Wednesday, July 23, 2014

REVIEW: Unbelievably Bad #13



Unbelievably Bad #13: I’m glad I read this comprehensive Hard-Ons tribute after seeing the Aussie legends' two most recent gigs, as they gave me a much greater appreciation of the band and where they’re coming from. This high-quality mag is packed with interviews with all current band members (and ex-member Keish), along with collaborators like Neil Hamburger and Jerry A. Plus there are oodles of flyers, record covers and photos, supplied by fans of the band from all over the place. And then there’s the flexi-disc: a new track called Darth Vader Pretends. Wow! This labour of love by Matt, Glenno and friends is a must-buy for any fans of the Hard-Ons or Aussie underground music in general. It’s that fucking good. And yeah, waaaaaay better than UB #12. Good to see Reekie back in top form.

Unbelievably Bad, c/- Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill, NSW, 2203, AUSTRALIA; unbelievablybad@optusnet.com.au; http://unbelievablybadmag.com/ [AUD$13 or e-mail for details if from overseas, 68 x A4, 60+ minutes]

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

REVIEWS: Conspiritus Muppetus and Kamuke #7



 
Conspiritus Muppetus: The fact I love this gorgeously produced art book has nothing to do with the fact that Glenno is a friend. Or that the launch was held in the Young Henry’s brewery in Newtown, where I proceeded to get hammered on delicious boutique beer. No, this book rocks my socks for all sorts of aesthetic reasons. Glenno – one of the premier underground artists in this country – has written short essays on various aspects of conspiracy theories and married them to painfully detailed B&W illustrations that pervert the relative innocence of The Muppets. So you see Sesame Street’s The Count reimagined as Vlad The Impaler, laughing uproariously as he counts the spiked victims in his kingdom. Or Gonzo performing satanic ritual abuse. Or Pigs In Space reborn as Scientology. It’s so very wrong and so very beautiful. Conspirtus Muppetus is a flipbook, the other half containing a portfolio of Glenno’s posters that will inspire and disturb you, possibly at the same time. Support this genius artist by buying this book. You’ll never look at Grover the same way again.
Glenno; retardmetal@hotmail.com; www.glennoart.com [email for price, 76 x A4 pages, reading time: 30 minutes]


 


Kamuke #7: This zine on ukulele culture falls into an unusual zone: too “inside” to capture the interest of casual readers, yet too light in content to appeal to hardcore fans of the popular musical instrument. I wish editor Cameron Murray went balls to the wall and did in-depth interviews with Janet Klein, Sarah Maisel and Craig Chee (instead of the short chats seen in this ish). And the features on Tiny Tim and the George Formby Society could have really gone somewhere if given more than a few pages to breathe. If you’re aiming for hardcore uke fans, then go hard. That said, this mag is beautifully produced by a guy who knows his ukes.
Cameron Murray; editor@kamuke.com; www.kamuke.com [email for price, 36 x A5 pages, reading time: 20 minutes]

Friday, June 27, 2014

EVER-SO-SLIGHTLY HARSH ZINE REVIEW: Unbelievably Bad #12




Unbelievably Bad #12: The problem with pumping out a few quick issues of a magazine of the magnitude of UB is that inevitably there's gonna be the dreaded throwaway issue that lacks a bit of substance. To me, #12 is THAT throwaway ish - it's not bad, but was it necessary? Especially with #13 just around the corner. The problem for me is that this ish is overloaded with interviews with a bunch of local heavy metal/hardcore bands that left me cold as I'm not into the scene. Plus there's another instalment of the never-ending interview with gore film director Herschell Gordon Lewis which, to use an MMA reference, had me tapping out years ago. Of course, there ARE highlights in #12 including a round-up of quotable quotes from Charlie Manson acolyte Bobby BeauSoleil, an indepth look at one man's controversial attempt to do a GG Allin tribute band show in Melbourne (pretty funny, actually), and a Favourite Freaks feature on one-armed MMA tough guy Nick Newell. Any average issue of Unbelievably Bad is streets ahead of most other publications, but I look forward to UB hitting better form next time around.
Unbelievably Bad, c/- Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill, NSW, 2203, AUSTRALIA unbelievablybad@optusnet.com.au [AUD$8 or e-mail for details if from overseas, 68 x A4, 40+ minutes]

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Football Metaphysics: World Cup 2014 book - BUY IT!


