Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 8/11/07

stats.jpgWell, I was a little confused when I started this evening’s show! I was under the impression that it was pledge drive time– but this isn’t starting for about a month– a classic DaveX moment, believe me. I may not be any good with numbers or dates, but I sure do have some great music lined up for this broadcast!

Speaking of numbers, get a load of my stats for the past few days! Yes, you’re reading that correctly– a spike from 90-ish to 2,198 readers! When I took the screen capture, I was already at 874; though it’s currently at 1,211. If only one percent of these readers sticks around, that’s still 34 new readers– which is great for experimental music! You can’t say I don’t try…

Well, nobody was in the studio at 3:30 when I arrived, so I’ve started early. I’ve got Circle Six’s “Glitch Core” album playing, which is far more intelligent than the title might suggest. So many dumb electronica folks had to ruin the glitch thing for me, so it’s nice to see someone come along and attempt a rescue. Circle Six is among the most accomplished in the Roil Noise catalog– if you enjoyed the sounds from this disc, you should really check out his “Night in Kansas,” which is simply incredible.

A little discussion on the always-fabulous Oddmusic list brought up Mark Applebaum’s work, so I figured I’d share some of it on this broadcast– from the Innova Records release “The Bible Without God,” whose title is derived from a Village Voice article’s reaction to The Times assertion that the Merce Cunningham Dance Company would be more successful without John Cage. Obviously, the VV disagreed, likening it to “the bible without God.”

For the title recording on this two-disc set, Applebaum and students in his John Cage seminar provided accompaniment for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company with his homemade “Mouseketier” instrument, and a variety of instruments and objects played by sixteen of his students. The results are a bit bewildering at times, but actually provide a nice “overview” of some of Cage’s methods– and though it’s tremendously gratifying to listen to these with the liner notes in hand, I recommend hearing the music without this assistance the first few times through.

In the liner notes for “The Bible Without God,” Applebaum writes about the peculiar place of performers utilizing homemade experimental instruments– finding that one is the world’s “best” performer of the mouseketier, for instance, when you are the ONLY person playing this instrument. In my older review of Tom Nunn’s Edgetone Records release “Identity,” I also examined this phenomenon, albeit from an oblique angle. I pointed out that Nunn has clearly become a virtuoso of his constructed instruments, transcending the obvious and simple techniques that another performer might bring to the same session. There are some similarities in Applebaum and Nunn’s sound, unlikely as that may seem for musicians playing such unique amalgamations of hardware and junk… and while I’m not exactly sure of the links between them, I see online that they are at least aware of one another– surely some powerful influences moving in both directions here!

I noticed that on Matt Weston’s “Tarfumes” blog, he has been promising to mail out candy bars to people who can identify the visual reference in the design for his “Holler/Do You Hear Me?” cd-single– but all I can come up with is that it reminds me of the old Guinness Book paperback covers, or maybe the “Amazing Stories” television show titles… in other words, it beats me. That’s too bad. Whatever a “Rocket Bar” is, it sounds yummy.

Some more improvisation was appropriate after Weston, Nunn, and Applebaum. I was just reading about the Chapman Stick the other day, so I dug out my copy of “WhooSH;” a Burning Shirt release from Jeff Sampson, Eric Wallack, and Bret Hart. Please take a moment and reflect on how badly I wanted to type “The Hitman” just now… the amount of 80’s TV detritus in my brain is simply astounding.

Anyhow, Wallack provides the Chapman Stick for “Shikan-taza,” the longest track by far on the disc. Along with Sampson’s piano and synths, and Hart’s electric guitar; “Shikan-taza” is a compelling recording. I enjoy the fact that it so rarely proceeds where I expect, keeping me surprised without trickery as much with design.

Damon Waitkus and his electroacoustic composition “Transit 2” get the honor of kicking off the electroacoustic portion of the show tonight, though I suppose Applebaum technically did that much earlier, since he uses live electronics with his instruments. Oh well, let’s not be too technical, eh? I’m playing this from Waitkus’ collection, “Anxiety,” a self-release you may be able to pick up by contacting Waitkus directly. I suppose you could always write me, and I’ll send you the e-mail I have for him– its anyone’s guess if its current!

What kind of electroacoustic feature would I be pushing if I didn’t have at least a few selections from the “Jeu de Temps” competitions? These three compositions are taken from the 2006 “Cache”compilation released by the Canadian Electroacoustic Community, who head up the competition each year. Aside from attracting and benefiting a large amount of new, talented young composers each year; the CEC also maintains a fantastic resource, SONUS, for those wanting to learn more about electroacoustic composition.

Essentially, SONUS is a voluminous online listening library, but really– it’s one of the many ends to capitalism’s choke-hold on knowledge. There’s nothing quite like wanting to know more about music, and having to make uninformed purchases in order to hear enough to actually know anything worthwhile. With SONUS, listeners can search by artist name, titles, and even hardware used in the composition’s realization. I’ve spent many hours happily combing through it; I suggest you do the same.

sp32-50.jpgI’m always excited when a new release from My Fun comes out. My Fun, a project of The Land Of owner Justin Hardison, has created some of the best field recording-based music I’ve heard in the past few years, managing to make it engaging without stepping into trite layerings ala Fennesz. With the new album, “Sonorine,” Hardison perfects what has made his work so wonderful by posing each track as a “postcard” of sound– something meaningful becomes meaningless as it sheds its environment… yet retains the ability to find meaning through ourselves. It’s an interesting process, which I have a lot of sympathy for, being a collector of “Sonorine” and other postcard/memento records myself.

I will most likely close the show with this album. I am sorry not to have gotten to playing the Rune Lindblad, but frankly, I think this one is more important right now.

Thanks for listening, I hope you enjoyed the show! –DaveX

Update: This show is now available as a single 64kbps mp3 download, taken directly from the web stream. The file begins at the first Circle Six track, but is cut after “Phonopostal.” This file is not intended as a replacement for purchasing the albums from the artists or labels listed here. If you require any assistance purchasing an album (outside of just being broke) please contact me immediately.

Circle Six — My Grain
Circle Six — Cutting Up the Rest i
Circle Six — Feedback
Mark Applebaum — The Bible Without God
Tom Nunn — Skatchrod
Tom Nunn — Nailstrum
Tom Nunn — Cross Rods/3
Matt Weston — Holler
Jeff Sampson, Eric Wallack, Bret Hart — Shikan-taza
Damon Waitkus — Transit 2
Priscille Gendron — Camille (2006 JTTP 1st place winner)
Myriam Hamer-Lavoie — Et pluie souffle…
Adis Husejnagic — Transfigured
My Fun — Musik-Postkarten
My Fun — Radiant
My Fun — Signal Drift
My Fun — Setting Fires
My Fun — Phonopostal
My Fun — A Field in Freilassing
My Fun — Sonorine
My Fun — Anchor

One Response to “Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 8/11/07”

  1. Thomas Park Says:

    Hey! Congrats on all the readers!

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