Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 43
Issue # 43 REVIEWS:
Let’s start off this new issue with some GUEST reviews by our long-time friend Henry Schneider. Henry visited me recently (he’s working in Warren, Michigan for a while), & sent me some new reviews right after our conversations…
Murat Ses Culduz (KALAN CD 158, CD 47:02)
Murat Ses, a Turkish synthesist, has completed his exploration trilogy with Culduz, his first CD release. I was impressed when Murat released Binfen (part two) several years ago. Culduz is a marked improvement. Containing 10 tracks, Culduz is an amalgam of East meets West cultures. Each track has its own distinctive voice. Whether it is the Euro-synth pop of Humbaba, the pseudo-harmonic chanting on Ulug Bey, or the watercolor washes on Cathay, Murat’s music delights the ear. Not afraid to try new ideas, Murat successfully integrates a slightly out of tune piano sequence as the foundation of Azimuth, coincidentally the high point of the disc. To this foundation, he adds layers of drum machine, blown bottles, oboes, etc. evoking images of belly dancers and whirling dervishes. Also of note is Piri Reis (Kaptan-I Acun), a listening experience where you would be well advised to apply sun block as the blistering electronics are likely to fry your skin to a crisp. Rounding out the disc are two interesting tracks, Creuset with its sampled Arabic chanting and Seven Seas with its ascending/descending organ wavelets, electronic surf, and sonar pings. Support this independent artist and allow Murat Ses to transport you on a musical journey of discovery through Middle Eastern culture. [Kalan Muzik Ltd. STL IMC 6. Blok No: 6608 Unkapani-Istanbul, TURKEY, www.kalan.com Henry Schneider – June 2000
Present No 6 (CD 47:02) No 6 is the latest release from Roger Trigaux’s band Present. This Belgian ensemble continues the musical tradition pioneered by King Crimson and extended by Richard Pinhas. The opening track, The Limping Girl, at 17 minutes fits well in this vein of Frippish guitar licks, complex chord progressions, and ostinatos. Unfortunately, Part 3 of this piece tends to wear a bit thin with 96 repetitions of the same note sequence that barely evolves over its 4 minutes. The next track, Le Rodeur, an excellent quiet, ambient atmosphere bordering on the industrial with its scraping and moaning guitars, in my humble opinion, is much too short at 2 minutes. Next in line is Ceux d’en bas (suite) clocking in at about 20 minutes. This composition is another tour de force of Frippish guitar, shifting chords, etc. but it is truly a Present piece. The disk closes with Sworlf, a more sedate excursion into the same realm. The musicianship is impeccable throughout No 6 with each performer allowing his partners the room they need to develop their musical expressions. An excellent release that should appeal to all fans of King Crimson, Heldon, Richard Pinhas, Art Zoyd, Universe Zero, etc. [Carbon 7 Records, 23, AV, General Eisenhower, B-1030 Brussels, Belgium;
www.netbeat.com/carbn7; www.totalzoo.com/present; firstname.lastname@example.org] Henry Schneider – April 2000
Michael Masley – CYMBALENNIUM: We reviewed Michael (quite favorably) many issues back from a submission for the “Olympia Experimental Music Festival”. His music is highly original and entirely “homemade”. I enjoyed it immensely the first time around & this ride is even BETTER! Smooth string-based music similar to dulcimer that is amazing in depth and breadth… you’ll swear the secrets of the ancients are comin’ thru those magikal overtones, volkz (& they prob’ly ARE). He also integrates some wonderful flute work, too. What makes it stand out away from other classifications is Masley’s original playing techniques – indescribable, you’ll have to LISTEN to comprehend. Could it run as “background” music? Of course, ANY music can – but you’d be doing your earz (& yer’ mind) a disservice! This is the kind of music you’ll want to WRAP around your braincase (with headphones, of course) & deliberate fully upon. Highly accessible and enjoyable, “CYMBALENNIUM” gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer. Contact at POB 5232, Berkeley, CA 94705 or via e-mail to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Saturnalia String Trio + Daniel Carter – MEDITATIONS ON UNITY: Jonathan LaMaster on violin & electronics, Vic Rawlings on prepared cello, serangi & electronics, and Mike Bullock’s bass (supplemented by Mathew Heyner on bass on the last two tracks) in collaboration with veteran Daniel Carter (saxophones, flute & trumpet)… this CD is not for the timid. My favorite cut (as I imagined it might be from the title, “Spontaneous Contagion”) was track 5… tho’ the pace is not (quite) as frenetic as I thought it would be (from the standpoint of tempo, anyway), there is a sense of being “on the edge” all through the piece, & Carter’s sax is more noticeable. The whole key to listening here is to make sure you’ve got the headphones on & up full-tilt, so as not to miss any of the little nuances. Almost as tho’ you WERE meditating… without that sense, you may view it as little more than a subdued swirling maelstrom; when in fact, it’s a miniature symphonic adventure! Track 9, “Release”, is a fast-moving piece with nice sax tones… enjoyed it a lot as well. All in all, the CD falls out in a category of “all by itself”, which is as it should be, I’m sure. Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for fans of improvised music that demands sensitivity in the listening. Contact at Sublingual Records, POB 391516, Cambridge, MA 02139, via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or on the site at http://www.sublingual.com Rotcod Zzaj
Andrew Neumann – SCRAMBLE|LOCK|COMBINATION: Ken Field (reviewed in ISSUE # 42) told the folks at Sublingual to make sure we had plenty of review material…. they did NOT let him down. Neumann’s CD takes us through some percussion/sample sequences that will boggle even those whose circuits are already twisted! While it’s true that many of these sounds are machine generated, Andrew’s music lights the way for those (like me) who believe that improvisation on machines IS the frontier. Of course, I’m not talking about boring repetitive-loop stuff – that’s EXACTLY the kind of twaddle that turns serious improvisors away from electronic improv… but Neumann has produced an extremely effective (& well composed) exploration into electronic percussion improvisation! This is a TOTAL KEEPER! The strange sounds/effects that permeate his rhythmic twists & turns will make even the “best trained” stop & take notice! I just LOVED this CD, & will look for WAY MORE from Neumann. This gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (as well as the “PICK” of this issue for “most forward looking improvisation”). Simply SUPERB! Contact at Sublingual Records, POB 391516, Cambridge, MA 02139, via e-mail to email@example.com or on the site at http://www.sublingual.com Rotcod Zzaj
Simko – EXCURSIONS: Emily Simko performs some beautiful and moving orchestral music that will have you dreaming the dreams again. Heavily synth-oriented, some listeners will (probably) reject it out-of-hand, ‘coz it’s not played on a real instrument. Nothing could be further from the truth! You will be pleasantly WRAPPED in the music she creates, taken on a magical journey to the farthest reaches of her mind & talent. It doesn’t stay purely in the purely orchestral zone, either… she uses rhythms as an undercurrent & counterpoint to her classical leanings VERY effectively. If you enjoy music that lifts the spirit & can help to put you back in touch with (many of) the reasons we are here – to express the joy & love of having been created! This is unique and very much her style! If it’s ever possible, I believe a collaboration between her & Steve Cochrane would be SHEER joy! I enjoyed it greatly & those who purchase this one will readily agree with my declaration of it being HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org ) Rotcod Zzaj
the cocker spaniels – LITTLE WHITE TRUTHS: Not a bad lil’ CD from Texas, in from fellow HOMEMADEMUSIC.com taper Sean Padilla. Kid-rawk oriented stuff that sounds like it was played by 18 to 19 year olds (though the production values belie that). I wouldn’t be surprised if this was TOTALLY home-produced, but it SOUNDS near studio-quality. If these guys aren’t sendin’ stuff to Don Campau’s NO PIGEONHOLES, they surely SHOULD BE! There’s th’ typical mix of power git-arz, drums & rhythm guitar… one of the things that really made this stand out from the pack was the VOCAL mixing. Youthful voices on “Platonically Yours” are woven tightly together to make what might come close to “art rock”. STRONG talent here – gets (believe it or not) a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, even though it’s listening audience might normally be limited to teeny-boppin’ bubble-gummers… ‘coz some o’ you “over 30’s” NEED to LISTEN to this! Contact at SPME, POB 84642, Waco, TX 76798, via e-mail to email@example.com or at his HOMEMADEMUSIC.com page! Rotcod Zzaj
Natsuki Tamura – WHITE & BLUE: Crisp trumpet improvisations, integrated with some VERY percussive moments! We’ve reviewed Tamura’s music before (many times), of course, but this CD explores turf not often inhabited by those who improvise. Percussion that isn’t just “in the background”, there are orchestral movements & counterpoints (to his amazing trumpet) that will wake your ears up. Sonically, this is one of the best recorded albums I’ve heard in many years; ALL the nuances are captured, not one beat lost. Much of the percussives are furnished by Jim Black & Aaron Alexander, & the interactions with Natsuki’s horn are (quite simply) AMAZING. They’re not afraid to incorporate stretches of (momentary) silence either, & it’s clear from the first bar that you will HAVE to pay attention, or lose some of the experience. A highly challenging listen that gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those who can’t do without adventure in their musical excursions. Contact Natsuki via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
Brian Auger – VOICES OF OTHER TIMES: Gourd (that’s thee deity of veganz, ain’t it?), it’s nice to hear this music. I (actually) still HAD a tape (“Closer To It”) of his earlier material… this is FRESH, straight-ahead & FUNK-ee, people! Auger’s Hammond is one KICKIN’ instrument, & comes across with a sense of pure joy & right-on rhythm. Of course, he’s playin’ other keyboards (Rhodes, Korg & Pro-X) as well, but it IS that B-3 that makes it for these aural appendages. Title track takes you (as you might have imagined) back to the sounds you heard the original “OBLIVION EXPRESS” doing, but with more jazz influences than those daze – it’s my favorite cut on the album. Another really COOL thing about this iteration of “OE” is that his son (Karma on drums & percussion) & daughter (Savannah on vocals) lend their significant musical skills. I just LOVED her vox, totally her own voice & style! Doesn’t matter if you didn’t grow up (as I did) on music like this, you’ll agree with me totally – this is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED & gets our PICK of this issue for “best funk&rhythm”! THIS one will stay in my collection for 50 years (if I stick ’round that long)… it’s a CLASSIC (again)! Contact through Miramar Recordings ( http://www.miramarupx.com ) or through Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918… also via e-mail to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
Mortal Loom – ALCHEMY THROUGH DREAMS: Think “Tangerine Dream”… think dangerous swirling synths that serve as background for the dreams that paint the world of your tomorrows. If your imagination is (even) half as powerful as you THINK it is, you’ll have it identified. Heavy use of beautiful strings, simple patterns as a core for them to swirl over, under around & through. Some VERY interesting rhythm combinations, as in (one of my favorites) “Trip Hop Thing”. There are moments when it comes off sounding a little too synth-based, but in the overall, it’s a very pleasant listen with high energy. If you don’t enjoy electronic-oriented musics, you’ll probably shy away from this – but you SHOULDN’T. Tastefully crafted music that deserves a listen & gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us. Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org )
Hipbone – DECOUPAGE: Bret Hart’s been using his new InstrumenTales label to re-release CD’s (this one is VERY well-produced, crystal-clear) with various musical groupings from over the last several years. Hart’s vocals/compz/guitarz are featured on this outing… he’s joined on this wild romp by Rev. Keith Prescott on drums & Peter Zolli on bass/guitarz as well. Those who first discovered Bret in the “old daze” will hear a new Hart here… solid compz’, some very rawk/volk-oriented pieces that will make all th’ retired hippies teary-eyed. His vox are uniquely his, & the lyrics totally thought-provoking. If yer’ lookin’ for background music, go somewhere else! Hart is able to capture the joys & sadnesses with a punch & vigor that hearkens back to th’ HOTTEST groups of th’ ’60’s! This is some of the most accessible & enjoyable music I’ve ever heard Bret do (& BELIEVE me, I’ve heard him do a LOT). Gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED & the “PICK” of this issue for “best folk-rock”! Contact at 609 Morehead Street, Eden, North Carolina, USA 27288 or via e-mail to email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
SIGNAL TO NOISE: We don’t often review ‘zines here anymore… partly because there aren’t that many (quality) publications out there anymore… in other regards, because so many of them are (now) on the web. Pete Gershon’s is an excellent example of one that merits review, however. This issue (July/August 2000) is a perfect issue to review. The interview with Borah Bergman was one of the best-written & “jaded perspective” I’ve seen in some years. The magazine is always chock-full of timely articles, interviews & reviews about jazz artists, mainstream as well as those more underground oriented. That does NOT mean “obscure”, the staff seems to have an uncanny knack for lining up content that is challenging but timely. This particular issue has a focus article on “Electro-Acoustics: Dangerous Improv?” that truly peaked my interest (of course, WE would prefer that the emphasis was even STRONGER on “odd-istry”, but I guess that’s what OUR ‘zine is for, eh?). Any way you slice it, this gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us. Contact at 416 Pine St., Burlington, VT 05401, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Rotcod Zzaj
