April 18, 2017
Strange Like Us, Your Mother Should Know, Mud On My Bra
Sunset Tavern, Seattle
Strange Like Us consists of: Kyle Sturner, vocals, guitar; Sadie Alley, vocals, keys; and Arna Garcia, drums, vocals. Darling synth sounds and solid playing all around provide a potent platform for Kyle's weaponized trans girl baritone. Add Sadie in parallel octaves for the KO.
Your Mother Should Know is, of course, Neal Kosály-Meyer and his sister (and my spouse) Karen Eisenbrey. This was their first electric show in quite a while. There were some shaky spots here and there, but they pushed through them. Karen got to try out her new headset microphone, and this may have been the first time I remember being able to really hear her vocals clearly.
We have heard Mud On My Bra (Myla and Aria Mud) before, and were eager to do so again. Aside from their stunningly tight ensemble (at the service of some fancy rhythmic games, I might add) I was able this time to attend more to the songs themselves, and to Aria's voice, within the ping of which I noted a hint of Jad Fair.
All that and our parking karma could hardly have been better: practically right outside the door, and free. Thank you so much to the woman who saw us trying to disgorge drums from the car and let us have her space when she left. And we got home before 11!
April 15, 2017
A Matter of Trust - Billy Joel [from The Essential Billy Joel]
BJ has great control, just no range, or sense of timing. Even the count-off is performed, tamed.
Banned Rehearsal 244 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Aaron Keyt, January 1991
Consisting largely of a reading of A Cat's Life, accompanied by violin scribbles and quiet ocarinal hootings. Aaron provides extensive, if eccentric, marginal commentary. As much as I enjoy listening to my own music, and I do, inserting such a constructed form into an improvisation is an error. It remains, especially in my ear, separate from the on-progressing activity of making it up as we go along. It is persistently deaf to the other people in the room. When I get done Aaron takes over on the piano (or joins me for a 4-hands improv - recollection fails), and a truly awfully awesome sound ensues. Far superior as a part of the activity than my composition could ever hope to be.
Taste Test - Sleater-Kinney [from Call The Doctor]
Rotating pitch collections.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey [from Jack Straw recording session May of 2005, take 1]
Each assay of the tune finds a new place within the harmonic-contrapuntal thicket.
10 Penny - Repeat Offenders [from The Funhouse Comp Thing]
Attention is paid to the hollow moment just ahead of the downbeat.
Isaiah 60:1-5 - Keith Eisenbrey - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey [recorded in September, 2013]
This piece demands a more reverberant space to live in than is given here. It needs stone walls and a dome.
Musica Ficta - Sascia Pellegrini - Sascia Pellegrini
It is unclear from the program notes who is playing piano, but I presume Sascia is on the vibraphone. It is striking how 'on stage' the characters are, as they mimic and join, hide and seek, meld and face off.
April 19, 2017
Die Kunst der Fuge Contrapunctus 8 - J. S. Bach - Lionel Rogg
a broad gentle downward slope
a grand mansion overlooking
Symphony in G (#94) - Haydn - Austro Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, Adam Fischer
Cracks in the façade, but not endangering. Rising waters, but not alarming. Yet.
String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 - Beethoven - Quartetto Italiano
If a quartet is both a unified thing and a suite of several differing things, then disparities of style, affect, and key can participate in a unified thing, and the same techniques with which the participants of a suite of several things can be said to become unified can be said to unify other orders of disparate parts, and each individual participant of a suite can be made of deeply disparate parts. How far can the parts be sundered and yet remain parts of a thing, not alien to it?
Katya Kabanova Act 3 - Janácek - Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles Mackeras, Gabriela Benacková, Dagmar Pecková, Erika Bauerová, Dana Buresová, Eva Randová, Miroslav Kopp, Jozef Kundlák, Peter Straka, Zdenek Harvánek; Czech Philharmonic; Prague National Theatre Chorus;
Ritualized sacrifice, as demanded.
April 20, 2017
Got The Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson [from Alan Lowe's Really The Blues]
Among many other things, the blues are a medium by which life advice is passed, and the forms and texts are entwined with the society of their arising.
Brown Baby - Eddie Edinborough, Bobby Leecan [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
It's difficult for me to hear what exactly those instruments are. Guitar? If so then it really loves those lower strings. Kazoo? If so, then just possibly the most magnificent kazoo playing ever.
