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Issue 14: 2nd November 1998

Record Reviews. Feature: They Might Be Giants. Missing Links: Suede.
Music & Art news and gossip.

EDITED AND COMPILED BY Mr Slutto, Sigsworthy Craggs and Atilla the Hen

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* OK; this story is dodgy as hell but we had to include it. Names have been changed to protect the innocent (and us) from what George Harrison called 'the old buggers of Manchester Square' who would have their legal department onto us like a tonne of bricks.

During the week we received the following e.mail:

According to my sources in the record industry, ****`s 'budding' teenage songstress **** is up the duff. And she was 15 (below UK age of consent) when the deed was done by/with a regional radio DJ. Full announcement tomorrow, to be closely followed by prurient puritan finger-wagging in 80% of the press, and weepy thinkpieces on capitalist showbiz exploitation in the rest.

However, it has to be said that we have heard nothing since and although I think the story deserves to be told, at this point in time it is a matter of no names no packdrill.......

(THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS A LIE): we contacted 'her' offices and asked if this is true then why did the squeaky clean princess of pop surrender her jewel of great price in such a squalid manner to be told by a spokesperson: 'Because she wanted to'.

* SPOTTED ON UK CHANNEL FOUR TV. In a recent (OK it was first broadcast about five years ago) episode of Roseanne was David Crosby once of CSN&Y. He was actually quite good. This poses an unanswerable paradox:

How come, when he appears on a sitcom playing the part of an ageing has-been bar musician he sounded Grrrreat? How come, when he is pretending to be a superstar (with Nash, Stills and Young or without them) he sounds like a third rate old bar band muso? Poor old bastard can`t win!!!!!

* Following last week`s jailing of Stone Roses bloke Ian Brown, he has been let out on appeal. How come when a famous pop star behaves like a complete vomit stained bag of pus in public he can get away with it, when the rest of us would be stitched up like the proverbial kipper?

A question of even more import is, does that mean his tour promoting his utterly tedious album is back on again? And if so does anyone really give a damn?


* We always feel a bit churlish when people with the best intentions send us stuff that is not really our cup of tea. ISMO subscriber mapy sent us two CDs this week, both are reviewed below, and whilst one (Cordelia`s Dad) is fuck-off brilliant, the other, on his own label, is not really our cup of tea - although we acknowledge that for its genre it is pretty damn good. He has, however, got a web site for his label (Ferric Mordant) which can be found at

As people who ran a record company for years our sympathy and best wishes goes out to him in ooodles.....

* Suede are a band we have always liked and a swift surf on the Internet has found some peculiar sites. One site is hosted by a Suede fanatic from Singapore of all places; at

An excerpt from his site:

So Singapore - what's it like then? One massive conurbation very close to the equator, modern high tech skyscrapers mixed with echoes of colonialism. Lots of landscaped greenery like LA and a reputation as a fine country. That's cause there's a fine if you smoke in the wrong place and a fine for dropping your chewing gum (which you can't buy here but can bring in). Personally I'm a big gum chewer and Suede smoke more in a day than most kipper factories so I have to say we initially expected this to be a sense of humour gig. Wrong!

But more of the gig later. We're staying in the world's tallest hotel and very tall it is too, sixty something stories and a fantastic view of the harbour. Very friendly locals hanging out in the lobby who seem really enthusiastic. We begin to think it might be ok, plus all the record company people smoke wherever they want so they're either super cool and trying to impress us or it's not as bad as we thought.

Busy day of promotion with the record company, radio and MTV Asia. We manage to miss Mark Owen somehow who's supposed to be at the radio station at the same time and then off to the show. Christ, it's enormous! 5,000 capacity, lots of seats and a mosh pit that we didn't think was going to be needed.

Soundcheck goes fine, a quick press conference and then Brett does a phoner with a journo called Barney Hoskyns based in the US. The poor guy has to get up at 6am in order to make this happen, but hey it's a big planet and we can't be in the right time zone all the time.

Well, we didn't expect the gig to be crap but we were prepared for it to be a lttle stiff which is why we were so totally blown away by the crowd reaction. Suede are one of those bands that need an audience. Even on a bad night they do a great show but in front of an audience that are giving them everything they can the band can go nuclear. Imagine 5000 people giving 200%, and I mean every single person in the venue singing every single word to every single song while the standing area looks like the floor has turned to a hotplate so no-one can stand still.

