Write Yer Ane Zine

Words about DIY punk; records, shows, interviews, whatever.

REALITY CHECK; VINYL PRESSING

Hello friends, how do?

Everybody knew it was coming but the new reality is here; brexit is already taking its toll and vinyl pressing / shipping costs are going through the roof.

We started the vinyl pressing process for the “LEGACIES” LP from Stonethrower this week to discover that vinyl pressing prices have increased by 10%, with a further 10% increase coming in the next month. That equates to a 20% rise in pressing costs before considering shipping and any potential import taxes.

This, and the fact that major labels and corporates are clogging up record presses worldwide, means that pressing vinyl records is increasingly unsustainable for small DIY / independent labels in the current climate. This, unfortunately, means price rises. We’ve always sought to have our music be accessible and priced accordingly, but a £12 price point for an LP is no longer viable.

As such, we’ve kept the “Pre-Press Preorder” for the Stonethrower LP open. We also still have a few copies of the album on tape, courtesy of our friends at Gold Mold Records. Huge thanks to everyone who has preordered thus far, it’s deeply appreciated.

Grab yours; http://makethatatakerecords.bandcamp.com/album/legacies-lp-order-wax

We’ve also released some new music over the last month or so.

“damaging” is the third EP of explorative lofi diy electronic experimentalism from platitudes (me). The EP contains 40+ minutes of music and is available for free/pay-what-you-want download. A unique 90 minute mix CD is also available in super limited numbers, hand-painted and awhin!

http://makethatatakerecords.bandcamp.com/album/damaging

“Exile” is the latest track from the most dangerous band in Scottish pop-punk, or “a b-side disguised as a single” according to Goodbye Blue Monday.

The long-awaited debut LP will be recorded at the earliest possibility post-lockdown and will land in your ears sometime after that. Grab the single for a refreshing fizzy banger!

http://makethatatakerecords.bandcamp.com/track/exile

We also have NEW MUSIC coming next Friday in the form of the new “Anatomy” EP from our psychedelic aberdoom space punk pals SEAS, STARRY.

Recorded in lockdown, the “Anatomy” EP is a collaborative release with RIPCORD RECORDS handling the physical CD release. MTAT will be handling digital duties. The EP is a rager and Ripcord have a cd preorder going right now.

Grab yours; http://ripcordrecords.bandcamp.com/album/anatomy-ep

There are currently 121 releases available on our Bandcamp page, the vast majority of which are free/pay-what-you-want download. The full digital discography download is currently available for £37.99, bargains from the basement!

There is also a whole bunch of new vinyl and music in the distro including the new “Ask More Questions” LP from DEALING WITH DAMAGE, plus releases from ANTI-FLAG, PITY PARTY, KADDISH, CUSTODY, ELDER ABUSE, CAVALCADES, THE MURDERBURGERS, TNS100 and heaps more.

http://makethatatakerecords.bigcartel.com/product/mtatlps

Talking of increased shipping, our friends at RAZORCAKE are also feeling the burn so, unfortunately, prices will also be going up. If ye haven’t got a copy of issue 121 with Obnox, Shawna Potter (War On Women), How Punk Saved Belfast and more, grab one now!

http://makethatatakerecords.bigcartel.com/product/shirts

Apologies for this not being the most uplifting of messages. MTAT are still not booking shows but hanging in there the noo. The gratitude for the continued support cannot be overstated.

http://makethatatakerecords.bigcartel.com

http://makethatatakerecords.bandcamp.com/music

Stay rad.

Derrick

Fifteen Years of MTAT; Origins, by B.D. Kydd


Shilling records and talking about punk rock feels tone deaf right now, for so many reasons.

It’s been almost one year to the day since the lights went out and live music became something we reminisce about and look forward to again. If last March was “seconds before the floor drops out”, this year is definitely notes from dystopia. It’s been fifteen years to the day since we hosted our first collectively booked show. Today we have no idea when the next one will be. I’m grateful to Barry for taking the time to write this piece, the idea first discussed when throwing ideas around earlier this year. We used to know everyone who came to our shows, now there are no shows to go to at all. What a time to be alive.

MAKE YER ANE COMP VIII is still available with all proceeds being donated to Dundee Women’s Aid. Please take a moment to check out the accompanying PDF zine in the download. Alternatively, please check it online here. End violence against women, in the punk scene, in the music industry and everywhere on this planet.

Thank you to everyone for all the solidarity and support over the years. Music belongs to everyone and, sometimes, when we’ve got it, it’s still a place to go; “say you’ve got a hope, say you want an end to fear. An end to fear”.

I was reminded by Derrick, more informed as I had nae clue, that March 2021 marks 15 Years of the existence of Make That A Take in its earliest guise. All backwards pointing research has always reminded us that it wasn`t till we (the varying different DIY Punk promoters in Dundee) grouped together in efforts to host Glass and Ashes and I-Farm in Dundee, that we realised this was actually a far more sensible way to do things. We would often have gigs happening on the same nights, at different ends of the town, and with a punk scene small enough as it was, this was a situation where no one was winning. Neither party could afford to split a crowd that was all equally relied upon to even break even on guarantees and venue hire. So, when the opportunity to host two brain melting bands on the same bill, and promote it together, and organise it together, and do all the catering and accommodation stuff together, it made perfect sense to join forces. We all knew each other, were all pals, some were in the same bands, so putting our collective efforts, heads, contact lists and connections under the same banner was just logical evolution.  

I had been doing gigs under the moniker of “D4 Towers presents…..” with Ryan Destroy who was my flatmate (at D4 Towers, a rat-infested hovel of a place, our punk house if you will) and on occasion Kev Chin had input also. We had varying successes, such as hosting The Cut Ups‘ first trip north, and it was the perfect platform for our 2 bands to hop on every bill pretty much too. Ryan and Kev played in the Try Hards at the time with Derrick and Andy Chainsaw. I was occupied in 15 Minutes with Mike (Gain) Lindsay and our acoustic approach meant we could, and often did, play anywhere with any set up. There were countless line ups with both our bands opening, I probably have some flyers in a box somewhere, but I can’t really remember much about those years to name bands off the top of my head. It was great fun; it broke the monotony of a working week up and often gave us something to aim towards which in turn motivated creativity within the bands to keep writing and playing new songs. I think back on those times with huge fondness, but it was a very chaotic period in my personal life also, so in many ways this was my distraction and reason to keep going for a good number of years.  

Derrick was, as he still is, absolutely prolific and unrelenting in booking gigs. So many times I went in to book a venue and saw “DEEKER” scrawled in the diary on exact dates we needed. So in many ways it was also a relief that we would be working together. We tended to only put on gigs for bands we liked, and wanted to see. Derrick was always using his initiative and booking EVERYONE, within reason, that was offered, clearly with a view to racking up as many “favours” and gig swaps as possible with bands all over the UK and further afield. It worked, without question. Derrick and in turn MTAT grew into almost every bands “go to” crew for hitting up the east of Scotland. No mean feat. And to give him his dues, there was many times when he booked bands we`d never heard of but that turned out to be totally awesome. And so friendships and contacts grew far and wide on this premise of – we`ll scratch your back if you scratch ours when we hit your town on tour.  

The early days are extremely sketchy in my memory I must admit. I was a reasonable shambles of a human being at that time. Struggling on many fronts and refusing help. I had thrown myself into punk rock from my late teens and as some constants in my life disappeared, new ones found me and MTAT was definitely one of them. I was spiralling out of control with the booze and self-destructive lifestyle that I suppose I felt I had no choice but to live at the time. I lived in a punk house, we hosted punk bands most weekends who wanted to party and I loved it. I cannot deny that. But I hated the toll it took on me and went for a long time pretending I had it under control. Undoubtably the band, the music, the promoting, the gigs and the involvement in OUR scene was hugely significant in me wanting to stick around and remain a part of it. I see now how valuable that sense of belonging was to me.  

It always felt that way too, really like it was ours you know. No one else would be taking a chance on hosting these bands in Dundee but we always did. We knew we could promote the fuck out of it, book popular local acts to open and if the headline band were shit then so what, we would have covered what we needed to by stacking the bill. But VERY rarely did we host a shit band, in fact I do struggle to think of even one. We were making something that we could all be proud of, and it made me intensely happy when bands woke up on our floor the morning after a gig and said – “that was the best show of our tour by far”.

We`d put our own experiences of touring right at the forefront of what we did and tried to create an experience for the bands the WE knew we would enjoy if it were us. Bands were so appreciative of the efforts we went to, and word spreads within a tight knit community like DIY Punk, which was great news for our future prospects.

Book Yer Ane Fest became our annual “punk rock Christmas”, something we worked towards and loved to do each year. It was a chance to bring pretty much every band who had passed through during the year back for a weekend carnival of carnage. It also gave us the opportunity to throw out speculative invites to “GOD TIER” bands to try and entice them to come headline and to raise a heap of cash for charity at the same time. We got lucky a heap of times (LEATHERFACE!!!!! – that was me btw, booking wizard here) and created many full weekends with a level of joy that was unknown to me at hometown gigs til then. The 1st one was in Perth at the Green Room, then our relationship with Kenny Gray and David Crowe, the management of Kage Nightclub in Dundee allowed us unparalleled access to their gaff and they pretty much let us do what we wanted. Which was insane, but probably necessary. Things just seemed to go from strength to strength and everyone mucked in to make sure it was a success. We all cooked everyday and brought fresh warm food for the touring bands, we had to divide up accommodation and give bands places to sleep, we relied heavily on gear being loaned or donated, we made all the banners and posters, Neil Quinney and I would typically DJ afterparty sets til 3am, it was as DIY as it gets. A real community effort. And again, hearing people tell us it was among their best festival experiences was just insane, but so pleasing.  

In amongst all of this we put on some of my favourite bands of all time, hosted my favourite ever gig in Dundee – DEAD TO ME @ KAGE, made friendships that will last lifetimes, brought bands over from all around the world, MTAT Records was born and has put our nearly 120 releases, we heard our reputation spread far and wide and built something to truly be proud of in our hometown. MTATs spiritual home is secured for hopefully a long time now with the introduction of RAD APPLES at Conroys and of course, Conroys Basement under it, where gigs will be in full flow again soon with some luck.  

Dead To Me in Kage, February 2012.

To summarise I guess it’s a fairly simple story; no one would book our bands so we did it ourselves, no one would release our bands recordings so we did it ourselves, no one was bringing bands to Dundee that we connected with so we did it ourselves, no one had created a true punk community so we did it ourselves, no one was running a full punk weekend rammy so we did it ourselves and finally – no one had a venue that wholly ascribed to our way of thinking, our morals, our ethical outlook and with a dedication to being a safe and inclusive space for everyone that wanted to use it, so we found one and made it ourselves.

I`ve stepped WAY back from my involvement in the collective and made that move a few years ago now. I had a newfound commitment to family life and not wanting to give a false impression to the crew that I could still be of use and be called upon to help, I made that choice. I have continued to support, watch and admire from a punters perspective and don’t suppose that will ever change. MTAT was/is/will be a big part of my life. I`m delighted to have been involved in some small part, and to have some recorded material that bears the now famous logo is a constant source of pride.  

Its fair to say, my experiences of DIY music in Dundee would have been nothing if not for MTAT. We lived, loved, learned and indeed lost together as a collective but there was always an eye on what’s next, and I don’t think that fire will go out for a long long time. It makes a huge difference when people truly care, and really give a shit about what they do and who they do it for. That’s always what has made MTAT stand out and be appealing to bands/promoters/punters alike. The same kind of people, wanting the same common goal – an environment to be expressive without fear of judgement or reprimand. On record, on stages, in person, in print and media; MTAT delivers that. Always has and always will.

DIY or DIE.  

Barry Kydd, March 2021.

Our first ever pre-press vinyl pre-order is for the incredible “LEGACIES” LP from the mighty STONETHROWER. Be the first to get your hands on a copy, get YOUR NAME in the “thanks” list, the satisfaction of helping us get this record to press, and a whole slab of COOL FREE SHIT. You’ll get an instant digital download of the album too. 50% of digital-only purchases are continuing to be donated to CRER Scotland. All the support is appreciated. Pre-order here through Bandcamp or here to be fee-less!

The current 119-release MTAT discography digital download is currently available with 90% off, for £3.90, or pay whatever you want. We’ve had over a quarter of a million streams on our page since its creation, pretty wild numbers for such a small and localised operation. There are some rare old gems in there, if I do say so myself. As always, much love to those who have entrusted me with their music over the years.

There are 400+ live videos from over the years to be found on Cowpunk TV.

There are HUGE piles of vinyl, CDs, zines, shirts (well, a couple) and heap of other swag here. All quality, all reasonably priced.

All MTAT history/links/propaganda can be found here.

If you have joy, spread it.

Peace, xdkrx.

Tragical History Tour – “Live at Kesbri Studios”

“Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.” 
– Arthur Schopenhauer 

Recorded live at Kesbri Studios, Bolton at various points along the “Aphorisms” LP trail throughout 2017/2018. 

Performed by Tragical History Tour. 
tragicalhistorytour.bandcamp.com

Recorded, mixed & mastered by Ant Booth. 
www.kesbristudios.com

Artwork by Gordon MacKenzie. 
mackenziefoto.com

This collection contains tracks that originally appeared on benefit compilations. We continue to support these causes and would encourage folx to check out their vital work. 

SkatePAL –  www.skatepal.co.uk
Samaritans –  www.samaritans.org
Scottish Association for Mental Health – samh.org.uk

This collection contains covers of Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Tim Holehouse, Uniforms and traditional songs.
All rights reserved by the copyright owners, etc. Thank you to all the labels for being rad.

I owe debts that can never be repaid.
Eight folds, twelve steps, one life.
For Elise, Blake, Hannah, Matty D & Elwen.

Photo by Gordon MacKenzie

“My name’s Derrick or Deeker or Deek…”

I’m pretty sure those were the first words Deek ever said to me. You’d expect so, anyway. It would be a weird thing to say midway through a conversation.

I first met Deek at the Zebra pub in Cambridge. I’d gone down to watch local favourite Sam Russo, and Tragical History Tour – as well as Billy Liar and Ed Ache – rounded off the bill. Myself and James Hull were putting together the first issue of our zine – “Excuse Me, Do You Have Any Cocaine”, later renamed “Kill Your Own” after James left – and attempting to interview whoever was willing. We managed to pin Deek down for an interview and thus began a decade+ friendship between myself and my North-of-the-Border-Brother-From-Another-Mother.

I’d get to know Deek and keep an eye on Tragical History Tour – as well as Make-That-a-Take Records, Book Yer Ane Fest, and everything else Deek is involved in – and would end up co-releasing the THT full length “Aphorisms” on MTAT and my own Aaahh!!! Real Records. I’m proud of most of the things I’ve released, but Aphorisms is definitely in the ‘God Tier’ of Aaahh!!! releases. MTAT even co-released my last release under my “MC iPod” moniker, which would help spread my white-boy-nerd-rap to a new audience.

So, when Deek suggested I write a short intro for this live release, I jumped at the chance. Mostly to give myself another opportunity to thank him for everything he’s done for me, and to publicly state how proud I’ve always been – and continue to be – of him.

I love you brother.”

Ian / Aaahh!!! Real Records

4th February 2021

Shop

Plague Diaries; Two

(Full disclosure; I started this a week ago and didn’t get my finger out, so this’ll be non-sequitorial as fuck. Shit happens.)

These are sketches, not theses.

Not every post on the internet is a declaration of an ideological position, but industrialised capitalism is the enemy.

Approaching five weeks of lockdown and we still haven’t completely lost our minds. I’ve put on weight. This has probably been the most extended period of healthier eating that I’ve experienced in about twenty years. My mother will be relieved, she thinks I’m wasting away every time she grabs my bones when giving me a cuddle. Well fed but with ants in pants and the knowledge that it’s hardly suffering to be indoors, we deconstruct existence through curated newsfeeds.

Unstable Unicorns comes highly recommended.

It’s been nice to have some time, a little breathing space, but we’re keenly aware of the privilege of our position. The stories are getting worse every day; this morning they’re talking about temporary morgue at the technology park and how we’re running out of body bags. Just a couple months ago, we were discussing the possibilities of a park and ride there, now we’ll be prepping to stack corpses, if some stories are to be believed.

