Layla Gibbon, previously in UK riot grrrl band Skinned Teen (“Skinned Teen, Skinned Teen, yeah yeah yeah! Skinned Teen, Skinned Teen, yeah yeah yeah!”) is the latest co-ordinator at Maximum Rock and Roll, and she posts her columns from the magazine in a blog: whatwewantisfree.blogspot.com.
Her bullet pointed, stream of consciousness-type monthly musings are entertaining reading while also acting like yr cooler older sibling who keeps throwing their records your way, encouraging you to research further and work it out yrself. But at the same time I sometimes find her commentary to be dishearteningly cynical and pessimistic, which perhaps it’s cos I’m a dewy eyed New Zealander who has just moved to London and wants to be excited about the underground scene here etc, and she seems to take a pretty dim view of her old country of residence. Regardless, I’ve read most of her blogs during my lunch breaks at work, and I guess it’s pretty healthy if you disagree with someone’s opinion, cos it gets the old brain juices working. And there’s totally stuff she has written that resonates with me, for example, this from one of her posts:“....I had a life crisis about what a deadbeat I am and how fruitless my life is, and ultimately decided that it’s ok to care more about getting the Church Police 7” than wearing a three hundred dollar organic cotton dress to a party at a beach house where gentle trance music plays as people smoke and discuss wine and the stock exchange and child care options. It’s not like I am puking up Sparks in a 7/11 parking lot, I mean I read Celine, listen to King Tubby and drink green tea! Sophisticated like a Flipper song on your headphones whilst walking out to the ocean for the endlessly endless time. Not needing anything else.
4-Thinking about getting a germs tattoo at age 30. What we do is secret. SECRET!”...
I’m turning 30 this year, life crises ahoy…