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I’m Just The Drummer: Photography & Interviews by Bob Bert

Hozac Books is proud to present our third art book, I’m Just The Drummer the Bob Bert artist compendium of photography and interviews, establishing his irreplaceable link between the 1970s No Wave movement and contemporary noise rock. Although Bert’s immediate work is best known drumming in his wide array of musical projects he’s been involved with (such as SONIC YOUTH, PUSSY GALORE, CHROME CRANKS, LYDIA LUNCH, and many more) since the early 1980s, the focus of his book isn’t drum-centric as it is an encapsulation of the artistic world he’s developed within. It’s not a drumming instructional guide, or a critical assessment of how the drummers in bands are treated, but a 200+ page guide through Bob’s musically adventurous life, and what a ride! Starting out with his teenage love of photography and his process of capturing the underground downtown figureheads as well as the emerging unknown No Wave bands, Bob was just as much of an enthusiastic fan of music as he was a fixture in some of the most crucial music of the 1980s, 90s, and beyond. And that’s what’s really important in the long run, as his excitement for music bursts from each page, providing the springboard to his long-running life in bands on the fringe of the mainstream.

But Bob Bert wasn’t just that figure at the intersection of commonality of SEVERAL pivotal bands with an edge over the last 30 years, oh no. He also has (not surprisingly) impeccable taste in music and culture, which could only sprout forth in the 1990s with an inevitable ‘zine,’ and thus, BB Gun Magazine was born. Spanning from 1995 until 2004, and covering emerging underground music, film, and outre artists sub-underground, as well as Hollywood-level impresarios, I’m Just the Drummer contains a wealth of interview excerpts from the elusive original magazines, along with his photography accompaniment. From NANCY SINATRA to VINCENT GALLO, and from SUICIDE to CYNTHIA PLASTER CASTER, Bert’s undeniable love of his subjects is hard to conceal, and his book is a perfect representation of an ongoing life of true adventure, traveling the world, and illuminating the darkest corners of our cultural curiosities.

HZB-008
200+ pages, paperback
FIRST EDITION of 400 copies: SOLD OUT
SECOND EDITION of 400 copies: available below
ISBN: 978-0-9963319-7-5

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There Was A Light: The Cosmic History of Chris Bell and the Rise of Big Star

THERE WAS A LIGHT is an oral history containing new and archival interviews with those closest to Chris Bell and the Big Star circle: their friends, family, former bandmates—even some fans, exes, classmates and co-workers.

The varied cast of voices, many from the band’s hometown of Memphis, comprises all the members of Big Star, including: Chris Bell, the iconic Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens. In the following decades after its 1975 breakup, the obscure group somehow reached and inspired some of rock’s most important bands, including R.E.M., the Replacements, Yo La Tengo, Teenage Fanclub, Beck, and Wilco.

With Chris Bell at the center of the Big Star universe, this book carefully reveals the production of Big Star’s masterful 1972 debut LP, #1 Record, for Ardent/Stax Records. Despite stellar reviews in music magazines, the record saw abysmal sales. Soon after, toxic personality conflicts and turmoil tore Big Star apart while Bell battled drug abuse and clinical depression.

There Was A Light then delves into Big Star’s second and third albums, while recounting Bell’s second act as a struggling solo musician and devout born-again Christian. During several trips to Europe, he ambitiously recorded songs and pitched to record labels—even crossing paths with Paul McCartney. From this productive era arose Bell’s lone solo album, the posthumously released I Am the Cosmos LP—his swan song and masterpiece.

There Was A Light details the pop culture phenomenon that made Big Star legends and divulges how its staunch fanbase saved the band from obscurity.

