j i g s a w

underground since'89

send vinyl, tapes and zines for review to:

tobi vail P.O. Box 2572 Olympia, WA 98507 USA

email mp3's, links, photos and flyers to:


Friday, March 14, 2014

TIGER GRRL: A page from my diary, October 1990

October 21

I practiced with Cathy + Kathleen today and it was (should be thought of as) warranting AMAZEMENT.

A feminist to me means trying to confront sexism and be powerful.

I think I am changing. I am going to ask questions now instead of tell everybody everything.

Bikini Kill is a powerful name, the more people don't like it, the more I realize how great it is. Our band is really great. Nobody will like us though. I think we will be like thee most misunderstood band ever. It is really amazing to finally be playing with other girls again. I can already feel the power of it and the band is fast becoming the most important thing in my life. Kathleen is amazing. I am learning a lot.

Statement of Intent:

To provide support and guidance to the youth with modern punk rock sensibilities

To reclaim the domain of punk

anti-professionalism -- asking questions -- ideas -- anti-macho ritual -- anti-conformity -- form-as-key -- the cassette as access to means of production -- "don't follow rules" means not that everyone should or even could but that you don't have to be status quo -- NOT hardcore -- THIS generation

To set forth the legitimacy of GIRL ROCK. Sisters. Yeah.

incite discourse - - ask questions - - be dorky -- fight sophistication -- network

To work towards making a connection between political struggles against oppression and the new generation of punk

To entertain and alleviate despair

To fight sexism and homophobia

Fight song:

We're the girls with a bad reputation (Yeah you want to get to me) We're the girls with a bad reputation We're gonna make you pay (Hunger is power, desire a fool) Kill yr daddy, fuck yr boyfriend too We're the girls with a bad reputation (We're gonna show YOU what's TRUE) Kathy, Tobi, Kathleen (and Esther too.)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

best of 2013 by ben trogdon

Man, I can’t remember what happened last year! But here are some of my fave things that I’m pretty sure came about in 2013:

BLACK BOOT demo – nasty metal with awesome mid-tempo parts

DRAPETOMANIA live – RIP my favorite band

GLUE live on Xmas – best way to celebrate is with live raw underground punk

WASTE MANGAMENT live – I’m a nerd and 2013 was the first time I got to see this band play live. I’ve seen them play 3 times since then. I love it!

La Misma – I think their song “Waterfalls” was written in 2013. It’s not out yet but that’s my favorite song written in 2013.

PROXY Police Car 7” – My favorite 7” of 2013 for sure! Rockin’ punk metal.

MURDURER / BLACK BOOT / DEFORMITY live at Stolen Sleeves – I drank in the hallway

MILK MUSIC “No Nothing My Shelter” Song / video – Dylan Sharp directed starring Alex Coxen and CarrieKeith. Desert mime dancin’

BLAZING EYE demo – Sounds evil. I love the drumming and vocals.

CONTINGENT demo – Boston melodic real deal new Oi! I love this demo.

NOMAD 12” – So groovy and fun. I listened to this non-stop all year. My fave 12” of 2013.

best of 2013 by chris pugmire


Body/Head - Coming Apart

Broadcast - Berberian Sound Studio

J Graf - The Future is a Faded Song

Iceage - You're Nothing

M.I.A. - Matangi

Pulp - After You 12"/Party Clowns

Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Two


Adalita - All Day Venus

The Ancients - Night Bus

Cybotron - Friday Night at the Totale Theatre - Reissue

Harry Howard and the NDE - Pretty

The Necks - Open

Scattered Order - Planet Scrape

Venom P Stinger - Meet My Friend Venom + What's Yours is Mine + Waiting Room + Walking About - Reissues


Beak> & Anika - Netil House, London

Blank Realm - The Tote, Melbourne

ESG - Hi-Fi, Melbourne

Rowland S Howard Tribute - Palace Theatre, Melbourne

HTRK - Howler, Melbourne

The Pop Group - Pontin's - Camber Sands UK

Television - Pontin's - Camber Sands UK


White Girls - Hilton Als

Debt - David Graeber

Uncommon - Owen Hatherley

Suicide - Édouard Levé

The Femicide Machine - Sergio González Rodríguez


1st year of baby Valentine

New War UK tour

DJing & dancing with ESG!

