ALTERNATIVE INCITE #3, $4, 7” x 8½”, printed, 40 pgs.

Jul 20, 2021

An anthology zine that encourages its readers to “follow the creative impulse.” Included are essays from different contributors relating to the topic that we all cannot seem to avoid: the pandemic. I found it interesting that one of the first writings takes on the push in our society to always be productive and to have a purpose, and how that can be suffocating and overwhelming (especially during this part of history we’re all living through). How maybe we should all give ourselves a break, allow ourselves to be idle, and that’s okay. The very next essay however, is a writer telling the reader to “Just do it,” in regards to making art and creating. A pretty distinct shift of tone from the previous essay (reading the words, “Just get to work—now.” felt extremely off-putting). Luckily, the later part of the zine grabbed my interest back with an interview of a designer of fonts and a story about a man who rowed a bathtub across the English Channel. –Tricia Ramos (Alternative Incite, PO Box 3067, Laurel, MD 20709, butter-lamb.com)

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MIDLIFE CRISIS #1, $4 ppd. Canada, $5 ppd. rest of N. America, 8½” x 11”, 32 pgs.

May 23, 2018
This Toronto-centered zine includes a two-part interview with OAF from 2016. The first part is with the singer Tony and guitarists Jakob and Damon from before the band broke up, and the second is with their bassist Cera from a few months later. The band recordings are decent sludgey hardcore, but the interview points put that the band had a bit of multi-generational punk rock legacy as the guitarist Damon is the son of Black Flag’s Ron Reyes. There is also a fun, quick interview with NoMeansNo from 1988. I feel very lucky to have gotten to see the band twice before their breakup in 2016, as they are one of the most awesome weirdo anomalies to emerge from Canada—and probably some of the most intense musicians I have ever seen even on a stage. (I remember Rob Wright played so hard during a song that perspiration got into the electronics of his bass and shorted it out. He switched the bass out mid-song and the rest of the band never lost a beat). The zine also has an interview with punk record store owner Pete Genest, who was like a punk Johnny Appleseed, opening stores such as Roundhouse records in Portland, Singles Going Steady in Seattle, and Hits and Misses in Toronto. A review of the 2012 documentary She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column rounds out the zine. I’ve never heard of the band but they somehow emerged out of the early 1980s in Toronto to be important progenitors of the riot grrrl and queercore scenes. Overall, this is a standard interview zine, but the author Daragh Hayes approaches things from an enthusiastic place that makes this an enjoyable read. –Adrian Salas (Daragh Hayes, 250 Pall Mall Street, Unit 601, London, ON, Canada, N6A 6K3, [email protected])
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