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  • 09/27/13--02:41: QUICK ZINE REVIEWS TIME


  • The Life Of Rodney…Year 64 #4&5: Send stuff to Rod (particularly zines) and he’ll review it in this unique perzine. The zine scene veteran is an ageing lumberjack in Canada, at times curmudgeonly but always interesting. You may not like his views, but then…he probably doesn’t like yours either. In the two latest typed issues he reviews a range of books and zines while cursing the weather, his dodgy typewriter and the lack of steady interesting mail. Help him out on that last one, eh? Rodney Leighton, #11 Branch Rd, R.R.#3, Tatamagouche, NS, B0K 1V0, CANADA (trade, 8M, :20]


    The Kobb Log #5: This classic 80s-style movie zine kicks off with a brief history of aliens in Hollywood, followed by an eclectic bunch of reviews. I’ve seen Better Off Dead (a great weird comedy) and The Black Cat. The other reviews were cool but the one that really caught my eye was The Swimmer starring Burt Lancaster. I had to buy that sucker after the glowing review. Thanks, Kobb Loggers, for turning me onto a bizarre bit of 60s movie mania. Kobb Labs, PO Box 30231, Pensacola, FL, 32503-1231, USA (trade or write for prices, 24M, :20]


    Biblio-Curiosa #4: Chris finds the craziest, most obscure books and authors, then writes about them in such loving detail that you feel almost compelled to seek them out for yourself. This issue covers the perverse movie tie-in novel (kinda, sorta) The Werewolf vs. Vampire Women, bizarre author Tiffany Thayer and more assorted weirdness. If you love strange fiction, then I order you to buy this zine. Chris Mikul, PO Box K546, Haymarket, NSW, 1240, AUSTRALIA, cathob@zip.com.au [AUD$5/email for overseas prices, 48S, :60]


    Unbelievably Bad#10: A cause for celebration as one of Australia’s greatest-but-tardiest zines (next to mine) has finally returned for a long-overdue, long-anticipated issue. Don’t let the high-brow colour cardboard covers and quality printing fool you, though, this is pure low-brow trash kicking off with an interview with the kings of “grog rock”, The VeeBees! The never-ending chat with horror fillum director Herschell Gordon Lewis continues. Plus there are interviews with heavy metal legend turned stand-up comic Steve Hughes, Jello Biafra, Jim Keyes from Masters Apprentices and the proverbial much, much more! Get it, read it, love it! Unbelievably Bad, c/- Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill, NSW, 2203, AUSTRALIA unbelievablybad@optusnet.com.au [AUD$8 or e-mail for details if from overseas 68M 1:00+]

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    Elementary Headcoats: The Singles 1990-1999 starts off as fun garage pop with silly novelty songs like My Dear Watson and Hog's Jaw, before descending into hell with the harrowing Every Bit Of Me and the confronting instrumental Paedophile, both dealing with the abuse singer/songwriter Billy Childish experienced as a child.
    From there, the CD seemingly changes tack with killer punk tunes that kick arse, summed up perfectly by the delightfully titled I've Been F*ckin' Your Daughters And Pissing On Your Lawns.
    This 50-track, two-disc collection is essential listening for garage/punk fans. It's only taken me 20 years to get into Billy Childish and Thee Headcoats. About bloody time.

    You can easily find Elementary Headcoats for sale cheap on eBay. I suggest you buy it there.


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  • 06/02/13--18:48: REVIEW: Grunted Warning #18

  • Grunted Warning #18: A dramatic pic from the new Australian sex'n'violence-filled drama series Wentworth (a modern reworking of the 80s classic Prisoner) sets a great tone for the new issue. Inside, there are plenty of bizarre clippings, including a special "made in Japan" section. Art from Ryan Vella is the icing on the cake. Mind-blowing. Stratu, PO Box 35, Marrickville, NSW, 2204, AUSTRALIA; sstratu@gmail.com; blackguard23.livejournal.com [AUD$1/stamps/trade/cool letter or postcard, 12S, :15]





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    #257

    Hungover, scraping

    lead paint in hundred-degree

    humidity, mad


    I'VE never been a fan of poetry unless it's being screamed at me from a stage by aggressive drunks. Normally, I find poetry too feeble, too twee, too pretentious.

    That said, I have a soft spot for Japanese haiku - mainly 'cos the rigid format (three lines: five syllables, seven syllables/five syllables) means it takes discipline to not only write one, but write a good one.

