Cover design by Eric Baskauskas (website) Cover photo by Patrick Houdek (flickr)
Iron Chic: Todd Taylor and Madeline
Bridenbaugh get deep with Iron Chic.
“The Hobo House in Long Island looks pretty
much like every other house on the street except with more broken things in the
There’s a high-mileage mini-van in the driveway, “Up the Punx” stencil graffiti
and a Latterman sticker on the front door. Phil answers the door and leads us
back to a sparse, ordinary room with acoustic foam on parts of the walls and
ceiling. Monitoring speakers flank the computer. Exposed PVC pipes from
upstairs are above us. Cigarette smoke fills the room.
Downstairs from where this interview happened is where Iron Chic has done most,
if not all of their recording. This house is their nerve center. It’s not fancy.
It’s functional; all geared towards recording music.
Iron Chic isn’t a band that lends itself well to hyperbole; I just really like
them. They’re a band that plays melodic and heartfelt punk music. It’s really
fucking catchy. I have listened to their two full-length LPs over and over
again, for several years. Triangulate Low Culture, Tiltwheel, and RVIVR and you’re
in the vicinity. It’s emotionally honest, strident DIY punk.
Mike Dumps and Jason Lubrano show up shortly after us. They’re unassuming,
warm, a little quiet, like Phil.”
The Bombpops: Madeline Bridenbaugh
and Todd Taylor get saucy with the Bombpops. “How many Bombpops does it take to get a sugar high on ‘90s
skate-influenced pop punk? I’d say about four straight out of Southern
California in the form of two shredding lady guitarists and two
dudes in a long-familiar rhythm section. The Bombpops are back to a touring
schedule as frenetic as their pop punk sound and party-on-stage performances
following personal breaks, personnel changes, and multiple hospital visits.
They may not be clean, and they probably aren’t rolling street-legal, but they
are deep in the throat of your mom.”
All Dogs: Dylan Kordani gets radical and sentimental with All Dogs.
“Do you remember that one night in mid-summer in the Midwest?
The one when you were tipsy off of whiskey and the energy of the sick basement
show you just saw? You were electrified by the oncoming storm, uncaring and
standing next to the bonfire as the drops of rain evaporated before they hit
your salty skin. Remember leaning in for a sweet kiss as the thunder boomed and
lightning struck almost too close for comfort? That time you walked your bikes
hand-in-hand, getting drenched and watching the town light up like fireworks?
Or falling asleep, with the fan droning and whining you to sleep under a thin
sheet and a thick blanket of sweat? All Dogs is kind of like all that.”
Scott McCaughey: Mike Faloon sits down Scott McCaughey of Young Fresh
Fellows and Minus 5.
Mid-to-late ‘80s. Hair was long, thrift store flannels plentiful, grunge was on
the rise. Black Sabbath, blurry black and whites, opiate-fueled brass ring
aspirations. The story has been told many times but is further simplified with
each rendering, and overlooked are the bands that laced their records with
humor, those for whom commercial success was secondary to having fun.
Chief among these bands was the Young Fresh Fellows, led by Scott McCaughey. I
was drawn to their first-listen hooks and barely contained pandemonium. I loved
singing along with songs that felt like they would sail off the rails at any
moment. And while the tunes hit early and often, McCaughey’s wit revealed
itself both upfront and over time—with lyrics that keep me returning for more.
Over the years, McCaughey has fronted a number of bands (Young Fresh Fellows,
Minus 5, Baseball Project) and played with countless others (R.E.M., Robyn
Hitchcock). He’s been a music reviewer, record store clerk, and filler of mail
orders. Along the way he’s garnered a reputation as a writer and performer that
led to playing Paul Westerberg’s wedding and producing Teengenerate’s first
Yet for all that he’s accomplished McCaughey exudes a restless sense that he
hasn’t yet found what he’s looking for. Or maybe he keeps finding it and that
spurs him to press on. In either case, he has no plans to ease up. In fact,
McCaughey will tell you that he’s never had any plans other than to keep the
proverbial shirtsleeves rolled up.
His last venture was the most expansive of his career, a five-LP set of all-new
material, the Minus 5’s Scott the Hoople
in the Dungeon of Horror, a project he recorded at home with friends. His
songs evoke the Beach Boys and Big Star,
along with the Clean, Reigning Sound, and Treasure Fleet. He continues to mine
that vein of timeless garage pop and rock and punk that many of us can’t get
Exploring the DIY State of Mind”
with Daniel Makagon: David Ensminger interviews punkademic Daniel Makagon.
“Daniel Makagon is a breed of punkademic that blurs the line between fieldwork
and theory, insider experience and meaningful observation, as well as sheer
enthusiasm and critical perspective. Others have joined the fray by examining
riot grrrls, straight-edge, and queer punk, but Makagon prefers to dig into
punk spaces and rituals—the DIY vein forming an underground network of basement
gigs, all-ages venues, and rented halls that have survived—even thrived—as the
bar scene has stagnated. Schooled in communication studies, and teeming with an
appreciation and keen eye for both performance and cultural studies, his new
book Underground: The Subterranean
Culture of Punk House Shows is an inclusive account of close-to-the ground
democracy in action within the frenetic music communities that dot the
ever-changing and tenuous American scenes. Straightforward, honest, and
committed to his subjects, he offers a fresh gaze at the sociology, economics,
and ideology of keeping things small and electrifying, cheap and youthful, and
egalitarian and earnest.”
Donna Ramone knows that anarchists
don’t wear braces (and takes the cyber out of bullying).
This issue is dedicated to the memory of Lemmy Kilmister and Robert McAllister. The McAllister Family
Memorial Fund aims to provide long-term support to the loved ones
Robert McAllister (Iron Chic/Capital) left behind when he passed away on
January 9, 2016. While other crowdsourcing pages have been established to
provide immediate relief for Rob’s family in the aftermath of his passing, the
McAllister Family Memorial Fund will serve as an ongoing resource to help
Marisa, Rob’s partner, and Ramona, Rob’s daughter, in the weeks, months, and
years to come.
Razorcake.org is made possible in part by grants from the City of Los
Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs and is supported by the Los Angeles
County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles Arts