Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Oh, Portland, My Portland!

One of the many reasons I L-O-V-E Portland, Oregon: Stuff!

Speaking of kool craft culture from the City of Rip, venerable micro-publisher Reading Frenzy was forced to vacate their home of 17 years, effectively closing the keeper of all things zine's doors. Unable to secure a new spot, the folks at Reading Frenzy weighed their options and decided launched a KickStarter campaign to get back on their feet again.

The former Reading Frenzy storefront on Oak Street. *Sigh*

As a zinester myself, I'd be remiss in my duties not to encourage you to fund and support Reading Frenzy's relaunch. Why should you care if this small batch publishing house reopens their doors? The reasons are many, but here are three:

1. Reading Frenzy publishes DIY zines and books by many worthwhile underground scribes and artists, giving a platform to creative folks who might otherwise not have one.

2. Without outlets like Reading Frenzy, we'd be left with milquetoast publications like Star, US and O. Is that really the world you want to live in?

3. You'd be contributing to something great: zine culture! Seriously, what's better than homemade publications? Nothing, that's what!

Go to Reading Frenzy's website for updates on their KickStarter campaign.. While you're there, check-out (and purchase!) some of their spectacular reads, such as Crap Hound, PDX By Bike and DIY Magic (to name but a few).

Support Your Local Distributor!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fiver - Episode VIII: Die Harder With A Vengence Or Live Free

     "Hey!" she said in a raspy whine that reeked of opportunistic malt liquor and resigned desperation. "Can you turn the air on?" Never mind the customers standing in line to purchase their yum-yums and be-fizzed syrup slurp. No. Just poke every grey hair on top of that shrivelled-up white prune you call a head and interrupt the process. No problem.

     "The air. Can you...?" You know, just to clarify.

     "Yeah, yeah," said the guy behind the bunker of cigarettes and Lottery tickets.

     Maybe it was because he was too busy scanning my sugar and salt encrusted goodies. Maybe he was tired. Maybe he didn't want to acknowledge her indigent statues. Whatever the case, he didn't look her in the eyes to answer back. He just exhaled soft words, one after the next: "Yeah, yeah."

     "Can you turn on the air?" Again, then: "Don't you speak any English? Air! On! Thank you." And she walked back to the air machine where her overloaded mountain-robbed of any dignity and glory it once ever had-laying on its side like a wounded animal.

     "Jeeeeezus," the guy behind me leaked-out in a fragrantly foul hybrid of disgust and disbelief. 

    "YEAH, AND BETTER THAN YOU!" yelled the man behind the counter to the woman's back. She either didn't hear him or chose to ignore his perfect dialect. He then reaches over and flicks a switch with a piece of paper crudely taped to it: "AIR."

     Right then and there, struggling with my French homework shamed me to no end.

Widowspeak "The Dark Age" (Soundcloud link)
From the album Almanac (2013, Captured Tracks)
     Fleetwood Mac's looking pretty good these days! If this album cover is any indication, they haven't aged a day in the 10 kagillion decades they've been making music and screwing each other over. This song is uncharacteristically catchy, too! Huzzah!

Rhye "The Fall" (Soundcloud link)
From the album Woman (2013, Polydor Ltd.)
     I love this recent spate of "albums indie kids can fuck to." First there was Weeknd, then a couple Weeknd clones, and now these guys. Rhye are like indie-rock's Sade (and that's a compliment, by the way. Just ask any white guy in his late 30's and early 40's!)

Dog Bite "Prettiest Pill" (Soundcloud link)
From the album Velvet Changes (2013, Carpark)
     It's great to see bands preserving the shoegaze mantle in the well-worn wakes of seminal bands that started the genre. The last thing you need is one of those legendary bands coming back to reclaim that mantle. Oh, shit...

My Bloody Valentine "New You" (via YouTube)
From the album m b v (2013, self-released)
     It's been 22 years since.... yadda, yadda, yadda! We get it. This record came out waaayyy beyond it's intended release date. Understood! Now can we all just shut up and actually listen to this thing? It took 22 years to make after all.

The Oh Sees "Minotaur" (mp3)
From the album Floating Coffin (2013, Castle Face)
     I smell Best New Music and Worst Album Covers of the Year placements (respectively) on Pitchfork for this album! Ah, to be a taste maker.