    And that's the beauty of Beerbox Haiku, Raven Mack's new collection of nearly 1000 poems - written during "a dark transitional period" in his life. In 17 syllables, he effectively and hauntingly captures working class life in modern America: the joys of family...the daily grind of manual labour...the sweet release of alcohol (followed by the inevitable "alcohol guilt")...the social intricacies of relating daily to others for whom the American Dream has failed them...the simple pleasures of drinking under a starry sky or watching an attractive woman walk by...
    These poems are earthy, raw, sweaty - not every haiku struck a chord with me, but some of them aren't meant to. They're deeply personal thoughts from a complicated Southern man who has the talent to articulate a way of life that others like myself can only imagine. But when you least expect it, a nugget of universal truth will hit the reader between the eyes.

    Raven's book is moving. It is beautiful. It is essential reading for anyone who appreciates the power of great writing, especially when it's displayed in 17 little syllables.

    #598
    Using a pay phone
    to say, "I'll be home after
    midnight, don't worry."

    * You can purchase Beerbox Haiku from Amazon. To keep in touch with everything that Raven Mack is doing, check out his website.

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  • 06/08/13--17:52: DVD review: "The Barrens"



  • Early thoughts on THE BARRENS (starring some prick from True Blood):
    1. If a dead deer with his intestines hanging out and horns removed jumped in front of my car, I would immediately turn it around and get the fuck away from the Pine Barrens.

    2. If I took my family to the Pine Barrens and heard stories about the Jersey Devil, I would put my family back in the car and GET THE FUCK AWAY.
     


    3. If I asked my six-year-old son to "fetch my knife" from the backpack, then saw him playing with an urn (which I happened to bring along for shit'n'giggles) before having horrific flashbacks and passing out......I would tell my wife to DRIVE US THE FUCK OUT OF THE PINE BARRENS...RIGHT NOW!!!!!!
    Or is it just me....?


    FINAL THOUGHTS: This was SHIT, despite Mia Kirschner looking quite hot in a MILFy kinda way.

    TRAILER:
    http://youtu.be/yAZe_fDNkxs


    The real Jersey Devil?
     

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    After 18 long months, I've finally published a new zine about six-word novels. It's only six pages long, but I'm just happy to finally get the damn thing finished.

    Email me at danhelen@idx.com.au if you're interested in a copy. ;)

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  • 06/22/13--07:46: Now on Tumblr. :)
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  • 08/11/13--08:16: Oh Suzanne......

  • THE main reason I watch Expo (the home shopping channel) is for this woman. Seriously, if I wasn't married, I would totally hook up with British-born NZ-based Expo host Suzanne Paul.
    In a perfect world, I'd invite the former NZ Dancing With The Stars winner to my home - after first cleaning it with my H2O Mop Ultra, iRobot Roomba and Swivel Sweeper Max, then purifying the house with my Oreck Air Purifier - and make her dinner using my Bullet Express and Stonedine cookware.
    Afterwards, over a glass of Nopalea, I'd make my move.
    Slowly, I'd peel off Suzanne's Cami Shaper and Slim & Tone Leggings. As they fell to the floor I'd lead her into my bedroom where the True Sleeper lay waiting. Lying her down on my My Pillow, she would gasp at the comfort and low, low price before she yielded to my manly charms and we made the beast with two backs all night long.
    When I'd finished making love to her for the fifth time straight, I'd pause and gently whisper, "But that's not all..."
    In the morning, I'd cook her breakfast in my Flavourwave Express ovens and offer her a work-out session in my living room with my full range of Tapout XT exercise DVDs.
    Later, I'd send her a bill for my services, offering her the chance to pay me only $29.95 in five easy monthly instalments, or $149.95 in one full payment.



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  • 09/04/13--08:06: Article 5

  • NORMALLY, I don't wildly sing the praises of zinesters, but TAMARA LAZAROFF is worth the effort. For some time now she's been sending me her exquisitely written, hauntingly beautiful self-published work and I feel privileged that she does so. It's rare to find a writer with such confidence and talent. I'm honoured that she considers me someone worth sending her zines to for reviews. I recently interviewed Tamara and her answers were as refreshing and intelligent as the writing in her zines. Please enjoy the interview...

    1. Howlonghaveyoubeenwritingandcreatingzines?


    I'veenjoyedwritingsinceIwaskid.ButIhaveonlybeencreatingzinesforthelastfiveyears.  Pre-zines,I'dbeenwonderinghowandwhereIcouldsharemystoriesinawaythatfeltcomfortabletome,thatfitme.AndthenIhappenedtobegoingtotheNewcastleYoungWritersFestivalin2008.Iheardtherewasazinefair.Ibookedastall.I started puttingtogethermyfirstzine,Briefly,Birds.Andthatwasitforme.Itwaslovefromthestart.WhatIreallyloveaboutzinesandzinecultureistheunmediated,intimateandequalconnectionthatIgettohave,asawriter,withareader;andthatareadergetstohavewithme;andthatIgettohaveasareaderwithotherzinesters.Tome,thezineworldisanopen,egalitarianspace.Anyonecanparticipate.


    2.Whatzinesandzine-makers(ifany)inspire/dyoutoself-publish?


    OneofthefirstzinesIfellinlovewithwasGiantessbyCandacePetrik. There are tenissuesaltogetherandtheydealreallycandidlywith being queer,internalisedhomophobiaandcomingout(aswellasotherthings).Gorgeoustolookattoo,Giantessisstilloneofmyfavouritezines. I'm actually writing a homage zine, at the moment, for Giantess. (It's called Lezbianka.) But, anyway, this zine, Giantess, and countless, countless others, continue to inspire me to offer whatever I have to offer right now – writing-wise, and life-wise. I don't have to be polished and perfect.
    3.Whatwritersinspire/dyoutowrite?
    I'malwaysburstingwithnewideasafterazinefair.Ireadlotsofpoetryandfictionandnon-fiction.Ilikelisteningtopeopletalk,tellstoriesabouttheirlivesconversationinspiresme.ButthefirstwriterwhoinspiredmetoeventhinkaboutmaybewritingmyselfisJackKerouac.

    IrememberthefirsttimeIreadanythingbyhim.Iusedtoworkinanursinghomeandoneofmyco-workers,onhislastday,gavemehiscopyofDharmaBums.He'dbeenreadinginthestaffroomandI'dbeeninterestedinit.I'dlikedthecover.Myco-workerwantedmetohaveitasagift.Istartedtosay,'No,no,I'llpostitbacktoyou.Ijustwanttoborrowit.'Andhejustsaid,'No.It'syours.Jackwould'vewantedthatway.'Anyway,whenIgothomeandstartedreadingIwastotallyblownaway.Ifeltasifthisbookhadbeenwrittenforme.Likeitwasaletterorsomething.LikesomebodyknewexactlywhatIneededtohear.IhadnoideaabouttheBeatgeneration.IthoughtJackKerouacwasthisobscurewriterI'dluckilystumbledinto.ButthatbookDharmaBumsatthetimemademefeelthatifIeverwroteanythingIwantedtowritelikeJack.Ha! That's a bit of a grand ambition. Buthedidinspireme. And I think zines are like letters of sorts.

    4. Whydoyouchoosehard-copyprintasyourprimemedium?Whydoyoupreferthatovertheinternet?Anddoyouhaveanonlinepresence(ablog,website,Tumblr,etc)?


    Ienjoythezineasobjectmakingazine,assembling,designing,thefactthatIcanholdazineinmyhands,turnthepages'manually'.Ialsoreallyenjoythefactthatzinesareephemeralobjectsmuchmoreephemeralthanaproperlybound,acid-freepaperbookorawebpage.Soonerratherthanlater,azinewilldisintegrate,disappear.There'ssomethinglovelyandpoetic and true aboutthat.Onamorepracticalnote,I'mnotverytechnologicalperson.ButIamthinkingaboutablog...


    5. Youredoingsomethingratherradicalin2013(producingahard-copyzine),soIhavetoaskarezinesdead...orjustcoughingupblood?

    Hmm.Zinesaredefinitelynotdeadforme.Ithinktherewillalwaysbepeoplewhoappreciatethepersonalandhandmade.

    6. Alotofyourzinesdealwithyourexperiencestravellingoverseasandmeetingpeoplefromdifferentcountriesandcultures.Howhavetheseexperiencesshapedyouasawriter?


    Well,abouttenyearsago,Idecidedtorelearnmyfirstlanguage,Macedonian.Istudieditformallythroughanold-stylecorrespondencecourseatMacquarieUniversity(IwasoneofthelaststudentstograduatebeforetheDepartmentclosedin2010).Anyway,during this time, IhadtheopportunitytotraveltoMacedonia. Igottomeetandspeakwithlotsofpeople;Icollectedalotofstoriesandexperiences.I also gottoseehowIthinkdifferentlyinMacedonian.EmbeddedintheMacedonianlanguageanylanguageisawholeworldviewandwayofbeingdifferenttomyworld-viewandwayofbeinginEnglish.ThisissomethingI'vebeentryingtoarticulatein some of myrecentzinesPrisoninMacedonia;IAmNatasha;BunnyMen;Walnuts,Almonds,Nuts.Therearestillmorecoming.
    6.Haveyoualwaysbeenakeenobserverofothers,evenasachild?Thatabilityshinesthroughinyourstories.


    Likeanyone,I'm probably akeenobserverofparticularthings.Growingup,asakid,inatight-knitMacedonianhouseholdandcommunityinSydney,Ioftenfeltlikeananthropologiststudyingpeopleandtheirbehaviours,practices,rituals,customs.Bothinsideandoutsidethehome,'correct'codesweresovastlydifferent.

    7.Doyouthinkallzinesterswouldbenefitfromtraveltobroadentheirminds?Hastravellingmadeyouabetterwriter?