Featured in RECORD COLLECTOR Magazine

Featured on PERFECT SOUND FOREVER

Featured on SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW

Featured in MAGNET Magazine

Featured as one of the Top Music Books of 2018 by MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL

Featured in UNDER THE RADAR Magazine

Featured on MIDNIGHT TO SIX

Featured in MEMPHIS FLYER

Featured in LANSING PULSE

Featured on DANGEROUS MINDS

Featured Interview with the author on POP DOSE

Featured in BILLBOARD Magazine

Featured on BLURT

HZB-007
400+ pages, oral history, paperback
FIRST EDITION of 500 copies: SOLD OUT
SECOND EDITION of 500 copies: SOLD OUT
ISBN: 978-0-9963319-6-8

AVAILABLE HERE from our distributor while supplies last!

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Madman’s Eye: The Art of Mac Blackout

The all-seeing Eye of Mac Blackout knows no visible boundary. After a solid 25+ years of neurotically-enthralling creativity across several media types, he finally has a book to show for all of his exciting and enduring hard work.
Around Chicago, his art has become inescapable, always peeking out from a storefront, a doorway, an alley, or one of his beloved garbage cans, his aesthetic has become an unofficial pock mark on the face of the city. But that’s only what you can see on the surface, as the tone gets darker the deeper you dig into his cadre of nightmarish delights, depicting the spectrum between twisted daydreams and fantastic exaggeration. Mac truly creates the demons you WANT around you, adding strange comfort to the mayhem and fear they would normally invoke. Madman’s Eye may be Mac Blackout’s first art book, but we’d wager it will not be his last.

As his direction has drifted across so many projects over the years, he’s gone from respected graffiti artist, into the world of fine art, and into pen & ink, collage, & multi-media painting. Not to mention his numerous world-renowned punk bands, Functional Blackouts, Daily Void, Mickey, New Rose Alliance, and his solo material with Mac Blackout Band, Mac has always been at the center of a rogue nervous system that needed to come to life on it’s own in the form of his art. The incredible resourcefulness and raw talent are impossible to ignore here, and his work is already instantly recognizable. This book epitomizes his deft ability to conquer a multitude of impressively disturbing, yet incredibly interconnected styles, along with deeper look into the Madman behind the Eye.

– Todd Novak (Hozac Books)

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I came to know Mac Blackout in 2000 at a Clone Defects show at one of the most wondrous places on earth, the long defunct Pop’s on Chicago. It was a smelly, dark, and lawless dive bar that hosted a lot of great shows around that time. Mac had just transplanted from Indianapolis to Chicago, a young, wild, and wide-eyed youth. Mac would soon form The Functional Blackouts with a couple of mutual friends, who arrived on the Chicago music scene with great timing. There was a lot going on at the time, and “Garage Rock” was becoming all the rage, and like a pack of ravenous wolves in a field of fresh meat, The Functional Blackouts tore though the scene, and left only bones in their wake. Their songs were as feral, unhinged, and vociferous as their live shows, and the flyers Mac was doing were a perfect reflection of what The Functional Blackouts were about. Mostly photocopied, mixed-media, Whiteout, marker, pen and collage, they were far beyond the lexicon of show flyers anyone was used to seeing. Their imagery was dark and cultish, and had menacing allure that demanded attention and insured attendance. They were dangerous and fun, simultaneously, ––a theme that has played out in Mac’s artwork throughout the years.

It quickly became clear that Mac is a force that could not me tamed. He is a maniac, a hurricane of creativity. As the front guy in Daily Void, then later with the beloved Mickey, and the Mac Blackout Band, Mac stands as one of the most prolific and formidable dudes around. All the while, his constant whirlwind of creative output was unrelenting. For Mac, there wasn’t this type of art, or that type of art, it was all the same to him. His brilliantly painted boomboxes are playful, neurotic, and vivid, painted with perfect execution. The detail on each unique boombox goes from hyper-real, to cartoonish and psychedelic. While the styles depicted in the art throughout his career are far-reaching, be it music, visual art, or whatever he is cooking up, his pace never seems to waver. Take his “stump toppers,” plywood, trace-cut, and painted into colorfully-twisted characters, then drilled to the top of dead tree stumps. There was a time when they were everywhere in the parkways of Chicago’s near northwest side, along with his trash paintings too. A personified, spray-painted, discarded pillow stained with years of sweat, or a discarded hamper turned it into a joyful crazy-eyed lunatic cartoon, that is now more charming and brilliant than is was as a piece of trash. To Mac Blackout, everything is art. There is no line between art and life, one without the other cannot exist on the plane in which we reside. Mac Blackout is a beacon that reminds us of that beautiful and reassuring fact.

