Confessions of a Punk/Post-Punk Makeup Fan

I wrote an article that is featured on one of my favorite blogs and Twitter accounts, www.punkgirldiaries.com and on Twitter @punkgirldiaries. My article is about an episode in my life in my teens when I finally made it to the punk mecca of London, a few years too late. Thank you so much to Polly and co. for letting me write. The article continued with some details I had gathered from people on the Subcultures Group and other outlets. Since these are blogs and we can’t let the articles get too long, it was cleaned up and edited to give you some Pow Wow on the peacocks of punk and post-punk. Check it out here at:

…Not just any old make-up set…

Please, keep up if you can, with the fiendish writings of punkgirldiaries. Always a great insight to everything a punk girl should know.

The rest of the article is below:

By J. Canning

Makeup Realities

I used stage makeup from the Dancewear centre upstairs in Castle Street… water based you could paint it on with a brush…Valerie

It’s 1977 to 1980 and what did your average punk girl have to do with little funds and a desire to express herself with makeup have for resources to make that in-your-face statement? London is a theatre town, and much of it started with theatrical makeup. Not every punk girl wanted to start with the clown base. Most punk girls had to shop Woolworths or get eyeliner from Sari shops. Did you get your makeup off a stall in the markets? Use rice powder and mix with whatever the cheapest foundation was you could find? Eyeliner was the staple makeup piece and heaviest used, and it never seemed to wash off. Panda eyes, Egyptian eyes, or mutant Glam eyes, so many choices. Of course lipstick was an absolute must, often blended with several shades to get that right bizarre shade no one manufactured.

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Hope and Anchor

 

Then where did you go to show off, hang out, be with other like minded individuals? In London it was the Beaufort Market and Kings Road areas where the shops were, and Roebuck pub where many soon to be famous people like Phil Lynott and Johnny Lydon (Rotten) hung out. The big magnet being SEX, the shop of Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood at the World’s End area. Many punk girls seemed enthralled with the sixties icon store Biba, a magical place to go, and carried high-end makeup lines. Districts like Camden Town and Notting Hill where the race riots had occurred were popular hangouts. Portobello Road, Chelsea and clubs like the 100 Club and The Hope and Anchor on Upper Street, where bands like The Stranglers, XTC, U2, The Cure, Joy Division and The Ramones have played. Youth covered the markets and eventually anywhere they could be seen and meet other punks.

 

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As the movement gained momentum and so enraptured and shocked London, many punk women started modeling, and eager photographers followed along, like Derek Ridgers and Jill Furmanovsky. Photographers and videographers were compelled to document the growing scene, there was a thrust, a verve, a movement. And much of it shocked the nation. It became performance art, to put on makeup to the extreme and find the right places to hang out, be seen, make your political statement of the right to express yourself.

However, London was not the only place that had gone punk. Manchester, Liverpool, Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh all had their punk scenes that reflected the local youth and culture. Where did these punk girls get their inspirations from, looking at other women in the crowd, or was it the female band members in their local punk groups that inspired them most? Female pop icons enthralled women and men alike, strong women who would get out there and smolder like all women wanted to and the all girl bands like the Slits or Strawberry Switchblade edged them on. Punk girls simulated a favorite singer or download-9actress and went through phases. Not all punk goddesses could be alike, the point was be as different as you could be. Punk girls wanted to be different looking, but also shown respect and not harassed on the streets for their looks.

All my money went on makeup and second hand clothes. I didn’t want to look like anybody else. Roxy

imagesMany girls saw it as a way to see a fellow punk, identify with someone from the tribe. Places to meet like minded individuals were college campuses, band venues, dance halls and record shops. Sleep all the next day if you didn’t have a job, and start it up again. If they were brave enough to try to learn enough guitar or keyboard they could start a band, and escape to see the world and be part of that music industry thrall. Where sadly many bands never saw a profit from any of their records.

Real Punk Girls Makeup: Makeup on The Streets

What was the daily reality of the punk women of the late 70s, did they consider themselves feminine, or had feminism been turned on its head by punk? Punk was punk and not gender specific, it welcomed everyone that identified with it, and thrashed every aspect of social norms. So how was wearing makeup changing from a 1970s Disco Dolly shine to performance art? Some of the pigment colors were very much a carry over from the Glam era and by the middle 80s had changed to stylized masks. But women had to be very retro in a way, the eyes very reminiscent of the makeup styles of the 1920s used for black and white film, or some of the punk/rockabilly sex bomb look from the 1950s got blended in. Dark, heavy eyes, with bright highlights and later in the 80s, creating a different sideshow art kind of look, following bands like Visage.images-3

The following are accounts from men and women who lived the in punk scene in the UK in the years 1976 to 1982 and what they really did with their everyday punk look. 

I don’t remember which brands, though I did love Biba. I wasn’t trying to look ‘pretty’- we were trying to express a different type of femininity I think. I wanted to look striking, and different. Part of it was rejecting the traditional stereotype of girls looking ‘sweet’. –Gaye Bell

Just reread the post- I guess the message was, f*@# looking stereotypically pretty, like you want a man? And a huge reaction to f*@# Farah  Fawcett Majors type Californian ‘natural beauty’. Gaye and I caked our faces in the palest shade of panstick. – Rachel Bell

I used felt tip pens for eyeshadow lips drawing cute tattoos on face, daddy was sad he lost his pretty little girl. He came round and my parents would call me in to have a good laugh at what I was going out wearing. We found a way. Homemade diy.- Rose McDowall

Probably from around 1974 ish Germolene as a face mask/moisturiser straight out of the tin. Scraped off after a while with bog roll. Then some old theatre make up we used as kids to dress up. Was still lying around. Bit dried up but good enough as a starter. Black biro, bit later kajal from Cockburn Street market applied with a metal stick in the lid – went on like axel grease and smelt of vick nasal clear and made your eyes water for hours. Later Biba foundation – wee black pot with a twist on lid. The colour of a rich tea biscuit. Oily stuff. Went on nice but kinda curdled by the end of a night out. May have been called china doll shade putty? Unforgettable smell of linseed. Ellenet? Whatever, loads of sticky hairspray after trying sugar and egg white mixes. Ellenet was good for setting face paint too. No, don’t go there. Crazy color for hair. Fab all over shocking pink face and neck dye when it rained. Lips, early days watercolour paint, vaseline and a paint brush – later something black or black cherry. Somehow I still have my own face and hair. Ivy League sold the complete range of Barry M around 1982 or perhaps a year later. Oh the joys, and the boys with black eyeliner. Where did we find the time? Yes certified with a capital W… pale pink antiseptic gunk in a tin. I just used whatever was lying around. And my fertile imagination – Jay Kirkland

I was lazy about it all and lacking in skill. I loved Biba but couldn’t afford it. I remember a brand called Razzle Dazzle I adored, great sparkly stuff. When I could be bothered my AIM was to look like a Warhol painting, so I remember slapping on lots of bright green or purple eyeshadow, bright pink lipstick and as white a face as I could get. I loved kohl (and seem to still be wearing it…) I have an abiding memory of Jackie Brown painstakingly mixing her face colours on an actual palette. And Gaye applying several different lipsticks to arrive at the exact shade she wanted…I used to think the most challenging thing (for me and the world both) was to go out with no make-up at all. It took huge bravery, haha! And what happened then was that I was entirely ignored and invisible. So I think the drama of the paint was to make sure nobody could ignore us. For me it was more about expression than whether or not we were being conventionally attractive – though you’re right Gaye, there was an element of that.  – Grace

In some cases… when it got all gothy I gave that a total bodyserve. 6 hours to get ready for two hours posing then go home and take it all off for two hours. Beauty is not skin deep….black and white or tru-gel for me. KY gel was a bridge too far for me haha. Mind you my girlfriend at the time was a hairdresser so mucho products around. – James

Yes not fan of gothy look..but as Grace said there was a bit of our own artistry of sorts involved and making your own statement, and a form of playing and experimenting. But yes inner beauty just as important! – Anne

I put makeup on lots of straight boys, but mostly for gigs or videos. The boys often just did the Johnny Thunders eyeliner look. I think a part of it was kind of advertising who you were and what tribe of people you were akin to. You could spot a like-minded soul a mile away in 1970s Scotland. Part of it was shock value, but I always wanted to be the opposite of what people expected me to be, as they were usually judging me on my appearance. My idea of rebellion was to be polite, friendly and well-mannered, plus I wasn’t a drinker and I didn’t smoke. It took me a long time to stop putting kajal on my inner eyelids and dark shadow under my eyes, but it just looks mad when you get older.- Mairi Ross 

Going into the ladies at gigs and getting who ever offered to do the eyeliner for me….. I wonder,you may have done (Mairi), it was quite a regular thing,when I was going through my “Peter Perrett” look phase…if only I’d been skinny it might have worked! – Joe

Various carefully brushed on bright eyeshadows, dark eyeliner, bright lipstick and a dark cherry one I found. Usually the cheapest I could afford, like Rimmel and the cherry lipstick was Mary Quant or Biba. Putting it on took ages, wanted it different and striking. Didn’t go for gothic or anything on the face. Just had to stand out! With my short hair and often androgynous clothes even got mistaken for a boy! In the words of one woman who called me ‘son’, “Aye well ye cannae tell these days!”. – Anne