    Hmm,Dann.Idon'tknowhowtoanswerthisone. I enjoy reading adventures-at-home zines just as much as I enjoy travel zines. Adventures-at-home zines I like are: Incredibly Hot Sex With Hideous People (Bryce Galloway), a wry domestic/family-life zine; anything by The Sydney Exploratory Society; and anything by Michelle B. like her hilarious, observational The Joy of Public Transport. Overseas travel zines I like to re-read are: JuneGraveyardandKingdombytheSea(VanessaBerry)whichareaboutVanessa'sliterarypilgrimagestothegravesitesofSylviaPlathandJanetFrame;andHomesick/Awaysick (RenataJoyField);andOneWeekwithBirds(RaquelOrmella) in which Raquel documents in beautiful pictures and words a week in the Tamar Island Wetlands in Tasmania.
    8. Whatdoeswritingmeantoyou?Isitself-expression,ahobby,anobsession,what?


    IguessIthinkofwritingasbeingmathematical,practicalandpersonal.AstoryissomethingIcandowithmythoughts,feelings,curiosities.It'sawayofworkingthingsoutlikeabig,long algebraic problem being asked of me inasymboliclanguageIhavetotranslate. Lots of x'sandy'sandpisandcosinesandsines.Therearen'tanyrightanswers.Butit'senjoyabletryingtoarticulate,inthesimplestway,whatseemsinarticulable.Totrytogiveaformtotheblindspotsinmypsyche.Atleastthat'swhatwritingistomeatthatmomentwhileI'mdoingtheseMacedonianstories. 
    9.Canyou(orwouldyou)liketomakeacareeroutofwriting?
    Well, Iusedtomakejewellery,one-offpieces,andsellthematmarkets around Sydney. Then, Iusedtofeelthateachpiecewaswaitingfortheonepersontocomealongandcollectandclaimit.Ifeelthesameaboutstories.Storieshavetheirdestination,theirreceiverorreceivers.WhatIwantformywriting,mystories,isthat they have thechancetoreachthepeoplewhowouldenjoyorrelateorgetsomething for themselves outof them. Atthemoment,I'mthinkingaboutwhatIwilldowiththeMacedonianstoriesthatseemtobepilingup.Maybetheywouldbenefitfromlookedatbyaneditor.MaybeIwillbringthemtogetherinonegiantzine.MaybeI'llmakeanartists'bookoutofthem.We'llsee.

    10. Iftherewasonezinethatyoucouldhandsomeoneandsay,ThisisME” – whichonewouldyouchoose?Oristhattoohard?IsiteasierifIjustaskwhichzineyouremostproudof?
    IstillfeelreallyproudofmyfirstzineBriefly,Birds.Likeanyfirstanything,it'sbraveandrough and ready andnaïve.Butofmyrecentzines,IlikeBunnyMenbestbecauseitfeelsasifthereisaghost,apresencestandingbehindthestoryandIdon'tknowwhatitmeanstosaytomeyet.

    11.Giveusyourcontactdetails.Wherecanpeoplereachyoutoobtainyourzines?Prices,whatsavailable,etc...


    Well, as I said, Iamthinkingaboutblog.Butinthemeantime I can be contacted by email:

    taazan@hotmail.com

    .
    Thezines I have available,oldandnew,are: Briefly,Birds(2008) $4(pluspostage); House(2009) $3 (plus postage); NotBroken,ButOpened(2009) $3(pluspostage); PoemsI'veLivedWith(2009) $4(pluspostage); ToPraiseistheThing(2010) $3(pluspostage); PrisoninMacedonia(2012)$3(pluspostage); IAmNatasha(2012) $3(pluspostage); VeryBriefly,Birds(2012) $2(pluspostage); Well,ThatWasWeird(2012) $3(pluspostage); EveryoneTonightInTheStreet!(2013) $4(pluspostage); BunnyMen(2013) $2(pluspostage); Walnuts,Almonds,Nuts(2013) $3(pluspostage); and Anti-Journey (2013) $2(pluspostage).



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  • 12/07/13--16:22: REVIEW: Space Monsters #2

  • THE thing I miss most about the zine/self-published magazine implosion of the late 90s (thanks, Internet) was the loss of so many cool mags about indy/schlocky/crappy/great flicks. Film Threat, Exploitation Retrospect, Gore Gazette, Ecco, SPRAK!...they're gone now and unlikely to come back, except maybe as a blog.
    So it's nice to see new horror film mag Space Monsters - this one from the UK - being published...even if it's primarily as a PDF edition. Still, that means it's easy to receive via email, A4 in size and in full colour! (The print edition only has colour covers - with B&W interiors - and is A5.)
    Issue three goes on sale next month, so I'm tardily reviewing issue two, which I enjoyed immensely, partly 'cos it features an article written by saucy British scream queen EMILY BOOTH.


