Making Waves #1

I suppose it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise to most folks if one were to posit that females, i.e. women, were generally not accorded a representative amount of space nor respect in the music fanzine world as it existed up until our current century. It was a pretty dudely endeavor for too many years there, with some very visible exceptions both in the UK and North America from the punk era forward, eventually leading to an empowered flowering of women-helmed and -defined music fanzines starting in the 1990s.

Making Waves was a four-issue cross-Atlantic collaboration between two women – Camille Lan in Paris and Mary Jane Regalado in Los Angeles. Camille – who truly has outstanding taste in low-fidelity post-punk music – did the Gunilla Mixtapes mp3 mix blog. I also just unearthed this more-recent show she had a hand in. Mary Jane, who later moved to Washington DC, was in a totally loopy LA band called Neonates whom I totally dug at the time – check this digital-only album out.

Their first Making Waves came out in 2011, and it’s sort of a record-corrector and light-shiner on a plethora of women who led bands, labels and scenes in different eras, from 70s punk onward. I made it a point to buy each of ‘em (there were four in total) as they hit the digital stores, especially after this classy first one, which featured an interview with all three Kleenex/LiLiPut members whilst still alive. Better still, it was the first time I’d read an interview with Stef Petticoat (of The Petticoats!), a true UK DIY hero who was barely recognized as such in most quarters until the last ten years or so, or maybe when Times New Viking covered one of her frantic songs (“Allergy”) a few years earlier. 

Alice Bag of The Bags talks about her upcoming book Violence Girl, and there’s a cool cover for it previewed in this mag that ended up not being the actual cover at all. Jeri Cain Rossi from Your Funeral gives the lowdown on the early 80s Denver scene and gets me all excited that she got to play with The Frantix and fuckin’ Bum Kon. “Debsy” from the Dolly Mixture gets a turn – and a whole lot more, not merely just 70s/80s stuff.

I also enjoy that they’re “perfect-bound”, which means that they’re like little novellas, with a spine and everything. The writers don’t fall into the keyboard warrior trap of spending an undue amount of time on jeremiads against the patriarchy – except when we deserve it, of course. The true emphasis is on quality sub-underground music and the women who made or make it.  If any of this is as interesting to you as it is to me, you’ll be happy to know that three of the four issues of Making Waves can still be purchased here. Easily one of the best fanzines of the past twenty years.

(Note: I just came across this post, a week after writing this thing, that has PDFs of all four Making Waves issues).

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