Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 23
Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 23
Brought to you by: Zzaj Productions
5308 65th Ave. SE, Lacey, WA 98513
SOUNDBOARD WWW site
Go On Girl Sampler
The Brain Surgeons
& much MUCH more!!!
Things are in a rather rapid process of CHANGE for th’ Zzaj right now! I worked from October through February in one of the most despicable sweat-shops I’ve ever SEEN. I suppose the IBM “mentality” had much to do with my disgust at the terrible working conditions and self-pampering wusses who “ran” that shop. I won’t “name names”, but that’s really not necessary, because it would appear (to me, anyway) that they’re ALL (the American workforce) in the same rut! Creativity is IMMEDIATELY stifled in an environment where people can’t stand diversity. The END-RUN is that I QUIT that position & am looking at other areas of the country for better opportunity/emotional climate. IF I find such, I’ll be on th’ plane the next ayem. “I.N.” will continue, although it may be slightly “delayed”. As soon as I “get where I’m going”, I’ll be back UP on the nets, letting everyone KNOW where I’m at & what’s shakin’ with me!
Musically, things are REALLY happening here… already got SIX tapes released this year… got a NEW web site (see my words on the SOUNDBOARD, in this issue) up, WITH some sound samples, did a LIVE show in January (of which we have a TAPE, natch) & workin’ on a BUNCH of new stuff! Gonna’ be a RED-HOT year!
Dead Letter Office: DEAD LETTER OFFICE – This tape, in from Silver Spring, Maryland is a HARD one to get through. Orchestral improv? You can’t just “toss it”, because they’ve a strong sense of the “movement” necessary to promote a full-bodied feeling of mystery & ancient drudgeries. If it weren’t for the (extremely) low-fi aspects of the recording, this would be a STANDOUT! So, what am I saying? I enJOYed the “ideas” – but the poor sound quality and “drone-ness” detracted from the overall experience. Izzit “indie”? You betchum! The best trak on th’ whole schmear was “Stayin’ Alive In Hell”… lotza’ lil’ imps runnin’ around behind those ol’ dance-trakz to divert yer’ attention! Ha! Ha! Not th’ best I’ve heard, but they’ve got potential. Send another one when ya’ get it done! Contact at 722 Dennis Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20901, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
BeebleBrox: RAW MATERIAL – All original jazz, with very varied energies on this CD in from this group outta’ Bloomington, Indiana. Monika Herzig (who plays some SMOOTH keyboards for th’ group) sent it in from a USENET contact (I’m pretty sure that’s from whence it came, ennyway). The group appears to have wandered ’round quite a bit during th’ late ’80’s & early ’90’s. If that’s th’ same John Huber I knew (up in Huntspatch, early to mid ’80’s) on upright bass, then he’s e’en mo’ talented than I thought he was back in THOSE daze! This is some of the most relaxed & sweet-sounding jazz I’ve EVER heard (& I’ve heard a bushel or two – thousand in my time)! The group is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, complementing each other all the way through; doesn’t matter if it’s in th’ “HOT” zone, or lazy-hazy summer day ballad bloozy stuph (even a “waltz” in there). Can’t rate this HIGH enough, volkz! Not only “raw material”, but raw ENERGY running through this adventuresome & (very) worthwhile experience. This gets the PICK of the issue for “best original jazz” & comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by yer’ friendly reviewer! Contact at B’Brox Productions, 3375 E. Old Myers Rd., Bloomington, IN 47408, or via e-mail to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Metal Sniff: BLOOD, SWEAT & PAP SMEARS – First time I’ve e’er heard th’ phroggin’ COOKIE MONSTER on tape… this must be Sesame Street “after th’ phall”! This collection of home-produced DIY madnesses from th’ suburbs o’ Philly isn’t stuff to get in a “sweat” about, & they’ll be th’ first to tell you. Heavy bass romping overlaid with some “wierd” vox & rock-oriented git-arz! Definitely NOT what ya’d hear on th’ local ayem station! Sure, itz’ a bit “kludgy” in places, but th’ recording (in general) is of enuff quality to make it listenable. Some parody, absolutely NOTHIN’ “serious” on here. Fun & most demented rockin’ strangness fer’ ya’ to sink yer’ EARZ in to! Th’ “white rap” parts dinna’ quite come off (for me), but in th’ overall, this is quite a DIY experience! Definitely worth th’ stamp… AND, it’s a FULL hour demo tape, so you’ll get a real “FEEL” for where they’re at. Slightly recommended. Contact at 3855 Blair Mill Rd., Apt. 208B, Horsham, PA 19044, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
Blue Belly: BLUE BELLY – Here’s a true “no-hype” tape from th’ netz, in from Dan Wade! Sounds like PURR-FECT DIY ta’ me! Heavy bass under some ROCKIN’ git-arz… & those drumz ain’t bad AT ALL, either! Somehow reminds me o’ Bachmann Turner Overdrive, with that JUMPIN’ bass kick under th’ vox. SO – net result izzat th’ musical EXPERIENCE is QUITE well worth th’ time! Toolin’ down th’ road musicz, after a toot (o’ somethin’) or 2! Th’ only drawback (fer’ this h’yar reviewer) was that th’ hand printed j-card (courtesy o’ TDK) dinna’ have any CREDITZ on ‘er! You know, I’d like to know WHO is rattlin’ my cage! This is some STRONG rock, though, & sounds GOOD! Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED fer’ those with a taste fer’ some “push&thump” kickin’ R&R! You’ll getcher’ appetite “sated” here, verzure! Contact at 5 Inman Ave., Icentfield, CA 94904, or via e-mail to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Comatose: DEEP SLEEP – Won’t be no “sleepin'” goin’ on while THIS CD’s playin’… get yer’ mo’cycle bootz out & oil ’em UP – even th’ ZOMBIES will be dancin’! Trippin’ metal that’ll SMOKE th’ paint right offa’ “Mr. Normal’s” 55 dee-soto! I kin’ remember ridin’ th’ ol’ man’z INDIAN, (early ’62), just WISHIN’ there was music like this ta’ KRANK to! Now, there ain’t a whole lot o’ “improv” goin’ on here, unless ya’ consider “speed” to be a form o’ such… the recording is strong/clear enuff, tho’, to melt yer’ leathers to SOUP! Bein’ one who enJOYz a change o’ pace (’bout ev’ry 5 minits), this hit th’ SPOT! Fer’ yew fanz o’ clear-cut PUNCH & high-energy clangin’, at LIGHT speed – ya’ won’t wanna’ MISS this! Got THIS 50-year-old-phart’z blood UP! It’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at Nymphonic Records, POB 838, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
BB2X4: THE CLOWNWARD SPIRAL – In from one of OUR favorite DIY’ers, K.D. Schmitz, this is a “novelty” musical experience you won’t SOON forget! Special guests Michelle, Erin & “Monsters From The ID” join in a circus of activity that has nothing to compare to… highly original and inventive, with mood swings all th’ way from calliopie madness to contemplative Rhodes spoken-word! Hadn’t heard from K.D. for a few months (after I moved back to Crackville), & of a sudden, he sent me copies of his (lil’) ‘zine, “Ten Thousand Things” (which is kind of a running commentary, stream-of-consciousness amalgam, lil’ artwork, lil’ poetry – pretty NEAT)… but, I diverge! Back to th’ CLOWNS! Title is MOST apropo, as it DOES tend to spiral! Music like a top spinning, whirling, never quite giving you th’ “reference points” that true anals MUST have (unless you consider occasional forays in to paranoia something that’d give you a “sense of direction”)! Some GRAND DIY – in FACT, “Clownward” is the PICK of this issue for BEST DIY! If you’re tired of th’ “norm”, & hanker after some “strange” – it’s MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by th’ Zzaj that you contact K.D. (like, NOW), at POB 1806, Poughskeepie, NY 12601 Rotcod Zzaj
Gabreille David: “spring has returned & i am renewed” – As you can see from the piece extracted from Gabrille’s latest book (33 pages, limited edition), SHE has returned & we are all th’ better for it! This woman’s poetry IS “poetry”. In the truest sense, simple words conveying the deepest of emotions/truths. No preponderance of semantic escape – just the “everyday” feelings that we all are stunned by at times. Some “anger” contained herein, but channelled in a way that will get you to empathize, rather than stand back & chant “glad I’m not THAT p.o.’ed”. The common themes are explored, but without pretense – “4 seasons” lines are a good example… “/before you know it a year/has gone – I have become a/year older & didn’t get a chance to/dance or fall in love” If you want to TASTE the music that’s in her words, you owe it to yourself to touch bases with her at 306 MAIN ST, APT 203, RIDGEFIELD NJ., 07660 Rotcod Zzaj
Vincent Lee: LESS OF THE SAME – Strange lil’ tape in from William Barnes’ “Aural Adventures” studios/label. This dood V. Lee both plays & abuses hiz’ ‘lectric – but he KNOW how ta’ PLAY that thang, people! Side one sounds pretty “poppy”… first track, “No Way Out” was most enJOYable fer’ me! It’s prob’ly a really wierd comparison, but Lee evokes some sense of th’ guitarist on some o’ th’ better “Funkadelics” albums! I particularly liked “Baraka”, th’ intro to side 2. Strong bass kickz, some noise pieces, quite a varied listening experience. The soaring orchestral forms in “Eagle” are majestic, but don’t go quite where one might think they would. One after my OWN playing/listening style is the last cut, “Jazz For The Insane”. Most ASSUREDLY “twisted”, some real STRONG rhythmic “bents” here… har! har! har! Overall, the varying textures and definitive “grasp” of what V Lee wants to “do” with his musical adventures will make this one MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at Aural Adventures, 2081 Revere Dr., Concord, CA 94520, or via email to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Jon Simon: BEATLES ON IVORY – First impressions are often totally WACKED. Cover sorta’ made it look like “classics by th’ fireside”, or somesuch! Then again, I should’ve known that “Creative Service Company” (the publicity agent for Jon’s recording – it was actually released by “Silver Lining” records) wouldn’t let me/us down. Admittedly, you’ll have to already be a Beatle-maniac (&, to some degree, a piano freak) to enjoy this as much as I did. Simon’s boogie roots add a brand-new dimension to these pieces. At the same time, he knows how to be “calm” in his approach to pieces that demand it, as on his astoundingly sweet (NOT syrup-sweet, just PURE) rendition of “Eleanor Rigby”, withOUT turning it in to elevator music. Clean, crisp and clear keyboards, with the verve & energy you MUST have to enjoy “covers”. Some REALLY fine piano playing… I loved this CD, & many out there will WANT to have this. It earns a MOST HIGHLY recommended! Contact at Silver Lining Records, 7213 Summit Ave., Chevy Chase, MD 20815, or through Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918 Rotcod Zzaj
Vodka: SHE’S MY DREAM – In from “Oblivion Entertainment” (whose “Candy Planet” release was reviewed in issue # 22), this CD started off with th’ title trak – I genuinely THOUGHT (after listening to it) that th’ whole experience was gonna’ be a “BUST”! THEN comes krankin’ outta’ those git-arz (all ‘lektrik, o’ course) some POWER lickz that made me wanna’ get on up & KICK! On a trak called “Xmas”, of all things. Some WICKED keyboards (Bob Bannister deserves mention fer’ such) on that trak, too! Nice blend of “hard” & “soft” styles, with that ol’ “rockin” sound o’ th’ late ’60’s – only it’s in th’ ’90’s! Getcher’ HIGH, volkz! Not BAD at all, & gets a RECOMMENDED! Contact at 1660 E. Herndon, Suite 135, Fresno, CA 93720, or via e-mail to OBLIVION@CYBERGATE.COM Rotcod Zzaj
Children’s Vinyl Workshop: LET THEM EAT PENCILS – Tape sampler in from Phil, who apparently runs the small DIY label. &, DIY it IS! Smashingly so! Bustin’, burnin’, crashin’, smashin’ git-arz, drums & many other sounds (including a few vox thrown in for good measure – tho’ the vox weren’t quite at “peak”, methinks), in the truest sense of DOING IT! Even a little tag (or two) from a live show at “Club Sodomy”. In the overall, this is something those (of us) in the DIY set can be “proud” of… quite natural playing form(s) & lots of ENERGY from th’ mosh pit! On th’ other digit – I wouldna’ be playin’ this fer’ th’ “Baptist Social”, if yer’ know what I mean! Recording quality could have been a bit better, but in the end run, it’ll get more than one spin, just for the variety. RECOMMENDED! No contact address was found. Sorry! Rotcod Zzaj
Hal McGee & Friends: MIAMI NOISE – Here’s one o’ th’ ANCIENT ones from Hal – recorded in 1991, it’s got DimThingShine (now calls himself Jim Rite, tho’ none of us can seem to locate him), Isaac Ersoff, Ed Bobb, Frank P., & a special trak by Doug Walker (whose Alien Planetscapes stuph was reviewed in the WAY early days of “I.N.”)… since this IS a D.I.Y. ‘zine, listening to this is almost like a “roots” journey. I’m tellin’ you, folks, for those who can truly appreciate the D.I.Y. “ethic”, you’ve GOT to have this in yer’ library. It’s DEFINITELY a “keeper”. Broad and sweeping guitars, percussives used sparingly but effectively & some surely “stoned” vocal territories, this is some of the BEST work I’ve ever heard. Very “space” oriented and FULL bodied material, it comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by th’ Zzaj & gets the PICK of this issue for BEST group D.I.Y.! Contact at 1909 SW 42 Way, Apt E., Gainesville, FL 99607 Rotcod Zzaj
Mr. Zipp: UNPLUGGED – This CD is absolutely HILARIOUS! Though th’language on “Max Gets Axed” is a bit crude, it’s funnier than most I’ve listened to in th’ last 10 years. Thinkin’ this “Frankie Z.” dood who did this musta’ been snortin’ a bit too much o’ that Denver “rock-ee mountain high” stuph. He cuts ya’ NO slack! There are rap “influences” (just a bit TOO much o’ that, methinks), cute little pop jingle thingies, & “hypnotic stretches, all in the most “low-tech” vein. This is DEFINITELY in th’ most ancient of the D.I.Y. tradition. Mr. Zipp’s liner notes are not your “standard” claptrap, & in the most classic of “wisdoms”, he admonishes “all of the musicians that refused to help me out with this” – “____ you”! Sorta’ like a “solo” “Beavis/Butthead” trip. Lotza’ FUN, doesn’t EVER take itself too seriously. Worth a TRY! Contact at Rant Records, POB 39542, Denver, CO 80239 Rotcod Zzaj
jhno: UNDERSTAND – San Francisco generated, the “delicate ear” label sent this CD in. Liner notes say that it’s “best experienced in it’s entirety, from start to finish”. There are many who’ve laid claim to such, & after the 3rd section, yer’ ready to BURN it, it’s so bad. Well, “jhno” dinna’ tell no fibz here. This is some of the most INTRICATE techno-oriented material you’ll ever hear. & that doesn’t mean endless loops of old disco-funk junk, either. Well thought out, clean transitions & with the energy of 100,000 trains, “Understand” stands among the BEST! There will probably be some comparisons made (along the way) to “Future Sounds Of London” & such… but DON’T stick it in any “hole” – ‘cos it’s got it’s OWN (VERY) unique style. THICK body, with percussion patches so dense it SOUNDS like th’ “Chicago Flyer”. Music like this doesn’t come easy – you have to KNOW what you want to do – & then be ABLE! The only crit is that the liners had VERY little info on just “who” this “jhno” is (‘course, mebbe’ that’s XACTLY what they had in mind). Expect MUCH more to come from “jhno”. They’re so good that even though this is our first listen to them, they get the PICK of this issue for BEST “techno-ambient juggernaut”. This is GREAT! Contact (like, right NOW) at 964 Natoma, San Francisco, CA 94103, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
Avenue Blue: NAKED CITY – Jeff Golub’s second CD (on Mesa/Bluemoon, a label to be “reckoned” with) can by no means be considered “freeform” – but it’s some SWEET jazz. Guess he was a (pretty major) session player, playin’ with some real “names” (Rod Stewart, Billy Squier, among others), but ya’ll know liners that lean too heavily on those kinda’ “claims to fame” (almost) automatically have a “strike” against ’em here, cos’ it’s usually just th’ promo company tryin’ to lay so much hype on you that you’ll buy it regardless of the music therein. This relies pretty heavily on late-70’s “funk&blooz” foundations, but that’s not a detractor… Golub CAN “speak” to you, gently putting you in that “laid-back-late-night” frame of mind ya’ need to revisit to “get there”. Third piece in, “Nitpickin”, is a bit more upbeat & just may get ya’ “up on th’ floor”. The only thing I didn’t care for was that the arrangements leave Jeff outta’ th’ “lead” slot quite often. Bottom line? If you like high-energy blues/funk guitar, you’ll get OFF on this! Phoebe Snow’s guest shot on “Baby, I’m Yours” doesn’t hurt a bit, & doesn’t come off like “name dropping” at all! This is a SWEET set that will pull you OUT of th’ depths & comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by yer’ editor! Contact at 209 East Alameda Avenue, #101, Burbank, CA 91502 Rotcod Zzaj
Go-On Girl: SAMPLER – This tape sampler (in from Fretless Records) has 5 pieces by all-girl (or girl-fronted) bands, in about as “rock” a vein as you can get. The toonz are from the newly released CD (December ’95), “Go On Girl”. There’s PLENTY of energy here, these ladies don’t cut you NO slack! “Velvet Hammer”, “Amanda’s Waiting”, “Psalm 69”, “Gate 18” and “Broken Sky” (mostly NYC groups) are all represented here – for yer’ PLEASURE! Gate 18’s Lynn Rueckheim was reviewed here in “I.N.” an issue or two back, & her supreme “from-th’-gut” PUNCH is quite representative of all 5 groups. My favorite on this outing is “Psalm 69”. Not just “catchy” rock-jangle, this is music with “HEAVY” rootz, women who’ve got somethin’ to SAY – & th’ TALENT to say it with! ‘nother FINE effort from “Fretless”, if you like “alternative” that defines it’s own PATH, you’ll WANT this! Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from Zzaj! Contact at Contact at email@example.com , 212-592-3482 (vox) or snail to 108-22 Queens Boulevard, Suite #226, Forest Hills, NY 11375 Rotcod Zzaj
Ray Carmen & Ken Clinger: HOPES & FEARS – This (quite short; clocks in at just over 45 minitz) tape comes from two of the MASTERS of the D.I.Y. sound. If you haven’t heard of (either of) ’em, ya’ haven’t been IN this scene too long. Most of the pieces (according to Ken) are from ’95. Lots of vox on this outing, from both gents. Clean & clear, in a somewhat “pop” vein. Reminds me, in a lot of ways, of late 70’s “soft-rock” genre. Echos on (some of) the vocal trax are nearly haunting. That goes for the string/harp/horn sections, too… nearly “classical” in tone, very ethereal and pretty! Strictly home-produced, though you’d never know it from the listening, as the recording is SUPERB! If you’ve gotten used to some of Ken’s finely crafted instrumental works, don’t despair. Though there are vocals across the board, you’ll hear his natural style comin’ through loud & clearly! A marraige made in (DIY) heaven! You can get this MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED gem from Ray at Pop! Productions, POB 8864, Canton, OH 44711-8864 ($3.00), or from Ken (trade only) at Bovine Productions, 311 Stratford Ave., # 2, Pittsburgh, PA 15232-1108 – OR, get in touch with Ken via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (also, he’s got a page now, at http://members.aol.com/kcmusic.kc.html Rotcod Zzaj
Garrett Sawyer: A HAPPENING AT MANCHESTER SQUARE – This tape’s in from another fantastic CMC (Creative Musician’s Coalition) member. Actually, he’s a pathologist down Orange County way. Self-described as “folk/light rock”, there’s (WAY) more to this than “just ‘nother folk singer”. The main focus is right where it SHOULD be – on his fiery and confident 6/12 string guitars… not to mention that VOICE! No question but what this is a gent in TOUCH with the energy he can generate with his music! There are a few background bells & horn-sounding things (credits dinna’ LIST anyone else, so I must assume THAT was him, too). His song “Elena” is lyrically VERY strong & pleasant to hear. Expect we’ll hear MUCH more from Garrett – hope so, at least! If you’re even the slightest bit into folk/rock with a breath of fresh air, you’ll GET this; it’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at POB 53041, Irvine, CA 92619-3041, or via e-mail to CMC at email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Asylum Choir: DEAD GIRLS DON’T SAY NO – This tape starts off with “Master James” (I assume), the lead singer havin’ a conversation wi’ ol’ “beelzebub”… end-run is that th’ world will “love your for your music – but ONLY for your music”. Wellll…. – SOME will – others won’t! If yer’ lookin’ fer’ improv (or anything else inna’ way of drama)… go elsewhere – ‘coz it ain’t HERE! Lotza’ power-fuzz git-ar sounds, & a sorta’ “dialog” singing. Yeah, it KICKZ… &, for that reason, it’s not a bad listen! Th’ guitar leads on th’ title track are FINE – but, they’re just a bit too SPARSE, ya’ got that infernal disco backbeat (?from hell?) that won’t ever go A-WAY! Th’ serious worshiper won’t get a TASTE o’ satisfaction on this outing, but th’ “teeny-popsters” who think it’s “kewl” to put their hornz on will proclaim this to be IT! Just in case ya’ ARE in that “league”, contact ’em at INDEBASEMENT Records, 3145 Rankin Ave., Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9E 3B8 Rotcod Zzaj
…..our sincere THANKS go out to KRAMTONES (a frequent collaborator in th’ “wierdzone” that Zzajmusique inhabits) for his time & energy in penning the following great reviews for us… his insight & experience in th’ prog-area is invaluable to us – expect to see more reviews from him in the coming months/years/eons…
National Health – D.S. AL CODA Voiceprint / VP 129CD – This is one of my favorite bands, so I’m only slightly biased towards them. They’re one of the notable “Progressive Rock/Fusion” bands from London, England. The compositions on this disc were written by one of the founding fathers, Allan Gowen, for the most part between (1979-1981) before his death of leukaemia in May of ’81. He had expanded the original versions of these pieces for a larger instrumentation . A couple were located on the first two GILGAMESH albums ( ‘Arriving Twice’ and ‘TNTFX’) others were only played live (‘Flanagan’s People’,’Toad of Toad Hall’ and’Shining Water’) or just at rehearsals (‘Portrait of a Shrinking Man’,’Tales of a Damson Knight’ and ‘Black Hat’) , but never recorded before. Fortunately, the scores were almost complete, so after transition, the band carried on & recorded in Oct/Nov of 1981. And what a great job they did. I think this is some of National Health’s finest material. Big jazz band horn lines, extremly intricate poly-rhythms, yet still warm to the ears. You really get to hear each of the players ‘stretch out’ within the context of the song; moreso than on some of the previous two albums. (Aah, but they are all truly great in their own way). You also get a small taste of the absolutely luscious voices of Amamda Parsons joined with N.H. ‘newcomer’ Barbara Gaskin here. While Barbara was not part of the original line up, they were teamed up before on the Egg Lp – ‘The Civil Surface'(1974). Over all, ‘D.S. al Coda’ does not feature these fine vocalists as say on the epic ‘Tenemos Roads’ from the first N.H. album for instance. However these singers are still at work in current projects that Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin have done together like ‘Spin’ and ‘The Big Idea’. In the liner notes for one CD, Dave Stewart (no, not of the Eurythmics) describes National Health as “…a large scale rock ensemble playing intricate, mainly instrumental music…”; to paraphrase Stewart, the Ramones they are not! The thing about this band is they can play their own incredibly complex jazz stylized fusion and still make it sound so sweet. The music invites you to listen to it again and again. And when you do, (and I know I have) every new aspect you discover within the compositions are still quite refreshing, unique and inspirational. All the influences are here; from the original groups these people came from like Hatfield & the North, Gilgamesh, Egg, Slapp Happy and Henry Cow and other “Canterbury groups” that specialize in the more ‘jazz’-oriented area of progressive rock. Other muscians that have been part of the N ational Health lineage have included the likes of: Mont Campbell, Steve Hillage, Bill Bruford, Neil Murry, John Mitchell, Lindsay Cooper, Peter Blegvad, and Georgie Born to name a few. Jamie Muir and Allan Holdsworth were even in a band called ‘Sunship’ together with Allan Gowen in1972 prior to it’s eventual metamophisis into Gilgamesh. A tremendous recording of an immensely talented and influential band. Put plainly, National Health is a must have for all of you “Prog”ers. Contact Voiceprint via Email: ” firstname.lastname@example.org ” Kramtones
Bill Nelson – NORTHERN DREAMS (Smiled Records / SM777CD) Your eyes are getting heavy. You are drifting back. All the way back, before the planning stages the new album by Channel Light Vessel and ‘After The Satellite Sings’. Go back before ‘Demonstrations of Affection'(1990) ‘Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights'(1987) Trial By Intimacy (The Book of Splendours)(1984) ‘The Love That Whirls (Diary of a Thinking Heart)'(1982) ‘Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam'(1981) Bill Nelson’s Red Noise – ‘Sound On Sound'(1979) The Be Bop Deluxe years(1973-1978). Yes, even back before that. Visualize your first ‘solo’ album, Bill. Do you see it? Well Roger J. Winston did, as an import at a local CD store in Denver, Colorado. Northern Dream, was originally released in 1971 on the Smile label, in conjunction with proprietors good ol’ Ken and Betty of the Wakefield Record Bar, a West Yorkshire, England shop in Nelson’s hometown. It is now available on compact disc and is being released on Smiled Records. No word yet on if this is the release from the original master tapes or if Bill will be receiving any royalties from its sale. Bill has been very vocal in the past about how he has never received any royalties from this album, despite it selling in excess of 25,000 copies over the year A ll of the songs on this album were written and arranged by Bill Nelson. Recorded at HOLYGROUND, Wakefield, 1971. Although Bill Nelson has an extensive body of work that spotlights his incredible talents in the electronic keyboard and production areas, Northern Dream represents his humble beginings as a vocalist and guitarist. This album has lots of electric blues influences in it. From the fuzzy guitar solos and wa-wa pedals to the analog delays and spring reverbs-a-crashing. Some songs seem reminicent of 1971 vintage Pink Floyd (Meddle), Jethro Tull (This was) or even Fleetwood Mac (Kiln House) to me. You know, the kind of acoustic blues tunes with lots of slide and stuff. ‘Bloo Blooz’ is pretty funny, “When I hear my guitar singing, she sounds just like a woman with the blues …” a traditional tune that even cracks the band up at the end. ‘Smiles’ smacks of Ziggy Stardust in parts. In some of the other songs, you also can hear some of his folk tendencies from ‘Astral Navigations’ LP(1970) which is really a recording of two different bands; Lightyears Away (folk/psych) and Thundermother (rock). This and the ‘Global Village’ EP(1969) (blues)(with a pressing of all of 3) are the only recordings in Nelson’s discography that predates this album. Even thru all of the “character” on this album, even though Bill looks like Maynard G. Kreebs in patchwork jeans on the back cover, that creative musical spark that Nelson has is still here. Solid songs, comfortable vocals, sounds around the studio, backwards guitars & cymbals, and even one eastern modality. Northern Dream is a uncut stone. From this same stone, a gem would be cut and polished into the great art-rock/pop band BeBop Deluxe. The band that Nelson would first set sail with to discover the rest of the world. Over the years, Bill has produced and/or performed on many recordings by a wide range of artists including Harold Budd, David Sylvian, Culturemix, A Flock of Seagulls, Gary Numan, Units, Yukihiro Takahashi, Su Lyn, Cabaret Voltaire, The Rhythm Sisters, The Mock Turtles, The Rain Poets, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Monsoon, Nash the Slash, Skids and many others. If you have never heard of Bill Nelson, I don’t think this is the album to start you off with. If you are familiar with him and especially like the BeBop Deluxe era, then you will probably like this common thread to just see where the “E-Bow” Master came from. If your cup of tea is more ambient/electronic then there is a vast amount of absolutely beautiful material that you simply must hear from this artist. No matter what direction you choose to explore, I highly recomend that you check out at least something by Bill Nelson as he is a truly gifted and rare talent in todays world. A Bill Nelson Web site: http://www.PrimeNet.Com:80/~rushton/nelson.html -Kramtones
Galahad: SLEEPERS – Avalon Records [UK] 1995/ GHCD4 – This band comes to us thru Voiceprint Records [UK], a label that specializes in ‘Lost’ artists of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s as well as other Progressive Rock Music. To my ears, Galahad really sounds like early Genesis circa the Steve Hackett era. I hear alot of other various influences as well, Stuart Nicholson has some of Peter Hammill’s ‘Fool’s Mate’, Geddy Lee of Rush, and Eloy, in him only with a softer edge. Rumor has it that this band is a Marillion clone. Not having heard Marillion for way too many years, I really can’t comment on that comparison. However, apparently Stuart even auditioned as Fish’s replacement in Marillion, but was rejected because he sounded too much like Fish. (And if you sounded too much like fish, there is a good chance you might be somewhat rejected your own self!) The sound quality and recording is very good. This is no small wonder with Tony Arnold at the helm of knobs. He even helped arrange the ‘Amaranth Sequence’ with Galahad. I was actually more impressed with how this band was captured onto tape than the translucent performances themselves. The subtleties of how the instrumentation was recorded while preserving their authentic character both in genre and mood of the compositions. The nice thing about this recording is it’s ability to portray this stylized area of neo-prog music with the quality of todays production, not really known in the analog days of yore. In a few spots, sound effects float in and out of the stereo field with a “Ummagumma” type flare. Staccotto keys with strong motives and good pads, smooth rhythmic bass support, some nice drum work that even ol’ Phil Collins would be proud of. Some of the songs hinting at ‘The Return of the Giant Hogweed”, “Foxtrot’, and Hackett’s “Voyage of the Acolyte” Lp. The strength of this band is in the rhythm section, drums and keys in particular with guitar adding some really very nice stylings and appropriate riffs to the pieces. I did enjoy this CD from a historical point of view. As an album it is a complete body of work unto itself and is a good represention of this flavor of English conceptual ‘Art’ rock. I would have loved it 1975, however looking upon it now it’s not near as intriguing as it might have been then. Today it sounds almost too cliche’ and radio ready. In the “for what it’s worth” catagory, I can recommend it to the De’ja Vu Progger for at least a listen to find out what they are all about. Galahad’s music has a simple, classic progressive rock 70’s sound, not particularly challenging but it carrys a torch for the music this era inspired. Other albums by Galahad include: In a Moment of Complete Madness, Nothing is Written (91), Other Crimes and Misdemeanours, Not All There, Voiceprint Radio Session EP, Galahad Acoustic Quintet. – KRAMTONES
Anthony Phillips: ANTHOLOGY – In from Blueprint (sub-label, apparently, under Virgin Records), this sorta’ “capsulizes” Phillips’ works. Th’ music is DEFINITELY there, some strong “Genesis” influences (he used to play with them, before branching off in to solo work) notably present. The synth work is the most pleasant part of the experience, compositionally both strong and purposeful. I found the instrumental pieces to carry much more of the “force” that well-thought out rock-influenced music can have. In places, there are some shadings of the “classical” approach, too. While th’ improv fans in our readership will prob’ly avoid this, those enchanted with expressive and talented musicianship will find in Phillips’ music a pleasant (if brief) respite from the “clutter” that often jams the airwaves these days. Anthony Phillips music expresses warm emotion and a real “sense” of what it is he wants to accomplish for the listener. The music on this anthology is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact at POB 5, Derwentside, Co. Durham DHN 7HR England Rotcod Zzaj
Surfin’ Pachelbel: LIV & LET LIV – Two wonderful guitarists we’ve not had the pleasure of hearing before join forces to produce some of the most relaxing and beatuiful music(s) you’ll listen to this year (& for years to come). Liv Khalsa and Livtar Khalsa who (apparently) bring their practice of Yoga to their playing. You can almost feel the spiritual joining they experienced through the playing of these movements. While it has a decidedly “new age” flavor, it’s not like some of the boring drivel that’s hyped under that umbrella. The guitars not only provide clear and incisive overlay, they are truly inspired, fresh and crisp ideas continually issuing forth. The choral backgrounds (in consonance with the Hawaiian theme) are splendorous and full-bodied. Unless yer’ just SO hyped (on coffee, meth or some other up-oriented substance) that you can NEVER relax… you’ll find yourself enchanted with this, as did I. Those who practice their religion through mere words will never understand the higher dimension that players achieve, and this is a perfect example of that union. Just WONDERFUL! This comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and, in fact, gets the PICK for “most inspired spiritual music” in this issue. Contact at POB 3510, Redondo Beach, CA 90277 Rotcod Zzaj
Ned Eliason: PRAISE HIS NAME – Our forays on the WWW bring us ALL kinds of different music. Christian music is by no means foreign to these ol’ Zzaj ears… though I long ago chose to abandon ANY organizations (they’re generally NOT to be trusted, serving only their OWN purposes), a strong performer (vocal or instrumental) can still draw my ear on occasion. Eliason is such a performer. His vocals stand at the forefront of orchestral & piano arrangements carefully crafted to draw you in (to th’ message, of course). Musically solid, but the more important aspect is that Mr. Eliason sings with a fervor that makes his well-told-tale quite believeable. Though it’s not my chosen style of preference, I must admit that this is very well done and from the heart! Contact at The Great Northern Trading Company, 2416 London Rd., Suite 803, Duluth, MN 55812 Rotcod Zzaj
