Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged punk

1,000 Years

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Corin Tucker has been actively involved in music since the early 1990s when, as a teenager, she launched the riot grrrl band Heavens to Betsy. Around the same time, Carrie Brownstein was heading up queercore outfit Excuse 17. Eventually the two joined forces to form Sleater-Kinney in 1994.

1,000 Years

It is kind of strange listening to Corin Tucker with a bass player, and without the backing of Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss in riot grrrl band Sleater-Kinney. Admittedly, at first I found myself missing Brownstein’s guitar chops, and the rhythmic awesomeness of Weiss. This isn’t to say that Tucker is a guitar slouch, by any means, just that Brownstein is one of the best living guitarists out there, and Weiss delivers an amazing syncopated punch that other drummers just can’t match.

Scam: The First Four Issues!

Is it punk to drink when you’re flat broke? Is selling plasma or sniffing glue revolutionary? Is throwing shit off a Macy’s rooftop ever cool? Nearly twenty years after his zine was released in a series of diatribes about scamming the system and living on the edge of society, Erick Lyle’s writings as zinester Iggy Scam have been edited and bound for the masses.

Talk To Your Body

Brian Emmert and Nathaniel Kane are Das Black Milk’s two songwriters and they’ve done an excellent job on their latest album Talk to Your Body; it’s probably their best work yet. Many of the songs focus on notions of domestic turmoil in a paranoid dystopia, which I think reflects the current time we’re living in.

Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution

First, an admission: like several feminist friends in my age group, riot grrrl didn’t make a profound impact of me until college. I was ten in 1993, the year Sara Marcus claims as pivotal for the movement in her book Girls to the Front. I was moving away from Mariah Carey and getting into the Pet Shop Boys. Riot grrrl was first on my radar through mainstream distortion in the pages of Spin and in the Spice Girls’ defanged “girl power” message.

Cooper Cobra

Rock & roll, baby!!! That’s what you’ll find on Cooper Cobra, the debut EP of New York band Lily Sparks. No samples, loops, or weird electronica, just guitar-heavy, punk-influenced songs about having a good time. The tried and true formula works like a dream.

Live Recordings, TV-clips, & Roadmovie

There is no doubting the strong influence the (mostly) female Swiss band Kleenex (later renamed Liliput) had on current feminist post-punk rock movements like Riot Grrrl.

Kill Your Darlings: Issue One

Kill Your Darlings has a lot to live up to. In its inaugural issue its editor, Affirm Press’ Rebecca Starford, says the journal’s mission is to "reinvigorate and re-energise" Australia’s literary scene.

Good Problems

Ah, spring time on a New England college campus! I always forget what it’s like when everyone emerges out of the stacks of the library, poorly-lit dorms, and stuffy classrooms to congregate on the sunny main green.

Sick: A Compilation Zine on Physical Illness

It surrounds us. No matter how difficult, awkward, or painful, we will inevitably come into contact with it. But despite its ubiquity, physical illness continues to be one of the most challenging subjects for people to broach. Sick is a compilation zine on physical illness that offers up the experiences and perspectives of individuals living with illness.

You Don’t Have to Fuck People Over to Survive

You Don’t Have to Fuck People Over to Survive is a collection of graphic work by comic artist and activist Seth Tobocman.

The Last Thing You Forget

Title Fight's The Last Thing You Forget is one of the best punk albums I've heard in a while. Incredibly catchy, energetic, and addictive, I'd recommend listening to it on the Metro on your morning commute. It screams of being young and feeling alive. You'll feel like you can conquer the world. "Symmetry" is rapidly guitar-driven, with perfectly controlled yells augmenting the already fantastic vocals.

Rebel Rebel: Anti-Style

I have always been interested in the fashion of subcultures. I've been stenciling my clothes, painting stuff on them, adding studs and strategic rips, sewing random things together and pillaging thrift stores since I was a freshman in high school—which is why designer Keanan Duffty's book Rebel Rebel: Anti-Style originally caught my eye.

Rainwater Cassette Exchange

Deerhunter's latest album, Rainwater Cassette Exchange, is just five songs in fifteen minutes. Five songs perfectly placed and executed, there is nothing superfluous and nothing lacking.

C'est La Dernière Chanson

When the songs on Maher Shalal Hash Baz’s latest release, C'est La Dernière Chanson, last longer than thirty-seven seconds, they are very enjoyable. The eighteenth record for the band is a two disc album consisting of a total of 277 songs ranging from a confusing eleven seconds of horns and drums to three minutes and one second of musical pleasure.

Lizzie Borden (09/10/2009)

How do you spin a nursery rhyme into a full-length musical? In this case, the uber-creepy poem in question is, thankfully, based in reality: the eponymous Lizzie Borden who reputedly “took an axe” and “gave her father forty whacks” was a real life New England girl accused—and acquitted—of murdering both her parents in the late nineteenth century, so there’s more than enough material to mine.

New Best Friends

When first hearing Mansions’ sound, a rare and unlikely mutation of early Death Cab for Cutie and standard emo rock band hybrid creeps to mind.

Clit Fest (8/7/2009)

Clit Fest Los Angeles: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I didn’t know what to expect leading up to the event, which featured bands and documentaries on day one and workshops and more bands on days two and three. I obsessed about it for weeks: what if the ladies present thought I wore too much makeup and perfume; what if they were feminists that looked down upon that kind of thing? How would they treat the male friend accompanying me? Would he feel unwelcome?

Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2: A DIY Resource for Zines and Zine Culture

First published in 2002, Alex Wrekk’s Stolen Sharpie Revolution has served as a resource for untold numbers of people both in and outside of the zine community.


Nineties alt-rock favorites Yo La Tengo have released a new album of cover songs under the moniker of Condo Fucks. Presumably taking its title from their 1990 album Fakebook, this eleven-song effort has been christened Fuckbook.

Trio B.C.

There are a few deciding factors that determine the lasting star power of a band: it all seems to boil down to great songs, a distinctive sound, and a story to run with. Girl in a Coma meet all the criteria in spades while snagging a few extra gold stars and honorable mentions for having an amazing vocalist with a unique resonance all her own. They are also exciting live. They are the best band in the world is all. In reality, they comprise of guitar bass and drums helmed by Nina Diaz on vocals, Jenn Alva on bass, and Phanie Diaz on drums.

Bleeding Chanel Necklace and Microphone Earrings

What do a straightedge vegetarian German jewelry maker and I have in common? Besides our love of a drug-free lifestyle and animal-free eating, we like the punk-rock aesthetic—and if I do say so myself, a delightful mix of the ideals. PorcelinaZERO, an online boutique run by an exceptionally friendly woman named Tanja, is filled with cute charms, funky rings, brightly colored cameo necklaces, and hip earrings. As I type, lightweight miniature microphones dangle from my earlobes.


From the opening chord of Mi Ami’s Watersports, the “weird for weird’s sake” noise music is an overwhelming auditory experience. Initially it comes across as some sort of “Oh God, this sounds like stereotypical angry girl band music,” then it evolves into something more in line of tight-pants hipster music. You’ll walk away with a headache, but with a speedy rhythm in your step.

F Yeah Fest (8/30 - 8/31/2008)

When Allen Ginsberg referenced “angel headed hipsters” in his lovely and infamous poem “Howl,” I swear he was magically looking into the future and describing attendees of the fifth annual F Yeah Fest. As a native Angeleno I grew up listening to punk rock and going to shows, but as an adult I’m finding it increasingly hard to brave the hordes of fashionably dressed, snarky music fans that attend the kinds of events I am unfortunately drawn to.

Six Radical Politics Buttons

Making nice is not the focus of Bitter Pie’s products. Instead, with such loudmouth, all-CAPS statements as “Shut Your Pie Hole” and “You’re the Reason for the Jihad,” these buttons are certainly radical and proud with their politics. These buttons are small enough to place on a bag strap or on a lapel, and grouped together, they could be quite stunning, especially for the politically conscious. The one downfall to these pieces is that the images are not always crisp and the font is not always clear.

My Brain Hurts: Volume One

Liz Baillie’s character Kate Callahan is everything that I wish I had been in school, as well as everything that I’m glad I wasn’t: a punk dyke; Mohawk-wearing, patches held on with safety pins-styling, multiple girlfriends-loving activist; and all-around New York City street-roamer. Think Diane DiMassa’s _Hothead Paisan _before she turned homicidal and got a cat.

Keep Singing! A Benefit Compilation For Compassion Over Killing

Beautiful art graces the cover of this album, entrancing me as I hear Gina Young introduce both the tone and ethics of the compilation. I quickly feel enveloped by the politics and clarity of these artists.

Swallow Throw Pillow

Sin in Linen is a fun, Seattle-based company started by Sandy Glaze. The company offers not just the pillow that I was sent for review, but sheets, duvet covers, sleepwear, T-shirts and an array of other products. Glaze appears to have a good feel for a more edgy, but design-conscious line for those who have taste for the rockabilly aesthetic. She offers patterns like the skull-and-crossbones, knives, thorny rose, an unrestrained black and white Victorian “wallflower” (my favorite), the pin-up vixen and the traditional Mom tattoo theme.

Shake Yourself Awake

When the first song of rock band Ms. Led’s new album, Shake Yourself Awake, blasted on my stereo I became an instant fan. As a 35 year old woman who came of age in the ‘80s, I felt like I was taking a stroll down musical memory lane as I listened. Ms. Led’s music, fronted by lead singer Lesli Wood, is punk with a dash of ‘80s new wave.

Destroy Me I’m Yours

Move over Sid and Nancy. Free form rock is the new black and Brooklyn, New York do-gooders Jen and Johnny from Shellshag are the ultimate musical couple. Years ago while performing in separate bands, they were involved with a public arts warehouse and living experiment in San Francisco called Starcleaners. Fast forward to present day, where Starcleaners has become a haven for the artistic community, releasing limited edition music including Shellshag’s first full-length album, Destroy Me I’m Yours.