Everybody and their goddamned grandmother are pissing their end of the year, best of lists into the wind this week. It can be a fun exercise, but it also completely neglects the music that will sneak under your radar or that gets dropped into the world during the last month of the year.
One such record that just snuck the fuck up on me is this new jawn by XFA, the new project by friend of the site, Boston Slevin. This devilish little collection – released digitally via Equilateral Records – sounds to these ears like an overloaded NES system trying to communicate something very important. The message gets completely garbled as the fate of mankind hangs in the balance.
I know I’ve talked about Temple Maps very recently on the blog, but this post is more about the circumstances surrounding this release.
Our friends at Sonic Debris Multimedia are kicking off a new series of shows at Valentine’s tonight called DEC15MBER. Every Tuesday this month, they’ll be inviting a few bands to perform, and will also be selling short run cassettes featuring music by each of the acts. We’re talking very short run cassettes, like editions of 15.
Again it all goes down starting tonight at Valentine’s with performances by Temple Maps, ABSV, and American Merkin. All the best music to keep you good and heated on these cold winter nights.
Tribal free jazz skronk always sounds so good on a late fall afternoon. That’s the rule in our house anyway. Thankfully Million Brazilians are back with a healthy slab of the aforementioned to send Tuesday off on the right foot. The group is releasing a new LP this Thursday Poderoso Monicato, from which this space freak jam was excerpted. Can’t wait to let the whole thing wash over me some night soon when my copy arrives in the post.
The latest release by Elias Foley’s ever-evolving Temple Maps project is the soundtrack to a sci-fi movie not yet made. An animated film in the style of René Laloux’s La Planete Sauvage or a pixelated Tron-like adventure where the protagonists are on a massive quest for enlightenment, freedom, or both. A few spins of this brilliantly conceived cassette will help you reach those glorious goals in your mind’s eye, so maybe we don’t need the fancy visuals, just our own vivid imaginations to guide us.
We sing the praises of Creative Music Guild within these e-pages on the regular, and for good reason. Their keen ear for local talent is unmatched as is the work that they do to bring artists from around the world to Portland for live performances. And the craziest thing is that the people who put all of their live shows and the Improvisation Summit and other events are doing it all as volunteers and with the financial support of institutions and individual donors.
I bring all this up for the simple reason that I encourage you to give the CMG your support in some small or large way. You can either attend one of their bi-monthly Outset Series events at Turn Turn Turn (check our calendar for the dates of the August performances). You can click on the Bandcamp link up above that will net you a digital or physical copy of their latest compilation album – featuring tracks recorded live at CMG events. Or, you can do what I’m about to do, which is to become a monthly supporter of the organization.
The group is looking for 25 new sustaining donors to kick off their 25th year of existence. As they say:
All of the money we collect goes directly to the artists and performers that present at CMG events, either to their fee for their artistry and talent, the venue we help host them in, or their travel expenses. Along with grants, individual donations -from someone like you- helps to fund our amazing programming.
Waste no more time, dear friends: send the CMG a little or a lot of money to help keep them alive and thriving for another quarter century.
A month or three ago, a nice gent from Chicago came by my apartment to interview me about one of my favorite local artists The OO-Ray for a documentary he was making on Ted Laderus and his amazing music. I nervously, haltingly, blunderingly stumbled my way through an on-camera interview and hopefully sounded like I had some idea of what I was talking about. I’m still not sure if any of my chatter made the cut, but I do know that the director, Hamid Bendaas, is getting close to a finished product as evidenced by this wonderful, short preview of the film that he just put online. Even if I’m not in it, I’m really looking forward to seeing the full documentary whenever it is wrapped up.
Today, we bring you a gorgeous and slightly chilling piece from guitarist Mike Gamble, found on his new album Self Stor.age that sends his melodies through some lovely and occasionally disconcerting visual effects. It’s not unlike the iTunes Visualizer at times, but his emphatically spaced out classical guitar playing covers over those little lung-like pulsations that take over the screen. Gamble will be releasing videos to accompany many of the tracks from his new album. And if you’re in Portland tonight, be sure to swing down to Valentine’s to catch him performing live.
A new edition of the show for y’all. This time just a straight mix of music with no voiceover from me. Hope you like it.
Entrail – Exploded Star [from Ursula]
Entrail plays on March 25th at Valentines
The Van Meyers – Retribution [from Experiments In Noise IV]
Jordan Norton – 19.9 KCLO [from KNRT]
Davis Hooker & Evan Spacht – PANTING [from PANTING]
Evan Spacht – tazen
The OO-Ray – Hunting Song [from Empty Orchestra]
Planets Around The Sun – Creature
Planets Around The Sun member Ian Paige performs at Mothership Music on March 20th
Million Brazilians – IV [from New Ideas In Psychic Music Vol II: Sexual Desert]
Million Brazilians play one of their last Portland, Oregon shows for a while on March 21st at High Water Mark Lounge
Here’s a release that slipped under my eyesight during the end of 2014: a collection of tracks by Doug Theriault conceived of as accompaniment to a dance performance by Linda Austin. The list of collaborators on here is a murderer’s row of local talent to boot: Creative Music Guild leader Benjamin Kates, The Late Now host Leo Daedalus, amazing jazz artists Catherine Lee and John Savage, among them. And the music…oh the music…an electro-acoustic collage with smatterings of dialogue and the chatter of digital detritus and stray percussion clangs that are continually scrabbling around one another, intercut with some squawking woodwinds and glassy drones. It’s a gloriously unsettled ride through a haunted house/fun house filled with abstract art and metal sculptures.
I love Doug Theriault‘s live performances because you can see firsthand how he extracts so much sound from so little. This video captured at KPSU where he was playing live for Ricardo Wang’s radio show is a great example of that, with him using an iPhone and a laptop to screw up the sound of his guitar in ways both beautiful and harsh. Make sure you have headphones on when listening to it as well to fully enjoy the way he plays with the stereo field as the performance moves forward.