My blog post this week was supposed to feature an interview with…someone. Someone – well, more like some band – who bailed on my exquisite line of questioning at the last minute. Which is fine when compared to the other ass hats who agreed to take their place and assume their position in internet history before going ahead and bailing at an even more critical time and closer to the last minute than their predecessors. Time waits for no one, someone else once said, and because deadlines around here are pretty fucking inflexible, I found myself scrambling at the last minute for content. There was a small stack of print ‘zines underneath a bigger stack of CDs on my desk that had been waiting for their moment of ‘Zine Police immortality in the magazine's irregular column that, for whatever reason, I hadn’t gotten to. Well, I’m finally getting to them.
First up is Manchild #6. Manchild is the confessional, biographical, historical, sentimental and other words that end in “al” comic written and drawn by Brian Walsby. Subtitled “Bye Bye Punk Rock…Hello Adulthood,” issue #6 balances Walsby’s observations about the music scene and the characters within with his heartfelt musings about becoming a first-time parent to a daughter who happens to have Down Syndrome. Despite lamenting about not being able to have enough time to continue as a willing participant in the world of underground music and culture, Brian has found time to throw this together, with the help of Will at To Live a Lie Records, and include his usual punk rock campfire tales and reports about Canadian superiority (all in visual form) as well as in depth interviews with Stephen Egerton, Loincloth, Scott Radinsky and a tour diary about some time he spent on the road with the Melvins. As always, Manchild is well-drawn, entertaining, funny and baldly honest. Ordering info for this, other editions of Manchild and info about Walsby’s other artistic endeavours are all at: www.brianwalsby.net
Hibbs Zine #2 continues the tradition of friends of Greber and Fuck the Facts bassist Marc “Hibbs” Bourgon getting together on recycled trees to let you know about their favourite albums. It’s as simply as that and it’s free if you get in touch with the man himself. Keep an eye out for a couple familiar faces then ask him about all the love for Between the Buried and Me and see if he has an answer. www.facebook.com/hibbs.zine
Equalizing Distort is a ‘zine that sort of works like our Hall of Fame. A band is picked to be the focus of the issue, members are gathered and extensive interviews are conducted. You read the results and argue and complain about it online. The difference is that the interviews concern not just one record in particular, but the band’s entire history. Another difference is that ED shines their light exclusively not only on punk/hardcore bands, but punk bands from Toronto and the Southern Ontario region. The one I have before me features a band from the very first wave of Toronto punk, Arson. They existed at their peak in the late 70s and, like all bands, have reunited to accolades from not only those who survived the last 40-some-odd years with or without a substance abuse habit, but both punk rock archaeologists and those looking to up their cred with incredulous finger-pointing accusations of “What do you mean you’ve never heard of…!?” If you give a shit about this sort of thing, like the singer from Fucked Up probably does, then check it out. You can download PDFs of all of their comprehensive masterworks and there’s a radio show associated with the zine. Go here: equalisingxdistort.blogspot.com
And last, but certainly not least comes Tales of Perversion #3 & #4. To say that this is a ‘zine is true in the sense that it includes words and pictures printed on paper, but each issue comes across more and more like the result of creator and head pervert – the charmingly monikered Pig Latin – cracking open his deviant mind, of which he is intensely proud, and spilling it on the page in a flurry of madness. The result is a cut-and-paste monstrosity that’s equal measures repulsive and fucking awesomely entertaining, all depending on your take and how much the 90s PC movement still registers and resonates with you. Fake ads for fake record labels pushing fake bands like Afro-American black metal band Negrophilia, all-gay hardcore band Fisted Youth and all-female extreme metal bands like Brutal Uterus and Goatshoof, stories about PL’s first handjob and working the graveyard shift in a porn shop, clinical breakdowns of his favourite drugs, rants and rages against televised tattoo shops and sports. Heck, there are even a few reviews. There’s a shitload of content and it’s definitely something to leave hanging around on the coffee table when your mother-in-law won’t take the hint and get the fuck out. www.talesofperversion.blogspot.ca