Oh brave new world. Here is my first online post. In most other areas of technology, I am all for that thar Internet. Somehow, I feel rather attached to the paper world of zines and have some trepidation over what a world without them will be. My fears aside, I hope that you find this online format pleasing and that these reviews help guide you in your entertainment pursuits.
The Juniper #9: the meager words of a gentleman farmer.
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P.O. Box 3154
Moscow, ID 83843
If Thomas Jefferson ever had a vision of what he hoped the future of America would have been, it would have been summed up in Dan Murphy – Dan is a self-described dabbler and worker of the Earth. He is curious, willing to experiment and to examine how closely his actions match his values. The founding fathers would have been pleased with him, and sad that the rest of us are WalMart shopping, master consumers. Dan’s passion for “local economies, seasonal consumption, decentralized government, personal responsibility, community involvement, debunked materialism, DIY” are Jeffersonian ideals in a nutshell.
This zine is a breath of fresh air, and a good read for the non-committal gardener, biker and tinkerer. It’s inspiring because it is a gentle reminder of what “ordinary” folks are doing to connect to the Earth and her inhabitants by simply digging in the dirt and letting nature take its course.
Watch the Closing Doors, #40, ca 24 pp.
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1170 Ocean Pkwy
Brooklyn, NY 11230-4060
As an enthusiastic traveler, this zine appeals as a travelogue and as an amusing expose on mass transit all over the world. I enjoy it now as much as the first time I had the honor of reviewing it.
Train hairies will love it as there are pics of subway cars from all over the globe. Take a gander at the Singapore ones and you’ll see how far behind the US is in terms of mass transit.
Writing and layout are clear and easy reading. Text examines the quirks of systems and their users with humor and interest.
Optunia 64.1 B, Jan. 2008 (Book Reviews), 16 pp.
$3 if cash (for US readers), or trade or trade for letter of comment
Alberta, Canada T2P 2E7
Always an interesting and revelatory read, Dale’s interest is focused on the esoteric details of history that are intensely personal and have profound impacts on society at large.
An example, in this issue (which is focused on book reviews, other issues vary in content) Dale has chosen the book, Postal Age: the Emergence of Modern Communications in Nineteenth Century America. Sounds like a snoozer, right? Look deeper. In it is an explanation of how high postal rates after the Revolution affected letter-writers and communication in general. Rates were so high that folks sent newspapers to distant relatives and friends as a way of keeping in touch. The postal rates had a profound impact on how people communicated with each other. It is mind-blowing to think about and how dependent we are on cheap communications nowadays. Although it makes one wonder on the depth of thought we give to what we say to each other since it doesn’t cost us much.
Dale has a marvelous eye and ability to discover the crucial detail and how it affects us all.
Maximum Rock n Roll #295, Dec 2007, over 100 pages?
$4 per issue, 6 issues for $24, 12 issues for $38. Californians and outside US, see website.
This zine takes me back to my youth! Substantial, newsprint format, look and feel of a City Paper, but 8.5 X 11 size. Contains music reviews, letters to editor, personal and interesting essays, zine reviews, ads and all sorts of info on bands in US and around the world. Put together by a huge number of contributors, this mag hangs together well, is well organized, but still has a free-for-all spirit. So worth the money if you want to re-connect to the music scene or are looking for more info in general about rock-n-roll.
Eaves of Ass, #6: the music issue, ca. 38 pp.
$3 or trade
1627 16th St
Oakland, CA 94607
Kick-ass collection of essays and anecdotes on friendship, the state of our society, and personal connections to all kinds of rock and roll. Makes me think about how deep the connection is between music (which is today’s version of poetry) and memories of youth and things past.
Includes great quotes from lyrics that support the text. Makes you want to read more of Eaves of Ass, call a friend and listen to CCR again.
Who and What We Are
Xerography Debt is a review zine for zine readers by zine writers (and readers). It is a hybrid of review zine and personal zine (the ancestor to many blogs). The paper version has been around since 1999. This blog thing is are attempt to bridge the gap between Web 2.0 and Paper 1.0. Print is not dead, but it is becoming more pixelated.