Laughter

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Broadcast 10: Jason Molina

songs_ohia_journey_on_boxed_setJason Molina passed away on March 16th, 2013, one year ago yesterday. Last year, when Brainwashed.com gave him the Lifetime Achievement Award for his body of work, I wrote a summary of his career. I’d like to share a little of that here, just to give you some perspective on the man’s devotion to his craft. He wrote some of my favorite songs, recorded several of my favorite records, and was one of my favorite musicians, period. I respected his work and how he worked, and not many people worked as hard as he did:

By the time Magnolia Electric Co. came out in 2003, [Jason Molina] had recorded nine albums in roughly seven years, plus numerous singles and EPs—at least 15 in total between 1995 and 2002—that were scattered across various labels, from Palace Records and Secretly Canadian to Acuarela, Western Vinyl, and Temporary Residence. He then went on to record one EP, two 7″ singles, and seven more albums with Magnolia before he died, three of which were bundled together in the Sojourner boxed set and recorded in the same year. Somehow, within that same time span, he found the energy to write, record, and release four more albums, three under his own name and one collaboration with Will Johnson. He collaborated and released records with so many people it’s hard to keep count: The Arab Strap, Will Oldham, Alasdair Roberts, Scout Niblett, Oneida, My Morning Jacket, Mike Mogis, Steve Albini, Jennie Benford, Richard Youngs, Edith Frost, David Lowery—the list goes on. And what’s more, they’re all worth hearing, even the rougher stuff. Some musicians need quality control and restraint: Jason Molina simply couldn’t release enough…

In celebration of his life, I DJ’d a two hour set of his music (22 songs) on WZBC 90.3 FM.

It all came together last minute, so I didn’t have the chance to promote it here. But if you missed the show and would like to hear it, you still can. WZBC archives every one of its broadcasts for two weeks at a time and you can find the links for this one at the bottom of the page, along with a setlist. If you’re unfamiliar with his music, this show should serve as a good introduction to it. If you already know Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co., but have only heard a record or two, there should be plenty here that’s new. And if you’re a fan, I hope you’ll listen and enjoy the songs. I picked several of them and listeners requested a few others. I think it all came together very well.

In other Molina news, Secretly Canadian will be releasing a Songs: Ohia boxed set for Record Store Day this year. The image at the top of this page was posted to the label’s Facebook page on March 12th, and the Jason Molina page reposted it, promising more information soon. There’s still a bit of speculation as to the contents, but Bull Moose has already posted a product description on their website, which you can see here. It mentions “18 sides,” which means there are probably nine singles, though which nine is still up in the air, as is whether or not they’ll be exact reproductions.

If you have any comments or questions, please email me, or leave a message in the comment section below.

I hope you enjoy the show.

Laughter: March 16th, 2014 – A Tribute to Jason Molina: Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. Magnolia Electric Co., “O! Grace” from Josephine (2009) on Secretly Canadian
  2. Magnolia Electric Co., “The Night Shift Lullaby” from What Comes After the Blues (2005) on Secretly Canadian
  3. Magnolia Electric Co., “John Henry Split My Heart” from Magnolia Electric Co. (2003) on Secretly Canadian
  4. Songs: Ohia, “This Time Anything Finite at All” from Impala (1998) on Secretly Canadian
  5. Songs: Ohia, “Hearts Newly Arrived (Hecla Session)” from Hecla & Griper (15th Anniversary Edition) (2013) on Secretly Canadian
  6. Songs: Ohia, “Hot Black Silk” from Axxess & Ace (1999) on Secretly Canadian
  7. Songs: Ohia, “Being In Love” from The Lioness (2000) on Secretly Canadian
  8. Songs: Ohia, “Two Blue Lights” from Didn’t It Rain (2002) on Secretly Canadian
  9. Magnolia Electric Co., “Will-o-the-Wisp” from Black Ram (Sojourner Boxed Set) (2007) on Secretly Canadian
  10. Jason Molina, “The Spell” from Shohola (Sojourner Boxed Set) (2007) on Secretly Canadian
  11. Songs: Ohia, “East Last Heart” from Hecla & Griper (1997) on Secretly Canadian
  12. Jason Molina, “It Costs You Nothing” from Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go (2006) on Secretly Canadian
  13. Magnolia Electric Co., “Talk To Me Devil, Again” from Sun Session (Sojourner Boxed Set) (2007) on Secretly Canadian
  14. Magnolia Electric Co., “The Old Black Hen” from Magnolia Electric Co. (2003) on Secretly Canadian
  15. Magnolia Electric Co., “Texas ’71” from Nashville Moon (Sojourner Boxed Set) (2007) on Secretly Canadian
  16. Magnolia Electric Co., “The Handing Down” from Josephine (2009) on Secretly Canadian
  17. Magnolia Electric Co., “Map Of The Falling Sky” from Josephine (2009) on Secretly Canadian
  18. Magnolia Electric Co., “A Little At A Time” from Fading Trails (2006) on Secretly Canadian
  19. Songs: Ohia, “No Limits On The Words” from Ghost Tropic (2000) on Secretly Canadian
  20. Magnolia Electric Co., “The Big Game Is Every Night” from Magnolia Electric Co. (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (2013) on Secretly Canadian
  21. Songs: Ohia, “Blue Chicago Moon” from Didn’t It Rain (2002) on Secretly Canadian
  22. Songs: Ohia, “Blue Factory Flame” from Didn’t It Rain (2002) on Secretly Canadian

 

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Broadcast 06: “Opening Night”

feldman_laughBelow are two links to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my December 8th radio show, broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Those links will remain active until December 22nd, at which point the show will disappear and be replaced by a new one.

