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Issue 29: 15 August 1999

The world's only FREE music mag edited by a bunch of semi-insane sociopaths who do odd things as they write.

Currently lurking in the general vicinity of the controls of the ISMO starship are
Mr Slutto, Siggsworthy Craggs, Atilla the Hen and Graham Inglis


THE GOSSIPPING HEN: Eclipses and things.

WEIRD SCENES INSIDE T`GOLDMINE: The end of the music industry as we know it?

MISSING LINKS: Alternative news / Teletubbies take drugs...

CD REVIEWS: Coko, Research, SWV, Ma$e, Simon Birch OST, Street Buzz.

TWITCHY THE TRAMP: A funny thing happened on the way to the eclipse: seizure by a mad scientist...


The Rockin' Reverend, Lionel Fanthorpe (of Fortean TV fame) has recorded an album at a secret location; more on this (and the other people involved) another time, but suffice it to say that the subjects are 'weird' and include UFOs, the Yeti, the Marie Celeste, and various mystery beasts such as winged humanoids and big cats. Wired for Weird indeed...



Eclipses are funny old things, aren't they? A few hundred years ago most of us would have been frightened, wailing in despair at the disappearance of the sun, whereas now we cheer.

And when the sun returns, we like the diamond ring effect, but think, hey it's over: that was quick!

In days gone by, the return of the sun would have got the cheer but now most of us are fairly quiet, with many feeling strange emotions, tearful ... a solar eclipse just isn't like any other experience...

Of course, not everyone gets kidnapped by a mad scientist, like Twitchy, who tells his story further on...

However, Reuters reported that an Egyptian man killed his wife after she refused to make him a cup of tea because she was too busy watching Wednesday's solar eclipse on television. He strangled her in the quarrel, and was later arrested.


Anyway, sod the eclipse, where's Atilla the Hen, you are asking.

Well, he's having his spurs precision-sharpened and coated with DU (depleted uranium) in preparation for a new season of album reviewing. Artistes, prepared to be impaled on the ISMO skewer of truth and reason...


Fel from America has sent these groaners...

Fellow 1 : "Now my grandfather, he knew the exact day of the year that he was going to die. It was the right year too. Not only that, but he knew what time he would die that day, and he was right about that too."

Fellow 2 : "Wow, that's incredible. How did he know all of that?"

Fellow 1 : "A judge told him."


A fellow was sitting at a bar drinking when a gorgeous blonde came in and sat next to him. After talking and having a few drinks together, the fellow says to her, "How about playing the Magician Game?"

"And what would that be?" asked the blond.

"We go to my place, have a few drinks, get into bed, have sex and then you disappear."



Only 135 days to go before your microwave oven grows tentacles and starts performing unnatural experiments on your washing machine's logic chips. Are you ready?


There's been quite a gap since the last ISMO so let's have a fond look back at some the summer's more interesting news stories...



Leading Scottish doctors are calling on the BMA (British Medical Assoc) to support calls for the legalisation of cannabis for recreational and medical use, saying that a more honest message about the dangers of 'harder' drugs is needed - BBC Teletext

Meanwhile, the Most Rev. Richard Holloway has pissed some people off after admitting that he's tried hash. The 65-year-old Bishop of Edinburgh, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, took it once - a few years ago. "A bit disappointing," was his verdict.

He's been criticised by police this week for calling for young people to be taught how to use recreational drugs responsibly.

Comment: the UK police no doubt think it preferable that our young kids find out about potentially brain-bending drugs by trial-and-error and peer pressure in back alleys...


Six men were charged with public order offences after a demonstration in London in mid-June, where dozens were injured during battles with the police. Four thousand gathered for a street carnival and fighting started when protesters tried to storm the London Futures market.

Right to Party joined Reclaim the Streets and protestors against Genetically Modified foods in a 'J18' Carnival of Resistance.

The action was part of a global protest in over 40 countries against the current financial system which is "a giant casino where the chips are human lives, jobs, eco-systems and the entire economies of some countries."

The global nature of the action was virtually ignored by the UK media, including the BBC.

'Over-zealous policing' was blamed for the 46 injuries and 15 arrests in London, as police in riot gear confronted the protesters.


CDs have almost entirely taken over from vinyl in the last 10 years, but a new challenge to the music business as we currently know it comes from the Internet, which analysts say could account for 5 per cent of the world market within four years.

David Bowie has established his own Internet service, while the artist formerly known as Prince sells products exclusively via the Net.

Such moves could mean the system of 'professional slavery', which George Michael claimed existed in the industry in his legal case against Sony Music, could be on its way out. It was this kind of thinking that prompted Alan McGee, the owner of Creation Records, to suggest last year that within 10 years record companies could be relics of a past age.

