December 29, 2012

Playlist 12-29-12

Me & Sam 2012-12-28

* Monteverdi: Marian Vesper 1610 (Concentus Musicus Wien/Harnoncourt) (Telefunken 2LP)
* J.S. Bach: Mass in B Minor (Collegium Vocale Gent/Herreweghe) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* J.S. Bach: Motets (Collegium Vocale Gent/Herreweghe) (PHI CD)
* J.S. Bach: Catatas (Collegium Vocale Gent/Herreweghe): Brussells, BE 11-03-08 (FM 2CDR)
* J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos (Leonhardt, et al.) (Seon/ABC 2LP)
* Andrew Hill: Change (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Grass Roots (Blue Note CD)
* Muhal Richard Abrams: Spihumonesty (Black Saint CD)
* Muhal Richard Abrams: Mama And Daddy (Black Saint CD)
* Muhal Richard Abrams: Blues Forever (Black Saint CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Strong Place (Intakt CD)
* Kip Hanrahan: SOB’s, New York, NY 2-27-85 (AUD CDR)
* D’Angelo: Voodoo (Virgin CD)
* Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Island/Def Jam CD)
* John Fahey: Dance Of Death and Other Plantation Favorites (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* John Fahey: The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party and Other Excursions (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* John Fahey: The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* John Fahey: Days Have Gone By (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* John Fahey: The New Possibility (Takoma LP)
* The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (2009 stereo) (Apple/EMI CD)†
* The Beatles: Past Masters Volume 2 (2009 stereo) (Apple/EMI CD)†
* The Beatles: “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” (take 1, complete) (fan/boot CDR)
* The Beatles: From Then To You (The Beatles Christmas Record) (fan/boot CDR)
* Bob Dylan: Tempest (Columbia 2LP/CD)
* Bob Dylan: Christmas In The Heart (Columbia CD)
* Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour No.34: Christmas & New Year’s (DAB 2CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA 3-19-77 (selections) (SBD 3CDR)
* Grateful Dead: Capital Center, Landover, MD 3-16-90 (GDP/Rhino 3HDCD)
* Grateful Dead: Civic Center, Hartford, CT 3-19-90 (GDP/Rhino 3HDCD)
* Grateful Dead: Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario 3-22-90 (GDP/Rhino 3HDCD)
* Love: Forever Changes (Elektra/Rhino LP)
* The Moody Blues: Days Of Future Past (Deram/Friday Music LP)
* Chicago: V (Columbia LP)
* Chicago: VI (Columbia LP)
* Chicago: VII (Columbia 2LP)
* King Crimson: Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (Inner Knot CD/DVD)
* Soft Machine: Triple Echo (Harvest EMI 3LP)
* Soft Machine: Universiteit Twente, Enschede, Netherlands 1-10-75 (AUD 2CDR)
* Kevin Ayers: Joy Of A Toy (EMI/4MWB LP)
* Caravan: In the Land Of Grey And Pink (Deram/EMI 2CD/DVD)
* Hatfield and The North: Hatfield and The North (Virgin LP)
* Jethro Tull: Thick As A Brick (Chrysalis/EMI CD/DVD)
* Emerson Lake & Palmer: Emerson Lake & Palmer (Razor & Tie 2CD/DVD)
* Emerson Lake & Palmer: Tarkus (Razor & Tie 2CD/DVD)
* Camel: Rain Dances (Decca/EMI CD)†/‡
* Camel: A Live Record (Decca/EMI 2CD)
* Cocteau Twins: Victorialand (4AD CD)
* My Bloody Valentine: Loveless (d.2) (Sony 2CD)
* Guided By Voices: The Bears For Lunch (GBV, Inc. CD)
* Porcupine Tree: In Absentia (Lava/Atlantic CD)
* Opeth: Heritage (Roadrunner CD/DVD)†/‡
* Grails: Deep Politics (Temporary Residence CD)
* Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO LP+7”)



It certainly has been a fabulous holiday season here at chez NuVoid—just look at that playlist (and my Photostream)! To cap it all off, I once again had the pleasure of Sam Byrd’s company, who was in town visiting family. We had a great time yesterday hanging out, drinking beer, eating pizza and listening to records. Of course, we exchanged Christmas gifts of music: he kindly gave me the 4Men With Beards vinyl reissue of Kevin Ayers’s classic Joy of a Toy—a quintessential document of the “Canturbury Sound” (and featuring Robert Wyatt on drums, one of Sam’s big heroes) while I continued to foist my Opeth obsession on him with the Damnation, Ghost Reveries, Watershed sequence of CDs. What can I say? Opeth rules!

More interestingly, we recorded over an hour of music in my home studio: a couple of ruminative piano/drums duets and a 38-minute, prog-infused freak-out. Sadly, my antiquated recording gear is somewhat crippled and obsolete and I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with these tracks (which actually sound pretty good). Anyway, it was a lot of fun, as always. I feel so lucky to get to see Sam—twice in one year! Although progress has inevitably slowed over the holidays, our forthcoming CD, to be titled, Indeterminate, will be going to press sometime in the next month or so. I’ll keep you posted as things progress. 2013 is going to be a very big year, with more musicking with Sam to come!

December 25, 2012

December 22, 2012

Playlist Week of 12-22-12

Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House - Strong Place
* Mozart: Violin Sonatas 1781 (Manze/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi CD)
* Mozart: 3 Violin Concertos (English Concert/Manze) (Harmonia Mundi SACD)
* Sun Ra: WKCR Studios 7-08-77 (FM CDR)
* Don Pullen: Evidence Of Things Unseen (Black Saint CD)
* Don Pullen Quintet: The Sixth Sense (Black Saint CD)
* Bill Dixon Orchestra: Intents And Purposes (RCA-Victor/International Phonograph CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Anti-House (Intakt CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Strong Place (Intakt CD)
* Bill Laswell: Invisible Design (Tzadik CD)
* Deltron 3030: Deltron 3030 (75 Ark CD)†
* Frank Ocean: Nostalgia Ultra (Frank Ocean MP3)†/‡
* Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Island/Def Jam CD)(†)
* Elvis Presley: If Every Day Was Like Christmas (RCA-Victor CD)
* John Fahey: Blind Joe Death (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* John Fahey: Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes (Takoma/4MWB LP)
* Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol.7 (London, September 1974) (selections) (GDP 3CD)
* Neil Young: Archives Vol.1 (selections) (Reprise 10BD)
* The Velvet Underground: Scepter Studios Sessions 4-25-66 (Polydor/Universal LP)
* The Velvet Underground & Nico: The Velvet Underground & Nico (mono) (Verve/Sundazed LP)
* The Velvet Underground: White Light, White Heat (mono) (Verve/Sundazed LP)
* The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground (mono) (Verve/Sundazed LP)
* The Velvet Underground: 1969 (Verve/Sundazed LP)
* Nico: Chelsea Girl (mono) (Verve/Sundazed LP)
* Deep Purple: Machine Head (Warner Bros./Rhino LP)
* King Crimson: Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (40th Anniversary Edition) (Inner Knot CD/DVD)
* Van Der Graaf Generator: The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other (Virgin/4MWB LP)
* Van Der Graaf Generator: H To He Who Am The Only One (Virgin/4MWB LP)
* Television: Marquee Moon (Elektra/Rhino LP)
* R.E.M.: Life’s Rich Pageant (I.R.S./Mobile Fidelity LP)
* R.E.M.: Document (I.R.S./Mobile Fidelity LP)
* U2: Achtung Baby (Deluxe Edition) (Island/Universal 2CD)†/‡
* Porcupine Tree: Stars Die: The Delerium Years 1991-1997 (KScope 2CD)†
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/Sony CD+DVD)†
* Opeth: Deliverance (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Damnation (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Anathema: Weather Systems (The End CD)†
* Baroness: Yellow & Green (Relapse 2LP)
* Lambchop: Damaged (Merge CD)
* Lambchop: OH(ohio) (Merge CD)†
* Lambchop: Mr. M (Merge CD)(†)
* Jack White: Blunderbuss (Third Man LP)
* Deerhoof: Breakup Song (Polyvinyl CD)



Although the new Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House CD, Strong Place, is not officially available from Intakt until later next month, you can get it right now by ordering directly from Ingrid It is, of course, just mind-blowingly great. Laubrock is a force to be reckoned with—not only is she an inventive and expressive saxophonist but she continues to develop as a composer of challenging yet movingly beautiful chamber music.

Anti-House is a killer band, featuring her husband, Tom Rainey, on drums; Mary Halvorson on guitar; John Hebert on bass; and Kris Davis on piano. Strong Place is a very different record from the eponymous CD with Davis taking on a much more prominent role. Laubrock accommodates her with eight longish compositions of varying moods and densities, also quite different than what came before, more nuanced and sophisticated. I have only had a chance to listen to it a couple of times since it arrived last week; it will take many more to unlock its mysteries.

While you’re checking out her website, you should also pick up the new Paradoxical Frog CD, Union, which features Laubrock and Davis with drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Good stuff! Your money goes directly to the artist and she’ll personally mail the CDs to you. How cool is that? Very cool.

December 16, 2012

Sun Ra Sunday

Sun Ra - Eternal Myth Revealed

Hello, again. You probably think I had completely given up on Sun Ra Sunday, having not posted anything since the end of July. Around that time I ordered The Eternal Myth Revealed, the mammoth 14-disc box set on Transparency which collects most (if not all) of Sun Ra’s earliest recordings, including some speculative tracks that may or may not have some connection to Sun Ra. I figured I’d need to have it should I ever circle back around and cover the period leading up to the Choreographer’s Workshop recordings, where I (accidentally) began Sun Ra Sunday in earnest back in 2008.

I have not listened to one note (or word) of this box set—in fact, I haven’t listened to any Sun Ra since my last post. This situation cannot is intolerable! So much great music awaits—not just the contents on this box but going forward where we left off: more solo piano sets, the legendary Horo LPs and the complete Media Dream and Disco 3000 concerts recently resurrected by Art Yard. My intention remains to examine Sun Ra’s recordings up through 1980 and Sunrise In Different Dimensions, which seems like a good cut-off point. After that, I plan to start over from the beginning, starting with the material found on The Eternal Myth Revealed. One day, I hope to publish this chronological overview of Sun Ra’s recordings as a monograph—ha!

2013 promises to be a big year—but even if I can get back to a weekly posting schedule, it will take a long time to complete this project. Stay tuned!

December 15, 2012

Playlist Week of 12-15-12

Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE

* J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations (Hewitt) Royal Festival Hall, London 4-29-09 (FM CDR)
* Veracini: Sonatas (Holloway/Mortensen/ter Linden) (ECM CD)
* Satie: Oeuvres de Piano (Ciccollini) (d.1-2) (EMI 5CD)
* Andrew Hill: Andrew!!! (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Pax (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Compulsion!!!!! (Blue Note CD)
* Paradoxical Frog (Kris Davis/Ingrid Laubrock/Tyshawn Sorey): Union (Clean Feed CD)
* Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House: Strong Place (Intakt CD)
* P.M. Dawn: Of The Heart, Of The Soul, And Of The Cross…(Gee Street/Island CD)
* DJ Shadow: Midnight In A Perfect World (MoWax CDEP)
* DJ Shadow: Stem (MoWax CDEP)
* Frank Ocean: Nostalgia Ultra (Frank Ocean MP3)†
* Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Island Def Jam CD)(†/)
* Grateful Dead: Winterland May 30, 1971 (GDP/Rhino 2LP)
* Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Psychedelic Pill (Reprise BD)
* The Band: Stage Fright (Capitol/Mobile Fidelity LP)
* Camel: Breathless (Dream/EMI CD)†
* Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts (Matador CD)†
* Yo La Tengo: Painful (Matador CD)
* Spiritualized: Sweet Heart, Sweet Light (Fat Possum CD)
* Beck: Sea Change (Geffen/Mobile Fidelity CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: In Absentia (Lava/Atlantic CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: Deadwing (Lava/Atlantic CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: Fear Of A Blank Planet (Atlantic CD)†
* Porcupine Tree: Nil Recurring (KScope CDEP)†
* Porcupine Tree: The Incident (Roadrunner CD/CDEP)
* Opeth:  Heritage (Roadrunner CD/DVD)†
* Storm Corrosion: Storm Corrosion (Roadrunner BD)
* Lambchop: OH (ohio) (Merge CD)
* Lambchop: Mr. M (Merge CD/2LP)
* Lambchop/Hands Off Cuba: CoLAB (Merge CDEP)
* Hands Off Cuba: Hands Off Cuba (Hands Off Cuba CDEP)
* Jack White: Blunderbuss (Third Man LP)
* Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (Rough Trade/ATO LP+7”)
* Wild Nothing: Nocturne (Captured Tracks CD)(†/)



When I interviewed Mary Halvorson a couple of weeks ago, I asked her what she liked to listen to that might surprise people. After hemming and hawing a bit, she revealed she had just gotten the Frank Ocean CD, Channel Orange, which she found “really interesting.”

