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The Barely Human Project: A zine and cassette bootleg subscription service for 2021

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  To raise funds for the research, writing and production of Barely Human Season 2, the pod has become an ongoing project, retooling as an interim zine and cassette subscription service throughout 2021 featuring material from the next series... More info below, or jump in now at www.patreon.com/barely human ~~~ The BARELY HUMAN project is a series of ongoing works charting an underground music anti-history of the misunderstood, footnoted, glossed over and forgotten artists of the past and present. It has appeared in zine format, and most recently as a podcast that ran through the opening months of 2020, charting a long social history of underground music – from the countercultural promise of the hippies and the punks, to the subcultural practice of post-punk and hardcore. You can listen to Barely Human via the links at  www.barelyhuman.info This patreon is designed with the goal of making the second season of Barely Human, which is ready to step into the writing and researching phase,

REISSUE: Final Six Weeks of 2020

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  "REISSUE" A brief note! Over the final six weeks of 2020, we're going to go through the first series of BARELY HUMAN for the benefit of those that missed it the first time around (which was initially released over the first six weeks of 2020 which... did not pan out for anyone as expected). We'll go through the series in two episode parts over instagram and twitter , and hopefully drum up a small conversation on reflection. Maybe it sucked? Maybe it did not? Either way I'm looking into options for keeping the project alive next year and maybe we can find a way there: together . You can listen to the podcast itself at the links below, or follow the retrospective coverage on the social media pages. If you are among those who are fans of physical media, an option is the cassette audiobook version which can be purchased as a set, or in two episode blocks from this WEBSTORE . If you don't mind being a pest, please share the series around and try spread the

Ep 12. I'm in Strife; I Like Low Life (...and Haram)

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The final episode of Barely Human comes into the present day to look at two contemporary punk bands who caught the eye of the broader culture. In Low Life, we find a satirical punk band from Sydney, Australia who were mistakenly swept up in the #pizzagate scandal, while New York's Haram brings us full circle to Episode 1, with another run in with the misguided gaze of the FBI. Listen now below or in your favoured podcast app. SPOTIFY  /  WHOOSHKAA  /  iTUNES  /  STITCHER

Ep 11. Lend Me a Fiver; I Like Dick Diver (...and Total Control

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Episode 11 finallllyyy comes very close to the present day with two bands from Melbourne, Australia who started in 2008 and played through the 2010s. In Dick Diver we find the jangling guitar pop band who unwittingly spearheaded a non-genre...and in Total Control we see an intimately related band, who turned to sounds of mania, dystopia and paranoia to become one of the most influential bands of the decade. Listen now below or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. SPOTIFY  /  WHOOSHKAA  /  iTUNES  /  STITCHER

Ep 10. Nothing Pleases; I Like Country Teasers (...and Lucille Bogan)

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Last episode we came up into the '90s garage revival, and we stay there (tangentially) with "evil country outfit" Country Teasers. We look at their stumble down the slippery slope of satire before shifting all the way back to the 1920s to find Lucille Bogan: maybe the most radical song-writer who ever lived. Listen now below or anywhere else you listen to podcasts. SPOTIFY  /  WHOOSHKAA  /  iTUNES  /  STITCHER

Ep 9. Dead Inside; I Like R.L. Burnside (...and Cheater Slicks)

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The last couple episodes dealt with the reactions to punk in the British post-punk movement and the absurdity of the Texan anti-punks, but this one takes a formal, yet indirect step into the 1990s. We get to that decade's garage revival and the story of the most unloved band of the non-movement in Cheater Slicks. But in the spirit of revival, we reach back to a blues player who was unexpectedly lifted from obscurity by a crossover record with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: the incredible R.L. Burnside. Listen now below via your favourite podcast listening method. SPOTIFY  /  WHOOSHKAA  /  iTUNES  /  STITCHER

Ep 8. Life Makes Me Nervous; I Like Butthole Surfers (...and Stick Men With Ray Guns)

