Category Archives: interviews

a&o’s newest byproduct: mind-rot.com

With the new year comes a new project by the fine folks of absurdandobscure.com; a site driven by completely unoriginal content not unlike what you would find at a&o. Rather than writing new content, the new site will be a constantly updated collection of content provided by others. It is my esteemed pleasure to introduce to the world…mind-rot.com.

mind-melt

I’m excited about the new project/site/portal to nonsense that will cover the work of innumerable scourges of the Earth at as rapid of a speed as possible. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be excited about it either, especially if you frequent this poor excuse for a blog/site/sounding board of relatively disreputable schlock/sheer awesomeness.

As of today, mind-rot.com is obviously still in the process of becoming completed, but the finishing touches aren’t far off. I’ve wanted to get this thing together for months, but because of reasons too boring to go into, both the new project and a&o had to suffer. I’m sure you pulled through these past couple of months though…just a wild guess from the 13,000 views that absurdandobscure.com received last year. Speaking of, I want to sincerely thank every single person that checked this site out last year. We’re hoping things will be significantly different this year, especially when it comes to digging into the depths of the worst acting caught on film, the best hardcore bands you keep ignoring for the dumbest reasons, brain melting foreign oddities and other indescribably engaging ephemera.

So be sure to check out both sites whenever you get the chance…you never know what absurd and/or obscure stuff might get the honor of being uncovered.

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Awesome Book Week: Day 7 – Town Of Hardcore Zineography

I saved the best for last…

TOH book - front

Anyone who claims to know anything about hardcore will tell you that Town Of Hardcore was not only one of the only hardcore fanzines worth reading since the dawn of the new century, but it was the best hardcore fanzine since the narrowly avoided faux technological apocalypse. Anyone who says otherwise is either illiterate or has their heads up their ass when it comes to musical taste (…or is from Europe).

There’s no question that this ‘zine was consistently excellent. Town Of Hardcore somehow found a way to provide insightful, interesting content about a subculture that was (and still is) dominated by shallow, boring “people” that could not be any less creative. I found very few problems with Town Of Hardcore both stylistically and content-wise. It’s hard to speak ill of any publication that covered the best bands hardcore had to offer, and covered them well.

I got a hold of this from the young gentlemen at Eating Rats Records and was lucky enough to pre-order it in enough time to get the 7″ you see below. As for the book itself, it contains every issue of TOH as they originally appeared except for the original contact info being blocked out. Also included are a few ads for TOH, the “issues” that writer/editor Steve Wiltse did in between full-fledged, proper issues, and an old zine that Steve did. I was expecting that these guys wouldn’t drop the ball on the effort required to collect each issue into a book, but I wasn’t expecting that there’d be anything more than that. Definitely a pleasant surprise.

TOH book - back

Another surprise that I wasn’t expecting was getting this book and 7″ shipped to me in a fucking manila envelope. JUST a manila envelope. A single, thin piece of paper glued and taped shut, which gave absolutely zero protection to a book that I’d been waiting months for. These guys definitely shit the bed on that one. I understand trying to cover costs while keeping the price of what you’re releasing fair, but fuck…not at the cost of what I paid for possibly getting beat to shit before I get it! I’m lucky that the 7″ didn’t arrived snapped in half with a book that was bent and dented to the point of illegibility. I’ve also heard that quite a few other people received their book sans ingenious packing paraphernalia. Point is, if you’re going to get this (which I highly recommend), you’ll probably have to mail-order it. Just make sure you give these guys an extra buck or two so they can send the book in something appropriate.

SHORT REVIEW FOR THE ADHD HARDCORE KID:

– The Town Of Hardcore Zineography is incredible. You need to get it immediately.

– If you don’t like Town Of Hardcore, or think you wouldn’t like it, then you’ve probably chosen to cultivate a lifestyle and taste in music that you refer to as hardcore that leads me to believe that you are irreversibly mentally deficient.

I want to thank everyone involved with the original Town Of Hardcore ‘zine and those involved that helped get it back in print. I also want to thank the bands that were worth writing about, old and new – without them there would’ve been no TOH.

In short: Straight up…Town Of Hardcore.

TOH book - 7″ Side A

TOH book - 7″ Side B

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Awesome Book Week: Day 6 – Manga (published by Taschen)

Awesome book. Period.

Manga (published by Tashen) - cover

Even if you’re some weirdo who isn’t into comics or manga, this is still great. Much like nearly every other Taschen book I’ve seen, regardless of my interest to its subject matter, the final product often embarrasses other books within the same category. Also like many other Taschen titles, this book is written in more than one language, two of which are English and Japanese.

Though I wish the samples of work from each individual mangaka (manga writers and illustrators) were translated into English, I can understand and respect the editor’s choice to remain faithful to the original work and publish the manga and covers as they originally appeared.

The icing on this researched and well-thought out cake is the DVD included with it. In addition to interviews with a few mangaka, there’s a gallery of hundreds of manga covers and interviews with employees of various manga retailers as well as footage of the insides of the stores themselves. It seems like it’s a whole different vibe than a major book retailer in the U.S., probably because each manga bookstore is crammed floor to ceiling with comics. Sure I wish there was more on the DVD, and in the book too, but the overview that this book provides is the best attempt at an encyclopedic, reference style book on manga I’ve seen thus far.

Manga (published by Tashen) - DVD

Just to give you a few examples of why this is more than just a coffee table book, click on the thumbnails below. Also, keep in mind that the table of contents is only a portion of all the mangaka covered. The fingerprints of each mangaka’s own individual style when compared to other artists and considered in the grand scheme of art and manga as a whole is considerably interesting.

Manga (published by Tashen) - inner cover       Manga (published by Tashen) - table of contents       Manga (published by Tashen) - Ootomo

Manga (published by Tashen) - Umezz       Manga (published by Tashen) - Shirow       Manga (published by Tashen) - Hagio

If there’s any book out there that can obliterate people’s misguided preconceptions of what manga is and can be, it’s this one.

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Awesome Book Week: Day 5 – Shock Value

Shock Value - cover

This cover says it all. If seeing John Waters’ name doesn’t immediately call to mind thoughts of his vision of trashy, wholesome Americana, then you really need to to watch some of his movies. At this point, choosing to avoid a Waters film is just downright un-American.

This version of the book is a little older, though it’s been made available with an even more repulsively attractive cover. I believe the content in both is nearly identical save for the forward/introduction in the newer edition reflecting on the reception of the book since its initial publishing.

I didn’t own my own copy of this until I happened upon this older version in a used bookstore. One of the first things I noticed was the prominently pronounced proof that it had been stepped on…maybe even stomped on.

I then bought it immediately.

Shock Value - stomp print

I’m hoping that someone was so infuriated while reading Waters’ book that in an uncontrollable rage, they felt compelled to stomp on it. Or perhaps an angry parent or grandparent found their youngest, most impressionable son, daughter or grandchild reading this and flew into an swirling hemorrhage of hysterics due to their overprotective and uncultured nature. I can only hope. It also looks like the cover is faded or sun-bleached, which adds another dash of zazz that I’m sure would make Waters proud.

“Okay, we get it, Waters is a big deal. What’s the book about?” Why the life and times and early work of John Waters of course! With chapters titled The Filthiest People Alive, Why I Love Violence and “Do You Have Parents?” how can one not be intrigued by this book? Waters also interviews Herschell Gordon Lewis and Russ Meyer!

Obviously this book was written for the cutting edge American family and not just the ugly fat kid with shitty hair that likes to set stuff on fire.

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Lee Ving interviewed in Shock Cinema #34

Lee Ving - Shock Cinema #34

Some choice bits from the recent interview:

“Someone at Saturday Night Live realized that there was this thing going on called punk rock, for want of a better term, you know I never felt that’s what we were, I knew we were playing for the audience that thought that’s what THEY were.”

“I said, ‘that’s bullshit,’ we are professionals, we caused $500,000 worth of damages. I counted it myself.”

“I can now afford to live in Bel-Air next door to John Travolta.”

“So I’m reading for the part, I pull out the sledgehammer and go through those motions and Walter’s eyes are very wide at this point, Judith’s too, then I pull the .38, man I thought everyone was gonna need new shorts.”

“How did you end up on a Who’s The Boss? Episode?”

I’ve put up the entire interview in .pdf format below:

Lee Ving in Shock Cinema #34

>>> …and yes, you’re obviously encouraged to actually BUY this. <<<

Also, any respectable bookstore should have this…it wasn’t too hard to get. I will say that waiting for this to be available while knowing that there was “old punk dude” content inside made for a few aggravating and fruitless checks to a number of magazine stands.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, can someone please share anecdotes or photos of the following near incomprehensible live event with me?

Lee sings

Did this even happen? I thought this was the type of thing that could only happen in some other alternate universe. Hopefully I’m wrong, and hopefully someone will up a video of this.

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HELLION

I’m not going to pretend like I know everything there is to know about Crispin Hellion Glover, but after seeing him at the Music Box when he came through Chicago a month or so ago, it made me want to know way more about him. I could write my thoughts on him and his work, but these videos do a much better job at getting my point across.

What’s not to like?

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Punch In The Face interview in MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL #296

PITF

I put this up because I have a feeling that one of the following applies to you:

– You have no idea who this who band is, but you might still think this interview is funny and interesting.
– You know this band and you like their new record a lot, but didn’t know this interview was even available.
– You know and like this band, you know that this issue of MRR is available and that there’s a Punch In The Face interview in it, yet you live in some alternate universe where you think that not buying things that you’ll like is a good idea for some reason.

If you’re into Punch In The Face, then stop dragging your feet and get this already. If you’re a total maniac, you’d buy two issues, tear out the interview in both and have the whole thing framed. Somebody do this and send me a photo…please? Enjoy. (Click on each image twice to blow it up and make it legible.)

PITF page 1 PITF page 2 PITF page 3 PITF page 4

You can get this at probably any record store on the planet, or you can order it.

If you don’t know who these guys are or what they sound like, you can get yourself acquainted by going here.

Of course, you could always buy the record from the band.

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