"So Red" C60 crew music mix

Bob Burnett: Kim has put together a lovely, quiet, contemplative collection of music. I've played this about a half-dozen times at my office and think there must be thought stimulation vapor emitting from the speakers while playing. I think Arovane has become a C60 crew favorite. It seems we're both gravitating to Uwe Zahn's work. By the way, if you ever see the Arovane cd Atol Scrap someplace get it. It's hard to find but a beautiful listen.



A conversation with Dennis Kane

Bob Burnett: Dennis Kane, a long-time Washington, DC singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer, is best known for both his recordings (Benjy Ferree Leaving The Nest, The Sounds of Kaleidoscope All This Heaven, The Moderate The Rest Is Up To You) and for his former stints in such notable DC bands as Tone, Caligari, & The Sun Kings. While Kane currently plays drums in DC’s Eyes of the Killer Robot, he also performs solo material and has just released his first entirely solo full-length entitled The Two of Us, (available via Dischord Direct) on which Kane wrote, played, and recorded the material in its entirety(except vibes by Joanna Dabrowska and backing vocals by Melissa Quinley). The Two of Us is an excellent listen; crunchy/twangy guitars, nice leads, reverant nods to psychedelic pop, thinly veiled lyrical references to Nebuchadnezzar--you know---all the good stuff . Within the terrific songcrafting there's an element of Stranglers rough and tumble "progressive" going on too--but that's cheating because I know Dennis is a huge Stranglers fan. Without treading completely down the path of compare and contrast I also hear strands of what I like from other bands. Echo and the Bunnymen come to mind from the perspective of creating a nice, building groove. That said, I appreciate that Dennis touches on decades of great songcrafting yet makes the music his own.

Dennis and I had an quick email-versation about The Two of Us:

Bob Burnett: I listened to your cd several times before realizing it was a practically a total solo effort. Usually to me that means....uh.....how do I say this.....holes, weaknesses at certain instruments, lack of diversity in playing--but this is different. What led you to pursuing a solo effort?

Dennis Kane: I guess the simple answer is because I can! Or rather, I had to. At the time I recorded The Two of Us,I didn't have a band. Obviously, I prefer tracking with a band but I've never let the absence of other musicians interfere with me recording music. That being said, the next recording will be with a full band.

Bob Burnett: So--you're planning on a bit of touring soon? (PS: places and dates here)

Dennis Kane: For some reason we decided to go to the midwest in the middle of winter. So, we're hitting Chicago, Kalamazoo, Pittsburgh, etc. We'll be ending the tour at the Galaxy Hut in Arlington, VA. on the 28th of February. I'm taking the Hoarders with me--Melissa Quinley on bass and backing vocals (Soccer Team, Roofwalkers,Edie Sedqwick) Dave Syrjcek on drums (The Opposite Sex, Caligari) and Dave Barker on guitar. (Cobra Collective, Pree) A real group, you know? Good stuff....

"The Music Just Turns Me On"

Kim Kirkpatrick: Back in 1979 I was visiting relatives in Cincinnati and I decided to go check out record shops downtown. I certainly did not expect to find much in this city but you never really know and I loved to flip through record bins. I wound up in a very small, basement record store and spent quite some time looking at all that was there. I didn't find a single record I wanted but they certainly had a good assortment of fine recordings I already owned. As I was leaving I flipped through a small, new release bin by the door. This proved to be a life changing move on my part because I found and purchased my first dub reggae album: African Anthem The Mikey Dread Show Dubwise.

I was familiar with the mid to late 70s reggae releases, Bob Marley And The Wailers, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, etc., but I had not heard dub. Mikey Dread (aka Michael Campbell) had been an important part of the reggae scene in Jamaica prior to the release of African Anthem in 1978 and Dread At The Controls, released in 1979. He was performing the top radio show in Jamaica and voted Top Radio Personality of the Year in 1977-1978. I used the word "performing" because Campbell's shows were an "on the fly" creation unique to radio and DJs at the time. His "Dread At The Controls" radio show was a smooth flowing experience, mixing dub recordings, vocal treatments (his own as well as some sultry females), and sound effects into an ever changing, fast paced, gripping, sonic experience. African Anthem The Mikey Dread Show Dubwise if not an actual radio show is as close as you'll get to one of his performances. Thirty one years later, it is still entertaining and an impressive example of the musical and technical abilities of Campbell.

This is dub from the classic years, you have the sense of knobs being turned, reel to reel tape rolling, and the panning and echo effects being manually kicked in and out. I love the hands on performance you can hear so clearly: the volume forever being adjusted, with the effects, EQ, and separate tracks swiftly, concisely controlled and presented for maximum effect. Michael Campbell was masterful in the studio, an innovator whose unique sound was instantly recognizable. His warm, direct style, and heavy dub effects can be heard throughout dub's history. You can hear his strong influence (along with his contemporaries such as Lee Perry, and King Tubby) in the later developments of hip hop, trip hop, electronica, and dubstep, his work is that seminal and essential. Mikey Dread quickly became a favorite reggae artist for me and this first purchase led me to explore at least a thousand other reggae/dub releases and a huge treasure chest of of reggae producers and musicians.

You are safe in exploring just about every release Michael Campbell produced, certainly any albums up through 1982's S.W.A.L.K.. Check out his discography for not only his own releases but also his many other collaborations with musicians right up until his death in March of 2008. African Anthem is available in several forms on CD, snagging any of them would be a good idea but I can suggest you look for the deluxe edition on Aurolux. This has a little bit richer sound, has the original track sequence as well as six extra tracks mixed by King Tubby. African Anthem The Mikey Dread Show Dubwise is available at OM and iTunes along with several other releases by Michael Campbell. This is an essential recording anyone into electronica, space, or dub music should own.

Bob Burnett: I think the dub album that struck home for me was 1980's LKJ in Dub
an album by Linton Kwesi Johnson and Dennis Bovell that was a dub re-invention of LKJ's previous
two albums Forces of Victory and Bass Culture. Kim has dug much deeper than I have into dub and knows the timelines, connections and culture much better than I do. I connect to dub in the same way I connect to avant jazz and contemporary classical--music that opens up space and time and leaves behind the comfort of staid and controlled "musicianship", brings a deeper dimension to the music by including the tape machine into the realm of music.

I know it's a leap but Karlheinz Stockhausen (namely his composition Hymnen where he brought together world radio broadcasts and treated the sounds with effects, sped-up and slowed tape motion and track overlaps) and dub are in the same place for me.

The Thirteenth Assembly musicians

Bob Burnett: I just recently re-upped my subscription to Wire Magazine and it's a good thing I did. One of the first articles I read in the recent issue was Howard Mandel's profile of the members of the Thirteenth Assembly. (Taylor Ho Bynum, Mary Halvorson, Jessica Pavone and Tomas Fujiwara) The group is part of a larger collective of Brooklyn/NYC-based players who pool their skills, touring, resources and album releases in a variety of ways to make exciting, innovative and thought-stimulating improvisational-rooted music. The players all seem to be connected to Anthony Braxton--either as a teacher or as players of his music. Taylor Ho Bynum is probably the most previously noted of the group having released an album with Braxton a few years back (Duets Wesleyen 2002) when he was in his mid-twenties. He has a marvelous sextet album out called The Middle Picture, released on his Firehouse 12 label. Another Firehouse 12 release that I have been immersed in is guitarist Mary Halvorson's Trio Dragon's Head. I am finding a ton to like about this album--open playing, creative improvisation---or as Elliot Sharp said about Halvorson and the trio:

"Dissonant arpeggios melding into pounding odd-meter repetitive grooves, spidery textures becoming cracked melodies, and jazzy vamps fragmenting into vicious free-form interactions"

I know this group of players is being jammed into the "jazz" cubbyhole but I'm hearing a much wider, more involved strand of connections---In addition to the avant jazz realm I'm hearing shards of other ensemble/improvisational groups from a few decades back such as Etron Fou leloublan, Universe Zero and Henry Cow. I'm downloading or buying cd's left and right by all the members as well as the players they work with--but wanted to get something out to c60 readers so you can explore the music for yourself.


"Heart On My Sleeve" c60crew music mix

Bob Burnett: Today's c60 crew music stream offers a wide range of solo, small group and ensemble performances touching on musical disciplines such as acoustic folk, jazz, ballad, Santeria, improvisation, modal, contemporary composition and electronica.

Photo by Kim Kirkpatrick


"I'll Let You Know" c60 crew music mix

Bob Burnett: Kim has created an atmospheric music mix that spans the decades but is connected by threads of subtle genius. So many familiar things here brought together in a revitalized and greatly appreciated manner. As one comment on mixcloud stated--this is the wonderment of Kim that used to fill the airwaves of Washington, DC on WGTB in the '70s and WAMU and WHFS in the '80s. Included with the classics are a few surprises too---like a completely fresh and invigorated dub version of '70s popwave group Martha and the Muffins as well as William S. Burroughs murkily creeping in the borogroves.


Jazz on a Summer's Day

Bob Burnett: I have a Roku box connected to my TV. If you have one, you know how great it can be. If you don't, I suggest getting one; especially if you have Netflix. A Roku box allows you to play Netflix-based films via your computer's internet connection as well as a number of other options. (MLB TV for baseball games, Amazon pay per view rentals, Pandora for music as a few examples) For the most part, I use Roku to watch documentary films and once screened remove it from my queue. I rarely go back and re-watch films--except for one: Jazz on a Summer's Day--a visual tapestry of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in newpoer, Rhode Island. It resides permanently in my queue. Summer's Day is in theory a "music film" about the performances that took place at Newport but for me it offers much more. For one thing it's done in film verite--the "fly on the wall" technique (in this case the "cats in the crowd" technique) where the cameras capture the events, the people, the place and let the pictures and the music performances carry it. No interviews, no descriptions just pure moment in time perfection. The performers offer a wide range of possibility too: chamber jazz (The Jimmy Giuffre Trio onstage, The Chico Hamilton Quintet late one sweaty evening in a small room someplace) contemporary (Thelonious Monk with Roy Haynes and the recently re-discovered Henry Grimes, Gerry Mulligan w/ Art Farmer) classic (Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden, Big Maybelle belting blues, Chuck Berry playing rock'nroll--and fitting right in)

One performance in particular steals the show for me: Anita O'Day. She performs a slow, percolating and beautifully scattered version of Sweet Georgia Brown as well as creates bopspeak prosody with her playful version of Tea For Two. She hits the stage (as legend goes ripped on heroin) in a black dress, white heels and gloves and an incredible lampshade of a hat--a favorite moment is when she delicately goes up the steps and the visuals cut-away to a guy popping his head up from the stage in a puzzled double-take.

As important as the stage is to the film the audience and general festivity shots take it to another level. The clothes, the expressions, the moments of ecstasy and boredom, people eating, smoking, drinking---and living passionately. The people create their own performance in this beautifully captured moment by moment ballet. The simple act of eating ice cream becomes satori; a yawn or head bob tell 1000 stories of unmatched vibrancy.

In addition to the music and people there are shots from the America's Cup yacht race happening just offshore as well as the common thread of a roaming-throughout-Newport Dixieland band made up of Yale students--including the young trombonist Roswell Rudd.

The film was directed by noted commercial and fashion photographer Bert Stern. I looked up getting a high quality copy on DVD however I was troubled to see it's either out of print or very expensive used. The Netflix version, while being an exemplary viewing experience, is rather lacking in quality. The copy is highly compressed and the transfer from film wasn't done with loving care. That said, in 1999 Jazz on a Summer's Day was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. That fact at least gives me hope there's the possibility for a nice copy being available in the future.

Anita O'Day's Performance:

When It's Cold I'd Like to Die

Bob Burnett: Kim has put together When It's Cold I'd Like to Die, a soothing and beautiful c60crew mix featuring a wide range of classic to current electronica, (Four Tet, Rizzo, Adam F, Arovane, Bowery Electric to name a few) one of the highlights of Krautrock (Cluster & Eno) as well as a smattering of rock and contemporary glossolalia (Dead Can Dance) mixed to a level of perfection that makes the art of watching snow fall in feet--not inches-- an excellent pastime.

Photo by Kim Kirkpatrick

The Who

Kim Kirkpatrick: In lieu of The Who's 12 minute mash up appearance at the Superbowl, and the fact "My Generation" has been stuck in my head for three days now, I thought I'd share my recollection of seeing The Who for the first time on May 25th,1969. I was sixteen when I drove around the beltway to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia Maryland*. I was excited to have seats perfectly located, in the center and level with the performers on stage. From the start I was locked in on the performance, it was captivating seeing and hearing Tommy played straight through in it's entirety. Having been released just two days earlier, I had heard it once prior to this concert. Tommy was soon to be declared the first rock opera, and said to have set a new standard for Rock music. The Who also performed another whole set of now classic songs from their past releases, though I can't say I remember them individually anymore.

The band presented as electric and intense a performance as I'd ever seen. Pete Townshend's guitar playing was full of expressive energy, felt as much as heard. His arm-swing motions across his guitar were violent strikes, dramatically on target, and a visual timing device for his bursting, exploding guitar chords, as well as just plain cool. At some point he was bleeding from these sweeping actions, a common occurrence for him it turns out. (Their are accounts of him ripping fingernails off, blood flying throughout the rest of the painful performance. Once he impaled his hand on the whammy bar of his guitar, roadies taped it up and he continued to perform). His playing was an attempt to break through boundaries on a personal and musical level, and a shot across the bow of society. He persistently pushed for something new through his use of volume, dynamics, and ringing open chords. Yet with all the power his playing projected it was also precise, defined, and dead on target. His playing served the music, the story telling qualities of his songs, and though he was the leader, the songwriter, he never stepped on his bandmates performances. Unlike say, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, or Jeff Beck, Townshend never stepped up for a flashy solo, and there was never a touch of "look at me" in his playing.

Clad in a suede, fringed vest, bare chested, swinging his microphone in a huge windmill fashion, Roger Daltry was bold, dramatic, and up to the task of stepping in front of the massive, powerful sound that was The Who. He also had one of the better, more versatile voices of rock at the time. John Entwistle's bass playing was not merely about keeping time, it was a counterpoint and a push to Townshend's playing. Keith Moon, the relentless, volatile, blast furnace of a drummer, was battling the songs while keeping precisely on the beat. The Who ended the evening with the destruction of their equipment, at the time it felt like freedom, a denial of possessions, indicating the performance was the point and now it was gone forever. Finally amidst all the scattered drum parts, smoke, and feedback,Townshend stepped to the front of the stage and threw his guitar into the audience. It landed right next to me, everything stopped for a moment, and then the person with the guitar on his lap disappeared underneath the attacking audience.

Amazingly, eight years later, while working in a record store I struck up a conversation with a Who fanatic while we stood in front of a rack of bootleg vinyl. Turned out he was at the show, he also happen to have taken that guitar home with him.

The opening band that night set the bar incredibly high for The Who, I remember commenting that The Who could never top that performance (though they did in my mind). Led Zeppelin was the opening act, on their first U.S. tour supporting their first album released in January of 1969. I later learned that night was the only time led Zeppelin ever shared the bill with The Who.

Merriweather Post Pavilion was built in Symphony Woods, on a forty acre wooded lot. it was part of the planned community of Columbia Maryland and a facility intended to be the summer home of the National Symphony Orchestra. The structure opened in 1967 and was designed by architect Frank Gehry.

"Once you're old enough to have a medley," Roger Daltrey confides with a perceptibly uneasy laugh, "you know you've 'ad it."

from interview by Matt Resnicoff for guitar player September 1989


Enrico Rava: New York Days

Bob Burnett: One of the takeaway memories for me of the Washington, DC area/eastern seaboard Snowmageddon of 2010 will be it gave me ample opportunity to listen to Enrico Rava's New York Days. Enrico Rava approaches the trumpet in a manner which I find most pleasing: as an atmospheric instrument that accents space, time and introspection within the format of a small ensemble. While Rava has had an accomplished career spanning many decades with people such as Steve Lacy, Don Cherry and Roswell Rudd (see full bio here on his webpage) I feel he's been at a particular high water mark over the last handful of years. (2005 "Tati" (ECM 1921), 2007 "The Words and The Days" (ECM 1982), 2007 Enrico Rava / Stefano Bollani "The Third Man" (ECM 2020) to offer a few examples) With that said I must add the crowning glory for me is New York Days due specifically to the open and loose compositional approach as well as the incredible group put together for this recording. In addition to Rava's trumpet and Rava protege Stefano Bollini's piano there's the always remarkable (and beyond description at this point) Paul Motian on drums, Larry Grenadier on bass and the beautifully understated sounds of Mark Turner on tenor sax. (note: Grenadier and Turner are also in the FLY trio) New York Days represents for me why ECM remains an important label to stay in touch with. ECM can be an exasperatingly "ECM-ish" experience at times but when albums like this are made it's worth it. I found a very nice write-up of this album that goes into much greater depth than I could ever do. For me, the pace, tone and floating beauty on display reflect the interplay I find important in music.

New York Days is available on www.lala.com so I suggest listening to it there to get a taste of what I'm talking about.


Michael Hurley:Ida Con Snock

Kim Kirkpatrick: My path to Michael Hurley's music started with Easy Rider (1968). Rock music, alternative tunes, have been common in movies for decades now but at the time this movie's soundtrack was radical, selections chosen by Roger McGuinn of The Byrds. His selections were a first for cinema and my generation, using musical tracks that were part of the here and now, the rock music of the counter culture and underground music scene. One truly alternative song from the movie,"If You Want To Be a Bird (Bird Song)" was performed by The Holy Modal Rounders. I was familiar with them from my early folk interests but this track was not like anything I'd heard before, it was something else - deranged, warped, and psychedelic*.
I picked up The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders LP (1968), "Bird Song" being the first track on it, along with many other amazing tracks that truly defined "far out" at the time.
A few years later a musical offshoot appeared, called The Unholy Modal Rounders. This short lived band released Have Moicy! in 1975, credited to Michael Hurley/The Unholy Modal Rounders/Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones. Several reasons led to my purchasing Have Moicy! and thus brought Michael Hurley to my attention. First, Have Moicy!'s connection to The Holy Modal Rounders, second, it was on the Racoon label (formed by The Youngbloods), and third, the cover art drawn by Michael Hurley. A funny cartoon drawing style, with folk art elements. His drawing fit in with the times, relatable to R. Crumb's work as well as numerous childhood TV experiences, cartoons made in the 40's and 50's.

I drifted away from Hurley's music after Snockgrass (1980), due to my expanding musical interests and also the spotty nature of his releases. Seeing Hurley's art work again, and a review by Other Music that mentioned Ida backing him up was all I needed to rejoin Hurley's music. I was eager to hear what was to me a logical and potentially perfect union between Michael Hurley's relaxed, eccentric folk songs, and the slow, introspective, beautiful music of Ida.

Ida Con Snock (Snock is Hurley's nickname) is a mix of cover songs and classic Michael Hurley's material from past decades. This is a relaxed, friendly performance and the recording captures the connection and affection felt between these performers. All manner of acoustic instruments surface from song to song, including fiddle, harmonium, mandolin, and guitar. It was nice to hear Hurley's voice again as well as his loping guitar style. Ever playful and often absurd, he even adds faux-trumpet solos (using his lips) to several songs. "Hoot Owls" gives us more of Hurley's humor as he "hoots" on the song with Ida joining in with background "hoots". The beautiful vocals of Elizabeth Mitchell and the crystal clear, crisp guitar playing of Daniel Littleton really enhance these songs and confirm the perfect addition of Ida to Hurley's music. This release brought to mind the Aristotle quote, " The whole is more than the sum of it's parts". Michael Hurley's humor and loose performing style benefits from the steady, precise playing of Ida. And Ida has the opportunity to kick back and relax with Hurley, giving us a friendly, fun, and informal performance.

Turns out The Holy Modal Rounders are credited as the first to use the word "psychedelic" in a song, their version of "Hesitation Blues" from 1964.


c60crew music: Before Destruction+

Bob Burnett: This edition of the c60crew music mix has a few samples from recent reviews and listens: Spoon, for instance, from their very impressive album Transference. There's also new music from Pikelet, who (according to Chapter Music) is Evelyn Morris, a 24 year old musical wunderkind from the outer suburbs of Melbourne who began life as a hardcore-obsessed drummer, and still currently serves on sticks in such heavy-hitting Melbourne institutions as Baseball and True Radical Miracle. But a couple of years ago, something tickled Evelyn’s brain in a funny way and she felt compelled to grab an old accordion, a guitar and a delay pedal, and launch a decidedly un-hardcore solo career. I've just spent a few quick moments with the Pikelet album but am finding it to be an interesting listen. There's new music from Tindersticks and Thrill Jockey's Pit Er Pat too--as well as sonicscapes from old c60crew stand-bys (well, old c60crew on my side of the c60 juniper tree) like Bill Laswell, Machinefabriek--joined this time by Steven Vitiello. Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuyderveldt from Arnhem, The Netherlands) makes electronic (non-laptop) music ranging from drones to melodica songs and from classical ambient to harsh feedback noise. Rutger was highlighted as one of the most interesting new experimental musicians by the Wire magazine.

Dean & Britta (former members of Luna, a c60crew lifetime achievement award winner) and Fennesz also make appearances. Thanks for listening and enjoy!