Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm Not Drunk, I'm Just Drinkin'

Beer has been good to me throughout the ages, from my trials as a young man sneaking beers from my Dad's basement to making friends over frosty mugs in my college days at The Pub located at Buff State (pre-prohibition days)....

Man, this issue was the peak and the demise- all in one! The last issue of Slack #20 was a bulky 20 pages, four more than then many of the previous 16-page issues. Capitalizing on the most popular of the Slack themes: Beer, this issue was a smash success! Unfortunately, it was also the final issue. It was the 1st issue actually offset printed-- all the previous issues were copy-shop produced. Actually printing it was a step to legitimizing the pub, but it turned out to be the final step. The cult closed its door and we stopped publishing the Summer of 1996-- Slack in Buffalo was dead. All told, Slack lived for 20 issues, 3 years (from August of 1993 to March of '96), two anniversaries, countless drunken adventures, parties, free CDs and records and a certain cache that made it a fondly remembered piece of Buffalo's history, the clubs, the concerts, the bars, the beers, the local music, the shops, the beers and loves and hates of the people of B-LO.

Slack no. 20, The Beer Issue, part II
Feb/March, 1996 (published 2-6-96)

Now you may have thought that the last issue, the Sci-Fi issue was a good one, and you may have really liked the first Beer Issue (April 1994) but this return to the beer theme really hit the nail on the head. This issue was the heart and soul of Slack. Now, I don't mean that because we drank a lot of beer while making this (I mean a REAL lot of beer) it is just that this issue is so tightly wrapped around the theme, it is just so sharp, it rocked!

Highlights include the:

> Second Annual SLACK Beer Taste Test-
Koch's Golden Anniversary vs. Genny Red vs. Schlitz vs. Hamm's- what a battle royale over a 2-page spread. The background, which came out a little too dark for my liking, was a photo of a beer can in the gutter on Chippewa Street.

> The 6th Annual Buffalo Beer Fest at the Convention Center-- a review of a night that ended up with a lot of Slack stickers being stuck on a lot of bar walls, people's backs and some cars. Juvenile delinquents, we are all (and quite drunk). The Beer Fests used to be quite drunken out of control events, they were like the '70s- a free-for-all of free beer, German Drinking Bands surrounded by mobs of happy, yet slightly unruly beer fans and free beer swag.

> New Beers That Didn't Make It-- including Stale Ale, Coffee Beer, Prozac Beer and the combination of two '80s beer trends: Dry Ice Beer.

> Great ads from Das Boot, Network, New World Record and Concrete (all long gone).

> The Cool Like Dat Music section had a great review of the P22 Temple of Music compilation of local Buffalo bands. This was put out by local font maven Rich Kegler's P22/Atom Smash and included (at the time, recently) ex-Goo George Tutuska's Hula. The art for this section included flatbed scanned sacrificed cassette tape. Still available online.

> A short but sweet review of the 'new' Iggy Pop record written by Doug McKee which was a one-liner: "Iggy's back to rockin, and that's good."

People are always asking me about Slack and starting it up again online. I thought getting all 20 issues up now, making them available to the world in PDF format, was a step in the right direction. Looking back, this was a great time for me learning to run my own business. However shoddy the Slack was run, we put together a great publication. We gathered writers, editors, photographers, Djs and advertisers and put this together, got it printed, distributed and did it again and again and again. I think the only reason I ever decided to go into business myself (besides working for 3 dot-coms that went belly up in 1999) was the Slack experience. I knew I could do it.

Anyway here it is linked below. Click and print. And below that are the archives of all 20 issues! All done. The past introduced to the future- for the kids. Ha.

Downlaod the final PDF here:
Slack Magazine n. 20, the Beer issue, part II (6.1 mg)

Don't forget these issues already up (one more to go, baby!):
Slack Magazine n. 19, The Sci-Fi Issue
Slack Magazine n. 18, The Two-Year Anniversary! issue
Slack Magazine n. 17, The Local Radio Issue
Slack issue n. 16- The Summer Fun Issue (#2)
Slack Magazine n. 15, The Local Music Issue
Slack Magazine n. 14, The Cartoon Issue
Slack Magazine n. 13, The Food & Beverage Issue
Slack Magazine n. 12, The One-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

I am not sure what will be next- should I put up the Slack predecessor,
The Sign O' The Times or try and relaunch Buffalo's first online magazine
the BuffaloPOST? We'll see I guess...


Pharaoh said...

Speaking of is Friday.

Jason Gusmann said...

speaking of beer, if the review of "temple of music" didn't favorably mention my band, you owe me one. years and years after the fact.

mark said...

What?!? What was your band at the time..?

Jason Gusmann said...

durango 95. we did a weird song called "extraordinary relief from res judicata". i think we went to the pavement school of song-naming. in retrospect, it just wasn't obscure enough.

mark said...

I remember the band name- Durango 95, I will have to dig out the CD and give it a new listen and a new review. Rock on!