Review!

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Some Items from 2009: MUSIC | DRAWINGS | PHOTOS

MUSIC: note I had some trouble finding a good, free mp3 player for the web, and needless to say (the presumed preface to any utterance I make) I cannot spend time building one myself. So, I have simply linked each sound file individually below AND used a free mp3 player which appears on the left. If you start the latter, it will play happily through all of the below in order (sometimes the track does not load immediately). If you click on an individual title below, it will open in a new window. Your choice !

Country tunes and singing:

2-6-09-way-back-home-demo This one and the next two are tracks recorded with Zac and David. This one is a first run through of one of Zac's tunes, he is playing guitar and I am plying ukulele. David joins on guitar on the next two tracks, Zac singing, which were recorded live at JavaMonkey in Decatur. All of these were recorded on a tiny microrecorder, hence the lo-fi sound.

2-13-09-HoneybabeBlues-JM

2-13-09-Murder-Ballad-JM

12-20-09-lost-highway Here is an off the cuff recording of a Hank Williams tune, my brother Bryan singing and playing guitar, Dad on mandolin, and I am on the bass.

 

Solo:

6-20-09-Paean to 101 2'27"
Prior to selling my house and moving out, I recorded this farewell song.

7-15-09-elegy-for-leel 3'39"
My friend Mike's cat Leela was ailing, so I recorded this quick little tune for her, intended in many of its details to appeal to his sensibilities (and thus, I presume, hers).

10-22-09-robot-party-music-3 4'54"
I was asked to record some music for my nephew Henri's 3rd birthday party, which was robot themed. I made a few tracks of this sort, which are sort of ominous and dark. The following ones are a bit more dancy and friendly.

10-22-09-robot-party-music-5_ 5'20" This one has some lyrics buried in the middle.

10-27-09-robot-party-music-7-battery-heart 2'05"
And then I wrote a quick robot song, recorded it rapidly. Oh, I was dog-sitting for a friend and there was a broken-down 12-string guitar there, and I overdubbed that part. It isn't really in tune...

10-27-09-robot-party-music-10 2'14"
All of these robot music tracks need finishing. Cry me a river. I think this one is the most FUN ROBOT. It was started while I was staying at Eric and Liz's house, and he was jazzed up about this old casio keyboard he had found at a garage sale: it was used for the drum part and the chord part.

11-4-09-anaxagoras-studio_2 5'10"
One I recorded on some of MD's keyboards while he slept. Very Vangelis, I feel.

 

Solo Improvisations:

4-4-09-101-serenade-for-a-bamboo-cat
Before moving out of my house, I wanted to do some musical performances for the wonderful wildlife that habitates in the forest in the back: owls, finches, cardinals, woodpeckers, hawks, bunnies, snakes, lizards, frogs, coons, and so forth. Here is one.

5-3-09-a-waltz-in-your-time
This is your basic ukulele improvisation.

5-7-09-monomania-at-off-yr-rocker_setup 3'25"
This is a solo I did, warming up for a Monomania performance at Nisa's, the original site of the Kirkwood Baller's Club. It is noisy.

5-16-09-the-blind-leading-the-blind 1'23"
And then the logic board on my laptop went bad ! It was a shocking turn of events: the screen went all funny, so it is was basically impossible to use the computer. However, thanks to a great familiarity with my computer, and to some clever trickery, I recorded this multi-track improvisation. . . to illustrate the state of affairs.

 

Collaborations:

2-27-09-balakalaklaka 3'33"
I recorded this very basic track: a loop, improvised ukulele, guitar. Then I put an open call for collaboration up online (Facebook?). Kevin H. stepped right up and sent me keyboard and a bass tracks.

3-1-09-Casio-Snowday-1 6'10"
Atlanta does not receive a great deal of snow, but when it does I make a big effort to enjoy it. In addition to snapping photos and playing outside, on this snow day I made some recordings at home and sought out some e-mail collaborators. Devin up in Maryland took up the gauntlet! He plays the guitar in the center here, nimbly moving from thing to thing.

4-25-09-monomania-shiny-things-1-1 3'04"
This was a mammoth Monomania session, dubbed Shiny Duck Paw Demonstration. We decided to try to make an 'album', and got ten, I think, tracks? All participate in a highly 'first take' approach, so don't expect miracles here. This is the opener, a somewhat tried and true formula, I admit.

4-25-09-monomania-shiny-things-1-2 6'15"
Really, the same basic approach as above, just slicker in part two.

4-25-09-monomania-shiny-things-1-5 2'06"
A madcap romp in the land of Space-Echo and rollicky Crystal and corralling SK1.

4-25-09-monomania-shiny-things-2-1 10'50"
The obligatory ten minute radio noise track -- what better way to open Side B?

4-25-09-monomania-shiny-things-2-4 3'54"
Sweet, really. In a clumsy sort of way.

4-25-09-monomania-shiny-things-2-5 2'47"
And to close out the record, a performance for the creatures in my backyard -- some playing on ukulele and casios, outside, then overdubbed inside.

7-18-09-monomania-a-bug-in-the-house 5'38"
Recorded at Jeff's house (Bughouse Studio), a somewhat Throbbing Gristle-ish piece by Monomania (Jeff and me)

7-26-09-Monomania-straight-eight 4'19"
This sort of thing is fun for me. I had this basic drum and bass guitar machine track. I asked Jeff and Parath to add some saxophone, offering some very basic guidelines. Great playing all around, and Jeff also added a fine solo...

8-5-09-rowing-machines 5'58"
This is the sort of thing I sure wish I had the time, or rather the wherewithal, to finish. Simple little things of this sort are easy for me to concoct, and in this case it started while visiting my brother and helping him with the recording of some his songs. I made use of the drum set he has to record a rhythm track for myself. Some while later I added some parts on a keyboard for it, and then I asked Jeff to replace some of those parts with real saxophone, which I then duplicated and pitch-shifted. Later still, Caleb over dubbed some triangles. Sprawling and unfinished: two of my best features!

10-27-09-robot-party-music-9 3'33"
More Robot Party music! For this one, the track was mostly complete, but I thought (for some reason) it would be better with someone shouting out "Mi Gusto!" and "Roboto!" One evening I was staying over at Eric and Liz's house and the former helped me out with those phrases, and excellently added some others. There is some not-properly tuned 12-string guitar at the end of this one... sorry about that...

11-5-09-robot-beaver3 21'15"
Robot Beaver is a Japanese electronic noise band (Mike Daniels and I). It was conceived when I went up to Nashville in November to help MD get moved into a new house. My ulterior motive was to help dig out various analog keyboards he had stored away (for more than a decade?). All of these tracks were recorded very much off the cuff, this first one is a long sprawl of analog synths. Some of the others are more friendly than this one.... friendly, Asimovian robots. All of these Robot Beaver tracks have titles, but I cannot, at present render them adequately from the Japanese.

11-5-09-robot-beaver4 7'11"

11-6-09-robot-beaver5 3'39"
This one has the most structure and some nice hand claps and ukulele.

11-6-09-robot-beaver6 6'22"

11-14-09-monomania-at-earball1 11'42"
Monomania played live at Eyedrum for Earball. We set up in the hall and played in the afternoon. As with many Eyedrum gigs, the 'audience' was largely other bands playing there. Our set was continuous, about 35 minutes, here divided into four parts: computers, casios, effects, devices, and some ukulele.

11-14-09-monomania-at-earball2 9'46"

11-14-09-monomania-at-earball3 4'49"

11-14-09-monomania-at-earball4 4'39"

11-14-09-monomania-after-party 9'11"
Even better than the Earball was the after party... better if you like radios, computers, and noise, that is...

9-1-09-monomania-highland-farewell 3'27"
Monomania recorded this at the end of my long stay at Heather's apartment, pet-watching for them during their honeymoon. This one has a rhythm track, which makes it more friendly, I'd say: like someone who robs from you while smiling rather than scowling.

9-19-09-4-monomania-rogue-dream-state 5'16"
This one we recorded during a nice afternoon session at Eyedrum. I even set up the house Frankendrum set and bashed away on it... evident in a track from the same date down below.

9-26-09-Monomania-Mountains 2'28"
Recorded up in the mountains while I pet-sat for my parents... a somewhat organized affair, while also chunky and noisy. Jeff and I are both doing some 'shred' guitar here....

Here is a small movie that I made for my friend and former neighbor, druedun.

Duo and group improvisations:

1-24-09-monomania-the-onus-of-victory 10'47"
Monomania (Jeff Grove and I) mostly do improvisations of one kind or another. This one is the drony synthy sorts.

2-6-09-monomania-down-the-dial-five 5'23"
I frankly like well-planned excursions into chance and Monomania likes working with radios. The compositional idea I had here was for Jeff and I each to have a radio and work from the top of the FM dial to the bottom over a five minute span. Each of out radios is live-processed.

3-7-09-mono-birth-mania1 4'42"
Recorded on my birthday.

3-20-09-mono-bball-casio2 5'14"
Recorded at Jeff's house while watching some of the NCAA tourney: entirely on toy casio keyboards.

3-21-09-elephant-penii 11'15"
A spontaenous recording with Chinese Frankenstein (Nisa and Allison, two very talented improvisors and wonderful persons).

4-4-09-with-a-misanthrope-gun-in-the-backseat 2'28"
This one was improvised and recorded over the phone. John L. was on the other end and I set up a system which allowed me to play music, which was audible to him, while I could hear what he was doing. Thus we improvised a first track (voice and drum machine), then John emailled his first track sound file, and we overdubbed another (more voice and guitar). It was completely recorded over the phone !

4-11-09-monomania-a-grand-olde-dame 7'38"
A slab of electonics, intended as a swan song for my house.

4-11-09-monomania-fingerlings 2'07"
I loved using my house as a recording studio. One device was to use the bathroom as a plate room for recording, and here Jeff is in the there with his saxophone, while I am in the main studio with a ukulele. I thought the juxtaposition of those two instruments was pretty funny....

4-11-09-monomania-not-the-apocalypse-i-expected 3'03"
A straight improvisation on saxophone and guitar, again with the former recorded in the bathroom.

5-6-09-monomania-gtr-and-sax-2 3'03"
Another straight-up improvisation on saxophone and guitar!

5-28-09-monomania-KBC 9'57"
Monomania live at Kirkwood Baller's Club. Recorded on a tiny device!

8-13-09-For-Les-Paul 2'03"
Recorded at Heather's apartment, an improvisaion for Les Paul, who had just died. Caleb, a very talented percussionist, joins me here.

8-13-09-Morning-Mood 2'01"
A trio improvisation: Jeff (sax), Caleb (percussion), me (guitar), also recorded at Heather's.

8-13-09-trefold-martinique 3'40"
Another duplicated-form inprovisation, and here we had three 'stations', arranged left to right in the stereo mix: ukulele/flute, piano, percussion, and the improvisation proceeded with each player (Jeff, Caleb, myself) playing in each station. (Thus there are two overdubs to the original improvisation.) This was recorded ata my friend Heather's apartment (thanks, Heather!) while I was pet-sitting for them as they honeymooned...

8-15-09-artaxi-trunk-recording 2'56"
The Artaxi was enlisted to help out a fundraiser one evening. Amongst other things, Jeff and I recorded this improvisation on flute and ukulele...

8-15-09-live-in-the-artaxi3 3'06"
,,, and a recording from inside the cab, with Nisa and Randy and Jeff.

Here is a small movie (205 mb) that Stan captured of Yours Truly playing at Kirkwood Baller's Club at Lenny's.

8-31-09-intensity-1-w-aunt-stan
Stan and Nisa came to visit me while I was staying at Heather's apartment and we recorded this one.

8-22-09-finalminotaurshow_hipass 1 hour 10'24"
John L. moved to Germany, but before going had a party and performed the final installement in his long-running Johnny Minotaur saga. Roger Ruzow (trumpet), Scott Burland (theremin), and I (guitar and devices) helped out with music.

9-19-09-6-monomania-monkeys-will-rise-again 8'34"
Recorded at Eyedrum, and here I am on that Frankindrumset mentioned earlier.

10-1-09_2-Mono-Tunnel-of-Crossed-Destinies 8'55"
This is another improvisation based on a structure. Up in the mountains I know of a long tunnel, and Jeff and I brought various music devices to do some playing. The recorder was set up right in the middle of the tunnel, and for this one, I suggested that we each begin at a distance from each end of the tunnel, far enough that music would fade into the general background noise. Then we each would begin walking toward the tunnel, and as we started to hear one another, we'd adapt our playing to match one another. By the time we reached the middle of the tunnel, our playing would line up as much as possible, then we continue walking, with a gradual break apart of the playing....

12-2-09-eyedrum-open-improv-2 3'59"
At Eyedrum's open impov, with Jeff, Robert C., Kevin H., Aaron R., and all sorts of other folks.

Et al

6-20-09-kirkwood-night-walk-volleys 1'07"
One evening while living at 101 I heard some distant music, late at night. I figured it was a loud party at this big house several blocks away. It was a nice evening, after midnight, so I went for a walk... while walking there I heard a flurry of gunshots in the distance, off to my left (maybe near the BP)... and then a few seconds later I heard some small objects crashing through the trees off to my right, about 50 feet away. This is audible in this sound file.

11-8-09-shadows-in-the-dark 27"
And here is young Henri explaining shadows to me, in Knoxville.