January 15 - March 15, 2019
The Younger Lovers are a musical group led by author, choreographer, filmmaker and artist Brontez Purnell, who sings of himself: "Got all this love inside to give/I rock a one man punk band too." Their songs are catchy, persistent, and breathless. They share a singular focus and a peculiar logic, the result of Brontez playing every instrument on the record. As Brontez's heart is unraveled across an LP, modern boys, shit-talkers, and charming singers all buzz and careen through the story, revealing the longing and vulnerability that mark the greatest love songs. Or as Brontez once described the band, "fucking Motown but on my terms."

Brontez was born and raised in Triana, Alabama (population 496) and moved to Oakland, California in 2002. Shortly after his arrival, he wrote the first Younger Lovers songs. The band's first record, Newest Romantic, was released in 2008. At that time, Brontez was best known for his performances with Gravy Train!!!! and his confessional zine Fag School. The Younger Lovers stood somewhere in between - jittery and wide-eyed, leering and sweet. In the ten years that have passed since Newest Romantic, Brontez has fully revealed his tangled, relentless creative spirit - founding the Brontez Purnell Dance Company; directing the documentary film Unstoppable Feat: The Dances of Ed Mock; publishing two novels, including the Whiting Award-winning Since I Laid My Burden Down; and continuing to tour with and release records by The Younger Lovers.

To mark the ten-year anniversary of The Younger Lovers debut, Know Wave is proud to present the second review in our new series, reexamining key moments and figures in cultural history. Archival videos, correspondence, and photos are presented alongside artworks by Brontez, all unpacked through new interviews with the artist and his collaborators and friends. Through our in-depth examination of this powerful LP, Know Wave highlights the genius of Newest Romantic and locates it within Brontez's prolific maelstrom.
Special thanks:
Brontez Purnell
Osa Atoe
Vice Cooler
Layla Gibbon
Adee Roberson
Xara Thustra & Siobhan Aluualot
Brice White
Andy Wombwell & Alex Hinton
Feminist Press
Unity Press
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“When I got to California, I definitely just was wilding out. For a boy who thought he was going to die in Alabama and like never get to suck a dick ever, I was pretty stoked to be in the Bay. I was like, I live in a warehouse – I can drink beer, I can fuck boys, I can drink whiskey, I can do cocaine, I can start a rock and roll band.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell
Hump Lights, 2018
Photostat and neodymium rare earth magnets
46 x 34 inches
Edition of 2, signed and phone numbered

$800

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"We were both weird punk kids in Alabama, me and Brontez. The bonding point was just that we both didn’t connect with the environment we were in, in the south. And we really liked the same music which most people we knew didn’t care about, didn’t even consider music.

"I don’t recall the moment [we decided to leave Alabama], in my memory we were in the van and that was it. Three people and two dogs in the van. And right away, because I was exhausted, I fell asleep while driving and crashed into a bridge on that stretch of the 10 where there’s nothing, its just trees. Pre-cellphone, so we’re walking to an exit to go to a gas station in hopes of finding a payphone so we can figure out what to do. It was a Sunday afternoon in Mississippi and we knew nothing would be open – I remember that specifically, being Southern and knowing nothing would be open because of church. This guy pulled over and picked us up. Me and Brontez were dressed really slutty, short shorts, I think I had a half shirt on, just thinking, ‘I hope we don’t get our asses beat.’ Genuinely concerned, not trying to be funny. Like some bros could pull over and just beat us to death. This guy pulled over, I think he thought Brontez and I were sex workers. I don’t remember exactly the conversations we had, but we were very worried. He said something we thought was maybe inappropriate and he was like, ‘I’m a preacher!’ to reassure us. He ended up buying us a tire because we couldn’t afford it and he put it on himself. He didn’t ask us for anything." - Vice Cooler in a 2019 interview with Know Wave

Preacher changes a tire on the van as Brontez looks on. From Vice and Brontez's move from Alabama to California, circa 2002. Photo: Vice Cooler
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"I’m going to be real – Brontez drives me fucking crazy! I love him, he’s one of the most prolific people I know, and he's one of the most problematic people I know.

"Brontez and I met when we were like teenagers. I was 18 or 19, living in Pensacola, Florida and hopping trains. I went to Chattanooga, Tennessee, [where] he was wasted and shirtless in this punk house. We started talking and both realized we’re Cancers. I had this tattoo and he got a tattoo to match it.

"We were little babies and all had this idea that we wanted to start a scene with all these punks of color, this utopic idea where we all moved to Oakland. And it really went to shit because we realized we’re all broke, and we’re all black, and gay, and we don’t even have any instruments." - Adee Roberson in a 2019 interview with Know Wave


Brontez Purnell
Fag School #1
Originally self-published in 2003, republished by Unity Press, 2018

$10

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“Younger Lovers started in 2003. I was in Panty Raid and then we broke up, but there was this song I’d already written for that band, ‘Sha-Boo-Lee.’ I was really into that song and I just told myself that I should still record it by myself. Then I was like, ‘Why don’t I record a bunch of songs?’ I have this friend Vice who was/is in XBXRX. We moved from Alabama to California together. He was recording stuff at this place called Club Short and I was like, ‘Can you record my EP for free?’ and he was like, ‘Sure!’”- Brontez Purnell in a 2009 interview with Osa Atoe and Ramdasha Bikceem. Published October 2009 in Maximum Rocknroll, issue 317

The Younger Lovers, “Sha-Boo-Lee” music video, directed by Irwin Swirnoff
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“We fell in love with Brontez during the making of the DVD, Stame the Batch. We appreciated him as part of the Gravy Train!!!! live band once he joined. But when we really got to know him was when Alex made the Brontez featurette that’s on the DVD. That was when we were like, this guy is amazing.

"Gravy Train!!!! was such an out there gay band, gay lyrics, gay fun. But it wasn’t political, and that would’ve been hard for a band to do in the eighties I think. At that time, the people who were brave enough to be out and write about it or perform about it were message oriented for the most part. And I respect that, and that has a place, even today. But I love that liberation for Gravy Train!!!! was almost incidental, just, ‘We’re gay!’ And they’re not even all gay, but it obviously had a gay sensibility. ” - Andy Wombwell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

“Junx in the Trunx” featurette (excerpt), directed by Alex Hinton. Part of the Gravy Train!!!! DVD, Stame the Batch, 2004

Andy Wombwell and Alex Hinton founded the label Retard Disco in 2003, which released the Gravy Train!!!! DVD Stame the Batch in 2004 and The Younger Lovers CD Newest Romantic in 2008
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"I kind of don't see how I made it out of [Gravy Train!!!!] alive. Like, I get physically exhausted just thinking about it — just being that kinetic, and also being that wasted on top of being that kinetic. Boys used to pull my underwear off, finger me in the pit — it was kinda hella intense. And at some point, I got older and I just wanted to go out onstage in my normal clothes and play music. I just couldn't be Junx the superteen any more." - Brontez Purnell in the article “Forever Younger” by Ellen Cushing. Published September 7, 2011 in the East Bay Express

Brontez Purnell performing with Gravy Train!!!! in 2005. Photo: Vice Cooler
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"What’s funny is that the other members of Gravy Train!!!! were writing songs about poppers and sucking off bi boys but they were all in serious relationships the whole time that band existed. In the meantime I was partying a ton but writing these songs like, ‘I hope this boy will be my boyfriend.’” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Hey Boy T

$40

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“The Younger Lovers’ challenge was to put raw shit back on the balance. This decade showed a dramatic decrease in the good old standard of cool, queer, punk-kid records. Everyone ran for a drum machine and opted to be the next Justin Timberlake. No probs. No shade. This just left the playhouse empty. Enter the Younger Lovers.” - Brontez Purnell, quoted in the press release for Newest Romantic circa 2008

Younger Lovers Sweetheart Longsleeve T

$50

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“Alex and I had both worked in music, I had worked for Wax Trax and some other labels. Alex worked for Dutch East India and he had worked for Tower Records. So we knew it was a really stupid time to start a record label. But in a way, it also felt like, well, it’s ours for the taking. Because smarter people aren’t doing it. We definitely didn’t think that we would make money, we were under no delusions. I thought we could be smart enough about it and not lose money.

