Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 28

Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 28

Brought to you by: Zzaj Productions

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





World Salvation Conspiracy

INTERVIEW with Michael Hoppe


Jaws of the Flying Carpet


Dukes Nitemare

Charles McClure

Andre Rocha

3rd Olympia Experimental Music Festival

& much MUCH more!!!


Rotcod Zzaj


As this issue goes to press, I’m preppin’ for a LIVE show again… this (for me, anyway) is THE reason for playin’ music… to get OUT there & share my energies with people who (hopefully) will enJOY it! Now, that’s not to (in the least) denigrate those who (only) do “taped” music… I (obviously – have you looked at my CATALOG lately) know that without cassettes & 4-tracks, communication around the world would be VASTLY different. I do still think it’s VERY important for a musician to get out & play LIVE (or at least WITH other players) whenever possible, though… so, let me throw a challenge at those out in D.I.Y. land who have NEVER done that… haul yer’ carcass on UP & make CONTACT with some other tapers in your area… fight, scratch & quibble until you’ve GOT a schedule firmed up – & then DO it (bein’ sure to TAPE it, so you can send the results to US for review, eh?)! You may find yourself surprised at how much it can expand your playing ability.

Anyway, for anyone who may be in th’ area, Kramtones, Zzaj & Remus Glaude will be playing at “The Lifeboat Pub”, 7:30 – 11:00 pm, 7 June 1997. Hope you’ll stop in & see/hear us!


Rotcod Zzaj

Busyditch: FUDGESICLE – John Hajeski (aka Busyditch, natch) brews up a tasty synthesized treat (& wrapped in a – simulated – popsicle wrapper) for your aural appendages on this two-tape set. These tapes are NOT for “timid ears”… long, meandering synth-pieces, sure to irritate those who detest lack of form. There are (some) similarities to “Tinty music”, for those familiar, but Hajeski’s works are much more “down to earth”, less oriented towards space opera. One genuinely nice touch is the use of organ sounds scattered in, around, under, over and through the electronics. You must EXPERIENCE this music (& it IS music, not just “noise”), not just “listen” to it. It’s best heard with the headphones on, in fact. For some listeners, this won’t be the ticket, but for those with (any degree of) adventure in their blood, it comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by the Zzaj! Contact at 11 Rose St., East Rutherford, NJ 07073, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Dale Thompson: DALE THOMPSON – Rugged Records sent this CD in… absoLUTEly WACKED blooz/r&r to get yer’ started inna’ mornin’… AFTER yer’ got that cuppa’ motoroil (coffee, eh?) to start th’ ol’ pistons pumpin’. The really NEAT thang about this is that it (just) CAN’T be “pigeonholed” (as our DJ friend Don Campau would say). Heavy elements of blues, butt-kickin’ horn seciton, even some harp thrown in. When you look at the credit/play list on the cover, it’s categorized as “Act 1” & “Act 2”, rather than “sides”. That’s about as apt a descriptor as one could put on it… Thompson’s music is much more like theater than (just another) album. On closer reading (you know, if you want to KNOW where th’ artist’s music is comin’ from, you’ve GOT to read what (if anything) THEY say about it), it turns out that the group name is “Dale Thompson & The Religous Overtones”. Strangest “Christian” music I’ve ever heard, but it’s GOT th’ fire! Vox are (in many ways) similar to Mose Allison, blues/boogie orientation. Some HOT basslines (Donny Erwin) on “Wringing His Hands”. From my reading of the liner notes, it’s not (actually) DALE Thompson, rather one Troy Thompson, who put this together (he also plays a lotta’ lead GUITAR); tho’ I could be wrong, since there IS a Dale Thompson listed as the producer/songwriter. (Turns out that there IS a “Dale Thompson”, no bout adoubt it, as I called him UP & spoke with him…albeit briefly, he was headed out – probably to clean up from that nasty FLOOD down there). Either way, matters not a whit! The MUSIC is HOT! Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone with a hankerin’ for the “real” story! Some won’t like it, but I did! Contact at 295 Churchview Rd., West Point, KY 40177, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Elemental: Lux Aeternae: I was handed this GRAND excursional CD during a meeting (here in Olympia) in late May (by revfever, aka Steven Stokes). I’d been to his place & seen the abundance of synthesizers, but never REALIZED how talented he was in the electronic musical arena! This is one of the most INSPIRING electronic communions you’ll EVER experience. All “natural”, no dubs, clean & REALLY motivated! Comes close to what I’d imagine the edge(s) of the outer galaxies would sound like, if they could be recorded! Wotcha’ BREWIN’ in there, rev? If you don’t get ANY other CD this year – GET THIS ONE! It gets the PICK of this issue for “best electronic in a L-O-N-G time”. Contact at  Rotcod Zzaj

Mr. Zipp: OVER THE EDGE – Ah, wotta’ PLEASANT surprise. Frankie Z. had th’ first Zipp CD reviewed sometime last summer in “I.N.”. It was a great rockin’ fun CD, as is “Edge”… the big diff this time ’round is the SOUND QUALITY. There’s actually a sorta’ “Zappa-esque” flavor to this go-round, too, at least from th’ standpoint of “story-telling”, or “broadway gala”. MUCH better than that first CD, & keeps that sense of “fun” that (helped to) redeem th’ first one. Still gotta’ drum-mo-chine clackin’ away back there, synthlines chuggin’ away over top. Disco-vamp on a lot of the toons. All-in-all, it’s FUN, & very MUCH a “home-produced” effort. Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those in search of something “different” to listen to. Contact at Rant Records, POB 39542, Denver, CO 80239, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Billy Freeze: SHELTER – There are some (I’m told) in the reviewing community (& perhaps even in our readership) who say that nothing recorded to CD has merit… & while I agree that this is often the case, Billy Freeze has made some music that DOES deserve your attention. Take a dash o’ Dylan & throw in a handful o’ Hornsby, & you’ll have a taste of what Billy’s all about! He’s GOT his own unique FLAVOR, though… this is ESPECIALLY true of his lyrical/writing style… image-rich & heart-tugging all at the same time. Voxwise, imagine a Billy Joel-like tone coming from a face that looks (a bit) like Paul Simon. That combined with instruments that are well recorded & played makes for an American ORIGINAL musical experience that will last for YEARS to come!MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those who love excellent folk-rock! Contact at 212 N. 12th St., Suite 3, Philadelphia, PA, 19107, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Five Dollar Milkshake: ICE CREAM HEADACHE – Here’s a NEAT lil’ rock tape in from a Boston band. Th’ trio has only been playin’ local hotspots in th’ area since September ’96, so it’s FRESH, verzure! Pretty standard fare, bass/guitar/drumz, but their energy is H-O-T! Mostly cover material (lotta’ Monkees-oriented stuph)… let us hear some o’ yer’ ORIGINAL material next time ’round, boyz! Recording is well-balanced, playing (way) above average, makes for a nice listen all the way around! Merits a second (& maybe a third) spin, no doubt! If yer’ IN to youngblood rock, this is RECOMMENDED! IF, however, you don’t like coverstuph, this won’t DO it for ya’! These boyz have th’ TALENT for some of their OWN material, so let it LOOSE on th’ next tape, fellers! Contact at Boston Scribe Records, POB 8295, Boston, MA 02114, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

