My ‘zine fetish runs deep. I read the first few pages of any magazine like a devout Quaker. Part of the disadvantage of being an online-only ‘zine is the lack of that visceral feeling when cracking open a new issue– studying each name in the credits, glancing through the “Letter from the Editor”– that demure, solemn moment when an Editor contemplates what the hell his/her team has labored over the last few weeks.
A word to readers: please shoot should this resemble those terrible Oslo fashion mag editorials. Pseudo-contemplative like a Kate Spade commercial, talking about the asinine weather, how quaint and peachy everything is. I’ll leave this particular mag unnamed but it was one of the worst pieces of writing I’d ever read. From my (Norsk Prøve 3-)Norwegian, I translated in a Sarah Jessica Parker voice-over, “Dear Readers, Oooh, I just love visiting New York City. The sights, the smells, the colors… so inspiring…” I don’t understand why West-side Oslo chicks get a wad in their panties over Williamsburg, the way the Japanese do whenever they hear Für Elise.
Anyway, the other day I read about a failed Kickstarter campaign from a Pitchfork-wannabe LA ‘zine called “Uncool“. The name was uncanny, as their mission: “no hype” and “long-form music journalism”. Sound familiar? They’d attempted raising $54,000 (approx. 300.000,-) but came up short of $9,000. Some attributed their failure to the fact nobody wants to bleedin’ read about music anymore– and after watching their pretty lame vid, I got depressed, thinking a) so-called un-hip hipster music journalism really oughta die; b) they were like a bad parody of Bad Sounds.
Bad Sounds was definitely spawned outta being the opposite of “quaint”– if quaint suggests a level of servitude to a small group of people in a civilizing, anesthetic way. In trying to hopscotch our way through all the problems with music-writing (the age old subjective-objective debate); wondering if it’s all just a narcissistic hobby that lets us bathe in the carnivorous glory of our own genius– I think, as we approach our 1-year anniversary– what we’re really just fighting is to not be another gimmick.
Rest assured; we’re in it for the long haul. Though we wish we could be as ballsy as Chunklet, publishing issues whenever we felt like it, suffice to say, this year we might be pairing down to bi-monthly issues.
Blame the UDI.
Anyway, if there’s anything 2012 showed us, and certainly in our contributors’ Best Of 2012 lists— is that we’re less likely to make leaps and bounds to communize over music. The older we get, music’s relevancy has all to do with what Eirik Arlov calls “the personal”. The jaded farts hate all-encompassing music mags, and similarly, we’re more and more honed into the specific. As Wire Mag editor Chris Bohn suggests in 2012 Rewind, as our economies turn scarce, we retreat into our families and perhaps become more self-centered. Yet in contrast, in Oslo, the nightlife is as vibrant as ever-before, creating dozens of sub-communities in which we can burrow our sorrow and shame. Local bands who’ve become house favorites of certain venues march on, ploughing through a trajectory with the hopes of making a living. While corporate blogs and oil-funded By:Larm continues to preserve a level of lukewarm shit– there’s always those few labels like Fysisk Format and Brilliance keeping gusts of fresh air in the independent music world.
Which brings us to a forward-looking 2013.
Rune Grammofon announced the debut of a new “supergroup” Grand General on February 1st, consisting of Ola Kvernberg, Even Helte Hermansen (guitarist from Bushman’s Revenge), Erlend Slettevoll (The Core), Trond Frønes (El Doom & The Born Electric) and Kenneth Kapstad (drummer from Motorpsycho).
March sees the new album from Hedvig Mollestad Trio entitled, “All of Them Witches” (perhaps another Melvins reference?) and April we eagerly look forward to Jenny Hval‘s new one, “Innocence is Kinky”.
Highasakite are amongst the first Nor bands to be confirmed for SXSW. We might be there.
Norway’s best thrash/old school metal booking agency Proxy Mngt have announced a new show in May at Blå, with grind-core forefathers REPULSION and supports from Nekromantheon- and Altaar- members, Obliteration.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are headlining Norwegian Wood. We’re definitely there.
Aggresso-superstars Next Life are performing at the Tromsø International Film Festival on Jan 19, with their interpretation of the most legendary (arguably) RPG game of all time, Final Fantasy 7. The band will also be playing songs from their upcoming album “The Akashic Record”, to be released in 2013. We’re excited. A preview of that here:
Finally, our ultimate hopes is to issue a thick print edition within this year, to showcase the Best of Bad Sounds: from amazing artwork by Kjetil Tangen of Oslo Grammofon and Einar Lukerstuen, to the talented photography of Erik Moholdt and Morgan Flament, to the incredible range of interviews from our debut with Todd Rundgren, to Neil Hagerty, to David Pajo, to Rhys Chatham, to this month’s Helios Creed/Chrome.
We’re ever in need of advertisers, as it’s your funding that keeps us alive. If your company/business is interested in being a part of the web or print edition, please contact us at: badsoundsmagazine(@)gmail.com. To all you Norwegian Labels, DJ’s, Radio folk, bands, what Anal Cunt tenderly calls, “Art Fags”– we continue to welcome sending your stuff over.
Thanks a billion for reading & remember:
White Noise Supremacy 4EVA