Archive for May, 2007

Awesome photos– Superman Shield in the Sky!

May 26, 2007

My wife and a friend were coming home from Nashville, following their pilgrimage to see Pirates of the Caribbean 3. With her friend driving, my wife noticed a very interesting cloud formation, and took the following two pictures.

She didn’t show me the photos until this morning, after I got the camera out of the car. I uploaded them myself only a few minutes after seeing them, so I know the main two haven’t been Photoshopped. After putting them on Photobucket, I opened the originals in Photoshop, and cropped them down for easy viewing. Here are the originals, each followed by the close-up cropped version. Be sure to view these in full, they’re rather large. Enjoy! (more…)

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Liveblog! ITDE 5/26/07

May 26, 2007

I got an early start this morning, adding another 30 minutes to the show. I figured I’d put some of Mike Tamburo’s New American Folk Hero release, “Language of the Birds, and Other Fantasies” box set on– I really enjoy being able to program a single long set for this first half-hour. I should say that while much of Tamburo’s set lives at the farthest edge of what I consider “experimental,” and thus may or may not be appropriate for the show, I have been enjoying it. I’m a bit put off by not having titles on the discs themselves, though. With something like 7 discs (and a DVDr as well) there is a high probability of getting these switched about in their respective cases. Ordinarily, I suppose I could check track times and names against the liner notes or something, but at least one of the discs is tracked oddly, with 5 songs listed and three tracks. With none of the discs claiming to have only three tracks, I’m really not sure which disc this is– thus leaving them all somewhat suspect. Perhaps a helpful Tamburo fan can assist me before I break out in a rash of OCD and start climbing the walls of Discogs!

With this in mind, forgive me if I have a track title listed incorrectly in the playlist.

cdr1b.jpgUp next is Marko Marin, with the 2005 release “Heijastu, Katoa Ja Ole Valmina,” on the Luovaja microlabel. This is a rather strange electronic disc, playful at times, kind of an odd blend between a Phillip Glass side project and the lighter side of Brian Eno’s outings with Jon Hassell. Does this cover remind you of that Nirvana picture at all?

Now I’m playing from the Testing Ground release of Pau Torres’s “Hostile,” a 2007 album that contains a sample of a dial-up modem, of all things. I thoughtlglp0837.jpg everyone had gone to cable by now, haha. But seriously, this is really interesting electroacoustic work– subtle electronic sweeps mingle with shuffling static, coughs, guitar, ringing tones, and water pumps. It’s well put-together, a bit more organic and accessible than one might initially believe.

Nihil Communication, yeah! This is the sort of stuff that makes Edgetone a great label to pay attention to– Andre Custodio’s deep talents are at serious play here, and I don’t mind running over my set time considerably to keep them going. This disc, “We Are Violent,” is like a compressed version of everything that creeps me out about Diamanda Galas’s best work, but without the volume or the howling. And that’s really saying something!

Remember last week, when I was battling that crummy Tascam CD player (160MKII) that couldn’t count time backwards? What a pain in the ass. For a pro-level device (supposedly) this is kind of a basic feature. Anyways, it’s gone now– replaced with the Sony CDP-D11, which is actually worse. When it works, I don’t mind this player much– it has a lot of decent features on it, and it reads discs quickly. But damn, it hasn’t wanted to take a disc for the past month! It just makes a whirring noise like its trying to cough. I almost feel like I should pat it on the back. How weird is that? I’m used to the musical chairs equipment we have at WDBX, but I hate having only two decks– I love having many discs available, and being able to choose among them. If I had my way, this blank rack space would have another nice Denon player stuck in it…

In my opinion, all a good pro-level player needs is the ability to play from any sort of disc, including mp3s. With mp3s, there should be a decent way to scan through folders and files, with a text display. Discs should cue quickly, and the timer needs to be able to display 4 times– total, total remain, track remain, track total. Finally, make the thing sturdy! This is pretty simple, yet manufacturers seem to constantly get it wrong.

As I mentioned on air, this DJ Goddamn stuff is what first got my attention at the Hymns label— static-filled cut-ups, filled with a love of the found tape aesthetic. This one kind of reminds me of a trashier version of one John Oswald’s Mystery Tape releases. Cool stuff, fans of radio air surveys and cut-ups unite!

Great. The transmitter is kicking itself off. How ghetto can the equipment be tonight? It sure is annoying to get up every few minutes and turn the damn thing back on!! You really have to wonder if that thing is wired correctly… This also means I have to listen to the “air” monitor all night, which is not as good of a quality as the studio signal– yes, I’m picky. Sue me.

Okay, before I go apeshit (or batshit, as my daughter prefers) here is Colorir. They’re based out of somewhere in Brazil, and have this yet-unreleased disc of strange drum/guitar experiments– a bit post-rock in parts, occasionally quite beautiful. These seem to be improv experiments, as each of the six tracks tends to begin at one place and finish at quite another… usually visiting a few odd stops along the way. I think this is also the first time I’ve ever heard blast beats outside of metal– strangely, it seems to work.

How about some Roil Noise Offensive material? First up is from the Damno Te/Android in Motion split “Transcendentalism,” whose uber-vox and laser noises won me over the first time I heard it. Great use of tremendous layering and dynamics on this disc. Now I’m playing from the Lonely Carbon disc, “Quick Release,” which is a rather strange one. The tracks vary quite a bit from one to the next, with muted underwater sounds being pushed aside by the buzz of rushing electronics, only to be replaced by howling winds fit for a Kurosawa film sequence.

I wanted to play from the 4-way split release “Seasons,” which features Ctephin, Rabbit Girls, Damno Te, and Ghoul Detail. Having 20 minutes free, I figured I’d play one of the long tracks– in this case, “A Daft Hell,” Damno Te’s barbarous take on the poignant nature of fall. For me, fall is the harbinger of winter– and while fall is surely my favorite season, I have missed it almost completely for the past few years, succumbing to my unnatural dread of winter’s arrival. Only the clearest days, jacket-wearing days, have jostled me out of this narrowly-focused reverie… and though it’s only the beginning of summer, I’m already hoping not to miss much of this fall. But hey, you can have summer– down here, it’s thick with sweat and mosquitos– utterly miserable!

