Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 21


Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 21


Improvijazzation Nation

Twenty-First Edition, Spring 1996

Brought to you by: Zzaj Productions

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





Dread Zepplin

Interview with Phil Riley

One-Note Zygote

Robin O’Brien

Interview with Urchins

Samarai Celestial (drummer with th’ master, Sun Ra)

Some RED-HOT blooz from th’ BIG MO label

NEW release from Windham Hill, Turtle Island Spring Quartet

& much MUCH more!!!



Rotcod Zzaj


This issue is JAMMED with new material! I’m truly EXCITED about that… OTOH, much of it is from labels who don’t represent th’ true “D.I.Y.” community. What’s HAPPENIN’? Where ARE you, hometapers? If YOU know a hometaper who hasn’t sent somethin’ to IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION before – tell ’em to get up OFF their DUFF!!! I truly BELIEVE yer’ OUT there – but we NEED you to send your stuff our WAY! So get that material on IN here, ok?

# 21 will probably be the last issue that’s on the (sort of) “accelerated” schedule. I went back to (drudge) work during the first week of October, & I’ve got to slow it down a bit. Of course, my taped output this summer increased DRASTICALLY (we’ve already released 14 new tapes this year, & there’s at least 1 or 2 more comin’ before January), so that’s another reason for cuttin’ back a bit. This ol’ body just won’t STAND those kinda’ stresses forever (tho’ I think it SHOULD).

We’re also in dire need of more poetry submissions…. so spread th’ word to yer’ writer friends, eh? Th’ only “roolz” fer’ submission are that it be under 20 lines (preferably shorter) and that it NOT be of th’ “heartz&flowerz” variety. I give first pick to those poems that speak about music, but ANYthing well-written (& of th’ “odd-ist” school) will probably be used.

Rotcod Zzaj



Jazzhole: …AND THE FEELING GOES ‘ROUND – Well, it HAD to happen… the fusion of hip-hop & jazz (they like to call it acid/jazz) has arrived on this CD. This reviewer would not be one to herald it “with open arms”; too much of th’ ’80’s/’90’s hip-hop/rap scene was (& many times still is, in my mind) a celebration of violence as a “solution”, or doodz standin’ ’round graspin’ their “equipment” & offerin’ THAT up as th’ “answer”. I can’t just arbitrarily write “Jazzhole” off, though – & neither can YOU! The element that will make ’em survive is their affinity for well-played JAZZ! VERY funk-based (kinda’ comes with th’ turf, doncha’ know?), but not just STUCK inna’ groove, this music KICKZ! Tasty & finger-lickin’ good, their rendition of EWF’s “Shining Star” will make you wanna’ get on up & DO IT! If yer’ an old phart (like I am) & been lookin’ for somethin’ to “cross the bridge” with yer’ kidz…. you know, give ’em an example of what you think “rap” COULD be – spin THIS for ’em! They’ve helped th’ “circle to come full”, all the way back to the ROOTS of rap – anyone remember Gil Scott Heron with the “Last Poets”? Similar, but with much STRONGER musical abilities, you’ll LIKE this. Knowin’ I did! Meld that together with a kind of “slowed down” Al Jarreau voxstyle (‘specially on “Moodness of Cool”), & you’ve got th’ idea! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact at 209 E. alameda Avenue, Burbank, CA 91502 Rotcod Zzaj

Dread Zeppelin: NO QUARTER POUNDER – Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Elvis onna’ hamburgerkick with Jimmy Page jumpin’ DOWN on ‘dem GIT-arz! I haven’t heard ANYthing funnier (or more entertaining) than this in YEARS! Just cain’t stop laughin’…. :)) This group’s apparently been “on th’ scene” for some time now… first time I’ve heard ’em, but then I wuz off in Ko-rea fer’ th’ last 12 years. Now, YOU guyz who’ve BEEN back h’yar in “CrackVille” may have seen ’em on th’ intro to “Beavis & Butthead”. It’s not just that it’s FUNNY – you’ve got to have some REAL talent to wreck things like this & still have ’em come off soundin’ crisp/clean & FULL like this! “Lil’ Baby Elvis Jackson” will have them ol’ “tearz o’ joy” streamin’ down yer’ face – as tho’ ya’ just ate a whole POUND o’ onions! If Elvis dinna’ get ta’ feel th’ punch o’ THIS drug – bet he’s sittin’ up there KICKIN’ ‘imself! Har! Har! This is a KICK! These guyz are (as a band) are sorta’ like th’ “Rodney Dangerfield” of vegaspopcumzeppelin, in reverse, I reckon – “just don’t give no respect”… good LORD, I’d hate to hear what they’d do to ARETHA! MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Birdcage Records iz th’ “perp” for this madness; get in touch with ’em at POB 784, Sierra Madre, CA 91024-0784 Rotcod Zzaj

Sam Durant: BEHIND THE CENTER – Here’s a 7″ that’ll BLOW away them ol’ Baptists… & a few OTHERZ besides! Solo guitar ala rocket engines, this music will either make ya’ LOVE it – or you’ll join th’ PMRC toDAY! Actually, to these jaded earz, there IZ music in that thar feedback – & e’en a toon or two manages to chime thru th’ “scratch”. Durant iz a MASTER at coaxing wierdnesses out of ALL parts of th’ git-ar… strings, neck, board – it’s all HERE! Only for the truly ADVENTUROUS – but, then, there aren’t THAT many “I.N.” readers who DON’T meet th’ challenge, eh? RECOMMENDED, but only for those who like to take CHANCES! Contact at 1448 Fernside Blvd., Alameda, CA 94501-3122 Rotcod Zzaj

Alvaro: SQUEAK – This iz truly a NEW one on me! Chilean performer Alvaro has been in London since th’ mid-70’s & apparently has quite a lineup/following in th’ “indie” community there! Pretty tame, in a certain sense, musically, but it IS a style unique to HIM! Limited R&R patterns form a framework for a sorta’ “perverted Latino” trip, if ya’ kin’ DIG wot I mean. The KEYNOTE, for me, is that it’s clear he enJOYs what he’s doing & is able to COMMUNICATE it to the listener. Worth a few stamps… contact at Squeaky Shoes Records, Zahringerplatz 4, 78464, Kinstanz Germany Rotcod Zzaj

Alvaro: WATCHING THE FRIDGE DEFROST – This fellow getz MORE intriguing as I keep spinnin’ him. There are lickz’ on here that remind me of Gil-Scot Heron (which sort of trackz with him theme of “music and poetry”), while keeping a Latino “flavor”. Experimental? Not by today’s standards, methinks. Unless flamenco acoustic has “snuck in” on me as the “new” flame for those who are IN to experimentation… uno’s? Quite well put together for a 7″, though, pretty fair sound. Try ’em out at th’ address shown above. Rotcod Zzaj

Suzanne Ciani: DREAM SUITE – Very CONTEMPORARY – but, don’t be lettin’ THAT turn you OFF! There are times when ALL of us roustabouts (self included) need to settle BACK (preferably WITH th’ phones on) & get a taste of the BEAUTY that can be rendered by a piano against an orchestra! If Suzanne Ciani can’t make you realize THAT in her “Dream Suite” – YOU must be on SOME kinda’ terrible trip! Now, admittedly, I wouldna’ be spinnin’ this at a “party” (‘less it was a party for th’ local symphony orchestra players, mebbe’). I did truly RELAX when listening to this (three TIMES now, so it MUST have something going for it). I think it’s partly because she doesn’t overWHELM th’ listener with all kinds of “fingertricks”. Simple and straightforward playing that will have you WRAPPED around her talent in only a matter of moments. If you’re lookin’ for whistlepop or heavy thrash – go ELSEWHERE! This comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by Zzaj, however. In FACT, it gets the PICK of this issue for “well-executed instrumental music”. Contact at 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918 Rotcod Zzaj

Squirm: INACCESSIBLE b/w PROCRASTINATE – Well, Philly may be home ta’ raptsah’s, gangstah’s & all th’ rest o’ that… but, as this 7″ proves – there’s STILL some ROCKIN’ goin’ on over there! S-O-L-I-D & really “fleshed-out” guitars, heavy (electric) bass & drumz that wanna’ kick th’ sucker OVER! They’re supposed ta’ have a cassette (maybe more) out, too – which we WILL write askin’ for! Though th’ record is well-enough recorded, I’m sure th’ taped version would have MUCH more to offer! Style? Punkin’ R-O-C-K! Not BAD at all! I liked th’ “INACCESSIBLE” side much better, but they both JAM! Contact at 1908 Yorktown South, Jeffersonville, PA 19403, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Matchbook Shannon: SOB STORIES – In from LandPhil records (who have a kewl WWW site, too, at, these are some boyz (from Omaha) who’re are DEFINITELY “punkin'” it up! If punk iz yer’ CUPPA’ TEA – yer’ gonna’ LUV this one! Jangly gitarz & all! From th’ standpoint of th’ “charts”, I’d not be surprised to see this RAM itself up to th’ top! The biggest thing these young fellers have goin’ for ’em (in this ol’ phartz mind) is their ENERGY (GAWD, where’d alla’ MINE go?)! This thing takes OFF from th’ first LICK – & just don’t QUIT! On a scale of 1 to 10? About a 7, methinks! What pulled it down a bit? Their “soft spot/interludes” were mixed too LOW! Keep it UP, gents – & send yer’ next one on IN here! IF yer’ just NOT in to th’ punk “thang”, you’ll probably wanna’ shy away from this one! Fer’ th’ “punk at heart”, this is RECOMMENDED! Contact at 1102 S. 60th Street, Omaha, NE 68106, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Dan Susnara: MULTICOLOURED SKELETAL STRUCTURE – Dan’s at his acoustic BEST on this lil’ GEM! His multitracked vox are ESPECIALLY clean & accurate on this outing, too! Imagine a psychedelic halloween skeleton dance, bones rattlin’ in both future & past… now add a toke or two & you’ll have yerself right back at th’ crossroads betwixt th’ ’60’s & ’70’s (a favorite intersection for Dan, it seems – tho’ he’s versatile in MANY different styles, let me TELL you)! Ah, Dan, th’ drum machine was “just” a bit to the forefront, but that “ain’t no drag”, sorta’ like a bitta’ “overpunctuation”. NICE lil’ taste o’ folk music, from a gent who is (only in the “healthy” sense) a CRUSADER for th’ “D.I.Y.” thing. Anyone remember Donovan? This is just a bit more electric, but if I smoked a ‘nanna, bet it’d BRING back some memories. Har! Har! Dan’s music is ALWAYS “F-U-N”, & that MAKES it! Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer. Contact at 7806 S. Kilpatrick, Chicago, IL 60652 Rotcod Zzaj

Tinty Music: STUMBLING INTO BLINDNESS – You heard my absoLUTE praises for Kevin O’Conner’s work in issue # 20 (a CD titled WEIGHTLESSNESS: OF CONTEMPLATION & DISTRACTION). He seems proud (as he should be) of the D.I.Y. aspects of his work – but this is no mere 4-trak gangbang. QUALITY music! Percussion seems to be at the forefront of his wanderments on this outing, though there are still some distinct “bellworks” going on, “sort of” behind the scenes. This tape is VERY recent, with a release date (limited edition) of 8 October 1995 – so you’d better GET it while ya’ CAN! We’ve ALL heard folks trying to “emulate” what it might sound like out amongst the stars… Mr. O’Conner (literally) TAKES you there! Be looking for reviews of MORE of his work in the future – but DON’T let the chance to SNATCH this tape up pass you by! It is, in a most heartfelt fashion, MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Gets the PICK of this issue for “space music”! Contact at POB 85363, Seattle, WA, 98145-1363, via e-mail to  – OR, visit his WWW site at  Rotcod Zzaj

Attacked By Wolves: UP A BIT FROM DOWN – This tape came to us from Scotland, home of the “DESTROY ALL MUSIC” label… put it THIS way – if THIS is UP – I gol-durned sure DON’T wanna’ ever be DOWN! It reminds me of some early improv jam sessions I heard Davey Williams do, with less guitar. Homespun to the MAX (which DEFINITELY goes in it’s FAVOR), it’s plodding twists & turns through the “mechanical” spectrum will either bring you great JOY (you know, if pain is yer’ trip), OR make you wish you HAD visited your dentist (on time). Bit too much hum in spots, but salvaged by the (sometimes) jangly guitars, used to some degree as a calliope for a “carnival of madness” (there are sections here, in fact, that strongly remind me of some of Bret Hart’s best works). Actually, I enJOYed this tape much more than Tranquil: LEARNING WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW, reviewed in the last issue. If you’re in an EXPLORATORY mood, I’ll even give it a RECOMMENDED. Contact at POB 250, New Freedom, PA or e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Susan McKeown (& the Chanting House): BONES – Very folk, very haunting, VERY pretty music! To her credit (with one possible exception – Janis Ian), she doesn’t really REMIND me of anyone! That may (to Susan and th’ band) seem a rather “strange” comparison – but it’s the “haunting” part I’m speakin’ of… getz right down there inTO yer’… ?bones? There were really only a few “folk/alternative” artists in the magical ’60’s that KNEW whereof they spoke – whether pain, sorrow, anger or joy! Her debut revisits that sense of discovery that we all felt, & will serve (for some of us) as a GATEWAY to the new decade, methinks – but then, what’n’l do “i” know? Instruments & production values are EXCELLENT – but that’s of slight consequence, because it is Susan’s VOICE and lyrical intrigue that MAKES this trip! Even if you don’t (in particulate) like strummin’/folkin’ music – GIVE this a CHANCE! ‘l, now I think of it, “someone’s” gotta’ replace Joni, don’t they? MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at Sheila-na-Gig Music, POB 2349, New York, NY 10009-2349, or e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Radar Bros: RADAR BROS. – This lil’ CD (six songs) is in from L.A. (Jim Putnam on vox/guitar; Matt Sevareid on guitar; Senon Williams on vox & bass & Steve Goodfriend on drums). Sounds like they’d been scopin’ out “Abbey Road” or somethin’ along those lines. Self-described as “moodcore”, ’tis basically quite “mellow”. If ya’ use “radar” in th’ sense o’ “scopin’ out th’ world ya’ live in” – albeit at a rather “slow” pace – you’ll have a feel for what’s goin’ on here! All th’ elements are here, & they DO hit some high points, but in hindsight, it dinna’ “do” it for me. I think prob’ly if the pace was “up” just a tad, their kollectiv energies might’ve come through a bit more. Now, Mz. Zzaj just scoped out a coupla’ toonz – & SHE likes it! Sed it reminded her of her “high school” daze (now, ‘member, Mz. Zzaj ain’t e’en 40 yet)! SO, boyz… ya’ got th’ vote that COUNTZ! Fer’ a taste o’ “slowspace” rock, check ’em out at 1680 N. Vine St., Suite 1205, Hollywood, CA 90028, or e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

One Note Zygote – ONE NOTE ZYGOTE – Ah, ‘s “bouncy”, it’s “fun”, but this “One Note Zygote” thang (CD) ain’t “ROTE”. Disco Zappa, mebbe (more to that – later on in the CD – than you might THINK!)? The basic lines start off inna’ “disco phrame”, but it won’t pound ya’ into a mindless phunk, like some o’ THAT stuff used ta’ do, ‘coz there’s always MOVEMENT! To tell ya’ th’ truth – this just doesn’t FIT in to any “square holes” I know of. The gently probing flute/vox thing (second piece in) is quite enchanting, mostly because of the flute – though th’ lyrics are a bit “overblown & wordy”, if you can dig what I mean. Musically, it’ll stand UP, though – it’s fresh AND original. I find myself LIKING it! Some NICE improv thrown in, bass with clear vox playing against it. There’s a lot of sound “mixing” on here, but it’s not of th’ “answering machine” variety… VERY well done & completely balanced. Even getz along to ROCKIN’ after a bit! This is OUR first listen to this group, but I’m SURE it won’t be our LAST they’re quite versatile and MOST pleasant to listen to! This one comes RECOMMENDED by th’ Zzaj. Contact David Alan Axelrod at POB 5805, Somerset, NJ 08875 Rotcod Zzaj

Ghosts of the Open Road – ROCKOLA – Here’s a POWER group out of LA (where else, eh?) Make sure yer’ TANK is full ‘fore ya’ decide to cruise on down THIS road! These spirits (& their high-voltage git-arz) will CARRY you AWAY! Most volkz get my age & their blood starts to “cake up” in th’ vessels… THIS is ONE reason why MINE won’t; music like this keeps th’ blood MOVIN’ (e’en in 50-old-phartz – heh! heh!) Not sure if it’s just th’ production values, or th’ TALENT – but these janglin’, kickin’ git-fiddles don’t overload these ancient earz with PHUZZ! VERY clear sound! There’s a feeling among (some of us) that many “rock” groups are “ONLY” in it for th’ “star-dumb” factor… well, THESE “ghosts” (Allen Jameson on guitars/vox; Will Lawrence on drums, percz, keys & backing vox; Lance Morrison on bass) come across with RAW rock&roll energy that just doesn’t come to the forefront when th’ goal is th’ front o’ th’ tabloidz! Some DYNAMITE playin’ here! If yer’ in to rock at ALL – yer’ GONNA’ want this one! In fact, I declare THIS th’ PICK of this issue for “best rock CD”. It comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at 8530 Wilshire Blvd., #404, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Tim Walters: THE DRY WELL – This CD is in from Coredump records. If you’re “in” to improv (like WE here at “I.N.” are), you will TRULY enJOY this! Very DENSE (tho’ not “plodding”) material that refuses to be categorized. In OTHER words – it’s HEALTHY improvisational work. I was more fascinated with the background bellwork than with the voiceovers. Some excellent stringboard work that actually comes off sounding (somewhat) “organized” – as opposed to “mangled”. Now, to be sure, you would NOT play this as background music for any “regular” gathering… it’s NOT “dance music”. My only criticism is that the “spacy” sections got (just a bit) too “quiet” for me to hear – simple answer, right? TURN IT UP! This work was intended to be ABSORBED, anyway. Tim Walters has a “handle” on this art – I greatly enJOYed his work, and those of you out there who aren’t AFRAID to travel new paths will, too! For those inclined to explore, this is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at 1685 1/2 Church St., San Francisco, CA 94131 or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Jason Walter – CAT SCAN RENDEVOUS – At LAST, volkz! Some KEWLJAZZ! Jason’s clarinet stands right OUT in FRONT of some original jazz that may (sometime soon) help him achieve his stated goal of “transglobal aural domination”. He was joined on this outing by Andy Frost (whose guitar TRULY complements Jason’s compositions), Damien Ecclestone (also on guitar), Bret Higgins on bass, Ariel Mishkin on drums & Teilhard Frost on percussion. Clearly a collective effort, there’s no amateurish “fighting” goin’ on for leads & such. Now, this isn’t “improvisational”, in the strictest sense of th’ word. I can readily imagine sittin’ in a “lowdown” smoky cafe somewhere (maybe in San Fran), sippin’ a scotch & groovin’ right along with these katz. Ya’ know, THAT kinda’ jazz – accessible. On th’ other digit, Jason’s “feel” for the music he composes & the crisp energy that comes through makes it GENUINELY stand out from th’ “pack”. A relaxing, but invigorating trip through turf once again being inhabited by “giants”. This comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. If you’re trying to decide what would make a nice present for that “kooky” old uncle that’s always rappin’ on about th’ “good ole days of ‘true’ jazz” – GET THIS! Contact at POB 693, Don Mills Postal Station, North York, Ontario M3C – 2T6, Canada or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Robin O’Brien/David Mitko: TREE OF LIFE – This tape came in from Robin, via our FAVORITE DJ, Don Campau. She recently moved out to California (Cupertino, where Don does hiz “No Pigeonholes show,) to be with him. A sort of “folk-oriented” collection of tunes, with a decidedly “Irish” influence! Don’s only comment – “She’s incredible” – comes pretty close to summing it up. Since th’ j-sheet had little in th’ way of explana for credits, it’s easy to assume that David did most of th’ instruments (a real variance, not only limited to “acoustic guitar”, as some tapes of this nature tend to be… kalimba, ?harpsichord?, & many others), since Robin must have been busy concentrating on the performance of her (sometimes multitracked) beautiful vocal excursions. We’ve all heard “standard” singers of music in this “volk” vein… you know, monotone (& ofttimes “whining”); well, prepare yourself for a NEW experience. Gentle, yet probing, Robin reaches for the upper ranges & achieves them quite PLEASANTLY; no harsh “yelling” here! I thoroughly enJOYed this listen (sad, but relaxing), & will lOOk forward to MUCH more of her insightful and depth-filled music in th’ future! Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from th’ Zzaj! Contact at PO BOX 23952 SAN JOSE CA 95153 Rotcod Zzaj

