Thursday, August 28, 2008


Today I found out that my good friend Jay Bonfatti had died.

We 'pulled up the stakes early' to return from camping in Angelica and grieve. Jay was a man among men, he was large and in charge, the life of the party and my good buddy. It is a very sad day as I try and say goodbye to my friend who was snatched from this world way too early.

We love you Jay, goodbye my friend.....

UPDATE: The days pass and it isn't getting any easier, this is a real rough one for sure. I am thinking the only way to get some resolve, some peace, which may never come, is to take the drive to Cape Cod for Jay's wake and funeral, which I think I have to do. The past few days of excessive drinking is not helping, I have to wake up the next day and remember what I guess I am trying to forget.... this sucks.

Some JB videos on YouTube:
Skating at Rotary Rink- click
Jay Strummin' Guitar at Meat Day- click

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I am able to hobble along remotely, working a 1/2 hour or so siting in my car across from the algae covered pond (yeck). New owners at the camp site need to spruce things up a bit. Clean air, campfires, lots of hiking and internet access available (somewhat), what more can I ask for...?

Looks like some nice weather for a few more days of camping. The kids love the outdoors and, like I said the other day, it is good to get out of the city for a bit.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, fresh air... and I hardly hear any cars zooming by. And the sky full of stars, priceless! If I can keep all the customers happy from here, this could be the life, eh? Gotta go, laptop battery dying out..... . . . . . .

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Innoculated City

Once you get there it is great!

What it is-- the planning, the packing, the truck loading up and the eventual traveling-- is the hard part. As we approach the eve of another camping trip to beautiful Angelica New York (the town where history lives), I have come to realize the love, some have, for luxury hotels. Just bring your clothes, everything else is already there...

But of course the adventure is lost in possibly forgetting the condiments, or your boots and (possible) rain gear, or misjudging the temperature (while I am mentioning Mother Nature's hand in all this), or even forgetting the super-cool marshmallow sticks that manually spin. But you would think after doing this for 10-15 years, hell in fact my whole life going back to when I was a kid, I would have this planning/packing part down pat. We have developed a master list (see link below) that has everything we bring (and then some) to use as a guide. Just check it off the list when it gets gathered and moved to the 'to pack' area of the house... the problem lies and maybe forgetting in the transition from the house to the car after it has already been checked of the list.

Then there is the leaving the office thing. Now I know the employees can take care of everything and I will have phone and (hopefully again) email access to keep tabs on things... you didn't think I was going to go camping without my computer did you (remember last time)?

It is always nice to get out of the city, shower less, drink a lot of beer, make campfires, play cards, BBQ all the time (except breakfast), hike, hike and hike, pie iron pies and pizzas, marshmallows and smores, hike some more...See you in the wilds of Angelica!

The Master Camping List
(PDF 32k) - you may need this some day!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Scene at The Open Air Market

Buffalo Spree Magazine is having a party and you kids are invited!

Best of WNY Party is next Thursday, 8/21.
DJs deja blu bring the groovy lounge tunes for you to chill by!

Celebrate the Best of WNY in style at Spree's third annual BEST OF WNY PARTY on Thursday, August 21 at Shea's Performing Arts Center (646 Main St.) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Help the Spree gang raise money for Mercy Flight of WNY.

Join us as we reveal Buffalo Spree's Best of WNY 2008 winners and enjoy fabulous food and desserts from over 20 of the area's best restaurants, wine tasting, silent auction and live entertainment from the Real Dream Cabaret and deja blu - all for only $30 ($40 at the door).

Don't miss the best party of the summer with your favorite DJs, Buffalo food and beverages!!

