I’m trying to get each of the fanzines I made in the 1990s scanned and available to the people this month. Here’s SUPERDOPE #6, which was created in 1993.
SUPERDOPE #6 – Summer 1993
SUPERDOPE was a print fanzine that I made from 1991 until 1998, in various sizes and formats and varying degrees of quality. This issue, SUPERDOPE #6, was not only the one with the largest print run and the widest distribution, I’d have to argue it was the one that I think came out the best, “all things considered”. Outside of the then-modern computer I’d use at the very patient and gracious Kimberly MacInnis’s house, who very much helped with the design structure (like, teaching me how to make columns), it was completely and totally hand-made, up to and including the bold lines that separate one article from the next. I actually would type those lines out by hitting the “dash” button multiple times in a big font, then cut the long strip of paper out, then glue it down onto my cardstock proof sheet (or whatever the thing is called that you send to the printer). Just look at this ridiculous cover here and you’ll see what I mean.
Considering its size, this one came together in record time, too. I had just come off of a 2-month pseudo-gig in April/May 1993 as “road manager” for then-active rock band Claw Hammer, and had even kept a tour diary that I’d intended to use in this issue, which came out in August 1993, I believe.
When I gave the band of whiff of this idea, the sour looks of disapproval and reproach that I received were most telling. What happens in Wichita and Boise stays in Wichita and Boise. So I set about to doing a few interviews, banged out a ton of record reviews, wrote up the first piece on film I’d ever done, and solicited some great contributions from the likes of Tom Lax (“Gregg Bereth”), Doug Pearson and Grady Runyan, as well as multiple gig photos from Sherri Scott, who took on the “chief photographer” role for the fanzine and who was also my roommate. It ended up in a print run of around 2,500 copies, and my inventory-keeping skills were so bad that I now have a mere 2 of them left.
A few notes on this one, in case you’re interested in downloading and reading it:
– It’s a pretty big download, 248MB. Previous issues I scanned were well less than half of that, so it might take a few minutes to get to you.
– The interviews I did with Don Howland and Jeff Evans from THE GIBSON BROS were both on the phone, fully recorded and fully transcribed. I’d never done that before, and somehow it ended up working very well. The interviews with COME, DADAMAH and HIGH RISE were either done via mail (the High Rise interview, which is a piece of lost-in-translation weirdness I’m very proud of) or on cassette tape, with the band reading my questions aloud and then verbally answering into a tape recorder.
– Naturally, with the passage of 20 years, there’s a lot that looks silly now. There are bands I can’t even imagine listening to again that I make sound like godz and geniuses here. The Dead C, for one, although I’m actually coming around to them again after a long layoff. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, a band that only a drunken 25-year-old could worship. Rocket From The Crypt. Please.
– I really like Doug Pearson’s piece on 60s/70s heavy psych private-press records. The title I gave it, “I’m Going To Punch You In The Face, Hippie”, was not Mr. Pearson’s idea, nor was the photo of “him” that I used to accompany the article. He was kind enough to take it in good spirit back then, and I thank him for it. I would have probably flown off the handle.
– The photo of World of Pooh used to accompany my review of them was actually given to me by guitarist Brandan Kearney to use. He didn’t want Barbara Manning to know he’d loaned it to me, for some reason, so the credit went to Nicole Penegor, Superdope’s former “staff photographer”. Thanks, Nicole!
– Superdope #6 was the last large-format magazine I ever did. The following year I published a mini digest-sized edition, and then one more four years later, and that was it. I’ll try and get those scanned and posted soon in case anyone wants to take a look at ‘em.
DOWNLOAD SUPERDOPE #6
Thalia Zedek of COME, live in March 1993 at The Kennel Club in San Francisco. Photo by Nicole Penegor.
Stream or download the newest Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast, #16, recorded in late June 2013. Like the other 15, which I’m putting out about once every two weeks, it’s an hour of raw, underground music from multiple sub-strands of rocknroll. This one’s maybe a little more gentle and pop-like than some of our past bonzai, punktastic editions, but if you hang in there for 60 minutes you’ll definitely be able to get what you’re looking for, punker.
New stuff this time from THE PEARLS (new female duo from Italy), THE SLEAZE, THE WIMPSand other bands with “The” in their names. Older stuff spans from quiet New Zealand Velvets-inspired stuff like The Pedestrians and The Kiwi Animal to garage punk from The Nights & Days, Girls at Dawn, Thee Mighty Caesars & more. Stream it, download it, and as always – tell a friend.
THEE MIGHTY CAESARS – Comanche
THE PEARLS – Away
THE PEDESTRIANS – Looking Out My Window
SAMARA LUBELSKI – Field The Mine
LORETTE VELVETTE – Boys Keep Swinging
THE WILDERNESS CHILDREN – Bad Taste in My Mouth
COME – SVK
VERTIGO – Two Lives
SWELL MAPS – Another Song
THE DONNAS – Lana and Steve
SEEMS TWICE – Salient Feature
MIL MASCARAS – Best Trip
U.X.A. – U.X.A.
THE WIMPS – Slept in Late
THE NIGHTS AND DAYS – Excuses
HUNGRY GAYZE – Pins and Needles
THE GIRLS AT DAWN – I’m Alone
THE SLEAZE – Because of You
ALTERNATE LEARNING – Dresden
THE GIBSON BROS – Skull & Crossbones
THE KIWI ANIMAL – Blue Morning
DADAMAH – Radio Brain
ANN-MARGRET – You Turned My Head Around
Download some of the past shows, too, while you’re at it – each about one hour.
I’ll be stagediving and getting into fistfights tonight at COME’s 20th-anniversary reunion show in San Francisco, honoring the gap between the release of their amazing “Eleven: Eleven” album in late ‘92 and, well, this year, the year of the reissue of said album.
While this slashing track, “SVK”, doesn’t come from “Eleven: Eleven”, it was one of the band’s earliest numbers, as documented on the live disc included with the reissue. This studio version came out on an EP called “Wrong Side”, and was recorded in 1993. See you in the pit or in jail later tonight.
New episode of Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast – our 14th. I recorded this over the weekend with you – you – in mind. I knew you’d want to hear new stuff from The Sleaze, The Delphines, Raw Prawn, The Wimps, Cheater Slicks and The Oblivians. I figured you’d be up for cuts from new reissues from Come and the Androids of Mu. And my thinking was that you’d also be real happy if I played some older stuff from Ty Wagner, Susan Lynn, The Other Half, Pussy Galore and a whole bunch more. So an hour and fifteen minutes later, Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio #14 was ready to go.
Download Dynamite Hemorrhage Radio Podcast #14
THE RONDELLES – Backstabber
THE SLEAZE – Too Close To Home
THE NIGHTS AND DAYS – Garbage Can
SUSAN LYNN – Don’t Drag No More
THE BRENTWOODS – Go Little Sputnik
PUSSY GALORE – Pretty Fuck Look
TY WAGNER WITH THE SCOTCHMEN – I’m a No Count
COME – Orbit
KENT III – Satellite
THE GLANDS OF EXTERNAL SECRETION – Hide Your Love Away
WORLD OF POOH – Laughing at the Ground
GLAXO BABIES – Christine Keeler
THE WIMPS – Quit Your Job
RAW PRAWN – Stitched Me Up
THE TYRADES – Message From The Operator
THE INHALANTS – Middle Ages
THE DELPHINES – Hit Me Up
THE OTHER HALF – Oz Lee Eaves Drops
OBLIVIANS – Mama Guitar
DIG DAT HOLE – A Similar End
ANDROIDS OF MU – Confusion
LUNG LEG – Krayola
SICK THINGS – Sleeping With The Dead
INTERNATIONAL STRIKE FORCE – Bandstory
CHEATER SLICKS – Love Ordeal
The new 2xCD reissue of COME’s masterpiece 1992 record “Eleven: Eleven” came out yesterday, and is now available in better retail and online establishments. Good for Matador for recognizing what a criminally ignored record this one was, and how important it was that it was reevaluated by a new generation. Despite my having been more of a “garage punk” sort of music enthusiast when it came out (with dashes of indie and arty noise), “Eleven: Eleven” absolutely floored me from the moment I heard it, and, as I’ve said before, it’s one of the two or three best records of the 90s. Now COME are touring in support of the reissue – so check that tour schedule and make sure you’re front and center when they hit your town.
