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Upper Extremities #32: Emotional Rescue

Chris Stamm's punk column wallows in it.


I planned to write about the Walls/White Wards/Hunting Party show happening at the Alleyway Thursday night. It’s going be a shattering show, and I think you should attend. But I wrote about rowdy stuff last week, and I don’t want this space to shrink to the point that it only admits the extremely loud and incredibly fast. So I decided to put down a few words about three new or new-ish albums ...   More
Thursday, March 29, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #31: On Keeping it Real

upper extremities

There is no “real”, of course. No scripture a punk band must abide. No sound or style of such undeniable purity that all other punk stuff must kneel before it. But there are bands, tendencies, aesthetic choices that tickle the teenage part of me that once believed there was a Platonic punk ideal, a perfect mohawk and a perfect patched jacket and a perfect band name and a perfect I-give-not-one...   More
Friday, March 23, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

21 Jump Street

Cloudy with a chance of balls.

Movie Reviews & Stories
Having never seen the TV show this sophomoric comedy plunders, I can offer neither reassurances nor warnings to anyone who reveres the series that launched Johnny Depp. However, I’m betting th   More
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #30: Batmen Q&A


I’ve listened to the four songs on Batmen’s 2010 demo hundreds of times since getting hipped to this mysterious (to me) Portland band early last year. During the months it took to log those hundreds of listens, I checked in on Batmen’s Facebook page once in a while to scope the scene, hoping for an update about new material, upcoming shows, t-shirts, head colds, whatever. But nope—nothing....   More
Friday, March 9, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Cut of the Day: Mean Jeans, "Anybody Out There?"


Mean Jeans on Mars, the much-anticipated (in these parts, at least) follow-up to 2009’s Are You Serious?, comes out on April 17 via Dirtnap Records, and if there’s any sense left in this mad, mad world, the thirteen ludicrously perfect pop-punk anthems contained within will be stuck on the tips of too many tongues to count come April 18. The album title doesn’t lie. These Port...   More
Monday, March 5, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #29: Reatard Edition

upper extremities

[This post was originally mistakenly credited under the name Casey Jarman. Chris Stamm is the author of this and of all the Upper Extremities columns.]
I wrote a short review of Better Than Something: Jay Reatard, which chronicles the life and work of the one and only Jay Reatard, in this week’s paper. You can    More
Thursday, March 1, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #28: Punk Blues

Chris Stamm's punk column gets seasonal depression.


How are you feeling? Yeah, I know. Late February is rough. I’m right there with you. The queasy realization that warm joy is still many deadly months away has dawned in all of its baleful glory. That sad circuit from bed to work to bar and back to bed seems longer and swampier every day. You’ve probably developed a baroque self-flagellation routine in order to punish the dumb body and brain th...   More
Friday, February 24, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities 27: Oly Sounds

Chris Stamm's Punk Column Visits Olympia


My knowledge of Olympia, Washington as a place where people live and work and drink and screw is limited to scraps of stale gossip tossed to and fro at Portland parties populated by people who graduated from the ever-accepting Evergreen State College at the turn of this century. So I’m pretty sure I know who Phil Elverum farted on that one time at a Mirah show, and I’m almost positive one of t...   More
Thursday, February 16, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #26: From the Back of the Room Documentary (Q&A)


In the low-key and conversational documentary From the Back of the Room, which screens at the Know on February 11, director Amy Oden gathers interviews with dozens of punk artists (musicians, writers, photographers, zinesters) to fashion a brief oral history of female involvement in various punk and hardcore scenes of the last twenty years. As a fairly cynical and cloistered writer who to...   More
Thursday, February 9, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

Upper Extremities #25: Dirtnap Records Does it Again...and Again...and Again

Chris Stamm's Punk Column Still has a Crush


Portland’s Dirtnap Records is one of the world’s most reliable curators of the kind of punk that makes me want to go back in time and give my teenage self a hug and tell him everything’s gonna be okay because life’s gonna keep being difficult but the pop-punk in the future will be even better than the stuff that’s helping you cope now, so don’t be afraid little guy, because the bitters...   More
Thursday, February 2, 2012 by CHRIS STAMM

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