Archive for November, 2007

An offer you can’t refuse

November 28, 2007

Music industry/tech collision blog Hypebot has open nominations for music blog awards right now, in four categories. Since nobody sent me any presents to commemorate the one-year anniversary of STARTLING MONIKER some thirteen days ago, I will safely assume you’re all broke.

That’s why I’ve decided you can nominate me for “Best Niche Music Blog” in lieu of sending expensive gifts.

Hypebot prefers that you leave your nominations in the comments area– and I’ve even made it easy for you– just copy-paste the text below and fill in your other 3 nominations. If you’re not registered with them, you may want to send an e-mail instead.

If you enjoy reading my blog, I’d really appreciate it if you could do this. THANK YOU! –DaveX


Best Music News Blog:

Best Music Discovery Blog:

Best Niche Music Blog: STARTLING MONIKER

Best Band Or Fan Blog:


Update: Noiseblog is now throwing it’s support for niche music blog nomination my way. My blogroll isn’t a suggestion, folks– it’s required reading. Go check it out now!

Update II: Thought I should let you know: my vote for Best Music News is “The Listenerd,” Best Music Discovery Blog is “Mutant Sounds,” and Best Band Blog is “Shakey Ground.” In the case of the latter, it’s not quantity– it’s pure quality.

*puts down crackpipe*

November 28, 2007

Somehow, I deleted the link to the really awesome “decay and pianos” themed “It’s Too Damn Early” broadcast I am offering in the previous post… I’m not really sure how this happened, but it’s fixed now. Sorry for the confusion.

Get your fix of DaveX’s vintage radio broadcasting here.

Also, here’s a photo I made this morning. You will need to view it in full. Quick, I need Photoshop lessons!

Original photography by DaveX

Degradation, decay, and a download

November 27, 2007

I’ve been preparing a small recording for Tony’s upcoming broadcast, which he informs me will have a theme of “degeneration.” I decided to send him a copy of my February 25, 2006 “It’s Too Damn Early,” which dealt with decay in ways both obvious and oblique.

This has always been one of my favorite broadcasts, but I have never shared it outside Soulseek– mostly because I recorded it nearly nine months before starting this blog. Now is the chance to get your copy!

If there seems to be some interest in these older episodes of “It’s Too Damn Early,” I may have to start going through my personal archives for some of the better old shows. If you’re interested, let me know in the comments!

DaveX apparently has abandonment issues

November 27, 2007

With downloads of my most recent “It’s Too Damn Early” broadcast (11/24/07) quickly tapering off, I can only assume you all need some new listening material. Or you’re bogged down with my old shows. Or you hate me.

Anyways, despite your bewildering lack of interest in the link above, I’m going to take a chance and share *gasp* another radio show with you. One that’s not even my own!

Before you nominate me for “Most Selfless in a Dramatic Blog” let me make you aware that I have a vested interest in this other program– I’m on it! Yes, I’m referring to ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible, a program of experimental music and free improvisation hosted by Tony Youngblood.

As you may recall, I’ve been tapped to create an ongoing series of short experimental mixes for this incarnation of ~ORE~. This has resulted in my “It’s Too Damn Startling” mix series, the latest of which was broadcast during Tony’s 11/25/07 broadcast.

Original photography by Tony Youngblood

But wait, there’s more! My recent release, “Tenex,” also found it’s way into the broadcast– alongside the Evolution Control Committee, Gyorgy Ligeti, US Maple, John Cage, and an excerpt of some Nashville-based free improvisers from the previous week’s broadcast.I’d love for you to check this out. The show download is available here, with the complete playlist below. Enjoy! –DaveX

The Evolution Control Committee — 5000 BC
Louis Barron, Bebe Barron — Battle with Invisible Monster
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band — I Wanna Find a Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have to Go
US Maple — Mountain Top
The Evolution Control Committee — Toot
Davenport — Dear Skull
DNA — Not Moving
Teenage Jesus & The Jerks — Baby Doll
Mars — Puerto Rican Ghost
The Evolution Control Committee — Lunch
John Cage — First Construction (In Metal)
Gyorgy Ligeti — String Quartet 1-2, Metamorpho
Louis Barron, Bebe Barron — Robby Arranges Flowers
Karlheinz Stockhausen — Struktur IX
Pan Sonic — Groundfrost Being
Throbbing Gristle — Tanith
DaveX — Tenex
DaveX — It’s Too Damn Startling! #2
~ORE~ Theatre Intangible — Angry Beavers (episode 11/18/07, excerpt)

Photo break

November 25, 2007

A few nice, quick shots taken this weekend. Enjoy!

Original photography by DaveX

Original photography by DaveX

Original photography by DaveX

It’s Too Damn Startling #2!

November 24, 2007

I’ve uploaded the second edition of “It’s Too Damn Startling,” my (hopefully) regular contribution to Tony Youngblood’s ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible radio show. Of course, I recommend you catch the broadcast live from 2-4 AM this November 25th on WRVU-FM– but if you miss it, or just want to add my every sonic leaving to your archive of DaveX-y goodness, you may download it here.

This edition is a little over 12 minutes long, and features portions of the following:

Sarah Peebles — Fast Kitchen
Joan LaBarbara — Solo for Voice #45
DaveX — Waiting at the Start
Boyd Rice — Untitled #2
Steven Flato — 48v
Ryan Gregory, Christine Jeanine — Rain
Frank Rothkamm — Temporarily Unavailable OR Descent Into LAX
Anna Lockwood — Rod Against Edge of Pane
Anna Lockwood — Deep Water Gong

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 11/24/07

November 24, 2007

Update: This broadcast is now available for download. As always, I ask that you do not use this as a substitute for the actual recordings– instead, I encourage you to seek out the artists and labels linked throughout this commentary and playlist. Thanks for listening! –DaveX

I started today’s broadcast about 15 minutes early. With three hours of sleep, I’m actually feeling better than you’d think– of course, I did little yesterday except eat leftover tofurky and watch “The Office”…

I kicked everything off with Hong Chulki’s “Turntable” double 3″ set from Seoul-based label Balloon & Needle. I played from the “no cartridge” disc last week, so I aired the “with cartridge” disc this time around. I have a tremendous soft spot for experimental turntable work, and Chulki’s generous and straightforward recordings certainly fit the bill. Currently, I’m playing from “Hum and Rattle,” featuring more of Chulki’s turntable, as well as Choi Joonyong’s work with manipulated CD player.

Like Otomo Yoshihide‘s turntable recordings, these are both noisy without being “noise” recordings, and are seemingly quite interested in many of the smaller sounds able to be generated with such sources as well as the more obvious louder ones. As a side note, I’m also really impressed with the design of both releases– “Turntable” features a subtle set of triangles to help listeners match the otherwise-featureless discs to their respective sides; “Hum and Rattle” is displayed nicely in a bit of folding cardstock that cleverly grasps the disc on both sides.

How’s this for a cool release? Uton and Valerio Cosi! I’m playing from their Fire Museum Records release “Kaarmeenkaantopiiri,” which I have no hope of pronouncing correctly on-air. This disc isn’t nearly as mysterious as previous Uton recordings I have encountered, with a much stronger musical bond between the two musicians than I would have guessed. This ends up sounding quite a bit like a more dramatically-layered My Cat is an Alien, very cool!

Moving to the Last Visible Dog release “Hum Hum Hum” from Vapaa… the track “Varjoista,” so we’ll have some time to get into Keijo Virtanen and company’s mindset– not always the easiest thing to do on radio.

It’s been a while since I last played an Ernesto Diaz-Infante/Chris Forsyth collaboratition– “Wires and Wooden Boxes” is actually among the first I heard from either artist, so I’m happy to be able to play from this one, “(As Is Stated… Before Known)” on Pax Recordings and Evolving Ear. I’m planning to do some new reviews this coming week, so look for some more information about this disc in upcoming blog entries.

Also new this week from Pax is another album from The Abstractions! Truthfully, this is a split-label effort, with help from Edgetone Records as well… so it’s a real pastiche of Bay-area improvisers and sound artists– Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Rent Romus, Bob Marsh, Marjorie Sturm, Matt Davignon… you see where I’m going with this!

There’s a lot of left-wing political lyrics here, which sort of turns me off– not that I don’t agree that Bush is a complete moron, I just don’t like mixing politics and music… it’s like putting dirt in a grilled cheese or something. On the other hand, for those of you who don’t mind a bit more fearsome gnashing at the bit of straight society, (and dig strange flavorings of music) The Abstractions’ “Novo Navigatio” might be just the thing for you.

I ended up playing a lot more of Frank Rothkamm’s “LAX” disc than I thought I would have– this is a real infectious release, and I’ll definitely have more of it for you next week. Don’t be surprised if some Rothkamm makes its way into my “It’s Too Damn Startling!” contribution to tonight’s broadcast of WRVU-FM’s “~Ore Theatre Intangible”

“Hey! You got Rothkamm in my podcast!” Sorry, I had to do it.

I also played a long selection from Gianluca Becuzzi and Fabio Orsi’s “Wildflowers Under the Sofa,” which is available through Last Visible Dog Records. This is a really enjoyable disc– a great blend of the drone and avant-garde elements LVD is known for.

Hong Chulki — With Cartridge 1
Hong Chulki — With Cartridge 2
Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong — hr
Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong — ua
Uton, Valerio Cosi — Silmaympyrakolmio
Vapaa — Varjoista
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — The Sun is Shining
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — How Little Observed… Half a Mile Distant
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — Tomorrow
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — Some Years Since (The Moon, Supposing It To Be Uninhabited)
The Abstractions — Lament the Fallen
The Abstractions — Take Off Leave Now Never Come Back
The Abstractions — Christian Bush
The Abstractions — Take Yourself Seriously
Frank Rothkamm — Temporarily Unavailable OR Descent into LAX
Frank Rothkamm — Los Angeles OR LATV
Frank Rothkamm — Beehive OR Focal Point of Masonic Meditation
Frank Rothkamm — Digital Signal Processor OR Earthquake
Frank Rothkamm — Still Random OR Burial of Music
Frank Rothkamm — Digital Feedback OR Highland
Gianluca Becuzzi, Fabio Orsi — No Flower
Gianluca Becuzzi, Fabio Orsi — Last Flower

Thank you!

November 23, 2007

For the 57 readers who shared their Thanksgiving day with me, here at STARTLING MONIKER–

Thank you for your continued readership and support! –DaveX

I got a Tofurky!

November 21, 2007

tofurky.jpgTomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I’m going to do my once-a-year bit about being a vegetarian, which is something I hope all you meat-eaters will try out someday for yourselves.

First off, I’ve been a vegetarian since 1997, and I don’t plan on going back to eating meat. Although I probably pay more attention to animal welfare than most, I can honestly say that it was economic reasons that attracted me to vegetarianism first.

Simply put, meat production is an inefficient use of plant and water resources, which are used for livestock before the livestock can be fed to humans. I’m sure there are varying statistics for those of you interested in the exact numbers, but the main idea is that as long as there are starving human beings, it makes very little sense to use food resources inefficiently.

For all of you who urge your children to clean up their plate, or are upset to see the amount of food wasted by restaurants and groceries, please consider this as a good reason to give vegetarianism a shot. (more…)

Improvisation for killers

November 21, 2007

A while back, I got hooked on playing Grid Wars 2, a freeware PC ripoff of an Xbox game I’m not familiar with. I’ve never been much of a gamer, having very little patience for the gigantic time-wasting MMORPG’s so popular these days. My taste in games runs two ways– open-ended and self-directed wonders such as Armadillo Run, or classic arcade action where you can play until you’re sick of it and then just switch it off and forget it for the next six months. Grid Wars 2 is a perfect example of the latter.


A few weeks back, I decided to replace all of the sounds in my copy of Grid Wars with various sound samples so I could use the game as a musical source for improv work. After trying a variety of different sounds from around the net– guitars, bass, vintage drum machines, other video game noises– I ran into a webspace of the South Holland-based gamelan group Marsudi Raras, who offer public-licensed and full-resolution gamelan samples.Kyahi Paridjata gamelan, a 200+ year-old holding of the Museum Nusantara in Delft, is played by Marsudi Raras each Saturday… on the off chance I ever make it to Delft, I’m going to have to check this out.

Anyhow, back to Grid Wards. After checking out over 250 individual samples of Kyahi Paridjata, I settled on 36, all I needed to replace the original sounds. Technically, 37 sounds are needed, but I discovered early on that whatever sound was assigned to the “auto-fire” function would quickly grow annoying, so I had begun using a file of audio silence for this purpose.

Commonly, improvisational music is thought of in terms of constructive teamwork. An improv ensemble works together to build upon one another’s soundings, with listening being a key ingredient for players who wish to contribute something worthwhile. It is a rare work, such as John Cage’s “Indeterminacy,” or Al Margolis’ more recent “An Innocent, Abroad”; where sound elements and players are unaware of one another– it is far more uncommon that the players to be directly antagonistic.

But that’s how it was with my improvisational “partner,” the Grid Wars engine, constantly putting out a stream of cold-hearted villainous space creatures focused entirely on my destruction. How odd it was to find myself locked into this strange duet– with one half of my brain calmly allowing numerous enemies to sound into existence to create a more interesting ensemble, and the other half screaming “KILL! KILL! KILL!”

And of course, I had to pay attention to both. My enemy had to be listened to, and often, allowed to continue existing for the sake of the piece. On the other hand, if I wanted the piece to continue, I had to slaughter parts of the ensemble in order to survive.

In short, not exactly your usual performing environment.

In the end, I was pleased with many of the results, and decided to share my favorite recording with you– an 8-minute gamelan-sampled adventure pitting man against machine hilariously* titled “Game-lan”. Enjoy!

* Actual humor may vary.

DaveX on Nashville’s WRVU-FM!

November 18, 2007

As you may recall, I was invited by WRVU-FM host Tony Youngblood to contribute a regular feature to his experimental program ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible. I finally got around to actually following through on this, and have whipped up a 10-minute mix worthy of Commodore Vanderbilt himself.


This recurring feature, which I’m calling “It’s Too Damn Startling!” for lack of a better name, will center around a single theme or idea related to experimental music. This first instance was inspired by a recent e-mail exchange with School of the Art Institute of Chicago professor Eric Leonardson. In response to my questions about the nature of his “Locofone” broadcast, he said:“I’ve been touting the idea of radio as a medium better for ‘evoking the imagination’ than providing “information”.

Leonardson’s take on radio is very similar to how I approach my own show– less a clearinghouse for music trivia or hits, and more of an opportunity to bewilder and inspire.

Too many words hasten failure
Cannot compare to keeping quiet”

-Tao Te Ching, translated by Derek Lin

I am making this first edition of “It’s Too Damn Startling!” available for download, but I highly encourage you to hear it in it’s natural environment as well. ~ORE~ airs this morning, from 2 a.m. until 4 a.m., CST. Enjoy it live, or check the archived stream later on. Regardless, enjoy!

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 11/17/07

November 17, 2007

I’m feeling a lot better this week, compared to last, so I should be back in decent liveblogging form. I’m beginning this week’s broadcast with a recording from Illinois-based Nail in the Coffin Records, a real slice of noise weirdness… Leavenworth. This is one of those discs that comes out of nowhere, and leaves as abruptly as it arrived. Confusing matters more, I can’t quite make out the titles, so I’ve done my best to reproduce them here. While Leavenworth may drive my inner list-keeper nuts, I do dig their sounds; I’ll probably play more Leavenworth later in the show.

Up next is Mike Hallenbeck’s “Tactile: Improvisation,” a net-release on Addenda. It’s been one of my favorite recordings lately, especially the track with the leaves pressed against the mic.

Praew Jik‘s track “Auxiliary Lotus Experience,” from Australian label Smell the Stench gave us one hell of a bold transition out of the Hallenbeck recordings! I’ve been getting a lot of Praew Jik releases lately, and I’m really growing to enjoy what he’s doing with noise– at times, I’m reminded of the more psychedelic work of Merzbow. Keep an eye on Smell the Stench as well; they’ll also be releasing Praew Jik’s “Portent” soon. While you’re visiting, check STS’s netlabel offerings— I’m partial to “Loved Gun” by Lexes, and the untitled release from AUF. Cool stuff!