Gate 18: GATE 18 – A taped demo collection of music by Lynn Rueckheim (3 tunes), in from Fretless Music (who produce/promote MANY types of hot music from th’ New York area). Lynn kickz out these volkrockjamz in a gutzy style that will CAPTURE you quickly! Comparisons have been made to Melissa Etheridge – but in a FAR “earthier” style – soundz like a woman who can DEAL with th’ REALITY – in FACT, she’s not “like” anybody, methinks! Got a B-I-G kick outta’ “Nikki’s Tits”, on which she’s FUNNY! While this won’t appeal to those in our readership dedicated to “experimental”, I can see people like our collabin’ pal Dan Susnara gettin’ OFF on this (& many others, of course). I would have liked to have heard 3 or 4 more cuts, just to be familiar with ALL of their styles/talents. Nevertheless, Lynn is a POWERFUL vocalist who isn’t afraid to SING what she’s got to SAY! Surely worth a TRY! Contact at , 212-592-3482 (vox) or snail to 108-22 Queens Boulevard, Suite #226, Forest Hills, NY 11375 Rotcod Zzaj

David Cooper: THE LEARNING CURVE – David’s a musician (from the great Northwest) who can clearly express a range of emotions that we ALL can feel! This tape (also available on CD) has 10 tunes (all his own compositions) that dynamically showcase his amazing talent. Though it comes pretty close to “folk/rock” (with a dash of “country” thrown in), it’s not “cliche”; mostly, I think because of his HIGH energy & love of music, which will illuminate even your most DREARY day(s). This is truly WONDERFUL music & I genuinely LOVED it! Toured Europe three times, has “opened” for numerous “names”, got a lot under his belt. While scoping out these toonz, little memory trips of layback excursions through numerous “Seals&Crofts” albums kept cropping up. Don’t know exactly why, but I think the arrangements had something to do with that impression. His vox are more penetrating/piercing, though. Just GREAT music by a musician who KNOWS what he’s got to say to the world. Not only is this MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, it gets the PICK of this issue for “folk/rock” mastery! Contact at ASIL Records, POB 790576, Middle Village, NY 11379 Rotcod Zzaj

Thirty Ought Six: TALON b/w MOREAU – This 7″ came in from Portland, Oregon, where th’ group is getting ready to release an album (HAG SEED), in early November. High distorted guitars & tearin’ vox on TALON will bring to mind Fugazi – or mebbe’ e’en Pearl Jam. MOREAU, on th’ flipside, still packz a punch, but is much more “laid back” in it’s approach – at the front; then it RIPZ on into th’ wildbloo! Truly music from th’ “heartland” (& from th’ heart). Th’ thing I liked most about this is that even tho’ it’s in “high rock” mode, th’ pieces still come across clearly & distinctly! Some fair amount of “anger” here, but channeled to keep th’ “music” at th’ forefront. Young music fer’ young minds! Worth checkin’ out at Mute Records, 140 West 22 St., #10A, NYC, NY 10011, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Ray Obiedo: ZULAYA – This CD, in from Windham Hill, is some of the PRETTIEST latin-influenced jazz I’ve EVER heard! & though it IS jazz (not “zzaj”, my own term for improvisational madnesses), it’s every bit as exciting (in a much more laid-back fashion) as th’ most INTENSE improv you’ve listened to of late. Obiedo’s electric guitars are crisp & clean, NO slouchin’ here. San Francisco raised, his exposure grew (CLEARLY) in to his own VERY unique style. The best elements of rhythm & blooz are paired with lilting latino lushness & result in a music that will make you FEEL GOOD! While this IS “professional” music, it’s pretty evident that Ray hasn’t “sold his soul” (or forgotten where he came from)… only chosen a forum that will make it more accessible to those of us down here on the “ground”. If yer’ in th’ mood for some SPLENDID jazz – GET THIS! It is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – gets this issues PICK for “best jazz CD”. Contact at POB 9388, Stanford, CA 94309 or at Windham Hill’s WWW site, at  Rotcod Zzaj

& NOW, an interview (conducted via e-mail, natch) with THE URCHINS (whose YUMMY CD was reviewed in th’ last issue). We THANK them for “participating” in this sometimes tongue-in-cheek/zerious forum. (AND we thank JoDee Braeme Vale, without whose help we’d have NEVER gotten this monster xverted). Diane, their publicist, deserves a nod as well, for “pursuing” this so diligently:


Karen: Being signed means we have someone else hawking our record. They have a stake in it, being that it’s their first release and we’re their first band so they’re working really hard to get people to listen to it.

Albie: We don’t have to pay for studio time, and I get free soda and pizza at the meetings.

Andy: We got a publicist – that helps with work (gigs, press, etc). We got a real producer, too! We got to work with Jody Gray.

Dave: The fact that there is a group of people who have to say nice things about me as part of their job does wonders for my emotional security.


Karen: I don’t feel like I’m in any position to give advice, especially since this whole thing is really new to me and I’m totally clueless about it, so I’m keeping my mouth shut!

Albie: Watch out when working with scissors.

Andy: Be tenacious. Interns rule. Don’t expect to make any money.

Dave: “O my soul, do not aspire to immortal life, but exhaust the limits of the possible.” – Pindar, “Pythian III”


Karen: It’s like one of those great 60s dances – the Mashed Potato, the Jerk, the Monkey – but a 90s version. It’s totally stupid and makes you look ridiculous, but when `everybody’s doing it,’ it’s fun. You flap your arms and hop around. Basically, any fool can do it!

