Write Yer Ane Zine

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

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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

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.

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)

BOOK YER ANE FEST X; THE ZINE

This is the upload of the zine I put together for Book Yer Ane Fest X.

There were 150 of them made, printed by the workhorse that is Big Mick’s old HP printer that lives in our living room and collated by my own sossij-fingered hands. I felt it was an important thing to do and I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to it.

I am humbled by the response to Book Yer Ane Fest X and have not yet had the mental space to process everything, memories and moments coming back to me in flashes. The story is also truly not exclusively my own; none of this could be done without the contribution of the many wonderful humans I have the privilege to call friends and the participation of the wider DIY punk rock family. That story will be told in time.

Everyone has their own Book Yer Ane Fest experience. That is a beautiful thing.

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“What’s the craic with Conroy’s Basement?”

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So what’s the craic with Conroy’s Basement? Good question, for which I shall endeavour to provide the answer right now!

Basically, it’s been almost a year since MTAT hosted our first show there (okay, eight months) and since then it’s been both an entertaining challenge and learning experience for us all. With every new idea comes new challenges and, as we’ve never been ones to shy away from such things, we have poured our blood, sweat and tears into trying to make things work. Personally, all I’ve ever wanted is a basement space to put on shows so, in effect, that dream has come true (pity I don’t have a functional punk rock band, right?!?).

Firstly, we’d very much like to thank everyone who has supported us thus far with this endeavour; it takes a crew of people to make ideas work and put concepts into action. We are very grateful for all of the hard work and graft the extended crew has put into making things work and it must be known that we wouldn’t be in the position that we are without the support of our friends and colleagues. Y’all know who ye are.

We must also thank our landlords at Conroy’s for their welcome, understanding and patience with us as we worked through the teething problems. We are under no illusions that we are very lucky to be in the position that we are and cannot overstate how grateful we are. While things may not have been perfect since the get-go, I strongly believe that what we are doing is important and that it directly relates to many of the discussions that have been had throughout Dundee’s musical community of late. Hell, The Skinny just published a piece I wrote the other day (check out “Venues, Scenes and Spaces“) that addresses this exact issue.

Conjecture and debate is one thing, action is another. Without resorting to Minor Threat quotes, if ye want to get something done the best thing to do is to it yourself (DIY, ken?). As such, the craic with Conroy’s Basement is thus; we are now open for third party bookings.

Basically, Kenny G and I have formed a new company called Burst Cow. We have invested in a new PA for the basement and will be running the bookings independently of MTAT, for both logistical reasons and so as to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. We have begun taking limited third party gig and private function bookings, with a bunch of shows happening in November, and will be looking to gradually expand things once Book Yer Ane Fest X is in the bag.

Terms and conditions for all bookings apply, of course, but ultimately we aim to help nourish the scene that has helped nourish us so greatly for so many years. To us, DIY need not be a byword for “slack” or “shitty”.

Kenny G will be the go-to dude for all third party bookings and should be contacted at conroysbasement@gmail.com

I (Derrick) shall remain the “face” of MTAT and, as such, any and all MTAT related emails/enquiries/vegan recipies should be sent to info@makethatatakerecords.com

So yeah, it seems Conroy’s Basement is open for business!

The New Situation; An Essay by Dom Kaddish

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The world we live in is not the world we were born into. The following is an essay written by a man for whom I have the deepest of respect in all capacities; musically, artistically, professionally, as a thinker, as a peer, as a human; and someone I am grateful to call a good friend, Dom Kaddish.

In solidarity and hope, I am humbled to provide WYAZ as a platform.

The New Situation.

[Dear All, the following is overtly, and not allusively political. If you disagree with it in style or substance, come along to, for example, a punk rock show or a University class room and tell us or someone else why. In other words, use every available opportunity to keep up the impetus for a new grass roots progressive politics to emerge in the UK and elsewhere post-23 June 2016. It is necessary but not sufficient for us to discuss such things through the Internet. We also need to make them count in building a better society, through our actions and words in the spaces where we actually commit our bodies].

Yesterday, 1 July 2016, the Conservative party in the UK attempted to assure us that politics in the UK is ‘back to business’ in the wake of Brexit. A Mr. Gove invoked further deluded promises about the NHS, when discretion suggested this was a thing best avoided. A Mrs. May invoked her talents as a hard worker, as well as her gender (this last point being important in the context of the obnoxious ‘boy’s club’ that led to Brexit, but Mrs May’s party is attempting to cash in on it in a way that superficially emulates but actually runs counter to the progressive female strand of politics running through, say, Holyrood).

None of this can stand: we simply cannot allow the elite of the Conservative party to try to convince us that they are operating on the basis of a post-Brexit consensus, and that they have our interests at heart in any way at all. We cannot allow politics to return to a state of unscrutinised Tory-led ‘management’. Doing so will only validate what has always been at the heart of the Tory party: upstairs privilege over downstairs servitude.

Instead of building a consensus and helping the people of the UK, the Conservative party has perpetrated an act of unparalleled violence against the social ontology of the UK in the lead up to, and in the wake of, the referendum of 23 June 2016. That is, they have effected a shift in the way that every entity related to the entity ‘the UK’ relates to every other entity related to this entity. They have done it by instrumentalising a mode of politics (the either/or referendum) that was always too crude to deal with the complexities of this ontology, and the consequence of this is that neighbours, words, glances, embraces, sighs, stares, handshakes, schools, immigrants, jobs, friends, taxis, hopes, fears, pensions, pounds and Euros (etc., etc., ad infinitum) no longer relate in the same way as before.

Given this violence, attempts to move on are appropriate. These include: humour; changing the topic of conversation; smiling a bit more; feeling a bit more driven to think, write or feel something; being warmer and more open to people who don’t look and think like you; wanting to strive for a better and more tolerant society that doesn’t condone or cynically instrumentalise racism, etc., etc. These attempts to move on are not attempts to move backwards. On the contrary, attempts to move backwards are, by definition, ‘conservative’, and if there is one entity that events since 23 June have comprehensively destroyed, it is the party that bears that name.

There can be no ‘business as usual’ on behalf of the Conservative party because there is no Conservative party. Instead, the convulsing psychotic ghost that persists in the wake of that party has no consensus, no mandate, and no real vision at all, and this makes it a deeply dangerous, reactionary, and volatile force (witness May’s party’s instrumentalisation of the female card, one of the few apparently progressive moves that was left to it). That said, it also makes it a potentially weak and waning force, provided we, the progressive and internationalist forces in the game, play our cards right, and cease to be so haunted.

There can be no business as usual in the wake of 23 June, in whatever sense (as resigned, as alienated, as disenfranchised, as relieved, as whatever). We have to lay claim to our changed social ontology and recognise that the Conservative party and the hideous forces they have recently colluded with can have no real part to play in it, provided that we have the courage to exorcise them. We have to do our business differently, by not giving up and accepting Conservative attempts to manage what they have conjured. Much more is possible than that for progressive, tolerant, and socially just reform of all sorts of entities, including, but not limited to: the EU, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the age divide, racism, the North/South divide, the European sense of self and other.

Let’s resolve to be socially responsible and just citizens in a time of spectres.

***

Kaddish released “Thick Letters To Friends” in 2014. Their new LP will be released soon.

Pink Elephants (Talking About Booze)

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I’m pretty nervous sitting here writing this blog; a ball of pent-up energy, frustration, passion, exasperation, exhilaration, tiredness, guilt, excitement, caffeine and god knows what else. I’m going to talk about alcohol. More specifically, I’m going to talk about not consuming alcohol. Beyond that, it’s a stream of consciousness and I’m not sure where it will lead. Somewhere positive I hope. If you don’t want to read about alcohol, please leave now and consider this your trigger warning.

I’ve been wary about writing about booze since I stopped drinking. I always think of the Bill Hicks “ex smokers” sketch and how I don’t want to become one of those preachy converts who thrive on judging people and their perceived bad habits as a means of stroking their own fevered egos and masking insecurities. There’s nothing worse than a born-again Christian that wants to save us all from eternal damnation, right? Fuck that, I have no interest whatsoever. I’m also in no position to give advice, I can only relate to you my own experience. I implore you to believe that this isn’t an easy essay to write but comes from a place of compassion and love.

To me, my sobriety is absolutely 100% my number one priority in life.

I will never walk away or ignore someone who wants to talk about recovery.

Without going into specific details, let me briefly summarise;

I think of myself as extremely lucky.

My “support network” is incredible and, whether they realise it or not, have played an absolutely vital role in my recovery. Truth is I probably don’t deserve such an amazing partner, family, friends and comrades. The ocean of utter shite I dragged them through during my “career” was beyond a nightmare. I can’t accurately express my gratitude to them and absolutely should try to do so more often. Words feel inadequate, the tightness in my stomach as I write this tells me so. I’m grateful for everything they’ve done for me. I’m grateful for every morning I wake up and I’m alive.

My problem drinking began when I drank for the first time. I am not a moderate person, I’m pretty much an all or nothing motherfucker. I knew I had a problem pretty early on; it exacerbated my extant feelings of “otherness”, as I’ve discussed elsewhere, and gave me what felt like a cloak of invincibility that insidiously ate away at the very core of my being. Alcohol to celebrate success, alcohol to commiserate the fails; you know how the story goes, it’s our culture, it’s “normal”. I put myself in harm’s way, in dangerous situations I was lucky to survive, countless times. Many friends were not so lucky.

I often joke that “if you cannae understand without an explanation then you’ll never understand with an explanation”. I’m usually messing around and just being silly. However, unless you know deep within yourself what the truth really is, then you’re never going to understand or believe it to be true when someone else points it out to you. Until you can admit it to yourself, you’ll never know.

