Friday, August 14, 2009

Live Review of Sparkle Girl by Overdose The Katatonic

Category: Music
This was Jim Evans "ONLY" solo performance ever. A lot of what he brought broke down but like a true experimental artist you make do w/ what you have. Since he knew i was recording it (an i sent the wav file to him soon as i got home) he used his recorder as a player of sounds,the same w/ another tape player,a short wave radio and another piece of equipment i believe along w/ the wires hooked up to a patch an he was rubbing the carpet an his keys,it sounded clanky to rosshsshhhwosh kinda sound. I'm going to miss Jim, he always was cool to me, and i couldn't believe the small turnout. It was I, jennifer(empty remainz),lars(aural antithesis),gogher,cunt zero,ffejj,demian johnston, and the cashier.
They missed a sick set tho. I really liked the back up tapes playing w/ the shortwave,and all the extra knick knack scrapings..I was right in front this weird speaker he was using so downstairs wouldn't get disturbed even tho he came runing up stairs looking at jim like was that you doing that noise??Yes exactly,he was getting ready for his noise set.I'm glad i got to see him solo be4 he left.For those who missed it i'll let you imagine what it was like.See ya at the Rendevous for methfest kickoff.Crazy tho,Sparkle Girl have been here so long,kind of a Seattle staple.I'm sure will adjust an then enjoy the SG shows more since jim won't be around all the shows. Thats one thing jim, where yer going i don't know if theres much expermental or noise,but u do have a bunch of shows to catatlogue like me from over the years.
Jim Katatonic

Friday, July 31, 2009

Catch This Debacle Double Header In Store!

August 1st: Summon Thrull & Thunder Grey Pilgrim in store performance

6:00 PM

I raved about the Summon Thrull when I first started PIPE! and just picked up the new Thunder Grey Pilgrim cdr from Sam at Chaistock.

I was hoping to get a big Debacle writeup done before the hiatus for the move but that will have to wait. Suffice to say that Sam Melancon, head honcho of DBL Records, continues to put out some of the best local music in a variety of styles. Consistently beautiful and sleek packaging, affordable and I have yet to be disappointed by a release.

Do yourself a favor and check this double header of Debacle Acts at Dissonant Plane on Saturday. Summon Thrull (Dustin from Physical Demon) was not supposed to be a live project but I think the gangload of positive reviews might have coaxed him. This might be the only time though so don't miss out. Like what I have heard so far from Thunder Gray Pilgrim.

Dissonant Plane has many of the Debacle releases in stock and Sam always has his distro suitcase so save a buck or two and come out to support local music stores, bands and one of the label owners who is helping to redefine what a label can and should be. Much respect from the Soccer Mom Ebonics camp.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sparkle Girl Salutes The World's Pirate Parties and this success story from Sweden

STRASBOURG, France (CNN) -- With his navy blue suit jacket and gray-tinged hair, Christian Engstrom barely stands out from the sea of delegates seated in the European parliament.
Christian Engstrom, deputy leader of Sweden's Pirate Party who is a democratically elected member of the European parliament.

Christian Engstrom, deputy leader of Sweden's Pirate Party, is an elected member of the European parliament.

Yet the 49-year old Swede is a politician with a difference -- he is the world's first democratically elected Internet pirate, and the leader of a growing international movement that Hollywood sees as a major threat to its movie-profit "treasure chest."

In April of this year the Pirate Party gained international notoriety during a much publicized Stockholm court case, in which the founders of a file sharing site, The Pirate Bay, were given jail sentences and ordered to pay a fine to the entertainment industry.

The much publicized tribunal and its verdict helped the Pirate Party (which is not affiliated with The Pirate Bay) ride a wave of popular support that saw its membership total triple from 14,000 to 42,000.

In June these figures translated into electoral support, as the single-issue party reeled in 7.1 percent of Sweden's vote in the European elections, securing one of the country's 18 seats in parliament.

According to Engstrom, who is the party's deputy leader, their goal in Brussels is now to "ensure that Europe chooses a better road into the information society."

The party's ultimate aim is to deregulate copyright, abolish the patent system and decrease online surveillance.

Party members hold up Linux, the free operating system, and Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, as examples of what has been achieved through collaboration on the Internet, even though the trend is still in its infancy.

Engstrom, a former computer software programmer, believes the Internet's freedoms and participatory culture are under threat.
Don't Miss

* Join piracy discussion CNN's Facebook page
* Pirate party wins surprise Euro seat
* A-Z of online piracy
* Is online piracy a good thing?

"Things have been going in the wrong direction -- more surveillance, more control of everything we do on the net and also stricter copyright laws -- that's the wrong course for Europe," Engstrom told CNN. "We want to set a new one."

The prospect of reforming Internet laws has found particular resonance among younger voters. According to polls, nearly one in five Swedes under the age of 30 voted for The Pirate Party. Watch The Screening Room's piracy special online

The international film industry, on the other hand, is less than thrilled with the Pirate Party's objectives. They say global piracy is looting billions of dollars of their hard-earned profits every year.

A Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) study from 2006 suggested that pirate "booty" amounted to more than $6 billion worldwide. In the UK, campaign group Respect for Film says $818 million (£500 million) is lost to piracy annually.

