Artigos

  • SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE friday July 31st 2009

    Jun 11 2009, 15h02 por stellarscope

    Six Flags Great Adventure and Blastzone Entertainment present:

    SIX FLAGS Loud and Local

    Friday July 31st 2009

    starting at 12 Noon

    Featuring sets by :

    Noon - 12:30- Acoustic (2nd Stage)
    12:45 - 1:30-12 Horse
    1:30 -2:00- Acoustic (2nd Stage)
    2:15-3:00 StellarScope http://www.myspace.com/stellarscope
    3:00 -3:30 Acoustic (2nd Stage)
    3:45 - 4:30 Ruckus at the Zoo
    4:30-5:00 –Acoustic (2nd Stage)
    5:30 -6:15- a thousand gods
    6:30 -7:15 Stellarscope http://www.reverbnation.com/stellarscope
    7:30 - 8:30-12 Horse



    _________________
    Tom
    pateticorecordings
    http://www.last.fm/label/Patetico%20Recordings
    http://www.reverbnation.com/stellarscope
    http://www.myspace.com/stellarscope
    http://www.myspace.com/panophonic
    http://www.youtube.com/stellarscope
    Stellarscope12 Horse Ruckus At The ZooA Thousand Gods
  • NASA/ATX (Astronaut Training Experience) Trip

    Mai 20 2009, 19h38 por stellarscope

    I had lunch with an Astronaut- Astronaut John Fabian
    My ATX Trainer- Astronaut Bob Springer


    ATX Core focuses on hands-on aspects of astronaut training, including a mission simulation and training simulators. During this exciting day of astronaut training, you will hear from veteran NASA astronauts and progress through a mission simulation as you experience what it takes to become a NASA astronaut.


    Kennedy Space Center is NASA's launch headquarters, the home of the Space Shuttle program and one of the only places in the world where humans have launched into space – the only place where humans have left to go to the Moon. Today, this is where the Space Shuttle is prepped for flight, launched and landed. Unmanned rockets, whose payloads have included communication satellites, rovers bound for Mars and interplanetary explorers, are also launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

    Kennedy Space Center is one of several NASA centers that perform vital tasks for the space program. Others include Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The responsibilities range from astronaut training to mission operations and important research functions.

    To ensure that these centers are constantly working together, NASA launched the One NASA initiative encompassing how NASA accomplishes challenging projects through all of the centers. A One NASA approach emphasizes a unified strategic plan, a strong commitment to teamwork, and tools and capabilities for greater collaboration across the agency.

    John F. Kennedy Space Center is America's gateway to the universe and NASA's launch headquarters. Just 45 minutes from Orlando, it is a working government facility where more than 10,000 men and women push the limits of scientific knowledge each day.

    But it's also a remarkable place for visitors to explore and make their own discoveries. Celebrating the past, present and future of mankind's accomplishments, Kennedy Space Center is part of any great Florida vacation.

    Launch Programs
    Kennedy Space Center is America's busiest launch and landing facility. Here you can witness the entire process, from the extensive preparation work, to an Earth-shaking launch, to a breathtaking landing. There are three orbiters in the NASA Space Shuttle fleet – Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour.

    Countless communication and surveillance satellites have also been launched from Kennedy Space Center. These unmanned launches aboard Atlas, Delta and Titan rockets are a monthly occurrence. In the summer of 2003, NASA again made a giant leap for mankind by launching a rover to the planet Mars.

    NASA Programs
    Within every building and around every corner at Kennedy Space Center, there is a story to tell about the days of early space exploration. The Mercury Program saw the selection of America's first astronauts, as well as the first manned spacecraft to orbit Earth. During Project Gemini, astronauts walked and worked in space. And the legendary Apollo Program eventually put 12 Americans on the Moon. Currently, Space Shuttles are transporting pieces of the International Space Station to be assembled 200 miles above Earth.