Kate Upton- Cat Daddy *ORIGINAL*


Kate Upton ...has nice boobies



 


Here's a blatant attempt to up the hit count on my blog. Let's see if it works. :)
Please comment if and why you like Kate's breasts. :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

REVIEW: Football Metaphysics: World Cup 2014


YEP, it's World Cup time again. We are only a few days away from communally enjoying - along with billions of other casual (and not-so-casual) fans around the globe - all the spectacle, controversy, drama and hoopla surrounding this four-yearly extravaganza as Brazil plays host to a month-long, 32-country tourney.
Once again, Helen and I will be glued to the TV set well into the early hours of the morning eyeballing soccer, a sport we haven't bothered watching since...ooooooh, the last World Cup in 2010.
Even though we don't know any of the players or quality of the various teams - although we suspect the home team are probably odds-on to to win their sixth title - I'm pretty certain we'll still cheer on Australia, who are again massive underdogs and unlikely to move into the final 16 due to their harsh group draw.
I've watched the World Cup since I was a kid, going back to 1978, but it's only in the past eight years that it's taken on a spiritual aspect for us. Helen and I conceived our eldest daughter during the 2006 World Cup (I believe it occurred following Australia's 2-2 draw with Croatia that helped us make the final 16). And Helen gave birth to our son just prior to the 2010 World Cup, so I have strong memories of nursing a crying baby while watching games at three in the morning.
The World Cup has great significance for us now for those reasons, even though we're very much four-yearly warriors when it comes to trying to understand what the hell is going on. Who are these players who are supposedly the next coming of Pele? Who is that strange referee with the bald head who resembles Frankenstein and appears to be a bigger star than many of the players? Why is England always so crap in the World Cup? These remain mysteries to us.
So thank fuck someone has taken the considerably nerdy effort to compile a comprehensive guide to this year's World Cup. It takes a true outsider to bring a new, unique perspective to the beautiful game's biggest event, and they don't come any more outside than a lounging, literate, haiku-scribblin' American of the Southern persuasion (a West Virginian no less). Raven Mack's new 200-page book doesn't just preview the World Cup, going into serious detail about every single country taking part. It's also a profound look at the spiritual and cultural make-up of each country. Read Football Metaphysics and be edjumacated about these nations and why they have come together in steamy Brazil to kick a ball around a patch of grass in front of hundreds of thousands of insane, passionate fans.
You may learn something about football (or soccer as I stubbornly continue to call the sport). But you'll definitely learn a whole lot more about people in general, and Raven Mack in particular.
Order your e-copy now - IT'S NOT TOO LATE - HERE or THERE.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Some zine reviews. Overdue in parts, new in others...


 
Coral Coogan: A very personal zine from Chris of Bizarrism infamy. It’s a loving tribute to his late aunty, an aspiring actress and genuinely nice-sounding person. Heart-felt and a little bit sad. Here is a woman who had a wonderful life, yet perhaps felt cheated that she never achieved more, on the cusp of something greater but never quite reaching that goal. It’s a lovely piece of writing. I hope other members of Chris’s family appreciated this publication as much as I did.
Chris Mikul, PO Box K546, Haymarket, NSW, 1240, AUSTRALIA, cathob@zip.com.au [email for prices, 28 x A5, 30min]
Bizarrism #8: From the gaudy, gory cover depicting Tiger Balm Gardens in Singapore to a shocking expose on the horrendous excesses of dead Libyan dictator Gaddafi (possibly the worst serial rapist of all time), Chris’s celebrated, long-running zine is off to another heady start. Add to this more sensational research into the very mysterious death of the unknown Somerton Man and the truly fabulous adventures (if slightly untrue) of Denisa, Lady Newborough and you have a thoroughly entertaining read. Again.
Chris Mikul, PO Box K546, Haymarket, NSW, 1240, AUSTRALIA, cathob@zip.com.au [$8, 44 x A4, 90min]
 
Grunted Warning #19, #20, #21: More deranged news cut’n’pasted into one handy-dandy bimonthly publication for your toilet-reading pleasure. A lot of it comes from Japan, which is weirder and far more unsafe than one might imagine. I blame tentacle porn myself.
Stratu, PO Box 35, Marrickville, NSW, 2204, AUSTRALIA; sstratu@gmail.com; blackguard23.livejournal.com [AUD$1/stamps/trade/unusual/grotesque clippings, 12 x A5 [pages, reading time: 15 minutes]

One Thousand Feathers #9, #10, #11, #12: I don’t necessarily “get” or agree with everything Raven Mack writes, but I’m always entertained by his stream-of-consciousness writings. These four-page tracts cover a wide range of topics and if you receive a fistful of ’em from Raven, then you’re bound to find at least one that grabs your attention and makes you think. Or laugh. Or shake your head. #9 are random album reviews, from obscure rappers (to me, anyway) and Neko Case to the Grateful Dead. Sadly, I wasn’t compelled to seek any of them out. I just don’t get the Dead. Or rap for that matter. #10 celebrates this year’s soccer World Cup by doing a fantasy football tournament featuring clubs from around the world. Raven picks the best-sounding teams – Shamrock Rovers FC, The Strongest, Lesotho Correctional Services – and weaves magical stories around them and why some should win over others. It’s footy tipping as poetry. #11 is fiction – gritty, meth-stained, real. My fave issue so far. #12 is a rant, a call to arms, a declaration of mental independence. Every issue is different, unexpected, individual. That’s the beauty of One Thousand Feathers.
Raven Mack, PO Box 270, Scottsville, VA, 24590, USA. http://www.rojonekku.com or seek him out on Facebook or on Google by typing in “Rojonekku”. [send him US$20 and you should get something thought-provoking in your mailbox, 4 x A4, 20min]

The Life Of Rodney…Year 65 #1: What does a cantankerous Canadian lumberjack have to say? Quite a lot, actually. Not quite a review zine. Not quite a perzine. Rod has been quietly putting out publications like this for more than 25 years (that’s as long as I’ve known him, so probably even longer than that). Paper zines may be dead, but Rod wouldn’t know that. He’ll be pumping them out long after I’m in the grave.
Rodney Leighton, #11 Branch Rd, R.R.#3, Tatamagouche, NS, B0K 1V0, CANADA (trade, 8 x A4, 20min]

The Kobb Log #7: The Halloween issue. Whoops, I guess I’m a little late getting this review out. Articles cover the many vampire films based on the 1872 gothic novella Carmilla, childhood memories of Halloween and reviews of many films (not all of them horror). It’s nice to see a few that I have seen and enjoyed: Electra Glide In Blue, Frankenstein’s Army, Sharknado and The Mist. The zine ends with a gruesome-but-lovely drawing by the late, sadly-missed Tom Crites. I just wish Dr Bill wold put out his always-quirky zine more often. Then again, who am I to talk about tardiness?
Kobb Labs, PO Box 30231, Pensacola, FL, 32503, USA (trade or write for prices, 38 x A4, 30min]

Also from Bill – or is it The Masked Claw – comes A Brief Collection Of Disguises & Masks From A Wide Variety Of Places. This skinny 12-page zine (technically A5, although it’s really A4 sheets folded vertically) features photos of Lone Ranger-style masks that Claw sent all over the world (including to me in Sydney, Australia). He asked recipients to decorate the masks as they saw fit, then send them back to him. I gave mine to my then-5yo daughter who went to town with coloured pencils. This is a really fantastic idea and I loved this zine a lot. Ask about it when you write to Dr Bill/Masked Claw about The Kobb Log.

St. Büdchen Nachrichten #3: More graffiti and photo collages (and stickers!) from Deutschland courtesy of my favourite street artist Chill Phill. I’m not a fan of graffiti in general, but Phill is so goddamn talented (and he runs a mean bündchen as well).
Phillipp Schöde, Mathildenstrasse 9, Hamburg, 20357, GERMANY, makethingshappen@web.de [€2.50, 40 x A5, 10min] – Dann Lennard
 
Reasons To Be Cheerful #1: Inspired by Raven Mack, , this is a list of tunes that make long-time zinester Kami feel good. From Slade to Beilly Eckstine to the reviled Gary Glitter, the man explains with wit and style why they matter to him. I liked this a lot..
Kami, PO Box 278, Edwardstown, SA, 5039. AUSTRALIA, cammy@arcom.com.au [email for price, 8 x A5, 20min]

Unbelievably Bad #11: The editor has gone mad, producing another issue only months after the last one in a frenzied display of hyper-activity. The highlight of this issue by far is a bitter diatribe by Perth punk Ross Buncle, pouring vitriol on James Baker (The Victims, The Scientists, etc) and Dave Faulkner (The Victims, Hoodoo Gurus) for stealing his songs back in the 70s. He’s actually correct, but this still rates as a massive whine. However, Buncle’s look at the 70s punk scene in Perth is compelling and got me vaguely interested in Baker’s work to the point that I actually attended a Scientists reunion gig in Marrickville a few months back. Awesome, sloppy gig and Baker looks like a 60yo dero. Elsewhere, a tribute to Misfits tribute bands was surprisingly readable, even though I’m not a fan of the band.
Unbelievably Bad, c/- Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill, NSW, 2203, AUSTRALIA unbelievablybad@optusnet.com.au [AUD$8 or e-mail for details if from overseas, 68 x A4, 60+ minutes]