Since the early 1980s the major Hollywood movie studios, represented by the MPAA, have fought hard to eliminate piracy -- both in the form of bootlegging, and more recently online file sharing. Punishments for file-sharers have ranged from fines and Internet bans to jail time.

"They have approached [piracy] in a very stupid way," Engstrom told CNN. "They're alienating their customers, despite the fact that they are making more money than ever. Hollywood had its best year ever [in terms of box office revenues] in 2008, so why are they complaining? I can't understand that."

Members of the film industry contend that arguments like these don't tell the whole story. Lavinia Carey of Respect for Film says that while box office earnings may appear strong, DVD sales are suffering.

"If a box office success is trumpeted in the media on the opening weekend, it makes the public think that copyright theft isn't actually doing any harm," Carey told CNN.

"But very often cinemas are just a showcase for the more profitable end of the market, which includes DVD sales and sales to television companies."

According to Carey, the slump in subsidiary sales has had a domino effect on the entire industry.

"Employment is affected, people who are actually making movies are affected, and in the long term the consumer will suffer because we won't have the high-quality content in the future that we have come to expect," she said.

Engstrom and his fellow pirates feel little compassion for this line of argument.

"That's the way life is when you're running a business," Engstrom told CNN.
The Screening Room
Bringing you the inside track on all aspects of the movie business around the globe.
See more from the show »

"Things change, technology changes and the business environment changes. Successful businesses adapt rather than whine."

Should file sharing be legalized or it is nothing more than theft? Tell us below in the SoundOff box or join in the discussion on CNN's Facebook page

Engstrom's views appear to be striking a chord with young activists across Europe.

Since its foundation in 2006, the Swedish Pirate Party has inspired officially registered sister parties in six countries including Austria, the Czech Republic, France and Spain. Germany's "Piratenpartei" is the second largest, having snared nearly one percent of the German vote during the European elections.

While Engstrom is proud of his party's influence, he is not surprised by its swift achievements.

"It's been three and a half years working constantly on it, on a daily basis. To someone from the outside it may look like we just appeared, but it's not like that to us."

With an armada of pirate parties forming across the continent, the movement looks to set sail into what Engstrom hopes will be a bright future.

"It's now that the pirate movement begins. It's now that we want to reform first Europe and then hopefully the world."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Awesome Prick Decay Archive on Ubuweb!

Saw this posted on myspace. I first learned of Prick Decay in a fabulous interview in Bananafish where they portrayed themselves as incestuous siblings with a shared love of odd smells and dirty sound. It was a wonderful introduction into the UK underground tape scene and Dylan has continued to produce a mind boggling work of sound. This will be today's listening.

If you like this kind of thing youmight check with Dissonant Plane as I think they might still have a copy of the rare and lovely Prick Decay "Soup and Fruit" cassette I traded in.

Current mood: blissful
ton of blood stereo and solo nyoukis works up now for free at the mighty UBUWEB
dig in!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

More Releases, Videos and Podcasts On The Way

Later this week we'll have several new releases in various numbers as well as new videos on Soccer Mom Ebonics Television and new tracks on the podcast. Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Older Merch Still Available from Soccer Mom Ebonics

Kurt was kind enough to post an update about merchandise we still have left in the Sparkle Girl/Soccer Mom Ebonics cupboard. In this case it is copies we still have of our split 7" with our fave SLF noiseniks Slicing Grandpa! First band we ever did a split cdr with so it was only natural that our first black wax offering was a split with the other SG we love so well. We enjoyed how it turned out and even more surprisingly some other people did as well (see below).

Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Sparkle Girl/Slicing Grandpa "Hexis/Daddy O Strangler" 7" Soccer Mom Ebonics Records SME040

"Hexis," backed with "Daddy O Strangler" is a total underground freakout in eight minutes or less. Guitars twist and melt in trembling piles, electronics hiss and churn, no apologies to taste talent or quality. Edition of 500 on Soccer Mom Ebonics Records. Inserts have words and images and stuff.
Side A. Sparkle Girl "Hexis" (4:30)
Side B. Slicing Grandpa "Daddy O Strangler" (4:31)
$5.00 cash or trade. Paypal accepted. Contact or contact Kurt at

"Split Seattle dual-duo 7-Inch with the heavy gritty industrial strength drone of Sparkle Girl (Kurt D, & Jim E.) on the A side. Their track Hexis fuzzes out to near silence like explosions in space breaking the needle with such heavily distorted bass shaking and vibrating in your chest. A ghastly snowstorm of metal chains and barbed wire to then just end abruptly. Side B is Slicing Grandpa playing a stoner doom-ish hypnotic rawk track. Lo-fi recording and experimental sounds keep it real and out of the any metal genre, but you won’t get a sense of their true sound from this track. I still like it."
-No Eyed Bird (

"after about thirteen years of making noise, this is the first time that kurt and jim's music has graced the smooth surface of vinyl. they're no strangers to analog mediums, but tape (reel to reel and cassette) has been their preferable modus operandi. while this duo's name may lead you to believe that they don't take a serious approach to their music, that's far from the truth. i was really happy to hear that they play straight-forward experimental noise. not only that, but it's damn good as well. hexis begins by building itself around a layer of undulating mechanical drone. slowly, they'll implement shrill distortion over the lurching foundation, letting that ride before getting a little denser as hexis changes shape: all echoes and rumbles. not content to let one idea go on for too long, the track will shift once again for its noisy conclusion. i like how even though the piece moved along slowly, it never felt cold or dark, like is so often the case, and the more discordant aspects matched up well with the overall feel and never got to the point of being overbearing."
Smooth Assailing (

