Kendra Steiner Editions

November 16, 2012

Le Beat Bespoké, Volume 5 (compilation cd/lp, Circle Records, UK)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 5:33 pm

Le Beat Bespoké, Volume 5

Circle Records UK

16 tracks on the LP, 20 tracks on the CD (this review is of the CD version)

Each 60’s reissue compilation series (or any compilation or any curated art event) necessarily reflects the taste and the collection of its curator. The LE BEAT BESPOKE series, curated by Rob Thomas (aka ace 6T’s club DJ  “Dr. Robert”), reflects excellent and diverse  taste in late 60’s world-beat, with a psych flavor and usually with a  dance-able beat (he’s a club DJ, after all). With the sputtering out of the Piccadilly Sunshine series (the volumes since 7 have been spotty), Le Beat Bespoke may well among the strongest ongoing series of its type. Thomas is not afraid to mix obscure US local singles with European singles few outside the home country have heard (a number of Belgian tracks here, all fine) with the one-off track from South Africa or Canada or Australia or the UK expatriate recording in another country. The end result is an eclectic mix that’s always fresh and full of surprises, that reflects the many ways the international psychedelic and beat movements infected and energized every pocket of the under-25 population everywhere, and most importantly, the album is chock full of tracks we’ve never heard before, for the most part…and the BEAT orientation of the material makes the collection totally infectious, but in a trippy way. Yes, 4 or 5 tracks have horns, so if that kills the deal for you, so be it. Give your unwanted copy to me and I’ll give it to a friend.

Some purists have balked at this series—-it’s not solid garage, it’s not solid psych, they say—-and no, it isn’t, because that’s not what it’s trying to do. It’s trying to be the ultimate late 60’s psychedelic discotheque club set—and at that, it is wildly successful.

In many ways it resembles the comps coming out of Spain, although with less of a soul-rock and horn-rock orientation. But it has the open-ears one finds of European comps, where all kinds of variations on the psych-beat formula sit comfortably next to each other, and where the album gets deeper with each play.

That’s what you’ve got here. And since the recordings are usually from places off the beaten path, the mix of elements is a bit off-putting sometimes, but that’s why I’ve played the earlier volumes of this series many times, probably 50+ times each. And you know what? This may be the strongest volume so far in the series, and THAT is saying something.

Every track rocks, there’s nothing fey or twee or pretentious, and every band has a unique sound, a unique mix of elements—there are no clones of any particular band here. For me, who has most every compilation of obscure 60’s material going back to the early days of compilations in the late 70’s, I’d rate this one VERY high. But again, it’s a diverse mix. I can assure you this will be on repeat at my home, and when I travel to Houston or Dallas or whatever, this will be blasting in the car at 2 a.m. on the highway, keeping me awake and fueling my spirit.

I’d heard of Gary Scruggs and Dickie Loader, but I’ll confess most of the other bands are either unknown to me or footnotes where I’ve maybe heard one other record by them…s0 I’m not going to pretend to be knowledgeable about these obscure Belgian bands or whatever. Just get the album if you are into late 60’s comps. And I cannot wait for Volume 6, gentlemen/ladies at New Untouchables.

1. Make Love – Grabbeltons

2. Little Tin Soldier – Billy Joe Young & the Jades

3. Silly Baby – Fun Of It

4. That’s the way life goes – The Deep Set

5. A Better Mind – Maximus

6. Sunset Show – Sense Of Humour

7. Giny – The Hush

8. Ahora Ella Se Fue (Now She’s Gone) – Los Delphines

9. Turn Out The Lights – Sands of Time

10. Gingerbread Man – Dickie Loader

11. Girl – Simon De Sade

12. Automatic Fly – Early Christian

13. Gentle When You Say The Word – Gary Scruggs

14. I’d Like to Know – Tobias

15. One Fine Morning – James Curtis

16. Y’mouille A Sciaux – La Revolution Francaise

17. The Only Thing- Vince Brittan Jnr

18. Come C’mon – Satin Bells

19. I’m Still A Child – Joy & The Hot Kids

20. Loving You Sometimes – The Outcasts

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November 11, 2012

Jandek, “Atlanta Saturday” 2-cd set (Corwood 0809)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 11:38 am

JANDEK,   “ATLANTA SATURDAY”   2 cd set   (Corwood 0809)

2012 is turning out to be another excellent year for Jandek. I can’t comment on the various shows he’s done outside of Texas, but the Austin show was a revelation, the Houston “punk” show was totally unexpected and totally worked, MAZE OF THE PHANTOM (the latest Corwood studio release) was a fascinating excursion into exotica-tinged chamber-improv with wordless female vocals, and now comes ATLANTA SATURDAY, recorded live in early 2007, which can also be described as “chamber Jandek.”

OUTCAST OF CIVILIZATION

Disc One:

Prelude (9:30)

Part One (10:22)

Part Two (09:58)

Part Three (13:22)

Part Four (13:46)

Disc Two:

Part Five (14:17)

Part Six (21:54)

Part Seven (11:23)

Part Eight (13:10)

——————————

The Representative from Corwood: piano, vocal

Seth Coon (bass clarinet),   Ana Balka (violin),   Kelly Shane (percussion)

recorded 17 February 2007, The  Academy of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia

In a sense, this album is perfectly timed: like the latest Corwood studio album,  MAZE OF THE PHANTOM (also a 2-cd set, $12 ppd. in the US, $13 overseas),  ATLANTA SATURDAY mines mostly spacious low-volume “Chamber Jandek”  territory, and like the recent performance at Mankato State University in Minnesota, Jandek is on piano.

It’s hard to make generalizations about Jandek’s large body of work (and now there’s an ever-growing body of live performances to consider too), but one generalization I’d make which is often true, and which is ESPECIALLY true when the Representative From Corwood is at the piano, is that traditional notions of time seem to stop, or to become irrelevant, and we are taken into an area that is beyond time–this is not music that’s headed somewhere, music where we pass signposts along the highway–it’s music that swirls within itself, music that investigates the ground on which it’s located, music that continuously consumes its own tail and re-emerges. Of course, many artists have attempted to redefine or go beyond time in their respective disciplines: in film, Andy Warhol in his silent, pre-Paul Morrissey work (which needs to be projected at the proper speed for the intended effect) or in his early sound films such as HORSE, where “time” is slowed down by any number of methods, and we the viewers are jostled out of our complacent attitude toward “time”…..or going back to the silent era, the Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer, whose deep compositions and sometimes glacial pace (in comparison with the work of his contemporaries) cause us to slow down our internal clocks and to start revelling in the texture of the moment, in the mise-en-scene; in music, everyone from Thelonious Monk to Captain Beefheart, and especially composers such as Morton Feldman or John Cage (and Cage’s “number pieces,” which were a large part of his later composing years, brought a radical new conception of time and of time-between-collaborators-in-performance). In fact, one of the biggest concerns of artists working in music or cinema in recent decades has been the redefinition of time. Anyone who has lived with Jandek’s  HELSINKI SATURDAY  (Corwood 0796, an album I’ve had on repeat for entire afternoons)  knows the feeling of how time seems to slow down and even stop, and begin circling, swirling, during that hour-long performance. For Atlanta Saturday, imagine a quartet with Jandek’s piano at the center, with a lot of space, and an elegant “drawing room” feel to the improvisations. It’s a pure music, with an astringent warmth, a music that suggests the first rays of sunlight on a new morning.

Many of the lyrics here—and this is a very strong, very poetic album—deal with loneliness and isolation: sometimes loneliness in being separated from someone the poet longs for, sometimes loneliness in a broader, existential sense. The “You” addressed could be a person, could be the universe, could be the deepest levels of the self. Jandek has always been a strong lyricist, going “in character” (as a method actor) into the deepest recesses of the psyche and challenging the self to take an unfazed look at the state of the self.

Many of the lyrics are recited here, as poetry, rather than “acted out in song,” as often happens with Jandek (although as the album proceeds, more pieces are gently sung). Here are a few sample lines—

There’s a place to sit and watch

things that aren’t really there

I thought I could crack through to you

but I don’t know if it’s me that is he

The shattered sense and broken time

that took apart the puzzle of man (me?)

I’ll sift the sands once more

and enter the picture like I do

not that these are totally typical, or the most memorable lines on the album—you need to hear it yourself. Taking lines out of context doesn’t capture the PROCESS of soul-searching of the speaker, the poet, and these lyrics seem to capture the PROCESS of self-definition, of making the existential decisions needed to proceed in the world. When I recently discussed Jandek’s lyrics as a guest on a radio documentary dedicated to his work broadcast on the Mankato State University radio station,  KMSU-FM, when Jandek recently played Mankato, Minnesota, I mentioned Samuel Beckett’s work as a kind of analogy to Jandek’s lyrics, the bare and primal existential poetic soliloquies about the most elemental aspects of existence and of ascribing meaning to existence. And that side of Jandek’s work is particularly strong here. With those deep and soul-searching lyrics in the midst of such deep and elegant music, you’ve got a combination that’s truly unique and truly satisfying artistically. It’s a shame it took 5 years for this performance to be released on Corwood (it was recorded in 2007) because I could have been enjoying this music for the last five years, but we’ve got it NOW, so get your copy NOW. This is an excellent entry point to Jandek’s musical and lyrical world. I can’t imagine anyone with an open mind and an eclectic music palate NOT being able to enter this world and also “get” what Jandek and crew are doing here. You are put into the perspective of the “outcast from civilization” (the title of this suite of pieces) inside each of us…

….

Please check out the many fine products offered from Corwood Industries, listed at http://www.corwoodindustries.com.

Unlike KSE, which issues home-burned cdr’s in home-printed sleeves (and thus has low overhead), Corwood Industries issues REAL professionally made CD’s, not cdr’s…that costs a lot of money, as those of you who run small labels know…and Corwood does 1000 of each release…if you really want to help Jandek and the Corwood aesthetic, buy A FEW releases from Corwood (or take the generous 50% discount on an order of 20 pieces or more)…that money will provide funds for Corwood to issue more Jandek recordings…don’t download them or get a friend to burn you a cdr…$8 for a single and $12 for a double POSTPAID IN THE USA is a great deal…

Music and arts writer Chad Radford, who attended this concert in 2007, kindly allowed me to share some pics he’d posted at his blog, http://chadrad.blogspot.com.  Please do not copy these photos without his permission. Thanks to Chad for these excellent shots, which really help to put you in the concert setting…

………..

NOTE: an excellent seven-part documentary on Jandek and his body of work was broadcast on KMSU-FM in Mankato, Minnesota, in the Fall of 2012. I was interviewed for the series, and excerpts from my comments can be found on shows four and five:

show four: http://shufflefunction.blogspot.com/2012/10/jandek-study-group-overnight-iv-a.html

show five: http://shufflefunction.blogspot.com/2012/10/jandek-study-group-overnight-5.html

If everyone who is reading this, who has SOME interest in Jandek, would buy at least THREE Jandek albums (which would be cheaper than going out to a movie with a date on Friday or Saturday night, for instance) , it would help the Corwood enterprise enormously. Jandek is doing a lot for us…and has for going on 35 years now. Let’s give something tangible back to him and to Corwood…and the albums you get back will provide hours if not days of fascination and satisfaction. Corwood albums I acquired 25+ years ago still sound fresh and as I continue to travel with The Rep on his artistic journey over the years, the earlier albums continue to re-blossom and to open up deeper levels of artistry and of wisdom.

Can’t wait to see what Corwood’s got up its corporate sleeve next…

November 10, 2012

Marcus Rubio / Bill Shute, “Only The Imprint Of An Echo Remains” (KSE #247), electronic music and poetry album, now available…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 2:26 pm

MARCUS  RUBIO / BILL  SHUTE

“Only The Imprint Of An Echo Remains”

(KSE #247, cdr album)

$8 US/$10 outside US (if ordering only 1 item…$8 if ordering more than one item)

I’m always looking for new ways to extend poetry into new areas, both on the page, in live performance, and on recordings. I’m limited by technology and money, but such limitations just force me to become creative with the tools I have at my disposal, in the tradition of the low-budget filmmakers I admire so much.

San Antonio composer and musician Marcus Rubio (now living in the LA area, working on his masters degree at Cal Arts, though still with strong SA roots) is a man with an incredible imagination…and the technique to translate and to flesh out those ideas into sound. One night a few years ago, I was at a local show where Marcus was on the bill, and due to a thunderstorm, the power went out. A few of us went out to our cars and got flashlights so we could find our way around in this windowless gallery where the concert was being held, but as this was a primarily electronic music show, I was thinking that the evening might well be over w/o electricity. But ever the postmodern trouper, Marcus announced that with a few minutes to prepare, he’d do the performance entirely on his laptop, which was battery-powered. And he did, and it was amazing. All of Marcus’s work combines that spontaneity and quick thinking and chance-taking.

Marcus had heard some of my spoken-word recordings and read some of my poetry books (I remember giving him a copy of the Derek Rogers’ 3″ cdr CIRCUM_NAVIGATE, one of the first KSE music releases, soon after its release),  and I’d been a follower of his work for a few years, so coming together to do a poetry and music album was very exciting.

Essentially, the album consists of two kinds of pieces: solo spoken-word poetry tracks recorded in a practice room at Trinity University in early June 2012 (tracks 2, 4, and 6), and new electronic compositions (tracks 1, 3, 5, and 7) using the spoken-word recordings as the source material, composed and recorded by Marcus in San Antonio during June-August 2012, before his relocation to LA. I remember first hearing Steve Reich’s mid 60’s recording of his composition “It’s Gonna Rain” sometime in the early 70’s, and that was my introduction to the concept of using a voice as raw material for electronic composition, although from today’s perspective, that was a foundational early work that seems like baby steps on the path, compared to where we’ve been since the advent of sampling. Marcus has been very interested in Carl Stone’s and Robert Ashley’s work in that tradition, and they had a large influence on the pieces comprising ONLY THE IMPRINT OF AN ECHO REMAINS.

Working with Marcus on this project was a natural because he is also a literary person (attending a college such as Trinity DOES have its advantages, in terms of the sound classical education you receive), and he managed to use the literary material in such a way that the major tropes and images of the poems manage to bubble under the surface of the electronic compositions, occasionally rearing their heads and coming up for air. Thus, the entire album holds together—the spoken pieces were read in such a way to bring out their musicality, and the music was composed in such a way as to bring out the literary texture.

Marcus and I hope to do a joint live performance here in San Antonio sometime in the coming months,  extending some of the concepts of this duo album.

Now, however, you should score a copy of this album, which includes a liner note insert, reproduced below. It’s not just a fine example of Marcus’s compositional skills, but it features some older poems of mine that have not been in circulation for some time, and pieces that I’ve never included in my public readings or on my various spoken-word cdr’s and poetry-and-music releases. A few comments about the poems are found in the liner notes below.

I’m going to keep trying to bring poetry into unexpected arenas, to extend the possibilities of poetry in the broader areas of the contemporary arts. Nothing wrong with solo poetry readings at literary venues, and I’ll continue to do those, but cross-discipline extensions of poetry are essential. In fact, I’ve got TWO collaborations with visual artists (one a Texan, the other from Massachusetts) scheduled for the next 6-8 month period, one immediately after I finish the DREAM STATIC project I’m working on now.

Marcus Rubio has been a major force on the San Antonio progressive/experimental music scene for years, having regularly played with Cartographers, the Nat’l Parks, Bad Breaks, and Loose Eel Ball while he lived in Texas. He’s also recorded/arranged dozens of Texas bands’ records as well as a couple of national groups, some of note being Sunset,Oppenheimer, One Hundred Flowers, and Western Ghost House. From 2007-2010, he played, recorded, and toured nationally with the Austin noise pop band Moth!Fight! In terms of future projects, he has a piece for violin and guitar pedals that the SOLI Chamber Ensemble is premiering in March 2013 and a new solo record called “h_h” coming out on Already Dead Tapes in early 2013. Derek Rogers and Marcus also have a collab that should be out in the near future as well. Also, Marcus’s GOSPEL CHOIR OF PILLOWS has been blowing away audiences for years. When I’ve mentioned working with Marcus on a project to locals, and they are not sure who he is, all I need to do is mention, “Gospel Choir of Pillows,” and folks say, “oh, HIM! He’s amazing!”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(Marcus Rubio, receiving from on-high the inspiration to compose the pieces on ONLY THE IMPRINT OF AN ECHO REMAINS)

The poetry used in this album comes from three 2008-2010 chapbooks, long out of print:

KSE #71, Bill Shute, “Objectless (For Kazimir Malevich).”