    Legendary Figures
    More than a few legendary astronauts have walked through the halls of NASA and into the pages of history, including John Glenn – the first American to orbit the Earth, Neil Armstrong – the first human to walk on the Moon, and Jim Lovell – the legendary captain of Apollo 13. At the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, vistors can delve into the lives of these great explorers and many others.

    http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/
    ______________
    Tom
    pateticorecordings
    http://www.last.fm/label/Patetico%20Recordings
    http://www.reverbnation.com/stellarscope
    http://www.myspace.com/stellarscope
    http://www.myspace.com/panophonic





    Astronaut John Fabian


    Orbiter flight simulation training

    Space walk training

    Astronaut Bob Springer
  • Sat June 13 Baltimore MD-night of sonic bliss with stellarscope, solar temple…

    Mai 8 2009, 18h09 por stellarscope

    Come on out for a night of sonic bliss with
    stellarscope
    http://www.myspace.com/stellarscope
    solar temple suicides
    http://ww.myspace.com/solartemplesuicides
    empty shapes
    http://www.myspace.com/emptyshapes

    SATURDAY JUNE 13 2009

    at
    the side bar
    http://www.sidebartavern.com
    218 E Lexington St Baltimore, MD 21202 (410) 659-4130

    bring a friend and an open mind!
    _________________
    Tom
    pateticorecordings
    http://www.last.fm/label/Patetico%20Recordings
    http://www.reverbnation.com/stellarscope
    http://www.myspace.com/stellarscope
    http://www.myspace.com/panophonic
    http://www.youtube.com/stellarscope


    StellarscopeSolar Temple Suicidesempty shapes
  • Two open letters to Simon Reynolds

    Mai 7 2009, 21h43 por connect_icut

    Originally published here in October 2005, these pieces represent my earliest (and most confused) writing on UK post-rock. They're worth re-publishing mainly because they take issue with some of Simon's own opinions about what post-rock is/was.

    AN OPEN LETTER TO SIMON REYNOLDS (PART ONE?)

    I know this sounds like a Half Man Half Biscuit song title. But, seriously, I mean it. I have recently been having an email conversation with Simon on the topic of the early-90s UK post-rock scene - which he was single-handedly responsible for pointing-out the existence of, and naming. It stemmed from a mild resurgence of interest in said scene, particularly an article on Pitchfork (of all places!)

    Anyway, seeing as Simon has encouraged me to start blogging again, on a couple of occasions, I though I would post my latest answers in a public forum. I hope he doesn't mind.

    One problem. I actually CAN'T open the last email Simon sent and I can't even seem to open the last one I sent to him! This has never happened to me before. My Yahoo account usually works like a dream. Perhaps this is destined never to happen but I'm pretty determined to get there in the end.

    As far as I remember, the main comment he made in the last email was that UK post-rock was never destined to have widespread popular appeal or commercial success. Maybe he's right. Certainly, the large audience that now exists for "left-field" music wasn't around back then. In fact it was the moment that UKPR represented that created it, to a large extent. Before 90s post-rock, post-techno etc., it wasn't the case that the audience for experimental music largely consisted of people who were weened on indie rock and electronic dance music. I even remember, at the time, giving up on the melody Maker and starting to read The Wire instead. A truly seminal moment for me and one that generally sums up the transformation of the avant audience from being a small enclave of people interested in contemporary composition and free improv to being a rather larger enclave of jaded indie rockers and burnt-out ravers.

    Having said that, post-rock did produce a fair number of catchy pop songs (Disco Inferno's "Sleight of Hand" and Bark Psychosis' "Blue" spring to mind). Certainly, I think the most accessible post-rock songs were a much better, more honest and more compelling commentary on 90s British society than anything produced even by the more intelligent Britpop groups. I guess Moonshake's "Second Hand Clothes" was never going to be a bigger hit than "Common People" but it's still surpising to me that it, and songs like it, didn't garner a substantial cult audience at the time. I suppose the feeling of the nineties was one of surpisingly positive pre-millenial optimism and people didn't want angst-ridden social commentary.

    So I guess Bill Clinton is to blame for the commercial failure of UK post-rock.

    AN OPEN LETTER TO SIMON REYNOLDS PART TWO
    Simon was nice enough to dig out some of the email exchanges that I couldn't access, so I'm able to address a few more of his thoughts on his unloved child UK Post-Rock.

    Last time, I wrote about what I think we all agree was the total and utter commercial failure of UK post-rock. This time, I'm going to address one of his other concerns: post-rock's "contraction to basically what it is now, pleasant instrumental music with a tinge of experimentalism (or eclecticism construed as/mistook for experimentalism)".

    This is a good point up to a point. All it really amounts to, though is that US post-rock sucked. Most of the British acts either dropped off the face of the earth (Hello? Insides?) or moved into more purely electronic forms (Bark Psychosis becoming Boymerang). Not that some of them didn't also start to suck (I'm thinking of Scorn here, mainly). It's also worth pointing out that there was, to a tiny extent, a second generation of UK post-rock that was divided between those who kept the faith with the original scene (Third Eye Foundation...) and those who aped the American style (Fridge...)

    One mistake, I think Simon makes is his association of post-rock with self-conscious futuristicness (if that's a word). I took him up on this and he commented that "well most of the British bands did definitely want to be if not futuristic, then contemporary..." He's both right and wrong here and you have to deconstruct his wording just a tiny bit to know why. His sentence sorta suggests that "futuristic" and " contemporary" mean basically the same thing, which is clearly not true in the literal sense. However, when seen in the context of early-90s experimental rock and dance music, this conflation does make sense, kind of. That is to say, to be self-consciously contemporary in the early 90s was to be de-facto futuristic. It has to do with the birth of the information age and the paradoxical pre-millennial optimism of early 90s life. For Disco Inferno, Bark Psychosis and Moonshake, "giving people something real" inevitably meant embraces recent advances in technology and technology-based music. Other acts, like God and Scorn, were more futuristic per se but still very much within the framework of the early-90s discourse on what "the future" was going to entail. Their brand of Futurism was very much of its time.

    This leads me to my other point. Simon has always seen post-rock as being distinctly anti-rockist but I would say that UK post-rock is specifically an example of what happens when someone applies an extremely rockist attitude to making experimental music. In that sense, I think it fits in with Simon's concept of Neo-Rockism rather nicely.

    Basically, my argument about UK post-rock was that it was not futuristic or iconoclastic so much as it was an attempt to be natural and "real" in a more honest and thoughtful way than is usual in rock music. Simon has suggested that Britpop was a more real reflection of British rock life and music at the time, which is a de facto truth, I suppose. Nevertheless, Britpop was drenched in artifice, irony, retro-referencing and almost entirely overwhelming crapness. It did a bad job of capturing the truth of early-90s British life but provided the white middle class rock consumers with a cosy, matey vision of Britain that made them feel very cosy and not a little proud. I think I covered my feelings about this issue in the last post, so I'll leave it at that.

    That's all for now. Questions and comments are welcomed.
  • Main - "Motion Pool"

    Mar 24 2009, 23h46 por connect_icut

    Originally published in October 2007, here:
    http://blogglebumcage.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html

    Since Fennesz's classic Endless Summer, there seems to have been a not totally insignificant niche market for heavily processed guitar abstraction. Oren Ambarchi's (much deserved) growing profile is currently the most visible manifestation of this trend.

    This puts an interesting perspective on the route that Robert Hampson took after the dissolution of his late-80s trance-rock band Loop. In leaping into droney, beatless soundscapes, Hampson really was ahead of the guitar-reinvention curve. It's only right then, that the Fat Cat label acknowledged Hampson's pioneering spirit by releasing a Fennesz/Loop split 12" a few years back.

    The change from Loop's minimalist rock to the pure drone of Main's later work was actually a smoother transition than I'd realized until recently, when I picked up a couple of early Main records. The Hydra Calm 12", in particular, is basically a cyborg take on Loop's more organic burn and churn.

    But it was with the astonishing triple 12" set Motion Pool that Hampson really added something significant to the UK post-rock canon. As is often the case with bands, Main's music was at its most original and compelling during that awkward "becoming" stage of flux and uncertainty.

    Motion Pool is as physically insistent as anything Loop produced but sounds utterly inorganic - like a skeletal, digitally reanimated version of rock music. Even though this is certainly a guitar-heavy record, Hampson's vocals are the only explicitly human presence and even they sound utterly alienated; drained of humanistic warmth.

