Friday, November 10th, 2006
... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
Tons of interesting local shows coming up this weekend, so I tried to cram in
as many of those artists as possible -- pretty much everybody listed below
who's not in rotation. The big event was John Zorn and Ikue Mori doing a duet
improv performance at the Jazzschool in Berkeley. Also
made special note of the SFSound concert on Monday night
(the same night Zorn gives a talk for the Improv:
21 series). Quarterly, SFSound puts together performances of new
classical music, incluing new stuff from local composers.
For me, the weekend of this show was saturated with music: Joelle Leandre and
India Cooke duo on Thursday; Exene Cervenka and the Original Sinners on Saturday (because yes, I do
need to rock out sometimes); and the Zorn/Mori performance Saturday. Whew.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
* Pete McCann -- "Yes, My Friend" -- Most Folks (OmniTone, 2006)
* Rudresh Mahanthappa -- "The Decider" -- Codebook (Pi Recordings, 2006)
Another nice modern set from saxophonist Mahanthappa, with frequent
cohort Vijay Iyer on
piano. Very cool stuff, with complex but accessible leads, some nice ferocity
(this track opens the CD with a flurry of sax), and the steely "21st-century"
feel that I've attributed to their stuff before; see here
and also a KZSU review of Iyer's work here.
* Harry Miller's Isipingo -- "Eli's Song" -- Which Way Now (Cuneiform, 2006; recorded 1975)
There's a numbers/codes theme here -- the track "Further in Between" is
apparently based around the number 142857, for instance.
And the CD comes with a code wheel for translating a cipher written in the
liner notes -- Ooooo.
Previously noted here. Did the trick of splitting a 20-minute song by talking over the halfway point, in this case waiting for a trumpet solo to end and then doing a mic break over the first part of Mike Osborne's sax solo. Sorry, Mike.
* Harry Miller's Isipingo -- "Eli's Song" -- Which Way Now (Cuneiform, 2006; recorded 1975)
(Letting the track play out to its conclusion.)
Rent Romus' Life's Blood Trio -- "Up Side Down" -- Blood Motions (Edgetone, 2001)
! Giraffes? Giraffes! -- "Fucking Ants Man! Where They Coming From?" -- Superbass!!!! (self-released, 2006)
Local math-rock stuff. Or, near-punkish guitar music that happens to
have some odd time signatures. High energy (as if the song title couldn't
tell you that). I missed this one as it went through rotation earlier this
year, which was my loss.
* Danielle Palardy Roger -- "Seule Son Ame/Litanies" -- Bruiducoeur, Prieres Des Infideles (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2006)
* TV Pow -- "Maybe It's the Alternator" -- TV Pow Presents (Southport, 2006)
-- 4:00 p.m. --
John Bischoff -- "Override" -- Aperture (23 Five, 2003)
Starting off a little electronics set to preview the upcoming SFSound performance that will
include debut pieces from Bischoff and Ingalls. This track shows some nice
variety and is a good length for radio; in hindsight I wonder if I should have
grabbed something more melodic (he's got some of that on an older CD, The
Glass Hand) to try to suck listeners in.
Matt Ingalls -- f(Ear) [excerpt] -- Recent Work (Go Kustom, 2000)
From a CD-R combining computer work and clarinet, separately and
together. This is an all-electronics piece, 10 minutes, that gets into a long
quiet stretch of crinkles and rustles (which is where I chose to segue out of
it -- sorry, Matt, but I was really pressed for time on this show...)
* Nathan Hubbard -- "Structure II" -- Compositions 1998-2005 (Circumvention, 2006)
one is an all-electronics piece, very academic sounding. I almost played the
John Cage-inspired "Discrepancy in Flow," but it was too chaotic a transition
from the Bischoff and Ingalls pieces. Next time.
* Ornette Coleman -- "Sleep Talking" -- Sound Grammar (Sound Grammar, 2006)
Previously noted here. This is
one of the slower tracks in the program, which was a nice change of pace from
the fast, blurry ones I've been airing.
* Deep Blue Organ Trio -- "Goin' to Town" -- Goin' to Town (Delmark, 2006)
* Geoff Farina, Luther Gray, Nate McBride -- "Drumlin" -- Out Trios Volume Four (Atavistic, 2006)
* Jorrit Dijkstra and John Hollenbeck -- "Dub Machine" -- Sequence (Trytone, 2006)
?! Adrian Belew -- "Whatever" -- Side Three (Sanctuary, 2006)
With Les Claypool on bass. This is the third of a trilogy of trio
material Belew has been working on, playing most of the instruments himself.
And he's touring in power-trio format that apparently includes a very young
(maybe 20?) brother/sister duo on bass/drums. Wanted very much to see them,
as Belew doesn't swing through town often, but couldn't squeeze it in.
To be honest, I've always had mixed opinions of Belew's solo stuff (non-solo
would involve not just King Crimson, but The Bears). He's a great guitarist
and a good songwriter, but the lyrics lose something for me when they get into
social-issue monologues like on "Incompetence/Indifference" on this CD. I
don't mind the message; it's the musicality of the words that falls a bit
flat. Just my opinion; in all, Adrian Belew rocks, and I'm hoping to get
another chance to see him in trio format someday.
-- 5:00 p.m. --
! Beth Custer Ensemble -- "The Empire of the United States" -- Respect as a Religion" (BC, 2005)
Another artist in a spot conflicting with Zorn, although Custer has a
good local following, many of whom aren't necessarily interested in Zorn's
work. This is the first of four songs on this EP, a coolly quiet funky bit
about America's addiction to oil. Has a catchy chorus and an appropriately
greasy feel inside a mellow groove. Great stuff.
* Sound in Action Trio -- "Horizontal Fall" -- Gate (Atavistic, 2006)
? Ches Smith -- "Homemade Posi" -- Congs for Brums (Free Porcupine Society, 2006)
Solo project for the drummer who's worked with Secret Chiefs 3,
Good for Cows, Mr. Bungle,
and a host of local jazz projects. I stumbled onto this CD, a solo percussion effort, at
Records the other day and picked it up on a whim ... turns out "Congs for
Brums" is one of the opening acts for Xiu Xiu this weekend (see below).
! Xiu Xiu -- "Luber" -- Knife Play (5RC, 2002)
Opens with a dour, jazzy blast of horns, which makes it a surprisingly good fit into this show/set. Then gets into that rending-apart quaver of Jamie Stewart.
While I like the fact that Stewart primes his music with orchestral/jazz
elements, and I appreciate the scope of what he's doing with the music ... I
just can't get into it. Part of it is his voice, which is just too drama-
laden for me. Part of it is just taste; I like to think that I like serious
pop, but what I've heard of Xiu Xiu hasn't done it for me.
Masada -- "Zebdi" -- Aleph (DIW, 1994)
So launches the John Zorn/Ikue Mori set! This, from Masada's first
album, is a free-jazz blast, loads of fun, really short (good because I wanted
to squeeze a lot into here) and, IIRC, unique; I don't think the subsequent
Masada albums went for this kind of abandon, and certainly nothing on the
first CD did. Great attention-getting way to launch the set.
Ikue Mori -- "Quezalcoatl" -- Labyrinth (Tzadik, 2001)
Mori was the drummer for DNA back in the no-wave days, and lately she's been using drum machines and laptop computers as her medium. This is a catchy drum-machine piece, lots of machine-gun clicks and clatters.
Naked City -- "Speedfreaks" -- Torture Garden [taken from the Torture Garden/Leng Tch'e box] (Tzadik, 1996)
A few years ago, I celebrated Zorn's birthday with the John Zorn Blowout, an
hour of various Zorn phases (Masada, improv, classical, game pieces, whatever)
punctuated by one-minute punk/horror blasts of Torture Garden inserted
after every song. In one case, a CD malfunctioned, so I stopped it early --
but only after cueing up a Torture Garden song, because that had to
come next. That show was a blast, and I considered doing the same thing here
but decided I didn't have the time.
John Zorn -- "Spillane" [excerpt] -- Spillane/Two-Lane Highway (Elektra, 1987)
Fun cut-up piece, not as rapid-fire as Naked City. Kind of a precursor to what Naked City would later do, I guess.
John Zorn -- "Redbird" [excerpt] -- Redbird (Tzadik, 1995)
A 40-minute piece, repetitious in a minimalist way, with gradual changes. I used a fragment of it during the John Zorn Blowout as well; it's got an evenness that's good for getting across the point that Zorn does classical stuff too.
John Zorn, Susie Ibarra, Wadada Leo Smith -- "Full Fathom Five" -- 50th Birthday Celebration, Vol. 8 (Tzadik, 2005)
I seem to recall someone saying on the John Zorn mailing list that this piece scared the hell out of them. It's kind of slow and pretty, so that sounds odd ... but then again, if you're listening to it alone late at night, the tension of the relentlessly slow tempo and the chiming, creepy strings could start adding up after a while.
By far the most popular track on this album, among KZSU DJs. This was
the encore piece for their live set (all the "50th Birthday" CDs come from the
month-long Zorn party at Tonic), a nicely compact five-
minute burst of free-jazz energy. Great stuff. Fellow KZSU'er Dr. D had
telephone during the show to request some Susie Ibarra; I didn't have the time
for one of Susie's disks proper, but it triggered my memory to toss this one
* Hot Club of Detroit -- "Stompin' at Decca" -- Hot Club of Detroit (Mack Avenue, 2006)
Happily incongruous closer. Previously noted
* = Item in KZSU rotation
! = Pop anomaly
? = Item not in KZSU library
-- Go back to Memory Select playlists.
-- Bay Area free/improv music calendar: http://www.bayimproviser.com.