MRR #385

mrr_385_cvr“Infatigable”

Fuckin’ hell what a crazy month! It’s 23.45, this column is (of course) late and due in a few hours, and I’ve just come back from the Youth Avoiders show in Oakland (they were super tight!) Touring with them right now are also Dry Heaves, but sadly I missed their set as I was literally throwing the last of my boxes into my new room as they were starting their set (I have cool friends who send me text updates because I’m perpetually late for things!) I recorded a radio show with Youth Avoiders and Dry Heaves yesterday, then we got cheesestakes and smoked weed in the park overlooking the SF skyline, freezing as the fog rolled in! …Fuck, I am gonna miss meeting and greeting all the rad punks who came through the house while living at MRR—and the record collection…and shitworkers, and assigning and layouts and emailing back and forth with all of you…

I did two trips with all my crap from SF to my new spot in Oakland, but not before going through three hours of radio post-production hell (with a hangover), literally slamming my laptop shut and shoving it in my bag as the others yelled “Come on, come on! We’ve got to go go go!” But—the radio show was successfully posted and I had so much fun with them all; best punks, the lot of them! Never been to Sheffield, but from the likes of those lads, it’s probably a fun punk scene up there. Check out their sets, they played some cool Sheffield punk! And it was great to see Youth Avoiders pull out French records, all of us geeking out on Taulard and Camera Silens! And of course if you’re a punk with any sense, or taste, you’re obsessing over Rixe right now like I am (eh, and a bunch of other people too). So imagine my delight when I found out that Max, who plays guitar in Youth Avoiders, is also the drummer of Rixe! Tres cool! I confessed that the song “Infatigable,” was like a kick in the ass for me; an emblematic song that gave me strength!

The hunt for a new place to live had seemed endless (technically it started in November) and by April 10 (with April 15 being our move out date) I still hadn’t found anywhere. There were days when I’d wake up to three rejection emails—which I guess is fine because I probably wouldn’t want to live with people whose prerequisites were “No pets. No smoking. No drugs. No overnight guests. No loud music. No parties.” “…and no mail!” added Jason Ryan as I laughed and moaned over another empty beer can, at that point of mental exhaustion when you start to laugh at your own delirium.

There were definitely a few nights when the only thing I did was drink drink drink after a long day of hauling boxes at work, endlessly scrolling through craigslist, getting more depressed and angry at the situation, sad to be leaving but also ansy to be out of limbo land. Getting used to not being at or within a few blocks from MRR, trying to finish up projects and tie up lose ends while poorly balancing my old responsibilities with my new schedule; packing more records and books than I thought I could accumulate in three years, in a country to which I arrived with merely a suitcase.

And then, bam! Record Store Day was already upon us, and (if you hadn’t already guessed) that’s one of Revolver’s busiest seasons. After which we celebrated Liquor Store Day, and just got piddled while moaning and laughing about the craziness we’d all just been through. (Hello Revolver people who read this!)

I have mixed emotions about Record Store Day, so I’ll say this: what may have started as a way to support small, independent record stores, has turned into the music industry’s Black Friday—it’s rather sickening but also not entirely surprising. For decades, the vinyl industry and its pressing plants were held afloat by relatively indie clients; punks obviously never ceasing to need their wax. But this is capitalism we live with, so of course major labels hopped on the chance to make more money from another Grateful Dead record. Also, bitch time, but who really needs another Nirvana covers album? Nirvana covers. Like that band hasn’t been covered to the end of the universe and back already…and even if the bands weren’t meh (which I think they are), their renditions were sometimes painful to sit through…and with the worst fuckin’ baby-blue cover…

On Record Store Day I didn’t buy any records (very consciously so) but I did see Silent Era at Thrillhouse, which has teamed up with Prank Records and added a new section. As Ken Sanderson said, “there’s now a Soundtrack section.” (Fine with me!) Mariam was also in town briefly before flying out to Europe on tour with Permanent Ruin. If they’re coming through your town, make sure you see them, they’re great live and lovely people! Oh, I also had my first Greek experience after three years of living here: I had Easter lunch with a Greek friend, her husband, her mother and…an Australian Orthodox priest (!) who’d lived in Greece for then years…

Now I’m sitting at my new desk, in my new home, eating a stone cold burrito from four hours ago on a plastic Snoopy Christmas plate, exhausted and achy from ten days of couch-surfing all around the Bay (thank you Will, Ben, Travis and Michelle!), wreaking as if I’ve only showered twice in that time (which is a fact) but feeling pretty pumped that this long ass month is almost over! This is my 36th issue of MRR, almost my third month at Revolver (the half-way home for coords) and—omergwad I just noticed—exactly three years since I left Greece to come to SF to coordinate what you’re holding in your hands right now! And tonight is the first night I officially no longer live at MRR… [shivers] Uncanny!

We’re still looking for that special someone to coordinate with team supreme Grace and Eli, so get in touch for an application! You can reach me at lydia@maximumrocknroll.com.

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