DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Dave Markey Day

 

‘As a self-taught filmmaker and musician, David Markey directed, produced, edited, and photographed most of his films, the majority of which have been self-funded. His work is also noted as documenting the punk scene in Southern California throughout the 1980s, growing to find a larger audience in the 1990s while continuing to produce work throughout the 2000s and 2010s. Markey has worked with Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, Mudhoney, Redd Kross, Bob Mould, Circle Jerks, The Ramones, Black Flag and the Meat Puppets.

‘Markey made his first film in 1974 at the age of 11 with his father’s hand-wound 8mm Brownie camera, cast from the children of his Santa Monica, California neighborhood. He soon discovered the burgeoning LA punk scene a few years hence through bands like X, Black Flag, and Redd Kross in 1980. Markey was driven to form his own band, SIN 34, in 1981 as well as Painted Willie in 1984. He also started We Got Power fanzine in 1981 along with Jordan Schwartz, spawning Markey’s cinematic Super-8 cult punk scene document The Slog Movie in 1982. Following closely behind was Desperate Teenage Lovedolls (1984) and its 1986 sequel Lovedolls Superstar. These films were distributed underground and critically well-received, putting Markey on the cinematic punk map before he was of legal age.

‘Markey’s work has since been exhibited internationally, including theatrical release in the US and Canada of 1991: The Year Punk Broke, followed by a VHS release by the David Geffen Company. In 2011 Universal Music Group re-released the film in the DVD format with an hour plus of bonus material produced by Markey. Theatrical screenings of his work have taken place in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and elsewhere. His 2008 documentary The Reinactors was included in international film festivals in Argentina, England, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Angola, China, Korea, Italy and The Netherlands.

‘David Markey has appeared in the documentary films American Hardcore, We Jam Econo and was interviewed for the 20th Century Fox re-release of Russ Meyer’s Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls Special Edition DVD in 2006. He played a bouncer in the 2007 film What We Do Is Secret. He is also seen as an uncredited extra in Penelope Spheeris 1983 film Suburbia and the 1984 film Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

‘In October 2012, he became a published author as Bazillion Points released the critically acclaimed hard bound book We Got Power: Hardcore Punk Scenes From 1980’s Southern California consisting primarily of the photographic work of Markey and his longtime collaborator Jordan Schwartz. The book’s release was timed with a gallery retrospective of the duo’s photos from the early 1980s to the early 1990s entitled “We Survived The Pit” at Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica, just mere blocks away from where Markey and Schwartz grew up.’ — collaged

 

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Stills





































 

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Further

Dave Markey @ IMDb
Dave Markey’s YouTube Channel
David Markey’s 1991 Tour Diary
DM interviewed @ Subterraneo
Dave Markey: We Got Power!
DM @ MUBI
Book: ‘Party With Me Punker’
WE STILL GOT POWER: THE FILMS OF DAVE MARKEY
Podcast: Dave Markey on THE FILM CULT PODCAST
In Praise Of Dave Markey
Just Getting It Out There: An Interview with Filmmaker David Markey
Nirvana, Sonic Youth and the cult grunge film that shook up the music industry
Inside Sonic Youth and Nirvana’s Epic 1991 Tour
Interview: Dave Markey
We Got Power: The Halcyon Days of Southern California Hardcore
Dave Markey: cineasta punk
Monday Exclusive: Q & A with Dave Markey

 

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Extras


Dave Markey promoting “1991 The Year Punk Broke” on TV


Dave Markey interviewed by Michael Des Barres


WE GOT P0WER! Reading @ Book Soup

 

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Interview

 

It’s the 25th aniversary of the documentary “The Year Punk Broke” Did you imagine that 25 years later it would be a cult movie?

25 years ago I was dealing with making the movie, and that pretty much consumed by that for the better part of that year. I didn’t think that far ahead. When the word came that it was getting a theatrical release, that was very exciting. I had pretty reasonable expectations.

In your movie, between so many musicians in the dressing rooms we see a funny Nirvana with Krist Novoselik and Dave Grohl throwing food and bragging. How do you remember this young Dave Grohl that today is Mr. Foo Fighter and a retired Novoselic?

I remember Dave and Krist as being young and totally gung ho for the experience. There was fair amount of partying going on, a lot of drinking and late nights. Everyone was happy to be there and enjoying themselves. Some of the stuff we see is influenced by this fact. I may have egged on their backstage food platter scene.

In her book “Girl in the Band” Kim Gordon said that she remembered Kurt Cobain in those days as a joyfull and fragil Young man who awakened certain maternal feeling in her. How do you remember him? Do you have an anecdote about Nirvana that you would like to share?

I recall Kurt being a quiet guy offstage, but just the opposite on stage. Definitely the artist-type. He had a sense of humor, which I don’t think he is well known for. He really liked the stuff that I had shot of the band and he asked me if he could use it in a music video (“Lithium”). He had me come in and sit in on the edit session for it, in which I recall him making most of the creative decisions. It was interesting to see.

I was also around for the “Unplugged” sessions, and a series of blistering shows in NYC around that time. I was also there when Eddie Van Halen showed up backstage at the LA Forum, asking Kurt if he could jam with the band. Kurt refused. That was nuts.

How did you start your fanzine (today your film company) WE GOT POWER? How did you get to do it?

I just did it. That was the thing about being young (17) and in that time that I sometimes miss. Just the sheer audacity and will to do stuff. Making films, producing ‘zines… But actually I had been doing this kind of stuff since I was 12, pre-punk. So I already had an aesthetic and some experience in place.
Do you have a precise motive or was it rather spontaneous?

I was just into shooting film. Much of it was spontaneous. Some of it wasn’t. Depends what was going on. My narrative films are fairly different from my documentaries.

What do you remember about the time when you were doing “The Slog Movie” and “The Omenous”?

I was young, a teenager, but I remember a lot of that stuff fairly well. “The Omenous” was the last film I did (at 15) that stayed inside my Santa Monica neighborhood. By the time I was doing We Got Power (‘zine) at 17, I was getting out of my surroundings. That was important, and crucial to my filmmaking.

Is there a political reason above aesthetics why you use little HD in your achievements?

High Def? Well, I’ve produced work in HD recently, like music videos for Bob Mould, Heyrocco and The Black Lips. The reason why most of my work exists in standard def, is that this is the format and technology that was available at the time. I worked with what was readily available to me, which was primarily Super-8 film.

Could we say that you are a cultist, master or purist of the analog?

It’s probably it’s just a matter of what I had to work with. But yes, there is a certain feeling from analog that is rather nice. That said, I’m not opposed to digital, or shooting in digital, and I have. I like the way The Reinactors looks. That’s digital.

You have witnessed and documented a part of the history of contemporary music of the twentieth century. You know the backroom of it, I suppose you know many artists who have not transcended and have been forgotten. Like in your movie THE REINACTORS… that shows the celebrities doubles living that same movie every day. What can you tell us about that?

That film basically tells a century-plus-old story about Hollywood and the people that come here to work in it, no matter how small or diminished that may be. It’s basically “Day Of The Locust”, but with people that would have never read the book, or even seen the movie. It’s a documentary, but since the people in it have immersed themselves so deeply into Hollywood on every level, that it plays like a scripted movie. Is it life imitating art, or the other way around? That is what made it interesting to me.

How do you feel when someone from another country wants to see your work, in this case SUBTERRANEO and for a matter of copyright, etc. a company like YouTube doesn`t authorize it for that country?

I hate it when I can’t see something I want to watch and it’s unavailable. But there’s other ways of seeing things. You Tube is convenient, but it’s not the end-all. I still have a large collection of VHS!

How do you manage to maintain yourself solid in a culture so changing in a country and capitalist power as the United States, cradle of marketing, I mean, where everything is business and even more today with the culture of entertainment?

Patience and instinct have seemed to work for me. I just did the things I was interested in doing, my own thing. Maybe this is the heart of the matter. Artists who are busy creating their own work. Business is the reason Hollywood films are less interesting these days. I think the last time there was a healthy ratio of business and art was the golden age of the 1970’s (cinema), where art and commerce intersected. It’s not the same world now in the least, however this is certainly one model to look at. But then again, I have never really worked “In Hollywood” outside of the geographical location. I never would claim to “work in the business”, as I was always outside of it.

Knowing your personal work history, the trajectory with rock history heavyweights, hardcore-punk pioneers, alternative rock, etc. How did you earn your place, to transcend your work in the passage of time, Survive and stay active with your ethics intact?

I don’t know about how I fit into all of that, I never really concerned myself with that. I just stuck to it. I did my work, did the things I was interested in doing, and carried on.

That said. No one really cared about the underground in the US in the 1980’s at the time. The mainstream could have cared less. It was a very real and organic thing because of that. Things clearly got strange in the 1990’s, when suddenly this stuff that was going on beneath the surface and cracks in the 80’s, became such a thing. But so it goes…

Our current president profile is very similar to Trump in terms of crude neoliberalist policies, responding to corporate interests and entities that go beyond the governments like the IMF, etc. Are you aware of the situation in the country, and South America?

Somewhat, but by no means am I an expert. I am very unhappy with the fact that a total asshole is the figurehead for my country at the present time. I don’t think we’ve ever had anyone less qualified to be in that position in my lifetime. It is scary. It feels like the world is laughing at us.

Being part and survivor of the Punk-Hardcore scene in Los Angeles, a boy who started filming in an autodidact manner with an urgency to capture what was happening in his city, his group of friends, favorite bands, context, etc. Do you see something similar happening in California today?

There is a lot of music going on currently in Los Angeles, and I do see a younger generation being clearly impacted and influenced by so much of this music and culture. Some bands have the sound and attitude down pat. Check out The Side Eyes. I am not really up on all of it, I just don’t have the tenacity to get out there and check bands out like I used to. That said, I still do see a fair share of live music. But really, this is such a different world… Comparisons are not really fair, or even that interesting. But I will say the music here is thriving right now.

It were Ronald Reagan’s years, against whose conservative policies teenagers rebelled, the counterculture gave beautiful gems such as punk, hardcore, fanzines, DIY culture, and a long etc. that many young people inherited in subsequent generations. Do you think there is a musical scene today that is worth documenting for its spirit and ethics?

While it’s true that Reagan helped spread Hardcore across the continental United States by default, I heard rumblings around the time of the latest election that this Orange Buffoon was supposedly going to make punk rock great again, or some such nonsense. I’d rather not have to deal with this on any level. It’s not worth it, and it’s not going to make anything great.

You came to the country in 2005 under the festival Bafici in its seventh edition … What memories do you have of that visit?

I really enjoyed myself. I would have never imagined screening something like “The Slog Movie” for an international audience, so many years after it was made. I was very pleased and surprised with the audience reaction to my films. The Lovedolls films especially seemed to go over well, I returned again to BAFICI in 2008.

How does it feel to be part of an entire artistic-musical scene, of a generation that managed to reflect a cultural brake in your country? Did it get to be a burden? Do you think about it?

I don’t think of my work in relation to someone else’s. It was interesting watching the culture in the 1990’s, and all that happened there. But now, all of that is so far away in the past. It’s almost like it never happened, in a sense.

With a brief appearence of Babes in Toyland and a little bit more of protagonism of Kim Gordon at The Year Punk Broke (that appears more in the sequel “The Blue Scale”). How was it to see a woman in a band between so many men? Do you remember how the audience behaved? How do you see Kim Gordon’s rock influence in the girls of today?

Well, Kim definitely is a huge influence on me. But the music I know and love, women have always been directly involved. I myself (as a musician) have been in bands with girls. And girls invented punk rock, so…

 

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21 of Dave Markey’s 28 films

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The Slog Movie (1982)
‘The original version of the 1982 Los Angeles hardcore punk scene document by Dave Markey, shot on Super-8 film for We Got Power Films. Filmed over the span of a year or so (beginning in June 1981), The Slog Movie captures many a So Cal hardcore historical moment including Henry Rollins’ first show with Black Flag; West Hollywood Sheriff’s busting up another night at Oki-Dogs; Circle Jerks and Wasted Youth at the Whisky, Red Cross (before they became Redd Kross) and Sin 34 live on the Santa Monica Pier; TSOL, The Cheifs (intentionally misspelled), Fear and Circle One (featuring the late John Macias) all shot at Bards Apollo. Also includes homespun sketch comedy and a commercial for the original Black Flag / Ray Pettibon skateboard.’ — WGTP


the entirety

 

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Desperate Teenage Lovedolls (1984)
‘In the mid-1980′s Dave Markey and his WE GOT POWER crew were an unstoppable force in the Los Angeles underground scene. Armed with a Super-8 camera, together with the brothers MacDonald and their band Redd Kross Markey made what can only be described as a monument to the rough and tumble lifestyle that the genre embodied – DESPERATE TEENAGE LOVEDOLLS. A fiery tale of the meteoric rise of a group of all girl shredders known as The Lovedolls and, of course, their subsequent plummet back to the unforgiving streets. All told at a breakneck speed and accompanied by a fistful of hits for a soundtrack.

‘When Kitty Carryall and Bunny Tremelo decide to comb the mean streets of LA looking for a drummer to complete the line up of their band The Lovedolls, they have no idea what’s in store. With their pal Alexandria busting out of a mental institution to join their ranks, the girls think they have it made. But trouble strikes in the form of none other than Kitty’s mom when she comes looking for her dear lost daughter. Ms. Carryall has her own run in with a gang of street toughs and is quickly dispatched with by one Patch Kelly who will become their third member. Trouble rears it’s ugly head once again when sleazeball mogul Johnny Tramaine signs the girls and they learn the true price of fame.’ — Spectacle


the entirety

 

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Lovedolls Superstar (1986)
‘Not two years later, Markey and company were back in action and managed to outdo themselves in nearly every area with the follow up LOVEDOLLS SUPERSTAR. Bigger gigs, higher stakes, hotter tunes, cults, assassinations, and more. Rising from the their own ashes like a filthy gutter pheonix, The Lovedolls return! Patch Kelly has turned Patch Christ and together with her acid-casualty followers she rescues Kitty Carryall from a boozers life of on the street. Teaming up with Alexandria Axethrasher they reform and begin their climb back to the top. But the obstacles start mounting all around them. Relatives of enemies previously squashed come out of the woodwork to settle the score. Be on the look out for appearances from Jello Biafra and Sky Saxon, too!’ — Spectacle


the entirety

 

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Macaroni and Me (1988)
‘Short film from 1988, originally created for a concert introduction, showcasing Los Angeles rock band Redd Kross. The title is in reference to the 1988 film “Mac And Me”. Features cameos from Ann Magnuson & Jennifer Schwartz.’ — DM


the entirety

 

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w/ Raymond Pettibon Citizen Tania (1989)
‘Raymond Pettibon and David Markey collaborated on this 1989 shot on video feature film. Ray’s version of Patty (or Tania) portrays her as a brat who welcomes her induction into the SLA whole heartedly. Cast includes Shannon Smith, Pat Smear, Dave Markey, Jennifer Schwartz, Joe Cole, Dez Cadena, & Tuesday Deneuve.’ — DM


Excerpt

 

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Sonic Youth ‘My Friend Goo’ (1991)
From the album Goo


the entirety

 

