Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Wordle “cloud” versions of It’s Too Damn Early playlists

July 2, 2008

Via one of Ralph Lichtensteiger’s posts on the Silence list yesterday, I was introduced to a fun online tool for generating word clouds– Wordle. I’ve generally found tag clouds fairly useless, and an unnecessarily obtuse method for page navigation, but Wordle has a simple interface that lets users enter their own text for the cloud generation… I ended up entering three months worth of playlists, one at a time! My results are below, along with a meta-cloud featuring the entire three months combined, and a final cloud with multiple years worth of my early playlists.

These get a little squished with the blog’s formatting, so click the cloud for the full-size version, okay?

This first cloud is from April 26, 2008. As you can see, I was playing a lot of George Korein’s “Another Corpse” album!

Playlist for 4/26/08

I like the vaguely Greek lettering style for this cloud, from the April 4, 2008 broadcast. It’s fitting, given the conversation I was having with a Greek sound engineer that week about Brekekekexkoaxkoax, so I was amused when this font was randomly selected.

Playlist for 4/4/08

Here is the cloud for the April 12, 2008 broadcast. I’m having fun reading it as a poem: “Everything long, young girl eyesore.” Sounds like my spam filter!

Playlist for 4/12/08

From the April 19, 2008 broadcast… Karthik Kakarala ends up making the cloud without being played on the show– one of the perks of visiting the Hi-Life Room and nearly giving me a heart attack!

Playlist for 4-19-08

This is a good-looking cloud! Very “Times,” don’t you think? I also like the juxtaposition of “station, studio, beehive” in the upper right. How appropriate! Taken from the May 3, 2008 playlist.

Playlist for 5/3/08

I didn’t do much actual liveblogging for the May 17, 2008 broadcast; I’ll let this cloud speak for me. I wish “feral” showed up in more tag clouds…

Playlist for 5/17/08

The May 24, 2008 playlist generated this cloud– it’s funny how the thing I remember most about this broadcast (playing from the Bearly Queen disc near the end of the set) hardly shows up in the cloud. And Bikelophone is huge, haha! If the cloud only knew the Bikelophone track was just a few minutes long, versus BQ’s 18-minute monster…

Playlist for 5/24/08

Wow, I made a lot of these things. I sure hope you like Wordle clouds, ’cause I’m shoving them down your throat. This is made from the June 14, 2008 playlist. Again, it’s very difficult not to read as a poem: “Much nice ITDE sound download / miss work, got birds like cello intertwined.”

Playlist for 6/14/08

Looks like I played some of The Harmful Free Radicals, eh? Made from the June 21, 2008 set.

Playlist for 6/21/08

One day after the previous cloud, I did the June 22, 2008 broadcast— turned in this set, which is quite different in scope.

Playlist for 6/22/08

This was the result of combing all the above playlists, minus common English words. For some reason, this reminds me of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” movie poster.

Represents playlists from April to June, 2008

Here’s the biggie– many years worth of my playlists… I think I used 2006, 2005, and some from 2003. Entering these in was a pain in the ass, because there was no easy way to get rid of my original +++ used to separate playlist entries. Anyhow, it’s a nice birdseye look at my show’s earlier days. Feel free to leave links to your Wordle clouds in the comments section!

Comprises multiple years worth of early \

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 12/8/07

December 8, 2007

Update: The download for this broadcast is now available. As always, I implore you to turn from your churlish ways– please visit the linked musicians and labels in the playlist below– and most importantly, support those you enjoy by purchasing their albums. Feel free to name-drop your favorite DJ when placing your order. I can’t guarantee you a 75% discount on your bill, but philosophers assure me that things can’t be proven not to exist, either.

I don’t have a lot to say this week, so I’m leaving the commentary rather sparse. Earlier, I answered the phone: “Yes, your radio is broken, whaddya want?” so you can see how it’s going around here. On the upside, I might have turned someone on to the Last Visible Dog label with the Vapaa disc– and that’s always a good thing.

Had to play a little Stockhausen on today’s show, obviously… gets me thinking about the media term “gatekeepers,” and how difficult it must have been to hear someone like Stockhausen when he was younger. I imagine if you weren’t in a major city, you probably couldn’t even order one of his recordings, could you? It’s a wonderful world in some ways now– it’s going to be very interesting to see how the simple availability of materials such as these affect our collective appreciation and understanding of the greater “whole” of art.

Some new stuff arrived from Lona Records yesterday. I had to check out the Maurizio Bianchi album “Zyklusters” first. I’m really digging it, but I’m not certain the description on the back isn’t a put-on, at least not without a dictionary. If anyone is “seeking the tumorigenic antithesis of the embryonal context in the dissonant framework,” please stand up.

I keep promising to write reviews, and I keep being a chump about following through. Can I call a truce? I’m tired out! My next review will definitely be Charlie J. Moneybags’ “An Evening With…” disc, even though it may not be a proper release. I don’t care. I have things to say about it, but I also have a lot of dishes to do. Surely, you can see the problem: Dishwater + Keyboard = Electrical hazard

Hot damn. George Korein/Naked Mall Rats is so much fun to listen to. Gotta love the track “I Just Wanna Pwn You,” with all the variations on how to pronounce “pwn,” lol. Speaking of things I can’t pronounce– “Phon°noir,” anyone? Seriously, folks… why do you do this to me? Between the Finnish, the pseudo-electronic IDM track titles, and the ASCII symbols; you’re killing me.

You can type degree symbols at home, though, and be just like your favorite experimental music blogger: activate your number lock button, hold down ALT, and type “167” on your number pad. º, easy!

Garth Kunkle — Shake it Like Jello and Make it Say Hello
Metis Yeti — Verdun Massacre
Hong Chulki — Without Cartridge 1
Mike Hallenbeck — Eventualities 01.1: Voice
Mike Hallenbeck — Shuffletronics #1: A Beginning, A Middle, And an End
MurmurDiscovery of Mother Voidness
Vapaa — Varjoista
Muck — On Any Given Day The Inspection From Within
Karlheinz Stockhausen — Kontra-Punkte Op. 1, For 10 Instruments
Maurizio Bianchi — Zyklusters
Charlie J. Moneybags — Hope
Naked Mall Rats — There Must Be Somewhere
Naked Mall Rats — I Just Wanna Pwn You
Naked Mall Rats — Moved By Your Emoticon
Naked Mall Rats — Stop Trolling My Life
Phon°noir — Embryo
Phon°noir — From Time to Time We Change Our Minds
Phon°noir — Airplane Traces in the Sky
Phon°noir — No More Sad Dreams
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:04
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — from Henry who just wrote
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:03
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — :57
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:05
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:02
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 3:08 Cranking up it’s pathos
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:02
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:03
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — 1:05

Three free things to listen to!

October 30, 2007

By now, you’ve surely all detected my manic blogging style– a week of round-the-clock posting; followed by a week of dejected, guilty silence. In my opinion, there are good writers, bad writers, and manic writers who could be good writers if they had any discipline about sitting down to the keyboard.

I offer no apologies, it’s just the way I am.

White County Toll Bridge, Wabash River

Luckily for you, I have no problem checking my e-mail… the point being that many, many interesting messages cross my desktop each day. In the interest of dusting off my”new post” button, I am hereby bringing you THREE FREE THINGS TO LISTEN TO!

Prepositions be damned.

First up is an older net release, but with any luck, you haven’t heard it yet. From one of my favorite outfits, The Painful Leg Injuries, is a stack of 10-minute raucous noise bonanazas called “The Forever Ending Revolutions on Autopilot.” It is available on the Noise-Joy netlabel, who recently celebrated their one-year anniversary. You may also want to grab Praew Jik’s “Astronomical Node” while you’re there, even though if it turns my three free things into four.

Second (or third?) is Nikita Golyshev’s “15 Songs From Glass, Oil, and Other Sources,” a highly experimental work that is so far up my alley it needs a flashlight and a map. Seriously, I dig things like this– and the responsible parties over at Muscovite-netlabel Musica Excentrica should be commended. Continuing my rash disregard for my own title, I also suggest you partake of their “Tribute to Iannis Xenakis” as well.

Lastly, here’s one that I found out about only moments ago– Mudboy’s 2005 release “This Is Folk Music,” which features circuit-bent organs and the stray bit of percussion. It’s a weird one, and charming in its own way. Having three actual releases: Free Matter For the Blind, Last Visible Dog, Breaking World; Mr. Mudboy decided to free this unlikely creature into the wildernet. Although “This Is Folk Music” cannot be tamed, gentle listeners can approach it with caution for free downloads at Last.fm.

Can you stand one more? My inbox never seems to quit, and just as I finished up the links in the previous paragraph, another neat item squeaked in… this being Eric Leonardson’s “Introduction to Sound” students’ upcoming radio broadcast “Locofone”. It will air this November 1, from 2-3 p.m. CST on Free Radio SAIC. Listeners are encouraged to call in with sounds of their own by phoning in to (312) 345-3805. I may give it a go, how about joining me?

Noise FeSTL 2007!

October 25, 2007

DaveX sez: If you like a photo, right-click to view it at the proper size, or do whatever you Mac people do in lieu of your missing mouse buttons. Enjoy!

I’m finally rested up enough to write about my trip to Noise FeSTL 2007, at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, in St. Louis. First off– it was killer. Between incredible sets, cheap merch, good-sized audiences, and Lemp’s notoriously delicious food; it was a noise fan’s dream.

As usual, the folks at Lemp had really gone all out– more than 40 acts, spread over 3 days, with an impromptu composition workshop thrown in for good measure. Aside from the obvious value for audience members, Noise FeSTL was a great tool for bringing together some of the best and most active Midwestern noisers as a community… a valuable opportunity that can often be overlooked. (more…)

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 9/1/07

September 1, 2007

First off, I want to wish my son a happy birthday! He’s an “It’s Too Damn Early” veteran, having proved his mettle by sleeping through numerous shows– in master control, no less– while still a youngling. Although he’ll be curled up in bed, no doubt stealing my favorite pillow, this show goes out to him. Happy birthday, ‘Pucky’!

I’m an hour into the show now– there seems to be no real way for me to do any decent liveblogging– the broadcast is simply too demanding. I will try to keep the playlist updated, though. At present, I am utilizing four disc players, multiple instances of mp3 players, two turntables, a cassette player, and the Simultaneous Translator to create what you’re hearing. Now that I think I have many of the kinks figured out, I know next week’s show will be ever better!

Also– this playlist is NOT in order, not even close. I’ve done my best to get every track listed, but I may have neglected some– especially where a disc ran partially into the following track. Sorry!

Fe-Mail — Navrattan Korma
Brizbomb — Live at KBOO-FM 3/15/07
Electric Kitten Vomit — Gear
Electric Kitten Vomit — 17th Floor, Mae Smith
Tuft — Bloodbath
Ctephin — To Know
Circle Six — Glitch Core
Circle Six — White Swan
Circle Six — Cutting Up the Rest IV
Axes — Crystalline
Axes — Lords of Space
K. Stockhausen — Mantra (excerpt)
Sabrina Siegel — Drop Bow Down Cello
Scott Smallwood — Energex
~Ore~ — Spiro Speaks Out
Andrew Chadwick — German Vowels
Pholde — Terminal Division
Inu Yaroh — Guitar Noize
Praew Jik — Angeldust Wet Dream
Okamasan — 29 Needles
Praew Jik — Bleached Deluge in Negative 1st Movement
Sissy Spacek — Untitled
Friends Forever — Deep Space
Psicklops — Psicklops
KK Rampage — Lowlife Lousy Little Puke
KK Rampage — Self-obsessed and Humorless
KK Rampage — Fork in your Pussy
Occasional Detroit, Gaybomb — Check 1-2
Aube — Fast Tumbling Blaze
Non — Carnis Vale
Crude — Anomie live
Crude — Cultivate Unreliability Remix
Crude — Cyto-Fuck Thrust Remix
Crude — Jungle Workout
QR Ghazala — Ashes on the Altar
QR Ghazala — Valkyries Of Asgard
Mystery Hearsay — Illusive Embodiments
Aaron Martin & Machinfabriek — Cello Recycling
Merzbow — DAS
Ctephin — 300 Negative
Aube — Ricochet
Merzbow — Tract 3
Phroq — Frequency Ronin
Phroq — Kouhei, the Noisy Samurai
Merzow — 1339
Guilty Connector — Needles for Pins
Rubbish — Nine Kinds of Evil
DaveX — The Hummer
Noiser Luo — Fucking Noisehead
Noiser Luo — Repair the Radio
AUF — AUF, pt.1
Lexes — Bamboo
XDUGEF — Keep this a Secret
Mix Ape — 88 ft. Tape (excerpt)
Crank Sturgeon — Leavy Leir
Crank Sturgeon — Lo Mismo Ut Onger
Gen Ken Montgomery — Father Demo Swears
Mystified — Pressure
Mystified — Behemoth
Yermo — Yermo
Rapoon — Zoom Extract 2
Nagaoag — Yama Labam A (excerpt)
The Flying Luttenbachers — The Sun is Bleeding
Kurt Schwitters — Ursonate (excerpt)
Pythagora — Who Are You?
Masonna — Frequency LSD (excerpts)
Alok — C is for Schubert
Ophibre — Puzzle Piece
Muslimgauze — Tear Gas (pt.1)
Muslimgauze — Tear Gas (pt.2)
MC Hellshit & DJ Carhouse — Buzzsaw Outlet
MC Hellshit & DJ Carhouse — My Mic
MC Hellshit & DJ Carhouse — Hit City
MC Hellshit & DJ Carhouse — ppp
Francisco Lopez — Untitled #94
Deano Merino — Vomithose
Deano Merino — Spaceman
DaveX — ITDE Theme “Thrills and Kicks”
Merzbow — Rembrandt Assemblage

Update: The download for this broadcast is now available. Feel free to leave me a comment, and let me know if you enjoyed the show. Thanks for listening! –DaveX

I like photobooths!

July 26, 2007

Ever since I was little, I have enjoyed taking my picture at photobooths, as well as seeing the photos that others have taken. Every so often, I’d find a lost photo, and add it to my informal collection of random odd photographs. After seeing the film “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain,” which featured a character who collects photobooth pictures, I started looking at these photos in a new way. I was surprised to see how frequently I could find discarded photos, given the tiniest of efforts at checking my local booths.

I’d been wanting to put these online for a while now, but was not looking forward to the repetitive scanning and re-sizing this would entail. Regardless, here they are! The first seven sets are obviously my photobooth owner, who takes these pictures while maintaining the machine. He is aware that I collect his photos, and will occasionally provide me with a particularly interesting one he has found by slipping it into the side of the machine for me to grab later on. He also has a terrific collection of photos, mainly of girls flirting with the camera– the best of these often end up under the plexiglass cover of the photobooth itself– a sort of shrine to college girls willing to fondle each other, or “kiss” the camera.

As you can see, my own collection is much less focused:

(more…)

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 7/21/07

July 21, 2007

I decided to start today’s show with a long piece from the Timeless Pulse Quintet, from their self-titled Mutable Music release. This is really terrific music, full of subtleties, completely the product of confident and experienced improvising musicians. It occurs to me that the line-up of… well, older folks on the back cover just wouldn’t be possible on a popular music release. Frankly, unless you’re a blues musician, musical prospects seem fairly bleak for anyone over 30. How strange it is that so much music shuns the contributions of its elders? I’m glad this isn’t the case with the music I enjoy– where Pauline Oliveros and Reynols exist on the same album, Robert Ashley’s latest release in hand can cause me to run to the stereo, and Jandek is practically a rock star.

Next up is Shelf Life, with the album “Ductworks.” Typing out the letter-jumble titles for the blog is like being in touch-typing class, but I struggle through for you, dear reader. Be sure to read my review of “Ductworks,” posted a few hours earlier… I sure hope everyone is enjoying these tracks, because I’ve run over my time for underwriting to let you listen to them. Gotta be flexible, I suppose.

I have to admit that I’m not as ‘into’ this A_Dontigny album, “Geisteswissenschaften,” as much as some of his stuff I’ve heard in the past. Still, there is a lot going on that is interesting– the production is fantastic, and I’m enjoying some of the smaller sounds. On the other hand, this is one of the guys from Napalm Jazz (and morceaux_de_machines, one of my all-time favorites!!) and I can’t help but see this relatively tame album as something of a step backwards. I’m hoping this is just me in an odd mood, because I really want to like this one!

Next up the top five winning entries from the Canadian Electroacoustic Community’s “Jeu de Temps” 2007 competition. I have a little more written about this at an earlier entry, which also has links to mp3 versions of each of the compositions. Just so you know, I’m playing them starting from fifth place, and counting up to number one– just like a strange version of Casey Kasem, haha.

And hey– Fire Museum Records sent the new Pulga disc, “Pulga Loves You,” the work of a couple of my online pals, Vanessa Rossetto and Valerio Cosi. This is a really enjoyable album– familiar in some spots, but mostly taking sounds in a unique direction. With such a well thought-out flow to the album, it’s a shame I only had time for two tracks this week! Perhaps next week, I’ll see about getting a couple more on for you to hear, eh?

Here’s a task for you: out-dub King Tubby. Can’t be done, you say? You haven’t heard Krapp’s “Fubars King Tubby” EP, where the dub master himself is sole sample contributor to dub/noise/collage re-imaginings of his work. These aren’t straight remixes by any means; they function more as aural musings on the relation of his technique and innovations as they relate to contemporary experimental work– and yes, it sounds good.

Speaking of contemporary experimental work, Rothkamm’s “FB03” is out, a strong final piece in the “FB0-” triptych. Rothkamm; ultramodern, hyper-futurist that he is, hasn’t stopped being able to leave my jaw on the floor, agape with wonder at the intricacy and otherworldliness of his music. It’s been said that a sufficiently advanced technology would appear to be magic to lesser creatures– a statement along those lines is applicable here. I have an older, but still very readable, interview with Rothkamm here.

I finished off the last few minutes of the show with a quick blast from The Painful Leg Injuries, who have a nifty little mini-cdr, “The Quicker Are the Encumbered,” out on Lona Records, a Hong-Kong based label. As always, you have to love the titles of their work– though it must have been hard to fit them all on the mini-cdr cover. Next week, I plan to showcase some more Lona Records material– including one from long-time DaveX favorites O and DDN! As you can guess, I’m incredibly excited about this.

Here’s the full download of this broadcast, as a single mp3 file, recorded from the radio stream. If you require any information about any of the artists or labels on this broadcast, don’t hesitate to ask me for assistance. Thanks for listening! –DaveX

Timeless Pulse Quintet — 21
Shelf Life — tkcrdsuow
Shelf Life — cuswodkrt
A_Dontigny — Koons
A_Dontigny — Pruitt-Igoe
A_Dontigny — Tatline
A_Dontigny — Aufbau
A_Dontigny — Die frohliche Wissenschaft
A_Dontigny — Quelque chose d’informed
Félix Lebrun-Paré — La volonté du périscope
Olivier Girouard — Le pont du souvenir
Thierry Gauthier — Cycles
Georges Forget — Orages D’acier
Dominic Thibault — Nuit noire, Nuit grise
Pulga — Return to the Forest of Shoes
Pulga — Still It Rides Me
Krapp — Krapp Fubars King Tubby, pt.1
Krapp — Krapp Fubars King Tubby, pt.2
Krapp — Krapp Fubars King Tubby, pt.3
Rothkamm — Untitled 1
Rothkamm — Ancient Meats
Rothkamm — Untitled 3
Rothkamm — Railroad Xing
The Painful Leg Injuries — An Ice Cream Truck Flipped Over and We All Got Some
The Painful Leg Injuries — The Broken Elevator’s Spiral Descent

DaveX interviews Sabrina Siegel!

July 12, 2007

Despite having numerous albums available through one of my favorite labels (this being Pax Recordings) I only recently became aware of Sabrina Siegel’s work; through her latest Pax release, “Grace/Precarious,”which features solo explorations for cello, electric guitar, and voice. This is an album that truly earns the description “visceral,” for it is not only Siegel’s heart that is engaged in the creative process, but her body– with each track reflecting a different sort of physical struggle to balance creation against failure. It’s a remarkable album, which has quickly moved onto my short list of all-time favorites.

Being the sort of person that I am, there was no way I could hear “Grace/Precarious” and not come up with at least a few questions for Sabrina Siegel. Once you’ve heard it, you’ll understand why.

STARTLING MONIKER: I am really enjoying the “Grace/Precarious” album, and my first thought is about how this concept occurred to you. What’s the back story?

SABRINA SIEGEL: I’m so glad you are enjoying……     Well, the concept  is really just a way to think about or name the relationship of the forces at play when i play instruments in general.  And i can say the way i perceive the way i live and practice visual art as well…. perhaps it is the way everything goes in life.  It is the way i play, always in improvisation and experimenting with difficult to controllable extended modes of playing(such as playing electric guitar with a pile of rocks, some of them very large). It is all very spontaneous, raw, natural, moment by moment, sound by sound and finding/creating mastery or balance or grace or flow in the precarious sound-creating situation at hand. One could liken this way perhaps to Jackson Pollock’s action painting, where an unconventional beauty and visual compositional balance was achieved through a grosser and seemingly less controllable mode of applying paint to canvas.

SM: As a liner note enthusiast, I’m sort of let down about not knowing the “setup” for more of the tracks. “Drop Bow Down Cello” seems pretty straightforward, but most of the others are far more difficult to figure out. In fact, without the press sheet, I don’t think I would have put it together with the title. With such an interesting process, why hide it?

SS: Well, i didn’t mean to hide anything.  i did try too point to it with the little poetic writing that i did include. Maybe this leaves more space for the listener to imagine the situation and sounds as well?

photo provided

I could tell you the “setups” if you like. (DaveX sez: SPOILER ALERT!) They all take place in my home, which is an old quaker meeting house made of cinderblocks with a polished concrete floor, which creates a very live sonic space.  most of them are first time”experiments” that i’ve never tried before. “Yom Kippur” (i have sent an image from this one) is playing the electric guitar with rocks balancing on the strings and in hands, with the guitar balanced on a wooden chair which is then pushed and pulled around the room, involving the space, the dimensions of the room, relying on my physical strength, grace of movement, feelings, and ear, to express “musically” through this situation/medium (which evoked the vision and depth of feeling, in the performer, of the experience of Yom Kippur in it’s spiritual weight and it’s ceremonial blowing of the shofar.)

“Fire” is singing as if flame, with the fire that is alive in the fireplace right there.  “I am the bow” is playing the cello with the hairs of the bow (pulled off my ruined bow) between my hands. “Big electric rose” is playing the electric guitar with rocks with an external pickup clipped on, as i had lent my cord to my neighbor and so could not utilize it’s built-in pickups (actually only one of them works, and i like the sound quality it gives this way), the recording device itself was also in a precarious situation as it was cutting out or something, creating several unusual slight rests and a few other interesting and mysterious artifacts in the recording. “After your voice” is simply an emotional or visceral response to the interruption (or one could even think of it as the punctuation) of my recording session by a friend’s voice on the answering machine.  …………to identify a few for you.

