Friday, July 26, 2013

FFFoxy Podcast #22 with Chris Berry of Soft Abuse Records

Walter De Maria "Cricket Music" (excerpt) Drums and Nature CD (self-released)
[No Artist] Just For the Hell Of It 7" (no label)
Roach Clip "Discovery Park" Discovery Park LP (All Gone)
Butch Willis & The Rocks "The Gardens Outside" b/w "I'll Never Be the Same Again" 7" (Love Records)
Endless Boogie "Taking Out the Trash" Long Island LP (No Quarter)
John Bender "Untitled" Packing List: Short Side 1982 LP (Record Sluts)
Mike Cooper "Each Day At Dusk" White Shadows in the South Seas CD (Room40)
Cured Pink "Body Body Body I Need It I Need It I Need It" b/w "Amnesia (As Answer)" 7" (Black Petal)
Grim "Asura Hand" Love Song LP (Art Into Life)
Les Zarjaz "One Charming Nite" b/w "My Lady Owns a Falle Out Zone" 7" (Creation)
Bobby Brown "The Boy A Sailor" Prayers Of A One Man Band LP (Destiny)
Axemen "Hey Alice!" Derry Legend LP (Flying Nun)
Mayo Thompson "Fortune" Corky's Debt To His Father LP (Drag City)
Matthew De Gennaro "Alley Vionist" Chuang Tzu Motherfucker LP (*forthcoming on Soft Abuse)
Mad Nanna "The Nectarine Tree" b/w "I Wanna See You" 7" (*forthcoming on Soft Abuse)
It Hurts "33 Tears" b/w "Earth, Sun, Moon, Us" 7" (Soft Abuse)
Blackout Beach "Broken Braying Sound of the Donkey's Cry" Blues Trip LP (Soft Abuse)
Date Palms "Dusted Down" The Dusted Sessions LP (Thrill Jockey)
Jack Treese "Casimir" S/T LP (RCA-France)
Ray Harlowe and Gyp Fox "My Lucky Star" First Rays LP (Water Wheel)
Anonymous "Sweet Lliac" Inside the Shadow LP (Machu Picchu Ltd.)
Southern Comfort "Silver and Gold" b/w "Don't Cry No Tears" 7" (Black Petal)
Hurray "I'm So Glad You Can Depend On Me" b/w "Anytime You Want" 7" (self-released)
Henry Flynt / C.C. Hennix "Warriors of the Dharma" Dharma Warriors LP (Locust Music)

For the third consecutive summer, Chris Berry of Soft Abuse Records out of Minneapolis has joined us on the podcast show. We never really ask in advance what he's going to be playing; we simply hand over the show to him in good faith, knowing full well that it will be two hours filled with choice selections from his personal collection that are both timely and obscure-as-hell. This time around, he came armed with a box full of records that ran the gamut from private press beach bum rarities to contempo Australian subterranean spew to Herschell Gordon Lewis incidental set speak. Sound confusing? Give it a listen - it'll all make sense. Visit the Soft Abuse website for more information.  

As discussed on the show, Mad Nanna will be touring the U.S. during the month of August and in Europe during the following month. Tour dates are available HERE and are being updated on a regular basis. Please contact Chris if you'd like help out with some of the currently unconfirmed dates.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

FFFreakout #372 (Aired on 7/25/13)

Black Tambourine "Throw Aggi Off the Bridge" from Complete Recordings
Great Valley "Cranberry Lake" from Continental Lunch
Happy Jawbone Family Band "Fireflies Made Out of Dust" from OK Midnight, You Win
Mad Nanna "My Two Kids" from b/w I'm Not Coming Here 7"
Peter Jefferies "Likewise" from The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World
Karen Dalton "In My Own Dream" from In My Own Time
Sun City Girls "The Iman" from Funeral Mariachi
Nihiti "Ghost and Lovers" (National Park System RIP mix) from Ghosts and Versions
Merle Haggard "Workin' Man Blues" from Greatest Hits
Johnny Cash (w/ Tom Petty) "The Running Kind" from Unearthed
Merle Haggard "Cocaine Blues" from Working In Tennessee
Bruce McCulloch "Daves I Know" from Shame-Based Man
David Bowie "Valentines Day" from The Next Day
The Jam "David Watts" from All Mod Cons
David Lee Roth "Yankee Rose" from Eat'em and Smile
Soul Asylum "Can't Even Tell" from Black Gold: The Best of Soul Asylum
Los Straitjackets feat. Dave Alvin "California Sun" from Sing Along with Los Straightjackets

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ashley Paul & Eli Keszler interview

The following is a previously unpublished interview I had conducted with 
Ashley Paul and Eli Keszler from early last year, which was a continuation 
of a feature I had originally done on Keszler for Foxy Digitalis. 
Both artists, of course, have gone on to produce some of their most accomplished and 
well-received works since this interview was completed, with Paul's Line the Clouds 
being one of this year's standout releases thus far. Check out their Rel Records website 
for more information.

Partners and frequent collaborators, Ashley Paul and Eli Keszler, have been producing a steady stream of fascinating experimental sounds over the past few years through their various solo, duo, and other collaborative efforts that have appeared on their own tastefully curated REL imprint, as well as on such labels as ESP-Disk, Type, Orange Milk, and PAN. Both Paul and Keszler investigate acoustic-based sound from a multitude of angles that draws from elements of free jazz, modern composition, sound art, and even abstract songcraft. We had a chance to ask Ashley and Eli some questions about their individual musical and artistic development and how they feel they have been influenced be each other's work.

Ashley Paul

When did you pick up playing the saxophone? Was this the first instrument that you took an interest in?

I have been playing the saxophone since I was 10. I started piano at 3 and continued to study that pretty seriously through high school, but saxophone became my main instrument the second I picked it up...maybe even before…

I know that you had studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston. What were your specific interests that led you into that setting? How did your time there shape the music that you are making now, both as a performer and as a composer?

I had been living in New York for several years and really needed time to just write and play and think through what was in my head. It was to difficult to do that with life happening. I needed to go back to school to get all that in be challenged and pushed and to play music all day. NEC allowed me to do all those things. I also met both Anthony Coleman and Eli Keszler there, two if my favorite people, both of whom totally changed my life in various ways, so that's not bad either.

How does your approach differ from your solo work to say what you do in Aster or Paul and Maurey?

Well, they are totally different - but not that different at all, really. I have to think a lot less with my solo work. I try to follow my instincts as much as possible and when I collaborate with other people there is much more advanced preparation. I have to collect the right words to communicate my ideas and that is often a major challenge. I don’t think about music in words, it is kind of sounds...and feelings. To try and describe, in language, what I hear in my mind is so hard. That’s why I play all the instruments on my solo records, I just want to get it done and out there. Playing with other people forces me to give up the reigns. Its fun and hard and frustrating and really satisfying when you realize you've made something together you could have never done on your own.

What went into the recording of your new Slow Boat album, maybe in comparison to your To Much Togethers release?

Slow Boat feels like a big change. I don't really know why. Leave Mine may have alluded to its coming — Eli tells me it's not so different. Things just felt more settled on Slow Boat. It is much more lyrical and has less (hardly any) saxophone and clarinet and a lot more voice. I didn't really plan it that way, it just sort of fell together. I think of each album as one complete piece. I often record much more material than what actually ends up on the record, saving tracks for later…or never…but put together the album as one work. I’m not crazy about albums that have a little of everything, they lose there intensity. I like them to flow and have a singular concept. In that sense, both albums are the same.

Given how closely you have worked together over the past few years on several collaborations, I’m just wondering how Eli’s music and approach has influenced your own work?

Eli and I could not have more different work styles. It is funny, really. We are polar opposites. I admire his work ethic immensely. I think the thing I take the most from him is that he just keeps going. He is always plowing away at something. He is a fountain of ideas. I watch him and can't help be inspired. I, on the other hand, often wait for inspiration and then become completely manic and work like crazy, can't think about anything else until it’s done. Watching Eli definitely keeps me going.

REL releases all come in these beautiful handmade, silkscreened editions, many of which I know that you’ve had a hand in. Has visual art been something that you had training in over the years or was this something that you picked on your own along the way?

I have been making art for as long as I can remember. My mother is a painter and showed me things from a very young age. I began art taking classes early and studied different mediums through my twenties. I love making things and find it really important to have music packaging be as detailed as the music itself. Its one unit to me. When Eli and I met we had that in common and almost from day one, started making packaging together. He had just started REL so I just hopped on board and helped.

What’s the status of your own Wagtail Records?

Over the summer Wagtail started doing limited edition screen printed bags and shirts. I am asking different artist to submit work and I print them. The first round was by Eli Keszler and they are amazing! I have couple releases coming up too. First ever Wagtail 7" by Reuben Son. It's really good, I'm super excited about it. Just waiting (and waiting and waiting) for them to get pressed and I'll be releasing a new solo something...cassette maybe…too, in late March.

Eli Keszler

When did you pick up playing the drums? Was this the first instrument that you took an interest in?

The first instrument I ever played was the piano and then I briefly switched to cello. When I was a kid it was pretty tough for me to read music and commit to learning an instrument like that. But I grew up in a really musical home. My father played a lot of instruments and there was always tons of guitars around – he was in the Peace Corps in Brazil and brought back lots of percussion - and had accordions and violins and all sorts of stuff lying around, so I used to mess around with this and that. But the drums were the first instrument that I ever really took to, I think because I was really an energetic kid and was into running around and all that so it clicked. That was around when I was 8 or 9.

I know that you had studied at the New England Conservatory, so I was wondering if it was during your time spent there that you began to look at a ‘drum kit’ beyond the typical rhythmic capabilities and towards something that you could use to create various textures and actually compose with?

Well, I never really hit on anything, let’s say, until I was there, but it was something I was working on beforehand. I grew up in Brookline, really close to Boston, so I could go into the city whenever I wanted and I used to go see a lot of experimental shows and noise shows – there’s just a lot of concerts going on there – and so I used to just go and check out a lot of things. Even though I wasn’t actively participating in it – I was thinking a lot about it – and I was playing at the time in all different types of bands and more conventional things. At the same time, I was really discovering all of this experimental music, both from concerts and going to the library and meeting people and listening to records. So by the time I got to NEC, I was trying to sort out all of these different things, like how do I balance the sort of energy that I really admire in rock and punk and all these things that I grew up with, with some of the more sonic and sparse elements of other types of music that I was starting to check out. And at NEC there is a lot of contemporary music being played - like Xenakis and things like that - and I used to go see those and it opened up my mind.

I was really working with the resources I had, so I started thinking more about the drums as a way of communicating my ideas versus just as backing. I think as I get more resources and can work with more and more, I’ll continue developing other areas, but the drums are like a home base for me. When I’m composing, I rarely think about “the drums.” When I’m making a record it’s about the music as a whole. Generally, the drums play a big part in that, but that’s only circumstantial and could easily change depending on what I’m interested in accomplishing.

How does your approach differ from your solo work to say what you do in Red Horse or Aster? Are these collaborative efforts generally more improvised than your solo material?

I would say that they’re not. Both of those projects are very collaborative, especially Aster is particularly collaborative because Ashley and I are working on it. I mean, I think there are a lot of connections, but I think there are some real big differences too. There is a little bit more nuance involved in putting the material together of Aster in a way that feels right to both of us. With Red Horse, we can generally work on the set-up and kind of agree on what the layout of the piece is going to be and then just do it. I think it gets a little bit trickier, especially with the new material that Aster is working on, combining some of this more aggressive, almost high-pitched experimental sound with more song-like structures that we’re doing. It can be a bit more complicated.

As far as improvising, there are elements of all parts that are opened, but in both of those groups, and definitely my solo group, I just don’t think that improvisation is exactly the word to describe it. It’s very much dealing with what’s going to happen and what’s going to happen next and what material will get the idea across in the most fluid way. We are planning from left to right always, and trying to develop something new. So much of what I do comes from speaking, and analyzing what’s happening around the music. I think it feels very natural when working on projects to do the same. Generally, improvisation is a funny thing for me. I love a lot of improvised music, but it seems to me like a lot of the great improvisers are much more like composers than they realize. So it’s a little bit tricky. I think that both groups deal with composition. With my own work, I notate and I keep tons of journals and sometimes if it’s the right musicians, I’ll just give them the score, if that’s the right way to work with them. If I had an idea with Aster, that just wouldn’t work. We work so closely together and the ideas just all build up organically together. With Red Horse also, it’s kind of the same thing. The nature of the presentation and material changes because of working with another person, but as far as the level of improvisation, I think it’s not so dissimilar in a lot of ways honestly.

I was really impressed by your partner and collaborator Ashley Paul’s To Much Togethers album from last year. To my ears, this is just a major work in so many ways. I’m just wondering how has Ashley’s music and approach influenced your own work?

