The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Peter Evans / Tim Dahl / Mike Pride: Pulverize The Sound (Relative Pitch)

The trio of trumpeter Peter Evans, electric bassist Tim Dahl, and drummer/percussionist Mike Pride have played together since 2010, crossing the boundaries of improvisation, composition and rock in dynamic genre-defying music intended to be played loud. ... Click to View


Matana Roberts : Always (Relative Pitch)

Two passionate studio improvisations from saxophonist Matana Roberts, who lovingly dedicates the album to "those bard(s) of summer...the ideas herein of which I gleaned/interrogated/investigated/celebrated with you..."; subtle, rich, and inspiring. ... Click to View


Mette Rasmussen / Chris Corsano Duo: All The Ghosts At Once (Relative Pitch)

The enduring sax and drum duo format is invigorated with US drummer Chris Corsano and Danish saxophonist Mette Rasmussen, who push each other in free improvisation that uses insanely great technique while delivering a passionate and ecstatic dialog. ... Click to View


Schlippenbach / Parker / Edwards / Prevost: 3 Nights at Cafe Oto (Matchless)

Presenting 3 CDs, a DVD, and a solid 80-page book of images and text, capturing 3 nights at Cafe Oto fro the trio of Evan Parker (tenor sax), John Edwards (double bass), and Eddie Prevost (drums), joined one night by Alexander v. Schlippenbach, and another night by Christof Thewes. ... Click to View


Bobby Bradford / John Carter Quintet: No U Turn, Live in Pasadena 1975 (Dark Tree Records)

The Bobby Bradford & John Carter Quintet captured in performance in 1975, the earliest known recording of this configuration live from their 70s period in Los Angeles, playing amazing free jazz with Stanley Carter and Roberto Mirando on bass, and William Jeffrey on drums. ... Click to View


Cecil Taylor Quartet: Michigan State University, April 15th 1976 (Hi Hat)

A live recording from the Power Center, Michigan State University at Ann Arbor in 1976 broadcast on WCBN-FM's Jazz Alive program, with pianist Cecil Taylor leading the quintet of Jimmy Lyons (sax), David S. Ware (sax), Raphe Malik (trumpet) and Marc Edwards (drums). ... Click to View


Paul Lytton: ?! (Pleasure of the Text Records)

The first solo electronics and percussion album by radical and legendary British improvisor Paul Lytton since 1979, recorded in the studio in Germany, and using a wealth of homemade instruments, laptop, percussive devices, objects, and electro-mechanical devices. ... Click to View


Alessandro Bosetti / Chris Abrahams: A Heart That Responds From Schooling (Unsounds)

The 2nd release from Italian composer/performer Alessandro Bosetti and Australian pianist Chris Abrahams (The Necks), a very intimate album of sonic explorations that spans improvised fragments and original renditions of compositions like Steve Lacy's "Esteem" with Bosetti's lyrics. ... Click to View


Zu & Eugene S. Robinson: The Left Hand Path (Trost Records)

Zu reveals their dark side with Jacopo Battaglia & Thomas Luca Mai performing on electronics and Massimo focused on guitars, plus guest Luca Tilli on cello; the recordings were sent to Oxbow's Eugene S Robison, resulting in this mysterious and disturbing release. ... Click to View


Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura [VINYL] (DAGORED)

Actually an Ennio Morricone album, this 1971 film score for Enzo Castellari's movie "Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura" was performed by radical improvisers Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, of which Morricone was a founding member. ... Click to View


Jean-Luc Guionnet : Non-Organic Bias [2 CDs] (Herbal International)

Stepping away from the saxophone, composer/improviser Jean-Luc Guionnet presents two large compositions for the organ, each taking a single CD to explore the organ's border effects, resonances, natural saturations, all artefacts that sign the acoustic, analogic, digital, process. ... Click to View


Various Artists: "...should be feared" (?) (Thirsty Leaves Music)

... Click to View


The Wire: #376 June 2015 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

The Wire examines the use of aliases and pseudonyms in underground and alternative music; plus: Invisible Jukebox Eugene Chadbourne; Epiphanies: Jessica Hopper on Pere Ubu; Collateral Damage: Vinyl economies and online record stores; Global Ear: Hanoi; Inner Sleeve: Actress. ... Click to View


Sprawl: Sprawl [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Intense and beautifully harsh improvisation from drummer Michael Wertmuller (16-17, Alboth!, Full Blast) with Peter Brotzmann (reeds), Stephan Wittwer (guitar), Alex Buess (reeds & electronics), and William Parker (bass), originally released on CD in 1997. ... Click to View


Russell / Beresford / Edwards / Liavik Solberg: Will It Float? [VINYL] (VA FONGOOL)

Norwegian drummer Stale Liavik Solberg leads this quartet with prominent British improvisers, guitarist John Russell, bassist John Edwards, and Steve Beresford on electronics and objects, the latter adding an unusual edge to superb interactive playing. ... Click to View


Gallio / Rupp: Fasane Hula Punk (Rapid Moment)

The duo of electric guitarist Olaf Rupp and soprano saxophonist Christoph Gallio in a set of 13 studio improvisations, restrained and thoughtful dialog of great technical skill and unusual tonal approaches to both instruments. ... Click to View


Yannis Kyriakides + Andy Moor: A Life Is A Billion Heartbeats (Unsounds)

Yannis Kyriakides and Andy Moor's exploration and mining of the rich and mysterious terrain of Greek rebetika music from early 20th century, using a combination and juxtaposition of rebetika elements with their own distinct sonic explorations. ... Click to View


Charlemagne Palestine & Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra: ggrrreeebbbaaammmnnnuuuccckkkaaallloooww!!! [VINYL] (Important Records)

The 2nd night of Charlemagne Palestine residency at London's Cafe OTO, collaborating with Grumbling Fur--Daniel O'Sullivan and Alexander Tucker--in a ritualistic performance using crystalware, processed strings, live tape manipulations, Indian harmonium, Fisher-Price toys, &c. ... Click to View


SAKA: Posh?! (FMR)

The free improvising trio of bassist Jon Rune Strom (Frode Gjerstad Trio, Paal Nilssen-Love, &c), tenor saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts and percussionist Dag Erik Knedal Andersen, fiery free jazz with great technical skills and an oddly playful side. ... Click to View


Ian Watson / Susie Hodder-Williams : The Tao Of Homeopathy (FMR)

A meditative double CD with subtle flavours of flute and gamelan accompanying a reading by Ian Watson, the author of "The Tao of Homeopathy" exploring the philosophies and practices of homeopathy and Taoism."-Susie Hodder-Williams ... Click to View


Marcin Masecki : Variations (Bolt)

Composer & pianist Marcin Masecki wrote this work, inspired by Frederic Rzewski and presenting variations on the Chilean song "El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido" (The town united will never be defeated) and invited pianist Piotr Nowicki to perform it for this recording. ... Click to View


Gintas K: Blind Man Tales (Bolt)

Gintas K, in a moment of frustration, took more than 40 elements from some recent work he was preparing and put them into multichannel software which, with a few corrections, became this surprising and complex work of organized and detailed sound. ... Click to View


Candelaria Valiente Saenz / Marcin Masecki: Hymnen (Bolt)

Based on the anthems of nations that have endured recent struggles, from the duo of Marcin Masecki on keys and Candelaria Saenz Valiente on vocals and percussion, embraceable songs with unusual structures paying tribute to the beautiful themes for each nation. ... Click to View


Arturas Bumsteinas : Different Trains (Bolt)

A collection of experimental, electroacoustic, and comprovized works from composer, sound artist, performer, and improviser Arturas Bumsteinas, inspired by Central European cultural landscape, including a radio play commisioned by Bolt Records. ... Click to View


Joanna Sokolowska Halszka: Msza (Bolt)

A chamber opera by Joanna Halszka Sokolowska at Opera// REMIX at Komuna// Warszawa, using sung and spoken voice, piano, and a variety of tonal instruments to present an intriguing set of variations informed by numerological methods, scientific statistics, &c.. ... Click to View


Alexander Schlippenbach Von Trio: Pakistani Pomade [VINYL] (Cien Fuegos)

One of saxophonists Evan Parker's favorite recordings from the long-running trio led by pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach with drummer Paul Lytton, the powerhouse free improvised "Pakistani Pomade" alubm is reissued on 180 gram vinyl with its original cover. ... Click to View


John Butcher / Andy Moor: Experiments With A Leaf (Unsounds)

Since working together in Thermal, saxophonist John Butcher and The Ex guitarist Andy Moor have collaborated in live performance, here recording in a cathedral in Berne, Switzerland in 2013, using its natural reverb to augment their impeccably paced and inspired dialog. ... Click to View


L'Ensemble Volta: Les Nuages de Magellan (Recommended Records)

ReR's 3rd collection featuring the ondes Martenot, an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928 by cellist Maurice Martenot; this volume, performed by the 4 piece L'Ensemble Volta + Antoine Alerinie is dedicated to Spectralist composer Tristan Murail. ... Click to View


John Greaves / Peter Blegvad / Lisa Herman : Kew Rhone (Recommended Records)

Taking Rock In Opposition into difficult territory, Peter Blegvad and John Greave's song cycle is a perplexing and rewarding album blending literature with rock and jazz forms, performed in an ensemble including Carla Bley and Michael Mantler; an intricate masterwork. ... Click to View


Stepmother (Simonis / Visser / Gilonis / Kerman): Calvary Greetings (Megaphone / Knock 'Em Dead)

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


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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 msolidarity@squidco.com]



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.




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