Satoko Fujii Orchestra – DOUBLE TAKE: Talk about the differences (NOT the competitions) between East & West. Fujii hit on a brilliant idea here… had her Japanese orchestra play her composition (“The Ruin”) on the first disc. Second disc is the American orchestra she plays with (both too many players to list here). It’s an exciting contrast for those who dig orchestral jazz & the well-composed energies Satoko is (by now) famous for. An odd experience, too, because I found the East version(s) to be slightly more “ON/vibrant”, somehow, something I wouldn’t have really expected. That shouldn’t prevent you from listening to the West side at all… just sort of a sidebar… they are BOTH very challenging listens, with balls-to-the-wall horns that paint WILD impressions in your brain! I’d recommend headphones & severe concentration for both discs, but try & set it up so you won’t be interrupted; best listened to in one swell foop! Gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as well as “PICK” of this issue for “best orchestral jazz”. Contact at email@example.com Rotcod Zzaj
& now, yet ANOTHER section of reviews from an OUTSIDE reviewer… our L-O-N-G-time underground pal Bret Hart (who has collabs with Zzaj & MANY OTHER artists on HIS site, at http://pages.about.com/oddmusic/ )! He’s been listenin’ up a STORM, volkz:
ELVIS X “words and positions…to live by”
(obtain CD at http:www.MP3.com/elvisx) in this appearance-driven world, if ELVIS X were to judged by appearances only, they’d have a following. smoke-mouthed Tucker (vox), bare-chested Muir (guitar), groovy candle-wielding Tuttle, and Scotty Irving in a Residents t-shirt clutching an electrified crutch…big eye-candy. Listening through the tunes, I’m hearing cheap keyboard sounds layered over readings from the Scripture…sung spoken-word…distant cymbals…apocalyptic imagery….(next tune) skeleton-funk! fat-ass bass mating with strange and buzzing guitars (great effects usage!)…I HEAR A Space Drum IN THERE SOMEWHERE!!!!…the stereo vocal-processing is
SPIFF…(NEXT TUNE) YOU figure out the time-signatures at the beginning of this, I GET
PAID BY THE HOUR, bustah!… brilliant drumming, and listen to how the musicians slide in and out and in and out of powerful entertainment and groove damage!…NICE…ELVIS X effectively build environments of freight-train ‘lectronic sounds and guitar-thunder…LOTS OF HUMOR in here too…I keep thinking I’ve just heard a cartoon theme, then it’s gone…this is intelligent and Dadaistic modern rock. BUY IT! (7/23/2000) –Bret Hart
Clang Quartet “Jihad” (obtain CD at http://www.silbermedia.com/clangquartet)
Scotty Irving is most easily defined as a ‘percussionist’ by those who have seen/heard him
play LIVE. But, his recordings, as “Clang Quartet” [his solo performance vehicle] are another thing entirely. The studio becomes an instrument on this, CQ’s second solo CD release this year (the first is an unedited live concert recording entitled CQ:4-15-00 on InstrumenTales Records CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org $10 ppd). Irving, who has been featured in Modern Drummer) employs [from liner notes] “electrified handsaw/stapler/water bottle-combo, used with an E-Bow and drumstick; electric guitar without strings; hockey mask covered with finger cymbals and bells (“shake face”); junk metal percussion; cicadas; sounds
made under a bridge; broken cymbal that is beaten/sawed/dropped/…; “family tapes”; dead
tree used as a drum, and a creek”. Throughout, Irving expresses opinions regarding
spirituality and education. This stuff ROCKS like Caroliner Rainbow used to rock! Great. –Bret Hart (7/29/2000)
VA: Demain – a Silber Records Sampler (obtain CD at http://www.silbermedia.com ) Many new artists – domestic and international – represented on this album of looping, drone-piling, sampled and modified ambiences, minimalism, and tone-wrestling. They (all) are: Origami Arktika, Peter Aldrich, small life form, My Glass Beside Yours, Remora, Clang Quartet, burMonter, Vlor, fade, and Still. Some of the titles are mysterious, evocative, and *prep* yer head… “Angel Stalk”, “Thirteen Layers of Heaven”, “each day is like winter”. This genre/these genres of listening music are the bastard offspring of Lamonte
Young, Terry Riley, Tangerine Dream, Eno, and Phil Glass. Patience is required, and rewarded. I reviewed scads of sound-art/soundscape music while writing for Option and Sound Choice in the 80’s. Then, the leaders were Mnemonists, Al Margolis, Jeff Grienke, RRR’s output, some things on Cuneiform, and thier ilk. Silber Media is [re-]promulgating a new way of listening; one whi9ch dissolves perseverative thought and opens new gates. [from Jon DeRosa’s liner notes] “…a culmination of nomadic sound architects and sonic
refugees from around the world…the soundtrack for confusion, frustration, triumph, and despair.” Great for your mind. -Bret Hart (7/24/2000)
Remora / Clang Quartet Cemented in Stone
(obtain CD at http://www.silbermedia.com/remora )
Remora is Brain John Mitchell. He approaches guitar from a spacious, vast-sounding place.
