Archive for January, 2010

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/30/10

January 30, 2010

I nearly had to arrive at the station by sleigh this morning– Southern Illinois is having a bit of a blizzard right now. Naturally, the station was empty when I arrived; I don’t think other people are quite as nuts as I am to drive in this yuck. Fortunately for you, staying at home near the radio is all that I require.

For today’s broadcast, I’ll be playing some of the winning entries from the Canadian Electroacoustic Community’s annual Jeu de Temps/Times Play competition for young and emerging Canadian sound artists. This year, a partnership with Germany’s national electroacoustic association DEGEM brings German electroacoustic works into the scope of this program as well. I’ll be speaking with three of the winning composers, so you’ll want to stick around! Here’s the lineup:

Florian Hartlieb, “Im Vorderen Zimmer des hinteren Raums” ~ 5am
Nicolas Wiese, ~ “Vertikalzeit”  5:30am
Yota Kobayashi, “Kakusei” ~ 6am

Nicolas Wiese reminded me of the upcoming “re(((Sound)))” exhibition at the Cecille R. Hunt Gallery in St. Louis, where he will have a piece in the installation. Ghost Ice fans will also want to check this out– an opportunity for a rare sighting in the wild. The opening reception will be held this Friday, from 6-8 p.m.

M/N/M/L — Breath (this, and next four tracks, taken from “Serge Modular Users 2009”)
CRAY (Ross Healy) — STRK
John DuVal — Distress Call
Benge — 1972 Serge Modular, from Twenty Systems
kkonkkrete — Untitled 1
Olivier GirouardSuite_04
Florian HartliebIm Vorderen Zimmer des hinteren Raums
Interview with Florian Hartlieb, WDBX-FM 1/30/10
Nicolas WieseVertikalzeit
Interview with Nicolas Wiese, WDBX-FM 1/30/10
Yota KobayashiKakusei
Yota Kobayashi — Tensho
Steve Lalonde — Quand la nuit se referme

Style City limited edition CDR– out now!

January 23, 2010

Style City’s “The Happening” CDR is out now, available in a trades-only limited edition of 10. Some are already in the mail, so don’t sleep on this!

The artwork is great– each comes packaged in a vintage elementary school reading lab book; with handmade rubbings decorating the outer ribbon. A black-and-white insert and color collage interior round out this nifty-looking debut

Entirely the work of a 10-year-old girl and a synth nearly three times her age; “The Happening” features minimal drones, surprisingly morbid lyrics, and an ode to giant robots. Highly recommended for fans of The Shaggs, Chica X, and outsider art.

Download a free copy here, or send a message to: for availability.

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/23/10

January 23, 2010

I’ve got Peter Martin (of Eddie the Rat) on the phone right now– he’s playing piano in a closet, and sending his efforts via speaker into a phone in another closet– all while trying not to wake the SFPD officer and her 4-year-old sleeping in the residence above.

Try finding that on corporate radio!

Anyhow, I’m pleased as punch about this set. The phone is giving us the usual “dial-a-fidelity” random qualities. In this case, adding a bit of ringing distortion to a handful of notes. Fun!

Peter Martin — LIVE phone-in set, WDBX-FM, 1/23/10
Eddie the Rat — Food For the Moon Too Soon, pt. 1
Eddie the Rat — Cannibal
Eddie the Rat — I Ovulate in Mode
Eddie the Rat — Spiritual Amnesia
Cesar Bolanos — Intensidad y Altura
Cesar Bolanos –Interpolaciones
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 19, opus 467
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 14, opus 459
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 15, opus 460
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 12, opus 457
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 17, opus 462
Frank Rothkamm — Arppegiator
Frank Rothkamm — Rauschmittel
Grundik Kasyansky — 10.9.2005 (from “Light and Roundchair”)
Sous Su Toulouse En Rouge — Live at Dictaphonia Fest, 11/7/09
Mark McGee — Live at Dictaphonia Fest, 11/7/09
Vagina Teeth/Jesus Teeth — Live at Dictaphonia Fest, 11/7/09
Various — Runaway Train (from Ash International release “Runaway Train”)
Skozey Fetisch — Face Rub As Objective Convex Device

Today’s show turned into a bit of a drawing festival (something which I need to do more often, I miss this!) with Karthik, DJ Mo, and The Weasel contributing. I thought I’d share the results:

DJ Mo's pen and ink

A pencil sketch from Karthik

An early, untitled work from The Weasel-- can an electronics enthusiast convert this to a schematic? What would it do?

Happy Birthday, Hal McGee!

