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B A L L P E E N ( ! ) B U L L E T I N S

updated: July 6th, 2005


RUINS Bassist Wanted USA Tour!
VVRUINS "Pallaschtom" CD out soon

VVand full-color tour poster available!
vv"Salad Days" & "When In Vanitas" reissued

VVNew double-sided T-Shirts!
VV"Beat It" / "Jackin' Off With Jacko" 7" single!
VV"TV Grows Arms" / "The Drowning" 12"
VVanother weekly comic posted!
TWO NEW BANDS coming this Fall!

ITEM! Hey There, Hi There, Ho There far-out music fanciers! Exhale, rest easy and relax, Jazzy Joe has returned in all his mellifluous munificence to lay out the titillating tidbits and heady homespun hyperbole you've been craving - and each and every bit is sure to send your hearts racing, your parents pacing and your bank accounts erasing!

Now please understand that it's summertime, and with Jazzy's laptop at the shop, valuable sunning time's a'wasting as he sits at this cruel, cruel desk scribing away solely to soothe your sagging spirits. So, lets cut the pleasantries short and skip straight-away to the hard-bitten happenings here at SGHQ! Onward! Upward! Outward!

First up, the RUINS "Bassist Wanted Tour"! Each week, from coast to coast, come a caboodle of queries from classy, cultured rock-connoisseurs wondering when RUINS will return to these US shores for another tour of duty. And though it sometimes takes a while (our hearings pretty well shot), never let it be said that the mighty Skin Graft turns a deaf ear to the cries of our loyal listenership! Jazzy's got your answer right here! Let's take a gander at the official press release from SG's own Charlie Nite:

Formed in 1985, Japan's RUINS are the pioneers of the Drum & Bass duo - masters of quick-change, stop/start tempos, time signatures and textures. A myriad of sounds are incorporated into their hardcore progressive sound: Punk, psych, speed metal, art rock, funk, but what comes out is irrefutably original. Unquestionably RUINS.

Yoshida Tatsuya, the band's founder, is one of the most innovative figures in a Japanese avant-garde music scene renowned for ingenious performers. RUINS' bass duties have changed hands four times since the band's formation, and the most recent bassist, Sasaki Hisashi, has regretfully left the band, returning to his hometown for personal reasons. As each bass player left, the bar has raised higher, and now Yoshida finds himself in search of the next Ruins bassist. On the RUINS "Bassist Wanted Tour", Yoshida will take on the unthinkable task of performing the music of RUINS solo (!), as well as performing with a special fill-in musician in each city. This will be a once in a lifetime event, guaranteed to challenge, amaze, confound - and prove a heck of a fun time.

RUINS Bassist Hall Of Fame:
Kawamoto Hideki '85-'87
Kimoto Kazuyoshi '87-'90
Masuda Ryuichi '91-'94
Sasaki Hisashi '95-'04

The tour kicks off July 15th with two shows in NYC, tour dates are HERE! And get this, a limited edition tour poster by Skin Graft's Mark Fischer has been produced just for this occasion (pic is up top) and a stack has been pulled from the run to be made available to our magnificent mailorder-ers. Printed on heavy white 70lb stock, each poster measures approximately 17" x 11" and is printed in full color. Seventy-Five copies have been individually signed and numbered, giving the air of a real "art" and when tacked to the wall of your cave, you're sure to impress friends and neighborly ne'er do wells with your good taste. The cost is just $9.00 postpaid within the United States, mailed fold-free! To order, visit the EVERYTHING ELSE section of the paypal shop or send payment to the P.O. Box.

And here's a scoop sure to send Ruins fans stampeding to select sound stations this Fall: SKiN GRAFT will be rolling out RUINS "Pallaschtom" CD to a domestic release this September! As with the "Vrresto" CD earlier this year, "Pallaschtom" has been extensively remixed and remastered for it's long overdue US debut - but, more on that next time!

