Wednesday, January 30, 2013

FFFreakout #349 (Aired on 1/31/13)

Tripod Jimmie "Autumn Leaves" from Datapanik in the Year Zero box set
Unwound "Corpse Pose" from Repetition
Stars Of The Lid "Music for Twin Peaks Episode #30 - Part 1" from The Ballasted Orchestra
LSD March "The Lamp - Tomorrow's Godard" from Suddenly, Like Flames
Crime "I Stupid Anyway" from San Francisco's Still Doomed
Sarandon "Welcome" from Kill Twee Pop!
Shonen Knife "A Day of the Factory" from Burning Farm
Yo La Tengo "Ohm" from Fade
Blur "There's No Other Way" from Leisure
Deer Tick "Let's All Go To The Bar" from Divine Providence
Bobby Womack "Please Forgive My Heart" from The Bravest Man in the Universe
The Afghan Whigs "Uptown Again" from 1965
Creedence Clearwater Revival "Someday Never Comes" from Chronicle, Vol. 1

Saturday, January 26, 2013

FFFoxy Podcast #12: Prairie Fire / Dub Ditch Picnic Feature

Horders “Lantana” fimbulvetr CS (Prairie Fire Tapes)
(Interview segment) 
Derek Rogers “A Crack In Everything” A Crack In Everything CS (Prairie Fire Tapes)
T. Fuller “Side A (last track)” Eat Your Beats CS (Prairie Fire Tapes)
Jane Barbe “Stony River/Crooked Creek” (excerpt) Alert CS (Prairie Fire Tapes)
Oak "Indiscriminately From the Skies" Silent Spring CS (Prairie Fire Tapes)
(Interview segment) 
No UFO’s “Infinite Haze and No More Answers” (excerpt) Mind Control CS (Dub Ditch Picnic)
Blunderspublik “Born To Be My Unicorn” Barren Immensity CS (Dub Ditch Picnic)
Microdot “Not Very Often” Lamps Not Amps CS (Dub Ditch Picnic)
JLK “Buddies” JLK//babysitter S/T split CS (Dub Ditch Picnic)
Wolfskull “Salted Slug” Stink Void CS (Dub Ditch Picnic)
(Interview segment) 
Harrow “Into the Valley / Vast Unending Lands” Wanderer CS (Prairie Fire Tapes)
Walden “MMXII – Every Star Called Our Names” Metchosin CS (Prairie Fire Tapes)
Powder Blue “Hot Fire” Dream In Black CS (Dub Ditch Picnic)
(Blouse)USA “The Lateral Power” Tammy’s Beans CS (Dub Ditch Picnic)

On this edition of the FFFoxy Podcast, we spoke with Chris Jacques whom runs the Prairie Fire Tapes and Dub Ditch Picnic labels out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, our good neighbors to the north in Canada. Starting in 2010, these labels combined have released a wide spectrum of music, with Prairie Fire dealing in more noise and drone-based works and Dub Ditch Picnic documenting all sorts of fringe/underground sounds. As their website reads: “We like basement psych, punk rock, no wave, kraut jams, long luscious drone and, of course, Dub”.

We asked Chris to provide some more background on the labels and, mark this as a first for the show, we even discussed Canadian Black Metal at length. Throughout the rest of the show, we tried to cover as much musical ground as possible to paint a decent overview of both label's catalogs.

For more information on the Prairie Fire Tapes and Dub Ditch Picnic labels and to order their releases click on the links provided above or go HERE.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

FFFreakout #348 (Aired on 1/24/13)

Damin Eih, A.L.K. and Brother Clark "Tourniquet" from Nevermind
Oneohtrix Point Never "Zone Without People" from Zones Without People
Julian Lynch "Winterer One" from Orange You Glad
Ayal Senior "Alt. Theme to the Beyond" from Normal Galaxy Blues
Jane Weaver Septieme Soeur "Turning In Circles" from The Fallen By Watch Bird
Karate Party "Pressure" from Black Helicoptor
Kenneth Higney "No Heavy Trucking" from Attic Demonstration
Christopher Owens "Here We Go" from Lysandre
Cat Power "He War" from You Are Free
Wham! "Young Guns (Go For It!)" from Fantastic (*Note: Carl's Guilty Pleasure Pick)
Camper Van Beethoven "Pictures of Matchstick Men" from Key Lime Pie
The Stranglers "Always the Sun" from Dreamtime

Friday, January 18, 2013

FFFreakout #347 (Aired on 1/17/13)

Kenneth Higney "Look At The River" from Attic Demonstration
T. Rex "Born To Boogie" from Tanx
Gay Beast "What You Want" from Disrobics
Broken Water "Dead Light" from Whet
Directions In Music "Untitled" from S/T
Joe Morris "Angle Of Incidence" from Camera
The Seeds "Pushin Too Hard" from Nuggets
Hot Butter "Percolator"*
Devo "Planet Earth"*
Frank Sinatra "The Theme from New York, New York"*
Frank Stallone "Far From Over"*
Hall & Oates "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)"*
Buddy Holly "Everyday"*
The B-52's "Rock Lobster"*
David Bowie "Fantastic Voyage"*
(*Note: Carl's selections from a recently discovered box of 45's)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In FFFocus: Crow With No Mouth 2013 series

(Jesse Goin, Keith Rowe, and Allie Goin; photo by Amy Myrbo)

The Twin Cities is blessed with an incredibly diverse, talented, and supportive music community. For fans of improvised and experimental music, the on-going efforts of the Tuesday Series at Madame Of the Arts and the annual Heliotrope Festival have been vital for showcasing local talent in a live setting. Through the work of crow with no mouth (cwnmpromotions, the scope of live performances within this area of music has widened considerably in recent years to include prominent national and international artists working in the field of electro-acoustic improvisation (EAI). Started in 2011, the cwnm series has slowly expanded into what will be a near yearlong series with monthly performances held at Studio Z in Lowertown, St. Paul. cwnm curator, Jesse Goin, who has written extensively about EAI on his cwnm blog, along with his wife, Allie, have assembled an impressive roster of artists for the 2013 cwnm series that includes the likes of Jason Lescalleet, Jon Mueller, Michael Pisaro, Joe Panzer, Vanessa Rossetto, Joe Colley and many more. We recently had a chance to ask Jesse some questions about this year’s series and about his motivations for doing this work.


What was your motivation for starting the crow with no mouth concert series in the Twin Cities? Why were you interested in presenting this as an almost yearlong series as opposed to just doing one-off shows for electro-acoustic and improv performers? 

I need to say crow with no mouth promotions is me and my wife, Allie, who contributes great energy and personal resources to the crow activities. I could not put the concerts together without her.

For the sake of the readers, let’s use the inadequate placeholder name EAI (electro-acoustic improvisation) as a referent for the music cwnm is presenting in its concert series.

There is no one presenting this area of music in the Twin Cities, period. There have been occasional events over the past decade that have brought a few of the musicians cwnm has booked to Twin Cities audiences, but very occasional, very few – and unfailingly, in venues less than ideal as listening environments. This is an area of music easily in its 13th year of development, comprising many, many brilliant musicians, producing way too many releases, and in an authentic sense, global in scope, and it is never heard here.

I complained about this for a number of years before deciding to do something myself to address this lack of an infrastructure for genuinely new, creative and, to date, inaccessible music. 

That is, of course, what every unfunded, non-commercial and, at least initially, difficult music requires in order to be presented properly - an infrastructure. For me that means nothing more or less than the interdependent relationships between a knowledgeable curator, a suitable venue, a schedule of strong musicians, and an audience keen on listening. Every one of those elements is crucial, and as simple as this appears on paper, is quite difficult to bring together. Everyone who has worked on facilitating such an infrastructure - and there are numerous people in the Twin Cities who have done so in the areas of jazz, free improvisation and other exceedingly unpopular music – has struggled with sustaining one or more of these elements in their efforts. Venues made for listening are next to non-existent for this music - most experimental music is played in bars, noisy bars, or, occasionally, in over-controlled, claustrophobic art venues; knowledgeable people who are engaged in a critical way with the music, and attend to the details that bring both musician and listener to the performance are rare as hen’s teeth. None of this is offered as a complaint – I have said, since presenting the first cwnm concert in May, 2011, that it has to be done for fun and for free. This is simply to acknowledge why this sort of effort seldom occurs for long. Any other motivation than this – to generate the infrastructure in which great, otherwise unheard music can be heard, and to do it for fun and for free, is asking for trouble.

