Microcosm Publishing, 2752 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227, Usa, www.microcosmpublishing.com
Even thou this is a good book, it was rather boring for me to read – because all the explorations of the DIY culture by the author are nothing new for me since a few decades. I know about every single aspect that is discussed by Makagon. But if you are like 20 and never have heard of house shows or community based music spaces, independent networks, illegal shows, sober houses or BYOB houses, who does house shows, why they happen – this will be a very interesting read. Daniel also tells the history of independent touring in the Usa. Explains why some houses are better and others wont last very long, discusses door price policys, how to share money between bands and house, how to run places, problems with the police and how to avoid them. Basically, all questions one can have surrounding the subject are answered here. The author gives a full 360° view on every detail and every possible point of view.
It is a bit lengthy, since certain points pop up again and again, but that might also be my sole problem – I’d say the core of this book could be a third of it. Anyway, obviously people my age or experience are not the targetgroup, and for those who are, this is a mindopening read, loosened with a bunch of live photos and house show flyers. Makagon interviews alot of people who are involved in the DIY scene and do shows, he also quotes people who write about the subject (like from MRR) and overall gives a good insight in a scene that is non existent – for the most people. Let me quote a quote from a column from Tim Yohannan he wrote in 1994, explaining what a truly independent punk band is – still valid today: „1) It doesn’t really matter what you say or what you sing, but how you conduct your business and what your motivation for doing it is. 2) It is only by beeing completely seperated from government control and corporate sponsorship, collusion, or connections that one can really claim to be ‚alternative‘ or ‚independent‘. 3) Unless there is an ongoing class consciousness to one’s communication and expression, then it is inventible that you will be assimilated into mainstreasm values, no matter how culturally ‚hip‘ you attempt to be.“ Alot of bands will laugh about this nowadays – proofing they are everything else but an independent punk band. Anyway, + 200 pages of north american DIY culture. Paperback, 14,95 US $
[Trust # 175 December 2015]