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Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 27


Well, volkz, '97 is startin' off as a BANNER year! D.I.Y. & independent players (seem to be) CRAWLIN' out of thee woodwork! Contact with Bret Hart (do ya' REMEMBER?), Russ Stedman, Jeff Olson & (just a) TON of other volkz from years gone by. New sites for airplay, new review points - ol'phartz like yer'friendly editor can THRIVE in such environs!

On top of all THAT great news, I'm startin' a new JOB on the 10th of March, with the Washington State Library System (right here on my HOME turf, in OlyWa). Please make note of my CHANGED e-mail address (in the banner at the top of this page)... also, my whole website has MOVED! The new address (URL) is: That's the intro page (with all my biz-nezz stuph on it)... if you want to go DIRECT to the Zzaj page, make it Hope lots of you will visit my page(s), & (also) use my LINKS page to view some of the neat stuff that's on OTHER pages related to D.I.Y., independent music & (even) poetry!

Lastly, please make sure you SPREAD the WORD about I.N. to all your friends who like to read about the HOT stuff happenin' all OVER the world.


Rotcod Zzaj

We'll start off the reviews this month with a brief "guest shot" from Mike Hait (Clutterstuff 'zine)... he & I have been corresponding by e-mail for a bit now, & he told me he'd like to submit a few "extra" reviews for "I.N.". Actually, "Phreeworld" was reviewed in these pages last issue - but it never hurts to have a "second opinion", I believe:


Phreeworld - self-titled (self-released) Almost like a lo(er)-fi DiY Pink Floyd, Phreeworld produces majestic pop hilited by spacy, abstract lyrics. The vocals are beautifully harmonized & echoed to create the wonderful faraway sound that the Floydsters made so popular. A very cool sounding tape! Phreeworld - 914 164th St. SE - Suite #201 - Mill Creek, WA 98012 

Matthew & the Tics - Polyester Soup demo tape (Sore Factory / Billy Billy Shiteater / Scar Car / Jet Liner / Surf Rock / Bastard Son / Yeah! / Manham/ Martian Head) Recorded & mixed on location w/ Steve's specially-rigged mobile 4-track, this demo contains a few of Matthew & the Tics' (mostly Steve & James), greatest hits, carefully selected from over 50 hrs of recorded stuff. The music itself is very - uh - unique, with often nonsensical lyrics spoken, sung, or screamed over either an actual "punk-rock-type" riff or mere screams echoing from a tortured guitar or bass. Beats & rhythm may be beautifully banged out on nearby walls or trash cans, or even James' bass, and songs were recorded in the beautiful acoustic location of tunnels, parking lots, dumpsters, and anywhere else these mad genii see fit. Matthew & the Tics - c/o James - 14113 Lauren Ln Apt. A - Laurel, MD 20707

Ford, Davis - demo tape  This 90 min demo(!) tape is chock full o' acoustic folkish songs. The lofi recording & haphazard approach to composing simply adds to the charm of the tape. At points Mr. Ford sounds a bit like Beck at his acoustic indie best. One song - w/ a total of 24 songs, it's hard to know which one - is so fast it sounds like he simply speeded up the tape speed. Lotsa talent here, folks! Davis Ford - 130 Wind-n-Wood - Okemos, MI 48864 - 

Many THANKS, Mike. We'll be looking forward to MORE of yer' reviews for future issues... well written reviews by ANYONE can be submitted (via e-mail only) to me for possible publication at 

Robert Michaels: PARADISO - This CD, in from Creative Services Company, features some wonderful flamenco style guitar work by Michaels. Everything is crystal-clear and well-produced. In fact, the production levels come off as almost "too high", if there is such a thing. There's no question that Robert is ENTIRELY proficient at his instrument, & he turns out some beautiful licks, cascading over a panorama of turf (I'm sure) often inhabited by those with gypsy in their blood. Every beat is meticulously "on time", & rhythm purists will LOVE that effect. It was a bit of a drawback for me, actually, in the sense that because everything WAS so perfectly played, it sounded almost like Muzak, or something you'd relegate to background listening for a party. & Michaels has FAR too much talent to be shoved off in a corner like that. On second (& now third) listenings, I think it was the percussion that made it feel that way, & not Robert's lovely guitar. Gets a RECOMMENDED, especially for those in love with the flamenco style. Contact at Creative Services, Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Ken Clinger: KC.46 & KCM.19 - Here's another lil' hometaper gem in from KC, where th' (D.I.Y.) music NEVER stopz! Put yerself in a mindframe of late-'70's for this outing. Sorta' "sweet" music, well-planned, gentle & pleasant. Some really nice piano pieces this time around. If you're looking for screech/pop/whistle improv, you'll not find it here. There's a certain "substance" to Ken's work that you'll always recognize (if you've heard him before). If you haven't, you owe yourself this treat! Clinger's worked with the best in this arena (over the years), but this solo outing is one that ranks at the top! Contact at Bovine Productions, 311 Stratford Ave., #2, Pittsburgh, PA 15232-1108 Rotcod Zzaj

Groove Ghoulies: BORN IN THE BASEMENT - "Lookout" Records sent this punk-flavored CD in some time back (in a pack of 7 or 8). Just now gettin' round to it in rotation. Dude & 2 dudettes rockin' it OUT fer' ya'. Actually, this just ISN'T too bad, basement or not. Since it's from Seattle, I rather expected somethin' mo' "grungy"; it's hard-edged & it ROCKZ, but it ain't loose&sloppy at ALL! Clean recording & a (VERY) youthful spirit make it come off REALLY listenable. Lyrically, it's pretty ordinary, tho' on "Levitation", there's talk of "music of the spheres", which seemed to me to be QUITE far away from most of thee punk I've listened to lately. Certainly gets a RECOMMENDED (for those in need of a lil' blood-boil)! Contact at POB 2847, Sacramento, CA 95812 Rotcod Zzaj

Z*menoz: OH SHIT! HELP, I'M ON FIRE!- Har! Har! In from David Watlington, in Hawaii, this is MOST assuredly D.I.Y! If you were lookin' fer' a lil' STRANGE - feast yer' earz on THIS! Don't expect it to be terribly "musical", since for the most part it's voxloop stuph, prob'ly under thee influence of some o' that MONSTER weed (I've heard they grow over there). This IS wierd (& remember now, that's a comment from the KING of chaos)... I'm sure it'll get a "second spin", prob'ly on a day when I have no threshold for "ordinary". Th' biggest drawback was the cheapie Casio presets, but it DOES lend to th' overall perception of "strange". Only recommended for those with no "serious" musical intentions... this is music/NOISE for FUN! Contact at 4200-C Moyer St., Wahiawa, HI 96786 Rotcod Zzaj

Alphanemoon: THE ECHOING GROVE These volkz sent tapes all th' way from Wales. We reviewed "Our Glassie Azoth"from this package in our last issue. As I recall, it was quite well-received (reviewed) by my earz, & "Echoing" (their first tape) is no slouch, either. In fact, I like this one so much that I'm not only going to give it a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, it also gets the PICK of this issue for "best ambient experience". Many of the tapes we get for review that are in that "ambient"category are quite lacking in musical ability - but NOT this one! Synthetic symphony to my psyche, leading me (without the benefit of "friends") to the starz&back. This is VERY nice music! Contact at POB 22 Lampeter, Credigion, Wales, SA488YD Rotcod Zzaj

Oblivious Scientist: OBLIVIOUS SCIENTIST - Silver Wheel Music sent this tape in (actually sorta' like a demo, as it's only around 15 minutes long), & it's a KILLER! Pieces are titled "Mutation" (I-V), & follow right along with the name(s) - BUT, with a difference! Usually when I hear such a title, I EXPECT a certain degree of "mananglement"... nowhere to be found... sounds like a (Chinese) chen paired with a synth. Really, it's too bad it wasn't just a shard longer (maybe a C-30 or a C-60), but I guess they weren't in the "mood" for extended sets. Very nice for those seeking the "outer reaches" - you'll FIND them, I'll TELL you! Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (but NOT for those with "ordinary" tastes). Contact at  Rotcod Zzaj

Eric "Shoutin'" Sheridan (& the Uptown Rhythm Kings): LIVE SHOW - Big Mo got this CD in to us in their last package. Recorded in Alexandria, Virginia, this is some ROCKIN' blooz! Actually never heard of Sheridan before - maybe he's a reincarnation from the '40's & '50's - coz' that's DEFINITELY where this is comin' from! Full-bodied, lotza'horns & a driving drumbeat that'll MAKE you get down offa' yer' "high-horse" & TOOT with Eric & thee Kings! This is (without DOUBT) a KEEPER! You can almost SEE Sheridan slip-slidin' across the stage, just SHAKIN' it up! This gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for ANY listener who needs to SHAKE that BOOTY! It ALSO gets the PICK of this issue for "best blues"! Contact at RR1, Box 389C, Thetford Center, VT 05705 Rotcod Zzaj

The Breetles: SPOOJ - You've gotta' have a fond mem'ry or two for John, Paul, George & Ringo (& that whole era's music) in order to grasp th' "significance" of Chris Breetveld's zany talent. Entirely self-produced, it features (as you might imagine) a very Beatles-like genre, both poppy & enchanting (in a good way). Chris' bubbling spirit comes shining through on ALL of these pieces, a musical entity that has but ONE purpose - to make YOU feel good! We reviewed an earlier effort of his very positively (in these pages, of course), but "Spooj" is superb! Sittin' here on this snowy, rainy day, I had no idea how he'd come off this time... like the independent WINNER that he IS, people! This is one FINE CD & comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by th' Zzaj! Contact (like, NOW) at 6 Elm St., Oakland, NJ 07436, or e-mail  Rotcod Zzaj

Ellipsis Arts: TIBET: THE HEART OF DHARMA - Leave it to "ellipsis arts" to send in a CD that is both enlightening & enjoyable. An entire BOOK accompanies the extended chanting/singing sessions of monks in Tibet. The pieces are long and must be listened to closely to even come CLOSE to understanding intent. The shortest is a little over 6 minutes, the longest close to 20. The music of religion in other countries has ALWAYS fascinated me, & this is no exception. For those who demand something they can "understand" in their musical experience (unless they've already done a lot of chanting on their own), this will fall short of the mark. Those who enjoy CHALLENGE in their listening will find this (not only) enlightening and different (to say the least). Not for everyone, but it gets a RECOMMENDED from Zzaj. Contact at 20 Lumber Road, Roslyn, NY 11576, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Eye Rhyme: LIFE CONTROL - Those in our readership who need a little prog-rock in their listening experience(s) will fall in LOVE with "Eye Rhyme". The CD displays their (Canadian) talents in full-blown glory! A VERY tasty mix, definitely on a par with some of the high-end prog-rockers who've been reviewed in these pages over the years. There's a sort of "crossover point"on most prog-rock where the group can let the guitars come out too "high-end", making it come awfully close to metal (or something like that)... being able to control that urge & still keep the guitars in the mix takes real skill, & "Eye Rhyme" has it! A FINE extended listening experience that will take you to new heights! Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at  Rotcod Zzaj

Jeff Song & Lowbrow: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT - A definite change of pace here... Jeff has been reviewed in these pages many times; he's one of my favorite improv artists, & this is one of my favorite recordings (of his). Recorded live (as should all "good" improv be), it features Song's bass/vox, Michel Gentlile's flute, the percussion of John Mettam, Cuong Vu on trumpet, Matt Turner on cello/piano & Dean Laabs on trumpet. The main reason for my enchantment with music(s) recorded by Jeff is that he (ALWAYS) holds true to the improv "ideal" - clear, insightful music played (in free form) with passion (but not insanity). The recording on Asian Improv records holds to the highest standard of clarity, & really adds to the overall experience. Another distinctive "flavoring" on all of Jeff Song's improvisations (that I've been privileged to listen to) is that they pursue the inobvious without trying to impose any false "orientation" on the result. VERY lucid, clearly genuine & MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. This one gets the PICK of this issue for "BEST improv" - by a LONG shot! Contact at 1168 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02134, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Jim Saelestrom: THE MESSENGER - Here's a wonderful folk-oriented CD (in from Creative Services Company). Acoustic guitar (as you might expect), pretty standard fare, from the band setup standpoint, anyway. What makes it stand out from the pack is the clear-ringing "conviction" that Salestrom writes/sings with. The title track is truly inspiring & makes me think that it won't be long before this artist garners attention/audience on an international level. Though his voice is unique, there are tinges of Taylor, a dash of Denver, even a shade (or two) of Seals/Crofts. Those comparisons are really worth nothing though, since it's YOU he will touch with his magic spirit. Silver-tongued devils these crooners are (if they're any good), & Jim will bring a mem'ry to your consciousness with his words (that will make you (either) laugh or cry - or maybe both). This is a WINNER, without doubt... it's music like this that makes the hours of listening all WORTH it! It not only gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, it also gets the PICK of this issue for "best folk"! Contact at 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

XPensive Dogs/Wat Tyler - This CD (from Mondello music - you remember the "Larry Mondello Band", reviewed here in these pages long ago?) is a KICK! Apparently composed (mainly) over the INTERNET (using CU-SeeMe, Video camera & e-mail), it's just amazing what they've been able to put together. Features Gary Tanin, Greg Koch & Japanese artist Toshi Hiraoka... mixing was just SUPERB, no slapdash "broken track"stuph to be found... sounds JUST as though it'd been performed live. Start of a trend? The new "tower of Babel"? Fortunately (for us), it's not the "tower of babble", some nice catchy toonz to be found on here, ROCK ya' on down thee road! Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at Mondello Music, POB 451, Collinsville, CT, 06022, or via e-mail to mondello@aol. com (or, if yer' in/near Japan, HARD DISC, c/o Hiraoka, 3-77-8 Nisshin, Oomiya, Saitama, 331 Japan, e-mail is  Rotcod Zzaj

Original Mind: SMILE ALL THE DAY - There was a group (way back in thee '60's) called "Small Faces" that put out a tape called "Ogden's Nutgone Flake". It was a "theme" tape (replete with a hero named "Mad John", who shared his sandwiches with a passing fly & concluded the tape with an astonishing revelation - "life is just a bowl of o-bran") that was a SCREAM ('specially if yer' wuz stoned); the MOOD of this CD from "Original Mind" takes me back to that kind of fresh approach to music! Very light & breezy feelings that WILL make yer' "Smile All The Day"! At the same time, there's plenty of hoppin' guitar/keyboard/percussion work to keep you jumpin'! The vox on this one keep it in that "fun" mood, though, & don't get carried away with their own importance! Th' only drawback is that this only has about 15 minutes worth on it! Send thee WHOLE enchilada next time, boyz! A MUCH fun CD, which comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Get in touch at 31 Brondeg Heolgerrig, Merthyr Tydfil, S. Wales, U.K. CF 48 1TW Rotcod Zzaj

Dogfish: THE NEXT BIG WAVE - Great Nor'west keeps PUMPIN' 'em OUT, people! This is one ROCKIN' band that'll GET yer' blood movin' ('less yer' DEAD)! Pretty basic lineup - Brian Chase on vox/git-ar, Jono Rodgers on bass, Kevin Ylvisaker on second (or lead?) guitar & Tom Owens on (live) drums! The second toon in (izzat a "message"?), "40nothing" is one of my favorites... if they actually get any of us OLD phartz ta' listen to their words; not only does it KICK, it's tellin' (some o' those in MY age group) to pay ATTENTION to wotz' goin' DOWN - NOW! Their use of vox reverb is well done & will MAKE ya' listen (if you want anything more'n thee beat). In the overall, this musical experience is quite encouraging, because it's one of the first "rock-oriented" efforts I've heard (in a while) that actually has SOMETHING to say! Yeah, they're not as heavyweight about it as some groups were back in that (now forgotten?) '60's era, but they've got that ol' FEVER pumpin' through their veins! I like it! Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Contact at 4452 50th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 Rotcod Zzaj

Kenyatta Sullivan: THE MESSIANIC - Those who've been 'round the D.I.Y. scene for a long time (& in particular, THIS 'zine) will recognize Kenyatta as one of the STAUNCH producers of D.I.Y. I fell in love with his music in the early days of this magazine. This tape is from a live session, original mix, not "fiddled with", as he says in the liners. That gives the rock-opera an edge that is not often achieved on release tapes. One thing that has (ALWAYS) impressed me in tapes from Sullivan is that ALL the instruments are playing TOGETHER! Some FINE acoustic/electric guitar moments that will be treasured for YEARS to come. Kenyatta's vox will bring ya' to yer' KNEES! Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by this reviewer. Two more tapes were in this package, & will be reviewed in future issues. Contact at POB 20711, Wilmington, NC, 28402-2071, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Broca's Area: SIX 6 MIX - John Sosnowski (a GRAND player, who I've collabed with most memorably more'n a coupla' times) & Mike Delaney ARE Broca's Area. Their music is (previously & on this outing) strongly percz-based; it contains several mixes (& remixes) of two haunting tunes, "The Undead" and "What You Want". The vocal overlays on both toonz sound like pro-studio mixing. The music weaves over, under & thru thee percussion basement, taking you along on a ride you won't (soon) forget! You might think that listening to different takes of the same songs would get sorta' boring (in fact, I kinda' wondered when I first looked at th' j-sheet), but that's not the case at all. These're th' kind that HOLD th' spell, won't let loose & come creeping back into yer' sub-c (during dreams, ya' know?). Highly entertaining, & near danceable. Comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from Zzaj. There were ALSO 2 additional tapes in this package, to be reviewed in future issues. Contact at FDR Tapes, 1258 E. 25th St., Des Moines, IA, 50317 Rotcod Zzaj

Steve Cochrane: TO SEE IT MADE REAL - This CD (along with one more, that will be reviewed in issue # 28), in from Steve (via the netz), is a GRAND experience, significantly D.I.Y. & performed/recorded totally at his home-studio , in Mississauga, Ontario Canada (6230 Starfield Crescent, L5N IXI). Very instrumental, synth-based with guitars (acoustic and electric, VERY sweetly played), this is music that will lift even the most JADED '90's spirit to the heavens. "Angel Orchestral" is how I'd describe the style that Cochrane composes/plays in; when there's so much music being made (these days) that drags the spirit DOWN (often to the DEPTHS of misery), it's NICE to know (& even nicer to HEAR) that there are those with the vision to see the beauty that music can bring to bear on a world (slowly) "talk-showing" itself into the dregs! If you can't be inspired by "Real", you're too far lost already. There are some folks who will lump this in with "new-age", but it's a reputatation not deserved... this belongs with the GIANTS! I can't recommend this HIGHLY enough! GET it - NOW! In fact, it gets the PICK of this issue for "most inspiring D.I.Y. of the decade"! Contact at Spirit Compass Music, 6230 Starfield Crescent, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5N IXI, OR via e-mail to . Be sure & visit Steves' page(s) at  Rotcod Zzaj

