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

updated: March 24th, 2005




HOLY S#!T! DO WE RULE
OR WHAT?!?!


ITEM! Wipe that weepy nose and ease that furrowed brow, your wayward white-collar wielder of way-out wonderment has returned to illuminate the ill, enlighten the frightened, and soothe the sorrows of sad sacks far and wide! That's right, Jazzy Joe is back in the hood and the time has come for your martyr of misanthropic mayhem to drop more mad science, in the sensational, superfluous skin graft style!

Between you and me, kimosabe, I don't know how those sly, super-savvy savants upstairs manage to do it time after time after time, but sure shootin', SKiN GRAFT has delivered the goods once again! And believe you me, these are as good as goods get! I'm talking about TWO titanic new releases that already have the hipsters drooling, the blue blood's salivating, and the fonzie's thumbs way up!

The numbers don't lie - At long last we have arrived at SKiN GRAFT catalog number GR75 - the split 7" and comic book extravaganza from HIGH ON FIRE (ta-daa!), RUINS (ta-daa!) and SKiN GRAFT's cartoonist's supreme ROB SYERS and MARK FISCHER (wa-waa) AND (!) catalog number GR76 - the full-on awe-inspiring, ma-perspiring, pa-expiring, bombastic, flat out fantastic digital disc from the heroes of hardcore progheads everywhere - Japan's sainted sons - RUINS and their altogether awesome album "Vrresto"!

WARNING: Read the following at your own risk. By proceeding you agree to indemnify SKiN Graft and it's associates from any irrational acts of joy induced by the Jazzy One's report. This includes, but is not limited to: bed-wetting, gleeful forks to the eye, bitten tongues and unwanted pregnancy. That said, forward mosh!

In celebration of the arrival of our 75th release, SKiN GRAFT Records is pleased to present a new split 7" and comic book set in the grand old style pioneered way back at catalog number GR01 - featuring RUINS and HIGH ON FIRE, with a comic book sleeve by Los Bros. Graft. Released in conjunction with Relapse Records, HIGH ON FIRE present "Brother In The Wind", recorded by Steve Albini, and sporting Matt Pike (ex -Sleep), Des Kensel, and Joe Preston (Ex-Melvins). Here you'll find all of the robust riffing and low-end thunder that's made the band the idol's of millions. RUINS (Yoshida Tatsuya and Sasaki Hisashi) deliver "Gwodhunqa", a raging new composition that is surprisingly introspective & melodic, tempering their complexicore tendencies before delivering their patented mindboggling drum / bass shredding. Rounding out this three-way split is the comic "Unsolved Histories", the first Skin Graft comic produced entirely in full-color, which chronicles a contemporary civil war, with a side of sci-fi and ultra-violence.

And that's just for starters! Read on righteous brothers!

Like their visual namesake, RUINS are colossal. An avalanche of energy, nuanced and direct, written in stone. Japan's drum(s) and bass duo are renowned around the globe for their mind-bendingly fast and complex hyper-progressive rock onslaught. Ruins are masters of quick-change, stop/start tempos, time signatures and textures. Hardcore, psych, speed metal, art rock, funk- all are elements incorporated into their music, but what comes out is irrefutably original. Unquestionably RUINS. Ruins formed in 1985 and are Japan's preeminent underground force. Their influence is heard in the music of Fantomas, Lightning Bolt and a generation of musical freakouts, but RUINS continue to evolve and lead the charge. Ruins have recorded with the likes of Derek Bailey and John Zorn, and have inherited the musical constitution of avant-garde and progressive groups such as Magma, Frank Zappa, Henry Cow, and King Crimson - but their overwhelming physical power jettisons them into another realm, beyond borders of genre, to find opened arms and dropped jaws not only within these esteemed circles, but also among hardcore punk enthusiasts and metal audiences craving speed, technical ability and razor sharp precision. Few, if any, bands can appeal equally to both Slayer fans and Debussy and Webern enthusiasts.

Following 2002's "1986-1992" (Skin Graft) & "Tzomborgha" (Ipecac) and released consecutively with their new split 7" and comic release with HIGH ON FIRE, comes RUINS' "Vrresto". Here are all of the uncanny vocalizations, psychedelic inventiveness, infectious melodies, improv spasticity, and thrashing bass/drums workouts RUINS are renowned for. Previously only available overseas, 2005 finds Vrresto receiving a domestic release, in a new edition, extensively remixed & remastered by RUINS founder Tatsuya Yoshida at Magaibitsu Studios in Tokyo. Vrresto also includes two previously unreleased tracks newly sequenced into the album, making this the broadest RUINS release to date.

I know what you're thinking "Jazzy, why are you so good to us? What have lowly we done to deserve such bounteous bushels of badass beauts?" Well, heroes, don't bother showering me with gratitude, just dig deep into those high pockets of yours and BUY! While it's incomprehensible that Jazzy's wondrous wordage has not already made the sale, if there is a one or a two of you in need of further convincing, Jazzy's puffed-up posse has provided back up. Crave an MP3 from RUINS? Hoof it over to the AUDIO page to score an earful of "Warrido" pulled straight from the Vrresto master! And for our deaf devotees out there, we've provided an excerpt of the HIGH ON FIRE / RUINS comic book at the ELECTRONIC COMICS page! To order, send checks or money orders to the P.O. Box or save a stamp and Paypal it HERE. For more details on each of these regal releases, check their individual entries at our CATALOG page.

ITEM! St. Louis' kings of cacophony YOWIE recently returned from their jaunt out East and the verdict is in: YOWIE kicks so much ass, that a reported .04% of the population has taken to wearing Depends (tm) just to soften the puissant punt to their pained posteriors! If you have yet to experience YOWIE, relax, the Jazzy one will not be slamming shut your window of opportunity. YOWIE's debut "Cryptooology" is ready and able to be mailordered now! And faithful ones, here's an earful of a scoop for you - Rumor has it that YOWIE is at work on a special song for a much-anticipated Skin Graft release in the not too-distant future. I'll say no more, but let me assure you that Anti-Christ's and Devil Children 'round the world will be dropping their pants in dutiful delight when the news breaks!

ITEM! Ears needling you? That humming you hear are the streets abuzz over POINT LINE PLANE's stupendous slamdunk of a CD, "Smoke Signals"! So revered are Portland's powerhouse prime that Alternative Press has rightfully pegged them as one of the "bands to watch" in this, the year of our Lord, 2005! If you're not already privy to POINT LINE PLANE, take it from Jazzy, it's much easier to simply score "Smoke Signals" at your local retailer than it is to undergo the dieting, plastic surgery, radical hair-restyling or extensive orthodontic work required to hide your shame on missing this boat! And PLP have just purchased a new (old) van and you know what that means - They'll be hitting the road soon. Watch for tour dates this May!

ITEM! Two names top the guest list when the girls wanna get their eagle on and the boys are clamorin' to cut the rug - you got it - I'm talking about New Orleans' QUINTRON and MISS PUSSYCAT! As all of you soiree scenesters certainly know by now, Skin Graft boasts a superlative spread of sounds from Q and P, including the just released swampland spooktacular "The Frog Tape" (read more in the previous update) and Miss Pussycat's positively perfect puppet pop, recorded under the moniker Flossie And The Unicorns! Now, Q and P have a newly redesigned website of wonder for you and your pals to wallow in. Surf thee HERE! And in bottle-breaking news, Quintron and Pussycat are plotting yet another tour of Europe this summer! Watch for more details soon!

ITEM! And speaking of tours, seems nobody does it more than THE CHINESE STARS! Wouldja believe that as Jazzy prepares to put this edition of the Ballpeen Bulletins to bed, The Chinese Stars are out and at it again?!?! Holy Toledo, do these guys get around! Details are up and at 'em at the tour page HERE (along with other late-breaking show updates). Be sure to check out the Chinese Stars with the Blood Brothers nationwide or spy them headlining your local haunt - one things for sure, you'll thank your lucky stars you got out from behind the freaking computer for a change!

ITEM! THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS are prepping to wage war on Europe for the first time in a good long one! Among the ranks in this incarantaion is none other than Ed Rodriguez of GORGE TRIO! This is a can't miss event - check for dates on the TOURS page!

ITEM! We'd like to welcome TWO terrific new distribution partners! In FRANCE: It's CHRONOWAX partenered with RUMINANCE Records! Our French friends should take a gander HERE and HERE for details! And In JAPAN: It is the Mighty BOMBA Records! Please show your support and buy lots of SKiN GRAFT Records direct from them! To see if there's a SG distributor in your country - check our LINKS page!

Friends, this update has left your omnipotent anecdotist spent and once again Jazzy Joe must recharge those batteries by spending your hard-earned paypal bucks on Virginia over at Sparky's Lounge. Allow me to thank you for harvesting our kingly cornucopia of cultural commodities... You are tops. Please join us next time when the Jazzy One drops the dumbfounding details on a dazzling development in the nine lives of a certain ugly, yellow, smoking cartoon cat!

Word Out ( ! ) and...

Excel-sore!

"JAZZY" JOE ROMITA

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