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Flippy’s Story

aka Flipper, the Flipster, Little Flip Flips, Flip-a-Roni, etc., etc.

Well, it’s been six months since we lost Kitty, and we are still financially and emotionally reeling from that, and I was supposed to write about Flippy while she was still alive. At this moment she is, but in few hours she will not be. I guess I was just too busy and didn’t think it was urgent. In April, she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, but was doing fine, purring right along through it all. But two days ago, something happened seemingly unrelated to her kidney disease – we don’t know what – something perhaps with the CNS – but she isn’t getting better and no one seems to think she will.

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Kitty McKitterson, Esq.

Kitty McKitterson, Esq. on the job.

Kitty McKitterson, Esq. on the job.

I had this idea that I would write Flippy’s story, and I’d probably call it “Flippy’s Story.” Flippy is a cat, I think. She didn’t die. And I didn’t want to wait for her to die to write about her. I didn’t want to write a eulogy for anyone. If something alive is awesome, you don’t need to wait until it’s dead to tell everyone else. So I figured I’d write about Flippy, and then I’d do a follow up about Kitty and their various interactions. I was working out “Flippy’s Story” in my head and had about a month’s worth of other stuff to do. I was hoping to update sooner, but just ended up waiting to hear from people or for them to finish things, so instead of some interview or field story, I’d just write about the cats.

Then the worst few days of my life happened and I end up writing a eulogy. But not about Flippy, the weirdo cat with the health problems, but about Kitty McKitterson, Esq., the cat that would live forever, or at least five, or shit, even ten more years.

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Interview With Avi Spivak


This interview was previously published in the SOLD OUT December 2012 issue of Maximum Rocknroll. For a .pdf, click above.

Avi is in the Bay Area this week with his new work Sadistic As Hell. You can (and should) see these at Down At Lulu’s.


You might not know Avi Spivak, but youd probably recognize his artwork from record covers, flyers, and magazines. Or you might know him as the mastermind behind the excellent comic zine Human Being Lawnmower or the illustrator of an amazing collection of stories from Norton Records known as Kicksville Confidential. Or perhaps he was just the nerd that sat next to you in elementary school who was always getting yelled at for his incessant doodling. If you like rock and roll and/or comics, then I humbly suggest you familiarize yourself with his work. And if you dont like rock and roll, you should go die.

MRR: Before Human Being Lawnmower, your comics were published in other magazines. What made you decide to do your own zine? Why did you choose a print outlet over a digital one?

Avi Spivak: Screw was my first ever “professional” gig. I met the editors one night at CBGB’s and showed them my sketchbook and they invited me to the office. I figured I might be able to convince them to run some dirty gag strips, so in the next week or so I banged out about eight or ten samples to bring over. Turns out they weren’t very good and that this kind of humor wasn’t really a good fit for me. So when I showed them they suggested I take a crack at doing a cover instead, which was great since it paid much better and it was a real thrill to be able to go to the sleaziest newsstands in New York City and see my art amongst all the vile smut. . They were a real relic from a much seedier era in the City’s history. I did two covers for them and then they went out of business later in the year.  It’s a shame really, and every now and then I’ll be drawing and come up with some sick idea that only would’ve worked in Screw. I’ve also contributed comics to John Holmstrom’s relaunched Punk magazine, Sweden’s now defunct Denimzine, and currently for Ugly Things, and every once in a while I’ll land a job doing illustrations for some “straight” magazines but not as much as I’d like. It’s really a terrible time to try to work in publishing.

I started Human Being Lawnmower mainly as an excuse to get my own work out there, and also at a time when I was a bit more enthusiastic about writing about the music that I was into, so it seemed like a natural thing to combine the two. Fanzines were an important source for finding out about cool stuff when I was a kid, I didn’t know about the internet yet, and it seemed like there wasn’t too much stuff like that around anymore—fan based stuff where you could write and say whatever you wanted and about anything you wanted. To me, having something in print to hold and touch will always be infinitely superior to the latest in digital technology. The internet is an incredible resource and it’s certainly made everything much more connected, but it’s really two different things. Maybe it has something to do with the collector aspect of it, but also as an artist there is nothing better than seeing your work reproduced the way it’s supposed to be.


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Short installments from the desert

I first visited the desert as a teenager, but I have little memory of it other than OHVs and hallucinating that I had made up my entire life.


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Should I Buy A Dell?

The short answer is no. No way. Sure, there will be those of you that say, “Oh, but I’ve never had a problem with them,” but you are few and far between. And as for the rest of us that have had problems, we’ve likely had enough that we could give some to you and still have plenty of our own.

The long answer is found below.

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Midnite Snaxxx Interview

INTER-Midnite Snaxx_Page_1

This interview was previously published in the August 2011 issue of Maximum Rocknroll. For a .pdf, click above.

The ladies of Midnite Snaxxx are no strangers to rock and roll, boasting members from The Loudmouths, The Bobbyteens, The Trashwomen, Primativas and Lateenos, to name a few. They hail from Oakland, California, and if you don’t catch them here you might be able to see them in some select cities this summer. I recommend it. I had the privilege to yap with them over salami and cheeses and fancy beer, and found out all of the answers to important questions about food, cats, drinks, drinking and dudes. I got tired of typing “(laughter)” or “hahaha,” so just imagine a laugh track playing throughout.