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Episode 8 of Barely Human continues into the post-punk space discussed last week... but where the London post-punk response was community-minded and in the realm of 'unpop,' this week we look at the Texan response with anti-punks Butthole Surfers and Stick Men With Ray Guns. Everything is  bigger in Texas, and it's a predictably wild ride that you can listen to via these links: SPOTIFY  /  WHOOSHKAA  /  iTUNES  /  STITCHER

Ep 7. Lost in Trivialities; I Like Television Personalities (...and The Raincoats)

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Episode 7 of Barely Human continues on from last week's look at the London punk explosion to see its rubble in the post-punk space. It looks for some kind of (in)formal marker for when post-punk began in the incredibly packed timeframe of proto-punk to punk and post-punk, and claims (maybe controversially) that it began in 1978, when Television Personalities released 'Part-time Punks.' We then go on to talk about one of the best of the post-punk acts, the band who seemed to cover every positive aspect that made it an often unacknowledged movement: The Raincoats. Listen now below via your favourite podcast listening method. SPOTIFY  /  WHOOSHKAA  /  iTUNES  /  STITCHER

Ep 6. Life's Complex; I Like X-Ray Spex (...y Los Crudos)

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Episode 5 of Barely Human may have been the first formal step into a punk community (via LA's punks), but Episode 6 takes a more ground zero approach, in London 1976. Much of the focus of this episode is on shifting the lenses through which we look at social movements to get a richer picture of something that's been told and retold ad nauseum. So we looked at London punk through an often footnoted member of that community, X-Ray Spex. Through a similar approach to hardcore, we skipped the genre's advent in the '80s to leap ahead to a band that was not just vital contributors to 90's  hardcore, but hugely influential on a cultural and socio-political basis: Chicago's Los Crudos. You can listen to Life's Complex I Like X-Ray Spex (...y Los Crudos) at the links below, or wherever you access podcasts. SPOTIFY  /  WHOOSHKAA  /  iTUNES  /  STITCHER

Ep 5. Everything's Dandy; I Like Black Randy (...and GG Allin)

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Episode 5 of Barely Human continues from the proto-punk space to to the advent of punk around the magic years of 1976. Through the eyes of the genre-adjacent antagonist Black Randy (and his Metrosquad) we start to draw a line to where antagonism loses its counter-cultural zeal, and then see it horrifically crossed with the "Madman of Manchester," GG Allin. Listen to the episode through the links below, or wherever you listen to podcasts. SPOTIFY  /  WHOOSHKAA  /  iTUNES  /  STITCHER Show notes! Sources, further reading, playlists and more discussion that didn't make it to audio. First, here's a Spotify Playlist  to follow the episode, focusing on Black Randy and GG Allin's music, it's divided up by members of the LA punk scene and the aggressors of the scenes around them. If you'd like to get in touch to chat more or give feedback, follow us via @barelyhumanpod on  Twitter ,  Facebook  or  Instagram  or email me at max@barelyhuman.i

Ep 4. Dunno How This Feels; I Like electric eels (...and Death)

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Episode 4 of Barely Human continues on from '60s outsiders The Shaggs and Roky Erickson to find two acts who began making music in the time after the hippies, in the proto-punk space. Dunno How This Feels; I Like electric eels (...and Death) is set in the US mid-west in the early 1970's, and finds Cleveland misfits the electric eels, "the band who didn't fit in with the bands who didn't fit in," and a band from Detroit who never landed a record deal despite making music a decade ahead of their time because their name...was Death. You can listen to Episode 4 at the links below, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. SPOTIFY  /  WHOOSHKAA  /  iTUNES  /  STITCHER

Ep 3. Running Out of Gags; I Like The Shaggs (...and Roky Erickson)

