Rockin' yo shit.

The official Space City Rock Blog, featuring news on local Houston musical happenings and occurances, random venting about various things, and fervent ravings on the wonders of music, art, film, and anything else.
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Written Up! (Kinda...) [1/06/2009 01:41:00 PM]:
Yeah, we made it into the Houston Press, albeit briefly -- up-and-coming music writer Jef With One F (who also works his butt off for us when he can, I must confess) was kind enough to mention Space City Rock in his new feature on real-live paper zines. (No, I'm not quoted in the article, but that's okay, because when we chatted I got this weird feeling like I was babbling like an idiot...)

It's a good piece, btw, and I like the question of tangibility vs. immediacy -- it's something I wrestle with regularly, both with regard to this e-zine and music in general. Much as I enjoy listening to MP3s and whatnot, I'll be the first to admit that I'd really rather have a real-live album (er, CD; as mentioned previously, the turntable just doesn't fit in the car).

In fact, the "tangibility" factor was a major part in the start of the long-dead SCR print zine; when she first started pestering me about it, original cohort Chris Nine was adamant that it had to be a real, printed-on-paper zine, rather than something online-only. We were already doing that, anyway -- the SCR site had already been around for two or three years, although I didn't really review any CDs, just focused on listing shows and putting up info on local bands, zines, labels, etc., that I liked.

The print zine, Chris felt, would get read a whole lot more than anything online. And at the time (circa 1998-99, although the print-zine thing started in 1997), she was pretty much right. I don't think either of us could've guessed that the Age of the Blogs was right around the corner, that people would be reading RSS feeds on their phones while waiting for the elevator, or that newspapers 'round the country would be dying slow, lingering deaths as America read stuff online.

Like Jef mentions in the piece, though, money ate the thing. It's just insanely cheaper to do this stuff online, regardless of the tangibility factor. Each issue of the zine cost me, personally, about $600 on the low end, if I remember right (we only printed 1000 copies of each issue). Which, when you're just out of college and working a crappy Web job that doesn't pay much, is pretty painful. Hell, I'd still think twice now; it really ate up a lot of my bank account, and the ad revenue never came close to paying for any of it.

I'm in continual, speechless awe of the Free Press Houston crew for this very reason, actually; they've managed to run a print publication for six years now, and they're apparently (hopefully?) not yet bankrupt. The amount of $$$ necessary to do the print thing can be really, truly rough, especially for something that's a hobby-slash-labor of love like, say, a zine.

I also like the bit where Jef talks about a published zine as a "concrete opus," while a Website/blog/whatever is never complete, never done. Do I occasionally dig back through my smeared, yellowing copies of, say, I'm Not Afraid or Beer Frame? Yep. Do I ramble warmly through the archives of PopMatters or Pitchfork. Um. Not hardly.

Paper still holds a special place in my heart. And while SCR may be electronic in form, I'd like to think we're still sorta-kinda a paper zine at our core. (And yeah, I do still occasionally go through the copies of back issues that're hidden away in the bookshelves in the back of the house...)

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