Friday, December 15th, 2006 ... 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. ... KZSU, 90.1 FM

Several shows this weekend that I wanted to promote (noted below). Centerpiece of the program was the Amy X. Neuburg show, "The Secret Language of Subways" -- 12 new songs for voice, loops, electronics, and cello trio, being performed three times this weekend. Amy was kind enough to take a 1/2 hour to record an interview about a week beforehand, which I played on the air today.

So, right after my KZSU shift, I hot-footed it up to San Francisco to see the premiere of "Subways." It was amazing, even triumphant. It's obvious they put a lot of work into this. The cello parts don't look at all easy. One early song, "The Closing Doors," included a tangly minimalist odd-time patter. Elsewhere, the cellists added bird-call harmonics and various other improv tricks to the playing. And even when playing standard techniques, they had to worry about syncing up with themselves on the loops constructed by Amy real-time.

The songs themselves were ambitious and soaring. The opener, "One Lie," has a lovely haunting melody. "Someone Else's Sleep," "The Gooseneck," and "Hey" are all hopelessly catchy. "Body Parts" and "Shrapnel" get pensive. Most of the songs construct surreal inner monologues, reflecting their germination in subway transit.

There really is something evocative about the NYC subway, something about being part of those masses of humanity that triggers the creative spirit. Mix in the Iraq war and 9/11, and you've got fertile ground for lots of stray thoughts -- fragments and images that, if I'm interpreting it right, coalesced into the songs that form the "Subways" cycle.

The whole thing was triumphant, nice to see considering the literal years of effort it took from the songwriting to the final presentation. A CD would probably lose a little to the live performance -- isn't that always the way? - - but I hope they do get a chance to record this cycle.

Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.

* David S. Ware Quartet -- "Godspelized" -- BalladWare (Thirsty Ear, 2006)

* Charles Gayle -- "Healing Souls" -- Shout! (Clean Feed, 2006)

* Jorrit Dijkstra and John Hollenbeck -- "Rubber Mittens" [excerpt] -- Sequence (Trytone, 2006) ! Numbers -- "At the Mall" -- Ee-Uh! (Troubleman Unlimited, 2003) * Phillip Greenlief and Joelle Leandre -- "Variation 2 (for Alto Saxophone and Contrabass)" -- That Overt Desire of Object (Evander, 2006)

Beth Custer Ensemble -- "High Sense of Adventure" -- Respect As a Religion (BC, 2004)

Kahil El'Zabar Ritual Trio -- "Big M" -- Big M: A Tribute to Malachi Favors (Delmark, 2006) Amy X. Neuburg and Men -- "The Shower Song" -- Sports! Chips! Booty! (Racer, 1999)

* Cross Border Trio -- "Shorter Than Miles" -- New Directions (Circumvention, 2006)

* Kali Z. Fasteau and Kidd Jordan -- "Concentration Dome" -- People of the Ninth (Flying Note, 2006)

-- 4:00 p.m. --

? Gubbish -- "Fake Glossalalia" -- Notations in Tonations (Odd Shaped Case, 2004)

? Kipple -- "Crafty Apples" -- Flashes of Irrational Happiness (Evander, 2006)

Nathan Hubbard -- "Painting on Glass" [excerpt] -- Compositions 1998-2005 (Circumvention, 2006)

What We Live -- "Were" -- Never Was (Black Saint, 1999)

What We Live -- "Especially the Traveller Tomorrow" [excerpt: final 8 minutes] -- Especially the Traveller Tomorrow (Metalanguage, 2002)

* The Vandermark 5 -- "The Ladder" -- A Discontinuous Line (Atavistic, 2006)

* Kyle Bruckman's Wrack -- "Further Ado" -- Intents and Purposes (482 Music, 2006)

-- 5:00 --
Amy X. Neuburg and Men -- "Delirium" -- Utechma (Racer, 1995) Amy X. Neuburg -- Interview, part 1 Amy X. Neuburg -- "Stone" -- Residue (Other Minds, 2004) Amy X. Neuburg -- Interview, part 2 Amy X. Neuburg -- "Insomnia" -- Residue (Other Minds, 2004)

? Kipple -- "Volium" -- Flashes of Irrational Happiness (Evander, 2006)

! Al Stewart -- "Gina in the Kings Road" -- A Beach Full of Shells (Appleseed, 2005)

* Green Light -- "Surfing Outside Myself" -- Patient Like the Moon (Starving Arts, 2005)

* Francois Carrier, Dewey Redman, -- "Going Through" -- Open Spaces (Spool, 2006)

* = Item in KZSU rotation
! = Pop anomaly
? = Item not in KZSU library

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