Nowhere near as severe as the article title makes this out to be, Jordan Schwartz took the time to answer TBB’s ‘lil ol’ Q&A concerning We Got Power: Hardcore Punk Scenes From 1980s Southern California.
Reading about you and Jennifer gave me a “Freaks and Geeks” vibe–the two of you reminded me of versions of Lindsay and Sam, but a lot more in your element.
Welll I never got into the “Freaks and Geeks” scene so I can’t comment on how accurate your vibe is, but I am two years older than my sister and we were both geeks. Our mom moved us to different towns in SoCal every year or so we didn’t always have our own set of friends, and we hung out a lot.
What made you and Dave and Jennifer and Alan want to cover the SoCal hardcore scene?
It’s a combination of things including being outsider geeks, hardcore punk rock being more compelling then the New Wave and Ska we have been listening to up until that point, getting some experience in print and film production by hanging out with Dave Markey who lived around the block, and the major catalyst that the hardcore scene was blowing up all around us. Black Flag , Circle Jerks, and Social Distortion gigs were at worst a bus ride away in Hollywood, and our friend and fellow odd ball Kim Pilkington had a car and was willing to drive on any “mission”.
How long did assembly of the book take?
It took about 8 years from when we first started scanning the old 35mm black and white negatives and realizing that it would work as some form of a book to us actually holding the real thing in our hands.
We went through two publishers the first being our friend Thurston Moore who wanted to publish the book on his Ecstatic Peace press. Thurston was immediately interested but he kept going forward with other projects, and by the time he was ready to publish our book his company folded.
Fortunately by that time we had become aware of Ian Christie’s Bazillion Points Publishing who had recently released the Touch and Go book which was fairly close to what we wanted to do. Dave got a hold of Ian rather quickly and Ian was immediately interested.
From that point it took some time for Ian to focus on our project which included him rescanning all of the negatives so he could get familiar with the work. We then worked on gathering the remaining written pieces, writing the captions, and then reviewing Ian’s layouts.
How’d you and Dave go about collecting the essays?
Dave, Jennifer, and I were able leverage the internet and social networking, plus a few local phone calls to get the various pieces. This was much easier then in the We Got Power days where things were done via snail mail and typewriters, or trying to catch a band as they were passing through town.
Zines are pretty hot still, especially for artists and illustrators who all collaborate–plus it’s easy to get the word out online now. So the inclusion of the We Got Power scans are really inspiring because the zine is such an effective format.
Assuming by Zines you mean printed zines, yes it’s a much richer experience to have one in your hands versus reading someone’s blog on the internet, it’s also a bit more work than a blog post, but it is still easier to layout print than the old days. I guess these days printed zines are to blogs as mp3s are to vinyl.
How was circulation?
I’m not sure if you are talking about the book, or the old We Got Power Magazine.
Ian handles the book circulation, which includes sales from his website, direct sales to “finer” stores, and through distributors. Personally I’ve seen the book on a shelf in Barnes and Noble, in local Art and Design book shop, and in the top 10 of the Amazon Punk Books lists so I am very impressed on how Ian is getting the book out there.
Regarding We Got Power Magazine, If I remember correctly the print runs for the 5 issues of We Got Power Magazine ran from 1200 – 3500. The issues were printed by the father of the singer of Circle One John Macias from his print shop in Korea Town. He was very generous to us, we paid in cash and printed the issues on high quality paper. I still have a few copies of Issue number 4 and they are in great condition as opposed to my old Flipside and Maximum Rock and Roll zines that were printed on newspaper pulp and are falling apart.
Distribution was handled through independent record distributors like Systematic, and Rough Trade. Local distribution was handled by Gremlin Distribution which was driving to every record store within a 50 mile radius in Kim Pilkington’s 1975 AMC Gremlin to sell zines on consignment. We also sold issues as gigs and while hanging out at Oki Dog’s.
“We Got Power!” feels like a documentary in book form–are there any plans down the line to have a doc in conjunction, especially where Dave’s a filmmaker?
