Friday, March 27, 2009

holy megapolis poster

Tickets are now available for Megapolis - an audio art explosion scheduled for April 24-26 in Boston, though I predict the sonic shrapnel will reverberate much further. And if the poster just revealed by the fine fellas running the show (and designed by mister nick van der kolk) is any indication, it's going to be a gorgeous, noisy, crazed, over-stimulated weekend, to say the least. I'd be remiss not to mention the TCF listening thingee with the unparalleled Sean Cole on Saturday the 25th, and very pleased to see you there.

P.S. This morning I picked up a cd off the station's free music shelf. Despite quick research that coughed up a review claiming Curtains of Night's Lost Houses is one of the worst cds ever produced, to my humble ears a ladies metal band never sounded so good. And it's not just because (by some bizarre coincidence) the singer is the daughter of next-door neighbors, from back when I lived in Carrboro.

On my third listen, brain's happy. I have no explanation for this.

P.P.S. You really should click on that poster for a better look.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I'm guessing that by now you've seen (and are possibly tired of, or deeply detest) the Snickers ad campaign for which they've made up words in (brace yourself) "snacklish." Words like hungerectomy, peanutopolis, nougatocity have been around for months and the most recent wave brings snaxophone, nutopia, antihungerestablishmentariansm...and so on. Truth is - i'm conflicted about this awful/amazing semantic buffoonery in the name of selling a candy bar. Horrified and somewhat...taken with them. Despite the terrifying message they deliver about the power of brand recognition, I'm a reluctant fan. And enjoy imagining the meeting where a bunch of marketing execs sat around a table, dreaming up the campaign, and shouting out brand new words in snacklish.

But do they work? They've sprouted up thickly around downtown Chicago, and have come up lately in a few conversations (ok...i've brought them up) and it seems like while everyone has seen the ads...nobody I've talked to has actually bought a Snickers candy bar since noticing them at on billboards, at bus stops, on taxi cab roofs. Maybe we'll all buy cases off the internet this holiday season, and wonder why.
Anyway, this latest batch of vocabulary is kinda weak. Take "chewmute," which is plastered on the side of CTA buses. Took days before I figured it out. Chewmute. On the bus. COMmute. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

Um...what about sound, you may be thinking? Right. Sound. Spend just a minute or two on the
Snickers website. The audio is fucking out of control. And beware the loudspeakers, which belt out 'funky' and 'snaxophone' in the same sentence. Which should be against the law.

Monday, March 16, 2009

improbable, but true.

I apologize, up front, for the blatant self-congratulation. But I never, in a trillion years would have expected to find my name in the middle of a news item on the Breyer Horses website, let alone a link to the non-narrated, disjointed, sound-rich audio piece about the inexplicable connection between girls / horses and the curious sport of competitive model horse collecting, that I produced a few years ago.

But here it is! And I'm kind of speechless. Overwhelmed. Honored. And astounded by the significant bump in the Third Coast Festival's website traffic. Thanks, Breyer!

[Once a model horse freak, always a model horse freak. And...we're everywhere. You're probably sitting next to or down the hallway from one RIGHT NOW!]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stille Post

Save the afternoon! On March 21, between 3 and 7pm, CST, radio/sound artists all around the world will be joining forces to help conduct ARCOPARLANTE, a (real) live radio experiment.

If i've got it straight, here's what will happen:

During those four hours, a the radio art group of Deutschlandradio (a German public radio broadcaster) will broadcast nearly incomprehensible recordings of human speech on medium and long (radio)waves and over the internet. Listeners everywhere are invited to transcribe whatever they
think they're hearing, and share this via email or telephone with the Deutschlandradio-ers, who will promptly broadcast these in addition to the recordings already going out. Listeners are also encouraged to record their acts of listening/puzzling out the message being delivered by the initial recordings, and send these home-recordings as well. See where this is going? What's being created is a cycle of barely understood communication passed and shared around the world. Kind of like an enormous game of telephone, where players repeat what they _think_ they've heard.

After it's all over Alessandro Bosetti, a key organizer of the experiment (and all-round good guy) will assemble bits from the initial recordings, listeners' transcriptions, and listeners' recordings, into original compositions. Then maybe he'll tour around, come to YOUR town, and share the very composition you've contributed to by playing along on the 21st.

Here's where to tune in:

Or if this is more your thing:

Aholming kHz 207
Donebach kHz 153

Braunschweig kHz 756
Heusweiler kHz 1422
Neum√ľnster kHz 1269
Nordkirchen kHz 549
Ravensburg kHz 756
Thurnau kHz 549

Send your recordings here:

Deutschlandradio Kultur
Hörspiel / Klangkunst
D-10825 Berlin

And transcriptions here:

OK. Got all of that? Good. I'll listen for you on the medium waves.