Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 49

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Issue # 49 REVIEWS:


Vinny Golia –  CLARIENT:  Solo clarinet pieces on this very interesting CD in from Meniscus Records.  Purely on B-flat, deep & intruiging throughout!  There seems to be a lot fuller “body” to these improvisations that some I’ve heard my friend Jeffrey Morgan do.  You must be a dedicated & true fan of the instrument to enjoy this much solo work, but Golia’s joy of playing shines through & will (easily) carry you to meditative (though energetic) flights of fancy that will set your mind/soul at peace.  Those folks who demand rigid chord patterns & sequences will shy away from this (because they are who they are), but those with even the least lil’ bit of adventurous spirit will find, as I did, that it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  Not for the weak of heart, though.  Contact via the label page at or email to   Rotcod Zzaj

rev.99 – TURN A DEAF EAR:  This is my first listen to rev.99, but I was “steered” in this sonic direction by my improvising friend Ernesto (Diaz-Infante), whose recommendation on “out” stuff I will always take over most others.  Surreal splatterings of spoken word (all spontaneous, it seems) that will have you lookin for Bobcat Goldwaithe, I expect!  Diaz-Infante & Chris Forsyth are in fine form, too, random as ever, exploring the range of sonic interplay that can come (easily & naturally) from improvised music with spoken word.  I am really reminded of a CD I performed on way back in the early ’80’s called the “Mad Metcalf Ensemble”… I don’t mention that to “hype” my own stuph, either, it’s just that the same sense of freedom & lack of rules is evident through this whole CD… there are even newspaper readings like the ones we were doing; just all KINDS of intricate & intriguing mysterious moments!  If you’re a music critic with murder in yer’ mind, who LOVES to “talk down” to players who don’t respect trad-play, you’ll have a field day with this recording.  On thee other digit, if your tastes run towards the adventurous, & you can’t tolerate too MUCH form, you’ll agree with my rating whole-heartedly – this gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Contact at PAX RECORDINGS, POB 591138, San Francisco, CA 94159-1138, via email to  or on the site at   Rotcod Zzaj

Quatuor Accorde – ANGEL GATE:  Tony Wren (who has played with our friend LaDonna Smith) sent this beautiful string quartet CD to us based on a rapid-fire email exchange.  Recorded in studio as well as at St. Michael and All Angels church, the music provides intimate and introspective moments throughout.  Those who haven’t listened to this kind of music before will want to ensure that they are in a quiet space, where there will be no interruptions.  Headphones may help, but I find it much more rewarding to listen without them – at fairly loud volume.  Tony’s double bass is complimented by Charlotte Hug on viola, Mark Wastell on cello and Phil Durrant on violin.  None of the “normal” descriptors (passionate, heated, noisy) can be applied to a review of this recording… because the intrigue is in the “turn” of the musical moment… about 80% of my enjoyment in this type of music comes from the knowledge that the players are hearing/envisioning scenes that I’ve never imagined before!  Wren & the rest of the group are, quite simply, MASTERS at defining the moment on the fly.  If you’re searching for “answers” in your music, in other words… defined patterns – you will have to look elsewhere.  A challenging & invigorating musical experience – this gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating!   Contact the label at MARTIN DAVIDSON, 3 Bittacy Rise, London NW7 2HH, England or via email to Tony can (also) be contacted via email to    Rotcod Zzaj

Satoko Fujii – APRIL SHOWER:  It’s been a bit since we’ve listened to new music from Satoko – & it’s just like “coming home”… you know, sweet memories & childhood dreams!  Her beautiful piano compositions have always been among our favorite listenings… & that is richly enhanced when she is joined by Mark Feldman on violin; there are “piano duet” pieces, too, as well as some solos.  The title track is one of the best examples of a musical “conversation” occurring between players I’ve ever heard!  It’s just like they are relating the story of a slow (but damp) & rainy spring afternoon for you.  No “hidden agendas” here, because the music is as pure & sweet as you can get.  Do NOT expect “pop rawk”, this IS improvised/composed & demands that you actually HEAR what’s being said – or you’ll never understand the context.  If you’re willing to devote an hour (or so) to a thoroughly relaxing & enjoyable musical experience, though… you’ll be rewarded for years to come.  This is a WONDERFUL album & is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to anyone who appreciates beauty in their sonic landscapes.  Contact at Ewe Records, 3-4-7, #301, Minami Aoyama, Tokyo, JAPAN 107-0062, via email to or on the site at    Rotcod Zzaj

John Butcher & Dylan van der Schyff – POINTS SNAGS AND WINDINGS:  Though it does sound like the inside of those lil’ “generator kits” I used to build when I was a kid… this sax & percussion session will capture your aural attention & quickly weave you into it’s web.  Butcher’s technique on the ‘phones (tenor & soprano) is strong, but not at all abrasive.  Even in the most frenetic passages, he expresses himself clearly & without overbearance (a real problem, I believe, for many reed players in improv).  van der Schyff does more than just “ride herd”, he is an intimate part of the stampede… truly “winding” in, out, under & (like, totally MAN) through the etherspace the two create for your ears.  Don’t get me wrong… this is NOT “smooth jazz”, or “easy listening”… those who read this ‘zine with any regularity know that if the music represented THOSE “qualities”, it (probably) wouldn’t get reviewed here.  The novice improv listener will find a challenging listen with high energy throughout… not a “slow passage” on the whole CD!  This gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, without qualification.  GREAT improvised music!  Contact via the label page at or email to  

MJB – C’MON, SLACKER:  So, you wanna’ kick back, re-lax & reminisce ’bout all th’ best rawk-ers yer’ listened to back in thee “good ol’ daze”?  Michael J. Bowman is (somehow) able to blend his song-craft into such a dazzling array of styles, you’ll think yer’ listening to th’ “best of” CSNY, Beatles, even a lil’ early Dylan thrown in fer’ good measure… & th’ KICKER?  This is PURE MJB… tho’ it reminds you of strands of toonz’ you’ve heard, you can TASTE th’ original lyrics, th’ high energy & th’ compositional skill just SHININ’, people!  Th’ guitar work (acoustic & electric) is thoroughly enjoyable, what music OTTA’ be – FUN!!!  As many readers of our ‘zine know, we believe indie music is FAR more important than most of the trash you can buy out of stores these days… & MJB is a perfect example of the BEST in indie spirit & talent.  You who love rock that “reaches out” & RAWKS ya’ won’t have any trouble (at all) agreeing with me when I declare this MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  Talent & skill that surpass most players in th’ underground scene these days!  Contact at 42 Kalina Dr., Rhineback, NY 12572, or online at   Rotcod Zzaj

