Engineering: Rapp's Boat Yard on the Passaic River/Billy Jam special program
December 31, 2010
Usually, the process of an artist winding up as a live guest on My Castle of Quiet involves months of correspondence, my personal attendance at live shows, and/or my poring over that artist's available releases and recordings. Not so in the case of FUN. I had been connected to the fine folks at Breathmint records via our mutual friend Bob Bellerue, and had heard two FUN CDrs, one of which I loved (the untitled, or "gas mask" CDr) and had aired on several occasions. There was a scrappiness to their sound, not unlike my favorite New Blockaders recordings, where one can actually hear "the room," and it becomes very evident that these seemingly chaotic sounds are being rendered by humans in action.
FUN also came highly recommended by former guest and sometime MCoQ co-host C. Lavender, and after a perusal of the Breathmint Web site, specifically their FUN page, with embedded videos, I got the distinct notion that these guys were up to something, something more than the often haphazard and off-the-cuff appearance that they projected—and I wanted to be a part of it—so we set about scheduling a date.
FUN are heavy on concept, without being at all collegiate or pretentious about it. They have these ideas, good ones, that in the sonic execution thereof, amount to some great performances. Their mic'd up, full-head rubber masks provide a constant human element, via their breathing, grunts and other assorted mouth noises. Whatever else might be going on varies widely from piece to piece.
For set one on My Castle of Quiet, they used WFMU's vintage Farfisa organ, our "usually in tune" upright piano, as well as accompaniment by their friend Kevin on concertina. What results is a floating dance of improvised communication, a spacious piece of great subtlety, one that will sneak up on you.
Set two is a very different animal, performed by Mat and Jonny, the core duo of FUN, each one armed with two transistor radios run through a mixer. I can't thank these guys enough, for doing what I always hope guests on the show will do, treating their appearance like a unique opportunity, not quite a "gig" and not quite a recording session—and also considering the medium of radio, and making that context somehow key to the proceedings.
Tremendous thanks to Glenn Luttman for engineering the session with his customary professionalism, and to Tracy Widdess, for sprinkling magic dust onto my photo of the band, captured during set 1.
Keep an eye on this space for artist-rendered remixes of the session, coming soon.
December 16, 2010
Isa Christ (aka Dylan Hay, proprietor of Brooklyn's stellar music and art space, Port d'Or) owns the distinction of being the only live, musical Castle guest to overheat our monitor system, four times in total throughout this performance, such that he could only hear his "sneakers tapping on the floor." Engineer Ernie and myself, control-room monitors blaring, were blissfully engaged and unaware that things were going very wrong for the performer on the other side of the double glass, i.e., what went out over the airwaves remained constant and unbroken, an impressive performance to say the very least.
Isa had prepared what I called a "pie" of Xmas lights, radio parts, and other hand-soldered electronics in a smallish packing case. It is my understanding that every ingredient in the pie generated some kind of sound, such that sonic darts were flying about the room, back and forth, high and low. The end result was dense and powerful, but also quite crisp and defined, especially for those with ears attuned to complex listening.
Though the loss of monitor signal created a precarious and frustrating situation for the artist / performer, the circuits nonetheless danced in Isa's honor, and the online accuplaylist comments reflected appreciation aplenty. "GOOD SHIT!!", "Intense chops & movement!" (indeed. -Ed.), "Isa Christ, fucking devastating." So although Isa was enabled to bring us only a portion of what he had planned, what remains is a totem of highly original and vigorous electronic music.
Many thanks to engineer Ernie Indradat for creating a lively, organic mix, similar to his excellent work on the My Castle of Quiet KILT session this past July. Thanks as always to Tracy Widdess for heating up my photograph of the artist.
November 25, 2010
If I say so myself, and I do, last week's MCoQ broadcast, woven as it was around a 72-minute performance by SSPS (aka Porkchop Central, aka Jon Nicholson, Excepter operative) was a Kosmische continuum, a final transmission from a marooned crew, forced by dire circumstances to stay behind and foster a new civilization on a new globe. The civilization was built, flourished, the inevitable unrest then brought changes, babies were born, and paintings expressed the heart of the people. Yes, I am still talking about a radio show.