How’s this for flaky? I’ve got a guy on slsk chewing me out for “not” downloading his recordings that he told me about a couple weeks ago. Nevermind that I did download them a few hours after that show, and just didn’t like them… this guy’s apparently been playing vulture, hovering over his uploads box and awaiting his big radio break. Let me tell you– this isn’t how things are done. He hit me up in chat towards the end of the show to gripe:

Dude: Well I havent seen no Daephexalso downloading nuttin from me
Me: I had downloaded it pretty much right away after you’d told me about it. I’m not lying. I like hearing new music. You must have just missed it. Sorry!
Dude: Well the downloads stay finished in the window so I couldnt miss it. But thats ok. See Ya
Me: whatever, man. it didn’t work out. try to be cool with that. maybe next time.
Dude: yeah yeah

What do you even say to this sort of thing? The only thing he could have done worse is send me the mp3s in an e-mail. I mean, seriously… I listen to enormous amounts of submissions each week. I also take a lot of time to download artists’ materials, a significant amount of which I find out about from the artists themselves. Learning more about music, and making it available for a larger audience is WHAT I DO. It really pisses me off to have someone talking shit about my level of dedication, and my hard work– I have nearly 10 years of volunteering to bring new music to listeners under my belt– and he’s getting cranky because he can’t move an mp3 or two? Sheesh! I’m reminded of a KRS-1 freestyle: “You playin’/you ain’t no battle hog/what you got?/one demo?/against my 12 year catalog?”

Mike Tamburo — Elisabeth Queen of Theta
Mike Tamburo — Chasing Snakes in Camden Woods
Mike Tamburo — I Will Never Tell You What Happened in Virginia Beach
Mike Tamburo — Variations of Lee Jackson
Marko Marin — Molemmat vanhukset Osa 1
Marko Marin — Joulukuun ensimmaiset paivat
Pau Torres — Climfon
Pau Torres — Brown Dog
Pau Torres — Banjo Insult
Nihil Communication — Sea of Ideology
Nihil Communication — A Supplication
DJ Goddamn — Never Mind the Static, This is Miami!
Colorir — Untitled, track 2
Android in Motion — Agony of the Inner Mind
Lonely Carbon — Untitled 1 (from “Quick Release”)
Lonely Carbon — Untitled 2 (from “Quick Release”)
Lonely Carbon — Untitled 3 (from “Quick Release”)
Damno Te –Fall: A Daft Hell
Mike Tamburo — Headphone Music for Bridget Bardot
Mike Tamburo — The Transmigration of Timothy Sweeney Revisited
Mike Tamburo — No More Dripping from Windsor’s Beard

Due to the transmitter problems, my live rip of this week’s broadcast was fractured and error-ridden. There is no download for this week’s “It’s Too Damn Early,” sorry. Instead, why don’t you download one of the older shows? (hereherehere…) I know you don’t have them all! –DaveX

“Improv For Folded Signals” online!

May 23, 2007

liner_detail_1.jpgAs I’ve previously mentioned, following delivery of a sold-out Naked Arrival release, I am making the full work available online for free download. With the receipt of (and subsequent experimental blog activity about) the two-disc, three-cassette edition of “Improv for Folded Signals,” you can now find the entire work at it’s netlabel page.

Here is a short description I wrote for the download page:

“”Improv for Folded Signals” is constructed from multiple recordings of a single experimental radio action, where numerous streaming instances of a single live broadcast were “folded” back into the mix, utilizing John Roach and Willy Whips’s Simultaneous Translator software. The resulting sounds were recorded separately on three cassettes placed at different locations within the broadcast studio. Later, these cassettes were combined in an artistic fashion to create a monolithic mix of differing “viewpoints” of the original action.”

I hope you’ll take the time to check this out— I am incredibly pleased with the results, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well.

BIG HUGE project!

May 23, 2007

My good friend and former co-host Tony Youngblood and I are staring down a BIG HUGE project– revisiting, editing, and remastering two years worth of weekly experimental radio shows– these being our collective radio work ~Ore~ Prefab Audio Extrapolations.  It’s been about eight years since we’ve heard most of these, and looking at hours and hours of this material waiting for me is daunting to say the least.

I’ve been listening to shows as I have time, and I’ve been extremely surprised to see how good much of it actually is! Although I always believed in the worth of our broadcasts, I also had the general idea that we were barely being heard– and an “us-versus-them” mentality was difficult to avoid. I imagine that for every one solid musical decision I made, two were just to roil an unsuspecting listener. But provocation has it’s place, right?

Digital photography by E.J.Still, its incredible how varied the ideas were– everything from a long look at abbreviation, to challenging listeners to create their own listening experience by rearranging their speakers. Along the way, we recorded shows live at a house party, interviewed a “big box” Wal-Mart manager, milked our televisions for every last ironic sample; and used everything from cordless phones to a theremin (oddly, not all that un-alike) as a sound source.

Aside from simply being a formidable task, reviewing this amount of work really requires serious organization skills. I find myself drawing on different aspects of my experience– my work as a DJ has sharpened my skills as a curator, but I’m also pulling from my own artistic and aesthetic ideas while considering where possible edits or improvements may be needed.

Okay, I know… this may not be terribly interesting to the majority of you. “DaveX is whining about having too much work, gee thanks.” But there are a couple things I’ve learned so far, so let me pass them on:

1) If it doesn’t get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish musically, go ahead and record your work. You can’t know if you’ll end up wanting it later, and you’ll thank yourself if you do.

2) Slap a date on it! Your memory is probably not going to be sufficient to sort out details of when you recorded something, especially if you make a habit of doing so. Give your brain a rest, and break out the Sharpie– recording dates, locations, players, sound sources, it’s all good.

3) CDRs hold up better than you’d think. Sure, they’re not perfect– but with reasonable care, they’ll hold up until you need them next time.

Hope this helps! Now wish me luck.  –DaveX

Liveblogging! “ITDE” 5/19/07

May 19, 2007

I came in this morning to find Jim from the “JLDJ” show in the Hi-Life Room– a pretty big surprise, since nothing was being broadcast, and I’d expected to see an empty station. Whew! I didn’t recognize him right off, but luckily, we got stuff sorted out before I had the chance to aim my large metal box of CDs at him!

Anyways, this show is going to be a great one. I’m especially enthusiastic because I am covering for the show following mine (“Kids Kamp”) which means I will have an extra 1.5 hrs of show time… and with an additional half-hour’s worth from going on early (“Gamer’s Guild” didn’t go on tonight) it means I’ll have a 4.5 hour broadcast! Looks like time to bring out the long cuts!