There’s a whole trio of new releases represented in this broadcast (plus a fragment of a new release at the end): one from Phill Niblock, one from Graham Lambkin and Jason Lescalleet, and one from Olivia Block, whose latest album, Karren, is receiving all kinds of positive responses. “Opening Night” definitely blew me away; just a gorgeous recording and a great concept behind it. Be sure to give that a shot if you have time for nothing else.

Anyone interested in the opening Michael Pisaro piece should check this link out. In it, Michael explains a bit about what’s happening compositionally in Hearing Metal 2—the section I played is actually quite different from the bulk of the recording—you can always check out my review of that album here, which includes samples. There’s lots of good information on the Wandelweiser website as well. Pisaro is a great writer and always manages to speak very clearly about his work, despite the inherent difficulty in the subject matter. My interview with him links to several articles he’s written, plus I think he clarifies a lot of difficult concepts over the course of the discussion. You can read that here.

During the course of the show, I also mentioned an interview with James Tenney that I thought was particularly helpful for understanding his music and the influence he’s had on people like Michael Pisaro and Michael Byron. You can read that interview at New Music Box.

My next show will continue with more new music, including releases on PAN and 23Five.

Any questions, comments, or requests, please send me an email.

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: November 24th, 2013 – Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. Michael Pisaro and Greg Stuart, “Hearing Metal 2 (Le table du silence) – I” from Hearing Metal 2 (Le table du silence) (2011) on GRAVITY WAVE
  2. Phill Niblock, “Two Lips (Dither Guitar Quartet)” from Touch Five (2013) on TOUCH
  3. Graham Lambkin/Jason Lescalleet, “Loss” from Photographs (2013) on ERSTWHILE
  4. Olivia Block, “Opening Night” from Karren (2013) on SEDIMENTAL
  5. Luc Ferrari, “Chicago, USA. October 2001. Rehearsal for a concert Harley Davidson. Texas.” from Les Anecdotiques (2004) on SUB ROSA
  6. Robin Rimbaud, “Experience” from The Garden is Full of Metal: Homage to Derek Jarman (1997) on SUB ROSA
  7. James Tenney, “Swell Piece (1967)” from Postal Pieces (2004) on NEW WORLD RECORDS — performed by The Barton Workshop
  8. Morton Feldman, “For Franz Kline” from Only – Works for Voices and Instruments (1996) on NEW ALBION — composed in 1962 – vocals by Joan La Barbara
  9. John Cage, “String Quartet in Four Parts (Quietly Flowing Along/Slowly Rocking)” from The Complete String Quartets Vol. 2 (1992) on MODE — composed 1949-50, performed by The Arditti Quartet – these are just the first two movements
  10. Burkhard Stangl, “Unfinished – Sailing (fragment)” from Unfinished. For William Turner, Painter. (2013) on TOUCH — performed by Fennesz


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Broadcast 01: September 15th, 2013

from a photograph by Clifton Church - the top of Gasson Hall at Boston College

from a photograph by Clifton Church – the top of Gasson Hall at Boston College

Below is a link to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my September 15th radio show broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM. This link will remain active until September 29th, at which point the audio will disappear and a new show with new music will take its place. I will not be uploading MP3s.

Besides a few technical goofs on my part, everything went smoothly. Finding a way to present some of the longer pieces of music in a two hour slot is one of the challenges I’ll have to think more about, because using short excerpts just wasn’t good enough, especially with recordings like Asleep, Street, Pipes, Tones. I’ll either have to plan exactly which segments I want to use in advance (and stick to them, no matter the duration), or I’ll have to select shorter pieces better suited to radio programming. The show will be a little better organized next time.

Links to labels are provided in the playlist.  Any questions or requests, send me an email. Much of this music is still in print and available from the stores, shops, and distributors listed at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: September 15th, 2013 – Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. Autechre ‎, “Pen Expers” from Confield (2001) on WARP
  2. Helm, “Silencer” from Silencer EP (2013) on PAN
  3. Bruce Gilbert and BAW, “Rest/Reflection” from Diluvial (2013) on TOUCH
  4. David Sylvian, “Manafon” from Manafon (2009) on SAMADHI SOUND
  5. Tod Dockstader, “Water Music” from Dockstader: Quatermass (1992) on STARKLAND
  6. Philippe Lamy, “Une Autre Couche” from Drop Diary (2013) on MYSTERY SEA
  7. Kevin Drumm, “Earrach A (excerpt)” from Earrach (2013) on RECREATIONAL PANICK/BANDCAMP
  8. Bellows “Untitled 6” from Reelin’ (2013) on HOLIDAYS RECORDS
  9. Nmperign/Jason Lescalleet, “The Mystery Disease That Haunts My Town” from Love Me Two Times (2006) on INTRANSITIVE
  10. Howard Stelzer, “Bond Inlets 2 (excerpt)” from Bond Inlets (2008) on INTRANSITIVE
  11. Graham Lambkin, “The Currency of Dreams” from Salmon Run (2007) on KYE
  12. Michael Pisaro “Asleep, Street, Pipes, Tones (excerpt)” from Asleep, Street, Pipes, Tones (2011) on GRAVITY WAVE
  13. Keith Rowe/Günter Müller/Taku Sugimoto “Phase Two (excerpt)” from The World Turned Upside Down (2000) on ERSTWHILE