Archives for posts with tag: kzsu

It’s been a while. I’m going to chalk it up to my new, non-music radio show that I started, Green Grid Radio. It has occupied a lot of my free time of late.

Since then I haven’t done much. I’m back at KZSU doing a short music show regularly again. There’s been some good music I’ve been listening to as of late. In some kind of comical response to my own twisted question, yes, I fell for Cap’n Jazz after Owls. I fell hard. And I can almost telegraph now that I’ll be writing on here in a few months that I’m a sucker for Joan of Arc. The other things that have been scratching that itch lately– new Swans (oh my god, that is all I will say), Rella the Woodcutter‘s I Know When It’s Time To Get the Fuck Away EP (gorgeous freaky folk noise, see my review), and Neptune‘s msg rcvd (fantastic music that  sounds like it was made on drugs in a factory)

I decided to post some photos from a recent live performance on KZSU. We were lucky to have Evan Caminiti (of Barn Owl, Higuma, and his own fame) and Vestals (aka Lisa McGee, also of Higuma) perform on Wednesday Night Live. As is the case with everyone else I meet in the bay area music scene, Evan and Lisa were great folks to chat with. Oh yeah, they also play the most beautiful music.

Lisa McGee’s music is as ghostly and dreamy as the apparent effect on this photograph, thanks to the old studio windows at KZSU. Her album Forever Falling Toward the Sky was released on local legendary label Root Strata and received a lot of attention here at KZSU over the summer. Though seeing her perform this in person was a whole new thing. Just warm blankets of bliss.

Caminiti, fresh off the release of 2012’s guitar-driven Dreamless Sleep, followed Vestals on a whole new setup. Lisa told me that he planned to utilize a brand new modular synthesizer in the performance, but troubles in the mail prevented this, and Caminiti shifted his set to incorporate this setup of pedals, effects, laptop, and keys. It was cool stuff. Brand new, dark, dreary, and beautiful. We’re really fortunate to have hosted. Again, college radio has the honor to unleash the best new music to listeners.

That’s it for self-promotional time for now. Have a nice rest of your month of November!

Adam

Earlier this summer I made it to a couple of noise shows and since then, I’ve eased off the gas. A couple of albums have grown on me in the meantime, and I also made it to a Lightning Bolt concert. Here’s an end-of-summer recap:

Eluvium – Similes – Temporary Residence – 2010

This is an album that I remember had a tepid response (at least on the internet) when it was released, because it famously was the first Eluvium release in which Matthew Cooper employed percussion, verse-chorus structure, and even singing. My response was similar- I liked the dreamy music still, but nothing could touch some of his previous works, we thought (my favorite description I saw once likened 2005’s droney epic Talk Amongst the Trees to “weepcore”). But my most reliable music tastemaker raved about it. KZSU’s Your Imaginary Friend (broken link? uh-oh) had very positive things to say about it, comparing it to Eno, which was not the first and will not be the last time the comparison is drawn. I played it a few times on the radio, but it wasn’t droney enough for me, or a useful cog for sound layering at the time.

Thanks to my spring trainee DJ Away (your next KZSU star), who called in a Similes request one night, I reexamined and relistened to the record a bit this summer. Both YIF and DJ Away are spot on in their praise (I wish the general populace was as privy to the impeccable curatorial tastes of Your Imaginary Friend as I am privileged to be). Cooper took four years in between Copia and Similes seemingly to develop this sound. These songs and pieces are fully formed; they’re near perfect and stunningly beautiful when you let them under your skin. The lyrics are wonderful, too, something I did not pay attention to the first time around: abstract yet grounded in human questions and emotions. It wasn’t until listening to “The Motion Makes Me Last” while drunkenly riding a bus home one night did I realize how meaningful the album was to me. The waves of melodic washes buoy the blissful frame, while every word, every piano asecent, and every echoey chordal descent helped me make sense of the world. If it’s been a while since you’ve listened to Similes, I recommend revisiting it.

Owls – Owls – Jade Tree Records – (2002)

I don’t know what it is but I am a sucker for team (Mike) Kinsella. Owen has officially claimed the throne to my last.fmCap’n Jazz has these great melodic moments, but their sound is a little bit frenetic, angular, and shouty for me. I’m glad I’ve given them a shot and I recognize the band’s importance. American Football had, like, the greatest melodic rock album of ’99 (not unlike that Eluvium record I just mentioned in terms of fully-formed, intricate, commanding perfection). So I guess in some sort of attempt at completion-ism, I tracked down the Owls record (on which Mike K drums and Tim K sings, and the rest of the original Cap’n J lineup returns) that I had read about so often over the years.

