the Centaur, Highspeed 2, Ms. Pac and Asteroids there. I'd hate to see those classic games destroyed! And word is the games were completely covered with soot and may not be salvageable.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

King Cobra closing?

The hot rumor on the street is that Seattle's rock club King Cobra will be closing after this upcoming weekend. If it's true, it is a shame--really. It's a cool club with a good layout and a lot of potential. I DJed there a few nights and had a blast, and all the shows I saw there were great. But on the flipside, parking sucks in that area, most punk and rock shows happen off of Capitol Hill, Stranger music editor Eric Grandy question the club's survivability repeatedly (originally I said cursed it and Grandy rightly pointed out it wasn't near that bad), and there were a couple incidents with shows and bookers that didn't seem to go down quite right. The poor economy and running a struggling club took its toll on the owners, many months ago they began trying to sell it, but couldn't seem to find anyone interested. Hopefully more details will come out soon with the official word...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Old Sonic Youth handbill

This flyer, not only rules because it's for an old Sonic Youth, Screaming Trees and Mudhoney show, but it also contains so many elements of Seattle's old music scene. The show was presented by Bombshelter Videos and KCMU (click the links for the old articles on them). It was at the old train station, Union Station, which I think only hosted this show and the Butthole Surfers/Nirvana show (and some raves and shit later). And look where you could buy tickets, at Time Travelers (an old record store downtown I need to do a write up on one of these days), Cellophane Square (which back in the old days and old location was a GREAT record store!), and Fallout Records. The show itself was fantastic... I think my friends and I all did too much drugs, drank walking to the train station from the bus, and then had a blast. I mean geeze, it was Mudhoney and fucking Sonic Youth, we had to get wasted and rock the fuck out!

Old school Murder City Devils photo

After catching the Murder City Devils reunion show a few weeks ago I was a bit nostalgic for the band, playing their old records and remembering them in their prime. It prompted me to dig through some old photos and find this one my pal and longtime 10 Things and Tablet photographer Diona Mavis shot back in 1998 at The Velvet Elvis. This is by far my favorite photo of the band I've ever seen, it ran in 10 Things back in the day. What's funny is you can't see the face of either Spencer or Derek in it, but somehow it captures the emotion and energy that the band always brought live...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Backlash fanzine!

was a music fanzine published by Dawn Anderson from 1987-1991. Dawn was a local music fan and writer, I remember seeing her articles in Seattle monthly music magazine The Rocket back when I was in highschool in the mid-'80s. In 1987 she dove into self-publishing with Backlash, focusing on the dirtier, heavier, more underground and rock side of Seattle's music scene that The Rocket barely would touch on. Backlash covered punk, metal, underground rock, grunge before it was called grunge and even some local hip-hop. It was the first magazine to cover this young noisy rock band from Aberdeen called Nirvana, ever hear of them? It was always a fun read and could be found for free throughout Seattle in record stores and clubs. Backlash lasted for 34 issues, the final one was published in 1991 featuring aforementioned Nirvana just as they were starting to break big... crazy for Dawn to stop publishing right as the world's media began to focus on Seattle, but maybe at that point her job was done and those bands no longer needed her to write about and promote them. Backlash was a huge inspiration for me in starting 10 Things. My friends and I began talking about starting a zine not long after Backlash ceased publication because we knew there was now a need for someone to cover the local music that The Rocket and Seattle Weekly failed to cover (this was also before The Stranger came to town).

Specific issue information:

December 1987-January 1988: First Issue - 8 pages. Cover: Q5. Other stories: Crisis Party, Terry Lee Hale, Chemistry Set. Reviews: Sir Mix-a-lot, Room Nine (Ron Nine's band before Love Battery), Jimmy Silva, Young Fresh Fellows, Coven, Ultraviolet, Bloodgood, Crazy 8's, My Eye 7 inch, Soundgarden ("Screaming Life" EP).

February 1988-March 1988: 8 pages. Cover: Incredicrew (a rare local hip-hop band). Other stories: First annual poll results (hilarious...); Breakup of Green river, Feast and the Melvins (obviously premature); Freestyle; Weather Theatre; Green Monkey Records. Reviews: Sanctuary, Scott Lindenmuth, Dehumanizers, Prudence Dredge, Liquid Generation, Ray Gunn, Karl Muller.

