My favorite local band, the K-Holes, are currently mixing their as-yet-untitled sophomore LP, due out this coming April. The second album's sure to be a great follow-up to their excellent debut on Hozac Records, since this local quintent's recent live shows tell of a compellingly primal mix of Scientists-mach-two drudgery, desolate Western twang and incisive punk. "Window in the Wall," a serpentine number from their upcoming full-length, also speaks of a band that's learned to exercise a bit of subtlety, a gang that's stretched beyond its own boundaries and moved on to grayer, greater pastures.
But, hey, don't let collected cool of the above fool you -- the K-Holes are still fiery as ever, and New Yorkers can see for themselves this Friday, Nov. 11, at Bushwick's Goodbye Blue Monday, where they'll take the stage with Sediment Club, Monstress, Lobby Art and Geek Skull.
It's always been a great puzzlement why the exquisite, bourbon-and-honey voiced Lorez Alexandria never garnered widespread recognition. She could swing as hard as Ella, deliver a phrase like Billie, create drama like Nina, enunciate like Sarah, bop like Carmen, and tackle unusual material like Peggy. She was just a helluva a singer. One of my very favorites. Need convincing?
If that ain't 'nuff said, then I'll just briefly state that this Bell Labs synth was cutting edge at this time and that Laurie Spiegel has innovated electronic techniques throughout her career. Thanks to Peter Edwards for the tip off. If you follow the link to the actual youtube page, there's some helpful info too.
Kerehiko Hino's paintings are populated with homogenous child-like figures that are in some sort of ecstasy trance. Their faces resemble fish heads with large eyes and gaping mouths; they stare into a void, seemingly stricken with some sort of post-orgasmic rigor mortis, unaware of the viewers' gawking. Hino's lush handling of flesh, odd lighting and candy pastel palette creates even more dissonance in the uncanny tableaux. This treatment of the body as an abject object is continued in his still-life work that reduces personal items such as wigs and cheap costume jewelry into absurd piles.
Several weeks ago, I was proud to have Gaye Black/Advert as a guest on the Peer Pressure segment of Diane's Kamikaze Fun Machine. Check the archive for the show here; she was a great guest, played strictly black metal, and we talked about her life post-Adverts - a lot of which consists of being an exhibiting collage/construction artist, and some photos of her work are displayed on the playlist. Those of you in the London region are lucky; she's curating a show that opens November 25th at the Signal Gallery that features art from names in music you'll recognize... Feast your eyes!
Witchbeam tipped me to this typically idiosyncratic yet excellent 1991 BBC Arena profile of that grand sorcerer of cinema, underground or otherwise, Kenneth Anger. Balefully glaring from window of a chauffeured hearse as it tours the stations of the cross of Hollywood Babylon, Anger raps nostalgic on the scandals of the Golden Age of the Silver Screen, his own films, and life in Hollywood as “the chronicler of their foibles, follies and excesses.”
One of the 50+ projects to spring from this weekend's Music Hack Day, Free Music Archive Radio is essentially the template for a Creative Commons Pandora. Enter the name of any artist, and FMA Radio taps into the Echo Nest's musical brain to generate a similar playlist from the FMA's curated library of 40,000+ legal mp3s. Tweak your station further with Mood and Style parameters, and/or Creative Commons license filters.
Despite the fact that it's just a demo (works best on Chrome, not so well on Firefox) FMA Radio has already been written up in evolver.fm, the Dutch blog Muziek & de bibliotheek, and Germany's Progolog. Its awesomeness is enhanced by the fact that it's html5 (plays nice with iPhone/iPad), it's open source, and it was built over the course of 24-hours (whoa!). I spent much of the weekend hanging out with FMA Radio's creators Jeremy Sawruk, Robby Grodin (ConductiveIO) and Julie Vera, the Music Hack Day veterans whose previous projects include Sawruk's Feedtunes (turns Twitter trends into playlists based on song lyrics) and Grodin's Toscanini gestural interface. In addition to releasing open source code, Sawruk and Grodin are Creative Commons musicians, and they've really done an incredible service to the community via FMA Radio.
Music Hack Day is a series of music/tech gatherings fueled in large part by APIs. After the big news last month that FMA's API had been revamped and mapped to the Echo Nest's Rosetta Stone leading up to WFMU's Radiovision Festival, this weekend introduced the FMA to the mother of all music hacking events. It was fantastic to take part -- some highlights after the jump:
Mister Matthews is one of those individuals, to be counted on one or two hands, that can truly be called My Castle of Quiet royalty. Having appeared on the show a total of four times, MM first appeared with Telecult Powers, the duo of himself and Witchbeam, the first band to ever play live on The Castle, and a project that helped to shape my notions of what the radio show itself was going to be. Later on, Telecult returned with Lala Ryan of Excepter, performing the Modern Rites of Pei, a performance that will go down in WFMU history, as they successfully conjured pledges during our 2010 marathon. (This performance was also partially filmed for an eventual documentary film on the station.) Later still, he returned with the Hex Breaker Quintet, a combination of Telecult Powers and Grasshopper, two bands that most definitely have shaped Castle history, and finally, this much-in-demand solo performance, which exemplifies the breadth of MM's work, both as High School Confidential and The True Color of Venus Revue, two very different projects from the electronic maestro; the "head" and the "hard," rendered with equivalent expertise.
