Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 51

wpe1.gif (12881 bytes)



Issue # 51 REVIEWS:

Ray Lema – TYOUR GNAOUA:  Ray was born in Zaire, & that country’s energy comes shining through clearly in the music he plays on this wonderful CD!  This offers far more (in the way of HIGH energy) than it’s “worldbeat” oriented liner notes might imply.  Around 7 players listed, with all manner of intriguing instruments whirling ’round in your ears!  There’s a heavy undercurrent of bass going on here, but keyboards, guitars & many other instruments can be heard, too.  Sections of Lema’s keyboards remind me strongly of another jazz favorite (of mine), Joe Zawinul.  Ray’s music has been described as “avant garde”, in the sense of his traditional playing, anyway… & that bears itself out (quite nicely) in the listening.  He plays against more traditional African rhythmic structures, weaving his own novel vocals & rhythmic counter-punches, with tremendously successful results.  If you’ve never heard African music before, MAKE this your first listen.  A totally enchanting trip that gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us!  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is    ) Rotcod Zzaj

Dave Storrs – ANOTHER THING:  It’s been quite a while since I heard a CD that had nothing but percussion on it!  Storrs’ pulls it off quite nicely, never a dull moment (e’en tho’ you might think there would be times when you’d get tired of drums, since there are 18 cuts on here… you’d be mistaken).  Dave sort of “paints” with his percussives, illustrating different moods, letting your mind fill in what the music would/could be… this makes it a highly imaginative terrain!  All the way from deepest & darkest jungle(s) (title track), to strangely creative (“All Hours”) – it’s all in there!  The other thing that’s aurally quite evident is that this guy can play it ALL… all th’ rhythms inna’ WORLD are at th’ tipz’ of his fingers!  This is a very well recorded album that will spin many times in th’ players of folks who enjoy music for it’s own sake… gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating!  You should GET this one, folks!  Contact at Louie Records (which has Mr. Storrs at the helm, actually), 644 SW 5th St.,  Corvalis, OR 97333, on their WWW pages, at  or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj

Rob Blakeslee Quartet – LAST MINUTE GIFT:  Here’s some heavy jazz from Oregon’s “Louie Records”.  Rob plays trumpet/flugelhorn, with MIchael Vlatkovich on trombone, Clyde Reed on bass & Dave Storrs on drums.  This is great jazz improvisation, in which all players are “equal”, if you will… very open-ended, with total freedom of expression.  You won’t feel any “rushes” to “get somewhere”, the quartet has a very relaxed approach, even on the high energy pieces.  My favorite, of course, was “Advice From A Pufferfish”, if only ‘coz o’ th’ title… actually, tho’, it’s a strong jazz piece that I fell in love with almost immediately!  With all that brass, you can obviously expect some interplays, & they don’t let you down for a moment on that score.  Reed’s bass sets some solid underpinnings throughout the compositions, & Storrs’s drums are right there too!  In fact, the bass seemed to have a “voice” of it’s own that formed a really nice conversation with the horns… quite often, a jazz quartet that’s based in “conversational” mode tends to have some stretches where it just sounds like “chatter” – there was NONE of that here!  A very impressive jazz outing that gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, without a moment’s hesitation.  Contact at Louie Records, 644 SW 5th St.,  Corvalis, OR 97333, on their WWW pages, at  or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj

Bret Hart/Mark Kissinger – DUETS, VOLUME 2:  Many of us who have followed developments in the “Home Recording” (as Bryan Baker terms it) crowd are as familiar with these two as we are with our mother’s maiden names.  I’ve recorded with both of them over the years, of course, & often wondered how they would sound together.  Well, I can tell you, even with th’ dose o’ salt tossed in (for knowing them so well already), this is some fantastic improvised music.  The tone throughout is relaxed… Kissinger’s slide guitar adds an element of floating space that (at times) makes it feel like yer’ listening to robots (somehow) having intimate conversations.  It’s an EP of 25 minutes, so those who love it will be searching for more.  As often happens, Bret pulled this from a “stack” of material that had gotten buried & digitized it.  Bret does dobro (sounds sorta’ like Debbie & Dallas, eh?) to form a very strange duet scene with Mark’s slide works.  My favorite trak was “cuttin’ haidz”… at 3:38, itz’ th’ longest cut… why do I like it?  Because it’s indescribable… you haven’t HEARD music like this before!  If you haven’t heard any of the DUET series coming out of Hart’s INSTRUMENTALES label – this is THE album to start with!  Gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for “best creative”!  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

Kitty Margolis – LEFT COAST LIFE:  This lady can BELT those jazz vox all OVER th’ place.  One of th’ strongest jazz singers I’ve heard in quite some years!  High spirits through & through, & Ms. Margolis conveys th’ (true) message of jazz clearly – 100% pure j-o-y!!!  There are times when you listen to only a few bars of an album & know that th’ artist you’re listening to has that “*” quality… Kitty is TOP-notch (tho’ I listened through the whole album twice before putting these thoughts down)!  No matter what th’ mood of th’ song she’s singing (bright, bloozy or sad ballad), you can hear the whole range of feeling coming through in her singing.  This CD has (without any doubt) the BEST female jazz vocal work I’ve heard this year, & gets the “PICK” of this issue for “best vocal jazz”.  It doesn’t hurt that she is fronting for a group of EXCELLENT players, either… far too many to itemize here, just let’s say that th’ energy is crystal clear from start to finish.  This album is a KEEPER, people… gets our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… if you’re looking for a gift for a friend who loves jazz – GET THIS!  Contact at Mad-Kat Records, POB 330425, San Francisco, CA 94133-0425, on the site at or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj

Markus James – NIGHTBIRD:  Strangest “blues” album I’ve ever heard… recorded in Mali, West Africa, with Hassi Sare, Hamma Sankare, Solo Sidibe, Massamba Diop & (many) others, it features James’ on some attractively haunting vocals & original compositions.  Markus is listed as the “producer”, & I didn’t see any credits for his acoustic, tho’ there are pictures of him with it.  Comparisons may be made to folks like Ry Cooder or Taj Mahal… but they’d all be off-mark – Markus has a unique vocal style of his own!  Some wonderfully intricate percussion is happening here (as you might expect), & some sweet backing vocals, too.  We feel (as we often do) honored to have received an advance copy… the CD won’t be out until February 2002.  This might be filed under “world” music in some bins, but hunt it down… it’s among the best I’ve listened to this year, & is guaranteed to enchant for years to come.  Those who love vocals that convince gently, with rhythm pulsing throughout will agree with my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating.  A superb musical experience!  Contact at Musik International, 154 Botasso Rd., Boulder, CO 80302 (e-mail is    ) Rotcod Zzaj

East October – CAMERA OBSCURA:  “East” is th’ keyboardist for “Automatic Music” (who have been reviewed in our pages way more’n once…).  This CD features th’ innocuous October in some rhythm/beat driven thangs that could be construed as dance traks, as well as some orchestral sequences that use the dynamics to their fullest extent.  There’s far more going on than that, though… I strongly recommend you use headphones to catch the undercurrents.  There are some similarities (rhythmically) to my friend Jim Konen… I’d love to see/hear “East” & Jim (& ME, for that matter) playing together.  Just LUV those “stilted” beats on “Radio Free Utopia”.  A full range of sounds & styles are used, & you will find that the sonic landscapes become more enchanting as you venture in to the depths… “After The Rain” was a particularly pretty piece, with sweeping panoramas painted for your imagination.  Highly original and well crafted, “CAMERA OBSCURA” gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us!  Contact at 504 Liberty Place, Archdale, NC 27263    Rotcod Zzaj

Mary Louise Defender Wilson – MY RELATIVES SAY:  The cover on the CD pretty much says it all “traditional Dakotah stories”.  It has been a while since we received music/stories from the Makoche label.  This served as a wonderful (re)introduction to the wisdom & beauty of the simple reality that can be.  I’ve no doubt that my joy in hearing these stories was enhanced by our return to the Great Northwest.  Most of the narration is backed by beautiful flute (Bryan Akipa).  The CD is also enhanced, with relaxing images of elk, herons, deer & other animals.  This would be a wonderful album for children in schools across the country to hear… but it also would benefit (so) many of us caught up in the hustle/bustle of today’s world.  Very enjoyable, well-recorded & a highly pleasant listen… it gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us!  Contact at 208 N. 4th St., Bismarck, ND 58502, on the Makoche WWW site,  or via e-mail to   Rotcod Zzaj

