AdHoc Issue 16 is here! Download a PDF of the zine at this link, and look out for physical copies both at our shows and at record stores, bookstores, coffee shops, and community centers throughout the city. (Those of you outside New York City can order a copy here as well.)
The American underground broke into mainstream awareness as 2016 drew to a close, but not for the reasons we would have hoped. On December 4, a gunman walked into Comet Ping Pong, a D.C. pizza restaurant and vital art and music venue, searching for child sex slaves. Comet and its employees had already been the target of online and phone-based harassment for weeks as a result of the Pizzagate conspiracy, in which Reddit and Voat users alleged that John Podesta and Hillary Clinton were involved in a sex-trafficking ring based out of the restaurant, among others. Though the gunman didn’t harm anyone, his actions demonstrated the perils of post-truthist rumor-mongering in a very real, very frightening way. In this issue, Comet regulars and D.C.-based punk band Priests discuss—in addition to their label, Sister Polygon, and their debut LP, Nothing Feels Natural—their real-life brush with Pizzagate, and the threats progressive artistic communities are facing from the far-right.
Just the day before the Comet incident, those of us on the East Coast had awoken to news of a horrifying fire at Oakland DIY venue the Ghost Ship. Cash Askew, who played guitar in the dreamy sounding rock duo Them Are Us Too, was among the fire’s 36 victims; here, her bandmate and friend Kennedy Ashlyn remembers Askew’s inimitable strength and spirit. A month after her death, it’s still impossible to reckon with what happened, not to mention the chilling feeling that this could have happened to us. One of the numerous after-effects of the fire has been an unfair critique of electronic music and DIY practices in the mainstream media, and an ensuing nationwide crackdown on DIY spaces, eliminating safe spaces for people who often don’t have anywhere else to go. Even when displaced, artists in these communities will keep going—but paying tribute to the creative spirit of people like Cash Askew and of artist-run venues all over the country feels more urgent than ever.
* * *
AdHoc Issue 17's contributors:
Stef Chura is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Detroit whose debut album, Messes, is being released on January 27 via Urinal Cake Records. She interviewed the band Priests for this issue.
Kennedy Ashlyn sings and plays keys for the band Them Are Us Too. In this issue, she remembers her beloved bandmate and friend Cash Askew, who passed away in the Oakland warehouse fire of December 2016.
Jordan Reyes is a nomadic writer who currently pays rent in Minnesota; he plays industrial music as Taphophile and runs Moniker Records alongside Robert Manis. In this issue, Lee Ranaldo told Jordan about his favorite acoustic guitar.
Lee Ranaldo is a musician, composer, visual artist, writer, producer, and a founding member of the band Sonic Youth. He spoke about his experience with Gurian guitars in this issue.
Samuel Nigrosh is a Chicago-based illustrator who publishes books and comix under the name Trash City. He made the illustrations for this issue.
Daniele Daniele is a real renaissance woman. She lives in Washington, D.C. and performs with Priests and Gauche. She designed and hand-painted the cover of this month’s zine.