Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 20


Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 20


Improvijazzation Nation

Twentieth Edition, Winter 1995

Brought to you by: Zzaj Productions

D. Metcalf, 5308 65th Ave. SE, Lacey, WA 98513 

Title Here


“Jerry Garcia”, by Michael Bloom

INTERVIEW with Amy Denio

The Kabalas

Act of Finding (O.O. Discs)

Java Men


Tom E. and the Bad Habits (Olympia band)

Charles Rice Goff III

Tinty Music

Amy Denio’s newest, “TONGUES”

& much, MUCH more!!!


How’s it goin’? From THIS side o’ th’ “improvising” fence, I can tell ya’ that itz’ KICKIN’ here! Got to do a LIVE show in August, here in OlyWa (SUPER lil’ playspace called the “Midnight Sun”) with my longtime musical friend Harlan Mark Vale. Radio show (on KAOS) in September. It looks like there’s a STRONG possibility of another show comin’ up soon, too! WOW! Really feels GOOD being back where you can GET it to come TOGETHER!

We’ve released FOUR new tapes since being back in CrackVille… “Slight Departures”, with Dan Susnara; “Aluminum Oboe Billy Clubs”, with John Alkins, Harlan Mark Vale, Wally Shoup & myself; “Skinny-Dip Tango”, with Joan Payne Kincaid’s wonderful reading; and “Th’ Coast of Ghristmas”, with Eric Hausmann! There are always NEW ones in the works, of course, but who KNOWS what the rest of th’ year will bring.

I want to THANK all of YOU who responded to my “rant” about the “police state” in the last issue. Varying degrees of response, which is as it should be. Certainly proves (to me, anyway), that the “I.N.” readership isn’t among those who will “take it laying down”. In summary, my thoughts right now are in the vein that it was prob’ly a MOST apropo incident for my (final) departure from things military! Hasn’t stopped my MUSIC – if ANYthing, it’s generated TONS of feelings for creating MORE of it! Let’s ALL keep on MAKIN’ it HAPPEN, eh?

Rotcod Zzaj

Toddio: TODDIO – Well, theze h’yar Blain brothers warn’t just a whistlin’ sum dixie toon… they popped this in th’ newsgroups (,, etc.) with statements proclaiming it to be KEWL D.I.Y. That’s a HARD promise to live up to, but when th’ CD popped outta’ th’ mailboggs & I slammed it in there, it started SCREAMIN’… “I’m D.I.Y., I’m D.I.Y., do or DIE!” Well, not REALLY… th’ layout is DEFINITELY “home designworks”, which comes off after a FINE fashion! Todd’s vox are deepdrawl, guttural & penetrating. Tim backs ‘im up with other music/mix. NICE gitarz, heavy bass, no slouchin’ here. Can’t call ’em “rockerz”, can’t call ’em “jazz”, can’t really FIT ’em in any niche in particulate… but then, in my (slightly jaded) perception, that IZ what D.I.Y. is supposed ta’ be! Couldna’ figger out where that “KKK Bitch” toon wuz comin’ from till I looked at their address – they’re down Tennesse way, which makes it all that MORE of a gas! FUN, new & a bit “strange”. H-O-T!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Get in touch at  or snail to 4871 Hyde Rd., Springfield, TN 37172 Rotcod Zzaj

The Kabalas: MARTINIS AND BAGELS – In from a gent that’s been reviewed here (in a rather “hilarious” vein) before, Scott Morschhauser. The princes of polka blew us away THEN & this CD is no exception! My fave cut is the “BunzuvStiel Polka”, which COULDA’ been a SAD story… har! har! har!! (It IZ th’ best “polkablooz” I’ve EVER heard). Now, I’m NOT normally spinnin’ my shortwave dial lookin’ fer’ “bar mitzvah madness”; BUT, these guyz play with such ENERGY & FUN, you can’t HELP but fall in LOVE with it! Some of us who zone out on improv & radio loopz like to think we’re “purists”, but the only way to GET a perspective is to listen to somethin’ ELSE once in a while! THIS is IT! RECOMMENDED! Contact at 243 46th St., Moline, IL 61265-1942 (how APROPO a “zip”, eh?), or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

     Here’s an article I “borrowed” (with his permission, of course) from one Michael Bloom (“Bloomido”, as he’s known on th’ ALLMUSIC group)… since my knowledge of Jerry Garcia is fairly limited (tho’ I CAN “identify” quite easily with his MUSIC & “improvisatory spirit”, as Michael calls it), I wanted our mention of his passing to be something more informed… Michael was gracious enough to let us run this as a “reprint” (THANKS, Bloomido!)…


Jerry Garcia, 1942-1995

No man is an island, it is said, and that old saw goes on to emphasize how any death diminishes the human community. Jerome John Garcia was less insular than most, and his loss is being felt especially keenly by the community he touched the closest: the Grateful Dead family and their fans, the Deadheads. And yet Garcia was what he was because of that community– the group, so dedicated to the collective improvisatory spirit, and the Deadheads themselves, so generous with the good will and energy that the music engendered, offered Garcia an unparallelled opportunity to refine his own innate gifts. Indeed, the Grateful Dead demanded it of him. The band’s approach to freedom and spontaneity required every player to bring to the table all of his skills, his education, his wisdom, his life experience– and the essence that transcends all of these achievements. In return, the Dead let each of them participate in something much greater than the sum of its parts: a colloquy that was more than music, that embodied aspects of celebration and ritual. They themselves didn’t often describe it in such hifalutin terms; in fact they didn’t quite know how to address it, and just called it the “X Factor.” They were also the first to admit that they didn’t always get it– they were visibly exhilarated and humbled by it at the same time.

In purely musical terms, Garcia and the Dead tossed a myriad strains into their melting pot, everything from Phil Lesh’s studies with Luciano Berio to Mickey Hart’s work with the Gyuto Monks. Garcia himself played music ranging from Appalachian ballads and shape note hymns to free jazz, from bluegrass banjo picking to pedal steel to having his guitar wired for MIDI. Rock ‘n’ roll has always been something of a mongrel form, absorbing whatever influences came along. Arguably, that process reached its apex in the psychedelic ’60s that spawned the Dead. And, just as with the human be-in vibe embodied by the band and their audience, they never forgot it. Garcia was the most visible member of the tribe– he stood at the front of the stage, wrote and sang the lion’s share of the songs, and coaxed a continuous flow of heartfelt melodies out of his guitar. But he always insisted he was not the shaman the Deadheads made him out to be. He tried to shy away from the fans’ most obsessive attentions; he once told Rolling Stone, “I don’t want to be a leader, because I don’t want to be a mis-leader.” He kept his stage presence austere, wearing an unadorned black tee shirt and jeans, and never speaking. He put his money where his mouth wasn’t, making albums to benefit the world’s vanishing rain forests, playing concerts for the band’s charitable Rex Foundation, but he never urged any particular point of view on his fans.

