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Tim Hinely: For The Love of Zines! (Pt.6)

Zines 1

This is what the world looked like before WordPress, punks. And it was a more vibrant, exuberantly tactile world, too. Our resident fanzine expert Tim “Dagger” Hinely weighs in.

BY TIM “DAGGER” HINELY

Print is still alive and well and here’s some rags to prove it! (See Part 5 of this series elsewhere on the Blurt site.) Fall is here, which mean that the baseball season is slowly coming to its conclusion, so with that in mind….

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8-Track Mind (#103.1) It had been a few years since San Franciscan (via Chicago) Russ Forster had slapped together a new ish of 8TM. It’s a half-sized rag that’s 40 pages, but it’s quality over quantity here, folks. This ish goes way back over 20 years where he’s writing about the salad days (“Echoes from the Glory Days” as the cover says). The So Wrong They’re Right tour (from 1995). Yeah, it’s a tour diary and instead of contributors he has a “names dropped” column. Pure genius! Get yours now from russelforster@hotmail.com

The Big Takeover (#79) If editor Jack Rabid hits issue one hundred I wanna be there for that party. Like clockwork, every June and December comes Jack’s long-running mag (not sure how many times I’ve called it “long running” but it’s a lot). This time around it’s Lush (cover stars…and unfortunately already broken up, again) Belly, Luna, The Descendents, Eagulls, Kid Congo (part 2), Cheetah Chrome and lots of more including short takes and a holy ton of reviews. For the real deal you need to subscribe. 146 pages. www.bigtakeover.com

Casting Couch (#5), Miranda Fisher just keeps cranking out her zine, Casting Couch out of her humble abode in Austin, TX. She’s up to her 5th issue and in this one are interviews with Counter Intuits, Wet Ones, Trampoline Team and Rik & the Pigs plus reviews and the usual much She’s even included a few pin ups this issue but I can’t tell you who they are (don’t wana spoil the surprise.All that and more and everything for you, dear reader. . castingcouchzine@gmail.com

Razorcake (#96) This long-running Los Angeles-based punk zine has been at it for a long time now, sorta picking up where Flipside left off. They’re staunchly independent and at $4 per issue you get lots of bang for your buck. This time around is Pedal Strike, Fur Coats, Sharkpact (ok, have not heard of those three band) plus a punks guide to rap music. In additon there’s plenty of columns and a bucketload of reviews too. Subscribe, it’s way worth it (in other words, dive in and don’t come back up unless you really need some air). www.razorcake.org

Ugly Things (#43) Nothing can slow Mike Stax and his staff down on pumping out issues of Ugly Things. And I mean nothing (hey, Mike’s even a dad). He also told me that they are now publishing three times per year (whoah!). In this latest issue are pieces on Crime (!!!!), Bent Wind, Things to Come, The Turtles, Music Machine and more plus reviews of all formats (records, cds, dvds, books etc.) and at 146 pages it equals that of the latest issue of the Big Takeover (see above). Thick. www.ugly-things.com

Vulcher (#2) Yes! Vulcher #2 came out and it rules more heavily than the debut (believe it). Eddie Flowers, Kelsey Simpson and “Sonic” Sam Murphy are still runing the show here with a mega long list of contributors (including yours truly). It’s a throwback to music mags of the 70’a with all kinda gunk crammed everywhere. Pieces on/by Coley, Meltzer, Bangs, Goner Records, Jan & Dean and way too much more. I said it last time and I’ll say it again, It’s packed to the gills and excellent. Write Eddie for a copy (or die tryin’) at slippytown@gmail.com

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Don’t forget Dagger zine, kids.

 

Tim Hinely: For The Love Of Zines #3

Zines 3

This is what the world looked like before Al Gore invented the Internet, punks. And it was a more vibrant, exuberantly tactile world, too. Our resident fanzine expert weighs in.

BY TIM “DAGGER” HINELY

Print is still alive and well and here’s some rags to prove it! Just a handful of offerings for this winter, but they will leave ink stains on your fingers quite nicely.