A new disc from Pogus is always cause for a small celebration. This week, I’m treating you to “An Innocent, Abroad” a work constructed around the core element of Lisa Barnard’s vocal improvisation. With flautists Jacqueline Martelle and Jane Rigler adding separate elements to various portions of the original vocal tracks– without hearing the other’s contributions– “An Innocent, Abroad” begins to accumulate organically… The final result, unheard by any performer, was assembled (along with electronic processing) by Al Margolis.

(At this point, Karthik Kakarala joined me in the studio, and all liveblogging went completely downhill. Be sure to look for him to do a future set on the show, possibly in January.)

I will say a few words, post-show, about some of the remaining items on the playlist. First off, the Crashing the Russian Renaissance live disc is finally out! I played a good portion of this, but not enough… next week, I’m going to have to set aside a longer amount of time. Being one of those people who have trouble with numbers, the ultra-detailed start/stop times of the various tracks are confusing as hell. For our purposes, we’ll just say I played about half this disc. If I tried typing the numbers, I might have a seizure.

Here’s some good news! You can play “Super-Cool DJ” at home, with CLAN, Moon, and Grey Park’s tracks. CLAN’s “Venerdi 17” is freely available at Digitalbiotrope; Grey Park cleverly makes individual tracks available each month to it’s most handsome e-mail subscribers. If you have a strong jawline, and adequate bone structure, be sure to visit Grey Park’s page for the details. Moon’s album, “Like A Day On A Distant Planet,” is freely available at Noise-Joy… yet another reason to visit.

Leavenworth — Leaven Roms
Leavenworth — Wrecked Arise
Leavenworth — Bop Me of Smoke
Mike Hallenbeck — Paper Crumpled Around Mic
Mike Hallenbeck — Mic Dragged Out of Bed
Mike Hallenbeck — Leaves Pressed Around Mic
Praew Jik — Auxiliary Lotus Experience
Al Margolis/If, Bwana — An
Al Margolis/If, Bwana — Innocent
Al Margolis/If, Bwana — ,
Rudis, Custodio, Diaz-Infante — CRR Live, 21 Grand, 6/26/02
Crank Sturgeon — Novasak
CLAN — Venerdi 17, no.1
CLAN — Venerdi 17, no.2
Grey Park — New Torso
Moon — Morning (Acid Rain)
Ctephin — The Golden Germ (Live at IAO)
Hong Chulki — Turntable, Without Cartridge 1
Hong Chulki — Turntable, Without Cartridge 2
Hong Chulki — Turntable, Without Cartridge 3


November 16, 2007

I suppose you’re all wondering what’s been keeping me so quiet lately– I missed blogging at least one day now– so much for NanooBlopPopoo or whatever it’s called. My dog had her puppies this morning, three healthy little creatures intent on doing little more than sleep and eat.

So yeah, after after 5 years, we finally have confirmation that our dogs aren’t gay.

Here’s a couple pictures. Feel free to leave naming suggestions in the comments section!



Alien music

November 13, 2007

So I’ve been constructing little creatures out of Nickelodeon “Tangles” this evening, just putzing around, basically. These toys are pretty damn ugly– like a bastard offspring of an K’nex and an 80’s Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese commercial– UGLY.


Anyways, having made two such creatures, linked by a fluorescent orange umbilicus, I began dancing them about on the floor. Music being a necessity for these creatures to dance, I made up some alien music…

burr burr burr pop splot burble burble grr pah pah grum burr splot

Or something like that. Apparently, in my mind, alien music sounds a lot like a pitched-down clothes dryer attempting to wrinkle-release a giant tampon. This being vitally important information, I figured I’d share this story with you.

If you have first-hand knowledge of what alien music really sounds like, or own a CD where someone actually put giant tampons in a clothes dryer; feel free to leave a comment.

Go away, please.

