The Matt Gonzalez Reader

first published in the The Recorder, August 23, 2000

vs-jackblack06Jack Black


A book review

by Matt Gonzalez

[You Can’t Win by Jack Black. Introduction by William Burroughs. Afterward by Michael Disend. AK Press, 2000, $16.]

ANY AUTOBIOGRAPHY DEDICATED to the fellow who picked buckshot out of the authors back under a bridge at Baraboo, Wis., and to another fellow who sawed the author out of the San Francisco County Jail must be a hell of a read. Legendary beat writer William Burroughs thought so, as have hundreds of other readers who have managed to get their hands on Jack Black’s elusive You Can’t Win, a turn-of-the-century hobo/burglar memoir first published in 1926. Now reissued by AK Press, this printing will be welcomed by all those ready to live the outlaw life, if only vicariously.

Black’s matter-of-fact treatment of the hobo life resonates with…

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31 Days of Horror 2014, Day 26: Kwaidan

The New Flesh

This film is fairly high on my list of favorite movies. Kwaidan is stunningly gorgeous, especially whenever the set design is considered, because all of the sets were built indoors (with a couple of obvious exceptions). The sound of the movie also does a lot to add to the atmosphere, utilizing the absence of sound in order to achieve a sense of discomfort. All of this is achieved in 1964, which I think makes the film even more remarkable. I wish more modern films to a cue from artworks like this one. Today I had the chance to share it with my students, since many of the storytelling and visual elements of the movie reflect the style of traditional Kabuki theatre. A double bonus: it also happens to be an incredibly creepy delivery, which my students have now deemed “spooky kabuki”. I approve.


Rather than take you through all of…

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Oka Crisis, 1990

Warrior Publications

Kanienkehaka Resistance at Oka/Kanehsatake & Kahnawake, 1990


The Kanienkehaka resistance at Kanehsatake & Kahnawake had a profound impact on Indigenous peoples in Canada. Oka set the tone for Indigenous resistance throughout the ‘90s, and inspired many people & communities to take action. Like Wounded Knee 1973, Oka was an awakening for an entire generation.

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BLACK HAND PATH – HERE I AM [Download + Video]

Blackhandpath is what’s up

Outskirt Noise



But a necessity.

When you describe yourself as Chief Keef’s only cover band, you have to be a bit out of the ordinary, right? But see, that’s where Richmond, Virginia’s Black Hand Path amps it up a notch. Not twitter drama or any publicity stunts, but organic, beautifully hellish music that is as directionless as a substitute teacher in a gym class.

But don’t take that as a swipe at the concealed identities of the duo made up of young kozy and bileblaster. They are in complete control of the organized bedlam that is Black Hand Path. When I first came across them back in March from their then single “Don’t Choke”;  while praising them  for their free spirited and deranged trek into the  waters of noise, punk and hip-hop, I was a bit worried that they would be pigeon held as if they were apart of a…

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