Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Vintage Holidays...

Proving that analog is much more than synths and psychedelic is much more than stoned guitars or TB303s I present a 15 year old recording that pushed the limits even for an underground band. Overdrive Date Master   was an indie rock/experimental psychedelic (that's what rock guys called Noise back then) band. we had a loud and sordid career throughout the 1990s playing the usual circuit of rock clubs in town and a few extra shows as here and there. We started with synths and guitars into a pile of effects along with some older drum machines and tape echos and usually ran everything into a wall of a half dozen or so tube amps we lined up onstage so we wouldn't have to use the pa. As we discovered more odd instruments (Casio saxophone, 8RPM record players, Library of Congress for the Blind pitch shifting tape recorders) we piled more delays and effects on the mix and kept pushing the reverb and vibrato on those Fender amps. 

Eventually we decided to just drop the guitars and any semblance of songs all together and did a show of just   playing and processing esoteric records, found tapes, and toys. We called this our "holiday party" and set up Christmas lights, put a Santa hat on the clapping monkey, and had Tomy robots running into the audience delivering Christmas cards and holiday treats. Perhaps it was because of the spectacle or maybe people just didn't mind the noise as much as we thought they might but the show caught on and eventually as other obligations and bands took hold Overdrive Date Master slept most of the year only to come alive for the one show a year which grew from small clubs to larger venues and eventually out of town festivals. 

Instruments would sometimes creep in but only if they didn't do anything musical. That wasn't too hard when the mandolin met stereo rack mount processors and more amps started showing up.

Vinyl played a big part in the proceedings and everything from "Songs of the Humpback Whale" to "How to Think by Steven Allen" and Chipmunks tunes played on 16 RPM (try it; the voices are "normal" and music is, well. appropriately possessed) had their turn. "Now Playing" placards adorned either side of the stage to announce to the audience what was being deconstructed before their very ears. Instruction records such as how to be an actor or even my favorite a "Do It Yourself Psychoanalytical Kit" fought with distorted and manipulated Holiday tunes while I hit the "Habanera" preset and we set our sites for the heart of the Sun. 

The mess always ended with various bleeps, bloops, echos, and holiday cheer balancing out ringing ears. It might not be what one expects from "Electronic" or ?Experimental" or even "music" but it always got us through another year.

Now for the first time in 15 years you can relieve the mayhem of the show that started it all. Free Download with inserts and additions for all.

"You can clap if you want to."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More "Live" with Dan Deacon...

I have a number of other more geeky and philosophical posts brewing but reaction to the last post on some off-the-beaten-bath live electronic music performers has promoted this quickie which I just HAD to share. Baltimore MD's own Dan Deacon has been a fixture for ages doing circuit bent opuses which build like a concerto in their emotion and intensity. With man handled Casios, 8bits, and wires Deacon is a true artist and he even writes with the same intensity. Here's his patriotic manifesto on America no less.

He's also been consistently dedicated to bringing the pings to the masses live as seen here in this 2012 SXSW concert set. Note TWO live acoustic drummers and vocals feature prominently (who says glitch can't meet human?).  Special note this was posted by NPR who does a LOT more than Big Bird folks.  NPR rocks as much as Deacon. They're both geeky, free wheeling, and magnificent. Bleep and Support on.