Thursday, September 13, 2007
First Record Club in quite some time last night, first I've attended since May having missed June's. Special guest Chris Cochrane, a guitarist who some may know from bands like No Safety, Curlew and various Zorn projects was in the house and proved a pleasure both personally and musically. For a first timer, he leaped off the deep end by playing Side Two of Lennon/Ono's "Two Virgins", the 12-minute track that consists of the brutally rhythmic switching on/off of a radio over muted everyday background conversation. In the best tradition of Fluxus, it goes on and on, carrying you past intense aggravation into odd appreciation, though the (I think) humanly manipulated rhythms I could have done without. Chris' second selection, in a lovely about-face, was one of Satie's "Cold Pieces" played with extreme languor by Yves-Jean Thibaudet, a beautiful performance. I found out later on that Nayland had done the cover for the Zorn release, "Weird Little Boy", one I never picked up, which Chris is on. I've also, unfortunately, never heard his own release on Avant, "Bath" (I think Nayland did the cover for that one as well).
David Mitchum, the evening's other guest, played a track by Battles, a band I'd been wanting to hear (the one with Braxton's son Tyondai). Not quite the cold math-rock I'd been expecting, more an overtly goofy version of King Crimson, complete with munchkin vocals; sorta interesting. When his second piece began, I'm sitting there thinking, "I know this one. I heard it a long, long time ago...Weekend!" When my brother Drew stayed with us for a year or so in 1982, he had this album (Alison Statton's post-Young Marble Giants band) and I really enjoyed it. The cut was "Drumbeat for Baby", a memorable enough title, and I was pleased that at least my musical memory seemed to be fairly intact 25 years later.
Nayland played a rather hilarious piece by LA glam-rockers/would-be aliens Zolar X and a really nice one by Stew, a name new to me, from "The Naked Dutch Painter". A fine Brigette Fontaine song from Julia off "Kekeland", her disc with Sonic Youth, an excellent piece via Dan from his favorite unknown Swedish band, Komeda. Nina brought a humorous deconstruction of a Bach composition from the Goldberg Variations by the German bassist Sebastian Gramms but her final selection was a knockout, a recording from somewhere in the South Pacific of an acapella chorus some 125 strong that did the strangest pitch shifts; everyone thought there was some post-production but not so. It actually made you feel queasy, like you were out on choppy seas. Very odd but also very moving in a way.
A fine evening. Oh, I went fairly straight ahead last night, bringing the David Garland track, "Noise in You" and that amazing Shiina Ringo piece I raved about a while back.
On the way over, stopped by DMG and picked up Pita's LP, "A Bas la Culture Marchande" on the No Fun label; didn't have a chance to listen yet.