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21 Grand, an art gallery that's been a generous host to music over the years, is having problems with permits. That is, the city of Oakland finally noticed the place exists and has people gathering there. Nonprofit, underground 21 Grand now has to come up with a couple thousand dollars to satisfy the very city that claims it wants a stronger arts presence downtown.
It's a 501(c) nonprofit, so they're not shy about taking your donations, and it would probably be tax-deductible. (I'm not even a fake accountant, so go consult a real one before quoting that.)
Elsewhere: Seattle's Reptet is one of those groups you really root for. Young kids with a DIY band doing music they've obviously worked hard on, and executing it with precision while not losing that slash- and-burn attitude. Check out their cool rehearsal video on YouTube.
Reptet is coming to the Hemlock Tavern Sunday. I'm hoping to make it but am coming off a tough week at work; sleep sounds awfully nice at this point. The Reptet show, though, also has the Biggi Vinkeloe Trio and the Weasel Walter Quartet on the bill, so can I really miss that? Hm.
Related airplay below.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
* Healing Force -- "Oh! Love of Life" -- Songs of Albert Ayler (Cuneiform, 2007)
Then again, they sure do mess with the music. Weasel Walter is on drums; that alone says a lot. He's not in full Flying Luttenbachers mode here, but he often delivers a strong, unforgiving beat that shades the music towards more risky territory. They do stretch out poetically on some pieces, like the 20 minutes allotted to "Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe" -- but other tracks get downright wacky, like the detached sound of "New Generation" (which gives way to a silly cartoon voice later) or the almost too-earnest cabaret sound in "Thank God for Women."
Troy Collins of All About Jazz does an outstanding job explaining the project here.
As for the rest of the band, you've got Kaiser and Joe Morris on guitars, along with Mike Keneally, formerly of Frank Zappa's band, who adds some Zappa-esque touches. Vinny Golia just tears it up as the group's lone saxophonist. Damon Smith holds down the bass. And Aurora Josephson is the center of attention on vocals, slipping in plenty of off-kilter touches as noted above. "New Generation," in particular, gets a diffident off-key tone that just keeps running through my head.
They'll be performing this music at the Climate Theater in SF on Feb. 19, 2008.
* Blueprint Project with Han Bennik -- "Jac-Mac Talkin'" -- People I Like (Creative Nation, 2007)
* Rempis Percussion Quartet -- "Larks and Loons" -- Hunter-Gatherers (482 Music, 2007)
It's a quartet of sax, bass, and two drummers. The double drums doesn't have an effect at first glance, but they produce some interesting African-influenced rhythms behind the sax/bass improvising, and give the music a hard-driven energy even in slower passages. Overall, an awesome live session.
There's so much awesome jazz coming out of Chicago. I got to travel there once a year, for a work-related conference -- and now they've taken that away and moved the conference to Vegas. Why not rip my heart out and grind it to hamburger while you're at it.
Disk One, fully titled Hommage/Vier Fauste, combines improvisations with compositions by Hanns Eisler. Eisler seems like a fun guy: His compositions have a fast drama to them, almost like madcap chase-scene music. That sense of humor carries over to the improvs, where you really get the sense Goebbels and Harth are relaxed and just goofing off for an afternoon. There's some avant-circusy music too, and a 46-second Nino Rota snippet to cap it all off.
* Kamikaze Ground Crew -- "Shotgun Bouquet" -- Postcards from the High Wire (Busmeat, 2007)
Dan Plonsey -- [Sections R,S,T] -- Wise King Taken by the Foolish One (Unlimited Sedition, 2005)
Credited to just "Bloodcount," this 2-CD set revives some live tapes from 1997 and adds a DVD of the 51-minute "Eye Contact," a song from the album actually titled Memory Select. Bloodcount played from a songbook specifically written for them, so you've got some tracks reprised from previous albums -- actually a treat, because you can explore the long-form improvisations that are part of the structure -- and a couple of pieces that never made it to disk before.
First impression: Another great sampling of the band, but it's a shade lower on the energy scale compared with the 3-CD set Unwound that Berne put out years ago. "Mr. Johnson" (previously "Mr. Johnson's Blues"), for instance, gets a more polite treatment than on Unwound -- but I'm saying that for shallow reasons: The Unwound version opens with some head-pulping drum assaults from Jim Black for a raw, hungry sound.
But that's just a first glance. I'll be delving into this one more deeply, of course, and can't wait to give the DVD a look.
* Splatter 3 + N -- "Michaelle's Theme" -- Clear the Club (Rastascan, 2007)
? Weasel Walter Quartet -- "Revolt and Revolt Again" -- Revolt Music (ugEXPLODE, 2006)
* Bear Is Driving -- "All the Truth" -- V/A: Danger! Danger! (self-released, 2006)
The compilation is mostly rock, and a lot of punk, but it's got some surprises
in the corners: a country track, a bit of metal, electronics noise,
and what I think is an ironic Barry White wannabe. It closes with a
song called "Dead Animals" where they say, "Don't put them in your
mouth." Maybe it's a call for veganism, but I picture some guy stuffing
a furry racoon in his piehole and just start giggling.
Bear Is Driving are math rock -- i.e., prog instrumentals with a bit of
indie-rock attitude in place of British pretention. Pretty good
stuff. This track goes easy on the heavy guitar sounds, compared to
their clips on
but it's enough to make you want to hear more.
A wonderful and varied compilation of West Philadelphia bands who've
played at Danger Danger. The venue is a big house where a couple of
DIY types have started hosting shows (the name comes from questionable
staircase, apparently). Read more
* David Garland with John Zorn -- "On Planet X" -- V/A: Brain in a Box: Disc 4: Incidental/Lounge (Rhino, 2000; orig released 198??)
Compilation previously noted here.
This track consists of some sci-fi effects with Zorn doing his
choppy avant-sax thing over it. Pretty cool, but not as wacky as the
Nimoy track you'll see behind that link.
* Sam Newsome -- "Straight No Chaser" -- Monk Abstractions (self-released, 2007)
Previously noted here.
Pink Mountain -- "Deus Ancien"
-- Pink Mountain (Frenetic, 2006)
The compilation is mostly rock, and a lot of punk, but it's got some surprises in the corners: a country track, a bit of metal, electronics noise, and what I think is an ironic Barry White wannabe. It closes with a song called "Dead Animals" where they say, "Don't put them in your mouth." Maybe it's a call for veganism, but I picture some guy stuffing a furry racoon in his piehole and just start giggling.
Bear Is Driving are math rock -- i.e., prog instrumentals with a bit of indie-rock attitude in place of British pretention. Pretty good stuff. This track goes easy on the heavy guitar sounds, compared to their clips on MySpace, but it's enough to make you want to hear more.
* = 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.