Here we have a beautiful collage of photographs outlining the bizarrely eventful life of young Harley Flanagan. Scroll down for context.
Harley Flanagan is best known, of course, as founder and bassist of the legendary Cro-Mags, the NYHC band that brought us one of the most impactful Hardcore albums of all time, The Age Of Quarrel. That’s not the only thing people find interesting about Harley though. Harley put out a book last year detailing his life. I haven’t even read it yet, so allow me to use my limited (very limited) knowledge (and diction) to tell you what’s going on (went on) with Harley.
Harley’s mom was a hippie and she was friends with Allen Ginsberg and the beat poets in NY back then (the 70’s I guess). Allen saw Harley as a poet. Somehow Harley gets a book of his poetry and drawings published when he’s like 8 years old with a Foreword by Ginsberg himself. Harley travels to the UK (with his mom or with Allen.. idk.. Allen was friends with Joe Strummer. I know that). Harley meets punks like Getty Getgood from The Outcasts while in the UK. Harley learns about skinhead culture and fashion and he brings it back to NY with him. Some circles actually credit Harley as a pioneer of skinhead fashion in the US. Harley (as a small young boy) is now rubbing shoulders with everyone from Joe Strummer (The Clash), to Debbie Harry (Blondie), to Adam Yauch (The Beastie Boys). Harley gets involved in the CBGB scene at a very young age. Harley becomes the drummer for The Stimulators when he’s like 12 or 13. Harley becomes a Lower East Side street kid. Hearley is living in squats with rats and pitbulls and The Bad Brains. Harley’s got tattoos all over his chest and stuff before he’s even gone through puberty. I could be mistaken but I think Harley lived in the fabled Vats of San Francisco for a time. Harley’s been to prison. Harley stabbed his ex bandmates. Harley is a Jiu Jitsu master. What else has he done? I don’t know. I still have to read the book. I’m pretty sure Harley was in that movie where he was a ghost and Demi Moore can’t see him but Whoopi Goldberg can hear him. I could be thinking of someone else. Look, there’s really no reason you should believe anything I say about Harley. The pictures speak for themselves though.
FROM: C. THOMAS WARMUTH (EL GOOGLY DIABLO)
There’s a running joke in the band that the name El Googly Diablo is Spanish for “ex-girlfriend.” The truth is, years ago I had a friend who had a lazy eye and she had a crush on me, which of course I was oblivious to. My girlfriend at the time did not like this woman so she nicknamed her “El Googly Diablo.” My ex and I are still pals so when it came time to name the band I reached out to her for permission to use it, because it sounded as silly as I feel most days. Plus naming the band “Taco Fiesta” seemed like it might be a little too confusing for folks when printed on a flyer.
Hey, thanks for the intel man. It’s a great name for a band. ‘Taco Fiesta’ would have been great too but you would have been inundated with hungry, and then hangry, fans at every show. Unless you supplied tacos. Hey there’s an idea!
Listen here or search for the playlist, “Doesn’t Suck” on your desktop version.
Ok stay with me here.. Hadokowa is a French speaking robot from Taiwan (Home of oyster omelets and Taipei 101). Still with me? Ok good.. The robot has generated an algorithm for interlacing punk rock with 8 bit Nintendo sounds. Yes! Actually I think it’s just these two people who make the music, but anyway, they want you to believe it’s a robot, which is fun, so let’s go with it. There’s nothing quite as nostalgic as video game theme songs from the 90’s. They take me to my happy place. Sometimes you’re going to get really weird random stuff on this blog. Just deal with it ok. This is awesome, and there’s a song about people treating dogs like humans.
Washer – All Aboard
Grungy indie punks from Brooklyn mixin’ up a bowl of grooves for us with killer vocals. Really scrappy songs that get stuck in your teeth and stay there, like when you eat ribs and you don’t have a toothpick. This could be my favourite release this month. I mean I associated it with oral hygiene. That’s saying a lot. Everything is solid here. If you don’t eat meat you can compare it to eating a mango off the pit. Like someone just hands you a mango and you have to eat it with your bare hands. No knife. This is the perfect compliment for any band. Listen on Bandcamp
The Fiasco Kerfuffle – Get A Job
This is bedroom emo at it’s emoest, and also it’s bedroomest. This is definitely just a really sad guy sitting on the edge of his bed making brilliant songs that no one will ever hear, other than me, and maybe you, if you go to his page. I really hope you do. So few people have a knack for lyrics like this. The subject matter is self-deprecation at it’s self-deprecationiest, and maybe it gets you a little down, but what’s wrong with being down? I like being down. I feel most comfortable when I’m down. What is this ‘up’ I’ve heard so much about? What’s up!? Down with up! Everything about this works perfectly. It’s a beautiful accident. Even the bad mixing and shitty white-noise just add to the sadness, and thus strengthens these songs. Listen on Bandcamp
El Googly Diablo – ST
They do it in the name of love. They write these beautiful songs for you and me in the name of love, and all that is good. All that is punk, all that is weird. El Googly Diablo is the name of the band. It’s a weird name, and don’t let the spooky cover art fool you. This album is inspirational and uplifting. It’s endearing the way a wet dog is. It’s so cute but its fur is gross right now. Are you going to pet the wet dog anyway? Well? I’ll pet this fucking dog all day. Maybe just like on it’s head though. You know, where it’s still mostly dry. Listen on Bandcamp
