June 21, 2012

June 21st, 2012 : Cause & Effect : Jonathan Richman

Forgive the late post. I normally have these posts ready by 9AM but I am still not 100% accustomed to this whole working full time again thing. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be any more excited to be gainfully employed at last but finding the time to do all the things I want / used to do has been tough.

So without further ado I bring you the details for tonight's Cause & Effect. Jonathan Richman played here in Richmond, VA last Thursday and I thought if there was a time to do a show on him, this would be it! Starting at 7PM I will play some examples of his earliest influences and then we will work our way into his early adulthood years when the Modern Lovers were just sprouting.

The second half of the Cause & Effect from 8-9PM will examine the off-shoot bands to the Modern Lovers (of which there are plenty), his solo material, and lastly the bands and sub-genres of alternative music that have followed in his footsteps.

Cause and Effect can be heard only on WRIR on Thursdays from 7PM to 9PM, 97.3FM for locals
Stream the show live via this site.
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June 18, 2012

Watch the New Gauchiste Video : viols

I don't write about my little record label here very often but I wanted to share something I have been working on over the past several months as it is a Little Black Cloud Records first. I am always looking to try push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things so this is a first for myself too.

I am thrilled to finally offer a music video for one of our artists. The video was shot by myself and my better half Kenneth who does all the graphic design for the label. It was animated and edited by Jason Quarles and I deeply thank Kenneth and Jason for all their help and hard work as well as Gauchiste for giving me their blessing to experiment with visuals put to one of their songs.

Our goal was to create something that wasn’t filled with stereotypical images typically associated with heavy music. The idea was to study our surroundings and discover the weight, beauty, and unearth darkness in surprising places like delicate orchidaceae that upon closer investigation look monstrous and erotic or a simple swinging rope curled accidentally like a noose.

Visit Gauchiste here.
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June 7, 2012

Sun Ra Update

Missed tonight's Cause & Effect on Sun Ra? Download it here. The playlist can be read here.

June 7th, 2012 : Cause & Effect : Sun Ra

Two hours is hardly enough time to cover the complex and highly prolific artistic life of American Jazz musician Sun Ra but I have tried to put together a 101 introductory radio show for those who might not know much about this other worldly man or which releases to start with among his epic catalog of music.

 From 7pm to 9pm tonight we will explore the 4 phases of his life: his early years growing up in Alabama, his Chicago stint where the Arkestra was born, his communal living / practicing in NYC, and then onto Philadelphia where he finished out the rest of his days.

Its fascinating to me to think about those who were born into the start of the last century and lived through much of it to experience all incredible technological advances the world saw during that time period. Musicians during these decades saw equally remarkable steps forward; like being able to record music no less mass produce it so the public in turn could listen to it in the privacy of their own homes. Musical instruments were constantly being updated, including the birth of amplification (Amps! Condenser mics!), the invention of electric guitar / basses, and synthesizers, and effect pedals (to name just a few inventions); not to mention the progression of musical styles. (Ragtime to swing to bebop to hard bop to free jazz and so on). Sun Ra lived through nearly a century of wild growth and he was among the leaders in the Jazz and the African American community that kept growing and endlessly experimenting under no one's terms but his own. 

FUN FACTS ! ! ! 

*He was doing it himself within the music industry (owned a record label / self released music) before DIY was even a thing.
*While this didn't exactly make him more reputable as a musician, he is among one of the first Americans on record to talk about being abducted by aliens; ahead of the American obsession with E.Ts by a good 15 years. 
*He was also the second person in the U.S to own a synthesizer. (Ray Charles was the first!) 
*Sun Ra gave birth to afrofuturism that groups like Parliament, Funkedelic, Hendrix, and Herbie Hancock rooted their careers in. 
*Sun Ra didn't agree with the Free Jazz tag to some of his music (especially live) but he is still considered a founding father in improvised freeform Jazz,  albeit it very well practiced and structured  improvisation.

I stumbled across a terrific BBC documentary on Sun Ra (seriously, the BBC make the best documentaries!) and found it to be a tremendous starting place as I delved into his personal history and immense discography for the first time. 

You will just have to tune into WRIR tonight to hear his life story told via music.

Missed the show? Download it here!  

June 3, 2012

Notwist fans take note!

If you liked Neon Golden as much as I did and miss that general style of melancholy electro pop, maybe this new band will help fill the void for you. Check out the track by Zula from NYC. I really love it and look forward to their new full length which the band is working on right now.