|photo by Tankie Lemberg, at Hard Times Cafe, Minneapolis MN|
I visited some of my longest standing friends in Cleveland on the way to New York, and upon arriving to New York, went straight to WKCR to do a live performance on the radio show "Transfigured Night" (hopefully the archive will be up soon). I was extremely humbled by this experience, as they were either airing my recordings or my performances for 3 hours. Thanks to Narine for having me!
The following evening I found myself at WFMU, where I was given a tour of the bizarre velvet portraits with varying degrees of efficiency/hilarity emanating from them, and various artifacts from this incredible and long standing institution.
We discussed the characteristics of feedback with radio and internet streams. My first live set started off with near silence, and gradually became more of an implement in the performance. Wm. Berger played great music as only he can do, from doom/black metal to psychedelic madness and clips from obscure horror movies. I was also honored by a short interview, being able to do a second live set, and on top of that, a recording of my live set on WZRD in 2006 closed out the show. Their comment board had enough praise to make me blush and then some.
WFMU has been my favorite radio station since I knew about it almost ten years ago, and My Castle of Quiet has been my favorite radio show since I knew of its inception a few years ago, headed by someone who was around for several years starting in the 80s and 90s, and took a ten year break that ended in 2009 or so. This experience was the bedrock of what radio should be like, and I'm happy as a lark that I could be part of it for one evening.
The show the following day at Silent Barn was cancelled due to snow, and so I was lucky to be able to hang out with Wm. Berger at Castle HQ for one more day before flying to Pittsburgh. It was great to have good conversation, overlapping likemindedness, and such a kind host! Thanks again!
I will have to hang out with Richard Kamerman, Nat Roe, the guys from Grasshopper, and others, at another time, but I'm very thankful that I was invited to be part of what would have been an excellent show, an opening for a barber shop/record store/art gallery within the bowels of the longstanding Silent Barn venue.
In Pittsburgh, there were some cancellations and a low turn out, but the local sets were great and the saving grace was being able to get Panther Modern to do a set, coming all the way from Baltimore. His work is some of the best going on right now.
I was also able to stay at local artist Seth LaDonne's house, and we had some great conversation/food before I left early in the morning for Cleveland.
Cleveland's scene is strong and diverse even on an off day. I took part in NOISE LUNCH, a sunday after noon monthly affair that seems to come in the wake of their AUDIO VISUAL BAPTISM. Each installation has a theme, this one being the use of contact mics. Lisa Miralia's BAAT project was an excellent performance piece inspired by singing spiders, and she used contact mics to replicate sea breezes and kiddie talking bugs. There was also the 14 year old Malware project, using a bowed steel sailboat and an effected toy piano. Every act was great, and it had been my best rendition of this ongoing mutation of a piece I've been working with. Everyone was very supportive (thanks to Lisa for playing my work on her radio show and passing around a hat too!).
After that I got to cook with Scott Hosner, the former owner of Bela Dubby, a defunct coffee shop in Cleveland. I drank and worked on recordings with Wyatt Howland AKA Skin Graft, and there's such an abundance of source material that I can't help but be excited about what will come of it. I must also say that I was waiting for a friend to meet me in a huge mall. because they wouldn't let me into the casino with my gear, and instead of playing the same drab RnB I recall hearing every time fate's unwavering hand drags me into a mall, I heard 60s music on the intercom, most notably Joe Meek's Telstar washed in the marble reverb of the 3 story mall, only a week after the anniversary of his death. That was surreal.
The bus rides were largely peaceful, one highlight being a long conversation with 2 dominatrixes on the way into New York about various bizarre fetishes they've been able to provide services for.
New York has such an incredible energy to it, can only be experienced to be understood. My preconceptions had been shattered before I even got off the bus. And in all of two days there, I didn't experience an inkling of the rudeness that befits The Big Apple's reputation. It was the city that never sleeps, and while I was within its parameters, I couldn't either. It was a place where every square inch seems to permeate with a sense of urgency.