Eighty-Eight Shades Of Grey 14
The North of England is a depressing place. We know this because people keep telling us in pretty much every medium possible ever. Even though it is probably not intended this little zine from Chester fills you with a good old-fashioned dollop of dread. It’s kind of heart warming though in a fear-yourself-fitter way. Eighty-Eight Shades Of Grey consists of a bunch of pages tacked together in black and white photocopy. It’s so basic you kind of have to react. Seeing a torn image of Lemmy next to a playing card depicting a feral pigeon next to a list of different names for female genetalia might even make you question something. I’m not sure what. But something.
To get a copy mail these miserable guys: 12 Watertower View, Boughton, Chester CH23EA UK
Among The Living 2-3
Skateboarding in the UK is all about triumph over adversity. Shitty weather conditions, poorly maintained parks, spots getting nobbed, members of the public laughing at you for being in your 20’s and still riding around on a little piece of wood with wheels stuck to the bottom. The Among The Living Guys are here to celebrate the triumph and have a party and a road trip all at once. And then take photos and write scribbly words about it in a big boadsheet zine. Tonnes of original art, board graphics, moody shots of windswept bowls and even a guy with a massive ‘Real Life’ tattoo. We’re sold!
We know we have gone on about McSweeny’s a bunch before but it really is one of those amazing things that is so good that as soon as it turns up you want to go off and sob quietly in a corner because you know that secretly you will never be quite there no matter how hard you try. We wouldn’t bring it up again other than this one is so everything-else-eclipsingly amazing that they had to come up with a whole new method of book binding just to contain it, gave it a Rachell Sumpter illustrated cover and got a bunch of people like Ann Beatie and David Gettes to write original thoughts on Barthelme. Did They Might Be Giants ever write a song for your shitty zine? Nope. They did for McSweeny’s.
Vanessa Del Rio: Fifty Years Of Slightly Slutty Beahviour
Uh oh, it’s the Latina Foxy Brown who loves to put out on camera! If you want a book that’s covered in Leopard-skin print so kitschy it looks like the inside of one of those Soho stroke joints you could never quite bring yourself to walk into and you really can’t get enough of big, untamed 70’s bush shots, floppy tits and floppier penises then Taschen have really come up with goods here. Vanessa is a reminder of an innocent pre-AIDS age where fucking as many people as possible on camera was just seen as having a healthy appetite. Like wanting to eat steak and potatoes for dinner every night or catch the game on Saturday or whatever. She was so good at the ol’ give-an-receive that even Snoop Dog is moved to admit that: “she could really take one”.
R. Crumbs Sex Obsessions
If you are not familiar with Robert Crumb at this stage it might be time to re-figure things. Like your path in life and what you do on a daily basis. After the last couple of collected outings from the worlds greatest borderline maniacal, compulsive, workaholic, gonzoid, weirdo illustrator which featured his illustrations of his country, blues and bluesgrass heroes this one focuses on another of his obsessions: big women. Yup, big asses, overweight-child bearing hips and tits that can suffocate a guy in seconds all float Crumb’s boat. As creepy as being party to some of his twisted inner-monologues can get you can’t really beat a guy who thought-bubbles stuff like “I am currently inventing ways to make your wonderous body my personal playground”. He’d probably loose it at a Gossip show completely.
www.taschen.com (again, big month for Taschen eh?)
The Unholy Alliance
This is a live Slayer DVD. It was recorded on 06/06/06. They play ‘Angel Of Death’, ‘South Of Heaven’ and every other track that makes them indisputably, irrefutably the greatest thrash band ever. Kerry’s head looks really shiny. And you even get Mastadon bonus footage. It’s one of those things that you have on pre-order. Basically this little, shiny disc of fun is pretty essential and probably the most excited I have been about seeing Slayer perform since the first time I actually saw them in sweaty, beer-drenched real life. Except there is no red-button footage of a guy getting his eyebrow ring yanked out mid-crowd surf which did actually happen that time at the Astoria.
I Hate Music
Output Recordings 1996-2006
They can’t of hated music that much. They set up a label and put the stuff out for ten years. Or maybe they didn’t before but having suffered industry slings and arrows for a decade they now do? Boo hoo. I’m not sure. Life is pretty confusing sometimes. Output was a label run by Trevor Jackson which broadly released electronic dance music. Although he is not quite as good as Jackson the chap with the Computer Band, Trevor is a pretty good Jackson. Output released a bunch stuff that paved the way for electroclash and people dancing to songs with guitars in like Playgroup, DK7 and the Rapture as well as stuff like Fridge for you to sit around and listen to after all the disco burgers. It is no coincidence that in the early days of the DFA, Output distributed their records in Europe.
Ultimate Reality treads a pretty fine line. I might have to sit on the fence with this one. It consists of a 40 minute psychedelic montage of Schwazeneger films cut up with piercing kaleidoscope colours and strobing neon laser rays created by Baltimore artist Jimmy Joe Roche. The whole thing is soundtracked by fellow Wham City alumnus and current worldwide party starting fat guy Dan Deacon’s freakout electropop. These elements combined could constitute either a weapon of mass enlightenment or a streamlined bullet of pure fear and asthma-attack inducing paranoia. I guess it depends upon what you’ve ingested before viewing.