Well there’s a story about the scene from our perspective in there but I don’t know if we will be the ones to make that doc. Dave did shoot an amazing documentary about the early 80’s hardcore punk rock scene at the time called The Slog Movie which was re-edited and released on DVD in 2007. He also released a documentary on the Circle Jerks in 2012 called “My Career as Jerk” which is arguably one of his best works.
The New Theatre in the Square Marietta is Back and Better Than Ever!
Three years ago one of my favorite local theaters took their final bow and closed up shop. Ever since I can I remember, I loved going to see performances at the Theatre on the Square in the beautiful Marietta Square. I can remember going to see some great Christmas shows with my parents and one of my favorites, the “1940’s Radio Hour”. Ahhh, the memories. But, it was all over in 2012.
Three years have come and gone and I spent two of those years in Boston and one in Florida, so imagine my delight to come back to Atlanta to find that the Theatre on the Square was revamped and ready to amaze again with great local talent.
We took a few minutes to get to know the lovely Roxanne Johnson of the Theatre and ask her a few questions.
TBB: We are so excited that the beloved Theatre in the Square in Marietta is making it’s glorious comeback. Tell me about this revival, who is involved and what we can expect?
Roxanne: It was more than heart breaking to the community as a whole to see Theatre in the Square close up shop in 2012. Immediately seeing huge potential Raul Thomas; Executive Chef, Film Maker and avid supporter of all the arts, took over the theatre in September of this year. From the community he hand picked a team of top notch creative and business professionals. We all quickly went to bring this sacred space back to it’s former glory.
Wanting to court previous supporters of the theatre we offer through our resident company standards and favorites of the community. There will also be more contemporary entertainment offered as well as concerts and comedy and other events. The former green room has now been transformed into a small film and photography studio.
The studio is available to the community. As well as classes for children and adults. We are already working closely with Marietta Middle School and Kennesaw State University. The ultimate goal is creating a multi-cultural center bringing entertainment and education to the area through art and theatre.
Information regarding what is currently running and what is coming up for us, as well as purchasing tickets can be found on our website HERE.
After the 1st of the year we will be offering season tickets, flex tickets and reserved seating.
Ho Ho Ho Steve-O? Holiday Laughs with Steve-O at the Improv Atlanta
Steve-O (a.k.a. Stephen Glover) has become a household name over the last two decades. Famous for his cringe worthy stunts on MTV’s Jackass and WildBoyz, he is never shy and always up for a challenge! Steve-O is coming to Atlanta this week to perform at the Improv Atlanta 12/3 – 12/5 so get ready for holiday cheer, Steve- O style!
We asked Steve-O a few questions, you can read his answers below:
TBB:First of all, since you are coming to Atlanta this week, tell us what your favorite thing about Atlanta is. Also, do you plan to visit anywhere other than the Improv while in town? Ever heard of the Clermont Lounge? ;)
Steve-O: It was July 4th the last time I was in Atlanta, and I had a great time taping big fireworks to my skateboard and blowing them up while I rode around a skatepark. That was a really wild time. Next week I go to jail for the crane-climbing stunt I did earlier this year in Los Angeles, so this weekend I’ll be sure to enjoy my last days of freedom roaming around Atlanta. I’m sure the Clermont Lounge is awesome, but I think I’m going to skip that spot this weekend.
TBB: The Clermont just might be a little too much for you Steve-O!
Kurtis Blow and the Hip Hop Nutcracker
A holiday mash-up for the entire family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary work set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, embarks on an international tour on the strength of last December’s sold-out performances of the world premiere at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA) in New York City. The Hip Hop Nutcracker will make a stop at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre Saturday, Nov. 28 at 2 p.m.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker is directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, artistic director of the all-female hip-hop crew Decadancetheatre in Brooklyn. It is adapted to today’s New York by Mike Fitelson, executive director of UPCA – the work’s original producer – and includes hip-hop interludes remixed and reimagined by DJ Boo and violinist Filip Pogády.
For its stop at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 28, The Hip Hop Nutcracker features special guest MC Kurtis Blow, one of the founders and creators of recorded rap music.
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