Renee: Are we gonna talk about cats?


MRR: Um, yeah! Why wouldn’t we talk about cats?

Renee: I’m just making sure.


MRR: Did you learn stuff about your cat so you could talk about it?

Renee: I know a lot of stuff about the cat.


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Field Work, Installment 1

This begins with a perhaps unnecessary, rather long, somewhat boring intro that explains how and why I went out on these various escapades. Feel free to skip ahead to the escapades themselves.

Getting a PhD was not a childhood dream. In fact, I don’t think I even knew what one was until I was maybe 20 or so. Early on, however, I was interested in biology, particularly animals and evolution. We always had animals growing up, and I grew up near a national park, so these things probably foddered my interest. Additionally, my grandfather was an avid birder, and he and my grandmother would spend their winters birding in Texas. I remember him showing me pictures in bird books and telling me about the various birds they’d encountered on their trips. My sister, who used to be older than me but now turns 25 every year, wanted to be a paleontologist from birth and perhaps even conception, so I was introduced to dinosaurs and fossils early on.

This is me at age 2, mesmerized by birds (and probably by my grandfather’s swank jammies). Notice the “Woodsies” on the couch. Little chipmunk-like critters that lived in a little plush log. Pretty much my favorite toy at that time.

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Apache Dropout interview

This interview was previously published in the May 2012 issue of Maximum Rocknroll. For a .pdf, click above.

The Apache Dropout LP was one of my top ten favorite records of 2011. I played it every day for a few months, sometimes multiple times in a row, and I still play it often…it’s just that goddamned good. I got to see them play in Berkeley, CA at perhaps one of the most poorly attended shows I’ve ever been to, but still it was really good. I didn’t interview them then. Two members visited the state for several months to learn about agriculture in California. I didn’t interview them then either. Not officially anyway – though I tend to ask questions when I talk to people as though every conversation is an interview. Eventually they left and we realized that we should have interviewed them while they were here…oh, well, thanks internet!


SCC: Does your name come from the Edgar Broughton Band single? Do you care for the other band called Apache Dropout? Did their name come from the same place? Have people ever come to your shows expecting the other Apache Dropout?

Seth: Yes. The name comes from the Edgar Broughton Band song. I’ve never met the UK band by the same name. I’m sure they’re fine people. Personally can’t really get into their sound, though. Nobody has ever come to see us and told us they were expecting the other band. I did hear that the Pandora website doesn’t’ know the difference.

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feedtime interview

feedtime at Bottom of the Hill, SF, SS10, May 2011. Photo By Icki.

This interview was “conducted” in May of 2011. I never thought I’d get to see feedtime once, but I got to see them TWICE as they came back in March 2012…the interview had still not been published by this time, but not for lack of trying. Maybe people think it sucks. I think it’s ok…even after nearly two years. To make it available to the masses, I’ve made this blog. So, one and a half years later, it sees the light of day. Woo.

     We all do dumb things when we drink, like the time I was standing near Rob and said, “I wonder if anyone has interviewed feedtime while they’re here.” This prompted Rob to say, “You should do it…you should totally do it!” And then Rick from feedtime walks by and I slur something like, “Hey, has anyone interviewed you since you’ve been here?”


     “Will you be at the show (SS-10: Day 3) tomorrow?”


     “Can I do it then?”


     I’m no interviewer. It takes me forever to transcribe anything because I hate the sound of my nasally squeak of a voice. Aside from that I’m not even an expert on feedtime. I like their music and lived in Australia for nine months…great – I’m qualified. I guess I just like doing things I haven’t done before, which might explain why I have so many degrees and so few jobs (a year and a half later I still do not have a job). I went home and typed up a few guideline questions and fell asleep with my mouth gaping so I could snore extra loud. 

     At the SS Record Swap I began getting kind of nervous (which was good because the sweaty sheen and mildew odor camouflaged me well amongst the record collector dudes). “What if I can’t hear them? What if they say all of this great shit and I forgot to push record? Or I spill beer on the recorder? Or they yell at me?” I kind of started hoping they weren’t going to show up, even though I knew Tom would be drumming for Three Toed Sloth in a few hours. There they were. Then, and ONLY then, does Rick mention that Vice had already interviewed them*. Great. Perfect. I decide to proceed anyway because I knew I would ask the pertinent questions burning in everyone’s minds…like which Australian animal is their favorite, and had any of them ever been to the Pilbara? To find answers to these fascinating questions, read on. And don’t ever stand near Rob**.

*Rick says that I was the first person to interview all three of them together in person.

 **Actually I’m glad I stood next to Rob because he made me write about Cave City, I get to hang out with Chikn, Waffles and Bonni, and I get to exchange periodic emails with Rick.


Rick: So they give it [beer] to you in your own glass?

SCC: It’s Belgian! With Belgian beer they always do that! I only like really expensive beer or really shitty beer…I don’t like anything in between.

Tom and Rick: So what you’re saying we got…

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