Thursday, September 27, 2012

HOPSCOTCH Music Fest pics 2012

Only got in 1 out of 3 days @ Hopscotch, but it was a great day!

My buddy Dwight & I started out at the fab (and FREE) day party put together by Three Lobed Recordings and good ol' WXDU:

Got there too late to see Bishop, Orcutt, Corsano ... unforch. But, I hear Three Lobed will probably formally release a recording of that. Chuck Johnson's acoustic set was great but we were way in the back, so no good pics.   BTW, King's Barcade was packed with people the entire afternoon!  Awesome.

Here's (this incarnation of) Hiss Golden Messenger.  M.C. Taylor (right) supported by Scott Hirsch (guitar) and Nathan Bowles (banjo).  Hopscotch "Band-by-Band Compendium" describes HGM like this:  "The vehicle of Bay Area import M.C. Taylor, this outfit released the wondrous Poor Moon last year.  Somehow, that album retained ample '70s country rock flavor while adding elements of spooky Southern soul and ambling roots rock." 


Between sets there were brief periods of old-timey unamplified interstitial tunes from Nathan Bowles and fiddler Mike Gangloff of Black Twig Pickers.

Above 3 photos:  Oren Ambarchi (top), David Daniell (guitar), Chris Corsano (drums).  One huge long drone / noise piece.  Dwight & I were particularly taken w/Corsano.  A highlight!

The Compendium on Corsano:  "A drummer who is busy behind the kit, having collarborated with a range of experimental luminaries from Björk to Jandek, Hopscotch's 2012 Improvisor in Residence is a master of dynamics and versatility. As capable of washing through spaces as he is exploding into them, Corsano is a situational expert."

On Ambarchi:  "The wildly productive Australian sound artist and multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi is nothing if not a master of tone. Whether riding almost silently alongside Thomas Brinkman or sounding massive with Z'EV, Ambarchi's guitar manipulations dance in every corner of any given space."

Festival website on Daniell:  "Such an active collaborator and curator, it's easy to think of him in relation to other musicians first and as a solo artist second. His work in the trio San Augustin, his partnerships with Loren Connors, Rhys Chatham, Douglas McCombs, and Jeph Jerman are all filled with excellent exchanges and uncanny, almost telepathic communication.But it would be impossible to forge such fruitful partnerships without being a skillful artist in one's own right, and Daniell's solo career has been just as impressive, if not as recognized. All five of his solo albums are thoughtful explorations of his ideas and instruments. He plays drums, guitar and dulcimer, running them all through electronics to create tall, thick waves of sound."

Above:  William Tyler's set.  As you can see from the banner, we're still mid-afternoon at the WXDU / Three Lobed showcase.  "Perhaps familiar as a sideman with Lambchop and Silver Jews, it was Behold The Spirit, Tyler's 2010 debut for occasionally accompanied acoustic guitar, that suddenly turned attention. Graceful and glorious, Tyler's pieces open into teeming worlds of adventure."  Stream this performance HERE!

Wooden Wand. BBC sez: "Wooden Wand is one moniker of singer-songwriter James Jackson Toth. The style of music recorded by Toth and his many incarnations has drawn on a variety of both conventional and experimental folk and rock influences, including psych folk, acid folk, freak folk, free folk, and indie. Though he was significant player in the New Weird America trend of the early- to mid-2000s along with Devendra Banhart, Akron/Family, Joanna Newsom, and collaborators The Vanishing Voice, Toth has been difficult to pigeonhole in one genre; recent releases have been identified as acid folk, free jazz, outlaw country, and country-tinged rock."

Above 3 photos: Steve Gunn (guitar) and John Truscinski (drums). Three Lobed sez: "For those new to the Gunn-Truscinski duo, Steve Gunn is one of the most exciting American guitarists working today. Percussionist John Truscinski is a stalwart of the American underground in his own right." They cover "a great deal of sonic territory. For all of the slow, furious build, there are also tracks featuring a substantial bit of playful and hypnotically mesmerizing phrasing, acoustic twelve string–centric strolls..."   Thus ended the XDU/TLR showcase.   Excellent stuff.

After a dinner break, it was out to City Plaza on the Fayetteville St. Mall.   We caught Built To Spill first (that's Doug Martsch above).  Enjoyed a few songs but they played tooo long.  Liked them a lot better a few years ago when they played a show with Meat Puppets in Charlotte.

Next up on the outdoor stage was The Jesus and Mary Chain.   Never had seen them before, though I probably have had a few chances since they're been around nearly 30 years.  I figured I would enjoy them but BOY, they were terrific.   Great set!  The Compendium's description of this Glasgow band:  "The Reid brothers' subversive reimagining of rock combines the sonic allure of early Beach Boys and girl-group pop, only immersed in a caustic bath of feedback and distortion."  Here's to that!  

