photo of the day

Gavin MacInnes, Anal Chinook - Ottawa, ON, circa 1990

this shot was from a Dead Milkmen show i put on at Porter Hall at Carleton Univeristy. Anal Chinook were the obvious choice to open the show as they had a penchant for theatrics and a sense of humour like the Milkmen.

Where The Trapt marched to the beat of The Clash and Stiff Little Fingers and Grave Concern did the skate-punk/crossover thing, Anal Chinook played second fiddle to them looking to MDC, Crass and The Dead Kennedys for political and musical inspiration while basing their live show on the antics of Kiss, Iggy Stooge and Karen Finley. Where the makeup, props and theatrics may have given their set a comical flavour, there was always an underlying message in their songs. Even though they threw stuff at the audience or goofed around in drag, songs like "Red Blisters" spoke against the pressure on women to wear heels before the beauty myth became fashionable.

The show that i took this shot at saw the band take a group dump in a big bowl then throw their shit on the audience. i new there must've been some underlying message in that but couldn't remember what it was for the life of me. Luckily Gavin emailed me and filled me in on what was going on:

Ozzy Osbourne (played by a black guy with a box top) was killed by an evil priest (played by Rodney Anonymous of the Dead Milkmen). It was our job to try to bring him back to life. We tried music (the ska triubute "O" double "Z," "Y") and we tried prayer but the only thing that worked was shittting in a bucket together. That unity combined our love and made him come back from the dead. My mom was in the audience and when we threw the Oh Henry! bars (our "shit") into the crowd one hit her in the head. She still talks about that when she's drunk.

Members of Anal Chinook went on to play in Montreal experimentalists Exhaust, godspeed you black emperor! and One Speed Bike (Aidan) and Peterborough Tappers of the Spine, Hot Piss.

With the demise of Anal Chinook, Gavin started an industrial influenced punk band called Leatherassbuttfuk with Shane Smith (opentuned guitar, vocals) and Mike Caffrey (real guitar and drum programming). "You Can't Rape a .38" was one of their hits. One show i remember saw Gavin with bananas taped to his body and Shane wearing a kilt and swimming goggles. I pulled out a can of silly string just as the strobe lights kicked in. Seeing silly string shoot under strobes is cool if you are sober, in Shane's case that night, he was totally freaked out.

Gavin and Shane Smith are millionaires in NYC (if they haven't consumed all their bling bling) as 2/3 of the publishing empire of Vice Magazine and viceland.com. Their success of their magazine due to the m.o. of their Ottawa punk days - shock people to get their attention, keep it with a good sense of humour and then hit them with an underlying, sometimes buried, message.

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word of the day

idiot  n.  and extremely foolish or stupid person

example: "I am an idiot for writing over this page before saving it. I will have to rebuild it from memory."

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all images (c) shawn scallen 2001. please contact before using or reproducing.