 

THE BIG TAKEOVER (#75) I’ve already been using the phrase, “Jack Rabid’s long-running zine” for what seems like decades. Well, here in its 34th year Jack and his staff continue to crank out interviews, articles and reviews of the best indie rock/pop and punk out there. this issue has The Raveonettes (cover stars) plus other interviews with The Drums, The Muffs The Bevis Frond, part 2 of both the Dum Dum Girls and Penetration interviews plus many others. Also review and smaller profiles on other bands. 136 pages. www.bigtakeover.com

 

DENVOID: PUNKER TALES AND BEYOND (#1- Music writings by Dan Allen) Longtime Denver musician Dan Allen (he was most recently in the Sonic Archers and has done some solo stuff as well) put together this digest-sized book/zine. It starts off with some early show reviews of Misfits and Black Flag gigs then on through the years (it’s not in chronological order) with reviews of gigs far and wide: San Francisco, Seattle, Santa Fe, Buffalo, NY (mid-90’s). He saw Crime and the City Solution in the late ‘80s in Denver (grrrr….jealous!). Lots o’ good stuff here. Plenty of Denver gigs that I missed (about 4-5 years before I got here like Dressy Bessy, The Fluid, X, The Breeders, Daniel Johnson, New York Dolls, etc. etc.). You may dive in. Danallen662000@yahoo.com

 

DYNAMITE HEMORRHAGE (#2) After doing the great zine Superdope many years ago and then laying low for several years (thought he was active in the blog scene) San Franciscan Jay Hinman returned last year with a dynamite (!!!) new zine and here is issue #2 of said zine. In this issue Jay does a terrific interview/ retrospective on New Zealander Bill Direen. In addition there interviews w/ Crypt Records maniac Tim Warren plus Memphis band Nots, Honey Radar and a piece on ‘70s Jamaican dub. There’s article on punk 45s, plenty of reviews and more. Don’t miss this one. www.dynamitehemorrhage.com

 

ZISK (#25) “The baseball magazine for people who hate baseball magazines” continues on with its 25th issue! Mike and Steve, also behind the great (though much more sporadic) Go Metric zine, continue to bust out issues of Zisk two times per year. In this ish is Top 10 lists (my favorite, I love lists!), plus The Cincy Cycle and article by yours truly on John “The Hammer” Milner. More stuff on Wrigley, the Waldwick Batboy Trials, book reviews and more. Go on. www.ziskmagazine.com

 

Tim “Dagger” Hinely flunked both WordPress and Photoshop while attending Denver’s University of Hard Knocks but don’t let that prevent you from checking out his most excellent rock mag Dagger at www.daggerzine

 

Previously: For The Love Of Zines (Pt. 1)

For The Love Of Zines (Pt.2)

Tim Hinely: 15 Questions For… Gerard Cosloy of 12XU Records

12xu buttons

And… here’s the second installment in the BLURT series in which we profile cool independent record labels. What are the criteria for inclusion in the “cool” category? Hey, ’cos we say they are cool, that’s what! We’re making the rules around here, kids. Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment, coming soon, and meanwhile, go here for entry #1, Slumberland Records.

BY TIM HINELY

To most folks Gerard Cosloy is known as being one-half of the Matador Records brass; prior to that he was at the legendary Homestead Records. Matador’s been around for over two decades but close to a decade ago, after moving to Austin, Texas, from London, Cosloy started up another label, 12XU. Named after the infamous Wire song, 12XU now has several releases under its belt by both bands that call Austin home as well as many that don’t. You could call it a garage rock label but then again, Tommy Keene, whose Strange Alliance was reissued last year by 12XU, might taken offense to being called garage rock. Cosloy took time out of his busy schedule to answer our 15 questions and we certainly appreciated his honesty (keep readin’…).

12xu logo

BLURT: When did the label form/ what was your original inspiration?

2001. I’ve been involved with a number of labels before and had no plans of starting or working with another. But there were a number of longtime associates (Joel RL Phelps, Spoon, Chris Brokaw) who needed assistance getting records out in Europe and these were all people I enjoyed working with. The label’s UK operations came to a bit of a screeching halt when I relocated to Austin in 2004, and for logistical reasons things are mostly centered on moving records around North America these days.

Who designed your logo? Do you only have one?

An Arizona graphic designer named Paul Howalt.

What was your first release?

Joel RL Phelps & The Downer Trio (pictured below) – Inland Empires EP (12XU 001)

joel-rl-phelps-and-the-downer-trio-650x400

Were there any label(s) that inspired you to want to release records?

As I mentioned before, I’ve had a bit of experience with labels far more established than 12XU, and those experiences (good and otherwise) have been pretty educational. But if I have to go back much, much further, certainly labels like Touch & Go, Dischord, X-Claim, Propeller, SST, Ruby, Ace Of Hearts, Teenbeat, Crypt, Siltbreeze, etc. have been influential in a number of ways. In more recent years, there’s other labels I’d probably call more inspirational than influential, just in terms of their ability to do amazing work, set very high musical standards, etc. I could go on for a few days but some of those that instantly come to mind are Trouble In Mind, Play Pinball, Goner, In The Red (duh), Homeless, SS, Pelican Pow Wow, Jeth Row, Douchemaster, Urinal Cake, Monofonus Press, Superior Viaduct, Dais, Mt. St. Mountain, A Wicked Company, Thread Pull… we could be here for a while

If there is one band, current or past, you could release a record by who would it be?

Y’know, I don’t wanna get into that. I feel insanely lucky and privileged to be doing records with everyone on the label past and present. It’s always a matter of what this so-called label can do for them that either they can’t do for themselves or don’t have the resources to accomplish, it’s not about collecting scalps or whatever. The important thing is that the records come out, sound and look right and someone can find them. It’s not terribly important that those records are on this label—but if that has to be the way it turns out, so be it.

What has been your best seller to date?

Spoon’s Kill The Moonlight (12XU 014), however the rights have long since reverted. BOO HOO.

Are you a recording/touring musician yourself, and if so, do you use your label as an outlet for getting your stuff out to the public? [Austin’s Air Traffic Controllers would be Cosloy’s combo. – Ed.]

Yes/no and no. I am a recording musician, I rarely play outside of this lovely city and no, I have another deeply pretentious, poorly distributed imprint for that stuff.

Does your label use and/or have a presence on any of the social media sites?

Yes. I mean, you could look it up. Sorry, Tim, this is kind of a terrible question! [Ed. note: Here, Mr. Cosloy failed (or declined) to pick up the interviewer’s ball and run with it. This is a stock question we ask each label owner in order to give them the opportunity to highlight how they use social media, if at all, to distinguish themselves from other labels—or at least how important it is for them to be constantly tweeting, “liking,” tumblng, burping, farting, etc. For the record, 12XU’s Facebook page is right here, while the label’s Twitter page is here and Tumblr page here. Below: label artist Chris Brokaw, a man who knows a thing or two about social media.]

brokaw

Is the Austin music community supportive of the label?

Ahhh, sometimes, sometimes not. It varies from project to project. But I honestly don’t care very much, those things only matter to me in the sense I hope the Austin-based bands feel it’s working out ok. I really can’t get too bothered about local media stuff.

The record stores here have been awesome (End Of An Ear, Trailer Space, Waterloo) and I cannot say enough about [how] supportive some of the local club folks have been.

Beerland is probably most closely ID’d with the label given that’s where many of the bands played their earliest shows (and continue to) but I would be remiss in not acknowledging the support we’ve received from Hotel Vegas and the Transmission venues (Red 7, Mohawk), none of whom have been asked for any favors whatsoever.

Still, given that the label represents artists from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Seattle, Portland, Cleveland, Columbus, Pittsburgh, etc., I do not expect anyone in Austin to embrace 12XU as a local entity. Nor do I expect Austin to be a selling point for the Austin-based bands when they go somewhere else. I mean, we have terrible bands here, too, just like everywhere.

