One Year Of Thunder.

*Note: This article contains mild sarcasm and my awful jokes.

**Note: The list below contains thank-yous. Aside from my family, the order was as people came into my mind. I did not include last names or anything that people might consider private. They know who they are, and what they have done to help.

It was a dark and stormy night…. (I actually don’t remember the weather.)

But about a year ago at night, I created a zine after some friends and family members encouraged me to. (I had been writing show reviews under the Notes section of my Fa*eb*ok account for some time, and they thought it would awesome to have some paper content. Especially those without a Fa*eb*ok account.)

I worked on the zine alone. It was handwritten.  I always made a quick cover from marker or pen. I always got copies done at the library. And my first interview was my brother.

Thunder, (the zine in discussion), has changed a lot.

I now type whatever part I write, because it looks a lot tidier. I work with a partner, and we take fan submissions so I’m no longer working on the zine alone. I have WAY more cover options. (Some people could argue the new covers are better, but I don’t think anyone understood my artistic vision. I mean, I did it in PEN and in a hurry. I am so creative and avant garde.)

The machine I was most thankful for this year was a printer of my own. It’s expensive at times, but great when it’s cold out and I can print at home.

By far, the most surprising thing I experienced this past year was the interviews. How many people wanted an interview; and continue to. How people said yes when I asked. (I even requested to attend the S.C.E.N.E Festival as Media and was accepted! But I got sick the night before and had to sadly cancel all my interviews.)

I met alot of fantastic people this year, and discovered more about the people and city I admire.

That’s why I want to take this time and say thank you. Below is a list of people who have been awesome to me this year. Whether they read the zine, offered praise and encouragement, visited this site, provided a soundtrack, or were an awesome family member/ friend/ reader/, I owe them EVERYTHING. The zine would not exist, I would not have readers, and I would not have motivation. So thank you to:

My Mom and Dad

My brother

My maternal Grandmother

Nathaniel

Sue and Crash

Craig and Leah

Glen and Jody

The members of Adelleda

The members of Web Society

The members of Rackula

The members of NOT

Erik and Nina

The members of The Rebel Arms

The members of Skullians

The members of Slender Loris

The members of Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans

The members of Gag Order

Cyndi

The members of Nanochrist

The member of Born Wrong

The members of Bourbon DK

The members of The Nailheads

The members of The Safety Collective

Rebel Time Records

Schizophrenic Records

Jenn

The members of Gatling

The members of The Pre-Nods

The members of At What Cost

Shonagh

Hailey

The members of Nothing Helper

Kelsey

Isabella

Mike

Molly

Bobby

Laura

Rodrigo

All my readers. The ones I never see. The ones who surf this site, and the ones who pick up a zine.

 

Thank you everyone. I look forward to a new year of writing, interviews, photography, exploring this great country, and meeting cool people.

If I’ve forgotten anyone, sorry!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Punk In Church?! It’s Happening Tomorrow In Stoney Creek.

(*Note: The following is meant to be funny. The facts and events are real, but humor is humor and that alone. And as always, it’s covered by the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms, Section 2 B.)

Near Hamilton, there exists a municipality. It’s name is Stoney Creek, and it’s famous for being a major defense site of the war of 1812.

And while we from Hamilton know that musicians, particularly those of the Punk ilk can come from Stoney Creek, we were mystified to hear that a Punk show could happen there.

(Stoney Creek Punk bands are playing their hometown? And even bringing in bands from other cities? What witchcraft is this?!)

But it was announced some weeks ago, and it’s happening tomorrow.

Organized by Web Society’s guitarist and lead vocalist Brandon Kummer, Stoney Creek will have a Punk show. And musicians from the municipality will play there. (The members of Web Society, NOT, and some of Adelleda are all from the area.)

The show will be taking place at Stoney Creek United Church. (1 King Street West, Stoney Creek.)

$5 will get you in, and the first band goes on at 7:30pm.

 

Band times are as such:

Web Society: 7:30pm

Rebel Arms: 8:15pm

NOT: 9:00pm

Adelleda: 9:45pm.

 

I will be going to gawk at the Creekers, I mean document like a professional. And I suggest everyone that can get out do it. It’s rare to see actual Punk Rock in a church. But it’s more rare to see Stoney Creek residents play their hometown.

Review Of Destroy Music/ Imants Krumins Day.

(*Note: Some items in this article are meant for humor. They are intended for that purpose and that alone. They, and all other material, are covered under section 2 B of the Canadian Charter Of Rights and Freedoms.)

(**Note: Unfortunately, I missed the first band of the evening, which was the spectacular NOT. Sorry about that fellas!)

July 1st, 2012 was an epic day.

Music was destroyed. And rebuilt the way I and so many others have been waiting for.

A new issue of Thunder came out on paper. (Call me biased, but this was the best event of the day. It beat out ALL the celebrations. What country had a birthday again?)

The all-Hamilton compilation so many have been waiting for was finally released. (Yes, Brantford’s Nothing Helper. And yes Stoney Creek’s NOT.  I count all of you one of us.)

I’m divided as to what the most spectacular part of the day and night were.

On one hand, of course the music. It featured a boatload of bands that are my personal favorites, and the style variations were phenomenal. Hangman Pinata’s Jazz-infused Punk to the Krumones reinvention of classic Ramones tones? (And’s that’s just one example of the evening.)Stunning.

On the other, getting to be a part of something so amazing while it’s happening. I used to read, and still do, about Punk Rock when it began. And I wished I could have been a part of what took place.

When I go to an event like this and have so much fun with my friends like I did, I feel like we are in the midst of what’s happening’s for Punk in this great city.

1st Band I Saw: The Pre-Nods.

There is small minority of people within the Punk community, (and let’s face it we all know at least one), who say that ‘Punk Is Dead.’ (Despite being involved with it themselves, and there being Punk bands today.)

I would invite anybody who believes that statement to come see a Pre-Nods show. Especially when they are in a fantastic mode of playing, like Canada Day.

With the Pre-Nods, you can not only see Punk is alive and well. You can hear it too.

10 out of 10.

2nd Band: Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans.

Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans frontman Erik Begg often jokes he is getting older and losing his memory. (He turned 40 earlier this year.) A lot of the time, we as an audience joke back with him, and know it is just that.

But I think Mr! Erik has talked himself into having some of his symptoms, because on Canada Day, he forgot two important elements of the usual performance.

1: Tiny Red Human and Tiny Blue Human.

2: The stage.

Instead, Mr! Erik performed an acoustic set outside.

Early memory loss aside, the set was superb. It was nice to get outside and see something different. (The Tiny Humans are more recent additions to the Wiggler!?! music project.) There was plenty of singing along, prompted or not. So it was a lot of fun.

10 out of 10.

3rd Band: Steeltown Spoilers.

One of the bands that could get me on my feet, (and pirating the stage for ‘I Love Livin’ In The City’) even if I had smallpox.

The Spoilers haven’t been playing a lot of late, so it was awesome to see them again. What made it that much better was that they had new material, as political and Hamilton as any fan would expect.

There was some small, but admirable; mosh pits going while The Spoilers played. Which tells me I wasn’t the only one happy to see the band onstage again.

10 out of 10.

4th Band: Hangman Pinata.

I hadn’t seen Hangman Pinata in quite some time, so when I heard that they would be playing the Destroy Music release party, I was ecstatic.

They are one of the most original bands coming out of Hamilton, (combining Jazz, Hard-Core Punk, and Ska to great effect), and while nothing can ever recreate ‘that moment’ when you first see a great band live; Hangman Pinata nearly did just that.

Their set was fantastic. They played their music well, it was original, and it was good as the first round.

No wonder people talk about them so much.

10 out of 10.

5th Band: Nothing Helper.

While TECHNICALLY not a Hamilton band, (they are from Brantford), I consider Nothing Helper one of us.

They share our humor. They share our love of Punk. And the music backing their lyrics sounds as good as any Hamiltonian could produce on bass, drums, or guitar.

As much I love the music though, I have to love the lyrics and show that accompany a Nothing Helper set. Wackiness ensues, and I’m clapping and laughing at the same time.

It really is the mark of true showmanship when you not only get a set. You get a show.

10 out of 10.

6th Band: Rackula.

I can’t count how many times I have seen this marvelous, all-female Punk band.

But every time, I walk away from the set thinking how great they were.

Their Canada Day performance was splendid, as they broke out a ton of their old songs, and their newer material.

What I thought was really cool was to see all the young guys, listening to Rackula’s brand of Punk. (Which includes a feminist message.) It’s always good to have a message, but it’s even better to have people who listen and cheer it on.

10 out of 10.

7th Band: T.V Freaks.

T.V Freaks…. T.V Freaks…. T.V Freaks….

This is a band that leaves my music-loving ears ever divided.

I LOVE their sound. It’s very raw, it’s very early Punk, and it captures the city in it’s sound somehow.

But the onstage antics Canada Day? (Shivers and claps at the same time.)

First came the remarks about male organs. I don’t need to hear how you would like to have a bigger…. appendage. Humor and antics are fine, but it’s the wording that gets me.

The redeeming moment? When the T.V Freaks frontman climbed on one of the amps. This was a moment of sheer brilliance, and reminded me of Teenage Head’s late Frankie Venom.

When all is said and done; I see a lot for the T.V Freaks. If they could cut SOME of the R-rated stuff.

9 out of 10.

8th Band: The Krumones.

I have never attended a full tribute set. (A lot of bands I see will play covers. But they will be by various artists.)

The Krumones were the first, full tribute band I had ever seen. Mercifully, they did a spectacular job. (You hear horror stories about these things.)

The keys, I think, to the band’s successful set was that:

1: They didn’t dress up like anyone in the Ramones. If they had, I would have jumped out the nearest window.

2: They didn’t perform all the obvious songs. I appreciated this, because it led to some new favorites.

The Krumones got a great reaction. People were dancing, people were singing along, and people looked liked they were having the time of their lives.

I would love to see the Krumones again.

10 out of 10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No S.C.E.N.E For Kristine. But There Will Always Be More Music.

(*Note. This is intended as a humorous article. The facts are true, but my melancholy, overstatements, and pomposity are all jokes.)

This post is supposed to be about all the fun times I had at the S.C.E.N.E Music Festival. I’m supposed to talk all about how I went to St. Catharines and the people were floored.

I was supposed to interview a great-but-undiscovered band and bring them to the Canadian consciousness. In doing so, I would prove what a spectacular talent I was. I would write my article and show my photos, and win myself a few prizes along the way. (I’m thinking a Governor Generals Award or three. And a couple of Granges. Nothing major. Yet.)

But none of it turned out that way because the universe hates me.

Instead, the night before S.C.E.N.E, I was admitted to the hospital with a migraine and severe dehydration. And the prescription to rid my ails? (Aside from some medicine.) ‘Plenty of rest.’

There went all my hopes and dreams, down the drain!  I felt like crying bitter tears. I felt like pounding my fists into the wall. I felt like tearing the very hair from my head.

This has given me inspiration for a new book. ‘Lamentations.’ (Nobody’s written that before right?) And even if they did, they don’t comprehend my pain. I mean, I missed a music festival. That’s like dying.

But there is an upside: The Canada Day weekend shines like a lighthouse. At Gage Park, there is It’s Your Festival. Snakecharmer, Frankie and Jimmy, and more will be playing. (It’s free.)

And Canada Day, This Ain’t Hollywood will celebrating the independence of our nation by shattering the sound barrier around it. There is going to be a Punk Rock matinée that runs from 5:00pm to 1:00am. We’re finally going to see and hear the result of all this waiting on one, all-Hamilton comp. ($10 gets you into the show and a record.)

Thunder Issue 10. Part 1.

In the years I’ve been attending shows, I have been able to see some bands that are pretty well-known. Sloan, D.O.A, and others. (I don’t care how ‘big’ a band is. I love every band with the original passion that I love music with. It’s just to help the story flow better.)

But I was the most eager, in my own peculiar way, to see the DayGlo Abortions. Not only was I chomping at the bit to see the live version of the Hard-Core legends, but I was also curious to see if a promise could be fulfilled.

You see, the DayGlo Abortions were playing the basement of Crash Landing. And store owners Suzanne and Crash had said there MIGHT  be the possibility of an interview with the band.

I was at once excited and terrified. If they could help me get an interview, awesome! The DayGlos are renowned in Canada. If they could, scary! This is the band, after all, who had an album cover with an aborted baby being served to Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

If they couldn’t, Thunder would be ‘that zine.’ The one that ‘almost’ interviewed the DayGlos, but that chicken Kristine couldn’t get on her own.

I decided to go to the show, and come what may! The DayGlo Abortions might be tough brutes, but damn, I was getting that interview!

When Crash came to get me and let me know that the interview was a go, I took a swig of my water bottle like it was gin. I ventured up the stairs, and remembered that if I hid my MP3 player/ voice recorder when the chaos started, history would eventually have this article for ages.

I know everyone wants a story where there was craziness, and my ghost is writing this because of the aftermath. But fact is, my panic overestimated things. As usual. I was introduced to two  perfectly warm people. Murray Acton and Blind Mark. (Bassist Willy Jak was not available for the interview.) Both  answered my questions as they had a beer, and I left thinking how myths become reality when given enough time.

