The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Ken Vandermark / Fred Lonberg-Holm: Resistance (Bocian)

Live recordings from the duo of frequent collaborators Ken Vandermark on sax & reeds and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and electronics performing at Chicago's Heaven Gallery in 2013, for a superb set with surprising twists and turns and a great range of dynamics and approaches. ... Click to View

Ken Vandermark / Fred Lonberg-Holm: Resistance [VINYL] (Bocian)

Live recordings from the duo of frequent collaborators Ken Vandermark on sax & reeds and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and electronics performing at Chicago's Heaven Gallery in 2013, for a superb set with surprising twists and turns and a great range of dynamics and approaches. ... Click to View

Paul Metzger: 1300 [VINYL] (Nero's Neptune)

Unconventional guitarist Paul Metzger in his ninth solo album, and third for Nero's Neptune, performing on a revamped Yamaha guitar guitar and 23-string banjo, both of whcih include percussive elements, for dexterous playing informed by global influences. ... Click to View

Hauf / Heather / Siewert / Weber: The Peeled Eye [VINYL with Download Code] (Shameless)

Ominous free jazz from the quartet of Boris Hauf (baritone sax), Martin Siewert (guitar), Christian Weber (electric bass) and Steve Heather (drums), thick and tremendously informed improv with a rock-tilted ear toward the sonic aspects of their instruments. ... Click to View

Postmarks (Boris Hauf / D Bayne / Martin Siewert): National Parks [Vinyl] (Monotype)

The duo of saxophonist Boris Hauf and pianist D Bayne team up with guitarist Martin Siewert in this collection of tracks inspired by different U.S. national parks and their representation in iconic posters.f ... Click to View

Frank Wright Quartet: Church Number Nine [VINYL] (Calumet)

An obscure and amazing album originally released in 1973 on the French Calumet label from the free improvising quartet of Frank Wright (tenor sax), Noah Howard (alto sax), Mohamed Ali (drums) and Bobby Few (piano), an inspired release under the influence of Coltrane and Ayler. ... Click to View

Shit and Shine: Everybody's a Fuckin Expert [VINYL 2 LPs] (Editions Mego)

Divided into 4 larger segments, Craig Clouse leads the otherwise anonymous Shit and Shine through a strangely aggressive album of free beats and aberrant sound, with one foot in the noise rock of London that it arose from and the other tripping the feet of electro music. ... Click to View

Francisco Lopez : La Selva [VINYL LP & USB CARD] (Sub Rosa)

An immersion into the sound environments of a tropical rain forest in an ultimate mix from original recordings done at La Selva Biological Station during the rainy seasons of '95-96 from sound artist Francisco Lopez, released as a USB memory-card with non-audio etched vinyl. ... Click to View

Robert Piotrowicz / Lukas Jincka: Samoobrona [VINYL] (Bolt)

Helmut Kajzar's play with themes of physicality and death with sound performed with synthesizers and electronics, in it's 4th recording including stage directions in the narrative (in Polish) with an insert provding English translations of a selection of dialog. ... Click to View

Stepmother (Simonis / Visser / Gilonis / Kerman): Calvary Greetings [VINYL] (Megaphone)

Bringing together members from RIO-oriented bands like Vril, AA Kismet, The Work, Hat Shoes, Hail, 5uus, Present, & Thinking Plague, Stepmother presents a strange conglomerate of styles in short songs with twisted elements, strange intent, and superb playing. ... Click to View

Andrew Weathers Ensemble: Fuck Everybody, You Can Do Anything (Full Spectrum)

Experimental improvising in the 3rd studio release from Andrew Weathers and his Ensemble paying homage to America's myriad cultural traditions in sound tapestry and song, completing a trilogy that began in 2011 with "We're Not Cautious". ... Click to View

Enema Syringe: Upshutlenvolte [7-inch Vinyl] (Fragment Factory)

Kai Parviainen's Enema Syringe in a 7" release recorded in 1987, 14+ minutes of raw and primitive staccato electronics edgy with a darkly disordered mental state, a stark testimony to the tenacity of his work, which continues into the 2010s. ... Click to View

The Wire: #380 October 2015 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

The cult of Sun Ra via Hieroglyphic Being, plus Gilles Peterson on his new Sun Ra comp and Art Yard's Peter Dennett; Ernest Berk: Musique Concrete Meets Modern Dance; Collateral Damage: Unsound's Mat Schulz; Epiphanies: Kristin Hersh; Global Ear: Budapest, Hungary. ... Click to View

The Wire: #379 September 2015 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

On the cover: Julia Holter; Blurt; Music With My Insane Friend (Melbourne duo James Wilson and Simon Bereux); Invisible Jukebox: Arnold Dreyblatt; Ramzi; Iain Chambers; Kink Gong; Khyam Allami; Global Ear: Lima; plus live, print and recorded reviews, &c &c. ... Click to View

Devin Gray (w/ Kris Davis / Chris Tordini / Chris Speed): RelativE ResonancE (Skirl)

Excellent NY jazz from drummer/composer Devin Gray's superb quartet with Kris Davis on piano, Chris Speed on reeds, and Chris Tordini on double bass, in 8 compositions that are as enjoyable lyrically as it is following the structures, twists and turns of each piece. ... Click to View

Sean Sonderegger's Magically Inclined (feat Areni Agbabian): Eat The Air (Skirl)

NY saxophonist Sean Sonderegger's Magically Inclined, made up of musicians that he performed alongside in Butch Morris' ensembles, in an album of melodic works including highly composed music and collective free improvisation, graced with the voice of Areni Agbabian. ... Click to View

Leah Paul: Trenza (Skirl)

Flutist Leah Paul presents two engaging compositions in multiple movements, performed with a chamber ensemble of Chris Speed (reeds), Rob Jost (french horn), Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon), Peter Sachon (cello), Tanya Kalmanovitch (viola), Ben Kono (oboe) and Michel Gentile (flute). ... Click to View

Barry Altschul 3dom Factor: Tales Of The Unforseen (Tum)

Sophisticated free improv from percussionist Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor trio of frequent collaborator Joe Fonda on bass and Mostly Other People Do the Killing's saxophonist Jon Irabagon, presenting new compositions plus an Annette Peacock piece and a little Monk. ... Click to View

Milford Graves / Bill Laswell: Space/Time ~ Redemption (Tum)

Five extended improvisations from New York collaborators, legendary drummer and percussionist Milford Graves and bassist Bil Laswell, who have worked together for several years developing a uniquely active yet dream-like, deeply rhythmic sound world. ... Click to View

Olavi Trio (Hauta / Hongisto / Louhivuori): Oh, La Vie! (Tum)

A trio of Finnish free improvisers--Jari Olavi Hongisto on trombone, Teppo Olavi Hauta on double bass, and Niilo Olavi Louhivuori on drums, with all 3 handling percussion, for 12 spontanously composed studio works of open and equalitarian trio improvisation. ... Click to View

Lindsay Cooper / Fred Frith / Gianni Gebbia / Lars Hollmer: Angels On The Edge Of Time (Angelica)

A superb concert recorded in 1992 at the Angelica Festival Internazionale di Musica in Bologna from a quartet of Rock in Opposition luminaries Lindsay Cooper & Fred Frith (Henry Cow), Lars Hollmer (Samla Mamas), and free improvising saxophonist Gianni Gebbia. ... Click to View

Mikko Innanen / William Parker / Andrew Cyrille: Song For A New Decade [2 CDs] (Tum)

A 2-CD release from the impressive trio of Finnish saxophonist Mikko Innanen and legendary US improvisers bassist William Parker, and drummer Andrew Cyrille, presenting one studio disc of Innanen compositions recorded in 2010, and a live CD from IBEAM Brooklyn in 2012. ... Click to View

Albatre: Nagual [VINYL] (Shhpuma)

Hailing from Rotterdam's rich underground scene, the trio of Hugo Costa on alto sax, Goncalo Aleida on bass, and Philipp Ernsting on drums, with all 3 doubling on electronics, in a dramatic and energetic album bledning free jazz, improv, metal, and punk music. ... Click to View

Alfredo Monteiro Costa : Um Em Um (Monotype)

An unusual release from the accordion, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, placed microphones in a way to enhance the harmonics and all the particularities of every sound, layering slowly moving tones and their harmonic interaction, allowing unexpected details to emerge. ... Click to View

Dave Phillips / Hiroshi Hasegawa: Insect Apocalypse (Monotype)

