Friday, November 30, 2007

delusion of the beta

At the last minute, I was asked to preview Harry Partch's late piece of "total theatre" Delusion of the Fury. A good friend bought me the LP box set oh so many years ago for Xmas, and it's far and away my favorite Partch piece and an ideal gateway to the man's singular musical vision, outpacing even head-swimming pieces like Eleven Intrusions, Li Po Songs, and "The Dreamer That Remains."

The preview itself mentions something about words serving as mere "proxy" to the music itself, and it could double for my own personal feelings about it, but what could is a preview of that sort? Despite over a decade of familiarity with the music, I could scarcely encapsulate Partch and his music. There's a holistic-ness to his work that defies recordings, pictures, or any sort of documentation. That said, being able to "play" his instruments here is great fun. And I know that when I check out the second-ever production of Delusion of the Fury next week at the Japan Society, I will feel as if I've never heard the man before.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

beta on the newsstand

Like Travistan, Liz Phair, Zaireeka, and NYC Ghosts and Flowers, it's Web 0.0 at Vibe and Paste for me. This month, the former has my review of DJ Rekha's Basement Bhangra mixtape, while the latter has these DVD reviews (posting both October and November here), as well as my first foray to "Unglued," the jokey last page of the mag. Note: These are the unedited drafts I filed, so they may read slightly different than the newsstand.

Days of Heaven
Gorgeous American classic from reclusive director Malick gets Criterion treatment
It’s a shame that with only four titles in his thirty-plus year career, Terrence Malick didn’t use some of that time to make nature documentaries, though it could be argued that American classics like 1973’s Badlands and 1978’s Days of Heaven double as such. In all of his films, humanity is shown as diminished figures moving amid boundless landscapes, the elements, and the immense mechanisms of industry. Lingering shots of bird flocks and animal packs juxtapose with scenes of shadowy men dancing around bonfires or else battling the frenzy of a wildfire. Even the story’s love triangle between Gere, Adams, and Shepard shares celluloid with close-ups of gamecocks and locusts. Cinematographer Néstor Almendros won an Academy for his work here and contributes an essay in this restored edition, expertly capturing in the light of the "magic hour" that mythic flat of Texas (actually Alberta, Canada) and all the creatures that traverse the beatific but unforgiving landscape.

Ace in the Hole
**** 1/2
Acerbic Wilder pic anticipates the feeding frenzy of the media circus
Apropos that as director Billy Wilder’s 1951 scathing media critique (and commercial flop) Ace in the Hole gets its long-neglected release on DVD, so too does that circus stir again for Paris Hilton. Or is that Tom Cruise? Or perhaps that fellow trapped down a mine? Either way, Kirk Douglas’s chiseled (and washed up) newshound Chuck Tatum sniffs out such a personal tragedy, one sure to swell into a Pulitzer. That is, if his subject doesn’t get rescued too quick. While his previous Sunset Boulevard revealed the shadowy pall behind Hollywood glitz, Wilder predicts (and indicts) the stranglehold of the spectacle on public consciousness. What with the crisp camera work of Lang –sharply capturing both the accumulating media madness and the barren desert surrounding-- and Wilder’s straight razor-like slashes of dialogue, no one is absolved. The aggrieved widow awaits her payout, the sheriff angles for re-election, while the audience…well, we too become complicit as witnesses.

Day Watch

*** 1/2
Second entry in this eye-popping but head-scratching Russian trilogy
Even if you’ve caught 2005’s Night Watch, the first entry in this box office-breaking Russian trilogy, Day Watch will confound your senses all over again. It’s kin to its Hollywood counterparts, denoting an eternal struggle between good and evil. Like Lord of the Rings, it’s an ancient battle, like The Matrix, the movie hinges on the thin line between illusion and reality, and like Star Wars, the precious balance hinges on a powerful youth who has turned towards darkness. Shape-shifters, witches, and vampires abound in a struggle now tempered with magic and bureaucratic red tape. Sergei Trofimov’s camera is actively present with vertiginous zooms and CGI scenes that beggar belief. Yet there is still so much left unanswered after two hours: a purgatorial realm called The Gloom, a yo-yo that destroys the world, the Chalk of Fate. Day Watch inhabits that unenviable expository middle chapter, stuck between that initial charge and the looming final battle of mankind.

Deep Roots Music 1: Revival/ Ranking Sounds
MVD Visual
Roots of Jamaican music are dug up in this fascinating document
When it comes to films of Jamaican music, there’s a holy trinity: 1972’s The Harder They Come, 1978’s Rockers, and 1982’s Countryman. While these three tucked the island’s indigenous music into rather cursory stories, this early 80s documentary shot by filmmaker Howard Johnson (in the wake of Bob Marley’s untimely passing) presents an eye-opening account of how this tiny island’s music became a worldwide phenomenon. Much like American blues, Jamaican music was rooted in slavery, and the film details how tribal (and social) dances evolved into calypso and ska, noting how this music took ideas from American soul and jazz in the process. Johnson also investigates how political change spurned musical evolution. It’s the scenes of street musicians and Rastafarian drumming intertwined with footage of Count Ossie, a teenaged Jimmy Cliff, and a Jack Ruby soundclash that exposes these deep roots though.

Wild Style (25th Anniversary Edition)

These are the breaks
PS 1’s recent “Lee” Quiñones’s exhibit was a tribute to how he boosted old funk records, an act that verged on the Promethean, stealing holy fire (in this case, drum breaks) to fuel 70s block parties. But Quiñones remains best known for his turn as graffiti artist Zoro in the epochal early hip-hop document, Wild Style, which spread hip-hop around the world and is now celebrating its 25th anniversary in his two-disc edition. Set amongst the burnt out buildings and rubble piles of the Bronx, beauty and art pushed through the squalor, in the form of b-boy acts like DJing, tagging trains, and trading battle rhymes. The stilted love story between Zoro and Pink is but a blank wall on which to record early masters like Busy Bee, Cold Crush Brothers, and Grandmaster Flash, as well as hint at how hip-hop (unlike most folk art) has always been about the Benjamins.

The iPhone Shuffle

It was with baited breath that Mac obsessives such as myself anticipated last month’s press conference with Steve Jobs as he announced a slew of new Apple products. And while it was a relief to know that I could finally make Al Green’s “Call Me” my new ringtone (for yet another 99 cents), I can’t help but admit that I was a bit crestfallen that I couldn’t make my New Text Message announcement be Ringo shouting “I got blisters on my fingers!”

Okay, so the Beatles still aren’t on iTunes, and while I really don’t care to have Starbucks icon suddenly appear inside my pocket every two blocks (unless they can figure out the wi-fi technology and have my phone spray a Frappucino into my mouth) there were plenty of exciting new microprocessing tchotchkes coming down the pike, like the cheaper iPhones. Not that I would pay $599 --much less $399-- for such a device. I needed something much cheaper than that. And while sites like Gizmodo and the like didn’t include it in their round-up of the new iPod Touch and iPod Nano, the greatest device that Apple had to offer was the “economy” version of their iPhone, the iPhone Shuffle.

Priced to move at only $99, I ordered mine right away, and I have to admit, this little device has changed my life. For one, it has reduced pocket bulk like you wouldn’t believe. Whereas my previous cell phone was one of those lumpy “candy bar” types, the new iPhone Shuffle --much like the previous model-- is about the size of a stick of chewing gum. Granted, so far it’s been sort of difficult to both hear and talk into it at the same time, but I’m getting used to it.

What I haven’t been able to adjust to is the fact that not only are all of my mp3s shuffled (so that I never know just if it’s Sly & the Family Stone or Sunn O))) or Britney Spears coming up next in my earbuds), but I have no idea who is calling me, much less who I’m calling. And let me tell you, that first billing cycle was a doozy.

Looking it over, here were some of the incoming/ outgoing calls made over that first week:

Monday - Stepfather 7:16 pm
Well, I had meant to call my mother to tell her about my new cell phone, but I guess this is close enough. We awkwardly talk about the weather and whether or not the Dallas Cowboys have a shot to win it all this year.

Tuesday - Grandma Beta 6:04 am
It’s a little bit too early in the morning to talk to my grandmother down on the farm, but her dementia dovetails with my hangover nicely. She asks every five minutes if I’m coming to visit her (even though I was there last month) and I mumble incoherently each and every time.

Grandma Beta 6:19 am
Since that previous phone call has already been forgotten, my grandmother now asks me every two minutes when I’m coming down to see her. I try in vain to remind her that I was there last month, then decide to swing the conversation towards talk about the Cowboys.

Nicole 8:53 pm

Thought it was this girl I met the other night at the Bowery Ballroom after we swapped cell numbers and spit, but in fact it’s my ex-girlfriend. Oh man, really not in the mood to talk about her needs and my inability to communicate right now. Pretend I have an incoming call and hang up on her.

Wednesday - Leah 6:37 pm
I had intended to call my ex-girlfriend about going to see King of Kong at the IFC, but instead a call gets routed to my “overly dramatic” friend, who spends the next three hours re-enacting every phone call she and her boyfriend have been making in the midst of their extended six-month break up. Can’t get in a word edge-wise about my own relationship problems. So much for making that movie with Nicole. Apple engineers to figure out how to have music playing in the other earbud during such conversations.

Stepfather 10:57 pm
Meant to call and apologize to Nicole, but I dialed this number again. This time around, my stepfather didn’t sound too thrilled about the Cowboys.

Thursday - Telemarketer 9:39pm
Asks me if I want to refinance my home, which is a 100 sq. ft. railway apartment in Brooklyn. Realize that the iPhone Shuffle is so affordable because they sell the phone numbers to call banks.

Telemarketer 9:43 pm
Asks me about auto insurance. Mention the whole “I live in Brooklyn” thing again.

Telemarketer 9:44 pm
Asks if I want to buy Microsoft Windows Vista for best price on the web. Mention the whole “I live in Brooklyn (which means I own a Mac)” thing once again.

Telemarketer 9:46pm

Asks me if I want to enhance my what? Then quickly blurts out: “I law mist slip butter rule meat open ray minute pytqueb lord be soup under committee horse needle Brooklyn.”

Friday - Paste Offices 12:22pm

My editor calls, sweating the deadline I missed last week. Man, I wish I could screen these sorts of calls. I promise that I’ll turn in that think piece about how Chris Martin is the new Bob Dylan.

Nicole 2:29am
Wow, what a coincidence. My iPhone Shuffle drunk-dialed my ex-girlfriend. Technology sure is funny.

Friday, November 16, 2007

robert wyatt

This summer, I had the extreme honor of talking to Robert Wyatt. While I have never been more cowed by an interview subject, Wyatt proved to be one of the breeziest interview subjects ever, effortlessly talking about everything from bebop to his recent enrollment in AA. While I still hold out hope that this entire interview might appear in print somewhere, I'm posting it here, as two previous pieces on Wyatt (for Paste Magazine and the Village Voice) were so brief so as to barely touch on the myriad of topics that came up over the course of our half-hour chat.

AB: What were you listening to just then?

RW: Oh, it’s this cdr of bebop. Someone at the shop, a record of 40s bebop, Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker. Charlie Christian with Benny Goodman I hadn’t heard. It’s one of the greatest losses. There was something special there, one of the great originals. He should’ve been famous, that poor lad. He changed everything suddenly. I think he’s more influential than any of them. More people play like Charlie Christian than like anyone else.

AB: Playing electric and whatnot.

RW: Yeah, that fluid flowing legato thing, most beboppers weren’t doing that yet.

AB: You’ve been a jazz fan for awhile. Do you draw more from it as you go along, get older?

RW: It’s a funny thing. It means all kinds of things to me as I get older. The actual music I listen is exactly the same really. When I was a teenager, more or less. If anything, I like more of it than I did then. I like the journeyman beboppers. Paul Haines said once, “I’m not an innovator, I’m just a participator.” I used to be really snooty about that when I was young. I wanted innovators. Now I’m quite happy by participators as well. It’s a different thing, it’s nostalgic, you know. Back then it was like, “God, what’s going to happen next?”
It’s funny in a way, I’m a complete retard. Arrested development at eighteen, only the body grew older.

AB: With each album, there’s more of a pronounced jazz feel to it.

RW: It’s partially because the musicians I liked working with on the whole. I was talking with Carla Bley about this. All kinds of people can play music, but on the whole, in the old days, classical musicians couldn’t really swing, and rock musicians couldn’t understand chords, so you were only left with jazz musicians. I got a sort of little gang now I really like working with, they’re so fast and they’re so good. I do keep my edge, I do know a few rock guitarists, who grace us with their presence on a few tracks.

AB: I wanted to ask about your frequent collaborators, conspirators: Eno, Paul Weller, Annie Whitehead. What is the key to having such longevity with these people?

RW: Well, I don’t know. Partially because the pressure of a group isn’t on me. Take a group like that Big Brother television programme where people are just locked together and eventually the differences emerge to a point where the center cannot hold. Whereas with a specific project like a record, you have people on it who wouldn’t normally go on the road with you necessarily or even play together. You can have an imaginary band. It’s just a few days in the studio and they don’t mind doing it. it’s more like I’m really slow and it takes me ages to work out what to do. I’ve spent the whole 60s as a kind of apprentice, thinking “What the fuck?” I’m incredibly slow tune writer. I grow like some tree, or like a glacier, a foot a year or something. I leave it lying around, (wonder) “What would be a good chord to have next?” And then I listen to a Gil Evans record and I think, “Oh, I know!”

AB: Steal one of his chords.

RW: So that’s how it goes. Alfie helps out a bit.

AB: It seems you’re working a bit quicker these days.

RW: Yeah, actually you’re right! I really got straight back into the saddle for this. It’s partly knowing these particular musicians, very encouraging. First of all Phil Manzanerra and his studio. Annie Whitehead is just an angel, she just gives a bit of warmth and critical chords. I haven’t got to invent who does it so much anymore. I just got to invent the actual music. I don’t write it all, I get tunes from other people, put them together.

AB: Speaking of inventing these things, I see credits for Enotron, Karenotron, Monicatron…

RW: I got the idea from mellotrons. I used mellotrons quite a lot in the 60s. I did a lot of keyboard stuff. I never had one. When I found one in the studio, I used it. the first Matching Mole record I plastered it with it with mellotron. I heard that Jack Bruce (don’t know if it’s true), made one with his own voice. and I thought, what a brilliant idea, a choir. The last record, with Karen, I got her to do a scale, singing every note and then stuck it onto the keyboard. I got a Karen keyboard. I tried it on myself and it wasn’t so good. It doesn’t work for everybody. Brian Eno did one for us and Monica Vasconcelos did one. I got those three at the moment.

AB: It seems on Comicopera you drew a lot from other people.

RW: I always thought the thing is to make the best record you possibly can. If you can come up with tunes that you yourself would like to listen to, that’s good, then use them. But the most important thing to me is that it’s tunes that I really like. I used to do standards like Round About Midnight. Sometimes I find musicians write songs and I think why don’t musicians do other musician’s songs. That’s why I did some Karen ones on the last record. I really like Mrs. Garbarek. I once had this idea of getting “The Daughters of the Revolution,” having Mike Mantler’s daughter, Jan Garbarek’s daughter, and Paul Haines’s daughter, Emily Haines. I really like all three of them. I never did that.

AB: You can always switch to A&R.

RW: My favorite bit of the record is putting it together and getting people to do things they otherwise may not do. And I accompany them.

AB: You make connections that otherwise wouldn’t get made.

RW: It sounds like very paternalist you know. I really like that connection. It’s not to do with daughters, I’ve known Carla Bley and Mike Mantler thirty years. It’s a great thrill for me to know their daughter. I'm working with Karen, who was the same age as when I worked with Carla. I always liked Jan Garbarek. I was a bit drunk at some concert he had done in London and said something about covering one of (Anja’s) tunes and he said, “Do it, do it.”

AB: I liked one of her records that Mark Hollis worked on.

RW: That’s how I met her. I loved doing that. In fact, I couldn’t do it any more as I’m on the wagon. I joined AA. I just got sooo drunk. He made me do a hundred takes. He used some of the last ones, the four o’clock in the morning ones. It was a really funny song. I liked it. I thought the whole record was really good.

AB: I think Mark Hollis works slower than you do. Let’s talk about Comicopera. Why that dramatic three-act structure?

RW: First just the aesthetic thing. I find the blank canvas of a CD with the potential to be 80 minutes daunting. You have the choice of making a record of listenable length or using the space up. It’s quite rare to have a CD by a musician that can keep your interest going for that long. Even Mozart operas are about 35 minutes long. There’s got to be a variety. The last record I broke it up into two halves. This one I’m doing three. I really like the old LP of 20 minutes sides, like Rock Bottom and all that.

AB: Rock Bottom has this symmetry for sure.

RW: It helps me when I have a blank canvas, to think like that. Twenty minutes is a good listening length. Really this is three twenty minute things. It was gonna be put out on vinyl and do what Rahsaan Roland Kirk, one blank side. The dramatic structure as well was simply because there were different songs on there. They’re not all singer-songwriter me-me-me things in the sense that there are quite different characters on it. There’s someone who’s idea of happiness is going on a successful bombing run. There’s a nihilist who feels alone cuz he doesn’t have religion. There’s a woman telling a man off. There’s hatred, there’s Italian quasi-mystical. There’s Lorca, his surrealist imagery, and of course there’s the Che Guevara revolutionary type. There’s all bits of me, but not really one person. They’re different characters. When you got different characters in a sort of sequence and there’s music and singing, it’s kinda like an opera. But it’s not a serious opera.

AB: It’s a retroactive move.

RW: Yeah, in the first section I didn’t write any of the words, by Anja and Alfie. They’re all about fractured relationships or bereavement, people not getting along or being panicked, losing touch with somebody you thought you were close to. That’s Lost in Noise. The second lot is more where I come in, popping about England and being bemused by little country towns and boring council meetings. The whole thing is relieved by the carnival and hearing steel pans and music. That’s me sort of musing about England. It ended with the bomber. There’s lots of romantic pictures of accurately painted airplanes flying over beautiful landscapes. It’s quite funny, where it’s flying over is beautiful, but if you look back behind…
After that, it’s that kind of thing, I wish to distance myself from that with the slogan, “Not in my name.” songs didn’t seem to be in English. That’s the end, I’m done here. The rest is all…Something Susan Sontag said quite late on, the question is not just compassion, but to really empathize with the Other. Of course, speaking a foreign language helps you do it. I got Italian songs, some Spanish stuff.

AB: What kind of difficulties do you have singing in those languages?

RW: Italian, a lot. I sang phonetically. The Spanish is …I have sung half a dozen songs in Spanish. There’s so many different accents. I’m sure I got my Cuban, my Chilean all mottled up. With Italian and Japanese names, I can never remember them. It all goes in a blur for me.

AB: Do you still feel alienated from Anglo-American culture?

RW: On the contrary, I think what exasperates me is United States culture is that it could potentially be the most extraordinarily wonderful civilization. All it would have to do is…it’s funny, people call me Anti-America, which is completely mad. I was brought up on…I couldn’t imagine my life without American culture, Duke Ellington to Basquiat and everything in between, Norman Mailer. That’s where the strength of the United States lies. It’s such an overwhelming contribution to human culture, that reconfiguration of people from different worlds, from Africa, Russia, English and so. It’s not necessarily to just go around bombing and killing. These wars are so silly. The trouble is we fought a serious one, or our parents did. And that was justified. But we’re killing all these poor soldiers, sending them out to every place in the world, kill every brown person that they see.

AB: America is so isolated.

RW: It is an enormous country. Spiritually, you don’t feel the rightwing mainstream American culture is internationalist at all. All of that provincial, puritanical streak going through that.

AB: There’s no attempt to identify with the "Other."

RW: Half the population knows that. Once the Roman Empire collapsed, they were just wonderful. They were assholes, but they were great. When they gave up colonialism, there was this wonderful culture. not that American leaders have more confidence in the staggering beauty of what they already got, let that conquer the world.

AB: There’s not enough money in that.

RW: You have people all over the world listening to American records. It’s only like a caricature, not in this superior sense, just this exasperation, really. Brian Eno just came back from SF, he said it was wonderful there. Americans are really thinking and talking about what the fuck they’re doing in relationship to the rest of the world. He doesn’t find it England. It’s still pushed under the carpet, let’s talk about something else. You know what I mean? He’d much prefer…

AB: It’s better to be out in the open.

RW: It’s real animation. Questioning going on there. He really enjoyed very much, felt very stimulated by it. the problem is not the people.

AB: When’s the last time you came over?

RW: 1968. no, we went back in 1971. We did a little jazz tour, shared a bill with Miles Davis. That was something. That was the last time. very good memories of New York, the first all day-all night city I’d be to. I’d never seen gays in full leather gear. It was all so new to me. The only thing that puzzled me was the white people I met weren’t interested in black music as English kids were. A paradox. The American thing was more folk-based. In England, the entire English rock scene is based on black American music. From traditional jazz right up to American GIs bringing over jazz and soul music. It was the main event in England. Every single rock musician I know until the 70s was absolutely rooted in black music. BB King records, Mingus, Jimmy Smith, that was the absolute bedrock. I was surprised that it wasn’t the case in America. I went through a golden era, Ellington and Coltrane, they’ll last centuries. I'm sure so. The United States will be a great golden globe, I’m waiting for it to happen.

AB: Let’s hope we both get to see it. Back to Comicopera, there’s a song about the lovers misunderstanding each other. I was wondering what you saw as the connection as the lovers as well as the bombardier and the bombed.

RW: You got it. this is what I thought the LP did, the trajectory of personal conflicts onto the world stage, that’s exactly right. It starts off with Alfie. She wrote this to get me to stop drinking, as I was drinking behind her back. That’s why I couldn’t sing the first verse. In the end, I used the line “I’m never gonna change a thing, love you just as you are,” a plea. I’m just gonna try and love you.

AB: When did you start AA?

RW: Nearly three months. It’s amazing for me. I’ve had a few lapses. It’s a complete revolution in my lifestyle, since my mid-20s. it’s hard. The next hard one is cigarettes. I can’t do it all at once. I don’t know why people bother with illegal drugs, you can get out of your brain and kill yourself on quite legal ones. (laughs)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

little red beta



Tuesday, November 06, 2007

la betée

I wrote about film artist (for lack of a more umbrella term) Chris Marker for The Fanzine, joining the esteemed company of my friends Mike and Nick.

And yet, there's so much to excise about Chris Marker.

Like how screening Sans Soleil for a few friends leads them --within the first ten minutes-- to emulate the napping commuters in Japan, everyone fast asleep. It's perhaps the best reaction to hope for though, in much the same way that when learning to meditate, to relax both mind and body, the natural inclination is to slip into slumber. The profundity of the thoughts pouring in all at once, the true nature of reality revealed is overwhelming and shutdown is what most circuit-breakers do anyway.

Or that Marker's true progeny are not film school wannabes (which is where La Jetée remained for so many years, commercially unavailable) at all. Marker documented repressed cultures, be they Korea, Cuba, Chile, even Israel for much of the sixties and seventies, and taught workers and those who didn't have access to mainstream media to use film as a means to an end. His true disciples are in fact "terrorists" who use the Internet and video clips to disseminate their message, to make their minority voices be heard.

Or that his favorite animals are the owl and the pussycat. In some ways it makes sense, in an Athenian and Egyptian sort of way, but when I re-watched John Cassavetes's The Killing of a Chinese Bookie last week, something new struck me. It's a scene where one of the nightclub's dancers stands on stage in a see-through negligee, reciting a few lines about "The Owl and the Pussycat." Her nipples protrude through, wide as owl eyes, her bush similarly dark, and then it all makes sense to me. The Owl, the Pussycat, the female face taken out of the continuum of time and elevated to something eternal, goddess-like. The image of a woman's visage is crucial for Marker. In writing about the close-ups of Dreyer's La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, he perceived that in "the grain of the skin, the tear, the drool, the hair, the glint of the eye" lay the metaphysical struggle of the soul to attain grace through suffering. That's what my dirty mind realized anyway.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

beta blown

In the midst of intense interview sessions with Black Dice for an upcoming feature article, meaning long talks with both the band as well as folks enamored with them, including Doug Aitken and Richard Phillips. Talking with Aaron Warren one night, he played me their new video, which nearly made me squirt Hollandia out of my nose, it was so hilarious, fucked up, and profound. If their similarly fucked artbook Gore didn't cement the trend, they have evolved into junk culture scavengers of the highest order, rendering the subconsciously saturated and over-familiar (daytime TV, cartoons, and Time-Life infomercials) into something disorienting and new. I cannot recommend Load Blown enough.

Additionally, I talked to 60s-era Blue Note drummer Joe Chambers for a forthcoming interview in Stop Smiling Magazine. Joe drummed and composed for players like Bobby Hutcherson, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Andrew Hill, and Max Roach. He discussed playing with Eric Dolphy around the time he recorded Out to Lunch, how Last Year at Marienbad blew his mind, how community changes in black neighborhoods destroyed jazz music, and dismissed his singular compositions of that era as pretentious.

If that's not enough tape to transcribe, I also just conducted an interview with Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance, whose albums almost always underwhelm me musically, but whose forthcoming Shelter From the Ash is quite solid. We talked about such uplifting subjects as Kris Kristofferson, Paul Virilio, Vietnam vets, and dying in Pompeii-esque dreams.