– Brett Cross (Hozac Books)

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“The Faces, shapes, lips, eyes and ears! “Classic looking work, a timeless outsider hero, deranged and prolific.” “Very few can do this in such mad variety, colossal, chaotic, color for a new psychedelic age!”
– TIMMY VULGAR (Clone Defects, Human Eye, Timmy’s Organism)

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CHECK OUT the Mac Blackout official site to buy original art right here

CHECK OUT a Mac Blackout feature on The Culture Trip right here

CHECK OUT a Mac Blackout feature on Columbia College’s In The Loop right here

CHECK OUT a Mac Blackout feature in THE CHICAGO READER right here

HZB-006
1st edition of 300
240 Pages, Full color monograph
ISBN: 978-0-9963319-4-4

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Shipping December 8th, 2017

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Four Strings, Phony Proof, and 300 45s – by Sal Maida

HoZac Books is proud to present Four Strings, Phony Proof, and 300 45s, written by Sal Maida, one of the most interesting 1970s rock figures you just don’t know enough about. As a member of TWO such integral and ground-breaking 70s bands, ROXY MUSIC and SPARKS, not to mention NYC glam/power pop impresarios MILK ’N COOKIES, as well as studio work with the RUNAWAYS and Robert Calvert’s post-Hawkwind solo material, it’s no secret that Maida was in the right place at the right time, more times than we can count. His first book is presented here for the first time, along with his stash of personal UNPUBLISHED/UNSEEN photographs (including meeting Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Mick Jagger in 1969) on his first of many trips to the UK in the late 1960s, as well as many bands he witnessed in their embryonic states just as the monumental shift in music was taking place at the end of the psychedelic era. From his intricately-detailed stories about growing up in Little Italy’s protected confines, and his far-ahead-of-the-curve craze for record “collecting” before that was even a concept, this book takes you on a ride through Martin Scorsese’s mob territory (they grew up only a few blocks apart) and how it’s inescapable soundtrack influenced him deeply, as well as the unbeaten paths deep within the music-obsessed trenches we all love so well.

Sal Maida’s laid-back personality and his dextrous musical adaptability ensured he’d be in high demand once his chops were in place, and Four Strings, Phony Proof, and 300 45s solidifies his incredible knack for catching a rare opportunity every time it came across his path. His stories are nothing short of fascinating glimpses into a far-gone era, even to those of us with extensive piles of punk history books will rejoice at hearing. Watching a young, pre-X Exene Cervenka and “punk groupie” Farrah Fawcett Minor getting kicked out a Rick Derringer show in early 1977, which led to them becoming close friends and roommates, or Tom Waits getting into a fight with a cop in Sal’s defense in an LA diner, or seeing David Bowie perform an acoustic set with Mick Ronson in 1971 to a small room of people, it all has to be read to be believed, as well as all the other incredibly eye-opening tales contained therein.

Maida just happened to be in so many places when so many historic events transpired it will quickly make the reader green with envy. Maida’s amazing experiences straddled the line between mainstream 60s pop music, 70s proto-punk, and early New Wave like few others have, and he’s still luckily at it today, even recently touring with the likes of Mary Weiss of the SHANGRI-LAS, who personally wrote the back cover blurb on this book. Four Strings, Phony Proof, and 300 45s is the key to those lost tales of rock’n roll adventure, and we are very excited to finally share it with you, not to mention the last section of the book where Sal meticulously lists his 300 essential 45rpm singles, all with riveting footnotes sure to send you into a obsessive frenzy.