    Issue #2 focuses on space vampires, so there are articles on such goodies as the original The Thing, Lifeforce (I greatly enjoyed this article on the troubled Tobe Hooper film), plus alien bloodsuckers in TV's Space 1999 and Buck Rogers, and a look at the disastrous attempts to get sexy comic superstar Vampirella onto the big screen. And the proverbial much, much more.

    There's a lot to recommend about this magazine, written with wit, passion and enthusiasm.

    For more info and to order your own copy, check out:
    http://spacemonstersmag.wordpress.com/
    http://www.classichorrorcampaign.com/space-monsters-magazine/
    https://www.facebook.com/SpaceMonstersMagazine/posts/135885939931049#!/SpaceMonstersMagazine

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  • 12/08/13--04:25: Mixed emotions

  • I'VE always loved mixtapes - making and receiving them. Helen made one for us when Jones was born in 2007, to play in the car (yes, we still had a tapedeck in in the old Mazda 121) as we drove home from the hospital. We both cried listening to the songs that were the first songs our daughter ever heard.

    Nowadays, I guess they're called mix CDs (or mix memory sticks or whatever). The nice thing about them is the fact that someone cares enough about you to share his/her musical tastes with you in the hope that you will like/love some of the songs they send you.

    What's changed in this digital era is the ease that you can then get into a particular artist you hear on the mixtape: checking out a few videos by them on YouTube and, if you're impressed, buying a CD or two on eBay/Amazon/iTunes/wherever.

    Recently, an old friend sent me a memory stick filled with a bunch of random tunes. We play it a lot in the car and the kids really got into the songs, too...to the point where my 3yo demanded "track listings", so I had to make him a fake CD cover to read.

    I was already into a couple of artists my mate included - The The, Lydia Lunch and Laura Veirs - which goes to show he and I both have great taste in music. But his gift opened my mind to a slab of indie artists - Lovers, Bailter Space, Imperial Teen, Kinski and Psychic Ills - and a legend, Neil Young, who I'm now getting into for the first time.

    I went on to buy CDs for most of these bands off eBay (a great, cheap source for brand-new CDs nowadays), but to support Lovers (who I quickly grew to adore), I bought a couple of their most recent CDs directly from their website at http://www.loversarelovers.com/. Hey, might as well cut out the middlemen and give my cash straight to the band, right?

    Y'know, the way we acquire new music may be changing as we exit 2013 and hurtle towards 2014, but the ways we HEAR about new music remains the same. For ezample, we'll always have friends who wanna make mixtapes to give us, and I think that's cool.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkidm2Oxnnc

    Long story short, thanks for the mixtape, Dames.


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    THE Land Of Promise Hotel has the best name for a strip club. It's also an awesome rock venue - where else in Australia can bands play while making use of a fully functional shower and two stripper poles? It was a fitting place to watch an eclectic night of Adelaide rock'n'roll shenanigans last Saturday.
    I was in Adelaide to enjoy the 50th birthday celebrations of my good friend and veteran zinester/DJ/lounger kami. He'd got three local bands to put on a show and what a helluva performance they put on. Rough around the edges but never boring.
    First up was ROO SHOOTER, two dudes "staring lovingly into each other's eyes" (as kami put it) while assaulting each other and the audience with electric guitar distortion. It was perfectly passable, and made all the more enjoyable by the fact that every song was preceded by the announcement, "This song is for kami." They finished memorably with a distorted version of GOD's My Pal.
     

    Next came PICNIC CASKET, which was basically three quarters of legendary Adelaide punk/hardcore band Grudge. I believe this was only their second gig. They did a few originals but mainly stuck with deranged cover versions of a bunch of 70s and 80s tunes, including Stevie Wright's Black Eyed Bruiser (I think). It was some Stevie Wright tune (I was pretty drunk by this stage). Everyone was going nuts and dancing around throughout the gig, including several delightful well-aged sluts and the always-drunk Dick Dale. This set felt like it went on for 90+ minutes, probably because it did. Still, I enjoyed every moment of it.
     

    Finally, came the headline act, ISOLATION VALVE. kami had already warned us that this eccentric trio - led by two brothers - were notorious around town for never doing the same gig twice. Playing a country music set at a punk gig was a mild example of what they were capable of - it seems the band's main aim in life is to piss off their audiences. They didn't disappoint us this night.
    Firstly, they called the birthday boy over and proceeded to strip for him down to their (women's) underwear. They then did a set of acoustic originals that I don't know the exact names of, but I think two of the titles were There's A Volcano In My Living Room (a sing-along ditty) and I Sold My Little Sister On The Internet. All sung in an annoying, weedy voice by the lead singer who, as an encore, stripped naked and had a shower on-stage. Think Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart/every annoying performance artist you've ever had the misfortune of seeing and you'd get Isolation Valve. They were BRILLIANT.
    As birthday bashes go, this was one of the most memorable I've attended. I think more birthday beanos (and gigs in general) should be held in strip clubs.

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    Coral Coogan: A very personal zine from Chris of Bizarrism infamy. It’s a loving tribute to his late aunty, an aspiring actress and genuinely nice-sounding person. Heart-felt and a little bit sad. Here is a woman who had a wonderful life, yet perhaps felt cheated that she never achieved more, on the cusp of something greater but never quite reaching that goal. It’s a lovely piece of writing. I hope other members of Chris’s family appreciated this publication as much as I did.
    Chris Mikul, PO Box K546, Haymarket, NSW, 1240, AUSTRALIA, cathob@zip.com.au[email for prices, 28 x A5, 30min]
    Bizarrism#8: From the gaudy, gory cover depicting Tiger Balm Gardens in Singapore to a shocking expose on the horrendous excesses of dead Libyan dictator Gaddafi (possibly the worst serial rapist of all time), Chris’s celebrated, long-running zine is off to another heady start. Add to this more sensational research into the very mysterious death of the unknown Somerton Man and the truly fabulous adventures (if slightly untrue) of Denisa, Lady Newborough and you have a thoroughly entertaining read. Again.
    Chris Mikul, PO Box K546, Haymarket, NSW, 1240, AUSTRALIA, cathob@zip.com.au[$8, 44 x A4, 90min]
     
    Grunted Warning #19, #20, #21: More deranged news cut’n’pasted into one handy-dandy bimonthly publication for your toilet-reading pleasure. A lot of it comes from Japan, which is weirder and far more unsafe than one might imagine. I blame tentacle porn myself.
    Stratu, PO Box 35, Marrickville, NSW, 2204, AUSTRALIA; sstratu@gmail.com; blackguard23.livejournal.com[AUD$1/stamps/trade/unusual/grotesque clippings, 12 x A5 [pages, reading time: 15 minutes]

    One Thousand Feathers #9, #10, #11, #12: I don’t necessarily “get” or agree with everything Raven Mack writes, but I’m always entertained by his stream-of-consciousness writings. These four-page tracts cover a wide range of topics and if you receive a fistful of ’em from Raven, then you’re bound to find at least one that grabs your attention and makes you think. Or laugh. Or shake your head. #9 are random album reviews, from obscure rappers (to me, anyway) and Neko Case to the Grateful Dead. Sadly, I wasn’t compelled to seek any of them out. I just don’t get the Dead. Or rap for that matter. #10 celebrates this year’s soccer World Cup by doing a fantasy football tournament featuring clubs from around the world. Raven picks the best-sounding teams – Shamrock Rovers FC, The Strongest, Lesotho Correctional Services – and weaves magical stories around them and why some should win over others. It’s footy tipping as poetry. #11 is fiction – gritty, meth-stained, real. My fave issue so far. #12 is a rant, a call to arms, a declaration of mental independence. Every issue is different, unexpected, individual. That’s the beauty of One Thousand Feathers.
    Raven Mack, PO Box 270, Scottsville, VA, 24590, USA. http://www.rojonekku.com or seek him out on Facebook or on Google by typing in “Rojonekku”. [send him US$20 and you should get something thought-provoking in your mailbox, 4 x A4, 20min]

    The Life Of Rodney…Year 65 #1: What does a cantankerous Canadian lumberjack have to say? Quite a lot, actually. Not quite a review zine. Not quite a perzine. Rod has been quietly putting out publications like this for more than 25 years (that’s as long as I’ve known him, so probably even longer than that). Paper zines may be dead, but Rod wouldn’t know that. He’ll be pumping them out long after I’m in the grave.
    Rodney Leighton, #11 Branch Rd, R.R.#3, Tatamagouche, NS, B0K 1V0, CANADA (trade, 8 x A4, 20min]

    The Kobb Log #7: The Halloween issue. Whoops, I guess I’m a little late getting this review out. Articles cover the many vampire films based on the 1872 gothic novella Carmilla, childhood memories of Halloween and reviews of many films (not all of them horror). It’s nice to see a few that I have seen and enjoyed: Electra Glide In Blue, Frankenstein’s Army, Sharknado and The Mist. The zine ends with a gruesome-but-lovely drawing by the late, sadly-missed Tom Crites. I just wish Dr Bill wold put out his always-quirky zine more often. Then again, who am I to talk about tardiness?
    Kobb Labs, PO Box 30231, Pensacola, FL, 32503, USA(trade or write for prices, 38 x A4, 30min]

    Also from Bill – or is it The Masked Claw – comes A Brief Collection Of Disguises & Masks From A Wide Variety Of Places. This skinny 12-page zine (technically A5, although it’s really A4 sheets folded vertically) features photos of Lone Ranger-style masks that Claw sent all over the world (including to me in Sydney, Australia). He asked recipients to decorate the masks as they saw fit, then send them back to him. I gave mine to my then-5yo daughter who went to town with coloured pencils. This is a really fantastic idea and I loved this zine a lot. Ask about it when you write to Dr Bill/Masked Claw about The Kobb Log.

    St. Büdchen Nachrichten #3: More graffiti and photo collages (and stickers!) from Deutschland courtesy of my favourite street artist Chill Phill. I’m not a fan of graffiti in general, but Phill is so goddamn talented (and he runs a mean bündchen as well).
    Phillipp Schöde, Mathildenstrasse 9, Hamburg, 20357, GERMANY, makethingshappen@web.de[€2.50, 40 x A5, 10min] – Dann Lennard

     


    Reasons To Be Cheerful #1: Inspired by Raven Mack, , this is a list of tunes that make long-time zinester Kami feel good. From Slade to Beilly Eckstine to the reviled Gary Glitter, the man explains with wit and style why they matter to him. I liked this a lot..
    Kami, PO Box 278, Edwardstown, SA, 5039. AUSTRALIA, cammy@arcom.com.au[email for price, 8 x A5, 20min]

    Unbelievably Bad#11: The editor has gone mad, producing another issue only months after the last one in a frenzied display of hyper-activity. The highlight of this issue by far is a bitter diatribe by Perth punk Ross Buncle, pouring vitriol on James Baker (The Victims, The Scientists, etc) and Dave Faulkner (The Victims, Hoodoo Gurus) for stealing his songs back in the 70s. He’s actually correct, but this still rates as a massive whine. However, Buncle’s look at the 70s punk scene in Perth is compelling and got me vaguely interested in Baker’s work to the point that I actually attended a Scientists reunion gig in Marrickville a few months back. Awesome, sloppy gig and Baker looks like a 60yo dero. Elsewhere, a tribute to Misfits tribute bands was surprisingly readable, even though I’m not a fan of the band.
    Unbelievably Bad, c/- Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill, NSW, 2203, AUSTRALIA unbelievablybad@optusnet.com.au[AUD$8 or e-mail for details if from overseas, 68 x A4, 60+ minutes]

    Sleaze Fiend Magazine #1: Here’s a nice throwback to the classic horror flick zines of the 80s. Poorly laid out, rough in parts when it comes to content, but its heart is in the right place. Inside there’s a tribute to skuzzy actor David Hess, a potted history of VHS, an unsettling review of the Maniac remake, David Cronenberg’s film history, weird Brazilian sexploitation and the proverbial much more. This is a nice first effort and I hope there’s more in the future.
    www.exploitedcinemaplanet.com, exploited_cinema@yahoo.com[e-mail for prices, 56 x A5, 45min]

    Eighties Video Dating Montage: The extremely talented Nicola found real dating video footage on YouTube and turned it into this cute, cleverly packaged zine. A quotable quote floats above a portrait of the optimistic romancer. The blue printing is dark in parts, making some of the writing difficult to read, but Nic’s artwork still makes this worth purchasing.
    Original video is HERE.
    Nicola Hardy, secret-envelope.tumblr.com[find her on Facebook for price, 5min]

     



    SSEX #4: Sometimes, a zine arrives in my mailbox that sums up everything I love about self-publishing. Leon’s new issue contains interviews with three creative types who would be regarded as obscure by most folk. Yet all three are fascinating figures worthy of discussion, from outsider US film-maker Charles Nauman (whose lone fictional movie, 1972’s Johnny Vik, captured Leon’s attention many years ago) to Aussie avant-garde musician Peter Tyndall to fellow Aussie sonic artist John Murphy. Leon’s interviews (particularly with Nauman and Murphy) are well-rounded due to extensive (nay, obsessive) research into his subjects, making SSEX a richly rewarding read.
    Leon O’Regan, exssex@gmail.com[$5 post paid worldwide. It's also available from Distort: (www.distortmag.bigcartel.com/product/new-ssex-4), 28 x A4, 45min]

