Deb Frazin Photo Column—The Avengers

(click for full size)

On May 26, The Avengers were joined by The Alley Cats and The Dils at The Echoplex in L.A. for a very special show to celebrate the life of their longtime band member Jimmy Wilsey, and to raise money for Wilsey’s young son Waylon.

The celebration started off with the MC for the evening (Bruce Moreland) introducing friends of Jimmy’s, who came onstage and shared some touching personal stories about their friend. When everyone was finished speaking, The Alley Cats took the stage and played a powerful set. I noticed some new songs peppered throughout the set, and they sounded great. I dig The Alley Cats (they were the first punk band I ever saw in 1980), and I’m really looking forward to hearing the new album they’ve been working on.

Next up, The Dils hit the stage and just about blew the roof off of The Echoplex! I’d recently seen them at the Save Music in Chinatown benefit show, and they were fantastic, but the set they played this night was ABSOLUTELY BLISTERING! When you see The Dils, you get non-stop, high energy from Chip, Giuliano and Brian. I was standing on the stage and Giuliano was hitting his drums so hard my feet felt airborne with each slam. They played every song you’d want to hear (including “Sound of the Rain” and a rowdy cover of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died”).

Finally, The Avengers hit the stage. I’ve been a huge fan of The Avengers since the beginning (I’ve always believed that their “Pink Album” was the greatest punk album ever recorded). I hadn’t seen them play in a few years, so I was super excited for this show. Of course, they did not disappoint. The band was tight! Hector Penalosa on bass, Greg Ingraham on guitar, Daniel James O’Brien on drums, and of course, my favorite female punk icon Penelope Houston on vocals. Unfortunately, Penelope was suffering with a bad cold that evening, so her vocals weren’t at 100%, but she still did a great job belting out all our favorites like “Car Crash,” “Money,” “The American in Me,” et cetera. It was a top-notch show all the way through, and it will probably take the #1 spot on my “Favorite Shows of 2019” list. A great evening for a great cause.

Four days later, Bruce Moreland and I both caught Penelope’s cold! But how could I be upset about it? It was an honor to catch her cold!

Deb Frazin: Instagram

I filmed The Avengers playing “Money” for your viewing pleasure—enjoy!

Webcomic Sundays #384 by Marcos Siref

See more of Marcos’ art here, follow them on Instagram, and click for full size here!

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Do you or your friends make webcomics that would fit well here at Razorcake? Send an email (and comics or links to comics) to our editors: msiref@alum.calarts.edu or donna.ramone@gmail.com

Anthony Mehlhaff Photo Column—The Manx

(click for full size)

I’ve seen plenty of bands over the past year but there is only one band that I’ve seen over ten times. And they just keep getting better and crazier and gooier every single time. I’m talking about the pus-punk, goo-core, Slug Boys from another dimension—Zach Zdziebko, Adam Barnes, Myke Chilian, Tommy Meehan and Max Winston—know as The Manx. There isn’t a punk band this strange and original on this planet or on any other, and I triple-dawg dare ya to try and find one. Go ahead. I quad-dogg dare ya!

I first saw this boy-buffet, splattered and mattered in mush and glop to a crowd of ten maybe twelve people at a DIY music and art space known as NPU (Non Plus Ultra).  I couldn’t believe no one was there. “How are these goo-dudes a secret?” I thought as the mix of slimed bodies, speed drums, and odd instrumental combos perforated my ear meat. Upright bass, electric banjo, electric mandolin and accordion stuck to my brain like a booger above a gas station urinal.

I immediately bonded with the boys and in a couple of shows I was taking part in their pre-show goo ritual which involves being aggressively spat upon with polychromatic fluids before marching back into the venue and losing all your shit at once. The best part is you have the physical marks to remind you of the show and they are not easily removed. The stains of the goo only last for a few days, but the memories of the show will never fade.

This one is from an on-going series of shots all taken after the boys completed a show and we make a photo in the turd house. I love this picture because it captures all of the boys’ varying personalities in one single image. It’s almost as if they are a mixed-up set of super weirdos. This picture was taken after their first of four residency shows at The Hi Hat and this one was an especially slimy and utterly fantastic performance. Spirits were high, bladders were full.

From their unique sound, insane stage presence and performance, to their self-funded albums, music videos, and merch, nothing about these mucus men is habitual.

The Manx are about to release their newest full-length musical secretion, Malibu Slime, out July 14 everywhere. But for those who really like to party, The Manx has teamed up with the gods of found footage and The Wizards of Odd, Everything Is Terrible, for the Malibu Slime release party, featuring video segments, puppets, and all types of weird.

If ya dare, come out and see how ya fare. It should be a real cute night.

www.anthonymehlhaff.myportfolio.com

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Amyl And The Sniffers Interview Podcast by Todd Taylor

Amyl And The Sniffers—live or on record—are like getting struck by lightning. You may not know what just happened, you may lose a shoe from the impact, but you won’t soon forget them.

A stark and brilliant contrast, a little bit out of nowhere, Melbourne’s Amyl And The Sniffers play the type of punk that’s primitive, sharp, and uncomplicated but incredibly effective. If you want difficult literature set to music, or music that needs to be explained, look elsewhere. If you crave live wire, chew toy-simple contemporary punk and want to sing along to songs about stolen bicycles, lost love, munchies, and self-empowerment, their songs will make your ears glow blue and your eyes to spring out of their sockets.

Due to their Australian pedigree, I hear a through-line of Cosmic Psychos, Bits Of Shit, Ooga Boogas, and early Eddy Current Suppression Ring with one important difference. This band-gang is fronted and led by a woman, Amy. There are more than just common punk weather patterns when Amy sings, “I’m not a loser.” As the backups kick in, The Sniffers form a united front and refrain, “She’s not a loser!” It’s 2019 and it sucks that Australia’s history of wonderful punk music has largely been bereft of strong female musicians. (Thankfully, this is changing.) What you hear and see of Amyl And The Sniffers is directly from their brains and fingers out into the world without the capitalism-calculated gloss and predatory slime of the music industry. Self-representation makes all the difference in the world.

Turning gutters into butter and lightning into electrifying music, say hello to Amyl And The Sniffers. They’re folks you can trust.

-Todd Taylor

Songs:

“I’m Not a Loser”
“Balaclava Lover Boogie,” both from the EP Big Attraction

Featured Books Reviews Razorcake 110–Black Card, Nothing Nice to Say: Complete Discography, Egg Cream

Illustration by Danny Rust

Black Card
By Chris Terry, 272 pgs.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting another title from Chris Terry since I first read his debut novel Zero Fade a while back and Black Card has not disappointed. I found myself laughing out loud more than once, and the way the chapters were structured really kept me engaged. It almost felt mysterious, like our own pasts can seem when we try to figure out what role we played in our history. While not a children’s book by any stretch, it does feel like its own coming of age story. Humans tend to bloom on their own timeline, especially those who carry imaginary friends into their twenties and belong to a subculture that celebrates never growing up.

That’s right, the main character is punk, so if you’re reading this, odds are you’ll relate to the narrator. At its core, Black Card is about race in this country and its unwritten rulebook we are all pressured to conform to. This is the story of one punk’s struggle to create himself in a world that seems hell-bent on drawing its own conclusions.

black_card_q_1
What gives Terry a vantage point of interest is his ability to see an object from different sides of America’s ever-present invisible wall and use this perspective to show us just how fragile the concept of identity is while reminding us how very real its effects can be for our physical health, our mental health, and our very freedom. From getting too drunk before you play, to dealing with people’s preconceptions, the backdrops he creates feel familiar without being cliché, making for a novel based in the punk rock stratosphere without any cringe-worthy moments. I’m already excited to see what’s next. Definitely recommended. –Rene Navarro (Catapult, catapult.co)

 

Dog Between Us, A
By Duncan B. Barlow, 244 pgs.

I knew of Duncan B. Barlow for years before any of his work came into my purview: dude has a resume. He was a member of a bunch of influential Louisville bands, like Endpoint and By The Grace of God. I remember reading his punk rock exit interview in Punk Planet after he was sucker punched at a show by the singer of a hardcore band (look this up if you don’t know it already—shit is nuts). Barlow is also a writer. A few years back I got my hands on his novel The City, Awake and was impressed by the way he crafted bizarro time-looping noir pulp with a straightforward delivery.

