Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Zine Review: ROUGHDALE Issue #5

ROUGHDALE: Southern Decay In The 21st Century Issue #5
Country of origin: USA
Cost: $3.00
I’ve been following Roughdale zine since 2016 when I reviewed its first two issues. By the time the fourth issue came out it had begun to expand its format. The new issue, released last year, is more or less doing likewise. For example the back cover advertises internet radio shows including. The Roughdale Rhythm and Blues Revue. This new program is aired at the zine’s Youtube channel alongside video clips from Goo Fish, Calusa Gardens and Sleep Like Heroin. The length is similar to past issues; though there are fewer articles and real life accounts like there were in previous issues, there is one that raises good points about social media; how it simultaneously tapped into people’s need to validate their identity and eroded the rock star lifestyle we remember from the 80s. The argument about the latter point is one I hear often these days: the internet has led to a monstrous increase in underground bands. While in some ways this is good because it’s given bands more of an opportunity to pursue originality and creativity, in other ways it has become a negative because there are more bands than most people have time to listen to and It’s harder to decide who will be noticed. The article makes its point with brutal honesty, and I quote, “No one is getting rich off music anymore and if you were making music simply for money or fame, you were part of the problem to begin with… Warner Brothers is not sending a jumbo jet to pick up your band… the Motley Crue days are dead and gone.” I’m still unclear as to what can or should be done, but this article is an important read. A fictional piece by Brian Cook, East Oltorf, takes up a four page spread. What I got from this piece was, it deals with turning 30 after having been a tattooed fan of underground music, and reaching a crossroads. Do you turn away from it for the "real world"? One might question if doing so would be conceding your youth's passion was little more than a waste of time. I should point out that many bands succeed on their own terms, and I know people in their fifties who still listen to the bands of their youth and take their careers seriously. Issue five also features album reviews, suggested Youtube channels, and a page dedicated to supporters of the zine. The material published here is worth the effort to find. -Dave Wolff

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