Choose Your Own Adventure

Thursday, April 30

Media Study Buffalo Celebrates 35 Years

May 1-3, 2009 (Friday - Sunday), 112 Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo.
During a period when there was not yet any university which was explicitly devoted to media art, at the same time as making its theoretical analysis a component of the curriculum, Gerald O'Grady founded the Department of Media Study at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1973. The entire spectrum of media art—ranging from photographic images to slide installations, from music to film and video performances, from film to film installations, from videotape to video environments, and from computer graphics to interactive installations—was investigated, made a reality, and taught about in the 1970s and 80s, by the structuralist avant-garde film makers Hollis Frampton, Tony Conrad, and Paul Sharits; the documentary film maker James Blue; and the legendary video artists Steina and Woody Vasulka, as well as Peter Weibel—all of whom have subsequently been canonized. In the course of this process, media's role in society [especially that of television] and their participatory possibilities were recognized and used for artistic, and also partly politically democratic, projects. All Buffalo faculty members were not only practicing artists, but also capable of theoretically accompanying the development of and issues around their media, in lectures, essays, and publications. The Department of Media Study's significance for the media era is therefore comparable to that of other historical art schools such as the Bauhaus, WChUTEMAS in Moscow, and Black Mountain College in North Carolina. The title MindFrames indicates that during this time [the 1970s and 80s] and in this place [Buffalo], a frame of reference for media art was established. During that period, masterpieces were produced—from perceptual issues to machine aesthetics, from word games to mathematical structures—which provided the horizon and set the standards for media discourse's visual codes.
Excerpt from text accompanying MindFrames: Media Study at Buffalo 1973-1990, a 2006-07 exhibition showcasing the department. For a complete schedule click here.

Wednesday, April 29

This Week at Squeaky Wheel (Art-Improv)

5/1--Get Wired!: Circuit Bending Extravaganza feat Matt Kordrupel and his interactive multimedia installation Thunder Drums.
Get ready for a lively night of experimental noise, rhythmically glitching video signals and an array of squealing, screeching circuit bent toys. The event will be an informal concert/demonstration/jam session featuring circuit-bent instruments and devices developed during Squeaky Wheel's circuit bending workshop. If you have a bent instrument you'd like to show, bring it along! Also on view will be Thunder Drums, a new interactive multimedia installation by Medaille Visual Digital Arts student, Matt Kordupel, and installation art from "Can't Work Like This," featuring University at Buffalo Artists: Kyle Butler, Jake Cassel, Frederick Wright Jones, and Dayana Fernandez.

Peter Saville's Erotic House of Pop

By Zach Baron for the Village Voice's Sounds of the City blog:
legendary Joy Division album artist, designer, and photographer Peter Saville is currently shooting some [porn] in real time, which you can stream live on the internet even as I write this. The explanation? "As backdrop to an editorial story for July 2009 Wallpaper* magazine, Peter Saville's febrile imagination constructs an imaginary 'Erotic House' of Pop perversity, sexualising an entire post-modern environment and fetishising furniture, fashion and flesh alike." Right. At the moment, a women in a full bodysuit of silver lame is draping herself over what appears to be an extremely futuristic chair--it looks not unlike some combination of different Star Wars helmets.
Joy Division bassist Peter Hook played a memorable 2 hour "New Order/Joy Division" DJ set at Soundlab on 10/01/05 with DJs Mark Webb, Thee Donnie Shaft andSnackboy. Click here to check out the shoot.

Rare Harold Arlen/Truman Capote Recording - Listen to "Madame Tango's Particular Tango"

By Colin Dobrowski for the Buffalo News Artsbeat:
This just in (thanks to Ed Cardoni of Hallwalls): Kritzerland, a small record and book publishing company, is reissuing a 1968 recording of "House of Flowers," the ill-fated musical by Truman Capote and Harold Arlen. While the original Broadway cast recording from 1958 is available on iTunes and elsewhere, Capote and Arlen thought this particular revival of the show far superior to the original.

Buffalo-born Arlen, of course, is a beloved local figure responsible for some of the better known musical standards of the 20th century -- "The Wizard of Oz," for starters. A release from the company notes that the recording contains updated arrangements of the show's numbers by Joe Raposo which were "much funkier and much more in tune with the Caribbean flavor of the score."
Listen here.

Tuesday, April 28

Black Moth Super Rainbow Prepares New Album Produced by Dave Fridmann

By Mike Shanley for Pittsburgh City Paper:
Even as Black Moth Super Rainbow has emerged as a national touring act, a reputation for being press-shy and mysterious has clung to the local keyboard-based psychedelic sextet. It's finally time to set the record straight. "We never got interview requests, and over time, people have turned that into [the idea that we're] not granting interviews," says BMSR figurehead Tobacco (a.k.a. Tom Fec). "Critics can say we've cultivated a mystique and they've seen it all before, but our mystique was mostly cultivated for us by the disconnect in public perception and reality."

Nevertheless, he and his bandmates aren't about to take the meet-and-greets route either. Tobacco still conducts interviews via e-mail; face-to-face meetings could take the focus off the main reason for the interview -- the music. "I didn't get into music because I wanted to talk about myself or have my picture taken," he says. "There's too much emphasis on the personalities behind music. All I want is for people to listen to this stuff and have it mean whatever they want it to mean. I made it, but it's not about me."
BMSR performed at Soundlab with Octopus Project and Besnyo on June 18, 2006. Read more about their work with legendary Cassadaga Producer Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, MGMT) here.

SoHo vs. Disco, 1975: Vince Aletti's The Disco Files 1973-78: New York's Underground, Week By Week

This book has nothing to do with Buffalo but as a collection of primary artifacts from a critical time in the development of dance culture, it sounds wildly interesting. By Zach Baron from the Village Voice's Sounds of the City blog:
Vince Aletti, recently a long-serving editor at this paper, was an early and avid chronicler of the rise of disco in New York City in the early, mid, and late 1970s. In articles like the one above, "SoHo vs. Disco," from the June 16, 1975 Village Voice, Aletti was one of the first to write about characters like David Mancuso and his now much-rhapsodized-about club, the Loft. He authored the supposed first piece ever on disco, in 1973, in Rolling Stone, and throughout the decade he'd supplement his reporting for the Voice with incredibly detailed, minutiae-filled pieces for Record World and other outlets. Now, Zoilus brings the news that is bringing out a book, called The Disco Files 1973-78: New York's Underground, Week By Week, which reprints Aletti's dispatches from the era, including, apparently, reviews of over 2000 records. There are also replicas of what look to be drink tickets, flyers, invites, actual scans of 45s, and scores of playlists from contemporary DJs. One random one from Larry Levan, from some night at 84 King Street: "Blood and Honey," by Amanda Lear; "Bourgie Bourgie," by Ashford & Simpson; "Deeper" by New Birth; "I Got to Have Your Love," by Fantastic Four; "I'm Here Again," by Thelma Houston; "Locked in This Position," by Barbara Mason and Bunny Sigler; "Say You Will," by Eddie Henderson; "Speak Well," by Philly USA; and "Your Love Is So Good For Me," by Diana Ross. Find the book and a good handful of free PDFed pages at

Friday, April 24

Migrating Media: Upstate Preservation Network Project Launch

From the press release:
Buffalo, New York is the new home of a major media arts preservation initiative, Migrating Media: Upstate Preservation Network. This Friday, April 24th at 8pm, Squeaky Wheel/Buffalo Media Resources will host a public launch of this newly established digitization project that will rescue historic analog video collections. Thousands of fragile videotapes, currently in grave risk of complete decay, will not only be saved but made accessible to audiences for the first time in years. A screening of newly digitized works, which demonstrate the unique video art history of Upstate and Western New York, will follow a description of the project and an overview of the capabilities of newly donated digital migration equipment. The screening will feature works produced during residencies at the Experimental Television Center, previously preserved by the Standby Program (NYC), including works by Gary Hill, Barbara Hammer, Matthew Schlanger, Peer Bode, Connie Coleman and Alan Powell.

Migrating Media was established to offer non-profit arts and cultural organizations in Upstate New York a forward-looking and efficient means to digitize significant older video collections for preservation and access for generations to come. A new partnership project of Squeaky Wheel, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, and the Experimental Television Center (Owego, New York), Migrating Media has been made possible by a generous donation of a SAMMA Solo System by Jim Lindner, founder of Media Matters and SAMMA Systems. Migrating Media has also received additional support from the New York State Council on the Arts Technical Assistance Program and RTI, Inc. For more information, please contact Hallwalls' Media Arts Director Carolyn Tennant (
Friday April 24th 2009 - 8pm, Squeaky Wheel, 712 Main St. $6 general/$4 members. Proceeds benefit the project.

Girl Talk Experimenting With Actual Songs For Next Album

By Gary Graff for Billboard:
Songs are what Gregg Gillis -- aka mash-up master Girl Talk -- is honing in on as he considers a new direction for the follow-up to 2008's lauded "Feed the Animals."

"I'm experimenting with different structures and different ideas," Gillis told during a conference call to advance his performance at this year's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. "I'm interested in working on individual songs -- kind of in the style I've been doing, but with actual repetition as opposed to linear structure and stuff like that, some elements with a verse-and-chorus sort of structure as opposed to going through 50 minutes of change-ups the entire time. I want to evolve and keep refining."
Read more here.

Girl Talk performed at the original Soundlab space (and slept on my floor with roughly 100 Pittsburgh musicians from Pittsburgh's emerging electronic/experimental scene: Clockworm, Manherringbone, Colongib, My Boyfriend the Pilot, Powder French, and Xanoptiocon) on 07/06/02 as part of the Circuits of Steel tour. He returned to Buffalo to play the current Soundlab on Friday the 13th of April, 2007. By that time he was super famous and the show sold out in 2 seconds, disappointing the hordes hanging out in the park waiting to get inside.

Vampire Weekenders Prepping Second Album, Side Project With Ra Ra Riot

Posted to Stereogum by Amrit:
Overlapping waves of hype and backlash behind them, Vampire Weekend have moved on to the business of making new music. Except that they been had making new music since the halcyon Vampire Weekend days. We first heard "White Sky" on that little record's support tour, and again recently on Fallon. Now Ezra's talking about the VW followup to, saying that scarf-loving keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij will once again produce the sessions.
Read more here.
Vampire Weekend played Soundlab the day before they became huge. Unfortunately, I can't seem to locate the actual date. I'll update if I do.

Found Magazine Impresario Davy Rothbart Performs at Medaille on April 25

By Brett Miller for Artvoice:
It’s amazing what you can find fluttering in the wind, sitting on top of a bar, or stuck to your car windshield. Davy Rothbart is a scruffy 27-year-old with a hint of mischief that he does not try to hide. One day while walking in Michigan, he came across a note pasted to his car window: “I hate you, I hate you, page me later…” It was addressed to someone else.

How peculiar, Rothbart thought, that someone could hold so much anger yet so much hope at the same time. This sparked Rothbart’s idea for Found magazine, a compilation of postcards, notes, and other anonymous blurbs that people wrote and somehow got into Rothbart’s hands. When he told a friend about the note on his windshield, more people came forward with napkins, Post-It notes, lost love letters, and, well you get the idea…and off to Kinko’s went the crew. They made a hundred copies to start, but with a little push from a Kinko’s employee, they ended up walking out of the store with 800 copies.
Read more here.

Ian Loves Nina: a Film Fest Love Story

Posted by Ryan Dombal for Pitchfork News:
Fugazi's Ian MacKaye was approached by the Maryland Film Festival to pick and host a movie during the upcoming movie marathon. And the hardcore pioneer's choice may surprise you: MacKaye will introduce the 1992 French doc Nina Simone: La Légende and discuss it with the audience afterwards on May 9 at 4 p.m. at Baltimore's Charles Theatre.

If You Found a CD-R with Islands MP3s on NYC's C Train Tuesday, Please Smash It With a Hammer Immediately

By Camille Dodero for the Village Voice's Sounds of the City:
Ah, poor Nick Thorburn. In an era when your own mom would just as soon leak your record for ten bucks and a free YouSendIt upgrade, the Islands frontman left an entire data CD of the band's new record, unmastered, on the C Train Tuesday. "W tee eff is wrong w me?" he lamented via Twitter. Even more unfortunate, he'd originally (and perhaps, a little paranoid-seeming initially) titled the MP3s "Barbra Streisand and Barry Gibb" to thwart prospective thieves, but changed the ID tags to "Islands" earlier that day. Thorburn's manager, fortunately, took it well: "He sez, 'At least it wasn't on the L train.'"

If you do find this record and leak it, the Hipster Grifter will come in your sleep and steal your iPhone.
Islands played Soundlab on 4/16/08.

Runway 2.0: the Romance of Urban Decay

By Susan Martin for the Buffalo News:
It has the buzz of New York Fashion Week –as well as the innovation, entertainment, drama and even some big names.

Runway 2.0 comes to the Burchfield Penney Art Center on Saturday with two events that merge the fashion and art worlds.

It’s all part of a collaboration between the Buffalo State College fashion department and the Burchfield Penney, where the shows will be staged in the East Gallery.
Read more here. The official Runway afterparty will be hosted by Shock and Awe at Soundlab Saturday, April 25 at 11pm.

FOR SALE: A Pop-Up Souvenir Shop

From Buffalo Rising:
According to local artist Patricia Schraven, the idea behind "FOR SALE" found its roots in similar events happening in other cities.

This is a call-to-work for artists, wherein participants are asked to re-think the idea of the souvenir, and create NEW objects to be shown in a temporary POP-UP storefront in the City of Buffalo. "FOR SALE" will be a one-off exhibition in late June of 2009. Objects must be produced in multiples. Any medium is acceptable and encouraged.

The final show will be held in late June at Western New York Book Arts Center (WNYBAC), the home of Western New York Book Arts Collaborative. There will be an opening event, and the store will remain open for a few days following.
Read more here.

Thursday, April 23

Terry Riley's In C turns 45 - Download the Score!

From Pitchfork news:
This Friday, April 24, Carnegie Hall will host a concert celebrating the 45th anniversary of Terry Riley's landmark experimental work In C. The National's Bryce Dessner will join a lineup of out-music royalty that includes Philip Glass, the Kronos Quartet, Morton Subotnick, Trevor Dunn, So Percussion, and Riley himself to perform the work.
The National Performed at Big Orbit Gallery with Mia Doi Todd and The Clogs on 5/30/01. Trevor Dunn has visited Soundlab twice, on 10/11/05 and 2/15/07, with Shelley Burgon. Phillip Glass, the Kronos Quartet, Morton Subotnick and of course Terry Riley have each appeared in Buffalo several times, usually in association with the UB Music Department. The original recorded version of In C was recorded with members of the Creative Associates at UB in 1968, several members of which will also participate in the Carnegie Hall event.

