Punk rockers old and new can get their literary fix in some terrific new books that revel in the spirit, the lifestyle and the humor of banging the drum their own way. … No, it's not a sex confessional, but the spurts and snorts of My First Time are just as charged with sweaty adolescent discovery. Originally conceived as a small run fanzine and now expanded into a full book from AK Press, editor Chris Duncan invited more than 40 Rock writers, artists, band members and fans to share their first Punk show stories. Not just recollections of the concerts themselves, each tale is more the story of where the author was in life at that time, the cultural and social zeitgeist of the era and the often-hilarious anecdotes of getting to that very first gig. I sniffle a bit myself, remembering the cyclone energy of catching D.O.A. at The Pit in 1979 or 1980, a Disco basement dive decorated with chain-link fence (how Punk!) and the burning embers of Socialist newspaper propaganda set on fire and thrown about the darkness while all hell broke loose — sort of a teenage ride down the pyrotechnic river of Apocalypse Now. Highlights include passages by Jack Rabid, Blag Dahlia, Jade Tree Records' co-founder Darren Walters, Joe Queer of The Queers and scene historian George Hurchalla. … Proving that things really didn't change from '77 to '07, a new "coffee table" tome salutes the squalid, freeform style of low-rent (or no-rent) Punk living quarters in Punk House from the publishers at Abrams Image. Boasting an introduction by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, who certainly crashed out at many a Punk house in his early touring days, photographer Abby Banks documents the anarchist love shacks found on the wrong side of the tracks in towns like Seattle, Olympia, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Bloomington, Ind. Festering in enough weeds, band stickers, dirty dishes and impromptu paint jobs to make Martha Stewart cry, the residences and makeshift studios recall for many of us the days when we weren't what we possessed, and sharing well with others was the more than just a note on your permanent school record.
Releases Coming Tuesday
Meredith Bragg - Silver Sonya (Kora Records); Buckethead - Acoustic Shards (Avabella) rare acoustic guitar sessions from 1991; Cheyenne - The Whale (Cheyenne Songs); Dwarves - Dwarves Limited 10" (MVD Audio) split single featuring live radio sessions from 2004 and vocalist Blag Dahlia covering The Ramones' "The KKK Took My Baby Away" and AC/DC's "Big Balls"; The Great Debaters - original motion picture soundtrack (Atlantic) featuring music by Alvin Youngblood Hart, Sharon Jones and David Berger & The Sultans of Swing; Hi-Tek - Hi-Teknology 3 (Babygrande/Koch) with guests Little Brother, Talib Kweli, Raekwon and Ghostface; Jools Holland - Best of Friends (WEA) with special guests Prince Buster, Tom Jones, Lulu, Norah Jones, KT Tunstall, India.Arie, Mica Paris, David Gilmour, Chrissie Hynde, Madness' Suggs, Solomon Burke and Eric Clapton; LCD Soundsystem - Confuse the Marketplace (DFA) three-song 12-inch single; Dave Matthews Band - Live at Piedmont Park (Bama Rags/RCA) CD and DVD set recorded this past September in Atlanta; Wu-Tang Clan - 8 Diagrams (Loud/Universal) with guests System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, George Clinton, John Frusciante and George Harrison's son Dhani in a reinterpretation of his father's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"; Youth Without Youth - original motion picture soundtrack (Deutsche Grammaphon) score by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov.