Book Reviews

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2010 Zine
Homeless Youth Resource Center
Street: 12.29.10
This zine, consisting of the poems, stories, thoughts and words written by the youth who attend the Homeless Youth Resource Center, is far from random.  I can’t think of a zine that is more reflective and moving than this.  There are a number of homeless youth whom we all see walking the streets of downtown SLC, and it is easy to assume that they are bums trying to work the system or that they are secretly the children of doctors and lawyers living along the east bench.  These are all stereotypes that are debunked by the powerful stories that are shared within.  Everyone has a story to share, and these are stories that reflect on the past, present, and future, choices made, and mistakes that could have been avoided, exposing the true nature of youth with no place else to go.  They are smart kids who need a chance.  They have something to say if you will listen.  The Homeless Youth Resource Center is located at 655 S. State Street in SLC with drop-in hours for youth from 9:30  a.m. – 5:00 p.m..   If you need to be heard and no one will listen, drop by.  If you want to know what is really happening on your streets, check out this zine.  –Ben Trentelman

American Hardcore (Second Edition): A Tribal History
Steven Blush
Feral House
Street: 10.19.10
There’s no shortage of praise for the original edition of Steven Blush’s American Hardcore (Blush has been interviewed in the pages of SLUG twice, and the book was adapted into a Sundance-accepted film in 2006), and this second edition is even better. Recalling the early days of hardcore (1980-1986), American Hardcore is much like Legs McNeil’s Please Kill Me, with the story of the music told through a series of interviews with key figures in the scene. Much like the music itself, the interviews in American Hardcore are more base, more aggressive—there’s a reason this is called A Tribal History—and ultimately more interesting than the bohemian heroin addicts that populated McNeil’s account of early punk rock. The longest chapters are expectedly (and deservedly) dedicated to Black Flag and Minor Threat, but every single hardcore scene in America is documented within this book, including a very brief mention of Salt Lake City and Massacre Guys. The most interesting addendum to this second edition is a brief chapter about the integration of spirituality into the east coast hardcore scene in the mid-‘80s—someone seriously needs to write an entire book about that shit. If you’re a fan of the angry, destructive and uniquely American form of early hardcore punk, you need to own this book. –Ricky Vigil

The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism
Mark Morford
Rapture Machine Inc.
Street: 03.2010

This is an offensive collection of opinion columns collected from Mark Morford’s work at San Francisco Chronicle and Offensive, enlightening, deviant, dated and well worth an hour here and an hour there. Maybe take it on a road trip or store it in the bathroom, but do not leave it in Gayle Ruzicka’s bathroom after a road trip. It’d kill her stone-cold, brain aneurysm dead. Self-proclaimed “spiritual ass tickler,” Morford’s “pop-culture confections” fall far left of liberal. Remember when George W. Bush oozed evil? Pure, clueless evil? Morford’s collection preserves that sentiment in amber. He also takes particular pleasure in revealing the pagan roots of Christian holidays. He debunks abstinence-only sex education. He explores the Daytlov Pass Accident. He’s the Tantric engineer steering your search after you click “I’m Feeling Lucky.” You never know what the next column will bring, and you wouldn’t want it any other way. Throw in a few hilarious Mullet Haiku and Hate Mail reprints, and you have entertaining collection bound to offend as often as it inspires. –Joh Carlisle

Weedopedia: A Totally Dank A-Z Reefer Reference
Will B. High
Adams Media
Street: 11.16.10
Have you ever read an encyclopedia? What about one all about weed? In this totally dank reference book you can learn what bloodshot eyes are, who Randy Moss is and a brief description of his cannibanoid beliefs. You can also learn new ways of getting creative with your oral hobby by learning about new concepts for creating bongs and other devices. For instance, have you ever thought about making a bong out of a coconut? Well I don’t live in Hawaii, so I personally hadn’t, but I think it’s awesome. This is pretty much a stoner’s handbook. Anything that could be referenced by an avid user was most likely thought of and put in this book. It’s an A to Z guide to slang terms, funny ideas and various movie titles that were either written by stoners or for them. One of the best entries in this book was for the word “legalization.” The author says “Legalization, the holy grail of the pot-smoking community, is a concept where buying and smoking a joint would be just as benevolent as purchasing an ice cream cone or a stick of gum.” I agree with you, Mr. High, and I would like to spend some quality time with you one day. Put this book next to your bong (water pipe) for some laughs while stoney or not. –Hessian!