It’s pretty hard for me to articulate Ashley’s influence on what I do, since she has really been around nearly from the beginning of what I’ve been working on. Her incredible ability to work with such little material and produce such strong results. I admire her ability to work with seemingly basic means and produce such powerful results; a little sound can produce an entire song or spring a whole melody form for her. A lot of things I love so much in her music are almost non-existent in what I do.

Also, on another level, her attention to detail has been such a big part of making REL’s designs possible, since she has awesome skills at printing, and crafts in general. A lot of the finer REL artwork is led by her. A lot of the printing, at this point, is done by her, while I organize the materials and all of that.

Musically, or creatively, I always shoot what I’m working on off of her and she’ll listen, say a strong word or two and leave, and I take the work off into the direction that it needs to go, really completing the process for me and making it what it is. She is always involved as a second set of ears and eyes for my projects.

When did you and Ashley actually start playing together as Aster? Was this sort of an outlet to put into practice some of the ideas and approaches you were both developing at NEC?

Ashley and I started playing together as soon as we began hanging out. I wouldn't say that our sound was formed in school, but we picked up a lot of new information and had some really supportive professors while we were there. We did take a lot in from different angles and tried to put it together, including everything that interested us rather then rejecting because they didn't fit in on first glance, or because other people weren't trying to do it. I think for both of us it was a relief that we could do what we wanted to do in a group, and not feel that we needed to take some specific approach just because 'that’s the way it is.'

I’m curious how the crotales become such an integral part of your sound?

One of the best things at NEC, which is really underused is the instrument library. You can go into the library and check out virtually any instrument from any where in the world you could possibly imagine. I had stopped playing the drums for about 6 months, experimenting with tons of ideas, trying to come up with something I felt good about. I was trying out a lot of different techniques and I stumbled upon the crotales. They immediately became an essential part of my music. They have incredible sustain and volume, and can be played flipped over to get a variety of clean pitches, in addition to being able to be bowed to create sustain. It extended the sound I was imagining coming from my playing, but couldn't sort out how to get there. They also solved a crucial volume problem for me. Because of their register and acoustic strength, they allow me to clear electric instruments in terms of volume while playing acoustically. Oddly enough, Ashley started using them at the same time before we started playing together.

You’ve mentioned elsewhere that musically you are interested in acoustic-based sound or in working with the rawness of natural materials. It seems like you have similar interests in terms of the artwork that you create for REL; there is a very organic quality to your visual art that seems to be inspired by nature or your natural surroundings. Would you characterize your artwork work along these lines?

I would say yes to this. But, similar to my music even though I engage with natural materials and am interested in natural patterns, I don't reject technology as some sort of unnatural phenomenon. I try to look at things in a way so that the work forms its own type of criticism. I try to take in little details that are sitting on the surface. Also from a distance there overall quality. These ideas formed simultaneously in my music and visual work. You can't call yourself an environmentalist or say your interested in nature to me without taking seriously the possibility that all the trash and culture is the environment. Real things interest me, and I can't help but get frustrated at the way we tend to engage. I'm very critical of the way we engage with technology. Electronic sounds just don't hit my body the same way, thats why I use acoustic material. I try in my work to approach this in a non idealized way, that doesn't deny the way things are but attempts a different type of connection with materials.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

FFFreakout #371 (Aired on 7/18/13)

Moon "Card Crane Ha" from S/T
Vitamins "No Notion of Anything Only Whatever What" from Motions
The Sweets "She Says" from Just the Dudes / Eddie Murphy split
Orchard Thief "Water Cross" from First Dimension Park
Maharadja Sweets "Red Bellows" from In An Orange Milky Way
Hurricanes of Love "Goin' to Minneapolis" from Night Tyme Vybes
Microdot "You Got Me In a Bind" from Middle-Age Dating
Bitchin Bajas "Intervals" (excerpt) from Krausened
Bob Dylan "Subterranean Homesick Blues" from Bringing It All Back Home
My Morning Jacket "Wonderful (The Way I Feel)" from Circuital
Wilco "Handshake Drugs" from A Ghost Is Born
The Stooges "The Departed" from Ready To Die
Vampire Weekend "Diane Young" from Modern Vampires of the City
Talking Heads "Crosseyed and Painless" from Remain in Light

FFFreakout #370 (Live on 7/11/13)

