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On the Cover: The Narrator, Photo: Chris Strong,

Above Photo: Nurses, Photo: David McHank,
P.O. Box 2076 • Maple Grove, MN 55311
08 Schedule two06
30 36 24
Sixes- editors
The Narrator
40 07
Baby Teeth
Schedule Two started out as a record label and great sounding/multi-angled live videos of their per-
then switched to filming live shows? Why the formances. Fans are happy that the videos aren't
switch and do you have any plans to release any uploaded from the cellphone of that staggering
albums in the future? drunk guy at the show, not to mention that they last
longer than 30 seconds.
Oh, man. That's a long story. Let's see if it can be
shortened up. Luke and Steve decided to put out a What kind of equipment do you use? Do you record
CD EP by Trent's band, Monarques. It was a great EP sound from the soundboard or is it all done from
and we're proud of the 400 copies (out of 1000) we the camera?
sold. After Trent and Monarques split ways, he was
throwing around the idea of starting up an all digital We use Canon GL2s to shoot most of the video with
label. Being great friends, suggestions were made the help of an occasional Canon XL1 or Sony TRV-
in joining forces under a new multi-format sched- 17. Eric Drommerhausen, our soundman, gets a where we could give away videos and mix from the board which he incorporates with
mp3s for FREE. This was agreed upon and we some high quality room mics. This is all key in

started filming shows shortly there-after. The main achieving the live sounds we look for. Straight
principle was: it is easier to give things away for free board mixes typically are way too vocal heavy, so
than to sell them for money. This is especially true having a good set of room mics really makes all the
with the distribution power of the almighty Internet. difference in the world. On a few occasions in the
"What the fuck is the internet?" you ask. [See: early days of filming, camera audio has saved our] We originally necks, but typically camcorder microphones sound
intended to do a lot of live/session style mp3 releas- flat, and pick up a lot of machine noise from the
es (much like is doing now), but with camcorder itself. We try to avoid using camcorder
the videos getting such an overwhelming reaction, audio at all costs, but some times it's all you got.
and taking so much of our time, we got a little side-
tracked. We hope to have more mp3 releases in the How do you choose which bands to film and do
near future and to release more albums [physical bands ever contact you to film there live shows?
media] in the more distant future.
Pretty much it's just our combined tastes versus
How has the response been from bands and visi- scheduling. We try to shoot 2-4 sets per month. But
tors to the site? some months have 6 shoots and some have none.
We also trust a lot of people who listen to a lot of
Overwhelmingly positive. Bands are excited to have good music.

Do you get permission from bands before you film What are some problems that have arisen when
their show, or do you just show up with cameras? filming live shows?

We always get permission beforehand. The most attention needs to be paid to audio. It is
Understandably, bands and venues don't appreciate the single most crucial part of any shoot. That's
people waltzing in with cameras and audio equip- where Eric comes in. He delivers every time. If he
ment at the last minute all guerrilla style. Though in didn't dial in the audio, we wouldn't be posting the
one case [The Hold Steady videos are a good exam- videos. Otherwise it's just little stuff like people
ple of this] we went to First Avenue to film the open- turning off cameras mid-set and ruining the sync,
ing band, The Evening Rig, and while we were there audience members deciding to fuck with the asshole
we got the OK to shoot Sean Na Na as well as The holding a camera by holding their drink in front of
Hold Steady. The moral of the story is; always bring the lens, band members looking directly into the
extra batteries and tapes. Also, always be polite to camera all the time [can be creepy], filming the
your venue staff. The Twin Cities have some incred- floor/ceiling for 30 seconds while you drink beer, etc
ible clubs with some even more incredible people etc...
who run their day-to-day operations. We love em all
and think that more people should buy them If you could shoot video of one band from any time
drinks...after they get off work of course. in history, which band would you choose?

Have any bands denied you from filming their Steven: Dirty Three
show? Luke: Sonic Youth circa 1987
Trenton: Bad Brains circa 1982
When we ask permission, either bands respond and Eric: The Anniversary
say, "yes please!" or they just ignore us. A few
bands have asked us not to post the footage given What bands can we look forward seeing on the site
that they were not pleased with their performances. in the near future?
We have, of course, always complied. We won't
name names. Though one in particular is a We have some new sets from Portastatic, Haley
Canadian band who's name has something to do Bonar and Akron/Family that are almost ready to be
with a standard of measurement, and we're not talk- posted. We're filming some great upcoming shows
ing Imperial (or English) units of measurements including Low's CD release show on April 14th at
here. Yeah, that other kind. First Avenue, Vietnam, and The Black Angels as well.
Other than that we don't have a lot planned.
Who films all the shows? Any suggestions? Email them to us at
Our main crew consists of Steven Candy, Luke
Heiken, Trenton Raygor and Eric Drommerhausen.
The sound guys at the clubs deserve a lot of the
credit. They are why it sounds good in the first
place. [Here's to you Matt Lindquist] We have a
group of go-to camera people including Julie Wager
(who is also responsible for the beautiful stylings of
the website), David Hill, Seth
Mabbott, a trusty old tripod, and any one else who is
hanging around and willing to sling a camera for 45
minutes to an hour.

6 questions
6x7Gus Peña (Chord)
Stuart Anderson (The New Scheme)

Amy Schroeder (Venus)
Steve Brydges (Copper Press)
Justin Luczejko (WonkaVision)
Todd Taylor (Razorcake)
Jack Rabid (The Big Takeover)

08 6x7
What is the purpose of your magazine? I think that when we get online we tend to
know almost exactly where we want to go; I
Our purpose is to give music fans an avenue want to sell this on eBay, or check the Lakers
to discover music. score from last night or who posted a comment
on my MySpace page. With print the approach
As editor of your magazine, what does your is different. We want to flip through a magazine
job involve? and see what it may have to offer. We want to
have the ability to scope out and ad and flip the
It is not as glamorous as it sounds. 'Soup to page if we are not interested.
nuts' basically.
Is the internet killing independent paper
What's the key to longevity in independent magazines or making them more popular?
I think the internet is offering another avenue
Staying independent. of distribution. Independent print will only die if
we as independent publishers do not move for-
What do you think is the biggest problem ward with the times and develop new and
facing independent magazines like yours improved methods of reaching people and
today? advertisers. Companies want PR in print other-
wise our inboxes would not be as full as they
Probably the misconception that internet ad are. Clearly there will have to be a new
buys equate to CD sales. Internet 'plays' on magazine online business model.
sites like MySpace or Pure Volume do not
equal sales. I saw a press release where the
artist had 17+ million plays but only sold 15,000
CDs. Numbers can be deceiving. Plays in the
millions sound good but in truth they do nothing
for your bottom line. I have yet to meet a per-
son that clicks on a banner ad on purpose.