The worst part of this trip is the harsh schedule which means we have to be up at 7am tomorrow morning to head to Thailand for a show, the band so much wanted to go out, see some of Singapore and meet the fans. Instead it's back to the tallest hotel in the world and presumably the tallest bar in the world for a quick drink then off to bed. Awesome view though. We'll definitely be back!

Also about Suede is proof that these young whippersnappers may be young enough to be the kids of at least one of the ISMO staffers but that some things never change in the wacky old world of Rock 'n' Roll:

Suede Bootleg Discography's URL:

A classic quote being: 'This day (November 2nd) in SUEDE history: Nothing Happened'

Bootleg news is laid out in excrutiating detail. For example:

WHY DID HE GO? Catalogue No./Label: SOS-004 (Shot Of Salvation)

Format: CD DDD. Release Date: 1994. Sleeve: One sided with a picture of Brett leaning against a wall.

Track Listing: Pantomime Horse, This Hollywood Life, We Are The Pigs, Animal Nitrate, Heroine, My Insatiable One, He's Dead, Metal Mickey, New Generation, She's Not Dead, Sleeping Pills, Stay Together (live at The Blackpool Tower Ballroom, February 12th, 1994) The Living Dead, My Insatiable One (Taken from The Mark Radcliffe Sessions, February 8th, 1994)

Running Time: 64m 31s. CD Price: $ 20

Notes: Because it was recorded before the release of Dog Man Star, the lyrics are sometimes not the same as on the album. The best song is "Stay Together", though the recording quality of it is the worst of the 14 songs. The two last tracks which are both acoustic are simply fabulous, you can tell that Brett and Bernard enjoyed the show. The main show can also be found on "Performance" CD Bootleg. The sound quality overall is good.


For the record, ISMO approves of bootlegs. The Chicken was a bootleg tape dealer back in the mid ‘80s and Slutto has been known to buy or record the odd illegal slice of music on occasions. The old crap that “Home Taping is Killing Music” has been proved to be a load of old bollocks. Bootlegging has prompted the release of gems like the John and Yoko box set mentioned elsewhere this issue and the Bob Dylan Albert Hall gig which has just come out and which should have been released years ago! There is no evidence whatsoever that bootleg sales affect the record industry in any way at all except POSITIVELY.

So there!!!!!!


Peculiar music/art news from around the world

* Now, don`t get us wrong. We are not in the business of ridiculing people`s deeply held beliefs and convictions (unless they are utterly stupid, like the fact that Phil Collins once thought that he was a small Javan Rhinoceros), but talking of convictions......

Mark Morrisson, an artiste for whom we have no regard whatsoever, has just announced his conversion to Islam.

A. Is this a publicity stunt to try and gain sympathy whilst he appeals yet again against his present prison sentance?

B. Is he gonna do a Cat Stephens and start writing songs about how Salman Rushdie should be ritually disembowelled?

C. Does he wanna be the next British version of Malcolm X? And if so does he remember what happened to the last one who also fucked about with rock music? (For those not in the know, Michael X a mate of John and Yoko was hung in 1973 for his part in a particularly brutal murder in one of the British dependent Territories in the Carribean)

D. None of the above?

E. Does anyone really care?

* Talking of John and Yoko - a 4CD box set of unreleased stuff eh? About time! We haven`t heard it yet but apparently it contains the live stuff from the John Sinclair benefit in 1971 as well as unreleased goodies like ‘Serve Yerself’ which have been around on bootlegs for years but which are sooooo deserving of a proper release. Good on ya Yoko!

* PARIS, Oct 25 (Reuters) - A host of little-known Picasso canvases, drawings and trinkets hidden away in a Paris flat for half a century by one of his lovers go under the hammer on Tuesday to the delight of the art world. Most of the ‘Picassos of Dora Maar’, which will be sold in an auction spread over six days, have never been exhibited, and some are major works.

Theodora Markovic, known as Dora Maar, was the Spanish artist's lover for seven years in a crucial period of his life encompassing the Spanish Civil War and most of World War Two. A dark-haired beauty, she was the model for the anguished woman crying in horror in Picasso's most famous work, ‘Guernica’.

