May and June are always crazy in my music world and this is certainly no exception – in fact here we are already two-thirds of the way through May and I barely noticed the time pass. My rock band Fetal Pig will be playing on this year’s Gross Domestic Product festival one week from today (6:30 pm at Wooly’s) and I’ve also been organizing & promoting a bunch of other shows.

One thing that isn’t quite going according to plan is label releases. My computer’s hard drive started dying and it’s pretty much unusable at this point. Don’t worry, I didn’t lose any projects, I’m one of those nerds that keeps backups. I can get a few things done with my work laptop, and it’s even powerful enough to make it a pleasant experience, but it’s technically against company policy plus it lacks an audio input and a CD drive. I’m shopping for a replacement but it’s going to take some time, plus it puts a financial dent in plans to buy blank tapes and other supplies. So this next batch will kind of trickle out little by little. As of yesterday “Coprofacial” by Nundata is out and it’s a scorcher. Hit up the bandcamp site and get ya one.

Coming up next is a 4-way split tape by the solo noise projects of members of Gasoline Fight, a very cool new thing called BICIKL, and a split between Cancer Lake and PKWST, who will also be releasing a CD version of it. There’s also supposedly a 10-year retrospective of Third I, or at least I think so. I haven’t heard from them in a little while. A new tape by We Also Let Blood is also expected, as well as a release of some old unheard-of Blue Movies material, and another CD-R by The Big Drum In The Sky Religion (unless they’d rather do tapes, honestly that would be easier right now on my end). Musician is working on a memes-themed collaboration with Luke of Social Drift on spoken-word, and Bullshit Market want to do a split (wow!). If you’re impatient for new sounds though, hit up my Soundcloud – I got a bigger memory card for my Zoom recorder and just posted a bunch of live recordings a couple days ago.

ZEITGEIST FEST IS BACK. It will be Sunday August 7 in the Kum & Go Theater room of the Des Moines Social Club starting bright and early after lunch. We’re looking to do multiple stage-areas (like that Venereal Crush gig a little while back) so that performance and setup can overlap, which will be fun and also help mitigate the overstuffed lineup, for which I still have a couple surprises up my sleeve, but so far there’s probably:

  • Good Willsmith
  • PSSing Match (me and Moulttrigger-Dave on old Yamaha PSS-270 keyboards)
  • Sarin
  • Tantrum Throwers (a new-ish group made up of K0, Erases Eraser, and Wild Whale members)
  • Skyscraper
  • Tree Branch Twig
  • Nazi $ex Toy (Bryant from Blue Movies)
  • BOAR
  • Underwater Escape From the Black Hole
  • Kentucky Meat Shower
  • Kristian Day
  • ESP
  • Paul Hertz
  • Bob Bucko Jr
  • Ampyre
  • Midwaste
  • Contraktor
  • कंपन चेतना (aka mediumPENIS)
  • Sex Tyrant
  • Mountain Eats Mountain
  • Ira Rat
  • Aural $ects
  • Fleeting Breath
  • Contraktor vs. The Border Patrol
  • Bryon and Rachel Dudley and Dylan Boyle, who haven’t given me a band name yet
  • possible visuals provided by Kristian Day and/or Bruce Bales

Stay tuned on this, I may yet be keeping secrets.

Been a minute! How ya been?

I did that partial-tour I mentioned before. Four shows in five days and some hanging out in Denver. Bob and Matt are good guys to travel with and the Reises are great hosts. Played a “hipster Denny’s” in Kansas City and got to hang with Mr. Contraktor while scaring away ceramics conventioners. Sparked a Sex Funeral/Musician/Juxwl jam session (recorded it too!). Watched kids play Mario Maker. Played at Bar Bar, a great metal bar in Denver, and met some of the greatest people and got static from a door-guy about pushing the supposed-to-be-vocal-only PA speakers too hard. Then a house in Lincoln where I almost started their PA on fire and got told that it was totally worth it. My most physically painful noise set yet. Then back on home turf at The Fremont and stayed in Des Moines while Sex Funeral soldiered on another week or so. It’s not often I get to do some traveling gigs but I always have a good time as long as I’m traveling with good people. Love to all I met along the way and let’s do new things together soon!

I got on this building-things kick and assembled a sort of Musician gear arrangement that lives in this old trumpet case that I’d been using as my pedal-case; the idea is it’s sort of attached to this case and sets up and tears town pretty quick & easy, and all decorated with stickers and randomness. It’s sort of the heart of what I play/record/mess around with sound on now. Then I made a pedal-board for 4 pedals I use playing bass that slips inside this old oxygen tank case I had sitting around. There’s pictures on my Instagram for you fellow making-stuff-nerds.

Fetal Pig is on this year’s Gross Domestic Product festival in Des Moines again. I’m thrilled to be playing the GDP fest again especially again alongside my comrade Dan Hutchison. I think the band is pretty good and would love it if you came to see us. It’s May 28 at Wooly’s and simultaneously at The Blazing Saddle nearby from afternoon to late. Come hang.

