Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tip of the Knife, Issue 13

Going to the shopping mall is super awesome jet set cool.  With so many stores to browse, so many things to buy, we are fulfilled.  With a food court to gorge ourselves, to replenish ourselves, to be better shoppers, we are complete.  Children’s clothing- home furnishing- computers- books- jewelry- cards and gifts.  The variety is mind boggling.  And it’s all for you.

Going to Tip of the Knife is a similar experience, so many stores to visit.  We have David Chirot’s eerie frightening images, Francesco Aprile’s call to arms, Marilyn Rosenberg’s fluid forces, Richard Kostelanetz’s romance novel parody and Ryosuke Cohen’s manic rubber stamp pileup.

So in the end TOTK has as much variety, as much visual impact as any mall, but ours is better because we offer 7 different stores per mag.  And it’s all for you.




David Chirot
Francesco Aprile
Bill DiMichele
Marilyn R. Rosenberg
Richard Kostelanetz
Ryosuke Cohen
Negative Choice

David Chirot







Francesco Aprile

"aujourd'hui, la communication est interrompue, les relations social sont devenu l'object d'action des grands pouvoirs qui abrégent les mots à être un résidu de communication. dans cette situation nous retrouvons deux typologie des tissus poétiques: les mots qu’ils sont devenu journalistique-publicitaire, subliminaux; les mots qu’ils sont devenu langage résidu. ces mots sont de la bouillie de papier, ou de la bouillie de langage. un morceau de sexe oublié." (Francesco Aprile, 2013-01-07)

Bill DiMichele


A mutant combination of photographic developer, fixer, Liquitex acrylic paint and metallic gold spray paint.

Marilyn R. Rosenberg

These are DOUBLE meld pages from the artists' book NOISE, MRR'S, visual poetry/drawings artists' book, March 2012, published by Redfoxpress, Ireland.

noisy bookplate pgs 12-13, MRR, MELD EXCERPTS from NOISE, 2012

noisy bookplate pgs 14-15, MRR, MELD EXCERPT from NOISE, 2012 

noisy bookplate pgs 16-17, MRR, MELD EXCERPT from NOISE, 2012 

noisy bookplate pgs 34-35, MRR, MELD EXCERPT from NOISE, 2012 

Richard Kostelanetz

Camera-ready single-page LOVINGS (from a forthcoming book): 

Ryosuke Cohen

Negative Choice


The state of modern music is constantly in flux; it goes around, it comes around, circles and cycles.  I’m going to choose examples to prove my point, knowing full well that I can’t cover it all (add or subtract to your liking).

The early 1960s were full of syrupy MOR crooners like Jerry Vale, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., all accompanied by too much brass and too many strings.  This gave us drunken lounge singers dusting off Tin Pan Alley and entertaining every mom and dad in America who was holding a martini.  (The swollen nature of the style predicts the same kind of pseudo-sophistication of Art Rock.)

As this continued, something great was percolating in the coffee houses- folk rock.  Accompanied simply by acoustic guitar and occasionally, an upright bass, they shook the world, first the initiated, then the rest of America.  Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, the Weavers, all made a mark on the youth of the time.  Watch Peter Paul and Mary doing ‘If I Had a Hammer’ and one word comes to mind- righteous.  It may not be visible or audible, but the folk movement presages punk in its telling of the ultimate truth.

But everything changed when the distortion box was invented.  All of a sudden you needed electric guitars, cables, wires and booming drums to perform (for tens of thousands of screaming fans).  We’ve entered a new phase of sophistication, psychedelia.  It’s all about effects pedals, backward recording, extended modal jams borrowed from jazz, and many other laborious techniques.  Increasing complexity, seen in bands like King Crimson and Genesis revealed themselves as dinosaurs mired in multi-banked synthesizers and fat symphonic play (sound familiar?).  So where do we go from here?  The bloated and pompous bands that appeared to be indestructible were apparently not.