Raymond Pettibon on Twitter

Sunday, January 5, 2014

best of 2013 by layla gibbon

It’s hard to sum up a year in sound; there are always records I forget about by the beginning of a new year that were all I listened to for months! The trials of modern day existences wiping minds clear when it’s time to compile comprehensive list type documents. I am also doing a year end top ten in the March 2013 Maximum Rocknroll, so this one contains some music that is not all MRR-able (ie came out on labels that maybe have deals with major labels for distribution etc etc or are just not “MRR” core) at any rate, blah blah blah. You can write me at Layla at maximumrocknroll.com A lot of these are things that I just listened to repeatedly, over and over and over on the way to work, always a sign of a record that’s got what it takes to make the maniax on the bus fade away and radiate. The best thing that wasn’t music this year was LIVING BY THE BEACH. Everytime it feels like the world is rotting away from you as it revolves just go to the ocean. OK. Also this isn’t in order and I missed things out I am sure?! It’s mostly punk even tho I listened to many other sounds and ideas throughout the year. I didn’t put any reissues. Past is passed.


This is gonna be on a lot of people’s lists, it’s transcendent /brutal / incendiary, an easy shoe in. I had no idea this was in store after seeing them live, it’s easily the best post Sonic Youth recording, Kim is a genius and this is essential.


Scrape your eyes out rawness from Mexico City; Violeta’s vocals are coal for Christmas, the music is sick and perfect. Everything about this, from the LP cover to the out for blood nature of the punk contained within made me feel alive and ready for action. http://cremalleras.bandcamp.com/album/cremalleras

  Pleasure Leftists, “Elephant Man” 45

I like how it sounds like she’s saying Arrogant Man, her voice is so cool… as distinctive an instrument as Thalia from Come/Live Skull but that sounds so corny, an instrument?! What? She doesn’t sound like Thalia. But at any rate, this record did not leave my turn table all year and they were even better live. Cleveland out of place sounds for out of place people, post-punk but not posed.

  The Nots 45 on Goner

Goner put out 3 or 4 45s a year that are essential, and this was the cream of the crop for 2013. They cite Kleenex as an influence, but it sorta reminds me of a less garage/more punk A-Lines?! But then I watched some youtubes of them playing and there were many other musical dimensions present. So good! Usually 45RPMS is more than enough for most punk acts, keep it brief, the audience needs to sleep but they don’t need you to put em to sleep ya know? But this document made me wish there were 40 more coming out ASAP. A great record and I hope they make more 7”s and go on tour and maybe play the sea cave by my house?http://soundcloud.com/gonerrecords/nots-dust-red-goner-records


I listened to the tape that this 7” (and their other one too I think?!) was culled from a million times, cutting/biting sounds from Australia that is somewhere between Chrome and the first couple Pere Ubu 45s, for some reason it made me think of a more buzz saw Total Control, with less Eno, less head music and more metal box?! Metal machine music. I don’t know it’s just good and rotten ok, I can’t wait to get the LP. Fitting end times capitalism collapse music, ironic and hateful.

  Sauna Youth-False Jesii

I don’t think any of the rest of this band’s music sounds like this at all, but this 45 is a perfect Flatmates/Shop Assistants sound and a mix tape staple for me even tho I do not care for Pissed Jeans (the a-side is a cover of one of their songs), I have never heard the original version but this version is probably way better. The b-side is fresh too. The singer’s voice is so cool.

  The new Wire LP

Someone talked about how great it was, so I listened to it at work, then immediately sent off for it. It’s great, foreboding and a record for our times.


I think this is members of an old anarcho punk band (the apostles?!) and  current London act Hygiene, it’s sounds like a band that would have started after hearing Never Been in a Riot, at any rate makes me think of Mekons at the peak of their powers which is a rare feeling… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrTykvWUqC8


  I LOVE COMET GAIN this song is so good it makes me wanna be Billy Liar and Julie Christie at the same time. Songs for soul mods and crummy punkers. Photobooth photograph fans and delinquent squinters.


ALL GIRL HC FROM CANADA!!!!! It’s the best. The tape is my tape of the century, and the LP took a while to grow, but it planted its seeds and my brain got rotten from em; if you like the song explode by void, and have a brain send off for this.