As a player, I am so impressed with how he takes relatively simple signal-sources and transforms them into giants. Layers of timbrally-modified guitar are stacked and layered in long vistas – buzzing and sweeping, giving off heat and reflection, simple, melancholy, organic… Planted on Remora’s *back* are the sounds, noises, and thrum of Scotty Irving. [I was there, at a Rockingham County Recyclers’ practice, when he unveiled “the electric
stapler -w- E-Bow”!!] Remora/Clang Quartet do not do “songs”, per se. They paint with tone,
rhythm, and timbre. Beautiful in a post-apocalyptic way. Evocative, like photographs and roadkill; elections and tele-evangelism. BUY SILBER MEDIA PRODUCT and grow more brain in yer haid!!
-Bret Hart (7/24/2000)
We hope you are all enJOYing the additional perspectives we’ve been gaining from other reviewers… I know I have found them entertaining & enlightening! Spread th’ WORD!!!!
We WANT your announcements/links about great places for D.I.Y.’er’s… SEND us your links… e-mail to email@example.com
Those who remember the way early tape trading underground days will want to touch bases with Chris Phinney, who has recently started selling (some) reissues of those earlier tapes, as well as new ones; this is an EXTENSIVE catalog. Check him out at HARSH REALITY MUSIC YEAR 2000 MAIL ORDER CATALOG t P O BOX 241661 t MEMPHIS TN 38124-1661 t USA Email firstname.lastname@example.org You can also check his catalog out online at http://www.homestead.com/HarshRealityMusic/HarshRealityintro.html
ANNOUNCING TO ALL MUSICIANS THROUGHOUT THE MUSICAL UNIVERSE!!!
“MUSICIANS CO-OP” IS NOW ON LINE!!!!!!!
www.deadontheweb.com is an indie online zine for indie thinkers! The
corporate hand has not gotten to us, and never will. Here you will
read show reviews and see pics of the show just 24 hours after the it
happens! And every month we feature bands and articles that you
really care about. Plus we offer an exclusive huge photo archive of
bands you want to see and all are taken by our professional staff and
is updated weekly with new pictures! Wanna find out when the new
NSYNC cd is coming out? Well go elsewhere you sissy! This zine
features REAL MUSIC FOR REAL PEOPLE ONLY! So sit your fat ass down at
the nearest computer and log on to www.deadontheweb.com!
This is just a quick email to let everyone know that Gezoleen MP3s are now available for your listening (dis)pleasure online at:
As of right now, there are 2 songs up from the Oxidado CD–and more to
follow. I’m contemplating putting out an MP3 DAM CD for some new Gezoleen material, but I’m waiting to see how the new Stull DAM CD (Live At Eyedrum) does. For more Stull MP3 info, please visit:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 6, 2000
ELEMENTS OF SUSPENSE (Zzaj Productions)- This (limited edition) CD features all-original compositions (prepared guitars) by legendary underground
home-taper Mark Kissinger, in collaboaration with Ernesto Diaz-Infante and Rotcod Zzaj. It features Zzaj’s very “out” keyboards against the spoken-word
and guitar stylings of composer and improvisor Ernesto Diaz-Infante. This will be a CLASSIC for those who thrive on music that’s “out there”.
Details on how to purchase this wonderfully original CD can be found at the Zzaj Productions CD page, http://users.tm.net/rotcod/cds.htm
Mark Kissinger has collaborated with NUMEROUS underground artists over the last 15 years… he plays beautiful guitar music that will enchant even the
most jaded listeners!
ROTCOD ZZAJ (that’s me, aka Dick Metcalf) has been makin’ tapes for over 10 years now (& making music for nearly 25, both in-studio and on-stage)! He’s been a coordinator for the annual Olympia Experimental
Music Festival since it started in 1995. When he first started producing tapes, material was sent to all th’ ‘zines Zzaj could find… GAJOOB was a strong supporter of ZzajMusique, as well as (the original) FF5. Thanks
also go out to Don Campau, who has played EVERY tape (or CD) Zzaj ever sent him (& many other ‘zines & radio stations).
ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE received an MFA in music composition from California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with Stephen L. Mosko and Wadada Leo Smith. He has worked in residence at the Centre
International de Recherche Musicale (CIRM), the Villa Arson (both in Nice, France), The Millay Colony for the Arts, Centrum, Villa Montalvo, The New York Mills Arts Retreat, The Ucross Foundation and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. An active performer, improviser, and composer of both electronic and instrumental chamber music, he has had performances and radio broadcasts in Australia, Canada, Europe, South America and the United States. He has two recordings available on compact disc: Itz’at and Tepeu, both featuring works for solo piano, on the Pax Recordings
since you left I feel
like an anchovy
coiled up in a glass tube
pickled in tears
NEW YORK AS RELIGIOUS ART
How to witness it is through the eyes of depression,
cataracted at rainy twilight in Herald Square.
On every corner there are the faces of men
parrying for another day the Shelter and starvation,
dressed in day-glo tabards advertising the fantasies
of midtown clubs and the unmade, unkeepable promises
of dancing girls who twirl one step beyond
nightly tricks and the red light district
where the Pharisees of Civic Virtue have dimmed the bulbs.
In the beholder’s eye there is aesthetics:
of how little has changed in these faces,
that they are Art, the Eternal: but
the specific is the screwball pageant
of Ensor’s “Entry of Christ into Brussels,”
Jesus a distant figure, barely glimpsed,
wholly ignored, while in the foreground the faces
of their world bubble in rage, on holiday in a spook-dance.
Mothers scream in Spanish at tired children,
men wear “I’ve got AIDS” signs round their necks
like Miraculous Medals, and every face
summons rage in the beholder who sees perhaps himself,
his own swirling grief held back by the floral tie
that is his only sign of nascent spring.
Jesus Christ, age 29, flops on a park bench
before Horace Greeley’s grim seated statue, obscured
by a anomalous untrimmed tree. He’s
finished off the muscatel, eyes a woman
in the distance who one time might have done him
in a doorway ’til he grew too funky to endure.
A little child passes, screams “Mamacita,
¡mira! ¡Jesus! ¡Jesus el boracho!” and laughing points
at his filthy long hair, his tarnished crucifix,
the last thing he might sell but hasn’t yet
for Mickey D’s and a pint of vodka.
“Bless you, little girl,” Jesus slobbers, signs her,
staggers to his feet, disappears into the rush-hour crowd
to find this night’s place in the subway station
where he’ll sleep, undisturbed.
ARPEGGIOS, HERBS AND LIBIDOS
even when what may have been boiled
served on canvas with paroxysms of love,
knowledge and joy to the kitchen
carol music of mind
Choice of kitchen table
un-notated stuff with staff
stamping in garden of augmented chords
you can open can of anything
but nothing comes as expected
muted and extinguished.
midnight trysts- intractable
from pillow to music remote as dream
retires to pre-owned MINIVAN
If you could see
descending the stairs in costume
the symphony of it
simple as a folk song
that boy could blow a horn
lost in time, wishing for now
IN A ROOM OF WHITE GERANIUMS
today’s selection will be alienation-angst
whine of form.
