Reel big fish

The first music I ever owned was a C90 tape with Ray Parker Jnr’s Ghostbusters and Thriller by Micheal Jackson on—I was a little obsessed with ghosts and monsters at the time. My mom picked up an old Walkman from a jumble sale and I listened to them over and over, each time listening to the whole tape just in case there was something else on there. There never was.

Bristow is many things and exists for reasons other than the vanity of its editors. One of them is exploring a format that while will still survive but has probably seen its seen its glory days as important cultural artifact. One of the funny side effects that the internet has is that it brings together creative types who pick up the old tech that its replaces and allows them to look at it afresh wander ‘what can we use this for?’. Hopefully somebody will do this for the cassette tape: we’re having a bash.

The durable tape was a small robust object that played everywhere, as opposed to the flat delicate record. Where every record was valued, dusted and its notes poured over, a cassette was almost disposable function and ubiquitous but by being so endlessly customisable. If you really tired even of a pre-recorded tape you could always fill up the holes on top and press Play and Record.

The cassette tape took some of the power back from the record companies. It was the first pirate tech where you could share your favourite songs, make mix tapes and not only own the music but take ownership of it. The quality tended to be a bit hit and miss but, hey, it was coming out of two tiny speakers encased in bright orange cushions while you walked down a busy high street. Of course after this came the the compact disc, a once again delicate, flat, unlock-able platform – unless of course you transferred it to tape.

Now the humble tape we’ve attached to the front of our magazine isn’t exactly re-inventing the wheel. It’s more of a homage to the magazines we bought as a kid. But we hope by making some take out their old Walkmans, car stereos or the old clock radio we will spark someone to look again at a the humble tape, a format that shaped our musical tastes, got us through long car journeys with our siblings and sound-tracked our teenage lives.

There are 250 copies thats come with this plastic piece of ultra-short term nostalgia, which features four new and exclusive cover versions on the theme of Beast by Birmingham’s most willing musical acts.

You can go and buy Dirty Bristow Issue Two — Beast here.


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Booze Your Own Adventure

It might not appear that obvious, but one of the inspirations for Dirty Bristow was a magazine aimed at teenage computer game fans. Your Sinclair, was the first publication that I read that sought to be more than its remit—yes it did reviews and forthcoming attractions, but both within those and in the normal extraneous features of a magazine (news, letters page and so on) it showed no regard for the boundaries of its topic or audience. It was, for the want of a better phase, grown-up.

But grown-up didn’t mean serious or rude—the mag could be, but wasn’t often, serious and its rudeness was very mild—it meant not being po-faced or sniffy about ‘other’. It meant that it wasn’t afraid to expand the horizons of the reader, and it wasn’t afraid not to explain things that you could go off and find out elsewhere.

Yes, alongside Crash, it was a beacon of intelligent writing about a maligned subject—many of the writers went on to bigger things after the computer they were covering faded from view. The computer games journalism industry was a great place to find talent at that time, better perhaps that the more traditional music papers, Charlie Booker came from games—who’s broken out of music journalism in the past five years?

They were responsible for my first steps as a publisher too. Along with a couple of others from school, I started a fanzine: Blast. Yes, it was named for the vorticist’s journal. No, it wasn’t much to write home about. I don’t have any copies left to see whether it forewarned of Bristow.

One thing all these magazine had in common was something sellotaped to the front—a tape.

It sometimes contained demos of games to come. It often, especially when the format was on its way out, contained free versions of old games. Sometimes it even contained in-jokes (YS’s Advanced Lawnmower Simulator is the classic), such as this:

Hold My Hand (Very Tightly)

That is YS journo Rick Wilson (or Whistlin’ Rick Wilson as he was styled), with his croon-classic Hold My Hand (Very Tightly).

So, when we decided to have a tape. I knew it had to somehow have a tribute to those tapes of my youth. We wouldn’t think to make you put up with us singing, so we wrote a computer game. For the ZX Spectrum of course. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure all about how we made Dirty Bristow issue one, heavily fictionalised but still it’s all true.

You can download it for your Spectrum emulators, or play it online here.


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Have a flick — this is what issue two looks like…

We’ve hundreds and hundreds of copies of Dirty Bristow Issue Two — Beast all ready to go, and this is what it looks like when flicked past your eyes to a Warren Zeavon tune.

