Monday, 31 March 2008

omne animal post coitum triste est

"after sex, every animal is sad"

And so it is with playing a raft of shows. Or four in a fortnight in this case, which feels like a raft of shows for No No Zero. There's a strange sad kind of ache, as though one were missing a limb. The live show limb, which benefits from regular flexing.

The record itself however appears to be gathering steam with each new week, regardless of what the band is up to. There have been a lot of record reviews appearing, and they've been pretty positive for the most part provided you don't mind Jello Biafra comparisons. We've even got a CBC page on the band, which I find really bizarre and funny (but great too, don't get me wrong).

In addition, Rough Stuff has become available online not only through Signed By Force, but eMusic and Chapters/Indigo as well. I'm told that iTunes will also have it available soon.

So that, like a maggot crawling in your earhole, we will get in your head via earbuds and headphones and speakers, and make you choke your funky chicken and do the leg spazz shake.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Rot Rot Rot

It's finally that time of year when the snow begins to recede.

What it reveals is usually a repellent mess of caked mud, dead brown grass, and decomposing matter of one kind or another. Of course, if you have a dog, there's often a great deal of dog excrement about as well (I had to clean our backyard every spring growing up so this is a strong association for me). It all makes spring a particularly messy season, a squishy season.

Dare I say, a particularly sexy season as well, with its rife explosions of life and rebirth and throbbing flowers sprouting up everywhere. A young man's fancy lightly turns to love. Trees grow leaves. Bees do it.

Of course that's all normal and as per the usual way of things. But up north of 60, it's a different story; ice is melting there that hasn't melted for thousands of years. Ice and frozen soil so permanent they had to call it permafrost.

Aside from revealing cool stuff like woolly mammoths and smallpox, scientists are now warning that the melting permafrost reveals biomass - 500 billion tons of squishy dinosaur dung and other gross rotting matter - which in turn releases methane gases and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which in turn speeds up global warming which in turn speeds up the melting of the permafrost which in turn reveals more biomass, and so on.


And suddenly the Arctic tundra isn't the frozen funzone you thought it would be. It's likely to dry out, and grow shrubs. It may burn far more easily. Sure, you get to live in weird houses that look really awesome, but what will your life in that weird house be like?

Will the next phase of the ongoing End of the World be a huge release of methane, the fart to end all farts?

As the snow recedes and the ooze is let loose, I am put in mind of Edge Of Darkness, a mid-80s British nuclear-weapon-type-thriller of above average intelligence. The mini-series ends ominously (if memory serves) with a pan across an Arctic tundra-like landscape; amid the snow, we see black flowers are beginning to bloom.

As referenced earlier in the episode, this is an allusion to James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis - the Earth itself had had its share of people, and was helping to melt the icecaps with a little fleur noir so that mankind would die and life could otherwise carry on. But I guess there's really no need for all that effort on the Earth's behalf, eh?

Saturday, 22 March 2008



That Uschi mega post was so much fun, I think I've just gotta do another. No, not another Uschi post, another mega post - but this time one on the male of the species.

I speak here of Jamie Gillis, who many will know as a familiar face from classic 70s and 80s porn. He could be funny or intense, smouldering or maniacal, but he was always interesting to watch.

Others may know him as the Godfather of Gonzo, whose 1989 On The Prowl series broke the barrier between porn fantasy and everyday reality (and notoriously inspired that scene in Boogie Nights).

Or they may know him from his Walking Toilet Bowl series of scat films. Or his work with John Stagliano on the Buttman series. Or with Ed Powers on the Dirty Debutantes series. Or even as Devious Old Gillis.

Often cited as the greatest actor in porn, frequently reviled as being too extreme or too hardcore, Gillis embodies
many of the more emotive aspects of male sexuality: charm and seduction, humour and intelligence, fearlessness and lust, disgust and rage. His range is elastic, his performances are visceral. He effortlessly conveys gravitas and ease onscreen.

Jamie Gillis could be three or four separately interesting guys (the great porn actor, the funnyman, the innovator, the sicko), and the fact that he's all of these simultaneously - and that he's still alive at 65, still going strong - is pretty remarkable.

