October 28, 2010

Oct, 28th, 2010 : Cause & Effect : Ninja Tune Records

And I thought 1990 was the best year ever because I was graduated from high school, had a cool job in a record store, and moved out into my very own first home away from my parent's home in Hoboken, NJ. Little did I know that it was also the year that so many life changing and inspiring independent record labels were taking root. Matador, Merge, and over seas.....Ninja Tune Records.

Not to take away from all the things these other labels have done but Ninja Tune is a music industry game changer on so many levels. The DJs Matt Black and Jonathan More AKA Coldcut were already legends for bringing the art of remixing to an entirely new level but they took inspiration from their punk roots and went the DIY route by creating Ninja Tune independent of any major label tie. I find this label remarkable because they not only led the way for the most original DJs from around the world who treated their turntables more like a canvas, but they had the vision to create artwork for these releases that connects the music to a solid cohesive look  for all of their album art. A Ninja Tune release doesn't just sound miles ahead of what everyone else is up to, it's the best dressed record at the party, and live....their artist roster deliver their tracks with the kind of genius better found in ivy league schools. They also didn't pigeonhole themselves to one genre, they redefined what club music could be and left no genre unexplored for sampling and mashing. If there was any doubt that a DJ was not a musician, Ninja Tune changed all that. Oh, and their videos? I still can't fathom how an indie label produces so many bombastic visuals.

If all of this wasn't impressive enough, the UK label was smart enough to create a division in North America and hire ex Cargo Distribution guru and man of exceptional knowledge in music, Jeff Waye in Montreal to lead the way. Having an office over seas opened the label up to an entirely new market and I was fortunate enough to be a part of this phenomena. I worked for the distribution company that sold Ninja Tune for over ten years and it wasn't until I worked on this show did I grasp how immensely lucky I was to be a part of such groundbreaking music. Sometimes when you are in the eye of the storm it is impossible to see and understand how massive the thing really is no less where it will rest culturally in another decade.

Tonight on Cause & Effect from 7PM to 9PM EST I will be playing 2 hours of music from the Ninja Tune Records catalog handpicked by the man, the myth, the legend himself, Jeff Waye. I can't say this on air but FUCK YES! Tonight is going to be a great show. No, a FUCKING BRILLIANT SHOW.

Stream it live at www.wrir.org or listen locally in Richmond, VA the old fashioned way at 97.3 FM on your dial.

October 27, 2010

Extra Extra : American Mod, a Short Film

Filmed in NYC in 1999, I was one of the background dancing fools.

October 26, 2010

Where Pop Music is Heading?

Top 40 artists are pretty much all robots to me so why not just go for it? But maybe maybe work on the hands....they are freakishly large and scary.

October 25, 2010

Rock Flowers Dolls from 1971

Heather, Lilac, Rosemary, Iris & Doug Rock Flower dolls -  "Spin my record, watch me twirl" Mattel® Rock Flower dolls  were sold with a 45 rpm flexi record with two bubblegum pop songs.  More importantly they were created to stand on to of a record player's spindle so they spin around as your record spins.

October 24, 2010

October 21, 2010

Oct 21, 2010: Cause & Effect : John Carpenter and other Musical Masters of Horror

Not sure where it came from but I have never been big on Halloween and I don't mean as in the John Carpenter film series but the play dress up holiday. I have blogged about my lackluster interest in the occasion before so I won't dwell on it however if there is one thing to be said for Halloween, it makes for great music. In fact music and sound is in my humble opinion what makes so many okay horror movies great ones. Have you ever watched a slasher film or thriller with the sound down? The fear factor diminishes tenfold yet if you close your eyes and just listen to the music / sounds of a film...even without the visuals, your ears feed your imagination and terror enters in without the sight of blood and gore. My intent isn't to bash the cinematography of the horror genre but in the end, I am a music person, not a film fanatic, and keeping the spirit of the kind of radio show I do, music is my focus.

Growing up I had on older brother who was obsessed with soundtrack music and as a kid, it never remotely crossed my mind that a score would be something worth listening to minus the movie. My brother Chris had a few different soundtracks he really loved but it was The Shining that lured me into his doorway late one evening to ask him what on earth he was listening to. I was scared shitless. Unlike his usual choice of playing metal records loudly and in turn bothering me, the volume this time wasn't too loud, it was the content itself that made me tremble in bed. I didn't need to see the movie to feel scared to death. It was the scraping strings, the use of silence against abrupt eruptions of noise that was the truly horrifying part. The suspense and terror for me was in the music. This music to be more specific.

And so began my understanding of just how powerful and important music is to film and my association ever  since with things that go bump in the night are not visuals at all, they are sounds.  Maybe that is why I grew up to love certain kinds of metal, because they are my version of a rollercoaster. Scary music is my thrill ride and as an adult, the only way you can get get my blood pumping for Halloween is to listen to the music found in films like Halloween, Psycho, Suspiria, and The Shining,

It was interesting to work on this week's show, mainly because there was little to be found on John Carpenter the musician. On line there is mostly talk about him as a cinematographer behind the camera, not his keyboard. Even though his music is iconic and has influenced modern day filmmakers and musicians alike (Zombi, Rob Zombie, Mike Patton), he is not toted as much of a musician and as far as I can tell in interviews, doesn't spend much time talking about his music or influences in depth. So with little to work on I used my ears and music history knowledge to guide me through most of this week's show. Even perhaps more so than Carpenter, the films of Dario Argento offer a bevy of horrific beauties to listen to so the music for tonight come from many of his films as well as some of the classics like Jaws.  

WRIR.ORG or in RVA 97.3FM from 7pm to 9pm EST, listen my my show Cause & Effect, every Thursday.

October 14, 2010

October 14th, 2010 : Cause & Effect : Jawbreaker / Jets to Brazil / forgetters

Tonight from 7pm to 9pm we get to walk a mile (or many decades) in Blake Schwarzenbach's shoes. He has kindly supplied me with two hours of his musical influences; sharing with us the building blocks of his style and inspirations from his younger years until today.

For those of you...and I know there are many....who consider themselves to be experts on all things related to Jawbreaker and Blake, I think there will be quite a few surprises among the set tonight and if a personal mix by the artists isn't enough for you, I will be posting his notes that go along with most of his song choices on the station's webstite.

(Update - the show is done and you can see the notes here.)

Photo by one of my favorite photographers ever - Chrissy Piper.

Richmond, VA locals can tune in by going to 97.3 fm on their radio dial or for those elsewhere you can stream the show live at www.wrir.org.

A big thank you to Blake for taking the time to supply me with the ammo for tonight's show. It has been a treat to hear your story through the art of others.

DL the show in two parts here and here. (All music. No talking.)

October 13, 2010

At Long Last : The Bottomless Pit Show in Download Form !

There were some trials and tribulations along the way....mainly the slow death of one laptop and then the painful process of moving everything from one computer to the next. Step two was learning how to use new mixing software because I gotta be honest, I am not a fan of podcasting and I am happier to offer the show as two seamless mixes with no talking for a limited time.

Sooooo....my apologies for this post taking so darn long. Below are the links to part one and part two of the Bottomless Pit / Silkworm show. Tim Midgett, a member of both bands, was kind enough to supply me with a list of music he considers influential to him as a musician and then all I had to do is put the songs in some sort of order that made sense of it all. (My favorite part actually as it works like an audio puzzle)

The only complaint I have is that any music I pulled from iTunes for this show didn't transfer into my recording / mixing software  so a few tracks from the radio show didn't make it here but alas, most of it is here for your listening pleasure.

My original past about the show is here.

Thanks again for your patience and enjoy,
Mac Review Cast

PS: the scattered notes in italic are by Tim

Part One

What Goes On -  The Velvet Underground  - My favorite song.  The first chord of the chorus is born anew every time it comes around.  I wish they'd done a version a year long.
Is It A Ditch -  Bottomless Pit  
Kicked Out-Kicked In  -  Dead Moon  - I was lucky to be playing music in the Pacific Northwest at the same time as Dead Moon.  I got to see them a lot and never failed to enjoy myself.

Don't Cry No Tears -  Neil Young  - Occasionally, I am asked about my guitar influences.  You haven't asked, but I will tell you anyway:  Malcolm Young, Neil Young, Keith Richards, Ricky Wilson, Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, Bernard Sumner, and Joel Phelps.  Not in that order. 
Neil's Down (original version) - Treepeople    
Revenge (Again)  -   Ein Heit   
The Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill  -  Husker Du         
Does Your Mother Know    3:11    Abba   -  The first record I ever acquired was ABBA’s Greatest Hits Vol. II.  I knew there was something mildly naughty about this song, but I couldn’t have told you what it was.  I prefer “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” but this one is pretty good, and I have no problem admitting I love the group in general.

Cattle and Cane    4:19    The Go-Betweens    
Couldn't You Wait?    3:48    Silkworm - One of those hooks, came to me when I was walking.  I couldn't have played it without hearing it in my head first.. I think I built it by trying to hum something out of a Go-Betweens song, probably Cattle and Cane or Spring Rain.
Runnin' Away    2:58    Sly And The Family Stone  - I don't get how he did any of anything good he ever did, including this.  I mean, what is up with those breaks?  Couldn't begin to do it.  So I can't count him as an influence in most ways, other than loving his music. 
Wedding Song -  The Psychedelic Furs        
Your Silent Face  - New Order    Power, Corruption & Lies
Who Is He? (And What Is He To You?)  -  Bill Withers -   The economy and grace of Bill Withers' music is worthy of mimicry.
Heard It Through the Grapevine  - The Crust Brothers   
Garden City Blues - Silkworm   

Invited  -  Joel R. L. Phelps -
Joel is just a natural musician.  A pure artist.  I wish he would make more records.  I learned an awful, awful lot from him.
Human Out of Me   -  Bottomless Pit -  Very many of the Bottomless Pit songs to date have something to do with Michael Dahlquist.  I wanted to be as explicit as I could about how much he meant to me.  Wrote itself.
Shadowplay  - Joy Division      
Point That Thing Somewhere Else - The Clean   

Part Two

Annalisa - Public Image Limited  - Bass is so huge on these records.  We never had enough room under the guitars to go that deep.   
House Full Of Garbage -  Shellac- I have seen Shellac about a million times, and I hear something new in them every time.
Don't Look Back - Silkworm   Like the other ones of mine that I have picked, it fell together in less time than it takes to play.
Oh Yeah - Roxy Music  - Through all the overdubbing and finicky polish, you get such a stark, existential, cynical yet quite lovely sentiment out the end of it.  It seems half-baked and loaded with meaning all at once.    
God's Children - The Kinks    

Kangaroo  - Big Star (random cowbell alert)   
Lares And Penates    3:53    Bedhead -Bedhead was the best band of the 90s, and the New Year are to that standard.  I was fortunate to see some magical shows back then, and they were one of about three peer bands I would count as serious influences.   
Wages of Sleep - The New Year    The New Year 
Been So Long  - Nina Nastasia  -   I first met Nina when we shared a mastering session at Abbey Road.  Silkworm’s Lifestyle, Shellac’s 1000 Hurts, and Nina’s first record, Dogs.  Same session, one after they other—pretty good day’s work.  Anyway:
a)         A)   I remain utterly charmed by her,
b)         B)  she cuts to the heart of the matter more efficiently and brutally than any other writer I have ever met, and
c)         C) her music is gorgeous and usually perfect.
The Bones - Silkworm   

Stupid Cute

Cute enough to eat however I wouldn't recommend it. (Taken from http://blog.craftzine.com)

October 12, 2010

Daily Session w/ Lightning's Girl - That's Me!

Dailysession asked me to be a guest DJ so follow the link to check out my two sets of music - 75 minutes total (continuous mix)! ! !

Track listing for part 1:
01. Old Man Willow – Elephant’s Memory
02. Seven By Seven – Hawkwind
03. Knife-Edge – Emerson, Lake and Palmer
04. Bedazzled – Peter Cook & Dudley Moore
05. Goom – Massai
06. I’m Alive – Don Fardon
07. Go, Go Children – The Richard Kent Style
08. Dresses Too Short – Syl Johnson
09. She’s a Grabber – Red Shepard & The Flock
10. Searchin’ in the Wilderness – Alen Pound’s Get Rich
11. You’re Driving Me Insane – Rough necks
12. We Didn’t Kiss – The Clique

Track listing part two:
01. It Came to Me – Q65
02. Tell Me Sunshine – Gary Knight
03. Fakin’ – Simon & Garfunkel
04. Lovin’ Stew – The Fifth Dimension
05. Ridin A Rainbow – Daisy Clan
06. Je Me Suis Coupe la Main – Erick Vincent
07. Comng Down – The United States of America
08. Happy Times – The Box Tops
09. Need all the help i can get – Suzi Jane Hokom
10. J’avance – Antifamily
11. Sugar - The Isonics
12. Aint Gonna Rest – The Five Stairsteps
13. If That’s What You Wanted – Frank Beverly & The Butlers
14. I’ve Got Something Good – Sam & Kitty
15. Funk Power – Creative Funk

October 10, 2010

Bohemia - KBD Female Fronted Punk

This band's 10" rolled into the record store I work at and I have to admit, I had no clue who this late 70's / early 80s female fronted band was so thank you internet for turning up some much needed information on the band.