Saturday, May 03, 2008

New show threads

Animal Law (May 16+17)


The Fortieth Day (June 7)

Current Reading

Re-make/Re-model: Becoming Roxy Music

"Re-make/Re-model: Becoming Roxy Music" by Michael Bracewell

Kind of a breath of fresh air, right off the bat, after the Paul Morley Joy Division book, which got pretty tedious...but which at least had one tangential Brady/Hindley reference.

Looptopia = Looptastic!

About a month ago, I helped my Animal Law band mate, Dylan Posa, pull together some of the performers for an in-store show at the downtown Reckless Records store, as part of the City of Chicago's dusk-till-dawn Looptopia festival. I thought that since I had so many shows scheduled around this time that I should sit it out. Things did not look at all promising while I was on the "L" heading towards downtown, as the thunderstorms from earlier in the day returned as another massive downpour. The weather cleared up quickly, however, and as The Green Pasture Happiness (Aaron Zarzutzki, Dan Fandino, Brian Labycz) began to blast out of the ample PA that was facing out onto Madison Street, I began to get a bit of volume envy. Safe to say, most of the people walking around downtown had never heard anything as harsh as that, before. Augment was up next, and hearing Jeff Halls' deep Moog tones booming out onto the street and echoing off of the buildings across from Reckless made things even worse for me. While TGPH definitely freaked out many passersby with their harsh tones, Jeff's dark and heavy analog synth tones actually started to build a crowd of curious onlookers, who watched him play that sci-fi looking beast through the window. Vertonen was up next and Blake brought back the harsh fury. Happy Looptopia participants started scattering more, and the looks on some people's faces were priceless. Horror and pain. It was pretty amazing to take it all in. Bruce Lamont was up next, and with only minimal arm twisting, from him, Jeff, and Blake, it was decided that I would add some microphone feedback towards the end of his set. Now of course, a guy playing a saxophone downtown is not such an unusual site, so a bigger crowd started to build up to see what Bruce was up to. As his set got weirder and heavier, with vocal loops and electric guitar, some audience members got a bit uncomfortable. When Bruce gave me the signal, I grabbed a microphone, turned up my channel, and headed out the door to work with the two hefty speakers. As my back was to the crowd at that point, I did not see what was going on, but safe to say, a lot of people scattered to the wind. If the ringing in my ears this morning is any indication, I can certainly see why. Probably more people saw/heard these sets then at almost any typical "noise" show in Chicago. That was that. Or not. After it was determined that the scheduled DJ never showed up, Bruce and Jeff set their gear back up and did a bonus set of sax, looped (and increasingly aggressive) vocals, and Moog --- to an even bigger crowd! Their sounds really blended well, and I for one hope that they play together again. Thanks to Bruce, for indulging me. Thanks to Dylan, for his willingness to set something like this up at Reckless and for bringing in such a killer PA!

Friday, May 02, 2008

BLOODYMINDED Boston Photographs

There is now a set of photographs on my Flickr page that document the BLOODYMINDED performance at the Northeast Regional Noise and Power-Electronics Festival held at Jacques Underground in Boston. Thanks to Michelle and to Egan!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Wierd is out of the bag

And I hope that my band mates in Animal Law are not going to put a contract out on me...


4LP + 32 PG BOOK

2008 (VR004)


Wierd Records is proud to present the Wierd Compilation Volume II : Analogue Electronic Music 2008, an international collection of 39 trax by 30 bands producing contemporary music with analogue synthesizers, sequencers, and drum machines. This release is made up of four vinyl LPs packaged in a deluxe gatefold sleeve and accompanied by a 32 page 12" x 12" book containing lyrics, band bios, and over 300 photos, many taken from live performances at the weekly Wierd label party, which has been active in New York City since 2003. Also included in the booklet is a statement of purpose for this vast project entitled '2008 : The Analogue Synthesizer as a Folk Instrument of Humanist Resistance' that is as ambitious conceptually as it is musically. This is a hand-numbered edition of 1000 copies.

Over the past several years, electronic musicians have slowly removed themselves from the visceral aspect of musical expression as they have more completely embraced the computer as the generator of contemporary sounds. It is in this climate that the Wierd Compilation Volume II proposes that analogue electronic music no longer represents a post-apocalyptic vision of an uncertain 'post-human' future as it once did at the inception of New Wave in the late 1970's. Today, the situation is precisely the opposite. In the world of 'click and drag' virtual software synths, the analogue instrument represents a new form of resistance by preserving and affirming the human presence of the artist through his direct interaction with the machines and the electricity that runs through them. In doing so, the supposedly outdated instrument is reborn as a folk instrument not unlike the acoustic guitar, violin, or hand drum.

Inspired by the seminal compilations of early industrial music such as Xtract Records' 'The Elephant Table Album' and 'Three Minute Symphony', Third Mind Records' 'Life at the Top', and the 'Insane Music' cassette series, the Wierd Compilation Volume II brings together independent artists from the new minimal electronic music scene emerging in New York, Miami, and all throughout continental Europe with the the firmly established Noise scene in the US. In the same spirit that these early genre-traversing compilations brought together both pop and experimental artists who were united by their resistance to the superficial excesses of commercial New Wave, the artists on this release are united by their DIY attitude and their resistance to the virtual excesses of modern laptop pop. All have found analogue synthesizers to be the ideal instrument for producing raw, emotive music in a world where the human touch and presence is quickly getting clicked and dragged into oblivion.

Pre-order a copy today!

Track Listing:

1. Xeno and Oaklander - 'A Beginning'
2. Martial Canterel - 'Windscreen' [CLIP]
3. Envenomist - 'A Vague Disquiet'
4. Staccato du Mal - 'Su Ultimo Secreto' [CLIP]
5. Demons - 'Sick by Water'

1. Spine Scavenger - 'Weighted Ghost 2'
2. Epee du Bois - 'Misery' [CLIP]
3. Xeno and Oaklander - 'Blue Flower'
4. Angel of Decay -
'Malignant Tumor of the Heart' [CLIP]

5. Flesh Graey Display -
'A Smoke Filled Room' [CLIP]

1. Wave Tank - 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'
2. Hive Mind - 'Omission' [CLIP]
3. Human Puppets -
'Faces(Behind Walls and Closed Doors)' [CLIP]

4. Waves - ':59'
5. A Squared - 'Soulfood'

1. Carlos Giffoni - 'There are Other Gates' [CLIP]

2. Xeno and Oaklander - 'Celeste' [CLIP]

3. Pax Titania - 'Cycles:13'
4. Audiodakt - 'Wahrheit'

1. The Siamese Pearl - 'Destroying the Prefrontal Cortex' [CLIP]

2. Vendome - 'Lightwave Emissions' [CLIP]

3. Waves - ':10'
4. Sleep Museum - 'Nepal(Departure)' [CLIP]
5. Charlie Draheim - 'Guts on the Dancefloor'
6. Private Entertainment - 'Serenade(For a Changed Heart)'

1. Martial Canterel - 'Pathway Splits Apart'
2. A Vague Disquiet - 'In Fives: Failure Edit' [CLIP]
3. Angel of Decay - 'Cold White Beds'
4. Three to Forgotten' - 'Frostbite' [CLIP]
5. Tobias Bernstrup - 'Enemies of the Earth'

1. Sleep Museum - 'We Who Are'
2. Opus Finis - 'Perplexed Pathos'
3. The Siamese Pearl - 'The Rape of Persephone'
4. Led er Est -
'Woman in a Cafe/Communication' [CLIP]

5. Hive Mind - 'Templar'

1. Cadaver in Drag - 'Hair, Skin, and Teeth'
2. Epee du Bois - 'Jurieux in the Garden'
3. Ronin - 'For a Dead Lady’
4. Zug Im Veins - 'Je Suis un Autre' [CLIP]

Locrian in the Wire

Thanks to Terence for forwarding this review from the new Wire magazine:

LOCRIAN "Plague Journal/Apocryphal Cities, Portents Fallen" BLOODLUST! 7"
Debut vinyl by a Chicago duo who spoon through the night mounted upon a guitar or a synth. It's a noisy piece of work, but the sonic textures are closer to rock (maybe born amidst the debris of a party Killing Joke had just left). The first side is a ride through a wind tunnel, the flip is like a more gracefully arcing dive into a pile of inflatable balloons shaped just like Fripp & Eno on the cover of "No Pussyfooting". But they don't pop when you hit them, they just blast you back into space with a bruise to show for your troubles. Go figure.

Office Ambience

Today's repeat player:
Tindersticks "The Hungry Saw"

Recent repeaters:
Spine Scavenger "Shackles Of Man-Measured Time" LP (Troniks)

"Sex Tape" 12-inch (Land o’Smiles)
Rape-X "
Human Shit" CD-R (self-released)
Al-Thawra/Winters In Osaka "Wasteland" CD (Najdiyya Records)
Peaking Lights "Clearvoiant" cassette (Night People)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mark of the eBeast

My eBay feedback rating hit 666 today...

BloodLust! May 2008 Update

The May update was sent out today to the mailing list and it has been posted on the usual pages. If you expected to receive it via e-mail, but you did not, please send me a message. The wholesale catalog was sent to all distro contacts, last night.

BloodLust! New Release - Out Now:

Artist: Hydra
Format: CD in
jewel box
Catalog Number: BloodLust! 111
Power-Electronics / Noise / Industrial / Experimental

Nearly twelve years have passed since "Power" was first released by BloodLust! in an edition of 50 C-60 cassettes that immediately sold out; Nearly five years have passed since Hydra main-main Greg Scott's death; Very little remains of his musical legacy, so it seemed like an appropriate time to re-visit this barely heard recording from Greg's short-lived, post-Final Solution band; The disc is comprised of studio and live recordings (similar to the 1992 Final Solution "Half/Dead" cassette on AWB Recording) and the live tracks offer some moments of memorable, between-song banter from Greg; The CD has been mastered to deliver a strong, clear, powerful sound, without sterilizing the original cassette quality and feel; The artwork was designed to suggest the look of the BloodLust! cassette series (1995-1996) that "Power" was originally released as a part of; Pre-production assistance generously came from Isidro Reyes (BLOODYMINDED, The Fortieth Day, A Vague Disquiet) and Greg's close friend and band mate, Peter Messina (Hydra, Beg For Eden); Mastered for CD by Salvatore Dellaria at Eightysevenwest Recording in Chicago, Illinois; Professionally duplicated CD, single panel, double-sided insert; black and white and grey artwork; in jewel box with shrinkwrap; Released in 2008