She died last year, a 90-year-old recluse in her Left Bank flat crammed with his paintings and drawings near the Les Deux Magots cafe in Saint-Germain-des-Pres where they met in 1936.

‘The silence Dora Maar had imposed on herself is at last being lifted,' art critic Pierre Cabanne said. The works include sketches, pebbles on which Picasso carved Maar's portrait with his pocket knife, jewels, bottlecaps shaped into birds, and rough faces made out of scraps of chequered paper tablecloths with cigarette burns for the eye. They are being auctioned to pay for inheritance taxes. Born of a Yugoslav father and a French mother, Maar lived in seclusion after Picasso abandoned her, and she died childless.

Only two remote female relatives have been located, in France and Croatia, who stand to receive an unexpected windfall. The heirs, who were not identified, are said never to have met Maar. The collection has been valued at over 150 million francs ($27 million), but experts say it is likely to fetch much more. ‘I expect genuine surprises as some people are most interested in an auction that will never be repeated. Ending the century with such a sale is fantastic,’ said art expert Marc Blondeau. A canvas of Dora Maar as ‘La Femme Qui Pleure' (The Crying Woman) is valued at 16-20 million francs ($2.9-3.6 million).

A well known photographer, Maar was Picasso's lover while he worked feverishly on ‘Guernica' commissioned by the doomed Spanish Republican government following the bombing of the historical Basque capital in 1937 by the Nazi allies of Nationalist general Francisco Franco. Her photographs of Picasso's preliminary sketches for ‘Guernica’ will also be on auction.

Among the main works are ‘Dora Maar with Green Fingernails’, valued at 20-30 million francs ($3.6-5.4 million), ‘Dora Maar On The Beach’, and ‘Dora Maar with Green Kerchief’, together with sketches of ‘Thoughtful Dora Maar' and ‘Dora Maar Asleep’. Picasso also illustrated manuscript poems by Paul Eluard, the writer who introduced the two lovers, which are estimated to fetch 800,000 francs ($145,000).

Auctioneer Jacques Solanet said the auction would show if investors were turning to the art market after the stock exchange Maar, a muse of surrealist poets, playfully pricked her fingers with a knife in order to draw Picasso's attention at Les Deux Magots, and gave him her blood-stained gloves. Their affair turned sour amid increasingly angry arguments and they split up in 1943. Maar plunged into depression and spent the rest of her life in seclusion. Picasso died in 1973 aged 91.

* The next bit came from the sexiest lady in Cyberspace.......

Useful daily affirmations to help deal with the stresses of our increasingly busy lives...

1. As I let go of my feelings of guilt, I am in touch with my inner sociopath.

2. I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of suspicion and paranoia.

3. I assume full responsibility for my actions, except the ones that are someone else's fault.

4. I no longer need to punish, deceive, or compromise myself, unless I want to stay employed.

5. In some cultures what I do would be considered normal.

6. Having control over myself is almost as good as having control over others.

7. My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of self-judgment.

8. I honor my personality flaws for without them I would have no personality at all.

9. Joan of Arc heard voices too.

10. I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around me.

11. I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper, and complain.

12. As I learn the innermost secrets of people around me, they reward me in many ways to keep me quiet.

13. When someone hurts me, I know that forgiveness is cheaper than a lawsuit, but not nearly as gratifying.

14. The first step is to say nice things about myself. The second, to do nice things for myself. The third, to find someone to buy me nice things.

15. As I learn to trust the universe, I no longer need to carry a gun.

16. All of me is beautiful, even the ugly, stupid and disgusting parts.

17. I am at one with my duality.

18. Blessed are the flexible, for they can tie themselves into knots.

19. Only a lack of imagination saves me from immobilizing myself with imaginary fears.

20. I will strive to live each day as if it were my 50th birthday.

21. I honor and express all facets of my being, regardless of state and local laws.

22. Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than 'I told you so!'

23. False hope is better than no hope at all.

24. A good scapegoat is almost as good as a solution.

25. Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day in my underwear in the Hollywood Cafe. Instead, I will move my computer into the bedroom.

