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September 17th, 2014


BY RORY MCGLASSON  If you haven’t heard, Scotland, that wee country off the northern edge of the United Kingdom – about the size of Jersey – will decide if they want to become an independent state on Thursday. Scottish referendum day will decide whether the Scots stay Unitedish with England, Wales and Northern Ireland (UK) or, if they vote for Independence. The bottom line is simple: If the Scots vote “Aye” on Thursday, it will end Scotland’s 300-year union with the UK. That’s a-bigger-than-your-Ray Rice-beats-his-girlfriend-NFL-player-slaps-his-kids-around-a-bit kind-of news story.


You have the Scottish Nationalists – led by party leader Alex Salmond – cheering the “Aye” vote. On the other side, you have the Unionists – led by British Prime Minister David Cameron and stack full cards, such as David Beckham, yes him, cheering on the “Naw” – we’re better if we stay together” message. The nationalists are the bookies favorites. Gulp! A whopping 75 percent of the 5.3 million people of Scotland – including 16 -year-olds – are expected to vote at the Scottish referendum day on Thursday. Why can’t 16 year-olds vote in the United States? Oh, that’s right, because they are 16. Sixteen.


Scottish Nationalists believe a yes vote will provide Scotland with a unified governing body, as opposed to a current Tory-led Government that the Scots did not vote in to power. “Don’t believe a word coming out David washes-his face-in-moisturizer-hasn’t-worked-day-in-his-life Cameron’s cake hole. Awrite!” The word on the streets of Glasgow: He doesn’t give feck about us, eh. Nationalists also believe one Scottish democracy moves all governing powers to Scotland, obviously. Nationalists also believe sole ownership of oil from the northern sea will result in an unlimited bounty of riches; wee Scotland becoming one of the richest in the European union. Define never-ending resource, Mr. Salmond? There’s also support behind the idea of a nuclear free Scotland; get your U.S. owned Trident missiles off our shore kinda speak. Nationalists tout equal rights, wages and benefits. One interesting, but fundamentally flawed idea, however, is the Nationalist narrative: Decisions about the Scottish National Healthcare system are made by a Tory-led government. That’s bollocks, that is.


The almighty pound sterling for one. No matter how you slice and dice it, staying in the UK and keeping the pound as its currency is better for Scotland. David Cameron and Co. have publicly rejected the idea of sharing a common currency. Unionist will tell thee, Scotland exports more to the UK than any other nation – and sticking a border between nations makes little economic sense. Oh, and creating a barrier would also result in a loss of jobs, six figure numbers, Unionists say, but back to health care. Yes, that old universal health care issue. Unionists will tell you, and it’s true, that decisions about the NHS in Scotland are all ready made in Scotland. Again, this notion that a Tory-led government will destroy the Scottish healthcare is simply rotten haggis. I just went there. One thousand apologies.

Before I moved to Philadelphia in 2001, I lived in a northern town in England. On a nice clear day – we have about three per-year – I can see the Scottish lowlands across the northern sea from my bedroom window. I still have this lilt Scots-English hybrid accent going on; albeit peppered with Philadelphian grit these days. I remember Sunday afternoons as a youngster sipping Irn Bru – a Scottish institution – with my English and Scottish friends. I am English, but made from a little bit of girders. Google: Irn Bru. Please don’t leave us, Scotland! “I wonder if the process has been thoroughly thought through in all respects,” said Tony Cunningham, a Labour MP from my hometown Workington, via Facebook on Monday. “For instance, if there is a yes vote, Scotland ceases on independence to be a member of the European Union, so England would have a border with a non EU state with all the implications and complications that would bring.”
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BEING THERE: Tom Petty @ Wells Fargo Center

September 16th, 2014

Photo by DAN LONG

I was in the sixth grade the first time I saw a picture of Tom Petty. He looked like a stick with blond bangs and lidded rabbit eyes. I was fairly certain he was going to die soon. Turns out he was just high. In October he turns 64 and having learned a thing or two about longevity over the course of the last 40 years, I’m pretty sure he’s never gonna die. Which would be just ducky with me and the 20, 000 people who showed up at the Wells Fargo Center — home of the $10 Stella and the $7.75 slice of pizza — last night. The band threw me at first — a bearded-and-dreadlocked Al Jourgensen on lead guitar? Barney Fife on rhythm guitar? Bryan Cranston in a Conway Twitty wig on bass? Far fuckin’ out, man! Turns out that was Heartbreakers — a dreadlocked Mike Campbell, Scott Thurston, and Ron Blair, respectively — one of the deadliest and unstoppable killing machines ever assembled in the name of rock and/or roll. Critics have crowned Springsteen the bard of the common man, but I would argue that Petty holds the keys that set the working man free from their cages on a Friday night for a few hours of beery elation and the occasional skyward fist pump. A lot of men climbed down off a lot of ladders to be there last night, my friend. And unlike Springsteen’s audience, no Tom Petty fan ever voted Republican. Anyway, how did they sound? Deathless. Petty was in fine voice, his reedy Dylan-esque drawl as withering as ever. The band alternately roared and purred, with surgical precision. The setlist alternated between choice cuts from the snarly/bluesy just-released Hypnotic Eye and the songs that anchor the soundtrack of our lives: “Refugee,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Runnin’ Down A Dream,” “Free Fallin’,” “Yer So Bad,” “Learning To Fly,” and an endorphin-triggering cover of The Byrds’ “So You Want To Be A Rock N’ Roll Star.” Near the end, they brought out a mutton-chopped Steve Winwood, the tour’s opening act, to kill it on The Spencer-Davis Group’s white soul classic,“Gimme Some Lovin’,” which, judging by the crowd’s reaction, was sort of like bringing out Ferris Bueller to do “Twist And Shout.” They closed out the night with a searing, anthemic “American Girl,” the song that, more than anything any president or soldier or superhero has ever done in the name of public service, makes me proud to be born an American boy. Unlike so many of his rusting peers from the fast-vanishing Golden Age Of FM, Tom Petty never got old, he just became a classic. – JONATHAN VALANIA

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Those Who Never Bother To Learn History Are Doomed To Wear It As Faux-Hipster Tchotchkes

September 15th, 2014


NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Urban Outfitters, the official clothing store of Outrage Twitter, reached a new low yesterday when shoppers noticed that the site was selling a “vintage” Kent State sweatshirt, complete with blood spatter. The Ohio university was the site of the 1970 Kent State shooting, when the Ohio National Guard killed four students during a peace protest. Urban was selling the sweatshirt for the low, low price of $129 (after all, it’s one of a kind). But after the sweatshirt hit BuzzFeed, someone quickly scooped it up. Now, of course, it’s for sale on eBay. The starting bid is $550 — or, if you don’t want to get into a bidding war with a fellow terrible person — you can buy it now for $2,500. According to the seller, it’s “perfect for Halloween or whatever your deal is.” To be fair, 50 percent of the profits from the eBay auction will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The other 50 percent will presumably go toward buying the next obnoxious Urban Outfitters item to provoke internet outrage. MORE

TIME: The thing is, this isn’t the first (or second, or even third) time Urban Outfitters has caught flak for selling horrible products. Making extremely offensive clothes has been almost synonymous with the company’s brand. Before Kent State, there was a top covered front-to-back with the word “depression.” Before that, another Urban Outfitters shirt featured a star that appeared nearly identical to the insignia Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany. (More recently, Zara pulled a shirt from its shelves for the same reason.) And before that there was the infamous “Eat Less” shirt, which prompted One Tree Hill star Sophia Bush to boycott the store in protest of what she saw as a “pro-anorexia message.”

So is Urban Outfitters run by a bunch of jerks? Perhaps, but—and this is an important but—they’re jerks with business sense. Urban Outfitters Inc, the company that owns Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, and Bhldn brands, recently announced record quarterly sales of $811 million. If courting controversy was bad for the bottom line, Urban wouldn’t be doing it. That begs the question: Is any publicity good publicity, as the saying goes, or will the company eventually suffer if it goes too far over the line?