Any and all labels being reductive, though just to give you an idea, I can say that Jon's sound brings together primordial techno, with its electronic drumbeat Danceteria-in-the-80s vibe, while also pulling in all that has come since and before, cleansing noise washes and Krautrock pulsations to name only a few.
How gratifying it was for myself to invite the man down to WFMU's studio B, and just say, "go!" This is an audio artifact of something Jon does perhaps as often as once a week in nightclubs, and I'm proud to present it to you here, as one continuous mp3. Please note that the many song titles incorporate in the set are noted in the comments field of the mp3 tags (Windows users only.)
Tremendous thanks to Diane Kamikaze Farris, for once again engineering a Castle session with aplomb. Thanks also to Sarah Z. for production assistance. Tracy Widdess spit-shines my artist photo, as per usual.
November 22, 2010
A couple weeks back LA noise titans slash cultural lynchpins Robedoor did me the honor of recording a live session in WFMU's studios during a rare and excessively brief East Coast tour. Although Robedoor began as a two-piece drone band with dozens of releases on just about every cool noise label out there, the recent addition of Geddes Gengras as a drummer has brought the band closer to the unholy realm of doom metal.
Alex Brown supplied (among other things) keyboard riffs that form the backbone of the jams - his rig is so bass heavy that I actually couldn't tell whether he was up too loud in the mix or whether the floor was just shaking. Britt Brown played guitar and vocals, with a slew of pedals to throw off any semblence of the concept of a "song". The track "I thought you were the Devil" is off Robedoor's recent LP on Important Records, Burners. Parallel Wanderer, by far the longest track in this session, will appear as a full side of a yet untitled upcoming LP. This seems to be following Robedoor's usual method of writing songs: jamming it out with live improv until the completed song idea emerges from the murky depths.
Or maybe the secret to Robedoor's success is putting beer in every meal they eat? Alex runs an excellent and hilarious food blog called Hot Knives that seems to indicate a predilection for hoppy breakfast dishes. Speaking as somebody who loves nothing more than the rhetoric of high end menus, the Hot Knives archives are great because you get classy dishes with rock and roll commentary. For god's sake, he teaches you how to make the "über pre-choucroute", Kimchi from scratch!
Then again, Robedoor's ability to touch on a hundred genres at one is probably because Robedoor members are so involved with underground noise culture. Britt Brown runs Not Not Fun records, which has released a ton of material from many perennial WFMU favorites. I'd explain more, but there really aren't words. I'd recommend blasting this live session over your best sound system while nerding out to lists of releases from Not Not Fun and Robedoor on discogs.
Thanks to Jason Sigal for these photos and for help with engineering the recording.
...seems a bit obvious to title this thing, but hey, I'm not really sweating it. Apologize, but under the gun. I had this huge plan to post my Best of Brooklyn Botanicas list, but well, had cold feet and thought I would sit on it for another week.There is this part where I explain that I was conceived in a rainforest notorious for UFO activity and I am on the fence on if I want to share that with WFMU blog readers or not.
So yeah, I'll tell the story in the afternoon in the comments, but this thing is beautiful. Giant statue of the Stella Maris in Windsor, Ohio.
More pics inside!
November 20, 2010
Not long ago I picked up on a gig announcement that Easy Action would be playing The Acheron in Brooklyn on Monday, November 15th...yay! I contacted them immediately and inquired if they'd be interested in playing live on the Fun Machine on the next day; Tuesday the 16th. And so it was. The band, with John Brannon of Negative Approach and Laughing Hyenas on vocals, has a perverted blues-punk sound that is so mesmerizing you could set your own face on fire and never notice. I've had the pleasure of seeing them play over a dozen times (6 of those shows at SXSW 2 years in a row), and can honestly say there is no pretense or even intention of having, wanting, or needing a stage show with these guys. Brannon is as terrifying as he was in Negative Approach, and sounds even more caustic now, possibly because he's all grown up, and he still howls like an animal fighting for it's life, but this time you know it's premeditated and not simply a reaction to teen angst. EA features the rhythm section of Tony Romeo on bass and Matt Becker on the drums, and Harold Richardson's sick, greasy and intense guitar sound to round off the spectacle. Easy Action just get down and dirty and give their performances the Detroit treatment: 100%-period. They rule, and really-- they can't help it; it's so authentic that it shows. Here is the set fresh off the Free Music Archive; yours to download, yeah, Christmas is early this year. Easy Action also graced the WFMU airwaves in 2005 on the Pat Duncan program, hosted by Andrew Listfield that particular night, and John and Harold also were here in Negative Approach for their appearance on Brian Turner's program in 2008.
On Tuesday, they arrived at WFMU early, "That's how we roll"; set up their gear, played and left the studio begging for mercy... and at the end of the afternoon after all was said and done, John Brannon, the fiercest voice in the universe, turns around and says to me "here's your pen, Diane." It may not seem like much of a gesture, but this is coming from a man who'd basically bitten off the head of your mother, or would have if she was here; paid homage to and fistfought every drunken gambler, pimp and derelict either side of the Mississippi; successfully and creatively edited his vocals for the live performance (I said Easy Action are great, but yeah, they're dirty... in the just the right way), and pulled off the most burnt out sounding cover of 10cc's "I'm Not In Love" - remembered that I lent him a pen to write out their set lists with about 4 hours before. Shucks, what do you say about that except, come back soon! It's a crime these guys aren't huge. Send your friends to this site, check out the playlist from the show itself -more photos there- and have them check out Easy Action. It can be your own dirty secret and hopefully one day it will be everybody's. Accompanying are a few shots from the WFMU studio as well as the Acheron show on November 15th. From Richmond? Well get your ass out to see them tonight; Saturday November 20th at the Triple. Obey.
November 19, 2010
With Human Eye, Timmy "Vulgar" Lampinen takes the raw punk spirit he brought to his earlier Detroit bands (Clone Defects & Epileptix) and steps into new dimensions that reflect reality through science fiction. So one of the songs they performed live on Talk's Cheap this week is "about goin' to the party store in Hamtramck," while another deals with impregnating the Martian queen.
With deft wah-control, Timmy's guitar transforms into a laser cannon, and he's backed by a team of Detroit all-stars: alien pianist Johnny Lzr also fronts 70s glam-rockers Conspiracy of Owls, whose debut LP on Burger Records is one of Evan "Funk" Davies' top albums of the year (which is an extremely high recommendation if you dig 70s rock, punk and power pop!). Drummer Billy "Hurricane William" Hafer also plays in ET Habit, and The Big Bang, an "adult percussion" group. Bassist Brad Hales runs People's Records, a second-hand shop in Detroit specializing in northern soul (so he sees a lot of Mr Finewine, host of WFMU's Downtown Soulville).
Human Eye's debut full-length was released by In The Red in 2005 and their latest, Fragments of the Universe Nurse, came out on Hook or Crook. They stopped by while in town recording a new 7'' with Ivan Julian, and jetsetting around playing free shows courtesy of Scion...which is funny, cuz I was just talking the other day about how brands are like the new record labels.
Meanwhile Timmy's Organism -- originally conceived as Timmy Vulgar's solo 4track recording project -- has taken off with a nice set of 7-inches and the brand new Rise of the Green Gorilla LP (on Brooklyn's Sacred Bones label). The organism has blossomed into a three-piece, and plays Brooklyn on Saturday November 20th for "The Return of Detroit" with Tyvek, Terrible Twos, The Mahonies and guest DJ Mick Collins (Gories/Dirtbombs). [details]
November 18, 2010
Heavy Medical are a band that would have 46-year-old me careening for the pit, embarrassing myself and acquiring injuries to my brittle bones. Their riffs are potent and catchy, and their songs are short, crafty and repetitive; as repetitive as one can be in two minutes, that is.
Despite a mysterious technical handicap on the vocal-effect chain, HM played hard and urgent, and Dave and Dave rendered their set with passion and intensity. You have two more opportunities to catch them in the NY area this time around, 11/18 @ Silent Barn, and at the Nyack Village Theatre, on Friday, 12/3, with electronic pulsators EndlessEndlessEndless.
Though modestly spoken and full of laughs, Heavy Medical play it big and strong, and I highly suggest that you download their Threats e.p., or even better, order a CDr hard copy here. Our friend Diane Kamikaze Farris, quickly becoming an indispensable force in The Castle, engineered Heavy Medical's set with punch and professionalism.
The two Daves (this would have been a field day for The League of Gentlemen's Papa Lazarou, who calls everyone "Dave"), broke the trend of, uh, théâtre d'intoxication that is usually our interview segments on My Castle of Quiet, and you can hear the good, old-fashioned, hobbnobbing and absurdity in the full-length program archive here.
Watch out for these guys. Since Big Business have already rendered the feat of going from accomplished bass-and-drums duo to being 1/2 of Melvins, Heavy Medical will just have to blissfully (or dourly) go on being themselves, and they're quite good at it. Snaky and articulate they are. Many thanks to Dave and Dave, and to Tracy Widdess for breathing new life into my band photo.
November 04, 2010
Psychic TV/PTV3's only American show of 2010 happens on Thursday, December 9th at Europa (98-104 Meserole Ave., Greenpoint/Brooklyn) and WFMU will be co-presenting the show along with Scenic and Edward O'Dowd. Tickets are on sale here (it is not, by the way, a benefit for WFMU). Psychic TV's direction in the last years has waded deeper into psychpunk realm, especially evidenced on their latest, Alien Brain Vs. Maggot Brain (Vanity Case label), and live shows have been a visual treat as well. In fact, WFMU has had a close-up peep at the band in action, check out MP3s from a performance on Fabio's show in September 2006 below (via the Free Music Archive). Genesis also performed recently at WFMU with O'Dowd and Tony Conrad (MP3s on the FMA here), and Fabio hosted a round-table discussion in our studios with the then-reunited Throbbing Gristle here.
October 30, 2010
Hugh Cornwell (yes, Hugh Cornwell formerly of the Stranglers) made a visit to the Fun Machine and WFMU studios this past week. In tow was drummer extraordinaire Clem Burke; known to some as Elvis Ramone, known to (probably many more) as the drummer in Blondie; and Steve Fishman on bass. They banged out 4 numbers, and Hugh spoke with your hostess long enough for me to carve out a 3-hour Hugh Cornwell/Stranglers special which can be found here. Hugh's album, "Hoover Dam" has been offered as a free download on his site since it had been released, as he is always doing something special for his fans! As of about 15 minutes ago, were are proudly hosting ALL of Hoover Dam on the Free Music Archive site- here is that specific link! Along with that, dear listener, give your ears a treat by checking out all 4 of the live tracks they performed here in the Love Room at the station. To the right is the band killing it at the Mercury Lounge on Oct. 26th; and here is the Hoover Dam album in it's entirety, woo hoo, thanks, Hugh!
Posted by dianekamikaze on October 30, 2010 at 08:00 AM in Diane Kamikaze's Posts, History, Live at WFMU, MP3s, Music, New Jersey, New York City, Radio, The Internet | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
October 18, 2010
In terms of "heavy music," "black metal," "dark hardcore," or whatever labels one needs to put upon things to feel at ease, The Communion are indeed a very special find. I might never have seen them, had I not wandered into the Party Expo this past July, right around the corner from my former domicile in now-so-fashionable Bushwick.
No-faking, gut-churning angst, great songwriting, and an obvious interest in creating something of quality and sincerity are what set The Communion apart from the horde of bands that lean toward the darker sides of self expression. Dramatic, hooky sludge-metal, classic hardcore/thrash, and hi-speed black metal are all easily referenced in The Communion's repertoire, these styles employed naturally and with the apparent ease of just doing what they do, without sounding at all forced or postmodern.
These are some great tracks—catchy, headbanging and deftly constructed. I've been spinning them constantly for the last week and a half, and suggest you do the same.
A million thanks to Diane Kamikaze Farris, for lending her expertise to engineer this powerful session. (You can hear a preview of the upcoming Chiller Theatre Expo tomorrow at noon, and Stranglers' founder Hugh Cornwell live on Diane's show, next Tuesday 10/26.) Thanks as per usual to Tracy Widdess for punching up my photographs of the band.
