Posts Tagged ‘experimental music’

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 8/23/08

August 23, 2008

I’ve been in a relatively low-key mood for this broadcast. DJ Mo has been helping me get the station ready for the arrival of her guest DJ friends– they’re covering Kids Kamp in the next time slot. As I announced earlier, I played from the John Cage material made available to me by the OgreOgress label; these are recordings from their upcoming release of Cage’s “Twenty-Six with Twenty-Nine,” “Twenty-Six with Twenty-Eight & Twenty-Nine,” and “Eighty”… I’ll be hosting the world premiere for “Twenty-Six with Twenty-Eight & Twenty-Nine [Eighty-Three]” next week. Obviously, this is a pretty big deal for “It’s Too Damn Early,” and I’m proud to be part of Cage history in some small way.

Otherwise, I’m just trying to do the good volunteer thing– sprucing up the station a bit, since I’m relatively sure some of Mo’s friends have never been here before. WDBX has to make a good impression, you know? Also, The Land Of has me flustered! I screwed up the artist/album title last time I played The Green Kingdom’s disc “Laminae,” switching them up… and I did it again! Let’s hope Google cache didn’t nab me. Either way, it’s a really good album, and the package printing is lovely. Some of the Sweet Action guys were fondling it earlier. Had to suggest they find their own copy, thank you!

Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores — The Perforated Veil
Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores — Queen of the Wires
Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores — Myra
Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores — Blue on White
Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores — The Radiator Hymn
The Green Kingdom — Late Summer
The Green Kingdom — A Hidden Stream (alternate)
The Green Kingdom — Fuji Apple
John Cage — Twenty-six
John Cage — Twenty-nine
Choi Joonyong — Hold (entire)
Robert Dow — Steel Blue
Robert Dow — Burnt Umber
Robert Dow — White Water (airflow)

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 8/16/08

August 16, 2008

I didn’t have a tremendous amount to say on this week’s show, at least not verbally. For those of you who tuned in, I did a lot of source-mixing which I think turned out very well. Please note the inclusion of my good friend Tony Youngblood in the playlist– his new album is finally out; I encourage you dig on it later today.

I got into a mood earlier today to hear Ernesto Diaz-Infante after reviewing an old 3″ cdr he collaborated on with Mike Khoury. The review isn’t live until Sunday, but duh– I like it a lot. Anyway, that’s why EDI is all over this playlist.

Warm Climate — 19th Century Blessings
Warm Climate — Can’t Forget To Know You
Tony Youngblood — On the Parking Lot
Brainiac — Juicy (On a Cadillac)
Mike Hallenbeck — 2 Turntables and a Microwave
Mike Hallenbeck — Elephant
David Rosenboom — Portable Gold and Philosophers’ Stones
Asher — Intervals (1-3)
Tom Hamilton — London Fix (excerpt)
GRKZGL — Antitulé
Ian Yeager — Music For Guitar + Computer
Mike Hallenbeck — Leaves Pressed Around a Microphone
EKV — Purification
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — Antithesis
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — Untitled track 1 (from pr90259)
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — from Henry who just wrote
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — Untitled track 3 (from pr90259)
Ernesto Diaz-Infante — Untitled track 4 (from pr90259)
Preston Ari Swirnoff — For A Room Full of Organs
Maurizio Bianchi — Sretsulkyz
Lx Rudis, Andre Custodio, Ernesto Diaz-Infante — Crashing the Russian Renaissance, Live @ Luggage Store Gallery, 6/27/02
Livestock — Lawndrop
Coin Gutter — Lift With the Knees

Hong Chulki – “Without Cartridge, With Cartridge”

August 10, 2008

Fantastic turntable work from the Balloon & Needle label boss Hong Chulki, who has lately joined my personal pantheon of favorite turntable improvisors. One of these days; he can join Otomo Yoshihide, Christian Marclay, and Martin Tétreault for a box set and I can die happy.