Jeff Goldberg: HANDS TOGETHER - For those in love with the enchantment that acoustic guitar playing can overwhelm one with, when in the hands of a master, this will be a "MUST HAVE". He is joined by some very accomplished musicians, Sam Allison (fretless bass), Ravi Naimpally (tabla), Oliver Schroer (violin), & Rob Langer (dobro) on two of the pieces (7 in all on this CD). All the rest are his wonderful solo guitar. The unique thing about this outing (for me, anyway) is that Jeff manages to combine styles not always possible for acoustic guitar players. Jazz, raga, folk, all blend together for a MOST pleasant musical experience. Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by this reviewer. Contact at 223 Banbury Rd., Don Mills, Ont M3B 3C6, Canada, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Karl Josef: Cuckoo Birdhaus - Karl sent this tape in as a result of contact on thee netz'... (which - i THINK - was spawned from my earlier contact with Steve Cochrane). This is a fine tape, very "synth-oriented", which (as long-term readers know) is GREAT for these earz! His chops are clean & crisply recorded. Parts of this reminded me of a tape by Ian Costello (called Anagram) that we reviewed somtime back. There are heavy drumbeats (loops, I think) kickin' in th' background, which contributes to that comparison, I believe. Josef is HIGHLY energetic in his lead synth lines, creating a wave of (sometimes very) danceable experiences. If you're IN to self-produced synth-musique, this comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by th' Zzaj! Contact at 4091A Foothill Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93110, or via e-mail to  He's got a GENUINELY neat D.I.Y. site at  that ANYONE who recognizes the value of D.I.Y./indie music should VISIT! (Shareware music!) Rotcod Zzaj

Michael Hoppe/Tim Wheater: WIND SONGS - Synthesist Hoppe is joined by flutist Wheater on this wonderful improvised CD, in from Creative Services Company. Now, with that combo (flute/synth), one might think this was gonna' be another "new-age nightmare"; & did I say "improvised"? You BETCHUM! Mr Hoppe lays some very inspiring (almost heavenly) chord movements for Tim Wheater to commune with (on his Indian/native flutes)... & though this is a far cry from what you might picture (with yer' aural-eyez?) improvisation to be, it's clear that it's unrehearsed & flows from the heart! I've had (just a few) moments near this in my own musical life, but even being blessed with fine equipment (my Kurzweill PC controller), it's not LIKE this - because these gents KNOW whereof they play! The kind of music that would DO the WORLD some GOOD - if only they had time to sit down and LISTEN, eh? I can't recommend this HIGHLY ENOUGH... it is what every third-grader (with any aspirations towards a life musical) should be fed a STEADY diet of! WONDERFUL, GRAND and MAJESTIC! It gets the pick of 1997 for "most inspiring music"! Contact at Creative Services, Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Scary Rides Home: SUBFITTI GRAFLIMINAL - A two-man team (singer Johnny Cross & instrumentalist Spook invite you to join them on this 2 year trek across their musical horizons. What a GRAND adventure (2 CD special limited-edition boxed set)! Goes a long way towards showing just what can be DONE in this D.I.Y./home-recording environment. Instrumentally fascinating & holding influences all the way from near-prog to gentle acoustic, they take you on a sonic journey you will not SOON forget! Full blown (almost orchestral rock) sound meshed with vox that are often insightful, at other times like they came from the depths of th' proverbial "lake of fire". Clean-burning fuel fer' yer' psychic fires! Gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer. Contact, like NOW, at 7955 Haskell Ave, Unit 4, Van Nuys, CA 91406, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Bret Hart: NO MORE BANDAGES - Well, shiver me timbers & wake my weary heart... like a phoenix rising from the flames, this Hart character (certainly known to those of you who've been affiliated with this D.I.Y. scene for a while - he used to be one of THEE most prolific reviewers, fer' 'zines like "Sound Choice", Option, etc.) haz FINALLY come back to life! Those of us who played/collabed with him (back in th' late '80's & early '90's) have been tryin' to FIND him for the last 5 years! Bret's DENTED RED BICYCLE & many other home-produced tapes were/are D.I.Y. gems (albeit in a different genre). On this tape, Bret tells marvelous (& at times painful) stories in a more folk-oriented stratocaster kinda' fashion. Actually, he's whompin' whole WORLDS out there in Worcester (MASS), looks like. Sent a TON o' taped material (to be reviewed in future issues), this being of the "studio" variety. An AMAZING "turn of the leaf", I'd say. You can FEEL th' pain (at times tinged with a bit o' anger) in hiz vox. Tight arrangements, & high-end git-arz! This is (in this genre) the BEST I've ever heard Bret do! From all the writeups enclosed in this walloping tape package, it's clear that Bret's Hipworks Productions is making a dent in the local music scene, too. Highly merits the MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED I give it. Contact at Hipworks Prods, 157 Highland St., Worcester, MA 01609 Rotcod ZzaJ

Little Fyodor: THE MIRACLE - Talk about a "convergence" of ancient D.I.Y.'er's - this tape's from 1988 (one I've never heard before, though I've read about and listened to/reviewed many other L.F. works); pure improvisation, mostly percussion based, that'll (definitely) carry you off in new directions. This is the kind of music WE (th' OlyWa krew I play with up here now) were playin' in th' Gnu Deli & other venues back in '88. If yer' hankerin' fer' some "form" - FERGET it! Hornz, wierd noises/vox over percz that'll have ya' scratchin' yer' noggin at times... just what thee (Zzaj) Rotcod ORDERED, if ya' know wotimean! I can (without doubt) hear why L.F. thought I'd like this! Of the "timeless" variety. For those into experiMENTAL, gets a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer. If yer' (in th' least bit) SCARED of "new sonic horizons", don't do it! Take a chance... contact at 3277 Raleigh St., Denver, CO 80212 Rotcod Zzaj