Miss Selfridge..all those sparkly eyeshadow sticks. The Indian kajal eyeliner in a little tin pot applied with a fine paint brush. Boots green hair gel. Food dye for hair. Max Factor bright pink lipstick. – Patricia-Anne

Razzle Dazzle.. stuff of legends.. came in wee glass pots… gold colours and the like… bit like Barry M today – Valerie

I was more of a Siouxsie Sioux era punk. Unfortunately because of the lack of phones there are only one or two photos somewhere, none that I can retrieve!! I used crimpers on my hair and used to stick my hair up with egg white and sugar!! Black kohl was my go to makeup with very artistic cat eyes, the lines of the khol running from mid nose to temple. And the same black kohl on my lips. My style went from ratty holy jeans, monkey boots, and ripped t shirt to seditionary jeans and tops(all with straps and buckles) and boots with countless buckles on them as well. I had a nose piercing to which I hung a chain (I think it had elephants on it) to my ear. I counted myself as a peacock punk, a little young to be there at the beginning, but in my teens still railed against anything that was considered the norm. – Tracii

I didn’t start wearing eyeliner until 1985, so I am excluded.  Dunno – the time was right. Always interesting to realise it was no big deal in London, but going back to Bradford contained more questions..! I think i wore make-up very much NOT to be attached to any sort of Youth Culture. Goth – No,. Well, yes, sure. I liked the idea of subverting ‘femininity’ at the time and I was a man with a wide feminine streak etc. – Chris

Kohl eyeliner and red lipstick . X – Radge

For me it was camouflage something to hide behind but I eventually gained my confidence through my punk years and learned I could be an individual and not a follower. It also allowed me to think for myself, too political and many other things too. – Maureen

My name is Mud. I got into Punk in 1978, when I was 14/15 years old.  I lived, and still do, in the South West of Scotland. London, the epicentre of Punk may well have been in another galaxy!  Apart from Top of the Pops, John Peel on the radio and music papers like Sounds and NME, I lived surrounded by flares, long hair, disco and beigeness.  As a skint teenager I “borrowed” make up from my Mum’s Avon collection and saved up for my first Max Factor kohl eyeliner. I was inseparable from my black eyeliner for the next six years ……..My first gig was The Undertones in Glasgow in May 1980. Looking back I dressed more like an extra to “This is England”, skinhead look as I was on my own loving Punk. Skinhead with long fringe, grandad shirt, lightweight combat trousers and monkey boots, I even had a Harrington jacket, no make up apart from brown eyeshadow ℅ Avon and eyeliner. Lots of eyeliner. Krazy colour hair dye. After using, and luckily not losing our hair to Sun In. We wanted to go bright hair by 1982.  We could only get it in a shop in Rose St, Edinburgh. No internet back in the day. My style evolved as I attended gigs. Edinburgh was our Mecca and we absorbed what we saw every time we made the trip to the Capital. Saw Dead Kennedys, Crass, Poison Girls, The Fall and Killing Joke at The Nite Club.  Exposed to hard anarchic views and culture. My mate and myself discovered Sun In hair lightener. We were aiming for peroxide white – as you’ll see from the photos this didn’t happen. I traveled up on my own to see Siouxsie and the Banshees- style icon. I by then had my leather biker jacket, bondage trousers and mini kilt – thought I looked the part. Black hair back combed, but nothing like the goddess herself. We did a night in Glasgow followed by a night in Edinburgh at Adam and the Ants, circa Kings of the Wild Frontier. Suddenly we were peacocks, but it was fine as Adam had/was a punk.  The fun had started and we were members of a new family, well for a couple of months. – Caroline

 

 

 

Bauhaus 40th Anniversary Updates

Can you tell I am a fan? Okay, here’s the official scoop from Beggar’s The Arkive:

Release Dates are:

IN THE FLAT FIELDPre-order, out on October 26th
MASKPre-order, out on October 26th
* THE SKY’S GONE OUTPre-order, out on November 23rd*
PRESS THE EJECT AND GIVE ME THE TAPEPre-order, out on November 23rd
(This is a Record Store Day Black Friday release in the US and is available exclusively at participating indie record stores. For more details and a store list, click here.
* BURNING FROM THE INSIDEPre-order, out on December 7th*
CRACKLE (Best-Of)Pre-order, out on December 7th

Note: Want the reissue of Bela? Read this

Also on this date, Leaving Records (a partner of Stones Throw Records) will release the band’s first recording ever, The Bela Session including three previously unreleased tracks and a remastered version of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” For details, please visit http://www.stonesthrow.com/news/2018/09/bauhaus.

