Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 22


Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 22



Brought to you by: Zzaj Productions

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







Hal McGhee

Kick At Heaven

Herd Of The Ether Space

Ray Carmen

The Kitchen Boys

The “Zzaj Pick Of The Week” (radio slot, where we play your WHOLE works)

NEW! ADS in “I.N.”

& much MUCH more!!!

Rotcod Zzaj


What’s th’ use in continuing “I.N.”? Well, DIY, poetry & the arts are at a PEAK point on th’ eve o’ th’ 21st century, methinks. In point of fact, I believe that the strengh of collaborative/cooperative efforts like the whole DIY thang will rise to the FOREFRONT of the arts as this “new age” approaches.

Changes in my circumstances (fiscally, as well as personally) make it a necessity to (once again) solicit YOUR help in keeping this ‘zine going. Turn to the ZZAJRANT section to find out more details on this. I’ve debated (with myself and others) for a LONG time on placing ads in this magazine; now, it’s an absolute necessity… rest assured, however, that there will ONLY be ads in here for the DIY/artists’ community. NO “major” label influences!

There’s also an announcement of a brand-new service to the DIY community at large. A local DJ, very friendly to the efforts of those (of us) who make this pursuit a priority, is sponsoring a radio slot for my “Zzaj Pick Of The Week”. The difference betwixt this and (some) other radio efforts in support of DIY music/poetry is that your ENTIRE work(s) will be aired. As you might imagine, I’ll pick ONLY the BEST work for this show… but EVERYone, every GENRE has a shot at this! See the ZZAJRANT for more information, please!



Globe Records: RHYTHMTOWN JIVE – Ya’ like “oldies”? Inna’ rhythm/blooz vein? Yer’ gonna’ WANT this one then! All that ol’ finger-poppin & toe-stompin'(nice rock&roll pianer!) ya’ used ta’ do will come RIGHT back & you’ll tell yer’ honey ta’ get up & put that RED dress on! This is FUN music… that DANCIN’ stuph, doncha’ know? Tim Eschliman, Stevie Gurr, Rob Sudduth, Steve Lucky & Jimmy Sanchez join forces ta’ ROCK ya’. If you’re lookin’ for “contemplative”, or “new territory” – this WON’T make it fer’ you! Not a bad lil’ session at all! Brought back a LOT o’ mem’ries for me (of “twistin’ th’ night away). These fellas’ put BEAUCOUP energy in to their playing, no DOUBT! Surely worth a try at POB 5523 Mill Valley, CA 94942 Rotcod Zzaj

The Cooters: Crusty (The South Shall Burn Again) b/w I Don’t Know – Well, they sed “from th’ land o’ Delta Blues”, but that sho’ wasn’t what wuz ON this h’yar 7″… actually, th’ music wasn’t all that bad! It IS from Missisip’ though! High energy, without doubt, & it’s clear these folkz enJOY wot they’re doin’. Cute lil’ “Jonny Reb” leadout at th’ end o’ side A – that’s AFTER th’ deSTRUCtion! You know wot’ I mean! They’ve GOT sum POWER lickz & can strum HARD! A bit too MUDDY in th’ vox fer’ MY earz, tho’. What REALLY stood out for me, actually, was th’ DRUMZ! They GOT th’ ticket on th’ recorder for th’ drumz/percz! For SOME strange reason, th’ B side (tho’ similar in nature) came out much cleaner! Ya’ gotta’ LIKE power-rockin’ rant ta’ get OFF on this! PMRC’d eat th’ sucker ALIVE, btw! Perhaps th’ most INTERESTING feature is th’ PACKAGE! Zomeone spent an AWFULLY lotta’ time puttin’ this together. Whole BUNCH o’ stickerz, some foldouts & such. Pretty NEAT! Musically, on a scale of 1 to 10 (for th’ genre), I’d give it about a 7 1/2. Worth a contact, if only fer’ their RAW energy, at POB 443, Oxford, MS 38655, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Jenerators: JENERATORS – Pretty broad-based tape in from ASIL Records (who also sent the David Cooper tape that we reviewed last issue). Pretty “conventional” stuff, pop-oriented. Not that it’s “bad” – ‘coz it’s NOT! VERY well-recorded pop folk-rock kinda’ stuph that kickz along at a nice pace. Sound quality is very good also. Th’ promo has quite a bit of “name-droppin” (ya’ know, some o’ th’ members are relatives of “starz” & that kinda’ stuff). That’s no killer, though, because they’ve got a style that stands on it’s own, with no real necessity for droppin’ all those names. There are some “folkish” pieces that felt QUITE comfortable in my earz. In fact, I liked those pieces (sorta’ acoustic “Eagles” soundin’ stuph) BETTER! Th’ vox seem a bit “affected” in spots, but that may just BE their style, dunno’. All in all, a pleasant listen, though some o’ yew “improvheadz” out there may not get off on it. Contact at POB 790576, Middle Village, NY 11379-0576 Rotcod Zzaj

Kick at Heaven: LIVE FROM SUN MOUNTAIN – Jean Ganias sent this CD in, after readin’ our posts askin’ for stuph on USENET. Th’ lady kin’ KICK them gutzy vox OUT. Th’ CD sorta’ “smells” like D.I.Y., if ya’ kin dig wot’ I mean. Homespun & self-produced blooz/rock/jazz that’ll capture yer’ HEART! The “live” aspects of the CD make it even more endearing. She’s joined by Steve Uhler, who does some outstanding guitar/vox (with guests Dave Post on bass & Carol Sharar on violin). There’s a VERY noticeable “balance” on the recording… these two seem to have been “joined” (mebbe’ Siamese twins?) at the throat, if you will. Jean’s voice can be “soft” & “strong” at the same time; she’s able to quickly WRAP you ’round her finger! VERY tasty effort that’d have ME sittin’ back sippin’ scotch fer’ hours on END! If ya’ LIKE original acoustic blues/jazz ENERGY, yer’ gonna’ LOVE this one! This one come MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at POB 20146, Greeley Square Station, New York, NY 10001, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

The Breetles: POP GO THE BREETLES – This CD is DEFINITELY (as described in their own promo), “alterna-wacko”. This go-round they’re not a “full” band, this is solo Chris Breetveld. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Th’ lyrics on “”Uncle Plywood” will CRACK you up. Fresh & crisp recording lends a LOT to the listen. Chris has been “on th’ scene” for over 20 years now. This is NOT yer’ standard “alterna-schlock”. There’s talent shinin’ through on ALL fronts here. For a MOST humorous & enJOYable experience that come HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from th’ Zzaj, get in TOUCH with Chris at MultiMedia Arts Group, 56 Highland Ave., Montclair, NJ 07042, or via email to  Rotcod Zzaj