Foreword by Lenny Kaye

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“Sal Maida – even the name sounded glamorous and exotic to a spotty and gauche teenager from the London suburbs obsessed with all things glam rock.  With his noble mane, Granny Takes A Trip stage clothes, his blue Rickenbacker bass, his thunderous sound and…more than anything – he was in Roxy Music. And then he was in Milk N’ Cookies. And then he was in Sparks. The list goes on and on.”
PHILIP KING, (Jesus and Mary Chain / LUSH / The Servants)

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“Sal Maida is the real deal. Sal and I were born five months apart, so our history in music and our love of music go back a very long time. We are both from New York, born and bred. I was truly impressed to hear that Sal is writing a book about his adventures in the music industry. I toured with Sal in the U.S. and in Europe in 2007 and 2008, for my solo tour of the Dangerous Game album. It is a great pleasure to be on the road with Sal anytime.

One of my favorite images is of 6’-6” Sal crammed into an airplane seat for eight hours smiling and grooving to the music in his head phones. He always appears comfortable, even if he may be far from it. I consider that an art form in itself. When everyone else is getting stressed out from things going wrong on tour, he always manages to take it all with a grain of salt, a smile, and a kind word, which always made me calm the hell down.

War stories from the music business are always interesting to me, but when they come from someone who is such a fine musician, decent human being and never seemed to buy into his own P.R., it becomes real.

Sal Maida has lived and breathed music much of his life, now we get a peek inside the reality of that life. I did not know Sal in the sixties but it would have been a pleasure to work with him when my own group was on the road and traveling the world. I am sure we have seen many of the same concerts, and have met many of the same people.

Sal is an excellent musician, he also happens to be one of the nicest people I have ever met within the music industry. I consider him and his wife Lisa great friends.

Tell it like it is- Sal…”
MARY WEISS, (The Shangri-Las)

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“Sal Maida should have replaced Bill Wyman in the Rolling Stones”
KIM FOWLEY

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CHECK OUT AN EXCERPT from the book as featured on VICE/NOISEY right here

Featured In ROLLING STONE’S Best of 2017 Books

Featured on SkeletonPete.com

Interview with the author on Mark H. Stevens’ blog

STREAM The SAL MAIDA ‘300 45s’ playlist HERE


HZB-005
180 pages
SECOND edition of 400 copies AVAILABLE NOW
ISBN: 978-0-9963319-4-4

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ORDER HERE:

1st edition SOLD OUT:
2nd edition (Shipping January 2018) available HERE:

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JAGUAR RIDE: Memoir of an electric eel – by Brian McMahon

The electric eels have left a serious scar on the face of music like few other originals have so far, a complex yet primitive pulsation of audio animosity shot through the universe right at the exact moment when nobody could comprehend it. Chicago may be the Midwest hub population-wise, but we all know that Ohio was Punk’s true Mesopotamia, and nothing spells that out more succinctly as the electric eels.

Founding guitarist Brian McMahon’s long-awaited memoir of his wild proto-punk days is finally here, the first-ever book covering the primordial ooze of Cleveland’s wiry mutants in all their prickly-detailed glory. Over the course of 300 pages, you can really crawl inside the brain of one of America’s finest overlooked musical miscreants, a fascinating glimpse into the vivid details and sickening dreams of one half of the songwriting contribution to the electric eels demented noise. To be so ahead of their time with so little to lose, now just the utterance of their name holds instant reverence with the punk cognoscenti, but that took a while. Once the meat of their recordings was unearthed and had time to circulate, now everyone is tripping over themselves to drool at their feet, and rightfully so.

Jaguar Ride: Memoir of an electric eel taps into the once impenetrable inner space of life around this ground-breaking “band” quite effortlessly. Like the eye of the universe opening up just enough for your weary legs to slip past and dangle in it’s toxic waters, McMahon leads us through his haziest experiences with incredible recollections of what it felt like to stand at the edge of the cliff of possibilities. The electric eels were true originals that streaked across time and space for a very short amount of time in the early-to-mid 1970s, creating nothing short of atonal atrocities glistening with punk promise. Deranged Rust Belt pop songs blanched in chemical waste and chopped mercilessly with a broken food processor and left for dead, only to be rediscovered when the coast was clear for cultures so noxiously curdled to finally thrive. Now that experience is finally here in book form for you to absorb and indulge, and as the mysteries of the eels go many layers deep, fear not and embody their pioneering spirit, finally in print.

