Category Archives: Music

Eleven strange music blogs: Free jazz, rock, kosmiche, international, and noise

Drinkin and rockin -- beer bong, big hair, and guitars

Here is a list of 11 music blogs. Some feature a few tracks from an album for a limited time, and others have links to high quality mp3 downloads of entire albums. Online music sharing is great for hard to find out of print music. For current releases we need to support the musical artists. Consider these downloads a preview for you to enjoy now, and hopefully you’ll give back to the artists if possible. If you have other favorite sites that fit into this sort of musical aesthetic, please share them in the comments. And thanks to the folks who turned me on to these blogs!

  1. Destination:Out  - Rare and out of print adventurous jazz. Also home to the online mp3 store for the great FMP label.
  2. Know Your Conjurer – Kosmiche, drone, international, jazz, and noise. This blog is scary close to my own taste in music. Edo also has a KYC radio show on KALX in Berkeley.
  3. Holy Warbles – From electronic noise to dub to Turkish psych freakouts, the owl runs one of the best music blogs around.
  4. Awesome Tapes from Africa – Just got turned on to this site recently. Some amazing albums you’ll find nowhere else.
  5. Moroccan Tape Stash – If you love the music of Morocco, this blog is a must.
  6. P.A. to da Reggae - Rare roots, dub, and dancehall.
  7. Killed in Cars – Just started reading this one. More analysis, Q&A, and ramblings than most music blogs — which is cool.
  8. Music is a Better Noise – This Japanese blog features rock, psychedelic, kosmiche, electronic, and noise.
  9. Murky Recess - In addition to a great mix of music, this blog features some fun photos, too!
  10. Madrotter - Fans of gamelan and Indonesian music will be floored.
  11. Weird Brother – 70′s rock, industrial, ambient — a really great mix.
Power plant accoutrements -- by Joe Reifer

23 epiphanies: Ramblings on artistic influences

Power plant accoutrements -- by Joe Reifer

Power plant accoutrements — by Joe Reifer

My presentation at last week’s Mono Lake Night Photography Festival was about the value of cultivating a diverse set of artistic influences. You are already doing this informally. The idea is to talk or write about your artistic input, as a playground for better understanding how these things are influencing your artistic output.

I had 45 minutes to talk, and spent just under 2 minutes talking about how each of these artists has influenced my night photography. As the presentation was both fast and media intensive, I’ve reproduced the list of artists below for those who attended the conference.

I encourage you to make your own list of influences. This could be a desert island list of your favorite films, photography books, novels, museum exhibits, dance performances — whatever you’re into. Making a list is the first step — the epiphanies are born out of process of articulating why you love this work, and how the work has influenced you. The writing doesn’t have to be lengthy — start with one sentence for the why, and one for the how. Have fun, and feel free to share your list.

  1. Gordon Matta-Clark: Conical Intersect [video on UbuWeb] [photos & bio on artnet]
  2. John Divola: Vandalism Series [photos on divola.com]
  3. Roger Ballen: Outland | Shadow Chamber | Boarding House
  4. John Pfahl: Altered Landscapes
  5. Draw on your image: To be discussed in a future blog post
  6. Gaspar Noe: Enter the Void [Netflix]
  7. Matthew Barney: Cremaster Cycle
  8. Werner Herzog: Of Walking In Ice
  9. Mark Rothko: Rothko’s Rooms [Netflix]
  10. William Vollmann: Imperial
  11. Michelangelo Antonioni: Red Desert [Netflix]
  12. David T. Hanson: Waste Land
  13. Flotation Tanks
  14. Haruki Murakami: A Wild Sheep Chase
  15. Ikeda Carlotta: Butoh Dance
  16. Yasujiro Ozu: Tokyo Story [Netflix]
  17. Master Musicians of Jajouka: Apocalypse Across the Sky | Pipes of Pan
  18. Lotte Reiniger: The Adventures of Prince Achmed [Netflix]
  19. Caspar David Friedrich [friendsofart.net]
  20. John Hind: Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight
  21. Chris Verene: Family | Chris Verene
  22. Jacques Tati: Playtime
  23. Erik Kessels: In Almost Every Picture #9 Black Dog

Note: Book and movie links go to Amazon, and help put a few extra pennies into the epiphany research jar.

Framing Time-Lapse: A few days before the show

Two minutes in the life of a photographer. Well, 2 minutes in time-lapse form anyways. Today I framed some 20″x30″ prints for the Dark Resort show that opens next week. The video above shows a time-lapse of the framing process. The music is from Serge Gainsbourg’s album Histoire De Melody Nelson. At first listen, it’s mellow music with a French guy talking. But there’s a lot going on here. The string arrangements by Jean-Claude Vannier are superb. This album will get under your skin. I also highly recommend Gainsbourg’s hilarious novel Evguenie Sokolov, a bizarre meditation on flatulence and art.

Anyhow, here’s how the video was made:

  • A Ricoh GRDII was setup to record exposures at 5 second intervals
  • Exposures were 1/2 second at f/4.5, ISO 200
  • A total of 371 photos were used for the video
  • Music was added in Lightroom 3, using “Fit to Music” for the slideshow timing
  • The video was exported from Lightroom, and imported into iMovie to add titles and credits
  • iMovie has a built-in YouTube upload feature

And a few notes about the framing process:

  • The photos are digital c-prints made on a Lightjet
  • The finished prints were mounted on 3/16″ black gatorboard by Colortone in Berkeley
  • Frames were ordered from Frame Destination, including spacers to separate the print from the glazing
  • Essential tools included: Brillianize polish, anti-static cloth, a cardboard tube to remove peel the paper on the plexi, needle-nose pliers, a white glove, yerba mate, and some good tunes.

Hope you enjoy the video — let me know if you have questions about what’s happening. See you at the Dark Resort show next Friday, November 5th!

Learning from films: Red Desert / We Give Our Lives

Criterion recently released a restored version of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1964 masterpiece Red Desert (il deserto rosso) [Amazon | Netflix | IMDB]. On the second viewing, I made screen captures of scenes where the composition caught my eye — mainly focusing on the theme of people set against industrial settings. Many of the still images could stand alongside work from my favorite photographers.

Those of you attached to fast moving modern films with plot may find this film difficult — I hope the still images convince you that a viewing will be rewarding. The cinematography and use of color are amazing, and Monica Vitti’s performance is riveting.

The slideshow is set to a song by the group Sabbath Assembly who have a new release called Restored to One [LP |MP3CD]. The album is a modern response to the music of a cult called The Process Church of the Final Judgement. Psychedelic gospel music by way of The Family and NNCK? And Jex Thoth has an amazing voice.

The video is best watched full screen at 720p — it may take a minute to load, but it’s worth it.