Kit Yarrow, PhD, a consumer psychology expert and professor at Golden Gate University (and MONEY contributor), believes being repugnant is (regrettably) a good business strategy, especially for clothing brands that target a younger audience. “I think they get encouragement to keep doing it because they do get a lot of attention for it,” said Yarrow. “It’s offensive and a little bit tasteless, but shock value just can’t be underrated these days. In some ways it’s a little bit appealing to consumers to connect with a store that’s on the edgier side, and that’s one of the ways the store tells consumers they’re pushing the boundaries and aren’t your parents lame old store.” MORE

WIKIPEDIA: The Kent State shootings (also known as the May 4 massacre or the Kent State massacre)[2][3][4] occurred at Kent State University in the US city of Kent, Ohio, and involved the shooting of unarmed college students by the Ohio National Guard on Monday, May 4, 1970. The guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.[5][6] Some of the students who were shot had been protesting the Cambodian Campaign, which President Richard Nixon announced during a television address on April 30. Other students who were shot had been walking nearby or observing the protest from a distance.[7][8] There was a significant national response to the shootings: hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed throughout the United States due to a student strike of four million students,[9] and the event further affected public opinion—at an already socially contentious time—over the role of the United States in the Vietnam War.[10] MORE

URBAN OUTFITTERS: Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset. MORE

RELATED: Despite its slacker aura and carefully calibrated antiestablishmentarian cachet, Urban Outfitters Inc. is in fact a very Establishment, hypercapitalist multinational retail concern with 51 stores in North America and flagship locations in London, Dublin and Glasgow. Urban Outfitters also owns and operates 40 Anthropologie stores (the 41st store opens this Friday), which peddle a variety of upscale apparel and housewares to women aged 30 to 45. The company also markets a wholesale line of housewares and apparel called Free People to approximately 1,100 retail clients. In fiscal year 2003, a year when most retailers’ bottom lines crapped out, Urban Outfitters opened 13 new stores and posted a company record of $423 million in sales–with net profits jumping up a whopping 83 percent over the previous year to $27.4 million.

But the difference between stage-crafted storefront image and corporate reality doesn’t end there. It extends all the way to the top, to the man who built the company from scratch–Richard Hayne, Urban Outfitters’ president and founder. While the typical Urban Outfitters shopper is likely to be liberal-minded–as is the province and privilege of youth–the fiftysomething Hayne is mom-and-apple-pie conservative. He and his wife Margaret have contributed $13,150 to the campaign coffers of Paleolithic right-wing Republican Sen. Rick Santorum and his Political Action Committee over the years.

Hayne, who would prefer this fact not appear in this story, did not always tilt hard to the right. In fact, he and the retail concern he founded came of age in the heady, longhaired lefty crucible of the ’60s. Back then he was vehemently opposed to the Vietnam War, the Nixon administration that perpetrated it and the big business military-industrial complex that financed it. The times, however, have a-changed. [...]

When PW was frogmarching Hayne down memory lane to the pre-history of Urban Outfitters, he recalled how seeing Dylan and Joan Baez perform in 1964 was a transformational experience. It opened his eyes to everything that was phony and uptight and unjust in the world–and made him want to change the world. And there is a part of him that believes he has done just that in his own small way. But as the hippie party of the ’60s devolved into the post-Vietnam hangover of the ’70s, it must have occurred to him that idealism–like the length of your hair or the cut of your clothes or rebellion itself–was nothing more than fashion. And fashion is a commodity to be bought and sold for a profit. MORE

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STOP N’ RISK: What Exactly Determines Whether You Get A Ticket Or Go To Jail After Pot Decrim? Skin Color?

September 15th, 2014


VICE MAGAZINE: Though marijuana advocates and civil rights advocates consider Philadelphia’s decriminalization ordinance a victory, concerns still remain, including a fear that the city’s police force won’t embrace the measure. Philly cops still use the controversial “stop and frisk” tactic, which ostensibly strives to reduce crime by eliminating vandalism and other petty crimes that proponents say are correlated with more violent and destructive acts.

“In particular, we have seen striking racial disparity in arrests for small amounts of marijuana,” Messing said. “We’re hoping new legislation reduces or eliminates that disparity.” Black and Latino suspects account for 83 percent of the 4,000 weed possession arrests every year in Philly, city council member James Kenney told the New York Times. Nationally, the racial disparities are a well documented concern that, according to an ACLU report, may have influenced President Obama and other policy makers to shift their stance on prohibition.

Marijuana enforcement laws are unquestionably a civil rights issue, according to attorney Harry Levine. “A classic civil rights issue is equal treatment under the law,” Levine told VICE News. “If you have enforcement against some people but not other people; then you have a civil rights question.” But despite the overwhelming evidence in the wake of the ACLU’s report, opponents of Philadelphia’s decriminalization law remained unconvinced. Historically, cops and their lobbying groups have opposed most attempts to decriminalize weed or make medical and recreational pot legal, according to Levine. In California, the first state to legalize medical marijuana, the state’s Police Chiefs Association has long been an opponent of plans to enact a statewide regulatory framework for the drug.

To get the cops on board with Philly’s decriminalization, Kenney and his allies partnered with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) — an organization of current and former law enforcement officials that aims to raise awareness about drug policy failures. After Philadelphia’s cops heard firsthand from a 30-year narcotics veteran from Maryland, it became clear that the sky wouldn’t fall if weed possession became the equivalent of a jaywalking citation, Goy said. MORE

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BEING THERE: Dr. Dog @ The Mann

September 14th, 2014


When Dr. Dog appeared on the Skyline Stage of the Mann Center last night, the band was clearly dreaming of greener, and presumably drier, pastures — unlike the rain-soaked mud pit we were standing in. With jungle-esque sound effects, fog machines and green backlighting, the band members took their places onstage among various potted houseplants. It looked like the wilderness that could be found within a Home Depot gardening section (Welcome to the Home Depot, baby! You’re gonna diiiiiiiiiieeee!), or a medical marijuana dispensary grow room. All of the band members came dressed in their standard get-ups: T-shirts, jeans, sunglasses-at-night and beanies, except for lead singer-guitarist Scott McMicken. He boldly sported the second outfit anyone in the band has ever donned onstage: a red, colorfully embellished, woven man-dress with ‘Guayaquil, Ecuador’ hand-stitched across the top. Did any of the stage set-up make sense on such a cold, rainy night in September? Not really, but no one seemed to mind.

Nevertheless, Dr. Dog kicked off the show harmoniously, and with great physicality. Under the influence of rock n’ roll and possibly other stuff, lead singer Toby Leaman drop-kicked one of the many misbegotten potted plants out of his goddamn way, and launched it towards the front end of the stage where I stood. A mixture of grade-A potting soil and confusion suddenly brushed across my face. Meanwhile, a mixture of testosterone and jingle bells amplified the happenings onstage. Having just been spit on by Die Antwoord a week ago, being in the ‘splash zone’ again wasn’t all that shocking, but the master-class display of plant parkour was beyond expectation.

Of course, this serious rocker ‘tude was only encouraged by the receptive sea of fans, some of whom were dressed and dancing around in ‘Dr. Dog’ beanies. Seeming more like $25 impulse buys, the hats were like gold star stickers that marked the true Dr. Dog super-fans in attendance. I predict the beanies will soon prove too flamboyantly lame to wear anywhere but a Dr. Dog concert. The crowd ranged in age from college-aged guys and gals who drunkenly group-hugged it out during “Lonesome,” to ponytailed dads shaking their tail feathers. There were also plenty of touchy-feely, sweet-talking couples, like smitten kittens in the unglamorously hatted, flannel-covered embraces of their boos. Honorable mention goes to the solitary preteen girl who screamed affirmative when Leaman asked if anyone in the crowd kept a diary, after he read a personal passage from his in between songs.

Fortunately, there was more in store for the less innocent among us — those who have chosen the red pill once or twice and know just how far the rabbit hole goes. At one point, heavily in jam-mode, Leaman hopped down from the red-lit stage and began running around the photo pit, growling words into the microphone and vocalizing things incoherently and probably backwards. Yeah, it got weird.

