Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Working Against Time as They Say:

R.I.P. ROBERT ASHLEY 3.28.1930-3.3.2014

I don't often feel the need to comment on people I admired's passing, because if I didn't personally know them then what's the point? Still, was very saddened when I heard the news about Bob earlier today. A true American legend, he fundamentally changed the way I, and many others, viewed composition, performance, and music in general. And he just seemed like such a good guy. Intensely smart, funny, dedicated to art and dedicated to the notion that art can give one something to live for. Man, an all time great. And while we are (unfortunately) on this topic, R.I.P. Alain Resnais, who breathed his last on Saturday. Been a long winter. Things should be heating up around here for Spring, hopefully we'll have some updates.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

One-Sided One-dars!

Well, try as I may it seems I can't keep quiet for very long. While the print form of PtMiiC might be on indefinite hiatus, I still feel compelled to drop some spillage on topics of interest from time to time. Eventually, once the label gets going, a select distro will accompany it and also house reviews, but until then irregular updates will be posted here for virtually no one to read when the mood strikes. One thing (comprising four sides of vinyl) that has struck me over the last month or so's been this (relative) influx of fine single sided archival releases that've found they's whey to my stoop. Scoff if you want, call it a rip off, etc., but in my book sitting through one side of great music beats two sides of so-so audio any day. It might not seem like it by the frequency of writing updates 'round here, but I keep myself plenty busy, and I don't get to spend nearly as much time near the turntable as I'd like, thus, if we can condense the juice into one sparkling side of cider than fine by me. And off to the races we are…!

Agents of Misfortune S/T (No Label) Something I always find annoying about certain music writer's (not pointing any fingers for once, we're trying to keep it classy this time around, ha!) prose, or even people I talk to day to day with similar interests, is how easily some are impressed by so called "carazee guitar damage." The number of examples of uninspired wankage (again, not gonna name names) that gets heralded as some sort of free/avant/fucked what-have-you just by virtue of having feeding back guitars is staggering. Perhaps I don't know how to have a good time, but to me simply having loud, "wild" guitar playing does not automatically equal good music. More often than not, it seems like a lazy attempt to mask the fact that the song writing is actually the most standard, milquetoast extant (or the band is "improvising" because they can't write interesting songs). Occasionally, however, there come takes, both archival and contemporary, that live up to the hype, and happily such is the case with Agents of Misfortune. The band was a short lived power trio featuring a pre-Faith No More Jim Martin and, famously, Clif Burton before he joined Metallica. To say this side is wasted beyond belief would be an understatement. The molten hot 12 minute set, reportedly taped from a live 'battle of the bands' performance circa '81 (clip available on Youtube and is recommended viewing) starts off coherent enough, the group hammering a tight, lock-step groove not unlike budget King Crimson, but very quickly any semblance of song is ditched in favor of increasingly maniacal power drone, eyes fixed on the effects pedals and permeating straight to the core of the Ninth Circle. Damn thing reeks of the same scent that once wafted from a certain rural Ohio kitchen 'round about the time Daily Dance was bubblin' in the sauce pan, and numerous comparisons to Haino/PSF fit like a glove. Hell, I'd throw in many of the more Rock-oriented outfits on Alchemy while we're visiting the Far East; it really is that gone. Eventually the red-eyed threesome manage to reign things in for a few minutes of crude work outs on what I'm told would later be developed as Metallica riffs (sorry, wouldn't know, I'm not even familiar with their "good" stuff. Guess that makes me a wimp or something). I'm no detective, but the paste on cover looks an awful lot similar to that Sweet Sister Ray re-boot job making the rounds about a year ago, so perhaps this is the same fellar who done that. Worthy of a purchase? I'll let Clif's future bandmate answer that.

Jean-Louis Brau Instrumentation Verbales (Alga Marghen) So this record is not very new, it's from 2010, but it is new to me! In fact, Instrumentation Verbales just made its way to my abode after I slapped 'er on a Fusetron order in place of that elusive RCR boot (Anybody holdin' on this thing? I mean sure, I have too many crummy Phoenix/Radioactive hack jobs taking up shelf space as is, really the things are starting to bum me out, but we all know Pearlman 'aint getting a legit reissue campaign thanks to the unsavory acts of his kid. Oh well, a story for a different day). Yeah anyway this record is both one-sided and fantastic, so let's get on with it. Brau ran in the same circles as such Heroes as Gil Wolman and Francois Dufrene, often collaborating with them, and if those names don't sound familiar I suggest hitting the books real quick like. Trust me, you won't regret it. At the ripe age of twenty Brau hooked up with Isidore Isou and the aforementioned Wolman to join pre-Situationist group the Letterist, and eventually, along with Wolman, Debord et al., started the Letterist International, of which he would later be ejected from due to military occupation. Brau would contribute sound, visual art and text throughout the 60's and early 70's to a number of magazines/journals/manifestos in between stints running a brothel and dealing drugs during the Indochina war. This is the most complete documentation of his Sound Art, and, as his ties would lead one to believe, much of this would not be out of place on the absolutely essential Revue OU box set. Packed to the brim with primitive tape cuts, spastic sampled percussion and a generally deranged atmosphere, the vast majority of Instrumentation Verbales has got that tense, antagonistic vibe of Leo Kupper at his rudest or even Otto Muehl's Psycho Motorik. Brau was apparently very interested in the idea of destruction and decimation, and suffice to say it shows. This has been absolutely ruling the table at HQ, and I don't even have to flip it over to listen again once I'm done!

Poul Gernes S/T (Penultimate Press) Poul Gernes was a Danish artist active in the European post-war Avant Garde. Gernes is mainly known for his work in the fields of visual art and happenings, and this single twenty minute composition constitutes the entirety of his known musical output. Performed on a second-hand harmonium, the recording originally came out on cassette in 1969 and this is its first appearance on vinyl. Shooting for minimal organ drone with Roots in the Aether but landing closer to the 'ether' (ho!), it is apparent right outta the gate that Gernes did not have as firm a hold on the mechanics of the harmonium as he did the tools of various other trades he was well versed in, however, what he lacks in technical skill is more than made up for in the very natural, informal blending of rudimentary playing with un-staged occurrences in his environment. There's a certain charm in Gernes willingness to just let the recording process happen as it may, making no attempts to edit out playful interruptions from his young daughter, Ulrikka, or whatever else may enter the space while the tape is running. A resolute optimism towards the seemingly endless possibilities of the situation at hand shines through every minute, and comparisons to the piano work of Phillip Corner could be drawn in the fact that the activities happening around the instrumentation are as intregal to the piece as the sound it generates. Of course a reputed meeting with John Cage is likely to have influenced Gernes dedication to documenting the art of the everyday, as well. As the picture above clearly illustrates, Gernes was not afraid to "Put 'em on the Glass", as it were. I suggest you put your money where your mouth is and cop a piece of this primo Danish Pastry if my write up sounds the least bit enticing.

Bernd Louhaus El Nacimiento Del Huevo (Ultra Eczema) And to close out our one sided discussion we've got this fantastic recording of a mid-60's happening by Antwerp residing sculptor/artist Bernd Louhaus. Much like the above-mentioned Gernes, Louhaus was better known for his work in other areas, such as performance art and his minimal found wood sculptures, than music. As far as I can tell this is the only documented collection of Louhaus's Sound Art, and it is a hoot. Around the time of this recording Louhaus was a student of Joseph Beuys, and it certainly shows, as the presence of Beuys, Christiansen, et al. loom large over proceedings. Many passages also recall prime European Sound Poetry (Heidseick, Bodin, Hanson, etc.), a mixed media cluster fuck that would make Juan Hidalgo proud, and an amateur Scratch Orchestra-esque focus on interactions between Louhaus and a Spanish speaking female (who much of the time I believe is actually a pre-recorded language lesson guide). There's loads of jagged tape cuts, coughing/laughing/heavy breathing, a great ringing bell sound, plenty of poetry and live Actions, but it is the simple introduction of brief silence that sets it apart, creating a highly disorienting atmosphere that remains difficult to get a grip on even after multiple listens. Top notch sleeve on this one too, adorned with period photos of a young Louhaus showcasing a fondness for all things Surreal. A highly varied, engaging listen from clip to clip, I keep coming back to this one with no signs of slowing down yet.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013's Tops 'n What Have You

Well, as I do every year for no reason besides my own ego-driven amusement, here's the officially sanctioned PtMiiC year end list. This year, particularly the last six months, have been alright, and we're looking to close it up on a high note and continue the thread into '14. Of course, life's never given me reason to stay optimistic for too long, and who really fuckin' cares anyway? Gotta live one way or another. Anyway, 's far as the fifth and final issue of the zine is concerned, supplies are running low on my end. I plan to print a small re-press, but if you are interested in ordering direct it's advisable not to wait. As far as distros go, it appears to still be available from Swill Radio in the U.S. and should soon be hitting the shores of England, to be purchased through Penultimate Press. Copies are also en route to Permanent Records in Chicago and Eternal Soundcheck got a couple for inquisitive Australians. I'd like to thank everyone who's been kind of enough to express "bummed this is the last issue" type sentiments. It is certainly appreciated, but I'd like to note that we're just getting warmed up here at PtMiiC HQ. Creatively things have been dormant for awhile but expect a lot of musical activity from related projects in the next year that might be to your liking if you've dug the focus of the zine, as well as records featuring both myself and other people I've never met before in the near future. Don't ever do anything you don't want to do.
-"The Editor"

Counter Intuits S/T (Pyramid Scheme)
The Floor Above Bishop (Savage Quality)
Good Area French Antarctica (Kye)
Anne Guthrie/Richard Kammerman Sinter (ErstAEU)
Matt Krefting High Hopes (Open Mouth)
Graham Lambkin/Jason Lescalleet Photographs (Erstwhile)
Lloyd Pack At Home with the Lloyd Pack (L'Espirit De L'Escalier)
Mordecai College Rock (Richie)
Satanic Rockers Fu Kung (Albert's Basement)
True Sons of Thunder Stop and Smell Your Face (Little Big Chief)

A Band Called Life "S/T" (Albert's Basement)
CCR Headcleaner "S/T" (Caesar Cuts)
Condominium "Carl" (Sup Pop)
Cured Pink "S/T" (Black Petal)
Graham Lambkin "Abersayne" b/w "Attersaye" (Kye) [B-side in particular]
Mad Nanna "I Wanna See You" b/w "The Nectarine Tree" (Soft Abuse) [After a couple phoned-in ones Mad Nanna are back on top. Their best single yet. Fuck off, I love this band!]
Mike Rep and the Quotas "It's My Movie" b/w "Gloria" (Hard to Beat) [Fuck off, made available for the first time this year so I say it counts] 
Repos "Armed and Using" b/w "Hole in the Hill" (Cowabunga)
Strapping Fieldhands "Impossible to Say" b/w "Sitting on Her Whiskers" (Richie)[A-side in particular]
Uranium Orchard "Unchurched Shithead" (Cold Vomit)

Too many, I'm sick of 'em! Give me an OG, or even better, the Now. Pete and Royce was one of my favorite previously unheard surprises though, as was the recently acquired Semikolan by Lars-Gunnar Bodin & Bengt Emil Johnson. A whole different beast than Johnson's Sound Poetry of which I was somewhat familiar with, this one hits hard and it hits often. And hey, how 'bout that side two of the Kevin Aprill acetate that was cause for Del Val to break a decade+ hibernation?! Echo'd kazoo never sounded so fucked!

New-ish IFCO's have been keeping my tape deck busy (E.1027 on ORL/Noise Below and the split with Tim Shortell/Darren Harris on Rectial), as have Messrs, Love Chants on BDTD, Workers Comp and Kremlin demos (R.I.P. Of course just when I find a new HC band that really hits me they break up. Here's to hoping these bucks continue to fight the good fight in future outfits), to name a few.

I got mixed feelings 'bout Enjoy the Experience. On one hand it's tacky, expensive and pointless, but on the other it's pretty choice to leaf through. We'll have to cut the baby in half on that 'un. Have been enjoying Patrick Lundborg's massive Psychedelia over the past month or so as well (I think I actually got this for last X-Mas but just got to it now), and it's kind of music-related. I don't agree with where his argument seems to be headed (i.e. a sympathetic view of spirituality/mysticism), but I still got 200+ pages so it's a bit unclear if that's what he's on about just yet. That's about all I got for now. 2013, another one in the can. 2014, seal slowly and pee...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Issue five available now:

Put the Music in its Coffin is back from a long hibernation for one last coming out party before self-imposed exile, and you’re invited to cum ahn pheel tha noize! Originally, the fifth and final issue was planned to be a collaborative effort of a small but admirable gathering of the minds from the underside of contemporary “music journalism,” but as your lone wolf “Editor” ‘aint exactly the networking type and can’t be bothered with follow up reminders/requests, it soon became clear that it was best to stick to the same format as the previous four. Here “The Journalist” lends his insights to a reappraisal of the harsher sides of early non-music, be it academic, underground, or decidedly above in nature, and discusses a few works in terms of the birth Hardcore Punk. Plus, a lengthy overview of Scott Foust’s career from the man’s biggest fan, himself, a long talk, rife with informed commentary on topics ranging from inept Japanese Prog. to Taylor Swift, with the duo that compromise what is currently Philadelphia’s most promising musical unit, Good Area, and a brief but poignant internet correspondence with one of Australia’s top exports of broken sound for over a decade strong, Matt Earle. Not to mention the typically bulging reviews section made even more so from the amount of time we’ve been away for and you’ve got an issue with as much content as the first four combined. 84 full size (11x17) pages with full color center spread. Good Gard what a way to go out!

To purchase, Paypal to richiesdog@gmail.com.

U.S.-$10 ppd
Canada-$12 ppd
World-$16 ppd

In RE: to the prices, yes, I am aware that no one wants to pay this much for a shoddy little fanzine, and I don’t want to charge it, but this thing really is pretty damn thick, and thus cost a decent sum to print, the weight of which in turn effects shipping costs. Trust me, I am not making any money on this. Interested distros, please get in contact for wholesale rates.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Just to prove that I am actually working on this and it will eventually exist, here are some excerpts from issue V:

From "The Journalist's" contribution, an article on the similar trajectories of various forms of grating music:

If you've ever wondered what a William Burroughs/Sachiko M collaboration would sound like I advise picking this ‘lil gem up and listening a hundred times or so. It only gets stronger, and a clearly-defined logic becomes apparent, the closer one listens, long passages of surprisingly well thought out electronic experimentation offering great pacing for the humorous story, that seems as much a critique on an undiscerning acceptance of anything related to faaarrr ouuuttt 60’s counter culture as it does an indictment of square society, so prevalent at the time in the freak flag scene from which I rest assured they sprang.

From an interview with Scott Foust:

SF-Well I’ll tell you a different story (laughs). I call this “The curse of Harry Partch.” You know Harry Partch? He was a weirdo composer, eccentric composer, built all his own instruments...


SF-In the early 80's I saw a documentary about him on public TV, and there's a scene in it where he had a label, he had his own label because no one would do the records, called Gate 5, and there's a scene in it where he's boxing up these records and he's this old man boxing up these records to send to distributers to sell his records, and I saw this thing and I thought “That is the fucking coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my life! I want to be just like that!” Well here it is, I am just like that, and it's not so cool.

From an interview with Good Area:

A-A good label shouldn't be a potpourri, it shouldn't just be a big pot where 'ya go in the closet and you take every single thing that you have on hand and 'ya throw it in. It should be a bit more considered. You might be cooking a quiche that has different elements that are, that might be unexpected, elements to put side by side in the same dish, but it should be like a good quiche (laughs) where the sort of differing elements, they should accentuate the differences and accentuate the flavors and like the parameters of each individual item.

From review of Cured Pink "S/T":

On this ‘un, with the help of some buds, he paints a pretty rare bird of dark Psychedelic exploration, sorta like the logical extension of Father Yod, with focus shifted towards electronics rather than fascistic orgies. I’m often reminded of early UK Industrial too, the kinda stuff that still had one foot in Rock, like Cab Voltaire or the extended live version of Leather Nun’s “Slow Death.” A bit of a hippy take on SPK too? At times it ‘aint even too far removed from the type of snuff Twink was flingin’ on Think Pink. And why not? Let’s through it all in there!

From review of V/A Wandelweiser und so Weiter:

And sure, that’s easy to make fun of (Ey vant to fvck ze heir conidizioter! Zuch bootifull zounds it maycake!), but is it really any worse than cartoon Punk-ity Punks with their leather gloves and fire crackers, or scruffy fake Psych dudes who talk Privates but play Dino-Jr. covers, or “edge men” who live the artisanal life style-wearing freshly procured designer clothes, brushing their teeth w/ organic plant cum toothpaste and ridin’ about town on café racers w/ goofy Clark Kent/Hitler Youth haircuts flappin’ in the breeze? I mean, fuck everybody, really.

All this and plenty of surprises await for the discerning music journalism consumer in a short few weeks, so keep checkin' in as we await the climactic finale of PtMiiC's existence.