Friday, November 06, 2009

Support Yr Idols

Please tune in to Just Music on Sunday night as Jeff and Casey help
commemorate the 45th anniversary of ESP-Disk'; NYC's historic home for
the avant garde.

"The artists alone decide what you hear on the ESP Disk"

ESP-Disk' was formed in NYC and helped to document the thriving avant
garde jazz scene and the fringe rock and folk acts that toiled in the
clubs and coffeehouses of a now-extinct city. Boasting a one of a kind
roster, ESP-Disk' is responsible for the dissemination of some major
works by many of music's great iconoclasts such as Albert Ayler, Sun
Ra, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, The Godz,The Holy Modal Rounders and
a myriad of other acts who sought to expand sonic horizons. ESP-Disk's
discography has become synonymous with forward thinking music,
covering such seemingly disparate genres as psychedelic rock, modern
composition, electronic music, folk and soul as well as their
unequalled stable of free jazz giants.

Sadly, not every musician gets his or her fair due in terms of
monetary compensation. Jazz musicians are disproportionately affected
by the fickle nature of the recording industry and are often
marginalized to the point of utter destitution. The Jazz Foundation of
America's goal is to ensure that those who trade in America's
idiosyncratic art form are able to survive in a musical climate that
honors commerce above artistry. The Jazz Foundation of America has
been fighting to keep jazz and blues musicians from going hungry for
20 years with the help of donations from music lovers around the
world. This weekend the JFA teams up with the newly resurrected
ESP-Disk' Records at the Bowery Poetry Club to celebrate the 45th
Anniversary of the label's formation with all the door proceeds going
to help keep a roof over the head's of America's forgotten artists.

If yr in the NYC area come out and have yr synapses fried. I'll be in the house spinning jams between bands. Oh, and it's totally free.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Radiant Husk- Beyond An Endless Swale CS (Bezoar Formations,2009)

Radiant Husk is the work of Matthew Erickson. As one half of the Bay Area duo Sudden Oak, Erickson summons sheets of fire through his saxophone creating an interesting bridge between noise and free jazz. This particular release finds Erickson accompanying himself on keyboards, drums, and electronics. Less claustrophobic than the Sudden Oak releases I've heard, the jams on Beyond An Endless Swale play as some sort of urban meditation ritual. Building on skeletal drones, Erickson's saxophone alternates between soulful cries of beauty and frenzied,dissonant shrieks. One can hear the influence of Brontzman and other European Free Improvisers combined with a love of the deep space created by the first wave of German electronic exploration. Highly recommended.

This is released by Sudden Oak's own Bezoar Formations label and may still be available for purchase here.

Lard Free

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Help On The Way

Sorry for the lack of action around here.I could easily throw a few links up and be done with it but I feel that shortchanges both artist and audience. I would like to remind you that I work extremely hard on my 2 radio shows and would greatly appreciate if you took some time to check them out.(Just Music and Bring Out Your Dead...links on the right)

Also, if yr a label or musician looking for exposure, I welcome all submissions. I can't guarantee I will write about everything I receive but I promise I will listen to all the jams.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Peter Michael Hamel - Nada (Celestial Harmonies, 1980)

Peter Michael Hamel is probably best known for his totally righteous Voice of Silence release and his involvement in Between, a progressive unit that issued a couple of interesting records in the early 70's. As a composer and keyboard player, Hamel tapped into the cosmos and became a de-facto leader for the burgeoning New Age genre. A student of Indian raga and the avant garde , Hamel's work is not just pretty electronic music as Nada's second track "Silence", a piece for prepared piano can attest. Nada's highlight is the sidelong "Beyond the Wall of Sleep" : featuring four synthesizers and an electric organ that come together to create deep harmonic space complete with a dizzying bass gurgle and shot through with melodic rays. Highly recommended for fans of Emeralds and the Arbor label.

