V/A – Chemical X DVD Zine
No matter the size or format, I can appreciate a zine that exudes the passion and enthusiasm of its creators. It’s what makes zines great, the sharing of interests, ideas, and cultures that might otherwise slip under the radar. This is what makes the Chemical X DVD Zine so enjoyable. The creators (Geykido Comet’s Heela Naqshband and Shahab Zargari) have produced a zine that is part punk rock, part perzine, and have applied those aspects and a DIY aesthetic to a new zine medium.
This DVD reflects many months of compiling material that ranges from nicely produced music videos to punk rock community center shows shot on a hand-held camcorder. Intermixed are brief commercials from a few sponsors (including Imprint, Razorcake, Peta2, and, yes, Verbicide), some short sketches, and a GC Records West Coast video tour diary circa approximately 2000. None of the segments are too long (most are only a couple minutes), so it moves right along, yet the zine contains hours worth of material. Plenty of names on this DVD, too: some of the best videos feature bands such as Randy, Saboteur, Intro5pect, and a great live video collage of Peelander-Z, i.e., the best live show you will ever see.
Bands such as Affirmative Action Jackson, Japanther, and The Riverboat Gamblers will likely draw some attention, but it’s the new bands I was introduced to (including Cub and a Breeders-ish band called “Buck,” ostensibly fronted by the long-lost Deal sister) that make this really worthwhile. The creators of the zine even snuck in a few clips of their kids into the mix in some home-produced music videos.
Between the personal touches and the wide variety of music and content, GC have succeeded in bringing the zine to a new format, and the viewer reaps the reward.
(Geykido Comet Records, PO Box 93324, Las Vegas, NV 89193)