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Here's Five: Suckdog

Here's Five: Suckdog

Monday 1st August, 2016 12:49PM

American underground artist Lisa Crystal Carver will be playing her first ever New Zealand shows this week with the latest incarnation of her musical outlet Suckdog, who both elated and terrified audiences from 1987 to 1998 with a mixture of pop, punk and opera. During this chaotic carnival-fuelled time, Carver also launched her influential zine Rollerderby, an explicit and unabashedly feminist publication that found its way into the hands of young women around the globe - quickly becoming a cult publication and the centrepiece of many a zine collection. One of those avid collectors was Liz Mathews of Hex - who are supporting Suckdog at their Wellington show on Wednesday night. In anticipation of the Suckdog shows, Liz shared some fond memories of being a teenager and discovering Lisa Carver's work from all the way down here at the bottom of the earth ...

1. The Flying Cats Of The Stars
At the tender age of 16, (in pre internet 1996) one of my penpals visited me for the school holidays. She had brought some CDs back from a trip to America with her parents. I dunno what she asked for at the counter but she bought SUCKDOG, The GTOs and The Fakes. Suckdog sounded like some American teenage girls who made cassette recordings at home of their imaginary violent worlds and somehow we had got hold of it! Me and my bandmates were already writing creepy horrors about bloated monsters who wore tiny bells around their waists and making cassettes of our interviews with them, so Suckdog came at the perfect time! Shortly after we made a rock band that everyone at our school hated! This song is called 'The Flying Cats of the Stars!'

2. Your Dragon
Suckdog resurfaced again when I was 19 and visiting another penpal turned girlfriend, this time in Dunedin. Emma and her friends had fanzines made by Lisa Suckdog!! WHAT! They were funny and smart and uncensored. Rollerderby is one of the best fanzines ever. Lisa has a way of writing that draws you right into her world where anything can happen. Lisa sees the possibilities for fun where ever she looks! We made a special issue of my fanzine Flying Fox inspired by Rollerderby where we hitchhiked through Gore to Invercargill to write a deep fry cookbook at another penpal's house! Then the Dunedin girls started a band named after a Suckdog song "MURDERING MONSTERS" I couldn't find a copy of that song online but 'Your Dragon' is etched into my teenage brain forever!

3. Brontes In The Attic

Lisa's fanzine, Rollerderby, featured remembered stories from women of the weird things we used to do as little girls. These stories are embarrassing! And this was the first time I'd ever read anyone else's. I was initiated into a religious cult in primary school where we would eat sacred bark from a triangle of trees that made a secret corner next to a broken brown fence at our school. We would kneel down and chant made up (but meaningful) words to the trees and I didn't know what we were supposed to be doing but I just copied my friend. This song 'Brontes in the Attic' is Lisa and her friend Helen humming along to a wind up music box for 5 minutes.

4. Watching - a short film by Lisa and friends.

"I like to watch people watching". This is a good example of making your jokes into concepts and then realities.

5. Yoko Ono Reconsiders: An Interview with Lisa Carver

Lisa Carver also wrote a book about Yoko Ono! It's called Reconsidering Yoko Ono. I have not read this book yet. I couldn't believe it was happening when this popped up on my Amazon page!! Two of my favourite artists schmooshed up in one book, yay! Here's an interview about it.

Suckdog with Terminal Infant

Tuesday 2nd August, Whammy, Auckland w/ File Folder + Ragged Veins
Wednesday 3rd August, Pyramid Club, Wellington w/ Hex

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Wed 3rd Aug
Pyramid Club, Wellington

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