AVOW #25: $3 ppd., 5 ½” x 8 ½”, copied, 40 pgs.

As the cover illustrates, this is a “singles collection” of Avow, a compilation of Keith’s writings for various zines. His Heartattack and Give Me Back columns take up the lion’s share of the issue. Since both zines are now defunct and the columns spanned many years, it’s a nice bit of archival retrieval / scrap booking / legacy look back on Keith’s behalf. Keith is both the sword and the dove. There’s a true-worn and life-battered balance to his writing and thinking: “…the reason why I’m still enamored with punk rock years and years after the gloss has worn off; this is not what we’re supposed to be doing.” Part cheerleader, part cynic, part ashamed, Keith’s a seeker and Avow’s a record of that. “I want more from punk. I expect more… What I mean is: if this was just about music, exclusively, I’d have beat feet a long time ago.” What balances it all out, from Keith being a self-righteous blowhard, from being an empty shell with a hard crust exterior? Keith puts all the knives he points at others to his own throat, holds himself to the height of his ideals. Then he breathes. “If you’re lucky, and if you give yourself a break, not all of that thinking has to have a knife-edge to it. Not all of it has to be about you.” Well said, Keith. Avow’s a keeper. –Todd (Avow, c/o Keith Rosson, 1725 E. Linnwood Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211)