Billy Raygun, “Billy Raygun” LP

cover-billy-raygunThe first time I heard Billy Raygun, I have to admit I wasn't impressed. Their side of the split with Lipstick Homicide left me fairly cold. This self-titled LP from John Wilkes Booth Records has completely changed my mind, however. The gruffness that bothered me upon first impression has been tempered. Either the band is less dischordantly wasted, or I've just been listening to enough hardcore for this to seem melodious by comparison. That being said, Billy Raygun is the heir apparent to the low fidelity wastrels of Shang-A-Lang. Though it's not even been a year since that band released their farewell EP, the calamitous pop that trio brought to so many singles is sorely missed. Thus, Billy Raygun's development from sloppy pop quartet to tenuous garage punk rockers is a welcome change. One need look no further than "Tituba," the instrumental which splits the album in half. Its tight, eye-opening guitar work demonstrates that this New Hampshire act isn't stumbling upon their hooks. Nothing this well-done could possibly be a happy accident. The vocals are off-kilter and off-key, but the way the shouting and hooting and hollering at times comes together harmoniously will turn even the most dour expression into one of joy. Buy it on CD from the John Wilkes Booth store or wait for it to drop on vinyl from People of the Hills.

Synthroid Overdose

cover-billy-raygun-lipstick-split Synthroid Overdose, Though still several months shy of celebrating its third birthday, John Wilkes Booth Records has become a solid purveyor of pop-punk. In addition to releases from the band for which he drums (Billy Raygun), David Solender has put out recordings from Blockhead and What Happened. Solender recently put out two splits: an LP from Billy Raygun and Lipstick Homicide, as well as a live cassette from Big Eyes and Rational Anthem. We e-mailed back and forth with Solender about the new releases, as well as a little of the label's history.

This is the first LP John Wilkes Booth has released. What made this worth issuing as an LP, as opposed to CD?

Well, this release began conceptually as a 7" split, Synthroid Overdose. It sort of evolved into a split LP because of everybody involved getting so excited about the whole thing. 20mg Synthroid Overdose, It ended up an LP as opposed to a CD because it was conceived as a vinyl release to begin with. Also, compared to the other bands who I've done CDs for, Billy Raygun and Lipstick Homicide are a little more well known. I toyed with doing a run of CDs as well, but since we had the mp3s online for free from day one, it seemed silly.

Synthroid Overdose, How'd the two bands get together for this split. Is there a history?

About two years ago, me and a friend Servo [Jefferson] got an apartment together. Servo is from Iowa and had heard Lipstick a bunch of times, 1000mg Synthroid Overdose. I'm in Billy Raygun and he liked us too. He pitched the idea before he'd even talked to everybody in Lipstick (as a 7"). To this day, Billy Raygun and Lipstick Homicide still haven't actually played a show together, Synthroid Overdose.

What makes JWB release albums other than Billy Raygun records?

The majority of stuff I've done is by people I know. Actually, the majority of records I've released had me on them in some way. But that aside, I put out stuff I love and think should be out there. Hopefully other people love it too.

cover-rational-big-cassette Synthroid Overdose, Case in point: you're releasing a live split cassette. Synthroid Overdose uk, How'd that come about?

I was playing drums for Rational Anthem on tour this summer (see what I mentioned about stuff involving me?) and we played a great show at Slaughterhouse Five in Dover NH with Big Eyes. My aforementioned friends do a radio show, at which they have the capability to record/broadcast bands live. Everybody was pretty stoked, so we made sure to take a recording of it. Once we got back from tour I got the chance to listen to the sets, and they sounded pretty good. That release is also a benefit for a community space we're working on opening in NH, since the house that show was at got shut down, Synthroid Overdose.

It seems that pop-punk bands have become this niche of the punk world, populated with really intense music nerds. Where do you see your band and label in this?

Generally ignored, Synthroid Overdose india, but I think the people that are into it are really into it. I know that there are a handful of people who order every one of my releases, and I get pretty excited to be made aware of that.

Why the hell are there so many New England pop-punk bands, and why are they all so damned good?

