Zines

Nearly thirty years into its existence, 8-Track Mind still manages a weirdness few other zines have. Loosely dedicated to an obsession with 8-track tapes, in issue 104, the "Cartridge Family" ostensibly work under the theme of "the commodification of nostalgia" and let whatever happens happen. 

Within: a series of oddball fables, 8-track Terminator, a Muskegon Eight-Track story, So Wrong They're Right, the scam of 8-track eBay, and so much more. With contributions from: Ralph Coon, Brendan DeVallance, Liam Hayes, Malcolm Riviera, Dan Sutherland, and Lucien Williams.

As editor Russ Forster writes, "I have always endeavored to make 8-Track Mind Magazine a bastion of individual expression, be it nostalgic or otherwise. Perhaps this has always been the true quest for the magazine: to encourage a contrarian, individualistic experience of the spoils of consumer society as a way to resist being a tool for the amoral beneficiaries of consumerism."

Comes with a full-color 8-track centerfold. 40 pages, half-letter size. 

 

In this issue of Balcony there's a public apology, an essay about Lewis Hyde's The Gift, an interview with left-field hip-hop musician Sterling Toles, in-depth record reviews, and a couple poems by Charles Gonsalves. But as in every issue of Balcony, it's also much more than that. A surprising, quietly exceptional zine.

32 pages, half-letter size.

 

"A funny thing about regret is that it's better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven't done." So begins the third issue of Balcony, the publishing outlet of musician Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good to Me, City Center).

Interviews with long-running New Zealand experimental rock band The Dead C, cultish songwriter Edith Frost, and ambient musician John Daniel of Forest Management. Plus a piece about names from Marcy Donelson. 

32 pages, half-letter size.

 

A zine in tribute to a maligned beauty of pop culture's past: the compact cassette tape. Twenty writers, musicians, DJs, label owners, publishers, and comic artists tell stories of how cassette tapes have affected their lives, for better or worse. 

Within: the art of the mixtape, the importance of the boombox, the intimacy of the Walkman. Plus tales of recording with cassettes, performing with cassettes, releasing cassettes, falling in love with cassettes. Nostalgia, subversion, frustration, possibility.

Contributions from: Andrew Barton, Ariel Birks, Karleigh Frisbie Brogan, Aaron Burch, Laura Daegling, Tim Devin, Fukumup, Aaron Gilbreath, Cynthia Carmina Gómez, Jack Lewis, Chask'e Lindgren, Pat Maley, Jason Martin, Sara Renberg, Kevin Sampsell, Gina Sarti, Christopher Sutton, Tucker Theodore, and Alexis Wolf.

Cover art by Rachel Lee-Carman. Risograph-printed throughout by Whatnow Press. 60 pages, half-letter size. 

Last two copies! Clock Tower Nine has become one of my new favorite zines. Using a variety-format approach reminiscent of classic '90s zines, Danny Noonan puts together a consistently interesting assortment. Letters, postcards, and the stories of others mix with personal narratives, odd facts, and ephemera.

This issue largely consists of a story about being a roadie for a band, an intercontinental fast friendship through postcards and drunk dials, and a barely-planned cross-country road trip.

32 pages, half-letter size. Color cover, B&W inside.

Last two copies! In an attempt to figure out the last record he would ever sell, Danny Noonan writes the story of a skittish teenager’s discovery of punk that leads him to house shows and eventually a move across the country. It’s a celebration of record stores that spans 25 years and explores the anxiety of youth, the community of punk, and how much it sucks not to be able to find a job when you need it the most. 

Clock Tower Nine contributors from Seattle, Tukwila, Minneapolis, and Cleveland weigh in on a range of topics including: 8-track tapes, lonely videogames, losing battles on the bus, The Zombies, the Ultimate Warrior, struggling with religion after a horrible accident, and more.

36 pages, blue and teal risograph-printed cover.

One of our favorite Seattle zines is back with tales from the record store counter, long walks in various locales, dangerous doppelgängers, and 8-track tapes. 

As Clock Tower Nine ringleader Danny Noonan describes it in the introduction: "This fanzine is like a bunch of people sitting around a fire in late fall, all taking turns telling a story."

24 pages, half-letter size.

How does Cometbus, after 38 years as a zine, just get better and better? It's a mystery, but it does. Issue 59 is a deep dive into both death and longevity in the underground. In short: what does sustainability look like in counterculture? This question takes Aaron on a journey from the Epitaph Records and Thrasher magazine offices to hanging out at a punk-owned vegan donut shop and a tamale stand at the farmer's market with Allison Wolfe (of Bratmobile and Sex Stains fame). It's thought-provoking, fun, open, honest, and just the right amount of curmudgeonly.

As Aaron writes: "The question was, could you establish yourself without becoming the establishment? Because that was the goal, as far as I was concerned: to build institutions that served our needs, and helped produce and distribute the art we created. To make spaces where we could express ourselves, like clubs and cafes—and magazines, which were gathering places as well. I was sick to death of all the noble failures. Instead of mourning our losses, I wanted to look at projects that had lasted."

140 pages, perfect-bound.

After a long absence, the second edition of Chase Kamp's The Complete Speculative Red Hot Chili Peppers Fan Fiction is finally here. TCSRHCPFF is a gloriously odd collection of interlinked short stories based on the lives and careers of past and present members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Within: "Red Hot Chili Parents," "Rick Rubin's Mansion," and "Retired Hot Chili Peppers," culminating at the end into something truly unexpected.

With a new introduction about how the collection came to be. 58 pages, half-letter size.

Synopsis: The year is 2024 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers prepare to make their grandest musical statement yet—but is it already too late? In this three-part speculative fan fiction, the funk-punk legends must overcome self-doubt, creative blockades and a crumbling music industry in order to save all of rock music from irrelevance. Inspiration is sought in metaphysical realms, beers are shotgunned beside Laurel Canyon swimming pools, chords ring out in a new gilded age. Artwork by James Glimmer.

A highly enjoyable series of comics adapted from music biographies. Within: Bob Dylan's makeshift Blood on the Tracks backing band, Kurt & Courtney's mac-and-cheese trials, John & Yoko's primal scream therapy, John Coltrane being a good guy, Mike Watt wearing a pumpkin on his head, the feuds of J Mascis & Lou Barlow, and Kristin Hersh's evil self.

40 pages, half-letter size.