April-May 1988: 8 pages. Cover: Walkabouts. Other stories: Couch of Sound (Matt Cameron/Amy Denio side band), Bundle of Hiss, Fifth Angel, Action Buddie, Eagertones, No Big Business Records. Reviews: Green River ("Rehab Doll"), Hammer Head, Joey Kline, U-Men 7 inch, Screaming Trees ("Other Worlds"), The Life, Boom Boom GI (Laura Love's old band), Tony Benton.

June-July 1988: 8 pages. Cover: Screaming Trees. Other stories: Ellensburg bands, Panic, Mass Hypnosis, Big Tube Squeezer (Whiting Tennis' band), Blood Circus, Bombshelter Videos TV show. Reviews: Young Fresh Fellows, Queensryche, Chemistry Set, Accused, Blood Circus 7 inch, Swallow 7 inch, "Little Boy Goes to Hell" (Mark Nichols).

August-September 1988: 12 pages. Cover: Teen Dance Hall Ordinance. Other stories: Mother Love Bone (with a Ten Minute Warning sidebar), The Posies, Mark Nichols ("Little Boy Goes to Hell"), The First Thought, Duracell, Dangermouse, Nirvana (first article about them to appear anywhere), Hester Pryne. Reviews: SGM, Suicide Squad, The Purdins (still around!), Lethal Dose, AMQA, Dehumanizers, Soundgarden ("Fopp"), Skin Yard "Stranger" single, Green Pajamas single, Coffin Break single, Cat Butt single, Mudhoney "Touch Me" single, Tad single, Thrown-ups 3rd single.

October 1988: 12 pages. Cover: "Hairspray Bands: Alice in Chainz (note the 'z'), Black is Black, Kill D'Kor, Nasti Habitz, Ruff Toiz, Show and Tell, Whiskey Fix, and the state of Seattle hard rock." Other stories: Girl Trouble ("They live in Tacoma. They watch television. They eat meat."),Capping Day, Jimmy Silva, Hungry Crocodiles, Best Kissers in the World (Gerald Collier's band). Reviews: U-Men "Step on a Bug", Girl Trouble "Hit it or Quit it", Renaissance Affair, Weather Theatre single, Screaming Trees "Invisible Lantern", Capping Day single, Jackals, Crazy 8's, Obituaries.

November 1988: 12 pages. Cover: Young Fresh Fellows/Coffin Break US Tours. Other stories: Cat Butt, Forced Entry, Crypt Kicker Five (with yours truly on drums), Subcore/EverRat Records. Reviews: Soundgarden ("Ultramega"), C/Z "Secretions" comp, Mudhoney ("Superfuzz"), Mass Hypnosis, Chilly Uptown, Show & Tell, Nirvana 1st 7 inch ("Love Buzz"), Dharma Bums 7 inch, Kings of Rock 7 inch (w/Tom Price), Nights and Days 7 inch.

December 1988: 8 pages. Cover: Mudhoney (w/Mr. Epp sidebar). Other stories: Purdins, Je Ka Jo, Annual Critics Awards ("best of" lists, very funny). Reviews: Skin Yard "Hallowed", Dharma Bums, Posies "Failure", Sub Pop 200 comp, Go Team cassette, Meat Cigars 7 inch.

January 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Metal Church. Other stories: Pure Joy, Love + Respect, the Danged, Food Giant, Dead Flowers, Hardcore: Jesters of Chaos, Derelicts and Subvert, Reggae: The Defenders. Reviews: Blood Circus EP, Wipers "The Circle", Dana Lyons, Hi Rise, Derelicts 7 inch, Squirrels 7 inch, Big Tube Squeezer 7 inch, Snakepit 7 inch, Some Velvet Sidewalk 7 inch.

February 1989: 8 pages. Cover: Tongue-in-cheek "Satan and Rock" story. Other stories: Dehumanizers, Dharma Bums, Coven, The Hanks. Reviews: Duffy Bishop, Jesters of Chaos EP, Hell Cows, No Means No, Mudhoney/Sonic Youth split 7", more.

