Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Art is everywhere part 19

This time around I have two amazing mail art pieces for you!!!

Here's the back side:   

Part 2

The back side all here...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

More short story time here !!!

Memory lane

Around 1984-1985 an old friend gave me a dubbed tape of `Siouxie & The Banshees – Hyena` album. The opening track `Dazzle` took my head off. A mix of classical arrangements, ethereal voice with a punkish / new wave / new music / indy attitude. I never heard anything like this before. It sounded classical, modern and…Pop. I loved the whole album with the exception of `Dear Prudence`, a cover of The Beatles song. I was never into The Beatles, I`m more a Rolling Stones kinda guy. My favorite Rolling Stones period is early sixties up until early eighties. I recognize The Beatles music but it never grew on me or touched my heart and soul. It`s good music but not my cup of tea if you will. Even though Siouxie`s voice on `Dear Prudence` is simply exquisite. A couple of months later I went at `Dutchy`s record cave` and purchased a vinyl version of `Hyena`. The cover design freaked me out. An abstract (kinda Picasso) drawing of some type of animal probably a hyena. 

Upon opening the record sleeve I look at the band`s picture. I immediately notice two things.
A – Robert Smith (The Cure`s head honcho) is lead guitarist for Siouxie & The Banshees. In fact, he was with The Banshees on two albums `Hyena` and `Nocturne` (a live recording).

B – What is that? Who is that? There`s a picture of Siouxie Sioux on her knees with a black outfit, with a deep dark, almost gothic looking eyeliner. She was long, slinky, skinny, a sexy dark feline. That day, I fell in love with Siouxie Sioux. 

          She had it all: looks, brains, attitude, talent you name it. The first thing that gets my attention or more likely attracts me is a person`s eyes. Siouxie has beautiful blue eyes which are accentuated by really dark eyeliner. There`s some sort of tribal, maybe gothic, maybe aboriginal, maybe abstract, maybe Egyptian more likely cat-like design in her eyes makeup. I always found this mysterious, feline, sensual, and highly original (or so it seemed). 

Between 1981 up until approximately early nineties I was into a lot of English bands: Siouxie & The Banshees, Echo & the Bunnymen, 

The The,

Gang Of Four, 

Icicle Works, 

The Bollock Brothers, 


and The Jesus And Mary Chain. 

Then in the early nineties I discovered / rediscovered electronic music. I was listening to a mix of old school (Kraftwerk, YMO, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Neuronium) and new school (Skinny Puppy, Front 242 and Severed Heads). Once in awhile I`d pick up `Hyena` and listen to it non-stop for a couple of days. During the following years, I had a lot of different / diverse music phases: grunge, punk, old jazz & blues (I`m still into that), cassette culture, anything experimental, datkwave ambient, noise, etc  These days I`m into anything electronically oriented. I purchase, trade and download music. There`s so many styles of freely downloadable mp3`s it`s simply unreal. I also review music on my blog. I recently got a parcel form Mark Ritchie (Hiroshima Yeah! Zine). His letter was written on an old black and white postcard. On the front there was a picture of a girl dressed in black, with dark hair and black eyeliner / makeup. She has almost the same makeup as Siouxie Sioux, I thought to myself. While reading Mark`s letter I notice something printed on the bottom left side of the postcard: Elizabeth Taylor –1962. 

It means that Siouxie either copied Liz Taylor`s style or was highly influenced / inspired or maybe never heard of her. And this is all just pure coincidence. New things are seldom created and recycling / re-interpreting is the norm nowadays. Kudos to Siouxie Sioux thought, I tend to think that she just did her thing without actually giving a damn about anything. After all The Banshees where formed in 1976 during UK`s punk explosion (Sex Pistols, The Clash, Buzzcocks, The Vibrators, The Damned, The Slits, etc).                                                    
The stars that shine and the stars that shrink
In the face of stagnation the water runs
Before your eyes
Swallowing diamonds
A cutting throat
Your teeth when you grin
Reflecting beams on tombstones
A jamboree of surprises
Playing Russian roulette
Or the lucky dip
A clenched fist to your heart
Coal dust on your lungs
A silver tongue for the chosen one
Heavy magnum in your side
Or a bloody thorn
Skating bullets on angel dust
In a dead sea of fluid mercury
Baby piano cries
Under your heavy index and thumb
Pull some strings let them sing
The stars that shine and the stars that shrink
In the face of stagnation the water runs
Before your eyes
Dazzle it's a glittering prize
Dazzle it's a glittering prize
Before your eye
It's a glittering prize
The stars that shine and the stars that shrink
In the face of stagnation the water runs
Before your eyes                                                                                                                                           
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group,                                                                              CHRYSALIS MUSIC GROUP. 


Poetry of the day

Mp3 player

Coming & going
Left & right
Up & down 
Circling around me brains
Slowly building up
Submerging me
Inside this ambient black hole 
Of me heart & soul…

Dysthymia - guardian of emotions (cassette)

I received recently this big parcel from Jim DeJong himself (The Infant Cycle). Inside there was some CD`s, DVD`s and a couple of old school cassettes. I never heard of Dysthymia before and after doing a little research, I discover it`s an American project of `depressing and noisy analogue and industrial works`(whatever that means). There`s six tracks of various dark styles and length (total running time = 60 minutes). You will hear fluctuating analogue synth lines (the surging tide of memory), rhythmic noise mixed with death industrial atmospheres (recurring thoughts best forgotten), echoing dark synth (blotting out the past), minimalist, cold death ambience / ambient noise (hiding in silence from the world), an epic industrial cacophony mixed with noise loops and found sounds (that stone fa├žade of mine), and rumbling, subtle, menacing dark death industrial (untitled 1). An excellent album it should have been released on Swedish label Cold Meat Industry along the side of  Megaptera  and Brighter Death Now, yes it`s that good. More information here: 

And here:   

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Short story time here !!!


It was eight o`clock Friday night, early august. Gerry was sitting on his front porch drinking his seventh beer. 

Or was it it`s ninth one? Not sure at all here. It was pouring rain outside. 

Gerry loved to look at the rain while drinking beer. He though it was beautiful and relaxing at the same time. Looking at all those small, tiny little pieces of water fall in near unison felt like Mother Nature was crying her heart out. Gerry knew a lot about crying. He was often crying inside his soul while smiling at people at the same time. 

In today`s highly evolved modern society there are still some taboos, things which seems unacceptable like seeing a grown man cry. Male, the alpha male is strong. He hides his emotions for it`s a sign of weakness. Gerry is not a happy man, he`s stuck with a chronic disease (sometimes the pain is unbearable, making life a living hell), he`s lonely, hates his job, hates his life, his whole existence. He often thought about suicide, fortunately he never reached the point of no-return. At times it seemed like something, someone prevented him from actually doing it. He felt bad when he thought about suicide. Gerry believed in God. When you`re a believer, suicide is not an option. Gerry was hungry. He got inside, opened the fridge, grabbed a slice of leftover pizza and went back outside. It tasted like crap because it was cold but he didn`t care. He took a small bite and felt observed. Someone was watching him. He couldn`t hear nothing except the soothing sounds of the rain. He looked around, nothing. He looked down and… There it was. A small red sparrow was sitting on the porch staring at him. 

Hey buddy you hungry? 
Want some pizza?                                                                               
      He takes a piece of dough and throws it on the floor. It eats it right away. The poor thing was probably starving. 
You like pizza?  
Want some more? 
Here you go my friend. 
Gerry suddenly realized that once you feed an animal it`s a contract, a commitment. It will be back tomorrow more likely at the same time. It made him smile. In this day and age when everything is chaotic, nothing is guaranteed anymore, uncertainty runs rampant it`s good to have some sort of regularity. Something you can count on. Suddenly it stopped raining the moon was slowly coming out. 

It was a full moon, big, beautiful,  and so close you could almost touch it. 

The sparrow chirped a while and left.
You`re welcome my friend.
See you tomorrow I hope.
Gerry started to cry, tears falling off his face.

He was crying because he was happy and angry at the same time. So many contradictory emotions deep down inside. He was angry at himself realizing there is still hope, salvation. Even in complete darkness there is a light somewhere you have to find it and keep on going. He also realized that angst, depression, negativity attracts darkness and more negativity. You throw garbage at the universe and it spews crap back at you i.e. karma. From now on things would be different he though. He didn`t like the pizza slice, it was cold but the sparrow ate it. It seemed to enjoy it. 

Maybe that`s the key to happiness, enjoy life`s simple pleasures. We take things for granted (like work, love, food, friendship, a place to stay) while there are people out there struggling for survival every minute, every seconds of their sole existence. It felt good like a new beginning in his life. He got up emptied his beer bottle in the sink and went to bed. From now on my inner sunshine will always shine, no more dark thoughts invading my heart and soul. He fell asleep with a smile on his face. There`s darkness and light, 

clouds and sunshine, 

yin and yang, 

there is hope, happiness for you and me.

