Today in zine news: There is actually news regarding zines



Item: After ten years, there's a new issue of 8-Track Mind on discerning newsstands as we speak. If you know what 8-Track Mind is, congratulations on being an old person. If you're not an old person, zines are sort of like pogs in that they had a surprising amount of cultural impact in the 90s despite having such a stupid name. (With any luck you know what pogs are.) Also like pogs, they were paper products that inspired certain people to amass huge collections of them. Unlike pogs, they were meant to overthrow the dominant mass media.

8-Track Mind is a zine specifically by and for collectors of eight-track tapes, but in a broader sense it's also for people who fetishize outdated technology as well as the consumer folkways from when that technology was current—basically the forebears of today's cassette-tape revivalists and Lomographers. The new issue, its first since number 100 in 2001, dispenses with the eight-track talk completely and bluntly asks a panel of former zinesters whether they think the zine or the blog is the better format, which in effect stands in for the question of whether the past decade and the global Internet revolution have been good things.

Predictably for a bunch of aging zine makers—a typically cranky and retro-obsessed bunch even in their youth—a lot of them turn out to be Luddites. More than one admits that they aren't even sure what "blog" means, which tends to make whatever they have to say on the topic seem a little irrelevant. But some of the responses are surprisingly nuanced, and acknowledge with some pride that what they did back in the 90s in many ways set the stage for the blog, which has been fucking up the mass media in ways the zinesters never could have imagined.

I bought my copy at Quimby's, which also sells them online.

Item: There's also a new, or at least newish, issue of Cometbus out. This one is Aaron Cometbus's account of joining Green Day's recent tour of China. Cometbus roadied for Green Day's first two U.S. tours, but since then has diverged wildly from the band in socioeconomic terms—he's still the idealistic punk dude who makes zines and crashes on couches, and they're Green Day. I'm only a little ways into the story so far, but already worlds be collidin'. Also available at Quimby's.

Item: If you've read this far into this post, you're probably the type of person who might be interested to know that the Storefront gallery in Logan Square is hosting a collection of underground music zines from the 80s and 90s. This Saturday and Sunday the collection of 200 zines—loaned by the radical archivists at Public Collectors—will be available for any interested comers to peruse "while listening to a couple hundred cassettes and demo tapes of hardcore, metal and noise rock from the same period." There will also be a free publication dedicated to the golden age of zines available at the event. The Storefront is at 2606. N. California, and the collection will be viewable between noon and 5 PM each day; admission is free.

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