‘Love Music Hate Racism’ – Rock Against Racism 30th anniversary spectacle in Victoria Park, East London

Yesterday, a festival under the banner ‘Love Music Hate Racism’ took place in East London’s Victoria Park to mark the 30th anniversary of Rock Against Racism and raise consciousness about the racist BNP in the run-up to the local elections. 1978’s Rock Against Racism in the same location featured The Clash, Steel Pulse, X-Ray Spex and the Tom Robinson Band. This time around, several stages were graced by the likes of Paul Simonon’s new band The Good, The Bad and The Queen (with Damon Albarn of Blur), The Paddingtons, Jay Sean, Jimmi Pursey of Sham 69 (now in Day 21 with the Rev, ex-Towers of London), Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex, Don Letts, Jerry Dammers of The Specials, and many other acts.

The main problem was that even the £2 “schedule” booklet did not state any stage times. You had to run from one stage to another in the hope of eventually catching a particular act that you wanted to see. I heard Poly Styrene sing her bondage tune somewhere in the distance, I missed the Paddingtons, and I caught the last few minutes of Jimmy Pursey doing White Riot as he had done when he joined The Clash on stage at the 1978 event. -Read more>

My Brother Is An Only Child by Daniele Luchetti (2007)

Here’s your only ever chance to watch someone kick the shit out of somebody else while shouting “since when do you give a fuck about Beethoven?!”

Daniele Luchetti’s movie My Brother Is An Only Child tells the story of two brothers growing up in an Italian smalltown in the 60s. Manrico gets laid and joins the local communist movement while his younger brother Accio doesn’t get laid and becomes a neo-fascist bully. So far, so familiar, but changes are underway.

Initially attracted to the fascists by their radical posturing, uncompromising methods, and the strong sense of social justice they seem to espouse, Accio eventually learns they aren’t the revolutionaries they claim to be. -Read more>

Noize Punishment: the future of jihad?


Noize Punishment aka Jindrich Brejcha is a one-man act from the Czech Republic, and as the name suggests, an absolutely punishing experience. Do you remember Atari Teenage Riot? Gabba techno beats, distorted hardcore/metal guitars, shouty political lyrics? Noize Punishment takes the concept a few steps further, mixing grindcore and breakbeats into a infernal racket that will make your neighbours think construction works are taking place in your bedroom. Hearing Noize Punishment for the first time gave me a buzz similar to my first exposure to Napalm Death‘s From Enslavement To Obliteration or Einstuerzende Neubauten‘s Kollaps, except there’s a lot more structure to those. -Read more>

Partibrejkers – interview with the godfathers of Yugoslav garage punk

Chances that the Oblivians, Gories, and White Stripes ever heard of Yugoslavia’s godfathers of garage punk, Partibrejkers, are next to zero.
And yet, upon hearing the bass-less, cutting, rhythm & blues based garage rock the Partibrejkers (speak: party breakers) thrashed out on their deliberately lo-fi 1985 debut album, one is inclined to think these Belgradians pioneered an aesthetic their American counterparts picked up on with at least ten years delay. -Read more>

Zombie Met Girl

Zombie Met Girl sound as if the Dead Kennedys had remained in their embryonic, pre Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables state for a little while longer, and then fleshed out their sound by adding a slight Cramps touch instead of going hardcore.

I’m not sure if you get the same impression from their video clip below, but when I saw them play at Rock Action Fest a week ago, it often felt like watching Jello & Co circa ‘Police Truck‘.

A new London rock’n’roll band, Zombie Met Girl feature a vocalist who knows how to interact with the audience without resorting to stereotypical poses. They’re smart enough to know that bands earn more from t-shirt sales than from CDs these days, which is why they put extra effort into making really cool looking tees (see pic). I would wear one even if I wasn’t familiar with the band.

Listen to an mp3 of them here: Zombie Met Girl – murder in 314, or have a look at Zombie Met Girl’s myspace. Do you think I should interview them?

Funny Games by Michael Haneke (2008)

One thing I was apprehensive about when I went to see Haneke’s US remake of his own Austrian-made 1998 cult classic was its possible merciless mainstreamisation to woo a larger US audience. In place of the John Zorn score that violently crashes into the introductory sequence of the original, I expected Slipknot, or whatever else Americans find scary these days. -Read more>

from the disco vault – Grace Jones: Portfolio

GRACE JONES – Portfolio (LP, Island Records 1977)

Grace Jones’s debut is certainly not the most innovative disco album released in 1977 – that price would have to go to Donna Summer’s I Remember Yesterday, if only for the dazzling six minutes of ‘I Feel Love’ amid a heap of perfunctory filler – but it’s one of the most consistently enjoyable, and one of my personal favourite disco albums of all time. In a genre so centred around the 12” single, that’s a distinction. -Read more>

The Moon interview

Joe Moon sounds a lot like Iggy Pop. He even sings with a Midwestern accent. But his band are not your average garage troupe dishing out “1969” soundalikes.

