Friday, September 14, 2007

OK, OK... time to get down to business. Sometimes life just gets away from you, and in between playing in a quarter-arsed rock band, running a label (Ten East's Extraterrestrial Highway CD OUT NOW!), being Mr. Family Man and working a full-time job - much of which involves writing about music - I have not been in the right state of mind to even consider sitting down in front of a computer at night in my spare time in an attempt to pontificate to anyone who may care about this thing called... well, music. So, where to begin...

In relation to the last post - Nervous Jerk's E.S.P. compilation CD - I would like to henceforth restate my previous sentiment that it's good to see The Kids doin' it for themselves. Take Distort fanzine, for instance. It's done by this young local chap by the name of Dan. Actually, I think he's in his early/mid 20s, but once you hit 35, like I did this year, such an age is considered "young", almost just post-pubescent. Dan digs his old-school American hardcore, as do I, and he likes to tell the world about it. He also digs a whole bunch of contemporary hardcore which I could give two figs for, but that's OK. I'm a grumpy old fugg and well past my prime. Even when I was but a young buck, I could barely care for any hardcore made after 1986, coz for me that was when it hit its use-by date as a genre. OK, OK, email me and tell me about all the unbelievably terrific HC bands of today I am sadly missing out on and watch me care.

Distort is a printed fanzine, and for that I hail a salute. In the age of blogs such masochistic dedication is to an ancient form is highly admirable. From what I can gather, every single issue (and there's 15 of 'em) is dedicated to high achievers such as Darby, 'Sabbath, Black Flag, Void, Discharge, Stooges and Poison Idea. Ditto to that! Inside the two issues I received, there's some good rants, retrospectives and photo spreads on the likes of Black Flag, The Stalin, Gism, Subversion and newer bands like Voorhees, Smash 'n' Grab and Cold Sweat, as well as rambling editorials bemoaning the state of music and the world which only serve to remind me of my own youth spent whinging in the printed word. That's a good thing. The opening sentence to each editiorial begins as thus: "Hey fuckhead. Welcome to Distort issue...". Nice.

Distort passes the fanzine test - does it adequately pass the time whilst planted on the shitter - with ease. Fact is, I'm going to hassle Dan for back issues to add to the pile. Hardcore fanzines in the 21st century w/ half-a-brain and a clue are a rarity; a zine like this from Melbourne town in 2007, one which reminds me of the great anger and desire to convert that made Touch and Go or even Search and Destroy a terrific read in their time (and now) is a breath of fresh air. Of course an old art-fag like myself will have to state this: that there's nothing on God's sweet earth as hardcore as an old Cecil Taylor or Fela Kuti or Hasil Adkins track - and such things could (and should) easily find a home in the world of Distort - but like their byline says: "Punk and Hardcore... Not For Everybody".

PS - Distort even features a reprint spread of an old comic from Black To Comm, of all sources... I said I'd never bring it up ever again, but I think that Chris, judging by his behaviour over the last few years, is begging for the attention, so... Chris, just remember the old saying: the best revenge is simply living well. I say that not in relation to me, for I desire no "revenge" and have no enemies (that I acknowledge), but in relation to the way you live your life.

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