Care Of Editions is a German record label with a refreshing take on some stale ideas. They’re purveryors of experimental music, a genre renowned for its DIY ethic, but this is the first label I’ve ever heard of that goes so far as to pay you to download their music. Here’s how that crazy idea works: downloads are limited in edition, and are paid for by the sales of the record they're attached to, meaning that people can only download and get paid if others are also purchasing. The only way to “unlock” paid downloads is for consumers to purchase vinyl copies. What’s better, the more vinyl that is purchased the more a download pays. It begins with a $1 reward and goes up to $45 dollars for the last lucky downloader, provided of course that the last, the 45th vinyl copy, has also sold. C/O will do this six times between 2012 and 2013, effectively devouring itself and breaking even in the process.
As much a work of performance art as it is a distributor of art, founder Gerhard Schultz has even gone so far as literally eliminating the label's website in proportion with record sales and downloads to emphasize the zeroing out of it all. Downloads are paid in real time, too, the label writes you a check as soon as you download, and the label will keep writing checks until all the vinyl is sold. In this way the record label will always zero its own debt out by meeting exact demand with exact supply.
Gerhardt is in Berlin, but was kind enough to allow me to take part in his label experiment from all the way over here in Seattle. He provided me with a download of two of the records—Ezra Buchla’s At The Door, and Scott Cazan’s Swallow— and mailed me a vinyl copy of of the artist known as #/TAU’s First Dew. Though I didn’t get paid to download, or pay for the vinyl, I wanted to go all the way through the process to see how it worked. I’m assuming I would have made at least a couple dollars, then helped to free up one more download by paying for a record. What I found immediately, aside from added confirmation for my love of experimental music, was that participation in the process was like having a philosopher for a record label.
C/O Editions first two releases are not European experimental artists but electroacoustic releases from couple of Los Angelinos. Ezra Buchla is a viola player who loops his own strings and synth sounds into a hurdy-gurdy like drone, and chants over them unintelligibly to spooky effect. Buchla has reportedly taken for inspiration a Jack Spicer poem, and a 16th century lycanthropy trial and conviction (damn werewolves, everywhere). His limited vinyl and download are officially out on the lables websiteApril 12th, but can be preordered (download or vinyl) now.
Scott Cazan is familiar with stringed instruments, but rather than play them in any conventional way, he attaches microphones to them, then drums on them, sometimes he’ll even hold microphone between his own teeth, then tap at tablets and laptops and soundboards as he captures the essence of the wood and flesh of his chosen materials. His record is three tracks of high pitched frequencies: feedback that sounds like steel cable about to snap under tension, wine glasses ringing, flutes holding notes at hypnotically long intervals, only interrupted by the static, beeping, and voice samples with the voyeuristic charm of a pocket call.
An excerpt from "If You Have Ghosts," originally released on Evil One from 1981:
In the night I am real In the night I am real
The moon to the left of me is a part of my thoughts is a part of me is me
Forever is the wind is a part of my thoughts is a part of me is me, in the night I am real.
I don't want my fangs too long I don't want my fangs too long
The moon to the left of me is a part of my thoughts is a part of me is me
Forever is the wind to the left of me is a part of my thoughts is a part of me is me
I don't want my fangs too long
If you have ghosts you have everything.
Roky Erickson by Tara Atkinson
See more of Tara Atkinson's things here. Hear this actual song here. Send a drawing of Roky Erickson to the email address found here and I'll feature it in a similar brilliant lyrics quote by Roky Erickson.
An excerpt from "Bloody Hammer," originally released on Evil One from 1981:
Second, "I am this special one My eyes, green and blue dart safely unbegotten to the left to say, 'no' While the others with their hair turned white, each roll their eyes back to the top of their head and hammer the attic floor with a bloody hammer I never have their bloody hammer I never have their bloody I never have their bloody I never have their bloody hammer."
It's not a sledgehammer It's not a chisel It's not a train but a thought of unlimited horror for (tap your feet)
Doctor O'Chane, Doctor O'Chane the baby ghost from the 1900s says, "beat it with your chain" The baby ghost says, "don't drag your spoon, don't drag your chain away, Doctor O’Chane"
Roky Erickson by James Alan Downing-Groth
Hear this actual song here. Send a drawing of Roky Erickson to the email address found here and I'll feature it in a similar brilliant lyrics quote by Roky Erickson.
An excerpt from "White Faces," originally released on Evil One from 1980:
Friends with the beast because of sharp teeth the devil so red the fiery evil bleib
White faces, white faces always haunt me so beautifully learning temples meditating churches always bring out the white of the devil in me.
The fat, the fat of demonism as ends begin fangs gnashing at the beauty as in reaches in.
Colorful crucifixion riding the serpent dragon fire breathing fire breathing with his serpent tongue a'waggin'
Roky Erickson by Jason Polan
See more of Jason Polan's work here, hear this actual song here. Send a drawing of Roky Erickson to the email address found here and I'll feature it in a similar brilliant lyrics quote by Roky Erickson.
Jimi Hendrix,the former soldier turned guitar genius would have been 70 years old today, which is a good enough reason to watch Little Richard circa 1973 wearing a Hendrix costume waxing imperial on Seattle's greatest musical export.
But Jimi's infliuence transcended music and bled into the other arts as well. For instance, here's comedian Michael Winslow covering Jimi's most famous song. You know who Winslow is even if you don't know his name.
After six days of solid sorting, I've finally got all of the records that I want to keep in hard alphabetical order. By that, I mean bands are separated into individual title release dates, and if they are doubles (usually because of import pressings), their country of origin comes first. In the beginning, I felt aware that being so particular was absolutely insane, but since completion, a great calm has come over me. Today I wanted to listen to the Punch Line by the Minutemen and it took me seconds to find the three copies that I own. One I kept for nostalgia purposes, as it's the copy I bought when I was 14, and the other two are the second pressings with the insert. One is fake signed by the band, like some person just did it in the same handwriting for each member. It's so obviously fake. I listened to the Punch Line six times in a row while doing chores this morning, having to flip the record every seven minutes or so. I spent some of the morning thinking about different pressings of Minutemen records and dug out my copy of their first EP, 1980's Paranoid Time, to check which one I have. I discovered that the big hole, black vinyl version is considered the first pressing, but it was also in print forever. It seems that the initial run was 300 copies that sold out quickly, but apparently nothing changed between that and subsequent re-pressings.
But whoa, enough thinking about spindle holes and pressings, this EP is a crazy white hot perfect slab of seminal political punk made by dudes in their early 20s. How did such youngsters become so informed? Apparently by listening to Blue Öyster Cult and Creedence. Every track is excellent and the whole thing is over in six and a half minutes. From the jerky rhythms of "Validation," to the manic chimes of "The Maze," to the thoughtful faux-intermission of "Definitions," to the brutal and wordless "Sickles and Hammers," to the relative calm of "The Fascist," to the thought provoking and catchy "Joe McCarthy's Ghost," to the fear inducing closer "Paranoid Chant," the whole thing is absolutely beautiful.
by Dave Segal
on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 1:36 PM
Mercurial psych-folk luminaries Six Organs of Admittance are headlining tonight’s show at the Crocodile, but it would be a grave error in judgment to miss Master Musicians of Bukkake. One of three candidates for The Stranger’s Genius Award in music, these local sonic outliers respectfully filter arcane musical elements from various global cultures into mystical, expansive compositions that are alternately ominous and inspirational. Every MMOB live show is different, but they’re all grand spectacles that proceed with a ritualistic grandeur. One kind of feels sorry for whoever follows them onstage.
OH MAN! Last night was fun! Everyone looked so good! I think some of my coworkers even showered. Wait, that's me I'm thinking of. I actually showered. The beer was flowing like wine, and by the end of the ceremony I wanted to hug everyone in the Moore Theatre.
But the best part was the impromptu Michael Jackson dance party. When the Seattle Rock Orchestra busted into "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough," fancily dressed folks couldn't help but jump on the stage to dance! A surprised security guard tried to stop it, but you can't really tackle someone wearing sequins and/or a bow-tie (plus you'd have to be a zombie to resist the urge to dance to "Thriller" HA HA). Thank you Seattle Rock Orchestra. Thank you security lady. And THANK YOU geniuses! I really like having an excuse to buy $15 lipstick and tipsily gawk at beautiful people.
RAISING THE INTELLIGENCE Everybody's got it easy but Lars Finberg.
You've been outside lately, right? How could you not? Your apartment is fucking hot. And yet 10 minutes ago, everyone was all, "Ugh, Juneuary!" "I always forget about Juneuary!" "Juneuary clouds again!" Now everyone's bursting with happiness, like stems of flowers growing bright new heads.
From the sound of it, the clouds have also cleared on The Intelligence. In the band's earliest stuff, there was an "Are you just trying to annoy me?" level of distortion wrapped around everything, a sonic weather storm worthy of Venus. But as time goes on, the fog of white noise is burning off. It's gotten to the point where frontman Lars Finberg's mom likes some of these songs. He told her, "I think there's like two songs on this you could actually listen to!" And then he played her "Techno Tuesday," the fourth track on Everybody's Got It Easy but Me and the first Intelligence song (ever) with a horn on it. Well, the first proper use of a horn—a horn that gives off that clear-skies, happy-to-be-here horn feeling. Technically, there was a horn on the song "Saint Bartolomeu," two albums ago, but it had so many effects on it, you couldn't tell it was a horn; it was just one sound among many in a hilarious and stressful cyclone.
Anyway, when Finberg's mom heard "Techno Tuesday," she said: "This is you? This is really pretty!"
If you're a fan of hardcore, there probably isn't a better day of the year to dig through your music collection and pull out all of the best tracks of American discontent. You can dig up a few tracks by MDC, perhaps some Agnostic Front, or you can make things easy on yourself and just listen to My America by the Boston's F.U.'s. It's brilliant, full of critical thinking, and it's over in less than 16 minutes.
My America was released in 1983, a year after the equally good Kill For Christ LP*. Boston hardcore was so hot at this time, boasting the highly influential compilation This Is Boston, Not L.A. which featured The Proletariat, The Freeze, Jerry's Kids, Gang Green and The F.U.'s. Other important bands to come out of Boston around this time were SS Decontrol, Negative FX and DYS. I can't even imagine being able to see all of these bands play live in the early 1980s.
Sarcastic patriotic lyrics and a goofy cover of Grand Funk Railroad's "We're an American Band" caused scene police to label the F.U.'s as right wing nationalists, but those were just people not in on the joke. The Dead Milkmen referenced them shortly afterward in the song "Tiny Town." A year later the F.U.'s adopted a more metal sound and released another LP, but I'm not really familiar with it. I like my hardcore bands to sound like hardcore bands.
Happy 4th of July! America: like it or lump it!
*I use LP liberally, these 45 rpm 12" records tend to zoom right by.
(whispering) Yes, um, is this the psychic hotline?
Yes, I would like to ask some questions.
Alright, um. So, um. Well, I'm currently in a financial bind and I wanted to know what kind of outlook am I going to have in the future?
Um, I would say it looks to me like July until the end of the year 2012, looks like it's going to be pretty good for you. Um, but May and June are going to be pretty difficult. But it seems like you're going to get things figured out in the middle of July.
Okay. Um, also, I have this love interest that I've been pursuing for a while and she's um, I'm a sophomore and she's a senior and she's about to graduate and I've been pursuing her for a while and she just doesn't know whether to take the risk or not because she just doesn't...she, we know each other by a mutual friend, you know, things have come in the way before, and rumors and such, so she's afraid to take that risk and I'm just wondering [unintelligible].
It seems to me that, um you're not going to have a serious relationship with this girl. I mean it might be like, there might be some, some kind of relationship but it's not going to be anything serious or lasting.
So is there a chance of anything happening between us before she leaves?
Um, I'm not really sure about that. I just know that in the long run it's not someone you're going to end up with.
Am I going to find someone that's permanent in my life within the next two years?
Yes, within the next two years for sure. I'm looking at, like uh, December of this year you're going to meet someone who's going to be rather special to you.
Um, so how is it going to look for my move to California when I graduate high school?
Uh well, it seems like, you're going to be moving to the Los Angeles area?
It seems to me that it's going to be difficult, a little difficult at first, but you're going to get, you're going to settle in quite well. You're going to meet a lot of new friends and um, really find a career that you're going to enjoy.
Um, is there a chance that my career might pick up before I turn 18?
Uh well, I think right now you should concentrate on school, getting done with school and then um, it seems to me like your career is going to pick up more when you're done with school, once you have uh, once you have those eggs all in a basket, if you know what I mean.
Yeah. I just needed some guidance, so...
I understand, I mean, things look pretty good, uh, for you, from what I'm reading over here.
Do you ever just play "Maggot Brain" at full blast and zone out on the blistering ten minutes of Eddie Hazel soloing like a madman? Because I do, often.
Eddie Hazel was born on April 10, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York. His mother Grace wanted to steer him away from a life of drugs and crime, so she moved him to Plainfield, New Jersey. His brother gave him a guitar for Christmas at a young age and Eddie started singing at church. At age 12, Eddie Hazel met Bill "Bass" Nelson and they quickly became close friends.
In 1967, a Plainfield doo-wop group called the Parliaments had a hit with "(I Wanna) Testify." The leader of the group, George Clinton, needed a backing band to tour and picked Bill Nelson to play bass. Nelson suggested adding Eddie Hazel on guitar. Hazel was only 17 at the time and his mother wasn't fond of the idea, but Clinton & Hazel convinced her it would be a good idea. Eventually the Parliaments became Funkadelic.