Razorcake 115

Razorcake 115, featuring Sunny War, Keith Morris, Notches, Antietam, and One Punk’s Guide to Climate Change

Cover by Erica Freas (website)
Photo by Daryl

Sunny War: Interview by Daryl Gussin and Chris Terry

“Praise be to the punx who blaze their own trail. Those who defy the tropes, traps, and the expectations of both civil society and cultural punk norms. Sunny War has exemplified how one can thrive in punk and not give in to the crippling, rigid rules erected to protect the “holy,” patriarchal punkgeoisie.

I first learned of her from Donovan Vim Crony’s Debunk Punk episode featuring the Anus Kings. The music was cool and exciting and different, but it was also the mid-2000s and acoustic music was kinda all over the place. Fast forward a decade and we played a show together down at the Brad Brafford LGBT Center in Santa Ana. Her performance steamrolled the room. She masterfully brought her guitar to life with a humble fury. “Holy shit! This is the real fuckin’ deal,” I thought as I watched in awe of her mountainous talent. I don’t know much about blues music, but I know Sunny War fuckin’ rips!” –Daryl Gussin

Keith Morris: Interview by Todd Taylor and Jim Ruland

“Images of the Masque, Black Flag, Chinatown, the Circle Jerks, the Olympic Auditorium, and The Decline of the Western Civilization spring to mind when I think of the crucial moments in the early L.A punk and hardcore scene. The one person who links these diverse and disparate scenes is vocalist Keith Morris. You can’t tell the complete story of L.A. punk without him.

It’s been forty years since the Circle Jerks released its ground-breaking debut, Group Sex. To celebrate Keith, now sixty-four years old, will hit the road this spring for a lengthy global tour with Greg Hetson, Zander Schloss, and a yet-to-be-named drummer.

Keith visited Razorcake headquarters in Highland Park to talk about the upcoming Circle Jerks reunion, dealing with diabetes, delays on the latest OFF! record, and how a bad romance has fueled his creativity.” –Jim Ruland

Notches: Interview by Dave Brushback

“Six or seven years into their “career” or whatever-the-heck-you-wanna-call-it and Notches have just delivered the best record of their existence, if not also tied for best record to ever come out of New Hampshire. The album, while officially released in early December, actually came out in physical form a month earlier. Thus, it became passed around and spoken of in hushed, reverent tones by those-in-the-know for weeks before anyone else outside of New England even knew what the heck they were talking about. But, New Kinda Love is out now, and now everyone has the chance to check it out for themselves. Perhaps because of their pedigree—and their current labels Dead Broke Rekerds and Salinas—Notches have often been lumped under the “pop punk” umbrella, but they’ve actually shed most of those trappings and moved onto a more ’90s-type indie rock feel, along the lines of the heyday when of Small 23 and Archers Of Loaf 7”-ers (et cetera.) were coming out on Merge every other month.

A hookier record you’ll probably not find anytime soon, that’s for sure. And what did they get for of all of that, but a chance to talk to me for half an hour in a mill space of their beloved New Hampshire, which must’ve been pretty terrible for them (I think it came out pretty good, actually). Sometimes the trappings of success aren’t so great. The interview, organically, begins with talking about vaping for some reason….]” –Dave Brushback

Antietam:Interviewby Mike Faloon

“Antietam came hurtling out of Louisville, Ky. in the mid-’80s with an uncanny ability to vary velocities and conjure countless permutations of haunting pop songs, fiery punk screeds, and expansive instrumentals. Their self-titled debut (1985) is one of punk’s most unique records. It conjures the likes of Mission Of Burma, the Minutemen, and the Feelies, but Antietam’s orbit has always been their own. They inspire some, confound others. I think Antietamis an exhilarating example of how people can form a band to find their voice. Trouser Press, on the other hand,suggested, it’s the sound of a band that needed to “spend some time practicing.”

Tara Key and Tim Harris, the band’s principal players and long-time partners off stage, have revisited themes and sounds on ensuing records, but thirty-five years later they have yet to repeat themselves. Few bands play with such a sense of adventure and abandon. They can coo or caterwaul, whisper or wail, with Tara’s jangle/blast guitar often front and center.

I went into the conversation expecting to focus on Tara and Tim’s bands—prior to Antietam, Tara and Tim were half of the Babylon Dance Band and Tara was a founding member of No Fun, Louisville’s first punk band. Their music certainly surfaced but what transpired was more about the people and places that shaped them—reflections on their Louisville roots and the subsequent years in their adopted home, New York City. They’re uncommonly thoughtful with a magnetic balance of humble humor and intense creativity. Excellent band, too.]” –Mike Faloon

One Punk’s Guide to Climate Change by Kevin Dunn

“We’re so fucked. I don’t say that lightly. I’m definitely not a doom-and-gloom hysteric shouting about the end of the world.

I’m an academic and I’ve become increasingly concerned about the ways environmental problems have been impacting the world, especially in Africa, where I do much of my research. A few years ago, I began telling friends I was reading all the literature on global climate change so they wouldn’t have to. While I haven’t read everything, I’ve read a great deal of it, including scientific studies, UN reports, academic articles, and best-selling books. And I’ve come to the same conclusion pretty much everyone else who has studied this has.

We’re so fucked.

In this One Punk’s Guide, I’m going to share some of the most important information I’ve learned over several years of research. But if you want to skip straight to the record reviews, here’s the simple takeaway. For the last two centuries, humans have been burning a shit-ton of fossil fuels, which released greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. Those gases trapped excessive heat, which has begun to warm the planet’s atmosphere. This whole time, we’ve had a pretty good idea about the impact this was having on the earth. But instead of doing anything substantial to stop or reverse course, we’ve been increasing our carbon emissions.

The issue isn’t whether or not climate change is real. Only idiots and liars dispute that fact. But neither is it about stopping climate change. It’s way too late for that. What we need to be doing now is working to slow down the warming, prepare for the catastrophes that will only be getting worse, and hope some version of civilization survives. Think I’m being overly pessimistic? Read on.” —Kevin Dunn

Donna Ramone considers radical kindness. (instagram)

Jim Ruland and the seaman-filled Freudian ship of the phallocentric military nightmare. (instagram, website, twitter)

Sophia Zarders and a gender-neutral rose by any other name… (instagram, website)

Sean Carswell and the virtue of the production of difference. (instagram)

Rev. Nørb makes snow angels in the garbage when the swinging whiffleball bat of adventure and romance finds hope in a flying tortilla . (instagram, website)

Designated Dale and Oscar Wilde are ageing in the parlor with a picture of George Burns.

Jamaica Dyer travels back to 2002 and teenage comics. (website)

Puro Pinche Poetry: Gritos Del Barrio (Edited by Ever Velasquez (instagram) and Eugenia Nicole (instagram)

Poem of Exile

“You will be my Rebel Child, born of two philosophers

So when they ask you “Where are you from?”
You smile
And kindly tell them,

“I am a Lioness and I roam the motherfuckin’ jungle as I please”

Azin Mafi

Roque Torres frames a flowered crown. (instagram)

Ben Snakepit is the lone star of the punk rock Alamo. (instagram)

Rhythm Chicken knows that nothing is louder than a Painted Willie show. (instagram)

Art Fuentes is peachy. (instagram, twitter)

Jennifer Whiteford gets hit in the head with an apple that fell both near and far from the tree. And photos from the lovely and talented:
Dan Monick (instagram, website, twitter)

Chris Boarts Larson (instagram,facebook, website)

Rachel Murray Framingheddu
(instagram, website)

This issue is dedicated to the memory of Armando Alvarado.

The best way to never miss an issue of Razorcake is to get a reasonably priced subscription delivered to your door. Click the link below.