I made another podcast episode finally. It’s on the Soundcloud. I mention a lot of neat upcoming shows in it like May 11 at the Des Moines Social Club Handball Court and others, and play some music nobody’s heard yet.

Next tape-label batch is pretty much a full plate now. Cancer Lake will split one with PKWST, there’s something really interesting called BICIKL, some BlueMovies stuff, a really sweet Nundata tape, a CD-R by The Big Drum In The Sky Religion, a 10-year retrospective tape by Third I, and a 4-way noise split by all the members of Gasoline Fight.

This year’s crazy fest is only just now starting to be talked about.

The Eolian Mollisol guy is selling off some pretty interesting gear so as to move to Montana for a bunch of months to work on the soil. If you can afford a reasonable deal on a ‘67 Bandmaster or some other stuff that’s almost as interesting, hit me up and I will connect you.

Today we have two new tapes to announce, and then that will do it for the I Feel Ambitious batch, inaugural of 2016. I was going to maybe try to squeeze in a Musician tape and maybe something else but I decided to punt those to the next batch. After a little rest.

This round’s tapes are themed on being really cool ambient type stuff. By which I typically mean, prettier stuff than that harsh noise I announced a couple weeks back. I like to keep it a little eclectic.

Sleep Chrysalis is a collab among Zachary Corsa of Lost Trail, and a one Linden Pomeroy of the UK. Fits right in with Lost Trail’s super spooky Americana soundscapery, naturally, but Mr. Pomeroy gives it a spin. It’s noticeably guitar-heavy and even some beat to it at times. Recommended for folks who like Dementia And Hope Trails, or Distant Trains of a couple years ago but with much better melodic sense, or that Lost Trail/Kamrar split I put together a little while back, which I still have a few of by the way. Ghost guitars in a black Cadillac crawling through the agroindustrial wastes at 3 AM.

Next up is Leaaves with a piece called “Suite for Jaguar, Memory Man, and empty Jujyfruits box”. Pretty cool to get a vine from Leaaves to do a tape on Centipede Farm. All these guys, really. An honor. And that when artists of this caliber hit me up, they’re often looking to do a side project or something a little outside their usual, which I love. On that note, this is notably more atonal and sparse than Leaaves’ usual, more “static and voices in your head” and “lo-fi” as Nate puts it – really an experimental piece that just turned out great. Despite its humble presentation and instrumentation the sounds are positively cosmic. Shades of old-school musique concréte. For the cover, I tried to directly parody the Sony Essential Classical series, with a paint blob that came in the mail from Angel Marcloid as the annoyingly small focal artwork. Once printed, the brown came out noticeably more pink than hoped for, I think I used the wrong color encoding, but I don’t mind, it still works by looking that much more “modern”. The tapes themselves I tried to make look like something you’d dig out of a neglected corner of a university library and take back to your room and have your mind blown.

Big ups to Bryant and Violet of Blue Movies for putting together last weekend’s “Weirdtown 2” fest in Rock Island and to Rozz-Tox for hosting it and being a really amazing venue. They have a better sounding piano in their men’s room than most venues could dig up on 48 hours’ notice. One day I will play a solo set at that place where I open up the men’s-room door and just play that piano for the crowd. I was only able to make the second day of the two-day affair but much of the finest that Avant-Iowa and Thereabouts has to offer was in attendance and/or on stage, much of it new to me which is the best kind.

Going into the fest I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it at all and signaled ahead that a cancellation on the part of Cancer Lake was likely, and if so, so was one by Fleeting Breath because Dillon was going to be catching a ride with me. This was all owing to the mix of Midwestern winter pestilences that been visiting upon my house the previous couple weeks, one of which was previously thought to be some bad spinach. I was beginning to feel on the mend as Friday wore on but Leah was not looking good, and I wasn’t about to leave her to handle the house and both kids for 24 hours if what she really needed to do with that day was spend it in bed. Matt (“Murder O’Crowe”, drums in Cancer Lake) had already gone down with his lady and their dog so as to catch the first day. Things were looking up on Saturday health-wise, so after a morning free of digestive distress I decided to give it a go after all. Dillon dropped off to sleep on his couch as I was about to pick him up and wouldn’t answer his phone, but I eventually roused his still booze-smelling ass into my car and off we went to the beat of Morris Day and The Time.

Wanted to put in a quick word here for my man Tanner Babcock of Erases Eraser as he took some deserved static for shouting the “n-word” in his set. I’m not here to defend the action, only to defend the man. All disclaimers apply since I have an interest in this having released a cassette of his stuff. After this moment in his performance got called out on Facebook, and rightly so I should say, Tanner posted an apology that I thought was very mature and sincere. My take on it is that he’s a young artist still finding his voice, he wants to push people’s buttons, but he’s inexperienced and is working very much on impulse. What he does musically is very much built around complex programmed electronics, and makes the most sense in recorded form, so I get the feeling he’s struggling with how to give it an engaging live component, as evidenced by the fact that Erases Eraser gigs have mostly been him being obnoxious while tracks from his albums play from an iPod. The tracks hold up on their own though. His collaborations with Wild Whale and Culture Chester have been legit too. I know Tanner for a while now and prejudice isn’t something that’s in his heart. I know that he’s genuinely sorry, and I’d hate to see his artistry overshadowed by a moment of poorly-considered impromptu stage shenanigans. Art is dangerous (if you’re doing it right), and we all fail a lot, but Tanner’s good people and worth another chance, that’s all I’m saying.