* starred items are not available in the US but may be ordered via our UK store as imports.

That’s right, some of the albums are import only. I am inquiring with friends overseas as to wether their shops can import to the US. Otherwise you will need to order via Beggar’s Banquet UK site.

So I Started a Meetup Group; Confessions of a Alt Punk Post-Punk Girl

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It’s a Tuesday night in the PDX. My fledgling group of Alternative Music, Punk and Pos-Punk people have joined me at the Blackheart Bar for pub grub and a torturous Pub Quiz on punk rock. Robert and Alexis have provided some really obscure West Coast and East Coast punk trivia, I have included questions I gathered from the UK Scots and Irish scenes care of Twitter pals in the UK and Facebook Subcultures groups. There was one attendee who mopped the floor and the others were banging heads. It was a cringe worthy evening. The bar played my Spotify list for the two hours and just let it run after we left. Not too bad. Food wasn’t too bad, the decor is fun here.

Pretty Vacant, Sort of

Why did I start a wee band of people up in the PDX? I was getting desperate. This town is a music town but the copacetic attitude of people means serious dullsville if you really like music, or would like to even talk about it to people. I searched Meetup groups for months and found nothing like my tastes. Damn, this means I have to start one. Argh. So I did. Still a strange thing, people are interested but nothing like back in the day, like when you went to every show with your mates. What’s happening to the world? Is it just the town, or the age group? Don’t go there. People just seem to meander around this town, which can be good. But it’s nice to actually talk with someone about something, anything you have a passion for. Music, movies, life. Most of the indie scene here is very copacetic and ambient. Not really my thing.

I love doing the Celtic fusion, other days I just do soundtracks. I have my moods too. But I need something else. Yeah, and remembering your youth isn’t so bad, right? I have been surviving on Facebook Subcultures groups, Twitter feed, really wish there was someone I could talk to. Yeah, really I am an introvert with extroverted moments, but this world has become so isolating with everyone stuck in their smartphones and watches.

Adverts

Wait, I am going to see PiL in a few weeks. Should I take a chance and do the 1/4 page flier adverts like I used to do for dance clubs back in the eighties, on obnoxious colored paper and tell people about our Meetup group? Wow, how retro of me. I think I may give it a try. I am also helping ad to the ambience of the toilets if I put them in there, right?

So if you’re desperate and not finding enough people to share your music enthusiasm, and online Facebooking isn’t meeting your needs, try a Meetup in your town. Or go old school and just hang out in the record store. Maybe it might work.

Alt Punk Post-Punk Join if in the PDX or get an idea for your own group

Spotify Punk and Post-Punk Playlist so far

Blackheart Bar

2411 SE Belmont St.

Portland, OR 97214

503.954.1541

Fisherman’s Blues 30th Anniversary, Fresh as Ever

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I remember the first time I heard the song “Fisherman’s Blueson my local college radio station in California. I had been listening to the Waterboys first 3 Albums for years, and it had been fun trying to get import copies of them in the early 80s in San Francisco. I had really enjoyed what had been called,  “The Big Music”, a single from their A Pagan Place album, a music sense that spirituality and the land and people came together, and a music sound that was big and grabbed you. When I heard the change in the Waterboys music with the new single, it took a few times of playing the tape over, but I was hooked. Blending traditional and new sound, they were creating a bigger, deeper music. The Waterboys were definitely going in new directions. I think I played the album on cassette until I stretched that tape too much. Got it on vinyl. Had to sell it during dire straights, got a copy back a few years later, used as I wanted the original issue.  I have had it in various forms ever since. There may have been times in my life that I didn’t listen to it, it lay dormant as some of our favorite albums do due to family issues, me issues. However, I always found a way back to it when it was needed.

This October marks the 30th anniversary of the album. It was a record that may have only been released with 10-13 tracks depending on your country, however much, much more was recorded over the two year recording period and released on subsequent compilations. I have a fantasy that the final boxed set that came out in 2013 will be released as vinyl, if it was, I may find it. Yes, 100 plus songs. Heavy load, but always uplifting or sad. When You Go Away, always one that makes a tear come.download-7

Fisherman’s Blues was released on October 17, 1988. It would take two years to record, and two countries. Steven Wickham had joined the band after the Waterboys This is the Sea album had been released. Other musicians were called in to join in the many lengthly recording sessions. The Waterboys recorded the beginnings of the album at Windmill Lane Studio in Dublin during January to March, 1986. The band then had a madcap adventure in California and a recording session at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, where much of the recordings would make it onto subsequent albums. During March to August of 1987, the band returned to Windmill Lane in Dublin.  The main members of the band were present, Mike Scott, Steve Wickham, Anto Thistlethwaite on sax, Trevor Hutchinson bass, and Roddy Lorimer on trumpet. A large crew of guest musicians played on many of the tracks. Pat McCarthy was the recording engineer.

The remaining bulk of the over 100 songs and recordings were created at Spiddal House near Galway, Ireland. Where more madcap adventures came forth. And something about burying a electronic metronome timing device? And a shotgun?download-5

Out of this wealth of recordings, 13 tracks made it to the original release on October 17, 1988 (again, depending on country). Of these, “Fisherman’s Blues, about a man wanting to explore his life and the world around him with the burning need to explore, released as a single in October 1988, and “And a Bang on The Ear, a song about Scott listing many romantic entanglements and what the hero learned in the end, was released in June 1989. The rest of the songs recorded over the two years would be released on Too Close to Heaven UK or Fisherman’s Blues Part 2  in the US. In 2006 the Collector’s Edition was released with additional tracks, followed by the Fisherman’s Boxed Set in 2013 including all original songs totaling 121 tracks. 85 of the songs had not be previously available.images-5

Fisherman’s Blues entered Billboard’s US Modern Rock charts at 3rd place, and the single reached No. 32 on the UK singles charts. It has appeared in several film scores, including Waking Ned Devine and Dream With the Fishes. The album is considered one of their best albums in a 30 plus year career span.

images-10For more on the madcap adventures, I strongly suggest you read Mike Scott’s Adventures of a Waterboy.

Sadly, Fantasy Studios in Berkeley closed its doors this last September. Their site is still up if you want to see the long list of artists who have worked there over the years.

Song interpretations are always my own, just like you have your own meaning for songs that you hear. To find the meaning behind the lyrics, go to the Waterboys Lyrics page and decide for yourself.

Waterboys Discography 

http://fantasystudios.com/

https://www.windmilllanerecording.com/

All Music Writeup

The Big Music and it’s Revival?

Spiddal Reunion Concerts

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It’s National Album Day, But Just Not Here

 

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Yup, the UK has one upped it on us in music again. It’s #NationalAlbumDay UK and I have been getting album favorites hitting my Twitter feed since 4pm yesterday. Apparently some enthusiasts who are night owls and insomniacs were blasting and promoting their favorite albums at 12:59 UK time. Not the 3:33pm GMT blast off time. Wait, is it called Greenwich Mean Time anymore?  It’s a way to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the album format being promoted by BBC Music channel and hopefully as many independent record shops as possible in the UK. Yeah, I know, really it’s about making money. But if it helps get the smaller shops some business, it’s more fun places for you to go and look for your albums.

I had known about this for a few months, looked to see if the US or Canada were doing something similar (please don’t let the Canadians beat us to this). I had not seen anything on the newswires for a US version. And why the heck aren’t the big record labels here in the US picking up on this and promoting it, even for their UK artists or trying to get the same thing here in the US? I just visited Warner Bros. Records US and UK sites. Not really seeing anything on it. But reading some of the US music websites rag on about it, it’s the UK beating the US to a great marketing campaign scheme. Gasp.

But the UK is mad for it as they say, and really it’s an indie thing, right? Go independent labels and record shops! If it helps keep people going into the small record shops and supporting the indie labels, I am all for it. And the record album is not dead, as recent charts show, vinyl is way back. And many musicians are happily rereleasing on vinyl that which they had to make on CD because of that format change years back. Come on, analog is cool.

What is National Album Day anyway? We already have the National Record Store Day which has made it across many continents. Works great for the bands and the record labels, so why not this one? Going to the main website for the National Album Day, the deal is this: At 3.33pm you play an all-time favorite album of choice. Even if you are and American or Canadian or anyone else in the world, if it’s 3:33pm in your time zone, go for it. The internet IP address thing where its says you can’t play this video or song in your country doesn’t work here. Go analog on this if you can! You can share with them at @AlbumDayUK or #NationalAlbumDay. Here I go, I’ll put one up that’s having a anniversary release this week. (More about that later)

Main Rules

At 3:33pm carefully place revered album on the turntable. Stuck out and away, on download.

Remember, you have to play the album from start to finish, no skipping about. If anyone complains, explain this.

Use the hashtag #NationalAlbumDay when sharing your joy.

Enjoy, meditate or dance freely.

Complain online about all the published best album of the day results. Optional, but we know you want to.

In reading some of the news articles in the UK about how the posting voting has gone, it seems there are some top favorites.

On OfficialCharts.com, claiming to be the official word on music, they will be posting how the voting is going. I have used this mega site before and it is a rather extensive online database site. They claim that The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has claimed the top spot. However they are basing a lot of facts on this on lifelong sales of the album.  Frankly, this is no surprise. I was listening to it yesterday while walking in the park. It was the second record I ever bought, and have listened to it ever since. Coldplay have 3 albums in the running (sigh). But reading further on the charts site, most of what they go on are statistics. How are votes really being cast?

