by Courtney Jerk

People see all kinds of things in everyday objects – Elvis in an especially lumpy potato, the face of Jesus in a Pizza Hut billboard, the Virgin Mary in a cloud of condensation. Seeing these images all depends on a person’s sense of perception and on their reasoning. In the case of the Jesus face in the Pizza Hut billboard, several dozen motorists reported seeing the savior’s likeness, but were they only seeing it because they were looking for it? Was God really sending a message to all these people, as one person claimed, or was it all a matter of seeing something that they thought they were supposed to see? Often, one’s faulty reasoning can have devastating circumstances. Personal perception, internal reasoning, and the subject of interpretation all came into question when two Nevada boys, James Vance (20) and Ray Belknap (18) attempted suicide in the winter of 1985. Belknap died instantly of gunshot wound, while Vance, the less fortunate of the two, lingered on in disfigurement afterward, dying some three years later due to drug complications that occurred during a surgery. Continue reading


By Christina Whipsnade & Max Dropout


If you measure a band’s underground credibility by exposure and the number a record’s pressing is limited to, then Hamilton’s Simply Saucer were probably six feet under the motherfucking downlow, but the fact that they were also twenty years ahead of schedule didn’t help much either. Stating that Saucer’s flavor wasn’t exactly en vogue with prevailing tastes during the early to mid 70s would be slightly unfair considering they were met with label resistance while attempting to provide the public with an official release, but their reluctance to tour didn’t exactly improve their chances of creating a clamouring demand for an LP. In fact, the scant fifty shows they did play between 74 and 79, mostly held at highschools and YMCA’s throughout Southern Canada merely contributed to the band’s ghost-like reputation. Until recently in fact, Saucer were ironically almost a cryptozoological myth, with only a few reported sightings and drunken eye witness accounts left in the wake their sporadic appearances. Continue reading


By Christina Whipsnade & Max Dropout

How the fuck do you people not know who Tiny Tim is? Am I dealing with a bunch of cultural morlocks here? Seriously, after we published that Darkness dissertation comparing that twitter throated dip shit singer of theirs to Tiny Tim, we made the disturbing discovery that a lot of you assholes were totally fucking clueless about who this guys was. Generally, after you assail somebody with a few bars of “Tiptoe Thru The Tulips,” most people manage to excavate some vague image of this unlikely sex symbols.

From ‘68 on through ‘70, Tim was probably the most talked about celebrity around; and while the appeal of a sexually ambiguous falsetto voiced pop star with the 23 skidoo entertainment ethic seems a mystery to most today, Tim embodied the very spirit of the underdog. There was nobody quite like Tim, and while his persona verged on downright spooky at times, there was a certain charisma about him that you just don’t find in even the most conventionally attractive mega-star. Continue reading


by John Wenz

Ahh, the 1980s. A time for walking closet cases, borderline economic collapse, mounting paranoia, questionable taste, and best of all, motherfucking metal! Perhaps nothing exemplifies the potential of the 1980s generation better than the sheer classiness of “Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter” by Iron Maiden, or “Black Metal” by Venom. C’mon, you know it, everybody now: “Lay down your soul to the gods’ rock n’ roll, BLACK METAL!” They did kick out the jams motherfuckers, becoming the spokesman of homoerotic Dungeons and Dragons head wizards who spent their evenings discussing which was better — Fates Warning or Mercyful Fate. Continue reading


By John Wenz & Courtney Snyder

Death truly does scare damn near everyone. People are always talking about “fates worse than death” but most folks would discard that as a bunch of horse shit. With age, we outgrow and shed certain concerns, always developing new fears. The elderly in particular aren’t exactly rushing toward the cradling arms of their demise. But for the broken down, the rest in death guaranteed by Christian dogma is a secret, sweet relief. In this, what many scholars have deemed the “post-Christian” era, and the deterioration of its ideals, ethics, and the very crucifixion of its mythos, the fear of no rest even in death suggested by George A. Romero’s Living Dead trilogy is especially poignant, more so than ever before. Continue reading


By Tim Storm

I say, “Fuck the chronology and making sense.” Y’know stream-of-consciousness is more my style anyway; I lack Kerouac’s proficiency at the keyboard, but I do like to drink while I type. I don’t want to do this… for one thing, I have destroyed most of the parts of my brain that deal in memory. For another, there’s the “age” factor, which seems to work something like this: Those things that once seemed really important become completely irrelevant in time. In fact, what once was may never have been, but if it was it might have gone like this: Continue reading


By Max Dropout

The basement of a Memphis church is the last place you’d expect to find Sympathy For The Record Industry proprietor Long Gone John, but it was there that I met him a little over a year ago. I was waiting in line for an afternoon showing of John Michael McCarthy’s punk rock burlesque anthology, Broad Daylight, and there he was — the stationary beacon of focus standing in the recessed light of the hallway, only feet away from me. His presence was modest and unobtrusive, and I would say unassuming, as he maintained a patient stance with arms crossed and eyes scouring the course of hipster rabble parading down the stairwell. I’d heard him referred to as both the Devil and Christ by various associates of his over the years, and his appearance was somewhere in between: interesting enough to consider devilish, but too unpretentious to regard as anything other than warm. Continue reading


By Courtney Jerk & Max Dropout

[audio:http://www.youbettershutupandlisten.com/mp3s/fear_-_ lets_have_a_war.mp3]

In the years following the massacre at Columbine High School, nobody bats an eye at the thought of metal detectors, surveillance cameras, or security guards in high schools. But in the year 1982, these measures to ensure the safety and security of a student body would have been balked at by the majority of Americans, and the idea of kids bringing knives and guns into their class rooms to settle school yard tiffs was equally ludicrous. While Mark Lester’s �Class Of 1984� (its title, a nod to Orwell) may have seemed absurd at the time, it is now regarded as nothing short of prophetic with respect to the current state of our education centers. Barring the dated fashion, this story has become honest, though initially only a farfetched work of fantasy to some at the time of its release. Continue reading


By Christina Whipsnade

[audio:http://www.youbettershutupandlisten.com/mp3s/teenage_head_-_ aint_got_no_sense.mp3]

Named after a Flamin’ Groovies record, Steeltown’s Teenage Head was created in the 70s by then-high school friends Frank Kerr (Frankie Venom) on vocals, guitarist Gord Lewis, Steve Mahon (Marshall) on bass, and drummer Nick Stipanitz. Disgusted by the disco and prog rock that were so popular at the time, they formed a garage band, practicing every Saturday morning. The band’s practices were obstructed by a neighbourhood curmudgeon, who would consistently call the police whenever the boys plugged in. The same cop would come by each week, stay for a few songs, and offer encouragement of the “keep it up!” variety. Teenage Head’s first live show would be held in their high school cafeteria, and their fellow students loved it. They were the soundtrack to many teenaged, drunken Saturday night parties. With two years of practice and school behind them, the band was ready to play out. When they moved to Toronto, the difference between them and other bands in the area was that they could actually play. Their sound was basically punked up rock n’ roll on speed, with nods to new wave and rockabilly, influenced as much by Eddie Cochrane and Gene Vincent as the New York Dolls and The Stooges. Continue reading


By Max Dropout

You turn to the black board-designated page in your text book and some wordy scenario awaits; you are immediately propelled into one of the most depressing choose-your-own-adventure scenarios you’ve yet to encounter, where as some poor work a day dolt you’re cornered by snarling by a snarling mortgage, student loans, the IRS, and general living expenses incurred by some odd number of children. They’ve hemmed you into a corner with an ocean of paint between you and the answer. You must accept the the fictitious character’s conundrum though and settle into the role, for your entire future depends on it. And once you’ve solved the problem, you turn the page, and once again a similar fate awaits your character. By the time you get to page 1008 four months later, the redundancy has pummelled you into an unconscious state of acceptance. You’ve been conditioned right out of your ambition.
But have you ever wonder though if the gifted classes’ word problems involve scenarios with higher incomes, in ground pools, and better neighborhoods? Perhaps you must fit the variable of an immigrant maid into your division problems. Continue reading