LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 73: Larry Livermore of Lookout Records

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Larry Livermore, formerly of Lookout Records and author of the book How To Ru(i)n A Label (Don Giovanni Records, 2015). Since Larry’s book covers the story of his involvement (and de-volvement) with Lookout Records so well, we only talk about the label a bit in this lengthy interview. Instead we focus on other aspects of Larry’s life, like growing up working class in Detroit, his estrangement from his family, the consumption and sale of psychedelic drugs, living in Northern California, MaximumRockNRoll, the punk scene’s sometimes self-destructive disdain for success and embrace of obscurity and failure, and being involved in a record label that meant a lot to countless people. We talk about how we came to know one another in a story about my stay at a hippie religious commune in the early 1990s. The Martin Sprouse edited book Threat By Example (Pressure Drop Press, 1989) is discussed along with Larry’s essay in it. The discussion doesn’t shy away from sensitive subjects such as suicide, love, and loneliness. All told, even those who’ve read Larry’s columns and books (and possibly attending one of his speaking engagements) will find much to enjoy in this interview. As I
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HORROR BUSINESS Episode 8: Welcome To Horror Business, MF’ers, or: This Is What It Sounds Like When Liam And Justin Cry

Episode VIII: Welcome To Horror Business, MF’ers, or: This Is What It Sounds Like When Liam And Justin Cry               Greetings, friends and neighbors, and welcome to another spine chillingly hilarious episode of Horror Business, the podcast that would make you happy if you only believed in it. Thank you again for checking us out, and if you ruined a first date by rambling about this, the newest and hottest horror podcast, we love you. We love you no matter what. This episode we delve into the concept of the anthology horror film by as always watching two films and then comparing them. This is the eighth episode, people. You know how we do. The films we chose were 1993’s Necronomicon: Book Of The Dead, and 1995’s Tales From The Hood. For the untutored, an anthology film is one film divided into separate segments that each tells a different story. Some of the classic anthology horror films were Tales From The Darkside, Creepshow, and The Twilight Zone Movie. More recent ones would include the V/H/S films and the ABCs Of Death films. Before jumping into the meat and potatoes of this week’s episode and
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 72: Joseph A. Gervasi talks L!F!P! on WKDU 91.7 FM

WKDU (91.7 FM) DJ Yoni Kroll interviews LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! creator Joseph A. Gervasi live on-air on Sunday, March 13, 2013. They talk about the origins of the L!F!P! project, Joseph’s long-term involvement in Philly DIY HC punk through The Cabbage Collective and more, an email he received from a concerned punk (Jim Shomo, later interviewed for the project), 1990s emo babies, the Cinedelphia Film Festival and its creator Eric Bresler, conducting long-form interviews, his favorite Philly bands, and more. 91.7 fm WKDU Philadelphia  
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 71: Cynthia Connolly of Banned In DC

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews the photographer Cynthia Connolly. We talk about Cynthia growing up in Los Angeles, CA and being drawn into the early punk scene. Cynthia and her sister wind up moving to Washington, DC in the early ’80s. There Cynthia become an active participant in the burgeoning hardcore punk scene. Cynthia designed the iconic “Out of Step” 12″ cover for Minor Threat. In the late ’80s she compiled, contributed photos to, and published the essential “Banned In DC” book, which she’s kept in print under her own imprint since then. We discuss the role of women in punk in contrast to the world of rock that preceded it, the bootlegging of her sheep art, working for MaximumRockNRoll magazine, the infamous SOA/Black Flag riot at the Starlight Ballroom in Philadelphia, and much more. It should be noted that, as I state at the start of the interview, Cynthia is not a “Philly person,” and thus may seem to fall out of the scope of this project. Like some others I’ve spoken to for L!F!P! (e.g. Martin Sprouse [who comes up a few times in this interview], Mark Anderson, Neil Robinson, etc), I’ve elected to include these individuals in part
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 69: Jim McMonagle of Flag of Democracy (F.O.D.)

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Jim McMonagle of the Philly hardcore punk band Flag of Democracy (F.O.D.). Jim grew up as a “monster kid” obsessed with horror and science-fiction films and books, especially King Kong, Godzilla, and Japanese TV shows such as Ultraman. By the late 1970s, Jim was embracing the nascent punk scene. At the start of the 1980s, F.O.D. was born. Their first show was also one of the most infamous hardcore shows of the early ’80s: the Buff Hall show in Camden, NJ that both Agnostic Front and Minor Threat played. This show was immortalized on the 7″ EP of Minor Threat’s performance and it’s the show where Ian MacKaye got hit by a van but soldiered on to play despite his head injuries. After seeing hundreds of punks go wild for their set, Jim knew that F.O.D. was what he wanted to be doing. Over three decades later, after several records, some European and US tours, and never breaking up or even taking an extended bread (or making an embarrassing metal record, for that matter), F.O.D. rages on. Each generation of punks in Philly falls in love with their manic speed and intensity as well as their
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 68: Nathan Gray of BoySetsFire, I Am Heresy, Church of Satan

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Nathan Gray of the bands BoySetsFire, I Am Heresy, and now solo work. Nathan details his experience of growing up with under the weight of fear in a Pentecostal family. Until he began to shed his Christian faith in his early thirties, Nathan found the religion he was raised with to be debilitating. Despite being the son of a Christian minister, Nathan is now a member of the Church of Satan. We talk about moving from faith to atheism/Satanism, discovering punk (not a simple prospect, considering how and where he was raised), a bit about BoySetsFire and I Am Heresy, and a whole lot about Islamic terrorism around the world. It’s Nathan’s writing about these tragedies and their perpetrators that’s alienated some of the fans of his projects and inspired others. Always thoughtful and highly-articulate, often passionate, Nathan minces no words in his approach to speaking out on the issues. In an interview that may make some listeners uncomfortable (which is never a bad thing), there is much less punk talk and much more talk of that state of living under the threat of terror and how one can rise out of that terror with words
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY Episode 67: Ralph Darden of Random Children, Franklin, AM/FM, Jai Alai Savant, DJ Major Taylor

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Ralph Darden, also known as DJ Major Taylor, who played in the bands Random Children, Franklin, AM/FM, Jai Alai Savant and more. While Ralph now lives in both Chicago and Los Angeles, he grew up in Philadelphia and spent much of his youth in the racially-mixed Mt. Airy neighborhood. In this long and frank interview, Ralph talks about the racial divide in Philadelphia, growing up in a world where he didn’t quite fit in with either while or black folks, discovering punk through BMX bikes (RAD!), playing in early bands and seeing shows in Philly, playing one of the greatest Philly punk shows of all time when Random Children played with Fugazi at Drexel, and much more. The discussion of race may be the most provocative parts of this wide-ranging conversation. Ralph talks about what it was like to have a song sung about him that called him “fucking disgusting” and how that made him feel as scores of people sang along to the lyrics yet never knew him personally. Ralph works with at-risk kids, DJs high-end parties and events, and may be engaging in a special project in Africa that is best explained by him
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 66: Neil Robinson of Nausea, Squat or Rot, Tribal War Records, Final Warning, Jesus Chrust, ABC NO RIO, Farmageddon Growers’ Collective

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Neil Robinson of the bands Nausea, Slaughter, Warning, Final Warning, and Jesus Crust. Neil co-founded Squat or Rot and ran the Tribal War label and distro. He was also active in ABC NO RIO. Neil is now one of the founding members of the Farmageddon Growers’ Collective in Oregon/Washington. Neil and I spoke in his hand-made and electricity-less shack on the Farmageddon property just outside Portland, Oregon after a tour of the (very impressive) veganic farm. This is a long interview, every minute of which is well worth listening to. Neil recounts his life from growing up in and around London in a working class (and later middle class) family. Neil was taken by punk from its frenzied emergence from the muck of feel-good ’70s music. Soon Neil was immersed in the thriving anarcho-punk scene in London. (When he mentions some of the amazing bands he saw at that time, you will weep in jealousy.) We discuss Neil’s move to New York City and his immediate love affair with the Lower East Side and its thriving scene. Neil is frank about his involvement in the drug scene. Our talk ranges through squatting; the formation of the
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 65: Mark Andersen of Positive Force DC, We Are Family

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Mark Andersen of Positive Force DC, We Are Family, and the books Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk In the Nation’s Capital (co-authored with Mark Jenkins) and All the Power: Revolution Without Illusion. On the thirtieth anniversary of Washington, DC’s “Revolution Summer,” I wanted to celebrate and illuminate the event that sent reverberations out into the world that continue to resonate today. While Mark has nothing to do with the Philly punk scene this project focuses on, he’s like some other interview subjects (e.g. Martin Sprouse) whom I’ve elected to interview for being so influential on all punk scenes, including the Philly scene. Mark Andersen grew up on his parents’ farm in Montana. He never fit in there and was looking for something else, something to draw him away from the sad cycles of addiction and conformity he saw all around him. Mark’s salvation came in the form of the nascent punk scene. A few years later, Mark found himself in Washington, DC where harDCore reigned supreme and the scene was eating itself alive. Then came Revolution Summer, where committed members of the scene — many of whom, like Mark, were frustrated with the state
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