Punk exploded in 1975, a maelstrom of enlightened amateurism, a purifying wave, washing away the giant prop-laden arena shows with their half hour drum solos (Bonzo, when live (no pun intended), always made me kind of bored and a little queasy).  With botched guitar chords, bleeding body parts, ripped t-shirts that say ‘I hate Pink Floyd’ and no musical skills whatsoever, the punk bands threw themselves into their spitting crowds. Richard Hell, X, Husker Du, Bad Brains, SVT, Joy Division, all bands that gave punk a bad name- or was it a good name?

As the twenty first century dawns we see a new kind of syrupy sophistication- robo pop, also known as baby dinosaur pop.  Autotune, mechanized teenage heartthrobs with soulless producers (“Dawg! You’re in it to win it!”), and ridiculous costumes (not attire, I insist on the term costume- I think back to Audrey Hepburn doing ‘Moon River’ on acoustic guitar in just jeans and a sweatshirt, no costume necessary to create a masterpiece).  Uncounted numbers of pimple-faced preteens worship these idols as if it were a religion (indeed, it means much more than religion to them).  Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Jordin Sparks, One Direction- duuuh, need I go on?

So it’s time to blow away the baby dinosaurs, but this time punk can’t do it, they’re all in beards and sandals eating some vegan crap and listening to James Taylor.

And so we arrive at our final destination: total postmodern destruction, a combination of hardcore, grindcore, youth crew, and any number of shards fresh from the furnace.  One form worth checking out is Power Violence, best exemplified by the German band, Stack.  They’re so hard, so fast, that when I listen to them I hear the screaming deaths of millions upon millions of agonized souls from Russia across Europe to Germany, tanks crushing, cannons tearing apart soldiers and civilians, old and young alike.

Here we find a flaming burning shard called Straight Edge.  The clarion call comes from Negative Choice.  They wear big black X’s drawn with markers on the back of their hands to show the dealers that they are drug free. They believe, as I do, that this energizes their sound, their firepower.  I used to go to their practices, sitting on an amp while my hair was being blown back as if I were in a tornado.  Now I’ve been an uber-avid listener of all kinds of music for my whole life, fifty plus years and I’ve heard a lot of great stuff, so why do I think so much of these mad fifteen year olds?  Fury- when they bear down on a song, there’s no place to hide, you know they’re going to break the sound barrier. No melody- in this land, along with grindcore and hardcore rap, there is no D to E flat, no G to C minor.  Drumming- stick your head into a particle accelerator and that will approximate the feel and the power. Feedback- what can I say, I love it, it’s Negative Choice’s secret weapon (this guitar kills fascists).  Bass- it’s a stomping giant, a Godzilla, making the world jump, destroying every building in its wake. It’s all pure revolution, musical and lyrical (I would add a new agenda in fashion as well, but unlike goths, vampire wannabes, furries,  hipsters, and safety pin punks, Negative Choice doesn’t give a xxxx).

So we land here at Punk Mark Two, outplaying and outspeeding Mark One, creating work that some will not like, that some will despise, and hopefully, that some will celebrate and love (I really wanted to include a lot of other music, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Bob Marley, Beatles, James Brown, Robert Johnson, Judy Garland, but I just couldn’t fit them in.)

These selections are from Negative Choice’s X’d Up, Fed Up and Justified Demo.

Personnel-  Matt-Vocals/Collin-guitar/Josh-drums/Will-bass

And the irony here is that the commentary is ten times longer than the songs themselves.

(Editor's note:  as frequently occurs, Negative Choice hit its peak in 2009 and then imploded.  A new band, Zero Progress, has arisen from the ashes like a phoenix, personnel the same as N.C., but with Ed the Mighty on bass.)  

Bill DiMichele

Issue number 14 will be devoted to children's work.  Accepting submissions for issue number 15.  Due date for submissions is August, 5th.  Send submissions to

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