Experimental Writing Seminar: Constraints & Collaborations. In addition to setting out a few dozen writing exercises, the online syllabus for an introductory course taught by Charles Bernstein (poet and co-editor of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E) links to a variety of poems, poetry generators, and prose experiments on the web. [more inside]
Bernard Stollman, founder of the influential, otherworldly ESP-Disk label, has passed away this week at 85. New York Times obituary. The independent label was home to blazing, provocative recordings from avant-jazz greats like Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, and Sun Ra, as well as underground rock outsiders like the Godz, the Holy Modal Rounders, and the Fugs. The label's discography is deep, strange, and still largely unexplored by everyone but hardcore music geeks (who tend to be highly passionate about it). From Stereogum: Remembering Bernard Stollman: 10 Essential ESP-Disk Albums.
Jim O’Rourke Live in Tokyo in June of 2014 [Part 1] [Part 2] Jim O’Rourke Plays “Women of the World” (Live on Christmas Day, 2013). Jim O’Rourke at Work on the Grizzly Man Soundtrack; Special Appearance by Werner Herzog. [more inside]
Black Dog in the Sky; Final Moments of the Universe; The Vile Stuff; Wooden Bag; Poor Old Horse: some songs by the English (specifically Geordie) singer & guitarist Richard Dawson. ‘[A] distinctly English folk equivalent of Captain Beefheart’s deconstruction of the blues,’ opines The Guardian, of his recent album Nothing Important. ‘Syd Barrett’s freewheeling poetry teamed with the guitar strangle of Eugene Chadbourne or Derek Bailey’ hazards Rolling Stone. Of his own work, Dawson has said ‘I have come to think of it as ritual community music. Perhaps you could call that folk music, but it is certainly not in the folk tradition. I hope it belongs to part of a wider tradition of north east artists, people like Jospeh Crawhall, Jack Common, Basil Bunting, John Martin and Peter Beardsley.’
URSSS May I recommend: IOIOI, Rashad Becker, Cut Hands, But there is much to explore and discover. [more inside]
Newly unearthed — and not for the faint of heart — Kurt Cobain 's 1988 experimental sonic collage / mixtape, Montage of Heck. Recorded on a four-track cassette recorder when he was 21. Here's some notes on what you're listening to. And Consequence of Sound has additional info. Not recommended for work speakers, probably. What if this had started the alternative revolution instead of Nevermind?
Jamestown Baloos (1957) [SLYT] by Robert Breer [PDF] (previously) "is a frenetic, three-part stop-motion animation that features an army of everyday forms and figures — geometric shapes, a piece of string, newspaper clips, a pin-up girl, even Napoleon Bonaparte — flashing across the screen. Placed in increasingly compromised situations and choreographed to a jingoistic tune, the figures essentially become puppets of their former selves. Such unrelenting visuals recall not only Fernand Léger’s early experimental film, Ballet Mécanique (1924), as Breer himself has mentioned, but also early twentieth-century Dadaist collage. Dada artists like Kurt Schwitters and Hannah Höch created witty, unapologetic works that reflected the chaos and violence of modern existence. Jamestown Baloos serves, as their works did, as a pointed indictment on the absurdity of war."
It's easy to dismiss DJ Dog Dick as a juvenile joke. Anyone with that name for a project can't be doing anything worthy of my time, right? But dig deeper, and what emerges is a man eloquently, urgently capturing the details of his life on the fringes of America. After years operating in the outsider noise scene, combining modular drones and off-kilter raps into a singular live show, 2013 saw a move toward something different. The Identity EP earlier this year was his statement of intent, a miniature coming of age narrative (stream full EP here.) His debut full-length on Hoss Records, The Life Stains was released last week. It's an ambitious, often deeply personal pop album. A modern song cycle about the way we live now. It also happens to be slathered in weirdo diarrhea death production. Watch the video for "Dried Old Leaves" and listen to "The Grease I Got", one of the best songs I've heard this year. And read a great little interview with Noisey that sheds light on where Eisenberg came from and where he's going with this unusual project.
C.J. Boyd is a wandering bassist improvisor/composer who has found time to make 11 "multimedia mixtapes" for his Obsolete Media label-mates, and you can stream or purchase (for a price of your choosing) more than 16 hours of enjoyable, experimental music, featuring a ton of artists.
The Sound of the Earth is sound artist Yuri Suzuki's spherical record project, modeled after a topographic globe of the Earth. The grooves represent the outlines of each geographic landmass. Each country on the disc is engraved with a different sound. As the needle passes over, it plays field recordings collected by Suzuki from around the world over the course of four years: traditional folk music, national anthems, popular music and spoken word broadcasts. [more inside]
"Back in the golden age of the compact disc, 1994, Jos Smolders [discogs.com link] released Music for CD Player, a collection of 99 short tracks intended for the listener to sequence. He’s now released a sequel in the form of an 1,100-track album, titled Music for FLAC Player. Yes, that is 1,100 tracks, the overwhelming majority of which are one second or less in length, and all but 30 or so of which are under 45 seconds. [more inside]
John Bisset & Ivor Kallin celebrate something or other, are happy, but occasionally do I'm not sure what. [more inside]
Minneapolis foursome City of Sound make music that's part Mars Volta, part Death From Above 1979, and all experimental madness, listing influences like Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles. Both their albums, L'Implosion and Creatures, can be heard in full on their Bandcamp page.
Horse-egifs: A tribute to the surreal poetry of Horse_Ebooks, Horse-egifs takes a randomly selected video and makes a gif from a randomly selected chunk of that video.and then it gets posted to tumblr. [via mefi projects]
Anselm Hollo, Finnish-born poet, translator, and teacher, has died. A major figure in the poetry avant garde for decades, Hollo was a professor at the Naropa Institute's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Robert Archambeau writes: "Hollo's grasp of the gulf between the sublimity of which poetry is capable, and the absurdities into which poets fall in pursuit of that chimera, a 'career in poetry,' made him the ideal person to hold the title of United States Anti-Laureate, to which he was elected by the Buffalo POETICS list back at the turn of the century."
The Mars Volta is no more, lead singer and self-described 'Latin Danzig' Cedric Bixler-Zavala announced on twitter early this morning. Not coincidentally, this came on the heels of bandmate Omar Rodríguez-López' new band, Bosnian Rainbows, releasing the first track from their upcoming album on soundcloud: Torn Maps. [more inside]
'It's probably easy today to dismiss Negativland's activities as trifle, banal or plain stupid. They probably wouldn't be too uncomfortable with that, as they rarely claimed to go beyond the softest platitudes of the entertainment biz. No Other Possibility (1989, 58 mins, .avi d/l link), their first video work, showcases the band at a career threshold, before their U2ploitation move and just after their Christianity hoax. It typically explores the debris of American pop culture, dealing with automobile fetishism, televised preaching, halloween traditions, Marlboro masculinity, soft drinks and MTV.' [more inside]
In honor of the release of their new album, the experimental instrumental hip-hop group 3:33 (a side project of Parallel Thought) have released the free album 7 Sets of 7, an amazing series of surreal/atmospheric/old-school remixes of various hip-hop artists including Del The Funky Homosapien, Bone Thugs N Harmony, and MF DOOM. They're also offering for free their horror-influenced album The First Thousand Days. [more inside]
Now That's What I Call Drone: Vol. 1 - Drone ambient versions of top 40 pop songs. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
A wall with large buttons that trigger voices, mellotron-style; An Indonesian gamelan xylophone orchestra played with a arcade game-like control panel; A leslie speaker that amplifies whatever a stethoscope touches. These are just a few of the instruments built into a unique New Orleans musical architecture installation called Dithyrambalina, or simply, The Music Box. [more inside]
2012 Vimeo Awards Nominations — There are 13 categories including four new ones. The Experimental category is lots of fun. [previously]
Give a fuck whatcha heard / Yeah fuck whatcha heard / Fore this real shit kicked your whole clique to the curb
Death Grips (previously) are back, with a major-label contract to boot. Following up on last year's highly-regarded Exmilitary mixtape, The Money Store is scheduled for official release on April 24th. In the meantime, enjoy these two new videos (probably NSFW): Get Got / The Fever (Aye Aye)
It's like a synthesizer control interface made out of molded jello. "Noisy jelly is a game where the player has to cook and shape his own musical material, based on coloured jelly."
X Planes, a tumblr. x planes is a tumblr devoted to historical aviation, and with a specific interest in experimental aviation. [more inside]
With Sonic Youth on indefinite hiatus, the band members are keeping themselves busy with other projects. Thurston Moore is playing solo shows centered around his latest solo album, the Beck-produced Demolished Thoughts, with a band he jokingly(?) referred to this past Friday night as "Dush Krew" in honor of his crush on actress Eliza Dushku. Kim Gordon recently designed clothes for French brand Surface to Air, is currently playing shows with Bill Nace as part of the noise improvisation duo Body/Head, and was kind enough recently to share her favorite taco recipe. Lee Ranaldo is poised to release his first song-oriented solo album on Matador Records; he debuted the music video for the first single ("Off the Wall") today on his website. Steve Shelley played drums on Lee's new album, recently collaborated with Pete Nolan of Magik Markers (Sonic Youth's most interesting protégés) on Nolan's side-project Spectre Folk, and is currently drumming for Chicago's Disappears whose new album is out via Kranky records in March. Meanwhile, Jim O'Rourke is preparing to curate the All Tomorrow's Parties I'll Be Your Mirror Festival in Tokyo this April, where he will also perform his 1999 album Eureka in full with a 12-piece band.
How do robots see the world? This is an experiment in found machine-vision footage, exploring the aesthetics of the robot eye. [SLVimeo]
"We were so dumbfounded at the noise that was coming out of our instruments it took us a while to get a handle on what we were hearing, let alone thinking in terms of how any records would be structured." Music journalist Ned Raggett assembles the oral history of British experimental rock group Disco Inferno's five EPs.
WALK .. is a trippy 1983 journey from one part of Minneapolis to another. It begins with a guy who can hardly move. He slowly gains stuttered motion and utters basic letter sounds, then begins a real and imaginary walk. His journey is from his view - floating. At the end of this walk, he meets a friend. Walk's film surface is hand worked and street noise is composed as music-concrete. 16mm B/W SLYT
Phonozoic, Patrick Feaster's website "dedicated to the history of the phonograph and related media," is an amazing collection of information about historic recordings. Not just early recordings, however, but also experimental "eduction projects": the "automatic 'playing' of primeval inscriptions of sound." [more inside]
When not terrorizing Mr Bond, from the late 1970s until 1994, Mike Mangino and Chris Shepard were in a basement full of musical toys, novelty space microphones, a TR-606, and a SH-09 in Piscataway, NJ recording cassettes as the band Smersh. In 1981 Smersh released their first cassette under their own label of Atlas King. They never rehearsed, they couldn't read music, and they never played live, and they contributed to far too many compilations throughout the known world. In the early eighties they established a unique sound that is known and loved, combining cheap electronics and wild guitar sounds with distorted vocals. By trading cassettes they garnered international acclaim leading to releases on dozens of other labels. [more inside]
Using his "file card" technique to create the title piece "Spillane" (whereby musical ideas written on note cards form the basis for discreet sound blocks arranged by way of a unifying theme), John Zorn forges an impressionistic narrative out of stretches of live-music jazz, blues, country, lounge, thrash, etc., and a variety of samples and spoken dialogue inspired by Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer detective novels (recited by John Lurie). - AllMusic [more inside]
Music From Other Minds is a radio program of art music by living composers from the folks behind the other minds festival.
SYGNOK and The War For Radical Computer Music. -- "We join Gæoudjiparl van den Dobbelsteen (aka Goodiepal), internationally acclaimed 'Danish Techno Prophet' and creator of Radical Computer Music (RCM), in the aftermath of his war against the Danish Royal Academy of Music. Now operating under the moniker 'SYGNOK' after teaming up with DJ HVAD and VJ Cancer, the film traces how Gæoudjiparl's RCM goals of creating music for 'artificial and alternative intelligences' has now diverged into a tangled web of race wars, theft, forgery and death threats."
The Movie Set That Ate Itself. Five years ago, a relatively unknown (and unhinged) director began one of the wildest experiments in film history. Armed with total creative control, he invaded a Ukrainian city, marshaled a cast of thousands and thousands, and constructed a totalitarian society in which the cameras are always rolling and the actors never go home.
In 1974, Sun Ra and his Arkestra released a film. In which he plays cards with a pimp and travels through space and time. There is social commentary. And music. He also made an album with the same name. [more inside]
In 2003 and again in 2009, Director Andy Glynne, with Mosaic Films and BBC4 created Animated Minds, a series of animated documentaries to express the subjective experiences of various kinds of mental health disorders. [more inside]
On August 12th, pioneering experimental animator Robert Breer passed away at the age of 84. [more inside]
Vimeo user Charlie Bucket has created a "Fluid Dress" made from 600 feet of plastic tubing, throughout which courses a controlled mixture of air and fluorescent liquid. The result is quite fascinating (SLVimeo)
The Avant Garde Project is a series of recordings of 20th-century classical, experimental, and electroacoustic music digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today. Until now, of course. [more inside]
Detektivbyrån (The Detective Agency) was a little-known Swedish band that made delightful music often inspired by Yann Tiersen's soundtrack to Amelié. E 18 - Om Du Möter Varg - Generation celebration - Nattoppet - Partyland - Monster - Laka kaffa - Vänerhavet. (Warning: aggressively cute and happy music containing accordion and bells.) [more inside]
SkateBang, TJ Hooker Intro, World on a Wire Trailer, The Last Chase Trailer, and Early 70s Horror Trailer are among the more accessible works by Damon Packard, an experimental filmmaker who’s been working since the early 1980s. Most of his oeuvre is posted on his YouTube Channel. His longer works tend to consist of original footage spliced into re-edits of existing films. Here are some scenes from the still incomplete Foxfur, his most recent work.
Instant Cinema is a comprehensive platform for experimental film, video and computer art, making the best audio-visual work of artists of all generations available to a worldwide audience. Not a tonne in the archive just yet--it's still in rough beta--but still some nice viewing. For instance: Balance Study, or Trying.
Courtesy of the indiegames.com weblog, the top 10 indie games of 2010 in a variety of categories:
- Freeware Experimental Games (previously)
- Freeware Shoot 'em Ups
- Freeware Role-Playing Games
- Freeware Puzzle Games
- Freeware Adventure Games
- Browser Arcade Games
- Freeware Arcade Games
- Browser Platformers
- Top 10 Indie Games (overall, including ones that *gasp* actually cost money)
- Indie Games To Watch Out For In 2011
Earlier this year, the BBC's Arena produced and aired an excellent documentary on Brian Eno entitled "Another Green World" containing "a series of conversations on science, art, systems analysis, producing and cybernetics". [more inside]