OK. With our newly honed resolution to be less oblique and to get to the point. Quickly. Certainly. And with a minimum of shilly shallying. That is, dilly dallying. That is, without unnecessary digressions and peregrinations, we offer: an explanation [for the cheap seats] of the issue that you now hold in your hand.

THE WORNG ISSUE [and yes, we know we spelled it incorrectly; that’s the part known as “The Joke”] is a bleary-eyed meditation on the creative misuse of devices and alternate apps.

But just like Tina Turner who can’t seem to do anything nice and easy when she could just as easily do it that way every way, we’ve tried to make this paean to zigging when you should have zagged the ethos for everything IN the issue. And, indeed, even HOW the issues happen. That’s why we have TWO covers: EDDIE KRAMER, the perennial East Coast guy on the cover of the west of the Continental Divide issues, NATHANIEL KUNKEL, the king of Cali, on those due east.

That’s why Kunkel’s primer on How To Blow It. Badly. Every time.

That’s why Anderton goes head to head with undisputed champion Eddie Kramer.

That’s why Nick Blakey instigates a schoolyard scuffle between JOHN GOODMANSON and STEVE ALBINI.

That’s why our GEARHEAD, 18 with a bullet, doesn’t soft soap stuff that doesn’t deserve anything soft or soapy. And that’s why, finally, this is a thin issue: The truth hurts.

Which is why we like telling it . . . which is precisely why you should check out our FORUMS at www.eqmag.com where you’ll find us a’ranting, a’raving, and using language that would shame our mothers all for the express purpose of yelling as loudly as we can from every available nearfield monitor: A new day is dawning at this the start of 2006. A day marked by things that will shock and amaze those not easily shocked or amazed. A day where we take edge pushing chances just to bring you . . . audio ENLIGHTMENT. And finally now: a day when we remember to wear pants to work.

Ooooh. That’s soooo wrong.