For the way Garcia and the Dead worked was already significant moral instruction. Their democratic decision making, their respect for one another’s ideas, and their tolerance for each other’s foibles, are all lessons that bear repeating. To hear them tackle a venerable folk tune, and put their own stamp on it in the best folk tradition, encouraged an intelligent appreciation of the value of such traditions. To watch them play without knowing what song they were going to play next, or even what note, bolstered your faith in facing an uncertain world.

Jerry Garcia was a prodigiously talented individual, and he will certainly be missed. The best thing we can do for his memory is to preserve and enhance the ineffable entity he was part of, which he shared with his bandmates, the Dead extended family, and on out to the sun-gropers in the second balcony. For all that he was a great musician, he was part of something greater still– which deserves to endure, and could well outlast us all.

Many thanks to Michael Bloom; tho’ in his own words, “Bloom is a reluctant Deadhead whose favorite parts of the shows tend to be drums”, he surely knows how to bio, & (tho’ I usually don’t make mention of every passing musician) we appreciate his letting us make this article available to “I.N.” readers!

Armada Blue: ARMADA BLUE – This CD, in from Marble Head Records, features a Danish ” alternative pop” band that IS alternative, in the sense that it’s not your “everyday” collection o’ radio toonz. Got some NICE harp kickin’ in there on th’ “funk” oriented piece titled “Hip Hop Mothers” (which turnz out ta’ be MY favorite cut, actually). Drummer’s good throughout, maybe mixed just a lil’ high, but plays with some HEAVY energy. Please DON’T mistake this fer’ “improv”, it’s much more pop-oriented – but dinna’ be lettin’ that STOP ya’ from givin’ ’em a listen, either! This is about my third time scopin’ ’em out… first shot made it all seem pretty “blase”; ‘s amazing to me how impressions can change. These volkz HAVE clean-cut live energy ta’ pass on to ya’, & tho’ I prob’ly woulda’ passed it by in th’ binz – I’m PLEASED Marble Head chose to send “Armada Blue” my way for review. RECOMMENDED for those who don’t mind exploring “other” avenues e’ery once-in-a-bloomoon! Contact at POB 192994, San Francisco, CA 94119-2994, vox line to (415-383-1788, or via e-mail at  Rotcod Zzaj

Ton Of Bricks: KEEP UP – Here’s a San Francisco band on CD, also in from Marble Head Records. Can’t say ENOUGH about th’ sounds on here. This is NOT an “improv” group, it’s straight out swing-n-sway phunkin’ ’round! Ken Barsky’s lead vox (he also does keyboards) are a MAIN attractor… for some reason, in sections, he reminds me a LOT of a (fairly) obscure player/singer named Charlie Peacock. STRONG & assertive, but NOT overBEARING! Ken’s joined by Paul Britt is fine on bass & backup vox, Scott Wild does PRECISION drumz, & Ray Sayre’s guitar, eSPECIALly in th’ lead sections will make ya’ fall in LOVE with th’ music. It’s rare these days to find a group who plays so “cleanly” together, expressing JOY that’s quite infectious through th’ playing of their music. & dinna’ read me wrong, either… this isn’t all “pretty/happy” music. There are a coupla’ lyrical excursions here into th’ “deepest/darkest”. Truly a VERY well-balanced group who DESERVE your attention. This CD gets MY vote as the PICK of this issue for BEST all-round alternative rock group. MIGHTY fine & comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Get in contact through Marble Head Records, at the addresses shown above. Rotcod Zzaj

Torso: RUIN YOUR WORLD – In from th’ band’s home, Chico, California, this CD jus’ keepz on a’ KICKIN’! Funk-based FUN – & ‘l, that’s half th’ battle, ennyway, ain’t it? These gentz’ve taken th’ “art of phunk”, combined it with a “taste” o’ rap (not enough to render it “music-less”, though) & turned it all into a kinda’ “funkstoryrap” thang! Th’ recording is C-L-E-A-N, no sludge h’yar, people!!! I eSPECIALly liked th’ guitar solos by J. Martin & Clark Morris’/Feeny on alto/tenor sax, respectively! Of course, that’s not to “detract” from th’ other players, either, just that those parts stood OUT! Jordan Reading knowz how ta’ P-O-P those bass strings & Scott Rolls kin’ KICK on them drumz! This is GREAT music fer’ slidin’ ’round th’ floor with, but if yer’ in no mood fer’ DANCIN’, just settle back with a big glass o’ JD & check out th’ SOUNDZ! Just plain ol’ smokin’ FUNK – reminds me (on “Big Machine”) of th’ backup music for Gil Scot-Heron, except th’ band SHINES on here, ‘stead o’ just sorta’ “hangin'” in th’ background – & that’s GOOD! If ya’ don’t LIKE butt-thump groove pieces, ya’ won’t GET OFF on this – but if ya’ kin’ e’en HALFway relate to such, I’d RECOMMEND this! Players who KNOW what they’re doin’ – & enJOY doin’ it!!! Contact at POB 6145, Chico, CA 95927-6145, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Scott Fields Ensemble: FUGU – This is absoLUTEly pretty! A CD with “structured” improv, which might sound like a “turn-off” to some o’ th’ “purists”, who believe good improv can only come from th’ IMMEDIATE moment! Fields guitar work here disproves THAT theory for SURE! I imagine one of the reasons I got this in for review is because a part of (this iteration) the ensemble is cellist Matt Turner (who was reviewed a couple issues back for his OWN beautiful work – on an “Asian Improv” label CD, I think). The promo material reminds us that “Fugu” is th’ poisonous puffer some Japanese eat. To quote, “Like running with a pair of scissors, eating fugu is somewhat dangerous but not often fatal.” How apt a description of the music! You must be READY for challenge, but it’s not “life-threatening”. In point of FACT, since (I believe) LIVING involves taking chances every once in a while, if you’re at ALL inclined to sample refreshing, exhilarating and well-crafted improvisatory excursions – THIS is the TICKET! It gets the PICK of this issue for BEST IMPROV and comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by this editor! Contact at Geode, 1710 Rutledge Street, Madison, WI 53704 or via e-mail to SDFIELDS@STUDENTS.WISC.EDU  Rotcod Zzaj

