BJ “Bitter” Bastard’s not one for navel-gazing. And he certainly didn’t care to trawl through the annals of this rag’s history to find for you our finest moments of the past 15 years. But we made him do it anyway. One might think that he’d come away with a veritable history of electronic music culture from ’93 ’til the present. He did, but he also surfaced with tired drug references, sore eyes (from staring at the worst fractal graphics ever), and God knows how many disses on Moby and prog house. Here he lays bare 10 monumental firsts in XLR8R’s early years.
First interview: Issue 1
“Bloody Heck! It’s 808 State,” by publisher Andrew Smith.
XLR8R: “What do you think about rave in America?”
Andrew Barker: “I like it, it’s quite good. But it’s quite commercialized. With like the illuminous bangles what you wear around your neck and stuff like that, it’s a bit hippiefied.” Yep, that’s a pretty fair assessment.
First diss on trance or progressive house: Issue 2
Goldie: “Progressive house, in relation to the name, isn’t that at all!” Too bad we covered it for the next six years anyway.
First interview with RuPaul: Issue 3
We actually interviewed RuPaul? Just so you don’t think I’m lying, here’s a choice quote:
Ru Paul: “You can call me ‘he,’ you can call me ‘she,’ you can call me ‘Regis and Kathy Lee.’”
First live show review: Issue 4
From the “Oppressor of the Month” page: “The Pigs!!! Your friends and mine, the boys and girls in blue, showed up earlier this month at Seattle’s first successful full moon rave. Despite attempts to scare away the throngs with searchlights, the event went off well with good vibes all around.” Thank God, lest this spark a thousand more police vs. rave stories. Oh, wait, it did.
First “city” feature: Issue 4
Certainly this page prefigured our now-annual city issue, with exacting reportage like the following: “Portland’s scene, while smaller and less sophisticated than Seattle’s or Vancouver’s, has the look and feel of any decent scene anywhere.”
First “clever” cover line: Issue 5
“Inside: James Brown, Psychic Warriors ov Gaia, Spelling Mistakes.” Hey, we warned you!
First “herb” ad: Issue 7
On the back cover, an ad for Cloud 9: “The next level of consciousness. Not a new drug, a new reality… Beware: Not an illegal drug or a smart drug, this is a new scientific breakthrough in herbs.” Uh, sure.
First coloring contest: Issue 8
Keoki’s Kreativity Kontest, in which contestants had to write a haiku about bass and color in a Keoki sketch. Third-place prize was a pack of Rave cigarettes. Funny, right?
First “internet” story: Issue 8
We covered the internet as a phenomenon, in a story entitled “Internet: What It Is and What It Will Mean.” “On a computer network, your posting can instantly be read by millions of people–and any one of those people can instantly respond.” Dear Mr. XLR8R. My name the honorable bitter bastard. I is live in Djibouti and has many moneys for you. Send me your bank reccords and you will get many lentghs to add to your peepee.
First goat-themed issue: Issue 9
We asked The Orb’s Alex Paterson how he felt “about goats and other animals.” “I don’t have any problems with them… I think every house should have them. I don’t have a goat, but I have some terrapins.” In a Richie Hawtin feature, our designer manages to morph the Plastikman symbol into Hawtin’s face and then into a goat head in just 10 moves. Goats!