The Squid's Ear
Recently @ Squidco:

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin: Ichigo Ichie (Libra)

Pianist Satoko Fujii's large ensemble blending masterful Japanese and Euro players like Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Natsuka Tamura with Matthias Schubert, Gebhard Ullmann, &c., with Fujii's compositions amazingly flexible frameworks that lend themselves to great soloing and ensemble playing. ... Click to View


Kaze: Uminari (Circum-Libra)

... Click to View


Satoko Fujii Tobira: Yamiyo Ni Karasu (Libra)

Pianist Satoko Fujii's Tobira ("door") expands the original trio configuration of Todd Nicholson on bass and Takashi Itani on drums, with trumpeter/husband Natsuki Tamura, playing inventive free improvisation with sophistication in melodic heads, and superb soloing. ... Click to View


Mats Gustafsson / Merzbow / Balazs Pandi / Thurston Moore: Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper [2 CDs] (Rarenoise Records)

The followup to "Cuts" by Japanese noisemaker Merzbow (aka Masami Akita), Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and Hungarian drummer Balazs Pandi, adding Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore to create a supergroup of vicious sonic improvisation spanning 4 nations. ... Click to View


Full Of Hell / Merzbow: [VINYL] (A389 Recordings)

A brutal grindcore album, unrelenting walls of noise from the collaboration of Masami Akita (Merzbow) with Full of Hell, layering guitar, electronics, bass, drums and vocals for a frighteningly intense album of succinct tracks. ... Click to View


The Wire: #375 May 2015 [MAGAZINE] (The Wire)

Howard Mandel talks to Roscoe Mitchell about ancient and future Great Black Music and the AACM at 50. Plus: Harry Bertoia; Legowelt; Invisible Jukebox: RP Boo, Global Ear: Sound art in the UAE, Inner Sleeve: Mutamassik, Psykick Dancehall zine, Bites, Brood Ma, Family Elan, &c. &c. ... Click to View


Upsilon Acrux : Sun Square Dialect (New Atlantis)

The 7th release from this exceptional Los Angeles experimental community rock band, featuring dual drums, dual guitars, and Fender Rhodes, instrumental music with unconventional rock structures of intricate and weaving lines and surprising twists and turns. ... Click to View


Upsilon Acrux : Sun Square Dialect [VINYL] (New Atlantis)

The 7th release from this exceptional Los Angeles experimental community rock band, featuring dual drums, dual guitars, and Fender Rhodes, instrumental music with unconventional rock structures of intricate and weaving lines and surprising twists and turns. ... Click to View


Michel Banabila / Oene Van Geel: Music For Viola And Electronics II (Tapu Record)

In the second volume of their collaboration, Banabila and Van Geel explore further into their neo-classical mix of viola improvisations, ambient textures, minimal compositions, and modular experiments. ... Click to View


Baloni: Ripples [VINYL] (Clean Feed)

The trio of Belgian reedist Joachim Badenhorst, French-Japanese violist Frantz Loriot, and French-German bassist Pascal Niggenkemper formed the Baloni trio in Brooklyn in 2008, presenting a blend of chamber and free jazz; reserved to frenetic playing that consistently surprises. ... Click to View


Earnear: earNear (Tour de Bras)

Intricate interactions in free improv from the Portugese trio of violist Joao Camoes, cellist Miguel Mira (Open Field String Trio, Nuovo Camerata), and pianist Rodrigo Pinheiro (Red Trio), focused on the balance between contrasting counterpoint, polyrhythms and fluid soundscapes. ... Click to View


Philippe Lauzier / Eric Normand: Not the Music / do (Tour de Bras)

The Canadian duo of reedist Philippe Lauzier and bassist Eric Normand freely improvise in sound environments that are both introspective and precarious, using subtle and aberrant approaches to playing that evoke unusual aspects of their instruments in oddly refined dialog. ... Click to View


Transmit (Buck / Mayas / Dougherty / Welburn): Radiation (Monotype)

Transmit revolves around the writing, drumming and guitar of Tony Buck, with the core line-up of Magda Mayas on keys, James Welburn on bass, and Brendan Doughety on drums, performing driving guitar, throbbing bass, chiming chords, swelling organ and propulsive drumming. ... Click to View


Ava Mendoza: Unnatural Ways [VINYL] (New Atlantis)

Virtuosic guitarist Ava Mendoza's Unnatural Ways, a Brooklyn-based trio with keyboardist Dominique Leone and drummer Nick Tamburro, in their debut LP of polyrhythmic, infectious and propulsive rock with declamatory vocals and insanely great playing. ... Click to View


Maja Ratkje S. K. : In Dialogue with Eugeniusz Rudnik (Bolt)

Two compositions from Eugeniusz Rudnik, and a large work from vocalist Maja S. K. Ratkje performed live at The Polish Radio Experimental Studio using Rudnik's samples, her voice, and her own concrete elements in a virtual "dialog" with the composer. ... Click to View


Johannes Frisch / Ralf Wehowsky: Which Head You're Dancing In? (Monotype)

Deconstructed sounds from Ralf Wehowsky (RLW) on electronics & Johannes Frisch on double bass, citing Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz" album as an (abstract?) influence, using noise, glitch, acoustics and jump-cut compositional styles that surprise but won't make you want to dance. ... Click to View


Jamie Newton: Tone Wheel (3acreTract(s))

Tonewheel organ meditations along with feedback and sound forms using processed guitar, keyboards and field recordings from sound artist Jamie Newton, 2 slowly evolving tonal works sandwiching three more turbulent pieces in a journey of drone, noise and reflection. ... Click to View


Jamie Newton: Driving Nails Into Fog (3acreTract(s))

Jamie Newton works with sound using guitar, keyboards, field recordings, processing, and Kyoto croquet, here in a contemplative set of works merging drone and thick noise with indistinct rhythms and layers of concrete sounds. ... Click to View


Kullrusk: Spring Spring Spring Spring Spring [180 g RED VINYL] (Moserobie Music)

A limited reissue of the 2005 release from the quartet of Jonas Kullhammar (amplified clarinet & tenor sax), Per Johansson (amplified clarinet & alto sax), Sven Lindvall-Bjarton (bass), & Martin Jonsson-Vistalite (drums), in a great blend of free & contemporary jazz. ... Click to View


Arto Lindsay : Encyclopedia of Arto [2 VINYL LPS] (Northern Spy)

NY-based Arto Lindsay's diverse career includes No Wave band DNA, Ambitious Lovers with Peter Scherer, acclaimed Brazilian-tinged pop records, and improvising with a great set of Downtown NY players, much of which is presented in this excellent cross-section of his work to date. ... Click to View


Brian Eno: My Squelchy Life [VINYL] (Opal)

Brian Eno completed this album in 1991 on the Warner label, who failed to release it; it was a bonus for the deluxe edition of "Nerve Net", but never properly released until this 2015 Record Store Day edition, bringing this great vocal pop album into the proper light. ... Click to View


Don Vliet Van (Captain Beefheart) and The Magic Band: Rough Raw and Amazing [VINYL 2 LPs] (Ozit Records)

A release from John Peel's personal tapes archive, recorded live at the Leicester De Montfort Hall in 1972 in the Spotlight Kid era tour, in a double LP edition showing Von Vliet to be in great form in front of an eager and receptive audience. ... Click to View


Michael Pisaro : Melody, Silence (For Solo Guitar) (Potlatch)

A collection of materials for solo guitarist, written by Michael Pisaro and here performed by Christian Alvear, presenting the performer with up to 12 fragments which can be played in any order and which allow for various transformations, cuts, extensions and silences. ... Click to View


Charlemagne Palestine : Bells Studies [VINYL] (Alga Marghen)

From 1963 to 1970 avant composer/performer Charlemagne Palestine played the 26-bell carillon at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church while attending The High School of Music and Art in New York; this LP collects recordings of his performances from those early days. ... Click to View


Charlemagne Palestine : CharleBelllzzz at Saint Thomas (Golden 666) (Alga Marghen)

Previously unreleased recordings of Charlemagne Palestine's "Bells Studies", some of his earliest works, captured while attending The High School of Music and Art in New York in the 60s, of the 26-bell carillon at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church. ... Click to View


Albatre: A Descent Into Maelstrom (Shhpuma)

An experimental music trio playing a joyously harrowing display of urgent bass & sax noise, skewed jazz elements, frantic but meticulous drumming and abrupt moodshifts, representative of the crossover of improv, noise rock and jazz currently made in Holland. ... Click to View


Coclea: Coclea (Shhpuma)

Clean Feed's side label Shhpuma presents a solo release from multi-instrumentalist Guilherme Goncalves (Gala Drop), dreamy and informed guitar-driven music borrowing from kosmische musik, Edgar Froese, or Loren Connors, in gorgeously paced lush instrumental music. ... Click to View


Joana Sa: Elogio Da Desordem (In Praise of Disorder) (Shhpuma)

Composer, pianist and multi-instrumentals Joana Sa gives voice to texts by Goncalo M. Tavares as read by Rosinda Costa, where the text organizes the thoughts that filter the multiple, disorderly, eccentric, voluble mind described in Tavares' work. ... Click to View


Robert Ashley: The Wolfman (Alga Marghen)

A collection of pieces that introduce the listener to the most extreme experimental side of the late American composer Robert Ashley, with a 12-page booklet including liner notes written by the composer and the complete score of "The Wolfman". ... Click to View


David Behrman: Wave Train (Alga Marghen)

2015 remaster of Behrman's 2002 album issuing works from 1959-68, including a piece with Gordon Mumma; sounds for a film by Robert Watts; a collaborative work with Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma & Robert Ashley; and a work with David Tudor and Christoph Caskel. ... 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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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


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