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Please read some recent reviews for an idea of our editorial focus and bias. If the words "jam band" even remotely apply, save your postage.

We give high marks for originality, and tend to favor independent/alternative works, but we expect professional production values. We do not guarantee that all items received will be reviewed. We do review singles and EPs. We do not review "demo" recordings.

We only review music in physical formats (not on Web sites). Please do not send email attachments (e.g., electronic press kits) without prior approval. The harder you make it for us to experience your art, the less likely you are to get a review.

We primarily review indie rock and indie pop. We sometimes review punk, power pop, roots rock/americana, hardcore, and avant garde music (musique concrète, experimental electronic, "out" jazz).

We very rarely, if ever, review mainstream alternative rock, mainstream country (CHC), hard/heavy rock/metal, reggae, hip-hop, top 40, smooth jazz, urban, easy listening, dance music, folk, contemporary Christian, world music, r & b, or blues.

Lead times vary, but expect 1 month minimum.

Submissions should be sent to:

pathetic caverns - submissions editor

411a highland ave suite 404

somerville ma 02144

books for review consideration

We strongly suggest you read some recent reviews for an idea of our editorial focus and bias.

movies for review consideration

The Pathetic Caverns reviews films at screenings in the Boston area and on Digital Video Disc.

We strongly suggest you read some recent reviews for an idea of our editorial focus and bias.

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We are looking for contributors who fit our editorial style and focus. All editorial decisions are final. We are currently unable to pay contributors (but we can send you materials to review). You retain full ownership of your original work and may re-use as you see fit. You grant The Pathetic Caverns a license to publish your work, with attribution, on the Web, in perpetuity. We ask that you comply with Pathetic Caverns' fair use and reprint policy. The Pathetic Caverns assumes no other rights. Contact us or send text-only (no attachments) samples to . If you would prefer to submit a hard copy or a file on diskette/CDR, please contact us first.


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manifesto: who died and made you a critic?

by mr. pathetic, december 1997

nobody, that's who. and that's exactly the point.

over the years, i stopped thinking of this thing as a personal website [which is how it started, way back when --ed.] and started thinking of it as an electronic publication -- an e-zine, if you like. [i'd never heard the term "webzine" --ed.]

i'd been writing record and movie reviews in my head for years, had fantasized about being a reviewer for something like Rolling Stone or the Washington Post, and it didn't take long for me to figure out that if i typed reviews in on the internet, people would actually read them. and send me hate mail. cool!

and, correspondingly, over the past few years, my feeling that "professional" reviewers are often worse than useless has intensified. *

the details of this next little story are almost certainly inaccurate -- some might even be obscured to protect the guilty -- but its essence is true.

i was reading a review of a multi-disc set by an avant-garde composer. cost a hunnert and fifty clams. the reviewer acknowledged in the review that he or she actually got bored, did the dishes and fell asleep while listening to the set -- but the dreams were interesting, apparently, and the review concludes with the recommendation that the set is worth buying even if you only listen to it once.

which is a fine thing to say, if you get all your records for free.

likewise, if you get all your records for free, it's groovy to be hipper -- and more obscure -- than thou. "Yawn," you can say. "'Tom Pynchon's Nightmare's' Gwendolyn Arafat's voice may have an agreeably Laura Yaddayadaa-like growl, but Gordon Numrut's buzzsaw airplane guitar psyclone can't hide the fact that this has been done before -- and better -- by unjustly ignored Camden Yards-based post grunge/proto-electronica crypto-punk-popsters 'Joice Didn't Say No,' whose three deleted records on the Diminished Shelf label are worth their weight in gold." [i'd never heard of shelflife records back then, either. no offense, folks. --ed.]

well, i don't get all my records for free. **

neither i nor anyone else writing reviews for the pathetic caverns is financially compensated for them either. not just because hey, i can't afford it, but because it is important to me that this be a labor of love for everybody concerned.

i'm doing this to share personal experiences and insights about interacting with, y'know, art-type stuff.

in other words, i ain't doing this to get rich.

you may disagree with me violently. among other things, i'll say some stupid stuff. so, i hope, will some of our other contributers. but it will be honest. and while i won't pretend that my music acquisition or film viewing habits are exactly normal, what you read here won't be insulated from yer typical consumer-type experience in the way pro- and college-critics often are.


mr. pathetic,

editor in chief,the pathetic caverns

december, 1997

* probably time for a disclaimer or two: not everybody. if you're reading this and you're feeling personally insulted, i probably don't mean you.[cripes, that was wishy-washy. actually, i probably did mean you --ed.]

** these days we do get stuff in the mail for free. c'est la vie. but we still won't say we like it if we don't.


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