Cimarron Weekend #6.04…

I reckoned I’d take this 1999 fanzine on when I saw just how “reminiscent” the cover was to Brian Berger’s 1992 Grace and Dignity issue that we talked about recently. A quote-unquote funny fake table of contents. Are you laughing? I’m totally laughing over here.

I remember getting an earlier issue of Cimarron Weekend in the mail from editors David Dunlap and Andrew Earles in ‘97 or ‘98 when I was living in Seattle. It was a nice surprise, and I’d been impressed & excited that they were as discerning about their garage punk and the more rock-leaning modern indie underground as I personally felt myself to be, and they had a bozo-like charm in basically making fun of everything in said worlds. Unlike Berger’s magazines, there wasn’t much viciousness to it, and clearly these guys, being from the South (Memphis), were having a lot of fun with the “southern friend boogie” bands of the 70s; your Black Oak Arkansas, your Little Feats and whatnot. Much modern stuff would find itself in their pages getting compared with Skynyrd, or the Allmans – and in the era of “Man’s Ruin” Records and some perplexing underground popularity for the newfound genre of stoner rock, it’s little wonder.

And though I’d forgotten about it, I contributed some reviews to the 1998 issue that came out before this one. How about that?

This particular small issue looks like a simple, free stopgap that came out after that one and before Issue #7. It’s pretty much all reviews: records, live and a couple films. I recall at the time that my generalized take on The Cimarron Weekend cut a couple of ways. I appreciated not merely their musical taste but how out on a limb they’d go to try to eviscerate modern indie music without making it too personal nor ugly. Sometimes it really was quite funny. I also felt that they tried waaaay too hard to wring yuks out of places where there weren’t any. One look at this cover and you’ll see what I mean. I recall that National Lampoon was a big influence for them, and clearly, Dunlap and Earles at times were very much going for that vibe: a straight-up humor mag. I just don’t think underground rock music is nor was anywhere near as hilarious as they seemed to think it might be. Better to take the Motorbooty approach and pick fat targets and then totally hit the bullseye, rather than target everything with a “spray & pray” approach.

Then again, I once sent an email to Henry Owings of Chunklet magazine – which took a similar approach – telling him that I’d laughed my ass off about something or another he’d published (I think it was these awesome fake indie rock tattoos they’d mocked up in an issue). He wrote me back and said he was cheered yet incredibly surprised, as he thought that perhaps I didn’t possess much of a sense of humor, and that I gave off the impression in my own fanzine of being rather, um, serious. So there you go!

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