No, young friends, our man Oxfist is not paying tribute to the TV network, but rather the old player pianos that once dominated the parlors and bars of the world in the ’20s and ’30s. Or as he put it, the title was chosen “after the realization that melody line sounds like a player piano choking on a chunk of piano roll.” Well put.
The short swinging track comes from Eye of the Witholder, a recently compiled set of tunes that Oxfist put together during the heady days of the ’00s and under the influence of DOOM, Madlib, and J Dilla. And to celebrate it, Will Watts stitched together this amazing and hypnotic video. I’m going to find a way to loop these 48 seconds of video and sound, and spend the day starting straight into the LSD trailed abyss brought to life by these very active kids.
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.
From the artist: “Had an amazing experience in the sensory deprivation float at Portland’s Float On. Having all your senses blocked from the real world and open to your mind feels so good! This track was performed live after I got back; the visuals are feedback created with a 8mm vhs camcorder running into an archer video enhancer filming the monitor. While I was in the tank at Float On I experienced similar visuals that came and went.”
Golden Retriever has evolving in leaps and bounds over the past five years, something that is apparent with each successive recording and live set that they do. Jonathan Sielaff and Matt Carlson are the perfect sonic architects, pushing the boundaries of what in other hands would be a very hemmed-in approach to their somewhat unusual choice of instrumentation. Don’t just take my word for it, though. Enjoy this extended clip of the group playing two tracks from their new album Seer live at Mississippi Studios and listen to how their melodic expressions are becoming more exacting and more free all at once.
Back in October, we reported on the reissue of an amazing solo synth escapade by local artist Paul Nelson, out now on Medical Records/2510 Records. A bunch of industrious gents recently got together to create a video for this album, choosing the lead song “Automated Man” as their source material. It’s a fantastical flight of computer generated animation that looks very era-appropriate (the LP was initially self-released by Nelson in 1981). It’s a great tribute to the song, the album, and the artist and we’re quite thankful that one of the men behind its creation, Austin Tretwold, sent it our way this weekend.
I blame myself and my overall busy life for letting Experimental Half Hour fall of my radar for the past little while. But I was happy to be reminded of its existence recently, particularly with the announcement of a new episode posted just this month. This edition was recorded in August with some marvelous performances by Dead Channel, Three-Legged Race, MSHR, and the Portland Bike Ensemble.
Somewhere in my not so vast archives is some jam sessions that I did with Roger Hayes and another friend (whose name escapes me) when I lived near Astoria, Oregon. It was when I was seriously exploring the world of experimental music for the first time, and I felt like I was scrambling to keep up with these two very talented entities. I think when you watch this clip and hear Roger’s beautiful loop-based guitar composition, a track that would fit neatly inside an early Spectrum album, I think you’ll see why I was put on my heels a bit. Or see for yourself when his band Existence Habit performs at the next Experimental Portland Presents… show at Ash Street on November 2nd.
Everyone’s favorite synth store in Portland, Control Voltage. has been hosting some pretty amazing events over the course of the year that they’ve been open. I do try to make as many as I can but had to miss what sounds like an incredible night of vintage modular synth jams. Lucky for me – and now for you – someone was good enough to capture a chunk of Scott Worley‘s set from this past Friday night and post it on YouTube. Watch it, get lost in the live visuals, and try and see if you don’t have the sensation of being lit on pills or smoke.
White Gourd + Slow Screams + Eliot Reed @ Valentines, 9pm
Whether on her own or as a part of Million Brazilians, Suzanne Stone is a live artist you can’t take your eyes off of. The shows of hers that I have seen lead me to believe that that’s just the way she wants it. She has no fear of wandering offstage and staring her audience down, usually carrying two swords that she clangs together dramatically. Stone is going deeper into her musical/theatrical exploration of the tarot tonight. You’d do well to follow her on her journey.
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer + Eye of Nix @ Megaton Haus, 7pm
These two Seattle noisemongers are, if I’m not mistaken, finishing up a West Coast tour that already saw the bands tear at the minds of an audience last Thursday at Ash Street Saloon. On their way home, they have decided to stop by once again to make sure they finish the job of carpet bombing our fair city, with what is sure to be a loud and raucous house show in deep NE.
The best album I heard last year was Spirit of the Sun, a glowing bit of guitar and vocal treacle born from the heart of The Slaves, a duo comprised of Barbara Kinzle and Birch Cooper. It’s still a record that returns to my turntable on the regular. But as has been my m.o. for years, it has led me deeper down the wormhole into the work that Cooper and Kinzle have done outside their collaborative fold. That includes Cooper’s symbiotic art/music transformer MSHR, and Threads, a new project from Kinzle and bassist Aaron Davis. The sound of Threads feels like an expansion of the ghostly sounds Kinzle brought forth with The Slaves, but with a slightly more traditionalist bent. It brought to mind images of The Jesus & Mary Chain ca. Psychocandy and the buzzing frequencies of some of Sonic Boom’s post Spacemen 3 efforts. The above video captures Threads’ first ever performance, which happened this past weekend at Disjecta. If you like what you see/hear, be sure to come to the 9/17 edition of Experimental Portland Presents… at Ash St. Saloon, where the duo will be performing.