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Eugene S. Robinson


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ass-Kicking But Were Afraid You’d Get Your Ass Kicked for Asking

(Hydra Head; US: 22 Jan 2008; UK: 11 Feb 2008)

Mr. Robinson is a bad mutha. The eloquent leader of Oxbow and frequent contributor to Vice is not a bully, mind you. He merely embraced the man-gina fueled lust for spectacle. Simply put, he loves to see and engage in fights. Hence, he has dedicated his life to becoming an expert in all things ass-kicker and, in his first book, he walks you through some of his experiences with Kenpo karate, Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, MMA, Brazilian jujitsu, bar fights, fight clubs, jailhouse rock, and knifing in a close to autobiographical nature. There is more testosterone here than three Super Bowls and a Dane Cook concert, and about the same level of insight.

With all due respect to Oxbow (undeniably a rad noise rock band), Eugene is not Henry Rollins. Fights happen to Henry ‘cause he’s in a raucous band; Eugene all but admittedly started a raucous band ‘cause he wants to fight. Henry also happens to be far more forward thinking, moving without a hint of B.S., and funny in his prose and stand-up. On this, the first audiobook in Hydra Head’s choice catalogue, Eugene’s delivery comes off as matter-of-fact yet without a real point.

Granted, Robinson outlines the odd list of tips and a few pieces of history in various aspects of the fistic arts, but Fight is neither a how-to nor a reference guide. It’s basically a few random anecdotes and pieces of interviews, with no real structure or progression to speak of, all gathered under the engrossing schoolyard chant of “Fight! Fight! Fight!”. He seems like a well-informed gentleman, but I can’t say I know any more about ass-kicking than I picked up from a viewing of Enter The Dragon and a season of The Ultimate Fighter.


Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.

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