I got this Climax Golden Twins minidisc going… which had totally confused me the first time I heard it, not realizing that the second track has an enormous fade-in from silence. I thought it might have only had one short track… but I noticed the disc was still playing. Anyhow, I figure this time, I’ll just stick something in that spot, hence the Melanie Auclair release “Decor Sonore,” in the middle of the two CGT tracks.As always, I’m digging the Mystified material. The “Strange Traffic” release is just another example of not being able to pin Park’s sounds down– a good thing, by my estimate. I decided to play Matt Weston’s “Resistance Cruisers” disc for a while, give the first couple tracks another go. This is sort of a habit of mine, re-visiting discs to see how my perception has changed. I’m hearing a bit more variation this time, and I’m definitely leaning more towards the less-percussive sections of the tracks– those horn noises are pretty nice. Still, the random rumbling isn’t doing a lot for me. For some reason, it just never seems like Weston really lets go. This might be a lot better in a live setting.

Edward Ruchalski never lets me down! I have to say, I love his use of propane tanks and homemade instruments. The First Person release “Refined Localities” is great stuff, especially for this slow time of the morning. I’ll be waking up a bit more later, but right now, I just want to take it slow for a bit. Ruchalski has a great sense of pacing… I’m following it up with the album “Rusted Breath Quiet Hands,” a droning sort of work from Craig Colorusso and Matthew Welch, available on Muud Records.

I think the LARB disc was just what I needed to ramp up out of the quiet area I had been exploring for the past couple hours… it’s a nice mix of odd, processed sounds and electronic drones. One of these days, I’m going to have to track Mike Honeycutt down and get some more of this stuff– Memphis is too close for me not to!

Yep. Definitely out of the quiet zone now. For all I know, WDBX is currently knocking down every building in a five-block radius as I play from the Hymns Records release “Skin Atonement” from Wether. Whee!

Now I’m playing Yermo. I wanted to play Rabbit Girls’ “Hard Drive” right now, but the new CD player wasn’t recognizing the disc. I had to wait to get Wether out of the one that would, so Yermo skips ahead a spot– I don’t like dead air while I change discs!

Alrighty… I got the Rabbit Girls disc working just fine now. Stupid, picky disc players! Let them have a dose of this audio nightmare before I junk them! I’m not for certain, but I think I hear a sample of that “oh yeaaaah” from Ferris Bueller in the first track. Someone remind me to ask. Truthfully, “Stress Fracture” is more my speed than the first track. It’s definitely evocative of some sort of stereo/hard drive mutant mating session; the hybrid lovemaking of Tandy wizardry and JC Penney sonics as blasted through a few screen windows and a dirty HEPA filter at high speed. As you can imagine, I’m having a blast playing this at the “end” of my show. So begins this week’s “Kids Kamp,” sure to send all the children to their corner for the rest of the day. Sorry kiddos, it had to be done.

Digital Photography by E.J.

I decided to mix “Militant Audio” with my own recording “Improv for Folded Signals,” which I recently released. This is from the “C” version of the album, which will be available for free download soon. I’m loving the play between Rabbit Girls’ terror-static, and my own drone signals… It’s a pretty good combination!

I went out on the front porch for a bit to catch some fresh air, and listened to the Big City Orchestra material from the radio there. Sounds truly different coming from such a small speaker. Keep in mind, this little radio often sits out in the rain, cold, hot summers… it’s a neglected little thing! BCO sounded great on there, though– the pulse of “Joneynomey” popping through, with those odd voices… makes for an interesting mix between the natural sounds outdoors and the little radio, that’s for sure. During the BCO stuff, I decided I hadn’t played enough Otomo Yoshihide recordings lately, and resolved to locate at least one to play this week. This selection is from number two of the four-disc set of Martin Tetreault and Otomo’s live duos. “Tok” is probably my favorite disc of the set, although they’re all amazing. These are all available on Ambiances Magnetiques.Odd. Someone just phoned. “Hey, DaveX– what’s happening?” And then hung up. Weird. In the spirit of giving, though, I’ll answer the question– Paul Dutton is up. “Mercure” is what’s playing, and yes– he IS saying “poisson” over and over. Or is he saying “poison”? Well, that’s up to you to decided, my multi-lingual listeners…

Well, Paul Dutton is as close as I’m ever going to get to a good lead-in for Robert Anbian’s avant-poetry. I like his words, but the background sounds sometimes distract me… anyone know if he has some solo albums? Still, I don’t play nearly enough vocal work on the show– and someone at Edgetone has the experimental/vocal hookup, so I figured I’d follow Anbian with a couple tracks from the Doctor Bob “Dark Times” release, which also has some stream-of-consciousness FX’ed vox. 3.4 hours into this broadcast, and I’m actually starting to feel the crunch. There’s so much I want to play, and so little time. And folks are starting to call in their requests for more run-of-the-mill music, yuck… Only 7:30 and the intolerance has begun!

I know. I know… Art Bears and Muslimgauze have no business following one another– but dammit– I wanted to hear these tracks. Sue me. Still, you have to have respect for a DJ who can blend Contrastate and Atau Tanaka so beautifully. Thank you.

I think I’ll play my theme music soon, to cap off a wonderful show. This was the perfect pick-me-up for a string of so-so shows… if you want to make it extra-special, leave a comment or send me some well-hidden cash for no reason whatsoever. –DaveX

A full download of this show is now available, in a single-track, 64kbps mp3 format– basically, the same way you’d hear it in the webstream. I do not offer this recording as a replacement for purchasing albums from the artists and labels heard on the show, but merely as another chance for busy “ITDE” listeners to catch their favorite broadcast. If you require any assistance or information about a recording I have played, please let me know!

Kim Cascone — Statistically Improbably Phrases
Climax Golden Twins — Climax Golden Twins pt.1 (the one on Testing Ground, see?)
Melanie Auclair — Sunday Driver
Melanie Auclair — Le Fil
Melanie Auclair — Les volet mous
Climax Golden Twins — Climax Golden Twins pt.2
Mystified — Rubber Cats
Mystified — Mercury Vapor
Mystified — Strange Traffic 1
Matt Weston — It’s Your Career
Matt Weston — Lonely Drive, Crowded Street
Edward Ruchalski — Refined Localities 2
Edward Ruchalski — Refined Localities 3
Craig Colorusso, Matthew Welch — Rusted Breath Quiet Hands (excerpt)
LARB (Zan Hoffman, Mike Honeycutt) — Untitled 2005 minidisc
Wether — Selective Reasoning
Wether — Silver Flood
Wether — Torrid
Wether — Anticipate the Genesis
Yermo — Yermo
Rabbit Girls — Eating Out of Boredom
Rabbit Girls — Stress Fracture
Rabbit Girls — Lost Hope Machine
Rabbit Girls — Militant Audio
Rabbit Girls — Musical Abatement
DaveX — Improv for Folded Signals
Big City Orchestra — Algae Seldom Genuflects
Big City Orchestra — Joneynomey
Martin Tetreault, Otomo Yoshihide — Nijmegen No. 4A, Live 4/25/03
Paul Dutton — Mercure
Paul Dutton — Stereo Head
Robert Anbian & the Unidentified Flying Quartet — We 3.6
Doctor Bob — They’re Coming
Doctor Bob — Opera-ation
LaMonte Young — Two Sounds
Contrastate — Invocation to the Rite of Birth
Atau Tanaka — 9m 14s over Vietnam
Art Bears — Song of Investment Capital Overseas
Muslimgauze — Refugee

Show Downloads

May 18, 2007

A quick update– the show downloads for “It’s Too Damn Early” broadcasts 5/5/07 and 5/12/07 are finally available! Sorry for the wait.

These are single-track, 64kbps mp3 format– basically, the same way you’d hear it in the webstream. I do not offer this recording as a replacement for purchasing albums from the artists and labels heard on the show, but merely as another chance for busy “ITDE” listeners to catch their favorite broadcast. If you require any assistance or information about a recording I have played, please let me know!

AM/FM Transmitters!

May 16, 2007

A couple transmitters have found their way into my hands recently– a nifty AM transmitter with built-in tape player, microphone, and volume control which was a birthday gift; and an FM transmitter that plugs directly into a cigarette lighter area of an automobile, also featuring a USB port for thumb drives, etc..

Naturally, this gets me thinking of all the cool projects I can do with these simple, but well-functioning transmitters. I should mention that these aren’t the first of my transmitters– I have a USB-powered FM device that I can use to send a radio signal from my computer into my kitchen’s radio, as well as another FM device that is often sold to guitarists to plug directly into the 1/4″ jack of an electric guitar. A neat feature of this device (which is no longer sold, I realize, following an extensive online search for it’s photo) is that it has a scalable distortion, as well as an “echo” effect setting. Handy!

One project I am currently working on is creating a loop between various transmitters and radios. Although I have managed to get it to work, the results have been a little less than spectacular so far– but there seems to be real promise that future results will be more interesting. Right now, I can get a really nice low hum going by sending an AM signal to one radio, outputting this signal to the FM transmitter, which is received by the first radio… with it’s output directed into the original AM transmitter. My hope is that I will be able to complicate this a bit with additional signals, and possibly more radios sending and receiving these signals.

The idea of FM becoming AM becoming FM, etc is also really appealing– and it’s fun wondering if a car that happens to be driving by my house has ever picked up on these experiments for a few short moments!

In case you’re interested, both of the transmitters I mentioned in the first paragraph work very well. The AM model has a lot of features that give it tremendous flexibility, including the option for incoming audio from either the built-in microphone or a 1/8″ jack, the ability to mix between both sources simultaneously, some built-in sound effects, a tape player source, universal volume control, a grounding wire, and a substantial antennae. It runs on batteries, which I am content with– AM transmitters will often react unpleasantly with AC power transformers.

USB Rocket FM TransmitterThe automobile unit is also quite nice. I don’t own an iPod, and I’m generally annoyed at the cassette-adaptor-and-Discman setup that passes for an in-dash CD player in my car. My tape player tends to make a nasty grinding noise, and having all those wires hanging about simply begs for me to accidentally yank something loose, ultimately damaging some component.

The automobile unit has a USB port right on the front, so I can easily attach a thumb drive with mp3s, and play directly from it. It’s got a shuffle mode, volume, and FM channel select (which would be handy in a larger city, I suppose). Additionally, this device also has a 1/16″ input for external audio sources. A super-nice touch was the included 1/16-to-1/8″ male/male audio cable
included, gratis.

nadytrans.jpgMost manufacturers would have neglected this, so it is worth mentioning when a company goes the extra mile to include one of these. A neat feature, however unintended, is that the device will actually play from your thumb drive AND an external audio source simultaneously. If one were to use the volume control on a Discman, and also play from a thumb drive, some interesting possibilities for mash-ups and unconscious mixing could easily arise… Anyhow, if you see me driving, tune to 88.7 FM– you might get to hear what I’m listening to!

Rod Poole, 1962-2007

May 16, 2007

I just caught this sad bit of information this afternoon:

“Police have arrested a husband and wife on suspicion of stabbing a 45-year-old man to death in the parking lot of a well-known Hollywood eatery.

The incident occurred about 9:45 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of Mel’s Drive-In in the 1600 block of Highland Avenue. Officers answered a call of an assault with a deadly weapon and found Roderick Poole, 45, with multiple stab wounds. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he died at 10:06 p.m.

Poole, of Hollywood, was walking with his wife when he got into an argument with a woman in a car, said Los Angeles Police Det. Larry Cameron. Witnesses told police the woman, with her husband, nearly ran over Poole. They exchanged words and the couple allegedly attacked Poole, police said. Michael Sheridan, 25, allegedly stabbed Poole several times before the pair drove off, investigators said.

“This was incredibly dumb,” said Cameron, referring to how a minor disagreement turned into a killing. Detectives later arrested Sheridan and his wife, Angela Sheridan, 24, both of Los Angeles. They were being held in lieu of $1-million bail each.” (LA Times)

I first became aware of Poole’s work through the compilation “156 Strings,” a Cuneiform release put together by Henry Kaiser. His contribution, “Kalaidoscopic Sunday,” was one of the first to catch my ear– in a compilation filled with many artists I was not familiar with, I recall this particular track being a real standout; with a loopy, repetitively insistent phrasing I eventually learned was characteristic of Poole’s work.

Oft-collaborator Nels Cline has much more to say on all this than I– here’s the link.

Commentary for “ITDE” 5/12/07

May 12, 2007

I’m a little burned out temporarily. Last week’s show wasn’t the best, so I’m going to lay off the liveblogging for this week, and just focus on the sounds. I think I’m just a bit too tired to manage any more than this sufficiently. This upcoming week looks like I’ll be playing catch-up to the many things I need to finish!

Hal McGee — Live at the Shamrock
AMM — To Hear
Harold Budd — The Room of Stairs
Harold Budd — The Room of Corners
Emily Hay, Brad Dutz, Wayne Peet — Coming!
Emily Hay, Brad Dutz, Wayne Peet — Hot Japanese Water
Tom Nunn — Skatchrod
Tom Nunn — Nailstrum
Tom Nunn — Cross Rods/3
Z’ev — Number Seven
Z’ev — The Hand. The Palm
Z’ev — Skin on Thigh. Thorns
Z’ev — Yellow Arrow
Gordon Monahan — Speaker Swinging
David Tudor — Dialects
Voice Crack — A Spoonful of Tea in a Barrelful of Honey
Christian Marclay — Black Stucco
Trash Ant — Biz in the W
Merzbow — White Pea Fowl
Merzbow, Russell Haswell — Satanstonade
Charles Dodge, Joan LaBarbara — The Waves
Area C — Haunt

A full download of this show is now available in a single-track, 64kbps mp3 format— basically, the same way you’d hear it in the webstream. I do not offer this recording as a replacement for purchasing albums from the artists and labels heard on the show, but merely as another chance for busy “ITDE” listeners to catch their favorite broadcast. If you require any assistance or information about a recording I have played, please let me know!

Neil Diamond, Black Metal Superstar

May 7, 2007

I bought some cassette tapes at a yard sale the other day– among them, Neil Diamond’s “Live in America” album, yet another Neil where I’d know all the songs, but hadn’t actually heard this exact album. The double CD has him singing Hava Nagila, but not my tape– damn.

But my tape has something that nobody else’s tape has. My tape has Neil Diamond in full-on black metal mode.

Digital illustration by DaveX

Well, not really. Due to some fault of the tape (and I’ve never heard anything even remotely like this before) the first five or six seconds sound exactly like a motorcycle. It was so believable that I was wondering how I had ever missed Neil Diamond riding a motorcycle onto stage. Pretty soon I realized this was some tape malfunction, right around the time Neil started his black metal vocal version of “America.”Yep. There was Neil, doing the Cookie Monster growling vox– “Faaaaaaaar! We’ve been traveling FAAAAARRRR!”

Both my wife and I were more than a little taken aback. This was a side of Neil I wasn’t previously aware of. And yeah, it was a lot of fun. I started making evil hand gestures, growling along with Neil as he ripped into the chorus, which now took on an overtone of invasion– “They’re coming to Americaaaaa! TODAAAAY! TODAAAAAY!”

Neil was getting all NSBM on me, as the tape somehow continued its crazed-viking onslaught. Up for a laugh, we went along with it– a little head-banging, throwing up the horns, and nearly spitting up my Coke when the tape drug out the bit about the “eye of the storm,” pitching it deep into Neil’s gut.

By the time “Hello, Again” came on, Neil’s black metal tendencies had mostly worn off. Every so often, the tape would sputter again, but it was clear that the odd confluence of tape and stereo wouldn’t happen again– Neil’s short-lived day as a black metal vocalist was over.

“Tenex” Reviewed at the Internet Archive!

May 7, 2007

Nashville musician (and proud first-edition “Tenex” owner) Tony Youngblood posted his review of this first-edition release at Naked Arrival’s Internet Archive page. In the interest of filling every corner of the net with Naked Arrival-related content, I’ve posted his interview below. Enjoy it!

Completely random photo selected by Tony Youngblood“Teleconferencing as Ocean Wave”

“A casual listener may write off Naked Arrival’s first release “Tenex” as a hodge-podge of overlapping voices, a smattering of “your call is important to us” muzak and not much else. But there is great depth here.

Tenex was created using Skype’s conference call feature. The composer DaveX called up a number of hotlines, help lines and government agencies and let the magic unfold. Some were recordings, requiring keypad entry. Others were live customer service agents. DaveX never contributed to the conversation except for the occasional random keypad entry.

What raises this release above simple cacophony is the interplay between calls. Sometimes customer service agents will try to speak to the caller. They are reacting to the sounds they hear, unknowingly contributing. In this way, they become oblivious performers.  Everything affects and plays off of everything else. Sometimes, layers and layers of voices and muzak duel, creating entirely new sounds. Near the beginning, so many voices overlap that all aural coherence breaks down; and we hear one single, never-before heard instrument. Don’t pay attention to what anyone is saying — the important thing here is the the whole, the flow, an organic wave that is sometimes a tsunami and sometimes a calm and solitary peak.”

Looks like I have my work cut out for me; I’ve got some liner notes to write for Youngblood’s kick-ass upcoming album. You’ll hear the trumpets when it comes out– but until that fully righteous day, you’ll need to make do with this free download.

Make Discogs a Wiki!

May 7, 2007

As I mentioned the other day, I finally joined Discogs, following my surprise discovery of some of my earlier work on a listed Polish CDR. I’ve enjoyed browsing the site from time to time, but had generally stayed away– Discogs always looked like a rabbit hole I might spend an inordinate amount of time adding to.

I took some time to create a full release entry for one of my earlier albums, the same one that had been the source of tracks for the Polish compilation. If you haven’t used Discogs, let me describe it in a single word for you: ANAL. discogwiki.jpg

Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. When you’re serious about looking up an exact album, especially older stuff, the difference between a track being 2:33 or 2:45 can make a real difference! And I have to hand it to them, Discogs has done an admirable job of creating a useable, somewhat-friendly interface for entering all the possible information about albums in. Still, given the amount of time and effort it took for me to enter my own album in– one I thought I knew pretty well, ha ha– really opened my eyes. When you start imagining a site of this size tracking song lengths, cover art, limited editions, formats, stereo information, etc… well, there’s a lot of opportunity for mistakes to be made!

Even I made some initially. I put “40” for the number of CDs in the release itself, thinking this to be a space for the number of individual editions manufactured. I tangled up a performer’s alias, and used a slightly incorrect format term where another would have been more appropriate.

The good thing was that later that day, I was discussing my first Discogs experience with some fellow SLSK Noise chatters, who noted these errors and helped me fix them. The bad thing?

I found out that my entry probably won’t be seen by a Discogs moderator for around four months!

Yes, you read that right. At this moment, on the same internet that you and I use, a person can enter information into a popular site receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors each day and not see that information made accessible to the general public for months! It’s almost hard to believe, and makes you wonder what the problem could be. According to the Discogs News forum, problems with having too many newly-added releases in queue (in other words, waiting to be checked-over by a moderator before entering Discogs publicly) had become so great that Discogs management “put the brakes on” the ability of users to make new submissions– whereas previously, users were granted three “points” good for submissions and updates for every full new entry; now members found their points suddenly and drastically reduced. Why? To put it simply, the 300-ish moderators couldn’t keep up with the sheer amount of information being presented to them!

Discogs Community Manager “Nik” said:

The length of the queue is more or less directly related to how long it takes for a submission to be processed. There is absolutely no point in throwing more and more submissions onto the queue if we cannot process them (and the queue gets longer and longer). Last September the queue was just over 20,000. By the start of 2007 it was 30,000. It rose over January and February to 40,00 at the end of February, and was continuing to climb. That’s double the queue size in six months. And the waiting times have risen proportionally. To do nothing was not an option. This is a pill that we have to swallow in order to manage the queue and waiting times for submissions.

Is it?

I wonder what would happen if Discogs were re-invented as a Wiki. Rather than rely on the “expert” opinion of a small group of volunteers, why not let group consensus prevail? I can envision the moderators still having a place– even Wikipedia has it’s stewards and admins– but otherwise, let the public add as they will. It’s hard not to feel for users like “Stoffeler10,” who seem to enjoy adding to the wealth of information, and now find themselves cut off:

“Sorry nik, but this is sick. People (like me), who are submitting for years now, spending hours for this data are now able to submit 7 releases. Thank you very much. What an award for all the work.”

or “Todeskult”:

“Sorry nik, but this is bullshit: I’m experienced submitter (482 new entries done, not counting the edits), now I got only ONE new release in queue and I’m unable to move 2nd release from my drafts to my pendings! It’s not fair!!”

I agree, it really isn’t fair. It doesn’t even seem like a particularly viable fix. Common sense says that as the site grows in popularity, the amount of submissions will increase. Although Discogs is scrambling to add more moderators (ten more per month, according to one of Nik’s forum posts) the problem will most likely continue– it’s hard to believe that a supply of volunteer “experts” is an inexhaustible resource!

That’s where making Discogs a Wiki starts to make sense. If you’re just going to continue adding users with privileges to keep up with the tide, why not just let everyone have these powers? With marketplace sales of wanted albums as a driving force, the Discogs community has a vested interest in keeping information accurate. However, under the current system, users are forced to choose between spending points correcting small, known errors, or adding new content!

User “Jester1973” writes:

“My sole complaint about the current restrictions are that I have several Edits pending with single obvious errors noticed after the fact or by moderators. I have no issue cancelling and resubmitting these, but being over my limit, I actually can’t. This means leaving Edits with errors easy to correct sitting in my personal queue waiting for restrictions to be lifted so I can cancel and re-submit correctly. “

Besides, moderators are only human. Getting the “expert” label doesn’t necessarily make one so. Think back to my own submitted release. If anyone should be an expert on it, I should, right? But I initially made mistakes with my own material. I can only wonder what an “expert” moderator will think of a limited-edition 40-count dual CDR (one audio, one data) release packaged in 40 unique LP jackets taken from popular artists, and containing that artist’s original LP as a gift! In short, it’s an “expert’s” nightmare– but the perfect opportunity for the Wiki structure to shine.

Users can question entries, update at will, and sort potential corrections out. Users are free to contribute, without worrying about having enough point capital to “spend” in order to continue adding to the growing wealth of information. It sounds great to me– please, make Discogs a wiki!

Update: Discogs user “Doctor Trance” writes in the forum:

“I’m for this, as you would know if you’ve read some of my other posts/threads.

“Nik’s thoughts in that other thread was that he pondered it, but thought their might be too many duplicate and incorrect releases, but if you took all the mods right now, and made it their job to look for discrepancies like that, it could work. In addition to that, only allow users with a certain rank should do it, not just everybody. It would be a slight step above Wikipedia, in that not everyone could submit just anything. With nik’s new submission limits going according to how well users submit, the new ranking system could only allow not only the most experienced submitters, but also the most accurate.

Wikipedia is also a database about everything under the sun: theories, biographies, definitions, etc, including many things that aren’t necessarily factual based. On this site, we are only adding factual information found printed on musical formats, so it’s not rocket science.

It’s actually the RSG that prevents things from going in smoothly. If the site were simply artist name, release name, and song listing, the place would have been twice the size it is now, with twice as many releases here. After all, these are the 3 top priorities on anyone’s list in searching for music. We’ve gradually allowed every credit, format, period, and semicolon into the system, that appears on a release, so it makes it more difficult to just jump to wiki style. If Discogs had remained in a more simple form, it may have already become a wiki site, not to mention a more gigantic one.

I’ve also always been in favor of wanting to see all releases by one artist in here, as opposed to only half, but a perfect half in that it is as accurate as one can get with those that are here. Before submitting here, I use to come here thinking that every electronic artist in this DB had only ever released stuff listed on their Discogs page. I was always disappointed when I would learn from other sites that these people actually had much more than what Discogs would show. Then coming in as a user, I found what the reason is why artist pages are so incomplete: as Kergillian puts it, the “tightly reined” database.

The site will never truly become a complete database unless it goes to a somewhat wiki style. Even with the huge queue, there simply aren’t enough users with enough releases in their hands to get every artist’s release in here.”

In another, older thread, Doctor Trance shows some evidence that Discogs may indeed be moving towards something like an open wiki model:

“The amount of Y-votes use to be 4, then went to 3, then to 2, so 1 is the next logical choice before letting someone have full control of submitting their own stuff. I’m sure there were those who said no to reducing it every time, but the site seems to have pressed on just fine with each reduction.”

I’m finding this to be a truly fascinating discussion– a collision of volunteerism, public use, private enterprise, information security, and the internet! It’s very much a mirror of many similar questions facing nations today. Here’s an excerpt from my last comment at the Discogs forum:

“I can’t help but notice the similarities between this discussion and the current security-related debates going on in the US… I can’t help but wonder if folks like Killaswitch and Perham were among those happily calling for the bans on liquids at airports, evil light-brites, and deadly toenail clippers….”

Liveblogging! “ITDE” 5/5/07

May 5, 2007

I decided to hang out in Harsh Noise’s chat during this show– see if anyone shows up. I’m still looking for a decent place to lurk during the show, so if you have a suggestion…

I’m playing from the “Doomsday Cake” compilation from Medusa Head Records. Good stuff here, and I really dig the cover art as well. As with any good comp, I’ve been presented with a number of artists I’m excited to see listed, and a decent portion I’ve never heard of before. I don’t know much of anything about DD6, but I’ve been enjoying their/his/her (?) track– some flange-y sirens, chimes, and looping whistle sounds. Its different, and well worth the nearly ten minutes it takes up.

Speaking of taking up space– what’s with the 128 users in SLSK noise chat? They’re logged-in, but never actually chatting. What gives?

Whoops. I meant to skip this track, and go directly to Ctephin. This is some uninspired stuff, unfortunately. Oh well, I guess nobody will mind if I kill it midway. On with the Ctephin!

I really want to have a good show this week, but I just don’t see it coming together yet. I can usually tell, so I’m not looking forward to another two hours of clumsy DJ’ing… I hope I can get this together a bit better. I think I may need to really try some different material than I had planned– gotta shake myself out of whatever box it seems I’m in! Trust me, this has nothing to do with the things I’m playing, it’s purely a DaveX thing. I’m just not in full gear tonight. Ugh. Hold on, let me see if I can figure something out and get on track.

I’ve decided to get some Joan LaBarbara stuff playing– technically Morton Feldman works… but I’m here for the LaBarbara, sorry. As long-time listeners know, I’m a big fan of her work. I’m hoping that it will give me some ideas on where to take the remaining two hours of this broadcast. I don’t want to have to end up playing three long tracks and just calling it a day! Damn. I feel like I’m in a bag or something– can’t quite connect. Of course, I have to wonder how much this has to do with putting so much effort into my own art lately? Have I sort of exhausted my creativity for the moment? Or is this just an “off” night?

Maybe things are turning around a bit. I forgot how much I enjoy Morton Feldman’s work. He has such an impressive way of layering and ordering sound… I always find it very atomic, very particular. I’m sad that “Vertical Thoughts 5” has to end. This is a really enjoyable piece. I have Bernard Parmegiani queued next– “Chants Magnetiques,” very nice, but quite different, obviously. Maybe I will try to find some common ground between these two.

Common ground wasn’t found this evening. I’m just going to chalk it up to an “off” night. I did, however, get to play from Rich West’s fantastic “Heavenly Breakfast” album– this is one I’ve really been wanting to spend more time with; it is much better when you can “inhabit” that sound-space for a while.

An old friend ended up coming by the station around the time I put the Rich West material on. He’s come upon hard times, and was venting a bit– understandable, given his recent luck. For most folks, the hours of 4-6:30am aren’t exactly their peak mental hours. However, I’m pretty used to them; so when he became critical of the fact that I so rarely speak on the air, I took the opportunity to explain my reasoning for this. I surprised myself a little, realizing how much I’ve grown to learn about my show over the years. What started as me just struggling to bring in enough music from week to week has become a much more thoughtful enterprise than I might have imagined in those days. It gives me hope for the future of my broadcasts, despite the relatively poor quality of this individual episode.

As I often say, don’t allow my temporary shortcomings as a DJ affect your perception of the music I played– it’s great stuff, and my tastes haven’t suffered any, either– and I’ll do better next week. I hope to hear from you then. –DaveX

Kylie Mynoise — Hot Teens Hooked on Cosmetic Surgery
Kylie Mynoise — Torn By Jaws and Claws
Kylie Mynoise — Fear Swept the Poolsides
Izanami’s Labor Pains — Amateratsu and Her Slaves
DD6 — El Futuro
The Absence of Sound Before the Storm — We’re All Unhappy (excerpt)
Ctephin — Demiurge
Morton Feldman, Joan LaBarbara — Only
Morton Feldman, Roy Malan, Ralph Grierson, Joan LaBarbara — Voice, Violin, and Piano
Morton Feldman, SF Contemporary Music Players, Joan LaBarbara – Vertical Thoughts 5
Bernard Parmegiani — Vibrations
Bernard Parmegiani — Aquarhythm
Bernard Parmegiani — Entropie
Bernard Parmegiani — Ondes
Pete Stollery — Vox Magna
Pete Stollery — ABZ A
Rich West — Bloomsday
Rich West — A Performer’s Objective is to Put Everyone to Sleep
Rich West — You Never Want to Tell People You’re a Scent
Rich West — La Petomaine
Rich West — Detritus or Treasures
Judy Dunaway, Tom Chiu — Etude no. 1 for Balloon and Violin

A full download of this show is now available in a single-track, 64kbps mp3 format— basically, the same way you’d hear it in the webstream. I do not offer this recording as a replacement for purchasing albums from the artists and labels heard on the show, but merely as another chance for busy “ITDE” listeners to catch their favorite broadcast. If you require any assistance or information about a recording I have played, please let me know!

Getting bootlegged! (sort of)

May 4, 2007

I’ve been putting off joining Discogs for some time. The obsessive work appeals to me, but I don’t want to get too much into that– there are enough things clamoring for time around me. Still, I thought it would be fun to browse it this morning, to see if any of my old material pops up.

Strangely enough, it did.

Of all things, some of my old “Electric Kitten Vomit” recordings are apparently on a Polish CDr compilation, entitled “Eld Rich Palmer Off-Line,” some sort of release of samples from recordings reviewed in the webzine of the same name. To say that this was unexpected really doesn’t cover it. This is far past finding out my lost tapes are in the hands of random Southern Illinois strangers– this is some actual bootlegging, albeit a free release.But let’s not get technical. I. GOT. BOOTLEGGED. How cool is THAT?!

