Erotic City Come Alive: Holy Holy PRINCE Raved Unto The Slut Glamtastic by General Labor

He took it all too far, but boy, could he play guitar...” (-Bowie)

Won’t you tell your Dad to get off my back, tell him what we said about ‘Paint It Black’…” (-Big Star)

Death is everywhere, there are flies on the windscreen reminding us, we could be torn apart, tonight…come here…kiss me, now….” (-Depeche Mode)

All the poets and the part time singers always hang inside
Live music from a band plays a song called Soul Psychodelicide.
The song’s a year long and had been playing for months when he
Walked into the place.
No one seemed to care, an introverted this-is-it look on most of their faces.
Up on the mic repeating two words, over and over again
Was this woman he had never noticed before he lost himself in the
Articulated manner in which she said them.
These two words, a little bit behind the beat.
I mean just enough o-turn you on.
For every time she said the words another one of his doubts were gone.” (-Prince)

Americans need to understand that they have lost their country. The rest of the world needs to recognize that Washington is not merely the most complete police-state since Stalinism, but also a threat to the entire world. The hubris and arrogance of Washington, combined with Washington’s huge supply of weapons of mass destruction, make Washington the greatest threat that has ever existed to all life on the planet. Washington is the enemy of all humanity.
(-Paul Craig Roberts)

Human beings today are surrounded by huge institutions we can never penetrate: the City, the banking system, political and advertising conglomerates, vast entertainment enterprises. They’ve made themselves user friendly, but they define the tastes to which we conform. They’re rather subtle, subservient tyrants, but no less sinister for that.” (-JG Ballard)
“To be fully human is to be wild. Wild is the strange pull and whispering wisdom. It’s the gentle nudge and the forceful ache. It is your truth, passed down from the ancients, and the very stream of life in your blood. Wild is the soul where passion and creativity reside, and the quickening of your heart. Wild is what is real, and wild is your home.”
(-Victoria Erickson)

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” (–John Muir)

This one goes out to all the dreamers, schemers, shower singers & true believers. This one’s for the adorable & incorrigible, the leapfroggers & downdoggers. For those struggling with emotional traumas & those stressing over how to correctly place commas. For the silver tongued, those that speak in tongues & those occasionally suffering a slip of the tongue. For the space cadets, speed racers & cyberspacers. The aquanauts & argonauts, the bookworms & barnburners. This one’s for all those raising their voices for revolution & resolution. For the metaphysical athletes parkouring every inner obstacle to find the sweetest, most direct route to serenity.” (-Rich Ferguson)
“Conformity may give you a quiet life; it may even bring you to a University Chair. But all change in history, all advance, comes from the nonconformists. If there had been no trouble-makers, no dissenters, we should still be living in caves.”
(– A.J.P. Taylor)

The odd thing in this world is that an eager-beaver type, with no original ideas, who mimes those in authority above him right to the last twist of necktie and scrape of chin, always gets noticed. Gets selected. Rises.” (-Phillip K. Dick)

It’s one of the triumphs of the human that he can know a thing and still not believe it.
(– John Steinbeck)

He didn’t mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn’t matter.”
(- The Velveteen Rabbit)
“Love buys a six-pack and gives it to the bums…” (-Joe Strummer)

Dear President Obama —
Finally, after months of us begging you to come to Flint, you’ve decided to visit next Wednesday. I know this will make many people happy and grateful. But, as one who voted for you twice and was thrilled beyond belief over your election, I’m sorry to tell you your visit is too little too late.
You say you’re coming to “listen to the people of Flint.” Sir, they’ve been poisoned for two damn years. You’ve known about it since October. There’s nothing to listen to. Unless you’re bringing the entire U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dig up and replace the 75,000 lead pipes, plus the Attorney General to arrest Governor Rick Snyder, then this is just another photo-op and half-baked list of new promises we don’t need. If you’re coming to make one of those “we need to rebuild America’s infrastructure” speeches, don’t bother. This is NOT an infrastructure problem – it’s a hate crime and mass poisoning of Black and poor people that NEVER would happen if this were Bloomfield Hills or Grosse Pointe or any other white town. It was done in order to give a billion-dollar tax cut to the rich. Every child here now has some form of permanent brain damage. There is NOTHING you can do to reverse that for them. There is no cure. Again, they are Black, they are poor. Do you have a cure for that? Because THAT’s the only reason why this has happened. Flint’s infrastructure was just fine (or what passes for fine these days in the USA). This poisoning happened because the governor said “Cut services!” — and so one of the first services he cut was to seal off the clean drinking water pipeline from the Great Lakes and make the poor and the Black of Flint drink dirty water from the drainage ditch you and others call “the Flint River.” We haven’t called it that for years. I’d drink my own piss before I’d drink out of that sewer.
We don’t need any more visits from politicians, even one as beloved as you. We don’t need any more promises of testing. We don’t need any more token digging up of pipes made rancid by the Flint River water that flowed through them (of the 75,000 pipes that need replacing, a total of 39 – 39!! – have been dug up and removed since you met with the mayor in the White House back in January). Meanwhile the poisoning continues on daily basis, even with the Lake Huron water that has been restored because it’s flowing through lead-damaged pipes with a new chemical that now burns people’s skin.
So unless you’re bringing the U.S. Army with you to save 100,000 of your fellow Americans, and unless you’re going to arrest the governor of Michigan who has now killed more Americans than ISIS, you might as well stay home. The riots here, I’m certain, will begin sometime soon. That’s what you or I would do if someone was poisoning OUR kids and the government refused to stop it, right?
With respect, admiration and profound disappointment,
(-Michael Moore)


