My Writings. My Thoughts.
Serbia, where I visited in 2012 and home to Concrete Worms, UPS & our buddy Darko is undergoing the worst flooding and natural disaster in over the 120 years they’ve been keeping records of such things.
As this humanitarian crisis unfolds, we are prepping a trip there next month to film for “Raw Travel”. If you have the means, please help them by donating to the Red Cross or other organizations. Click the pic to learn how.Photos courtesy of our pal “Darko”
You may have blinked and missed an article I wrote on the Russian Punk & underground Music Scene back in 2010 when I went to Moscow & St. Petersburg for 8 days. It was one of my most amazing trips ever and turned me on to one of my favorite bands to this day, Tarakany! (Cockroach).
During the course of that trip, I missed an opportunity to meet Vladimir Kozlov, a Russian journalist with deep punk rock interest. After returning to the states, Vladimir was kind enough to do a Q&A with me and if you missed it you can read his Q&A HERE.
Vladimir is now raising funds to produce a documentary “Traces in the Snow” about Siberian Punk music. Given Siberia’s political history (where political prisoners were sent to live), East vs. West rhetoric going on today and just the unusual nature of punk music in a former communist territory would be completely fascinating.
Vlad is raising funds on Indigogo and we wanted to support his efforts by re-posting here. If you have $5, $10 or more to support Vlad’s efforts, I’m sure he’d not only appreciate it but you’d have an even better time watching the flick when it comes out.
More info on the fundraising effort below and you can view the trailer to the film above:
I’ve got lots to report on our taping of Raw Travel – Underground NYC.
Basically we spent all last week trolling around the East Village, LES, Williamsburg & Coney Island getting good old look at the punk & underground scenes still very much in existence in the Big Ole Apple. Fear not my friends, punk is very much alive and well in NYC and we hope to shed some light on that via Raw Travel – NYC in just a couple of months.
I’ve got some serious editing, writing and planning for our next trip to Eastern Europe next month (Yikes!)… I’m so not ready.
So i”m gonna keep this short and sweet and just say thanks to my pals Angel Rivera, Jimmy from Trash & Vaudeville, the ladies at Tatyana (formerly Bettie Page) on Bowery, wonderful, wonderful Laura Rebel Angel and The Screamin’ Rebel Angels for hooking us up in Williamsburg (Beaner Bar, Slap Back, Human Head Records, etc.) and for playing a special show for us at The Grand Victory (Thanks Sean for hooking that up!) and to Adam “Real Man” for his sword swallowing, side show school out in Coney Island (When there you’ve got to check out Lola Star Boutique, such cool, weird, awesome stuff!) .
And last but not least the cool folks at the collective ABC No Rio down in the Lower East Side. Good people there and I won’t name them all but Spencer, Blaise, Steven & Julia hooked us up and were so damned cool. I hope we can do the story justice as they have a lot of history and story to tell.
And I’d like to thank these guys, the OC 45 from Boston, Mass who so kindly let us record some of their set at the matinee show at ABC No Rio last Saturday. Man I dug their music and man they can put on a show. My suggestion… find these guys when they are touring our head up to Bean Town and chase them down and take in a performance. But bring ear plugs.. these guys play loud and proud. Here are some photos from our shoot and here is a snippet from OC 45 at ABC No Rio. Enjoy!
Raw Travel NYC episode is wrapped (Debuts July 4th weekend in the U.S.) and it was a great shoot.
We covered LES, East Village, a little punk history and the current state of rockabilly/psychobilly in good old Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was a hell of a good time and it’s not over. We’re offering a final wrap party this Friday, May 2nd at The Grand Victory in, where else, Brooklyn, NYC! Come one, come all and did I mention… it’s FREE!?
More info HERE.
Thanks to Laura and the gang at Screamin’ Rebel Angels.
Here is a taste of what to expect.
GOOD NEWS! Our pals the Dorados Rockabilly Trio is going on tour.
En La Ruta 2014 (On the Road 2014) will begin in Medellin May 15th, 2014. After that the guys are heading to Rockacalavera in Mexico City on May 31st.
Then on June 6th the guys are heading to the good old U.S. of A with Rockabilly on the Route in Tucamcari, New Mexico.
Hope you can catch them on tour.
The guys are looking to add to these dates so if any reputable promoters or anyone is interested in hosting the Dorados, reach out to us HERE.
For those of you not familiar with Dorados Rockabilly Trio, they are from Medellin, Colombia and they really know how to rock the house.
You can read more about them HERE and I’m featuring their classic video “Bettie Page” below.
It was August of 2009 and I was going through a serious life change. I had sold the company I had started from scratch 8 years earlier, “American Latino Syndication” and after producing over 300 episodes and nearly killing myself in the process, I was no longer beholden to schedule that meant managing almost 30 people, working with dozens of TV stations and advertisers, distracted by an almost 24 hour desire to grow something bigger and bigger and bigger until….. I had sold it. I had done it. I was a success… or so I thought.