scales & scherzos
Of PURE tempo
malevolent reverberating clockwork
scherzos perfect talking bass
ATROPHY of composure
instruments garble folk song
bubbling rhythm trails off
extraneous interval of / internal organs
Joan Payne Kincaid
the perfect parasite
is not voiceless
we assume our customs
to be spread wide open, yet
neanderthal camp guards
asleep near hot stones
beatnik slum lords recite
the shower curtain soliloquy
of the stylish cro magnon prince
alive with TV on his lips
bouncing anchor banter
pancake a bit too aflame
yet knowing it sounds right
while occasionally burning
upon the stones of Toledo
in units of measurement
weighed and calibrated by the
by the US Bureau of Insanity
a Rod Mchuan of Coney Island
writing fevered only rarely
of the tribe and its loopy
cascade of antecedents
you should be rolling
on the floor convulsed
pissing your father’s pants
so don’t try to stop me
I have many gods bowing
to kiss my holy parts
begging for another
flushed scrap of time
one of them invented
the Colt 55
and the French tickler
within minutes of each other
bless the pencil, padre
Charlie is still in my mind
I repeat, charlie chaplin is still inside my mind
I can not get rid of him
of that damned little man
holding a cane and wearing a black cap
I thought he died
I thought he lived a long life
inhaled his last breath
and was laid to rest.
There he is again
the mere mention of his name
makes me see his face
his endless tricks;
going around and around
inside the machinery
of a dirty factory
as a human wheel,
competing with Mussolini
with the barbers seat
rising higher and higher.
God damn you
you were a splendid guy
but please get out of my mind
Man of Letters
His poems are engineered to pull at vulvas
in a moony swoon of literary lust.
Letters stuff his mailbox, dusted with
the scented talc of titillated spinsters.
The slightly jealous postman throws
his stash of praise a slightly dirty look
before delivering the junk mail
to his boring next-door neighbor
Friday, 28-Jul-2000 18:23:56
The lights go out.
All is silent, dark.
For a split second, just an instant,
The fear chokes me.
I feel it’s icy fingers
Laced around my neck.
I choke back a scream.
In the instant when I can’t see.
The darkness presses in, all around.
Ready to push the air out of me.
The shadows move, laghing at me.
Because I am afraid.
I try to sleep,
But my fears haunt me,
They steal my dreams,
And hurl me into a pit of my own making.
I sleep with images in my head.
Images of standing high up,
So high my eyes spin and my stomach does the disco.
And the images vanish.
I see people I know and love.
My best friend trapped with a giant dog.
My mother in a tiny box.
My brother on a roller coaster that never stops.
I see them,
And the fear is worse.
I’m afraid for them, because in this pit,
Their greatest fear is real.
They’re fears are mine here.
And mine are theirs.
We are united,
Because we are afraid.
Then, the nightmare is over.
I wake bathed in sunlight.
I go through the day waiting,
To see what tonight’s dreams bring.
INTERVIEW with visionEar (aka Jim Konen)
As often happens, I met visionEar through the Internet, shortly after moving to the Detroit area. He sent his first CD (digThesis) to give us an introduction to his playing. HIGHLY energetic & creative music oriented towards the “tech” side of things! The natural followup was to meet & exchange some ideas (both musical & personal). One of the most exciting aspects of meeting him was getting to see his studio (which he describes for us a bit below). I thought you’d enjoy hearing a bit more from him. He can be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com He has many shows & other artistic projects he’s working on, so write, buy his CD or (just) get to know an artist who is “his own player” (gives new meaning to the word independent, too). Here goes….
Zzaj: What’s your vision of where you want to go with your music?
visionEar: I will continue to integrate new technology into my “music making”. I see this as a way for me to make things easier, more varied and spontaneous. This is my compass, this is how my music will continue to define itself.
Zzaj: You have a really nice studio now, what’s in it that you’re particularly proud of, what’s on your “wish list” for the future?
visionEar: Thank you for saying that – like any recording studio it continues to grow and expand almost with a mind of it’s own. It’s always saying “FEED ME”. and I do!
I would say what I’m most proud of is the space itself. It Feels Good! When I’m there I want to create and the other artist’s that I’ve worked with do also. There are no windows, so time is suspended. I also know my
equipment well. Even though I may not have ALL the latest toys, getting things to sound right is very attainable. On my wish list would be an Apple power book. I am going to be embarking into new possibilities with some of the new digital input devices for making sound (eg. www.infusionsystems.com). For me, this is the future, this is THE way to go!
Zzaj: Describe what kind of “music” you perform. how would you label it, or
is/should there be a label?
visionEar: The kind of “music” I perform is totally me. When I say that what I mean is that it represents the cumulative efforts of my 30+ years of musical experiences. With visionEar being a solo project I am able to attain whatever I want whenever I want it. Believe me, there’s a lot of stuff going on in there and, over time it kind of developed into it’s own thing. I think the word I’m looking for is personal style. OK! If you must have a label—- “visionEar is a holographic prototype alter ego who seeks convergence with all media into one complete experience”. You’ll have to figure it out for yourself!
