July 2000
The theme for this month is 'Recoil Suggestion Box'. No, wait, it's 'To Hell With The French!' Wait... um... it's 'CharlieCon Craziness!'... er... now I've just confused myself.

As the faithful reader can see, July 2000 was broken into three or four distinct areas in Shuntland. For the purpose of drama and to make myself feel special, let us call them political parties of parley. Yes, it's daft, but what do you want from me in this oppressive summer heat?
The first political party might be called the 'Alliance Of Sound Suggestion' or 'ASS'. The 'Ass' agenda was rife with intrigue and infighting. What follows is a list of 'Asses' and what they want from Recoil:
Laura suggested a type of 'Live Aid' concert setting for Recoil a la Jean Michel Jarre, Mark wanted Alan to release an EP of remixes from previous Recoil albums and Katie asked us what collaborators we would enjoy on the next record. Fox Puppy carried on about Chris Connelly while Paul thought that Toni Halliday's vocals were under mixed on 'Bloodline'. Julie suggested that Alan use more musicians rather than vocalists and Ken email'd Gavin Friday and Morrissey to try to persuade them to present themselves as Recoil collaborators. Ken also suggested that he and KJ collaborate together for a Recoil track. Pierre sought the Panasonic mix of 'Shunt' while Paul thought he spotted a bit of the '2001' score in 'Vertigen.'
The second loudest political party might be termed the 'CharlieCon United Nation Of Travelling Sickos'. You'd have to be either very brave or very mentally ill to fly across the country to hang out with KJ, this cowardly reporter imagines. And then there's all the wild stories of bizarre, vaguely Recoil-related weirdness! First, Conor announced that he had a friend who wanted everyone to come to Ireland so he could make a '101'-style documentary featuring the truly unique behaviour of American fans.
The activities seemed to include filling Dusty's bottomless stomach, preventing Duck from disembowelling a DJ, Jen running about and KJ dragging the whole lot to see Reno rockabilly act, The Atomiks. Recoil relevance? Well, the lead singer wrote a book called 'Liquid Conspiracy'. I guess that applies - kind of. They also acted out Recoil song titles which makes me wonder how the hell they pulled off 'Vertigen'. Fox Puppy vowed to be at the next CharlieCon while Ben proposed himself as the 2001 host. Stay tuned.
The 'Random Acts Of Talk' party, affectionately known as 'RATS', had the following to say about nearly everything:
Raven pointed out an Alan interview in 'The Blue Divide' and, along with KJ, tried to define what makes Mode Mode. Paul, in the meantime, asked about Cause & Effect and Mode cloning in general. Dusty had a weird experience at the 'Taste Of Minnesota' involving Freddy Johnston, and Hardy reported that Alan's 'Giga' appearance is archived on the 'Giga' web page. Katie enquired if we thought Nicole's persona kills the man in 'Breath Control'.
Paul wondered if it was harder to write a pop song than just wing it and make up your own structure, implying that he thinks Alan just wings it and makes up his own structure. Henrik didn't enjoy Peter Gabriel's 'Ovo' as much as he would have liked, and ItsNycXx wanted a scan of the 'Faith Healer' 12" so she could have the design tattooed upon her person. Mike Lavey went one better and actually got "Luscious Apparatus Was Here" tattooed onto his arm while Micah posted the "Are You European?" quiz.
Conor thought 'Enjoy The Silence' was the only remotely good Depeche Mode video and Raven bet Fox Puppy that it is Alan's voice on the phone in 'Stalker'. She was right. Fox Puppy claimed that he was mislead and confused, but we all know he was just too busy thinking up a quote of the month to be bothered with the truth.
Maude forgot who wrote 'Faith Healer', we learned that Allison lives where a few Mode videos were filmed and that Yolanda's cat loves her panties just a bit too much. Fox Puppy created a 'Shunt Evil Superhero League' and many joined. Ben targeted the Brat again for tyranny, Yolanda demanded that everyone see Diamanda live and the Baldwin brothers were discussed without mercy. Paul and Donna converted yet more innocents into Recoil fandom while Julie fumed at the 'Best New Wave Band' picks on VH1's 'The List'. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that Depeche Mode were included.
Allison petitioned for extra 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me' footage and Vi spotted the North Mississippi All-Stars doing 'Shake 'Em On Down' for Conan O'Brien. Duck and KJ attempted to explain the 80s, Christian rediscovered Depeche Mode Laboratories, Conor asked us to come up with "Is the Pope Catholic?" type questions and Fox Puppy questioned the Gay Shunt Masses as to why gay men go in drag to attract other gay men? Indeed, the mind reels.
Mark found CVR (black box) recordings on-line as Henrik trainspotted 'Black Box' to a frightening degree. Ken reviewed the Einsturzende Neubauten concert while Shaun asked how rich Alan is.

And in the 'Pot Calling The Nettle Weed' party, Yann proved once again why the rest of the world thinks the French are rude, and Fox Puppy somehow mistook KJ for just some ordinary girl. Ooh, I'll bet that's going to hurt in the morning!
Quote Of The Month undeniably goes to Fox Puppy, who wrote:

"The fact that you even use a word like 'electronica' makes me want to shave your head and then poop on it."
Keep cool and be nice to each other, kids. Until next month, you've been tongued by,
Mike Daniella
Photography - Robert Mapplethorpe