Bryan Akipa – EAGLE DREAMS:  This CD (from the Makoche label) was included in the package with “My Relatives Say”.  It didn’t have much of a press kit, but was a perfect compliment to Ms. Wilson’s stories.  Bryan played behind Mary on that CD, & his “Eagle Dreams” gives the listener a chance to become more familiar with his beautiful music(s).  Somehow, Akipa’s flute (red cedar) seems to have a deeper, more “throaty” body to it than other players we’ve listened to (& we’ve listened to/reviewed many!).  There are backing nature sounds (wind, trees, crickets, etc.), as you might expect, but they are woven seamlessly into the album.  Very calming, & with a degree of joy sometimes not present on solo flute excursions.  I’m highly impressed with this CD & give it a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for any/all in need of music that will heal the spirit!  We will (certainly) look forward to the next Akipa release.  Contact at 208 N. 4th St., Bismarck, ND 58502, on the Makoche WWW site,  or via e-mail to   Rotcod Zzaj

Tales – THE SESKIAN WARS:  Jean-Luc H. Berthelot is no stranger to our reviews section… as “Tales”, he has produced several totally engaging and enchanting CD’s, many of which have been reviewed in our pages.  This latest effort is the best to date, with a sci-fi theme that will have you dreaming dreams of galactic proportions.  Robots talking in strange voices behind the music, intrigues galore!  Jean-Luc uses his synths to paint new vistas… no “status quo” here, this is all new & fresh!  I am hearing much more piano work on this effort, some very sensitive and well crafted passages.  These compositions are full bodied and full of pizazz!  Another monumental sonic adventure that all should hear!  Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from our ears… especially for those who like to listen to space opera!  Contact on the WWW at or via e-mail to   Rotcod Zzaj

Sylvia Hallett – WHITE FOG:  No matter what color “fog” you live in, this experiment with bicycle spokes (bowed), digital delays & vox will make clear that the sonic cycle around us is often unknown and deeper than we anticipated.  VERY intricate improvisations that should be listened to with thee phones on!  Lots of “metal” here, vocals intertwined in a fashion that will either wrap you up in the seance or drive you back to the arms of your favorite troll.  This is in from the “Emanem” label in the UK, along with a whole batch of improvised works that we will be reviewing in the coming months… this particular CD is a musical experience you won’t soon forget, I can tell you.  Elements of trance, histories you never read about in school peeping through on “Violet”.  Moments of beauty in some of the (almost) dirge-like wanderings, but don’t get the wrong impression… this is (all) carefully crafted & well thought out.  “White Fog” gets more than a “thumbs up” from us, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those with adventure in their aural appendages.  Contact through Martin Davidson, 3 Bittacy Rise, London NW7 2HH England, on the site at  or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj

Spontaneous Music Ensemble – CHALLENGE:  Remastered free jazz from “Emanem” label in the UK.  Apparently taken from original analog tapes, they’ve done a marvelous job of restoring all the high energy & freedom that was in these 1966-1967 sets.  Features Kenny Wheeler (Flugelhorn), Paul Rutherford (trombone), Trevor Watts (alto/soprano sax), Bruce Cale (double bass), Jeff Clyne (double bass) & John Stevens (drums/cymbals).  There are several previously released tracks, as well as 2 new cuts.  You must enjoy horn-based jazz… if you’re looking for keyboards, you’ll have to move on to something else.  There is a “full body” sound on all the cuts, so much so that you’ll feel like you’re right in th’ studio or club they were jammin’ in!  SUPER energy through the whole album, perhaps enhanced by the fact that these appear to be all original compz.  Jazz fans everywhere will love the sense of freedom… we give this a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  This would make an excellent C-mas present for yer’ “jazzhead” friends!  Contact through Martin Davidson, 3 Bittacy Rise, London NW7 2HH England, on the site at  or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj

John Russell & Roger Turner – THE SECOND SKY:  John’s acoustic guitar intricacies remind me of some of the sets/recording Ernesto Diaz-Infante & I have done together.  Roger’s percz are clear as a blue sky on a sunny day, crisp but full bodied.  Some listeners won’t be able to (easily) identify with this type of music, as it requires a close listening… anything less will make it unintelligible for the “average” fan.  Those who are attracted to adventuresome sonic experiences will find their ears unwilling to break away, however!  The playing is all “of the moment”, something our friends Davey Williams & LaDonna Smith (Transmuseq) are well familiar with… there are some amazing stretches on track 6, “Slowly Burning Word”… simply LOVED it!  Listeners who demand something “new” & “different” in their listening will agree when I declare this to be HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… those of the more “straight-laced” persuasions will shy away, I’m sure.  Contact through Martin Davidson, 3 Bittacy Rise, London NW7 2HH England, on the site at  or via email to   Rotcod Zzaj

Satoko Fujii Quartet – VULCAN:  Some odd departures for Satoko… movin’ in on th’ turf of th’ rawk-sters, a beautiful marraige between prog-rock & freestyle jazz!  All who read this ‘zine regularly will know that I fell in love with Fujii’s wonderfully creative compositions many issues ago, & this latest excursion doesn’t detract from that appreciation in the least.  What I really do appreciate is the fact that every album she’s put out in the last couple of years goes in new directions, not getting in any ruts.  Takeharu Hayakawa’s bass is featured throughout the album, in a very “punctuational” role… sets the tone for many of the pieces & (sorta’) guides th’ listener through the high energy pieces.  Satoko’s keys are there, of course, but more subtly in this framework.  The compz’ move from alien-sounding twisted vox through high-end rockers, with strong shades of jazz woven in & through.  Natsuki Tamura’s trumpet provides some really pleasant duet sections with the bass, but jumps right in there on th’ jamz!  Percussives/drums by Tatsuya Yoshida (of “Ruins”) go much farther than just “the beat”, painting percussive pictures for your ears.  My favorite cut was “Junction” (the last track), probably for it’s ultra-pounding energy.  This is a GREAT CD, among the best I’ve ever heard Ms. Fujii on… gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us, especially for those who want something more than “standards” in their jazz/rock/fusion listening.  Contact Libra Records, via email at or on the site at   Rotcod Zzaj

Marilynn Seits – THREADS OF VIOLET LIGHT:  Every time we listen to a (new) CD by Marilynn, we are highly impressed at the variety of music(s) she creates/plays.  “Threads” has a healing music on it, reaching deep in to your mind to stir memories of how pleasant life has been (at times).  Many of us have listened to these (kinds of) albums before, no doubt, but Ms. Seits grasp of the concepts is far & above most players of this type of music.  I’ve no doubt that the therapists who worked with me (many, many moons ago) would have chosen this to help in the rebuilding process.  My thought is that it is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, even if only for those moments when you want to see what the quiet will say to you!  I especially enjoyed the little “bell” sounds she was able to weave in to the synth washes.  Clearly a winner!  This would be a wonderful gift for someone you felt needed a little calming.  Contact at  or via e-mail to  ) Rotcod Zzaj

The Mike Longo Trio – STILL SWINGIN’:  Mike Longo’s keyboards are the highlight on this (most) appropriately titled CD.  It really does swing, tho’ that doesn’t necessarily have any direct relationship with “swing” music.  The trio (Ben Brown on bass & Ray Mosca on drums) captures a spirit, an energy, if you will that is the essence of swinging.  Definitely straight-ahead jazz, but it’s not that “dead” or “smooth” kind that Frank Zappa alluded to… & it smells H-O-T!  Only a couple of originals, but one of them (“Bones”, a Longo comp) is my favorite cut on the album; of course, readers here will know that I prefer originals anyway.  The trio is seamless, aware at every note of each other, where they’ve been & where they’re going… which always makes it much more interesting for the listener.  Their rendition of a Wayne Shorter tune, “Wildflower”, is total enjoyment for these ears, & will be for yours as well – it’s a real jazz “keeper”.  I give this a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED & the “PICK” of this issue for “best jazz trio”!  Contact through Creative Service Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918… also via e-mail to    Rotcod Zzaj