KSE #153, Bill Shute, “The Twenty-Fifth Life of Alcyone.” Sound Library Series, Volume 49

KSE #165, Bill Shute, “Oneness and the Sun.” Sound Library Series, Volume 55.

liner note insert included w/ the album:

MARCUS RUBIO/ BILL SHUTE

“Only The Imprint Of An Echo Remains” (KSE #247)

released November 2012

Marcus: A lot of my work is concerned with exploring the full sonic potential of a particular sound or instrument. I’d been interested in composing a piece that applied this notion to the voice for a while, and an initial impetus/inspiration for “Only the Imprint of an Echo Remains” was the work of Robert Ashley, but I quickly saw a completely different direction that this project could take when I heard Carl Stone’s piece “Shing Kee.” In Stone’s piece, a single snippet of a Schubert song is continually shortened or lengthened while being looped and the effect is absolutely spellbinding. The idea of creating an electronic piece out of a single audio snippet was very much in line with my aesthetic, and I thought that applying a similar idea to speech could prove really interesting. I approached Bill about the project because I’ve always been a fan of his poetry and I thought that it would be interesting to sample his speech on the spot during a live performance and warp it so that it became a sort of accompaniment to his reading. Instead, he suggested that we make an album (much to my delight!) and that we divide it into tracks of unaffected/unaccompanied poetry and compositions derived entirely from his speech. The poems that Bill picked for this record were absolutely perfect and each contained a section that I looked at as a manifesto for the compositional aspects of each work. Additionally, Bill’s naturally musical and resonant speaking voice wound up being ripe for creating new sounds out of. Inspired by the texts of his poems, I chose to affect/alter his speech differently on each track to fit with the mood of each text. Therefore, the manipulation ranges from granular synthesis to spectral reduction to running the texts through a Kaoss pad,etc…  In the end, the results pleasantly varied from the initial inspiration of Stone/Ashley but the idea of creating the maximal sound from minimal materials is definitely still at play. This was one of my favorite compositional projects that I’ve worked on and the combination of Bill’s texts and voice made this (in my opinion) a really synergetic combination!

Bill:  

The texts in the spoken-word tracks (2, 4, 6) used as the raw material for Marcus’s compositions (1, 3, 5, 7) were composed and originally published in 2007-2009. ONENESS AND THE SUN was written in Lubbock, TX, hence the paranoid and claustrophobic feel (think “Jackson County Jail,” thirty years later); OBJECTLESS was dedicated to and inspired by the painter Kazimir Malevich and the piece uses no nouns or pronouns (hence, no OBJECTS); THE TWENTY-FIFTH LIFE OF ALCYONE was inspired by the two volumes of THE LIVES OF ALCYONE, where C.W. Leadbeater claimed to have channeled 48 past lives of the then-young J. Krishnamurti. I thought I’d add another one to the mix.

(Marcus, channeling his inner-Noah Howard)

================================

================================

Get your copy now. $8 ppd. in the US ($10 outside US if ordering only one item) payable via paypal to

django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

And while ordering, why not sample some of our other experimental music CDR’s and spoken-word CDR’s:

full-sized CDR’s ($8.00 each, ppd. in US—add $2 postage if outside the US and ordering only 1 item)

KSE #247 (CDR), MARCUS RUBIO & BILL SHUTE, “Only The Imprint Of An Echo Remains” (poetry and electronic music album, recorded in San Antonio, TX)

KSE #237 (CDR),  MICHAEL BARRETT & MIKE GRIFFIN, “Birtual Seme-Alabak” (the long awaited PARASHI/BELLTONESUICIDE duo album!)

KSE #238 (CDR), DANIEL HIPOLITO/EVA KELLY/BILL SHUTE, “Fascination”

KSE #235 (CDR), BOOK OF SHADOWS, “Chimaera”

KSE #228 (CDR), UNMOOR, “Night Driver”

KSE #226 (CDR), DEREK ROGERS, “Born Into Systems”

KSE #223 (CDR), ALISTAIR CROSBIE, “A Campfire In The Snow”

KSE #214 (CDR), SABRINA SIEGEL,”Bottlecaps” 

KSE #207 (CDR), ALFRED 23 HARTH & CARL STONE, “Gift Fig”

KSE #206  (CDR), ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “Emilio “

KSE #222 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE, “Sopranino Solo, “ cover art by MP Landis.

KSE #220 (CDR),  MATT KREFTING, “Sweet Days of Discipline”

KSE #208 (CDR), ANTHONY GUERRA & BILL SHUTE, “subtraction” (limited USA re-press of CD originally issued on Black Petal Records, Australia)

KSE #213 (CDR), Bill Shute, “Junk Sculpture from the New Gilded Age.” (2nd spoken-word poetry album)

KSE # 210 (CDR), HEATHER LEIGH, “Empire”

As always, thank you for your support of independent DIY micro-labels and small presses…

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