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Pulling ourselves together: rope, tape, hands

Check in with yourself if you find that you’re punishing people around you for not knowing everything you know, not quite being there yet with a certain specific slant of analysis of our current doom conditions. This seems like a very common symptom of the type of pressure we are all under to visit the retribution we wish we could send to the palaces and the mansions onto would-be comrades instead…

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The Story of a First Timer – Pt.ii

I’d been booking gigs and playing in bands for a few years, but still felt like my city was adrift in an endless swirling feedback loop which seemed to shut down possibility at every corner. So many gendered expectations! A super-limited scope of “acceptable” bands! Boring! Thinking back to my list of excuses for not attempting to make my own noise, prior to stepping over the line and getting into it finally, I knew that something had to give in order to create some real space for the shy, the freaked-out, the clueless, the dabblers, the ‘oh I used to play once’, the uncertain and the terrified.

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The Story of a First Timer, Pt i

Here is a story I have probably told before. I did not play in a band until I was twenty-one years old. This was more than seven years since I’d begun to define myself entirely through music. That’s a long time to feel like a fraudulent half-a-participant, especially as a teenager. It’s also a long time to internalise that you’re not enough. You see, I was hearing voices…

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Good Bands Gone Mad: Punk LPs of the Nineteen Eighties

It’s never been a secret that punk (especially hardcore) can come unstuck on the LP format, providing as it does the extra space for tasteless errors where a two-minute perfect banger might not have showed such cracks. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to much feted ’80s bands who stayed together through some extreme sonic chicanery, with bravery, buffoonery and sometimes profoundly terrible results. In an era of hype-specific genre delineations, here’s something beautiful and revealing about these records, all made well before punk ‘broke’ in 1991, sometimes with half an overly optimistic eye on a pot of gold or just a future more enlighted audience.

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Infamy, Infamy, they’ve all got it infamy! On Punk Names.

Body stuttering for breath, adrift on a warm high, metres deep in a wikihole brought on by watching Australian network television throwback TV show known as ‘Rage’ (I think it’s closest equivalent would be MTV 120 minutes, except the amazing cultural hall of mirrors policy here means that they will automatically play anything submitted by …

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On Borders

Omid was 23 when he set him self alight in the courtyard of Nauru processing centre (prison) this May, having been held captive there for nearly three years since been recognised as a ‘genuine’ refugee. Video came out of him screaming in agony as the flames engulfed him. Before flicking the lighter, he says “This is how tired we are. This action will prove how exhausted we are. I cannot take it any more.” Omid was not seen by a doctor for 22 hours, and died of his injuries. A few days after his death, a woman named Hodan Yasin, 21, attempted the same thing.

When it comes to self-immolation as protest, it is visibility which is at stake. You may rend my body invisible but you will taste this smoke. You will see me.  This method of protest is now so common that – get this – Australia imposes fines those found to have attempted it. Brutality as a ‘deterrent’ to desperate people has never, ever worked. What is missing in this equation is that desperate, traumatised people don’t make decisions in a vacuum. None of us do…

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Self-build: Grandmothers / Chroma and Efialtis Tour

We are leaving Zaragoza when I realise I’ve lost the necklace. A thin, slightly tarnished gold rope that belonged to my maternal grandmother is gone from my neck. It was the single exception to my rule about practical heirlooms. I say rule, but it is really more like one of those coincidences that becomes a …

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