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Browse Used Records & Tapes Review Zine #4

The music review zine Used Records and Tapes is now available from RoosterCow Press. For those who are unfamiliar, this publication takes an oftentimes funny, sometimes poignant, and mostly nostalgic look at records of decades past. The zine was started by two artists/writers Mike Dixon and Chris Auman back in 2020 with an issue published every year since. Each album cover is illustrated by Dixon or Auman but sometimes by album reviewer.

Rediscover Forgotten Music

The new issue of Used Records & Tapes review zine features contributions from writer March Basch (co-screenwriter of I’ll See You in My Dreams, The Hero, and Hearts Beat Loud) who praises the perennial Halloween favorite, Spooky Halloween, as the greatest Halloween record ever made. Prolific zine publisher and Quimby’s Bookstore manager, Liz Mason writes about her love of comedian Emo Philips. Author Katie Haegele writes about 3 Teens Kill 4’s 1982 album No Motive—a record she expected to sound dated, but retains its dark, smart, and completely danceable vibe. 

Justin Kern revisits his youth with a review of the frenzied techno punk of German digital pioneer Shizuo and his album Shizuo vs. Shizor, which to Justin felt like the future of music as the 20th century came to a close.

For C.E. Hanifin, a used—or well-used—record by the Bad Examples triggers memories of her time as a rebellious teenager who once snuck away from home and navigated public transportation to see the band play at a bar she should not have been allowed into.

Steve Stelling makes a strong case that Ray Davies has done just that in his review of the Kink’s nostalgia-tinged album School Boys in Disgrace, for which Davies mined the early rock music memories of his youth. 

Chris Auman tackles a trio of Grunge cassettes (Mudhoney Superfuzz Bigmuff, Nirvana Bleach, and Soundgarden Screaming Life/Fopp EP) that helped change the face of music for the next decade.

Deron Grams tests his memory against cold hard facts as he constructs a résumé for actor/singer Michael Des Barres—a man Mike Dixon  had a digital run-in with, as he details in “Michael Des Barres Comics & Stories.” Speaking of comics, Ben Snakepit provides a song-by-song examination of the Misfit’s second full-length A.D./Wolfs Blood.

Buy Used Records & Tapes Review Zine from the RoosterCow Store

This great zine is available from the RooterCow Store and select retail locations.


5.5 x 8.5 in. 40 pages, full-color matte laminated cover, b&w throughout, stapled, 80 lb paper, 110 lb cover

Reviews of Used Records & Tapes Zine no. 3

The contents are a nostalgic romp for the writers and the reader. More trivia dealing, wistful rumination, and amused musings than hard-edged musical criticism and historicity à la Lester Bangs and Greil Marcus (though their influence is felt). Used Records and Tapes isn’t a record-collecting bully zine, talking about bands you probably never heard of because, scoff, they’re pretty obscure.

While there are curiosities (Benny Bongos’ exploration of an LP narrating daredevil Evel Knievel’s career, say) more than likely you know the selections here, from top 40s radio back in the day. Most acted as soundtracks to the writers’ youths. Liz Mason shares her obsession with Corey “Sunglasses at Night” Hart, and delivers an appreciation of the Canadian pop star’s second album Boy in the Box, dripping with teen infatuation and sincerity. Mark Basch discusses the perfection of the Repo Man soundtrack, and the memories and emotions it stirs up, particularly through the outstanding surfpunk-Morricone track “Reel Ten.”

Through it all, Auman presents sometimes scathing, sometimes respectful, but usually entertaining reviews of albums. The best ones involve backstories from his youth. Tracking down a band he heard on a mix tape one Friday night whilst drinking wine coolers and cruising back roads with a couple of girls, for instance. Auman spent years singing the chorus to anyone who’d listen, asking if they recognized it before the internet arrived and solved the mystery. It’s an interesting account of a way of life—not knowing something and hoping to run into someone in real life who does—that, like zines, is fading.—Dan Kelly, Third Coast Review

Used Records And Tapes no. 3 is exactly what a zine should be—fun, informative, and enjoyable to read. It’s certainly that, and since there aren’t as many music zines in print these days, Used Records and Tapes fills that void quite nicely.  — The Recoup

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