Okay, since the last newsletter there have been a few things out. Nothing too new. But if you care... Slanted is the name of our new CD on Snuffy Smiles in Japan. It sort of takes off from where The Ecstacy Of Communication left off. It's an assortment of stuff mostly for Japan. Nothing new here, but if you want it you can't mail-order it right from me.

A while back we did a six song live EP for VML. You know... All those bootleg looking, b & w, audience recorded records. Well, ours just got re-issued (the single sold embarrassingly well) as a CD with the Young Pioneers, Sicko and Naked Aggression. We are always sort of a wall of noise live. Not very tuneful. I don't know. But if you want this, you can also mail-order it from me...

The new issue of Cool Beans fanzine is also out. For our part, we contributed a cover of Sweet Talkin' Woman by ELO. That was from the final recording with Gardner and also features Andee from A Minor Forest and PEE on drums. Additional vocals are by Harriet Scott from the trip hop group... Uh... Shit, I forgot what they're called. They're mentioned in the last newsletter. Also featured on the CD are The Rondelles, Thingy, Queen Cobra, Lowercase, Spoonbender, Songs For Emma, The Moons and others all sporting unreleased outings. If you like those bands you'll dig it and I quite enjoy it considering it's a comp and all... Anyway, you can get that right from Matt at:



We just started work on our fifth album last week. It's pretty crazy, but we're recording 28 to 30 songs for this opus. Yeah, whenever I mention it the label sorta freaks out. I don't know. They'll freak out more when they actually hear it. We're a week into the recording and we've got three weeks to go. It's now looking like a February release date. I know, 28 songs is a little silly (even for us). But it is our first album since '96 and there's been so much chaos. Give us a little slack...



I just got done mixing a new EP. I'm not sure who is gonna release it as it seems like Marigold is broke at the moment. Any takers?



I just looked at the latest Spin and was horrified to see and article about "emo". As a band that sometimes gets lumped in with that cryptic catogory, I feared for my safety as well as others. Remember what Spin did for Black Metal? Laugh while you can...

So, what does emo mean? Is it merely the stupidest sounding genre in independent music so-far? Is it true to it's namesake or is irony still irony by any other name?

Trying to define emo is as thankless (and shameful) a task as defining punk. There's no point, I suppose. But there's really no point in putting out records or fanzines either. It's all just intellectual excercizing. And let's face it; we like to act smart and all grown up. So here we go...

Since I'm certainly not about to try to define emo, let's use the Sherlock Homes method. Rather, let's strip away what emo is not and see what we have left. First and foremost, J Church (since I'm a total egomaniac and I'm writing this)... We are not emo. Nope. I don't know why people call us that, but half of the time it's as an insult. People think we are. We've been closely associated with various riot grrrls, art mods, Unwounds, Fugazis, Driving Like Jehus and VSSs. But we were never really part of the tribe. I know that look of emo disappointment at so many of our gigs. Kids come up who have no idea what we look like. They're expecting some sort of stoic version of Sonny Kay via Shanghai. Instead they get this older chinese guy looking more like Frank Black than Steve Gamboa. Plus, for every art damaged song, there's a splash of pure pop. Sorry.

And what about Fugazi? The elder statesmen of emo? I can still remember an interview with Ian around the time of Embrace. I think it was in Ink Disease. Nope, not emo. "Emo is bullshit. It's just something that someone made up. It doesn't mean anything."

In fact, everyone is so defensive, I don't think you'll find a band anywhere these days going by the title "emo". The more defensive, the more arcane the references. "Emo? Naw, we're into Gang Of Four and Au Pairs" "No way, we're into the Birthday Party and the Scientests" "You got the wrong band. We ain't emo. We're just paying tribute to This Heat and Can with a twist of Culture Club."

So where is emo? What exactly do we have left? Did it ever exist in the first place? What about the name?

What about the name... Emo is emotional (I hope, and not Emo Phillips) and what could be more emotional than writing about emotions in the title of your song?

Ladies and gentlemen, in no particular (or cohesive) order, the top emo songs of all time as based on title alone...

1. Emotions by Samantha Sang. Hey, who cares if she had to do it with Maurice Gibb to get this song. It was a hit and the lyrics are certainly as relavent as any record in a silk screened sleeve. "Tied up in sorrow. Lost in my soul... There'll be nobody left in this world..."
2. Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones. Mick and the boys were always chameleons of musical hip. When needed, they've done blues, reggae, soul, new wave... Is it a surprise that they would be on the forefront of emo?
3. Your Emotion by the Dead Kennedys. At last, I new there was some sort of punk connection with emo. Suddenly Jello Biafra doesn't seem so silly after all does he.



I'm selling a bunch of my records. I'm tired of being a collector. I'm thousands of dollars in debt with my heart problems. I'm sick of being a pack rat. I no longer need the first Warzone 7" on gray. Yes, I'm selling a bunch of shit on e-bay for big bucks. E-mail me if you wanna see some sort of list.



As usual, I'm selling loads of stuff. Send me an e-mail if you want the list and more of my crazy ranting and raving...

"Artists care about aesthetics as much as birds care about ornithology" - Barnett Newman


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