Posts Tagged ‘people I met in real-life’

Dear Keren,

please forgive me for being such a lazy sod with my correspondence. And I haven’t yet learned any Hebrew. Half of the Hebrew course would have been during my working hours, so I did not enlist. The summer wasn’t so great this time, car insurance always rips me off my travel budget and there was no enduring period of fine weathers. In the late summer I made my usual trip to London for only about 5 days. But it included an Avail show there. I was lucky for having met Paula, the organizer of the Avail tour, somewhere before in Stuttgart. There she was accompanying Citizen Fish (which I never liked). and I could ask her for addresses to stay in London. So I came to James’ Shake Some Action Rec. Store at Croydon, where I could sleep in the rehearsal room. And I met some nice young punksters. The gig happened to be on the same evening as the sold out NOFX/Vandals show, so I had space enough to dance, though the sound-mixing didn’t please me that much. Back in Stuttgart I too have done a hair cut (12 mm. max length) once again.

And the Avail-show here, organized by a friend of mine, was really what I would call p-u-n-k. O.K, I could praise this band (the people, their music & attitude) to no end. Los Crudos did tour in Germany but the South was excluded for reasons unknown, And Drop Dead played in a Youth Centre of Mannheim, about 60 km away and I had no tank filling.

In the mid of December I had a date at the welfare office and my monthly payment on my bank account was assured till July 97. This allows me to make travel plans. And I’m thinking of coming to Isra-Hell again: it ain’t a bad place to be. Around April, up to two months. Will there still be some kind of crash pad for me? But don’t feel obliged to do anything. I can only imagine about your or anybody else’s situation. And I can also only dream of having a flat in Israel. At the moment I’m sitting here alone in my two-room flat, and outside the cold winter night. You must tell me more about your US-stay and your experiences with a mohawk in Israel. Can I expect hearing from you soon?

Cheers, & greetings to all of the Isra-Hell collective,

Wolfgang.

P.S – And a special hug for your dog.

_______________________________

By the time this letter from Wolfgang arrived I must have been all high and adrenalin-rushed. I believe it was on January 14th that I received the letter from my to-be-boyfriend, telling me that he had broken up with his then-girlfriend, that he loved me and that I should come to be with him in Bradford.

Reading his letter now made me want to hug my dog. Linda, the dearest, kindest creature I’ve ever known, passed away in August 5th 2005.

Hey Keren,

Wll here we are on route to England. I’ve spent the last 24 hours trying to get connected to this flight & my brain feels like putty. I can barely think. Why am I even writing right now? It’s not like I can mail this to you from 75,000 feet, & though I love to ramble, I think I’ll wait till I make it to England so I have something interesting to say.

For now though, I’m sittin’ in the middle. The guy next to me is this grumpy old man who sneers whenever I get up to use the toilet. Somebody should start a punk airline. Maybe I’ve found my calling. I’d call it “Subhuman Air” or “Fossil Fuel Unlimited” or something like that. Anyway, I’m writing, and I already said I wouldn’t yet, so forgive me & I’ll get back to you.

Okay, it’s Monday morning & I’m doing my wash at a local laundromat. The underground scene here is (if in existance at all) very much underground. I’ve been to a few record stores that have the standard punk/HC stock, but nothing too interesting. Lots of stores cashing in on the “alternative” look. The only show I’ve seen advertised is The Dickies, who’ll be playin’ after I leave. Oh well. There’s still a week left.

Thenks for puttin’ me up & showing me around. It’s excellent to know that punkers span the globe. Keep practicing bass. It might be easier if you flip it (like Santiago) & then resetting it. (which is what I’ve done w/my guitar at home). Either way you’re left-handed which makes you just a little bit better than everyone else, so no matter what it should sound okay. Oh yeah, there’s a left-handed shop here in London. Kick ass!

I’ll send you all some Embargo Freak tapes as soon sa I get home. The plight of Nekkai Naatza inspired me to get my band in gear & to hop off our collective asses. I figure we’ll start playing out for real real soon or I’ll just disband the whole thing & start somethin’ new. Well see…

Outta space. Please send my book to me.

Until again,

Jesse.

____________________________________________________

I was surprised to see this pretty long and detailed letter, with a British stamp and a Chicago sender address. Jessee, who crashed at my place and also in the Upper Galillee with Federico and Santiago, and whose initial letter was already blogged here wrote me from his following leg. It was a heart-warming surprise. The first part reminded me of my own time-killing method when I get tired of reading on the bus or on the plane – writing in my journal, pretty much about nothing in particular, sometimes about my fellow-commuters,  if they happen to be too disturbing.

Then, the London underground being underground. I can understand this. It IS underground when you hang around Carnaby Street and Camden, but London had a lively scene in the 90’s; you just had to look around and ask around.

The bit about the record store got me thinking that when I lived in England, not even once did I buy my music at the shops  – it was always at shows. Oh, there was one occasion that I bought music in a record store – the Virgin or HMV in Bradford’s pedestrian mall. The Misfits’ American Psycho CD. Where else could I buy it? It cost like 2 or 3 vinyl pieces from a distro table and I had it duplicated on tape because my ex didn’t have a cd player. It wasn’t ideology, he was simply poor. His band-mate, now dead, made me a copy. I loved it then, but when I listen to the Misfits nowdays it’s almost always Static Age. As I’m writing this I’m craving Walk Among Us. Can’t believe I gave my (other) ex the copy I bought in Germany.

Ok, I’m drifting. Jesse’s motivation for writing this letter wasn’t (only) gratitude for the hospitality or (simply) innocent friendship.  The last sentence says it all: “Please send my book to me” (see my comment on his previous letter, linked above). I think I sent it. I also think he never wrote me again. A year later I was in Chicago – I didn’t stay at his place, but I got to know Chicago’s underground scene and east the best Mexican food I’ve ever tasted.

English follows.

מצטער שעבר הרבה זמן פשוט המכתב שכתבתי הלך לאיבוד

לקרן שלום

מצטער שעבר הרבה זמן מהמכתב שלך גם לי יש את נקרופיליה לנוער 2 וזה באמת פאנזין די טוב אך גם יש בו מספר דברים די קיצוניים.

בקשר למה שאמרת (כתבת) על לגרום נזקים לחנויות גם אני מסכים [ צנזורה] אך לרסס מעילי פרוות זה לא אפקטיבי אולי לא ישתמשו בפרווה הספציפית הזו אבל יבואו אחרת וכך לא הסגנו כלום.

בקשר למקסימום רוק’נ’רול אני מכיר אותו ואנחנו היינו אמורים גם להופיע ברשימה מישראל דבר שלא יצא.

הקסטה תצא אני מקווה מאוד בזמן המאוד קרוב (אני אכתוב לך מתי) והיא תכיל כמובן מילים. בקשר לשאלה שלך בעניין הכסף. אף פעם לא הזמנת חומר מחו”ל? (מוזיקה, אגודות וכו’…) את המוזיקה שאת שומעת את קונה בארץ (איזה מוזיקה את שומעת דרך אגב תכתבי לי גם איזה להקות) במחירים מפוצצים? (אני לא מתכוון ללגלג) להזמין דרך החברה זה הרבה הרבה… יותר זול חוץ מבעית הדולרים שהיא שולית. כן תוכלי לשלוח כסף בדואר וזו לא שאלה דבילית. ברגע שהקסטה תצא אני אודיע לך את המחיר שלה + דמי מישלוח (המחיר יגיע אולי ל15 ש”ח) תודה רבה שוב ואני מצפה לתשובה.

ביי

עדי

נ.ב זו תהיה הקסטה הראשונה והאחרונה שלנו כי הסולן טס לחו”ל (עוד חודש) והמתופף תקוע עמוק עמוק בצבא ואם לא תהיה הופעה בחודש הקרוב אז…

Sorry it’s taken so long, it’s just that I lost the first letter I wrote.
Hello Keren
Sorry it’s taken so long since your last letter. I also have Young Necrophilia #2 and indeed it’s a pretty good fanzine but it also contains some pretty extreme stuff.
Regarding what you said (wrote) about damaging shops I agree too [censored by me – kmk] but spraypainting fur coats is ineffective. Maybe that specific fur coat wouldn’t be used but there will be others and thus we haven’t reached anything by doing so.
Regarding Maximum Rock’n’roll – I know this zine and we were supposed to be listed in the Israeli scene report but eventually it didn’t work out.
The tape will be released really soon, I hope (I’ll write you when) and it’ll come with lyrics of course. Regarding your question about the money. Have you never mail ordered stuff from abroad? (music, associations, etc…) Do you buy your music in Israel for a ridiculously high price? (By the way, what do you listen to?  What bands?) I do not mean to laugh at you, but buying directly from the label is way, way cheaper, though there’s the currency exchange issue, but it’s minor. Yes, you can send money in the mail and it’s not a dumb question. Once the tape’s out I’ll let you know its price + shipping costs (it might reach 15nis.) Thanks a lot again and I’m waiting to your reply.
Bye, Adi.
P.S – this is going to be our first and last cassette, cause the singer’s flying abroad (in a month) and our drummer is stuck in the army and if we don’t have a show in the coming month then….

_________________________________________________

It was a brave new world that Adi and Federico opened for me. One of fast music, well-concealed $$$ in envelopes addressed to record labels, t-shirt printers and distros. I placed my first mail-order in the end of that year. Bought Feeding The Fire‘s debut 7″ after contacting them via that famous Book Your Own Fuckin Life. What a smart first purchase. Sometime in the late 1990’s the banks lost their monopoly over trading foreign currency and change spots opened in every corner, but when I wanted to buy records in 1993 I asked my grandfather to go to the Black Market in Lilinblum st. in South Tel Aviv, where old, golden teethed Polish men offered those desired dollars, often fake, always without the huge commission the banks took.

What bands did I listen to? Nick Cave, The Gun Club, Neubauten… I don’t think Adi appreciated it, but shortly after MDC and Minor Threat entered the playlist.

The Public Domain/ Nekhei Naatza tape came out in October 1993. It cost 4nis.(it was less than $1) and came with a lyrics booklet. I bought my copy from Federico, and eventually bought like 15 more copies that I distributed and traded all over.

English Follows

לקרן שלום

קודם כל תודה רבה על המכתב ועל ההתעניינות. בקשר לבקשה שלך לשמוע אותנו הופעה זה באמת די קשה כי המתופף שלנו בצבא אבל אנחנו מוציאים קסטת דמו ביחד עם הלהקה התל אביבית/ גליל עליון נכי נאצה אולי את מכירה אותם. הקסטה מכילה כמובן מילים (באנגלית, נכי נאצה שרים בעברית). אם את רוצה, ברגע שהיא תצא ואני מקווה שזה יהיה כמה שיותר מהר אני אוכל לשלוח לך אותה. (המחיר שלה יהיה כמחיר העלות, לא יותר מ-10 ש”ח). אם את לא מעוניינת אני אוכל לצלם לך את המילים ולשלוח לך אותם. אנחנו שרים בסגנון ההרדקור ונכי נאצה מתקרבים יותר לפאנק בסגנון סאביומנס אם את מכירה (אפילו שהבסיסט שלהם שונא את ההשוואה אבל זה לא משנה)

עכשיו בקשר לנ.ב לגדי (אני מקווה שהוא גם יצרף תשובה למכתב). אי אפשר לשלול מאנשים את “זכותם” לאכול בשר, את לא יכולה ללכת ברחות לראות משהוא אוכל סטייק ולתת לו מכות זה לא חכם ולא מעביר את המסר. הדרך היא שכנוע, לא שכנוע כמו תוכי אלא שהבן-אדם יבין ואז ישתנה. אנחנו (מספר הצמחונים/ טבעונים בסביבה) גדלים ומתרבים כל הזמן וזה נותן יותר כוח אני וגדי [צנזורת עריכה] עושים את המקסימום שאנחנו יכולים בשביל להלחם למען אלא שלא יכולים. אנחנו צמחוניים לא לובשים עור לא משתמשים בדברי קוסמטיקה שעברו ניסויים בבעלי חיים וכו’.
ביי ושוב תודה אני שמח שיש עוד משהוא בצד שלנו. אני מחכה לתשובה
נ.ב אני מקווה שהבנת את הכתב.

קונטקסט? קראו את הראיון המלא עם פאבליק דומיין בגליון מס’ 5 של אבק, בארכיון הפאנזינים הישראלי. גלגלו לעמ’ 18.

Hello Keren,

First thanks alot for the letter and the interest. Regarding your request to hear us live it’s actually pretty difficult, because our drummer is in the army, but we’re releasing a demo tape with the Tel Avivian/ Upper Galillee band Nekhei Naatza – maybe you know them. The tape comes with lyrics, of course (in English, Nekehi Naatza sing in Hebrew) . If you want, when it comes out, as soon as possible, I hope, I can send you a copy (it’ll cost no more than 10nis. to cover the expenses). If you aren’t interested, I can xerox the lyrics and send you. We play Hardcore, whily Nekei Naatza are closer to punk, Subhumans style (although their bass player hates that comparison but nevermind).

Now, regarding the P.S to Gadi (I hope he’ll add a response to this letter as well). You can’t denounce people their “right” to eat meat, you can’t walk down the street, see somebody eating steak and punch him. It’s unwise and doesn’t forward the message.  The way to do it is by convincing, not automatic speech, but in a way that the person will understand and then change. The number of vegetarians and vegans in the area is growing all the time and it’s empowering. Gadi and I [censorship – mk] do the best that we can to fight for those who cannot fight. We are vegetarian, don’t wear leather, don’t use cosmetic products which production involved vivisection etc.

Bye and thanks again. I’m glad to see that there’s another person on our side. Waiting to hear from you.

PS – I hope you understood the handwriting.

_____________________________________________________________

Adi. aDIY. Played in like each and every good band that graced this cursed land in the 1990’s: Public Domain, Ethos, Nekhei Naatza (took over the bass when I moved to England and toured the US with them – good for them!), Dir Yassin, Shma Israel, Useless ID – I missed a bunch, help is welcome.
In 1993 I was vegetarian for a year, an avid music fan who was deeply into The Gun Club and Neubauten, weird Israeli cassettes that I picked from the 3rd Ear cassette shelves when I skipped school, and a desperate zine reader. I sure had no idea who Subhumans were. I picked each and every zine I found in the record stores (there were quite a few back then), in search of information and inspiration beyond the dullness of highschool alternateen posers. I was a regular reader of Avak (Dust), alternative music zine that covered both Israeli and International stuff and reached the lethal number of 5 issues (very few local zines managed to pass issue #5). In Issue #5 that was published in the summer of 1993, a couple of weeks after I got in touch with the guys from the Israeli Anarchist Movement and returned from a family trip in the US, armed with an Exploited cassette, issues of MRR and Book Your Own Fuckin Life, there was a coverage of the underground scene in Haifa that contained an interview with Public Domain. Now, I didn’t know what Hardcore means. I didn’t know the context of straight edge, but when I read the interview, I felt like they hit a spot. At the time I was repulsed by the direction my school friends were taking – mindless Friday night clubbing to the sound of the Pixies, smoking, drinking, feeling sick the next morning (but maintaining straight A’s, of course). After the ideas came the music. It rocked. It still does.

Keren,

Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. There’s no excuse, really, just my own apathy.

