Published on July 2nd, 2021

by David Fair


by Tim Moffatt

Once upon a time, a dashing Marlon Brando, swathed head to toe in denim and leather, strode a Thunderbird 6T motorcycle in the Wild One and when asked what he was rebelling against replied, “What have you got?”

This moment in cinematic history has infiltrated and informed the counterculture and thus culture since. Where, however, the bad dude image of the past lent itself to reckless abandon and challenging square social norms, the social norms of today are vicious. Frankly, being a self-centered jerk is practically taught as de rigueur for many young people in society; and that is not ok. Much like the beats, the bikers, the hippies, and the punks it is time for counterculture to step in and draw a line in the sand. Evan Mui, head of Paul Is Dead Records, saw the pandemic as an ideal time to put together the label idea that had been rolling around in his head for years. “It was the right time…with the right group of people…everyone on the comp are friends and family, in some cases, literally. Coming out of the trump era, the hate against Asian communities is rife and we wanted  to give back to those communities.” Mui, who is of Asian descent and has a history in Lake Worth and West Palm bands such as the Dewars, Wake Up and Guy Harvey, is doing what artists do best: organizing and giving back through music.

Subversive to Care, is not only the first recording issued by newly minted Paul Is Dead Records, but it is a call to arms to artistic allies in the fight against injustice towards Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The ethos, according to the LA based record label, is summed up thusly: “the title ‘subversive to care’ is based on a conversation…about the unfortunate lack of compassion and empathy which is so common these days; how the initial ethos of subculture was to rebel against the conservative and oppressive norms of society, whereas these days what is truly subversive is to care for your fellow human and be a genuinely compassionate and altruistic person.”

With 60, mostly, LA based bands that have a personal stake in the collaboration, the Subversive to Care Comp is a shot across the bow to many people whose default to political conversations and the plight of others can at best be described as laissez faire and at worst, awful.

In addition to the AAPI Charity, the proceeds from the Bandcamp only comp will be donated to Asian Mental Health Collective, a group that: “believe in integrating our shared backgrounds with the progressive ideals of emotional well-being and mental health – expressing collectivist ideals while respecting the agency of the individual. It all begins with understanding. Through projects such as our Facebook group, resource library, video web-series, and meetup groups, we hope to not only provide mental health support, but also facilitate the difficult conversations we need to have to move forward together..”

Also, The Tibet Fund, an organization whose current mission is:

“The Tibet Fund has so far pledged over $130,000 to procure essential medical devices and supplies, including oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, ventilators, heart monitor machines, nebulizer machines, oxygen masks, contactless thermometers, inverters, safety goggles and PPE kits for treatment and further prevention of Covid-19 in Tibetan refugee communities in India.”

Paul Is Dead is about to release the newest Wake Up record – Tigers Can’t Be Choosers and rolling right along the first solo release of Chelsea Rose from Summer Twins. The ethos established by the Subversive to Care comp seems to permeate the label, and that’s pretty alright.

Being subversive means to care. Without apology.

Listen to Subversive to Care and PLEASE consider a donation at