26. Who can I blame for my problems? Just give me a minute. . . . I'll find someone.

27. Why should I waste my time reliving the past when I can spend it worrying about the future?

28. The complete lack of evidence is the surest sign that the conspiracy is working.

29. I am learning that criticism is not nearly as effective as sabotage.

30. Becoming aware of my character defects leads me naturally to the next step of blaming my parents.

31. To have a successful relationship I must learn to make it look like I'm giving as much as I'm getting.

32. I am willing to make the mistakes if someone else is willing to learn from them.

33. Before I criticize a man, I walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he's a mile away and barefoot.



"Severe Tire Damage" (Cooking Vinyl Cook CD 156) *****

A collection of live tracks and new material from one of the most outrageously original bands around. This collection of gems includes their excellent new single 'Dr Worm' (the fact that this song is about a drum-playing worm, who is not a real doctor but is a real worm speaks volumes about this band) . Classic tracks like 'Birdhouse in your soul' and 'Istanbul (not Constantinople)' make you want to frenziedly dance in the streets like a demented dervish whilst 'Particle Man' and the wonderfully literal 'Why does the Sun Shine?' makes you wonder at the insane genius behind them. This music truly defies classification: rush out and buy anything you can lay your hands on by these guys!

P.S. Contains 7 hidden tracks , all about 'The Planet of the Apes'!! - Siggsworthy Craggs

The lyrics on the 'Why does the Sun Shine' track cynically ignore the role of beryllium in the fusion process whereby helium is formed from hydrogen! Anyway, this odd rock album needs several listens to be appreciated: I'm not sure yet whether I like the damned thing or not...- Slutto


John Linnell and John Flansburgh met in Lincoln-Sudbury High School (Lincoln, MA) in the mid-1970's, the unofficial fan site at tells us.

Flansburgh had heard about Linnell's famed comic books and his love of avant-garde music such as Frank Zappa. Before long, the two were collaborating on minor experimental tape projects.

The Johns began recording shortly after moving to New York City in 1982. While at first the Johns recorded independently, they eventually played on each other's demos regularly.

They Might Be Giants' first official release was a one-sided 7-incher in 1985, with drum programming by Chris Butler. The tracks were "Everything Right is Wrong" and "You'll Miss Me", both of which resurfaced in drastically re-arranged versions on THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS and LINCOLN respectively. It was a limited edition - 1000 copies were released.

Their 23-song demo tape followed later that year, featuring demos of many songs from their debut album.

They Might Be Giants are an unconventional rock band hailing from Brooklyn, New York, says Michael Girone’s TMBG page at

Since the mid-80s, THEY (headed by John Flansburgh and John Linnell) have successfully gathered an ever growing following of devoted fans. With their Beatles-inspired wordplay and harmony mixed with their own brand of jump-up-and-down beats, TMBG is, hands down, one of the greatest rock bands around. Some of their most popular songs include (from 1990's Flood) ‘Istanbul (Not Constantinople)’ and ‘Birdhouse In Your Soul.’

Michael Girone continues: You hit play and sit back as the CD player cues up. Then, the music begins. ‘Is that an accordion?’ you ask yourself. ‘Is this an Italian folk song?’ But, the instrument is being squeezed in an abrupt, jerky motion: in-in-in, out, in-in, out, in-in, out, in, out. If this went on forever you could go mad. As the sequence begins again, a drummer pounds a complimentary beat in the background. But, what kind of song is this? As if in reply, a guitar begins to drive in unison with the accordion. You’ve never heard anything like this, but it somehow feels familiar. A drummer, a guitarist, an accordionist. Could this be rock ‘n roll? Then a vocalist steps to the microphone and begins to sing a visual exploration of the unperceivable . . . the ‘sumbliminal.’

Beyond this song, there’s many more journeys into imagination. Through vivid descriptions, you’re propelled into alien, yet remarkably tangible, worlds. You find yourself beside a plotting insane man in prison, a hapless dreamer in love, a self-important spy, and an impatient fast driver.

At first, you undoubtedly think these songs sound ridiculous and strange. But as you get to know them they begin to make sense. You start to relate to the misunderstood jailbird and the ‘Nyquil driver’-hating speedster. With ingenious lyrics and a unique twist of rock ‘n roll, it all comes together.

