Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Denvoid and the Cowtown Punks

Denvoid and the Cowtown Punks
A Collection of Stories From the ‘80s Denver Punk Scene
Voted Best Denver Music-History Book by Westword


228 Pages • Softcover • Full Color/Offset Printing • Heavy Stock • 8.5" x 11"
List price: $24.99
ISBN: 978-1-4951-7045-4  

Bob Rob Medina’s Denvoid and the Cowtown Punks -- A Collection of Stories From the ‘80s Denver Punk Scene is a unique and seminal kind of localized punk oral history, for it features over 100 vivid, hand-colored illustrations alongside flyers and other artifacts from the era. Eclectic, in-depth interviews with prominent scenesters range from musicians and culture jammers to reformed skinheads and business owners. Grassroots and outgoing, Medina examines the small window of opportunity in which they impacted cultural behaviors and musical styles at large, even reached a global network desiring to know more about the isolated frontier world that sprang Frantix and Bum Kon. Denvoid avoids lumping punk music and culture into narrow constraints or merely rehashing stories of three-chord, two-minute fiery songs. Instead, Medina highlights how creative people stretched or explored uncharted territories, including post-modern visual culture.

Medina is hardly an outsider sniffing around the periphery of Denver’s rich underground music history. As a true blood Colorado native, Medina was deeply rooted in Denver’s raucous scene: he joined numerous bands, masterminded fanzines aplenty, promoted key shows, and jumpstarted his fertile record label Donut Crew Records, which documented Denver’s beloved underground bands.

To solidify Denvoid and the Cowtown Punks as a densely filled historical document, Medina enlisted author/college instructor David Ensminger: Visual Vitriol: The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generation (Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2011), Mojo Hand: The Life and Music of Lightnin' Hopkins (Univ. of Texas Press, 2013), and Left of the Dial: Conversations with Punk Icons (PM Press, 2013) as editor. The book's design was handled by former Colorado transplant Sonny Kay, founder of GSL Records (The Locust, !!!), member of The VSS and Angel Hair, and creative director for Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez Lopez’s production company.

You can order the book by visiting:

Where to buy in the Denver metro area:
Wax Trax, Mutiny Information Project, Kilgore Books, Black and Red, Albums on the Hill, Tatter Cover, Red Letter Books, Twist and Shout, and Capitol Hill Bookstore.

Where to buy on-line:

Big Cartel, Microcosm Publishing, Alternative Tentacles, and Amazon


Razorcakes Feb. 2016
The recipe for a scene biography (or whatever you wanna call it) in the post-Please Kill Me world has been a reasonably simple one: assemble quotes from scenesters to form some manner of semi-coherent narrative; add a few photos; garnish with lemon; serve over ice. Denvoid and the Cowtown Punks absolutely demolishes this idea as the eternal blueprint for such tomes, commanding attention from current and future generations simply on account of its unprecedented (or possibly only barely-precedented) MASSIVENESS... To read more click here.

The Marquee Dec. 2015
The opening foreword and the detailed two-page Denver Punk Band Family Tree graphic at the end of “Denvoid” are by themselves the most comprehensive collection of information about the early Denver punk scene that has been put together in one place in decades. And the 220-plus pages in between those two items collects an encyclopedia worth of information about the ’80s scene in Denver with a passion and depth that no one has touched...To read more click here. 

Yellow Rake July 2016
In Denvoid and the Cowtown Punks, Bob Rob Medina compiles an exhaustive history of 1980s Denver punk and hardcore with an impressive collection of personal anecdotes, interviews, old show flyers, and beautiful full-color animations on almost every page. With the selection of artifacts presented throughout the book, it’s as if Medina spent a lifetime compiling ephemera with the sole purpose of exhibiting it in an enormous encyclopedic tome...To read more click here.

Maximum Rocknroll #396 • May 2016
Medina’s opening piece about how he got into punk and his time in bands is the kind of recollection of punk changing a life that will likely strike a chord with readers of this magazine for freaks. More interesting, perhaps, is that in the sea of books about punk written by white people, Medina brings the focus early on to his experience of being a Latino person in a largely white punk scene even as that scene interacts with communities of color in Denver. Against all of this is the looming backdrop of Reagan’s America, seething discontent, and living in a city that seems to bring together artsy weirdos and cowtown hicks....

Jason Heller Nov. 2015 

I just got my copy of Bob Rob Medina's new book, Denvoid and the Cowtown Punks. It's fucking amazing. Bob Rob conducted tons of interviews with people from the Denver punk scene of the '80s then added lots of his own incredible artwork, which makes the whole thing super vivid and eye-popping. Of course, there are also photos, flyers, and other bits of archival stuff sprinkled throughout. Bob Rob published this book himself, and it's such a labor of love, passion practically drips off the page. And the tone of the writing is perfect, a very funny and poignant and readable mix of fact and anecdote. Bob Rob's conversations are definitely nostalgic and fun, but he also sneaks in all kinds of insight and smart musical analysis. He doesn't white-wash shit either. It's an unvarnished, unflinching look at a time that was as violent and intolerant as it was creative and liberating...To read more click here.


Best of Denver Music History Award
Bob Rob Medina Describes the '80s Denver Punk Scene by Tom Murphy/Westword
Scenes From Denver's Punk History in New Book by Isa Jones/Westword
The Places of Denvoid and the Cowtown Punks Today by Tom Murphy/Westword

Related articles and pages:
Denver Public Library: Denver's Earliest Punk Promoter Left a Lasting Impression: by Bob Rob Medina
Wikipedia Bob Rob Medina
Denvoid blog
Facebook page

Selected pages from the book:

Punk Rockers


Duane Davis of Wax Trax

Family Tree


Tom Headbanger

Paul Dickerson

Rok Tots

Various Bands


Contact Bob: