P.O. BOX 257546 CHICAGO IL 60625 USA

B A L L P E E N ( ! ) B U L L E T I N S
updated: June 24th, 2004

Salütes Sound Seekers ( ! )
SKiN GRAFT's Ace Reporter, "Jazzy" Joe Romita here with another staggering summary of the frankly phenomenal feats fathered at the famed fount of flabbergast... the forever favored, far-from faddish, far-flung frontiersmen of the fashionable Fort SKiN GRAFT!!!! Face front, frenzied ones!!!!

Today at the SG News Desk!: A Prodigious promptitude of precisely paralleled parts and programs of...um...popcorn...pan-am.
OK... let's try that again. A bilious barrage of bombastic barrels of boffo beer!! Jeez, that one sucked too. I give up. SKiN Graft Art Assistant extrodinair Larry Tate here - filling in for Jazzy Joe. Joe is having by-pass surgery number three and will be out for a while, so SKiN Graft called me up (an hour ago!!) and threatened to eat my children if I didn't write "Jazzy's" news desk column. So here goes....
AHHH- HA HA! Just joshin' ya Fan-Boy!!! Your one and only Jazzy Joe is in the house and spread all over the furniture!!! Let the news BEGIN!

ITEM! Hola -Home Fries! - YESSS- The most adept aficionado's of Graftdom Assembled surely recall WAY back when word broke that GORGE TRIO would be recording for your preferred purveyors of pickled pastiche (that's SKiN GRAFT, natch). Lemme tell ya, It's been a long time coming. Since then Jazzy's shaved his 'stache, learned to read and gone Atkins! Why, just six months ago the most diligent discord devotees barricaded themselves outside our humble HQ and demanded an advance earful of the digital delights your prince of press had previously promised. Despite Jazzy's pleas to the hoary hordes, asking them to cease, desist and disperse (and offering nothing but a resounding "It ain't done yet"), in their despair, that fatal few set themselves afire outside our chamber door! Fortunately, while the walls were slightly singed, all that came of the soiree were some serious injuries- no SKiN GRAFT inventory was damaged in the blaze. And never let it be said that SKiN Graft doesn't do its part to drive the tenuous economy out of the sags. Salve sales are up 500% in our neighborhood!

photo by Trevor Shimizu

And now, your nasally Nosferatus' soothsaying has come to pass - put away the butane buddy, GORGE TRIO's "Open Mouth, O Wisp" is here! For the uninitiated, here's a crash course in Gorge Trio 101 (whistle along in the key of G):

GORGE TRIO is that worrisome self-organizing future intelligence that sci-fi blockbusters caution us about. Meticulously constructed over a three-year period, "Open Mouth, O Wisp" is Gorge Trio's magnum opus. A late North American power combo sound in the tradition of Mark Ribot's Shrek work and US Maple's postcool canker, with a palette as effectual and varied as the Sun City Girls. GORGE TRIO is comprised of three-fourth's of the critically acclaimed recording artist COLOSSAMITE, which disbanded in 1998 and are survived by three releases on SKiN Graft Records. GORGE TRIO includes current members of DEERHOOF, THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS, NATURAL DREAMERS, and former members of underground pioneers ICEBURN and SICBAY.
Gorge Trio have recorded two previous full length CD's for Italy's prestigious Freeland Record label: "Dead Chicken Fear No Knife" and "For Loss Of" with Milo Fine (of the Free Jazz Ensemble - circa 1969). As COLOSSAMITE, they recorded "Economy Of Motion", "Frisbee" and "All Lingo's Clamor". Details on each can be found on-site.

Guitar, electronics, drums. It's not easy music, but it's also not difficult to like. It fulfills the ears you didn't know you had, shaking a brainstem in its ozone with an ether fiddle. What more do you need to reinvent the squeal? Just genius, the kind that doesn't punish you too much and pretend to sell you real estate.