A duo from Dave Phillips and Hirsohi Hasegawa, where Phillips' field recordings are filtered and effected by Hasegawa, creating an intense mixture of apocalyptic insect environments and inexplicable sound, slowly unfolding and captivating at high volume. ... Click to View

Rydberg (Werner Dafeldecker / Nicolas Bussmann): Rydberg (Monotype)

Rydberg was a Swedish physicist with a moon crater named after him, here celebrated by the the duo of Nicholas Bussmann (sampler, electronics) and Werner Dafeldecker (function generator, electronics) in an album blending ambient electronics and muted, guiding rhythms. ... Click to View

Peeping Tom (Dorner / Badaroux / Grip / Gerbal): Four Girls (Umlaut Records)

Presenting four of Europe's most active free improvisers, Peeping Tom uses the language of jazz--bop, free, swing--alongside modern improvisational approaches and unusual/extended techniques to make sophisticated yet accessible music that surprises and captivates. ... Click to View

Chris Dingman: The Subliminal and the Sublime (Inner Artist)

A sublime five-part suite commissioned by Chamber Music America, performed by Loren Stillman (sax), Fabian Almazan (piano), Ryan Ferreira (guitar), Linda Oh (bass), and Justin Brown drums), exploring the subliminal patterns hidden below apparent reality. ... Click to View

Astrid: The West Lighthouse Is Not So Far (Monotype)

The French Astrid quartet in their 4th album, where the titles of pieces are based on lighthouses' names, the band creating impressively ambient soundscapes filled with rich detail and lush, languid orchestration of guitar, violin, reeds, synths, harmoniums, &c. ... Click to View

Eugene Chadbourne : The 13 Society (Chadula)

A great collection of original Doc Chad songs and cover versions, including songs by Yusef Islam, Lowell George, Country Joe McDonald, Marty Balin, Terry Kirkman, and Don Van Vliet, performed solo and on guitar, banjo, dobro, turntables & cassettes, with Rogier Smal on drums. ... Click to View


The Squid's Ear
Squidco Sales

Op-Ed (Opinions and Editorials)

  Musical Activism: An Open Call  
By Marc Ribot

On tour in Europe during the first twelve days of the recent invasion of Iraq, I witnessed something close to bereavement among audience members at the apparent consent of most Americans to Bush's agenda of war and empire.

It was exhausting, in addition with all the other pressures of performance, to deal with expectations to represent "America" in this situation. Although it felt strange to speak about the war during performances - I'm a guitarist, not a lecturer - it felt even stranger not to. The one thing about which I felt certain was that the incredible level of anger and opposition I witnessed was no longer simply about one lousy political decision, but had become a critique of the legitimacy of the power of empire, and it wasn't going to stop when the war ended.

Indeed, it hasn't. It remains nearly impossible to get on stage without addressing (or failing to address) the context within which, whether we like it or not, our music is now heard.

This database project described below was conceived as a means through which artists and musicians will be able to say what needs to be said politically in the formats where it will do the most good, to help to change a political context which, simply put, has become intolerable.

We're inviting touring artists to participate in a pilot project version to be launched around February 1, 2004. Anyone can back out at any time, but expressions of interest/commitment (along with brief bios if possible) are needed to apply for grants to build the database.

Best regards, Marc Ribot Musicians Solidarity Database [correspondence may be sent to]

WHAT: The Musicians Solidarity Database will connect internationally touring recording artists/musicians with anti-war and global justice organizations local to their touring dates.

The Database is an initiative of the Musicians Solidarity Network (MSN). Although open and useful to all artists regardless of origin or tour destination, the actual possibilities will probably reflect the current touring routes. The intent is for participating artists to be able to integrate whatever degree of activity on behalf peace/democracy/social justice organizations they feel able to commit to into their regular tour itineraries with a minimum of effort, and for the organizations to benefit from cultural support.

HOW: Touring artists enter their upcoming tour schedules, tech needs, and other necessary info and preferences into the database. Major peace/ democracy/social justice organizations access the info and cross-reference the dates of their planned events with touring artists' availability. The organizations then send the musicians/artists a set of proposals (for example: to speak or perform at a demonstration). The artist accepts whichever proposals they choose, and forward their acceptance along with whatever time or tech specs apply back to the organizations. The organizations confirm the date.

Even if tour schedules are too tight to allow for an artist's participation in outside events, artists can arrange, through the data bank, to make merchandise/ literature table space available to organizations they support.