SM: I find that I can think of “Grace/Precarious” in at least two manners– as a musician struggling to achieve a sound and failing in many interesting ways; or as an example of a musician using an interesting process to ‘call out’ these interesting “failures”. In the first manner, the album is full of ‘mistakes,’ but obviously not in the other manner. Do you find either of these viewpoints more relevant than the other?SS: I think that both of these ways relate to the process… perhaps the second one more so.  you could think of those sounds as mistakes or just the next sounds in the work.  (Perhaps this is a more valueless process or the values or way of “judging” is different, more open and active……….. to embrace all sound, all expression as what is, as what has come forth for some reason and so is of value and is something to work off of and enjoy.  One could take this way and apply it to one’s whole life…….. accept what comes and work with it.) I could tell you that because i am not in complete control of what i am doing i use my body, ear, hand to come close to what i imagine would be the next sound that i would “want”.

I respond to each sound as well or as true as i can as they come.  So it is almost the constant unknown, and constant intense listening and bodily feeling (you know in the handling of the rocks, with all their crags, different weights, sizes, sonic qualities, balance….etc.) to be able to make a “coherent” piece. (It’s like eating the mushroom in Alice in Wonderland….. you never know what you are going to get exactly) And the rest of it is also how i am feeling at the moment- emotional content and some thoughts too. Sometimes it is more about the energy and feeling/movement of the body, as in “The body moving” than finding a specific sound or note and is more like Dance. So every sound counts and is true to the process and ultimately there are no mistakes.  But perhaps, in my experience playing this way, i could say that some works have more ” coherency” than others, or make more”musical” “sense” than others and this is where the
grace/Grace comes in……………

SM: Did any harm come to your instruments? I am particularly worried about the cello.

SS: Yes…..it is a bit unavoidable. But i am as careful as i can be.  I love my guitar but it is full of scratches and dents and the strings, which i haven’t changed in two years (part of this “work with what is” way…… also it means that the guitar is always changing,) are all worn down ( i think it’s time for new strings!) and one is now missing.  With the cello i am a bit more careful. There was a time though that i was in the studio with Onomatopoeia and we were recording what became the “Walking On Water” album, (which was such a great and intense experience for me) and i was playing a ceramic flute at one point and we were playing an intense piece that seemed a voodoon ritual and so i ended up banging it on a bottle over and over and there were pieces of it and glass all over……..)

SM: An argument could be made that, like a recording using extended techniques, this album uses ‘extended situation’ or ‘extended setting’. While field recordings certainly offer setting as a point of importance, “Grace/Precarious” may be the first to use setting in this way. What are your feelings on this?

SS: Wow………..I think it is great that you ask this question!  I have thought of and written of “situationist” playing, where the situation is a very personal experience, with all the contents of and encounters of a singular being/beings, the individual musician/musicians with what ever is happening and related to the sound…… strengths, weakness, personality, mind, body, thoughts, the space that one is in; the “musical situation,” all of what is there in this singular moment.  I think this opens  “music” up, sound/noise wise, time wise, content wise, and creates a more dimensional and intimate musical experience for both musician and listener.

SM: Have there been any live performances of the album?

SS: Well it’s all just improvisation and so there really couldn’t be another performance of the album (aside from when it was recorded…but i was alone…..some of it on video) or any of my albums…..it wouldn’t be the same thing. i could repeat similar set ups for playing though…. but i’m not  into repeating.

SM: The word “grace” has many meanings– the quality of elegance, a favor bestowed, or even a religious concept of a god’s strengthening influence. What is your reading of this word, and how does that relate to the recording?

SS: I guess for me it is both one’s personal physical grace (“elegance”) of movement, which involves strength, and bodily awareness etc. and Grace, G-d’s or the Tao’s “strengthening”, sustaining, flowing, buoyant  “perfection”, and the relationship of the two in the experience of the musician and through it’s precipitate (the phenomenon of the outcome, the music.)

SM: This is the first album of yours to find me, and possibly my listeners as well. What have we missed, and where could we find it?

SS: There are fifteen or so albums that i (and Pax Recordings) have put all on cdbaby online, and so they are available as well on itunes and other digital distribution sites.  There are three other solo albums of electric guitar played with rocks and one album of  a work that i made from a recording in rural upstate New York that i think is very special in it’s meditative quality(intense one though) and experience of the perfect sonic compositional nature of Nature (the world and the way things go/flow) called “G-d’s Music (fill in your name)”. There are four albums with my duo with Charles Coxon (SIECOX), and the rest are with “experimental” ensemble Onomatopoeia, which utilize pseudo pop elements, giving a very pop first hit, but are very “situational”, all improvised, interesting, and intimate in that i sing as well – the latest one is called “The Quality Of Flowers”.

SM: Any projects/albums/performances on the horizon?

SS: I have several projects on the horizon.  One most important one is raising my new beautiful son Isidore, now six weeks old.  there is another SIECOX album, and a Sabrina Siegel and Onomatopoeia album to come.  There is a work made from a recording of a six mile bike ride with an autistic girl that i have worked with that i think will be called “Biking and Swinging with Sara” (exploring the musicality of moving through space and time this way, with the wind, repetitive bike sounds, repetitive conversation, etc.) There is also the project of finding gallery representation for a new photographic project that i am calling “Natures Recompositions”, which are large prints made from high resolution scans of photographic slides that i left out to Nature for four years……. they are a visual illustration of grace/precarious! They (a gift of Grace) show how perfect nature is in it’s compositional beauty, as microscopic plant, crystal, and insect life moved in on the gelatin emulsion and lived a “landscape”, as opposed to a photographic eye’s framing a landscape. They look, on first view, like abstract expressionist works.  I have also been working on a film about Friedrich Nietzsche for a while that i hope to finish before too long.  As for performing, Onomatopoeia and i will be performing in Portland, Oregon in December in the Lunar Music series………… For now.

SM: What albums or artists are you excited about right now?

SS: Right now i’m excited to hear a new release of Erik Satie’s music that i heard about, with his more avant-garde works on it.  I’m excited listening to my tape of Victor Jara again, that has been lost for a few years.  He is so tremendously beautiful and dimensional in his voice, and words and what he stood for. i am also excited for Charles Coxon to release his “Crab to Sun” album soon, with it’s very special poignancy.

More filesharing thoughts…

July 5, 2007

Documentary filmmaker Sister Novena writes today to share some personal thoughts about filesharing, the future of the recording industry, and the relevance of music sharing to film. And while Sister Novena’s posts frequently move me to comment, I knew that this latest entry would require my full bloggy attention.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the recording industry lately. I, like you, have been watching the decline of the major labels and pondering what it means for me. Their situation perplexes me because, at least in the case of music, it all seems so clear-cut and obvious, and I can’t quite figure out why the corporations are having so much trouble coping. I mean, I can — old men with vested interests in the way things have always been are notoriously resistant to change — but it all seems so futile. I can’t understand why they continue to struggle against the inevitable.”

My impression here is that the music biz is just too big of a ship to make the turn! Seriously, being a major label head these days has to be like driving the Titanic– all you can do is watch as your enormous contraption rips itself a new one. Think about it, and it makes sense. The industry has thrived for so long on a system of having everything tied together in innumerable ways. Read about Colonel Parker’s abuse of the music industry’s legalities to bind himself to Elvis sometime, or check out the history behind Jimi Hendrix’s contractual hell if you don’t believe me. I mean, this is the business that sued John Fogerty for copyright infringement against himself (alright, technically Fantasy) and WON. Everyone is tied together, and while it’s not as ridiculous as the well-known tale about DJ Alan Freed being given a “co-composer” credit for Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene,” I can’t imagine too much has changed.

