October 2015

2015-10-29-cole-eyedrum_col 10-29-2015: Cole Alexander at Eyedrum


10-29-2015-jowe-head-eyedrum 10-29-2015: Jowe Head at Eyedrum 10-29-2015-jowe-head-banana-eyedrum2 10-29-2015: Jowe Head eats a Banana at Eyedrum



2015-10-23-amy-odell-streetcar 10-23-2015: Amy O’Dell plays a Toy Piano on the Streetcar


2015-10-21-BF-Duo 10-21-2015 BF Duo


10-20-2015-art-world 10-20-2015: The Artworld


2015-10-20-bent-frequency-streetcar 10-20-2015 Bent Frequency performs on the Streetcar


2015-10-22-sony-icf-7601 10-22-2015: Sony ICF 7601 radio (a gift drawing)


10-24-06-togo-taxiA friend asked me to make a drawing for a co-worker of hers… subject matter having to do with daily life in Togo.


Bent Frequency performs all this week on the Atlanta Streetcar. Go hitch a ride (it is free) and hear some music!

(Here is a not great drawing from today…)



A Song-a-Day Project

October 17, 2015

I wrote a song a day earlier this month, for nine days. It was a fun project. I recorded them over those nine days, plus five more.

If you wish to download the nine songs, here is a link to uncompressed files, and here is one to mp3s.

Or, listen to them right here:

I wrote a song a day earlier this month, for nine days. It was a fun project.

Song notes:

1 My Tree (October 2) 2’16”
(I added a few things to this one about two months after the initial release: one new line of lyrics, a bass part, and an organ solo contributed by Zac Denton. The new version of just this song: mp3, aif.)

2 Evergreen (October 8) 3’20”
Started with the guitar riff; at the beginning this was imagined in the way that songs by The Cure are based on a highly metered, fairly simple guitar riff. The second section is a bit out-of-place, but ultimately I am glad it is there: it helps to set off the refrain when that appears. I had George Harrison in mind with the latter..

3 Making Moles (October 10) 2’02”
This one failed a bit: I didn’t have any space to write a song, and thus improvised and used my laptop to develop some musical lines. I imagined that a melody would appear, and that I would then write lyrics.

4 The You in I (October 7) 2’49”
Extremely simple song. It began from the awareness that I like to read the newspaper, and whenever I get a newspaper I really do read almost every page, and yet I rarely have any resulting sense of “knowledge” distilled from the experience. That idea generated a Buddhist one about perspective changing when a person is the subject of the news, rather than a reader of it. More accurately, the song is about the fact that every person is an “I,” something often forgotten because one’s own “I” looms so large in the viewing.

5 Sunshine Stands For (October 5) 2’35”
Lacking a drum set meant that the rhythm of the songs was either carried by the melody line, or the basic instruments supporting it. Here, after writing the music to start by get some drums, and used the first thing I could find (under “Rocksteady” in my music collection).

6 Inner Beauty (October 3) 2’58”
Dear friend and collaborator Allison Rentz visited me, and I rapidly wrote this one for her to join with the vocals. The lyrics hew to the “obscurant” style.

7 Cold as Rain (October 4) 2’45”
Very consciously in the style of Neil Young, but also intended to write a more “personal” song (contra obscurantism).

8 Winner Takes All (October 6) 5’07”
Jeffrey Grove and I (we perform as Monomania) are both New York Yankees fans. Since neither of us had had the time to follow the baseball season, I suggested we get together to watch the one game wildcard elimination game between New York and Houston on this evening. Fatalistically (and accurately) perceiving a Yankees loss, we both saw it as a “season in one game.” Since this was also my window for writing a song, I brought some gear. This one isn’t a song at all, but rather a duo improvisation. I did “write” it in terms of suggesting three sections, and then “turning it into a rondo.” A thin reed, as they say. Jeff plays the Casio SK-1 and Korg Electribe (on the right), and I play littleBits and soft-synth (on the left).

9 I Am a Cloud (October 9) 2’45”
Also very, very simple; illustrates the short limits of my vocal ability. 



Some pieces for radios that I made in September for The Radius are being broadcast this month, both via  FM transmitter in Chicago, and through the site’s Soundcloud page.

The Radius is “an experimental radio broadcast platform based in Chicago, IL, USA [that] features a new project monthly with statements by artists who use radio as a primary element in their work.” It was a treat to work with them.

Here is a short promo video for one of the pieces: “Radio Ethnographer.”


Recently Drawn

October 1, 2015

At the High Museum… while waiting to meet my parents there.