The National Album Day site has suggestions on how to get involved. Many Physical retailers in the UK and indie record labels are really pushing the Twitter feeds and having in house promos. After reading an article at NME, in which 7 of their writers discuss their favorite album to be tortured in a dark room by for 24 hours on repeat by? Yeah, I didn’t see that in the rules, and I kinda get their humor. It’s another #hashtag day, right? Not if you are really a music lover. Real music lovers will hop around like maniacs and it does fall on a Saturday so that makes it a bit easier for some. What, you can pogo at work, right? Reading further on their collected selections, there are only two albums on the list provided that I can even agree with: Talking Heads:77 and The Beatles White Album/The Beatles. Yeah, oldies but classics you can put on the turntable and sing along with. They influenced a lot of other bands. The rest of the offerings, not really appealing to me. But you may like some of them.images-1

So, is this about pushing record sales, or celebrating the album? Iain McNay, chairman at the British independent label Cherry Red ( The Fall, Howard Jones, Alien Sex Fiend, 999) helped to create this national day of celebrating the record album. It’s about the album. His purpose was to celebrate the creation and thought processes that go into creating songs and creating an album.

Remember, in the the early years of records, it was about cramming a bunch of recordings from studio sessions and live performances on an single 45 rpm or EP 12 inch just to promote a band and get them known. Back in the 70s and 80s, new bands would get a few singles/cassettes together just to promote in shops, creating their own labels.  Albums are very expensive to produce in the classic studio sense, studio time is very costly. Over the years and as bands matured and got more power with their labels via fan base, concepts, thought and themes came about and albums are now not just a collection of songs unless they are greatest hits compilations. With digital and technology advancements, making any space where you could fit musicians, instruments, laptops, soundboards and sound proof a recording space, even more creativity with albums occurred. Don’t forget the revival of vinyl has many bands going back and rereleasing on vinyl the way they really wanted their album to be, and new bands releasing on all formats.

Not to be left behind, the team at National Record Store Day will be promoting other countries picking up on the new hashtag. It sounds like getting an album day started on a national level in other countries will happen. So why not hop on the wagon and just do it now? US East Coast, you got that album on the turntable?

National Album Day BBC

NME Article

US Take on Billboard

Complete Music Update

https://recordstoreday.com/

 

Music Festival Trash Travesty

Reading-Festival-2013-Trash

Reading Festival Aftermath

We come together to enjoy outdoor music festivals from spring to fall equinox, hopefully getting outside without rain to enjoy open air music and other acts,  and the company of great friends. There are music festivals for all genres and some that mix the genres to have as many party goers as possible, which of course means more of the all mighty Dollar or Euro for the promoters and hopefully some for the acts. These affairs can be small at county fairgrounds or at massive historical estates, with camping and mayhem. Or the hugely successful and amazingly well organized chaos, like America’s Burning Man, that started over twenty years ago as a nomadic gathering, and has now become a massive commercial venue.

Images of Sicily’s Fantasy Festival have hit the news. It’s the end of the line coming up for Europe’s large music festivals over the next few months. In the US, Electric Zoo just finished up with some festivals continuing into the late Fall. No matter our age, we still flock to these music festivals, sometimes with whole families going. It’s a right of passage of youth, university and since humans were once nomadic tribes, just is natural. From the  first stadium madness gigs in the US and those very lucky to be in Europe and live amongst castles or sacred places like Glastonbury, can attend some amazing music and revelry. There are many private estates with a castle and battlements where the cash poor landed gentry are happy to take money, put up stages, and bring in the bands. You can listen to some of your favorite music, meet friends, hopefully survive the three to five days if not just day tripping, and come out fairly unscathed. Then leave a trail of devastation behind you. That’s right, people can lay waste.

Music festivals have become great venues to showcase new and upcoming bands, to old favorite bands playing for decades, as well as political and Eco causes. Because they are so future friendly, you will see vast rows of sorting bins for your refuse, that rival  the rows of portable toilets. Not to mention science exhibits and save the world booths. At the garbage collecting sites, you read the international signs for food, paper, plastics, and all other disposables. You may have helpful people there directing and correcting you, and some of them militant Neo Hippies berating you if you get it in the wrong bin. The intentions are good. But why is it there is still so much human debris left behind on the grounds similar to a mass migration? The situation is getting more and more dire as more festivals pop up every year. Yes, the music festival can really line someone’s pockets, but the cleanup becomes quite questionable. Do you trust them to dispose of the waste in a correct and safe manner once you leave even if you think you got it in the right bin?

