a lit up storefront

A Punkhouse in the Deep South: The Oral History of 309

by Aaron Cometbus Author and Scott Satterwhite Author

At their best, punkhouses are a shelter from the storm of society and our dysfunctional families. At their worst, they are a sweltering atmosphere of combative, didactic exclusion. Aaron Cometbus and Scott Satterwhite (CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting) collect illuminating and fascinating interviews (Terry Johnson, Rymodee, Gloria Diaz, Skott Cowgill, more) with the residents of the oldest, continuous punkhouse in the Southern U.S. A hub of radical counterculture, 309 served as a place for artists, musicians, radicals, and antiracists to organize, build a body of work, and ultimately impact the world around them. As Aaron wrote about previously in the fictionalized stories of I Wish There Was Something I Could Quit, trains full of war supplies used to rocket past 309, tucked quietly in the Gulf Coast, hugging Florida and Alabama. There, the residents tried to build they wanted to see, creating a queer, vegan alternative to protect and defend the marginalized as the world shifted and structure dilapidated over the past 30 years.

The book also includes photos by Mike Brodie and Cynthia Connolly and first-hand accounts of idealistic efforts like the End of the Line Cafe, the band This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, numerous zines, a house band feud, and feminist support groups. As always, without even being traditionally trained, Aaron and Scottie successfully preserve the culture that they have lived for decades.