April 25, 2016

Playlist Week of 2016-04-23

* Dowland: Lachrimae or Seven Teares 1604 (Hesperion XX/Savall) (Alia Vox SACD)
* Stockhausen: “Atmen gibt das Leben…” (Norddeutschen Rundfunks/Stockhausen) (DG LP)
* Sun Ra: Spaceways (Black Lion/ORG LP)
* Herbie Hancock: Mwandishi (Warner Bros. LP)
* Herbie Hancock: Crossings (Warner Bros. LP)
* Les McCann: Invitation To Openness (Atlantic LP)
* Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On (Motown/Mobile Fidelity SACD)
* Prince: Lovesexy (Warner Bros. LP)
* Alan Stivell: Live in Dublin (Fontana LP)
* John Renbourn: The Attic Tapes (Riverboat 2LP)
* Bob Dylan: "Melancholy Mood" + 3 (Columbia 7” EP)
* Van Morrison: Poetic Champions Compose (Mercury LP)
* Kevin Ayers, Eno et al.: June 1, 1974 (Island LP)
* Tony Conrad & Faust: Outside The Dream Syndicate (Superior Viaduct LP)
* Edgar Froese: Aqua (Virgin LP)
* Edgar Froese: Macula Transfer (Brain LP)
* Harmonia: Documents 1975 (Groenland LP)
* Harald Grosskopf: Synthesist (Sky/Bureau B LP)
* VCSR: Tape #4 (Permanent LP)
* Pere Ubu: “30 Seconds Over Tokyo”/”Heart of Darkness” (Nearpan/Fire 7”)
* DNA:  “You & You”/ “Little Ants” (Superior Viaduct 7”)
* Arto Lindsay: Encyclopedia of Arto (Northern Spy 2LP)
* Guided By Voices: Please Be Honest (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Boris & Merzbow: Gensho Part 1 (Relapse 2LP)
* Boris & Merzbow: Gensho Part 2 (Relapse 2LP)
* The Sword: "John The Revelator" (Razor & Tie 7”)
* Zombi: Spirit Animal (Relapse 2LP) †/
* Lower Dens: “Batman”/ “Dear Betty Baby” (Gnomonsong 7”)
* London Grammar: If You Wait (Columbia 2LP)



2016 is turning out to be a bad year for rock stars (and famous musicians in general). But it was shock to hear of the sudden passing of Prince at the age of 57 -- that's only a few years older than me! 

Coming of age in the '80s it was impossible not be captivated by Prince's unique brand of funky pop music and while I lost track of him as the '90s wore on (and his draconian stance on copyright didn't help), I always had tremendous respect for his outsized talents. 

Of course, there is is lots of speculation right now about the actual cause of death -- and rumors are swirling around of serious opiate abuse -- but none of that really matters. The music will live on.

So, who's next to leave the planet?


As promised, here's another record collecting video. The Vinyl Community Love Train stopped by my house this week!

April 18, 2016

Playlist Week of 2016-04-16

* Tasavallan Presidentti: Milky Way Moses (Janus LP)
* Jukka Tolonen: Tolonen! (Janus LP)
* Osibisa: Osibisa (Decca LP)
* Spirit: Farther Along (Mercury LP)
* Emmylou Harris: Wrecking Ball (Deluxe Edition) (Nonesuch 3LP)
* David Sylvian: Dead Bees On A Cake (Virgin CD)
* Edgar Froese: Epsilon In Malaysian Pale (Virgin LP)
* Harmonia: Musik von Harmonia (Brain/Grönland LP)
* Harmonia: Deluxe (Brain/Grönland LP)
* Tim Blake: Crystal Machine (Egg LP)
* Tim Blake & Crystal Machine: Blake’s New Jerusalem (Egg LP)
* Heldon: II “Allez Teia” (Urus LP)
* Heldon: Third (Urus 2LP)
* Heldon: IV “Agneta Nilsson” (Urus LP)
* Richard Pinhas & John Livengood: Cyborg Sally (SouffleContinuum 2LP)
* Clearlight: Visions (Polydor LP)
* VCSR: Tape #4 (Permanent LP)
* Steve Roach & Byron Metcalf: The Serpent’s Lair (Projekt 2CD)
* Pete Namlook & Bill Laswell: Psychonavigation (Subharmonic CD)
* Pete Namlook & Bill Laswell: Psychonavigation 2 (FAX CD)
* Ulver: Bergtatt (Century Media LP)
* Ulver: Kveldssanger (Century Media LP)
* Ulver: Nattens Madrigal (Century Media LP)
* Zombi: The Zombi Anthology (Relapse LP) †/‡
* Zombi: Cosmos (Relapse LP) †/‡
* Zombi: Surface To Air (Relapse LP) †/‡
* Nothing: A.C.D. (Relapse 12”)
* Charles Rumback & Ryley Walker: Cannots (Dead Oceans LP)



Big week for the record-collecting nerd this week with a record show on Sunday at a hotel out by the airport (and, holy cow, what amazing records I found!) but Saturday the 16th was also Record Store Day. 

Every year I tell myself I don't care -- but then wind up going out to a couple of the smaller stores after the crowds have thinned. And, what do you know? I found some cool stuff. Hope you all had a good one! A video is forthcoming...

April 11, 2016

Playlist Week of 2016-04-09

* Eddie Henderson: Realization/Inside Out (Capricorn/Soul Brother CD)
* Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith: A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (ECM CD)
* Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff (ECM CD)
* The Out Louds (T.Fujiwara/B.Goldberg/M.Halvorson): The Out Louds (Relative Pitch CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock & Tom Rainey: Buoyancy (Relative Pitch CD)
* Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series Vol.8: Tell Tale Signs 1989-2006 (Columbia 2CD)
* Van Morrison: Wavelength (Polydor CD)
* John Martyn: Solid Air (Island LP)
* Tim Buckley: Dream Letter: Live In London 1968 (Enigma Retro 2CD)
* Silver Apples: Silver Apples (Kapp LP)
* Tangerine Dream: Phaedra (Virgin LP)
* Tangerine Dream: Sorcerer OST (MCA LP)
* Tangerine Dream: Exit (Elektra LP)
* Pierre Moerlen’s Gong: Downwind (Arista LP)
* Pete Namlook: Air I & II (FAX 2CD)
* OM: Live (Outer Battery LP)
* Kylesa: Exhausting Fire (Season of Mist LP)
* The Sword: High Country (Razor & Tie 2LP) †/‡
* Syd Arthur: On an On (Harvest LP) †/‡
* Syd Arthur: Sound Mirror (Harvest LP) †/‡



The Moogertron 3700 is complete (for now). Can't wait to really dive in deep! Here's a taste:

April 3, 2016

Playlist Week of 2016-04-02

* Biber: Missa Christi Resurgentis (English Concert/Manze) (Harmonia Mundi SACD)
* Andrew Hill: Time Lines (Blue Note CD)
* Eddie Henderson: Sunburst (Blue Note LP)
* Eddie Henderson: Heritage (Blue Note LP)
* John McLaughlin: Johnny McLaughlin: Electric Guitarist (Columbia LP)
* Ingrid Laubrock: Ubatuba (Firehouse 12)
* Don Muro: It’s Time (Sine Wave/Flannelgraph LP)
* Tangerine Dream: Firestarter OST (MCA LP)
* Klaus Schulze: Blackdance (Virgin/Caroline LP)
* Klaus Schulze: Body Love OST (Island LP)
* Steven Halpern: Deja-Blues (Open Channel CD)
* Matthew Bourne: Moogmemory (Leaf LP/CD)
* Camel: Rain Dances (EMI CD) †/‡
* Opeth: Pale Communion (Roadrunner CD/Blu-Ray) †/‡
* Tortoise: Beacons of Ancestorship (Thrill Jockey LP)
* Tortoise: The Catastrophist (Thrill Jockey LP)
* Wild Nothing: Life of Pause (Captured Tracks LP)
* White Hills: Timeless Tracks For Aural Pleasure (Thrill Jockey LP)
* White Hills: Walks For Motorists (Thrill Jockey LP)
* Earthless: From The Ages (Tee Pee 2LP)
* Ryley Walker: Primrose Green (Dead Oceans LP)



Just got back from the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville. Rather than trying to write about it all, I just went ahead and made a video. Yeah, I went record shopping as well...

March 27, 2016

Playlist Week of 2016-03-26

* Jerusalem: City of the Two Peaces (Hesperion XXI, et al./Savall) (Alia Vox 2SACD)
* McCoy Tyner: Nights of Ballads & Blues (Impulse! CD)
* McCoy Tyner: Inception (Impulse! CD)
* Gateway: Homecoming (ECM CD)
* Marc Johnson: The Sound of Summer Running (Verve CD)
* David Torn: Cloud About Mercury (ECM CD)
* Steven Halpern: Gifts of the Angels (Open Channel CD)
* V/A: The Perfumed Garden: 82 Rare Flowerings…1965-1973 (d.1) (Past Present 5CD)
* Hawkwind: Hall of the Mountain Grill (United Artists LP)
* Jane: Jane III (Brain LP)
* Marcos Valle: Vento Sul (Odeon/Light In The Attic LP)
* This Mortal Coil: It’ll End In Tears (4AD HDCD)
* This Mortal Coil: Filigree & Shadow (4AD HDCD)
* This Mortal Coil: Blood (4AD HDCD)
* Boris with Michio Kurihara: Rainbow (Drag City CD)
* Boris: Heavy Rocks 2 (Southern Lord 2LP)
* Boris: New Album (Sargent House CD)
* Locrian: Infinite Dissolution (Relapse LP)
* Matthew Bourne: Moogmemory (Leaf LP/CD)



I was honored to participate in another Indeterminacies event at Zeitgeist Gallery this week, moderating the discussion between the audience and four student composers from the Blair School of Music, each of whom wrote music in response to the artwork of gallery artists, Paul Collins and Ward Schumacher.

All of these young composers presented unique and invigoratingly thoughtful analogs to the paintings on display. Jasper Brey's "Century" for flute, horn, double-bass and percussion, developed an accomplished set of variations based, in part, on recurring colors and motifs in Schumacher's series. "Natural Development" by George Miller took a different approach, with computer music and dance creating an immersive visual and audial space evoking the anthropomorphic trees depicted in Paul Collins's brightly colored yet oddly unsettling pictures. Amy Victoria Thompson's "Concert Pie" was a tour de force musical response to a punning, text-based painting by Schumacher. A seamlessly unfolding catalog of cadences -- from gothic to modern -- represented the text (which reads: "The End is All Importan" -- get it?) while an astonishingly thoroughgoing development of a handful of melodic and rhythmic ideas gave the piece a cohesiveness and emotional heft that reflected the seriousness beneath the artist's joking surface. Finally, Andrew Clark's "Soft Bark" harnessed the inherent narrative qualities of a string quartet to describe the various characters lurking within Collins's deceptively sunny, sylvan scenes. To learn that Mr. Clark is but a freshman was something of a shock!

The handling of musical materials across a variety of approaches and instrumentation was truly impressive -- but their sensitive and committed engagement with the art really blew me away. I tried to get people talking about what was going on -- and each composer was fascinatingly articulate about what they were up to -- but getting the audience involved was hard. Even so, it was clear to me that the capacity crowd was a moved as I was by the music. And perhaps it got them thinking -- if not talking. Regardless, it was a great evening. Young people like this give me hope for the future.


Meanwhile, here at Heeltop Home Studio, the Moogertron 3700 is coming along. I picked up a couple more Moogerfoogers on Craigslist for a great price (and another one came in the mail). It's insane, I know -- but I love it. Soon it will be complete (ha!). Anyway, here's a taste of what I've been up to: