Thursday, February 28, 2013

Autre Ne Veut's Anxiety

Another review up today at Blurt. I really mostly liked the single, "Counting."

(Software/Mexican Summer)

Autre Ne Veut splices the flowery falsettos, the slinky backbeats of classic R&B with the noisy abstractions of indie electronica. The proprietor, Arthur Ashin, captures the style, but not the substance of 1970s icons like Curtis Mayfield and Prince, executing baroque runs and flourishes in flawless whistle range. His stretches sturdy words like "baby" and "lives" into polysyllabic arias, insinuating sexual abandon while mouthing lines that don't quite scan.


Kingsbury Manx's Bronze Age

I've been really liking the new Kingsbury Manx album, the first in six years from the North Carolina psych pop outfit. There's nothing very flashy about the record. It's just sort of warm and engaging...very much in the vein of trippy country bands like Beachwood Sparks.

Anyway, it's out March 5th on Odessa (the label that did that excellent Spider Bags album from last year). You can stream the whole thing here.

This is an older video of "Harness and Wheel".

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Rather liked the slight edge on this folk-poppish album from Canada's Mark Andrew Hamilton.

Thumbtacks + Glue
(Boompa/Fierce Panda)

Mark Andrew Hamilton's fifth full-length as Woodpigeon balances on the knife edge between melancholy and euphoria, its wistful verses giving way to big sweeping climaxes, its guitar-voice austerity leading into full-blown indie-orchestral profusions. Hamilton, originally from Calgary, but more recently a globe-trotting habituƩ of Berlin, Vienna and other European cities, sings softly and wryly a la Elliott Smith and, sometimes, Iron & Wine, but his songs transcend their murmurous wistfulness in densely instrumented pay-offs.

Consider, for instance, "Red Rover, Red Rover, one of the more Elliott Smith-like cuts on this very strong album. Here a tentative verse winds its way through billowy textures of wordless "oohs." Here a child's game serves as both a reminder of simpler days and a lens for examining unequal relationships. Here a delicate, nostalgia-freighted beginning turns boisterous with drums, massed guitars and harmonies. It's a song that never quite escapes its wistfulness, but refuses to be weighted by it and reaches for pop uplift anyway. Even when he sings about "The Saddest Music in the World," Hamilton has a way of turning from diffidence to dizziness, from coffeeshop ennui to melodic overload.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Another wacko idea from Matmos

Loved Matmos' new Marriage of True Minds even before I knew anything about how they made it. But how they made it is bizarre and fascinating and so takes up most of the head-space in this interview...up today at BLurt.

Feb 26, 2013

That nagging itchy sensation you feel in the lower left-hand corner of your head? It's the Baltimore duo's ongoing experiments in telepathy. Be very, very afraid.


"I love that moment in composition when you're trying to get something going and you've got this emptiness and then suddenly from out of nowhere it forms," says Drew Daniel of the experimental electronic duo Matmos, explaining the appeal of the telepathy experiments that formed the basis for this year's A Marriage of True Minds. "It seemed like doing these experiments was a way of having that moment again and again."

He and his partner, Martin Schmidt, have been making strange, beautiful music out of the oddest elements for 20 years now, but they have, arguably, never done anything as unusual as these Ganzfeld-style parapsychological experiments. The two of them led roughly 50 sessions in Baltimore and Oxford, England, in which participants laid down on a mattress, put noise-cancelling headphones over their ears and halved ping pong balls over their eyes.

Daniel, meanwhile, in an adjoining room attempted to convey the theme of A Marriage of True Minds telepathically to them, and the subjects described the images, sounds and idea fragments that came to them as they lay there, blind and deaf. Their impressions were recorded on a video tape, and once they were finished, Schmidt escorted them out of the room - without any discussion of what had happened. Later, Daniel and Schmidt used the video tapes as the basis for music, sometimes literally, interspersing the words and recreating the sounds suggested by the tapes, and other times more liberally, as a prompt for more open-ended composition.


Hey, in other, completely unrelated news, my son Sean got into his first auditioned theater BFA Savannah College of Arts & Design. he auditioned as a walk-in at the Unifieds earlier this month. Yay, Sean! hope there's a couple more.

Devendra's back

By switching to Nonesuch, Devendra Banhart more or less exited my home territory...since they don't send me stuff or even know I exist. Still, I've got my connections and I've been listening to Mala for a couple of weeks. Gotta say, it's damned good, in a mature way, with most of the silliness wrung out. (He's even got short hair now and is, apparently, getting married.)

Check this out...

I've been covering Devendra for a long time, starting with this Splendid feature, which ran between the first and second albums. I covered the second album, Rejoicing in the Hands (still my favorite) at Neumu, and Smokey ROlls Down Thunder Canyon at Dusted and PopMatters. There may be some other record and/or show reviews floating around, but who can remember?

Anyway, Mala is a bit subdued for Devendra, but really lovely and seems to have an interesting element of bite and malice to it. Glad to see the kids all grown up and doing so well. It's out March 12 on Nonesuch.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Another of my favorites for 2013...listened to this about 25 times over the Christmas holidays.

Cerulean Salt
Don Giovanni

Katie Crutchfield’s voice is the kind of thing you love for its flaws, for the gusts of breath that blow in when she reaches for a high note, for the earnest crack when she goes for volume, for the catch in her throat that sounds like it hurts a little, though not enough to stop her from confiding, whispering urgently about life and love and obstacles. Even here, on a second album amped and distorted with rock instruments, Crutchfield sounds casual, private and unstudied. You feel like you’re eavesdropping on a phone call to a sister (maybe Crutchfield’s twin, Allison, of the also excellent Swearin’), as she mutters, rasps and croons. Her observations are poetic, but also rawly specific, like ideas she’s jotted down, worked on but not fussed over, after a fight with her parents or a slightly-off connection with a boyfriend.

Last year’s American Weekend was all Crutchfield, just guitar and that voice, and there are a couple of tracks on Cerulean Salt that follow that template, “Tangled Envisioning,” and the starkly gorgeous closer, “You’re Damaged.” But most of these songs add friction, density and dissonance with feedback fuzzed guitars, bass, drums and occasional harmonies. For this record, three-fourths of Swearin’ chip in — Keith Spencer and Kyle Gilbridge play bass and drums, and Allison Crutchfield sings some back-up.


WXPN is streaming the whole album here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Beat Mark's Howls of Joy

Almost forgot about this one, which ran last Friday at Dusted.

Beat Mark
Howls of Joy
Ample Play

Beat Mark makes echoey, fuzzily distorted guitar pop that will be instantly recognizable to anyone enamored of Crystal Stilts, first album Pains of Being Pure at Heart, early Raveonettes and The Fresh & Onlys. Their boy/girl vocals are drenched in reverb and super-charged with enthusiasm, reaching all-out euphoria a couple of times per song. The guitar is sharp, bright and chiming, though draped with hazy dissonance. It sounds like the happiest music ever to emerge from the bottom of a very deep well, a play of scratchy shadows and well illuminated, addictive hooks. The catch is that the band is French – and singing in English – lending a faint ESL strangeness to their exuberant choruses.

Beat Mark’s founders, Julien Perez and GaĆ«tan Didelot, met as children and have played for some time in a glossy synth-dance outfit called Adam Kesher (the name comes from a character in Mullholland Drive). For Beat Mark, however, they ditched the super-clean, Euro-disco jitteriness of Adam Kesher and explored a grittier set of influences. Swell Maps figured briefly in their early planning sessions, though you can’t hear much of it on Howls of Joy. You can hear their fascination with bands like The Pastels, The Vaselines and The Velvet Underground, however in the dirt-crusted romanticism of their churning songs.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Rodelius and ....Lloyd Cole?

Weird pairing, this new all-electronic album from one of the titans of kraut rock and an artist primarily known for quality, country-tinged pop. It turns out, though, that Lloyd Cole has been experimenting in electronic music for some time and that Hans-Joachim Roedelius previous remixed one of his electronic albums -- without even asking first -- and sent it to him and Cole really liked it, so why not?

Caution, for those ready to be heartbroken, there is no singing, no guitar and really nothing to remind you of Cole's more song-structured work...but plenty to recall Cluster.

The album is called Selected Studies Volume 1 (which rather implies more to come) and it came out Bureau B last Tuesday.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Naked Lunch's All Is Fever

I liked pretty much everything but the single ("The Sun") on this old-style, anthemic rock album, which would be Brit Pop if it weren't from Austria. (Cautionary note: I sort of like U2 and Oasis, too.) My review ran today at Blurt.

All Is Fever

Naked Lunch has been through the wringer, over the last 20-some years moving up one side of the musical industry rollercoaster and down the other, along the way losing label contracts, band members and perhaps, intermittently, hope. All Is Fever, the Austrian band's seventh album, is large in scale and ambition, full of giant, Brit-pop choruses and hyper-clean studio production. Yet it's also tempered with experience, exhibiting a not quite bitter but more than wry acceptance that multi-platinum is no longer an option, no matter how stadium-ready some of the songs appear to be.

Take, for instance, the first single, "Sun" with its Abba-like chimes of keyboards, its timpani flourishes, its synthesized swells of strings. It's got "big" written all over it, the drama building inexorably as it strides through echoing halls of super-clean anthemry. It's the kind of song that Oasis might have shied from, even in mid-Morning Glory pomp. Main man Oliver Welter is apparently enamored enough choose it as a calling card. Far better "Shine On" comes two songs later, not exactly modest, but shadowed with palpable melancholy, at least at first. It's that sad beginning that makes the triumph work, a hint of vulnerability that makes us all root for resolution.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kobo Town's Jumbie in the Jukebox

Jumbie in the Jukebox, the second album from Canadian-based, Trinidad-born calypso revivalist Drew Gonzalves, a.k.a. Kobo Town, is biting and politically acute, but also a pretty good party album...not unusual, apparently, in the calypso tradition.

Said Gonzalves, recently, in an interview with World, "Calypso is the English folk music of urban Trinidad. And the calypsonian, or calypso singer, is like a singing newspaper that comments on the events of the time. His role is halfway between court jester and griot.”

The album is out in April on the Cumbancha label.

You can find some music here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mop Mop's Isle of Magic

Not sure exactly how to describe this hybrid of jazz, funk, afro-beat, soul and electronica -- and probably don't have the grounding to review it, but I have been really enjoying Isle of Magic from the Berlin DJ known as Mop Mop.

The album, out March 4 on Agogo Records, balances the heat of polyrhythmic, polytonal percussion with the cool, cool chill of American jazz and soul. I am particularly liking the instrumental "Phantom of the Panther" which reminds me a lot of certain Mulatu Astlake cuts ("Boogaloo"?) in the way its vibraphone shivers over a smouldery sort of beat. I also have been quite taken with Sara Sayed's Sade-ish turn on "Loa Chant". There's a sampler at the bandcamp, check it out.

Also this video

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

All Everlys, All the time

My review of the really quite pretty collection of late-period Everly Brothers covers from Will Oldham and Dawn McCarthy went up today at Blurt...and I couldn't wait to let you know.

What the Brothers Sang
(Drag City)

What the Brothers Sang pays tribute to The Everly Brothers, who ushered close harmonies into rock and roll, recorded a prodigious string of hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s and inspired the Beatles, the Beach Boys and Simon and Garfunkel. The duo, brothers from Kentucky reared on Sacred Harp singing, largely invented what we now know as country rock. Neil Young, when introducing them at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1986, said that every band he'd ever been in had tried to duplicate the Everly Brothers harmonies and failed. Though their hits dried up in the late 1960s - and their personal lives became snarled in addiction, bad business decisions and one of rock ‘n roll's most long-lasting sibling feuds, their impact as artists has only increased. In the album, Bonnie Prince Billy and Dawn McCarthy cover some well-known songs ("So Sad", "Devoted to You") but mainly stick to less celebrated ones from the brothers' late 1960s singles and albums.


Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys

This came in over the transom today...another of those cracked, large-ensemble, gothically theatrical, alt-Americana freakshows (and I say that as a compliment). They've collaborated with the Liars & Believers experimental theater group on an end of the world musical called 28 Seeds, which looks kind of interesting...

I also really like this particular song, which comes from the upcoming album, Soft Time Traveler.

THey're playing tomorrow at Emerson College's Next Big Thing Festival (mostly theater but some music), so if you live in Boston, check it out. They've even got a code on their web site to get you $10 off admission.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Speedy Ortiz

In another of those Dusted reviews of artists who live within 50 miles of me that I've never met (see Sam Moss), here's Speedy Ortiz, the 1990s guitar-rock-influenced, rock-'n-roll-camp-for-girls informed project of one Sadie Dupuis. I reviewed all three of her recordings so far, but there's another one coming pretty soon, so back to work everyone. No one said you could go home yet.

Speedy Ortiz
The Death of Speedy Ortiz / Taylor Swift b/w Swim Fan / Sports EP
Exploding in Sound

Speedy Ortiz is the Western Mass-based alter-ego of Sadie Dupuis, a sometime rock-in-roll-camp-counselor, poetry student and songwriter who harks back to the ragged, heavily distorted, pre-grunge guitar pop of the 1990s, not just female-centric bands like Belly, Throwing Muses and the Breeders, but also mixed and decidedly male ones — Pixies, Chavez and Polvo.

Dupuis, who used to be in a band called KC Quilty, has gradually built Speedy Ortiz from a one-woman bedroom (or camp cabin, in this case) home recording project into a full-blooded band. The Death of Speedy Ortiz, recorded in 2011, had just Dupuis playing guitar, drums, bass, piano, banjo and cello. The Taylor Swift single and the Sports EP bring together Northampton-area musicians Mike Falcone (ex-Ovlov) on drums, Darl Ferm on bass (ex-Day Sleeper), Matt Robidoux on guitar (he was in the excellent, though mathy Graph), as well as Dupuis herself.


You can listen to all of it at the Speedy Ortiz Bandcamp page.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Warm Soda...more appetizing than it sounds

I think I might have posted about Matt Melton's last band Bare Wires. I think I might have called their "Don't Ever Change" my new favorite song.

Well, his new thing is called Warm Soda, and it's god-damned excellent...really pop but also super scratchy and twitchy and genuine...try to imagine an extremely lo-fi version of Odessey and Oracle and you'll be sort of in the neighborhood.

Here's a bit. What do you think?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Psychic Ills at Dusted

Okay, gotta day that 2013 hasn't blown me away yet, but my three favorite records so far are Psychic Ills' One Track Mind, Lisa Germano's No Elephants and Kinski's Cosy Moments. My review of the Psychic Ills albums went up a day or so ago at Dusted. Have a look if you want:

Psychic Ills
One Track Mind
Sacred Bones

Psychic Ills has been moving away from free-form drone and toward songs for a couple of albums now, starting with 2011’s Hazed Dreams and accelerating with this year’s One Track Mind. If you last checked in around Mirror Eye, you might be surprised by the relative conciseness and structure of the songs, and by the fact that nearly all put their melody in the vocal line. Make no mistake, Psychic Ills is still trippy, still laid-back, still fogged in with effect-driven haze, but it’s more in line with Brian Jonestown Massacre or Royal Baths these days than Bardo Pond or MV+EE.

Consider, for instance, the title track, with its loping, looping guitar line. That’s Tres Warren wandering out on a long tether, spinning the kind of head-nodding licks that arc up and trickle down, that buffet a single note into a mad, dramatic crescendo and then trail off into smoke and dissolution. Underneath, bassist Elizabeth Hart keeps ragged, pick-scratching time, the low notes bobbling and bumping at the under-edge of audibility. There are slow drums, electronic bits, a feedback haze floating in the mix, and over it all, surprisingly clear and dominant, Warren singing, a murmur but not a monotone, the vocals drifting out over lazy cumulous clouds of guitar. The singing’s not a texture, but the wind-up spring that drives the whole song, though slowly, deliberately, without any angst or aggression. It’s like The Jesus and Mary Chain at a hallucinogenic crawl, or Satanic Majesty-era Stones heard through a sandstorm.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pissed Jeans interview

So I'm not sure I'll ever have another feature at PW, since they're streamlining their website (and eliminating most writing, especially by outside freelancers), but this Pissed Jeans piece seems like a pretty good way to go out. The album Honeys is super fun, too.

Pissed Jeans, Philly’s Crustiest Punk Foursome, Grows Up

By Jennifer Kelly

Boys to men: Pissed Jeans has come a long way since meeting up in their teens. They’re all dads now, and their new music reflects it.

"It’s not that you have to get into a frame of mind. It’s more a chance to get it out,” says Pissed Jeans’ Matt Korvette, when asked how a young father and insurance claims adjuster transforms himself on stage into one of rock ‘n’ roll’s least inhibited, fullest-throated channelers of rage. “It’s like things are always brewing around and floating around in my brain, but I can’t, at Dunkin’ Donuts, just start screaming.”

Korvette and his bandmates have come a long way since meeting up in their mid-teens in Allentown, making a sloppy, funny, fully-amplified racket that sat at the intersection of hardcore punk, garage and straight-ahead rock. Now entering their 30s—and all of them with young children at home—the band hasn’t turned down the volume or tamped down the distortion. Their latest album, Honeys, includes a short, all-feedback track called “Something About Mrs. Johnson,” which was recorded by bassist Randy Huth and guitarist Brad Fry when the two were barely teenagers. It fits in remarkably well with tracks laid down decades later, ragers like “You’re Different (In Person)” and “Cathouse.” 


Read more

Funny (and somewhat sick) video

Frontier Ruckus is maybe too much of a good thing?

I suspect that records are getting longer...this one was at least 30 minutes too long, though impressive in all other ways.