March 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Sir Mix-A-Lot. Other stories: The Accused, Seventh Stranger, Bible Stud, Ministry of Love, Story Book Krooks (Robert Roth's band), Squirrels, Swallow, Swinging Swamis (ahead of their time! - JE). Reviews: Metal Church, 3 Young French Fellows 3 (YFF "official bootleg), Defenders single, Mecca Normal, George Michael Jackson, Pounding Serfs, Big Black "The Last Blast" Video, more.

April 1989: 12 pages. Cover: TAD. Other stories: Seattle Bands Invade Europe (Europe swallowed the "Seattle Hype" way before it hit at home), Red Platinum, Prudence Dredge. Reviews: Walkabouts "Cataract", Mother Love Bone "Shine", Swallow, Tad, Greyfields Bobby.

May 1989: 8 pages. Cover: Weather Theatre. Other stories: Daddy Hate Box, "Acid House" in Seattle clubs, Pitbull Babysitter (later to become Sadhappy), Son of Man, Renaissance Affair, Stumpy Joe. Reviews: Screaming Trees "Buzz Factory", Mudhoney "You Got It" single, Hit Men single, Fallouts "Here I Come" single, Alphabet Swill single.

June 1989: 16 pages. Cover: Obituaries. "Oregon" issue. Other stories: Portland Scene, Hellcows, Wehrmacht, Surf Trio, Eugene Scene, Snakepit (Mike Johnson's old band), Napalm Beach. Reviews: Nirvana "Bleach", Fluid "Roadmouth", Heir Apparent, Moral Crux, Big Tube Squeezer, Boom Boom GI, 7th Stranger, Pure Joy single, Chemistry Set single, Smegma/Hellcows single, Zoomorphics single, Funhouse.

July 1989: 8 pages. Cover: Skin Yard. Other stories: Mono Men, Bellingham bands, Go Fish, Heir Apparent. Reviews: Coffin Break "Psychosis", Jon Strongbow, live review of "Lamefest '89" show (Mudhoney/Tad/Nirvana live), more.

August 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Green Pajamas. Other stories: Black is Black, Sabre, Bitter End, Assumptions, My Name, Hippie Big Buckle (ex-Feast). Reviews: Prudence Dredge, Teriyaki Asthma Vol I single (w/Nirvana's "Mex Seafood"), Tad/Pussy Galore "Damaged" split single, Dangermouse, Mono Men first single, lots more.

September 1989: 8 pages. Cover: Posies. Other stories: Mad Hatter, Still Falling, Bremerton Scene Report, Runaway Trains, Jim Basnight. Reviews: Soundgarden "Louder than Love", Coven, Variant Cause, Beat Happening "Black Candy", Fifth Angel, Love Battery "Between the Eyes" single, Sky Cries Mary "Until the grinders Cease", Treehouse single, Nights and Days single, Ken Cornia single, more.

October 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Crisis Party. Other stories: Common Language, Bassics, Dogma Cipher, Love Battery, Myramainz, Seattle Poster Laws, Zine reviews, live show reviews. Reviews: Mudhoney "Mudhoney" LP, Scott McCaughey "Chartreuse Opinion", Cat Butt EP, Helios Creed "Last Laugh", Slack, Surrealists, Girl Trouble single, 64 Spiders single, Skin Yard "Start at the Top" single, Treepeople first single "Important Things" (which featured Doug Martsch), more.

November 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Soundgarden. Other stories: Seattle politics re: music, Shotgun Mama (later known as Sweetwater), Dickless, Metaphonics, Variant Cause, Lethal Dose, Backlash second annual coffee tour of the "Ave", Big Satan Inc. Reviews: Sir Mix-A-Lot, Pure Joy, Young Fresh Fellows, Crisis Party, Another Pyrrhic Victory comp LP, Accused/Morphius single.

December 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Looking back at the 80's. Other stories: A decade of northwest metal, A decade of dead clubs, Subvert, Panic, Beltanes. Reviews: Melvins "Ozma", "Here Ain't the Sonics" comp, Teriyaki Asthma Vol II single, Dope Guns & Fucking in the Streets Vol 1-3, Girl Trouble single, Some Velvet Sidewalk single, more.

