Sunday, February 28, 2010

the black dotz

behold wanz dover's new power trio with clay stinnett on drums, live at the kessler theater earlier today.

don van vliet's "making love to a vampire with a monkey on my knee"


Making love to a vampire with a monkey on my knee
The pond shined dry like a ladies compact
Lilies leaped like flat green hearts with white hearts
Squirting yellow pollen...cocks...
Ferns ran like cool spades.. fossils. ..away from rocks
Bees echoed dark carbon hums that dashed in nothing
Gnats fucked my ears 'n nostrils
Hit my brain like hones 'n numbed t' nothing
Wings stuck on liquid bones
Making love to a vampire with a monkey on my knee
The moon poured hollow down my milky leg
Splashed still ‘n moved
The wind peed down the willows 'n pricked the needle vine
The monkey moved a fur shadow... its soot tail curled in twos
Its lips smiled needles.. its eyes rolled loose
Her throat broke open... glistened in the dew
Red berries dangled like a dream of rubies too
Snot muscles ran down her ivory chin 'n tooth within
A locket... a pin held fast to then, my love, my pocket deep within
'N senses dangled the chain that clasped me to her then
The messenger spoke the wind that blows between our time
I sensed you then 'n whispers spin 'n flow in silver dust
Around the pointed pin
Sent to nothing
God, please fuck my mind for good
Making love to a vampire with a monkey on my knee
Oh fuck that thing.. .fuck that poem...eyes crawl out with maggots
White cloth bones pile up light thrown blades
Rags ‘n skull.. scoops soil cracks.. .drain screams.. please
Take my hand 'n join me... too soon its clutches gleams
Making love to a vampire with a monkey on my knee
Death be damned... life

o.c. in the star-t

nice preston jones piece on ornette coleman in today's paper.

dale hawkins at the department store

i don't usually read bob greene's columns, but i liked thisun a lot, possibly because i remember the tommy edwards song he mentions, although i was a baby when it was a hit.

2.27.2010, ftw

i called hickey as soon as i got home from work to remind him to bring his synth to lola's 6th. unfortunately, by that time, he was already eating dinner at the ihop on university, but he went to the cvs and bought a toddler's keyboard and a musical easter card which he used to good effect.

a stripped down HIO lineup with a great andre edmonson mix made it easy to hear everybody. think this is the configuration we'll stick to for awhile. dig the interaction between marcus' 'bone and hembree's small instruments. i backed my stage volume way off and played a lot of screwdriver and clothespin gtr as well as using the ebow.

terry didn't play at all; instead, he did a live painting which was projected on a screen behind us. wound up selling it for $100, which he'll donate to tommy a.'s family.

kurt rongey from the underground railroad was taking pictures, and andre got almost our whole set on video. when we finished, there was a guy with the sticker design on a piece of red construction paper that he got all of us to sign. i asked terry who he was, and he said, "i thought _you_ knew him!"

tonight at the kessler theater in oak cliff (two blocks from the second place i lived in texas!), it'll be terry, hembree, billy wilson on theremin, and your humble chronicler o' events.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

lineup for the tommy atkins fundraiser @ the kessler theater in oak cliff tom'w

The Black Dots-4:00)
Tre Orsi-4:45)
Hentai Improvising Orchestra-5:30)
Nervous Curtains-6:15)
Darktown Strutters-7:45)
Corporate Park-8:30)
Drug Mountain-9:00)
PVC Street Gang-9:30)
Yells at Eels-10:30)

for tommy

my sweetie posted some of her pics of the great tyrant on her photo blog.

tommy atkins benefit @ the kessler theater in oak cliff, this sunday

details here.

ADDENDUM: paypal link to donate to help defray tommy's cremation costs here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

jeff beck's motown session

Thursday, February 25, 2010

r.i.p. tommy atkins

tommy atkins, bassist for the great tyrant and yeti, died at home yesterday. he'd had cardiac problems in the past and suffered a heart attack last spring. i suspect he knew he had a limited amount of time left, because he was back on the boards within a couple of weeks of his heart attack and gigged and recorded relentlessly with the tyrant for the past few months. he was a hulking onstage presence with a massive sound, but also a man of searching intelligence and quiet humor. he will be missed.

read a 2003 interview with tommy and his longtime friend and bandmate jon teague here. our hearts go out to all those who loved him.

ADDENDUM: another interview from

2.25.2010, ftw

jesse the painter had to bail on his guitar lesson, but had a nice haul from doc's: besides eno's before and after science, shannon jackson's eye on you and patto's roll 'em, smoke 'em, put another line out. and some sad news as i walked in the door. shit.


wow! RON's even playing the changes...

Peter Van Huffel Quartet's "Like the Rusted Key"

Peter Van Huffel is a Canadian alto saxophonist, formerly based in NYC and now in Berlin. He's got his fingers in a number of pies: his own quartet, a collaboration with Belgian vocalist Sophie Tassignon, and an "angry jazz" trio called Gorilla Mask. His new quartet release, Like the Rusted Key, just dropped on Fresh Sound Records.

Van Huffel's most stellar collaborator in the new quartet is pianist Jesse Stacken, a leader in his own right. Together, the two men intertwine their sounds as effectively as David S. Ware and Matthew Shipp did in Ware's great quartet. Both are nuanced players with varied tonal palettes. They let things unfold slowly on the opening "Drift" before revealing a penchant for rhythmic density on "Tangent," a piece that veers into '60s "energy music" midway through via Van Huffel's use of multiphonics. Relentless drummer Samuel Rohrer stays with them every step of the way.

"Enghavevej" has some angular melodic lines that aren't exactly Monkian or Dolphic, although reminiscent of both precursors, while "Backward Momentum" employs prog rock-like dynamics. The closing triptych of "Melancholic," "Beast II," and "Atonement" is contemplative, spacious, and somber, the last tune featuring lovely unison statements by Van Huffel's alto and Miles Perkin's arco bass. Like Fieldwork's Door, the PVH Quartet's Like the Rusted Key is a cerebral outing that's not without its visceral moments. It's a worthy showcase for a group that's forging a strong identity.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ten out of five

mc5 completist? read this. from arthur.

del-lords @ lakeside lounge, 2.23.2010

wish i'd been there. scott kempner from the dictators and eric ambel from the yayhoos in the band that essentially started the y'allternative movement.

hendrix was "mixed-handed"

i don't make this stuff up. "ladies and gentlemen, and children of either handedness..."

HIO @ j&j's pizza 2.20.2010 audio online now it's the most recent "untitled" file.

sherman alexie - "ode to my sharona"

the native american poet, inspahrd by the knack's one hit. somewhere, doug fieger is smiling.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

mom and patti smith

2.23.2010, ftw

when i was in sixth grade, my best bud, whose mom was a liberal with a large "l" (his dad passed away the year before we met), got to bag school on the occasions of the vietnam moratorium and the very first earth day. i remember falling by the episcopal church where he spent the day hanging out for the latter and seeing a sign someone had made that said "ANTI-POLLUTION NOW!" true story.

years later, when my buddy jay -- whom i met during an extremely ill-advised attempt to make a rock 'n' roll band in aspen, colorado, during the winter of '79-'80 and now resides with his wife in london -- and i were both out of work, we used to email each other "ANTI-UNEMPLOYMENT NOW!," which we both thought was funnier than a fish. we were '60s kids.

i have no idea why i remembered this while i was at work tonight.

rules for writing

from the guardian. these are meant to apply to fiction, but in a certain way, isn't it all fiction?

more ftw haikus (work in progress)

i had insomnia last night hadn't done this in about five years, so...

ray 2
he's mr. fort worth
striding down the street just like
a big orange cat

jon teague found out that
a man with such a strong jaw
don't need no goatee

young richard
blood of the sun's loss
was stoogeaphilia's gain
he completed us

if we had told you
how much you mattered to us,
would it have saved you?

the man that brought me here
some things are constant:
twenty-five years in one place;
a heart that won't quit

he's the best friend that
i always take for granted
right on mr. dan

mr. horn
banjo on his knee
sketchbook and laptop in hand
got some art to make

quite an enigma
this very funny fellow
that feeds the horses

such a courtly man
with a beneficent smile
makes that horn sing sweet

geekin' out

austin-based web designer mimi flynn knows her way 'round the intarweb, and shares what she knows.


my scrawl on the i-94 bar

a review i penned of magic band drummer john "drumbo" french's bio of his old bandleader, beefheart: through the eyes of magic, is online now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

the stash dauber podcast: a whole lot of good records

new episode is up now. hooray!

2.22.2010, ftw

it's occurred to me recently how my life today is closer to the way it was when i worked 60 hours a week for radioshack, wrote 10,000-word pieces for webzines, and went to six shows a year (all touring bands, in dallas) than it was for a couple of years after that. except now i'm married and happier and play in bands that i like. i don't feel as connected to a community as i did when i was spending five nights a week in bars, but my health is better now. i suppose the wreck room book was my way of saying goodbye to all that. one of my coworkers hit me up today to sign up to run the white rock marathon (well, a 5K leg of same) with one of the teams cm is fielding. i might just do it. if nothing else, it'd be motivation to get off my lazy ass. (nothing like the specter of public failure to galvanize one.)

science-based medicine: longing for a past that never existed

my sweetie finds the best stuff. here's a jaundiced view of the alternative health movement, along with some notably reasonable and non-inflammatory responses. were all discourse on the intarweb so civil.

the pete townshend page

i remember reading the last couple of these in the melody maker when i was a snotnose. thanks to t. tex for the reminder! this blogger is supposedly gonna post all nine of 'em, one a day, like multiple vitamins. here are #2 and #3. you know what to do. jai baba, folks.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

my scrawl on the i-94 bar

reviews i penned of new (or reissue) cd's by this moment in black history and the master's apprentices are online now.

2.20.2010, ftw and denton

woke up too early and burned a bunch of cd-r's to take to the HIO extravaganza at j&j's pizza in denton -- four each of the first session from 10.17.2009, the live 12.19.2009 recording from 1919 hemphill, and the session with patrick crossland from 12.27.2009. wound up leaving them on the "merch table" in the pizza parlor's basement. hopefully someone will want them and they won't wind up in the dumpster. wrote a bunch of record reviews and tried vainly to take a nap before mr. horn came to pick me up to drive up for the gig.

denton has a weird thing to it. everyone i saw looked kind of depressed and unhealthy -- or maybe it's just the recent weather. recycled books and records is always a treasure trove and i'm amazed/depressed at the number of good jazz cd's they have in stock (multiple copies of what appears to be the entahr black saint catalog -- guh). put back a don pullen solo piano album and a beefheart bootleg in favor of freedy johnston's this perfect world (ultra-depressing jangle-pop fave from my last go as a rekkid store geek) and john cale's paris 1919 (my favorite album of his after the solo live fragments of a rainy season, which i now have on dvd, although it has fewer songs than the cd).

j&j's is located right on the town square, next door to an overpriced (terry sez) musical instrument store. they throw a decent pie that they're pretty proud of; too bad we didn't know that bandmembers get free pie and schlitz until after terry paid for one (the last two slices of which we wound up leaving in the back hallway; sloppy loadout). hembree and his friend were already there when we arrived, while hickey and marcus showed up awhile later. also saw a friend of my middle daughter's who's been to dinner at the house and ty stamp from violent squid, who was there with some buds making up song names for a band called whiskey lizards.

vexed uk went first. terry had spent the last couple of days building two light boxes michael briggs had requested, which michael fitted with red halogen lamps that were fairly blinding when he turned them on -- one way to handle the situation of not liking to be seen onstage. their blend of sarah's voice and small instruments with michael's voice, guitar, and electronics (all of it liberally slathered with F/X) was as intriguing as always.

aunt's analog from austin were LOUDER THAN FUCK. i was upstairs when we started and it was almost painfully loud up there. they soon emptied the basement except for michael and his gutterth pal brent frishman -- and hembree and his friend. the upstairs dining room cleared out pretty thoroughly too, after which one of the j&j's folks informed michael that "if the rest of the bands are going to be this loud, you might as well pack up and leave now."

yells at eels were vibrantly exploratory as usual, and the night's performance had a little extra something -- a sense of playfulness, perhaps -- owing to the size of the attentive crowd, i'd guess. aaron gonzalez thought it'd be funny to bait the house for bitching about the noise -- not really on in my opinion; as the bathroom graffiti at the wreck room used to say, "don't shit where you eat." his father dennis spun spells from his trumpet like a sorcerer, both with and without the octave effect from his whammy pedal, and when aaron and his brother stefan kicked off the pounding intro to "document for toshinori kondo," stefan channeling gene krupa with his relentless kick drum, you could feel the room starting to levitate.

aaron sat in on bass and voxxx with HIO, which on this occasion also included sarah alexander, michael briggs, marcus brunt, matt hembree, matt hickey, terry horn, and your humble chronicler o' events. hembree played small instruments and sarah read from romance novels and erotica in a variety of accents. i couldn't hear either of them well enough, but terry, who was better positioned to hear the whole ensemble, said it sounded fine out front. hembree recorded it and we're anxious to hear.

the drive home was uneventful, thankfully without the thunderstorms that were predicted, and it was good to get home to my sweetie and the cats. always is. looking forward to lola's 6th with the better death and underground railroad next saturday, when hembree will be playing the small instruments exclusively (no bass) and we'll have the luxury of an andre edmonson mix.

Curtis Clark's "Taagi"

Saw Dennis Gonzalez perform with Yells At Eels at J&J's Pizza in Denton last night (where I also performed with HIO) and got copies from him of pianist Curtis Clark's new album Taagi, which was just released on NoBusiness Records out of Vilnius, Lithuania. Dennis reminded me that I'd written the liner notes for the disc, which I re-read last night. One of the better things I've written lately (well, last summer) in my opinion.

The piano trio is a time-honored jazz institution. Trio recordings have been among the most commercially, as well as artistically, successful in the music – one need only think of Ahmad Jamal’s Live At the Pershing, Erroll Garner’s Concert By the Sea, Bill Evans’ Portrait In Jazz, or Duke Ellington’s Money Jungle. Pianist Curtis Clark previously added to the canon with 1994’s Home Safely, in the company of Dutch master percussionist Han Bennink. For this outing, he’s joined by a pair of fiery young brothers from Dallas for a cross-generational meeting of minds.

Clark was born in Chicago in 1950, began playing and composing while living in Los Angeles, and became a protégé of pianist-composer-bandleader Horace Tapscott. As a teenager, he once tried to convince Ornette Coleman to hire him, even though Coleman hadn’t employed a pianist in years. Moving to New York in the ‘70s, Clark performed and recorded with fellow California expat David Murray, appearing on the tenor titan’s acclaimed 1982 album Murray’s Steps. Relocating to Amsterdam in the ‘80s, Clark worked with musicians including saxophonist John Tchicai and drummer Louis Moholo -- both featured on his 1986 album Letter to South Africa – as well as Bennink. He’s released recordings under his own name for Nimbus West and Favorite Records, and currently resides in Portland, Maine.

Taagi – which takes its title from the Apache word for “three” -- is his first trio recording with bassist Aaron Gonzalez and drummer Stefan Gonzalez. The brothers grew up in an environment that encouraged creative endeavor; their father is trumpeter-poet-visual artist-educator Dennis Gonzalez. They mastered their instruments early and have performed in contexts that include mariachi, hardcore punk, and experimental music as well as jazz. Besides collaborating with their father in the group Yells At Eels, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, they’re also part of Portuguese guitarist Luis Lopes’ award-winning Humanization 4tet.

Recorded on successive nights during May 2009 performances in Dallas and Austin, the album opens with the Austin performance of “Joy/Blessings,” a suite that was a highlight of the band’s sets. Starting out, the pianist’s lyrical abstraction is laced with gospel and blues gestures. When he’s joined by the brothers, Aaron unleashes flurries of pizzicato notes while Stefan flows like a rushing river, shifting seamlessly from brushes to sticks midway through the piece. On the Dallas version, also included here, Clark gently and lovingly essays the “Joy” theme, adding a soupcon of dissonance, but not in a way that interrupts the melodic flow. Then the brothers play together as though a single intelligence guided both their hands.

Another suite, “Water Colors/New York City Wildlife,” begins with Clark in a mood of Debussian contemplation before the brothers make their entrance, Aaron shadowing Clark’s melody while Stefan churns away like Rashied Ali behind Coltrane. Stefan’s brush and cymbal work here is particularly deft, while his crisp attack in the second half of the piece recalls Roy Haynes and Alan Dawson. The title track begins as a three-way conversation before Aaron solos to good effect, his big, dark sound lending weight to his lines. When the theme emerges, it’s a waltz -- another reason for the title, perhaps? – which Clark begins exploring with odd groupings of notes that recall Monk, shifting to chordal interjections that are as harmonically rich as they are rhythmically spare.

The closing standard, “Beautiful Love,” is a big band chestnut from 1931, recorded by Bill Evans on Explorations 30 years later. While the trio’s approach to the tune isn’t as oblique as, say, the one Cecil Taylor took to “What’s New” at the Café Montmartre back in ’62, Stefan’s syncopations and Aaron and Curtis’ explorations are as far a cry from Evans’ reflective-but-swinging approach as that version was from Wayne King’s original. Steeped in tradition, looking towards the future, Curtis Clark and the Gonzalez brothers set a new standard for improvisational dialogue. Listen.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

inside scoop

mark growden has been added to the bill for josh alan friedman's black cracker book release show at the kessler theater in oak cliff on march 20th. i'm going to be in austin, but you should definitely go.

who turns down free publicity?

duh. emi. thanks to matt in brooklyn for the link from the nyt.

A Whole Bunch of New Stuff from Clean Feed

A fat envelope arrived last week from Clean Feed Records, the Lisbon-based label specializing in creative improvised music whose name has become as reliable a guarantor of quality for this jaded listener as Smog Veil and Aztec Music are, in different ways. Here's what they sent.

Guitarist Scott Fields is a Chicagoan by way of Madison, Wisconsin, who now resides in Cologne, Germany. He had a "countercultural" adolescence and started out playing blues in bars while still underage before falling under the spell of the Windy City's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. ("A Poem for Joseph," which opens his album Fugu, is dedicated to Art Ensemble of Chicago saxophonist Joseph Jarman, with whom Fields has performed.) He put down his guitar when he was 21 and picked it up again 15 years later, earning a journalism degree in the meantime, although you wouldn't know it from his infuriatingly convoluted liner notes. Fugu is a reissue of a 1995 date first released on his own short-lived Geode label. The pieces were written to accompany dancers but their tricky, irregular meters proved unsuitable for that purpose. The music's subtly stunning on its own terms, though, performed by an unit of mainly classical players whose fiery interpretations of Fields' compositions belie their academic backgrounds. Cellist Matt Turner and vibist Robert Stright particularly shine.

A cursory glance at the band shot on Fight the Big Bull's All Is Gladness in the Kingdom caused me to wonder, "WTF is this, 'freak folk' shite?" I needn't have worried. Far from it, they're a robust and forward-thinking ensemble from Richmond, Virginia, of all places, helmed by guitarist-composer Matt White. They sound like the Gil Evans Orchestra with a screw loose, or one of those freewheeling Euro outfits like Willem Breuker's Kollektief. Like the '70s Evans outfit, they aren't above incorporating rawk influences (including the foulest sounding fuzztone I've heard in several years) to their tumult of squalling saxes and growling trombone. Elsewhere, their woodwinds sing as smoothly and sweetly as the ones from Ellington's Blanton-Webster band. The secret ingredient on All is Gladness... is trumpeter-composer Steven Bernstein (Sex Mob, Millennial Territory Orchestra), who traveled to Richmond from Da Apple for ten days of rehearsal, performance, workshops, and recording. On "Mothra," they sound like a futuristic sci-fi soundtrack gone haywire. And I just can't resist their wild 'n' wooly cover of "Jemima Surrender" from the Band's self-titled sophomore LP, an album they apparently dig real much. Which, come to think of it, _was_ pretty freaky (if only for its out-of-timeness) and folky (if you accept the premise that Ray Charles and Bobby Bland could be considered "folk music").

Speaking of large ensembles and Europeans, on Pillow Circles, commissioned for the 2009 North Sea Jazz Festival, Dutch saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra (based in the U.S. since 2002) leads an all-star octet that includes saxman Tony Malaby, trombonist Jeb Bishop, bassist Jason Roebke, and drummer Frank Rosaly. Imagine if you will an ebulliently percolating jazz that's expansive enough to accommodate rustic touches like guitarist Paul Pallesen's banjo, moments of spacious experimentalism and even a soupcon of indie depresso-rock (dig the segment dedicated to Fred Frith). This is visceral music with intellect and a fair amount of humor. What's not to like? (And by the way, how's your Dutch?)

RED trio is neither (as far as I can tell) a group of doctrinaire Communists or a King Crimson tribute band. Rather, it's a collaboration between three adventurous improvisers -- pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro, bassist Hernani Faustino, and drummer Gabriel Ferrandini -- all of whom have worked with saxophonist Nobuyasu Furuya; the bassist and drummer appeared on Furuya's Bendowa album for Clean Feed last year. They claim the heritage of the Bill Evans-Paul Bley trio, not so much for the sounds and moods they create as for their instruments' roles as equals rather than foreground-and-background. This is daring, edge-of-seat stuff.

On Amnesia Brown, trumpeter Kirk Knuffke leads a trio that features two of his bandmates from Butch Morris' Nublu Orchestra, drummer Kenny Wollesen and multi-instrumentalist Doug Wieselman (Lounge Lizards, Flying Karamazov Brothers). Knuffke's a searchingly lyrical trumpeter, while Wieselman switches off between a mellifluous clarinet and a guitar that spans styles from surf to skronk. Wolleson's a thinking, listening percussionist. The music they make together is alternately contemplative, exploratory, and abrasive, but always incandescent. The 16 tracks that comprise Amnesia Brown are short but flow together seamlessly.

Sei Miguel plays pocket trumpet a la Don Cherry and, on Esfingico: Suite for a Jazz Combo, leads a group that includes alto trombone, bass guitar, electronics, and small percussion. While the group's episodic interplay is interesting, the connections they strike never seem to generate much heat or light. This is the kind of thing that's best experienced live, when you can observe the physical dynamic between the players.

The thickness of the Clean Feed catalog that accompanied these releases provided heartening evidence that there's a thriving audience for this kind of music -- in Europe, at least, if not here.

john cale - "fragments of a rainy season"

just got this on dvd. good live solo representation of he whom i've seen more times than any recording artist except for fz.

Friday, February 19, 2010

2.19.2010, ftw

since the wx was nice and is supposed to turn shitty tom'w, this evening i took a walk with my sweetie to doc's records, over to lola's 6th street to hear scott copeland, and back via cvs to pick up her allergy meds.

at doc's, she got a three dollar cookbook and i got a t-shirt. terry and i are gonna fall by recycled before tomorrow night's HIO extravaganza at j&j's pizza in denton, but i've got so many review cd's to listen to that it doesn't really make sense to be dropping a lot of dosh on vinyl right now.

my sweetie calls camp bowie east of montgomery street "the curmudgeon zone" because as soon as we pass that threshold, i start bitchin', and i don't stop 'til we're back at home. i know life is change, blah blah blah, i just don't dig the way it feels now. maybe that's one reason why these days, we only go out when i'm playing.

we were gonna heat up spaghetti sauce when we got home but the walk made us hungry, so we got turkey subs at the great outdoors, which we carried with us to lola's. 'twas good seeing elvis tending bar on the patio, and william and lu and mike gunby and tim burt from the old wreck room crew, as well as chris maunder, the host with the most from the moon.

scott sounded great with his new (to me at least) band with gary grammer on harp and "dirt" on lead guitar. still kinda felt like "these are not my people" for the most part. nobody's fault; our life is just a lot different now than when we usedta hang at the wreck two or three nights a week.

ran into jesse the painter outside; he's gonna come over when i'm off next thursday and i'm gonna start teaching him the basics of guitar. we stopped by the patch of ground where the wreck room used to be and i got sentimental. went by the little house where my sweetie used to live. i'll be even sadder when that's no longer standing.

new richard thompson album

the magic band

sure, it's a "tribute band," but all this mess still sounds pretty good played za r-r-r-right vay by gary lucas, mark "rockette morton" boston, john "drumbo" french, and denny "feelers reebo" walley. yeah!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


for some reason, it pleases me that we're the only house on our block that still has some snow in the front yard.

Mike Reed's People, Places & Things' "Stories and Negotiations"

This drummer-led ensemble is intended to pay homage – via its repertoire and the presence of respected elders -- to the impressive (although often obscure) jazz heritage of its hometown, Chicago. In this case, the elders include multi-instrumental bopper Ira Sullivan, heard here on tenor sax, and a pair of Sun Ra alumni, trumpeter Art Hoyle and trombonist Julian Priester. Improbably, however, this 2008 live recording has the feel of a classic Charles Mingus recording from the era (ca. 1959) when the titanic bassist-composer was producing masterworks like Blues and Roots and Mingus Ah Um seemingly on demand.

Perhaps it’s the Ellingtonian horn polyphony (including two trombones), or maybe it’s the loose-limbed propulsion leader Mike Reed brings to the proceedings, reminiscent of Mingus’ man Dannie Richmond in the way his traps always support the compositions. The band swings relentlessly, with a forward motion that’s always organic, never slick, and the improvised statements feature more interplay than a conventional string-of-solos approach would allow. Most valuable player on the date is bassist Jason Roebke, who provides a solid foundation of agile, muscular lines. There are reminders here of how “in the tradition” Sun Ra truly was – dig his bluesy holler “El is a Sound of Joy” or Priester’s “Urnack,” first recorded by Ra’s Arkestra in ’56, which starts out otherworldly, then stomps off on “I Got Rhythm” changes. Reed’s a 21st century bandleader worthy of mention alongside Ra and Mingus. Cop via

Kalle Kalima & K-18's "Some Kubricks of Blood"

From Finland comes this unlikely gem, an album of instrumental pieces that fuse jazz improvisation with underground rock and modern classical atmospherics, inspired by various locations in the films of Stanley Kubrick. In his program notes, guitarist Kalle Kalima refers to the director’s “strong message against the use of violence” and how he was affected by hearing composer Gyorgi Ligeti’s microtonal music behind the psychedelic visuals in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kalima’s drumless group (“K-18” is the Finnish equivalent of a U.S. “X” rating) includes a quarter-tone accordion that supplies ear-bending dissonance alongside guitar, saxophone, and bass. This electric chamber music sounds like what might have resulted if avant-godfather John Zorn recorded for German producer Manfred Eicher, whose recordings are famous for their moody soundscapes.

The compositions, with titles that allude to potent cultural signifiers like The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, and Full Metal Jacket, create moods that range from opaque beauty to sinister menace. In “Overlook Bar,” Kalima plays a three-minute backward-echoed guitar solo without once stirring the ghost of Hendrix. “Korova Milkbar” starts out as a somber dirge, then winds its way through an off-kilter Eastern European folk dance, a muted duet between bass and atonal slide guitar, lumbering heavy rock, and free-form high-energy freak out. “Parris Island” similarly progresses through several sections in a way that recalls Zorn’s “movie music” and Dave Douglas’ Tiny Bell Trio. This is some powerful, evocative stuff. Copy via

live at the kessler

oak cliff's kessler theater has made its first set of show announcements (via talent booker, muso, scribe, and big d underground eminence jeff liles). nice to see the great tyrant will be there on 3.28. sorry i'm gonna miss the release party for josh alan friedman's black cracker by being in austin on 3.20.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

my scrawl in the fw weekly

a review i penned of transient songs' new cd cave syndrome is in this week's paper and online now.

what the future sounded like

thirty-minute doco on the electronic music studios, pioneering brit avant-gardists who invented the vcs3 synth, among other things.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

leonard bernstein on video

this morning, i posted a clip from leonard bernstein's on the town on facebook. this arvo, my big sis sent me a piece from the nyt about a his seven appearances on tv's omnibus, recently released on dvd. we grew up watching his "young people's concerts" on the tube, so this is of interest to me, at least. talk about yr synchronicity.

jim campilongo

gotta love a guy that plays a tele drenched in 'verb.

Monday, February 15, 2010

blues project

a buncha confused lefties and one ex-"who wears short shorts?" royal teen, these guys were one of the fave bands of my misspent yoof. now sundazed is fixin' to reish their ace projections alb in mono, on vinyl. if i didn't already own a copy i'd cop one posthaste.

Some Pretty Good Jazz Records

I like the way Matthew Shipp, in the winter 2010 issue of Signal To Noise, talks about digging Monk and Bud Powell because (in so many words) they were crazy, and suggests that Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock "should just go somewhere and stop playing." The pianist, who made his name playing with free jazz throwback David S. Ware in the '90s, is also making the most interesting statements on his instrument of anyone except for maybe Vijay Iyer, and has a new solo album 4D to prove it. Shipp's a cerebral player, whether essaying long, flowing lines, crafting dense rhythmic mazes, or pounding out atonal clusters. When he applies this variegated attack to standard repertoire ("What Is This Thing Called Love," "Autumn Leaves," "Prelude To a Kiss") and folkloric material ("Frere Jacques," "What A Friend We Have In Jesus," "Greensleeves"), he summons the shade of Cecil Taylor at the Cafe Montmartre in '62; on his own knotty compositions, he's strictly his own guy.

Speaking of Vijay Iyer, his Historicity trio set from last year remains a worthwhile listen. He covers M.I.A.'s "Galang," demonstrating how natural it is for young jazzcats to flaunt hip-hop influences -- remember Jason Moran's take on "Planet Rock" from 2002's Modernistic? -- alongside Andrew Hill's "Smoke Stack" and Julius Hemphill's "Dogon A.D." (which is heading for standard territory, what with Marty Ehrlich's recent cover), and plays "Somewhere" from West Side Story against a walking bass and nervous drums that serve to mute the song's overwhelming romanticism.

Probably less inclined than Shipp to dismiss ancestral elders, 23-year-old German Pablo Held just released his sophomore CD, Music, on the German Pirouet label. His style is as saturated with European romanticism as it is with echoes of Keith and Herbie (he covers material by 20th century French composer Olivier Messiaen as well as Hancock), and he displays an admirable maturity, although his record still makes for less compelling listening than Shipp and Iyer's latest outings. An interesting new voice, nonetheless.

Adegoke Steve Colson's a boppish AACM pianist who's worked with David Murray's Octet and poet Amiri Baraka's Blue Ark; his new CD The Untarnished Dream bears liner notes from Blues People author Baraka, and while they're nowhere near as cosmic as the ones the poet penned for Coltrane's Ascension, they serve notice that Colson's an artist of some heft. The Untarnished Dream features his long lived trio with ex-Coltrane bassist Reggie Workman and Andrew Cyrille, who drummed on Cecil Taylor's crucial late '60s Blue Note sides, joined on four of the nine tracks by Colson's vocalist-wife Iqua, who's sung in the pianist's Martin Luther King opera " in a Cultural Reminiscence...." She's a forceful vocalist whose vibratoless delivery recalls Nina Simone's. The sprightly waltz "Triumph of the Outcasts" (which opens with a crisp Cyrille solo) first appeared on Colson's 1980 debut Triumph!, which had become quite a collectable before he recently reissued it. On "Parallel Universe," Workman and Cyrille play cat-and-mouse while Colson's exploratory solo unfolds. On "And It Was Set In Ivory," topical lyrics give way to ritualistic percussion a la the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

Finland might not be the first country you associate with adventurous jazz, but TUM Records is a recently-reactivated, Helsinki-based label with a 2010 release schedule that includes U.S. heavyweights Billy Bang, Andrew Cyrille, Wadada Leo Smith, W.A.R.M. (a free jazz supergroup that includes Reggie Workman, Pheeroan Aklaff, Sam Rivers, and Roscoe Mitchell), and Archie Shepp as well as a stable of forward-looking Finns. On Some Kubricks of Blood, avant-guitarist Kalle Kalima leads a drumless ensemble (himself, bass, accordion, and sax) through a program of dark, moody pieces inspired by the late director's films (the group's name, "K-18," is the Finnish equivalent of an "X" rating). John Zorn would approve. Tenorman/flautist Juhani Aaltonen has a sound that's achingly romantic, but not cloyingly so. On Conclusions, he and a quartet including pianist/harpist Iro Haarla (wife and collaborator of the late Finnish avant-garde pioneer Edward Vesala) play a music that's as spacious as it is reflective -- almost like a '70s ECM session.

I'll admit to being less than an enthusiastic partisan of "Latin jazz," possibly because it's what the organizers of the local jazzfest here in Fort Worth like to book "to bring the crowds" instead of ponying up the money to pay, say, Ornette. But I'm quite taken with the Colombian-born percussionist and ex-Arturo Sandoval sideman Samuel Torres' Yaounde', which is more of a showcase for the leader's compositions -- which display tremendous sensitivity and depth -- than it is for the virtuosic fireworks (and blaring brass) we've come to expect from artists so labeled. A good example of what Torres is up to is "Bambuco (To Santa Fe de Bogota)," where Joel Frahm's soprano sax carries the lovely melody and bassist John Benitez takes a somber solo before ceding the stage to Torres' maracas. Suprising, subtly engaging stuff.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

this moment in black history

from cleveland, of course...

t. valentine

nxno way

unfortunately, we're having inventory at the store the week of nx35, so the likelihood of my making any shows there is pretty slim. any days i get off the end of that week will likely be spent sleeping off the aftereffects of inventory. so it goes.

sxso what?

not sure what i'm gonna do at sxsw this year. i'm riding the train down, so i'll definitely be writing about that for the paper, but once i get there, it's a cypher. the nervebreakers just announced that they _aren't_ gonna be playing austin that week, although t. tex will have a couple of shows. mark growden will be there, too. and i always have to get a burger at casino's. maybe i'll get to see my friend jim yanaway this year.

2.14.2010, ftw

spurred by mr. horn's comments of the other day, i'm pondering divestiture. spending too much time on the intarweb, so much so that other activities like writing are suffering. besides this blog and my "real" gmail account, i've got my hotmail spambox (where i still receive a goodly amount of worthwhile communication, no matter how many times i tell folks i've abandoned it to the spammers); my yahoo spambox (which i no longer check and as a result no longer get to vote in the village voice pazz & jop thingy); myspace pages for myself, the stoogeband, and PFFFFT! which i no longer update or check regularly; facebook pages for myself, the stoogeband, and HIO; HIO pages on (for which i'm an admin) and (for which i'm not); and the podcast. whew! when i joined a facebook group called something like "i'm quitting FB when we have to start paying $3.99 a month on july 1, 2010," my sister-in-law responded, "bullshit!" i'm not sure if that was in response to the group or to my saying i was gonna quit; does it matter? all of this is making my head hurt.

woody allen

i remember when i used to think this guy was funny, not creepy (up to, say, manhattan). and there was a whole lot more before that. i need to seek out a vid of what's up, tiger lily?, which i thought was just funnier than a fish when i was 13.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

nina simone

thanks to amanda for the link.

Friday, February 12, 2010

2.12.2010, ftw

"so," said mr. horn, "do you not write on your blog anymore now that you're on facebook?"

this weekend, i'm going to try to write a book review and a record review for the i-94 bar. after that, i want to go back to my long-lapsed practice of writing for 30 minutes a day about _something_. and maybe play 30 minutes a day on the cigarbox guitar or violin. (i play both atrociously, by the way.) perhaps even, um, start running again.

this i swear.

off tomorrow but i think my sweetie and i are going to forego the show we'd been planning on attending. expecting to hear from at least two of my kids this weekend. and i'm still recovering from my all-nighter, was it really a week ago? getting too "seasoned and mature" for that shit.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2.11.2010, ftw

wtf -- 9.5 inches of snow?!?!?

wissahickon transfer station

my buddy andrew in philly gots a new blog for his stories of his hometown. worthwhile read.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

texas tornado: the times and music of doug sahm

it's a book, apparently. (thanks to t. tex for the coat-pull.) wanna check it out after i finish the 800-page beefheart tome.

leo kottke

sure, fahey and basho were deeper, but i still have fond memories of listening to leo kottke's 6 and 12 string guitar album at the hipi record store where i worked during high school.