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Episode 3 of Barely Human continues from the self-sabotaging satirists of Randy Newman and Frank Sidebottom to some artists often placed outside of conventional music narratives. It's an episode about the notion of the outsider, with The Shaggs, a band of three sisters from New Hampshire who discovered their own entirely unique sounds in their family home in the mid-60s...and Roky Erickson, the front-person of Texan proto-hippies the 13th Floor Elevators, who came back from a prison sentence for marijuana possession to create a largely over-looked body of solo music. You can listen to Ep 3, Running Out of Gags; I Like the Shaggs (...and Roky Erickson) at the links below. SPOTIFY  /  WHOOSHKAA  /  iTUNES  /  STITCHER

Ep 2. Barely Human; I Like Randy Newman (...and Frank Sidebottom)

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Following on from The FBI Are Mugs; I Like the Fugs  is the second episode of Barely Human, the episode that gave this show its name: Barely Human; I Like Randy Newman (...and Frank Sidebottom) . It focuses on two musicians who more or less self-sabotaged their careers for a snarky joke at the world, collapsing under their corrosive levels of irony and ending up mis-remembered by the broader culture. In their failure to connect to the social and artistic movements that surrounded them, they ended up as loners who tended to serve their cult following...but I think won out in the end despite themselves. You can listen to Episode 2 of Barely Human at the links below: SPOTIFY / WHOOSHKAA / iTUNES / STITCHER

Ep 1. The FBI Are Mugs; I Like The Fugs (...and Crass)

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The first episode of Barely Human is now live, and links two bands who fell under the watchful eye of the establishment: '60s counter-cultural innovators The Fugs, and '70s anarcho-punk pioneers Crass. Listen to the stories of these punks and hippies and how they crossed paths with the FBI, the CIA, MI6, J. Edgar Hoover, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and more through the links below, or "wherever you get your podcasts." SPOTIFY / WHOOSHKAA / iTUNES / STITCHER

"This is Art," or... it's meant ot look this way

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I know this website and the show art is questionable, but this is only half an accident: it's meant ot look this way. When designer Alex Dabi Zhevi ( MoodWar ) and I sat down to talk about show art, I'd just finished researching the electric eels episode. A band with very few formal references, the research necessarily had to lean on websites of  mid-2000s chic like ClePunk  and the electric eels  'official' web page.

Series trailer now live!

It lives! The trailer for the Barely Human series has just gone online. Click through below for a taste and preview of what's to come in January 2020. There's also a playlist previewing some songs of the people featured in the upcoming series which you listen to here ... see you in the new year....

The path to Barely Human...

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Here is some pre-promotion in blog post form. Proto-promo? A background to how Barely Human became a 12-episode podcast series. This project began as a one-off zine / print essay published through MoodWar in 2016, called  Barely Human; I Like Randy Newman. ( This was a gag at the expense of Distort writer DX's zine series Life Stinks; I Like the Kinks, find it and read it instead of this!) It was a crackpot exorcism of my shameful superfandom of my favourite unfashionable musician. It generated a number of corrections from Randy fans (you can't edit print), sold out in a month or so, and was posted to Randy Newman's house (thank you Garry) never to be heard from again (until Episode 2 of this series). Barely Human; I Like Randy Newman (2016) &  Life Makes Me Nervous; I Like the Butthole Surfers (2017)

First Episodes in January 2020!

Barely Human is a podcast series about footnoted underground musicians of the past fifty years. From sixties counter culture to contemporary sub culture, it reveals a cast of characters who are rarely considered alongside each other. Under the umbrella of the barely human, we'll find artists who were watched by the FBI, who sparked artistic movements, and who self-sabotaged and antagonised for the sake of it.... It's an alternate history, a polemic and an investigation of what happened and how we got here: to the state of underground music in the year 2020. First episodes will begin releasing weekly from January across all podcasting platforms. This blog will be updated with show notes, links and visual company for each episode as they happen, with news about the series and the project in general as it comes. Can't wait for you to hear it! Follow Barely Human on... Facebook / Instagram / Twitter