The Finland Subterraund: MILD BRIGHT/NIGHT DEATH – This is in from th’ “Destroy All Music” label, whose tapes have been reviewed over the last COUPLE of issues. This is VERY nice, free-floating sax over bass/guitar work… improv in “slowmo”, if you will. It moves on to other turf, inhabited by creatures both prehistoric and timely (as WELL as timeless). For the dedicated listener of freely improvised “pictures”, this is a gallery you’ll LOVE – I know I did! There are some beautiful movements here! Even th’ wild vox sections have a certain attraction, tho’ I felt they were mixed a little too densely. Wot’n’l do “i” know, tho’? This gets my vote for “PICK” of this issue for “best freeform”, & comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from Zzaj. Contact at POB 250, New Freedom, PA or e-mail to Rotcod Zzaj

Herd of the Ether Space: GROVE’S TASTELESS CHILLTONIC – Charles Rice Goff’s “Herd” was reviewed in issue # 20. He sed in his intro to “CHILLTONIC” that it was “quite different from the other tapes he sent”. He’s right on th’ MONEY there, volkz! This IS kewl stuff! Much less “grating”, probably because many of the mixed pieces use acoustic stringed instruments (of one sort or another) as the “base” of the pieces. The mainstay, for this reviewer, was his SKILLFUL use of vocal integration to get a CLEAR focus for the overall effort. There are SO many of these “noiseters” these days who just THROW vox on top of the mix & expect to get rave reviews. You just can NOT lump Goff in that slot, ‘owever… in spots, it sounds almost “tribal”, something I found strangely soothing (even “humorous” at times). This one comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Keep ’em comin’, Charles! Contact at 4312 Telegraph Avenue, # 2, Oakland, CA 94069 Rotcod Zzaj

Tinty Music: ANTERIOR INTERIOR – A much less “musical” excursion from Tinty this time ’round, at least to start with. Still VERY “space-oriented” – in fact, the first tune MUST have been taken from a mike placed on th’ bow of the “Explorer”. The difference between this and other tapes (of this nature), is it’s ALL absorbing. You’ll find it extremely difficult to switch gears. You NEED to listen to this with th’ phones ON – AND you need to listen to the WHOLE tape at one sitting; anything less would be heresy! The bells are a little less in the foreground this time out, but still have a noticeable presence. I believe that’s one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed Kevin O’Conner’s work so much; the bells have an almost “cosmic” presence! This is NOT music for people with a fixation on “chords” or “structure”; for those (like myself) who enJOY exploratory music (as opposed to the “plastique” crapola on th’ radio these days), this is THE cat’s meow! Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at POB 85363, Seattle, WA, 98145-1363, via e-mail to – OR, visit his WWW site at Rotcod Zzaj

Herd of the Ether Space: SUICIDE DRIVER – Th’ pic of O.J. on th’ cover lends th’ proper “theme” to this set by Charles Rice Goff III. This recording of sax, electronics and voxovers from th’ “chase” stuph (with Simpson as th’ “feature performer”) will either make you fall in LOVE with it – OR, it’ll fry yer’ brain forEVER! EC’s Hal McGhee used to review a fair amount of Goff’s works, & I’m sure he’d enjoy this just as MUCH as the earlier ones. Make no mistake… this is NOT music for the “uninitiated”. It’s quite DIFFICULT listening… you’ve got to be DEDICATED to chaos to even BEGIN to get in to it! Warped brains like mine will ALWAYS be able to appreciate th’ wierdnesses (almost a HABIT by now). There are many out there who won’t be able to get past the first 5 minutes. For those who WANT a little confusion/uncertainty, however; you NEED THIS! Highly intricate work that’ll have you ROLLIN’ in th’ aisle! RECOMMENDED! Contact at 4312 Telegraph Avenue, # 2, Oakland, CA 94069 Rotcod Zzaj

Amanita Music: REFLECTIONS – We reviewed two other tapes by Joseph Benzola (in issues 19 and 20). While they drew good reviews, turnz out “last is best”. I have no idea what “sequence” the three tapes were done in – but “Reflections” is HIGHLY musical and ultimately palatable. Very “jazz” oriented, much less “new-age” oriented – which is a DEFINITE sign in it’s favor. There are spots here that remind me quite a bit of some of the masterful work done by Wes Jensen, tho’ Joseph has a UNIQUE style all his own! Were those LIVE drums? Surely sounded like it! Excellent recording all the way through, this has music that you can groove to with th’ headphones, OR at a party! He has some STRONG sax work in evidence here, with just the “right” balance. This is the best AMANITA I’ve listened to yet, & there are MANY of you out there who would enJOY this. Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at 54 Edgewood Avenue, Oakdale, NY 11769 or via email to  or you can check out his WWW page(s) at URL  Rotcod Zzaj

Grid Interface: DEADLY CHEMICAL FORNICATION – This tape is in from way down in Geo-ja (one Robb Cunningham). Hardly worth th’ ‘lectric! I suppose it’d be more listenable if it weren’t so decidedly “lo-fi”. I should be th’ “last” to complain about such, I reckon, as I made my own share of “klunkers” when I was startin’ out. The “ideas” are there, in a “punkish/noize” vein, but the recording is a god-awful WRECK! Get th’ levels down a bit better Robb & submit again! Couldn’t even read th’ address on th’ envelope, so I can’t even “direct” you to this! Rotcod Zzaj

Ray Carmen: DUET YOURSELF – Sometimes it pays to go BACK to th’ (sort of) “roots” of D.I.Y. & scope out tapes like this 1990 effort. Seems like I’ve seen Ray’s name floatin’ ’round th’ home-taping scene almost since Buddha was a Brigadier, eh? First chance I’ve had to listen to him “in the raw”. CLEAN is the best word I can think of! Toonz on here are somewhat “Beatle-esque” – timely, tho’ ancient; it’s his guitar work that influences that impression so strongly. It still amazes me (at times) that th’ volkz home-recorded music can sound this “professional”! Takes a master like Ray to make that come thru, methinks! His vocals & lyrics are intelligent and not at all contrived sounding. Now another impression (Henry Gross) is comin’ at me! This is GOOD music, much FUN! Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED & gets the PICK of this issue for best “home tape”! Contact Ray at POP! Productions, POB 8864, Canton, OH 44711-8864 Rotcod Zzaj

Pollyanna: POLYANNA – This CD in from Nymphonic Productions has a LOT goin’ for it. I think I preferred the lead guitar work (as well as the backing drums) more than the vox (not BAD vocals, now, just that th’ instruments seemed to have more “machismo”). Leaning toward th’ “live” aspects (& away from th’ “synthetic”), this is music with a genuine PUNCH! Grab yer’ gutz & TWIST ’em ’round a bit! Now, this is NOT improv, after any fashion. Good, clean rockin’ fun that’ll make nice company for ya’ as ya’ ride on down life’s road! Another thing Pollyanna has going for it is that they ARE their own group… it’s really hard to draw comparisons here; they seem to be totally on their OWN here! You can betcher’ bottom dollar that you’ll be hearin’ more of THESE volkz! Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Get in touch at POB 838, Huntington Beach, CA 92648-0838, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Spill: COMPILATION TWO – This CD (actually, there were two; look for a review of Comp Three in the next issue) is just JAMMED with toonz from “down under”. Too much to listen to in one sitting, unless you have a whole DAY to absorb all that’s goin’ on… there are 29 pieces just on THIS monster! Various & sundry groups that will give you keen insight in to just what KINDZ’ o’ music are goin’ on down there! In some spots the recording is a bit lacking, but I suspect that had to do more with th’ SOURCE than th’ engineering. ALL of the music is highly energetic, creative and fun! Can’t label it as “alterna”, tho’ it is more oriented toward rock than improvishness! “Greed and Filth”, by “The Sump”, stood out fer’ these ol’ earz. The only prob with these H-U-G-E compz is that they switch directions so frequently. O’ course, that could also stand in it’s favor, I s’pose. If yer’ lookin’ for some NEW sounds, somethin’ you’ve NOT heard before (even some snatches of “bush” percussives, en rappe’) – this comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at GPO box 2637, Melbourne 3001, POB 5656, West End 4101, Australia, via e-mail to  or view their WWW site at  Rotcod Zzaj

Zion Train: HOMEGROWN FANTASY   This VERY recent (November 21) CD release (from Mesa/Bluemoon Recordings) is a GREAT one for “world music” lovers! I’m a great fan (on occasion) of ska & world music, as it can be quite “relaxing”, despite th’ frequently “warning” tone of lyrical style. Not that I’d want a steady DIET… but, “Zion Train” would have me ridin’ a LOT more often. I suppose it’s (to some degree, anyway) th’ “hypnotics” that are involved in my fondness, but what makes this group stand OUT is the “clean” rhythmic style and crisp recording. I’ve heard many of these groups that come out sorta’ “ragged ’round th’ edge”; NOT so here! “The Healing of the Nation” (& it’s “hailing” of “weedpower”) was particularly enJOYable. This IS “dance” music, pure/simple & true to that ethic. No “pondering” – just DO it! If you prefer “intellectual” music, you won’t be able to get “with” this, but for those who like to move with th’ music, this definitely comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by this reviewer! Contact at 209 E. Alameda Ave., Suite 101, Burbank, CA 91502 Rotcod Zzaj


The Kitchen Boys: PASSION TOWN – Duo on this CD in from Backburner Records, up Alberta, Canada way. If you’ve been hankerin’ fer’ some “festival” music, where (as Bryan Bowers used to say) th’ “whiskey bottles are droppin’ outta’ th’ trees”, this one will be RIGHT up yer’ alley! These two young fellas (Steve Coffey and Jay Bigam), will have ya’ wishin’ ya’ were back out there inna’ WOODS with momma’s grits&honey (or whatever they eat nowadays up in that neck o’…). This is some genuinely pretty guitar/banjo/bass/violin/etc. music, with spirit shining right THROUGH! Th’ years I spent in Alabummer were rife with “pretenders” to this kind of throne. I can definitely see myself right there in th’ KITCHEN with ’em, sippin’ on a bottle of J.D. & rememberin’ the sweetnesses of years gone by. The beauty of THEIR talent, in my ears, though , is that they don’t have to play a whole string of “tear jerkers” in there to get their soul across. As is always true with this form of music, there’s both joy AND sadness streaming through… it’s clear they’ve learned how to balance those feelings well enough to make them gently stream out through their fingers. This gets the PICK of this issue for best “country/folk” music. It’s MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you contact them at Suite 2830, Manulife Place, 10180-101 St., Edmonton, AB, Canada T5J 3S4, or via e-mail to ; you might want to check out the site at URL  as well. Rotcod Zzaj

GFY: dots – The gents on this CD started off up in New England back ’round ’92, where all “good” bands come from… inna’ BASEMENT (of th’ frat house?). Plenty of RAW energy in these guitar/drum pieces, VERY well executed. Some nice vocal trax, pleasant shades of ol’ “Doobie Brothers” creepin’ in there (track 2)… brings back some SWEET mem’ries (many of which aren’t actually publishable). MANY diff’rent styles are evident, though, they’re not “restricted” to one genre! Their ballad work is very enticing, but not in such a way as to bore you! Clearly in touch with the well of energy from which their well-written tunes spring, GFY is fine/fun music that (while it may not shake the rafters) will make for a GREAT listen. I enJOYed it a lot. Some rockin’&shakin’ goin’ ON here as well! RECOMMENDED! Contact at 20 Dayton St., Apt 2, Worchester, MA 01609, or via e-mail to . Page is at  Rotcod Zzaj

Hal McGee – B12 – Here’s a tape in from one o’ th’ “grand-daddies” (well, guess THAT ain’t fair, I’m quite sure he ain’t no “GRANDAD” – tho’ he might take a sipasuch along th’ way, eh?) of home-taping. Hal got in touch with me via e-mail, after a L-0-N-G absence. This is BRAND spankin’ new material, circa ’95. Heavy synthscapes that some might feel were more “noise-related” than anything else. Those who GROOVE on the NEW, however, will recognize th’ skill & mastery with which Hal attackz yer’ earz. There are some EXCELLENT “interlude” stretches on here… next moment, it’s pandeMOnium! Clean recording and a real sensibility for improvisation make this a genuine treat! This comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from Zzaj! Contact at 1909 SW 42 Way, Apt E., Gainesville, FL 32607 Rotcod Zzaj

The Cool Sense: SATELLITES AND TIME – Second tape in from this group. Their first go-round, “Sensible”, was reviewed (quite favorably) in issue # 16. They’ve “grown” a bit since then, with lyrical and instrumental styles that are clearly emerging. In a distinctly pop frame, but with enough style as a group to escape the limitations of restrictive “definitions”. The music is really kind of a hybrid; tastes of folk from the guitars and even hints of jazz on some of the piano runs. There seems to be some kind of “oriental” feeling contributed by the guitars… still escapes me, but it’s there, without a doubt. Much fun, especially good for cruisin’ down th’ road with. RECOMMENDED. Contact at 6916 Dartmoor Way, San Jose, CA 95129 or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

…& now, we welcome a brand-NEW reviewer, th’ “epitome” of synthstrange, my ol’ musical pal, Kramtones (s.o.k.a. Harlan Mark Vale)… I invited him to join us by reviewing several CD’s we got in from England… you’ll see that he’s got a “handle” on this form of music… Kram will soon have a WWW page of his own, though you can read more about him at his temp locale, Many THANKS fer’ helpin’ us OUT, Kram…

GONG – THE BIRTHDAY PARTY Voiceprint/GAS Records VPGAS101CD  Live @ The Forum, London October 8-9,1994 – The ‘Shapeshifters’ have landed again from planet Gong. Polyglott pilgrims, octave doctors & pothead pixies alike, all join in the festive frequencies of Gong’s 25th BD. Their first live show since 1977, it’s a very triumphant return of eclectic creativity & divine chaos. This uncompromised double CD is a fine blend of sillyness & musicianship from outer space to the island of everywhere. This music has particular relevance to the D.I.Y. community at large because of it’s honesty and connection to their initial inspirations; they have stuck to them. When it’s fun, it’s fun. When it’s spacey they chronicle the psychedelic well. (you know, like they’ve been there). They got yer choppy guitar riffs, yer eastern modalities, yer subliminal messages, AND yer blatant lyrics which conveys their happy, simple and wise outlook on life.

