Friday, December 15, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
forthcoming.. an essay in a book (cross your fingers), a paper at a conference in Berlin this summer (ditto), and several funding applications.
A mix is forthcoming to accompany a rather shamefully wordy interview for the new music website. Not going to link the interview here yet. But once the mix is there, then link I will. I'm excited about it - it has a lot of reggaeton in it - carefully selected and mixed with all kinds of other flavors of course. It's a bit late as well, but technical problems are rife in my world these days, what can I say.
On the reggaeton tip - add my name to the chorus (I know I'm a year behind the Latin Grammys) Calle 13 really has it going on - and that's the only reggaeton so far whose words I don't follow immediately with my 2 years of spanish from TWENTY YEARS AGO.
That's a good sign, mind you. I'm always a bit sad that I can understand 90% of reggaeton lyrics with 7th grade spanish plus what I picked up from living in Brooklyn (or more realistically, walking around brooklyn as a female).
Anyway Calle 13, has some politics, has some humor, some lyrical wordplay.. I'm intrigued, and I like resident's voice too. Anyone who records a song reminding us about the existence of gravity is okay by me. Then again, less gravity is important sometimes. I mix it with KnifeHandChop.
There are some more folks on the mix - but I'll leave the tracklist until later.
In other news - it looks like Kid K and I could NOT land gigs in NYC for new year's eve or before, for love or money. We tried, people said maybe or yes, and then said no. pity. But both of us WILL play at Broklyn Beats' PURE FIRE on January 3, so mark your calendars for that one.
And when we return... it's madness. the EFF birthday party on January 11th, and then part 1 of a three-part series, hopefully a monthly, at Club Six in San Francisco. I am looking forward to this, and to making it work. Come on out!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
"Xie and his colleagues employed an ultrasound emitter and reflector that generated a sound pressure field between them. The emitter produced roughly 20-millimeter-wavelength sounds, meaning it could in theory levitate objects half that wavelength or less.
After the investigators got the ultrasound field going, they used tweezers to carefully place animals between the emitter and reflector. The scientists found they could float ants, beetles, spiders, ladybugs, bees, tadpoles and fish up to a little more than a third of an inch long in midair."
that's what I want bass to do to me!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Bold = Like
Strike = dislike
italic = know neither like nor dislike
normal = never heard it
December 8, 1990 - January 4, 1991: Because I Love You (The Postman Song) - Stevie B
January 5 - January 18: Justify My Love - Madonna
January 26 - February 8: The First Time - Surface
February 9 - February 22: Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - C&C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams
March 9 - March 23: Someday - Mariah Carey
March 23 - March 29: One More Try - Timmy T.
April 27 - May 10: Baby Baby - Amy Grant
May 11 - May 17: Joyride - Roxette
May 18 - May 24: I Like the Way (The Kissing Game) - Hi-Five
June 8 - June 14: More Than Words - Extreme
June 15 - July 19: Rush, Rush - Paula Abdul
July 27 - September 23: (Everything I Do) I Do It for You - Bryan Adams
September 14 - September 20: The Promise of a New Day - Paula Abdul
September 21 - October 4: I Adore Mi Amor - Color Me Badd
October 5 - October 11: Good Vibrations - Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch featuring Loleatta Holloway
October 12 - November 1: Emotions - Mariah Carey
November 2 - November 8: Romantic - Karyn White
November 23 - November 29: When a Man Loves a Woman - Michael Bolton
November 30 - December 6: Set Adrift on Memory Bliss - PM Dawn
December 7, 1991- January 24, 1992: Black Or White - Michael Jackson
well that was enlightening.
1991 was a fricking golden era for indie rock and hardcore! I listened so much music that year - it was my chance to immerse myself in the music and all that damn indie-rock trivia (who produced who, whose bassist showed up later in which band, blah blah). What awesome music.
The Jesus Lizard "Goat" (did you know you can get Mouth Breather as a ringtone?)
and Slint "Spiderland"
(not to mention the explosion that was to come the next year: Bikini Kill
and Huggy Bear!!!)
And for hiphop? Man, Low End Theory AND A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. Cypress Hill and ICE T's O.G. : Original Gangsta (ok that was a bit cheesy). And even some booty house I remember getting down to.
I had pretty much forgotten about how outside the top40 world I was back then. Now my hiphop tastes have crossed over at least a little bit. But thinking about it I can't even name or recognize non-hiphop top40. That was making me feel old when I look at MTV or whatnot .. but looking back to 1991 I guess even then, maybe I would know what it was, but it didn't have much to do with me and the music I liked.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I remember when I went to Europe to tour, I'd been partly inspired by The Stapler's intercontinental exploits - I believe he'd gone round the world with his records at some point before that. Lugging my huge box of records across the continent somehow appealed - and it seemed appropriate to invite him along, and also Aaron Spectre, who had given me my first gig in NY (along with Heartworm, now of 5lowershopsf - which is whereThe Stapler has been this past year as well! yes we all seem to end up leftcoast for a bit). I'd moved to NY in June 2001. The three of us hit a few cities - including Berlin, Prague, and Linz. Anyway I don't think Aaron had been to europe much, but he seems to have liked it, as he's on year 3 of living in Berlin 'sfarasIknow. The place is real friendly to artists. Anyway I'm glad The Stapler is doing more shows out here... and proud to reunite. so come out and dance with us!
soFat! soundsystem & the BayshoreBashmentBureau bring it!!! sat December 2
hardcore ragga jungle all night dance party
@ soFat! community center, 382 84Y5H0R3, SF CA.
Monday, November 20, 2006
We're listening to cella after some swimming and sunning. I did about a million hours of hardcore IP-talk with archivists and ethnomusicologists.. but the last day was mine.
Funny thing about hanging out with ethnomusicologists. I'm used to talking about music with my friends, but with these peoples you have to be careful.. any statement about any musical experience or object or event is met with an analysis of the theoretical implications. "When I was in place X everyone was into Y" is met with "well when I was in a similar place A it wasn't like Y at all (so your theory is not comprehensive)"
Fun, but a challenge to be on the ball with musical chat in a social context.
I learned a lot, and got some good ideas, and I think added something to the conversation -people were very positive. I'll muse more once I have time.
This whole being a bridge between disciplines is exactly what I want to be doing - but it's starting to be hard to imagine which discipline I will base myself in. All the action is in between, and it's not because I'm staying shallow, either. It's like ear training, to hear the resonance between different languages of social interaction, creativity, and power. I'm finding more interdisciplinarians, as well - the computational linguistics/russian folk music/archivist+metadata activist was a highlight. Other lights listed soon, once I get all their IDs in order.
Friday, November 10, 2006
I'm tag teaming with Kid Kameleon, and we're gonna rip up all kinds of silliness.. while guest of honor Aaron Spectre (all the way from BERLIN, y'all, though originally from stow), Rtype, and all kinds of awesome peeps are throwing down dancefloor style. This is the pre-party, the dancey one, building up steam for tomorrow's party in the city that will be extreme noize live madness.(at SPACE GALLERY w/ The Flashbulb, Mochipet, Bloody Snowman. pu22l3 vs. builder, Eustachian)
AAnd while I'm at it: a headsup for December 2, when I'm playing at a RAGGA JUNGLE PARTY. it's been a while since I was up on one of those.. Except for the folks that booked us this summer who kinda didn't know what they were getting, but mostly loved it anyway. So anyway, you know I'll mix it up, but I still love the sounds, and the people who throw this one aren't your typical nostalgia heads or jockity-jock machitos. come and dance. I'll post more on it or check up on mspace.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
- While Kid K was rocking Milwaukee and Chicago, I went to a coupla good parties. A Grime City / Subscience do that brought the ill-ustrious DJ Clever (old friendly face from Boston and then NY, running the totally quality Offshore recordings. The new drum&bass i find interesting these days. Clever played a d&b set offshore-style and then a storming dubstep set following the revitalized Juju who played a tight tight set. This was the day after my own gig with Havocsound, and I saw a few of the same peeps.. a couple of whom were kind enough to come up and say hi and they liked my set. nice1. Anyway the sound system was HUGE and not even turned up all the way most of the night. The place wasn't packed, but enough people there to make it bouncy.
- the next night I went to another warehousey noisey event - actually a tribute to a member of the tribe who died recently. (j. Planetsize RIP). I was parking on Bayshore (where I saw some proper sideshow action on the way out!). This was truly great musical experience. and a sweetsadfunny vibe at times. My favorite dj of the 5lowershop crew has got to be Megabitch, throwing down a wicked funny combination of 130-140 bpm tunes with lots of nasty bmore, glitchy breaks, other stuff. Nice and eclectic, always changing, and lots of booty action. But everyone up at this gig was ILL. Eustachian utterly destroyed, well, nearly everyone. But the highlight was as usual Duran Duran Duran: the cat both the nicest to talk to, and frickin crazy producer. Actually there was another highlight. We were SOOOO lucky to have Baseck in town, and he played one of his Gameboy sets, which was awesome musically and hella fun to watch. Well, except for the part where he stripped to his boxers, then pulled out his little fireman and played the gameboy with it. erm. things about him I didn't need to know.
- some weeks later, saw Deadbeat and Richard Devine at Recombinant Media Labs. Holy moly it was the closest thing to a religious experience, not in the mystical way (except in how music gets up in you before you think about it) but really in a social one. The super multi surround sound system, and deadbeats delicious brombips and chks. Everyone was really happy, actively loving the music and the whole experience --people danced because the music was in them, or stood and soaked it in, or wandered around happily checkingout the sound in every part of the space. RD was impressive to watch and unbelievably loud, but it was too nonlinear and yet samey for me, after a while. Loved watching the interface he used. Incomprehensible.
- the next night saw Hatcha + Youngsta (big up! Hatcha especially is one of the earliest names I associated with that nice formerly a dubby 2step label Tempa) with JuaKali and the Grime City peeps at the upstairs space at Club Six. I was still out of it from the night before. The bad: the sound system up there is truly awful, and an insult to dubstep. the good: the vibe was irrepressible, everyone was excited, and the music i COULD hear was pretty great. Juakali kept up on the mic for 2 hours and it wasn't boring. I wish MC Child would stop bringing Bay Area slang into the grimey MCing, at least stop doing it all backwards. "Are you stupid?" "If you don't know this you're DUMB" is so far the opposite of "Go Stupid! Go Dumb!" Wrongfooting the vibe of the original slang. Also it bums me out when MCs (especially english-style party mcs whose job it is to big up the music and the crowd) start insulting the crowd or telling some they aren't cool enough. (Give me TC Islam's cheezy "you are all superstars" over boston-based MC someone or other "this is for those who KNOW")
- some weeks later, this past weekend hit up a lovely renegade with Havocsound peeps, 5lowershoppers, and some friendly faces from new york who were in town! Out on the water.. late at night .. they trucked the little sound system out there again. Highlights were the live set with Nic Fit and SOUR, on the crazy sound-making-think with all the lights and cables. It looks like an oldstyle telephone switchboard.
Usually they are more techno than I like, but this time they kept breaking it up- there were even some basslines! I was happy. Plus it was warm and the ravers' glowsticks made it easier to see. (there was also all this hightech glowing action that made me feel very lo-fi. When I was a raver, all we had were wood and rocks.
Monday, October 16, 2006
And hey, homo or no homo, if you liked boys, whoever you are, you'd like a lot of the hardcore scene. Not to forget: big up the ladies who held up the hardcore scene on all ends. That world was flawed but brilliant. like everyone we love.
there are a few mements I regret missing, through distance in time or location.
Not seeing Bad Brains Live at CBGB was one of them. Here's the ENTIRE show from 1982 online, or you can buy it here from amazon.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
I read Direland pretty regularly for updates on the world outside the US, particularly in terms of gay rights. He doesn't write much about music, normally. But a few days ago he republished a piece he wrote about the new Head of J-FLAG (the Jamaica GLBT group) who received an awared from Human Rights Watch and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.
One section stood out to me, a description of the scene after Williamson's death by a Human Rights Watch observer - highlighting the power of music to express, reinforce, and validate certain behavior (even if the lyrics are also used metaphorically, at home and abroad, Brian Williamson is not a metaphor).
"Gareth Williams spoke to Gay City News from Montreal, where he had gone last week to receive the International Award for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights given jointly every year by Human Rights Watch and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Rebecca Schleifer of Human Rights Watch’s HIV/AIDS program said that Williams was given the award because, “Against enormous odds and at great risk to his own physical safety, Williams has been a courageous campaigner against human rights violations targeting lesbians, gay men, and HIV-positive Jamaicans.”
“Williams” is the gay activist’s organizational pseudonym, necessitated by the fact that his predecessor as J-FLAG’s leader, Brian Williamson, was brutally murdered in his home at the age of 59 in June, 2004 by anti-gay thugs, who mutilated his body with multiple stab wounds. A Human Rights Watch researcher witnessed a joyous crowd that gathered outside Williamson‘s house to celebrate the murder. A smiling man called out, “Battyman he get killed!” (“Battyman” and “batty-bwoy” are Jamaican patois for “faggot”.) Many others celebrated Williamson’s murder, laughing and calling out, “let’s get them one at a time,” “that’s what you get for sin,” “let’s kill all of them.” Some sang “Boom bye bye" ... "
I know I know that it's not only in Jamaica (heck I read fricking Direland every week on Poland, Iran, USA, etc etc), I see all over the place things like this happen.
--standard disclaimer for those into reggae---
I also know that it's not only reggae or lower-class J'cans who validate this stuff, it permeates much of Jamaican society. Homosexuality is illegal there, and prosecuted, with penalties of up to 15 years in prison (and you can imagine how folks arrested for sodomy are protected from further violence in prison. that is, not). Also, both killing (a soudbwoy) and battyman (sometimes informer or just someone you don't like) do have metaphorical meanings broader than their use here. But that doesn't let the lyrics off the hook. Just ask: could you hear this at a celebration of another murder? I don't want to provide that kind of soundtrack.
also, if you want to help J-FLAG, e-mail the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org. Financial contributions may be mailed to: J-FLAG, P.O. Box 1152, Kingston 8, Jamaica, West Indies.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
DRM, of course, allows the owners of copyrights (who are often likely not to be the creators, mind you) to manage both their rights, and also your rights. If they don't want you to exercise your fair use rights, then you won't. Thanks for managing that for us! IF anyone thinks they have a right to remix, sample, mashup or copy - either because it was covered by fair use or because ofa larger claim to that right, well the law is often against you these days, but it used to be technology was on your side. Not with DRM, of course!
and I would like to big up DRM-Free a search engine for music unencumbered with DRM.
as well as a suggestion that you check this site for a list of fun activities
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Gilberto Gil, Brazilian Minister of Culture:
"It is clear to us that development will only be ensured if there is a balance between intellectual property rights and obligations and the public interest, as had been highlighted by the Ambassador of Argentina, on behalf of the Group of Friends of Development. If such balance is lost we will violate the nature of knowledge itself: we should never forget Thomas Jefferson's words, according to which there would not be any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property than ideas, whose sharing does not necessarily harm anyone..."
It's really exciting that musicians, and musicians with strong community and cultural connections at that, are participating at high levels of government somewhere, and are being represented -- and are representing the concerns of the less-powerful (who coinsidentally often have a different relation to property rights, being so often on the wrong side of them).
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), for those who don't know, is an international body that was initially formed by businesses concerned with protecting their IP worldwide. Its explicit mission was to strengthen IP laws so that they could better profit from them. Because of it claim to expertise, it became an advisor to the UN on issues of IP, despite the fact that it's not only businesses that have an interest in Intellectual Property, and it's not clear that strong IP rights help everyone equally, or don't hurt some that the UN mandate may be to help. In recent years there has been pushback, especially from developing nations, led especially by Brazil and Argentine, who have proposed a Development Agenda for WIPO that requires a lot of other considerations that IP law should take care of. Especially, what "the public interest" means in relation to affixing property rules to non-physical things.
This is hugely important for access to knowledge of all kinds, but the idea of cultural survival and cultural flourishing also should raise questions for everyone - does culture grow and spread because (or despite the fact that) artists have the option to collect royalties on their work when their contracts so allow it? what is necessary for a musical culture to be healthy - especially, in this case, what has been the relation to law and IP law in particular, that allows culture to flourish?
Maybe we need more free beer?
Thursday, September 21, 2006
First and foremost: Disrupt, of jahtari. GO there. listen.
Also, many pleasures fromd dropping the tune Stagga Step, by MathHead - wicked wicked dubstep from an american cat who never stays still. I hear he's in folk-rock-land now.. Been feeling a lot of non-English dubstep and dubsteppish sounds, by Timeblind and other mad world-hopping geniuses too.. although Skream is bringin it all back home with his new tune Tapped featuring JME, nicely paranoid in keeping with the dubstep smoke-too-much vibe (thanks blackdown for the mention, btw).
Still rocking out on the decks and on my headphones to Com.A (Japan) and Cardopusher (Venezuela).
And finally another San Francisco gig, and in a club, so all the people who are wigged out by warehouses can come and chill over drinks and such!
Thursday, September 28th
9pm – 2am
312 Harriet St (off Bryant btw 6th and 7th street)
Ed Flis (CockRockDisco, PA)
Merk (Apocalypse/Virus, NYC)
Ripley (Death$ucker, Havocsound)
Jack Clang (Havocsound)
How happy am I that Havocsound are starting up bizniss in the Bay? I loved these cats back in New York, keepin it together at the beloved 23Windows warehouse space.. I remember when they helped me organize a benefit party for street medics, it was a perfect event on so many levels and they were so generous with their time and energy, and so good natured and solid on it all.. And then there was that party Nov 2001, it had been planned well in advance of the horrible events that took place about a month before.. THey went through with the event and it was a great moment where all of us warehouse peeps and electronic music peeps and neighborhood peeps kinda showed up to check in on each other. Lots of hugs, closeness, smiles, and some dancing to restore the soul.
so help me welcome the havoc sound to the West Coast on Thursday the 28th!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
But what's up with the supposedly big city where everyone leaves the party at 2am (coincidentally, I'm sure, about when I started playing)? Justin Boyd (of the brothers Boyd - big up the Texas massive!) warmed up the crowd witha nicely dub flavored eclectic set (he's definitely in the musical family I'd say), Joe Nice laid down the dubstep gospel, Kid K steered the crowd (including CONGA LINE) through break-heavy permutations, and I took the bmore with the breakcore and the hyphy sounds through to a dubbed out finish.
I will say that although the room cleared out at 2, and I looked up a few minutes after I started to see everyone sitting around on the sidelines, by 2:25 I looked up and all the people who had been sitting were now dancing. So I still have some power left in me. I ended up experimenting a lot more than I usually do, playing a lot of new tunes and trying new mixes. Some of that was hard! But it was all good fun. Big up the MathHead for providing one tune of the night (stagga Step), and the Gunman Dem 2step remix for bringing up smiles all round.
I must say, every time I go to LA I have a great time, despite being a Bay Area resident I can't find it in my heart to bash Los Angeles. The only thing I hated was that it's a bad place to have a light-sensitive migraine (damn you, sun!), but whose fault is that? It was weird to see all the store that sell water. But the place has no natural water source, right?
Anyway, as long as I can hang out in Silverlake (at the Brite Spot), Venice, Echo Park, or parts of downtown I can't name, I'm having a good time. feel free to suggest other good places to go..
I'll be posting a bit more on the IPside soon. I'm presenting at a conference in a couple of months so I gotta focus my ideas in that direction.. changing technology changing law's intervention into musical practice - my question for this semester is how much does law depend on NOT being required to adjudicate everything? Does technology, by making existing behaviors more visible, inappropriately extend the exercise of legal sanction?
And my current project is a wiki of readings - Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Intellectual Property, that myself and a couple of people are working on. Sort of a new-style annotated bibliography. There is some fun stuff out there!
Thoughts soon on the Warner and YouTube linkup. I'm only paying attention to YouTube right now because of the availability of Star Blazers episodes. My youth comes flooding back.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Despite the fact that Bay Area types seem required to diss Los Angeles, I always have a good time there. How can it be all bad, with the likes of Darkmatter, Baseck, and the mighty Sonic Death Rabbit?
anyway. here's the flyer, Los Angeles peeps represent!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Caught up in administrative nightmares on campus.. will I be teaching? researching? researching AND teaching? Will I have 17 credits? 14 credits? who can tell?
not very music related. More on that soon.
Lastly, it's possible that this Saturday night Kid K and I will be djing at a party called HYPHYCORE, in SF somewhere. you heard it here first. We actually started working on a hyphycore mix in May, right before we left. yes, breakcore and bay area. Nice to see others on the same tip. I want it to be a series, actually. We'll see how it goes. Check back for more news - it's an outlaw so you may have to actually get in touch with me about it. But it will also be my 33rd birthday, so you should come wish me well (after midnight)
And because I can't sit still, I will be in NYC Sept 1. No gigs planned, although I'd happily take one. (hint..) then back here for 2 weeks, then to LA for another gig. I'll be updating the mysp*ce calendar shortly.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
It was all fun but it's nice to back in Berlin where i know how to pass the time cheaply, have privacy and call up friends when I like.
Tonight I am actually going to see some minimal techno, for the first time in years. That's what this city is usually known for, and whoever it is that is playing (who I never heard of) is apparently someone big in the scene. So yay. I just have to stay up till 5 or 6 to properly enjoy it. Disco-nap time!
I have amassed several recordings of live sets from various gigs this tour, but it's taking a while to get them publicly posted. So far the best one for listening is the London gig put on by ResonanceFM, Adverse Camber, Torment and probably lots more peeps.
Here is a link to my set at Kick up the Riddim, you can go here to this thread where the mighty El Kano has posted a few of the other sets from that truly entertaining night. Not all yet (not Kid Kameleon's for example), but it'll come!
I just got wind of our gig at Hamburg's Rote Flora, our first gig of the tour, being recorded and posted. I remember the party, but not what I played, really, so we'll see about that one.. no link yet.
Looking back, especially at the awesome party in Budapest that ended our tour (thanks Breakshit peeps!), where I played my hardest set yet, it's been a great tour. Many thanks to the many people who made it possible, especially Kid K and DJ C, and all the awesome people we met all over europe and beyond!
More updates and recaps will follow here and at Riddim Method, and I will have a little down time in the Boston Area before going back to Cali, so I will likely fill in a bit more here as well.
Friday, July 28, 2006
but I have been remiss in my Intellectual Property discussions. I'll let mr. Tim Rutherford, whom I met with a whole lovely crew of peeps in London our last night there, fill us in on some latest developments. We should be staying on top of this. The aftereffects of legal changes are more serious when they target infranstructure, because infrastructure dictates choice, to some extent, especially choice for the majority of people, and choice for people with less power, specifically. So when certain interests (like the currently powerful and wealthy copyright owners) use law to regulate technology and software and how it can be developed..people may not know what they are missing.
(Like if our VCRs had been made without record buttons, back in the day. Well, some were, I guess, but you take my point)? Anyway how would I have shown my friends the late great Max Headroom TV show, all 13 episodes, never syndicated or sold officially.. but I taped'em all, because I knew greatness when I saw it, and now more people know about it. One day, they may clamor for it to be released again, because they learned about it from the few of us who recorded it and reshowed it.
Maybe this is what happened with Eyes On The Prize? you remember the discussion, the fury and the hand-wringing? Well I would ilke to know the full story, but for whatever reason PBS will apparently be releasing it on DVD (unconfirmed, from academic gossip), as well as rebroadcasting the first two espisodes. DO NOT MISS THEM, TV-OWNERS. The greatest documentary on the civil rights movement to date (I'm happy to be informed of more). I am curious as to whether they obtained all the rights to all the music, especially, which I imagine was the most expensive re-licensing holdup.
The episodes will be re-broadcast on "The American Experience" during the first 3 weeks in October (check local listings). It will air in blocks of 2-hours/night.
I really wonder what the effect was, of the massive discussion and numerous unauthorized viewings that downhillbattle generated with their "Eyes on the Screen" campaign. I'm in the camp that says they increased interest in the works, reminded people of their importance to our collective knowledge and history. It's possible that Blackside used this interest to generate financial backing, or an argument could be made that our society and culture needs works like these, or these works themselves, and thus the claims of the orginal rights owners should be overruled. I think the first and less radical is more likely, but I'm hoping the second argument still gets an airing: at what point are we allowed to overrule or transcend private property rules?
Monday, July 24, 2006
Along with various friends who did show up, we had some interesting special guests on the dancefloor. One of the Transdubbers is linked somehow with the man like the Sean Paul, and it was rumored he might show. In the middle of my set I did notice the dancefloor liven up, and also seem noticably blacker than Vienna had hitherto revealed itself to be. I didn't put 2 and 2 together, though, and instead our lovely host Christian of Al Haca Sound System let me know later that Sean Paul and his peeps had been cuttin' it up on the dancefloor. This means he was dancing to Jah Coozi/Modeselektor, Cardopusher, Tittsworth, Tamil pop, Moabit remixing of Sean Paul (apropos, that one), DJ C and other extremely weird stuff. Nice one!
I'm available to open for you, Mr. Paul, at the stadium of your choice.. or for private parties.. so long as I can play what I like.
And as exciting, basically, although a bit more close to home, the master thereminist Pamelia Kurstin also showed up and we had a lovely time. She pointed out that she can play the classic dubstep wobble sounds on a theremin, so now I put it to you, dubstep massive - who's got it together enough to set up a live show with someone on the deep beats and Ms. Kurstin on theremin, and of course Warrior Queen on vocals? Who's gonna step up? Kode9? Blackdown? Digital Mystikz? I leave it to y'all..
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Many folks have recorded our sets. The best one going up soon is from the awesome Kick Up The Riddim Party in london, at the Rhythm Factory. Our fantastic hosts ResonanceFM, Adverse Camber and Torment threw an awesome party, the crowd was mad, and it all went down quite well. Check the adverse camber site for the latest on that. I will post a link here as well.
Next up will probably be the Swaeg sets from Finland. We partied in Helsinki with some lovely peeps, then pushed a minivan around the city at 3:30 in the morning. woo! The Swaeg peeps are great, and the music will probably be on their site soonish.
DJ C has gone back to Boston to continue the Beat research. DJ Pace is the first into the land of Ph.D-dom for the riddim method crew (Wayne is next). and Kid K and I head to Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary! Woo! I am so psyched for the adriatic coast I can't believe it.
More later, including some updates about my research on reggae in the 1980s in Germany.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Anyway lots of good folks came out - blackdown, mr Bug, Dr. ups (our friend from Riga, Latvia's Varka Crew, relocated to London and rocking out with local peeps these days), and of course the hosts/organizers were amazing: Resonance fm, Adverse Camber, and the Torment peeps. It was a bit thin on the ground at first, but El Kano (our fantastic host, along with his amazing partner) laid down a wicked wicked groove of just my favorite kind of eclectic boom-diggity, then Kid K warmed it up a bit more, and then I went down and played one of my favorite sets so far. Luckily it was recorded hopefully we'll get a link up for that soon. DJ C tore it up afterwards, starting with BostonBounce and ending with his signature breakjungle jollity. Our pal the MathHead went up next and kept it electrohouse only it was mostly more like dubstep. The mad one like Ash from Adverse Camber went last with sounds that should really have been played in a stadium full of screaming youth.
So welcome to anyone who finds this page based on that show. I've got a myspace account
and you can also download a few of my mixes from links on the sidebar. For more regular tour updates check the riddim method site (check the right sidebar and click "Europe Tour" to pull up only updates from the tour).
*About six months ago, I was sitting in a cafe in Oakland in my "HACKNEY" sweatshirt, and a fairly cockney-sounding Londoner called me out, asking me if I'd ever been there. When I told him I'd lived in Clapton for two years, he asked me if I'd "gotten my shots" afterward. One of those moments when I was sorta speechless until he'd already moved on. I did say "What? I loved it there" but I realized later I should have maybe said something a bit more direct. Seriously it was one of the most fun places I ever lived.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
but today was the best. We are in Kreuzberg, the turkish neighborhood which is also a bit of a gay mecca and a punk neighborhood. Walking around before heading to see dj /rupture at one party and then go to see Plaid and modeselektor and Sencha (one of our leipzig hosts) at a different party. Getting hungry so went to our new favorite halloumi joint on adalbert strasse, where the coffee making guy looks like the dude from Anthrax - bald, goateed, jovial.
Anyway on the way there we hang out for a while at a huge street festival with several stages, all of it against the world cup (and capitalism, and god/religion). There was a drag show on one stage, a dj on another and a samba drumming crew on another. the streets were totally closed down and the police aree hanging back. I think they may not dare to shut it down because this area is historically the site of the great May Day riots and there are enough people who are not afraid of them that it's easier for them to stay outside. The crowd here is multiracial as well and amusingly decorated. there are several glorious drag queens in 18th century gowns as well as the more disco variety. lots of punks and travellers and happy dancing people.
for more tour photos and updates, check the riddimmethod site
Thursday, June 15, 2006
So yeah, tonight we are not at the Dizzee Rascal-opening-for-the-red-hot-chili-peppers show (!?!), but later in the night. Dizzee goes on at 2am, and we probably step up around 4 or 4:30. But for all the late night crew, pace yourself, don't start drinking too early, and come on out.
If you can't make it tonight, of course, then step out next week after dj c arrives
- two Berlin gigs: Thursday 22 June at Bastard in prater, prenslauer berg, with the freakcamp crew, more on the dubstep grime side of things, then Friday 23rd at the Raw Tempel for more of the breakcore fun.
then again, THUS weekened we hit up Halle for electric-renaissance on Friday and Leipzig on Saturday (big up the Staubsauger!)
I'll try to post the flyers here or on the Method site.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
The gig was great! Everything here is weird because of the W*rld C*p, and we were a bit concerned because the venue is across the street from a huge row of bars with tables on the street, lots of potentially rowdy and unsympathetic people could wander in to the hulking mass of rooms across the way. But also it was a very warm night, in which people don't always want to come inside, here in Europe where bars all have tables outside so people can enjoy the street life. While I think this probably did reduce the turnout some, it was quite respectable, and people danced and cheered, and kid k and I each had quite a few compliments, singly and together. Some of the nicer things I heard were people who remembered me from the radio shows, from other gigs I have played in past years, or from my mixes. It's good to feel like all the energy I put into this does not dissipate, but is in fact taken in by other people, and they remember it and remember me.
Kid K of course rocked the party too. We each had 1 hour sets (starting 1:15ish) and then we tag teamed until 5:30 or so. He played a dubstep set that blew people's minds! It was clearly weirding out some o the crowd, but an equal number were very very into it, so it was a choice, I think, to follow through with the sound that seems pretty new in Germany. Pretty new most places outside of London.
One of the nicer moments was when Istari Lasterfahrer showed up. Great producer, great label.. and later on kid k played his tune: "To mi Battyman Massive" that cuts up dancehall vocalists to big up the battyboys and battyman all over the world! at last, a pro-battyboy dancehall/jungle tune.
Anyway. I have seen the Rote Flora every year I have come to Hamburg, a huge squatted ex-theater, maybe the last squat or last big squat in the city, covered with graffitti, especially antifascist antiracist stuff. I always wanted to play here, and at last it happened. Especially as there is increased reporting of racist violence in Germany (as eyes turn here for the footie madness), I was pleased to be at least aligned with folks who speak out against racism and organize about it. There were a smattering of African and black German folks around, plus some cats from Cuba and South America and elsewhere. Dunno if this represents a more cosmopolitan Hamburg or just the w*rldc*p overflow but it made for a nice changed from the usual dnb parties.
The cats who booked us were really nice, treated us very well, and worked very hard, so no complaints and a big cheer to the Hamburg people out there who made the night so much fun.
we will post pictures to riddim method soon.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
I've loved his sweet voice for years. Even when I was in my rawest punk phase or my thuggiest hardcore or my most booombastic drop-d post-hardcore whatever phase (all of which existed alongside industrial/dance/Jungle, somehow).. I always had time for a swivel and drop to the late-60s sounds of Jamaica.
According to the Gleaner, he was booked through November. Amazing!
Friday, May 26, 2006
and then I find out that Wayne is all over this bizness like butter on my toast
Oooooooo. I will be sad to leave bay area commercial radio. weird. I grew up with no love on mainstream radio, and my punk rock past is truly shocked.. but these days I rush to the car to turn on Drive Time on KMEL. I switch to CDs whenever the R&B crooners come up, but I swear every other day I hear some ridonkulous track.
I just bought my first ringtone. street cred is gone. gone! or i've moved streets
Monday, May 01, 2006
Still loving a lot of the dubstep sounds, although it still needs to be in the right dj's hands to really take shape for me. The squelchy grindy sound of Cloaks intrigues, DMZ hypnotizes, and a slew of new stuff is on the way.
But also, my favorite driving music these days besides KMEL's drive time with the Vans song (can I just giggle at the wolfpack reference, which for a former-ish Boston straightedge hardcore gal is kinda funny) and with Shadow/Turf Talk/Keak da Sneak - Freaks!, or Muscle Cars or most of the drivetime top 10.
anyway besides that the mix for the car is still our very own riddim method mix, it's so damn uprockin I'm happy even stuck on the onramp to the Bay Bridge for 35 minutes.
I'll have some space to breath, for once, after this week. finishing my papers and then grading the undergrads.
And then? Berlin here we come!
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Was especially happy to see lowtech - the awesome duo from Los Angeles, throw down some punkity-rockity break core hollering fun (even if their gigs are posted on IDM lists, I can't bring myself to use that term. plus it really doesn't capture the delivery and the performance). Also the Stapler (bo! Sofat! soundsystem) and BONK, RType, Megabitch spinning some fine bmore club whatnots. As we left (sadly early, to catch the bridge before all the m-f-in' onramps close which makes it take an extra hour to get out of the city), we heard the sounds of wotyoucallit ghetto tech. I didn't know people still called it that. But I still kind of like the term. and the sounds too.
The first time I heard it was when I lived in London in 1999 and saw DJ Godfather at The Clinic upstairs in the little chinatown by Soho. I loved that bar - always some random weirdness, and the little room upstairs with the window on to chinatown, then farther upstairs a little dancefloor with brits and expat europeans doing their best to move hips independently of shoulders, or giving up and bouncing around with drunken joy.
The best time I heard it was when DJ Assault played in Cambridge. The whole story around that night is pretty awesome (and involved me sweet talking a cop into getting me and my friend into the club after the doorman wouldn't recognize his EU card), but was till topped
by the fact that Assault played one of the best dj sets ever, doing everything djs can do: beatmatching, scratching, cutting up between multiples, and super wacked-out track selection (including the secret weapon of classic dark dnb/jumpup on 33 - something I rock with dubstep). People went nuts. Sadly, a couple years later in NYC he also played the absolute worst dj set I've ever seen (culminating in him rapping over his new cd with the his own vocals on it already). But the cambridge one was mindblowing. Of course, he announced that he was NOT a ghetto tech dj, but was instead playing "accelerated funk" which I guess is less downwardly mobile a term than GT (probably why I like it, being sorta downwardly mobile stylistically myself), but still comes off kind of badly, and as far as I can tell never took off.
On an unrelated note - who is it in Anchorage Alaska who every month or so, loads my page 250 times in 3 days? I don't follow my logs much except to see what kind of funny searches get people here, or what country readers are finding me from.. but anyway it's kind of weird.. Then again, if you want to book me, I'll play Anchorage. But not in the winter..
Friday, April 21, 2006
But I gotta step up- and announce I'm really feeling the Maga Bo mix (big up Blentwell, and Soot for the split mix with him and /rupture coming out)
and I'd never, ever think I'd link to this artist, but a nice little traditional singer-singwriter moment from Pink (! yeah I know, not since the 2step remix of you make me sick have I had much to say about her).. but it's because of the tune with these lyrics:
"how can you say no child is left behind
we're not dumb and we're not blind
they're all sitting in your cells while you pave the road to hell
what kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
what kind of father would hate his own daughter if she were gay?
let me tell you about hard work: minimum wage with a baby on the way
let me tell you about hard work: rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
let me tell you about hard work: building a bed out of a cardboard box
you don't know nothing about hard work!"
that was Pink, off her new album. cheers in concert, too. go, pop!
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
We did it as part of the esteemed Lemon-Red Mix Series, taking our place among the pantheon of terribly terribly good artists like Certified Banannas (big up their gig with Jason Forrest last weekend, which I heard was amazing), Dj Ayres (of the Rub), /rupture, and many many others.
So cheers to Chris Lemon-Red, of the well-respected site lemon-red.org.
erm. I wonder what the hiphop heads will make of it. I wonder what YOU will make of it!
it's pretty fun, there are lots of amusing tracks and suchlike. I bet those of you who know my steez can guess which section is mine. But it's way more cheerful and at a new tempo for me.. It sounds like the Method crew's musical conversation though.
check it out here
Sunday, April 02, 2006
It's a lovely feeling, taking me to my folks' house and the Monk records I used to put on as a youngun, not knowing what jazz was. The scratches were integral to that experience, and caught at my ears in a pleasing way, like a comforting woolly sweater.
Some of that is purely sonic affect, but the associations are just as powerful. I guess those sounds won't have the same significance to people who grow up in postvinyl households.
For anyone who still deals with vinyl (the crate diggers out there), it may still bring up feelings: treasure, age, and secret - those amazing tracks you pull out, dusty and fingerprinted, from the moldy crates in some junk shop.
In a way the music is the hidden gem, but the scratches and pops are signals of the work you had to go through to get it, they signal hard use and love, like a patina of scratches on steel or signal its distance from the everyday, like the blackening of silver, or the depth of darkness in an etching.
Friday, March 31, 2006
I can't make ANY of these gigs (dammit) so you all have to go for me. One in NY, one is Cali, and one in Boston..
In NYC TONIGHT - Friday March 31
DJ Olive (the Agriculture NYC) live pa David Last(the Agriculture, Goosehound NYC) live pa
I love love love David Last (truly beautiful music, good for kissing to), and Olive is pretty amazing as well. This show will be great.
blurb from Spinoza:
"The Agriculture founder DJ Olive is one of our heroes, someone who we give our deepest respect to. Olive is just as comfortable improvising on stage with people like Luc Ferrari and John Zorn as he is rocking all night dance parties with sweat dripping from the ceiling. He has been touring the world for years, making brief stops in Brookyln from time to time, so we were lucky to snag him for this gig. His live sets consist of deep dubby breaks and backyard jeep beats. Olive recently released "Heaps As", his 2nd solo album for The Agriculture. Tonight, he is playing a very special 2.5 hour set starting on the early side, so don't show up too late.
Agriculture newcomer David Last has already caused major waves in the electronic music community with his debut release on the Agriculture, which sounds kinda like Mouse on Mars inna Jamaican dancehall. He is currently playing in a live dub band and working on organic minimal techno tracks and remixes for Goosehound, Microcosm, Stuabgold, and Unfoundsound. Recent live techno sets at the BAP warehouse party (opening for John Tejada), the Bunker (big Monolake party in August), and the Goosehound/Wolf+Lamb label launch loft party have all been very impressive."
resident DJs: Spinoza, Movement, Unjust
visual residents: Giles Hendrix, Chris Jordan
OR for the Californians among you:
this promises to be truly nuts. I am SO SORRY to miss this one! Baseck is the sickest dj I know - scratching hiphop and breakcore and whatever else. And Sonic Death Rabbit - deathmetal breakcore team. Eustachian is nuts live, Mochi does what he does.. and the Schirach himself straight outta florida. Augh it's killing me I can't check this.
oTTo von scHiRacH - BasecK - Sonic DEATH rabbiT -EustachiaN - Mochipet + 5lowershop Kru doin' IT to ya...
call: 415-972-2823 for coordinates
And Lastly, for the BOstonians (I leave Saturday afternoon and thus can't make it to)
JASON FORREST AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaa!!!!!!111!!eleventy!!!!1!
OK I know, peeps, it's at m-f-in' Bill's Bar. But seriously, he is so much fun, and the music is so good. The show should be a blast. Don't miss it. Plus y'all gotta go and thus improve the audience at Bill's which will otherwise probably not get it so much. Man is too funny, though.
Blurb for the party is here:
Jason Forrest (Cock Rock Disco / Sonig Records)
Certified Bananas (New Eng's best DJ party crew)
Food For Animals (D.C. glitch-hop)
"Everyone deserves a second chance. On Saturday April 1st 2006, Honeypump invites you to attend a night of getting-over-it. Invite those who have done you wrong in the past. Invite those who make you too nervous to speak. Invite people you have fought, yelled at, and swore to never see again. Invite people who dont get out often. Bookworms. Invite people who would love each other, if only they took the time to get in the same room for a night. Invite bike-punx and republicans. Invite the Weekly Dig and the Boston Phoenix. Luddites and Singularitarians. Invite a Yankees fan..well, maybe a Mets fan. Invite Bonnie Prince
Billy and Alec Empire. Invite Times New Roman and Comic Sans. Invite Bill Gates and Richard Stallman, Johnny Cupcakes and Urban Outfitters. Invite Gilbero Gil and Cary Sherman, Larry Levan and Suffocation. Invite Whitehouse. Invite Peter, Paul, Mary, and Coil. This night is going to be awesome.
Jason Forrest is playing! See you there!
$1.00 of each ticket will be donated to Second Gallery, Boston's newest alternative arts gallery!
At Bill's Bar, Landsdowne Street, Boston MA. 18+, 9PM, $10.00 (see donation above)
lest you forget his wonder: check the video here(he also has it in ipod format! plus other vids available on his site here
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Costumes were lovely (I was in a child's angel/choir costume with wings painted on the back, pulled down over a victorian petticoat with my skully Vans representin' for california), angels and devils and saints and sinners abounded. Shout out to the adorable mohawked dancing boy, the cat in her Gunne Sax and wings, the angel and her candy dress, and all the assorted raggedy slicksters. A couple pictures below - I'll search for more on flickr soon..
Jason Blackkat and W Complacent and the lovely Rhiannon were grounded voices of sanity and goodwill throughout the night. Djs and live bands threw down all kinds of sounds.
The only dark spot was that because the first DJ was late, everyone else got pushed back. In my world, if you are late, then it's only YOUR set that gets cut, why do the rest of us have to pay all night? (unless you are the guest or flying in from croatia or whatnot). Anyway that pushed me from prime spot of 1am to 2:15.. but I used all my frustration for energy - determined to tear up the dancefloor, I'll admit that I had folks screaming and stomping, including a sizeable crew of extremely non-warehouse non-breakcore fans, going nuts to Electromeca, Patric Catani and Deathchant sounds by the end of the night.. When you start shit off with bmore-sampling-"the rhumba king" you really set the tone for ridonkulousness. Anyway it was one of the most fun sets I've had in a while. I was especially pleased to work in a lot of Bay Area beats and vocals, which are at a good tempo (and sound quality) to cut through breakcore.. "Nump" (I got graaaaaaapes) and "Tell me when to" caused some howls of disbelief and excitement when following infrabass hardcore and 0=0. Good good fun.
here's me schoolin the crowd
so tonight (Sunday) at Bembe is a much much chiller set with DJesse Mann and the Dub Nomads. the tentative lineup is below although we are taking it easy so it's open to change:
Jesse Mann - opening ]
Dub Nomads (the full band) - set 1 - 10:30ish
Ripley - 11:15ish
Dub Nomads set 2 - 12am
Ripley - 12:45ish
come out and say hi! I picked up some nice tunes at Jammyland to add to my basket of treats..
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Check it: Saturday the 25th, Complacent.org are outdoing themselves, every weekend. Keep taking your vitamins, 'cos it's not over yet!
New Lost City : Revival : Saturday March 25th
A night of spiritual hedonism.
7pm to 7am
@ 69 West 14th St.
on the corner of 6th Ave., Manhattan
In this era of empty truth, epic violence, and empire run amok, we bring this night of hedonistic cleansing for your salacious soul. For one night in Manhattan, join devils and divas, Reverends and revolutionaries, and hysterical heretics at the altar of beats, dance
and irrational exuberance.
This is how we save ourselves.
Starting *live* in the room above:
With the infamous Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping at 8:30pm with gospel songs and stories from the recent nationwide tour converting consumers throughout middle America. Then the grime gospel impresario Reverend Vince and the Love Choir shake your soul to a degree that must be heard to be believed, you will dance and yell Hallelujah and love it. Later, God is My Copilot rounds it out with a special show of new music mixing dance beats with their classic outsider rock sound.
At midnight the music turns to breaks, bass and intelligent techno with Wolf + Lamb (www.wolflambmusic.com), Spinoza, DJ Ripley (from Oakland), Jason BK (Blackkat) and more creating a pilgrimage of dance through sunrise.
In the room below:
Winkel Presents: The harem for lost souls, a cozy lounge featuring music from around the planet with hookas by Balk Tick and Hooka Mike, special elixer bar and video projections. Plus roving performances of the lost vs. saved curated by Akim Funk with costumes by C-Spot Designs.This Saturday, bare your soul...
For you Angels: come dressed in your own manifestation of purity, of delicacy, of the deviant angel and the yang over yin. For this you will be rewarded with free drinks of our Angel juice, vanilla gelato mixed with vanilla vodka or Irish cream.
For the Devils, come dressed in your own manifestation of the dark and the scandalous, the fallen angel with no interest in return. For this you are rewarded with our own special elixir of fire.
And yes, there is more... Full details will be released at the end of the week.
Only $9 with a ticket bought at:
Or $15 with an RSVP from
$20 at the door for the stragglers.
Plus roving performances of the lost vs. saved curated by Akim Funk with costumes by C-Spot Designs.
This Saturday, bare your soul...
For you Angels: come dressed in your own manifestation of purity, of delicacy, of the deviant angel and the yang over yin. For this you will be rewarded with free drinks of our Angel juice, vanilla gelato mixed with vanilla vodka or Irish cream.
For the Devils, come dressed in your own manifestation of the dark and the scandalous, the fallen angel with no interest in return. For this you are rewarded with our own special elixir of fire.
And yes, there is more... Full details will be released at the end of the week.
Only $9 with a ticket bought at:
Or $15 with an RSVP from
$20 at the door for the stragglers.
Sunday night, a nice respite, something chiller, a bit more with the dubstyle
On the 26th I'm happy to bring out the dub side of my records in NY for the first time in a long while - residents Guy and Jesse at No Selector are hosting their weekly at Bembe on Sunday night, I will be on the decks inna dubstyle, as will Djessemann and as well, members of Dub Nomads will lay down the live tunes. It's nice venue, good people, lay your Sunday to rest (recuperate from Saturday) at Bembe, corner of South 6th and Berry, Williamsburg. Look for the blue light!
I'll be delighted to see anyone's friendly face, and afterwards I go on to Boston for family, friends and a night at the legendary Beat Research with NY local hero (and ex-bostonian) Morgan Packard!
Monday, March 20, 2006
So, it’s often the way with services – they are valued as far as the individual and the product goes – I get my product = I like them. But music distributors can be so much more.
It was always interesting to me, in all the D.I.Y. (music) scenes I was involved with in the late 80s and early 90s, how distributors were so essential, but sort of hidden in the workings of the scene. Of course, part of DIY was making transparent all of those workings, opening them up to more participation, so you got to participate and see how everyone did it, how they were treated, who was worth working with, etc.
Distributors are often thought of as services --product providers first and foremost. This true, and this is one way distros are important for fans and for the people making the 'product.'
But really distros build a lot of the social networks and languages that are essential to any ‘scene’ (group of people self-identified with some kind of cultural/creative focus and product involved, that’s the best I can do at this point). Distributors are so important to creativity, to connection, to creating scenes, bringing in new eyes and ears.
In mainstream music distro used to be where most of the money went, but usually conceived of as a prize you grant the most reliable producers. In non-mainstream scenes a lot of love and hard work and no money go into the distro work, and social networks come out.
To come to the present day, and in honor of the past 10 years I gotta shout out Toolbox records, as a distro that is essential to the survival of so much of the music I love. Along with being a repository for breakcore and extreme noise, Toolbox also casts its nets wide for interesting sounds and stories from across the globe. My bootleg “Oriental Vibes” album that I got 4 years ago and still play out regularly? 6 tunes, no information, rai-ish dance stuff with some great beats and accordion/strings? From Toolbox. First Peace Off purchase? From Toolbox. Sonic Belligeranza, those delightful Italian wackos? Found them first at Toolbox.
Distributors are supporters of music users on all sides. For artists who sell their tunes, the good distros can make it happen. For people who sell their skills, or just want to make connections with the music, the distros support us too: I showed up in Paris with 25 mix CDRs that I had burned and decorated myself, and they opened up their stockroom (my jaw hit the floor): “we’ll take the mixes, take what you like.” Then Christophe sifted through stacks of records and handed me a pile of stuff he thought I’d like, of which he was right. And of course when you’re searching for stuff, or curious about new sounds, distros are a library in the best sense – you look at things on the shelf or the list next to what you like and bingo, new sounds. Or you ask them, because they know it all, that's why it's there.
Back about 11 years ago, I started out searching online, C8.com was my repository for breakcore or speedcore or whatever we called it (terrorbreaks? Maybe just Hardcore? noise? industrial?). Toolbox came up soon after, but I didn’t really get up in it until I linked up with Broklyn Beats (the label and distro who spread these sounds in the US especially) who bought from Toolbox as well as elsewhere and kept showing me the greatest stuff I’d never have known about.
Big up Broklyn Beats as a distributor, and an incredible record label as well, but having lived with those cats, I can say their influence on me and their importance to me and my music may go beyond the influence of other distributors for other reasons.
But then again, not necessarily that "other"- when the music scene is small, people become your friends as a part of it - one of the best aspects of the music I still work with is that's true. So distro folk who are on a similar vibe, have some common ground beyond products - we all understand the music to be more than a product or a consumable.
Anyway, somewhere in there I learned about High Tone Sound System, some of the best dub music I know of – whose records I’ve never seen in the US, and until recently had no webpresence at all (situation remedied now, in spades). When I went to Europe for the first time, I got closer to Toolbox, although I think I didn’t get there (in Paris) until the second tour, where I was made so welcome in this musical world. I can’t describe enough the physical space, crammed floor to ceiling with records, cds, posters, boxes, stamps, paperwork.. towers of heavy boxes and slippery tsunamis of discs. The main cat and everyone else perching and climbing like lemurs. And the best was: seeing familiar names, my friends' music, even the most obscure and random kinds, mixed in with new names, intriguing labels, blank spaces and black vinyl.
These folks put so much energy into finding music, and getting it to people, and I know the DIY ones basically don’t make money off it – instead they make music happen, make musical connections. We're all so much richer for it. The support I got from Cristophe Toolbox and Criterion and Doily - incredible musicians but just as incredible sources of distro energy in the US, the support just in information – the names, locations, albums, labels, artists, that’s what makes it possible to really love the music and be a real participant in it.
A couple of the better distros for accessing the stuff I mess with (by no means exhaustive - folks should post more in the comments)
when you look at their selection and their writing you can see the level to which they are aiming inward and outward, they are both within specific tastes and challenging and shaping them, there's all kinds of extra information besides band names and album titles, embedded in the pages
Broklyn Beats (emphasizing quality over quantity, the personality and taste really evident in their selection and comments)
Saturday, March 18, 2006
funny stuff! share with everyone, spread the word (I think this should be in every highschool student's computer by the end of the month)
came to from a page about the general smackdown served the MPAA rep at South By Southwest.
(Tones, were you there?)
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Mark Pilkington performs at 3pm this Sunday 19 March, at the Camden Arts Center Arkwright Road, London NW3 6DG.
Mark will be demonstrating Circuit Blasting, a new technique for producing random electronic music, developed in collaboration with Disinformation (who will be on holiday). Apparently, "Circuit Blasting" is a new technique of blasting devices with extreme voltages using Victorian style science devices
The performance will be part of the Madame Arkwright's Salons, organised in collaboration with Sally O'Reilly, presented alongside the beautiful work of the early 20th century mystical artist Hilma of KlimtSee a picture here
Saturday, March 11, 2006
I've been pretty destroyed this week, since returning from Mexico on Monday, classes and teaching all week, then the gig Thursday night, home at 3am, then up at 6am to go to an amazing conference at UC Davis Law School on IP and Social Justice. Truly one of the most inspiring academic and activist experiences I've ever had. As someone who has been consciously interested in the social implications of IP law for almost 10 years, this was the first time I was in a room full of people where that was exactly what was going on and I wasn't the only one or one of a few raising either the IP point or the social point. I finally found people in academica who I think get what I'm talking about! (of course I still had to raise some points from an outside field - this time ethnomusicology- but that's part of the fun)
But the music that has been keeping me going this week - besides the party sounds like 8Frozen Modules, E-40 (and generally Drive Time on KMEL, god DAMN Bay Area hiphop is the shit), Electromeca, Hellfish, J-Zone and Dj C - the working studying and taking-a-deep-breath music is all from the other parts of my music collection. Primarily:
- Rocksteady and old ska generally. Alton Ellis of course, and also The Gaylads and the Heptones especially. The Paragons, and Strangejah Cole.
- Astor Piazzolla. Tango accordion genius, totally amazing, also dig the collaboration with the Kronos Quartet (they appear to have a hand in everything I love, from Hildegard von Bingen to tango)
- Dub, especially and always High Tone, Deadbeat and
- Gnawa Diffusion
- Thelonious Monk. makes me laugh, and also calms me down like Bach, especially his solo stuff, when you can hear him humming just faintly enough that it sounds like something on the piano string buzzing.
- David Last
- Stuff from African Dope records, particularly Krushed & Sorted and their weird glitched out EP "Cape of Good Dope"
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Thursday show with jason forrest aaaaaaaa!!!!!
this is not to be missed, my Bay Area people. This is the creator of the music for the infamous video I linked to a month or so ago. The best live laptop performer I've ever seen.
big up the 5lowershop for pulling me in on it. full information below - location and suchlike on my myspace page as well - don't yet know the set times..
5lowershop soundsytem proudly welcomes:
*//<<...jason forrest aKa donna summer (cockrockdisco, berlin)
cockrockdisco label head and breakcore trickster jason forrest
(the artist formerly known as donna summer) brings his particular brand of cutup madness to the bay area for an exclusive performance
please check out http://cockrockdisco.com/DS-bio/bio-main.html
AS WELL(!!!!) there will be LIVE and DJ performances from your bay area
freakballs... we've chosen the most deranged of the lot for this event,
especially for YOU(!!!)
>>*heartworm (5lowershop, teen suicide, SF)
...whiskey soaked rent slacking VST punk rock...
>>*aviatrix (5lowershop, faklabs, SF)
...emotionally unstable hardcore beats and soundscapes...
>>*planetsize (slowleak, 5lowershop, SF)
...supersonic stripped neuron shrapnel splinters...
>>*dJ ripley (death$ucker, mashit, Oakland)
...ragga muffin jungle breakcore mashup...
PLUS...5lowershop dJs spinning the silliness between sets...
...cornea warping VISUALS by III...
come one come all...
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10pm 'til 2am... strictly 21 plus with ID...
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Monday, February 20, 2006
Quite a crew: mostly ethnomusicologists, musicologists, American Studies people and communications peeps, as far as I could tell. A pretty relaxed bunch, style-wise, some snazzy peeps around (2) and (3), and a more grizzled cadre of folk, more male, and more pale, whom I projected (likely inaccurately) mostly do stuff about the 60s: ponytails abound among the older men in this segment, hip glasses among the younger. There’s my definition of snazzy. And yes, I have hip glasses. I also wore my purple metallic flats I got from Insider’s Outlet (that were almost 70% off and sigerson Morrison -SCORE), until it started snowing outside.
I kept re-writing and practicing my talk, trying to avoid the dreaded academic-syndrome (interesting work read directly from the page, result: audience death from boredom and difficulty following long and dense sentences). I think I did okay, ultimately, as far as being lively. But I felt bad because it seemed like most of the questions afterwards were ‘ask-a-lawyer’ questions like: “can I do this or is it illegal?” to which the answer is 1) I don’t think anyone knows for sure about most of these issues, and 2) I’m not talking about that, really, i'm talking about how people discussing music use categories that limit their ability to make rights claims..
Also, it didn’t help my nerves that J. Toomey who’d just given a killer presentation for the Future of Music Coalition, and whom I admire very much, was sitting front and center and seemingly focused (but not very cheerfully) on me. Considering she’d come straight off a much-delayed plane to her own presentation after what sounded like a day in transit, though, I’m amazed she stuck around at all, and i shouldn't pretend it was necessarily anything to do with me. If I was in her shoes I mighta been sleeping with my eyes open.. anyway I know it’s pointless to project onto an audience. I couldn’t keep from hoping that what I said seemed relevant or interesting, especially to folks involved in activism, because that is what I want to be a part of. And that’s one of the organizations (like the EFF) that I keep wanting to have a project or some good reason to interact with, and it hasn’t quite come yet. Early days yet I suppose.
For a first paper, it didn’t do badly, I kept to time, and a couple folk afterwards said it was clear, and people did seem generally interested (I saw some nods out there at various points). I think it was pretty different from the kinds of things other people were talking about, but it still seemed relevant to some of the folks I talked to, which is hopeful.
There were some highlights from the rest of the weekend:
- One of my fellow presenters (Prof. Geoff Hull, MTSU) gave an illuminating if depressing overview of the state of unpublished works, music that was never officially released. Based partly on the Capitol v. Naxos case (which I think I’ve already mentioned as one of the more depressing recent legal decisions.. what are they smoking in NY, where the Bridgeport music anti-sampling case went down as well?), and in a really recent ongoing case with some recordings of Hank Williams that were made as spots for radio and then fell by the wayside. Who has the right to sell copies of these kinds of recordings? A hint: it’s totally complicated and makes no sense.
- Another highlight was that he played recordings they have at the Center for Popular Music at the university where the conference was, some of which are in this unclear legal limbo.. including the Golden Gate Quartet! Lovely sounds.
- A killer set of papers on video game music. The one I liked best was on Grand Theft Auto’s radio station programming.. almost redeemed the game for me, it was so interesting.. although whenever I watch it I feel twitchy and sick. I think I’d just cruise around listening to the radio (assuming I managed to score a car with one somewhere). Who’s going to write the program that hacks into GTA and inserts your own programming? Hard to do on a separate platform game I guess, but I have faith. Then again the Pico-pico music one was pretty frickin fun. I am now seeking out Plus-tech Squeezebox for their fabulous sounds.
- Also good sounds coming from a presentation on Taiwanese rap. The content was good as well (notions of authenticity figured in a well-nuanced way), but I confess I’m even more hot for some of those records!! Some coool sounds to drop here and there, although I guess I should ask someone to vet the lyrics too
- karaoke at the hotel bar on the last night. too funny.
I’m totally hypocritical, because I haven’t integrated a gendered or a feminist analysis into my own research and approach. I guess I can say I’m influenced by especially feminist analysis, that I see as coming from feminism, of the “personal/political” in that I’m very wary of naturalizing systems that create hierarchies of power, even if they seem to be personal/private/individual sets of acts. I don’t buy arguments that things are ‘just personal’ or ‘private/individual’ acts. But as far as incorporating a gender story into my concerns – so far, not so much. Although one of my papers this semester will hopefully do just that, since I want to get into the idea of fans and fandom and if there's a way to discuss the creativity that goes on there, as well as whether fan scan make some claims for rights to access music, and also the way fandom seems like it might be gendered (and possibly rights claims limited) - girl fans = consumers, boy fans = expertise...
Monday, February 13, 2006
Still and all, a small development. Happy new year.
In other news, went to a really good party on Saturday, thrown by the lovely 5lowershoppers. Left too early, saw many many good friends, and heard some fantastic sounds. Big up Eustachian! Serious props to The Stapler (some people listen up and give this man a record deal)! Big up DJ Savage Rhythm! Big up Exillon! Big up Heartworm (the man who, along with the ill-ustrious Aaron Spectre, got me my first gig in NYC)!
I'll write a coherent post on this later -perhaps on the plane to the conference. Suffice, for now, to say that proper warehouse madness, done up right, is good for the soul. A good big sound system and a good smaller sound system (oh, big up Amandroid!), plenty of circusy squattery crusty fabulous peeps, and all my beloved NY transplants holding down the gettin-things-done vibe (big up Jack Clang! Nic Fit! SOUR! ). It warmed my heart to see all the people who made such good stuff happen in NY, all these peeps I've worked with to make stuff happen, still making it happen and I get to live near them again. I sense some good things in the Bay Area coming up.
I also saw Drop The Lime on Friday. the contrast between the gigs was fascinating. A lovely guy, an interesting show. Also saw many peeps, from the other side of the Bay Area electronic music world.
more sound commentary to come.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Things on the table right now:
- A gig, courtesy of the lovely peeps who threw our LA show, in Baja, Mexico. Some big crew fom San Diego runs the main spaces, but we run tings in the experimental/chillout room, with a crew of nice kids, up in the mountains somewhere with a hot spring. um? word.
- A presentation at the International Association of Popular Music's US branch annual conference, in Murfreesboro TN. Title? Listening to law, getting law to listen: music practice and legality. This is part of my hope that academics and music fans (which I am assuming are both represented at the conference) can be involved in building new vocabularies around music use - breaking down the consumer/producer framework, which is something that helps people interpret and enforce laws and certain kinds of rights, but that doesn't necessarily relate to how people engage with music. I'm especially interested in how people claim rights over music use - are there other ways than insisting on rights based in being either a consumer or producer?
- Possible gig in Nashville? cross your fingers..
- Research on fans and fandom - can we look at music fans as creative contributors, and fandom as a productve activity? What does that get us?
Mmmaybe some challenges to the current legal system which basically looks at fans as consumers, or even worse (for those of thus critical of the "freedom of contract" model of law which assumes everyone is free to negotiate their terms and courts will limit unconscionable contracts sensibly), individual contractors with record labels for limited rights over music recording.
- Listening to Dubstep, bemoaning the lack of access to the records, and the difficulty of building a properly eclectic set when you are on the broke side. But excited about several levels of music these days
- Dubstep generally, particularly Skream, Boxcutter, Digital Mystikz, Kode9, Appleblim
- the Ladybug label looking very promising
- Forthcoming Math-head release
- Forthcoming Jason Forrest tour
- Drop the Lime, this weekend at the Hemlock (SF). Woo! I love this guy's music, and his artwork (he did all the artwork for my death$ucker cd), and he's generally awesome, and hopefully we can go out to brunch in the sunshine and wander the pretty city (a major distinction from when I lived in NY - natural beauty all over the frickin place).. ah I know it's not very hardcore of me, with all the brunch talk, but hey, gingerbread pancakes with poached pears. Hardcore as f*ck.
- Right, music. this was list of music, not my favorite breakfast foods.
- Which, incidentally, would inlude bagels and lox except that that's the one thing you simply can't get a decent version of in the bay area. Dammit.
- Food-related, kids-tv-show-related, and just plane wtf-related samples in Baltimore club music. I have to say, get me to bmore because I want to see a clubful of people getting down to the Spongebob song. Plus it's fun to play
- El Kano's mixes, from the Adverse Camber crew. More musical kin.
- On the sunnier side of sound: Framix, Amadou & Mariam.
- Extending and updating my work on the development of the Jamaican music industry in the virtual absence of copyright law (absent both in terms of popular use of the ideas inherent in (c) and in terms of enforcement).
- Organizing a lecture series on the boundaries of property rules in different fields and what happens when people question them or when they get introduced. Thinking: forestry vs. biotech, music vs. land use, etc.. Structures for interdisciplinary conversation are always a challenge. Negotiating the vagaries of intra-academy fundraising is another..
- Working on a podcast and a new mix, but waiting for some crucial records to include. sigh.
- coordinating the issues involved in moving to live in Berlin for most of the summer, doing preliminary/exploratory research, djing, and contining my job (research on privacy and surveillance issues in public spaces). Housing, gigs, a tour here or there, gigs in the UK, gigs everywhere in europe, trying to go south too..