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45 Minutes Of Revolution #2

45 Minutes Of Revolution #2 cover01 – Rumours Of War – Declaration Of War (d) – From the ‘Sloganeering’ EP (‘pay what you want’ download from his Bandcamp page).

02 – Abrazos – We Pretend To Work Because They Pretend To Pay Us (d) – From the ‘Belligerent And Numerous’ EP (‘pay what you want’ download from their Bandcamp page).

03 – Scum Of Toytown – Jackboot Crusade (c) – From the ‘Strike’ CD.

04 – Doom – Fahrenheit 451 (d) – From the ‘A New World In Our Heart’ anti-fascist benefit download (no longer available).

05 – Bad Affair – Dear Mansplainers (d) – From the 2019 demo (‘pay what you want’ download from their Bandcamp page).

06 – Decide Today – Necessary Assassination (c) – Taken from the ‘You Got A Fist, They Got A Face’ CDEP (download also available from his Bandcamp page).

07 – Genogeist – Mind Vessel (d) – From the 2018 demo (‘pay what you want’ download available from their Bandcamp page).

08 – Worst Witch – Last Song Of Man (d) – From the ‘Toil And Trouble’ LP (hard copies and ‘pay what you want’ download available from their Bandcamp page).

09 – Hellkrusher – Absolute Brutality (c) – From the ‘Human Misery’ album (physical copies available via the band’s Facebook page or download from Ruin Nation’s Bandcamp page).

10 – Molisma – By Any Means (d) – From the ‘Tainted Mass’ (‘pay what you want download from their Bandcamp page).

11 – No Pulse – Wrench (ft. Dean from Regret) (d) – From the 2019 demo (‘pay what you want’ download from their Bandcamp page).

12 – Orphanage Named Earth – Holy Hate (d) – From the ‘Re-evolve’ LP (physical copies and download available from their Bandcamp page).

13 – Versus – Just Another Riot Song (d) – From the ‘crescendo’ LP (free download from their Bandcamp page).

14 – Storm of Sedition – Arm Your Desires (d) – From the ‘Decivilise’ LP (buy vinyl from Profane Existence or ‘pay what you want’ download from the band’s Bandcamp page).

15 – Regret – There’s No Happy Endings (d) – From ‘A Place Called Home’ EP (physical 7″ and ‘pay what you want’ download from their Bandcamp page).

(c=compact disc, d=download, f=flexi, v=vinyl)

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Hallo There… How’s Life?

45 Minutes Of Revolution logoAfter taking a little (ahem) time out to get on with other things, I’m back with a fresh attitude.

First things first, I’ll no longer be uploading complete rips of my music collection and all of the old download posts have been deleted. There are various reasons, but it mostly comes down to time and commitment. Sorry about that.

On the other hand, I plan on making this blog more like a proper zine. I’ll continue with reviews, interviews, vegan recipes, and shooting my mouth off. One or two other things may also find there way onto these pages.

And the biggest change? Well, I’ve decided to start doing a regularish music mix made up of tracks from my own stuff and releases from t’internets. It’s called ’45 Minutes Of Revolution’ and aims to recreate an old-fashioned tape comp. It’ll all fit onto one side of a C90 tape and there are no track breaks, so you’ll have to fast forward the digital version to find your favourite tunes just like the old days. For all of you young people, a comp tape is like a podcast without any of the annoying talking.

So without further ado, here’s the first one, along with all the info you need to get the full punk rock mix tape experience.

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45 Minutes Of Revolution #1 cover01 – Dog On A Rope – DIY (c) – From the ‘Only Stupid Bastards Don’t Like DIY’ benefit for the 1in12 Club.

02 – Chaos UK – Police Protection (v) – From the ‘Studio Outtakes’ 7″.

03 – Anarcrust – Don’t Believe The Lies They Tell (v) – From the ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’ 2×7″ comp.

04 – Subordinate – Rust (c) – From the ‘To See Their Demise’ CDEP (download from Bandcamp).

05 – Kuru – This Blood (v) – From the ‘Breed’ 7″.