The band is essentially all the original members except that Pip Pyle (of National Health fame) replaces Pierre Moerlen on drums. The material ranges from 1969 thru the 1974 “You” album eras. The Gong 1994 band is: Daevid Allen – Vocals, Guitar, Gliss Guitar Tim Blake – Synthesizer, Vocals, Mike Howlett – Bass Guitar Didier Malherbe – Saxophone, Flute, Vocals Pip Pyle – Drums Steffi Sharpstrings – Guitar, Gliss Guitar, Vocals Gilli Smyth – Space Whisper, Vocals. If you ever wondered what else happened during the 70’s, this is one part that is worth remembering. ” You are I or I am you”. Contact via e-mail to Kramtones

Future Sounds of London: THE DESEO REMIXES – IF ya’ like “remix” music, this CD will (without DOUBT) catch yo’ ear! Latino remix disco, which (former Yes star) Jon Anderson lends his talents to. If it came ONLY with th’ Future Sounds of London, it COULD have been a bit of a drag… but included on this CD are Global Communication, Trans-Global Underground and Deep Forest. My particular favorite from the 8 (l-o-n-g) trax included hereon are those done by Trans-Global. Some VERY “haunting” vocal stretches there… it’s important (I think) to note that this aspect bears very strongly on my opinion, because if you don’t “listen”, all you’ll hear (in a sense) is ’90’s “disco”! I’d be th’ LAST to praise a “return” to such claptrap as we had to endure in THOSE havens of haberdashery awash with such a plethora of polyester minds (who’ve since turned TOTALLY obese); the mixing of “worldbeat” with synth/bass and skillful integration of vocal/orchestral wonderments rescues ALL this music from the wastelands. RECOMMENDED! Contact at High Street Records, 75 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, or visit the DESEO WWW site at  Rotcod Zzaj

David Bagsby: XEN – Yeh, you got it… you pronounce it “zen”! David is familiar to me through the web. Though we exchanged many e-mails, I only heard a way early taped version of his works. For those who “live” improvisation (as I tend to), this is some MIGHTY FINE music along those lines on this CD. Sure, there are some “compositional” aspects to his work, but at the heart, it’s wonderful and “high-end” pieces that you will NOT want to miss! His style is TOTALLY unique and satisfying! I genuinely LOVED this one! All the way from a sorta’ “psuedo-jazz” to the orchestral, he takes you on a ride you won’t SOON forget… nor will you WANT to! In a word (or two)? Monstrously DELICIOUS! Can’t say enough about this… it gets this issue’s PICK for BEST improv, hands down & NO competition. Contact at POB 906187, Tulsa, OK 741112-0187, or e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Mishambra: GOD DOESN’T PLAY WITH DICE – Are you lookin’ for TRULY “different” music? This CD will not fit in ANY “notch”. Mishambra (whose “One VOTE Zygote” was reviewed in issue # 21 – our APOLOGIES to DAXE, I’d transposed VOTE to NOTE – zorry!) surely remind me of a group called “TOUCH” (way-early 60’s), except for the female vox. Keyboard synth based, but some fantastic guitar sounds that’ll blow you away. If there is a musical “majick karpet”, these volkz have a CORNER on it! Mood swings and fast turns that’ll throw ya’ off over Georgia somewhere, if yer’ not “adaptable”. VERY clean recording. All ’round, a quite inspiring listen, that somehow reminds me of what a “peaceful” Ireland might be. This does INDEED come MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at DAXE, POB 5805, Somerset, NJ 08875 Rotcod Zzaj

…..& here you’ll find a few words from one of THE icons of DIY… Bryan Baker, who publishes GAJOOB (if ya’ don’t know what THAT is, yer’ readin’ th’ WRONG ‘zine)! Bryan is known by now as one of the STRONGEST supporters in the world of DIY & things independent… & he writes a FINE review. I’ve been in touch with him over these last 6 or 7 years, & it’s been a PLEASURE! Warm th’ cockles o’ ANY “pure” DIYist! Just want to let him know that we APPRECIATE him takin’ th’ time out to answer a few of our queries. EnJOY!

Zzaj: GAJOOB has been sort of “out-of-net” for a while; there are MANY of us D.I.Y/networkers who are GLAD to see it BACK, & probably not a few who are wondering WHERE you see it going in the next coupla’…

BB: For the past year I’ve been publishing a newsletter via e-mail that contains reviews of the most recent DiY releases and information about activities of interest to DiY recording artists. I’ve recently begun offering this in a paper edition for those without e-mail access.

Where I see it going in the next “coupla” is I expect to see gajoob’s internet presence work more in conjunction with the traditional print magazine which will resurface around February. I see gajoob’s internet activities growing along with the fast-evolving technologies available there. Radio and even video over the internet will soon become a reality — I see the emergence of DiY radio and video shows, musician chat sessions, video how-to’s, recording collaborations over the net and much, much more. All these technologies exist already, but newer and faster links will make much of it more of a reality to more and more people.

But for the immediate future I see gajoob using the internet and more specifically the world wide web as an archiving tool. Soon all of the past articles from gajoob’s past will be accessible, including a pretty vast reviews archive and a regularly updated and categorized contact and activity resource. I’m also hoping to introduce a bit more interactivity into the making of gajoob by giving people an opportunity to ask interview subjects questions themselves. Also in the works is a new gajoob webzine, complete with pictures and sound that should debut sometime in January.

Zzaj: You’ve mentioned a few thoughts/ideas on “radio”; do you think the “netz” will help indie “exposure”?

BB: The net certainly won’t hurt, that’s for sure. But really, I don’t think in terms of exposure or whether the net is gonna help this or that artist “make it” or whatever. I only know that the exchange of information and the whole communications process is made exponentially more effective with the tools available through internet access. And it’s really, really cheap.

It’s also the level playing field we all talked about back in cassette culture days. I mean, it’s as easy and viable for me to have a website and a radio show and perhaps a video show and act as a conduit for DiY information and activity as it is for some major glossy magazine.

Information is the key. Access to and the dissemination of information is what makes the internet important and exciting. Whether it’s gonna make me or you or anyone else the next rock superstar is probably just as questionable now as before (and certainly just as meaningless), but through the internet I have access to info about radio shows and zines and distributors and other artists and just tons of other activities that I can personally be involved in as a do-it-yourself, individual recording artist.

And that’s all there is to it. You see, I’ve always considered the activity of DiY recording an end in itself, so anything that opens up potential avenues of exploration and increases this kind of activity is great.

Zzaj: Is radio exposure more important to the artist, or to the listener, Bryan?

BB: What’s the difference between the artist and the listener? Who is the artist and who is the listener? We’re all just exchanging information, communicating, expressing. If you’re talking about traditional radio, I’d have to say it’s equally important to each party, interchangeable as they are, because it’s important to me as an artist to communicate and radio affords me the opportunity to communicate to a lot of people as easily as it does to one person; and as an individual listener radio (or any mass communications medium) is important ‘cos it enables me to experience things I certainly would never be able to experience if I were limited to experiencing these things physically one to one. Radio and other mass communications media also open up new forms for communication, new interpretations that are equally important to “artist” and “listener.”

ZZAJ: I’ve seen a LOT of controversy over “e-zines” vs. “paper” ‘zines of late… any thoughts on that?

BB: I’ve heard of people who say making e-zines is better for the environment being countered by those who consider e-zines an elitist and even discriminating form of publishing because not everyone, notably those of lower income, has access to it. I think most people are probably just doing what makes more sense to them and their own circumstances. It’s easy and cheap to publish an e-zine if you have internet access, so people do it. A large majority of these zines would probably not exist in the paper world just ‘cos of cost and the inefficiencies of retail and postal distribution.

To say they are elitist is just stupid; but there are important issues that do need to be addressed such as insuring that net access is available to all people.

ZZAJ: Does the “day job” tend to get in the way of “networking”?

BB: Sure, but that’s life.

ZZAJ: Since you’ve been “in” to the scene for a long time, is D.I.Y. getting “better”, “worse” or is it pretty much “status quo”?

BB: DiY is getting much, much better ‘cos the tools to be independent and creatively active are in greater abundance and becoming increasingly accessible every day. There are much more DiY recording activities to be involved in right now than ever before. Of course there are more people attempting to use the net and other areas as some sort of launching pad to the music business and there are more people who approach DiY as simply an alternative form of marketing, but there are also more activities in which DiY artists can enjoy creating and connecting with people.

ZZAJ: What really got you started with GAJOOB?

BB: I started gajoob ‘cos there was really nothing like it and I saw a definite need for it, just for myself as a person who did recording. There was Option but it was/is more oriented towards music as a business. Sound Choice was fairly active then, but I saw it as an Option wannabe, albeit with a much more individual voice. A great magazine, sorely missed, but lacking areas for real DiY artists. In fact none of the magazines, including even Maximum RocknRoll gave cassette-only artists much attention and when they did, it seemed to be patronizing attention. So, anyway, I (like many other zine publishers) worked at a printshop and I decided to make use of it.

ZZAJ: Do you play? Instruments/bands/solos? What?

BB: Yeah, I play whatever I can get my hands on and I mostly like to make up songs but also like to experiment with sounds and stuff. Not unlike a lot of other K7 people out there. I’ve played at more funerals than frat houses.

ZZAJ: Do you think there’s any chance that INTERNET/D.I.Y./ networking/etc. is (or is going to) make a “dent” in the music scene; or are we FOREVER stuck with “moguls”?

BB: I’m sure we’re stuck with moguls. Any type of music that attracts a significant audience will capture the attention of people whose only interest in that music is the opportunity to make a buck. Whatever, it doesn’t matter. I care about making music. And I hope that gajoob continues to help people do that.

five cent buddha: BRAIN BYPASS SURGERY – Th’ more I listen to Phil Riley (th’ 5 cent buddha ‘imSELF), th’ more convinced I am that he’s th’ long-lost “twin” of a player too long off th’ “improv/DIY” scene, one Bret Hart. The biggest difference is that Phil uses vocal overlay integration a lot more than Hart would have… but the guitar styles are similar. That’s NOT to say that their playing is the same, ‘owever! Phil, Jason Holliday on guitars, & Ben Jones on violin (who really ADDS a LOT to the experience) have carved out a “twisted” folk/rock niche for themselves on this C60 that MANY will never be able to imitate! Side 1 is my favorite, as it has th’ “originals” on it! Make SURE ya’ check out “United Nations of Satan”! The slightly “jazz” orientation of “They Eat Their Own” has no slouchin’, either (in fact, th’ middle of this piece is where th’ strongest impressions of Bret Hart come in to play)! Side two is FUN, too, but it has several covers on it… “The Wall”, a Beatles medley & others along that line. From the DIY perspective, this is GREAT stuff… no “compromises”, just pull out th’ stops & PLAY! Couldna’ agree MORE! This gets the PICK of the issue for “best DIY” & comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those devoted to DIY! Contact at 2826 HERRING BLVD, DURHAM NC 27704 Rotcod Zzaj

NohTV: VOODOO – This tape got sorta’ “buried” under th’ stak. It’s 60 minits of pure improv PLEASURE! Apparently done just before Walter Wright (formerly of 911 Studios, in Indianapolis) left for Boston, New York or some other east coast “jungle”. The music hereon will serve as a pretty good road map for “negotiating the barriers” that are bound to exist out there. Synths twisting, turning and generally set to meander mode, it’s a style of music unique to Walter & pals. Very enJOYable & comes RECOMMENDED from Zzaj. We’d be MOST interested in hearing Walter’s musical impressiona when he emerges from the “other side” of th’ forest he’s currently exploring (or, for that matter, WHILE he’s hacking his way through it) Contact at  Rotcod Zzaj

Ian Costello: ANAGRAM – Ian’s tape, in from Creative Musician’s Coalition (also distributed by Wavelength Music, in England), is sheer and RAW energy. He takes “recognisable pattern” and “bends” it to his own devices. I fell in LOVE with this furiously pumping music IMMEDIATELY! The title track opens this foray in to exquisite JOY! It’s very CLEAR that Costello is no “sham” artist, hyping some dried up formula crap… with the exception of Ken Bareham on sax, all other instrumentation is done by Ian! The only parallel I can draw for his fabulous guitar work (from the “underground/DIY” perspective, anyway) is Mark Kissinger. Ian Costello is a musician that I expect to hear MUCH more from… some absolutely SWEET music. Recording quality is EXCELLENT, it will take you on a “rise&fall” run like you’ve only wished for in years previous. This is GREAT music and comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from th’ Zzajcamp! GET THIS ONE! Contact at CMC, 1024 W. Willcox Ave., Peoria, IL 61604 (USA), or Wavelength Music, 76 Kelvedon Close, Chelmsford, Essex, England cm1 4dg (CMC can also be contacted by e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

A. Gowen/P. Miller/R. Sinclair/T. Tomkins: BEFORE A WORD IS SAID – A re-release (by VOICEPRINT) of musics previously by the EUROPA label, this was done when Alan Gowen was in the middle of the devastating effects of leukaemia & chemotherapy. Which adds a whole new dimension of wonderment… Alan’s keyboards actually SPEAK, or so it seems. Studio quality recording only enhances the sweet sorrow the music puts voice to; but there’s no need to dwell on th’ pain, because it’s the language of true LOVE (for musicm the world & it’s people) that comes to the listener most clearly. All players, less Sinclair were at one time or another members of “National Health”, which will automatically recommend their music to many. In a word? A GEM! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Andy Gurley: USELESS WOODEN TOY  Dunno’ wot’n’l is goin’ ON down in those ancient hillz o’ Kentuck… this CD would CERTAINLY argue that th’ “times are a-changin'”! Gurley whips some jazz lickz outta’ those guitarz that’d rival the BEST jazz/blues players you’ve ever HEARD! I used to haul pigs & chickens through Paducha (way bak inna’ “old” daze), & never DREAMED this kind o’ creativity existed down in “them thar’ hills”. The focus is, as it should be, on Andy’s RED-HOT playing, though he’s joined by Robert Sirls (bass); Jonathon Willis (keyboards); & Rusty Clutts (drums). Gurley has been around (according to th’ liner) for a L-O-N-G time, playin’ with quite a variety of formats. We’re sure GLAD he decided to branch out on his own… this is some of the FINEST guitar work I’ve EVER heard! If you’re IN to jazz at ALL – make THIS one of ’96’s purchases! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Just catchin’ some o’ those “Slim Pickins'”… best durned “hilljazz” I’ve EVER heard! Cute! I’m tellin’ you, people… you can EXPECT to be hearing Andy’s stuff for a LONG time to come. Mood swings run rampant (but don’t “jangle” yer’ nerves), too, as in th’ next cut, “Red Flags”. Highly energetic creativity let LOOSE! C’mon back with MORE, Andy! This gets th’ PICK of this issue for “best jazz CD”, & comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at POB 868, Murray, KY 42071, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

The Phillip Norris Band: ON THE RUN – Say ya’ ain’t had those “saddle-sores” fer’ a few years now? Been “away” from th’ country? Every once-in-a-while there’s a ray o’ sun shines thru th’ musical maelstrom that cuts thru ALL th’ BULL & will make ya’ get on up there & RIDE! This 6-piece will capture yer’ imagination on th’ first strum… yup, they’re THAT good! DEFINITELY a cut above mosta’ th’ honky-tonks you’ll hear these days! Crystalclear recording and a WHOLE lotta’ luv fer’ th’ majick that music’s tale can weave, Phillip & th’ boyz have GOT it! Th’ packaging is TEXAS fersure… GREAT big folding binder with steerhorns on th’ front! Got a NEAT video of th’ group doin’ “Old Blue”. Mz. Zzaj surely enJOYed both th’ music & th’ vid, & that sez VOLUMES! Tho’ country isn’t my “normal” genre – it IS hers, & ya’ got th’ vote that COUNTS, Phillip! Only drawback was th’ mug shot enclosed – didn’t seem NEARLY as friendly as this wonderful music did! For those out there who are even “slightly” inclined towards solid & well-played country/rock – GET THIS! It’s H-O-T & it’ll TALK to ya’! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at 6447 Guernsey Ave., Malibu, CA 90265, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

King Sunny Ade: E DIDE (GET UP) – I’ll tell ya’ volkz, if THIS Nigerian music DON’T make ya’ get up off yer’ duff… there’s somethin’ ZERIOUSLY wrong with yer DUFF! The CD is released by Mesa/Bluemoon (who have been sending us some SUPER recordings of late. Th’ venue is “juju” music… somethin’ (prob’ly) not TOO many of us get an opportunity to hear all that often. Heavily percussion based, as is much “world” music, but the REAL energy is conveyed by th’ sheer & overcoming LOVE of music as a healing force that th’ “King” makes come across. There’s a very STRONG jazz piano (Johah Williams) percolating thru that makes for a REALLY interesting blend of styles. Those who’ve become convinced that “world” music is just one big “hodgepodge” need to GET this one! Visions of peace will almost automatically invade yer’ mind. In fact, this gets the PICK of the issue for “best world music”. It certainly comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by Zzaj. Contact at 209 E. Alameda Ave., Suite 101, Burbank, CA 91502 Rotcod Zzaj

Mighty Purple: BLACK RIVER FALLS – This CD, in from Wonderland Records, starts off soundin’ like pretty standard fare… you know th’ deal… git-arz, drums, bass & vox. Rock-roots for sure, no punches pulled… this is about as “American” as rock gets! The diff izzat it’s apparent these boyz’ve BEEN onna’ road! Ya’ know, there’s a lot o’ th’ groups we listen to who prob’ly ain’t ever even SEEN a real tree! Strong emphasis on ballads, times I can see myself ridin’ on an ol’ “paint” stallion through sagebrush & chewin’ on a cheroot! There’s POWER creepin’ through the whole experience, too. I think that sense of “wild-west” independence is what holds my earz glued to th’ CD player, tho’. Even if WONDERLAND is a semi-major label, they’ve culled an “original” on this outing. Mighty Purple is MIGHTY fine! Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those in to rock/ballad/rootz adventure! Contact at 374 Treadwell St., Hamden, CT 065414, or via e-mail to  Rotcod ZzaJ

Jeff Wave: JEFF WAVE – Demo tape in from Fretless Records. This doesn’t seem to be quite on a par with most of th’ other FRETLESS demos/recordings we’ve introduced you to over the last few issues. Aw, it’s not “bad”. Just sounds a lil’ “cheezy”. Drumz seem to be mixed a bit high, & th’ style doesn’t seem to contain nearly as much PUNCH as th’ others. Sorta’ a cross twixt techno & early-60’s beatle-stuph. Not xactly a “slam”, & there’s no doubt some will be attracted to it, but it just dinna’ seem to have th’ same “soul” for me! Th’ one saving grace was the toon “If You Don’t Wanna’ Be A Pop Star” (then don’t be one)… it rockz along & th’ “message” is right in line with th’ “highest” ideals of DIY! Contact at , 212-592-3482 (vox) or snail to 108-22 Queens Boulevard, Suite #226, Forest Hills, NY 11375 Rotcod Zzaj

Isaac Sane: SUBSTRATUM CHATEAU – Har! Har! Har! Har! Har! This tape is a DIY’er’s DREAM, people! Recorded at “Broken Home” studios in th’ ’92/’93 time -frame, this FILLS th’ BILL as timeless DIY! I truly enJOYed this experience! Heavy emphasis on percz, vocals only a “ghost-trace” & some simple synth-string lines (even calliopie bellz&whistlez for background; th’ whistlesoundz wear just a bit “thin” after a while) thrown in fer’ good measure. Music fer’ th’ FUN of it (which is the ONLY kinda’ music there SHOULD be, eh, wot?) No name on here, only that it comes from SQUIM (label), down Bryan Baker’s way, in SLC, Utah. The beauty of it is that it sound PLAYED, not “looped”! For th’ TRUE D.I.Y.’er, this’ll be th’ TICKET! Reminds me in spotz (less th’ wacked-out vox) of some of Arrington’s better works. Yer’ BETTER be in touch with SQUIM if yer’ even faintly interested in promoting th’ “art of DIY”. Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from Zzaj! Contact at POB 521952, SLC, Utah, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Cellophane Flowers: CELLOPHANE FLOWERS – Rockin’ psychedelia fer’ th’ ’90’s? The California boyz on this three-song demo CD (in from the NYMPHONIC label) do a pretty good job of integrating the tools of th’ ’90’s with some of th’ musical ideas of th’ ’60’s. Guitars sound great, vox not bad at all, tho’ th’ percussion is a bit too “stock” fer’ my tastes. Plenty of punch & energy, definitely leaves one with a taste for MORE! Just really not enough to get a “hold” on when it’s only 3 pieces… they’ve played up & down th’ California coast tho’, so I imagine there’s plenty o’ folks who know their style already. CERTAINLY worth a try if yer’ in to th’ “new” psychedelic rock. Contact at POB 838, Huntington Beach, CA 92648-0838, or via e-mail (to NYMPHONIC) at  Rotcod ZzaJ

Candy Planet: BLISSKRIEG – OBLIVION Entertainment sent this CD in. A San Francisco rockin’ quartet with a LOT to say! I’m continually amazed at the way these younger groups are using their skills with th’ tech side o’ things to revive (& give FANTASTIC rebirth to) musical ideas & concepts. If you’ve listened to “Starship” in recent times, you’ll fall immediately in LOVE with CANDY PLANET! Lead singer/songwriter Laura Arias has a LOT to do with that, methinks. Her vox are “candysweet”, verzure… but there’s a “dark” side in there, too, that’ll bring to bear that “blisskrieg” they’ve sought after. Instruments are VERY well done, hard to believe it’s only a 4-piece (there’s that phroggin’ techKNOWLEDGE agin)! If yer’ in to rock that BREAKS th’ “zones” th’ damnable MOGULS have tried to fit music into… THIS is th’ TICKET There’s REAL “power” here! Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from th’ Zzaj! Contact at 1660 E. Herndon, Suite 135, Fresno, CA 93720, or via e-mail to OBLIVION@CYBERGATE.COM  Rotcod Zzaj

Tranquil: FOCUS OF DESTRUCTION – Why izzit these “noise” cassettes all have group/act names like “Peaceful”? Go figger, right? Th’ liner’s fairly amusing, proclaims it to be “recorded in a drug-crazed frenzy… over environmental chaos”. Waal, ok, I’ll buy THAT part of it. Actually, it’s not an UNinteresting experience… basslines under a “spaceship-like” high whistle-buzz. NOT fer’ th’ “tame”, & most assuredly not for the “uninitiated”. Paced appropriately slow, “Got Live If You Want It” will either take you OFF into that nether-state you’ve been so agonizingly striving for – or it’ll wear your drughaze so thin you’ll hit a rehab program toNIGHT? Heh! Heh! Recording levels aren’t bad at all for this kind of tape, you know, sometimes the engineering on such efforts makes you wish you’d put a half-roll of Charmin in EACH ear. Overall? Quite exploratory and well-worth the adventure – but if your limitations are many, you’ll probably steer clear. ME? I enJOYed it & will listen to it (at least once) again. Contact at POB 250, New Freedom, PA 17349-0250, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

The Mockers: SOMEWHERE BETWEEN MOCKSVILLE AND HARMONY – Good lawdy, lawdy… feel like I’ve donned one o’ those cheezy-movie “wierd-science” helmet thangs & gone ALL th’ way back to my childhood… which, after all, WAS in th’ ’60’s. Toonz like these are (indeed) “timeless”, but th’ “Mockers” come out with the ability to actually “FEEL” what they’re playing; you know, there’s plenty of bands out there in th’ vast wasteland that “power pop” can be – tryin’ to run “emulations” of what once was. Not often you can hear such a rhythmic range either (without it turning into a “bad-trip-Mulligan-stew” kind o’ thang; in the sense that it sounds like people “copying” someone else’s energy). Lyrically very sensitive (check out “Invisible Ink”), & ALL original. Looks very much like a “true” indie label to me, too. This is GREAT stuph! Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by Zzaj, for a view of where th’ ’60’s MIGHT have gone! Contact (like, NOW, mon’) at POB 2581, Va. Beach, VA 23450-2581 Rotcod Zzaj

David Zax: THE FUDS – Our “man-in-China”, David’s been in contact with “I.N.” (virtually) from it’s inception. The wife (& boy) & I just BARELY missed meeting Zax, on a hurry-up trip we were gonna’ make down that way… “passports” screwed THAT trip. This gent is AMAZING, people. He pulls NO punches, in hiz playin’, OR in his lyrical BITE! Sorta’ like th’ “pit-bull” of DIY, his drum-machine backed “missisippi-mud” style git-arz will reach right in to yer’ “LOWEST” parts & rip ’em OUT! This zucker iz, in fact, th’ BEST tape I’ve heard from him YET! Imagine a slightly besotted Taj Mahal (or Ry Cooder), with a voice that’s a cross betwixt Tom Waits & Muddy Waters (th’ “pale” version), with a super-slide guitar tryin’ ta’ bore a hole in (& then back OUT) yer’ braincase. Zax is a true “folk-hero”, with a great-gob-dose o’ GUTS! This tape (without question) gets th’ PICK o’ this issue for “most original folk DIY”. Ya’ll BETTER check this boy OUT! MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at POB 8-198, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. Rotcod ZzaJ

Air: UNHINGED – We reviewed a demo CD from these gents in issue # 20, with some significant fervor… generated, of course, by THEIRS! This (slightly) longer product has a more “professional” sounding group of pieces fer’ yer’ listening (& dancing) pleasure. I STILL want a whole CD, boyz! You know 12-16 toonz that give me half-an-afternoon to while away with ye’! Th’ lickz on “Unhinged” are just as clear & “punchy” as on the “Dumb” demo, but the organ holds less sway on this outing. Though I enJOYed the music on this one, I think the earlier-reviewed jaunt holds more attraction for me. Don’t let that hold YOU back, though; if you like your music young & fresh, you, too, will find this quite refreshing. Contact at Mike Hrano, 13, Abercorn Road, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 2PJ, United Kingdom, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

D.I.Y. News

There’s always something related to DIY poppin’ up on WWW. I believe the thing you must remember when first exploring this valuable resource is that it’s only a TOOL! In my earlier explorations into “etherspace”, I found myself getting “bogged down” (in a time sense), & never really getting ANYwhere, despite hours & hours spent “searching”. Once ya’ get past th’ “forbidden fruit” aspects of netcruising (yeh, you CAN find ANYthing on th’ web), you’ll begin to see (like I did), that there really IS a whole lot of useless JUNK out there (sorta’ like th’ world, eh?). Ergo, just a coupla’ “hints”:

1. Use the search tools available (NETSCAPE, whatever downloadable version, has a button right at the top) to find SPECIFIC items of interest. F’rinstance, a search on “zzaj” currently yields around 80 pages. Do a QUICK scan on each of the headers/pages that seem of interest… THEN, find pages (like Phil Riley’s 5 Cent Review page) that already contain LINKS to other sites you’d be interested in. I mention his, because it’s one of the BEST pages for DIY.