Hiroshima Yeah! # 113 (July 2014) (zine)

I feel blessed that Mark Ritchie sends me a copy of Hiroshima yeah! every month. I adore this 8.5 by 11 inches black and white, cut and paste, monthly zine.                   
On the front page there`s poetry and `the need to destroy things`. There is a lot of amazingly short and sweet poems this time around. Favorites include:
Cute to annoying 
In 0.7 seconds.
That`s how I want to appear
From now on.
And also:
The way I unwind
The way I choose to unwind
May not be the same way
You choose to unwind:
It may cause you to worry
About my health
Or even make you feel
Superior in some way.
If this is the case,
I would respectfully suggest
That you mind your own
Fucking business.
Damned I can relate to that. Do your thing, and leave me alone. Let`s get down with business with Gary Simmons monthly insane ramblings of life on the outside. After serving time and now on probation baby!!! Gary has a unique writing style he should publish a book (dare I say a blog?). There`s a plethora of music, book, and concerts (`Angel Olsen`, `eels`and  `The Delines`)  reviews. Gary Simmons and Pete Coward (is this his real name?)  donate a couple of poems. Good stuff. Last but not least we end this zine with `Penguins`, a short story courtesy of head honcho Mark Ritchie himself!!! I highly recommend Hiroshima Yeah!, don`t just stand there and write Mark a nice letter. Contact: 
Mark Ritchie
94 Main Street
ML11 8AB

Hiroshima Yeah! # 112 (June 2014) (zine)

I just love this 8.5 by 11 inches black and white, cut and paste, monthly, five pager zine. We open things up with the usual poetry from `the bourbon and the shame`. Lots of witty and meditative poems, as it`s always the case here. My favorite is:
Listening to Amy
Singing `back to black`
In an almost empty pub,
Candles flickering,
Burning down.
A  nice short and sweet efficient lttle ditty, isn`t it?  There is the usual collection of music, film, book, zines  and concerts (`Drive By Truckers`and `Mike Watt And The Missingmen`)  reviews.  Next, there`s `The Great Rock`N`Roll Tolchock`i.e. selected dispatches from an ultra-violent offender on probation.  This is Gary Simmons monthly installment of antisocial, pissed off, angry but funny schizoid, insane ramblings. He should do his own zine and I would provide the noisy soundtrack. Mark Ritchie ends things up with `the click` a short story which made me thirsty like hell. Details?  You want details now? No way pick up a paper, a pen and contact Hiroshima Yeah! :  
Mark Ritchie
94 Main Street
ML11 8AB

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Media junky, a review zine # 19 (winter 2013-2014)

A  quarterly (I think) half-size, black and white, cut and paste, sixteen pages long zine.  There`s more than sixty (various zines & publications, and music) reviews   crammed in this small publication. I enjoy Jason`s reviews. They`re honest, precise,  descriptive, thorough and highly literate. We tend to agree on a lot of things like cell phones and technological slavery. Regarding the internet we don`t share the same opinion. I agree it promotes laziness and apathy. But I think if used properly it could be an amazing promotional tool. It`s also great for knowledge and education. Well it`s my opinion and you know what they say about opinions…  If you create something with a physical media: zine, books, audio cassettes, VHS tapes (yes, I`m that old, sue me), CD`s, DVD`s (you name it baby!!!). Feel free to send it by good old expensive (but not expansive) mail. Don`t forget to include a physical address otherwise, nada, no reviews. Now you know why the `Mastock newsletter` has a physical address these days ah, ah, ah.  
Contact address: 
Jason Rodgers
P.O. BOX 62

Animals Like Earthquakes – Animals Like Earthquakes (cassette)

`Animals Like Earthquakes`is Tim Collapse`s solo  ambient / noise / sound collage project.. There`s six songs  on this here cassette (with a total running time of 42.53 minutes). To give you, the reader a better idea of what`s in store for us, here`s a brief description of them tracks:                                                                         1 -  8. 15. 2013 (2.17 minutes): various slowed down, processed voice samples colliding = a psychedelic / psychotronic chill-out experience.
2-  Piece for acoustic guitar no.1 (thunder) (7.08 minutes): processed / mangled samples + acoustic guitar manipulations = a low-fi minimal, nearly ambient piece, which is relaxing. 
3 – Annette (7.32 minutes): voice samples + short noise bursts + lots of sound collages = low-fi experimental minimalism / isolationism perhaps. I love this piece.
4 - Sometimes the world just bears down on you (4.16 minutes): found sounds + processed voice samples = a beautiful, peaceful slab of minimalism (miam, miam).
5-   8.15.2013 (part 2)  (6.16 minutes): various echoing sound sources + voice samples = a strangely meditative sonic invasion.

6-  If you'd like to make a call... (15.30 minutes):  voices + found sounds + various phone samples (voice, noise, answering machine sounds, you name it)  = a strange alliance of ambient noise experimentalism + musique concrete (not for the faint of ears). This was an interesting yet challenging listening experience, well worth the effort. Highly recommended. 
Tim Collapse
P.O. BOX 72