You can see The Communion live, at Brooklyn's The Acheron, on 10/29. To hear the full, continuous broadcast of The Communion's appearance on My Castle of Quiet, with my usual half-arsed "interview" segment, click here. Deepest thanks to Nick, Billy, Joe and Jimmy.
October 16, 2010
While driving earlier listening to an AM health-centered show, the doctor/DJ/host, asked his assistant if he liked "thrash music", their banter sort of went off into space, as the assistant seemed to have a grasp on some metal genres: "glam metal, death metal, viking metal, grindcore", yet the doctor had nothing to ground himself with, and at some point mentioned the Yardbirds, Barry Manilow and Phil Ochs ... regardless, he referenced this study, which reports that no matter what kind of music you listen to, if you're studying, it's still detrimental to your final outcome, especially if you're memorizing. What was amazing was that they kept on playing excerpts of Death Angel's "Thrashers" over and over again, repeatedly asking the question "do you like thrash music?" and joking. It's wonderful when the unexpected pops up, especially this 1987 gem, much like the first time I heard Peaches by The Stranglers opening the movie Sexy Beast...well, actually that was cool; this radio experience was just funny. Of course, I do need to mention here that former frontman of the Stranglers, Hugh Cornwell, will be gracing the WFMU airwaves by way of the Fun Machine on Tuesday, Oct 26th, and he's touring on a new release: New Songs for King Kong, note: even King Kong should not study wearing headphones, but I am not going to be the one to tell him! In another study about exercise and music, a study linked here relates the findings that although music is a great motivator in exercise, there are limits to it's benefits. The piece is not the shortest piece in the world, but I found it interesting that the average human (not the WFMU listener) liked the same music more JUST because it was sped up. To go back to the question of "do you like thrash metal?", well maybe some do and they don't even realize it! To conclude, when we really get into music itself being exercise, like these conductors pictured above (study from 2007 here), or the theory that Slovenian outfit Laibach had, that Bach's "Die Kunst der Fuge' was intended as an (intellectual) exercise rather than for performance- so they used it in their performances with physical exercise being performed, just makes a brain wonder, or at least start doing push-ups. And if you think the guys up top in the B/W photo are not exercising, think again! Note: Death Angel also has a new record out, it's calle Relentless Retribution out on the Nuclear Blast label. It's been awhile for releases from Barry Manilow, Phil Ochs, and the Yardbirds! Laibach is doing some live dates in Europe and the UK at the end of 2010.
Posted by dianekamikaze on October 16, 2010 at 03:16 AM in Diane Kamikaze's Posts, Film, Live at WFMU, Music, Radio, Science, Sports, The Internet, WFMU in General | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
October 13, 2010
Richard Pinhas has long been regarded as one of France's seminal experimental composers and musicians. His 1970's combo Heldon were severe competition for the Krautock first string, and his continual forays into electronic and progressive sounds were highlighted by his Robert Fripp-like approaches to guitar. Over the years Pinhas has produced excellent solo material, influencing many in the '80s new wave and ambient worlds. This past week Pinhas played electric guitar on Brian Turner's show sitting in with Michigan's legendary Wolf Eyes, who know a thing or two about outer explorations, and the results were a prog-o-delicized journey through a sound junkyard both menacing and beautiful. As an added bonus, Wolf Eyes featured Aaron Dilloway who's been on the bench for a few years, kicking out the jams in the WFMU studios with bandmates John Olson and Mike Connelly. (library photo John Olson, performance pic Lou Calderola). Video should be forthcoming down the pike soon as well.