Ron Imhoff: SOLITUDE – I rarely review tapes that get sent to me with only one or two cutz on ’em… but, when the music is SO pretty/good/well-done , I don’t feel it’s fair to “pass it up”! This single piece by Ron is just BEAUTIFUL! “Slow jazz” is the ‘category’… NOT “new-age” pap for th’ masses! There’s some extraordinary synth work on here (actually performed by a friend of Ron’s, Tom Anthony; NEAT – he called me back to tell me that… as well as to tell me that he felt one of th’ major contributors was the engineer, Rick Clark – & THAT, ‘bove all else, shows Ron’s someone who CARES about hiz music(s)) – it’ll stand the “test of time”. He’s supposed to have another 30 minutes or so of pieces. Hope he SENDS ’em, coz’ he makes some NICE music. Only contact listed was e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Act of Finding: SAME – A “No Problem Production”, released on Joseph Celli’s “O.O.” Discs (which almost automatically qualifies it as H-O-T, as Mr. Celli rarely pickz losers), this will be of GREAT interest to those interested in spoken-word works. Theme of th’ first piece (To Dick Dickson) will pique th’ interest of alla’ you “cybernaut netheadz” out there… IRS/tax-time/e-mail advice on tax resistance. Now, some folks might think that would come off pretty “blandly”, as in “highbrow”. Not at all! Baritone Thomas Buckner weaves cleanly and precisely through analog electronics generated by Tom Hamilton, jazz bass by Ratso B. Harris & the processed guitar of Bruce Arnold. If yer’ lookin’ fer’ th’ “guttural” rasp of smoke-laden poetry rooms – ya’ WON’T get it here! This is a cutting-edge work & Buckner & the rest of “Act Of Finding” are at the forefront of today’s dada/experimental “curve”. This is NOT music/words for the “uninitiated”; if you’ve spent yer’ whole incarnation listening to “a.m.” radio – you’ll find this difficult to deal with. I enJOYed it MOST thoroughly, particularly the weave of the bass and electronics (with the vox, of course). It comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer. Contact at NO PROBLEM PRODUCTIONS, 832 Pavonia Av, Jersey City, NJ 07306 or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Java Men: A LETTER TO ST. PAUL – This fine lil’ tape brings back mem’ries of th’ “early days” – back in Frankfurt, Germany, when Jimmy Smith wuz IT – fer’ ‘organjazz’, anyway! That poppin’ lil’ Hammond makes me think o’ all them “sloe gin fizzes” & other exoticdrinks/brews we used to sit ’round & sip on while scopin’ out some o’ th’ finest jazz in the world. Todd Hildreth can KICK out th’ jamz on that ol’ (sound like, ennyway) B-52.! Craig Wagner’s jazz guitar energy is HIGH, & Ray Rizzo’s drums have GOT th’ soul needed to ram this lil’ sucker right up to th’ TOP – in my estimate, anyway! Gets this issues PICK for “organjazz”! This is MIGHTY fine stuff – dinna’ know they were DOIN’ such down Louisville way! Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer! Contact at POB 17080, Louisville, KY 40217 or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Michael Kelsey: UNDER BLUE LIGHT – Here’s another splendido tape in (via th’ netz) from Michael’s “Lifesaver Laboratories”. His use of horn sounds (on “Then & Now”, the opening track) convey the “blue” mood he was going for with near-perfect clarity. In his own words, it “attempts to reflect some of the human traits associated with ‘blueness’. Quite “progressional”, it moves (sort of) in lines, rather than swirls. Sound quality is also excellent, making for a MOST pleasant listen – ‘specially with the PHONES on! There is strong “punctuation”, too, so tho’ there are elements of space, it doesn’t come off sounding like “milquetoast” new-age stuff. An artist who DESERVES to be heard, by YOUR ears! This tape comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by Zzaj. Contact at 813 N.E. 92nd Ave., Vancouver, WA 98664 or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Urchins: YUMMY – This CD is in from “Alley Cat Music”. Straight-ahead rockin’ that th’ promo stuph sed was “too normal & well-adjusted to be punk & too ironic to be purely pop”. Well, not in my estimate (but who lissens ta’ THAT?)… imagine a ’90’s “Jefferson Airplane” (NOT th’ STARSHIP)… lead vox by Karen Bradbury remind this reviewer muchly of Gracie! She does some “talkovers”, too, but the SINGING is gut-level-havoc-mind-bending grind that’ll either PISS YA’ OFF – or enchant you, as it did me! Dinna’ know th’ “east-coast” thang HAD this much ballz goin’ for it, but then, I’ve stayed AWAY from alla’ th’ Baptist “angst” that spurs kickazz gutwrench like URCHINS! Tho’ not “improv”, this is somethin’ you CAN enJOY, if you LIKE “earthy” music with gonads! Not afraid to SAY what they’ve got to say! Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer. Contact at 105 White Oak Lane, Old Bridge, NJ 08857 Rotcod Zzaj

Zzaj Productions considers (our) return to (what’s termed in th’ military as) “the world” a MOST fortunate occurence… if for NO other reason than that it makes access SO much easier! In the following interview, this is demonstrated in MUCH more effective forma than I could possibly “elaborate” upon in wordz… we are most appreciative to Amy Denio for “fitting in” the time to speak with us… after a (rather heavy) snack in the OlyWa ancient landmark “Spar Cafe”, we went to the streets (a bench near the downtown branch of the Olympia Federal Savings bank) to conduct the interview. Since most previous interviews have been by mail, my “predjudice” towards that method showed a bit, I guess, but it was still MUCH fun… enJOY, people!

Zzaj: Do you do e-mail?

Amy Denio: No, I have an Atari, with, uh, nothin’ on it.

Zzaj: Was that for music, or…

Amy Denio: Yeh, program called “Notator”, but no e-mail.

Zzaj: Are ya’ thinkin’ ’bout doin’ that?

Amy Denio: Yes, except for the time. There’s some cafes in Seattle, where you can (real cheap) have a page on a website, though.

Zzaj: First question I had “formally” was – How was Eugene?

Amy Denio: Well, it was a most surreal night, heh! heh! A group called “Bloodloss” played right before us (members of “Lubricated Goat”) and “Mudhoney” (Mark Arm from Mudhoney)… some of the most sad and dark music I’ve ever heard & there were these drunken sorority sisters who ev’ry once in a while would get up & dance these really hilarious happy dances to the saddest, wierdest music I’ve ever heard…

Zzaj: Was your music sad&wierd?

Amy Denio: Naw, not too sad&wierd, it was more, ah, feisty…

Zzaj: So, they didn’t dance for that?

Amy Denio: Naw, they danced for that too… didn’t especially matter what it was.

Zzaj: What have you done lately? Recording & such?

Amy Denio: Band called FoMoFlo, with some Japanese guys …

Zzaj: Any particular “genre” you can attach it to?

Amy Denio: Well, we do some punk stuph, ah, jazz, waltzes, country music…

Zzaj: You mentioned you knew (my ol’ friend) Wally Shoup, back in Colorado… how’d that come about & in what context?

