Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Programs of Promise

Al Hurwitz, Programs of Promise: Art in the Schools (Houghton Mifflin, 1972).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Suzan Pitt

Really feeling Screening Room DVDs lately. Screening Room was a 70s Boston TV show devoted to experimental cinema, hosted by the amazing Robert Gardner. Filmmakers like Robert Breer, Yvonne Rainer, Hollis Frampton, and Jan Lenica (and sometimes philosophers like Stanley Cavell) would sit and chat with Gardner, free associating on art and film while drinking tea from cool ceramic mugs. One of my favorite episodes features surrealist animator Suzan Pitt, whose sexually frank "Asparagus" toured with David Cronenberg's "Eraserhead" for several years. To me her most fascinating work is "Jefferson Circus Songs," a far-out dream-piece filmed with the help of students at MCAD. Great music by Yale Marshall. I'm not sure who did the music for "Asparagus" but it's also pretty neat.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

le Quatuor de Percussion de Paris

Listening to: Espaces by le Quatuor de Percussion de Paris. For a modernist percussion record this is still warm and bright and friendly enough for tumbling exercises. Modernism for kids? There is something of the master clockmaker in this photo of Patrice Sciortino. Sometimes the music sounds like a clock too, albeit one where all the hammers and springs and cogs have gone haywire.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Laetitia Benat

I like this watercolor and collages by Laetitia Benat. More here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Scenic Route

Mark Rappaport's The Scenic Route (1978) on torrent. Interesting -- almost like a cross between a painting and a nineteenth-century novel. Cool deadpan stilted dialogue, Hal Hartley style, a love triangle, ornate wallpaper, lots of frame-within-a-frame visual tricks, and an amazing dance scene. Mustaches wild!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Loose, Cadkin

A souvenir from Brooklyn, on a day that began with us involuntarily attending the Super Bowl victory parade. A story for another time... Anyway, there were about ten of these sleeveless orange-labeled orphans in the stacks that day but this one called out to me with its mysterious titles and complete absence of information. In the lingua franca of library music "celestial panorama" and "indefinite phase" can only mean electronics. (Actually that's not always true so be careful.) In this case things worked out; the record features some very nice electro-acoustic abstractions for dream sequences or floating off into the ether. Lots of fiddling around with percussion and strange overlapping melodic phrases. In a weird way it is sitting well with some more recent hypnagogic stuff that I am listening to. You will want to go straight to side B, unless you need a 6 second fanfare to convey that something really surprising has happened at the end of a scene. here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Etnografinis Ansamblis

Sorry, music overload, but I wanted everyone to hear this. If you like Collage and Teeme Muusikat then you will probably like this record. Imagine a group of Lithuanian schoolgirls in 1971 who decide to record an album of dreamy pastoral folk songs. The singing-in-rounds and flute interludes make for a very unique headtrip. Another victory for team Baltic in the international folk/psych throwdown. zip

Friday, February 3, 2012

*Quick announcement* This Tuesday (Feb. 7) I will be returning to WFMU as a guest on This is the Modern World with Trouble. The show is from 9-12AM New York time and will be archived thereafter. Will be playing some pretty crazy stuff so make sure to tune in! Can't wait to see you again, Trouble!

edit: thanks for listening everybody. here are the four sets i played...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Unique Sound of the Psaltery

Fascinating. The modern and medieval joust across the centuries as one of the most ancient musical instruments known is paired with a synthesizer. Bob Stewart is a self-taught musician, composer and writer of over forty books on the olde magick. On this album he plays the psaltery, a 73-stringed instrument played on a table, an instrument so old even King David is supposed to have played one.

It's an interesting experience listening to this. One moment you are at the summer fete, twirling in a barley field with your sword and sandals. Then, miraculously, the heavens open up and a space ship bearing a synthesizer appears. Trippy. I would like to learn more about Bob Stewart. He seems to have other recordings available on his website. The one I'd like to hear is a recording of a ceremony involving W.G. Gray and a "team of ritualists" conducted at the Rollright Stones in the early 70s (photo above).