Thursday, February 07, 2019

SOLEDAD VOLUME ONE, JANUARY 2019 (available from Jeremy R. Richey, 220 Tupelo Trail 1607, Frankfort KY, 40601)

What is this thing supposed to be anyway? From a quick glance inside you'd think SOLEDAD was one of those frilly and fruffy art periodicals with the same upper-crust deep message you used to see way back inna sixties (EROS comes to mind) complete with the same kinda artzy photographic essays and Glade air freshener prose that woulda gotten ya laffed outta whatever Junior College you happened to drop out of. The old ads for classic z-grade drive in fodder and the tribute to Bernardo Whatzizname who made LAST TANGO IN PARIS (not to mention an article on that slice of intellectual tee-vee goo TWIN PEAKS) gives SOLEDAD a bit of a FILM CULTURE under-the-underground flair and savvy that seems dated yet perfect for this kind of project. Let's just say I haven't come across a publication like this since I used to storm the magazine racks at the Youngstown libary on the search for Lester Bangs' latest paen to music improper in THE VILLAGE (retch!) VOICE! (And speaking of that guy, he's here with portions of his review of  Lou Reed's THE BELLS splattered across what seems to be an old ad for that particular platter. You could say that the taste in music that the editors hold would echo those of the seventies/eighties cusp underground fold charting into unknown waters that only saw the destruction of what they had so loved the past fifteen years being moshed into MTV fodder.)

But there's one thing that makes SOLEDAD superior to past publication endeavors and in fact perhaps one of the premier artyfacts to hit this final year on the 'teens (and yeah I know that 2020 is the real end of the decade---I'm just adapting this 'un for the more reality as opposed to mathematically-minded ones in the audience!) and that is the appearance of two interviews, each with a top notch surviving member of the Cleveland First Wave who just happen to be lucky enough to be around this late inna game to give their particular spin on what did happen and what just might! 'n true, gabs with such folk as Craig Bell a.k.a. Darwin Layne and John "Regular" Morton might be about as outta place in SOLEDAD as a foreskin in an Israeli nudist camp but they sure are welcome in my own frame of what really constitutes fun and jamz even this far down into the descent. And was we approach 2020 I'll take my high energy in any way shape or increment I can!

Not that there's much we didn't already know about the two presented, and the same pix being reprinted over and over doesn't extend any real class to the proceedings, but reading about the Cle First Wave groups is something that will always thrill me to my suburban slob bones 'n like, if I can still be all agog over the comics and music I heard when I was but a mere preschooler why not about the sounds that helped mold me while I was lurching into my twenties? Even though the story has been told and re-told to stellar effect it's always like the FIRST TIME when I read about how Bell got kicked outta Mirrors or the people Morton knocked some sense into with his fists (not that he really does that this time or has ever for that just reads like the tough no-shit Morton of legend). That's one fact of life that I cannot truly deny and if you grew up searching out for any shard of rock life or info via your own limited resources at hand, you'd probably know too.


Marc said...

Hey Christopher, I'm from Youngstown!

I was looking For Jeremy R. Richey links. He was publishing a mag called Art Decades and I was just able to pick up an old copy of the issue I wanted for a discount price from an independent bookstore. Wanted to compliment him on it. Doesn't seem to be on Twitter or Facebook. Is he still doing Soledad? Tough in the mag industry now I'm sure.

Take care,


Christopher Stigliano said...

Sorry I can't help you Marc...any of you readers out there able to?