Albie: It’s an indie-rock mating dance.

Andy: The new dance craze sweeping the country.

Dave: It involves taking a nasty fall in the middle of the desert.


Karen: My songs usually stem from personal experience, at least partially. Something happens to me or I see or hear something that sprouts an idea in my head. Sometimes it shrivels up and dies, sometimes it grows into a song.

Albie: All the stuff I write comes from a hopeless feeling of despair that everyday life, MTV and the turning worm burn into my stomach. It also keeps me off the streets.

Andy: Life is fucked up. It’s good therapy to express yourself through music.

Dave: Semi-straight answer: it comes from an awareness of the absurdity of trying to create something meaningful out of an inherently meaningless existence. Glib answer: We visit the gristmill 2 or 3 times a year and purchase a peck or two.


Karen: In progress.

Albie: I’m supposed to do a solo tour of the Falkland Islands, but this Urchins thing might put it off for a while.

Andy: Connecticut and New York state next Friday. Hopefully a cool band we like will invite us to tour with them.

Dave: The IHOP Across America Tour, in which we play every town with an International House of Pancakes.


Karen: In the beginning, we sucked up. Now our record company sucks up.

Albie: I’m just the guitar player.

Andy: Diane (our publicist) and the radio staff at AIM Marketing.

Dave: Bomb threats have proven to be the most effective. Keep an eye peeled for the Urchins Manifesto in the Times and the Post – the Urcha-bomber.


Karen: Good: the 70s, David Hasselhoff, Miss Manners, Calvin, Elizabeth Montgomery, Grover, Tom Waits. Bad: the 80s, David Hasselhoff.

Albie: Good: Elvis Costello, Kurt Cobain. The bad influences are mostly in jail or underground somewhere in this great big country of ours.

Andy: Good: Elvis Costello, Neil Young, The Feelies, Velvet Underground. Bad: Journey.

Dave: Good: Cheap Trick, Barry White, Scott Walker, Nick Drake, Francoise Hardy, Gene Krupa. Bad: Angel, David Rose, Abba, Kasenatz + Katz


Karen: I use the internet when I can. Unfortunately, I never seem to have time to spend cruisin’ around the net.

Albie: I have a typewriter. It’s an electric!

Andy: We have a web site.

Dave: Yes, Derrick Coleman was especially eager to go to people’s houses and physically drag them to gigs.


Karen: I wish I knew. Some of them come out good. Most of them come out really bad. I haven’t quite figured it out!

Albie: Stay IN school, and OFF drugs.

Andy: Lots of hooks.

Dave: A healthy degree of `musical differences’ within the band.


Karen: True love is hard to find. Relationships are over-rated. To all of those aspiring to be a star – start out as a planet.

Albie: Get a job.

Andy: Don’t quit your day job!

Dave: I always preferred Angel to Starz – they were way more rockin! So since I aspired to be Punky Meadows rather than Michael Lee Smith, I’ll have to pass on this one. However, regarding the lovelorn, I can speak from experience and say `learn to accept and love your schmuckiness.’

Note: The Urchins are planning to open a nation-wide chain of Urchins’ Karate Schools.

Tommy Lepson (& the Lazy Boys): LIVE&DURTY – Who’n’l evah sed that them “ol’ blooz” wuz “restricted” to any one “group”? Yeh, boyz&gurlz, I know th’ “rootz” are in th’ American black community… but Tommy & hiz “lazies” KICK in there with th’ BEST of ’em! This is POWERFUL stuff – if ya’ wasn’t inna’ “phunk” when you put this CD on – ya’ WILL be! This came in a stak (of NINE – get it, 9, people) from BIG MO Records – never woulda’ BELIEVED they’ve got RED-HOT blooz like this comin’ outta’ VERMONT (RR 1, Box 389 C, Norwich, VT, 05055, to be precise)… if you DIG th’ blooz – toon IN to th’ next coupla issues of “I.N.”, in which you’ll find ALL of those CD’s reviewed. NOW, back ta’ Tommy – Lepson’s B3 reaches right down IN there – right along with his RIPPIN’ vox – ‘l, even onna’ “covers”, he makes it sound like hiz OWN pain (& glory, fer’ that matter). This is some of th’ BEST blues music I’ve heard (since th’ early days of the Paul Butterfield band). This certainly DESERVES th’ PICK of this issue for BEST BLUES. I couldn’t RECOMMEND this MORE HIGHLY for you lovers of rockin’ blooz! If ya’ don’t buy ANOTHER CD this year (‘s long ‘s yer’ IN to rhythm & blues) – GET THIS! See th’ address in th’ review for contact info. This is H-O-T! Rotcod Zzaj

Samarai Celestial: ISIS SUN – This CD, in from Carrot Top Records, features th’ drummer (Samarai Celestial, of course) for Sun Ra’s Arkestra. He shows his skills, in many ways on level(s) commensurate with the “master”. A full 70 minutes of unbounded improvisational JOY! This Samarai performs a “rap” so musically/universally inclined that you could in NO way compare it with today’s “shallow/greedy” rapmeisters! Rhythmically solid, yet having no “boundaries” sonically… you know, you can “hold” on to th’ rhythm (if yer’ inclined to need “reference points”) and still experience the music of the cosmos – as it was INTENDED to be – withOUT external “definitions”. Fundamentalists will be driven MAD by this – which is as it SHOULD be – contributes to the rebirth from their decay… heh! heh! Those who’ve become “bored” with the patterned and pre-defined sonicscapes thrust upon us by (many of) the “censors” of the age (DJ’s), will IMMEDIATELY sense the freedom and wonder inherent in this age-old celebration of the “natural”. I genuinely LOVED this music & those who are improvisationally inclined (even in the slightest) will agree (upon listening) that it (without question) merits the PICK of this issue for “best improv CD”! Contact NOW at 2438 N. Linclon Ave., 3rd Fl., Chicago, IL 60614, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Rod Piazza (& the Mighty Flyers): LIVE AT B.B. KING’S BLUES CLUB – Blues with a slightly “jazz” flavor. Rod’s vox/harp are joined by Honey Piazza on piano (husband/wife team?), Bill Stuve on bass, Alex Shultz on guitar (th’ gee-tar is what makes fo’ th’ jazzy sound, methinks) & Jim Bott on drums. Rod’s harp is WICKED, & Otis Spann once called ‘im “the best harp player extant”… it’s quite clear after listenin’ all th’ way thru this (more’n 4 times, ta’ tell th’ truth) that there aren’t many better! Of course, ya’ gotta’ have a FEEL fo’ these blooz yerself to really UNDERSTAND th’ vibrancy & rich heritage at work here! There are some among us call th’ blues a “worn out” format… B-A-L-O-N-E-Y! The simple patterns may give some credence to their argument, but groups like Rod’s disprove alla’ those musical “theorists”… the energies involved here are TONS more complex than any “theory-nut” could POSSIBLY begin to understand! This is music “from th’ heart”, right up there on Beale Street in Memphis & jee-zowey, I wish I coulda’ BEEN there! S-W-E-E-T music to help ya’ wash them blooz AWAY! This is another BIG MO Records release; see th’ contact address given earlier in th’ ‘zine. Once again, for those who UNDERSTAND this music of forever, I can’t RECOMMEND this HIGHLY ENOUGH! GET IT – NOW!!! Rotcod Zzaj

