Found this tonight, an excellent television profile from Toronto on elusive and legendary British experimentalists Zoviet France. Another band, along with The Shadow Ring, criminally overdue for some kind-of re-issue campaign:
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Found this tonight, an excellent television profile from Toronto on elusive and legendary British experimentalists Zoviet France. Another band, along with The Shadow Ring, criminally overdue for some kind-of re-issue campaign:
"And now," Gleue said when I spoke with him on the phone some months ago, "I have the comics for recreational purposes."
Much like the songs he recorded in his various outfits -- most notably, the legendary 39 Clocks, and his solo project, Phantom Payn -- his comics are playful, sardonic and, above all else, hallucinatory. He self-publishes them in runs of 50 or so, then hands them out to friends, acquaintances and strangers in the streets of Hannover.
"But why comics?" I asked.
"I like the way small fanzines relate to larger magazines, especially in terms of subversion," he returned.
Subversion's always been a big part of Gleue's life, especially in terms of art. Or as he calls it, "primitive art, a sort of anti-art." From the early '70s through most of the '80s, he and co-conspirator Christian Henjes/C.H.-39 took immense pleasure in crafting crude, provocative ditties like "Stupid Art" -- noisy and anthemic tunes that borrowed as much from the monkeyshines of Dada as they did the repetition of the Velvet Underground and the rank confrontation and canned beats of Suicide, whose live show directly influenced the Clocks' antagonism. They played often, despite -- or because of -- threats from angry crowds, cross words from prestigious artists (Joseph Beuys) and a hefty influx of drink and drug.
Such chaotic creative tension couldn't last long. Impressively, though, their self-proclaimed "psycho beat" endured until '87 or so. And when the smoke cleared, J.G.-39 started recording moodier solo efforts under the name Phantom Payn.
"It's weird," says Robin Hall, erstwhile vocalist of formative NY punks/no-wavers Jack Ruby. "But I actually thought we should have hit records."
They didn't, of course. How could they? As early as '74, the toothsome quartet was making quite a racket in Lower Manhattan -- too much racket, really, and the Bowery bohemes flocking to see Television and the New York Dolls were unsure of a band that seemed to thrive on sheets of schizophrenic noise. Robin and his bandmates considered groups like Television and the Dolls distant peers, and they hoped for some sort of recognition in the Lower East Side, but it was clear that Jack Ruby didn't fit. They couldn't, and didn't want to.
"Bands like Television had their thing, which wasn't what we were doing," says Hall today. "We had our own way of doing things. It was more like, 'If everybody's doing that, let's do this.'"
Contrarian and abrasive as they were, Jack Ruby had something. Some of their songs sounded familiar -- at least for the first 30 seconds or so -- borrowing riffs and rhythms from the Stooges, the Velvets, the MC5, various hard rock and garage bands. But there lurked an unhinged, paranoiac collage of amphetemine noise in each of their tunes, due in no small part to drummer Randy Cohen's cracked synth and manipulated sound loops, not to mention Boris Policeband's equally squalid electric viola. While Hall would sneer through his lines and sniff at imaginary jailbait, guitarist Chris Gray wiggled out strangulated leads, and Cohen and Policeband attacked their respective instruments, building a mountainous scraping cacophony atop what began as a fairly planar rock/roll number. In some cases, the sonic bedlam would prove too heavy and unwieldy for the song itself to support, and it would disintegrate abruptly.
Last week's post on satanic animation found the specter of David Bowie waiting in the wings, The Thin White Duke serving as model for the rock star villan of Rock & Rule; and as a commentor noted, a sample of Beelzebub from The Devil & Daniel Mouse turns up on the b-side to the Bauhaus "Ziggy Stardust" EP.
As quoth the poet, "Ziggy really sang" so to the horse's mouth we go.
Looking for footage of the Future Legend, stumbled on an entire Youtube channel solely devoted to David Bowie's "Year of The Diamond Dog" -- 1974. The anonymous user had gone to great lengths to digitally rectify and stitch together silent home-movie footage with best-available source audio. A labor of love in ultimate fandom. The June-July Diamond Dogs Tour, stretched through Canada, The Midwest and The South before hot settlements in Philadelphia (band-contentious David Live recording) and NYC (MSG) hauling to every stop three trucks full of stage props.