Sally Oldfield – FLAMING STAR:  Yeah, I know… you’ve heard all you can take of this “world-music rhythm” thang, eh?  Well, I’m telling you… S-TO-P!!!  Sally has an ear for taking phrases she hears (in other languages) & turning them in to full-scale musical epics.  Exceptionally well composed, using sound samples woven artfully in/through the spiritually pleasing rhythmic passages.  Her work is (according to the liners, anyway) highly acclaimed in Europe, & it’s easy to discern why.  This is that “music of the universe” that our blood flows to… it doesn’t have to employ trickery to get you to feel it’s message.  Her lyrical skills are plentiful, & she’s able to craft lyrics that use simple (sounding) words to draw images of higher purpose for your ears (& your heart… I especially enjoyed “Samurai of the Sun”).  This is not “world music” in my judgement – it is “universal and timeless” music… gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  This is a KEEPER, folks!   Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Matt Turner/John Harmon – OUTSIDE IN:  As you might imagine, this is a very “reflective” album.  Some very, very pretty duet arrangements featuring Turner’s wonderful & vibrant cello playing and John’s fantastic fingers on keys.  This outing is much more in a “jazz” vein than some CD’s we’ve reviewed with Matt on them.  Don’t let that lull you in to thinking that this is without energy/challenge, though… it’s one of those classic jazz experiences that features a grand mix of standard tunes as well as all-originals.  The piano seemed (in spots) to be down a little lower in the mix than I might have recorded it at, but since I play keyboards myself, I probably always mix down with the keyboards at a higher level than they (necessarily) need to be.  Track 10, “Ground Zero”, is one of my favorite cuts on the album… sneak-ee jazz & blooz, th’ kind o’ stuff that alley-katz in dark suits slip/slide thru th’ dark corners of the deepest early mornin’ streets with!  There’s a uniqueness in playing style that will catch your ear & make you wonder how they “got” that particular sound (nearly boogie in stretches).  I declare this (unquestionably) MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… totally accessible for music fans everywhere.  Contact at Stellar Sound on the site at   Rotcod Zzaj

Fez Tone – ELECTROAUTODANCE:  If our friend Jim Konen don’t get yer’ digitz’ movin’ on this highly percussive outing – you’re destined for a mortuary – or already IN th’ drawer!  As faithful readers of this ‘zine, you know we’ve been reviewing (as well as performing & playing with) Mr. Konen in his various form(ats)… as “VisionEar”, as part of the “Detroit Improv Duo” & on this hot lil’ CD – as Fez Tone.  No matter what the act, this guy is a MASTER at sucking you in to the vortex of his stealthy percussion & gettin’ you so absorbed you feel like you’re in a wormhole.  “Electroautodance” is (as you would think from the title) a little more electronic than his first CD’s.  That doesn’t mean unmusical, however… Jim is one fantastic guitar player, & you will hear some of that ability here – tho’ in a more subdued fashion… not nearly as much “lead”.  What comes through (when you reflect back on the listening) is a musician who is comfortable with being an artist… no pretense, no fear… just pure playing with no hidden agenda.  As most of you know, that’s what I think music ought to be anyway… natural… the fact that he has a great deal of talent moves this CD into the realm of “classic”, too.  Wait’ll you hear th’ cuts where he plays TRUMPET on his guitar… you’ll BE a believer.  Any way you slice it, this is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those with an ear for percussive beauty & frenzy.  Contact him via email at   Rotcod Zzaj

Ernesto Diaz-Infante/Chris Forsyth – WIRES AND WOODEN BOXES:  There IS “never a moment that’s not razor-sharp” in a musical work with this duo on it!  You’ll also find that there is always some combination of sounds you never “quite thought of” before…. ‘coz that’s THEIR job – coming up with the strange and beautiful from the ether.  Ernesto’s introspective piano is featured on the opening cut… very open spaces, plenty of room for you (the listener) to dream dreams and explore new horizons.  Though the title might make you believe the improvisations were going to be somehow abrasive, there’s none of that here… throughout the CD, you’ll find the intricate sounds are rendered without whistle/pop & clearly.  Chris has a playing style that feels quite “bloozy”, which makes for some very odd interplays with Ernesto’s acoustic.  It’s like a sorta’ “accessible” improv style, but it holds FIRMLY to the idea that improvisation(s) should continue to nove – there’s not ONE stagnant moment on the album.  Live studio recording, as opposed to their last one (“left & right”), which was a remote recording put together betwixt NYC & SF.  If you are looking for something that is both challenging & accessible (in a strange sort of way) – this is IT, folks.  Not only gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, it’s also the “PICK” of this issue for “best live improv”!   Contact at PAX RECORDINGS, POB 591138, San Francisco, CA 94159-1138, via email to  or on the site at   Rotcod Zzaj

The Lawn Jockeys – AMAZING SOUNDS OF SHOCK THEATRE:  Andy Valeri & his “Big Beef Records” ain’t stopped YET, volkz!  Now, it HAS been a while since we reviewed anything by this group, but they’re back in full force.  If you go aquiver at th’ thot’ of Dracula drippin’, this CD will drag u outta’ yer’ PHUNK, peeple.  Moves from th’ heavy organ onna’ first ’round right into some daring disco-oriented monster mash kinda’ stuph.  That featured performer, “Dr. Creep” iz just thee kinda’ dood who appears in yer’ nightmares – just when u thot u were gonna’ WAKE UP – he dragz yer’ back IN to th’ miasma (with his maniacal laffin’ ).  Tonz’ o’ radio voiceovers, which got a bit tedious, but the energy in them git-arz keeps it moving well enough that you won’t be (at all) bored.  Don’t think I’d play this fer’ momma (unless my name was Dr. Strangelove, maybe…).  In the overall, a rawkin’ lil’ romp that’s fun to listen to.  Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for those who dig sum heavy motivational zoundz to MOVE to!  Contact at POB 303 WBB, Dayton, OH 45409-0303, via email to  or on the site at   Rotcod Zzaj

Jim Nolet – ARES VOZ:  Some of the sweetest Brazilian jazz you’ll ever hear!  Very laid-back, with touches of Nolet’s beautiful jazz violin stylings that will make you reach back in to the deepest recesses of your emotional heritage & remember former incarnations (you didn’t even know you were a part of).  The acoustic jazz guitars will have you wanting to swing&sway with that mysterious Latin lover that comes to you in your dreams.  Some beautiful vocals, too… unobtrusive, reminds me strongly of Astrud Gilberto’s initial outings with Stan Getz (so many years ago).  Pretty… pretty… pretty!  There are some vibe passages that will (almost) bring a tear to your eye, too.  I’m not only highly impressed by this wonderful CD, I believe it merits our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for lovers of Latin jazz the world over.  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Various Artists –  GYPSY SWING:  This one languished in the review box for far too long…. our apologies to the folks at Musik International.  That’s especially true since this is a classic example of swing guitar that just KICKZ!  I remember spinning it when we originally received it, & it didn’t “strike a chord” at the time, apparently.  Several players are featured, among them “The Robin Nolan Trio” (recently reviewed very favorably in our pages), “Moreno” & Jimmy Rosenberg!  Red-hot & scorching guitar passages played with aplomb & a high-spirited sense of joy that is immediately infectious!  If you can’t get up off your buns & kick up yer’ heels to this, they’ll have to apply mouth-to-mouth shortly… the whirling guitars spin you off into a majick-land reminiscent of the ’30’s (as I imagine them to have been, anyway).  Flappers & alla’ that, yer’ know!  Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us!   Contact at Refined Records, 298 4th Avenue #481, San Francisco, CA 94118 or via email to     Rotcod Zzaj

Christine Hart – PLANTING THAT SEED IN THEIR HEADS:  If yer’ think you recognize th’ last name o’ this wailin’ little lady… yer’ RIGHT… it IS Bret’s wife!  Some TUFF sound here… Christine has th’ vocal chops to pull off, & does some pretty mean acoustic as well.  Since this was recorded in ’98, I’m assuming it’s before they moved down North Carolina way.  There’s more of a folk orientation than on a Jefferson Airplane session (some memories of early Grace Slick do come to mind, though), but Ms. Hart clearly has her own feelings to express & a style all her own!  The beauty in this listening is that (knowing Bret as I do), there’s no doubt that their musical moves together make it feel like they’re sorta’ “makin’ love” through the sounds.  If you’re lookin’ for hardcore strange & “out”, you’ll have to go elsewhere, but listeners who appreciate a lil’ bit o’ “real” in their music will agree (totally) with me when I declare this hot lil’ number as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Contact through the WWW pages at (where you can purchase the CD with your credit card) or at InstrumenTales Records, 609 Morehead St., Eden, NC 27288, USA   Rotcod Zzaj

Matt Turner – CRUSHED SMOKE:  Those not familiar with Matt’s wonderful improvised cello playing have (either) a true treat, if they are lovers of free music, or a visit to the PITS, if they are steeped in traditional musics.  This outing is much more “noise” based than many of the CD’s we’ve reviewed with Mr. Turner on them… & that (for this listener) is NOT a BAD thing!  Intricate listening, all the way from sawed strings on “Space Station”, to phan-tastic percussives (on the cello, of course) during the opener, “Contraption”.  I keep thinking of what it would sound like if Matt, myself & Ernesto Diaz-Infante turned up on an album together somewhere (& that’s NOT an impossible scenario).  If you have listened to Ernesto’s improvised guitar works, you’ll find some similarities.  The cello seems to give it a deeper sound, somehow offering more “range” than acoustic guitar.  Those in love with the apparent lunacy of sound unbound will find this album one of Matt’s BEST works.  For the listener who is in search of sonic details that are beyond the range of “normal” human hearing, this comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (for those who are “almost” there, this is a PERFECT starting point for your descent into the depths).  Contact at 834 E. Minor St., Appleton, WI 54911, via email to  or on the WWW pages at     Rotcod Zzaj

Frank O Pollizi Band – THE MOLASSES TAPES:  For those musical aficionados who have “heard it all” – you ain’t heard NUTHIN’ until you lissen ter’ THIS!  We reviewed this guy’s “BASEMENT TAPES” a couple of issues back, & he won’t let yer’ (ever so jaded) ears down this time ’round, either.  This is quite simply – NUTS!  Pace is slightly slower than the last one, but maybe that’s why it’s titled the way it is.  Somewhat “lick-based”, but that’s no detractor… you folks who have been around the “underground scene” will recognize shadings of Bret Hart on here, but the Beefheart influences jus’ SHINE through!  This is a thoroughly enjoyable CD with high-energy rawk-in sounds that will KICK yer’ TAIL!  Those unflaggable fanz o’ Unkle Frank (Zappa, that is) won’t be ABLE to do WITHOUT this CD… it gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, without qualification!  GET this one TODAY!  Contact at 3649 W. Pony Trail, Tucson, AZ 85742, or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj

Matt Turner – SHADES OF WIGGETT:   Ha! Ha! Ha!  Now I’ve heard it ALL!  Truth be told, I hadn’t heard Matt do keyboards before… kee-rimony, what a duo WE would make on pianos (now, THERE is a thought, Matt… yer’ in Wisconson, I’m a (temporary) Michigander….???).  I simply LUV this stuph!  Opening cut & title track is a mad-dash ramble/rove, played with (both) fingers & elbows, a sorta’ “improvised” version of Jerry Lee Lewis on speed or steroids.  Some nice gentle compositions as well, but still full-bodied & clearly styled.  “House on the Hill”, Track 3, is a wonderful piece that will draw you in & wrap you up (ever so carefully).  There were a couple of pieces (I noted 2 & 5) that were recorded a bit low, so you’ll have to turn it UP to hear it.  Turner has a unique playing style that (I suspect) witnesses an even clearer vision of his real personality (basic schizoid?) than do his cello forays (only kidding, Matt).  I can tell you one thing – if you’re intense enough in your listening, you’ll find yourself (in spots) just laughing yourself to pieces.  In the overall, this is one of the most refreshing improvised piano albums I’ve heard (& you know I’ve heard a lot of them); it gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer.  If you’re at all interested in “real” improvisation on keyboards  –  GET THIS CD!  Contact through Penumbra Music, POB 282, Grafton WI 53024, or on the site at    Rotcod Zzaj

Degenerate Art Ensemble – RINKO:  This Seattle-based group used to be called the “Young Composer’s Collective”.  While we didn’t have the good fortune of reviewing their music while they were in that incarnation – we are happy to hear them now; ‘specially with a name like this!  Take some (very solid) classically-trained players (about 7 of ’em, looks like) who maintain a real sense of being composers (in an improvised sense), & their skill(s) will either shine through or make them sound startlingly amateur… & there’s not ONE “amateur” lick here.  They’ve been together for around 4 years, & I’ve no doubt that has a lot to do with the levels of (group) maturity & sensitivity they display – in SPADES, mon’…. while there is clear unbounded ENERGY evident, there is no rush to judgement.  Their comfort level in the explorations comes through on each cut!  Heavy oriental influences, as you might expect if you’d spent any time on the western side of the state… but in a sorta’ “shocking” way.  There ARE no dull moments, & the spontaneous state of (musical) events will keep you (literally) on the edge!  This is some of the most enjoyable classical improv composition I’ve heard in the last couple of years.  Funk-based-classical-improv with a taste o’ funny!  Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us, for any listener who wants some adventure for their ears!   Contact at Unit Circle Rekkids, POB 20352, Seattle, WA 98102, or via email to    Rotcod Zzaj

