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Fanfarlo Winter Tour // Symphony of Science

6th Jan 10 (Wed) Leave a comment

So, I missed the last Fanfarlo U.S. tour… but that’s OK, they coming through again… yippie…

U.S. Winter 2010 Tour

February 20 – El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA
February 22
Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA
February 23
Doug Fir Portland, OR
February 24
Crocodile Café Seattle, WA
February 25
Knitting Factory Spokane, WA
February 27
Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, UT
February 28
Larimer Lounge Denver, CO

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In other news, there’s a new Symphony of Science song / video out.  It is “The Unbroken Thread,” featuring Carl Sagan (yet again), along with David Attenborough and Jane Goodall, and it is biology themed.  The clips used in this installment come from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, David Attenborough’s Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, The Life of Mammals, The Living Planet, BBC Life, XVIVO Scientific Animations, IMAX Cosmic Voyage, Jane Goodall’s TED Talk, and a clever Guinness Commercial. The themes present in this song attempt to explore the wild diversity of life on our planet, the intricacy and origin of its mechanisms, and its close relation to all other life forms.

If you don’t know what Symphony of Science is… it started with “A Glorious Dawn” with Carl Sagan (from Cosmos).  It’s a brilliant auto-tuned mashup, and they also released it on vinyl (best of the year for me in 2009).  You can download the mp3s of the various songs over at the SOS site.

~Dan – np: Good for CowsBebop Fantasy
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Fanfarlo Tour / more Einziger compositions

29th Oct 09 (Thu) Leave a comment

Sigh… I’ll miss the Fanfarlo Fall 2009 North American Tour due to vacation.  Boo… :(  Their record, Reservoir, is great!  I’m bummed I’ll miss their Portland show, but all things considered this year, I can’t really complain much about a “lack of shows.” :)

Fanfarlo’s Fall 2009 Tour Dates

  • Schubas Tavern, Chicago IL – November 09, 2009
  • Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis MN – November 11, 2009
  • Moes, Englewood CO – November 13, 2009
  • The State Room, Salt Lake City UT – November 14, 2009
  • Knitting Factory, Boise ID – November 16, 2009
  • Crocodile Cafe, Seattle WA – November 17, 2009
  • The Media Club, British Columbia – November 18, 2009
  • Doug Fir Lounge, Portland OR – November 19, 2009
  • Great Basin Brewing Company, Sparks NV – November 20, 2009
  • Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco CA – November 22, 2009
  • The Echo, Los Angeles CA – November 23, 2009
  • The Casbah, San Diego CA – November 24, 2009
  • Muddy Waters, Santa Barbara CA – November 27, 2009
  • Club Congress, Tucson AZ – November 29, 2009
  • Sante Fe Brewing Co, Santa Fe NM – November 30, 2009
  • The Independent , Austin TX – December 02, 2009
  • The Loft, Dallas TX – December 03, 2009
  • Walter’s On Washington, Houston TX – December 04, 2009
  • The Bottletree, Birmingham AL – December 06, 2009
  • Metro Gallery, Baltimore MD – December 09, 2009
  • Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia PA – December 10, 2009
  • IOTA Club & Cafe, Arlington VA – December 11, 2009
  • Brillobox, Pittsburgh PA – December 12, 2009
  • Majestic Cafe, Detroit MI – December 14, 2009
  • El Mocambo, Toronto ON – December 15, 2009
  • Il Motore, Montreal QC – December 16, 2009
  • T.T. The Bear’s, Cambridge MA – December 17, 2009
  • Webster Hall, New York NY – December 18, 2009

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Incubus guitarist Michael Einziger likes experimental music.  And I like that he likes it.

He just posted on MySpace that he’s performing a new piece of music at an event in Los Angeles on November 21 at the Disney Hall.  Here’s some info about the concert.  The piece is entitled “Forced Curvature of Reflective Surfaces.”  Apparently, he’s not even finished with it yet (as of 10/28/09)!

Forced Curvature was inspired by a combination of the physical appearance of the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, and Einziger’s studies in the philosophy of quantum mechanics.

The music was written for 12 electric guitars (played with a slide), 12 strings (violin, cello), and is based on the glissando. The instruments have been orchestrated in terms of corresponding high and low registers, that reflect each other as though being viewed through a mirror. The exterior shape of Disney Hall informed the shape of the sounds created and by necessity, was first drawn visually in the form of architectural-like renderings, before being committed to paper in the form of a hand-written score.

