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katya-oddio on 03/29/2010 at 03:00PM

Warmth from Andalusia

Alcázar de Jerez de la Frontera by El Pantera [Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license]

The group El Niño del Parking brings you the sound of the ancient city of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia in southwestern Spain between the sea and the mountains. In addition to Spanish guitars, Latin rhythms, and the clapping of flamenco, this brings you the experience of the fluid poetry of the Castilian tongue, festivals, palm trees, celebrated vineyards, sunshine, Mediterranean warmth.

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Calebk on 03/29/2010 at 09:15AM

Cracked Media

Anthony Guerra at, What is Music? Festival 2005.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be posting blogs relating to the current Sydney underground, my book Cracked Media: the sound of malfunction (MIT Press, 2009) and a few things i'm doing at ISSUE on the 7th April.

My background is in experimental sound arts, namely the research and promotion of it. Back in 1999 Sydney had a burgeoning experimental scene, propped up by the yearly festival What is Music? (an agit-punk experimental extravaganza that was highly influential in its ten years with directors Oren Ambarchi and Robbie Avenaim), and irregular one off gigs in Italian bowling clubs, warehouses and caves. I started ( as a way to promote this scene in a regular fashion and to have an event that focused on listening. lasted 6 years. The event promoted music that utalised electronics, improvisation and noise - though in the early days due to a borrowed PA and the gallery based venues, it tended towards the very quiet.

These three tracks come from releases on the impermanent.recordings label ( and were produced by Australian musicians closely related to the events in and around Sydney in the early part of this century.

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lizb on 03/26/2010 at 09:45AM

Transmissions from Sacto pasado

Photo by Thomas Hawk (CC by-nc)

There's a big spot in my heart for Sacramento bands, and it's not just because I lived in the area for a few years. The city has little nightlife, only a few venues, scant public transportation, and enough crime to keep the police and residents busy from filing or acting upon noise complaints. These factors not only contribute to how music is made and played in Sacramento, but are also reflected in the sounds.

Motivated and unapologetic, Sacto bands don't have an easy time making cool shows happen in traditional venues, so they get creative: house parties, bands playing under the freeway overpass, art collectives on dirt roads next to the river, spaces above bookstores, backyards, all-but-abandoned bars repurposed, etc. It's pull-up-your-sleeves DIY in the midst of a struggling city whose main industry is a state government that's been crumbling apart for many years.

And thus I present to you a band that was around in the early '00s: Duchess of Saigon. They were a male/female duo, bratty, jangly, garagey and sometimes inept, but always catchy and rockin'. Sacramento's venerable S-S Records has posted the band's 2002 "Easter Queen" 7" here on the FMA for your enjoyment. The EP was recorded by Chris Woodhouse, who either produced, mixed, engineered, or played on nearly every great album to come out of Sacto in the past decade or two.

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JoeMc on 03/25/2010 at 09:00AM

Moonlighter's Serenade

S.H. Dudley's successor Harry Macdonough, busy as a bee (courtesy Library of Congress)

OK. You're a busy person. You've got things to do. You can't just be playing around on blogs all day. Who's got the time? Eighteen minute stoner jam? I think not. Ten-minute electronic dance anthem? No way. Even a three and a half-minute pop song can seem like forever when you've got to get going. After all, we're all working two jobs now, right?

Well, have I got something for you. Here's a cultural bon-bon you can digest quickly and with satisfaction: one-minute and thirty-three seconds of pure fun, circa 1902. A hundred plus years later, it's as irreverent as ever, and it was performed by a dude who also worked two jobs back in the day.

Take a cable car ride with S.H. Dudley, and then read below for more on this multitasking champ.

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herr_professor on 03/24/2010 at 10:27AM

What the hell is freedom?

