[microsound] downtown 80's
linton5.0 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 6 17:52:08 EST 2009
> Kim Cascone wrote:
>>> and i should add that Rhys and Glenn were developing their ideas at
>>> the same time, in the highly charged, creative stew that was the NYC
>>> downtown art scene in the late 70's - early 80's. lots of really
>>> interesting musical ideas/bands: DNA, Liquid Liquid, Y Pants,
>>> Contortions, Mars, Lydia Lunch et al. combine that with Philip Glass,
>>> Laurie Anderson, Steve Reich, etc. and BOOM.
>> some coffee thoughts:
>> I lived and worked in Manhattan around that time and attended the
>> Noise Fest at the White Columns on Spring St in '81
>> (I even managed to 'find' poster for it and now hangs in my studio)
>> Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham all played at the Noise
>> in addition to a lesser known downtown guitar ensemble headed by
>> Jeffery Lohn and who I auditioned for
>> but I saw Rhys play at the Mudd Club or Club 57 (can't remember
>> which) where his percussionist played metal poles with ball-peen
>> a very intense concert so say the least and in some ways more
>> interesting than Glenn's work
that would have been me with ball peen hammers on the steel pipes at
the mudd club (or coulda been club 57 as well as we played both places)
-this version of rhy's band was called "the din" and only existed for
about 18 months
the piece was called 64 short stories and was never published or
although it was performed at rhys "retrospective" at the kitchen (later
i did the "arrangements" for the percussion - etc....
>> but I was big fans of both of them
glenn and rhys..... rhenn and glys... on and on....
>> a few years later I saw Glenn speak at the Exploritorium in SF so I
>> chatted with him a little afterwards about the NY scene and why I
>> moved to SF
>> I would have to say that some of the context for this was 'New Music'
>> as mashed up with the 'No Wave' music happening in NY around that time
that's pretty accurate far as i'm concerned
>> and there was a lot of cultural cross breeding going on then
>> witness the New Music America festivals and Ear Magazine which were
>> both based in NYC and which helped to stir the 'creative stew' that
>> Bruce mentioned
>> I had a friend who played in Glenn's ensemble (before Glenn got
>> famous) and he told me this story about how Glenn knew almost nothing
>> about rock music and rock guitar techniques
>> so he continually asked my friend to play him 'historical' rock 'n
>> roll records and explain to him how certain guitar pedals were used
>> in making rock guitar sounds
i believe you might have them switched here... initially glenn was way
more the rock guy (he was for certain a big roxy music fan b
4 moving down to ny from boston)
of the 2 rhys was by far the real "new music" geek by comparison...
glenns first compositions actually used the fretboard on the guitar
rhys had developed a means for getting the most sound out of a 6
stringer without needing any guitar technique at all - all open neck
strumming - etc
of course they very quickly learned each others tricks - etc...
but really nobody was using stop boxes of any kind initially.... the
music required real amp driven overdrive not fuzz boxes
>> also, I had the pleasure of seeing DNA play at CBGB's several times
>> and think Arto Lindsay is one of the most original guitarists of his
>> his playing in DNA astounds me to this day and totally shifted how I
>> thought of the 'guitar'
agreed here that DNA was and remains the most astonishing musical
departure within rock instrumentation ever known then and since...
otherwise far as there ever being another downtown ny in the 80's....
we should all just grin and bear it and get on with life as we know
sorry i couldn't just sit this one out in the lurker lane
>> only to be further damaged by Keith Rowe and Fred Frith later on
>> my Berklee College of Music education never looked so provincial as
>> during that time
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