Amy Denio: Yeh, it was thru this fellow named Bob Tudor, who is a GREAT improvisor…. I’d never come across improv (well, my mother plays a jazz bass, so I’m “familiar” with improvising), but I’d never heard this “free” music until I moved to Colorado Springs.

Zzaj: Does your mother still play?

Amy Denio: She stopped a lil’ while ago… she’s now 70, so…

Zzaj: Guess it’s time to stop…

Amy Denio: So, through Bob Tudor, I heard about Wally…

Zzaj: Who do you most enjoy playing WITH?

Amy Denio: There’s this guy, the “Noise Vortex” guy… Hoppy Kaimyama…

Zzaj: Anybody else, back over the years?

Amy Denio: Uh huh… Bob Tudor is one! He’s just amazing!

Zzaj: History on the Billy Tipton sax quartet… you mentioned “dance” being a part of it – is that still true?

Amy Denio: Uh huh… I’m commissioned to do the music, & they’re REAL physical, sax players onstage & th’ dancers kinda’ “cavorting about”. Really demanding!

Zzaj: Do you really enjoy that kind of “integration” of the arts? Dance/music?

Amy Denio: Oh yeah! Tho’ I haven’t really “hooked up” too much with poets! I see a lot of, sort of, “wanking”, you know “ME”, “I, ME” in the Seattle poetry/improv scene, & I’d rather the players/poets be more – in “touch”, to communicate the “greater”…

Zzaj: OK, so before it can communicate to the audience – th’ players’ve got to “get together”

Amy Denio: Yeh, kinda’ relates to my idea about “spoot” music… the idea that people are really “actively” listening – rather than just showing off their technical prowess. &, also exercising a lot of empathy – pushes forward whatever ideas are floating about.

Zzaj: How do you feel about music that only “stays in one place”?

Amy Denio: As I get older, I enjoy “drone” things kind of more & more… I may sorta’ be getting through the last stages of my adolescense. (laughs heartily) Don’t know if this is certain, but… & a lotta’ th’ “noise” things I was doing earlier – I don’t find so necessary now – you know what I mean?

Zzaj: Yeh, I think I do…

Zzaj: OK, you said you were in “Iron Tortoise” (meaning Birmingham) – what did you think of that scene?

Amy Denio: Ah, I thought it was g-r-e-a-t. It was great to see Davey & LaDonna in their “home turf”.

Zzaj: Yeh, it was kinda’ a fun scene when I was there & I was just wonderin’ if it’d changed that much.

Zzaj: Since this is a “D.I.Y.” forum – wonderin’ if you’ve got any “tips” for those of us out here in 4-track (or 8-track) tape land…

Amy Denio: Yeh, send tapes to Rotcod Zzaj… that’s how I got started… you know, Sound of Pig & all that – he’d bootleg my stuff, send it off to Tel Aviv & I’d get letters from all over the WORLD.

Zzaj: Imagine now that yer’ playin’ so MUCH, you don’t get a chance to listen to a lot of other people’s music.

Amy Denio: Yeh, I get so many tapes that I (sometimes) forget whose it was.

Zzaj: Yeah, not that ya’ didn’t WANT to listen, but you were just busy… have you listened to any D.I.Y., say in the last 10 years?

Amy Denio: Yeh, ‘specially this guy Mike Hovancsek – from Pointless Music in Kent – it’s really WILD what he does.

Zzaj: Like to hear more about what you’ve done recently.

Amy Denio: Well, mostly with Mike, you know…

Zzaj: When yer’ actually doing it, do you try & get it done RIGHT THEN – or do you like to overdub?

Amy Denio: Naw, I usually try & get it done RIGHT AWAY.

Zzaj: Can “untrained” players do “spoot”?

Amy Denio: Well, yes; especially if they LISTEN. With a sense of “community” – at least that’s my hope.

Zzaj: Is it to be aware of other players or the music, or what?

Amy Denio: I think on every level… whatever space they’re coming from.

Zzaj: Is it better to be “musically trained”?

Amy Denio: Huh uh! No, I don’t think so. I think sometimes musical training can really hamper the ability to be “empathetic”.

Zzaj: Sorta’ like “church”!

Amy Denio: Well, maybe.

Zzaj: Any tips or pet peeves on self-promo? Is it harder for “women” players, or…

Amy Denio: Well, no, it’s not a gender issue at all.

Zzaj: Is self-promotion necessary for musicians these days?

Amy Denio: Depends on what your financial interest is in doing th’ music. It’s important to be promoting yourself, in order to make other contacts.

Zzaj: Well, where are you going – physically as well as musically?

Amy Denio: Right down the drain. Heh! Heh!

Zzaj: Yer’ self-promotion is, ah, “winding down”.

Amy Denio: I’ll be going to Europe for a couple months with the Billy Tipton group & then the “Pale Nudes”. Then I’ll come home in December & sleep.

Zzaj: Any things philosophically? Regimens?

Amy Denio: One thing that’s really helped me a lot is Yoga. Helps me to “stretch out” a lot.

Rotcod Zzaj: Primarily for the breathing?

Amy Denio: Yeh, I like to breathe.

Zzaj: Where were you from, originally?

Amy Denio: My family was from Boston, then they moved me to Detroit.

Zzaj: Does “Motown” influence your music?

Amy Denio: Yeh, that music is really passionate, & I try & integrate that…

Zzaj: Is there a musical “glut” these days?

Amy Denio: Yeh, I think there is, but that’s really good in a way… now, it’s more possible to gain access to “things that make noise” & I think that’s really good. Who cares about the glut part?

Zzaj: This ‘zine believes/promotes th’ idea that the “people’s music” belongs to them… do you think the “D.I.Y.” thing helps that?

Amy Denio: Yeh, I think it’s essential that the “cassette culture” continue to grow. I started in it in ’86 & thought I was “too late”. NOT at all!

Zzaj: Technology? Good? Bad?

Amy Denio: Unavoidable. Will say that I’m back to “analog”. Digital is fine, but there’s no way it can be “smart enough” to relect the “real world”.

Zzaj: So the machines have to be viewed as a “tool”?

Amy Denio: Yep!

Zzaj: Why the Northwest?

Amy Denio: Roommate moved out here & said “people really lOOk at you out there”.

Zzaj: Well, it’s gettin’ C-O-L-D out here… we’d better wrap this up…

Amy Denio: Well, OK – (loud “bye” into th’ mike)!

…& that was IT, people! Amy Denio is an absolutely “spontaneous” person (and musician), fun to talk to, fun to listen to & full of energy. You owe it to your own well-being to CHECK HER MUSIC OUT! Once again – THANKS for takin’ th’ time, Amy!