I was hoping to have some real conversations with old friends and former intimates when Prince died. Residual, old, habit energy-you can’t look for something in somebody’s eyes, if they are closed, ya know? Everybody said they were bettering themselves by supposedly growing up and joining the rat race and sounding like that right wing morning show, “Fox & Friends”, but some of our beloved attachments mostly just changed their number and spend all their inheritance on geodesic domes and spa treatments and jet-skis and going on safaris and shit. I know my own personal house ain’t in order whenever I find myself seeking something on those same dead end streets we used to stomp down. Electric word, life, but sometimes, sometimes…Sometimes, only death rouses us, even fleetingly, from our deeply indoctrinated conditioning, phony baloney, hierarchical, honky death spell, if only for a few moments. Damn shame that only grief can even temporarily crack our jaded, brainwashed, bullet proof, metallic tortoise shells open, if only alone, and in the tiny hours. If you know people who have worked as highly paid media professionals for a long time, you know how they tend to curtly fire-off some superficial interview questions about your newest product, looking for the punch line, racing to the punch line, hoping to beat you to it, then, it’s right back to the commercials and the sieg heil, post-grunge, corporate rock playlist, the program, it’s like talking to programs, who are reading teleprompters. All the other assembly line, mass produced, generic Shadies just imitating Howard Stern. It’s wearying. Note to self: just stop it. In this life, you’re on your own. Be glad that you are free.

Prince03At a certain age, the only meaningful exchange left for many of us to share is silence, it’s the only honest expression. I stubbornly still love some people who became Bill O’Reilly episodes, mutterings of their angry dad’s drunkenly organizing the tools in the garage, they internalized all the hate talk reruns and class war propaganda, you hear all the mature adults insisting they are high functioning, and changing the system from within, while they obscenely overcharge poor people for rent, and complain about how Prince changed his name while battling Sony and how they did not like it when he wrote “slave” on his face, or when he showed up with a full “For You” afro and gave benefit concerts to grieving black communities after multiple murderous police rampages and convenience store window breaking uprisings, white Rudy Guiliani authoritarian types always disapprove of anyone who is anti-establishment having any voice, at all. It threatens their trains on time fascist reality. Another day, another innocent black kid killed by cops and no one’s supposed to say anything. Who will be the next hospital bomber in chief for the empire? Reality tv blowhard Trump, or bona fide made her bones already war witch Hillary? Nothing more telling than when khaki panted squares start bitching about how entertainers should shut up and sing like the ventriloquist dummies on “the Voice”. It’s plain bizarre to hear that kinda Rush Limbaugh oafish fratboy bigot shit coming out of ex punk rockers. Prince has a song called “Old Friends 4 Sale”, few of us have real conversations, anymore, where we really open up and compare notes, it’s just not done. Nobody looks 2 the dawn. Just looking for the punch-line. Racing to the punch line. Racing to the red light. Racers, racing. All of my purple life, I was lookin’ for a band. Prince is why I originally hassled all of my restless renegade childhood friends to play instruments. All those puffed up local legend dudes in the flyover college towns, who open up for the Jim Jones Revue and New Bomb Turks and Howlin’ Maggie and shit, plenty of ’em got their start in my many crash and burn, violet clad, garage punk bands.

Them’s the facts, Jack. His first couple lp’s were too Bee Gees for me. “Dirty Mind”, “Controversy”, and “1999” were as crucial to me as the Sex Pistols or Bob Dylan were to the oldsters. I had never heard anything as exciting and edgy and colorful and mystifying as Prince & The Revolution. The Revolution was the best band name, ever. I bought every single, every twelve inch, stared at them, bought the big paisley posters, made collages on my bedroom walls of all those MTV stars-Prince, Billy Idol, Van Halen, The Smiths, The Cure, Adam Ant. My friends and I were mostly pale, nail chewing, poor kids who attended the rich school, we lived right at the edge of the booj school district, and we all took all kinds of shit from the country club preppie kids for defiantly eschewing Izod and Polo, and flagrantly daring to wear hoop earrings and scarves and eyeliner. I was pretty new wave-I still like Depeche Mode much better than Black Crowes, they had way better songs, even if the Crowes had all the swanky wine colored velvet bellbottoms and suit jackets. My black friends skateboarded and liked New Order and Talking Heads and Billy Idol; and my white friends all liked Michael Jackson, Vanity 6, Rick James, Doug E. Fresh and Run DMC and the breakdance movies and dance records. My industrial arts teacher angrily yanked my Mick Mars pin-up out of my locker, I was forever being suspended for trying to dress like Andrew Eltrich, and the Southern Baptist crazies memorably confiscated my U2 and Thompson Twins vinyl at reform school. On career day, when the helpful school administrators wanted me to meet with the army recruiters again, I told my counselor, my career goal was to be the male Patti Smith. Suburban weasel administrators pressed charges against me in juvenile court for—dig this: “malicious destruction of county property, felony four”, which sounds like I blew up a municipal building like the Weathermen, right? But no, it was for drawing band logos in my history book. “Ratt“. “Dead Kennedys“. You can’t make this shit up.