Billy Sheehan, John Novello, Dennis Chambers: NIACIN - My gourd, Bobbi Marcus Public Relations, Inc., has struck phroggin' GOLD again! This CD uses smokin' bass (Billy Sheehan), kick-butt drumming (Dennis Chambers) & th' whompin' Hammond of John Novello to make nostaligic mem'ries fer' ol' pharts (like me)... wouldn't be a bad ride fer'them YOUNG whippersnappers, either! Very original sound, blues/phunkphusion orientation, but nunna' that "drag" sound that used to invade some o' th' jazz-kellers I inhabited in th' mid-'60's (Frankfurt, mostly). Th' finest thing about this music is that poppin' bass line, layin' down a foundation for th' sweetness of Novello's Hammond! Chambers drums are (of course) a MAJOR underpinning, as well. If yer' lookin' fer' summa' that "light" jazz that's so prevalent on FM stations these days (ya' know, jazz that ain't got no GUTS) - go somewhere ELSE! These guys play it from th' HEART, reach right down IN there, eh? I just LOVED this... gets the PICK of this issue for "best jazz"! Hope they've got some more stuff in need of review! Send it on IN here! Contact at 1514 17th St., # 205, Santa Monica, CA 90404, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Those who have been with "I.N." for some time now will be familiar with the excellent reviewer (Henry Schneider) that follows... Henry's been covering the prog-rock side of things for years now & is generous enough to contribute reviews to us so that those in our readership who thirst after a little of such will be able to stay informed about th' prog-rock scene. THANKS, Henry, for your contributions!

Shylock ILE DE FIVRE (Musea FGBG 4177.AR) CD: 48:07 Recording their second album in 1978, Ile de fievre, Shylock finished their musical career with a tour de force. The six tracks from the original LP are a collection of superbly crafted symphonic rock combining influences from Rick Wakeman, Genesis, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Zappa, and Heldon. Musea also included a seventh bonus track recorded a year after the album just as the band was breaking up. This track, Le dernier, does not have the sonic clarity of the rest of the album and Shylock's performance is subdued in comparison. As usual, Musea provides extensive liner notes covering Shylock's history from Gialorgues to the band split in 1979. An excellent release that closes out the chapter on one of France's finest bands of the seventies. [Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE; ] - Henry Schneider - January 1997

Cliffhanger NOT TO BE OR NOT TO BE  (Musea FGBG 4213.AR) CD: 73:08 Not to Be or Not to Be is Cliffhanger's second release and Musea's promotional material raves about this band. However I find the music to be derivative of Genesis era Lamb/Wind and Wuthering. There are occasional moments of interest but Rinie Huigen's nasal voice can be annoying as he tries to emulate Peter Gabriel. Cliffhanger does shine during its instrumental breaks with Sewers and Ragnarok featuring some excellent musicianship. The final song, Moon, is a quiet four minute instrumental, yet on the CD it is 16:30. At the end of Moon there are 12 minutes of silence followed by 2 minutes of music that is more experimental and interesting than anything else on this CD. It's one of those "Easter Eggs" you occasionally find on a CD. Cliffhanger is a band to watch. The extra two minutes of music and some scattered other moments demonstrate that this a band that could successfully develop a style all their own. [Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE; ] - Henry Schneider - January 1997

Gerard THE PENDULUM M usea FGBG 4195.AR) CD: 39:26 Gerard, a Japanese band led by keyboardist Toshio Egawa, has been recording since 1984 and The Pendulum is their fifth album. Gerard has gone through a number of changes since 1984 and the present line-up consists of Egawa, Atshushi Hasegawa on bass, Masuhiro Goto (famous Japanese heavy metal drummer) on drums, and Robin Suchy (Canadian rhythm 'n blues singer) on vocals. Empty Lie, Empty Dream opens the album with the sound of clocks chiming and immediately segues into powerful and energetic keyboard dominated music that continues throughout the remaining 39 minutes. Egawa's heroic compositions and masterful keyboard orchestrations complemented by Suchy's Meatloaf-like vocals will make you want to stand tall and raise your fist in the air. To augment the listening experience Musea included an extensive band history, discography, lyrics, and an exquisite full color cover art reproduction picture CD. The Pendulum is virtuoso prog rock and, to my ears, the best prog release of 1996! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE; ] - Henry Schneider - January 1997

XII Alfonso THE LOST FRONTIER  (Musea FGBG 4183.AR) CD: 71:17 XII Alfonso is a new French band whose debut release The Lost Frontier is a concept album about Hadrian's Wall. Similar to Musea's other Celtic inspired band Kadwaladyr, XII Alfonso weaves a cinematic tapestry of ambient sounds and contemporary, Celtic, and medieval themes. Mostly instrumental, the music is relaxing and perfectly played at times reminding me of Anthony Phillips. Unfortunately XII Alfonso chose to include three vocal tracks by Caroline Lafue that detracts from the music. Her voice does not have the depth necessary to deliver the lyrics and she occasionally slurs words. That minor gripe aside, The Lost Frontier is the perfect companion to snuggle up with in a blanket and a good book. Or you can close your eyes, let your mind drift with the music, and conjure your own "documentary" images of Hadrian's Wall. [Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE; ] Henry Schneider - January 1997

Volkor VOLKOR (Musea FGBG 4197.AR) CD: 69:00 This new Musea CD is a reissue of both Didier and Francis Lockwood's first releases: Jazz Rock and Debbi. Due to the loss of the master tapes, Musea had to resort to recording the CD directly from vinyl and tidying the sound up to remove the pops and scratches. The result is a crisp clean sound. In addition, due to contractual problems, Musea released this CD under the name Volkor, a track from Jazz Rock. Falling somewhere between Return to Forever, Zao, and Magma the music on Volkor is an excellent audio document of the French jazz-rock scene of the late seventies. Listening to this music today, Didier's electric violin and Francis' keyboard chops are as fresh as ever. Sustained tempos, rapid rhythms, and frantic solos abound throughout Volkor's 69 minutes. Volkor is the best reissue of the 1996 and one release not to be missed by aficionados of the genre. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! [Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE; ] - Henry Schneider - January 1997