Sleaze Fiend Magazine #1: Here’s a nice throwback to the classic horror flick zines of the 80s. Poorly laid out, rough in parts when it comes to content, but its heart is in the right place. Inside there’s a tribute to skuzzy actor David Hess, a potted history of VHS, an unsettling review of the Maniac remake, David Cronenberg’s film history, weird Brazilian sexploitation and the proverbial much more. This is a nice first effort and I hope there’s more in the future.
www.exploitedcinemaplanet.com, exploited_cinema@yahoo.com [e-mail for prices, 56 x A5, 45min]

Eighties Video Dating Montage: The extremely talented Nicola found real dating video footage on YouTube and turned it into this cute, cleverly packaged zine. A quotable quote floats above a portrait of the optimistic romancer. The blue printing is dark in parts, making some of the writing difficult to read, but Nic’s artwork still makes this worth purchasing.
Original video is HERE.
Nicola Hardy, secret-envelope.tumblr.com [find her on Facebook for price, 5min]
 


SSEX #4: Sometimes, a zine arrives in my mailbox that sums up everything I love about self-publishing. Leon’s new issue contains interviews with three creative types who would be regarded as obscure by most folk. Yet all three are fascinating figures worthy of discussion, from outsider US film-maker Charles Nauman (whose lone fictional movie, 1972’s Johnny Vik, captured Leon’s attention many years ago) to Aussie avant-garde musician Peter Tyndall to fellow Aussie sonic artist John Murphy. Leon’s interviews (particularly with Nauman and Murphy) are well-rounded due to extensive (nay, obsessive) research into his subjects, making SSEX a richly rewarding read.
Leon O’Regan, exssex@gmail.com [$5 post paid worldwide. It's also available from Distort: (www.distortmag.bigcartel.com/product/new-ssex-4), 28 x A4, 45min]

Thursday, December 19, 2013

GIG REVIEW: Roo Shooter/Picnic Casket/Isolation Valve @ Land Of Promise Hotel, Adelaide (Sat., Dec. 14, 2014)


THE Land Of Promise Hotel has the best name for a strip club. It's also an awesome rock venue - where else in Australia can bands play while making use of a fully functional shower and two stripper poles? It was a fitting place to watch an eclectic night of Adelaide rock'n'roll shenanigans last Saturday.
I was in Adelaide to enjoy the 50th birthday celebrations of my good friend and veteran zinester/DJ/lounger kami. He'd got three local bands to put on a show and what a helluva performance they put on. Rough around the edges but never boring.
First up was ROO SHOOTER, two dudes "staring lovingly into each other's eyes" (as kami put it) while assaulting each other and the audience with electric guitar distortion. It was perfectly passable, and made all the more enjoyable by the fact that every song was preceded by the announcement, "This song is for kami." They finished memorably with a distorted version of GOD's My Pal.
 

Next came PICNIC CASKET, which was basically three quarters of legendary Adelaide punk/hardcore band Grudge. I believe this was only their second gig. They did a few originals but mainly stuck with deranged cover versions of a bunch of 70s and 80s tunes, including Stevie Wright's Black Eyed Bruiser (I think). It was some Stevie Wright tune (I was pretty drunk by this stage). Everyone was going nuts and dancing around throughout the gig, including several delightful well-aged sluts and the always-drunk Dick Dale. This set felt like it went on for 90+ minutes, probably because it did. Still, I enjoyed every moment of it.
 

Finally, came the headline act, ISOLATION VALVE. kami had already warned us that this eccentric trio - led by two brothers - were notorious around town for never doing the same gig twice. Playing a country music set at a punk gig was a mild example of what they were capable of - it seems the band's main aim in life is to piss off their audiences. They didn't disappoint us this night.
Firstly, they called the birthday boy over and proceeded to strip for him down to their (women's) underwear. They then did a set of acoustic originals that I don't know the exact names of, but I think two of the titles were There's A Volcano In My Living Room (a sing-along ditty) and I Sold My Little Sister On The Internet. All sung in an annoying, weedy voice by the lead singer who, as an encore, stripped naked and had a shower on-stage. Think Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart/every annoying performance artist you've ever had the misfortune of seeing and you'd get Isolation Valve. They were BRILLIANT.
As birthday bashes go, this was one of the most memorable I've attended. I think more birthday beanos (and gigs in general) should be held in strip clubs.