The Nerk Twins: EITHER WAY – Jeff (Murphy) & Herb (Eimerman) are the “Nerk Twins” on this CD outing in from Broken Records label. Looks (pretty well) home-produced, which is (probably) the only reason it got reviewed. Very “British” sounding, influences from the Beatles, lotza’ “la-la” stuph floatin’ ’round over the guitar & mersey-beat kinda’ stuph they’ve put together. Another strong point in their favor is that the toonz’ are all original… only problem (for me) is that much of that ol’ “London sound” kinda’ thang lost it’s attraction long ago, due to th’ “clone” nature of the genre. Don’t get me wrong… this is WELL-PLAYED music, & if yer’ still IN to that quasi-psychedelic era (ya’ know, th’ time before th’ Stones came on scene & realized th’ potential of makin’ it all KICK), this will be like NOSTALGIA for you! So, would I listen to it again? You BETCHUM! Third spin? Not intentionally. Still gets a RECOMMENDED, though, ‘coz it IS quite original & energetic! Contact at 305 S. Westmore Ave., Lombard, IL 60148, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

World Salvation Conspiracy: METAMORPHASIS – Ron Jagielnik (who is pals with my collaborative friend Dan Susnara, & has played with him often) sent this home-produced (like DEFINITELY D.I.Y.) tape in. Actually, this is the first time I’ve heard this particular grouping (Ron, Tom Mikois & Larry Krol, with some guest shots, too). Not BAD! Some GREAT high-end (rockin’) guitar, much percussion, well-integrated bass & a MAX of energy on these “folk-oriented” psych-rock pieces (14 in all). The walking basslines just KICK, & the guitar(s) approach stratocaster levels at times. There are some SWEET homespun vox – “When You Fall” is a STANDOUT! & “Wasting Time” is a KICK-AZZ rocker! Those who do 4-trakkin’ (whether it be mail collab, or direct in) NEED to listen to this tape… it’s not only inspirational, it will provide a SHINING example of what CAN be done! There is some fine acoustic guitar mixed in, & a level of balance that’s not often achieved on 4-track efforts. Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer! Contact at 11826 Chisholm Trail, Orland Park, IL 60642 Rotcod Zzaj

Jim Salestrom: ALL THE COLORS – We reviewed a CD by Jim in the last issue, “The Messenger”, which he terms “adult-oriented”. On “All The Colors”, the theme is songs that children can listen to (hopefully WITH their parents). I noted on the last go-round that Salestrom is an excellent songwriter, & kind of held back reviewing this one (in favor of “The Messenger”), because I though the “child-oriented” CD would be too “syrupy” (if you know what I mean). Well, I’m prone to erros, volkz! This is one of the PRETTIEST folk-oriented albums I’ve EVER heard! Remember back to your fondest memories of James Taylor efforts, throw in a touch of the (almost) orchestral-sounding guitars on your favorite Stephen Bishop tape & compliment that with a level of sensitivity not often found these days, & you’ve got a combination for PLEASURE. No doubt that Jim’s right, these songs are what will make children GROW with an awareness of the beauty and splendor that CAN be! This is the folk PICK of ’97 for “I.N.”… it can’t be RECOMMENDED HIGHLY ENOUGH! If you’re looking for something to inspire your whole family, GET THIS! Contact at reative Services, Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Hal McGee: HALzine – Looks (to me) like thee allure of ‘zinedom is just TOO much for our long-time hometaper friend Hal to resist. After a long absence, Hal came back on the scene ’round the time I came back in from Korea (Spring ’95, or so). First contact (if I remember right) was a review he’d done of a Bennett/Zzaj tape (for AutoReverse ‘zine, when it was just STARTING up). It looked (for awhile) like he was going to be really active on the netz’, & then we sorta’ “went out of phase” again. Well, this issue of HALzine (#2) makes me think that we might (possibly) expect a resurgence of his GREAT tapezine, Electronic Cottage (in FACT, “Electronic Cottage” is th’ ‘zine that reviewed the FIRST Zzaj tape, ever so many yearz ago)! I surely HOPE so, & I’m sure many others do as well. Issue # 2 includes a L-O-N-G discussion on his philosophies about tape as a medium, & some VERY valuable insights as to how to record (particularly 4-trak), & other neat things. A few reviews (of both tapes & ‘zines). Hal’s knowledge of various tape formats, use of Dolby, tape trading (& various other aspects of home-taping) will be INVALUABLE to folks who want to learn how to do it RIGHT… or (just) how to DO it! A big emphasis in this issue on tape TRADING… this (especially for those inclined to producing their own music) is THE ticket – it gets the PICK of this issue for “most informative ‘zine”, & earns a EXCEEDINGLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by this home-taper! Contact at 1909 SW 42 Way, Apt E, Gainesville, FL 32607 Rotcod Zzaj

The Phantom Surfers: THE GREAT SURF CRASH OF ’97 – Here’s an entertaining lil’ punk/surf CD in from Lookout Records. Entertaining & WEIRD! Surfmusique fer’ thee ’90’s? No question about it… you’ll NEED “daddy-o’s” T-bird ta’ cruise with THIS jam! Any of ya’ ever lissen ta’ those ol’ “surf guitar” thingies from th’ ’60’s? Put thee players on some crystal meth, light a fire under their fingers & listen to those git-ars CRASH & BURN! Pleasant for a dirersion, but nothin’ to get th’ “woolies” over! Contact at POB 11374, Berkeley, CA 94712, or e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Dan Susnara: SON OF UNRELEASED – As Dan (a LONG-time home-taper) put it, “a comp of a lot of oddities from my weirdo closet”. Came out of a Pandora’s box stored in John M. Bennett’s (or Zzaj’s) garage, methinks! Some GRAND improvised stuph… Zappa-esque in (many) places! There are stretches (musically) where it sounds like (some of) the best live improv sessions I’ve been to! What makes this different is Dan’s use of manipulated vox to under/overscore his musical themes! Many who have heard Dan’s work before will be hard-pressed to recognize him here… but that’s just FINE! Where ‘n ‘l izza’ GRANDSON at, Dan? Krank that thang on OUT here, friend! For a novel & highly entertaining listen, this is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (you can’t be in the sonically timid realm, though; this requires an enjoyment of musical adventure)! Contact at 7806 S. KILPATRICK, CHICAGO, IL 60652 Rotcod Zzaj

The Horse Cock Kids: LOS PILOTOS DEL INFERNO – Homemade verzure, Donald Lessau (& Sibyll) sent this over from Deutschland… they’ve been ferrying e-mail traffic from an old musical friend of mine, Jeffrey Morgan, & we decided to exchange tapes. Home-brew acoustic nuttery, purely for fun (sounds like), & with no roots in the ZERIOUS traditions… listened to in that frame, it comes off as DEFINITELY D.I.Y., mid-fi with redeeming qualities. Vox can be a bit of a jolt (at times), kinda’ whiny… but their instrumental acoustic git-ar work(s), which represents a large slice of the tape, are SOLID, nice walkin’ blooz kinda’ stuph; brings to mind parts of old “Hot Tuna” tapes. ‘s DIGGETY… gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at Moltkestr. 83 D-50674 Koeln, Germany, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

The Garden Weasels: LAWN JOB – Punk with a flair on this CD in from Rodent Records. This lil’ 4-piece is a ROCKER, with a twist… tho’ thee beat is sped up (as you might expect), they’ve got a really full BODY to their sound! Sounds like th’ bass has been mixed a lil’ higher than yer’ ear might expect to encounter, to GOOD effect! Snatches of power git-ar runnin’ up & down through the whole set, strong vox – really LIKE that lead singer’s voice! They’ve got a couple of stretches that sound a LOT like the ORIGINAL Fleetwood Mac, too… e-z walking stretches, underpinned by that great bass! This is WAY more’n “flash-inna-pan” punk, it’s got SUBSTANCE! I’d predict these young fellers will be onna’ CHARTZ soon! Prob’ly right after their tour of Europe (shortly, sed thee promo article). This one is definitely TOGETHER… gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… even if ya’ thot yer’ WOULDN’T enjoy “punk/rock”. GET it, for fun! Contact at 3003 Arapahoe, B-103, Denver, CO, POB 748, Arvada, CO 80001, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Michael J. Bowman: LO-FI SUPERHIGHWAY – I’ve heard a few of MJB’s efforts before, & had (in fact) been so biz-ee that I dinna’ realize he’d sorta’ “officially” dropped off for awhile. That’s somethin’ that tends to happen when you’re producing as much output as he has. I know I’ve gone through stretches where I had to take brief respites… this home-taping thang can just GET IN YER’ BLOOD! Ah, well… ’nuff philosophy! The MUSIC is where it’s AT! Crisp & clear vox, classic home-produced rockin’-pop toonz that are FUN to listen to, & well-played all the way through! Michael’s acoustic work just SHINES on “Let Your Fingers Do The Walking”, very well-recorded, too! Little bit o’ noise/improv woven in to “Electro-Nervy”, too. There MUST be somethin’ happening, I reckon! All those OLD tapers comin’ back… Bret Hart, Hal McGee & now MJB. This tape is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those with a taste for music that’s (both) fun and energy-filled! Contact at 11 Orchard St., Cold Spring, NY 10516, or via e-mail to  Also, check out his page(s) at  Rotcod Zzaj

This magazine considers interviews that happen “spontaneously” to be of far greater value than any “scripted” or “planned” mockery of that process could ever be… that’s especially significant in the one that follows with Michael Hoppe, whose “Wind Songs” CD was reviewed in our last issue. My thanks go out to Michelle (at Creative Service Company), who helped to set the phone call up that made this happen! & certainly, we’d like to thank Michael for (so graciously) taking the time to talk with us… it was an experience (almost) as uplifting as the wonderful music he plays! I’ll not trouble you (the reader) with q&a format, since the interview didn’t really “go that way”. It just seemed to “flow”… & what better testament to the improvisational skills he so flawlessly displays in his music? Ergo, what you will read below is my simple interpretation of what we said to each other, with (perhaps) a few quotemarks to distingish his thoughts from mine!

I called Michael Hoppe (after receiving permission, of course) for a phone interview on the 3rd of March, 1997. He apologised for not being able to do the “interview” via e-mail (something the “lazy” side of myself had requested, since it requires no “transcription”). I assured him that this presented no real problem, & that he’d get a copy (of this) before it went to press.

My first queries were directed at what I thought would be of most interest to readers of this magazine… i.e., was this “fancy-schmancy” studio produced, or more along the lines of what most of US do… you know – HOME-MADE!

His answer was that it was done in his LIVING ROOM! How fine to know that music of this grand nature was not the result of some cigar-chomping studio mogul (tho’ I forgot to ask him if HE ever chomps on a stogie… something one COULD picture, since he used to be an senior executive for Polygram… heh! heh!) For the “Wind Song” effort, he used a midied Yamaha grand piano as a controller for his other keyboards/instruments. Flutist Tim Wheater (according to Michael) was the “flyer” on this distinctly improvised outing. Michael used his keyboard/midi setup to form a “base” (a very “supportive”role, in his words) for Tim’s crystal-clear improvisations. One of the most notable things (to this interviewer, anyway) is that he indicated that the “magic seemed to happen” when he “relaxed” and “let it flow”. Those in our readership who (actually) play should be able to relate to that right away… I know it’s been (VERY) true in my own playing experiences.

As I indicated, it was recorded right in his living room… mikes set up (we didn’t discuss specific brands, not wanting to get too “techie” oriented). Levels were set (initially, with some changes throughout the overall session, I’d imagine), and the playing began. Recorded straight to his DAT! As many of you know, this leaves little room for incompetence, or else it will come out sounding totally “noodled”. At their level of artistry, however, there was little chance of that! No overdubs, no not ONE! Richard Burmer was consulted to do some “layering”, but what you hear is what was played!

Michael commented that most of what he’d recorded before was much more “structured”… ya’ know, NOT improvised. It was apparent from our conversation that he truly enJOYed the music on “Wind Song” because it WAS improvised. His words were that it was made “purely for the music”. Most readers know that (in my estimation) there is NO better “motive” for music – and it is eminently clear on “Wind Song” that Hoppe is a musician who is able to make such an aspiration “come to life” in a most real sense.

Any of you who are in need of material that will inspire you to greater improvisational heights (and by improvisation, I’m not referring to the “garden variety” chicken-scratch that is so often hyped as improv) should make a beeline for your local CD dealer & GET a copy of “Wind Song”.

