Hello Everyone! Tis the season of roiling political debates and momentous votes!
My apologies for the long delay in updates – I took a hiatus over the summer to gig with three bands and complete a series of books and manuscripts, including my long-awaited overview of Axis POWs in America, which I am sending for outside peer review to a state university publisher on Monday. Yet, most of you will likely be more excited by my newest opus, a short history of longtime political punk agitators MDC, which is now out!! It debuts tomorrow night, Sept 21 at 14 Pews in Houston at 6pm, where iconic singer Dave Dictor and drummer Al Schvitz will be joining me for My Videos Rule, a live discussion program!
With 114 pages of interviews, flyers, and photographs, some from the vault of Dictor, it also features a band chronology penned by Welly of Artcore, who designed the intense cover, a short essay by Sophie Rousmaniere, singer of the Elected Officials, and worldwide tour diaries by Dictor too! Savvy and keen-eyed J.R. Delgado (Doomsday Massacre, Party Owls, Screech of Death) designed the book interior! Limited signed copies will be available throughout the weekend, plus regular versions will be available through Microcosm, Quimbys, and Amazon!
Also, I have published RocknRoll Decontrol Vol 1 (and Vol. 2 is in the design phase), which is a compendium of punk flyers/gig posters and photographs that I have hand-made and snapped over the last thirty years. It too is over one hundred pages long and features a wide array of performers, from UK Subs, the Freeze, and the Vibrators to Milemarker and Jonathan Richman.
Here is a portion of the introduction to get you amped-up:
“I will always be a beginner, an amateur, a folk photographer — 95% unlearned, untrained, and DIY. But I know that I am a chronicler too, from the bottom up. These pages document my league of punk peers – some of them no more than obscure howlers dredging up the dirtiest chords, others impassioned ideologues merging politics and art panic, some trying to reinvent forms and genres, others simply trying to tear up everything and leave no sacred bones behind. These are the midnight kids and gasoline-tinged hipsters, the veteran believers and rock’n’roll tyrants, the mixed-up/messed-up drugged out delinquents and the alcohol-infused bitter agitators, the straight-laced and weirdoes too. In a way, these volumes are a way to recount thirty years of being more than a witness. In some way, they become rough’n’tumble homages and tributes. Or simply a call to arms. Grab a camera. The night is about to end. Get up and go. Do not let the opportunities fizzle in the backwaters of your soon-to-be-doomed memory. Stand still only long enough to get the action frozen in a flash. Then, crash, wake up, and do it again. ”
I believe in blue, I believe in you!! Join people like Bill Maher, Willie Nelson, Stephen Colbert, and me in our support for BETO!! On Sept. 30th, the same day as his Houston debate, I am sponsoring a punk DIY yard sale for the El Paso skateboarding boy! Thank you to John Anderson from Doomsday Massacre for providing the yard, Josh Barry of Jealous Creatures for jazzing up the poster, Dianna Ray from Mydolls and Bob Weber from Really Red for helping coordinate it all, and YOU for your efforts to make Texas blue! Stand up and be counted!
Many thanks to Dolf Hermannstädter and Andre at Trust, the veteran old school punk zine from Germany, for publishing my pic of Fishbone in delirious action in downtown Houston last spring in Issue no. 191, Aug/Sept 2018! Long live black soul/punk/ska musical hybrids!
Lastly, my research has recently been noted, quoted, and incorporated into several academic works – books, articles, master’s thesis output, etc. – but I am especially thankful when writers really understand and appreciate the scope I undertake: my language play/maneuvers/metaphors, shifting rhetorical arguments, and theory merging. For instance, Christos Tzoustas at Utrecht University has penned an excellent work, “We Can’t Help It If We’re From Florida: A Discursive Analysis of the 1980s Gainesville Punk Subulsutre,” which is smart and complex, focused and fluid, and readable and engaging. Plus, it examines and grabs a handful of my arguments from Visual Vitriol, especially in terms of skateboarders re-imagining space and horror tropes being revealed on punk flyers. I am honored, Tzoustas.
Be well, speak soon, David E!