---------------- > PRESS QUOTES
"...a formidable expansion of instrumental rock vocabulary." / Alternative Press

"Engaging listening from top to bottom." / Your Flesh

"...execute[d] with stealth and surgical precision ...the passages, which include stretches of improvisation, burn with vehement intensity ...an amazing and nearly impossible document to decipher - seeming more like some recently discovered musical code than the familiar strains of melodies and rhythms that we're confronted with in everyday life." / Copper Press

"Instruments and homemade implements collide and dance, waver and fall over, only to get up and join the revelry once more. There is a sense of dynamics and balance built into these proceedings that allows every instrument to be heard on its own, as well being a part of the ensemble. This is a blast of a free music record. It would be nice if they were all this engaging and entertaining." / All Music Guide

"...a product with tonal complexity and a mentally visible spectrum of colors. They take a significant leap into a strange sonic world and land assuredly on their feet." / Cadence

"Some of the most hypnotic, lovely and gruelingly noisy moments ever put to tape." / Pillowfight

---------------- > LIVE REVIEWS
"Like the half-cocked doodlings of two sleepwalking 1971 child guitar virtuosos played in perfect stereo synchronicity with matching guitars, and accompanied by the sound of somebody trapped inside of a washing machine." / Spockmorgue Music List

"Dieterich and Rodriguez let loose splintered shards of guitar." / Copper Press

"Agile, inventive, propulsive ...a natural colourist." (on Chad Popple) / Rubberneck

"...a polyrhythmic stew of weird twelve-tone, free form improvisation and cacophonic crackdowns... a display of musical insanity defying explanation by any rational standards. At times it seemed like thousands of little, maniacal insects were gnawing away on the very bones of the listener." / Club Play/Rec

With "Open Mouth, O Wisp" weighing in at a formidable twenty-two tracks, we could do no less than throw down THREE FREE MP3's for your open mouth to Gorge upon. All three are now up at the AUDIO page - no fork necessary!!! GORGE TRIO "Open Mouth, O Wisp" will be released on June 22nd, but we have them in stock for mailorder NOW! Checks or money orders go to the P.O. Box and Paypals can go HERE. For more details, check the GORGE TRIO entry in our CATALOG and Gorge Trio's new BAND page.

ITEM! Down south in New Orleans, Louisiana, concert and nightclub organist MR QUINTRON has sealed himself away in the Spellcaster Lodge hard at work on his next release - a haunting spook-inspired vinyl and CD slab guaranteed to be XXX rated - cuz it'll scare the pants clean off of all who listen!

Back in the last century, Quintron unveiled "The Frog Tape", a consternating cassette for the haunted house set, which originated as one of Quintron's practice tapes - the kind that usually gets erased, lost or thrown away. An extremely limited number of copies were produced (read: 100), sold only at Quintron and Miss Pussycat's Halloween tour and via SKiN GRAFT mailorder. Now, years later, Quintron has exhumed the Frog tape, and is applying extensive mathematics to the original work - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division - all are employed to arrive at the ultimate spook record - a trick-or-treater tailor-made for those frequenting sleazy rock clubs, pizza restaurants, and university lecture halls .You'll hear
haunting organ instrumentals, a demonstration of Mr. Q's "Backwards" playing technique and actual singing frogs performing the strangest, most out of tune symphony ever recorded. Watch this space for more info and the impending pre-Halloween release date!

In addition to our rotating roster of rockers (recounted across our wondrous website), the time has come yet again for your perpetually prominent pontiff to provide the puzzled populace with a proclamation that will positively produce peerless, pulse-pounding pleasure to all peoples 'pon this planet! Simply said, NOW is the time to announce two new additions to the SKiN GRAFT family of far-outs! Put your heads together for POINT LINE PLANE and YOWIE!

Since a secret and inauspicious "new band night" performance at Portland's legendary club Satyricon in January of 2002, POINT LINE PLANE have continued to refine, remix and reprove their hypnotic, frenzied amalgam of synapse shorting sci-fi-horror-noise-dance music. The original synth/drums duo of Joshua Blanchard (ex-Sensualists) and Nathan Carson (ex-Witch Mountain) released their infamous self-titled album for the esteemed Xeroid Records just a short while back. A slew of E.P.s and comp tracks for various labels followed, with each consecutive release further impairing an already damaged populace.
In late 2003, after 3 months of touring, Howard Gillam (aka Supersprite) joined on second synth, with the trio's first recorded output being an original score for "Haunters", the upcoming feature documentary film about d.i.y. haunted house theme attractions and the people who make them. With Howard firmly infixed in the PLP saucer, the band has turned it's attention toward their second full length, tentatively titled "Smoke Signals". SKiN GRAFT is pleased to punch with the news that POINT LINE PLANE are in the studio now and air control is predicting a late 2004 landing. You can hear an MP3 from PLP's debut album, "Velvet Hole In The Head" HERE - and for more info on the band, check their website HERE.

Before Jazzy turns the page to YOWIE, please indulge your preeminent pope of the press a preface: As you most certainly know, our little outfit here is nothing if not world famous. And to keep ahead of the joneses that requires lots of moving around. After a swimming three year sabbatical in the wilds of Vienna, Austria, SKiN GRAFT has relocated it's satellite office once again! Let it be known that in a dramatic turn of events, calculated to further embolden the label's deathgrip over mid-America, SKiN GRAFT has opened a new outpost - in none other than "da Lou" - St. Louis, Missouri!!! Those with their masters in SGraftology, will recall that, back in the day, SKiN GRAFT rose from the primordial ooze in the tar pits surrounding St. Louis as a self-published punk-comic zine. And many a Graft act of old originated in the gateway to the Midwest, DAZZLING KILLMEN and STRANGULATED BEATOFFS to name a two. Don't sweat, furled browbeat, the Chicago hub stands firm and the P.O BOX addy of old remains vital. Rockin' Rob Syers stands ever vigilant, safeguarding the WIndy City operation, rocketing your requests from the inventory vault, while SKiN Graft CEO Mark Fischer house-sits the St. Louis hotbed. I can hear you now houseflies, "Cool your bagpipes and get on with it, Jazzy, - what does this have to do with Yowie, the band we're all reading to read about?" Alright already impatient ones, see, there is a method to my meandering - YOWIE too is from St. Louis! Let's cut to the chase with this excerpt from John Goddard's recent write up in The Riverfront Times:

"In the band's three-year history, Yowie seems to have done everything in its reach to make things as difficult on itself as possible. It is in this constant self-challenge that one can see a sort of intellectual nobility shining through songs that often sound as if they'll spin out of control and whiz off into the ether. O'Connor's drumming is a befuddling barrage of 32nd notes, jarring stops and cymbal splashes that defies simple description, often calling to mind the rhythmic mayhem of the music of Raymond Scott, the composer of scores for countless cartoons from the 1940s. And the dueling, microtonally tuned guitars of Wonsewitz and Hagerty engage in sonic relationships that don't seem to want to exist, often creating dissonance that's oddly compelling. It's high-velocity music of intense discipline, rigid structure and focused force; Yowie's kung fu is very good. The aural ass-whupping they so effortlessly throw down energizes, excites and amazes further with every listen. It's an ululating tribute to human potential through music, a testament to the fact that we as humans have much further to go. If music is the history of the human spirit, Yowie proves that musicians could start being a little more honest with themselves by seeking out every remote nook and cranny in the mind and bathing the darkness in an unrelenting light. If it's possible to explain Yowie in one sentence, Hagerty has at least come close, if not nailed it beautifully. "The point is to free the material and the given tools from each other."

There you have it! Hang on to your hairpieces heroes as we heave forth new heights of SKiN GRAFT sell-through in 2004! Watch for full length releases from POINT LINE PLANE and YOWIE late this year!

ITEM! GUMBALLHEAD WHEAT BEER!!! It's not every day that an underground comix character that graced a handful of album covers over a decade ago has a beer named after it! And it's even more rare that that beer tastes so damn good! Yes, after a wildly successful run on draft at select pubs, Chicago area brewers Three Floyds have bottled it's palette pleasing Gumballhead Wheat Beer in big 22 oz "bombers!" The bottle's label was drawn by Skin Graft's own cartooner of chaos Rockin' Rob Syers with one eye on the drawing board and another on the History Channel (here's some news for ya Rob, Germany loses WW2!!). This fine summer beer goes down great by itself, or with a big mess of BBQ or Mexican food or however you chose to enjoy beer. It's a summer brew, but tastes great year round. So be sure to drink as much as you can. Be careful though, because of Gumballhead Wheat Beer's great taste, you'll get drunk before you know it! We here at SKiN Graft ask that you drink responsibly. Remember, don't drive while drinking, or after drinking, and only give it to underage people you intend to have sex with.

ITEM! When it comes to gift-giving nothing says I love you like a bundle of boisterous bangings from SKiN Graft Records! For those of you who came in late, lets review some of the recent revelations from the outhouse of ideas: Gumballhead The Cat Comic Book and CD Set!!!!! Yeah sure it has a full length CD by Chicago prog-weirdos CHEER-ACCIDENT, but it is also is a full length COMIC BOOK god dammit!! An awesome adventure featuring SG knock-around-kitty Gumballhead the Cat! Written and Drawn by Chicago underground-comix-weirdo Rob Syers (with SKiN Graft Art Assistant Larry Tate), it's the longest Gumballhead story to date (five pages longer than the old Gumballhead chestnut "Beware the Space Nazis!!") and is chock full of action, adventure, mystery, and fire, lots and lots of fire. And when it comes to fire, nothing says light em up like CHEER-ACCIDENT's "Introducing Lemon". Recorded to 24-track tape (and no Pro Tools, Brainiac!) in Studio A at Electrical Audio with engineer Steve Albini, Lemon is sonically outstanding, sports expert prog musicianship and delivers clear, strong, avant-garde song architecture - with integrity!!!! In a hurtin mood? Then you'll want to give THE CHINESE STARS "Turbo Mattress", a mini LP presented on a weaponized digital CD. Forged in the shape of a Chinese Star, the CD collects five songs that will leave the listener questioning his identity, while simultaneously arming him with the band's namesake for individual acts of lawlessness and delight. Play the CD, then hurl it at your adversaries. And for the slightly satanic free-jazzophile on your list, then THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS newly remastered "Gods Of Chaos" is hot off the grill and ready to scald, no recap necessary, just click below to the previous update!

That's enuff for this detention, but before the Jazzy one bails for the steetcorner named desire, let me take a time out to thank YOU, honored hearer of heady hymns, for your unyielding support keeps the Jazzy one on the payroll, sipping chocolate martinis and, most importantly, solvent at the tracks. Rest assured that with every bet Jazzy Joe throws down, he is ever mindful that without you, even be it win or place, there's certainly no show!




updated: February 28th, 2004

ITEM! First on today's docket, GODS OF CHAOS - RETURNS! REPRESSED, REPRINTED and RADICALLY REMASTERED!!!! As you, my adroit and assiduous confidant are well aware, SKiN GRAFT Records has made making history our principal priority since way back when the mommy mummy was in band-aides. And in fielding your requests, one title in particular received such a groundswelling quotient of queries, the critical mass was weighing down our email boxes - FIERCE!!! Originally released in a limited edition, Skin Graft proudly re-presents this long-elusive epic from our second Golden age - THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS "Gods Of Chaos"!!! - but first some background, this is no ordinary Frankenstein.

Following the dissolution of what's now known as the electric-quintet era of The FLYING LUTTENBACHERS, (comprised of Weasel Walter, Dylan Posa, Jeb Bishob, Chad Organ and Ken Vandermark) in September of 1994, Weasel began his quest to restructure the band in an even more barbarous form, while taking the Luttenbachers mantle entirely upon himself - performing as a solo artist - until the line-up was forged.

On May 30th, 1995 The FLYING LUTTENBACHERS reanimated.

Excerpted from the band's website:

"Chuck Falzone and Weasel Walter met as kindergartners in Rockford, IL. Throughout the years, the two had wreaked havoc together in school orchestras and jazz bands, as well as in various other non-curricular combos, usually led by Walter.
Falzone relocated to Chicago after completing college in late 1994. In May 1995, Walter called him over to the Flying Luttenbachers practice space to try out for the band. With a gig already booked for the end of May, a last minute decision was made to add some sort of low end instrument to the band to leaven the sound. Due to sheer volume, the Falzone/Walter duo was even more sonically harrowing than the ultra-treblely 546/1389 era Luttenbachers!
Walter contacted Bill Pisarri, a visual artist/film student friend from the dorm days and asked if he could see contributing some sort of electronic rumble to the proceedings. Falzone wound up selling an old bass guitar to Pisarri with just enough time time left for the bass player to figure out how to play it! The first concert by the new band took place at the Hot House on May 30, 1995. The set included "Clammer + Sprint", "Death Ray", "Dance of the Lonely Hyenas", and a Chuck Falzone composition entitled "Sisyphus".

In the aftermath of the smashing success of the debut live show, the three began legitimate rehearsals. A slew of zealous live gigs slowly and surely spread the word that the Flying Luttenbachers were back in full force. On the event of the June 16th gig, the gigantic pentagram banner that would become ubiquitous over the next two and a half years made its first appearance hanging behind the group. By November 1995 the band was already cutting demos for an impending release."

That first release was "Revenge Of The Flying Luttenbachers", a ground breaking stab of No Wave bombast, reknowned for it's corrosive density, furious intensity and pink cover.

Following Revenge's release, swami's worldwide were stumped, few could have guessed what was to come next -an intensely detailed concept album. The theme - the destruction of the human race. To achieve this goal, the band broadened their scope. The instrumentation expanded from the previously documented "power trio" format to include acoustic and electric guitars, basses, drums, voices, percussion, synthesizer, bass clarinets, clarinets, saxophone, and violins, as well as endless shock/sound effects.
Originally released in 1997, "Gods Of Chaos" is an astoundingly ambitious work: A 45 minute epic that musically illustrates the events leading up to the end of the human race by blasting down the stylistic barriers separating free jazz skronk, hardcore punk and grindcore / black metal fury. Unavailable for years, SKiN GRAFT proudly re-presents Gods Of Chaos in a new edition, fully remastered by Weasel Walter for maximum killpower. Sonically, there's no comparison, "Gods of Chaos" is more intense, uncompromising and damaging than ever before. The immaculate artwork of the original release, painstakingly assembled by the Luttenbachers' own Bill Pisarri, has been faithfully reproduced in a sense-shattering 6-panel fold out full-color poster sleeve, depicting a dense, alien landscape under the survey of a glowing, exceedingly Luciferian-looking musical triumvirate. The flip side is an intricate and cryptic montage of artwork hinting at the album's storyline and recording process.
"Gods Of Chaos (Remastered)" will be released on March 16th, 2004. An MP3, The Floatation Method is awaiting your downloads at the AUDIO page and the CD can now be pre-ordered at the SKiN GRAFT Shop HERE.

The current FLYING LUTTENBACHERS line-up, which includes Ed Rodruiguez of GORGE TRIO (see below) and Mike Green of BURMESE are currently performing material from the the Satanic Power Trio Era in celebration of Gods return. Tour dates can be found HERE.

