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Border Music with the Mekons’ Jon Langford

Jon Langford is a founding member of arguably the most contrary of the first crop of English punk bands (their first release “Never Been in a Riot“, was released in 1977 to spoof the Clash’s “White Riot”). He began as the drummer, and currently handles vocals, guitar and songwriting. The Mekons took their name from […]

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The Alarm 2020: Mod roots & Welsh poetry

Alarm 2020 Alarm founder Mike Peters has lived in and around his hometown of Rhyl, in Northwest Wales, all his life. Accordingly, all the clubs and stages of that vicinity have borne witness to the development of Peters’s musical career—from a punk band called the Toilets, to one called Quasimodo known for its note-for-note covers […]

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Spotlight on glam queen Cherie Currie

The digital edition of Cherie Currie’s Boulevards of Splendor, with 3 bonus songs, including a remake of Runaways’ classic “Queens of Noise,” came out on April 28th on Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records, having appeared as a vinyl only Record Store Day release last year without much fanfare.The cover of this blockbuster shows her holding a […]

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Pretty tunes with sour, disassociated lyrics: a conversation with Jazz Butcher and Gentleman Adventurer Pat Fish

First let me say I’ve been a fan since Bloody Nonsense came to my attention as a teenager in 1986. “Caroline Wheeler’s Birthday Present”, in particular, made a huge impression. An album called Big Questions ended up becoming my favorite, and your latest, Last of the Gentleman Adventurers was a real work of art and […]

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With respect

A woman Harry knew had once asked Baba Ram Dass, a Harvard-trained LSD psychologist turned hippie guru who’d written a book called Be Here Now, what unified consciousness would look like, or something like that, and his answer had been something like billions of points of light on some kind of technological grid with terminals, […]

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20 % Amnesia

Which is better, friendship or wealth? Which has more value, love or kindness? Is wisdom stronger than happiness? Asking yourself these three was supposed to induce the mind’s natural questioning process and enact a more harmonious relationship with money as a medium of exchange, according to an email I received. I wanted a better relationship […]

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Dark times pass: a conversation with Lisa Marie Basile

Lisa Marie Basile has worked as a creative writer in poetry and prose, an editor for multiple venues, and a journalist, on both sides of the page, in unlike styles, bringing something of herself to each role. “I’m so fortunate to have been able to work creatively in my personal and professional life, for the […]

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The devil’s advocate of Denver: Don Becker remembered

I met Don Becker when he was in his forties and I was in my late teens trying to revolutionize the Denver spoken word scene three or four times a week as Henry Alarmclock. Kids even younger than me liked his stuff: “Don Becker was the first one to make me think poetry readings were […]

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Pop Psy Ops & Fake News

Broadcast news is increasingly paid for, less and less objective. More people are turning to the social media landscape, a new Wild West where memes compete for attention, to get a reliable sense of the times. Truth and lies are equally abundant, obviating their former distinction. A common motif in this territory is unexpected drastic […]

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Not the kind of animals you think

Time is speeding up. American cultural configuration has evolved to the degree that old-style counter cultural behaviors no longer have cultural impact outside the microcosm. I met a lot of creative writers and musicians at the weekly variety show I hosted in Denver a few years ago. Some of the younger ones had no apparent […]