Monday, December 29, 2014

Early January, 2015

Gack, 2015. I remember a time when the year 2000 seemed so far away.

I'll be playing the first two Space Exchange events this month. Jan. 6, credited to David Throckmorton, will be Thoth Trio. Great way to start the year, no? A week later, I'll be playing with Matt Booth's Palindromes. This will have the super-mighty lineup including John Petrucci on tenor sax, David Throckmorton on drums, and Matt and Jeff Grubbs on bass. Not likely to happen again soon, I'll tell you. 9pm, Thunderbird Cafe, free.

Dec. 27

James St. Dec. 27 2014. Most enjoyed the event, a few left confused. Thanks to Rick Finkelstein for the photo.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Events for the week of Dec. 21, 2014

Only two to report for me, although that's busier than most weeks.

Tuesday, Dec. 23: Chrisparkermas at Space Exchange! Chris Parker was coincidentally born on Dec. 25, which as it is often said is terrible for those expecting gifts. Chris is planning an all-out holiday music special this time, with David Throckmorton, Paul Thompson, me, and three brass. I've contributed a re-orchestration of "Sugar Rum Cherry" from the Ellington Nutcracker Suite (which was actually arranged by Billy Strayhorn). Thunderbird Cafe, 9pm, free.

Saturday, Dec.27: despite the listing on the James St. Gastropub website ( this will be the Throckmorton Quartet including Chris Parker, Paul Thompson, and me. (Nearly) all-improvised groove improvisations and structured openness. I'll be on alto sax, laptop with Max programming and Rock Band game controller. What? See for yourself.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Events for the week of Dec. 14 2014

Sunday, Dec. 14: Jeff Berman's quartet Blink will play the James Street Gastropub on the Northside, 6-9pm. Jeff Berman on vibes, Jeff Grubbs on bass, David Throckmorton on drums, and yours truly filling the reed seat on alto and tenor.

Tuesday, Dec. 16: Space Exchange series with 4th Call (Jeff Berman/David Throckmorton/Matt Booth/me), playing only Thelonious Monk pieces. 9pm, free.

Wednesday, Dec. 17: Crucible Sound Series #12a, curated by the recently returned from overseas Adam MacGregor. Company-style duet improvisation night with a long cast of characters involved.

Thursday, Dec. 18: Not really a performance for me tonight, but I'll be appearing on WQED-TV's Horizons show with a reduced version of the Silk Sound group. 8pm.

More to come!

Bye bye, iMac

My old computer just died. I've had a second (laptop) for years, and the desktop died literally the day after the new laptop I ordered came for my wife.

Not especially interesting. But...while I backed up a lot of data from the old desktop, I'm unsure I'll be able to retrieve my old band mailing list. Some of those names have been on there for many years.

It's occurred to me that perhaps the idea of a mailing list is a little old fashioned? I mean, it seems ridiculous that an email list would be old-fashioned, but I'm handling most promotion through Facebook anyway.

So, I thought I'd revive this old Blogspot account that I set up a few years ago. I'll try to remember to post my schedule here regularly.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Conglomerate Records

There once was a noise tape label from Lemont Furnace, later Connellsville, PA, named Conglomerate Records. (Also Conglomerate Anti-communications, among other title variations.) The late Paul Morrisey owned a collection of these recordings, which was bought up by Jerry's Records, and are now in my hands.

My first purchase was "TOARITECCG" by Rose Selavy and Kurt Vile, or "The Only Actual Record In The Entire Conglomerate CataloG". It's an edition of one, a composite record of seven records spliced together. It can actually be played on a turntable. I've tried it, though I don't want to do it often. I then bought "Conglomerate Multiformat A", an anti-record consisting of an LP with bits of a 78, CD, cassette, 8 track, electric buzzer, and other things attached to it. I hesitated to buy it at first (file under "things I could do"), but when I realized it came from the same people as the other record, I spent the money.

Today I bought a collection of Conglomerate least, most of them are cassettes. Some are anti-cassettes, if even that. I bought a carrier of sixty tapes, and also a bag with a variety of mangled and altered tapes additionally. The first I've listened to is a tape by The Donut Holes, "Gristlemania: The Jazz Funk Transformations". Its source material, according to the liner notes, was another Conglomerate cassette, Kurt Vile's "erased" version of TG's "Twenty Jazz Funk Greats" (a record that I like but haven't listened to in many years). So I'm going to have to make sure I listen to the original tape, which is in this same collection.

As for this tape? *Maybe* I heard a passage that reminded me of "Beachy Head", but otherwise, it's very abstracted from its original sources. And I'll say, as far as low-fi noise tapes go, its pretty good. Slowly undulating textures, lots of delay and reverb, somebody actually did put some care into this. And it's noisy, no question. Sacher-Pelz/MB fans would appreciate it.

Kurt Vile is most assuredly NOT the Kurt Vile who is the now nearly-famous folky singer. Rose Selavy is a reference to Duchamp, whose drag name was Rrose Selavy (or, Eros c'est la vie, or, Sex is life. Oh those wacky dadaists...). There are various modern art and music references throughout the tapes. Conglomerate tape 002 is by Stimmung (Stockhausen reference), one is by Kurt Schwitters Revisited (assuming it is the title and not that artist, I don't know), another is by Max Ernst Revisited, and so forth. For all I know this is two people, or even just one. Or a collective of twenty, but probably not. With that many people involved, at least one person would have posted some bragging rights online somewhere.

I intend to post images and perhaps even digital transcriptions of the tapes. At least, some time; I am rather busy these days. Paul may have taken pleasure in owning these little beauties and reveled in their obscurity, but I think the best of them should be shared with the world.

But please....if you anything at all about these things, contact me. I just want to find out more about the people behind these little mysteries.