Eternity of Dimming
(Quite Scientific)

Frontier Ruckus' Matthew Milia sets dazzlingly impacted lines of poetry atop the homespun sway of Americana, his verbiage razor precise descriptions of home, family and memory in suburban Michigan, his music a loose, communal evocation of a rustic past. There are said to be more than 5,500 words on this 20-song double album, yet not a one is out of place.

Milia, who studied poetry at University of Michigan, has mastered the casual drop of initial caps cultural references - JC Penney, Dairy Queen, Little Caesar - within a rapid-fire flow of imagery, and he's especially good at internal rhymes, where sounds match up not just at the end of lines but within them as well. He sings offhandedly, in a cracked rural voice, in intricate patterns and rhythms (say the phrase "shrink-wrapped cosmetics and cardboard aesthetics" aloud to get an idea), and then pulls up short to loft an existential conundrum right in the middle of the flow. Follow him into Dairy Queens and through People magazines in the title track, and you'll end up smack dab against the meaning of life and the fear of death, as he warbles about "an eternity of dimming, you turn to me I'm slipping, the grain-i-ness is winning every night."


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Daptone's super soul revue

The mighty Daptone's records is headed to SXSW, hosting a party on Thursday, March 14, which will showcase Sharon Jones (and the Daptones, obv.), Charles Bradley, the Menahan Street Band, the Budos Band, Sugarman 3 and the Como Mamas. If you're in Austin -- and I sadly will not be -- you should totally go because nobody puts on a better show than Ms. Jones and the Budos Band is pretty fucking excellent as well. (Can't vouch for all the others, but I'd guess they emphasize the live element if they're on Daptone.)

If you're not going, well, that sucks, but there is still a free Daptone Super Soul Revue Sampler, which I am listening to right now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ubu Roi

You probably already know that I'm a huge fan of Pere Ubu (ahem, the blog title?), but it's been a while since any of Thomas' work has grabbed me the way that Lady from Shanghai did. It's a very good record, intriguing to listen to as it is to think about.

Pere Ubu
Lady From Shanghai

“Thanks” opens this 17th Pere Ubu album in a spasmodic, staccato burst of robot disco, a locked-in groove of bass and drums, propulsive yet oddly drained of hedonism. It’s a cover, more or less, of Anita Ward’s strobe-era mega-hit “Ring My Bell,” abstracted and intellectualized, and it makes perfect sense when David Thomas comes in querulous and tetchy as ever, singing “You can go to he-ell-ell,” where the chorus should be. Pere Ubu — born in the twilight of disco and the earliest glimmerings of post-punk, named for Alfred Jarry’s monstrous king, unamenable to outside strictures but girdled by the most extreme sort of internal rigors and disciplines — is back at it, upending everything you thought you knew about rock ‘n’ roll.

Lady From Shanghai reconvenes a very seasoned Ubu line-up — bassist Michele Temple, drummer Steve Mehlman, Keith Moline on guitar, all members of the band for the last two decades. (Gagarin, the U.K. electronics and keyboards eccentric who tours with Ubu, shows up for some eerily menacing piano dissonance on “Another One (Oh Maybelline),” and Darryl Boon blows out some truly disturbing trills and runs on his clarinet in “Thanks,” but mostly it’s the regulars.) They are super-tight and competent, but with an undercurrent of madness and chaos, a well-oiled machine that is infinitely more interesting because it might blow up at any time.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Oh yeah, weren't the Grammys last night?

I don't thump the desk and say, "yes, yes!" to John Caramanica very often, but he got the backward-looking nature of the Grammys just right in his Times piece this morning.

My son really likes Fun. and Mumford & Sons, for the perfectly acceptable reason that their songs were on heavy play all summer, a summer which I believe he ranks as his best so far and which involved a lot of very sweaty dances with girls smart enough for him to actually consider liking...He's also quite taken with the Lumineers.

I have hard time arguing with him, since this is exactly how pop music is supposed to be consumed, enjoyed and identified with...but I'm not personally crazy about really anyone who won a Grammy last night.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Port St. Willow...god-damned beautiful

I missed this the first time, looks like around the middle of 2012, but now Downtown is re-releasing Port St. Willow's Holiday and all of us slacking, not-paying-attention, anti-hipsters get a second crack at gorgeous "Amawalk." I'm hearing Jeff Buckley...your mileage may vary.

By the way, we are bracing for one to three feet of snow tonight and tomorrow, so bear with me if I disappear for a while.

