"They keep stuff movin’ forward like a big wad o’ hair rollin’ up Second Ave…"

Welcome to Fuckin’ Record Reviews 2.0. Here’s a clip from… 

FORCED EXPOSURE #10 1986 (page 93 ), JIMMY JOHNSON, Editor

Review of RAT AT RAT R Amer$ide/Rock & Roll Is Dead/Long Live Rat At Rat R lp (Neutral - 1985) by BYRON COLEY 

  • RAT AT RAT R were NYC dark mark underachievers in existence between 1981-1991 via the I-95 corridor that still serves as a noisenik conduit between Gotham and the City of Brotherly Love to the south. Underachieving, not because they weren’t great - they were - but because in those 10+ years, they only had one solid opportunity to rattle our cages during their time of flaming youth, and Amer$ide was it. Compare their output to that of Sonic Youth or Swans or Live Skull and it’s clearly a bummer they did not get to release more during their potency. Those later rex on Purge/Sound League are good, but Amer$ide’s paranoid reek is something else.
  • Anyone looking to delve deep into the history of RAT AT RAT R should read two worthy online items, including The Oral History of Rat At Rat R by Brad Cohan in The Village Voice (11/9/12), which is an interview with RARR founders Ron AndersonVictor Poison-Tete and John Myers. Sez Ron, "In my way of thinking, first there is Sonic Youth then comes Rat At Rat R, then after that comes Swans — that order was kind of their appearance in the New York scene. But Rat At Rat R just stumbled - there was just a lot of bad luck. They’d get going and something would happen." 
  • Sez David, “The prequel to Rat At Rat R was a band called XZV-9…like RARR the name was a mathematical equation.. (3x3x3)..Sonda was our manager at the time…we had 40 original songs.. which was unheard of in central Pennsylvania.. Victor, Sonda and John then moved to Philadelphia and formed an early version of RARR with PAK guitarist Ron Anderson around 1980, and I stayed behind and worked for my Dad, married the girl next door etc… disenchanted with the city of “brotherly love”…they packed up and headed for NYC…and I left my wife and joined them there…We started playing the S.I.N. club on East 3rd St (the name stood for “Safety in Numbers”) because honestly at that time, you just didn’t venture below Ave A alone…it was there we fell in with Sonic Youth and Swans starting the unholy triumvirate of savage art rock…our three bands pretty much ruled New York in the early eighties…until the fateful day Village Voice critic Robert Christgrau sent his flunkie John Picarella down to CBGB’s to write about Sonic Youth… we were opening…unfortunately Picarella slammed SY and raved RARR…causing a rift between us and the other two bands..we hadn’t been around that long and were proud of the blurb…and put it in our press kit…Thurston, Kim, Gira etc. I guess took offense to that…and we were kinda excommunicated…also a fatal flaw was turning down Gerard Cosloy when he offered us a deal with Homestead, going with Branca’s Neutral records instead…later Gerard and I became roomates on Ave C and it became obvious what a genius the guy was…ahhh regret…it’s what ultimately gets you in the end…still, we made our mark in music history and we were and still are a family…our first album has just been re-issued and is available from Ektro records out of Finland…John is in Shanghai composing music to heal diseases, Sonda is an art director and redesigned the Voice and the L.A. Weekly…Victor is still making Art on Long Island and I am Teaching in Brazil…Tomorrow never knows…” 
  • Sonda Andersson is presently Art Director Extraordinaire at Virginia Monthly and probably doesn’t want to be bothered. However, there’s an infrequently active wordpress blog called eyesplinters and she was listed in a cool 1/31/12 post by debrislide titled, People who play interesting bass who are women. This is true (obviously), but more relevant to our concerns here is that Sonda responded to the post with this:  "Thanks for including me in this great line-up. The fact that you wrote about our musicality was refreshing. To update my profile, I play mostly Leo Fender/ Forrest White basses (Telecaster, jazz and my fave Music Master Sabre). I also played a Les Paul Signature gold-top bass and although a less balanced instrument, it has an incredible sound. Amp: a Kustom 250 roll and tuck with three 15’s. Update on bands…rat at rat r..we got together awhile ago and recorded three new songs, will be re-issuing Amer$ide, our first album. Live Skull also has things in the works. Outside of music, I’ve been an art director and designer for many years…SPY, Rolling Stone, GQ, 10 years as Design Director for New Times/Village Voice publications and now live in Richmond VA. Thanks again for the nice read!”
  • Byron Coley, in addition to being a noteworthy ice hockey renegade in the 1960s, exhibited a reliable disdain for gothy inclinations during his first 40 years as a writer, as evidenced by the review above.  FE Editor Jimmy Johnson, however, seemed to display a more catholic appreciation for dark eyeliner and associated gormandizing, even pimping Virgin Prunes records during FE’s heyday. He eventually liberated the rock underground from its goony thud (thankfully!), profferring essential Derrick May, Kirlian and Octave One 12”s in the late 90’s. [Currently NOT IN STOCK] 

The Move Organization is a Black Liberation group from Philadelphia started by John Africa in 1972. According to the group, the word MOVE is not an acronym. It means exactly what it says: MOVE, work, generate, be active. Their philosophy is everything that’s alive moves and If it didn’t, it would be stagnant, dead. Movement is their principle of Life.  Self Defense is also one of their principles of life and On May 13, 1985 they definitely showed that. The confrontation began when police came to their house over 100 strong with guns aimed and demanded the MOVE members come outside. Still angry from the 1978 confrontation with police, which resulted in 9 MOVE members being sentenced to 30 to 100 years in prison, they refused. The police then began throwing tear gas and opening fire at the house. The MOVE house had been built as a bunker and they began shooting back. After hours of shooting, the Police called for a helicopter and dropped a BOMB on the house. Yup, you read right. The cops dropped a bomb in the middle of a neighborhood in Philly. It’s Crazy how far America will go to subdue Black people. After the bomb dropped, 65 homes were destroyed and 11 people including 5 small children were killed. As the survivors of the MOVE house began to surrender, police continued to open fire at them with automatic weapons. One of the MOVE children actually ran into a burning house to avoid being shot by police. She would later be found burned to death. There is a great documentary that was released that illustrates the constant police brutality they faced and the bombing. Today 29 years later, the MOVE 9, like many other black political prisoners, continue to sit in Prison and each year they are denied the right to parole. In a system that has always been so hell bent against us, one must wonder, When Will We Overcome?  “Revolution starts with the individual. It starts with a person making a personal commitment to do what’s right. You can’t turn someone into a revolutionary by making them chant slogans or wave guns. To understand revolution, you must be sound. Revolution is not imposed upon another, it is kindled within them. A person can talk about revolution, but if they are still worshiping money, or putting drugs into their body, they obviously haven’t committed themselves to doing what’s right. Revolution is not a philosophy, it is an activity.” MOVE Post by @KingKwajo
Watch on

Bill Burr Berating the City of Philadelphia for 12 Minutes

Ahh, the City of Brotherly Hate.


My boyfriend shared this with me today.

Artist Hannah Price documented her run-ins with street harrassment.  

Via Buzzfeed: “Hannah Price is an Afrian-Mexican-American who recently moved from suburban Colorado to Philadelphia.  Her photo essay, “City of Brotherly Love,” is currently a work in progress, as Price collects portraits of men who catcall on the street.  The photographs…are a collection of candids snapped after a stranger has hit on her.  There are also a handful taken after she spoke with the subject and asked her to take his picture. Price said the series is a way for her to explore her fascination with street harassment.”