Bringin’ the distaff sounds to ya…
By Fred Mills
In December 2010, much-loved music/culture/arts magazine Venus Zine shut its doors, another victim of the vicious cycle of economic downturn for publications that hit the music world particularly hard during the last decade or so (remember that economics also killed BLURT predecessor Harp magazine in 2008). The Chicago-based mag had been operative since 1995, and as it had been at the forefront of supporting and covering female artists, its loss was felt particularly hard among those of us who have always valued those artists; particularly in rock ‘n’ roll, we will always need more, not less, distaff input. Among the many artists who graced the cover of the magazine: M.I.A., Cat Power, Neko Case, Janelle Monae, Janeane Garofalo, Joanna Newsom, Bjork, Zoe Kravitz, Sleater-Kinney, and Sarah Silverman.
As an editor, then, I was particularly proud to sign on longtime Venus contributor Selena Fragassi, and her input has consistently been of the highest caliber (this despite that, uh, unnatural affection for Ministry mainman Al Jourgensen… but I digress). So recently Fragassi has been working on a fresh project, an online magazine called Boxx, and as the subtitle “Were Women Are Heard” suggests, it aims to fill the void that Venus’ demise left. “We aim to balance gender inequality in music media and give female artists the coverage they deserve,” reads the mission statement.
You can visit Boxx at http://boxxmagazine.com, and without sounding like I’m just trying to give a free plug to one of my friends – duh, obviously I am! – let me just point out that the coverage to date has been first-rate, with insightful commentary married to a straightforward, easy-to-navigate website layout. There’s a main daily feature, not unlike what we try to do at BLURT, with recent features including Veronica Falls, Nico Vega, newcomer Neon Hitch, and a very useful, lengthy recommendation preview titled “The Women of SXSW.” There are also plenty of fresh album and concert reviews, and a Video Of The Day box on the home page – plus an intriguing section called “Male Boxx” which is exactly what you might think it is, coverage of male artists the Boxx crew wants to hip ya to.
Check it out, and let the folks at Boxx know what you think.