I’m Nick, the kid you met in Providence. I’ve been trying to go vegan so hard, but cheese is my Achilles Heel. I love quessedillas, cheese sticks and pizza. Mocha frappes are wonderful too… yum… Yeah, it’s a lame excuse.

My New Year’s sucked ass. My wretched shrew of a girlfriend broke up w/me the day after Xmas (silly Christian Holiday that most Americans celebrate). She took my virginity and ran away w/it. Evil person. She broke up w/me for no reason. Oh well, time to build a bridge and get over it.

“Give Me Back” is great for chilling out. I’m home from school today. It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He was this bourgouiese, reformist black leader. It’s 1 PM here, I wonder what time it is there. I’m listening to Slayer – “Reign in Blood”. Goode shit.

I once went to a show w/ some shitty skate-punk band. I kept heckling them. Later a good band played a song  called “skater punks suck.” The skaters started whining, so I yelled “Go home and listen to some No Use for a Name!” He came up to me and said “what’s the matter? Is No Use too hardcore for you, you fucking faggot?” Then he called me a “kike” and a “nigger-lover” and kicked my ass. Fun. I hate skate-punk losers.

Nekhei Naatza can stay at my house a little while if you’d like – a night or two, maybe more. Maybe my band can play a show w/yours. We’re called WARDIALER. We sing about phreaking/ hacking, and other shit. I can book y’all a show.

I totally remembered you and I was quite pleased to hear from you. I thought you were hella-rad when we met. I used to think about you periodically. Even now, I think of what you are doing, thousands of miles away. Well, must be going. I have a lit of mail to catch up on.

Nick

PS: This might be a dumb question, but is there lots of anti-Semitism in Israel?

_____________________________________

I remember meeting Nick. It was in Fast Forward, a record store in downtown Providence, RI that is no longer exists. He was a geek looking teenager, 3, maybe 4 years younger than me, and he wore a Man is the Bastard t-shirt. It’s weird, the things one remembers. I remember that he said that I should write him and so I did. I don’t remember whether he gave me his address or told me to look for it in MRR.

At the time he wrote a column for MRR. I don’t remember his columns but I do remember that they weren’t too popular. Googling Nick Fitt (w/various other keywords for the sake of long-tailing) Brings this post by Felix Havoc and a couple of other links – old message boards, broken geocities links etc. It’s the mid-90’s we’re talking about and he has probably neglected this nickname quite a while back.

Anyway, judging by this letter, it must have been his young age that got him that column, because a great talent or wisdom aren’t reflected here. I think that he responded me. I saw No Use for a Name in L.A and hated them, became vegan when I returned to Israel and started building a network for Nekhei Naatza’s upcoming U.S tour. However, by late January I have already quit the band and confirmed my English lover that I’d be moving in with him in March. Not sure whether I wrote him or not; so far I haven’t found more letters from him in the bags.

Nic Fit, however, is one of my favourite DC punk songs. Couldn’t find a proper recording on Youtube, so I’ll leave it to you to search.

