September 12, 2012

Decoder Magazine Preview/Update #2

As we prepare to finally and truly, once and for all submit materials to our printer, it's hard not to reflect on a few particular ways that we could have expedited the process. Giving up on our day jobs might have helped, but collecting all the work we wanted eventually had us stretching out deadlines for the sake of things we just had to have. We've since discovered that the universe chugs along and that we would rather be able to offer our friends consistency, than something made to be "perfect". Even more so because how perfection is defined becomes its own problem when our expectations for the final product have to change every few days. So, we allowed for some lee-way in order to make issue one the same raving eccentric that we tend to be ourselves. Nevertheless, we wanted to shed some light on where we're going with the Decoder Magazine website and what concrete expectations you can have for future print issues.

Over the course of the next several months, we're working with the staff at Foxy Digitalis to begin describing the full extent of a new editorial collaboration. For those of you that don't know Foxy Digitalis, it's been around in one form or another for more than a decade. Originally a xeroxed zine that proprietor Brad Rose made himself in the late 90s, its web presence was built in the early 2000s and has been a source for new music and meaningful criticism for... oh, right - a decade. Or (I disclaim): damn close. I don't want to give away too much information right now, but we'll have some great updates on that soon.

As that unfolds, we'll start sharing our blueprint for future issues of the magazine and web content. Small teaser: podcasts. Get ready for some of that. In the meantime, here are a few visuals to tide everyone over while we get the magazine off to the printers. Hah! "Off to the printers". Hopefully we'll be saying that more often. No "after the jump" nonsense, because we don't want to risk anyone missing out on the cat picture down there at the bottom of this post. Reasonable, right?

Cherry Lips, by Claire Pestaille
Although Pestaille could stand to be better documented online, her work is arresting and came down to us through a Booooooom feature, here. That feature is still the number one result when you google her name, though she has a minimal website. Her works are dramatic commentaries on the perception of women in the media and arts. Cherry Lips, taken from her Bella Donna series (reproduced in its entirety in the print magazine), illustrates a literal imagining of the mediation that takes place when the reproduction of a woman's image is absorbed.

Special Friend #1, by Liz and Dwight Pavlovic
Special Friend is a favorite character of my wife Liz's. He doesn't have a mouth or even any visible ways to interact with any sort of complex objects in the universe around him, so I like to attach ridiculous captions that suggest more agency than the character himself can have. It is our first structured interaction with "alternative literature", so naturally it's been a blast. Though we ultimately decided not to include these in the magazine, I thought we'd share one of our favorites.

Untitled, taken by Adam Myatt
That's right. Decoder will include a selection of cat photos from our friend Adam Myatt, one half of James & Evander. Living in Oakland, CA there's no end to the opportunities he finds to juxtapose these feline stalwarts against the squalor of some of the city's less beloved neighborhoods. Many come from areas near his home in West Oakland, notoriously one of the city's most dangerous areas. Myatt himself is as gentle and sympathetic a character as any cat's cute-biased appearance might erroneously suggest about them, so it's no surprise to see him laboring to capture the most compelling portrayals of his cats. I call them "his cats" mostly as a joke... probably at his expense. Myatt is not obsessed with cats, he just happens to be very good at photographing them sympathetically. His photos show at least one fully empowered demographic in the rough neighborhood they share. Seriously, if you're out to support a band that really deserves it, not just because their music is good, but because they've made the revolutionary decision to be good people in all respects, James & Evander should be the one you choose.

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