"Sparkle Girl = noise church, climbing up the spires. You thump your chest, and then what? Large chunks of unsorted text on Sparkle Girl’s Myspace page is either indicative of bigger problems, or just really enthusiastic and non-tech savvy. Slicing Grandpa is still slicing away at some dark, obscurant corner of goth, hometaper industrial, and outsider psych dirge. Pretty noisy, sludgy pacing, and doomy dreadful, but this guy knows what’s up as evidenced by past releases, so it’s not an act. Or it is an act, but it’s executed with a modicum of foresight. Either way, 50/50 on here."
Dusted (

"a wildly dunting noise vortex that detonates their amp-destroying Dead C style with torrents of almost Whitehouse-styled electricity. On the flip Slicing Grandpa play cough syrup takes on the cyborg sound of prime Chrome."
David Keenan (

"sparkle girl plays dark and crude drone noise that moves and shift in simple eletronic chunks....not a steady wall of drone but crude cut n paste approach. slicing grandpa is one of those trange bands that falls somwhere between TG and toll.... dirge oriented heavy bass playing soup and stew but with a washed out reverberated new wave camp. we like it. it has an underground scum and they keep putting out vinyl which is cool."
Dominic Fernow Hospital Records

"Slicin Grandpa ponied up w/their newest release, a split 7" between them & Sparkle Girl. Readers of this Blog knows that Slicin Grandpa can do no wrong, so let's focus for a moment on Sparkle Girl's admission. Hmmmm.......I'd say they sound very much like the grizzly mayhem spawned from that rotator blade off that helicopter just moments before/after it loped off Vic Morrow's head while makin that Twilight Zone movie. SG aren't quite so dramatic, eschewin decapitation for a good old fashioned aural vivisection & since it's unlikely they's ever gonna be invited to play halftime at the Super Bowl, the NFL's none the wiser to their gutteral hijinx. Released on the Soccer Mom Ebonics label in a rd ed. of 500"

Soccer Mom Ebonics Television Has Launched!

Thanks to a variety of friends and colleagues, Scott Colburn, Octal, Katatonik, Dave G.R.A.V.E.S., Smitty, CursedChimera and Tim Boone to name a few we have begun to accrue a little bit of a video archive of Sparkle Girl performances and clips of other artists. Right now that includes some of the groups that helped kick everyone's ass at our 14th Anniversary Sparkle Girl/Soccer Mom Ebonics celebration. This includes ( and more are coming) vids from Goly Grim, Slicing Grandpa, the touring Sparkle Girl and The Sparkle Girl Finale to the 2.28.09 evening.

We hope you enjoy

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Releases From Soccer Mom Ebonics 1st up Ponzi Cult!

Current mood:Paid
Ponzi Cult "Live 6.14.09" CDR Soccer Mom Ebonics SME073
Abrasive document of this guitar duo's first live performance. McKane and Delaney brutalize two guitars until spontaneous rhythms erupt. Limited to twenty copies.Live from Chickenhead Church!
"A Ponzi scheme targeting members of the deaf community is particularly reprehensible."
-Rosalind Tyson
$5.00 cash or trade. Paypal accepted. Contact or contact Kurt at

Soccer Mom Ebonics Product Update SME Mixtape Volume 3

Current mood:Cinematographer's Party
Various Artists "SME Mixtape Vol. 3" c90 Soccer Mom Ebonics Records SME055

Edition Of 50 numbered copies. The third installment in SME's mixtape series. The Mixtape series is simple. Contributions of any sort of sound art whatsoever are welcome and are placed on the tape in the order recieved. There is no editing, no selection process, no mastering. Random snippets from odd tapes found at thrift stores are inserted between each track. Tracks are welcome from anyone. The schizophrenic document that results documents the vibrant creativity of our extended family and presents a dizzying array of different sound art approaches. This volume presents ghostly folk music,free improv, post-hardcore,nu metal, noise, industrial, digital collage, acoustic songs, savage free jazz, outsider avant, and even covers of songs by Sabbath, Petty, and Dylan. This is the REAL underground mixtape. Recorded on Maxell UR 90 tapes with cover artwork by Andy Crawshaw for Broken Press.
1. The Ghost Of Kyle Bradford-Don’t Think Twice
2. Yokai No Uta-Mother Yokai, Proud Of Her Brood
3. Lessons In Regret-The Wall Won
4. Clone-Dank
5. Sparkle Girl-Fuck Troy Wright
6. Syphilis Sauna-Emergency Niggah Pizza Fund
7. Algiers-The Field Pt. 2
8. LZRSOS-3(oris), 6 times
9. Exit To Main-Satan Spin
10. Dubh Ros-1st Loop In A Knot
1. Smokestack Sam-One Man Band Fiasco
2. Worldoutside-I won’t Back Down
3. Black Ops-Into The Void
4. Special Ops-Ducks And Squirrels!
5. Krispijn Larrison-Don’t Miss That Train
6. Cabbage Foundation-Boston Tongue Bouquet
7. 13 Style-Droid
8. Demian Johnston-Last Song Of The Evening
9. Noizvendr-Triptych
10. Jacob Powers-Kids Club
"What I believe is a process rather than a
finality." Emma Goldman
$5.00 cash or trade. Paypal accepted. Contact or contact Kurt at

Post from Kurt re: Sparkle Girl Home Despot Cassette

Current mood:new rage
SPARKLE GIRL "Home Despot" c20 Soccer Mom Ebonics Records SME057

Edition of 9 copies. Stamped clear c20 tapes with hand cut home printed j-cards, stickered cases and numbered inserts.
Side A: Black Friday
Side B: The Welcoming Smile At The End Of The Road
2 tracks of abrasive duo improv with Goodwill synths, de-tuned guitars, bells, tapes, electronics, etc. Druggy churning scree, electronic drones, space echo freakouts, Louis Farrakhan on Reagan. Good times.
$4.00 cash or trade. Paypal accepted. Contact or contact Kurt at

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Review of Are You A Cat? "Octopus Release"

Are You A Cat? - Octopus Release CD, Goat Bros 2009, number 77 of 232 (strangely soothing)

This is my favorite release of 2009.

Right now I am listening to it and raving about it to my wife.

This disc brought back a wave of memories.

It is bouncy, catchy, tripped out and funky, hip to the tip and moves so smooth I think I hear Don Cornelius coming back from the dead just to host them on this Saturday afternoon tv and tell the Source to give it one hundred and ten mics.

Josh and Jason (who are Are You A Cat?) managed to time travel me back over twenty plus years to my mid 80's youth with this disc and I love it. Just off the top my head I am thinking electro, synth pop, Prince, post punk disco hybrids, Ready For The World, Newcleus, funk, British Electric Foundation, Electric Dreams soundtrack, Level 42, Section 25, Heaven 17 (Eighties bands loved numbers), Andre Cymone and too many others.

My first job was washing dishes at a college during summer. As an awkward chunky white guy, naive burb kid working with a crew of hip collegiate athletes most of whom were from Newark and Philly. This cd reminds me of the day the Hobart died and we were swamped in the dish room and hours of scrubbing pots and pans. Proud source of my first nickname, Pots. In fact to this day if you were to shout," Jim!", I probably wouldn't bother to look. If you were to shout out "Pots!" not only would people look at you strangely but I would be eyeballin like a broken compass trying to find you. But I digress. so we worked hard and I was invited to take a break in the sweltering concrete bunker of a well...shit, come to think of it, it was just a sweltering concrete bunker, listening to the Cars, Roxanne Roxanne answer records and the new UTFO.

While I am typing this I am listening to the cd again.

No track titles but track one should be a radio hit all over the place. Deft vocals that make no sense to me, compressed and tight funky guitar with killer lead breaks and synth flourishes. Hear that drum machine? I think it's a Linn. Think "Controversy". It's that good.

"Hey Jim, what about Michael Jackson?" ummm well he died and honestly I didn't care for him after Off The Wall. Yes, that's right, a member of Sparkle Girl is at the ready to debate for hours the position that OTW was the true pinnacle of MJ's artistry (yes, you heard me) and Thiller by comparison is a waste that sucked up way too much cultural space then and now, since he died you know. I'm with Chris Rock, Prince versus Michael?, Prince won.

Any Michael Jackson memories I might have I imagine to be about the same as millions of others memories about him. When I was fifteen I saw Prince on the Purple Rain tour (my Mom had stood in line for tickets, to this day I still try to imagine that picture). I remember betting with guy and his girlfriend on the opening song. I lost. Sweet, strong sinsemilla from in front of me and a couple decides to fuck on the concrete stairs three (not two, not four) people to my left. I'm pretty sure my memory of that is different from my sister (third from the left).

I just hit replay again.

Track two: nice descending scale into thumpin' booty bass and that wonderful lead guitar, chanting vocals rhyme about sidewalks and bicycles and sisters keepin on. Oh and it mentions acid bath. It's true what they say. Pot is the gateway drug to acid not heroin. If the first track is the Soul Train radio hit this is the club banger with tight clipped funky guitar and throbbing bass synth with odd mentions of jangaroo. I don't know what the fuck a jangaroo is but I've listened to this nine minute track three times now trying to figure it out.

Track three kicks in with a lovely synth melody and sequenced pulsing bass line and that hallmark of futurist electro: vocoder (NOT AUTOTUNE BUT THAT IS ANOTHER RANT) vocals. Spinning out of control and escalating like a tripped out vocoder/synth epic should

This cd sort of hits me in three parts. Each seemingly corresponding to various sonic cues buried in my deep memory. It also brings to mind several of those critical catchphrases I have always loved.

First three tracks are absolutely fucking awesome. Hit single, druggy club stomper then hit em up with the moody pop midpoint but what happens when these tendencies are taken to extremes of sonic catchiness and trickery. Doesn't it get a tad, too much. Hell yes! That apparently explains Track Four. 22 relentess minutes of cowbells, whistles and synth wooshes. Sounds burble and bubble and toil and leap out at you. It's great and when I finish typing this I'm gonna have a go at remixing it for my own damn pleasure. This is for those who remember twenty minute long electronic tunes before the word Techno reared it's head.