Dear Isra-Hell Collective,

Greetings! I saw your letter in MRR, so I wanted to write and Find about punk rock and politics in Israel. What’s the scene like in Israel? Are there a lot of political (especially anarchist) bands? Are there many places to play/ have shows? How does the general public react to punks? I can’t speak for the whole U.$ ‘cos it’s a big country, but I can tell you about some of the places you about some of the places I’ve been. In Baltimore there’s a small D.I.Y. scene which is thriving despite the fucked  up attitudes of some people involved. There’s sort of a hierarchy in the scene in the scene which marginalizes certain active or cool people ‘cos they’re not punker-than-thou people. There’s a venue called the Loft, but it’s run by a racist, sexist, homophobic psychopath who Fucked the scene over big time. Unfortunately, it’s the only place that lets people do all ages shows; so certain people book shows there. I know that Baltimore sounds pretty bad, but that’s because I’m a bit jaded about it. There are cool people like Angel who does Thought Crime Tapes, Disorderly Conduct zine, and is in a couple of bands. His bands are Coexist which is a thrashy anarchist band with 4 vocalists and Apolitical who I haven’t heard yet, but I would assume  are a peace-punk band. My younger brother is in a band called Attica 9, and they play drunken thrash punk with anarchist lyrics. It’s strange because my brother is very anti-drunk punk (but obviously not very moralistic). There are other bands such as 13th Gen (thrash-punk), Dart 66 (Neurosis playing emo-core?) and Within (garage/ noise). There’s also a high school scene based scene  with ever changing bands, so I don’t know what’s up with them now. Food Not Bombs serves Food every Sunday, and there is an Anarchist Black Cross also. I go to college in Boston, and am part of the scene there also. I’ll have to tell you about Boston next time because there’s a lot I want to know about Israel. So, what is the Isra-Hell Collective like? Are you simply a punk collective or do you do political work too? What is the political situation in Israel? The only news we get here is very biased to one side or another. I tend to agree with the opinion of Culture Shock, “supporting one side or another/ is really nothing more/ than saying there’s no solution/ but continuing the war.” That’s from a song about Northern Ireland, but the sentiment is universal. I think too many anarchists wrongly support the Palestinian cause. It seems to me that a Palestinian state would be a right wing religious state. Just because the Israeli gov’t is racist and a puppet of the U.$. does not mean that people should support the cause of people who are authoritarians. Are there any Palestinian anarchist group who oppose both sides? There’s so much more I want to know, but it’s getting late. Write back soon.

Autonomy, Peace, Equality,

Stan

____________________________________________________________

It wasn’t me who wrote a letter to MRR. It was Federico who wrote one in response to another letter or a book review and didn’t want the world to think that the Israeli scene is comprised or the  Upper Galilee Anarchist Brigade. As a result a number of interesting letters came my WAY, Stas’ letter is one of them. That’s not a typo: a few years down the road he re-russianed his nickname.

Isra-Hell Collective? Name’s taken from Public Domain’s  song about religious coercion. A bunch of us with great ideas and many plans. Most of which ended up nowhere, some personal projects (like the compilation tape Parverotti and a bunch of shows)  were done under Isra-Hell collective’s name and there was War of Words, מלחמת המילים, the zine.

Stan/ Stas and I corresponded for a couple of years. I stayed with him in Camebridge, Mass in 1996. My ex and I stayed with him at his parents’ house near Maryland in 1999. We emailed abit, and chatted in the mIRC chatrooms. I followed his Livejournal in the middle of the decade but a few years ago we lost touch. He has a PhD in political science, I think, and last I heard he lives in Salem, OR. If anyone recognizes and knows how to get in touch with him, please contact me.

Yo Keren,

Yeah. I wanted to write to ya for some time now… Thanks for the “Parverotti” V/A tape. It was reviewed in Flipside some time ago… Flipside #96. I also reviewed the Nekhei Na’atza 7″ on Beer City Records. I hope you got some responses from my review. A buddie of mine in Sweden is interested in hearing more… I gave him your address. If there are comps. and demos of bands there want to be reviewed on Flipside, just have them send me their release. I’ll review punk, thrash, oi!, etc.

Well, I am just about the only one over at Flipside that actually do care about music from as many places in the world… So far, I’ve got punk rock from 52 countries! So far, I am waiting for stuff from even more. I have a collection of over 6000 punk records. I am also trading + taping stuff from all eras. Well, if you are interested in trades, please send me your want/ trade list. If there’s stuff you would like a tape of, please send me a list + I’ll see if I have it.

Well, that’s about it for now. Write back soon. Take care. Later,

Katz

_________________________

I was soooo excited when I received Katz’ postcard and when I saw his review on Flipside. Like, an old-school collector who writes for FLIPSIDE actually gave me, a provincial teenager from a tiny, remote dot on the globe,  the time of the day. I found a whole bunch of letters from Katz – more later.