Ueckers – 2 Balls 2 Strikes
Anytime there’s a decent Snot-punk album released, it’s automatically in consideration for the top 5, even when all of the songs are about beer league baseball. It doesn’t matter what the songs are about ok, as long as they’re clever, and this is clever stuff. They’ve got the background vocals perfect too. If you’re a grease-punk and you also happen to be on a softball team, I may have just found your favorite album of all time. Don’t be fooled by bands like Modern Baseball or Canadian Softball. Those bands don’t even talk about balls. What kind of deceptive bullshit is that anyway? Listen on Bandcamp
Soapboxer – Lush
Good news from Thunder Bay! Said the headline never. Zzzzing! Seriously though if you’re Canadian you know this town has it’s share of problems, but Soapboxer, for all I know, doesn’t appear to be one of them. If anything they’re a break in the clouds for that truly horrible place. I’m totally kidding. Thunder Bay is fine (if you’re not Native). KIDDING! (kind of). This is shoegazie emo stuff with dreamy vocals and poignant lyrics that make you want to be young again. Unless you’re still young. I don’t know how it makes you feel if you’re still young. Probably a little sad. By the way, this album is choice! Listen on Bandcamp
This is the kind of thing I really geek-out over. I automatically go four-eyed for anything 80’s Hardcore. I also get my pocket protector out for small town punk scenes. Here we have a merger of both. Two nerd-worlds colliding, if you will. Sending me into an intoxicating dweeb-rage of hardcore poindexteria. I know this is coming across as jovial but I’m actually in a really bad mood right now. Not because of this awesome hardcore though. If anything it’s helping. From Disillusion Records, this is the Welcome To The Circus comp, which chronicles the Tucson AZ (Home of cactus) Hardcore scene of the early 80’s. There is so much cool stuff on here. I’m like a kid in a candy shop (that only sells nerds).
If you know anything about me (and I hope you don’t), you know (you shouldn’t) that I’m a super-nerd for Lookout! Records and Mutant Pop Records. Most people are familiar with Lookout! but not everyone remembers Mutant Pop, so here’s a little blast from the past.
Way back in the 1990’s there was an influx of, what’s commonly known as, Pop Punk. I don’t like calling it that though, because when someone says ‘pop punk’ the first thing I think of is every band that was on the Survival Of The Fattest comp, and though that stuff was fairly rad, it’s not at all what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about what was on the Punk USA comp. I sometimes refer to it as grease-punk or weasel punk, leather jacket punk (not to be confused with spikey jacket punk), weasel punk, snot punk if you will. Did I say weasel punk twice? That late 80’s/early 90’s Ramones-revival punk, made popular by bands like Screeching Weasel and The Queers. It’s pop punk. Everyone calls it pop punk, but it’s not the same as the other pop punk. It’s Mutant Pop Punk. It’s more like rock’n’roll punk. It’s more Buddy Holly with distortion than it is The Descendents with a skateboard. I know, it all gets very confusing. I still have no fucking clue what the difference is between Crust and Grind.
Mutant Pop Records was a label that came out of Corvallis Oregon, which is where Oregon State University is. It was kind of like a pit stop for a lot of touring bands back then. Like Olympia junior or something. This label was fanatically committed to pumping out the greasy style of punk I speak of. I mean they put out tons of bands, and every one of them followed the exact same formula for punk rock’n’roll. They all sounded exactly the same. I mean they all practically had the same album cover, of the band standing there in leather jackets looking as uncool as possible. It doesn’t matter ok. It doesn’t matter how many bands sound exactly the same. They’re all going to be awesome because it was the most awesome genre of all time ok. That’s what Mutant Pop and I understand and so few other people do. It’s ok though. That’s not what I’m trying to show you with this post.
Really I just wanted to share this cool clipping from the Mutant Pop ‘ZINE’. This was issue #9 from February 1995, and it featured a lot of cool stuff. I do recommend exploring the website. You can find the zines in the Old Catalogs section. If you’re strapped for time though (God you must be important), then at least check out the pic below. It’s from the TOP 10 of ‘94 section which featured submissions from quality dirtbags like Ben Weasel & Joe Queer and (as seen below) the very best person of all time, Blake Schwarzenbach. You know what’s really neat-o is the incomplete submission and apology from Corin Tucker of Sleater Kinney fame, talking about her new band.. Sleater Kinney! Wow cool right! This whole post was leading up to this moment.
Brought to you by Saltillo Mexico,,, sarapes! And also this extra-screamy emo band called Cuando Ya No Importe. Just off the top of my head, I believe the English translation is “When it Doesn’t Matter Anymore” or “Past Caring” ..Something like that. Not to be confused with the book of the same title by Juan Carlos Onetti. The band seems to be paying tribute to the existential mindfuck that was that novel. They have a quote from Onetti on their bandcamp page. I haven’t read the book myself, but I just put it on my To-Read list, so thank you for the recommendation guys! By the way, the music is dark, the lyrics are darker, it’s just lights out across the board here. In a good way.