Name of a promotional music "zine" from the early 90s
October 31, 2018 4:16 PM   Subscribe

I was music director of my college radio station from 1993-95. Along with the promo CDs from the Warner Music Group (Warner, Sire, Elektra, Atlantic, Mercury, etc) they would sometimes include what was obviously supposed to represent a "zine" (photocopied, cut-and-paste aesthetic, stapled instead of bound, consecutive numbering) with reviews and previews of their new releases. Does anyone remember what it was called, and are there scans of them anywhere on the net?
posted by themanwho to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
College Media Journal (which became CMJ New Music), maybe?
posted by the webmistress at 9:17 PM on October 31, 2018

I haven't seen it, but I recall reading about it in a history of Zine scene book I'd read. It was infamous as the only Zine whose makers got paid, and apparently it was kinda funny.
posted by ovvl at 9:23 PM on October 31, 2018

CMJ is a possibility in that era but I _think_ their publications were all glossy paper magazines being created with desktop publishing software at that point. They did definitely maintain some of the pretensions of being zine-esque. Here's a page from 1990 that I found if that helps jog your memory. (If Facebook eats the link, it can be found in the Facebook page for the band "Cracks in the Sidewalk".)

CMJ New Music Monthly was a slim format publication at that time and came with a CD compilation.

¬°Escandalo! from Matador is closer to the aesthetic you're describing but IIRC it was published later than the time period you're talking about. Carrie McLaren was working for Matador in 1993 so maybe they had a proto version?
posted by Candleman at 11:44 PM on October 31, 2018

Best answer: Ah funny, I interned in the radio promotions dept at WB Records in '93 and remember stuffing mailers with a promo newsletter/zine called Dirt. I can't find scans online, but sure would love to find a cache.
posted by prinado at 12:23 AM on November 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: CMJ New Music Monthly is available via Google Books so you can review there -- the compilations were never label-specific and it's very glossy and polished (for a EXTREEME 90S MAGAZINE) so it doesn't sound like what you're looking for unless you're remembering incorrectly.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:50 AM on November 1, 2018

Best answer: Yup, it was probably Dirt. From Notes from the Underground, by Stephen Duncombe: "Filled with comix, record reviews, and hand drawings, [Dirt] looked and read like any other zine. Dirt is thus an unexceptional zine -- except for the fact that it's bankrolled entirely by the corporate behemoth Time-Warner Inc."
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:16 AM on November 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I remember getting Dirt with my Sassy magazine in the mid-90s! I bet that is it.
posted by apricot at 1:39 PM on November 1, 2018

Response by poster: Dirt sounds like the correct answer.

At the time I became music director, CMJ New Music Report was indeed a stapled sheaf of papers, but they moved to a bound magazine at some point, as their influence in the alternative/college music scene grew. I wish their Google Books archive went back just a couple years further. Fortunately they've got Billboard from that era, which is almost as good.

Thanks everyone.
posted by themanwho at 4:00 PM on November 2, 2018

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