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A conversation with Grace Ambrose of Maximum Rocknroll
/ by Katie Alice Greer

Grace Ambrose is currently a content coordinator of Maximum Rocknroll, the world’s largest and longest-running underground punk fanzine. Living in Maximum Rocknroll’s San Francisco compound, Ambrose wears many hats that range from managing ads and invoicing to facilitating the 100+ volunteers that put labor into each issue of the monthly magazine — coordinating writing assignments with contributors from around the world, music reviews for all submitted material that adheres to MRR guidelines, and sending the entire operation to print before the deadline. None of this is salaried work. Rent at the MRR house is free for the magazine’s coordinators, but Ambrose also works at a museum to subsidize the additional expenses of living in a majorly gentrified city like

San Francisco.

My introduction to Maximum Rocknroll came from reading archived online columns from writers like Layla Gibbon, Osa Atoe and Marissa Magic. Their primary scopes of writing interest — punk that was weird, politically grounded, and made by women, queers, and people of color — is a space Ambrose has preserved and expanded in her tenure at MRR. She is a staunch advocate for independent publishing and its political necessity in today’s internet-centric cultural landscape. We debated the existence of underground culture in 2016, discussed corporate music publications, DIY as a brand identity, a working definition of punk, and the means to perpetuating a vital resistance to capitalist cultural cannibalism.

DIY™ or diy? Feminism or feminism? Punk or punk? We're quietly offered these branded versions of ourselves every day. Everybody has to sell you something in order to pay bills, and it’s not even their fault. Right? I was talking with some friends recently and we decided there is no more underground. The world has changed shape with the advent of the internet and rise of social media. Nothing is . . .

On the Maximum Rocknroll Archive project

Maximum Rocknroll turns 40 next year. Surrounding the milestone, the long-running punk magazine has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund the Maximum Rocknroll Archive and Database. It is an enormous undertaking, which will create an online database for the magazine’s record collection (physically located at their house in San Francisco), digitally archive every music review they’ve ever published, and digitize all out-of-print issues. At a time when . . .

First Times the Charm returns / by Cynthia Schemmer

The inaugural First Time’s the Charm (FTTC) was organized in Philadelphia in 2013, creating a show of brand-new bands that centered on the contributions of women, trans, queer folks, and people of color in the DIY/punk community. Out of this event came Bad Canoes, Marge, Littler, Teenage Bigfoot, and See-Through Girls, who have all gone on to release records, go on tours, and make incredible impacts on the Philadelphia music scene and beyond . . .


by The Media
Almost Summer.

by Joe McCann
SAMMUS @ Silent Barn.

by Liz Pelly
Three years later, the process remains the purpose.

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