Saturday, December 27, 2008

Maureen Tucker and the Velvet Underground

"I was sitting drumming thinking thumping pondering the Mysteries of Life." --Lou Reed

The Velvet Underground and NicoAutumn Meredith, Leather Trio Productions: Two cool things happened in 1967. My parents had their only child, me, and the first Velvet Underground (iTunes Link) album came out. I got the album when I was sixteen at this used record store in North Beach where Cindy's boyfriend, Billy, later worked. I always thought that the coolest thing about the Velvets was their drummer, Maureen Tucker. In those old pictures she always looked kinda sweet and tough with her bangs and dark clothes. And she played drums with such understated simplicity that you hardly even noticed how good she was or how perfect her style was for the band unless you listened really close.

After the Velvets broke up Moe settled down, had a bunch of kids and then got divorced. But she never stopped playing drums. In 1987 that 50 Bejillion Watts label put out a Maureen Tucker mini album called MoeJadKateBarry. Jad Fair of Half Japanese sings and Moe plays primitive drums like only she can. They do old Velvets songs, a Jimmy Reed cover and one original. It's one big crunching dirge of a record.

Now everyone knows that the only great album released so far this year (1989) is Lou Reed's New York (iTunes Link). And of course Lou got Moe to play drums on two songs. The real cool one is the song dedicated to Andy Warhol, "Dime Store Mystery." Moe's drums sort of fade in and out of the mix, but whenever they pop out you can hear them thumping along with Lou's voice and guitar like two old friends rediscovering each other. Her drumming is so much tough primitive pounding and so unlike all those oversampled drum machine sounds on so many records these days. Maureen Tucker's drums are "shrieking screaming whispering the Mysteries of Life." Yeah, whispering. Keep on pounding Moe.

Album Network, February 10, 1989

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Betty Blue, Joan Jett and the Art of Saying, "I Love You"

Cindy Jacobson, Leather Trio Productions.
The other day Billy used the "L" word. Shit, did I chew him out. First it's a totally stupid thing to say. I mean yuppie couples probably use this kind of nonsense on each other all the time. "I love you honey." "I love you darling." Second, it doesn't count unless he says it in French. And none of this whispering, "Je t'aime," either. He's gotta shout it out loud. He's gotta open the car window and scream out "Je l'aime" ("I love her") so the whole world can hear like in the movie Betty Blue.

I have to scold Billy all the time. Like the other day me and Autumn and Cliff were at the Hideout waiting for Billy to show up. And pretty soon Autumn and Cliff are getting all googly eyes at each other and they have to go off someplace and grope. Leaving me at the Hideout by myself surrounded by assorted dweebs and sexist scum, waiting for Billy who never shows up. The next day I chewed Billy out good. Bad Billy bad bad. "I fell asleep," he said. Bad Billy! If this shit keeps up it's gonna be like that Joan Jett song, "Someday," where she says, "listen to me you son of a bitch... I'm gonna kick you outa my life and when you come crawling back to me on your hands and knees on glass..." And only Joan Jett can say the "on glass" part with just the right sinister touch. "I'm gonna spit in your face." Not that I would do that, but it sounds all threatening and punk rock.

So Billy's all, "I'm sorry Cindy. I was tired. I fell asleep." At first he's making like it was no big deal. I'm telling him there was sexist scum everywhere oggling me. And then here it comes. "I love you, little blonde." Now whenever he says "little blonde" he's gone off into the mush zone. And I'm like, "no way, Billy. You gotta say it in French. You gotta open the window and scream it out so the whole world can hear. Or it doesn't count." Trust me girls, this works. Make him say it in French. Make him yell it out. Threaten him with Joan Jett. Practice that sinister "on glass" part real good. Trust me.

Album Network, February 3, 1989

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cindy and Autumn's Favorite Albums of 1988

Cindy Jacobson/Autumn Meredith. Leather Trio Productions.

Cindy: I'm writing my half of this from Chicago where I'm visiting my dad and step mom and my two half brothers who are total Ninja Nintendo brats. And if I hear one more word about those dweebs the Chicago Bears--ooh! Football has gotta be the stupidest game ever invented. Here are my favorite albums of 1988. Everything But The Girl/Idlewild. Sugarcubes/Life's Too Good. Primitives/Lovely. Jesus and Mary Chain/Barbed Wire Kisses. Jane's Addiction/Nothing's Shocking. Ramones/Mania. Flipper/Sex Bomb Baby. And no Van Halen! Honorable mentions go to Michelle Shocked for "Anchorage," Transvision Vamp for "Tell That Girl to Shut Up" and Wednesday Week for their awfully cool fan club EP. Wake up Enigma! Since I'm in Chicago I won't know what Autumn put on her list till I get back. If she puts that ultra macho Van Halen nonsense on there she will be spanked. Boy stuff bleah.

Autumn: Spank me now Cindy. Spank my bare bottom. See if I care. Ultra macho what? She's right about the Bears, though. 49ers rule! Here's my list. Metallica/...And Justice For All. Jane's Addiction/ Nothing's Shocking. Van Halen/OUHateCindy2. Sugarcubes/ Life's Too Good. Primitives/Lovely. Book of Love/Lullaby. Joy Division/Substance. Coolest record label of the year award goes to Elektra cause they have Sugarcubes, Leah Simon, Suki Sir, MetalliRay Gmeiner and even that Rob Sides person who got all squished at the I-Beam Sugarcubes show. Thanks to everyone who contributed to our sleepy time crusade at the end of last year. Charlie Springer is a Christmas star in the west. Cindy hurry back so we can go ice skating on the Golden Gate Bridge. Welcome to 1989 everyone.

Album Network, January 6, 1989

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Two Wednesday Week Fans Interviewed

Kristi Callan of Wednesday WeekAutumn: This was originally done for some now forgotten fanzine. Or maybe it was in the Wednesday Week newsletter. I think it might be unpublished. Our archives are in disarray.
Cindy: We should mention that we forgot who asked the questions, but it was definitely a boy.

What do you think of Tiffany and Debbie Gibson?
Autumn: I don't think of Tiffany.
Cindy: I think of Debbie Gibson, sometimes. She has horrible clothes, but I like "Only In My Dreams."
A: Put that girl in some black clothes.
C: Put Tiffany in a closet.

Who do you sleep with at night?
C: Mostly I sleep by myself, but sometimes with Billy.
A: I sleep with Floppy Bear.

Which member of Wednesday Week do you most want to be like?
C: I think I'd wanna be like Kristi. If I could sing that cool. Or Heidi. I could stomp as a bass player.
A: I'd wanna be Kelly. A girl drummer. Rad.
C: Uh, oh. Here comes the Val yack.

Kelly Callan of Wednesday Week
What are your favorite Wednesday Week songs?
C: "Thrash." (Note: this song is actually called "All That Again.")
A: Cause it thrashes. I like "Just My Size." Cool lyrics.
C: I like "You Want So Bad to Believe" cause it's so sexy. It would drive boys to do dangerous things.
A: I like it when boys do dangerous things.
C: Me too. I think my favorite Wednesday Week song is "I Wonder What You Hear." It has that kinda mystery, you know? Plus Kristi's voice just aches. My favorite female singers are Kristi and Tracey Thorn who is in Everything But the Girl. Both Wednesday Week and Everything But the Girl have songs about relationships with that underlying emotional tension. And you can hear that in Kristi's voice. She captures the real emotional content of the song. That's why Wednesday Week are so good. There's so much feeling expressed.

Kristi Callan and David Nolte of Wednesday Week
What are your favorite Wednesday Week shows?
C: I like the one we saw at the San Jose State University Pub.
A: The Leather Trio, that's me and Cindy plus Billy--
C: My dreamwalk baby.
A: --we drove down to San Jose in Billy's car. I think this was in March of 1987.
C: There was hardly anyone there. Maybe 50 people. So Wednesday Week were real relaxed, real casual. After they played "I Saw The Light" this whole table full of beer-drinking Hank fans stood up and cheered.
A: That was so cool.
Heidi Rodewald of Wednesday Week playing bassC: And they played "Boy (You Got Me Good)" as an encore. They don't play that live very much.
A: I like the show we saw in San Diego best.
C: Oh yeah. That was like two years ago. We drove down from San Francisco in Billy's car, but we left Billy behind. It was a girls only adventure. He was so pissed!
A: Cindy had to act all cute and sweet to get him to lend us the car.
C: Did not.
A: He lets her get away with anything.
C: Does not.
A: Neither of us had turned 21 yet, but we were really good at getting into clubs.
C: And you were such a wimp about it. I practically had to drag you down there.
A: Did not.
C: The place was called the Belly Up Tavern. It's in Solana Beach.