The band, whom I interviewed and put on the cover of my then-fanzine SUPERDOPE in 1993, were kind enough to ask me to write liner notes for the reissue of this album, which I did. Now that it’s officially out, I thought I’d print them here. Brace yourself for hyperbole.
COME’s “Eleven: Eleven”
I’ve been waiting for the club of slobbering, I-was-knocked-dead-in-’92 individuals who think Come’s “Eleven: Eleven” is one of the greatest of all possible rock and roll records to grow larger than it already has. It’s never been large enough. The record’s got its proverbial cult status for a few of us, sure, and I know I wear the memory of the two dizzying shows I got to see Come play on that tour like a scene-veteran merit badge. Yeah, there were dozens of bands who blew you & me away in our younger years and whose albums we pronounced as being totally rad for a few months after initial listen, but “Eleven: Eleven” felt like a subdued but howling, pained-birth masterpiece from the word go. It’s remained so for me and for our slowly growing club of dark-worshipping truth seekers. I’m exceedingly hopeful that this reissue will greatly expand our ranks.
Everything about this band, undeniable talents notwithstanding, was mood and feel. They created a near-cinematic vortex of crazed guitar interplay and thumping rhythm section and channeled it into something truly dense and wonderful. You didn’t even have to see them live to easily imagine them killing the club lights by half and then getting deeply lost in their own murky sonics. That’s exactly how it played out, just as the record prophesies. Come certainly weren’t a “Hello Cleveland” sort of band. If they talked, it was a mumbled thanks at best. Their sense of each other’s respective strengths, and how they each played off of & then sucked deeper power from those strengths, is aurally apparent on this record, and that’s what they were clearly focused on live as well.
Thalia Zedek was already a much-revered force of musical nature for both her swirling guitar work and tasted-life-to-its-fullest rasped voice of experience when she came to sing & play for Come in the early 90s, and it’s not shorting her decades of excellent subsequent work to call “Eleven: Eleven” something of an early-career denouement. She and guitarist Chris Brokaw had an unreal ability to interlock and hone in together on bleak, shimmering, whammy-bar-dominated guitar races that were both pulse-rushing and chilling in succession. In fact, those two so frequently used the whammy bars on their guitars, it was like the jangling key to a hidden portal that they just needed to slot correctly in order to drag us all down to places raw and unknown. I had never before, and have never since, seen a band wield the whammy as a secret weapon of jarring, tone-bending sound the way that Come did.
The hard-hitting, tight propulsion of the record, courtesy of drummer Arthur Johnson and bassist Sean O’Brien, also does it a ton of favors for posterity. The thing just plays huge, and its agonizing tension release is kicked up several pegs for not simply being a messy dynamic swirl, but a pounding, raw, firebreather. Eleven: Eleven even feels like a concept record (though I very much doubt this was their intent), as it is sequenced perfectly, from the scraping, burrowing-out first track “Submerged” to the careening, out-of-control climax of “Orbit”. When Thalia’s vocals come rasping in and out of various musical set pieces, it’s like a broader story of some sort’s being told, much like a torch song, except for this torch sounds like it’s in the process of being slowly snuffed out. Check out “Brand New Vein” for the “blues” that this band was supposedly creating, which was oft-remarked on at the time because “dark music” = “blues”, right? It’s cabaret, it’s blues, it’s depressing, it’s dynamic, it’s loud and it’s a total head trip all in one.
As alluded to before, it’s usually a combination of time and consensus that provides a record with its “masterpiece” status, but goddamn it, I just knew with this one. I still spend about every six months with it to this day, and let its cascading rawness envelop me for forty-five minutes – and this is absolutely me-time listening, not to be shared with others – before calling myself satiated, and off to search for the next record that might provide equivalent catharsis. There’ve been previous few, I’m sad to report, and nothing that scraped out the demons and summoned the ghosts the way that “Eleven: Eleven” did. And does.