“Okay, so nobody’s buying CDs anymore. So what? A CD is worthless — it costs at most a few cents, extra for the packaging, but I don’t pay any more attention to the physical object than I do to any of the other plastic packaging in my day-to-day life. It’s the data on the disc, the music it carries, that has value. If I can buy the data without the disc, then that’s simpler for everyone involved. Personally, I still prefer to have a hard copy, if only because the data-only version is still so often restricted, and that annoys me. But even when I buy a CD, the first thing I do is rip the disc and put the original product away. I have CDs I have never actually listened to directly; they were only the conduit that carried the data onto my hard drive. My computer is the center of my musical universe now; I expect that’s how it is for a lot of people.”

I guess it depends on your relationship to music. Look at the incredible proliferation of CDR labels– every single one of these could easily transition to a netlabel format– but it’s the fetish aspect of having a concrete disc sent all the way from Finland or New Zealand that’s part of the excitement. It’s also a kind of gut reaction against the disappearance of artists from our lives. When the artists we hear are only perceived as disembodied voices emanating from the Wal-Mart ceiling, or as part of a promotional stunt at some distant nightclub with other celebrities, their work ceases to become relevant in many ways. Listeners seek the personal connection between the artist and themselves– so it’s not surprising that people are willing to buy handmade CDRs; often featuring equally handmade artwork, liner notes, photos, or even equipment used in the recording itself.

“The first response whenever I ask that question is always, “well, if it works for music, it’ll work for film.” And maybe in some permutation, it will. But film and music are different species, and the consumer’s relationship to them is radically different. You buy an album because you want to listen to it over and over again, or at least want the option to be able to do so. You listen to it while you drive to work, sitting in your cubicle, while you do dishes, while you jog in circles around the park. You can focus on it, but it can also become a secondary activity. It’s flexible, and it can fill in the empty spaces in your life. Film isn’t like that. Film requires attention; it’s the thing you’re doing, not something to do while you do something else. And apart from seven-year-olds, few people watch a film repeatedly — even the films I’ve seen most often I’ve seen maybe half a dozen times. The vast majority of the time, you watch a film, and then you’re done with it. That’s the end of your relationship.”

Ack! As I’ve said many times, there’s a lot more to music than just moving your ass. On my radio show, I always push listeners towards “active listening,” which is pretty much the opposite of allowing music to become a “secondary activity.” Ideally, I’d prefer listeners have it to be primary to pretty much everything except basic bodily functions, and I’m not including bathroom breaks. Yes, I’m a tyrant.

But seriously, there is a considerable body of music that is worthy of increased consideration, and approaching this music from the same vantage point as simple dance tunes will only result in frustration on the part of the listener. It’s the equivalent of being upset that a well-made documentary isn’t a great popcorn summer flick. If everyone who saw “The Fog of War,” came out grumbling that it wasn’t “Armageddon,” its easy to see that they missed the point– these films are to be used in radically different ways.

I think the worlds of film and music CAN be compared though, provided we use intent as a guideline. Simply put, I see no reason why movies like Armageddon, or albums like Akon’s “Konvicted” should ever be subject to filesharing– they are more of a service than an art, and should be treated as such.

Think about it: who buys a pop album for deep thinking? Who attends a Fantastic Four sequel and is upset at the lack of great film moments? Nobody but the brain-dead, that’s who. Pop music and film survive in the same way that fast food, plumbers, and the car wash survive– they perform a reliable, homogeneous, unsurprising service time and time again. It is their strength to be the same each time we need them– can you imagine the folly of McDonald’s changing their menu each day? The trouble isn’t with the labels and film companies who provide us these options, but with us; we have somehow forgotten that these companies, directors, and entertainers are artists.

If we consider them for a moment as tradesmen, the conundrum of filesharing solves itself. I wouldn’t share Britney Spears any more than I would force a handyman to fix my neighbor’s rooftop along with the price of doing mine. For all her crotch shot stupidity, Spears provides a reliable service– catchy pop dance tunes, tailor-made for pre-teens to bop around to. She’s a freakin’ yeoman, seriously. But an artist? No way.

Art wants to be seen and heard. It needs to be free in ways that are totally opposite than the needs of the tradesman. Tangling it up in the business world was a mistake, but an understandable one in the old world where only the big boys had the ways and means to disseminate your work. Now all that’s changed, and we see the music biz for what it always was– a stop-gap measure for real artists, and an answering service for the entertainers.

Now is the time for us to part ways. Don’t think of it as the death of the music industry, though– just a rebirth, sans the mask of artistry.

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 6/30/07

June 30, 2007

First off, I want to wish my daughter a happy birthday. STARTLING MONIKER readers know her as DJ Mo, but may not be aware that much of her photography appears throughout this blog, especially in the commentary entries. Happy birthday, Mo!

(more…)

My trip to the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center

June 27, 2007

As my radio listeners know, I’ve snagged a few cool musicians on their way to or from the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, a fantastic venue for experimental and difficult music in St. Louis. Over the past few years, I’ve hosted Jon Mueller, Jim Schoenecker, Bryan Day, Alex Boardman, Joseph Jaros, Luke Polipnick, and P.D. Wilder. It’s safe to say that without the draw of a fine tour stop like Lemp, I would not have been able to draw these musicians to the area.

I decided to make it up to Lemp for a show featuring Zelienople; Mike Tamburo; Learn Artist; and Epicycle, a project of Lemp Arts founder Mark Sarich. I was also hoping to have some time to visit the highly-recommended Apop Records store, having recently visited Vintage Vinyl and finding nothing that interested me. (more…)

Liveblog! “ITDE” Commentary 6/23/07

June 23, 2007

I started off this broadcast with Mystified’s advance for “Fatal Planet,” a disc inspired by the original soundtrack for “Forbidden Planet,” both in concept and construction. It’s some good stuff, especially for those familiar with the original. Oddly enough, I was reminded a bit of a new disc of previously unreleased material from Annea Lockwood– this being the “Floating World” portion of “Thousand Year Dreaming/Floating World,” currently available on Pogus Productions. Both Lockwood’s work and Mystified’s set up ‘mirrors’ of a sort– Mystified’s is giving us a new look at the older work by the Barrons’, and Lockwood’s is a collection of places; set in amber, as it were. It was definitely interesting to contrast these two works, and they flowed together quite well.

I am now playing from the Last Visible Dog Records release “Somethings #1,” compiled by Ilya Monosov. I have been listening to a lot of quiet, often field-sourced recordings lately, and I wanted to hear Nick Castro’s contributions this morning– however, this album is so well-constructed that I ended up letting it roll– Masayoshi Urabe and Sarah Peebles got to come along for the ride; I hope you’re enjoying it as well!

Oops! I had some visitors stop in, which naturally makes it a bit difficult to liveblog. I played a lot of good stuff, though, as you can see in the playlist. If you’re mad at me, remember that I’ll be back next week and we can try it again.

I almost forgot to mention: I’ll be at Lemp Arts tonight for the Zelienople/Mike Tamburo show. If you see me, be sure to introduce yourself!

Update: Here’s the full download of this broadcast, as a single mp3 file, recorded from the radio stream. If you require any information about any of the artists or labels on this broadcast, don’t hesitate to ask me for assistance.