It’s impenetrable at first- really mathy stuff that twists and jerks around interesting guitar work, but there are hints of anthemic melodic bits. Those teases brought me back for more and I slowly embraced all of it. I’ve been on a freaking kick and I’m trying to not get burnt on the album because I’ve been listening to it so much in the last week or two. It kind of makes me want to put more time into Cap’n Jazz, if the brief moments of greatness expand to encapsulate the whole thing.

It’s kind of weird that Owls reformed, and I’m not sure what to expect when the album is out… But what’s next for me, Joan of Arc?

Lightning Bolt live, courtesy last.fm

That Lightning Bolt show was fun at the Rock ‘N Roll Hotel on Aug 21st. As I expected they were quite loud. The duo played for about an hour before calling it quits on this tour supporting (I believe) an upcoming rarities release on Load Records. Brian Chippendale is certainly the main attraction as he hammers the drums all night while screaming into his “face,” a mic’d Elmo mask on our Tuesday night performance. I’m glad I got to see Lightning Bolt finally, but I’m not sure I’ll make a trip to see them again- their performance is not a gimmick, but a lot of songs sounded similar. The opening act was an Animal Collective-aping Hume, equipped with hipster Asian guitarist and two drummers providing ‘dem tribal beats. It was okay music to nod along to. I read positive reviews of the first act, Les Rhinoceros about something krautrock or another, but I was at the show for a friend’s birthday, so the bar was more of a destination for us at the time.

So that’s that. I will aim for brevity next time. Happy Labor Day?

Hello blog space,

Most of you probably have arrived at my blog to download an interview with a musician or label head. The blog was originally the self-indulgent toilet for me to post shameless advertisements for my lame radio show on KZSU. Anyway, I’ve come full circle at this point. No exciting interviews to report, simply an overdue mention that longtime DJ partner Luke and I have returned to Lost Verses on Thursday evenings/Friday mornings 12-3am PST. You can tune in at http://kzsulive.stanford.edu to hear the program live in its full glory.

The only other thing I’ll say is that I’m excited about seeing White Hills in a couple of weeks. Their new album, Frying On This Rock is heavy, stoney, and psychy in the best possible ways. Last time they were on the touring circuit in California, I missed them, having just arrived back from Europe in a daze and frenzy. Go out there and support artists by going to shows, buying merch, and spreading the good word.

Warmly,

Adam

After a week break from the interview blitz on my show, I had the fortune to interview Drew Sullivan, otherwise known as Slow Dancing Society. Sullivan resides in Washington where he produces and composes atmospheric ambient music. His four full-length releases have met critical acclaim from a wide variety of publications and aggregators, including Luna Kafe, Twice Removed, Hypnagogue, and the Ambient Music Guide. Slow Dancing Society absolutely dominated the KZSU charts in 2011. Three Slow Dancing Society records charted in the top 14 ambient/experimental albums at KZSU. Most recently, Hidden Shoal artist Antonymes reworked a series of tracks from Sullivan’s releases on the late 2011 album, We Don’t Look Back for Very Long. It was a pleasure to welcome a master of blanketing, dreamy sound, Drew Sullivan to KZSU.

Drew spoke with me about his musical influences, how the 80s play a pivotal role in the sound of Slow Dancing Society, and the upcoming releases of some of his projects. Unbeknownst to me, Drew has joined City of Satellites, contributing bass, and collaborations have even morphed into something different, titled The October Solution, whose works in progress can be heard here.  Check out my interview, and make sure to go to the Hidden Shoal website, or check out Slow Dancing Society on bandcamp, if you haven’t already familiarized yourself with Sullivan’s work. Thanks agin to Drew for his time and to Hidden Shoal for all the support at KZSU. Take care and until next week.

