Some new publications have made their way to the mailbox here at the Nutghouse, which behooves us at Rock Star Journalist to hip you to that which you ought to be reading. First up is the newest issue perennial RSJ fave, Jerk Store.
As the ‘zine goes along, it’s coming into its own and getting a little comfortable with what is has to offer. It’s to the point that even though this ish is a little light on the personal stuff, that which is there pretty much blows your hair right back. The visit to Melbourne offers up a glimpse into a town most readers aren’t going to get to experience. It makes you feel like you’re wandering the streets with Alex and Kelly, though, so it’s just as good, and without the airfare. Alex’s discussion of Embrace really demonstrates what sort of impassioned writing he’s capable of, as well.
There’s a lot more in the way of interviews and reviews than past issues, but the bands he’s talking to have me digging the bins at the local record stores and counting my pennies to see what I can afford to order. The Autistic Youth interview features one of those wonderfully unfiltered quotes that you’re only going to find in a ‘zine like this. Band member Steve has this to say about music that gets jammed in the van while on tour:
“We all agree that we do not listen to the Exploding Hearts on tour, for obvious reasons.”
Too Many Daves might be a new favorite, and they’ve got a new video that might make you a convert, as well.
As always, you can buy the issue from their store (get a t-shirt, too, and save on shipping).
The complete and total flipside of Jerk Store‘s DIY aesthetic is the glossy, slick look of Filter. Now, by no means is Filter some magazine that I’m gonna slag on. No, no: they do these amazing interviews that manage to be entertaining, clever, and insightful in ways that I can’t even conceive of executing myself. In the current issue, Jonah Hill and Beirut’s Zach Condon talk to one another, and it’s stellar, revealing facets of both performers that I wouldn’t have otherwise assumed. Track down issue #41 for their It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia cast interview, too. Even if you don’t like the show, you’ll gain an appreciable amount of respect for what those cats have accomplished on their own.
Now, this issue (fall ’11) has as its centerpiece the tenth anniversary of George Harrison’s passing. A diverse and disparate selection of musicians talk about Harrison’s influence. Ranging from X’s John Doe to Wu Tang’s RZA, the paragraph or two each offers up just how much the quiet Beatle gave to the world. Dean Ween’s piece is short, but so touchingly poignant, you’ll tear up. Just thinking about it has me blinking them away as I type.
The magazine’s format change (a 90-degree turn) allows for more white space and freedom with the layout, giving some photos that would’ve otherwise been squeezed in a chance to become these fantastic landscapes. The work of Craig Thompson (author/illustrator behind the excellently depressing graphic novel Blankets) flourishes, as do the photographs of St. Vincent’s Annie Clark. I’m not sure why I don’t subscribe to this magazine, as it’s a superb mix of art, film, and music. I like every issue. Shit. Maybe I need to send them some cash.