A Dog Between Us is much more straightforward, but no less impactful. Throughout, the narrator is haunted by the demise and death of his father. Barlow is deft at depicting the way time slows in the brink of a loved one’s passing; the haze through which one walks daily to complete even the most mundane tasks.

This haze extends over his relationship. While A Dog Between Us isn’t as gleefully convention-bending as The City, Awake, it does share some tricks, including a broken chronology. As Barlow’s narrator Crag goes off into reverie, we’re brought along to the past, to the way that the slightest detail can springboard back someone who’s suffered a recent loss: to a week ago at the hospital, months ago, years. It’s tough to be aware of these shifts away from the present through the fog of grief, something that Barlow expertly depicts. As the story unfolds, we begin to learn that these depictions serve a narrative purpose greater than simply portraying what grieving is. Crag misses signs that are literally taped up for him to see, and must deal with the consequences of stacking losses.

A Dog Between Us wrenches beauty from tragedy. Add another one to Duncan B. Barlow’s resume. –Michael T. Fournier (Stalking Horse Press, stalkinghorsepress.com)

 

Egg Cream #1
By Liz Suburbia

If you haven’t read Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia, you may want to stop reading this review right now and go pick it up. For those who have read it, or are just curious, read on.

Egg Cream’s main story takes place ten years after Sacred Heart ends. It’s told from the perspective of a TV special documenting the events that took place in the commune of Sacred Heart, where a bunch of kids were left parentless to run wild in a lawless town. Through interviews and archival footage, we find out what happened to some of the kids after the flood.

If Liz Suburbia continues to tell these kids tales, that would be great. But if they don’t, this follow up is a satisfying ending to Sacred Heart. It explains how the kids got there and how they were able to stay alive (most of them anyway). The narrative flows well and Suburbia’s ability to make your jaw drop with one panel is, well, jaw-dropping. Their signature black and white artwork is fantastic, and the “commercials” thrown in are entertaining. The second half of Egg Cream is titled “What a Dog Dreams,” which is a collection of illustrations and comics about Suburbia’s dreams. Some are tragic while others are superbly weird and funny.

And if I didn’t sell it enough, the paper used is like paper in a coloring book. You can color this comic if you are some sort of insane person. –Rick V. (Silver Sprocket, silversprocket.com)

 

Is This How You See Me?
By Jaime Hernandez, 90 pgs.

Jaime Hernandez and his brothers have been releasing the comic Love and Rockets since the early ’80s. Jaime’s Locas stories focus on the punks and alts living in Hoppers, a fictional town south of Los Angeles. His main protagonists are Maggie and Hopey, two Chicana women who age along with the author. They started off as teenagers and now they are in their late forties. Their friendship gets rocky throughout the series and it continues in this story.

Is This How You See Me? finds Maggie and Hopey going back to Hoppers for a punk reunion show. While there, we see how a lot of characters and the town have aged. Throughout the book, we get flashbacks to the beginning of their friendship back in the early ’80s. The duo still finds themselves wandering the streets of Hoppers at 3AM, running into trouble just as they did thirty years before.

This book flows better than Hernandez’s earlier Locas stories. And, of course, the artwork is solid. The panels pop with his signature pulp style mixed with the occasional very cartoonish facial expressions. This book proves that you’re really never too old to jump in the pit. But also, what are you proving by doing so? –Rick V. (Fantagraphics Books, fantagraphics.com)

 

No Apocalypse
By Al Burian, 192 pgs.

I love Al Burian. He is hands-down my favorite living author today, and certainly one of my favorite authors of all time. His take on punk culture is laced with existential despair and matter-of-fact commentary. This is all done in a dry manner, but which often comes across as hilarious.

Thus it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I loved No Apocalypse. The book is comprised of his columns from Punk Planet, HeartattaCk, and the Skeleton. I read some of these writings in Punk Planet, but it’s been a long time since then, and it was refreshing to come across them again. The Punk Planet columns take up the predominant amount of space in the book.

Burian’s writing is, for the most part, consistent in its take on what it’s like to be a slacker in the late ’90s and early ’00s. There are a lot words spent not just on music and Burian’s adventures, but also on President George W. Bush, who was in office during the time when many of these pieces were written. In hindsight, it’s almost comical how we thought Bush was the worst President ever, although all things considered, at least Donald Trump hasn’t sent thousands of soldiers overseas to kill thousands of people unconnected to terrorism, all based on a lie. Still, the similarities of how bad politics can get is appropriate for our current state of affairs.

What gets me most about No Apocalypse is how insightful it is. His comments on how it can feel strangely freeing when one loses their parents are something about which I hadn’t given any thought yet makes sense. He also has his tales of riding the Greyhound, a line of his writing of which I never tire. His looks at this particular slice of Americana who ride the ’hound makes me smile and laugh. Burian’s literary flair comes out most striking in these situations. He keeps the reader on edge wondering if an oddly paired couple will make it back to the bus in time from their rest stop. It seems strange, but I was fully engaged.

Al Burian is a slacker, a very unsympathetic antihero, and in some ways, a loser. He can’t seem to get beyond being his own worst enemy at times (as shown with his experience putting his foot in his mouth in court). Yet he somehow writes in such a way as to counter those detrimental qualities to make himself easily relatable and one of punk’s most talented literary figures of the past few decades. –Kurt Morris (Microcosm Publishing, 2752 N. Williams Ave., Portland, OR 97227)

 

Nothing Nice to Say: Complete Discography
By Mitch Clem, 240 pgs.

Razorcake readers may know Mitch Clem as an illustrator and former comic contributor to the magazine. Back in 2002, he doodled up a webcomic focusing on jokes in the realm of punk called Nothing Nice to Say. It mostly revolved around the main characters Blake and Fletcher poking fun at the music and culture they surrounded themselves with. The comic went off and on for ten plus years and now every single comic is in one big fat collection.

A good chunk of the comics are three-panel gag strips but Clem later moved onto full-page strips with some continuity and connecting storylines. Throughout the years he would introduce new characters such as an emo kid named Phillip, goth duo Alice and Karen, and a bear named Cecil. All the comics still make jokes about bands and punk-related things. He would occasionally throw in a reference to mainstream comics that some hardcore nerds will appreciate.

Mitch’s style may remind people of Archie Comics, except more animated. As you would expect, you see the drawing get better through the years. Mitch takes the time to draw impressively detailed backgrounds where it may not be necessary, but it really shows off his skill as an artist and not just a funny-man cartoonist. And these are laugh-out-loud funny. Maybe avoid reading it in the library or a public bathroom. As mentioned before, you are reading this in Razorcake, so you will most likely get the humor in this collection. You are the target audience.

At page 197 the collection switches gears and becomes the complete Coffee Achievers collection. It’s a story about coffee shops, gargoyles, magic, and mix tapes drawn by Joe Dunn and written by Mitch Clem. Most of the main cast of Nothing Nice to Say appear in this story and you might be thrown back by the way Dunn draws them. But overall, the story is good and you will wish there was more of the Coffee Achievers.

At twenty-five dollars, some folks maybe are hesitant to buy this collection. But it’s beautifully bound, sturdy, and can hold up on the coffee table or toilet tank in any old fifteen-roommate household. –Rick V. (Silver Sprocket, silversprocket.com)

 

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good
By adrienne maree brown, 464 pgs.

From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

radical (adj.)

… from Late Latin radicalis “of or having roots”… Meaning “going to the origin, essential.”

Different roots serve as political starting points for entering The Struggle. For some, the starting point is education. For some, it’s ensuring that the poor have access to credit. For adrienne maree brown, it’s pleasure. Second-wave feminists said, “The personal is political”; however one interprets that (and there’s no consensus on how to interpret it), Pleasure Activism furthers the conversation.

The book is “written and gathered” by brown. In addition to essays by brown, it also features interviews by and conversations with brown, as well as essays by other people, mostly women of color, mostly sexually marginalized. The book’s theme (roughly) is finding pleasure despite trauma. You can’t be whole without pleasure and you can’t go out and truly rip it up unless you’re whole (insofar as anyone is).