Mystified — Fatal Planet pt.1
Mystified — Fatal Planet pt.2
Mystified — Fatal Planet pt.3
Annea Lockwood — Floating World pt.1
Annea Lockwood — Floating World pt.2
Mystified — Fatal Planet pt.4
Mystified — Fatal Planet pt.5
Mystified — Fatal Planet pt.6
Mystified — Fatal Planet pt.7
Nick Castro — Study in Miniatures
Nick Castro — Nature Music
Nick Castro — Shy Jack and the Suitcase
Nick Castro — Motor Music
Masayoshi Urabe — Untitled
Sarah Peebles — Music for Incandescent Events no.1, after sunset with crescent moon setting over field
Fe-Mail — It Becomes Her
Fe-Mail — In Den Schonen Gruen Wald
Fe- Mail — Pretty Song
Western Automatic — The Burlap Tundra
Ilya Monosov, Preston Swirnoff — The Sea Within
Mike Tamburo — Ghosts of Marumbey (excerpt)
Warm Climate — NASA March
Warm Climate — Creole Accordion Whisper
Brent Mini & Eric Lampton — Vast Living Intelligence System (Synchronicity Music)
Iamheard — Hongistola
Santtu Hirvikorpi — Komako
Palvelu — Toinen Iaulu
Haute Cuisine — Une Saison en Enfer
Robert Horton — “I am not a centipide”, said Mary Poppins (for P.L. Travers)

Climax Golden Twins – s/t

June 14, 2007

Testing Ground is a Barcelona-based label casting a wide, but hearteningly selective, net over electronic music. Testing Ground is also notable for releasing the first copyleft CD in Europe, Pau Torres’ “Songs for Nula,” as part of their minidisc ‘B-side Project’.

Also part of Testing Ground’s ‘B-Side Project,’ is the self-titled minidisc from Climax Golden Twins. It features some lovely (albeit small, of course) cover art from Marefumi Komura. This is a really interesting disc, although not recommended for users checking out a new stereo– a long period of near-silence in the second track had me wondering if I’d broken something! Once I realized my error, I was happy to find this disc among those that put the minidisc format to good use– keeping a narrow focus, and exploring an idea in depth. “Climax Golden Twins” is also assisted by fantastic production values. The organic qualities of the acoustic guitar theme are not lost among the digital crystalline structure; nor are listeners left behind in the transition from contemplative reverie to harsh noise.

Liveblog! ITDE 6/9/07

June 9, 2007

Feeling much better this week– I decided to kick off the show with a new disc, a CDR promo copy *sniff* of the new limited-edition 12″ vinyl by Motor Ghost, “A Gold Chain Round Her Breast,” on Dancing Wayang Records. I’d originally gotten in touch with Dancing Wayang on the merits of seeing Ben Reynolds name at the site– I really enjoyed his “Other Worlds Sermons” minidisc on First Person, you see– and I’m equally pleased with his work in Motor Ghost (a duo, with Alex Neilson on drums). Although the disc has a fairly “live” feel to it, my understanding is that the studio was actually put to some use– overdubs, etc– which I appreciate, as all too many current experimentally-minded musicians treading into free folk waters seem content with just using the recording studio as a large tape recorder.

Do I have to mention again how terrific Eddie the Rat’s “Once Around the Butterfly Bush” is? Even at 4:30 in the morning, it has the power to send an electric thump down my spine– it’s hard for me to believe that an album this visceral is also recorded this beautifully. Take that, “Raw Power” fans! It’s no surprise to me that the only thing I have that can follow it is another Edgetone Records release, “We Are Violent,” by Nihil Communication. Usually, I can get away with changing gears completely after a half-hour break, but I think Eddie the Rat’s power will hold through the minute of station announcements enough to exact a measure of control over the next set.

Does it make incredibly lame that I am bothered by my use of “is” to end the first sentence in the previous paragraph? How about my nagging suspicion that the Dancing Wayang folks should have allowed an apostrophe to accompany the titular “Round”? These are the questions that keep Discogs editors up at night, beware!

Nihil Communication almost took the show into noise territory, but stopped just in time for me to introduce you all to Ophibre, who seem to inhabit this strange land. In a similar fashion to artists like Seht and Mystified, Ophibre presents a close cousin of noise, but takes enough time with structure and detail to clue listeners in that its more of an influence and less of a destination. Of course, I’ve only heard a couple Ophibre releases so far (“Puzzle Pieces”, and ‘Shattered CD”– so leave a comment if you know about the others.

Damn. It’s barely 5 a.m. and the sun is already coming up, here to make Southern Illinois into a tropical-humidity nightmare yet again.

I’m now playing from “The Long Await Between Collapsed Lungs,” which is just a fantastic disc. It reminds me that I have a couple things to look up, or at the very least, have STARTLING MONIKER readers help me with:

1) What the heck is Ernesto Diaz-Infante doing now? I used to see a new disc of his every week or so. Is he hiding?
2) Lo-Bango was supposed to come out with some minidiscs, a whole series of very cool stuff. I need to get in touch and find out what’s up with these.
3) What’s the perfect recipe for grilled cheese?

Okay, so that was three things. Sue me.

You have to love the lead-in to the first track of Rabliutto Recordings’ “Trios 2004” disc with Jean Paul Jenkins, Joseph Fosert, K. Scott Handley, and Mark Kaylor. It’s just a bit of low hum, the crackle of a cable, silence, a small honk, more silence… a beep, and maybe some magnetic interference. I wonder how many people got all worried listening to this for the first time?

It’s been too long since I’ve had some Joan La Barbara material on the show. I was just listening to the Lovely Music release “Voice is the Original Instrument” the other day, and figured I’d bring it along tonight. “Cathing” is one of my favorite tracks. Check the vocal drone-work– incredible!

A full download of this show is now available, in a single-track, 64kbps mp3 format– basically, the same way you’d hear it in the webstream. I do not offer this recording as a replacement for purchasing albums from the artists and labels heard on the show, but merely as another chance for busy “ITDE” listeners to catch their favorite broadcast. If you require any assistance or information about a recording I have played, please let me know!

Motor Ghost — Gash Division
Motor Ghost — Tremble
Motor Ghost — My Dancing Day
Eddie the Rat — There’s No Such Place as Outer Space
Eddie the Rat — I Spy a Human Inside of You
Eddie the Rat — Chasing the Sun
Nihil Communication — Interpretation from Sandstone
Nihil Communication — We Are Violent
Ophibre — Puzzle Pieces pt.1
Ophibre — Puzzle Pieces pt. 2
Diaz-Infante, St. Chaos, Bohol — Still Endless & Drawn Out Toward You
Jean Paul Jenkins, Joseph Foster, K. Scott Handley, Mark Kaylor — ‘Past Midnight.
Never Knew Such Silence. The Earth Must Be Uninhabited.’
Joan La Barbara — Cathing
Joan La Barbara — Autumn Signal
Joan La Barbara — October Music: Star Showers and Extraterrestrials

Liveblog! “ITDE” 6/2/07

June 2, 2007

Depending on how I feel, tonight’s show could go many different ways. I had to consider whether or not to actually come this week, as I hadn’t been feeling too well for the past few days. Still, I’m noticing that either the studio is really warm, or I’m having a bit of trouble with my own temp. Keep your fingers crossed.

Original digital photography by E.J.

Here’s some good news, though– that awful Sony disc player which gave me so much trouble last week seems to be gone, replaced by a wholly different Tascam. This one, a CD-01U, actually seems to be rather nice! Its as if Tascam read last week’s liveblog, and designed a player just for me. I’ll keep you posted on how it performs. For now, though, it’s handling the first disc of Eliane Radigue’s Lovely Records release “Jetsun Mila” very well. I’m curious how this material will be received by my listeners, though. It’s a fairly quiet work; it is also rather fragile. I especially fear the transition to the streaming portion of my broadcast will not result in an adequate experience of this work. (more…)

Liveblog! ITDE 5/26/07

May 26, 2007

I got an early start this morning, adding another 30 minutes to the show. I figured I’d put some of Mike Tamburo’s New American Folk Hero release, “Language of the Birds, and Other Fantasies” box set on– I really enjoy being able to program a single long set for this first half-hour. I should say that while much of Tamburo’s set lives at the farthest edge of what I consider “experimental,” and thus may or may not be appropriate for the show, I have been enjoying it. I’m a bit put off by not having titles on the discs themselves, though. With something like 7 discs (and a DVDr as well) there is a high probability of getting these switched about in their respective cases. Ordinarily, I suppose I could check track times and names against the liner notes or something, but at least one of the discs is tracked oddly, with 5 songs listed and three tracks. With none of the discs claiming to have only three tracks, I’m really not sure which disc this is– thus leaving them all somewhat suspect. Perhaps a helpful Tamburo fan can assist me before I break out in a rash of OCD and start climbing the walls of Discogs!

With this in mind, forgive me if I have a track title listed incorrectly in the playlist.

cdr1b.jpgUp next is Marko Marin, with the 2005 release “Heijastu, Katoa Ja Ole Valmina,” on the Luovaja microlabel. This is a rather strange electronic disc, playful at times, kind of an odd blend between a Phillip Glass side project and the lighter side of Brian Eno’s outings with Jon Hassell. Does this cover remind you of that Nirvana picture at all?

Now I’m playing from the Testing Ground release of Pau Torres’s “Hostile,” a 2007 album that contains a sample of a dial-up modem, of all things. I thoughtlglp0837.jpg everyone had gone to cable by now, haha. But seriously, this is really interesting electroacoustic work– subtle electronic sweeps mingle with shuffling static, coughs, guitar, ringing tones, and water pumps. It’s well put-together, a bit more organic and accessible than one might initially believe.

Nihil Communication, yeah! This is the sort of stuff that makes Edgetone a great label to pay attention to– Andre Custodio’s deep talents are at serious play here, and I don’t mind running over my set time considerably to keep them going. This disc, “We Are Violent,” is like a compressed version of everything that creeps me out about Diamanda Galas’s best work, but without the volume or the howling. And that’s really saying something!

Remember last week, when I was battling that crummy Tascam CD player (160MKII) that couldn’t count time backwards? What a pain in the ass. For a pro-level device (supposedly) this is kind of a basic feature. Anyways, it’s gone now– replaced with the Sony CDP-D11, which is actually worse. When it works, I don’t mind this player much– it has a lot of decent features on it, and it reads discs quickly. But damn, it hasn’t wanted to take a disc for the past month! It just makes a whirring noise like its trying to cough. I almost feel like I should pat it on the back. How weird is that? I’m used to the musical chairs equipment we have at WDBX, but I hate having only two decks– I love having many discs available, and being able to choose among them. If I had my way, this blank rack space would have another nice Denon player stuck in it…

In my opinion, all a good pro-level player needs is the ability to play from any sort of disc, including mp3s. With mp3s, there should be a decent way to scan through folders and files, with a text display. Discs should cue quickly, and the timer needs to be able to display 4 times– total, total remain, track remain, track total. Finally, make the thing sturdy! This is pretty simple, yet manufacturers seem to constantly get it wrong.

As I mentioned on air, this DJ Goddamn stuff is what first got my attention at the Hymns label— static-filled cut-ups, filled with a love of the found tape aesthetic. This one kind of reminds me of a trashier version of one John Oswald’s Mystery Tape releases. Cool stuff, fans of radio air surveys and cut-ups unite!

Great. The transmitter is kicking itself off. How ghetto can the equipment be tonight? It sure is annoying to get up every few minutes and turn the damn thing back on!! You really have to wonder if that thing is wired correctly… This also means I have to listen to the “air” monitor all night, which is not as good of a quality as the studio signal– yes, I’m picky. Sue me.

Okay, before I go apeshit (or batshit, as my daughter prefers) here is Colorir. They’re based out of somewhere in Brazil, and have this yet-unreleased disc of strange drum/guitar experiments– a bit post-rock in parts, occasionally quite beautiful. These seem to be improv experiments, as each of the six tracks tends to begin at one place and finish at quite another… usually visiting a few odd stops along the way. I think this is also the first time I’ve ever heard blast beats outside of metal– strangely, it seems to work.

How about some Roil Noise Offensive material? First up is from the Damno Te/Android in Motion split “Transcendentalism,” whose uber-vox and laser noises won me over the first time I heard it. Great use of tremendous layering and dynamics on this disc. Now I’m playing from the Lonely Carbon disc, “Quick Release,” which is a rather strange one. The tracks vary quite a bit from one to the next, with muted underwater sounds being pushed aside by the buzz of rushing electronics, only to be replaced by howling winds fit for a Kurosawa film sequence.

I wanted to play from the 4-way split release “Seasons,” which features Ctephin, Rabbit Girls, Damno Te, and Ghoul Detail. Having 20 minutes free, I figured I’d play one of the long tracks– in this case, “A Daft Hell,” Damno Te’s barbarous take on the poignant nature of fall. For me, fall is the harbinger of winter– and while fall is surely my favorite season, I have missed it almost completely for the past few years, succumbing to my unnatural dread of winter’s arrival. Only the clearest days, jacket-wearing days, have jostled me out of this narrowly-focused reverie… and though it’s only the beginning of summer, I’m already hoping not to miss much of this fall. But hey, you can have summer– down here, it’s thick with sweat and mosquitos– utterly miserable!

How’s this for flaky? I’ve got a guy on slsk chewing me out for “not” downloading his recordings that he told me about a couple weeks ago. Nevermind that I did download them a few hours after that show, and just didn’t like them… this guy’s apparently been playing vulture, hovering over his uploads box and awaiting his big radio break. Let me tell you– this isn’t how things are done. He hit me up in chat towards the end of the show to gripe:

Dude: Well I havent seen no Daephexalso downloading nuttin from me
Me: I had downloaded it pretty much right away after you’d told me about it. I’m not lying. I like hearing new music. You must have just missed it. Sorry!
Dude: Well the downloads stay finished in the window so I couldnt miss it. But thats ok. See Ya
Me: whatever, man. it didn’t work out. try to be cool with that. maybe next time.
Dude: yeah yeah

What do you even say to this sort of thing? The only thing he could have done worse is send me the mp3s in an e-mail. I mean, seriously… I listen to enormous amounts of submissions each week. I also take a lot of time to download artists’ materials, a significant amount of which I find out about from the artists themselves. Learning more about music, and making it available for a larger audience is WHAT I DO. It really pisses me off to have someone talking shit about my level of dedication, and my hard work– I have nearly 10 years of volunteering to bring new music to listeners under my belt– and he’s getting cranky because he can’t move an mp3 or two? Sheesh! I’m reminded of a KRS-1 freestyle: “You playin’/you ain’t no battle hog/what you got?/one demo?/against my 12 year catalog?”

Mike Tamburo — Elisabeth Queen of Theta
Mike Tamburo — Chasing Snakes in Camden Woods
Mike Tamburo — I Will Never Tell You What Happened in Virginia Beach
Mike Tamburo — Variations of Lee Jackson
Marko Marin — Molemmat vanhukset Osa 1
Marko Marin — Joulukuun ensimmaiset paivat
Pau Torres — Climfon
Pau Torres — Brown Dog
Pau Torres — Banjo Insult
Nihil Communication — Sea of Ideology
Nihil Communication — A Supplication
DJ Goddamn — Never Mind the Static, This is Miami!
Colorir — Untitled, track 2
Android in Motion — Agony of the Inner Mind
Lonely Carbon — Untitled 1 (from “Quick Release”)
Lonely Carbon — Untitled 2 (from “Quick Release”)
Lonely Carbon — Untitled 3 (from “Quick Release”)
Damno Te –Fall: A Daft Hell
Mike Tamburo — Headphone Music for Bridget Bardot
Mike Tamburo — The Transmigration of Timothy Sweeney Revisited
Mike Tamburo — No More Dripping from Windsor’s Beard

Due to the transmitter problems, my live rip of this week’s broadcast was fractured and error-ridden. There is no download for this week’s “It’s Too Damn Early,” sorry. Instead, why don’t you download one of the older shows? (hereherehere…) I know you don’t have them all! –DaveX

“Improv For Folded Signals” online!

May 23, 2007

liner_detail_1.jpgAs I’ve previously mentioned, following delivery of a sold-out Naked Arrival release, I am making the full work available online for free download. With the receipt of (and subsequent experimental blog activity about) the two-disc, three-cassette edition of “Improv for Folded Signals,” you can now find the entire work at it’s netlabel page.

Here is a short description I wrote for the download page:

“”Improv for Folded Signals” is constructed from multiple recordings of a single experimental radio action, where numerous streaming instances of a single live broadcast were “folded” back into the mix, utilizing John Roach and Willy Whips’s Simultaneous Translator software. The resulting sounds were recorded separately on three cassettes placed at different locations within the broadcast studio. Later, these cassettes were combined in an artistic fashion to create a monolithic mix of differing “viewpoints” of the original action.”

I hope you’ll take the time to check this out— I am incredibly pleased with the results, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well.

BIG HUGE project!

May 23, 2007

My good friend and former co-host Tony Youngblood and I are staring down a BIG HUGE project– revisiting, editing, and remastering two years worth of weekly experimental radio shows– these being our collective radio work ~Ore~ Prefab Audio Extrapolations.  It’s been about eight years since we’ve heard most of these, and looking at hours and hours of this material waiting for me is daunting to say the least.

I’ve been listening to shows as I have time, and I’ve been extremely surprised to see how good much of it actually is! Although I always believed in the worth of our broadcasts, I also had the general idea that we were barely being heard– and an “us-versus-them” mentality was difficult to avoid. I imagine that for every one solid musical decision I made, two were just to roil an unsuspecting listener. But provocation has it’s place, right?

Digital photography by E.J.Still, its incredible how varied the ideas were– everything from a long look at abbreviation, to challenging listeners to create their own listening experience by rearranging their speakers. Along the way, we recorded shows live at a house party, interviewed a “big box” Wal-Mart manager, milked our televisions for every last ironic sample; and used everything from cordless phones to a theremin (oddly, not all that un-alike) as a sound source.

Aside from simply being a formidable task, reviewing this amount of work really requires serious organization skills. I find myself drawing on different aspects of my experience– my work as a DJ has sharpened my skills as a curator, but I’m also pulling from my own artistic and aesthetic ideas while considering where possible edits or improvements may be needed.

Okay, I know… this may not be terribly interesting to the majority of you. “DaveX is whining about having too much work, gee thanks.” But there are a couple things I’ve learned so far, so let me pass them on:

1) If it doesn’t get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish musically, go ahead and record your work. You can’t know if you’ll end up wanting it later, and you’ll thank yourself if you do.

2) Slap a date on it! Your memory is probably not going to be sufficient to sort out details of when you recorded something, especially if you make a habit of doing so. Give your brain a rest, and break out the Sharpie– recording dates, locations, players, sound sources, it’s all good.

3) CDRs hold up better than you’d think. Sure, they’re not perfect– but with reasonable care, they’ll hold up until you need them next time.

Hope this helps! Now wish me luck.  –DaveX

AM/FM Transmitters!

May 16, 2007

A couple transmitters have found their way into my hands recently– a nifty AM transmitter with built-in tape player, microphone, and volume control which was a birthday gift; and an FM transmitter that plugs directly into a cigarette lighter area of an automobile, also featuring a USB port for thumb drives, etc..

Naturally, this gets me thinking of all the cool projects I can do with these simple, but well-functioning transmitters. I should mention that these aren’t the first of my transmitters– I have a USB-powered FM device that I can use to send a radio signal from my computer into my kitchen’s radio, as well as another FM device that is often sold to guitarists to plug directly into the 1/4″ jack of an electric guitar. A neat feature of this device (which is no longer sold, I realize, following an extensive online search for it’s photo) is that it has a scalable distortion, as well as an “echo” effect setting. Handy!

One project I am currently working on is creating a loop between various transmitters and radios. Although I have managed to get it to work, the results have been a little less than spectacular so far– but there seems to be real promise that future results will be more interesting. Right now, I can get a really nice low hum going by sending an AM signal to one radio, outputting this signal to the FM transmitter, which is received by the first radio… with it’s output directed into the original AM transmitter. My hope is that I will be able to complicate this a bit with additional signals, and possibly more radios sending and receiving these signals.

The idea of FM becoming AM becoming FM, etc is also really appealing– and it’s fun wondering if a car that happens to be driving by my house has ever picked up on these experiments for a few short moments!

In case you’re interested, both of the transmitters I mentioned in the first paragraph work very well. The AM model has a lot of features that give it tremendous flexibility, including the option for incoming audio from either the built-in microphone or a 1/8″ jack, the ability to mix between both sources simultaneously, some built-in sound effects, a tape player source, universal volume control, a grounding wire, and a substantial antennae. It runs on batteries, which I am content with– AM transmitters will often react unpleasantly with AC power transformers.

USB Rocket FM TransmitterThe automobile unit is also quite nice. I don’t own an iPod, and I’m generally annoyed at the cassette-adaptor-and-Discman setup that passes for an in-dash CD player in my car. My tape player tends to make a nasty grinding noise, and having all those wires hanging about simply begs for me to accidentally yank something loose, ultimately damaging some component.

The automobile unit has a USB port right on the front, so I can easily attach a thumb drive with mp3s, and play directly from it. It’s got a shuffle mode, volume, and FM channel select (which would be handy in a larger city, I suppose). Additionally, this device also has a 1/16″ input for external audio sources. A super-nice touch was the included 1/16-to-1/8″ male/male audio cable
included, gratis.

nadytrans.jpgMost manufacturers would have neglected this, so it is worth mentioning when a company goes the extra mile to include one of these. A neat feature, however unintended, is that the device will actually play from your thumb drive AND an external audio source simultaneously. If one were to use the volume control on a Discman, and also play from a thumb drive, some interesting possibilities for mash-ups and unconscious mixing could easily arise… Anyhow, if you see me driving, tune to 88.7 FM– you might get to hear what I’m listening to!

Commentary for “ITDE” 5/12/07

May 12, 2007

I’m a little burned out temporarily. Last week’s show wasn’t the best, so I’m going to lay off the liveblogging for this week, and just focus on the sounds. I think I’m just a bit too tired to manage any more than this sufficiently. This upcoming week looks like I’ll be playing catch-up to the many things I need to finish!

Hal McGee — Live at the Shamrock
AMM — To Hear
Harold Budd — The Room of Stairs
Harold Budd — The Room of Corners
Emily Hay, Brad Dutz, Wayne Peet — Coming!
Emily Hay, Brad Dutz, Wayne Peet — Hot Japanese Water
Tom Nunn — Skatchrod
Tom Nunn — Nailstrum
Tom Nunn — Cross Rods/3
Z’ev — Number Seven
Z’ev — The Hand. The Palm
Z’ev — Skin on Thigh. Thorns
Z’ev — Yellow Arrow
Gordon Monahan — Speaker Swinging
David Tudor — Dialects
Voice Crack — A Spoonful of Tea in a Barrelful of Honey
Christian Marclay — Black Stucco
Trash Ant — Biz in the W
Merzbow — White Pea Fowl
Merzbow, Russell Haswell — Satanstonade
Charles Dodge, Joan LaBarbara — The Waves
Area C — Haunt

A full download of this show is now available in a single-track, 64kbps mp3 format— basically, the same way you’d hear it in the webstream. I do not offer this recording as a replacement for purchasing albums from the artists and labels heard on the show, but merely as another chance for busy “ITDE” listeners to catch their favorite broadcast. If you require any assistance or information about a recording I have played, please let me know!