October 04, 2010
There were about a million great shows that I missed this week: Goatwhore at Europa (friend review: "One of the best bands I've seen this year"), Buzzov'en at Public Assembly (friend review: "pretty close to great"), The Vibrators at the Bell House, etc. However I did have the extreme pleasure of attending several shows. I got out to see Accept and Kings X at BB Kings on Monday. As expected, Kings X went on at 7:53 for an 8pm time slot. Vocalist Doug Pinnick (pictured right) requested the AC be shut off for the sake of his voice; the club complied and we all got sweaty! But in the mood of the set, they were upbeat and spot on. Kings X reminds me of a mellower, more heavily grooved Queens of the Stone Age, but originating years and years prior. They are a band that probably never made a ton of money, but are amazing players and always put their heart into their shows. Satisfaction level: 4/5, Surprise level 2/5. Next: Accept took the stage with new vocalist Mark Tornillo. This could have been wrong, jokelike, corny, cover band-ish--I mean it really had the potential to be terrible. I know Tornillo has been with them for more than a year now, and by the way, their new album Blood of the Nations is GREAT but a presence like Udo Dirkschneider's gotta be missed, no? Hell no! Purists, don't sell yourself short of a great time, expand your horizons and go see Accept- you'll have a blast!! Tornillo, who hails from NJ; has pulled this off perfectly! He had been the vocalist for TT Quick - a band that never really got it's due back in the day.
September 23, 2010
2 Foot Flame was a mid-90's project featuring Jean Smith (Mecca Normal) with New Zealanders Michael Morley (Dead C/Gate/Wreck Small Speakers On Expensive Stereos) and Peter Jefferies (This Kind of Punishment/Noctural Projections). As can be expected, it was intense music coming from three intense individuals; Smith's rough/piercing vocal tones now being matched by Morley's alien soundscapes and Jefferies' brooding keyboards/drums to great dynamic effect.
Live on the Stork Club in 1997, the group appeared as just Peter and Jean, with Jefferies doubling up on simultaneous keyboards and drums in terse, primitive 4/4 pound, Smith taking an open-tuned electric guitar and playing noisy slide action ala Lydia Lunch/Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. "Pipeline to Vertigo" highlites some distorted, thumping morse-code transmissions with Jefferies equally-inimitable voice looming menacingly overhead, he slips in his own "Elevator Madness" and a killer take on the Spacemen 3 classic "Come Down Easy". I think Jean told me there was talk at one time of this Stork Club visit coming out as a proper release, but she also seemed to think I was more of a fan of this particlar session than anyone else. Listening back 13 years later it still sounds incredible.
September 22, 2010
In my ongoing effort to present truly tortured music on the air, the outpourings of souls in unrest, I was very proud to host these two sets by Husere Grav. Along with the natural courtesies, and perhaps even eventual camaraderie, that develop around a musical artist's appearance on the Castle, there was also a feeling that when one meets a member of one's tribe, not much talk is required. Todd Watson aka Athanor is a man of few words anyway, though as I recall, some of those words were, "Generally, I have a pretty negative view of a lot of things...." Me too, and it's not a joke, and the man (unlike myself, spilling bile all over town as I do) saved it for the performance. This is some of the darkest, most visceral shit I have ever had the pleasure of presenting on the radio. These are soundtracks to pain, frustration, and ill intentions—the "music" of haunted evil.
So-called noise being equivalent to the new jazz in many ways, once an assortment of available gear is decided upon, the quality of the performance becomes based on feeling, genuine inspiration, and access to one's own emotions. How well are you playing what you feel, into what you brought with you tonight? In the case of Husere Grav, the answer is a fuck of a lot. That is, perhaps, the WHOLE POINT of the My Castle of Quiet radio show, that the program itself be a working, a channeling of feelings, for myself and the live guests, however negative (or positive) or socially unacceptable those feelings may be. This shit has to go SOMEWHERE, or we'd all be killers.
...I'm off my soapbox now, and apologies to Todd for my using this post as a forum of sorts, but I do often wonder how many of you I'm reaching with these perhaps lofty intentions.
The two Husere Grav sets incorporate what I would call pure noise (à la Whitehouse), with aspects of psychedelia, and hypnotic, high-volume resonance. I seriously wish that I could transmit to every listener the feeling I got upon walking into that room while Todd was performing his second set—it was truly a maelstrom, and caught me by surprise—thunderingly loud, it was swirling, and it felt dangerous; nothing less than a genuine conjuration.
In addition to a staggering live performance, Husere Grav is also sharing Battles, exclusively with WFMU, My Castle of Quiet and the Free Music Archive. Here are two more songs, a single's worth of material to further unlock the dark world of Husere Grav.
September 15, 2010
The first time I saw Todd Pendu perform solo electronics I thought, "Klaus Schulze in a suitcase! I can dig this!" No longer does the performer need to be buried in impossibly tall racks of heavy keyboard gear, that which obscure his very view, to be able to touch other worlds, to taste the unseen, and to take the listener on a significant journey.
Often pressured to take the short-and-sweet route simply by noise-gig propriety, it was gratifying for me personally to be able to offer Todd a forum within which to lay out a considerable slab of music, a vision of some length, something I knew he'd not only ace, but take good and seriously.
"Hermetic Erotics" is that slab, and more—a powerful electronic suite of arcing and shifting dynamics; there is tension, resolution, warnings of danger, absolute peace, contemplation aplenty, and some lovely and subtly positioned guest vocals by Laylah (Johanna Lenski.)
All in all, Chaos*Majik brought it, left it, and returned to the hive of NYC leaving barely a trace, save these excellent 38 and a half minutes (kind of like an assassin with very good intentions; and I must note that this is very much in line with the behavior of an evolved magician.) My suggestion, as with several previous Castle sessions, is to download the file and listen to it on headphones, as "Hermetic Erotics" includes passages of near-subliminal activity that will get a bit lost on in-browser play.
Todd also read my cards that night, and a good tarot reading always reveals a little more than you want it to, as was the case here. To listen to the full program archive, visit this page.
To learn more about Todd's universe of activities in and outside of Chaos*Majik, visit pendu.org.
September 01, 2010
The opening call to attention of Metal Rouge's epic "Dead Elk" comfortably assimilates two poles—that of Albert Ayler's ecstatic pleading to all on the other side who would listen, the ghosts and the spirits, and that of the steady clomp-clomp of a high plains drifter, out for vengeance, but with time enough to stop and relight his or her cigar. Then, over the encouraging tumble of Caitlin Mitchell's rolling toms, the message increases in urgency, Helga Fassonaki's chants begin, and Andrew Scott's guitar keeps the body electric humming and rising, a soldier in the Army of Eternal Music. The players continue to arc and collide with natural dynamism, until the Dead Elk has been properly celebrated, and all is left in rubble.
These are three sets of prime Metal Rouge, absolutely in the mode of ascension and contemplation of the many Andrew/Helga duo recordings (like the Ephemeroptera series and the Three for Malachi Ritscher CD), and most similar to the recent Trails LP created by the trio, but infused even more so with the might of a band that's been touring and playing at semi-regular intervals, constantly greasing their improvisational wheels.
Sets two and three are far-afield variations on tracks that appear on the Trails LP; "The Sad Song (666)" is radically sparse and gloomy—and there's that "on to the next mirage" feeling again, until the beat picks up, and Tago Mago-era Can is viewed, albeit from Angelo Badalamenti's highway; "The Sunshine Path" is Metal Rouge's "song," so to speak—the riff everyone remembers—though it too never takes the same shape twice, lurking as it does near the not-so-unlikely-after-all corner of Linda Sharrock and Skullfower.
You can catch Metal Rouge on the final leg of their tour in San Francisco (Cafe Du Nord, Sept. 4), and in home-base Los Angeles, with shows at Mid Town Wig (Sept. 7) and Echo Curio (Sept. 16.)
Many thanks to the band for trucking up to the station mid-tour, tired but barely showing it, and whipping out these spirited sets. Thanks to Jason Sigal for expert session engineering in general, and a great drum mix in particular, and to Tracy Widdess for bitch-slapping my lousy photos.
August 31, 2010
It was a high honor to have Justice Yeldham on my radio show a few weeks back and if you are anywhere along the route of the rest of his (last ever?) American tour, I can't give a higher recommendation for how to make a weird night. Really. We're talking best live set in noise on the entire globe. Check out the archive of the full set on my radio show and hold your breath for the full set to be uploaded onto the Free Music Archive. Thanks to Loic for filming...sorry I F-ed up the levels at the beginning of the interview, dudes!