Saturday, November 15, 2014



November 11, 2014
Ramones - Ramones

My first introduction to the Ramones was sometime in 1980 or 'so, in what I recall was one of John Rahn's theory seminars at the UW. Neal had brought some records in to share. My immediate impression, simultaneous to the gutpunch sound, was that of a music stripped down to its structural components, and those stripped down to just enough to count as such. Crank up the volume and voilá! Ramones!
me, ca 1976, without hat

And so I took this opportunity of listening, perhaps for the first time, to the whole of their first album with an ear to just what music-rhetorical devices they allowed themselves. Not surprisingly, there is more here than two chords and the truth. But what did surprise me was, halfway through, as I was registering the intentional distinctness of the various devices - here's a drum solo thing (nothing in the way) :: here's a guitar solo thing (nothing in the way) :: here's a backing vocal thing (nothing in the way) :: etc. - the generally well-timed phraseology of the whole (in ample and unambiguous meter), and the power that can be born of fully inhabiting a narrow affect-space, that there popped in my head another creative musician, from another aesthetic planet entirely, whose piano sonatas especially could be potently described in the same terms: Schubert.

Not where I thought I'd end up when I sat down.

me, ca 1981, with hat
November 13, 2014
Season of Glass - Yoko Ono

Ms Ono is of course not primarily a recording artist. Or rather she is one also, but as an aspect of wider-ranging multi-medial activity. So it is probably a mistake to take Season of Glass at face-value as a pop-music-album-shaped artifact in the same way we might, for instance, take a release by a more commercially oriented singer. In other words, it has the requisite production values, but it goes somewhere askew. The songs are uncomfortable in their clothes, the sentiments just wrong for what one imagines to have been expected or hoped for by the hordes (in terms of a memorial). Instead it hovers oddly in a space between private and public. We wonder, useless, why we are here with this, as she wanders, helpless, in an unchosen public space with us.

In Session at the Tintinabulary

November 9, 2014
Peavey 141109 - Keith Eisenbrey

The link above will take you to the folded version of this solo improvisation. The instrument is my brother's Peavey solid-body electric guitar, currently on loan at the Tintinabulary. I recorded directly into a Zoom R24.

November 10, 2014
Banned Telepath 23 141110 Seattle - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Neal Kosály-Meyer
{Banned Telepath 23 141110 Somerville} - Aaron Keyt
Banned Rehearsal 873 141110 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer

The Banned Telepath project began in August of 1984, not quite two months after Banned Rehearsal itself. One weekend Neal was going to be out of town, and rather than have a by-week we decided to make tapes concurrently (more or less) and mix them together later. The project persisted through the 80's during our educationally-induced diaspora. The last telepath before the instant was made in Seattle on December 29, 1989, intended for Banned Rehearsal #200. For one reason or another the far-flung members never got around to making their side. We remain hopeful this will happen someday. In the early days the mixing was done using three tape decks and 2-to-1 patch cords. Lately, as I transferred all my tapes to digital media I was able to re-mix these with an ear to a more balanced result. As we enter another temporary displacement of personnel we can look forward to more of these. Here, the Boston component was delivered in pieces, by email, and assembled at the Tintinabulary. I arbitrarily clunked it down more or less in the middle of the longer Seattle helping.

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