The golf shirts all drew mustaches on George Washington, too, and probably drew sports team logos, but they only paid small book fines. The Tipper Gore P.M.R.C. were at the peak of their fear frenzy, blaming every natural teenage impulse on the devilish influence of Ozzy, Twisted Sister, Judas Priest, and Blackie Lawless. All us hick kids could identify with the struggle Prince sang about, between our own carnal instincts and the heavy guilt God trip all the small town disciplinarians laid on our young heads. His message was a liberating, sensual, boundary erasing, call to freak freely, Uptown. Our bullshit school validated even the most heinous crimes of the rich fratboy crowd and hysterically demonized the ho-hum infractions of the angry, weird, and poor kids. I was the sorta kid who liked Scritti Politti AND Saxon, the Scorpions AND Culture Club. The Cult and Gene Loves Jezebel. I kinda united the local new wave and goth and heavy metal and funk factions under one freaky misfit banner. A girlfriend gifted me with a Tokai guitar autographed by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Niles Rogers, like Apollonia gifted Prince with the Pegasus guitar in the movie, and my Wayne Kramer lookalike best friend used to walk like a mile, in the middle of the night, to play that guitar, and he was the one with the real natural ability, so he became the guitar hero, while I made plans to be the swashbuckling pirate king front man. I was Jack Sparrow way before that other guy was. Ask around. Some of it’s true! When the church girl who gave me the guitar found out I had fallen for another, a lithesome intellectual Bardot figurine, she came and reclaimed her guitar and I imagine it’s worth something now, but my man’s single mom sacrificed and saved and finally, scrapped together some money and got him a Strat one Christmas and I shoplifted him some Van Halen chord book from the local guitar shop and we commenced to hassle more of our friends to get instruments. Some stone washed white trash dicks stole that guitar. I’m sure I know who it was-the same headbanging Beavis & Butthead dude gang who always hassled us. There were some rich kid heavy metal dudes who covered Journey and Judas Priest, who were like, five years older, and they hated us, because they had zero style or originality, and girls liked us, because what we lacked in sports cars and big Marshall stacks, we had in sparkling personality and cheap, gaudy jewelry from Claire’s Boutique in the mall.The poorer metal goons who went to the downtown high school were weak followers who really looked up to these suburbanite, muscle bound, Transmaro driving, Journey dudes with the pinched faces, cheeesball perms and the big amps who just irrationally despised us. You know the bad guy in the “Karate Kid” movie? Imagine him with some kind of ugly shredder headbanging cover band. He’s still BMOC back there in terminal Highschoolville! They made our lives pretty hellish for a number of years, stalking me at my record store job, ganging up on me, bloodying my nose and breaking my glasses on a semi frequent basis, whenever my more intimidating Motörhead friends weren’t around. It was a hick ass church town where we lived, with a tank plant and two cows, so the jocks weren’t really equipped to reckon with a long haired pasty dude in studded leather underwear and kabuki makeup with “sex god” painted on the back of his jacket.



We started playing suburban parties when ever someone’s parents were out of town, and hog roasts for hillbillies, but the first couple guys who had signed on to be drummers, could not afford actual drum kits. I had a school band snare and some random cymbals and they banged on metal garbage cans and stolen drive-in speakers, and that was cool for awhile, gave us a real savage Cramps vibe, in the basement of my mother’s townhouse apartment, but competent and dedicated drummers were always elusive in my piss town circles. They always wanted to be in the popular KISS and Bon Jovi cover bands. We ended up fucking around with cheap four tracks and shitty drum machines, but it all sounded like kindergarten Devo. My detention hall rapper friends, Dee Moe Fresh Crew, had won local youth center talent show contests, and got to open up for big name hip-hop and R&B stars at the civic center, and for awhile, we even flirted with the idea of integrating their scratching and mixing with our ramshackle Mary Chain punk noise, but again, we were all pretty low budget, and we just ended up mostly drinking forties and listening to Prince and Zapp and Grandmaster Flash, and Big Audio Dynamite, instead.

An English band called Age Of Chance covered Prince with big Clash guitars and they really seemed to nail what we had merely imagined. Obviously, we could never afford tailored suits or fitted lame’ and sequins like Prince and The Time, or leather and spikes like our punk rock idols, but we did fashion together our own D.I.Y. junk shop version of glam, a la Redd Kross, Cyndi Lauper and the Clash. Creepers and hairspray and big belt buckles and old women’s furry coats and shit. No E-Bay, no Etsy, no Retail Slut, so we had to do it all from scratch. Anyone paying attention could easily suss that all my early band names and song lyrics had a distinctively Prince influenced vibe. Not that anyone cares or remembers now, but we really embraced his utopian vision of funky fun, all those early songs of his were playing while we took off to faraway cities in search of underground culture and original music, or preened in the mirror, or made out with those pretty, lace and ruffled, gothic new wave chicks.

