Today, Might could be right the periodical, that is New: California bimonthly tries hard to be cute, fun and clever. For example: one-sentence CD reviews.

Magazines

June 30, 1996|By Vicki Hengen | Vicki Hengen,BOSTON GLOBE

All right. Imagine something like Spy, only without that teensy-weensy, annoying little typeface and considerably more computer- and musically (heck, make that culturally) literate. (Wait, baby boomers -- don't rise from your chaises longues yet, 'cause there's no emergency -- and, remember, stress brings on early heart attack!)

But anyway, we ran across a magazine called Might, and we were, may I say, pretty ecstatic. (Then we relaxed and were merely pleased, in order to ease our blood pressure, etc.)

So, then we called one of the publishers of this cool little 'zine -- which is actually slicker than the word 'zine implies -- who sent a copy of this groovy mag, the July/August issue, with, more or less, the ink still wet.

It's 2 years old; it's out of San Francisco; it's bimonthly; it's got real ads, like Calvin Klein (minus the perfume); and it's printed in color -- although one of the two guys named David who run it says they don't "make a dime."

However, it does feature some amusing little bytes and pieces, including one called "Men My Mother Dated," by Brett Leveridge. The magazine said we could e-mail Brett's mom directly, but we reached only Brett, who apparently has to sift Mom's mail. I mean, he was nice and all, and he even called us back at home, late at night, but it didn't seem quite the same as e-mailing Mom herself (see if you do better: morettnews.com). We're presuming, although we forgot to ask Brett, that these men, these date guys, that is, were part of the hit parade before he was born.

Anyway, Might has some adorable stuff, some truly funny things and some pretty stupid stuff, which is inevitable when you're trying to be funny. Do check out the CD-review page, titled "32 More Little Record Quips." We never saw the first 32, but now that we've seen this, we realize that no arts review has any business being longer than one sentence.

How can you, for example, be more succinct than this:

On surf guitarist Dick Dale: "A national treasure, even after all that 'Pulp Fiction' crap."

Or this, on someone we don't pretend to know, named Pee Shy: BTC "Your 15-year-old sister's diary, with accordians [sic] in the background."

(Whether or not you're a Pee Shy fan, that kinda says it all, doesn't it?) One sentence! What a concept!

Anyway, it's cute, it's fun, it's alarmingly clever without being completely fatuous. Find it at newsstands, or call (415) 896-1528.

Three-candle Button

On an anniversary note, the little magazine Button, which is probably New England's smallest publication, celebrated its third birthday last week, with a party and readings attended by some 40 people.

The highlights were appearances by David Barber, assistant poetry editor of Atlantic Monthly, and Boston-area rocker and writer Willie Alexander.

Button, which is sold at "libraries, liquor stores and gas stations around the state," according to editor and publisher Sally Cragin, is a 4-by-5-inch or so journal of "poetry, fiction and gracious living." (Take that, Martha Stewart!)

Button cruises forward, making its own brave, tiny way in the world, carving out a pocket-size wake -- with book reviews, fiction, poetry, sheet music, art and snapshots of Sally's relatives -- all very tiny, mind you, and always with a cover drawn by her brother, Hal, who missed the party, since he's in Europe, playing bass for Iggy Pop.

Button's contributors have included Boston poets, auteurs and musicians (including such notables as critic Sven Birkerts, novelist Stephen McCauley, musicians Roger Miller and Malcolm Travis) and probably rather more artistes manques. But that's OK. As Cragin explains, her goal is to push people out of their usual metiers. For a two-year, four-issue subscription, send $5 to Box 26-A, Lunenburg, Mass. 01462.

Birthday issues

Love it or hate it, National Lampoon celebrates its 25th, and it's raw, vicious and hilarious. Mother Jones does the 20-year thing.

Short takes

Esquire and the New Yorker have summer fiction issues.

Town & Country has a wonderful primer for parents who are contemplating riding lessons for their children. (Having been a riding instructor myself for years, I have to commend their writer, who did a great research job; her advice is true, concise and to the point.)

Traveler offers advice for those making winter plans for vacations in the Caribbean and Hawaii: a complete guide to the islands.

Vanity Fair presents photos of Truman Capote's Black and White Ball of 1966.

Pub Date: 6/30/96

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