Peter Michael Hamel - Nada (Celestial Harmonies,1980)

3.Slow Motion
4.Beyond The Wall Of Sleep


Friday, September 11, 2009

Source of Yellow

When you live in an area with a high concentration of art school graduates, trust funders and other assorted blights on society, everyone you know is in a band. On any given night a friend of a friend of someone's aunt or coke dealer has a gig happening and "you should totally come out." Needless to say, the majority of music being made here in the quaint borough of Brooklyn that manages to gain any exposure west of the river is generally either cleverly disguised pop garbage or the tepid work of post-punk grave robbers. Thankfully, among the desecrated ruins of a once thriving artisitic community,there remains bands of sonic warriors who toil in the terrible shadows of the blue blooded condominiums and under the radar of an increasingly homogenized rock club scene.

Source of Yellow; a Brooklyn trio consisting of bass, drums, sax, and a pletheora of electronics and assorted sound generators are a true beacon of light in the seemingly eternal talentless night that has fallen on the NYC music scene. Combining metronomically precise krautboogie ur-rhythms with walls of textured electronics and sparse inventive sax playing Source of Yellow play music that would have been right at home on both the Brain and ESP-Disk record labels. They are indebted to the great innovators of free music's past without cannibalizing them, blazing a new direction away from the necrophillic tendencies of modern music. They are finishing up an incredible full-length and have given me their blessing to share with you their entire performance at Matchless Bar in Greenpoint from 2009-08-17.

Source of Yellow live at Matchless 2009-08-17

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ajilvsga - Behind the Masked Spirit (jktapes, 2008)

I've recently begun poking around, looking for good black metal. Though there have been a few things that I was into, I quickly realized that the darkness I've been seeking could be found more easily in noise and without the terribly slick production or the operatic stylings of some make-up clad clown from suburbia. I've often used noise as a dulling agent, a curtain to block the light and to keep the ghosts of all pasts at bay. Noise music, at its best, simply won't allow for the attachment of nostalgia or anecdotal recall. Noise exists solely in the province of the moment. Brad Rose and Nathaniel Young's Ajilvsga project has, over the course of numerous tapes and cdrs, created some of the most compelling black hole music ever. Ajilvsga's emissions adhere to the basic tenets of the low-end drone with plenty of mid and upper register synth/guitar action that resonate like some unholy clarion call through the cosmos. Unlike so much dreck being produced in the noise/drone axis these days, Ajilvsga produce dramatic music that never feels contrived or unnatural. This is space music, complete with the sounds of exploding suns, planetary decay and universes colliding.

Ajilvsga - Behind the Masked Spirit CS40 (jktapes, 2008)



Puffy Areolas - Final High (? CS20,2009?)

These dudes rolled through town a few months back and I had the good fortune of seeing them play Cake Shop the evening of Plastic Crimewave's Guitarkestra project(which ruled). Psyched about their majestic moniker and thirsting for some new sound I checked out their myspace page a few days before the show and was treated to some blown out brown-acid type freakouts which provided ample excuse for making it to the gig on time. My memory fails as to whether they were a four or five piece that night, but they definitely had one guitar, a bass, drums, and a singer. For some reason when I see a band with a "lead" singer(not playing any instrument) my palms get sweaty and my mind flashes on terrible Aerosmith-ish flights of cockrock. Of course there are exceptions to the lead singer cringe rule with Rob Tyner and Iggy being the most fitting examples. Well, basically the line-up looked a little thin to create the kind of warped psych dirges that were represented on their myspace page. And true enough, the ensuing set consisted of short blasts of psych-punk fury that can only be brewed in the basement cauldrons of the mid-west. A solid rhythm section kept a feverish pulse while the guitarist alternated between scorched earth riffing and paint peeling leads. The vocals are of the loud unintelligible variety that add a nice layer of texture to the proceedings. I gripped a few tapes at the show(this, and a double on Pizza Night) and the jams are righteous. Final High;5 songs clocking in at 20 minutes, is a rave up of classic garage with just enough fraying at the edges to keep it interesting. The important thing is; beneath the scuzz,there are simple and well written songs. And I love saying their fucking name.

I can't find the tape art online, and I'm too lazy to try and scan it somewhere so this picture of a tree-hugger who tried to sell me mushrooms will have to suffice. Also, there is no info on the tape about who put it out or song titles so if you know something leave a comment.

Puffy Areolas - Final High CS20


Safe as Milk

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Grachan Moncur III - "New Africa" (BYG,1969)

It recently occurred to me that I have been neglecting jazz here. It should come as no surprise that my interest lies in the more experimental strains of the genre which generally falls under the categorization of "free jazz". Like many genre signposts it is problematic, limiting and often derided by the branded musicians themselves. We shall leave the discussion of proper nomenclature for another day and instead focus on trombonist Grachan Moncur The Third's "New Africa" record released on the venerated BYG Actuel label in 1969. "New Africa" features other new music stalwarts Dave Burrell on piano, Roscoe Mitchell on alto sax and piccolo, Alan Silva on bass, Andrew Cyrille on drums and the inimitable Archie Shepp(with whom Moncur played extensively) on tenor sax for one cut. Less chaotic than many of the records being produced by the aforementioned players, "New Africa" is a shamelessly pretty exercise in post-Coltrane modal excursion. The title cut,presented in four distinct movements, is as beautiful and spacious a composition you will ever hear with each player turning in fine, if restrained, performances. Side two's appropriately titled "Exploration" shows the group in a more dynamic untethered space using texture atonality and repitition to exhilarating effect."New Africa" is a testament to the breadth of Moncur's compositional skill and the individual player's ability to flourish in any setting. One of the more accessible outings by any of it's individual contributors; this is a great record for trying to get yr girlfriend into some cool shit.

Grachan Moncur III - "New Africa" (BYG,1969)

1. New Africa
2. Space Spy
3. Exploration
4. When


Friday, August 07, 2009


A colleague recently forwarded GA'ANs myspace page to me, and my initial thoughts flashed on Magma being fronted by Dagmar Krause without the political bullshit. Sufficiently impressed by the sample jams, I went and saw these Chicagoans slay the crowd of metal-heads, prog nerds and rock sluts(no shit, it was like a Warrant video) assembled at Death by Audio on Thursday night. GA'AN combines a muscular yet nimble rhythm section, a genuinne synth-wizard and a strong female vocalist to unleash a dark tide of grooves, space and texture. On this particular untitled cassette they wander into some great murk drone territory with gorgeous synth twinkle before blasting into a full rock stomp. The wordless vocals mesh perfectly within the synth zone while the bass and drums dance across time. This is a great fucking tape.

These dudes are on tour, check them out if you can and buy their shit and show some love.

GA'AN - S/T CS (Self-Released)

Side A - Untitled
Side B- Untitled


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ARICA - S/T (1972)

Arica - Arica

"The concept of Arica, both as a Mystical School and as a School of Knowledge, which correspond to the Absolute and Relative Minds respectively, rests on the basis that the School is one socially organized body or a brotherhood with the strong interrelation of an enlarged family."


While perusing the racks of used records at one of my local favorites(Permanent Records), I chanced upon this LP. Attracted by it's vaguely Native American/New Age cover and intrigued by the titles of the tracks(Water Music, Active In The Cosmos), I gave it a cursory listen at the listening station and was sufficiently impressed to make a purchase. The liner notes give a brief description of the Arica Institute's philosophy of mind/body relations and goes on to indicate that the music on Sides 1-3 was designed to accompany an Arican excercise known as The Audicion Plantar or "listening with the soles of the feet." Each section of music has a corresponding, possibly neck-breaking tutorial for optimum listening. I quickly learned that laying down with headphones on was a practical method for maximum jam-absorption.