The Gripe

What I hear of mostly in complaints on Twitter is the disappointment in this festival or that one for the bands being really bad, or the sound system not working, or the biggest gripe, not being able to get out of the car park for three hours. No one really looks back at the trash that’s been left behind. Have you read any of the articles that come out each year, talking trash about the trash? Our past three years we have raised consciousness about plastics getting into the oceans, our great Pacific Garbage Patch. This years cause Celeb is the plastic straw. Did they all get in the plastics bin, if they are allowed due to their recycling emblem. Wait, do they put that on there?

What makes thousands of people who probably recycle like fiends at home, suddenly forget how to do it? Is it some mass hive-mind mentality of abandonment? Some of these events can go on for more than 3 days, some events go for a week. If you were camping in the woods, would you leave your tent behind? In some instances yes. Some revelers mistakenly thought that the tents they left behind at the Reading Festival this past August in the UK, were destined for charities. Commonly, a rumor gets started or a mass assumption occurs, it’s like a massive pass day at school where you are forgiven a homework assignment happens. You don’t have to take what you brought in back out, the magic butler robot will take care of it. Festival clean up crews call many local homeless shelters and charities after they look at the fields, but much of the sleeping bags, tents, cookers and any other camp gear gets hauled off to landfill sites if not shipped around the world on endless barge runs like the rest of the waste on the planet.

And in some cases, many attendees really thought they were doing what they were told. In some festivals, organizers have told revelers to leave behind tents or bags, they were being collected for a refugee crisis. Then the festival didn’t follow through. Later attendees find out and realize they contributed to a serious problem. To be on the safe side, always take your stuff with you. You can donate it yourself on the way home with a charity. Maybe take that extra step and do some research before you go and if anyone talks to you at the event not sure what to do, set an example and tell them what you plan to do and why. You can start a new trend.

So Why is it Always Someone Else’s Problem?

So, do you think it’s great for the planet to trash a music festival, even if it’s on private space where the rich landed gentry live because maybe you feel a little ripped off? Did the band you love have a gripe with the festival? Whatever the convoluted reason, do you really think it’s fair to protest by leaving a squalid mess behind? Really, think about it. If festival goers keep being this badly behaved, what do you think the chances are that more music festivals will happen? It’s true, there are greedy promoter types who make loads of money. You may even think that the bands are getting serious bank. Really though, depending on the venue and contracts, many of your favorite bands barely break even going to a gig like this. Some of them donate time if it’s a charity event. And if it’s a charity event, they still have to pay for cleanup, so that money is not going to the charitable cause.

Gripe Back

Contact a festival before you attend it, have your friends do the same. Get a campaign going. Ask them how they are going to manage disposing of the collected trash. Organize others around you. Take it back with you, donate if you don’t need the sleepers or tents. Take that time to look up homeless centers on your route home. Have a garage sale when you get back.

So what is the answer, the one that is so obvious? I think it’s really hypocritical to have an Eco Spectacular Save the World Festival and leave thousands of tents, sleeping bags and piles of trash behind. I guess maybe someone in your favorite punk band will stand up at the end and say. “Hey, you! Don’t forget to take your trash out of the park!” They really shouldn’t have to, shouldn’t you set an example? Go on, take it back.

https://metro.co.uk/2018/07/20/huge-sea-waste-left-behind-music-festival-everybody-leaves-7740173/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/28/festival-goers-abandon-tents-mistaken-belief-go-charity-experts/

https://whyy.org/segments/burning-man-leave-desert-squeaky-clean/

 

The Punk, Post-Punk, Gothy Girl is Resurrected.

Gaol Breaker

I’ve bunked off from the gaol. It’s been some 6 weeks or so since I have blogged. I have spent the last 5 weeks crawling out of a weird, wet, dank abyss called Recovery From Major Medical. I have survived a surgery that some don’t, I was lucky I was very fit going in. I am forced off work and we don’t have temp disability here. Why, I feel like I did back in the early 1980s, no hope, no future. I’m alive. Appropriately listening to The Specials ‘Ghost Town’, because the Tibetan Tube Throat singing with accordion/box music at the cafe was really grating on my nerves. Now we’re on to The Fall, ‘Totally Wired. I’m waking up. I pay my taxes, and no real help for me in medical. Oh, yeah, I live in America, the corporate health empire of the world. If you are lucky and live in Canada, UK, Ireland,or the continental EU and have social medicine. Fight to keep it. Here you spend your whole recovery period fending off calls from hospitals while the insurance companies duke it out. So now I am listening to Talking Heads ‘Once in A Lifetime’, wondering where this life is going. And now we segway into ‘Mirror In The Bathroom’ by The Beat. Yeah, girls, makeup after a medical just doesn’t want to work. Actually not wanting to work for a while now. Argh. So not going there with the Albatros Eyebrows so fashionable lately. Again, unless you can pull off a good Siouxsie brow, just keep it simple.