…..NO better time fer’ D.I.Y.’in than right NOW, volkz! I’ve been tellin’ ya’ll about my WWW pages (both th’ online version of th’ Zzaj CATALOG as WELL as three SAMPLE issues are at this site)… well, in FACT, it was th’ following gent, Phil Riley, who was gracious (& skilled) enough to put ’em up. He also maintains an archive site for Bryan Baker’s “DIY REPORT” there, & is just an all-round SUPPORTER (as well as a PLAYER) for D.I.Y. th’ world over! We’re happy to have a few “words” from him… make SURE ya’ get in TOUCH with Phil… he’s also doing his own ON-LINE review format, the FIVE-CENT REVIEW. You can contact him at  (e-mail), or via WWW at . Once yer’ THERE, you’ll find all th’ linkz ya’ could WANT for D.I.Y.-related activity… now, let’s get on DOWN to what PHIL RILEY has to say…

Zzaj: What’s yer’ PRIMARY interest in such intense involvement in the D.I.Y. movement (WWW page, recording & alla’ th’ other things yer’ involved in)?

P.R.: Jeez… when you’re a math grad student you gotta do something to get away from the grind… No, actually, I’m an obsessive music maker. I think you know what I mean by that. And the people you tend to meet and take friends with in everyday life aren’t always the people most likely to

a) be willing to listen to your music,

b) be inclined towards criticism.

And of course I want people both to listen and to criticize. The idea of actually going out and trying to make a living as a musician doesn’t really appeal to me, though, because the music biz has so much bullshit involved. Honest appreciation and criticism doesn’t really exist out there, so if that’s the kind of way you want to work, you’ve got to find other venues, which is why I do DIY music.

The WWW page just seems the natural way to do it… I grew up with computers in the ’80s, and being a student I’ve got access to a very fast computer here with lots of storage, so why not take advantage? Plus it lets me stretch my graphic design capabilities (perhaps meager) as well.

As to the phrase “D.I.Y. movement”… I’m not sure I agree with that term. With the advent of cheap cassette tape twenty years or so ago, and now with the rise of the internet, D.I.Y. seems less a movement than a constant. Sure DIY “moves” a lot — it wouldn’t be interesting if it didn’t. But there doesn’t seem to be any “goal” of DIY except our own personal goals. And of course a true movement is based on collective ambition… but perhaps all that is just semantics.

Zzaj: What “influences” count the MOST in your own playing?

P.R.: Let’s see… Eugene Chadbourne is perhaps the biggest one in the recent past, and the influence that led me to discover DIY in the first place. I hope people can’t accuse me of direct copying from him, but I think my sound has some of the same aspects — lots of noise, samples, etc…

I also like to throw in a jazz element here or there, though perhaps it’s not really noticeable. There are songs I’ve done where the basic chord structure came from my knowledge of jazz. My latest cassette, Brain Bypass Surgery, though, is much more blues, I think.

Zzaj: Does your teaching (language, I mean) have any “bearing” on your thoughts about D.I.Y.?

P.R.: [not sure what you mean here!); (left this in, just to show that “interviewers” are sometimes pretty “muddleheaded”… ed)

Zzaj: What are YOUR favorite pages, ‘zines, etc., in th’ D.I.Y. “world”?

P.R.: Let’s see — Gajoob`s emailing list (THE DIY REPORT… ed) is indispensable. Jim Santo does a neat page of “demo” reviews on the Web, which are also published in Alternative Press… a couple from Iceland, name of Paul & Laura have a real attractive page listing, among other things, their home-released tapes. Perhaps the best (only?) book on cassette culture is Robin James’ Cassette Mythos. And of course, there’s I.N…

Zzaj: What kind of equipment do you use? Is fancy-schmancy equipment terribly important to the home taper?

P. R.: My equipment is certainly not “fancy-schmancy”… I’ve got a Tascam Porta07 4-tracker, an Alvarez Regent (beat up) for an acoustic guitar, a Fender Telecaster for electric, a couple of bongo drums, a no-name Japanese bass guitar (actually my fiancee’s), and a really crappy effects board that I rarely use anymore since its sound has deteriorated so badly. And yes, a little Crate amp. The one thing I spent some money on is a microphone, since that’s really the critical link. If you’ve got a great guitar, but a trashy mic, it’s still going to sound horrible on tape.

Since I think my own music’s pretty good, I really can’t require other people to go out and spend money they don’t have on fancy equipment… what really counts is what you do with it. Obviously if I was going to play a violin concerto with the CSO I’d want a Stradivarius… but that’s not what I, or any DIY players, do. It also helps to exploit what your equipment CAN do, use the noise, or that buzz that won’t go away on your low E string. There’s more to music than perfect reproduction of tones.

Zzaj: Do you get to see any D.I.Y. activity right THERE (where you are)?

P. R.: I wish. I spend half of my time doing math, half webbing/recording, and the remaining half sleeping, with an occasional meal. Doesn’t leave much time to seek out others around here. Besides, I’m too close to Chapel Hill; I’ve seen the word D.I.Y. used in the college paper here, but when talking about fan-oriented indie rock…(see below for my thoughts on that) and Duke students don’t really care about anything that doesn’t involve (lots of) money anyway. But that’s a whole different story. If anyone out there is from the Triangle, drop me a line, I’d like to hook up with you.

Zzaj: You said (to me, in a recent e-mail) “Although I find recently that much indie output has stagnated — at least in indie rock…” please explain in more detail for our readers!

P. R.: Well, any statement like that’s going to be an over-generalization, but what I meant is that since mainstream alternative/college music produced by major labels went so big time in the late ’80s, and particularly in the ’90s, a lot of people have retreated into indie rock, and unfortunately it’s become a lot more fan-oriented, more like music business as usual. It’s the fan stuff I can really do without in music. But anyway, indie rock has become more like mainstream rock as this exodus has occurred.

