Happy 65th Birthday, Toody!
Monday, December 30, 2013
Friday, December 27, 2013
Do you like Bigfoot? Do you like the art of Bobby Beausoleil? If so, you might want to pick up this odd new book which features interviews with some of the world's most prominent Sasquatch enthusiasts as well as Bobby's playful rendering of a decidedly existential "Hairy Man" on the cover. Buy it at a local bookstore and tell Amazon to fuck off.
Posted by Dennis Dread at 4:57 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
I enjoy receiving real letters from real people almost as much as I enjoy exposing cunting parasites for what they truly are. One such pretender recently accosted me with a message that made snide reference to "talentless convict art," which fortuitously reminded me that I had a small shoe box containing such art in my basement. Back when I was publishing Destroying Angels it was my unspoken commitment to send a free copy to any prisoner who bothered to write a letter. I figured it could do a man well to have something to stimulate the mind while serving time behind bars. I eventually stopped because prisons have erratic mail policies and I was wasting a lot of postage on zines that were returned due to inflammatory content. During that period I received some lavishly embellished envelopes, mostly drawn with ballpoint pen. I thought I'd post just a few here for your enjoyment. I'm not crediting the artists by their legal names out of respect for their privacy. I don't know where these guys are now, but I imagine some of them might not want to be identified online. In any case, it is always worth considering the outlaw instinct and the aesthetics of involuntary confinement.
Posted by Dennis Dread at 11:44 PM
Sunday, December 15, 2013
I've seen my share of comical insults and self-aggrandizing outrage in my years, but the ugly little specimen that greeted me in my inbox this morning merits some distinction. I've cut and pasted the message below verbatim, exactly as it appeared in all its grammatically incorrect glory. I guess he was so stammeringly upset that he misspelled his own name. The underground is alive and well...
Subject: RE: DOA #5
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2013 10:29:20 -0600
Dennis (MR. BIG SHOT DREAD),
Awwww... Big baby does not want to do interview with DOA Magazine.
Way to go bigshot - we waste hours putting together insightful questions about your (fairly crappy) book and you don't wanna pway wit us!!! Waaaahhhh!!!
In case you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years, SOD Magazine was the biggest fucking underground metal mag that ever existed, and now we still try to carry the flame for underground metal with DOA and you have the fucking nerve to turn us down for an interview??? Sorry, I didn't realize I was asking Mick Jagger for a few moments of his precious time. Good luck with your book - which I personally found to be a waste of time as it had shitty layouts and included way to much talentless convict art.
Entartete Kunts is still available! Drop me a line if you want a signed copy (see my direct e-mail address in the message above). I can probably pull myself away from the cocaine and hot tub long enough to personalize your book. Happy Holidays!
Posted by Dennis Dread at 4:34 PM
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Thursday, December 05, 2013
dust frost has settled (and it's too damn cold to go outside), so I'm finally sitting down to reflect on the October ENTARTETE KUNTS party at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn. Needless to say, we enjoyed a fantastic gathering of noble dignitaries as well as many new friends and random nerds who turned out to support the book in full force. Unfortunately, we were too busy boozin' it up in the dark confines of New York's best metal bar to remember to properly document the occasion. I was only able to assemble a few blurry photos but, since many of you have asked about this event, I've decided to share them with you here. Buy the book. Slit your own throat.
Dennis Dread, Erik Danielsson, Drew Elliot, Pasquale Reca.
Thanks to everyone who came out. Fuck off to those who didn't. Very special thanks to David Castillo and the entire St. Vitus crew for showing us a good time and serving Trooper Ale, Robin Adams of Bittersweets NY for everything, but especially for being such a classy lady and for generously loaning my original Darkthrone art from her private collection for the afternoon, Dan Foder for being a Brother in Arms and snapping some of these photos while I got drunk, DJ Inhaler for spinning Saints In Hell and causing a high pitched headbanging session, Vicky Pingarron for telling me I should always save PowerPoints as PDFs...moments before the PowerPoint froze, Drew Elliott for ruling as always, Frank and Martina Russo for keeping it weird and Pasquale Reca for using that hammer as intended.
Posted by Dennis Dread at 8:28 PM
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Back in 1990 I was 18 years old and printing shirts for Mutilation Graphics in upstate New York. I put in long solitary hours late at night blasting music in the studio and when the shirts were dry (we used water based Unidye ink, not Plastisol bullshit), I would package up the orders and get them ready for shipment. We had a lot of regular customers and over the four years that I grinded it out with my pal Neil, some of our more enthusiastic supporters began to feel a bit like pen pals. One name that leapt out at me from the orders that streamed in every week was "Henry Hellbender." It was a cool pseudonym and I remember wondering what the hell this nut job was like in real life. Naturally, I forgot all about that name once we shut down the shop and sold our screens to some dudes in Oakland. I hopped a freight train and followed my muse to Portland, Oregon where I eventually laid down roots and have resided ever since. One day in 1995 I was in 2nd Avenue Records, back when it was a tiny little corner shop that could barely accommodate six people at once, when I literally bumped into a guy wearing a Mutilation Graphics shirt. We started chatting and shared an immediate camaraderie based primarily on abrasive music and underground art. He was one of the few guys I had met up to that point who understood the importance of Joe Coleman's paintings. He was also one of the few people I had met up to that point who could talk intelligently about Bathory while we both rummaged through the crust bins plucking up Masskontrol 7"s for $2. Imagine my surprise when, as we parted ways and realized we hadn't even introduced ourselves, he held out his hand and said, "I'm Henry. Henry Hellbender." We often ran into each other downtown after that day, usually at a sidewalk picnic table outside the bar or behind the counter at the relocated 2nd Avenue Records where he briefly held down the metal section. I didn't spend much time with him and never got to know him well, but somehow we always considered each other friends and he would surprise me with random e-mails that indicated he was keeping track of my shenanigans. Henry was the kind of soft spoken, knowledgable and uncompromising fan who embodied the purest principles of this thing I still lovingly call "the underground." He was an underground artist himself, mostly providing flyers for local institutions like Poison Idea and Wehrmacht, and in 1984 when Pushead published an article on how to be a punk artist in Maximum Rocknroll he wisely included Henry among such emerging luminaries as Mad Marc Rude, Jim Blanchard and Chet "XNO" Darmstaedter. I've heard it through reliable sources that Henry passed away quietly in his sleep earlier this week. I don't know the details and they don't really matter. All you need to know is that Henry was a quiet cornerstone of Portland's punk scene back when the punk scene in this town mattered. He understood the value of silence. And I'll miss him.
Posted by Dennis Dread at 2:34 PM
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
It's Thanksgiving week in America and that means it's time for us to gather with loved ones to reflect upon our collective good fortune and express our gratitude for the bountifulness of life. Ah, who the hell are we kidding? This is the time of year when we gorge ourselves to excesses that make our typically voracious daily eating habits seem downright ascetic while deluding ourselves with tales of some wildly mythologized event when the indigenous people of this land - who we more or less decimated - shared corn and, if the window painting above is accurate (and I'm pretty sure it is), taught us how to choke our proverbial chickens (or turkeys or whatever). What better way to augment your super-sized menu planning than with a super-sized creature double feature on gloriously archaic 35mm film??? That's right. TONIGHT...for one night only...Portland Grindhouse presents Larry Cohen's brilliantly weird monsterpiece Q: The Winged Serpent (1982) and Lewis Teague's incredibly entertaining Alligator (1981)! Don't let my sarcastic tone fool you. These are genuinely great films with heart and soul, satirical humor and resourceful special effects that wrung maximum joy from meager budgets and even more minuscule expectations. In other words, heckling the screen and laughing out loud ironically will not be tolerated. I'm up in Seattle with my family today so I don't have time to get into my giant-egg-as-metaphor-for-immigration-anxiety hypothesis so, suffice to say, what you get with Q is an unshaven David Carradine stumbling around like he's on Quaaludes and never learned his dialogue while Michael "The Stuff" Moriarty does jazz hands and attempts to blackmail the city of New York for the location of an ancient Aztecan monster's nest (Moriarty is a classically trained jazz pianist and he wrote the song Evil Dream to embellish Robert "Grizzly" O. Ragland's more traditional orchestral score). You also get Richard "Maniac Cop" Roundtree's mustached overbite gnawing on words like "murder" and "mutilation" while oozing urban sleaze and over-caffeinated angst. Like most of these low budget joints, you don't get to see much monster but when you finally do it's a fucking classy stop-motion model with flapping wings that would definitely give Ray Harryhausen's ghost a semi. And it's made all the more impressive (if not at all plausible) with dizzying panoramic helicopter views of the old pre-911 New York of my childhood. Special fx wizard Randy Cook helped bring Q to life and he's the same guy who did the spectacular animated finale for John Carpenter's The Thing that same year, before going on to major success with Ghostbusters, Fright Night, The Gate and The Lord of the Rings. I also don't have time to pontificate upon the socioeconomic implications of a massive black monster of neglect bursting out of the Chicago sewers to devour the wealthy elite at some stuffy wedding reception, but Aligator makes that Guns 'N' Roses video look like total bullshit. There's also the always awesome Robert Forster racing against time to save the city while his colleagues make strangely endearing remarks about his thinning hair. So when you get done elbowing elderly women in the throat to get that last jar of Allspice in the bulk section, head on down to the Hollywood Theater, shut the fuck up and contemplate the cruel justice of the hunter as the hunted and the consumer as the consumed. But, seriously, shut the fuck up, man.
Posted by Dennis Dread at 1:07 PM
Friday, November 22, 2013
Six years ago I had the pleasure of joining WATAIN for five of their first appearances on North American soil. It was, to put it as succinctly as possible, an inspired excursion and a kinship was ignited over the course of those very bloody nights that was as immediate as it was unexpected. Recently I was invited to join their Wild Hunt across Vinlandia, a deathlike procession that winded its way from the gutters of New York up north into Canada, across desert plains and through Stygian voodoo swamps before the ritual was finally closed in Baltimore, Maryland with a stirring and exclusive rendition of Holocaust Dawn. Joining us were two of Sweden's most fervent and talented young bands: IN SOLITUDE and TRIBULATION. Despite America's puritanical hemophobia, despite local fire marshals threatening to shut down nearly every performance, despite mutable border laws and even despite perilous Texan flash floods that provided the only showers we had in days - or perhaps because of these obstacles! - the tour was a spectacular triumph on all levels. It was also heartening to meet so many of you along the way and realize that my own various endeavors have radiated out more broadly than previously imagined. It is for you that I've decided to share some of the more intimate moments I was able to document on this tour. It's safe to say that since those first American dates in 2007 WATAIN has become one of the most photographed (and photogenic) metal bands in the world. It's also impossible to ignore the impact that smartphones and social media have had on the communal concert experience. I'm not sure some of the YouTube-crazed spectators I observed gazing through handheld screens for nearly 90 minutes can truthfully proclaim to have been there. I'm also doubtful that every asinine "fan" with the gall to shove cameras in the band's faces went home with their fancy technology intact. I trust you'll soon agree that the candid AAA photos I humbly present here represent a slightly different perspective. Thank you to everyone who made this journey a success. You know who you are.
Posted by Dennis Dread at 5:34 PM