I went to St Louis for the Old School Tattoo Expo, where world renowned tattooer Lyle Tuttle celebrated his 80th birthday; here's a photo of his cake (it's the Frisco Flyer tattoo machine that he made and made famous). The highlight of the weekend, aside from reconnecting with Lyle and other great friends in the business for me- was the visit a few of us made to the 10 story City Museum there. A cross between the works of Antoni Gaudi and Mad Max, it's an amazing playground created for the most part, from junk! There was a ferris wheel on the roof, alongside the praying mantis dome, and on the same level was a schoolbus that was perched precariously with 2 wheels hanging off the roof for patrons to explore. There were slides on every floor; nope, not visual slides; the kind you plant your ass on and tumble down! One was a 10 story spiral slide, not unlike the style that comes to mind when referring to water parks. All types of sculpture and found object placement that was delightful, including an area with discarded architectural features - lions and gargoyles and lampposts, oh my! There is a section called the Enchanted Caves, which looked just like it sounded. Part of the museum had an aquarium within it; stocked with turtles and catfish, completely accessible if you wanted to pluck a turtle out of the water and walk around with him, you could! The aquarium (pictured left) was part of the maze of walk through/get lost in sculpture that made up the majority of the ground floor. I may not be describing it accurately, mostly because that's a difficult task; The City Museum defies categorization, which is a breath of fresh air this day and age. There's also a couple of bars, a smoothie joint and a thrift store within the museum's expanse, not to mention the fuselage of an airplane, a series of monkey bars that stretches countless yards, animal sculptures made of gears, a castle turret and more.
No words can really convey what goes on there; the photos featured after the jump will do some of the inventiveness and beauty of it justice, and the real experience can only be yours if you visit. Yes. It's an experiential kind of place. Show up in sneakers!
Posted by dianekamikaze on November 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM in Art, Current Affairs, Diane Kamikaze's Posts, Fashion, Games, Interviews, Photography, Science, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Technorati Tags: Antoni Gaudi, Aquarium, Architecture, Art Expo, Birthday Cake, City Museum, Experience Museum, Lyle Tuttle, Mad Max, Mosaic, Old School Tattoo Expo, Playground, Praying Mantis, Sculpture, St. Louis, Tattoo Convention, Tattoo Expo
(Photos by Dan Cohoon. Live at the Charleston, Brooklyn, NY 1.15.11)
Since 2002, the Human Adult Band has served as a vehicle of noisy, sludgy, beautiful rock'n'roll piloted by a Mr. Trevor Pennsylvania and a huge, revolving cast of local musicians. The group values spontaneity and vitality to a great degree and going off to several Human Adult Band shows always result in different, yet extremely rewarding experiences. Due to the changing line-up and gigantic amount of ideas in Mr. Pennsylvania's head, one can see the band as a giant, murky pool of ideas that always feel invigorating.
In 2009, the Human Adult Band was listed as a part of Bryon Coley and Thurston Moore's Bull Tounge Top Ten in Arthur Magazine, in which the group's music was described as making one "wanna grip some frosty skuzz lose yr brain into the amp squall." The band has a new record, Hearing Damage Sessions, which is now out on Heat Retention Records and Third Uncle. I interviewed Trevor about the new record and other aspects of the group. Check it out after the jump!
An elusive gang of misanthropic, beer-swilling noisemongers, the True Sons of Thunder are arguably one of Memphis’s best-kept secrets. Equal parts supergroup, support group, and secret society, the band is made up of men-about-town Joe Simpson (Rat Traps, Sharp Balloons), Eric Friedl (Oblivians, Goner Records), Abe White (Oscars, Manatees), Richard Martin (Four Johns), and Sambeaux (Mangina). They play a wry, anarchic mess of heavy garage slop and deep-fried sludge that remains noticeably free of pretension. Though they're rude and crude, you just can't help but root for these knuckleheads. Even at their most frustrated, the fellas sound like they’re having a ball; it’s infectious. (photo by Don Perry)
Life Stinks | Tonight | Nate The Rat
The sporadic, casual nature of the band, though, has kept recorded output at virtually nil and shows quartered mostly in Memphis. This year, however, the band released a split single (with Alabama’s Wizard Sleeve) and the LP Spoonful of Seedy Dudes. Loud and dumb in the best and most…um...intelligent way, the album pays homage to local wrestling hero Nate the Rat and swamp rocker Tony Joe White, tips the cap to Flipper and Rocket from the Tombs, and muses on subjects such as Ebola and the Albino Bowler.
I interviewed Sam and Eric (Sam answered unless otherwise marked) via e-mail on the tao of the TSOT—read the text below the fold...
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!
Technorati Tags: Adverts, art, art show, Billy Childish, Black Metal, Diane Kamikaze, dianekamikaze, Gary Gilmore's Eyes, Gaye Advert, Gaye Black, Guest DJ, London, London PUnk Art, Punk Rock, Signal Gallery, Thurston Moore, TV Smith, WFMU
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.”
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
Marty McSorley showed me this CD a few weeks back, and I was completely blown away - as powerful as this simple concept is, there are precious few examples of appropriation music that simply take a crappy song and blow it out. To me, there's no better possible music than this! Can't Vs. The World, posted in its entirety here, was an early project of Jessica Rylan, who's gone on to collaborate with tons of top-notch improvisers, participate in the bent festival, learn to build synths as an electronic music MFA, and release a ton of...well, releases.
Rather than describe Can't any further, here's Jessica's own thoughts on the project...
Honestly, that cd is my favorite thing I ever did. Which is kind of weird I guess, it's so simple-minded. But it really described 100% how I felt at that time in my life, and it was immediately understandable by pretty much everyone. As opposed to a lot of my other music, which seems to confuse people.
The best comic book superheroes all have great origin stories. In fact you could make the case that characters like Batman, Spiderman, and Wolverine are great because they have origin stories that go beyond a lab accident or a secret formula (although this certainly works for Bouncing Boy).
On October 28th - 30th, WFMU is holding its first ever Radiovision festival. And on Saturday the 29th (Symposium Saturday) we are kicking things off with a discussion about Origin Stories with three radio superheroes: Ira Glass, Marc Maron and Tom Scharpling.
If you are a regular listener of these three you might be familiar with bits and pieces of their stories. Before Ira Glass founded This American Life, the show that forever changed the face of public radio (a show NPR actually passed on!) he was Joe Frank's intern, Marc Maron was one of Air America's founding hosts and after his show was cancelled he started using their studios at night to make WTF (today one of the most popular podcasts). And while Tom Scharpling's callers now line up to get banned (or unbanned) during his weekly three hour standard-setting comedy program, in the beginning they would call in to complain about the mayhem and the mirth!
Maybe we should be pitching this as "the League of Superheroes" because these three have never shared a stage before. It's going to be an amazing hour-long conversation with three of radio's best storytellers. You don't want to miss this one - plus WFMU's Therese Mahler is moderating this panel discussion. Tickets are on sale, and they are going fast.
We already sold out the Radiovision Opening Night performance with Joe Frank! Don't wait till the last minute.
A number of weeks ago, I was contacted by my friend Roderic, who plays in the Hydra Head band KNUT, for a quote about how different NYC is since 9/11 from an artist's point of view. He works for Swiss publication Le Courrier, and I thought it would be interesting to contribute to foreign language media. Here is the article for anyone curious. This past Friday, the issue came up again, but in a different way. I ran into good friend and local maniac Zenametal; curator of Zena Metal Wants to Conquer the World blog among other things. It was lunchtime on a crowded corner of Canal St., and we both were happy at the turn of events that led us to almost literally bump into each other. She works nearby and was donning fashionable duds for the office, and I wasn't looking too shabby myself. We talked for about 25 minutes, and in that time, the same gentleman approached us several times to vend what I thought he termed "dime bags". At some point I made a comment to her, since we were both looking so damn sophisticated I couldn't imagine he couldn't find anyone else in the throngs of people on a sunny Friday more suited to vend "dime bags" to. Zena, working near that section of Canal St., set me straight. In a quick debriefing, I realized that I heard "dime bag" - an old, almost expected way I had of listening to people mumbling towards me on the street. She let me in on the real words he was uttering: "diamonds, bags!" Oh! Well that sort of elevates us to tourist trash looking for a cheap but expensive looking bargain! I hadn't even noticed it was bootleg bag and bling central there. And I thought he thought we were scum! Still not buying, but a little less confused, I then saw that she was in fact, not toting a pocketbook on her lunch break, which was probably a good reason we were being hounded, not because we looked like we wanted to get stoned. So I'm really comparing from a much earlier time than 9/11; but it is interesting to notice that the things being whispered about on streetcorners are handbags, not dime bags any longer.
Posted by dianekamikaze on October 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM in Art, Diane Kamikaze's Posts, Fashion, Film, History, Interviews, Music, New York City, Science, The Internet, Video Clips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Just yesterday, Columbia Uni's radio station WKCR made available some notable past archives from the treasure trove of live music and interviews the station's been broadcasting for years. Click here to find the list of what's up so far - seems like a long term project that'd be worth checking back with over the course of the coming months. Right now I'm listening to an hour long live session from Necking, recorded on Live Constructions with Narine Atamian, who also blogged earlier today for WFMU! Apparently Phil Schaap's archives are not considered live poetry readings, you'll have to find his rants on his own site...
While some bands manage to slag through endless, soulless recs/tours 20-plus years into their existence, Columbus, OH's Cheater Slicks are anomalous in their insistence to continually evolve -- to remain not only a relevant group, but a damn good one after two decades of artful scree.