Back then, I worked at record stores and could still buy lots of records, so I even collected alla the spin-off groups-The Time, Sheila E., Jesse Johnson Revue, Andre Cymone, Mazarati. I bought all the news stand black magazines for the colorful pictures of the Purple Kingdom starlets and Shalamar and the Mary Jane Girls, along with Creem, Smash Hits, and all the metal mags. That “Player’s Ball” 45 was my jam. They all were. “Lady Cab Driver”, “DMSR”, “Annie Christian”, “What Time Is It”?, “Joy In Repetition”, “Let’s Pretend We’re Married”, “Irresistible Bitch”, “Anotherloverholeinyohead”. I vividly recall the day “Around The World In A Day” came out, when me and my young love spent the afternoon staring at the gate fold sleeve, looking for hidden meanings in the illustrations and perusing the sometimes cryptic lyrics together. “I’m blinded by the daisies in your yard…” I think “Paisley Park” , “When Doves Cry”, “Erotic City” and “She’s Always In My Hair” felt to us like “Ruby Tuesday”, “Sgt. Pepper”, “Chimes Of Freedom”, or “Good Vibrations” did to the hippies. It blew my mind. “Come to the park and play with us/there aren’t any rules…” Her step father really hated me. I don’t know how he got a vote. We were like doves of a feather, me and her. When we were young. My own mom ended up eventually liking Prince, once he achieved Super Bowl fame, but she did not dig it, at all, when I spray painted his logo on my bedroom wall with blue hairspray. She heroically went with me to my dead beat box friend’s funeral when he was murdered the day “Colors” came out by a small-time dope dealer afraid to duke it out with him, el mano to mano. “Alphabet Street” was his eulogy, I still feel him, most days of my life. Been thinking a lot about my mom lately-partly, because she is getting older and sicker, and I’ve come to see how tough parenting is, and because, so many of my former peers, who have gone through the college/corporate media/inheritance/tribal mythology/war on terror programmed/please the inlaws/cable tv/Kardashian consciousness machine sound just just like our moms, now. “There’s no conspiracy”. “What about Adam’s Team, on the Voice?” “So do you play Candy Crush?” God love all the old people.

I wish I hadn’t lost all of my amazing scrapbooks in a midnight move and emergency eviction, because the photos of all of us from the eighties were indescribably amazing, we were having good times. I mean what we got away with was nothing but Dirty Mind Nirvana. “White, black, Puerto Rican, everybody just a freakin’, good times a rollin…” Me and my leatherette bootboy crew, we accumulated a lot of girlfriends back then, and eventually, that became an issue with jealous dogs on the periphery, but it was all pure party up, while it lasted. Dancing and all night rocking, merry making, and laughs. Of course, some people are just hangers-on, who show up to take notes, be around the attractive girls, sponge up your atmosphere, others are real friends, like my pal the human beatbox. Miss my main man, still. Sad to lose him, so young, he was my oldest son’s godfather. I learned back then, whenever a black person dies, white people say it was because he was a drug dealer. That’s how they justify their racist culture. They are believers in the system. His auto-worker dad used to come to the front door and yell up the stairs, “Ant’ny! That crazy ass white boy who thinks he’s Prince is here!” We used to sneak his dad’s Cadillac out at night. For awhile, it was all blue shadow and pink mascara, cheap guitars, and cheaper wine, hardcore jamming good times, and a lot of smiling because we could not believe we were getting away with any of it. Days of Wild. I guess it couldn’t stay all “La la la, hee hee hee”, forever. Most of my friends jumped ship, or fell off when we were 25-27. I’m told they determined, I “wasn’t happening”. Ahh, well. What can you do? Some of us were always gonna stay punk-funk ’cause we were born to be free, not ESPN watching, chicken wing guzzlers.

Controlled media told us all to fear black teenagers in hoodies and baggy pants, or Muslims who hate us for our freedom, but in my experience, it was always the sports bar mooks, bro country big truck turds, homophobic 700 Club watchers, assimilated capitalist gym membership dorks, finky believers of official narratives, and steroid nutty enforcer class war monkeys who threatened my way of life. And a couple of wet fart indie rockstars who’s parents bought them fame. I gotta say, it was a pretty good ride, while it lasted. The girls were utterly enchanting! “I love you more than I did when you were mine .” Like most oddballs and bizarros of my generation, to me, Prince was much, much more than a pop star, he was a real inspirational figure- a total flashpoint for me, like Bowie, like the Ramones, like Robert Smith and Iggy Pop, he made me feel confident in my desire to create and express myself artistically, even when the juvenile authorities and petty, puny, sports coaches and step dads went out of their way to humiliate, punish, or undermine me. He gave us courage. I knew in my heart I was never gonna work in no cubicle, and that one day, I was gonna get a purple motherfucking motorcycle. And yeah, no matter how many kindly, “see no evil” upper middle class people who benefit from a corrupt system assure us that society’s problems are just due to gridlock, ill mannered po’ folks, scary Muslims with box cutters coming for our freedom fries, or government incompetence, and that there are no such thing as conspiracies, I think those evil occult bastards killed him. He was a meticulous, detail oriented control freak. There is no way he had no will. Powerful black personalities always end up dead, under mysterious circumstances, when they challenge the powers that be, and their families are always slagged non stop by controlled media, and their money ends up going to lawyers and executives, bankers and shysters, while their soppiest ballads play from every media platform around the clock. I don’t believe anything I heard from corporate media, ever. Some bad people are gonna get that money. That’s why he said, you’re better off making sure that your soul’s alright, money damn sure didn’t matter yesterday. Money Don’t Matter 2 Night. Just when u thought u were safe.


