MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL #346: $4, 8 ½” x 11”, newsprint, 128 pgs.

The 346th issue of the seminal Bay Area punk rag MRR, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t the best issue yet. No, I’m just kidding—who the hell is gonna sift through roughly 45,000 pages of small-type newsprint to figure that one out—but, as per usual, it’s pretty damn solid. MRR serves up enough variety that if I have the time and motivation to take chances on the features that didn’t immediately grab me, it pays off more often than not. In this issue, that meant a hilarious, life-affirming interview with Kentucky’s one-man-band Globsters, and the lengthy conversation with Neil Robinson of Tribal War records. I like reading what current bands I’m into have to say (i.e. Night Birds), but I love reading intelligent, critical insight gleaned from a lifetime of activism and punk rock. In Neil’s case, that spans from the ‘80s peace-punk scene in the U.K. to New York’s LES squatting scene up to currently farming collectively near Portland, Oregon. The Who Killed Spikey Jacket interview, although excessively snotty and tongue-in-cheek, is a must read—I like imagining every small town’s sole raw punk devouring the wisdom within the way my Mom read Tiger Beat in Northern Idaho, immediately running out to the hardware store to get Elmer’s Rubber Cement to huff (Spikey Jacket’s preferred glue brand), and “anchoring” their ½” cone studs by transfixing ¼” cone studs underneath them, in case you lose any from the first layer in the pit—brilliant! Where were these guys when I was learning how to spike my mohawk in eighth grade from the Casualties’ website? Oh, right—my grandmother wouldn’t subscribe me to MRR for Christmas that year because she didn’t like the cover. That’s probably the simplest and best way to describe this magazine if you somehow haven’t come across it. (MRR, PO Box 460760, SF, CA94146-0760, maximumrocknroll.com)