Zzaj: How important is “accessibility” in D.I.Y. efforts – or should it even be considered?

P.R.: It helps if your music is listenable. But no — accessibility isn’t a big issue. why should it be if you’re not paying the bills with your income as a musician? I sure WANT people to like my music, but that’s about as big an influence on my music as wanting to win at Monopoly influences me to steal from the bank. Someone down the hall here at the Duke Math Dept has the saying “if it weren’t for silly ideas, nothing important would ever be discovered”, or something like that. And that’s true. Mainstream music movements are only a big media spectacle, and academic music is often too stilted and rarefied to be listened to and enjoyed instead of just appreciated intellectually. We silly people have to do our part in thinking up silly ideas.

Zzaj: Personally, I view “D.I.Y.” as a sort of extension of the “pioneer” spirit (many of us old phartz were “hyped” with while growin’ up)… is there (in your experience) any validity in that thought?

P.R.: Yes, see above. But that’s not all of it — some of it’s just having a good time!

Zzaj: Do you play “out” at all? In public, I mean? Or is it mostly in the “studio”?

P.R.: Urg… If I could only get a band together! Then I’d play out. But I’m such a horrible solo performer — I have trouble singing and playing at the same time. Yes, I’m airing my glaring weakness in the public pages of IN… and also I’ve developed such a dense noisy sound lately that I couldn’t possibly do justice to my recordings live. And solo improv guitar is not my forte either. So, no, I rarely play out, but the one time my roommate Jason and I played “The Wall” in concert on two acoustic guitars, it really went over big. One more acousitc guitar, then I’d play out, but until I find someone I can completely bend to my will, I don’t think that’ll happen….

…..well, that CONCLUDES th’ interview with Phil… but, if you’ve got ACCESS – don’t let that be th’ LAST time you touch bases with him! His page(s) are SUPER & he’s got this D.I.Y. “thang” DOWN! GO FOR IT!!!! Rotcod Zzaj

Ned Eliason: MADE UP MY MIND – Here’s a CD from a Christian-rocker… lemme’ TELL ya’ – they surely dinna’ ‘ave “gospel” music like this where/when I was growin’ up (which, without all th’ gory detail – wuz right in th’ THICK of th’ Bible Belt). This is some KICKIN’ R&R, with some poppy influences. Th’ “fundamentalists” would have a TERRIBLE time with this – it just has too MUCH energy for their sedate deliberations. Which, of course, is why I liked it. The feature is the vocalist; sort of makes sense, since this is “music with a message”. NICE high-end guitars by Ned & Micheal Korconnoff. Live drums make it more “real”, certainly – but, the guitar leads were the standout, methinks. Many styles emulated here, nothing in particular to single out. There were a couple of cuts that felt too “disco-ish” for my taste, but I imagine the “target” audience would appreciate somethin’ a little more “danceable”. All in all, this keeps the BLOOD pumpin’, & has a lot of original energy… somethin’ NOT always evident on many of the C-rock albums I’ve listened to (admittedly, not that many). NO reason to let th’ “orientation” scare you off… this is good music with high energy. Contact at 2416 London Road, Suite 803, Duluth, MN 55812 Rotcod Zzaj

CHYNA: Demo tape – This 3-songer came in from New Jersey. Group’s got a S-T-R-O-N-G alternative punch. The lead guitar work (Elio Tommasi) stands right OUT; but there is also a certain “balance” for all the instruments & a blending of styles that separates ’em from the rest of the herd. I particularly liked the weaving sax (Mike Herman)… not really “solo”, but mysterious and dark, sorta’ “hiding in & around the shadows”. They’ve apparently played quite a few spots live, but are takin’ a little break from that right now. CD comin’ out quite soon. This tape is free by th’ way, so write off for yours… it’s DEFINITELY worth it & will give you a pleasant taste of what they have to offer. Not xactly “experimental”, but music with power! Contact at POB 948, Lodi, NJ, 07644-0948 Rotcod Zzaj

Turtle Island Spring Quartet: BY THE FIRESIDE – This CD is in from Windham Hill (along with Ray Obiedo’s, reviewed just a way back in this issue). Obviously, if you don’t like strings, you probably won’t fall in love with this as quickly as I did; of course, if you do, you’ve probably already listened to their fine work (they’ve been around for a little over ten years). A jazz C-mas? The toonz are all along those thematic lines, but they DEFINITELY put THEIR interpretation on each of the pieces. Comparisons could be made, but they wouldn’t be fair. This is music with more than just a smattering of SOUL and heavy with HEART! “Row Brothers, Row” on a Christmas album? Darol Angers’ version of it will BLOW you AWAY! Turned out to be my favorite piece! NO “new-age” drivel this; words like “timeless” provide a more apt description. Relaxing and invigorating at the same time! This comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by yer’ friendly editor. Contact at the address given earlier for Windham Hill.

Bonecure: PICNIC – Oh, my gourd! Wotta’ fine tape to close out this issue’s reviews with. Goes right back to th’ ROOTZ o’ wot this home-taping scene means (to me, anyway). Th’ group (who are also on Noggin), apparently hails from my neck o’ th’ forest, just up th’ road from me in Bellingham, Washington. They’re carried under Catsup Plate Records, outta’ Swarthmore, PA, (POB 375, zip 19801, to be xact), which is more’n likely a label we’ll be hearin’ a LOT mo’ from in th’ coming months/years? This reminds me greatly of some of th’ ramjam sessions we used to rock away on here in OlyWa in the late ’70’s & early ’80’s, particularly those that involved avant-garde horner Jeffrey Morgan. Slightly low-level recording, but th’ ENERGY comes SMASHIN’ thru for ya’. Sax, guitars, live drums & assorted other horns/noises descend upon yer’ consciousness in th’ pure ATTACK mode & at WARP speed! Tasty morsels for a phree-phorm picnic YOU won’t soon forget! Mighty, MIGHTY intense morsels that th’ lover of abandon will NOT want to forego! Gets the PICK of this issue for “best D.I.Y. tape”. Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those into THE art! GET this one! Rotcod Zzaj



D.I.Y. News

If you’ve got material for review, naturally, WE want it… but, since it never hurts to get a “second opinion”, you’d BETTER send a copy to Phil Riley, for his newly established net-zine, the “Five Cent Review”. His reviews are fair, clear & well-informed. I’ve a feeling his efforts will be one of the major “breakthru points” for D.I.Y.’er’s the world over. Since I NEVER review my own tapes in my own ‘zine, & since I only send my tapes to the BEST for review (as in Gajoob & Five Cent Review, where you can COUNT on more than 3 or 4 lines of “throwaway material”), he’s even got a few of mine reviewed in there. I’m TELLING you, people, if you’re even SLIGHTLY inclined to have your stuff reviewed – Phil is where you’ll WANT to have it done. Contact him at 2826 HERRING BLVD, DURHAM NC 27704 DO IT – YERSELF!!!