Indeed, 2007's Walk Into the Sea (Dead Canary Records) spoke of a gang who'd grown sharper in tooth. Recent tours and weekenders have been just as fierce as ever. If anything, the Slicks may be better than they were ten years ago, when most others would've already hit their prime, would've run ragged, recycled same old/same old.
The Embarrassment were an unlikely group. Formed in Wichita, KS, in 1979, they sounded every bit a coastal or foreign post-punk band, one that might've shaken hands with the Feelies (NJ), Mission of Burma (MA) or Monochrome Set (UK) -- contempo units that shared the same aptitude for nervous, twitchy songs, albeit in much more populous and liberal burgs in the U.S. and abroad.
But the Embos called Wichita home, and their location didn't slow them down a damn bit. Because if their area didn't have a scene calling for such original music, they'd just build one. Which they basically did.
"At the time, the local scene -- it was kind of ours to create," explains guitarist Bill Goffrier today. "And the people who came to see us early on were sort of arty, intellectual types."
Most of those arty, intellectual types came from local universities. Some were wayward high schoolers. Some were general outsiders. A few had their own bands, like the Mortal Micronotz and Get Smart!, who hailed from nearby Lawrence, KS.
Of the three mentioned, the Embos were the first to release a single: 1980's "Sex Drive" b/w "Patio Set." Their debut 45 was a smart, minimal, oblique slab of double entendres and angular guitar chug. And it was, like most great r'n'r, an ingenious mix of caveman, troubador and horndog.
In the case of the Embarrassment, it was also an accomplished stride forward from a promising new gang of smartasses. "And we were proud of making that step," says Goffrier. "We had a lot of missteps leading up to that, so the single was kind of a milestone."
It remains a milestone today: one of the Great Plains' coolest forays into cracked post-punk territory. Last Laugh Records will reissue the single early next month. You can contact the label here to get your own.
I made a quick visit to Seattle's Experience Music Project not long ago. The current main exhibit is titled: NIRVANA: Taking Punk To The Masses, and coincides with the 20th birthday of the band's Nevermind record. The exhibit not only has tons of Nirvana memorabilia, but is really a goldmine of great music sources from that same period of time. The facility is right next to Seattle's Space Needle (it's that dented looking brass thing to the right of it), and is full of cool exhibits having to do with music and film. Here's a giant guitar sculpture that lifts 35 feet into the air like a stringed cyclone. In the lobby they were showing parts of the movie Avatar, but the filming was of the actors pretending to fly, pre-special effects. Interesting the prep involved and the faux wetsuits they wore that tracked their body movement so it would be easier to morph them with their rendered additions (wings, dragons, etc.) at a later time. Something about it reminded me of a short I saw once that was the filming of the dubbing of Poltergeist. It was a hilarious process actually. You'd think that dubbing a film is at least some kind of large production? That is what I thought and I was certainly proven wrong. Imagine a group of people sitting in a room all on folding chairs facing a screen. On the screen is a tickertape of words going by, and the lines spoken by each actor are in a different color and run across the screen in a different vertical position. The voice actors focus on their lines and stand up and shout them at the screen. There is a condenser microphone mounted in front of the screen in a central location. People were standing up, saying their lines, and sitting back down. They weren't watching the movie - it wasn't even playing! They all had scripts on their laps and were facing forward as if they were forced to. When the movie got a little nutty, those people were standing up, shouting their lines at this screen full of text, and quickly sitting back down again. It was surreal and deflating all at once- not exactly glamorous! It may be the same kind of activity going on at the stock market right now, and you know I'm not gonna go there!
By Gabriella Arrigoni
Part of the "Network Awesome Salute To Drugs"
The day after always comes with a loose, altered idea of fullness and emptiness. The salty furred taste of the day after the party: your ears are still throbbing with a crowd of sounds that don’t belong to your quiet bedroom, but are, somehow, still there, and you’re not sure you really want them to go away. It seems pretty undeniable that every subculture came with its own favourite drug, and that we cannot give a complete account of the history of contemporary music without devoting at least a few words to the world of chemicals and narcotic consumption. This might be true for the times of bebop improvisations and heroin-addicted Charlie Parker, later on for the lysergic hippie psychedelia, and the spiritually dense rhythmic skank of raggae, but even more for everything we put under the definition of rave culture and the evolution and devolution of dance music from the mid 1980s to the late 1990s through acid house, trance, gabber, techno, hardcore, breakbeat, braindance... All this wouldn’t have been the same without MDMA. Not even remotely the same. But I’m not going to talk about the music: to describe music, looking for metaphors to convey its feelings and moulding appropriate synaesthesia for its beats and loops makes me feel terribly ashamed. Moreover, even though our focus here is the so called “godfather of ecstasy”, Alexander (Sasha
I saw 'em explode once. So did many others. It was a sold-out show. May of '09. Opening for a reunited Chrome Cranks. Glasslands: place is packed with good-time misanthropes ready for a prime piece. Foursome lurks onstage, nary an introduction. Ratchets volume up to red levels. Volleys out waves of great, green ugly noise. It laps at the shore of the crowd for all of four songs. Then Ryan Skeleton Boy whips his bass at a wall, the other two gents drop their guitars, and drummer and all stalk to a dark corner offstage admist a glorious feedback serenade.
"I had people tell me that was our best show," says guitarist/vocalist Kristian Brenchley. "It was a lotta fun."
Fun, sure. Memorable, yeah. Volatile, you bet. A stellar display.
And an atypical one. Because beyond premature explosions and mere volatility, the band is actually a sort of machine -- a black paisley mash of Aussie dark-day rock (Scientists, feedtime), '80s Midwestern knuckle-drag (Drunks with Guns, first Vertigo 45) and LES dirt (Pussy Galore). Their din's bent by the metallic thud of Skeleton Boy's bass, tangled up in a caustic two-way guitar cacaphony of Brenchley and Brett Schultz, grounded -- but just barely -- by Alex Velasquez's thudding drum. When they're not tossing instruments at concrete walls, when they're just as focused as they are loud and unhinged, WOMAN are probably one of the better bands in the NYC area. Largely because they dare to keep this area scummy. Or at least celebrate when it once was.
As evinced by "When the Wheel's Red," culled from their self-titled LP on Bang! Records (2009), this foursome means it. And they're currently recording tracks for their follow-up album, which, judging from their live show, is going to be a good one.
Speaking of the live show, these gents are heading to Yurp in October. Be sure to catch 'em, because since vocalist/guitarist Schultz moved to Mexico City, they don't play as often as they once did. There's no telling when they might finally explode for good. Go forth:
The content presented herein will most likely offend someone's sensibilities, in some capacity or another, and there are profanities as well as haphazard juggling of taboo subjects in an insensitive fashion involved, and the reader should consider herself WARNED about them! If every generation is doomed to fear for the following one, Trenton Willey may be one of our foremost warning signals. Some of his shenanigans might be unsettling, but they do at times bring to mind how we are in a time where the swastika is almost as innocuous as the fanny pack. We are drowned in the tedious irony of bad fashion in a decade without any distinctly remarkable cultural shifts beyond that of the push for recycling, and in light of this, Trenton, a Maine native, comes off like some kind of ham fisted crankhead beatnik of a spiritual leader.
While it may seem buffoonish at first, Willey's surrealistic stream of brutish puns and psychedelic one liners eventually seem like they are transcendent; Some kind of ultra reality where humor is only the pretext for the sort of nonsense that finds us leaving theaters feeling drug-addled after a particularly mind bending movie, or just guiltily laughing our asses off. He appears as someone who happened to take mental imagery of dinosaurs, care bears, made for TV movies, and soap operas, along with mass murder, racism, sexual abuse, daily news, political correctness, and various media histrionics all into the blender of his mind, set on liquefy. But rather than presenting these sometimes turbulent concepts as a means to shock people with the severity of them, he presents them with the sort of aplomb that one might expect from Mister Rogers and in the context of total madness. When I heard that Trenton was talking about going for the Guinness Book of World Record for the longest stand up comedy set (40 hours), I invited him to do stand up on the phone for 6 hours with no audience, to be aired on my radio show.
I'm fascinated by the concept and the purported benefits of image streaming, and I'd be happy to uphold someone who would be able to go through with it, especially if he is keeping with this style of slinging ludicrous word diarrhea throughout. It would certainly add to his body of work; endeavors such as interviewing his father about gay animal marriage, making a play with a dead cat, the animated film "Hair Camp" (featuring Venus, a vegan cannibal Venus flytrap with a British accent), teaching invisible children about death (WARNING: this one is particularly viscous), a group protest where every person protests something different, stabbing himself during a knife dance, and getting chased by hecklers. In this case, Trenton didn't make it 6 hours, his phone kept dying. I believe he can do it. Instead, the series of recordings start off with a pretend interview with a dinosaur, and a decline into drunken depression/distant, pitiful domestic arguments that bring to mind Happy Time Harry. Trenton granted permission to air the entirety of the recordings unedited. Below is a video clip of Trenton's stand up, as a tooth sandwich appetizer.