January 16, 2010

While it’s well-known that few people take birthday gift-based exploitation as seriously as me, I have to admit that Hal McGee does show a certain flair for shaking the b-day tree.

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/16/10

January 16, 2010

Today’s guests– Chicago sound artist Eric Leonardson will be joining us over the phone, and local drummer Matt Sickest (say it slowly, folks) is here in the Hi-Life Room.

Frank Rothkamm — Ich (from Monochrome Vision release “Moers Works 1982-1984”)
Frank Rothkamm — Relikt
Eric Leonardson, Steve Barsotti — The Six-Leggers
Matt Sickest — LIVE at WDBX-FM, 1/16/10
Interview with Eric Leonardson, 1/16/10
Eric Leonardson — Revolving door, CTA bus, walk to CTA Blue Line (from AudioBoo)
Eric Leonardson — Locus Sonus; Chicago, Westside (excerpt)
KRN — Locus Sonus; Zone B, Amitie, Dakar (excerpt)
Auris — Kr-Tkec-Pte
Eric Leonardson, Steve Barsotti — Near and Distant Relations
Eric Leonardson, Steve Barsotti — Four-Anna Bit
Anna Friz, Eric Leonardson — Waltz of the Parking Meters
Anna Friz, Eric Leonardson — Switch Yard
Eric Leonardson — White As White
Eric Leonardson — Pittsburgh Electric
Eric Leonardson — Eko
Eric Leonardson — Handwriting
Eric Leonardson, Steve Barsotti –Round Airy Light on Dark
Eric Leonardson, Steve Barsotti — Middle Neck and Scrag End

Want to hear me talk about tooth pain?

January 11, 2010

I know you do! That’s why you’re going to scoot over to the ~Ore~ Theatre Intangible site, and download a free copy of “The Sound of Teeth,” in which I provide the narration. After you check it out, be sure to drop back by here and let me know how much you enjoyed my Jimmy Stewart impression.

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/9/10

January 9, 2010

Today, I’m excited to be having Peter Martin (Eddie the Rat) performing a live phone-in set. As always, I also have a lot of great music to share, so I’m pretty well just jumping straight into it. Last week’s show DID manage to record via the webstream, so I’m going to see if that success can be duplicated this week– cross your fingers!

Hmm. Well, I’m not certain what happened to Peter Martin’s phone-in this week– for now, let’s just hope he’s okay, and work on re-scheduling. Next week, Eric Leonardson is on the calendar, so hold tight until then! I hope you enjoyed this week’s broadcast. Take care! –DaveX

Update: Kids Kamp host Mama C wasn’t able to be in-studio this week, so I was instructed to put the WDBX “emergency” programming on before heading out after my show. (Covering it was also an option, but I’ve only had a couple hours sleep.) I decided to leave a long playlist on the station’s PC, opting to program something more DaveX-approved instead. Musica Elettronica Viva, John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, Susie Ibarra, and Jamie Drouin kept me good company on my drive home, and it was also pretty fun getting to hear my own show from the listener’s seat for once!

Update 2: Peter Martin is recovering after an accident involving chlorine gas. We are currently working to re-schedule his phone-in set.

Larry Kucharz — 1990 No. 4
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 7, opus455
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 1, opus 441
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 25, opus 473
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 23, opus 471
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 18, opus 463
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 9, opus 464
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 11, opus 466
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 16, opus 461
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 8, opus 456 “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser”
Thanos Chrysakis, James O’ Sullivan, Dario Bernal Villegas, Jerry Wigens — Distant Cascade
Eddie the Rat — Mu (Unask the Question)
Eddie the Rat — Dim
Eddie the Rat — There’s No Such Place As Outer Space
Tristan Perich — qsqsqsqsqqqqqqqqq (Live at Issue Project Room, 3/18/09)
Sonic Anta — Wood
Style City — Droid (free release– download it here)
Bury My Heart — Skull Death Dive
Eddie the Rat — Once Around the Butterfly Bush
Various — “Imperfect Silence, pt.1” from Cadavre Esquis Compilation One
Skozey Fetisch — Exploitable Rift
Skozey Fetisch –Ergo-a-Spin
Skozey Fetisch — Metastatic Alternative #1
Skozey Fetisch — Face Rub as Objective Convex Device
David Bowie, Brian Eno — Neukoln (excerpt, homemade lock groove)
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 4, opus 445
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 21, opus 469
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 13, opus 458
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 20, opus 468
Frank Rothkamm — Zahra Fugue 26, opus 474
Jamie Drouin — Live, October 7, 2009 at La Société de Curiosités, Paris
Musica Elettronica Viva — SpaceCraft
Musica Elettronica Viva — Stop the War
John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, Susie Ibarra — Meridian
John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, Susie Ibarra — Rising Sign
John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith, Susie Ibarra — Spirit Writing

