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JoeMc on 08/13/2009 at 10:27AM

Tao of the Teals

What's better than one guqin? You guessed it. (courtesy

I often write about "old" music in my FMA blog posts, but as Al Jolson once famously said, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Today's post doesn't feature music from 50 or even 100 years ago; no, this time I'd like to take you back about 5000 years.

Today's featured song is a traditional piece for probably the most ancient of Chinese instruments, the guqin (pronounced something like koo-chien). If you need to get into a more tranquil mood today, this ought to do the trick. Maybe you're stuck in an office? Well, imagine yourself at a peaceful lake: Ah, look at the cute little teals (ducks) frolicking in the sand! Listen to the water lapping at the lake's edge! Feel yourself relax into the warm sand under the azure sky. Begin to doze a little, and drift off, cradled in the arms of a benevolent god....

Oh yes, the blog post. Read on, if you're not already blissfully content.

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lizb on 08/13/2009 at 10:20AM

Mardi Gras hangover in August

Dark Meat at SXSW 2009 (photo by Andy, by-nc-sa)

Consider the logistics involved with packing up a band of 12+ members and driving across the country to play shows. Everytime I go out to a restaurant with a crowd half that size it's a minor disaster in terms of space, timing, and finances. Imagine your worst large-group-in-a-restaurant nightmare with the added complication of being on wheels and the whole ordeal lasting weeks. Plan on making a pit stop once an hour because someone will have to go.

Somehow, Dark Meat has managed to make it work for a few years now. Based out of Athens, GA, the band has a rotating cast of up to 15 members. More is certainly merrier if you are lucky enough to catch them live: skronky madness on- and offstage (you may be handed a neon sousaphone with an expectation that you will put out), shout-alongs, ritualistic chants, tribal face paint, and a rain of confetti or 99-cent store tchotchkes.

Dark Meat played live on my radio show this week, opening their set with a Les Rallizes Denudes cover, a sure way to win the heart of any hardcore WFMU fan. The trombone threatened to decapitate a few band members as the room swelled with sweat and southern rock. Take a listen to "Last of the Frontiersmen" below and check out their latest 7" release on Emergency Umbrella.

Although their various side projects are a list long enough to make a bureaucrat's eyes bleary, I will mention that Jim (guitar/vox) and Jason (drums) are involved in a forthcoming recording by the Brooklyn-based outfit Nymph. Quite possibly the best secret the band revealed: Tim (guitar/organ) is the genius behind the legendary outsider "A Collection of 20 Songs About Booties" CD (Found Magazine snagged it and circulated it widely some years back)!

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superhumanoids on 08/12/2009 at 06:09PM

Creative Commons on the Free Music Archive

Gilbert Gil listening to a presentation by Creative Commons' founder Lawrence Lessig (photo CC BY Joi via Flickr)

It has been just over four months since the Free Music Archive launched as a destination for high-quality, freely  licensed music. Since that time, the site has developed an avid community and grown to include a number of fantastic curators all while expanding upon the site’s initial catalog to host over 11,000 tracks. All told, the FMA has, in a very short time frame, become an indispensable destination for music lovers looking for freely-licensed music to download, share, and reuse.

The FMA has always offered and promoted CC licenses as a means to share the majority of music uploaded to the site. Today we are ecstatic to announce that CC has joined the FMA’s curatorial ranks! We’re celebrating with 50 great tracks that will be both familiar to the CC community while hopefully offering some new names as well. The launch is split into two mixes – our FMA Inaugural Mix and The WIRED CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share.

We’ll be doing regular updates to our collection over the coming months and our next featured mix will highlight some of the great community-driven artists and collaborations found at sites like ccMixter, Jamendo, Beatpick, Sutros, and more. We are on continuous lookout for great CC-licensed music to add to our page and would love to hear your suggestions on tracks and artists in the comments.

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Scott_Williams on 08/12/2009 at 04:36PM


I missed Rhys Chatham's 200-guitar "Crimson Grail" tour de force at Damrosch Park last weekend, so it was some comfort to find so much great guitariness stinking up the FMA.  I MADE A MIX.  From the stinging lofi Strat-twang of Phil Reavis, thru Ignatz' shortwave spaceblues; Sun City Girls' "Torch of the Mystics" made flesh in Hayvanlar Alemi; Loren MazzaCane Connors' ultra-minimal moodiness, to the Chrome-atic blues metal of Gunslingers.  Along the way, we've got glorious broken things from Gitarrenarmee and guitarrorisms, and so much more.  Stay to the end for some bonus non-guitar fun from banjos, violins, organs, and some more seriously broken things.


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jason on 08/12/2009 at 08:45AM

Davila 666: Killer Garage-Pop from Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico's Davila 666 brought their fierce Spanish-language garage-pop -- with gang vocals, tambourines, guitar licks, hooks and all the fixins -- to the WFMU live room for a set that aired on this week's Talk's Cheap.

The set was recorded in late July as the group made its way through the NY/NJ area, on an ongoing tour that takes them all the way back around to Memphis for Goner Fest 6 Sept 24-27th. At the moment, the six piece is finishing a comprehensive Florida leg that includes a show tonight in Ybor City with the Jacuzzi Boys.

Chatting with lead singer Carlito, he mentioned that -- prior to Davila 666 -- he and bassist AJ made "nasty gangsta rap" (in what I'm pretty sure is this group Ciencia Fixión). He also recommended some local PR punk contemporaries like Los Vigilantes and LopoDrido.

This is Davila 666's second cross-country tour. The first led to their signing to In The Red for their self-titled debut, one of the best records of 2008. They've also got new 7''s on HoZac and Douchemaster. They played the A-side of the Douchemaster 7'', "Pingarocha y la Diva Rockera", some new songs, and some jams from the In The Red release (like "Nueva Localizión", below).

Check out the full live session, available for download here on the FMA.

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herr_professor on 08/10/2009 at 05:35PM

Covox Voice Master

Covox, Thomas Söderlund to his parents, is one of those chiptune artists that doesn't particularity SOUND like any video game music you ever heard. Owing more to artists like early New Order or DAF, this weeks FMA release finds the typical Game Boy tones mixed, albini-like through a series of recording tricks reserved for bass, guitars, or vocals. The added air from this re-amping process gives the tinny bleeps and bloops of the tiny handheld some of the massive presence that is a revelation to those who may have not seen live chip shows, like the Blip Festival. this is not to say that its all studio trickery, as the songs themselves are quite good, with an synthpunk energy from the days when electro wasn't background fodder for car commercials.

Covox is heading to the US for a rare East Coast Tour (details after the jump) so check out Infiltrator EP, and we'll be back in couple of weeks. See ya then!

Covox - "Jet Alone" (03:44)
Covox - "Jet Alone" (03:44)
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jason on 08/10/2009 at 11:43AM

Joe Pernice

Joe Pernice live in Seattle, 2005. CC by-nc-sa Gregory Perez (source)

Pseu Braun welcomed Joe Pernice to the WFMU live room last Friday for a set that included several covers, as well of some of his own classics like the Pernice Brothers' "How Can I Compare" (below). Pseu writes,

Well known as the main man behind Pernice Brothers, Scud Mountain Boys and Big Tobacco is also the brand new novelist of "It Feels So Good When I Stop," published by the Penquin Group. Joe stopped by Pseu's show to talk and play some tunes from his new CD release which accompanies the book "It Feels So Good When I Stop."

The novel comes with a CD of covers of the likes of Todd Rundgren, Sebadoh, The Dream Syndicate, Dick Van Dyke & Julie Andrews, and Del Shannon. Joe Pernice played a few of these live in studio, and you can hear them in the full streaming archive of Pseu's Thing With a Hook.

Joe Pernice tour dates can be found at

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macedonia on 08/09/2009 at 11:16AM

the harmonic equivalent of run-on sentences... (mix)

Hopefully this mix finds you enjoying some good weather with good friends, or basking in the glow of some much-needed solitude from the monotony of everyday life.  It was made with a road trip mixtape aesthetic in mind, but it should work as well for office cubicle therapy.  Be it hip-hop or minimal techno, be it quirky and upbeat click and glitch-laden electronics, from the smooth and introspective to the edgy and erratic, this is just a snapshot of the plethora of tunes that make the Free Music Archive such a priceless resource (and when it comes right down to it, just damned cool).

check out the full mix here, with music from Zap Mama, OCDJ, Opio, Cex, this Universal Materials track, and more!

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pluspunkt on 08/09/2009 at 06:56AM

Nice Cover - GDFX

a beautiful artwork for the GDFX »Æ« Release. very nice picture. im not shure if the 3d-effects on the type is essential but that's the designers choice. Unfortunatly i cant figure out who done this nice artwork.

The full picture in a better compression you'll find here.

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calebt on 08/08/2009 at 10:20AM

Don't Call Him Juany Cash

Mira at the Sasquatch Music Festival. CC NC ND by Jackie Kingsbury -

KEXP has been silently dumping loads of gems into the FMA. Teaser tracks off live sets from people like Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, Ladytron, and James Yuill are a few of the highlights from their star-studded offerings. It's clear they mean business, so take advantage.

One of particular interest is a stripped down performance from Seattle songwriter Vince Mira. Mira is an anomaly not to be skipped. His voice bears an uncanny resemblance to Johnny Cash (hence the title, which I admit I lifted off KEXP's archive, but, come on, it's pretty clever) -- enough to impress John Carter Cash, at least, who scooped him up to co-produce his first official release, Cash Cabin Session, which showcases a few of his own originals alongside a Spanish-language rendition of "Ring of Fire." With a face that could kill and a west-Texas wardrobe that wouldn't be out of place in the '50s, it's clear that Mira can play the part.

A Johnny Cash impersonator is all well and good, and certainly vaguely impressive in its own right, but there's a reason Mira is doing a weekly residence at the Can Can in Seattle, not playing Vegas. He writes sturdy, captivating stories set to deep melodies where his voice flourishes. The guitar-and-voice performance on KEXP is solid evidence of his singular talent. Mira is carving out an identity in spite of the Cash shadow, which is all the more impressive when I reveal that he is 17 years old. Or 16, I'm not sure, wikipedia just says that his birthday is in 1992, and I can't find out anywhere else. His songs are already well beyond his years, and there can only be more to come. So check him out now, or later, because Mira is here to stay.

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