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This is the 'Frequently Asked Questions' (or FAQ) list for the series 'Midnight Voicejail'. It describes the origins, nature of, and participants in the program.

Midnight Voicejail
Frequently Asked Questions


What is Midnight Voicejail?

It was a half-hour to one-hour feature produced by The National Cynical Network that was part of a larger show called Club Manic-Depression (hosted by Angel D. Monique) as heard on KFJC 89.7 FM in Los Altos Hills, CA. It ran from April 2000 to early 2003.

What's it about?

It's about a group of 20-something slackers, stuck in the very work-oriented suburbs of Silicon Valley during the 80's and 90's. They used various voicemail systems as their main social and creative outlet. They came to be known as 'voicejailers'. The show is an ongoing audio documentary about their world, revealed mostly through collected voicemail messages interspersed with pieces of psychedelic collage and comedy bits.

Are the phone calls for real?

The phone calls, and voicemail message recordings, you hear are real and not staged. They are used in the show with the permission of their owners.

How did this Voicejail scene get started?

The scene was sparked by a personal ad in the San Jose Metro, put there by a character named Ed Note. The ad invited Silicon Valley 'freaks' to call a voicemailbox sardonically titled 'The World Suicide Club'

The recordings of incoming calls to Note's advertised voicemail box were then cut up and used in collage form as his outgoing message material.

This small-scale 'mediage' experiment created a kind of feedback clarion call attracting all manner of artistic and disaffected outcasts, freaks and weirdos, who had been largely alienated from the 1980's Silicon Valley yuppie social scene which predominated at that time.

Mr. 1:15 (Newport) soon after set up his box (called "Club Manic-Depression"), followed by Ronald Redball's box (titled "The Global Maverick Society"). Many more followed, and the scene grew and migrated to other more robust voicemail systems (which could better handle the load it put on their resources).

The scene continued for 10 years. At its peak, there were no less than 50 different mailboxes, all of them interacting with each other, trading and re-broadcasting messages, and presenting creative outgoings for the world to hear.

The scene broke up around the mid-nineties, presumably when everyone discovered the worldwide web.

Where can I find an episode guide?

By going HERE.

When will new episodes be available?

Phinny was working on Voicejail 2.0 which was set to premiere in April of 2008. Only a half dozen or so of Voicejail 2.0 were produced. These are available at the NCN Bandcamp Site in the first 6 episodes of the series available there. (Search linked page above for 'Midnight Voicejail' to find in index).

Who are some of the people I can hear on the show?

Angel D. Monique:
BOX 8016
Former hostess of the show Club Manic-Consciousness on KFJC on which Midnight Voicejail premiered,. Involved more in the 90's voicejailing scene.

Ed Note:
Sardonic recluse that started the World Suicide Club, the box that started it all. One-time roommate of Mr. 1:15 and can be heard referred to as such on the show. .

Father Luke:
A former priest (really!) and poet laureate of the voicejail. Frequently can convincingly adopt the voice of an old man."What is the meaning of this?" Imparter of many sage observations. Involved more in the latter-years of the scene. Came up with the term 'voicejailers'. Now runs

Joe Sledgehammer:
BOX 8819

One of the core members of the voicejail scene. his name is taken from the short-lived TV comedy show Sledgehammer. Rather obsessed with Babylon 5. In the voicejail days, he worked at a liquor store in Mountain View, CA known as 'the liquor store', living in an apartment above the store in his very cool swinging bachelor pad called "Joe's Place".

Mr. 1:15:
BOX 8817

(aka Steve, aka Alexander T. Newport)
The resident stoner/philosopher of the group. Runs Club Manic-Depression on the system where he frequently reads poetry, spews venom and inner peace alternately and rails against conformity, 'the illusion' and the human race in general.

Mr. Chemist:
(aka Scott or Scotty)
Not an actual homosexual, but quite often playing one on the telephone. He also adopted the alter ego 'Penis Boy', Mr. Chemist's young ward. Mr. Chemist did both voices of himself and Penis Boy, taping and speeding up one voice and then interacting with it as the other on his outgoings.

Phineas Narco:
BOX 8164

(aka Jim or "JimB" not to be confused with Bay Area Representative 'Jim' (above))
Produces, compiles and edits Midnight Voicejail. Infrequently heard on actual taped calls, peripherally involved in scene in it's heyday. Sometimes heard on Negativland's show 'Over the Edge'.

Psycho Jack:
Conversational companion to Mr. 1:15. Was set on becoming a writer during the voicejail years, now runs a fine blog in the internets.

Ronald Redball
The bad boy of the system, known for manic creativity, obnoxious frenzied clowning, blunt crudeness and ability to break anything you lend him. His box was at times called 'The Trash Line or 'The Global Maverick Society''. Has guested on 'Over the Edge' with his own 'shows' more than 40 times.

Voicejail Betty:
The 'Greek Chorus' of the show, the automated voice you hear giving prompts and time stamps for messages and saying 'message complete'.

How can I hear the show over the net?

By clicking this link, your player should start playing back a lo-fi version of the show. Keep in mind, this audio is probably NSFW.

How can I email The National Cynical Network and the producer of the show?

By writing to voicejail (at sign)


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