Wednesday, May 17, 2017

FANZINE REVIEW! PISSING IN A RIVER (S/W Press, available via contact@cherrystyles.co.uk)

One thing that I really dig about those seventies devoted to a single artist or act such as the two Iggy/Stooges ones let alone the David Cassidy STAR SPECIAL or SLADE PARADER is how they not only concentrate on the immediate subject at hand but capture the entire fun zeitgeist (betcha haven't read that word in awhile) of the era at hand. And when I mean "zeitgeist" I'm especially talking about that partricular rock 'n roll era which was front and center to many a teenball's reason for existing albeit unfortunately bubbling under the slick veneer of AM/FM totalitarianism. That also goes for the two Patti Smith fanzines of the day, ANOTHER DIMENSION and WHITE STUFF...the former had a neato New York rockfan attitude complete with references to various artists surrounding the Smith sphere (Jim Morrison. Lou Reed...) while the latter, put out by future British Weakly reg. Sandy Robertson, also donated plenty of time to other interesting musical acts who were somehow situated with a variety of Smithian kultural points that I'm sure appealed to the same level of suburban slobs who tried to get about as much outside kultur as they could from their ranch house fart-encrusted bedrooms via mags such as these and others more widely available.


It's kinda nice and heart-cockle warming to find out that even in this day and age there's a new Smith fanzine out and abou, and when I discovered this wondrous fact I naturally just hadda latch onto a copy of PISSING IN A RIVER. Nice job too even if it looks more like a professional '90s "fanzine revival" mag rather'n typewriter pecked out seventies cut 'n paste, but its a fanzine and I sure haven't read many new ones in this day and age of this quality so picking up a copy was something that I had on my gotta do list for quite a long time..

Looks pretty good too with a few new snaps, fan art, the same old Patti/Television poster from the '74 Max's Kansas City shows we've seen for years and other pertinent illios, and of course a whole lotta that great fan-based writing that used to make some of the professionals look rather turdlerish in their own Big City desk 'n chair ways. But just how does it all come off in that overall affects you and me (as the sorta guys who ate this whole CREEM/ROCK SCENE hype up and took it as our own personal salvation) in the all 'round rockist game, unh?

Well, sad to say but the zeitgeist that fueled kids like us to scour flea market and used bins for Flamin' Groovies albums back then has changed into a totally different style of what used to be called fan worship. Now don't get me wrong---PISSING IN A RIVER ain't as bad as most of the rather disturbing rockscreeding that passed for insightful thought throughout the eighties, nineties and onward mind ya, but it's still pretty shall I say a tad bland. Not that I don't mind wistful maidens with causes galore to pound into anyone within earshot to give all of the intimate details of their barely creaking mindgears but sheesh, next to the writings of earlier femme rockfans the likes of Chrissie Hynde in NME, Lauren Agnelli, Miriam Linna and even Patti herself these gals seem to exude a rather vapid appreciation of all things down home and rock 'n roll gritty. No way could I see any of 'em wanna plunk an old Link Wray platter on the Victrola and do a li'l kicking of the jams like you kinda hoped they would---in a few ways they seem to be the spiritual successors of the iron haired gals who used to make grave stone rubbings, swoon over every cult cause they would read about in their parents' NEWSWEEK and go out to change the world supposedly for the better but with far more devastating results.

I know it may be asking too much, but if there is a PISSING IN A RIVER #2 howzbout some space devoted to Patti bootlegs or artists encompassing the totality of the Smith sphere, perhaps embellished with some reprints of rare writings and the like. Or would that be too much to ask from a generation of kids who don't even know what a 45 spindle adapter is supposed to look like? Given how far rock 'n roll has deteriorated since I was a mere turdler I guess I would be hoping for too much.

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