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hit the spot

More Betty

How does this alt-punk pair manage to play in two bands together, share vocals, live in the same house and remain best friends? 

HOLE IN MY HEAD - photo by tiina liimu

This destined collaboration of drummer Al Mackinnon and bass player Karmin Poirier is an equal hub of both punk party and productivity. Playing steadily on punk bills from grindcore to power-pop, they just recorded a new full length called “2nd Place” with Mike Gittens (Tobeatic) at The Hive. Expect teasers in early December. The party favourite, “Noodles and Chips” is also on the Sizzle Teen cassette comp and they just played the recent showcase at Zoo Zhop for the new local label. Anticipate some CITR radio play on Matt G’s Friday evening show “Stranded”.

“It was band at first sight!” laughs Karmin. They always thought it would be a three piece.

“We found some really awesome people, but we found we had really good chemistry,” says Karmin. 

“We have this ability to just write like crazy with each other,” she says.

“Yeah,” agrees Al.

“It’s like finishing each other’s sentences,” adds Karmin.

“It’s pretty easy,” Al responds. 

Karmin comes from a band called Scumbelly and Al hails from a doom band called Blood. It all began in rehearsal space called BROhemian Grove and a ten-minute conversation on first meeting. That very night Karmin revealed that they would be a band together. “Al did not know that, yet!” she laughs. “We started by partying and then jamming in the small rehearsal space for hours…. sometimes we’d write four songs in a night,” explains Karmin with Al nodding in agreement.

They write incredibly catchy numbers, but also serious content like “To The Street” relating to the marginalized existence of living in poverty. There are songs from their first recording done at Little Red Sounds with Felix Fung on the 2011 Blood Klub III vinyl compilation. Their cassette demo called First Fuck was recorded at 6th Ave. Records with the Squamish crew. Al and Karmin also play together in pop-punk band called, Pro-Teens.

The vinyl will be out in the new year, but digital downloads as early as December on their Hole in My Head Bandcamp with songs like “Semen Seagall”, “Fightin’ Crime”, “Bike Snob”, “No Sleep” and “Fear Of Aging.” Also “Beers for Fears” but, that’s a long story. “There was some record smashing,” says Al. “There is a piece of the record still stuck in the wall,” adds Karmin and motions to a sharp fragment sticking out of the window frame and remaining pieces hanging over the exit.

Hole In my Head play Interurban Gallery, December 8 with Nu Sensae, the Jolts and Real Problems.


draws attention

by Jason Kolins and More Betty

Diecemberfest 2012 -  Poster by Alison Lilly

Diecember Fest 2012 returns for two uncompromising days of the loudest and most diverse local lineup of subgenres: punk, metal, thrash, noise, hardcore, sludge, grind, and doom.

“I wanted to start a festival that showcased some of Vancouver’s aggressive underground scene,” says local metal musician and ANION front man, Johnny Matter. In 2010 he had just started a new band, about the same time a slew of recent ones were also forming from the ashes of previous groups. Thoroughly impressed with this influx, he came up with an idea to give these new bands some exposure. Rather than looking out of the city at larger headliners, festival organizer Matter draws his attention to our own rich talent. "I'd like to keep Diecember Fest always local. To support the local scene and shine some light on new bands generating in Vancouver," says Matter.

Year one started with four hard-hitting bands playing their first show. “The first Diecember Fest was almost too big for Pat’s Pub. The place was packed and the sound system limited,” explains Matter. “I'd needed a larger venue. I got hold of my good friend Denyss McKnight at the Rickshaw and with his help we made it happen. The growth came naturally with adding more bands, which in turn brought more people out to the show.”

Anion, Burning Ghats and Galgamex return to the fest along with newcomers Abriosis, Mendozza, Life Against Death, and featuring the first shows from both Ancients and the Villain Avian Symphony. The third year moved to the Biltmore Cabaret with a substantial jump in attendance plus lineup additions of Cathar, Memorial, Silverback Gorilla, Sabrael along with alumni.

