from LCRW no.
AfterFX: Mostly music (live
and recorded), zine, and book reviews. Enough here to raise interest
in "the next big one" -- hope he doesn't mean an earthquake,
No.2, $1/stamps, letter, 4pp (but glossy!), James D. Harvey, 371 Crossfield
Rd., King of Prussia, PA 19406, email@example.com
Bruce's Zine: When people
grow older, interests change, and Bruce -- who used to be a punk DIY
zinester -- is finding that different things interest him compared
to 10 years ago. Now he's into biking, working on his house, and his
new big project, Simon, his 2-year-old. It's a compelling mix, vert
simply made and illustrated, and with a very tempting recipe for pizza
$?, half letter, 32pp., Bruce L., 3510 SE Alder St., Portland, OR
Clamor comes from the same place as Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly,
even The New Yorker, except it's younger, smaller, faster on
its feet. Is there a connection between the Bush family fortune and
the Holocaust? Surely not . . . yet, there it is. Clamor
is uptempo and reassuringly internationally minded. More good news:
Clamor only comes out six times a year, so you won't have to
worry about unread piles stacking up in your apartment.
No.14, $4.50 (6/$18), letter, 74pp., PO Box 1225, Bowling Green, OH
Doris: The 'ABC' issue.
As Cindy says, it was supposed to be one story for each letter of
the alphabet, but it expanded because she couldn't decide which topic
to pick if she could only do one for each letter: Abortion or Anarchism?
Mucus or Mutual Aid? Brains or Bugs? You see? So this issue covers
the first three letters in the first (of many?) of Cindy's philosophical
alphabetization. Good stuff, as ever and a good (woodcut?) cover,
No.19, $1, half letter, 35pp., Cindy, PO Box 1734 Asheville, NC 28802
How the West Was Won: Photocopied
pen and ink drawings, poetry, quotes, and reviews made in Brooklyn
and Seattle tied together (mine with a nice deep blue wool). Like
a look straight into someone's heart at one particular moment.
$?, half letter, 18pp., Marie Penny, 1002 E. Mercer St., Seattle,
WA 98102 firstname.lastname@example.org
Miranda: Miranda has a
baby ("the oldest profession"), loves a restaurant that
caters to people like her (parents with children), has been growing
strawberries, and provides an infinitely-variable cake recipe that
does not come out a box. She also provides tips on how to steal reading
time when your kid will do anything rather than let you read. That
kid is the same kid as in Bruce's Zine above, and I loved that
I was halfway through when I pegged that the zines came from the same
$2, half letter, 27pp., Kate Haas, 3510 SE Alder St., Portland, OR
du Plotz: Ok, ok, so she's not doing this anymore. Doesn't
mean I have to stop writing about them. Found an issue I hadn't read
(not hard, being the latecomer that I am): "Paris avec kvetching,
Yiddish, le habituel." More tales of food, shopping, and kvetching
but this time with cheap wine, French flea-market shopping, and the
meeting of friendly (mostly) and cute French men. Mmm, travel.
No.14, $2, half letter (the long, skinny way), PO box 819, Stuyvesant
Station, New York, NY 10009 email@example.com
Postcards from the Voodoo
Sex Cult: When she's not wearing her boots and going to punk shows
Veronica likes reading the latest in lit or feminist theory . . .
Postcards lives in the space intersected by those two interests,
with a few more angles thrown in (sex, death, did we mention rock'n'roll?).
It's her first zine and it looks good, reads well, leaves you looking
forward to more.
No.1, $1/trades, half letter, 16pp., Veronica Schanoes, Mean Girl
Click Productions, PO Box 2140, Philadelphia, PA 19103 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
When a book comes from nowhere and spends weeks at the top of the
bestseller charts it's a good bet it's either a romance or a serial-killer
novel. The Lovely Bones takes something from both, inverts
them, adds a '70s suburban flavor, and goes off into a realm of its
own. Go read it.
Brae, Andrew Greig
A couple of years ago I recommended Andrew
Greig's kindhearted John Buchan pastiche The
Return of John MacNab. In the years since, I've bought three
copies of this novel -- one from Powell's in Portland, OR, and two
from Raven Bookstore, Northampton, MA. Satisfyingly depressing and
horrifyingly familiar (more at secondhand than first, thankfully),
and -- good enough to get me to pick it up in the first place -- it's
named after a favorite Ayrshire visual illusion.
Catatonia, Scissors, Paper,
Fantastic album from the Welsh rockers mixes the usual thoughtful
lyrics with a touch of bombast and more than a touch of danceable
rhythms. There's only one song I usually skip, the rest -- especially
"Imaginary Friend," "Is Everybody Here on Drugs?" and "Village
Idiot" -- are singalong, sad-happy pop classics.
Be Good Tanyas, Blue Horse, Nettwerk
If you order from the Nettwerk website you actually get what you wanted
-- unlike recent experiences Caitlin Cary and Aimee Mann's websites
-- boo! (Therefore no links!) I got an old Consolidated cd and this
-- the cd all other cds have had to overcome to reach the player.
From the starting song, "The Littlest Birds" to "Light
Enough to Travel," I've rarely come across such a strong cd.
The 12 tracks (note: no extended 80 minute cd here, these 12 stand
tall and strong by themselves) take a couple of listens before embedding
themselves, then you're stuck. All three women sing and play guitar
and a variety of other stringed instruments, while two of them split
the song writing duties. Incredibly catchy, filled with longing, toe
tapping good music.
Hogan, because it feel good, Bloodshot
Bloodshot Records are one
of the best things I've found in recent years. Home to Neko
Bride, and, most happily, Hogan. Somehow I missed her records
in the past 10 or 15 years, but I'm very glad that a friend asked
me to if I wanted to see a show at the Mercury Lounge with Jay Bennett
and some other interesting people. Hogan was by far and away the hit
of the night. She was cool, funny, warm, relaxed, and she has that
voice. Every review I've read tries to describe it, so I won't waste
my time. Just go to bloodshot.com and listen to a couple of tracks.
Aimee Mann, Lost in Space,
Eleven new Aimee Mann tracks and a couple of new comics by Seth, what
more could you want? (See above.)
Past issues of this zine have
seen positive notices for filmic, literary, caffeinated, and other
forms of entertainment. We are an enthusiastic band of illiterates
and find -- despite unprecedented concentration of media ownership
and the crap "product" that has resulted in -- we still go out
of our way to see a few movies a year (at $10 a pop, not that many).
This year we had the misfortune to see Signs. I hope you didn't.
The best two films I've seen in the last couple of years are Shaolin
Soccer (by Stephen
Chow, who made the amazing God of Cookery) and Spirited
Away, the new film by Hayao
Both films are magical and fantastical
in a way that the Dis-me Corp. and other animation studios often attempt
but fail. In Spirited Away, Chihiro's acceptance of events
-- from the transformation of her parents to riding an elevator with
the radish (daikon) spirit to her new job at the bathhouse of the
spirits -- is convincing: children don't know what the norms are,
they have to accept the behavior of those around them as normal. There
are all kinds of things we could probably learn from Spirited Away,
but who cares? Damn good film, go see it now.