Liars Club By Patrick Houdek, 64 pgs.

Sep 22, 2022

Upfront disclaimer: I’ve known Patrick for more nigh on four decades—we went to grade school together, his old fanzine Thrasher’s Digest was one of the first zines I wrote for, and his cassette label, P&S Productions, released the only legit recordings by my old band Butt Acne on a split tape and one or two of the label’s comps. So yeah, he’s a homie. That said, as I’m sure you can tell just by that little bit of shared history, he’s also one of those “get in where you fit in” punker types who’ll take on any role necessary to keep the bus rolling. One of those roles he’s taken on in recent years in Illinois, where’s he’s lived for most of the aforementioned four decades after moving outta East L.A., is as photographer.

This, his first book, is in homage to Liar’s Club, a joint I must profess that I, still living within the East L.A. area, know fuckall about… but these pics here really make me wish I did. Each page is a multicolored splash of photos gigs past, featuring an array of bands—The Mons, Kiss Karaoke, Murphy’s Law, Off With Their Heads, Channel 3, The Beer Nuts, Speedfreak, MDC, Blood People, and many, many more—and crowds raising all sorts of hell. Good live photography, especially of punk/related bands, is no easy feat, but this book is crammed with a seemingly endless supply of the kinds of shots that end up on album covers. All told, this is some crucial eye candy for club attendees, the bands showcased, Chicago punk historians, and fans of “punktography” alike. –Jimmy Alvarado (

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