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RYAN’S FORECAST

by Ryan Snyder

Amplifier releases its sixth issue

Zine craft has come a long way since the time of a teenage Shane MacGowan gluing photos ripped out of Melody Maker onto pages of hand-scrawled decretum. For starters, the practice’s steep decline in the early 2000s with the advent of blogging paved the way, as is the case for anything with a heavy nostalgia quotient, for a rebirth based more in pragmatism than ideology. InDesign and Illustrator have nudged out linocut and wheatpaste as the preferred vehicles of production (and expression), short-run press trumps folding parties, and PDF attachments beat hand-to-hand as a distribution method any day. The core values remain, even if the primitive production methods, for the most part, don’t. With the impending release of its sixth issue this Friday, fledgling local cultural trumpet Amplifier is entrenched as a vehicle for those values, creative and otherwise. The mostly bi-monthly pub has outlasted in its typically fugacious realm by bucking zine convention and actually charging — $5 for print and $2 for digital — presumably based on the radical idea that people who create stuff should get paid for creating said stuff, and slick print jobs aren’t made for free. What is free, however, is the release party for its sixth issue at New York Pizza with performances by featured artists. Shout-folk outfit Bare the Traveler will make it their album release party after being profiled in a previous issue; Grant Livesay will draw from a catalog that includes glacial piano minimalism, tone-clustered noise and straight-up R&B; Totally Slow will deliver pop-laced punk daggers; Wolf’s Mouth unleash grimy, near-Satanic boom-bap; and hip-hop producer Dante CK spins original acid-gaze beat creations. And you can buy a new copy of the local zine that supports them all. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

The Third Annual Triad Music Festival

Among the more dug-in jazz records to come out in 2013 was the second album by saxophonist Travis Miller’s 18-piece tribute to ethereal pop diva Bjork entitled I Go Humble, a reference to one of the Icelandic singer’s more obscure B-side. Its nature itself could refer to the fact that it is jazz music of the most esoteric nature, made for an incredibly niche audience, and with a degree of difficulty that would preclude the time and effort of most. Miller did it, and the voice he applied to this mammoth folly belongs to Becca Stevens, a Winston-Salem-born, N.C., School of the Arts-educated vocal and guitar virtuoso with the kind of bell-clear voice that could pull off Bjork in an interesting way without inviting undesirable comparison. She’s also the headliner at the Third Annual Triad Music Festival, a well-intentioned, four-day-long showcase for locally-originated talent hosted by SoundLizzard Productions that will kick off this Thursday at the Community Arts Theatre. Stevens will bring her eponymous modern jazz and folk four-piece to the Hanesbrands Theatre on Saturday as the centerpiece for the festival that’s growing ever so slowly, but growing nonetheless. Much of this year’s event is delineated by genre, with the Garage hosting separate country and rock events on Friday and Saturday respectively. Admission to the Garage shows are $5 in advance, while tickets to Stevens’ performance are $12 to $25. The full schedule can be found at soundlizzard.com.

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