This week's blog takes its title from a Cube-C song on a compilation I curated in 2004 for the Toilville Netlabel. The theme being political chiptunes (yea I know!) one of the surprises on it was a unknown to me at the time artist named Cube-C. His song on that comp would be just a hint of the electro-rock goodness that would come from his current project, a partnership with Emiglio Laser named Pocketmaster. Combining a shared love of the Game Boy, The Commodore 64, and lo0fi drums and off-kilter samples, the duo enhance and expand their individual talents, as all good duo-ships should.

Recently Pocketmaster has put out a 12 track LP named Residue. The release, out on Da! Heard It Records, and uploaded here on the FMA, is 12 tracks of hard hitting tracks that are equally at home in the club, your shitty bar, or cleaning that filthy hovel you call a room. Use it liberally as you salve you post SXSW hangover, and we will meet back here in seven.

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mwalker on 03/23/2010 at 10:00AM

piano, bass, drums

The Necks, photo by Tim Williams

So, figuring a two-month break provided just about enough space and time to digest that first meaty offering from The Necks’ four-set stint at ISSUE (back in January), we’ve decided to roll out another endlessly-rewarding slab of mesmerizing improv from the legendary Australian trio. 

Serving as the conclusive final performance from their two-night stand, this 50-minute stream of continuous sound accumulation/evolution/reconstitution undoubtedly dealt the most visceral blow to the senses and soul – leaving a transcendent crater of impact where the mind once rested. In his write-up on the previously shared set, Andrew suggested the consequence of repeated sounds (filtered, of course, through processes of continuous, subtle variation) was the lingering residue of ghost spots in the ear, in much the same way that “staring at the sun for too long will leave a spot in your eyes, where the eyes expected the sun to be.” Here -- thanks in no smaller part to master percussionist Tony Buck’s primal/cerebral quiet-storm-cum-impenetrable-maelstrom  -- the body itself acquires a build-up of imposed phantom forms: cyclones of pulsing sound waves continue to quiver and vibrate through the head and chest, long after the rhythmic streams have shifted, transformed, and departed the audible space.  

At the peak of the proceedings, a near-overwhelming array of asynchronous channels throb with vicious intensity: a thick, tangled mass of strung-together bits of hollow wood rises and falls as dead weight onto a single tom-tom with hyper-Sisyphean persistence; deeply resonant clangs boom and rattle in spidery fragments in the lowest depths of Chris Abrahams' piano; Lloyd Swanton’s plucked double-bass powers through the middle-register with calm insistency, filling the cracks and crannies of the open space like unstoppably purposed oozing of liquid concrete. And that’s just one patch in a vast geography – the come-up/come-down surrounding this pinnacle elicits equal levels of beguiling hypnosis. Enjoy.

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bennett4senate on 03/22/2010 at 10:00AM

Ten Tracks to Sync - Vol. 2

After writing Ten Tracks to Sync - Vol. 1, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and use one of the songs I had selected in a video I was making.

I used Ergo Phizmiz's track in a short promotional video I was making for a book called Collaborative Futures.

In the process, I learned a few important lessons.

The video that I made is considered a derivitive work (or 'adaptation') of the song I picked, according to the legal description of a Creative Commons 3.0 license:

"For the avoidance of doubt, where the Work is a musical work, performance or phonogram, the synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving image ("synching") will be considered an Adaptation for the purpose of this License."

Also, if the original Work (the song) has a 'Share-Alike' license, any derivitive works must share that same type of CC license.

This was a problem, because Collaborative Futures (and all its related materials) already had a different type of CC license than Ergo's track; Attribution-ShareAlike and Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike respectively.

I really liked the song and wanted to keep it in the video, so I contacted Ergo and asked him if he'd be willing to change the license type of his track... and he agreed! Score one for copyright alternatives!

So remember kids, when syncing up these jams to your sweet vids, make sure that your derivitive has a license that jives with that of the original work. And sometimes all you have to do is ask.

With that, here's ten more instrumentals from the Archives ready for you to slap into your timeline. Thanks to those of you who made suggestions of tracks to include; please keep them coming!

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pushbinlou on 03/21/2010 at 01:14PM

Devolver Revisited

I had blogged with much enthusiasm about the fact that one of my favorite indie psych-pop bands of the 90's had uploaded most of their output here on FMA.  I'm super excited to see that Devolver is very much back and still creating some catchy tunes.  Christs Lane will be the band's 6th album and the first since 2003.  The album is not out yet but will be released by the band's own label (Transsiberian Music Co.) later this year.  As a treat Marc Devolver (leader of the group) was gracious enough to throw up a few tracks from the new disc right here on the good ol' FMA.

From what I have heard so far the band seems to be picking up right where it left off.  Great bedroom psych sounds with some poppy hooks thrown into the mix.  "Careful" is my fave track of what I have heard so far.  Give it a listen and enjoy!

Devolver - "Careful" (02:06)
Devolver - "Careful" (02:06)
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wmmberger on 03/20/2010 at 09:00AM

Telecult Powers and Lala Ryan Perform the Modern Rites of Pei, 3.10.2010

They came on like a Hoodootronic mind-melt, with analog bubbles, rips and tears. The Queen Witch Hecate guides and commands. One would be ill advised not to listen. They brought joy and prosperity to My Castle of Quiet and to WFMU.

The twin destinies of Telecult Powers and the My Castle of Quiet radio program seem quite naturally intertwined. I met Witchbeam at No Fun Fest in May 2009, and, after a brief but very interesting conversation, he presented me with my first Telecult Powers recording, the Double Action Reversible cassette. I had the tape rolling nice and loud a few days later, and had one of those "What the fuck is this I'm listening to? This is GREAT!" epiphanies. Roughly a month later, I returned to weekly broadcasting on WFMU after a 10+-year hiatus.

In July, Telecult Powers became the first band to play live on the Castle, and through Mister Matthews and Witchbeam, I've connected with many of the other great artists who've played on the show over the months, including GrasshopperSlasher Risk and Todd Pendu. I was also thrilled to learn that by way of their appearance on WFMU, Telecult Powers have a feature article coming up in the next issue of Signal to Noise.

Witchbeam's wonderfully hybridacious rituals of Hoodoo and good old-fashioned LSD cosmiscity at their gigs have unquestionably benefited me personally, and I have no doubt that many other listeners, spectators and fans have been helped as well. The so-called Law of Attraction is not bullshit! In WFMU's time of need, our 2010 fundraising marathon (where things were going well, but not as super-amazingly well as we needed them to be), Telecult Powers returned to the show to work a little more magic. This time, they brought along a real-live rock star, Lala Harrison Ryan of Excepter.

Candle set-up for Initiation Ritual.

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mwalker on 03/19/2010 at 10:00AM

don't drink nothin' but corn

Photo by Tim Stuhldreher.

To provide you with a small but satisfying taste of the incredible Jack Rose memorial held at ISSUE last month, the Black Twig Pickers have graciously shared some tunes from their joyously raucous set, which in many ways served as the centerpiece of the concert. The Twigs (Nathan Bowles, Mike Gangloff, Isak Howell) recorded with Jack on the eponymously-titled 2009 album (though Gangloff's and Rose's musical relationship goes way back to the early days of Pelt) and all four share the wondrous ability to effortlessly channel old-time prewar folk into a music eternally fresh, tangibly soulful, uniquely personal, and still wholly authentic to the long lineage of tradition. Furthermore, all share a deep musicality transcending any boundaries of style or genre; thus, it came as no surprise when Mike and Nathan joined Pelt + Tony Conrad for the final set of the evening and unleashed a blistering, monolithic wall of acoustic drone that absorbed and subsumed the kaleidoscope of emotions that preceded it. You’ll have to wait on that set, but really, there’s not nearly so much difference from Pelt and the Black Twig Pickers’ music as surface impressions might suggest. 

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