Until that day, there’s “Without Cartridge, With Cartridge,” which surely goes about as far as one can with a turntable. Packaged uniquely on either side of a cardboard disc, this double 3″ CDR keeps the “haves” and “have-nots” separated– very nice for those of us who like to contrast the two.

Starting “Without Cartridge,” Hong still manages to generate a surprising variety of sound. As Hong’s full approach for both discs is to play without records, I’m assuming these are all produced from dragging the tonearm remains across the turntable itself in some fashion… though in the end, I’m unable to fully understand how many of these sounds arise. Regardless, it is a much more full sound than I would have guessed– in some ways, even more interesting than the “With Cartridge” half!

Track two goes a long way toward explaining why– these electronic shrieking noises are incredible! Filled out with ringing tones, like bowed glass at high volume, this is a torturous ride. The third track is equally absurd; at some point, listeners just have to sit back and let Hong skullfuck both earholes.

For the “With Cartridge” disc, a more usual gamut of possible sounds are explored– needle drops, slipmat scrapes, fingers against the needle, even electrical problems become “opportunities!” There’s also a good range of more unexpected noises– the intense blasts of screeching metal-on-metal sounds near the end of the second track, for instance. At times, I wonder if Hong is employing anything but the tonearm itself, as the circular looping nature of the turntable seems to vanish. Perhaps Hong has liberated it for play on other surfaces?

“Without Cartridge, With Cartridge” is a surprisingly vital set, not only due to Hong’s instrumental prowess, but for the quality of the improvisation itself. What could have been a cold documentation of the technical limits of the turntable-as-sound-source is instead a well-structured work in its own right, and worthy of more than listeners’ simple curiosity.

“Without Cartridge, With Cartridge” is available from Balloon & Needle as release bnn18.

Daniel Godston, Eric Glick Rieman live guests on “ITDE”

August 4, 2008

I just confirmed Daniel Godston and Eric Glick Rieman as live guests on my upcoming broadcast, this August 9th– obviously you’re going to want to tune in.

With guidance provided by a graphic score co-composed by a trio of garden snails, Rieman and Godston will be improvising on  deconstructed/reconstructed Rhodes piano, trumpet, and “small instruments”. If you’re in the area, I welcome you to drop by the station.

Please be aware that I may attempt to draft you to take us all out for breakfast afterward, so bring your wallet.

This is going to be a fantastic broadcast, and I really don’t want you to miss a minute of it. Be sure to tune in this coming Saturday, from 4-6:30 AM, CST to catch the whole thing. Feel free to call in at: 618-457-3691 to show your support for experimental and improv music, and of course, for your favorite DJ.

Look below the fold for tour info:

(more…)

Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong – “Hum and Rattle”

August 4, 2008

From the Seoul-based Balloon & Needle label, “Hum and Rattle” features some of label head Hong Chulki and Choi Joonyong’s phenomenal turntable and opened CD player compositions. Advantageous use of noise bursts that could make Merzbow flinch, contrasted with periods of near (or total) silence make this an ideal album for headphone listening– especially in regards to the delicacy of Choi’s contributions, which comprise everything from the the faintest digital seek-sound, to full-blown read error exploding into unlikely patterns of bitrate-lacework.

For his end; Hong’s turntable tends toward the lower frequency (and possibly sans vinyl) approach to noisemaking. It’s DJ Q-Bert’s nightmare– needle drops, empty platters spinning against the tonearm, skipping one groove and proceeding to practically lathe-cut the next.

Fortunately, both Hong and Choi evidence a strong ability to not only play off one another’s sounds, but an enthusiasm for allowing both sounds and each other room to breathe. Openness is what sets “Hum and Rattle” apart from many other discs splashing about in similar waters. This approach is most easily heard on the second track, “u a”, something like an 11-minute act of digital call-and-response where one player is a void.

The album closes with a live recording made during a Relay free improvisation meeting. Although it naturally lacks the stereo dynamic that helps make the previous tracks as compelling, it’s nice to hear evidence that Hong and Choi do not rely on studio tricks for the generation of their sound. Rather, the turntables and CD players are treated as instruments in their own right, a much-mouthed but rarely-heard acclamation.

“Hum and Rattle” is attractively packaged in a simple folded-card sleeve, and is available from Balloon & Needle.

Gen Ken Montgomery – “Drilling Holes in the Wall”

August 2, 2008

From the Monochrome Vision label (in Russia, of all places) comes a collection of Gen Ken Montgomery works from 1986 to 1991. Montgomery’s prolific nature means it is by no means complete; but still invaluble for assembling disparate works now relatively unavailable, previously unreleased, or truncated in their original outing.

On this disc, Montgomery’s title track is the main feature. Sourced completely from a modified Casio MS-10 keyboard, Montgomery wrings a breathtaking variety of sounds from this miniature machine. Originally presented as an eight-channel concert, “Drilling Holes in the Walls” does not let listeners down. If anything, more current electronics artists should be ashamed for the paucity of their work, given the ubiquitous nature of enormously-powerful synthesizers at their disposal today!

“New Age Machines,” now apparently complete for the first time due to the inclusion of an additonal ten minutes, harkens to the classic days of electroacoustic music. Conjuring visions of the INA-GRM, Montgomery proceeds to flesh out a science fiction machine of epic proportions– or as my daughter puts it, “something like technology, and critters, and maybe two trashcan lids banging?”

As consistently holds true with any of Montgomery’s works, it is the listener’s willingness and enthusiasm for sound that will make or break its perceived value. Take “Icebreaker,” for instance. As one of Montgomery’s favorite noise-makers (along with various laminators), the ice-crusher commands our full attention, merrily rumbling and squeaking and crushing along– it’s something like the Wall-e of it’s day, I guess. These sounds are of interest to Montgomery, apparently right up there with any of the more commonly-cited natural sounds of interest: birds, rain, seashores, etc. Although increasingly processed into something more abstract, listeners should have a healthy appreciation for sound of all kinds before seeking this disc out.

Of particular interest to me, however, is the live cut “Don’t Bring Those Things.” Referencing Montgomery’s exasperation with East Berlin for denying entry to his homemade electronics (to the point that he was forced to borrow equipment for a live performance) the track is a lovely example of Montgomery’s aesthetic, unfiltered by the studio, and one of only a couple times I’ve heard his voice in a recording.

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 8/2/08

August 2, 2008

Today’s show started out strong, and so far, I’m very happy with how it’s going. Playing from the Cichocki/Shields/Rale split DVD-R was difficult without a television available to help select the tracks, but I checked it out ahead of time– hooray for auto-play! BTW, a dedicated TV and DVD player are next on my WDBX wishlist, should anyone feel generous.

Right now, I’m doing the “Rothkamm-centric” portion of the show I promised a couple weeks back. Taking my queue from Rothkamm’s studio multitudes, I too will be harnessing the power of technology to thicken the mix– at present, I am mixing from three Rothkamm albums– I wonder how many instances of the man this has yielded?

I think the Rothkamm mix went very well. I may have mis-labeled a couple of the track names in the playlist, however. It gets a little hard juggling that many discs at once! For the record; I used FB01, FB02, FB03, LAX, Just 3 Organs, and Opus Spongebobicum to create the mix. At present, I’m playing Carl Stone’s “Kreutz” from Nak Won, on the Sonore label. I sent a friend to a video of this played live the other day, so I figured I’d go ahead and play the album version this week.

I’m digging the Warm Climate disc, “Circle Dub/Regrettable Form,” on Phantom Limb. It’s going to take a few more listens to fully get my thoughts worked out on it, though. It just came in with another, which I’ve not yet had time to check out– maybe I’ll have a review for you this coming week!

Say Bok Gwai — Not All Chinese Are Good At Math
Kevin Shields, Cristopher Cichocki — Motorhands
Rale, Cristopher Cichocki — Tattered Syntax
Gen Ken Montgomery — Don’t Bring Those Things, Live Erloserkirche 3/19/86
Gen Ken Montgomery — New Age Machines pt.1
Husht — The Glycolysis of an Insistent Bird
Rothkamm — B and B Plus 33
Rothkamm — Independent Bernoulli Trials
Rothkamm — Half Man, Half Amazing
Rothkamm — Outdoor Heritage of New Jersey
Rothkamm — Reality OR Room in Hollywood
Rothkamm — Opusspongebobicum, Variation 23
Rothkamm — Opusspongebobicum, Variation 10
Rothkamm — Incident Outside Mesquite
Rothkamm — Ancient Meats
Carl Stone — Kreutz
“Blue” Gene Tyranny — Somewhere in Arizona 1970
“Blue” Gene Tyranny — Somewhere in Search of Heaven, A.D. 999
“Blue” Gene Tyranny — Somewhere Inside the Red Circle
Warm Climate — Rehearsal Repulsive
Warm Climate — Terminal City/Warm Winter II/Backstabbing Waitress
Absolut Null Punkt — Absolute Magnitude 1
Amere3 — Hiba
Amere3 — Rauli

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.

Husht – “Amber”

August 1, 2008

It’s always interesting, but occasionally embarrassing, to look back at our younger selves. Many things change– priorities, interests, our aesthetics; but checking on these can reveal a previously-unknown arc of our existence. Suddenly, the point of our present becomes a line joining moments over time.

It’s especially fun to do with musicians. When I got the chance to check out “Amber,” a 15-year-old tape recording that had been languishing in Andrew Chadwick/Ironing’s personal holdings, I was rather excited. The tape, recorded to boombox “in the wee hours of the morning” with Jim Tramontana, is a series of remarkable pieces both for their forward-looking sense of improvisation and the relatively low-tech means employed for the production. “Paul’s Very Exhausted Horse” for instance; features a variety of small electric guitar noises, a cracking patch cord, and every extended technique these two could muster for wringing sounds from both. I’m still wondering how the little hoofbeat rhythm was made!

There is a bit of repetition on this disc. “Morphogenesis” carries on for nearly 20 minutes, and for such a large piece, does a fair job of keeping it together. Laborious amp groaning and some electrical grounding problems present a pleasant ambience for Chadwick and Tramontana to nestle water and cow sounds within. An unexpected snippet of “The Star-Spangled Banner” drops in, something of the Ironing works I’m more familiar with. “Threads” starts in much the same manner, but doesn’t seem to find its footing as well as the previous track. After what may have been a short pause to re-group, the duo manage a little five-minute spell of something like the ryūteki in Japanese gagaku. Entrancing stuff, demanding of your attention.

As with all Hymns releases, “Amber” is attractively packaged in a heavyweight paper slip with insert. For this disc, however, Chadwick has gone to considerable trouble distressing the paper inserts with outdoor contaminents naturally stuck to the backside– now sandwiched between the paper and a prom photo (or something of the kind, anyway they’re all unique)– and finally, laminated for posterity. Fun stuff, this.

Husht’s “Amber” is available now through Hymns.

Miya Masaoka, Joan Jeanrenaud — “For Birds, Planes & Cello”

July 31, 2008

A subtle release for Miya Masaoka’s new label, Solitary B, “For Birds, Planes & Cello” is something of a ‘grower.’ Upon my inital listening session, I could confirm little more than my own piqued interest and the ongoing quality work of Marcos Fernandes, who assisted with the field recording of a San Diego canyon central to this piece.

Throughout the untreated field recording, saturated as it is with the sounds of aircraft and peppered with migratory bird calls, Masaoka calls upon cellist Joan Jeanrenaud to emphasize select frequencies utilizing her extended technique. Curiously, Jeanrenaud is often found mimicking the atmospheric rumblings of jet engines passing overhead, though I would have appreciated a similar instrumental link forged with the birds as well. Whether Masaoka’s choice to identify the cello with the artificial elements of the field recording is a careful and telling commentary, or a simple reflection of the limitations of the instrument, it is difficult to discern.

Nevertheless, choices have been made, and Masaoka wants us to be aware of this… hence Jeanrenaud. Her cello breaks the fourth wall to remind us of the composer’s hand– music is, after all, where we choose to bestow our artistic focus. Within “For Birds, Planes & Cello,” it is the same as picking out shapes in the clouds: “This one looks like a lizard, do you see it as well?”

Impeccable production both in-studio and out feature throughout this disc, though it is the sort best enjoyed at a long and uninterrupted sitting. Listeners expecting some sort of free improv on top of field recordings will do best to avoid; as I’ve explained, that really isn’t the game of this album. Recommended.

Assigned reading material

July 30, 2008

Josh Ronsen’s latest issue of Monk Mink Pink Punk— this being number 15– is yet another fantastic collection of reviews and thoughts about new music for literate-minded folks. I love Ronsen’s admission about a particular Kenneth Gaburo album, “I am overjoyed that it is now easy to get: I’ve only seen the original CRI release in libraries.”

Libraries, motherfuckers!

But seriously, I encourage you to go check it out, especially the panel question feature: “What is the nature of Avant-Garde Music today (2007-2008)?” I’m throwing my lot in with Bernhard Günter’s response.

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 7/26/08

July 26, 2008

Sweet Action filched on a promise to play local abstract electronics producer Chaos Kit‘s newest track, so I kicked off the show with it– not my normal thing, but not a bad beginning to this broadcast either. After that, straight into some heavy stuff from Ralf Wehowsky and Anla Courtis, on “Return of the Stone Spirits.” These two do some really good work together, and obviously play off one another’s strengths– RLW’s bizarre streak is a mile wide, and works perfectly alongside Courtis’ shepherding primitive tech back into the light.

Speaking of primitive tech– you should really see the computer we have here at Casa del WDBX. I think it is the world’s last all-wood PC, with the sap-based POS chip. Seriously, manatees get online quicker than this beast. Nevertheless, I’ve pushed on through to do some seriously lovely mixing tonight– more than one person will be quite upset if this broadcast doesn’t survive the recording process. Someday, Southern Illinois will enter the 20th century, and I’ll have a decent net connection… until then, it’s always a craps shoot as to whether there is a recording waiting for me when I return home.

I just noticed that local musician Ryan Oslance will be joining Ahleuchatistas soon. I know full well I was playing their stuff well before anyone in this area– according to my playlists, at least as early as April 2006– I’m thinking I may have to leverage this for a live set here at the station sometime!

Chaos Kit — Primer (Petro Laundry Mix)
Anla Courtis, Ralf Wehowsky — Cristalización espontánea
Anla Courtis, Ralf Wehowsky — Wege zur Besserung der Naturgeister
Anla Courtis, Ralf Wehowsky — Un pequeño hombre gris con cara cuadrada y ojos luminosos
Philip Jeck — Unveiled
Philip Jeck — Chime Again
Philip Jeck — Fanfares
Philip Jeck — Shining
The Gowns — White Like Heaven
Phthalocyanine — Ethiopian Runner
Contagious Orgasm — Heart Station
Philip Glass — Changing Opinion
Philip Glass — Lightning
Joan La Barbara — Shadow Song
Jack Lunetti, Don Brown — Untitled
Grouper — Disengaged
Grouper — Heavy Water
Muslimgauze — Baghdad Mind
John Oswald — Anon
John Oswald — O Hell
John Oswald — 2net
Bernard Parmegiani — Lumière Noire; Moins L’infini
Bernard Parmegiani — Lumière Noire; Instant 0
Bernard Parmegiani — Lumière Noire; Premières Forces – Premières Formes
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 3
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 4
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 5
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 6
72 Desperate Rebels — Untitled 7
Ahleuchatistas — Brilliant Danderkovs
US Maple — Mountain Top
George Korein — Too Many Days