Some years back, I was relieved to have moved away from the KKK hunter/soldier/football pigs of Fox News/Duck Dynasty Nation, so it’s odd to feel like I now long to flee from all the seemingly kindly, organic gardening academic propertarians and prudent students with their pitbulls all named Shiva and Krishnamurti and shit. I think I’m allergic to science-y science-ers, festival attendees, and fat fucks in white trucks. When I first arrived in the scenic Woodstock Paradise of Honkytopia, I was infatuated, for years, with the surface image of soothing NPR toned, fair trade liberalism and braless ladies in beige clothes-the dreadlocks and art walks, tattoos and mosaic tile gardens, craft beer wristband fests and prayer flags and rich flowering pageantry, but I soon discovered it was mostly all a commodified, choreographed façade, thinly masking a deeply rooted tradition of mean spirited, snobby, college town elitism and V.I.P. area white-flight. You are only considered an “Artisan” if you possess some fancy shamncy degree in mime, or advanced kaleidoscope making, or rain stick virtuosity from the expensive university, like the trains on time people, high on the hill. Poorer craftspeople are badgered, non stop by heavy handed gentrification patrols, and trendy vendors with their slick public-relations double talk, threatened with arrest, and bullied constantly by the ownership society with all the save the baby dolphins bumper stickers on their electric cars and sugary tongued, highly privileged, privilege theorists and hipster capitalists. Classist pig rich people love to poo poo the working class for lacking their credentials and genteel ways and nice manners, but even white Republican patriarchal hunters and meat eaters in the hick South all similarly pride themselves on appearances of civility masking their evil impulses and delusions of moral superiority–EXACTLY like the yoga culture starbellied sneetches who call themselves White Rastas and Wiccans and Pagans and Rainbow Groovies, you can pile on layer after layer of bells and trinkets and gauzy scarves and religious symbols, but if you can’t be bothered to behave in a sincerely civilized and compassionate manner towards even those who offend you, or who seem different, or not “as good” as you, with all your high-falootin’ goodness and volunteerist virtue. and banning of plastic bags and shit, what’s the fucking point? If you can’t even muster the most basic decency to leave people alone (even smokers and Scorpios) who failed to inherit your bogus high class queendoms with all the shiny rocks and funky colors? The scolding committees around here remind me a lot of the “yes ma’am and yes sir” reciting, flag saluting gentrified politesse and pie baked hospitality of the Muslim hating, Klansmen in the flyover states. Syrupy sweet on the outside, “bless your heart”, seething with selfishness and vanity, and tribal superstitions, on the inside. In these ridiculously affluent fauxgressive circles, the houseless community and those of us living from payday loan to payday loan, are too often spurned, demonized, abused, shoved from visibility and generally mistreated–much like immigrants, outsiders, and people of color are mistreated by Chumps For Trump in Bill O’Reilly Country. I find THAT offensive. If you’re so scientific and intellectual and spiritual and enlightened, how come your yoga instructor, new age guru, or sensitive college professor never taught you that unkind deeds are much worse than naughty language? Even much beloved local celebrity institutions and personality cult favorites have been relentlessly hassled by armed enforcers for merely peddling their art on downtown city sidewalks…in a town that always claims to celebrate the arts and outdoors and is always referring to it’s friendly neighborhoods and human rights sculpture, or whatever. Turns out “vibrant diversity” is realtor code-that just means, RICH people, who affect some pose of artiness or eccentricity. No one is angrier than the shoppers at Trader Joe’s. They are all so, so PISSED OFF about fucking gluten. Or because they sold out of Sriracha Tuna Salad Beer or something. This uptight class shit around here is no different from the good ole boy country club hicks you despise in the rural Midwest. Same old shit in different drag. Maybe some more females get to be apathetic class bigots and cop calling gentrification bullies here, but that ain’t my idea of progress.