Belly Up Tavern sign, Solana Beach, California
A: When we first got there we went straight to the bathroom.
C: Long drive. Needed to pee.
A: On the way to the bathroom we ran into David.
C: Yeah.
A: We got all nervous and giggly.
C: He thought we were so weird.
A: There were tons of people at the show.
C: Watching football!
A: Wednesday Week had to wait to go on cause the game went into overtime.
C: When it was finally over Wednesday Week came out and played.
A: They won over all those San Diego Chargers fans.
C: People danced and spilled beer.
A: They played "Safety First" that night. I love that song.
C: The calico cat song.
A: We like calico cats. There's one who hangs around fisherman's warf. He's a vagabond cat.
C: We like black cats too.
A: Like Sweden, who visits us all the time.
C: Don't tell them that.
A: Why not?
C: Sly secret.
A: Oh.

Heidi Rodewald of Wednesday Week
Do either of you have any nicknames?
C: My dad calls me "Cin." My biker friend Old George calls me "Little Cindy." And Billy calls me "Little Blonde," but only when he's in a really mushy mood. He's such a boy.
A: You'd think she was a midget the way everyone calls her little.
C: Yeah, I'm not that small. Really.
A: Oh, everyone just calls me Autumn. 'Cept Cindy still sometimes calls me "Tomboy."
C: Still sometimes.

How old were you when you lost your virginity?
C: Not tellin'.
A: Me either.
C: I know how old Autumn was.
A: If you tell I'll hit you.
C: You will not.
A: Will too.
C: She always says she's gonna hit me, but she never does.
A: But I will hit you this time.
C: She says that all the time too.
A: Do not.
C: Leave it to a boy to ask this kind of question anyway.
A: Yeah.

Who do you make out to? Mathis or Sinatra?
A: Definitely Sinatra. Nancy Sinatra.
C: Or Buzzcocks.
A: Or Wednesday Week.

Do you have anything else you want to say?
A: Hi Natalie.
C: We should call her.
A: Good idea.

November 16, 1988
Another legendary unpublished Leather Trio Production
Photographs by Joe Beine (20 Nov 1986, Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, California; Kelly Callan - 3 April 1986, Callan Garage)

Wednesday Week - What We Had CD at

Natalie Kerr phone home!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Flipper Noise

Bruce Loose of FlipperCindy Jacobson, Leather Trio Productions/San Francisco.

Flipper was to San Francisco what X is to L.A. or the Ramones are to New York. Actually I've never really cared much for Flipper's studio albums. Only their live shows really captured what they were all about. I remember the first time me and Autumn saw them. It was at the Elite club, which used to be called the Fillmore, and is now called the Fillmore again. There were tons of bands, but Flipper just crunched everyone.

A Flipper live show was chaotic, loud, messy, dark, hostile. I've never felt so much raw intensity blasted out from four people on a stage like Flipper could do on a good night. And a good night for Flipper meant the band stumbling through an alcohol haze, Bruce and Will arguing over who should play bass and who should sing, and having members of the audience come up and sing "Sex Bomb" at the end. My favorite Flipper songs are the ones that just drone on like "Ever," "Shine" and "Sacrifice." And of course my favorite album is the live one, Public Flipper Limited.

Flipper in Denver 1984 by Joe Beine
Now there's a new (in 1988) Flipper record on Subterranean called Sex Bomb Baby that collects all their singles and stray tracks. It's a really good album, what with "Get Away" and "Sex Bomb" on there, but there's something missing. It's not just lamenting Will's stupid death by an overdose. It's just... San Francisco won't seem right without one of those powerfully erratic Flipper shows to go to. They pulsed with a strange noise just like the underside of the city does. Sure other bands will come along and try to claim their turf. But only the guys in Flipper could be the biggest bunch of fuck-ups in world and get it right.

originally published in:
Puncture #15, Spring 1988
Album Network, November 11, 1988 (partial)

Suggested Listening:
Sex Bomb Baby (Collection) by Flipper at Amazon

Album - Generic Flipper at Amazon

Blow'n Chunks - Flipper live at CBGBs, 1983 at Amazon

Photographs by Joe Beine
The Eagle's Lodge, Denver, Colorado, December 7, 1984

Flipper in Denver, 1984 by Joe Beine

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Clint Eastwood's Bird and Charlie Parker

Cindy and Autumn, Leather Trio Productions/San Francisco.

Charlie Parker with Strings album coverCindy: One of my favorite things to do is rent a Clint Eastwood western and watch it on Billy's VCR.
Autumn: Cindy doesn't have a VCR. All she has is a little B&W TV with a broken antenna. She doesn't even have cable.
C: I am not an eighties kinda girl.
A: In order to be an eighties kinda girl you gotta have cable.
C: Clint Eastwood is my adopted dad. I watch his movies all the time.
A: Now there's a new movie that Clint directed called Bird. It's all about Charlie Parker.
C: Who is one of Autumn's heroes. She likes Metallica and Charlie Parker. You figure it out.
A: I first found out about Charlie Parker from reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
C: She reads all this Beatnik stuff. She's a fifties kinda girl.
A: In the book the characters are always hanging out at smokey bars listening to jazz played by people like George Shearing, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk and Charlie Parker. I had never heard of these people before.
C: This is cause we are young sprogs raised on punk rock.
A: So I started checking into it.
C: With a little help from my biker friend Old George, who, when he was our age, hung out in smokey jazz filled bars. One night George told us all about Bebop.
A: And we told him about the Jesus and Mary Chain.
C: We were amazed to learn that people could make music this cool before we were even born. So when Bird opened, well we had to go on opening night. I mean we're talking Clint Eastwood here.
A: We're talking Charlie Parker.
C: Of course the movie is totally cool.
A: You know it doesn't bother me at all that people are now going to think Charlie Parker is cool cause of Clint Eastwood. Cause Bird is a lot more important to music than any of that Kenny G slop that yuppies are buying and thinking it's jazz.
C: You tell 'em, Autumn.
A: So get yourself some Charlie Parker albums and go see the movie.
C: Directed by my dad.

Album Network, November 4, 1988

Charlie Parker with Strings: Complete Master Takes at iTunes

Sunday, June 29, 2008

No Rules

A carefully calligraphied handbill posted near the corner of Divisadero and Haight:

A Musical Event
A Dance
A Black Celebration
An Observance Of The Full Moon

Your Musical Menu:
The Pink Floyd (When They Had Syd)
The Creation
Eddie Cochran
The Beatles (circa 1966)
The Who (circa 1965)
Billie Holiday
Depeche Mode
Wednesday Week
The Sugarcubes

Attire: Skin Tight Clothing, Black Preferred, See Through On The Girls, As Little As Possible On The Boys. Drag Ok.
Admission: One Postcard With A Reproduction Of A Work By William Blake

The Games Begin At Midnight

The Club Is Called No Rules

Cindy: This is us.
Autumn: Definitely us.
Cindy: "Carefully calligraphied" is hard to say.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cindy Tears

Everything but the Girl - IdlewildJust a few months ago I wrote my first crusade. It was about Everything But the Girl and their fourth album, Idlewild. Since then they've released a single in England called "I Don't Want to Talk About it." And Sire added it to the Idlewild CD in America. I believe it's a cover of an old Rod Stewart song. (Editor's note: it was written by Danny Whitten of Crazy Horse.) It's real soft and pretty, unlike most of the stuff I usually listen to. The first line of the song is, "I can tell by your eyes that you've probably been crying forever." Just the other day Autumn said to me, "I've known you for seven years now and I don't think I've ever seen you cry." She's right. I don't cry very often. It's not cause I don't ever have anything to cry about. It's not cause I'm so tough I don't ever need to cry. Oh no. I think maybe...well I had kind of a rough time growing up. I cried a lot when I was a little girl. I guess maybe now I'm all cried out. Not many tears left in these wild brown eyes. Like if I'm fighting with Billy and I get to a point where I'm all upset and want to cry, I usually stop myself cause tears can be used the wrong way. If I start crying Billy's gonna get all, "shit Cindy, I'm sorry" and come over to my side. Men simply cannot deal with a woman's tears. Well I don't need that shit. I can tough out the fight without crying if I have to.

But you know there are those rare times when I do cry and usually it's one big mess. Cindy tears and blubbering nonsense pouring out all over the place. But it has to be a pretty big emotional deal before these tears will start flowing. And it sure is a lot nicer when there's someone else there, you know? It's obvious that Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl knows all about these kinds of things. She has a lot of songs that deal with emotional complexities. So after you've checked out "I Don't Want to Talk About it," you might want to go back to the album and listen to "I Always Was Your Girl" or "These Early Days" or "Apron Strings." These are really amazing songs. And if you ever need to have a good cry, go right ahead. It's good for you. Just don't get your boyfriend's shoulder too wet. They really hate that.

Album Network, October 10, 1988

Monday, June 16, 2008

On Whether Jane's Addiction is/was God...

Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking album coverIt all started when my friend Colleen quietly uttered, er I mean loudly blurted, "Jane's Addiction are God" in Album Network. We didn't know the controversy this would cause. C'mon really. The thundering godhead (oops) noise of Perry, Dave and the boys? God? Or maybe they're just U2 from hell. You decide...

"Jane's Addiction - the band that pulls you into your speaker and consumes you until you feel, are, become. ... Put on a pair of headphones, slap in a copy and lose yourself. Jane's Addiction are God...." -Colleen Combs, Cathouse, Los Angeles (Album Network, Sept. 9, 1988)

"Let's get this straight. Jane's Addiction is not God. They're from L.A. for gosh sakes. However when ol' Perry says 'let's rock' in 'Had a Dad,' this U2 from hell launches into some mind jolting stuff." -Esa, Navarre Corporation, Minneapolis (Album Network, Sept. 16, 1988)

"Personal to Esa/Navarre: Cindy says Jane's Addiction are God. Colleen says so too. That's two against one, you lose." -Cindy Jacobson, Leather Trio Prodcutions, San Francisco (Album Network, Oct. 7, 1988)

"Personal to Cindy Jacobson: I need a broader cross section of the electorate before I'm outvoted. However, after repeated listenings, Jane is approaching sainthood and if talk about the live show is only half true, the Jane/Jesus/God Axis thang (as bold as love) may happen. I may have to acquiesce, I may have to succumb. Jane is not yet God, but she can see God from where she's at, mang." -Esa, Navarre Corporation, Minneapolis (Album Network, Oct. 21, 1988)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

...And Justice for All - Metallica

Autumn Meredith, Leather Trio Productions.

Metallica And Justice For AllBoy stuff. Boy stuff... Imagine guitars, bass and drums all locked into a groove, pounding, crunching, punching you in the stomach. This is Metallica's ...And Justice For All (Amazon link). My boyfriend Cliff says it's the best album ever. He also says this about Puppets and Appetite For Destruction. It's obvious he can't make up his mind. Here's what you do. Get the ...And Justice For All CD in your player and punch up track four. This is "One." First you will hear war noises then acoustic and electric guitars swirl around James Hetfield's nightmarish lyrics. Suddenly Lars, Jason and James get locked into a wildly thumping machine gun rhythm while Kirk goes crazy on lead. When it's over you will lay there devasted by this awesomely sonic metal guitar crunching experience. Start, stop, sputter, crash, kill. This is Metallica. This is the sound of my generation. This is boy stuff on overdrive. Thanks to my friend Leah Simon for the CD. ("We love you lots, Leah Simon."--Cindy) Hey radio people! DON'T PLAY METALLICA! You're so far behind anyway. Keep on playing the Doors and Lynyrd Skynyrd all day. We don't care. We don't listen to the radio anyway. We listen to Metallica.

Album Network, Oct. 14, 1988

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Coolness '88 - Jane's Addiction, Primitives, Sugarcubes

Cindy Jacobson, Leather Trio Productions/San Francisco.
Here's a very "leather trio" of cool things...

1. Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking (WB) Perry erupts like a volcano while Dave, Eric and Stephen shoot off musical sparks. I warned you about Jane's Addiction. This album is a California earthquake. Personal to Esa Navarre: Cindy says Jane's Addiction are God. Colleen says so too. That's two against one. You lose.

2. Primitives - "Way Behind Me" (naughty bad parallel Nipper import--oops!) Not on the album. Crazily cool cover. Gorgeous acoustic version on the b-side. "Way Behind Me" just may be the best Primitives single yet. My sister Tracy can sure sing cool.

3. Sugarcubes with the Jesus and Mary Chain - "Christmas Eve" ('nother naughty bad parallel import--oops! again) Here I am being a little blonde Cindy brat talking about records I'm not even supposed to have. Spank me now, RIAA. So like, the Mary Chain and the 'Cubes are two of my favorite bands of now and here they are together crashing through "Birthday" and calling it "Christmas." No need for classic rock. There's a whole new generation of energetic young upstarts out there and the bands in this crusade are among the best. No need for airplay either. Us kids can find these records all on our own, thank you....

Caught being awfully swell this week was Album Network's own Mark Cope, who deserves great praise for putting up with us leather brats. Personal to Kevin at SRO: next time you go to Cathouse wear black clothes.

October 7, 1988, Album Network

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Punk Rockin' - Clash, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks

by Cindy Jacobson
(I wrote this in 1988 so think of yourself as being in a time warp of coolness while you're reading it. Pretend you're in the late 80s looking back on late 70s punk rock. -Cindy J)

"We're the flowers in the dustbin. We're the poison in your human machine. We're the future, your future." -Sex Pistols, 1977

1988 seems to be the year when lotsa punk rock compilations are coming out, so I'm going to sort through them for you, ok?

The Clash--The Story of the Clash (Epic)
Well for starters you can take the first record or tape or disc (depending on which configuration it is that makes you get all horny) and toss it in the trash. Post '79 Clash is pretty dismal stuff (Oh the controversy I've just caused! The middle of the night phone calls I'm going to get from pissed off punk rockers!). But the second half is totally cool. You get highlights from the first two Clash albums plus all the singles in between. "Complete Control" still sounds as pissed off as it did ten years ago. After CBS released "Remote Control" on a single without the band's permission the Clash got mad and decided to stick it to 'em: "They said, well it's 'Remote Control'/We didn't want it on the label." By the end of the song guitars and drums are crashing all over the place and Mick Jones is chanting, "total c-o-n control." And that's why we still love the Clash today and forever.

The Clash on iTunes The

Ramones Mania (Sire)
One night me and Billy (that's my boyfriend) were out driving around and we stopped near that little beach along the bay that's right in front of Ghirardelli Square. We were parked with all the windows down and we were giggling and singing "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" as loud as we could. Of course we changed the lyrics to "well San Francisco really has it all." You'd think we were drunk or had consumed large quantities of illegal substances, you know, like us youth are prone to do, but we weren't drunk or on drugs at all. Who needs drugs when you've got the Ramones? Later on of course we got all gropey and mushy and did other naughty bad things that us lusty youth are prone to do.

Ramones on iTunes Ramones

Buzzcocks - Lest We Forget (ROIR)
This happened about three years ago, ok? I went into this record store in North Beach and there was a cute guy behind the counter with a cool leather jacket. Your basic hoodlum type. He was playing the second Buzzcocks album, Love Bites (iTunes link). Ouch. Now I thought this guy was really cool cause I love the Buzzcocks. Their first album was the first album I ever bought. As I was walking around the store he kept looking at me. So finally I bought a record and I blurted out something really stupid like, "you have a really cool jacket." And he said, "oh thanks." That's all he said. But I kept going back into the store. It took him forever to ask me out. And now he's my boyfriend. So I met Billy cause of the Buzzcocks. Cool, huh? Oh, Lest We Forget is live. Play it lots. Like all the best punk rock it's a loud, fast explosion of noise and rebellion. And Love Bites just came out on CD. Ouch.

You really should not be without: Singles Going Steady - Buzzcocks (iTunes link)

More Buzzcocks on iTunes Buzzcocks

Sex Pistols--The Mini Album/The Swindle Continues/Better Live Than Dead (all on Restless) and We've Cum For Your Children (Skyclad)
Ten years after Sid dies and we get four "new" Sex Pistols albums. Yeah, the swindle continues... Plus Never Mind the Bollocks, punk's single greatest expression, is a now a domestic CD. 'Bout time, Bugs.Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols CD cover The Ramones may've started the whole damn thing, but the Pistols rubbed it in everyone's faces. There isn't a single band today that's worth anything at all that doesn't owe a huge debt to Malcolm McLaren's boys (oooh! more controversy!). The Sex Pistols took the piss out of rock and roll and put the rebellion back in. As far as these new albums go, The Mini Album is the best, great raw demos from '76. Better Live Than Dead is high on intensity but low on quality. Side one of The Swindle Continues has more demos you've heard a million times while side two is post-break up poo. We've Cum for Your Children is pretty much a mess, but there's enough tidbits to satisfy the hardcore fan who has to have everything. It's almost worth it for the legendary Bill Grundy interview during which the Pistols said bad words on national television and a very young Siouxsie Sioux was lurking somewhere in the background.

If you don't own any Sex Pistols albums you should get Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (iTunes link) before you get any of these. And if you check out Public Image you'll know why Johnny Rotten's still the greatest and still pissed off. Play the Pistols' "Bodies" along side PiL's "Body" and you'll see what I mean.

If you already have Bollocks, check out: Spunk: the Official Bootleg by Sex Pistols (iTunes link), which is filled with great early raw demos when they had Glen Matlock. Coolness.

Addresses: Epic and Sire are major Michael Jackson and Madonna driven labels and you should be able to find their punk toys just about anywhere. ROIR lives at in NYC 10012. Restless (is)/was just a little chunk of Enigma, who (are)/were in El Segundo, CA 90245. And Skyclad (which means "all bare naked" for those of you who don't know anything about witches) parks its car at (removed cause it's no longer there) Middlesex, NJ. Ok?

from late 1988; unpublished

Saturday, May 10, 2008

When We Were Toddlers

Cindy Jacobson and Autumn Meredith. Leather Trio Productions/San Francisco.
Autumn: So here comes none other than David Lee Roth with one of the cutest sleeves ever. Check out that "Damn Good" CD single. The little girl looks just like you.
Cindy: Back when I was just a toddlin' little blonde Cindy brat. My dad says all I did was poop and cry and giggle and fall down on my rumpus.
A: All the things she does so well now.
C: Yes, I'm still very good at falling down on my rumpus. And there I am in the picture holding hands with one of my early boyfriends, an older man of course.
A: Not yet out of diapers and already a flirt!
C: What were you like as a toddler, Autumn?
A: I was a sweet and quiet little girl.
C: Liar! You were a brat just like the rest of us.
A: So I officially take back all, er...most of the bad things I said about David Lee Roth before.
C: The controversy you caused! The endless middle of the night phone calls.
A: At least he didn't put his own picture on there.
C: I think we were supposed to listen to the CD, not just look at the cover.
A: Oh, sorry. Maybe next time. Really you should just get the first Van Halen album.
C: Boy stuff. Boy stuff.
A: And we're sorry we don't have a picture of the DLR sleeve for the blog.
C: It's oh-so-obscure.

August 12, 1988, Album Network (updated slightly)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tell That Girl To Shut Up - Transvision Vamp

Cindy J. Leather Trio Productions.
This happened like two months ago, okay? Me and Billy (that's my boyfriend) are flying down Geary in his car, windows open, radio screaming. We got it tuned to "Live-105" (KITS). They're blastin' out "Tell that Girl to Shut Up" by someone I don't know who it is I wanna know now I love this song--just who is doing this cool cover version? It's like two o'clock in the morning. We pull into Mel's Drive-In and we wait in the car for the set to end and the DJ to announce who the song's by. I bought the original version by Holly and the Italians (iTunes link) when I was 14. I'm squirming in the seat waiting for the DJ to tell me who it's by. Billy's laughing at me, teasing me. He's telling me he knows who it's by, but he won't tell. He wants me to wait in agony. Shit! I know he's lying.

I look around outside. It must be Prom night. There's all these nervous guys in tuxes and giggly girls in formal dresses going into Mel's. Finally the DJ comes on and says it's Transvision Vamp, an import single from England. Transvision what? Who? Next day I'm sliding down Haight Street right into Reckless Records. I get a copy of "Tell that Girl to Shut Up" by Transvision Vamp. The record sleeve is done by Jamie Reid, the guy who did the "God Save the Queen" cover. This is just too cool. I play it over and over. Then, wouldn't you know it, that new UNI label puts the record out in America. Now all of you can play it over and over too. Time for a Holly and the Italians revival. Time for a Transvision Vamp hit. Get on it, radio people. Hooray for "Live 105."

July 29, 1988, Album Network

"Tell that Girl to Shut Up" is available on The Best - Transvision Vamp (iTunes Link)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Riding With James Dean - Joan Jett

By Cindy Jacobson and Autumn Meredith

Joan Jett - Riding With James DeanCindy: The other night me and Autumn went riding around on my Honda Shadow, just cruising around San Francisco, checking out the night. We decided to hit North Beach so when we got to downtown I zipped up Grant and parked in the alley right next to Vesuvio's. We walked over to Broadway to see what was happening at some of the clubs. The Stone had a bunch of metal bands we'd never heard of so we just kinda hung out for awhile.

Autumn: When we were walking back down Broadway we went past this sports bar and we could hear Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You" blasting out the door so we stopped and looked in the windows. They had one of those big screen TVs to show Giants and 49ers games on. But tonight they were showing MTV and there was Joan in tight black leather.

C: Just like us!

A: She looked so cool. I love Joan. She could be my sister.

C: This sister thing is getting a bit out of hand. But I suppose it's a bit understandable with you cause you're an only child.

A: If anyone is going to be my sister it might as well be Joan Jett.

C: We watched the whole video from outside this bar. A couple of guys playing pool were eyeing us. One of them winked at me. Then we continued back down the street, passing all the surreal strip joints. There's these fast-talking guys standing at the entrances trying to coax people inside. "Hey come on in here. No cover. Talk to a real live naked lady."

A: Beats talking to a dead naked lady...

C: Some of the clubs have girls at the door.

A: And you know those girls are cuter than the ones inside.

C: This one guy with a straw hat and cane came running out at us and said, "Ladies get in free. Step this way."

A: We did not step that way.

C: If you've never been to San Francisco there's a scene in the first Dirty Harry movie that shows what this part of North Beach is like.

A: We decided to go up Grant and hang out at Caffe Trieste.

C: And who should be there but old George, my biker friend.

A: George is so cool.

C: He rides a Harley, a Shovelhead. 74 cubic inches of all American power and freedom. Caffe Trieste is an old Beatnik hangout and George was living in San Francisco back in the Beat era. We told him about the Joan Jett video and how she's on the cover of Outlaw Biker, and he told us all these great old biker stories. Afterwards the three of us went down to City Lights and George told Autumn which Beatnik books to buy.

A: I've been reading some of that stuff lately. Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, those guys.

C: Then we went across the alley where my bike was parked and had a couple of beers at Vesuvio's. After that George shot off into the night on his Shovel and me and Autumn followed on my rice burner, thinking about Joan Jett.

A: And riding with James Dean. Just like in the movies.

C: A couple of black streaks on the boulevard.

A: Yeah. Joan Jett is all about the night and dark alleys and black leather and not taking any shit from anyone.

C: Standing up for yourself, not hiding. Being strong. Being yourself. And that's what we're all about.

A: Which is why she's my sister.

