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dmersonhess on 09/19/2016 at 12:13PM

Call for Submissions: "Music for a Haunted Party"

Cover art by Dave MH.

Send a creepy instrumental no longer than 120 seconds in aif or wav format, shared to for consideration for Reverse Engine's upcoming Halloween comp, "Music for a Haunted Party". It'll be a free, CC-licensed release intended to empower you to be your spookiest self, whilst enhancing humanity's collective enjoyment of this Halloween. Preferred genres: Instrumental hip-hop, creepy ambient, Space Age bachelor pad, doom surf...

Deadline Extended to September 1, 2018.

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dmersonhess on 04/08/2012 at 07:00AM

Sneaky Flute Moods: 28 bands, two netlabels and one fanzine write a global #ccmusic love-letter to the Swirlies

The Swirlies get a little ethereal in Edinburgh, 2011. Photo credit: Swirlies.

Excellent news! Contrary to all previous indications, Sneaky Flute Moods: A Tribute to the Swirlies is NOT the "Last Dangerous Visions" of netaudio compilations. In fact, much like the hard-boiled eggs, delicious oblong chocolates and rapidly reproducing rabbits in your's already here. So read the book (a PDF zine published by the astoundingly creative folks at Mi Abuela Es Jazzista), see the movie (lo-fi animation from Dax Norman and me) and dive into the most massive, potent expression of Swirlies love ever assembled.

Your ole friend,
Dave MH
Reverse Engine netlabel

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dmersonhess on 02/24/2012 at 11:15AM

Goodbye Kumiko's "My Wild Arms": An Overlooked Indie Pop Gem

Last year, Los Angeles quartet Goodbye Kumiko recorded and released their debut album, "My Wild Arms". The record -- a melange of indie rock, baroque pop and ragtime-influenced piano stylings -- was one of the most satisfying yet underheard indie records of 2011. I caught up with GK singer and keyboard player Michael Barron over email to talk about the album and working with producer Bill Moriarty, a leading light in the Northeast who has manned the controls for Dr. Dog, Man Man, and a host of other extremely creative indie bands.

Who would you say are your influences? Include one from outside the world of music.

MICHAEL BARRON of GOODBYE KUMIKO: My first musical heroes were Scott Joplin and Paul McCartney, in that order. Then later in my life, Frederic Chopin and Harry Nilsson. When I'm playing piano at home, I often play old rags and Chopin's nocturnes. It's fair to say that I'm aiming for the awkward intersection of those pianists even though I know I'm not even in the same universe as any of them.

I think I speak for everyone that we have a lot of 90/00's indie running through our veins. I could go on and on about Pavement, Elephant 6, Phil Elvrum/Microphones, et al. all night long. We love all that stuff and probably will forever.

I love David Lynch, as a filmmaker, as an Angeleno, as an artist and as a man. I'd also say the short stories of Raymond Carver constantly inspire me.

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dmersonhess on 07/07/2011 at 02:00PM

Joel Gion of Brian Jonestown Massacre shares a track from his new EP, "Extended Play".

Joel Gion takes in the scenery from the back seat of his stretch MUNI bus. Photo credit: Gabriel Wheeler.

What excites you most about having completed your debut solo EP, "Extended Play"?
The fact that I did everything on my own from writing to recording, choosing the cover art and having it pressed myself. Only about 5 people even heard the songs before I pressed it. This release was for me to show myself I can do more than play the tambourine for 15 years [in Brian Jonestown Massacre -ed.] and I'm jazzed on the results.

How would you compare the sound of your new tunes to that of your other band, The Dilettantes, or even to Brian Jonestown Massacre?
It's not garagey like the Dilettantes was - but that was a good type of music for trying to sing for the the 1st time. This is closer to BJM, but that's because we all grew up on the same bands.

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dmersonhess on 06/09/2011 at 01:00PM

Good Old Neon on CC-music, Collaboration & their 2nd album, "Radiant City"

The foreboding, reptilian cover of Mi Abuela Es Jazzista #4!

This interview comes the latest issue of the fantastic, free fanzine Mi Abuela Es Jazzista, where it appears as translated by MAEJ director, Luis Angel Martinez, along with interviews with a couple other artists also represented on the FMA: María y José and Brooklyn's-own Balún. To read the entire issue (in Spanish), go to the MAEJ blog or flip through it in-browser at Issu... You can find CC-licensed downloads from Good Old Neon here on the FMA, where Katya of Oddio Overplay has already blogged about them, and on ccmixter, where they’ve made stems from their two albums available to remixers...

Radiant City
begins with the eerie “Just Like You Said It Was,” a crackly, blues-y invitation into an album that reaches in every imaginable stylistic direction–and returns with killer results. “Republic” builds slowly on a pensive synth intro until it finally explodes into what sounds like a krautrock band fronted by Brian Wilson.  “Flopsweat on Hangul Day” mates melodic bass with unpredictable, ear-tickling beats. A bouncy arpeggiator buoys Mike Smith’s hushed vocals on the lovely indietronic pop of “Duet.” A bit later, on “Outside The Walls,” Jeff Lee sings and shouts with Akron-esque New-Wave urgency.  “Post Whatever” is a band manifesto filtered through Paul Barman-style rap, and the boys dive into Beatles-y territory with two fantastic songs that tell the tragic story of The Math Champs–who may or may not be their alter egos. Yep, Good Old Neon’s second record, Radiant City, is a tough one to pin down–and that’s part of what makes it so great.

Good Old Neon makes process-based music. A music of ideas and experiments–songs that share the same approach to approaches:  each song is based on a number of “rules.”  It’s all very meta and totally embedded in the title of “At The Lab We Work And Play,” a stand-out track from their first album, 2008’s This Is The News. Good Old Neon grew out of the ashes of indie six-piece Up Up Down Down, who recorded and released “The Abunai, Baby!  EP” (2005) and “Laika (The Space Race)” (2006) from their home base of Mie-ken, Japan, and eventually made their discography available via the Internet Archive with a Creative Commons Attribution- Non-Commercial- ShareAlike license. When Mike moved back to England, and Jeff to California, the two kept in touch and eventually began the collaboration we now know as the trans-continental electronic pop duo, Good Old Neon.  I caught up with the band over email toward the end of 2010 to talk about the release of Radiant City, rules-based songwriting, their recording process, long distance collaboration and CC music in general...

Click "READ MORE" for the interview...

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dmersonhess on 05/21/2011 at 06:56PM where Creative Commons meets uncommonly creative musicians singing about art

Charles Willson Peale's "The Artist in His Museum", the inspiration for an artsong by Men of Kent.

The hand-picked contributors to the Artsongs compilation & website were invited to submit a song "inspired by an artist or work of art," and were free to interpret that as broadly as they'd like. The 18 offerings that resulted from this call for submissions include songs inspired by Belgian painter Piet Mondrian (Sonny Smith), art thieves (Bart Davenport), folk-artist Butch Anthony's fortune-telling chicken (Sean Hayes), the Warhol Factory scene (Chris Stroffolino), the Brothers Quay (Makunouchi Bento), Jean-Luc Godard (David Copenhafer) and many more.

The music, is, of course, hosted here at the ever-amazing FMA (thanks to Jason Sigal, who responded to my request to bring it here)! But to experience Artsongs fully, I recommend browsing through the website as well. If you enjoy this compilation, please tell someone about it. You are encouraged to share these songs with friends and to learn more about all of the musicians and the art that inspired them.

Pacta - "Salix" (03:44)
Pacta - "Salix" (03:44)
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