Otherwise, Dr. Dog played a pleasantly jingly-jangly 17-song set, along with a seven-song encore. The show was not nearly as Philly-riffic as expected, beyond a few shout-outs to “PHIL-LAY!” It’s possible that fans were just too spoiled by Dr. Dog’s last visit to the 215, which featured a cameo from a twerking Phillie Phanatic. Frankly, I was expecting Dr. Dog’s encore to feature an impromptu onstage Eagles game, beer-bellied union laborers constructing a new SEPTA subway station in the middle of the Mann lawn, and Mayor Nutter playing The Liberty Bell like a cowbell, all from within the weedy confines of their mock-marijuana-dispensary stage set, celebrating the decriminalization of pot in Philly like the weird-beard, suburban campfire-singing bros they always were. — MARY LYNN DOMINGUEZ

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SPORTO: It Would Be Funny If It Weren’t So True

September 14th, 2014


WASHINGTON POST: Larry Wansley convinced himself long ago that three hours’ sleep is plenty. His thoughts kept him up anyway, but even if he did drift off, the chances were good that the phone — always next to his ear, whether at home or in a hotel room — would ring. Sometimes it would be a contact in the Dallas Police Department; other times there’d be a nightclub owner on the other line. So rather than close his eyes and take his chances, the Dallas Cowboys’ longtime security director learned to stay up and wait. “All my professional life,” Wansley said, “has basically been on call, responding to situations that take place and addressing them, resolving them.” Wansley is one member of a vast network of problem solvers who work security in one capacity or another for the National Football League. America’s most popular sports league is also one of its more valuable companies, generating about $10 billion in annual revenue, and behind the scenes is an intricate and largely secretive three-layered security force — mainly comprised of former federal agents — in charge of staying in front of the league’s problems. Its emphases are swiftness and thoroughness, its tentacles reaching into states even without an NFL team, its code mostly one of silence. And while its agents can help keep bad actors from ever getting to the league by vetting them beforehand, they are equally if not more valuable in funnelling information back to the league office once problems occur to help make sure NFL leaders are not caught off guard. But this past week, something somehow slipped through the fine mesh barrier of “The Shield’s” shield, apparently catching even the NFL by surprise — something that, by design of its security apparatus, should never happen. MORE

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Hands Up, Who Wants Two Tix To See Dr. Dog @ Skyline Stage Of The Mann On Saturday Night?

September 12th, 2014


We have a pair of tix to see Dr. Dog at the Mann’s Skyline Stage tomorrow night to give away to some lucky Phawker reader. All you have to do to qualify win is follow us on Twitter and send us an email saying you have done so (or already do follow us) to FEED@PHAWKER.COM with your full name and mobile number for confirmation. Put the magic words NOW I WANNA BE YOUR DOG in the subject line — 54th person to email us wins. Good luck and godspeed!

RELATED: Phawker’s Q&A with Dr. Dog’s Toby Leaman


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ART FIGHT: David Lynch Calls The Mural Arts Program’s Plans For Philly Railways A ‘Travesty’

September 12th, 2014


From an interview with Art In America at PAFA on Wednesday, during the press preview for DAVID LYNCH:THE UNIFIED FIELD:

ART IN AMERICA: Philadelphia’s Mural Arts program just completed a project in which they invited Berlin artist Katharina Grosse to spray paint the wayside of the rail line through Philadelphia.

LYNCH: A travesty in my book. Unreal. The walls on railroad lines, they were built so beautifully. They say that style follows function—every detail of how they put one thing together with another: the electric wires, the stonework, the plaster work, the metal of the windows, the railroad signs—all of this stuff is like beautiful sculpture. And as it gets older it just gets richer and more beautiful. They’re sacred things, and you should never deface them. MORE

MURAL ARTS RESPONDS: At Mural Arts, we were a bit perplexed reading those comments side by side. We agree with Lynch that many of that the structures along the railways are architectural beauties and that was in fact part of the inspiration for psychylustro, and in many ways, the entire project was an effort to use temporary paint to draw people’s eyes back to the amazing but often ignored architectural and natural environments in the Northeast Rail Corridor. Still, the Northeast Rail Corridor was not a pristine place before Grosse’s project. Every structural site Grosse worked at was covered in graffiti before her team began painting. The buildings were already, from Lynch’s perspective, defaced and ruined. We’ve even been criticized in some circles for painting over so much graffiti in the process of installing psychylustro. However, what most people did not know until now is that we brought the legendary documentary photographer Martha Cooper to Philadelphia just before the installation of psychylustro so that she could document the graffiti along the Northeast Rail Corridor. MORE

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DOOBIE BROTHERS: Nutter & Kenney Pass The Peace Pipe; ‘Not Necessarily Stoned But Beautiful’

September 11th, 2014


INQUIRER: It was hardly a lovefest, but Mayor Nutter [PICTURED ABOVE, LEFT] and City Councilman James Kenney [PICTURED ABOVE, RIGHT] made public peace Wednesday over the fractious run-up to their compromise this week on decriminalizing possession of small amounts of pot. “I want to apologize,” Kenney said at a news conference with the mayor, whom he had unmercifully hectored during the summer for his delay in signing the councilman’s marijuana bill. “I sometimes get a little impatient when I feel strongly about something. I can get a little angry, a little red in the face.” Nutter was gracious in return, heaping praise on Kenney for the work he did to bring the bill to fruition. “He is a smart, hardworking, tenacious, focused guy,” Nutter said of Kenney, who stood beside him. “We are always going to be respectful of each other and each other’s work.” In this instance, the work was a bill that will decriminalize possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana and the public use of the drug. The bill, to be reintroduced in City Council on Thursday and expected to become law by Oct. 20. MORE

RELATED: “Are You Experienced?” Lyrics

FALLON: ‘Philly To Become Largest American City To Decriminalize Marijuana’

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ABOUT A GIRL: The Complete Magnet Magazine Q&A With Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace

September 11th, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: I interviewed Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace for the cover story of issue 106 of MAGNET MAGAZINE. Because of space restrictions, more than 2000 words had to be cut from the Q&A. In advance of Against Me!’s performance at The Mann Center’s Skyline Stage tomorrow night, as well as the welcome news that Laura Jane Grace will be getting her own reality show, we are running the complete Q&A. All 7,200 words. Enjoy.

BY JONATHAN VALANIA In 2012, Tom Gabel, the 33-year-old year old frontman of Florida-based million-dollar major label punk band Against Me!, announced to the world that he was transgender and had begun the process of transitioning into a woman. Tom Gabel was dead, long live Laura Jane Grace. Grace told MAGNET she knew, deep down, since the age of five that she been had miscast in the role of heterosexual boy in the play of life. After years of drug-and-alcohol-abetted denial cross-dressing behind a cruel veil of secrecy and shame, Grace realized she could no longer deny her true nature, consequences be damned, and summoning a courage far beyond most mortal men (and women), she went public with her decision. This raised a host of difficult questions that are still being answered. How would her wife, three-year-old daughter, mother and retired Army major father, not to mention her bandmates and Against Me!’s six figure-sized audience react to the news? Almost without exception (her father being the exception) everyone was understanding and supportive, but like her transition, it’s a work in progress. She documented her epic struggles with gender identity and the triumphs and travails of the transition process on Against Me!’s extraordinary new album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues.

MAGNET: So let’s start at the very beginning, you’re born in 1980 at Fort Benning, Georgia. Your father was a West Point grad and for the next ten years you lived the life of an Army brat.

LAURA JANE GRACE: Yeah, after that I lived in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. My dad was a recruiter. Then my dad did a year in Korea and I lived with my grandmother for that time in Cincinnati. We then moved to Fort Hood, Texas, and then we moved over to Naples, Italy, where there was a Naval base. My dad worked at that for a while and then moved to Ford Leonard Wood. Around then, my parents divorced, and I moved with my mom to Naples, Florida.

MAGNET: When do you discover punk rock?

LAURA JANE GRACE: Probably when I was twelve years old. At the time, I was really into bands like The Doors, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and a lot of the classic rock bands. But that only lasted about a year, because I really started getting beat up a lot around that time, too. And then I discovered the Sex Pistols and The Clash and bands like that, and to us, it seemed like the message going with those bands was less of the hippie message of “take the beating” and more of a message of “at least throw some punches back and defend yourself.” So that was really what was appealing about it at first.