    Of course, in the post-human discourse of 90s futurism, this kind of aesthetic was something that could be embraced without fear. Now that we know where digital technology was taking us all along (the hellish tedium of Facebook) it might all seem somewhat gothy and overwrought.

    And yet the power of the music remains. There's nothing else quite like Motion Pool and it's certainly an essential addition to your doubtless-growing UK post-rock collection.
  • Butterfly Child - "Ghetto Speak"

    Mar 24 2009, 23h43 por connect_icut

    Originally published in October 2007, here:
    http://blogglebumcage.blogspot.com/2007/10/post-rocktoberfest-2-butterfly-child.html

    You can't fault Butterfly Child for trying. Between 1991 and 1993 they managed to squeeze out three EPs and they've somehow succeeded in releasing a series of albums since then. They moved from Belfast, to London and finally to California, apparently. They may even still be going as the solo project of singer-songwriter Joe Cassidy.

    All this is fairly amazing given the total critical and public indifference that has always greeted the band's releases. It's also rather puzzling as Cassidy's inspiration actually seemed to run out pretty early on. The first two albums - Onomatopoeia and The Honeymoon Suite - are fine records as far as bookish indie rock goes (they sound rather like The Sea and Cake) but all the real post-rock action is on those early EPs.

    Butterfly Child were best known as proteges of AR Kane, alongside Papa Sprain (who were also from Belfast). This is worth mentioning here as Ghetto Speak sounds distinctly like a pristine, lighter-than-air and highly literate take on the breathless avant electropop of AR Kane's epic I.

    The EP is packed with breezy, intertwining synth tones and digital eruptions but Joe Cassidy's voice is what really takes things to the next level. Cassidy, at his best, has the assured, poetically musical delivery of a good (though extremely fey) rapper. Possibly, that's why he chose to name this EP the way he did. Whatever the case, Ghetto Speak is a cryptic, concise delight.
  • Techno Animal - "Re-Entry"

    Mar 24 2009, 23h40 por connect_icut

    Originally published in October 2007, here:
    http://blogglebumcage.blogspot.com/2007/10/post-rocktoberfest-4-techno-animal-re.html

    I recently used this here blog to praise the absurd persistence of Butterfly Child. That band's willingness to just keep going is truly heroic, simply because their time will almost certainly never come. For other UK post-rock movers and shakers, though, persistence has actually paid off, either in terms of finding an audience in a niche market (goth rock, electronic dance music, indie...) or simply by having the rest of the world catch up.

    In these terms Kevin Martin of God, Ice, The Sidewinder, EAR and Techno Animal has pretty much hit the jackpot. Over the years, his various projects have found favour with a whole range of demographics - from goths to ravers to indie rockers. Moreover, his aesthetic - as epitomized in Martin-compiled compilations like Isolationism and Macro Dub Infection - has just recently started to seem very contemporary. Everything from hipster metal to dubstep contains distinctly Kevin Martin-esque overtones.

    To my mind though, he's never topped the work he did in the original UK post-rock era. Re-entry, the second album by Techno Animal (a duo with Godflesh's Justin Broadrick) was released in 1995 on - get this - Virgin Records (who also put out Hex by Bark Psychosis!) It's a mammoth 2CD set of deliberately monotonous beats and narcotized dub textures.

    Again, persistence is the key word here. Just making it through the entirety of Re-entry is something of an endurance test but it's worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears. In particular, the 19-minute "Demodex Invasion" has to be one of the most brutally, intensely hypnotic pieces of music ever recorded.

    Hell, everything Kevin Martin does is intense one way or another and it's usually pretty great too. Fans of his (excellent) recent work are strongly urged to investigate this album (along with God's The Anatomy of Addicition) to witness K Mart at his greatest and his most intense.
  • Bark Psychosis: The Early Singles

    Mar 14 2009, 1h25 por connect_icut

    (Originally posted here: http://blogglebumcage.blogspot.com/2007/10/post-rocktoberfest-s-6-7-8-and-9-bark.html)

    It's always exciting when a new record store opens in town. So there we were the other night, enjoying a burrito on Kingsway, when Kris pointed into a small gallery and said: "You know there's a record store in there, right?" Lo and behold, at the back of the gallery, down a little staircase was Dandelion Records (presumably named in homage to John Peel).

