Thursday, April 11, 2013

Basements and Living Rooms #1

Edited by Shannon Connor

So you know what I'm really bad at? Updating this blog when I'm in school. Have I seriously only written five reviews so far this year? That's crazy, and I am letting down all of the people who keep sending me zines to review (there are so many...). But now class is over for a bit, and let's fucking hope I can update this site more frequently.

You know what else I'm not very good at? Going to see live music. This zine is all about DIY shows that people (mostly in the punk community) put on in their houses, and I realize I can't remember the last time I went to a house show. For whatever reason I'm not as into music as some of my friends. Sure I like it, but I'm fine listening to it at home a lot of the time. Maybe that's because I like music made on computers a lot. (I told a friend recently that if someone described an album or song as sounding like a computer slowly dying I'd really want to listen to it, so clearly my taste in music is pretty questionable.)

So I don't go to house shows very much, and I also don't go to anything shows very much. I'm pretty sure I haven't seen any live music since I moved to Vancouver, and I think half the time I see live music it might be because I'm at a lindy hop event and there's a jazz band playing. And for that I'm going for the dancing, not the music. (Oh wait, there were some live performers at some of the electro-swing shows I went to, but apparently they were incredibly forgettable. There're probably others I've forgotten...)

But four paragraphs into this I realize that (in addition to clearly liking writing zine reviews because I can't shut up, why do I avoid it so much?) I'm jealous of the people that go to house shows with their friends and go on tour and generally have a good time doing that sort of thing. I have friends who go to house shows, and who put on house shows, and I've lived in houses where they happen. Yet, I think that frequently I've felt kind of uncomfortable at them. Possibly because for a long time (and still today to some extent) I felt uncomfortable and awkward in social situations were there were a lot of people I didn't know and a lot of noise and I wasn't that into the music and and and.

I miss living in punk houses. Or at least houses where I had lots of roommates and we hung out and talked and played games and watched movies and did stuff. This two bedroom basement apartment with a guy (who is fine) that I never see (because we're mostly on different schedules) is not the same. But Vancouver and I have not exactly been best buds when it comes to me finding places to live, and I have to find a new roommate for next month anyway since the other guy is moving out, and I have no idea where this paragraph is going.

I think that maybe the zine residencies that I helped host at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax are similar to some of the experiences that people write about in here. Meeting new people who are only there temporarily, and getting really excited about the act of someone creating something cool. I kind of wish it was possible for people to go on writing or art tours in the same way bands go on tour.

The content of Basements and Living Rooms is photos, comics, and articles from various people about shows they've organized, hosted, played, or attended. They cover good shows and bad shows, and similarly some of the content is good and some of it is bad. Up above I credit Shannon as editor, but there's not really any editing going on here. I understand why you might do that, but it also kind of drives me crazy a little when a piece is super filled with spelling mistakes. Yet overall I liked reading this, even if it led to this terribly long (and just generally terrible) review.

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