Shit-Fi © 2013
A primer on early reggae, which was favored by skinheads in the UK from approximately 1967 to 1971.
So punk reared its unkempt head in Spain in 1978. Though the bands started earlier (La Banda Trapera Del Río in 1976), five punk records were released that year, all by bands from Barcelona or Madrid, along with one fake punk record, which may surpass the others, or, indeed, all other punk records. At the same time, vestiges of the pre-punk era of Iberian rocknroll appeared on vinyl, revved-up and seemingly also influenced by the punk explosion. The sound of the earliest Spanish punk records shared much with punk’s precursors, from old-fashioned 50s rocknroll to glam to early metal to Detroit’s hard proto-punk. Punk in Northern Europe or England certainly did have similar influences, but the classic 77 punk sound, with a few notable exceptions, did not have Spanish punk’s affinities with hard rock from earlier in the decade. It could be that Spain’s countercultural period was compressed because it did not start as early as that of England or the United States, and so the evolution that occurred in rocknroll’s sound over the decade from 1965 to 1975 outside Spain had to span a period half as long, which thus butted up against the early moments of the punk revolution. Proto-punk therefore was simultaneous with punk rock proper.
Here are some short reviews of reissues released in the last few months. I tried to write something quick and informal, inna fanzine style, but I’m not sure I succeeded. 2008 was a banner year for shit-fi reissues (and current bands too); my pithy top-ten lists will be published in Maximum Rocknroll #310.
Here is the Shit-Fi top ten list of Japanese noise-core records (all of which are 7"s, most flexis). The list is based on my own personal taste, many years of listening to these records, and endless conversations with other enthusiasts. I published a list of the top five in 2002 in Game of the Arseholes #5, which was a dry run for this article. The intervening years have made the music much more obtainable, with reissues and scumbag bootlegs aplenty as well as the more benign file-sharing and MP3 downloads. I have included sound files for most, if not all, of the records on the list. It's true that most of these records are rare and getting rarer, and I cannot deny that I believe the most authentic and rewarding listening experience comes from the original vinyl housed in the original sleeve, but there is no reason to think this list is meant as some sort of exercise in the dread elitism that is so often associated with rare records. Nope, pure Japanese noise-core socialism here, comrades.
"Thrashings of Sour-faced Country Punks Stuck in 1977"
Punk, initially a London phenomenon, was by Summer 1977 filling the pages of the three main English weekly music papers, Sounds, Melody Maker, and NME. As the infection spread countrywide in successive waves through the late 70s, its provincial sproutings were often written off in dismissive terms within the review pages of these mags.
I would like most of all to ask a question about political aesthetics, and more specifically, about the politics and aesthetics of punk rock. At no point in this discussion will it be possible to digress into the interesting sociological aspects of punk, nor will there be space for the enjoyable diversion of conjecturing about what actual persons think. That is to say, this is neither an anthropology nor a statistical survey. It is, as I said, a question, posed here to a cultural product, in the manner of a critique (an exploration of its possibility).
In his 1988 Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord wrote: “Modern society, which, up to 1968, went from success to success, and was persuaded that it was loved, has since then had to renounce these dreams; it prefers to be feared.” These words are truer today than ever.
35 primitive, inept, raw, rough, and otherwise horrible cover songs that ruined music forever
Shit-Fi celebrates the cover songs that leave a bad taste in your mouth, whose unlistenability travels back in time and destroys the original versions, so you can never again listen to them in the same way.
First installment, published July 31, 2009.
Second installment, published August 10, 2009.
Third installment, published August 25, 2009.
Appendix I: 15 more (dis-)honorable mentions, published August 25, 2009.
The Birth of Punk in Argentina and the Story of Los Violadores
A selective summary and review of El Nacimiento del Punk en la Argentina y la Historia de los Violadores, Cavanna, Esteban M., Interpress Ediciones, Buenos Aires 2001, 144 pages.