Quickest/best way to get one? Come to our launch on Sat 23rd…

Can’t come? Buy a copy now (prices include p+p — magazines will be despatched to arrive on launch day 23rd July 2011 ):

  • For those of you within the UK  £5.50
  • Europe £6.50
  • Worldwide £7.50

(Click and it’ll appear in your shopping cart in the sidebar).


Special Offer: Get Issue One and Two together for Only £6.75 Inc p+p (UK)



A saving of £1.25.


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Dirty Bristow Issue Two Launch *Note Date Change*

The Bristow-lympics Opening Ceremony

It’s been a time coming, but Dirty Bristow Issue Two is ready for your prying eyes and the best and first way to get one is to wave your nation’s flag at the Bristow-lympics Opening Ceremony. And getting a ticket isn’t a lottery.

At The Edge, Cheapside, DigbethSat 13th August.

Tickets Only £6

Which Includes A Copy Of Dirty Bristow Magazine Issue Two (go find out all about it, including free stuff).

Every penny raised goes towards printing and other costs of this most individual, independent and inspiring of magazines—it’s the only way we can keep it up.

Buy a ticket (and pick up a mag on the day)

*

*Tickets appear in the shopping cart in the sidebar. You’ll get a PayPal receipt email, please bring that on the night as your ticket.

If you can’t make it, you can buy a copy to be despatched for launch day here.

Music From:

The High Commissioners

Thee Moths

Caroline Beavon (Kerrang! / Q Radio) * 8-Bit Pete

An Inspiring Olympic Anthem from MoxyPark

Comedy From:
Tom Lennon, Harry Vale and Matt Ritchie

Sports: Rhythmic Gymnastics *Football * Dressage * Raffle * Welly Wanging

 

Healthy Eating at:

McBristow's

Sponsored Concession stands

Here’s a PDF of the poster to download, print out on your work’s time and stick up somewhere: that there PDF.

 


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Issue Three — Break

Call for submissions.

BREAK

[breyk]

verb, broke or ( Archaic ) brake; bro·ken or ( Archaic ) broke; break·ing; noun

–verb (used with object)

1. to smash, split, or divide into parts violently; reduce to pieces or fragments: He broke a vase.
2. to infringe, ignore, or act contrary to (a law, rule, promise, etc.): She broke her promise.
3. to dissolve or annul (often followed by off ): to break off friendly relations with another country.

 

“If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.”
Jewish Proverb

 

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970), Conquest of Happiness (1930) ch. 5

 

“Shee-it son, Dirty Bristow magazine is the straight bomb yo”
Martin Luther King Jnr (1929 – 1968)

Issue two is soon to be launched and in all the excitement we are eager not to have to wait so long before we get the next issue out. So put the word out, The Bristow Boys are looking for all the best brain spunk you can offer. We at Bristow believe that most people of a reasonable intelligence have an article or two in them. And as we both associate ourselves daily with very smart people there’s no excuse.

The theme of the next issue is ‘BREAK’ now this could be a holiday story, reminiscing a mental collapse you once had, your penchant for one of the five elements of hip-hop or even the battles you have with the first meal of the day. To be honest, we’re not all that strict with the theme it’s there to jog your brain into taking a fresh breath. If you need any more inspiration check out the extensive definition here of course we not adverse to a bit of wrodplay so brake, beaks and repair are all perfectly cromulant.

Still not sure about writing? Have a look here where we lay out some tips and describe our supportive and painless editorial process. If you want to see some stuff, why not pick up issue one—which is cheap at the mo before issue two comes out.

If words just aint your groove thing and it’s drawing that flicks your switch then despair not, after the words comes the pictures. Watch this space and we’ll be asking for you soon.

As ever we promise to help you produce a piece we all can be proud of, illustrate the living shit out of it and lovingly print it in a magazine that is worth all your hard work.

In a break with our usual tradition of breaking with tradition, we’d like to see first drafts by the traditional Bastille Day —July 14th—although we’re happy to look at ideas or alpha versions before then.

If you’re thinking about getting involved email editorial@dirtybristow.co.uk and if you can, add few words about what you’ll be writing about


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