Great care will be taken to make the data-base user friendly to both artists and organizations.

WHY?: An enormous divide has opened in political understanding between the US and most of the rest of the world, particularly in Europe. Most touring artists and musicians are already well aware of this.

But artists who speak out against Bush's agenda of war and empire, particularly in the US, run the risk of alienating fans or even being subjected to radio and other forms of blacklisting.

In Europe, things are different, at least for the time Being. Manu Chao's "Clandestino" was a hit because of, not in spite of, his close identification with the social forum movement. Whether this will always be true is difficult to say: the same forces that created Bush are also pushing Europe steadily rightward. But it's true now.

The database is a way to turn this political differential into a force for progressive change in the US, enable artists who want to be active to do so, provide organizations against war and for global justice with a constant stream of performing artist support, and build a global network of artists and activists.

It will help artists to limit the economic risks of activism by connecting them with activists and audiences who share their views.

For example, contact with non-US activists and anti-war audiences will enable US musical/cultural figures (and global cultural figures who wish to sell in the US market) to speak out. It's no accident the Dixie Chicks spoke out against the war while in Europe.

As more artists risk opinions outside the US mainstream, it will change the political math that has discouraged dissent by encouraging fans to question their mass-media enforced opinions. And contact between US audiences and European/international artists willing to speak out will help break the US media censorship of the depth of world opposition to war and empire.

Of course, the issues affecting us all aren't confined to the US: the same political/economic forces that put Bush in power in the US are alive and well in Europe and elsewhere. The problems are global and gestures of solidarity from touring musicians are needed to keep the spirit of opposition global as well.

A secondary benefit of the database involves musicians and artists rights issues. There are some issues of interest from anti-war, cultural, and labor perspectives. For example, the role of the Clear Channel monopoly in censoring opposition to the war, blacklisting anti-war artists, and even organizing pro-war demonstrations in the US is both an anti-war issue, and an infringement on artists' freedom of expression.

SPECIFICATIONS Filters, both passive/automatic and active/human will ensure that participating orgs are major and respected, and that participating artists are at a sufficiently professional level to be of use to them.

  • Access to the database will be strictly limited to approved organizations.
  • Contact between artists and organizations will take place within a database 'mailbox' so that artists/managers run no risk of having personal/business email accounts flooded with requests.
  • Whatever form of participation the artist chooses - be it a gig, a single song, or a brief statement - the database format will ensure that all necessary technical requirements and conditions are met, without extensive back and forth between artists, managers and organizations.
  • Artists will have access to full information about events they are being invited to participate in and about the organizations asking them to participate.
  • Artists' participation in the database will be confidential (although at this stage, we may need to list participating artists in grant applications) unless the artists themselves choose to make it public.

Previous Blog & Editorial Articles:
Internet Radio, MusicWorks, Blossom Toes & Rational Diet!
Creative Sources & psi - June 2007 Releases
In Brief: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Kato Hideki, People Like Us
Ground-Zero's Early Releases Reviewed
Bark! Lacy! Massacre! Death Ambient!
May 14, 2007 New Squidco Shipping Rates
Ambiances Magnetiques @ The Stone, NYC
Emanems and Androids
Cleanfeeding from Portugal to Montreal
Squidco RSS Feed
Tough Rock
John Wall, Sonic Arts
LTM, Subliminal, &c.
News Starting
AECO: Fifth Decade
The Squid's Ear 1st Or So Anniversary
Cheek to Cheek Misdemeanors - NYC's Cabaret Laws: Infracting Cheek to Cheek
Musical Activism: An Open Call
The Upside of Dowloading
Ameri-chord: Johnny Cash Remembered - Skip Heller - Amer-chord - Johnny Cash & June Carter
The Zorn Non-Interview - Ah, John, We Hardly Knew Ye
Hope for the Snowballs - The 2003 Jazz Journalists Association Awards
A Stone Turned - Irving Wilson Stone, 1922-2003
Knit One, Pearl Zero
Support Live Strangers - An Open Invitation for New Yorkers to Take a Freakin' Chance, or a Chastisement
London's Burning - Marc Ribot

The Squid's Ear presents
reviews about releases
sold at
written by
independent writers.


The Squid's Ear is the companion magazine to the online music shop Squidco !

  Copyright © 2014 Squidco. All rights reserved. Trademarks. (815)