It does really matter what your living situation is or who you are, this is a book for everyone. Most of us are guilty of being a little lazy when it comes to doing certain things ourselves for different reasons: lack of knowledge, lack of confidence, laziness or who knows what, but this is a book that can help us all through it. It’s a much less expensive and much less dry version of those “how to fix everything” books, but can be almost as valuable. Make It Last is broken down into three chapters: Clothes, Food and Home, then each chapter is broken down into subgroups in order to help the reader jump straight to whatever they might need to patch, pickle or repair. While having fairly detailed step by step instructions and quite a few diagrams, I did find some of the projects a tad confusing at times, but as long as you have even a bit of common sense you’ll be just fine. The first chapter walks the reader through many of the simple annoying little things that tend to plague us at the worst times. We’ve lazy zippers, split seams on skirts/pants/shirts and reattaching buttons. And before jumping in, there’s a basic supply list and how tos for basic knots and stitches. Chapter two is where it gets more interesting(for me anyway). It’s about food. More precisely, preserving food. Starting off with some harvesting tips and planning a root cellar, then a lesson on drying herbs, canning, fermentation, jerky making and much more! The third and final chapter is no less important and some might say it’s more so. This is where we learn tips and tricks and skills to repair things around the house. Cover it up with duct tape? Put an out of order sign on it? Hang a poster in front of it? Nope! Here you’ll learn to patch that hole in the wall that your drunk friend put his foot through while playing drunken air guitar to DRAGONFORCE, fix a squeaky door hinge, basic plumbing and repairing a hole in a screen from a door or window(no doubt caused by the same drunk guy). Plus this is easy to carry around. It’s 1/4 size and only 128 pages. Get this and keep it handy. (Jake)
Microcosm Publishing / 636 SE 11th Ave. / Portland OR. 97214
While at the local food co-op a few weeks ago I was thumbing through this issue after noticing that there was an anti-fracking article in it. Fracking is a huge issue in my area of New York, so naturally I was interested. Oddly enough, a voice in my head told me not to buy it. Imagine my delight when, shortly after that, I eagerly emptied a box of review materials on to the living room floor and this issue slid out. Well played universe, well played. As usual, my favorite section is the EF! News section that has updates on ecological political direct actions carried out around the world. Then there’s the prisoner update pages(Daniel McGowan is out now!) and a slew of great articles, such as the info on all of the farmer suicides that are taking place in India due to biotech giants getting involved with agriculture and a brief history of what Israel is doing politically, physically and environmentally to the land they are claiming as their God giving right. Plus there are articles on herbal healing remedies, notes on the 2012 Round River Rendezvous, Anti coal mining action in Scotland and a history of Luddism. As always, lots of great stuff, some common knowledge, some not, but always something new to learn. I hope we never lose this as a resource. (Jake)
Daily Planet Publishing Earth First! Journal / PO Box 964 / Lake Worth, FL 33460
In our house we have a tendency to make more food than we are going to use for that meal so that we always have leftovers for lunch, dinner or to take to work and that means we have to get creative sometimes to avoid eating the same thing day after day. This time we had leftover mashed potatoes, so I did this:
- Approx 2 cups mashed potatoes
- 2 cups flour
- 1 TBSP baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- Half a red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, diced
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- Approx 1 cup almond(or other non-dairy milk
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together dry ingredients, then blend in mashed potatoes, onion and jalapeno. Add wet ingredients and mix together until you get a thick gooey paste. In a wel greased small muffin tin, scoop in mixture filling to about 3/4 full. Bake for about 30 minutes. Serve with gravy, hot sauce, vegenaise or vegan margarine. For another option, use an ice-cream scooper to scoop into an oiled skillet on medium heat, press flat and fry like pancakes. Super yummy!
Well goddamn it if this album doesn’t make me want to flip up the bill on my hat, put on a few bandanas and goes nuts counterclockwise. Or maybe just terrorize a neighbor on a skateboard bonelessing off fire hydrants and hitting wallrides on people’s garage doors! This just kicks so much ass and takes me back to the mid 80s thrash scene with bands like DRI and EXODUS (even a bit of Steve Harris style bass thrown in)and CLUSTERFUX can thrash with the best of them, but having the advantage of much better lyrics. Political punks have a way of making every music genre better. So, this killer piece of grey marble wax starts with a beautiful clean intro, then thrashes nonstop for six more songs, including one by Colorado band END OF STORY. Each song has a back story of the meaning behind the lyrics, including punk bands that ask enormous guarantees to play, more or less taking advantage of the scene, the United States coming off like they are the center of the universe and citizens staying drunk and oblivious while the government fucks us even harder. Those are my words, Josh has a better way of phrasing things. The recording is a bit dirty which adds to the fast and loose thrashy mayhem and every song is a banger. Too bad the bands has decided to pack it up after 16 years. At least they will live on on our turn tables. Cheers folks! Great stuff! (Jake)
Less Art Records / PO Box 2963 / Denver Co, 80201