I Don't Want to Make History - Stuff Smith, Johan Jones [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
It isn't just that the singers have been listening to the instrumentalists and vice versa, but they each have also been watching the dancers, and translating the dance into the sung parts of song, and the instrumental parts of song, as well.
Embraceable You - Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra, Jo Stafford and The Pied Pipers
Lights down low. Something more comfortable.
China Boy - Frankie Trumbauer [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
This one is for the dance floor.
Godchild - Red Norvo [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
Ken Benshoof had a theory about jazz harmony treatises. The puzzlement was that you could read what a practitioner wrote about what they were doing, but it never quite lined up with what they seemed to actually be doing. His theory was that jazz players always played "off" of something: "off" a beat, "off" a chord, "off" a tune. The treatises can only describe beats, chords, and tunes, not the nature of the "off". This is a prime example of the importance of "off" precisely calibrated.
Skates on the thin ice of a sensibility. The rhythm of her vocals is almost just simply saying the words. There's that ever so precise "off" again. Peggy Lee genius.
Bewildered - James Brown [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart Of Rock & Soul]
A parody of teen crooner delivery taken so far over the top as to enter a new land. Those breaks toward the end are composed just to hear the reverb the engineer let loose around it.
Pledging My Time - Bob Dylan [from Blonde on Blonde]
Another parody of sorts, this time of delta blues. Of sorts because also a pastiche of sorts. Of sorts because also a submission, a sacrifice. The long-held harmonica notes toward the end are straight out of Louis Armstrong's toolshed. Then he does his best to conjure a synthesizer with it.
American Pie - Don MacLean [from American Pie]
This was the first record I owned, a gift from my brothers. Having ripped this from my own vinyl copy, it still has all the familiar pops on it. I find it curious, after all these years, that the first popular music song I took to independently of my parents, and that wasn't by Simon & Garfunkle, concerned itself with the past. The music of my time was the music of a past time.
Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie [from Changes One]
And of course, DB presents nostalgia as a point of view, in order to invent a fictional past.
One Of These Days - Pink Floyd [from a collection of great dance songs]
There is, or was, a class of youth, and I imagine they are, or were, mostly boys, for whom these crazy long spacy tracks were "so much better than that pop crap all my friends listen to" that they truly longed to infiltrate the dance mix at the sock hop with one of these behemoths. To that class of youth, these were indeed "great dance songs", and Pink Floyd was by far the best of their purveyors. In that sense this otherwise incomprehensibly titled Best Of Collection could be considered as perhaps their most archly meta of concept albums.
Banned Rehearsal 62A - Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Neal Kosály-Meyer [January 1986]
We are being vewy qwiet. Cassette machines sound like ammo lock and load. Gradations of multiple media transference terroir. Literally, mediations. A chorus awakens beneath waters. A cranky slide viewer. How quick the generations to the alien? One? None? The darkly glass. The layered hollows of wind. Crackly undulations. Flames of the fiery furnace. Gloriously spacious, the underlying is revealed. Remove masks. Pluck tendrils. We breathe and allow discussion.
This was side one of a two sided session as we prepared for our third Brechemin outing the next evening. My recollection is that Aaron might have been around, but didn't participate in the concert because he felt that in his absence in Berkeley he hadn't had a chance to properly rehearse. Karen was still living in Tacoma at the time, and wasn't able to come up either. Our second Brechemin show was called "A Short and Simple Concert", and the first part of this new show was essentially a repeat of that one, re-titled as "3 Compositions No Breaks". And that is what you hear on this rehearsal. First, Neal's Hunting and Gathering, then my Trance Butchered Knight for Wurlitzer Funmaker Sprite and tape, finishing with some plucking and singing.
feast on my car - Infamous Menagerie
I'm pretty sure that's the title of the song, but what is sung is clearly "feast on my heart". A manual? A labeled diagram? Every time I hear something by IM they become my absolute favorite band of the 90's.
Banned Rehearsal 421 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Anna K, Aaron Keyt, Neal Kosály-Meyer [April 1996]
The Funmaker 10 years later (we start in with what we have at hand and see what it makes) up to its old tricks again. Its cruddy reverb is lustworthy. And the Mighty Wurlitzer at its Wurlitzeriest. This sort of lava is hard on the feet. A near unanimity of purpose among some members is narrowly averted.
In Session at the Tintinabulary
April 17, 2017
Gradus 310 - Neal Kosály-Meyer
Fog dark densely grown. (We may not have enough bread crumbs.)
At sea. Billows, birds, whales. Beacon. Stars. Moon. Phosphor.