Kristi Stassinopoulou – ECHOTROPIA:  Ol’ Tim Leary woulda’ LUVVED this worldbeat/folk adventure!  Kristi sings in Greek, but you’d think you were at an “Airplane” concert (with slightly more emphasis on th’ percussion than Grace Slick might’ve had).  This is NOT the (dreaded) sloppy techno-rawk it could have been… it doesn’t sound (in the least) like low-end cut/paste electronics, & that’s a LARGE plus for the listener.  There are some very clearly psychedelic influences that take me (in a FLASH, mon’) back to some wild concert nights in th’ ’60’s!  If yer’ droppin’ acid (which is NOT something WE recommend), you’ll get LOST in the echoes, floatin’ off on a Persian karpet into la-la land.  There are some (nice) folk guitars woven in the background, too.  The CD hit some high marks on the Euro-charts for World music, & it definitely rates a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer.  Contact at Tinder Records, 4380 Redwood Hwy, Suite B-10, San Rafael, CA 94903, on their WWW pages at or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj

Sawt el Atlas – DONIA:  There seem to be some really interesting sounds coming out of this TINDERRECORDS outfit (by way of our friends at MusikIntl, I’m sure).  This round has strong Arabian rhythms, mixed (most pleasantly) in with funk’n’dancin’ musik!  Very danceable, even tho’ I understood not a word that was said (in Arabic & French)… that’s a pretty strong statement for music to make, I believe…. if the players can convey the emotions without having to depend on the listener understanding the lyrics, they HAVE the power.  The compositions provide some very interesting contrasts in style (outright Marley mixed with ancient (& joyous) Arabic exuberance), but do an excellent job of communicating the spirit!  Improv fans will probably shun this to some degree, as it’s pretty heavy on the reggae side, but I enjoyed it a great deal.  Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us.  Contact at Tinder Records, 4380 Redwood Hwy, Suite B-10, San Rafael, CA 94903, on their WWW pages at or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj

Gustavo Aguilar – LOOKING FOR AZTLAN: This CD features Gustavo’s micro-focused percussion against composed pieces (by John Bergamo, for the most part).  If you want to know a bit more about the meaning of the word “Aztlan” (& you SHOULD), click HERE!  Aguilar is a master percussionist, & this album treats you to enchantment across several styles… some spoken word mixes, some “straight-ahead” percussives, some keyboards woven in.  The most exciting piece (I felt) was track 5, “Obra De La Tierra”… it is the longest cut (12:55), & had the captured the excitement of Gustavo’s energy VERY effectively.  He uses the “deep” tones of his instruments to announce directional shifts & anchor the frenetic pace(s) that are often achieved.  It was interesting for me to note that he had worked in Korea… after listening through several times (especially to “Obra De La Tierra”), it made me wonder if he had worked (while there) with Sa-Mul-No-Ri (a traditional Korean percussion show group).  You will need to reserve an hour or so for yourself to listen to this wonderful album… do NOT anticipate it being the background trak for your next Tupperware party… you need to listen to the point of absorption in order to appreciate the search for “the place of whiteness”!  Gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, especially for those who enjoy listening between the notes!  Contact at PAX RECORDINGS, POB 591138, San Francisco, CA 94159-1138, via email to  or on the site at  (or to ACOUSTIC LEVITATION, 2625 E. 13 St. 2K, Brooklyn, NY 11235… email is ) Rotcod Zzaj



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ORANGE ENTROPY is BACK… new updates to the website (, including tons of new tracks added to WOE (… so head on over and check out some of our sultry sounds….

new MONONSTER coming at the end of the month, packed with our (sorry) backlog
of reviews……(

oh, and of course…. new contact information, so please update your files…..

Orange Entropy Records
c/o Steve Zimmerman
327 Evanston Drive
East WIndsor, NJ 08520
FAX (240)539-4880



Limited Sedition is honored to offer two insanely good new releases.
Jack Wright’s Large Ensemble CD is delicate, multilayered, and truly
lovely. Karen Stackpole’s solo gong CD is absolutely incredible, THE
definitive statement of the beautiful and complex soundworld of the gong.
Don’t pass these up!!

info at

Jack Wright Large Ensemble
recorded by John Shiurba 3/7/00
8 tracks, 74 minutes, limited to 109 numbered copies.
Available May 31, 2001.

Jack Wright-saxophones, Bhob Rainey- soprano saxophone, Ma++
Ingalls-clarinet, Morgan Guberman & Matthew Sperry- contrabass, Tom
Djll- trumpet, Ron Heglin- tuba, John Shiurba- guitar, Karen Stackpole




We at cordially invite you to visit our site. Blizzard Records is designed for those individuals who are interested in purchasing music CDs that are not available in stores. All CDs can be reviewed for free at anytime you

wish. So have fun we trust that we will hear from you.

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Blizzard Records



Hey everyone,   The KK Null/Bill Horist split 10″ has been officially released on Torture Music Records.  It can be purchased online through Soleilmoon (  For the next couple weeks, I’ll be selling them at Zobrist Music, where I work, in
order to make some tour money.  We’re located on First Ave between University and Seneca.  If you want one, stop by between Thursday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm.
Also, Null and I will be performing together in August.  See details below.

Tablet, the pulsing bedlam duo of DJ JJustice myself
has been laid to rest.  We played our last gig
unofficially at a private unveiling of the new
location for the crucial Seattle artspace,
Consolidated Works.  ConWorks has been an active
participant and facilitator to a lot of creative
activity in Seattle, and has been host to more Tablet
gigs than anyone!  For more information check out  And I must say it’s been a pleasure
and a reward working with my man JJustice. Catch him
spinning a host of delectible platters regularly all
over town.  You can find out more about J’s activities
at  Best
of luck my friend!
Also, I’ll be on tour for the month of September.
I’ll be updating the information as I get it on my
website.  So far, the itinerary looks like this.
Still awaiting details on some gigs but confirmed
dates are listed below.  Let you out-of-state friends
know so I won’t be lonely!  I’ll supply addresses,
times and other pertinent information later this

