Welcome to Issue #3 of The Radvocate! As per usual, let me give you newcomers a rundown of the zine. The Radvocate is an unsponsored and (mostly) unbiased forum for writers, artists, and other creative folks to contribute stories, poems, artwork, and other printed goodies. We hope to support new and emerging talent in a time when getting “legitimately” published is becoming more and more difficult. That way, our contributors and readers can connect and network with each other, and above all share their otherwise unrecognized work with our reader’s eyemeats. Delicious, no? If you were able to make it to our release party for issue #2 in August, you were able to see this sort of thing in action. Many of our contributors and readers got to meet each other in a casual setting, hear their stories firsthand, and even network with the artistic community at large. A big thanks goes to San Diego Writer’s Ink and Rob Williams for making this awesome event a reality! Issue #3 marks an evolutionary milestone for the zine, in terms of its distribution and content. For financial reasons, it is no longer distributed as a freebie to random storefronts. The idea behind that was to get a following for the zine by getting it in as many hands as possible. We believe we have enough of a foothold, albeit a small one, to start doing that. Part of the reason for this change leads us to the second milestone: the content. The stories and contributions of our past two issues have been amazing, and they are (basically!) the only reason we have gone this far. But we feel that the content of this issue is a step closer towards our intended ethos. Why? For one thing, many of these contributions came as a result of people finding out about the zine! In the past, it was sometimes necessary to solicit help when we couldn’t fill up an issue. But many of the contributors in this issue came to us with their quality work because they believe in us and what we are doing. To them, we can only say thanks and let you know that we have the greatest respect for you. We hope that everyone reading this will feel the same way after seeing what they can do! Enjoy Issue #3! - Ed.
These neighbors of mine did not seem to be there for the music but rather for the drugs, partying, or whatever else comes with most live acts of this sort. I was immediately uncomfortable around them, but decided to just wait patiently for the show to start. The lights went down and the band came on stage, I was excited. The opening song was “Down with Disease;” I knew I was in for a good show. I was grooving to my favorite band in the world with my eyes closed when I felt a tap on my shoulder… “Hey buddy, you got any Molly?” “No” I responded and went back to the music. A few minutes later another tap on the shoulder, another question, with same response of “no.” This went on a few more times before I had to turn to my neighbor, point at the stage and say “Hey man, check it out! Phish is on stage!” I won’t even go into detail about the cell phone talkers all around me; all of it was just incredibly distracting. Now I might sound like a Phish snob or something, but I love this band and unfortunately, I can only see them play live once or twice a year due to my busy work schedule.
Throughout the years, I have travelled thousands of miles to see them play in various states (Altered states? Hehehe – Ed.). Every time it’s a new experience, but what I’ve noticed recently is more and more fans seem to be there for something other than the music. It is very disappointing to me because the fans back when I first started seeing the Phish, with their kindness and good vibes, was part of what made the whole experience so amazing. Maybe I am getting old, or maybe the fans are getting younger? I don’t know what it is, but it’s not the same as it once was. The etiquette from the fans while the band is playing is just completely off from what it used to be. I wish I could go back to how it once was, or change how it is now, but that is just not reality. I just need to be prepared to deal with distractions that weren’t once there when I go to see my favorite band now. So I will end with this: If you are going to a concert with the intention of hearing music, just shut the fuck up for two hours and actually listen to it!
But, no. Not gonna do it. After a fractured elbow, broken forearm and a broken finger (all on the same arm) I was just too careful now. Unless I was completely confident, I wasn’t going to do it. “Nope, not today. Let’s head to the park” I told Etienne. I didn’t feel bad about missing out on this, but grateful that I avoided a chance of ruining my entire vacation with a hospital stay. We rolled down more famous steps towards the back of Bercy, where a semi-indoor park had been constructed. It had metal ramps that made an awesome clanging sound when you landed on them. It was pretty well set-up; it had a nice mini with a wave transition between them, a small/long down rail, and a myriad of other small things for people to roll on or jump off. This park felt more real to me than ones in the states, in that it was dirty, covered in graffiti, and let people go in and out as they please. In comparison, parks in the US feel more like sterile prisons. One in particular has huge spiked fences, security cameras, a thumbprint-access only gate with a locking rotating door, and constant police car traffic monitoring helmet/pad usage from across the street. Oh, and the kids who skate there are small-minded shitheads who want to fight you. Sounds like a whole lot of fun, right? But the Bercy skatepark was an urban hangout spot for the youth, who (contrary to the following story) were peaceful and cool with each other. Animosity at skate parks, it seems, is an import that hadn’t made it over here. Thank God. The story I mentioned is still a little confusing to me still, but I’ll try my best to explain it. Etienne was shredding the mini like an OG, and I was doing the best I could to land something. When we were at the top of the deck, waiting for some bikers, we saw a commotion break out below. A large group of 10-15 year old kids were all huddled around a kid who looked about 11. It was obvious the kid was drunk or high (maybe both), and was stumbling around laughing, talking with the other kids. At first I didn’t really think anything of it. So, yeah. The kid is drunk, it’s funny. The other kids are laughing. Good deal. I kept skating and was on the other side of the park when I saw something was definitely not right.
Bercy, circa 2000 (Pictured: Jeff Fredrick) The drunken kid was now by the entrance gate and two older guys, at least mid-thirties or forties, were standing around him menacingly. One crew-cut guy in a track jacket seemed to have a death grip on his wrist. What the fuck? Immediately, I was torn. Should I go do something? Is it really my place? I decided to just observe what was going on and find out from the outside. The kid had that look of confused trouble on his face that you’ve seen on anyone getting arrested while hammered. He would look down at the ground, then back up, speaking slowly, then back down again. The older guys were shouting questions at him and another group of older people had showed up, some on cell phones. But no one made a move to free the drunken kid. What was going on? As it turned out, what was going on was a lot more complicated than I thought. I finally caught up with Etienne, who was talking with one of the older kids who had been part of the circle earlier. “What’s going on here? C’est normal?” I asked him. “Nope, this kids in trouble” he replied. From what he found out, the little kid was laughing and drawing a crowd earlier because he had just mugged someone with a knife on a 1 euro bet. The kid had got away with two cell phones. As it turned out, that ‘someone’ was the older guy grabbing him, who waiting for friends to arrive so he could call the police. A short while later we left, just when the police showed up. They stepped out of the car casually scratching their heads, as if to wonder if they had handcuffs small enough to fit the tiny burglar.
We spent the rest of the day literally rolling around the city. To go ducking down Victorian-style ally-ways, dodging the rich and want-to-be famous denizens of Paris crowding the streets, powersliding through cobblestone streets…it was incredible. For a minute I had to remind myself where I was and what I was doing, because it all still seemed like a dream. We jammed all the way from Bercy back down to Notre Dame, and up through the dust storm park to the Eiffel tower. It may be a cliché to visit, but when you see it in person it really does live up to the hype. The huge 19th century structure is suspended and strong, but maintains a style and enduring allure, despite the oversaturation of its silhouette in legion of useless tourist knickknacks. Truly, it is a work of art on a massive scale. As with most wonders of the world, nothing really does it justice until you’ve seen it for yourself. Around this time we realized we had skated about 15 kilometers through the city. That, and our feet were beginning to feel like it. We caught the nearest subway and collapsed, sweaty and beaten, into the plastic chairs. Later that night, Etienne asked me if I wanted to go to a gathering of with his work friends. What? The opportunity to hang out with Parisian locals in a casual neighborhood setting? Of course I did! We got ready and walked a few blocks down to an area we had passed earlier on the skate journey, toward the city centre. It was long block filled with brasseries, cafés, and little shops (beginning to see a theme here?). When we arrived, a few tables had already been pushed together outside with about 15 people, some sitting and some standing. What was it like? It was like…your co-workers, probably. Mid-twenties to thirties crowd, guys, girls, couples. One by one I was introduced in French and responded in French, to the best of my ability. Thankfully, they understood and no one shunned me because of my language impairment. It was a good feeling. One girl I talked with for a while had a confusing history. She was born in Mexico City, raised in Texas, and now was working for this company in Paris. “I don’t really have any memory of Mexico” she said with an American accent, “but everywhere I go, people call me ‘the mexican’!”. She had met her boyfriend at work, and they had become the ubiquitous perfect ‘work couple’. I think everyone knows the type, if you’ve worked in an office environment before.
I talked with a few other random folks, drinking huge mugs of beer and munching on a ham and cheese baguette. I got into a long conversation with a tall blonde girl, who wanted to practice her English with me. We talked about the state of education, or something along those lines. No, wait; was it ecology? Soon, Etienne and a markedly older, balding man joined us. Ah, the charismatic office veteran. Not quite a boss, but not quite a low rung employee. He had spent a few months in Seattle and became a rabid Mariners fan. Even as we spoke, he was watching the latest game on his phone. When I told him I was from San Diego, he immediately became (jokingly, of course) contemptuous. It seems that even 6,000 miles away, people know that the Padres suck. The Mariners won, and we all had a shot. Eventually, we reached the point of the night when we looked around and realized we were the only people left in the bar. We said our goodbyes, put on our coats and got ready to leave. The tall blonde was swaying with a glazed look in her eyes as I turned to her. Before I could get a word in, she put on a goofy smile and announced “I’m drunk!” I couldn’t help but smile. So far away, and yet so much like home. The next day, I woke up and plowed through a hangover with crepes. We were scheduled to leave that night, so Etienne spent most the day making arrangements to rent the van and make sure everyone showed up on time. He suggested that I spend the day checking out the area around the Bastille. I walked out along the long park that leads up to the center square of the monument, watching old men play chess and kids chasing dogs. It still seemed surreal to me that I was in Paris, enjoying an afternoon stroll, just like any other citizen. The crowds were shifting like tides with every changing stoplight. I was too late to catch the farmer’s market (which left telltale vegetable rubbish all over the dirty ground) but there was still a sort of bazaar going on where people could get blankets, lamps, incense, and other tsotchkes. I briefly walked through and then proceeded down one of the endless rabbit warrens that snaked through the timeless baroque architecture. Now this is the life, I thought. This is what a vacation should be. Time to do nothing more than explore this amazing city and be a part of its landscape. I’m so glad I’m not part of a tour group right now.
After passing endless lines of brasseries, Indian restaurants, and cafés, I found a place to rest and have an espresso. I took the tiny porcelain cup and small glass of water with me to one of the tables outside. Really, sitting outside a café in late-morning Paris, while sipping an espresso and people-watching should be a requirement for everyone who visits here. Seeing all the different groups of friends, stroller-pushers, couples, and businessmen walking past, hearing the music of passing conversations in French, Italian, Spanish, English…it was more relaxing than any massage I’ve ever had. When I finished the espresso, I headed further down the street and found an odd little store on the corner. Remember how I said that there are actual bookstores in Paris, as in, for people who actually read? I mean, as opposed to a monolith corporation trying to sell you candy and coffee mugs and greeting cards to go with your Oprah’s book club pick.
The Lazy Dog (defunct as of 10/8/12) Well, the sheer number of bookstores leads to specialty stores, and this one was unlike anything I had ever seen. An entire store, called The Lazy Dog, devoted to books and media about street art, underground music, and yes, zines. I couldn’t believe my luck!
I must have looked like a crazy person to the mousey brunette girl who ran the register as I scrolled through every literally every inch of the store. Eventually, I found an oversized book on the history of zines (written in French) that I thought would be perfect to read and pick up words and phrases. The book cost a pretty penny, but it was worth it (Editors note: worth carrying all across Europe on your back? Maybe not). I glanced by the floor near the door as I was leaving and saw a sight to behold. Two huge and filled-to-the-brim boxes of zines! Of course, I checked the time and I needed to get back to Etienne’s soon. But I did make sure to stick some Radvocate #1’s in there. Just like that, I had international distribution! When I got back to the apartment, Etienne had been joined by tall guy and a cleanshaven guy, who introduced themselves as Charlie and Mathieu. I had actually met Mathieu before when he visited California. He had even stayed in our house. But I was oblivious to this, and it would end up being pretty embarrassing for me later. Once we were all packed, we walked out to the giant 9-seater van that Etienne had parked just outside the apartment. Don’t ask me how – driving in Paris seemed like a nightmare, and finding any parking spot, let alone one to fit a giant van anywhere near his apartment, seemed like feat that was accomplished with black magic. “Well?” Etienne said. “Are you ready to go?” “Yep” I replied. I was indeed ready for this adventure to begin. Right?
To be continued in Issue #4!
“Happy anniversary, honey, I love you! I can’t believe it’s been one year.” Charles held Anne by both sides of her face, fingertips stroking the delicate skin behind her ears. Perfume lingered in the air as he held her. “I didn’t think we’d stay together this long. Did you?” Charles gently kissed her lips. “Sit here. I’ve prepared a special place for you.” He led her to the far side of the table. “I’ve got a great dinner planned for this special night.” He took the matches off the counter and lit the candles. The flames flickering in Anne’s ebony eyes illuminated her dark hair. “You’re angry. I can see it in your face. What’s happened to your smile?” I know we don’t spend as much time together alone. Are you happy here?” He put the finishing touches on the meal, occasionally glancing back at the table, at Anne. She was so beautiful, patiently awaiting dinner. Charles ladled the stew with great care, not spilling a drop. After all it was a special night for them both. “I’ve made your favorite, Anne.” Charles set the bowl in front of her. “You can smell the barley, can’t you?” He poured the cabernet sauvignon. “I choose this variety because it should complement the meal, mood and you.” He sat in the chair across from her.
“Shall we begin?” Charles dipped his spoon into the thick broth, scooping both veggies and sweet meat into his mouth. A smile appeared on his lips, much larger than before. “I can tell you like the stew, don’t you? I can see by the look on your face, you’re pleased with the meat that I’ve used. It’s sweet, isn’t it?” He ate another mouthful. “Damn!” He bolted up and rushed to the stove. “I’ve forgotten the bread.” He slammed open the oven door and reached in. He grabbed the baking sheet bare handed, grunted and dropped it back onto the rack. “I’m ok, don’t be concerned.” He took the pot holder from the hooks behind the stove and drew forth the bread. He plucked the hot, fluffy, buttery delights off the sheet, placing them into a towel lined bowl. He smiled at her from the kitchen, walking back to the table with an extra beat in his step. “Here you go, honey. Garlic, herb and butter. Your favorite, mine too.” He placed a roll on the edge of her bowl and kept one for himself. He took a big bite before he sat down. “Yummy, that’s good. Would you like some more wine?” He filled his glass again. Charles emptied his wine and bowl of stew. He sat for a while, not knowing what to do. Anne had sat silently, not even a remark about the slightly burned bread.
“I love you, dear lady, with all of my heart.” Charles stood and sauntered over to her. He lifted her head and kissed her lips squarely. “I hope you forgive me, but I must leave again. I know I said I would spend more time, but I have to be in Denver. My flight leaves in an hour. I can’t stay and you know it.” He drew her close to him, pressing his lips against hers. “I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. I promise.” He opened the box on the counter, pulled the plastic bag out and placed her head inside. He put the bag into the box, sealed it, and then placed it into the freezer. He leaned over the candles blowing them out, thinking what a wonderful night it had been.
“Bathory” artwork by Sean Sagawa
“West Sac Story” Photo by Megan Petersen – Rolling Love Photography
In the pale light of dawn she walked steadily down the cobblestone path that looked like it was made of puzzle pieces. She felt it deep inside her stomach, a solitude that quieted her often restless mind. The journey began steadily; her feet guided her down the unfamiliar sidewalk. The smell of fresh pastries and coffee filled her senses with warmth. The vivid colors of fresh flowers lined the streets. She walked into a bakery on the corner and said “bruscat” cheerfully to a man with long hair and trusting eyes. She sat on a street-side patio as steam rose from her cappuccino, the city of Munich, Germany surrounding her. She felt apprehensive as she neared the underground.
She descended the escalator into a flurry of people. The metal doors opened; she jumped on. She thought of how so many people could live in the same vicinity so separately. This was apparent in the complexity of their expressions, their eyes, the ways in which they sat and stood. Even within this sea of people she knew she was alone; she reveled in this. Finally she thought she heard the words she had scribbled on a crumbled piece of paper; “Hauptbahnhof.”She had arrived at the central station. The rows of trains both overwhelmed and delighted her. People bustled around, there was a tension that filled the air. She approached a woman in a glass booth and asked for a ticket to Salzburg,
Photo Credit: Heidi Rayanowska
Austria. On the train she watched through the square window as the lush, green countryside passed by. The rolling hills, farmlands and glittering lakes captivated her. She didnâ€™t move her gaze from the glass until a young man sat next to her and asked where she was from. He knew English and it comforted her to speak to someone, although he was a complete stranger. The train arrived at her station. She walked into the unknown, excited to
see the city of where Mozart grew up. The Salzach River flows through the middle of Salzburg, ever drifting, its wake is melodic to the ears. This sound along with the bustling town had a life and a tune of its own; it was as if Mozarts presence still lingered there in some form. She ventured to a vibrant park to find an immaculate display of flowers in various shapes lining the bright, green grass. There were statues between these
fit for a fairy tale. At every corner she
Many nights she would sit by the river
made a new discovery, she was so
and watch the day fade into night. The
occupied by her surroundings that she
water would become illuminated in an
forgot she was alone. She saw a life-
array of colors by the lights turning on
sized chess board painted on the floor,
one by one across the way. The
then a wall alive with murals, an
Hohensalzburg castle stood above the
ancient graveyard surrounded by
rows of shops and houses, it had a
flourishing plants. At dusk she walked
prideful nature. The full moon was
up a path lined with glowing gothic
illuminated above it.
When she returned to Munich, she was filled with confidence and bliss. She decided to extend her journey and embark on a new adventure to the setting of the novel she was named after; Heidi. She did extensive research on the small village in Switzerland in a town called Marienfeld. Once again she walked down the cobblestone path, this time filled with courage. Even the stops in the underground were familiar, yet the faces
Photo Credit: Heidi Rayanowska
surrounding her were of new
strangers. The sentiment remained the same; longing filled their grim faces. She reached central station and was elated to see the rows of trains. She walked up to the ticket counter and to avoid any mishaps she showed the lady a piece of paper which said Marienfeld. This time it would take three hours to reach her destination, again she was mesmerized by the towns and vibrant landscape racing by. Finally, after a couple transfers she was there; but it was not what she had imagined. She exited the bus to find she still hadnâ€™t reached her destination. Still she walked steadily down the sidewalk, faithful she would find it. She walked further and further into the unknown. An hour past before she began questioning if she was traveling in the right direction.
She turned and kept walking, then asked for directions only to be looked at with confusion. No one understood her. She was surrounded by rural land, a man rode by on a tractor, the sun began to fall. She feared the darkening sky, the time to find her destination was running out. She was lost. She walked further still until she saw a pasture filled with horses and their young. They made her feel less alone and in a strange way comforted her. She resolved to go back to the bus stop and find information at the train station, or maybe just a place to sleep for the night. The bus driver knew no English and scowled at her as she tried to ask him where she was. So she just sat down and waited, he caught her
distraught eyes in the rear view mirror and suddenly softened. He had a woman
She didnâ€™t sleep that night; there was a
translate and got her to the station, then
strange energy in the motel, one that
didnâ€™t even charge her; seemingly trying
made her feel restless and lonely. In the
to redeem himself. She found out she
icy air of the last moments of evening
had been issued the wrong ticket, it was
she walked back to the station. Steam
a simple misunderstanding and an
rose from the illuminated lights, a man
unlikely coincidence that there is also a
sat on a frigid bench and coughed.
farm town called Maienfeld in Germany.
Slowly new people entered as the light
For her it was a complete calamity; she
of dawn filtered through. She was
would never get back the money and
concerned about getting on the right
time spent to get there. She decided to
train, at that moment a girl with short
stay in a hotel for the night, a man
hair and a kind face smiled warmly at
followed her there which gave her an
her. It was the first glimpse of
uncanny feeling. The hotel was solemn
friendliness she had experience in the
and dark. It had a damp smell, but it was
past couple days. She asked about the
cheap and close to the train station where
train and the lady happened to be going
she would head first thing in the
to central station as well. They talked the
morning. She had not given up; she
whole way back, suddenly she no longer
would take the 4:00 train back to the
felt alone, even in the company of a
central station, then to Bavaria.
stranger. Her name was Clementine.
She felt comforted to see the now familiar
A bright red train approached with a
central station once again; one of the trains
cheerful whistle. The scenery became
was getting ready to depart and take her on
increasingly captivating, it transformed
the journey she had never given up on. It
into a majestic land. In the distance she
was a long day of traveling but the trains in
saw the spires of a pure white castle
Bavaria felt quainter. The hillsides were
surrounded by lush trees and veiled by
brighter and the morning sun illuminated
a bright blue sky.
them. At her first stop she sat and watched
Her hotel room was joyful with royal
as a father played energetically with his
victorian decorations; she could see the
little girl. Their blissful laughter made her
castle through her window.
smile, then she heard clinking bells in the
Suddenly exhaustion swept over her
body; but her curiosity took over so
Photo Credit: Heidi Rayanowska
she walked out the door to explore what was the most spellbinding place she had ever beheld. She walked up a long hill to the grounds of the famous Neuschwanstein castle. She recalled that it was the inspiration for the famous sleeping beauty castle as she gazed at the elaborate, enchanting structure. She walked down a path to find a crystal lake before an untouched landscape of towering mountains. Two pure white swans glided through dark, soft ripples; their brown signets followed closely behind. In that moment she found clarity; each step of her journey had led her there and it was precisely where she wanted to be. She had carved the path and even her misadventure was a part of it. Had she stopped walking, she wouldnâ€™t have found this story.
“Love Birds” by Megan Petersen – Rolling Love Photography
“Red Dragon” artwork by Brian Lewis
I don’t even know why they asked me to do this review. All my friends know that they can’t talk to me about music. I can’t help the fact that I truly do believe that most of the music young people are doing these days is total trash. It’s almost like this was a test or some kind of weird experiment. It was like your fearless editor and chief wanted to see if I would be merciful to whatever obscure hipster-ass piece of sound he’d throw my way or if I’d take a massive dump on it forever sealing my fate as the elitist prick that I’ve already willing branded myself. Ok! Tropical Popsicle. Here we go. The chorus of the first track is one big crescendo with three or four chords morphing into each other nicely. It reminded me of the end of a choir song in church. The second track – in keeping with that churchy feel – has a resonant organ playing a comforting melody throughout the entire song and it was a bit more psychedelic than the first tune I listened to. This made me like the second track better. All in all, I guess I’m not as big of an asshole as I thought because I actually ended up liking this band. These guys have good instrumentation, good dynamics, original composition, and catchy tunes. So there you go. Tropical Popsicle: liked by an asshole.
Red Lotus Revue is the band you’ve wanted to be in ever since the first time you got stoned and held a Stratocaster. Lo-fi blues standards (Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’Wolf, M. W. Jacobs), recorded in Spring Valley and played by guys with names like Karl Cabbage and Jimmy Zollo. Straight ahead soul-heavy nitty-gritty blues perfect for postmidnight whiskey spilling and smoking too much, pining for that almond-eyed brunette lightly smattered in summer freckles who still haunts you in dreams waving slow motion farewells from the caboose of a mournful locomotive.