November 12, 2007


In the spirit of blogger-helping-blogger, I’ve written a little something for my good friend at “Hollow Tree Experimental Music Report,” who has been quite busy maintaining his stable of blogs lately.

As much as I like you, I have to ask that you go away now to read it— but feel free to open in a new window if you think you’ll be lonely without me.


November 11, 2007

It’s funny how time sneaks up on us. Here I am, badgered with every conceivable variation of people’s endless fascination with it being 11/11 today, and I almost failed to realize that in just over three days it will be STARTLING MONIKER’s one-year anniversary.


Yeah, I know. I can hardly believe I’ve managed to stick with this for a year either. Like many of my projects, STARTLING MONIKER exists in the kind of push-pull relationship– usually caught between guilt and duty; but every so often, ambition and resignation.

Before I properly began writing this blog, I had the vague idea that I would enjoy sharing some of the sound-related ideas that seem to pop in my head each day. At the time I had been thinking a lot about my formative listening experiences, both recorded and natural. In my mental picture of the blog, I envisioned me writing mainly about these topics.

As all creative projects are wont to do, though, STARTLING MONIKER took on its own life– less a personal diary of sound musings, and more of a tightly-integrated facet of my radio broadcasts and my own musical work. I was surprised to see this happening, and am still surprised that many of the stories I fully expected to share within the first week of writing are still untold.Why I continue to hold these back, I cannot fully understand.

I’m fairly sure that one good reason is simply that such stories are difficult to tell. The vaporous nature of memory leaves too many gaps, especially in the area of sound. I know what it felt like to hear The Dixie Cups’ version of “Iko Iko;” with its alien lyric, oddly moaned “oh-oh” backgrounds, primitive percussion, and handclaps. What I can’t seem to describe is how it made me feel– confused, excited, swept up in something impenetrable?

My listening habits were equally strange. “Iko Iko” was in heavy rotation alongside the radio edit of Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” following my instant obsession with this song after hearing it on local radio one evening in the family car. I remember my dad calling my grandfather, who was by then a long-time record collector, to inquire about the name of the band who did this song. Of course, I soon learned an 18-minute version existed, though I wouldn’t own a copy of this unwieldy beast until high school.

You kids growing up with p2p have it SO easy.

For me, exposure to music arrived piecemeal, and often without context. To my elementary-school mind, The Surfaris’ “Wipeout” existed in the same time frame as Young MC’s “Bust-a-Move,” a tape I once borrowed from a friend, now deceased. My naivety about the origins and histories of these songs (and others) worked to my advantage– the unexamined connections, proto-mashups, and mental associations have led to all sorts of neat conclusions– and indirectly, to my enjoyment of experimental and difficult music.

It’s expectation and assumption that keeps us from greater ideas, and new paths, whether we’re blogging or listening to music. Hopefully, there will be a lot more wonderfully unexpected things to come in our next trip around the sun! –DaveX

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 11/10/07

November 10, 2007

I’m getting off to a tiny bit of a late start this week, as I was trying to sleep as much as possible before I came in for the show. I’ve been a bit under-the-weather, and had to debate with myself whether I would come in at all. That’s the peril of such an odd-timed broadcast, so I hope this week is worth it!

I’m not in much of a writing mood this morning– I’m a bit worried about one of my dogs, who injured her eye somehow yesterday. First thing on today’s agenda is getting over to the vet… until then, my heart’s just not in the blogging. I’ll keep up the playlist, but don’t look for anything fantastic to happen otherwise.

