It’s hard work being a bohemian. Ask Jen Loy. As coproprietor of Mama Buzz Cafe on Telegraph Avenue near Grand and one of the founders of the nonprofit Neighbor Lady Community Art Project, Loy is a key figure in Oakland’s burgeoning gallery/cafe/performance space scene, but what takes up most of her time these days is filling up the kitchen sink — Kitchen Sink magazine, that is, the hefty quarterly über-zine she edits with a like-minded staff of neo-bohos.
The second issue of Kitchen Sink, a press run of 2,500, is now on the street ($5.95), 128 pages of culture-crit, interviews, reviews, poetry, antiglobalism agitprop, first-person noodlings, cartoons, photos, and little handwritten, marginal notes from various culturati on the subject of “Regret,” this issue’s theme. It’s a sizable read, with a smattering of the thumb-sucking you might expect from art slackers, but also a respectable amount of well-written essays and no-frills reporting. The “Regret” issue (“We called it that because people always asked us, ‘Did you regret doing this?'” explains Loy) is divided into sections, each edited by a different staffer. “Louder than Words” features a piece on regret by Joshua Clover. In “Reverse Angle,” Virginia Pelley puts down a stupid TV show, Elimidate. The “Paper City” section has Kaya Oakes’ confessional on rejection letters, while in “Untitled,” Alison Bing sizes up the Bay Area art scene (it’s indie-er than ever). The mag’s most overtly entertaining section is “Sexfood&god,” edited by Sierra Filucci, who visits a taco wagon in East Oakland.
In keeping with the content, the ads are rough and ready, too: cartoonist Jesse Slow Wave Reklaw’s book of 1965-75 university Ph.D applicant photos; fluffomatic.com (“Add some fluff to your site”); the Sticker Guy, “as low as $20, for your band, skate shop, radio station, or whatever the hell you do”; and lots of comics. “We’ve discussed turning down corporate advertisers,” says Loy, who probably won’t have to say no too often even if she does.
Kitchen Sink celebrates its second issue (next theme up is “Stalker”) with an art-and-live-music party Saturday, February 15 (7 p.m.) at Ego Park Gallery, 492 23rd St., Oakland. Visit www.kitchensink.com