We’re six months into lockdown, over six months since we were last in the basement together and it has occurred to me that it’s been over a year since we’ve sent out a newsletter of any description. I can only apologise for that. It’s a safe bet to say that we’re all in uncharted territories, life was already insane before civilisation as we knew it came crashing down around us.
It’s hard to know what to do; shilling records seems a ridiculous pursuit right now, but at the same time music is a source of hope and light that can guide us out of darkness. Our communities are isolated and we’re alienated from one another and, when the internet, or specifically social media, has proven itself time and again as source of division rather than togetherness, figuring out how to organise ourselves in virtual online communities and how best to tackle the challenges we collectively face is difficult. Often times, it leads to nowhere but despair.
There is no replacement for human connection. There is way on earth to replicate the feeling of being packed into a sweaty basement with other humans and participating in collective transcendence and the shared possibilities afforded us by the power of music. Sometimes I miss the pileys and the ruckus, but mostly just the connections, vegan beef and all. So, until that possibility returns, I guess we keep on keeping on.
Realistically, it’s highly unlikely that there are going to be any shows of any kind before the spring of 2021, at the very earliest and, if I’m to follow what my gut tells me, the chances of anything vaguely resembling the return of “normal” touring practices are slim. Obviously nobody knows, but our current existential situation doesn’t provide much hope. The corporate majors will survive, government-approved rock’n’roll already happening, to the satisfaction of nobody save for those making bank off it. Capitalism, ever thus. I’d be shocked to be booking any international touring acts before 2022. Given the imminent “Hard Brexit”, the days of the three-week DIY tour in Europe may be over.
Huge thank you to everyone who has been in touch since lockdown and everyone who has shown such incredible support and solidarity in buying records, merch, downloads and gift vouchers for future dinners at Rad Apples. MTAT-wise, we’ve never been in this position before, the challenges very different to what they were when we “formed” amorphously in 2006, very different to what they were when we went “legit” in 2014 (I’m the “owner” of and “run” Make That A Take Records) and very different to what they were six months ago. It’s gonna be a long winter but we’ve got some plans.
Thank you for sticking with us. We may be heading into a long dark winter and each other is truly all that we have, but there is light beyond the darkness. We try to do our part and are grateful for all the support and solidarity over the years. I still believe we can build a better world, even after twenty-two years of being involved in the DIY punk scene. Together, we can conquer anything.
Fuck fascism, fuck white supremacy, fuck sexism, fuck transphobia, fuck nationalism, fuck disaster capitalism, fuck the Tories.
If you want to get in touch, for any reason at all, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope awbody is doing awrite in this dystopian shitshow.
There are obviously no shows at the moment, by government decree. There’s no doubt in my mind that as soon as the government figures out a way in which to normalise corporate rock performances, the most anaemic and antiseptic of rock’n’roll experiences will be wheeled out as “the new normal” and it’ll be “business as usual” at the Virgin presents FM Arena Rock Drive-In Social or whatever, but we won’t be hosting any shows at all until we can all safely return to the basement.
Obviously we were gutted to have to cancel all of our plans for the year, everybody has been, but that’s small potatoes when considered against the fact that the entire future of live music and the “music industry”, however we may feel about it, is imperilled. More importantly than that, all of the people that work in the events industry, never mind just the music industry, and those that depend on them, are currently facing existential threats with little or no support from the government. Follow #wemakeevents for updates on the campaign. Rishi Sunak is a reeking hypocrite.
So aye, no shows. We’re not booking any at the moment either. We’ll be sure to let everyone know when the diary re-opens. We’ll also be working with The Good Night Out Campaign to provide collective training, education and resources to continue to develop our safer spaces policy and practice. We’ll have more to share on this front in the weeks and months to come.
We’re very grateful to all the artists who’ve gotten in touch and offered their music to help defend the radical spaces at Rad Apples Dundee and Conroy’s Basement, and thankful to everybody that has bought music and merch over the last six months. Our gratitude for your support cannot be overstated.
Stöj Snak – “Fire” single
Denmark’s finest screamersongwriter quartet return with “Fire”, the first single taken from the forthcoming “Life, Death and Everything in Between” LP, releasing collaboratively worldwide in coalition with our DIY collectives including our friends at 5FeetUnder and TNS Records on Frday 23rd October.
platitudes – “meaningless”
A complete sonic departure, this is lofi diy experimental ambient/dance/hiphop in blips’n’glitches written in stream-of-consciousness and recorded, “mixed” and “mastered” in the most rudimentary of fashions, or doomglitchdeathpunk, made by me with a laptop and my sense of impending doom.
The MARX – “Musk Family Emerald Mine” EP
Three brand new studio tracks recorded at Dundee Music Studios and one track recorded live at BOOK YER ANE FEST XIII by Punk4RT from the sharpest dressed punk rock’n’rollers in town. These troops played one of the sickest sets we’ve seen in the basement last time out and this wee EP is class.
Stonethrower – “Legacies” LP
The long-awaited debut record from these homegrown ecossemo heavyweights is everything we hoped it would be and more. Recorded DIY, mixed by Esko Mastering. All proceeds split with CRER Scotland. Check out this review from Keep Track Of The Time and this interview with Shout Louder.
Vinyl pre-order news coming sometime in the not-too-distant future. Keep ’em peeled!
Seas, Starry – “Larsson Dreams Of Germans” / “Hey Koala” double A-side single
A beautiful dual offering from our favourite cosmic Aberdeen punks serving up both love and rage through a turbo-charged DIY psychedelic post-hardcore kaleidoscope. Seas. Starry were the last band to take to the floor of the basement and we miss them dearly. Haste ye aw back soon, pals.
Paper Rifles – “Traitor’s Hill” CD album
The incendiary sophomore full-length from one of the most articulately raging skyscraping melodic punk rock bands in the land, released on digipack CD and download in collaboration with our comrades at Anti-Manifesto. Check out this ace review from That’s Good Enough For Me.
Order of the Wolf / Tragical History Tour – “To The Chaos” split single
Cowpunk goes black metal with this single featuring two versions of the same song in solidarity with CRER Scotland. THT version recorded live at The Bunker in Sunderland by Paul Le Hat, OOTW DIY in deepest darkest Fife. With huge thanks to everyone, we’ve raised £130 thus far. Deeply appreciated.
ALLDEEPENDS – “Hello MY NAME IS” 7”
Our last vinyl release sent to press before our world changed, if this internationalist punk rock zinger was to be the last record we ever released (it’s not!), we’d still be super-stoked. A cowpunk love story for the ages on classic black vinyl with three artwork colour variants. Check this rad Razorcake review.
Goodbye Blue Monday – “Self-Indulgent One-Take Woefuls” EP
Misery punk classics made all the bleaker in an acoustic / piano style plus a brand new song to rip the black heart from your chest and leave it squirming on the floor. Looking back over the course of cowpunk history, our coming to work together is one of the things I’m most proud of. This is beautiful.
Concept Car – “Luxury Interior” EP
Debut EP of transcendent reflective instrumental post-hardcore wonderment from former Fat Goth rocker turning introspective with incredible results. This was the first of our “Lockdown Releases” and we’re grateful to Fraser for approaching us, kickstarting the whole idea. Best listened to with heedies!
This Friday (October 2nd 2020) is Bandcamp Friday, where Bandcamp waive their fees for downloads. records and merch.
This month we’re very excited to share this ONE TIME ONLY SHIRT PRE-ORDER of the sick “BE RADICAL, SPREAD JOY” design created by Bon3dust and featured in Razorcake #115 alongside Donna Ramone’s column pertaining the first ever Razorcake UK Tour. We were honoured to welcome our friends to Rad Apples back in January and we’re thrilled that Bon3dust has granted us persmission to use their design to help raise funds to defend the spaces at Conroy’s Basement and Rad Apples.
The Bandcamp pre-order will come with a one-day-only compilation release and all orders will come with COOL FREE SHIT. The pre-order will then move across to our BigCartel page for the weekend but pre-orders will close at midnight on Sunday. The links will go live tomorrow and there’ll be a couple of cool bundle options. This design is so sick and this is a one-off, so you’ll only have a three days to grab one, if you’re keen!
There are currently 114 releases available on our Bandcamp page, many of which are available for free/pay-what-you-want download. The current full discography download is up there for £64.
Grab music here; http://makethatatakerecords.bandcamp.com/
We currently have a STACK of vinyl, CDs and cassettes in our online store, but we’re running low on a few things and are down to last copies of a bunch of records. We have a whole bunch of Razorcake fanzines available, including a few copies containing the aforementioned Razorcake UK Tour and illustrations (#115).
Upon the advice of our friends at the Perth Road Post Office, we’ve had to adjust some of the international shipping prices. We inadvertently mugged ourselves shipping a stack of vinyl to Australia recently, so we hope that folks understand. If there are ever any discrepancies with postage costs, please email us to let us know so we can resolve. We always throw in some COOL FREE SHIT, we want you to be happy!
While we’re very sad to see Groucho’s in Dundee cease trading after 44 years of business, we are very pleased that the staff have formed a new company and opened Thirteen Records on Union Street in Dundee. We dropped in a whole bunch of MTAT releases (Please, Believe!, Queequeg’s Coffin, Goodbye Blue Monday, Get It Together, ALLDEEPENDS, Paper Rifles, Uniforms, Kaddish and more) last week and they’ve got a punk/emo/hardcore section that ye should keep an eye on. We’ve also re-stocked our good friends at All Ages Records in Camden Town, London.