I started recognizing the same neighborhood panhandler standing at the dangerous intersection who I’d interacted with a bit last winter on bitingly cold nights, tried to hook up with survival supplies, he showed up at the neighborhood farmer’s market trading post again recently, with his shopping cart, bedroll and dog, and I stopped and chatted with him for about an hour, aware that my Barbie Army middle class neighbors were going to cop an attitude about seeing me socialize with an undesirable. I’m clearly also, an undesirable. So the very next day, someone had called the Man. Dude was gone and half a dozen males in khaki trousers and white baseball caps had been dispatched to sweep flea powder into the astro turf, post four no trespassing signs, add motion sensor floodlights on the building, pressure wash and photograph the scene of the crime, and interview neighbors who witnessed the offending loiterer, like he had robbed a bank, or something. He had just slept on the porch of a “community” hub with his dog. I can’t stand a place where the obnoxious white sports people compliment themselves all day long for being sensitive vegan pet lovers and eclectic, educated artisans who celebrate diversity, so long as diversity just means rich people who own property, or people of color who excel at sports. I wanna split this scene, but cable tv and bullshit hijacked schools have resulted in a meanness among the haves that makes it hard for poor folk to enjoy any mobility at all. I am embarrassed and ashamed not of the hundreds and thousands and millions of homeless refugees who have fallen in between the cracks, but by all the hateful honkyass posers who take delight from shitting on them. About two weeks ago, I was at the bus stop with a restless kid in the rain and asked the lady at the front desk of the public library to please call us a cab because my high needs child was obviously in a meltdown, she referred me to three other stick up their ass librarians, who all absolutely refused to help us, while I asked them to direct us to a payphone, or taxi stand, anything. These bitter, awful, uptight shits would not lift a finger to aid us because they are all hissing with livid class resentment, having apparently all once attended Ivy League schools, or worked at indie bookstores where they were accustomed to hob-knobbing with posh people and famous authors, now they feel they have been reduced to long suffering, minimum wage babysitters, because they are inundated with hundreds of coughing, stinky, loitering, mentally ill, homeless people each and everyday. So they basically threatened to call uniformed goons on me and my kid for begging them to let us use a phone to call a cab, on a Sunday when buses are slow, in the rain. My spider senses and years of experience tell me that if I was more genteel looking, or female, a Barbie Army middle class mom, or booj beard fondling, intellectual dude, they would not have minded dialing ten digits and asking a cab company to retrieve us in a rain storm. I used my best manners and tried to charm them but they did not like the looks of me. “We don’t offer that service, here”. A service is like when I fix your toilet, or mow your lawn, or I make your smoothie, or paint your house, not let you use my phone. That’s just what we do when we are human beings. I’ve consistently been mistaken for a homeless dude because I wear black, and have a rumpled fedora and the brim is kinda bent from it getting rained on, and because I’m frowning all the time. Like that famous Eugene Debs quote said, even if I have a roof today, as long as my brothers and sisters are exiled out into the elements for lacking proper identification, or job references, or enough education, or having disabilities, or fleeing abuse, or suffering from mental illness, or having different sexual preferences, religions, dietary preferences, skin tone, whatever, I’m with them. Count me along with the undesirables. Fuck you honky posers and fuckedup yuppie wannabe librarians. You have nice meditation pools and bamboo gardens and shit, but no hearts. Coexist, motherfuckers.
Honky gentrification brunchers and apologists for class apartheid can kiss my ass. Deluded, navel gazing narcissists playing mirror mirror on the wall.

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The Gee Strings – Let’s call it rock’n’roll!

The GEE STRINGS have been around for quite some time now. After getting addicted to their new LP “I’m So Gee!!”, we thought it was the right time to ask them a few questions. Bernadette (guitar) tells us about the new album, the band’s different line-ups, his experiences with SONNY VINCENT, SCOTT DRAKE and The MORLOCKS, punk rock in 20016, Germany, and more...

Can you tell us about your new album “I´m Soo Gee!!” and its recording?

The album was recorded in that beautiful landhouse near Besançon by Yann Morel in his Cube Studios! We already recorded our last singles there, and we already knew the situation. Perfect place to record. Our friend Adam Payne from Canada mixed the record, he also mixed our last singles! Coverartwork took a while this time…but after we said no to the two first coverartworks, our friend Götzilla in Germany helped us again and did a great job for the LP ! The record has just been released on Ghost Highway Records in Spain… Some other labels wanted to co-release it …So it’s also out on KOTJ in Spain, and for France, our friend Ludo released it for Adrenaline Fix Music and Strycknine Records!

The album is out on vinyl, but I don´t think I´ve heard about a CD version, is it only vinyl and mp3 ?

Yes – Ghost Highway Records is a vinyl only Label, they don’t release CDs, but we met Marco From Ghost Highway Records at our show in Madrid, and he said that it wouldn’t be a problem to release the album as a CD with another label. So if anybody is interested in a CD release, they can write us ! On the other side, CD sales are really getting down these days …but still, a few people ask for CDs at our shows…

There´s been quite a few different rhythm sections in The GEE STRINGS, Who is in the band now ?

Buanax and Macst from Besançon played 3 years with us ! We met and played together on Scott Drake‘s Euro Tour… They were Scott’s backing band, and after that tour in 2011, we needed a new rhythm section with The Gee Strings, so I thought about these 2 guys, thinking they could bring the fun back in our band…. The tour with Scott was really great, good players and even more important, great guys to travel with. Cologne – Besançon is quite a big distance … which was not the biggest problem… The biggest problem was that the guys are really busy with their own bands The Irradiates and Red Gloves, so there was no time anymore to play lots of live gigs with The Gee Strings.

But we found some new Rock´n´Roll soldiers for The Gee Strings !! Nelson on Bass, our friend…..We ‘ve known him for years, he plays with 60s locals Curlee Wurlee, and on Drums, I asked my dutch friend Rob Louwers from The Morlocks. A very good drummer playin’ around for many years with The Fuzztones, Link Wray, Robert Gordon, Chris Spedding and many more…

Bernadette, you also played with SONNY VINCENT, SCOTT DRAKE, and more recently The MORLOCKS. Can you tell us about each of these experiences?