Hal McGhee (used to run Electronic Cottage ‘zine) is BACK up “on th’ scene”. He sent me a flyer recently for a new ‘zine (paper) out of K’lumbus, Yo’hio. It’s called AUTOREVERSE, & promises to have some pretty cool reviewers (like Hal, f’rinstance). I’ve sent ’em a coupla’ tapes already (we’ve released FIVE new tapes since th’ last catalog print – you might want to write/e-mail & ask for a SUPPLEMENT sheet to th’ catalog). They’re at POB 151378, Columbus, OH 43215

“the Improvisor” magazine (this one’s been ’round for a L-O-N-G time, sorta’ like th’ “grand-daddy” of it all) is NOW ready for ordering – contact Glenn Engstrand or LaDonna Smith at 1705 12TH ST SO, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35205


Keep ON D.I.Y.’in’, people! Itz’ HAPPENIN’…






Can ya’ BELIEVE these yuks in D.C.? I’m basically “a-political”, having many years ago become convinced that music was a MUCH better path to travel. These boyz ARE actin’ like ROTTON little KIDS, ‘owever (apologies to Zalnikor, o’ course). Folks like our poetess friend Joan Payne Kincaid would probably say “didja’ ever expect anything ELSE?”, I suppose. & (unfortunately), I’m afraid she’s right! What CAN you expect from folks who see themselves as “on a pedestal”? I mean, put HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people out of work coz’ ya’ dinna’ get a “nod” from th’ prez? Come ON! That SUCKZ!!!

I’ve probably sed this before (& probably will again); the ONLY way there will ever be any RESPONSE from the political system is when you get those who WANT to be in it – OUT!!! Th’ reason most of those boyz’ go for office in th’ first place is becoz’ they KNOW they’re gonna’ be able to skim off a piece of our tax pie! HOW can we RID ourselves of these leeches? Why not make it a NON-elective system? You set down a “minimum” set of qualifications (basic high school, maybe even some college), no SIGNIFICANT lawbreakers (you know they didn’t commit a crime that HURT someone) – & then put ALL of those people’s name in a (computer) HAT! Probably very similar to jury duty… EVERYONE is required to participate. Maybe a (sort of) screening process set up to make sure no ABSOLUTE bumz/abusers get placed. THEN, when th’ time comes, EVERY office in government is filled (at the same time) with random draws. Including the President. They don’t live in a mansion, they live in some form of public housing, the whole time they’re in office. This rollover happens every two or three years – so they don’t have time enough to chip away at th’ system with roolz/regulationz that would erode it’s principles.

At the end of their term, their name is forever discarded from future “elections”, so there would be no risk of the kind of “repeat offenders” we witness today! Also, when their term is expired, a vote is taken (en masse) as to whether their service (albeit mandatory) was in the INTEREST of th’ people. IF it WAS, they are properly lauded – but NO fiscal rewards are granted. Nothing negative happens if they were judged NOT to have acted FOR the people – but EVERYONE knows the results of the vote.

This system, or something like it, would probably ensure us a group of leaders who would NEVER “play politics” with people’s livelihoods. Why not let’s propose it? Even if only to see the “comical” frustrated reactions from those now in office! You can betcher’ bottom dollar that as SOON as something like this came to light, those who WANT to be in office would be the FIRST on th’ “stump” denouncing it!

But, at least, my (recently diagnosed) High Blood Pressure would be easier to keep under control! Till next…

Rotcod Zzaj






Let us dance

in a circle,

let us dance

in a square,

let me be

your lover


the invisible stair.

We met

in the morning,

we were married

at noon,

the clerk

and the sexton

played a merry tune.

Let us dance

in a circle,

let us dance

in a square,

in the obsidian moonlight

beneath the invisible stair.

c George Gott


Carpe Diem

A fly said

to a sparrow:

‘If you eat my eyes

I shall surely die.’

The sparrow said:

‘Such things my friend

could hardly matter,

I take my delight

upon a silver platter.

I take my delight

like the good people do

and wing off to heaven

when the long day is through.’


c George Goff


whipcream cherry panckakes

for a Friday night snack

& dyke lovers loosed

for more lesbian licking

with one massaging worm active

for that silkyfurrow’s digitfunk

& fist-flexing fotrolls

for unlimited putting out

& activezapping star sparks

for a mostnightlong of thrillips

& slipslide oozeness

for flame thrower kisseshots

& reels of secret photos shot

for bleeding blackmail

c Jim DeWitt



















c Jim DeWitt


Louie Legstrong’s teenage brother

got his middle finger/right hand chopped off

in a farm accident

sliced below the second knuckle even

and as he too gained trumpet repute

this maiming sure never

affected his play…

in fact his white-hankie-hiding style

was widely copied by countless

cornet players who’d sneak off

to a secret surgical outpatient clinic

(coincidentally run by

Louie’s uncle) for “treatment”

hey jive man, this slurred sort of sound

becming the in thing

during that Jazz Age’s heyday


c Jim DeWitt


you really look flea market chic

mahvelous, dahling

with the most blatantly bulbous

cutest of your body parts

hardly dress-wrapped…

the terrifying alluring sight of you

this way makes me nauseous

burn with desire

and I feel I’m about to have

an angina attack a love-flash

at any moment, so let us now escape

this sleazy joint

classy nightspot and retire to

just any fleabag hotel

some flowered bower and begin

putting our animal lust

romantic passion to the real test

c Jim DeWitt

two poems


nothing like these green days of chaleur

to warm up my cocles

notwithstanding it is but wind

dry off the desert sand

fifty or seventy-five miles out of town



a bad film in a new genre

inconceivably phony

yet placid as rain

swift to alert you

as it were


c C. Mulrooney


the aura of lyrical Laura lingers

queening up the otherwise-doldrumed day

I say feel it, climb it to the attic

of your inner space

like a muscled full-merryground moon

winking spray off midnight waterfalls

heavy she’s got off her vocal rainbow

all funkrock rivulets publicity suspended

“full to bursting I am too

how about you?”

feel supreme to the opening riptheme

basic peppering bass

beatnotes and cruising professional hop

telepathy’s readouts, up the wild eyes

of the masses, living it high

way into the 40-top crest

of my head far like


c Jim DeWitt



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