Arthur Radio Transmission #14: Cave Crawling

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Arthur Radio is moving from daytime into nighttime, now broadcasting live every Sunday from 9-11pm EST on Newtown Radio. This past Sunday we spelunked our way into the new slot, feeling our way blindly through the cavernous darkness until our purple-hued blacklights hit upon a a sparkling formation of phosphorescent rocks. We decided to sit for awhile and rest in their glow, listening as intermittent drops of water fell from nearby stalactites, echoing endlessly along the ancient limestone corridors from which we came…

Stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Arthur-Radio-Transmission-14-4-17-2010.mp3%5D
Download: Arthur Radio Transmission #14 4-17-2010

Songs played this week…
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Arthur Radio Transmission #10 with live jam by Blondes

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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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C & D from Arthur No. 31/Sept 2008: Dion, Fela A New Musical, Hacienda, Gang Gang Dance, Kasai All-Stars, Natacha Atlas, El Guincho, Megapuss, Little Joy, Mercury Rev, Desolation Wilderness, Grouper, the Antari Alpha F-80z, Matt Baldwin, Jonas Reinhardt, Raglani, Apse, Zach Hill, Eagles of Death Metal

C_D_Pete_Toms

Longtime Arthur music reviewers C and D, as depicted by Pete Toms

This C & D session was originally published in Arthur No. 31 (September 2008)

C & D
Two confirmed schmucks grapple with the big issues.

dionborntobewithyou

C: Our work continues.
D: Or at least our drinking does. Ahahaha.
C: [frowns George Will-style] Let the record show that whatever we say from this point forward about any of these records that the Arthur staff have so carefully assembled will invariably be colored by what we’ve just been listening to: Born to Be with You by Dion, 1975, produced by Phil Spector, downloaded off the Heat Warps blog. We are basking in its rather substantial afterglow.
D: A stone gem beaut of an album…which, by the way, has never been released in America! What is wrong with you people?
C: Have some pity on a country in decline. And you full well know it’s (apparently) Mr. Spector himself that kept the record from ever being released here. But keeping to the point: the readers should know that not only did we just listen to it, we just listened to it three times in a row. We are smitten by this version of “(He’s Got) The Whole World In His Hands,” which just sorta echoes all over creation in a melancholy way…
D: [muses] It is strange to feel so instantly nostalgic for a record you’ve never heard. And yet I have been having that distinct feeling for the last hour and 25 minutes as we have been watching the sun go down over the Manhattan skyline while listening to the wonderful, stirring, heartfelt, heretofore unheard-by-these-ears work of the incomporable team of Mr. Dion and Mr. Spector. I guess it’s what they call that old deja voodoo, eh?
C: Ha, yes I suppose they do…

fela

FELA! A New Musical
at 37 Arts in New York City
Book by Jim Lewis & Bill T. Jones

D: So you went to a musical?
C: Yes, I did.
D: How did you like it? Did you laugh? Did you CRY?
C: From the first minute when the actor playing Fela sauntered by, two rows in front of me, on the way to the stage in his pink jumpsuit, led by his dancer/singer/wives, as Antibalas played the opening to “Everybody Scatter,” I was weeping openly.
D: I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. It is said that dancing by yourself in your living room to Fela Kuti music is the only known cure for depression.
C: If it is that good, imagine what it must be like if you dance with others to it in public! The collective righteous joy is unbelievable. This thing broke me out of my post-David Foster Wallace suicide negative power zone.
D: So it was a full-on simulation?
C: Well… It’s not simply a tribute/costume concert, it’s an extremely brilliant musical-fueled biography of the man himself. The piece is two hours, 40 minutes and is set inside Fela’s club in Lagos, the Shrine. It’s 1976, I think, and he is onstage performing, and preparing to leave Nigeria. He’s had it with the ongoing corruption and idiocy in Nigeria. The government has arrested him, the military has stormed his commune, beaten and raped his wives and thrown his mother out of a second story window, leading to her eventual death. So he’s in and out of songs and monologues, reviewing his life to that point, smoking his big marijuana joints, laughing and crying and leading this band and this dance troupe, putting on this two-tier Afrobeat performance of… It’s spellbinding, just awesome, and I gotta say… As somebody who’s watched every second of available Fela Kuti footage out there, I thought I’d understood, as best I was gonna be able to understand in 2008, the man and the music. Well, I was totally wrong.
D: Wouldn’t be the first time!
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