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Reality 86’d (1991)
‘While Black Flag has yet to see the full-scale documentary treatment, too much bad blood I expect, David Markey from Painted Wille did make a documentary on the band’s final tour called Reality 86’ed. While it’s far and away my least favourite phase in the the band’s seven year career, it’s a fascinating document for sure. The documentary has never been officially released and Mr. Ginn frequently has it pulled down.’ — Music Ruined My Life


the entirety

 

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Sonic Youth ‘Mildred Pierce’ (1991)
‘One of the first songs Sonic Youth ever wrote. In fact, it’s in standard tuning. Lee mentions it in a 1984 Forced Exposure interview: “We’ve got other songs, like ‘Mildred Pierce,’ that could be strictly commercial.” Thurston’s scream on the LP version is actually lifted directly from the original demo (released on the “Goo Demos” CD). Name taken from the Joan Crawford film “Mildred Pierce”. Performed live in August 1990 specifically for the Dave Markey directed video. Sophia Coppola also appears.’ — SY


the entirety

 

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Sonic Youth ‘Cinderella’s Big Score’ (1991)
‘This song and video is the true dialogue between Kim Gordon and her little brother who disappeared for many years and was living on the streets.’ — Juan Fifarek


the entirety

 

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1991: The Year Punk Broke (1992)
‘Once in a while, there is a documentary that manages to capture a special moment, just before a great cultural revolution. David Markeys 1991: THE YEAR PUNK BROKE is one of them! A raw, off-the-cuff, 8mm recording of a euphoric tour of European summer festivals (including Pukkelpop) by Sonic Youth. And in their wake, the guitar violence of support bands, like Dinosaur Jr, Mudhoney, Babes In Toyland and the then-unknown Nirvana. Three months later, Kurt Cobain and his buddies let NEVERMIND loose on the general public, at which point “grunge” conquered the music scene.

‘Headliner Sonic Youth dominated the on-stage component (it was the time of their most grungy album Dirty), while Nirvana still swaggered around without the immense pressure that would destroy them in three short years. Off-stage, director Markey paints a truthful picture of boredom, drink, nonsense and one-liners, such as OUR AUDIENCE IS EXPANDING; MY MIND IS TURNING INTO A FINE GELATINOUS BALL OF PEPPER.’ — Hendra Sihombing


the entirety

 

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Grunge Pedal (1993)
‘Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Julie Kafritz and Mark Ibold try out a new effects box called “The Grunge Pedal” and make all sorts of knowing faces then make sarcastic comments about it. They also do some other stuff.’ — The Essayist


the entirety

 

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w/ Spike Jonze, Lance Bangs, Steve Paine, Angus Wall Sonic Youth ‘The Diamond Sea’ (1995)
‘This is one of those songs that you can just turn out the lights, lay down and close your eyes and just let your mind drift away.’ — GmJunky87


the entirety

 

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Meat Puppets ‘Scum’ (1995)
‘Music video directed by David Markey from the Meat Puppets underrated 1995 album “No Joke”.’ — DM


the entirety

 

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Blast off! (1997)
‘Travel the USA with Osaka Japan’s beloved Shonen Knife, and see the sights through their eyes and hear the band at their best. Dave Markey hits the road with the band on their 1997 US tour and documents an amazing assortment of concerts, record in-stores, plus tons of behind the scenes footage. Join Naoko Yamano, her sister Atsuko Yamano, and Michie Nakatani on stage and off, performing “Explosion”,”Wind Your Spring”, “E.S.P.”, “Fruits & Vegetables”, “Frogphobia”, “Buddha’s Face”, “Lazybone” & more. Watch them win over American fans, and play to the biggest audiences of their career stateside.’ — WGTP


the entirety

 

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(This Is Known as) The Blues Scale (2004)
‘While the doc 1991: The Year Punk Broke originally saw limited release in 1992, legal disputes with Nirvana’s estate kept the film from making its way onto DVD – that is until 2011, when Universal coincided the release with Nevermind’s 20th anniversary. Eyeing its eventual reissue, Markey began to assemble a postscript companion piece made up of unused outtakes and other footage from the documentary, titled (This is Known as) The Blues Scale. The name originated from a statement that Cobain yelled to Markey while ripping through a guitar solo on stage.

‘Since it is all b-side material, the film presents a unique look at another side of the tour – more-so how these performers were ‘performing’ offstage. There are a few live cuts, but since they were originally excluded from the opus concert doc, it’s more focused on the hijinks and personalities of the tour. And in that sense, Blues Scale is an even more raw and honest look into 90’s rock history. Like, for instance, there’s a story about how Nirvana got kicked off MCA after Kim Gordon wrote “Fuck You” on a card the label left in their dressing room. Or that Kurt Cobain thought up a gimmick that involved him hanging himself onstage. There are also scenes with Sonic Youth at an amusement park, a giddy Cobain playing spin the bottle, Thurston Moore’s take on emocore (“Mick Jagger is the king of emocore”), and cameos by Courtney Love, J. Mascis, Epic Soundtracks, and longtime Black Flag roadie, Joe Cole.’ — Dangerous Minds


the entirety

 

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Stoner Park (2006)
‘Short film by David Markey from the DVD “Cut Shorts”. Satan Teens versus the mellow Zeppelin Stoners in a battle to the finish. Why Do You Think They Call It Dope?’ — DM


the entirety

 