Fabulous food from:
Alternative Brews · Anderson's · The Eagle House Restaurant · Edible Arrangements – Williamsville · Falafel Bar · Fiamma Steak · The Glen Park Tavern · Harry's Harbour Place Grille · Kabab & Curry · The Melting Pot · Mulberry Italian Ristorante · My Tomato Pie · Nick Charlap's Ice Cream · The Other Woman, Caterer · Salvatore's Italian Gardens · Sample · Snooty Fox Lounge · So's Integrity Catering · SPoT Coffee · Tandoori · Verbena Restaurant

For more info visit:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Steppin' To The AM

I know I am stuck on the past, but if I don't preserve the memories... who will? I think I may have found the 1st logo I had ever designed that was actually used by someone. Now this doesn't count graphics for school projects, friends bands, etc. This is a real logo!

This logo was for the 10th annual Buffalo State Dance Marathon- what, don't they do dance marathons anymore? This was designed probably around 1985 and was used on posters, ads (Buff State Record, baby!) and signage. I remember it was drawn by hand, probably at 200%, and colored in with a black ripideograph ink pen. The text was press type I meticulously set on the curve (no attached to path in those days).... Then it was shot down on a stat camera (by Dave Meinzer, the Buff State design maven & local singer songwriter) and touched up. This version was the final art stat I just ran across in the giant flat file of stuff.

Man, I remember being psyched about this getting used. Of course I didn't get paid, it was the thrill of seeing my artwork become a real logo so early in my career. It was so early, in fact, I had no career at the time.

What time is it? Nine o' clock, or half past the hustle! Ha! So young.....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stoned and Dethroned

Not lively; sluggish.
Not busy or active.
Not taut or firm; loose.
A period of little activity; lull.
Trousers or casual wear.

He who possess slack, shall rule the world.

Slack issue #12- The (1 year) Anniversary Issue
Sept. 1994 (published 09.01.94)

I just saw the Steam Donkeys for probably the 300th time, man those guys are good. As I sat amongst the neighborhood folk in the grassy knoll of Bidwell Parkway enjoying the band I felt a sense of calm. Though the kids were running rampant, dancing, spinning and laughing and the music was really loud in the front- I was at peace. What a better way to spend a Summer August night- truly a slack experience. This was sure different than seeing them at the Club Utica circa 1994, that is for sure.

Slack no. 12 was the theme-less Anniversary Issue. One Year Strong as the cover proclaimed! This issue attempts to once again explain the theory of slack by outlining the history of slack and touching on the church of the sub-genius- purveyors of 'slack.' A no-theme issue found writer Eric Morse explaining "Fine Things I Appreciate in Life (no theme)" which included:

  • Comedy Central
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • James Ellroy
  • Elmwood Strip Post-Bar Food
  • CFNY
There are some 1994 nuggets for ya, huh?

This issue featured the second column by newcomer Raisin BlowMe, reviews of a Bootzilla record and Prince's Come ('his best release in years...' or so it says), an extended Dre's After Dark (which gives you a great snapshot of the Buffalo club and music scene circa Sept. 94), record review by 'The Scotster', a great Strick article called So Called Democracy in America & Why the Local Media Sucks Up, a tasteless DasBoot ad, and a piece about a band I don't remember at all, but I do remember it was an article by someone 'not in the Slack circle' so I published it to make the mag seem not so 'cliquey'... and it was written by a girl. Slack girl writers were scares in those days.

To really give you a look at 1994 music in Buffalo, here is Lance's (Tuesday, 3rd Room) Top Five DJ List. Ah Tuesday night in a bar, not a care in the world.
  1. Blast of the Universe- Bootsy Collins
  2. Classic- 1/2 Pint
  3. Whip Smart - Liz Phair
  4. File Under Easy Listening- Sugar
  5. Natural Ingredients- Luscious Jackson
Scanning, adjusting, layouting and PDF'ing 3 issues of Slack in 7 days (man...!) is not Slack, though I guess I always worked too hard to be a true slacker.
Ask Oprah!

Dre, where have you been. Please cease the media silence, eh?

Download PDF here: Slack Magazine n. 12, the Anniversary Issue (3.3 mg)

Don't forget these issues already up (8 more to go)!:
Slack Magazine n. 18, The Two-Year Anniversary! issue
Slack Magazine n. 11, The True Crime Issue
Slack Magazine n. 10, Summer Fun Issue
Slack Magazine n. 9, The Dead Rock Stars Issue
Slack Magazine n. 8, The Beer Issue
Slack Magazine n. 7, Slack Goes to The Movies Issue
Slack Magazine n. 6, The Buffalo Issue
Slack Magazine n.5, The Slack TV Issue
Slack Magazine n. 4, SEX in the '90s Issue
Slack Magazine n. 3, The Politico Issue
Slack Magazine n. 2, The Travel Issue
Slack Magazine n. 1, The Debut Issue

Self Esteem

The Slack is back, baby.

Kevin Hosey mentions the return of Slack to cyberspace on his blog, BuffaloRoots. He has some kind words for the old zine from the '90s!

"Slack was one of the best zines/publications Buffalo has ever seen, edited and published by Mark Wisz; besides Mark's graphics and humor genius, he gathered a great stable of writers, and I still have several copies in my collection."
Awwwwwww..... Read it here, click me.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Indian Summer

Music. Food. Patio is OPEN. All are welcome by the Friends of SLACK! Summer Rules!
Ad for the Summer Solstice Slack Cocktail Party, Tuesday,
June 21st, 1994 at the Third Room.

Slack issue #10- Summer Fun Issue
June 1994 (published 06.04.94)

I am going to see Riders On The Storm tomorrow night- they are senior citizens Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger pretending they are still The Doors. My philosophy is that 1/2 the Doors is better that none, eh? I know both Ray and Robby still have chops, who needs John Densmore- he's bitter anyways, and well, Jim is dead (or so they say). Nothing like 1/2 a band from the 1960s on a warm summer night in Lockport to say "summer!" (update: looks like 'Riders on the Storm' rain for tonight!)

I think the fact that the last Slack posting was a little lame (the issue I mean, not the post) that I felt obliged to make up with a really great issue of Slack. Oh, and I have with this PDF of Slack no. 10 the Summer Fun issue.

This is a super issue. Following that lame Goes to the Movies issue, Slack really picked up speed with the next 2 which were the infamous Beer issue and the fan favorite Dead Rock Star issue (already posted). Issue number 10 has all the good stuff the kids learned to love about Slack: biting commentary, top ten lists, Dre's After Dark (the Buffalo nightlife column), Bitter Boy in fine form and the serial comic Slacker in Space (already a few issues old).

The cover was eye catching with the Summer Mellon Girl and had an endorsement from Lori Githens of the Buffalo News: "Slack, this area's funniest, most creative 'zine..." they used to love us (more on that later). Summer in Buffalo is always great and this was 1994-- the year the Beastie Boys released their fourth CD, Ill Communication (1,2, oh my god!) which went on to be the soundtrack for that summer and a classic for sure.

The main article titled Top Slack Summer Activities included a lot of beer drinking and makes fun of the Allentown Artfest. 14 years later and it still the same crap-fest, unbelievable...

The Top Slack Summer Activities (1994):

  1. Road Trips & Cruising (I don't think I meant that cruising......)
  2. Tanning & Sweating
  3. BBQs
  4. Weddings a.k.a. open bar
  5. Boating & Floating
  6. Camping
  7. Watching Re-Runs on TV
  8. Artfest (see above)
  9. Outdoor Rock Shows (whooooooooooo... whooooooo!!!)
  10. Drinking Beers Outdoors
Combine any of the above for the ultimate SLACK summer experience.. or so it says....

Now if only I could take back the really bad kerned apostrophe 's' on the cover, I would feel complete about this issue.

Download PDF here: Slack Magazine n. 10, Summer Fun Issue (4.4 mg)

Don't forget these issues already up:
Slack Magazine n. 18, The Two-Year Anniversary! issue
Slack Magazine n. 11, The True Crime Issue
Slack Magazine n. 9, The Dead Rock Stars Issue
Slack Magazine n. 8, The Beer Issue
Slack Magazine n. 7, Slack Goes to The Movies Issue
Slack Magazine n. 6, The Buffalo Issue
Slack Magazine n.5, The Slack TV Issue
Slack Magazine n. 4, SEX in the '90s Issue
Slack Magazine n. 3, The Politico Issue
Slack Magazine n. 2, The Travel Issue
Slack Magazine n. 1, The Debut Issue

a review of Slack issue 4 in Night-Life Magazine's written by friend Kevin Hosey.
Click below for larger view.. read it, he didn't like the Horrorscopes. March 28, 1994!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tukka Roots Riddim

He likes to sleep for hundreds of years, eats junk food (buildings, other monsters, etc.) and he is usually minding his own business 'til humans piss him off....

Slack issue #7- SLACK Goes to the Movies Issue
March 1994 (published 02.28.94)

We got caught in the rain during the free Bidwell concert tonight, but it didn't matter, it was hot as hell today. The rain didn't cool anything down, it is still extra steamy on a Tuesday night... it would be the perfect night to sit in an air-conditioned movie house. But I cannot, I am in the office listening to my CDs purchased at the Central Library for only one dollar each and working. For the score keepers- they are Underworld's Pearl Girl single CD (w/ bonus trax), Primal Scream's Kowalski single CD (w/ bonus trax), Smith and Mighty's Bass is Material and Cowboys to Girls- The Hits of The Intruders (Philly R & B).

I give you issue number 7, the Slack Goes To The Movies Issue, which is not a superb issue by any means. I know I have been behind in my Slack postings (sorry it's been a month, people), but it's Summer for cripes sake.

This issue is significant in that it contains the very 1st Bitter Boy article. Following an angry letter in issue number 6 from BB, he said he could write and he did! I received a floppy disk in the mail for the next 13 issues and he didn't miss a single deadline. Ranting about his observations of the world and his bad attitude in regards to these things, I followed the the next articles by BB with a disclaimer that the opinions expressed "were entirely his own and not of he editors of Slack." Now a lot of scandalous, malicious and down right nasty- not to mention copyright infringing-- things have been written in the 20 issues of Slack but no-one deserved a disclaimer like Bitter Boy.

Highlights & Lowlights of Slack 7:

HIGH: a praising letter from James Gillian, Creative Director at Paragon (in fact I think he still is there). He had Dre and I appear on an episode of Off Beat Cinema following this issue, which was fun.

LOW: really bad printing with a few pages having no black, washed in grays. I remember being mad about how crappy the cover looked.

Dre interview Rochester techno artist Mark Gage about his Vapour Space. He was touring with Aphex Twin, Moby and Orbital.

LOW: Page 2. I scanned actual popcorn for the background and it makes the text hard to read... but I did scan actual popcorn on the flatbed scanner, which is cool in itself.

HIGH: Godzilla: King of the Slackers.

LOW: Laid by James was on my DJ list and a CD review. I remember how I learned to loath the title track when I DJ'ed at the Concrete and used to lie to girls who requested it, telling them I didn't have it or I accidentally left it at home (remember those days, Doug)....

Download PDF here: Slack Magazine n. 7, Slack Goes to The Movies Issue (4.7 mg)

Don't forget these issues already up:
Slack Magazine n. 18, The Two-Year Anniversary! issue
Slack Magazine n. 11, The True Crime Issue
Slack Magazine n. 9, The Dead Rock Stars Issue
Slack Magazine n. 8, The Beer Issue
Slack Magazine n. 6, The Buffalo Issue
Slack Magazine n.5, The Slack TV Issue
Slack Magazine n. 4, SEX in the '90s Issue
Slack Magazine n. 3, The Politico Issue
Slack Magazine n. 2, The Travel Issue
Slack Magazine n. 1, The Debut Issue

BONUS BEATS: a collection of Godzilla sound effects and roars online >>Listen now!