ITEM! Good gravy, it ain't easy keeping pace with the hordes of hear-hungry hipsters looking to score those sweet SG sounds! Two titles that've been particularly fast to fly off the dock of late are BRISE-GLACE's "When In Vanitas..." and CHEER-ACCIDENT's "Salad Days" - so much so, that the command has come from above to fire up the press and run 'em again! By our estimates, well over 25% of humanity DOES NOT own these two seminal CD's as yet- a problem the $$$ grabbers at $KiN GRAFT plan to rectify as these peerless platters are reissued for mass-consumption. Both albums have been written about ad nauseum, the WIRE calling "When In Vanitas...": "The most intriguing rock music of the 90's", while Scaruffi's History of Rock says of "Salad Days": "another fantastic excursion in the realms of creative music... transcending both prog-rock and math-rock, coining a new form of abstract composition". But don't let that stop you, take it from Jazzy, you won't find better a better earful nowhere. To preview MP3's from each, surf toward the AUDIO page and give the archived tracks a listen, and for more info, visit the respective BAND pages and CATALOG pages. The paypal savvy can click the box below to hop to the shop.

ITEM! As reported in Jazzy's last outing, POINT LINE PLANE have wrapped up a run-round these fine United States. Unfortunately, many a state in the union (and the whole rest of the world!) did not have the benefit of a PLP show this time around, and as a result, multitudes missed their opportunity to score a PLP T-shirt they could call their own. Now, temper that tantrum homefry, cuz we've got yer back - a batch can now be found for sale through ye olde SKiN GRAFT shop! This titanically tasteful black Tee boasts the POINT LINE PLANE "metal" logo in a subdued metallic ink to show off your impeccable fashion (non)sense. And that's not all, ranger! The mighty Skin Graft logo has been deposited on the back in that selfsame ink - so, coming or going, your torso is certified cool! These are available in a host of sizes, so whatever your shape or deformity, odds are we've got a shirt for you!

strangulated beatoffs (photo: associated press)

ITEM! Michael Jackson - not guilty! Yes, the rap on Jacko was bum, but to the relief of children 'round the world, the man in the mirror has beat it once again. With justice finally served, the legendary STRANGULATED BEATOFFS have taken time from their busy schedules to issue a worthy tribute to the king of pop. It is our pleasure to offer the new Strangulated Beatoffs 7", manufactured by the esteemed apop records, for mailorder distribution to the broad Beatoff fanbase. Limited to 300 copies and sporting watercolor artwork by Stan Seitrich, the a-side is a stunning rendition of "Beat It", while the flipside premieres the instant club hit "Jackin Off With Jacko"! Copies can be had by hitting the paypal shop HERE. Limit 2 per customer. 'Nuff said!

ITEM! And the mailorder merriment doesn't stop there! In Skin Graft's ongoing effort to deliver the finest in audio-awesomeness, we are offering the new Kitty Play vinyl 12" from none other than THE CHINESE STARS! Yes, you know 'em, you love em - but betcha don't yet know the cuts "TV Grows Arms" and "The Drowning"! Sporting art by the ever-effluent Matt Brinkman, it's another jackpot, with 12 inches sure to please even the loosest of slots. Get thee HERE.

ITEM! Last time, Jazzy let the cat out of the bag on SG's famed bad pussy, GUMBALLHEAD THE CAT and his new weekly comic series now showing in the Chicago Reader. Since the series launch, the denizens of Chicago have found renewed vim and vigor, the suicide rate has dropped dramatically and the city of big shoulders is now reveling in the warm fuzzy embrace that can only come from a big ugly yellow cat. Now, since Gumballhead's adventures are currently showing exclusively in Chicago, the Jazzy one has been flooded with catcalls from parts all around demanding MORE samples online for the eyeing. Eager to please and quick to appease, Rob and Mark have just uploaded episode 8 of the series at the new Gumballhead website. And from the looks of it, a lot's gone down in eight weeks! Gumballhead's dressed to kill and surrounded by super rich-types, an Italian death ray cannon is blasting a pink Abrams tank and the FBI is on the scene with weapons drawn! But you don't need me to tell ya about it(!) - give those retinas a good scratch right HERE!

ITEM! Okay... last item, so catch your breath cuz I'm taking it away again! Between you and me kimosabe, nothing puts the jazz in Joe's toes like announcing a new addition to our rambunctious ranks of rollickers, and today I have DOUBLE the pleasure! Please join me in welcoming none other than MADE IN MEXICO and KOENJI HIYAKKEI to the SG Hall Of Hotshots (applause)!