Once again, our sincere thanks to Michael for his support of independent music, and for spending a few moments with us to share his musical vision! Rotcod Zzaj

Todd H. Bennion: SOLO PIANO – There is nothing more satisfying to my ear than solo piano in the hands of a person who can make it TALK! On occasion, we hear players who can play covers very well, but rarely are we fortunate enough (these days) to get pieces in that are self-composed and home-recorded with the sensitivity and expression that Todd’s put together on this demo. There are some absolutely AMAZING pieces on here, full-bodied and orchestral in tone and intent. It’s made all the more amazing by the fact that he’s (on occasion) a truck driver/accountant who does this out of (obviously) a sincere LOVE of music! I’m impressed, and anyone with a desire to share in the sweetness that a player at peace with his music can bring will, too. TOTAL immersion, an experience that should NOT be missed. Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and gets the PICK of this issue for “best solo piano”. Contact at POB 296, Garden City, UT 84028 Rotcod Zzaj

If, Bwana: BREATHING – It’s been a L-O-N-G time since I’ve had occasion to scope out this group… they’ve been around forEVER (in this D.I.Y. “community”, anyway)! I remember a LOT of such material in Hal McGee’s “Electronic Cottage”, when he & Al Margolis (who had MUCH to do with this project, I’m sure) were collaborating/playing/reviewing together. The CD is composed of 3 very extended pieces… first one sounds much (to my jaded earz) like I imagine the thoughts of elephants to be… it’s titled “Breathing”, though, so I imagine a slightly different thought was at work. The other name (besides Al Margolis) that “sticks out” on this go-round is Dave Prescott (doing “wind”). This is music you must LISTEN to… & a very intense listen it will be! Intricate non-patterned aural tapestry with a strong sense of musical identity, this gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for any who are willing to try things new! I was CAPTIVATED! Contact at POB 150022, Van Brunt Station, Brooklyn, NY 11215-0022 , or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Go On Girl 2: CLASS OF 1997 – My GOURD, wotta’ change o’ pace! Lady-rock that’ll (in many instances) just RIP yer’ HEART out! 100 % Fret-Free Music (Susan White) has been sending us tapes & CD’s of H-O-T bands for more’n a coupla’ yearz now, & CLASS OF 1997 is the BEST to date! Recording is at peak levels & the groups on the CD are better’n EVER! Kick-azz rockin’ grrrl stuph from 13 bands in th’ U.S. & Canada. Psalm 69, from Dallas, is the first cut on th’ disc, & leads the listener into some SHINING xamples o’ wot can be done when th’ RAW energy & talent of youngblood onna’ LOOSE! If yer’ corn-fused about what to let yer’ kidz listen to while they’re dancin’ their frustrations (with YOU, ya’ old phart) off – GET em’ THIS! Just good ole’ ‘merican ROCK & ROLL! This WILL be in th’ “keeper” rack!Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at 108-22 Queens Blvd., Suite 226, Forest Hills, NY 11375, via e-mail to , or check out their WWW page(s) at  Rotcod Zzaj

Tales: PICTURES OF ASIA – Jean-Luc Herve Berthelot’s self-description (minimal tho’ it is) fits this pretty well…. “atmospheric electronic tales, somewhere between ambient new age & world music”… he released this under his (own) “Somewhere In Time” label. Detailed & thorough, but not mechanical (in the least), this is HIGH-ENERGY, albeit ambient, exploration. It is refreshingly musical, sometimes percussion based and will wrap you in it’s web. This is XACTLY what I’d play for someone “new” to independent music as an introduction. Berthelot has a unique sense for telling musical stories without becoming so hung up on pattern that it bores a listener to tears. The main attraction (for this reviewer) is the intense involvement Jean-Luc seems to have with his musical ideas. His synthwork is flawless (especially on the choir and orchestral sections) and will hold even the lowest attention spans spellbound! This gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… in fact, it gets the PICK of this issue for “best ambient trek”! Contact at SIT Records, Res. Gaston Roulaud BS/817, 93700, Dvancy France, or via e-mail to  Rotcod ZzaJ

Braille/Codex: BIT PART ACTOR – Har! Har! Har! Wotta’ KICK! David Watson (the guitar player) sent this unique lil’ CD in for review! Improvs recorded (originally) for an Australian radio show, then re-edited/mixed for this digital version! Those with (even a shard) improvisational skills will appreciate the chance to listen to the often changing landscape they paint for the listener! Nicely integrated (& crisp/clear) percz (Ikue Mori), some vox-dubstuffs (Amanda Stewart) & pace change(s) galore! Watson’s guitar puts images of a much amplified Davey Williams in my brain! Rik Rue integrated some hefty tape/sample stuff, & Jim Denly punctuates (sectionally) with sax/flute. The whole experience is tightly-packed precision personified! It comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those with an improvisational bent (& I DO mean BENT)! Contact (like, NOW) at Box 38, Peter Stuyvesant Station, NY, NY 10009 Didn’t see an e-mail anywhere! Rotcod Zzaj

Green Man Music: NATIVE SUN – This lil’ tape, in from Ken Linder, is a quite pleasant listen… very much percussion based, sorta’ South American in tone, lots of flute & marimba-like sounds floating in out & through (on side one)! One drawback to the whole experience is that there was (apparently) no descriptive material in the package… not even a bio sheet. The music is well-qualified enough to make that (only) a minor annoyance, though. The pieces on side 1 have a MUCH better energy level than on the second side, which is more somber, brooding, almost operatic themes. In the overall, this is good enough to make it worth a third/fourth listen, & shows some real promise for future efforts, I’d think. Next time out, let’s have a little info on who is playing, Ken; but, DO send some more on in, eh? Gets a RECOMMENDED from Zzaj. Contact at 6815 N. Fenwick, Portland, OR 97217 Rotcod Zzaj

Jaws Of The Flying Carpet: PARASITIC MUSIC FOR THE MIND – A “reformation” of the (in)famous J.O.T.F.C. group that’s been a mainstay here at Z.P. for several years now. Aw, they’re still “ugly” as ever, just that the new group (on this outing, anyway) is in a much more jazz-oriented frame of mind… don’t let that comment lead you to believe they’ve “gone commercial”, ‘owever. This iz’ music (after my own heart) that will NEVER realize any commercial potential! Of course, knowin’ Zalnikor (thee sorta’ “leader” of th’ group) th’ way I do (at least on a TWO CASE level – of OB beer, that is), I’m sure that’s th’ way THEY’D want it! If ya’ take a dab o’ Beefheart, a pinch o’ Don Campau, a zither o’ Zzaj/Zappa & blend it all down, you’d get th’ general idea. Music that CAN’T be “defined” – if it COULD, we’d ALL be headed fo’ nuclear disaster. I really LIKE this floating randomjazz motif… nice percz, plenty of stride git-ar, a few marimba/keyboard/synth thingies thrown in… even some NICE voxpieces by Swann – tho’ it seems on some o’ th’ pieces that Zalnikor got just a lil’ “horney”. They’ve got a lil’ too much “boom” in whatever box this was recorded on, so occasionally it’ll sorta’ “boil over”, but this is one stewpot that will MAKE th’ majick come bubbling to the top! GREAT tape by J.O.T.F.C! Ya’ better GET this brew! Like th’ title sez’, it’ll GLOM on to th’ nodes o’ yer’ lil’ brain & invade th’sucker! Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by broZzaj for those inclined towards other galaxies – withOUT th’ benefit of Applewhite insanities… I mean if ya’ get ON this comet, you’ll NEVER have ta’ worry about lookin’ OUTSIDE for yer’ answers! Some KEWL music for the jaded! Contact at 6397 Glen Knolls Dr., Orleans, Ont., Canada, K1C 2W9 Rotcod Zzaj

The Ken Ardley Playboys: WE’VE GOT KEN – These gents ARE certifiable… we reviewed some 7″ thingies (from Lucky 7 records) several issues back quite favorably… this CD is th’ followup to that outing, I suspect. London-based stage-rock-opera… it’s fun, but it’s a lil’ too “horny” on this outing. The vox are raw-edged, ‘specially on “I wanna’ be a Pop Star”, done with a punk flair for attitude! Where does it fall on th’ scale? Ah, ’bout a 7, I’d say. Those who thrive on that ol’ Zappa “Corina, Corina” theme-based stuph will fall in love with this… but, if yer’ lookin’ for somethin’ with real GUTS, you’ll probably shop around! Still, there’s a lotta’ energy here… give ’em a RECOMMENDED! Contact at 2716 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94708, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Steve Cochrane: HEROES AWAKEN – Another grand & majestic outing from Steve, whose “To See It Made Real” was reviewed a couple issues back. I was (highly) impressed with that one, & HEROES is no disappointment! The arrangements are tight, in a highly orchestral mode… they seem to have much less in the way of clear theme than pieces on “Real” did. That’s not a disparaging comment, though, because when an artist has a musical “vision” as clear as does Cochrane, spirits will SOAR! If you’re lookin’ fer’ syrupy “new-age” with little character, roam elsewhere… Steve’s punctuation is definitive, clear & well thought out! The harp/string overlays (& solos) sound like music to an angel’s ears might. A (truly) heavenly experience that is greatly uplifting & well worth your time… gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at Spirit Compass Music, 6230 Starfield Crescent, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5N IXI, OR via e-mail to  Be sure & visit Steves’ page(s) at  Rotcod Zzaj

Alula Records: VOICES – You can ALWAYS count on “No Problem Productions” for something new, inspiring, & different! This CD, released by a new company, Alula Records, was sent in by “No Problem” only a month or so ago. The listen is a challenge for even the most seasoned listener (& this listener likes it NO other way)! As you might imagine (from the title), the pieces contained hereon are all vocal central… solo, a capella ensembles, choirs & just about any other combination you can imagine. This is a truly inspiring (and often haunting) excursion into the sonic wonders the human voice can bring about. All corners of the world are explored here, from the dark continent to the farthest reaches of Eastern music(s). I was VERY impressed with the choral arrangements of “The Bulgarian Voices”, & equally transported (albeit in different fashion, rhythmically, anyway) by “Tam’Echo’Tam”, a Brussels-based African/Jazz/Pop group. This is a completely refreshing musical experience that gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer. If you don’t get/buy any other musical product this year – GET THIS! Contact at 832 Pavonia Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07306-3904, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Bob Jordan: LIVE AND LET LIVE – This tape came in a (humongous) package of material from our long-time D.I.Y. friend Bret Hart. The tape lists “Expressive Music”, so I don’t believe it’s released by Bret’s “HipWorks Productions”. As one would expect from any music Bret associates himself with, Jordan’s electric/acoustic/vocal excursions are in no “category”, & virtually undefineable. Which is GREAT, because he’s able to range all the way from off-kilter acoustic meanderings (the opening toon) to cowboy-twang vocals that (tend to) put me in mind of old Eddy Arnold stuff I used to listen to (when I was 4 & 5) onna’ radio. Bob is confident on his guitar, no hesitation. Straightforward music from the heartland (though in this case, that’s way EAST). The other neat thing is that these pieces were all recorded live, which adds an energy-level that is often absent on folk/rock efforts. I can see why Hart (really) likes Bob Jordan, & I’m confident enough that you will too to give it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at POB 281, Grafton, MA 01519, or by phone to (508)839-3692 Rotcod Zzaj

Miss: CIVIL WAR – It’s been (way over?) a year (March, 1995, in fact) since we heard from this group. Christopher Foster sent that one in (A Pretty Mess), as well as this, their most current release. This group has a strong soulful expression that is brought to the forefront by Lara D’Anna’s soft/haunting vocals. If one needed to “brand” it, I guess it’d come off as somewhere betwixt soul & jazz (but there’s not enough consistent jazz to keep it in that category). There are some great percussion moments, lotza’ effect slammin’ thru ta’ make ya’ get on up & dance! Would I listen again? VerZure! Would I rush right out & BUY it? Naw… but then, I haven’t bought anything in over 10 years now! This is a giant step forward from “A Pretty Mess”, which was pretty good in it’s own right! Gets a RECOMMENDED for those with a lil’ soul coursin’ thru their veins! Contact at 822 North 65th St., Philadelphia, PA 19151, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Dan Susnara: THE RAYNEBO PARKE L.P. – Circa ’96, this solo tape from Dan (a LONG-time D.I.Y. ‘er) is a great representation of his work. Strongly vocal this time around, with those ever-present stratocaster-sounding psychedelic guitars gently strumming you out to the “zone” (ya’ know, that place where everything is comfortable), this is CLASSIC Susnara! Some of the pieces will carry you (all the way) back to a time when music was kinder/gentler, & full of love for living. Dan’s vox on this outing are crystal-clear, great mix! Comes with a GREAT 3/4 size booklet of lyrics & pasteup grafix! If you enjoy music that has a light touch, very little darkness, GET this one! Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by this reviewer. Dan has a FULL body of work, many different styles, so CHECK him out at 806 S. KILPATRICK, CHICAGO, IL 60652 Rotcod Zzaj