2 Berkley CA, ACME Observatory, w/ Matt Ingalls
6 San Francisco CA, Eagles Tavern w/SubArachnoid
7 Los Angeles CA, Labor Fruit, w/Marc Levinthal and
Greg Headley
8 Los Angeles CA, Knitting Factory
14 Chicago IL, Nervous Center
15 Dearborn MI, Stormy Records
16 Pittsburgh PA, Millvale Industrial Theater, w/
SubArachnoid Space
18 Buffalo NY, Big Orbit Gallery
19 East Hampton MA, The Flywheel, w/ SubArachnoid
22 New York NY, loft show, w/ Tono Bungay
23 New York NY, Tonic, w/ SubArachnoid Space & Alger
24 Philadelphia PA, Sedgwick Cultural Center
25 Richmond VA, Hole in the Wall
27 Baltimore MD, Red Room, w/ Jack Wright trio

In the meantime, I have a couple gigs this month.
They are as follows:

Thursday August 16
The legendary Japanese noise rock outfit featuring KK
Null makes a rare Seattle appearance on their US tour.
Be sure to arrive early and check out Null and Bill
for their first collaborative performance ever.  This
will be an unofficial record release party for their
new split 10″, available now from Torture Music
Records.  Also on the bill are Portland’s Heavy
Johnson Trio.
Graceland, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 9pm

Saturday August 18
The Nature Consortium presents
The Nature Consortium presents the annual Arts in
Nature festival which runs on both Saturday and
Sunday.  Bill will be performing solo on the outdoor
stage at 3pm.  Check out the museum of sound, a
network of cabins housing a variety of sonic events.
The Tentacle collective presents a series of exciting
duets (mentioned above) that runs all day in cabin #4.
There are several performance locations as well as a
host of wandering performers.  For more information,
check out  Be sure not to miss the
Knotty Ensemble on Sunday at 5pm.  This acoustic
quartet is simply awesome.
Camp Long in West Seattle, all day



-Bret Hart


Hello friends!
Greetings from Ecuador. My name is Javier and Industria Masoquista is
my harsh noise electronic project. It has several split releases with
artists as: Pain Jerk (Japan), Kadef (Germany), The Haters (U.S.A.),
Karmakumulator (Croatia) and others.
NEW! Industria Masoquista / Karmakumulator split C-60 harsh noise vs
experimental noise released on Bizarre Audio Arts (Ecuador) Only by:
$6,oo USD Post Paid to America and $8,oo USD Post Paid to Rest of
World. For info and more visit my webpage Also, I am the administrator of
the Power Electronics Net Ring submit your site directly from mi
webpage on it is included the link for it. That’s all for now, I hope
to hear from you soon.

Thanks for your time
Industria Masoquista HomePage




Dear former Riffage member:

In our last newsletter we informed you that Riffage was now part of
loudENERGY. As we’ve started merging the two websites, it’s become
apparent that loudENERGY and Riffage shared many things in common.
However, while loudENERGY has always given artists a place to showcase
their music on the web, our true focus has been devoted to creating
powerful and innovative artist development programs that can take your
band to the next level.


NEW in the InstrumenTales Records "Duets Series"

Steve Blake / Bret Hart:  “DUETS – Volume One”

sb: guitars ['initiator']
bhh: Can-Jo, Dobro, Strum-stick ['finisher']

1.   STRANGE CURVATURE OF THE EARTH    [Apollo V feedback / Can-Jo]
2.   OUT OF SITE (first draft) [happy notey thing / Allah Strum-stick]
3.   A BLACK & WHITE CAMERA [big fuzz FRANK-switch / E-Bow’ed Strum-stick]
4.   BULL IN A...  [softy jazzy strum / Mark Ri-Dobro]
5.   THE WILD ONE [another happy notey thing w/ clams / bow-attack Dobro]
6.   POST-MODERN REVOLUTIONARY MAN [I'm yo chunky octaved TOMMY / Snakey Strum-stick]
7.   THE NEWS [Pleasant Valley Day Tripper / donkey Dobro]
8.   FLYING INFORMATION [Invisible S-OB / Quine-Fripp lovechild Strum-stick]
9.   T-minus S (for Syd) [Interstellar Domine / Strum-stick bowed with Can-Jo]
10.  THE SIMPLE LIFE [Steve "league of genitals" how? / harrassed Dobro]
11.  SPARE PARTS (2) [ill RUSH quad min7ths / prepared-Dobro]
12.  ANOTHER PLEASANT VALLEY QUAALUDE [two slow things, in an above-ground pool]
13.  HEINOUS MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT [two other slow things, doing the Bump at 88MPH]
14.  SPARE PARTS (3) [eleven / Django's Hair Oil]


Dear Friends,

First, we want to thank you for your previous support of our
installation, “The Alchemy of Desire,” which we presented at the Old San
Ysidro Church in Corrales, New Mexico in the Fall of 2000. Some of you
participated in the actual production, others contributed your “wishes
for the world” which made up a major part of the content of the piece,
and many more of you attended the exhibition or simply offered us words
of encouragement. A few of you even sent us donations to help offset our
costs in creating it. To all of you, we are extremely grateful.

The project was quite successful. Many people from across the social
spectrum of our community came to see it – over 700 visitors in two
weekends! – and they were deeply moved by the work. We, in turn, were
gratified by the enthusiastic responses we got from our audience. There
was an extensive write-up in the Albuquerque Journal, and we later
received glowing reviews in Art in America and The Magazine, Santa Fe’s
arts monthly.

Encouraged by this response, we are now engaged in the next step: taking
the work to a larger audience. Although the show was designed for the
San Ysidro Church, we quickly realized that it could, and should, be
presented in other places beyond Albuquerque and New Mexico. We have
been proposing it to museums around the country, and there is some
interest. Most recently, we have quite suddenly been invited to present
the piece at the Nicolaysen Museum in Casper, Wyoming for four months,
beginning in September of this year.

While we are excited about this as the first of many opportunities for
the work to travel, we are also apprehensive about it from a financial
point of view. It may sound terrific, but the reality is that museums
usually pay only for the shipping and hanging of the completed art; they
do not generally pay artists a fee or front them money to make the work
or prepare it for shipping.

In order for this piece to travel, the sound component of the show needs
to be revised so that it is more museum-friendly. The audio system we
used in Corrales worked, but it was bulky and unruly – 10 CD players
which tended to drift out of synchronization. This was fine since we
were always present and could tend to it, but for museums the system
needs to be more compact and maintenance-free, a single unit we can set
up, start, and leave alone. A technological alternative exists, but it
is pricey. The two 12-channel amplifiers we rented for use in Corrales
would have to be purchased in order to be used elsewhere, along with
eight new speakers. Finally, there will be the expense of having
shipping crates made for the brass bowls and steel plates.

We estimate that it will cost approximately $10,000 to do all of this
properly. Our goal is to raise this amount by August 1. This would allow
us just enough time to purchase everything we need and get it all ready
before going to Wyoming to install the piece in the middle of August.
This is of course a rather ambitious goal, but it is a great opportunity
that we feel we should act upon. However, we must act quickly given the
timeline involved.

We are asking you to help us make this great big wish come true by
making a donation and/or by passing this information along to other arts
patrons who might want to contribute. You could also recommend the
project to curators who would be sympathetic to it. If you require more
information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We thank you in advance for your assistance, and for your faith in the
value of our work.


Christine Wallers & Steve Peters

Send tax-deductible donations to: Nonsequitur, Inc., PO Box 344,
Albuquerque, NM 87103 USA. Please make checks payable to Nonsequitur,
and write “Alchemy” on your check. Nonsequitur is a non-profit,
501(c)(3) foundation presenting recordings, concerts and exhibitions of
experimental music, sound and intermedia art in New Mexico since 1989.
Contact Steve at or call 505-224-9483; Christine may be
reached at




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Japanese girl with cat eyes,
laughing across the table.
Only two cigarettes are left,
burning I clutch her wrist.
Come home with me.

How the days pass
with fury of freedom let loose,
and myself only to snatch
the smallest details,
as last breaths of air.

Back in the apartment,
street noises distant.
She reads my stories,
lips moist, barely parted,
The bed is soft underneath us.

Devils I meet inside of you
make me forget who I am,
breasts of milk I choked on
parade my youth forever,
deliver me to you.


cries out
restore my ancient grace
viscously enervated and oppressed
slaves compel yourselves
wrought by inconsonance
defy crude means
and cumbersome limits
claim and worship
the ardor of freedom
my breaths of beauty
and life


fate alone
brought you here
on darkest of paths.

Use these wings of lead
to view the vast nigresence
with no sympathy of life about

Witness drab cloudy windows
where horrible drownings occur,
the remnants of these deaths
no longer lead to sticky births

Terrible spectator of loss
crash into a fresh grave
you dug so long ago

Bury yourself well
dirt on smarting
ugly wounds
final pain


Submitted by:



“The Mouse Ran Down the Clock”
Copyright 2001 Brent M. Parker

My sluggish soul slithers
Perpetual pendulum people
Same strokes
Sometimes stroke
Sometimes strike

Perhaps I too
With unperceived

Sometimes swinging simultaneously
Periodically plowing partners.


“The Modern Sonneteer’s Lament”
Copyright 2001 Brent M. Parker

I don’t know how to write a sonnet – help
Great poets, so I’ve heard, it’s driven mad
Iambic feet can stomp my brain to kelp
You can’t just cut a word, or add – to pad
See, Ginsberg’s free-form liquefied my mind
It seems it will not soon solidify
In dreams of late, I’ve had an axe to grind
With modern poets such as Robert Bly
Poem forming formal-form-style can be fun
The wrestling with the frighteningly hard
The showing Robert Frost’s old style some sun
The tangling with the strangling of The Bard
While I would further gripe and recommend
This poem of sonnet-type has reached – hey lend

me a hand, here, with this last line, would you?


In- sanity


the spit-flecked Ravings of a schizophrenic

Were once the pronouncements of an oracle

the muttered Delusions of disassociatives

Were once Cervante’s grand fantasies


Divine madness has lapsed into mere chemical stew


Shout on, you Tom O Bedlam

Tramp across the brighter boundaries

Of your interior world


We hound you for base jealousy



Steven Attewell




Auld Lang Syne


The dust lies passively on an elephant graveyard of broken chairs

throtlling the air with damp, musty fingers


From each corner ledge and cranny the smell of yesterday

assaults my nostrils through the weak defense of a kitchen towel


There is very little room to live here

too much of the past reaching out to stub toes and trip up unwary feet

attempting to regain some scraps of vitae

A madman’s cabinet of lost broken and defunct things invades my perception

too many faded colors and familiar shapes

I wonder at how the pieces have arrived here

drifting from lives that had meaning or revelancy

the comfortably intelligible outline of human presence

now they are the recorded babblings of a million lunatics

muttering strange fragments with sour musk voices

I feel their sweaty beings clustering an inch outside my skin

rude rush hour passengers

Excuse me, I murmur

and walk on into the now


Haiku #1

A stolid pale mass

Hoists into infinity

A mortal coil shovels off


Haiku #2

Why can’t Johnny read?

So many stars that fall unseen

Mind’s fire dwindles- gone


Haiku #3

Summer yawns lazily

Wrinkled snow spatters dark earth

Gold-greening ascends

Haiku #4

Feet long for concrete

The heady thrill of polis

Leaves too brown for me

Haiku #5

My shoes carry no dust

The highway knows not my step

I await inner passport

Haiku #6

Horace ignites a smile

Sublime lover of wine and peace

Path worth a second trip?


Haiku #7


Blood spills on fecund ground

An iron-red inundation

Greed can fertilize


Haiku #8


What do I require?

Eight reeds can make a basket

Burdens shrink with joss


Haiku #9

My back bears no load

I carry neither wheat nor wine

But all carry secrets


Haiku #10

Black-red foulness bubbles

Tempting me with stolen vigor

Three coins and my health


Haiku #11

Grey skies for five days

Ice-rain pours in through round hole

Fish the clouds for sun

Haiku #12

So much meat and bread

Excess piles upon mountains of souls

Ceres’ face topped with horns


A Matter of Faith and Foundations


Long, spidery crack winds across

The sagging altarpiece

Dusty-dark confessional stands vacant

The subtile attar of votive candles

Cloaked by flaking neglect


Eyes of Adam’s kith turn once more upwards

At a more wondrous sky

The dominion of solitary El-Shaddai

Sinking into the sands of countless hourglasses


Now the lust for pain/shame/guilt slowly receding;


What new altar – for we still lust for altars – shall we raise?


a mirror



Submitted by:



The Geometry In The Room”

lie alone in bed
listen to Puccini
eat   crackers

realize her smile
like      her clothes
are   plastic

write  yourself       a
poem    like      “i shivered
in    my bed.     all night.”

“People’s Republic of Girls I’ve Known”

parents born in a church town / “watch that boy’s wandering hands” / they wandered into hers
red hair and beautiful / smokes Parliaments, and only Parliaments / thick knuckles and freckles on her lips
met in smoky party / never saw her eyes / hand was cold, think she was ODing / said a Prayer
tightBlondebraids and soft neck / my lips touched hers downstairs / in my Gramma’s house
Grandfather, with Marine fingers, much-worked / two hours before dying / called me his “little buddy” / breathed like a thick cough
back of Church / a Jesus Mass / she had no Panties on

“Lubbock PD”

the highway has cars which light up,
and the
cops shine their lights
by the                         alcohol stores.


Submitted by:



baseless bards


the old songs figure through the canyons

partly and figure partly through the rooms

candling what shapes malinger there or

even though the lamp is altogether lowly

disgraced a real botch it lights the rooms

the forward motion of the passing guests and stilly seeks

the mandarining style of the pagoda or newel

laid down according to the rules of trade guild

and city code the faretheewell that gives a name

to all the singers in the avenue and thoroughfare

around the corner from the cul-de-sac and home


metropole power plant jig


winter mists derail all my expectations

but I catch on my fast-track bubble

bursts but it is altogether not lost this here

still wired ran the park now razor-wired

trash-dumped and ready for a makeover


to a Midas


what recompense for such a work is this

as I have done it is the work itself

must reap a profit for the reader

proofreader printer and bookseller

and maybe something else besides

lingers along the course of my work

to be considered as delightfully as once

before consideration became a problem


art histories


what a shower is this with a spear of rinse

and a samba terry with diffuse sunlight

making more of real than the world-blur


ham and examples


if you do it this way

like SoHo

bang aha I told you so

look here behold I have seen

a number of things

oh anything if I do please

and sneeze

ho hee




bone on the blue plate special

I unwrap you

wither you

displace you

wrong you replace you!


I dub you prince of

amateur thieves

and hand you a sheepskin

OK you say win

you win

I say


win you say you win

when you win you say

I win


I imagine you haven’t seen

a dandelion you have seen

I blew it

into the wind


Submitted by:  Christopher Mulrooney, 150 N. Catalina St., No. 2, Los Angeles, Calif. 90004




INTERVIEW with Oren Zero

I participated in the ALLMUSIC news group many years ago, when it was in it’s infancy.  O.z. (tka n.n., or Jeff) was a participant there, too… in those early days, my interest(s) on the net lay (primarily) in using them to generate contacts with home tapers.  The ALLMUSIC group had several compilation tapes, mostly of other people’s musics, which was all right, but I was (far) more interested in seeing the group evolve into a force for changing the FACE of music.  As a result of my pestilent determination & my (often) agressive/offensive manner (& some VERY unpopular opinions), I made few friends there… even some enemies.  

Ah, well… the perils of “learning the nets”, I guess!   (I never DID really learn “netiquette”, either… which will be part & parcel of the ZZAJ-RANT this issue).  There were 3 or 5 of those folks that stepped in (every once in a while) & piped up about “original” music on some of the collabs, though, & O.Z. (if I remember right) was one of ’em.  

He contacted me as a result of a recent posting to a ng (in which I was soliciting interviewees) & here we are… his answers!  Check him out HERE!!!   THANKS, O.Z….


Zzaj:  Last contact we had was in the middle of me strafing or being strafed by (someone on) ALLMUSIC (well deserved, I’m sure).  Do ya’ still hang around the NG’s?

Oz:  Sure. I read a few of the music and guitar-related Usenet groups (and actively participate in fewer, still), but I haven’t kept up with the Bitnet stuff… I don’t even know if Bitnet still exists, but it seems unlikely.  Of course, Adam Levin and Mike Karolchik both
went on to host other things, post-ALLMUSIC. Levin’s band, Dark Aether Project, has gone on to do some pretty amazing things, I hear.

Zzaj:  Your .mp3 site has a LOT of interesting tunes.  Do you record/play with other folks, or is it all solo work these days?

Oz:  Thanks for the kind words… much too kind.  I’ve worked with a local (Nashville, TN) bassist, Steve Forbush, on a couple of tunes, including one you heard at the site; Steve played on “The Foundry,” and we’ve done a few things that haven’t been uploaded yet. Otherwise, it’s usually just me and a few toys.

Zzaj:  Has the Internet, .mp3 & other sites that take artist’s work(s) caused a “glut” of indie music?  Is that (terribly) important?  Do you care about “gluts”?

Oz:  No… I think people would be doing these things with or without the networking technology. It’s just now that we have an opportunity to hear more of it. That may not be a good thing!  Sometimes it’s a great thing, though. I doubt it will have a serious impact on the state of affairs viz-a-viz the “music industry” until filtering technologies mature to a much higher degree, though. Face it — less than 10% of ANY of this stuff floating around will be appreciated in any lasting way by any individual, let alone society-at-large… and that goes for what’s in the bins at your local CD retailer, as well. Music is disposable, and
recycleable!  Heh!

Zzaj:  How do you think the new Republican czars will influence independent activity (of all kinds) across the land?  IOW, does (or can) politics (no matter what ug-lee flavor) influence independence?

Oz:  I keep hoping for a little more sanity in D.C., and occasionally you’ll see glimpses, but not often enough. Here in Tennessee, the Governor (who campaigned on a staunch anti-spending, “no state income tax” platform) and many in the Legislature are trying to pass a state income tax. Thanks to the tireless efforts of a talk radio station here in town,
thousands have flocked to Legislative Plaza in Nashville to personally voice their opinions on the matter… and I’m proud!  What the U.S. needs is a credible libertarian (small “l”) leader, who isn’t afraid to draw lines concerning the government’s interest in our personal choices, nor afraid to eviscerate the fat, wasteful budgets on so many marginal and
ineffective programs. I doubt that will happen in my lifetime, but I maintain hope.




Zzaj:  I remember a couple of collabs on ALLMUSIC that featured playing by list members (some of us, anyway).  Do you collaborate (through the mail or over the nets) with anyone these days?  What projects do you HAVE in the works?

Oz:  I’ve collaborated a little over the net, but it’s slow, tedious work. I haven’t given up on the idea, but I think I want to wait for affordable DSS 2-way broadband before really committing to a major project.

I’ve never really seen postal mail as something to explore, probably because it’s slower than 56K!  Ha!  I’m probably too impatient. But Steve Forbush and I have traded mixes and ideas over the net, even though he lives less than a mile away. He has a cable modem, so it’s a lot less painful for him, of course.

Zzaj:  You list your music style as “smoke & mirrors”.  This is something I can relate to quite a bit, but what does it mean to YOU?

Oz:  Well, it’s a reference to my philosophy that production is a big part of the magic… it HAS to be, if you’re just one person trying to cover all the ground on the recording. The technology available today — even the AFFORDABLE technology! — it boggles my mind. I suppose since I earn my salary at technology’s leisure, it only seems appropriate that I leverage the horsepower of the PC to polish and tweak a bit… but I try not to do anything that I wouldn’t be able to pull off with a band (which is not to say I’m considering a band; I can’t imagine that I’d have nearly the time required to make something that complex work out in a successful way). Nothing up the sleeve, really.

Zzaj:  One of your group members is shown as “a bitchin’ sound card”. What card is that, or will you share the recipe for your particular flavor of madness with us?  What other equipment helps in your S&M (smoke/mirror) efforts?

Oz:  Heh… well, the card is really nothing in the context of the available technology. It’s a Turtle Beach Montego II Home Studio — it’s just a stereo-in card with pretty nice specs. Other toys include a Line6 Spider 1×12 amp, a MESA/Boogie Subway Rocket Reverb amp, a Yamaha BBN-4F fretless bass, a Steinberger Spirit fretted 4-string bass, a couple of
Carvin Holdsworth guitars (one being a prototype — a gift from Mr. H. himself), and old Ibanez Sabre, and a few other odds-and-ends… mics, monitors and whatnot.

The really important part is the PC, though. And the software. I learned enough to build a dedicated DAW system on a reasonable budget, and I can’t say enough good things about a specialized, optimized PC recording rig. It’s enormously liberating.

Zzaj:  How much longer do you think you can “get away” with being an “indie” in Nashville, TN?  We (some of us) thought that was “smoke & bourbon” turf (only).

Oz:  Yeah, a lot of folks look at it that way. Moving to Nashville, I soon learned that admitting to playing music was tantamount to telling anyone in earshot that you were a starstruck waiter. It’s such a cliche… like Hollywood and film, I suppose. Getting back to the power and affordability of the technology, though… it’s putting a lot of the one-time quite prosperous demo studios out of business here in Twangtown. I think “getting away with it” these days — and I mean anywhere, not just Nashville — means expecting to NEVER see an income from it. The currency is devalued. That’s evolution for you. It
probably won’t stay that way forever onward — in fact, if anything, I think it may be the only thing that SAVES artistic (as opposed to commercial) music forms. When people make music for reasons other than fame and gains in creature comforts, magic can start to happen. You know, the recording industry hasn’t really been in existence for very long. I’m sure the natural gas sellers were upset with the widespread availability of electrical
power earlier in this century… but life goes on. And natural gas is still a hot commodity (no pun intended).

Zzaj:  One of the basic premises I have regarding music is that “if it ain’t FUN, it ain’t music”.  Please reflect on that (for or against, doesn’t matter) a bit for us.

Oz:  I haven’t often been involved in music that WASN’T fun. Is there such a thing?  The music itself, I mean. I’ve been involved in bands and projects where others weren’t approaching the music as a fun thing, and that’s usually a drag… sometimes worse. Some people make too much out of it, y’know?  It’s not as if some goofball recording on is going to hang like an albatross around your neck for the rest of your life!  Even so, if that’s where someone derives a major portion of their self-worth… well, there so much more in life to take seriously. Music has to be fun.

Zzaj:  Last words of advice for aspiring musicians out there across this beeg mudball?

Oz:  Yeah — be careful of aspirations!  Seriously. I doubt I can speak effectively to anyone whose goal is to get on MTV. On the other hand, if music brings anything positive into your life, whatever that may be, keep doing it. When it stops doing that, get the hell out ASAP, and continue to try to get those positive things in some other fashion.



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     Our friend Bret Hart recently sent a speech that (of all people) the Prez of the N.R.A., Charlton Heston, made in 1999 (at Harvard Law School).      I’m taking (some of) the things he said out of context, but I believe his speech (still) supports some of the feelings I’ve had about recent posting experiences on NewsGroups (NG’s) & discussion lists… you don’t want to hear all the details of my postings there, nor do you even need to know the thrust of the content… but a bunch of “enforcers” came in on top of the discussions I’d initiated (in my usual acidic fashion) & said that I “couldn’t say that”… that “they didn’t want to hear it”, & that my opinion “didn’t count”.   Now… read one of the things Heston had to say (regarding some of the flak he’s taken over things he’s said about guns, gun control & the like…) 

“As I have stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I’ve realized that firearms are not the only issue. No, it’s much, much bigger than that.  I’ve come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor,
certain acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated.”

     Just because someone (on a NG, chat group, or on a radio TALK show, for that matter) doesn’t “like” the way we express our thoughts & opinions… doesn’t mean we shouldn’t express them EXACTLY as we wish to!   As Mr. Heston continued his speech, he went on to say that some media articles (& even his friends) seemed to be saying to him:

“Chuck, how dare you speak your mind. You are using language not authorized for public
consumption!  But I am not afraid. If Americans believed in political correctness, we’d still be King George’s boys subjects bound to the British crown.”

     “Political Correctness” on the nets is foisted on us under the guise of “netiquette”, which is (very) often just a way of folks on the nets telling you that you’re making them uncomfortable…. the message I hear coming through LOUD & CLEAR is… “you don’t have a right to say what you’re saying”.  How contrary is THAT to the ideals that our constitution (based on REBELLION against King G. & his cronies, remember) was supposed to have been founded on?  NO ONE has the right to tell another what they can (or can’t) say (I believe).  You may not believe that, & you have a perfect right to your belief… but let’s all pray to the FORCES that there are more who are on the side of your right to say what you really THINK!  & what better audience for Charlton Heston to illustrate that point to as follows…

“Who here thinks your professors can say what they really believe? It scares me to death, and should scare you too, that the superstition of political correctness rules the halls of reason.  You are the best and the brightest. You, here in the fertile cradle of American academia, here in the castle of learning on the Charles River, you are the cream. But I submit that you, and your counterparts across the land, are the most socially conformed and politically silenced generation since Concord Bridge. And as long as you validate that and abide it … you are-by your grandfathers’ standards-cowards.”   


“If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist. If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you a sexist. If you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion. If you accept but don’t celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.  Don’t let America’s universities continue to serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism.”

     I, for one, am not the bravest man in the world…. I am (always) afraid of bullies, because I think they (whether musclebound apes or wolves garbed in politician’s button-down suits) are the people folks in this country NEED to be prepared to stand up against!  SO – when people (no matter where it may be) tell you that you shouldn’t “SAY such things”… tell them (ever so politely, perhaps) to RAM IT UP THEIR SNOUT!  

     I’m not talking about using words to damage others, either… ethnic slurs or other forms of hatred can be just as lethal as weapons… in fact, I believe it is our DUTY to stand up when others do that & speak out against them.  To TELL them we do not agree with their use of language as a weapon against others… in fact, to tell them (when it is obvious to us) that we will not TOLERATE such verbal ignorance.  

     As Mr. Heston implies, though, we do our children EVERMORE damage when we put up with the idea that we should “stop saying what we believe”.  Men and women of (true) courage (in my eyes) are those who STAND UP & FIGHT for their right to state their case… to THINK what they think… & to DO what they DO!   Nothing less will do!  Think about THAT… & come away from it determined NOT to be a coward… I hope – after all, I did not spend some years over 20 in the military to defend politically correct spineless blobs!

Till next time….


Rotcod Zzaj