Anyway Dillon and I and Matt and everybody really all ended up having a real good time, playing good sets, seeing good sets, meeting great people, and I think the trip cheered Dillon up a bit, he’d been feeling a little down, so I was extra happy that it all was able to come together. He told me tons of awesome crazy Austin stories on the drive home. I really hope we can all come back to Rozz-Tox again before too long because I’ve really never been anywhere quite like it.

I got a 4-gig stretch as Musician later this month, joining up with Matt in his other duo Sex Funeral with Dubuque’s inimitable Bob Bucko, it’s the second time in my life I’ve played anything that could be rightfully called a tour (not counting that one time as a merch guy) and I’m going to be hosted by and/or hang with a bunch of people I already know I like and will have fun with. See ya soon.

And on that theme two new split tapes. First, here’s the Agathocles/Raven one. AGx presents a lo-fi meandering doom jam with throat-tearing vocals that’s a bit unexpected from them stylistically even though it was recorded in ‘86. Maybe someone slipped them some old Dead C stuff and it and gave them ideas for some of their old practice tapes. Raven is the reliable bleak harsh noise droner you know and love. The tapes and the labels stuck on the tapes clash awfully with the otherwise excellent cover design, making this release about as visually appealing as vivisection too.

My Kansas City homeslice known as Contraktor also brought me an animal liberation themed split, with a mysterious entity called Kolaps Systému. There’s more tense change and collage kind of things going on in this but it stays harsh and on edge. At times it’s like watching Vietnam helicopter footage really loud on the space station. This will be available in person for the first time at the second night of Weirdtown Fest 2, this Saturday at Rozz-Tox in Rock Island.

By the way the show recordings from the 12th weren’t usable, I had the input level up too high, having left it there after attempting a field recording of the Kaleidoscope At The Hub food court at midmorning, and everything distorted all to shit. Sorry. I did get pretty OK video of BsM and Fleeting Breath though:

The Boar/Bullshit Market/Eric Witt tour is going on right now.

Don’t sleep on it, last night was amazing. Lots of project and collaboration ideas got thrown around too. I think they hit Davey’s Uptown in Kansas City tonight. I attempted some recording but haven’t looked to see if it turned out yet, so keep an eye on the soundcloud. Where the hell am I going to put all these gig recordings if Soundcloud goes out of business? I’m dreading the thought.

Tapes were released yesterday.

Boar splits one with Genital Stigmata. Chopped up harsh noise supreme, sometimes dropping into drone on a dime. Grab this on See if Alex still has copies of the Musician CD-R he did on Breaching Static too ;)

You probably remember Tanner B from his mad performance at Zeitgeist V last year. If you can make people who showed up for a “noise fest” walk out during your set, you’ve done something special. On recording, EE is the Tanner B solo project minus the antics, keeping the focus firmly on the complex electronics. Beats that sound like they were programmed by pouring out a bucket of change on the drum machine. The synth lines will nag you till you snap.

More from this batch is coming in the next few days.

There’s also this new Cancer Lake tape.

Only 16 copies exist of the untitled “purple pony sparkle fairy” tape. Each has a unique one of a kind collage cover art by Matt. Available only at Cancer Lake shows, they cost ten dollars plus your soul. The digital version is two FLAC files from my soundcloud.

Also, a tin teardrop, and a second podcast episode.

Here it is.

It’s my two-year anniversary at my job today.

I like my job.

Next big show is Weirdtown Fest II in Rock Island.

It happens in one week! DURING DAYTROTTER FEST LOL. Come down to Rozz-Tox 4pm til late both Friday and Saturday.

Weirdtown II Flyer

Friday February 19:

  • Ghost Hairs
  • Aseethe
  • Pyramid Dust
  • Koba
  • mediumPENIS
  • Contraktor
  • Ampyre
  • Electricity
  • Joe Grove
  • Analsausage
  • Bluemovies
  • Dr.Heat
  • Suburban Commando

Saturday February 20

  • Erases Eraser
  • Paul Hertz
  • Navonski
  • Fleeting Breath
  • Cancer Lake
  • Underwater Escape From The Black Hole
  • Deer Surround Our Home
  • We Also Let Blood
  • Closet Witch
  • Eyes
  • suicided
  • K0…
  • Bob Bucko Jr.

MUSICIAN joins Sex Funeral for a segment of a tour next month.

It winds up at the Fremont:

Sex Funeral flyer

Happy Valentine’s everybody!