Miroslav Tadic/Arthur Jarvinen: IMPROVISATIONS – This is a new entry for “I.N.” I’m (genuinely) surprised I’ve not heard these gents before… seems (nearly) sure that Davey Williams or LaDonna Smith would have sent me something by them, since it’s so heavily slanted towards free and natural improvisation. Guitar and electronics meshed together in a most enchanting weave, for those with adventure in their veins. People who want structure will avoid this like the plague, but those who want to go in new directions will find this a most challenging and rewarding journey. The guitar, of necessity, in this combination makes for some sparse moments, & there are times when the electronic gizmos sound like a hungry Pac-Man; but, in the overall, this is music (yes, I surely DID say music… this is not just random scratching) that will slake your thirst for “odd-istry”. For those who love improvisation, this is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact at 13041 Gridley St., Sylmar, CA 91342, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Kokomon: LOVE IS THE ANSWER – Kokomon sent this CD through my OlyWa musical partner, Kramtones (Harlan Mark Vale, for those who aren’t up on Zzaj history). Kokomon (Clottey) is from Ghana, West Africa, but produced this wonderful “healing” album from Oakland, California. Highly rhythmic, enchanting and well-balanced music that celebrates the joy (and healing force) that music can (if only we would LET it) bring to the world at large. It’s a very unique sound, not overburdened with the cliches that (quite often can) make this kind of music fall flat. This is far more than just “jam” music, takes you to the center, lets you relish the beauty of the natural and brings you all the way back to your current plane. Another fine aspect of Kokomon’s music is that there is very limited vocal influence; not that there’s anything wrong with vox, just that it’s sometimes used to draw a listener away from playing that’s substandard… here, the emphasis is on the freshness, the expressiveness that the hands of a master can bring to the listener. This gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.. send MORE of this wonderful music, my friend! It’s NICE! Contact at 3278 West St., Oakland, CA 94608, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Andre Rocha & Vagner Nazareth: MIRAGENS – A musical celebration of live and how well it can be lived! Andre contacted me via e-mail regarding a posting I’d made on the netz… it was quickly evident from his enthusiasm that his music would be vibrant and energy-filled. He plays harp (on this outing, there’s another CD that will be reviewed in an upcoming issue), joined by Nazareth on native (South American) flutes. These are improvisations clearly from (and of) the heart! Technical details are unimportant (though flawlessly executed) for music like this, because an intense love (of playing, as well as of the people of this earth) shines clearly through! You KNOW what I mean… some of us only get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be uplifted like this. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have made Andre’s acquaintance, & look FORWARD (as I know MANY of you will) to his (future) musical efforts, no matter what “form” they take. Effervescent and bubbling spirit that will capture your heart – gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer! You OWE yourself this wonderful musical experience! Pretty, pretty!!! Contact at Rue Tome’de Souza, 1029, City Lapa, 05079-200, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Gajoob: THE SMELL OF SUCCESS – Well, this CD wuz a L-O-N-G time comin’ (actually, to be fair to Bryan, that’s not really true… the assemblage of it was the FASTEST I’ve ever seen); for those (of us) who were on it, it IS sorta’ like some kind o’ “culmination”, I’d say! Like th’ PINNACLE of D.I.Y. It runs the gamut from acoustic to noize to spoken word to that “good ol’ rock&roll”. The sound quality is simply AMAZING, considering that many of these trax came straight from analog. 20 artists strong, & Baker is (we all knew it, anyway) the man with the golden ear… no slapdash here! This CD is for ANYONE who wants to hear what hometapers can DO! It gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as well as the “pick” of the year for “best all-around D.I.Y.”. Anyone who aspires towards (the true) “do it yourself” ethic (either playing or listening) MUST have this one! It is the FIRST authentic compilation I know of devoted to D.I.Y., by (sorta’) th’ FATHER of it all! Contact at POB 3201, SLC, UT 84110, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Pusher: SUPERNAKED – This LA-based group starts off in what SOUNDS (on the first cut) like it will be very “Sting” like, with mebbe’ a taste o’ David Bowie tossed in fer’ good measure… then they jump to a cover of “Witchita Lineman”… talk about tryin’ to please everybody! Now, that’s not all bad… they do a pretty nice cover… guess I’m just used to a lil’ mo’ FOCUS on style. They get back inna’ groove right quik, tho’, on trak 3, & continue on quite nicely. Th’ only prob with the overall effect is that you might never realize ya’ were listenin’ to a CD… you’d think it was yer’ local radio station popshow… not enough “group definition”. Playing? Really nice funkstuph, high-energy. End run? I’d try ‚m again, but I’d want a lil’ mo’ “original” flavor! It’s worth a RECOMMENDED, ‘specially if ya’ like to get on up & D-A-N-C-E! Contact at 1660 E. Herndon, Suite 135, Fresno, CA 93720, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Bangkok Shock: BACK ON THE STREETS – Well, people, with THESE lil’ monsters out there roamin’ thee avenue, ya’ better get OUTTA’ th’ way! If ya’ can’t handle punk-metal with sum ATTITUDE, go on HOME! 4-piece, pretty reg’lar for th’ genre, actually. This one didn’t CUT it… no STONE with it! I mean, th’ energy levels just aren’t THERE… I’m no (big) fan of punk & metal, anyway, but there HAVE been (more than) a few CD’s in that vein that have got ME up off my arse & made me SCREAM with th’ same levels of frustration THEY were expressing… ya’ need some higher-quality KRANK next time, boyz! Yo’ git-arz have thee right IDEA (&, actually, they aren’t too bad), but ya’ gotta’ LIVE this stuph ‘fore you can CONVINCE anyone. Try it again! For those willing to TRY it (despite th’ pain of ALMOST gettin’ off), contact ’em at 2413 S. Eastern, # 169, Las Vegas, NV 89104 Rotcod Zzaj