    The store is pretty well stocked and most of the inventory apparently comes directly from the proprietor's personal collection. Prominent items include some first German edition Can records, priced over the $100 mark. But there's plenty of affordable stuff too and it seems like the kind of place where one might find something completely random and extremely exciting.

    So it was that I walked out of the place with four Bark Psychosis singles under my arm (after paying for them, obviously). I already had all the songs. Bark Psychosis are extremely well catered for when it comes to singles compilation CDs (there are three and I have two of them). Still, these 12"s were items that I simply couldn't say no to. Sure, you can probably find them in plenty of £1 bins in the UK but you just don't see them over here and they fetch a pretty penny on eBay.

    "All Different Things" (1990)
    A dark one, this. Showcasing the band's Swans influence but keeping things extremely restrained and spacious. Anger wells up throughout but always finds itself suppressed before things get out of hand. Tense stuff.

    "Nothing Feels" (1990)
    It's the Nick Drake influence that comes to the fore here. This single showcases two of the band's most straightforwardly lovely songs. The b-side "I Know" is one of my personal favourite Bark Psychosis moments and here it is for your streaming pleasure.

    "Scum" (1992)
    Their masterwork. "Scum" is 20-odd minutes of tension-and-release, not unlike the "All Different Things" 12" blown out of all proportion. Despite its length, "Scum" is incredibly simple and amounts to an essentially very concise distillation of millennial urban angst. The song is cut on one side of a 33rpm record, with the other side dedicated to an astonishingly lovely and chaotic etching. A must have for any serious UK post-rock fan. Seriously, seriously essential.

    "Blue" (1994)
    I think this was the last release by the original incarnation of Bark Psychosis. It came in the wake of their major label debut Hex utterly failing to capture the record buying public's imagination and is an anthem to what the British music press were calling "post-rave comedown". Musically, it's one of the band's most explicitly electronica-influenced tracks and lyrically it seems to ruminate over all manner of bitterness and disillusion: "Petrol station plastic people/Their expressions are fake/You're only as good as your last goddamn mistake". This is a very deep shade of blue indeed but - ironically enough - the record itself is pressed on milky white vinyl.
  • An Extremely Loud Noise Wrapped Inside an Enigma

    Mar 13 2009, 19h20 por connect_icut

    (Originally posted here: http://blogglebumcage.blogspot.com/2008/10/post-rocktoberfest-2008-extremely-loud.html)

    I'm still not ready to discuss the impact that finally seeing My Bloody Valentine live had on me. Not really. But you can consider this little post a step in the right direction or - at least - an attempt to clarify some of the incoherent-with-near-religious-fervour posts that I've been leaving in other people's comments boxes.

    You might be forgiven for asking how this is relevant to post-rock? Well, obviously, My Bloody Valentine had a massive influence on the original UK post-rock scene. Moonshake's First EP and Seefeel's debut album, in particular, sound like wholehearted attempts to do something more creative with MBV-fuleled inspiration than the generic constraints of shoegazing would allow.

    Mike Barnes once told me that when MBV's Glider EP came out, he thought it would create a whole new genre of music. Well, in a sense, it did. Glider's classic lead track "Soon" (plus AR Kane's experiments with dub, noise and acid house) equals UK post-rock ground zero, in the same way that Slint's Spiderland prefigured the American scene.

    Examining the influence that MBV had on post-rock will tell you a great deal about what UKPR was and how it came to be. But it's unlikely to give you much insight into the continuing enigma of Kevin Shields and his merry band of noiseniks.

    First of all, here's something you always have to keep in mind when considering MBV: the band's most stridently avant garde song, "To Here Knows When" (lead track from Tremelo, the follow-up to Glider), was a top 40 hit in the UK! MBV's genuine popularity set the stage for post-rock's assumptions about what might be achieved with experimental rock in the early 90s. While American post-rock was happy to noodle around in its little corner of the world, the British bands often sounded like they were out to assault a much larger chunk of the world at large.