06 – State Funeral – Between Punk Rock And A Hardcore Place (v) – From the ‘Protest Music’ 7″ (listen on Bandcamp).

07 – Crass – Rival Tribal Rebel Revel (f) – From the ‘Rival Tribal Rebel Revel’ single-sided flexidisc.

08 – The Shame – The World Is Ours (v) – From the ‘The World Is Ours’ 7″.

09 – Dead City Riot – Die Hipster Scum (c) – From the ‘Die Hipster Scum Vol. 1’ CDEP (Listen / buy on their Bandcamp page).

10 – Moscow Death Brigade – Anne Frank Army Pt. II (c) – From the ‘Boltcutter’ CD (buy from Fire And Flames Music, listen on Spotify, mp3 version available from the major downloaders).

11 – Bulletridden – Oppenheimer Dreams (v) – From the ‘Air Attack / Stricken From The Record’ split 7″ with Hellkrusher (buy vinyl from Hellkrusher’s Bandcamp page).

12 – Warbastard – Black Bloc (d) – From the ‘Blood On Your Hands’ album (available as digital or tape from their Bandcamp page).

13 – Zetkin – Trenches (d) – From the ‘Vanguard’ EP (available in digital or vinyl from their Bandcamp page).

14 – The Filaments – The Verge (c) – from the ‘Look To The Skies’ album (available as digital, vinyl, or CD, from their Bandcamp page).

15 – Brain Anguish – Smells Like Middle-Aged Angst (d) – demo track (available from their Bandcamp page).

(c=compact disc, d=download, f=flexi, v=vinyl)

DIY Tofu Press

I take no credit for having ‘invented’ this, but it’s so simple to do that it would be daft not to share. The acrylic sheets cost £3.50 from eBay (including the postage) and the bolts and wingnuts about the same from a local shop. It took a couple of minutes to put together and will save endless amounts of future faffing about with hand-squeezing, improvised weights and kitchen roll. Well worth the ‘effort’.

Ingredients:

2 x 6mm acrylic sheet, around A5 size (210x148mm)
4 x 8x100mm bolts with matching wingnuts (washers optional)

Drill four 8mm diameter holes in each corner of the acrylic sheets, around 20mm in from the edges. Put a washer on each bolt then put the bolts through the corner holes. Screw on the wingnuts. Done.

To use, simply put your tofu* between the sheets and lightly tighten up the wingnuts until it’s held in position. Put the press on its edge on a plate and give the wingnuts a twist or two every minute or so until the tofu offers up a fair bit of resistance but doesn’t split, then leave for another few minutes to drain completely.

That’s it.

*For extra-chewy / absorbent tofu, freeze it first then allow to defrost before pressing.

DIY tofu press

First They Came For The Anarchists…

Proud To Stand With The Enemy Within

Squirty Dotters

Dirty Squatters coverIt’s been a while in the making, but the “Dirty Squatters Compilation: Music For The Homeless” project is now ready and available for download. Featuring two CDs worth of music, one full of punk / hardcore / crust / grind and the other with ska / dub / folk / spoken word, there should be plenty for every revolutionary spirit to enjoy.

The comp is dedicated to the memory of Gary DS (2000 Dirty Squatters etc.) and the family and friends who were tragically killed with him in a car crash in 2011. Gary and the band were stalwarts of the punk / squat scene and are fondly remembered by this old punk.

The minimum donation is £3 per disc, from which two quid goes to the two groups being supported (Punk 4 The Homeless and Squatters’ Action For Secure Homes) and the other quid towards the physical release of the comps, with any extra donations going straight to the homelessness projects. Once enough money has been raised for the pressing, you’ll also get the hard copy sent to you too (of course, this depends on enough people buying the download in the first place).

There are some mighty fine artists contributing to this, and the folks behind it have put in a lot of work to get to this point. You shouldn’t really need to think twice about clicking the download links. So don’t waste brain power, just do it.