Though both pieces deal in the bliss of repetition, they are radically different from one another, the High School Confidential track rooted decidedly in the universe of harsh noise, and the TCoV selection recalling the electronic works of Terry Riley, a 70s-soundtrack-meditation for safe travel of the mind and spirit (though perhaps that latter classification could be argued on behalf of either work, solely dependent on the listener's expectations and needs going in.)
Heavy Metal Week on Network Awesome November 7th - 11th
Network Awesome is happy to present a week-long celebration of all things Heavy Metal! You'll see the full info below -- and please do take a quick looks as it's filled with a wide-diversity of interesting, fun and rockin' shows!
Featuring documentaries on Iron Maiden, Slayer, Norwegian Black Metal and Ronnie James Dio to name just a few! We’ll also be digging deeper with shows on Christian Black Metal, Japanese Metal in the 80s, pre-teen metal and much, much more! Each day holds surprises and favorites so stock up on hairspray, metal studs and put up your black-light posters: Network Awesome will rock you!
Mp3s are just a list of times and volumes - if you convert an mp3 into a text file, you can read music that way. I do think that when you lay out time in this manner, as a static list of numerical values, that you can easily see how time travel is possible. If you rearrange these times, for instance, in order of volumes rather than times, you are shifting the order of time itself. It's true! Yes. When you hear these songs of the '70s and re-experience old memories, you are actually in the past. Do not lie to yourself and dishonor the realities in your mind - you are constantly reentering the past and also you travel into the future constantly.
Consider this: if cause and effect is behind all activity in the physical world, then you can simply make a list of times, position and velocity of every particle - and that's actually an accurate description of the physical world. You can store all of history in a digital file, a table of values. Then you could also rearrange those time values in any order, since that list has no particular order it must be read in. The appearance of time is an illusion of perception. Lift the veil, my friends. All songs are being played in all orders forever in all directions. Furthermore, they are being remixed in all conceivable ways all at once. Listening to chartsweeps and cut-ups in general is moral because it is closer to the truth about the unreality of "time" than any other kind of music.
To hear all the hits of the 60s, click here. To hear 1956-1959, click here. I'll tackle the '80s in a few weeks!
Jean-Jacques Perrey is a legend. Born in 1929 (yeah, that's right he's 82 now, how rad is that?!) he invented "a new process for generating rhythms with sequences and loops" by utilising the techniques of musique concrète. Armed with scissors, splicing tape, and a tape recorder, he spent weeks piecing together a unique take on the future. Befriending Robert Moog, he became one of the first Moog synthesiser musicians creating "far out electronic entertainment". In 1965 he met Gershon Kingsley, a former colleague of John Cage, and together they created two albums for Vanguard — The In Sound From Way Out (1966) and Kaleidoscopic Vibrations (1967).
We're overjoyed to present this special Live Music Show curated by Jean-Jacques Perrey, an artist we deeply respect. A giant of a man, he was gracious enough to tell us a bit more about his favorite live music videos:
Edith Piaf - L'Hymne à l'amour "Edith was a dear friend of mine. It is thanks to her that I made it to the United States in 1960 where I had planned to stay six months but ended up staying 10 years. It is in the fully equipped studio that Carroll
There aren't too many bands making hard, challenging, composed music these days. Not outside of metal anyway. And I think it might be partly due to the economic realities of today. It's hard to justify spending months composing and practicing complex songs, and the time to record them, when a rapidly diminishing number of records will ever sell for money. And so if you're into edgy and challenging music you're pretty much going to have to settle for bands that can toss off a few improvised albums in a weekend.
Thank the dark one that at least we have Satanized. (please note, there is also a black metal band named Satanized, from Turkey, who are actually pretty cool too, but this is the noise-rock band from Philadelphia) Satanized throw the following into the musical blender: tech-metal chops, noise-rock attitude, math-rock composition, and guitar tone that makes Big Black sound sweet & warm. I just got to see them play at Public Assembly in Brooklyn and it was a wild show too, in large part due to vocalist Andrew who comes from the David Yow school, becoming a lurching, yowling, and progressively unclothed madman while the rest of the super-tight band blasts away behind him. From this description you probably already know if you're in or out, but if you think you're in, check out some video and an mp3 beyond the "Continue reading" link ...
Here's an unusual DJ move: Monica used Nat Roe's 1958 Chart Sweep after Betty Logan's "I Got My Hot Pants On." Nat's composition of layered sound becomes a unified track in Monica's set. That's not the only example. Liz Berg played Joe McGasko's remix of Sun Ra's "The Planet Is Doomed." Is the song the composition? The Remix? The set? Answer: If the sound delights the heart and ears, it doesn't matter.