Also, not sure why this is happening, but a ton of people have been lately checking out my defensive, ridiculous reaction to an ILX lambasting a couple of years back. (Even now, every time I like a record that I'm pretty sure won't make a ripple, I hear a shrill, male voice saying "The Soft Pack? The Soft Pack?" indignantly. Kent Lambert told me the best thing is to hear these criticisms in the voice of the comics book guy on the Simpsons.) So, anyway, glad people are enjoying (and re-enjoying) my trauma...I was so shell-shocked that I named the post "Also some reactions to my mid-year" when it was clearly my year-end. Oh well.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


How did I miss this? It's exactly what I like.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dream Boat

Dream Boat, a duo out of the Athens, GA Elephant 6 scene, has a really nice album of mildly psychedelic folk, full of dreamy harmonies, altered guitar tones and shreds and bits of stringed instruments. The two musicians are Page Campbell (who has done work with Dark Meat) and Dan Donahue (who has contributed to music from E6 mainstays including Elf Power and Of Montreal and also Bear in Heaven). Eclipsing has been out since late 2012, but I don't think I'm the only one who missed it. Shame, it's good stuff.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Sometime Jonsi and Swords of Chaos bassist Ulfur has a new album coming on Western Vinyl called White Mountain and it's goddamned gorgeous. He's collaborating with Alexandra Sauser-Monnig of Mountain Man on this one. It's her voice, I believe, that has been manipulated and filtered in such interesting ways in this audio clip. It reminds me, a little bit, of Mia Doi Todd's work with Dntel.

There's also a lovely, rather ominous video of "Black Shore"

The album's out March 5.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

More music tomorrow but...

For now, we're home and it seemed like a pretty productive trip.

Sean didn't make callback at DePaul, had a pretty good audition at Syracuse, picked up a walk in at Savannah College of the Arts this morning which went well and, it sounds like, pretty much nailed his audition at Roosevelt CCPA. So now we wait and see.

I have to say, though, that I never felt like he wasn't in the hunt, that he didn't belong there, that he was outclassed in any way. We were all pretty lukewarm about DePaul anyway, since they give next to no financial aid, and the audition was very focused on physical comedy and improv, which Sean is not exactly bad at, but it's not his best thing. I was saying to him afterwards that any school that flat-out doesn't want to hear a Shakespeare monologue is probably not the right one for him.

Anyway, it was certainly interesting.

Also the Wayne Shorter thing was amazing, and I don't really know enough about either jazz or classical music to say much more than that.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Wayne Shorter's Prometheus Unbound

Unbelievably cool, our friend Eriko Sato (who is in the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble), has gotten us comp tickets for the Wayne Shorter/Orpheus concert tonight at Stern Hall.

Here's a clip of the piece from a few years ago at New England Conservatory.

Prometheus Unbound from New England Conservatory on Vimeo.

Those of you who remember my Sonny Rollins/MOG debacle will excuse me from any sort of critical account of this, but I am super psyched to go.

Sean can't go because he's got to be up early and functional tomorrow for his final (CCPA) audition.

Just got word that he did well at DePaul. I'm about to head down to the studio for my shift as supporting parent.

Buke and Gase interview

day two of auditions -- DePaul and Syracuse today. Meanwhile, my Buke and Gase interview ran at Blurt yesterday.


They're unorthodox in approach, complex in structure, and open-ended enough in delivery to defy categorization. Yet the Brooklyn duo just wants to connect with you.


"I don't know if I would call making things - or fixing things - a lost art," says Arone Dyer, a sometime bicycle repair professor who constructed and now maintains the "buke" she plays in Buke & Gase.

The buke, a small-sized, six-stringed instrument originally built out of a baritone ukulele, is one of two unusual instruments in the Buke & Gase repertoire. Aron Sanchez, her partner, plays a Gase, which is a sort of bass/guitar hybrid. He got his start in instrument construction making equipment for the Blue Man Group.

"I think that only people who are really, really motivated would fix something that they work on," Dyer continues. "A particular kind of person is probably more attracted to taking something apart and putting it back together and building something new."

Buke & Gase is unusual in a lot of ways, from the odd-numbered time signatures that pace their work, to the eccentric, jittery sounds that come out of their hand-fashioned instruments, to the facility with which both principals handle welding tools. But perhaps the most singular thing about this duo is that last characteristic: they are perfectly willing to deconstruct their musical ideas, strip them down to essentials, turn them inside out and then build them back up again. Their latest album, General Dome (Brassland), is as intricate and quixotic as their instruments.