Ryo Kawasaki: SWEET LIFE – With a title like that, you’d (prob’ly have lil’ trouble guessin’ th’ genre)…. git-ar jazz, sweet & clean, o’ course! Most of the pieces are straight-ahead instrumental jazz, but there are 2 tracks with the wonderful vox of (longtime collaboratoer) Ilana Iguana. Ryo explains (in the promo sheet) that these songs were composed while a significant love was happening (he’s married to her now) in his life, & that this greatly influenced the “feel” of th’ toonz! Anyone who couldn’t sense that would be (TRULY) OUT of it! This is among the most sensitively played music I’ve heard this year! This is made all the more amazing, because Kawasaki has a penchant for integrating live music with sequences; there’s not (even) a HINT of plastique on these pieces! Truly “sweet”… truly about “life”. Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, & (without question), the PICK of this issue for “most expressive jazz guitar”! Contact at Creative Services, Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Scott Henderson: TORE DOWN HOUSE – Now HERE’S a first for Mesa/Bluemoon (for this ‘zine, anyway)… some BUTT-KICKIN’ blooz that’ll (either) have ya’ cryin’ in yer’ beer, or tearin’ thee ROOF offa’ th’ suckah! Henderson’s guitar & organ by Scott Kinsey (co-producer) are a WICKED combination! Power horn secion that just won’t quit, all pulled together by vocalist Thelma Houston (‘specially on th’ title trak). Gourd, that git-ar is just FAN-TASTIK! If ya’ jus’ gotta’ mix a lil’ blooz in yer’ diet, this is the TICKET! Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as well as th’ PICK of this issue for “best blooz”! &, I’m not KIDDIN’… GET this one! Contact at Debra Harner Media Relations, 4220 Tosca Road, Woodland Hills, CA 91364, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Dukes Nitemare: DUKES NITEMARE – A slight change of path for “Creative Services Company?” I usually review really pretty jazz or Native American music from them. Well, this CD forever modifies that impression! Dukes Nitemare is a ROCKIN’ 5-piece from Charlotte, North Carolina. Definitely twinges of Allman (Greg, I mean), Lynyrd Skynyrd & that whole “southern” flavor! Only drawback (for this reviewer), is that some of these “changes” were “played out” back in the early ’70’s… OTOH, when combined with the RAW energy that Dukes brings to th’ stage, I can see (hear?) why they’re on TOP! Lead guitarist LA Stubbs haz got it DOWN, flat-out! He just SOARS in places. Since I know there’s some o’ you who GOTTA’ have a lil’ rock in yer’ musical diet, this gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for yer’… contact at Creative Services, Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Andre Rocha: A CAMINHO DAS INDIAS – Andre interpreted the title for me (On the way to the Indians…). A wonderful experience, especially for ears (like mine) that have been fed a steady diet of “americanized” Latino music(s). Guitars, sitars, flutes & all other sorts of high-energy mixtures from Brasil. The vocal sections are astounding, sweet/soft, but on FIRE! A sheer love of music (and the playing of it) shine through ever brightly, & will illumine your pathway into the mornings ahead of you. Actually, I’m somewhat surprised that I found this so attractive, since it’s all in Spanish; perhaps I shouldn’t be, though, since it bears out the axiom that music IS a universal language. Much like (what I imagine) a painting of Brazil would be… jungle, dancers, hints of danger (i.e., LIFE)… gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer! Contact at Rue Tome’de Souza, 1029, City Lapa, 05079-200, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Charles McClure: CHARLES MCCLURE – I picked up on this fellers’ hypes on th’ netz… strongly influenced by country & blues, his is most assuredly “original” music. A bit overbearing on the synth backgrounds, but then who can’t be accused of that at times? (I know I surely have been guilty at times). His use of effects on the vox is absolutely TWISTED, making a ballad come out like it was backed by the Applewhite chorale (offa’ that spaceship, or somethin’). There will be some reviewers who will dismiss this IMMEDIATELY… not THIS one. Charles aural vision(s) come across as very original, & he has some great ideas. Sorta’ like th’ ghost of ol’ Hank Williams come back to haunt us. His guitar playing isn’t bad at all, tho’ “bent”; especially nice on the blues-oriented pieces. This is “volkzmusic” with a twist! Gets a RECOMMENDED, especially for those who enjoy a twist o’ “strange” in their mornin’ tea. Contact at 6308 Corbly St., Cincinatti, OH 45230., or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

SubArachnoid Space: ETHER OR – This Seattle label, Unit Circle Rekkids, keeps sendin’ these FINE improvised/experimental CD’s in – ETHER OR is no exception to that rule. Credits only list first names (they’re onna’ “hit list” somewhere?), so it’s difficult to tell much about ’em (from the CD cover; promo sheets have much more info). Alla’ that is totally unimportant, if you (take the time to) LISTEN to this… slow build, fusion-oriented space climb… to thee starz! That bass just INVADES th’ space, some nice exploratory weave pieces. There are sections where th’ drums sound just a little “clacky”, but for the most part, they shine… ‘specially on the cymbal work. The thing that’s so nice about these pieces (IF yer’ into electronic/rock improvisations – if yer’ NOT, shy away from this one) is that it IS live/spontaneous.. feels like that really comes across – & I know (from similar performances myself) that is often VERY hard to do! Seems like every Unit Circle release that’s come our way (there’ve been 3) in the last year has gotten a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… if yer’ ear is tuned to DANGER – you’ll think so, too! Contact at POB 20352, Seattle, WA 98102 or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Purse: 10,000 MILES OF TURNTABLE MONOTONY – Git-ar noise supreme, pretty artsy-fartsy stuph, if yer’ ask me (& ya’ DID, Lucky Garage, eh?). Thought it was gonna’ be a klunker when I listened to the first cut (metal purse logic), but it gets better as it goes along. “spider fangs & 100 bucks” is sorta’ how I felt with thee KRANK ( ‘stead o’ th’ smack, dontcha’ know?)… it RAWKS; still pretty noise-influenced, but has somethin’ to SAY (just LOVE those violin – or wotever – layovers)! Even their dirge is acceptable (I think it’s th’ vox that turned th’ tide…). This 3 piece (Rosenfeld on vox/guitar, Michael Esther doin’ guitar/vox, with Brandon LaBelle on drums) gets a RECOMMENDED, for those who like a lil’ angst to round out their R&R day! Contact at 2716 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94703, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

5th House: BLUEPRINTS – Here’s a H-O-T little independent group out of Tampa, Florida. Acoustic/electric, some NICE guitars, & it’s not “stuck” in any ruts… there’s some HIGH energy (for th’ music) comin’ out of this neat little 4-piece group. The EP (tape) that Clayton Turner (lead vox/ acoustic & electric guitars) sent our way is impressive BECAUSE it’s only got 4 songs on it (I usually get miffed when there are only 4 songs – but this just makes ya’ want MORE!!) … when a band can get THIS involved with th’ music, it shines RIGHT through… that’s helped, of course, by the fact that all these pieces are originals… talk about D.I.Y. Expect to hear/see a lot more from this group – hopefully, in THESE pages (hint, hint, Clayton). I really LIKE their music (& that’s SAYING something, ‘coz there ARE times when I get “burned out” on acoustic stuff – after listening to SO much of it). Well, this ain’t just another band… we’ve GOT to have MORE, boyz’, so send that CD on IN here when ya’ get it done! Not only MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, but gets the PICK of this issue for “best acoustic/electric”. Contact at 307 West Frierson Ave., Tampa, FL 33603, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

That’s IT for reviews this time ’round… gotta’ BUNCH for thee next issue! Spread th’ WORD… “I.N.” needs YOUR material (& yer’ friends)!