I moved to Minneapolis in 1979, and immediately sussed out where the interesting local music was happening; at that time that meant primarily free jazz, non-idiomatic improvisation, and 20th century classical music (as well as a few rock bands). From 1979 to around 1999, that was where I invested my time and attention, and I invested a great deal of both. Most, if not all, of those venues and curators are long gone.

In the late 90s, those areas of music had been pretty exhausted for me – not entirely, but, critically, most of what I had been listening to for three decades was sounding played out, codified and stagnant, even, as saxophonist John Butcher put it, like “museum music.” (Nothing wrong with that, it is the inevitable, eventual, organic stagnation all music reaches in time). Anyway, this sense of the music I loved sounding enervated and predictable opened me up to my encounter with EAI, and for the past nine years or so, that has been my principal, though in no wise exclusive, area of musical interest.

(Michael Pisaro; photo by Yuko Zama)

To your question about creating a series – I conceived of what I was doing from the first cwnm concert in May 2011 as a series, albeit woefully unfunded and so a truncated one. In 2011, cwnm organized four concerts, comprising 10 musicians; in 2012, seven concerts, 20 musicians. The 2013 schedule, to date, offers 10 concerts, involving 28 musicians.

There are a couple of reasons I wanted to attempt a series approach: first - and a critical point with introducing EAI to new audiences – there is a real learning curve involved here. This is a continuum of music seldom heard in performance outside of a few hubs of activity and interest (New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, Berlin, for example), and, outside of Europe, is seldom the recipient of foundation funding. I am pleased that I was awarded a 2013 grant from a regional arts organization for the series, the first for this area of music. To engage new audiences with something they will never hear or hear about via the media, or read about outside of a clutch of dedicated blogs, takes time and patience. Additionally, a series offers the opportunity to present the scope of the music referred to as EAI, which is impossible to do with a smaller sample size, a one-off or very occasional events.

Had you done much in the way of organizing and promoting shows prior to this?

No – I helped set up a few shows prior to starting crow with no mouth, but nothing like what I have done the past two years. As I said, I spent an enormous amount of time from 2004-2011 investigating this music as a listener. In 2010 I started writing about EAI for several on-line and print journals, as well as starting my blog – yes, crow with no mouth – which is dedicated to feature-length, critical pieces about this music.

Perhaps for the uninitiated who might read “a concert series of electro-acoustic composition and improvisation” as something more buttoned-up and academic, how would you characterize the range of music that you are presenting in the 2013 series?

The range is extraordinary, sufficiently so, as I suggested before in calling EAI an inadequate signifier, to initially (and importantly) confuse new listeners. I am confident whatever criticisms, or simply descriptors, one might have about the music in the crow series, “buttoned-up and academic” will not be among them. This, despite the fact that a number of the participants in the 2013 series hold academic positions, some in music departments, some in other disciplines. There are equally a number of musicians who are as far outside the academic realm as can be imagined.

The music offered by the musicians I have invited to perform, whatever the divergences, stylistic tensions and contrasts (and there are, happily, many) is characterized, for me, by an essential vitality. This is a quality impossible to convey with limited space and time, of course. But it is this vitality I sought when I had reached the point of exhaustion with other approaches to improvisation, such as jazz, so it is essential for me, in order to connect with any music, that I feel that vitality is present.

The more overt characteristics of the music in the 2013 series are elements that I considered in my planning; for example, the dynamic continuum of volume - there are participants who make music so quiet you must change your way of listening to make that connection, who privilege space and silence as co-equal with intentional sounds; and there are musicians who create intensely dense, super-saturated sound fields that can push a listener as far as they would wish to be pushed.

Then, the business of improvised and composed music; EAI confounds that distinction with sometimes brilliant results. The 2013 series will present musicians who work in both through-composed and unfettered improvisation, and occasionally bend and braid those twin disciplines in ways listeners new to EAI often find compelling, and, crucially, confusing.

Finally, limiting my reply to only a few of the overt characteristics one can discover in the series, there is instrumentation. The 2013 season will present music made from sound generators as familiar as the vibraphone, grand piano and cello, as well as from cartridge-less turntable, hacked tape machines, computer programming written by the performer, and noise sourced from location recordings, sine waves and feedback.

I go to some length to describe the sorts of sounds the series comprises to return to the unifying principle for me, as curator – an essential vitality, a quality heard across the great range of styles, sound-sources and individual disciplines and origins of the musicians involved.

On your crow with no mouth blog, you borrow a quote from Michael Ventura and James Hillman’s book We’ve Had 100 Years of Psychotherapy and The World’s Getting Worse that reads:

. . . And our job, every single one of us, is to cherish 
whatever in the human heritage we love and to feed 
it and keep it going and pass it on, because the Dark 
Age isn’t going to go on forever, and when it stops 
those people are gonna need the pieces we pass on. 
They’re not going to be able to build a new world 
 without us passing on whatever we can – ideas, arts, 
knowledge, skills, or just plain old fragile love, how 
we treat people, how we help people: that’s something 
to be passed on… and all of this passing things on, in 
all its forms, may not cure the world now – curing the 
world now may not be a human possibility – but it keeps 
the great things alive . . . 

Has this been sort of your guiding principle in your work with crow with no mouth, both the concert series and blog?

That is very intuitive, your asking that - here is a brief story as to why that particular quote owns a certain power for me, where the crow activities are concerned: in October 2011 the fantastic trio Haptic played the last crow concert of that year. Haptic – Joseph Clayton Mills, Steven Hess and Adam Sonderberg – were house guests of my wife Allie and I. As happens often with visiting musicians, we sat up following the concert into the wee hours engaged in conversations that link favorite authors, painters, filmmakers, philosophers, even musicians. Personal and more abstract pleasures and experiences are in those mixes, encounters as important in their way as the concerts that serve as the occasion for our meeting. Anyway, towards morning, Allie, Sonderberg and I were talking a bit about our engagement with the Occupy movement activities happening at that time in the streets of Minneapolis. In a way I cannot adequately convey here, the three of us – with quite divergent views on the efficacy of such actions as Occupy, and similar direct actions we were engaged in – came to a point where we agreed that, as Sonderberg put it, it is also in nights such as this one, in encounters such as we were enjoying, in the endless small occasions of sparsely attended experimental music shows, for example, that important things are sustained, kept alive – it was an indelible moment, one I have enjoyed many times with friends near and long-known, but was now discovering with people traveling here to play whom I would only know a few hours, before we’d all return to our regularly scheduled lives. I have enjoyed intense moments like this with, for example, Keith Rowe, Will Guthrie, Jeph Jerman, Nathan McLaughlin, and Joe Houpert…enough to realize that when I stopped complaining and started working on an infrastructure to support events that own the sort of vitality I look for in this music, what Hillman describes comes about.There is that old anarchist principle about making the world you want to live in, not waiting for someone else, not expecting anything to happen, not reacting to the enervated scenes around you – simply make something happen with like-minded individuals, for fun and for free.

I know that Michael Pisaro had debuted a new composition at a cwnm performance a few years ago and I see that right out of the gates in this year’s series you’ll be hosting Hong Chulki from Seoul, which will mark his first performance in the U.S. Are there any other noteworthy performers/performances/compositions unique to this year’s cwnm series that you’d like to or can mention at this stage? 

I can honestly say that I am excited to present all 28 musicians in the 2013 series; in 2012 I presented a local musician in his first public performance, and Keith Rowe, and I am confident both would say they felt that their work, and my preparation for their appearance, was treated with the utmost respect and enthusiasm.

One reason I introduce each set is to establish that ground in the room; I have gone to too many shows where the inexorable, sometimes subtle, sometimes overt creep of hierarchy is felt in the presentation of the participants. The key to maintaining equanimity towards all the music/musicians in the crow series is in this ground being established up front. For example, I recall shows locally in which local musicians were informed at the show that the touring musician would get the door, as they were, after all, touring. Hierarchy creeps into the damndest situations, so pervasive and inculcated is the rock star sensibility. I realize how silly this reads, as we are talking about concerts of maybe 20-30 attendees, with musicians paid from the door. Nonetheless, I see this hierarchical system play out on music boards, in small venues, and the like.

