Banana Nutrament

2006 Pazz and Jop Results In

It hits newstands tomorrow, but the 2006 Pazz and Jop results are up right now on the Village Voice site. Actually, real nerds have been hitting reload since 11:00 am this morning..

No one bid on my ballot, all the work I do for you people and I can't catch a Buy it Now every once and again?

In the issue's cornerstone essay The Dean (Christgau) expounds on the rapidly shrinking time involved in the critical hype cycle due to file-sharing, message boards, and blogs like this one here. I don't yet know what he was droning on about, I only scanned it on Technorati.

Just kidding. I'll read it on the subway tomorrow.

I think it's time for some Weasel Walter.

Weasel Walter - I Just Whaled on a Music Critic with a Baseball Bat

And this, apropos of nothing, except that I just found out it it segues perfectly from the previous track.

Rusty Santos - Feel Radio Signals (Botanica Mix)

Wasn't this better than me just telling you who won?
R.I.P. Nam June Paik

Oh man. Nam June Paik died at his home on Sunday. In a world of art world phonies and market pressures for the next big thing, rare was his visionary genius. That whole "inventor of video art" accolade was always sort of dubious, but he was one of the few individuals running with Fluxus that could match George Maciunas pound for pound with his wit and productivity.

Banana Nutrament

Do yourself a favor if you ever find yourself in SoHo among the high-end boutiques and home decor shops. There exists a large tree coming out of the sidewalk at 80 Wooster, it was surreptitiously planted in front of a Fluxus funhouse back in the 1960s. It exists now as trace remains of the anarchic spirit that Paik added so very much to.

A few selected recordings:

Nam June Paik - Etude For Pianoforte

Nam June Paik - Hommage a John Cage

Nam June Paik - My Jubilee Ist Unverhemmet

A .PDF of Gene Youngblood's Expanded Cinema exists here at UbuWeb. Highly recommended if you are interested in the converging fields of video, cinema, and the expanded arts of the '60s.
Some Wonderful Evils

Why do the Swedish do psychedelia so well? Are their circadian rhythms fried from the twenty four hour sunshine in June and July? Certain countries nail it, I'm thinking Japan and Brazil specifically, while others fail miserably. It seems that a certain cultural distance is needed to conjure up the right sort of misconstructions that accidentally generate an entirely new sound.

Annabee-Nox - Always On My Mind

The Shakers - Who Will Buy These Wonderful Evils

**Buy the Who Will Buy These Wonderful Evils? compilation here**
nO things

Picking up lots of ground chatter about Liar's upcoming release Drum's Not Dead; sneak listens confirm it as a return to form for the group, or at least a reversion from prattling on about witch dandruff. Or whatever it was they were groaning about (thankfully not pirates). Nice to hear they've hiked back from the forest with that new full length in tow, it drops in February and is quite a doozy.

But what happened to that deadly rhythm section after being lopped off so unceremoniously? Turns out bassist Pat Noecker and drummer Ron Albertson stuck together and formed the outfit n0 things with friend Christian Dautresme. Working the Todd P pierogi circuit for some time now, they've built up good word of mouth and are appearing at SXSW in March.

All the tom tom war drums and moody funk remain. Though they have a unique voice all their own, and are very much their own band, I can't help but feel my favorite part of 2001 has reappeared.

n0 things - Just Say It

n0 things - Mother Is a Tidal Wave
n0 things -Tears for Time Lost

Buy an early single here

visit n0 things website
New York Noise 2 Release

I went into great depth about this in an earlier post, so I'll try to hold back some of the enthusiasm this time around. Suffice it to say that Soul Jazz's New York Noise 2 comp runs circles around its predecessor; it's loaded with obscurities and refrains from acting as an introductory primer.

Glorious Stranger, Red Transistor, The Static, all names I had no familiarity with before. Yet they might be the most essential tracks on this comp. Soul Jazz also did the right thing by not only including Rhys Chatham, but by making sure to insert his "Drastic Classicism":

Rhys Chatham - Drastic Classicism
**Pre-Order New York Noise 2 Here**

I first heard this hissing demon of a track on Music from Antarctica (another compilation worth seeking out). It neatly straddles the divide between the academic world and the sticky floors of East Village basement punk shows, as only Chatham's (and Branca's) best work is able to do.

