Summer slumber party issues | Zinestream | Indy Week
Pin It

Summer slumber party issues 

The Ides of August mean one thing in North Carolina. Lethargy. Torpor in the Piedmont.
Hard sometimes, to finish a thought. Hard sometimes, to finish a sentence.
Hard sometimes, to remember what you just read. Real hard, sometimes to turn a page.

click to enlarge ae.zine.paste.cmyk.gif
Finding reading matter to keep your attention is a sometimes a challenge in our soupy humidity. That's where a few good magazines kick in. Just when you think your mind's gone totally Jello, you hit a good article. Here are some mags that'll keep you awake this month.

Paste is always a fun, entertaining treat, kind of a literary Rolling Stone. Raleigh's Kaye Gibbons is the major highlight of the August issue. The mag sent Kaye to the four-day Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., (in style, too, in an alt-musically enhanced Winnebago) to record her Mom's-eye-view of the party. Not unlike RS's against-type unleashing of Hunter Thompson on middle America, Paste gives Gibbons some great latitude, and she files some wonderful asides, which become story lines. She's a clean freak who dives into an 80,000-strong makeshift Tennessee commune of music lovers.

Her kids won't be home at the end of summer and she's going to miss them a lot. "I'm going to be miserable without them, but this could be the solution--going and doing and writing about it," she posts from her laptop.

With sidebar reviews about the on-stage action (Beck, Radiohead, Tom Petty) written by other contributors, Paste lets Gibbons run wide, with snapshots of the sprawling gathering and its different villages. She gets around. To most of the stages, up early, up late. Lots of random behind the scenes stuff, with local and national name checks (Ben Folds, Cat's Cradle, Ricky Skaggs, Elvis Costello.)

click to enlarge believer.8.16.gif
She jokes about her ill temper and the "whining index" on the RV. A perfect summer story. Eclectic Paste (subtitled Signs of Life in Music, Film, & Culture) is always generous, too, with the freebies. This issue we get their free 21-track music sampler CD and a DVD sampler with short films and videos. Phew.

While we all await Oxford American's "summer" music issue (they invented the oft-copied genre,) we're having no problem finding substitutes. Keeping up with the Limewire and Frostwire movement, magazines toss in CDs with issues like they were candy. It's audio swag heaven, "buyer" beware. The Believer's annual music issue, however, is delicious. Don DeLillo and Greil Marcus discuss (read, gush over) Bob Dylan. The usual Believer band shows up: Rick Moody, Daniel Handler, Sarah Vowell. It's a loft party! The frequent footnotes are funny and cute, the graphics are always sincere, up to brother-pub McSweeney's standards. Not unexpected, this year's music is chosen with a passion--and unique liner notes.

click to enlarge ae.zine.amshortfiction.cmyk.gif

American Short Fiction is back, stronger than ever. Founded in 1991, twice finalist for the National Magazine Award, ASF reintroduced itself in May in Austin with a new board of directors and a new publisher (the nonprofit Badgerdog Literary Publishing). The quarterly has the same quality writing and reading it did before. Previous works included Joyce Carol Oates, Charles Baxter, Louise Erdich and Naguib Mafouz. The relaunch offers Joy Williams, Desmond Hogan, Susan Steinberg and Mark Binelli. UNC English professor Pam Durban is on the editorial advisory board.

Contributing writer John Valentine can be reached at ajcg@duke.edu.

  • The Ides of August mean one thing in North Carolina. Lethargy. Torpor in the Piedmont.

Latest in Zinestream

More by John Valentine

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Zinestream

  • A handful of homegrown

    A handful of homegrown

    Here's how magazines start: "We were having a rare lavatory chat about how rare conversations are in the bathroom. From there, the idea rolled on to a literary publication dealing with bathrooms, distributed exclusively in them."
    • Oct 4, 2006
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Comments

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation