2017 Year Enders

Matty Hollander Year Ender

by

Culture is not your friend

        – Terence Mckenna

Last winter was the first winter in my life that I was not in the boston area. It was amazing! Fuck the Boston winter, right?!

Now that I’m back, I hear everyone complaining about the winter once again. I tell myself, “I was gone for a year, I can handle this shit.” Wait though- it’s ok now, but it’s only december and it has only just begun…. Good thing we have some stuff to help us through these dark winter times!

 

Here are some favorite things I have seen, read, listened to and experienced this past year. Note: if you have never been out of boston for a whole winter, I highly recommend you do so! Sell all your crap and get out! Screw your responsibility, it’s totally worth it!

  1. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO

James Baldwin was amazing! An incredible person, a writer, a thinker, a role model, a voice, a leader, a presence and so much more. This film is a great introduction to his work, his story, his role and perspective in the fight to end white supremacy, racism and the fight for freedom and civil rights. This film is a must see. After I saw the film I read No Name In The Street which I highly recommend. Its gives an amazing uncompromising view into our world and the struggle of growing up black in the usa. Also check out James Baldwin’s many interviews on youtube.  

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO imdb

James Baldwin interview at Hampshire college 1984

  1. Liquids – More Thana Friend

The liquids are a sick rocking punk band from northwest Indiana. Their members are in so many bands including the great punk devo esque band The Coneheads. Their music is lofi, super catchy, rock and roll punk that gets me everytime. Liquids have been putting out so many tapes and EPs over the last few years and this 7” is up there with the Best! You will be singing along every time you put this record on!

  1. bell hooks

I have been meaning to read bell hooks for years. Don’t know why I have put off looking for some of her books but I’m so happy I have finally started. Bell hooks has been doing amazing, thought provoking work since the late 70’s. Her books are incredible with topics on feminism, racism, class, love, violence, spirituality, white supremacy, teaching, the media, politics, and the intersection of all these topic. Before I read any of bell hooks’ work I found many online talks and discussions she has done at various universities and organizations. You will be mesmerized by bell’s ideas, voice and the way she teaches and spreads ideas with a critical, loving compassion.

 

These links are from a series of talks bell gave during her residency at St. Norbert College in 2017. “Education Liberates”   “Feminist Future: Mutual Dialog” I spent hours this summer weeding and harvesting on a farm in Moab, Utah listening to her. I was voracious to hear her voice and find a new talk that I hadn’t listened to. Good thing there are hours of her speeches on youtube and numerous books to explore! I am currently reading bells book All About Love. It’s amazing, a must-read!  

  1. Narcoestado and Ausencia split 7”

Here are 2 wonderful bands: Narcoestado, from Mexico City, and Ausencia, from L. A. I had the privilege of seeing Narcoestado and becoming friends with the drummer in Mexico City this year! I loved both bands’ previous material and when I found out they were doing a split I was super excited! Both bands play very catchy spanish language punk that makes you want to dance and sing along. Narcoestado translates to “narco state,” a name that is dangerous in itself to have in Mexico. It is a political and economic term applied to states where policies are seen to collude and cooperate with the illegal drug trade. The drug war has touched the members of the band and many many people in mexico, latin america and all over the world. We up here in the u.s.a. need to take responsibility for our major part in the drug war and all the death and destruction it causes. If you want to learn more about the drug war and its effects, the drummer of Narcoestado recommended me the book DRUG WAR CAPITALISM by Dawn Paley. Ausencia’s second EP Cuantas Vidas? Narcoestatdo from the split with Ausencia    

Photo of Narcoestado that I took at a show in Mexico City with Malcría  Tercer Mundo  Mujercitos who are all kick ass bands you should check out!

  1. Lemonade – Pink EP

This is one of my favorite 7”s ever! I’m so sad to hear that Lemonade is not a band any longer 🙁

Lemonade is driving frantic hardore punk from Minneapolis. Catchy great jangly guitar work and interesting song structure to help stand out in this day and age. The singer belts out in snotty frantic rhythms that make me want to dance and go nuts. I really wish I could have seen them live! Their one and only 7” is not to be missed. I want a Lemonade t-shirt!!  

 

  1. Kzmu radio – Operation Punk Subversion

I am so lucky that during my stay in Moab, Utah I got to be a part of KZMU Moab Community Radio!

KZMU’s mission statement is “to inform, educate, engage, entertain and delight.” They do all this and so much more!

I met my long-time friend Sock while touring back in 2004. Sock, originally from Michigan, moved out to Moab a few years ago. Thanks to him I got to volunteer on a farm that he had worked on as well and also be a part of his radio show Operation Punk Subversion on KZMU. Being on the radio as a DJ has always been a dream of mine. Unfortunately, radio is close to dying and the only way I could play what I want to play would be on community or internet radio. I will have to continue this in the future because it’s the best! It’s definitely not a thing to get into for the money; just like punk rock, the less money the better. Money and corporate control destroyed most radio but luckily community and some college radio has kept radio alive!

