New Blog Announcement, And Why This Will Be My Last Post On MadeOfSteeltown..

It’s been a long time since I wrote on this blog. (Not since September of 2013.)
I haven’t been up to much, scene-wise.
I haven’t been going to shows, I haven’t been writing publicly, (electronically or
on paper), and I just generally haven’t been what you would call ‘around ‘in Hamilton.
Well, it’s time for my confession about why that is. I’ve made excuses before, but I want to finally tell the truth.
I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and Social Anxiety Disorder.
This is not an excuse to friends who wanted me at their show. I’m not trying to get pity.
I’m just tired of lying and excuses. Not to mention hiding what has affected me for so long.
(I have had these conditions since I was 17, but in September of last year, it got to the worst point.)
I’ve put a lot into trying to get better. Everything isn’t as good as it once was, but I’m working on it.
I just want any of the people I know who might read this to know that I appreciate and miss them.

Now, for the good news. I’m starting another blog here on wordpress. It will encompass what’s going on with me, some music-related content, and essays I’ve been writing.
The link is:
hellodaddyhellomomimyourcherrybomb.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the support you gave this blog.

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Review of Slamfest’s 2 Year Anniversary

*Note: I was not able to stay for the entire matinee. And I forgot my memory card, so I have no pictures to link to.

A lot can happen in two years. Companies can form, people can start a life together, families can grow.
But on Sunday July 28th, 2 years was marked as an anniversary for Hammer City Records and their Sunday Slamfest matinees.
Always 4 or 5 great bands at an awesome price, Sunday Slamfest has been giving Punk Rockers in Hamilton somewhere to go at the end of every month for 2 years now.
I attended this past Slamfest and it was fantastic as always.
Before I dive into my quick review, I want to thank Craig and Leah, the staff at Hammer City Records, Jaime Problem, and everyone at This Ain’t Hollywood. They all do such amazing work.

1st Band: Sketchbooks.

Sketchbooks is one of those bands that make my personal top 30, and I was really happy to see them. (Before, I had only heard their mp3s.)
Their live set only adds to the experience if you’re a fan. Their set ignited the place. Fast, ferocious, fuzzy Hardcore blared out at me from the band and it was awesome.
Adding to the set was that the singer stood in the pit and let people join in. In my opinion, that’s important. Let your fans join you, and you’ll only see good results.

10 out of 10.

2nd Band: System System.

System System were a completely new band to me. I had never heard anything by them, so it was a nice surprise to see and hear this great band that reminded me of 80’s Hardcore.
The whole band worked as a great unit, playing hard and furious.
My only complaint is I had some problems understanding the lyrics, but other than that their set was great.

9 out of 10.

Review Of Slender Loris’s World Tour (album)

Slender Loris is just one of those bands.
You can’t help but notice and like them. Whether it’s for their style, their politics, (see songs such as ‘H.S.T’ and
‘Christ Was A Guerilla Fighter’ on this album alone), or even the guys themselves; who are friendly as all get out.
World Tour, their second album released the month of their World Tour, (check slenderloris.bandcamp.com or the bands Facebook page for details on where the band will be.), is a spectacular band. It shows the bands growth since Goreos, while maintaining the Slender Loris sounds and ideals.

Track 1: Clear Plastic Bags.

Opening with a quiet primal scream, the band begins to sing ‘get the fuck of this place.’ It’s instrumentation, all gritty guitars and rhythm section; with the lyrics, puts you in mind of a road-trip.

Track 2: New Deal.

A song that swings back and forth between dead quiet and messy, full-band greatness; New Deal speaks of someone who never takes the blame that they are owed.

Track 3: Roadtrip with Lars.

Speaking of trust, Roadtrip with Lars is a Slender Loris classic. Loud instruments, drastic changes in vocals, and proclamations through-out the song.

Track 4: Contrafact.

This track is one where I admit I might be getting something out of the song that the band didn’t intend. You see,
Contrafact mentions running, the sky, nightmares, dead air, and vegetation. To me, it’s a song about the environment
and the consequences of not caring for it. That’s just my take though.

Track 5: SCkillaP

A rallying cry that repeats ‘Fight! Fight!’, this is easily one of Slender Loris’s more Punk Rock tracks. There
are these perfect breakdowns near the end, and the whole song comes together nicely.

Track 6: John 5 Has Too Many Telecasters.

This track begins with a primal drumbeat and leads into this gritty instrumentation. I have to admit, on this
track, I had a hard time understanding the lyrics. But the music is stunning.

Track 7: Milo < Plato.

On Goreos, we got the song Milo eats Plato. On World Tour, the story is continued. ('Spill the blood.')
The backing music is just right, building and weaning when needed.

Track 8: H.S.T.

Taken from Goreos, 'H.S.T' is a political track; speaking of the tax and the consequences that came from
combining the GST and PST. The music is a solid, rumbling undertone; letting the lyrics speak.

Track 9: Pots and Pans.

While a glorious wall of noise plays in the background, 'Pots and Pans' speaks repeatedly of defending yourself.

Track 10: Chemtrails.

Voicing their opinion on the much debated chemical trails, this track is dare I say it; bouncy. Sure it is noisy,
but it has a bouncy spring in it's step.

Track 11: Plug.

With a noisy melody, 'Plug' advises 'Pick Your Side/ Choose Wisely.' With the doo-das in the background, this is
like a Punk lullaby.

Track 12: (not as hardcore as) Dismantle.

The name kind of tells you what to expect with this one. Slender Loris are comparing themselves to the now
disbanded Dismantle and saying they're not as hardcore. The music beats away in the background, again letting the
lyrics speak for themselves.

Track 13: Abcab.

A track that could easily be moshed to, Abcab is, (I think) someone who has had too much to drink. I say this
because the lyrics repeat 'Down boy' and 'Dry it out'.

Track 14: Explicit Version/ Illegal Fire Times.

Beginning strong, then breaking down and going strong again; Illegal Fire Times is another political track. It's
one of those songs that can easily be chanted along to.

Track 15: Rupert Murdoch Is A Sensitive Man.

A song about getting together and changing things, Rupert Murdoch Is A Sensitive Man is a blazing song that makes
you think. The instrumentation matches nicely, blasting furiously.

Track 16: Christ Was A Guerilla Fighter.

Another track that could easily be moshed to, Christ Was A Guerilla Fighter talks about everyone being piled up.
(And more. I just found it hard to catch some of the lyrics.)

Track 17: Futilitarians Must Be Bored.

The heaviest song on World Tour, Futilitarians Must Be Bored is more hardcore than anything. I had trouble with
the lyrics on this one too.

You can download this album for free at http://slenderloris.bandcamp.com/album/world-tour.

*Note: I want to thank Slender Loris. They thanked in their World Tour thank you's, and I am flattered.
Thanks Slender Loris for making such great music!

Thunder Issue 16

*NOTE: Due to a mis-count, Simon Marshall’s issue wold have been Thunder Issue 15, not 13 as it is written. Sorry about that!

This interview, when it happened, could not have had me any more nervous.

Chris Walter, who is known as a writer of Punk Rock fiction and nonfiction, is someone I really respect.

As always in my mind though, I jumped to worst case scenario. (I call it my case of the ‘What Ifs?’)

What if I stumbled over my words so bad, I couldn’t get a sentence out; let alone an interview?

What if I had a really bad panic attack and had to leave? (It’s happened before.)

Or; an extreme What If:  What If Chris Walter was really snooty?

As usual, my worry blows thing way out of proportion. Chris was fantastic to interview, and it was great to meet a fellow writer.

*Note: I did this interview in two part. Asking some questions during the Q&A, and later on one on one.

During Q&A:

KW: I was wondering; I was told that you started out by writing a zine. What was your zine like? What was it about?

CW: In 1982, I was trying to hack it together on a borrowed typewriter and you know, my friend asked me ‘What are yo doing?’ And I told him, ‘I’m going to write a fan zine.’ And he said ‘What are you going to call it?’ and I said I’m going to call it ‘Pages Of Rage.’ So he said, ‘Oh, o.k.’ I thought for sure he was going to tell I was an idiot and that it was never going to work, because that’s what he generally used to tell me. But he didn’t discourage me for it, so we actually got it together. You know, we misspelled, mistyped, and we took it down to the library and collated the thing. I was surprised when we actually sold it all for a dollar a copy. You couldn’t do that nowadays, because alot of stuff is paid for by the advertising. The first few issues were really crappy photocopy jobs, but an overachiever friend of mine, he had it printed in a place in town that used offset printing, and we started doing runs of a thousand, distributing them all over North America. And I was surprised at the success we were getting. But then we realized it was alot like real work. And that was kind of a problem. So we stopped doing it. (Laughs in room.)

 

KW: How do you pick the bands you write about?

CW: I thought I’d pick bands maybe I knew personally. And bands I listen to. And SNFU, Personality Crisis, and DayGlo Abortions certainly fit those catrgories. I also wanted to cover Canadian bands first, but I’m not going to limit mysef to them. Personally, I’m running out of bands that fit the criteria, so my next book might be about a British or American band. But I wanted to cover the Canadian stuff that was important to me first.

 

During One On One:

KW: How do you get started when you start a story or subject? Do you start on paper, on a computer?….

CW: On a computer. I used to write stuff by hand before I had a computer, but that’s the hard way to do it. You know, I revise and edit so much, it’s carpal tunnel material.

KW: How do you pick a subject for a book that you’re working on?

CW: I try to go with what’s currently happening in the scene, and who’s active and put out a new album. I just listen around and see who’s doing what. You do stories around them, not some band that broke up 10 years ago. You know what I mean right? Isn’t that what you do?

KW: What made you want to write about SNFU?

CW: They’ve been around for 30 years, influenced people all over the world, hell I’ve known two of the members for 30 years so it made perfect sense to do it.

 

KW: What makes you want to write about Punk in Canada?

CW: I’ll write about Punk anywhere, but Canada is where I live. My next book might not be about a Canadian Punk band, but I wrote aboutte bands that were important to me first.

KW: I know you just completed a project, but I have to ask. Do you anything for a next book in mind?

CW: I have a few ideas. A few bands I’m considering. But I won’t say who they are until it’s finalized.

KW: You write fiction and nonfiction. Is there one genre you perfer?

CW: They’re both so different. Like fiction is great because you can explore your creativity. But I also like writing nonficition. It’s rewarding to do music biographies because you learn so much about the bands you like. It’s a learning process.

KW:Did you think that when you started writing it would ever come to this point?

CW: No. I had no idea. I was writing because I had nothing better to do. But I knew I had to do something because I felt like I was wasting my life.

(After that we exchanged good-byes, as Chris had to go.)

You can get Chris’s books here in Hamilton,Ontario, Canada at Crash Landing Punk and Music store or at Hammer City Records.

Or to get an idea of his books, hit up punkbooks.com

SOME BANDS TO WATCH:

Frankie and Jimmy.

Even though they are a duo, this pair kicks some major musical a*s. (They make as much noise as a band.)

They’re unique, as they aim to blend Punk and Classic Blues with guitar, a harmonica, and a voice that won’t be forgotten soon.

They have a free download. Their rendition of ‘Maggie Campbell Blues’ available on Bandcamp.com.

frankieandjimmy.bandcamp.com.

Dismantle.

A band I have yet to see, (and I look forward to when I do), Dismantle sounds like Hamilton. I know you probably ask how, but just go with me on this.  They’re Punk, they’re gritty, they’re great. And their 2 free downloads are available at:

dismantle.bandcamp.com

Spanner.

They’re from the U.K, but Spanner have been making waves in my scene. Quite a few people talk up this Ska-Punk band, and for good reason. Their music covers everything border patrols to the government and other important issues, all set to awesome music. They have a 13 track album up free at: rebeltimerecords.bandcamp.com

SOME UPCOMING SHOWS/ EVENTS:

As it’s the 3rd Tuesday of the month, the Lyric Theatre will be hosting it’s monthly Youth Poetry Slam and Open Mic. Not to mention it’s workshop with the featured poet. (This month it’s Lisa Slater.) Things kick off at 6pm for the workshop, 7pm for the poetry. Admission is $2 for 18 and under, $5 for 19 and over.

Janice Lee and The Free Rads play the Artword Artbar on January 18th with Lorimer Longhaul, Jon The Bassit and more. The event is Pay What You Can, and gets started at 8pm. I don’t know if it’s All-Ages or not.

Panzerfaust, Unbowed, Erimha, and Necrodios play the Doors Pub January 18th. It’s $12 at the door, $8 for advance tickets. (Advance tickets can be purchased at Dr. Disc or at Hammer City Records.) This event is 19+, and starts at 8pm.

In response to recent crimes that have taken place in the city, this months Slamfest (we’re at number 19. Awesome!) will have an anti-violence theme. I’m always a big advocate for Slamfest, but I especially encourage attending this one. Slamfest starts at 3pm, admission is $6, and this show is All-Ages.

This issue I would like to thank:

Chris Walter, for agreeing to be interviewed
Suzanne Kirkwood and Chris Crash for helping to get me this interview
My Mom and Dad
My Friends
Anyone who reads this zine
The City Of Hamilton

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review Of The Last Crash Landing Basement Event.

NOTE: Hey everyone! It’s good to be writing again after feeling under the weather for so long. I hope you all enjoy this review, and some other stuff I have planned for the blog this week.

I’m going to be doing something different on this post.

Usually, I talk about music in Hamilton. But today I’ll be reviewing something of a combination night my mother and I went to at Crash Landing Punk and Music Store here in Hamilton.

Their last basement event was held August 18th, (the store is moving to Cannon Street and will be a smaller locale), so as a last hurrah the owners Suzanne and Chris invited Punk Rock author Chris Walter to do a reading. Then, there was a screening of the SNFU rock film/ Ken Chinn bio-pic: ‘Open Your Mouth And Say… Mr Chi Pig’

All this was in celebration of Mr. Walter’s latest work; ‘SNFU: What No Else Wanted To Say’. It is a book that charters the career of SNFU, the legendary Edmonton Punk band

I have to say, when I heard what the last event was going to be; I was ecstatic. Chris and Suzanne have always managed to make every event at Crash Landing a worthwhile event, and most often; there is something that everyone in the Punk community will find for them at their events.

I’ll be missing their events. But, this was a tremendous way to end things. I wish them the best of luck at their new location, and I can’t wait for the opening day.  (September 7th at 1189 Cannon Street, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.)

1st Part of the evening: The Reading.

The evening began with Mr. Walter reading a modest portion of his new book. He chose to tell us about a time when SNFU were on tour and got the service of some professional ladies. (The adults reading this know will know what I’m talking about.)

As there were children there, it was a little awkward. But they didn’t seem to understand, and Mr. Walters cracked a joke, so it was the kind of awkward that was laughable.

I enjoyed the reading.Not because it was perfect. (There were times that the author stumbled.) But because of the imperfection. I would rather people, in any given field, act real then pretend they are infallible.

2nd Part of the evening: Q&A.

This was the part of the evening that had me in knots.

As a writer, I wanted to ask Mr. Walter  some questions. (What his next book might be about; how he transitioned from writing zines to books, etc.), and he answered the questions with patience and in a conversational tone. He did this for all questions, which I thought was fantastic. It was very casual and by the time I asked my second question, I wasn’t nearly as nervous.

3rd Part of the evening: The Film.

I had seen the movie ‘Open Your Mouth And Say…Mr Chi Pig’ before as a rental from my local library.

I thought it was an amazing movie when I saw it late last year/ early this year, and my opinion hasn’t changed.

Sure, a lot about the band is documented. And you get the general picture of the band’s history, up until 2009. But what I find most striking about the film is Ken Chinn’s eventual handle on his schizophrenia and addictions.

Crash Landing as a movie venue was a great change of pace. (Literally. I’ve enjoyed the Punk shows in the basements, but it was nice to enjoy what I seeing without people bumping into me by accident.)

We got to bring our own drinks, and various posters around the city and online had said we would have been able to bring our own snacks too.

The seats my Mom and I had were comfortable, and we were able to see clearly.

The basement did well as a one time theatre.

The evening didn’t end there, (thanks to Suzanne and Chris), as I got to interview Mr. Walter for my zine. (Woo hoo!)  And as this is the online version of that project, I’ll be posting it here too.

I want to thank Suzanne and Chris for all they have done, for everyone, in the years I’ve known them. I wish them all the best, and I can’t wait to see their new store location.

I want to thank Chris Walter for the interview and for his time. I know he has just released a book and that must be hectic, so I appreciate the time.

5 Years In The Hamilton Punk Scene. (And I Can’t For More.)

(*Note: I know this is over a week early, but I expect to be busy in the upcoming weeks, and I wanted to write this while I was thinking about it.)

Come the 18th of June, there is an anniversary I celebrate.

On that day 5 years ago, I first attended a Punk show in Hamilton.

I know I have told this story before, but I love it. About this time 5 years ago, I went into Crash Landing. After paying for my purchases, store owner Suzanne handed me a flyer.

‘There’s a Punk Rock matinée next week. You should come.’ she said smiling.

I went to the show, petrified I would die.

But I had the time of my life. And since then, Punk has been one amazing experience after another for me.

I’ve heard more music than I thought could ever exist. And then I hear more.

I’ve taken thousands of pictures.

I have written thousands of words.

I’ve been to more shows than I can count.

But most of all, I have met some of the most amazing people in the world.

And my favorite part is that it’s all happened in my city.

I want to thank everyone that makes my experience of this scene so awesome. I will be thanking people in person as I see them at shows.

(* I wrote names as they came to me. I appreciate everyone and what they bring to the scene equally.)

Thank you for the 5 years of Punk, (and more in the future):

Suzanne

Crash

Nathaniel

Randy

The ladies of Rackula (All incarnations of the band)

The guys of Adelleda

The guys of Web Society

The guys of Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans

Kelsey

Hailey

Phil

Craig

Missy

The guys of Born Wrong

The guys of Hangman Pinata

Jaime P.

Glen

Jody

The guys of the 413s

The guys of NOT

I also want to thank:

The bands from out of town

The bands of different genres

The staff of each venue

The independent record stores

The legal online music sites

The Hamilton Public Library

And The all free festivals.

All this contributes to my love of Punk, and love of music in various ways.