(* Note: I was introduced to lead singer Murray Acton first. I had nearly completed my interview when drummer Blind Mark came in and I revved up the questions again.)

KW: For readers who may not be familiar, how long have the DayGlo Abortions been playing?

MA: Since 1980.

KW: What made you want to form the band?

MA: Well, the band formed suddenly in the demise of another band I had called the ‘Sick Fucks’ in the 70’s.

And we broke up, just fell apart.  The original bass player we had in the DayGlos, still had a couple gigs to do with the Sick Fucks. And I said ‘Damn it Bonehead! We’re starting a new band.’ We had been jamming a bit in my basement, and I had this case of DayGlo brand spray paint that had been given as payment for playing a gig. ‘Free publicity for a year!’ They said. And the guy goes ‘Here’s your free publicity kids.’ Just all these cases of DayGlo brand spray paint.

And it being DayGlo, I said, ‘We’ll be the DayGlo, and whatever the most frequently used word on the front page of the paper is.  And Henry Morgentaler’s clinic was in the news and all over the front page of the newspaper. Abortion, abortion, abortion! We thought ‘Haha, what a ridiculous name. DayGlo Abortions.’

KW: How would you describe your sound, yourself?

MA: Kind of wash-overs from the 70’s or something like that. I was 20 when the DayGlos started, so I was already through my teens. I grew up with Black Sabbath, all that 70’s Metal. Then Punk started happening, and I guess I incorporated the two.  I don’t think were really very pure Punk band at all. Sort of Metal influenced and junk like that.                                                                                                                                                          I was worried at first. I remember thinking ‘Nobody is going to like this, it’s way too Metal.’ Or something like that.

KW: Some people think that the band is ‘fairly controversial.’ If we moved pass all that, what are you guys trying to convey in your words, in your music?

MA: There’s a mixture of things. One thing I sort of try to keep underlined is that we’re entertainers. Essentially, when it gets down to it. So we have to entertain people and be funny.

When I was a kid, I liked Frank Zappa a lot. And he was very sarcastic, but he also had social commentary.

And I have found that you can, under the guise of comedy, you can slide a little bit of politics in there that people might not otherwise accept.

If people are all defensive and everything like that; thinking that you are attacking their belief system or something, they shut it all out. But you get them softened up with some good jokes, they’ll suck it right up.

I do have kind of a direction. Really, if anything, I think it’s important for people that are artists or musicians of any kind, to try and spread the knowledge of how to make it. So I think it’s important to get out there and encourage kids how to play music. Because it’s a big deal. It’s the pinnacle of human existence, almost.  And it’s important to society, and everything. You can see how it affects the direction of the world. You have the ear of the youth too, which is a big thing. It’s either us or the advertisers.

KW: In my opinion, there’s not a lot of Canadian stuff. Like, not as much as you see American stuff.

MA: We’re very inundated by American media. Which just makes it more of a responsibility. I don’t really have solutions to things, but I do point out issues in society. And make fun of them.

(Both laugh.)

KW: What bands are you listening to right now?

MA: Right now? I listen to all kinds of weird stuff. A couple of D-beat bands like Tragedy, I like them quite a bit. We’ve done 12 or 13 shows with End Program from Oshawa-

KW: I listen to them too!

MA: They are one of the best bands in the country. They are so good.

KW: They’re amazing!

MA: They rock! And they’re really nice guys. Another band from around here, Go Die Scum. They’re pretty rockin’ as well. The coast has Life Against Death, a really good Grind band. With a female singer.

KW: With a female singer?! That’s awesome.

MA: It’s ass-kickin’. They’re actually on their second female singer, but she’s really good too. But it’s a bunch of different bands, and I like different kinds of music too. Pretty well anything that’s played from the heart. God, I can listen to disco if it’s being played well and played from the heart.

KW: As long as they’re honest about it.

MA: Exactly. And you can spot it a mile away.

KW: The name ‘The DayGlo Abortions’ is pretty revered in the Canadian Punk scene. When you started the band, did you think it was going to become what it is today?

MA: I thought we might get publicly stoned or something. Because our first stuff was really more a parody of Punk than Punk Rock itself. My thoughts were ‘Look at all these guys spitting on each other, sticking safety pins through their noses. It’s absurd!’

KW: It can be.