 

KZMU is grassroots, all volunteer run and the variety and eclecticness of the station is amazing. Even if i didn’t like the style of music almost every song on the station was wonderful. I even listened to a christmas show (and I HATE christmas music) and every song was great.

 

I got to work with Sock on the Operation Punk Subversion show every monday night from 9 to 11pm and also got to do my own soul funk show called Fantastic Planet Soul: Enter The Funk. It was some of the best times of my life sitting up in the radio booth alone or with Sock blasting my favorite tunes over the real airwaves and on the internet.. unforgettable!

 

Another awesome community radio station is WFMU New Jersey. We should be listening to and supporting the few community radio stations left around the country. They really are a major part of the community and a place where voices can be heard. Get at me If you know of community radio stations in new england that needs DJs, I want to be a part!

 

  1. B.E.N. – Boston Entheogenic Network

A few years ago I went to Peru to work with the hallucinogenic plant medicine called ayahuasca, to help me with my depression. I have used psychedelics for fun and exploration and more recently as medicine to deal with my depression, anxiety and ideas about life. As myself and many others are finding out, these substances can be helpful tools for a person dealing with psychological, physical and existential issues.

 

When I got back from Peru I was needing help with integration. Integration is the most important part of working with psychedelic medicine. You can learn so much from these medicines but when you’re back in the “real” world the hardest part is putting what you have learned into practice in your everyday life. These medicines are NOT a magic cure-all pill; the process requires lots of hard work and discipline integrating the lessons into everyday life.

 

I decided to start a group where I could find like-minded people who are doing this type of work or are interested in psychedelics, consciousness, meditation, politics, etc. It was slow to start. I made a facebook group and put flyers around under the name The boston area radical consciousness and psychedelic meetup group. A long name, I know. Long story short is I did this group for a year met a few people but decide to go traveling and put the group on hold. While I was away a social worker and herbalist I met while starting this group asked me if he could use the facebook page and continue the group with a new name. I said sure! The group became BEN: The Boston Entheogenic Network.

 

You might ask, “what does entheogenic mean?” Here is the wikipedia. An entheogen, meaning “seeing the god within,” is basically another name for a psychedelic or something that gives one a transcendental experience.

 

So as I was gone this group grew and grew and started to take hold in the real world having philosophy discussions, integrations circles, psychedelic storytelling events, monthly meetings and other events. It’s incredible to see something grow from the little seed I planted a year before to this huge organism that is fruiting more than I could have ever imagined. I still can’t believe the group has turned and developed into a real community. What started as just one person looking to “find the others” grew into a community of teachers, therapists, scientists, students, psychonauts, hippies, seekers, people dealing with addiction, musicians, mothers, fathers, and people overcoming great odds to find and work with and talk about these illegal substances and help themselves grow heal and learn so much in the process. It’s a beautiful thing to help make a community like this grow and blossom.

 

The purpose of BEN as stated on the FB page is “to collaborate on projects that investigate, educate, and celebrate the use of entheogenic experiences in the modern world for the social benefits of public health, human rights, and activism. In this group we have events and talk about consciousness, plant medicines, meditation, radical politics, psychedelics, art, wellness, sustainability, integration, empathy, mutual aid, the future and the now.”

 

If you’re interested come find us or contact me! Also there is a BEN psychedelic movie night at the Dorchester art project January 4th, come check it out! Here is a great interview with Leia Friedman, one of the founders of BEN, talking about BEN and some of its principles and goals. I couldn’t have said it better than Leia!

Here is the first flyer I made for BEN’s precursor group:

 

This picture was taken at my first BEN event I attended this past September, A Trip to the Past: Boston’s Psychedelic History. This was a 3-day event around psychedelics and Harvard University and the early research that went on there in the 50’s and 60’s. Pictured here is Rick Doblin, the founder of MAPS (The multidisciplinary association for psychedelic studies). MAPS is conducting a large portion of the legal FDA research with psychedelics and entheogens for medical use to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, and lots more. Amazing that I got to meet him at the event!

    

Other stuff to check out:

Testa dura – Italian / California hc/punk sounds like old classic 80s italian hardcore, my favorite

Criaturas – Awesome Spanish language hardcore punk band from texas

La Vida Es Un Mus – Amazing punk record label from Spain; everything they put out is fire

Woolf – Cool interesting queer anarcho punk band from the UK

Cloudrat – Metal, harcore, grind, punk and more band that got me back into the heavier side of punk. Their whole catalog is amazing!

Elle – “TRIGGER WARNING this film deals with sexual assault” This film technically came out in 2016 but I saw it in the theatre in 2017. Elle is a thought provoking film and Isabelle Huppert is amazing! Elle on imdb

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