  Stillsuit LP



All girl group from Oakland who broke up before I saw them or knew of their existence; this 45 rules but I made someone send me their unreleased songs and they are SO GOOD TOO and it makes me sad that this great band dissipated before I got to truly obsess over them! The song Young Professionals sort of reminds me of post-Eno nervous art punk music, it isn’t on the 45 of course, but the songs on the record are great in a UV RACE sort of manner. I mean they just rule and they should at least do a tape discography?! http://pangbandsf.bandcamp.com/http://pangbandsf.bandcamp.com/

  The Courtneys-LP

The guy that put this out sent me an email saying I would like it and he was SO RIGHT; as soon as I heard it I immediately emailed the music editor at Rookie mag and told her teenage girls must know about this band, she agreed and made another million converts! Three women from Canada who simultaneously channel the Clean and Look Blue Goes Purple making rambunctious music for summer all year round adventures. Plaintive and dorky, hilarious and true, once you get hooked (some of my friends have been slow converts for some CRAZY reason) you can’t stop singing random lines… Driving to Santa Cruz along the PCH blasting this and looking out at the ocean reinforced how much I love this band! They are great live too. I really need a copy of their first tape if anyone has one…


I know a few people that were disappointed with Bleached after the force and genius that was Mika Miko, and I think it’s not fair to compare. Bleached are for fans of the Zeros / Go Gos / Ramones / early Bangles etc, perfect LA music, and yeah they wanna make it and are sorta corny, but so were the Go Gos… It’s pop music! It’s just good eating greasy food as the sun sets over the ocean sounds, which is a hard sound to master; there are so many terrible terrible post-Burger Records acts littering highways and dollar bins with tired “beach” dreck. The Clavin sisters write great catchy pop music, and this record is all kicks (I will admit to skippin past some of the syrupy ballads)

  La Luz-It’s Alive

I am putting La Luz next to the Courtneys and Bleached I guess because they are all guilty of having tapes on Burger!? Not that that's a crime. At any rate I love all three. Tobi wrote about La Luz last year and I just didn’t quite get it. The same thing happened with me and the Vivian Girls, it took me until they pretty much weren’t a band anymore to like them! But this time it was a faster process, I got a promo copy of their record and suddenly couldn’t stop listening to it. Everyday on the way to work, while serving customers at work…  As someone who hears all the stuff that gets sent to MRR for review every month I get to listen to all the trends in elmo grind / fonzie sock hop jive / trip crust etc etc, and one thing that is apparent is that the kids LOVE the post Ty Segall/Burger Records  “California Surf  Pebbles Lite” sound. There are so many bands! Most of them unmemorable and as gimmicky as one of those post Jan and Dean surfploitation acts tin pan alley turned out… The garage reviewers grumble about the wimpy music on the constant. Well, I was ready to lump La Luz in with these unlucky hucksters, girl group meets surf music and all, but it was soon apparent that I was addicted to listening to their LP. I mean I love girl groups and certain surf sounds so… I guess I am writing an essay for this one because it’s a current obsession?! They are incredible musicians, the guitar playing is insane, like a session musician from 1964, the singing is silky/doom laden with perfect girl group harmonies, but none of it comes over as sickly and twee and gross and affected. They write great songs, lyrically and structurally, which makes me think that the difference between all the tired acts and this is simply being good at what you do. There is a darkness to their sound that in places reminded me of Quix*o*tic, I think that’s partially because of the echo-y guitar though. It’s very cinematic and the snippets of the lyrics that I can make out are sort of cool and unnerving. Watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRIt3aDX7-k and listen to It’s Alive ok. Also I need their first tape too if anyone’s holdin!


Watching this band play was one of the highlights of the year, real John Brannon style HC frontperson style from Ellie, this record is for fans of No Trend and hardcore and Honey Bane, reckless, fuck you, intelligence, vengeful feminists out for blood FOR LIFE! Good Throb are the best. The end.

  EX-CON-Cuda 45

Out for blood and vengeance; rudimentary destruction that I couldn’t stop listening to, Australian snipers summoning a sort of Babes in Toyland Royal Trux pummel.


  Life Stinks 45

I know the LP has gotten a lot of props but I haven’t gotten a copy yet, and anyway this is the perfect format for their sound. 45RPM! Just a great punk record. If you like music from Cleveland OH from say, 1975-1981 you will want to use this to dig yr own grave. Free with every copy.


  LATE ENTRIES: Household LP / Angie LP

  EXCITED FOR IN 2014: spider and the webs, hysterics, La Misma, Ivy, Family Outing, Failed Mutation, Frau, In School

P.S. add CRAZY BAND LP and SHOPPING LP to my almost made it section!

best of 2013 by mimi thi nguyen

The 2013 standout releases for me include the 45-track survey of Portland’s all-female punk band Neo Boys, called Sooner or Later (K Records); the West London anarcha-feminist art-punk band Androids of Mu’s Blood Robots (1980), reissued by Water Wing Records; Dark Entries’ compilation from Icelandic post-punk Q4U called Q1 Deluxe Edition (1980-1983); the dreamy Elaines 12” from Brooklyn’s post-punk Household; The Younger Lovers’s latest bouncy LP Sugar in My Pocket (Southpaw) and of course, Shopping’s Consumer Complaints LP (Milk), featuring the ever-amazing Rachel Aggs from Trash Kit.