"One day Brontez brought up that he had the record. It was completely finished – he did everything. That was one of the few records on the label that came in finished and ready to go. I don’t know if he had another plan for it maybe, or he just made it knowing he would figure something out. We love the record but we already loved him and appreciated him.” - Andy Wombwell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

The Younger Lovers, Newest Romantic LP + the California Soul EP, compact disc. Released 2008 by Retard Disco
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“Like you COULD say we’re a 'power pop band' or you COULD say we’re Diet Grunge.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2009 interview with Liquid zine

Brontez Purnell
Hey Boy, 2018
Photostat and neodymium rare earth magnets
45 x 34 inches
Edition of 2, signed and phone numbered

$800

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“Xara Thustra and Siobhan Aluvalot were doing this collaboration called Love Warz. They were all about making these long form films, just fucking amazing. I was really lucky to have been around that at the time too. At the time, the situation [in San Francisco] had not been so dire as it is now and people were doing cool shit. They were like, let’s do a video and let’s do it for free. And it shaped the whole style.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell correspondence included with the music video master sent to Retard Disco, circa 2008. Courtesy the Retard Disco archive
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“So Love Warz is me, Xara Thustra, and Siobhan Lovealot. At the time we were making collaborations and making videos. We made four or five movies and maybe ten videos or something. Both of us are longtime friends of Brontez and we’ve toured with Brontez doing performance art when Brontez was in Gravy Train!!!! And so we all basically decided to make a video for this project that Brontez was starting to do. Eventually we all sat down at a table and idea generated and tried to make something a little different and interesting in terms of the three videos being a single narration – ultimately three songs just being one video. It was probably three or four days of shooting at different locations, really on the fly with just a handheld video camera, using all public spaces. We shot on the bus, in a barbershop, in a bookstore – Adobe Books – and just walking around on the street and stuff. Working with Brontez is a pleasure, it’s crazy, and it’s super fun. It’s not sensical and sometimes it’s just like, kind of wacky and wild, but it’s a very directed towards an end means of a final product that’s created. We work kind of similar and from there we just pushed. Just turned the camera on and danced.” - Xara Thustra in a 2018 interview with Know Wave.

Younger Lovers “Can I Come Over? / Quoting Poets / Kiss Me On the Bus” directed by Love Warz (Xara Thustra and Siobhan Lovealot)
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“The name Younger Lovers was a take on The Modern Lovers because I had been listening to that record all that summer, the first time I really heard it and it felt new to me.

"Sometimes I question Jonathan Richman’s intentions. Because when I was younger it was like, ‘oh my god I love him!’ But then, like, these days, when he sings ‘I don’t want no cocaine sniffing tramp in the bar’ I’m like, wait, I’m a cocaine sniffing tramp in the bar! ‘She eats garbage, eats shit, gets stoned/I stay alone, eat health food at home.’ And it’s like, ‘eww, I don’t want to eat health food with you at home. You judgmental prick.’” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

The Modern Lovers – “New England” b/w “Astral Plane” 7”. Released 1977 by Beserkley Records

$15

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“I think songs are always about some supposed heightened reality. Once it’s in musical form it’s real, but it’s also once removed from real life, and that gives you a weird freedom as a songwriter, being able to remove yourself. But I also think about the complication of my identity. My friend is a writer and she was talking to me about marginalized people in general. Women, people of color, queer, blah blah blah. Everything we write is automatically treated like some form of memoir or autobiography as if we don’t have access to a fiction voice. Or maybe the audience doesn’t really come in contact with someone like me a lot, so in order for it to feel real, everything I say has to be some form of truth that’s informing them about my life. Which I don’t think I owe to anyone. I don’t feel like that’s owed to me.” – Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Young 'n' Hung T

$50

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“Have you read Lucia Berlin? So she wrote this really cool book called A Manual for Cleaning Women. She was a mid century writer. A huge alcoholic, her husband died and left her with four sons to raise by herself. I think she was born in Kentucky but her dad had some job so she spent part of her youth in South America. Her stories are so crazy, like trying to get an abortion in Mexico in the 50s. Or waking up in the drunk tank with her children at home. Or she’s like, ‘always try to work for Black or Jewish people because you’ll get lunch.’ But also she existed at the same time as the Beats, Allen Ginsberg and all those dudes. They got to write about their dangerous lives, but if that woman’s writing had been famous she would’ve gotten her children taken away. There’s this weird part of us always having to have some cloak. Our lives are fucking dangerous. Not even having the access to this wider audience because on a different body it has a whole different set of circumstances. I always think about, I would love to sell a million books tomorrow but I also don’t think America’s ready for that. I really don’t.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell
Low Top Chucks + Skinny Jeans, 2018
Photostat and neodymium rare earth magnets
36 x 45.5 inches
Edition of 2, signed and phone numbered

$800

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“Brontez was dancing with this band called Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil Eyes. It was a basement show in Portland, Oregon. This was like in 2003 or 2004. He was buck naked and dancing in a basement. I think I introduced myself afterwards and he was sweet but we didn’t connect or talk a lot or anything like that. I had to know him, you know? And then I moved to the Bay in 2005 and I had already met Adee Roberson at that point, and she reintroduced me to him, and that’s when we became tight.

Living in Oakland helped me bring Shotgun Seamstress to fruition because I was able to meet other punks of color and other Black punks. Obviously anyone can pick up a zine and read it, so technically it’s for everyone. But I was really specific about my intention to write to other Black punks, not even punks of color in general. It’s such a specific experience and I just wanted to talk about that. I think that meeting Brontez had everything to do with me feeling like I had an audience.” - Osa Atoe in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Osa Atoe performing with The Younger Lovers at the New Museum, New York on May 8, 2009. Photo courtesy Osa Atoe

Osa Atoe is the editor of Shotgun Seamstress zine and occasionally plays bass for The Younger Lovers
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“My friend Kat Case, she used to work for Maximum Rocknroll, she’s the one who turned me onto a lot of Replacements songs. I was living in the city and hanging out in her room every day. She played me that song, ‘Kiss Me On the Bus,’ and I thought about how different that song is when filtered through a queer lens. It means something totally different. But it’s such a beautiful song! I’m always obsessed with that softer song of rock n roll maleness or masculinity. Because there can be that really verbose style, ‘yeah, fuck that bitch!’ But the Replacements are like, ‘kiss me on the bus.’ And it’s like ‘hell yeah, I’ll kiss you on the bus! I’ll kiss you anywhere. I’ll go down on you on the bus, I’ll give you a blowjob on this motherfucker. We’re on the number 8?’”

Brontez Purnell
Kiss Me On the Bus, 2018
Photostat and neodymium rare earth magnets
45.5 x 35.5 inches
Edition of 2, signed and phone numbered

$800

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"Something about Billie Joe and Kurt Cobain, even though it was really heavy, I know lots of queers gravitated towards their form of masculinity. Because there was something that was like, you could imagine kissing them. I don’t think any gay boy ever had that feeling about fucking Axl Rose." - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell, 2009. Photo: Osa Atoe
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"Brontez's thing is the first time I felt like I was recording something. I felt like I had a seat. He just sat at the drum throne and did all the instruments. We did it all pretty quickly, we didn’t do more than two takes of anything. There was kind of an aspect of him being like, 'let’s see how it sounds!' We were kids.

"I do remember with the bass, working on that, not really long, but it felt like a long time. 'Let's make it sound like Motown,' like, 'I Want You Back' bass. I had this small Peavey amp that my old roommate had given to me. The reverb was super old with a long, long tail, a very dominating, over-the-top high pitched reverb. I remember we did the guitar on that and we'd do these overdubs like, 'let's make it sounds like the Vaselines!' I don't think the Vaselines have a specific reverb sound - if someone said that to me now I'd be like, 'what the fuck do you mean?' But we both understood it at the time.

"I wish we would've recorded more. I felt like, we were just hanging out making stuff, and he probably had four or five more songs that we could've done. And those songs, they probably would've existed that day and not on any other day." - Vice Cooler in a 2019 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell recording The California Soul EP at Club Short. Photo: Vice Cooler
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“Before we as humans could track down each other through the (blessing?) of current technology, connecting by landline was a more (poetically) psychic phenomenon. One lover would call the other in hopes they would be home and also (aside from physically meeting in the street) had no other means of connecting ‘in an instant.’ If all the right energies in the universe connected and the other lover was indeed home and ready for conversation, then somewhere mini cosmic explosions would occur of the astral plane-bells would ring, ENERGY would connect to LIKE ENERGY.” - Brontez Purnell, from the essay “Significance of the Landline Telephone in Newest Romantic Discourse: Part 1.” Published 2009 on The Younger Lovers blog (discontinued)

“Significance of the Landline Telephone in Newest Romantic Discourse: Part 1” zine, Black and white photocopy, 24 pages, 8.5 x 7.5 inches. Saddle stitched, numbered edition of 25

$10

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“I sometimes say I do The Younger Lovers because it gives me license to be the cheesy poet I always want to be. I’ve always wanted to write Hallmark cards. You can do that with songs. I’ve never really liked music that was overly overly preachy, you know? It can’t be really direct. It has to deal with politics in a way that’s just direct enough but just abstract enough to connect. So that’s really how those thoughts filter in. When you write books you can write about really long form emotions and get into it, but a song, you have to hit those points, because that shit can’t be longer than three minutes because no one you know is going to listen past that. In a book you get to go in on it.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell, Since I Laid My Burden Down, 2017. Published by Feminist Press, New York

$20

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“'Mr. Franco', 'Jody', and 'Danny' are all about boys I was hanging out with in the Castro at the time. Mr. Franco is dead now, Danny has disappeared, I don’t know where the hell he went. Jody is still my friend! He lives in LA and goes to UCLA. But it’s really weird to listen to those songs ten years later and see what happened to all of us. We used to be wild boys! Some of us didn’t make it.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell’s original typewritten lyrics for the Newest Romantic LP. Courtesy the Retard Disco archive
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“I feel like I make this music, but underneath I want there to be this really rough edge to it that answers to the side of me that isn’t all just nice pop songs. Cuz the song are all about either boys who wouldn’t date me or they’re about some wrecked drinking buddy that I had. They’re pop songs, but there’s this edge to them. I feel like I was just fed up with boys, which is kinda what the Newest Romantic is all about. Being obsessed with something you’re done with.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2009 interview with Osa Atoe and Ramdasha Bikceem. Published October 2009 in Maximum Rocknroll, issue 317

Oh Really? T

$40

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"He's the only riot boy. As someone who was involved with riot grrrl in the early 1990s, I saw a lot of these weird fans who worshipped at the altar of certain icons, rather than seeing them as inspiration to do their own thing. [Brontez] got the idea of riot grrrl as liberation that could be obnoxious, transgressive, and fun. His work embodies that." - Layla Gibbon quoted in the article “The Only Riot Boy” by Sam Lefebvre. Published September 3, 2014 by the East Bay Express

Brontez Purnell
Fag School #3
Originally self-published in 2003, republished by Unity Press, 2018

$10

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“I have to say, at this point in time I would do things totally different but I was really broke and I was like, excited to do the record. It was trashy and lo-fi which is what my label was founded on. It just fit in a way, so when he asked I was like, ‘yeah, this is great! I would love to do it, but an LP is expensive. I just bought all these 12” singles and a lot of them are totally terrible so I would love to reuse the sleeve and let’s do a paste on.’ I was living in this warehouse space, Adee [Roberson] and I used to live there, and I had covers, space to tape things together, and access to bootleg photocopies, but I didn’t have money to do it. That’s why it was on splatter vinyl because that was the cheapest that the pressing plant had at the time, they were doing a deal on it.” - Brice White in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

The Younger Lovers, Newest Romantic + The California Soul EP Vinyl LP, Issued 2008 by Raw Sugar Records

Brice White founded Raw Sugar Records in 2000, which released The Younger Lovers LP, Newest Romantic + The California Soul EP, in 2008

$20

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“I kind of like that they were mostly 12” dance records. Mostly nineties really terrible house and whatever records I bought off a local DJ in New Orleans. DJ Mags from New Orleans, she hand annotated all her records. She’s still in New Orleans but she doesn’t play music anymore.

"She was working in clubs on Bourbon Street, gay disco kind of clubs. And a lot of the records were terrible, she got promo-ed so much stuff. I bought all these records and ended up with thousands of records I was not interested in. I sort of liked that there were notes on them, some of the covers, I remember Brontez and I were in Maximum Rocknroll one day and their copy was La Bouche or something, they had a big hit. And he was like, ‘oh this person died in a plane crash,’ and I didn’t know that. It seemed like it crossed over in some way, which I liked. It was kind of conscious, and kind of just by necessity as well.” - Brice White in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

The Younger Lovers, Newest Romantic + The California Soul EP Vinyl LP, Issued 2008 by Raw Sugar Records

$20

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“For a lot of the years I was deeply disappointed with The Younger Lovers. Between what I thought it was going to be when I first started out and what it was. It was also hard being often compared to bands that were like, in my same scene that I felt like, I don’t know, I felt like I was doing the same thing, but they were white, and they were straight, so they were automatically going to get a whole different set of outcomes, a whole different set of prestige.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell
What Kind of Lover Are You?, 2018
Photostat and neodymium rare earth magnets
44 x 32.5 inches
Edition of 2, signed and phone numbered

$800

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“You don’t really get to control your child, for real. As artists, people are like, ‘I have all this intention.’ But you can say all day, I want my baby to have blue eyes, but if it’s born with brown eyes you still have to feed it. For instance, Johnny Would You Love Me If My Dick Were Bigger? My friend sent me a picture of this boy reading it with a hard on, this white boy with a big ass dick smiling with this book. Is he reading about the part where I got molested? Or the part where I got gay bashed? Why would you have a hard on reading this book? That person is literally the antithesis of who should be reading this book with a hard on and smiling. This book is a testament of pain and persistence. It’s very humorous too, so maybe he’s just reading it on a humorous level. I think people should do both.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell, Johnny Would You Love Me If My Dick Were Bigger. Originally published by Rudos and Rubes Publishing in 2015, republished by Feminist Press in 2017

$20

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“I think it’s really important to be disappointed. It shapes and it layers. I don’t know, there’s a real reward when something actually happens right or happens good. You’re allowed to sigh, to be contented. I always took it for granted – these boys I was singing about, these speculative boyfriends that never quite materialized – it was always about him being a phantom. I think that was really important. You can idealize anyone, but being with anyone is an automatic compromise. There’s always something getting lost.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell
Oh Really?, 2018
Photostat and neodymium rare earth magnets
45 x 34.5 inches
Edition of 2, signed and phone numbered

$800

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“We’ve sat in this lifestyle so long. I remember when we were hipsters, now we’re just devotees.” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell
Ballad for All My Bandmates and Lovers, 2018
Photostat and neodymium rare earth magnets
45 x 34.5 inches
Edition of 2, signed and phone numbered

$800

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“At this point, I think we should be called the Older Haters. It looks creepy! When the band started, I was dating lots of older guys. Now I’m the older guy and there’s younger guys in the band, I just look like a fucking creep. Ezra’s in the band. I’ve known Ezra since he was 17, he joined the band when he was 19. There were bars that wouldn’t even let us play!

There’s this gay porn book called Black Punk Hustler, it’s about this black boy who’s like a punk and a hustler and he’s dating some older senator or something. There’s a picture of him on the cover, and we used it on the first Younger Lovers shirt and it even says 'adults only' at the bottom, and now I’m just like, ‘oh god, this looks fucking crazy.’” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Black Punk Hustler, 1984. Author Unknown, published by Gaytimes Book Club
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“I just try to stay extremely resilient and try to create the most love around me as possible. Recently, I’ve been having a bit of a life moment where in the last year or two I’ve been able to have a fairly good living standard and help and work for other people and to be doing some pretty good stuff in my life. And the reason I’m even starting off by saying I’m doing pretty good is because what you’re bringing up is such a colossal downer. It’s really hard to say – I think our entire culture is repressive to many sorts of the good life. It’s repressive against health, and it’s repressive against art, and it’s repressive against people’s sexuality and voice, people’s color, and people’s dress. And that repression is showing its results of killing these creative cultures and these healthy cultures and multitudes of things. We’re doing a bad job on the planet, we’re doing a bad job in the Bay Area. And personally, for me, I’m not going to be remotely brought down by it. No matter what my situation is, or condition, or wherever they put me. [Brontez saying] anything was possible ten years ago? The problems have always been right there for everybody, and everything’s always been a struggle. Nothing’s been remotely easy for Brontez. He can say that everything was possible - maybe things have been wearing on him a little. But he’s doing so much! It’s really true the world does need to put its eyes onto people like Brontez’s life force and creativity and participate in Brontez’s struggle more because that will give everybody life to follow that person fully. You know?” - Xara Thustra in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Xara Thustra, Friendship Between Artists Is An Equation of Love And Survival, 2013. Full color, 500 pages. Published by Xara Thustra

$16

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“Even now it’s always been such a scrappy existence. It’s just like, ‘okay, well, I have songs.’ I was living at a warehouse when I made that first record, I had time to just go and play drums all day and see what came up. People would offer me things and I would be like, ‘okay, cool.’ Really big shows would come up and I’d have to pull together a band to do it. But I look back at it now and I don’t really understand how it existed this long with basically no money and me being the biggest backer of it. But I guess I always thought about how I come from a lot of southern-born black women and it’s like, they take care of two and three babies by themselves and I can’t make a band work? Get the fuck out of here. You know what I mean?” - Brontez Purnell in a 2018 interview with Know Wave

Brontez Purnell
The Dating Game, 2018
Photostat and neodymium rare earth magnets
45.5 x 33.75 inches
Edition of 2, signed and phone numbered

$800

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