music

Turntable ensemble STYLUS at Sonic Circuits 2017 this Sunday, 9/17

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It’s time again for the annual Sonic Circuits, DC’s festival for experimental, improvised, and outside musics, held this year at Rhizome from Sept 15-17. That’s three nights of local, national, and international freak jams. Turntable ensemble Stylus will be performing a new work by band leader Jim Adams on Sunday, Sept 17. As one of the turntablists, I’ll be appearing with the group. The ensemble will be expanded with a guitar section and feature visual projections. If you’re into “difficult” music, don’t miss this!

This official word about the group (from the festival website) will describe it better than I could: “STYLUS is a Washington DC-based turntable ensemble that performs with multiple vintage classroom turntables as their instruments, using locked-groove + prepared vinyl to create a sound that is minimalist, pulse-like + hypnotic yet also dynamic + punctuated. STYLUS performers to date include mainstays of the Washington, D.C. avant-garde, free improvisation, modern composition, noise, + electronic music scene….STYLUS performers for the 2017 SCDC Festival are JS Adams, Jeff Bagato, Chester Hawkins, Janel Leppin, Ryan Martini, Gary Rouzer, Keith Sinzinger, Stéphane Récrosio, vinyl, Jeff Barsky, guitar, John Howard, guitar, Guillermo Pizarro, digital, Mei Mei Chang, visuals.”

“STYLUS will perform “(AT to ER) Apt to Err_Who am the Only One,” a new composition in collaboration with French lo-fi guitarist, Stéphane Récrosio (astatine / acetate z e r o), utilizing commissioned, limited-edition lathe acetates. The performance will include live infrared-video work from Mei Mei Chang and be dedicated to former STYLUS performer, Andrew McCarry (1984 – 2016) . STYLUS warmly embraces the modern compositional elements of turntablism + the contemporary sound-art of Christian Marclay + Philip Jeck. Other influences include such historic constructs as the Futurist manifesto L’arte dei Rumori, Dadaism, Automatism + Russian Constructivism along with Louis Braille, Samuel F.B. Morse, Milan Knížák’s Broken Music, the graphic scores of Cornelius Cardew + Fluxus performance, plus the prepared instrumentation + happenstance of John Cage.”

Flashback: One poem in Flipside

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That time my poem “Cheated” appeared in Flipside #83, from March/April 1993. I’m not sure that’s how I originally had the spacing though.

Even cooler: John Brannon of Laughing Hyenas was on the cover, and there was a flexidisc single by Shonen Knife included in the magazine. I never played my copy of the record.

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Pegasus Paradise music video

Last week I posted a new video to the Bionic Eyes YouTube channel. This one is a music video for the title track from the Tone Ghosting cassette Private Jet Experience  on Coffeehead Duck tapes. You can check out the label (and purchase copies) here:

In this video, nymphs and chimera romp across a candy-colored cyberscape as shattered neon waves crumble around them. Plenty of hyperdelic glitch washouts and damaged montages clutter the screen. Everything melts down into a plastic surface where the biological destiny of the body is denied, and the prurient gaze is subverted into an alternate plane of confusion. This is the longest video I’ve posted so far, so hopefully the colors will carry you to the rhythm, and the rhythm will carry you to the end.

Flashback: Article on the Bride of Frankenstein’s singing career in Cool and Strange Music magazine

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That time my article on Elsa Lanchester’s Bawdy Cockney Songs LPs appeared in Cool and Strange Music #28. You know Ms. Lanchester best as the titular star of Bride of Frankenstein, James Whale’s 1935 horror masterpiece.

Later in her career, she took up a kind of cabaret act where she sang silly ditties full of innuendo and double entendres. Many songs from this act ended up on two LPs, originally titled “Songs for a Shuttered Parlor” and “Songs for a Smoke Filled Room.” (Reissued as “Bawdy Cockney Songs” and, naturally, “More Bawdy Cockney Songs.”) Both are great examples of weird and strange thrift store scores.

Cool and Strange Music no longer has an online presence, but you can read the “director’s cut” of the article in my own archive here.

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