January 1990: 8 pages. Cover: Shock Value (Jim Blanchard art). Cover Story: Champs and Chumps of 1989. Other stories: Gas Huffer, Hit Men, Pure Joy becomes Flop. Reviews: Walkabouts "Rag and Bone", Metal Meltdown 4 comp, Screaming Trees EP, Cosmic Psychos, Thee Hypnotics, Stumpy Joe single, Kings of Rock single, Grapes of Wrath, Doc Rockit, Bible Stud single, Seaweed single, more.

February 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Sanctuary. Other Stories: Skin'n'Bones, Stagnant Water, Glee, Treepeople (feat. Doug Martsch). Reviews: Tad "Salt Lick", Rancid Vat EP, Fastbacks single, Gas Huffer "Firebug" single (their first!), Coffin Break single, YFF/Scruffy The Cat single, Daddy Hate Box single, Sanctuary "Into The Mirror Black", Yeast single, more.

March 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Grapes of Wrath. Other Stories: NoMeansNo, Moral Crux, Bill Bored, Condemned, Bone Cellar, Dumt. Reviews: DOA "Murder", Curious George, The Hanks, Teriyaki Asthma Vol. III, Miracle Workers, Crypt Kicker Five single, more.
April 1990: 12 pages. Cover: The Fluid. Other stories: Spaz, Helltrout. Reviews: Mark Lanegan "Winding Sheet, Afghan Whigs "Up In It", Jack Endino "Angle of Attack", Green Pajamas "Summer of Lust" (vinyl issue, finally!), Brotherhood single, Battered Citizens single, Puget Power Vol I single, Sanity Assassins single, more.

May 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Slam Suzzanne. Other Stories: Young Fresh Fellows, Gorilla, Hammerbox, Quigzy Stick, Tom Ensign, reviews of other 'zines. Reviews: Coffin Break "Rupture", Animal Kingdom, Skin Yard "Fist Sized Chunks", Tone Dogs, Mono Men single, Game for Vultures single, Still Falling single, Poison Idea single,Tor Dietrichson, local tape reviews, more.

June 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Northwest Indy Label Explosion (big article). Other stories: Sweaty Nipples, Cropdusters, Paisley Sin, Infamous Menagerie, Sub Pop about to make a deal with Columbia Records (obviously premature). Reviews: Bitter End, Mono Men, Treepeople, Laura Love, Accused, Common Language, Food Giant, Dickless single, Weather Theatre single, Thrown-ups box, Inspector Luv (later Green Apple Quick Step) single.

July 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Afghan Whigs. Other stories: Thin Men, C/Z Records, My Sister's Machine, Aspirin Feast, Pullman (Wa.) Scene Report, Live reviews. Reviews: The Fartz "You, We See You Crawling", Bill Frisell, Common Language, Pure Joy EP, Hit Men, Hammerbox single, Mudhoney "You Make Me Die" single, Teriyaki Asthma Vol. IV single, Treehouse single, Alice in Chains "We Die Young" 3-song debut CD single, Last Gasp single, Madrigal, Icky Joey single, Mecca Normal single, Snakepit single, Seaweed first single, Love and Respect single, Giant Weeds single, Dope Guns & Fucking in the Streets Vol. 5 single, more.

August 1990: 16 pages. Cover: Bitter End. Other stories: Icky Joey, Talk's Cheap, Adrian's Childhood, Like Rain, Picketts, Urban Rhythm Unit, Herbivores. Reviews: Kid Sensation, High Performance, Accused "Grinning Like An Undertaker", Girl Trouble "Stomp and Shout", Daddy Hate Box "Sugar Plow" EP, Hungry Crocodiles EP, Flop single, Christ on a Crutch single, Derelicts single, Big Yuck Mouth single,Bent single, Smegma single, Infamous Menagerie EP, more.

September 1990: 16 pages. Cover: Alice in Chains. Other stories: Gruntruck, F-Holes, Capping Day, Cryptic Slaughter, Popllama Softball.... Reviews: Mother Love Bone "Apple", Solomon Grundy, Queensryche, Vexed, Derelicts single, Greyfields Bobby single, Alice in Chains, Dead Moon, Marble Orchard single.

