Not a huge amount of news to report, but I thought I ought to get an update in before year's end. (Hopefully there'll be more than this one.)
Melo's Prog Bazaar hosts an internet radio show called, appropriately enough, Bizarre Bazaar. Show 5 opened with the first two tracks from "Rivers", "Frontiers" and " A Journey None Knew Where". Thanks for the airplay, Anita! You can listen to the show here, and get more news about it at the MPB site.
There's a great site up now focusing on instrumental bands and artists. It's called "Their Voices Are Strings", and if you're a fan of instrumental music, please check it out; if you're an instrumental musician, I'd suggest you see about becoming involved. There are already acts from all over the world represented there, including yours truly and Jugalbandi.
Quite a while back, I discovered a site called BandToBand. They're trying to "map the rock'n'roll genome" by collecting information on every band they can, and charting the connections between members. I discovered the site because somehow, Paper Bag, Jugalbandi and myself were already on it, although with fairly incomplete discographies. I spent a night putting together a huge letter, with appropriate links, covering projects that I, and most musicians of my acquaintance, had been involved in, trying to branch out to others as much as possible. When I didn't hear back from the people that ran the site, I assumed they weren't interested (although since I was already represented there, I couldn't see why). Turns out I was wrong, and little by little a whole bunch of albums and related artists (like Eric Wallack, Bhagiti, Bret Hart, Building, Points Of Friction, George Radai's project Ritual, Freehead, etc.) have turned up there. I think this is the link for me there. I'd suggest checking it out and searching for yourself, if I've worked with you, or if you've done projects with members of Paper Bag. And if none of the above applies, perhaps you'd like to see the branches forming!
Speaking of PB's bassist/tech yoda, there's a great review of Paper Bag's "Airwave Rituals" at Aural Innovations.
No progress made yet on completion of packaging for the Dog Neutral discs, but I did listen to my copies last night and I'm really pleased. Fans of Jugalbandi and the instrumental side of Cold Sky should enjoy DN, which I consider to be the missing link between the two.
I have been transferring my multi-track masters to digital, from the old Tascam 4-track. This serves the dual purpose of 1) preserving the music in a more permanent form, since some of the tapes go back to '85 and won't last forever; and 2) paving the way for remixing/remastering and in some cases, remaking a lot of the back catalog. Because entire tapes are being done, I am also discovering long-forgotten work. There are a lot of great alternate versions of songs (different takes/performances, early or unused arrangements, different instrumentation, in some cases even different keys). There's unreleased songs and pieces. One of my favorites among the rediscoveries is an off-the-cuff drum solo from during the Darkland Express sessions. I think it's waaay better than the one on the studio version of "King Of Illusion" from "A Man Who Was Here". I have already transferred everything up to the 2003 sessions- the last things to be recorded on the 4-track- and should be starting in on those tonight.
Well, in keeping with the trends (AKA the rising cost of everything), I have finally, grudgingly, raised my prices. All single Pale series CDs are now $10 (except for "A Real Human Being" and "Water From The Moon", which are now $8). The doubles ("Darkland Express" and "Night Circus") are $14. Shipping has gone up from $2 domestic to $3; $5 international to $7. The shipping costs, especially, are way overdue- I'll still probably be undercharging for about half the globe.
The meaning of the Pale series has changed; it has become my set way of doing things, and for the time being I don't see that changing. So I've pulled the Pale Series page, and will be weeding out incongruous stuff from the text as I can.
Not much to report, but at least it's all good. Drug Music played "Please Say You'll Stay" version 1 from Cold Sky In Process back on 6/23. And Hyam and I are working on the release of two volumes of Dog Neutral recordings. Hyam's already cleaned them up; now it's a matter of getting the covers ready, notes written, etc. For more info on Dog Neutral, click here.
Wow. January to June- without actually going back and checking, I think this is the record for longest time between updates. I've been busy with munchkin duty and thoroughly enjoying myself.
Meanwhile, despite appearances there really have been some things happening on the music front:
In the sleepy little hamlet of Cliche's Green, an ancient evil has arisen.....yes, it's the long-awaited release of Paper Bag's "Airwave Rituals", announced here publicly for the first time, but already in the possession of a handful of reviewers, DJs, long-time fans, and other luckless mortals. Soon they will have to fight not only for their lives- but for their very souls!!! Or at least for some cheap gasoline. For the moment, Phantom Airship is the exclusive distributor of this new PB disc, so if you wanna buy it, check it out, maybe on the products page even, and place your order. Supplies are limited, so act now! (Note: product does not slice, dice, or make julienne fries. It does, however, contain a selection of some of the best pieces from the first seven radio sets Paper Bag recorded in 1986. This music is available nowhere else! All tracks previously unreleased! )
(And yes, the update of the Paper Bag site is horribly, horribly overdue. Completely my fault. I will try to get to it ASAP!)
Of course there's been some airplay:
Drug Music's 1/18 show included the version of Darkland Express from "Jugalbandi Classic".
Paper Bag's "Marshall Law", from the aforementioned Airwave Rituals, was played on the 4/26 edition of "Under The Floorboards" with Little Fyodor.
"Brain Dead", also from AR, was played on Don Campau's 4/27 installment of "No Pigeonholes", and Drug Music's 5/5 show.
Don C was at it again with a 5/25 play of AR's "Hymn Of The Borderline Activist".
There's a review of "Jugalbandi Classic" in the May issue of "Aural Innovations".
In very sad news, everybody lost something important when Richie Hass, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and generally wonderful guy, passed away from cancer on 3/20. Aside from losing a good, long time friend (known him well over 20 years), what really sucks about this is that Richie was the type of guy who, if he'd have been alive at age 90, would still have been finding ways to produce good music and bringing great experiences and funny insights to the world, and especially to the people around him. As often happens in cases like this, I find myself thinking of the many people who should have gone first. Regardless, there was a very well attended tribute show to him in L.A., which brother M. attended and took part in. Also, the final Freehead gigs (original lineup: M., Richie, Jim Smith) were played with George Radai filling in for Richie on bass & vox. If you'd like to see more info on all of this, may I suggest these links: http://friendsofrichie.blogspot.com/ , and http://laist.com/2008/03/21/the_music_commu.php .
You may have noticed that there's a new picture on the front page of the site. It's been on my mind for some time to put up a new one every month, and what better way to inaugurate the practice than with a pic of the munchkin? Big thanks to Anti-Cat and Punkle David for Lulu's ultra-bitchen shirt.
News from '07 has been moved to its own page. If things keep up as they have been, '08 will be the shortest news page yet. Hopefully I'll have more to mention and more to offer.
Here's good news for a friend and member of the Phantom Airship family, Eric Wallack. He's got a bunch of his solo CDs posted for download at Lastfm.com. He also managed to complete his massive 365 project- a song a day for a year. (Part one is here; part two is here.) Check it all out!
Last, I've been meaning to put an Ivan Albright link or three into the "Some Random Thoughts On Music" essay. I finally remembered to look for some, found them, and now I done placed 'em. I'd love to do a lot of writing for the site this year, let's see if that happens. (The ideas are there, the time....?)
Announcing the arrival of the last creative project of 2007, "Lulu Segal". She touched down on the 26th of December amidst much commotion and bodily fluids. Dad had on his catcher's mitt and together with Doc Amy we put her on Mom's chest. This marks the second creative collaboration of Greg and Chrissy (following 2003's "intext"). This is a developing story and we will bring you more details in the months and years to come.
In news beyond the Northwest, the latest issue of Aural Innovations features awesome Jerry Kranitz reviews of five Phantom Airship releases. On one page, there's David McIntire and Greg Segal's "Wonder, Doubt And Curiosity", the compilation "Phase Two", and the remaster of "An Awareness Of Frameworks"; on another, reviews of the two recent Cold Sky trio releases. Please check out the rest of the issue while you're there. Without AI and Jerry the K, there would be a huge hole in the universe of independent, truly alternative music.