"All my fests, I try and have some what of a theme or do something a little different,” explains Matter. “I think the possibilities are endless. I just try to be creative about it and give people another reason to come out to the shows."

He runs Apocalypse Sunrise Productions and does two festivals per year: Diecember Fest in the winter and co-produces the well-liked summertime bash, Burgerfest along with Scott Bart.

Last July, with a bit of help this full time chef-musician turned promoter made 400 beef and vegan burgers from scratch for the event. When asked what he likes most about doing Diecember Fest every year, “for me it’s about helping out the bands and to try and get everyone out for a good time,” he answers. “I keep the ticket prices low enough,” says Matter. “After costs, I give all the money to the bands…. it’s a labour of love for me.”

In 2012, the popular festival is expanding once again. “I’m doing two nights at the Rickshaw, 10 bands a night,” says Matter, who hopes to see another hundred new supporters.

“We will also be accepting non-perishable food items for a local food bank this year in exchange for five dollars off the already affordable door price,” says Matter, encouraging everyone coming to bring something in. The festival will showcase returning artists: Abriosis, Burning Ghats, Galgamex, Life Against Death, Memorial, Cathar and first timers: are Mete Pills (punk alternative), NEEDS (post punk noise rock), Harvest the Infection (tech death metal), Elevator Compactor (experimental noise), Astrakhan (progressive rock metal), The Nautilus (progressive metal) Anchoress (hardcore melodic punk), WTCHDR (hardcore grind), Aquanaut (ambient doom), Excruciating Pain (death metal thrash), Dig Your Graves (hardcore metal), Bear Mace (stoner metal hardcore), Night Mother (ambient noise), Dungeons (doomy metal). “I like to try and mix up the shows I put on,” says Matter, and he’s done just that. Head down with your food-bank donation for two days of 20 heavy bands. You can’t lose!

DIECEMBER FEST 2012 is December 6 and 7 at the Rickshaw Theatre


DEATH at FALL DOWN/GET DOWN weekender - tiina liimu photo


The Fall Down/Get Down weekender owned up as triathlon of music and revelry. A frenzied relay with incredible legends passing on the sonic torch. Tim Kerr’s primitive and inspiration driven artwork line the walls of Antisocial Skate Shop marking the start. A relatively new Nervous Talk gets the go ahead from the audience. Nardwuar pulls out all the stops with the seasoned Evaporators as they work the skate shop into furious sweat.

While Friday sports dinner sets at LanaLous, Sex Church and Fist City hold down the house at the Rickshaw Theatre with Memphis TN, Tiger High, a who’s who of Goner Records’ roster readying stage for the revered protopunks. Detroit’s Death, flew in just for this event. By the second number you knew this was incredibly special.


Terrible Feelings photo by Sean Law
Terrible Feeling - Sean Law photos

The Zoo Zhop - Monday November 19, 2012

A power pop fiesta inside the Zoo Zhop was a complete contrast to the chilly Monday evening down on Main Street. Three local favourites and Malmo, Sweden's Terrible Feelings heated up the record shop!


REAL PROBLEMS  - Curious Feast - Cam Strudwick ArtworkCurious Feast - Not Your Buddy Records

So Real Problems recorded a scrappy new album and it's everything that makes these guys good fun, from froth mouthed rage at society's bullshit alongside equal parts humor, irritability and a piss poor attitude.

“The Thing on the Fourble Board” rips open this package of punk and though it isn't as haunting as the old radio thriller with the same name, it will punch you in the face and that's kind of scary I suppose.


Fierce Creep at FACEFEST 17 - photo by Linda Stang
Fierce Creep at FACEFEST 17 - photo by Linda Stang

Sat. Nov 24, 2012 at Chapel Arts, Dunlevy St.

Six nights rolled into one.  It’s a great way to describe the 30 plus band fundraising festival, Facefest, put on by local East Van rehearsal studio, Faceplant.