    How does this help us understand My Bloody Valentine? It doesn't. Another important thing to understand about MBV is that they can't be fitted into any standard historical rock narrative. Attempts to force MBV's work into any such narrative are almost always indicative of an understandable-but-neurotic need to gain some sort of illusory mental dominance over the inexplicabe. Normally this expresses itself as a kind of defensive flippancy.

    Just look at all the fucking idiots parading around the Internet right now, trying to make themselves look clever by glibly dissing My Bloody Valentine. I suspect that most of these people are basically narcissists, hoping to make themselves seem smart by debunking the "myth" of MBV.

    The problem for these idiots is that they're basing their actions on the assumption that 15 years of silence has deepened the MBV enigma. In fact, the opposite is true: readers of Q magazine and other assorted rock bozos have had a decade-and-a-half to explain away the magic of Loveless with reference to drugs, insanity, studio "trickery" etc. But seeing the band live absolutely bulldozes these attempts at demystification. How the hell do they make that sound?

    The MBV reunion is a massive fuck-you to the almost universally mediocre rock music of the last 15 years. As such, it is making all the right people feel confused and insecure. To my ears, My Bloody Valentine are still at least a decade ahead of the game. MBV live is a unique phenomenon, more intense and nourishing than anything a mere rock concert can provide.
  • The Three (de-facto) Ages of Post-Rock

    Mar 13 2009, 3h38 por connect_icut

    (Originally posted here: http://blogglebumcage.blogspot.com/2008/10/post-rocktoberfest-2008-three-de-facto.html)

    As regular readers will know, I'm something of a post-rock fundamentalist. When I use the term "post-rock", I'm referring to that so-called "lost-generation" of left-field UK indie bands from the early 90s - bands such as Moonshake, Main and Papa Sprain.

    Post-rock was first identified as a distinct musical genre by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994). Simon used the term to describe a wave of acts "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords." In more mundane terms, Simon was simply grouping together a fairly diverse collection of UK bands he happened to like at the time, including Disco Inferno, Bark Psychosis, Insides and Seefeel.

    Now, even a post-rock fundamentalist like myself would have to admit that these are not the bands most music fans think of when they hear the term post-rock bandied about. The fact is that - in the eyes and ears of the public - any musical genre will be largely defined by its most popular acts. The vast majority of acts in the first wave of UK post-rock achieved little or no commercial success. Those that did get somewhere were either only loosely associated with the post-rock scene (e.g. Stereolab) or achieved their success by sheltering under another marketing umbrella (e.g. Seefeel associating themselves with Warp's "electronic listening music" scene).

    Post-rock as a genre term did not receive any widespread recognition until two years later when Simon identified a group of American bands that he believed represented a Johnny-come-lately American equivalent of post-rock. This coincided with the release of Tortoise's classic second album, Millions Now Living Will Never Die. In his book Bring the Noise, Simon expresses confusion over the way the influence of Millions... came to define the sound of post-rock.

    Doubtless, Simon would be even more confused to realise that Tortoise-style jazzy noodling no longer defines post-rock in the popular perception. The fact that post-rock has now entered a de-facto third age was recently brought home to me by a series of rather distressing online experiences.

    You see, I made the mistake of joining some post-rock discussion forums, notably the AfterthePostRock forum and the Post Rock group on Last FM. I thought these groups might provide some information on and insight into the work of Disco Inferno, Bark Psychosis et al (or at least Tortoise). I was dismayed to find that the discussions never got much further than: "Post-rock is a bit of a meaningless term, isn't it but Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky are rather super, aren't they?"

    This was a major WTF moment, for me. Who on earth would join a forum dedicated to the discussion of a musical genre they didn't even believe in the existence of? And how had "post-rock" come to be synonymous with "dogshit awful instrumental indie rock"?

    Well, for better or for worse, the two aforementioned acts (it would pain me to type their stupid names again) alongside Godspeed You! Black Emperor (who I've always rather liked) and Sigur Ros are the most popular bands to be labeled post-rock in the last 10 years. Therefore, their brand of quiet-loud-quiet guitar jangle has come to define 21st century post-rock.

    To my ears, A Sunny Day in Glasgow - just to pick an example - are way closer to the spirit and sound of first-wave UK post-rock. But my position as Post-Rock Ombudsman only gives me so much power.

    And the mob has spoken.