October 1999
Phew! It's October and in the Northern Hemisphere it's cooling down, which means the Shunt list is heating up. Shuntese are typically cranky during the summer months because we dainty leather clad nancy boys simply cannot abide sweatiness. Yet when the wind blows below freezing and the leaves gently drift to the ground, it's almost spooky how much we all get to talking! And like the dead slipping through the Halloween midnight crack in the veil separating the spirit world from our reality, the Prodigal Shuntese returned en masse.
Because of the sheer volume of mail this month, I have decided to list Shunt goings-on by contributor. Granted, loads of people had something to say (mostly about new music) but I'm just going to list those who seemed to have the most to do with a thread.
Nicole Blackman made myriad contributions this month, not the least of which was creating in our minds the terrifying image of Alan singing 'Close To You' as punishment during a game. She also wanted to know what we thought of 'American Beauty', encouraged us all to become ordained ministers and expounded upon violence against women.
Marit wanted to know what 'Oberkorn' was - and if suicide was the answer. Mike LaVey cheerfully responded and further contributed to the list his fear for Baltimore after the New Year and his happiness upon adopting two new kittens. See? LaVey isn't ALL evil despite his best efforts. He then finished off the month by publicly prostrating himself before Miss Blackman.
KJ tried to instigate a Liquid Lyric Prediction Drive. While this project went up in smoke like so many Branch Davidians, she succeeded in amusing Shuntese with another 'Alan's piece' Theatre. She then offered 'December' presents to the masses, wrote a disturbing Christian parody of a Wham! song, gave Sox fans what they deserve and declared that she loved us all. I'm not buyin' it for a second, lady.
Hope divulged her tortuous sexual lifestyle and shared a bit about her recent diabetes diagnosis. She then revealed that she plays Recoil while torturing her slaves, the lovely woman! Shane actually bothered to promote his project, E-Lab, which was shocking to us all as he is usually so quiet and humble about these things. Baby had his first gig, went on about synths with all the other gear geeks and slagged suicide - he also gave us a tasty new track and I'm sure it killed the timid artist to share it. That got everyone talking about his smokin' music, all while answering his mini-poll, "Do you smoke?". It appears the Shuntese all wake up the continental way:

Naked with a butt and a cup of coffee.
By now I'm sure you're wondering if Raven had anything to say - imagine me narrowing my eyes at you, grabbing you by your shoulders and saying with what has been described as my horrendous accent: "What, are you stoopid?!" Raven asked us all about our New Year's plans, our wildest New Years and got excited by Anime. Go on, make the tired joke: "What DOESN'T excite Raven?" Miss Floyd also had some interesting ideas for 'Liquid' TV spots and tried to create a Shunt dating service which I fear and condemn outright. She also had some entertaining ideas for Recoil merchandise, not the least of which included Y-fronts with Alan's face on them. Hell, I may switch from boxers for the first time since I was eight!
Jen Jordan was busy this month creating Recoil topics and gathering a load of answers, revelled in Recoil on the bus and forced us to discuss 'Drifting'. She also asked us whom we thought Alan's influence would improve (my vote? Kip Winger, the true test of production genius). Jen then wondered what 'piece' we were 'missing'. Infer as you will. The DJ's on the list also reared their canned heads, Dusty asked if anyone still listens to the radio, Objet told his station to take his time slot and shove it and Brady announced that he now has his own radio show.
There were, as usual, tons of little one-offs. Jenna asked about gospel and James made himself useful for the first time and asked if anyone enjoyed the new Bowie. Dirty English World War II ditties were sung with gusto, Yolanda tried to start a Shunt Bake Off and Dusty somehow proved that Shunt was down with the WuTang. Mike Ubaldi asked what all the synthies did with their talents, Mark talked about alcoholism and Vi wondered aloud if Alan's choice of undergarment guaranteed him a girl instead of a boy Paris. Duck got excited about naked cartoon boobies while Jez proved that she could benefit from psychotropic medication.
Fox Puppy complained about Depeche Mode merchandising and asked us what Recoil songs halted sex. Petr worried about Diamanda Galás' contribution to 'Liquid' as Joe got excited about it and Julie went primate-feces about it. Joe also kindly explained Depeche Mode to us and Anton teased us after receiving the Mute compilation featuring 'Chrome'.

Fantasy Recoil album title of the month goes to YellowOx. I don't mean to play favourites but Neil's had a streak of genius lately! Observe his offering when KJ asked what a geriatric Alan might call his last album:

'INCONTINENCE (I can't control my 1s and 2s!)'
But Quote Of The Month goes to Chris who made me laugh with this sage piece of advice (funny because it actually had to be given!):

"Micah, there is nothing cool about a 300-pound sweating Mexican in drag trying to grab your huevos."
Until next time, keep your huevos close with those Alan Wilder Y-fronts, when being tongued by,
Mike Daniella
Photography - Robert Mapplethorpe