Monday, June 05, 2017

Tetris Fever!

Brilliant time suck or silly waste of time? Read the Reglar Wiglar review of Box Brown's graphic novel history of the greatest game of all time: Tetris: The Games People Play.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

ZINE REVIEW: Out of the Basement

Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, Illinois, 1973-2005



By David A. Ensminger 

Microcosm Publishing




Every borough and backwater across the US has its own story about how punk rock came to town and conquered the hearts and minds of the idle youth. Those who were bitten by the DIY bug started bands, made zines, hosted radio shows, DJed and turned dives into venues where new bands could play. The names of many, if not most, of these local pioneers will be lost to history, but not if Microcosm Publishing has anything to do with it. Their Scene History series records these often overlooked movements in zine form. Out of the Basement is Rockford’s story.

Located in north central, Illinois, Rockford is a city of just under 150,000 people. It enjoyed the distinction of being second only to Chicago as the state’s largest metropolitan area. That was until Aurora took over the spot relegating Rockford to number three. Once a blue collar manufacturing center, the city fell victim to the same fate as other rust belt towns. It up and went bust. Mostly. Rockford is a city I’ve passed by, sometimes through, mostly by bus, for most of my life. I've met a handful of the city’s ex-pats here in Chicago. A few of them are mentioned in this book.

The zine’s author, David Ensminger, is a Rockford native himself. He was intimately involved in the punk and DIY scene there in the late 80s and early 90s. He details the city’s underground rock movement from the 70s through the mid aughts. It was a scene that closely paralleled what was going on in other cities across the country. The book starts with Rockford’s, and perhaps the whole state’s most well known export, Cheap Trick. Lesser known bands such as Aerosol Vomit, Bludgeoned Nun and War on the Saints played small clubs and parties attended by a dedicated cadre of skaters, zinesters and likeminded punks who welcomed national touring bands.

Through interviews with musicians, writers/artists and recording engineers, Ensminger documents the history of the scene and paints a picture of a typical American city full of bored and restless youth with more energy and creativity than they knew what to do with. What they did do was create their own art and music and their own scene even though it may have failed to garner much attention beyond Winnebago County lines. Rockford is in good company with countless other cities in that regard.

Out of the Basement is an interesting read even if you aren’t from Rockford or Illinois or the Midwest. Here’s hoping Microcosm gets to your town and your scene soonChris Auman



Tuesday, January 03, 2017

MUSIC REVIEW: The Central: Discovery of a Rat

THE CENTRAL 
Discovery Of A Rat (Blue Bedroom

The Central deliver a new twelve-song album from their home base up there in frosty Madison, Wisconsin. The general population of the great state of Wisconsin apparently bought the Trump line of gaudy merchandise hook, line and sinker, but I won’t hold that against this band or the 77 square miles surrounding capital city.

The Central, by its own admission, is a progressive grind band and they do grind, but this two-piece band is by no means a one-trick-pony. Their latest, Discovery Of A Rat contains a full-on assault of extreme noise that is angry, and raw, but there’s also quiet parts and little melodic worms that work their way into their songs and then into your skull. This includes, but is not limited to the funky ditty “Palette Cleanser” which is the sonic version of exactly that. Many of the songs contain as much groove as grind, and more math rock than full on metal mayhem. “Australian Karate Jew” has a 90s indie/math rock sound; “Totem Bowl” actually has a speedy, hyper kinetic pop sound and “Pop Culture Prostitute”, which features Henry Rollins audio snippets, is an especially thrashed out track. As a side note, the album cover is excessively gnarly.

Discovery Of A Rat is cathartic, angry and loud, yet razor sharp. Don't believe me? Stream it for yourself: https://thecentral.bandcamp.com/album/discovery-of-a-rat

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Two New Vegan Cookbooks from Microcosm

Not sure if you are an omnivore, herbivore or carnivore? If you follow a vegan diet, then you are an herbivore and Microcosm Publishing has cookbooks for you. Many in fact, but two of their latest titles come from the cheffing and illustrating duo of Automne Zingg and Joshua Ploeg.

Read more on the Starving Artist blog!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Reglar Wiglar #24 available at Quimby's

Hey Chicagoans! Reglar Wiglar #24 is available at Quimby's located at 1854 W. North Avenue in Wicker Park. Buy a copy today!

From the Quimby's online catalog:

"Hilarious account of Auman's job history, sprinkled with witty banter about several musical venues and acts as well as other miscellany. This zine is particularly funny if you happen to be a Chicago native."-CH

Buy online from Quimby's:

http://www.quimbys.com/store/8053

Buy online from RoosterCow Press:

http://www.reglarwiglar.com/roostercow/roostercow_press.html

Monday, October 31, 2016

Least Popular Halloween Candy


1. Salad Bars
2. Lugged Nuts
3. Kerplops
4. Nougat Knots


5. Sugar Teats
6. Terds
7. Peanut Blisters
8. Corn Chunks
9. Doo-Doo Drops
10. Gristle Pops





Wednesday, October 26, 2016

FORGOTTON AMERICAN MUSIC MASTERS: Wilma Tilly

WILMA TILLY 
(April 14, 1940-January 19, 1987)

Wilma Tilly was an American country singer known for her string of 1950's Country and Western hits like, "Mama, You Don't Know Nuthin' 'Bout Love" and "Gotta Git Me a New Man 'Cause My Old Man is Broke". Born in Tennessee, in a barn on a pile of burlap bags in 1940, Miss Tilly took Nashville by storm in the 1950s with her school girl look (she was still a school girl) combined with a world-weary outlook on life that was reflected in such songs as "Mama, I Got a Bad Man" and "Why Din't You Tell Me About Bad Men, Mama".
Early Years

Tilly suffered through a series of tragedies at a young age starting with the death of her beloved dog, Freckles, and ending with the deaths of every single member of her immediate and extended family within a three day period of time. These sad events led to a string of somber recordings that so depressed country music fans, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, assigned a national task force to combat what was becoming a nationwide suicide epidemic. The crisis peaked in 1955, when all 500 attendees of a Wilma Tilly concert at the Old Brown Barn in Butterfield, Georgia, made their way to the roof of the one-story auditorium with the intent of jumping to their deaths or at least significantly injuring themselves.

Married Life on the Road

Tilly married her manager, Buck "Bubba" Williams at the age of eleven and had twenty-three children and 253 grandchildren. Despite being pregnant eight straight years, Williams had Tilly on the road touring 364 days per year, performing two shows every Sunday.
Death

Wilma Tilly died in 1987 after battling thirty-seven different types of cancer.

The Bad Tip Prayer