Shopping List: Books by Metalheads

Books by metalheads and punks that are not about music

‘Fancy Desserts’
Brooks Headley

I recently described this cookbook as “If you were to combine Joy of Cooking with Rollins’ Get In The Van and Rookie’s Yearbook, it might look something like this beautifully bound hard(core)cover.” It’s includes a bunch of savory dessert recipes with a bunch of tour stories (all connected to food, of course). I can’t get enough of this book. There are so many great recipes and tips for food prep.

buy it for foodies, failures, edge punks (and x-edgers), Italian grandmas
for fans of Universal Order of Armageddon, Born Against, Wrangler Brutes, Del Posto

‘Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion’
Elizabeth Cline

The one thing you will take from this: stop buying so much damn stuff. You don’t need it. We all buy too much stuff. We are all guilty. Just stop. From the history of fashion in New York to the massive piles of trashed clothes circling thrift stores, Elizabeth explores every way we can support more sustainable and ethical practices in the fashion industry.

buy it for environmentalists, fashionistas, human-rights activists
for fans of Mortals

‘Long Past Stopping’
Oran Canfield

Oran has lived more lives than all the Looney Tunes combined. It’s really hard to put this book down because you’re worried that at any moment Oran will drop dead. He literally joins a circus, drinks his first beers with cops in Mexico and sees Black Flag before making it to high school. After reading this book you will understand why his band is called Child Abuse, it’s autobiographical.

buy it for teenagers, eccentrics, addicts, self-helpers
for fans of Child Abuse, Chicken Soup For the Soul

‘Meat Is for Pussies’
John Joseph

Even though this book is directed at boneheaded men who think veganism is for the weak, I think anyone can get something out of it. If you’re worried that a plant-based diet might not provide enough protein for your fist-pumping muscles, John Joseph is here to dispel your miseducation of food.

disclaimer: i’m not a vegetarian. not even a pescetarian. but I now liberally use tumeric.

buy if for health nuts, carnivores, gym junkies
for fans of Cro-mags

Books by metalheads that ARE about music

I thank the gods of metal for these writers all the time.

Choosing Death by Albert Mudrian – It’s a classic. From Florida to Sweden, these stories are the foundation of Death Metal. Thank you Albert.

What Are You Doing Here by Laina DawesJohn Waters would describe Laina as an outsider’s outsider. She felt metal’s calling to her, she knew that there had to be other black women who felt the same passion for fast, aggressive music, and she FOUND those people.

The thing about black people is that we can be touched by anything because it seems as though we will never be able to satisfy anyone, so you might as well just be yourself. There is freedom in not following or adhering to the mold of what people expect you to be. You have to find what speaks to you.

— Laura Nicholls in What Are You Doing Here

Louder Than Hell by Katherine Turman and Jon Wiederhorn – This is not just another oral history of metal. This IS it. The stories Katherine and Wiederhorn pulled out of these maniacs are unbelievable. There is no doubt that musicians trust them for their journalistic integrity.

Books by metalheads and punks that are all about the Pictures

Murder in the Front Row by Harald Oimoen and Brian Lew – Thank god for Umlaut ( and film. This book takes you backstage to all the 80’s Bay Area thrash shows you wish you were at.

Get Shot: A Visual Diary, 1985-2012 by Martin Sorrendeguy – Over 25 years worth of beautiful pictures, representing latinos, indigenous people and a little bit of Martin’s family life. Even if you’re not a Crudos fan (which, how could you NOT be?), this is a really precious visual diary.
[already out of print, but you can try to get it Used]

My Rules by Glen E. Friedman – Fuck yeah! All the classic GEF pics and a bunch of other photos you will not believe have never been published before. And The essays will break your motherfucking heart. So much love went into this book. It’s worth every penny.

on the to-do list:
‘The Loom of Ruin’Sam McPheeters
‘Fight’Eugene S. Robinson
Punk Planet’s collection of interviews: ‘We Owe You Nothing’
and for the jersey heads: ‘No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens’

vicious cycles: poverty + prison

The following links and quotes are the types of stories I read on a daily basis. They speak volumes on poverty, privilege, the prison industrial complex, abusive authority in the police force, and overall, how people of color are locked into an institutionalized and racist system.

TripDeuces // Aug 10, 2014

I’m a firefighter in Troy, NY. These are the apartments I spend a majority of my shift in, these are the patients I take care of, the floors I kneel on doing CPR, the hallways I crawl down filled with smoke and fire. When I first got on the job; scenes like these picture made me livid. I was enraged, I wanted to blame someone. I wanted to blame them, I wanted to blame the system, the rich, the poor, the government, someone. Surely, someone had to be to blame. But as time goes on, you get used to it, you accept it. Some people are just dealt a shitty hand, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Yes, there will always be success stories of those who “broke the cycle”, but there will also always be lottery winners, too (and unfortunately, the latter is more common).