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 7/18/08

July 19, 2008

This week, I’m a bit more sure of this particular broadcast’s direction– sans Coke, it’s moving into something a bit more methodical than normal. Maybe a little slower? Hard to tell just yet, but I suspect I’m hearing things a little differently. At any rate, it should be fun to compare this playlist to others at the conclusion.

I’m really pleased with this New Haven Improvisers Collective disc, “Interference.” It’s a solid document of two improvised sets, and does an excellent job of getting a decent sound across to listeners. I’m guessing this is a well-organized collective, as this is the first release for their own NHIC Records imprint.

Right now, I’m playing some of Eddie the Rat’s “Food For the Moon Too Soon” album. This is also a live document, but has a surprisingly good sound quality, especially given the wide variety of instrumentation utilized throughout. Eddie the Rat is among the handful groups I’m sure I’ll never tire of hearing. The music always seems fresh, wholly original, and vitally necessary– any one of which is commendable by itself!

Ack. I just said a lot of really nice things about Rothkamm’s new “Opus Spongebobicum” disc– with the mic off. Well, at least there was a dramatic bit of silence before the start, eh? But seriously, I was mentioning that I am grateful and fortunate to be able to present Rothkamm’s work to you, as I sincerely believe he is one of the great talents of our time. I’m amazed at not only his prolific nature, but the high quality of his musical output– perhaps a Rothkamm-centric broadcast is in order for next month?

Boy, this Bearly Queen “Hair Palm Adventure” sounds like how my head felt yesterday– slow, murky, and muddled. But since the BQ is coming out of a speaker, I think I like it a lot better! Someone dropped off a bunch of cassette tapes here at the station “free cassettes” so naturally, I went through the entire box one by one. I found a 30-second answering machine tape, and did a little looping with the Bearly Queen material, just for fun. This is a great album, and definitely my favorite for the label, Finland’s Luovaja. Don’t sleep on this one!

Satanicpornocultshop — Anorexias Gas Balloon (Candy Says)
Satanicpornocultshop — Detachable P
Chris Cichocki — Lanimilbus Radiation
Chris Cichocki — Transmission
New Haven Improvisers Collective — Quantum Decoherence
Eddie the Rat — Food the the Moon Too Soon, pt. 1
Eddie the Rat — Cannibal
Eddie the Rat — I Ovulate in Mode
Frank Rothkamm — Opus Spongebobicum, Variations 1-32
Bearly Queen — Hairy Palm Adventures (about 30 minutes worth)
Husht — The Flight of Plankton
Husht — Morphogenesis
Husht — Threads

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 7/12/08

July 12, 2008

So far, I’m not sure where today’s broadcast is heading. As usual, I’m just trying to be open to possibilities suggested by the music. Discovery! As I look down, I see these words printed on the inside of Grundik + Slava’s “Frogs” album– “only frogs know…”

Flashlights — Eckords (excerpt)
Grundik + Slava — A Frog Gets Over His Fear of Water
Grundik + Slava — The Frog Gone Away With the Wind
Heath Watts, Dan Pell, Barry Chabala — A plater, a teacher, & a drummer walking into a rehearsal room (pt.1)
Heath Watts, Dan Pell, Barry Chabala — A plater, a teacher, & a drummer walking into a rehearsal room (pt.2)
Heath Watts, Dan Pell, Barry Chabala — A plater, a teacher, & a drummer walking into a rehearsal room (pt.3)
David Watson — Dexter pt.1
David Watson — Dexter pt.2
David Watson — Dexter pt.3
David Watson — Dexter pt.4
Brekekekexkoaxkoax — Haifa Hi-Fi
Arborea — Red Bird
Arborea — Ides of March
Arborea — Seadrift
Thomas Buckner, Annea Lockwood — Luminescence
Thomas Buckner, Petr Kotik — Conceptuality/Life (from Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking)

Hijacked!

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!

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 7/5/08

July 5, 2008

Independence Day ran a little late for me, so I didn’t end up finding time to dig out all my firework-related programming– no biggie, though– I’ve still got a lot of great stuff I want to play. I started the show with something from Glenn Weyant, “Epistemological Grounds,” which makes use of some train recordings to nice effect… it also is holding the “train” theme in mind for me, having made a large portion of my previous week. I’ll have some video evidence to back this up by Monday. While I’m at it, I’ll have more of Weyant later in this broadcast!

Up next was Diamondhead, with their Eh? Records release “Dirty Realism.” Not a lot of flow between these two on an obvious level, but it’s what I wanted to hear, so I imagine listeners can deal. Oh, station break!

Well, I’m back. I’ve sorta been running two shows simultaneously for the past hour and a half– one for everyone out there in listener-land, and the other for some WDBX folks who happened to be in the Hi-Life Room this morning. That’s one of the great things about having a show here, just being able to pick people’s brains about new music, new sounds, etc… and of course, sharing some things I’m excited about as well. Lots of behind-the-scenes today, haha!

Eventually, I’m going to have to do my “stereo show” with two separate broadcasts– one for each channel. I need to look into how I will accomplish this without destroying the studio, though.

Right now, I’m playing from Laminae’s “The Green Kingdom,” (scratch that, reverse it! “Laminae” is the name of the album) which is the brand-new release on The Land Of. This is a label I’m very fond of mentioning to everyone, so if you haven’t managed to visit them online, I suggest you do that ASAP.

Next up, I’m going to play a small set of Aaron Jones’ work– he’s part of semi-local band Maggotapplewonderland. I’ll be playing more of their work this coming week, from their newest release “Shards of Subtle Being.”

I’m going to close the broadcast with the Glenn Weyant, as promised. This is from the latest installment of the Sonic Anta D-Construction Sound Subscription Service, which is a bitch to type, but a joy to hear. I thought I had everything when my double disc set of experimental bagpipe ensemble music arrived, but “Electric Fan Sound Works” put me over the moon. Thanks, Glenn! As per his request in the liner notes, I’m letting listeners live it up with the full 30-minute recording. See you next week!

Glenn Weyant — Epistemological Grounds
Glenn Weyant — Network Memory Resonance
Diamondhead — Ditry Realism (excerpt)
Sin:Ned/Nerve — Ghost Feeding Vessel
Robert Ashley — Concrete; The Old Man Lives in Concrete
Robert Ashley — Concrete; Ideas About Thinking
Robert Ashley — Concrete; O Mesopotamia
E. Doctor Smith, Seth Elgart — Lord Telford’s Ghost
The Green Kingdom — Indigo Afternoon (from the album “Laminae”)
The Green Kingdom — The Scarlet Ibis (from the album “Laminae”)
Aaron Jones — Untitled 1
Aaron Jones — Untitled 2
Aaron Jones — Untitled 3
Glenn Weyant — Electric Fan Sound Works

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” 4/19/08

April 19, 2008

It’s now officially the WDBX Spring Membership Drive! I hope you’ll all give me a call, whether you plan to become a member or not– 618-457-3691.

Karthik Kakarala came to sit in for the back half of this week’s broadcast, and gave me quite a scare popping out from around the side of the building while I was catching some refreshing night air. He also has the honor of being the first official new member of WDBX, having made his pledge shortly before the close of the show.

Not that one thing has to do with the other, but Kakarala will be next week’s live musical guest– I’ve heard discussion of possible tape loop work, amplifiers… not sure what exactly to expect, but I’m sure it will be highly interesting. Don’t miss it!

Mary, Jon, Jonathan, Priya, Elembe, Lisa — Untitled, from Gold Record Studio
Inca Ore, Lemon Bear — Untitled, from Gold Record Studio
Muck — Sensation
Miminokoto — Dokonimo ver.2
Miminokoto — Tokedasu
Business Lady — Slow Motion
Wether — Solar Volt
Area C — Star Names
Unagi Patrol — Pine Soul
John Cage — HPSCHD
The Lords of Outland — How to be a Good Citizen in 3 Easy Steps
Sad Sailor — Down at Weirdo Park
John Dikeman, Jon Barrios, Toshi Makihara — We Need You (excerpt)
Eddie the Rat — I Sleep Away
Eddie the Rat — Hyperactive-atrophy
Eddie the Rat — Satori Kumquat
Eddie the Rat — Dark o’ Clock Came Early
Murmur — Discovery of Mother Voidness
Augment — Dilation
Body Collector — La Santisima Muerte
Raperies (like Draperies) — One of the Beautiful

Annea Lockwood – “A Sound Map of the Danube”

April 17, 2008

On this formidable 3-disc release for Lovely Music, Annea Lockwood revisits techniques utilized in her “Sound Map of the Hudson;” albeit in far greater depth and the inclusion of interviews with Danube bank inhabitants.

Annea Lockwood, \

Spanning five separate trips to the Danube, and comprising 59 sites and 13 interviews, Lockwood is able to convey not only some of the majesty of this exercise, but provide a fascinating voice to her subject. Most interesting is Lockwood’s willingness to allow her work to be shaped and informed by the Danube itself– rather than stressing the ordinary role of the “artist-as-communicator,” Lockwood acts as more of a translator and sounding board– posing the question, “what is a river?” Lockwood allows the Danube (and those nearby) to answer.

In a society where we all too often impart our own desires for relaxation on every natural recording, “A Sound Map of the Danube” is a refreshing assertion of sounds’ own life and drive, in contrast to the usual belief in field recordings as mere raw material for later manipulation. Even the personal interviews reflect this to a point. Without an audible translator, listeners are free to consider the voices musically, and seem encouraged to by their being interwoven with the natural sounds. Later on, the liner notes can be consulted, revealing a full-size foldout map of the recording sites along the Danube and English-language translations of all interview subjects.

As can be expected, I am highly impressed with this release, and eagerly encourage you to check it out. As a musical document, Lockwood subtly demonstrates the power of listening; and as a sort of impressionistic journalism, she has gathered evidence of not only our influence upon the river, but its workings upon us.

It’s Too Damn Startling #4!

December 16, 2007

I’ve uploaded the 4th edition of “It’s Too Damn Startling,” my continuing to Tony Youngblood’s ~ORE~ Theatre Intangible radio show, which airs live from 2-4 AM, this December 16 on WRVU-FM.

This week, Tony has no pre-conceptualized theme, so I thought I’d play with the idea of going into things blindly– which also perpetuates my approach to this morning’s “It’s Too Damn Early” broadcast.

For this short mix, I utilized extracts from some of the tracks I broadcast this morning, with the exception of Neil Rolnick’s “Breathing Machine,” which I had not used earlier. Selecting my extracts purely from the appearance of each track’s waveform, I began assembling the mix without the benefit of any sound output– using only the “look” of the waveform as my guide. It was not until after uploading the finished product that I allowed myself to listen to it– so what you hear is the first result, just as I heard it.

You may download the 4’15” long mix by clicking this awkwardly-rendered link, or simply content yourself with the list of sound sources below:

Neil Rolnick — Breathing Machine
Leo — Cute Drops
David Watson — Dexter no.1
Tom Nunn — Skatchmat
Judy Dunaway, Tom Chiu — Etude no. 1 for Balloon and Violin