If there is any other thing I can think of it has to be my thoughts as the fourth track comes to a swirling stop. Where the hell is that other staple of classic eighties albums? Which one? Why, the poorly thought out detour into cod reggae pastiche!

Don't worry. Almost as a bonus track for my psyche at this point the fifth track is a horribly bland reggae lite collection of familiar themes that sound like a freakish wedding band medley played by the group in Welcome To The Dollhouse. Twice was enough. I have done my part for the cause. Remember when compact discs first came out and every album seemed to have that one track you realized the skip button was for: this is that track and I thank them for it.

Horrible 80's lightweight electro synth pop lite funk collage or fucking brilliant realisation of a particular and for myself peculiarly odd and moving strain of musical hybrids?

If you know me you know that I am hoping for both.

First Sparkle Girl "Means Of Production" Box, SOLD!

To Mr. Riley of Seattle

Thank You

Now go fuck with sound

Sparkle Girl

Each box will be unique but contain the same basic elements walkman, blank media etc. The goal has already been achieved. Each box is designed to allow the owner to work with sound in their own way. To demystify the process of engaging with sound by bringing the simplest pieces together allowing the artist (guess what, buy the box and you've become one) to record, make and manipulate sound as well as provide the little "extras" needed (or not) to get copies of your work into the the hands of at least two other people. In Riley's case, he had a specific request to be able to do an edition of 5. DOne! See, that wasn't hard. Ask, and we'll see what we can accomplish. Since each box will be different special orders don't upset us. For that matter, if you were to upset us you wouldn't be getting a box now would ya? Keep in mind this is not an instrument or a "band in a box" but more along the lines of Crank Sturgeon's legendary Crank Contact Mics or the Buddha Machine by fm3. Rather than take home a cd or tape by Sparkle Girl buy a box with some pieces of equipment and some tape and cds and go make your own and then come back and make us put it out on Soccer Mom Ebonics. Better yet, make a couple of copies and start your own label. Hell, that's what we did. Meet people! The box can be a conversation starter. As for starters: The Box is meant to be a GATEWAY. The question can be asked, "Is that a small condenser microphone ripped out of recycled consumer electronics?" Short Answer: Yes! Or you might decide to Google up condenser microphones and take a new direction of your own. Since I (Jim) am making these up as I go along you can bet your ass I don't want to be bored so expect a high WHAT IS THIS? factor. Truth be told I don't what some of these things are and we (Kurt and myself) are hoping you might find out AND THEN COME BACK AND TELL US. When Scritti Politti released their first single on Rough Trade Records they listed the cost and other details of the production on the back of the sleeve. New Order's "Blue Monday" 12" single sounded wonderful and also came housed in a sleeve by Peter Savile that was so gorgeous. World Wide Smash. And they lost money on every copy sold. These are quite inspirational tales for me. IS THIS A COMMERCIAL? NO. any sounds, sound, noise present in the box at the time of transaction by SPARKLE GIRL each box unique and contents designed and assembled by me (Jim) each box will have it's own Soccer Mom Ebonics catalog number for the discography so each person can chart their place their place in the SME cosmology and see who other box owners might be. You could start a club. Be like the Marines, "This is my box, there are others like it but this one is mine".

Sparkle Girl sees Zaimph. Pete Swanson, Magnetic Ring and Brother Raven 6.24.09

stole this from Kurt's blog....since I agree

Although Zaimph was was great for two shows the real treat for me was seeing Pete Swanson's solo debut outside of Portland. Loved D Yellow Swans and Pete gone solo was no letdown. Able to hear not only the elements he brought to the Yellow Swans but with more of a postpunkish guitar sound this set with great swelling waves of rhythm.