Nyky Gomez may be one of my favorite people I met in 2013. During the week I was on the POC Zine Project tour this October, we shared inappropriately timed jokes and over eleven hours’ worth of trivia and revelations on the drive from Los Angeles to Oakland (Nyky drove the entire stretch, with me co-piloting). This bad bitch bruja runs the brand-new Brown Recluse Zine Distro, boasting a catalog made up of zines written mostly by indigenous peoples and people of color. BCZD is currently fundraising to help support itself, and to furthermore make the entire catalog available to prisoners for free, and to send one copy of every zine in the catalog to existing zine libraries or those starting zine libraries nationally and internationally, especially in indigenous communities and communities of color. Nyky also does the zine Skinned Heart, and her latest issue is by far one of my zine favorites in recent memory. Buy everything from her.

From two of my other favorite zinesters, Anna Vo and Osa Atoe put out the interview-heavy fourth issue of Fix My Head in Fall 2013, just in time for the second POC Zine Project tour. This issue of FMH, like the last, documents punx of color in scenes all over the globe, historically and contemporaneously. This issue includes interviews with Mars from Aye Nako, Textaqueen, Melting Pot Massacre, Daighila, and the amazing Taquila Mockingbird about the early days of punk in Los Angeles. I have to say, however, that Osa’s interview with Golnar Nikpour is my runaway favorite interview. Golnar talks about her all-female QPOC hardcore band In School, her time coordinating Maximum Rocknroll, and her genius thoughts on “punk studies.”

Rosi writes Not Straight Not White Not Male, a text-heavy (literally, there is no layout) zine about being a genderqueer Vietnamese punk kid in Southern California – a zine after my own heart, sniff sniff. The zine was published in December 2012, but I read it in 2013.

Margaret Thatcher died. All our enemies from the ‘80s are dead!

I did a lot of great readings this year, but my favorite has to be the Guillotine Press release of PUNK at WORD Bookstore in June 2013. PUNK is the product/process of a years-long conversation between Golnar Nikpour and me about punk (of course) and race, politics, and historiography. I got to read with Jenny Zhang, a brilliant poet and essayist I first met from the blog Fashion for Writers. Jenny and I both read pieces inspired by Wendy Davis’s all-day filibuster of the Texas State legislature against some of the most restrictive anti-abortion proposals in the United States (which ended in the wee hours of the morning of the release). Novelist and all-around star of smart shit Sarah McCarry, who publishes the Guillotine chapbook series, hosted the release and started us off with a champagne toast to Davis.

My graduate school friend Steven Lee sent me a video of Helen Slater from The Legend of Billie Jean, one of my favorite movies of all time, saying, “Fair is fair, Mimi!” I totally cried with happiness.

In December 2013, I co-organized (with Ruth Nicole Brown, Karen Flynn, and Fiona I.B. Ngô) the Hip Hop and Punk Feminisms conference at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. We wanted to put hip hop and punk feminisms in conversation, especially since all the “third wave feminism” retrospectives seem to somehow ignore the emergence of hip hop feminisms concurrent with riot grrrl feminisms in the same decade. (From our statement: “This symposium stages productive conversations across hip hop and punk feminisms, including questions about the genealogies and as well multiple origin stories for hip hop and punk across diasporas and the globe (against a wholly distinct and discrete genealogy, or singular origin story, for each); about the theories of aesthetics and value that emerge from hip hop and punk cultures, including forms of immanent critique as well as political polemic that imagine futurity or negativity, and the uses and challenges to them from women of color feminisms; and about the ephemeral and haptic qualities of hip hop and punk performances, including the events, actions, and encounters between bodies that shape social and cultural formations within hip hop and punk cultures.”) The highlight for me has to be hosting the intensely powerful, and fiercely generous, Alice Bag in my sleepy cornfield-cornered part of Illinois, and otherwise bringing together some of my favorite zinesters –Nyky, Osa, and Anna—in my college town. Osa and Fiona also played with Alice for an electrifying performance, and may actually become a real band, so I feel I accomplished something this year.