zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pishing, Hoodling, Drones & Overtones

Zine Review: Pishing, Hoolding, Drones & Overtones

Pishing, Hoodling, Drones & Overtones

David Tighe
4804 Memorial Drive
NE Calgary Alberta
T2A 2R1 Canada

Via a trio of scholarly zines, David Tighe is amassing a vital body of work.  The third offering in his adventurous music series is “Pishing, Hoodling, Drones & Overtones” complete with a visual pun on the cover – birds arranged along a musical stave. For those who have not read the first two volumes, this issue opens with a summation of “The Story So Far”. Mr. Tighe segues into an update on eefing and hoodling, bizarre vocal techniques associated with country & novelty records. There is a discussion on the life & music of Jimmy Riddle, a master of the harmonica & the eefing vocal treatment, and a wealth of background into the eefing phenomenon & other divergent paths: throat singing, the Mills Brothers, b-movie auteur  Hershell Gordon Lewis (!) and more.  Eventually we’re introduced to the obscure practice of pishing which “is an onomatopoeic term applied to a variety of orally produced noises that, in general, mimic the scolding calls of birds.” Mr. Tighe also traverses into animal sounds & their use in / influence upon sing, nature recordings, yodeling, hurdy gurdy tunes, and onward into an article about flexi discs (one of my favorite record formats) and twins who invented their own language only to be anthologized by “experts” and caregivers.

The substance of Pishing, Hoodling, Drones & Overtones underscores the zeal that is often missing in modern publications. This zine is a labor of love, and it shows. It is also a resource with numerous citations and references. Mr. Tighe has also created a soundtrack – two cds worth – to accompany his zines: 67 tracks of audio intrigue. Every time I read through this zine or listen to the cds, I pick up on a different thread. Musical discovery has rarely been this much fun.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Echo! Echo! #9


Echo! Echo! #9
mini-zine, 48 pages + cardstock cover, $?
A consistently good zine that consistently gets better. This time Keet's prose gets even more personal and vivid. Most of this issue documents a visit to Keet's place of origin: Manila, Philippines. Keet had been away for 5 years, and the anxiety of going back home is palpable in her writing, which is very descriptive as she describes the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and (of course) the emotions of being back home. So much of this zine is quotable: "These are the colours I remember the most: band-aid pink, polished brown, silver. The shape of the doors, the narrow dip in the driveway, the plants on the veranda. The neighbourhood kids peered into the car and I refused to look them in the eye. I stared and stared until my eyes blurred. I told L to drive off before I could remember everything."
If the writing isn't enough to draw you in, Keet's illustrations certainly will. See examples of her work here. I may be biased, having been a fan of Echo! Echo! (and Keet in general) for years now, but I feel certain that you would be remiss if you didn't check this out.
Keet Geniza

Great new zines in distro!

Great new zines in distro!

New Zines in Distro!
Fat-tastic! #2
A great little compilation about body image, with stories about Yoga for Everyone, Fat & Healthy, Scars, Ballance, and a sweet and powerful letter to Beth Ditto, who is a great role model for fat acceptance.
Stunned Lungs #2
another beautiful haunting poetry zine from Tara, with poems about love and bruises, annihilation and jellyfish, the last desperate thing we did. With a beautiful block print cover, each one hand printed and sewn.

Rad Dad #22 Riot Parent
This issue is "focused on ways radical feminism of the 90's and the Riot Grrrl movement have left their mark on many of us, with essays that explore a wide range of topics from punk to boycotting to the conflits that Riot Grrrl (or punk in general) might provoke inside ourselves." Interviews with people from Positive Force, Bratmobilie, and Spitboy, plus a sweet Riot Parent Manifesto.

no better than apples 8
I'm so happy to finally get another issue of this zine! Beautifully done, with lots of different stories and thoughts. Sad family stories, about her mothers illness, their relationship, her grandma passing away, her own illness; I'm not sure how she gets the courage to tell these stories. And then the ways of survival and love, ways of learning to feel safe, drinking maple sap like water, teaching at Girls Rock Camp, cutting hair, writing. 

Ship of Fools #6
comic zine with beatuiful drawings of aimlessness in Greensboro. moving back to Baltimore. friendship

Everybody Moon Jump #11
Sweet rambly little diary type zine about being gay, operation AHAP (As Hot As Possible), why do you have to bang people to prove you're gay, fears, tedious nights, things to do to feel better 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Both By Chance & Circumstance

Both By Chance & Circumstance

BBCAC 091012
20 pages, 6" x 4" by ?, the usual from GPO Box 4201, Melbourne VIC 3001, AUSTRALIA
Hard to get past that awful title. Both by chance and circumstance? Ugh.
But it's the guts of this perzine that make it interesting. The anonymous ziner writes about her troubles getting a job since she has something called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which sounds like fun but is not. If CFS wasn't enough, she also has dyscalculia, a mathematical form of dyslexia. Plus she doesn't have a car, and she admits to having a bad attitude. It's all very entertaining in a grim and awkward sort of way, like my favourite show, Embarrassing Bodies.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Zine News Round-Up: 07.10.12

Zine News Round-Up: 07.10.12

photo by Melanie Maddison - thanks!

We're back!  Sorry for the long silence, life stuff sort of took over for a while.  As an aside, if anyone ever wants to give us a hand with writing for Spill the Zines, do get in touch!  Check out the 'Write for Us' page for more info. 

1. Zine Releases
2. Upcoming Events
3. Submission Calls
4. Distro News
5. AOB (Any Other Business)


1. Zine Releases- ‘Dirty Blyter!’ is a zine all about the sexual innuendo/subtext in Enid Blyton’s novels.  Buy a copy at folksy.
- ‘Lights Go Out’ #18: The 24 Hour Zine Thing Issue, is out now!  Buy your copy at http://www.lightsgoout.co.uk/?wpsc-product=lights-go-out-issue-18.
- Have we missed anything?  Let us know – spillthezinesukATgmail.com.
2. Upcoming Events- REVOLT – DIY Riot Grrrl Ruckus: Saturday 13 October @ Taylor John’s House, Coventry. An evening of riot grrrl, spoken word, and burlesque (and I’m doing a zine reading!).  More details can be found at http://revoltpunk.wordpress.com/.
- Birmingham Zine Festival: 12 – 15 October.  Want to get involved?  More info can be found at http://www.birminghamzinefestival.com/.
- Documentary Screening- ‘From The Back of the Room’: 28 October @ Power Lunches, London.  A documentary on women in DIY punk cultures. More info here.
- Leeds Zine Fair: Sunday 04 November at Wharf Chambers.  If you'd like to get involved in organising the zine fair, or hold a stall at the zine fair then get in touch at footprintATfootprinters.co.uk
- London Queer Zine Fest: Saturday 08 December @ Space Station 65, Kennington.  The organisers are still looking for people to table, and to help out generally – if you want to get involved, there’s lots of info at https://www.facebook.com/events/232251613569656/

3. Submission Calls- To commemorate the film screening ‘From The Back of the Room’ mentioned above, the organiser Charlotte is putting together a zine on women and punk.  Written submissions must be 200 words max, visual submissions must be black and white.  Deadline: 21 October.  Questions and submissions can be sent to charlotte.richardson.andrewsATgmail.com.

4. Distro News
- Marching Stars Distro is still on hiatus, but will be back soon with a new website! Keep your eye on twitter and tumblr for more info about when the distro will reopen.
 - Vampire Sushi has a new website design and new stock!  Take a look at http://shop.vampiresushi.co.uk/.
- Lots of lovely new stuff over at Pushpin Publishing - http://www.pushpinzines.co.uk/collections/new

5. AOB
- Are you on tumblr?  If you want to spread the zine-love with lots of new followers, share your tumblr over at the WMZ forum: http://wemakezines.ning.com/forum/topics/zinesters-on-tumblr

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Paper Radio

Weekly Recommendations, Week 40: Paper Radio

Paper Radio (formerly Signals) is a zine for the radio obsessed, especially for those who pine for radio as it used to be (which is before my time, but I can appreciate the sentiment). Pirate radio, shortwave radio, AM/FM, ham radio, even internet radio, if it has anything at all to do with radio and radio culture, it gets discussed in this zine. Issue #7 includes an interview with pirate radio broadcaster, John Poet, and discusses the controversy behind his recent FCC bust. It also includes thoughts on the vinyl revolution, an interview with DJ Little Danny, Lee Widener's account of an interesting LSD experience, and much more. In issue #8, there is a discussion of telegrams, an interview with Kevin Carey about longwave signals, reviews of select Yoga Records releases, short fiction by William Jackson, and of course much more. DJ Frederick is passionate about the art and science of radio, which is made very clear in the pages of his zine. If you have any interest in radio at all, this zine is definitely worth checking out. It excels at shedding some much needed light on this under-appreciated and declining medium.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Boxwooder #516

Zine Review: The Boxwooder #516

The Great ReginaBlizzard
by Phil Ambrosi
The Boxwooder #516

I enjoy learning about history from people who’ve lived through it. Phil Ambrosi relates this experiences as a child in 1947 when a strong, days-long winter storm closed the city of ReginaSaskatchewan, in the days before highways, cutting the city off from food and medical supplies because the trains could not run. This is an intriguing firsthand narrative about real wind chill and zero visibility, about stringing ropes from barns to houses in order to make it back and forth safely in the wind driven whiteout.

The Boxwooder is published by Jake Warner and is available to members of the National Amateur Press Association. This is an extremely long-running journal, always beautifully printed with fascinating subject matter. You can write to Jake & send him a few bucks for back issues at The Boxwood Press 116 Rosewood Drive Greenbelt MD 20770.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

No More Coffee #4 / Brainscan #29

No More Coffee #4 / Brainscan #29
digest, 44 pages, $3/trades
While I’m not typically a big fan of fiction zines, I found this one to be a good one. Ben of No More Coffee, a strictly fiction zine apparently, initiated this project with Alex Wrekk of Brainscan, challenging her to write a fiction issue of her zine and put it out as a split issue with his zine. Anyone who has ever read an issue of Brainscan (and who in the zine community hasn’t, really?) knows that Brainscan is a deeply personal, non-fiction zine, so producing a fiction issue was indeed a challenge. However, Alex performs famously, writing so much in her personal voice that even though the stories are fiction, they are completely believable and relatable. Alex’s half of this zine alone is reason enough to pick this up. But don’t think for a second that Ben does not also excel. His stories are just as intimate and engrossing. I found myself engaged and interested, despite the fact that it was fiction and that I have a general (and frankly unwarranted) aversion to the genre. The first story – Photographs of the Dead – is especially worth reading. In short, get your hands on a copy of this zine – it’s a rare chance to read Alex’s fiction, but it’s also a great fiction zine overall.

Ben Spies, 2464 W. Berteau Ave., Chicago IL 60618 USA
Alex Wrekk, 5307 N. Minneapolis Ave., Portland OR 97217 USA

All This Is Mine #16

Zine Review: All This Is Mine #16

All This Is Mine #16

Sugene packs her quarter sized zine with a diversity of content. She relates major events from 2010 – the birth of her son, turning 33, and the death of her father. While any one of these events might impact one’s life, all three in a row must have been overwhelming, especially when everything unfolds in ways we don’t expect. Sugene also discusses her move to Portland and ambivalent (at best) feelings about it. She also shares her love for canning and her experience with the mysterious Jejune Institute. As a surprise bonus, there are two mini zines bundled into this issue: Destroy After Finishing, a real life adventure from Portland, and All This Is Mail a collage of stamps, envelopes & ephemera.

Sugene’s writing is straightforward and friendly. She shares feelings that speak to the human condition. Who can’t relate to joy, depression, relationships, and strawberry jam?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cats Claw Herbal

Zine Review: Cats Claw Herbal

Cats Claw Herbal
by Heron Brae

This is a mostly handwritten and hand drawn quarter-sized zine bursting with useful, practical, and intuitive self healing information. Plants and herbs hold lifeforce, and vibrant energy & this small zine is a solid introduction to herbcraft. Heron includes clear instructions for making oils and salves, and descriptions of numerous common plants & their uses including Hypericum, Plantain, Balm of Gilead & more. This is a beautifully designed, reader / learner friendly zine.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Zine Review: White Elephants #4

Zine Review: White Elephants #4

White Elephants No 4.
68 pages

Though this zine is a couple of years old, I just now finally got around to reading it. White Elephants is ostensibly about tag sale adventures that Katie has with her mother, and the small treasures she finds. However, on a different level this is a beautiful and heartfelt zine where quiet moments and keenly observed emotions flow from the page.

The zine opens with Katie writing about her residency at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia & from the first line we’re off on an engaging read. Her friendly writing style invites the reader into her thoughts on the page, which is a welcoming place to be.

Monday, October 22, 2012

announcing the LA Zine Fest

LA Zine Fest will be Sunday, Feb 17th of next year.  Hurray!


watch this youtube and help us win a grant!

My partner Miguel is applying for a grant and the more hits he gets on this youtube, the better chance he has of getting it! It is short and cute and has footage of him riding my miniature horse Peanut!
click here to see cute mini horses! and help us win this grant!

“Zine Control to Major Tom!”

“Zine Control to Major Tom!”

Zines come in all shapes, sizes and genres, but I must confess one of my favourite types is the sci-fi zine.  Pre dating the popular bio-zine of today and their (now) middle aged cousins the music and political zines from the Punk rock era; science fiction and zines have been synonymous with each other for over 80 years.  This fact was brought home to me after I catalogued a couple of sci-fi zines from the Henderson collection. Btw we now have over 1000 items from the Henderson collection catalogued!!
Science fiction zines, commonly called “Fanzines” (they are the genre of zine to coin the phrase), are still an important part of the zine world though they do not seem quite as popular as they once were.  As a science fiction fan this seems sad to me.  So, when in recent times, I came across a couple of particularly interesting examples of fanzines I was very pleased.
The first zine is called “My time annihilator: a brief history of the 1930’s science fiction fanzines” by Christopher Todd.  This zine, to borrow a quote from Zinewiki, “Details the origin as well as printing and distribution methods of early zines. Christopher describes finding a book called The Fanzine Index, which listed science fiction fanzines from 1937 to 1952, and hunting down titles from the list at a Temple University archive. Selections from the early zines illustrate My Time Annihilator”.

What I love about this zine is that it shows us some snippets of early fanzines while detailing some of the rich history behind zine making.  OK so while it’s not actually a fanzine zine (or maybe it’s a fanzine of fanzines?) it does take us on a time travel journey through the history of early science fiction zines.
Writing a Sci-fi zine flow chart
The second zine is called “Megca”.  Well I think it’s called “Megca”, those of you who go to the record will notice that the title is enclosed in square brackets, which is cataloguer speak for “For various reasons this information may not be entirely correct, I think it is correct but am not 100 percent certain {cataloguer scratches head, crosses fingers and hopes for the best}”, followed by two alternative titles also enclosed in square brackets to show other potential alternatives for the title.  In this case the square brackets and alternative titles are because the title is written out in a very dramatic font, which looks wonderfully artistic but also makes it a little difficult to read for the humble cataloguer! {Although now I look at the scanned image it suddenly looks much clearer than the actual item – tricky!}

Luckily I didn’t let it put me off reading this somewhat rough but compelling (very) short story.  Only every second page is populated with a sparse text, alternating between pages of dark rough illustrations.  The story, though somewhat cryptic so therefore open to interpretation, is about the fate of some interplanetary explorers after their ship crashes, stranding them in a hostile environment.  What I love about this zine is that it represents  another type of fanzine, which is also often called a ‘literary’ zine, as it is a creative work written in the Sci-fi genre rather than a zine dedicated to the genre.
It reminds me also that many zine creators are also aspiring fiction writers, who use zines as a starting point for their careers.  In the past, an author getting their short stories published in a literary zine or publishing their own work as a zine has been a precursor for getting their stories published more widely in pulp fiction serials or in short story anthologies – this is how sci-fi and fantasy authors such as Vol Molesworth, Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft got their start. It is fun to think that the creator of Megca may one day become a popular sci-fi writer – and the NLA will have preserved a copy of their earliest work.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Ken Chronicles #23

The Ken Chronicles
No 23, may 2012,
US $2

There are zines that you love. there are zines that you hate. there are zines that you love to hate. and then... there are zines that you hate to love. The Ken Chronicles falls under this last awkward category of gritted teeth and perverse enchantment. Two words: Papyrus Font. Shudder. But. I love that Ken, the retiree behind the legend behind the zine, uses Papyrus font. I mean it's perfect. Of course he does. He's a retired guy in the middle of renovating his computer room - he actually is. In so many ways Ken is this weird living breathing archetype of his demographic, and yet he's not, because how many older people do you know who make zines? Not family newsletters once a year for the relatives. Actual quarterly zines for sale or trade with the kids out there. He'll even listen to the compilation CDs people send him and provide considered published feedback. And he'll do the same for Judy Collin's biography. Of which, out of interest, he writes: 'Overall, it got to be a little slow moving and was way more detailed than it needs to be'.

Well, Ken, the same can be said about your chronicles. Like how you 'found an on street parking spot fairly easily, about four blocks away' from the fleamarket. Or how Ro wanted something stylish that would go well with the rest of the room. In fact the entire feature entitled 'The Den Renovation' is exactly what the title promises - and involves an actual blow by blow account of shopping for, and successfully purchasing, a large entertainment cabinet for the tv area. Probably way more detailed than what it needed to be.

Ken bores the crap out of me. Yet fascinates me at the same time. And you know what, Ken? Don't go changing. The coolest thing about his zine is that it truly is complete, unadulterated Ken. And this is what zines are all about - unique insights, honesty, expressing oneself freely with papyrus font without fear of judgement - creating your own personal paper soverignty as it were. So Ken's Chronicles? Are the coolest. You'll admire him for his flea market finds and personal research. You'll want to punch the wall as he provides condescending job tips for unemployed college graduates. But...one must love it all. Through the baffling old-person detail, the home photos, the friends called Bob, Doris and Betsy, the anecdotes of scoring a bargain, the movie and tv show and book reviews. One must love it all. It's a package deal. It's all 'Ken'. And so, I must say, Ken Bausert and his chronicles...rock. Just...keep them quarterly.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Paper Radio #7 & #8

Paper Radio #7 & #8
8 1/2 x 14, 36 pgs. & 32 pgs., $?
Paper Radio (formerly Signals) is a zine for the radio obsessed, especially for those who pine for radio as it used to be (which is before my time, but I can appreciate the sentiment). Pirate radio, shortwave radio, AM/FM, ham radio, even internet radio, if it has anything at all to do with radio and radio culture, it gets discussed in this zine. Issue #7 includes an interview with pirate radio broadcaster, John Poet, and discusses the controversy behind his recent FCC bust. It also includes thoughts on the vinyl revolution, an interview with DJ Little Danny, Lee Widener's account of an interesting LSD experience, and much more. In issue #8, there is a discussion of telegrams, an interview with Kevin Carey about longwave signals, reviews of select Yoga Records releases, short fiction by William Jackson, and of course much more. DJ Frederick is passionate about the art and science of radio, which is made very clear in the pages of his zine. If you have any interest in radio at all, this zine is definitely worth checking out. It excels at shedding some much needed light on this under-appreciated and declining medium.
DJ Frederick
36 West Main Street
Warner OH 03278

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