Feature Stories

Records Collecting Dust II Documents the American Hardcore Punk Pioneers

Records Collecting Dust II premieres Aug. 30.
Records Collecting Dust II premieres Aug. 30. Eric Howarth

San Diego-based filmmaker Jason Blackmore has spent plenty of time playing in bands and touring the country. For the past handful of years, he’s documented a number of the most influential musicians on him. Namely, American hardcore punk pioneers. Blackmore just likes to sit down and talk to people about what made them want to play music.

His new film, Records Collecting Dust II, is set to premiere Aug. 30 at the Texas Theatre. The sequel to his first film that came out in 2015, Records Collecting Dust II focuses on hardcore heroes from the East Coast. The list is impressive, from Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi to John Joseph of Cro-Mags to Roger Miret of Agnostic Front to Dave Smalley of DYS and Dag Nasty to Amy Pickering of Fire Party and Dischord Records.

“For me, it’s about interviewing people that changed my life,” Blackmore says between dropping off fliers for an upcoming screening in San Diego, “people that had a very big impact on me as a teenager in the '80s and discovering punk rock around 1983, 1984.”

Blackmore hopes to do another entry in the series, with the possible inclusion of musicians from Texas and the Midwest. The Kansas City, Mo.-born filmmaker has no shortage of people to interview.

“I’ve got a lot of friends and roots in the Midwest,” he says.

But this third film might not go into production just yet.

“I jumped straight from the first film into the second film,” he says. “This has been five-plus years of my life, so I’m probably gonna take a little break before doing a third one.”

As much as hardcore punk bands influenced Blackmore, he is not afraid to share that he loved the '80s pop music on MTV. And he was not afraid to talk to his idols about what inspired them, no matter how uncool it might seem. Whether it’s Ted Nugent or Cheech and Chong or the Beatles, Blackmore wanted the Records Collecting Dust films to not be about embarrassing guilty pleasures.

“They’re not hiding anything,” Blackmore says. “They’re totally upfront and honest about their first records and the shit they were listening to as kids.”

“They’re totally upfront and honest about their first records and the shit they were listening to as kids.” – Jason Blackmore

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Blackmore will not be in attendance for the Dallas screening. Instead, former Boston resident (now Denton) Kenny Chambers, who was interviewed for the film, will be on hand for a Q&A and a performance. Chambers fronted a melodic post-punk band called Moving Targets for many years.

“I'm not a collector like most of the folks in the film unfortunately, so I will be traveling light,” Chambers says. “I will mention if asked, about all the stuff I listened to that got me excited about playing. I did have friends with great collections who turned me on to things that inspired me to write songs.”

As to why Chambers lives in Denton and not Boston, it’s for some good reasons.

“My wife's mom lives in Austin and she asked if I'd check out Denton, where she went to UNT years ago, as she wanted to be closer to Sandy,” Chambers says. “I love Sandy and I fell in love with Denton. It's a very chill town. We found a great place to live where I can play music and record. It's kinda like heaven.”

Records Collecting Dust II premieres at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30 at the Texas Theatre. Tickets are $10.
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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs