PUNK ROCK GLEE CLUB: $2, 5½” x 8½”, copied, 44 pgs

Apr 28, 2016

Liz Mason, who writes the mighty fine perzine Caboose put together this mini-history of Chicago’s Blue Ribbon Glee Club, an a cappella group that performs in bars, record stores, and mason clubs around town and country. I had to wonder, aside from this debut being an excellent scrapbook for the club itself, what’s the point for the rest of us? Halfway through I got the feeling that it’s more than a memento; there’s a starter’s guide in here, too—PRGC will be a germ for spreading such clubs to other cities and spinoffs in town, too. Inside, we hear the joys and creative challenges of the gig: how it’s fun to bomb when “bombing with twenty other people means that we can all share the blame,” to articulate the songs hidden inside songs (say, a solo in “Kiss Me Deadly”), and to be in a band without lugging around equipment. Mason’s zine is lo-fi life-affirming—upbeat, inclusive, and inspiring—in the way that DIY can be when it finally catches its stride. My review is sentimental, but I swear to you I’ve had only one beer in the duration of typing. Boozy or not, I suggest you glug the sweet taste of your choosing and cruise Youtube for BRGC vids. “California Über Alles” is a good start. Ten videos later, I’m gnashing my teeth for missing the night the club sang X’s crown of songs, “The World’s a Mess” at that bar where the owner smashes his own chairs. Such is life. Get Punk Rock Glee Club #1 and get cooking on your own a cappella chapter. (Liz Mason, PO Box 477553, Chicago, IL 60647, [email protected], LizMasonIsAwesome.com)