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The Reinactors (2008)
‘Director David Markey’s entry into the 2008 International Film Festival of Rotterdam, “The Reinactors” follows the lives of individuals who perform as film characters on Hollywood Boulevard. Freddy Krueger works alongside Superman, Marilyn Monroe, Shrek, Lucy Ricardo, Batman, and Borat. Competing Chewbacca’s, Spidermen and Captain Jack Sparrow’s vie for a spot on The Walk Of Fame. These street characters have big dreams of breaking into the big-time, in the meantime they forge a living one-dollar at a time, posing for photos with tourists. These characters are literally right out of the movies, yet the unforeseen drama of the people underneath the make-up eclipses the Hollywood film icons they appropriate.’ — WGTP


the entirety

 

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Dinosaur Jr ‘Bug Live at the 9:30 Club’ (2012)
‘Through an online contest, six fans are selected to film Dinosaur Jr. performing “Bug” in its entirety at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC, June 2011. Experience the fans’ joy as they witness a classic performance and meet their heroes face to face in an exclusive interview with the band. Under the awesome direction of Dave Markey (The Year Punk Broke), “In the Hands of the Fans” brings the fans closer to the band and the music closer to you. Includes bonus footage of Henry Rollins speaking candidly to Markey about the the band, and interviewing them on stage before the show.’ — inthehandsofthefans


Trailer

 

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Circle Jerks – My Career as a Jerk (2014)
‘Dave Markey of We Got Power films/zine has dusted off his camera to make this documentary and he did an excellent job with it. The film tells the entire history of the Circle Jerks from its inception and what the band members were doing leading up to the band forming, right up until what the status (or lack of status) of the band is now. This documentary is told first hand through current interviews with almost all the key surviving members that have ever played in the band. Band members that were interviewed were Keith Morris, Greg Hetson, Lucky Lehrer, Earl Liberty, and Zander Schloss. Keith, Greg and Lucky were 3/4 of the original band (the fourth being Roger Rogerson who died of a drug overdose many years ago), Earl played bass with the band for a couple of years after Roger left the band and Zander replaced Earl when he left and has been the bass player of the band ever since (and was a co-star of the legendary movie, Repo Man). In addition to the band member interviews there are interviews with people from other bands as well as Lisa Fancher who owns Frontier Records which was the label that put out the first (and best) Circle Jerks album, Group Sex.

‘The movie goes in chronological order telling the story of the band. They go through the bands formation, the history the members had with other bands before starting this one, the heat they got from their peers for “stealing” parts of songs, recording their various albums and playing shows and touring. They give great detail the how and why various band members left the band, the substance abuse problems some members had, and they even are quite honest about what did and didn’t work in the band and their various recordings. Interspersed with the interview footage is a ton of live footage from over the years including some really old stuff from the early years which was pretty amazing to see considering how expensive and uncommon video cameras were back then. Some of the footage is of questionable quality and some of it is surprisingly good.’ — Punk Vinyl


Trailer


the entirety

 

 

