I had originally planned a long fluff piece type column to commemorate the passing of the Blackout and HozAc the magazine, but after a few false starts I realized it wasn't necessary. You don't need to hear me reminiscing about the first issue of HA I picked up to get you all teary-eyed about the end of the HA era. (For the record, it was at the last Rust Belt Revolt, where I was accosted and and donkey-punched by a copy of Issue Seven in the bathroom before the Dirtbombs played...) I guess all I really wanted to do was to get you thinking about what the guys at HA did for us all over the years. They gave us a great rock festival for six years running. Published the best widespread print mag to document the punk/garage/KBD scene in the past ten years. Helped get a ton of bands and labels exposure in both the US and overseas. The brought older bands back into the spotlight and aided in wider reissues of The Testors and Penetrators material. Got a lot of people together and gave them an excuse to have a lot of fun, especially every May. They made us laugh and reminded us that this whole rock'n'roll thing is supposed to be fun. And they showed us a lot of tits. It's remarkable that they went from making of copies of the first few issues at their jobs to getting sold on the racks at Tower. And then they put a nut sack on the cover of what turned out to be their final issue! For me personally, they gave me a chance to see a ton of bands I probably would have never seen otherwise via the Blackout, and gave me an excuse to travel and see a bunch of friends I would usually only see in person that one time a year. And through the magazine they showed me that that it was still possible to put out a quality music magazine about 'our' bands and scene and have it reach a lot of people all over the world. And I think that is the fact that saddens most about the end. That gaping hole left behind where the magazine once stood. There are still plenty of fests to go to (although I don't think any match the galvanizing presence the Blackout had), but there aren't any real live printed mags to take up the slack. (Sure, MRR throws us a bone once in a while, but don't talk to me about Razorcake or any other rag...) As Todd Killings said in the interview, things work in cycles, and this one has come to an end. It's an exciting time, anticipating what comes next, but it's also a frightening change. Where are the next young turks, ready to take the reins? Who knows. I'm not saying that these guys single handedly got us to where we are today. But I do know that they did a lot more than anyone else I can think of to help our little underground niche along. Whether you loved it or hated it, Horizontal Action will be sorely missed. So, as the last four-day weekend of debauchery sets in, whether you will be in Chicago or not, I think we should all look back on the fond memories of what Horizontal Action did for us...


Jay Reatard by Rob Karlic The Hunches by Rob Karlic Tim Vulgar by Rob Karlic
Final Solutions by Rob Karlic
All pics this page by Rob Karlic