Anyways, I ended up Googling the webzine, and found the original review, from back in 2002. It’s in issue eleven. It’s kind of funny, but mostly nice, depending on how you choose to interpret the “Engrish.” But hey, his English is better than my Polish, that’s for sure:

“That strangely happened that the last record in this review comprises most of what can be also found in the above described items from Public Eyesore. Inspired by home-taping network, Electric Kitten Vomit has produced mashes of sonic candies ranging from a sampling manipulation, ambient music, heavy electronics, guitar acrobatics, up to a noise crescendo somewhere in beginning of the record, and more besides…”The Avant-Garde Revolts” wanted patience and flexibility, that is for sure. Generally, everything worked out all right, but I have no idea why it is entitled so blusteringly…” –Krystof Sadza

I ended up typing Sadza an e-mail, to follow up on his question. Why not?

“The reviewer questioned why the album was titled “so blusteringly,” which I will explain– first off, the Public Eyesore release of this disc didn’t include the original liner notes, which really laid out the meaning of the title. So that was kind of a problem. The basic idea was that the meaning of “avant-garde” has its roots in military terminology… these are the soldiers who are the very front lines, often killed, and essentially there to provide a sort of human shield for the soldiers coming behind him. In a war, you would NOT want to be the avant-garde!

In music, the avant-garde is much the same– they are a group of artists taking all the risks and chances, but often with little personal recompense. To make matters worse, the musical avant-garde only seems to serve to allow a second group of lesser artists to plunder from these risk-taking creations. Usually, they are watered-down in the process, and the credit is denied the actual originators. I envisioned the avant-garde realizing this process, and revolting in some fashion– denying their work to the pop star second line. I wanted to claim my work as my own, and not as a piece of a greater “process” towards advancing someone else’s dumbed-down entertainment– so in some ways, it is an act of revolution.”

The moral of the story is that it feels weird to get bootlegged, but it’s mostly cool. I don’t think Sadza and company were doing anything beyond being excited about music– really, no different than what I do with my radio show, although in a different format. Some musicians might get wonky about this sort of thing, but they should take a step back and realize that these are not only journalists, but listeners as well.

Still, I like having a complete record of everything, so I signed up at Discogs. I also asked Sadza if he has any of those discs left!  –DaveX

“Improv for Folded Signals”

May 4, 2007

I am incredibly happy– I am finished with Naked Arrival’s second release, “Improv for Folded Signals.”

nrrlogob.jpg It is available now in, in a limited run of three. Each are somewhat different, so here’s the setup:

Essentially, this is an improvisation I did at WDBX-FM, utilizing a program that allowed me to bring multiple instances (I used as many as five) of the station’s streaming signal, and route them BACK into the program itself. Naturally, this created a rather thick drone. I used multiple cassettes to capture the board signal, as well as two “in-studio” recordings, which were mixed together to create a super-mix. On this mix, there are as many as 15 instances of the original signal.
(more…)

Naked Arrival, the Internet Archive, and FTP

May 2, 2007

Well, I did it! The first release of my new micro-label “Naked Arrival” officially sold out, and has been delivered as earlier this evening. As promised, I made “Tenex” available free online– so you’ll want to go download it straight away.

Let me tell you, working on Naked Arrival has been a lot of fun so far. Well, except dealing with the Internet Archive. That thing is amazingly complex… almost needlessly so! For those of you who haven’t attempted to manage content on the Archive, let me just say that it is a labyrinthine, dauntingly arcane process suitable for sending my inner dyslexic directly into the fetal position.

Still, it’s an amazing resource, which surely requires a serious level of intricacy to maintain any sense of organization. I simultaneously pity and envy the administrators– keeping ahead of a growing wave of data is tough– but being able to access and order all that data!I have shivers, seriously. This would even beat running around an office supply store at midnight with a label gun, a gift card, and someone to push me in a fancy swivel chair.

Anyhow, it’s an interesting process which yielded a few surprises. First off, I was worried about the huge variety of file types I generally see on netlabel pages: ogg, 64kbps mp3s, flac, etc… I really didn’t want to have to create all these myself. It’s just too much of a pain, and I think they tend to crowd the release pages with formats I’m rarely interested in. To my delight, I found that the Archive creates these “derivative” formats on its own, and that I could turn them off. Problem solved!

The other surprising thing was finding out that the folks at the Archive encourage you to use Internet Explorer rather than something like Firefox when uploading files with FTP. Does anyone know why this is?

I also had to create a main page for Naked Arrival itself. Here’s what I came up with– my best attempt so far at describing Naked Arrival’s purpose and aesthetic:

Naked Arrival is a micro-label, dedicated to releasing experimental recordings which document the under-explored area between natural sounds and full musical works. Releases are available in an extremely limited-run physical format, often as a single edition. Following delivery, each release will be made available for download.

Sound alright? I hope so. Thanks for continuing to read this entry– you’re very polite. Please continue your kind streak, and go download “Tenex” now. Enjoy! –DaveX

It’s May Day!

May 1, 2007

Here’s a re-print of a blog entry I wrote this time last year, back when I was still blogging elsewhere:

May Day is nearly upon us again. A friend’s blog caught my eye this afternoon– reminding me again that most people aren’t aware of the significance of the day. May 1st is “International Workers Day,” a holiday recognized in most every country world-wide, with the exception of ours, Canada, and South Africa.

resistj.jpgAnyhow… if you HAVE a job, and you work your eight hours and go home, you can thank the good folks of the International Working People’s Association, the Knights of Labor, and hundreds of thousands of union members who demanded this right back in 1886. It sure beats forced overtime, oft-fatal conditions, and child labor. I’m not sure if I can adequately convey the courage it took for these people to demand what we now take for granted– two days later, on the 3rd, police killed four strikers; and a bomb was actually detonated on the 4th (remember the Haymarket Riots from history class?) which killed one police officer, and injured some 70 other people. In a move that reminds me of the heavy-handed “let’s look and see” tactics of today’s government under Bush, suspected anarchists, strikers, and labor union members had their homes searched and were arrested without charge. Despite nearly non-existant evidence, four persons were still hanged.

Although the idea of an 8-hour workday wasn’t new, it still took until 1938’s “Fair Labor Standards Act” made it official. Although officially May 1st is now “Law Day” (created as the most forgettable non-holiday ever to help us forget).. we DO have Labor Day, on the first Monday in September. However, this is better-known as the day they trot out Jerry Lewis, and ask everyone to put away white shoes.

I hope that you all recognize that, for as far as we have come, there is still a lot to do. Child labor, unsafe working conditions, slavery, poverty, homelessness, starvation, illiteracy, and oppression all thrive throughout the world– it is all of our burden to help fix these problems everywhere they remain.