Kentucky Nightmare

My friends and I booked this band a few years ago when they needed some date filled or something. I remember them playing an alright set, but for whatever reason it didn’t hold my attention. I heard the album a bit after and had no idea it was the same band. I remember booking them again after a few of us really got into it and only the lead singer showed up. Great songs, great album. I hope they’re still around. Pick up "Take Her Favour" if you can find it or have a soft spot for good folk-ish stuff.


Harry Pussy

There was this noise band called Harry Pussy from Miami, Florida. They existed from 1992 to 1997. The two founding members were drummer Adris Hoyos and guitarist Bill Orcutt. Both contributed vocals. They also had a second guitar player to round out the lineup. Mark Feehan and Dan Hosker occupied that position over the band's lifetime. The rumor has it that they got their name from a nickname that John Lennon used for Yoko Ono.

I had never really heard of Harry Pussy until Load Records put out a compilation in 2008 called You'll Never Play This Town Again. It collects a bunch of material from 1997, including both studio and live tracks. This release is slightly repetitive in that it includes multiple versions of the same songs taken from different shows. It doesn't feel as repetitive as that sounds due to the inclusion of stage banter between the live songs. There is even a show in its entirety, making for an 18:00 minute track. You'll Never Play This Town Again gives you a good sense of what the band was like.

Harry Pussy played some of the most abrasive music ever. The blistering dual guitars created a wall of no wave bliss over top of some epic drumming. Adris Hoyos is hands down one of the best drummers ever. The sheer amount of energy she put into the songs is amazing. In addition to hitting the drums as hard as possible at a high tempo, she was screaming at the top of her lungs for the vocals. I think what works for me about this band is that they achieve all the things I like without falling into any clichés. Or maybe they stuck to the clichés that I like. You could describe the typical metal or punk band in some of the terms that I used because both of those type of bands play fast and have noisy guitars, but they would be miles apart upon comparing the actual sounds.

"At the time I figured this is as popular as this kind of music is going to get. I felt like Harry Pussy was probably all anyone would ever want to hear along these lines. And then around 2005 people in these bands started writing me and I started to pay attention, and I realized I was wrong" - Bill Orcutt

The band was somewhat of a singular entity during the mid 1990s. There weren't really many other bands doing what they were doing at this time. They did garner the support of Sonic Youth and Lou Barlow. Harry Pussy even toured with Smog and Sebadoh, which would have been a show to see. Of course when anybody is ahead of the curve and underappreciated in their own time, it usually means their impact tends to be felt sometime in the future. Such is the case with many of today's no wave and noise bands who list them as an important influence, including AIDS Wolf, Hair Police, Magik Markers and Sightings.

1. Harry Pussy also have a pair of CDs that are still available from Siltbreeze. Ride A Dove is an album and What Was Music? is a collection of assorted compilation tracks. They released a number of 7"s and live LPs as well. Most of those are long out of print, but can probably be found on the internet.
2. Guitarist Bill Orcutt resurfaced in 2009 with a 7" and a LP. Both were collected by Editions Mego for a 2011 release called A New Way To Pay Old Debts. This record features Bill on an old acoustic guitar with four strings.
3. There are actually a lot of interviews with the band from 1990s 'zines that have made their way online. Just make sure to include the word "band" when you do the old Google search.

For more info:
Load Records
Out Door Interview with Bill Orcutt


Fall Mix

I posted this a few days ago, but here's a mix for your headphones. Inspired by walking around and the cold air freezing the snot in your nose.

  • Attic Abasement "A Werewolf"
  • Radio Flyer "(312)"
  • Lync "Silverspoon Glasses"
  • Ida Sessions "Summer Days"
  • Rockets Red Glare "Red Shift"
  • Tomorrow is Forever "And Now We Are Four"
  • Into It. Over It. "No Good Before Noon"
  • Thingy "Letterbomb"
  • The Anniversary "The D In Detroit"
  • Claire Danes "Adam, I Live For Danger"
  • A Wonderful "Under Cover(S)
  • The Gritty Midi Gang "Valentine's Day"
  • Piebald "Two Rocking Chairs on a Front Porch"
  • Boilermaker "Pathos Delay"
  • Tamiroff "Getting Out of Mt. Hope"
  • 8/25/11


    Piglet was a trio from Chicago. Asher W. on guitar, Ezra S. B. on six-string bass and Matt P. on drums. They always made me think of Trees, Swallows, Houses era Maps and Atlases without vocals. They use choppy angular riffs without any loops or effects. Their EP Lava Land came out in 2005.


    Arbor Infinity

    Arbor Infinity is a record label run by Mike Pollard and based in Brooklyn. The label is all about ambient drones, noises and soundscapes. It's been in business since 2005 and has released music from Emeralds, Pocahaunted, Yellow Swans, Outer Space, Zaimph, Robedoor, plus a whole lot more. Things are usually on vinyl or cassette and in limited editions of 300 to 500 for records and 150 for tapes.

    I kind of found out about Arbor Infinity last summer after I saw Outer Space. I never investigated what else the label had to offer until this summer. I ordered a few records that I've been listening to a lot lately. Secret Abuse, Pale Blue Sky and Cloaked Light have all been in heavy rotation on the turntable in my living room. The three bands create the afore mentioned ambient droning soundscapes. There is a degree of warmth and accessibility to what each is doing. The descriptions of the albums on the website was probably what caused me to pick out these records. All three are dealing with a sense of space and distance, but not so much a specific, clearly defined space. It's a more abstract space with parts that disappear or are obscured. And they sound great cranked up really loud.

    One little thing about Arbor Infinity that I appreciate is the consistent design on each release. I'm seeing a lot of Helvetica type in the liner notes to go with album art that borrows from either minimal color field painting or drawings that vaguely resemble Jean Dubuffet, to generalize things here briefly. There's enough variety to keep everything interesting while maintaining a visual unity from record to record.

    For more information:
    Arbor Infinity



    "It is an embrace of limitations and constraints, at a time when everything is available." - Hua Hsu

    Who knew that in 2011 I'd still be listening to music on cassette? Yet it turns out that I am and I've even bought three new tapes in the last few weeks. My old SONY Walkman is functional. (Of course I was always one of those kids who took really good care of his toys.) A couple of months ago when I needed a new CD player for work, I saw the SONY CFDS05 on the shelf at Wal-Mart. There was no way I wasn't buying the thing. It has a radio, CD player, line in for an iPod and a cassette deck. I'm of the age where I've got a box or four full of tapes under my bed so the option to listen to them again was appealing. This new stereo changed any tape that I might pick up from being a novelty to support a touring band into something that I could listen to regularly.

    "Cassette aficionados also see aesthetic possibilities in the format's constraints. While digital compression techniques ensure that songs we hear on the radio or in MP3 format are bright and loud, cassettes - particularly those dubbed en masse - slightly blunt the dynamics of a song. Perhaps it's no coincidence that many cassette labels specialize in works that are ambient, ethereal, or noisy. Fidelity is sacrificed for a different kind of listening experience." - Hua Hsu

    Beyond listening to old music I haven't heard in years, I think part of my fascination with cassettes is that bands I like are releasing them. These end up being the ambient/ethereal/noisy jammers plus the occasional punk band. They are making a tape to have as a document of their music and/or to raise a little money while on tour. They are doing it for the sake of doing something. It does feel special knowing that you are buying something that was made in a limited edition, often with custom artwork. It's a tangible object when everything else is becoming a collection of ones and zeros on a server somewhere. It doesn't feel somewhat forced, like the part of the current vinyl revival where the dinosaurs of rock are having their classic albums repressed for a deluxe edition.

    I'm not going to make any grand claims about the greatness of cassettes. I like 'em and they bring back a certain degree of welcomed nostalgia of when I first started buying music. The audio quality isn't always the best and they can be fragile, but for the most part everything has sounded respectable with the tapes I've bought. They are what they are and that's fine by me.

    Both quotes are from an article by Hua Hsu called "Thanks for the Memorex" that appeared in the February 2011 issue of Artforum (Volume XLIX Number 6). The writing was about the slight return of cassette culture in this current digital age.

    For more information:

    Radish White Icicle doesn't fully support the idea of shopping at Wal-Mart or schilling for SONY, but if they make a good product or happen to carry a good product, than that's cool by us.


    Outer Space

    Outer Space is the solo synthesizer endeavor of John Elliott. Elliott is a member of Emeralds with Mark McGuire and Steve Hauschildt. He plays a variety of analog synthesizers and keyboards. He also has a number of collaborations floating around out there. This includes Medecine Rocks with Alex Moskos of AIDS Wolf and Drainolith, plus Inner Spaced with Telecult Powers. Like most noise jammers, the man is prolific at putting out tapes and CDRs.

    I caught Outer Space last summer on a tour with Drainolith at Soundlab in Buffalo. My friend Kyle was doing the sound and running a video projector for the show. He had these nature films of undersea life/scenes that fit exactly with the deep and bubbly sounds that Elliot was cranking out. It's weird how outer space and under the ocean match up sometimes. When the show was over, I bought the self titled Outer Space LP. It was a toss up between that and the newest Emeralds' album. I figured I could get the Emeralds someplace else and had better grab the record by the band I just saw. I made the right decision because Elliott made an album full of six glorious sci-fi synth excursions. It's my record of choice for breakfast on pleasant summer mornings.

    For more info:
    Emeralds at Last FM



    Chinook is a four piece band from Michigan. I was first introduced to them on tour when we stopped in Kalamazoo and played the Strutt. We never really said much to each other besides the usual band banter or whatever, but I think it was because I was a bit nervous to follow them. They played so tightly and every instrument sounded so pivotal and perfect, what band wouldn't be intimidated? I know I was inebriated, maybe it was the August heat too, but this band carried me like a river.

    Their four song EP Me All Night Long was recorded by Matt Ten Clay of Skull Studios and has some great moments on it. The band manages to mix their 1990's angular guitar driven sound with a lot of shoegaze effects to pull you in, but never have you lost in an effect or drone. 1:28 into "Poison Peanuts" for example, where the band's guitar players demonstrate some spot on guitar work as they pick a harmonizing lead, leads to some great delay and effects to close it out (3:22). If you're a fan of Castor, Piglet, Shiner, My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver or American Football, show this band some support. In a sea of 1990's "revival" bands, this is one that deserves more attention.
    Here's a video we took of them playing the end of "Poison Peanuts" and "Jencon", both from their EP Me All Night Long. The band is also looking for a singer, so contact them if you're interested:



    photo cred: John McCarthy / http://baddhabits.blogspot.com/

    The guys in the band Coping turned me on to this Boston band called Sneeze. The band features members of L'antietam, Genders and Ape Up.
    The 7" entitled "Grandma in the Trenches", which by the way has 8 tracks on it, was recorded at Dead Air Studios in MA and the album artwork was done by John McCarthy who also happens to have some fucking great shirts he did for them posted at his blog: http://baddhabits.blogspot.com/
    I really have no good solid info on this band, but the 7" rips so hard. Grungy, dirty, fuzzed out garage punk that also manages to pull off a pop ish sound. I feel like I did in middle school when I found my dad's live Nirvana album. I can't put this one down, pick it up here:


    And stream it here: http://sneezeus.bandcamp.com/

    Aaaand be sure to check them out in late July and a good chunk of August when they go on tour with The Clippers.

    28- Boston, MA -wacky castle w/ EARTHQUAKE PARTY & ARVID NOE
    29- Syracuse NY- TBA
    30- Akron, OH- its a kling thing w/tba
    31- IN- TBA w/ Pen Pals
    1- Chicago- TBA w/Coping
    2- Lincoln ,NE - TBA
    3- Denver/Boulder, CO Denver :TBA
    5- Las Vegas, NV Yayo taco w/ CARAVELS
    6- San Francisco, CA-TBA
    7- Oakland, CA- hive house w/tba
    8- Fresno, CA- house w/TBA
    9- Los Angeles, CA -TBA
    10- San Diego, CA- che cafe w/tba
    11- Grand Canyon
    12- Albuquerqe, NM-TBA
    13- Oklahoma City, OK- Bad Granny’s w/ TBA
    14- Fort Worth, TX 1919 w/ TBA
    15- Austin, TX- Skinny ballroom w/TBA
    16- Houston, TX - TBA w/ Football Etc.
    17- Birmingham, AL - God’s Butt w/ ollie the bum
    18- Louisville, KY- house w/ lay down and die
    19- Richmond, VA DAY OFF FOR TANNING
    20- Washington DC -michael vick ballroom w/Good Offices / Bandname / Shat Shorts
    21- Baltimore, MD Charm City Art Space w/MONUMENT & Bandname
    22- Philadelphia, PA - BookSpace w/Band Name
    23- New Brunswick, New Jersey -TBA w/Bandname
    24- Brooklyn, NY- Silent Barn w/ Tba
    25- Amherst, ma - Dad City w/ The Living City
    26-CT- TBA w/when the world disses you


    Windy & Carl

    It's been super hot outside this week because it is summer time. I've been using Windy & Carl as music to fall asleep to on these hot nights. Their blissed out ambient guitar drones are magical and send you off to slumberland perfectly. I've woken up feeling very well rested each morning. I'm not dismissing this band as only music to put you to sleep, but illustrating how good of a job they do. They even endorse the use of their music as a soundtrack for afternoon naps, so I think sleep is one intended purpose of their songs.

    Windy & Carl is the husband and wife duo of Carl Hultgren and Windy Weber. Their sound is created from guitars run through massive amounts of delay and reverb. The songs are ambient soundscapes that don't sound much like normal guitars and use the instruments to create the sonic idea of a space over more traditional songwritting approaches. They use both guitars and basses, along with occasional keyboards. The songs tend to be longer in length, sometimes approaching the twenty minute mark. They explore a wide range of atmospheres in their songs from warmer tones to the ocean depths to cold tundras. The music fits in with concept of a soundtrack for an imaginary movie.

    The band is primarily instrumental, although Windy does sing on some of the songs. Her voice is often buried in layers of reverb and delay as well. This gives a very dreamy quality to the vocals since you can hear a singer, but not necessarily make out what is being sung. I'm a big fan of keeping the vocals down in the mix or treating them like another instrument with good effects added, not bad effects such as Auto-Tune. It's interesting how people who aren't used to this approach are confused by it or want amazing vocal talent, like on American Idol. In all fairness, I'm confused with how mainstream pop music puts everything together. That stuff doesn't sound right at all to me. I'm a firm believer in Dave Berman's sentiment that "all my favorite singers couldn't sing."

    They formed in 1991 and released their first recordings on their own Blueflea label. A few labels have helped them over the years, including Ba Da Bing and Icon Records. Chicago's Kranky Records released Depths in 1997 and they have stuck with them ever since. This is where they should be considering that Kranky was started with the purpose of putting out the first Labradford album of experimental ambient guitar songs and Windy & Carl fit in exactly with that aesthetic.

    Windy and Carl also run Stormy Records in Dearborn, Michigan.

    For more info:
    Kranky Records band page
    Brainwashed band site
    Stormy Records


    Rockets and Bluelights

    "Go to Spiral Scratch, they've had this 10'' there forever by this band Rockets and Bluelights, you'd like it, it sounds like faster Promise Ring".

    This is what my friend had said to me (or close to it...) after a band I was in a few years ago had finished a set in Buffalo. Needless to say, the recommendation was enough for me, and the next time my roommate and his girlfriend went to Buffalo, I tagged along. I remember this only because he made fun of me for going to Buffalo to seek out an obscure 10" that i wasn't even sure was there.

    Well it was there. In a stack of 10" records at the old Spiral Scratch was this dusty and faded record called "A Smashed City With Flames and Music in the Air", and it was pretty cheap. Even the dude working was surprised I was buying it as he told me it had been there forever and he always wondered what it sounded like. I almost felt bad taking it. Apparently, the band was from Albany (?) and the record came out in 2003 on Redder Records (http://www.redderrecords.com/) aaand was recorded at Dead Air Studios (http://www.deadairstudios.com/). It does sound a bit like "faster Promise Ring", but there's a lot more happening in the guitars. "Andee" is my favorite track on the record. The song opens with some great sounding overdriven guitar and a massive drum fill before it explodes into distortion and a great twinkly lead just to come to a halt by a great off time bass line and buried vocals. I guess the only flaw with this band is that they were ahead of the game. I'm sure if they were still around now they'd be scooped up by Topshelf or something. I think they just lost to timing, but I honestly don't know anything about them other than what I posted. Enjoy.

    Cheval De Frise

    I'm not exactly sure how I found this band. I've been listening to their self titled album from 2004 a lot lately. It was released by Sickroom Records in Chicago. I possibly heard them on Brave New Waves as they did have one song played on the show. I know I ordered their album from Insound so it might have been a random pick based on a preview description. I have no idea. Sometimes you just stumble upon things.

    Much like I don't recall how I found out about Cheval De Frise, I don't know all that much about the band either. I think I'm fine with that. Sometimes it's better to not know things. Keeping a sense of mystery is important. What I do know about the band is that they are from France and have broken up in the years since I bought their album. They were the duo of Vincent Beysselance on drums and Thomas Bonvalet on guitar. They were strictly instrumental and played a frenetic style of math rock or post-rock, whichever you want to call it. They remind me of a more straight forward version of Hella, not that what their playing is all that simple or anything. Remember that post-rock didn't always mean that a band sounds like Explosions In The Sky or Mogwai. I know artists hate being labeled or pigeonholed at times, but sometimes a singular description is so perfect that to deny it seems wrong. It's probably easier to pick something and stick with it instead of trying to blend a little bit of everything together. And from my personal point of view, if I label a band as one particular genre that I like, take it as a complement because I meant it as one.

    For more info:
    Cheval De Frise at Last FM


    Brave New Waves

    "Hey, this is Brave New Waves." - Patti Schmidt

    I used to listen to this radio show on the CBC called Brave New Waves. It was started in 1984 and was cancelled in 2007. The idea behind the show was to explore every facet of independent/underground music and the culture that went along with it. The show came on every weeknight at 12:05 AM after a brief news summary with a weather report and ran until 4:00 AM. For the first year, the show was hosted by Augusta La Paix. Brent Bambury took over for the next decade. Then in 1995, Patti Schmidt became the third and final host of Brave New Waves. This is when I started listening and who I associate as the host of the show.


    "You have to protect art that has no commercial, or potentially has no commercial validation. It is ideological to support that. It is art without any of the standard visions of success as culture at large would measure it to have a place, and I need to argue for it."

    Here's the thing that was so amazing about Brave New Waves. It was on the CBC, which meant it was heard all across Canada and any fringe town along the border. During the rest of the day, the CBC would play safe music like classical and jazz. However, once midnight hit, they turned things over to the kids. When I say that Brave New Waves explored every facet of independent and underground music culture, I mean every facet. This meant punk, post-punk, no wave, noise, new wave, indie rock, post-rock, electronic, avant garde composers, spoken word, sound collages, electro acoustic and whatever else. Obscure things that never had a chance of being on the radio, were being played.

    Since the CBC is government funded, there were no commercials. This means there were no advertisers to please, which left the show in a position to focus purely on the art. There were no rotations, no playlists and no real censorship. It was how radio can or should be. Obviously Canada's broadcasting rule of including a percentage of Canadian artists applied, but there is a lot of great underground music being made in the Great White North, so that was a moot point. The original crew that did the show even had a six month anniversary episode because they were surprised they lasted that long. They knew what they were getting away with.

    The Format

    "The show is really almost a reflection of how chaotic my own record collection is. It makes no sense to most people who come over. And I know lots of people who are like serious, serious record collectors. I tried for a while. I got robbed. But, it’s too obsessive. I can’t. So, it’s kind of this splatter of things that I have with no real focus or continuity to it. But I like it that way because that is how I am. That is how life is."

    The general format of BNW for the years I listened, started with Patti introducing the show and playing some short, occasionally weird little song. I remember hearing "Death" by Dan Friel in the opening slot one night and thinking this happy mix of fuzzed out guitars and cheap keyboard beats was the most awesome thing ever.

    The next hour of the show would be devoted to new songs from current artists. It would always be two songs in a row by two different bands. The songs were often similar to give a sense of continuity to the program. Between each song, Patti would provided a detailed explanation that included the name of the band, song, album and record label with some relevant background information. This was probably the most important thing because if you liked something, you then had the information to track the band down. Just like every other hardcore listener, I had a notepad to write down the name of anything that caught my ear. I still have a notepad where I cleaned up a bunch of notes I had taken into a manageable list. Looking over the list, it's impressive how many of these bands I eventually checked out. There's still a few I'm looking for.

    After a sampling of new releases, there would be a profile or an interview with a band or artist. These were usually based on established bands with a new album out. The profiles ran through a band's entire discography and would include side projects or previous groups. For example, a Steve Albini profile had songs by Shellac, Big Black and Rapeman. Profiles would last about forty minutes to one hour.

    Following a profile, the focus of the program would shift slightly to exploring multiple tracks from a couple of artists. This would include longer songs and often where the avant garde compositions were played. I got to learn about prepared guitar, musique concrète, electro acoustic and all that good stuff. Sometimes this would be difficult listening, but at no point did you ever feel like turning the radio off because it was still compelling and the unusual nature of the material kept it interesting.

    The final hour was always for playing a single album/compilation or as much of it as would fit in the alloted time. Again these were usually the more experimental compositions, but not necessarily. It's nice to give the listener the experience of hearing an album in its entirety without any annoying interruptions. The final hour was also usually something that would send you off to sleep. Not always, but usually. When the show turned twenty, they set up a phone number with voice mail so you could leave a birthday wish. The message on the machine was Patti telling you to either leave a birthday greeting or yell at us for playing something disturbing that you woke up screaming to in the middle of the night.

    My Listening Habits

    "I recognized, when I started working there, just how crucial an outlet and vehicle the program could be, and even though it’s late at night it doesn’t matter. I love that it’s late at night."

    By virtue of BNW being on late at night and focusing on obscure music, it felt like you were part of a secret club. You had to put in a little effort to find the show and then stay up listening, especially if you had a normal 9 to 5 schedule. All of this is made it more of a tangible experience.

    The show almost always sounded good to me, even if I didn't necessarily like it or get it right off the bat. This was probably more true when I first started listening. Some of the more experimental stuff takes a few tries before it begins to make sense. Sometimes it never clicks, but you can start to build an appreciation so in the future when you see a band where the guitarist is jamming a file under the guitar's strings or a guy is playing a dozen guitar effects pedals and a tape recorder, you have a reference point to understand what and why that is happening.

    When I was in college and grad school, I'd tune in as many nights as possible to 94.1 FM, the CBC station out of Toronto, when I was home on breaks from classes. It always sounded best in the summer, a season that lends itself late nights much better than the others. Sometimes the reception wouldn't be the greatest, but it usually got better as the night went on. I sat there drawing and/or reading skateboard magazines while listening and writing down the info for any band that sounded appealing. Occasionally I'd pop in a tape and record the show. I saved all the tapes and have been listening to them recently at the day job after I bought a new tape player. After I finished college, I worked at the local newspaper as a photographer. My schedule was a variable mix of days and nights so I never had to be in bed too early. I made it a point to at least catch the first hour of the show no matter what, often more, sometimes less.

    I know I tried sharing the show with my friends. I don't think any of them really got into BNW. Usually this was on the drive home from a concert in Buffalo. I don't think a lot of them realized how incredible what they were being forced to listen to was. I know they weren't stoked on the weird stuff like I was. Wait, you mean there's something wrong with enjoying epic bouts of guitar feedback or minimal electronic soundscapes? Oh, well. Their loss.

    Practical Context

    "An obsessive curiosity. A need to know what other people are doing, what’s on their minds, how people are combining all of the crazy elements of life into song, and probably an unhealthy evangelical element towards playing [music] for other people. I’m kind of batty within my house. I’ve said this to my friends several times, that if they don’t tell me to stop I will narrate every single concert we ever go to. I really have to consciously stop myself from talking. But I just want people to hear it. When people come over to my house I’m usually like, “Aah – hear this song! Have you heard this song? Do you want to hear this song?” and I try to make them their own personal playlist of what I think they will like. I don’t want to scare them – “I know who you are. I think I’ve got some music that would fit into your life.”"

    Keep in mind that prior to the late 1990s, the internet existed in a crude form that was being developed and you couldn't just Google a band. You had to put in a degree of actual research to find things through a combination of radio and print, plus going to record stores and shows. Talking to people. Or at least listening. So when you did find something new, it mattered a lot more. It felt you accomplished something, even if in the grand scheme of things you only bought a CD. That's what made Brave New Waves so special. You got to hear a huge variety of sounds that you might never have heard otherwise and never even known to look for. Once the internet became more developed so bands and record labels were using it for promotion, it was much easier to track down the music you heard.

    The End

    Brave New Waves turned twenty in 2004. At that point it seemed like the show would be around in some format for forever, even factoring in the uncommercial nature of the content. However, this was not the case. With the emergence of satellite radio and the internet, the CBC started restructuring their programming schedule. Several of the more "youth oriented" programs were moved online or cancelled. Patti hosted what would be the final show on May 27, 2006. All of the songs were about the radio and the final selection of music was from William Basinski's The Disintegration Loops. BNW went into repeats for the summer. Then in the fall of 2006, a slightly different version was on the air. The first hour of the show featured a variety of hosts playing new music and then the last three hours would consist of material from the archives. Finally, it was announced in early 2007 that the last Brave New Waves would air on Friday, March 17. This was a repeat of the show from May 2006 with a thank you from Patti added at the beginning. That was it. It was about the saddest thing ever when I tuned into 94.1 on the next Monday to make sure it actually was over and Brave New Waves was gone.


    "Things definitely change and you never get that again. I also don’t do that thing where I get a record and listen to it 30 times. In three days. I don’t do that anymore, mostly because I don’t have time. I’m not searching through music or trying to understand music that way anymore. I feel that I have listened to so much over the years that I have ... I kind of understand what is going on in a way that I didn’t when I was listening to things so thoroughly. But I still listen thoroughly."

    Patti has one of the best radio voices ever. She would make little mistakes when she hosted, but it made the show much more real, especially since it was late at night. She came across as a fan first and foremost, which is what she is. I think that made a big difference because you were hearing selections of music that she felt needed to be put out in the world, instead of the popular tracks of the day. So much of my philosophy on music and even art came from Brave New Waves. The show helped shape and expand my musical preferences. It truly was one the best things ever. Even though Brave New Waves is gone, I feel I learned what I needed to from it and know that there is whole world of underground music happening out there.

    Thank you, Patti Schmidt.

    1. The various quotes are from a 2004 interview with Discorder Magazine. The interview doesn't seem to be online any more.
    2. In 2008, Schmidt earned her Masters in communications and art history from McGill University in Montreal. She played bass and sang with Pest 5000. She still works for the CBC on the show Inside The Music.
    3. The photo of Patti is from the Paraethos' website.
    4. I'm sorry I used some old photo I dug up off the internet.

    A searchable archive of BNW's Playlists:

    Interviews with Patti Schmidt:
    Pest 5000 interview
    Patti Schmidt and Jeff Waye interview


    Upcoming Fredonia Shows

    There's a show this Friday night at the Foxhole in Fredonia. It features Balto, along with two bands from Buffalo: Dirt Eyes and VWLS. VWLS is a late edition to the line up and didn't make the poster. Since the Foxhole is a house with a great live set up, you are just going to have to ask around for the exact location and directions. There's no need to accidentally tip the man off about this. No jerks allowed either.

    Also there's a show on Wednesday night at the Spot in the Williams Center on the SUNY Fredonia campus with Before We Get Old and Campus Emergency Procedure. It starts at 8:00 PM and is free. This one is open to the general public, too. The Spot is located on the first floor of the Williams Center in the back of the building. You can probably Google it or something.

    I swear we're going to get back to telling stories about bands real soon.


    5 Rue Christine

    I was organizing some of my CDs the other night and found a couple of things that I hadn't listened to in a while. This included Hair Police's The Empty Quarter and No Neck Blues Band's Qvaris. I brought both discs to work the next day. As I was listening to Qvaris, I flipped the jewel case over and saw the ≠ that 5 Rue Christine used for their logo. This reminded me that the label is no longer an active entity and how much I liked them back in 2005 and 2006.

    5 Rue Christine was a record label that was assisted by Kill Rock Stars. It was started in 1997 by KRS founder Slim Moon and put on hiatus in 2007 when Moon left to take a job at Nonesuch Records. Not to pigeonhole 5RC, but it was the home to all the unusual bands that wouldn't necessarily fit on Kill Rock Stars. Looking over the KRS roster, I really don't see much of a reason to separate the two groupings, but it must have made sense back in the day. I think there might have been the mindset in the late 1990s of the general punk/indie/hardcore scene not to fully accept weirder bands on established labels, so maybe a little subterfuge was needed to get the Xiu Xiu and Deerhoof out to the masses. Or maybe Moon just wanted to start a new project for fun. Whatever the case may have been, I'm glad 5RC happened.

    I've always been a fan of more experimental music, thanks in large part to the dearly departed Brave New Waves radio show on the CBC. My level of fascination has varied a little over the years and in 2005 I was bored with a lot of the more popular indie rock. I had been keeping up with some of the newer bands like Hella, Lightning Bolt, Six Organs Of Admittance and Deerhoof from Brave New Waves. I wasn't exactly sure how much I liked what they were doing, but I was more than willing to give them a chance. At that point, I was the photo editor at the local paper. Two of the reporters, Nick and Justin, were younger and into those bands, along with Xiu Xiu, The Advantage, The Locust, Sonic Youth and Pavement. (I'm only throwing those last two in as a reference to connect the old with the new.) Anyway, now I had some people to talk to about these bands and could get a better sense of what they were about. They could help keep me up to date and I could fill them in on older stuff. And/or vice versa.

    As a result, I started buying anything that 5RC put out until they closed up shop. In addition to Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu, I picked up Hella, Metalux - pictured, No Neck Blues Band and Excepter, too. I also got the Sur La Mer Samp-le-mer, which had a bunch of unreleased tracks along with a few classics, if that is the right word. There's a great Amps For Christ song on that CD. Of the bands on the label, I probably like Metalux and Hella the most, although that is subject to change depending on what sort of mood I'm in.

    One of best things about the label was their artist statement:

    1. 5RC gambles in inspiration. It throws out ideas engineered to provoke you. We can't help you understand how they make you feel. We are not here to aid or entertain you, but try to rifle out some kind of reaction.

    2. We are nobody's poor cousin. We are not interested in hand-me-downs or castaways. We are not the branch of some other record label, we're a whole fucking forest. Soon you will recognize this.

    3. Irony is dead and useless. We don't like irony.

    4. Community is important to us. We want the people on our label and our friends and our consumers to be all swimming about in the same pool. We'd all live together in a big house if we could. But we can't.

    5. There is nothing we aren't afraid to do. Music is fine but that's just the keystone in this organization. Today we release an album. Tomorrow we're dedicating a bridge in Tangiers. Friday we are all going to the sea-side. You get the idea.

    6. We like noises and we like the spaces between noises and words and the sounds of words. We like the sounds of fax machines and static and babbling brooks and drive-thru's. Now that's what i call music.

    7. Success has no place in our organization-as long as there's bread on the table and gas in the car that's enough. Sell four records we'll press you to our bosoms-sell a million and we'll gun you down.

    8. People we would like on the label-Balzac, John Fante, Alexander Trocchi, all of ESP-Disk, E.S.G., Felt, Sam Fuller, all of EL, John Fahey, No Neck Blues Band, Gertrude Stein, all of cash money records, Balthus, Thomas Wolfe, anyone from Scotland, the whole medway sound, Leonard Cohen, Sunny Murray and The Beatles.

    9. It is tasteless to talk about parameters, or to impose any kind of ideology or substance to any form of creative outlet. And so, much of what you come across should be ignored. Gaughin didn't start painting until he was 50, Kafka didn't have a thing printed in his lifetime. John Grisham releases things daily and he's an abortion.

    10. "Chaos comes before all principles of order and entropy, it's neither a god or a maggot, its idiotic desires encompass and define every possible choreography, all meaningless aethers and phlogistons: its masks are crystallisations of its own facelessness, like clouds."-Hakim Bey.

    11. It is better to be on 5RC than Kill Rock Stars, or anything else.

    Maybe 5RC will come back some day. Maybe not. It was a good run while it lasted and made my life more interesting.

    Note: The Metalux photo is from their show at Soundlab in Buffalo on July 8, 2009.

    For more information:
    Kill Rock Stars


    Wolf Eyes

    "We're trying to bring the good times to the noise, totally. There's a really good vibe going on right now, where it's a bunch of kids who want to have fun but want to listen to interesting music." - John Olson

    I've been on a big Wolf Eyes kick as of late. It might have to do with it being winter, but probably not. I don't need an excuse or a reason to justify my listening to them. I like loud noises, dammit. And Wolf Eyes certainly are no strangers to making a gawd awful racket. The truth is that they aren't limited to just loud, but explore the notions of noise and sonic textures as well. Having a quiet build up before the storm can be even more effective than jumping right into a head splitting cacophony. Creepy drones, no wave saxophone, broken electronics and tortured vocals all fill out their arsenal. The band has built quite a vocabulary to work with over the years.

    Wolf Eyes is currently the trio of Nate Young, John Olson and Mike Connelly. They operate out of Michigan. Aaron Dilloway was an original member until he was replaced by Connelly in 2005. Young started the band in 1997 and Dilloway joined the following year. Connelly is also a member of Hair Police.

    I've seen Wolf Eyes twice in Buffalo. The first time was in September of 2005 at the Mohawk Place. This was when they were still riding a wave of popularity from Burned Mind and there was a decent crowd. The set they did was more song oriented. It reminded me of a hardcore show in a way, minus the dumb crap that can go with those. Black Dice and Et Sans also played. The second time was at Soundlab in October of 2007. The turnout was much smaller for this show. I think there might have been one or two other things happening elsewhere on the same night. The band went with a more subdued batch of songs this time around. Not to say that it wasn't brutal and loud, but it was also more atmospheric.

    Like many noise artists, the group is extremely prolific with countless limited edition tapes, CD-Rs and a few seven inches. The 2002 CD of Slicer has a discography with over fifty releases spanning the years from 1997 to 2002. Factoring in solo projects and the collaborations of various members, it is virtually impossible to collect their complete discography. That's probably a good thing, too. It should be noted that in addition to cranking out the tunes, Young and Olson are accomplished visual artists as well. Many of the limited edition releases feature custom spray paint art and/or paintings. The band is a well executed mix of both visuals and sound, even though they would probably tell you otherwise. There is a distinct Wolf Eyes look.

    Noise has always been a dweller on the edges of the so called indie rock universe. It's one of those things that many people into the scene like or can at least appreciate. Of course there are just as many folks who aren't into it, like your average Wilco fan for example. Wolf Eyes were taken from the shadows and put into the small spotlight in 2004 when Sub Pop released Burned Mind. If I recall correctly this generated a few complaints questioning the musical nature of what they were doing to go along with an 8.0 rating on Pitchfork. Wolf Eyes even got to open for Sonic Youth, which I'm sure delighted and pissed off an equal amount of people. The fact of the matter is that if you have an understanding of what Sonic Youth's history is and why they continue to endorse all sorts of weird bands, then a band like Wolf Eyes will start to make sense.

    For more info:

    An interview with the band:
    Dusted Magazine

    Pitchfork's Decade In Noise:
    The Decade In Noise


    Justin's Top Ten for 2010

    This list is ten of my favorite albums of the year. I picked out a bunch of albums that I have spent a lot time listening to and enjoying. That's always been my main criteria for making any of these lists. I tried to avoid some of the bigger names that dominated the indie rock universe in 2010. This would include Titus Andronicus, No Age and Surfer Blood for example. Nothing against those bands because I like all three a lot, but they have already made a variety of other lists by now.

    I'm at a point now where I find lists where the author picks out the more obscure albums that mattered to them a bit more interesting than every major publication and website declaring Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy the greatest of the year. Is Kanye even that good? In five years from now is this selection going to hold up as a worthy critical pick? I don't know and my money is on the answer of no for both questions.

    I've been taking in to consideration more about how tastes change, including my own, and what sounds great might not sound so great later on down the road. I'm also considering the opposite, when an album takes a while to grow on you. I'm finding more value in the records that hold up over time and putting in the effort to collect music like that. Not that I won't pick up the occasional flavor of the month, but I'm trying to be reasonable about that sort of thing. Sometimes those flavors of the month end up sticking around a while. Finally, I'm making every effort to stay current with new bands because nostalgia is cool and all, but it isn't that cool.

    Hence, my list. In alphabetical order for no real reason.

    1. AIDS Wolf - March To The Sea - Skin Graft
    2. The Body - All The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood - At A Loss
    3. Grass Widow - Past Time - Kill Rock Stars
    4. Maserati - Pyramid Of The Sun - Temporary Residence
    5. Outer Space - s/t - Arbor Infinity
    6. People Of The North - Deep Tissue - Jagjaguwar/Brah
    7. Rangda - False Flag - Drag City
    8. U.S. Girls - Go Grey - Siltbreeze
    9. Werewolves - Someday We'll Live In The Forest - self released
    10. Woods - At Echo Lake - Woodsist