Intrigued, I decided to pick it up at my weekly jaunt to Grimey’s. I don’t really keep up with hip-hop—not because I don’t like it, but because it’s just not on my radar most of the time. As it turns out, Frank Ocean (nee Christopher Francis Breaux) is the real deal, an R&B songwriting prodigy who cut his teeth ghostwriting hits for the likes of Beyonce and Justin Bieber. His home and studio was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, so he relocated to Los Angeles and eventually affiliated with the loose conglomeration, Odd Future (OFWGKTA). Ocean later gained attention as a solo artist in 2011 with a mixtape, Nostalgia Ultra, which contains the salacious single “Novacane” and the controversial “American Wedding,” an audacious reworking of the Eagles' “Hotel California,” which has, not surprisingly, drawn a cease-a-desist letter from the infamously litigious rock stars. Nostalgia Ultra will likely never be officially released but an MP3 is available at Frank Ocean's website.

Channel Orange, however is something else altogether, something totally fresh and original. Slyly avant-garde and experimental in its construction, it is nevertheless hook-filled pop music that demands repeated listens. Moreover, Ocean has an extremely versatile and expressive voice, at times sounding like classic soul singers Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder—but with a sexy falsetto like Prince with a similar taste for the kinky and explicit. The beats are thoroughly high-tech and up-to-date but what wins me over are the relentlessly gorgeous melodies—even when he’s speak/rapping, there is a mellifluous lilt to his voice goes right to the heart. When the subject matter gets uncomfortable, as on “Super Rich Kids,” “Crack Rock” and the epic, multifaceted “Pyramids,” you’ll find yourself singing along despite your misgivings. The lushly orchestrated music is mostly down-tempo and romantic, with jazzy flourishes amidst the digital samples and ultra-trippy production, the perfect setting for Ocean’s taut, morally ambiguous narratives. This is a record that’s made for headphones, richly cinematic and thoroughly mind-blowing.

Turns out I’m late to the party regarding Channel Orange, seeing as it has topped every critic’s poll for best albums of 2012. Well, it’s clearly well-deserved. Thanks for the tip, Mary! I probably would have remained oblivious. Guess I need to listen to more hip-hop and R&B in 2013—if there's anything else out there as good as this, I want to hear it.


The interview should appear over at SpectrumCulture any time now. I’ll keep you posted.

December 14, 2012

William Basinski @ Spectrum Culture

My review of the mammoth reissue of William Basinski's The Disintegration Loops is up over at Spectrum Culture. Sometimes art is not about liking it.

December 8, 2012

Playlist Week of 12-08-12

Kitchen Statue

* William Basinski: The Disintegration Loops (selections) (Temporary Residence MP3)†
* Andrew Hill: Pont of Departure (Blue Note CD)
* David S. Ware: Onecept (AUM Fidelity CD)
* Joe Morris/William Parker/Gerald Cleaver: Altitudes (AUM Fidelity CD)
* Myra Melford Be Bread: The Image Of Your Body (CryptoGramophone CD)
* Mary Halvorson Trio: Jazzstudio, Nuernberg, Germany 9-26-12 (FM FLAC)
* Grateful Dead: Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA 9-12-81 (selections) (AUD 3CDR)
* Love: Forever Changes (Elektra/Rhino LP)
* Jeff Beck: There And Back (Epic/Friday Music LP)
* Sade: Diamond Life (Epic/Audio Fidelity LP)
* Yo La Tengo: Autumn Sweater (Matador CDEP)
* Yo La Tengo: The Sounds Of The Sounds Of Science (Egon CD)
* Deerhoof: Deerhoof vs. Evil (Polyvinyl CD)
* Deerhoof: Breakup Song (Polyvinyl CD)
* Porcupine Tree: Octane Twisted (KScope 2CD)
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/Sony CD/DVD)†
* Opeth: Deliverance (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Damnation (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Jazz Club Nefertiti, Gothenburg, Sweden 12-02-12 (AUD FLAC)
* Opeth: Jazz Club Nefertiti, Gothenburg, Sweden 12-03-12 (AUD FLAC)
* Anathema: A Natural Disaster (Music For Nations/Sony CD)†/‡
* Alcest: Écailles de Lune (Prophecy CD)†/‡
* Alcest: Les Voyages de l’Âme (Prophecy CD)†/‡
* Pelican: The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Fall (Hydra Head CD)†
* Pelican: City Of Echoes (Hydra Head CD)†
* Pelican: March Into The Sea (Hydra Head EP)
* Pelican: What We All Come To Need (Southern Lord CD)†
* Pelican: Ataraxia/Taraxis (Southern Lord EP)



Please be patient with me, dear readers. I’ve been busy! But there are lots of exciting things to come as we get into the holidays—and 2013 will be a very interesting year, I promise!


P.S. I still love Opeth.

December 7, 2012

Laurie Spiegel @ Spectrum Culture

My review of the new expanded reissue of Laurie Spiegel's, The Expanding Universe, is up over at Spectrum Culture. This is a revised version of the original review, which was posted on November 27. Thank you, Ms. Spiegel, for reading my review and responding with some clarifications.

December 2, 2012

Mary Halvorson @ OSU

Mary Halvorson 2012-12-01a

We just got back from Columbus, Ohio, where we saw the Mary Halvorson Quintet last night at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University. Not only that, I got to interview Mary before the show for an upcoming article on Spectrum Culture. She was very, very cool - in fact, we chatted for over an hour! The concert was, of course, amazing. More about all this later...

December 1, 2012

Playlist Week of 12-01-12

Street Sign 2012-12-01

* Handel: 12 Solo Sonatas, Op.1 (Academy of Ancient Music/Egarr) (Harmonia Mundi 2CD)
* Debussy: Orchestral Music (New Philharmonia/Cleveland/Boulez) (d.2) (Sony Classical 2CD)
* Andrew Hill: Black Fire (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Smokestack (Blue Note CD)
* Andrew Hill: Judgment! (Blue Note CD)
* Steely Dan: Gaucho (MCA DVD-A)
* Big Star: Keep An Eye On The Sky (d.2) (Ardent/Rhino 4CD)
* Animal Collective: Centipede Hz (Domino 2LP/DVD/FLAC)
* Neurosis: Honor Found In Decay (Neurot MP3)†
* King Crimson: Islands (DGM/Inner Knot CD/DVD)
* Mary Halvorson Quintet: Bending Bridges (Firehouse 12 CD)
* Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone: Departure Of Reason (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Weasel Walter/Mary Halvorson/Peter Evans: Electric Fruit (Thirsty Ear CD)
* Weasel Walter/Mary Halvorson/Peter Evans: Mechanical Malfunction (Thirsty Ear CD)
* MAP (Mary Halvorson/Tatsua Nakatani/Clayton Thomas): Six Improvisations (H&H CD)
* MAP (Mary Halvorson/Tatsua Nakatani/Reuben Radding): Fever Dream (Taiga 2LP)
* Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: The Air Is Different (482 Music CD)
* Tom Rainey Trio: Camino Cielo Echo (Intakt CD)
* Opeth: Still Life (Peaceville CD/DVD)
* Opeth: Blackwater Park (Music For Nations/Sony CD/DVD)†
* Opeth: Deliverance (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Opeth: Damnation (Music For Nations/KOCH CD)†
* Anathema: We’re Here Because We’re Here (KScope CD)†
* Anathema: Weather Systems (The End CD)†
* Katatonia: Last Fair Deal Gone Down (Peaceville CD/CDEP)†
* Katatonia: Viva Emptiness (Peaceville CD)
* Katatonia: Great Cold Distance (Peaceville CD)†
* Katatonia: Night Is The New Day (Peaceville CD)†
* Agalloch: The Mantle (The End CD)†
* Agalloch: The Grey EP (Agalloch/Bandcamp FLAC>CDR)†
* Agalloch: The White EP (Agalloch/Bandcamp FLAC>CDR)†
* Agalloch: Ashes Against The Grain (The End CD)†
* Agalloch: Marrow Of The Spirit (Profound Lore CD)
* Love: Forever Changes (Elektra/Rhino LP+7”)



Somewhere there.