Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Poptones - PIL on American Bandstand

A must see! View it here

Perhaps one of the best spectacles and odd moments in television history. Amazing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005



The title of this post suggests that I am going to go on a rant discussing the in-debt/could be defunct record label out of Berkeley, Ca. I'll sort of get to that. Truth is-- I couldn't think of a better way to title this thread.
Lookout for us as we will be out and about this coming weekend for The Record Revival ( in Philadelphia on Sat. Oct 22nd, in which we were invited to set up at. The guy setting up this record show that isn't your typical record show -- even was so nice to ask if I wanted to do a DJ set-- so the two of us will be on the wheels of steel---for 30 minutes!
We will be selling a half table worth of records. Whatever we can fit-- we will bring from our basement and possibly deliver them into your hands--for a swap or a low fee. I think everything will be from a dollar to five or six bucks! Cheap because we buy cheap--and we like to pass on the deals to you.
As for the DJ set, I am not sure what we will be playing, but I have been extremely excited about some music we have found recently. So--it will be a short but sweet set filled with lucious beats and sounds. African, Latin, Dub, Funk, and maybe a short Punk cut. If you are in Philadelphia this Saturday the 22nd, please think of coming down. Who knows, maybe you'll find something!
Also-- Dragon Turtle (friends Brian and Tom) will be appearing at someone's house that same night somewhere in Philadelphia. I joined myspace (something I didn't want to do) just to view who Dragon Turtle's "friends" are. ha! I think they most of their male friends are bearded and that thier female friends must have a thing for beards. My thoughts: hippies!
Check out thier page at and to hear sounds.
On to Lookout!
I've been thinking about this for a while now--back in late August (around the time of Katrina)--Lookout! was also being swamped with stories, rumors, etc. about the possible demise of thier label. Chris and Mollie, the owners of lookout! after Larry Livermoore quit (both of whom were in one of my fave bands of the 90s -- The PeeChees) give a detailed explanation of what went wrong in this article -- (read it here -- )
. After reading it, I felt no animosity towards the guys in Green Day--but more or less animosity towards Ben Weasel. Just read and you'll probably understand why it's true what that one song that the Queers sang, "Ben Weasel --he's an a..hole". The Queers might have been tongue in cheek when they sang it-- and I always had a feeling the guys in The Queers were also axxholes--but yeah...
Chris and Mollie own up to blowing money on huge promotional items (condoms that were promoted with a release of a Pansy Division record) and even simple things like sending posters through on overnight delivery. I remember receiving posters for Ted like less than a day after I had received a call from them.I didn't need those posters right away really--and truth be told-- when someone gives you 25 posters--and you live in a rural area--or are doing shows in small cities and towns with only a handful of record stores and colleges to put large posters up at--- you might need 10 of them.
I think many of those posters were sitting in my basement for a while until I dumped them off to DOuble Decker Records' free bin/heap near that store's entrance.
I have to give them credit-- they have tried as a label for years to make good . For a couple of years in the mid-late 90s-- my brother and I had a distribution that we set up at shows with--and we dealt with thier then distributor-- Mordam records-- and Mordam would send us tons of neat promo items for Lookout! bands.
I guess in a way, even though the promotion is part of what most labels do-- I feel sort of guilty in a way. Not sure why.
Lookout! was a great label. I was a Lookout! styled pop-punk kid in the 90s. I admit it. I was never too down with the so-cal skate punk thing, or the tough hardcore that dominated that time period. I was living in the wrong place. The lehigh valley had Weston--which made things go by ok for a pop-punk kid. Even though they were just from Bethlehem, I wanted them to be closer---because though Weston's influence was far reaching--- it didn't grasp as well in the Poconos--where NYXHC and So-Cal merged. I was into bands on other labels. I liked what Mac was doing with Merge. I was into the aggression/noisy guitar rock of Touch and Go (that distinctly 'Chicago' sound of that time), What Dischord was doing. Estrus had all those crazy garage and surf bands like Man or Astroman? The SST catalog of all the classic 80s punk was my first punk rock records-- I got into some of that third wave ska that Moon put out (enough so that I used to dress two tone sometimes!)---Kill Rock Stars was putting out compilations with Lookout!--so I got into a lot of riot grrrl bands and Unwound and stuff like that.
But--the bands that defined me as a pimply, goofy teenager in the early-mid 90s the most had to be the bands on Lookout!

Give me Mr T Experience, give me The PeeChees, The Hi-Fives, The Bomb Bassets, Winona Ryders, Weasel, Cub, Go Sailor. All that sappy, goofy fun pop-punk that bordered on twee--yet was riddled with too much angst to be considered as such. Dang-- what a fun place full of characters Berkeley must have been. All I have to remind me of that era is Lance Hahn of J Church and Aaron Cometbus stories. THe photos of Blake Jawbreaker with a glass of wine in his hand (makes me want to drink!). So bohemian and punk. So much fun.

The Donnas came after my time and seemed to schticky. It was great to see Ted Leo get a good amount of attention that was sadly something the well-meaning good guy --Charles-- at New Jersey's Gern Blandsten could not handle.
Ted needed that promotion that Lookout! gave him--even though they obviously and realistically couldn't afford it.
I can't say I know much about much of the new lookout! roster asides from Ted. They have seen better days. And while that 90s heyday may be over -- it is my hope that they can get over this hurdle and survive.
This post makes me feel old and it makes me feel like I just wrote a column in an old photocopied fanzine that no one will read. The beauty of an internet blog that is mostly a Radio Program playlist is that even though millions could access this site--only a few dozen probably will--and so--this is probably just as far reaching as a photocopied/cut and paste zine.

To wrap this old school zine column like rant-- I've got to give props to my man-- Matthew Schnipper. He's got a zine of him reviewing/reacting to records he owns--like where he bought them, and the story behind them. It's halarious and on-point--- and hipster rag THE FADER gave him a write-up ( )
He's a good kid. Help him out. The 90s zine fanatic in you tells you to order it. LOOKOUT!

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