Gushing Cloud "Prison Swelter" from Beat Wings in Vain
Can "Deadly Doris" from The Lost Tapes 1968-1975
Trouble Funk "Get Down With Your Get Down" from Early Singles
Scrotum Poles "Pick the Cats Eyes Out" from Messthetics Greatest Hits: The Sounds of D.I.Y. 1977-80
The Dream Syndicate "Then She Remembers" from The Days of Wine and Roses
Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments "Quarrel With the World" from Bait and Switch
Blue Cheer "Just A Little Bit" from Outsideinside
The Charlatans UK "Weirdo" from Melting Pot
Serge Gainbourg "Requiem Pour Un Con" from Comic Strip
Lush "Sweetness and Light" (My Bloody Valentine remix) from Sweetness and Light
The Replacements "Can't Hardly Wait" (alternate version) from Pleased To Meet Me
Queens of the Stone Age "Another Love Song" from Songs for the Deaf
Ska-talites "Ringo's Theme Ska" from Foundation Ska
The Temptations "Cloud Nine" from Psychedelic Soul
The Raveonettes "Veronica Fever" from Whip It On

Thursday, July 11, 2013

FFFoxy Podcast #21: Kendra Steiner Editions feature with Bill Shute

Bill Shute and Anthony Guerra “Marion, Texas” from Subtraction
(Interview segment)
Tom Crean “Improvisations on Transcription “Boom Boom Pow part 1” from Wired Love
Sprills of Ore “DMBBWD” from Time Mirrors
Alfred 23 Harth “Track #12” from Micro-Saxo-Phone: Edition IV
Belltonesuicide “Track #9” from Non-Conformist Sessions
Forbes Graham “So Off the Hook” from Return: The Journey
(Interview segment)
Book of Shadows “Dragonfly Children” from Chimaera
Parashi “Corrach” from Zone of Alienation
Fossils “Track #3 (Farr Compositions)” from Bells and Gulls
Matt Krefting “The Tree” from Sweet Days of Discipline
Ernesto Diaz-Infante “X” from Emilio
Unmoor “Rotterdam” from Night Driver
Derek Rogers “Can’t find your voice unless you make a lot of fucking noise . . . “ from Born Into Systems
(Interview segment)
Bill Shute “Digression: Lines For Lennie Tristano” from Junk Sculpture From the New Gilded Age
(Interview segment & reading of an excerpt from Worried Men and Wooden Soldiers)
Marcus Rubio/Bill Shute “The Twenty Fifth Life of Alcyone” from Only the Imprint of an Echo Remains
Marcus Rubio/Bill Shute “New Vessel” from Only the Imprint of an Echo Remains 

On this edition of the FFFoxy Podcast, we focused on the work of the San Antonio-based micro-press, Kendra Steiner Editions, run by writer and poet, Bill Shute. Starting in 2006, Kendra Steiner Editions began publishing small runs of hand-assembled chapbooks by contemporary poets. A few years later they also started issuing forth a wide range of forward-thinking experimental music on cd-rs, with releases by several artists we have featured on our show over the years, including Rambutan, Parashi, Derek Rogers, Ernesto Diaz-Infante and others. We spoke with Bill about both the music and poetry sides of Kendra Steiner Editions, discussing his own work and motivations as a poet and publisher. We also played several tracks from new and forthcoming releases and heard some of Bill's own works, including a preview of his latest poem, Worried Men and Wooden Soldiers. Please visit the Kendra Steiner Editions website for more information and to order their currently available titles.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jandek, "The Song of Morgan" review by Bill Shute of Kendra Steiner Editions

We are in the process of putting together the next edition of the FFFoxy Podcast, which will be a feature on the Kendra Steiner Editions micro-press out of San Antonio, Texas, run by the inimitable writer and poet, Bill Shute. In preparation for that feature, Bill has graciously allowed us to re-publish his recent review of the massive 9-CD box set of solo piano performances by Jandek entitled "The Song of Morgan". Like all Corwood Industries releases, this can be purchased directly at a reasonable price ($32 U.S./$33 outside of U.S.) from the most reliable mail order service around: 
Corwood Industries
P.O. Box 15375
Houston, TX 77220

Now that I’ve had a chance to listen to all nine discs of the new Jandek solo piano box set, THE SONG OF MORGAN, I wanted to get a brief review up. This release has generated a lot of interest and discussion, and while someone should (and surely will) do a more in-depth and analytical discussion of the set disc-by-disc, I can provide a general commentary on the topography of the set now that I’ve flown over the entire territory. 