The music is cryptically credited to "The Arica Musicians" who employ hand percussion, piano, voice, electric guitar,saxophone, bass,and vibes to ecstatic effect. Imagine Pharoah Sander's Karma-era band jamming with No Neck Blues Band. Chaotic free skronk yields to gorgeous pastoral passages seamlessly without a soloist's ego in sight. The interplay between the Guitar and Piano on side 2 is positively jaw-dropping while the rhythm runs the voodoo down. The atmosphere of the record leaves little doubt that the pieces were recorded live. Patient listening reveals incredibly nuanced performances even during the discordant freak-outs. Highly Recommended.

Oh, and please leave comments.

ARICA- S/T (1972)

1.A)Absorption B)Relaxation
2.A)Mentations B)Passive in the World C)Actve in the World
3.A)Passive in the Cosmos B)Active in the Cosmos C) The Funnell
4.Water Music


Monday, June 29, 2009

R.I.P Eat Records

It saddens me to report the death of Eat Records...What was once an amazing place to hang out, drink coffee, have a nosh, and peruse through stacks of records has slowly become an Olive Garden for the ugly condo set.. Gone are the days when you could roll up, grab a cup and talk music, art and culture with the like-minded staff and fellow patrons for hours on end. Perhaps it was the introduction of tables and chairs so uncomfortable they had to have been designed to ensure minimum hang time(which I've been told is 100% accurate) or maybe it was the ousting of Douglas Pressman; the salty dawg whose legendary record hunting skills kept the shelves crammed with killer records. Thanks to founder Casey Block, Eat has been the backdrop for the formation of many friendships, musical projects, and ideas that span the globe. Mr.Block's friendly demeanor and musical knowledge assured the adventurous traveller there was always some cool live performance going down at 124 Meserole Ave. In the good old days you never noticed how shitty the coffee was as you were supporting a very unique business that was built on a foundation of love and community. That Eat Records is gone. Over the past year, the record inventory has been cut in half and the wi-fi turned off in a blatant attempt to rid the space of vibe and maximize profit for the Cafe(which is a separate entity from the record store). What remains is just another over-priced cafe in North Brooklyn hoping to capitalize on the influx of money into our neighborhood by offering miniscule renditions of trendy fare. The exorbitant prices discourage whatever struggling artists still remain in the area from dropping by leaving ample room for the nouveau riche and the disgustingly entitled to dine in sterilized bliss

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

MV & EE with the Golden Road "Sasquatch Creamie"

So, the MV & EE thing has been somewhat problematic for me. Having been a long time fan of the Tower Recordings; the mothership that deployed MV and EE into our sphere of consciousness, I am somewhat surprised at how difficult it has been for me to get on the bus when it comes to the recordings of MV & EE with whatever wandering minstrels happen to constitute the Golden/Bummer/Whatever Road. There are always very good moments on each studio record but they rarely illicit follow up sessions. Being a firm believer in the power of the live electric testimonial, I have ventured to a few lofts/bars/and open fields and bent my ears to recieve the MV & EE gospel always leaving satisfied but not converted. With the exception of a 30 minute instrumental that took place at Free103.9's farm in the Catskills that to this day stands as one of the most revelatory aural experiences of my life, perhaps it was pure (un)luck that I always seemed to hit shows where the jams just didn't gel...Fortunately for all of us, the band was totally hooked up on 2008-11-03 at the Oxfam Cafe in Medford, MA, and the tape was rolling. Part of a seemingly endless deluge of live releases, Sasquatch Creamie is 60 minutes of timeless hazy psych with MV & EE combining the Dead's free rock approach with Crazy Horse's ragged crunch to gloriously lysergic effect. Backed ably by the Golden Road, Matt Valentine's guitar playing takes center stage as it spirals skybound from the front porch like some back-country astronaut. Sasquatch Creamie is a fantastic document of a band that has successfully absorbed 40 years of psychedelic music and are able to put their own cosmic signature on the wall of sound.

MV & EE with the Golden Road - "Sasquatch Creamie"

1.Satisfied Rain (20:01)
2.The Burden (6:41)
3.Home Comfort (7:21)
4.Summer Magic > Environments > Get Right Church (29:14)

*This is a rip from the cassette version which was released by Yod Tapes in very limited qualities. It may still be available at Volcanic Toungue. There is also a CDR version that may still be available directly from the band, email them at for details...Always support the artists!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Brother Raven Live @ EVR 05/08/09

Seattle synth-duo Brother Raven melted our faces in the East Village Radio studio today.You can listen to today's show here. They are playing a bunch of shows in NYC this week, including a special dinner performance at Eat Records in Greenpoint on Saturday May 9th along with Tom Carter(Charlambides), and Purple Haze; a new duo featuring Marcia Bassett(GHQ,Double Leopards) and Taylor Richardson(Infinity Window, Sunburned Hand of the Man).


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Guru Guru "Mani und Seine Freunde" (Atlantic Records,1975)

Let's face it....Bands change. There are thousands of reasons for this, and we need not squander valuable time debating the catalysts for an artist's growth. When it comes to dealing with great music of the past we present-day travellers roam freely between musical epochs, unfettered by the tyranny of time. Now if you witnessed the visceral third-eye psych blues of Guru Guru's original incarntation as a saucer-eyed youth in Deustchland I could somewhat understand the confusion that would come as Mani Neumieier navigated the good ship GG through the burnt sienna hills of 70's fusion. Much like Soft Machine and Pierre Molan's Gong, the Guru Guru unit presented on "Mani und Seine Freunde" is far-removed from the band that recorded the classic "UFO" record both in personnel and intent. What we find on "Mani und Seine Freunde" is the back-end of the trip, with the musical field of vision widened. While by no means a front-to-back classic, "Mani und Seine Freunde" is a great summer record full of polyrhythms, nimble synthesizer and understated guitar. There are a few moments of Zappa-isms (mainly in lyrical content/delivery....Chicken Rock relates the story of a farmer who takes LSD and frees his flock)which are easily ignored and fail to detract from the "I can't believe how funky these Germans are" jams.The majority of the record swims in warm and fairly straight forward jazz-rock waters with the experimentation being limited to the two longer pieces. "From Another World" and "Woodpeckers Dream" utilize field recordings , acoustic guitar and African percussion to ecstatic effect. Despite it's shortcomings, Mani und Seine Freunde is a fine example of 70's fusion that does not rely on instrumental pyrotechnics. Lovingly ripped from my vinyl by Joe the Engineer.


1. Sunrise Is Everywhere

2. Chicken Rock

3. It's Your Turn

4. Walking Eating My Hot Dog

5. Fly Easy

6. From Another World

7.Woodpeckers Dream

8. 1, 2, 3, 4, March 'N' Rock

9. Drink Wine

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Soft Machine "Bundles" (Harvest Records,1975)

So the general consensus is: post-Wyatt Soft Machine records are prog/fusion noodlefests...So why is that a problem? If yr like me, that fucking rules. By the time "Bundles" was recorded, the only original member was Mike Ratledge, with guitarist Allan Holdsworth joining; bringing his considerable technical prowess without falling into cliche' soulless fret-workouts... Side A opens with the Holdsworth composition Hazard Profile in 5 parts. A blistering onslaught once the needle is dropped, the band's statement of intent is clear: we now have an electric guitarist. Parts 2 and 3 mellow things out with Ratledge's piano in the foreground reminding us all who daddy is. The Hazard Profile ends as it began, in a fiery maelstrom of beautiful jazz rock with jaw dropping synth leads by Mr.Ratledge. Side A concludes on a whisper with Holdsworth's ditty "Gone Sailing." Highlights on the B side include the title track featuring more stratospheric soloing by Holdsworth and the band displaying immaculate ensemble playing through several shorter pieces that flow in and out of each other culminating in the gorgeous atmospheric bliss of "Floating World."

Soft Machine "Bundles" (1975,Harvest Records)

1. Hazard Profile Part 1
2. Hazard Profile Part 2
3. Hazard Profile Part 3
4. Hazard Profile Part 4
5. Hazard Profile Part 5
6. Gone Sailing
7. Bundles
8. Land Of The Bag Snake
9. The Man Who Waved At Trains
10. Peff
11. Four Gongs Two Drums
12. The Floating World


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bring Out Yr Dead: 1972-08-27 Old Renaissance Faire Grounds Veneta, Oregon

I'm going to begin sharing some of my favorite GD jams on a somewhat regular basis...I host/produce a weekly Dead themed radio show on East Village Radio named Bring Out Your Dead whose purpose is to convert the uninitiated by interpolating GD jams with new and obscure psych/noise/experimental music. Although all are welcome aboard, my target audience are adventurous listeners outside of the patchoulli realm. As Bob Weir once famously remarked: "The biggest problem with Deadheads is they only listen to the Dead"....My own experiences with Deadheads leaves little doubt to the validity of Bobby's claim. I've often regretted not being able to see Jerry and the boys play live, although when I was at show going age the consensus was their best years were far behind them.As an aside; I did have a ticket to see them at MSG in October '94, but my "friend" swindled me out of my ticket in order to bring along someone who was holding more drugs.(FUCK YOU JOSH WINSTON)...So here's to what I'm hoping will be a weekly divergence into the mystical realms of the Grateful Dead.(I will be linking to the Live Music Archive which is the home to over 4,000 live Grateful Dead recordings. It is an excellent site with great streaming capabilities)

1972-08-27 Old Renaissance Faire Grounds Veneta, Oregon

Set I: Promised Land, Sugaree, Me & My Uncle, Deal, Black Throated Wind, China Cat Sunflower >I Know You Rider, Mexicali Blues, Bertha

Set II: Playin' in the Band, He's Gone, Jack Straw, Bird Song, Greatest Story Ever Told

Set III: Dark Star> El Paso, Sing Me Back Home, Sugar Magnolia, E1: Casey Jones, E2: Saturday Night

The world of live Grateful Dead music is vast and is impenetrable without proper guidance. Widely regarded as one of the Dead's peak performing years, 1972 is a great place for the lysergically challenged to seek entry. A benefit for Chuck Kesey's Creamery, 8/27/72 is a phenomenal show from beginning to end. The first set boasts a sturdy China>Rider, and a great reading of Weir's Black Throated Wind that might convert some Bobby haters. The second set opens with a great spacey Playin' that touches back to earth rock before the reprise. Also appearing in the second set is a stellar Bird Song with the band fully engaged in the group mind space no other band has ever pulled off. As if the first two solid sets were'nt enough to blow minds, the third set begins with the Dead's signature exploration vehicle....Dark Star. Not so much a song, as a spectral blueprint/hologram; Dark Star propels the band into the unknown. This version is one of my favorites, not as weird as the following year's readings would get, but a free rock behemoth nonetheless. Check the great segue into El Paso. Who else could pull that shit offf?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Eternal Tapestry "The Declining Star" CS (Night People)

Hailing from the fertile pastures of Portland, Oregon; Eternal Tapestry have been not-so-quietly breathing fiery life into the underground scene for a couple years now. Taking cues from historical monsters such as Hawkwind, Amon Duul II, and the PSF label ; these gentlemen succeed in creating music that references the past without slavishly imitating it. With each release, Eternal Tapestry refine their heady mix of motorik throb and noisy gristle. "The Declining Star" cassette finds these nomads hurtling toward the center of the sun . Opener "Ascending" hurls out of the gate with a scuzzy dirt riff riding a ferocious teutonic beat. A second guitar joins the fray, adding alternating blasts of white hot melodic fury and artfully sculptured noise. Soon enough the main riff drops out and is replaced with a jaw dropping low octave crunch groove blanketed with a shower of guitar deathrays . The remaining two tracks display a slower, more contemplative side but are no less interesting. The "Declining Star" displays a band of egoless jammers engaged in a conversation with the cosmos.

Buy IT

Eternal Tapestry "The Declining Star"

2.The Mountain's Foot
3. Lust Path

fry it