Have digital sales been significant or nominal?

Depends on the release. Usually the latter, but sometimes the former. (Below: the presumably digital-friendly Obnox.)

obnox

 

Has there actually been a vinyl resurgence the past few years?

Man, I know you’re a busy guy with a family and stuff but this cannot be a serious question. Who could you possibly ask this question who’d say “no”? (Below: Tommy Keene, who knows a thing or two about vinyl, pictured on a 45 that the vinyl-friendly label issued.)

Tommy Keene 45

What is your personal favorite format to release music?

Probably 12″ or 7″ vinyl but I’m hearing great things about these little discs you can play in a car stereo that are really cheap.

What new(er) labels these days have captured your attention?

I probably listed a bunch above but the recent Total Punk winning streak has sort of made a mockery of anyone saying “Hey, write about my label”.

Do you accept unsolicited demos?

I prefer not to, but people usually find a way to send them, despite my best attempts to discourage.

Will there be a Casual Victim Pile III? [CVP was a series of Austin underground rock compilations assembled by Cosloy, with Vol. 1 being released on Matador in 2010 and Vol. 2 on 12XU.]

I sincerely hope not. That’s not to say there isn’t a huge crop of newer Austin bands that deserve documentation, far from it. But I think it’s time for someone else to play favorites/inflict their tastes on the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love those compilations but I don’t feel they did nearly enough to elevate any of the participants. Vol.1 totally got bogged down in people oohing and ahhing about it being on Matador, and while it’s nice that might’ve opened a door or two, it also created weird expectations for slower thinkers (ie. they weren’t used to listening to music that was so badly recorded). I think Vol. 2 flowed a lot better as an album, but again, having to explain why it wasn’t on Matador seemed to take up more time than actually talking about any of the songs!

Anyhow, at this point, I think 12XU can do a lot more good by releasing full, stand-alone records by a handful of Austin bands than by trying to take another snapshot of what’s really a moving target. But if someone else wanted to do a good Austin comp. based on their own take on things, I’d support a good one, sure. [Below: Cosloy in Austin in 2010, as portrayed by John Anderson of the Austin Chronicle]

Gerard in Chronicle

Contact:

12XU.net

info@12XU.net [please, no demos, unsolicited MP3s, etc.]

12XU.bigcartel.com

 

Tim Hinely: Blurt Singles Scene VII

THE SINGLES SCENE VII - Blurt's Indie 45 Roundup

Hey there, tall, dark and handsome—come here often? Wanna slip back to my pad and see my etched records and picture discs? Let me buy this next round…

BY TIM “45 ADAPTER” HINELY

I see you people and I like what I see. It’s seems that you are finally coming to your senses now. Oh sure, it took six previous columns of 7” genius to make this happen, but better late than never. If I give you all a multiple choice test with words like “stylus’ and “vinyl” on it I have no doubt you’d all get 100s on the test! This makes me so proud, because, after all, you are all like my little children. Every last one of you (scary thought, huh?). No longer will I call you chowderheads behind your back. Nope… you’re my kids and I love every last one of ya’. Now go get ‘em, tiger! Continue reading

Tim Hinely: Blurt Singles Scene VI

THE SINGLES SCENE VI - Blurt's Indie 45 Roundup

The clock strikes analog, and once again, you’re outta time unless you’re hip to the wax, Jack…

BY TIM “45 ADAPTER” HINELY

Wha…? You talkin’ to me?Don’t look at me like that. What’d I do to you? You know what? The only crime I’ve ever committed is to try and write about some 7” singles here and folks are holding it against me. Fine, ridicule because I don’t have an Ipod and don’t know how to download something, but you know what? When push comes to shove and the deity of your choice is bringing folks up to heaven who do you think he’s gonna take, me or you? The answer is ME because even God has a turntable! That’s right, you’ll be waiting by the pearly gates with your broken Ipod why me and the big man and spinnin’ these 7” records. So long. Continue reading