Last month, Attention Scum focused on Science Fiction, tracing its part in the roots of early zine production, its interactions with popular culture and the connections to folk mythology that came out of the genre’s transition into the hands of fan publishers. This month will focus on Punk Rock zines/culture and the way those zines helped define and cultivate a community around punk music.
Punk Rock is the loudest and most dangerous form of rock and roll, so naturally punk zines took (and are still taking) that ethos to a logical extreme. The punk ideals of doing everything yourself, and doing things entirely for yourself are consistency expressed in punk publications which have often been short lived, are deeply connected to social cohesion and expansion in the punk scene and tend to be produced quickly and cheaply by design.
Punk zines were an outgrowth of earlier rock and roll zines which themselves took their cues from the sci-fi zines that came before. They had a very different identify taking advantage of modern technologies like the Xerox to bring the tools of publishing to an even wider group but they had a similar function in terms of creating mythology and galvanizing/connecting close knit groups of like-minded people.Zines played nearly as much of a role in defining the punk aesthetic and culture as music did, even the word punk itself comes from the title of an early punk rock zine.
Over the next few weeks, Attention Scum turns its jaded glassy eye on this beer soaked carnival of anarchic, joyful mania. This month in Review:
Television, Marquee Moon: 11/9
A seminal album in punk Music and an achievement in dry guitar sound overlaid with LES poetry. Television came out of the dark ages of NYC making music because nothing else made sense, and this album represents the band at the height of their powers.
The Zine Collection at the New York Public Library 11/16
A huge selection of Punk zines produced in NYC over several decades. This collection is one of the largest available in the city and chronicles an otherwise largely forgotten culture of self-producing and trading publications in the eary and mature years of punk culture.
Rollerderby 16 11/30
Rollerderby comes from the later period of punk zine production, influced by even more publishing tools, much greater access to information and incredibly powerful ways of sharing. Nevertheless, the foundational ideologies and ethics remain the same – Rollerderby exemplifies contemporary cultural shifts while retaining the spirit of its predecessors.
Also look out for a full print Issue of the Attention Scum’s Sci-Fi issue with expanded essays and new material. If you’d like to contribute to this issue please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Otherwise, wait with baited breath ye Scum for the print ready PDF version of the full zine or find me somewhere and get your very own printed copy of the issue. Expect to see this exciting new development in self-publishing around 11/30!