Update: My dog’s eye is doing a bit better– the vet says its a simple eye infection, and not injured. Some meds should clear everything up. As for the downloadable mp3 of the show, it didn’t come through quite as well; it starts midway through Sabrina Siegel’s “Flutter: Embodiments,” though I’m not exactly sure in exactly which track. Enjoy it, and be sure to support the artists and labels listed below! –DaveX

Bob Marsh, Theresa WongLive at the Luggage Gallery
Sabrina Siegel – Flutter (no.1)
Sabrina Siegel – Flutter (no.2)
Sabrina Siegel – Flutter (no.3)
Sabrina Siegel – Flutter (no.4)
Eddie the Rat — Lip-synching At Zero Gravity
Eddie the Rat — Calling Mr. Stratosphere
Bitrate — Disinformation

–following tracks taken from Public Guilt / Epicene Sound Systems / Underadar release “Untitled,” a 3-CD set–

Guilty Connector — H0wling at the Moon 39.2 As Emerges From the Depths of Ikoma Yama First Ikoma Attack
Teeth Collection – 1 Untitled Track
Wether — Sting & Sweat
Thurston Moore — dickraymakerz

–END “Untitled” 3-CD set–

Scott R. Looney — Rumination
Scott R. Looney — Janus
Scott R. Looney — Intermittent
Scott R. Looney — IuxtasEnTempore
Jess Rowland — The Waves Sound Sometimes Close and Sometimes Far Away

MediaDefender Remix Contest Winners!

November 9, 2007

Well, I guess it’s time to finish the MediaDefender Remix Contest, and announce the winners. For those of you who are a little slow, I started a somewhat ill-defined competition for folks willing to use the “approved” MediaDefender techniques for destroying mp3s to remix popular tracks. To kick things off, I shared my re-working of Britney Spears’ “Gimmie More,” which I love more and more each time I hear it. I’m very happy to say that my remix was downloaded well over 3000 times, with a big boost from a BoingBoing post alerting more than 5000 people to visit STARTLING MONIKER.


It’s been 50 days since then, and even though I consider you ALL winners, I’m not mailing free stuff to everyone. So here goes:

In first place, with a simply amazing 20-minute remix/sound collage, is %20. Seriously, you just have to hear this. I e-mailed to let him know about his win, and he tried to weasel out and accept an honorable mention. While I completely acknowledge his right to decline the prize, I have to put my foot down as blog owner and call it like I see it. %20– you win, but I’m passing your prize to the second place winner, Pimp Daddy Supreme!

Mr. PDS is a fellow vinyl junkie, and turned in a damn fine remix of Soulja Boy’s ubiquitous pile of steaming pidgin English ala JarJar Binks. This is a song that had to be destroyed for the good of all mankind, truly making Pimp Daddy Supreme a spiritual member of the Greatest Generation. Plus, let’s be straight– it couldn’t have been easy making this track sound like any more of a cut-up mess.

For his efforts, Pimp Daddy Supreme will be receiving a copy of SaraLunden, Kyrre Björkås, and Andreas Mjös’ new EP “Dubious;” the first release from Ukraine-based label Nexsound PQP!

In third place (or last, if you’re being negative) is PWN3D-3M41LZ, kicking poor Britney while she’s down. Even though he won’t be receiving anything cool from me in the mail, I have to hand it to PWN3D-3M41LZ– you’re among the elite who actually got off their ass and tried doing something– my hat’s off to you!

“Composing” for the jukebox

November 7, 2007

Today I’ve finally started working on what music I want to put in my jukebox. With the sheer volume of music I have laying around, plus all the random tunes floating around in my head that I do not yet own, it’s been a hell of a task.

So far, I’ve only gone through one of my dressers I use for CD storage; leaving around eight zipper albums of discs, a bookshelf of stacked CDs, another dresser of discs, and who knows how many spindles worth of CDRs. For now, I’ve decided to ignore my vinyl and tapes– the last thing I want is to spend hours recording records and tapes into my computer, yuck!

Jukebox interior, with hinged cover up.

Nevertheless, the process has been extremely interesting to me. As with any presentation format, the jukebox has its own unique qualities that I’ve been discovering along the way. First off my family and I will be the primary audience, so in that regard, it’s something like an iPod. On the other hand, I’ve settled the jukebox in my kitchen, and it’s over 300 pounds… so it’s not nearly as mobile. That means anytime I’m listening, I’ll most likely be in the kitchen– similar to how an ordinary stereo system stays in one spot.

Of course, it’s not a stereo system. Unlike a normal stereo, the jukebox is only designed to play one track at a time. Up to 99 tracks can be queued, but must be entered individually. Because of this, no benefit is bestowed upon albums in the way they are played in a typical stereo, where a listener might just let an album play on through the intended track.

