We love ‘zines here at Rock Star Journalist. We’re especially fond of the half-sheet sized ones, where it’s essentially a sheaf of printer paper folded in half and stapled in the middle. It’s the perfect size for the material inside, and it’s the sort of thing you can jam in the back pocket of your jeans and carry around with you.
The last issue of Jerk Store came with a caveat that it was kind of a rush job in order to have something at the Fest 9 down in Gainesville this past October. Well, this new issue is fucking fantastic. It’s brilliant. There is something to be said for the work Alex put into this ish.
Bloody great stuff, like the rants…oh, the rants! They’re my favorite part of the whole ‘zine. Anyone can do interviews and reviews. Really, though, to be fair: the interview with the Gateway District managed to school me on all sorts of stuff I never knew about the band, and added a whole new dimension to how I perceived them. But, anyhow, the rants Alex throws down about collectible vinyl, and pre-orders, and people who videotape shows are all funny and insightful. I’m so very happy he found the time to get more in this issue.
Go hit up the store, buy a copy, and make sure that you support something that manages to cover bands worth covering and provide something more than the usual. And if that wasn’t enough, the first article in Jerk Store #8 is what looks to be a smashing recipe for jerk chicken.
When I went and saw Sick of It All at the Bottleneck on Saturday night, one of the openers was Maine’s Outbreak. I’ve been hearing stuff about this band off and on for a couple years now. They’ve played a bunch of all-ages shows in Kansas City, but I’d not had a chance to catch them in Lawrence. They fucking slayed. Go see them.
At their merch table was a bunch of stuff from their label, Think Fast!, but as I’d just gotten a bunch of records in the mail, I didn’t really need to drop any money on vinyl (even reasonably priced at $10 for an LP). However, I did pick up this gem you see pictured to the left.
All Access is a short ‘zine done by Outbreak’s guitarist Brian Kemsley. It’s only $2, and if you enjoy stories about life on the road, it’s worth grabbing. Kemsley talks with friends and tourmates like Agnostic Front’s Vinnie Stigma and Casey Hjelmburg of Comeback Kid about touring etiquette, driving, coping mechanisms, and all assorted elements of life on the road with a band.
The interviews are short, and like Kemsley says on the closing page, it takes about 10-12 minutes to read through it. Hopefully, there’ll be another issue. It’s well put-together, with great pictures. The interviews usually reveal something different about the subject, rather than the usual “so, what’s with the new album, dude?” questions folks like me tend to come up with. The in-jokes are a little confusing, like some rant about bean sprouts on Chinese food, but otherwise, this is a winner.
Zine author Servo Jefferson recently released Shoganai, an epic tale of love, punk rock, and teaching English in Japan. It’s an amazingly well-written story which delves deeply into the titular concept of “shoganai,” which is Japanese for “nothing can be done.” Essentially, Jefferson gave himself over to it, allowing a focus “upon oneself and one’s inability to change the external world.” This is good, as Jefferson encounters poor work conditions, bizarre roommates, and being stranded in unfamiliar parts of Japan. The positives outweigh the negatives, however, and it’s all handled with good humor and aplomb.
Jefferson will soon be going on what might be the longest book tour ever to promote Shoganai, starting in January. He was cool enough to do an e-mail interview with Rock Star Journalist regarding the tour and Shoganai.
Bless those Brooklynites at Bananas Magazine. While the TermBo kids and folks at the Goner board might be more up-to-the-minute, there’s really nobody else out there doing the sort of in-depth coverage of the garage scene done by Christophe Lopez-Hulci and his cohorts.
We really liked the first issue here at Rock Star Journalist headquarters, and I’ve handed the magazine off to three or four folks, all of whom enjoyed it just as much as I did. When the second ish showed up in my mailbox this weekend, it very nearly met an early demise, thanks to a postal worker trying to cram more in my mailbox than would fit – in a rainstorm.
Jerk Store is one of my favorite fanzines out there. The last issue documented the fact that editor Alex and his girlfriend Kelly had moved halfway across the world from Cardiff, Wales, to Perth, Australia. A good portion of the interviews and reviews in issue number six were done in Wales, so I was curious as to what a completely Australia-based issue would look like.