Now in it’s 17th year of showcasing local, independent bands, Facefest, in the past, had problems finding a venue that could have all the bands (and egos) in one night.  But this year, an old funeral parlour turned art/performance space, the Chapel Arts went beyond everyone’s expectations. With two floors with bars, art, projected visuals, and live bands that night was definitely one of the best festivals of 2012. If you missed it, there is always next year. Below is an overview of the one of the best underground festivals of  2012 by a few of the sober Skinny writers that night and a highlight of bands to watch out for in 2013. (Keep in mind that all thirty bands had only 15 minutes to impress us.)


SUBCULTURE by wendythirteen




Still number one, but never still

One of the hardest working bands in rock n roll get down to the bare knuckles of business with this current tour. Guitarist Judah Bauer, drummer Russell Simins, front man and guitarist Jon Spencer, have recorded a primal, chunk of music aptly titled, Meat And Bone. Mid sound check in Motor City, Michigan, Jon Spencer sheds some light on the arrangements.

It may have been eight years since last album Damaged but this three piece have not slowed down. Touring that last album took them up to 2005 and by then Spencer began work with Matt Verta-Ray on a new band called Heavy Trash. This collaboration and an interest in doing different kinds of music resulted in several albums and tours around the world. Meanwhile Bauer was working with Cat Power and Russell Simins was working with a whole list of folks, most recently, singer-song writer Joseph Arthur. In 2010 Spencer began the immense task of compiling the Blues Explosion, Matador reissues which included: Extra Width, Orange, Now I Got Worry and as of late music from the influential band Pussy Galore. The momentum and energy of this process cleared a path for Meat and Bone, which escalated to recording at Sly Stone’s “Riot” Flickinger console at the renowned Michigan, Key Club Recording Studio.

The latest project takes influence from the past and the “last twenty years of experience” does come out, but it is a very “modern album” that could “only be written by Blues Explosion today,” says Spencer. This project was self-financed and done on their own terms. There were no contractual obligations. “It was kind of like when the band first started,” he explains and once recorded, “is when we started talking to record labels.” There wasn’t a rush or anything to prove.

Both video and album artwork share a similar aesthetic, but were created independently of each other. European filmmaker Toon Aerts put together the “Black Mold” video and brilliantly incorporated Spencer’s love of science fiction and horror movies. The album packaging for Meat and Bone revisited photographer Micheal Lavine, who shot the very first Blues Explosion photos. The initial idea was to have a band photo for the cover, “but I couldn’t find the right one” says Spencer. Lavine showed him a photograph from a session a few years ago, one that was never used. It was a piece of meat on hooks. Spencer liked this strong image. “Not only does it tie together in a very literal way, the title of the album… but it’s a very raw sounding record, a rough record, very in your face,” he says, and “I think what the Blues Explosion has always done, has been very physical, it’s hard work…. our music is totally tied up with our body, our muscles,” explains Spencer and this representation works with the album lyrics. “It’s about the passage of time, growing older, aging gracefully,” he says, “but at the same time your body is slowly falling apart and decaying.”

Vancouver will experience, the last of the west coast dates. “We have had a lot of really great shows out here” recalls Spencer and “we have a really cool band on the bill called Quasi, one of my favorite bands right now!” Who picked the band? “This is punk rock, we do it all ourselves” responded Spencer, “we choose the bands, where… what kind of touring we are going to do…. we produce the kind of record we want to produce [and] I designed the record jackets, the t-shirts, it’s all in-house!” However, this is just one short leg of a much longer tour. Japan is next, followed by Europe and the hardest working band will continue up to March of next year.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion plays the Biltmore Cabaret November 14

- More Betty


A course of actions

by More Betty

Napalm Death photo by Cindy Frey
 “After twenty years together, I don’t think of Napalm Death as just a band anymore,” says Mark Greenway, vocalist for Napalm Death since joining the band in the late 80’s. Well, this “family” returns to Vancouver on Nov 9th in support of their new album, Utilitarian. Produced by Russ Russell, credited for work with the Exploited, New Model Army and Wildhearts. Utilitarian is their fifteenth studio album to date. Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway, known for his provocative outspoken lyrics, called us from the UK.

 Political lyrics were an important part of the band’s initial writing, although it hasn’t exclusively been the case over the years, it was never abandoned. “It’s not always political; it goes beyond that. Let’s be honest; politics, if you take the main definition, is fucking worthless. Mainstream politics is very self-serving, satisfies a few people and then after that it’s kind of meaningless,” says Greenway. “The thing that underpins the ethos of the band is the humanitarianism, a respect and understanding for sentient beings, for humans and animals… that is the starting point. The world right now is a very inhumane place. People will do anything, anything whatsoever to get to get ahead … and it’s been a problem for a hundreds and thousands of years.”

Napalm Death has been around since the 1980’s so one could credit them for being key players in the architecture of the grindcore genre. “There are references to Napalm, but Napalm came from somewhere,” says Greenway. He describes Napalm’s influences to come from American, European and Japanese hardcore and death metal but also says there is an ambient influence from bands such as Swans, Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine. What he is listening to lately happens to be the most ‘ungrindcore’ of things: Swans, their new album and Kraftwerk. “Kraftwerk is so appealing because it’s so ludicrous,” says Greenway and others such as re-master of first Crass album, “the lyrics and the whole thing is still captivating, they’re genius.” On the topic of lyrics, he mentions Jello Biafra. “If I can write lyrics of that kind of quality, I would be extremely happy.”

Longevity and perseverance is about working through the challenges. “There were times when we could have given up, like the mid to late ‘90s but part of our ethos is to keep going,” says Greenway. “We are not doing it because we want to be multimillion album sellers, we are doing it for other reasons and we owe it to ourselves to give it the very best shot.” And what would you do with such a lengthy history? “Stopping is unthinkable unless something dramatic happens. The time to stop would be when it doesn’t feel as vibrant, as fresh and chaotic perhaps, musically speaking.” But the band has an unspoken something that seems to work and people tell Greenway that no two albums sound the same.

Upcoming projects involve a Napalm Death split with the Melvins covering a UK band called the Cardiacs from the 1980s. “Sparks, Devo, Toy Dolls but heavier, you talk about original heavier music, this is very original!”

Napalm Death plays the Rickshaw Theatre November 9


The unexplainable

 by More Betty

La Chinga photos by tiina liimu

Summon the virtues of a 1970’s blues-rock supernatural. La Chinga debut a weighty self recorded-produced album with members: Carl Spackler on bass/vox, Jay Solyom on drums/vox and Ben Yardley on guitar/vox/theremin. This is “live off the floor, guitar leads and all, no trickery, what you hear live is what your gonna hear on the record” says Spackler. Their handle, La Chinga, essentially means heavy duty. “I had heard it only used a few times in my life, but every time someone dropped it, it was a very heavy, magic moment. So it stuck with me,” he says.

A combined history of bands: Spitfires, Lifetakers, Captain Dust, Midnite Dragon, Chinatown and John Ford, the trio possess an aptitude that could have gone in any direction. Somehow destined to unite, “I had a kool gig booked and the guys who were supposed to do it couldn't, so I asked these two hombres who I had crossed paths with before and, whoosh! Sparks! Electricity Mama!” he explains. Why the 1970 groove? “It is a natural thing, no pre meditation, no thinking, no stinking. As stoopid as that sounds, this is what happens when we jam.” To add, the idiosyncratic theremin resonance merely extends the very lore as “Yardley gets to use his arcane black magic hands of sorcery to wield and deliver the spirits to your ears.”

