Nicole Panter – The Story Lady
Kill Rock Stars, 1996
Acquired: Love Garden Shotgun Room, Used, 2008
The back of this 7” warns: “CONSUMER ADVISTORY: THE ENCLOSED VINYL CONTAINS PROSE!!!” Fair warning! I clearly didn’t see it when I picked this up, but even if I had, the Kill Rock Stars logo on the back was like a seal of endorsement and, at a whole quarter, impossible not to purchase. What we have here is a micro audiobook on wax. Four short stories by the former manager of the Germs. Most of the stories failed to harness my rather short attention span and was promptly returned to a massive stack of recently acquired 7”s. Listening now I enjoy these tales more. There is one about westernized Indian food (and food in the western world in general) compared to the food in actual drought-ridden India was particularly striking. Traveling through India Panter notes, “the eyes of these people lance me. They are not angry, they are not hostile, they are simply hungry.” Another potent piece is “Fuck You Punk Rock/77” which plays almost like slam poetry but is really just an impassioned recollection of punk rock being used as a tool for belonging from someone who was there. While it’s a little odd finding stories on a 7”, there’s a certain power to the way the needle spins over nothing at the end of the heartbreaking and harrowing story from a fucked up upbringing (the lone track that populates the b-side, “The Baby”) that makes the whole thing hit you like a ton of bricks.
None of these tracks are available at the web, but there is a spoken word track up on Panter's bygone Myspace page. The graphic sexuality of the piece had me blushing so hard I couldn't even dig for the embed code.