GROWING UP IN THE RUST BELT (PART 2) BY ZACH G

Between eleven and fifteen, life in Warren was hell. School was torture, and there was literally NOTHING to do without getting called a fag or getting pushed around in some way. When I lived in Maryland, for example, other kids were cool with the fact that I was 2nd chair trumpet in the school band, or that I was the lead role in the school play. In Small Town Rust Belt U.S.A., that’s the kind of accomplishment that gets you blacklisted from parties and generally ignored, mocked behind your back or out in the open. I tried to kill myself once by putting a BB gun pistol into my ear because in my thirteen year old brain that seemed like a perfectly reasonable way to effect suicide. Instead I lost my nerves and shot out the mirror in my parent’s bathroom. I figured if I didn’t have it in me to shoot myself I could shoot my reflection. Continue reading GROWING UP IN THE RUST BELT (PART 2) BY ZACH G

GROWING UP IN THE RUST BELT (PART 1) BY ZACH G

I’ve been sitting here trying to put some thoughts together. There are plenty of people out there who could do a better job of this than me. But they say to write about what you know, so I’m writing this for the kids growing up in the Small Town, because that’s what I know. When most people think about the Rust Belt, obviously the default image is the Big City. The decaying grandeur of the once-mighty industrial metropolis. The place that hammered out the steel that beat the Nazi war machine; that rolled out the cars which turned a nation of farmers into thrill seekers; that produced the sounds that rocked the world. It’s all there: slowly, majestically sinking back into the earth, one bankruptcy, foreclosure, and plant closing at a time.
I suppose there is something beautiful about it all, something that you don’t quite get anywhere else in the country. A sense of faded glory, perhaps? Like how the Romans must have felt as the Empire started to crumble. It takes a certain kind of person to find it all beautiful, because much of it is not: I don’t really see the tourist appeal to a broken down factory. There is nothing romantic to me about chronic unemployment; listening at night as the house next door to you gets stripped of its aluminum siding and copper piping; driving down a street where 60% of the houses have boards on their windows or are vacant lots going back to seed. Continue reading GROWING UP IN THE RUST BELT (PART 1) BY ZACH G

CLEVELAND 70’S PUNKS X__X TO RELEASE RETROSPECTIVE

PRESS RELEASE FROM EKTRO RECORDS

Today, EKTRO RECORDS sets March 28th as the international release date for X__X’s X Sticky Fingers X collection. Life’s greatest pleasures are often its most fleeting. Witness, for example, the ephemeral run of X__X, a turbulent quartet that tore through Cleveland like a Dadaist cyclone for six months in 1978. Preceding his imminent relocation to NYC, burly, blond brawler John D Morton assembled the project as a tighter, more rocking successor to his storied proto-punk act, The Electric Eels. An early, practice-room incarnation included that group’s inimitable singer, Dave E. McManus, as well as future Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film author Michael J. Weldon. Shortly thereafter, the cast of characters stabilized to encompass razor-wire guitarist Andrew Klimeyk, CLE magazine editor-turned-bassist Jim Ellis, and drummer Anton Fier, who went on to fame and fortune with the Feelies, the Lounge Lizards, Pere Ubu, and the Golden Palominos. Continue reading CLEVELAND 70’S PUNKS X__X TO RELEASE RETROSPECTIVE

FULL HORRIBLE FEST LINEUP ANNOUNCED. ICEAGE HEADLINES THIS ANNUAL CLEVELAND EVENT.

Tentative Horrible Fest Schedule

Thursday 5/22

Iceage (Denmark – Matador Records)
Buck Biloxi and the Fucks (New Orleans)
Obnox (West Side Punks)
Prostitutes (Noisy Cle Electronics)
Queen Of Hell (Cleveland glam punks, Morte from Kill The Hippies)
Fat Vegan (w/ a full meat ensemble)
Mr. California & Zack The Ripper (1st ever live set!) Continue reading FULL HORRIBLE FEST LINEUP ANNOUNCED. ICEAGE HEADLINES THIS ANNUAL CLEVELAND EVENT.