I knew for years, I wasn’t even really in denial about it. I went to therapy when I was at uni but didn’t give a fuck. Many tried to help me and I threw it in their faces. My selfishness and arrogance were matched only by my self-loathing and antipathy. Alienation and nihilistic self-destruction was my path, death the ultimate destination. I thought I could handle it. I couldn’t. Drunkologies bore me. The punk scene revels in that shit.

Stopping drinking is the single best decision I’ve ever made.

Stopping drinking was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I have no problem with other people drinking.

I closed ranks to break the cycle; cancelled shows, got signed off work, went to my GP, upped my anti-depressants, called my closest comrades together and went to meetings. I wrote a fucking facebook status about it, to make myself accountable. I remember shaking on the floor calling AA for the first time. They had someone call me back and my guts just spilled; the damn broke and an ocean of shit came flooding out.

Many, myself at the time included, hold preconceptions about AA as being an overtly Christian practice. That wasn’t my experience, theism an irrelevance. You can fucking believe me when I tell you creationism isn’t on the menu. I can only encourage you to go and find out for yourself. I’d have taken some comfort in the words of Jesus to heal some of the lacerating self-analysis and bring some light. The greatest lesson I learned was don’t be an arrogant fuck and think your problems are the blackest. It’s no picnic, there are no mindless cheerleaders. It’s as real as it fucking gets.

Facing up the worst truths about yourself is hard. Looking in the mirror and accepting responsibility for your actions doesn’t always come easy, but don’t give up on yourself. I’ve been sober almost 900 days now and every day is a learning experience. It remains one of the key turning points in my life. I haven’t been to many meetings in the last year or so. Moving city helped and I love living by the river. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by so many positive and inspiring people, but even now it’s not easy. I still live with depression and probably always will, but I harbour fewer de/illusions about myself. Meditation helps but I’m slack at it.

I am humbled that people feel they can confide in me and ask for advice with their own drinking issues. As I said earlier, I will always listen to anyone who wants to talk about recovery, their path to and/or from it or whatever. From my best friends to people I don’t know, I will never ignore you. The first thing you need to know is that you are not alone and that by reaching out (fuck people who balk at that phrase) to someone, you’ve already taken that vital first step. Talking of steps; the twelve step program may work for you. How one interprets the steps is a personal matter, it’s not for one person to tell another what lies on their path or how navigate. If you focus on someone else’s, you lose sight of your own. I try not to be that person.

I respect everyone who lives with the struggle because it’s real. I’m grateful every day that I live with it because it means I haven’t fucked it, every day a little victory. As said, I will always listen and I’m more than happy to discuss any and all questions/queries that people may have on a personal basis, but my support is not entirely unconditional; please don’t swag up to me with a pint in your hand and ask “how did you stop drinking?” and expect anything other than “put the fucking pint down first”; please don’t send me messages then fill your FB with pictures and statuses about how much ye love getting burst. I fucking loved getting burst. That was exactly my problem (one of them anyways).

When people do that, it hurts my fucking feelings. Now, I’m a big boy and I’ll get over it, but it evokes in me great empathy with those people whose faces I threw shit in when they tried to help me throughout the years. It crosses my boundaries. To dismiss anything out of hand is folly but to blatantly ignore and, in some cases celebrate, exactly what you’ve reached out for support to endeavour to overcome is counter-productive at best. I wouldn’t accept that shit from my closest friends, let alone casual acquaintances or people I actively dislike. Have some respect for me but, and more importantly, have some respect for yourself.

I didn’t know where I was going when I started this blog but I knew I needed to get something off my chest. It’s something that’s been weighing on my mind recently. I’m still learning, developing my “coping mechanisms”, trying to keep my shit together. I know how lucky I am and am thankful every single day for all that I have. I know many, many people are not so lucky and that I’m in a position of massive privilege, but that doesn’t make things easier, everyone’s shite reeks. What sets you free can also be your burden. Ignorance may be bliss but it was the arrogance that nearly killed me. Even through the writing process, the act of sharing, I feel better.

When you try to give advice, you assume that you know better. Fuck that, I’m no preacher. I can only engage you if you’re willing to listen as well as talk. You are the answer to your own question, you just need to be willing to engage with yourself. Nobody can help you if you’re not at least willing to try to help yourself.

Don’t ever feel like talking about your problem(s) is a problem. The lack of talking about your problem is a problem. Without resorting to cliche, I’d encourage mindfulness and awareness. It’s amazing what you can see when your eyes are open.

There are many wonderful groups who can provide professional and peer support;

Alcoholics Anonymous

Tayside Council on Alcohol

Insight Counselling

Mindspace

Alcohol Focus Scotland

Addaction

Or speak to me, just put the fucking pint down first please.

To thine own self be true.

Write Yer Ane Mini-Zine; Issue One

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Write Yer Ane Mini-Zine; Issue One

Click the link to devour. Please feel free to read and share.

I’ve uploaded the PDF in its original form, with no hyperlinks, etc. All the bands/records are easy to find so go have a swatch!