Saturday, April 30, 2011

Editorial / Zine Review: Seven Inches to Freedom #9

So I’m reading Joe Lachut’s fanzine Seven Inches to Freedom #9 which I ordered a copy of based on its title alone. I love vinyl & I love 7” (45) records. I was hoping for something that embraced DIY recording culture in all of its beauty and forms. What I got was a punk / hardcore zine. Okay, I need to do better homework.

Joe writes “I don’t want to live with the late teens / early 20s punks who want to rage all the time … I want to hang out with them & do stupid shit, but then I want to be able to go home…less and less people are on your side as you pack on the years. Punks fade away or become domesticated …even loved ones drop some ‘it’s time to grow up comments’ … how can we age gracefully & think about our futures while still holding all those values that have come to define us … when does crashing on couches and floors become a thing of the past? Because I still want to do that!”

This dude is 28 years old. Man, I am depressed as hell reading this.

First of all: It is time to grow up. Why do you think America is in the mess it is in currently on every level? It is because we refuse as a culture to mature. We are youth obsessed. We deny reality. We distract ourselves to death. What exactly do you think the “punk” scene is a reaction to? If you think less people are on your side now, wait until you get to be 51, then talk to me about how you feel when people start acting like you’re invisible.

Secondly: What values? Drink until you puke? Sleeping on floors or in piss soaked alleyways? Losing your hearing from loud screaming shows? These are values to embrace?

Thirdly: Listen to some real music man, don’t limit yourself to two kinds of music and think that is what the world should revolve around. Open up to life. Unplug a little. Do less sludge violence to your self.

Fourthly: I may not care for most of its subject matter but this dude knows how to write & create a zine. I highly recommend Seven Inches to Freedom to anyone who wants to study what a great fanzine looks like.

Write to Joe Lachut at PO Box 457 Ft. Myers FL 33902

Zine Review: The Voice of Next Thursday

For the uninitiated, Voice of Next Thursday (VoNT) is a shortwave radio show that informs it's listeners of events that will take place in the far distant future of Next Thursday, which is five days from now. These are not predictions, but facts that will have direct impact on our future lives.

Gabriel Syne traveled back in time five days to print this eighteen-page zine, select transcripts from ten broadcasts of the shortwave program.

VoNT Volume One touches on almost every topic unimagineable, with insights and illustrations about the future of drugs, housing, war, government, and big business attire. I can't even forget the incredible future affect that Lady GaGa's infamous Meat Dress will have.

I have never heard the original program, but from the transcripts alone, and the direction commercial news is heading, the world Five Days From Now doesn't seem so far off.

For more information, you can contact Gabriel Syne by emailing voiceofnextthursday (at) or by checking out his blog at

Looks like I'll be wearing my leotard and leg warmers to the office of Next Thursday. See you then.

- DJ Stevious

Mixt Media Review: Letters

Friday, April 22, 2011

Random Transmissions from Ye Olde Zinester

Some thoughts about the “zine community” from an outside observer—Ye Olde DJ Frederick

1. A “punk” lifestyle of roaming aimlessly, having a series of temporary and menial jobs (if you work at all and are not being a parasite on others), using drugs and/or alcohol to numb out, not getting any sleep, smoking cigarettes, worshiping friends who come and go with no real connectedness, avoiding responsibility, substituting sex for intimacy, seeing yourself as a victim, having a tunnel-vision view of "good" music (if its not loud and punk, it sucks), calling yourself a "queer" or an "anarchist" without even knowing how to define the words, eating vegan and dumpster diving is not the only “cool” way to exist on the planet, some of it can in fact be destructive to one’s self and inner spirit.

2. Heterosexuals are not the enemy. Nor are all white males the enemy. Striving to create the change you desire & making connections and allies in the struggle against oppression is infinitely healthier than damning those you believe to be the cause of the dysfunction of our culture.

3. Zines are a form of self expression and therefore if one writes a perzine, please give us some insight into yourself with honesty and integrity.

4. Every zine maker and ever zine reader is not a teenager. I’ve been on the planet for 51 years and I still read and make zines because they are a beautiful form of communication and media and celebrate freedom of expression in a completely authentic way.

