For the uninitiated: no, Moe Magazine is not a Three Stooges fanzine. This is the `zine formerly known as Moe Works at Wal-Mart, named in tribute to former Velvet Underground drummer Maureen Tucker. Bob Pomeroy has been self-publishing Moe for ten years now, and while there’s a lengthy lag between issues, Volume 9 shows that Moe is worth waiting for. Twenty-four pages in a newsprint magazine format cover a more diverse range of music than most magazines manage with triple the space.
The centerpiece of this issue is an interview with the magazine’s namesake, Moe Tucker herself. While Pomeroy is obviously a huge fan, he doesn’t fawn over his subject, and knows exactly when to shut up and let Tucker do the talking. Informative and interesting pieces on the Waco Brothers, the Raincoats, Grace Braun, and the Lovely Lads fare similarly well. Pomeroy’s writing style is intelligent without talking down at the reader throughout the pieces. This adds to his credibility on reviews, which take up the other half of the magazine. Ten of those pages are chock full of music reviews, covering everything from Sun Ra to the Geraldine Fibbers, the Fall to Brave Combo, the Leonard Croon Band to Discount, and a whole truckload of various styles of ska. Pomeroy writes most of the reviews himself, and manages to discuss all of these broadly varied artists intelligently and fairly. The eleventh page covers other `zines, and is just as fair and honest.
The layout is clean and well thought out; certainly, more so than most magazines of this type. Hey, by the way, did I mention that Moe is also free? Something this good is worth paying for, but in this case, you don’t have to (although, if you’re in the Central Florida area, you could show your support for Moe by attending a benefit show/tenth birthday party February 13th at Club More in Clearwater, featuring the Bogues and the Leonard Croon Band). You can’t beat this deal with a stick! Moe Magazine, c/o Bob Pomeroy, P.O. Box 320753, Tampa, FL 33679, firstname.lastname@example.org