Not every chapter is for everyone—I should have listened to Beyoncé’s Lemonade by now, but haven’t, and so skimmed the chapters about it—but the book is so varied that if you keep it around after reading the chapters that currently interest you, other chapters will likely interest you in a year or two (sort of like a music guide—The Wire Primers leaps to mind).

Pleasure Activism, I have to say, is dotted throughout with Oh, Christseriously? moments. One of the book’s blurbs is from an “anti-oppression consultant”—which I suppose isn’t necessarily a hustle. brown claims to have been bitten by a vampire (leaving unaddressed whether she’s a vampire currently). One of her interview subjects talks about the pleasure she gets from her “anti-Zionist home bubbly water machine,” whatever in the earthly motherfuck that is.

I requested the reviewer’s copy after reading online somewhere this line from the back cover summary: “How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience?” I thought the book was about how to attract people to activism—mainly it’s not, though brown does discuss this in her conversation with Dallas Goldtooth, a Standing Rock activist. The conversation concerns how to bring a certain amount of spirit-supporting fun to activism while still comporting yourself in such a way that people in power, and people who don’t know what to think about your movement, still take you seriously. If you’ve wrestled with that, he has thoughts for you. –Jim Woster (AK Press, akpress.org)


Revolutionary Threads: Rastafari, Social Justice, and Cooperative Economics

By Bobby Sullivan, 224 pgs.

Bobby Sullivan is likely known to Razorcake readers—he’s the singer of DC’s Soul Side. Beyond this, he’s a practicing Rastafarian and social activist. It’s fascinating to see how he weaves the threads of his life together in Revolutionary Threads.

Sullivan uses his lyrics as chapter headings throughout. The first section provides a quick discussion of the origin of Rastafari. From there, Sullivan provides historical incidents which spin off of alternate takes on contemporary history. He meticulously sources his work throughout, whether providing a Howard Zinn-like take on the settlement of America by Africans predating Columbus, or in discussing political prisoners like Marilyn Buck.

It’s fascinating to read how Sullivan practices his faith: in addition to writing this book, he does work with prisoners with cooperative grocer groups. Since Rasta is deeply anti-colonialism, Sullivan’s immersion in the punk activism of Washington DC informs his faith, and vice-versa. By all metrics, the work Sullivan does is punk—and it serves his own spiritual needs as well as the community. I had never made this connection with Rastafarianism prior to reading.

Each chapter herein works as a standalone, but comes together to form a greater whole which serves to illuminate Sullivan’s faith and the very understandable ways that his work does good and challenges outdated colonialist conventions. Revolutionary Threads is an engaging, lively, well-thought book which provides a picture of Rastafarianism in action, for punks and beyond. –Michael T. Fournier (Akashic, akashicbooks.com)

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Webcomic Wednesdays #383 by Philomena

I’m a 6 month old indoor philodendron named Philomena who draws comics about my life in Philadelphia. I hate the police and love my phriends. Here’s my instagram: instagram.com/philomenatheplant

See full size of this comic here!

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Do you or your friends make webcomics that would fit well here at Razorcake? Send an email (and comics or links to comics) to our editors: msiref@alum.calarts.edu or donna.ramone@gmail.com

Huma Aatifi interview by Ryan Leach

Photos courtesy of Huma Aatifi

Huma Aatifi is a Boise, Idaho-based artist and musician.

Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aatifi moved to the United States when she was ten. Aatifi’s artistic pursuits are influenced by musicians and painters on the periphery. Unda Fluxit, a solo vehicle Aatifi started last year, is inspired by artists like Jandek and BJ Snowden. Unda Fluxit will appeal to fans of The Godz (from NYC), The Shaggs, and contemporary groups like Mordecai.

Unda Fluxit’s debut, Master of the House, will be available later this year. Gavin Swietnicki of Mordecai and Boise-based artist/musician Elijah Jensen-Lindsey appear on the album. Master of the House contains the first recordings Aatifi’s made; she only picked up the guitar a year ago.

In addition to playing shows around Boise with Unda Fluxit, Aatifi was recently commissioned to create the artwork for Daniel Ojeda’s play The Monster and the Gift. Aatifi is currently dividing her time between recording a follow-up release and painting.

Ryan: You were born in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Huma: Yeah. I came to the United States as a refugee in 2002. After September 11. Boise, Idaho, was a big place for refugees. They still host a lot of Afghan and Bosnian refugees. I’ve lived in Boise for a long time. Initially, we left Afghanistan in 1992 after the Mujahideen took over. The Soviets had invaded and left.

Ryan: The Soviets left in 1989.

Huma: Right. And then the Mujahideen transformed into the Taliban. They ousted the president (Mohammad Najibullah) in 1992 so we left to Pakistan. We were in Pakistan for a number of years before moving to the United States.

Ryan: You would’ve been about nine or ten when you moved to the United States.

Huma: I was ten.

Ryan: How did your interest in art and music develop?

Huma: I always had a real interest in art and poetry, even when I was really young. I liked music. I had a lot of uncles who were also self-taught musicians. That’s just part of the Afghan culture. You don’t go out and get a degree. Knowledge is passed down by what’s called an ustad. You would learn music from somebody else. My uncles would buy harmoniums or tablas; they were playing music all the time. I grew up around that. Music is a new way to express myself. I started recording about a year ago.

Ryan: When did you start putting your art out before the public?

Huma: The ballet you had mentioned before the interview—The Monster and the Gift—I had been commissioned by the Morrison Center to create the art for that. I think the Morrison Center is owned by Boise State University. Those are some of my newest paintings. Before that, I had done a lot of sketches and other things. In a sense, I’m also a novice painter as well.


Ryan:
There’s a symbiotic relationship between your art and music—a clear nexus. Often when I work with visual artists/musicians, I can’t easily identify a connection between the two media. An example where you can would be Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie (1943) which—although Mondrian wasn’t a musician himself—was influenced by jazz as well as New York City’s grid layout.

Huma: I hadn’t thought about that. That’s interesting. I guess there’s a common language there.

Ryan: You’re into artists like Howard Finster. Hearing your music and seeing your art, that makes total sense.

Huma: Howard Finster is amazing! I couldn’t believe his art when I finally saw it. I was driving with my brother and we visited the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Finster had an exhibition there. He was a preacher and a self-taught artist. I like self-taught artists—whether they’re making movies, music, or art. They’re continuously riding the edge of constructs. Obviously, their work is almost always original and pushing the boundaries.

Ryan: There’s a lack of inhibitions.

Huma: Right.


Ryan:
I speculate this also dovetails with what you had mentioned earlier about the ustad and that aspect of Afghan culture—passing traditions down through an oral tradition or an informal apprenticeship as opposed to rigid institutions like universities or conservatories.

Huma: Exactly. Irwin Chusid from WFMU had made a documentary with the BBC called Outsider Music. It’s so good. I discovered a lot of musicians through that film, but one of my favorites was BJ Snowden. She’s amazing. Chusid states that the outsider artists he highlighted have to be unaware of what they’re doing. That’s an interesting observation.

Ryan: Long before I was regularly on the internet, the big resource for outsider music was Songs in the Key of Z.

Huma: That’s Chusid’s book!

Ryan: I completely spaced it on that. That’s a great book, although it’s been about fifteen years since I’ve read it.

Huma: I need to get a copy.

Ryan: I used to order decks through CCS mail order. So, I was surprised to see you did a graphic for one of their skateboards. How did that happen?

Huma: CCS commissioned me to do a little graphic. The one that they used came to their attention at a friend’s house. It was a birthday gift, a pastel work. It’s an abstract figure. The person from CCS contacted me about using it. I said “sure,” but they cut off my signature. They also printed the design on a baseball cap; I really liked how that one turned out. They gave the deck and baseball hat kind of a cheesy name: The Huma Being deck.


Ryan:
Can you talk a little about Unda Fluxit and Master of the House. These are your first recordings, correct?

Huma: Yes. I lived in Savannah, Georgia, for a few months about a year ago. I lived in a small apartment with my mom, so I couldn’t really paint. I had been thinking about doing music, so I bought a guitar at the local shop. It was a little Teisco guitar, made in Japan. That was really the start of it. I started playing with an electric guitar. Later on, I bought a 12-string guitar in New York. It opened up so many doors. I could express myself differently through music than I could through painting.

I got the idea to name the album Master of the House while reading Lorca’s book In Search of Duende. In it, he discusses the notion of duende which refers to “duen de casa,” a Spanish folklore which is a mischievous, rebellious, and fiery spirit that comes in a burst of inspiration. I feel like that is what happened when I started recording this album. The music came out in bursts. These ideas that I had which I put to music were ruled by the idea of duende, in a sense.

Ryan: That’s really interesting how you started playing music due to environmental constraints. It was organic and noble. If they’re honest, most people would say, “Yeah, impressing a bunch of people was also a big part of getting into music!”

Huma: No. No. Not in my case. [laughs]

Ryan: I envision Master of the House is a fairly autobiographical work, based off of the song titles and your mother being on the cover.

Huma: Yes. I had found that photo a few weeks before laying out the album cover. I thought it was such a mesmerizing photo. I didn’t edit it at all. Whoever took the photo—it was taken in Pakistan by maybe one of my aunts—somehow it worked perfectly. The way it’s so dark around the edges. I couldn’t stop looking at it. But, yes, that’s my mom and I’m the one in the shadows. I don’t know what symbolism there is to that.

Ryan: You’ve got the date stamp and everything on it. It looks like it was taken by an old disposable camera.

Huma: It was. That date stamp wasn’t added or anything. People do that nowadays to make photos look old.


Ryan:
Gavin Swietnicki from Mordecai plays on the record. So does Elijah Jensen-Lindsey.

Huma: I met Gavin a few years ago. He moved to Boise from Missoula, Montana. We met by accident; I was meeting up with a friend at a poetry reading and I just started talking with him. We became really good friends. I asked him to play sax on one song; he also plays the sort of lead guitar parts on “American Dream.” Elijah is in another band here in Boise and I had asked him to play cello. Almost everything was first takes. I let both of them do what they wanted to. I didn’t give them any direction. They had listened to the songs before, but that’s all the preparation there was.

Ryan: You’ve been playing shows with Gavin too.

Huma: I have. I really like how he approaches music. We take a similar approach, I think.

Ryan: Being the drummer for Mordecai, that makes total sense.

Huma: Yeah, I think Mordecai is great. I met Elijah and Holt (Bodish) for the first time about a year ago. They’re great people. They’re fun to hang out with and I’m into their thoughts on music.

Ryan: What’s on the horizon, Huma? I know Master of the House is about to come out and you’ve been playing shows.

Huma: Since I graduated from college recently, I took some time off to work on my paintings and finish up this album. I was able to use money I had saved up. I’ve started applying for jobs full time. I plan to just repeat this cycle.

 

Last day of the 2019 June Subscription Drive!

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This June you can sign up for a 10 issue subscription to Razorcake for $17, shipping included. You get over a year and a half of great DIY punk coverage. That’s $1.70 an issue. It’s a goddamn steal. You can add to your existing subscription. One sub per person. (Unless it’s a gift for someone else.) U.S. only.

Webcomic Sundays #382 by Sam Grinberg

Click for full size and check out more of Sam’s work here!

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Deb Frazin Photo Column – The Dogs

(click for full size)

The Dogs was formed in 1969 by Detroit legends Loren Molinare (guitar) and Mary Kay (bass). They played many shows throughout the years with other Detroit bands such as MC5, The Stooges, and The Rationals. Fifty years later, and their records still hold up against the test of time. Not only that, but their live shows KICK ASS. If you’re not familiar with The Detroit Dogs, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of their compilation album Fed Up, fasten your seatbelt, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby, because the music coming out of the speakers will be so blazing-hot, it might set the room on fire.

If you ever get a chance to see The Dogs play live, do not make the mistake of missing them! In the meantime, I recorded a video of the show for you to check out. Enjoy!

@debfrazinphotography