Tesco breadlines

I think it’s pretty clear to everyone that neoliberalism has succeeded in protecting the rich and fucking up everything else. I started writing this blog a week ago, got distracted, and we’re drowning in more data and (dis)information every day, so this particular screed is non-linear, even by my own skewed shitty standard. That nobody has any trust; institutionally, culturally, inter-personally; is of no great surprise. Roasters gon’ roast.

Dundee streets

The American preppers who’ve spent the last twenty years getting ready for the “impending race war” or whatever misguided bloodthirsty nazi bullshit these clowns spout are fucking insane. To say they’ve picked up the wrong end of the stick would be a considerable understatement. Be careful what ye wish for, ye may just get it, “hard” Brexit and that. Maniacs of the far-right aside, if you are out and about on your government-mandated daily exercise or getting supplies and see someone out there on the street struggling, please god give them a hand if you’re in a position to safely do so.

We demonstrably can’t depend on the criminally-negligent powers that be to take care of us, each other or our communities, and that stretches from the essential frontline staff of the NHS to the homeless dude begging for something to eat on the street; they don’t give a fuck about any of us if it ain’t lining pockets, yo. We can dream of post-crisis accountability but we live in world where Tony Blair is considered the measured voice of the labour movement and not a war criminal, so I don’t have high hopes.

Cheers to the troops at Food Not Bombs for putting this graphic together.

This has been longest period of time without being at or playing a show in my life. I miss the live punk rock exorcisms pretty badly. However, this has also been useful, insofar as it is clearly not solely loud music that causes and perpetuates the ringing in my ears. I’ve been for multiple hearing tests and can hear all frequencies. I suspect it’s got something to do with dead nerves or directionless pathways in my broken tooth, long overdue removal after being broken in a ruckus outside Kage thirteen years ago or so. The less said about that, the better, but I really should go and get that tooth pulled. Either way, ear plugs strongly recommended.

Also, I’d suggest vocalists should be buying and bringing their own microphones to shows. This is something that I’d recommend anyways, but doubly so now. I took one telling, once, from a massive scary fucking sound man for swinging his mic around at a Joey T show; “if you’re gonna pull that poser shit, bring your own fucking mic”. Yessir!

2xLP on No Idea Records

Given that we’ve got some time on our hands, Purple Haze and I have been working through the record collection from front to back. Like everybody else, we’ve been keeping in touch with everyone on social media. We both have siblings with toddlers, friends with families, and I’ve seen a lot of reminiscing online. Seismic catastrophic shocks will give rise to pondering, to reflection and shifts in perspectives. I wrote this about booze four years ago. I’ve seen Jonny recalling some Uniforms stories on FB and was reminded when we got to “B” about The Bomb.

Uniforms played with them at the post-Book Yer Ane Fest show in Edinburgh, I think it was either BYAF VII or VIII, whatever one happened in 2013. I was full of self-congratulations as I’d managed to “behave” myself all weekend, at the after-party I was merely “letting off steam” because I “deserved” it. All utter bullshit, of course, the lies that we tell ourselves. It had been a long weekend for everybody and, quite rightly, Jonny was in no mood for my shite after he’d packed the van, which I didn’t even realise he’d done. Despite the fugue and everything that followed, I remember his words clear as day; “ye can either get in the van and I’ll drop ye at yer door, nae bather, or ye can stay with that prick and yer one yer own”. I stayed with that prick. A blessing in disguise, I guess, as that was the last time I ever drank.

Guid colour, pals!

“The Half Life Of Teaspoons” is the debut LP from Follow Your Dreams. It is out now on TNS Records and 5 Feet Under Records and I implore you to go and check it out immediately. There’s always a lot of hyperbole gets thrown around about “pushing the boundaries” of hardcore when a new, fresh and exciting record drops, but, on this occasion, I think it is truly merited. Follow Your Dreams are not an easy proposition; confrontational, contorted, driving, furious, angular, articulate, passionate, literate, rocking, packed full of noise/samples/RIFFS and fucking A+ philosophical lyrical content. It’s one of the most ferocious and exciting UK hardcore records I’ve heard in a long time, something like Crows An Wra meets Converge meets Punch meets Crass, absolutely jawdroppingly wonderful stuff. Buy it.

Razorcake #114. We have some copies in the distro.

While I’m sure everyone who reads this will broadly agree that the most that we’re in has been a long time in coming; that a decade of Tory austerity has stripped the state and civil society of its heart and capacity to cope in times of crisis, and that our current governmental, parliamentary, economic and ecological institutions are no longer fit for purpose and that we are, existentially and for lack of a better word, fucked. The “normal” that many long to get back to isn’t, wasn’t and never has been normal. The emergency response stimulus packages thrown together by governments around the globe has proven that, once again, the magic money tree does indeed exist, especially when it threatens to the future capacity of those with means and capital to continue to grow them in future. The entire construct has been exposed as a sham and Piers fuckin’ Morgen is being lauded as a national hero sticking it to the government. We are through the looking glass, freedom is slavery, etc.

Prepare for tomorrow today, the future will be built from the ashes of the industries and institutions that have destroyed our ecosystems. They’ll be paying you to fill up at Tesco shortly, oil is worthless in an economy without consumption. We need a transformative global socialist green new deal and we need it forty years ago.

I’ve got some more coherent ideas about this but riffing it out on the blog right now ain’t the moment.

Shupostekud Drone Party

We started doing DAE YER ANE STREAMS this week with Jason kicking things off with a Shupostekud set on Monday night. It’s dystopian as fuck that we’ve already normalised communicating with our loved ones exclusively be electronic means but I guess if there’s a positive lesson to be taken from the alienation, the learning points towards gratitude and appreciation. I know I am guilty, as fuck, of taking those around me for granted, especially those who you share space/art/principles/love with, when things are “good”; it shouldn’t take crisis, or a intersecting crises, the get the ego in check but, alas, here we are regretting being an arsehole for the millionth time. Tell the people that you love that you love them when you have the chance to do so.

Alldeepends took the stream on Tuesday night and provided one of the most entertaining lockdown sets that I’ve seen so far. Ye cannae go wrong with two transatlantic maniacs armed with banjos, bongos, punk rock bangers and firecrackers. Their “Hello MY NAME IS” 7″ is now available for pre-order from the MTAT Bandcamp page and they’ve got a couple of truly superb DIY music videos up on Cowpunk TV. We’ve also just uploaded “In Ruins”, a new short film from Owen McLaughlin, a live Dog Eared video covering Chewing On Tinfoil and some live footage of Seas, Starry from the last night of Dundee Women’s Festival, the last show held in Conroy’s Basement, courtesy of Johnny P. Threshold.

There are 300+ videos from over the last decade or so, many of them fair cringey if you’re me, up there for your delectation, please feel free to have a deep dive and let us know what ye think. If you’d like to publish something on Cowpunk TV or Write Yer Ane Zine, get at me and we can sort something out. All content will be considered, have ye read some of the shit I’ve written on here?!?

Dae Yer Ane Streams schedule

Queequeg’s Coffin will be bringing the ruckus to Dae Yer Ane Streams this evening (if I ever got this damn thing done and published) with Buffalo Heart on Thursday before Chris Snelgrove beams into our living rooms from Montreal. We’ve got four sets happening over the weekend from Paper Rifles (go download their new “Headstrong” EP immediately, all proceeds to Health In Mind), Dog Eared, Beth Wood of Sofa Time and the wonderful Little Anchors on Sunday evening. All sets streaming from the Make That A Take FB Page. Week Two details coming so, if we decide to do a Week Two, which we probably will.

It’s not ideal, it’s not much, but at this stage in the game, you truly do what you can with what you’ve got.

Good old ice cream eyeball, by Jamie.

With Rad Apples being closed, we have no physical store and, obviously, there are no shows to sell records at. As such, Purple Haze and I FINALLY got to stock-taking and making a full inventory of the records, CDs, cassettes and all other merch, which is now available online through our Bigcartel page. We’re got STACKS of vinyl going and we’re down to last items on a whole bunch of things, so if you’ve ever wanted to own a copy of The Fur Coats’ “Short-Brain” EP on snot green 7″ vinyl, now is your time to do so. That Goodbye Blue Monday EP is gonna be ebay gold one day, mate. Five small MTAT HXC Cross shirts left too. Cool free shit with all orders.

 

 

MTAT also released the new “Luxury Interior” EP from Concept Car. Four tracks of blissed-out 80s-inspired transcendental synth-fuelled float-y post-rock goodness for free/pay-what-you-want download. All proceeds to the Cowpunk Defence Fund. Spaces cost money and that.

I couldn’t be more grateful to be facing the future with Purple Haze. It’s been thirty three days or something since our business closed and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She’s been sitting sewing masks while I’ve been spewing forth spoiled bratty screeds on the internet. I love her, she’s the best. She is also absolutely wise to bullshit, of which I spew plenty, and mental riffage can be a form of sport.

Talking of bullshit, “On Bullshit” by Harry Frankfurt may be the preeminent essay of our late-capitalist times, “Calling Bullshit” an online course all internet users could benefit from. With the world at your fingertips, ignorance is no excuse.

If you’re in a position to do so, find a local mutual aid network and get involved. Here’s a list of vital services in Dundee, cribbed from one of the online support groups. Cheers to Steve Not Bombs Dundee for bringing it to my attention. I’ve just straight copied and pasted it, so, ken. For web links, just search your preferred engine provider.

Groups & Organisations providing support during COVID-19z

Domestic Abuse Helpline 24 hour helpline
Domestic abuse helpline: 0800 027 1234

Dundee Women’s Aid Phone, text & e-mail support – domestic abuse support & access to refuge
Helpline: 01382 207099 (check opening hours)
Text: 07763 682 105
E-mail: support@dundeewomensaid.co.uk

Rape Crisis Helpline every day 6pm – midnight
08088 01 03 02

Women’s Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre. Live chat & phone support – sexual violence, abuse & exploitation. Dundee Helpline: 01382 205556

Abused Men in Scotland: Call 0808 800 0024 Mon – Fri, 9am – 4pm

Boomerang Centre: Distributing sandwiches, fruit, bottled water and school meals. Mon – Fri 12:30pm – collect from 10 Kemback Street. Bring carrier bag.

Broughty Ferry Foodbank :Food parcel delivery. Delivering Tue & Friday. Make a referral online.

Camperdown & Lochee Ministry (CALM) :collection/delivery of prescriptions for those self-isolating & delivery of emergency shopping essentials Call 07903673547 (Between 13th-19th April call 07511713940).

Coldside Community Cupboard: Fruit, vegetables and bakery to take away Collect Mon – Friday 10am – 2:30pm, outside Maxwell Centre.

Community Fridge, Perth Road: Open as usual
Open 11am – 4pm.

Eagles Wings & Parish Nursing:Small food parcel collection available. Collect between 1 – 3pm Monday – Thursday from Eagles Wings, 10 Douglas street.

Dundee Thegither :Food parcel delivery
E-mail covid19dundee@yahoo.com / call: 01382 413072

Haven on Hilltown: Food available to collect
Collect Wed and Thurs 11:30am – 12:30pm

Kirkton Food Larder: Food available to collect each Thursday between 11am and 3pm. Contact the Larder through Facebook to arrange to collect.The Larder now based at the Attic Lounge, Beauly Avenue, Kirkton.

Lifegate Church: Soup, sandwiches and snacks to take away. Collect Tuesday & Fridays between 11am – 1pm

Lochee Community Larder: Food deliveries and collection available. Call between 10 & 11am 01382 936191. Open Mon, Wed & Friday between 10 – 2pm. Collection from 5 Whorterbank.

Menzieshill Church: Various food items to take away. Mon – Friday, 12:30 – 1:30pm (free school meals to take away); Mon, Wed & Fri 1-3:30pm (FoodBank); Wed 1-3pm (takeaway soup); Thursday 11am – 1pm (Food Hub)

RockSolid @ Douglas & Mid Craigie Church: Community larder, soup to take away & takeaway school meals Mon-Fri, 12:30pm (free packed lunch school meals), Wed & Fridays 2-3pm (Food Larder). Please bring your own bag. 1 bag per household. Deliveries are possible. Please PM the RockSolid FB page or email angie@rocksolid.org.uk to request a next-day delivery Mon-Fri.

Salvation Army: Food bags, tea & coffee to collect
Collect from Salvation Army, Thurso Crescent Mondays 12-2pm and Fridays 6 – 7:30pm.

St Lukes Church, Downfield: Food bag delivery
Call 07711410017 between 9am – 3pm every day. Deliveries after 3pm.

St Mary’s Church: Food bags to collect
Collect Saturday between 1-2pm from Grays Lane, Lochee

St Paul’s Group: Hot drinks, filled rolls, fruit & cake to take away. Collect Saturday between 7:30 – 8:30pm from South Tay Street car park (across road from Lidl/Overgate car park entrance)

Taught by Muhammad FoodBank : Food bag delivery only. Call 07505009097 to arrange.

Tele Taxis VARIOUS: Support with collection of supplies & prescriptions for older/vulnerable people Call 01382 825825.

The Friary FOOD & TOILETRIES:Tea/coffee available. Food & toiletry packs to take away
Collect from Tullidepth Rd. Mondays between 10:30am – 12:30pm.

Transform TOILETRIES: Free sanitary products
Call 07849 085 007 or e-mail sanitaryproducts@transformcd.org for support.

Whitfield Food Larder FOOD: Supporting mainly own volunteers and participants but if you live in DD4 area and require urgent food bag, get in touch. Contact via Facebook.

Mental health support

Age Scotland: Free, confidential phone service for older people, their carers and families in Scotland. Call 0800 12 44 222 Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm

Alternatives Listening Rooms Helpline for pregnancy choices, abortion/miscarriage support
Phone 01382 221112 (24 hour answering service) or text 07599 955231 to make an appointment.

Breathing Space Phone support for people feeling low, anxious or isolated Call 0800 83 85 87 – advisors are available in the evenings (6pm – 2am) and at the weekends (24 hours)

CALM Helpline for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. Call 0800 58 58 58 or live chat here (open 5pm – midnight every night)

Camperdown & Lochee Ministry Team Befriending for older/vulnerable people in the Lochee area. Listening service for those concerned about their mental wellbeing or substance usE-mail RGrahame@churchofscotland.org.uk
Call Louise on 07511713940 for listening service.

Community Companions Phone support/listening service. Call 01382 305736, 07983707168, 07939154330 or e-mail communitycompanions@dvva.scot.

Cool 2 Talk: YOUNG PEOPLE: Confidential and safe space where young people aged between 12 and 26 can get questions answered accurately and without judgement as well as access the 121 counselling service. Visit http://www.cool2talk website

Cruse Bereavement Helpline BEREAVEMENT: One-to-one support for people facing bereavement
Call 0845 600 2227

Dundee Thegither General phone social support.
Call 01382 413072.

Dial-OP Blether Buddies & Morning Call Phone support for vulnerable people. Offer two different telephone services – a Morning call which is a quick 4-5minute check in to see the person is well and has everything they need. The other service is a Blether Buddy where volunteers are matched with a vulnerable person and they blether together once a week for 20-30 minutes, building relationships and sharing news and stories and keeping connected. A vulnerable person can choose one service or both.
Access via: VolunteerDundee.org or via email – dialop@dvva.scot or phone 01382 305757.

Feeling Strong
YOUNG PEOPLE: Providing support via video chat including peer support, talk about the difficulties of isolation, and ask for a food/care package to be delivered to you. Talk about your mental health, recovery and self-care. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1500-1800. Visit book.feelingstrong for more info and to make an appointment

Healthy Minds Network
Phone support and live chat on Facebook. Virtual Drop ins (group video chat) on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30pm – 2pm.
Contact Lynsey McCallum on 07530237465 / lynseymccallum@dvva.scot; Louise McEwan 07948239575 / louisemcewan@dvva.scot
Virtual drop in spaces should be booked in advance.

LGBT Helpline Scotland
Information and emotional support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families, friends and supporters across Scotland. Support for those questioning or wanting to discuss their sexuality or gender identity.
Call 0300 123 2523 Tue & Wed (12-9pm) or live chat.

Living Life Appointment-based CBT support for people who are feeling low, anxious or stressed
Call 0800 328 9655 Mon – Fri (1 – 9pm)

Lochee Baptist Chapel Chaplaincy Support Helpline. Listening service for those experiencing stress, anxiety, fear, anger, addiction, suffering, grief, relationship breakdown etc.
Call 01382 612348 Mon – Fri 3-4pm. Leave message out with these times and someone will get back in touch.

Making Recovery Real: Phone support and live chat on Facebook
Call Michelle Donoghue on 07377788817 / e-mail michelledonoghue@dvva.scot.

NHS Tayside Community Listening Service Listening service to talk to someone if you are worried/upset. Phone appointments available Mon – Friday. Call or text 07967771941.

Samaritans Phone support for worries, concerns, suicidal thoughts etc. Call 116 123 free 24/7

SHOUT Crisis Support: Text-based crisis service for people struggling to cope and need immediate help. Text Shout to 85258

SilverLine OLDER PEOPLE: Free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call 0800 4 70 80 90 Freephone service

Uppertunity/ Phone call listening support only for people with additional needs, families & carersCall 07931560936 or 07948212504 (9am – 6pm)

Young Minds YOUNG PEOPLE: Online resources to support young people who are worried or concerned: visit website.

Substance use / alcohol support

AA & NA online meetings Online sessions available
Various online sessions.

Albert Street Hub Essential drop-in support Drop in at Boots Albert Street Hub Monday, Tuesday & Thursday – times flexible – call 01382 206888.

Crossreach Tayside Support Services. Phone support and online recovery meetings Monday – Friday Call Lucie on 07384836092 Monday to Friday; Stan on 07384836091 Monday to Wednesday; Nan on 07909253840 Monday to Friday. E-mail nan.boyd@crossreach.org.uk or recoveryatthefriary@yahoo.com.

Drinkline Scotland Free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm)

Hillcrest Futures: Harm Reduction Centre at the Cairn Centre, 12 Rattray Street Dundee. Lunch packs available every Tue & Friday. Telephone support to anyone struggling with their own, a family member’s or loved one’s substance use.
Opening times: Monday 9-5; Tuesday 10-6; Wednesday 9-5; Thursday 9-5; Friday 10-6. Phone support: Les 07734599521; Paul 07917585530; Alan 07452917976; Kelly 07725593900; Graeme 07452923544.

NHS Tayside (Safer Injecting) Delivery of injecting equipment and naloxone kits Call Hillcrest Futures on 01382 200532 Mon – Fri 10am – 4pm (naloxone & injecting equipment); We Are With You on 07760755673 Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm (naloxone only). Order online.

NHS Tayside (Harm Reduction Nurses) Wound care and anti-biotics, BBV testing, advice on safer substance use, naloxone
Face to face: Cairn Centre, 12 Rattray Street, Dundee Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm. Call 01382 496745 Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm.

NHS Tayside (online advice) Advice for people who use drugs.

Peer Recovery Network: Phone support for people affected by substance or alcohol use. E-mail peersuppor@dvva.scot or call 077199957849.

RecoverTay: Telephone and online support for anyone struggling with their own, a family member’s or loved one’s substance use RecoverTay are available to offer support through their Facebook page.

Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs
Helpline and live chat support if you are concerned about someone else’s alcohol or drug use. Chat, offer advice and information, and link you either into their services or services local to you. Call 08080 10 10 11 weekdays 9am – 11pm.
E-mail helpline@sfad.org.uk

SMART Recovery – online meetings Online sessions available every day

Tayside Council on Alcohol: Phone support available. Call 01382 456012. Alternativey e-mail enquiries@alcoholtayside.com or contact via Facebook.

Terrence Higgins Trust: Phone & e-mail advice for people living with HIV Call 0808 802 1221 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm Mon – Fri.
E-mail info@tht.org.uk

We Are With You (formerly Addaction)
Free confidential support to people experiencing issues with drugs, alcohol or mental health
Call 01382 206888 or access their web chat.

Hope some sense was gleamed from this stream-of-subconsciousness and barely concealed disgust. Love, of course, would probably be the more compassionate approach to healing, but I’m preoccupied with the rules of engagement for Guillotine or Gulag?.

Peace.

xdkrx

Plague Diaries; One

“You should keep a journal, they’ll teach this in school a hundred years from now”.

My sister is one of the most measured, prodigious and driven human beings I’ve ever known. She is very good at being an adult and a functional human being and, given that I’m the younger of the siblings, the first yardstick by which I measure myself. I’ve always felt somewhat lagging, but reassured myself in characteristically self-delusional fashion that I was the creative one. Utter bullshit, obviously, but that’s for another time. History is written by the victors.

There’s a cacophony of noise despite dead streets. I’ve barely written a word of prose since the Brexit referendum but it feels like I’ve never stopped trying to carry the message, in the parlance of recovery. It’s a pity discourse has descended into screeching at a wall in mini-sociology essays on fuckin’ facebook; a practice I detest in others and loathe more deeply in myself, yet onwards we go; riffing on addiction, capitalist alienation and attendant demoralisation, without the hope of hope; the primary cause of death by suicide.

Now may not be the time for punk rock shows, but it’s definitely time for the lessons that punk rock has taught us. In times of chaos and confusion, clarity is key or, as Mick would’ve said, “the six P’s”; prior preparation prevents piss-poor performance; I’m deeply colonised (again, for another time). Fuck knows how you’d prepare for this, eh Tories?

We’re in this for the long haul, now is time to focus thinking, to move beyond rhetoric into applied philosophy and action.

Joe Exotic is a weapons-grade roaster, by the way.

 

Aftermath of a cowpunk ruckus.

 

Behind the bar at Dundee Women’s Fest.

 

Word on the street…

 

Stage set for Dundee Women’s Festival

 

Oil and water on tarmac gutter canvas

 

Turnstile at Glasgow Garage. Great fun but GAG stole the show.

 

The City Is Yours

 

The roads have never been this silent.

 

Without darkness, there can be no light.

 

Hardcore is a source of that light.

 

Fourteenth Birthday didn’t feel hugely like a party, more a holding ritual.

 

Work biyz, miss ye.

 

From Donna Ramone’s column in Razorcake 115. Art by Bon3dust.

 

Fuck Wetherspoons, dead city or otherwise.

 

Moscow, 91.

 

Mandated at 6pm; closed by 6.05pm.

 

A silent and heavy load-out.

 

Gravity.

 

Art by unknown.

 

Oil has no value in an economy without consumption.

 

Even in blackouts.

 

C. Gull kens better than Boris.

 

Art by Yugø (?)

 

Despite everything, deep inexpressible fervent hope remains.

 

The final punk 7″ of the neoliberal capitalocene?

 

In half-light we float onwards into the abyss.

 

Energy doesn’t die, it merely transforms.

 

Pin-drop human silence, bird riffs for days.

 

Everything that is has been willed, usually by cunts.

 

Rad Apples is closed, for now. Make That A Take aren’t taking any bookings at the moment and, at very least, all April and May shows are off. There are likely to be more cancellations; it’s not unimaginable that we’ll be lucky to get a gig this year, let alone a festival. The AJJ show remains on, at this time, but is subject to change. MTAT will do our best to keep everyone informed of any and all developments. It’s a fucking nightmare, for sure. Sorry to folk who’ve been trying to get in touch, things have been pretty overwhelming, as I know they’ve been for most.

All things considered, I consider myself exceptionally lucky. I can’t express how grateful I am to be living through this nightmare with Purple Haze, the most loving, compassionate and radical human being I have ever known. We’re currently listening to Beastie Boys (“Paul’s Boutique”, thanks for asking) whilst screenprinting and blogging respectively, and acknowledge the deep privilege of that position. We always joked that it’d take the collapse of western civilisation before we finally took a break…

If you’d like to show us solidarity at this time, we’d love to sell you some records and music. There are 100+ releases available from the MTAT Bandcamp page and a STACK of vinyl/CDs/cassettes/swag for sale at our Bigcartel page. Ye can also download the debut single from ALLDEEPENDS here, 7″ pre-order coming this week. Rad Apples are selling gift vouchers for future dinners too. I’d dearly love to smash a Cowpunk Burger into my face right now.

 

Take a read of this, this, this, this, this, this and this, if ye fancy.

Mutual aid and community solidarity is more important now than ever so stay close, stay in contact but also take care of yourself. Too much social media and too much boozin’ is bad for your health, especially if ye combine the two, in my experience!

Is this The End Of History?

Perhaps the end of the end of history?

We’re through the looking glass and into the abyss that’s been staring through us since we forgot the lessons of the last hundred and fifty years. Shit is scary but we WILL get through and, together, we’ll build the new world.

Stay safe, friends.

– xdrkx

‘Ugly David’

‘Ugly David’

An essay by Dom Kaddish

I wasn’t in the habit of noticing it at all: a small rectangular fridge magnet bearing a likeness of the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume, gifted to me by an eccentric member of the Hume Society many years ago….It is frankly hideous: Hume’s likeness comes from a bad waxwork, and it looks like he is melting. To avoid offending my eyes with it, I had placed this piece of cheap and ugly plastic on the side of the fridge. It was meant to be; out of sight, out of mind; (And, more to the point, out of sight and mind for potentially curious houseguests).

But there I was in the kitchen last night, doing the dishes as a way of 1.) hiding from the kids for ten minutes, and, 2.) focusing on something small, tedious and halfway in the midst of the (mindboggling and bewildering) COVID-19 crisis in the UK, when Ugly David reached right out from the fridge and grabbed me (I mean this figuratively, not literally; I have not lost my mind….Yet).

A quote beside David reads: “Tis not reason that is the guide of life, but custom”. The trained philosopher in me has always viewed this as a fairly dull statement of Hume’s philosophy (empiricism). The vain aesthete in me has always seen it as a fairly poor and random slogan for a fridge magnet.

But then I got to thinking….

Our habit in the face of something like the COVID-19 pandemic is to be hyper-rational. And by ‘our’ here, I mean that of literally everyone: child, teenager, parent, grandparent, teacher, pupil, friend, sibling, doctor, nurse, shopworker, policeman, criminal, soldier, student, artist, worker, jobseeker, engineer, homeless person, asylum seeker, politician, journalist, economist, epidemiologist…. Whichever terms here best describe you (and there are innumerably many others that can be added), we are extremely well versed in being hyper-rational these days.

This means we do things like the following: we reason in terms of chains of inference (if X, then Y…. Either A or B…. ); we look for relationships of cause and effect; we try to reason in terms of relevant analogies, symmetries, asymmetries and patterns; we think in terms of parts and wholes…. These and other processes are what we might call the hyper-rationalist ‘toolkit’.

This toolkit can be put to especially industrious use in networked societies. This is because there is astronomically more information for these habits and customs to work with in such societies. In fact, you might call these habits and customs ‘algorithms’. This is because they can be mathematically modeled and trained, and because a particular class of machines (Von Neumann ones) are extremely good at performing them (in fact, significantly better than humans in certain cases, such as on chains of inference and pattern recognition).

This can be a very good thing. We do, for instance, all have very good reasons to be concerned for healthcare workers and the ill/vulnerable at this time, and it is completely rational to want to support them as best we can. The right algorithms and machines, moreover, can and will be an important part of helping us through this.

Hume’s point, however, is that these kinds of habits and customs, although important, can only be part of the story. There are two main reasons for this (it is of course a paradox that these are reasons, but just suspend that trained philosopher ‘clever clogs’ tick for a moment: dull scholastic papers can be written about it in the future….) First: being hyper-rational can guide us in the wrong direction, in no direction at all, or in too many directions at once (the toolkit is only as good as its material, and it can do a botched job). Second: there are other kinds of habits and customs.

On the first point, it is worth noting that there are other (less edifying) types that could have been added to the list of people given above: ‘conspiracy theorist’, ‘narcissist’, ‘egotist’, ‘paranoiac’, ‘reactive’, ‘harsh judge’, ‘troll’, ‘preacher’, ‘catastrophist’….

Hume, I think, would want to see these types in a continuum with the ones listed above. This is because we all have the propensity to be these kinds of people at least some of the time, and because these less edifying types also make use of the hyper-rationalist tool kit. The conspiracy theorist will, for instance, reason in terms of cause and effect (Which scapegoat/dark nemesis is the cause of all of this? Who must be responsible?). The paranoiac will do this too, and often with justifiable reason in the immediate circumstances surrounding a change that has not yet become familiar (Is that person standing less than two metres from me? Will they cause something in me?). And the catastrophist will reason by analogy and see things in terms of patterns and parts and wholes (Is this a kind of ‘war’? Have I been ‘enlisted’? Where are we on a sliding scale between CJD/Spanish Flu/ The Plague? What part will this play in rearranging the whole economy?)

Quite how well these types use the hyper-rationalist toolkit is a different matter. That they are using it is a matter of fact, and one that is historically intensified in highly networked societies, where we all have the means to be these kinds of people more often, and, thereby, to lead ourselves and others round and round in vicious circles of scepticism, shame, anxiety and doubt.

On the second point, consider three recent events: 1.) when the phrase ‘panic buying’ entered the media in connection with COVID-19, people started panic buying; 2.) when it was announced that pubs would be closing (Friday 20th March 2020), people bought booze in bulk; 3.) when it was announced that large sections of the UK population were being asked not to go to work, people visited parks and holiday spots.

These three events generated a lot of moralism online, but the target was largely misplaced. People weren’t doing these things for reasons they had reflected on; they were acting according to well-ingrained habits and customs that have been inculcated in them (Worried? Let’s go shopping…. Pubs are shut? Let’s party back at mine…. No work on Monday? Let’s go on holiday….)

Bad customs and habits can be as worthy of condemnation as bad intentions and reasons, and just as pernicious in their effects. If we fail to recognise precisely what we are condemning, however, and how badly and condescendingly we sometimes do it, then we will fail to see how the situation might be altered for the better: in the face of a pandemic, you can’t just appeal to people’s reason and expect things to be altered immediately; you also have to reshape their habits and customs, and this takes time.

The ‘what aboutery’ response here, of course, is that time is what we might not have. But this never was a zero sum game: it is not a case of either reason or custom. Instead, Hume’s point is that you must appeal to both, because they are in a continuum, and, even more importantly, you ought to focus most of your attention on customs and habits, because that’s where you can expect the most important and progressive changes to happen.

Providing we can find the time to let them grow, such changes can, as Hume puts it, be our ‘guide of life’. Whether and how we can find the time for them at a national/planetary/civilisational level is a matter of great hyper-rational consternation right now. What many of us do currently have, however, in a situation where many of our most cherished habits and customs have received an almighty jolt, is the scope to reinvent our own habits and customs. And we have to do this, both in order to have them to fall back on for personal care, and in preparation to join the dots between them/ scale them up for the more caring society that we are going to have to find the courage and energy for as we move towards the future.

So, I was not in the habit of noticing an ugly fridge magnet that a snobby part of me had intentionally misplaced….

What I was also not in the habit of thinking was that a sustained philosophical reflection like this could have grown out of one Koan-ish sentence, previously discounted as a bad slogan (‘Tis not reason….’), or that the reflection in question could have been written out on a phone (as this one has). This is because the snobby part of me, you see, still thought that you simply had to take the time to read and understand entire dusty old books, and that the writing conditions for philosophy simply had to be more romantic (the starving lunatic/genius in a garret – the usual teenage-angsty bullshit).

In the present conditions, I am much more inclined to trust and celebrate the part of me that can’t afford to be this self-indulgent: the part that has to steal ten minutes to do the dishes and have a think sparked by whatever important stimuli are to hand.

It turns out that that old cliché is right: there are stimuli around us like this all the time, making gentle demands to be noticed. What I want to convey here, however, isn’t just the cliché. It’s also this: good and healthy habits and customs can be nurtured around these stimuli and their attendant acts of noticing.

In times as fraught and hyper-rational as these, such regimens and routines are what can keep us sane and together…. I will, for instance, be stealing ten minutes to do the dishes this evening. I am looking forward to it, and already have a notion of what I want think about: it concerns that magnet again, but doesn’t have to do with high-faluting philosophical ideas. What writing this (another such regimen) has made me recall, you see, is that my elder son used that magnet as a way of learning the name of my wife’s brother. My son would point to it, and make utterances; my wife and I would say back ‘yes, that’s David’; over time, the habit of saying ‘David’ was acquired and perfected. It is now a little anchor in my son’s life. To him, it is not a word with two syllables, not the name of a Hebrew King, and certainly not the first name of a famous Scottish philosopher; it is rather a bridge for making contact with an Uncle who loves and cares about him.

