Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ben Collins - Guitar (2003-2004)

In the spirit of my recent digging-up-of-old-recordings-I-don't-really-remember-making, here is a collection of track evocatively titled "Guitar". Honestly it was in my iTunes labeled as such and I don't know why I ever called it that but I don't see any reason to change it now.

Anyhow, the record is comprised of four longish tracks of, you guessed it: Guitar. Played by me. I cannot remember recording three of the four, but I can tell that they were all recorded on my tascam four track in my old house in Savannah GA, probably between 2003 and 2004. So there's that at least. They are pretty primitive for sure, for all I know the first track might very well be my first experiment with the e-bow, which I had just bought that year. The two acoustic tracks take up most of the runtime and they are, at least to my ears, sort of delightfully naive. Clearly my ambition and desire to be a player like John Fahey was out-striping my ability as a player or even my understanding of the instrument. And the Prepared track (the only one I can recall) had me playing with silverware and a totally detuned guitar, lying across my lap. I'm sure that seemed Very Experimental to me at the time, but now it sounds just sort of like cool atonal blues or something and I dig that.

So I don't know, if you enjoy the sounds of youthful energy, the sounds of a 19, 20 year old kid trying to get his mind around how to make his instrument interesting then maybe you will enjoy this.

download album HERE

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ben Collins - Odds (2006-2010)

Here is another archival record of mine. This one is cobbled together out of random tracks that I found in my itunes, which were all recorded for some reason or another, but all of which never found their way onto any other album. Encompassed here are a variety of styles including old standards of mine such as solo guitar and noise but also a few tracks featuring beats and keyboards.

All the tracks are titled just as they were labeled, and I put them in an order I thought would be interesting.

All music by Ben Collins

Download it HERE

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ben Collins - Thoughts (2006)

I was digging through old hard drives today when I happened on a massive amount of music I recorded in 2005 and 2006. All told there is like 15 hours worth of stuff, some of it I remember and more strangely some of it I do not. This album it a collection of five tracks I have no memory of at all whatsoever, which is probably why I am pleased with it.

It's mostly noise although my voice and guitar make appearances as well and one song seems to be a processed version of a recording I made with Zach Smola and Travis Knowles where we all three play the drums.

There's a part of me that thinks this is some of the best stuff I've ever made and I guess it goes to show you that sometimes you can make something and think you know whether or not it's good but the truth is that it can take years before you approach yr own work objectively.

I should also note that given the date my computer tells me these were created I must have been using a beta version of Audio Mulch on my Dell PC. How I achieved any of these sounds is a total mystery to me, especially the closing track.

So download it HERE


Monday, March 8, 2010

Black Thirteen - BIRD light

It's been more than a year since my last Black Thirteen post. Which makes sense seeing how the band is on a pseudo-hiatus. However the group recorded so much during its active period that I am still in possession of a wealth of unheard material. One of the best and certainly most unusual pieces of forgotten B13 is this little record.

As many of you know, the classic B13 line-up consists of Simon Sharp, Wesley Rose and myself. We always welcomed collaborators with open arms and none more so than Jessica Collins (Née Calleiro) and on this record she played with us, recorded it and then went on mix and edit the session, basically recreating Black Thirteen in her own image. Which we later found out was vastly superior to our own image.

So what you get here are six tracks pulled together from two different sessions, four from an initial set which featured Simon, Jessica, and me. And two tracks from a second session, (lost due to hard drive failure) which (thankfully) features the inclusion of Wesley Rose.

Those familiar with Jess's BERU work will recognize her incredible cut-up/collage abilities employed to very subtle effect here. (Those NOT familiar with her Beru work will kindly stop reading and familiarize yrself now.) And those familiar with Black Thirteen's other records will probably notice the sometimes too-crisp aspect of our low-fi, all-improv approach has been dully soaked in reverb and mellowed out like a lot, turning all of our guitars into this floating pillow for Simon wonderful voice.

Jess just told me she thinks this record is some of the best work she's ever done. I feel pretty strongly about it myself and I know that Simon and Wesley do also. In fact really the only the thing to complain about is the shoddy craftsmanship of Western Digital and their "My Book" hard drive which failed out of nowhere and caused the rest of the session with Wesley to be possibly lost forever and made the resulting record a mere 23 minutes. Don't worry though you'll want to hear it twice in a row.

Simon Sharp sang lead vocals on all tracks and played an acoustic guitar.

Jessica Collins sang backing vocals and whistled sometimes and played a keyboard sometimes and also an acoustic guitar.

Wesley Rose played acoustic guitar on tracks 3 & 5.

Ben Collins played electric guitar on all tracks

and a sample of Joseph Calleiro drumming was used on one song.

Recorded, mixed, edited by Jessica

All songs collectively improvised by the members.

Album photo of Bella, taken by Jessica.

Download the album HERE

The Mooninites - TK Traxz

Back in 2005 The Mooninites spent a day jamming in a church. We used the mics and PA that were there as well the drum kit and vintage Fender Rhodes. Josh Nelson recorded us and it ended up as a sort sloppy, three piece version of middle period Soft Machine (we wish). Anyhow, at some point Travis Knowles did a handful of remixes of those sessions using some of the old synths he had access to at the dearly departed Atlanta College of Art.

Hear a track:

I'm sure at some point I'll put together a reasonable set of the original recordings, but for now these remixes are way better. And to think they've been just sitting around on my computer, forgotten, for five years now. I feel like a tool. This stuff is really good, it's all loop-based using a keyboard that could make loops which could be both pitch-adjusted and time-adjusted while playing so get all of this cool early Steve Reich-ish stuff.

And if you like this please check out TK's other stuff, especially my previous post of his newest album.

Track listing:

1. Night Train
2. The Heart of the Heart
3. And Other Stories
4. Blue Blood
5. American Pastoral

In case it is worth noting, the original sessions were roughly:

Travis Knowles on bass
Zach Smola on rhodes and guitar
Ben Collins on Drums and tapes

recorded by Josh Nelson

Photo by me of this weird time when Wesley Rose had this strange pixelated giant ruby floating in front of his head while he was sitting on this dock with a cigarette.

Download it HERE

Post Script: Thought I should mention a few house-keeping items about the blog. In case you bother to look through the archives anytime soon you may (or may not) notice the lack of the embedded IMEEM players which used to be featured in some of last years posts. Well I took them all down because IMEEM SUCKS, really really bad and they started replacing my embedded player with some stupid banner ad. So in case you or ANYONE you know ever wonders DON'T USE IMEEM! On the other hand is stepping up their game and it looks like I will be able to upload things easier and more effectively on there.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Travis Knowles - Axis Mundi

I've been delaying this post because I wanted to write something really meaningful about the album so that you would download it and dig it like I do. Well maybe I'll go back and add something later but for now I'll just tell you that this is a new record from Travis Knowles, aka TK, TK 421, etc. Member of The Mooninites and Black Thirteen and Telenovela and sometimes Figurants and all sorts of other things.

If you have followed this blog at all you've heard this man before. He's great, I've literally known him since kindergarten and I recommend everything he does, all of his music and his incredible visual art and photography.

So this album is him doing some kind of minimal electronic noise thing. I'm unclear as to how he is deriving the sounds, but they are great.

Oh and the album art was made in collaboration between Travis and myself.

I might write more on this later, but download it now.

Get it HERE

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Untitled Stylophone Improvisation #1


Happy New year! It's 2010 now and I just recorded my first music of the new year and decade. Yesterday Jessica and I bought a Stylophone, which is a little hand held synthesizer built in the sixties which as been enjoying a resurgence in the past few years because it is inexpensive and easy to play. We purchased ours from Urban Outfitters in Hollywood and I expect many other people will do the same. I wouldn't be surprised if this new decade saw every band with a dedicated Stylophone player so before it becomes too ubiquitous I thought I would throw my hat into the ring with a solo Stylophone improve album.

So that's what I did. So what you have here is a half hour of me playing Styophone through a loop pedal. There is one edit early on where I screwed up and went back to a good part and started again but other than that it's pretty raw, no mastering or anything.

So here you go, enjoy it and I promise to post more soon.

Or download it HERE

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Album 2009


For the past few years Josh Nelson has been curating Christmas compilations featuring various groupings of our friends playing both originals and covers. I've contributed something each year and it's my opinion that results are usually interesting.

This year was a little slim with only eleven tracks but there is some solid stuff, including three contributions from Beru and two from Colin Alexander's Tiny Specks of Many Things.

Josh didn't include album art, so just to make this post interesting I put up that picture of my cat next to our Christmas tree

Download it HERE

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Mooninites - Experiment Station Road (2003)


So by now we all know about The Mooninites, (Three dudes, I'm one of them, along with Zach and Travis) if you don't know of our thrilling history check out the older posts. Anyhow, since I've been traveling basically backwards with my posting of Mooninites albums I'll explain that this is pretty much the second thing we ever did. The story, as I understand it is that we had made this one record and Zach played it for his friends at school (UGA, go dawgs!) most notably Lars Gotrich (or Thor, as we know him now) and Lars who ran the local music show, invited us to play at his "Live in the Lobby" event, where a bad would come to the station and, obviously, play in the lobby. Now at this point we had never had an official show (there was an unofficial show, which was videotaped and could maybe maybe be posted at some point) and we didn't really know how to go about doing one. So somewhere along the line we decided to just bring a bunch of instruments and "see what happened". We didn't even know the word "improv" at least not outside of the context of comedy, so we didn't know what we were doing.

So we loaded up the cars and drove to Athens to meet Zach at the station and play. On the way there Travis rear-ended me, (I was driving Simon Sharp's car, which to this day has a trunk that doesn't operate correctly.) and when we after the cops came and left we saw that we had wrecked at the intersection of "Experiment Station Road", so later we named the record after that.

When we got to the station there was little time for any kind of explanation or sound check or anything. We explained to the engineer, Miles Styer that we would just set up a bunch of stuff and sort of move around the room playing each thing at different times and volumes.

And then we played for about a half hour. Joe McNeill was present as were about twenty or so UGA students, all sitting in chairs or on the floor around us as we played. At times the music became incredibly loud and I actually think Joe was the only the one in the audience not covering his/her ears at some points. It got quiet at the end and Zach coaxed everyone into clapping along on the last bit.

The session was broadcast live, recorded somehow and was given to us on a CDR. Upon listening to it we realized that due to loudness of our playing they had turned the master volume down considerably, presumably to control it for the broadcast, which significantly altered the listening experience, making the loudest parts of our playing actually the quietest parts of the recording.

After I posted "Let's Melt Snow" a few months back and this recording was mentioned I revisited it and set about re-mastering it with the goal of at least glimpsing the volume and (dare I say) Power of the actual performance.

So here it is, six years later and I think it's a pretty okay little record. It has an earnest enthusiasm for the playing of weird music that I very much respect and admire now. Were we the masters of experimentation that we wanted to be? Of course not, but we had fun and made some decent music so it shouldn't really matter.


Zach Smola: Primary guitar, tambourine
Travis Knowles: Bass, SK-1, organ
Ben Collins: Drum loops, Korg Synth, feedback guitar

(Acoustic Cigarette: Joe McNeill and Simon Sharp)

Engineered by Miles Styer
Produced by Lars Gotrich
Mastered and Edited by Ben Collins

Get it HERE

Update: I now know for sure that the photo was taken by Erin R. White, thanks Erin.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Maybe Yr New Here...

I thought it might be a good time for me to reintroduce myself and this blog. Since moving out to Los Angeles almost a year ago now I've been meeting new people and so I thought I would provide an easy way to understand what we're doing here and a sort of primer to the more popular albums up on here.

So My name is Ben. I'm from Atlanta originally and I went to college in Savannah and recently moved to Los Angeles. Throughout all of that I have recorded a lot of music and made friends with other people who do likewise. I started this blog as a way to post up music for people to download, just as a way of getting it out there in the world instead of forever festering on CDRs made in an edition of five.

So I've posted a lot now, it's close to a hundred, maybe in the seventies and I have plenty more sitting on hard drives waiting to go up. I recognize that if you are new to the site you may have no idea where to start so I thought I would guide a bit and tell you about some of the key bands/albums featured on this blog.


Uncle Owen Aunt Beru - "Black Seas"

It might be the best album on this whole site. Jessica (sole member of Uncle Owen Aunt Beru, now called simply "Beru") is the unquestioned star of this blog, anything she plays on gets downloaded the most and for good reason. Get this record first before anything else.

Download it HERE

Or view the original post HERE



This is another of the most downloaded recordings. It also features Jessica, this time playing drums in our duo Cat People, (which also includes me on guitar). This recording has us playing in double-duo form with Deth Gate, who were (are?) a rad duo in Savannah made up of Stephen Zerbe on keys and Coley Brown on drums.

Download it HERE

Or view the original post HERE


Ben Collins - What is a Lover?

A lot of the records on this blog are mine, simply because I have more of my own stuff than anyone else's. My record vary in style and quality, I have no real objective way of saying what is good at all but in many ways this album is my favorite one I ever did. It has a good blend of styles from noise to acoustic and other...

Download it HERE

Or view the original post HERE


Black Thirteen - Whiskey & Honey

This was the first album I posted. Black Thirteen is a now sort of defunct improv group that had a rotating line up with a few constants. This album is the first to feature the "classic" grouping of Simon Sharp, Wesley Rose and myself: all playing guitars.

Download it HERE

Or view the original post HERE


Will Melton & The Year of Love - Summer of Love

This record features a ton of my friends all playing and singing these songs which are all composed and recorded by Will Melton. I won't break down the various contributions, (see original post) but I'll tell you that it is great eclectic pop music.

Download it HERE

Or view the original post HERE


Wesley Rose - Southern Elegance

This is Wesley's first album. Power. Raw. Noise. Get it.

Download it HERE

Original post HERE


Dixieland Teenbeat Spiritual Waltz

This record is Travis Knowles and myself each playing an organ, as the photo suggests. It's improv, it's fun.

Download it HERE



Ben Collins & Zach Smola - Guitars and Loops

This record is a improv electric guitar duo by Zach Smola and myself. Sort of like a Fripp & Eno record if it was two Fripps and neither were as good as the actual, real Fripp.

Download it HERE



Black Thirteen - Plate Tekroniks

Here is a good example of an expanded B13 line up. Here we feature the classic group plus the inimitable Joe McNeill (Featured eating Long John Silver's on the cover). It's also a good example of how we could play long and weird and whiskey-fueled music that would never have occurred to us in any other setting.

Download it HERE



So maybe that is a good introduction to the unfamiliar... I'll continue with the new posts soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wesley Rose - Humane Trafficking


This is Wesley's forth album. If you don't know anything about the guy look up his older posts and learn something. I've talked him up a lot, he's one of my favorite musicians and one of my favorite people. This albums are slowly revealing the musical powers he has at his disposal, and it's just my opinion but I think he has a great deal that we haven't yet seen. After all he is the drummer in Figurants and really did anyone see that coming?

Seriously though this album is good. It's more organic, less power electronics. That old acoustic guitar shows up, which is great. It's mellow noise, you could listen to it before bed (I am doing this right now). My powers of description fail me, and I can only say that you should listen to this. If this blog existed only to support Welsey's albums it would be worth it to me.

I should say that I promised to post this album a while back and it took some time to do so. What can I say other than that I got married and moved across the country? At any rate partly due to the delay and partly because we love him so much, Jess and I each contributed to this release: she in the form of the video below and me in the form of a bonus remix track at the end of the record.

U.H.I.D. Wesley Rose from Jessica Collins on Vimeo.

But other than that, all sounds by Wesley Rose.

Download HERE

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Mooninites - Let's Melt Snow and Rebuild New York City (2003)

The Mooninites, yes The Mooninites. Ah the follies of youth, naming one's band after silly cartoon characters from a silly cartoon show for stoners. You can really only do that with credibility before you are of drinking age, which is okay because when this track was recorded on the day after thanksgiving 2003 the members were 19 (Travis and I) and 18 (Zach), so I hope you will forgive our frivolities.

Anyhow, this track was recorded on that day because, since we all attended separate colleges, it was the only day we would all be in Fayetteville to record. We had already recorded our (as yet unposted) first record over the previous summer and planed to record our second album that Christmas. This track was a sort of preview/single or something and now, six years later I think it is one of the best things I've ever worked on.

Back then we were fully trying to sound something like a post-rock, experimental, Yes meets Neu! supergroup. The songs were neither collectively improvised nor pre-composed and each part was recorded separately on one of those old Boss digital eight-track recorders(I think it was this one). I mixed it that day and burned it to CD and what you hear now is exactly as it has always been.

Note the three distinct movements, we were really psyched about that.

Note all of the additional and perfunctory post-rock "knob twiddling" that we all thought was so avant garde at the time.

Note how sloppy my drumming is in the first part (we never used a metronome and drums were always recorded first) and yet Travis still plays his bass to it perfectly.

As far as what everybody played and/or what exactly all of the sounds are, I can't exactly tell you that but as best as I remember:

Zach Smola: plays most, if not all of the guitars and probably the wammy-pedal stuff and some of the percussion.

Travis Knowles: plays bass, probably some kind of keyboard and delay pedal or something as well as percussion.

Ben Collins: plays drums, sounds like theremin, probably some other kind of pedals

Produced by: The Mooninites

Or download HERE

Post Script: the photo is from the only Mooninites live show to ever occur, at WUOG is Athens Georgia. There is a recording, but I will need to clean it up a bit before I can post it, someday I swear.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Late Night LA


Last night I was playing around on the guitar and I worked out a series of melodies that I liked. Jessica encouraged me to record it real quick and I did. So here it is. It's sort of demo-ish quality and I wouldn't be surprised if I revisited it and expanded it at some point. Really i should probably try and do a whole album of guitar compositions like this, if I can.

Well I hope you all enjoy it, I'm pretty happy with it myself, it's sort of an ode to the autumn that we aren't having out here in Los Angeles.

you can also download it HERE

Post Script: that picture of my cat has nothing to do with anything, but in the absence of an appropriate picture expect a cat photo every time.

Jessica's physical release debut

So you all know that under the name Uncle Owen Aunt Beru Jessica released a numer of digital albums, two on the Birdsong netlabel and (I think) two on this very blog. Well she's moved on now. She has cut the name down to simply "Beru" and our good friend Lars has just released her physical album debut. "What would I do without you" is a cassette featuring a 20 minute collage on each side, actually you know what I'll let Lars give his take:

"On her cassette debut as Beru, Jessica Collins unravels a new American folk. What Would I Do Without You is both touched and untouched by tradition, mending the pieces of the world around her in collage. I first saw her destroying drums in the skronk-prov band Cat People, took a photo, and she unknowingly became the logo for TRHP. But as Beru, the LA-via-Georgia songwriter disembodies dub-noise, haunted gospel and improvised folk in loving, sinister ways. Her pastoral drones journey heavenward and pull the silver lining to Earth, collecting songs in the chaos. Limited edition of 100 pro-dubbed and imprinted c48 tapes with artwork by Kevin Phillips printed on vellum paper."

That's what it says on the label site and I won't disagree with any of it. Lars is a great guy and has better taste in music than either you or I, so we should trust him. And really what could I tell you that would convince you that you needed to hear this? That I think that Jessica is one of the most vital, under-appreciated artists working in any field, in America right now? Or that I've known her music longer and more intimately than almost anyone, (We're married in case yr new here.) and I am still consistently surprised and amazed by the directions she goes?

Obviously I don't have this one up to download, so I'm suggesting that you go to the Thorr's Rubber Hammer site and order it. It's a limited edition art object with cover art designed by Kevin Phillips, who directed that Mum video I posted a few weeks ago.

Go to the site, buy it and if you don't like it I'll personally refund yr money, double the cost of the record. how's that?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Two Gents - First Set (Live at Mountair)


In California, In LA, there is a place called Tujunga. And in this place there is a house venue called Mountair. It's run by a nice guy named John and frequented by bands commonly including his friends who are also very nice. Jessica met these guys on Myspace at some point and they invited her to play there. She did and we had a good time and recognized these guys as being pretty cool.

One of the guys is a multi-instrumentalist known, mysteriously, as Jarrod W. After seeing him play the drums I thought it would be fun to play with him so I asked if he would like to do an improv duo thing and he accepted. A month or so later we met for the second time and played this set.

This was my first improv performance in a while and my first in a long time where I played with a near total stranger. It was Jarrod's first improv performance period.

So especially given the circumstances I am happy about it. But even despite the context I think we did a pretty good job, and I am looking forward to playing with him more in the future. It's short, it's sweet, I suggest you check it out.

Recorded by Jarrod W.
Mastered by Ben Collins and Jessica Collins
Photo by Jessica

Ben Collins: Guitar

Jarrod W.: Drums

Download it HERE

Or stream it Here:

Post Script:

I forgot to mention, if you hadn't already noticed, that this is not a full album. Rather it is a short ten minute set. But who knows perhaps we will have an album at some point. Also I forgot to mention that Mountair maintains a youtube page where they post various videos from the performances. I highly recommend you take the time to check these guys out and hopefully I will post more from them in the future.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

News and stuff for this week

Múm "Sing Along" from Team G on Vimeo.

For starters if somebody somehow missed it, (Joe) here is the music video, directed by Kevin (member of Dolphin Beam for those familiar) and starring my wife, Jessica aka Beru. So there's that, it's awesome, you don't need me to tell you, just watch it.

Additionally, this Friday I am somehow, actually, really going to play a show. Details can be found HERE at the venue's site. It's basically a dude's house and he has shows there and Jess played there a few weeks ago and we met all of these awesome local guys who play music and this one guy Jarrod W. was an amazingly energetic drummer and I just couldn't shake the feeling that I should play some kind of improv thing with him. So I asked him and he was cool with it and so we're going to play together on Friday: he on drums, me on guitar, we've met only once before and have not discussed what we will do. It should be interesting and if all goes well then maybe I will play some more shows.

Also this week Jess is doing something where she tries to record an album in a week. I lack the details at this moment but she'll do it and it will be rad. She already made two songs just tonight and they are awesome.

Also her tape will be available to purchase on Lars' site soon, so I'll give you the details when that happens. And I'll post a new album soon, if anyone (yes, you Joe) has any requests I wouldn't mind...

till next time.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cat People+Wesley Rose - Aztec Knife


This has taken way to long to be posted and I'm sorry. At this moment I cannot recall the date this was recorded although I will figure it out when Jess gets home from work... I only remember that it was a very rainy day and that it was recorded in Joseph's old studio space in the house Jessica's family used to live in. At this point the house had been sold and was empty, but the studio was still there so we got in and recorded for an hour. My guess is maybe November 2008?

Correction: Jess just called and she says it was July 2008, that was a long time ago...

Anyhow, this is Wesley Jessica and myself playing loud, electric, improv stuff. Basically Cat People with Wesley added on bass, and a wonderful addition he is.

I dig this stuff, I listen to a lot of stuff like this, in fact if you wanted to you could mock me for this record being basically a showcase of how badly I wish I was Matthew Bower. But if yr like me and you love that kind of Skullflower, Fushitsusha, free type stuff then maybe you can dig this too.

Really, I think I love this album because it's me getting to play loud music with two of my favorite musicians on this planet. And I guess it does get me a little wistful about the fact that Jess and I now live on the other side of the country, making it impossible to have this trio play together regularly. One day I'm sure we'll have a documented reunion, but for now there's this record.

Ben: Guitar
Jess: Drums
Wesley: Bass

Download it HERE

Monday, September 21, 2009

Figurants - Unauthorized Demo 2009


Yes, that title is appropriate. I had no permission at all whatsoever to post this record on here. But you know, try and stop me I guess.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Figurants is a new band featuring various members of Black Thirteen, Telenovela etc. To be specific the band is:

Simon Sharp - lead vocals
Zach Smola - guitar
Joe McNeill - bass
Wesley Rose - drums
Stephanie Clayton - everything else

So for any of you Telenovela fans out there wondering what Z&S have been up to, this is it. So what this Demo is is just a recording of one of their practices last week. I only have it because for weeks I have been begging various members of the band to bootleg a practice just so I could what the music sounded like at all. So they finally did it and when I received the file it was almost inaudible, so to really listen to it I brought it into pro tools and did some mastering. Then I thought I ought to make it worth my effort and just put it up so other people could hear it as well. So here it is.

As far as like a description or review I'm not entirely sure what to say. I guess I could tell you it is certainly NOT noise or improv or jazz or ambient or any of the other things that I typically put up on this blog. This doesn't mean it is without interest to me. In fact it's a really interesting record and I think one that shows what an enormous amount of potential this group has. We've obviously heard plenty of polished music from Z&S over the years so their combined powers don't come as a surprise, especially not to anyone who frequented Telenovela live shows which were always more loose and rockin' than the recordings suggested and more in line with what this demo shows us. I'll go on a limb and say that both Wesley Rose and Joe McNeill are in top form as musicians. I've known them both for quite a while and I am very pleased with what I am hearing, especially since each are playing secondary instruments (they are both typically guitarists) that I've only ever heard them play in very loose Blackthirteen jams. So it's cool to have these two pairs basically meeting in the middle as far as style in concerned and uniting to create the groundwork for what is the best use of Simon Sharp's vocals to date. Listening to this record it's a bit embarrassing that a band like this wasn't formed sooner given Simon's availability and talent.

I can only imagine what they must be like live, supposedly there is a video out there somewhere which is heading my way and will certainly be posted when I can. So everyone check this out and if you live in or around the Atlanta area keep your eyes open for their shows.

Download it here

Post Script: I wrote this entry before I had made this album cover. I don't know what to say about it... insert yr own joke about how I make everything look like either Jandek or Black Metal...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This new thing I'm doing

So Joe McNeill recently visited me in Los Angeles and encouraged me update this blog more, even if I didn't have music posts every time. He blew my mind by saying that he just liked to read whatever was going on and didn't mind there not always being music. I guess I just needed one person to say that to get me going. So starting today I will write occasionally about other things, though probably still music and try to keep this thing going while I try to get back on track with standard album posts.

I hope that all makes sense.

Joe also brought me a rough copy of his new band's demo and at least one song from that will be posted soon. I also hope to bring you some sort of something from the other band Joe is playing in these days, which also features just about everyone else on this blog namely: Simon Sharp, Wesley Rose, Zach Smola and Stephanie Clayton. They are I believe called Figurants and they just played what i hear is a very successful first show in Atlanta, hopefully more to come soon.