And, so, what we’ve got with Jerk Store number seven is a mix of the usual and the new. You’ll be introduced to Perth-based bands like Grim Fandango and Chilling Winston, but PPMB faves like Rumspringer are represented, too. While Alex does bomb-ass interviews, getting me to start punching names into the Firefox search bar, I’d really like Alex to start running stuff other than interviews and reviews. I guess he’s got a plan to do so, but this issue had an early deadline in order to get it ready for the Fest this weekend. In that case, the next issue has even more to offer…
You can read my review of the last issue over at Wayward Blog.
From Brooklyn comes my new favorite thing to read. It’s called Bananas Magazine, and even better, it’s free. Well, it was for me, but I sent them an e-mail and asked really nice for a copy so I could tell you folks about it. I imagine if you were to send them a couple bucks in the mail, they’d throw you a copy, as well.
And, really – you should. As the line across the top of the cover read, they cover garage, punk, surf, r ‘n’ b, and trash rock. There are interviews with little-known New York garage acts that are described so vividily that you’ll be smashing their names into Google within minutes of reading them, so eager will you be to hear them for yourselves. After reading the interview with the Othermen, and seeing them described as the sort of band that’s “destined to keep creating amazing music, burn out and never play again, or get in a plane crash and die,” I’m kicking myself for not just buying their record when I grabbed the Wild About Jenkem comp from Killer Diller last week.
According to Sunday’s New York Times, Rolling Stone is switching sizes. Instead of it’s current, classic, tabloid format, it will be changing to a more standard magazine size, as well as becoming perfect-bound, with the release of it’s October 30 issue on October 17.
The Times makes a big to-do about this, but I really just couldn’t care. I understand that Rolling Stone is pretty iconic in its current format. However, it’d be more impressive if the magazine was, say, I dunno… maybe covering artists with cultural relevance? Artists outside the mainstream? Not giving every Neil Young album four stars?
The format change is nice, or would be if I felt like spending money to read articles that really don’t mean anything to me. I always used to hate the fact that Rolling Stone would fall apart because it was so big and stapled together. Anymore, tho’ – I just don’t care. The magazine has the occasional good interview (the one with Robert Downey, Jr. in the current issue is pretty in-depth), but the reviews and features always cover artists who really don’t need the coverage, or only matter to people like Jan Wenner.
Nice try, folks. Maybe next time you’ll take a look at something like the late Punk Planet and see about getting reviews of bands that matter and articles that aren’t fluff pieces for people who are already ridiculously famous.
Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show – “Cover of the Rolling Stone” (from At His Best)
Blender has produced the list of the 12 filthiest lyrics of all time. Now, while I understand that most of the choices are pretty vulgar, it’s an interesting choice, as all the lyrics are sexual.
The argument could be made that “filthy” is relative. D12‘s “Shit On You” is probably more expletive-laden than Peaches‘ “Fuck the Pain Away.” Hell, anything Eminem ever did (especially, say, “Kim”, “’97 Bonnie & Clyde”, or “Guilty Conscience”) trumps the simple “beat da pussy up” retardation that is the Ying Yang Twins‘ “Wait.”
Shocking’s easy. Any asshat can string a series of offensive words togetehr and make a career out of it. *cough*Li’l John*cough* It takes talent to do something that’s shocking, vulgar, and actually has meaning beyond repeated profanity. Christ, Jack Grisham wrote “Code Blue” 25 years ago, and it’s still something I know I’m going to have trouble explaining to my kids when they get older.
T.S.O.L. – “Code Blue” (live)
the Ying Yang Twins – “Wait (The Whisper Song)“
While waiting for the laundry to finish, I was flipping through my new issue of Rolling Stone. Don’t worry, it’s a free subscription- it’s not like I pay for that rag. Anyhow… on the back page, with all the charts, they have their “My List” section, wherein a musician talks about what songs or albums or musical styles they’re digging at the moment.
This issue, the list for for Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour. I hate both those bands. Slipknot has always been, to me, a serious disappointment. When “Wait and Bleed” came out, I was totally expecting a new wave of awesome metal that dealt with actual topics and had lyrical content, along with some cool new influences (the beer keg drums reminded me a lot of Einstürzende Neubauten). Then I heard “People=Shit” and was pretty fucking let down.
The point I’m trying to make here is that two of the five songs Taylor picked are songs I fucking LOVE, those songs being the Cramps‘ “Bop Pills” and Stiff Little Fingers‘ “Suspect Device.” Seriously, two of my favorite songs.
I can’t believe this asshat likes the same stuff I do. On the bright side, what he likes about the Cramps is that “they took rockabilly and made it really gross.” That’s deep, Corey. Really fucking deep.
Stiff Little Fingers – “Suspect Device“