Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Zine - Das Bande #1

Gena Meldazy, who used to be a DJ on EXD, has pulled together a zine on inspirational women in the punk scene. Das Bande contains profiles and interviews of these women who got into punk, what they think of the male over representation in the scene, what they think about the advances in technology and whatnot. It is funny because I just read this in depth interview with Alice Bag that Martin Sorrendeguy did in MRR and I was still left wanting to know more about the background of the times. Das Bande has even shorter interviews often being the equivalent of one page each. And although we live in a time were brevity is preferred I somehow feel cheated on not getting more of their story. It is like we get a teaser from Jill Bain (a.k.a. Jade Blade) about the DISHRAGS in Victoria. The DISHRAGS were one of the first all female punk bands in Canada and yet I know very little about them. I did learn that her cousin started Vancouver’s first band the FURIES around the same time, which made it easier for her to take the steps in starting up a RAMONES inspired band. However I wish I knew about who they played with and crazy show stories or scene stories about the early Victoria scene. I know that Jason Flowers attempted at capturing some of those stories with his comp “All Your Ears Can Hear”, but this too suffers from being restricted by space and so you only get one or two stories. I feel there is so much more to be said about the DISHRAGS and maybe that is the purpose of this zine. To give you a teaser that you will take and research more of. One of the profiles that I enjoyed was of Janick Varning who does the Varning fests in Montreal. Janick used to sing in an awesome band called HELLBOUND and sadly nothing is said about that in her piece. But her greater contributions of starting up the Katakombes which is a punk run space that shapes itself off the squat system in Europe does get mentioned. That is significant. And her background was interesting to learn growing up in foster homes and being inspired by Chris Boarts-Larson of Slug and Lettuce fame. Reading Sandy Miranda’s profile saddened me a bunch because she sounded down on punk. I knew Sandy as someone who was super enthusiastic about the scene and wrote a great zine that doesn’t get mentioned in here. Anyway, Sandy’s piece was very different from what I expected. Juls Generic’s piece was very good. Juls sang in MARGARET THRASHER before moving to Newfoundland where she has been in a couple of bands since. She is also a regular columnist in MRR so there have been a lot of updates on Juls regularly. But this piece is Juls’ back story. Zoe Dodd has a portrait of her in the zine and I wish someone had taken the time to get Zoe’s story to paper given she grew up in the north and moved to Toronto and sang for the BAYONETTES and did shows here. And there are a bunch of other women from the past and present that could have been included in this issue. I guess the door is wide open to continue on telling the herstories of the scene. Hopefully this is not a one off project. Tara Bursey did sketches and is responsble for the SCHOOL JERKS record covers. She also did an amazing re-make of the “Warriors” movie film poster for an EXD benefit show. Tara is a talent and I would have loved to know more about her back story. But you do get Liz Worth, the author of “Treat Me Like Dirt” and you get Megan Speers of Wanderlust who also did the cover artwork for this issue. Catherine Roussel of STRIVER is in here. And Emily Kendy of Absolute Underground. My last pet peave is the wasted pages. The zine is done on legal sheets folded in half. The inside pages are not copied on making for a full page that has not been cut out. It doubles the size of the zine and makes it difficult to flip pages. I wish that technical thing had been figured out but the size is a unique size making the zine stand out. (Gena Meldazy –

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