Week in Review #48

Posted by on December 6, 2014

Week 48

#1 – 12/1/2014 – Mark Templeton has teamed up with filmmaker Kyle Armstrong for Extensions, an LP+DVD tribute to media soothsayer Marshal McLuhan. Due out on the brand new Graphical Recordings label on January 28 next year, Extensions – which was previewed at this year’s WNDX Festival of Moving Image – takes its title from McLuhan’s 1964 publication Understanding Media. Catch a clip below. –SD

#2 – 12/1/2014 – Our buddies over at Portals announced the next installment of their intriguing Living Spaces concert series, which transforms unconventional spaces into live music venues at various locales around the country. This third edition is a New Years Eve celebration at the Museum of Human Achievement in Austin, TX, and will feature a performance from Decoder fav Holly Waxwing, along with Jubilee, Ellie Herring, and WEZ. Check out their beautiful color-chameleon micro-site for the full deets, and RSVP via Facebook. -CP

#3 – 12/1/2014 – Weird Canada announced “new lizard leadership takes over the music section,” indicating that long-time editors Jesse Locke and Adam Bradley would be stepping down as the site’s music editors. They’ll be replaced by a four person team including writers Mailis Rodrigues and Joshua Robinson, veteran radio director Johnnie Regalado, and artist Gabe Girard. Join the Weird Canada newsletter here to keep posted. -DP

#4 – 12/1/2014 – Impose announced that Pennsylvania duo Stage Hands, formed by artist and musician Brandon Locher of My Idea of Fun with drummer and producer Gerald Mattis, is preparing their debut LP and follow-up to the standalone single they released December 2013. The announcement features a mellow, jazzy new single and video, “The Populating of Empty Space” — an aim the duo achieves well without recourse to biological reproduction, filling their video with a collage of colorful but muted digital renderings. -DP

#5 – 12/2/2014 – We celebrated Smithsonian Folkway’s founder Moses Asch’s birthday and though his monolithic output through that imprint makes it particularly easy to find solidarity with him, his life, and his attitudes whenever listening to a strange or compelling collection… whether the sounds of street life in old New York or Norwegian folk dances, Mo Asch has preserved a thick slice of ourshared past from abandon. Check out a short documentary below and cheers to Mo Asch for embellishing the legacy of every human. -DP

#6 – 12/2/2014 – Spring Break Tapes dropped two new tapes of otherworldly meditation: Gutted, featuring Braeyden Jae’s pummeling but comforting drones, and Fantasy Living, the first tape by newcomer Monte Burrows. These tapes close out SBT’s banner year, which boasted work by Bus Gas (which was rad), the Fun Years (also incredibly rad), Auxiliary Priest, the Movies, and Bugseed. Phew! Pick up a copy of both new tapes along with anything else that isn’t sold out yet directly via the label’s site-BP

#7 – 12/3/2014 – Thomas Köner announced that he will debut Expanding Illuminance, a new multimedia show built around Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Steven Lisberger’s Tron, at La Gaité Lyrique, Paris, this Sunday December 6. Stretching across three screens with live accompaniment, Expanding Illuminance is described by the artist as being “a hypnotic journey between two visions of the future and two utopias.” Elsewhere, Köner has been working with Porcupine Tree‘s Steven Wilson in preparation for a performance at Nijmegen’s Doornroosje on the following night, December 7, and the German’s pre-Christmas mini tour will end in Amsterdam for the Frozen Waves Festival on December 8. –SD

#8 – 12/3/2014 – Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (Tarentel, Raum, the Alps, Portraits, et al.) released the first single from his upcoming A Year With 13 Moons LP, due out Feb. 9 on Mexican Summer. The video single for “Pale Flower” builds on the crushing, elegiac melancholy of his recent tape with BARO (which we adored immensely) while sourcing the ethereal shoegaze pioneered by Cocteau Twins, with peculiarly alien frequencies abstracting the entire scene. Scope the video below and drool while we wait for the LP’s release. -BP

#9 – 12/3/2014 – Pitchfork contributor Patrick St. Michel offered a glimpse into the Japanese netlabel scene with an editorial on his ten favorites, ranging from the slightly more international tilt of Bump Foot to more extreme entities like breakcore imprint Otherman Records (what St. Michel calls “far and away the most aggressive-sounding Japanese netlabel going”). Though the focus in his list is electronic music, it also features pop focused Canata Records, and wraps up with a newer imprint apparently called Tanukineiri Records, which shows some sign of deriving the biggest influence of the bunch from international underground culture. Check out those labels at your leisure thanks to the full article-DP

#10 – 12/4/2014 – Having released a stellar collection of Ariel Kalma’s 70s recordings, An Evolutionary Music (Original Recordings: 1972 – 1979), RVNG Intl. shared a short YouTube documentary from director Matthew McGuigan and shot in New South Wales, Australia. The film covers a range of his musical experiences and provides some insight into the French born ambient synthesist’s attitude, methods, and technology (and of course it features his preternaturally settling songs for backdrop). Check out An Evolutionary Music here-DP

#11 – 12/4/2014 – Cassette Gods editor Nick Williams dropped a post mentioning that the long-running review blog  is currently seeking new writers. In this ever-expanding world of cassette culture where more and more artists and bands are releasing their music on the once thought dead format, I for one agree that we all could use more people scribbling thoughts down about what’s available. Good chance to nab some promo copies of some weirdo tapes and build a writing portfolio while you’re at it. “All that is required is a love of music and a commitment to send me a minimum of one review per week from the tapes you receive,” which is totally YOU right? Don’t be shy, apply within. -CP

#12 – 12/5/2014 – James Parker and Nicholas Croggon of Tiny Mix Tapes perform a satisfying structural analysis of contemporary music criticism, writing that “This is not an argument for the emancipatory potential of a classical music education . . . At the same time, however, we do think that the tendency to celebrate a personal and sentimental knowledge of contemporary music as a way of refusing other forms of engagement is a real problem.” These are important observations and their critical interest in reactions to a label like PC Music or artist like Owen Pallett shows to some extent how this question overlaps significantly with the emergent categories in the creative lives of digital artists of all varieties, who (thanks to the form of their derived signification) construe a particular social and economic environment. The essay ends with a portentous line about the “ambiguous politics of listenership,”  the critical counter-point to an investigation of artistic pedagogy, which would tend to expand the question to encompass how artist construe awareness of their works. A fun read, though admittedly their approach risks seeming a bit aloof. -DP