Friday, April 30, 2010

Vinyl Review: Phantom Works 7"

SuitSat b/w Double Krakow 7' (no label)
Phantom Works is a return to the surgical guitar attack of the AmRep days of old. High endy, bass-less, angry. The packaging is a silk-screened cover by fellow noise-maker Jason Fredrick depicting a violent yet heartwarming scene of Russian roulette gone horribly right. A proper match to the tight jawed, that is to say, tightly wound aesthetic of the band. Phantom Works has since followed up with a live EP (Live EP) available as a free download from Power Records. Other than that, I have no idea what this Phantom Works business is all about.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Zine Review: DORIS #15 Anti-Depression Guide

by Cindy Crabb

This is a reprint of Cindy Crabb's Doris #15 which serves, it is hoped, as an anti-depression guide. Cindy recommends long walks, day dreaming, remaining active and productive and drinking lots and lots of coffee. I'm sure scientific evidence would back all these claims up, except perhaps the abuse of caffeine. This zine was originally written in "1999 or 2000" according to Cindy's best recollection. Certainly then, as now, chemical remedies were a very popular form of curing depression. Certainly exercise and reconnecting with the outside world can be just as effective, especially for people for whom depression is more environmentally related than a result of chemical imbalances in the brain. But hey, I'm not a doctor, a shrink, a life coach, an Oprah or even your best friend, so don't take my word for it. Do consider reading this zine, however, it could only help you shake those blues.

Microcosm Publishing

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Zine Review: Learning Good Consent

Cindy Crabb

Learning Good Consent is more of an educational tool than a zine to be read for entertainment, although any good zine should teach you something. The intent of this zine (issued along with Crabb's publication Support dealing with domestic abuse) is to educate people—gay, straight or bi—on what the boundaries are in sexual relationships in terms of consent. Contained within are various essays of personal experiences by a host of different writers as well as lists of questions designed to help the reader better understand what constitutes sexual consent. No means no always, but other things can mean no as well. Nothing is ever in black and white (ok, the pages of this publication are printed in black and white), and there can be gray areas to consent. Crabb and collaborators seeks to help define those gray areas and hopefully change peoples' attitudes about sex and sexuality.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Zine Review: 13 Years of Good Luck

by Joel Biel

In 2009, Microcosm celebrated thirteen years of existence as an indie distributor and publisher. 13 Years of Good Luck is a greatest hits package of writers and artists whose work has been published by the collective. This 96 pager bursts with first-time reprints, in most cases (Jesse Reklaw, Cindy Crabb, Urban Hermitt and founder Joel Biel) and never-before-published stuff in others (Liz Baillie, Cristy Road, Al Burian). Some of the type is pretty tiny for my tired eyes but the overall package looks great and serves as an overview of what has become—I think it's fair to say—a DIY institution. You can't beat the price either: one buck from

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cassette Review: Happy, Thrill Hungry, Ready and Willing

Kick Happy, Thrill Hungry, Ready and Willing (Noise International) 1991

Rights of the Accused started out as a juvenile hardcore band in Chicago in the early 80s. That's not to say that their subject matter was juvenile (it was) but these snotty punkers were barely out of puberty when they formed in 1982. Their 1984 Innocence 7" is considered a classic of early Chicago hardcore.

Over the course of the decade ROTA evolved into a hard rock party band or (depending on how much credit you want to give to the intelligence of it's members) a parody of a hard rock party band. Kick Happy, Thrill Hungry, Ready and Willing is a pretty weak party, however. It's full of generic riffs, forced ideas, bland vocals and pretty much encapsulates everything I don't like about this hybrid of punk and metal—it's all the cheese with none of the tongue-in-cheek.

In 1988, Herb Rosen (bass), Wes Kidd (guitar) and Brian St. Clair (drums) along with original singer Mike O'Connell, constituted the new Rights who seemed to open every decent rock show I found myself at that year. I was not a fan. It seemed to me at the time that ROTA just wanted to break out, Beastie Boy-style, and party rock to a major label deal and national fame. Nothing wrong with that, it was just hard to sit through while waiting for touring band like White Zombie (featuring original guitarist Jay Yuenger no less) to play. Kidd's subsequent band, Triple Fast Action, would score a record deal with Capitol in the signing frenzy of 1995. Brian St. Clair would go on to drum for local duo Local H and Rosen and O'Connell may or may not still play in the local Chicago bar band, The Beer Nuts--Joey Germ

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cassette Review: Thoughts of Yesterday

Thoughts of Yesterday 1981-1982 (Posh Boy) 1988

Few 80s bands went through as many stylistic somersaults as the SoCal band T.S.O.L. Melodic hardcore, gothic guitar rock, hard rock and metal where all tackled with a fluctuating line-up and a loyal fan base. By the time this reissue came out in 1988, The True Sounds of Liberty were dressing like the rest of the L.A. glam poseurs who were starting to chart at that time. Admittedly, T.S.O.L. had a much harder sound than your Poisons and your Cinderellas. This cassette features the band's first EP, their first 7" and an alternate take on "Peace thru Power" from 1981's Dance with Me LP. This EP contains the best of the fast punk rock model with "Abolish Government" "No Way Out" and "World War III" being the archetypes of the genre. To paraphrase singer Jack Greggors/Ladoga/Grisham, President Reagan can still shove it--Joey Germ

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Reglar Wiglar Band Spotlight: Coupleskate

Star Reporter C. Bales poses some insightful and provocative questions to Chicago's Coupleskate band in our new band spotlight feature. Read the interview immediately!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Reglar Wiglar Interview: The Mediums

Formed as the surf rock combo Hodads in the early '00s, then resurrected nearly nine years later as The Mediums, this quartet play 60s style psychedelic garage rock like nobody's business. Read a soggy post-show interview!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Comics Artist: Jef Czekaj

Battle-hardened in the mini-comics trenches of the mid 90s, artist Jef Czekaj has found a whole new audience: the kids of the kids who used to read his indie comics! Read the Reglar Wiglar interview.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Website Down

The Reglar Wiglar Website is currently down. In the mean time, please enjoy this video of a cat that thinks he's people.

Monday, April 12, 2010

NEW Reglar Wiglar Cyber Edition 1.2!

Dear Participant,

You are please to visit the  REGLAR WIGLAR 1.2.

What you'll find in this issue:

Comics artist JEF CZEKAJ (pronounced check-eye) answers a few questions related to comics and music and STUFF.

We get a psychotic reaction out of garage rockers THE MEDIUMS.


DUNC THE PUNK returns with reviews of Mariah Carey latest remix record and Lil Wayne's rock album.

TIME CAPSULE CASSETTE REVIEW: JOEY T. GERM reviews R.O.T.A. and T.S.O.L. tapes from back in the dizzily day.

AND The ridiculous debut of the legendary BIF LEBEAU and his ADVENTURES OF JIM BOB & PENCILNECK saga, the lost manuscripts of which were recently acquired at an Albany Park garage sale for FIFTY-TWO CENTS.