anyway here is Kurt's take on things...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Review Of Zaimph, Pete Swanson, Magneticring, Brother Raven at Josephine
Current mood:ambient chillout
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes
Last night The Josephine hosted Brother Raven, Magneticring, Pete Swanson and Zaimph. The unmissable lineup (for fans of spaced out zoned drone synth psych, anyway)delivered the goods. A healthy wednesday night crowd of 30-40 heads showed up to have their consciousness raised by these Kult jammers. Brother Raven are fairly new on my horizon, a local duo (J.Anderson & J.Potter), they purvey a stunning wash of uber spaced out cosmic synth worship. They seemed to take a wholly improvisational journey, navigating dense bass swells interspersed with thoughtful quiet parts. It was as if Klaus Schulze took a less conventional route through the Moog cosmos. They sounded great and ended on a stunning fade that left the crowd momentarily hushed before exploding into applause and howling their approval. I first heard of these dudes when they were scheduled for an in-store at Wall Of Sound Records but sadly missed the show, so it was cool to check them out at the Josephine. They also have a self-released tape out called "A Sound Like Wailing Winter Winds Is Heard" which totally kicks ass (hit them up for a copy at
Magneticring is Joshua Stevenson,who used to be in Jackie O Motherfucker. His first LP as Magneticring is amazing. Here are some words about it from the website: "Magneticring's debut Lp has just been released on the Uzu Audio Label from Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
Magneticring is the solo project of Josh Stevenson, member of Staked Plain (est. 1993), Von Bingen, B.C.V.C.O. and formerly Jackie-O Motherfucker. Not to mention contributions to a Kemialliset Ystävät recording, touring as a member of Samara Lubelski’s live band, Pink Mountaintops, numerous mastering credits, and is currently working on recordings with Montreal’s Sam Shalabi’s ‘Land of Kush Orchestra’ and Steven Wray Lobdell (Faust, Davis Redford Trio) After a couple of cassette releases, we are pleased to present his first long playing LP. Three tracks of hazy vintage synth pieces. This album is a one time pressing of 449 copies of clear 180 gram vinyl packaged in a Tip-on style gatefold jacket with custom silk screened art.
It features EMS Synthi 'AKA' & 'A' / Moog Opus / Maxi-Korg and some fuzz phaser guitar." Totally awesome! Anyway, his set was equally amazing and Kosmische, even though some dude was up in his space checking out his gear while he was playing. He played some unbeleivably vintage gear with his back to the audience and created a perfect trance state for all to enjoy.
Pete Swanson (ex Yellow Swans) played his first Seattle solo set. He played a gorgeous powder blue and white guitar through an array of electronics that metamorphosized his riffs into churning ocean currents and shooting stars complete with tracers. Pete's music is always an impressive mixture of abrasion and beauty, like a much more aggressive Tim Hecker. The room was absolutely thick with sound and vibration throughout his set. Sweet! Pete's got a couple of tapes out which convey a similiar vibe to this live performance, "Denim Life" and "Unlimited Options", both c20. Ask him about them here:
Marcia Bassett (Hototogisu, GHQ, Zaimph, Zaika, Double Leopards) put forward an even more mind blowing set than her excellent in-store at Dissonant Plane Records the previous Thursday. Alternating between guitar, electronics and treated vocals, she created a massive wall of dark yet pretty noise and feedback. Of all of the people working a similiar vein, Marcia is hands down the finest. Really, really killer sounds!
If you loved this show, I'll see you tonight at the Good Shepherd for this one:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Two New Killer Tapes from Gnarled Forest Records

Dead Machines/Blue Sabbath Black Cheer (GF26) I think 100 copies
The Cherry Point (with The Rita)/Dried UP Corpse (GF27) again I think 100 copies

Picked up these beauties up at a recent BSBC gig and they are mighty fine additions to the the Gnarled Forest catalog.

First Up GF26 Dead Machines/Blue Sabbath Black Cheer

The A Side is a fantastic recording of the Dead Machines set at the Second Wooden Octopus Skull Experimental Music Pfestival from 2006. I missed this night of the pfest but this recording helps make up for it. i have been lucky to catch Dead Machines a couple of times but this is probably my fave recording by them. Dark and minimal sonics wash over for several minutes when more glitch/broken/fried circuit noise works it's way into the piece. Not as "noisy" as some other recordings but really refined and powerful in it's way. Beautifully recorded by Vance Galloway.

The B Side is "Desolation" by Blue Sabbath Black Cheer. Let me see if I can avoid the usual adjectives I use regarding BSBC. "Desolation" is a more than worthy addition the the BSBC canon. Evocative of the title in all meanings as they pummel and scrape through a midden of sonic debris screaming at the sky.

Next Up GF27 The Cherry Point/Dried Up Corpse

A Side is The Cherry Point with guest the Rita again recorded live at the second WOSPfestival 2006. Now this night I was at and the Cherry Point brought the power noise assault. I remember he and the Rita at the table just slamming the audience with heavy duty noise. What might at first sound like a blur soon becomes a tidal wave of noise with small fragments detonating all through the piece. Again captured brialliantly by Vance Galloway.

B Side is Dried Up Corpse with an Ostara set at ChickenHed Church 4.12.09. Perhaps if BSBC can be viewed as the sound of death throes and wanton destruction than maybe I see Dried Up Corpse as the sonic documentation of the bonefields that remain. More dessicated and minimal with harsh and muted waves of wasted bleakness but with with some higher edged frequency bombs and tones that sound like mettalic carrion birds en route to a feast. This was a really enjoyable set to catch and kudos to Overdose the Katatonic for catching the sound nicely. Like I was there again in front.

Also seeing as how two of these sides are taken from the second Wooden Octopus Skull Pfest you might be able to find some copies of the Pfestival program at Dissonant Plane. It is a great read and has a Wolf Eyes discography so accurate to that time that even the Soccer Mom Ebonics live release is listed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mommy, what's a Ponzi Cult? Chikenhed Church 6.14.09

Specific: Ponzi Cult is Jody McKane (Yokai No Uta, Black Ops, Dj and Sparkle Girl collaborator) and Kurt Delaney (Sparkle Girl) on two guitars. Two musicians, two guitars: Ponzi Cult!

General: Ponzi Cult may or may not be a symbolic noise assault against the esoteric economics of Ponzi schemes and the cult of the rich. Maybe it just popped out. Either way I am looking forward to this debut performance of my cohorts first side project. Should be an interesting treat and the night will have some more surprises but I have to talk a walk....