For those under a rock (or simply slow to catch on), MADE IN MEXICO is what some would refer to as a post-ARAB ON RADAR band. Now believe you me, nobody but nobody is a bigger fan of AOR than yours truly, but the time has come for MADE IN MEXICO to step out from behind the shadows and take centerstage... and, oh brother, it's gonna be taken in a BIG way, beatmaster! Assembled by Arab On Radar guitarist Jeff Schneider, Made In Mexico made their formal splash on last year's split CD with Athletic Automaton, courtesy of our pals at the New Addition label. MADE IN MEXICO's debut album proper, tentatively titled "Farewell Myth" is slated for an October release. Now with this news tucked between your ears, we realize the months are going to crawl by even more maddeningly slow as you wait and wait and wait, SO, in the meantime, those itching to hear MIM now can hop on over to the Everything Else section of our paypal shop where we have a copies of the aforementioned MADE IN MEXICO / ATHLETIC AUTOMATON split CD waiting in the wings! You're Welcome!

Our pal Yoshida Tatsuya is busy guy, and while the astounding output of RUINS is more than most musicians could ever hope to muster, Yoshida has more bands than you can wiggle a wombat at - and they're all great! But they don't come any greater than KoenjiHyakkei. Known to some round English speaking parts as "Hundred Sights of Koenji", the band is a mouthful no matter how you say it... and an earful too! Now in the heady, heavy prog-circles, Koenji is already firmly established; renowned as the ultimate Japanese progressive rock outfit, with three albums and a live dvd topping the charts in their native Japan. For those yet to experience the band, you, dear sirs and madams, are in for a treat. Rest assured armadillos, this has all of the mind-boggling musicianship you've come to expect from RUINS, but with broader instrumentation, and an extremely diverse pedigree, KoenjiHyakkei is like nothing you have ever experienced.

Friends, bet your bottom dollar there will be more news on both of these wily, wondrous acts in the months to come. But for now, I'll leave you and google to scrape for more information. The sundeck and Jazzy's paperback copy of catcher in the rye are calling... the idol of millions has tanlines to terminate and he's kept the paparazzi waiting long enough.

Thank you for joining our sweet soirée. Have yourself a swell summer - and for the luva pete, don't eat the daisies!




updated: May 5th, 2005



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!!!!!

ITEM! Alrighty chums, right up top here, kindly drop the mouse, scoot the chair back, stand up and take a bow. Your fave philanderer of far-out facts would like to congratulate each every one of you on your taste, smarts, and disposition. Once again you have seen fit to surf your way past the hokey hordes of cyberspace for another fun-filled foray into our friendly fraternity of dimple-deepening disquiet! Yes, culture-lover, YOU have you made Skin Graft what it is today -THE MOST POWERFUL RECORD LABEL IN THE MULTIVERSE! Pat yourself on the back (we always do) and let's get down to today's dazzling discourse!
(Yeah, yeah, Jazzy. On with it already! - Editor)

First on the docket, Portland's POINT LINE PLANE is taking it to the streets in a big way! Yes, indeedy, winter's out, the skirts are on, and as the weather gets a tad less frightful, the bands are loading up the vans to put the scare back in the air! Portland's prime-numbered powerhouse has leaned down to the primeval pair of Joshua Blanchard & Nate Carson for the excursion - and take it from Jazzy Joe - no dyed in the wool Graftite wants to miss these guys!

And let's close this item with a few words from the critics on POINT LINE PLANE's scintillating SG CD "Smoke Signals":

"Offers a breadth of synthetic possibilities that includes, but definitely isn't limited to - dance grooves, near-ambient soundscapes, synapse-frying noise hooliganism and near-prog workouts"
- Alternative Press

"PLP do a very nice job crafting anarcho-power wobble with just a synth, a drum and a throat."
- The Wire

"(In a word:) post-industrial-prog-drone-indie-rock-goth-punk-techno-metal."
- Editor's pick, Village Voice

ITEM! Jazzy's homeslice Chuck D once commanded "bring the noise" and as you certainly know, Skin Graft Rex does more than heed these words - it leads the furshluggin' charge!!! With a past as pristine as the mighty SG's, many peerless platters of days gone by had a tendency to fly off the shelves before many had a chance to eye or ear them. And it's a mammoth task keeping these in print while sizing up the next slot in the ever-advancing catalog. But never let it be said that the big-hearted zoot-suits upstairs want to deny any customers their shot at greatness! And so, without further ado, please welcome the return of TWO titanic 7" single and comic sets from the Golden Age of Skin Graft!:

You got it! It's a return to form for -

"In Sisters All And Felony" 7" & Comic Set
"Shock Shoppers" 7" & comic book set

BRISE-GLACE is the cut-up band formed by Jim O'Rourke, Darin Gray (then of Dazzling Killmen, now of Grand Ulena) and Thymme Jones & Dylan Posa (of Cheer-Accident). Recorded by Steve Albini, both songs are exclusive to the single and not found on the landmark "When In Vanitas..." album. (and between you and me, When in Vanitas is at the CD stampers right now for a long overdue rerun - more on that in our next go round!). Under the covers, the comic book includes strips by Rob Syers, Mark Fischer, Dylan Posa, Dan Grzeca and Kranky Record's Bruce Adams!

UFO OR DIE is the punkier, noisier, nuttier outfit worn by chief BOREDOMS' Yamatsuka Eye and Yoshimi, with pal Hayashi. Most likely recorded in the bathtub, you need this like a hole in the head, believe you me. See why legendary fanzine Rolling Stoned said "It's hard to believe the album of the year is a seven-inch". Comics by two Marks - Fischer (SGraft) and Shippy (U.S. Maple), Rob Syers and a classic slice of manga by Eye himself (translation included at no extra charge)! AND - in a case of sweet serendipity, the Boredoms are indeed playing a handful of shows in the states, for dates, visit the TOURS page!

Both titles are shipping to postal & paypal orders now -
For more details on each, check the entries at our CATALOG page. Mailorders go to the P.O. Box and Paypals can go HERE.

ITEM! A few weeks back a big breaking news banner landed atop the News Desk with the word that something was a'brewing with SG's fabulous fightin-mad feline GUMBALLHEAD The Cat. Now the scoop can be revealed in full - SKiN GRAFT's own cartooners of cacophony Rob Syers and Mark Fischer have teamed up to drop Gumballhead adventures each and every week! Jah-willing, every seven days, brings a big comic book-style page of Gummy in glorious full color to Chicago's premiere alternative newsweekly- The Chicago Reader! Now Jazzy realizes that a good number of you don't live in the Windy City, but hold the despair, Desperadoes, the Chicago-challenged have two options:

1) Write the Art Director and Editor of your city's weekly rag and kindly demand Gumballhead The Cat comics! Direct them to Gummy's website for contact & syndication info. It's HERE.

2) Subscribe to the Chicago Reader! Not only will you have Gumballhead rocketed direct to your log cabin week after week, but you'll also be on the receiving end of comics from the likes of Chris Ware, Ivan Brunetti and Archer Prewitt. Plus there's other newspaperly stuff in there too! You can't lose! Ordering info is HERE.

ITEM! More YOWIE news is forthcoming, but, y'know, we just couldn't resist sticking this slick up right now!


ITEM! For those clamoring for a RUINS Tour of the United States (and judging by the number of inquiries piled up in our already undersized offices, that should be all of y'all!), I'm jazzed to announce that a whirlwind RUINS tour unlike any other is in the works for this summer! More on that next time...

Heroes, We'll keep it brief this go-round - cuz as the ladies all know, Jazzy's a boxer man - and it's time to slip into someone more comfortable. The vertical hold on the horizon is taking shape, but it's a tad too soon to tune you in. Til then, allow the Jazzy one to leave you with with these immortal words, first uttered by the Chinese poet Milicent Amber Guppy: "LeQuatin mootrac kompchi!", which, when translated, comes out something like...




NEWS: MID 2004
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EARLY 2002
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NEWS: WINTER 98 / 99

NEWS: WINTER 96 / 97