7/18/1988, unpublished

"Riding With James Dean" is on Up Your Alley by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (Amazon link)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lovely - the Primitives

Cindy and Autumn, Leather Trio Productions.
Cindy: Tracey is my sister.
Autumn: She's not really her sister, but they kinda look alike. It's the blonde hair, the leather jacket, the sorta sweet and sexy look. But of course Tracey wears loads of make-up and Cindy doesn't wear any.
C: You know, it strikes me that these people don't know what we're talking about.
A: Tracey is the lead singer of the Primitives, whose debut album, Lovely, you can get in America now.
C: Of course we already got our naughty bad parallel import copies several months ago. Nipper is a bit slow.
A: The cool thing about Tracey is not just her voice, but her sense of style. She dresses cool, she looks sweet, she acts tough.
C: And she has the coolest bracelets of anyone in rock.
A: We like Tracey lots.
C: Whole lots.
A: And we think you will too.
C: Cause she's my sister.

July 22, 1988, Album Network
The Primitives - Lovely on iTunes The Primitives - Lovely

Monday, April 14, 2008

Roots of Dime Box

Yeah, the Dime Box CD is coolness.

But you already knew that, right? Cause you have a copy, right? God, I'm starting to sound like Colleen! If you don't have a copy go here: Dime Box at CD Baby where it's only a hundred dimes!

Ok, now that you have the Dime Box CD and you are a happy person, you're probably wanting to know the roots of Dime Box... and... some people are wondering what Dime Box are doing in the Punk Rock Graffiti blog, which is so retro eighties or something and Dime Box are sooooo 21st Century now. And some people are wondering about the Dime Box connection to Wednesday Week. Yeah, I know, it's a great mystery, but here's all you need to know.

There are two updated Wednesday Week songs on the Dime Box CD: "Somehow Somewhere," which is on the second Wednesday Week album, No Going Back, and "High Road," which is on the second fan club EP (oh-so-obscure). The Dime Box version of "High Road" is amazing and a highlight. The opening song on the Dime Box CD, "Live a Little," is also the title song of the 1996 Lucky CD. Lucky were kinda the bridge between Wednesday Week and Dime Box. Kinda.

It's like this:
Wednesday Week - born in the eighties
Lucky - born in the nineties
Dime Box - oh so 21st Century country music of now

Even more details for you...
The lead singer of all those bands is Kristi Callan. The drummer of the first two of those bands is Kelly Callan. The guitar player of the first two of those bands is David Nolte. The songwriters of all those bands are Kristi Callan, Kelly Callan, David Nolte, and some others...

So... Cindy has cleared up another great mystery for you. On to Stonehenge! Or Avebury!

Yeah, Dime Box has cool roots -- Wednesday Week, Lucky, and Dolly Parton. It's almost like they're the unofficial godchildren of Johnny Cash.

Now everyone go read this: Dime Box - Five and Dime Waltz Review

Hi to Edie, Yolande, Pam and Laura Ann.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lullaby - Book of Love

I Touch Roses - the Best of Book of LoveAutumn Meredith, Leather Trio Productions: Do you guys ever watch Bewitched reruns on cable? You know how when Samantha wanted to cast a spell on someone she wiggled her nose and it made that really silly noise? She usually did this whenever she wanted to zap her dweeb husband Darren to someplace other than he wanted to be. Well that sound can now be heard slyly tucked away in this really cool song called "Witchcraft" on Book of Love's new album Lullaby. The song dances and rap-romps through everything cool about witches. They've even got Tabatha in there.

The album opens with a crazy cover of "Tubular Bells" complete with a Linda Blair-like voice screaming, "mother, make it stop" right out of the Exorcist. Then "Tubular Bells" slides into "Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls," one of the hotest dance pop songs of the year. I also like "Melt My Heart" cause of the way it sneaks right up on you. But my favorite song is the title track, "Lullaby," which is just so sweet and sleepy. It reminds me of when I was a little girl and my dad would lull me to sleep. So if you like music that is kinda poppy and dancey (and sleepy) get yourself a copy of Lullaby right away. Ten more pages from their Book of Love. Thanks to that awfully nice Mark Goldstein guy for sending the tape.

Album Network, July 15, 1988

Book of Love's Lullaby on iTunes

You also might enjoy: I Touch Roses: The Best of Book of Love at iTunes

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Luftgitar - Air Guitar - the Sugarcubes

Cindy J. Leather Trio Productions.
Lately all these people have been writing and calling with, "Cindy, you just gotta tell me what that Sugarcubes song 'Cat' is about." No f**king way. Sly secret. But I decided to write about another Sugarcubes song that's also sung in Icelandic. Only this time, I'm going to tell you what it's about. The song is called "Luftgitar" and it's not on the album. If you want to hear it, you'll have to get the "Deus" import single (don't anyone tell Elektra about this Crusade, okay?).

"Luftgitar" means "air guitar" in English. The song, which is sung by a friend of the band named Johnny Triumph, is all about two kinds of boys in Iceland who go to school dances. Of course, none of the boys dance. The first kind just stand by the wall and look at all the girls. Boys are really good at doing that. The second kind go up to the band that's playing and try to imitate the guitarist, but of course they have no guitar of their own so they play Luftgitar. According to boy-cube Einar, girl-cube Björk can't properly play Luftgitar because she's a girl. He's right. We all know that us girls are totally incapable of striking that silly macho rock star pose required of all air guitarists. And Björk says that it's okay to smash the guitar at the end of the song because Luftgitars don't cost anything. So the song is about boys who can't dance and need to be liberated by playing their Luftgitars. Yes, boys in Iceland are the same as boys here.

July 8, 1988, Album Network

Friday, March 28, 2008

Country Music Coolness: Dime Box CD

Dime Box - Five and Dime Waltz CDAutumn: We have a shiny new toy here.
Cindy: It's called Dime Box.
A: It's not really a box.
C: But it came in a box.
A: A special box. All the way from Los Angeles.
C: That's so far!
A: A mystical place.
C: My sister lives there.
A: Rather than tell you how cool Dime Box is...
C: We think you should go here...

CD Review: Dime Box - Five and Dime Waltz

A: From Wednesday Week to this.
C: Johnny Cash would be proud.
A: Johnny Cash is proud.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cat - the Sugarcubes

Sugarcubes Life's Too Good CD featuring CatCindy Jacobson, Leather Trio Productions: There's a really cool song on the Sugarcubes' Life's Too Good CD called "Cat." The song scratches and jumps just like a mischievous kitten. Although it's sung in Icelandic I know what it's about cause I read an interview once where Björk, the Sugarcubes' singer, tells the story of the song. I'm not going to give it away though, cause I want it to be like a secret. I've always been strangely curious about cats, but I've never owned one. There's this really cool cat that lives somewhere in the Haight near where I work. He's black with yellow eyes, but his eyes and fur seem to change color in different shades of light.

In the Sugarcubes song the girl has what I would call a cat fetish. But she channels it in a rather unusual way. This is what I'm not giving away. Pretty sly of me, huh? I always thought that cats have a people fetish. Autumn says cats do whatever they like. But they attach themselves to people in very odd relationships. The black cat in the Haight always greets me when I get off work. He just stares at me and gives me a sweet meow and then I ride off on my motorcycle. I don't even know his name or where he lives, but we've become friends. Even on nights when I work late he's there waiting. Like he knows.

There are some days when I take the bus and after work I'll walk up the street to the bus stop and the cat will be there waiting around the corner, watching for me. So strange. I love cats. They move like the fog. They think they know you. They know they're cooler than you. I don't think I'll ever get one of my own, although in a way I sort of have one. And I don't think I'm going to tell you what the Sugarcubes song is about cause it's so very strange and such a sly secret. And if you really like cats you probably wouldn't want to know anyway.

originally published in:
Album Network, June 24, 1988
The Blind Armadillo (Oklahoma City fanzine), issue 11, Spring 1989

Friday, March 21, 2008


Cindy Jacobson/Autumn Meredith, Leather Trio Productions.

Cindy: We found out if you say f**k in the Album Network they'll put cute little stars after the "f." Album Network is PG-13.
Autumn: We thought it was R. We're sorry. Now we've been trying to think up all sorts of badness we can sneak in here and get past the star placer.
C: Like my boyfriend Billy has this one fetish where he'll...
A: Gross, Cindy! Don't tell them stuff like that.
C: Really girls, give me a call. I squirm in ecstasy.
A: This Crusade is supposed to be about the Ramones. If all you're gonna talk about is your pervert boyfriend, I'm leaving.
C: They're going to edit this anyway.
A: Me and Cindy met in the 9th grade. One of the first things we did together was go see the Ramones.
C: Everyone danced and sweated like mad all night. Except Autumn who stood up by the stage and watched them.
A: Johnny Ramone kept throwing guitar picks at me.
C: Like she had been chosen as his special groupie or something.
A: I was only 15. I didn't care about his stupid guitar picks. I just let them bounce off me and fall to the floor. All these kids were scrambling around for them. It was so cute.
C: The Ramones played so fast and loud I couldn't even tell the songs apart. And if Dee Dee hadn't yelled...
A: One, two, three, four!
C: ...between each one, I wouldn't have been able to tell where one song ended and the next began. We had so much fun.
A: Now you can have the same kind of fun with Ramones Mania, a frolicking two record set packed with all the hits.
C: On Sire!
A: So everyone call Howie Klein.
C: Or dash on down to your favorite record store. Have your Visa card ready.
A: You yuppies can use your American Express.
C: I think we're in trouble now.
A: Pretty typical for us. At least we didn't say f*ck.
C: Or there would've been stars all over this Crusade.
A: Play the Ramones!
C: Loud.
A: Fast.
C: And young.

June 17, 1988, Album Network

RIP: Joey Ramone (1951-2001); Dee Dee Ramone (1951-2002); Johnny Ramone (1948-2004); only the drummers remain...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

OU812 - Van Halen

Autumn Meredith, Leather Trio Productions. This is my first "solo" Crusade, so don't laugh if it comes out stupid, ok? Cindy's always giving me shit cause I was sort of a tomboy when I was growing up. So unlike most girls, I know something about boy stuff. Lately my boyfriend Cliff has been telling me that the new Van Halen album is the greatest thing to happen to rock music since Metallica did a Killing Joke cover. I was only ten when the first Van Halen album came out so I sorta missed all that fuss. But there was this boy across the street who I grew up with. We used to throw the football around when we were kids. When I was in high school we saw Van Halen on their 1984 tour. I thought David Lee Roth was a penis brain, but Eddie Van Halen, now he was pretty cool. And it was so cute seeing all those boys in denim jackets stand on their seats and chant, "Eddie! Eddie!"

So I borrowed Cliff's copy of OU812. There's some really good songs on this album like "Mine All Mine" and "Finish What Ya Started," which are both totally pop. These guys even get real mushy on "When It's Love." And of course there's Eddie's guitar making love to Valerie Bertinelli all over the place. OU812 is no Jesus and Mary Chain album, but it gets the Autumn stamp of approval. Just don't tell Cindy, ok?

June 10, 1988, Album Network

Rice Burners in LA

"...One last thing: check out the live version of 'Taste of Cindy' from the B-Side of the new Jesus and Mary Chain single. They wrote the song about Cindy Jacobson of Leather Trio Productions." -David "Ikky Bop" Sadof, KLOL (Album Network, May 13, 1988)

Cindy Jacobson Leather Trio Productions.
Besides my sister I don't know too many people who live in Los Angeles. But the last time I went there I met Colleen, who some of you may know cause she works at that Image Consultants place. She says stuff like, "could you just die?" whenever she gets excited about something. She has the exact same problems with boys that I do. She rides a Honda Rebel and I ride a Honda Shadow, so we've become known as "those two girls on rice burners" whenever I'm in town. Colleen is also the coat check girl at Cathouse which means she knows the inside of the local scene. She keeps me updated about the L.A. underground.

A little while ago we were talking on the phone and I just happened to mention how much I like "Time Forgot You" by Legal Weapon from that Dudes soundtrack. And she said, have you heard their album, Interior Hearts? I didn't even know they had an album, so she sent me a copy. It's totally cool. Then just a few weeks later MCA put out a new Legal Weapon album, Life Sentence to Love (their fourth!) and it's even better. As Autumn would say, "it just crunches." Legal Weapon's lead singer Kat Arthur wears black clothes and has blonde hair, you know, kinda like me. And she sings like she's been there, like she's seen shit. My favorite songs on the album are the slyly seductive single "Hurt" and "SKB (Skateboard)," which is a real poppy song. Colleen likes "Interior Hearts" best. It's the title song of their last album which they re-recorded here. Totally cool. Totally crunching guitars. And the voice of Kat. Could you just die?

Personal to Ikky Bop at KLOL: "...talkin' Cindy to everyone, till she's had her fun." Yeah, they wrote it about me.

May 27, 1988, Album Network

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sidewalking - the Jesus and Mary Chain

Cindy Jacobson and Autumn Meredith. Leather Trio Productions/San Francisco.
Autumn: There's a new Jesus and Mary Chain single out. It's called "Sidewalking." It just crunches.
Cindy: On the B-side there's a live version of "Taste of Cindy," the song they wrote about me.
A: The A-side has loud guitars from William Reid. The kind of crunchy guitars that radio wimps are so afraid of. So cool.
C: Sure "Sidewalking" is great, but the B-side--
A: Cindy, I don't think anyone cares about the B-side. It's an old song. And they didn't write it about you. They've never even met you.
C: They did too write it about me. You're just jealous cause it's not called "Taste of Autumn."
A: I'm not listening to this. "Sidewalking" has sly lyrics, cool mysterious vocals from Jim Reid and a great thumping bass from Douglas Hart. This is their best single ever.
C: With their best B-side ever.
A: Before we go we just have to say one more thing...
C: That Sinead O'Connor sure has cool boots.
A: Doc Martens. Yeah.

Album Network, May 6, 1988
"Sidewalking" is available on 21 Singles by the Jesus and Mary Chain

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Distant Shore - Tracey Thorn

Cindy Jacobson. Leather Trio Productions/San Francisco.
I guess I'm one of those dreamy, beach walking types. Sometimes I'll ride my motorcycle to the Golden Gate Bridge, then go down Lincoln Avenue along the Pacific coast. I'll stop at Baker Beach or that little China Beach, which is always pretty quiet. Whenever I ride down to Carmel, where they have a beautiful beach with white sand, I always stop at this place called Pelican Point. It's near Half Moon Bay. It's not a really incredible beach or anything, but there's hardly ever anyone there. You can stand on a bluff that overlooks the ocean. Ever since I was a little girl I've always liked the sea and fog. Whenever I hear a foghorn out on San Francisco bay I just get all warm and dreamy. It makes me feel, I don't know, my friend Autumn says, "safe." I like that word.

One of my favorite albums is Tracey Thorn's A Distant Shore, which came out in 1982. She expresses so much about the way I feel about being in a relationship. My favorite song is "Seascape" which is the dreamy, long walks on the beach song. I just love the line, "thought I knew the sea and all its secrets too." After A Distant Shore Tracey formed a band called Everything But The Girl with her boyfriend Ben Watt. They have four albums out now. I haven't liked everything they've done, just a few scattered songs here and there. But their new album, Idlewild, is their best so far. On "These Early Days" Tracey sings about the difference between being a small child when you unknowingly live in a world that seems safe (there's that word again) and being an adult when you know better. I know "These Early Days" is sentimental and mushy, but to me it's like hearing a foghorn at night when I'm all alone. It makes me feel safe. Like a child feels with his mother. I like living in a world where we have things like beaches and foghorns and people like Ben and Tracey who can express my feelings in music.

Album Network, April 15, 1988
Tracey Thorn released a great solo album, Out of the Woods, in 2007.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Frustrations and Dark Dreams

by Cindy J, February 1988

Punk Rock Graffiti drawing of CindyThe first time I saw the Jesus and Mary Chain I was nineteen. It was the spring of 1986. I rode my motorcycle--I have a Honda Shadow--all the way to Los Angeles. But I stopped at a lot of different places on the way. I stopped in Carmel where it was Clint Eastwood mania everywhere. I think it was two or three days before the election. I got a "Clint for Mayor" button and put it on my leather jacket. I went into this one gallery and saw some photographs taken by Ruth Bernhard, who lives in San Francisco. She's eighty-two years old. She's kinda feisty like my friend Autumn. Her photos are mostly of women and she defines them with such grace and soul. She says she's interested in forms and shapes, but there's so much feeling expressed. At first her photography kind of scared me cause I could feel so much of the way she depicts a woman's vulnerabilty. It's hard to explain really. You just have to look at the pictures. After awhile I decided that what Ruth was doing was capturing a paradox. The woman's real mysteries remained hidden. Hidden within those beautiful shapes.

I thought about this a lot when I rode to L.A. I stayed with my sister, who lives in Sherman Oaks. The Mary Chain played on Easter Sunday in Santa Monica. I left late cause I wanted to stay at my sister's place and listen to Rodney interview them on KROQ. I like the way Jim Reid talks with that Scottish accent. When the interview was over I rode to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for the show. I usually don't go to shows by myself. My sister didn't want to come and Autumn and my boyfriend Billy couldn't make it. Besides, the band was going to be playing in San Francisco anyway. I told my boss I was going to go to L.A. for a few days to see the Jesus and Mary Chain and he said, ok Cindy, sure, take some time off. He lets me get away with practically anything. Billy thinks he has a crush on me. Autumn does too. But it was cool really, coming to the concert by myself--I actually wanted to take the whole trip by myself too. I just needed to think about some things, about Billy, about me.

The show was really dark, really strange and riveting. William Reid just crouched on the floor with his back to the audience, making cool waves of guitar noise. Jim's voice was so amazing, really biting. The drummer looked like Maureen Tucker, but he was a guy. Dark glasses. Primitive beats. Real Velvet Underground. Douglas, the bass player barely even moved. Everyone said they just made a lot of feedback noise to be snotty brats, which wasn't the way it was at all. The noise was twisted and bent and very personal. It created then relieved tension. William knew exactly what he was doing. His guitar sounds were his way of communicating his frustrations, his dark dreams. And Jim put that into words. The show was really short--maybe a half hour, but it was ragged and intense. I liked them a lot. Of course now with Darklands they've moved the sound into a whole new area and people still don't get it.

Afterwards I rode to Hollywood and saw some bikers on Hollywood Boulevard. They all had tattoos and Harleys and stuff. They laughed at my Honda Shadow, calling it a "rice burner," but they were nice really. One of them said I was a cool blonde on a toy bike, which made everyone laugh. I rode up and down Hollywood Boulevard with them for awhile, but I didn't tell Billy when I got back. He would've been pissed. When I left, two of them rode up along side me and said I could come ride with them anytime.

Later I rode on Mulholland Drive and got lost. I was up by this place that overlooked the city where lovers make out. I stopped my motorcycle, took off my helmet and just sat there for awhile, looking at the lights, thinking about stuff, thinking about me. I thought about my dark dreams, my frustrations, my own vulnerability. It's hard sometimes being with Billy--he wants so much. I felt pretty much the same way then as I do now. I have to fight for my independence, but I like being with him. I think maybe I just get scared of losing too much of myself, giving too much of myself away. One of the bikers said, "You're pretty tough for such a little thing." I don't know if I'm tough, but I have a very strong impression of myself and I don't ever want that to go away. I have to hide some things like the women in Ruth's photographs, but like them I can be feminine without being self-conscious about it. And I know I can deal with Billy, but sometimes I wonder how he deals with me. He must think I'm a terror. I put my helmet back on and started my "rice burner." Then I rode off to the Valley, to my sister's place, feeling like a cool blonde on a hot bike. Those Harleys are too mean and macho anyway.

February 1988, unpublished
The Jesus and Mary Chain's drummer in 1986 was Bobby Gillespie, who now fronts Primal Scream. Ruth Bernhard died in San Francisco in 2006 at the age of 101.

The Moberlys

Cindy Jacobson and Autumn Meredith. Leather Trio Productions/San Francisco.
Cindy: We're doing this crusade about the Moberlys.
Autumn: Cause they're bitchen.
C: I knew she was going to start in with the Val yak. Happens every time.
A: We really really promise not to make stuff up this time.
C: The Moberlys are on CD tune-up #11.
A: Which Joe lent to us so we could check them out.
C: We think the Moberlys should come to San Francisco and play.
A: But not at Nightbreak.
C: We were at Nightbreak the other day. We only went there cause Impulse F were playing.
A: Impulse F are totally rad.
C: Val yak. Val yak.
A: And who should show up but Danny.
C: What a jerk.
A: So Danny actually comes up to me....
C: Don't tell! You're giving too much away.
A: Oh right. You'll have to wait for the novel.
C: Or the movie.
A: Getting back to the Moberlys.
C: They should be signed!
A: And played on the radio.
C: Then they could come to San Francisco.
A: And not play at Nightbreak.
C: They could play at the Hideout instead.
A: Or on Alcatraz.
C: Where they're opening a new punk club with Clint Eastwood as MC.
A: Oops! We said we wouldn't make stuff up.
C: Oh sorry. But play the Moberlys.
A: Totally pop.
C: Totally guitars.
A: Totally.

February 5, 1988, Album Network
This was our first Album Network Crusade.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dark Alleys and Black Cats - Wednesday Week

(This originally appeared in Wednesday Week's fan club newsletter in 1987.)

C: Hi, I'm Cindy. They asked me and my friend Autumn to help out on the newsletter.
A: We live in San Francisco. We've seen Wednesday Week four times now. They're cool!
C: We should probably start by revealing the big secret.
A: Heidi quit the band.
C: So now Wednesday Week have a new temporary bass player.
A: And they're out on the road with the mysterious new bass player right now.
C: When Kristi is on tour her cat, Sweden, comes up to San Francisco and visits us.
A: He's a really cool cat.
C: He's been adopted as the official Leather Trio mascot.
A: He hangs out in alleys in Chinatown.
C: An alley Valley cat.
A: A hip cat.
C: A ship's cat.
A: He's our pal. He's going to be in the Punk Rock Graffiti movie and novel. There's this whole scene where....
C: Don't tell. Leave them wondering....
A: Good idea.
C: Let's tell them about the first time we saw Wednesday Week.
A: Oh cool.
C: My sister moved to L.A. so me and Autumn went down there and stayed with her.
A: This was in 1985. Right before the Fourth of July.
C: Billy, who's now my boyfriend, had given me a copy of Betsy's House. I didn't know Billy very well then. He worked at this used record store in North Beach. Sometimes he'd give me cool records to play.
A: He was trying to impress her. He was too chicken to ask her out.
C: He'd give me records to try out.
A: So there we were in L.A. and we found out Wednesday Week were playing.
C: We were so excited.
A: They played in a record store.
C: Be Bop Records in Reseda.
A: That's in the Valley.
C: Where Valley cats hang out.
A: There were two other bands on the bill, Waves of Grain and Pop Art. Wednesday Week went on in the middle.
C: The place is really small and it was packed with people. It's an art gallery too. There was weird Picasso-like art hanging on the walls.
A: Wednesday Week played only one song from Betsy's House, "I Don't Know." They had all these other songs.
C: Really cool songs.
A: They played "The Thing" and "Keep Talking," which is my favorite Heidi song.
C: It's kind of sad, you know. There won't be any more Heidi songs.
A: Yeah.
C: They also did "You Wanted Me To Hang Around" and "That Train," which is one of my favorite Kristi songs.
A: I think this was the first show David played with Wednesday Week after he joined the band.
C: Which is really cool.
A: And everyone except Kelly was wearing dark clothes.
C: And you know how we feel about dark clothes.
A: And black cats.
C: And the night.
A: God, this is starting to sound like a Michelob commercial.
C: The night belongs to Cindy and Autumn.
A: You know we should probably tell Kristi that when she's on tour and Sweden comes to San Francisco we take good care of him.
C: Because we like Swedish cats.
A: And calico cats too.

July 12, 1987; printed in the Fall '87 Wednesday Week newsletter
Photographs from Wednesday Week's 1985 Reseda Show

Skateboard Speedbump City - Jonny III

A: Oh--one of the coolest songs of all time.
C: Never released!
A: So cool.
C: The story behind this is there was this great all female band here in San Francisco called the Varve.
A: We only saw them a couple of times.
C: We were really young.
A: It was harder to sneak in clubs then.
C: So the lead singer, Jo Ann, who is originally from Denver, gave me a tape of this band from Colorado, the Jonny III.
A: And this song was on there.
C: And we went crazy.
A: Probably the coolest song of all time.
C: Yeah.

April 4, 1987 (from the Autumn and Cindy songs booklet - June 1987)

Love You More - Buzzcocks

A: Now Cindy gets to tell how she met Billy.
C: It was cause of the Buzzcocks.
A: Billy used to work at this used record store in North Beach. Just north of Chinatown. We used to go there and find cool used records--I found the first Velvet Underground album there when I was 16. My mom threw it out cause of the song "Heroin"--
C: I'll bet she was real thrilled over "Venus in Furs" too.
A: Oh yeah--oh, that one was her favorite. But then I fished the album out of the trash and hid it behind a stack of Vogues.
C: So I went into the store once and there's this guy behind the counter playing the second Buzzcocks album, Love Bites.
A: Ouch.
C: And I'm thinking this guy is really cool cause I loved the Buzzcocks. Their first album was the first album I ever bought--I was 12 and all the other kids liked the Eagles and Pink Floyd. They thought I was really weird. So here's this guy playing Buzzcocks and I fell in love with him instantly.
A: Cause he had a really cool leather jacket.
C: As I was walking around the store Billy kept looking at me. So finally I bought a record and I blurted out something really stupid like--
A: You have a really cool jacket.
C: He said, "oh thanks." That's all he said. And then I left. I kept going back into the store--it took him forever to ask me out.
A: And he still has that jacket.
C: He won't give it to me. But he lets me wear it sometimes.

April 4, 1987 (from the Autumn and Cindy songs booklet - June 1987)

Blonde Hair Like Mine

by Cindy, February 1989

I live in a neighborhood of San Francisco called Sunset. It's called that because it overlooks the west side of the city and the Pacific coast. And when it's not foggy you can watch the sun fade into the sea. Sometimes I'll climb up this high, steep hill near my apartment where you can see all over the city, from downtown to Golden Gate Park to the Pacific ocean. I'll sit up there, peering into the fog or looking over the great expanse of San Francisco, and think about things. Lately I've been thinking about my family a lot. When I was growing up my family was so splintered that sometimes I wonder if I really had a family at all.

My parents got divorced when I was seven and my sister Jean was nine. My father moved to Redwood City right away and then to Chicago where he remarried. I have two half brothers there. At first I was angry with my father for abandoning me and Jean like that, but as time went by we slowly grew to understand each other somehow. Now he's sort of a long distance friend, who watches over me, who cares about me. He's the only person who calls me "Cin." It's like his pet name for me. Everyone else calls me Cindy. I can talk to him about things that are important to me, about my boyfriend Billy even. Sometimes he'll fly me out to Chicago. My half brothers are great little guys. We get along pretty well. My dad's wife seems real nice. Maybe I'm a little afraid of getting close to her, but I think we're a bit alike. We both know how to keep a distance when it's needed.

Jean and I lived with our mom after the divorce. It was really hard. I blamed mom for chasing dad away, for messing things up. She didn't remarry until I was seventeen and then right after I graduated from high school her new husband was transferred to Connecticut. There was no way I was going there with them, so along with Jean I stayed in San Francisco. Our grandmother--dad's side--owns a small house that she had converted into two apartments. Jean moved into the large one bedroom apartment upstairs and I got the smaller studio on the first floor. At first my grandmother didn't charge me rent, but once I got settled and found a job, I started paying. But I know she only charges me half what she could get from someone else.

When I was nineteen Jean got a great job offer in Los Angeles and moved there. I was pretty upset, losing my sister. We had developed a strong bond after the divorce. It was like us against them. We stuck together without really thinking about it or knowing why. We just needed each other so bad. When our mom left we were forced into self-reliance. It was the right challenge for me. I discovered a part of myself, an independent nature, that I didn't really know was there before. When Jean left I was a little scared, but I learned to adapt by fighting harder for myself. And Los Angeles isn't that far away. We visit each other a lot.

Before she moved away Jean gave me an old black and white photograph of our mother that was taken when she was fourteen. Sometimes I'll take the picture out and stare at it. Mom has blonde hair like mine, but I don't think I resemble her any more than that. Dad and Jean say I look just like her. I saw dad last fall right after I turned twenty and he said, "Cin, you look just like your mother when I met her." In the picture mom is wearing a knee length skirt and a white sweater. She has a bow in her hair. She looks real pretty. She doesn't look awkward or anything like I know I felt at that age. Sometimes it scares me when I stare at the picture and see my features on my mother's face. Maybe I don't want to admit that I really do look like her cause I'm so confused about her.

Jean told me once she doesn't really miss mom. I do a little. Jean had it rougher I think because she's the oldest. She was always there for me, but who was there for her? When mom got remarried and moved away, I think that was the best thing for her, the best thing for all of us. Things relaxed. Tensions ceased. I can talk to her a little bit--not like dad, but at least there's something. She seems pretty content with her new husband, her new life. I know there's a bond between mom and me, between mom and Jean even. Some sort of fragile, tiny bond. I stare at the picture. I see blonde hair like mine. I fight so hard not to be like my mom.

When I was in high school I didn't have much patience with my female classmates so I didn't have many girlfriends. I had lots of boyfriends though. I'm told I was the class flirt. Most of the girls didn't like me much, but there was this one girl, Autumn, who became my best friend. Autumn was sort of strange in high school. I liked her right off. She had a couple of boyfriends, but she didn't go on dates with them or anything like that. In ninth grade she'd play football with the boys after school. She was always the quarterback. And she's tiny! I remember once she took a football out of her locker and showed it to me. What a strange foreign object. It was all scuffed and dirty. I don't know how Autumn could even throw the thing with her small hands.

As time went by the boys started getting serious about things like sports and Autumn was excluded from their after school activities. She became a little withdrawn for awhile, but our friendship continued. Autumn and I couldn't have been more different. I was the blonde, boy-crazy coquette and she was the awkward, dark haired tomboy. But we stuck together because we were the outcasts. We dressed different than the other girls, we listened to different music. Autumn and I decided early on that we weren't the odd ones like the other kids thought. We knew we were ok. It was everyone else who was weird.

It wasn't until after high school that Autumn developed a romantic interest in boys. She was such a late bloomer that at first she didn't seem to understand why boys started looking at her differently or wanted to kiss her. Stuff like that. She didn't get it. "It's cause you've become real sexy, Tomboy," I said to her once. "You have that feminine guile that makes boys drool, whether you know it or not." She was still puzzled, but when she started going out with boys she found out they're interested in a whole lot more than football. Now Autumn is learning how to deal with boys in a different way than when she was in high school. She's pretty tough. I think she unconsciously uses her tomboyish past to her advantage. She understands some things about boys--their rough and dirty ways--that I don't get at all. She can actually talk to a boy about boy stuff and understand what he's saying.

I guess I stopped being such a flirt when I first started going out with Billy. I was nineteen when we met. He was twenty-two. He worked at a record store in North Beach and every time I went in there he was playing an album I liked. He didn't say much at first, but I could tell that he liked me. It took him forever to ask me out. I'm pretty hooked on him now, even though he's a threat to my independence. But in the last few months I've slowly come to understand that I need him as much as I need myself.

Autumn was so lucky to have both parents when she grew up. And she's so close to her mom. They're like sisters. Like me and Jean in a way. We talk about it sometimes. Autumn feels bad for me, but she knows not to worry. I made it ok. After all I've got her and Billy and Jean looking out for me. It's like I've finally found my own family.

February 1989, unpublished

Hello! Squeak Squeak

Autumn: We're just getting moved in here, still opening boxes, changing things around. Oh look, there goes a mouse!

Cindy: Release the cats!

A: So we're gonna put our writings from the 1980s in this blog thing. Yeah I know the 21st Century is here, but we're still in the eighties.

C: I'm not sure I like this pink. Let's go all black.

A: It's not pink, it's rose, but I'm all for fading it to black... or grey...

C: So welcome to the Punk Rock Graffiti journal, everybody.

A: Colleen Combs, phone home.

C: Or at least email us.

punkrockgraffiti at yahoo dot com