Archive for the ‘video’ Category

In which our hero becomes a movie star

March 30, 2009

Okay, not really. But this IS a pretty cool documentary about the local noise/experimental community. It’s accessible to those who aren’t familiar with this stuff, and also manages to convey a sense of the dignity and pride that goes into our work. Be sure to leave Alex a comment here or at his Vimeo page!

Obama sighted in vintage Miami bass video

February 19, 2009

I don’t know if it’s real or not– but I gotta admit– I like living in a world where it’s POSSIBLE. Skip to 0:47 for Obama and his giant cell phone, yo.

Up-Tight – “Live at the Lucrezia”

January 22, 2009

126Not to be confused with Up-Tight‘s 2004 release of a similar name, “Live at Lucrezia” is a thoroughly entertaining and well-filmed DVD– a happy first for label Last Visible Dog and the these Japanese psych-rockers themselves.

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Although the “Live at” portion of the title suggests an actual live gig with an audience, this DVD features the three-piece straddling a line between music video and and a fully-live performance, playing for an equal number of camera-wranglers intent on providing a bit of their own art to the mix. At first, the “Cinema Variete” crew keep things simple. A bit of disco ball, liquid lights— but otherwise, just a simple shot of highly-photogenic vocalist Tomoyuki Aoki doing his thing. It isn’t long that the effects kick in, though. Aoki’s guitar turns to rubber, Shirahata’s hands make tracers out-of-sync with the beat, and multiple layers and camera angles pile up into a frenetic visual dance. Thankfully, and much like Up-Tight’s playing, these visual tricks are tightly-controlled and purposeful. At times, the overuse of lens flare gets a bit bothersome, but it’s hardly the worst mistake that could have been made.

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As for Up-Tight, I had only known them from the inclusion of their music in the “Invisible Pyramid” 6-CD set from a couple years back. In that setting, I’m sorry to say that they were easy for me to overlook, bewildered as I was by so many intriguing artists and songs. “Live at Lucrezia” has fortunately given me a more dedicated chance to meet these artists. Up-Tight’s focus on definite songs also helps; I was fearing the affair might be an hour-long plunge into a formless acid jam. While these have their place, it’s rarely the best way to encounter a musician for the first time! A display of untempered jamming most likely would not have produced such an emotional and musical range, either. “Day Dream Believer” opens strong, quickly building into a fairly aggressive workout. “Cool Eyes” and “Never Come Morning” explore more subdued territory, from near-ambient to pulsing drones. “Sweet Sister,” probably my favorite of the four, drops unexpectedly out of a wonderfully rhythmic orbit into a free-time noise melange; jarring at first, but utterly appropriate.

Recommended! “Live at Lucrezia” is available on Last Visible Dog Records as [LVD DVD 126].

More Videos Friday

August 15, 2008

Another installment of More Video Friday– let’s see if WordPress lets me add the vids this time around, since it always screws up for some reason. Our first video is the weirdest thing I’ve seen all week, and that’s saying something. I have no clue what’s going on here, and if I attempt to explain it, things will be worse:

Next up is an Eric Glick Rieman solo work, “Snail Score 3”. It looks a lot nicer than the video I shot during the show, which I’ll share with you soon.

I ran the idea of getting WDBX involved in the Chicago Calling Arts Festival with my station manager, who was concerned about the questionable fidelity of a phone-to-phone linkup. Guess I should have showed him this:

Experimental music on video Friday

August 8, 2008

I need a more catchy name for this feature, if it’s going to be a regular Friday thing… got any suggestions?

Here’s a few videos, pre-washed, and ready for consumption. The first is Sabrina Meyer, in a 2007 performance of a John Cage work. Fun use of editing, too.

Here’s the first half of Christian Marclay’s “Guitar Drag,” which I played at least a couple times on my first radio show:

This video should have been longer… the organ had some more to say.

I like Nam June Paik’s work, or what I’ve seen of it, at any rate. It’s sad that I’d never have been able to see many of his videos if it was not for services like YouTube.

Experimental music on video

August 1, 2008

I’ve decided that Fridays at STARTLING MONIKER should feature a few interesting experimental music videos. I come across a lot of good ones during the course of the week, so it’s time I started sharing. Here’s three to kick it off:

The first is Ironing, performing live at Hal McGee’s first Apartment Music show. Ironing describes the atmosphere; “Went through his stereo for volume control, RSVP due to capacity issues, coffee and cake served. Recordings were made straight to CDR and all performers had a complete recording of the entire show before they left!”

Next up, Pamela Z performs “Metalvoice,” at The Kitchen in New York, October 2004. I’m still up in the air about my feelings on her performances– theatre has never been an interest of mine, and it’s obviously a crucial element of her work. On the other hand, I have a huge fascination with artists exploring extended vocal elements…

Speaking of extended vocal elements, here’s my go-to lady for the job, Joan La Barbara. Finding her associated with Sesame Street just made her even more super cool.


July 11, 2008

I’ve been hijacked into a “band” of sorts, one of those late-night jokes that somehow becomes reality, mostly due to the ease with which the net makes these things possible. So you’ll forgive me when you find out that the band is named “Cosmic Twilight Pimps”— I had nothing to do with it!

I would have suggested an awesome name like “Muck,” but it’s already taken.

I just found out about the CTP last week, when I accepted their/our friend request. I had to, seeing as how I’m apparently in the group. I left myself a comment, and later got the full story from co-founder (and Sweet Action Radio host) Nick… in a nutshell, CTP seems to encompass whatever random oddmusic made between our respective broadcasts, as well as some 4-track noodling going on in some Carbondale basement.

Did I mention we have a video?

Tom made this one during the ill-fated broadcast of March 8, 2008. I was supposed to have a live guest, but he didn’t arrive, so I was stuck with a studio full of ears on a gradient from fan to foe. Getting folks to come see a live set at 4 AM is no easy feat– and it really hurts the future chances of being able to do so when the musician in question fails to show up!

Naturally, I was pissed. Partly, I was upset because I had no control over the situation, and partly because I was letting so many listeners down. I decided to channel my feelings into something a bit more constructive than pacing, and whipped out a rather bold sound mix using whatever I had, and whatever sounded right at the time.

Tom, a local treasure for his ceaseless work documenting musicians and artists on video, had been well-prepared to do the same for our AWOL musician. In the end, he captured the vast majority of the morning on video… at the time, I couldn’t imagine anything worthwhile coming out of these hours of footage, but I was mistaken. Enjoy this– and be sure to leave Tom a comment, too!

The Master Retarder

July 7, 2008

I got a cheap giggle during a visit to Galesburg’s annual Railroad Days. At the non-stop urging of my three-year-old train fanatic, I was coerced into boarding an hour-long bus tour of the rail yard and surrounding area. It ended up being much more interesting than I would have guessed– but then again, if you combine my rampant curiousity with some sort of massive object, I will usually find it interesting.

Original photography by DaveX

There was a lot of nice graffiti, but this was my favorite.

It was also more than a little curious to find myself once again on a schoolbus, retracing a large portion of my old high-school bus route. Bizarre!

But I digress. You want to know about my aforementioned “cheap giggle.” Well, picture me on a schoolbus, with my knees jammed up against the seat in front of me– and then the tour guide says something like: “over there is the master retard”!


Sure, I knew he was talking about the giant air brake that slows trains being humped (heh heh, humped) in the yard. It prevents rail cars from smacking into one another at inappropriate speeds. It also makes a great noise, which I’ve heard many times before– just never up close. Here’s some video, so you can dig the good sounds as well. Enjoy!

And hey, check this out while you’re at it– more train stuff, and more sound art as well. Not the usual combination!

Auto-percussion fun!

June 24, 2008

I just saw this a few moments ago– what a great idea! Check out more of RP Collier’s sound videos here.

“The Optimod, the Transmitter, and the Danube”

March 29, 2008

Sound and vision collide in odd ways during my show. Here’s our Optimod 8000, a piece of vintage sound processing equipment circa 1975. Probably not what you’d find at one of those slick corporate broadcasters’ studios– but it’s part of the chain that gets my show out on the airwaves, so I’m not complaining.

Anyways, from this vantage point you get a blend of the transmitter and cooling noise; Annea Lockwood’s “Sound Map of the Danube;” and the mini lightshow provided by the Optimod.

I have fans.

January 29, 2008

Sonney Dey recently wrote in with a strange-but-true story of how he came across my Electric Kitten Vomit “Avant Garde Revolts” album from 2001. It sort of reminds me of Trash Ant’s similar experience with finding my “PZEK!” tape in an abandoned trailer early last year… but even more weird.

In an awesome act of fandom, Sonney Dey has even made a video for “Purification,” which you need to see:

UPDATE: Sonney reports an 18-year-old Californian using “Electric Kitten Vomit” as their MySpace user name. Shit has officially become BIZARRE.