As most anyone reading this blog probably already knows, Marissa and I run Hub City: Out of the Basement. Its a zine about New Brunswick, NJ music and art and stuff. Joe Evans of Razorcake recently gave us this review.

Part A: Short zines about what’s going on in New Brunswick, one band interview (Hunchback and Snake Vision) and one random piece (an essay about random stuff and some internet conversation that I don’t understand) each. Part B: The first thing I read in both of these was a criticism of another review I wrote of this zine, and how “Razorcake is so small minded, because they don’t GET what they’re trying to do.” My first issue with that: Your beef is with me, not an entire magazine run by some people who work damn hard. Second issue: Your focus is on your local scene and the artists within, quite possibly in the subtle hope to not only encourage the growth in said scene, but also that other people from OUTSIDE said scene will read it and say, “Hey, they’ve got some cool stuff going on,” or “Hey, this kinda sounds like how my town could be.” Yeah, I get it. Not writing an ass kiss of a review doesn’t mean I missed the point. I happen to think that if all I (or other whomever else) just said “Hooray, it’s great!” about everything, that there wouldn’t really be much of a point in putting effort into anything, and we’d all end up with a lot of shitty bands, zines, records, you name it, and that it’s possible to say something to the effect of, “Hey, I like this, but here’s a suggestion,” and people to go back and forth like that and such. But what do I know; I’m small minded. –Joe Evans III

Ouch! I won't fully go into my feelings on this but I do believe it is pretty hypocritical to basically say I can't take criticism and then go on to completely neglect reviewing the zines in favor of getting all worked up over my 1 or 2 sentences criticizing his review. Apparently he also does not take criticism too well. Part of me really wants to open up a hearty dialog over this but another part just wants to let it go.



The Music Zombie said...

If you're not gonna open up the floor officially, here's how I feel - if he's already reading your blog (for the second time AFTER reviewing it) closely enough to catch your criticism of his review, and it affects him enough to write a full response, you've won.

Eyes on you Jarett. I forgot to get the new issue when you guys were at DBA! Bummed. I'll be out for more soon (the 16th @ The Ivy Mansion if not sooner...)

Billy Gray said...

I enjoyed the one issue of Hub City that I got, specifically the one he's claiming not to understand ... I rather enjoyed it, especially the chat conversation about an art opening, I thought it was a lot of fun to read. What's not to understand?

Not sure this is a thing to "win" or not. But it helps if everyone sticks to real criticism of the work under discussion.

And generally, as a rule, you shouldn't respond to reviews of your own work. Ever. As a musician, as an author, etc. It will never be received well, no matter how well intended.

Anonymous said...

your zine sucks, i would just let it go

Anonymous said...

just started readin your blog.. good stuff, you would love materialbitch.com.

Cheers, m