Wednesday, December 26, 2007

tip of the iceberg

Some of the titles I've just uploaded to Twango have been posted just below.

Many many more have not.

Until they are (eh, sometime soon), they're all on Twango.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

the mighty fine MemoMate

Circa 1998, I saw a cool little 20-second memo recorder on sale at the Building 19 in New Bedford MA. So I drove over there and got me a couple.

On one of them I found this cool message recorded no doubt by a super busy factory worker doing quality control . . .

Chinese Checker and Tone

Perhaps someone can tell us if the message is the Mandarin or Cantonese equivalent of "testing 1-2-3".

Hope to post some more MemoMate recordings in the sweet by and by.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

10 AM, Furthest Star, Blue Light

10 AM

Furthest Star

Blue Light

Monday, December 3, 2007

3:13 AM, Instrumental Frenzy, I'm Off, Afterdinner Outerlude

3:13 AM

(UPDATE: 3:13AM and the rest are on Bengal Burlap, available at Bandcamp.)

I was always kinda happy with this instrumental. I had a bass, that Synsonics drum machine and a flanger. I played something that resembled a melody (not something I'm entirely adverse to doing) without concerning myself with having a real guitar.

Instrumental Frenzy

When I did get a real guitar, this was about the first thing I did. Urgent Zebra may've been the second.

I'm Off

Before said real guitar, my friend Dom or someone loaned me one of those electric fan powered gadgets, a Magnus Chord Organ. My friend Bob, who could actually play, played the organ. Flanging everything in sight, I did the rest. All in view of the Corner rooftops of C'ville and the HoJo MoLo sign.

Afterdinner Outerlude

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Flugel Drone, 26 Nov 04 Procession

Flugel Drone

Here's a fave of mine, named more or less for a very, very beat-up acoustic guitar I got in a thrift store on Mercury Blvd. in Hampton VA.

The snapping guitarish sound at pan center? Our special guest star . . .

26 Nov 04 Procession

22 May 04, View In White, Here I Go

22 May 04

Much as I like this instrumental, you might think I'd come up with a better title than the date I recorded it. Something pretty deserves a name. Or maybe it deserves as few words as possible.

View In White

If I recall, I wrote full lyrics for this song. The words weren't too bad. But I really liked the vocables better. A mood was served and therein a meaning could be read.

Here I Go

Shambelle #1, Pink Shambelle #4, Shambelle #3, BoDid's Feast

Shambelle #1

I think of these Shambelles, #1 here esp., as (mostly) non-MIDI cousins to instrumentals like Odd Slim and Opti-Suite. Rampantly off-key melodies that are by turns menacing and goofy.

Pink Shambelle #4

This might be called the "more reverb" version of Pink Shambelle and as such almost not a Shambelle at all. The creaky pitch bending on the Optigan towards the end may say otherwise.

Shambelle #3

This one sorta brings to mind Encounters With Insects . . .

BoDid's Feast

No Hold, Darlin' Day, Can I Be True?

No Hold

Darlin' Day

Can I Be True?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bobo, Gamelan Cakewalk, Whine-oleum


(UPDATE: Bobo and Gamelan Cakewalk are out on Bengal Burlap, available at Bandcamp.)

I marveled at the remote on/off switch on the garden-variety mic that came with a cassette recorder. At some point I clued in on how that on/off switch could be used during playback when the mic was plugged in.

Thus the coming & going of that voice and squealing saxophone in the left channel: it's a tape recording that keeps cutting in and out as the remote switch is turned on and off.

Gamelan Cakewalk

The bargain basement tape effect in this instrumental was the cue/fast forward button on the tape deck. I liked this piece but found it a bit long. This was a cassette recording and I lacked the savvy or the nerve to splice tape.

So I just hit the cue button during playback to move things along. I thought of it like some Dada editing method. And I liked that chattering, chirping "screeeeeee!" sound.


Years, decades later, I was reading of the Melloman, a Mellotron-ish gizmo fashioned from Walkmans loaded with cassette recordings of instruments.

Too klutzy & impatient to build such things, I went cheap & dirty and tape recorded continuously playing chords on two cassettes. Then with the same remote on/off mic switch control used in Bobo, I'd alternate playback between the two tapes/chords.

Those whining faraway chords in the left channel, the ones that ramp up to pitch when starting and down from pitch when ending?

Yep, those . . .

Huggy's Lament, Reggio, B Is For Balance

Huggy's Lament

I really like this piece--the sounds, the mood.


I'm not sure if this is a "greatest hit", but my wife has always liked it (she says it sounds like ducks walking along).

B Is For Balance

I've had mixed fortune with any rock instrumentals. But this one, imperfect as it may be, has some life & guts to it.

Thinking Sinking, Skipping, Nothing Put Together, You Know It's So

Thinking Sinking

I'm kinda proud of this song. It's no ray of sunshine lyrically, but it says what it says with something I'd dare call beauty. As close as I get . . .


A friend once called a novel of his "a hopeful book about despair". That might apply here. And whether it does, I like funny songs.

Nothing Put Together

It may seem too clever by half, but I'd just seen Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina in Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot Le Fou at the Brattle. JPB's character blows up by the sea at the end of the movie. My song has a nominally happier ending.

You Know It's So (Go Up)

More of that "hopeful . . despair" stuff. A gently pointed rejoinder to anyone close enough to hear.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Harp Sketch, New Rub

Harp Sketch

New Rub

These are two tracks from Twilight Extended (click here to view ancient website on Internet Archive), a New Age meditation/relaxation music tape I released under yet another pseudonym, Bernard Waschman.

It's interesting that this music was created in much the same way as 12-Bit Jimson--using a sampler and recording to cassette. For the mixdown, I borrowed an Ursa Major reverb from my friend Steev. From that it was mastered by the good folks at W Bla Bla Bla.

The photo I took late one cold winter's day at my folks'.

Homage to The Wild World of Animals, Opti-Suite, Resurrect

Homage to The Wild World of Animals

I guess the name of the show was Wild, Wild World of Animals, aired in the 1970s.

The spare synth-based theme music was some very cool indeed (check out this YouTube vid courtesy love2register) .

Broadly speaking and after the fact, it was this long ago music that my piece brought to mind. Thus the title . . .



Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Love For All The Ages

A Love For All The Ages (Also on Box.)

Circa 1993 was one of those bumper crops of good songs. There was a lot of them & I like most of them pretty well.

But this one has always been a bit of a fave. I like its sound and how it says what it says with a bit of humor.

Spring Is Gone, 1,000,000 Words, Blue Heron

Spring Is Gone (Also on Box.)

1,000,000 Words

(Also on Box.)

Blue Heron

(Also on Box.)

Lifted, Sad In All Directions, Outside My Door


(Also on Box.)

A singer/songwriter acquaintance of a friend heard the opening harmonies of this song and asked me how I did it. As I had just heard a multitracked recording of one of her own songs, I knew what she was asking me. But I had no answer. It wasn't mindful or planned.

When I played it for a therapist, her only reaction was how sad it sounded.

There's a homebrew music video on YouTube.

Sad In All Directions

(Also on Box.)

I saw the Jacksons' biopic on TV. One of the older brothers, Tito maybe, reaped the whirlwind when he broke a string on father Joe's guitar. I'd also read of Micheal playing at the Reagan White House. Sounds ironical, and is. Sorta.

Outside My Door

(It's also playable on Box.)

The cellos sound poured on like some quivering syrup in which all things swim or drown. But there's no need for a lifeline, you're on dry land.

Wishing Well, Took Root, Wrong Move

Wishing Well (Also on Box.)

Took Root

(Also on Box.)

Wrong Move
(Also on Box.)

Friday, November 23, 2007

cassette recorded

I started a new label for the entries here: cassette recorded.

As that label applies in some way to most of what I've recorded in the 20th century, it seems like saying of people: oxygen breathing.

Very early on, I'd just use two cassette recorders. One would record my playing a new part along the playback on another recorder of parts previously recorded. I'd layer open air back in the early days of Bengal Burlap. Then I tried wiring things together, for a while without the benefit of a mixing board. The newly recorded part went to one stereo channel while the old parts were fed (in mono) to the other.

Anyway, even when multitracking, most of that was on a cassette machine. And until the early 90s anything I recorded on my own was mixed down to cassette. Hit the eject button, there's the master . . .

As I realize the lids of many readers are growing very heavy by now, I may get into more particulars later.

Suffice it to say, true blue professional recording formats were too pricey for me. I may yet post images of some of the stuff I used instead.

Meanwhile, here's a sliver of cassette arcana from way back when.

the once & future Burlap

Just some images to doll up the place . . .

Policy made manifest.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


[Insert here: some meaningful reference to the flashback scene in the movie SLC Punk! where the two main characters are in their mid-teens listening to Rush . . .]

Back when I started making noise/music/whatever of my own, post-punk was the underground genre. And even if 1977 was supposed to be some kind of pop music Year Zero and folks were supposed to be all DIY about everything, an inevitable question in a band interview or point of pride or conversation would be: "what are your influences?"

Of course I was hardly ever in such a situation as to be interviewed or even informally asked such a question. I would just do the uncool thing and wear those influences on my sleeve. Or more likely, on the lapel of one of my thrift store jackets. Cheap, out of sync and out of touch, I'd have some kinda obscure pin (Joy Division) and some obscure but hardly cool at the time pin (Swell Maps).

As I said, I was then (now & always) a hick from the sticks.

What I couldn't buy or inherit perhaps from a cooler friend with more disposable income, I might manufacture. An empty carton of orange juice became an Orange Juice pin. And crude Cray-Pas drawings on otherwise bland t-shirts created commemorations of a Young Marble Giants instrumental or a 12" EP Jah Wobble did with two guys from Can.

Points of fashion aside, influences were really very foggy notions. Was one really saying that one was a fan of a group? Could one claim Sly and the Family Stone as an influence if one played/wrote bluegrass music? More subtly, could anyone claim any band as an influence just in the vain hope of sounding like said musical hero? Can an influence be something one doesn't really like except for one song, one sound, one piece of a song that one can't forget?

All that said, let's dive into the deep end of this murky stagnant pool with a list of groups, artists or genres I'll claim one way or another:

Easy listening

Dan Fogelberg
(Dan & Karlheinz S.)

Joni Mitchell

Television Personalities

Elvis Costello


Mission of Burma

Dif Juz

the Broadman Hymnal (more about it)

John Cage

Glenn Branca

Fred Frith

The Orthotonics

Marianne Faithful

Leonard Cohen


Scritti Politti

Cabaret Voltaire


Gang of Four

Debbie Reynolds

Jean Michel Jarre

George Beverly Shea

Rudy Ray Moore


Joy Division

The Durutti Column

Aztec Camera

The Association

The Fifth Dimension

some old black guy playing blues electric guitar and singing "Kansas City" over and over and over and over again at some festival in a Newport News VA park, Fall 1978





nondescript Top-40 and album rock radio stations

music of every Sci-Fi, Western and 70s cop show or movie I ever saw

Orange Juice

Josef K

Charlie Rich

Charlie Pride

The Velvet Underground

The Banana Splits

Little Richard

Richard Thompson

Richard Pryor

Brother Dave Gardner

Anonymous Anonymous Anonymous

Burt Bacharach
, Hal David & Dionne Warwick

Jonathan Winters

The Mekons

The Partridge Family

The Fall

Young Marble Giants

The Go-Betweens

The Raincoats

Essential Logic

X-Ray Spex

Mark, who turned me on to half of these folks

Those of you who turned me on to the rest

Brian Eno

Talking Heads

The Next of Kin

Half Japanese


Henry Kaiser


Public Image Ltd.

Siouxsie & the Banshees

Pink Floyd


Swell Maps

The Who


Pere Ubu

The Soft Boys


Roxy Music

and who knows how many more . . .

Monday, November 19, 2007

songs & such: A-H

Listed by title from A through H, links to song & instrumental postings on audiokayness:

10 AM

10 Oct 02

15 Years Ago Redux

1,000,000 Words

20 Baht

21 May 2008 Improv

22 May 04

26 Nov 04 Procession

3 Oct 02

3:13 AM

3rd Day of Fog

33rd Floor

9 Oct 03 Bass Drone

A Love For All The Ages

A Sinking Down

Afterdinner Outerlude

Ah Fuzz

All Nite Ramble

Almost Gentle


Another Good Morning

At Night

B Is For Balance

Backyard Flicker

Be Here Soon

Before During and After

Better Go

Better Listen

Better Set Sail

Blesséd (Grace)

Bloom Mesh

Blossom King

Blue Eyed Shamble

Blue Heron

Blue Light


BoDid's Feast

Breathe and Sway

Bright Drive Away

Bring May Flowers (both supershiftah and original versions)

Broken Promises

Broken Starlight

Btawak Toglflik

Busker's Holiday

Buttadjust 2



Can I Be True?

Carry Point


Chester Valley Brood

Child Star

Closed Circuit Treadle

Cold Island Reel

Comet to Raynor

Comfort Waltz

Creepy Death Dude

Cymbal Tap

Darlin' Day

Daylily Fade


Deep and Drifting

Delray Rumination

Died Laughing

Dogwood Fabergé

Downward Rise

Drag Surge & Click

Drake Return

Dream One

Dream Song (Open So High)

Drip Spring

Echo Location

Eee-noid Wonder Pt.1

Eee-noid Wonder Pt.2

Egypt Lane

Encounters With Insects


Falling Upward

False Alarm

Faraday Cage

Fear Itself

Float Away

Flugel Drone

Francis Bacon

Fried Chicken Blues

Furthest Star

Gamelan Cakewalk

Garysville Route

Ghost Town

Gleaners' Last Dance


Goin' Down

Gone (music video)

Grunt Grunt Pig


Harp Sketch

Heading Back From The Colonial Store

Hear Me Call

Herculoid Rumination

Here I Go

Here We Come Undone

Hey Little Darlin'


Homage to The Wild World of Animals

Home Groove Bop

Home Groove Piano

Home Groove Theta

Hornets In The Elevator

Huggy's Lament

songs & such: I-Q

Listed by title from I through Q, links to song & instrumental postings on audiokayness:

I'm Fine

I'm Off

Instrumental for Plug

Instrumental Frenzy

Intravenous Swarm

It Shouldn't Be This Way

I've Got a Doll Now

June Bug In August

Just Bones


Kitchen Improv

Last I Drove To Value City

Last March Out

Last We Heard

Left Behind


Listen (demo version)

Lo Estate

Lonesome Yodel

Long Gone Away

Lounge Star

Low Field

Mary Magazine

Meat's Meat

Middle of May


More Neon

More of Them

Music and Candlelight

Musica Musica

My Sweet Plaything

Never Young

New Rub

No Hold

Not The Place

Nothing Put Together

Oboe Arabesque (aka The Hurling Dervish)

Odd Slim

On The Drift

On The Fall Line



Our Preschool Speakers

Outside My Door

Over To Pons

Parlor Apparition

Penguin Beach

Pink Shambelle #4

Previous October

Provisionally Yours

songs & such: R-Z

Listed by title from R through Z, links to song & instrumental postings on audiokayness:

Rajan Clik

Red Mellow Carry (original version with just the funky old acoustic)

Red Mellow Carry (with an added bass part)



Right Through

Robot Angels

Rocker Wait

Rocky Rajah

Rubber Band Z-Box Blues

Running Scared

Runnymede Turn

Sad In All Directions

Safety First

Say When

Scrape Bottom

Second Plateau

Shambelle #1

Shambelle #3

(Pink) Shambelle #4

Shookup Hollow

Short Fridge

Shorthand Jive


Slap and Keen

Slide Back

Smashed In Doors

(So Far Away) Long Gone Away

Someone In There

Someone's Giving It All Back

Spectral Cakewalk

Spiritus Monday

Spoken Wave Stepdown

Spring Is Gone

St. Barley Day

St. Mary Sun

Still We Love

Sunshine Sentry

Sun Rises

Surfy Meditation

Sweet Days Gone


Tag Sprung

They'll Hardly Say

Thinking Sinking

Till The Very End

Too Far

Took Root

Touch Nothing

Tremble Melt


Turing Chicken

Turning Reed


Urgent Zebra

Veteran's Day

View In White

Waiting With The Lost

Walker Rumination

Wandered Past

Warble Nite


Waver Patient


Wearier and Wary Of


Weeds 'Hind The Rose Room

Wel Don 2

Wheel's Reinvention

When The Devil Can Come Out and Play

When You Go Away

Whiffle Sod



Whisky Drinkas

Whisper Down The Well

Whisper Slowly

Who In The Heck Are You?

Wick (Not Exist)

(Homage to the) Wild World of Animals

Winter Palace

Wishing Well

Wither Thou Goest


Wound Beneath The Ferns

Wrong Move

Years End

You Know It's So (Go Up)

You'll Find Me

Zoobish Call

Friday, November 16, 2007

Urgent Zebra

Urgent Zebra

(UPDATE: Urgent Zebra is out on Six Songs In July, available on Bandcamp.)

It's hard to say when I got a proper guitar.

Before, I had a bass, a kazoo, my brother's saxophone, a scavenged phone bell. And a very warped old acoustic guitar bearing the image of cowboys singing 'round a campfire.

That guitar, dug out of the dark corner of a upstairs closet, would be the slide guitar in Hey Little Darlin' and the Fred Frith-oid prepared & flanged percussion guitar of Encounters With Insects.

So when my friend Mark sold me his Vantage electric, an actual guitar with decent action & intonation, it was a odd thing to play. And having come from the bass and not knowing a lot of chords, intervals were a big part of anything I played.

Thus Urgent Zebra was born.

The name was a reference, both oblique & obscure, to the instrumental tune Zebra Trucks that had originally come out on the Young Marble Giants' Testcard EP. I was and still am a big fan of that group and that record.

What I came up with may or may not resemble that point of reference.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm Fine, You'll Find Me

I'm Fine

The musical idea for this came from playing a wonky baritone uke (found at Savers).

You'll Find Me

In geeky fashion, I may most like this one for the diseased guitar tone (same part tracked twice with the same amp, a Smokey, but very different speakers) & the low-tuned wobbly intonation. Use of a bizarre old Teisco-ish electric tuned to something like open B sus 2 qualifies this as funky clunky.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Whisper Slowly, St. Mary Sun, Years End

Whisper Slowly

St. Mary Sun

Years End

Though I'll have a go at writing something resembling pop songs, I've been happier lately with what has come from a sidelong, steady state groove approach. The straightforward songs haven't clicked as some of these others pieces have. Or so it seems.

Also trying to reconcile the glossy with the clunky and make things that seem intentional while shambling along in pieces.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

When The Devil Can Come Out & Play, More of Them, Who In The Heck Are You

When The Devil Can Come Out and Play

More of Them

Who In The Heck Are You?

Odd Slim, Lounge Star, Wombaloo

Odd Slim

Lounge Star (Hungry Ghost version)


The above are three instrumentals from a period I sometimes regret beginning and other times regret ending.

All three were MIDI sequenced and as such reflect some of my feel while reducing my flubs. That makes them glossy . . .

All of them also have some kind of fun with the sounds they use. That makes them faves of mine . . .

Some snippets from other such are online elsewhere. In the great by & by, I'll post them here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

On The Fall Line, Someone's Giving It All Back, Goin' Down

On The Fall Line

When I was a kid, I was into light reading like The Book of Revelation and Hal Lindsay's pop concordance The Late Great Planet Earth.

It was a matter of time before some song of mine would reflect an end of the world vibe. Though this could have as much to do with Randy Newman's "Burn On".

Someone's Giving It All Back

From water in flames and sundry apocalypse, we turn to the mystery of a world suddenly ours.

Goin' Down

Ah, that ever lovin' debt postmodernity (or life of any stripe) owes the dust beneath the dust beneath. Or, if that's too opaque or somber, I'll quote Futurama: "vaguely folkish alterna-rock."