Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Zine Review: Habits of Being #1

What qualifies me to review feminist zines? I'm solidly male, after all. Perhaps the Women's Studies class I took in college. Or maybe just being human.

Habits of Being Issue One focuses on a women's intentional community and the people who live there. It is comprised of oral history interviews with three women and two thematically related narratives. My copy came with pages collated out of sequence which made for much back & forth page turning. Oral history is my favorite technique for exploring our biographies, culture, and evolution. Habits of Being is an absorbing read and is available coupled with an audio cd of the interviews on etsy.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mixt Media Review: Bears Snowman 7"

Snowman 7”

Its not everyday that you receive a record that is complete in its beauty – sleeve art, red vinyl, postcards, stickers and even lyrics included! This release from Bears (Craig Ramsey and Charlie McArthur) features four melodic indie pop songs for the holidays. These tunes are introspective and real – pondering where we go for the holidays, who do we see, what do we do. Lyrically, these songs explore the longing that comes with the winter season – a time to face our fears, a longing for connection, a yearning for magic from childhood to still be true. Timeless sentiments for the moment of now.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Two Titles from Lemon O Books

Real Fake Clouds
Field Guide and Audio Companion
Edition of 150

Bodies of Water
Field Guide and Audio Companion
Edition of 150

$5 cash each from

Lemon O Books
P.O. Box 11872
Milwaukee, WI 53211

Real Fake Clouds is a gorgeous chapbook of impressionistic photography flowing around a cloud / air theme. Some of these images seem like windows into an imagined sky, one far above the clouds, a world of crystalline shivers touching the outer atmosphere. The accompanying cd includes two tracks: one by Druome that conjures up images of dissonant thunderstorms, and a lengthy, airy piece by Daniel Menche that brings you into the space around and between raindrops and wind.  

Bodies of Water is equally visually intriguing. Slowly absorbing the images and music, one might find themselves diving and surfacing within liquid dreams. And the sky makes a reappearance, completing the cycle of water / cloud / rain / water. The two tracks on the Bodies of Water cd by Frippenino feel infused and informed by water, the womb, and ambient melodies that trickle just beyond our hearing. 

Both of these zines are works of art, labors of love, and wondrous to hold in one’s hand and gaze as the accompanying audio washes over one’s awareness. A sensory delight.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Zine Review: Manual Dexterity May 2012

Once in a while, a zine arrives that is breathtaking in its concept and design. This special issue of Manual Dexterity is a work of art unto itself - there are numerous mini zines enclosed with band interviews and graphic arts in various creative formats, a cd of gorgeous music by Monarques, and more. There's no hesitation on recommending this issue of Manual Dexterity - the price and package are generous - simply order and enjoy.


This message brought to you by a mostly anti capitalist.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Holiday Fundraising Project

It's fundraising time again here at the auld cottage industry! And the holidays are almost upon us! I'm living with reduced income so the holidays are looking bleak, especially in the zine printing department. Thanks to the generosity of prior grab-bag supporters I was able to print Paper Radio Reader 2014 and issue two of Social Studies. Coming up next is a metamorphosis of Turntable Operator. That's all I'll say for now!

Between now and my birthday, December 14, 2013 I am offering grab bags full of my perzines, Paper Radio, Night Train to Mundo Fine, Turntable Operator & other creative projects PLUS a zine or three of other folks zines from my zine archive / collection.

$15 cash or PayPal (marked as a gift) to singinggrove@conknet.com will support my continued zine publishing efforts and will get a package off in the mail to you as soon as I can get to the post office. 

Wishing you many blessings. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Zine Review: Mishap #32

Mishap #32
32 pages / digest / $1 or trade
PO Box 5841
Eugene OR 97405

This issue of Mishap is titled “Mistakes Were Made”. Ryan delves into his childhood adventures and misadventures, teasing personal history from memory onto the page. Ryan’s writing is literate, lyrical and expressive and pulls you into the scene almost immediately. His description of chasing after the family dog as a young child, and the emotional implications of that incident, is breathtaking. I also loved his account of lessons learned from participating in civic “democracy” and how that process can be a smokescreen for imposed rule. In a chapter titled Monster Club, Ryan writes “The normal is celebrated and enforced everyday, while the odd things are relegated to one day a year, or a movie, or a protest. It is however the normal that is wrong, as you can see by looking at where normalcy has got society”. Amen.

The second half of Mishap #32 lost me thematically – mostly because it centers around skateboarding and punk music and sports, which are not my forte. Still, it’s a solid zine and highly recommended by ye olde DJ zine reviewer. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Zine Review: Meta Zine

Meta Zine
Davida Gypsy Breier
PO Box 11064
Baltimore MD 21212

22 pages /digest / $2

I am always looking for resources to help with the age-old dilemma of how to explain to people: what is a zine? Davida’s Meta Zine is possibly the clearest, most concise guide to zines I've read thusfar. Opening with a thoughtful passage by Al Burian on Why Write, Davida’s zine introduces the world of zines in a natural flow. She tackles with grace the koan “What is a Zine” (I imagine Zen masters asking this of their novitiates). A brilliant essay follows titled “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, It Is Being Published”. Part Two of Meta Zines delves into the process of making a zine which such clarity that anyone who reads this will be able to create their own vision if they so desire.

The magic message is that only you can start the revolution. Unplug the television and let your creative self dance.