Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Zine Pile_ round 1

[Garbage World Fanzine, vol 1]

Canadians know what's up in hardcore, and though not located in a more convenient tour location like Toronto and Montreal, Calgary is happening, and this zine is proof. Jason Scharf is the man behind this zine, assembling show photos and conjoining interviews as a way to "give back to hardcore." Noted in the intro, he'll travel far and wide to go hard in a great pit of a great band, he can get shit offensive about things, has no musical talent, and doesn't give a fuck - and I respect that atttitude. Some pretty entertaining interviews from bands like The Ropes (Chicago), Scab (UK), Vacant State (Vancouver, CAN), and White Wards (Olympia), and, especially, some really insightful facts about hardcore in Canada. Apparently Victoria is a "god forsaken piss soaked tourist corpse" (White Ward), much of the sounds of Vancouver doesn't get out of the city due to geographical restrictions, and outsiders of the country like Scab have much love and acknowledgment of the scene. I look forward to the next issue, and in all curiousness I hope it comes equipped with more insider info from those North of the border because that's what zines were all about before the internet happened, right? I'll admit I almost whipped out my red pen because there are a lot of typos and fragments and errors that make the skin of an anal, journalism graduate like me prickle. But the wall-worthy xeroxed photos, pleasantly succinct content, and leaving Scab's winking emoticons be left me feeling lenient, for now.

Send an email to Jason at droppinthekidsinthepool[at] to see if any are available/pick up a copy for yourself. The first print runs in 80 copies. Oh, and photos I took from the Columbus Ropes show are in this zine as well.

[Fashionable Activisim, issues 1 and 2]

Kevin McCaughey, a.k.a. 1/2 of Fashionable Activism and known in the punk\internet/VLV\Tumblr world as negativekevin, stayed at my place for a hot week last month to experience New York City. While doing so he dropped off copies of his online-to-print zine, including the latest issue that came out last fall. In its hardcore punk fanzine form, Fashionable Activism transports the wittingly opinionated reviews and ramblings of its star creator onto a visually pleasing medium. The interviews thrown in, nonexistent in its online form, are proof that NegiKev ( o.k. with being "young, dumb, and full of cum") is not only doing his homework, but actively seeking to learn more. As a reader you get to participate in that through the conversations with today's noteworthy acts like Mauser and The Men. "The purpose of this zine is the proper documentation of hardcore 2010, and to express my current taste and feeling of this whole shit." Of course, it would be disappointing if it the zine didn't incorporate the snarky, love-me-or-hate-me, opinionated voice of yours truly.

Both issues are available (looks like they were reissued) at Kevin's Pass Judgement Records webstore.

[Our Show with Elliot Aronow Zine, winter/issue 1]

Commonly described by various outlets as "if GQ became a DIY punk zine," the first issue of Our Show successfully reeled in a new fan. I'm loving this whole punks go dapper overhaul among friends and strangers, and frankly there's nothing wrong with a man who takes good care of himself. Google Elliot Aronow and you'll find that not only is he the climbing tastemaker in culture and lifestyle - and being other cool things like co-founder of RCRD LBL and writer behind Kanye Wests' press bio, but this handsome fella never shies away from the opportunity to bust out a Cro-Mags shirt and oh my gods I can't even... Swoon with a capital S. Anyway, slightly digressing, taking on the fashion of your everyday punk zine, Our Show's entire 42-page, black and white spread is "a social alchemy at work," but his social circle is the cool kids kids club with more mainstream accolades, and a more refined taste for nice things than your average zinester. (Am I really using that word? Oh well.) Poetry-cum-screenshot of an iPhone conversation from Diplo, a photo spread by Yeah Yeah Yeah's Nick Zinner, AND a comprehensive crash course on tailoring and the perfect suit?! This NYC-centric zine harks back to the core practices of a DIY zine, extricating the information overload of the internet age (be this, do that, buy this, listen that) and cut it down to what Aronow finds to be truly insightful, truly necessary, one issue at a time.

Copies of this zine are scattered throughout record stores and boutiques in the NYC area. Non-residents can e-mail Elliot at elliot[a] for a copy, if there are still any available. Hand-numbered, out of 300.

[Phil Knott's Tally Ho!]

The first time I ever had a magazine personally distributed to me by its bike-riding creator was with this issue. I found that moment very charming. Whether you've noticed or not, it's very likely that you've come across Phil Knott's works. His photography ranges from portraits of Broadcast to Jay-Z, his love of desaturated color and collage turned into a design for Hot Hot Heat's "Elevator" album, and his talent of tinkering with color and photography brings out a very vivid presentation of attitude and sound from his subjects. His works, in sum, are music you listen with your eyes. Knott's Tally Ho! pieces together not only his works, but works of artists like Mick Rock and Anthony Lister who are dedicated to reflecting and translating the cultures of modern life through striking works of art. It's a beautifully, understated cycle shown in print by Knott: the sociopolitical push on emotion which creates music which sticks to the minds of its listeners who use a medium like art to evoke commentary and feelings. The classics of rock and roll, David Bowie to Joy Division, are hand-in-hand with the artist in this particular tango.

75,000 copies in ciruculation. Available in newsstands, premiere book chains, and fine art galleries worldwide.

If I haven't made it more obvious, I love zines. If there's any out there that you think I may be into and really should check out, shoot me an e-mail with more information. Ciao x

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