Next we dropped in on Raleigh's Contemporary Art Museum for a peek at the building -- I'd not been in there yet.  Beautiful!  The above four shots are from there.  Checked out a bit of the set from Zack Mexico, from the Outer Banks of NC:  "Reckless, surf-meets-garage-meets-lounge lizardry."

Finally, over to Deep South Bar for a pair of bands from Columbus, Ohio.  First was Guinea Worms (above).  "These worms root through entertaining garage-rock muck, writhing with a deranged sense of sarcasm and deliriously dingy style."

Then the band I wanted to see most all day, Cheater Slicks (the rest of the shots below).  "The 24-year-running garage vets built their racket on a sturdy foundation of Stooges sinew, Stones swagger and Sonics boom, with enough left-field detours to keep things predictably unpredictable."

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rat Salad Radio

Yes, I've been posting illustrated radio playlists.   Have a look!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New radio blog!

Well now, I got restless and changed the name of my radio show. Somehow I seem to do that every several years. 'Tis now Rat Salad, named for the Black Sabbath instrumental... Kinda fits with the title Mixed Greenz I guess, too.

Radio playlists shall be illustrated more fully, which I like a lot:

What does that mean for THIS blog? Dunno yet. Maybe more photos?


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Big Carnivorous Feast for 12/21/2011

Wow, another blog post within a month! Started out the show on Xmas eve eve eve eve with a whole album side of Blind Willie Johnson (above). It was from newly-released gorgeous double LP from Mississippi Records. If you've never heard Blind Willie Johnson, you gotta. Spellbinding voice. Speakin' of voices, on some songs he's accompanied by female vocalists -- also spectacular but criminally not identified! Not the fault of Mississippi Records... no one thought to record her name(s) back in 1927-30 when he recorded.

Later in the show featured a R.I.P. tribute to the recently-departed Cape Verdian singer Cesária Évora. That's her top center of the photo collage. Also new mesmerizing minimalist cello-based music from Iceland's Hildur Gudnadóttir (upper right). Played a track from one of my favorite albums of the year, Megafaun. Only a couple Xmas cuts, but they were choice. Punked out Feliz Navidad and Ruuuuufus Thomas.

Entire playlist w/comments right here.

Adios 'n' Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Big Carnivorous Feast for 11/30/2011

S'pose I oughta report in every 6 months or so that I'm still on the radio at w x d u 88.7 Durham. Above is yesterday's playlist visualized; find it in writing here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26, 1931

My grandparents, 80 years ago today. Wow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Go East, Young Men (part 11)

After 11 days and somewhere along the lines of 900 miles, we made it to Minneapolis on July 11, 1981!

Check us out all twins-y in our BHS running t-shirts...

At this point in my life I remember expecting we'd see the Minneapolis skyline for miles and miles and miles before we got there. I think I envisioned the midwest as completely and totally flat, so I literally was looking for that skyline for most of the last 60-ish miles we rode that day. Not how it turned out of course!

There was some extended rain either this last day or the day before... we can't remember which. But both of us recall it was chilly, and Dave reminded me of our Plan to Keep Legs Warm. Somehow we had the idea that slathering Vaseline on the legs would do it. Maybe so. But then all road grime within 1/2 a mile was attracted like a magnet and stuck to those greased legs. Mmmmmm, mmm.

We made our way down town and relaxed in a park:

Dave digs the view of the IDS tower.

Couple more downtown shots.

Looking for a snack :)

After our downtown rest break we struck out northward for the suburbs to my Grandma's house, our final destination. We crossed the Mississippi River on the old Hennepin Avenue bridge. A part of the road surface was metal see-through grating, a bit scary! Dave felt convince that our tires were narrow enough that they could fall through some of the cracks. But we lived to tell our story.

My bike on the bridge over the Mississippi River.

There at last!
Dave & I arrive at my grandma's house on Forest Dale Road.

Over the next couple days we hung out in the Twin Cities with my relatives. Went up in the aforementioned IDS tower one night to check out the view... see photo above!

Swam in the little lake (above) behind my Grandma's house....

Took apart bikes....

Stuck 'em in boxes...

...and eventually went home on a Greyhound bus!

We had a terrific 11 days.

Big lesson: This trip taught me that 80+ miles per day is pretty exhausting. All subsequent trips I've been on were more like 50 per day... much more relaxing & enjoyable!

Unexpected surprise: I felt inspired by and grateful for the unexpected generosity we experienced.

I was hungry for more bike travel, for sure. Didn't get a chance again until 1985, and you can read all about that in a series of posts starting here. Stay tuned for some stories & photos from France & Hungary & all points between in a few weeks...