avant-garde Archive

Album Review: Three-Layer Cake – Stove Top

Bassist Mike Watt is one busy guy. He lends his talents and skills ot myriad creative collaborative projects, and here’s another one. Three-Layer Cake is a trio featuring Watt plus guitarist/banjoist Brandon Seabrook and drummer/keyboardist Mike Pride. Is this avant garde? Americana? Electronica of a sort? Jazz? I honestly can’t tell you; Seabrook’s banjo doesn’t

Album Review: D-Town Brass — Demiurge

Much of what passes for avant garde music tends toward a kind of seriousness, a dour approach that screams, “this is art!” and all but insists that the listeners revel in its importance. Accessibility rarely figures into the mix, and that’s the point, kind of. But there are exceptions. The work of Sun Ra certainly

Hundred-word Reviews: February 2021, Part 2

These five fall loosely – okay, sometimes very loosely – into the progressive and jazz categories. The Mastelottos – Too Much Happiness Though Robert Fripp’s recent video series with pulchritudinous wife Toyah Willcox have shown that he, too has a sense of humor and a light touch, it’s King Crimson’s Pat Mastelotto who perhaps reigns

Bonus Interview: Kevin Godley on ‘Consequences’ and the Gizmotron

I recently spoke with Kevin Godley (10cc, Godley & Creme) about his new solo album – his first, in fact – titled Muscle Memory. But during our chat I also managed to bring up the subject of Consequences, the bizarre boxed set 3LP album that marked the debut of Godley & Creme in 1977. That

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two … You’ve said – only half joking, I’d guess — that the main goal of the San Francisco Radical Lab was attracting women. Well, it wasn’t much more than that. And I came up with the name “San Francisco Radical Laboratories.” At the time, one of the things that I was

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … The Moog Model III didn’t come with a manual. How much was it hit-or-miss to develop the sounds that you wanted? Well, I pretty much grasped immediately what a high/low pass filter was. Because, in my lecture demonstration, with the microphone and my mouth, I would do exactly the same

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part One)

In the late 1960s, Doug McKechnie and his roommate launched the San Francisco Radical Lab, an experimental endeavor launched (in part, as you’ll read) to explore the capabilities of the then new and novel Moog Model III modular synthesizer. The Lab had one of the earliest of that instrument, with the serial number 004. Now

Doug McKechnie’s ‘San Francisco Moog: 1968-1972’

In the late ’60s, the Moog modular synthesizer was still very much an experimental tool. While there had been some ambitious attempts to use the Moog as the centerpiece of recordings — Mort Garson’s 1967 LP The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds was likely the first album to feature the synthesizer prominently — “serious” use of the

30 Days Out, June 2020 #1: TAUK, Ben Folds, Vancouver Electronic Ensemble, John Prine Tribute

In recent weeks I’ve conducted interviews with a number of professions whose businesses involve servicing the music community in various ways. A consensus seems to be forming – and this isn’t likely to come as any surprise to you, I suspect – that widespread live concerts aren’t likely to return until 2021. Festivals and small

Hundred Word Reviews for February 2020

Time for some more quick reviews. All good stuff, all worthy of deeper coverage. And all worth your time if you’re in the mood for some new sounds. Previte / Saft / Cline – Music from the Early 21st Century Bobby Previte is a drummer whose work falls into the avant garde/no wave box. Nels