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p.s. Hey. ** Shane Christmass, Hi, Shane. Yep, I sure did. No, I haven’t read ‘Something Gross’. I’ll find it, thanks. ** G, Ha ha, no, but I did declare his toilet piece to be too ubiquitous for my blog, I guess. Whew, relieved that you like ‘Gone’. That was a close one, ha ha. Oh, is my Gysin piece not in ‘Smothered in Hugs’, I forget? I just checked, and it doesn’t seem to be online. Oh, well. Thanks about the post. My weekend was much less eventful than ‘Gone’, ha ha (for the third time, yikes). xo. ** maggie siebert, Aw, that’s so nice of you to say. Well, you wrote a fantastic book, and I’m just bright enough to recognise that, I guess. No, I was super honored to see that you mentioned me in that interview. Thank you. Yes, see/meet you in NYC whenever that time comes very happily. Love back. ** Misanthrope, Thanks. That is a fine, fine feeling, for sure. Yeah, so awful about Chris. Hard to know what to say. ** Bill, I think they are relying on you, Bill, so you had better figure that out. Yes, about Chris, very very sad. ** JM, I loved your piece in SCAB, and very excited for the totality. Great lit is really erupting, yeah. Well, I loved ‘Bonding’, like the post said. Oh, man, so great that your novel is imminent. Late this year brings such an avalanche of exciting books it’s almost unbelievable. Hooray, pal! Love, Dennis. ** chris dankland, Howdy, Chris, so lovely to see you! Thanks about the podcast. Paul is a wonderful host and conversationalist and dude. Yes, about the publishing talk. I think increasingly fewer writers are dead set on major publishers, but that’s been the predetermined goal for so long that it’s not surprising it has to be unlearned or whatever. I think your and Jennifer’s answer to your question is basically right, although presses have always needed to survive financially so I’m not sure why they’ve gotten more cutthroat about that. But then again presses didn’t used to be corporations, did they? It wasn’t that long ago that even a corporate owned place like Harper Perennial was publishing oddballs like me fully knowing I wouldn’t make them rich and au contraire. I don’t know. Anyway, I like your guess. I don’t think the really big publishers stick with non-selling but critically acclaimed writers anymore. That’s really different from the days when a publisher would stick with an author either for the prestige or because some big wig there personally loved the writer’s work. I can think of two recent writers whose first novels were critically acclaimed and buzzed about, etc. but who were dropped by their major publishers afterwards anyway due to said books having not brought in sufficient buckage. Not sure about the second edition question. The trend is towards print on demand so, theoretically, books wouldn’t go out of print. Xray publishing books is an exciting idea, obviously. Cool! I hope you like ‘I Wished’, and thanks a whole lot of coming in here, my friend. All the very best. ** Dalton, Hi, Dalton! Ugh, yeah, hopefully yours will fade like mine did, although you might have to skip hot, spicy food eternally or something. Of course your interests sound like they match mine. Which, naturally, I applaud. Such tastes have served me very well, at least. That’s very cool that you’re interested in writing novels. It’s a good time to be a daring novelist. And totally understood about not feeling right talking about it. I’m not either, actually, it’s just that once you start getting published, you’re kind of forced once in a while to figure out an acceptable (to you) degree and style of doing that. I’ve generally found that the fear of sounding like your influences is mostly just a fear. That’s the weird thing: it’s hard to recognise your own voice’s distinctiveness. One good thing about getting published is that others clue you in about that. Anyway, I would say try not to worry about that. If you’re excited and inspired by what you’re writing, it’ll be original at least in some way. Otherwise, you wouldn’t get such a charge out of writing. I think that’s how you know. I look forward to reading your work at whatever point that becomes possible. I’m happy you found this place. Please do hang out and talk whenever you like. Great week’s start to you. ** Dominik, Hi!!! My pleasure. I loved Josiah’s piece, and I liked the other one a lottoo. Kudos and thanks galore! I ended up walking to the health food store, and, of course, it was pleasant. I think my malaise was a quickie. You’re writing! Ooh! That’s excellent news! Are you still? Your love was both canny and kindness incarnate. Your love’s friendly competitor selling very realistic looking and wildly popular gigantic gravestone costumes that fit over tall buildings and skyscrapers, G. ** James, Hi, man. Thank you for the good vibes. My pleasure on the successful love I showed to those oh so worthy books. Thanks about the podcast. Paul’s great, yeah. I’m a total fan/addict of his podcast. I think there are some amazing writers published by major presses, but I guess they do seem like the exceptions. Expat is super exciting, that’s for sure. Thrilled to be among their beneficiaries. Take care, pal. ** jamie, Ah, you saw that Akerman film. And in Brussels itself even maybe? It is a real drag getting all the great US-born books over here. I’m lucky because publishers and writers sometimes kindly send me them or pdfs of them, but there are still lots I have to order and then hope make it through the eccentric, let’s say, French postal system. My weekend was nice, good weather, talked to friends, made plans, did my biweekly Zoom bookclub thing, etc. Yours sounds lovely and lively, a combination that is increasingly realistic! I’m pretty sure the Eno demos are real. I remember reading an interview with Verlaine where he talked about how unsatisfactory they were, so I assume those bootlegged recordings are the real deal, but of course I don’t know. And may your Monday be perfection-transcending, man. Love, me. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, B. Yeah, tell me about it. Hey, I’m guessing your second jab was a flying colors kind of experience, yes? ** T, Hi, T, good to see you! My blog so appreciates the poetry it inspired in you. As do I, natch. Congrats on finishing the uni course. What now? Apart from hanging out here, I mean, I hope. Thank you for the kind words about Chris. Yeah, it’s tough, as it would have to be. That said, Happy Monday to you! ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff, really great to see you! Thanks about Chris. Oh, man, yeah, ongoing best hopes and hugs about the stuff with your dad. The print we saw of the Akerman wasn’t new, but it wasn’t too bad. A little faded, but almost charmingly so. I don’t think think it’s becoming more available. It was a fairly thorough retrospective, and it got shown for that reason, I think. It was a real find, though. Are you writing? What’s going on? ** Steve Erickson, Hi. At FSG? I don’t know. The Originals series was what was exciting to me about FSG’s goings on, and that’s because of Jeremy Davies’s editorship, but they ‘let him go’, so that can’t be a good sign. I’m not sure which Bing films are playing. Zac knows. I’m planning to see the related exhibition and find out there. People seem to be returning to movie theatres in pretty big numbers here, from what I’ve seen. No real fear of them apparently. ** Paul Curran, Thanks, Paul. Amazing indie lit windfall going on, for sure. Are you writing on your tome? Ah, you know about the Chris circumstances. Yeah, sad is definitely one word for it. Take care, pal. ** Brian, Hi, Brian. Cool, glad the book array intrigued. ‘Jeanne Dielman’ is a good place to start with Akerman. Her work’s so great, and you’ll be in for a treat when you dive in. No weekend booty for me either, if that helps, ha ha. I haven’t seen ‘8½’ in years. I can believe that your assessment is sensible. I guess I never expect a whole lot of depth from Fellini. When he does go deep, it tends to get a bit sentimental for me. ‘Satyricon’ is by far my favorite. Thank you about ‘Frisk’. Well, yeah, I’m long since accustomed to people having content-blinded, misconstruing responses to my books. I don’t like it, but I’m powerless to change that. Thank you for saying that, man. My weekend was pleasant but no big treasure-filled whoop, I guess. This week could get busier and better, or it’s possible. Here’s me waving the chequered flag in hopes yours will zoom into existence. ** Okay. Today I present to you the films and videos the often post-punk and grunge associated filmmaker Dave Markey. Have fun. Fun is up there if you want it. See you tomorrow.

13 Comments

  1. Shane Christmass

    June 7, 2021 at 11:11 am

    Yes – your BG piece is in ‘Smothered In Hugs’.

    I went to get the link to ‘Something Gross’ but this said you’ve already read it – https://www.apocalypse-party.com/somethinggross.html

    Did I write BBDB – that might’ve been why. Anyway – that book is astonishing.

    Got a new new story up here if anyone would like to read: called Aerosmith Heroin – seemed a good idea for a title.

    Loved the ‘Wake Island’ pod – I’ll pencil in the 15th and 31st.

    Take care.

    https://expatpress.com/aerosmith-heroin-shane-jesse-christmass/

  2. Shane Christmass

    June 7, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Yes. The Gysin review is in ‘Smothered In Hugs’.

    Looks like you’ve read ‘Something Gross’.

    I came here to post this link but it then links back to a post here:

    https://www.apocalypse-party.com/somethinggross.html

    Did I say BBDB rather than Big Bruiser Dope Boy? I think I did.

    If anyone is interested I got a new story up at Ex Pat. Titled Aerosmith Heroin. Seemed a good title at the time: https://expatpress.com/aerosmith-heroin-shane-jesse-christmass/

    BTW loved the ‘Wake Island’ pod. I’ll pencil in the 15th and the 31st

    Take care

  3. Dennis, Another stellar Day/post.

    So, I don’t know that Chris particularly liked Rigby because of something that happened in Manchester after “Jerk” there (a very drunk Rigby said something he shouldn’t have, and he did apologize right away); however, Rigby loved Chris’ work and went to a number of his shows and actually hung out with Chris—pretty sure they made up—afterward. Rigby’d just mentioned Chris last time we spoke on the phone, which was about a month ago or so (Rigby’s been hiking ever since, making his way up through Scotland and sending me updates via text). Of course, I told him about Chris and he’s quite torn up about it.

    I got to hang with Chris in Manchester too and then in Birmingham after KTL when Rigby and I went there to see it. We always got on really well. Really funny guy, very bright, sooo fucking nice. I really liked him. It’s a terrible loss in so many ways.

  4. Being a fan, I saw The Year Punk Broke back in the day. Interesting to see what DM has been up to in the years since.

    Yes the 2nd Covid jab was a definite breeze. I had that last week and it never triggered anything beyond a slightly achy arm. Weird how my body responded in such majorly different ways.

  5. Hi!!

    Ah, Dennis, thank you for today’s post! I absolutely love everything about it, and it instantly put me in an unshakeable Nirvana mood.

    I’m glad your trip to the health food store ended up being a lot more pleasant than expected!

    I didn’t have time to write today (I worked on proofreading and editing two long video game scripts), but I can still feel it in me. I think I’ll keep on doing it for now. Though this is a cautious promise even to myself, haha.

    How did Monday treat you?

    I’d love to see your love’s creations all over the city so, so much! Love like the face I made when a customer in the bookstore I used to work in threw away a tiny children’s sock in the shop’s trash can, Od.

  6. Hey Dennis,
    Thanks for this post. I only really knew Dave Markey from the Sonic Youth videos and it’s super interesting to see his career laid out like this. Lovedoll Superstars was like something that my older hipper pals would talk about. I’m looking forward to looking a bit more into his stuff in the next few days. And totally amazing him making those movies at such a young age.
    How was your Monday? Mine was okay with nothing of much note, apart from taking Ari to this place near here that’s like a shopping centre that was curtailed by Covid, so it’s completely dead with none of the units being used, but is weirdly still open to the public. It’s got a really odd and interesting vibe anyway.
    Yes, I saw that Ackerman film in Brussels, adding even more goodness to it.
    Lovely Tuesday to you!
    Love,
    Jamie

  7. Hi Dennis!

    Yeah it’s nice to have the time to hang out leisurely here again! As promised today delivered nicely on the fun stakes… even though I’m not so into guitar music, having been born after Markey’s wave of 1991 broke and retreated leaving awful stagnant puddles (in the UK at least), he does really well at making you excited about it. I watched the Shounen Knife one whilst I was eating, which was cute, but then I glanced at the opening of 1991 just now, which really pulled my focus, so I might watch some more of that tomorrow.

    In terms of what’s happening in personal terms now uni has slipped into the rear view mirror, I just wanna find a day job that I can live off but allows me the maximum time to do my writing and music. I thought that just staying on as a student might fit the bill, but I don’t really have any interest whatsoever in doing that. So, currently I’m thinking of leaving the UK and going to teach english somewhere that’s comparatively more fun to be in. As it happens I’ve been offered one gig thus far on the outskirts of Paris, but I’m gonna wait to see if I get anything else to choose from. Wishing you a Tuesday that laughs in Monday’s face comparatively, with breath that smells of synthetic mint. Speak soon, xT

  8. Lots of memories here: renting LOVEDOLLS SUPERSTAR from a record store when I was a high school student, seeing 1991 at a midnight show. The Black Flag doc sounds intriguing, especially if it pissed off Greg Ginn!

    I saw an interesting series of shorts, BOTTLED SONGS 1-4, now streaming through a film festival in Chicago. A collection of video essays in the form of letters addressed between directors Chloe Galibert-Lainé and Kevin B. Lee, they explore terrorism and the media around it, especially ISIS propaganda, from a formalist perspective. Lee’s BOTTLED SONGS 2, in which he writes down the exact number of times explosions appear in a feature-length film made by ISIS and analyzes its editing strategies, goes furthest with this, but the final two shorts reveal a fascination with people trapped in these systems. Lee’s final contribution traces British journalist John Cantlie, who was kidnapped by ISIS and forced to serve as a news anchor of sorts for them. (He hasn’t been heard from him in years, and no one knows whether or not he’s still alive now.) The films were entirely shot off a computer screen, and I could see the project continuing with more shorts added, or other directors contributing to it.

    You would know this much better, obviously, but I’ve read that “literary fiction” no longer sells enough to interest the big houses apart from a few names, while publishers make far more money from less respectable and, recently, much more controversial ventures like politician’s memoirs. When people cry “censorship” over Josh Hawley’s memoir being pulled by Simon & Schuster (and then finding another publisher), I doubt that even a writer as apparently successful as Torrey Peters made a large fraction of Hawley’s advance.

  9. Yay! Dave Markey. My band Lawndale played with his, Painted Willy, many a time. “Chia Pet” was a great song! We’re also in the Lovedolls movie. Those were the (SST) daze! Great to see yoo as alwayz, DC!

  10. Hey, Dennis,

    Wow, yet another amazing array of films that I will now have to fit into my infinitely-expanding watchlist. The early stuff looks especially interesting from a documentary standpoint. Looking forward to poking around in this filmography; thank you for sharing. Okay, “Jeanne Dielman” it is then. Just need to find the time for it and I’ll begin my exploration. You’re probably right re: not expecting a lot of depth from Fellini; I may have had skewed expectations going in, given how much its reputation precedes it. I’m going to watch more of his films for sure. “Satyricon” is at the top of my list, it looks like something I’d totally love. Glad to know it has your endorsement. Also interested in “Amarcord” because Fassbinder routinely mentioned it as a fave. Your chequered flag seemed to do the job: my week is off to a fairly good start. I got to see some friends tonight, which was nice. We watched Coppola’s Dracula. I know that a lot of people hate it, which is understandable, but I saw it wayyy too young at like seven years old, and it affected me so profoundly that it basically formed the bedrock of my subconscious. I can’t even evaluate it with the criteria I would normally judge a film by—I know it’s basically kitsch, but it’s too loaded and personal for me to detach myself from it, lol. So it was very fun to revisit, and everybody there liked it too, yay. My only hopes for tomorrow are rest and relaxation and obviously maybe another movie. Busier and better on your end, let’s hope. Happy Tuesday, Dennis.

  11. Hey Dennis,
    Every time I see Rollins shirtless and yelling at people, I wonder why other music even exists. I imagine other music is actually just an elaborate money laundering scheme or some salamander-eyed corporate conspiracy.
    I also wonder why it seems like grunge doesn’t seem to have much relevance in today’s music despite how big of a cultural watermark it was. It seems like I hear Kurt’s voice imitated moreso in his own contemporaries rather than in today’s contemporary music.

    Also, thank you for the encouragement and advice. It really helps me a lot. The idea of you reading my writing sounds like it might give me an ulcer lol. Although I’d be lying if that didn’t sound equally as nice. I haven’t had anybody read any of my stuff for 7-8 months since I relocated and took a break from school. Regardless the gesture is very nice so I’ll my best to ensure that if any of my words enter your(or anyone else’s) eyeballs that they will be worth the time.

    Lately, its been weird to write because often when I sit down to do so people start arguing violently outside my window. I mostly write late at night. And it is strange because there are seemingly different voices almost every time and I can never tell where they are coming from and they say very weird and mean things. I heard one guy wail incoherently for a couple minutes and then, over a female sigh, he yelled “I am the man, and you are the woman!” I looked outside and saw some white shirted dude pace around the mailboxes before he disappeared into the darkness. Another night I heard a woman scream at her kids, asking why their rooms weren’t clean yet and then slamming the door, shaking the whole row of townhouses. This was mostly strange because it happened at like midnight. Right now I don’t hear arguments but I do hear cats fighting intermittently and smashing into the chain link fence across the street and somebody listening to loud talk show radio from their car.

    Anyway, I hope the rest of your day is good and thanks for the good vibes.

    Anyway

  12. David Ehrenstein

    June 8, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Punk seems almost quanit now. Like Kay Kyser.

    My listening habits have narrowed: Mahler, Sondhei, 60’s era girl groups.

    Searching for a home for my Jean D’Arc pice.

  13. David Ehrenstein

    June 9, 2021 at 12:21 am

    Dennis did you ever meet Chantal? “A Piece of Work” doesn’t begin to describe her. In the early80’s she was in L.A. a lot constantly screening “Les Rendez-vous D’Anna” to all and sundry n the hopes of getting moey for her passio proect — a film adaptation of Isaac Bachevitz Singer’s “The Manorand the Estate” She was WAY tooclose to her mother. I suspect incest. She killed herself right after her mother died.

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