Joseph Benzola: SERENITY – Another most interesting tape in from Joseph’s AMANITA MUSIC. A much greater “range” of influences/styles than on the first tape we reviewed (in the last issue).Side 1’s first piece, “For John Coltrane” is most attractive to my earz… saxwork is “notable” & very expressive. I believe synthesized sax is quite difficult to do – RIGHT…. but Joseph has done a fine job of it here & I’m sure th’ “master” would approve; Joseph’s swirl-i-cue “galactic spread” work behind the sax gives it some extra depth (both sonically and emotionally), as well. The title track has decidedly more “eastern/oriental” influences. Very “punctual”, less flow than some of his other pieces. Intro on side 2 uses an awful lot of “voxover” work, & tho’ it’s done with a competent level of skill, it still doesn’t quite “carry me home”. I much prefer his “straight” instrumental works, as reviewed in the last issue. There is a very “ghostly” quality in this material that will be a strong attractor for some (?hindu influences?), but it’s just not my cuppa’ ‘spresso, I guess. Synthwork backing this is FINE, & would have made a “standalone”, for sure; in fact, I could easily envision someone like John M. Bennett doing the vox – THEN it’d work – & I’m quite sure John would enJOY working with this particular piece. Overall this is a quite enJOYable sonic experience – but not quite as “directed” as “The Third Ear” (reviewed in issue # 19). Comes RECOMMENDED from Zzaj, ‘specially if you enjoy things you haven’t heard before. Contact Joseph at 54 Edgewood Avenue, Oakdale, NY 11769 or via email to  or you can check out his WWW page(s) at URL  Rotcod Zzaj

Daniel Emmanuel: DEEP TRANCE STATES: We reviewed a beautiful tape by Daniel in the last ish, titled “Into Separate Realities”. This excursion is similar in fashion – but NOT in intent. Ya’ need to pull out that ol’ “music recliner”, kick back into yer’ best ol’ “meditative posture” and prepare to REALLY relax. That, I think, is the most notable ability Daniel expresses through his synthesized works… he’s able to (literally) communicate his most relaxed states of mind. There are many I’ve heard over the past 5 years or so who ATTEMPT to “induce” trance through their musics – but it usually comes off as very “plastique” & ultimately (after the first 16 bars) B-O-R-I-N-G. NOT so HERE! In order to play music like this and have it not be like that proverbial “bump onna’ log”, the player(s) MUST be completely in touch with where their own being is AT THAT MOMENT in time. Daniel Emmanuel is a MASTER in this realm. You will practically MELT into the mood he was feeling when he laid these trax down! I do REALLY like his music – & I believe you will too. It gets the PICK of this issue for “healing” music and comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by yer’ editor. Contact at North Star Productions, POB 8516, The Woodlands, TX 77387, or via email to  Rotcod Zzaj

Tom E. and the Bad Habits: SELF-TITLED – Picked this lil’ gemtape up on a cruise through a local coffeespot h’yar in th’ majickland of OlyWa, th’ “JavaFlow”. Rock oriented, it gets right on out there & MOVES, people. What I enJOY ’bout it most is that it’s not “jangle” rock. There are some comparisons I can hear (Tommy Robischon’s lead gitar on “Mirror Image” takes me way back ta’ “Whitesnake” – he’s joined by Mark Couch on rhythm guitar, Chris Miller on (some kickin’) drumz & Mark Tremblay on bass), but the energy is completely ORIGINAL & CLEAN! These gentz kin’ KICK out them JAMZ & that’s wot’ this kinda’ music is s’posed ta’ be all ABOUT! See ’em on “Letterman” ‘fore long – & I ain’t talkin’ ’bout “Stupid Pet Tricks”, either. Vox on th’ balladlike “I’ll Be Your Man” come across with crystal clarity & an apropo amount o’ angst. Th’ vox on “If Looks Were Everything…” didn’t come across quite so strongly for me, but th’ playin’ saved it! This is our first listen to “Tom E.” – but we WANNA’ hear MORE! Unless ya’ just can’t STAND a lil’ rockin’ fervor in yer’ life now & then, yer’ gonna’ LOVE this. Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact at Warrior Street Records, POB 3413, Olympia, WA 98503-9998 Rotcod Zzaj

Ken Clinger: KC45 & KCM16 – If you’ve not heard Ken’s work before – GET THIS ONE! His work on “Monkey Machine I” is worth it in & of itself. Vox, piano, drums all melded in to a focussed piece that will enCHANT. There seems to be a touch of “Moody Blues” influence on some of these pieces. Those who’ve been in to th’ underground/hometaper scene should recognize Ken’s name right away. He’s been on th’ “scene” (way) longer’n I have – & he’s got his “style” down pat. Not that it’s “scientific” claptrap… I think that’s why I keep askin’ him to send along tapes… still comes across as “natural” & all Ken. Most enJOYable works that always have something NEW… & ain’t that wot’ this whole D.I.Y. thang iz all about? “Boxes of Laughter” is a real “standout” for me, both lyrically and instrumentally. Very pretty piece. Inspiration galore for those of you just starting out on this home-tape adventure, ‘s well as all us oldphartz who’ve been doin’ it since th’ dinosaurs. MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact Ken at Bovine Productions, 311 Stratford Ave., #2, Pittsburgh, PA 15232-1108 Rotcod Zzaj

Charles Rice Goff III: KNOCKING AT MY CONSCIOUSNESS DOOR – Our intro to “Taped Rug Productions”… wotta’ “wake-up call”. A mix of wacked feedback git-fiddle, folk-rock balladeering & other madmornin’ stuph. These works REQUIRE more than one listen, tho’, because as “simple” as they sound, there are VOLUMES spoken here. Most ASSUREDLY an effort that stands out as RAW & classic D.I.Y! You won’t mistake this for “radio plastique” from th’ mass-production mill. I enjoyed the electronic sections more; in fact, Goff has a real FEEL for intermixing voxpatches. There’s some serious “texture” here, & a musical bent that blends really well with the spoken parts & loops. (& those of you who read this ‘zine on a reg’lar basis know that I’m not often a “fan” of purely noize spoken-word works, preferring a lil’ “order” in such). If you want a taste of the ’90’s “one-man-band” phenomenon, GET THIS! If you’re more inclined to convention, you prob’ly will have to run fer’ cover on th’ first few barz. Glad Charles sent this in, it’s quite an “experience”! RECOMMENDED! Contact at 4312 Telegraph Avenue, # 2, Oakland, CA 94069 Rotcod Zzaj

Dan Susnara: TRAVEL – 1987/88 vintage tape in from our long-time collabin’ & D.I.Y.’er pal Dan. I’d been after him for some time to kick me some of hiz earlier releases, & he sent along two. Semi-political overtones on “Travel”, heavy on guitar sounds, somethin’ Dan’s a “whiz” at, ennyway. “Behave Like Armies” is an absolute GEM – uses a drone/strum acoustic, with Dan’s voice “marching” th’ lyrics out atcher’, in a parody of just how “zombielike” (some) volkz have become – &, of course, THAT was ’87/88… even WORSE now, methinks! Haunting is the word that comes to mind almost immediately (something I’ve often said about several tapes Dan’s done). “Phobias” is a much more “folk” oriented piece that came across just a bit “stilted” in my earz; but don’t let that be a drawback. The rest of th’ tape continues the theme. In a word? G-R-E-A-T folk/rock/indie effort! This is a CLASSIC that fulfills Dan’s desire to “accurately portray the time I was living in”. Somethin’ th’ (so-called) “majors” just can’t seem to DO anymore, what with their “marketing survey” approach to music. Razor-sharp & finely honed, this was one of Susnara’s better efforts, showin’ his LONGTIME dedication to producing finely crafted works from home – th’ PEOPLE’S music, I’m a thinkin’… MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact Dan at 7806 S. KILPATRICK, CHICAGO, IL 60652 Rotcod Zzaj

Amy Denio: TONGUES – A brand-new release (on the PONK/FOT label) from Amy. This woman is an absolute MASTER at making the musics of the world come to LIFE! I’ve just not ever been a big F-A-N of th’ “old world” style of music, sorta’ “Hungarian operatic gypsy” – but her vox on the opening cut, “Salvatore” will make YOU sit up & reorder yer’ priorities. In fact, it’ll make you wanna’ drink wine (or whatever yer’ current pleazure iz) & get up and DANCE! As is true with many other Denio releases, it doesn’t “settle in” & get “stuck”, either. It moves from the Czech border down to (what I could easily picture to be) the hasish denz o’ Morocco. Eastern sounding horn (turnz out it was Amy soloing on Alto sax) on a rather extended piece called “Further Sadness”. Just SPLENDID. Bring a tear to your ear – & THEN some! Since Amy’s been travelling so much in Europa of late, I’d say some of those influences “rubbed off”. But ’tis a “happy marraige”, just a continual unfolding of sonic surprises that’ll warp th’ cockles o’ e’en th’ MOST jaded improvisor’s blackheart. Tho’ there’s “structure” here – it IS improvised music, as TRUE as it can be. Just LOVELY! MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – & that ain’t no “mutual admiration” crap!!! This CD gets the PICK of this issue for “most creative and inspiring music” – probably of th’ ’90’s! GET THIS ONE!!! DON’T let this experience slip away… contact NOW at Spoot Music, POB 85154, Seattle, WA 98145 Rotcod Zzaj

Tinty Music: WEIGHTLESSNESS: OF CONTEMPLATION & DISTRACTION – This came (once again, from net contact) as a result of a “feeler” to Kevin O’Conner. It’s an absolutely SPLENDID 72 minute CD. “Strictly D.I.Y”, says Kevin – but a DJ would n’er be able to TELL! This is QUALITY music, which though in an “ambient” vein, manages to avoid the trap that much “atmospheric” music often falls in to… th’ dreaded “self-indulgence”. Kevin’s phaseout phrase (in his letter) describes the music(s) better than e’er this ‘umble reviewer could… “thanks for supporting my deviation from the norm.” That brings to mind th’ rantings of one Herbert Pepper, music teacher tucked away in th’ hills o’ Kentucky (yeh, there really WAS a Dr. Pepper – mebbe’ he was a Sergeant at one time, too?), who told me WAY more than once – “You just can’t PLAY music like that, Metcalf – people won’t understand it!” I often (even tho’ I’ve been doin’ this for some years now) find it HARD to believe just how MANY quality artists/products there are out there (who wouldna’ LISTEN to th’ “Dr. Peppers” o’ th’ world)! Constantly moving, evolving from “space opera” to clear-tone bell work, horn overlays that SAY something, this is a WONDERFUL musical experience. There is a “body” to Kevin’s musical vision that is clearly expressed and easily translated (by the listener) into a living, breathing EXPERIENCE. His use of percussion is sparse enough, not used in any fashion to “cover” error. I was greatly impressed, and any who enJOY talent that INVADES your listening space, albeit gently, will too! This one (once again) comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for lovers of music that TALKS (without words). Contact at POB 85363, Seattle, WA, 98145-1363, via e-mail to  – OR, visit his WWW site at  Rotcod Zzaj

Glen Stegner: TOMORROW’S JOURNEY – Here’s a pretty little demo tape. Straight-up jazz, sort of ala “Weather Report” (at least on th’ wanderin’ bass lines), but still with a character that separates it and makes it unique. In point of FACT, these toonz are ALL (except one) composed by Glen. His (digital) piano work is solid throughout, but more expressive on pieces like “Angular Waves”. It wouldn’t have hurt (I don’t think) to mix th’ bass just a bit lower, put th’ piano out there in th’ center of th’ stage just a bit more; but it doesn’t DETRACT from the listening experience at all, volkz. This is really “nice” jazz, anchored in feeling, & britely illustrating an “experience” of life that’s far above “average”. I liked it – it’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact Glen at 79-B Sugarloaf St., South Deerfield, MA 01373, or via e-mail to  – he has a web page, too, at  Rotcod Zzaj

Walter Clevenger: POPGOESTHEMUSIC – Hey, y’all, get yer’ kitshickers out & mosey on DOWN! For some reason (prob’ly th’ title o’ th’ ‘zine, eh?) we don’t get a LOT of “country-influenced” material in here for review. Well, podners, lemme’ TELL ya’… Walter is a FULL-BLOWN D.I.Y.’er, country or not! Liner sez’ it was recorded in his bedroom! That 8-trak mo-chine may be somethin’ WE’RE gonna’ have ta’ invest in. All original songs, with some KICKIN’ git-arz twangin’ away! Th’ lyrics support themselves well enough, but they’re pretty “simple” – somethin’ I guess sorta’ comes with th’ territory. If I wuz out a honky-tonkin’, I’d kick up my heels a bit on this music, no doubt. Only one “bone” I had to pick – the RECORDING tabs were still IN there – punch ’em OUT next time, ok? It’s hard to believe Walter was able to get the recording this CLEAR. Sounds almost LIVE! Pretty sure that a good part of that “authentic” sound is related to the HEAVY energy Walter & palz put in to th’ PLAYING! If yer’ (either) a “die-hard” country/folk fan, or only occasionally “get yer’ bootz in it” – you’ll like this! Along those lines, this is RECOMMENDED. Make sure ya’ got a 6-pak (or two) handy, ok? Contact at 786 Scott Place, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Tranquil: LEARNING WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW – Well, that ol’ saw ’bout “judgin’ by th’ cover – OR th’ band name” is surely borne out here… it’s NOT tranquil, peaceful or even calm. TOTAL change of pace from what I’d been listening to, so that may have had some influence on my earz. Th’ word that’s most apropo is – SHOCKED! Like, as in ‘lectric. No question but what it’s D.I.Y., guitarz with heavy feedback, pure noise in places… not all that bad in the recording department, actually, but the experience is quite “disjointed” and “jangly”. There are some parallels I (could) draw with the music of Arrington di Dionyso, at least from th’ standpoint of vox, but there’s just too much “white noise” to keep it on a par. Just comin’ off a “krankjag”? This would be th’ TICKET!!! If you like NOIZE, you will enJOY this immensely! If, OTOH, you like a little MUSIC with your FEEDBACK, steer clear! This came in from “Destroy All Music” (out of Scotland), and “Tranquillity Studio” – contact at POB 250, New Freedom, PA 17349-0250 Rotcod Zzaj