In reading through all this material, the picture that emerges is honestly one of a smart guy who was free of inhibition and, simply put, extremely interested in sex (or as Vanessa Del Rio put it, "he was wild and very horny").

Director Shaun Costello:
"He was the most sexually uninhibited person I've ever known, but in all other parts of his life, he was possibly the most inhibited guy on the planet. He didn't drink. He didn't do drugs. His vices were Gitane cigarettes, and gambling. Other that his personal sexual depravity, he was really quite straight. He was certainly not the usual one dimensional type that you find in the porno business...(he) had a bit more animal appeal. Women loved Jamie, and he had his way with them."

Former lover/porn star Serena:
"I lived with Jamie Gillis for two years. It was very hot. We were in lust. We'd go by train across country because he wouldn't fly. We were very in demand as a couple, so we'd be going back and forth all the time. We'd rent a car with a bed, then we'd go stalking pretty girls in coach and drag them back to our bedroom. And we'd be doing that for three and a half days. It's pretty hard to say no to Jamie. He's very much into S&M and he could go either way. So he'd either give them spankings and then he'd beg them to let him cum on their high heels. He'd always do something strange. But he was interesting. I learned a lot about the dark side with him. I was this white angel and he was the dark devil, but I loved him."

Gillis himself:
"Q: You have the reputation among the actresses as being one of the best lovers, one of the guys they really enjoy working with.

A: That's because I usually care about whether or not the scene is working. The sexual scene or the scene of the film, so...I want it to work, so usually that means that you want the girl to get off or be into it. And usually I am into it. I'm very sexual, I guess, so it's not that hard. I like to fuck."

Part of my motivation for doing a post on Jamie Gillis came from the discovery that some materials were available online now that I hadn't been aware of before. Gillis has been more forthcoming about his past than had previously been the case, and indeed has a new credit this year, appearing in a documentary about Jack Wrangler, the iconic 1970s gay pornstar (who also appeared in straight porn).

As much of this newly available material is YouTube supplied (thanks to the contributions of one Cliff Rialto), it's impossible to say how long it could stay up for. So check his stuff out while it's still there; it could disappear at any time (like the sadly missed Redboard forums). Thank you Mr. Rialto.


A selected filmography of highlights should suffice to impress the uninitiated:

Illusions of A Lady

The Seduction of Lynn Carter

Angel on Fire aka Angel No. 9

Defiance of the Good

Sometimes Sweet Susan

The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann, The Opening Of Misty Beethoven, and Barbara Broadcast, all directed by the great Henry Paris aka Radley Metzger


The Story of Joanna

Through the Looking Glass

Waterpower and Midnight Desires, both directed by Shaun Costello

The Violation of Claudia

the infamously 'lost' first 35mm first 3D male sex film Manhole

Ecstasy Girls

Vista Valley PTA


Amanda By Night

playing Dracula twice (!!), first in Dracula Sucks and then again in Dracula Exotica

the relentlessly bleak Midnight Heat and Corruption, both directed by the late great Richard Mahler aka Roger Watkins of Last House on Dead End Street infamy

New Wave Hookers

Born in New York City, on April 20th 1943, Gillis trained as a professional actor and graduated from Columbia University in 1970. In the early 70s, while performing in off-Broadway shows and driving a NYC cab part-time, he answered a Village Voice ad for nude modelling, and this quickly lead to work in live sex shows and porn loops. During these live sex shows, Gillis would reportedly ensure socially redeeming content, and thereby avoid arrest, by reciting poetry or reading Shakespeare (ay, there's the rub?).

Of the early days of shooting porn, he has said:
It was a fly-by-night thing happening in a counterculture. So on top of the sex, you had this attitude: "This is our generation doing something different than anybody else would do." Even though it wasn't explicitly political, in the sense that some of the rock and roll was — it was of the time, like smoking pot or dropping acid. It had that vibe: "We hang together because we have some kind of consciousness, and we're also making some bucks and getting our rocks off." But then you had this complete change in technology in the business, and now there's nothing countercultural about the scene — nothing "outlaw" about it.

Though it wasn't unusual to appear in roughies or rape porn in the Swinging Seventies, Gillis stood out by virtue of his genuine enthusiasm, his gift for verbal abuse, and his willingness to go that extra mile (even requesting an interview with the real-life Enema Bandit before shooting the notorious Waterpower). For much of the 70s, Gillis was also one-half of the most notorious couple in the adult industry with porn legend Serena (also known as the S&M couple for their usual off-camera proclivities).

Commenting in January 2000, Gillis told Gene Ross:
"My feelings are that we're talking about sexual fantasies that are being acted out by paid performers. This has nothing to do with dragging girls off the street and beating them up. There are a lot of girls, a lot of men, for that matter, who love being abused, sexually both in fantasy and actuality. And why people who are not into that particular thing feel that they cannot allow this, is stupid, outrageous, hypocritical crap. I can't tell you how many girls have come to me over the years because I have that reputation. They tell me they can't find this kind of treatment, that men are wimps, men won't do this. 'You try to get a guy to do something like this and they don't want to do it. They don't understand it.'"

And from an earlier interview:
Q: I saw you do dominance in a movie and it was very convincing. I sort of expected you to be almost that type.

A: Well, I am. I get cast into that a lot, because I do a lot of that.

Q: Is it a real aspect of you that we see?

A: I have lots of aspects, and it's one real aspect. I could be very dominant or I could be a lot of things-very passive, whatever, little boy. Whatever works, whatever works.

Over the last ten years, Gillis has become increasingly comfortable opening up about his past in interviews and various pages online (who knew he was such a big Thin Lizzy fan for instance?).

As he recently revealed in an excellent interview with Susie Bright:
"I've always had this funny image of myself as a straight guy who just happens to have more fag sex than any fag I know. Because when I was coming up, gays were the only ones that were really sexually crazy. Before there was a Plato's Retreat, there was a place called Continental Baths. It was the exact same location. And I used to go to the Continental Baths, because that's where you could have crazy, wild sex! Nobody else was doing that. And I remember walking around that fucking place thinking, "If only there was a heterosexual place like this. Wouldn't that be amazing?" And I didn't even dream that it would happen — but it did, like about two years later, with Plato's Retreat. It was this straight place with all these hundreds of girls going there. In my ideal world, if you were walking down the street, there'd be a place where you could just touch people. There would be a grope club."

This willingness to go either way sexually is yet another division between Jamie Gillis and your 'average porn star'; in the 1970s, Gillis may have restricted himself to interactions with men on his off-time, or the very occasional on-screen encounter (most famously getting blown by Zebedy Colt in 1975's The Story of Johanna). Of course that's not to say that there had to be gay sex onscreen to attract the attention of gay men!

He quickly became known as a superior woodsman and moved up to doing porn feature films; subsequently, Gillis has become one of the most prolific actors in the business, with nearly 500 films to his credit at the IMDB, and countless more private films and loops besides. As well as porno, Gillis has also appeared in a few 'mainstream' films (perhaps most notably Sylvester Stallone's Nighthawks) and the ocassional cheesy B-movie as well.

After an incredible run in the 1970s, working on many of the greatest porn movies ever made, Gillis went on to work in video as the 1980s progressed and gradually lost interest in endless films with dire scripts. His solution was to go out in a limousine with a beautiful porn actress and attempt to convince perfect strangers on the street (or in adult video stores) to have sex. Sound familiar?

Gillis told San Francisco's Spectator magazine 10/99:
"On The Prowl was the first video of its kind to be labelled "gonzo." These days, however, everyone else is really not doing what I consider gonzo. My idea was to do live, spontaneous stuff with real people who were not connected to the porn industry. I wanted to find people on the street and say, "Hey, buddy, you wanna get laid?" I mean, that doesn't always work, either; people are a little bit mystified by the whole thing. But the upside is that they're not performers with really fake energy which you see so much of in porn today, which I hate. It's that 'ooh-ah, ooh-ah, do-me-baby' thing. Gimme a break. It was boring for the most part - and today it's even worse. And after I did the original On The Prowl, other people caught on and made it more of a set-up situation, more of a commercial product."

Gillis went with the gonzo direction for several years - also helping to get the Buttman and Dirty Debutantes series started - and then switched directions again about 1990 and began making underground films of intense degradation, sometimes wearing a mask to do so.

The nastier side that came out so theatrically in the 1970s and verbally in the 1980s was now reaching a fuller expression in increasingly harsh fare of the 1990s. Gillis worked with Bizarre and Redboard, and was to specialize in such films upwards of the late 1990s and even into the 21st century (2001's Edge Play with Marilyn Chambers was, by contrast, rather vanilla).

It's important to note here that Jamie was again happy to play both sides of the fence, acting in the submissive role with aplomb as well as the dominant.

Nowadays, Jamie seems content and relaxed, indulging interests like poker or boxing. A possible autobiography and/or book of verbal abuse/scat transcripts (with which author Peter Sotos was tied at one point, Sotos referring to the book as being called Pure Filth) has been the subject of much speculation over the last few years; will it ever come out? How much of the dirt will Gillis dish? How far will he go? For those that have followed his thirty-year-plus career in porn, you know the answer is Very Far Indeed. Probably farther than you'd like to go. Maybe even farther than you'd feel comfortable reading about. Hopefully it won't cost $700 like Vanessa Del Rio's.

Asked about how he has changed with age (from the recent Susie Bright interview):
"I don't feel I have to fuck everybody I meet. Of course, also, the girls also don't feel they have to fuck me as much. But you're a little more in control, particularly if you've had as many women as I've had. You sort of know what they're like. And you can appreciate them more just for themselves. You can talk to them and have a good time. And you can just sort of look at one of them and have a good idea of what it's like to fuck that one. And you can think about that and not have to go through with it."

For those that might still consider the man a misogynistic pig with a sex addiction, it's interesting to note that at least twice now Jamie Gillis has given up porn at the insistence of a girlfriend - the first time (lasting a year), he sold everything he had, and wound up broke and kicked out; the second time was only a few months ago, for famed restauranteur Zarela Martinez (the lovely couple pictured at left) - hopefully that's going a little better.

Only time will tell if he has truly retired from it all or not.

I'll give the last word to the man himself, here again with Susie Bright:
SB: As you get older, does the sizzle endure?

JG: It never ends. I remember — there used to be an old Jewish dominatrix in New York called Belle du Jour. And she was popular. I would go to her place just to hang out sometimes because it was interesting. Guys would come in.

This old guy who must have been close to ninety comes in, and he goes in the back with her. And she has these black, thigh-high boots on. And he falls onto the floor, and he's lapping at her boots. And I'm thinking, "My god. It never ends." You know, you'd think when you were ninety, you'd have a little dignity. Something would change. But it doesn't! It just goes on.

Gillis himself may be reached through his minimalist website ("It's not really a big site. I think of it as putting myself in the phone book; if somebody wants to find me, I'm available.").

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Trash Palace pics

Our most recent show has been covered in a couple of particularly nice blogs - Grumpy Owl was at the show, and I stole one of Justine Anbeek's pictures (seen above) from Ryan Oakley's write-up thereof. You can't beat that backdrop with a rusty rake, can you?

I am also happy to say that our set has been featured on FormerTransformer, along with that of The Weirdies. Pictures are by David Waldman who also runs the exhaustive Kid With Camera blog.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Last Two Shows / Rough Stuff hits the streets

Thursday we played Call The Office in London. We were supposed to be opening for The Black Halos, but their van broke down & stranded them in Thunder Bay. The bill wound up being Crash Kelly, Safety, your heroes, and Ceremonial Snips. One of these bands is not like the others.

We played a mean set, short a guitar due to work, but still way loud - loud enough to keep all in the club at a respectable distance, that's for sure (ha ha). The poster for the show was a crappy green photocopy of The Black Halos so I won't bother scanning it. I almost died driving back home through the fog way too fast.

Yesterday was the local CD release for Rough Stuff, a special matinée show, and the first time Stacey Case's Trash Palace cinema has featured live music. We had a blast playing & I heartily recommend the place to all - Stacey has done a real bang-up job with it, and I hope it will have bands playing for a long time to come.