MAGNET: So when did Against Me! start up?

LAURA JANE GRACE: I played in a bunch of Naples punk bands but it just really wasn’t going anywhere. So on a whim and challenged myself to write ten songs and record them with my acoustic guitar. I recorded on my acoustic guitar in my mom’s bedroom. I did that on Christmas day of 1996 and just dubbed copies and put them onto cassette tapes and stole photocopied inserts from Kinkos and gave copies to my friends and set the single goal of playing one show. I had really stage fright issues at the time and the idea of playing a show by myself was absolutely terrifying — like, there’s nothing more terrifying. So I set that one goal and accomplished that. My good friend at the time, Kevin, could kind of play drums, but he didn’t really have a drum set. So we built this homemade drum set out of a snare drum and one floor tom and then a bunch of pickle buckets. So we just started jamming like that and recorded another ten-song demo tape like that. And we booked the tour that summer — one of those tours where it was like maybe a month and a half long and we maybe ended up playing 12 shows. The majority of the tour we spent busking in rest stops for spare change.
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RIP: Richard Kiel, aka ‘Jaws,’ Dead At 74

September 11th, 2014


DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD: The towering actor who played the mercenary assassin Jaws in a pair of Roger Moore-era 007 movies and the enigmatic alien in one of the most famous episodes of The Twilight Zone died today. Richard Kiel would have turned 75 on Saturday. His agent of 35 years, Steven Stevens Sr, told Deadline that Kiel died this ToServeManafternoon at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, CA. The 7-foot-2 actor with the crooked smile got his start in early-1060s TV, appearing in such series as Laramie, Thriller and The Rifleman. He appeared in the 1962 sci-fi feature The Phantom Planet before landing the chilling Twilight Zone role. In “To Serve Man,” he played a representative of an advanced, giant alien race called the Kanamits, who alight on Earth amid what seems to be peace and good will. Kiel delivers a mysterious encrypted book to a meeting of the United Nations, and the episode soars from there. MORE

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September 10th, 2014

David Lynch, PAFA press conference, 11:02 am, by JONATHAN VALANIA

PAFA: In 1967 as an advanced painting student at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (PAFA), David Lynch made a hybrid work of art that brought together painting, sculpture, sound, film, and installation. Six Men Getting Sick (1967) expanded Lynch’s practice and opened him up to the possibilities of filmmaking. He went on to become internationally renowned as a film director but never stopped working as a visual artist. Lynch has maintained a devoted studio practice, developing a parallel body of painting, prints, photography, and drawing that deserves to be better known. In many ways his identity as an American artist brings together all aspects of his creative life into a unified field of subjects and concerns. David Lynch: The Unified Field will be Lynch’s first major museum exhibition in the United States, organized in close collaboration with the artist. It will bring together approximately 90 paintings and drawings from 1965 to present. Part of the exhibition will explore Lynch’s early work, much of which has never been displayed in public. Six Men Getting Sick will be restaged for the first time and presented with related drawings. Several early short films, made in Philadelphia, will also be on display. MORE

RELATED: Michael Solomonov, the chef and co-owner of Philadelphia’s Federal Donuts, jumped at the invite to make confections in honor of the first major retrospective of Lynch’s work, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (where Lynch studied painting in the late ’60s). With names like Blue Velvet and Good Coffee — a “Twin Peaks” reference — Solomonov’s creations are an homage to the master of magical realist cinema. There’s one, though, that won’t see the light of day: the David Lynch. “I would have done a little clove and allspice, to get at the Indian-mystical thing, and a bit of malt powder since he used to have a daily milkshake,” Solomonov says. “Plus a healthy dose of windowpane LSD.” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: There Goes The Eraserhood

PREVIOUSLY: The Blue Velvet Underground

PREVIOUSLY: Mild At Heart?

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INCOMING: Tim & Eric & Dr. Steve Brule Tour

September 10th, 2014

Coming to the Keswick Theater on October 10th. Stay tuned we’ll have a Q&A with Temple alum Eric Wareheim coming soon to a Phawker near you!

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