Air: DUMB – Daren Callow sent this ‘cross th’ pond from UK. Not a BAD lil’ demo CD at all! Pop-oriented, but not in a “bubblegum” vein in the least. Daren sez’ he believes it’s “of the style of indie-rock, but that’s open to some interpretation”. I’ll tell you one thing – it MOVES! (Brother?) Haydn Callow’s drums on the opening cut absolutely KICK IT OUT. Kris Holdsworth’s organ sounds on “Generation” sound almost like “church” – & I don’t mean that in a bad light at all! Solid bass lines throughout by Andy Phillips. Quite well recorded, their all original material packs a real WALLOP… kick back with a coupla’ Grolsch flippies & groove on out… then, when ya’ progress along to “The Chosen One”, you’ll jus’ HAVE ta’ get up & DANCE! Real nice little demo – we wanna’ MORE, boyz! Send us along ANY/ALL material you do for review! In retrospect (& since I’m incurably jaundiced towards well-played organ), I’m thinking that Kris’s organ sounds come off as a stronger “lead”, if you will. Daren’s lead vox will stand th’ test o’ time, too. All in all, this is a FINE effort! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at Mike Hrano, 13, Abercorn Road, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 2PJ, United Kingdom, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

D.I.Y. News

If you don’t have WWW access yet (INTERNET) – you better get it ON, people! There are NEAT sites poppin’ up all OVER the place, specifically geared to D.I.Y. projects. A couple of th’ best sites are Phil Riley’s, at  (Phil is also in the process of starting an E-ZINE for D.I.Y. material at this site… based on our correspondence, I would very STRONGLY recommend that you send him material as SOON as you can!!!!) This is also the repository for Bryan Baker’s “D.I.Y. Report” and (some) back issues of THIS magazine. He can also be contacted via e-mail to

Another good site (that has my CATALOG on it, too) is at  – this site is run by Alan Herrick (interviewed in issue # 19) and has TONS of catalogs on it, some REALLY fine links to other type sites that will be of interest to ALL those in to this D.I.Y. “thang”, as well as a “radio” area that will be an INVALUABLE resource for those of you keeping th’ “D” in yer’ D.I.Y. Alan’s been talking about maybe doin’ a ‘zine, too, but he hasn’t said much about that of late; so for now, just check out the WEALTH of material he’s got stacked up on this site, eh?

The following announcements were extracted from issues 20 and 22 of Bryan Baker’s “D.I.Y. Report”, a PRIME source of information for ALL areas of interest to those who are “doing” it… (contact Bryan via e-mail to – if you’ve even “slightly” in to D.I.Y., you’ll be GLAD you did; BTW, Bryan distributes this via E-MAIL – so even if you DON’T have WWW access, but DO have e-mail, you TOO can get this valuable information with no hassle)….

*THE K2000 PROGRAMMER’S CORNER is a WWW page devoted to sound development on the Kurzweil K2000 now available at   Note the new URL. The K2000 Programmer’s Corner, while not officially supported by the Kurzweil corporation, contains many useful tips on sound development offered by Kurzweil technical support and K2000 owners. You are actively encouraged to visit, contribute, and/or comment.

HOUSTON’S PROPAGANDA, one of Houston’s longest running zines has opened an art gallery in the new heart of Houston’s downtown. Not only that but they have a zine rack for zines to sell. Send a sample (1) and price info. They will contact you via e-mail to let you know if they accept you or not and why. “We’re going to have to keep this thing under control so for the first year we plan on only carrying a few zines and on limited amount (between 2-5 per zine) . If you want to work on consignment or need the price up front please contact us. We are poor so please take that into consideration. Let us know what you zinesters think and maybe we can chat….we promise this is not a scam.” [Houston’s Propaganda, 3227 Milam St, Houston TX 77006; phone: 526-5083] “

*Indie-Label List, is a long listing of independent music labels. One edition is at , maintained by Steve Niece ( ). There’s a more up to date, indexed version of the list at  — the one held at orpheus is about a year out of date and the things come on in leaps and bounds since then … there’s getting on for 600 list entries, and submissions can be made online.

BUD COLLINS (the band) produces a newsletter which details (among other things) a full schedule of upcoming gigs throughout the CT-MA-PA-NY areas.

Write to be included on their mailing list and get a regular update on their activities. A t-shirt and CD are available, as well as live board mixes of select live shows. The band plays a unique mix of progressive, reggae and pop that is highly recommended to those of you who enjoy those sorts of things. [PO Box 120, Stoors, CT 06268; phone: 203-586-1174]

THE SUCCUBUS MIX is a show by dj Megan at an FM station in a city with 35,000 college students. The features industrial/goth/ambient music. She would like to receive high-quality demos from original bands fitting in the musical style for radio-play. ” I have the freedom to play what I want and my goal is to expose my listeners to NEW up and coming bands, not just Ministry, NIN, Aphex Twins, Dead Can Dance, Orb, Pantera, Negativland, etc… I am also interested in “strange” audibles (such as Negativland-esque) pieces, OR original poetry with or without music.” Email <> or <> for information on criteria and the snail address for demos.

SONIC BOOM, The Net Industrial/EBM/Cyberculture Band List has a web page with cover graphics and links where applicable to the bands. . Contents vary from traditional EBM music, to ambient/atmospheric, to cyber music. Submissions of discographies, sound files, press releases, and reviews should be E-mailed to: . Demo’s sent for review should be snail mailed to: Chris Christian, 2355 North 25th Street, Lafayette, In 47905, phone: (317) 497-2241. Bands are by no means encouraged to send demo’s, and are by all means welcome to send personal reviews of their work themselves. Of course, if you want an objective 2nd opinion, demo’s are always welcome.