Dan Susnara: IDYLLIC – This tape is, withOUT question, the BEST work I’ve ever heard Dan do… & I’ve heard a LOT of his work! You may remember that he & I collaborated during the summer/fall season on “Slight Departures”. IDYLLIC takes the recording techniques he used on “Slight” about 20 steps further. There are no “weak spots” ANYwhere on this tape! Constantly moving, changing directions, puts me in mind of some of th’ “trips” I took during the late ’60’s & early ’70’s; music from another age, tastefully integrated to merge with the 21st century. Don’t take that in the wrong light, however, this is not “muddle-addle” stuph! Clearly framed tunes, with counterpoint angles to keep you “in the fray”. The ballad-oriented toonz literally SHINE this time ’round! I’m not entirely sure why this one seems so much like a totally “new direction” – but, mine is not to examine – only to LISTEN! This is as close to psychedelic as th’ ’90’s is bound to GET! As you can tell, I’m excited about this one; it’s gets the PICK of this issue for “best home-taped psychedelia”! It’s MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, & if you enJOY original music, you’ll HAVE to get this one! Contact at 7806 S. KILPATRICK, CHICAGO, IL 60652 Rotcod Zzaj
Under The Lake: UP FOR AIR – This CD is a FINE example of the creativity and high-energy playing that today’s jazz can be. Seems like it must BE “jazz month”, eh? We’ve gotten a TON of good music in this year already, & Jayson Tipp’s “Offshore Music label (he plays keyboards on this outing, too) is a PRIME example of that! If you like Bob James, Larry Carlton or Ronnie Laws, you’ll KNOW what we MEAN, already! The most distinctive aspect of this outing is the “comfort level” the players seem to have with each other. The GROOVE is the THING… no fighting for leads… sometimes it’s the sax soloing, at other times the guitar(s) stand out; but no “pressure”. The pieces are all originals, which is certainly a mark in it’s favor. If you’re only lookin’ for “hype”, you’ll probably wanna’ look elsewhere – but if what you want is clean/crisp funk-based sweet, you’ll concur with me & say it’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918 Rotcod Zzaj
Joshua Miller: SPRINGS RECORDINGS – I’m not sure if Josh had th’ season in mind, but th’ jazz on this tape is surely fresh & lively. The tape is a sort of demo, combining sequencer trax with taped live performances of a group he played with (earlier) in San Diego, called the “Deep Down Quintet”. Though you can certainly “define” it as in th’ jazz “vein”, it’s a very UNIQUE experience. Don’t expect to be stroked to sleep – th’ form (according to th’ liner) is “acid-jazz”. Even the sequenced trax (with trumpet o’er top) have an original energy that will keep you MOVING! There are sections (beCAUSE of the trumpet) where I’m reminded of early Miles ensembles… but stylistically, it’s pure Joshua. If you enjoy jazz with an “edge”, this’ll be yo’ ticket to heaven… it’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, for sure! Contact at 19W Brookside, Colorado Springs, CO 80906, via email to email@example.com , or visit Josh’s page at http://pwp.usa.pipeline.com/~josh/yayi.html Rotcod Zzaj
The Brain Surgeons: TREPANATION – Th’ strongest point on this rockin’ CD (in from Cellsum) is the GUITARS, performed in great part by Billy Hilfiger & Peter Bohovesky – tho’ everyone contributes! Deborah Frost (who we’re told in th’ liners is a rock critic… would that more “critics” were ’round who can DO it… makes their words SO much more meaningful) does some KILLER vox! These folks SOUND like they BEEN “there” – wherever’n’l “there” is! Out on th’ street, movin’ on down th’ road… this is th’ kinda’ music you LISTEN to when yer’ crusin’ on DOWN! RAW power comin’ through them strings – & I’m not talkin’ ’bout just “loud”… I mean th’ FORCE is with these lil’ kiddies! Albert Bouchard (formerly of Blue Oyster Cult) is a “notable name”, & apparently a prime force behind their definite sense of “togetherness”. From (later) conversations with Deborah, it sounds more like a collaborative effort, with Albert writing most of the music & Deborah marrying her lyrical talents with it! It’s clear from the listening, however, that this is an almost “majickal” joining – no “formula” claptrap here. A clean meld of influences that span all the way from the ’60’s to TOMORROW! This is QUALITY music that anyone with a bit o’ th’ rhythm in their blood will quickly OD on! Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by Zzaj! Th’ most distinctive part of the overall experience is that despite the playing of fairly recognizeable patterns, this music still comes across as some of the MOST ORIGINAL rock I’ve heard in the last 5 years! You OWE it to yourself to contact ’em at Box 1070, Fort George Station, New York, NY 10040-9998, or via e-mail to DFrost8547@aol.com Rotcod Zzaj
Crank Radio: COUNTRY – Not sure where Adam & crew pulled th’ title fer’ this tape from, ‘cos it’s DEFINITELY not “country”. Home-brew rock&roll that stands WAY above so many of these efforts. Strong drums, high-end guitars that (literally) FLY; nice solo stretches on the guitars, puncutated by some crisp drumwork. No question but what they’ve got th’ ENERGY to make th’ music HAPPEN! The recording/mix is WAY above average – still falls in th’ DIY category, without doubt, but whoever did the recording KNOWS what they’re doing, making it all that MORE rewarding for the listener. Now, I don’t think I’d play this for my momma (she’s more inclined to Lawrence Welk), but it’d SHINE at a party! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… contact at Crank Radio, c/o Adam McGregor, 1971 Harrison Ave., Jeannette, PA 15644 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
Mirage: LIVE, 14.12.94 – Andy Ward & friends (many former members of Camel & Caravan) joined together to form the group Mirage in concert in late 1994. For those who enjoy progressive rock in an almost ORCHESTRAL framework, you won’t go wanting here. Their concert in Manchester, England (The Apollo Theatre) is faithfully (and beautifully) captured on this 2 CD set for your pleasure for YEARS to come! This ranks among the BEST I’ve EVER heard! The music is clearly a labour of LOVE! You don’t achieve fantastic results like these unless all the players are in SYNCH! All the elements are here… soaring guitars, organs that sound like heavenly choirs, flights of fancy on flute and vocal arrangements that will put you immediately back on the path of memory lane. The energies are gentle and high at the same time. If you’re hankering for something TIMELESS, you’d better GET this! It comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from Zzaj – it get the PICK of this issue for “best progressive rock”! Contact at Mirage Music, 63 Alliance Rd., Plumstead, London, SE18 2AZ, UK Rotcod ZzaJ
…& NOW a few more “guest” reviews… we hadn’t heard much from Henry Schneider in a bit… some ROTTON kidz busted in & stole a BUNCH o’ gear from his home… he’s gettin’ it back together, tho’, & here are some more FINE reviews from him….
Zou BOUZILLATOR (Musea MP 3021.AR) CD: 48:37 Zou, not to be confused with Zao, is another excellent French jazz-rock band on Musea Parallele, Musea’s side label for bands stylistically different from their “mainstream” releases. Zou is a trio of musicians who play electronics, sax, bass, and drums. For Bouzillator they are joined by a guest guitarist. The first four songs Zou recorded live at the IV.ITIM-Festival “Cellophonics and Strings” on 9 October 1994. They recorded the remaining songs in October 1992 and remixed them in February 1995. Zou’s music covers a lot of avant garde jazz territory. Their music is an amalgam of Coltrane, Embryo, Soft Machine, Curlew, Moving Gelatine Plates, Zao, Shub Niggurath, Magma, etc. and fans of these artists are sure to enjoy this release. The central element to Zou’s music is Daniel Brothier’s distinctive saxophone playing. On some songs Brothier may be improvising with wild abandon while on others he produces poetry of lyric beauty. Occasionally something magic happens Bouzillator and Zou produce energetic progressive flights of fancy similar to Djam Karet’s From the Firepool. All-in-all a wonderful new release for those high brows among us. [Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE] – Henry Schneider
Mantaray NUMINOUS ISLAND (Silent SR9592) CD: 64:14 Mantaray is the duo of Susumu Yokota and DJ Ray. Yokota is a prolific Japanese trance and ambient composer. DJ Ray hails from New Zealand and he predominantly DJs at parties in Australasia. Yokota and Ray first met in Tokyo in 1992 and starting recording together in 1994. They named their CD Numinous Island after an essay by Peter Blegvad of Slapp Happy titled On Numinous Objects and Their Manufacture. In this essay Peter describes a numinous object as being a “mirror of the spirit” and the “radiant focus of an entire world”. Together as Mantaray, Yokota and Ray transform Blegvad’s words into a collection of 20 ambient soundscapes that flow gently from one to another, yet each one is unique and never boring. Using the sounds of water, birds and other animals, found voices, and electronics Mantaray weaves a sonic quilt of light and airy and darkly sinister moods. There is a distinctive ethnic or native quality to Mantaray’s music that puts them in the same league as Jorge Reyes and Steve Roach. Nowhere is there evidence of Yokota’s or Ray’s rock, punk, and techno roots. And thankfully there is none of that mind-numbing Orb, FSOL, or Aphex Twin dance trance schlock so popular today. Instead, like Brian Eno’s decades old ambient work, Numinous Island works on several levels. You can play it at a low volume to augment your surroundings or you can crank up the volume and focus on the music to explore the golden threads in Mantaray’s intricate sonic world. My only complaint with Numinous Island is that I can not read the song titles on the inserts. There is not enough contrast between the text and the beautiful artwork for me to discern the words. But this nit pales in comparison to the excellent quality of this release. By all means look for this CD. [Silent, 340 Bryant Street, 3rd Floor East, San Francisco, California 94107] – Henry Schneider
Skozey Fetisch MOMMA:KEY (Silent SR9590) CD: 64:25 Skozey Fetisch AKA Mark C. Jackman is both an experimental composer and a visual artist working with oils and canvas. Momma:Key, Jackman’s debut release, contains 31 songs, most under 2 minutes in length and all untitled. The interesting and unique feature about this release is that Jackman used traditional musique concrete techniques to create Momma:Key. You know, 1/4″ reel-to-reel tapes, razor blades, and splicing tape and then physically cutting and pasting together the snippets. Twenty years ago in college I had to compose a piece in this manner. It is extremely difficult and painstaking to get the correct temporal and spacial location of the sounds. Why Jackman chose to go this route instead of using today’s technology is not clear. What is clear is that Momma:Key is a labor of love. Why else would he spend untold hours to create 64 minutes of mature and uncompromising industrial grade soundscapes? This CD is truly handcrafted music in the finest sense of the word. It runs the gamut from harsh industrial to soft amorphous sounds. Quite an impressive debut from a new artist! [Silent, 340 Bryant Street, 3rd Floor East, San Francisco, California 94107] – Henry Schneider
…sincerest THANKS to Henry for his unique and insightful reviews!
SOUNDBOARD: This is a BRAND new WWW site… as many of you know, I’ve an aversion to writing reviews of all th’ “kewl” websites out there… heck, there wouldn’t be ANY room left for what REALLY counts in this ‘zine, then – the MUSIC! It’s a genuinely COOL site, with MUCH to offer anyone who shares th’ “I.N.” ethic that most commercial music these days just isn’t worth the time – let ALONE th’ buckz! This looks like a place that us DIY folks producing our OWN quality music can sorta’ “hang out”, as well as get a little well-deserved exposure. One Steve Bintliff is th’ “perp” of this site, & our e-mail exchanges have continued to encourage me – to GREAT lengths – about the potential this site can have. He (like many other sitemeisters) needs YOUR support to make this a long-term & lasting effort, though. There have been a coupla’ sites over this last year that seemed to have the right “idea” – but (in at least one case), they just dinna’ get th’ level of SUPPORT needed (i.e., HITS & cash-flow help) they NEEDED to keep it up. Let’s face it – it costs some BUCKZ to keep a site going (not to mention all the time & energy expended). One OTHER neat feature is that Steve has a utility (freely downloadable – in fact, I’m downloading it as I write) called INTERNET WAVE – that’ll allow you to hear the WHOLE phroggin’ SONG, in pretty decent quality. It’s not just a buncha’ quik lil’ LOOPS anymore – you can hear (the chosen) artist’s COMPLETE selected piece. I think probably th’ MAIN thing which attracted me, though is Steve’s ENERGY about th’ project. You NEED to get in TOUCH WITH HIM, at email@example.com – like, NOW, people. Or, betterYET, check out the SITE, at http://www.cyberstop.com/soundboard/index.html It’s the future, NOW! Rotcod Zzaj
That about does it for the reviews this month! Though we may well be “movin’ on down th’ road”, we want you to continue sending ALL your material to us. It appears that I may have something lined up down Kansas way… ya’ know, those “girls with th’ reddresses” & alla’ that! We’ll be keepin’ you all posted! Th’ music (‘SPECIALLY DIY) will NEVER die….