Y'all sure have taken a shine to CHEER-ACCIDENT's unprecedented double header, their TWO new releases "Introducing Lemon" (avaiable as a Gatefold 2xLP&CD set and as a reliable solo CD as well) and "Gumballhead The Cat" (CD and comic set) are spinning turntables, CD trays and heads from Boise to Berlin! Next up, CHEER-ACCIDENT are heading to Austin to play South By Southwest (with numerous stops along the way), playing two sets, one as the backing band for Harvey Sid Fischer and another as CHEER-ACCIDENT proper. Check out the TOUR DATES HERE. And reviews on the CHEER-ACCIDENT avalanche have been beaming... "Gumballhead The Cat" was even nailed as album of the year by Mia Clarke over at the esteemed British rag, The Wire!!! As soon as you're through brushin up on the Skin Graft site, Jazzy Joe recommends you check out the article on C-A just published in Chicago's Innerview right over HERE!

ITEM! THE CHINESE STARS "Turbo Mattress" is a certified hit! For those of you just joining us, The CHINESE STARS are Paul Vieira, Craig Kureck and Eric Paul formerly of Arab on Radar and Richard Ivan Pelletier of Six Finger Satellite. Turbo Mattress, their debut, is a mini LP presented on a weaponized digital CD - forged in the shape of a Chinese Star. Praise continues to roll in from all around. Why even Alternative Press pegged them as one of the 100 Bands To Watch in their annual picks issue!!! And now the band is prepping to hit the road again, AGAIN making them Thee Band to watch - LIVE IN CONCERT! TCStars will be playing shows with Daughters, Sick Lipstick and Some Girls beginning On March 5th. Then they'll be heading to Europe for an extensive tour of Italy! THE CHINESE STARS TOUR DATES are listed HERE!!!!

ITEM! Hop outta the mosh pit and loosen the laces on your Docs, frentic ones. Jazzy's about to administer another arresting anecdote to bring it all down to earth. While it's true that being the Skin Graft News Knaven makes me the idol of millions of miscreants and mal-nourished misfits the world over, deep down Jazzy's just one of the boys. For instance, this morning, the Jazzy one faced a dillema of prodigious proportions - Peering pon the athletic adonis that is myself, the Jazzy Joe querried "what to wear?" Strewn across my Mighy Mouse bedspread, I eyed my CHINESE STARS "Sperm Count" shirt, both my ARAB ON RADAR "Bloody Crotch" and "Logo" shirts and my brand spanking new FLYING LUTTENBACHERS "Revenge" double-sided Tee. While I knew each was sure to score me points at the craps table, it was hopeless, I couldn't choose!!! Rattled, I did what any tried and true Skin Graft fantic would do - opted to hit the tattoo shop and ink all four designs on my forehead!!!! Now, you, kimosabe, can complicate your mornings as well. Not only has Skin Graft restocked The CHINESE STARS and ARAB ON RADAR shirts, but they've brought aboard the double-sided FLYING LUTTENBACHERS "Revenge" shirt to boot! For sizes available, check the "Everything Else" department of the Skin Graft paypal shop. And for those of you without paypal, fret not, just print out the handy mailorder form HERE, scribble down your selections and send that check or money order to the SG PO Box for the desired results~!

ITEM! Woo-boy. The Skin Graft stockboys have been hospitalized yet again! The inventory just won't stop flying off the shelves! Fortunately, the Skin Graft shot-callers have whipped out the jogging shorts in an effort to keep pace with your demands, and so it's back to press with two more CD's of yesterdays No Wave nicities, none other than MELT-BANANA "Scratch Or Stitch" and ARAB ON RADAR "Yahweh Or The Highway". They're now ready and able to be scored, $12 each direct to any door in the US of A.

ITEM! And once again, here's a sneak peak at the latest full page ad hitting the zines this spring. Click HERE for a lo-res look.

ITEM! Alrighty, casino's calling - time for the Jazzy one to make like a tree and leaf - Hop aboard next time busters, when I'll filibuster on one of the most eagerly awaited releases in the history Skin Graft Rex! The new album from GORGE TRIO "Open Mouth, O'Wisp"!!!
Tschüss -



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