Download part 1
Download part 2

It’s The End Of The XP World As We Know It (And I Feel Fucking Brilliant)

For anyone who, like me, is still using Windows XP (because my PC is pretty old and XP works great on it), support from Microsoft will end on April 8th next year. From that point on, there will be NO more security updates issued. Your system will be open to any hacker who decides to take an interest. Software developers are also less likely to keep developing / updating XP versions of their programs.

For many people, the new Microsoft ‘alternative’, Windows 8, is no alternative at all. If you’ve got an older machine, you’ve got little to no chance of getting it to run. It also looks like crap as far as I’m concerned.

But there is another alternative which you’ve probably heard of if you’ve hung around geeky anarcho types, which is also free and open source (FOSS). It’s called Linux.

In the past, Linux would’ve been a tricky proposition for the average computer user. Not any more. The latest versions (a.k.a. distros) include several (fairly) user-friendly alternatives. If you’ve ever installed / upgraded Windows, you should have no problem with them. These distros allow you to create what’s known as a live DVD. Simply burn the .iso file you’ve downloaded on to DVD, restart your PC with the disc in the tray and then try it out. You’ll also be able to make sure that things like your wifi and printers work OK (and, if they don’t, Googling the problem may well get you an answer).

If you like the version, simpy follow the instructions to install it from the disc, usually nothing harder than double-clicking a desktop icon and filling in a bit of info. And if, after installing it, you later decide you don’t like it, uninstalling is about as easy as inserting a new live DVD and repeating the above process (although you may want to learn about formatting and partitioning your hard drive – it’s not as scary as it sounds and ultimately worth getting to grips with anyway).

I’ve been trying a few Linux distros over the last week, to see what works best for me and my machine. I was pretty impressed with Linux Mint,and it’s definitely worth giving a go. The main version of Mint is based on a Linux operating system called Ubuntu. Ubuntu is stable and, like Mint, has a well-established development team. The main ‘drawback’ for beginners is that, when an update is released, the update process can appear a little daunting. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it looks, and there is a very good guide on the Mint site.

The Mint team have also produced a version that is based on the Debian operating system (which also has a well-established development base). Mint Debian offers a simpler updating method – stable updates are released around every 6 months then installed automatically using the Update Manager program included. But I get the impression the Mint developer community is much smaller for this version, although still pretty good.

Mint has been around for a while and it seems likely that it will continue that way, making it a good choice if you want a long-term option for your operating system.

However, if you’re a bit adventurous (and you’re a punk, so that’s a given), I’d also suggest giving SolydX or SolydK a go (the ‘X’ and ‘K’ refers to the two desktop environment options, Xcfe and KDE, available – see note below). Solyd is based on Debian, but the Solyd developer team release monthly updates that have been tested by them for stability and security. After running Solyd for a few days I’ve fallen in love with it, so much so that I’ve removed Windows XP completely from my PC.

Solyd is the new(ish) kid on the block and there’s always a chance it could falter before it really gets going. However, the people involved have a good pedigree, having previously worked on the Mint team, and I’m hoping that it comes to more people’s attention so that the developer / user base grows because I’m selfish like that.

Of course, for the price of a DVD and a bit of time, you can try out as many Linux flavours as you fancy. It’s even pretty simple to install several different distros on your hard drive (e.g. you could have a simple version for everyday PC tasks, and a specialist multi-media one (like KXStudio or AVLinux) if you’re a musical / arty type, so you can go with whatever mood takes you).

Old punks learning new tricks. Take that, society!

Note: the different desktop environments offered as downloads (Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, Xfce etc.) mainly affect the default software packages that are installed, how heavy they are on your hardware and the look and feel of the desktop. Some (e.g. Cinnamon) work best on newer machines, while others (e.g. LXDE) will breathe new life into an old desktop.

Urban Jungle #3

Loads of these little chap(esse)s are bouncing all around the garden right now, despite the spawn taking a fair amount of punishment during the cold snap in early spring. Frogs like to eat slugs, which is great news for any gardener (but not so good for the slug).

Froglet

Punk Rocks, Bread Rolls

Having finally got a fully functioning full-sized oven for the first time in years, I’ve returned to breadmaking and baking with a vengeance.

Making your own bread is pretty quick and pretty easy, and most of the actual time involved is spent waiting around (drinking tea, smoking, listening to punk rock, that kind of waiting around). I can knock up a loaf of bread in less time than it would take me to walk to the shops to buy one. And I can customise it to suit my particular fancy of the day.

This is a ciderfied adaptation of a beery bread recipe I came across years ago. The end result is a roll with a nice crust, a soft and chewy inside and a slightly herby sweet-sharp flavour.

Cider Rolls
Makes 8

500g seedy grainy bread flour (the one I use is 20% seeds and grains)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried sage
A grind or two of black pepper
2 tsp fast-action (instant) yeast
Around 300ml vegan cider (a fruity medium dry is ideal)
1 tbs sunflower oil plus a bit more for the kneading
1 tbs malt extract

Mix the flour, salt, sage and pepper together in a large bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast and mix again. Add the tablespoon of sunflower oil and briefly stir through, then make a well in the centre of the flour.

Pour in about half of the cider and add the malt extract. Use a spoon to start to bring the mix together then get your hand in there and start squidging it together properly. Add more cider until there’s no dry mix left and it’s formed a ball. The dough needs to be soft but not too sticky.

Now to knead the dough. Describing how to knead would be a bit long-winded. Luckily there are a couple of great vids with instructions on the BBC website, one that describes using oil instead of flour to stop the dough sticking to your worktop (sunflower oil is fine for this mix), and one that goes through the ‘how to’ basics. Using these methods, get kneading. You need to be fairly lively about it if you want to get great bread, so don’t slack! I find this dough takes around 8 mins to get there, but your mileage may vary.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces of roughly equal size and shape into roundish roll-shaped balls. Put onto a lightly oiled tray or unoiled silicone baking sheet, roughly equidistant apart, and cover with a piece of lightly oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm room until doubled in size (around 2 hours in my house).

Heat the oven to 220°C, placing a metal tray in the bottom. Remove the clingfilm and place the rolls on the middle shelf. Pour half a cup of water into the metal tray and quickly close the oven door – the water produces steam which makes the rolls go crusty. Bake for 10 mins, reduce heat to 200°C and bake for another 10 mins. They should be now lovely and brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Great with something smoky and pickled inside (some sort of vegan ‘bacon’, salad and Branston is about as good as a bread roll gets) or with a bowl of my smoky cider casserole. In the last pic, I used some piri piri hummus and salad which hit the spot nicely.

Bread rolls 1

Bread rolls 2Bread rolls 3

Urban Jungle #2

Common greenbottle (Lucilia sericata)

Flies. Maggots. Nasty.

Except they’re not (well, sort of). Without maggots, we’d literally be neck-deep in crap. And there are many flies that are pollinators. Flies like this common greenbottle (Lucilia sericata) that was feeding off of the forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) whilst flitting about the garden today.

Not only does this fly do a good job of spreading the flower love, its offspring have a penchant for rotting flesh and have been successfully used for treating really manky wounds.

OK, so it’s literally got shit breath (as have some humans I know) but perhaps you should think twice before going to swat one in future (if you’re the sort of Neandethal who does that sort of thing). A world without flies and maggots would be a far more disgusting place.

Urban Jungle #1

I’ve taken quite a few pics over time of the local flora and fauna (with the occasional not-so-local shot too), in large part thanks to the fact that the wildlife-friendly garden I’ve created either features or attracts ’em in. I like looking at other people’s pics of such things, so I thought why not share the ones of my own that I like? No reason whatsoever, so here’s the first.

This is a common whitethroat (Sylvia communis), who spent a fruitful half-hour this morning flitting around the slightly dishevelled post-winter garden (good bug-hunting territory). It’s a new birdy in the garden too, so another one to add to the tick list (of course I have a tick list, I’m a bloke).

The pic isn’t brilliant but, given that I had to take it through the kitchen window at maximum optical zoom, it’s not too shabby either.

Common whitethroat