That’s what I’ll be thinking about when I do the dishes tonight: the story, not of ‘Ugly David’ the fridge magnet, but of my son and ‘Uncle David’.

The “World World Was Still?” LP by Kaddish is out now on Make That A Take + Black Lake Records.

Two Threads, Blogged

It has been another busy-ass couple of weeks and it’s September already. Insert your own wake up Billie Joe joke here.

Vegan Camp Out was a rad time the weekend before last, thanks to Tree and Danny for hooking us up. Book Yer Ane Fest XIII tickets sold out within fourteen hours of going on sale, madness. There’s shit going on, we’ll keep y’all informed. Much love and respect to Pete Nicol and all involved at St3veFest also.

One of the best things about being involved in MTAT, the basement and DIY punk in general is seeing sick new bands emerge to rip it up.

Fresh Dundee punks ALLDEEPENDS played their first show on Saturday night and slayed it; nine zero messin’ punk bangers like Mischief Brew, Choking Victim, Dead Milkmen, Minutemen, etc, in twenty-two minutes; fucking great stuff.

I had a couple rants on twitter today and I figured they fairly well represent the dichotomy of my feelings towards the state of the contemporary music industry, or more specifically punk/hardcore scenes. I dunno, but I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing outwith 240 characters. Doing a new zine with thoughts towards the book and that.

As ever, any shit-talk, aim it at me. “I note your view, with interest”, as Mick would say.

“Hardcore” in 2019; twelve shirt designs, zero records; liking Slipknot and playing one finger riffs; choreographed onstage “chaos”; kicking your pedals out whilst spin-kicking; on-stage photographers; toxic sausage party; one Slayer riff; aesthetic > action.

I should clarify the photographers thing; I’m massively pro-photography and film. Many friends are incredibly talented live music photographers, subtle and respectful. It’s something else when photographers occupy the stage and become the inescapable central focus.

Done a lot of moaning on and it paints an unbalanced picture, there are posi stories too. Met a kid last night, I’d already checked his band but didn’t say. He was super enthused, talking about how his band have felt unwelcomed in some scenes, like the odd ones out, the queer kids playing pop-punk being shunned and talked down to by elders.

He had done his homework, clearly, and was polite, direct and just himself. He told me he felt more comfortable at his first show in the basement than any other place they’ve been. That heartens me.

If we can reach one kid who takes something beyond aesthetic or social capital advancement, to have them positively engage and think critically, then I think that’s a victory. God knows it takes forever to get comfortable in your own skin, let alone a new scene, if ye ever do.

His band are pretty good too, I’ll definitely be putting them on a show in the near future. He followed up with an email today, kept it simple, and I responded upon reading. I tried not to be “The Dreamcrusher”, as I was called at work once. “Fuck You, Old Man” includes me.

I’ll suffer a thousand macho dickheads it it means I can help one blue-haired nose-pierced kid and their three piece pop-punk band get out the garage and into a basement. Who knows, might even reach some other folk too?!?

My exasperation comes from the “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed” school of thinking, illustrative of greater frustration, scenes being microcosmic and all. The “alternative” scene, punk in particular, can be so much more than that, just as we humans can be. We are agents.

Also, my friend who hasn’t been out to a show for a long time, due to various factors, went to a show for the first time in years without getting totally steaming. Another pal I met through punk at the basement hit 8 weeks sober yesterday. Punk can be such a positive force.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; never trust a hardcore kid who doesn’t know their punk, or, as my friend Neil pointed out, their 80s thrash.

Stoked for Uniforms jamz this weekend, Queequeg’s Coffin EP launch next weekend.

Aw the best.

UNSOLICITED ADVICE

Had a wee rant on Twitter earlier and figured that it might be worth sharing.

It’s not a particularly well thought-out piece of work, it was written in a stream of consciousness on twitter, for fuck’s sake, but it stems from some very real delusions that I think are being taught (with high tuitions fees, by neoliberal institutions prepping drones for a market that is already dead). However, the post-industrialisation of the music industry is a debate for another time.

Very few things truly worth knowing can be taught, especially if you want to truly understand them, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

It also stems from the very real frustrations I feel when trying to answer emails in a positive fashion. I try to answer everybody but some are just so inane and clearly lacking in the slightest bit of research that the only fruitful option is to ignore them. Ye don’t want to be an asshole but sometimes it is real difficult.

I may come back and revise these and/or elaborate at some point, but possibly not. Just don’t put up with any asshole telling ye how to think, including me. On the flip, don’t be upset when someone tells you what they think or that your band sucks.

We started MTAT because everybody thought our bands sucked!

TWITTER RANT IN E-MINOR

– Seem to be getting a fair few emails from band “managers” from college/university projects. It’s difficult to know how to reply at times; ye don’t want to discourage people from involvement in music (a posi!), but how do ye tell them so much of the “industry” is bullshit?

– Unless you’re filling the stadium or whatever, who gives a shit about who’s “headlining” gigs? Not to be all negi and shit but nobody who wants to sit through an hour or more of a local band. Give us 18 minutes of seething blood and guts and we’re good.

– Venues and promoters do young and developing bands absolutely zero favours when they encourage this shit, either. Gatekeeping is abhorrent, loathable, but there’s a fine line between encouraging engagement/growth and enabling delusion/exploiting folk. Gotta learn sometime?

– On our end (guess this might be laughable cos we’re all hypocrites in the end, yeah?), we try to encourage younger/newer bands by getting them into the space watching other bands. Promoters see who does things, who’s engaged, and who is only interested in their own band (many!).

– When a band emails, I always tell them “come down to a show sometime”. We always listen to EVERY SINGLE DEMO we’re given. I can’t give them same guarantee with emails as there are so many of them. We’re going to have a DEMO DROPBOX at the basement going forward. Pop one in!

– Once bands show a willingness to engage, to check out the folk they’re hitting up, we may then offer them a a show. Depending how it goes, we may offer them a slot opening for a touring band; shit grows. I didn’t make any commitment to Goodbye Blue Monday before seeing them, ken?

– I dunno, just be super-sceptical of folk who’ve never been in a band telling you what’s best for your band or your art. MTAT didn’t start because we wanted to be “cool” label folk, run venues or build social capital; it started because nobody else gave a fuck what we were doing.

– The continued existence of MTAT boggles my mind in a few ways; firstly, I’ve never stuck to ANYTHING ELSE for 13 years.

Secondly, it’s crazy to me that people do seem to give a shit, even after all this time.

Thirdly, we ain’t special because LITERALLY ANYONE CAN DO THIS.

Too much bullshit is bad for your health

Don’t @ me, yo.

Peace.

CONROY’S BASEMENT; BOOKING – TERMS & CONDITIONS

***Reposted from makethatatakerecords.com***

As ye may well be aware, things have changed at Conroy’s Basement over the summer. We at Make That A Take have seized the means and are now in full control of the diary and the book. Evolution is part of our human experience, the only true constant being change. The previous “The Summer of Our Discontent” blog discusses these changes in greater detail, but we’re through the worst of the transition period now.

We thought it prudent to publish these terms and conditions, both in the interests of transparency and to have an online reference point. That MTAT formed in 2006 is no secret, but the pre-history of our collective stretches back well over twenty years. In the first instance, we were mentored by the folk music scene in rural Perthshire; Wedge took us into his practice room to watch his band rehearse. We learned by observation before being invited to play ourselves, by full immersion in the experience; learning by doing informed our principles and formed the foundations of our collective – ye do what ye can with what ye got. Ye can read all this back story stuff on Write Yer Ane Zine. We acknowledge our privilege; we were very lucky.

Collectively, we have spent most of our lives learning and growing, thousands of hours of labour; being in terrible bands, playing shows, touring, doing sound, hosting bands, booking tours, sleeping in vans, playing to nobody, being in decent bands, lending gear, building PA systems, badgering pals, losing money, making money, losing gear, being mugged, being banned, making friends, losing friends; making all the mistakes that it’s possible to make, like Sisyphus pushing the rock. We’re pulling for ALL artists, we want your band to rule. I want Goodbye Blue Monday to be bigger than Blink 182. If a lesson learned in Joey T can help our friends today, then it should be passed on. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it burned in six.

Basically what I’m saying is that these “rules” don’t exist because we’re assholes (we’re assholes for entirely separate reasons), these “rules” exist because we have lived and learned experience. We don’t claim to have all the answers, things ALWAYS work better in the spirit of collaboration, when a sense of shared purpose brings people together. We are living in times of desperate alienation, just today the local press has talked of another decade of austerity while millions are being made in the private sector. We believe that by working together to create a better space, we can begin to create a better world. Sure, a punk basement isn’t the world but it is a start. To quote Dom Kaddish, we “resolve to be socially responsible and just citizens in a time of spectres“.

While ye are here, there’s 20% off our 100+ release digital discography on our Bandcamp page and a summer sale happening over at BigCartel. Simple though it may be, the best way to support independent art of any kind is to buy it, share it, talk about it, TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS; come to shows, buy records, buy merch, get involved. You have so much more power than you know.

Together, we can conquer anything.

CONROY’S BASEMENT, DUNDEE – TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

Conroy’s Basement is an independent live music space operated by Make That A Take Records (MTAT). The venue space is available for hire by independent promoters, bands and collectives to promote live music. The venue space is also available to hire for club nights and special events.

MTAT aims to foster a positive environment free from all forms of discrimination. Anti-social behaviour will be not be tolerated. Please see the MTAT “House Rules” attached at the end of this document. MTAT reserves the right to refuse or cancel bookings. These terms and conditions will be updated periodically, as required.

Contact email; conroysbasement@gmail.com

 

Hire prices

 

Standard Gig booking fee; £100

– This covers venue/PA hire + sound engineer.

– We encourage all bookers to bring their own backline.

– Gear shares between bands are also encouraged.

– If this is not possible, some gear belonging to the collective may be available for a small fee (£25)

 

Standard Club Night booking fee; £150

– This covers venue/PA/security hire

– Club night hours are strictly 11pm-2.30am

– Club night hires are only available on Friday/Saturday, at this time

 

All bookings include access to the basement bar.

Deposit; bookings will be confirmed upon receipt of a £50 non-refundable deposit, payable by bank transfer or cash. Deposits are also payable by Paypal but are £55, to cover fees (sorry!).

The remaining balance must be paid in full before doors on the night of your booking.

Paypal address; makethatatakerecords@gmail.com

Friday and Saturday nights are by far and away the most popular and get booked up quickly, so please be aware that your desired date may not always be available.

No bookings will be confirmed until deposits are paid and terms and conditions agreed to.

We will do our very best to work with you to make your event as successful as possible. In the spirit of collaboration, we believe that in working together we can host the best possible events in a positive and safe environment. MTAT is an anti-bigotry, anti-fascist, anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic collective.

For more information pertaining MTAT policies and history, please read this FAQ.

 

 

The Venue

 

Conroy’s Basement is a venue conceived by artists for artists. It’s a basement space with a DIY-built PA system, constructed by two of the east coast’s finest sound engineers with decades of collective experience. We’ve been running this space for over three years, hosting over 300 shows in that time, and our system has evolved over time. It will continue to do so.

PA is a 2.5kw rig with 16-channel mixer.

It’s loud. Earplugs are recommended.

– Venue capacity is 100.

– No more than 100 tickets can be sold.

– There is no “green room”.

– There is no allocated seating.

– There is parking around the back of the building

– Load in the side entrance of the building

– Gear must be stored in the corner to stage-right

– Gear cannot be stored in the venue over night

– We have no Wi-Fi

– There is a bar serving drinks.

– Strictly no drinks outside.

– Do not bring your own drinks (refillable water bottles excepted)

– We will provide all mics stands, mics, PA cables, etc.

 

 

Gig itinerary

Load in – 5pm onwards.

Soundcheck – 5pm-7pm

Doors open – 7pm/7.30pm

Sunday-Thursday must be finished by 10.30pm.

ALL gear and humans loaded out by 11pm.

Friday/Saturday shows must finished by 11.30pm at the absolute latest.

ALL gear/humans out by midnight. There will be no exceptions.

Your show will be assigned a representative from the MTAT collective and a sound engineer.

Access to the venue is available from 5pm. In exceptional circumstances, please advise of any requirements outside these hours at least two weeks in advance.

Club Nights; 11pm-2.30am

– DJs must provide their own equipment (vinyl/CD decks, laptop, etc).

– A MTAT representative will be present for load-in/set-up

PLEASE NOTE: If you are organizing a gig with more than 3 acts please let us know in advance.

 

 

Your Responsibilities

 

Promotion; it is your responsibility to promote the show.

– A Facebook event page alone does not count as gig promotion.

– Please make Conroy’s Basement a co-host on any event page that you make.

– Please make sure we have POSTERS for your show at the venue at least FOUR WEEKS prior.

– Please email all online promotional materials to Conroy’s Basement.

– We will include your event in all of Conroy’s Basement’s gig listings

– It is your responsibility to sell tickets for your events. We recommend Groucho’s Music in Dundee.

 

In advance; knowledge is power!

– Please provide full-tech spec and running order, including set times.

– Please make sure that FULL BACKLINE arrangements have been made.

– It is your responsibility to fulfill any/all contractual obligations to artists booked

– You must let us know of any RIDERS that may need be brought in. These are your responsibility.

– Any ALCOHOL on riders must be stored in the fridge behind the bar. Drinks tickets will then be allocated which can then be exchanged for rider drinks from the bar. There can be no exceptions.

– It is the responsibility of the promoter to provide all riders and information pertaining them.

– We have no cooking/re-heating facilities at this time.

– Let us know if there are any problems we can help resolve.

 

On the night; it is your responsibility to run the show.

– Booking fees must be paid in full before doors open. If this is a problem, please advise.

– You must provide your own door person to take tickets/entry. We will provide a £50 float.

– It is your responsibility to make sure all artists are informed of venue rules/set times/etc.

– You must provide your sound engineer with set times.

– Headline bands will soundcheck first. Opening bands will then set up. Line-checks for others.

– It is your responsibility to pay acts.

– Anyone found bringing in their own alcohol will be asked to leave and banned.

– Drinks in the venue are cheap.

– Loading out must be completed by the agreed times. No gear can be stored in the venue.

 

 

The MTAT collective was established in 2006 and we’ve been involved in thousands of shows and events since then. Run by punks for punks, we’ve been involved in the musical community for over twenty years and aim to foster an atmosphere of positivity, inclusion and collaboration.

We aim to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and would hope for the same in return. We are more than happy to discuss any issues or concerns that anyone may have about the operation of the space. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any and all questions/enquiries.

Be radical, spread joy.

– MTAT

http://www.makethatatakerecords.com

On International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

Just a wee reminder that the women in your life (and all the ones you don’t know) deserve your respect every single day.

It’s nice that so many of the men I know want to show their respect today, so if that’s genuinely your goal, I have a couple of suggestions.

– If you really need to tell the world how much you respect women, think about whether the post you’re composing/sharing is reductive. “We men wouldn’t be what we are today without the women!” type sentiments are well meaning and often true, but also often carry the implication that we’re still down here, propping up the men. Being thankful that your wife packed you a lunch does not exclude you from the patriarchy. Also, saying “I personally think women are great” kinda translates to me as “Hey women, while you’re all celebrating each other and your achievements, look at me, a man, respecting you!”. Again, this often well meaning sentiment is sweet, but kinda missing the point.

– If you’re a man using International Women’s Day to talk about what women should be doing, in any way, just don’t. If you’re about to share a post that starts “a woman’s place” and doesn’t end with “wherever the fuck she wants it to be.” Then maybe just don’t. You’re probably missing the point.

– If you’re a cis man and you’re posting about international women’s day at all, please consider the possibility that this particular platform isn’t for you. Unless what you are saying genuinely adds something to the conversation that women around you aren’t already saying, or directly addresses the toxicity of the patriarchy, then maybe just don’t.

– Hazel (MTAT)