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/2/10

January 2, 2010

Looks like I’m kicking off the new year with a host of technical difficulties– I’m looking at a sign on our number 2 CD player which informs me that it will not play burned discs… the station PC is refusing to stay online… another sign describes a “glitch” in the webstream… and my recorder is dead, leaving me in the care of my backup stream ripper running on a timer at home. Long-time listeners will know how well that works, dependent as it is on a stable stream from WDBX! I’d laugh this off, but frankly, these problems have gone on for far too long– isn’t this supposed to be the future? C’mon 2011! This year’s a dud.

As per my growing belief that this year already sucks, I’m going to highlight my favorite recordings and releases from last year, which I detailed more thoroughly in my Top 12 Best Happy Neat-O List of 2009.

RP Collier — Message From Our Sponsor
RP Collier — Deploy
RP Collier — Transponderize
RP Collier — Satellite Fever
T.D. Skatchit & Company — Popcorn Skatch
T.D. Skatchit & Company — Gargoyle
T.D. Skatchit & Company — Skatchtakovich
T.D. Skatchit & Company — I Told You So
Rothkamm — Chelsea Girl
Matt Weston — This October, All Octobers
Thanos Chrysakis, Wade Matthews, Dario Bernal-Villegas — IV (from “Enantio_Dromia”)
Thanos Chrysakis, Wade Matthews, Dario Bernal-Villegas — V
Reciprocation Skies — Dead Skies in Old Blurry Photos
Renato Rinaldi — We Shall Overtone
Gregory Whitehead — The Catastrophe Class
Yoshihide Sodeoka — Evil Erector
Yoshihide Sodeoka — Psychedelic Death Vomit
Eyes Like Saucers — For Parmalee
M. Stactor — Egg Blood
Mannequin Hollowcaust — waste not/want not
Hal McGee — Hal McGee’s Day Off
Richard Orlando — fur Hubert Eimert
Littlecreature courses thorough content in ribald constance — this must n, n must it
Jamison Williams — Raymond Pettibon (b. June 16, 1957)
Zebulon — Perfected Reality
Capstan Drive — Miami Canal House
Rodrigo Costanzo — The Ocean’s, Like, Right There
Neil Rolnick — The Economic Engine: Farm to Factory
Chefkirk, Ironing — Meet El Presidente
RP Collier — Mang (from “Let Them Eat Flarn”)

Top 12 Best Happy Neat-O List of 2009!

January 1, 2010

Well, what do you know– this year’s list is right on time, and it actually has 12 entries! (Well, one is a repeat. But it appears there is hope for my stunted mathematical abilities, no?)

Having picked myself up from the 78 rpm-induced wreckage of last night’s party for one, I’ve found that 2010 is presenting me with the challenge to improve my broadcasts and my reach as a researching DJ. We’ll see how it goes, but for now, enjoy my Top 12 Best Happy Neat-O List for 2009! As always, these are presented in no particular order.

1) Rothkamm — “Frank Genius Is Star Struck” — Rothkamm didn’t make my list for two years running because I’ve got nothing better to listen to; he’s on here because the man is absolutely freakin’ brilliant. More than any release this year, I just couldn’t stop smiling whenever I put it on. Definitely one that blurs the lines between high-concept sound art and lowest common denominator pop disco… it’ll leave you baffled, entertained, and amazed all at once– and probably within the first few tracks.

2) Various — “Dictaphonia” microcassette series — Florida’s microcassette champion Hal McGee’s ongoing work curating the Dictaphonia volumes (five so far) also deserves to be on this list, not only for putting the micros back in the spotlight, but for encouraging so many disperate artists to begin stitching together a fractured picture of the artistic possibilities locked inside such ubiquitous recording devices. Purists will appreciate that these releases maintain a mechanical continuity– unless you miss the point and download them from Hal, you’re going to need a microcassette recorder to hear them as well!

3) T.D. Skatchit & Company — “T.D. Skatchit & Company” — Tom Nunn and David Michalak perform with selected guests, mostly using Nunn’s homemade “cardboard synth” Skatchit instruments. The results are bewilderingly complex, and often truly beautiful. Standout tracks feature vocalist Aurora’s extended technique, resulting in phenomenal improvisations not out of league with those of David Tudor’s electronics work or Joan LaBarbara’s sound paintings.

