I’m not going to lie: for all that the internet has made it easy to discover new bands, to order their music, and to figure out where they might be playing, there’s still a weird thrill that comes from discovering something in an unorthodox manner. Maybe that’s the influence of the weird, sideways way I came to a lot of punk and hardcore in my formative years — a seven inch dubbed to a Maxell tape here, an interesting-looking ad or review in a zine there. Essentially? Feeling like you were part of something outside the norm. Admittedly, I also like the fact that, say, Bandcamp can let me hear music from a band and immediately buy their music if I like it, sometimes in a variety of formats. While there’s something romantic about sending well-concealed cash and waiting weeks for a cassette to arrive in return, there’s also something rewarding — and financially beneficial to the recipients — about getting money to artists instantly.
Still, the old forms have their appeal, and that’s exactly what you get in Anachronistic Hardcore Assembly Vol.1. “Fanzines will always and forever be a tangible artifact people of the next punk generation can look back on and get a glimpse at hardcore scenes and history they never had a chance to experience,” editor Tom Mayhugh writes in his introduction. He’s not wrong. And this is, in fact, an old-school omnibus, featuring contributions from around the globe, ranging from interviews with long-defunct German hardcore bands to comics to essays on American bands touring Europe. It pointed me in the direction of about a half-dozen bands I apparently need to check out; if I read Spanish or Japanese, I’d probably have to up that to a dozen. (Avon Ladies are one of them — and, it appears that if I’d been paying more attention to Still Single, I’d have been more up on them. Officially shaking my fist at my past self…now.)
I’m also shaking my fist at my past self for picking up one set of zines without quite registering that they were intended as a companion piece to another, larger, work. At a zine fair a few months ago, I picked up numerous small, multi-colored zines titled ghosts. Each contains a few candid shots of a particular man; the zines themselves are subtitled “Some Men I Have Had Feelings For: An Uncomfortable Companion to Slacks.” Even without the other work, though, there’s something compelling about these, especially taken as a group. The ease with which the men pose for the camera; the question of what narrative emerges from the author’s interactions with them. It’s mysterious, and apparently I’m going to need to order Slacks soon to discover more.
I also surveyed three issues (#2, #3, and #4, for the record) of Michael T. Fournier and Lisa Panepinto’s Cabildo Quarterly. The fourth issue contains a story by THE2NDHAND editor & founder Todd Dills, and Fournier cited that publication as the inspiration for his own literary broadsheet. Here, the focus is a little more broad, stylistically speaking: poetry and fiction intermingle, and the stories range from Dills’s hectic “Z’s Trinity” to TG Lawton’s subdued “New York International Airport – 1948,” about an aging scientist coming to terms with the successes and failures of his own life. It’s a solid barrage of literature all around.