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ange on 02/27/2013 at 04:00AM

Loren Connors and Bill Orcutt: Natch 8 Collaboration

Photos by Sean Nagin

This album was recorded live before a small audience las August at Georgia NYC. The performance by Loren Connors and Bill Orcutt was part of Jason Meagher's NATCH Sessions. Check out video from that day, and the review on Tiny Mix Tapes, declaring that "Loren Connors and Bill Orcutt have proved once again there is no 'I' in 'Awesome'."

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Northern-Spy_Records on 01/04/2011 at 09:31AM

Adam's Top Ten Performances of 2010

1) William Basinski's performance of 'Vivian and Ondine' at 110 Livingston (Brooklyn, NY)

The significance of this gig was already apparent before the lights dimmed and William Basinski stepped behind his table for a performance of  the 2008 composition 'Vivian and Ondine'.  The first sound he made was accidental - the apple computer start-up sound.  Drawing chuckles from the crowd, it was a harsh, sharp attack opposite his cathartic, glacially unraveling tape loops.  Behind Basinski, the Joshua Light Show 'liquid lights' highlighted the beautiful interior of the 110 Livingston building, Issue's future home.


2) Sir Richard Bishop at Zebulon (Brooklyn, NY)

During his 4 week residency at Zebulon, Rick performed a mixed bag of exotic, instrumental guitar songs and classic, surreal story-songs from the SCG catalog.  I attended 3 out of 4 of the shows including one in which he was accompanied by the incredible Bill Orcutt.  To be frank, it was too hot and sweaty to enjoy that one.  I believe it was his opening night that Bishop played 'Eyeball in a Quart Jar of Snot'.  INCREDIBLE!  He asked if there were any requests to which I quickly shouted "play Nancy" drawing a smirk and a "NO".

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amaliascott on 11/12/2010 at 10:46AM

Ghost Blues: Loren Connors at ISSUE 9/11/10

In honor of ISSUE’s upcoming Thursday, Nov. 18 sets with Loren Connors, High Aura'd, Tom Carter (solo guitarist from Charalimbides), and Barn Owl, fma is giving a shout-out to the fantastically haunting improvisational performance Loren Connors shared at ISSUE last September. Solo with his guitar and pedals, Loren brought a piece together from a series of quiet, speculatively bluesy chord progressions. If you’re familiar with Loren’s music, the performance should remind you his excitingly weird structural experimentation from the late ‘70s.

Loren’s September performance is a set of extreme cycling: he goes from shaping cerebrally minimalist themes to saturating nervously large chord progressions with reverb. Its introduction sounds like heavy clouds rolling off the guitar until the volume fades, reverb clears away, and the theme takes a step back into quiet blue delicacy, like watching an insect walk on water and bargaining with the surface tension. The most basic motif that shows up here is a diminished second –a classic blues chord­– but Loren gives it such abstract, melodically disparate variations that you can only compare this performance to a ghost of the traditional blues.

But it’s a lovely ghost, even in its murkiest and most frantic moments. Towards the middle of the piece, the atmosphere thins out until a sparse, precise melody slips into harriedly chasing itself among reverb and volume, so that colossal shapes materialize and disintegrate before fading back into abstract space, all the more eerie for the climax’s recent urgency. The pattern resurfaces: the piece is schizophrenically saturated and then eerily quiet, but this is the blues, never blissed out pop or myopic sound art. No matter how disparate or dense the piece gets, Loren plays it like a folk musician, experimenting with a traditional vocabulary. He improvises beautifully, keeping the piece self-contained while making every movement a step forward. 

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andrewcsmith on 07/09/2010 at 08:45AM

Psychedelic revisitations

Cover of Bobb Trimble's album "Iron Curtain Innocence"

In celebration of this Sunday’s courtyard concert at ISSUE Project Room, we’ve got a playlist packed with a preview of the weekend’s imminent psychedelic and freak folk grab bag. Each of these artists has tons of music up on the FMA, so be sure to check them out in full—this is just a small selection.

Bobb Trimble’s two early-1980s LPs, Iron Curtain Innocence and Harvest of Dreams, were for decades sought after by collectors, who would pay hundreds of dollars for original copies. More than retro recollections of psychedelia a decade late, this opening track on Harvest of Dreams, called “Premonitions: The Fantasy,” couples seemingly easy going folk grooves with skewed melodic turns and slightly out-of-phase vocals mixed a little too low to hear well enough. The strain involved in listening, and the slight veiling of the high falsetto behind effects and other instruments makes it feel like an exercise in vulnerability.

Jason Sigal, on WFMU’s Talk’s Cheap, has more to say about this and Bobb’s early career, including a wonderful half-hour interview with the band in which Bobb and the rest of the Flying Spiders alternately reminisce about the ‘80s and plan for the next decade. In the late ‘00s, Bobb got together with some of the members of The Prefab Messiahs in a band that is now called The Flying Spiders. Gary War, another musician extending psychedelia to its furthest reaches, is on guitar, with Nick Branigan on drums, Kris Thompson on bass, and Karina DaCosta on vocals.

Check out the rest of this mix to get an idea of the many other artists on the bill. Samara Lubelski is playing with Peter Nolan (of Spectre Folk) and Helen Rush of Metal Mountains, while Loren Connors, an undeniable ISSUE Project Room mainstay, is performing with his band Haunted House after a 10-year hiatus. In addition to one of his studio albums, I’ve also added to the mix a live performance from “Blue Octave Notebooks,” a response to a Kafka text performed at ISSUE in May of 2009.

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