GeeStrings02Until 2009 I only played with The Gee Strings, but around 2009 / 2010 we did a break because the drummer and bassplayer decided to quit, so I had some time to try something new and play with other people, which was a great experience. Especially guys from The US who have a different background and taste in music than guys in Germany. Even in France, it is better for that if you ask me . They grew up with good music… Scott Drake told me his parents always listened to Chuck Berry and all that good stuff … But it all started first with Sonny Vincent. My old buddy Paul Smith gave me a call – he´s the old Gee Strings bassplayer from the 90s, and played with Sonny in Shotgun Rationale in the early 90s, and they decided to start a new Sonny Vincent line-up. Good times on the road, and also recording an album was a really good experience. But after 2 years, people coming and goin’ in the band, I was little bit sick of that….always rehearsing the new set with different people, and driving 100 of kilometers for the rehearsals…..but that’s Sonnys´way … never play with a fix line-up. Of course he has his reasons for that….but it could be so much better with a good permanent line-up because some of his songs are really great !!

The way I met Scott Drake was when I heard that Scott would be back in Europe in 2010, to play a solo Tour, and as one of the biggest Humpers Fans we (Ingenius Pop and me) travelled to Hamburg to see a gig ! I remember it was a very cold dark February night in Hamburg, and the way to the club was all icy…. So it was really difficult to find the way in without sliding on the ice! But after we got in to the Hafenklang Club, I met Scott at the bar , he was sitting there with a good scotch whiskey. I also met the backing band from Besançon that night for the first time….and we were really in good company straight from the start on this night…. It was Macst, Buanax, and Sammy on guitar! Normally Scott needs 2 guitars for his kind of music, so I told him that if he needed a guitar player on the next tour, I could help him with this. So, on the next tour in 2011, we played together with Jeff Fieldhouse, his old Humpers buddy on guitar, and we did a great tour together with Macst and Buanax. It was great to play my favourite Humpers Songs with the original guys together . We started the band when The Humpers came along to Europe for the first and last European tour, 96 or 97 …so they were a big influence for us …

We did also some recordings in Besançon, at Cube Studio after the tour. Buanax and Macst joined The Gee Strings, and we directly recorded the Split Single Scott Drake / Gee Strings on Ghost Highway Records which is unfortunately is sold out, sorry guys!

I played again last year on a tour with The Lovesores, Scott´s new band! Check it out ! Good stuff and just as good as The Humpers !!

Playing with The Morlocks is a great coincidence too. I was wandering around and met Leighon Koizumi on a fleamarket some day around Cologne last year. So I found out that he lives near Cologne together with his girlfriend that I know….. And I thought that with such a great singer in the neighborhood, I would like to try something new … So we met again and made some loose plans for a new band and looked for some cool bandmembers. And last summer, Rob Louwers and Pille just left The Fuzztones, and we decided altogether to re-vamp & resurrect The Morlocks….Leighton asked his friend Marcello from Sardinia to play the second guitar in The Morlocks, and the new line-up was perfect! It works really good….just started with a great Italy Tour last December. We recorded some songs for a couple of 7 inches in the beginning of the year, and we will be on tour in Europe for 4 weeks in May…play all the cool Festivals like Cosmic Trip, Munster Rave and some cool club shows. So watch out for some new Morlocks activities. It will be a permanent line-up and a real band which is great !!

How was the last GEE STRINGS tour?

GeeStrings03I’m happy to be on tour again with The Gee Strings again, and the new line up works great! We had a lot of fun, it was great to meet our old friends in France and Switzerland again, and make some new friends as well. Especially in Spain, we played for the first time in Burgos and Bilbao, which were great gigs, and great Rock´n´Roll people… and don´t forget the great Tapas Bars, we love it, and ate Tapas all day in Spain ! We love to play in the South of Europe!

In France, we had a great record release party in Bordeaux – it was also Ludo´s birthday party (Adrenaline Fix Music Record boss). So, the gig on the next day in Toulouse was not that good… Big hangover, but the people forgave us in Toulouse ( I hope so) – they still loved us, and Toulouse is one of our favourite cities to play in France! We also met our old friends from Paris again. They come to our shows in Paris every time we play there, they saw the Pistols in Paris in 1977, so there are old now, but these 4 friends always show up!

We’d also like to thanks our friend Did who joined us for 4 gigs in France… from Nancy to Le Havre, Paris to Bordeaux ,and always made a special tour painting for us, and always came along with a great bottle of good red wine from Bourgogne!!

Malcom Mc Laren and Vivienne Westwood´s son, Joseph Corré said he would burn his record collection to protest again the “40th Anniversary of Punk”, he explains: “”The Queen giving 2016, the year of Punk, her official blessing is the most frightening thing I´ve ever heard, (….) Talk about alternative and punk culture being appropriated by the mainsteam. Rather than a movement for change, punk has become like a fucking museum piece or a tribute act. “ Your thoughts about all of this ?

Sorry for Joseph Corré, it seems like he doesn’t have the sense of humour English people are famous for, and we feel sorry for all the good records… but Indeed, Punk is a fucking museum piece, after 40 years that´s kind of normal… and when I see some old bands play their old songs since 40 years with only 1 original bandmember in the band… it’s of course more like a tribute act. Lots of people only want to hear the old songs and nothing new, and talk about the gigs from the good old punk days. Same with all others music styles though, punk is not the holy exception, but there are still some new good bands around….not that many, but there’s always something new to find!

And by the way The Queen is not that bad in her position….Johnny Rotten always liked her!

What other German punk bands do you like ? Favourite places to play In Germany?