MA: It’s a f**kin’ fashion show when it gets down to stuff like that. And yeah, I didn’t expect to be super popular or anything like that. But I used to crack jokes at how what’s ‘unacceptable today’ will be common place. And it’s kinda funny how it turned out to be true. Everybody used to hate when we were starting out, but now, it doesn’t seem like anyone has a bad thing to say about the DayGlos anywhere. Now you have to something quite rash to get people going. I don’t know what you could do now, hehe.

KW: I know that the band is from British Columbia. What do you guys think of the Hamilton Punk scene?

MA: We haven’t been here in a couple of years, but we have friends in town. We have friends who have been members of the Forgotten Rebels, The Hammerboiz, and all those bands from around Hamilton.

KW: What keeps you into Punk Rock for all these years?

MA: I’m doing what I think I was meant to do. Ever since I was a little kid, I knew I was going to play music. It’s also fun. And it’s rewarding, there is a phenomenal feeling to make music and hear it sung back to you. The levels of accomplishment that you can make too. Every time you finish something or write a song, you can feel really damn good about it. It’s horrifyling addictive, hahaha. The Punk community in itself is really wicked too. We’re heading over to Germany tomorrow afternoon, and it will be the same there. Very welcoming, we’ll see the town from the local’s point of view. It’s a wonderful thing. One of the fans will take us home, the mom will make us dinner. So it’s a mix, but that’s why.

KW: You are all about to play a very intimate show here at Crash Landing. But you have also played bigger venues. Is there a type of show you prefer to play?

MA: The big ones are weird, usually. Especially when you have security and you can’t see the crowd. It’s very impersonal.  Those are hard to do a good show at. The intimate shows, the basement shows, you’re in there. There isn’t any escaping it, hahaha. It’s terrifying sometimes, but the intimate shows are the most fun.  I have to say though, it’s nice to have a mixture.

KW: In your opinion, has Punk Rock changed for better or for worse since you started playing?

MA: Punk Rock has been consumed by the big machine. I don’t really look at it like original Punk Rock anymore. ‘Punk Rock Now’ sells cars, running shoes, and all that kinda crap.

But in many way it’s still there, pissed off and angry as ever, still doing the same kind of thing. I think it can shoot off into different genres. I think it’s as valid as it ever was, it’s just in very small, fringe bands.

Alot of people think Punk is dead, but it’s not.

I Recall My Own Gothy Past On World Goth Day.

Apparently, today is World Goth Day. (Who knows how, when, or where this got decided.)

This was a very pleasant surprise for me, as I was an ENORMOUS fan of Goth Rock from the ages of 15 to 17 and a half.  I’ll recount the details of my sometimes cringing fandom in a moment, but I would like to say first that there are aspects of Goth that I still like a lot. I kept the music and I listen to it even now. I’m attending some of the new Goth shows that Hamilton now has, as both a photographer and a curious music lover. And my love of all-black clothing is going nowhere fast.

All the following  tidbits are factual. Laugh at will.

CRINGING MEMORIES IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

– Packing on the make-up so thick that I had to wish my face more than once.

– Wearing a velvet skirt and fit-for-winter leather boots. In 35 degree Celsius heat.

– Reading nothing but Edgar Allen Poe for 2 months because, and I quote from myself, ‘He was the original Goth.’

– Thinking I was so cool the first week. My neck has probably never hoisted my head that high, before or since.

– Wanting a coffin for a bed.

– Wanting furniture from a funeral home as room furniture.

– Dyeing my hair relentlessly. Red, navy blue, purple, black. It didn’t matter. My motto was: ‘Must. Not. Be. Blonde!’

– Listening to Goth Rock and Green Day only for those 2 and a half years. Anything else was ‘f**king crap.’ (Even if I secretly liked it a little.)

– Preventing smiling was on par with preventing a nuclear holocaust.

– In a fit of passion that lasted for exactly 4 months, wanting to create the ‘Gothic Anarchist Party.’ I would become Prime Minister, declare Goths a nation within a nation like Quebec, and change the national anthem to ‘Every Day Is Halloween.’ (The dream died when I examined my anarchist principles more, and when someone pointed out that the acronym for the party would be ‘G.A.P’. I didn’t want people confusing my future party with a store.)

– Laughing was like hearing a demonic voice from within that needed to be exorcised. Or so I imagined.

– Telling anyone who would listen ‘I’m not a stereotype!’  But as you can read above, I clearly succumbed to it at times.

I hope this list has provided a laugh. It certainly has re-examining my memories.