Beginning the reveal of the seriously epic Spring 2013 batch of sounds from The Centipede Farm with (finally!) the new Distant Trains release, “Explortation”, a re-purposing of ancient deteriorating cassette recordings of guitar improvisation chronicling my discovery of the wonders of digital delay circa 1996/7, over which I overdubbed and collaged guitars, bass, drums, no-input mixer, keyboards, loops, and various other effects and sounds in 2012/3 to make something new that careens wildly between noise, mellow ambient bits, and crazy instrumental rock jams.

Keep an eye on this space for more new Centipede Farm releases in the works, all of which will also be made available on cassette tape in a couple-three weeks. Great stuff coming up from Raven, Third I, Consciousness Prism, Vales, Rantau Ranjau/L’Eclipse Nue, SBDD, and Nyhos.

So… this is fucking annoying:


Word to the wise, if you’re having J-cards printed up at your neighborhood print or office place, tell the kid behind the counter not to print them from that bullshit Microsoft Windows image preview app, but instead open them up in a proper fucking graphics application that won’t fuck up the size. Bring a J-card along with you for comparison.

I had already gone to the trouble of cutting out and folding them and didn’t notice until I was at home inserting them in the Norelcos. On top of this, half of the cassette labels got printed upside down and all fucked up, and I miscounted and brought along 1 sheet of labels too few for the number of tapes I was doing. These are hectic times; in my scramble to get these tapes made up in the midst of a mad rush to close on my new house and get or shit packed up to move and frantically finish up a bunch of stuff at work so that I can have the time off to be able to be able to do this moving with a 4-year-old underfoot, right now I just don’t have the time and patience to get all these labels and cards re-done. So welcome to moulttrigger’s “Birds”: The Wonky Edition, limited to 27. To make up for the drop in presentation quality, I’ll be knocking $1 off the price of these. They still sound just as good.

Great podcast or greatest podcast?

Due the awesome response “Birds” has gotten, it has the distinction of being the first Centipede Farm release to get a second run. 27 new C-60 copies have been made, and labels and covers will be printed just as soon as I can get to it.

Also the aforementioned mhz_ and Abortus Fever tapes are totally ready to go, if I failed to mention this before.

I’ve been listening to these a bunch, and they’re quickly becoming a couple of my favorite noise releases of recent months, so it’s pretty boss that I get to be the one releasing them!

Reportedly to be Michał Szewczyński’s final noise release and final release as mhz_, S-Rated is comprised of two 30 minute dreamscapes, each following a similar two-part progression from cold isolating industrial quiet-noise, into grinding metallic bubbles.

You are inside the Machine, hearing its metabolism, at the site of the Injury where dozens of robotic appendages scurry about, repairing the damage, welding, delivering replacement parts, chattering to each other in scrambled radio waves. Chris Blair presents an hour, divided into quarters, of dense, enveloping, raw, dynamic, space-machine noise.

Proper cassette & download release is a week from today (Feb 9 2013) but you can stream them right now at the Centipede Farm Bandcamp AND you can pre-order the tape and if you do, you’ll get the download right away all early-like! (It’s a feature of Bandcamp that I’m trying out).

Supplies are running low, and I am glad of this. More tapes going out to more people. Making room for the new stuff I’ve been working on but that has been delayed by holidays and financial situations but is finally starting to move.

I’ve still got a few copies of this Mahler Haze stuff. Really a fantastic synth drone/space music artist based in Belgium who I am really trying to do my part to turn people on to here in the states. I have the “Lupus Dei” cassette on Centipede Farm, and I also have some distro copies of the “Final Vapour” CD and am anticipating receiving some of the new “Coming Events Cast Their Shadow Before” CD as well. This is epic stuff, guys. Get a taste at Mahler Haze’s Soundcloud if you like.

If you’re after one of the following, however, you will have to act fast (figures do not include what few single copies might still be found at ZZZ Records)…

Only 2 left each of:

  • Ghosts Of Dead Tables/Bonehole split tape
  • Raven “Atomic Garden”
  • mascara “Budapest/Chicago”

Only 1 left each of:

  • mascara/Consciousness Prism “This Time I Really Mean It” split tape
  • Molting “Insanity”

The Molting tape will receive a digital release on bandcamp as soon as that last copy is gone.

moulttrigger’s “Birds” has also gotten a very good response, I am down to 3 copies of it and am considering making it the first Centipede Farm release to get a 2nd edition. The Mahler Haze tape might too.

