Named after a Carter Family song from the 1930s (and the title of Uncle Tupelo's debut), the new "alternative country quarterly" No Depression is one of the finest zines we've seen in a long time, an informative look at the "Americana" or "twangcore" movement (or whatever it's being called this week). Last summer, editors Peter Blackstock (a senior editor at The Rocket) and Grant Alden (of L.A.'s Huh) decided to complement the popular "No Depression" music message board on America Online with a magazine. "We were working almost backwards," Blackstock says. "Most things are moving the other way technologically these days, but there's a sense of historical documentation when you have something in print, and that exemplified the seriousness with which we hold this music." The result is a well-written 34-page magazine with a cover story on the phenomenal Son Volt, concert reviews (Merle Haggard, Steve Earle, Shane MacGowan??!!), "regional features" (including a profile of San Francisco's own Steve Owen from Bottomless Joe), and record reviews aplenty, including reissues by important old-timers like Buck Owens. The second issue will hit your local independent record store in late December. For a one-year (four issues) subscription, send $12 to PO Box 31332, Seattle, WA 98103, or e-mail NoDepress@aol.com.
By Johnny Ray Huston, Sia Michel