My only major complaint would be the dubious prominence of Arthur Russell's name on the cover art, as the Felix - Tiger Stripes track is actually a collaboration with the criminally underexposed Nicky Siano. It's doubly odd when you consider the rumor that Russell pushed for an original pressing under the Felix name as a way to distance himself from the whole project. I can understand the marketing angle of latching on to all the Arthur Russell revivalism, but Soul Jazz also has a Siano comp to sell as well. Tiger Stripes is a peculiar fusion of Siano's "Move" (the flip on the original) and this track.

At the risk of making this sound like a "Where Are They Now?", it's important to realize many of these artists are still incredibly busy musicians:

Y Pant's Barbara Ess is now a professor of photography at Bard College, and a well respected artist still keeping a hand in underground music. A few years ago she put out an album with co-conspirator Peggy Ahwesh (herself a noted experimental filmmaker) on Ecstatic Peace, a washed out comingling of processed radio signals and guitar scrapings:

Barbara Ess & Peggy Awesh - Track 1
**Buy Radio Guitar Here**

Sal Principato of Liquid Liquid fame still DJs quite a bit in NYC and abroad, and besides being revered by beatminers and electronic artists, has moved into collaborating with a few of them.

Ectomorph with Sal Principato - Chromed Out
**Buy Chomed Out Here**

Not on the Soul Jazz 2 comp of course, but I think Liquid Liquid was on the first one. Sal Principato also did a wild PS/1 Warm Up this past summer that can still be streamed. Read an interview with him here, poor guy's got to be sick of talking about Melle Mel and the Furious Five by now.

No surprise that Glenn Branca is still incredibly busy, given the influence of his work. I wonder how long it takes to get to Montclair, New Jersey. More importantly, I wonder what one hunder guitars playing at once sounds like.

Glenn Branca is performing Hallucination City: Symphony 13 for 100 Guitars on February 4th
Samples of Branca's work here and here, also, ordering info over at Carpark Records

Psychic Ills at Northsix January 20th

Finally got to witness Psychic Ills perform this past Friday. Must have missed seeing them 4 or 5 times, and eventually the itch got too great to bear.

Onstage at Northsix, the Psychic Ills summoned hashish tent daydreams swept by drones billowing out like prerecorded muezzin calls. They delivered heavy psychedelia with the lightest of touches, exercising restraint and avoiding any shoegaze tarpits. I only recognized "January Rain", the rest was a storm field of reverb and frayed ends. Could have only possibly been improved by Joshua Light Show background projections.

Banana Nutrament

We had mentioned them here back in July, though we are just blogger kids. Our friends at Daughters of Invention, 20 Jazz Funk Greats, and Just for A Day have been beating a drum for them too, let's hope it develops into some actual press.

We ended up walking out on insipid headliner Serena Maneesh, but not before picking up a copy of the Ills' Dins. It comes out February 7th but can be ordered direct from the label right now. Interesting to hear that the final mixdown is very different from the various demos and leaks that had been dribbling out onto the Internet. Ace Fluxus cover art too.

I think we've posted enough Social Registry mp3s in our short time, so head over to the label for a further listen.
Pharoah Sanders + Chuck D = Duo-Generational Double Genius

I don't like doing those list making games, and am particularly allergic to top tens. So don't expect to hear me start rattling off favorite Pharoah Sanders cuts, there are far too many to remember.

Pharoah Sanders - Astral Traveling
**Buy it at CD Universe**

Pharoah Sanders - Love Is Everywhere (live excerpt Paris '75)
**More about the artist**

I did shed a tear at a Bed-Stuy Salvation Army a few summers ago. Came across box of musty jazz records and thought I had hit the dead Bill Cosby granduncle jazz afficiando mother lode. My greedy fingers flipped past Karma, Black Unity, Jewels of Thought, some Anthony Braxton, Yusef Lateef, and Ornette Coleman. Thought they were mine all mine until I realized there was nothing inside their covers. Either the homeless or some over eager Pratt brats got their first, should have known better. My only consolation was bumping into that Broken Angel thingamajig afterwards.

But I just found something better.

The P.T.A. - No Thembi
**Order info at Phonica**

Chuck D and Pharoah Sanders. I've read that mash-ups are dead or too "2003". That's ridiculous, the novelty might be gone, but anytime two things add up to more than the sum of their parts, people will listen.

Back at the Drone Disco

I tried Dance Dance Revolution in Coney Island once, I thought I did alright for the few minutes I was hopping around. At least up until I saw a few Chinese teens rolling their eyes at my performance.

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I don't think those kids would last half hour in the orgone drenched sauna of a Theo Parrish set.

Theo Parrish - Falling Up (Carl Craig Remix)
**Boomkat used to have it**

"Catapults" was my jam for most of the Fall. Not sure how I happened across this Burning Star Core mp3, but for post-work walks in the crisp air it was always at the ready. At times C Spencer Yeh sounds like Tony Conrad directing a junior high school orchestra while huffing a bag of glue. But I mean that in only the best way possible.

That one lone track left such an impression that I picked up Burning Star Core's full length as soon I saw it in the shops. Wonderful cover art too, good enough to dislodge a certain Rebore project off my Wall of Nerd.

Banana Nutrament
win a silver star if you can identify the Burning Star Core record (no cheating)
win a gold star if you can identify all five
win a hoodie embroidered with "Gentrifier" if you can figure out where I live (use woodwork context clooz)

Burning Star Core - Catapults
**Buy The Very Heart of the World at Fusetron**
Martin Luther King and Chicago House

Banana Nutrament

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

This is a repost from back in August, I had put this up for the anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech. Regardless, I want you to hear it again today:

Mr. Fingers - Can You Feel It (Martin Luther King Mix)
**Buy it from Trax**

Even after repeated listens, it never fails to raise the small hairs on the back of my neck. There's quite a few Chicago house tracks that merge preacher records with underground beats, it's even being done today. But none do it so beautifully, this MLK remix is just an astonishing marriage of hope and melancholy.

If you're interested, here is a virtual tour of the MLK's birth home, and the full text of the I Have a Dream Speech resides here.

John Coltrane - Alabama
**Buy it at CD Universe**

Coltrane composed this for the four young African-American girls who died in a 1963 Birmingham church bombing. This unfortunate attack happened directly after the March on Washington, it stood as a sobering counterpoint to the exhilaration felt by the civil rights movement after King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
Pop/Punk Experimentalism

I have never done nor had happen to me anything like yesterday's post.

Although, one time as a child, while looking at all the colorful rocks behind glass at the geology section of the American Museum of Natural History, I had my first encounter with Noise. I got too close to a chalky flourescent yellow looking specimen, and all of a sudden I experienced involuntary convulsions along with my eardrums buzzing loudly. I hadn't triggered an alarm, and yet no one else had heard what I had experienced. I was certain that this moonrock/geological oddity had beamed it directly into my skull.

Anyway, here are some wooly sounds that have benefited from the smuggling of avant-garde signatures out of the academy and into a poppier oddball context.

Nigel Simpkins - Times Encounter

**More info at Hyped 2 Death**

Cecil Leuter - Pop Electronique No. 2
**Buy it at Moviegrooves**

Also, apropos of nothing, here is a Google video link to Charles and Ray Eame's wonderful film Powers of Ten.

I had quite the eBay addiction for 16mm films a few years ago. Being a half broke newcomer to New York City, I kept afloat by finding poorly listed lots and flipping them. Spent more money than I made due to collecting, but one well-remembered deal involved reselling a print of Duchamp's Anemic Cinema for too much money. My other major parting was with a print of Powers of Ten I had found for $10 dollars. I kicked it over to someone in the UK for around $280. Well worth it for him too, it's a wonderful film.
Baby Loves Roy Ayers

Saturday was windy and chilly, so we finally made it down to Baby Loves Disco, a children's dance party out of Philadelphia making bimonthly stops in New York (alternating between Southpaw and Cielo). We had arrived right at 3pm, and one of the strangest "clubbing" experience of my life transpired. The Southpaw crew was a little slow in opening up, so sprawled out on the sidewalk of Fifth Avenue were 30-40 odd children and their parents impatiently lined up to get in. While waiting, we fully expected some imperious bouncer to come out to judge which uncool babies had to remain behind the velvet rope.

Once it began, it was a relief to find it wasn't a Bee Gees cheezefest. Cosmo Baker was up on stage, rocking the Final Scratch with possibly some vinyl on the side. Lots of fun was had carrying our infant through the bubble machine while all manner of toddlers on the dancefloor were going bonkers to "I Want You Back" by the Jackson Five. The DJ even broke off a mellower Roy Ayers mini-set for a breather.

Osunlade - Tarzan (Yoruba Dub)
**Buy it from Phonica**

Pepe Bradock - I Am Your Mind Part II
**Buy it at Soul Seduction**

The above are two great Roy Ayers remixes I've been enjoying lately, both from separate EPs that BBE have put out.