I’m also rather light on some my own material these days, apart from the Distant Trains/Squeegeed Clean split lathe and the Captain Three Leg/Distant Trains split 3″ CD-R, both of which I stil have quite a few of — but not much on cassette. Luckily I have finally finished the recording of the next Distant Trains tape “Explortation”. More details in a minute.

We also have some fine wares made by some good friends, and even those are starting to get low in supply here:

Distro — only 2 left of:

  • Lovebrrd/Su Sous Toulouse En Rouge split tape [Lava Church]
  • Lovebrrd “Jodocus” [Lava Church]
  • Lovebrrd “Morning Sickness” [Lava Church]
  • Distant Trains/BBJr “Sacrosanct Blues” split tape [Personal Archives]
  • BBJr “An Unforgivable Xmas” [Personal Archives]

Distro — only 1 left of:

  • Lovebrrd+Durastatic “There Are No Laptops On This Album” [Lava Church]
  • “Death Season” compilation CD-R [Darker Days Ahead]
  • Centipede Farmer+Hal McGee “A Series of Lifestyle Circumstances” microcassette collab [Haltapes]
  • The Glimmer Blinkken “Blank & Blissed Out” [Personal Archives]
  • The Glimmer Blinkken “Tinker Shop///Wood Shed” [Personal Archives]
  • Floating Cave “Strip the Lights” [Personal Archives]
  • BBJr “Phosphene” [Personal Archives]
  • BBJr//KM/MC/TR “On & On We Sing Our Song” split tape [Personal Archives]

For details/descriptions of any of this stuff see the catalog page.

To buy and/or download Centipede Farm stuff go to the bandcamp site, or you can pick up any of this on the Storenvy store.

Or you can just email & paypal me directly if you’re the negotiating sort or would like to do a trade. I like trades. In fact, I happened to pick up an extra copy of the self-titled Tires tape on Warm Gospel via trade (turned out I had already ought one at one of their gigs) so I’m offering it up for the asking via trade. Tires is a really cool loopy-noisy instrumental rock band from around Des Moines here and they’re on tour right now with Is Home Is (formerly known as The Olsen Twinns). Should you happen to see that they are playing in your town I highly advise you check it out.

I don’t know if Michael is going to make any more copies of the Centipede Farmer/Koobaatoo Asparagus “Royal With Cheese” split 3″ CD-R but I don’t have any left but you should download it regardless because it’s pretty neat. While you’re at it, download the Dick Grifter EP too, it’s some sweet basement jams by me and Matt from Stratum.

So now that the current crop of stuff is disappearing, what’s next from the Farm? Well I had a bunch of stuff that I’ve kind of sat on for a few months sorry to say, but I’m ready to get moving on them. The next few:

  • mhz_ “S-Rated”
  • Abortus Fever “Injury Metabolism”
  • Consciousness Prism “Nexus”
  • Rantau Ranjau/L’Eclipse Neue “Seeds of Sickness”
  • Distant Trains “Explortation”

And after those, in no particular order:

  • Third I “Glitch Pieces”
  • Raven “Give Blood For Oil”
  • Nyhos “walking and chanting / Brainwaves/Five Elements”
  • SBDD “Bunga Astral”

Also real possibilities are something with BBJr, something with I Like You Go Home, a Distant Trains field-recording-based collab with Frank Goshit, some other Distant Trains release made up from the pile of stuff I am amassing, and a gem dredged up from the distant past called Cottonwood.

If you’ve read this far, you truly deserve a reward, so here it is: I have many of these padded envelopes that very conveniently fit three tapes if you shimmy them in sideways very carefully. And because I really want to get you into this Mahler Haze stuff, Until the end of January (or if I run out of them — I currently have five), if you order any other two cassettes, including distro stuff, shipped anywhere in the US, and you put the word “COSMIC” in the message box (on paypal or whatever), I will throw in a copy of Lupus Dei for free. Serious. (Unless you already have “Lupus Dei”, then let me know and we can work out something else)

Rough news for folks in Europe looking to get hold of a Lupus Dei tape: after wondering for a while when the copies I sent to Steven were going to get there, it turns out that his local post office in Belgium simply forgot to tell him they had arrived, and after sitting on them for a while, had them sent back to me. They haven’t made it back here quite yet but I intend to send them back again. You could still order one from me though, if you don’t mind the bit of extra postage cost. Otherwise if you don’t mind the wait, email “malegys” at gmail.

Mahler Haze CD-Rs Meanwhile there’s a new Mahler Haze joint out, the Final Vapour CD-R and we’ve just been informed that a handful of copies are on their way here for distro. So hell yes!

UPDATE: They’re here and awesome. Still no sign of the tapes yet though, stay tuned.

I totally spaced on this before but if anybody out there has got the moulttrigger “Birds” cassette from storenvy or by trade, and would like a digital version to go with it, just shoot me a message and I’ll whip you up a bandcamp code. I plan to print up some of those slips to stick in with the tapes from now on. I usually put the download versions on bandcamp payment-optional anyway, in which case anyone who gets a tape can grab the download version for free anyway, but in this case I didn’t want to undercut Dave who had the download on his own bandcamp account for $2. Or if you buy the tape through (I think one or two people have so far) then you get the download right on the spot and don’t even have to mess around with codes and whatall.

You can get these from Lava Church. And now you can also get them from me. This is advantageous to you in some way, I’m quite sure. Pat’s on a roll lately and there’s never yet been a better time to pick up what he’s laying down.

LOVEBRRD/SS SOUS TOULOUSE EN ROUGE SPLIT TAPE [Lava Church] “The Lovebrrd side is a harsh noisy collage of answering machine loops and radio signals over some minimal Casio action. The Su Sous Toulouse En Rouge side is all over the fucking map in the best possible way. Su Sous Toulouse En Rouge is one half of the Uh… plus his better half, and together they create some dope ass tuneage. I’m honored to be on a split with these fine folks.” $7

LOVEBRRD “MORNING SICKNESS” [Lava Church] “Morning Sickness was written and recorded on the morning of August 31 from about 10am to just after noon. After waking up and puking my brains out, I figured it was as good a time as any to sit down and lay down some intense Casio riffage.” $7

LOVEBRRD “JODOCUS” [Lava Church] “Lovebrrd is Sarsota, Florida’s premier minimal synth nightmare. On his lastest outing JODOCUS he melds casiotones with distortion and freaky ambience to draw you in. Dark and terrifying it’s perfect for the fall season. Wild enough to leave anyone in a deserted vhs dream.” $7

DURASTATIC+LOVEBRRD “THERE ARE NO LAPTOPS ON THIS ALBUM” [Lava Church] “TANLOTA is a huge four track collaboration album between the legendary Durastatic and myself. Durastatic has been noising up Florida for a bit now, and you may be familiar with his older project Tree and his label Steele Grinder. Pure ass shit yo; you’d be a fool to miss out on this solid hour of quality noise.” $7

It’s been my great honor to be requested by the great Michael Scott of Koobaatoo Asparagus to do a split-release, and of course as you probably know I like to make my splits a bit incongruous so that folks familiar with the artist are likely to be getting something they won’t expect. I got downright tonal on this track and made it one of many pieces I’ve recorded over the years that I file in a mental category marked for my warped version of jazz, especially when drawing on my neglected trumpet skills as I did here. Mike likewise pulled out all the stops to contribute one of his lovely feedbacky space-noise pieces. He billed me as Centipede Farmer on the cover and made “Distant Trains” part of the song title as it’s listed on the back, but that’s fine by me, plenty of people know me by the name Centipede Farmer, I’m not real picky what people call me as long as I can tell when it’s me they’re talking about. So I’ve got a couple copies for sale and Mike says he’ll be sending me more eventually once he buys some more discs.

And incidentally, I feel the need to mark this morning’s passing of jazz pianist & composer Dave Brubeck, a man with an interesting legacy to say the least, I’d reckon his influence stretches even into math rock today. I got into his stuff years ago when I picked up a few really old 45s of him at a local record store in Cedar Falls on a whim, took them home, played them, loved the hell out of them. As jazz stuff goes he’s maybe on the more buttoned-down end of what I’m into but his stuff always makes me feel good, and it got me digging back into jazz again after having mostly forgotten about it since high school. I pulled those records out again today to give them a listen to mark the occasion, and “The Song Is You” from Jazz Goes To College Vol. II is winding up as I type these words. A true original and just a real cool spirit finishes up a pretty kickass life on Earth.

One week ago yesterday I loaded some gear into my car, picked up Dave Wren (Moulttrigger) at his house, grabbed some beer, and drove up to Boone, a small town west of Ames that a couple old friends come from but that otherwise doesn’t usually have much going on, where I took part in one of the most epic noise/experimental music gigs I’ve ever been to.

I consider “Zeitgeist 2012” one of my great triumphs of 2012 even though I honestly don’t feel like I did a lot more than show up and play. But that’s the beauty of it, it came together so organically everybody just put in what they had to offer, though the biggest contributor was no doubt Trent Reis (Juxwl) who hosted it at his occasional show space known as the Elephungeon. I think it was also his PA that we used. Trent really came through big on this. Hell, there was even free food. Going into that weekend I knew this thing would be a success even if this bunch of freak sound artists just ended up playing for each other, because great things were bound to come of our just meeting each other in person, and honestly this scene is very participatory; we don’t care a whole lot about the artist/audience distinction; one thing I’ve noticed happens an awful lot when someone becomes exposed to this scene is that immediately want to start their own noise project. That’s probably why Henry Rollins said in that LA Weekly piece that noise is more punk rock than punk rock ever was. Turned out we got a few people who came just to check out the show, and I think they left with some great tapes and CDs and their minds reeling with sound and freedom. Zeitgeist was the kind of experience that really makes my synapses light up.

Zeitgeist grew out of discussions going on in a Facebook group called the Central Iowa Noise Insurgency, which has since been renamed All Iowa Noise Insurgency. I started the group but have been pleased to find that once I added a few people that I thought might be interested, it didn’t need much prodding from me for cool things to start happening on it — folks were motivated to have fun conversations and launch projects and plan events.

And of course this was just what I had hoped for. There is a reason I chose the word “insurgency” for the group’s name. There were maybe three main inspirations behind starting the group. The first was as a backlash against local music “coalitions,” “alliances,” and the like. I’ve probably talked a bit before in this space about how I don’t feel any real attraction to the Des Moines Music Coalition. I get solicited to join this thing all the time, but it costs money I can’t really spend, and I feel like the message I’m being sent is, hey, if you give us money we’ll let you get really involved in local music. So basically, asking me to buy something I already have. Plus they have these wine-and-cheese fundraisers where I’m pretty sure if most of my favorite local musicians showed up to one, they’d get looked at funny for looking too scruffy and underdressed. I kind of see it as an outlet for middle-aged local business suits to hold on to some part of their youth by feeling like they’re doing something rock and roll. And that’s fine, because the results are good: we have a few annual local music festivals that are sometimes pretty cool and a big summer concert festival called 80/35 that I really enjoy and recommend. But ultimately I think the point of DMMC is to benefit Des Moines itself and the local economy, with benefiting local music artists or local “culture” being just the means by which they choose to focus on in pursuing that end. They also used to have some seminars for local musicians that had something to do with trying to show them the ropes of the music business or media or help them learn to promote themselves better but in my experience these weren’t all that great or informative and the Q&A’s seemed to degenerate into local musicians whining about not being more famous than they are and how hard this stuff is.

Ultimately, I’m skeptical any time someone proposes starting up some kind of organization to improve a local music scene. In my opinion and experience great local music scenes don’t happen because somebody set up an organization (read: power structure) around the idea and attracted some people to throw money at it. Great local music scenes happen because musicians do great stuff, and more importantly, do it together. A “coalition” or concept like it just sets up the idea that there’s an organizational hierarchy, with people at the top who have connections and skills and favors to hand out. It encourages a dependent relationship on the part of musicians — if I join your club you’ll use your power to help me be more successful at this music thing. Typically they don’t deliver on that. The same artists get press and attention that would have anyway because they are very commercially palatable and/or they hustle pretty hard.

I come from the DIY mindset, because the music scenes I got started in didn’t have anyone to do it for us. What I learned is that DIY works, as soon as you rethink the Y part — it means not expecting anyone to do it for you, but it does not mean doing it alone. I think the approach is better referred to as DIO — Do It Ourselves. There is collaboration and cooperation, but no authority. In terms of how it came together, Zeitgeist may well be the most beautifully anarchist thing I’ve been involved with in quite some time. Thus it was just the sort of thing I’d hoped for, since as I was saying, the word “insurgency” in the name of the Facebook group was intentionally chosen — to connote subversiveness and a rebellion against the idea of music coalitions/alliances/societies, and also because insurgencies tend to be decentralized and loosely structured at most. An insurgency of the sort I had in mind, while it may have a few people setting the tone and expressing the general ideals, has no central leadership. It’s a decentralized network, and participation is voluntary and at-will, and usually action takes place through small temporary bubbles of organization that arise within it and then dissolve back into it after carrying out a mission or project. For these missions to self-organize requires communication, with as little friction as possible. Because of Facebook’s status and mission as a corporate surveillance-marketing entity I think people often underestimate its potential to serve this purpose. It’s not the only thing capable of doing so, possibly not the best, but it is the biggest and easiest to find.

In fact, my second inspiration was also a Facebook group, the Contact Group Of Homemade Experimental Electronic Music And Noise which was founded by the great Hal McGee. In its first year or so this group spawned an amazing outpuring of creativity and discussion and new connections between artists, it was truly inspiring. More recently, there has been a move away from this group amid concerns about its having become a promotional link-dump as well as the coming to light of Facebook’s new functionality regarding how much stuff from groups and fan pages makes it to your news feed without your either adding them to an “interest list” or the group/page admins ponying up eight bucks to promote a post. It has reached the point where Hal has deactivated his Facebook account and set up shop at a new site under the little-known social networking platform Discussion around what went “wrong” at the Facebook CGHEEMN (or at least, what caused it to diverge from Hal’s intentions) has generally concluded that the roots were in the group’s getting too big, and therefore too difficult to participate in actively. To a degree, I felt that I saw this coming, and believed that a major factor leading to this was the broadness (globalness) of the group’s definition. I wanted to start something like it with a tighter focus, as I felt this would restrain it from growth to excessive size and the chaos that comes with that.

Two areas of focus seemed obvious, and self-reinforcing: first around genres or artistic approaches, for which I chose a definition quite similar to that of the CGHEEMN, dealing in the more avant-garde strains of modern music, which turns out to encompass a pretty wide net of genre labels. I initially toyed with the idea of simply starting a general music forum that would present itself as an alternative to the DMMC through the disorganizational philosophy I have outlined already. But one of the problems I saw with local music organizations was that “music” was itself too broad. Musicians, to come together spontaneously, needed something more than geography or city of residence to unite around. This is why your local “music coalition,” if your city has one, probably ends up focusing a lot on indie pop and rock and mostly ignoring jazz, metal, polka, and the avant-garde — it goes with what’s moving the most money around. Experimental music, while only one of my many areas of musical enjoyment and interest, has been close to my heart for many years and seemed to be lacking a forum in my area.

The second focus was geographic, which just seemed natural, but I was unsure of what the right boundaries should be. Des Moines is where I live, but seemed too specific by itself, since Ames seemed to have more going on and there were several people from there I wanted to involve, thus I arrived at “Central Iowa.” A conversation at Zeitgeist convinced me to expand this to Iowa itself. We had one artist from Albert Lea, Minnesota come and perform, Donavan Skinner (Navonski) but at this time I still believe that “the midwest” would be too large an area to keep the coherence we want, as it would mean swallowing up several large cities (Minneapolis, Chicago, Omaha, Kansas City) that likely have active networks of their own anyway. Albert Lea is pretty close to the Iowa border, so what the heck.

The third inspiration was traveling up to Minneapolis on March 31 for the Minneapolis Noise Fest. I wrote a bit about it here earlier, and it was really inspiring to see a crowd actually showing up to see dudes scream over amplified static. The performances were great and so were the people there. It seems like lots of cities in the US have an annual festival of noise music, of one sort or another, sometimes it’s even just a gathering in someone’s back yard, but this was my first and I loved it. I wanted to bring an experience like this to Iowa. On November 10, 2012, we did just that, and it was great. Here’s to many more.

Below are links to some media relevant to Zeitgeist and the performers that came, played, watched, chatted, joked, traded recordings, argued about politics, ducked out early to make a long drive home or stayed late to jam together, and became a glorious little knot of friends. Please check out all of them. You won’t be sorry.

First of all, the great Matthew As More saw fit to set up some mics and his ProTools rig and make an awesome audio document of the evening, capturing nearly all of the performances. This whole thing can be streamed and downloaded on Bandcamp:

I got some video of the first few sets before my iPad ran out of space:


Moulttrigger on Facebook


Nameless: I got nothing on these guys. Anyone out there got any links about them, please leave a comment.

DJ DJ Tanner:

Warm Gospel tapes: Juxwl, DJ DJ Tanner, and lots more great stuff

MedPen: on Facebook


Bob Bucko Jr:

Bob Bucko Jr on Facebook

Personal Archives (Bob’s label)

Aural Resuscitation Unit:

ARU on Facebook

Dubuque Strange Music Society (Randy’s label)



Boar blogspot

Breaching Static blogspot (Alex’s label)


Distant Trains:

Distant Trains on Facebook

Dick Grifter:


Stratum on Facebook