Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
lizb on 11/12/2009 at 10:15AM
Being a big Messthetics geek, I was excited to see a new release by late-'70s/early '80s UK DIY heroes Animals & Men lurking in WFMU's venerable new bin, complete with new songs. And this EP, "Convulsive," is now available for all to enjoy on the FMA. Squeal!
I'm a big fan of their first single (and Peel fave) "Don't Misbehave in the New Age," where Susan Wells' vocals stirred up the best elements of Crass, X-Ray Spex, Kleenex, and the Rough Trade sound of that era, but more vulnerable and real. It's always the minor slip-ups and major freak-outs that are the soul of DIY music to me, bringing an undeniably human element into a paradigm that has sought to erase it using slick production techniques.
With new bands like the Vivian Girls, Grass Widow, Dum Dum Girls, T.I.T.S., Liechtenstein, etc drawing heavily from the influences of the late '70s/early '80s UK DIY scene, it's great to see a group like Animals & Men active again.
Check out one of Animals & Men's new songs, "Driving Stupid" below, and rage against the motor vehicle.
jason on 11/11/2009 at 01:48PM
Recent WFMU live guests Static Static and Wizzard Sleeve are on to something. It's psychedelic, with definte punk energy, darkly dance-able in that it incorporates synth and a drum machine, but with sharp edges. Edge, yeah, that's the word... It's also remeniscent of French Glue Wave, and we'll get to some of that later.
Static Static spent their formative years as a duo, just John Henry and MissMassDestruction, out in New Orleans with peers like Quintron and Miss Pussycat. They added drummer Lesley (from the Red Aunts!) when they moved to the city of LA post-Katrina. The hurricane had destroyed their home and almost all their equipment. Fortunately, The Edge of U2 was there to lend a helping hand. "The normally soft-spoken guitarist, 44, grows passionate when he talks about Katrina's impact and his efforts to help with Music Rising, which he organized along with Gibson Guitar, the Guitar Center Music Education Foundation and the MusicCares Foundation" quoth USA Today...(anybody seen It Might Get Loud?). Anyway... this program was willing to help Static Static even though they weren't stereotypical New Orleans music, and the geetar center gift certificate went towards a pa system, a drum machine, and a mini kaos pad among other effects that define the band's distinct sound.
Wizzard Sleeve may not have experienced the same natural disaster as their friends in Static Static, but these "confederate glue-wave goth 'tards" (their words not mine) do have a song called "Alabama's Doomed" about their home state. This term "Glue Wave" seems to have originated from France, to describe a style of dark lo-fi punk infused with synth, drum machine or other electronics to fix up any cracks in the sonic spectrum.Here's Wizzard Sleeve's set from Michael Goodstein's Choking on Cufflinks program, and more glue-wave sounds from Belgium's Kania Tieffer and two actual French artists The Feeling of Love, and Crash Normal, can be heard after the jump
doncbruital on 11/10/2009 at 03:32PM
Is it too heavy a trip to lay into the mysteries of life and death on an outwardly mild Tuesday? Been on my mind, folks, can't shake it, got to share. There is, for a start, something real fascinating about contingencies, those history-hinging accidents whose enormous improbability is only outweighed by the effects that they wreak by actually happening; not what-ifs, like--the sorts of that've long fascinated historians and novelists and everybody who's taken a second to do the pondering, which are fine, for the record, if kind of a waste of time--these are those unlikely events that did in fact occur, and so instead of a 'What If' style of examination, we might be better off laying in with a 'What For?'
The popular 1930s religious movement called the "I AM" Activity spoke of a contingency that catalyzed a universe of higher understanding, one which, indeed, informed the entire movement; namely, their founder Guy Ballard was hiking in the foothills of Northern California's Mt. Shasta whereupon he met a stranger who introduced himself as the Comte de St. Germain, that mainstay of Theosophical reincarnation speculation, and he of the Lou Reed shoutout. Turns out, according to "I AM" teaching, that the Count, who had ascended to a level of godlike perceptions, was hiking too, at just the right moment to impart the seeds of a soon-flowering alternative religious movement, one of many that dotted the landscape of the early 20th century.
herr_professor on 11/10/2009 at 09:48AM
Monotonik, the ur-netlabel, is not only one of the earliest netlabels, but it has roots going back to the Amiga Mod scene. Founded 1996 by Simon 'h0l' Carless as an "outlet for talented electronic musicians who weren't getting the attention they deserved", the label has since gone on to release over 300 releases in a rainbow of genres. And while the music they covered have expanded far beyond the constraints of chipmusic, its artists should be recognized as an early success of chipmusic crossing over from its demoscene roots into the more general audience focused chip music style.
One of these early crossover artists, VIM, probably arrived a little too late to be a heavy demoscener, but he did contribute on a number of music disks, basically compilations meant to be distributed on floppy disks or over dial-up connections to various bbs and ftp sites. His style is all over the map, dabbling in various electronic genres, pushing the limits of the mod format with breaks, unique sound design, and catchy heartfelt melodies. Check out "A Random Collection Of Consonants", and join us next week, as we start our march to the biggest US chip music festival, Blip Festival 2009.
lavenders on 11/09/2009 at 11:54PM
dublab is celebrating 10 years of turning you on!
Throughout this decade, we've been fortunate enough to have some of our favorite creative friends record live sets at our studio in Los Angeles. We've welcomed them with arms and ears wide open, and made sure we're looking sharp for their arrival. We've strapped bass cabs to our backs, carried keytars up flights of stairs and lit countless sticks of incense to enable these spontaneous sounds.
"sprout sessions" have no boundaries and we encourage these awesome artists to play (or not play) any thing/way/where they like! We'd say the sky's the limit, but things tend to get pretty cosmic in our neck of the woods.
We've dusted off our crumbly CD-Rs and scoured our hard drives to bring you some of our favorite sessions from the past 10 years. We hope you enjoy listening to these precious gems as much as we enjoyed gathering them.
Help support another decade of dublab by becoming a proton today!
andrewcsmith on 11/09/2009 at 10:15AM
Robbie Lee and Chris Brokaw both performed as a duo back in August, and digging through our archives--August is considered the distant past in some circles--led us to return to some of these great tracks. For now, we've just got Robbie Lee's tracks but you can check out our past post on Alan Licht and punk memories to see what's up with Chris.
Robbie Lee's performance was a solo set using a hand-powered Medieval-style miniature pipe organ tuned to an 18th-century historical tuning. Moving freely among aleatoric moments, electronic loops, drones, and country western tunes, Robbie's performance has a way of making the familiar foreign and vice versa. In fact, after he sings "men will be drawn to the lure of the mine" from "Dark as a Dungeon" by Merle Travis, the music begins to occupy a space neither foreign nor familiar, but rather like a thought always in the back of your mind, just now coming to the surface.
The whole set is worth a listen, so turn your speakers toward the couch (or bed, or futon) and take a 28-minute vacation from whatever responsibilities you may or may not have.
andrewcsmith on 11/08/2009 at 10:00AM
The words "solo drum set performance," inevitably conjure other words: loud, self-indulgent, maybe even boring. But melodic? Occasionally, delicate? Neither of these were in my solo-drum-set vocabulary before October.
Listen to Sim Cain's playing on the second section of his three-part performance. Moments of oscillation between quick tom rhythms and slightly faster tom rhythms seem like they're accelerating arbitrarily, but it's soon clear that there's some logic behind it. As the toms build up resonance, they begin to evoke melodies (and it also helped that he had a half-dozen toms at his disposal). It was clear that this was a true drum performance: not a rhythm or chops performance, not a cymbal-crashing performance, and not even a performer-performance. The drums were the ones doing the performing.
macedonia on 11/07/2009 at 04:51PM
If you have been following this year's output from Ubiquity Records, then I don't need to tell you that it's been another banner year for them so far. Ann Arbor, Michigan's NOMO is included in their superior roster, releasing the Invisible Cities album back in May. Almost a year after their Ghost Rock album and recorded during those same sessions, NOMO carves a path through jazz, afrobeat, rock, and electronica. Large enough to be a jam band, their discipline gives them the flexibility to be tight yet loose. They can wail with the best of them and remain open to those moments of improvisation where magical things happen.
It's a world party whenever NOMO is on the scene, as evidenced by this live performance in the KEXP studios shortly after Invisible Cities dropped. Dig the title track below...
WM_Recordings on 11/07/2009 at 01:50PM
Five years, 100 free albums, nearly 1000 free tracks. That's WM Recordings in a nutshell for you.
We celebrate our fifth birthday with the release - yes, our 100th! - of a special compilation of cover versions, remixes, and tracks about free, legal music. We hope you'll celebrate with us.
jason on 11/06/2009 at 05:47PM
The legendary experimental imprint ESP-Disk (who are curating a collection of their music right here on the Free Music Archive!) celebrates their 45th anniversary with an all-day event at the Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan this Sunday. ESP-Disk is especially renowned for releasing groundbreaking work by forward-minded jazz artists like Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman. So it's fitting that this 45th anniversary concert is also a benefit for The Jazz Foundation.
Since 1966, ESP-Disk has supported pioneering musicians like Cromagnon, Pearls Before Swine, The Godz, The Fugs, Alan Sondheim, and the Har-You Percussion Ensemble (which Macedonia called The Funkiest Homework Assignment EVER). In 2005, the label re-launched and has been hitting all the right spots with new releases from the likes of Yximalloo, Arrington De Dionyso's Naked Future, Talibam!, and Barnacled mixed in with reissues and previously unreleased material.
Sunday's show includes performances by a few artists whose work can be heard right here on the FMA: the scraping sounds of Totem> (Tom Blancarte/Andrew Drury/Bruce Eisenbeil), the spazztic duo Talibam!, and Flow Trio (featuring Joe Morris, who will also be performing with Mercy to start off the afternoon). I've made this mix with a few more ESP-Disk favorites, enjoy! (after the jump)