Hey internet fans! Yesterday I spoke with Cory of Three Lobed Recordings over the phone and on the air. Cory Rayborn is the owner and head of Three Lobed Recordings. Three Lobed is a small label out of Jamestown North Carolina. The label began as a website for the Philadelphia heavy pyschedelic band, Bardo Pond, who was then enthused to release on 10″ vinyl the Slab EP under Three Lobed in August of 2000. Since then, Rayborn has moved on from his undergraduate years at Duke to the University of North Carolina Law School and now practices law in High Point North Carolina. Three Lobed has steadily become more and more influential, picking up a roster of artists and friends of friends all over the country. Recently, Three Lobed re-released Bardo Pond and Tom Carter‘s studio psych collaboration, 4/23/03. It’s now a double LP with a bonus track and bonus CD of collaborations that took place on 4/25/03. Coming up this year is the second release from the Gunn-Truscinski duo, titled Ocean Parkway. There is no doubt that this is one of my favorite labels — where else can you find the likes of TarentelJack RoseHeavy Winged, and Eternal Tapestry releases all on one label?

My talk with Cory covered a lot of different territory. We spoke about his love of taping live shows, and how this made him a star in the taping community, increasing his contacts with artists. Cory also explained his philosophy on releasing music from the artists he trusts and respects. Take a listen to the interview and make sure to visit http://threelobed.com/tlr/home.html for more info on the label.

Thanks again to Cory for the time, hosting, permission, and generous support of KZSU Music.

My ghost trees interview series continued today with Brian John Mitchell out of North Carolina. Brian John Mitchell is the founder and operator of Silber Records as well as the songwriter and force behind the project Remora. The origins of Silber Records can be traced back to fall of 1994 with the development of the zine, QRD. Silber Records has a motto of “drone, love, honesty, sound” and label artists are stylistically diverse but carry a common link through ethereal ambience, acoustic guitars, and a taste for waves of noise. Silber artists include Rivulets, Alan Sparhawk, Plumerai, Azalia Snail, Aarktika, and of course, Remora, to name a few. Remora released Scars Bring Hope in late 2011, which is a move into the studio and a return to post-apocalyptic folk pop songs that are dunked in electronics, drones, and heavy sounds.

2011’s release Scars Bring Hope by Remora on Silber Records

The lengthy discussion I had with Brian jumped all over the map. We spoke about QR, upcoming Silber releases, Remora and drawing comics. Brian is such a good guy and it was a pleasure to get to know him before and after our interview. If you would like to take a listen to the interview, you can do so here. Make sure to head over to the Silber Records home on the web: www.silbermedia.com. Silber is truly one of the great labels I’ve only had the privilege of discovering due to my involvement in college radio at Stanford.

Upcoming interviews on ghost trees (Mondays from 9am – noon PST on KZSU Stanford 90.1FM and http://kzsulive.stanford.edu):

  • February 20th (10am): Cory Rayborn, head of Three Lobed Recordings and another label stalwart from North Carolina.

Yesterday I continued my Winter Quarter series of interviews with The Lickets, another group performing in the 2012 Day of Noise. The Lickets are local artists writing and performing a unique form of looped, layered, electro-acoustic, shimmering folk-drone beauty. The Lickets are comprised of Mitch Greer and Rachel Smith, who are also behind International Corporation, the label that releases work by The Lickets and side projects Quintana Jacobsma and Mary St. John. International Corporation also releases films to correspond to musical pieces. The Lickets have received praise far and wide and have been described as  “explorative and expansive” (Textura), “deeply enchanting” (The Fly), and “luminously beautiful” (Lost At E Minor). The Lickets will be performing between 10 and 11pm in the upcoming Day of Noise on February 12th, at KZSU Stanford’s studios. It was a pleasure to catch up with The Lickets.

The Lickets’ 2011 release, Here (on Earth)

Mitch and Rachel shared some insight into the gestation of the recent Lickets record, Here (on Earth), released in late 2011. It seems that KZSU had a role in the composition process, and so I find it only appropriate that we charted it 6th overall for the month of December, 7th overall for the month of January (even 11th in November), as well as numerous weekly peaks at #1. On KZSU, that is true consistency and appreciation (see D. Cannibal’s gushing review). Beyond that, the duo also discussed their videos, fun media one-sheets, and what we may hear in the upcoming performance. Download the interview and make sure to visit http://www.lickets.com and International Corporation for more info on their work. Thanks again to The Lickets for their time, permission, and support.

Upcoming interviews on Ghost Trees (Mondays from 9am – noon PST on KZSU Stanford 90.1FM and http://kzsulive.stanford.edu):

  • February 13th (10am): Brian John Mitchell, head honcho of Silber Records as well as the force behind Remora.
  • February 20th (10am): Cory Rayborn, owner and operator of Three Lobed Recordings and all-around good guy.