The long-playing record, for decades an icon of popular culture, is now little more than an historical curiosity, according to a study of the music industry.


Comment: So Boyzone star Stephen Gately is gay. It strikes me as odd that such an announcement can make any sort of ripple nowadays, but it did. Is there no end to the shallow prurience of tabloid journalism?


Over 400 members of the public, many would-be festival-goers, clashed with riot police as they invaded Stonehenge after pushing down the perimeter fence. There were 23 arrests.

The clashes came after the 4-mile exclusion zone was lifted for the first time in 10 years. 150 carefully selected people, including self-styled druids, had been granted special access passes to the site. However, their sunrise 'ceremonials' were disrupted by the fighting. -BBC Teletext 21 Jun 99

Background, by Graham Inglis: peaceful small-scale free festivals were held in a field adjacent to Stonehenge from 1976-78. People discreetly smoked spliffs, enjoyed the bands and speculated about whether or not Hawkwind would turn up...

Thereafter, the numbers soared, overloading the primitive resources and attracting dubious elements. Organised prostitution started, drugs were openly used, and farm fences were demolished for firewood. Margaret Thatcher was determined to clamp down on 'social parasites' and used the police as a strong-arm wing of her Tory party to stifle future festivals. The 'Battle of the Beanfield' (1985) was the last major confrontation at Stonehenge but harassment of 'travellers' has carried on ever since.


Oh what a tangled web we weave...


The lads at have been forced to withdraw their Teletubby look-alike pages because of threats of legal action from the BBC.

The letter from the BBC runs thus:

"It has been brought to my attention that you are running a website at which features various violent images in which copies of characters from the show TELETUBBIES can be blown apart and other images showing characters which mimic the TELETUBBIES taking drugs and indulging in various sexual practices."

H'mmm... sounds pretty darn good to me; a lot more intellectual than the BBC version, anyhow.

Since the site operators can't afford to defend against heavyweight corporate lawyers, they are starting a 'fuck the BBC' campaign instead.


An allied discussion about the BBC and its licence fee funding has been going on for a while in certain corners of the Internet and the strongest quote so far is, "There are very few personal problems that cannot be solved through a suitable application of high explosives..."

This was probably an American who said that, but I see the point. Most countries of the world are free from electronics-equipped detector vans that hang around in the street and scan the rooms of your house to see what you are doing... but not the good ol' UK. Most people don't know what a 'detector van' is, and long may this continue...


It's nice to know that LOBSTER is still around, albeit mainly in cyberspace form these days, and still delving fearlessly into conspiracies and political intrigue.

They're at and if you're feeling the world's against you, is an ideal read for confirming your belief that there's a lotta shit going down, out there...

Of course, the Internet is a good place to participate in the watching game too, with voyeur sites popping up all the time. They cover the range from spy cams planted by sad-case husbands to street lurkers with digicams who are in search of VPL (visible panty line), and takes in a little bit of exhibitionism along the way.

If your strange fancies extend beyond VPL, then SCIENCE FRONTIERS might be of interest.

Located at, Science Frontiers is the bimonthly newsletter providing digests of reports that describe scientific anomalies; that is, those observations and facts that challenge prevailing scientific paradigms. Over 2000 Science Frontiers digests have been published since 1976.

These 2,000+ digests represent only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, the site tells us. You have been warned.



***** Brilliant!
**** Pretty damn' good
*** Average but no cigar, Mr President
** Could do better
* Shite


Greatest Hits

RCA 74321 65093 2

* * *

swv group pic
Now-disbanded dance soul band. Coko stood out as the versatile lead vocalist on several chart-topping hits, including "Right Here", "I'm So Into You" and "Weak" from SWV's big-selling mid-90's debut album, "It's About Time".

Coko felt that SWV's success only intensified tensions that had begun to rattle the group. "Things were not working out and we were growing apart. The friendship was gone and there was no unity within the group," she says. "No one can continue to work like that because it's very hard, especially when you're not speaking and things like that ... We could never get it together, so we went our separate ways."

It's an old old story in the music biz but I don't think the demise of this band will be lamented by all that many people. - Slutto.


Hot Coko

RCA 74321 69550 2
* * *

Pretty laid-back soul / R&B, verging at times on Gospel: so rather less dancey than lead singer Coko's SWV, which had a string of hits from the mid 90's onwards. This is her 'solo' album - solo referring more to control of product than to the number of participants, methinks.

Coko grasped the opportunity to fulfill her lifelong dream of recording a solo album when SWV finally fragmented.

"I'm singing from the heart on this album," former choir girl Coko says, adding, "most of the songs are about something that either I or some of my close friends went through." Coko's co-written five of the 13 songs and they're all pleasant enough, really. - Slutto

Music from the Motion Picture Simon Birch
Epic 491826 2
* *

The film follows the life of Birch, a freakishly small baby in the fifties who survives into grotesquely undersized boyhood but finds one friend.

The recent hit "You Were There" by Babyface is followed by 11 songs from the 50's and 60's, including Smokey Robinson (Micky's Monkey), Marvin Gaye (Can I Get a Witness) and The Drifters (Up on the Roof); and there are also four pieces from the film's orchestral score. - Slutto.

Street Buzz Volume 1

Strapped Records STRPOO1CD

What king of songs would you expect on an album called Street Buzz? Lord of the Hornets? Sweets for my sweet sugar for my honey? What kind of artists would be on it? Bee bee King? Wasp? Voice of the beehive? Sadly no, this is a ditch-water-dull collection of dance crap. Not even my splendid Hymenopterid jokes can distract from the fact that this is world class bollocks. A dose of Africanized killer bees for all involved methinks. - Sigsworthy Craggs

Social Systems
Voiceprint VP199CD

Sort of puts me in mind of a slightly disjonted Art of Noise but a lot less entertaining. There`s not a lot you can say about an instrumental record that is basicaly a bunch of discordent sounds with the most meager beat. Track six is intriguingly entitled Tough (Tokyo monster mix) being a huge fan of the Japanese Godzila films (not I hasen to add the insulting American wank that recently posed as the big G) I thought this might be interesting. No; just as shite as the other tracks. - Sigsworthy Craggs


Double Up

Arista/Puff Daddy 74321 67433-2
* *

A Ginuwine-type Prince contender, Ma$e seems to be doing the biz in album sales - but, after recording this album, decided to retire early and devote himself to God.

Guests on Double Up include DMX, Total, Funkmaster Flex, Mysonne and Shyne. This somewhat laid-back rap is blended well but (or perhaps because of this) holds no surprises. - Slutto.


Bumspeak: thoughts on life, love and music from Twitchy the Tramp in his tawdry little ditch..

Unless you've been on Mars for the last few months you could not have failed to have heard about the total solar eclipse in the south west of England and across Europe. We tramps take an avid interest in astronomy and planned ahead for the great event. We travelled down from the Midlands to view this grand celestial theatre. Of course, British Rail do not acccept dead voles or pieces of moss as legal tender so we were impelled to make our own transport arrangements.

We elected to travel by water (a loose term when applied to the rivers and canals of central England) and set about the creation of a raft. We strapped together some old wooden pallets and harnessed used nodders and 'floaters' (also known as Riversley Park goldfish) for support and with a supply of meths, cooking sherry, and special brew we embarked on the trip of a lifetime.

However, the best laid plans of tramps and dossers can go astray (or ashtray)...

Whilst floating lazily down the river Anchor, we were ambushed! A large net was cast upon us and in our inebriate state we could do nought to stave off our capture. When we sobered up we found ourselves in the laboratory of a mad scientist. His name was Emeil Dobranove, an insane ornithologist with a crazed theory!

Dobranove`s twisted theorem was called "Secret Seagulls, seabirds in disguise". In short he believed that many species of seagull, herring gull, black backed and chocolate headed, to name but a few, were attempting to infiltrate human society. This they achieved by the means of human costumes. A whole flock of seagulls (I wish I had a photograph of you) would inhabit one human suit, working together to operate it.

However the gulls had yet to perfect proper human behaviour patterns; ergo all abnormal human behaviour was in fact a flock of secret seagulls in a human costume. So all the winos, bums, tramps, loonies, dossers and raving bonkers mad basket cases were in fact these illicit, diminutive, maritime dinosaurs. For example when one observes a 'bag lady' scratching and whiffling through a bin it is actually the seagulls operating the hands parts of the costume. Their basic nature to forage has over-run the gestalt of the flock and is making the 'human' behave oddly.

This he intended to prove, via tramp dissection with a large scalpel. His plan was to slice away the costume to reveal the flock of nautical aves therein. Luckily for us the eclipse took place just as he was about to begin. Naturally he believed this to be the great galactic albatross sucking the cosmic egg. Seeing this he commits hara-kiri. Nowt so queer as folks. This left us free to enjoy the eclipse.

Of course, on Special Brew, we can see an eclipse every night.


The ISMO staff and their legal representatives categorically deny that there is any truth in the allegations that ISMO is to become a regular magazine which meticulously meets its deadlines.

"This idea is a sickening travesty of the truth," an ISMO spokesman muttered sullenly. "Where's me bloody lager," he added rhetorically, his hands shaking with what we must presume was righteous indignation.

A brief history of time and indeed of ISMO is available on the ISMO website.

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