The Weirdies played a stunning debut show and rocked the house with greasy tunes like "Dirty Goose" and "Party Over Here". Great drunk garage punk, no frills, all thrills. Be sure to catch their next show at Rancho Relaxo April 19th, with BBQ.

For our own part, we blazed through a good 14 songs in about 22 minutes with Black Mama, White Mama playing onscreen behind us. I loved the venue and would play there again in a heartbeat. Likely our last show for awhile and I'm glad to say we went out in style.


Speaking of getting Rough Stuff out on the streets, a little birdy tells me that an errant box of Rough Stuff LPs, left near the Horseshoe, was accosted yesterday by a gentleman who appeared to - shall we say - need money quickly.

Described as wearing purple pants and a pink girls top, this ne'er-do-well was later reported dancing about on Queen St. West in the area of the Black Bull trying to sell our records.

Please write me (or better yet send pictures) if you have seen this crack impromptu street team salesman at work. This is not a viral ad campaign, much as I might like to imagine it were.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Uschi är en underbar skapande!

I guess it's about time we had some actual bona fide sexiness up here in this thing, and who better to feature than Rough Stuff muse Uschi Digard? Please note that many of the links here go to WEBSITES WITH BARE BOOBIES (so don't say I didn't warn you).

When it comes to someone as private as Ms. Digard is, facts are understandably hard things to come by. Information obtained via the net must always be taken with a grain or two of salt at best, particularly in the case of celebrity biography - this profile then is made up of information gleaned from about two dozen different websites, and constitutes a 'best guess' I suppose, as much as anything else.

Take something as simple as place of birth: for many years, the story was that Uschi was born August 15, 1948 in Bismarck, North Dakota (and in fact this apparent error made an appearance in an early version of the No No Zero song Uschi) and soon thereafter moved to Sweden. In 2006 however, Uschi gave her first interview in at least ten years, as part of Taschen's Big Book of Breasts, and there she set the record straight -

"I was born in Saltsjö-Duvnäs, a little town outside Stockholm, Sweden, and am of Swedish/Swiss heritage. I was sent to a boarding school with nuns at an early age because those were the best schools in the country and I was pretty promiscuous as a little one -- not with men, but with books. I loved reading and at age 6 I decided I wanted to learn languages because I couldn't stand reading books that had been translated -- they lost the essence. By age 7 I had read every book in the little village library".

Uschi went on to learn eight languages in all - German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, French and English. That speaks for itself, I think (I can barely speak one language). Of course it wasn't just her mind that was growing - Uschi's breasts began to grow at the age of 11 (she strapped them in for appearances); by the time she was 15, they measured 40DD!

The following year, she left home to travel throughout France, Italy & England. During this time, it is believed she worked as a translator for jewelers (she was later an official translator for the United Nations). Asked where she had her start in film, Uschi would say -

"In Sweden, in avant garde films by Tiobylrn Axelman, very, very wayout. One is about the circus, and he has a composer write the music for the whole films. They are something like the French films of Jacques Tati, but with the Swedish humor. There is sex and nudity, of course, but very light, like he shows the nude body but not the pubic hair. And when he introduces sex he has a reason for it, which I like, and they are not skinflicks. He is simply free to use sex, because in Sweden you grow up being nude, more or less."

After her work with Axelman, Uschi was to pursue theatre in Switzerland before finally moving to Hollywood to begin modeling:

"I did pretty-girl modeling first for all major magazines and in all the double-folds and covers, and so the agency started to get calls from people who wanted to use me in films. These were skinflicks, but usually films which had a story and had a reason for the sex, but they did have nudity so they would call them sexploitation pictures. Some of them were pretty good and made good money."

Her first films appeared in 1968. By now, Uschi had rapidly became one of the most photographed men's magazine models of all time. Even if she had disappeared from the public eye at this point, she would undoubtedly be immortalized by breast-fans the world over.

Two years later however, Uschi had her big break - a match-up that would catapult her to superstar status - when titman extraordinaire Russ Meyer found that a reel of his new film Cherry, Harry, & Raquel! was destroyed (in a fire, or lost by the lab, or never even shot, depending on what you read). In order to make up the time, he featured 'Astrid Lillimor' (surely one of Uschi's best aliases) as Soul, who speaks Swedish, hangs out in the desert, and IMHO makes the film.

Uschi is rumoured to have had a close relationship with Mr. Meyer (she denies they had an affair), and went on to appear in several more of his films including Supervixens, the rarely-seen The Seven Minutes, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, and finally Pandora Peaks, for which she did some exciting voice work. She even received an associate producer credit on Up! and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens.

Some of her better appearances in film during this period would include Pleasures of a Woman, Getting Into Heaven, The Toy Box (wherein Uschi is seduced by some bedsheets!), Superchick, Ilsa, Harem-Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, The Black Gestapo, explosive lesbian action in Fantasm and Fantasm Comes Again, her unforgettable turn in The Kentucky Fried Movie, and loops like Uschi! or Breast Orgy I & II.

Many of these treasures have only become available again in the last few years after decades of sub-sub-ultra-obscurity. In that way, now is a great time to be an Uschi fan.

After the 1970s, as we all know now, it became increasingly difficult to sell people on softcore; Russ Meyer subsequently retired from making films, and Uschi began to appear in more risqué fare - titles like Disco Sex Party with John Holmes and frequent co-star Candy Samples - without actually going all the way onscreen.

As the 80s continued, Uschi made just a handful of films, and continued to shoot increasingly suggestive pictorials. She also wrote an advice and letters column for Gent magazine from 1980-1985. Overall though, her disappearance from the public eye began in earnest. I have also read that she was a huge star in Asia, and had her own perfume there - but again, this may or may not be so.

Uschi retired from film and print in 1989 (or 1992), although she had an official website in the early 1990s (a new website appears to be official, though I highly doubt it given that her birthplace on-site is listed as North Dakota, and there are some pictures which I don't even believe are Uschi).

She is reportedly happily married, and dividing her time now between Palm Springs and North Hollywood. I am torn between wanting to respect her privacy, and wishing someone somewhere would convince her to approve a documentary on her life so the world could know more of her time here.

Regardless, I hope she is very, very, very happy.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Snow it goes

Back from the weekend, and what a weekend it was - the snow was so bad by Saturday morning that we decided against driving to Montreal for our show at Club Lambi. Of course this was not an easy decision, and we hope to be out there soon to make up the date. Apologies to all involved.

Fortunately we were able to fill a local show's slot left empty by Montreal's Nymphets, who also decided against the trek. We played their slot at Wrongbar with Ugly Stick and Demon's Claws while they played ours at Lambi - I'd say that was a pretty fine solution to a lousy situation.

The shows were mostly notable to me for the difference they represented in terms of audience participation: our show in downtown Oshawa at the rather sketchy Atria was attended by a bunch of drunk kids out to have fun, and indeed there was audience involvement here such as I have never experienced before.

Special thanks to Al Cole for technical assistance.

By contrast, the last-minute show at the Wrongbar (Fort Polio's poster above) was playing to a big roomful of Queen West hipsters who stood about three metres from the stage and - except for a couple of brave shimmying ladies up front - didn't move at all. You can probably imagine which show was more fun to play. Nice room though.

Musical highlights included The Ancestors who I dug a great deal and who I would favourably compare to Stinking Lizaveta; and Ugly Stick, who No No Zero played our first show with, and who have almost totally transformed their sound, putting on a super set I was shocked and impressed by. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that MOA were hilarious.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Off we go!

In a few hours, we'll be off to start the first leg of our CD release mini-tour (micro-tour?). Before we go, I wanted to do a few quick updates here.

First of all, I've updated my post on our Montreal show posters with links on both artists - Pat Hamou and John Milchem.

Also, we have begun receiving reviews of the record from the Montreal press (the Mirror and Voir respectively), and I can also share a fun interview I did last week with Annie from Vice Quebec (en francais). Merci Annie.

If all goes well and the weather doesn't interfere, I'll be back on Monday with more information and maybe even some photos.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Majestic Majewski!

