Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cry Cry Cry by the Kings Of Rock

Here's another Kings Of Rock number. This one was written by some old 60's punk band whose name I don't know. The excellent singing here is by Tim "Purple" Hayes who nailed this baby in one take.

Rock & Roll Guitar by the Kings Of Rock

The Kings Of Rock were a band that existed on and off for many years here in Seattle. The line up was Tom Price and Tim Hayes on guitars, Don Blackstone on bass and a revolving cast of drummers. I was designated drummer #7. This song is one that Tom heard on an old 50's teen flick featuring the actor Arch Hall Jr. You can read more about him in the re/search book on incredibly strange films which I think is called "Incredibly Strange Films".

Upcoming Show April 12th

I'll be presenting the Randomized Control Trials as a sound installation at the Fantagraphics Books/Georgetown Records store on April 12th as part of the Georgetown Art Attack. There'll be lots of other stuff going on in the area but I'll be providing musical accompaniment to a 1/2 price book sale that Fantagraphics is hosting . The poster for this show is by excellent Seattle artist Tim Silbaugh. The piece of music attached to this post is one that didn't make it onto the cd but I'll probably play on the 12th. Drop in if you're in the area.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's Really Great To Not Be Here Tonight by Martin Bland's Randomised Control Trials

This is a version of the first piece that I created for the Randomized Control Trials project. It has a kitchen-sink quality that I think is quite nice- kind of frayed around the edges. One of the featured instruments on this tune is the trumpet as played excellently by Seattle jazz guy Jim Knodle.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

L.I.E.S. by the Monkeywrench

Another Monkeywrench tune. This is our version of the Saints song L.I.E.S. This track only came out as a B-side of a 45 in Japan. Whilst in Japan with the Monkeywrench I managed to find this action figure on a discount table in the middle of a shopping arcade. It's Pepsiman! He apparently smells like the soft drink pepsi taken out of his packaging. The front says "The Fuct Of Pepsiman". On the back it describes how he can "pop up Pepsi-Cola with 'Schwaaa!' action and deliver them around everywhere". He is also into"sideways-riding-sports such as surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding etc". It comes with accessories such as a snowboard and a cast and crutch. Judging from how many were on the table and the reduced price (980 yen), I guess no one gave a shit about Pepsiman.

Charles Ives- Fourth Symphony, 2nd Movement

This distinguished-looking old bugger is Charles Ives. The attached mp3 is of the 2nd or "Allegro" movement from his fourth symphony. Allegro apparently means "cheerful" which I guess this is in a slightly off-the-meds kind of way. Certainly made me laugh out loud when I first heard it. If any music deserves to be played at full volume, this is it. He knocked this out after work (he sold insurance) in 1910 or there abouts.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Great Temptations Of Beyond by Martin Bland's Randomised Control Trials

Here's another version of this piece. I got a million of 'em. Really.

Autumn In New York by Martin Bland's Randomised Control Trials

This is the standard written by Vernon Duke. It's a tune that I've always really liked ever since I heard a version by Dexter Gordon years ago.
My original idea was for a pretty straight run through of the tune but it never really seemed to work within the "randomized" concept so I decided to turn it into a "drone" piece. I isolated notes from the melody (which is basically a scale anyway) and looped them so when shuffled they would form constantly shifting chords, sometimes dissonant, sometimes consonant but always changing slowly.

Oamtanlt by Martin Bland's Randomised Control Trials

This one is a re-imagining of a certain rock concert from the point of view of a heavily dosed audience member. No Rolling Stones music was hurt in the making of this track, unlike some people in the crowd from the sounds of it.

Lurk The Blue Crawfish by Martin Bland's Randomised Control Trials

Here's another RCT track. This one features Oregon poet Jarold Ramsey's haiku about a crawfish that he caught for his kids which proceeded to eat all the other creatures in the tank. I gather they had to toss poor old Lurk back into the Genesee River.
I programmed a lot of silence into this one (12 seconds for each musical phrase) so as to try and create a series of miniatures within the larger framework of the piece. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Lunar Snakes by Martin Bland's Randomised Control Trials

Hey, here's a bunch more songs from the Martin Bland's Randomized Control Trials cd series. See an earlier post for a fairly dry description on of how this stuff is generated.
All of the following versions were created exclusively for this blog.
This one is called Lunar Snakes and features 3 ensembles plus soloists. The ensembles are

1-Guitar, Bass Drums
2-Sax, Trumpet, Trombone
3-Synth, Organ, Theremin

and the soloists are violin and sax. There are also some voices in there too.

Sugarman by the Monkeywrench

I'm also in an occasional band called Monkeywrench, sometimes the Monkeywrench and sometimes Monkey Wrench. I have no idea which is correct. This noisy little affair was written by a guy called Rodriguez, and a fine job he did too. This was recorded in Green Bay, Wisconsin at an all ages club. The good news was that there was a bar next door. The bad news was that they served a specialty drink called the Lunchbox.
The image accompanying this post is of a tie I have been known to wear whilst playing in Monkeywrench. Those yellow dots are pineapples. If you happen to see me around town wearing this tie then I'm probably on my way to a Monkeywrench show. By the way, we have a new album out called Gabriel's Horn.

Fruit On My Hat by Bloodloss

Here's a song from a band I was in called Bloodloss. The song is called Fruit On My Hat and despite the lyrics I should say that I don't really dislike Carmen Miranda. I don't actually know anything about her apart from having seen a photo of her when I was a kid where she was wearing a sombrero with bananas and pineapples on top. She was probably a top-notch entertainer in her field. This track was recorded for an unfinished lp in 1997 and is a rough mix ripped from a cassette but still sounds okay I think. It was our attempt at a samba or salsa or something.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

James Brown Cookies

Here we have a packet of James Brown cookies that I bought at the 3B's tavern in Bellingham Washington many years ago. These are the"Chocolate Sandwich Creameez" variety. Unfortunately, the 3B's is no-more and James Brown has passed on but a surefire way to join Soul Brother #1 in the funky afterlife is to eat a few of his cookies. The packet says cholesterol free but Trans Fats? Hmmm...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lubricated Goat "Nerve Quake"

Like most musicians in Australia and the US, I was in Lubricated Goat on and off from the late 80's thru the early 90's. I was lucky enough to see the "classic" Goat lineup that had Brett Ford playing drums. Was sad to hear of his recent passing.
This was recorded at a ghastly subterranean rock dungeon called the Kardomah Cafe in Kings Cross, Sydney. Perhaps it was a cafe during the day although I never heard of anyone ordering food there. I believe we were opening for Mudhoney this particular evening. Guy, who is playing bass for the Goat here later joined Mudhoney, replacing Matt Lukin.
It's a pretty raggedy old version but this is what we sounded like and I guess I rather enjoy it...

The Great Temptations Of Beyond by Martin Bland's Randomised Control Trials

And here is a version of one of the tracks you would find on the cd.
The point of this one was to achieve the most primitive sound possible. Some of the percussion was produced by playing various sizes of flagstones which a seems to be a most musical stone. The instrumentation was restricted to that used by the Stooges on their first lp, minus the viola because I didn't know anyone that had one.
This particular version was recorded live at Studio 1612 (I think that's the address) here in Seattle which is an arts space where boffins pedal their avant garde wares. Note urbane applause at the end. I know I did.

Martin Bland's Randomized Control Trials Cd's For Sale! (The Explainer)

This regal looking object is the cover for the cd editions entitled Martin Bland's Randomized Control Trials. This project has consumed my non-parenting time for the last 5 years or so. The cd case, which was designed by Steve Dukich, is hand cut aluminum with individual circular brush marks and hand numbered braille indicating the edition number (there are 120 cds in all). Each of the 120 cd's has different music on it so each cd is exclusive unto itself. That's 720 different versions of the songs.

If you are interested in buying one, email me and I'll set you up with one. Paypal is accepted. My email is

Here is both an audio description of how the music was made and some long winded text. Click on the "Cd's For Sale" at the top of this post for "The Explainer" mp3

The concept for these songs was arrived at in September 2002 and finally completed in September 2007.
The premise involved using the "shuffle" program on a group of compact disc players running simultaneously to produce unique arrangements of original music.
All of the pieces followed a few guidelines: the musicians should be recorded separately from one another with little or no idea what the other musicians had played.
They would be given a loose theme to improvise on and a rigid tempo to follow.
These recordings, (sometimes hours long) were transferred on to a computer and cut into short phrases and fragments.
The best of these were selected to be burnt onto cd-r's.
Once all of the music for as piece had been recorded, each instrument was then assigned a cd player of which there were up to six.
The cd players were then played simultaneously with the "shuffle" program activated, thus producing a unique arrangement of the piece each time.
Some of the voices were of a "found" nature but none of the music was sampled from other sources.

The Woofing Post

Addendum to Grand Opening

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Grand Opening

The purpose of this blog is to document certain sound projects that I've been involved in over the last 10 billion years, from the distant foggy past through to the bright golden future. Actually, I'm not sure how much archeology I'll do as I don't have too much and that which I do have is often crap. Some of the bands I've played with are Monkeywrench, Bloodloss Lubricated Goat and some others that I can't think of right now. At the present time I'm involved in the Tom Price Desert Classic and my own Martin Blands Randomized Control Trials, but more on that later...
I'm also going to upload sounds from odd records I've turned up around the place too.
In addition, I want to document other interests such as my collection of Strange and Deadly Foods for which I hope one day to open a permanent exhibit at the Pompidou Centre.
This first posting is something of a test combining odd sounds from a 78 I found and what I consider one of the centerpieces of the Musuem Of Strange and Deadly Foods (MOSADF)- a large packet of WOW potato chips featuring the miracle oil Olean or Oleastra. There is indeed a warning on the pack that eating these chips could result in "rectal leakage" but that's the price to be paid for beoing able to stuff yourself with chips and not get fat.
The 78 is an acetate of a novelty skit called"The Woofing Post". It's pretty bad sound and not terribly funny but one of the supposed contestants is an Australian (Paul Boomer) which does tickle ones jingo bone. I couldn't be more proud.
By the way, many thanks to Cousin Creep for helping me set this blog up.