C & D: Two guys who will remain pseudonymous reason together about new records, plus Stephen Malkmus talks golf courses, McCain (Arthur No. 28/Mar. 2008)

Originally published in Arthur No. 28 (March 2008)

C & D: Two guys who will remain pseudonymous reason together about new records

C: [While rummaging through the teeming mail bin.] Hey, look at this. It must be from that new guy who’s always lurking around. What’s his dealio anyway? He’s what my gran would call a nosey nelly.

D: I think he’s here to like, streamline shit. [Reading aloud] To Whom It May Concern: “In my private meetings with Arthur staff and contributors, we have received many disturbing reports regarding the personal, professional and spiritual-energetic conduct of C & D, or as they fancy themselves, ‘The Arthur Music Potentate.’

“There is widespread unease amonst Arthur staff about C & D’s taste in mucic, which has been described to us as ‘bewildering,’ ‘psychedelic parochial,’ ‘arguably harmful,’ ‘contrary to the public’s interest,’ ‘more narrow than their trousers’ and ‘frankly vampiric.’ I don’t quite know what all that means but it’s interesting.

“Moving forward, I have been unable to confirm that C & D are receiving payola from 86 record companies and nineteen out of our fair nation’s top twenty coolmaking marketing firms, but verification of such nefarious activity is only a matter of time.

“I am also unable to confirm their membership in the ‘Brownie-Meinhaus gang.’

“However, in my own cross-examination sessions with C & D, in which, I am preparted to testify, we did not waterboard at all 😉 , I was able to determine that they have indeed ‘lost the keys’—their words—for two of Arthur humor/motorcycle advisor Peter Alberts’ Royal Enfield motorcycles; they have indeed borrowed Arthur contributor Paul Cullum’s all-region DVD player for an ‘increasingly indefinite period’; they confess to doing two cut-and-runs at Sugar Hair Salon in Silver Lake; plainly abused Mandy Kahn’s standing offer to drive them to and from various watering holes of ill repute; and, as you may have surmised, it was indeed they — or them? I can never remember ;-( — who affixed ‘Ex Libris C &/or D’ label-plates to all the reference books in the staff library.

“Furthermore, C & D have charged 38 parking tickets to the Arthur expense account since last June. Woe betide their decision to start chillaxing out in Malibu.
“C & D have presumptuously intercepted others’ mail, especially advance vinyls from the Holy Mountain label. They play the Carbonas self-titled LP at bicuspid-crushing volume everyday before lunch. They crack each other up at staff meetings by prefacing every statement with ‘You must learn, we are the Gods of this magazine!’ They are always ordering curry. Plus they’ve used up all the paperclips, and not, I am saddened to report, in a fashion that paperclips were designed to be used.

“The Editor-in-chief, art directors and even the printer have complained that C & D are always late with their copy, which in turns holds up production of the magazine and inhibits crucial cashflow, all for something that, quoting the Editor, ‘nobody really reads or cares about anyway.’

“In my many years of optimal-sizing firms, I have been forced to make many difficult and even gut-wrenching decisions. This however is not one of them! ;-)- C & D should be shown the door, and the sooner the better. We will call it a suspension of enduring duration. Now would really be the time to pull the trigger on this. I know people who can do it.

“JUST SAY THE WORD.”

D: [gulps] Doh!
C: I always told you we would are the men who knew too much. [puzzles] But how did they find out about the brownies? I told you to watch out for those new surveillance cams.
D: I thought they were fake. And chicken tikka is not a curry.
C: Ha! And neither is lamb biryani. Wait a second… Fake surveillance cams? That’s a GREAT idea.
D: I know a guy! Just say the word!
C: [cackling] Okay but first let’s get one more column in, shall we? “They” never read this so we can say whatever we like and they won’t know til it’s at the printer, hahaha! The funny thing is we REALLY ARE the potentate around here. But if our services are no longer required here, we’d like to say one thing:
D: SAYONARA BITCHES!!!
C: Because we are in control of the horizontal. We’re the last people that see this bad boy before it’s sent to the printer…
D: Oh yeah! Heh heh.
C: …which means whatever we type here gets printed.
D: Which means…


The Carbonas
The Carbonas
(Goner)
C: They come from Memphis, they sound like Wire and the Buzzcocks, nine songs in 22 minutes. You know what you have to do.
D: Wire and the Buzzcocks? More like attach a wire to your bollocks! [helpfully] And they have a song called “Assvogel.”
C: That’s not a song, it’s a movement. And I think you know what kinda movement I mean…
D: Ahem. It is on the Goner record label. Which is what we are now. Goners.
C: Memphis is the one place I’d be interested in moving to. Start the car, I’ll get my duffel. Here’s to life in exile after abdication!
D: [brightens] I’ve been a goner since the beginning.
C: Being a goner is a serious thing. Who do you think is the original goner?
D: Robert Mitchum, no question. Yeah, that’s it, the Carbonas are the Robert Mitchum of rock!

Dead Meadow
Old Growth
(Matador)
C: I’ve been into these guys since before everyone else!
D: Except for me. I invented these guys. I put a bunch of purple pills in a blender along with a soiled Led Zep patch from my older sister’s jean jacket. Shazam!
C: ‘Old Growth’ is on the shortlist for greatest album title ever, and it’s a pretty good description of the music.
D: Here’s a better one: take a grandfather clock made of diamond-cut crystal, fill it with molasses and drop in on your head!
C: I can’t believe they’re firing you, D. You just keep getting better. Woah, this song is some serious blues shufflage. It’s like a beer commercial for really stinky homebrew.
D: There’s something about this guy’s voice that hits me like a arctic wind. Pass me my mittens. And the b-o-n-g. It’s been a bong time since I rock ‘n’ rolled!

Graveyard
Graveyard
(Tee Pee)
D: Graveyard, eh. Must be a Goth band.
C: Actually they’re not Goth. They’re not even American!
D: [listening to first track, ‘Evil ways’] Right away you know that no matter what happens, you’re gonna at least hear good tone guitar. This is far too good to be American.
C: You are correct sir. They are in fact Swedish.
D: The world’s greatest mimcs. The arch-inhabitors.
C: He pitches his vocal a bit Danzig, a little bit Bobby from Pentgaram. A little bit Jim Morrison. A little bit of the mighty John Garcia.
D: And it must be admitted, a little Cornell.
C: A little bit’ll do ya. This is Ween-quality mimicry here! Reminds me of that band Witchcraft in that they’re going further out. [listening to “Lost In Confusion”] That’s basically the Doors, right there.
D: It is like Witchcraft, but this singer has more hair on his chest.
C: … So, what do you think of that drumming?
D: Kinda…jazzy.
C: Well you know, all those old rock drummers used to play jazz drums too: Ginger, Graham…
D: Keith, Charlie…
C: I listened to this album several times without realizing it. Just kept coming back. I keep coming back to the Graveyard, D.
D: That’s where you’re gonna end up. Might as well get there early and check it out.

Harmonia
Live 1974
(Water)
C: Vintage live recording from krautrock greats Harmonia, never-before-released!
D: How is this possible? Harmonia are some of the original electronic goners.
C: If you turn it up loud enough you can hear people talking—
D: I can’t hear anything except analog electronic perfection.
C: Frankly I am perplexed by the liners which talk that like this Harmonia are barely known, even to konfirmed krautrock fans. Says here, these guys exist somewhere out beyond the “how to buy Krautrock section in your local record shop.” Is this guy insane???
D: There is no local record shop!
C: No, I mean I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Krautrock section at a record store that DIDN’T include Harmonia. And there is a local record shop, actually. It’s not final for vinyl just yet, my friend. Continue reading

Arthur Radio #11 w/ Live in-studio by Love Like Deloreans

(This week’s collage — double-click for fullscreen + scroll)

A scene-by-scene recap of this week’s episode by DJ Visitation Rites:

ACT 1
Scene 1, Off Air
In which DJs Ivy Meadows and Visitation Rites arrive at the Newtown Radio studio ready to set up but are hypnotized by a 25-minute bongo-laden siren dirge — Dreamcolour’s “Spiritual Celebration” — at the tail end of Sunday Brunch with Chocolate Bobka. Unbeknownst to them, the song spills fifteen minutes into the beginning of their set.

Scene 2, Aside
Meanwhile, Peter Pearson, Derek Muro, and Lorna Krier of Brooklyn’s Love Like Deloreans steal away from their home base — a renovated closet space in Bushwick containing some 20 synthesizers — load half of them into a Volvo station wagon, and appear at the station door, successfully breaking the spell that has been cast over Ivy Meadows and Visitation Rites.

ACT 2
Scene 1, On Air
Still haunted by the specter of the siren from Act 1, Ivy Meadows and Visitation Rites attempt to reproduce their experience by layering ambient musics from lands as far and wide as ‘70s Germany, early 21st Century Northampton, and present-day Canada into a single organic continuum.

Scene 2, Aside
In which Love Like Deloreans set up all seven of the synthesizers they brought in the drowsy blink of a Sunday afternoon eye, causing Ivy Meadows and Visitation Rites to suspect that that they too possess supernatural powers. Love Like Deloreans do their best to assuage their fears, suggesting that they are simply “putting the punk back in punctuality.” Exeunt Chocolate Bobka.

ACT 3
Scene 1, On Air
Love Like Deloreans perform the first half of their in-studio. Dancing, Ivy Meadows and Visitation Rites attempt to document the event through Blackberry photos, Tweets, and a FlipCam.

Scene 2, On Air
Love Like Deloreans pause to participate in and informal Q&A with Visitation Rites, touching upon their origins as a group, their cohabitation of the classical world and Brooklyn DIY, their roots in New York minimalism and ‘70s Kosmische, and why the best way to listen to music is while traveling cross-country.

Scene 3, On Air,
Love Like Deloreans perform the second half of their in-studio. Dancing resumes. Ivy Meadows films an excerpt of their set through the anamorphic lens of an oddly shaped water bottle, the results of which can be seen below.

Curtain

Stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Arthur-Radio-Transmission-11-with-Love-Like-Deloreans-3-28-2010.mp3%5D
Download: Arthur Radio Transmission #11 with Love Like Deloreans 3-28-2010

This week’s playlist…
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Arthur Radio Transmission #10 with live jam by Blondes

(Above: This episode’s collage — double-click to view fullscreen + scroll)

For Transmission #10 of Arthur Radio, we started by visualizing ourselves in a black void, lost in time somewhere between the 1970s and today. Using LED-powered building blocks, we constructed a musical pathway in order to make sense of our surroundings. Brick by colorful brick, we bridged the gap between the oily rainbow pools of German psychedelic krautrock jazziness all the way to the shimmering mists of other-worldly electronic noise being produced by the likes of contemporaries Jonas Reinhardt, Arp, Stellar Om Source, and our very special time-traveling guests, Blondes.

Standing on the other side of the bridge in the murky “now,” we found that transversing between the two realms was easier than we thought. In fact, it seemed that they were always connected by an invisible passage, for the electronic explorers of today were born of very same primordial space sludge that spawned krautrock pioneers Dorothea Raukes, Jean Michel Jarre, Manuel Göttsching and friends, some 40 years ago.

The following description was taken from the back of “The LYTE,” one of the very first audiovisualizers of its kind made in the 1980s. Its sentiment echoes how listening to Transmission #10 makes us feel, and we recommend that you meditate on it for a second before you take that irrevocable plunge, hit “play,” and start time-traveling on your own:

The written word cannot fully describe what the eye and ear can perceive. Tone by tone you see an exact, shimmering definition in light of what you hear. Exotic patterns are born, grow, contract and change shape through an infinity of dazzling complexity; each momentary image a precise electronic expression of the sound you hear…


Stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Arthur-Radio-Transmission-10-with-live-jam-by-Blondes-3-21-2010.mp3%5D

Download: Arthur Radio #10 with live jam by Blondes 3-21-2010

Songs played this week…
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Thursday afternoon vintage '76 Weserbergland groove music: HARMONIA & ENO

harmonia_eno_03

stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/harmoniaenovamoscompaneros.mp3%5D

download: “Vamos Companeros” by Harmonia & Eno (mp3)

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From the forthcoming revised edition of Tracks & Traces, culled from the ’76 Harmonia & Eno sessions in “the rural hamlet of Forst in Germany’s Weserbergland,” just before Eno went into the studio to work with David Bowie on what would become Low. Info on the new Tracks & Traces, which will be out in October, is available from UK label Gronland Records, here.