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“While NYC s(t)inks in mommy n daddys tru$t fund and LA continues to snort coke off a Hollywood Blvd streetwalker’z lifeless boob, the voice of real American rock n roll EXPERIENCE palpitates thru the streets of CLE, be it the punk love of the Pagans or the hashish scarab ink of the 60s mimeo poets bopping around Asphodel bookstore. Brian McMahon LIVED this scene and now here’s his keyhole. Stick it in!”
Thurston Moore, (Sonic Youth/Ecstatic Peace Records)

“Brian McMahon’s insanely detailed narrative of the gestation and weird expansion of the Cleveland sub-underground music scene is both an everyman’s tale of growing up weird in the suburban ’60s and an essential chunk of secret cultural history. Amazing stuff.”
Byron Coley, (Forced Exposure, No Wave New York)

“Jaw-dropping musical epiphanies are rare & life-changing enough that they’re impossible to cleanse. When I heard the Electric Eels’ “Agitated” for the first time, an entire cosmos of pre-punk crudity opened, and I gleefully leapt in. The Eels’ surviving recordings were and remain the most unhinged and beautifully damaged relics of the mid-1970s rocknroll wastelands, and I wasted no time trying to foist these knuckle-dragging art terrorists on everyone I knew. Brian McMahon has done current and future scholars a great service by beaming us back to 1960s-70s Ohio, and to the conditions that ripened him to help inflict some of the most transcendent & raw ear-bleed ever known onto mankind.”
Jay Hinman, (Dynamite Hemorrhage)

“The enduring influence of Cleveland freaks on the international music underground is exemplified in the case of the Electric Eels. These exceptional musicians watched psychedelic expansion hit a wall in the early 1970’s, and responded with a glorious bad trip ecstasy, dealing agitation and repetition of blunt and crude sounds, infantile imagery, obnoxious and hysterical vocals, a presence of disorientation and violent insanity. Their cult is growing, and this memoir by cult leader Brian McMahon provides a view of life before during and after being an Electric Eel. Jaguar Ride reads manic, crackling with sharp observations. The stories are street stories, American 70’s street stories, illegal and free stories, stories of a band that pushed boundaries with malicious intent and written in this spirit, as if Lou Reed’s fantasy of collaborating with Raymond Chandler came to light. ”
Dan Stewart (Distort Magazine, Total Control, UV Race)

THE WIRE Magazine review:

Feature/Interview With McMahon on NOISEY:

UNDER THE RADAR review:

CHICAGO READER feature/interview:

BLOG TO COMM review:

CLEVELAND.COM feature/interview:

HZB-004
300 pages softcover
1st edition of 500 copies
with FREE PROMO POSTER (while supplies last)
ISBN: 978-0-9963319-2-0

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DENIM DELINQUENT

Hold on folks, HOZAC BOOKS has unleashed another edition: the DENIM DELINQUENT 1971-76 fanzine compendium has RISEN and will be shipping shortly. As one of the rarest home made publications of the nascent DIY and proto-punk tornado looming on the horizon in the early 1970s, this ground-breaking and undeniably PUNK magazine encapsulates the innocence and excitement of running your own ship, and draws a clear outline of where underground music journalism needed to go during a time when all kinds of styles crashed together with sickening and shocking results. DENIM DELINQUENT is your ticket on that ride, a hard rock trip down a far out tunnel, or a proto-punk prognosis, you decide.