Zzaj: I’ve watched you perform live. You seem pretty well immersed in (&comfortable with) the playing. Does that come from years of “road experience”, or the music you’re playing?
visionEar: Yes, I am always fully immersed in the performance. I love dealing with an audience who is eager for a different kind of experience. Comfortable is always the “wild card”. When all the “ducks’ are in a row, it’s great! But sometimes that nasty little gremlin decides to get into the machine or somebody doesn’t do their job (sound , light crew, promoter, etc.) and it affects you. Years on the road does help in that it makes you tight and well rehearsed but, it also can wear you down it’s a very stressful
balance to get right.
Time & a place fer’ everything, right? The critical part is to discern the when & thee where of it all, eh? It may be th’ “gypsy” in my blood, I dunno’, but it seems like (now) every 2 or 3 years, I’m itchin’ to move on to new turf. It’s not the “geographical cure” syndrome (anymore), either, ‘coz I gave up on th’ boozin’ & floozin’ many years past.
If there were a time-lapse vid of (all of) our movements (actually, there probably IS, somewhere in the NSA archives), it seems to me it would be the ultimate psychedelic experience… criss-crosses in so many directions/speeds, the human mind would never be able to keep up with it!
Zzaj: Most of our audience are folks who play of produce (some form of) music
themselves. What advice would you offer them about equipment? Are there any
things (in your studio) you MUST spend big $ on, or does it matter?
visionEar: I would have to say take a REALLY good look at the type of music
you’re trying to produce/record and try to make an educated guess on what will
get you there. I often spend a good amount of time talking with other artists/producers who do what I do to find out what they’re using. Always try to get the most for your money. Sometimes a good piece of used
equipment with more features is better than some new “unproven” item. Don’t always be fooled by slick ads and “music store hype”. listen and learn for yourself!
Zzaj: You seem to be pretty comfortable with rhythm/soul oriented music(s). Where /how did that come about? Is that the music you just “grew up” with, or have you slid into that groove?
visionEar: Well, I would have to admit that it was/has been a big part of what was around me from a listening point of view. (being from Dee-troit) . I also worked with a lot of R&B, and Funk bands when I was young. These were bands with black and white players. You HAD to be funky. I mean they kicked my ass! But after a while I was kickin’ it back too! A little James Brown never hurt anybody!!!
Zzaj: Since you were in quite a few bands before, what was good about “the road”(if anything). What really zugged about it?
visionEar: The obvious things like playing to a new audience. Seeing places and things you hadn’t seen before. It gets old fast though, people always hangin’ on you – thinking you’re gonna say or do somethin’ amazing all the time. Getting sick really sucks. Crappy food & lousy hotels. It’s hard to be creative, at one point you just want it all to go away.
Zzaj: What (other) CD efforts do you have coming up?
visionEar: Right now I’m finishin’ up my next CD entitled “Future Saint’! It’ll have a few more cuts than “digThesis’ did. The direction is a little more defined in my view. I’m also working on a independent movie being made here in Michigan which will feature some soundtrack stuff as well as some performance scenes. I’m also working with a local playwright named Ron Allen, and we’ll be doing some kind of music spoken word thing soon.
Zzaj: Advice to young folks looking to “make music a career”?
visionEar: Find out who you are as a person and and artist! The music machine is designed to not give a shit about you and will totally destroy you without a lick of compassion. If you choose this path you will have to be VERY certain and strong willed about what you want. This does not mean you have to be an asshole when things don’t go your way. Plenty of musicians are
assholes! Don’t go along with the crowd, you could end up with a serious addiction or emotionally messed up beyond repair. If you can’t make enough money doing music, don’t be afraid to work for a living. It will make you stronger and more determined. With that said… Stay in the game, even if it takes forever. Don’t be afraid – you will mature as an artist and may even discover some stuff about yourself through your music you would never have imagined.
Zzaj: How much “formal’ training in music did you have? Would you have taken more, if yer’ knew what you know now?
visionEar: You can never stop learning about music. I have studied with a lot of guys. Rock players, jazz players, Detroit symphony players, songwriters etc… I wouldn’t change a thing about it. My biggest teacher has been my ears. Shut Up and listen!! That’s what ears are for. Use them, develop them. Take the form to the next level. We’re all waiting…