The fabulous Mr. Majewski has completed another bad-ass poster, this time for his art show/concert this Friday (originally scheduled at the now-closed Velvet Elvis, now spread between the Atria & Isabella's). Between crazy art, loud rock, beautiful downtown Oshawa, and booze, how can you lose?

Monday, 3 March 2008

No No Zero Posters (Part Two)

The Signed By Force CD re-release of our Rough Stuff album begins later this week, and I present to you today a few of the posters for these upcoming shows.

So far as I know, there is no poster for our recently-rescheduled show this Friday, March 7th at the Atria in Oshawa; if I do find one, I'll try and get a scan up here. If you know of one, please let me know.

Saturday, March 8th we're playing our first show out of province, at Club Lambi in Montreal, QC. I've found two posters for this show online, both of which I include below.

First up we have Pat Hamou with a striking sleazy paperback-looking poster I like an awful lot.

Pat works for Signed By Force and No No Zero is greatly indebted to him for the wonderful work he did on our new CD - with the digipack and the booklet that fits inside the front card and the clean lines and the great tones and all.

Pat also has a really great blog called Six For Five ("an illustrated history of Jewish gangsters and schlammers in New York City from 1900 - 1941"), and is working on a book of the same name. Nice trousers too, apparently.


Next up is a very cool and kinky poster for the same show by none other than labelmate Starvin' Hungry frontman John Milchem.

This is kind of strange for me personally as I've known John for a long time, and even stayed at his place when The Exploders played Montreal years ago, but I did not realise he did these great line hand-drawn posters. His modesty extends to the internet unfortunately, and the best place to see more examples of his work are on the band MySpace pics page.

So - very cool posters indeed, both of them. I'm looking forward to playing Montreal in particular this time out, and to meeting everybody at our new label.


Similarly, the following week we play Thursday, March 13th at Call The Office in London, and again for this show there is no poster I'm presently aware of.

Two days later, we play a special matinée show at The Trash Palace cinema in Toronto. The Trash Palace is run by Stacey Case, and not only will he be playing that day with his brand-new band The Weirdies, but he also designed this beautiful silk-screened poster for the show. Read an extensive interview with Mr. Case here.

So that's all for now. The van will soon speed us across the land, and the band is prepared to make the crowd run scared.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Some Recent No No Zero Posters (Part One)

The posters for our last few gigs (as well as some we're playing in the next two weeks) are easily among the best posters I've had anything to do with in about sixteen years of doing shows.

It makes me really glad I'm still playing, frankly. The incredible colours are the most obvious difference between then and now, but there's an undeniable shift in the content too.

When I used to make posters for shows, for instance - and I would argue this was the norm at the time (1990s basically) - I was usually making some kind of collage or re-appropriating found images from magazines or newspapers or old books. Maybe doing some kind of quick sketch with a pen.

The present-day ubiquity of computers, and the know-how to use them in creating art - combined with an explosion in silk screen printing techniques - puts the simple typewriter, scissors and photocopier to shame, in my opinion.

But enough pedantic pondering. Let's just get to the posters already.

In chronological order:

First off, I have got to include the poster for our initial LP record release at the Silver Dollar, November 17th, 2006.

The superlative Michael Comeau, who also designed the artwork for The Exploders' sophomore silkscreened release, gave us this amazing poster (a larger version is available on our website).

Here's some more examples of Comeau's work.


Next up, Michal Majewski's poster for our January 25th show earlier this year at the now sadly defunct Velvet Elvis.

I want to be impartial about the artwork in these various posters because I think they're all really great, but - having said that - this is my fave. This is right up my alley. When I first saw it, I felt that rare flash of connection, that sense that whoever did this really gets it. It makes me feel all funny inside. Sorry the scan is so small.

Note that this poster features luminous paint and glows in the dark!

Here is an interview with Mr. Majewski, with more samples of his art.

And here is an earlier black and white version I have a flyer of.


Finally, this sweet poster for our January 26th show at the Silver Dollar, created by the always fantastic Fort Polio.

Check out more of that super style here. I love the candy apple green here. That bomb just POPS right out at you!

And now, because I have to work tomorrow morning, I shall close.

Next time, posters of shows to come.