We are very excited to present to you, the first-ever official DENIM DELINQUENT fanzine compendium, the legendary monolithic bastion of proto-punk journalism. Quite possibly the equivalent of the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ of modern punk fanaticism, and one of the rarest self-produced publications to emerge from the pre-DIY years of the early 1970s. It’s such a shame how few sets of eyes have seen these primitive pieces in real life, and that’s why it was nothing short of prerequisite to forge this book into reality, which will undoubtedly set the clock back a few years on the standard “punk” timeline. We couldn’t be happier to see the free-form intertwining of heavy rock, proto-punk, and primitive power pop represented with such unbridled enthusiasm, in a time before it was compartmentalized, commodified, and repackaged for the suburban teen market. DENIM DELINQUENT is a true gem of unadulterated punk amateurism, condensed into an incredibly hard-edged slice of the early 70s you can immerse yourself in without pretense or punditry, a true pioneer of the underground press culture right at time in rock history where anything was possible, and the open-ended creativity ran wild.

As they say, some of the most far ahead-of-its time music came from this early-mid ’70s era, and as the rest of the music world sat idly by and waited to be spoon-fed their mellow mediocrity, some real adventurous wild rockers were right there lapping it up as it was happening in real-time, and the founder/editor/publisher Jim Parrett just so happened to fit this profile. Scientists and physicists can keep toiling away at trying to build time machines, but for us, there’s no better vehicle for slipping into another time and place than when you are flipping through the pages of underground magazines like DENIM DELINQUENT. The band illustrations are miniature masterpieces, and the writing is highly infectious, as any good fanzine should be- 100% driven by genuine excitement and a bleeding desire to SPREAD THE WORD. Happening across original copies of the magazine would be instant recognition of museum pieces, so we’re proud to present this North American cultural artifact complete with all of the rough edges intact, and with that irresistible and unmistakable excitement literally bleeding off the edges of each page.

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The handover of rock’n’roll from the ‘60s to the ‘70s was not an easy one. Some little goofs hung on to the monumental cultural shifts begun by the Beatles with a fervor that defied reason. Sure, the music and culture of the pre-punk ‘70s had its spectacular moments, but too often even those seem to have been riding the last monster wave of the raw excitement, unexpected greatness, and explosive fun of the decade that preceded them. With the dawning of the new decade, rock writers had come into their own, fashioning an industry that catered to their particular tastes. These scribes were first and foremost readers and writers; lyrics to them were the holy grail. In most cases that frustrated those of us who had grown up celebrating the thing that makes rock’n’roll the greatest—guitars levitating to the max, outrageous musical turns and miscues, endless humor, and most of all… fun, fun, fun. What we wanted to know is how does it feel, not the existential meaning of “…kick out the jams, motherfucker!” Anybody who had grown up in the ‘60s already knew the answer to that. In essence, much of the rock press had become an incestuous clique, tone deaf to everything that made rock’n’roll great. Into this vacuum of rock’n’roll writing, fanatics had to do something. So they did what all rock bands have done for themselves—make their own, and hope someone picks up on it.

Like many other rockers of this era, Mark A. Jones and myself—both of Ottawa—decided to bring back some of the admittedly amateurish glee of the music that helped kick start our lives. Beginning as a local rag unsure of what it was, DENIM DELINQUENT piled on the amateur, having a ball, never stopping to think or reason. It was all a blur of beer and pot, nights of headphones turned to max, air guitars out the wazoo and the desperate outreach to others who were doing the same thing. Thanks in large part to Bomp!’s phenom Greg Shaw, others were reaching out with fanzines of their own, fueled by an uncompromising love of rock’n’roll. It was through Bomp! that dozens of zines were publicized and a loose network of like-minded individuals could finally find others on the same crooked path. What you have in your hands is one such fanzine, caught between the juggernaut of the British Invasion and the rebellious glee of punk. Laugh all you will at the youthful bravado, the amateurish execution, the innocent exploration. These zines were dedicated to one thing, celebrating the thing that made our rock’n’roll lives eminently livable—that brief, indescribable moment where rock’n’roll could really save one’s soul. Don’t judge the contents of this compendium too harshly folks, it was done out of love and commitment… and a whole lot of idiocy.