Big hitters like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, MC5, Johnny Winter and Mountain come to mind. Instead, consider the obscure: St. Anthony's Fyre, Iron Claw, Bang, Leafhound and Sir Lord Baltimore. “I think we were more inspired by the bands from that era that made great music but never went anywhere,” he says and “there are a million of them greasy long haired knuckle draggin’ bands ... I love the kids who make their art cuz they got to, no hope in hell they are goin’ to the top, but fuck it. Go down swingin’, my old man always said!”

Ingredients like Evel Knievel and drive-in movies influence songs as much as ‘70s funk, black rock, old country, old blues and “anything real, raw, primal” he says. “We are fans of the sounds and flavours of the South” including other things like “burritos [and] surfing. I have written a lot of tunes while out in the ocean; you get the mind open out there. Harder to do in the big shitty” explains Spackler. As for the live show, what’s up with the blankets on stage keeping those big amps warm? “Mexican blankets affect the polarity of the amp tubes and create a spicy tone. It's an old mariachi trick … good vibes ... can any one get enough?”

La Chinga plays Nov 24th at the The Railway Club and Dec 14th at the Fairview Pub


moving and shaking


As much as I wanted to tell a beautiful story about a boy on his birthday falling in love at first sight with a guitar, this will be no such tale. “It was more like love at second sight,” accomplished folk guitarist/singer Dylan Rysstad explains. “I started playing at the age of 12. It took me a while to get decent and there were times when I wouldn’t play at all. My dad taught me a few things early on, but I've always preferred to learn on my own.”

Dylan Thomas Rysstad grew up in Prince Rupert, a small town up north, leaving for Vancouver at the age of 16. After playing in punk bands like the Badamps and the Jolts, Rysstad has come full circle and now resides back in Prince Rupert. It’s no secret that life moves a little slower there compared to Vancouver. “It takes ten minutes to drive from one end of town to the other, but I've got a whole house and basement to make noise and record in which is something I've never had before. I don't know if I could handle living in a small apartment again,” Rysstad says.

On the heels of his fifth solo album release Dylan has gone from performing under Dylan Thomas to Dylan Rysstad. “It had a lot to do with people already knowing the name Rysstad here. I was still going by Thomas when I played my first show upon moving back, and the promoter still put Rysstad on the poster. It also seemed like a chance to start over in some ways. That and I always hated having to explain that Thomas was my middle name and that yes, I know there's a poet with the same name.”

The new album was recorded in two separate three day marathon sessions, the first at Tapes & Plates in Welland, ON and the second at Little Red Sounds Studio in Vancouver with Felix Fung. “We did the Welland sessions during what was supposed to be the rapture/end of the world. It was a bit of a let down,” Rysstad remarks.

In 2009 the story goes that Rysstad was wrongfully paid $1800 of Bob Dylan’s royalties thanks to a similarly titled song. Wondering if Rysstad had paid him back was quickly answered. “No, never did. Technically I owe SOCAN the money. They automatically deduct it from what little money I make from royalties. At this rate it's safe to say I'll probably never fully pay them back!”

- Denis Maile

Find Dylan Rysstad’s new album in local Vancouver record stores or on his bandcamp page:


Who are these primordial pop-punks? 

The Pointed Sticks really are a FUN band that have been clubbing around since 1979.  By 2007 they were spotted venturing outta the cave for a comeback gig at Richards on Richards. Those stone wheels were rolling again and the Pointed Sticks were off to Japan with admirers and reissues intact. Oh yes, please pinch yourself, it was the real thing!

Alongside front-man Nick Jones, with Bill Napier-Hemy on guitars, Gord Nicholl on keyboards, Tony Bardach on bass and Ian Tiles on drums they held their farewell celebration November 3, 2012 at the Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver.

The ever-astute, illustrator, Dan Harbord guides us through those westcoast caverns with a fiery torch held to the walls. Yes, that flame reveals a marvellous document of ‘rock art’ etched in history! Just waiting for intrepid enthusiasts to discover.


SUBCULTURE by wendythirteen





Where do dogs go when they die?

 The simple answer would be that they all go to heaven, but there’s another answer that goes like this; their organs end up on the cover of the new Bison BC album. I’m not sure how it came to be that a picture of the singer’s dog’s cyst wound up on the album cover, but digging his heart out to show it to the world seems pretty metal to me.


Agnostic Front photo bt tiina liimu

Rickshaw Theatre - October 19, 2012

The show opens with West Of Hell, Vancouver’s own Chris Valagao on vocals, who, quite possibly has the best set of Metal pipes in the city. Valagao and crew got the crowd head banging in no time with their tight set of Testament-meets-Iron Maiden thrash/power metal.

Next up was Southern California’s Death By Stereo, who tore through their fast paced set to the hyped circle pit with their mix of hardcore, punk and metal. The highlight of their set was the Slayer cover “Raining Blood” to the delight of the entire audience.

As Agnostic Front, the godfathers of New York hardcore took to the stage, you could literally feel the energy in the air quickly building.


Dirty Three photo by tiina liimu 2012

Biltmore Cabaret, October 1, 2012

Warren Ellis’ dramatic performance takes on a passionate presence and intensity as if each moment could be the last. A masterful consistency with new material continues till the heart-stopping encore with “Sue’s Last Ride”, from 1993′s Horse Stories. A transcendent encounter leaving the crowded yet intimate Biltmore audience of old and new fans standing in a state of awe.

This Australian instrumental trio Dirty Three is currently touring the 2012 album, Toward The Low Sun, out on Bella Union records. The evening touched points with an enduring twenty-year repertoire. Mid-set, Ellis hangs over the audience, swinging side to side, one arm clenched to a ceiling pipe, effortlessly coaxing the listeners into a call and response wail, as if to summon “Ocean Songs.” Deeply lulled into the moment the entire venue is moved into an oblivious darkness with the lights to returning to reveal Ellis on his back plucking away at his violin.

He opens the show with a delightful audience rapport connecting to their last visit to Vancouver. Lyrics are not necessary for this raw and potent music to translate and communicate; however Ellis indulges the keen attendees with a humorous yet poetic stream of consciousness banter, number to number. Between songs he announces to the listeners that this is “one of the most beautiful audiences of the tour” and is met with a front row of coy and humble expression.

Dirty Three is: Warren Ellis on violin and keyboards; an unwavering and melodic Mick Turner on electric guitars; Jim White on drums playing equally with fluid abandon and astute attentiveness. Ellis is also the multi instrumentalist and wielding force with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Grinderman. Visual artist, Turner and White pair as the Tren Brothers and are known for their work with Cat Power and Bonnie Prince Billy.

- More Betty

Dirty Three photo by tiina liimu 2012


FAUST - tiina liimu photo

The Waldorf - October 17, 2012

It is quite a coup to have The Waldorf bring Faust all the way from Germany to East Vancouver! Recently after their 40th anniversary, the reunited splinter group with two original members, Jean-Hervé Péron and Werner ‘Zappi’ Dermaier are met with open arms on this night. A large crowd was gathered as the sound of locals Von Bingen emanated from the room. The treated guitar and sax duo played a lovely swirling drone piece to start the proceedings.

Midday Veil, a six-piece collective from Seattle, arrive next; their bombastic psych is and a joy to behold. Emily Pothast provides excellent voice with these otherworldly rock jams which you can’t really put a finger on, drawing from sources old and new it is true future music; check them out.


Mystery Machine photo by Bev Davies
Mystery Machine - Bev Davies photo

Astoria Pub -  October 13, 2012

Mystery Machine performs their fifth album, titled Western Magnetics, to a live Vancouver audience. With advance tickets sold out, the Astoria was filled with loyal and enthusiastic fans eager to welcome the first West Coast show after a number of years. The attendees are indeed acknowledged.