Do I have preferences, and anticipate some performances more than others? – of course! The practice of equanimity sits alongside my personal preferences, but I hope is never evident in the concert situation.

(Jason Lescalleet; photo by Yuko Zama)

World premieres (the Pisaro concert), Minneapolis/St. Paul debuts (Rowe, and many others in the crow series) are very satisfying. Also immensely gratifying are aspects of crow shows that specifically challenge the performers in ways that may not be clear to attendees, though I try to reference those dimensions in my introductions. For example, I was after bassist Brian Roessler for a couple of years, before I had a venue to accommodate it, to play a solo set of completely improvised music. He had never done that, until his stunning set in the 2012 series. Similarly, saxophonist Scott Newell has never offered a solo set before our December 2012 concert; I started attending Scott’s gigs in 1982! Thirty years later, we got that done; very gratifying for me, and, from the feedback I received, for Scott and the audience as well. My correspondence with Rowe was two years of exchanges; I drove to Chicago in April of 2012 to hear Jason Lescalleet and Olivia Block share an evening, but also to meet them and to encourage their appearing in the Twin Cities. (I have no doubt some of this year’s participants regard me as a pest).

You mention Hong Chulki’s appearance – his first visit to the U.S. will comprise only 6-7 cities, of course it’s fantastic we will host him here. I have corresponded with one of my favorite contemporary composers, Jurg Frey, who resides in Switzerland, intent on getting more music from the Wandelweiser composer’s collective into the crow series. He has graciously provided numerous piano scores for Shannon Wettstein, the pianist with the St. Paul-based Zeitgeist new music ensemble, to perform. Each musician owns a personal quality for me in this series that I want to share with listeners. Each musician merits this sort of explication and advocacy, or I wouldn’t have invited them. The only pangs I currently suffer are about the musicians with whom I have discussed appearing in the crow series, but cannot presently confirm, as I have exceeded our budget already. This is as good a place as any to mention these musicians, maybe 6-7 at this point, will be presented, should I be successful in gaining additional financial support. The current schedule stops at mid-October, so we have a couple more months in 2013 in which I hope to present more concerts.

If I thought your readers would indulge it, I would offer a concise paragraph on every musician appearing this season as to why I am stoked they have agreed to perform in the series. I don’t imagine many would indulge that; I am writing a little about each performer prior to their concert, as I have already done on Hong and Jason Zeh. Those updates can be found at

Finally, I assure you there will be some unique offerings this year, aside from many more debuts (Michael Pisaro and Jason Lescalleet, for example) – I want to hold some of these close for awhile, the element of surprise is potent.

The 2013 cwnm concert series schedule: 

February 15: Jason ZehHong Chulki (two solo and one duo set) 
March 23: Jason Soliday / Jon Mueller 
April 12: Bhob Rainey / Bonnie Jones (solo and duo) 
June 7:  Tetras (trio) / Brian Roessler / Christian Weber (duo) 
October 5: Adam Sonderberg / Olivia Block (duo) / Shannon Wettstein (performing a Jurg Frey composition) 

*Solo sets, unless otherwise indicated.
*All concerts at Studio Z, in Lowertown, St. Paul

Saturday, January 12, 2013

FFFreakout #346 (Aired on 1/10/13)

Julee Cruise "I Remember" from Floating Into The Night
Gary War "Going All The Way" from The Ad Hoc Comp
Halason Bazar "Go Out In Joy" from How To Be Ever Happy
Lee Gamble "ExpRand Trace" from Dutch Tvashar Plumes
Wizard Of "Exister II" from Lifer/Exister
Boris "My Neighbor Satan" from Smile
My Bloody Valentine "Soft As Snow (But Warm Inside)" from Isn't Anything
Dusty Springfield "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" from The Love Songs of Burt Bacharach
The New Standards "No Cars Go" from Sunday Morning Coming Down
The Suburbs "Love Is The Law" from Love Is The Law
Blondie "Rapture" (extended version) from Autoamerican

Lee Gamble 'Coma Skank (BinocConverge Mix)' (PAN 36) from PAN on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In FFFocus: Lake Mary "S/T" (Planted Tapes)

Perhaps I’m latching on to the name a bit much here, but, having been born and raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I can’t help but listen to this self-titled cassette from Lake Mary (a.k.a, Chaz Prymek) without associating it with long summer days and nights spent at, well, the lake. Though given the name, song titles, and the packaging itself, I’m guessing I’m not too far off the mark in thinking that Prymek draws at least some inspiration for his music from the natural world around him. 

Side A’s “Canopy” has airy string drones that shimmer like the rising sun reflecting off of the water, stirring feelings of simple joy and optimism for what lies ahead. Bowed guitar swells move us to digitally treated field recordings leaving us breathing in the refreshing air and staring blankly out into the distance, while listening to the subtle movement of the water as it breaks along the shoreline. The sun sets in the horizon as the B Side’s “Mardotsha” begins and we are now gathered around the crackling campfire armed with our acoustic guitars. Now lucid, though slightly liquor’d, we fingerpick our way through a number of ideas that feel right in that moment: tender and heartfelt ballads, extended raga-like patterns, free-flowing blues. We drink and play this into the C-40 early morning hours . . . 

. . . and we awake at the crack of dawn and rub the sleep from our eyes, when someone drowsily chimes, “That Prymek dude is one versatile motherf@#*er.”

For more information and to order, go to Planted Tapes

Friday, January 04, 2013

FFFreakout #345 (Aired on 1/3/13)

Palais Schaumburg "Wir bauen eine neue Stadt" from S/T
Scott Walker "Phrasing" from Bish Bosch
Devin Gray "Talking With Hands" from Dirigo Rataplan
OOIOO "Moss Trumpeter" from Gold & Green
The Velvet Underground "I'm Sticking With You" from Bootleg Series Vol. 1: The Quine Tapes
Grouper "Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping" from Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill
The Terminals "Basket Case" from Touch
The New Standards "This Must Be The Place" from Sunday Morning Coming Down Down
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit "Like A Hurricane" from Live From Alabama
Charlie Parr "Nowhere . . . Fast" from Barnswallow
David Bowie "Panic In Detroit" from Aladdin Sane
Squeeze "Is That Love" from Singles 45's and Under

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

FFFoxy Podcast #11

ÉLG “Ô Pluto” Mil Pluton LP (Alter / Hundebiss)
Goldendust “Marooned” S/T LP (Night-People) [8:35]
Palais Schaumburg “Morgen wird der Wald gefegt” S/T 2CD (Bureau B) [11:57]
The North Sea “Vagrant” Grandeur & Weakness LP* (Rubber City Noise) [15:46]
Marcus Rubio & Bill Shute “Timed and Measured” Only the Imprint of an Echo Remains CD-R (Kendra Steiner Editions)
Jar Moff “Commercial Mouth” (excerpt) Commercial Mouth LP* (Pan) [24:55]
Digital Natives “My Spine” The She Of It CS (Hooker Vision) [30:10]
Personable “Untitled” Spontaneous Generation LP (Peak Oil) [33:19]
Sparkling Wide Pressure “Pinkish Dream” Pretending Eternal CS (Hooker Vision) [43:45]
Nite Lite “Equinox Reflections” Megrez LP (Desire Path Recordings) [50:00]
Meursault “Eigengrau” Rose Scented Clay CS (Eagle & Serpent Recordings) [52:54]
Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. “Music or Noise” The Science of Sound 2LP-1959 (Folkways) [58:06]
Ben Bennett “I’ll Call You When I Get Creamed By a Motorist” Spoilage LP* (Experimedia) [1:01.21]
Komodo Haunts “Pouring Over Drums” Dance On the Serpent’s Neck CS* (Jehu & Chinaman) [1:03.20]
Folke Rabe “What??” (excerpt) What?? CD (Dexter’s Cigar) [1:09.00]
Tara King th. “Hole of Birds” Uncolored Past I & II CS* (Moon Glyph) [1:19.58]
Featureless Ghost “Flash” Personality Matrix LP (Night-People) [1:24.30]
Un “Soul Converter” Begun CS (Dub Ditch Picnic) [1:27.09]
Oobe “Nothing Underneath” Delphi CS (Haute Magie) [1:29.42]
Loud & Sad “Untitled” Lathe 2 7” (FET) [1:34.30]
Kraken Mare “End Ordovician” Iapetus Ocean CS (Skell) [1:38.47]
Colin Webster/Mark Holub/Sheik Anorak “The Last Word” Languages MP3 (Gaffer) [1:51.20]

Happy New Year all! I hope everyone had an opportunity to spend some time with friends and family and that you had a chance to pause and reflect on the year you had, but that you’ve now greased the gears and set your sights on the many things you WILL accomplish in the year ahead. As for me, this IPA is quite tasty right NOW and tomorrow looks promising. Beyond that, I look forward to the new experiences, opportunities, and sounds that lie ahead. 

You’ll notice some subtle changes with the podcast and blog here as we move forward in the coming months. For starters, I went ahead and changed up the intro to the podcast a bit. Granted, it’s still the same boring old spiel, but it’s right at the start of the show now and at least it has a Rambutan backing track to add some extra dimension to it. For me, producing these podcasts is like stepping into an alternate reality for a brief period of time every few weeks and this track seems to capture that feel perfectly. Plus, Rambutan and the Tape Drift nexus has been a constant on the podcast show from the outset, so it seemed like a logical choice. Also, I plan to include a bit more writing in the form of reviews and other short feature pieces on this site throughout the year. God forbid, I have no intentions of turning this into an updated daily music blog with album streams, release information, and other such endless gush. I don’t have the time (or interest) to do something like that. BUT, I would like to devote more space in these pages to providing more information and thoughts on music that I’m drawn to, or that FFFriends of the show are drawn to, from time-to-time, rather than just throwing up playlists for people to scroll through. I still feel like there is a significant need for more coverage of the type of music that is featured on the podcast shows and I hope we can toss in our two cents every now-and-then in a meaningful way. 

That being said, I’d like to highlight a few of the releases from this week’s show that have been getting some heavy play around the FFF bunker. Let’s start with what we started the podcast with: ÉLG’s Mil Pluton. I’ve been a fan of Sir Laurent Gerard’s music for a few years now, his Tout Ploie album was a minor masterpiece in my humble opinion. I had a chance to interview him around the time of this album being reissued on S-S Records and he proved to be the type of colorful character you’d want to spin stories with over a few pints. He’s continued to put out several limited-run releases in the ensuing years, though at a downright leisurely pace by cassette underground standards, yet his output has remained relatively difficult to grip here stateside, which is quite a shame really. While Tout Ploie explored a uniquely French take on psych/folk weirdness, Mil Pluton, ÉLG’s second full-length LP, ventures into a more hypno electronic/beat-oriented sound with shades of his Reines D’Angleterre collaborator, Ghedalia Tazarates’, solo work. In not-so-eloquent terms, it’s THE SHIT, and it’s still surprising to me that ÉLG isn’t a household name amongst the music geeks that read mail order new release lists while sitting on the can. Last I checked there were still copies of this LP available over at Mimaroglu. PayPal away . . . 

Another album that I’ve been playing repeatedly is the debut LP offering from Nite Lite out on Desire Path Recordings. Megrez marks the much welcomed return of Phil and Myste French, former proprietors of the now sadly defunct Stunned Records, a label that was/is near and dear to me. The last I had heard from Nite Lite was Marlene, their tape that came out in Stunned’s final batch over a year ago. Composed primarily of field recordings, that release had an interesting ‘Caribbean-mariachi-band-jammin’-in-the-Northwoods’ sort of feel to it, which should be read, of course, as a compliment. Their approach on Megrez seems to be similar, though the results are far more refined and focused in on the raw environmental field recordings themselves without losing that certain sense of ‘musicality’ that exists within their work. Every sound has been edited together meticulously and with the utmost care. It’s an album you’ll want to throw on, sip some tea, and stare out the window and daydream about that time you got caught in a storm while camping. Just don’t mistake Nite Lite's teakettle as your own. Drink up and check back in with us in a few weeks.