—Jim “Jymn” Parrett (founder/publisher)

HZB-003
200+ pages softcover
1st edition of 300 copies SOLD OUT – April 2016
2nd edition of 300: SOLD OUT – July 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9963319-2-0

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Dare To Be Stupid – The Poster Art of Ryan Duggan & Drug Factory Press

Dare To Be Stupid is the long-awaited and first-ever collection of Ryan Duggan at Drug Factory Press’ poster art from 2006-2014. Duggan uses a style that creates an instant reaction, whether it be disgust, elation, or a little of both, each and every design he’s cranked out is instantly identifiable and locks into a good place in your mind, even before you can process the “garbage-in, garbage-out” aesthetic that so warmly graces his creative work. As an artist employed by several music venues across the Chicagoland area, as well as having his designs featured at Michelin Star-rated restaurant/inn Longman & Eagle, Duggan’s work is ripe with snark, presented in a rudimentary starkness and ambiguity so effortless, it’s become an institution in a short amount of time, and we couldn’t be more excited to get his first book out into the world, and most importantly, into your hands.

Lavish illustrated posters featuring the likes of

Thee Oh Sees, The Black Lips, The Effigies, Cheater Slicks, TV Ghost, Running, The Melvins, Obits, Fake Limbs, Guided By Voices, The Sueves, Heavy Times, Tight Phantomz, Nones, Vivian Girls, Mikal Cronin, Ty Segall, Netherfriends, Bleach Party, High On Fire, Pissed Jeans, Radar Eyes,

and many more!

About The Author:
I learned the basics of screenprinting in highschool from a man who insisted on being called ZIM who would absolutely loose his shit if you called ink “paint.” To this day I cringe when people use the wrong term, expecting ZIM to jump on a table and scream.

It was a ‘graphics’ class that taught the basics of apparel printing, running a small offset press, and other forms of applied arts. It’s sad that less and less schools offer classes like this or wood shop, metal shop, etc. Fine art is pretty and all, but the ugly arts are more fun.
Fast forward five years through an ill-chosen, yet formative college education centred on advertising copywriting and you find me living in Chicago’s then-cheap neighborhood of Logan Square. During this time I befriended bands like Maps & Atlases and Russian Circles. I also started meeting like-minded artists and printers like Alex Valentine, Josh Davis, and Kyle Reynolds. People began asking me to design posters and at a certain point I thought, “Shit, I used to print–I can figure this out.”
For the first part of 2006 I lived in a two- bedroom apartment with Shiraz Dada of Maps & Atlases and began to delve back into printing. My setup here was truly the most ridiculous.

To expose a screen I would take all the clothing out of my closet (the only light-fast room in the house) and coat a screen in there. Once dry I would expose it using two small flourescent black lights suspended above the screen by two strips of wood placed on two kitchen chairs. Printing was done hinge-less on a drafting table and all wash out occured in our bathtub. Screens would inevitably clog within a few uses and I would stretch new mesh on the frames because I didn’t own a pressure washer (or much common sense). When people started asking what the name
of my operation was I settled on Drug Factory because my setup was more akin to a meth lab than an art studio.

In the fall of that year myself and three friends rented a storefront on Milwaukee Avenue with the intent of opening an underground music venue/ art exhibition space. In the brief two years we were there we hosted bands like Japanther, Matt & Kim, The Arrivals, The Repos, The Death Set, Dan Deacon, DD/MM/YYYY, Pit er Pat, Sweet Cobra, and countless others. Having this space also allowed me to build out a slightly more functional print setup in the basement. I still didn’t know what I was doing, but I had more room.

By the end of the summer in 2008 I decided I wanted to have a bathroom used by less than 200 people a week. I moved into a nearby coach house that had a half-finished attic space that could be my printing area and darkroom (4). Unlike the basement it had natural light and I didn’t have to worry about flooding or the god damned rats. Other than still washing out screens in my bathtub I was finally approaching a legitamate studio.
I was also getting more poster work than ever. It was nowhere near enough to live off of but it was starting to turn into much more than a hobby. The years in the coach house (2008– 2012) were really formative for me. I started doing larger editions, experimenting with color blending, and in general fucking up less paper. Somewhere in there I built a website and made business cards (3) (prior to the website I actually had a Drug Factory stamp with my phone number on it, haha).