“This building is obviously a solid, immobile structure”, Einziger says of the Disney Hall. “But it looks like a series of reflective waves that have been frozen in a specific state at a specific place in time, and I wanted to try and imagine what it might sound like if that idea were to be expressed as waves of sound. Adding a 4th dimension of time to the picture would force the structure into a Minkowskian space-time manifold, and it would therefore become directional. It would be as though time itself were forcing the curvature of the reflective material in a forward-motion, because time appears to be directional.”

The piece has no apparent formal structure and has been through-composed. All of the instruments will be fused together, forming 2 distinct ‘mirror images’. The strings and guitars combined will not sound like separate groups of instruments, but rather as dense units of a single instrument uncharacteristic of entirely one or the other.

Einziger conceived of the piece at Harvard University where he is currently a student, and has studied the history and philosophy of physics with physicist/historian, Dr. Peter Galison.

~Dan – np: Fred FrithFreedom in Fragments

tons of news

12th Jun 09 (Fri) Leave a comment

Nine Stories!

In this episode: The new Masada Quintet with special guest Joe Lovano, the Jenny Owen Youngs‘ video that I somehow missed, Nellie McKay‘s Election musical, Fanfarlo for $1, the deaths of JazzTimes & Jeff Hanson, the resurrection of Futurama, a new Wussy video, and Asthmatic Kitty’s most excellent Library Catalog Music Series

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The new Masada Quintet with special guest Joe Lovano just came out for June on Tzadik Records.  It’s the original Masada Quartet (John Zorn on alto sax, Dave Douglas on trumpet, Greg Cohen on bass & Joey Baron on drums) plus pianist Uri Caine… plus special guest tenor sax Joe Lovano.  Holy cow!!!  It’s the first official studio release from the Masada Quartet since 1999’s י [Yod] (or 2005 if you count the unreleased/rarities compilation Sanhedrin).  This album is bound to be at the top of my “best of” list for 2009.

This video from Jenny Owen Youngs came out in September 2007.  How did I miss it?  It’s a brilliant singer-songwriter cover of rapper Nelly‘s “Hot in Herre” (so take off all your clothes).  I bought the iTunes single… great stuff:

Nellie McKay is writing a musical based on the book/movie Election.  Read more about it over on Brooklyn Vegan blog.

Fanfarlo just put on their debut album, Reservoir, for $1.  Fanfarlo is a London-based band founded by Swedish musician Simon Balthazar.  Nice textured indie pop… think Sigur Rós meets Sufjan Stevens.  The album, in full, is available for only $1.00 until July 4th, 2009 at http://www.fanfarlo.com/.

The economy took another print-media victim.  This time it’s the death (or “temporary suspension”) of JazzTimes magazine.  The 38 year old magazine couldn’t maintain readership in the new era of online content.  It’s a sad day, as it was a great magazine.  I hope it’s able to come back later in some form or another under new ownership, as mentioned in the Howard Mandel article.

Whispy singer-songwriter Jeff Hanson died last Saturday (6/5) after an accidental fall on his cement-floored apartment in St. Paul, MN. Jeff was known for his feminine vocal style and songwriting/sound similar to late indie rocker Elliott Smith (who also died young).  He had three great albums out on Kill Rock Stars.  I hate to sound selfish, but I’m bummed I missed him when he recently came through Portland.  We lost another one, far too young…

In “Oh Sweet, Futurama’s On” News, the resurrection of Futurama is eminent.  Much like Family Guy, the popularity soared even after being originally canceled.  Futurama had some straight-to-DVD movies recently, and it will return with new 26 episodes on Comedy Central in the winter 2010.

A favorite band of mine from Cincinnati, Wussy, has a new “acoustic from an RV” video of “Maglite.”  They recently put out their 3rd full length album, and it lives up to the quality and momentum in their prior two albums (plus 1 EP).  Check out the video and then check out the album at Shake It Records:

Asthmatic Kitty’s most excellent Library Catalog Music Series just came out.  The naming of the series sounds… boring.  However, it’s really great instrumental music.  There are three issues thus far: 900X: Music for Lubbock 1980, Law of the Least Effort: Music for Measurements, and Casey Foubert/James McAlister: Music for Drums.  My favorite is the 900X one.  Really, really good electronic, post-rockiness. If you liked a more “sane” version of Sufjan Steven’s Enjoy Your Rabbit, I bet you’d like the LCMS. Check it out at Asthmatic Kitty Records.

~Dan – np: FanfarloReservoir

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