Online Edition 04.2007


Five Minutes of Hell with Harley Race | Thomas Crone

Nipkow Disc (1883) | Greg Ott

Rural Rhetoric | L.A. Ramsey

Knees Knock | Brett Underwood

American History | Matthew Webber

Chris | Jennifer Woods


Sound of St. Louis | Kerry Zimmerman

SOUND Photos | Dana Smith, L.A. Ramsey, and Jane Linders

Hear the author read this piece on the SOUND CD.

Knees Knock | by Brett Underwood

"Shut the F--k Up! We're trying to make some music down here! Jive-Ass Mother F-ckers."
 --John Zorn August 1997
(to Czech Republic president Vaclav Havel, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed, who were talking during a Bar Kokhba show at The Knitting Factory)

"I do not write experimental music. My experimenting is done before I make the music. Afterwards, it is the listener who must experiment."
--Edgar Varese

Their encroachment sometimes welcome, sometimes haunting can send a grown man to the john, the pulpit, the confessional, the madhouse. The same goes for all beings.

Lhaso Apsu yelp. Wolves bay. A car explodes. Little kitty cats mew. Daddy’s got a squeezebox. Mommy cries herself to sleep. Bob saves up for a parabolic microphone with the tips he makes washing sedan windshields. Frank wears earplugs, though he is deaf. The buzz continues.

The checks come in the mail to pay for the buffering and the AC units drown out the crimes of the night. Love and happiness conquer the banal screams of youths and during the winter months even Bach and Beethoven are muffled in the roar of the heaters, blowing their suffocating breath to keep the anemic from teeth chatters and shivers. A well-placed bug captures the ensuing moans but can never take from her the past dalliances of the night and the voices for which she yearns. He’ll never say, “I love you”.
Ashamed of her lisp, he mutters to himself as he backs away each morning, when the sickness is at it most audible. The coffee maker percolates to the ticking of the clock.
The Sawtooth Mountains invite Morricone to the piazza and the nuns beg their pupils to cease.

On the chipper side of town, the giggling and tee-heeing is enough to quell thought. Piss drips silently down the thighs of the plebes. Breezes sing through the lips of the leaves. A broken guitar string heals itself and whispers love into a salamander’s backside.

The muse wants for crisp exactitude. The listener is not convinced by the beating of the hummingbird’s wings. Taking a sedative only parlays a concert according to the Luddite. Troops stomp off to war in search of boom boom and the squooshy blood of the brown people so you don’t have to sell your iPod.

“I’ve heard about enough of you, Mister!”
The release of the safety hardly makes a noise. The killer stomps down a hall in anger.
The full moon sings.


Brett Lars Underwood is a bartender and a gadabout who writes, promotes and produces happenings and mishaps. He's quicker with the stink eye than verbal reprimands and favors the brushback pitch over preemptive warfare. He has the wingspan of an albatross.