Yard Sale!

This quarter-sized perzine reads like sketches of journal entries complete with dates. Author Harley R. Pageot describes a job coordinating Oshawa buskers, arts festivals, crushes, fundraisers, hopes and doubts. Most passionately, perhaps, are his description of the work and complications that go into organizing the Broken Arts Fest. It resonated with me because putting on events involving live music, in my experience at least, can cause an instant migraine. He perfectly captures just how horrible it is when bands show up at the wrong times, your performance space has no electricity (that happens), or your volunteers decide not to show. The frustration comes through a little bit but ultimately I suspect he loves it.

At one point he muses about the challenges of trying to build community in a place that has “next-to-no DIY spirit.” How does one get through to their peers in a city that may be looking for something different but is slow to catch on? How does one stay motivated when they feel alienated in their own city? Should you throw your hands up and move to a town with more weirdoes? Or is it better to be the king freak in a place where, when you subscribe to being different, you are really really different? It reminds me of a friend of mine who moved from Chicago to a small town in New Mexico where he had to bike five miles to the post office. He decided to do so wearing a cheetah costume on a tall bike. A stunt like that would not get a second look in a place like Portland, but in Bernalillo it blew some minds.

Back to Yard Sale!: some of the more candid and personal parts were a bit too much for me. His OKCupid experiences and friends’ breakups are all on full display here (though perhaps he’s changed the names). Yet at the same time he includes other details that are more ordinary, such as the afternoon he watched wrestling with his Dad. Still, you have to admire the ability to put out a zine every three months, organize a festival, and put out CDs without burning out. (Chris Landry)

Perzine, issue 15, Harley R. Pageot, 785 Wolfberry Court, Oshawa, Ontario, L1K 2J2, waltzingwiththeopensea@hotmail.com, $2

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