Perhaps The Moon’s music is a speculation on what may have come of the Stooges after the phenomenal 1974 post-glam hangover album they never got to record – picking up the pieces after the big party and entering gloomier times. -Read more>

Tura Satana interview

Tura Satana is usually remembered as Varla, the ultimate bad girl from Russ Meyer’s 1966 cult movie Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Only true schlock aficionados are also familiar with her parts in Ted Mikels’s 1968 sci-fi horror effort, The Astro-Zombies, and his madman-against the-world trash feast, The Doll Squad (1974).

Through her stunning looks and otherworldly presence, Tura made any potboiler worth your while and could turn a solid b-movie like Faster Pussycat into a classic. Sexy and tough, charismatic and intimidating all at the same time, she remains one of the most unforgettable actresses in film history.

I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her career in the movies and her life before and after.

ZZ: Where did you grow up, Tura?

TS: I grew up in Chicago, Illinois… on the West Side of Chicago.

ZZ: I heard you were a tough kid and member of a girl gang.

TS: Yes, I was in a girls gang after I was raped at the age of 10. It was a girls gang that could take care of themselves, but we didn’t go around looking for trouble. Usually we went looking to prevent trouble, especially to other girls.

ZZ: Some sources claim that you started go-go dancing at the age of thirteen. Is that true? -Read more>

The Power of Nightmares

The youtube clip below contains the introduction to a very interesting documentary called The Power Of Nightmares that was on British television a couple of years back. It deals with the rise of the political Right in both the USA and the Islamic countries, charting it from its humble beginnings as an intended moral renaissance through the pain and terror it inflicted upon innocents on both sides of the artificial fence. -Read more>

Sonny Vincent interview

Originally published in Zombie Creeping Flesh fanzine.

Sonny Vincent has been a punk rocker since 1976. He spent his formative years fronting The Testors in New York City’s early CBGB milieu alongside bands like the Dead Boys and The Cramps. Projecting the image of an archetypical New York punk underdog with an attitude, he went on to sing and play guitar in The Model Prisoners, The Extremes, Shotgun Rationale and countless other groups. Extreme hard-headedness and a bad reputation have marked his path ever since, as well as a habit of turning up his guitar amp too loud. Go and see him live whenever he’s playing on your turf to hear what I mean. -Read more>

Jeff Dahl interview


Originally published in Zombie Creeping Flesh fanzine.

Jeff Dahl has been playing raw, authentic rock and roll ever since the late 70s. Having fronted the legendary Angry Samoans, Powertrip, Vox Pop, and his own Jeff Dahl Group, he continued as a solo artist in the 1990s and 00s. His sound is perhaps best described as muscular, sped-up proto-punk in the Dead Boys and Stooges tradition, yet with the occasional touch of glitter. -Read more>

Lydia Lunch interview

Originally published in Zombie Creeping Flesh fanzine.

When she was only 14, Lydia Lunch ran away from her suburban Rochester home to hang out in the early New York City punk scene. Amateur footage filmed at the CBGB club in 1976 reveals her as an early Dead Boys groupie as well as a keen self-promoter eager to get her name out at a very early age.

Soon she fronted an incredibly abrasive outfit called Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, who with their noisy assault spearheaded the New York No Wave movement. 1980 saw the release of her first solo album, a radical departure from Teenage Jesus: instead of shrill guitar noise, Queen of Siam offered lazy Lolita-vocals breathing a lascivious urban ennui over big band inflected, jagged grooves. Along with her 8-Eyed Spy project, where she indulged in an experimental brand of swampabilly, this has remained Lydia Lunch’s most universally acclaimed work in a fickle music world.

But unlike many of her contemporaries from the New York underground who seemed creatively burnt out after one or two releases, Lydia has remained active and her work relevant right until the present day. Since the 1980s, she has been involved in countless projects, collaborating with artists such as Einsturzende Neubauten, Rowland S. Howard of The Birthday Party, and Sonic Youth. Every one of her projects – be it music, photography, film, writing or spoken word – is radical and uncompromising in its own way. And having preserved her ability to surprise rather than rehash her former glories, Lydia’s work remains challenging and innovative. -Read more>