In 2012 the studio and I moved into a house in the Chicago neighborhood of Avondale. It was here that I finally got a pressure washer and a proper washout booth (1). This development improved my practice and life exponentially. A year into this era I had so much work coming in I decided to take the leap and quit my day job. If this book sells really well and gets reprinted I’ll update this section to let everyone know how rich I got.

HZB-002
120 Pages Softcover
Full color
ISBN 978-0-9963319-0-6

1st edition of 300 copies SOLD OUT

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Noise In My Head: Voices From the Ugly Australian Underground

by Jimi Kritzler

The Ugly Australian Underground documents the music, songwriting, aesthetics and struggles of fifty of Australia’s most innovative and significant bands and artists currently at the creative peak of their careers.

The book provides a rare insight into the critically heralded cult music scene in Australia. The author, Jimi Kritzler, is both a journalist and a musician, and is personally connected to the musicians he interviews through his involvement in this music subculture. The interviews are extremely personal and reveal much more than any interview granted to street press or blogs. They deal with not only the music and songwriting processes of each band, but in some circumstances their struggles with drugs, involvement in crime and the death of band members.

The book is complimented by previously unpublished photographs of all bands interviewed. The Australian underground scene in the last five years has been heralded not only in Australia but also in Europe, and particularly in America. Known as the ‘Australian Invasion,’ many of the bands interviewed in this book have received a great deal of hype and press in America, with many of the bands signing to American record labels. Bands featured in the book, such as The Drones, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Royal Headache, Uv Race, Circle Pit, HTRK, Lost Animal, Oren Ambarchi, Total Control, Witch Hats, Deaf Wish, Blank Realm, New War, Holy Balm, Fabulous Diamonds, The Garbage and The Flowers, Straight Arrows, xNoBBQx, Naked on the Vague, Kitchen’s Floor and My Disco are all on American record labels, and have toured America at least once. Eddy Current Suppression Ring even lent their song ‘Memory Lane’ to an American telecommunications company advertisement, which was played repeatedly during the Super Bowl. While that may indicate the influence of the band in America at the more mainstream end of the spectrum, at the other end, Eddy Current Suppression Ring are a culturally significant and revered underground band, who play to thousands of people at any given show.

The bands in this book have dedicated fan bases in both Australia and America that recognize that this crop of bands are the most creatively important in the Australian music scene today. These are the bands that will be remembered in twenty years for having created seminal records. Already, The Drones and Eddy Current Suppression Ring have been named in The 100 Best Australian Albums.

The Author:
Jimi Kritzler graduated from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Journalism Degree and an Honours Degree in Journalism from Queensland University of Technology. In the past he was a feature writer, reviewer and contributor to Vice Magazine, The Courier-Mail Newspaper (News Ltd, QLD), Time Off Magazine and New York’s ‘SUP Magazine. He currently plays in White Hex with Tara Green and lives in Brunswick, Melbourne

500 Pages Softcover
HZB-001
1st edition of 500 copies
ISBN 978-1-922129-35-2

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A Mixtape by Jimi Kritzler by The Thousands on Mixcloud

>>Check out Noise In My Head on Facebook

>>Check out a review from The Saturday Paper

>>Check out a review from Desktop: The Culture of Design magazine

>>Check out feature on The Thousands

>>Check out an interview on HERO magazine

>>Check out a feature on VICE/Noisey

>>Check out an interview with author Jimi Kritzler on Music.au

>>Check out a review in Time Out Melbourne

>>Check out an interview with author Jimi Kritzler in Oyster Magazine

>>Check out a mixtape from author Jimi Kritzler on The Thousands

>>Check out a photo sets from the Melbourne book launch here and >>HERE

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AVAILABLE IN AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND and UK via Melbourne Books
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