2.10.2010, ftw

dreamed i was back in the service and going overseas. it sucked. my ex-father-in-law was still alive in the dream. miss him. off tomorrow. plan to walk some cd-r's over to frank cervantez's house, maybe get together with darrin kobetich, maybe write some rekkid reviews. or i might just sleep all day.

ADDENDUM: i can't explain why this appeals to me, but there it is. my sweetie knows.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

waldos @ cbgb, 10.14.2006

observe walter lure, late of the heartbreakers, reduced to playing with asians at cbgb in the last weekend of its existence.

HIO on

metal machine _chamber_ music?

yeah, sure, whatever. from the nyt.

here's an excerpt from the versh uncle lou performed with the berlin-based ensemble zeitkreitzer.

new stumptoons

no man's a hero to his wife or valet, but penny plavidal, bride of stumptone mastermind chris plavidal, sez that the new songs chris, pete salisbury, mike throneberry, and frank cervantez have been working up are "really badass." can't wait to hear 'em. their gravity suddenly released album was one of our faves back in 2008.

the last word on the 'oo @ the super bowl

comes from nyc muso mike errico (via the magical ash adams):

Some people thought the Who were really good last night. With all the respect in the world, my feelings were beyond like or dislike. I was just worried. They seemed so frail, working such powerful material with such vastly diminished abilities. I wondered if Pete played that red Strat because they're just not as heavy on his back as a Les Paul. I figured Roger taped his mic up as an affectation. It clearly wasn't necessary.

Sure the songs were great. That has nothing to do with it.

Mozart was great, too. That doesn't mean you throw his casket onto the 50-yard line at halftime.

They stepped on that laser-festooned stage and a wave of sympathy washed over me. Two of the four are dead. One of the remaining two is basically deaf. How am I to judge them? Against what? Them from 40 years ago? Why would I do that?

For a football analogy: Who's up in the sky box calling that play? Everyone knows a good coach doesn't call an injured player's number, even though an injured player will always want to play.

All that said, I held my breath and the Who did as well as I could have expected. They seemed ravaged by time, like a retreating army. They reminded me that one day we'll all be dead.

Maybe that's it. I watched the Who and saw my own mortality. Which is fine, intellectually. I think about that kind of thing a lot. I read and write and sing knowing that breath one day will not come out of my body. I'm afraid of what I will not have time to accomplish, and who I'll disappoint utterly with my expiration. At what unfinished point will my own story end? Five minutes from now? Forty years?

But here's the thing: Why all this in the middle of the friggin' Super Bowl? I have my buddy over, we have chips on the coffee table and beer in the fridge. This is a moment to transcend while witnessing Acts of Heroism on one of the grandest stages in America. And instead I'm wondering if my affairs are in order. If I should bequeath a Gretsch to my friend who's sitting next to me, now awkwardly silent. We used to be in a band together. Who'll die first?

and my response to the magical ash:

Nicely done. It's not the "old people rocking out" that I have a problem with. (The last time I saw the guy who taught me the most about music, we told each other, "I'll be there at your funeral." He's still living; we just don't see each other that often.) Tell it to Chuck Berry; rock 'n' roll hasn't been a "young man's game" for quite awhile now. It's the venue that I had a problem with, I guess. To most of the viewers, it probably came across as a CSI medley.

nathan brown says...

...that he and bill pohl have a new, "magma influenced" band with a keyboard player and (so far) no bass. in his browningham guise, nathan's appearing on a bill with ryan thomas becker and ginny mac at the grotto this saturday, 2.13.

circle jerks vs. skinheads, new year's day 1989

a little snippet of hardcore history via the rumpus.

Monday, February 08, 2010

oh by the way...

...pop culture is dying. from the nyt via arthur.

the order of the universe

she puts the old wine bottles at the end of the counter,
signifying that they're going out.
i put them in the middle, signifying that
i don't want the cats to knock them off the counter.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

now they've really, _really_, REALLY sold out

i guess that's the problem with having "heroes..."

da kobe

my lawn guyland homeski darrin kobetich sends:

for you newcomers to the list, in addition to my solo
shows, this is also the info for my band,
as well as various other projects I get myself into.

-- I might add that January 22 was my last day at my day job, after 24 years of employment. The change is what I need, to dive deep into my music and start up free lance. I'm a graphic artist by trade, so keep me in mind. I've designed my own cd covers, so you can see them at, until I get more stuff posted somewhere. I will also be giving guitar lessons in the Fort Worth area - in addition to recording and giggin' my ass off.

- Every Wednesday at 12PM - 1PM [Solo]
7th Street Grill, (corner of Lamar) downtown Fort Worth, TX 76102.
Stop in for some lunch, tunes and break up the monotony
of your crappy workday.

AND . . .
MY CDs are for sale here:
They're also available at these sites in digital
Napster, Rhapsody, Amazon, Ruckus, eMusic, Lala, Verizon, GroupieTunes,
PayPlay, Inprodicon, Tradebit, GreatIndieMusic, Apple iTunes

Thanks for signing up! If you've received this mail in
error, just reply back with "remove" in the
subject line.
* Feb 10 2010
7th Street Grill
Fort Worth, Texas

* Feb 12 2010
Denton, Texas

* Feb 13 2010
Dunn Bros Coffee Fort Worth
Fort Worth, Texas

* Feb 17 2010
7th Street Grill
Fort Worth, Texas

* Feb 19 2010
Near The Reata somewhere
Fort Worth, Texas

* Feb 24 2010
7th Street Grill
Fort Worth, Texas

* Feb 25 2010
Dunn Bros. Coffee Addison
Addison, TX, Texas

* Feb 27 2010
Sunset Valley Farmers Market
Austin, Texas

* Feb 27 2010
Dominican Joe’s
Austin, Texas

Darrin Kobetich
for booking and guitar lessons, call:


CDs for sale at:

the stash dauber podcast: happy birthday, i-94 bar

i must _really_ have too much time on my hands. here's yet another episode, thisun dedicated to the tenth (!) anniversary of the orstralian webzine that i've scribed for, off and on, since near the beginning.

reggie rueffer pics @

my sweetie posted some of her pics of reggie rueffer's recent grotto performance on her photo blog. click on 'em to make 'em big and leave her a comment why doncha.

ADDENDUM: but wait, there's more. she also posted some pics of carey wolff and taylor craig mills, too.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

2.5.2010, ftw

a wish fulfillment gig of sorts was the carey wolff-reggie rueffer extravaganza at the grotto, sponsored by the ftw music co-op. the ex-woodeye frontman and hochimen mastermind are two of our favorite songwriters of all time, and the confluence of their talents in a congenial spot close to home proved irresistible, even tho my sweetie's been feeling a little under the weather (thank goodness for corticosteroids).

taylor craig mills, who used to play bass with promising younguns voigt a few years ago, opened and showed admirable grace under pressure when some yayhoos by the video golf game down at the end of the bar decided to provide us with the audio equivalent of a rugby party. (big neil schnell, who's had to contend with a few rowdy bar crowds in his days with velvet love box, commented, "once in our history we had an age of enlightenment. now it's like an age of entitlement.") when i saw goodwin/good show/ftw music co-op mover 'n' shaker tony diaz reaching for his phone, i thought he was gonna use the "dematerialize" app on 'em. but it was no. (hey cody: you oughtta move that thing over to the other side, with the door that closes.)

rumors of a woodeye reunion have been flying around, subject to hayes carll (scott davis' current employer)'s gig sked. nothing would make me happier. carey wolff, cantankerous curmudgeon that he's always been, has still written more songs that can bring a tear to my eye than anybody else, and woodeye's swansong cd such sweet sorrow was surely one of my faves of the oh-oh's. carey played a brace of songs from thatun, his more recent i'm still the darkness e.p., and some from even farther back, performing with great energy and feeling, along with the usual amount of self-deprecating horseshit. el lobo is a true original. bless him.

same could be said of reggie rueffer, who's fallen in love and looked happier than i've ever seen him. his brother chad (who showed up along with their c&w music-makin' buds derek spigener and randy brown) sez they've been getting together weekly to write new material, and reg was fairly bursting out of himself as he played a set of newies and old faves from the hcm's tierra del gato album. towards the end of the set, reg essayed "horse's head" from spot daze before inviting chad up to play guitar on their mtv hit "moon june spoon." chad stayed up to sing "crumbling heart," an ace tune that reg penned for his brother's be where you are now country cd. reg finished off the night with "blue spanish eyes," the song i always used to yell for at their country gigs. the rueffer boys, who've been turning people's heads since their time in mildred back in deep ellum's heyday, are making the music of their lives right now. wish fulfillment indeed.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

my scrawl in the fw weekly

a review i penned of the juke jumpers' new cd villa acuna, 1963 is in this week's paper and online now.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

t. horn

it's perfect: the 3D glasses say "this is it" (which apparently was the name of the michael jackson movie) across the front. if you're in HIO, that makes this flippin' hilarious. we may all need to costume like this when we play at lola's 6th on 2.27.

the stash dauber podcast: the saddest music in the world

new podcast episode up. i tried to fix the volume disparity between the music and narration. we'll see. i also deleted the entire 'cast by accident when I closed garageband without saving. anything worth doing is worth doing twice. ;-}

(previous episode "always on my mind" is here. i don't think i ever blogged it. duh.)

2.3.2010, ftw

i am haunted by the ghosts
of junkies, child molesters, and suicides,
which perhaps explains why i have few close friends,
although i make friends easily.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

2.2.2010, ftw

1) twenty-eight years ago on this date, i enlisted in the u.s. air force. we held up our hands, then were transported from the meps station in dallas to a motel near downtown that was owned by vietnamese people. that night, the big movie on tv was the day after -- a depiction of the effects of nuclear war on lawrence, kansas. sobering stuff. i have a handful of indelible memories of the two months that followed (i got washed back 15 days in basic training for failing to salute an officer while i was helping a guy on suicide watch carry his mattress down to the charge of quarters desk). one of them is the sound the latrine door made when somebody got up to use the can in the middle of the night. another is the sound of 50 pairs of feet hitting the floor at the same time when reveille sounded. at the time, it seemed like the end of the line for me: i'd been fired from my job right after discovering that my future ex-wife was pregnant with our first child. in the end, it worked out ok. but it was certainly an interesting ride.

2) i just realized today that this month marks my third year on my current job. i still like it there, too -- i think i'm temperamentally well suited for retail. it's low stress, low think, and if we make a mistake, no one dies. plus it allows me to meet my financial obligations. in this life, i've been a record store goon for eight years, a military enlistee for ten, a corporate tool for nine, a journalist for two, and an advertising victim for three (one of them concurrently with the journo gig). i only have fond memories of the first two. hopefully this will continue.

3) nowadays, whenever i see dotty old ladies at the market, they're all my mom.

4) having survived the consequences of my own bad decisionmaking, i now know that the cure for such is twofold: 1) time, and 2) fewer bad decisions.

mark growden on the radio

2.1.2010, ftw

think i'm gonna take the train to sxsw. if nothing else, it'll give me something different to write about. the italian kid says hold off on rekkid reviews for awhile, so now i can devote myself wholeheartedly to reading the 800 page book i just started -- which, while interesting and generally well written, could have been better edited.

have three stoogedates on the table for consideration by the committee. hoping we can do all of 'em. the first one is far enough out that we have plenty of time to prac and break in new toonage. the unknown variable is the great tyrant's sked.

HIO "world tour dates" are announced. terry wants the three of us to do mallet guitar at the dallas show (for which hembree _might_ be available). need to have a drinkie-talkie (or drinkie-_eatie_-talkie) to discuss.

barman changed the landing page to the podcast from the link at the bar, so will probably see hits on the second episode take off. will probably do another episode while i'm home tomorrow, just 'cause. have toonage for two in itunes already. just have to add my crappy under-mic'ed narration.

Monday, February 01, 2010

jeff beck and imelda may @ the grammies

t. horn pulled my coat to this les paul tribute: "how high the moon."