You know how sometimes you just have to buy yourself something nice, because even though you’d prefer to consider yourself at least a little anticapitalist you’ve still internalized enough consumerist programming that buying stuff tends to cheer you up? I went out and did that Saturday. Part of my haul was a fistful of zines from Reckless, which ended up being a really good choice.

One notable zine from the pile was the first issue of Dumb Audio, which turns out to be made by a Chicagoan named Matt Clark, who is not the Matt Clark you might know from White/Light. Dumb Audio is pretty much everything you could want out of an idiosyncratic one-man music zine. It’s got a cohesive design (inspired by Man Is the Bastard record art) that ties together an apparently random selection of music coverage (from experimental art music to 70s outlaw country), and the whole thing seems aimed at a very tiny niche (people who approach music with the fussy, order-seeking temperament of an engineer).

After getting used to reading magazines chopped up into blog-post-size chunks, it’s nice to see someone devote 11 pages to an interview with Chicago audio/video artist Eric Fleischauer. And I have to respect anybody who’d write an essay called “Collector Scum: Sort()” about applying mathematical algorithms to a music collection.

I know about five psychotic record freaks who would flip out over Dumb Audio and about zero other people who would get much deeper into it than a quick skim of the record reviews. Which I think is the whole point.