And, then, perhaps after experiencing this band a few more times, you finally get it. You begin to appreciate They Might Be Giants.


Okay, here are some other T.M.B.G. websites:

The Official They Might Be Giants Home Page is at

They Might Be Giants Unofficially

The TMBG newsgroup is at

The MonoPuff Page with plenty of info on Flansy's ‘awesome side project’ is at

More CD reviews are on the ISMO website at

***** Fuck-off Brilliant
**** Pretty damn Good
*** Average but no Cigar, Mr President
** Could do better
* Shite

Agree or disagree with what we have written? Send your comments to us and if they are amusing or contentious enough we will add them to the reviews next time we update the site! Interactive ain`t we? (remember to specify which album you are commenting on!)

Nicole Ray 'Make it Hot' (GOLDMINE 7559-62209-2) * (and that begrudgingly)

I once spent 8 hours squatting on an overcrowded train stuck in a flash flood. I once spent 14 hours in an Egyptian airport en route to Kenya. Both of these experiences were a wild extravaganza of excitement compared to this album. In fact its hard to think of any thing to say about this record its so goddamn DULL !

All the tracks seem to run into one awful grey morass of concentrated blandness. The lyrics are unimaginative and eminently forgettable and all the songs sound the same. Nicole Ray redefines the word boring. Voted the winner of the international Dull as Ditch-water award 1998. Avoid like the plague. - Siggsworthy Craggs

Cordelia's Dad 'Spine' (APPLESEED APR1023) ****

When asked to think of the U. S. A one would naturally have visions of skyscrapers and cities or cactus strewn desserts. Its not easy therefor to imagine American folk music, this band not only blow away such preconceptions, they stuff a lighted “ACME” dynamite stick up its arse and retreat to a safe distance, sniggering.

This is the stuff of rural America a side to the U. S Europeans too readily forget. This wonderful music comes coiling from the moonbathed Appalachian mountains and the wind tossed Pine barrens. Its not for the overly sentimental with songs about mass deaths in mill fires and murderers(quite why folkies are such a grim lot I`ve never found out but being a goth it don’t bother me none!)

These guys are like Steeleye Span at their darkest and transplanted to America`s east coast. To sum up - if this band were a writer they would be Edgar Allen Poe on a holiday in the country! Great stuff. - Siggsworthy Craggs

Soul Coughing 'El Oso' Slash / London 556 049-2 **

On first hearing this album I wondered what all the kerfuffle was about, having heard great things spoken of them. I was highly disappointed on first listening to them. This is a band that is not instantly likeable. It does however improve upon relistening (I am mortified to admit I didn’t like the unspeakably brilliant Joy Division when I first heard them!?!?! - not that I am comparing these third-raters with Manchester’s greatest sons). This band are still a disappointment but not quite as bad as I had first thought. It’s a veritable album, “Misinformed” being the best track, sounding somewhat like the Bash Street Kids let loose in a junkyard! - Siggsworthy Craggs

Spraydog 'Citrus Bitumen' Ferric mordant records. Fe4 ***

No messing about with poncey intros: this band get stuck in straight away. Fast music is coupled with fairly laid back vocals (most of the time). Some of the songs tend to sound a bit samey but not to the extent of becoming boring. This album will probably appeal to the younger student set but is not this old Goth’s cup of tea. By the same token it’s not a bad record if you like that sort of thing. I might see them if they played a local pub (if it was free). Siggsworthy Craggs

Very much in the Sonic Youth vein this is an album that pulls no punches. I liked it more than Uncle Siggsworthy over there essentially I am afraid that I`m getting too old for it. For what they are, this guitar based band is excellent, and credit should be given where credit is due. If you like this stuff you`ll love this band! Maybe it's time for the three ISMOers to book `emselves into that Swiss clinic for their annual rejuvenation procedure. Atilla the Hen


P.J.Harvey, Medieval Baebes and much more......

Since we began in Cyberspace we have been reprinting a potted history of this project since its roots as a badly photocopied fanzine thingy a decade ago. We can`t be bothered anymore so if you still want to read this stuff you can access it at the archive section of our web-site. If you are heartily sick of it (as we are) you don`t have to.

The archive section for back issues of the mag will be up and running within the next forty eight hours and things are, as they say, going well and looking good!




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