Tony Perez – FULL FORCE JAZZ:  Lovely Latin jazz, apropo for sure, as Mr. Perez comes from Cuba.  There are far too many players to list them all, but (as you might expect), the percussion & the horns (along with Tony’s keyboards) stand out clearly.  I just LOVED track 7, “La Diferencia”… it really moved & was most representative of the title of the album!  Track 10, “A Puerto Padre Me Voy”, wasn’t far behind it, either.  There are an assortment of rhythmic styles, all the way from ballad to latin boogie, if you will.  Perez’ stylings are full-fingered & all over the keyboards… a very accomplished player.  Very pleasant listening, especially for those who love raw energy in their jazz.  This gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us… it will spin many times here, & anyone who digs rhythmic enchantment will play it over & over.  Contact at Primienta Records Corp., POB 164833, Miami, FL 33166–4839  You may also be able to reach Tony via email at  (not sure, trying it now).    Rotcod Zzaj



We WANT your announcements/links about great places for D.I.Y.’er’s… SEND us your links… e-mail to 

new exclusive techno mixes from belfast based djs now available for
free. full tracklistings also available.

check out the link:




“The Funniest Christmas Song Ever”

You’ve got to check out this song “Sex Toys For Christmas” by Vegas DeMilo.
It’s the funniest Christmas song I’ve EVER heard.

Here’s the link:

Top Three Reasons To Check Out This Song:

3) If Bill Clinton were still president, this would be our new national

2) It gives new meaning to the phrase “Season of Giving.”

1) It’s the only Christmas Carol Madonna knows by heart!

Pass this on to a friend! It’s the “Feel Good” hit of the Holiday season!



Jeffrey Morgan
Lübeckerstraße 15
50668 Köln, Germany
Fax: 0221/7005952


Check out our freinds at PERCASO records; visit HERE: 


IF yer’ D.I.Y. & proud OF IT… please JOIN th’ ZZAJ D.I.Y. ring; go HERE: 


The following listings are from GAJOOB:


Name: Emery Sound
Description: NewListing—>Emery Sound is home of the new Super Baby tube concept for amplifiers delivering pure tube sounds of the 40’s-60’s. Please e-mail us to make changes to this listing or to report bad links. Reference Listing #9616.
Updated: 11/16/2001



Category: Bands & Artists
Name: hook into fantasy
Description: NewListing—>official homepage of the artist hook. free mp3 music downloads techno electronic electronica trance drum bass ambient depeche mode cher cure rave underground progressive experimental trip hop download hook captain DJ. Please e-mail us to make changes to this listing or to report bad links. Reference Listing #9622.
Contact: Justin Katz
Address: 4850 Connecticut Ave, NW apt 912 washington D.C. 20008
Phone: 202 363 1973
Updated: 11/16/2001



Category: Publications
Description: NewListing—>A rock music e-zine, specializing in independent artists. Please e-mail us to make changes to this listing or to report bad links. Reference Listing #9620.
Contact: Slammin
Updated: 11/16/2001




Category: Web Resources, Links
Name: The DIY Convention
Description: NewListing—>The DIY Convention: Do It Yourself in Film, Music & Books. Please e-mail us to make changes to this listing or to report bad links. Reference Listing #9621.
Contact: Bruce Haring
Updated: 11/16/2001




wpe1.gif (2502 bytes)


thin clouds let a thin rain
   apples filled to the skin with unexited worms
I love the lives of bugs,
     the lover unresponsive
              in the gray arms of the public park,
walking toward me like the total death of rock ‘n roll. 

podunk supermarket parking lot blues
the green world fell
                   off the imprisoned sidewalk trees overnight 
now all the faces left in this parking lot
                    look bright & organized as silverware.
a small local wind
                 gathers their small local voices
                                           & loses them in clumps
behind weakly flickering neon store signs
                  where a newborn dollar screams
                                    for beaten hands to hold it. 



with liberty and justice for all


the patriots



c’mon, boy!

let’s go kill some injuns!


alright, massa!


come on, boy!

let’s go kill some vietcong gooks!


right on, lieutenant!


c’mon, boy!

let’s go kill some afghan ayrabs!


i’m with you, colonel!


sorry over killing your son, boy,

but I thought he had a gun….




copyright, 2001, by Robert Betts



with liberty and justice for all


gods shedding grace



And what I find so beautiful about America is the unity of US like a dear friend of mine she saying to me god bless America after her little Jimmy said let s bomb all those ayrabs over there and yeah some loyal ayrab American s rights are being infringed but hey this is an emergency we ve got to be careful and yeah I know about the japanese internment but hey don t bring that up because we had to be careful too then and although the present Attorney General once spoke out in defense of Ante Bellum Slaveowners he s doing his best to be impartial now and yes the Vice President might not have wanted mandela to go free in democratic SA but isn t he drawing the nation together now after what those god damned ayrabs did and of


Course this black ed snowdon us army veteran fellah shot dead by Police in South Carolina trying to defend himself with his legal pistol when those three guys were out to commit a hate crime on him but now (?) the Police they got problems and so now because of that I even see the black people with the US flags on their cars because they got so much to be grateful for because the black people s kids and my kids can both go to their schools in Albany and in south central la and who cares if poverty and skin separates them because in the morning


They both stand in front of some sweet Mrs O Rourke reciting one Nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all so

god bless America man god bless Amer


copyright, 2001, by Robert Betts




with liberty and justice for all

(first amendment Beauty)

          you pawn your intelligence

     to buy a drink

from (ee cummings’ poem number 16, in 100 selected poems)

boy that sky out there looks scary

all I am asking is

all I am asking is


hey quiet down everyone

the pinko got something to say



cut all the laughing boys and girls and very funny

I’m a pinko for asking questions

all I am asking is

if america is truly a democracy

how come women didn’t vote until the twenties?

how come Jefferson had slaves?

how do you explain Senator Joe McCarthy?


what are you a rabble rousing troublemaker

for asking questions?

if we really are a democracy

how come our government

supported Pik Botha and Pinochet

while claiming it supports democracies worldwide?


who was Pinochet


if we really are a democracy

how come a jury of peers for a minority defendant

means mostly whites in the jury box?

how come a homeless man whose house burned down

and lost his job is a drug using menace?

how come people?

hey people what are you going to

and where the hell did YOU come from?





Get up ya faggot


hey! What did you punch me for?

don’t I have a right to speak my mind here?


sure you do

but we don’t have to listen to it



that’s right sid

drinks on me everyone

aint america grand?

free drinks


copyright, 2001, by Robert Betts





Rochelle Hope Mehr


I want my poem
on paper.
I want to swirl my fingers
around both sides
and hear the swish,
the rustle of the leaves.

I used to jump in piles of russet leaves.
I used to crunch the chestnut with gusto.

I smelled the burnt offering once –
the acrid smoke –
and stopped looking out of windows

and into the pulp of the page


Rochelle Hope Mehr

Below Ground Zero

What’s apparent from the surface is a cavernous hole
agape and ghastly
as a jack-o’-lantern grin
illuminated by the fires within

It japes at us, it gets to us
when we least expect it
this absence
this space where the Twin Towers stood

the seared off hubcap of a car
the pulverization of flesh

absence within the absence

The ATM in its eternal expectant moment

waiting for the next customer to log on

In the bookstore, books still on shelves


Rochelle Hope Mehr

Angst of the Age

Icarus streaking across the sky.
Gray, white plumage flouncing from his groin.
Careening down.


Rochelle Hope Mehr

The Detachment

With a sick parent in the hospital.
Starting out with the noblest of intentions.
Still myself with Bach’s French Suites sallying forth in my head.
Trying to break past
The grim scrim of beeping monitors punctuating the air.

Then (fatal consequence of sensory overload?)
Finding my legs lockstepped into the staccato rhythm
Which motors the place.
The robotic knee jerk
Which is – one might say –
The heart of the place.

Moving further and further into the march.
Farther and farther
From the more natural rhythms of Bach.

And losing my pulse


Rochelle Hope Mehr

A Different Arena

I thought, after so many years,
I had become a person
sufficient unto myself
immune to the whims of others
inured to the bumps in the road
unyielding to the effect of any vector —
I thought I had become God

I thought I could float so high
above the fray
that the game no longer mattered

No pitch could entice me —
I didn’t need to warm up
in the batting cage
for a game I no longer played

But now the lions rip at my flesh
as I realize
that the flayed never find any rest



by Katy Bertrand

What do I gain by attempting to dim your light?
Will the dimming of your light
make mine any brighter?
If I squelch your flame
With an impulsive splash of the
Murky water of jealousy
What will that leave me with?
One dim light and one burnt out candle.



Katy Bertrand

Erasable pen is an oxymoron and a deception.
Something we expect to be permanent
turns out to be fairly easy to remove
with a piece of gray rubber.

Although when it is “erased” it still leaves a faint trace,
a remembrance of past “mistakes.”
Or perhaps, rather an indication of a better thought,
with which it was replaced.

Then, of course, how permanent is non-erasable ink?
A line of ink can be made “new” again with White-Out.

But the shade of White-Out does not always match the shade of white
on the notebook paper, nor does the line of white liquid
truly “hide” anything.

One is always aware of that which is underneath
that which we wish to keep hidden.


                     “Beyond the Picket Fence”

by Katy Bertrand

“The grass is always greener in somebody else’s yard,”
you sigh,
as you stare longingly through your neighbor’s
white picket fence.

Then, one day, the rain begins to pour down,
the moisture peeling the paint off the
white picket fence.,
exposing cheap, worm eaten plywood.

As the water touches the lush,
“greener” perfection,
you stare in a mixture of relief
and disbelief
as a mixture of green food coloring
and deception washes down the gutter.

(self)INTERVIEW with Cathleen Grado (of Dreamykreem ‘zine)

Zzaj:  I know what MY driving force for starting up a ‘zine was… I had to have some place to SPOUT OFF… what’s YOUR motivator for DREEMYKREEM?

Dreemykreem is about cutting through lies. when I first started the zine I had a tragic loss invovling my two parents. I was inside this big old house, all by myself and I really needed an outlet which would utilize the creativity I was repressing. So at night after raiding the old liquor cabinets in the garage, I would gather together scrap pieces of paper, old
magazines and my typewriter and go at it, let it all go. Now its a collaboration project between my boyfriend and myself. We both possess tastes in culture, music and history that are a bit out of the ordinary. We thought a zine would be a great way to express those interests and communicate and/or reach out to other people. It is also a great way, possibility in a beautiful sort of delusion, in which we may create a whole other very
important world for these thoughts.

Zzaj:  I notice you’ve started a “music” section on the site; how extensive do you expect that to get?

My co-editor is a musician, as are many of his friends. That is where the musical section sprang off of. He likes to experiment with very old equipment and is interested in Hungarian Folk Music. In regards to how extensive we expect that section to become on the site, it all depends on the submissions we get. Interested parties can be pretty scary you know! But if anyone who is really interested in original/expressive stuff let us know, we’d love to be involved by mentioning it on the site or in the print zine via reviews or interviews.

Zzaj:  How do you decide who gets in your “LINKS” section?

We decide links based on personal judgement. Although very open minded, we would not want a link to a Star Trek site or whatever. We love offers for link trades though it seems if you don’t fit into our little “fetishistic” tastes we will have to ignore you.

Zzaj:  Is New Jersey really a “great place for art”?  Or are you just pretending it is?

I don’t like New Jersey for Art, the only thing about NJ I like is my post office box and even that is a stretch. New Jersey is a cultural wasteland, a vapid rotting money pit. But one does need to get their mail, and it was convenient at the time as all other Manhattan/Brooklyn post offices have a terrifying waiting list. In regards to the question again in a more direct manner, I  am not sure I have ever found where a great place for art is. Right now we are pretty happy being isolated in Bushwick Brooklyn with silence and no where to go. It is good for the creative factor as there are no distractions. I had a painting studio in New Jersey once and the idea of my art being born within such a pit as Hoboken made me want to drink and be mean.

Zzaj:  Words of wisdom for artists/poets/musicians on the nets?

Don’t use the internet as a means to an end, only as a promotional/communication tool. It will rot your eyes out!

Zzaj:   Have you thought about going “totally WWW” with your ‘zine, or do you just love th’ smell of XEROX?

The only reason I would go www with the zine is for the sake of money. It is of course very convenient as well, but I cant help wanting to have something very permanent and physical as well as more within my control; as in a finished product within my hands I can hold and pass on and which someone may someday a long ways away, despite technology , find in a box hidden away somewhere.

Zzaj:   Will you be doing a review of my online ‘zine, IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION?

Sure and in print as well, if you send me a copy!

Zzaj:   Can WWW ‘zines “save the trees”?

No way……too small a part of the picture that is! Try stopping junk mail. For instance, I think this past fall we received about thirty pieces of the same mail from Mike Bloombergs’ campaign.  Yikes!

Zzaj:   Did’ja get yer’ dog yet?

I got my dog on my b-day, may 14 and he scares people. He weighs seven pounds and has been compared to a monkey, squirrel, and that hairy character from star wars. One really stoned lady on the subway freaked out and ran when she saw him….she started drooling.
His actual breed is a Brussels Griffon, and its very funny because the only people who know what that is are rich face lifted women on the upper west side.

wpe2.gif (2503 bytes)

So many things have happened since 9/11 that it’s (really) difficult to decide what to write about in this issue!  Within two weeks of the tragedy, I had my own lil’ disaster… I was layed off from a job that (looked & felt like it was) going well.  It certainly brought home the “snake like” behavior of business-volkz cot up in their own little sales-oriented world(s)… the thing I will remember from that 2 year hell-pit is the (absolute) ruthlessness of those wrapped up in today’s (US) “business” culture.  The game show (is it still on?) “The Weakest Link” comes to mind; nothing to do with competency, purely the political decisions of weak-kneed political animals who can’t deal with truth!  Those who speak the truth are singled out for removal… truth is viewed (by the businessmen) as a cancer on the body of the collective business culture in today’s Korporate America!

     Our arrival back in the Great Northwest was pleasant & energizing, to be sure!  Old friends, new acquaintances & the super-charged environs of the majickland of OlyWa only take moments to invade one’s spirit (again).  We are (marginally) employed at the moment, but not sure how long that will last.  At my age, this kind of uncertainty is bound to make me a recipient of Public Health Care in a matter of months.  

     As usually happens during these times of hard stress, I’ve been collaborating on more musical adventures, most recently with Bret Hart (as a part of his “Duets” series), & “99 Hooker” with Ernesto Diaz-Infante.  

     The real question (for me) is… where will all this lead?  An age-old (& very unanswerable) question, no doubt.  It is not the government’s activities against Afghanistan that trouble me so much – as any government official is only an extension of the “business culture” discussed above… there is no consideration given (EVER) to what their actions are doing to “the people”, because they have (somehow) become convinced that “the business” is the only thing that matters.  My concerns lie more with where all this will take “the people” of America.  Will they come out of this identifying more closely with the “other” people around them… or will they wind up identifying with “the machine”?  Gourd forbid!

     The thing that (most immediately) struck me after the first hours of clinging to the TV insanity that gripped all of us & the announcements/speeches/proclamations coming out of D.C. is that there was (not that I could hear, anyway) NO DISCUSSION on coming up with a program that would, in the long run, benefit us all… Mee-ster Shrub COULD’VE announced (much like John Fitzgerald’s “space program”) that he was going to devote the business resources of America to an “energy program”, the goal of which would be to STOP our dependence on oil by focusing on alternative fuels… how hard would that be?  How (much more) admirable it would be!  Now, I’m not one who doesn’t believe in retribution… IF we can PROVE who DID IT – they SHOULD be TRIED!  Problem with that, of course, is George W. Shrub pitching it as some kind of “wild west” thang.  If he SAYS “dead or alive”, you can BET it will be DEAD!  &, THEN, we have no proof!

     I realize I’m rambling a bit… who isn’t right now?  Actually, I think we’ll all be going in circles for quite a few months (if not years) to come.  So, what is the point of this diatribe?  Mainly to say that we should ALL “pull together”… NOT in some ill-fated rush to Armegeddon (as I’m sure Jerry Falwell & Pat Robertson are whispering in Georgie’s ear), but in to a MASSIVE ARTS COLLECTIVE that (like totally, man) IGNORES the government’s useless campaigns!

     On a more PLEASANT note, let me point out that we’ve added several items to the MAIN PAGE of our site… a DISCUSSION FORUM, a SEARCH thang, a CLASSIFIED AD thingie & the ZZAJ D.I.Y. Ring!  Please be sure you visit & participate in them; then TELL all your D.I.Y.’in FRIENDS about ’em, ‘k?… got to run…


Till next time….


Rotcod Zzaj




Category: Web Resources, Links
Description: NewListing—>, an e-zine guide to music on the Web, offers an extensive directory of new sounds and tunes. And we are accepting submissions for music Web sites to be reviewed or to be included in our directory. Please e-mail us to make changes to this listing or to report bad links. Reference Listing #9628.
Updated: 11/16/2001

Leave a Reply