Hm very difficult question, we don’t see ourselves as a punk band only… Let’s say Punk Rock, or even rock´n´Roll. We don´t like so much stuff from Germany, there´s a whole new generation that listens to some kind of punk music in Germany, lots of poppy indie stuff with German lyrics they still sell under the Punk flag, and that trend is really big at the moment. There was a few bands some years ago that we liked, but most of them broke up, because there’s no real good big scene for Punk Rock´n´Roll in Germany. Its´all about categories and rules in Germany, the scenes don´t mix, everybody is goin’ to their own scene concerts. In other countries, it is a little bit more mixed, which is a better thing …But not everything is bad in Germany. We like to play in Berlin, lots of different venues to play there. Hamburg , Cologne – Sonic Ballroom is our local drink and concert place, there’s still lots of good places to play in Germany even if there´s not that a good audience every night…

Last record you´ve bought ?

The new Giuda record !!

Last book you´ve read?

Johnny Rotten’s autobiography ! I also like all the books from John Niven…

Where will we be able to see THE GEE STRINGS next ?

After the Morlocks tour, we’ll play a couple of shows more in early June. Our friend Phil invites us to play his Tattoo Motor show in Ardeche, France, and we will also be back in Besançon on the 3rd of June !! We plan to be back for a couple of shows in Fall !! Maybe Italy, and little bit of Germany in our favourite places !!
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Torpedohead release new video for “Wildfire”

Rock n’ roll power trio Torpedohead release the third new video called “Wildfire” one week ahead of the release of their brand new studio album entitled “III”. The video takes you for a ride in a Corvette C5, action packed with stomping guitar riffs, a huge chorus and a bunch of underground radio personalities riding shotgun !
The new album entitled “III” is set for release April 28th via Woodhouse Records and again at the helm as producer is Siggi Bemm (Dave Lombardo, Tiamat, Lacuna Coil).
Combining a riff oriented hard edged sound with melodic supercatchy choruses and fast and furious punk n’ roll while transforming this into their own modern rock sound, Germany’s power trio Torpedohead lives the imagination of a 70s stadium rock n’ roll tape coming through a trashy 90s stereo, digitally remastered today for speeding down the autobahn !

The Wayward Gentlewomen “Still Burnin'”

The previous album of these French rock’n’roll pistoleros was untitled “The Last For…” (2012), and could have been their farewell record, but it would have been too predictable… The WAYWARD GENTLEWOMEN are back with 13 new songs wrapped in zebra print, and pink & black. Somewhere between VIOLENT FEMMES and the DOGS, the band added a bit of sax on “Hymn” and “Leave Me Alone” (surprisingly, you’ll find a bit of KISS‘ “I Was Made For Loving You” in the melody!) and chose to sound real and raw on this new record.
“Fuckin’ Highway” is one of the catchiest songs on “Still Burnin'” together with “One Day” ; these songs have a bit of PIXIES in them, and “I Don’t Care” is glammy groovy number in a T.REX way. The band also flirts with noisy rock on “Destruction”, dark punk on “Across Ocean”, and 60s garage on “Dead Man”, but keep their own identity throughout the album.
The WAYWARD GENTLEWOMEN did everything themselves on this album, from the cover to the recording, and for the first time, they didn’t work with Lucas Trouble (the French Phil Spector!) who sadly passed away a few weeks ago. He would have been proud of them for sure./Laurent C.

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Torpedohead “III”

Germany’s power trio TORPEDOHEAD is back with 11 new songs, and guess what? They still like American influenced catchy heavy rock as much as they used to. “Get Off My Back” opens in a wild punk rock’n’roll way, think BACKYARD BABIES “Making Enemies Is Good” era (“Shanghide” also has this B. BABIES thing goin’), while the second song, “Wildlife” displays more the band’s love for stadium rock, big guitar riffs and anthemic choruses, a bit as if BON JOVI suddenly decided to put more rock’n’roll into their radio friendly rock.
Nevertheless, TORPEDOHEAD remains a powerful band full of variety in a WILDHEARTS way, for instance, an up tempo song like “Blood On Wheels” still manages to have a melodic chorus, and “Cesspool Dreams” brings hard rock’n’roll bands like JUNKYARD to mind.
This mix of street rock’n’roll and poppy choruses can also be found in the addictive “Angel City”, or “Drunk On Sunday”, and when these guys play a power ballad like “Peace Of Mind”, it doesn’t sound cheesy, it has a bit of MOTHER LOVE BONE in it. The other slower song on this album, “Sweet Mystery” is more ROLLING STONES influenced, which is never a bad thing.
In a perfect world, “Not Too Late” would already be a hit, and TORPEDOHEAD would be a leading band in the modern big rock genre!/Laurent C.
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Dancing Crap “Cut It Out”

DANCING CRAP, from Italy is quite an original band, we noticed their love of mixing different styles in their own special way on their 2013 EP, and here they are now with a first album. These guys have a strong heavy rock/metal background, but they add a lot of different influences and colours in their music, sometimes industrial/goth rock (“The Sick Ones”, “Needless”, “Sam”), or crossover (“Burned Down City Soul”, “Obscure”, “Spotlight”), without forgetting about pop melodies in their choruses (“Sociopathic Circus.”)
In many ways, DANCING CRAP reminds me of 90s bands such as WALTARI, MORDRED, or even FAITH NO MORE.
Probably not the easiest band to get into, but worth a try!/Laurent C.

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