We’ll start off with a bit o’ news about the world’s BEST D.I.Y. ‘zine, GAJOOB! Bryan Baker’s been doin’ a LOT of work (when did he NOT do that?)… at enny rate, here’s Bryan’s latest info:
The big news this time out is the official debut of this report in a webzine edition. All of you with web access should point your browser to http://members.aol.com/gajoob/gajoobmag/gajoob.html The webzine has many advantages over the text edition you are reading now: graphics (of course), hypertext links for all URL’s and e-mail addresses, and all reviews have clickable sound files (in .au format) which you may access (if your computer is capable) to hear short excerpts from the releases reviewed. I believe Netscape is not required to view the zine properly (there is a subtle background, but you probably won’t miss it that much).
Gajoob’s DiY Webzine will not be archived on the site, however, the site itself will continue to grow over time (I’m currently looking for a good and cheap service provider to host all this stuff, so if you know of one. …. ). Information from the DiY Webzine will be incorporated into a larger site which will include catagorized information resources, so that you can find the type of info you need without wading through a lot of other stuff you may not. I would appreciate it if you would let me know what you think. Bryan Baker
LOWER RECORDS <firstname.lastname@example.org > has an E-mail catalog you might wish to check out. “In case you’re unfamiliar with Lower, it’s a cassette-mostly label that’s worked with other labels (Anyway, Picture Book, and Theme Park so far) to put out vinyl and CDs as well. T-Shirt: Only $10. Log’s ‘flying cat with rubber bands’ multi-color design on white. L or XL. Contact: Paul Nini, 154 Charleston Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43214
Just wanted to make sure everyone knows that the above announcements were extracted from Bryan’s DIY REPORT, one of the most authoratative (& informative) sources for artists interested in expanding their musical/artistic horizons through DIY. If YOU have information on other activities involving DIY, don’t HESITATE (for a moment) to pass it on to Bryan, at email@example.com
The American workforce is basically full of C-R-A-P! After a full year back here in Crackville, I’ve had a bit of time to form some opinions. Of course, you who KNOW Zzaj awready are well aware that this area of th’ ‘zine is FOR me to “spout off” (about whatever I FEEL like screamin’ on).
Government legislation is turning the workplace (and the work force) in to a bunch of snivelling and self-serving YUCKS who would NEVER survive in a “real” world! When combined with the “political correctness” attitude so prevalent in the world today, it makes for a combination that will (I’m afraid) come to be the DEATH WARRANT for the American worker!
Politically correct often means that the “politics” are at the whim of the individual in charge… & if you draw some egg-sucking no-name who has never had the gumption, intelligence or guts to tell HIS/HER boss that THEIR ideas are counter-productive or work-impeding, you are probably faced with a year or two of pure HELL (unless, o’ course, yer’ in a circumstance where you can QUIT – as did I; &, how many are there out there today who haven’t been sucked IN by the credit monster that those same corporate SCHMUCKS so desparately WANT you to be “hooked” to… but I digress – that’s ANOTHER rant, eh?). In my mind, a GOOD manager/leader is:
1. One who has already DONE the same work the peon is doing… how many ARE there out there like that these days?
2. One who learned a long time ago that those “over” him/her can REALLY “muck up the works” if they’re permitted to roam freely about the place where the work actually gets done!
3. One who will act IMMEDIATELY to ensure that the WORKERS tools are in place… after all, the pyramids were built from the BOTTOM up – right?
4. One who believes that political opinions, prejudice and other tools for “fearmongers” have their proper place – in church, or a hole in the ground – NOT at work!
5. One who is aware enough to DEAL with their own fears and insecurities… & NOT afraid to admit that someone else may have a better idea than they do.
UNLESS American business is SCOURGED of the nincompoops who are in charge of it right now, we will ALL become slaves (if we aren’t already) to meaningless “balance sheet” statistical analyses that will soon be replaced by REAL workers/managers who realize that the TRUE bottom line is that employees will go to the ends of the EARTH for a manager who takes CARE of their needs/requirements. C’ ya’ NEXT time!
Between bubbles and dots
in tarpy cape
at a party
rap and tango
a sequined opera
with a moon
c Joan Payne Kincaid
Sky arch or roof
of mouth architecture
tee pee flotation
spirit spreads over
rituals of ice and fire
redeem what sits
and stirs pots and
tom toms and tombs
of lost grave stones
primitive innocent ghosts
feathered and leathered
from old communion victuals
and sweet air flutes.
c Joan Payne Kincaid
how I got poetry
in 4th grade
Sandburg & Poe
they are the
you know &
Frost he was the
he even wrote
for the president.
all may be
but it was my
thirst that drove me
to Langston, Baraka
voices of poetic simplicity
that evoked the sounds
of cool-hot jazz
an apogee –
is how I got poetry.
c Gabrille David
“spring has returned & i am renewed”
you can dodge the rain,
reach through the clouds
and touch the sun.
the crack of dawn
can crush your skull
between her thighs
you close you r eyes,
the rain is white
and falls untouched
from dreary skies
that cry for us
we hide our frowns
with chiseled smiles,
we call emptiness.
will knock you down
and feed you to the murky depths
Though we all survive,
only the strong will swim away
to walk the sands of stronger shores.
we are parallel.
c Stephen R. Reed
A Look Back At The Future
Monsters roamed and ruled the earth
(some things never change).
Too much, too fast, extinction.
Roman, Nazi empires
built from wretched stone.
The abused will always rise
just to fill their masters shoes.
War always lasts a lifetime,
a bitter price for its rewards.
Once peace is resurrected,
barracks are re-stocked
with surviving sons and daughters
in bleak anticipation
of the lessons never learned.
The financial well that rises
from the dust of its collapse,
always painted pretty colors
that will only chip away
till the painters can is empty.
A United Kingdom wallows
in earnings, yet unearned,
Painted pretty colors
and the painters can is empty.
Monsters roam and rule the earth
(some things never change).
Too much, tgoo fast, EXTINCTION.
c Stephen R. Reed
I mean pretty damn bad
when you smell
(likd) burning candles
they are like omens
Christ dying vertical
and so forth
you had better fear
and flee the band
cause here comes the Man
with (I mean)
like shirt buttons
c Carol Frith
The man forced all four of us
because we could not sleep
to wait out front
under the palm tree,
whereupon he more or less
in a wired-together vehicle
which was like black.
He confined three dudes
to an interlocking
barrl sort of hoop
while I marched ruts
in the parade ground,
during which time
this other guy
never got past
the damn trellis.
c Carol Frith
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