How would you describe your publication? capacity, for more than ten years. It’s frustrat-
ing sometimes, but I’d rather stay afloat than
In short: a small-run magazine, mostly focused go broke on a few issues and end up working
on independent music. In reality: a fanzine at Alternative Press.
(read as: dinosaur).
What do you think is the biggest problem
What is the purpose of your magazine? facing independent magazines like yours
To spread the word on new, interesting music,
most of which will be only peripherally The biggest problem is really the same that it’s
covered, or completely ignored by larger always been: money. It seems like advertising
publications. Lately it seems like the purpose is way down, since more and more labels are
has mostly been survival, both financially, and cutting their budgets as conventional CD sales
personally. It has been difficult to find time to disappear. But there also seems to always be
devote to it, and keep print runs at a a stream of new labels, despite the slim odds
reasonable level while finally getting away of making money. I know that distribution is
from newsprint. more difficult all the time for newsstand
magazines. I avoid that by making it free in
As editor of your magazine, what does your print and online. Again, it’s frustrating to
job involve? scramble for years and consistently get rough-
ly the same amount of ad money each issue.
It involves a lot of different things, mostly But with so many people involved in selling
coordinating coverage with a number of music going out of business, I’d rather be
writers, writing too many reviews myself, and treading water than sinking.
selling ads. Then, I usually end up editing and
laying out the whole issue in a three-day span, Is the internet killing independent paper
weeks after the deadline. The current issue will magazines or making them more popular?
hopefully be the last one that falls into this
pattern, as I'm finally finishing school. I would Usually: killing them. In an effort not to be
really like to spend more time working with the another casualty, or go fully online I’ve found a
talented, but equally over-worked and unpaid happy medium. I’m still printing the issues as
writers and focusing more on each issue's always, but I’m also putting out a PDF version,
production. Hopefully that will be possible which is free to download. I have no interest in
starting next month. doing a fully online magazine, since I really
don’t like reading a bunch of text at once
What's the key to longevity in independent online. It works great for more news-based
publishing? sites like Punknews and Pitchfork, but it isn’t
for me. So far, the PDF version has been doing
Persistence, and not over-reaching. I have really well. There have been at least four times
been tempted a number of times over the as many unique downloads for each issue as
years to leap at the full color cover, free printed copies. I see the internet hurting a lot of
sampler CD, UPC and cover price. It sucks to mid-sized magazines with cover prices, but it
feel so stuck with OK black and white printing has only helped to spread The New Scheme.
and inconsistent at best, free distribution. But
taking that leap would likely have killed this
project years ago. Instead, I’m always trying to
grow slowly and organically. Right now the
goal is to fill in gaps in circulation for the paper
version, keep growing with the digital version
and make enough money to pay writers. I think
all of them are finally possible now. I’ve been
able to consistently break even at this, in some

How would you describe your publication? What do you think is the biggest problem
facing independent magazines like yours
Venus Zine (and covers the today?
ladies (and men) in music, film, fashion, and
DIY culture. We’re lucky: We’re the only Funding (i.e. advertising) and channels for
publication that covers what we cover how we newsstand distribution — especially when
cover it. record stores are going under — are always
main concerns. We’ve been able to stay
What is the purpose of your magazine? competitive by putting an emphasis on our
Web site, In the summer of
There are so many cool women, and there is 2007, we are launching a redesign of our site.
so little time. We do our best to feature as
many creative, inspiring women as we can. Is the internet killing independent paper
We’ve featured Björk, Yoko Ono, Miranda July, magazines or making them more popular?
Sleater-Kinney, and so many others.
Both. Depends on the publication. I believe
As editor of your magazine, what does your that in today’s world, it's less about print vs.
job involve? web. In order to succeed, publications need to
grow their overall brands and multiple media
A lot of my job involves talent search and channels.
management. I recruit talented writers and
creative types and figure out how and where
they’re best suited at Venus Zine. I also edit
stories, decide the cover story, oversee a team
of freelance editors and writers, train interns,
and conceptualize and flush out business
development ideas. Outside of the office, I also
do public speaking on how to successfully start
an indie publication.

What's the key to longevity in independent


A solid and original concept, hard work and

dedication, the ability to stay ahead of trends,
and being able to adapt to the changing times
with the Internet.

How would you describe your publication? What's the key to longevity in independent
Adrift in a sea of debt. Oh, and a perfect-
bound, 8"x8", quarterly publication that Passion and ad sales. With a magazine as
focuses on music, art, photography, literature, expensive to produce as ours (over $2.00 per
snow/skate creative types and other copy), we have to be able to sell ads to stay
endeavors of interest to us. afloat. And without the desire to publish issue
after issue, year after year, there would be no
What is the purpose of your magazine? point in pursuing those dollars in order to put
out an issue devoid of heart. Readers will
To communicate and share with others in know when you're faking it.
artful fashion things we're passionate about.
We've been publishing since 1993. The first What do you think is the biggest problem
was Pok (pronounced "poke") Magazine, facing independent magazines like yours
which was equal parts snow/skate/sound. In today?
1999, two of us broke off to found Copper
Press. It's 5.01.07, and we're about to release Lack of available ad funds. Labels are spend-
our 29th issue. ing their money on web ads and publicists
without considering the viability of the printed
As editor of your magazine, what does your word.
job involve?
Is the internet killing independent paper
It would take less time and space to list the magazines or making them more popular?
things it does not involve. We're a two-man
operation that's fortunate to have a solid Financially, we'd like to be doing a lot better,
unpaid staff of writers (one of whom is now our but we hustle for every ad dollar we can earn,
copy editor) and graphic designers who so we're hanging in there. Plus, I think our
contribute articles and layouts, but I'm content and format is unique and I'll put the
personally responsible for ad sales, quality of our paper and layouts/presentation
distribution, retail sales, mail-order, writing, up against any magazine in any genre, so
interviewing bands/artists/etc., assigning while the cookie-cutter magazines scramble to
articles, corresponding with publicists and interview the same cover subjects and tumble
labels, paying bills, arranging the layout, track- into the death spiral that is going all-color, we
ing down missing ads, photos, articles, etc. have actually see our circulation increase.

How would you describe your publication? the previous ten years were always tough. We
basically used street teams and tons of
Created by an extremely passionate staff friends, writers, etc. to give out our magazine
that’ve seen the magazine mature over the free everywhere we could. Shipping is so
course of ten years, Wonka Vision is a glossy expensive and to make matters A LOT worse,
publication with worldwide distribution yet has the USPS is about to implement a fee hike
the personality and attitude of a cut and paste that’s going to affect print media in a very neg-
fanzine. In the ever-growing corporately ative way. The rates are going up 30% and I
funded music industry, WVM remains an can guarantee it’s going to knock more and
independently published magazine with the more magazines off the block. In this day in
guts and moxy to stand up and take good care age where so many mags are flopping and
of the little guys of the world. Whether it’s punk online sites like Pure Volume and Myspace are
rock & hardcore, politics & photography, toys & raking in the profits, the only thing a print pub-
comics; Wonka Vision’s eclectic approach to lisher can do to stay afloat is compromise.
up and coming artists and musicians is as We’ve been looking at intricate things that sell
gritty and raw since the day of it’s inception. magazines more nowadays and we NEVER
With an ever-growing sense of humor, there is did things like that in the past. In the past, we
something in the magazine for every kid that did what we wanted to, we spoke from the gut
refuses to become an adult. and ONLY featured the bands we loved. Our
passions haven’t changed but to stay alive I’ve
What is the purpose of your magazine? had to think of this as a business every day I
go to work. It’s not exactly something I like to
Give readers who still believe in real music a do but hey, I’m surviving off of what I love to do
magazine then can feel good reading. Give and I’m taking my friends on the path with me.
smaller bands an outlet for exposure when We have goals and to reach them, you have to
bigger magazines won’t pay attention to them. constantly give and take, push and pull. We’ve
Help young artists with visibility for their been forced to become more critical and intro-
artwork. spective that when I started this magazine I
would have referred to as silly things: the col-
As editor of your magazine, what does your ors we use, the text we run, the paper we print
job involve? on, the cover stock we use, our page counts,
recycled paper… lots and lots of utterly boring
I oversee everything that goes on at the things.
magazine; however, we have more
department heads than ever before so I’m in What do you think is the biggest problem
charge of the people who are in charge of the facing independent magazines like yours
people. Did that make sense? I’m doing some- today?
thing different every day and that keeps things
here fresh. Some weeks I’m selling advertis- The internet.
ing, others I’m getting all of the stories and
photos ready for design and every day I’m Is the internet killing independent paper
helping our staff with their tasks and answering magazines or making them more popular?
hundreds of e-mails. The e-mails tend to get
arduous and the job has become more Both. Without the internet, we wouldn’t have
administrative than ever before but I’m happy survived as long as we have. It’s made
where I am outside of the creative process everything from advertising to file transfer and
because every day my main duty and detail is contacts easier. However, it’s a double-edge
strictly helping the magazine grow. sword because Status, Clamor, HeartattaCk,
Under the Volcano, Big Wheel, Rockpile,
What's the key to longevity in independent Hanging Like a Hex and Law of Inertia have all
publishing? closed in the past couple years. I think the
cons outweigh the pros. Then again I’m a total
The first and more obvious things are faithful and complete hypocrite and anyone who says
advertisers and exclusive worldwide they aren’t in 2007, is a liar.
distribution. We just got an exclusive deal so

How would you describe your publication? am intimately involved in the process.

We’re technically the only official non-profit I’m totally fortunate to have awesome helpers,
music magazine in America at the time. There in addition to our contributors. Daryl, Jenny,
are shit-tons of great zines that don’t turn a and Megan all come in once or twice a week
profit, but we’re the first to go through the and we have two interns, Adrian and Hannah.
grueling non-profit gauntlet. It took two and There’s a tremendous amount of shitwork we
half years, were denied our first two attempts, all have to go through. For instance, we upload
and it cost about as much as it does to release about 200-300 new reviews onto our website
two 7”s, but a lot less fun. Megan Pants took alone, every two months. That’s a lot of data
the charge on it. entry.

What is the purpose of your magazine? What's the key to longevity in independent
To cover DIY, grassroots music, mostly punk,
stuff that we truly like and that doesn’t Semi-serious answer: Make friends with your
traditionally get a lot of coverage. We go out of postal employees. They’re your gateway. If
our way to celebrate the littler folks in favor of you piss them off, you’re doomed. I know all of
bigger bands with bigger budgets. Here’s the desk workers at the four closest branches,
where the official non-profit comes in to play. am sensitive when it’s best to go in with a big
Since we can’t make money off of it and our load, and always help with the lifting and
finances are public domain, I hope it puts hampering.
people at ease that we’re doing all we can—
doing our part. That we’re in it for the right rea- More broad answer: Pay attention to the
sons. That we give a shit about this culture and boring details. You’ll totally get killed if you
are willing to give it more than just lip service. don’t pay attention. It’s not fun to balance your
We’re working on setting up activities in our checkbook. It’s not fun to harass distributors to
neighborhood: East Los Angeles, Highland pay. It’s not fun to learn about dot gain. It’s not
Park specifically. I love it here. fun to become a skilled amateur at things like
taking care of computer viruses and wondering
As editor of your magazine, what does your how the fuck some asshole in Turkey just
job involve? breached your site’s security and erased
everything just for kicks, but, unless you have
Almost everything. I consider myself a grey deep pockets (I made $5,500 last year) I’ve
collar worker: partially white collar, partially found out that if you learn it yourself, or have
blue collar. I spend a lot of mental time getting people that you get along with and you treat
our 100 contributors in synch with our them well, you don’t have to outsource much
schedule, I answer a ton of emails, get all the (this keeps it in our “community”), and it’s
advertising aligned, do some graphic design, cheaper. If you’re honest and forward, you’ll be
help balance the books, do all the prepress for okay. I’ve always been very conservative with
the printing, write reviews, interview bands, Razorcake, financially. Everything we do, we
take pictures. I also do a lot of the lug work. have the money on hand before starting it. If it
Every two months, we pull a little over one ton bombs, we break even. I know too many folks
of magazines up a flight of stairs, process who got carried away, got slapped with a huge
them, haul them back down, and make sure return, or rely too much on a distributor to pay
the right postal markings are on them. People them, then go kaput.
think I’m joking when I say that the zine’s a
workout, but swear my arms are longer from
constantly lifting 50 lb boxes the last six years. Continued on page 23
I also fix all the computers, keep the mail bike
and pickup truck working. Shit, you name it
with Razorcake, and I’m either helping steer or

How would you describe your publication? What's the key to longevity in independent
For music lovers tired of hearing about the
same bands over and over. We will talk about In our case, since we're working on our 60th
some of them if they are really good, we're not issue in our 27th year of publishing, I would
snobs, but it's always been the case that there say it is just stubborn persistence born of the
is so much more out there that needs a voice genuine love of what we cover. It's a pain in
and will enrich your life even more if you can the tail to do a print mag, that's for sure. (But I
hear them. We're 220 pages of all music, all vastly prefer them--I read the New Yorker, The
the time, all by people who buy copious Economist, and Time Out New York and print
amounts of CDs, and we get the artists to real- newspapers like The New York Times, and
ly open up about their music and what really other ones quite religiously, and don't do that
turns them on as musicians. with any web based magazine. I think you can
take your time and consider more with a print
What is the purpose of your magazine? mag. It fosters more substantial thought
processes and information, I think.) I hope
I'd say it's the above, but it's also really about people understand the extra love and care and
getting people more involved, and to think effort that goes into one as opposed to
deeper about the things and the art they love. throwing together some web zine. There is
We try to foster a small community of people work involved there too, but nowhere near as
who really do more than just buy the t-shirt or much. Printing and shipping and distribution
have music on in the background; we want and its attendant accounts receivable woes
people to get more out of their lives and give are a huge chuck of time, as are subscriptions
them a small assist to really harvesting the full and the like. But I think it is all worth it as we
potential of the underground music that's out really do love what we have been doing for so
there. long, and it means a lot to me when people say
it means a lot to them, and they say it to us all
As editor of your magazine, what does your the time. We're really inspired by that to keep
job involve? it going if we know it is appreciated like that,
and we've been lucky that people have been
Ha, just about everything! I assign the stories unsparing with that sort of important feedback.
and reviews, many of them to myself. I edit It makes me feel like we make a difference,
them before they go to copyediting. I talk to however modest, in the culture, however
distributors and get orders. I book all the ads. small, and in people's lives, however few!
I talk to all the writers. I deal with the publicists That's a good feeling when I walk around the
for the most part, when I have time. I get sidewalks humming a tune to myself on any
involved a little with the orders for the mag, given day. We hope to keep it going another 27
and I talk to our readers a lot as well. And I years! And there really is no substitute for that
deal with the art director a lot, and then the kind of zeal. Ego alone will never get you very
printer once it is all done. I'm also in charge of far when the workload starts to eat you alive,
all accounts payable and accounts receivable. and the funding issues start to strip you naked.
And bookkeeping too for the IRS folks. I know It's really quite quixotic otherwise!
bigger mags have a person that does all these
things, but we only sell 22,000 and don't get What do you think is the biggest problem
any really expensive lifestyle ads, so I'm facing independent magazines like yours
required to work this much, but I like it! I have today?
an assistant and two or three interns that help
as well, which is key. And all our contributors It's always funding. Any mag is dependent on
are really in on it as well, they're all volunteers advertising, and many of the traditional
and they all love the music as much as I! sources of that have been slowly eroding
(especially in the music business as the indus-
try's sales have been down so bad the last few

years, killing a lot of their more generous Is the internet killing independent paper
marketing budgets, but not limited to that!), as magazines or making them more popular?
marketing departments of products are
confronted with a much wider range of options Oddly both. I'm old enough in this game to
and ideas and solicitations for their budgets. remember what it was like before the internet.
And print mag or newspaper is running the risk There was no competition from it true, but it
of seeming like old media. But what's keeping was 50 times harder for readers who were
us afloat is that our advertisers consider our potentially interested in your coverage to find
readership a unique set of eyeballs. I hope that out you even existed! So it's a double edged
continues. Because you just can't count on sword. Our circulation doubled in a few short
getting a lot of money for the mags you sell, years after the internet started, and rose slow-
the whole independent distribution channel is ly the next several years, then it plateaued. It's
the most patently one-sided business an old story, some people just don't under-
arrangement I have ever seen. Since every- stand that you get what you pay for, and a lot
thing is consignment, the poor publisher is of the coverage on the internet is cheap fast
always left holding the bag in unsolds, plus and easy (not all of it, obviously) and you just
both the distributor and the store both get a cut don't digest it properly the way you do sitting
out of every sale of the ones that do sell, then down with your favorite print mag. Now I think
the distributors charge you for everything they it is starting to kill paper magazines a little,
seem to do and should do as a matter of because there is an unreasonable rush to get
course (the most bitter are "marketing fees" all your info and opinion now, instead of the
that you can't opt out of, but there's more!), greater satisfaction of waiting a little and hav-
and that gets deducted, plus you had to pay to ing it covered more thoroughly. The lessening
ship the buggers to them in the first place, so attention spans of our society is directly relat-
all in all, you end up breaking even more than ed to the barrage of media thrown at people
making a profit even if your sell through is every day, and I think it is actually curtailing
good. (In which case, you only do it because real brain activity a little. But if you walk into
it's essential to your ad rates.) If your sell any newsstand in any airport, you see a sea of
through is bad, you actually end up losing print mags, so we must still be fulfilling a basic
money on store sales, because the costs of human need, for deeper, more thoughtful
printing and shipping the mags to these distrib- reads, despite the internet's competition. If
utors are not made back. Since this putrid and newspapers survive it will only be because of
offensive relationship has no end in sight, it's this as well. I can't get the depth of the New
all down to subscriptions and advertising to York Times' coverage anywhere online in my
fund the massive upfront costs of doing a mag view, and if I could, I wouldn't want to read that
before you've sold a single issue (for us it's much on a computer screen! The thought
around $45000 to $50000 an issue!). So if makes me laugh. In the end, I think the real
either of those things lesson, you will probably problem will be how much of the marketing
be forced to stop. It's a big problem, and I'm dollars the internet siphons. To the extent that
not surprised some of my favorite print mags marketers have or will put more money there
are now web only zines. You cut out 80-90% of and less into traditional print mags, they will kill
the costs right there. Although I also think you us all. And they ought to think long and hard
cut out 80-90% of the joy for me as a reader. I about that. Because it is my view that an ad in
get sick of staring at a computer screen and a paper mag is far less annoying and far more
don't read much of anything on it other than welcome than the ads I get bombarded with on
the occasional informational blurb or headline. the internet. And they're 10 times more eye
catching too. And you can't Tivo past the ads in
a mag. They're always there with their mes-
sages, and good art directors know how to
make you look at their ad.

Is the internet killing independent paper
magazines or making them more popular?

I don’t know if the internet’s doing the killing

Continued (see answer above), or if it’s because postage
is getting higher and higher, but it seems that
What do you think is the biggest problem zines are getting harder and harder —not to
facing independent magazines like yours make—but to get into people’s hands and
today? have them pay a modest sum for all of that
hard work and shipping.
Here’s the elephant in the middle of the room:
traditional magazine distribution (on a national Really, I have no idea. Razorcake covers both.
level) is abhorrent. It was horrible when I My heart’s in paper, full-page spreads, ink, and
started in 1996 helping out with Flipside, and reading something that’s not glowing at you
it’s worse now. I’ve seen four of the largest like a computer monitor. Plus, you can never
independent distros go belly up right in front of underestimate that the biggest room for
me: Fine Print, Desert Moon, now Tower (who reading in most folks’ house is the bathroom.
were great) and Big Top (a branch or sub- But, I understand the internet’s utility. We use
sidiary of the IPA, Independent Press them together and they’re interwoven. We use
Association). Big Top’s the shame because at the website to help provide a direct link (thus
one time they had the money in their hands to taking out some of the distributors’ choke
set up the national system for magazine holds) between us and our subscribers.
distribution (which is complicated and Except reviews and some other small things,
incredibly expensive), but they totally fucked we keep the webzine and fanzine contents
up, spent the money on the wrong things, and separate. Two different experiences. A Venn
took down some great magazines with them. I diagram with a little overlap between the two.
think they’re getting sued by both the Chicken We’re working on posting way-sold-out issues
Soup for the Soul people and Mother Jones. up on the website as PDFs.
Drives me nuts. A lot of these folks will be “rah,
rah, revolution, rah rah, everyone equal, PC- Stuff’s always changing and I hope we stay on
PC-PC, antidote to media monopoly,” (which is top of it while it still remains fun. Otherwise,
fine if it were really true) and then treat you what’s the point?
worse than you’ve ever been treated. Suckin’.

Interview with Jesse Woghin // Above photo: Ryan Russell // Live photos: Oly
How did losing your drummer affect writing and recording All That to the Wall?
Well, there was a pretty extensive search that went on for months until we finally realized he was
just gone -- real gone -- and that we had to move on. You know that old saying, "If you love
something..." Yeah. Essentially, though, it sort of streamlined the whole process. The drums on
this album definitely feel a lot different than on Such Triumph. There's a lot more "holdin' it down"
and a lot less "riffin'" rhythmically. Probably some of that comes from the fact that the feel of at
least two of the songs comes from beats written by a Casio CT-250 drummer.

Dave Turncrantz from Russian Circles and Dan Fetherston from Oxford Collapse filled in
on drums for the recording of All That to the Wall. Did they come up with the drumming
parts for the album, or were those already written before recording?
There were some parts written by our old drummer that didn't change all that much and some
that changed a lot. We had demos and live recordings that Nate had played on. Some ideas
came from the Casio. Some ideas came from Sam or James or I. Honestly, it was still pretty
collaborative, but in a pretty different way. We really only worked with Dave for about a week
and Dan for a few days, but they both really developed and fleshed out the ideas that were
already in place. Dan definitely came to Chicago to record with his game face on. He had a lot
of great ideas, not just for his own parts, and we love him for it. He's kinda like the Jimmy Jam
on Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation of All That to the Wall.

With Bob Dylan's extensive catalog, what made you decide to cover "All the Tired Horses"?
Divine intervention.

Since you've been playing these new songs live, how have the fans reacted to them,
especially "All the Tired Horses"?
Ahh, the fans. The reaction has really been pretty great. I think we're making a lot of new fans
from the new jams and I will continue to believe so until proven wrong. Honestly, though, I think
people either really love or really hate "... Tired Horses." One side of the fence or the other. A lot
of times people who know it will sing along while it's going down and then a lot of nerdy Dylan
chat will ensue post-set. A lot of times people will groan and walk away. It's like what George
Clinton tells Kid 'n Play in the cinema classic, House Party: "Cry two tears in a bucket. Fuck it.
Let's take it to the stage."

Did you accomplish everything you wanted to with writing and recording All That to the Wall?
Yeah, we did actually. We got to hang out with Mike Lust (engineer) for like a week straight.
We've always really wanted to do that. Honestly, though, we're really happy with it for the most
part. Right now, for me, the album feels like it'll stick with me. I guess I finally feel like I've been
a part of something that in ten or fifteen years I'll come back to and still be happy about. Father
time will tell.

How was writing and recording All That to the Wall compared to writing and recording
Such Triumph?
With Such Triumph we had a bunch of songs that had been written for quite some time and we
knew what we wanted the album as a whole to feel like. We wrote some songs specifically to fit
in spots that we thought needed to be filled in the greater idea of the album -- like, "here's where
the rocker will go" and "then we'll drop the interlude here." ATttW transpired a lot more organi-
cally in that we knew we wanted to make another album and were writing for it all along, but
there was no real greater idea to making the album than to try to write a bunch of songs we were
really happy with and really wanted to play the hell out of live. We put the pieces together a lot
later in the game. Also I'd say that a lot more attention was paid to vocal melodies and lyrics
than before. We did our best to not just haphazardly throw things together. As far as recording,
the vibe was a lot different. We also recorded over a longer period of time, which definitely
changed things a little, gave us some time to rework ideas and get them right. We fought less
I think, which was nice. We tried to stay away from excessive overdubs and noise, which we
didn't quite accomplish, but there's definitely less. Lust rubbed his madness all over that
recording. It's great. He was in a lot of ways hands-on and had a lot of valuable advice. He
really knew how to walk this dog.

Some of the reviews I've read about All That to the Wall say that there is a big difference
in sound between your previous albums (faster tempos) and this new one (slower tem-
pos). After listening to All That to the Wall quite a number of times, I found that a lot of the
same elements and tempos exist on both full lengths, but they are played differently. Do
you think there is a dramatic change between your previous albums and All That to the
With age comes grace. Kevin, our new drummer, thinks it sounds a lot different, but agrees with
your sentiment that it's make-up is not as different as some might lead you to believe. Less
aggression, more energy. Less hangin' by the bar, more boogie. I don't really think the change
is all that dramatic. I just think it's better, which makes sense. The more songs you write, the
longer you stay a band and make albums, the better they get (unless you're Metallica - ed. Sam
disagrees based only on his "Saint Anger" tattoo). We trimmed the fat.

I find myself liking bands from the Chicago area than any other area in the U.S. Why do
you think there are so many talented and diverse bands from Chicago?
I feel like Chicago is the musical hub of the midwest in a lot of ways. We're a Chicago band and
none of us are from here originally. A lot of the Chicago bands you really like are probably made
up at least in part of folks from St. Louis, Detroit, Louisville, Iowa City, New York, etc. It's great,
though. It brings a lot of these different styles and ideas together. I think life for a band in
Chicago is also generally more accepting and low-key. There's less politicking and "biz" in our
world than if we were in NY or LA or something, but we get to have the diversity of the scene
and general midwestern friendliness and a little bit cheaper lifestyle surrounding us to support
our dream. We probably would've broken up a long time ago if we lived somewhere more dog-
eat-dog. Snoop dog-eat-dog.

You recently played the Flameshovel Showcase at SXSW. How did it go? How did it
compare from when you played SXSW in 2004?
It went a lot better than last time. The room was pretty much full when we played, which was
really nice, but it was filled with a lot of friends and a few fans raging hard up in the front and
then a bunch of industry geezers in the back. I was hoping for a rumble, but it didn't go down.
The room was better than last time, the attendance was better, we're a better live band than we
were then, all better, better, better.

Where there any bands that you actively sought out to see while there?
Oxford Collapse. I saw The Mae Shi and Bill Callahan, who were both amazing, but that's about
it. We took the cash instead of the wristbands because our van, The Puppy, is a real sinkhole
and we needed to feed its urges. We thought we might see some bands at the late-night
parties, but they almost all got shut down before we could get there and let loose.

What do you think of SXSW as a whole?

It's a pretty enormous cluster-fuck and it gets more and more business-y as every year goes by.
We know it's important to play it, but we're not really sure why, and I feel like most bands don't
even really enjoy it anymore just because it is so overwhelming. I'm also pretty certain that no
one really discovers anything down there anymore other than just how many Shiner Bocks you
can consume before total black-out. We still had a good time, though, although I'm not sure

Are you planning to tour this summer in support of All That to the Wall? Do you plan to
play both coasts?
Yep. Can't wait. Full US tour begins May 31st in Omaha. We'll head west first, then east. We're
coming to your town. To quote Willie D of the Geto Boys, "DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YA."

Nur h a
C ha p man
aron ts: Sean Desmond
i it
ew w McHank // Portrai
interv id
os: Dav
e Phot
How did the deal with you and Sargent House come about?
Some friends of ours played our record for Cathy at Sargent House and
reportedly upon first listen her head made a cash register sound and
big gold dollar signs flashed in her eyes. She called us up and we had
a real live business meeting. We really liked her vision for both
Sargent House and our group so we spat in our hands and made it
official. We're now 'going steady'.

From the vocals to the instrumentation on Hangin' Nothin' But

Our Hands Down, the sound is very original. Was there anything
that helped influence that sound?
Most importantly, I think our sound is a result of not identifying with any sort of geographical music scene or movement. We don't real-
ly have any roots or belong to any group of bands, so we sort of willy-nilly wrote a bunch of the best songs we could muster. As far as
musical influences - we were transitioning out of noisy, wacky rock into melodically centered songs and pop songs. I think our record
sort of falls somewhere between the two. We also really got into "Negro Spirituals" for a while there. Is there a better name for that?
I've always felt uncomfortable saying Negro Spirituals, but that's what they're called on the introweb.

Since your sound is so unique, have most people been receptive of it or turned off by it?
Sometimes people seem a little confused by us. Trying to figure out what we're all about. People tend to fold their arms and cock their
heads a little upon first listen. But once they hear that slide whistle.... I tell ya what, they're like putty in our hands. Nobody can deny
the power of a slide whistle. I'll tell you who's pretty receptive - old sound guys at dives always get real excited and compare us to
Zappa. They love us.

Is the song writing a group effort, or does one member write most of the music?
Well, our leader Aaron usually brings the basic structure 'n' melodies to the table and then we all figure out the best way to translate
the ideas into a group number.

How does the album translate into a live show?

A lot of times we play the record front to back live. I think we really hum-ding it live, it definitely has more energy and a certain some-
thing the record doesn't have. Although we go the extra mile to recreate the record live, it’s definitely a different idea. We have a lot of
gizmos on stage and there's a certain spectacle the show achieves that I think compliments the manic nature of the record pretty well.
The amount of stuff on stage alone is a pretty big character in the show.

Performing live is something the band is passionate about. Do you think albums should be written with the live show in
In our case it works out a lot better to just write whatever we think is best and worry about how to pull it off live later. We ended up
with a show and record we couldn't have dreamed of otherwise. We literally spent five months alone in our garage learning how to play
the songs and performing them to a collage of fifty celebrity faces cut out from magazines. We didn't even own a piano or Rhodes when
we wrote the record; we just borrowed instruments and figured we'd learn later. John had never played piano before we wrote the record
and by necessity had to learn to play half the piano parts on the record. We definitely ended up challenging ourselves to no end and
really improved drastically as musicians by forcing ourselves to perform something we weren't capable of playing well before we record-
ed the songs.

The lyric sheet that comes with the CD has very small text on it, but it comes with a magnifying glass to read it with. What's
the explanation behind this? Are the magnifying glasses powerful enough to burn things with the by refracting the sun's
light onto an object? Is there anything that you would suggest burning?
The magnifying glass was a novel idea to make the packaging more interesting. When I was younger and still bought albums and CDs,
the best part was the first day where you just listen to the record over and over and stare at the packaging. It’s such an awesome feel-
ing to enjoy the packaging and let it become a sort of visual accompaniment to the record. I haven't seen very many interesting record
covers or packaging ideas that get me juiced lately and that's a bummer. It was really important for us to have something that we
thought represented the record and was fun and interesting. We did the artwork and came up with the packaging ideas which was much
more rewarding to us than sending the music off to a guy we don't know and having an impersonal visual for our record. And yes the
magnifying glasses are powerful enough to burn things so use them to burn a copy of our CD and give it to your friend!

Is Nurses a full time job for you? What do you do to make ends meet?
Our group is a full time albeit non-paying job. We spend all of our time doing it- but to put food in our cupboards and roofs on our
heads we serve people soups, salads, coffees, and breads!

If you type "Nurses" into Google, you get over 54 million results. Was the intention of naming the band "Nurses" to make
your band hard to find on the internet?
....that was just tragic lack of foresight....

You've got over 80,000 page views and over
9,000 plays of "Wait for a Safe Sign" on your
MySpace page. Do you think that those num-
bers have any impact on what record sales
Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Down will be?
It’s hard to say how many people care about
owning records. At the same time MySpace is a
great vehicle for selling records - I think it's
where some people go to listen to music and are
satisfied with streaming four songs. I don't mean
to be pessimistic, but I'm not sure plays or views
on MySpace equal sales, I think people need to
see a live show or something to persuade them
to fork over cash. There's almost no incentive to
purchase a record any-mo.
What do you think are the positives and negatives for a band like yours on MySpace?
Myspace for the most part is a positive thing for most bands. It's a really effortless introduction to people for groups like ours who are
small and can't afford to tour all the time. However, I think MySpace is just that - an introduction. Our record is definitely intended as
a whole, so people who only listen to the four songs on our MySpace aren't really getting the gist. Also we haven't yet mastered the
ultra flattering angled camera shots, so we're sort of underdogs for now.

What are your plans for touring in support of Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Down? Are there any particular bands that
you want to tour with?
Ahhhh man, I thought you'd never ask. We're really hoping to just plain tour our nuzz off. We have a wish list on our fridge of bands
we want to tour with. We're sort of aiming high. I'm going to list them here, in no particular order: The Flaming lips, Animal Collective,
Gary Wilson, Beck, The Arcade fire, Modest Moose, White Stripes, Liars, Pinback, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Spoon, Radiohead (of course), David
Byrne, Blonde Redhead, Tv on the (college) Radio, Bloc Party, Grizzly Bear etc. You get the idea. *If you're reading this and you're in
one of these bands, take us on tour! Call this number 208-680-4844. That's our band’s mobile phone number*

e p ower
n de ny th
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Pearly Sw
The B

weets is Dead
Baby Teeth Interview
Interview with Peter Andreadis
Live Photo: Kirstie Shanley
Pearly Sweets abandoned his moniker
for The Simp and recorded this album
under his given name, Abraham Levitan.
Was there any reason behind this? Will
the Pearly Sweets name be making a
comeback in future recordings?
The Pearly Sweets moniker was created in
college and used initially for a band called
Pearly Sweets and the Platonics. It continued
into Baby Teeth, but we all thought that
Abraham's lyrics were becoming more
personal and the song writing stronger, so we
decided that it should be dropped. I don't think
Pearly Sweets will be coming back later. He is

Each member of Baby Teeth also plays

with another band; Bobby Conn,
Detholz!, and All City Affairs. Where do
you find time to play in all these other
bands and still do Baby Teeth?
Well, for me All City Affairs is something that I
do almost entirely on my own, so I can do it in
between a lot of other things. Sometimes I
work really late at night or early in the
morning. I freelance, so I have control over a
lot of my work schedule. Jim (bass) has the
most difficult schedule to juggle probably,
because of Detholz! and playing bass with
Bobby Conn. Abraham is not really playing
with Bobby anymore.

Were the brass and stringed instruments demos into something completely different, but
on The Simp samples or actual live usually the melody and lyrics remain intact. The
musicians? Do you use samples of the bass/drum parts and the background vocals all
brass and stringed instruments on tour or get added in the collaboration stage. Violins and
do live musicians play those parts? horns are usually arranged later by Jim or
The brass and strings are definitely live Abraham.
musicians. We've got a lot of friends in the
Chicago music community and just reached out to How did each member of the band become
people that we liked and who were interested in such a multi-instrumentalist?
being a part of the recording. Andra Kulans is the Everyone in the band is a bit of a control freak, so
violin/viola player that tracked on a number of I think we want to be in the driver's seat all the
the tunes and she plays in The 1900's. Also time. I think it comes from that. None of us want
Tomeka Reid recorded cello on the title track. The to be left on the sidelines holding the water jug.
horns were played by Nick Broste, who also plays
in Cursive from time to time and Dave I've noticed that such a wide variety of
McDonnell, aka The Diminisher played the genres come out of Chicago, why do you
saxophone/clarinet. think that is? What are some Chicago
bands that you enjoy and think everyone
How was it recording with Blue Hawaii? should check out?
He's an old, good friend of mine. We went to Chicago is a huge musical community. Blues and
recording school together and I've trusted him to Jazz have a real strong history here. And there are
engineer just about anything I've done. We loved some obvious rock stars that have come out of
the first record from his band Icy Demons that he here too, like Cheap Trick, Smashing Pumpkins,
recorded and we wanted him to put his creative Kanye West, Common. The city is huge and is
spin on our album. He's got a lot of patience when really the major city of the midwest, so I think
it comes to spending time and creating sounds many different kinds of people end up here and
that fill out the sonic space. He helped out with all that's reflected in the music. We are fans of
of the texturing. Chicago bands, such as Icy Demons, The 1900's,
Devin Davis, The Changes, The M's, Mucca Pazza.
As heard on the For the Heathers EP, each
member of the band has pretty diverse I can see some people saying that you don't
musical tastes. What bands or songwriters take your selves seriously as Baby Teeth
help influence Baby Teeth's sound? because it looks like your having too much
What bands did you listen to growing up? fun with this band. Is Baby Teeth a serious
The song writing is definitely influenced by a lot outlet for you?
of 60's and 70's rhythm and blues artists, girl It's a serious band and we don't take the music
groups from the Motown era of soul, and seven- lightly. I think that you can hear how much time
ties icons like Elvis Costello, Fleetwood Mac, we put into it. We as people don't take ourselves
Bowie, etc. Jim has a lot of eclectic tastes and is a too seriously and we have a blast together. When
composition and conducting major, so he brings a we play shows, we expect people to walk out
lot of music theory and arranging strategy to the saying they had an amazing time. We hope people
band. I like a lot of hip-hop and grew up listening dance and cheer when they see us. I think some
to De La Soul and Public Enemy as much as the journalists are just lazy and they hear about what
Beatles and other pop/rock music. So the some of our influences are and they think, "these
combination of all those things is a real guys can’t be serious." So they start there instead
cornucopia of different interests. of listening closer, reading the lyrics, coming to
the shows, etc.
How does song writing work in Baby
Teeth? Are the violins and horns part of Are you planning to tour this summer or
the initial song writing process or are they fall in support of The Simp.
added in at the end after the guitars and We are going to the east coast in the summer and
drums parts are written? continuing to do shows throughout the midwest.
Abraham makes demos of most of the songs and In the fall we hope to continue touring colleges
gives Jim and I burned CDs to listen to and we and hopefully going out with bands we like.
choose our favorites. From that point it's pretty
much fair game. We often mutate those original

The Ants Chase Pagan
Ideabreaker Oh Musica!
I was excited when the first song popped Chase Pagan has a voice like the lead singer
on. The vocalist had a Davey Von Bohlen / from Saves the Day or Kiss Kiss, vocal
Bob Nanna feel along with the music and I ambitions like Thom Yorke and channels a
thought I had this album pegged. But from little Freddie Mercury on a few tracks.
there the album gets more classic rock, There are a few gems on Oh Musica! such
bluegrass, country and vaudevillian. It’s a as “Waltzing in the Sky” and “Push My
good release but tends to be all over the Buttons”.
place, which can be distracting. (The Militia Group)
(Sickroom Records)
The Comas
Barr Spells
Summary It’s hard to outdo your previous album that
Brendan Fowler’s second full length was loved and lauded by critics and fans
offering as Barr has Fowler teamed up with alike, but The Comas sure do make one hell
a full band and a bit more upbeat sound on of attempt with Spells. Spells starts off with
at least on one song. The “Song is the fuzzy guitars and splashing drums on “Red
Single” track is just that. It is the first Microphones” and each song following is
single off Summary and it doesn’t seem to up to par with the ones on Conductor.
have any chorus and few repeated words. (Vagrant)
The bassline and drums have a fun and
charming feel and will keep your feet The Conformists
tapping. The rest of the songs are slower Three Hundred
mostly piano driven diary submissions or Recorded by Steve Albini, The Conformists
confrontations that keeps the art/abstract- return with Three Hundred which is hard
ness of Beyond Reinforced Jewel Case. to peg to a certain genre or influence. One
(Kill Rock Stars) thing is for certain though, each song will
intrigue you, and you will be a better music
Battles fan for listening to it.
Mirrored (54º40' or Fight!)
Featuring ex-members of Don Caballero
and Helmet, Battles is an aptly titled band
name because your brain will be battling
itself trying to figure out what is going on.
It is mathy as hell, and features an
influence of a wide variety of odd genres
and odder vocal deliveries.
(Warp Records)

Big D and The Kids Table

Strictly Rude
I was somewhat disappointed with “Strictly
Rude” because Big D is starting to drop
their ska/punk sound for a more grown up
Dr. Dog
dub/two tone sound. I’m not saying that
this is a bad album; it’s just not what I was Dr. Dog
expecting. Most of the songs are really We All Belong
good and should keep the rudies happy. I never really liked modern bands who play
(Side One Dummy) 60’s influenced pop reminiscent of the
Beatles. I’m on the fence about Dr. Dog,
The Brokedowns because We All Belong has a few good
New Brains For Everyone songs, but it’s all been done before by other
Loud, fast, and gruff throaty vocals make bands for years and will continue to be
for a well-done punk album. All of the done for years to come.
songs are under 3 minutes with the excep- (Park the Van)
tion of the closing track “Coke Mule Blues”
which comes in at just over 7 minutes.
(Thick Records)

Everybody Else an impressive debut that got their start
S/T much like The Postal Service and Heavens.
Everybody Else plays catchy innocent pop What started out as file transfers between
rock that sounds made for radio. Sure it’s Keeley Davis and Compton during an
infectious and your tougher friends my Engine Down tour, Glos turned into a full
punch you for making them listen to it. It length with the vocals of Maura Davis.
would make a good soundtrack to one of the (Lovitt)
teen high school movies starring Hilary Duff.
(The Militia Group) Guff
Symphony of Voices
Fall of Troy You’ll find that Athens, GA Guff has simi-
Manipulator larities in sound with Bad Religion, Nofx
Fall of Troy has good intentions. They went and Blink 182 on they’re latest album
and wrote all this really good metal music Symphony of Voices. With 10 years of
and went and ruined it with the vocals. The experience behind this album and a cover
growling vocals are actually okay; it’s the of an unreleased Journey song “I Can See it
high pitched vocals that ruin the album. in Your Eyes”, complete with Journey’s
(Equal Vision) lead singer Steve Perry on vocals, Guff
might start getting the recognition that
Field Music they deserve.
Tones of Town (Go Kart Records)
Field Music is similar to the Shins, except
the guys in Field Music are from England Holy Roman Empire
and their lyrics are more direct. Tones of The Longue Duree
Town is a great follow-up to their last self- Holy Roman Empire’s long awaited full
titled album. Each song has its own length, The Longue Duree picks up where
element that makes it stand out from the their previous EP left off. Each song is lead
rest of the songs, while still remaining by Emily Schambra’s strong beautiful voice
catchy and infectious. and the guitars and drums don’t disappoint.
(Memphis Industries) It seems though that the album rests on
Schambra’s vocals alone and some of the
Gena Rowlands Band album comes off as “Sparta with female
Flesh and Spirits vocals”. With their Lost in Landscapes EP, it
Gena Rowlands Band sounds sort of like felt like they were experimenting a little with
The Dismemberment Plan but more mel- their sound to work with the vocals, but on
low. The opener “Fuckups of the World The Longue Duree it feels like they didn’t
Unite” is probably the stand out track and explore enough with the instrumentation.
“Hope, For Want Of A Greater Word” is a It’s worth picking up, because this band is
close second. on everyone’s radar this year, and you want
(Lujo Records) to get in before everyone else does. Let’s just
hope that this band doesn't go through the
No Doubt syndrome, where everyone focus-
es on the lead female singer and forgets
about the talent behind the sound.

Hot Rod Circuit

The Underground is a Dying Breed
Hot Rod Circuit’s latest since their 2004
Reality’s Coming Through shows the band
maturing and experimenting with new
Glos instruments. The most immediate change
you will hear is the prominence of the steel
Glos guitar in the album’s opener “Stateside”
Harmonium and in “U.S. Royalty”. They use it well on
Featuring brother and sister Maura Davis both tracks, but restrain themselves from
(Denali, Ambulette) and Keeley Davis using it too much throughout the songs.
(Engine Down, Sparta) and Cornbread HRC goes a little country western with
Compton (Engine Down) Harmonium is their bonus track, “Camo” at the end of the

disc. “Camo” has the steel guitar and can still write good songs. I was hoping for
drums played with brushes instead of an album that was in the same league as
sticks. It’s a nice song and may be the Teenage Politics and Life in General, but
predecessor of what a lot of punk singers sadly Secret Weapon joins its brothers The
are doing today, releasing country albums. Ever Passing Moment and Before and
(Immortal Records) Everything After in the “losing more fans”
bin. In fact, their previous full length Panic
is better than this. Secret Weapon is not a
total waste. There a couple good songs hear
and there, but for the most part, they
missed a chance to regain fans of their
early releases with a snoozer of an album.
(Tooth and Nail)

The Narrator
All That To The Wall
The Narrator’s stunning debut full length
Such Triumph was enough to make me a
fan for life. Everything that made Such
Triumph great is on All That To The Wall,
though it might take a couple of listens to
fully appreciate this album. Don’t let the
Bob Dylan cover of “All the Tired Horses”
fool you into thinking that they have
slowed down their sound, it’s still pretty
Hot Rod Circuit quick and angular but it’s played
differently and better.
The John Francis (Flameshovel)
On the Moments We Share The Narrator
The John Francis is the solo project of San
Francisco singer/songwriter Jack Francis
and this is the first release from Rerum
Novarum Records. The John Francis has a
similar sound to The Jim Yoshii Pile Up and
The End of the World mixed with the vocals
and lyrical wordsmanship of Cat Stevens.
(Rerum Novarum)

Everything Starts Where It Ends The National
This album starts off with a similar guitar Boxer
part from the latest Lola Ray album, if I’ve had The National’s Sad Songs for Dirty
you’ve heard it you’ll know. Everything Lovers and the Cherry Tree EP for years
Starts Where It Ends takes musical cues now and I never listen to them. I wrote
from bands like Coldplay, Radiohead, and about the Cherry Tree EP a few years ago,
Muse but maintain some originality. Most and I said that I’d probably like this album
of the songs are kind of quiet and slow then in a few years, but at the time I didn’t. I still
explode in the chorus into a rock anthem or don’t know if I would like it because I
are slow piano ballads. haven’t listened to it. I’ve listened to
(The Militia Group) “Boxer” 3 or 4 times now, which is more
than I listened to their previous albums
MXPX combined, so that says something about the
Secret Weapon band. One, they can continue writing good
Before listening to Secret Weapon I was music with each release. Two, they can try
hoping that, with their triumphant return new things, “Boxer” is a lot more upbeat
to Tooth and Nail, Secret Weapon would than anything I’ve heard of their’s before.
be their comeback album in which they Three, it takes a while for one’s musical
would show all the naysayers who had tastes to catch up to a bands sound.
written them off as has-beens, that they (Beggers Group)

New Atlantic then I found out that this wasn’t Nirvana,
The Streets, The Sounds and but it was actually actor Michael Pitt’s
The Love (Dawson’s Creek, Murder by Numbers)
The Streets, The Sounds and The Love is an band. This eponymous full length is a mix-
album for all those emo kids that have ture of Cobain like vocals and Sonic Youth
grown up a bit and gotten laid. It’s a highly like jams. It was even released on Thurston
polished album and it has a nice sound sim- Moore’s Ecstatic Peace record label.
ilar to Copeland and other bands on The (Ecstatic Peace)
Militia Group label. It sort of reminds me of
Push to Talk without the new wave feel. Rob Crow
(Eyeball Records) Living Well
Pinback’s Rob Crow’s solo album is essen-
Nurses tially a Pinback album. Both have relative-
Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands ly the same song structure and sound.
Down When I first listened to this album, I
Once in a while a band comes along that is noticed that the songs were kind of short
so far out in left field that it leaves you and it felt like the songs were never com-
either floored or in disgust upon listening pleted. It’s like Rob wrote 3/4s of a song
to it. Nurses is one of those bands. It may and then fades it out. It’s a pretty good
be hard for some people to get into it album though. It’s no Pinback album, but
because none of it is expected, it’s all a sur- it’s close enough.
prise and it’s different. They blend so many (Temporary Residence)
genres together, with different vocal deliv-
eries. Hangin' Nothin' But Our Hands Seven Storey Mountain
Down is a rousing, rocking, weirdly At The Poles
awesome debut. If you’re a fan of early Foo Fighters or
(Sargent House) Jawbox then Phoenix, Arizona’s Seven
Storey Mountain is for you. It sounds near-
Page France ly identical to Foo Fighters just faster, more
...and the Family Telephone angular and more punk. It took me a while
With a voice similar to Daniel Johnston to listen to this album, and now I’m kicking
and song writing skills like Ben Gibbard, myself for not discovering it sooner.
Michael Nau and his band, Page France, are (Thick Records)
back with their second release on Suicide
Squeeze Records . They get an “A” for effort Six Parts Seven
but can’t quite pull of the charm and good- Casually Smashed to Pieces
ness of their previous album Hello, Dear Kent, Ohio’s Six Parts Seven are back with
Wind. ...and the Family Telephone has its their 5th release and most focused. Gone
moments, but it falls short when it comes to are the days of albums with epic 8 minute
matching Hello, Dear Wind’s simple songs plus songs in exchange for 5, 6, and 7
and instrumentation. minute ones, and a few songs under 3 min-
(Suicide Squeeze) utes. One thing you’ll notice is the trumpets
and clarinets, which are played beautifully
throughout the album. Casually Smashed
to Pieces is another excellent album to add
to your instrumental collection.
(Suicide Squeeze)

Smoke or Fire
This Sinking Ship
I got into this band after hearing one of
their songs on a Fat Wreck compilation. I
Page France must have listened to that song 10 times in
a row. This Sinking Ship is an album full of
Pagoda those kinds of songs. The ones were you
S/T can listen to over and over and still feel
I was surprised as you were when I listened good about them.
to this and found out that Nirvana got back (Fat Wreck)
together with Kurt being dead and all. But

Spoon Tim Kinsella
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Field Recordings of Dreams
I really enjoyed Spoon’s Kill the Moonlight, Tim Kinsella is in a place in his career
and was bummed on Gimme Fiction, so I where he can record anything he wants, no
was a little weary going in to Ga Ga Ga Ga matter how abstract or obtuse. Everyone
Ga. After first listen I was pleasantly has gotten accustomed to Tim’s creativity
pleased that Britt is done singing like a girl and eagerly wait to see what he does next.
and each song is way better than the ones It’s always a surprise when it comes to
on Gimme Fiction. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is sure Tim’s recordings. Field Recordings of
to win the band more fans, which is good, Dreams is no different. Thirteen of the
because the deserve it. songs are instrumental, while 3 of the
(Merge Records) songs, including the 36 minute closer, are
simply a narrative story revolving around a
boy’s baseball game with only Tim’s voice.
You may think that listening to Tim speak
for 36 minutes would be boring, but his
voice is earnest and compelling while
telling the story. The narrative acts as a per-
fect compliment to the instrumental music.
I can only wonder what he will do next.
(I Had an Accident Records)

The Toasters
Spoon One More Bullet
The Toasters have been playing ska for well
Stemage over 20 years and haven’t missed a beat
Strati yet. One More Bullet falls into some of
Stemage is Grant Henry’s solo project in those ska cliches like; undefineable made-
which he releases songs derived from the up words (what the hell is a “Gwan”), over-
classic Nintendo game Metroid Metal. He ly repeated lines and a cover songs (“Bits
apparently recorded all the instruments on and Pieces” by the Dave Clark Five and
Strati with just one microphone. I couldn’t “When Will I Be Loved” by The Everlys).
figure out why that was a selling point The album is quite good though despite
when the album isn’t that good to begin those factors. The Toasters know how to
with. It’s just him, so why would he need make a good ska album and they’ve done it
any more mics. It would be more impres- again with One More Bullet.
sive if he recorded it through a soup can (Stomp Records)
with a string attached to it. As for the
music, it sounds like a bad impersonation Tyler Read
of Cave In. Only Rock And Roll Can Save Us Now
(Silent Uproar Records) There is no one in the band named Tyler
Read, strange I know. Only Rock and Roll
Sundowner Can Save Us Now reminds me of when
Four One Five Two rock was kind of sleazy and had big hair,
Sundowner is the solo project of The but the album maintains a modern feel
Lawrence Arms’ Chris McCaughan and it is with Queen influences a plenty.
everything as good as The Lawrence Arms, (Immortal Records)
just acoustic. 10 of the songs are original
and 2 are reworked acoustic versions of Voxtrot
TLA’s “My Boatless Booze Cruise” and S/T
“One Hundred Resolutions”. Each song is This band is on the verge of getting huge
good and Jenny Choi’s backing vocals on a and with their new full length, you’ll soon
couple of the songs are beautiful. Four One be hearing this band on radio stations and
Five Two is the perfect album for the aging as background music for shows on the WB.
punker and fans of The Lawrence Arms This self-titled album is good start to finish
who are looking for something a bit more and will mostly likely be on many critics
mellow. top albums of 2007 list.
(Red Scare) (Beggers Group/Play Louder)

Cover: Chris Strong Ads: Modern-Radio //
Pg 4-5: David McHank Lujo Records // Lovitt Records //
Pg 24-25: Ryan Russell Flameshovel Records // Sargent House //
Pg 27-28: Oly // Sickroom Records //
Pg 30-31: Sean Desmond Copper Press // 54°40’ or Fight! //
Pg 32-33: Live photo: David McHank SaddleCreek Records //
Portraits: Sean Desmond
Pg 34-35: Live photos: David McHank Labels:
Portraits: Sean Desmond Sickroom Records //
Pg 36-37: Miriam Doan Kill Rock Stars // Warp Records //
Pg 38: Kirstie Shanley Side One Dummy //
Thick Records //
Pg 40: Ryan Collerd (Dr. Dog) The Militia Group // Vagrant //
Pg 41: Unknown/Promo Photo (Glos) 54°40’ or Fight! //
Pg 42: Unknown/Promo Photo (HRC) Park the Van //
Ryan Russell (The Narrator) Equal Vision //
Pg 43: Unknown/Promo Photo Memphis Industries //
(Page France)
Pg 44: Autumn De Wilde (Spoon) Lujo Records // Lovitt Records //
HeWhoCorrupts //
Immortal Records //
Rerum Novarum //
Flameshovel Records //
Bands: Go Kart Records //
The Narrator // Tooth and Nail //
Nurses // Beggers Group //
Baby Teeth // Eyeball Records //
Sargent House //
Web: Suicide Squeeze //
Schedule Two // Ecstatic Peace //
Temporary Residence //
Chord Magazine // Fat Wreck Chords //
The Big Takeover // Merge Records //
The New Scheme // Silent Uproar Records //
Venus //
Copper Press // Red Scare //
Wonka Vision // I had An Accident //
Razorcake //
Stomp Records //