But beyond these images, and the scenes I have been a part of myself, they are not what haunts me at night. It’s what separates me from them that scares me. Like many hardworking families, my daughter depends on me working 3 side jobs on top of the fire department to take care of her, and we still only just barely scrape by. I know that if I fall off a roof at a fire, or a ceiling collapses on me, workers comp will cover my main career, but not any of my side jobs. I won’t be able to feed and clothe her. I won’t be able to put a roof over her head. So, you see, what TRULY separates the working class from abject poverty is luck. Luck that we don’t get in a car accident, or an on-the-job injury, or a week long illness. Many, many hard working American families are only one missed paycheck away from the pictures seen here. Consider that before passing judgement.

commenter on A New Way to Talk About Poverty in Troy via slate

Brenda Ann Keneally is one of my favorite photographers of all time. She covers poverty in America and it is brutal. Her book Money Power Respect shows how drug addiction and the cycle of poverty deeply affected her Bushwick, Brooklyn neighborhood in the mid to late 90s. On her website, you can see how gentrification has changed the lives of one of the subjects in her book. He was a child feeding dogs in an alley in the 90s; now he is a grown man facing addiction and poverty in a neighborhood where he is not welcome anymore.

Brenda also went back and gave us a full glimpse into Jeanette’s powerful story of crack addiction and recovery.

Cormega on the Combat Jack show. Cormega’s ‘Mega Philosphy’ is a must-listen.

In this episode they discuss having to teach their children how to act around cops. Combat Jack host Reggie Osse asks Cormega, “Did you ever think you would have to teach your kids how to act around cops?” Cormega then shared a recent situation where he was bullied by a white cop in front of his daughter.

Cormega spends a lot of time discussing the hip hop industry and the content of today’s most popular songs.

In the New Yorker’s October 6th issue
Before the Law: A boy was accused of taking a backpack. The courts took the next three years of his life.
Kalief Browder never made it to trial. He spent 3 years of his teenager life in Rikers with 600 other 16-18 year old males, waiting for a trial. 3 years of just waiting to defend himself. It should have been a maximum of 6 months, but time runs differently in the Bronx.

The Bronx courts are so clogged that when a lawyer asks for a one-week adjournment the next court date usually doesn’t happen for six weeks or more.

What killed Kenwin Garcia?

The full story behind Garcia’s death has never been told, the details never publicly disclosed by state authorities or the court system. Now, more than six years later, an NJ Advance Media investigation reveals a series of flaws and inconsistences in the official accounts of that day, which were then incorporated into a criminal investigation into the troopers’ actions that determined Garcia died of a controversial medical condition.

NJ Advance Media’s five-month review of public and confidential records found:

• Police gave differing explanations of what happened during the incident, and there are no complete, objective accounts of the events leading to Garcia’s death. The dashboard cameras in five patrol cars, including the two with the best view of what occurred, were not recording, and another was turned off during the struggle. Calls to the local 911 dispatcher were not recorded, which officials blamed on an equipment malfunction.

• Three experts on policing said the troopers’ actions toward Garcia were risky, perhaps excessive. They also said those on scene failed to heed several early warning signs that Garcia was suffering from a medical emergency and needed help, starting with his complaint that he was having trouble breathing before a confrontation occurred.

• And police records show the state’s more than five-month investigation focused on a controversial syndrome called excited delirium as the cause of Garcia’s death, a finding that was supported by two experts on the condition that state authorities hired as part of their presentation to a grand jury, which found the troopers’ use of force to be justified.

Some police experts, physicians, researchers and medical examiners say excited delirium, described as a lethal overdose of adrenaline that leads to heart or respiratory failure, is an emergency that first responders must be trained to recognize, and that officers are often wrongly accused of excessive force as a result of it.

Critics contend the syndrome — which remains rare but has increased in prevalence since a surge in cocaine use in the 1980s — is still vague and poorly understood, almost always cited after a struggle with police, and open to abuse by police agencies or prosecutors.

an introduction to Dr. Carl Hart

So that’s what I’m trying to do with the book: I’m trying to make sure people understand that there’s a case to be made for all these drugs to be legal. There’s a strong case, a compelling scientific case, to be made for it — but you can’t make the case if you’re arguing with a bunch of idiots, with people who don’t pay attention to evidence.

Dr. Carl Hart / via High Times

His book: High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society (P.S.)

Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012, according to the most recent accounts of justifiable homicide reported to the FBI.

via USA Today

I started this collection of articles in August 2014. That’s when most of these were posted. I got busy and lost track of time. But after this month, between Ferguson and NYC, I needed to revisit these stories. The majority of these articles aren’t thinkpieces based on popular opinion; they are pieces of journalism based.

+ Trayvon Martin
+ Michael Brown
+ Tamir Rice
+ Eric Garner

Extreme Woman: Michelle Suarez

this is part of a photo series i’ve been working on since 2011. it is a collection of photographs of badass women involved in metal, hardcore and the borderline metal/punk/avant-garde worlds. these are the people who make up the music scene. these are my friends.

Michelle Suarez

Meet Michelle, a ray of sunshine handed to us from the gods of punk and fun. She plays in C.R.A.S.H. and used to play in Mika Miko.

What was your first metal or punk experience?

Michelle Suarez: I was 15 when I saw my first real show. My neighborhood friend’s parents drove us to this horrible venue in the Valley to see a grindcore band, Colostomy Bag. It was so wild! The music was insanely fast, and I remember it made me feel nervous and afraid and excited. So many feelings. I instantly zero’d in on the guitar player. He had Misfits skull inlays on his guitar, which I thought was the most amazing thing in the entire world. Around the same time, I watched the videos “Another State of Mind” and “The Decline of the Western Civilization” which totally blew my mind. Alice Bag changed my life, no doubt about it.

How did you get into playing guitar?

MS: I found an acoustic guitar in my parent’s garage when I was in high school. I think I was 16. It belonged to mi abuelo, who left it behind when he moved back to Argentina. My dad taught me a scale I still don’t know the name of. I then found a random tabs book at the library with “classic” songs (like brown-eyed girl). With that I was able to learn chords, and started figuring out my favorite songs. I played along to “Wild in the Streets” by Circle Jerks at least a million times (the main part is just 2 chords, haha). Not too long after that, I started playing music for fun with my best friends in high school in their parent’s basement, which I now call Mika Miko’s incubator.

Michelle Suarez

Would you say the worst injury you’ve suffered playing a show was breaking the head of your guitar last year?

MS: Oh sure. That was the 3rd time my guitar head was cracked. Even more heartbreaking than the previous times. My guitar is still broken from that show because after each break, it gets and more more expensive to fix. To be honest, I don’t even remember what happened. It was all so fast and chaotic! And also a long time ago. But I’ve also suffered many other show injuries, not only limited to my guitar…like having PA speakers fall on me or most notably, getting electrocuted by a lamp at the Smell in front of a few people.

Do you have any tour secrets?

MS: This may be not be secret…but in touring with Mika Miko, I learned that panty liners save your underwear. I feel like the some other tour secrets I have are now super outdated or obsolete. But for real, I often wish I had heard the words “self-care” back in my touring days. Take care of yourself and take care of your band-mates. Support each other. Build that capacity. I know this is easier said than done…and it takes time to figure out but is worth the work. Hydration is key. Also, try to experience as many (free) things as possible if/when you have time. Get some tour landmarks going. For me, it looks like Powell’s in Portland. Being around a massive amount of books is soul-cleansing for me. And really, really great food places…like, Soul Vegetarian in Atlanta.

Michelle Suarez

According to instagram, your life right now is kittens and biology. What’s the end goal of school for you?

MS: Good question! The short story is that I have a lot of (academic) interests, mostly science related, art/museum related and social justice related. The long story is well, long. Ideally, I’d like to get straight to work and put all these lab skills I’ve learned in practice. I’m thinking about studying for the Biology & Chemistry GREs while looking into grad schools. I’m still trying to find that one thing I’m willing to dedicate my entire existence to for 5+ years. So far it’s looking like it will be Immunology related–the immune system, and the pathogens that evade it. Also, plant biotech is really mind-blowing. Plants are almost too beautiful.

In addition to the science stuff, I want to continue being involved in youth empowerment…specifically, LGBTQ individual and community empowerment. I’m currently a coordinator for LEGS (leadership and engagement in gender and sexuality), working with high school P.R.I.D.E. clubs, and the curriculum is developed directly from the youth and what they want to have conversations about. I cannot imagine not continuing this work. I’m also looking forward to becoming a court appointed child advocate…the foster care system (especially in LA and San Bernardino) is devastating and totally, majorly screwed up.

What music is helping you through school?

MS: Since I have started school, music comes in two forms: radio (KDAY) in my car and listening to Spotify/YouTube/iTunes playlists on my computer via headphones. I am literally glued to my laptop and spend most of my life at the library, so I would not have survived school without music.

So, iTunes stuff…looks like I’ve been listening to Poison Idea (Pure Hate on repeat a lot), Flux of Pink Indians, Divine, The Damned, Reagan Youth, the Weirdos, Pentagram, Negative Approach, Chrome, Die Kreuzen, Thrones, Ramones, Pure Hell, Stains, The Repos. Selda, Persona, Beyonce, Wu-Tang, Bone Thugs, Amebix, Replacements, Alice Bag, the Brat, Flipper, various Oi! comps. The music of my youth, basically!

Spotify stuff…so much Kanye, Oasis, Rihanna, Flying Lotus, Drake, T.I. , Rick Ross, Swell Maps, OMD, Depeche Mode, B-Movie, Motörhead, Rain Parade, Cat Power, Lana Del Rey, Lou Reed, Polvo, Grimes, Agent Orange, Swell Maps, Paramore, Saccharine Trust, Dag Nasty, and basically random songs made famous by Vine.

Michelle Suarez

4 hours to write & record new C.R.A.S.H.; when will we hear it?

MS: To be honest, I haven’t heard it since we recorded it. For some reason I believe this one will not have a quick turnaround, but I could be wrong! It’s hard to say. But feel free to email me ( for previous C.R.A.S.H. stuff or for anything, really.

C.R.A.S.H. at Mission Chinese, SF

The infamous guitar-breaking show at Westway, NYC

Mika Miko music vid

Alice Bag vid that changed my life