Last week, I went to see an in-store/record-release show by The Muffs at Amoeba. They played most of the great new LP and were as aweseome as ever–combining ultra-catchy girl group melodies with no-holds-barred punk rock attitude and out-of-this-world musicianship. So it was an honor to see one of my pictures printed full-bleed on the insert. Kim and Ronnie had asked me for the file but I wasn’t sure how it would be used or if it wound up on the cutting-room floor. My photography is far from great but the photo looks pretty damn good printed 12″ by 12″ and there is some poetry in the situation.
You might recall that Giant Robot mag was spawned in the era of punk rock zines. Before starting it, Eric Nakamura and I had both contributed to publications like Fear of Grown-Ups, Flipside, and Fiz, and he actually has had photos printed on Muffs 7″ singles. (So did early GR contributor Vicki Berndt.) The print version of GR has run its course but I still go to shows and take and share photos, so it’s very cool that one of them would be used by one of my favorite bands and I would join the esteemed ranks of Eric and Vicki. Thanks, Muffs!
I went to some other shows, too… I think it was Pabst that sponsored a night of heavy music at The Echoplex. Deep Six band To The Point opened, featuring members of Fetus Eaters and Spazz. I only caught a few songs but their powerful brand of hardcore was straight-up, filler-free, and a perfect way to fire up the evening.
Next up was one of my favorite bands and the new-school kings of skate rock, The Shrine. Does anyone rip harder or have more fun onstage than the trio from Venice? And are there nicer dudes anywhere? So what could be better than having the homies practically in my backyard at a six-dollar show. No, they didn’t play “Symptom of the Universe” (Sabbath, of course). Yes, they sang, “The Duke” (by friend and supporter Chuck Dukowski). Friends on the East Coast and in Japan, don’t miss them when they head your way.
I don’t talk about my day job here very often, but I think that a lot of you will appreciate this. Imprint Culture Lab is a company that showcases up-and-coming, under-the-radar, and imported ideas. Eric Nakamura actually helped kickstart the earliest ones, bringing in high-powered friends from the worlds of streetwear, tech, otaku, and craft. I’ve been helping out with the newest one, which takes place in the home base of Imprint and its sister company interTrend.
The topic was born when the founder of Imprint/CEO of interTrend Julia Huang (above, right) told me that her companies were moving from a high rise to the second oldest building in Downtown Long Beach. I created a job for myself documenting its renovation, digging into the building’s sordid past as a psychic temple, researching the local history, and showcasing the community’s energy and upside in a blog. While sitting in on a meeting to choose a direction for the next Imprint, Long Beach seemed like a perfect choice to me. With the company investing and placing roots in the neighborhood, it was time to give back and grow it.
Long Beach: Work in Progress, which takes place next Friday, will have four panels. Authors Cara Mullio and Jennifer M. Volland will talk about their new book for Hennesy+Ingalls on Case Study House architect Edward A. Killingsworth. On the subject of music, Joe Escalante from The Vandals (above, left) and Jack from T.S.O.L. will represent Long Beach’s first generation hardcore punk subculture and Chhom Nimol and Zac Holtzman will talk about their relationship Long Beach’s Little Cambodia.