the decline and fall of zine culture part 785

“Why do you think I do a blog? Cos it’s less work than doing a fanzine and it costs sweet F.A to ‘publish’. Sorry if I’m more advanced in my commitment to the anarcho-socialist utopia of the 24/7 leisure society than some.”Martin, BTI

There seem to be less and less magazines out there I am interested in as time passes. Maybe that’s because I’m more fussy and cynical these days, but I think the simple fact is that there is just less self-published material being produced.

Here’s what I’ve been reading recently, anyway:

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Savage Messiah #10
London 2013 and things look bad. Laura Oldfield Ford paints a bleak picture of the Olympic legacy, with various subcultural tribes wandering the decaying urban wastelands of a post-apocalyptic Britain. Perhaps the most shocking indictment of all is the fact that these wretches seem to be reduced to painting Flux of Pink Indians graffiti on the walls….

Order direct or buy from Housmans in London.

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Aufheben #17
Brighton-based marxist magazine which won’t be to everyone’s tastes -very text heavy, lots of footnotes, quite wordy. Still worth a read in places though – I have linked to their piece on opposition to the Criminal Justice Bill from the uncarved “critical look at anarchopunk” pages.

This issue includes some surprisingly readable interrogations of New Labour and the Socialist Workers Party¬†and their relationships with the “muslim community”. Good to see a worthwhile class analysis of the situation for a change.

Order from AK Distribution or buy from Housmans in London.

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Shook #4
Music mag – a bit too much focussed on soul, funk, hip hop, crate diggin’ business for my liking but still pretty good as these things go. This issue has a nice feature on UK reggae soundsystems – largely inspired by the Musically Mad DVD. The piece has some nice quotes from Shaka’s box boy Norman Felix and Benji Roots of Brixton’s Supertone shop. Other features I found interesting include Greg Wilson on Legends – Manchester’s seminal electro club and a feature on Emory Douglas – graphic artist and Minster of Culture for the Black Panther Party.

Order direct. Or download a free sample pdf (for the first page or so of many articles).

Otherwise it’s back to my archives for a print media fix. Or (bah) onto the net:

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http://zinewiki.com/ was a great resource about independent publishing – hell I even added some stuff on there about reggae fanzines. It now seems to be down, bah. I was looking forward to going back there and genning up on first wave Riot Grrl zines after listening to a compilation CD of the music Martin did for me.

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When zinewiki was up, browsing through lead me to discover that there is now an almost complete online archive of queer punk zine Homocore. That was always worth checking – a nice counterpoint to the increasingly rigid and tedious punk scene.

See also:

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http://qzap.org/v5/index.php which includes Homocore precursor JDs and lots more besides.

JDs is interesting because it is said to have willed into existence the homocore / queer punk genre just by writing about it, over emphasising some things and probably mythologising a lot. Perhaps worth comparing to Taqwacore, the relatively recent eruption of Islamic Punk which was apparently inspired by a novel?


12 Comments

  1. yeah archive.org is good but they don’t always get all the pics and obviously I’m hoping the site will continue to grow… that’s interesting about riot grrl as well. Seems there is a fair bit of archiving and retrospectives around that movement now which I suppose is hardly surprising…

  2. Oh definitely…zines were the lifeblood of Riot Grrrl. I’ve got fond memories of one called Concerned Muthas which, if memory serves me right, was produced by Iranian boy/girl twins in the UK, both gay/lesbian. I’ve googled it and can’t believe there’s zero reference to it anywhere, which makes me wonder if I got the name right…

    Zines were so massive in the early 90s, to the point that IPC or someone even put out a glossy called ‘The Zine’ around late ’93, inviting teenagers to ‘contribute’. Terrible, terrible, patronizing fucking rag, as you can probably imagine. Even Bidisha had a zine. Don’t dig her novels much, but she’s about the only writer on the Guardian’s ‘comment is free’ that I genuinely enjoy reading (and more often than not agree with). Did I ever tell you I saw her fall over on the tube?

    I’d also love to know what happened to Duncan who produced ‘Dregs’ fanzine in Liverpool – one of the coolest things I’ve read – ‘live’ reviews would mostly be about how he hitched to the gig, who he spoke to in the car etc. One contributor also did a review of a fash gig they went to in East London, for a dare, which said more about that backwards culture than anything the ANL churned out…hope Duncan’s OK, or still navigating his beloved British motorways (on his way to gigs) in peace.

  3. Uh, when I said ‘more often than not agree with’, I meant her feminist stuff, not the crap she writes about TV or books

  4. Just been reading Aufheben, cos I live in Brighton so was interested…

    They appear to be complete wankers. Thanks for the link anyway. This looks to me like part of a movement that is going to die on its arse over the next few years because they haven’t clocked that PEOPLE AREN’T LISTENING…

  5. Here’s a link to an article they published

    http://www.geocities.com/aufheben2/auf_12_antiwar.html

    It’s about the anti war movement and starts off okay but once you get to the bit near the beginning about their “reasons” for participating in the demos you get to a typically nebbish bit of elitism, ooh yeah “we went to the demo because we are anarchists and we wanted to ‘check out’ what the stupid, ignorant masses thought about it” ha ha, no more like you are anarchists because you can’t be bothered to explain what your perspective is in plain FUCKING ENGLISH

  6. i agree with “me again” :).

    I want to know what happened to the mid/late 80s fanzine people, like Leeds’ wonderful Karen Ablaze. She had some influence on riot grrrl but there are no details available… terrific writer…

  7. Martin – I spoke with Duncan Dregs over the phone yesterday and mentioned I’d found a few posts asking where he was and what he was doing. He’s still alive and kicking in Liverpool and fortunately he’s writing and thinking about starting another zine, whether it will be in print or online I don’t know yet.

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