As 'zines go—and this one's more of a book—Yeti is their kind's New Zealand: beautiful, sprawling, epic, immense.
I am nowhere near finishing Yeti #3, and I think the thing will carry me through into next week. Its 242 pages are voluptuous with content: interviews with William Burroughs, Naomi Yang, and Eileen Myles; photo spreads documenting everything from the uneasy expectancy of childbirth to mountain hikes in North Vietnam. There are comics on feral kids who decapitate horses; black 'n' white drawings based around the band the Apes; interviews with music makers—the Neko Case Q&A is a particularly good read, though I've never cared much for her art. (Which says something big for the interviewer/subject relationship Yeti writer Jason Verlinde captures. )
The sidecar to this bruiser is its companion CD compilation, which is rich to the gills with people like Devendra Banhart, Jolie Holland, and bluesman Washington Phillips. Its 27 tracks (three of which are Devendra's) take a wide and dead-serious look at independent music of the last couple years. For every biggie like the Postal Service, there're smaller comers (Dead Science, World, Blues Goblins, etc.) weighing in with great tracks.
Mike McGonigal, the man behind Yeti, launched it as a "general interest magazine for people with slightly marginal interests." His previous 'zine, Chemical Imbalance, which ran from 1983 to 1995, printed David Sedaris' first published work, and came complete with a 7" hosting bands like Sun City Girls and Pavement. Yeti, then, is its predecessor's natural extension.
McGonigal says, "Readers can expect to be confused. There are drawings, comics, fiction, interviews, photo essays, and some obscene AIM conversations in #3. We even unearthed an unpublished interview with William S. Burroughs for chrissake. Healthy confusion is always the goal."
Confusion can be refreshing and confusion can be a pain in the ass, but McGonigal strides the line well. There's no hand holding in #3, just an overall axiom that seems to say, "Quality above everything—and fuck all else." Indeed, fuck all else.
McGonigal's book on My Bloody Valentine, written for Continuum's 33 1/3 series, will be out this spring.