Talking breeders and their larvae with Minus9, driving Björk around Detroit with author Steve Hughes, putting mousetraps outside of Ann Arbor’s fairy doors, and open heart surgery in a Hamtramck bar… on episode 19 of The Saturday Six Pack

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Ok, I’m finally getting around to listening to episode 19 of The Saturday Six Pack. I’m not sure why I put it off so long. It’s actually a pretty good show… If you’d like to join me, you can either download the podcast by way of iTunes or stream it on Soundcloud. Or, if you want, you can just scroll down to end of this post, where you’ll find it embedded. Following are a few photos, courtesy of AM 1700 staff historian Kate de Fuccio, along with a few brief notes. Hopefully, when taken together, they’ll give you a pretty good sense of how things went during the broadcast.

The show started off with Andy Claydon and Steve Marton of the band Minus9, who dropped by the studio before heading across town to play their big 9th anniversary show. [Minus9 was launched on June 6, 2006, or 666.] We talked a lot about their contempt for humanity. Claydon and Marton explained how, in the past, their hatred had been too broad. Now, they said, they’re learning how to better focus their anger on specific demographic groups. Most notably, we talked at length about “breeders and their larvae,” a group that Claydon in particular seemed to have an exceptionally negative opinion of. We also played four tracks from their new release, Valley of the Sick and the Stupid. Here are Steve and Andy telling us about the “breeders,” “juice boxers,” “tourists,” “creatives,” “blog commenters,” “libertarian punx,” and “fans of Michael Patton” that they’d like to wipe from the face of the earth.

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Sadly, I couldn’t bait Claydon into talking about either Jack White or his thoughts on my recent interview with our mutual friend Pete Larson, but we did exchange our share of entertaining little jabs at one another. Speaking of which, if I had to do it again, I probably wouldn’t have given Claydon such a hard time about his age. Given that we’ve been friends for over 25 years, and that we’re roughly the same age, I don’t think it was so bad, but I suspect, for some in the listening audience, it might have come across as meanspiritted when I asked, for instance, if they’d chosen not to play live on The Saturday Six Pack becasue they no longer had energy that their chosen genre requires. [If you’ve ever seen Minus9 play live, you’d know they have no problem when it comes to summoning the anger and energy their genre requires.] Here’s Claydon looking unamused at my suggestion that parents bring their children to the Minus9 show later that evening. [Did I mention he hates kids?]

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But, as I said, the sparring went both ways… They came with an opening theme for the show, which built up to the phrase, “What the fuck does Mark Maynard know aobut partying, or anything else?” [I really liked it, by the way.]

The interview was great. I particularly liked the part where Andy became defensive when I pointed out that he lived in Normal Park, only to have him shout back, “I don’t live in Normal Park! I live in Midtown!” as though I’d just accused him of the ultimate act of punk rock sacrilege.

If you listen to nothing else this episode, be sure to catch the part where Andy, Steve and I plot to sneak into Ann Arbor some night and put mousetraps and flypaper outside their precious little fairy doors.

Perhaps trying to prove that they did in fact have the energy to play twice in one day, the guys from Minus9 didn’t leave when their interview was over, but set up their equipment and played in the background as my next guest, Hamtramck author Steve Hughes, read for us. [Steve’s interview begins at roughly the 40-minute mark, for those of you who prefer stories of drunken insanity to songs of misanthropy.] Here’s my old friend Steve, discussing how it was that we met through the mail a few decades ago, with me sending him copies of my zine (Crimewave USA) from Atlanta, and him sending me copies of his (Stupor) from New Orleans. Interestingly, it wasn’t for some time that we’d figure out that we were both Ann Arbor ex-patriots, and that his brother Greg was a actually an acquaintance of mine. [Greg, coincidentally, was playing in a band with Andy Claydon when I met him, back in about ’91. That band was The Monarchs. And Steve, as you can see below, still has a t-shirt to prove it.]

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After some talk of his efforts to grow a literary community in Hamtramck, Steve shared a few of his new poems with us. The pieces, which were inspired by drunks in his neighborhood, can be heard at the 52-minute mark. I especially liked the latter of the two, titled “The Time Cass Died,” as it contained the phrase “sad muscle of her heart,” which I thought was beautiful. [That piece is about EMTs performing open heart surgery on a regular at a Hamtramck bar, on said bar using bar straws as stents.]

Steve’s zine, Stupor, for those that aren’t familiar with it, passes itself of as a simple transcription of stories he’s collected in bars. In truth, though, there’s a lot of Steve’s writing in those pieces. He essentially takes raw material, like a sculpture would a beautiful piece of marble, and makes something beautiful out of it by overlaying his own vision. It’s a really lovely thing. With that said, though, it makes me incredibly happy to see him now taking the next step in his evolution as a writer, and moving into something more clearly his own with these poems, which he hopes to publish soon under the title “Wasted.”

Oh, and we talked about how he came to collaborate with Matthew Barney on an issue of Stupor, and how this once led to an afternoon spent driving the director’s then wife Björk around Detroit in the back of his old work truck, looking for urban gardens. [As I mentioned in the interview, I find it really fascinating that somewhere in Southwest Detroit a Mexican family is now driving around in Steve’s old truck, completely unaware that Björk once spent a day living in it.]

Then, at 1:12, Steve read a story from Stupor.

[If you want to know more about what Steve is all about, pick up a copy of his book, Stupor: A Treasury of True Stories. And, when you’re done with that, read the interview I did with him not to long ago for our Untold History of Zines series.]

At 1:17, we played a new song from Dr. Peter Larson, our only listener in Kenya. I’m not sure why, but this week’s contribution was a cappella… which I’m hoping doesn’t meant that he’s either lost his guitar or had it taken from him.

At 1:20, Marisa Dluge dropped by the studio to give us a sneak preview of her production of The Nightman Cometh: an epic tale of karate and friendship for everyone. [The show, should you want to see it, will be performed again this Friday evening at Crossroads. Tickets are $10. I saw it last Saturday, by the way, and highly recommend it.]

Here’s Dluge politely listening to my idea for a follow-up performance that she and her new troupe could sink their teeth into. [The idea would be to have people acting out a scene from Three’s Company at the Regal Beagle, unbeknownst to the patrons of the Michigan Avenue bar.] It should be noted that she had a much better idea. [She wants to mount a live action version of the cultural masterwork known as Too Many Cooks.]

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If you’d like, you can hear Dluge and the cast, who had come into the studio with her, singing the title track “Dayman” at the 1:29-mark.

And, at 1:45, Colin Moorhouse – the man who claimed in episode number two to communicate with me in my dreams – came in to tell us about a recent visit to Ypsilanti’s newest downtown dollar store, and promote the release of a new issue of the zine Ypsilanti Underground. We talked conspiracy theories, cults, and how he’d managed to die his hair green using yard clippings. [You can see his hair here.]

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And then Colin, Steve and I just talked until the beer was gone. We talked bout life in the incredibly diverse city of Hamtramck. We talked about the album that Steve is currently working on, which grew out of a request he’d gotten from a young women in Sweden who wanted to interview him about his band. [He didn’t have a band at the time, but that didn’t stop him from doing the interview.] And we talked about the challenges of staying engaged in the community and working to make things better. At some point someone called in to tell us that she’d been listening for the past two and a half hours and could only hear me speaking, which I assured her was by design. And that was when things came to close. We played a song from Steve’s newly formed band and called it a night.

AND NOW YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE WHOLE LOVELY MESS YOURSELF:

Thanks, as always, to AM 1700 for hosting the show, Brian Robb for running the board and keeping the bills paid, and Kate de Fuccio for documenting everything that happens. [All the photos above come courtesy of Kate.]

If you like this episode, check out our archive of past shows at iTunes. And do please leave a review if you have the time, OK? It’s nice to know that people are listening, and, unless you call in, that’s pretty much the only way we know.

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5 Comments

  1. kjc
    Posted June 18, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    “ann arbor ex-patriots”

    i like it.

  2. Shane Davis
    Posted June 18, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    What an episode!

  3. Steve Hughes
    Posted June 18, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    It was a blast!

  4. Rob Hess
    Posted June 18, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Andy Claydon is my favorite artist provocateur and the only human I do not hate. Except I do hate him for not putting my name in his song title, preferably somewhere between blogs and juiceboxes.

    Great show, Mark. Sorry I hate you.

  5. Posted June 19, 2015 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Everyone had an interesting experience.

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