Yes, that's another tenuous musical connection to what I'm posting about, but have you ever tried doing a bottle feeding with the the rolling bass of "Flashlight" in the background? Go to start 'em young.
Guinness Ice Cream Floats

Another deserved nod to WFMU this week, this time for the only year end list worth reading (sorry). Of exceptional note is Mark Allen's "The Top 10 Things I Accidentally Ate In 2005". Number one floored me, while I've never thought to make a dessert of Guinness, cooking with it is a favorite of mine.

Had Guiness ice cream in a bar once. But it was merely vanilla laced with the Dark Gold. I tried Allen's recipe a few times this week, and I can report back that he's right, the Extra Stout bottles work best. It's an oddly delicious combination, the beer and ice cream whip themselves up into an earthy foam. Only use vanilla though.

Here is my addition to the canon:

Guinnness Mushroom Sauce
Originally for chicken wings, but can easily be adapted for chicken filets, tofu, or what have you.

1 tallboy Guinness draught can
1/2 oz dried morel mushrooms
1 oz dried assorted mushrooms
half a small box of supermarket button mushrooms
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 can of beef stock (or veg stock if you must)
corn starch if thickening is needed

Pour the beer into a saucepan with all the dried mushrooms and the truffle slivers. Let that boil for a while until the beer has evaporated a bit. Read some Basho. Start throwing in the stock and the butter. Lastly, the chopped up fresh mushrooms. Keep it all going at a low boil, what you want to end up with is a thick dark sauce.

Sunburned Hand of the Man - Buried Pleasure
**Buy it at Insound**

Baden Powell & Vinicius de Moraes - Tempo De Amor
**Buy it at Amazon**

And of course, something to listen to as you're drinking that float.
Outer Spaceways Trek Discotheque

Sun Ra might have risked massive overheating had he ever ventured under hot disco lights with his mithril headgear. Hopefully he could have just reflected the beams right back with that cranial mirror ball of his. I suppose we'll never know if Studio 54 would have reduced him into a pile of gilt robes over an Africa shaped puddle.

We do however have "UFO", a left field disco track minted by Ra and the Arkestra. On second thought, I'll desist from calling the man "Ra"; I've heard too many pompous jazz-o-snobs do it, as if they had been on a first (last?) name basis with this genius. No idea why Sun Ra had a go at making a dance track, it certainly wasn't the money. The lurching beat staggers in front of itself a few times, but it only adds to the building delirium of it all.

Sun Ra and his Arkestra - UFO
**Buy On Jupiter at Forced Exposure**

Brian Turner over at WFMU struck gold with this video of Sun Ra performing on Saturday Night Live. I remember an interview in this book, some SNL staff writer was complaining how Britney and other teenybopper acts were the only musical guests booked nowadays. To further his point, said comedy writer then waxed nostalgic on how there had once been a time when the likes of Sun Ra had graced Studio 8H's stage. Never thought I'd actually get to see the performance, I even installed RealPlayer for it.

One more mind meld before we go. On this collaboration, Grandmaster Flash voluntarily allows himself to be hooked up Clockwork Orange style to the diabolical Dr. Tomita's EKG leads. So while Flash is on the beat box, his brainwaves and heart rhythms are also triggering inputs on Tomita's collection of vintage RCA synths. Together it's a nice confluence of intentional and inadvertent sounds.

Speaking of chance operations, I'm wearing corduroy pants today and each time my legs graze each other I keep hearing Flash's trademark "Fresh!" scratch.

Yann Tomita and Grandmaster Flash - Flash to the Bionic Beat and an Analysis of His Brainwave by Doctor
**Buy Yann Tomita's Music for Living box set at CD Universe**
Arthur's Landing at St Mark's Church

Damn. It's probably too late for the Googlebots to pick up on this, so forward this info to friends as you see fit. We got some interesting news from Steven Knutson of Audika Records in response to Friday's post.

He wrote to let us know that tonight, (Sunday 1/1), a group of musicians will be performing Arthur Russell's music at St. Marks Church in New York City's East Village. No definite time of performance as of yet.

Steven writes:

Ernie Brooks phoned me from rehearsal a few minutes ago, and all he knows is that they are performing "after 10:00 PM". So my guess is between 10 and midnight. Here's the line-up (there is also another musician whose name I don't have):

Mustafa Ahmed
Ernie Brooks
Steven Hall
Elodie Lauten
Peter Zummo

Thanks Steven!