Listen to the Buffalo performance here, or download the score and perform it yourself.

Wednesday, April 22

Torn Space Theater, in association with the ICTC, presents Samuel Beckett's "Endwords"

From the press release:
The Beckett Estate has granted exclusive rights for a revival of the 1990 production of *ENDWORDS*, adapted by Vincent & Chris ONeill from the works of Samuel Beckett. This performance which premiered at Buffalo's Franklin Street Theater (now the Chop House!) and New York City's Irish Repertory Theatre will again be directed by Vincent ONeill, Artistic Director of Buffalo's Irish Classical Theatre Company and performed by actor David Oliver.

In 1990 the original rights to perform this Beckett compilation, *ENDWORDS*, was granted to the O'Neill brothers by Barney Rosset, creator of the magazine Evergreen Review which first published the seminal Beat writers of the '50s. He was owner of Grove Press which published Beckett, Genet, Pinter and Ionesco thus being the first to introduce these essential writers to the American consciousness. It was Rosset who won a legal battle to publish the uncensored version of D. H. Lawrences *LADY CHATTERLEYS LOVER* in the United States, and in 1964, won Supreme Court affirmation to publish Henry Miller's *TROPIC OF CANCER.* A true pioneer for free speech and First Amendment rights, Barney still lives in New York and has given his blessing to this revival of *ENDWORDS.*

April 23rd, 24th, 25th - May 1st & 2nd, 8th & 9th, 15th, 16th, & 17th @ 8:00. Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle, 612 Fillmore Avenue, south of Broadway at Paderewski. General Admission: $20.00 Students: $12.00. Reservations: 812-5733

Pitchfork 5-10-15-20: Dan Deacon Discusses the Musical Loves of His Life

Welcome to 5-10-15-20, a new feature in Pitchfork News. In 5-10-15-20, we talk to artists about the music they loved at five-year interval points in their lives. Maybe we'll get a detailed roadmap of how their tastes and passions helped make them who they are. Maybe we'll just learn that they really liked hearing the "G.I. Joe" theme song over and over when they were kids. Either way, it'll be fun.
Dan Deacon played Soundlab on 04/01/05 with Height w/Bow and Chugga Chugga. Read the experimental pop mastermind's thoughts on Ghostbusters, They Might Be Giants, and Philip Glass here.

Tuesday, April 21

YouTube Symphony

From the Buffalo News Arts Beat, by Mary Kunz Goldman:
The YouTube Symphony, a herd of talented musicians rounded up on YouTube starting last December, made its debut Wednesday at Carnegie Hall. Conducted by former Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra music director Michael Tilson Thomas, the intrepid band played music including the vivacious last movement of Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, the March from Berlioz's "Damnation of Faust," and a new "Eroica" Symphony by the contemporary composer Tan Dun.

People are buzzing about it and not all of the buzz is favorable. Greg Sandow, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, dissects the concert here. His point seems to be that the orchestra did not play all that well and any substance, in any case, was drowned out by all the hype. The New York Times looked more on the bright side. You can read about a YouTube Symphony rehearsal on the paper's blog (also called Artsbeat, like ours). And the paper's music critic, Anthony Tommasini, reviews the concert here. He is fairly favorable though he does write that he wishes the concert had been more substantive and less gimmicky. As you can tell from the picture above, it was full of high-tech visuals.
Read more here.

Ian Svenonius on Sam Cooke, Kanye West, and His New Band, Chain and the Gang

From the Village Voice Sounds of the City blog, by Evan Hanlon:
Ian Svenonius has come a long way since Sassy Magazine first dubbed him the "Sassiest Boy in America" in 1991. The D.C. singer has never been anything less than political to the extreme: Nation of Ulysses had its own ministry of information, the Make-Up employed a new "liberation theology" for its gospel yeh-yeh style, and Weird War took aim at the fascist underpinnings of corporate rock. In 2006, Svenonius published The Psychic Soviet, a little pink book of 19 essays designed to "clear up much of the confusion regarding events of the last millennium--artistic, geo-political, philosophical, et al." His latest project, Chain and the Gang, approximates the down-n-out prison blues of the chain gang, infused with the jazz hooks typical of his previous bands. Their first record, Down With Liberty...Up With Chains, is out now on K Records. Svenonius and company are currently touring; they stop at the Market Hotel on April 26. We caught up with the band just before they broke out of Olympia, WA, where Svenonious was in town--he otherwise remains based in DC--tuning up for tour.
Chain and the Gang (feat. Ian Svenonius) with The Hive Dwellers (feat. Calvin Johnson) & Mahjongg play Soundlab Apr 25 for an EARLY SHOW at 7:00 PM. Advance tickets available at

FRAMPTONIA! this Weekend at UB

That's Hollis, not Peter Frampton, by the way. Check out:
FRAMPTONIA! Buffalo’s two part screening series celebrating Hollis Frampton, a legendary instructor in the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo. On April 24th at 5pm, we will be screening the newly restored prints of Hollis Frampton’s seven part Hapax Legomena followed by a presentation by Professor Michael Zryd from York University. The next day, April 25 at 7pm, we’ll be hosting the already iconic film’s of David Gatten; he’ll present his epic series The Secret History of the Dividing Line.

Screenings will be held Center for the Arts, Room 112 University at Buffalo’s North Campus.

Friday, April 17

Magnificent Ruins of Buffalo

Goodbye 20th Century: Memorial Auditorium 4/16/09

Lord Have Merce: Sonic Youth Plays Merce Cunningham’s 90th Birthday Bash (NYC)

By Joshua David Stein for New York Press:
Sonic Youth wouldn't seem like a good birthday party band for most 90-year-olds. But Merce Cunningham isn’t your average nonagenarian. He doesn’t go in for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and pudding. But what more would you expect from the man who continually reaffirms his relevance as the most important modern dance choreographer since Martha Graham?

For his 90th birthday, Merce has invited some friends—among them Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth—to drop by BAM for three days from April 16 to 19 for a jam, and maybe some tea and biscuits too.

Also stopping by: Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and mixed-media sound composer Takehisa Kosugi. Oh, and of course, the Merce Cunningham Company dancers.The event also functions as the pre miere of Nearly Ninety. It’s 89 minutes long. Ol’ Merce is pretty funny for an old guy. Read more here.

Sonic Youth has performed in Buffalo 3 times (not counting individual members' solo appearances and performances as part of Glenn Branca's band), on: 6/22/86 at the Polish Cadets hall; 10/16/92 at Buffalo State College's Houston Gym; and 8/7/04 at the Towne Ballroom.

Merce Cunningham danced twice as part of the legendary Buffalo Festival of the Arts in 1968. On March 10 the Merce Cunningham Dance Company performed Walkaround Time with music by David Behrman and more memorably, on March 9, the company performed RainForest, with music by David Tudor, set design by Andy Warhol and costumes by Jasper Johns.

I was unable to find a clip of this performance online, although it is one of the most interesting artifacts in the Warhol Live: Music and Dance in Andy Warhol's Work show, which I saw at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in January. Warhol Live will be presented at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh June 10 to September 15, 2009, and although I found the show somewhat problematic overall, it's always good to visit the Warhol Museum and Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, and this show is as good a reason to do so as any.

Infringement Fest Call for Applications

Every summer, the streets of Buffalo come alive with scores of events by local and visiting theater and dance companies, puppeteers, media artists, poets, comedians, musicians, cabaret acts, virtual reality designers, and miscellaneous insurrectionists. The annual *Buffalo Infringement Festival* provides artists and audiences of all backgrounds the chance to come together, take chances, push boundaries, and explore uncharted territory because *exciting art can happen anywhere, anytime, without a blockbuster budget*. (Or any budget at all, for that matter.)

The Buffalo Infringement Festival is a non-profit-driven, non-hierarchical grassroots endeavor bringing together a broad range of eclectic, independent, experimental, and controversial art of all forms. Visual, theatrical, performing, musical, and media arts are all welcome here. "It's the stone soup of festivals, with bizarre ingredients indeed." Claims BIF Music Coordinator Curt Rotterdam.

In keeping with it's four-years of tradition, the Buffalo Infringement Festival is proud to announce applications for the 2009 festival available online at: .

The application is free and no artists will be refused.

Deadline for the 2009 festival is May 15th. For further information:
716-602-2464 or

Thursday, April 16

Julian Montague: Stray Shopping Cart Q&A

The earliest incarnation of Julian Montague's super popular Stray Shopping Cart Project was a spread in the winter/spring 2000 issue of Basta! (vol 2, no 2) titled: "Transient Urban Structures / A set of terms and definitions presented in the interest of establishing a system of classification to aid in the further investigation and documentation of the stray shopping cart phenomenon in northern and western Buffalo Proper." The first Shopping Cart Project installation was in the gallery at the original Soundlab in 2002 (the title of which was "The Nomadic Urban Architecture of Buffalo, New York (A Taxonomy of Stray Shopping Carts). If you are not familiar with the project, its numerous gallery incarnations or Julian's book, you can check it all out here. More recently, the blog Found did a short Q&A with Julian about it here. There is another recent interview at Trap Door

Cindy Sherman's Early Super-8 film "Doll Clothes"

From UbuWeb:
One of the first Cindy Sherman super-8 film, "Doll Clothes" has not been viewed since 1975, the year it was made (when Sherman was still a student at Buffalo State College). It comically crosses Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase with animated paper dolls in a sly, funny and clever precursor to the concerns that became signature elements in Sherman's remarkable body of photographic work.

"Sherman's 1975 animated short Doll Clothes, is among the pieces that bring Sherman's early exploration of gender and identity into focus." -- Paul Ha and Catherine Morris

Tuesday, April 14

C. Spencer Yeh - Audio Works (2005-2009)

Among April's UbuWeb offerings is an archive of sound and music works from C. Spencer Yeh, who performed as Burning Star Core in Buffalo first at Kitchen Distribution and second as part of Soundlab's Tonight Let's All Make Love in Buffalo festival in July of 2005:
Yeh is active both as a solo and collaborative artist, as well as with his primary project, Burning Star Core. As an improviser, Yeh is focused on developing a personal vocabulary using violin, voice, and electronics. As a sound artist/composer, Yeh works with all aspects available surrounding a work, aurally and physically, as elements key to the cumulative experience. He is concerned not only with the sensual aspects of 'sound organization,' but the gestural qualities as well. Yeh has collaborated with a deep and ever-growing list of artists and groups, including Tony Conrad, New Humans with Vito Acconci, Evan Parker, Thurston Moore, Amy Granat with Jutta Koether, Justin Lieberman, Don Dietrich and Ben Hall (as The New Monuments), Prurient and Jandek. Included here are several full-length albums, assorted singles and radio works, featuring solo and collaborative works.

Monday, April 13

"Poet-Publishers: A Contemporary Small Press Symposium" Schedule of Events

From the Just Buffalo email update:

Poetics Plus @ UB
Small Press Symposium: Poetry Reading
Anna Moschovakis, Jay Millar, Kyle Schlesinger & Richard Owens
Poetry Reading
Sunday, April 19, 8:00 PM
Karpeles Manuscript Library, 453 Porter

Poetics Plus @ UB
Small Press Symposium: Poetry Reading
UB Poetry Collection
420 Capen Hall, North Campus

10:00-10:45: KEYNOTE: CHARLES ALEXANDER (Editor, Chax Press)
Between Poetics, the Poetics of Between, Pressing Between

Joel Brenden (The Enthusiast), Robert Dewhurst (Satellite Television), Geoffrey Gatza (BlazeVOX), David Hadbawnik (Kadar Koli | Hadbenicht Press), Margaret Konkol (Small Press in the Archive Series), Aaron Lowinger and Jessica Smith (House Press), Edric Mesmer (Yellow Edenwald Field), Douglas Manson (Little Scratch Pad), Richard Owens (Damn the Caesars | Punch Press), Andrew Rippeon (P-Queue | Queue Editions), Andrea Strudensky (Broke).

2:00-2:45: KEYNOTE: MICHAEL BASINSKI (Curator, UB Poetry Collection)
"Exploration and Acquisition: Collecting All of Small Press Poetry"


"Five Micro-Ecologies: A Presentation of 5 Portable-Press at Yo-Yo Labs Chapbooks," Brenda Iijima (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs)

"__________," Jay MillAr (Bookthug)

" the temptations of anti-sustainability, or wherefore survival?," Anna Moschovakis (Ugly Duckling)

"Ragged Edges," Kyle Schlesinger (Cuneiform Press)

453 Porter Ave, Buffalo

8:00PM: Poetry readings by Charles Alexander, Michael Basinski, Brenda Iijima and Andrew Rippeon

Sound Poet Jean-Pierre Bobillot Reads at Hallwalls Thurs 4/16

Thursday, April 16, 2009 @ 8:00 PM, Hallwalls Cinema:
Jean-Pierre Bobillot is a sound poet ("Poëte bruyant non-métricien tendance pro-Dada”) in the tradition of the French sound poets Chopin and Heidsieck. He teaches at the University of Grenoble and is the author of several studies including Trois essais sur la poésie littérale, Al Dante (2003) and Rimbaud : le meurtre d’Orphée, Champion (2004) as well as poetry books and audio productions: Eff&,mes Rides [+ CD], L’Atelier de l’Agneau (2005), Y a-t-il un Poème dans le Recueil ?, Voix (2008)

Cecil Taylor's Most Recent Recording Free mp3

From Jazz Beyond Jazz: Howard Mandel's Freelance Urban Improvisation:
Pianist Cecil Taylor, live at the Village Vanguard from July 2008 with drummer Tony Oxley, was recorded for a 2-lp vinyl album titled Ailanthus/Alitssima, and one cut of it is being offered as an MP3 for a limited time, free, by the website

Word is only 475 copies of the lp will be sold -- details on that at Triple Point Records.

Cecil Taylor plays Hallwalls April 18.

The Sea Performs Organ Architecture

From, via the Arthur mag blog:
The musical Sea Organ (morske orgulje) is located on the shores of Zadar, Croatia, and is the world’s first musical pipe organs that is played by the sea. Simple and elegant steps, carved in white stone, were built on the quayside. Underneath, there are 35 musically tuned tubes with whistle openings on the sidewalk. The movement of the sea pushes air through, and – depending on the size and velocity of the wave – musical chords are played. The waves create random harmonic sounds.
This masterpiece of acoustics and architecture was created by expert Dalmatian stone carvers and architect Nikola Basic in 2005, who recently received the European Prize for Urban Public Space for this project. Many tourists come to listen to this unique aerophone, and enjoy unforgettable sunsets with a view of nearby islands. Famed director Alfred Hitchcock said that the most beautiful sunset in the world can be seen from precisely this spot on the Zadar quay. That was how he described it after his visit to Zadar, a visit he remembered throughout his life by the meeting of the sinking sun and the sea.

Click here for more info and sound files.

Saturday, April 11

Dirty Projectors Collaborate with Bjork, Post New Track Online

Holy cow! Indie pop superstar Bjork will perform a suite of new music composed for her by David Longstreth of The Dirty Projectors at a benefit for The Housing Works Bookstore in New York on May 8. The suite, written for five voices, will pair Björk with the Projectors (Dave Longstreth, Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian, and Haley Dekle). I remember the Dirty Pros playing for something like 5 people at Soundlab back in June 2005 (they returned to play much more successful shows 2 more times, most memorably with Anticon indie rock wordsmith Why?). Footage of the original show can be found at the Soundlab Events Archive page, or you can hear what they're up to now by listening to "Stillness is the Move," the first single from the Dirty Projectors' forthcoming album, Bitte Orca.

Quiet Again: USA is a Monster Break Up

From a post by Tom Breihan for Pitchfork:
Brooklyn noise-monster duo the USA Is a Monster are calling it quits, not for the first time, according to Brooklyn Vegan. They'll play their final show on May 9 at Brooklyn's Market Hotel.

USA is a Monster played Soundlab in 2007.

Microcosm DIY Skill-Shares Tour Visits Sugar City 4/18

From the press release:
Microcosm Publishing is heading out on tour! This time around we're sending some of our authors and artists to teach you a little somethin' (and hopefully entertain you in the meantime!) First off, though in no particular lineup order, Do-It-Yourself Screenprinting author John Isaacson will show you the ins and outs of turning your bedroom into a full-on DIY t-shirt factory. Says his tour-mate and Microcosm founder Joe Biel, "If there were awards for niceness, John would be in the top three. He teaches writing programs when he's not busy teaching silkscreening workshops. He'll be bringing his skills and knowledge to your town and showing even the experts a thing or two."

Then we got Moe Bowstern, author of the extra rad zine series Xtra Tuf, who will show you some sailors' knots and teach you a few sea chanteys. Moe's zines tell the story of her life as a woman in the male-dominated commerical fishing industry and are high adventure no matter how you shake it. She's also a real sweetheart!

Next there's Microcosm founder Joe Biel who will screen his latest documentary If It Ain't Cheap, It Ain't Punk: 14 Years of Plan It X. You may know Joe from the celebrated zine Perfect Mixtape Segue, of which his latest issue just came out. Joe is also the co-author of the recently released zine-making how-to book Make a Zine and the dude who brought you the excellent zine-makin' "talk-umentary" $100 and a T-Shirt. He's a great guy and wears a lot of green and orange.

Also on the lineup we got Shelley Jackson, co-author of the Chainbreaker book and zine. Joe Biel had the following to say about the wonderful Miss Jackson: "The first time I visited New Orleans, I knew no one except for a polite GK Darby who kept insisting that I should come. Shelley offered to put up two strangers in her cute little shotgun home and we became closer over years. She's been a bike mechanic for longer than I've known her and wrote down her thoughts on the matter with her friend Ethan in her Chainbreaker book. She's going to teach you how to fix yer bike."

Last but not least--or, really, last--the incredibly awesome traveling vegan chef Joshua Ploeg will prepare some mind-blowing cuisine from his hot-off-the-press debut cookbook In Search of the Lost Taste. Joshua is also known as Joshua Plague, member of such kick-ass punk bands as Behead the Prophet, the Mulketeo Fairies, and, his latest outfit, Warm Springs. You haven't lived until you've had Joshua's cooking, for reals!

Friday, April 10

Cory Arcangel Performs "Art Since 1960 (According to the Internet)" In Toronto Tonight

From Buffalo-born media-artist Cory Arcangel's blog:
This is last minute, but tonight, if you are in Toronto please come and see Art Since 1960 (According to the Internet), a performance I am doing with Hanne Mugaas kinda about how the internet screws up everything for tidy histories. This is the 3rd time we have done it, and hopefully we can pull it together this time. Pleasure Dome and the Images Festival. Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen Street W. 7pm / $10, $8 students, seniors + members.

Cory Arcangel's Beige Records performed an "art battle" with Paper Rad at Soundlab on Novemember 9, 2002.

Wednesday, April 8

YACHT'S New Album Cover Will Hurt Your Brain

According to Pitchfork:
The album cover for Portland party-monster duo YACHT's forthcoming album See Mystery Lights, due from DFA in July ... will include a "special holographic foil". As great as the internet is, we can't show you exactly how a special holographic foil will look. Fortunately, though, Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans have created an animated version of the cover to give us some indication of how it'll look. It's posted here, but you probably shouldn't click if you have epilepsy.

YACHT played Soundlab with Dirty Projectors on August 27, 2007.

Busdriver's "Erratic Syllable-Splay Rap, Influenced by Staticy Global-Pop Field Recordings, Written on Airplanes, w/Guys from Islands/Deerhoof," Album

Pitchfork reports:
Busdriver's Jhelli Bean, due June 9 on Anti, promises to be a deeply perplexing album for reasons that go way beyond the appalling title. For one thing, there's the L.A. speedster's rapping style, which is something like how Twista might sound after a six-month binge on off-brand candy and Anticon records. Then there's Busdriver's ongoing collaborative relationship with reliably elusive Islands frontman Nick Thorburn. Thorburn guests on Jhelli Bean, as do fellow L.A. rap quick-tongue weirdos Mikah 9 and Nocando and spazzed-out Deerhoof guitarist John Dietrich.

And finally, there's the way Busdriver, in a press release, describes the way he prepared to record the album: "A bulk of the songs were written on planes somehow. I listened to Sublime Frequencies records, Bollywood soundtracks, and electronic music rather than indie rock and rap. I was able to shed a good amount of self-awareness that way."

So: An album of erratic syllable-splay rap, influenced by staticy global-pop field recordings, written on airplanes, with the guy from Islands and a guy from Deerhoof guesting. Sounds confusing but fun.

Busdriver performed at Soundlab November 14, 2007

Tuesday, April 7

The Future Has Failed Us

Want proof? Check out this '60s era clip imagining dancing in the future. The present, as always, is humbled by daydreams of Futurists past (or perhaps that's just the way they danced in Germany in the '60s!).

Noise With a Capital N

In this article, the latest in a series of essays commissioned in celebration of The Wire's 300th issue, Keith Moline runs through a history of Noise music, with references to Soundlab alumni Toshimaru Nakamura and Wolf Eyes.

It’s all noise, of course, everything that’s ever been written about in The Wire. The territory staked out by the magazine since 1982 is one whose marginal nature means that it’s only willingly explored by we few intrepid souls. The territory contains stuff that we know to be music, but that we also know, deep down, everyone else thinks is anything but. It’s always been about Us and Them; why be coy about it? After all, how else can we make sense of the phenomenon we call Noise-with-a-capital N? If we accept its usual definition as ‘unwanted sound’, we need to have some idea of who exactly it is that doesn’t want it. Obviously, it’s not Us – here we are listening to it, reading about it, writing about it, making it. What makes it Noise is what They think. Or rather, what we think They would think if They ever listened to it. Which They don’t.

And in that endless, tortuous loop of cogitation and speculation, lies the key to what Noise is: the actual sound of conflicting ideas doing battle. It’s Toshimaru Nakamura’s notorious no-input mixing board, but with ideas rather than cables plugged back into themselves, paradox breeding paradox, feedback producing feedback. Once you do away the idea that it’s just about confrontation, Noise becomes a whole lot more confusing, and a whole lot more interesting. And that’s what’s happened, slowly but surely, since 1982; it’s gradually orientated itself towards a community of sympathetic listeners as opposed to baiting audiences as if they constituted the enemy.

Read the rest here.

Hello From Siew-Wai

This update comes from former Buffalo sound/performance artist Siew-Wai Kok, who has been organizing improv activities in her home country of Malaysia since leaving Buffalo a few years ago:
Just wanna share with you some recent performances at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. One is a duet performance with a woodwind player. Another one is something that my artist collective SiCKL organizes, an art laboratory for improvisation. Improvisation in art & music is not so popular in KL, and we're trying start this Improv Lab project as a monthly series. Hopefully, we can create a humble group of people who can start to appreciate and explore art/music improvisation.

The Improv Lab concept sounds similar to Soundlab's discontinued Openlab monthlies. Anybody interested in reviving the series? If so, hit me at with ideas. In the meantime, check out Siew-Wai's Improv Lab footage here.

Friday, April 3

Download Terry Riley's In C For Free as MP3!

By Zach Baron for The Village Voice's Sound of the City:
So today, for whatever reason, Amazon is offering the California minimalist Terry Riley's most iconic piece, 1964's "In C," as a free download. Don't think too hard about this one. [h/t Alex Ross]

This is the classic recording of this towering composition featuring members of UB's legendary Creative Associates. Absolutely essential listening for anybody interested in the evolution of modern music or Buffalo's place in it.
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