I don’t know that I’ve ever been disappointed by anything from Vex Records that has hit my mailbox. Who ever chooses the bands to release over there has a great ear for good bands. This is no different…and is on blood red vinyl! As far as the rest of the visuals, everything is black and write and minimal. There’s a lovely photo of these handsome lads on the inside cover and a photo catalog from Vex opposite that. No lyrics, but there’s a track listing on the back. So, how do they sound? If I didn’t know better, Id say they were straight out of mid 90s Minneapolis. At times I feel like I’m listening to a mashup of MISERY and ASSRASH. Each song is pissed off and powerful, but still holds on to enough fun to stop you from breaking everything and just get drunk as shit on cheap beer (locally sourced of course. keep that money in your community!). This beautiful drunken audio nightmare finishes up with a NOMEANSNO cover – Dad. Not familiar with the original, but everything I’ve heard from them is killer. So, if you want to annoy the neighbors or just have another awesome slab o’ wax to put on at your next painted jacket, charged hair filthy piss-up, you need this! (Jake)
While there are a million “dis” bands out and around these days, few are standouts. They tend to be lazy about it and just go through the motions so that they can play drunk hoping nobody will notice. Granted, there’s nothing wrong with playing what you love whether it’s good or bad, but fortunately there are a few bands like DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE that pull it off incredibly well. As soon as the needle drops it’s like a runaway freight train of perfect dis-comfort. Other bands should be lucky enough to sneak by the bulls and get a comfortable spot inside a grainer when they belong in the coal car compared to this. All you get here is stripped down power, fury and anger with straight to te point haiku style lyrics and black and white visual atrocity for artwork. Although, it would have been nice to get a little more art on an insert with lyrics, but instead, the lyrics are posted straight to te back of the LP cover. * songs of no BS d-beat bliss (seven sets of lyrics in English and one in Norwegian) covering all the topics you know and love: power struggle, oppression, war and genocide. Nothing original, but everything you want! Get it! (Jake)
Dishonorable Record Company / postboks 49, Valerenga / 0626 Oslo, Norway
Vex Records / firstname.lastname@example.org
After an amazing crop of sunchokes in our garden this year, we are still exploring new ways to use them. Hopefully we find a few we like, because I planted twice as many at the end of the season! Here’s my latest experiment.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift together 2 cups flour, 1 TBSP baking powder and 1.5 tsp sea salt. Add 1 cup boiled and mashed sunchokes, 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP non dairy milk. Mix until dough forms, shape into biscuits and bake for 20 minutes. There you have it. The chokes give the bread an interesting flavor and a potato bread like texture.
First off, the vocals remind me of a cross between Roger Miret and Chris Milnes from MUCKY PUP. When I first threw this in I was thoroughly confused as the intro sounds a lot like the beginning of Holiday in Cambodia by DEAD KENNEDYS. Their sound leads me to believe that the band is made up of older punks since I hear elements of AVAIL, ECONOCHRIST, THE MEATMEN and FUGAZI. I could be wrong, but either way, it makes for a raucously good time. Around 18 tracks of high energy punk rock and/or roll with fluid time changes, great guitar and bass writing and and phenomenal drumming. I’m really impressed by the skill that everyone brings to the table. My main complaint is that I was only sent a cdr with a business card. There was no actual album, artwork or lyric sheet. (Jake)
I’m a sucker for apocalyptic artwork, so this was right up my alley. Whoever came up with this might be a little touched. Anyway, BNB are a Finnish five piece that play a mix of hyper d-beat and Midwest U.S. hardcore that is a lot less gloomy and desolate sounding than the artwork would have you believe. Aside from intros and breaks, these guys are high energy maniacs tat probably put on a great live show. And when you get to the last track, Freefall, it changes up a little and starts with a nice slow, melodic creepy intro that quickly gets interrupted by blast beats and chaos then settles into fast hardcore and revisits all those elements. The sound quality and mix are well executed, especially for a DIY recording from the band’s practice studio. Initially I thought this was done by an experienced label. Nice work. Hopefully they’ll work with some other bands and either show them the way or release albums for them. It even comes with a download card. All the songs are printed in English and are of personal nature, but have sociopolitical angles. This is a killer band and I hope they release more material soon. This 7″ is a hand-numbered 300 pressing, so make sure you get a copy soon. (Jake)
BETTER NOT BORN
Once you read that this band has members of MOB 47 and WARVICTIMS, you know what you’re about to get before you even drop the needle. I was expecting raw, but this is really fucking raw. It’s everything you could possibly want in raw Swedish punk, including guitar tone that sounds more like a chainsaw than a guitar at times. Did they cut all the bass and mids while cranking up the treble and distortion? Whatever. Either way, all six songs are pure ripping punk that only veterans of the genre could possible pull off without sounding strained or shitty. This 7″ is brutally honest and heartfelt and isn’t looking to gain scene points or make friends. And as much as the music kicked my ass, it’s the lyrics that make this an instant favorite. The first song questions the reasoning behind over te top band names and logos, which gave me a chuckle because it’s become such a shitstorm. Track two is about the documentary Deliver Us From Evil about the catholic priest that molested kids and instead of being held accountable, was just moved from perish to perish. Fucker. Then on to a song about giving in to technology, cell phones in particular, instead on continuing to fight against mainstream culture. Being guilty of this myself, it really made me stop and think. The B side is just as ferocious. I realize I could go on and on, but I’ll just sum it up. Te topics brought up on this side are the fact that we don’t seem to understand that this is the only planet w have and we are totally fucking it up, the Swedish parlament wasting a shit ton of money and space while some people have no place to sleep and nothing to eat and the last track is about how democracy is lost and is just a term thrown around without substance. The lyrics are all in Swedish and have an English summery afterward on a simple photocopied foldout that has a few pictures, band info, contacts and thank yous. This record is short, sweet and to the point. Fucking brilliant. (Jake)
Beach Impediment Records / PO Box 8335 / Virginia Beach, VA 23450