A video of the Guitar Center store in Times Square. As per the video description, "36 seconds of hell on earth"
May 2011: Death Grips appears out of nowhere, releases Ex Military, a free mixtape
of noisy, distorted aggro-rap (full album stream on YouTube
April 2012: Death Grips signs with Epic, releases The Money Store
, their first proper album of art-rap/ tech-beat/ psycho-rap/ whatever
(YT album stream
October 2012: Death Grips leak their second album, No Love Deep Web, defying Epic
, and sever ties to the label.
July 2013: Death Grips signs to Capitol/Harvest under their own Thirdworlds imprint
November 2013: Death Grips suddenly drops their 3rd album, Government Plates, for free
to download and stream from various sources.
(It's best to consider all audio NSFW
) [more inside]
In an idle moment, you've probably drummed on a desk with your pen. But chances are middle schoolers could show you some skills.
Masters like Shane Bang
and many less well-known practitioners are pushing the old idea of pen-as-drumstick - Pen Beats
, aka Pen Tap - to new heights. [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]
this website is a collection of underground / independantly released cassette tapes from the days when the audio cassette was the standard method of music sharing, generally the mid eighties through early nineties.
material represented includes tape experimentation, industrial, avant-garde, indy, rock, diy, subvertainment and auto-hypnotic materials... most of what you are about to hear is rather difficult to file under any one category, and thus has not been. [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.
The band Thulebasen succeeds in matching a rambling audio side with just as rambling visuals. I have never seen anything like this before. Seriously! It's a monster
Who are the grandfathers of noise music? The Nihilist Spasm Band
formed in 1965 when eight men, using homemade instruments, began creating noise together in London, Ontario. None of these men were traditionally trained musicians, yet they are often credited as being the major influence behind modern noise music, inspiring Japanese noisemakers like Hijokaiden
, as well as western artists like Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth
. [more inside]
: some of the best angular, atonal, postpunk, improvisational guitar I've heard in a while. [more inside]
was a futurist painter
, experimental composer
, and instrument builder
. In his 1913 manifesto "The Art of Noises
" he declaimed the death of traditional Western music and foresaw the dawning of a new music based on the grinding, screeching, moaning, crackling and buzzing of mechanical instruments. He and his assistant Ugo Piatti built the Intonarumori
to bring these new sounds - "the palpitation of valves, the coming and going of pistons, the howl of mechanical saws, the jolting of a tram on its rails, the cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags"
- to life. Listen to them, then
For your listening pleasure... the soothing sounds
of Crank Sturgeon
. [more inside]
is a long running series of videos of live underground music in NYC shot by Joly MacFie
. Each video is usually one song. The Internet Archive hosts its videos
and offers downloads in a variety of formats. MacFie also has a YouTube channel
with 480 videos
and a video podcast [iTunes link, feedburner link]
. Here are a few bands that caught my fancy: The Icicles and The Besties
, The Slits (1
), Andrew W. K.
, Oneida (1
), The Long Blondes
, The Gossip
, Acid Mothers Temple & Cosmic Inferno
, Art Brut
, Be Your Own Pet
, Cansei de Ser Sexy
, Lesbians on Ecstasy
, The Fall
, Fred Frith
, Rose Melberg and Jennifer O'Connor
, The Horrors
, The Homosexuals
, Bat for Lashes
, Radio 4 and Teddybears
, Kimya Dawson and Tiny Masters of Today
, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
and Nikki Sudden
Idle nostalgia led me to check on the mp3 page
for Bulb Records
(early home of Quintron
and Andrew WK
That all reminded me of space/noise rockers Gravitar, whose drummer
Ben Cook has put up a fair amount their music (and other music he's made) for free. Oh, and he has a (rarely updated) music blog
, which mentioned the Weird Sound Generator
. [more inside]
Spartacus Roosevelt Hour Podcast
is a weekly hour of obscure noise, glitchy electropop, fake nostalgia, bastardized exotica, tweaky lounge, creepy ambient and musical non-sequiturs. Also, it features an Alabaman with a Skype account named Spartacus Roosevelt.
, Oh No! Doom
, Noise(warning: ewwtube)
: the music of Monarch (warning:murdochSpace)
; they're from Bayonne
Even if Lou Reed had dropped out of music after the break-up of the Velvet Underground, his name would still be forever etched in the history of rock music. Yet his solo career, filled with eccentric detours and radio-ready rockers in equal measure, remains one of the most fascinating canons in all of rock music. Metal Machine Music, however, is a unique entity in itself, proudly pushing at the very boundaries of what pop music is capable of. Zeitkratzer’s performance not only makes the original album ripe for critical re-evaluation, but it’s a performance that stands on its own ground...Why Does the Music Have to End?: An Interview with Lou Reed
regarding how he came to play Metal Machine Music
live in 2002.
: this excerpt from a Wim Wenders film offers an interesting little glimpse into the world of pachinko
, a gambling obsession for so many in Japan. But while most are gazing hypnotically into the noisy little machines in order to win prizes or money, others are circuit bending
them to make them even noisier
. [more inside]
Kiiiiiii for any occasion, or just for fun!
Kiiiiiii, that's K & 7i's
, is a Japanese girl duo whose sound has been described as "Noise Pop" and "Experimental Fun Music." They've made a couple of bizarre music videos
, played concerts
in Japan and America over the last seven years, and now have an album and a live DVD. Listen to more on their myspace page
, grab an .mp3 and read the history
, and try
to download 5 .mp3s
from their site.
The idea of treating everyday, ambient noise as music is not terribly new,
but Noah Vawter's
ambient sounds into
music (in a somewhat more traditional sense of the word)
Ambient Addition is a Walkman with binaural microphones. A tiny Digital Signal Processing (DSP) chip analyzes the microphone's sound and superimposes a layer of harmony and rhythm on top of the listener's world.
The perfect gift: A Noise-Cookie Flower! A compilation CD from Women Take Back the Noise
with circuit-bent packaging. Available in pink, orange, blue (YouTube)
or purple. Featured on MAKE: Blog
- winner of the New Statesman New Media Award. Explore sound. Via the Sonic Arts Network
, UK exponents of Electroacoustic music
A Piano In A Gallery. David Cunningham
(the guy behind The Flying Lizards
! Wikipedia because the main at-least-quasi-official site's down
, but while you wait 16 days for that, why not read this interview with Deborah Lizard
for your FL Fix) and his new project... A Piano In A Gallery
. No, he's not actually PLAYING the piano -- the visitors are. It's a sort of similar thing to both Brian Eno
's gallery work with ambient tape loops
on different time cycles, creating an ever-shifting collage of sound and David Byrne
's recent Playing The Building
. The room is mic'd, and the sound is run through a piano, and amplified, both bringing background noises to the foreground AND creating feedback-style loops, as those sounds are also run into the mics and so forth. So... if you happen to be in London.... [via WFMU]
Have you ever seen a synth and said "Man, what this needs is cartoon eyes?"
A bit similar to the Buchla Box
in that they don't have a keyboard to control the sounds -- it's probably closest to the Booper, invented by The Weatherman
(or, well, Circuit Bending
), the Thingamagoop is a photosynthesizer
... which means it basically uses light sensors to generate sounds. The signal's run through a couple oscillators and, well, it comes out as somethin' that's pretty dang awesome
. I'm on the fence on pickin' this one up. On one hand, it's a really neat toy that makes noise... on the other hand, um.... um.... I dunno. It's not made of candy?
Mish Mash Mush
A series of mixes from Providence eclectic label Fort Thunder
, home of Ninja Versus Wrestler
As part of an aplty amorphous and chaotic "noise" scene, the mixes contain otherwise unreleased music from bands like Lightning Bolt
, 25 Suave, and a bevy of other bands from labels like Load
, Animal Disguise
Good music with a dirt-simple interface.
MAN - Mothers Against Noise.
"Noise is music that uses unpleasant or painful or extremely loud or discordant sound. Noise is also a very dangerous musical trend that is hell bent on destroying civilized culture, this anti-cultural movement is quickly sweeping the globe, and is very dangerous to our youth."
via MonkeyFilter and our own panoptican.
Making music entirely from non-musical things: McDonalds Happy Meals
, Henry Kissinger
, Salad Tosser
, Fluorescent Lamps
, the Bible
, Dot Matrix Printers
[possibly nsfw], The Postal Service
, Blank Tapes
, Eiffel Tower
, Deportation Orders
[scroll down], Cakes
[scroll down to #12], Skin
, Vinyl Run-Out Grooves
, Natural Geophysical Phenomena
, Carly Simon
and other stuff
Happy 10th Birthday "What? is Music"
This year's the 10th time around the block for Australian festival "What? is Music
", which showcases new (and not so new), unusual, fascinating and strange directions in contemporary music and sound exploration.
Starting today such outfits as The Residents
, Dead C.
, Black Dice
, Chicks on Speed
, and members of Boredoms
and Sun City Girls
tour Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Labels like Last Visible Dog
and Corpus Hermeticum
are represented, and last year's festivities saw Whitehouse
rip up the stage.
So MeFites, what other events are there out there like this that have tickled your collective pickles? Which festivals or bands have unduly influenced your aural development and/or rearranged your head musicwise?
Hugh McIntyre has died.
The retired librarian was the bass player for The Nihilist Spasm Band
, widely considered the first noise band. Started in 1965, the band operated way underground for most of their career, but achieved no small notoriety in the 90s
, ran their own noise festival for a few years
, had a great documentary made about them
, and jammed with REM (!) about a month ago
. My favourite memory of Hugh would be watching him time noise improvs with his stopwatch to make sure they weren't too long. RIP big man.
"This site exists to provide information on 'unusual' music and arts; the word "unusual" being easily replaced by 'unconventional,' 'non-mainstream,' 'underground,' 'extreme' or by any one of a dozen other useless labels." This includes such projects as Cock E.S.P.
and the fascinating Panelectric Living Sinema
. The link page
is of particular interest, as it could open up a whole world to the uninitiated. I wish they linked my favorite bug faced noise band, Winter Carousel
Tick Tock Bang
) (from CBC's Ideas
) (from 1999) is an enjoyable way to spend 45 minutes. A survey of Noise as Music from Schoenberg to Glass to Kraftwerk to Industrial and Techno. Noise Art
is here to stay.
bits & pieces
a sonic installation for the web! my friend sez, "it's not random. it's complexity" :)