Rotcod Zzaj





D.I.Y. News

For those who understand th’ “intent” of this magazine, it will be clear that in th’ D.I.Y. “world” (we’re all part of), there just IS no more significant event than Bryan Baker’s latest project. It’s THE CD (actually, it’s just the FIRST one… he promises that more will follow in the late summer or early fall) for those who DO something with their music, instead of just talking about (doing) it. The first CD is called “The Smell of Success”, & has 20 artists who’ve been on this scene for a L-O-N-G time! Here’s th’ list:


Michael J. Bowman, Lords Of Howling, Scott Brookman, Doug Michael, Stegor, Ralph Solo, Rotcod Zzaj & John M. Bennett, Book of Kills, Art Paul Schlosser, Murad Blume, Eleven Shadows, Dead Air, Dino DiMuro, Russ Stedman, Plundershop, NOMUZIC, Vanilla Buttshake, The Blind Mime Ensemble, Ray Carmen & Ken Clinger & BB2X4

The CD comes packaged on the inside back cover of his latest issue of GAJOOB magazine (over 60 pages of information, interviews & reviews)… the whole package is only $7 ($8 in Canada, or $10 overseas). Now, WHERE could you get such a deal? I hope you’ll SUPPORT this fine effort… it shows (to me & thousands of others) just what CAN be done when the PEOPLE get together & DO something! If you’re even slightly enchanted with the originality and energy that comes from this vibrant underground of American (world?) music, you’ll NEED this – even if you only buy it as a (sort of) chronicle of just how widespread the D.I.Y. “thang” (that Hal used to talk about at great length) has become in the last few years. Issue # 10, & the “SMELL OF SUCCESS” CD are a LANDMARK for those who follow this D.I.Y. path! GET it… e-mail to , or snail to POB 3201, Salt Lake City, UT 84110

Rotcod Zzaj




An event that’s been ON my MIND for the last year is this year’s Third Annual Olympia EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC FESTIVAL! I’d spoken with the (original) organizer of the first two, Jim McAdams, & he indicated that he WANTED to do somethin’ with it in 1997, but couldn’t expend ALL the time required for organizing it… I certainly understood, ‘coz it’s been a MAMMOTH… 4 days long, acts crammed in… arrangements to make, WAY too much work ta’ do, & on&on&on! I told him I’d be glad to help with it… after all, this had (sorta’) th’ smell of a (developing) TRAD fer’ OlyWa, & one sponsored by THE (correct) “music society” in Olympia – The Olympia STRANGE Music Society! I went ahead & posted some stuff on the newsgroups (which some of ya’ may have seen), askin’ for tapes & such. We got one or two responses, but not much… since I dinna’ hear from Jim again (over the next month or so), I kinda’ figured it wasn’t gonna’ (really) ROCK&ROLL!

Well, I got a NICE surprise around mid-May (& that’s only a coupla’ days back)… I called Jim (about somethin’ else), & he had a message on his mo-chine to th’ effect that th’ 3rd Annual Fest was GONNA’ be HAPPENING – on 19-22 June! Threw ME fer’ a loop… left a message & told him I wanted ta’ know MO’! To make a stong shory lort, he’d lost MY number & so couldn’t call me back! He needed some HELP (he said)… they’d decided to do this year’s fest as a committee… meetings, design projects, etc. Too good to be TRUE, I thought! I told him I wanted th’ schedule info, etc., as soon as he could whip it out… get that stuff UP on th’ Festival pages (I already had the previous 2 up there). Well, I’ve given this year’s fest it’s OWN page… check it all OUT at: There’s a TUNNA’ info up there, & this year promises to be better than EVER!

When I moved back to OlyWa, it wuz’ becoz’ there had been some real MAJICK here in th’ late ’70’s & early ’80’s! Some of it was (apparently) GONE when we returned… th’ one shining LIGHT in th’ OlyWa scene (back in 1995 – hazit REALLY been 2 full years?) was that festival! Unexclusive, informal & (way) less pretentious than so MANY of such, it seemed to have some REAL potential for puttin’ Oly onna’ map as somethin’ SPECIAL! Timely (not just a resurgence o’ some ol’ burnt-out “hippie thang”), with a finger onna’ trigger of TODAY! One thing I really appreciated about th’ tone of LAST year’s fest, in fact, is th’ emphasis on “experimental”… not just “improv”, or “punk”, or “noise”… essentially ANY kind of music that approached th’ EDGE! That’s why I’m EXCITED about havin’ th’ Zzaj name associated with an Olympia musical tradition that will be MORE than “just another bash”. Check out th’ aforementioned page(s) for more info as it becomes available.. & keep on D.I.Y.’in!!!



Rotcod Zzaj






The crackling essence of your flame

excites me.

Like a flame thrower’s dream

to cast you

into the soft coals of my being;

and recapture you again and again

in silken rapture;

keeping you to burn

for eternity

in the passion of my soul.

c Jennifer Juneau

The Cobweb Dream

The cobweb dreams

in dust he’ll hang;

The spider creeps

in search of rape;

the cobweb weeps

in silken praise;

in finding dim

and bitten dust.

The spider crawls

in nighttime haze,

(to take upon a victim passed)

to take with lust his limbs


to take the victim to the grave.


c Jennifer Juneau

Dance On

A woman stands in the shower

Before she turns on the water

She notices her own smell.

It is a lovely rich, ripe

Tomato smell, love-apple fragrant.

She fills her lungs with herself

And relaxes; rejoices in the sheen

Of sweat on her face,

The grit on her neck,

The tomato leaf scent from under her arms.

She hesitates,

Then puts her clothes back on

And goes out proudly.


c Barbara Cooper


Sign On Refrigerator In Rooming House

I accidentally took some of

Your bread. I thought

It was mine. Please

Feel free to help

Yourself to mine. It

Is now yours, too.

When I get the gallon

Of Gallo, you can help yourself

To that, too. First communication

First communion.


c Barbara Cooper

A mask of death

for you to wear.

A glass tape trenchcoat

with dust removed.

Time-release anger

through fingertip currents.

A friendly reminder

of absolute faith.

Your present condition;

access denied.

Genetiacally willing,

but forgotten in time.

Damaged foundations

and carrions’ worms.

I’ve tasted the evil.

I’ve noticed the ghosts.


c Joseph R. See feldt


on our bedroom wall.


and deceiption

that leave me


To out-live

the others

is a sacred trust

of splitting cells

and baby blue.

Another savior

for you to berate

and classify

into remorse.

Another collision

for you to somehow

make my fault

and deny me

my anger.


c Joseph R. Seefeldt



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