October 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Coffin Break. Other stories: Sadhappy, Modern Fabrics, L7, Big Head. Reviews: Posies "Dear 23", Various Artists "Hard to Believe" Kiss tribute comp, Green Pajamas "Ghosts of Love", Dharma Bums (Portland band), Hester Pryne single, "Small Pond" Boise comp, Love Battery "Between the Eyes" EP, Criminal Nation single, Daddy Hate Box "Sugar Plow" EP (again), Shattered Machine, Big Satan Inc. single, Treepeople single, Beat Happening single, Malchicks single, Hoop Skirt Loop Yarn video, more.

November 1990: 16 pages. Cover: Coffee Tour of the "Ave". Other stories: Melvins, 7th Stranger, Imij, Keith Livingston, Last Gasp, Gypsy Kyss, Inspector Luv (who later became GAQS). Reviews: Squirrels, Estrus Lunch Bucket, Thee Headcoats, Girl Trouble "Thrillsphere", Swallow "Sourpuss", Mad Mad Nomad, Jumbalassy, Purple Outside, Capping Day, Karla Cruz, Fastbacks "...Motor", Nirvana "Sliver/Dive" single, Young Fresh Fellows single, Hellcows single, Coffin Break single, Gut Flower single, Puget Power Vol. II, Swelter Cacklebush single, King Krab single, TFL single, 10:07 single, Gunsharp'ners single, more.

December 1990: 16 pages. Non-Local Issue. Cover: Pixies. Other Stories: Mummies, Tar, Eggplant, Steel Pole Bathtub, Sister Double Happiness, D.O.A., Agony Column, Skinny Puppy. Reviews: Maggies' Dream, Kreator, King Diamond, Deacon Blue, Primus, Helmet, Limbomaniacs, Surgery, Tesla, Adrian's Childhood, Dirt Fishermen, Jim Wolfe, Mark Arm single, Tad single, Seaweed single, Gorilla single, Paisley Sin single, Fastbacks/Gas Huffer single, lots more.

January 1991: 12 pages. Cover: Squirrels. Other Stories: Dharma Bums (Portland), DC Beggars, DC Rebels, Seaweed, Champs and Chumps of 1990. Reviews: Gruntruck "Inside Yours", Bobbing for Pavement comp (Rathouse), Satyricon comp, Derelicts "Love Machine", Dehumanizers, Resist single, Moral Crux EP, Girl Trouble single, Picketts single, Calamity Jane single, Completely Grocery single, lots more.

February 1991: 12 pages. Cover: Derelicts. Other stories: Molasses, Sky Cries Mary, Unearth, Fallen Idols, River Jordan, Mad Mad Nomad. Reviews: Tad "8-Way Santa", Screaming Trees "Anesthesia", Gas Huffer "Ethyl" EP, Fluid/Nirvana split 7 inch, Moral Crux, Mummies, Shattered Machine, more.

March 1991: Farewell Issue - 8 pages. Cover Story: Nirvana, "Signing on the dotted line and other tales of terror". This was their last interview before recording Nevermind; Dave Grohl had just joined the band. Other stories: Cats + Dogs, Eppifanie, Poison Bone, The First Thought. Reviews: Metal Church, Beat Happening, Gary Heffern, Hester Pryne, Criminal Nation, The Holidays, Some Velvet Sidewalk, The Fumes, various 7 inches.

(This insanely complete issue listing was mostly copied from Dawn's ex-husband Jack Endino's website garage sale of past issues from about seven years ago, editing it all into a common clear format took forever, but it seem like this info should be documented for Northwest music history).

More on Touch & Go

As Ken Dirtnap pointed out in yesterday's comments, the CMJ story was wrong about the death of Touch & Go. While they are planning on shutting down their distribution wing, downsizing and letting staff go, they will focus their efforts on just the label aspect of their business and continue to release albums.

Corey Rusk, founder of Touch & Go, explained in a press release yesterday, "Touch and Go will be returning to its roots and focusing solely on being an independent record label. We'll be busy for a few months working closely with the departing labels and scaling our company to an appropriate smaller size after their departure."

This will impact a few local labels like Kill Rock Stars and Suicide Squeeze, as well as local record stores in the short term that use them as a distributor. But in the long run, everyone is downsizing both because of the economy and the changeover from physical music to digital music, it's great to see labels rather than totally calling it quits, trying to adapt to the realities of today and still do what they do best.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Touch & Go is calling it quits!