Luc Marianni's Seltae Beat UP AND DOWN (Musea FGBG 4185.AR) CD: 60:00 Musea seems to be releasing a number of concept albums lately. Up and Down, their latest and Luc Marianni's sixth album, is a bit unusual in that it is exactly 60 minutes long. Up and Down is a science fiction story set in the year 2160 when man is forced to draw all his energy from the sea in order to survive. The thin plot (how much can you achieve with 60 minutes of music?) lies somewhere between Waterworld, The Abyss, and Mad Max. However the music does not exactly give you the same impression. What Marianni produced is one hour of very pleasant and melodic rock ballads that for some reason reminded of both Al Stewart and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. There is nothing adventurous or innovative about this music and neither are there any experimental synth sounds. An interesting aside is that the CD booklet contains the lyrics printed in English, German, Japanese, and French even though Caroline Crozat sings them in English. So if you are looking for some expertly played melodic rock that tells a story, this is the release for you. [Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE; ] Henry Schneider - January 1997

Brainstorm SMILE A WHILE (Musea FGBG 4215.AR) CD: 62:51 German guys in foundations and girdles??? This is one of those albums that will immediately catch your eye as you browse the CD racks. Not being aware of this band or album I was skeptical of their music after noticing the fetching figures cut by the band dressed in lingerie. Was Brainstorm a trend setting band that set the stage for glam rock? Probably not. Instead they were one of Germany's best progressive bands from the early seventies playing a complex and harmonically rich jazz-rock music like that produced by Moving Gelatine Plates, Soft Machine, and Caravan. Brainstorm's music is characterized by Ronald Schaeffer's killer distorted sax solos, Rainer Bodensohn's flute, and Eddy van Overheidt's organ and funky wailing. Definitely not toe tapping music and not a good idea to play if you are under a lot of stress or your kids are running around the house yelling. This is high brow energetic music that demands your full attention. Fortunately for us, along with the original Smile A While recorded in 1972, Musea also included three bonus tracks originally recorded for SWF radio in 1971. Overall another excellent reissue from Musea's vaults. [Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE; ] Henry Schneider - January 1997

Jacky Maestracci SYMPHONIA (Musea FGBG 8402.AR) CD: 39:43 Jacky Maestracci is a new French multi-instrumentalist with a penchant for middle of the road New Age keyboards on his debut solo album Symphonia. Nothing exciting happens on this disk, no keyboard pyrotechnics, no adventuresome orchestrations, just well executed symphonic New Age music that I find a bit boring. And there is a certain sameness that pervades throughout the nine tracks. Not exactly a CD to write home about. There may be those of you that will lap this music up, but it didn't do it for me. [Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE; ] - Henry Schneider - January 1997

Bertrand Loreau SUR LE CHEMIN ... (Musea AM 8400.AR) CD: 63:44  Bertrand Loreau's third album Sur Le Chemin ... is the first to appear on Musea's new sub-label Amplitude, an outlet for what Musea calls electronic modern music. Loreau creates pretty dreamlike melodies powered by percussive sequences that are fairly derivative of recent Tangerine Dream efforts. Like Maestracci's Symphonia, nothing of interest happens on this disc. Sur Le Chemin ... is your standard New Age fare. If you like subdued background melodies this may be the disc for you. Since I prefer my music on the edge, Sur Le Chemin ... did not pass the muster for me. [Musea, 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, FRANCE; ] Henry Schneider - January 1997

The Smell of Incense WHY DID I GET SO HIGH?/IF NOT THIS TIME/COMING DOWN (September Gurls Records SGs 17 ) seven inch 2:12/3:20/4:00 Here we have the new single from The Smell of Incense. While these three songs pay homage to sixties psychedelic music, it doesn't have the magic of their debut CD All Mimsy Were the Borogroves. Why Did I Get So High is a bit intriguing with its harpsichord ostinato and Coming Down does have its moments with strange synth sounds. But I don't feel compelled to sing along as I do with their other singles I'm Allergic to Flowers, The Smell of Incense, or A Visit with Ashiya. This single does not represent what they can achieve. If you want an introduction to this group seek out their CD or o ther singles. This single is only for the completist. [The Crawling Chaos, Box 19, N-4810 Eydehavn, NORWAY] - Henry Schneider - January 1997

Truth in Advertisement BALANCE (Virtue Music vmcd 9601) CD: 58:11 Balance is the debut solo effort of Truth in Advertisement a.k.a. Mark Reynolds, an accomplished progressive rock and jazz drummer living in Seattle. In addition to drums Mark also sings and plays keyboards, synths, and tapes. Though drums do not stand out above the music, they do dominate each of the 10 songs which is novel with today's music. Mark is an excellent drummer and his music is surprisingly good with just the right blend of jazz and progressive rock. His use of quirky sound bites peppered throughout the disc reminds me of Bill Nelson. In the promotional material Mark states that Balance expresses the ideals of striving for the Perfect Life and that he arranged the songs to emulate the dynamics of daily living. I don't know if I would go that far, but the music does flow nicely from song to song and I find the final song Ponderances on Things Above to be the best song on the disc. The water sounds and Gina Scollard's voice are just the right elements to accompany Mark's keyboards and drums. Balance is a noteworthy debut effort by an independent artist. [Virtue Music, 1407A NW 70th Street, Seattle, WA 98117, USA; MARKR@STLABS.COM ] - Henry Schneider - January 1997

Jonathan Block AFTER (Ironing Board Recordings IBR 2-9603) C-60 Imagine that you're taking an afternoon nap and are trying to wake up after a short but deep sleep. You are semi-aware (background voices, sounds, etc.) but you can't make your body move. Every time you rally you slip back. Somehow Jonathan Block has captured this experience on his new tape. Lethargic electronics wash over your ears and brain as you progress from After, Burrow In, Burrow Out, through to Inevitable. After is consummate relaxation music. Unfortunately I was unaware of its effects and made the mistake of previewing After while driving to work. Jonathan's hypnotic electronics were so relaxing that I had to rely on auto-pilot to arrive in one piece. Jonathan should have included a disclaimer cautioning you about listening to this music while operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery. [Ironing Board Recordings, 380 Adley Road, Fairfield, Connecticut 06432, USA; ] - Henry Schneider - January 1997

Jonathan Block EITHER  (Ironing Board Recordings IBR 4-9611) C-60 Jonathan's other new tape Either is much more upbeat than After. Either consists of three songs: Ping, Engine Room, and Eardrum. Propelled by pentatonic sequences popularized by mid-period Tangerine Dream, Jonathan crafts an hour of excellent electronic music. Moving, swirling, and constantly changing chords and sequences makes for an enjoyable listening experience. Help support this independent musician. [Ironing Board Recordings, 380 Adley Road, Fairfield, Connecticut 06432, USA; ] - Henry Schneider - January 1997

Unit 13 TRANCEPONDER (no label info) C-60 Tranceponder is the new cassette release by the Pennsylvanian synthesist Unit 13 a.k.a. Chris Cooper. Over the years Chris has released quite a number of solo cassettes and Tranceponder appears to be his best yet. The song titles conjure up images of space travel: Van Allen Probe, Levity, Meteor Beat, Entry/Departure, Stargate, Phase Reaction, Hyakutake, Landing Co-Ordinance, Class-M, Trajectory Sequence, Decoder, Gaelic Expedition, Sub Quadrant, and Hale-Bopp. Chris, a long time fan of Tangerine Dream and Chrome, composes and plays superbly crafted electronic soundscapes that can compete with contemporary artists of this genre: Helios Creed, Harvey Bainbridge, Moonloonies, and Mandragora. Unlike Chris' other musical project Arttek, there are no background found sound/cartoon recordings on Tranceponder. However, underneath the electronics of Hale-Bopp Chris has a female voice counting and reciting numbers in Spanish. If you hunger for more cosmic electronic music that Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze no longer deliver, Tranceponder is for you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. [Christopher Cooper, 210 Smith Road, Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania 19525 USA] - Henry Schneider - January 1997

.....please note that this batch of reviews from Henry also included several INDEPENDENT prog-releases, many of them accessible via the nets! Please DO contact the artists directly, or visit their WWW page(s). Thanks AGAIN, Henry!

Poncho Sanchez: CONGA BLUE - Don't know how many of you LOVE latino music (like I do), but this CD (in from Bobbi Marcus Public Relations) would serve as an excellent introduction to such. Heavy jazz influences, some nice sax & horn work, but (as the title might lead you to believe) the core is th' conga drums of Sanchez! There are some neat sections which emphasize vox, too, but they don't (as some Latino music can do, particularly if you don't understand the language) take away from the musical experience. Very relaxing (that does NOT mean boring) pieces, but with a fervor of energy that will transport you... & in any music, what MORE could you ask for? Primarily a west-coast musician, he's on tour right now across the states (New York, Chicago, Boston & Philly, to name a few)... catch him if you can! He used to play with one of my favorites in jazz, Cal Tjader, as well as many other "name" performers. Clearly in love with the voices good percussion can speak with, he's a master at telling you the tale. Comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by this reviewer! Contact at 1514 17th St., # 205, Santa Monica, CA 90404, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Danny Wright: HOT SUMMER NIGHTS - If you're looking for expressively piano playing Broadway show tunes (Summertime, of course, A Summer Place, almost thematic), you'll love this one. Wright is clearly able, & enjoys playing, but I didn't feel the "spark"... that may (just) be due to the nature of the tunes, I'm not sure (but I don't think so, although it IS the kind of music my GRANDMOTHER told me I WOULD listen to - so, natch, I snuck out the back door & listened to Fats & Chuck Berry on the Packard radio). That's not to say that this isn't "good" music (whatever THAT means); it's just that it doesn't reach out & GRAB the listener, & I think that (especially) on a piano album, that is ESSENTIAL! This is rare on any CD from Creative Service Company, I'm (almost) always impressed by the artistry they seem to foster. So - would I listen to it again? Probably! Would I recommend it? Only to those who DON'T like adventure in their music! Contact at Creative Services, Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Joe Augustine: MOONDANCE - How absolutely ODD - the next CD in the stack (also in from Creative Services Company) is another piano-oriented experience, featuring Augustine's supreme chops, of which he has aplenty! No mundane HERE... this is THE genuine article! Full of fire, even on the slower tunes (& there are some "classics"here, too), you can almost visualize this guy Joe twistin' 'round on that pianer bench, just slammin' those toonz out! Yeh, Joe Augustine DOES make those keys "dance in the moonlight"! Some strong sax work, nice percussion underpinnings, but the most notable (and noble) feature of his playing (I think) is the beautiful chord structures he uses to lay foundations for his keyboard energies (shades of George Winston, but much better top-end lickz)! Some WONDERFUL piano playing (& that's comin' from one who has been KNOWN to tickle th' ivories on occasion himself)! This is a piano album that will reach right out & take CHARGE! It's MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - to find out more, contact at at Creative Services, Company, 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

Leo Kupper: ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC SANTUR - This CD (in from Pogus Productions) is pure aural pleasure. Just before I started typing, I noted that the title contained the word Santur... I'd been ready to write it off as having a quite uninspiring title - SHAME on me! Every reviewer knows (or should) that (in addition to listening to the intracacies of the music) every little detail can be ESPECIALLY important! The Santur is the INSTRUMENT... sounds (something) like a Chinese chen (or perhaps a Korean Kay-a-gum), but it has (a bit) more "body". Kupper composes with high merit, leading the listener on a trek that won't soon be forgotten. You must be focussed on LISTENING, or you'll relegate it (incorrectly) to the "background" stack (you know, the stuff ya' play at th' parties when yer' grabbin' th' first toke). It does NOT belong there! A great part of the uniqueness of this music is the electronic background (under the Santur); only criticism is that I couldn't determine (from the liners) if it was Leo playing those, or someone else... matters not a whit... whoEVER is doing them understands the (TOTAL) balance that's necessary in such a (musical) situation! This is music that will last well into the 23rd century! GRAND... ENVELOPING.... deep & exploratory! It's MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for the serious listener! Contact at POB 150022, Van Brunt Station, Brooklyn, NY 11215-0022 , or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

trigger: ALL THESE THINGS - Another Pogus Productions CD, trigger is comprised of some icons of the underground/improv scene. Paul Hoskin (cello & banjo), Fred Lonberg-holm (contrabass, bass clarinet & e-flat clarinet), & Leslie Ross (basson, chinese shawms & musette). Those with "freedom" in their blood will SUCK this UP! Listeners who don't enjoy music (yes, it IS music, despite it's roving tendencies - ya' just have to LISTEN a little faster) that has some challenge will NOT care for this; but, (most) readers of THIS 'zine will (just) HAVE to have it! There are sections that remind me strongly of pieces I've heard LaDonna Smith do, though this seems to have more lower-end (i.e., bass) involved... assume that's due to the "Hoskin" factor. Any way you look at it (or listen to it), this merits a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those with curiosity in their blood. Contact at POB 150022, Van Brunt Station, Brooklyn, NY 11215-0022 , or via e-mail to  Rotcod Zzaj

....that DOES it for the reviews this time 'round. I still want you to tell ALL of your friends that we WANT them to send THEIR stuph in here for REVIEW ok?

D.I.Y. News

One of the gentz who got ME krank-started in this D.I.Y. "thang" was Bret Hart! He's (finally) back on the SCENE, running a lil' deal called HIPWORKS Productions. We're in the middle of a collabwork, in fact... for those who have been LOOKIN' for him these many years (wotz' it been, 5 years?), he can be reached at 157 Highland St., Worcester, MA 01609, or via e-mail to  I'm just ITCHIN' to hear what he does with my collab stuff!

The date for Bryan Baker's "The Smell of Success" compilation CD release (& the latest issue of GAJOOB) is rapidly approaching. Zzaj has a cut on it, & D.I.Y.'er's from ALL over the place... rumored to be shipping sometime around the end of March. All who desire to support D.I.Y. (really) NEED to order a copy of this grand effort. More detail (along with all the news that's fit to print about D.I.Y. activities & venues) can be found at the GAJOOB homesite, Please visit there OFTEN!

The most recent Zzaj release, "HOLIDAY BLAST", a live (in-studio) performance by Zzaj, Kramtones & John Alkins is now available in final release form. This is one of the most unique efforts I've ever been involved in, going all the way from low-end phunk-bass to HARMONIUM. Please consider ordering a copy... snail all orders ($5 per copy, through 31 March 1997) to 5308 65th Ave SE, Lacey, WA 98513 If you'd like to see OTHER releases available for purchase, point your browser to my NEW pagesite,

Those who wish an easier way to submit poems for (consideration for) publication in "I.N." should e-mail them to It's an EASY way to get them looked at!


One of the saddest things in the world (for me) is watching the havoc that evil men/women wreak on the lives of children... wether it comes from family violence, institutional insanity, or just general hatred of self, the kids (in many instances) are being dealt a LOSING hand! While it's laudable to write songs or poems about their collective plight, trying to get the hardheads opened up, there is (in my mind) nothing more EFFECTIVE than cold hard CASH! I need some HELP from you the readers, though.

Who out there knows of worthwhile non-profit charities that make sure the money gets IN the hands of the children who NEED it? Please snail or e-mail me the addresses of worthy candidates! I will research (on the web) those sent in, & then incorporate the best ones in my website.

Another thing that I'd like your help in publicizing is that from now on, ANY tape orders for Zzaj music will (automatically) have 30% set aside for contribution to (at least one of) the charities selected for incorporation with the Zzaj-site. No hype, no strings attached, I just want to do something to help those in need - & I need YOUR help (by spreading the word) in doing it!

In my (rather extensive) travels around this globe, I've seen (and acted against) many of the atrocities perpetrated on the lifeblood of our future - the children. Many forced to work hours that (many) adults could NEVER cope with & paid little or nothing for their efforts! Children locked up in closets or back rooms as "punishment"; when, in fact, most often the only real reason for it is because daddy (or mommy) "had a bad night". This kind of mental terror must be STOPPED! & the only way to fight evil is with it's own fuel... MONEY!

I hope many of you will join with me (via e-mail, snail-mail, whatever the means) in beginning to be ACTIVE in this effort. After all, it's really only an extension of the idea on which this magazine is founded. D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself).

I'll welcome any ideas any in our readership may have about how to make this effort ROCK & ROLL!

Guess that about does it for this go-round! I've got a TON of new stuph to review; we could use some MORE poetry, though. Poets, please let all your writing friends know that "I.N." is a GOOD place to be published! Ciao....


Rotcod Zzaj







I'd like to have you for breakfast,

lunch and dinner.

'Honey in the morning, honey in the evening,

honey at suppertime.'*

You're better than strawberry pancakes,

a BLT,

roast beef.

You with your bear rug hair growing

All over your body.

You with your big animal body

salivating at my slightest suggestion.

* Jimmy Rogers

c Barbara Cooper

Watermelon Sugar

for Richard Brautigan

I'd like to cube it --watermelon sugar --

and always carry a handful in my pocket for me,

for friends, for friendly goats, horses.

I would suck on it while watching

the evening news, and I would

offer you a cube to entice you to my bed;

you would come trailing after me, eager

for more, and I would feed it to you

with great sexual ceremony. We would

pass it back and forth between our mouths,

let it drizzle on various parts of our bodies.

From the window, the goats and horses

would watch amazed. Trout would leap in the air.


c Barbara Cooper

Takin'It Easy

God kicks back

on a bayou in Louisiana.

Barefoot and swilling beer

he fishes in his own way.

Around his big toe

is a fishing line.

He loafs under a straw hat

and every once in awhile

hauls in another big one.

c Barbara Cooper




A note played a hundred years ago

found his ear.

Faint, but teasing.

Impressionistic, had it been a

piece of artwork. Clearer, further away.

A hundred years

away, he recognized it.

He put it in a crate of

freshly picked peaches.

Fuzzy, and ripe.

Why not, things had been safe

in there before. Trust in crates.

Mexican radio might want it. Until then,

let the peaches dance.

c Chuck Rogers


here in the loft

grows the sickle-cell


where cow bells ring

and hay is stuffed into


the tans and browns,

whites and blacks


where cornfields end

and ministers pray for


the division of sanity

calls all well-bred


where domes are erected

and bubbles are burst in


this road is wide and hollow

as children hold each other's


mother nature prides herself

where the mortal seem to


upon the altar stands shades

broken down into barrier


in this fairy tale, no one has wings

where there is no room to fly


c Christopher Stolle



I stood near the orange bridge bouncing a tiny

purple and pink ball when a duck wearing a

beanie came riding toward me on a green tricycle.

A Day in The Life was playing somewhere. When

the duck heard the music he got off the

green tricycle and started doing the number four strut.

"Just like the ducks in Blackburn, Lancashire,"he said.

Afer a few minutes he got tired and stopped

dancing, but the propeller on his beanie kept spinning.


c Chuck Rogers



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