HI! I am a self published and promoted zine intent on providing freedom of artistic and intellectual expression.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011





HEY, WHY THE BUMMED-OUT FACE LIL' GUY? ARE YOU cold? Do you have the February blues? I’m talking to you there, grumpy Gus. What’s the matter? You’re not happy? Why? There’s no reason to be not happy. C’mon now, we can work it out. I can turn any frown upside down, just try me. You give me a reason you’re bummed out and I’ll give you a reason not to worry about it. OK? Look at that frown. I see those little corners turning upwards. There we go, I see a smile starting up, you little fag. Watch…
A point that was first introduced to politics by a band called P.O.D. True, Sonny Sandoval, global politics does seem to be at a level of crisis we haven’t seen since the 20s and 30s, but that’s no reason to be a gigantic BMX track about it. In fact, I’ve got another quote for you, Captain Fucking Bringdown. It comes from that astute nineteenth-century political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville and it goes like this, “Democracy is slow and sluggish and difficult to move but once the people collectively set their minds on something, nothing can stop them.” Humans are essentially good, and so good will eventually prevail. Even if Iraq does get crushed, people will eventually see that Bush is an asshole and get over the infinite need for a finite resource like oil. Plus, immigration is getting handled, which is helping the environmental problems overpopulation has caused. We’re in a heavy state of flux here that is not irreparable so chiiiiill.
Think of this global mess as a dirty bedroom. You just put on a tape and get to it. It’s kind of fun getting it all organized anyway. Just look at Eric Schlosser’s colossal bum-out Fast Food Nation. Even there we learn about hero stories like Jack in the Box, which is reinventing the way meat is processed, or In-N-Out, which never fucked it up in the first place. He also spends a chapter on ranchers like Dale Laster and Rich Conway who, if you believe Michael Pollan (the guy who wrote that cover story in The New York Times Magazine about the problems with animal rights), are better for cows than vegetarians. The book ends with Schlosser saying, “I remain an optimist despite all the evidence to the contrary.” See?

Being rejected sucks ass. Trying to suck someone’s ass and being told “no” sucks even bigger ass. Fooling around with some chick with a big ass and trying to go down on her ass and getting rejected sucks HUGE ass. Going out with some guy that’s a big asshole and who has a fat ass and trying to suck his ass and having him go, “What the fuck are you doing? Stop that,” sucks ass the size of China. Being a tiny African chick and going down on a Chinese guy’s ass even though he’s a total asshole and has a HUGE ass and THEN being rejected sucks ass the size of both continents combined! But that doesn’t mean you can never get laid. Just be a gregarious loudmouth who talks to everyone and something will fall in your lap. And you can do your research first. Ask the friends’ friends if you have a chance before you bust a move. If you do eventually go for it and get rejected, do this jokey thing (even though it’s a bit Chandler from Friends) and go, “No yeah, yeah, no, I was kidding, yeah, I don’t want to either, eww gross” and shudder jokingly. Keep that joke going all night and don’t cry until you get home. If you keep getting rejected despite all this—start a club. Call it “The B-52 Bombers,” and what you do is, you and all the club members meet for breakfast after every night out and the girl or boy who bombed the worst is known as King (or Queen) Bomber. The King, for example, has breakfast bought for him and everyone at the table is like, “Are you OK for coffee there, King?” as they top him up and he’s the total hero of the meal. That way after you bomb you’re like, “Cool, I’m-a be King tomorrow.”

Yes, things like TV ads are so bad they can be infuriating. Right now a Chili’s baby-back ribs ad is on behind me where this yuppie asshole in a Hugo Boss turtleneck is BEATBOXING and saying “barbuhquuue saaawce” in a James Earl Jones voice like a show-off from Shipmates—but I like it. You’d have to be a total Peter Bagge to get pissed off at things that are that bad. How about, “Ah ha ha ha, what a fucking loser! Hoo hoo, oh shit, man”?

When Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter proclaimed, “Irony is dead,” he forgot about the part where shitty things are fucking hilarious. Am I not supposed to love it on Cops when the Vietnam-vet crackhead in an army coat gets caught with women’s clothes in his house and uses “I’m starting a plastics museum” as an excuse? (He even adds, “Is there something wrong with a man trying to better himself?”) I don’t know if I’m being ironic or just plain cruel when I enjoy that, but I don’t care. It’s like Showgirls—once you realize that bad is good the world becomes a smorgasbord of fun things to check out. See you at TGIFridays! (I’ll be the one in the cat sweatshirt drinking an Awesome Blossom).

So do I, little guy. So do I. They always want to drag you out when you don’t want to go out and they want to stay in whenever it’s party time. The secret to retaining good friends is dumping the stupid shitty ones. I, for example, recently had to let a guy go for saying, “I’m going to write it out in big letters but when you email me you have to make it in smalls.”
Define who the keepers are. If you’re straight, gay jokes are the best way to see who your BFFs are (if you’re homosexual, everyone who doesn’t care is a BFF). Men: Can you walk down the street with this guy holding his hand and lovingly call him Charles? Ladies: Can you fondle her tits in public and scream, “Tune in Tokyo—helloooo!”? That’s a best pal right there. The rest are secondary; thirdary even. Here are the categories:

Gay-joke pals: People you look forward to seeing and talking to about outfits without kidding. This is the only person you tell about your cheats.

Dudes and homegirls: These are people who probably would be your gay-joke pals if they lived in the same town as you or had any time to hang out.

Table scraps: These are pretty fun people who you don’t know that well. You may spend all night talking to them if you see them at a bar (prime potential to be bumped up to second tier—unless they say something idiotic when they’re giving out their email address) but then, you may not see them for months.

The beauty of organizing your friends like this is, when you get a call from someone in the third tier going, “Dude, you never call me back, we have to get a beer,” you can relax and quietly think to yourself, “Relax pal, I’ve got plenty of shit to deal with up in the top two groups. I don’t need your guilt-trip bullshit right now, you fucking table scrap,” and the stress is relieved.

Assuming you have a good relationship with your family, all you have to do to beat away the blues is hang out with them (duh). Make them pay for the plane ticket if you live far away. However, if you’re like most of us, your dad is a fuck-up who either took off when you were eleven or hasn’t spoken to you in five years just because he found out you smoked (that last one’s a shout-out to all the Asians out there). Here’s the deal: If you have reached out and they have not been there for you for more than, um, three and a half years, they are Xed for life. Fuck ’em. Don’t answer those emails that go, “I’m sorry I messed things up but I want to be in your life again.” Mr. 57-year-old in a jean jacket was bringing you down, and like a shitty friend, you had to draw the line. See ya later, shithead.

In the words of Dr. Phil, “You are worthy.” I know sometimes you feel like a total loser, but if it’s anywhere near a Tuesday at ten p.m. why don’t you turn on a show called The Real World? You’re not worthy? Have you seen their bandannas? Have you heard them talk about being “scared” and “not being honest about needing things”? Ha ha ha ha ha. Just imagine how you would be on that show with your never-been-to-the-gym body and your balls-to-the-wall attitude. “Anger management!?” you’d yell at the black dude incredulously, “What are you, a fucking fairy!?” And get this, you low-self-esteem-having motherfucker: Those people are your average Western young person. Believe me. You’re worthy.

Everyone hates their job. Jobs suck. Do you think I like sitting here at 10:43 on a Saturday night (January 18) trying to make your shitty job sound less shitty? Do you think the singer of Korn likes his job? Touring is the worst hell on earth. Do you think Jimmy Kimmel, now that he’s about to be the new king of late night, do you think he likes his job? I know that dude. He works about fourteen hours a day. Plus, being famous is like owing every shithead in the world “personality” money. That’s why models desperately foster those low IQs—their jobs are that boring. Just check out that book Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs by John and Marisa Bowe. The only person who really likes his job is either a total fucking idiot or a store manager with a small dick. The rest of us are in the same boat.

What you do is you zoom in on the good part of your job and bust your ass at that (yes, that means weekends) until it’s more of your job than the shitty stuff. Then the magic rule starts to come into play. “The magic rule?” you ask. “The magic rule,” I say (with my eyes closed). And that magic rule is this: If you focus on one thing and work hard at it for exactly ten years, you get a million dollars. Ask anyone with a million bucks in the bank. Twisted Sister? Ten years of shitty gigs. Huey Lewis? Ten years of bar-band bullshit. Even Henry Ford had to eat shit for ten years before the damn thing worked. Like the Ten Stairsteps say in “Oooh Child”: “Oooh Child/ Things are gonna get easier/ Oooh Child/ Things’ll get brighter/ In ten years/ You just wait and see how things are gonna be/ In ten years/ You just a wait and see-hee how things are gonna be/ bdddfffdddfff (almost a drum and bass, two-step garage level of drum beats)/ We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun/ Right nooooow/ When the world is much briiiighter.” Etc.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Glass Vaults

Collating ideas

Isadora Duncan theatre-dance.cahss.ualr.edu
Isadora Duncan people.tribe.net
Pina Bausch
Pina Bausch Full moon deconcrete.org
Editorial by Paolo Roversi for Vogue UK, April 1986.
"Taste of Arsenic." Photographed by Sean Ellis and styled by Isabella Blow for The Face, October 1996.
Italian Vogue
Lydia Lunch
Ash Stymest: Vogue Homme Japan

Friday, December 2, 2011



Marrow Zine's May Release Launch Party

by Sam Valentine | 7:34 am 26/05/2011

May 14, Re:Fuel Bar. With Thundercub, Black Yoghurt, Surgical Department, Max Waots, Nicole Van Vuuren (DJ).

“The little zine that could?”

With the current flood of self-produced gig guides (INK), comic collections, (DUD), culture mags (Crop) and zines, Dunedin’s independent publishing “industry” seems in relatively good health. Among these excellent, no-strings-attached publications is Marrow. Co-edited by two Critic contributors (wassup’ nepotism!), Marrow promotes itself, as “a self published and promoted zine intent on providing freedom of artistic and intellectual expression”. Sounds pretty good, right?

With frequent articles, both pertaining to and provided by the Dunedin music community, last Saturday Marrowundertook the cleverly obvious move of hosting a musically-endowed release (with bonus Twister and limbo) for their May issue.

Beginning my night in the classic “idiot reviewer” fashion, I arrived sadly too late to witness the opening band and my musical entertainment instead began with solo act Black Yogurt.

As the side project of busy Dunedin musician Sefton Holmes, Black Yogurt sees a move away from the nosier elements often heard on other Holmes’ projects. With distorted synth lines, and a drum machine his weapons of choice, Holmes creates a deadly hypnotic groove which slinks underneath his casual (and often subversively funny) half-spoken vocals. With a rhythm that could described as “sexual”, Holmes manages to create an almost club-style repetition in a highly unexpected context. And with the amount of girls I saw dancing during his set, who’s to argue?

Catching my attention with their already uncommon combination of violin and drums, it was safe to say I was quite interested as I watched Motoko Kikkawa of the Surgical Department don a blindfold before beginning their set. While a slight gimmick, it was soon forgotten as the department began what seemed from afar to be a largely free-form and unplanned set. With their drummer on top of the beat in hip-hop style reminiscent of the Roots’ Questlove, and the violin coming fast, liquid and freeform, the both visually and aurally arresting music captured the attention of all present.

Concluding the night were electronic three-piece Thundercub, a band already praised in far too much detail throughout this year. So please, just remember this one thing: one of Dunedin’s best bands and often breathtaking live, Thundercub are a must for any local music fan.

With great performances and an even greater communal atmosphere, be sure to check out Marrowboth online or at their next zine release.


Sneak preview: U N D O N E

Featuring: Isobel Tepstra
Styling: Hana Aoake
Make up: Rachel webb
Photos: Lucy Fulford


Featuring: Rachel Barton & laura Aitkinson
Styling: Hana Aoake
Photos: Lucy Fulford



Levi Hawken

As a child I dreamed of becoming an archeologist. I imagined scouring ancient ruins and fragmentary images of life and death inside dark caves where humans lived thousands of years before me. Encountering Levi Hawken's recent wall work located in a secret tunnel in the Leith, armed only with a torch, instilled me with the same sense of awe I might have experienced had I decided to follow this dream. Having only a small shard of light to guide one across the impressive scale of this untitled mural allows the viewer to have an experience which is truly intimate. Consisting of geometric forms in a muted colour palette, with each line intersecting another, each line presents the viewer with a contradiction as there is no fixed point. Geometric forms are an integral part of Hawken's visual vocabulary, evidenced by his recent Willful damage exhibition at None gallery. Using a monochromatic palette it feels as though it has always been apart of the environment, with some water damage and the subsequent growth of plants impinging on the concrete wall.

In creating the work in this kind of environment, Hawke is subverting traditional modes of display. To get to the mural one must go on an adventure, which includes climbing through bush and down an intimidating pile of rocks. There is a remarkable contrast between depth and surface, as it seems to be engrained with a sense of movement, similar to that of a rollarcoaster. It playfully suggests three dimensionality, yet it retains a two dimensional Modernist formalism. This highlights Hawken's active engagement with Modernist conventions and abstraction. As it reflects aspects of German expressionist Franz Mark and a kinetic embodiment of the theories of Kandinsky. The work is innately autonomous and can also be likened to a tomb, with the sharp lines of a hawk acting as a momento mori for both his late Grandfather and close friend who died earlier this year. In this way the lines appear to me to resemble hieroglyphic symbols moving your eye across the wall like an archeologist studying an ancient inscription.

-Hana Aoake

Dan Graham Homes for America

Since 1965 Graham has shot photographs of typical one-family homes in ordinary American suburbs. These photographs were premiered in 1966 as a slide show in the exhibition «Projected Art» at Finch College Museum of Art, New York. That same year Graham designed his photo-text article «Homes for America» which addressed the issue of such row houses as a new form of urban living. In this work, designed as a magazine article, Graham examined the potential variations in style and color of serial housing. Originally the work was to be published in a major magazine like Esquire. At the end of 1966, a mutilated version was published in Arts Magazine. The accompanying text was given priority and most of the photographs cut. In the sixties Graham saw the medium of the magazine as an appropriate forum for the presentation of his works, which were situated outside the established art institutions

ECOLOGIES OF THE MIND: The game-changing effects of the evolution of consciousness

The modern world can be difficult to understand. Western culture has been so thoroughly steeped in bullshit that it is now well and truly saturated. We can observe and criticise it until we are blue in the face... but this does not change the fact that we are here in this moment and this is it. This is what we've got to work with. This is the game.

But the game is complex. Not only do we need to attend to our physical requirements for day-to-day survival, but we humans, we 'selves', now exist within an incredibly diverse set of more abstracted ecological circumstances as well. These are the self-referential loops of the human mind, reflected in the ever increasingly schizophrenic behaviors of society at large - the 'collective consciousness'.

Sometimes I feel like the pace of human 'progress', the evolution of this social culture, has outstripped our innate animal abilities to instinctively understand and respond to our environment. To some, the whole situation feels 'unnatural'... as though these modern social constructs are so far removed from what has come before, that it no longer fits in the context of our lives as biological entities. Here is the point that I believe deserves a little bit of contemplation. Sure, society may be more detached now than it has been historically. And it is certainly more complex. A computer is more complicated than a birds nest or a spiders web. But this does not make it unnatural.

Let's take a step back here. For quite a long time, as the earth cooled and the elements began to solidify, stuff existed in a pretty simplistic fashion. There were rocks. There was gas. There was shit spinnin' round itself and round other things in space. Somehow, some molecules began replicating. For a really really long time, simple organisms went about their daily grind of replicating into more organisms to go about the daily grind of replicating into more organisms, and so on... They ate. They replicated. They excreted slimes and gasses. This could well have been the golden age of zen on this planet.

So life kept replicating... with each generation the DNA spread and diversified... it evolved into a vast array of complex organisms that we see before us today. And not only individual organisms, each finely tuned to specific niches and habitats, but also the beautiful arrangements of these lifeforms amongst each other... the glorious symphonies of life we know as ecosystems.

So. All was well and good. Rich forests thrived with life. Turtle eggs hatched on the full moon, birds sang intricate choruses in the dawn mists while seed pods unravelled to release the next iteration of the ever unfolding pattern... incredibly diverse, intricate and complex levels of interaction can be found in every nook and cranny the world over. It's total shit-your-pants-amazing kind of stuff, really. And yet amongst this complexity and chaos there exists a sense of calm, a sense of belonging, a sense that each thing has its place within the greater whole. But reflecting upon ourselves, this is not a feeling that many humans have about their own lives within this present context. There is 'nature', and then there is 'us'.

If only we could accept that our situation as humans, although sometimes nonsensical, and certainly more complex than the life of the crane bird pecking shellfish in the estuary on the receding tide, is no less 'natural' than anything else. We are a part of the unfolding of the universe, a process that has been going on since the big bang or before. The only difference with us is that the evolution of consciousness was pretty much a game changer - it allowed for a whole extra set of ecologies - mental ecologies - to develop. These new ecologies are no longer so rigidly bound by physical constraints, and as such they can change and respond much more quickly than anything we've seen before. But it's not unnatural. Nothing is unnatural.

We are as equipped to deal with these abstract ecologies of the mind as the moss is equipped to deal with rocks and mist. We have evolved alongside consciousness and its side effects for millennia. Somewhere along the line it seems that western culture lost its grip on an integrated perspective of the world. Overwhelmed by this new found complexity, we threw instinct out the window in favor of rigid and logical analysis. This is but an illusion. A trick we played on ourselves to make life difficult. Perhaps it is time that we again allowed our creative intuitions to bubble to the surface... That we accept and exist within these uniquely human ecologies of the mind. You are a mental organism. And this is the game.

-Bart Acres

ABSOFROCKINLUTELY.: marrow zine gigs

ABSOFROCKINLUTELY.: marrow zine gigs: Yo friends! Sorry for not blogging like mad rabbits on heat but end of semester assignment deadlines and exam stress are taking up a major...


PHOTOS: Lucy Fulford
STYLING: Hana Aoake
MAKE UP: Rebbecca Wekking at MAC
FEATURING: Ella Van Ziji & Matthew Ward
CLOTHES: Modern Miss, Kate Anderson