From CMJ today:

Touch & Gone
Feb 18, 2009
Story by: Lisa Hresko

Following online rumors, long-time indie mainstay Touch & Go has confirmed that it will cease releasing new albums and become a catalog only label. The Chicago label that that has produced seminal albums from Slint, the Jesus Lizard, Big Black, TV On The Radio, Shellac and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and later garnering fame for its losing copyright lawsuit over a "handshake" deal with the Butthole Surfers, has met its demise after nearly 30 years. The label, who's recent roster includes Ted Leo, the Uglysuit and All The Saints had seen financial trouble amidst a difficult economy and a decline in record sales.

Promotion for new acts such as Sholi and Mi Ami, who both released their debut albums today, will be kept up for a short time as not to leave the new bands without a paddle. The label is expected to go catalog-only, however, the distribution side has been shut down and the label will not produce new music. An unspecified number of layoffs will occur.

A press release confirming details is expected soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spaghetti Dinner & Dancing zine

I just wrote about Shat Upon zine, probably the best zine coming out of Montana during the 1990s. But it would be unfair to overlook another zine that was much smaller and personal, but always a great read. Spaghetti Dinner & Dancing was a perzine published by Randy James out of Missoula, he published it from 1994-2002. The publisher and sole writer was obviously from the punk scene, he'd occasionally feature a band photo, zine reviews, or small write ups on a live shows, but the bulk of each issue was filled with stories about hiking, camping and Montana history. Most of the stories read like journal entries R. James wrote as he'd sit down at a bridge, on a rock, or by campfire on a hiking or camping trip. They were deep in imagery and gave a quite visceral feel for the nature around him. Some of the stories were precluded with a history of an area before the hike, other just dove right into the tale of the trip. There was a great sense of self-examination, as well as a disdain for the deteriorating condition of the wilderness areas the author spent so much time in. for , then hiking it and stopping to write about their observations along the way.

Today Randy still randomly publishes Darlene Rocknroll Fanzine and says he has another zine in the works.

Shat Upon Zine

Shat Upon was a great zine published by Andy "Rusty" Smetanka and friends out of Missoula, Montana during the 1990s. I think I scored my first copy through a touring Missoula band like Sasshole or Humpy. I was kind of amazed from the get go because I always thought of Montana as a punk rock wasteland. Granted the aforementioned bands, along with a few others like The Fireballs of Freedom proved Missoula had a music scene happening, but it was big enough to support a large zine? Shat Upon usually clocked in at at least 40 full-sized pages. Each issue covered a wide range of topics, from band interviews and tour diaries, to reviews, Montana history, and funny personal stories. It was like 3-way split between a punk music zine, humor zine, and a zine about Montana... which rocked. I used to trade issues with Rusty and write little notes back and forth, there's still one from him in the issue I scanned in.

Smetanka went on to write for the Missoula Independent newspaper as arts editor before moving onto video and animation. He made short stop animation films for The Volumen, and later did a Decemberists video for the song "The Taine," which you can see here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Year-to-Date Job Layoffs

Just in case anyone doesn't think the recession is going to get a lot worse and we should delay government action (i.e. the Republican position), here is a list of American lay offs so far in the first six weeks of 2009. Now, I'd love to get more taxes back, but realizing where the economy is heading I will not spend it. It's going straight to savings and paying bills, it will not stimulate the economy in any way. And we should know by now that reducing taxes on corporations and the wealthy has continuously failed to help the economy, the whole idea of "trickle down economics" had never panned out in reality. At this point and time we need to concentrate our tax dollars on building growth and new jobs, not trying the same tired failed solutions Republicans always bring to the table. Bush and the Republicans in Congress doubled our national debt, saddling us with 5 trillion more dollars in debt, and the economy still tanked. It's time for a different approach, yet Republicans still want to do the same thing... it's almost like they are purposely trying to make our country fail. Eh, I guess as long as they get tax breaks, what do they care about America or Americans, right? Note, this job loss list is just the larger company layoffs, it's simply an indicator of what's going on, not the whole picture:

University of Washington 600
University of Chicago 450
State of CA 10,000 (threatened)
Wal-Mart 800
Nike 1,400
GE 1,500
Armstrong Flooring 600
ArcelorMittal 9,000
Teva 1,100
Emmerson 14,000
City of Toledo 1,000
Nissan 20,000
GM 10,000
Sega 560
Cable & Wireless 600
Fidelity 1,700
Xstrata 700
FedEx 900
Fiat 34,000 (idled on state subsidy)
Unisys 1,300
UBS 2,000
Anglo Platinum 10,000
PNC Bank 5,800
Morgan Stanley 1,800
Liz Claiborne 725
Rockwell 600
Macy's 7,000
Hawker Beechcraft 2,300
Outokumpu 2,000
Lincoln Electric 900
Delta 2,000
GlaxoSmithKline 6,000
SAS 3,000
NEC 20,000
Hitachi 7,000
Toshiba 4,500
Kodak 4,500
Cessna 2,000
SAP 3,000
TI 3,400
Nokia 1,000
Ericsson 5,000
Starbucks 6,500
Boeing 10,000
Caterpillar 20,000
Sprint 8,000
Home Depot 7,000
Pfizer 8,000
GM 2,000
John Deere 700
Philips 6,000
Microsoft 5,000
Intel 6,000
ING 6,000
Corus 3,500
Harley-Davidson 1,000
Metro AG 15,000
Continental AG 1,600
Huntsman 1,100
Marks & Spencer 1,200
Bridgestone 800
AOL 700
IBM 16,000
Allstate 1,000
Avery 3,600
Corning 4,900
Baker Hughes 1,500
Compass Bank 1,200
Schlumberger 5,000
BHP Billiton 6,000
Clear Channel 1,800
Eaton 5,200
Electronic Arts 600
Williams-Sonoma 1,400
Circuit City 30,000
Hertz 4,000
AMD 1,100
ConocoPhillips 1,300
Autodesk 750
MeadWestvaco 2,000
Barclay's 2,100
Sak's 1,100
Motorola 4,000
Dell 1,900
TDK 8,000
Walgreens 1,000
Alcoa 13,500
Macy's 900
Bose 1,000
Plantronics 900
Seagate 800
Lenovo 2,500
EMC 2,400
ON Semiconductor 1,500
Allergan (makers of Botox) 460
Bombardier 1,300
Panasonic 15,000
Arizona State University 550
Cisco 3,000
TimeWarner 1,250
Meadowbrook Farms 600
Pier 1 850
THQ 600
Bon-Ton Stores 1,150

ZineWiki returns!

It's been a year since ZineWiki got hacked and the wiki was knocked out of functionality. I put a lot of time into scanning in zine covers, adding entries for a ton of old zines and zinesters, as well as editing all the poorly written entries from 18 year old zinesters. The result paid off, it became the largest database of information on zines both past and present, as well as zine publishers, writers, artists and more. So it was sad to see all that work just abruptly end and the information disappear. I bugged Alan, ex-ZineWiki admin, fairly constantly about getting it up and running again. But his passion went in a different direction from zines to video blogging (he's quite a hit on YouTube and has a book out now about viral videos and video publishing through YouTube). I'm happy to report, Alan recently gave the database over to Jerianne of Zine World and her partner Denny was able to revive the wiki. officially relaunched today. Jerianne and I will be co-administrators and hope to quickly get the project back up and running.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NOFX's "Bob" illustrated by Krazyman

I'm going to do a proper write up one of these days on Gee-Zuz, my favorite British Columbia zine from the '90s. Probably sooner than later since I stumbled upon a pile of back issue in my zine collection tonight. In the meantime, I scanned in one of the publisher's (who went by Krazyman and Rev. Rot'n'Hell) awesome comics. This guy was a fantastic artist and had a pretty funny sense of humor to boot. This is an illustration of the song "Bob" by NOFX:

Seattle Street Art

Found in the Post Alley of the Pike Place Market near the entrance of The Alibi Room:

I'm particularly amazed by the wall that's completely covered with bubblegum, click it for the larger version and full effect. Has anyone notice it before? It has to be decades in the making and I've walked through that alley dozens of times and never noticed it. The other night it kinda stood out, because as I rounded the corner into the alley it was the backdrop to one of the oddest photoshoots I've ever stumbled upon.

There was a guy dressed in a full leprechaun suit complete with giant fuzzy head fake fucking a woman dressed as a little school girl in a white bra, white thigh highs and short plaid skirt from behind. Right when I'd taken in the scene, the girl fake puked out a mouthfull of white substance, probably milk. Huh. And then the photographer started yelling at some girl walking in front of us for taking a picture of the scene with her camera phone, "NO PHOTOS PLEASE! NO REALLY, NO PHOTOS!" She kinda shrugged "Whatever dude," after all it's a public alley, you can't really restrict people from taking photos in public spaces. The photoshoot will probably end up on the front page of The Stranger or The Sinner for St. Patrick's Day.

But back to the wall of gum. It's both gross and awesome. There are so many pieces upon pieces it looks like a work of art from a distance. I wonder if I could talk anyone into licking it on a dare?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tough Times Facing Seattle's Daily Papers

From yesterday's Editor and Publisher:

Hearst Corp., which is looking to unload its Seattle Post-Intelligencer, signaled it has no intention of buying its joint operating agreement (JOA) partner Seattle Times, or staying in the JOA if it decides to continue the P-I as an online-only paper.

In a letter to the Committee for a Two-Newspaper Town, Hearst Vice President and General Counsel Eve Burton disclosed the company did not make the final $1 million payment that would have preserved its right to buy the Seattle Times from its majority owners, the family-owned Blethen Corp. Hearst had made a $1 million payment each year for the past ten years to keep that "right of first purchase" agreed between the JOA partners in 1999.

The letter was first reported in the Times by business reporter Eric Pryne and in the P-I by reporter Dan Richman.

When Hearst put the P-I up for sale Jan. 9, it said it would close the newspaper if it could not find a buyer in 60 days, suggesting it could fold as early as next month.

In the Seattle JOA, the Seattle Times Co. runs all business, production and distribution operations. Hearst and the Times Co. split revenues or losses on a 60-40 percentage basis, with the Times Co. getting the larger share. In recent years they have shared losses. Hearst said its paper lost $14 million last year and was on track to lose more in 2009.

Separately, the Times kicked off talks with its 11 unions with the goal of reducing the payroll and benefits of their working members by 12%, Times Senior Vice President Alayne Fardella said in a memo sent to employees.

Fardella said top management including Times Co. Chairman and CEO Frank Blethen had spoken "candidly" about the paper's troubles.

"The overarching message was one of survival," Fardella said. "We are doing everything we can to get through this economic tsunami. ... Recently, unaffiliated employees participated in the pension accrual freeze and the furlough program. When those announcements were made in December, we indicated that we would be asking affiliated employees to also contribute. Yesterday's meeting was the beginning of that process. We are asking that each employee group contribute savings equal to approximately 12% of their payroll and benefits expense. Given the demands of our daily commitment to readers and advertisers, and the wide variety of functions we perform, the way in which each group achieves this target will vary."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lux Interior of the Cramps has died. Crap!

The Daily Swarm has been reporting all day that Lux Interior of The Cramps had died. No one could find any other confirmation about it anywhere else on on the Web, so we were treating it as a false rumor. Sadly, now it sounds true, Billboard, Pitchfork, and LimeWire are now reporting it as well. Crap. Seriously, I think I'm gonna have to cry 96 tears from 96 eyes. This totally bums me out, more than most musician deaths, I've been listening to The Cramps for 25 years. It seems somehow appropriate that I repost the weird photo I took of Lux at the Showbox about 15 years where it look like he's crying... only today it's his fans that are crying.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster to merge?

Reuters is reporting a possible merge between the nation's largest concert promoter and the nation's largest ticket seller here. Granted, one of my New Years wishes was that places like The Showbox would stop using Ticketmaster.... The Showbox is owned by corporate giant AEG, Live Nation's only real competitor, a merger would likely force them to use a different ticket vendor... but this will only further consolidate the corporate music industry network into the hands of just a few controlling companies. In the short run, AEG-owned or associated venues like The Showbox, Bumbershoot and WAMU Theater might be forced into using another vendor with lesser fees than Ticketmaster, but in the long run the results will probably be worse for music fans. It would be cool if The Seattle Center ticket office moved to Brown Paper Tickets from Ticketmaster, then I could get tickets for rollerderby at Key Arena without all the insane Ticketmaster fees!