Thursday, May 21, 2009

Print media is not dead: Humanbeing Lawnmower

When I saw the last issue of Maximum Rock and Roll was about the supposed demise of print media - I ordered it quick. MRR was the first punk zine I had the pleasure of reading and my story is similar to many others: Midwest kid with small-to-no "scene," discovers magazine that lets the kid know that there is a big world full of punk rock and art and culture out there. It was a comfort thumbing through those newsprint pages while squatting for hours at the local Waffle House (drinking black coffee - stare at the walls).

Another thing MRR introduced me to was the world of mail-order zines. When I could afford it, I'd order zines from their review section. For years I have wanted to do one of my own but always manage to figure out how NOT to get it done over and over again. Not too many zines I procured back then stick out in my mind as really good, but they all were lovingly put together by dumb kids like me.

Years later another cool little punk-rocker girl named Sybilla (like 12 years old) started Youth Culture Killed My Dog (a nice, subtle nod to her favorite band). Haling from my hometown of Anderson - Sybilla did everything I wish I had done as a young punk: booked shows, printed her comics, didn't give a shit about what anyone thought or said about her, and put out a rad zine. And it wasn't just "cute," stuff by a bunch of kids. There were thoughtful record reviews of older albums her, her little sister, and her friends had discovered. There were great interviews with bands and funny show reviews. It was great! I don't know what happened to all mine - but I'd like to get a hold of those again. I have not kept up with Sybilla's doings since I moved to Muncie. If you know her - tell her to email me.

I still buy MRR sometimes and have just recently started ordering zines again. I also have found many cool little (and inexpensive) on, a handmade/art/craft/vintage online marketplace. I'm going to start posting reviews of exemplary ones

Human Being Lawnmower
Issue #2

I know the guy that does this has a new address so find out more about ordering one by consulting the myspace page:

Right out of the envelope I knew that this was a good buy. The zine itself is made on a medium-thick card-stock material. The front and back cover are done in printed color with great artwork/illustrations. This is the kind of zine that you not only want to keep around for the content, but the rad rad rad aesthetic value. MRR has been printed on newsprint forever. Though I do like the lower cost of newsprint, after tossing MRR in and out of my backpack a few times, well - the covers of them are usually shredded.

Inside there are great articles and reviews of 77 type punk and rocknroll bands. I was stoked about reading not one, but TWO interviews with two different members of The Flaming Groovies. The comics and illustrations are wonderful (great "centerfold," layout for The Flaming Groovies with caricatures)and a lot of content and art are jammed in without being all bungled up. There is also a nice little review section and an article about the greatest moments in wrestling.

I'm serious: buy this zine if you give two shits about any of the featured bands or artwork. Its worth it. And now I leave you with a few tracks you can download that pertain to the music in the zine. Click on the pictures of the records for the tunes.

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