TGAF compilation update / “Styrofoam” zine

Up to this point, work on the Towson-Glen Arm Freakouts album project has been going smoothly, but it looks like a few snags have arrived to slow progress down a little, nothing tragic, but these things are complex enough to possibly cause the record’s release to get pushed back to February (I had originally slated it for a January release).

Despite the release delay, I’m happy to say that everything else involving the TGAF compilation and blog has been trouble-free. The relative ease of pulling this off comes mostly from the fact that I have recieved amazing support for this project from so many Towson-Glen Arm artists, not to mention the support of Towson High School’s William Jones and Dulaney High’s Meekah Hopkins, the families of Dave Willemain and Eli Jones, and plenty of other folks who were enthusiastic patrons of the scene back in the day and who continue to be big boosters of TGA’s legacy now; an eternal debt of gratitude is owed to every single one of these people.

…oh yeah…and then there’s this….

A perfect example Towson-Glen Arm's collage art. This was designed by the editorial staff of the zine "Styrofoam" and originally published in spring 1991 as the back cover of that zine. Dadaism, Italian futurism, punk, and other modern/post-modern art movements are well known for their use of collage as a way to create works which represent chaos and sensory overload. Towson-Glen Arm artists, however, developed a collage approach more akin to the panoramic streamlined composition style of Europe's early classical painters or Soviet-era progandism. Instead of creating confusion, the varied graphics, letters, and fonts in TGA collages all serve to complement one another in ways that highlight the ever present symbiosis that defines life in all forms.

A perfect example Towson-Glen Arm’s collage art. This was designed by the editorial staff of the zine “Styrofoam” and originally published in spring 1991 as the back cover of that zine. Dadaism, Italian futurism, punk, and other modern/post-modern art movements are well known for their use of collage as a way to create works which represent chaos and sensory overload. Towson-Glen Arm artists, however, developed a collage approach more akin to the panoramic streamlined composition style of Europe’s early classical painters or Soviet-era progandism. Instead of creating confusion, the varied graphics, letters, and fonts in TGA collages often serve to complement one another in energetic ways that highlight the ever present symbiosis that defines life in all forms.

A little bit about “Styrofoam” : dating from spring 1991, more than a year before the TGA era began, Dulaney High School student David Woodbury’s “Styrofoam” zine can be called a transitional document since it reflects both the early d.i.y. style of the 80’s/pre-Alternative era and the tropes of Towson-Glen Arm. Furthermore, many names soon-to-be central to the TGA story contributed to this publication including Lisa Starace, Matt Bray, and myself. My piece was titled “Immensely Disturbed” and I wrote this under the alias ‘Ezekiel Nostrohonk’; that article was a goofy stab at “gonzo” journalism in which I used a fake/ironic pro-apathy rant to pay homage to the 60’s punk band The One Way Streets. This piece and other articles such as Woodbury’s piece skewering the Baltimore County Public School system’s definition of obscenity, Matt Bray’s reviews of then fairly new records by Testament, Boogie Down Productions, and R.E.M., and Jennifer Mueller’s no-nonsense endorsement of public recycling programs sit side by side with absurd/ironic text illustrations, Lisa Starace’s symbolist poetry, and the mystifying collage piece above. A future piece I intend to post here all about early TGA figure Matt Bray will contain more reprints from this zine, as well as in-depth analysis of Bray’s local impact as a show promoter, an activist, a musician, and a poet.

Mike Apichella – January 2013

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