1. "Force" (5:25)
2. "Death's Dimension" (6:12)
3. "Past Life Recall" (6:03)
4. "Gun God (Time Killer Mix)" (9:09)
5. "Break Away" (10:02)
6. "Self Hatred" (10:03)
7. "I Don't Exist" (5:35)
8. "Dead World (Excerpt)" (5:28)

$14.00 USA/$16.00 Canada+Mexico/$18.00 Rest of World @ postpaid
(Wholesale rate are vailable to distributors, mail-order services, and record stores)
Please use for PayPal payments

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Flowership Photos

I just posted a few photographs that Nick Hoffman took of me at The Flowershop, on Flickr. You can see Nick's other photographs and video from the show on his weblog:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Further thoughts on Friday

I thought carefully about posting this, because I am sure that this comment will generate some dispensable comments, but I have to say that based upon the turnout for this show --- which was pretty damned good, considering how many shows/events there were to choose from on Friday --- what The Flowershop took in at the door was embarrassing, when it came time to settle up with the other performers. Evidently, a lot of people seemed to think that it was okay to pay $1.00 or $2.00, even though the show was listed at $7.00.

Maybe I am way off base here, but I thought that the point of listing a show with a "suggested donation" amount was typically to help protect unlicensed venues from any problems that might arise from charging at the door --- not to suggest to freeloaders that it is okay to forgo paying the full amount --- particularly at a show like this where people were on tour and/or drove some distance to perform.

As important as I feel it is to continue organizing and promoting shows, like this one, in Chicago, this is one more reason why it seems like a less appealing road to continue down in the future...

Friday's Show...

I realized that I never posted anything about my last solo show at The Empty Bottle (satisfying, tiny audience) or the collaboration with Bruce Lamont and Jason Soliday at AV-aerie (a cool night and a great experience, overall).

Friday's show at The Flowershop was one of my favorite events that I have ever set up. It was really satisfying, conceptually, to combine a range of artists that went from harsh noise to fun electro, practically dance music.

Peaking Lights started off the night by getting some electric shocks and then by combining some mad scientist equipment action with a more "pastoral synth vibe" - with an unusual strain of minimal synth, building beautiful songs and nicely bridging the gap between what Aaron Dilloway and Magas were doing. It was a pleasure to see/hear Peaking Lights play in Chicago again, so soon.

Club Spouse (AKA Henry from The Flowershop, formerly of Cleveland, Ohio) started out building up a solid, steady beat on a drum kit and then he turned to build up an increasingly dense web of electronics. This was the first surprise of the night, as his thing sort of came out of nowhere. I would like to see him on a bill with - or possible facing off against - or collaborating with - Pisspisspiss Moanmoanmoan. There was a shared sensibility at work.

Jason Soliday was up next, and let me start by saying that there were a couple of girls standing pretty close to him - and close to the speakers, too. When Jason blasted on (off?), both girls literally jumped up into the air in fright/surprise. Amazing! This was the harshest and most to-the-point set that I have ever heard from Jason. He must be prepping for the Astro shows...

I played next and I did an extended feedback build-up before calmly moving into the alternate vocal melody of "In Fives." I was told that it was "loud" and "extreme." It lasted about 18 minutes, and I got a really clear recording, enhanced by the sub-woofer action.

Magas came on shortly after me and he got the crowd moving with his beats and undeniable stage presence. It was great to see/hear some cool Arp Odyssey action going on, too. The highlight may have been "Goose In The Graveyard," just because... Totally cool to see Jim play in a non-club situation. Um... very rare...

Aaron Dilloway was up last, with an unannounced special guest: cellist Hans Buetow of Graveyards fame. I almost do not want to describe what occurred. I sort of just want to keep it in my mind. Safe to say, with modular synth and chaser-light sequencer at hand, we were treated to yet another facet of Aaron's arsenal... something that might have been heard at a progressive-minded art institution, circa 1971, maybe? I am not even sure what terms to use. "Expansive"? "Next level"? Anyway, it was a treat.

Thanks to Henry at The Flowershop, for hosting the show - and to all of the other folks there that helped throughout the night. Thanks to Jason Soliday and Eric Leonardson, for letting us use the full Enemy PA. Thanks to Aaron and Hans and Indra and Aaron, for visiting Chicago. Thanks to James Marlon Magas for taking part. Thanks to everyone who came out to support - since there were at least three other shows/events that split up the potential audience for the night --- and particularly those who actually PAID to see this event (or paid the suggested amount). I feel like I have to say that the take at the door was embarrassingly light to hand over to the out-of-towners.

M.O. LP on eBay

There is a copy of the rare Mauthausen Orchestra "Five Years Of Slaughters" LP currently on eBay