Sunday, November 27, 2011

Zine Review: Angry Violist #4

Angry Violist #4
22 pp / $4

Angry Violist #4
22 pp / $4

Zines that exude passion for making and appreciating music are scarce and wondrous. Angry Violist is a zine for anyone who enjoys veering off the path of mainstream music into new sonic territory. Angry Violist #4 features absorbing articles with a spotlight on Krautrock bands, an excellent point for point comparison of punk music vs. folk music, an interview with Vicki Aspinall of the Raincoats & more. As an auld folkie, I had never thought about the similarities between folk & punk music, and now I’ll listen to punk with a different sense and awareness.

The introductory pages reads “This zine is for string players who are angry at being forced into some straight-laced classical music mould & who make (or want to make) ugly, experimental and non-conventional sounds with their beloved violin/viola/cello and for anyone who likes interesting, non-conformist, far out music.” Can I get an amen, somebody, or at least a right on? Angry Violist is a zine that remind me why I love paper zines – quality writing, variety, and to learn something new. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Zine Review: Rad Dad #20

Rad Dad #20

In a culture that seems hellbent on dehumanization and consumerism, there needs to be voices of fatherhood, for fatherhood. Everyone benfits when men work not only for social change but for personal change. Children need fully present, flesh-and-blood fathers.

Rad Dad is a voice in the proverbial world of publishing wilderness, a zine for connecting with positive, progressing parenting. Issue #20 is 38 pages, illustrated by Brian Heagney with articles by editor Tomas Moniz and numerous contributors. Our challenge as fathers is to raise children and grandchildren in loving ways, being radically honest with them and ourselves. The tide of capitalist, materialist, negative, narcissistic culture is against us. Reading these articles makes me feel less alone. Rad Dad is highly recommended for anyone who has an interest in raising healthy, open-minded children. That should be all of us. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Zine Review: Eefing Yodeling Throat Singing & Hollerin'

Eefing, Yodeling, Throat Singing & Hollerin’: A Musical Miscellany

Send some bucks to
David Tighe
4804 Memorial Drive
NE Calgary Alberta
T2A 2R1 Canada

Beyond the realm of the bland banality that passes for pop music in western monoculture, there is a world of music to be rediscovered. David Tighe is an explorer of and journalist from the musical outback.

Eefing, Yodeling, Throat Singing & Hollerin’: A Musical Miscellany is a quarter sized zine that reads like a mini National Geographic for the about-to-be musically initiated. The zine starts with David’s being shown an lp by Billy Hutch, His Harmonica and Orchestra titled “Eefing Down Home”. This discovery leads to research on the vocal technique of eefing and its potential origins. Further musings revisit Throat Singing (I enjoyed the mention of Paul Pena and the documentary Genghis Blues) and then plunge into the natural history of yodeling.

Back in the day, Citizen Kafka and Pat Conte used to co-host the coolest radio show on the planet called The Secret Museum of the Airwaves, exploring seldom heard cultural pathways. David’s zine is like an abridged secret museum on paper. Can elephants play bagpipes? Is the Esperanto language alive and musical?  Was Hawaii the 49th State?  Eefing, Yodeling, Throat Singing & Hollerin’: A Musical Miscellany presents astute writing, great surrealist artwork, discographies, and leaves this reader wishing some of the articles had been expanded upon. It is a laudable point of departure, and I hope David shares more of his explorations with us via zine form in the future. Highest recommendation – no hesitation.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Bibliophiliac's Little Book of Basic Book Craft Skills

The Bibliophiliac’s Little Book of Basic Book Craft Skills
By Meliors Simms
$2 + shipping

Slim, beautiful, informative zine that introduces the reader to the tools of book crafting.
Book artist Meliors states “It’s intended as a public service in the interest of better book making.” Meliors discusses materials, cutting, folding, adhesives, and what you need to know to start your making your own handmade books. The Bibliophiliac’s Little Book of Basic Book Craft Skills is cleanly written, easy to understand, and includes a few resources for beginners. 

The revolution will not be televised - it will be creatively printed, shaped & bound! Get out your paper & get to work! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Zine Review: The Music One by Mat Pringle

The Music One: A Mat Pringle Zine
40 pp /

I could write this review using one word: delightful. No – two words. Intensely delightful. My heart soared like a kid in a candy store to find some of my favorite musicians anthologized here with beautiful illustrations and some words of the artists’ thoughts on the musician / LP chosen for their illustration. Mat Pringle writes in the introduction “Take a handful of music-obsessed illustrators and designers and ask them to do a portrait of the favourite band or musician and what do you get? This zine.”

Among the musical and artistic pleasures found within:

Mulatu Astatke by Lewis Heriz
Canned Heat by Darryl Norsen
Nick Cave by Matthew Williams
Francois de Roubaix by James Fry
Voice of Seven Thunders by Alex Jako

and many more. My one complaint (if complaint it is) – a zine like this would benefit from a mixtape soundtrack ... music and art and words to expand the consciousness beyond the tedium of radio playlists. Only 150 copies of The Music One were printed. Forgo this zine at your own peril, ‘tis a creation of beauty.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Zine Review: Hawaii 1778-1959 From Western Discovery to Statehood

Hawaii 1778-1959
From Western Discovery to Statehood
The Simple History Series #5
By J. Gerlach
34pp / $4  available from microcosm

So what did we learn in school today? I’m a New Englander and Hawaii was never even mentioned in my schoolbooks when I was growing up. Decades of American history get ignored, and as a culture we’re so distracted that we barely even know our recent past. Who, other than those whose lives were directly affected by it, can relate the recent history of Hurricane Katrina, for example, and the government’s non-response to those left ravaged, homeless and heartbroken in its wake?

We need to know where we came from, and what lessons can be learned from the past, in order to comprehend the present and chart course for the future. The Simple History Series #5 distills the history of Hawaii from Captain Cook through becoming the 50th state. This is a brief, well written primer on Hawaii, and we learn about its tribes, kings, queen, and American economic and military conquests of the island. Native Hawaiians culture has been decimated, and this zine begins to explain how. It is a good point of departure, and invites deeper research and learning. 

The New American Anthem ...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Zine Review: We'll Never Have Paris #7: Modern Fire

I know I'm reading a great zine when my jaw drops at the end of a story with deep recognition of some shared human moment. We'll Never Have Paris is a non-fiction literary journal with writing that weaves together a sense of place, presence, longing and loss. Every prose piece (and the poetry) in this issue are infused with the creative spark. Shaheim Jackson considers fire in the modern world. Betsy Housten visits a one-off art installation at a disreputable, soon to be bulldozed motel and has an epiphany. Merlon Dunkster narrates his work experience at an art museum. Vincent McClosky dreams. These are a small selection of the hypnotic narratives found within the pages of We'll Never Have Paris. Writing of this caliber lingers in the consciousness long after the page has been turned. For more information contact

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Zine Review: Zine Name

Zine Name is a fun 16 page template for your average zine, including pages for rants ranging “from here are some thins that made me laugh / cry / react in a crazy way” and “I hate _________ you should too and here’s why” to “continuing the epic saga of an unhappy love affair” … in other words just about everything you’d expect to find in a perzine. I suspect Zine Name was intended more as a tongue-in-cheek parody than a “how to” guide… either way Zine Name is funny and succinctly lays out the tried & true path of many a zine. Try hunting for a copy at Quimby’s if you’re interested in checking it out.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Video: Organizing the Bookshelf

I found this via Martha Grover's blog ... way cool. This is what happens when you read too many books while tripping. Or something.