Giant Robot Store and GR2 News

OFF!'s free midnight show at the Echoplex

As it was for a lot of you out there, this wasn’t the easiest year for me and my family. Following Giant Robot’s print magazine going on hiatus at the tail end of 2010, I was unemployed with no job leads or responses to my queries for the first six months. Then, after I got an awesome job out of nowhere, the company my wife worked for was purchased by a competitor and shut down. Fortunately, we’ve managed to get by through frugal habits, a rock-solid support system of family and friends, and the PMA. And yes, there have been highlights. Here are ten of them–some of which has been written about in the blog, others merely alluded to, and a couple of odds and ends–in no particular order.

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Descendents at GV30

Before Goldenvoice promoted mega shows at Coachella, Staples, and Nokia, I knew the promoter’s name from flyers that I’d pick up at Zed Records, which also sold tickets to their shows at like Fender’s, Bogart’s, and the Palladium. Goldenvoice was the first promoter to book punk shows at “real” venues, giving chances to California bands that were treated like threats by the mainstream (Black Flag, Dead Kennedys) as well as touring bands that only got played by Rodney on the Roq (Damned, 999). My dorm rooms were decorated with those flyers, as well as posters for shows like PiL, Siouxsie, and the Jesus & Mary Chain, which also had the logo. This weekend, Goldenvoice honcho Gary Tovar booked three nights at the Santa Monica Civic (scene of early shows by The Clash and The Jam, not to mention Urgh! A Music War) to celebrate 30 years of business but also the roots of L.A. punk.

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OFF! at FYF 2011

One of my favorite photographers is Glen E. Friedman. I was lucky enough to meet him at a few book signings and correspond with him when Giant Robot mag ran a series of articles on Asian-American skaters from the Dogtown days. Friedman’s first proper book was called Fuck You Heroes, and it’s a hardcover that all of you should own. It captures his crisp but natural images from crucial points in counterculture from skateboarding to punk rock to rap, and features heavyweights like Alva, Adams, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Beastie Boys, and Public Enemy. Not only was he there to witness and capture the energy, but he also vocally espouses the P.M.A., veganism, and other worthy beliefs and causes. Yes. So I was stoked when released his next book with outtake and ancillary images called Fuck You Too. I would never compare my skills to Friedman’s, but in that spirit, here are some extra pics from last weekend’s FYF that are too good to let rot on the hard drive (and might earn me points toward another photo pass next year). A little commentary, too.

Steven McDonald of OFF! at FYF

OFF! is an instant hit decades in the making. If you add up the members’ years of experience of playing kick-ass punk rock ‘n’ roll (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Redd Kross, Rocket From The Crypt, Earthless, Clikatat Ikatowi, 411, Burning Brides…) the total might approach 100 years–and it shows in a good way.

Japandroids at FYF 2011

This pic of Japandroids is a little blown out, but it accurately conveys how hot it was.

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