SLUG (SaltLakeUnderGround) magazine isn’t exactly a zine since its distribution is well over 30,000 monthly, but I think it’s definitely worth a review here on the blog. SLUG originally started out as a zine in 1989. That makes it one of Utah’s oldest alternative publications. Columns such as Contributor Limelight, Dear Dickheads, The Inversion Trawler, Bellyography, Tattoo Talk and Gallery Stroll (just to name a few) grace the pages of the magazine each month along with full coverage on the underground, alternative Utah scene.
The newsprint magazine is filled with reports on local shows, local productions, various local artists, interviews with local bands, music reviews, DVD reviews, book reviews, video game reviews and various product reviews. Alternative sports such as snowboarding and skateboarding are covered in each issue. For example, in this month’s issue, there is an article exposing the glam and glitz on what it’s really like to be a member of a snow park crew at a ski resort written by the park’s only girl crewmember.
Local music, art and alternative sports scene aside, my favorite thing to read in SLUG magazine are the articles written by various SLUG writers. Since SLUG isn’t a mainstream publication, their writers are free to honestly speak their minds in the pieces they write. In the March issue, Patricia Bateman wrote a passionate article questioning two local, public radio stations about changing from their alternative formatting to a mainstream-type of formatting, on the sly, while trying to hang on to the respect and loyalty of their listeners. In the same issue, there is also a well written and informative article ..cards" which discusses how one music company is changing the way music is being sold and distributed.
Sometimes it’s a little distracting sifting through all the ads in each issue of SLUG in order to get to the articles and columns, but as any zinester knows and understands, printing and distributing a zine is far from cheap. These ads make the magazine free to its readers. Amen to that! I must give major props to the magazine for keeping the ads mainly to local businesses, another way in which SLUG magazine supports its local scene.
Even though I don’t live in Salt Lake City, I still love reading SLUG magazine every month. Its obvious when you read the magazine that you can see the passion the editors and writers all have for their local, alternative and sometimes very underground scene and that’s what it’s really all about.