A true-blue punk label on record and on paper, independent multi-media publishing group Pawn does its best as the self-proclaimed champion of all bold, dog-willed, and forward-thinking Cebuano artists and musicians that kick up dust when faced with oppression and adversity. Launching the second issue of its zine, “Still No Direction,” Pawn celebrates the ability of the music and the arts to challenge the systems that bind us.
Not only do we get interviews with local visionary rock bands and brilliant-minded artists, but we also get feature pieces on experimental deejays, local album reviews, gritty photographs, and odd-ball advertisements.
“When we started this piece of rag that you are holding now, our primary goal was to generate a platform for the local arts (music, film, literature, visual) scene to talk to each other,” Pawn’s Erik Tuban explains in a piece taken from the zine. “To create at least a tangible piece of relic where these are being discussed and regarded not just as a passive system of sensory entertainment but as an apparent celebratory form of exploit where people implant it on their day-today purview.”
Sure, a zine can only go such a long way with a limited release, but “Still No Direction” Issue Number 2 still serves as a palpable reminder that musicians and artists in Cebu have been courageously fighting for their art. Industrial progress may have taken away spaces that served as a home to the local music and art scene, but bands are playing louder than ever, forcing the world to listen to its anthem of protest. cal bar during The Peace Club’s Peace Gathering, an event that assembled artists, punks, poets, vandals, vagrants, hippies, hipsters and all of the curious under one roof to celebrate, well, peace? Remember Non Compost Mentis, the punk art exhibit of Hermogines Bensi Jr. that was made to offend with its graphic and arresting jab at priests and people in power? Remember local bands’ albums like Cancer City’s “Auschiwtz Chic,” Iping Amore’s “Kinabuhi Musika,” Kubra Commander’s “Vagrant Up,” and The Gospel’s “Fundamental Anarchy” EP? “Still No Direction” remembers and the zine reminds its readers of all these things and more.
Along with the second issue of the zine that was released at a bar on Gorordo Ave. last Saturday, March 2, Pawn also offers its readers a sampler compiling recent releases in the local music scene.
In this sampler local music aficionados get to hear “Slow Learner” by the Spirals, “Bombarded” by Cross Three Runs, “On the Move” by Karma, “Bidlisiw” excerpt by Bombo Pluto Ova, “Waw Ulam” by Ala Ahkbar, a mix by DJ Urine, “Sirens” by Doa Dan Dosa, “Hold” by Mural, “Eternal Gloom” by Garland, “’i’ Am” by Tawo, “My Wishes Must Come True” by ZFX, “Sweeth Death” by Rotten Brains, “Salary Man” by The Pervs, and “Gamot sa Gahom” by Potemkin.
Serving either as a bold display of defiance against the digital age or as an annoying case of nostalgia, Pawn also has this sampler recorded on a limited number of cassette tapes. Readers interested in a copy of the sampler can simply message Pawn for more details.
While the publisher will no longer reissue copies of “Still No Direction” issue number 2, readers interested in learning more about the rebellious horde of musicians under Pawn can check out the label’s Facebook page and other social media accounts.