Excellent

LITTLE ORPHAN ANI

TYLENOL TALENT

STUPID BLOODY STUPID!

Interview

All the News That Didn't Fit

On the Record

The Olympia Connection, Or Lack Thereof

Excellent

The Numbness Is Just a Bonus

Hiphop City

WEEN ARE THE WORLD

Soul by the Pound

EXCELLENT REAL ROCK QUOTES

Incest is Best

The Rise and Fall of the N-Word

DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say, Tell the Truth Anyway

You Don't Own Me

Summer Lovin'

Stagger Lee

Music to Lose Your Job By

Boy, You Sure Can Take the Fun Out of Music

CINEMATIC CLICHE

Stuart Braithwaite From Mogwai

Going to New York City?

THE CHURCH OF COLTRANE

A Whole N'other Level

Who Says Morrissey Fans Don't Get Laid?

ISSA ROCKA ROLL

Not Modest Enough

It was 1993, and I was 13 when all of my friends in Olympia went punk, forsaking all other music for Fugazi (the sell-outs) and Minor Threat (the purists). Everyone's hair vanished beneath bad dye jobs, spikes suddenly grew from their clothes, and safety pins sprouted from their flesh. This was better than Nirvana, this was dangerous! I had to get in on this action, make myself over. My first stop: the library. I stole their copy of Never Mind The Bollocks, but a friend stole it from me before I could listen to it. The only other album I could find which conjured up visions of "cred" was the Buzzcocks' Love Bites.

The tape entered my Walkman and I laid back, safe in my headphones. The music was weirdly familiar, like it was made with me specifically in mind. This wasn't punk I had to pretend to like; they weren't hiding lack of skills behind speed and noise. This was pop too perfect to be more than three minutes long.

Yes, the lead singer's voice was faggy, and his pronouns were gender-neutral. He's just British, I told myself. I wasn't embarrassed. The Buzzcocks were a solitary utopia, a fellow bedroom cowboy's house in another time and place for me to rest in. The album was damp with repressed adolescent sexuality. The songs were all projections of a future less stifling than the present. Listening to Love Bites was entering an adolescent stasis where no emotion was shameful and no expression was too camp. I was free. There was no pretense and no posturing. This was the antithesis of the Olympia punk world.

I played my acquisition for my friends, thinking they might respect its obscurity and seminal date of birth (1977, the year that punk broke), but they just laughed, called it faggot music. It got turned off after the second song and replaced with more Minor Threat. I stopped speaking to them. For the rest of 1993, the Buzzcocks were my best friends.