Colonizer dropped the first live set of the year last friday at VIVO’s Quiet City. Rick Smith translated sound into vision on the rare and mysterious Chromaton 14. 

Colonizer dropped the first live set of the year last friday at VIVO’s Quiet City. Rick Smith translated sound into vision on the rare and mysterious Chromaton 14. 

New Mix: Disillusioned With Luck — noisy ragers for canned beer cures

Noisy garage punkers from the likes of Lou Reed, 39 Clocks, Peter Gutteridge, Ego Summit, True Believers, Dead Moon, Twenty Miles, Dead C, The Renderers, Flesheaters, etc. Ripped from vinyl.

Disillusioned with Luck by Hospitality On Parade on Mixcloud

There’s No Limit To The Places You Can Go

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In honor of Sun Ra’s Birthday, I am reposting a Hospitality on Parade column which originally appeared in Beatroute Magazine’s March 2012 issue.

Photo and text by Daniel Presnell

Long before Gaga and Minaj got gassed on space cakes and tripped out on Klaus Nomi vidz, there was a unique sect of afrofuturist visionaries.  In the late 1960s, Parliament Funkadelic, one the greatest bands to have ever whiffed the aether, docked the mothership on Earth long enough to shoot a laser beam of mind-melting psychedelic goodness that would funkify freaks, triggering the birth of Hip Hop.  But even before Clinton and his intergalactic funk brigade donned gowns, face paint, and space concepts, there was the original “brother from another planet”: Herman Poole Blount, aka Le Sony’r Ra, aka Sun Ra.

As a bucktoothed hillbilly youngster devoted to Sonic Youth, I distinctly remember Kurt Loder reporting Sun Ra’s death on  MTV News in May of 1993. Loder interviewed Thurston Moore and screened footage of Sun Ra and his Arkestra playing live in Central Park. While I didn’t have a context for Jazz, let alone Free Jazz, or the “other music” Sun Ra and his troupe of cosmic gowned radicals were blowing out, his image, and the idea of his music stuck with me.

It would be a couple more years until I laid finger to Sun Ra’s 1972 album Space Is The Place released on the idiosyncratic Blue Thumb label.  Capturing the Arkestra in its somewhat classical period, it features Ra vamping on the Farfisa Professional electric space organ in his Ellington on Acid style, and interstellar contributions from stalwarts including Marshall Allen (soprano sax), John Gilmore (tenor sax), and the extraterrestrial vocalist June Tyson. Space is the Place perfectly distills the Arkestra’s immense range, from tightly knit big band arrangements, to free-form caterwaul and what is probably their most recognizable hymn, Rocket #9, a tune subsequently covered by NRBQ, Yo La Tengo, and countless others.

By the time I found Sun Ra, I thought I was ready for whatever mystery, mischief, and music he could cook up. But, I was floored by the Arkestra’s ability to shift from a big band jazz tune to tribal drumming with bleating saxophones followed by chanting and then thirty minutes of indeterminate tone poems and synthesizer noise. And, just when I thought all might be defeated, Tyson returned to the mic, and the band leapt right back into a beautiful ode to the cosmos. Gripped by that fever, I found myself reading every book, buying every record I could find on Ebay, and even journeying to Sun Ra’s grave in “The Magic City” of Birmingham, Alabama. 

As intense as my worship had been many years ago, I had rather neglected Sun Ra of late. The fact that most of my records are in storage 3,000 miles away is partly to blame, but also time, and how a listener collects, distills, and advances: the ear matures.

Just the other day I came across a 1971 video of the Arkestra performing for the French television show Jazz Session. The Arkestra looks to be about twenty members deep, all armed with some kind of percussion instrument. The male and female dancers are adorned in stupefying masked regalia that mashes space-age psychedelics with Egyptian, African and Asian iconography. Sun Ra presides in his glorious robe and signature King Tut coiffure, and, after a quick little riff on the organ, with the horns and band deep in the pocket, they head for the planet Venus. Dancers writhe, bounce, and shimmy; drums proliferate, mutate, and intensify; and when the spirit moves, members release cat calls, whoops, and wails; their eyes turned toward some inner beyond, beaming.

Somewhere around the 20-minute mark, there were tears in my eyes. It was all just so beautiful, intense, singular, magical. I was back in the beyond, traveling the spaceways,  in love all over again. 

Dedicated in loving memory to Mike Kelly & Tom Ardolino. 

In this month’s Hospitality on Parade, I ruminate on the wonders of Cabbagetown, Georgia’s the Rock*A*Teens, and ask, why, in a world of superflous 90’s record store day reissues, must we be without their discography on glorious 140-180 gram vinyl?

If you agree, send a friendly tweet to @mergerecords and let ‘em know.

doomandgloomfromthetomb:

Doug Sahm - Paul’s Mall, Boston, MA, March 29, 1973
Got a request to re-up this stellar Sahm broadcast, which originally appeared over on Infinite Fool, so here it is for the rest of y’all. There’s some argument to be made that Sahm was at the exact confluence of about a dozen vital American musical genres. I don’t have time to make the argument at the moment, but … think about it, man.
There’s a great, short bit about Sahm in the recent, recommended Paul Nelson bio/anthology, in which Nelson is warned: “The thing you must remember about Doug is that he will not, under any circumstances, leave his hotel room without first rolling at least thirty king-sized mega-joints filled with the most potent Texas marijuana you could ever imagine. Whatever you do, do not smoke one. Doug is used to them. They do not faze him. The ritual of rolling will take at least one hour … Doug is liable to light one of these joints up anytime, anyplace, anywhere.”


	Stoned faces don’t lie, and neither does this boot!

doomandgloomfromthetomb:

Doug Sahm - Paul’s Mall, Boston, MA, March 29, 1973

Got a request to re-up this stellar Sahm broadcast, which originally appeared over on Infinite Fool, so here it is for the rest of y’all. There’s some argument to be made that Sahm was at the exact confluence of about a dozen vital American musical genres. I don’t have time to make the argument at the moment, but … think about it, man.

There’s a great, short bit about Sahm in the recent, recommended Paul Nelson bio/anthology, in which Nelson is warned: “The thing you must remember about Doug is that he will not, under any circumstances, leave his hotel room without first rolling at least thirty king-sized mega-joints filled with the most potent Texas marijuana you could ever imagine. Whatever you do, do not smoke one. Doug is used to them. They do not faze him. The ritual of rolling will take at least one hour … Doug is liable to light one of these joints up anytime, anyplace, anywhere.”

Stoned faces don’t lie, and neither does this boot!

chris corsano

In this month’s Hospitality on Parade column for Beatroute Magazine, I talk about the unique sensibilities and powers of Chris Corsano, drummer in such outfits as Rangda, Flower Corsano duo, and in combos with Wally Shoup, Joe McPhee, Bill Orcutt and even a stint with Bjork.

“There’s attention paid to things like dynamics, the overall structure of the piece and other musical concerns,” says Corsano. “Mostly, I’m responding to what’s going on around me with a bunch of moment-to-moment micro decisions about what to do that very second. Not all of it is happening on a conscious level—there’s too much going on at too fast a rate to analyze everything. So you end up feeling your way through.”

 

Roulette TV: BILL ORCUTT & CHRIS CORSANO from Roulette Intermedium on Vimeo.

The V. Vecker Ensemble (featuring yours truly on Stratocaster) uveiled a new composition at last week’s Rangda show. Youtube Mitch R filmed the set, and shared this lovely video with the world.

Purchase our In The Tower 12in at the very fine Experimedia

New mix of psych weirdness, lofi postpunk, garage burners, and 90’s noise rock!