Book Review: Sheet Music

David Ensminger

Sheet Music

Left of the Dial: Conversations With Punk Icons

by David Ensminger
PM Press, 296 pp., $20 (paper)

Sad and bloody day when Houston historian and educator David Ensminger, drummer for Randy "Biscuit" Turner's final outfit the Texas Biscuit Bombs, nailed the door shut on Left of the Dial in 2005. The most intelligent punk fanzine this side of S.F.'s Search and Destroy, the meat of the mag was Ensminger's penetrating interviews, wherein he confronted the cream of the subculture's history to ask questions no one had thought to ask. To a man, everyone save for Jello Biafra, whom I can testify is tough to steer off-script, was so disarmed by Ensminger that they spilled all. Anthologized here, those conversations stack up an impressive body of work, encompassing punk's founding fathers (Damned, Dils, UK Subs), hardcore heroes (Ian MacKaye, Gary Floyd, Mike Watt), and label-owning visionaries like Frontier Records' Lisa Fancher. Some of the most revealing and candid words spoken from inside punk rock can be found in Left of the Dial, the book. (David Ensminger appears Sunday, 1pm, at the Capitol Extension, Rm. E2.014.)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Left of the Dial
Skies Partly Cloudy
Skies Partly Cloudy
Two years down the road, liberal network still struggles to establish itself

Kevin Brass, March 17, 2006

KUT by the Numbers
KUT by the Numbers
That ringing sound you hear? It's the cash register at Austin's public radio station

Kevin Brass, Jan. 20, 2006

More Music Reviews
Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way
Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way
The Parrothead behind the empire

Doug Freeman, July 21, 2017

All Over the Map, True Heroes of Texas Music
All Over the Map, True Heroes of Texas Music

Kevin Curtin, June 16, 2017

More by Tim Stegall
Unplugged: Lowering the Volume of the Live Music Capital
Unplugged: Lowering the Volume of the Live Music Capital
Ley Line, Aaron Stephens, Team Goodtimes, Uncle Pie Hole, and more grounded sounds

May 18, 2018

Texas Platters
Willie Nelson
Last Man Standing (Record Review)

May 11, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Left of the Dial, Texas Book Festival 2013

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2018

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle