Comes With A Smile
Issue 19 | Autumn 2005
( 106 color pages [consistency!] ) $9.99 US
It seems as though I may be running out of synonyms to describe the latest issue(s) of Comes With A Smile: perfect, fantastique, unmatched, plentiful. Well, I do remember when the busy UK mag was full color only on the cover - look how far Matt D. and Co. have come.
"Is it just me, or has Frank Black lost weight?"
First thing I noticed (after "Charles", who Franklin Black is to be referred to in the feature for 19) is the new design for the CWAS cover disc, Gloved Hands in a Squeeze - all credit goes to 'Smile senior photo-pro Paul Heartfield (his camera work is all over each issue of the publication, alongside Matt Dornan's graphic eye & pen). To call the compilation one of the more lethargic (lethargic = good) of any CWAS discs wouldn't be far off - if it wasn't for that goddamned trio of ladies from up north called Sleater-Kinney. Biggest surprise to me was Tremulous Monk (feature) and his track called "Tea Hippy". While there is a line stating "we're 'gon cut the cheese / we're 'gon sting the bees", overall it reminds me of a peppy Mercury Rev.
This issue is loaded with huge, on the rise artists (that was not another smack at Black Francis - I said 'on' the rise) such as Espers, Vetiver, Maria Taylor* and an amazing (maybe the best Matt Dornan article I've ever read) with Andrew Kenney of AmAnSet. Four full pages that truly scope on the kind gent Andrew is, they cover plenty of ground from the trials of being a musician in the digital age to why Conrad Keeley may just be the second biggest asshole in rock (see: Chunklet 15). 20+ pages of professional reviews to round out issue 19 - if you haven't picked up any issue previous (too late now) - this would be a damn fine place to dive in.
* [ Maria Taylor's track on the disc, her acoustic take on Ewan McColl's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", deserves a mention for the fact that A} it's (as usual) wonderful and, B} to hopefully draw your attention to her solo debut 11:11 - one of 2005's best releases. ]
24 | 128 pages
Things I learned / observed* while glancing through issue 24 of Copper Press (and no, I did not download it - I purchased it):
a gent in Crystal Skulls (p. 19, second from right)
that looks quite a bit like Nick Lachey, he should try to hook up with
Daisy Duke (the new, assless Daisy Duke).
* it is stated that Copper Press has and still does blur the imaginary line between art in music & art on canvas - they're really good at that shit. Copper Press is still just $5. Copper Press is printed in shades of black on white - you fill in the color.
Kaleb Brydges 08.18.05
No. 4 | Spring 2005
( 116 pages ) $10
Esopus could be my new Sound Collector. Or my new YETI. This bi-yearly bound wealth of non-advert (Esopus is a nonprofit org. NY, 10012 - bless you folks) art/music/design publication is as solid as the rocky planet which we reside. Oh - it comes complete with a superior spindle of music too ("Imaginary Friends"): 13 tracks total, including a stunning track entitled "Lisa" from The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers that just owns me. Also on here is Vetiver, Solex and Avey Tare - yes, the mixture is to die for. Each track is complete with an accompanying short story in print.. nothing short of supreme. Each story was submitted from a subscriber / reader of the publication and presented to the musicians as "inspiration". Call it "yes".. for it is.
This edition of Esopus - number 4 - is complete with plenty of FLAUNT-like pullouts and collectibles such as a sturdy stock scan of an American Legion / Vietnam supporter license plate (even the rear of the plate is complete with authentic rust) and a super-sized collection of Presidential wooden busts! There's much more - get out and find this. Page after page of business letters from the early 1930's, an eerie series of vintage cabinet-style photos from the Sepia-era.. . this is the 'magazine'* (*that's where you'll find it placed in your local superstore - yet it redefines "publication" just in weight) friends look at when they come over but are never allowed to borrow.
This is 116 pages (include the cover and rear and you get more) completely suitable for framing. My new best friend has pages & words - are you happy Mom?
Comes with a Smile
Issue Eighteen | Spring/Summer 2005
( 106 color pages ) $9.99 US
Comes with a Smile is that friend (in the form of a frequent 8" x 8" periodical) who's always telling you the right bands to check out - which you don't - then 3 months later you hear a song you can't live without and realize, "hey, Comes with a Smile told me to check this jazz out like 3 months back - I'm such a loser". C'mon bullwinkle, as if the multi-platinum cover disc didn't warn you that Matt Dornan and knowledged staff knew what was around the corner.. . they know more about our dense 48 states scene than we do.
This issues spin includes (I'll stick with three of the total seventeen - full details here) sctas-faves Rogue Wave with a brand new pop-tastic tune entitled "March" [which leads me to think the next RW album will be leader of all humans], don's mobile barbers destroying us with "he's heading back into town" and Josh Rouse on Irish radio with an acoustic version of "My Love Has Gone" from his latest full-length Nashville.
Cover features to each issue are like bottomless chests of gold, and issue 18 is a wide-open mine! Currituck Co., Hood, Animal Collective's Panda Bear [filling in the gaps on the latest Vashti Bunyan collaboration!] and Rogue Wave all provide the best alone time the UK has to offer in gloss-covered print.
Think back to the time before when I mildly instructed you to listen to your friend Comes with a Smile? Yes, now do just that when they favorably review Grumpy Bear's Hmm... I'm a little bit lonely these days. As a babbling lover of these 2 Arizona craftsmen - you'll likely want to drown yourself in a kettle of boiling honey if you wait and read about them on the December cover of Alternative Press.
Comes with a Smile is infinite friendship with multitudes of repeat memories. Thank you all.
No. 67 | Apr/May 05 | 128 pages
WOMEN on the cover - that should please those that are keeping count. The last issue that featured a female on the cover was 23 issues back - Yo La Tango. Here it's S-K - rawk!!! Between Andrew Earles absolutely post-tarded column Where's The Street Team? knocking Jandek (the phrase "pussy is allergic to me" is in here), Lou Barlow and the Zombies and adverts for shit you positively don't need (TROMA?) - there are quality pages to keep you focused.. . a few.
Why Cass McCombs gets 1 page while Moby gets 2 (one is a full page peek at his, er, head) is another issue entirely. Damon & Naomi get gushy with a detailed mix tape. Eddie Vedder interview cover stars Sleater-Kinney and the whole deal comes off quite well (SK and Pearl Jam toured together during the election / NO-WAR turmoil, making for memorable reflection). How 'bout you - I'm about sick to fucking death of seeing / reading about all 26 of the Arcade Fire members - but Magnet found space for about 4 more pages of useless stuff (Elvis and Ashlee Simpson are topics discussed).
In reviews - Greg Weeks "Blood is Trouble" gets an unfair listen, and it seems Decibully (polyvinyl) are getting beat up everywhere I read (here included - do hear "Sing Out America!".). These are the bands that deserve 2 or 4 pages of print. Save your $4 for the next Big Takeover.
Issue 18 | Fall 2004 | 112 pages
Other than the occasional gushy letter where I think "yeah, I should've said that" - you will be pressed to find someone who loves the entire entity that is diw more than myself. Devil in the Woods records (Fiver, Cole Marquis, Earlimart.. .), diw magazine and OF COURSE the DIW subscriber 7-inch series (which, sadly will be put to rest far too soon.. a very blue day that was when I read the news).
Cover stars the Postal Service (who, oddly enough "don't exist") and the eight pages of joy that follow prove one hardbound fact: Ben Gibbard can do no wrong. That said, his bandmate and collaborator Jimmy Tamborello is, has & will be a house favorite until the darkest day arrives (Strictly Ballroom!!). diw Senior writer Trevor Kelley was behind the whole feature, so that right there sums up a(nother) great feature for the woods. "I don't even know who likes the record" (Ben Gibbard on the Postal Service debut 'Give Up'). He can do no wrong AND he is one modest fucking champion!! That record is the second BEST SELLING SubPop record of all time (some other band called Nirvana have the top bill?).
Other highlights of the issue (after the seven-inch, feat. Matt Pond [no PA] & the [revamped] Cardigans) would include short bits with Rogue Wave, Li'l Cap'n Travis, a one-page shine on The New Year and the 6-page excellence dedicated to the Sonoma Valley!! Penned by Owen Otto, it covers all your kids: The Rum Diary, The Velvet Teen Polar Bears and the like. David Cross is in her chatting up baseball and telling Yankee fans to "go fuck" themselves. Go Dave - it's your birthday / gon' party! Well, April 4th is anyway (fact checkers.. .).
Not to give away the BEST part (if you're still reading - you deserve it!), but - and you didn't hear this from me, cause I don't gossip - the late, hushed DENALI are non-believers (for the record, Jonathan Fuller was not part of this 'featurette'). You read right - God is a joke motherfuckers! [In my best Chris Rock impersonation]: Goddamn - it says right here "I don' t feel like I need to believe in God to make my life more fulfilling".
Cross should help these kids find the true crooked path.
+ k 11.30.04
Comes with a Smile
Issue #16 / Autumn 2004
( CwaS ) 106 gloss-enclosed pages
Comes with a Smile. Comes with 106 pages, 21 unreleased tracks of smiles. Smiles that, for my part, last for the millions of words and thousands of pictures that are bound into what we know as Comes with a Smile. These smiles have been know to last for hours, days even.
Issue 16, also known as the issue that almost wasn't - has surfaced and thank Jesus (hey - look it's David Cross!! HEY DAVID!!) us "democratic" Amerikkans have one thing to be thankful for in November. As stated, #16 is 106 pages of love & respect for the majority of musicians and artists that the radio forgot. Here we have features with - amongst an array of others - Unbunny, Kevin Tihista and Matt Pond PA (all contributing tracks to the accompanying disc) delivered on 8-inch square pages as professional as you're going to get without speaking to the bands themselves.
Tack on 20-plus pages of new music reviews by editor / designer Matt Dornan, James (William) Hindle (the music man himself) and a solid crew of intelligent listeners/writers - and you have yourself a collectible little bound booklet you can base your next 2 months album purchases on.
Borrowed highlight of CwaS 16 (other than CwaS having Cat Stevens as a photographer!!?): David Cross on being a 'New Parent': ".. Come on man, that's not hard. I'll tell you what hard is: try talking your girlfriend into her third consecutive abortion. That's hard. That takes finesse... ."
Jesus - then there is that twenty-one track cd!! You are so out of the loop, man. Saddest news is you may be too late for sixteen.. start saving now for February '05.
+ k 11.17.04
It's not only rare - it's impossible - to find a music magazine over a year old that can still kick your ass with new bands and a FREE cd that will salivate the yearning to buy something new. Comes With A Smile, a publication I see quite often quoted for interviews and album releases, has amazed me with an issue from Autumn of 2003 - and you should take the opportunity to snatch up a back issue if you can. It's a great issue!
The Twin Atlas! I live only six hours away from Philadelphia (the Atlas hometown), and still everyone I talk to has no idea how amazing this duo is (better yet, the common answer "who?". Point being, the wonderfully written interview that spans 2 pages in issue #13 (credit to Stephen Raywood) comes all the way from London, England. America - you have been trumped by lads overseas who are more clued into the best music in our States. Shame on you - hooray to CWAS.
Then you have Currituck Co., aka Kevin Barker, a wonderful fella I was just introduced to a couple of months back on tour with Devendra Banhart & Vetiver - Comes With A Smile had an article on him a year ago.. . see where I'm headed with this one? Oh - there's more. Rogue Wave (very pre-Sub Pop) are in here, you have heard of Rogue Wave by now, right? Then there's M. Ward, Fruit Bats, Royal City.. . it's 100+ pages of awe.
Then there are the reviews, another tiny portal into how on top of the game CWAS is: The National, David Dondero, Pseudosix (wow!), 31Knots.. . again, the list is very long - and very impressive!
I never thought the day would come where I would actually say a magazine with less (none actually) photographs of nude women and more words would be my new best friend, but I guess the day has finally come. Comes With A Smile is where "it" is at.
Big Takeover is a precious biannual bible. Each issue a survival
guide to the best in what is, was & can be in music. Jack Rabid
- we love you - how the new Mission of Burma [ONoffON] did not
make the number one pick in your column (it was beat to number one by
Leatherface's 'Dog Disco') is quite a surprise. Did Artemis really
spring for a full-page, color ad for Jesse Malin's new album?
You do realize that's going to be around
Now.. .There is a fine line in journalism that separates being an asshole and being honest:
Josh Gabriel's vehicle rides in the moronic lane for most of his Big Takeover #54 appearance. The guy rips on Movietone ("bland experimental folk music") all while admitting he "truly enjoyed" 'Is This It' by the Strokes. Enough Said? I think not - below is his "honest" opinion on Iron & Wine's 'The Sea & the Ryhthm' EP. Postal Service? Did you miss the memo Joshua?
fan mail may be directed to email@example.com
[review reprinted without permission, we actually enjoy India. Jack I did send you an email]
That spoken, I admit to not being the sharpest of music reviewers - but I do know when I should pass on writing about an album I know nothing about, or at least researching it. How the hell did this cat get to be a contributor to such an elite music resource as The Big Takeover is beyond me. Tell me you voted for George W. Bush and this may explain the entire problem.
+ k :: (06.10.04)
Ashlea Halpern, you deserve every writing merit that is coming to you.
Folks, her side of Isaac and the Mice story is so unheard & untold, the more you read into it - the more you think it must be fabricated, but it's not. [ like missing mouse drummer Jeremiah Green talking about his latest doings, this open & this honest. ]. By far and wide the best telling of Modest Mouse ever (Isaac has a 2-year old son?) - and I have read them all. I would type it all here so you can read it, but that's still against the rules of copyright.
Now - why in the fuck of Jesus are the Strokes on the cover or MAGNET 63? As if the Strokes weren't 3 years ago news, Modest Mouse is hands-down the story people want to read & hear. Politics, fucking politics. Did anyone even vote for these guys? Can't the hillariously-opinionated Andrew Earles see the all-over glitch in the cover starshits? (in this issue, Earles compares Courtney Love to the "rock'n'roll equivalent of a 45-year-old divorced dad showing up on casual Friday with highlighted tips and head-to-toe Fubu". amen). The Basement Tapes article on the current state of "weird America" music is also a joy. Sam Beam (Trevor Kelley - you're like everywhere man), Simon Joyner & Shannon Wright (to name a few) all contribute with kind words of the tradition they are preserving. While we're at it - why the fuck isn't Simon Joyner on the cover of MAGNET 63? He's pretty too.
the ad most likely to get a band nowhere while costing them in the upwards
of $600: Rasputina, page 27 - "The new album from the
originators of cello rock". Sounds like a fucking blast, too
bad the trio looks the part of a 19th century Marilyn Manson cover band.
Hell, put Rasputina on the cover - they shelled out 2 months rent for
a half-page ad. Hook those sepia-toned critters up.
"You cut me deep Shrek - you cut me deep".
+ k :: (05.08.04)
Who went and told Jenny Lewis that she could be the sweetest looking vixen in indie rock? (.. .well, right after kori in that one mates of state video). Under The Radar is on again with issue 6, and they're still serving up quite a solution to the polluted music scene, I'm beginning to think they despise that Casablancas twerp as much as we do. I must say that at only issue number six , I would rather read this magazine front to back than 97% of the junk in the music section at the Barnes & Noble. The choice in each issues band coverage - although not all under the radar - is superb. Past cover stars have included Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne and the late, great Elliott Smith.
The cover text says it all, Modest Mouse, Sparklehorse (new album news), Doves and the Magnetic Fields - these kids in Beverly Hills sure do know the good ones to peg down for talks. Lots of UTR celeb thoughts on the untimely passing of Elliott Smith - from Anton Newcombe to Ed Harcourt, a nice collection of thoughts from the publication that delivered Smith's final interview and press photos. Does Andy Lemaster reveal his true sexuality, or am I very confused? This is all new to me - rock on.
Of course, when you get a crew of opinions in on music - someone has to slip up [ this issue it's J. Loudenback ]: A 1 blip out of 10 (that's not good) for the latest Telefon Tel Aviv album (Map of What is Effortless)? My musical defense mechanism just clicked on - people, let's play fair! (or honest).
Isaac Brock went off about "integrity washing people's dishes" again, I think I've seen him do this in three interviews now (see: FILTER below) - but when your the Mouse, you can do whatever the fuck you care to I suppose.
"I'm kind of an asshole myself. I don't mean to be; I'm sure he didn't mean to be. But two assholes? That's a lot of asshole." - Isaac Brock on Good News producer Dennis Herring.
Under The Radar - $4.50, worth at least $15. Float on.
+ k :: (05.05.04)
No band is safe from the wrath of Chunklet. Does David Bazan know that there is an ad for his upcoming cd 'Achilles Heel' in the same magazine that has 5 jokes (directed towards those Tooth & Nail types) about this overhyped cat Jesus Christ? [Why is it okay for Jesus Christ to cum on your face? Cause he's the son of God, motherfucker. (little circle c, Chunklet 18 - retyped without permission)]
My mother is all cramped up here at home, recovering from her latest miscarriage, so I thought I would take the edge of with a few of these Courtney Love jokes (page 32, lower left). She sent me to my room. What a bitch, is it my fault her cervix is thinner than cheap vellum? They saved some goods for the last few pages - 8 huge pages that is dedicated to Richmond's LOINCLOTH!
If you can get into Songs Ohia / Jason Molina - there is also a limited 7" up for grabs in limited bits - get it on honky!! The one I got's on purty blue marble.
Chunklet - how they get 2pt. type to print so crisp is beyong me.
(while we're at it, is it a fucking joke ['cause I was laughing] that the site set up to promote the new Pedro The Lion cd is just a .com away from a porn-clip site? talk about handing a chrsitian his own ass.)
+ k :: (04.04.04)
Best Copper Press issue ever? This very well could be folks [in the know]. Whereas we are normally presented with one [amazing] free Copper Press disc of every artist you should be hearing - but aren't, we get 2 FUCKING cds!! What did we do to deserve such audible delights? You get the Building Press, Lying in States, Sicbay and 37 more artists offerings. .. ... for $5.
Then there is the most fascinating detail of the entire offer: the magazine itself. With the CP style we have come to love, and the $10 investment we force ourselves to afford - you get your choice of delicious cover art! They got your "Yummy Pink Bird Vine" and the "Kiwi Cooking Hanger" to choose from, crafted by Norfolk, VA's Ron Thompson of dvdsgn. How you choose* does indeed make a difference in this year's presidential election, so please for the love / hate of endless war - choose wisely. Inside - the 72 pages reveal the haps on the Wrens, the Decemberists, Lucero (to name 3) and "$20 or less" artist Steven Keene. To overlook the incredible job Eric Iannelli did penning the Wrens ("... timeless, apothegmatic illustration of life's absurdity.") would be a true injustice .
Music & art - you need this.
[* the pink cover is the democratic frontrunner]
+ k :: (04.04.04)
On the cover of your latest issue ( Happy 5 ) - is lucious Maria Carla taking that top off, or putting us on? My mother has that exact necklace - the turquoise birds with those red rock-stones, but they are from the seventies, not craft caravan (or do they specialize in vintage goods?).
Did you get my mix cds? I did not see my letter pictured in the letters section - yet. I love N Y L O N too.
On a total of 140-some pages, I can almost see 17 different beautiful women bare their breasts, with the sharagano advertisement being the most cherished. I do love women. I do love Nylon. That Snow Patrol cd is quite good - yes(?).
get my mix cds? I sent them a month ago. I'd like to know what it's
like on the inside of Maria Carla, or even that gal in the Sisley ad
(one of seventeen breast sneeks).
+ k :: (04.01.04)
It gets no more musical than this - the Fountains of Wayne video-mother has shed her clothes, and seven Lady DJ's have followed her trail! Oh - but it gets much more musical. And, might I add, Rachel Hunter needs to be naked more often.
Some lame kid in the music division at Hef's HQ had laid out a list of "moronic band monikers" that includes death cab for cutie & spoon. A couple we can agree on are Hoobastank & 30 Odd Foot Grunts. I guess most folks could care less about the text in these kinds of periodicals, but spoon is a grand band name. The "Playboy Interview" is with shot caller 50 Cent - who admits his mother is a man & that she likes women (not a joke). They also list the Top 5 '50 Haters', with knife-stickin' Ja Rule at the top of the list. It's also the Year In Music 2004 issue, a whole bunch of crap (I see Fred Durst & Matchbox Twenty- boy in this mess) and the ridiculous notion that the King's of Leon will save rock "yeah, the Strokes are our best friend's"... .
[                                                                                ------------------------> this space intentionally left blank for useless thoughts on King's of Leon, if more space is needed, please continue to the bottom of this form. ]
Then there's a giant naked chick from Toronto that divides the words before a bunch of nonsense about baseball fills up what feels like 20 pages.
Thanks indeed to Playboy for donating a year's subscription to the sctas, we knew it was about the skin before we even began reading.
+ k :: (03.14.04)
So here we are once again, informing you of one of the most incredible music publications coming out of the western part of the states known as diw. My how the woods have grown - the first issue I ever purchased was issue 3.1, the NEW FACES OF ROCK issue, and the magazine was then staple-bound and only beginning to introduce color pages to the readers. Just 10 issues later, diw is now a full-color, spine-bound music magazine of masterful incredibleness - and the writing is still top-notch. Issue 5.4 has wonderful features on Sun Kill Moon (aka RHP, Mark Kozelek), BRMC, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, B&S and cover cats The Shins (only to name a few). Asking Jeremy Enigk if he believe's in God may be a sin, but he answered just as I thought the spiritual being would. Both Andrew W.K. fans beware - you may be the only people who won't find pleasure in devil the woods.
Happy days to a fine music label (home of fiver & cole marquis) & an excellent publication.
This month's exclusive (to 777 pressings) 7" features for a record second time The Shins with a toe-tapping little number entitled "The Gloating Sun". Also on the record is the winner of the song-poem contest [Tim Oehmsen w/ Ramsey Kearney] featured in issue 5.2 (a contest where readers sent in their poems diw, they picked out their favorite and sent it to Ramsey Kearney, a song-poem artist down in nashville. The winning song was put on this new 7-inch) & a grand introduction to Denison Witmer and his exclusive track "Worry All The Time". If you are keeping tabs, the first appearance by a little band called The Shins was on DIW #44 / Issue 3.3's exclusive 7" of then only 500 copies, where they offered a fragile, sparse version of "Caring is Creepy, It Is".
Links: d i w
rarely is it that I go out on a twig and purchase a magazine that is
out of my normal purchasing routine. Remember: We are in a Republican
presidential term, and us normal folks don't make what we should in
the paycheck. EVEN less unlikely (like, NEVER) would I purchase
a magazine that puts these kids on the cover calling themselves the
Strokes. Just can't do it. Drew is with the wrong one if you ask me.
But I'll be damned if there right above the F
in F I L T E R is a group of kids I can call my band - MODEST
MOUSE. See, if you can catch up with Modest Mouse and get anything
out of em' that is worth nearly 3 pages of "what's been happening with
Epic?" and what-not, I'll read it. Steve Leckart gets the job done,
and confirms the fact that Isaac Brock does know how to apply the word
"fuck" ("Yeah, well, tell that one to me when your washing dishes
fuckface".). And jealous as fuck be us - FILTER has heard Good
News For People who Love Bad News, and they love it (with a
92% out of 100% rating).
Links: F I L T E R
Here's a novel idea: let's call up Andrew, Ken B. & Lucy - hoping that is that they all have really lame opinions on some really strange things, like music for example. So far so good. For starters we shall see if Ken can convince readers that the Thrills & the Cooper Temple Clause should be grouped in the same review column. Maybe link the two bands with absolutely nothing in common except a "the" that precedes their names with an adjective like "lame" or "boring", YES! "boring" shall be it. Shit - we are going to have to get somebody to sell ads so that we can afford to push these ridiculous individuals opinions on the public, does Eric still sell ads? "Hey, intern #4, call Eric and tell him we still need to sell some ads". Maybe the same bands we totally rip in text will buy full-color, full page ads - silly Brits. Andrew still despises that 'Gypsy Spree' thing, right? That new Okkervil River album is good, dude kinda sounds Nebraska-ish. S-H-I-T - we can't forget the Strokes - let's also tell the public that they still make music people need to hear, lies make money & money makes us lie. "Hey, does Devenadra have any new pieces we can gloss over the reviews section with, make it look real innocent?." Phantom Planet! "What's Anton SMOKING? Somebody's skrank?"! Has anybody seen Jeff Magnum, he needs to make more music. That'll be $3.50 plus tax. Thanks. Opinions & Alternatives.
Dung Hoang - fabulous job on the illustration for the feature article.
seventeen / 96 pages
Does copper press have to babysit all you punks through your entire music life? Oh - you ain't interested in ancient history, huh? Listen up - there is a very, very good reason each issue of the 8-inch squared wonder that is cp showcases those fabulous bands you likely haven't heard from 54 40' or Fight - and it ain't just because the label is also based in Michigan. It's because you NEED to hear these bands - 31Knots themselves changed my life for good, and now I make a very profitable living shooting at helpless victims kneecaps. The writing is top-shelf as well - resulting in each issue I have purchased since discovering it now under lock & key at my local bank, sucka'. Issue seventeen plays "what's up?" with [just to name four] Omaha rockers Cursive, Walt Whitman-borrowing Since By Man, (don't fuck with) ONEIDA as well as "those guys you have seen an ad in nearly each of you favorite publication and didn't exactly know why until now called" The Forms. 18 minutes? The accompanying CD again does not lead you in the wrong special order section of your local record shop: bands such as The Yellow Press, Officer May, Pseudosix & The Planet The, which are all new listens for me, have certainly sparked enough interest for me to hunt down more material. What is your deal - it's just five bucks and it's worth fifty. Don't be lazy & claim you can't find it - cause I'm gonna give you a direct connection to solve that problem: COPPER PRESS. Awl riechts resorbed.kaleb :: (12.20.03)
the light is much too bright
summer '03 / 30 pages
What some people can do with simple black ink is unbelievable. What some people can do with standard letter paper is also unbelievable. Finally - what one person can do with black ink, letter paper & a standard copier is BRILLIANT! Oura Sananikone of popfaction.com is just this type of person. He has constructed an amazing 30 page darko comic with this little yellow jounal. Beautifully odd art graces the stark white pages inside this hand-stapled creation - and I love it. Some pages are xeroxed right out of a spiral journal - full on collage style. Imagine an out of control art project with the strangest Gary Baseman you can imagine, a couple of Camille Garcia's 'Dream Factory' characters in the next room & Thomas [ the artist not the poet ] Campbell and you've only got the cover art pictured. Order all of these tonight.kaleb :: (12.05.03)
#011 / 168 pages
$ 5.95 US
When did Nylon & Juxtapoz spawn this incredible piece of reading material? And who in the hell is that incredible looking female goddess on pages 86 & 87? I need some answers. While you're at it, what's the deal with really, really great looking shoes on every other page? This has to be a west coast thang' - has to be. David Byrne still looks as luminated as he always does - I believe he may be the lord jesus christ, should some freak like that actually exist. Pray to David Byrne. Marc Bianchi gives some insight to the Keely breakdown and it's influence on his latest glorious cd, 'The Young Machines'. But - the honey hole of issue eleven has to be the 24 pages that dedicate themselves to the genius that is Thomas Campbell [ Modest Mouse / Sad, Sappy Sucker ], I mean the media even changes from slick to matte to give his talent true feeling. Just this guys handwriting is phenomenal. While we're on the art thing, there is a 12 page spread that gives us county-folk a glorious peek at twenty budding artists ( personal faves Maya Hayuk, Che Jen, Rebecca Westscott - wait, they're all really fucking talented aren't they? ). A job very well done - but 'the Darkness' still look like worthless MothaaaahFuckaaaah'z if you ask me - no harm meant Zen. KENNA - dude's got a Johnny Cash button on doesn't he? RAWK ON - Why just quarterly kids - see, I got tons o' questions.
kaleb :: (12.04.03)
Links: this is the anthem
number eleven / 100 pages
Alright - other than a writer named Nick [ "Jersey Nick" Foster ] actually saying, and we quote "... Andrew W.K. may single-handedly save hard rock in America." - skyway is a very well put together, credible zine. Editor / Publisher / Writer / skyway founder Doug Wallen also has his two busy hands in one of the best indie publications you will likely ever read in Copper Press, and that's a fact - PLUS he's a contributor at popmatters.com. Doug, if you ever need any help (seriously) - let me know. One of the best interviews with Texans 'Spoon' is put on display here, and at near 6 pages long, you may find out all you'll ever need to know about those kids. We were extra-surprised with the 25+ 7" reviews these guys tacked on to the Big Takeover - load of regular reviews they stapled inside 100 black & white pages. The scenes alive and well in Philly.kaleb :: (11.29.03)
Links: s k y w a y
Under The Radar
Issue 5 / 120 pages
To only be on their fifth issue, the UTR family has certainly been a very, very busy group of kids. I mean just this issue alone has interviews with Belle & Sebastian, DCFC, Ed Harcourt, The Dandy Warhols and those are just my favorites - I mean there are well over 20 choice well-written articles on premiere bands (including cover stars BRMC) here. Really, you WANT to read these articles - they are very well written and plenty informative. But the writing isn't the only premium feature - the photography [ Wendy Lynch - you rule ] is superb for such a young magazine, not your typical "hey - you think you guys could do handstands and blow bubbles all at the same time" cheesy shit you might see in other scenester periodicals. Add in the 20+ pages of reviews and you've got an amazing couple nights of reading to catch up on. Last issues cover story was with the late Elliott Smith, and as sad as it has become, it was an amazing feature on an extremely gifted guy about his (now) final album. The UTR site has reprinted that feature - read it now, it's great. The site also packs in bonus features from each months issue, whatever can't fit into the 120-some pages they send to the stands. I predict an entire magazine of full-color pages by next year - and until then, this magazine is still top-notch. Godspeed Under The Radar.
kaleb :: (11.04.03)
Issue 5.1 // 80 color pages
$3 US (more than likely around $7)
You wanted the best, well then devil in the woods done gone and got it for you. That anticipation of the US mail service can hold you down like a little bitch. That is until my newest issue of d.i.w. comes knockin' - then who's the bitch?. d.i.w. always brings it straight to the table, "shit sandwich" and all, and never fails to turn me on to great new music. This issue was so hot, I had to read in 6 minute increments it was so damn smokin' - find a sitter for the kids, put the pets in the car and find it. Features: Best of 2002 (Bright Eyes, Oxes, Pulp), Most Overlooked 2002 (Coheed & Cambria, Matt Pond PA) & features on personal favorites Mclusky & the Delgados (one of the picks for 2003). The one itsy, bitsy slip-up in reviews: Joseph Arthur 'Redemption's Son' a "small step back"? C'mon friends, face it, Joseph Arthur is the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless d.i.w. This issues limited 7" features Coldplay "Clocks" (live 12.13.02) / the postal service "against all odds" (yep', the Phil Collins song) & the Heavenly States "Vacant". As soon as I find my record player, I think I'll listen to it.
+ Extra Credit: the name "Devil in the Woods" comes from the title of a song by the band Gun Club.
Take 70 // 162 pages
David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust, The Man Who Sold The World - whatever you might call him, UNCUT has 21+ pages of his "rise and fall", plus the life & times of his sidekick 'Spiders'. The companion "Bowie covers" CD with many highs such as the exclusive Ian McCulloch opener covering 'The Prettiest Star' as well as BBR with their breathy take on 'Rock'n'Roll Suicide' - 18 tracks in all (Culture Club even makes the cut with a surprising stab at comp. title track 'Starman') - makes the $8 well worth the dent as always. Favorable reviews in Take 70 include Ed Harcourt, Common, Sundog & personal faves Shearwater. UNCUT: for all us broke American kids dreaming of Stamford Street.
The Big Takeover
Issue 51 / 320 pages
MUSIC WITH HEART :: Dedicated to John Entwistle & George Harrison :::: The Big Takeover is the grandfather of today's "modern music" magazine. Never afraid to let you know how he really feels, Jack Rabid & his fearless crew have yet to disappoint me or send me in a new musical direction that I later regreted. If I was to actually read this entire issue prior to giving my take on it, you may not have seen this write-up until August. It is packed with the important stuff - MUSIC. Issue 51 places Paul Westerberg on the cover (past covers include Suppergrass & Radiohead [2x]) and features follow-ups to issue 50's Mission of Burma & Social Distortion stories. Highlights (other than the fact that this IS the music magazine!) include takes on live shows from Doves & Elbow, Ron Sexsmith & Idaho - a TBT favorite!, as well as the 115+ pages or reviews! Did I say over 100 pages of reviews? At anywhere from 6-10 reviews per page, & only one page of ads per each 5 pages, that makes for well over any number of reviews you could ever expect to find in any one years subscription to Rolling Stone. So, ha! And the reviews are so well written it is sick. Also exposed in issue 51 is a 4 page editorial on the fucked-up state of the music industry that truly deserves to reach each person who has ever heard a song. TBT only surfaces 2-4 times per year, so this rant won't come all that often, but the crew from NY, NY certainly deserve it! In closing, any magazine that calls the Strokes out on being the no-talent ass clowns they are is ok by me.
God bless The Big Takeover.
the names Hyped 2 Death, Jane Scarpantoni, Canyon, Michael Evans/Dan
Brown, Stephan Basho, Sun City Girls, Eric Dolphy, Richard Meltzer ring
any bells? Honestly to me, hell no. That is the beauty of a magazine
as solid as Sound Collector, it proves the theory of the question Robert
Plant posed years ago, "Many times I've wondered, How much there is
to know." Just when you thought you were hip, Laris & Fred at Sound
Collector run rings around your ass again. No, the cover isn't a vintage
shot of the 'Langley School's Music Project', it's the 2002 Rock & Roll
Camp for Girls, a story detailed by 8 full-color pages of polaroids
from the Oregon event. Highlights include a Q&A of personal favorite
Samuel Beam of 'Iron and Wine' (see cd track listing), a 6-page retrospective
at shoegazing icons 'slowdive' & tips on organizing your music collection.
Did I mention the 17-track companion cd? Yeah, it's got all you need
to accompany your reading: Zammuto, Iron and Wine, Calla, ill lit. .
. . Sound Collector owns. New size for issue eight is 8x10, and all
text & photos (minus the polaroid camp layout) is "it's a girl" pink.
Find it while you can.
The Year In Music
You have to give credit to this fine music magazine. It is most likely one of a rare few that has neither a 'Good Charlotte' or 'Avril Lavigne' advertisement or interview. In place of these hipsters, Magnet has tracked down the likes of Tom Petty (yawn) and the in-fucking-credible Joseph Arthur! (An original JA painting is also featured in the magazine's review intro.) Hey, the Joseph Arthur "Crib Notes" piece is well worth the three bucks and some change, but Magnet always pulls through with the reviews. The Jan/Feb 03 issue features reviews of Badly Drawn Boy, Brokeback, Hot Hot Heat [who gets a "disco-is-not-dead" nod], Elf Power and many more. You know Magnet only rocks the good shit. They do dismiss the ultra-talented Phil Elvrum (Microphones) and his latest effort 'Mount Eerie', but hey, maybe it does come across "like David Byrne after a severe head injury". Haven't heard it, but like mom always said , "David Byrne is God, worship him".
Vol. 28, No. 8 / 178 pages
Ahh, the old faithful porn magazines. Found this gem in a "Flash Pak" bundled with 2 others (Razzle [UK] & Knave [UK]), and must say it was well worth the $6.99 just for Club. Unlike Swank and other "low-class" pornographic reading materials, Club definitely holds it's own in the "upper-class" to the likes of Cheri & High Society. Colors are extra-good and the ladies are extremely hot. Covergirl Autumn takes instant prize for best-in-mag right away, but a girl/girl spread with Ashton & Georgia finds it's way into your heart as well. Hell, spreads with superstar ladies Janinie, Veronica (photographed by Suze Randall) & Jenna (her farewell column for Club) make this magazine almost to hot to hold!
Ouch! Classy stuff for a scum like me. I LOVE IT!!
Under The Radar
Issue 03 / 104 pages
This extremely well put together magazine is now on it's third issue, and they've thankfully made enough cash to convert the cover as well as 16 pages to FULL-ON-COLOR! Cover features The Flaming Lip's very own Wayne Coyne, as well as feature stories on Bright Eyes (Wendy Lynch does a hell of a job on her interview with Conor), Luna & Doves. CD Reviews are all over the place, something for everyone. This issue features personal favorites Supergrass (8 out of 10), Iron & Wine (9 /10) & DCFC (9/10). My kind of people. Overall content borders somewhere between Magnet & Big Takeover. One can only hope Under The Radar finds it into your hands so that we can see many more issues in the future.
Issue 13 / 119 pages
Just when you thought you were the sharpest "indie-tack" in the box, Copper Press comes along and dumps roughly 15 need-to-know new bands on your lame ass in eack issue. Not only have they featured acts like satanatompingcaterpillars, califone & hella in the past issues, now they have incorpotated a compact disc to accompany your readings. Now this ain't no CMJ monthly-blah that you've heard all before, it's the real fucking deal. This issues cd features 18 hot licks with the likes of The Race, Rum Diary, Paper Moon (all 3 new to me) & Small Brown Bike/Casket Lottery rocking out "Under Pressure" off of their damn fine split on Second Nature records. If you have never seen this magazine, let me fill you in a bit: it's an 8-inch square, matte-finished cover, black & white printed music magazine. They are based in Acme, Michigan and I see this printed material come out about 6 times per year. The art direction is very clean & reminiscent of a smaller 'Raygun'. If you can find it, I highly recommend you purchase it. The contents come in handy when you see your "cooler" indie friends, I promise.