This was a life changing event for me, but I am trying to crawl out of it. Vaughn likened it to having a Scottish Basket Hilt or Japanese Katana Sword run through me and twisting the ribs apart. Now I have to heal from it. I managed to get my Sandman tee shirt on, black skirt, black jacket, boots and thigh high socks on. I look like a Gothic wreck. Good. My red curls got unfurled from the stupid braids of sickness.  I drove for the first time, really slow, no maniacal California driving. Was very good and did not play tunes in car, needed to focus. Speed limit, don’t attract trouble. Made it to the cafe.

Ah, ‘Fade to Grey’ by Visage. Ooo, baby I feel even better already. I have been listening to a mix of digital and records when I can get to the turntable. Unfortunately the non-working thing has curtailed any record buying. But I am selling things off on eBay hoping I can maybe afford the 40th Anniversary Reissues of the Bauhaus Catalog on colored vinyl starting next month, check out Peter Murphy’s site for details. I’m working on the second cup of decaf coffee. I made it to my cafe I usually write in. I really just wanted to feel somewhat myself.

Bauhaus to Reissue 6 Records on Colored Vinyl for 40th Anniversary 

Record Store Physio

One of the tests of where I am truly at with the body has been a visit to two local record shops, Music Millennium and Everyday Music. One I actually found a vinyl copy of The Waterboys ‘An Appointment with Mr. Yeats’, which unless you are on the East Coast or L.A. aren’t likely to find. It was nice to hear some Yeats set to music and try to get back to listening to records. At EDM, it was more of an exercise to see how long I could stand up, can I flip record bin dividers, and even better spell Siouxsie right so I could look for the 12 inch? I kid you not, the really bad side effect of being a Ginge and anesthesia, is it may take weeks to get most of your spelling back. It’s scientific. Yeah, so flipping the records in the bin is a great way to tell how you are doing when recovering.

I’m in the Hawthorne. There are two record shops, Exiled and Jackpot. Okay, no money, but the singles bin can be a great find for super cheap. Hmmm. Oooo, playing ‘Generals and Majors’ by XTC now, that’s the marching orders, right. Also, there is a convo going on in the cafe I have been trying to drown out, because I don’t want to know. Time for ‘Sorry for Laughing’ by Josef K right now, turn that volume up.

Alternative/Punk/Post-Punk/ Group 

I’m dying here in Portland. Great music when you get to it, if we can get them to come. Got tickets for PiL and Echo and the Bunnymen in the next months. But really dying for some Alternative Culture. Yeah, you can still be Alternative if you are over 30, get over it.

I lived in San Francisco too long. It’s hard meeting people when they know you’re from another state. Portland may be the Weird Capital, but they can take a while to warm up to you. And finding anyone into my musical tastes near mine has been impossible. I was so desperate I looked on social networking sites. Nada. So, in my insane creativity and having to think about it, I decided I would try an experiment and create a group and see if anyone shows up. Insane, I know. Probably no one will come or be interested, but I have to get into the Phoenix frame of mind, that bird with singed wings is gonna fly. So, I have to craftily word an invitation. What insanity can I brew from this crazy idea, or will it be typical and no one will show?

Sad about this world that we have gotten so distracted we have to meet in pre-fabricated ways like this. It used to be that you met like minds at the record shop. Here if you try to talk to someone about an exciting find they think you should be sent to the looney. Funny thing, you are already there. Isn’t that what it’s about?

The Real McKenzies

If I make it through this week of killer Phisio (yeah actually they have me going to medical Physio), Vaughn has said we will attempt to see a great Canadian/Scots Punk band called The Real McKenzies I have been listening to for the past few years. If I can show that I am doing better. I need to see if I can manage to get through a show, even if it means being taped to the pillar and doing Pathetic Pogo. I may do a chair Skank if I can find one. But my minder is telling me it depends on how I do this week. So bunking off and driving and making it back in one piece will count I hope.

Oh, and for those of you in the US (West Coast), and don’t know yer ancient history, Gaol here refers to jail. It’s how it was spelt in dem olden days.

We’ll leave this on Elvis Costello’s, ‘I Can’t Stand up For Falling Down’. But really, ending on XTC’s ‘Dear God’, because our world is just as bad as it was 40 years back and what have we learned in this time? Share the music, share the lyrics, wether it’s old school or new groups, get the music out there. It’s the only way to save this race. Hope you enjoyed the convoluted playlist.