<--"Save Eagle Square" poster by Brian Chippendale> This is a post sampling Providence music that will be on WFMU's Free Music Archive. Some of the mp3s can be traced back to Fort Thunder, the live/work/performance space on the border of Providence's Olneyville neighborhood, a former textile factory that was appropriated by a colony of artists in 1995. In 2001, the city evicted Fort Thunder residents, and the warehouse was demolished to make way for a Staples parking lot and a Shaw's supermarket (which is now, ironically, closed).
Providence's urban landscape is changing. But music continues to thrive, nurtured by Fort-Thunder-inspired spaces, community-focused cultural institutions like AS220, and a proud sense of localism that withstands rising rent, transient students, and lovingly corrupt politicians.
This mp3-post previews some (but not nearly all!) of the music from Providence that will be on WFMU's Free Music Archive when the full site launches this fall. All the mp3s in this post have been made available for free non-commercial use by the artists. MP3s from Black Pus, BoneDust, The Butcherings, Fanatic, Shawn Greenlee/Pleasurehorse, Landed, Lazy Magnet, Mudboy, Olneyville Sound System, The Polyps, Alec K Redfearn and the Eyesores/Amoebic Ensemble/Barnacled, Set of Red Things, Six Star General, Snake Apartment, Teenage Waistband, Vincebus Eruptum, What Cheer? Brigade, White Mice, Work/Death, and ZZ Pot after the jump. Feel free to suggest more in the comments or by email.
Brian Chippendale's solo project builds on his explosive free-drum, telephone-mic-in-the-mouth masked attack. Outside of the Lightning Bolt/Mindflayer context, Chippendale grows a few extra limbs to handle saxophone, synth, and/or guitar. The project started out as harsh, feedback-laden primordial ooze. His newer material shapes more structured songs out of the muck. Take "Body on the Tide", the closing track to this year's excellent All Aboard the Magic Pus, which features a disarmingly clean and catchy whistle solo.
The first three releases were/will be available from Faux Fetus, an excellent Creative Commons netlabel collective out of Philadelphia. The label has also freely distributed 150+ other albums, including some by Providence artists like Mudboy and fellow Fort Thunder-founder Matt Brinkman (Forcefield, ZZ Pot). The Faux Fetus site is currently being renovated -- check out their blog in the meantime and look out for them on the Free Music Archive this fall!
Dildoughnuts (mp3) from Black Pus I
Translucent Human (mp3) from Black Pus I
Beserk Is The Best (mp3) from Black Pus I
The Foot Is Stronger Than The Arm (mp3) from Black Pus I
The Devilhellipers (mp3) from Black Pus II
New Atlantis A (mp3) from Black Pus II
Magic Bullet(in) (mp3) from Black Pus II
Swampus (mp3) from Black Pus III: Metamorpus
Kind Companion (mp3) from Black Pus III: Metamorpus
Earth Ain't Enuff (mp3) from Black Pus III: Metamorpus
Land of the Lost (mp3) from Black Pus IV: All Aboard the Magic Pus
Juggernaut (mp3) from Black Pus IV: All Aboard the Magic Pus
Body on the Tide (mp3) from Black Pus IV: All Aboard the Magic Pus
Guitarist Chrissy Wolpert and drummer Pippi Zornoza allegedly started their experimental doom duo with the goal of writing a metal musical. Zornoza is a multimedia artist and resident of the Dirt Palace, a feminist art collective. Her many other musical projects include Vvltvre and Throne of Blood. Wolpert can also be found in a new group called Dr. Fuck Yeah, along with Brian of Snake Apartment/Corleone Records, Lee of Lorna Doom/The Body, and Devlin of Nuclear Power Pants.
Bonedust - Lest I Be (mp3)
Bonedust - When You Are Dead (mp3)
Angular, heavy rock two-piece (formerly a three-piece) featuring Brad Foster on drums and Jamez Day on guitars/vox. Both also add whoopass can, according to the band's myspace. Jamez Day helps run local musical instrument store/custom pedal builders B Sharp Music. Last year's release The New One Two is rock solid, great stuff.
from The New One Two (2007): The New One Two (mp3), Seasons of Swarm (mp3), Forget (mp3), The Wooden City (mp3).
from Manifesto of the Moment (2004): Triplets (mp3), Soyal (mp3), The Wickedness (mp3)
(featured Jamie Drake on bass, recorded by Keith Souza and Mike Veile at Machines With Magnets)
Providence has a vibrant, eclectic hip-hop community influenced by its Cape Verdean and Liberian neighborhoods, youth programs like Flow Radio, Broad Street Studios, and forums for interaction like the Black Reperatory Theater's Sound Session fesival and the Block Party radio program on Brown Student and Community Radio. That's where I first heard Fanatic, freestyling with Sun B and host Inphynit on Off tha Top. Fanatic's rhymes are playfully off the wall like C-Rayz Walz, but also disturbing and desperate like Ghostface on "I Can't Go To Sleep". And Fanatic raps about things like "pissin in the Providence Place Mall escalator", which I fully support.
From the album Change Thoughts, released by Fanatic's own Signature Music imprint in 2007:
Fanatic - Dream (mp3)
Fanatic - Triflin (mp3)
Fanatic - Enterprizin (mp3)
Fanatic - The Tension (mp3)
Fanatic - Late Night Show (mp3)
Other Providence hip hop artists to check out: Chachi's been popping up on BET, MC Sage Francis of Strange Famous Records and producer/DJ Joey Beats. And next time you're in need of a DJ try Spindler and/or Certified Bananas
Shawn Greenlee / Pleasurehorse
Shawn Greenlee gets physical with his power electronics. He is a founding member of Landed, and usually goes under the alias Pleasurehorse for his solo work. Pleasurehorse started out remixing Providence acts like Les Savy Fav and Dropdead. He allegedly used to open shows with improvised auditory dissections of the other acts on the bill. More recently, Greenlee jabs pens against a graphics tablet to trigger audio. He's programmed the setup to react in ways that are just beyond his physical control, and the system seems to fight back, sending a shock through his body that accompanies each auditory gesture.
Greenlee recently started Iynges Recordings, which makes free hi-fi album downloads available under a Creative Commons license. His Katabasis releases are a series of dark, violent noisescapes. Imagine the otherwise soothing sounds of earth's forests and swamps as heard through the ears of a paranoid cyborg, where every bird call is converted to piercing silver static.
Shawn Greenlee - Henosis (mp3) off of Katabasis.1 3'' CD-R (Iynges Recordings, download album+art here)
Shawn Greenlee - Dialogue (mp3) off of Katabasis.2 3'' CD-R (Iynges Recordings, download album+art here)
Pleasurehorse - Tighter [3 Maneuvers] (mp3) off of Taitsu [Tights] (Iynges Recordings, download album+art here)
Pleasurehorse - Bareskinrug (mp3), the title track from his 2002 Load Records release.
Pleasurehorse - Pearly Gates pt1 (mp3) from the Purly Gait / Pearly Gates 12'' on History of the Future
Pleasurehorse - STIFT (mp3) from the Real Slow Radio Volume 2: Fast CD-R compilation on (Fort) Thunder Records
Pleasurehorse - STUKT (mp3) from Two Ducks on a Truck CD-R comp on Hospital Productions (nyc-based shop/label run by Dominic Fernow aka Prurient, formerly of Providence and Football Rabbit)
Pleasurehorse - Silicon Tit (mp3) from the 1999 Load Records compilation You're Soaking In It
Shawn Greenlee complete discography: (link)
Providence super-group founded in 1997 by Shawn Greenlee, Joel Kyack and Dan St. Jacques. All three have played in Six Finger Satellite, and Landed is like 6fs's fucked up younger brother. Landed's rotating lineup has featured many of Providence's finest, including Matt Brinkman, Jon Von Ryan, John Dwyer (Coachwhips, Pink & Brown, OCS), Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson. Landed's known for their brutal live act -- check out this video of vocalist Dan St. Jaques starting a Landed set while literally on fire (youtube).
Landed have accumulated a bunch of hard-to-track-down material over the years. Much of their output is being compiled on two releases this year: How Little Will It Take (Load Records), and Livers and Lungs (Corleone Records).
Landed - Times I Despise (mp3) from the Times I Despise 12'', will be on How Little Will It Take (Load Records)
Landed - FM 91.1 (mp3) recorded live at WSMU in 1999, University of Dartmouth Radio (now 89.3 WUMD-FM), will be on How Little Will It Take, bonus 3-inch CD (Load Records)
Landed - Dirty Bomb (excerpt) (mp3) from the Dirty Bomb 12'', will be on Livers and Lungs (Corleone)
Jeremy Harris might be Providence's most prolific and versatile musician, recording about 50 songs/year since 1994. Way back when, he was a third member of usaisamonster. Jeremy's own music is a schizophrenic mix that segues from style to style at a mile a minute. Like "10 bands trapped inside one man's body", says Corleone Records. The label doesn't have copies of his 5-cdr box set available, but they might still have his excellent split 7'' picturebook with Ren Schofield. But for now, please enjoy these three selections from last year's Lazy Magnet release He Sought For That Magic By Which All the Glory and Mystic Chivalry Were Made to Shine - or - Is Music Even Good?
Lazy Magnet - Black Cloud pt 2 (mp3)
Lazy Magnet - Masters of Science Fiction (mp3)
Lazy Magnet - Wilder Climes (mp3)
Raphael Lyon is a sound and installation artist who performs using a custom organ he built called the Mudboy Minnie (pic/info). He has also performed on Providence Performing Arts Center's ancient wurlitzer. Lyon runs the Free Matter for the Blind label, which has released a series of excellent audio zines, the Psicklops experimental collaborative radio play, Thee Haunted Cobblestone series of 3-floor high live performances bouncing off the street, and an assortment of other material. Mudboy's own music has also been released by Providence's excellent free-folk/psych label Last Visible Dog, and his most recent album, Hungry Ghosts!- These Songs are Doors, is available from Not Not Fun and Digitalis on LP/CD respectively.
Mudboy recently stopped by WFMU's studio B for duo live collaboration with Pumice (Stephen Neville from New Zealand, a former artist in residence at AS220 in Providence). I'll be airing that on June 16th, and posting it on the blog along with more Mudboy and Free Matter For the Blind goodies early next week. Here's a little bit to tide you over in the meantime:
Mudboy - track 3 (mp3) from Half Ice Half Wasted / Mudboy Beats Series vol. 2 w/ DJ Jassy Jesssssss (fm4tb)
Mudboy - track 4 (mp3) from Half Ice Half Wasted / Mudboy Beats Series vol. 2 w/ DJ Jassy Jesssssss (fm4tb)
Mudboy - Solitron Wave (mp3) from This Is Folk Music (Last Visible Dog)
Olneyville Sound System
"Anti-blues" from Providence's Olneyville neighborhood. The core duo of Dan St. Jaques on fuzz bass, Adam Autry stompin' at the drums is often accompanied by harmonica and/or screamed vocals. Jon Von Ryan tackles the difficult subject matter with great humor. "Immigrant Radio" is the theme to Joanne's Theory of a Radio Show on BSR 88.1-FM, where hosts Shauna and Scott (Work/Death) spin the best Providence music with an ear towards the noise.
Olneyville Sound System - Immigrant Radio (mp3) from What is True/What is False (Load Records)
Olneyville Sound System - Cowgirl Blues (mp3) from On Safari, recorded at the late great Safari Lounge
from Because We're All In This Together (Load Records, out of print):
Olneyville Sound System - This is Entertainment (mp3)
Olneyville Sound System - All Dressed Up (mp3)
Olneyville Sound System - These Guys Don't Take Requests (mp3)
Olneyville Sound System - Olney at the Top (mp3)
Formerly known as the Polyp Family, this amorphous group is led by songwriter Raf Spielman (also a member of The Golden Hours, who are responsible for the quietest tape ever released by Not Not Fun). The Polyps play stripped-down, deceptively simple, well-crafted pop songs, complicate by Spielman's tactic of teaching musicians his songs and recording them on the spot, before they have a chance to digest the structure. They often record straight to dictaphone mini-tape, transforming the songs into a series of moments captured in glorious, shambling lo-fi. Raf mentioned that a proper cassette release is on the way from Digitalis Industries Limited.
The Polyps - untitled intro song (mp3)
The Polyps - ukul (mp3)
The Polyps - Today (mp3)
The Polyps - Fennel's Daughter (mp3)
The Polyps - Miss Teen Orgeon Rodeo (mp3)
Alec K Redfearn and the Eyesores. + Barnacled. + Amoebic Ensemble
Providence's premier accordian player, Redfearn's been playing composed and improvised music for almost two decades. Of his estimated 30 projects, he's done the most with the Eyesores, who play dark gutter music that evokes cabaret and Eastern Europe, but is never quite categorizable. He's also played in Barnacled, a free jazz/improv/noise group, and the Amoebic Ensemble, which Redfearn's website describes as "an enraged, jagged and angular variant on early american cartoon music, among other things".
Eyesores - Queen of the Wires (mp3) from The Blind Spot (Cuneiform)
Eyesores - Punjabi / Watery Grave (mp3) from The Quiet Room (Cuneiform)
Barnacled - France Attacks (mp3) from 6 (Corleone Records, 2003)
Barnacled - Garbage and (Garbage and Fire) (mp3) from 6 (Corleone Records, 2003)
Amoebic Ensemble - Gimme a Buck or I'll Touch You / Boilermaker (mp3) from Limbic Rage
Amoebic Ensemble - Repetitive Motion Sickness (mp3) from Limbic Rage
Amoebic Ensemble - Wire Up (mp3) from Amoebiasis
Amoebic Ensemble - Amoebiasis (mp3) from Amoebiasis
Set of Red Things
A little bit hardcore, a little bit no-wave, this 4-piece put on some fierce live shows, with vocalist Senia Barragan confronting the audience in Spanish and English. They don't just talk the talk with their intensely political songs: Senia and guitarist Mark recently revived the Providence Industrial Workers of the World, and the band is going on hiatus while they head to Spain to work for the National Labor Confederation (CNT). Set of Red Things leaves things with one demo and one full length called Who Touches Pitch Defiles Herself
Set of Red Things - Between Barbed Wire and Sandbags (mp3)
Set of Red Things - Babies (mp3)
Six Star General
Three hard-working dudes playing basement rock. Their straightforward instrumentation and blunt Our Band Could Be Your Life-inspired sound seems out of place amidst Providence's Wunderground world, but bassist Mark MacDougal is building a coalition of likeminded local artists through his 75 Or Less record label.
Six Star General - Smokers Tooth Polish (mp3) off of Ice Machine
Six Star General - Cold (mp3) off of Ice Machine
Six Star General - Nate's Face Bears Teeth (mp3) off of Already On One
Six Star General - Warm Smile (mp3) off Six Star General
Grungey pissed off sludge featuring Brian of Corleone Records on vocals, Chris of Armageddon Shop/Records on drums, and Ry of Skulltones. Punk Planet called it "the worst shit ever committed to vinyl". And now Punk Planet's dead. The review lives on at lotsofnoise here.
Snake Apartment - Ripe Off the Vine (mp3) from Live Shit From the Orifice Of The Dirge Erector (live on BSR 12/3/05, full set here)
Damaged punk with squeeky no-wave vocals from multimedia artist Jo Dery. They've got some tapes that appear to be sold out, and Teenage Waistband has disbanded. Or at least gone on hiatus. The songs on their mysapce are awesome. Let's hope they return before long.
Teenage Waistband - Beast (mp3) from the Rare Youth compilation of Providence artists. The Rare Youth label is run by experimental electronic artist Geoff Mullen.
Piledriving faux-metal sludge featuring the vocal stylings of Matt Johnson, and the patented fuzz bass of Dan St. Jaques (Olneyville Sound System and Landed). Fun for the whole family!
From their 2003 s/t on Load Records:
Vincebus Eruptum - Hand of Doomish (mp3)
Vincebus Eruptum - Who Farted (mp3)
Vincebus Eruptum - Drug Orgy (mp3)
live at BSR 11/21/03 (link to playlist/streaming)
What Cheer? Brigade
The city's premier 18-piece marching band wears gorilla masks and arranges Bollywood hits. They got their name from the seal of Providence, which is storiedly how the Narraganset Native Americans greeted the city's founder, Roger Williams, in 1636. The marching band recently recorded some new tracks at Machines With Magnets. MWM has recorded a slew of local artists, and seems to be living the dream in their new space, which includes a room for live concerts. The Brigade's drums sound great in the MWM gallery space/drum room.
What Cheer? Brigade - Green Eyes (mp3)
White Mice is a frighteningly loud trio of satanic lab rats.
White Mice - The White Mice (mp3) from ASSPhIXXXEATATESHUN (Load Records)
White Mice - Cheesus Saves (mp3) from Mouse of Mendes EP/remastered on LP 2007
Work/Death is Scott Reber, a noise artist with the motto: "garbage in/garbage out". He churns out homemade cassettes at an alarming rate, some with nails, others in batches of 30. Here's an excerpt from the Work/Death split 12'' with Snake Apartment, released by Corleone
Work/Death - The Fragile Ego of Any Successful Comedian, excerpt (mp3)
An alias of Matt Brinkman, aka Mat or Myster(y) Brinkman, he is a member of Mindflayer, and Forcefield, and a founding Fort Thunderer. A ton of his recordings were/will be available from Faux Fetus.
ZZ Pot - track 5 (mp3) from ZZ Pot I [FF 096]
ZZ Pot and Dr. Ninja - Tinkering with Weapons of Mass Destruction (mp3) from ZZ Pot / Dr. Ninja Split [FF 141] Dr Ninja aka Noah Lyon
other Providence things to check out...
-Releases by all of these artists should be available at Armageddon Shop, run by Chris of Snake Apartment and Ben of legendary Providence hardcore act Dropdead.
-Tons of local music on BSR's Live Block, a Free Music Archive curator
-lotsofnoise.com has show listings, Providence band info, and more
-Olneyville Karaoke, songs composed on the spot by patrons of the 2004 AS220 Street Fair, with a backing back that includes Lazy Magnet, released on Jacob Berendes' Fujichia label
-Secret Eye, awesome psych-folk label run by Jeffrey and Miriam of Black Forest/Black Sea. They recently left Providence for Pittsburgh, but not before releasing some great albums by Providence-based artists like Larkin Grimm and Urdog.
Thanks to the artists and labels for letting us share their music! Look out for more legit mp3s when the Free Music Archive launches this fall!