Faux Doom - 3/12/02

This is the playlist for a substitution pickup show broadcast on KZSU on March 12th, 2001 at 3pm. I was taking over for Fo that week, hence my attempt at doing some kind of Jazz/World focus here.


Okay, so for my first move, I conned Fo into letting me sub for him by promising to play Sun Ra, Don Cherry, Yusuf Lateef. That's a line I've been following in my explorations of late, tracing the fire backwards and sideways from the blazing Ra.

The trouble, of course, is that I regard it as a point of honor to avoid doing a radio show working the vein of just one single genre. So, I started thinking about pairs of tracks, leading with some sort of colorful/experimental instrumental jazz, and closing with some sort of slower, moody, vocally oriented track, preferably from another genre. And in additon to the Ra/Cherry/Lateef triptych, I would use some more recent, roughly analogus music from the Bay Area Improv scene: each set woud alternately focus on a historical track and a recent/local track.

Then I ran into a mental hang-up: I usually think in terms of three song sets. I had some middle, focal pieces selected, I had some closing pieces in mind, what do I use in the introductory spot? I thought about some possibilities like using overlays of spoken word and electronic music... but I was somewhat suprised to see how limited KZSU's current selection of spoken word disks looks. The good stuff there mostly dates at least five years back, and I've already used and reused a lot of it in sound mixes. (But I did notice the Howard Zinn disks I hadn't played before...).

Anyway, I finally resolved this hangup in the simplest way possible: I had a bunch of pairs of tracks in mind. Some of the "jazz" pieces I was thinking about were quite long... why not do two-song sets with the long pieces, and fuse together two pairs of the shorter pieces into four song sets. (Does that seem obvious? Ah, perhaps, but few things are obvious if you think about them hard enough).

sound beds

Throughout much of the show, I used the Panicsville/Rubber Cement split 12". Unless otherwise noted, that's probably what was playing. This was from the the A-file

the playlist

set the first

Yusuf Lateef
off of "Nocturnes"
The opening sound bed.
Philip Gelb - "Cargohold Number Nine"
off of The Artship Recordings
track 1 - 20:00
One of a series of 3" CD put out by Hugh Livingstons "Artship Recordings", a 20 minute improvisation, recorded on a mothballed oceanliner in a location selected by the artist.
Slow, sparse solo shakuhachi (japanese flute). Philip Gelb displays his usual fluent command of extended techniques on the shakuhachi.
Billie Holiday - "Yesterdays"
off of Fine and Mellow
track 3 - 3:19

set the second

Yusuf Lateef - "Mahaba"
off of Other Sounds
side B, track 3 - ~ 4:00
Did a needle drop on this one in a hurry, selected it on the basis of the cool flute sounds, played it on the air, and realized it's actually totally dominated by this slightly cheesy psuedo-african chanting (which I'm sure was pretty strange in it's day, but still...). Not quite the mood I was going for on this show.
80 Mile Beach - "That Modest Prize"
off of inclement weather
track 10 - 4:50
This on, the other hand, definitely is the mood I wanted: slow, somber, contemplative. Lyrics about mortality and the "modest prize" we fight for in the meantime.
This is a Beth Custer project from a few years back... like most Beth Custer work, it's somewhere in the eminently listenable to great range, and lately this track has been haunting my thoughts. Too bad I didn't pick a better Lateef track to pair it with.
Goodhart Allen Powell Trio - "Hand Count"
off of I can climb a tree, I can tie a knot, I can have a conversation
track 1 - 2:37
Local Bay Area Improv trio.
Angular, abrupt, slightly sparse.
Faith & the Muse - "The Silver Circle (remix)"
off of Vena Causa
disk NIGHT track 10 - 5:18
An old gothic favorite of mine, remixed on this new release, to give it a very electrofied sound.
"Come a- live!";

set the third

Don Cherry - "In a Geodetic Dome"
off of Brotherhood Suite
track 3 - 4:07
slow, somber horn, light gong punctuations
The Angels of Light - "His Entropic Highness"
off of New Mother
track 16 - 5:33
An M.Gira (formerly of the Swans) project

set the fourth

William Hooker - "An Unknown Feeling"
off of Black Mask
track 8 - 16:43
with Roy Nathanson on Sax
An energetic, noisy, 60s free jazz style piece.
Some depth to the sax.
From the the A-file
Richard Lainhart - "2 Mirrors Face One Another"
off of Ten Thousand Shades of Blue
Disk I, track 2 - 40:10
Deep, beautiful tones, like tibetan temple bells
From the the A-file
Played at the same time as:
Leonard Cohen - "Land of Plenty"
off of Ten New Songs
track - 10
"May the light in the land of plenty/shine on the truth some day"
Dirty Three - "Some things I just don't want to know"
off of Whatever You Love, You Are
track 4 - 6:06
Repetetive, deep slow sad strings.
This band was one of Jennie Kermode's picks for ten best of all time, so I gave it a play...
Partly overlapped this with the Leonard Cohen, then used it as a sound bed for the next Mic break.

set the fifth

Sun Ra - "The Adventures of Bugs Hunter"
off of The Solar Myth Approach Vol 1
side B, track 4 - 6:36
A piece focusing on the percussion of Bugs Hunter, an arkestra member I have a certain fascination with these days. He came up with the tape echo reverb that makes some of the Cosmic Tones/Art Forms tracks so distinctive.
And this re-release of the Solar Myth Approach is my current favorite Sun Ra recording, displacing Cosmic Tones, though possibly only temporarily.
Phil Ochs - "The Crucifixion"
off of Pleasures of the Harbor
side B, track 3 - 8:45
Beautifully strange lyrics, and sound production (with some very spooky, echoy dissoant strings). One of my candidates for inclusion in the classic, mythical genre of "Industrial Folk Music".

set the sixth

President's Breakfest - "What if..."
off of IIIC
track 11 - 2:36
Angular jazzy piece that incorporates Mumia Abu Jamal spoken vox.
From the the A-file
June Tabor - "Roses of Picardy"
off of Rosa Mundi
track 1 - 4:08
slow, somber, WWI song plus piano & strings.
played overlapped with:
From the the A-file
Pauline Oliveros - "No Mo"
off of No Mo
track 1 - 32:30
CD release of some of her early 60s electronic (tape and oscillator) works. This one is fairly sparse, but unusually noisey. Sudden bursts of static.
From the the A-file

set the seventh

Kobeity - "Notre Lune"
off of Coll: New Music From Central & Eastern Europe Vol. 2
track 9 - 7:32
lead: military drums. Brings in deep bass, turns into fast secret agent music, with way cool sax.
From the the A-file
Paul Smiff, The Foolish Mortal - "Season of the Zebra"
off of Season of the Zebra, 12"
side 1, track 1 - ~ 4:30
Features female vocals in Cambodian by Chom Nimol, who also fronts the band Dengue Fever, which was just written up in Giant Robot, issue #24.
Slow, mildly goofy beats.
From the the A-file
Howard Zinn - "Objectivity/Making Choices"
off of A People's History of the United States
track 5 - 2:51, track 6 - 3:32
Spoken word piece, where Zinn, the author of the well known book of the same title of this CD, denies value of objectivity (sorta)
Played this overlapped with:
ICE - "Human Behavior"
off of String Tribute to Bjork
track 9 - 4:10
Instrumental classical versions of Bjork tunes. A cut above muzak, but only just. More evidence, if any were needed, that the "classical" music field is completely tapped out and desperate for ideas.
Mildly goofy, boogieing along sound, that I though went fairly well with Zinn's Wry Humor.
Iva Bittova' & Cikory - "The Strength of Ants"
off of Coll: New Music From Central & Eastern Europe Vol. 2
track 10 - 3:21
jazzy pop and whispery french vox.

set the eight

Phil Ranelin - "Vibes from the Tribe"
off of Hefty Records Sampler
track 6 - 3:45
leads with spooky metal sounds, adds trombone (?). Boogieish beat with horns.
This is one of the almost uniformly excellent CDs shipped out with the almost universally excellent magazine "The Wire" to subscribers.
Sinead O'Conner - "On Raglan Road"
off of Mondo Celtic Compilation
track 14 - 6:04
From the the A-file
Played overlapped with:
Controlled Bleeding - "Red Hand's Waiting"
off of Can You Smell the Rain Between
track 1 - 6:50
Played at roughly 25% volume
From the the A-file

set the ninth

Funker Vogt - "Maschine Zeit (Maschinen Mix)"
off of T
track 6
Some nice, deep sounding, repetetive pounding beats, on this industrial dance track. Part of a ticket giveaway for the DNA Lounge, where they were about to perform.
Karen Stackpole - ""
off of Metal Work, Music for Gongs
Karen Stackpole is a local musician with an impressive collection of exotic percussion instruments. Here on this disk on the Limited Sedition label, she's focusing solely on metal gong sounds. Excellent, spacey mood music...
Played overlapped with:
Jon Raskin - "Gym"
off of The Artship Recordings
track 1 - ~ 20:00
3 inch CD
Another disk in the same series as the Philip Gelb piece the show led off with.
The well-known local saxophonist.
Susan McKeown - "Bushes & Briars"
off of the Mondo Celtic Compilation
track 8 - 3:53
slow, traditional mournful female vocals
From the the A-file
Played overlapped with:
Bob Falesch & Bob Marsh - "2 1/2 by 4 1/4"
off of co-lage
track 2 - 7:46
sparse, with tweaked high voice and piano
Excellent local improvisational muscians.

last track

D.Barret & DJ Snooty - "Diedre Chalet"
off of Une Fois Mais Pas Deux 12"
side two, track 2 - ~ 3:00
slow, space, sci-fi ambient sound
From the the A-file


Did it all work? Probably not very well. The show had it's moments, but there were continual problems with rough segues. While I'd often previewed the music to refresh my memory of what it sounded like before making a note of it, the notes alone weren't always good enough to recall the sound. My "post-it note" method of piecing together sets from notes about the tracks failed me a number of times.

The high point of the show was probably in the Howard Zinn/Ice set. Certainly that generated the most listener comments.



That is to say, KZSU, the Stanford radio station, available at 90.1 FM in the SF Bay Area and at realaudio.stanford.edu everywhere there's a sound card. More about that over at kzsu.stanford.edu

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