AVOW #24: $3, photocopied, cardstock cover, 5 ½” x 8 ½”, 48 pgs.

Sep 23, 2011

Keith’s been at Avow for a long time and it shows. Keith’s a struggler, a seeker, a muller, a person who is always working towards the ideal person he knows he can be. What he isn’t is arrogant. Or cocky. Or exclusionary. In his late thirties, he uprooted from Portland, OR to Milwaukee, WI. He quit cigarettes cold turkey, wrote a eulogy for his biological father, started a surprisingly satisfying job in a warehouse for the blind and vision impaired, and wrote some “record reviews.” “Record reviews” is in quotes because they sorta are and they sorta aren’t. Through the relative comfort zone of music—a comfort zone that for the first time in Keith’s life wasn’t providing its comfort—Keith re-examines some of the most influential records in his life. What he unveils is profound. It’s a journey that includes bloodline (“When do we cease to be at the mercy of, or indentured to, our blood? Are we ever?”); the math that concludes at a sum of $30,000 worth of cigarette smoking; and “The boundaries of what can be considered “punk” is elastic and flexible” (his italics, my total agreement). All of this boiling down to the axiom “…given the choice between convenience and effort (at least when it comes to music) I’d rather put in the work that listening requires.” Mark that for zines, Keith. Fuck, mark that for how you’ve chosen to live. –Todd (Microcosm, 222 S. Rogers St., Bloomington, IN47404, microcosmpublishing.com)

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