Out here music is different, or well, I should say that Los Angeles hasn't really impressed me yet. Okay that's not true either. I've seen some amazing shows here because basically any band that is touring will come to Los Angeles. So there are dozens of shows to see all the time which is awesome. But all of these bands come from somewhere else to play here, I'm hard-pressed to name ten bands in Los Angeles that I care about at all... I'm scratching my head and John Wiese and Chris Schlarb are all I'm coming up with. Now granted those are two of my favorite dudes but in a city this big there ought to be tons of bands, right?

To be fair this is the home of hair metal and a lot of dumb hippy rock stuff and gangsta rap so what should I have been expecting...

Okay okay Pocahaunted is out here as well.

Really though I'm sure there is plenty of music for me to love I just have to find it. I mean Schlarb is in Long Beach anyway which is the second largest city in LA and I've never even been there so clearly much of the city and its music scene is still to be explored. But I guess it just goes to show the pro/con type situation with cities and music: in a place like Atlanta there may only be one cool show every month and so you can feel totally connected very easily and inexpensively and you are allowed to complain all of the time because it will never get any better and you can always wish you lived in a better city etc. Or you can live in Los Angeles and not know where to go or what to do and miss all of the shows except for the few amazing ones you actually hear about and can afford to go to (John Wiese Burning Star Core and bunch of other dudes for five dollars!) and still complain that there must be all of this cool stuff happening, only you don't know about it.

Eeeeeeee. this seems boring. In other news:

-Jessica is finishing an amazing new album called Gathered Souls, the future of which is still unknown, any suggestions?

-Her Cassette will be released soon on Thor's Rubber Hammer, details when I have them.

-She is also playing on my new album which will go up whenever I finish it (2025 anyone?)

-Jon Lynn's Uncolved Mysteries' new album is possibly days away from completion and it features Jessica and I guesting on one song each, a wistful nod to those days of yore when we had nothing better to do than to constantly play free shows in Savannah. The album is amazing and I'll let you know where to find it when I am told such things.

So anyway, I'm going to end this now. I hope it wasn't too boring. I'll try and put up real music next time.


Thursday, March 19, 2009


Okay, hi all two of you. I have been slow on stuff recently so I thought I would give an update or two about what's happening.

I've got a crazy amount of albums to be putting up. Particularly the last classic line up Black Thirteen album, and the two most recent records from that group, the ones that don't have me playing on them, (but are unsurprisingly good). Also I think Wesley Rose has something new he's supposed to give me.

And you know there's always like two billion other things to put up. "Aztek Knife" for instance is this awesome record that Jessica and Wesley and I did one day during a crazy rain storm. It was basically Cat People plus Wesley on bass, which is to say great. I remember that I was listening to a lot of Skullflower around the time we recorded it and I thought we should sound like them. Well we don't, but it's pretty rad anyways. So there's that too that will be up soon.

Other than that I had a little scare the other day when I heard rumor that is only giving free users (like myself) two weeks on uploads rather than their previous, Forever. I have still yet to confirm this rumor. It doesn't seem to be true because all of the links I put up more than two weeks ago seem to still be working, but if anybody starts finding dead links please let me know.

All in all I think I'll be okay either way. They still have the Net-Label program on Archive and so worst comes to worst I think I just have to do that instead, which is probably more legitimate anyway, but also a boat-load more work for me and I don't really want that, but I'll do what I have to do.

Some of this does seem to beg the question of why does it even matter? This is a question I avoid like the plague, or maybe I avoid it more like the plaque, which is to say it comes up, I brush it off and don't think about it again until the next time it inevitably comes up. So I guess now is that time: Does it even matter? Does anyone care about this blog or the music I put up on it? I am pretty sure the answer is no and don't try and argue me out of this one, I know how little people care about this, I deal with it everyday. There are housewives in Arkansas who blog about cookie recipes that get more traffic than this site. But I guess I don't really care. It doesn't matter to me if anyone reads this. I'm just gonna keep doing it anyway.

But if I have to switch to net-label status some of you are going to have to help me.

Well I guess I just needed to rant today. Sorry, I've been sort of down recently. New music soon!