The jukebox is quite cold in this regard– only the individual tracks matter. With 100 spaces for discs, I’ve found remarkably few discs I want to add in total– somewhere under 25, I believe. For the remaining 75 slots, I plan to burn compilation CDRs of individual tracks.

To this end, I spent much of today going through my CDs one by one, ruthlessly culling tracks from albums. What surprises me are how few of my favorite albums actually made the cut– Patti Smith’s “Horses” is absent, as is “OK Computer”, “Sang Phat Editor”… no Crass albums, no Nirvana, no Jimi Hendrix. To be sure, tracks from all of these will appear in the compilations; but used as a whole in the jukebox, they just don’t work.

Jukebox operator codes, neato!

Let’s face it, nobody wants to walk over and punch in 32 different numbers to queue up “Horses,” and on Jimi’s concept-type albums like “Electric Ladyland,” the experience of listening straight through just doesn’t work well on the juke. Instead, I feel gently encouraged to find the stand-alone tracks and save the rest for my normal stereo.

But what did I expect?

Jukeboxes are from another time, long before the so-called “album” was ever thought up. 78’s (and eventually 45’s) were best-suited for an era of doo-wop, blues sides, dance numbers, rock singles, and pop music… and that’s got to be what jukeboxes handle best as well. In a way, it makes my machine seem like some sort of unwieldly, impossible monster– saddled with the body of the compact disc, but the heart of a 45 record.

More free things for you to hear!

November 5, 2007

I am neatly side-stepping my previously self-made trap of numbering the free things I want to share with you. Last time, three turned into six, and six was nine… and there’s my half-assed attempt to lead into a Jimi pun!

Anyways, let’s kick off the free things with a video, how about it? Sabrina Siegel, one of my new favorite artists, has shared a “making of” short on YouTube. The video shows some of her work constructing “Yom Kippur,” an outstanding track on her recent Pax Recordings release “Grace/Precarious.” I’ll only embed it here if you promise to bop over to her profile and leave a nice comment. Nobody likes sharing their videos and not seeing a friendly comment!

Here’s a cool one for you– Mike Hallenbeck’s must-hear “Tactile: Improvisations” at Addenda. Crumpling paper or leaves around a stereo microphone, dragging the poor thing out of bed early in the morning, or just plain massaging it with his hands; Hallenbeck wrestles an amazing variety of sounds from simple interactions. It’s one of the most physical recordings I’ve heard, and naturally goes great with Siegel’s work above. Any chance I can convince you two to collaborate on a series of long-form recordings involving contact mics, itchy sweaters, and dried pasta? Somehow, I think this would work.

Next stop on this journey is netlabel Digitalbiotope, to download yourself a copy of Kuz.B’s piece “Wenesday By Bus.” The tracks, which were presented as part of the October 8, 2006 portion of that year’s 97-day-long streaming audio festival Le Placard. Speaking of which, I need to sign up for this year’s broadcasts! It’s been too long since I contributed, eek.

While you’re still at Digitalbiotope, you might also want to check out Italian improvisational trio Clan’s release of “Venerdi 17 Improvisation.” This will give you ample opportunity to get acquainted with this outfit– important, because their newest release is the subject of the next paragraph!

To cut straight to it, you can find Clan’s newest set of improvisations, Dur d’ona oregia” at Polish netlabel AudioTong. If your right-click is still strong, be sure to snag LeeDVD’s pop oddity lenajgiwittuju” as well. It’s super-weird, but a fun listen. I may find a place on my jukebox for this one, actually.

Now it’s time to wrap this up. I’m tired, and more or less ready for bed. I’ve got one more for you, though, so let’s be quick– netlabel Zeromoon’s release “Static Attack,” from Ken Yates solo project Caustic Castle. Featuring processed no-input mixing board work, it easily earns the “caustic” portion of the name in the first few moments of the recording. I don’t know a lot about Yates, but I imagine he’d be interesting to catch in a live setting. If anyone has more information about his recordings, be sure to leave me a comment!

Enjoy! –DaveX