Please check out

The reason I ask is that Eric wrote up a nice preview of the in store performance going on Saturday 6.13.09.

The other reason is that a lot of times there is confusion due to Kurt and myself both having Sparkle Girl myspace sites. Eric has cleared up this matter in a fashion we can appreciate. There are links to all the performers BUT by clicking Sparkle you get Kurt's /sparklegirlnoise site and by clicking Girl you'll get my /sparklegirlpresents. Cool.

Sparkle Girl In Store Performance at Dissonant Plane 6.13.09

Come join Kurt and I as we play our first (and probably only) in store performance at Dissonant Plane. We are playing with some great folks and we'll try to have some goodies for artwalk. Also you can check out Dissonant Plane, which does have the dubious honor of having the world's largest stock of Sparkle Girl and Soccer Mom Ebonics releases for sale. In addition to that all the other performers also have releases at Dissonant Plane.

Since opening they have provided nothing but support for local artists and labels. Hell, I even got to work there for awhile. The performances will be between six and eight pm and it should be a really interesting two hours of sound. We hope to see you there.






SATURDAY, JUNE 13th, 2009

6:00 PM

The second Saturday of every month is the Ballard Art Walk. Since we have been staying open for the art walk, we thought we would make it more interesting by having some live music. So come join us from 6 to 8 this Saturday. We have a little something for everyone. Sparkle Girl will do a field recording and shortwave set. Hellgrammite present their underground black metal sound. Aural Antithesis & Gohger bring prepared violin and electronics. Amphetamine Virus mix dark beat and noise. All are local acts represented on the shelves of Dissonant Plane. It is a great way to check out a variety of local underground weirdness.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Review of Wolf Eyes Completely Wrong/Variations On The Bottomless Pit 2xCD Collection

Wolf Eyes:Completely Wrong/Variations On The Bottomless Pit:AA Records 23/30

Due to a hellish summer cold and the packed conditions of the show I had to bag the show recently here in the Emerald City. but Kurt and I love our Michigan noise boys and tried to bring the party to em in style. Kurt took the bullet and stayed to the end cold and all to catch what he said was a fantastic show. Now though while I did have to cut the evening short Kurt and I (and shortly thereafter Mr. Eric Lanzillotta of Dissonant Plane) put a nice dent in the musical merch bazaar that is the WE enterprise in motion. Several nice scores but the first one I have gotten to check out in a serious way is this monster of a 2xcd set. Design is simple and lovely. Tan 6x6 envelope with titles in corner and an impressionistic drawing by Nate Young that makes me think of a hunter in a second skin of hair and eyes. AA Records handstamped on back and hand numbered (woo hoo got #23). The two discs are in simple black cardstock sleeves with drawings from Nate on one side and simple track information stickers.

But what about the music?

And is another Wolf Eyes review going to change anything?

Hands down one of my top five Wolf Eyes releases! These two discs both recorded in 2009 show the trio off to their best in a variety of ways. Completely Wrong might be one of the most consistent and engaging WE cds I have heard. Solid heavy noise which brings to mind what many might think typical of the boys that quickly starts throwing change ups that make the ears stand up. It sounds as if WE have dug out some of the rhythm generators from the gear closet and start putting them to varied and excellent use throughout the length of the cd in addition to some fine vocal work and guitar and electronic damage. Two Wolves is probably the most WE sounding of the songs and then more percussion and brutal lo fi rhythm work kick in with the Weirder. Two shorter tracks Lurk and Raw Organ are almost like a single in the middle of an album. Both songs atmospheric and throbbing examples of sweet menace. I'll mention the final track Milled Sickness in a few. After that I was wondering what joys the other cd might have for me. Short answer, many! Recorded at what sounds like three improvisation sessions on May 1st, 8th and three tracks from the final session on May 11th. Variations on the Bottomless Pit is a very atmospheric and "live" sounding release that shows a different side to Wolf Eyes. Elements like John's sax or Nates' vocals or Connelly's guitar all serving what are variations on a theme. Since I missed the show I had to go by Kurt's description of a dark, ambient industrial wash of keyboard phrases heavy melodies and a quiter but just as moving experience. This matched up well when Eric namechecked them sounding in ways like an old fave group of mine from San Fran called Factrix. I think Variations is one of the first recorded documents of another interesting sonic shift for the group. Listening to it obsessively as it brings to mind early industial sounds from ritualistic sonic explorers like Bond Bergland et al in Factrix or the unsettling textures of Throbbing Gristle (mercifully not including G's whine). Which makes some sense at the time since San Fran loves TG. Lots of great sax work that avoids overblown skronk attacks in favor of anchoring the vocals and simpler electronic passages. Production and sound are amazingly consistent for three different sessions and are a fine argument that noiseicians have just as much ability to craft pieces as any other group of musicians. More spare in density than usual for WE and sounds great for it letting the elements have distinct voices and themes for the pieces. The reason I waited to mention the last track on Completely Wrong is that I think said song Milled Sickness not only seems to unite these two different approaches in a strong and cohesive sonic grind that might be my favorite Wolf Eyes "song" so far. Released through Nate's AA Records imprint I really hope this one of those Wolf Eyes releases that reappears in a wider format. Representing strong stylistic diversity that reminds you why they can work so well with Anthony Braxton or Smegma.

Review of Summon Thrull s/t CD on Debacle Records

Summon Thrull:s/t CD:Debacle Records DBL020ECD206:83/100

I have been listening to this cd an average of once a day it seems since I grabbed it from Debacle kingpin Sam. A jam packed six track Cd of crazy good electronics. I saw a review the other day where the reviewer mentioned terms such as "epic" and "majestic" in hearing the tracks and I have to agree. Each song is a distinct composition that utilizes all manner of whizz bang electronic tones and rhythms. Also anyone who namechecks Videodrome in a title and has the creepy music to back it up is cool by me (I saw it when I was something like 11 or 12, which as I think about it, might explain a few things.) I love how the track titles give nice clues to the songs themselves. Cassettcon brought to mind fucked up teenage tape abuse while the final track Bleach Blonde Fragment Fracture really does have a lovely fractured momentum to the track. Another cool release on the ever reliable Debacle roster. If anything reminded me a bit of the more, dare I say, "beautiful" electronic soundscapes of Yellow Swans. Which I love. Mad love for the animist/alchemy layout. I'm not sure if I have met Dustin Kotchel the man behind the Thrull but check this one out.

Available from Debacle Records, Dissonant Plane and as always Sam at a show.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Megabatz! s/t 3" CDR Review

Megabatz!:s/t 3" cdr

Mysterious little 3" cdr goody I was given by Riley at a show recently. Megabatz! might be Riley and DBL kingpin Sam then again I could've just been misled. No information on the release except the band name and the two track titles. Track 1: Tengoku is an amazingly lovely 15+ minute drone based piece that sucked me immediately into the sound. One keyboard on a organ sounding drone with a nice frequent tweaks of oscillation and fingering. Synths seem to hover all around the drone with a slowly accreting melody wrapping itself around the central tones. Reminded me of early pulsing Stereolab before they faded off into a way too French airiness for my taste. This however is the goods my friends. Track dos: Cleaver Teeth is a shorter seven minute synth clash with more dynamic shifts and some cool little fragments (at least to me) where the pieces come bouncing together to end up with a proto- electro sound that seems to imagine Afikaa Bambatta discovering Cluster rather than Kraftwerk. Favorite part of the cd. Careful listening to Tengoku and hearing distinct whispers adding a wonderful human element to the song.

Casey, track these cats down for a Pillowful Of Drone. They would be kickass. A really lovely unexpected treat of a disc.

Happy Birthday Josephine! 6.1.09

Got to have a lovely night out at the Josephine as they celebrated their year anniversary. Everyone got treated to a wonderful group of sets from Soul Food Pinata, Tiny Manhood and Weebelos with interstitial music provided by Forrest Friends. Soul Food Pinata is one my favorite groups to catch live. Hearing Jeffrey wail on the electric is always a treat and Steve and Jason provided a catchy and swinging rhythm and the interplay between these three is always infectious. A special treat this time around was the addition of Kako on vocals. Her voice worked great with the loose and energetic playing and her enthusiasm got the crowd moving. Hell even I danced! Albeit in my Patti Duke/Ian Curtis fashion.

Next up was Tiny Manhood. Great freaking name! Wonderful offbeat pop led by doublenecked ukes looking like a hotwired Hawaiian Rick Nielsen creation and lovely bass work. I don't know if the two girls usually work as a duo or not but for tonight they were augmented by electric piano, drums and trombone and xylophone. The mixture was great with hummable tunes in a variety of styles that kept people smiling and moving. Flourishes from the horns, keys and drums helped increase the offkilter pop charm of the group. Again, great freaking name too.

Extended interlude as Chad and Garrison as Forrest Friends took position in the lamplit corners sending out coded vocal chants, rattletrap percussion and haunted sampled atmospheres as people relaxed.

Finishing up the party was a rockin' set by the Weebelos. Guitar, bass, drums, vocals and the nifty inclusion of what I think was an old SK1 sampler brought back memories of some my fave early 80's groups like the Embarrassment/Big Dipper, early BarNone Records and some local faves of mine like The Xteens. Short sharp pop shocks with deft changes and neat rhythm switches. Way fun band to end the proceedings.

Happy Birthday Josephine from Sparkle Girl

Sunday, May 31, 2009

killed a demon in my head

Welcome to PIPE!

Yet another conduit into the world of Soccer Mom Ebonics and Sparkle Girl.

Blue Sabbath Black Cheer:Josephine:5.30.09

After hitting family parties, a block party and the Josephine I was pretty beat. Heeding the advice of several people I took a short break and wandered back to the Josephine in time to be hit by a mighty wall of noise from Blue Sabbath Black Cheer. Bless their oily black hearts for playing a walloping set of gorgeous soul sucking bleakness. It was fantastic. Headache obliterated by a pure tornado of sonic abuse. Frankly I couldn't see who was doing what I just fell back on the couch hit REC on the walkman and blacked out. Dense and gnarly as always BSBC seemed to hit a beautiful and horrific groove that was then kicked in the ass by the addition of Goly Grim in their entirety joining in on three floor toms. I was so glad I made it back for this set. The drums setting a killer beat as the noise surged along with it. Probably one of my favorite BSBC sets.