Not unusual is a DJ grouping tracks with a similar sound. Duane did this with 1960's harmony pop, playing the Sandpipers theme to Russ Meyer's 1970 film, Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, Cyrcle, then Giant Jellybean Copout's "Look At The Girls," which is really the Critter's experimenting with light psychedelia."Look At The Girls" was the flip side to the Copout's only single "Awake In A Dream" played by Todd-O-Phonic Todd.
John Allen played jazz guitarist Howard Roberts from his 1975 Equinox Express Elevator, a very late issue from the ABC Impulse! label. There's no sturdy black and orange spine, which singles out 1960's Impulse! recordings, such as Albert Ayler's "New Grass/Message From Albert," played by Jesse on the Fro Show.
While her two proper solo albums are just fine, it's been the release of two compilations of live and home recordings (Green Rocky Road and Cotton Eyed Joe) in the past couple years that provide the purest document of Karen Dalton at the peak of her musical prowess. Her voice is still one of the most gorgeously unpolished expressions of weariness and mournfulness among the 60's folk/blues set; her voice's presence manages to overtake its audience in such a way that one can't help but devote all of their focus to what was laid to tape. Dalton was frustratingly under-documented, the case for so many tragically overlooked musicians over the years, and while the incredibly upsetting end to her life might cast a distinct intensity over her recorded work, it all stands on its own as some of the most vital and powerful American music of its time. These videos below (which I believe come on a DVD with the Cotton Eyed Joe set) are Dalton in her most comfortable settings, her music striped of the sometimes intrusive country-rock-flavored production that robbed her two proper studio LP's of a certain intimacy seen here.
First, Dalton performing a stunning interpretation of "It Hurts Me Too," recorded for a French documentary:
WFMU is very excited to announce a new collection of videos we're shooting & posting on our Vimeo page. Live bands by the truckload have long peeled the paint from the walls of our storied Love Room, and fer cryin' out loud it's high time we started visually documenting them! Check out excerpts fromCute Lepers, Angels in America, Ed Schrader's Music Beat, Peaking Lights, live performances from the 2011 Record Fair, and a bunch more. Make friends with us, get the feed, bookmark our page, whatever you do out there - but check in often! Huge thanks to Yvonne Slimslacks and Bridget M. for getting this stuff rolling.
Here's CSC Funk Band performing live at the 2011 WFMU Record Fair
It's Thursday. It's sunny and it's growing colder in New York. I'm on the phone with Will Louviere, one of the fellas behind Companion Records. I've never met Will. He's never met Stan Hubbs. Neither have I. And we can't meet him, because Hubbs is dead.
"It true he died from smoking too much pot?" I ask Will.
There's laughter, of course, though not much -- Will's probably fielded this question one too many times since he reissued Hubbs's private-press rock meisterwerk, Crystal, this past summer.
"Well," he says, "that's up for debate. No one will ever really know the truth on that one. But if anyone could, it was Stan."
I'd guess as much. Ever since reading the outlandish marijuana anecdote in the latest edition of Patrick Lundborg's outsider-rock encyclopedia, The Acid Archives, and ever since I've been priveleged enough to pore over the reissue and thumb through its amazing lyric booklet, it's been clear to me that Hubbs was at least a consummate 'head, a dyed-in-the-wool '60s/'70s relic who nailed down an impossibly hazy and lysergic hard-psych recording in '82 -- years after such music was fashionable or fathomable. He had to be grinding seeds/stems way back when.
Sure, I'm sore about not making it to the WFMU Record Fair this past weekend. Even wallowing neck-deep in the geyser of free music available online doesn't salve the dull ache of missing that cavernous conflagration of consonance. But I have to admit, it comes pretty damn close. A few months ago, I arrived home from a nearby used-record store to discover that several of the pristine-looking LPs sported unplayable scratches. Being a great adorer of used record stores, I was kind of repulsed, but also fascinated that, after only a few minutes of hunting and pecking the blogs, I'd found and downloaded clean digital versions of those same albums. I'd love to declare that downloading free music will never replace the joy of sitting on the floor of some dingy vinyl emporium, thumbing through dollar bins. But I think I'd be lying.
Lee Fields Forever "Renowned throughout the global Funk community, Lee Fields has poured his grunts and screams over a legacy of funk and soul hits from the early seventies, including such 45 rpm classics as "She’s a Lovemaker," "The Bull Is Coming," and "The Funky Screw," not to mention his well sought after Let’s Talk It Over LP. This LP draws four digit bids from collectors worldwide." (Description, posed at Truth & Soul)
Today's offering comes from the delightfully named Seymore Weed, who recorded these sides for the Vokes label in New Kensington, Pennsylvania in the mid-to-late 60s. Could that possibly be his real name? Though I have no hard evidence to point to, I'd say that Seymore Weed is probably not a pseudonym as he doesn't really come across like a guy who wants to be associated marijuana.
On the top side of this record, Weed rails against the encroaching menace of communism, while on the flip side he employs his atonal and anguished croak to warn of the perils of unwed motherhood.