Something similar to the Midwest pop punk bands, we have a long, cold winter and we need something to do with it. Bands come out of that so we can tour warmer places. 30mg Synthroid Overdose, I am pretty excited about some of the great bands in New England right now: Awful Man, Cassanovas In Heat and The New Warden are a few to name offhand.

Download the Billy Raygun / Lipstick Homicide split LP (left click, Mediafire). You can also buy the LP for $10 from the JWB store..

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Retin A Injection

zine-cover-shoganaiZine author Servo Jefferson recently released Shoganai Retin A Injection, , an epic tale of love, punk rock, and teaching English in Japan. It's an amazingly well-written story which delves deeply into the titular concept of "shoganai," which is Japanese for "nothing can be done." Essentially, Jefferson gave himself over to it, allowing a focus "upon oneself and one's inability to change the external world." This is good, as Jefferson encounters poor work conditions, bizarre roommates, and being stranded in unfamiliar parts of Japan. The positives outweigh the negatives, however, and it's all handled with good humor and aplomb.

Jefferson will soon be going on what might be the longest book tour ever to promote Shoganai, starting in January. He was cool enough to do an e-mail interview with Rock Star Journalist regarding the tour and Shoganai.

What exactly are your plans for the coming year, Retin A Injection. I know you're planning on going "on tour for all of 2011," as you put it. What does that entail. What's the reasoning behind it?

So my plan for 2011 is to go on a year-long book tour. I have no idea what it is going to entail. Retin A Injection, I've always wanted to be a writer, and traveling is of the utmost importance to me. Somewhere in October -- around the time I reached the point where I had applied for over 200 jobs in 2010 with no success, I was really down about things, how direction-less my life had become. 250mg Retin A Injection, I thought it through in my head, "If I could do anything what would it be. Travel to see all my friends all over the world." I realized that if I could get a job, I'd get maybe two good weeks of travel in in the next year. I like moving around, and the thought of being so tied down was just horrible. I've been unemployed for like 40 months at this point, and have been making most of my living just flipping vinyl records, Retin A Injection. It dawned on me that I needed to sell the valuable stuff in my personal collection, take the money, and run. To hell with growing up and the debt I'm in. I want more life. Possessions aren't important; experience is. Retin A Injection, At first I just wanted to go south for the winter, but the idea kept snowballing.

At the same time, it dawned on me that maybe I should try to accomplish something tangible with my travels. I'd always wanted to be a writer, but did not want to suffer the same pratfalls I'd seen every young person who tried to make at as a writer suffer. I knew in my early twenties I wasn't ready, hadn't developed to the point where I knew I could craft quality instead of just grasping at straws, but recently, I realized I had grown to a point where I knew I could do this. I decided to blog daily about the trip on my website, but then it occurred to me I had a lot of really good stories I had accrued over the years.

So, I started work on my memoirs at the age of 27, Retin A Injection. Part one, Retin A Injection craiglist, Shoganai, about my post-college time in Japan came out a few weeks ago and I'm busy with part two, Unemployee of the Month, which is about, well, being unemployed and taking as much advantage of it as possible. So, now I have these zines, and I'm going travelling, why not just make it a book tour. And if it's going to be a book tour, why not make that in and of itself something worth writing about. Why not make it a challenge. Retin A Injection, Tour for a whole year -- no home, no rent. Taking the DIY ethics of a lifetime in punk rock scenes and applying them to being a writer seems way cooler than getting a job. I'm still figuring out how I'm going to do this, but I will be doing small spoken word bits at shows and am even planning to tour with some bands over the course of the year. I'm also looking into zine culture for the first time and trying to find places and people that could help me. My only goals are to have fun, be read, and make friends.

So, have you a route planned out, or are you just playing this by ear, Retin A Injection. Like, 30mg Retin A Injection, do you have certain places you plan to hit at certain times because of people who are putting you up and whatnot?

Well, I have the first six months roughly mapped out. I'm gonna head from Iowa City to Denver because I have friends who want rides there. Then, I'm taking one of them to Lawrence, Kansas. From there, I'll head south to Oklahoma and Texas (the only states besides Hawaii I've never been to!). Retin A Injection, Then, I'll head to the west coast, go up it to Canada, drive across Canada, come back down to Iowa for a second and make my way to New Hampshire to start a tour with pop punk sensations Billy Raygun in June. After that, the plans are hazy, but I'm sure they'll become more clear.

I don't really have to be anywhere at any time. I've traveled a bunch before and made a lot of friends from message boards whom I've stayed with. One of the things I did when formulating the plan was make a list of cities and the number of nights I could feasibly crash with friends there. The list was over 50 cities and 200 days, Retin A Injection. Shouldn't be too hard to stretch that to 365, especially if I can hop on more tours. I have dreams and schemes regarding the second six months that are totally grandiose and likely unrealistic, but the plan is to shoot for the stars.

Are you familiar with the book Evasion at all. I ask because this reminds me a lot of that.

Haha, definitely. Retin A Injection, I didn't read that book 'til I was almost done with college but it really helped reignite the dying punk rock flame within. Great read, everyone should check it out, Retin A Injection usa. I actually spent some time with "Mac Evasion" a few years ago. I made it a point to book him for a speaking gig so I could meet the dude. He's totally nothing like you'd expect and has been through some crazy shit. One of the most articulate and interesting people I have ever met, Retin A Injection. His real world persona still refuses to openly cop to writing the book (with somewhat good reason) and the time I did talk to him about it everything had to be framed "hypothetically," even though it's not a huge secret who wrote Evasion. Dude's a great writer and super passionate. He gave me some of the best writing advice I've ever gotten that I rarely follow. This tour won't be nearly as punk as Evasion cuz I actually like have a car and a few bucks, but if it weren't for "Mac" and his book there's no way in hell I would have ever thought to do this.

Retin A Injection, That's fantastic. What do you have planned for your speaking stuff?

Well, I really don't have anything firmly planned yet, just some vague ideas. Don't know when I'll do my first show. There's a few I'm trying to jump on. But the idea is to do a short spoken word thing (5-10 minutes) -- just go on between some bands, introduce myself and the idea of tour, tell a funny story or two, do the "buy my zines" shtick and get off the stage. I'm not super worried about it, I did years of speech and theater stuff in high school, Retin A Injection. If things ever go sour on stage, I'll just tell some off-color jokes and insult the general intelligence of the audience.

Thanks for your time doing this. 100mg Retin A Injection, It's been fun.

Word. Thank you so much.

You can buy Shogani at Jefferson's website for $3.50 postage paid, and follow him on Twitter (@servoFTIdotC). If you're lucky, he'll write you a note on the inside front cover (or maybe not). Evasion, the epic tale of freegan living through left-handing and dumpster diving, can be purchased from CrimethInc's website for $5.

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Expired Tetracycline Tox

cover-di-viVarious Artists
Dangerous Intersections VI
(Traffic Street Records)

Every time a new installment in Traffic Street Expired Tetracycline Tox, 's "Dangerous Intersections" series of four-way splits comes out, I'm forced to make a decision. Namely, which track is my favorite. It's always a difficult choice, 10mg Expired Tetracycline Tox, as each one manages to have each band skew towards a different punk direction. Volume six is no different. 20mg Expired Tetracycline Tox, Do I want the Transgressions' short and to-the-point "17". Is it the hard to describe, yet compelling "Flashlight" from Billy Raygun, Expired Tetracycline Tox. The pop-punk by way of post-hardcore of Vacation's "Heterosexual Lion". Or, the simple college rockin' of New Creases' "No Spark", 150mg Expired Tetracycline Tox.

Seriously, though -- that Billy Raygun song reminds me of a billion bands simultaneously, 250mg Expired Tetracycline Tox, but I couldn't put my finger on what exactly it is about their song that has me wanting to listen to it over and over again. The emotional intensity of the vocals just grabs me. Expired Tetracycline Tox, They're so fucking raw, it blows my mind.

New Creases also continue to amaze me with each and every song I hear from them. The obvious Superchunk comparisons aside, Expired Tetracycline Tox australia, they've rapidly started to be one of those bands from whom I feel the need to buy every release.

In essence, I look at each release in the series as a chance to have Traffic Street pick out four new bands for me to love and appreciate. I've bought records from at least half the bands that have been on past installments, and number six has done it again.

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