Jandek has been moving more into instrumental music with some of his recent studio releases; however, since we do not know if these albums come out in recording order, and we do not know what unreleased sessions may have been recorded between what’s released, I’m hesitant to see any trend here, except that the Representative From Corwood is finding enjoyment in exploring the possibilities of the music half of the Jandek project. After all, he’s entitled to do that. His collected lyrics (and I’m not even counting the live shows) would probably fill a 500-page poetry book, so there’s a huge body of diverse work there to explore. 

I’ve spent a lot of time with the Helsinki Saturday album (Corwood 796, and still available), recorded live in Finland and featuring Jandek’s piano with harp accompaniment, and that beautiful album brings to mind the work of Erik Satie for many, a minimal yet playful piano music that stays within well-defined parameters but is quite expressive within those self-imposed boundaries. There is some of that on the nine discs of The Song of Morgan, particularly on Disc One, but as we move through the collection, there is a much broader dynamic range here. 

Chopin would seem to be the main touchstone (and I did not even make the “Nocturne” connection until I googled Chopin to brush up on his work before writing this), and I’m also reminded during some passages of 19th Century American parlor music, but this is not music constructed in the manner of a Chopin…or even in the manner of a John Cage or a Morton Feldman. As always, I have the feeling that, like his guitar-based music, Jandek’s is a pure creation, NOT an imitation or composite of “influences.” 

As I listen to these nine pieces, each one clocking in at around an hour, I am hearing a series of “piano explorations”….it’s as if the performer sits down at the piano, begins developing a phrase, plays around with it while gradually making his way up or down the keyboard, and evolves into a related passage, taking that in a new direction and seeing where it goes, etc. The method reminds me of a pianistic “walk in the woods,” stopping to explore some areas in more detail, slowing down the pace here, speeding up the pace there, observing a gentle stream, pulling back and taking a view of a massive vista. But not winding up where he began…not working in a THEME–DEVELOPMENT AND VARIATIONS ON THEME AND MOTIFS–THEME format. What I’m reminded of most, actually, is the way Gertrude Stein will develop one of her texts such as “If I Told Him,” where she’ll repeat a phrase with some slight changes, then introduce a new word or two, and then follow the possibilities of that new combination, then add some new elements into the mix, and keep doing that and seeing where the textual journey takes her. If you can imagine a musical journey similar to that, played by someone who respects the classical piano traditions of the 1800′s and early 1900′s, but who comes to the piano with an outsider’s fresh eye, then maybe you have some idea of what you’ll be getting here. 

Just imagine The Representative From Corwood in some dimly-lit practice room in some dimly-lit back hall on a Sunday morning in the recesses of the music department of a university, no one else around, and we hear his unhurried “explorations” spilling out into the hall, the performer performing only for himself, not aware of any listeners, just exploring for his own sense of discovery. 

Not all of the nine albums consist of one uninterrupted piece. At least two of them (4 and 8 and 9?) have more than one section separated by a pause, and I’m not sure if these consist of separate pieces presented together or are simply pauses during the session as The Representative From Corwood decides to start anew in different territory. 

There is a good amount of stylistic variety within the parameters of the Jandek piano method—for instance, Disc 8 contains a dissonant section about 2/3 of the way through that could come from a Cecil Taylor album–and parts of Disc 9, from a distance at least, have the “sound” of Chopin-style elegant piano music. Disc 9 is also presented in separate–and thematically quite distinct–sections…and it ends in a dramatic fashion, as you’d expect such a piece to end. You could probably slip Disc 9 on at a party, and anyone who wasn’t a music student would not notice anything odd about the music being played. 

So my description of this album would be to call it “improvised non-traditional piano explorations on a VERY large canvas.” It is beautiful to listen to, intellectually interesting, and contains/evokes a rich set of emotions. Should you buy this? Hey, if you’ve read this far, clearly you are enough of a Jandek person to want to explore the set on your own. And at less than $4 a disc, how can you go wrong? Take a date out to a movie on a Friday night and SPLIT a drink and a box of popcorn, and you’ve spent more than what this massive set will cost you. 

This album was a dramatic move for Corwood, and I’d have to call it an unqualified success. It’s Jandek’s version of Keith Jarrett’s THE SUN BEAR CONCERTS. It’s an album that people will be talking about in 20 years. It’s epic…and it’s great listening. In fact, this and MAZE OF THE PHANTOM would be excellent entryways into Jandek’s art for the novice. 

I may add more to this review after further listening and study, but really, you should come to your own conclusion. I just hope that you’ll take the plunge and get your own copy… 

Oh, one final comment. Jandek performed a very well received solo piano concert in Oporto, Portugal on January 10, 2009. As a fan of the Helsinki album, I asked Corwood if the Oporto show had been recorded. Yes it had, Corwood replied. So when we reach January 2009 in the gradual release schedule of Jandek live shows, perhaps we’ll be treated to ANOTHER solo piano recital…

Monday, July 08, 2013

FFF Guest Mix #2: "Ruralism vs. The Cosmos" by Ross Baker

Our latest guest mix was put together by UK-based artist, Ross Baker. Ross has been releasing music in one format or another over the past decade, first under the name Second Thought and more recently under his given name. His collage approach to music-making marries elements of ambient electronic music with acoustic instrumentation and snatches of found sound, all of which can heard within this seamless mix he assembled for us that includes a few of his own tracks. For more information on Ross Baker's work, check out his website HERE.

1) Ross Baker "Terra Incognita"
2) The Future Sound of London "Plough"
3) Rene van der Wouden "Panorama 12"
4) Jack Anderton "Anchialine Pool"
5) Sabri Meddeb "Place for Hearing"
6) EL Heath "The Bridges, Rattlinghope"
7) Modulator ESP "To Spaces Without"
8) Dementia and Hope Trails "Love Came of Our Pasts and Our Pasts Cannot be Erased"
9) Mecha/Orga "34:13_Amebolina"
10) Broken Chip "The Wonga Pigeon"
11) Ross Baker "Rain From a Blue Sky"
12) The Glimmer Room "The Wind Blows Summer From the Trees"
13) Stephen Palmer "Sevenfold"
14) Ross Baker "Time & Travel"
15) Widesky "Flotsam (Part II)"

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

FFFreakout #369 (Aired on 7/4/13)

The Saints "This Perfect Day (#1)" from Wild About You: 1976-1978 Complete Studio Recordings
Thee Headcoats "This Wond'rous Day" from Knights of the Baskervilles
Neil Young "Mellow My Mind" from Tonight's the Night
Cheval Sombre "I Found It Not So" from b/w "Where Did Our Love Go?" single
Flavor Crystals "Snow Falling on Ono" from Three
Thurston Moore & Loren Connors "Side B" (excerpt) from The Only Way To Go is Straight Through
Elg "De Salem" from La Chimie
Richard Youngs "No Retreat" from Barbed Wire Explosion in the Kingdom of Atlantic
Mississippi John Hurt "Stack O' Lee" from Avalon Blues: The Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings
Dock Boggs "Sugar Baby" from Anthology of American Folk Music
The Carter Family "Little Moses" from Anthology of American Folk Music
Blind Lemon Jefferson "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" from Anthology of American Folk Music
Chubby Parker "King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O" from Anthology of American Folk Music
The Breaux Freres "Home Sweet Home" from Anthology of American Folk Music
Bascom Lamar Lunsford "I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground" from Anthology of American Folk Music
The Masked Marvel "Mississippi Boweavil Blues" from Anthology of American Folk Music

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

FFFreakout #368 (Aired on 6/28/13)

Devo "Whip It" (live) from Now It Can Be Told (Devo at the Palace 12/9/88)
C.C.R. "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?" from Chronicle, Vol. 1
LCD Soundsystem "Losing My Edge" from S/T
De La Soul "Say No Go" from 3 Ft. High and Rising
The Streets "Let's Push Things Forward" from Original Pirate Material
The Knife "Ready To Lose" from Shaking The Habitual
Fifty Foot Hose "Red the Sign Post" from Cauldron
Suckdog "Snakes Dancing" from Drugs Are Nice
Raymond Scott "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals" from Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights
Dice Factory "Eternal Moment" from S/T
Black Eyes "Someone Has His Fingers Broken" from S/T
One Last Wish "Burning in the Undertow" from State of the Union: DC Benefit Compilation
Unrest "June" from imperial f.f.r.r.
Fugazi "In Defense of Humans" from State of the Union: DC Benefit Compilation