Tag Archives: experimental

Singles Mixer II: I like dreams, except when they're scary.

If, as mine is, thy life a slumber be,
Seem, when thou read’st these lines, to dream of me…
–John Donne

I haven’t had much time for posting lately, so I thought I’d throw a bunch of tracks at you at once.  Today’s theme is: Dreams.

Totem Pole, from West Palm Beach, FL, released an EP titled Caves and Tunnels, Mountains and Stairs (streamable and downloadable here) way back in July, but for some stupid reason I’m only finding out about it now.

Totem Pole, “Voyeuristic Tradition”

Nothing too scary about that.  In fact, it’s sort of soothing in a psychedelic, early Pink Floyd-meets-the Beach Boys kind of way.  But that’s about to change.

This next track is off the Resident’s 2008 release, Bunny Boy.  Like every Residents’ release, it was a weird concept album.  Bunny Boy is about a Non compos mentis friend of the Residents, who enlists the band’s help to track down his apocalypse-obsessed brother, Harvey, who may or may not actually exist, but whom Bunny Boy claims has disappeared on the island of Patmos, where St John of Patmos authored the Book of Revelations.  I saw this album performed at the Trocadero in 2009.  It was…a trip.

The Residents, “Fever Dreams” [Buy Bunny Boy]

Sleep tight; don't let the bedbugs (thanks a lot NYC) bite. (Image from an episode of The Outer Limits, "The Zanti Misfit".)

Pretty weird.  Fortunately, the next track isn’t scary, exactly.  If I were Jennifer Lopez in The Cell, there would definitely be worse dreams to walk into than Gary Wilson’s.  It would be a pretty awkward scene, though.  Wilson released You Think You Really Know Me in 1977, but never made much of a splash until Odelay-era Beck cited him as an influence.  Since then he’s developed a significant cult following, and in a surprise twist is now poised to release a brand new album, Electric Endicott, in November.

Gary Wilson, “When You Walk into My Dreams” [Buy You Think You Really Know Me]

He’ll be performing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this Wednesday, Oct. 27, backed by the Roots.  I’m pretty excited for it.

Lastly, because it’s the weekend, here’s a Billy Ocean classic.  Decide for yourself whether it’s scary or not.

Billy Ocean, “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” [Buy Billy Ocean – Greatest Hits]

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noisenarcheology: Harry Partch

Have you got your dancing shoes on?  Well, take them off and have a seat because this isn’t that kind of music.  If you happen to own a monocle or a pair of opera glasses, then you might want to dig them out and dust them off.

Ron Silliman is Philadelphia’s resident L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet [Update: see comment thread] Chester County’s resident language poet, and his highly-trafficked blog is just one of the many delicious things that Google Reader feeds me.  In a recent post, Silliman, without comment, links to a few segments of a documentary on Harry Partch (1901-1974).  Turns out Partch was a pretty important figure in 20th century music.  He invented a 43-tone scale (a “microtonal” scale with 43 pitches in each octave) and custom-built a bunch of weird instruments that used it.

As you can probably guess, Partch’s music isn’t much in the way of top 40 material, but in 1971, Columbia Records released the operatic Delusions of the Fury, from which the following track is taken.

Harry Partch, “Arrest, Trial And Judgment (Joy In The Marketplace!)”

If you think that Sun Ra, Philip Glass, and Euripides all smashed together sounds like a good thing and not some kind of parade of abominations, then you should really check out the whole album.

Bonus! Back in November, Beck recorded a tribute to Harry Partch.  Stereogum said:

…it sounds like a demented mashup revue of the last century’s popular, classical, and avant garde music forms, with a little outer space thrown in for good measure…

which sounds to me like “free beer.”  I’m so there.

Beck, “Harry Partch”

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