5. The revolution will not be televised or blogged. It is something you participate in. Personal & cultural revolution / evolution is not passive.Create a meaningful life, connect with others, heal the earth, DO SOMETHING.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Zine Review: Drop Target #1

What is missing from so many mainstream and even so-called “alternative” publications? Passion. When writers, editors and artists radiate passion for their topic, it glows through every word, every square inch of paper. Drop Target issue number one exudes enthusiasm in spades for … pinball! There’s an incredible range of articles in issue number one alone, and the authors, Jon Chad & Alec Longstreth promise that six more issues in the works! First, they guide the reader into the anatomy of a pinball machine and how it all functions. There’s a lively interview with Brinda Coleman and Sam Soule who published the pinball fanzine multiball for many years. There are examples of dream machines. A hand-drawn autobiographical comic called From Zeroes to Heroes. And that’s just scratching the surface of Drop Target. These dudes live right up the highway from me in White River Junction VT and some day, I might have to venture forth and seek out Forest B’s Pool School to find the legendary Star Wars Episode One pinball machine ....

Learn more about Drop Target at

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Zine Review: Silent Type #2

When I discovered Silent Type #1, I was in zine heaven. Silent Type quickly became my most cherished zine of all time, and inspired me on a quest to restore my parent's manual Royal. When I heard another issue would be published I eagerly awaited Silent Type #2 like a kid waiting for Christmas.

Issue #2 is equally visually inviting, engaging and gorgeous. But the words ... that's where I have trouble.

For many years I published a literary zine called Color Wheel and for years before that, Bone & Flesh. I am not an ivory tower professor or even an English major - I just love quality poetry and fiction, though I admit its attraction has decreased for me over time. My favorite poets and writers are "folk" poets - the unschooled, the unwashed, the outsiders from the elite world of academic poetry.

Having said that, there was not one poem in Silent Type #2 that I could connect with. And I suppose that's the whole thing about poetry - it is purely subjective. Still, when I read lines like

"Her life was like the clouds when
I was a child hanging large against
the blue sky, almost permanent."

or ... "His eyes were too big, he wouldn't take the goggles off"

or ... "To the ground I flopped
and on me it hopped
Obscene metal lips were drooling"

or .. "The day may be over
But none the less
The new season is here
I'll give it my best"

... I want to scream!!!

Sometimes poetry is best left in your personal private notebook.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Zine Review: Show & Tell by Rachel Lee Carman

The first adjective that crossed my mind when I received Show & Tell in my mailbox & opened the envelope unveiling these zines was: twee. And shame on this old guy for judging a zine by it's delightful cover. I decided to read all three of the issues Rachel generously sent on a chilly Sunday afternoon.

Show & Tell #6 (Winter 2010) opens with some musings on winter (which even in early April had me shivering!) a recipe for pizza, a visual tour of coffeeshops that look like environs I'd love to immerse myself in, an article on poet/musician/activist Patti Smith, and ruminations on depression. As someone who has wrestled with and recovered from an intimate relationship with depression, for most of my life, I imagined crafting sagely responses to Rachel's thoughts, having been there done that and gotten the diploma after years of ongoing inner healing. Sometimes we have to allow ourselves to navigate the shadows and feel the darkness and find our path through. Orange juice optional.

I didn't really relate to Show & Tell #7 (Childhood) but I intend to revisit this issue in the future when I'm in a different headspace. I felt that Show & Tell #8 is where Rachel really shines. The "Spiritual Issue" explores many questions and observations and practices about one's spirituality. I grew up Christian and spent much of my first 30 years on the planet wrestling with beliefs, gods, doctrine and dogma, going through an atheistic phase and eventually emerging a born again, treehugging pagan. I could see some of my own history and life reflected in Rachel's zine. Oh to be young again! But the secret is to be happy with who you are, where you are, and when you are. Be Here Now.

I won't go into further details about Rachel's wonderful zines. My advice: Discover them for yourself. They are the most artistic zines I've read in ages and am very grateful she sent them. Send $2 per issue to Rachel Lee-Carman 501 NW Newport Ave 1/2 Bend Oregon 97701.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Zine Review: Mimeography Debt

Mimeography Debt, one of the oldest known continuously published zines, has been cranking out issues since 1951. Every six months or so, an international crew of reviewers gush about the latest mimeographed zines, alongside essays on stencil typing techniques, application of inks, spirit duplicators and innovations in self-publishing. Oh, and it’s sort of a perzine too, so you’ll read about various adventures with staple guns, landfill diving, do-it-yourself fallout shelters, and why 78's are better than the new long playing vinyl records.

Cheers! Happy April!