4) Thanos Chrysakis, Wade Matthews, Dario Bernal-Villegas — “Enantio_Dromia” — In my opinion, it’s damn near impossible to go wrong with an Aural Terrains release. Although this disc was well out of my depth to review properly, I have sincerely appreciated the incredible level of musicianship that is maintained throughout these fully-improvised works. While this quality alone couldn’t put any album into my year-end list, it is the fact that I find it identifiable among music that eludes me so thoroughly– I’ve found that a sense of confusion is not entirely unhealthy when confronting experimental works, tossing us about in our thoughts leads to new perceptions and understandings. I’m not at the end of my journey with “Enantio_Dromia” yet, and I doubt I will be for quite some time.

5) Yoshihide Sodeoka — “Video Metal” — Of course, there’s also room for spectacle in the experimental community– in fact, some of the recordings I most treasure seem to have their roots in one absurd or grandiose gesture or another. And while this isn’t exactly Stockhausen’s “Helicopter String Quartet,” I can imagine where some similarities exist. Besides, how often is it that you don’t have to be ashamed to own something with titles like “Psychedelic Death Vomit” and “Electric Hair Doom”?

6) Various — “Go Ahead, Copy This Noise” — Should I take shit for being on this double-disc compilation of Southern Illinois noise artists and later putting it in my year-end list? Please. I’ve got two tracks in Dictaphonia as well, and I’m not even blushing. It’s true, I may have no ethics– but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a kick-ass collection. Plus, you just know it’s going to be a collectible someday, most likely re-released on some Dutch label with intense liner notes and a wooden box. That thing’s going to be expensive too, and you’d have to hunt for it on eBay. Better just download this one now, and save yourself the hassle.

7) Neil Rolnick — “The Economic Engine” — This is why I always present my list in “no particular order.” Clearly, my noise activities aren’t any threat to Rolnick’s absolute ability to command my stereo for days at a time. On his third release for Innova, Rolnick presents a compelling four-part picture of modern China, and it’s a set of works that really gets me excited to have heard them. It doesn’t hurt that this is fertile material for intellectual consideration as well– it ought to at least hold me until Rolnick’s next offering.

8) Renato Rinaldi — “We Shall Overtone” — My favorite unexpected noise of the year, and rather strange stuff to boot… well, strange enough that even Last Visible Dog doesn’t quite know how to describe it. If you were excited about the potential (somewhat) unrealized in their Yermo release, you’ll really dig this disc, which is firing away on all cylinders towards destinations unknown. Recommended for adventurers.

9) Chefkirk & Ironing — “Notorious” — Ironing’s tape delirium goes surprisingly well with the spare no-input mixer contributions from Chefkirk, much more so that I would have expected. This is the Hymns label’s second entry in my Neat-O lists, so consider it your heads-up for picking yourself up a copy of this one– you’ll be happy you took my advice.

10) Matt Weston — “Seasick Blackout” — I haven’t been this excited about an EP since… well, I don’t know when. I’ll grant you that I’m a bit manic, but my sustained interest usually means I’m on track. “Seasick Blackout” has got me riveted, and I’ve played it for anyone I can corner with a speaker and 20 minutes to spare. If I beat you over the head with one release this year, it’s this one– so go get it, and buy an extra for a friend.

11) Eyes Like Saucers — “Parmalee, Tribute to a Dog” — This one might be a bit time-weighted, I’ll admit. It’s hard to tell whether or not I would have still been hot on this one if it had come out in January, but that’s the nature of chronology, eh? Regardless, I’ve dug enough of Eyes Like Saucers to know that I continually enjoy his lo-key improvisations, particularly so for their spare aesthetic and highly-individual sense of direction. I also note that it’s a disc that I’ve been returning to on a regular basis, which is always a plus.

12) Various — “Zelphabet” — I mentioned GX Jupitter-Larsen’s ongoing series of 27 noise releases last year, and I meant it when I said they were worth your while. They’re on the “I” volume now, and I’d feel bad if I didn’t mention to you all again how much this series has consistently maintained my interest and my respect. If you’re missing out on these, get your shit together before any of them sell out. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Already own all of these? Go check out my lists for 2006, and 2007, and 2008 then!

Welcome to the FUTURE, suckers

January 1, 2010

It’s 2010. I’m holed up inside, half-expecting a rain of poorly-considered bullets to interrupt my dalliance with some old 78’s. Ringing in the freakin’ new year with Big Bill Broonzy– this is how I earn my music snob cred, haha. “Everybody have a can of beer on me!”