A progressively rich and guitar-layered set is without a doubt, a tip of the hat to the ‘90s indie era, a formative and consistent period for the band. Influences aside, they craft their own uniqueness amplified collectively with technical and practiced maturity. The first half of the set ran through new material, stopped short by a mysterious technical issue, but this didn’t seem to trouble the steadfast followers, as shouts of support can be heard from the audience. “We waited seven years for this, we can wait another ten minutes!” With that blessing, equipment issues were nearly worked through. Band members from openers, Seven Nines and Tens, pick up guitars and leap to either side of the stage carrying “Bullshit Patrol” to the end of the number. With a meticulous technical set up, unquestionably a frustrating experience, especially after a series a flawless eastern dates. These things happen and as old pros, they launch into their earlier material. By the time they move into “Brand New Song” from the 1995 Ten Speed release, the audience find themselves settled in a relaxed sway and heady groove of good memories. 

Western Magnetics is released by Hamilton Ontario’s Sonic Unyon Records. Described as shoegaze, but don’t be fooled, as demonstrated at the live show, this band could rapidly shift tempo into a raging punk fueled rock ‘n’ roll blow out. October 13th found the stage littered with physical evidence of sonic destruction by the end of the night.

- More Betty


your town, any town… your name here

By tiina.l

Rosa by Tim Kerr - Your Town, Our Town, Your Name Here...

The word “movement” as a verb and noun runs a common thread with the beats, skaters, surfers and punks alike. Skater-artist-producer/engineer-musician Tim Kerr, known for the legendary 1980s Austin punk band Big Boys, is exhibiting at Antisocial Skate Shop this November. This thread runs, like a series of dots marked out on roadmap. What connects it all? “DIY connects it all. DIY started all of these movements before they got tagged with names, uniforms and a set of dos and don’ts,” says Kerr. Beat writer Jack Kerouac’s original version of On the Road was typed on a continuous roll of teletype paper.

“I got the image of Kerouac typing on a big roll of paper, so I had a thought about painting on a roll of paper and going around a room with it. This seemed like a good place to try that. If someone likes a piece on the roll when the show is over, that section gets cut out for them. It’s mostly a series of pieces on the roll but sometimes things start interconnecting. I really like to fill spaces up so I will be bringing other things to go around the room as well, which will include books and originals. I sign everything ‘your name here’ as a sort of call to anyone looking to see who did the art. The idea being that you too can and should be doing some sort of self-expression…. ‘The Your Town, Any Town’ is a take on the old Dogtown skates. I have friends that would change the logo to say ‘Your Town’ instead of ‘Dog Town’. Once a skater, always a skater,” explains Kerr with a smile in his tone.

The paintings have primitive and freeform quality and are significant as they reveal a snapshot of the subject and social statement. “I paint what I paint because of the realization that we all influence people and most times have no idea. Someone could see the shoes you have on and really like them, then go out and buy a pair for themselves and you just influenced that person,” he exclaims. “When I started to get asked to show art again I decided that I really wanted to try and be a positive influence. I started painting people that had influenced me by their actions, words, music, etc. If someone wanted me to do a painting for them, my first question was/is ‘who influenced you?’ By doing this, I also learned about that person asking, and many times the person they wanted me to paint.”

The philosophy of the ‘self-expression movement’ ties in with the art practice. “DIY or Do It Yourself is just that… Do It Yourself. There will always be people that take it on themselves to do something creative in a way that THEY want to do something, and if people like it and become involved, you have yourself a community. I am humbled and proud of the good people [that] write about the bands I have been in, but the Big Boys played funk music because we liked it, not because we thought it might start something. Poison 13 is said to have been one of the bands that influenced/started Grunge. We were just playing blues and ‘60s garage music that we liked. Nobody here in Austin at the time liked what we were doing and that made it even more fun (big smile). The point is, walk your walk and if you are really lucky, you might just plant some seeds in others. Everyone I paint is living proof of that statement,” Kerr explains.

Tim Kerr’s “Your Town, Any Town: Visual Thoughts” exhibit opens Thursday
November 1 at Antisocial Skateboard Shop (2337 Main Street).