Thursday, 11 July 2013


Here's a quick roundup of some recent awesome zines.

First up is OWN NOISE #1, put together by Jon Mohajer of Twisted/Facel Vega/Endless Rope/State Run et al fame.

44 lovingly arranged A4 pages including two colour riso pages.  Featuring informed larger interviews with northern/midlands bands such as ETAI KESHIKI, PLAIDS, and SLOWCOACHES, as well as London's WOOLF. Also some shorter voxpops on newer (at time of print) kids on the block, such as Shopping and COP.  
OWN NOISE is balanced out with articles on activism, including an interview with members of climate group NO DASH FOR GAS concerning last year's direct action against EDF's West Burton power station, which saw '16 activists occupy the flues of two of the chimneys at the UK’s newest gas-fired power station' for seven days (and the £5m legal action subsequently launched by the owners).  Also a detailed and in -depth look into the Radical Routes mutual aid network of housing co-ops, and an extended discussion on the history of awesome Leeds venue/social centre WHARF CHAMBERS - how it made its transition from the volunteer-run collective COMMON PLACE to the workers co-op it is now (extra prescient considering the current push for a DIY SPACE FOR LONDON)

Price is £2 + p&p. Paypal £3.10 for postage within UK to w/ your address (mark as gift), or email for a price for postage outside UK.

Next up is LIFE STINKS I LIKE THE KINKS, first a series of half-size fanzines by DX (DISTORT zine/TOTAL CONTROL/THE UV RACE/STRAIGHTJACKET NATION) dedicated to THE KINKS.

20 A5 pages with some great artwork from Avi Spivak. DX is one of my favourite music writers going, and seeing as The Kinks are perennial faves, this is a dreamy pairing.  
As the Pere Ubu reappropriation of the title suggests, this zine is an exploration of the music of The Kinks, throwing a spin on the whole "Kinks as proto-punks" angle by ignoring the usual amp-slashing yarns and focusing instead on how the Davies brothers' love of Schadenfreude was 'transfigured into songs of rare beauty, grace, sensitivity, elevation and power'. 
The writing here is superb, drawn from 'hastily read interviews and throwaway lines in books', as well as the author's own reactions and insights. DX knows his way around the rule of thirds; the tangents and references dropped in are both obliging and amusing, and when you come across passages such as 'hateful, spiteful, miserable, evil, sadistic and cruel,' you'd be forgiven for thinking you were reading a passage from Hobbes' Leviathan.  The reappropriation of 60s mythology initially brought to mind Ian Svenonius' The Psychic Soviet, but whereas Svenonius is grandiose and self-congratulatory, the tone of Life Stinks... is much more humble and conversational - 'an apology for [his] obsession'.
Life Stinks... completely succeeds as 'an expression of the sickness of The Kinks and their fanatical audience,' in that reading it made me feel both implicated and exhonerated.  Can't wait for the next issue, fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa...

$3 + postage, available from DISTORT or FEEL IT RECORDS

Third up is LIMITED READERSHIP #4, put together by Rob Tyers of PERSPEX FLESH.

40 A4 pages, great cut & paste/photocopy style.  Half of the interviews are with NYC bands (SCHOOL JERKS, KREMLIN), drawn from a visit to NEW YORK'S ALRIGHT fest, plus a couple of extended and exhaustive overviews with RAW POWER and STICK MEN WITH RAY GUNS.  There's also some great opinion pieces on cult films (S. Kubrick Vs S. King, Serbian plague movies, and Italian poliziotteschi films) in amongst the usual reveiws and general musings.
I've been following LIMITED READERSHIP for a few issues now, and one of my favourite features is the HISTORY OF BAND X THROUGH THEIR ALBUM COVERS.  Black Sabbath are this focus of this issue (last time it was the Ramones), and a pattern is definitely emerging between quality of album artwork/quality of record, and the obvious disintergration of both as time progresses.
Pick this up, and at the same time get Issue 3 for the awesome Gun Outfit interview.

£2 in person.
£3 postpaid in the UK.
€5.25 postpaid to EU.
$7 postpaid to US/rest of world

Paypal (as a gift) to r.o.tyers(at)

No comments:

Post a Comment