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.
Wesley Willis's Joy Rides, one week only at Pitchfork TV. Dual-wielding a Technics KN and a microphone, breaking Chicago down to a vector space of magic marker; homeless busker, Napster celebrity, punk headliner and hellraiser: take your pick. The late Wesley Willis as remembered in Joy Rides.
Deep in the Heart of Jersey you'll find "Uncle Floyd" Vivino, roaming the streets of various towns and cities, kibbitzing with the locals. In Belleville. Nutley. Bloomfield Avenue and Ferry Street in Newark. Kearny. Cliffside Park. Main Street, Paterson. An abandoned lot in Paterson. What, you never heard of Uncle Floyd? [more inside]
It's BACK! Otis F. Odder (of The Bran Flakes and Comfort Stand Recordings is reviving his 365 Days project on the WFMU Beware Of The Blog! Hot damn! He opens it with the complete recordings of the Michael Mills Satanic Messages Radio Show and the complete Beatles Forever recordings (previously excerpted in the first incarnation). (Previously on MeFi)
Mr. Frank J. Stola (flash): a self-described professional musician who mangles any and all genres he attempts. Don't miss his take on instrumental fusion rock classical jazz, revolutionary country n western traditional, or heavy metal instrumental on CD Baby. Equally marvelous are his strange, minimal videos. And don't forget to pick up Mr. Stola's myriad products at his Cafepress store. Is he serious?
Mingering Mike is the soul superstar you've never heard of.
Rummage Through The Crevices (Musical Curiosities, Obscurities and other Unearthed Treasures) is "a weekly community radio segment (Friday mornings, 2SER-FM, Sydney, Australia) devoted to offbeat and outsider music, less travelled paths of global pop, interesting re-issued treasures, music-sharing activists, notable and unusual online mp3 repositories, etc. This webloggy thing is its online companion."
Outsider Music. From a mailing list, here's a concise description of what is really more an idea than a genre, per se. The Hip Surgery Music Guide has some info on the essential artrists of the phenomenon. If you wanted to stretch the definitions of the form you could include, some better-known artists as well. Unspoiled genius in the rough or merely crude freakshow appeal? The answer I believe is somewhere is somewhere in between. But in an age where most music is either a copy of what is currently popular or a revival of what used to be popular, Outsider Music is a place to go for a "Wow! What was that?" musical experience.