Spring 2013 Center Updates and Activities

Spring is a dizzying, fecund time for the Center for Punk Arts, Visual Vitriol, and related projects. My co-written biography of Lightnin’ Hopkins, titled Mojo Hand: The Life and Music of Lightnin’ Hopkins has been released by Univ. of Texas Press. On April 20th, Record Store Day, Cactus Records in Houston, TX will be holding an in-store event, replete with music, copies of the book available for purchase, local craft beer, and me reading portions of the text. If you are in the vicinity, please join our effort to honor the dynamic musical craft and personality of Hopkins and the legacy of my co-author Tim O’Brien as well. So far the press cycle consists of interviews with KUT/NPR Austin FM radio, the Houston Chronicle, and No Depression. Those links will be featured here as they become available. The UT press page can be found here; meanwhile, the cover and book excerpts are below. To see  photos of the Houston gig, book, and tattoo collectors, click here.


The book Barred for Life, chronicling the tattoo subculture (including practices and philosophies) of dedicated Black Fan fans, which I edited for PM Press (the publisher of my forthcoming book Left of the Dial), has also been released. Writer Stewart Ebersole has events planned for the East Coast, but Vinyl Edge Records on 19th St. in Houston, TX is actually hosting the premier event on April 13th. The 5 pm gig, exhibition, and documentation session (of local Black Flag tattoos and lore) will feature classic Black Flag flyers, band photography by Ben DeSoto (featured in LOTD as well), and music of Black Flag unveiled by the tribute band My War! (featuring members of No Love Less, 500 Megatons of Boogie, and The Drafted), along with the fury of lady punks Ex-Girlfriends. The PM press page can be found here.



I recently submitted a peer review article to Liminalities, a performance journal, about punk gig spaces and liminality, titled Slamdance in the No Time Zone:  Punk as Repertoire for Liminality. I await their response and will submit re-writes as necessary, if they deem the article appropriate for the scope and style of their on-line journal. It also features a slideshow video containing images culled from my own photography archives, along with those of Ben DeSoto, so viewers can see frenzied gigs ranging from Circle Jerks and Black Flag to Youth Brigade and Agent Orange.

As always, I maintain a heavy gig schedule, performing with No Love Less (including regional venues in Baytown and Lufkin) and The Hates, who will be releasing their new CD (which revisits their older classic punk and hardcore material) People’s Temple at the end of April. At Walters in Houston on May 25th, I am hosting a gig that commemorates local early 1980’s venues like the Island, Agora Ballroom, and Omni. A poster for that event is forthcoming.

The Visual Vitriol collection has recently been massively featured in the superb insert of the Big Boys “Fun Fun Fun” album re-issue from 540 records in Austin, TX. It is very limited, so I suggest quick purchase. Another sizable portion is featured in the excellent promotional video for the Light in the Attic re-issue of the Big Boys first LP as well — “Industry Standard.” Look for key flyers and photographs by Ben DeSoto in the video below.

I also donated a set of visual materials to the illustrated history of the Replacements book project: as soon as I know more information, I will provide that as well.

On the academic front this Spring, a MA thesis paper and a handful of scholarly articles have featured references to Visual Vitriol or my related research. First it is used in the research of a Swedish academic writer in the work Punkestetik: Provokation, revolution eller DIY?. 

Next, my research on African American contributions to punk is referenced in Jasmine Mahmoud’s  “Black Love? Black Love!: All Aboard the Presence of Punk in Seattle’s NighTraiN.” Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory 22.2-3 (2012): 315-323.

My research on Hispanic punk has recently been referenced by writer Daniel Traber (the same writer that I reference in Vitriol) in “Pick It Up! Pick It Up!: The Transnational Localism of Ska.” Popular Music and Society ahead-of-print (2012): 1-18.

Media theorist Al Larsen references my research on DIY punk media in his timely and noteworthy “Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control: The Graphic Symbol in Hardcore Punk” (I supplied two images for the text — a Big Boys flyer and Crass single). You can access it here.

Meanwhile, my focus on gendered gig spaces has been referenced in Naomi Griffin’s “Gendered Performance Performing Gender in the DIY Punk and Hardcore Music Scene.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 13.2 (2013): 66-81.

In addition, my work investigating queer punk is quoted at length in the Honors Thesis of S. M. Gray,  titled “The Queer Sounds of Justice: Contemporary Queer Musicking and Transformative Justice in The United States” (2012) as well as another Master’s Thesis, by Stephanie Salerno, titled, “Skater, Poser, Punk: The Struggle For Space, Individuality and Authenticity Within Straight-Edge, Queercore and Skateboarding Punk Communities,” which can be read in full here.

Lastly, my research surveying the history of the Deaf Club in San Francisco has been referenced in a MA thesis by Aimee Harlib of the San Francisco Art Institute titled, “INCENDIARY IMAGES: A READING OF RADICAL AIDS ACTIVISM THROUGH PUNK AESTHETICS,SAN FRANCISCO 1979-PRESENT.”

As readers may recall, I released an App called the Indie and Punk Compedium (featuring many archives culled from Left of the Dial) last winter for BiblioBoard, which is available on iTunes and elsewhere. That project  was recently covered by the tech website TechFaster here, with links to my efforts. A portion of their video interview, with selections from the App, can be viewed below.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/63526792″>The Compendium of Punk and Indie Rock – TechFaster Interview</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user12601287″>BiblioBoard</a&gt; on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

As always, I thank you for the support of the center’s endeavors, and I will update this page as events unfold, including progress on my short story collection entitled Where We Go to Fall Down.