This time last year, Book Yer Ane Fest XIII sold out in 24 hours and we were looking forward to having the most stressful and euphoric of times at the opening of Rad Apples Dundee Sadly, yet inevitably, there will be no Book Yer Ane Fest XIV this year.
Obviously this is not ideal but there are far greater concerns than ruckus right now. A socially distanced punk show would also be shite. We will be hosting some kind of online event(s) in solidarity with the causes we’d have supported at BYAF, and we’re beginning to work on those plans.
Talking of Book Yer Ane Fest, we’ll probably be hosting something through YouTube, as we’re keen to decentralise ourselves from facebook. It’d be ace if ye could “like”, “subscribe” and “share” the Cowpunk TV channel. If we can gain 1000 subscribers, it unlocks some community tools that help make collaboration, engagement, production, access and all this kinda jazz. Given the disparate nature of our community at this time, having some production tools could be fairly useful.
Cowpunk TV; http://www.youtube.com/c/CowpunkTV/
There are over 400 videos up there, including heaps of live footage from across the years and country, a whole bunch of MTAT music videos from the likes of Goodbye Blue Monday, PMX, The Marx, ALLDEEPENDS, Paper Rifles and the new “Bliss Point” video from Stoj Snak, plus the first season of #daeyeranestreams featuring Concept Car, Queequeg’s Coffin, Beth Wood (Sofa Time), Chris Snelgrove, Shupostekud, Buffalo Heart, Paige Beller and more. I promise to get season two up asap!
The Dundee chapter of Food Not Bombs has been continuing to go out on the streets throughout lockdown to help provide our friends on the street with a little support and compassion. Volunteers have been going out in small crews (two or three persons) each Saturday to deliver vegan food, drinks, PPE, sanitiser, masks, etc, plus small amounts of money to those desperately in need. FNB would like to thank our friends at Serendipties and The Little Green Larder for both their material and fundraising support throughout the lockdown period.
Volunteers have also been working in collaboration with Dog Section Press to provide members of the street community with DOPE MAGAZINE to sell. DOPE is a anti-profit anarchist newspaper, akin to The Big Issue, where vendors keep all of the money, giving no cut to the publisher or FNB. Whilst not an answer in and of itself, distributing and selling the magazine helps aid survivial and finacial autonomy. Food Not Bombs are non-discriminatory and offer support unconiditionally. We’re not supported by any insitituions or governmental bodies, instead engaging in direct action.
FNB also provided some stewardship and first aid at this summer’s Black Lives Matter protest in Dundee. Check this video from Rebreak News featuring footage from the day and a reading of “Skinferiority” by poet Courtney Stoddard; http://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2769444233276422
If you’d like to know more or get involved, please make contact through the FB page.
LIVING RENT DUNDEE
In Dundee, a city already weathering the effects of gentrification, where the steady decrease in the amount of social and affordable housing continues unabated, crooked landlords and letting agents are routinely breaking the law. From offering inadequate, unsafe housing and refusing to complere repairs, to withholding deposits and charging banned fees. In times like these, with 1 in 4 tenants worried about paying their rent, mounting arrears and the all-too-imminent return of evictions, it is more important than ever to organise!
Run by and for its members, Scotland’s largest tenants’ union, Living Rent, is a democratic organisation that believes in homes for people, not for profit. Dundee is sorely in need of its own branch that can provide material support and resources to its members. Together, we can fight to put political and economic power into the hands of ordinary people, campaign for better right and protection, and make tangible improvements to our day-to-day lives. ANYONE can join and get involved, your input is vital and will decide the direction of the branch!
Lockdown is hellish for many reasons, not least the increase in mental health instabilities and lack of access to resources, but also due to our increased isolation, alienation and growing mass disillusionment. We need to look after each other, and ourselves. The following organisations are available to assist, but also need material and financial support themselves. Please also check in with Dundee Voluntary Action for further resources.
This is obviously a non-exhaustive list. There are many online resources available. If you’re struggling, please don’t do so alone. Truly all we have is each other and we need to look out for and look after each other.
Right, that’s more than enough spraff from me the now. What started as a quick mailshot has grown arms and legs, as ever, but there’s so much to unpack. We’ll be updating our website soon and that will become the hub of all MTAT activities, as we seek somewhat to move away from social media. Managing all the platforms can be exhausting and there is always something that we miss.
Hope everyone is doing awrite, hang in there!
Be radical, spread joy.
Aw the best,