For the first time in my recent memory, I was able to sleep in. I had quit caffeine and had noticed how out of shape I had become. I began sleeping more, working out more, eating healthier and the phone was not ringing and the email box was notably less busy.
I should have been happy. Instead, I was angry and sad. For some strange reason, despite the fact that I had just succeeded at something that at the time was the hardest challenge I’d ever attempted (growing a TV production, distribution and marketing company from scratch) and breaking new ground (successfully producing and syndicating the 1st ever English language programs for U.S. Latinos). Yet I felt a HUGE void.
Shouldn’t there be more? Shouldn’t I feel really fulfilled and really satisfied? Shouldn’t the phone be ringing off the hook from big media companies asking me if I could PLEASE come work my magic for them? Shouldn’t newspaper and magazine writers be intrigued and want to interview me?
Yep. I had mistakenly believed my own hype and it was a tough fall back down to earth. Without a business to run and something to preoccupy my time, I now had time to think about what I’d just accomplished and it just didn’t seem that important. Eight years of brutally hard work and very little time for anything else and for what? not much. Some money? Really? That was it?
Suddenly, I felt kind of stupid, unimportant… and depressed.
I decided to get out of my own head and out of NYC for a change of perspective. I jumped on the web to see what inexpensive last minute airfares were available.. and there was one so cheap to Guatemala City I couldn’t pass it up.
It was cheap, fast and I’d never been there before. Perfect. I booked the trip and a few days later found myself in Gaute (Guatemala City) in my hotel room googling “Punk music” out of curiosity to see what I could find.
To my pleasant surprise, I found Warning Band and Hector M., who is considered the Godfather of Punk in Guatemala.
Hector spoke no English and my Spanish was survival Spanish at best but Felix, the guitarist in Hector’s band had lived in California and his English was flawless and he served as a translator when my street Spanish wouldn’t suffice.
Hector, Felix, and other bands like Union Stricken, Sudor de Huevos (Ball Sweat) rolled out the red carpet for me. I had my little video camera and I interviewed the guys. They took me to their rehearsal space and gave me a group tour (the only safe way to do it at night) of downtown Guatemala City at night.
I hung around for a Saturday matinee punk show before heading out to Antiqua, the beautiful but touristic old city just outside of Guate. The show was an incredible display of DIY determinism. Same instruments, different bands… very organized and community based. I was impressed and forever changed.
I had intended to travel to the black sand beaches of Guatemala’s coast but I never made it due to spending so much time in Guatemala City with Hector and company… not what a typical tourist would do at all.
4 years later I returned to Guatemala City with a film crew, this time taping for another high stakes project… Raw Travel. The guys once again rolled out the welcome mat for me and put on a concert in downtown Guatemala.
We had a great time watching Warning, Union Stricken, Sudor de Huevos, Neuro Toxico and other bands play. We got turned on to a new western-surf-punk band called Los Tiros (the Shots) who would supply music for the soundtrack of much of the 2nd half of our 1st season of Raw Travel.
I fell in love with Guatemala my 1st time in 2009. In 2013, I fell even deeper… and now on April 26th-27th, I finally get to share some of this with the world.
We’ll feature the Guatemalan punk scene on Raw Travel’s – Raw Guatemala but we’ll also feature other more traditional reasons raw travelers will find Guatemala as charming and wonderful as I did.
Travel can be very personal. In 2009, I was searching for something that I didn’t find…. myself. I’m still looking and I have a feeling it may be a lifelong search.
But I found something I wasn’t even looking for… friends, punk music and most importantly, a rewarding and deeply different perspective on life. In effect it led me to create Punk Outlaw and laid the groundwork for what would eventually become “Raw Travel”.
I hope you tune in next week. I hope you like what you see.
Here is a little web only segment from our travels to one of the villages around beautiful Lake Atitlan. Basically a Nahaules is like a Mayan horoscope but as you will see, in order to ward off death, I needed to make an offering to the creator… which of course, I did.
Yes, I’m still alive.. even if I wonder “why” at times.
French Canadian Punk? Of course it exist… does that surprise you? Didn’t think so.
Check these guys “Action Sedition” from “Rebel Time Records” out HERE.
And do any of you remember the Virtual Punk Tour of NYC? I blogged about HERE a couple years ago. Well, it’s coming to life in a couple weeks when we produce our final episode of the season of “Raw Travel”. I’m looking for a local NYC based punk aficionado or just a curious person to show me around. If you are interested, please hit me up HERE. But do it quickly!
And to reward you for reading this far, I leave you with some Mexican Garage Punk from our buddies “Los Pipas de la Paz” (Peace Pipes) down in Mexico City. Love these guys!