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.

 

This issue of the long-running Basic Paper Airplane zine series focuses on interviews—what it means to create that space and all the ways they can succeed or fail. Ten interviews with writers, artists, and musicians that delve into the creative process, identity, family, image, myth, and obsession.

Interviews with: musician Owen Ashworth (Advance Base/Casiotone for the Painfully Alone), essayist Elena Passarello (Animals Strike Curious Poses), poet Casey Fuller (A Fort Made of Doors), musician Erika M. Anderson (EMA), filmmaker/installation artist Vanessa Renwick, musician Karl Blau, children's book writer/illustrator Kate Berube (Hannah and Sugar), writer/musician/multimedia artist Dao Strom (We Were Meant to be a Gentle People), poet A.M. O'Malley (Expecting Something Else), and oral historian Audrey Petty (High Rise Stories).

40 pages, half-letter size. Risograph covers by C. Stone and Anthony Michael at Montavilla Press.

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. 

Written and assembled during the pandemic as a way to remember how intimate and celebratory live, small-scale, do-it-yourself shows can be, Best Show Ever brings together nearly 20 voices and distinct experiences. Scenes from all over the U.S., basements and yards and art spaces, makeshift stages, day-long festivals, shows from the 1990s, shows from just before things shut down. All collected here.

As it says on the first page: "This zine is a love letter to the basements and community spaces that felt like home. The songs that lived on mix tapes and CDs in our headphones and in our hearts, right up until the moment we got to yell the words in person, with a bunch of smiling strangers. This zine is dedicated to the bands and crowds that made us feel less alone. a nod to some of the best nights of our lives. This zine is for you."

With words from: Marigold, Colleen Fitzgerald, Jonquil Moore, Diego Romero-Aros, Julia Koschler, Toria Muñoz, Jackie Snyder, Ian Vanek, Peyton Kuzel, Shannon, Dakota Floyd, Joshua Hoey, Johnny Gainer, Shannon Bodrogi, Chris, Dandy Decipher, Dylan Gregor, Alyssa Giannini, and Rachel Jackson.

32 pages, half-letter size.

At this point, this is a classic of the modern zine canon. Building is a cleanly laid out, accessible guide to making DIY events happen. Perfect for those just getting into organizing DIY events and with reminders and ideas that even the seasoned organizer can benefit from. A strong focus on house shows and radical communities, but a lot of ideas that can function in a lot of DIY event situations.

Put together by Neil Campau (of Electrician and World History) and edited by a ton of really great folks—Fred Thomas, Zoe Boekbinder, CJ Boyd, Danah Olivetree, Dustin Krcatovich, and Jamie Menzel, just to name a few.

Published by DoDiy.org. 44 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.