2. ONLY add those pages to your bookmark file that you find most USEFUL. Don’t clutter up your boomarks with sites that you don’t visit often. Also, go through your bookmarks about once a month & get RID of those that get little use.

3. CORRESPOND with those who’ve taken the time, money & energy to put up USEFUL sites/links. There’s NOTHING more exasperating than getting all kinds of HITS, & no feedback from those who visit your page(s).

Just for your information, here’s a partial sampling of MY favorite links…  The Improvisor  Currency Converter  Stock Quotes  ALLMUSIC page  Zzaj  ZOOGZ RIFT page  Ken Clinger  GREAT San Francisco link  Indie RADIO

HAPPY surfing!!!


I’m going to step “out” just a bit on this rant. No political discourse this time. I don’t like “advertising” my own wares, but in order to keep this ‘zine going, I’m going to have to do a bit of that in the future. This has already been announced on the nets, & I’ve gotten (just a few) responses… but we need MORE support. Here are the roolz, then:

Two types of ads can/will be published:

1. Straight-text classifieds. Limited to 25 words, you can place a classified ad for your band, your studio, chapbook, whatever at SUPER low rates. $4 for any one-time run, $6 for a two-time run, or $5 for a three-timer.

2. Text/grafix ads. Rates are as follows:

2″ x 4″ – $ 8 One-time run

$14 Two-time run

$12 Three-timer

3″ x 5″ – $12 One-time run

$20 Two-time run

$18 Three-timer

4″ x 6″ – $18 One-time run

$30 Two-time run

$26 Three-timer

Classifieds, of course, are SIMPLE. Just E-MAIL me the text you wish to have placed, OR send a 3.5″ diskette (PC only)

with the text in either WRITE or NOTEBOOK format.

Text/grafix MUST be submitted as a .BMP file on a PC-compatible 3 ..5″ diskette. You may send .BMP’s and text in separate files, but the text MUST be in either WRITE or NOTEBOOK format.

These ads will be run in BLACK&WHITE only, no color.

Please don’t HESITATE to pass this announcement ON to any/all you think might be interested!

LASTLY, I now have a radio time slot, each week, for DIY material. I will accept ANY kind of music/poetry (tho’ it’s preferred that poetry have SOME kind of music with it). The slot is called the “Zzaj Pick Of The Week”. As you probably realize, I will select ONLY the very BEST material for airplay. You still don’t LOSE anything, though, because even if you’re NOT picked for this, your material WILL get reviewed in the ‘zine.

The MAIN advantage of sending your stuff to me (instead of other stations) is that anything I choose will be played IN ITS’ ENTIRETY! That’s right… the WHOLE tape, CD, wotever you send!

& don’t be SHY about telling OTHERS… this is all (sort of) a prelude to a Zzaj radio show (probably sometime later in the summer of ’96), and (possibly) a “DIY SUMMIT MEETING”, wherin folks from around the WORLD who DO something with their music/poetry will converge on this majickland & astound the community (and, probably, THEMSELVES)! SO, please SEND that stuff on IN here to me, eh? Snail is at the TOP of page 1. C’ ya’ NEXT time!



Rotcod Zzaj






Quaaluded, deluded Generation Why?

Their snail’s pace an art form:

color-blind bats reverse red and green lights,

Toungue-wagging lollygaggers,

dim-witted nitwits,

rubbernecking red-necks–

senile seniors detail their ignorance

with reflexes buried beyond birth.

Public enemies number one

insulated from time and eternity.

Road hogs escape the pigpen.

They dream of horse and buggy

while driving toxic waste dumps.

We crawl after them

horn after horn,

highway after highway.

c Mike Catalano


forest fire beyond control

achy, breaky, Billy Rays

dehydrator of the deep

incapacitator deluxe

anatomical volcano

sultans of sweat

miserable yuck

sheet soaker

c h i l l city







c Mike Catalano



for Pudge Fisk

Robocop behind the plate

Superman without the cape

a computerized elephant

brain surgeon to the batters

diplomat with the umpires

quarterback signal-caller

goalie to Nolan Ryan slapshots

AAA investigator to all collisions

nursemaid to the wild chile

the Rodney Dangerfield of baseball


c Mike Catalano


if you have a voice like this

you will move the moon and stars.

you will tear the past apart.

she’s spinning on wooden floors

like roses in the sun.

like fountains, the future moves.

pours itself between my lips.

her taste is fresh in my mouth.

the beat wedged in my bones.

a world-builder, motion is my name,

swimming through oceans of sound

voices break apart- i cannot speak.

technology is a beast. culture is a language

i must speak. time is a maniac.

time is schizophrenic- the hands

of the clock spill on the floor.

she’s there i push myself-

keep dancing past 6 am.

she’s there when i write this-

fascinating fingers on this keyboard.

when i rock back and forth, scared eyes

reflecting the clock face.

c Steve Harvey

“Touch of Light”


by Michael Morain


The whiteness of the dawn

Soft like a cloud against the dark

Moving like an ocean

Quietly, stealthily, carefully

With fingers of light caressing

Touching, holding, tasting

Tracing our outlines against the sand

Measuring our footprints

Against the shadows

Like a wind shining and sparkling

Cleansing the dust motes of our atoms

Warming us, holding us

And in a moment




c Spirial Chambers




by Ben Ohmart


I knew a friend of a friend who couldn’t learn

and we all made fun of what he was

until we couldn’t get any grades

and he got the government money for what

he couldn’t do

it took a couple tries, and i made it

but i had a life eventually, and now i laugh

at myself and what a beeper is

what a nice car with carpeting is

and whatever dreams i may’ve had.




c Spiral Chambers


“The Wind of Life”


by Michael Morain

His face

Unscoured by the wind of life

Holds few lines with which

To read his fate

His hands

Spread wide to life

Breathe not the essence

Of the age

They talk not as others do

Quietly confident in their youth

Not waiting the flesh time brings

He is immortal in the now

The joy a body holds

Straining the atoms

Finding release

In the rhythms of Life.

c Spiral Chambers

“Butterfly In My Palm”

by Mirielle Jaborsky

He said he was a butterfly in my palm.

Indeed, that was true,

For I easily could have crushed him,

But instead I fed him off the nectar of my love

Which dripped silently into pools of darkness

That protected him.

How strange to me, this lowly caterpillar,

With only love in his eyes for mex

A love I could scarcely understand

And a love that bound us surely as chains

And gently as the pressure of his lips.

I’d changed him, somehow.

I’d given him wings with which to fly,

But I could not give him the strength

To use them.

I watched him dash himself against the world

Again and again,

And he would come back to my embrace

To be healed.

He didn’t know he was killing me.

He was just a butterfly in my palm,

And I had to let him go

I had to let him go!

c Spiral Chambers



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