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    YEP, it's World Cup time again. We are only a few days away from communally enjoying - along with billions of other casual (and not-so-casual) fans around the globe - all the spectacle, controversy, drama and hoopla surrounding this four-yearly extravaganza as Brazil plays host to a month-long, 32-country tourney.
    Once again, Helen and I will be glued to the TV set well into the early hours of the morning eyeballing soccer, a sport we haven't bothered watching since...ooooooh, the last World Cup in 2010.
    Even though we don't know any of the players or quality of the various teams - although we suspect the home team are probably odds-on to to win their sixth title - I'm pretty certain we'll still cheer on Australia, who are again massive underdogs and unlikely to move into the final 16 due to their harsh group draw.
    I've watched the World Cup since I was a kid, going back to 1978, but it's only in the past eight years that it's taken on a spiritual aspect for us. Helen and I conceived our eldest daughter during the 2006 World Cup (I believe it occurred following Australia's 2-2 draw with Croatia that helped us make the final 16). And Helen gave birth to our son just prior to the 2010 World Cup, so I have strong memories of nursing a crying baby while watching games at three in the morning.
    The World Cup has great significance for us now for those reasons, even though we're very much four-yearly warriors when it comes to trying to understand what the hell is going on. Who are these players who are supposedly the next coming of Pele? Who is that strange referee with the bald head who resembles Frankenstein and appears to be a bigger star than many of the players? Why is England always so crap in the World Cup? These remain mysteries to us.
    So thank fuck someone has taken the considerably nerdy effort to compile a comprehensive guide to this year's World Cup. It takes a true outsider to bring a new, unique perspective to the beautiful game's biggest event, and they don't come any more outside than a lounging, literate, haiku-scribblin' American of the Southern persuasion (a West Virginian no less). Raven Mack's new 200-page book doesn't just preview the World Cup, going into serious detail about every single country taking part. It's also a profound look at the spiritual and cultural make-up of each country. Read Football Metaphysics and be edjumacated about these nations and why they have come together in steamy Brazil to kick a ball around a patch of grass in front of hundreds of thousands of insane, passionate fans.
    You may learn something about football (or soccer as I stubbornly continue to call the sport). But you'll definitely learn a whole lot more about people in general, and Raven Mack in particular.
    Order your e-copy now - IT'S NOT TOO LATE - HERE or THERE.



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    Here's a blatant attempt to up the hit count on my blog. Let's see if it works. :)
    Please comment if and why you like Kate's breasts. :)

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    Unbelievably Bad#12: The problem with pumping out a few quick issues of a magazine of the magnitude of UB is that inevitably there's gonna be the dreaded throwaway issue that lacks a bit of substance. To me, #12 is THAT throwaway ish - it's not bad, but was it necessary? Especially with #13 just around the corner. The problem for me is that this ish is overloaded with interviews with a bunch of local heavy metal/hardcore bands that left me cold as I'm not into the scene. Plus there's another instalment of the never-ending interview with gore film director Herschell Gordon Lewis which, to use an MMA reference, had me tapping out years ago. Of course, there ARE highlights in #12 including a round-up of quotable quotes from Charlie Manson acolyte Bobby BeauSoleil, an indepth look at one man's controversial attempt to do a GG Allin tribute band show in Melbourne (pretty funny, actually), and a Favourite Freaks feature on one-armed MMA tough guy Nick Newell. Any average issue of Unbelievably Bad is streets ahead of most other publications, but I look forward to UB hitting better form next time around.
    Unbelievably Bad, c/- Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill, NSW, 2203, AUSTRALIA unbelievablybad@optusnet.com.au[AUD$8 or e-mail for details if from overseas, 68 x A4, 40+ minutes]


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    Conspiritus Muppetus: The fact I love this gorgeously produced art book has nothing to do with the fact that Glenno is a friend. Or that the launch was held in the Young Henry’s brewery in Newtown, where I proceeded to get hammered on delicious boutique beer. No, this book rocks my socks for all sorts of aesthetic reasons. Glenno – one of the premier underground artists in this country – has written short essays on various aspects of conspiracy theories and married them to painfully detailed B&W illustrations that pervert the relative innocence of The Muppets. So you see Sesame Street’s The Count reimagined as Vlad The Impaler, laughing uproariously as he counts the spiked victims in his kingdom. Or Gonzo performing satanic ritual abuse. Or Pigs In Space reborn as Scientology. It’s so very wrong and so very beautiful. Conspirtus Muppetus is a flipbook, the other half containing a portfolio of Glenno’s posters that will inspire and disturb you, possibly at the same time. Support this genius artist by buying this book. You’ll never look at Grover the same way again.
    Glenno; retardmetal@hotmail.com; www.glennoart.com[email for price, 76 x A4 pages, reading time: 30 minutes]




     


    Kamuke #7: This zine on ukulele culture falls into an unusual zone: too “inside” to capture the interest of casual readers, yet too light in content to appeal to hardcore fans of the popular musical instrument. I wish editor Cameron Murray went balls to the wall and did in-depth interviews with Janet Klein, Sarah Maisel and Craig Chee (instead of the short chats seen in this ish). And the features on Tiny Tim and the George Formby Society could have really gone somewhere if given more than a few pages to breathe. If you’re aiming for hardcore uke fans, then go hard. That said, this mag is beautifully produced by a guy who knows his ukes.
    Cameron Murray; editor@kamuke.com; www.kamuke.com[email for price, 36 x A5 pages, reading time: 20 minutes]

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