NEW ZINE is looking for audio CD’s to review of any style. Contact: Ray Goforth 3138 Overhulse Road N.W. #86 Olympia, WA 98502 USA. e-mail: .

UNDERGROUND TV needs some real cool alternative bands, who are looking for exposure, and posible record deal…to send demos now.. They’ve just finished shooting a feature and are seeking help in the music area. Contact: .”




This is only a “feeler” at this stage… it’s for you music producers, as WELL as poets out there who like to “do th’ D.I.Y.”.

As many of you (who correspond with me on a regular basis, either via e or snail mail) know, since moving back to this “majick” area of the country, I’ve been OVERLY active (much of this activity was due to lack of “a job”…. somethin’ that’s soon to be remedied); we’ve produced a LOT of taped material this summer, kicked out more issues of th’ ‘zine than normal & made some LIVE appearances as well. Since my time for “taping” will be impeded by a daily “schedule”, I’ve decided to cut back the publication schedule (for both tapes & th’ ‘zine) just a little bit. An idea that HAS been runnin’ through my mind, though, was inspired by the “Experimental Music Festival” held here in OlyWa at the “Midnight Sun” playspace.

I want to see what kind of reaction I get to a “D.I.Y. Festival” affair. The (slightly dim) vision I have for it is that of virtually ev’ry D.I.Y.’er I know (& some I don’t, I’m sure) converging here at th’ lower end of th’ Puget Sound to play/display their works. In some cases (those who were able to “Do It” live (“Why Don’t We Do It in the Road”?) would be lined up (not necessarily “in a row”) for, let’s say, two nights worth of performance… my own contacts might lead to some “classic” D.I.Y./indie names being on that bill (& then again, they might not – uno’s?). We probably could get th’ community here (sometime in the late spring time-frame) to “rope off” a street or two (more than likely in the vicinity of the “Midnight Sun”) & let folks set up tables/booths to lay out their tapes/CD’s/wotever on. You know, a chance to sort of “expand” on the theme of this ‘zine (which is basically all about a kind of “over-the-fencepost” chat about th’ things all of us are doing, as well as a few more “mainstream” CD efforts) & carry it out in PERSON, instead of just on th’ WWW & here on paper.

SO – why am I takin’ up space here with it? (besides th’ fact that this is “my” ‘zine & I kin’ write what I want to)…. basically, it’s because I want YOUR ideas… e-mail (or snailmail) ’em to me… gimme’ PLENTY o’ feedback to mull over… questions are fine, too. I’ve a couple runnin’ through my mind….

How much do we “charge”?

Is 2 days enough? More? Too long?

Who would YOU like to see?

Is there a “registration” fee?

Does th’ “improv fest” take a “percentage” to cover costs?

Tell ya’ th’ truth… this is ONLY a “seed” – but I BELIEVE it can be a HUGE success…. come BACK to me & TELL me what YOU think, OK? I’m willing to do th’ “organizing” – but we/I need YOUR ideas/support to make this a “real” happening!

Rotcod Zzaj





I scream of brave and useless

son-lovin’ badgers and toads;

a strange bruhaha of right wombs, crosses

the road with jackrabbits and gingersnaps

gingersnaps return, trafficking in

woodwinds doin’ their thing

friends of the lady bunnies? no comment

dare I lay a dumb bimbo? Icck!

who plugged Omar at 12:01 a.m.?

sockets zapped in stadia tiers beyond

the cosmos, grandmamamamamamamama

shadow of the Condor

c Mike Catalano


A free-form, fuddpuckered society

newtered and gingrinched beyond compare.

They dole robbers unkempped grammas

phi zappa capricornocopia and

(ray guns on Mickey Mouse.)

Balloon buffoons rush slum bagels

into unkinkable whirlpools

of onion-peeled nincompooperies

whose unreversable stench abracadaberizes

Almighty dollars into common cents.

c Mike Catalano

the perils of etiquette

slimy as canned spinach

he triggered my gag reflex

the smell alone like rum and coke

turned pavlovian after one

unforgettable, unrememberable

that night he walked in the room

I wanted to leave but was trapped

it seemed at the time to me

a victim of my own adherence

to the dictates of social propriety

a victim of myself

c Laurie Calhoun


Stygian sky farts?

Psychedelic light show?

Vehicular pandemonium?

Fender amps freaking?

Cloudburst cascading?

God screaming, weeping.

c Mike Catalano

stuck IV

habits of thought

in which he is trapped

out of sight out of mind

how long does it take

to reverse thirty years

of freeze-dried gray matter

forgotten matters

forgotten and ignored

tattered truths never glue back

together they just stack up

in embarrasing lumpy piles

like bodies insufficiently weighted

bobbing up to the surface of a lake


c Laurie Calhoun


there were candles all over the place

sticks and slabs and jars of wax

with wicks all lit to celebrate

the beauty of fire and the concept

of extension, elusive to sound, smell

touch, but always somehow there though

in the end dispersed if what I’ve heard

about entropy is true my molecules too

will be mixed up with all the miniscule

drops of colored wax that flew from that

house as the flames burnt down

and the room turned dim like everything

else one way or the other cremated

c Laurie Calhoun




Today hot as Java… you were showing

as the lanyards under the deck and I

had to help roll the lousy sail

as high noon feinting delight; I’ve

forgotten what they were used for.

That little foreign woman so well tanned

the way you observed when she leaned over and under

skimpy shorts the view was extensive and seemingly

oblivious but that was all later anyway.

In our escape from 105 heat.

Index on shore, before wobbling in irons

controls lacked in life’s wording the shore

and shore’s watching the sea rubbing blocker

too much babble about great estate-surroundings

as she slides by Oyster Bay.


c Joan Payne Kincaid


the way some people end

is awful

is awful

is no good

descriptions are not

called for she emphasized

what is called for?

he asked

there was no answer

and he resumed

the unadorned statement

c Walt Phillips


She is in the recesses of her mind

Aways standing in a sort of sunlight

Like an abbreviation or coda for some real

She imageins to pass time like flying

Over exotic building in a straight line in India

Only two dimensional without evolution out of pain

No lovers touch, not even a cup of Nanna’s tea

Layer over layer of oddly-lit minimalism

No one sees the fallen arms and random hands

Untouched, untouching she is closed 7 days

Still as glass with the world tooting around it

She imagines being a tommy deer rachingaway from


Where dying souls are reduced to bloody footage

forced to observe victims and herself as one.

c Joan Payne Kincaid





only when they’re not working

are they worth a damn at all

they’re either cops putting up a front

or else they’re crooks like ditto




c C. Mulrooney



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