Oct 252010
 
Tim Kaiser at the Circuit Benders Ball

Tim Kaiser live at Circuit Benders’ Ball 2010. Photo by Stephen Zerne.

Yesterday’s Circuit Benders’ Ball at Open Lot was an enormous success. Both workshops were completely filled, and every performance was brilliant in its own unique way. Garbed in tribal space outfits, CMKT4 emerged out of a smoky sliding van door and proceeded to mesmerize the house. Thriftsore Boratorium brought the show out to the loading dock and handed everyone a transistor radio that broadcast the live feed. Tim Kaiser set up his gear on the floor for an intimate and breathtaking ambient performance. Robbie Hunsinger, Blight Side of Life, Ben Marcantell, DaveX, Jeremy Walker, and Freya West were all amazing, as were the many talented visual artists.

For tonight’s podcast, we give you the final performance of the night: Theatre Intangible Live with Tim Kaiser, 1/2 Mang (Thriftsore Boratorium), DaveX, Jeremy Walker, and Lola Wilson (A Parade). Most had never played together and were asked to very quickly pick a single instrument for the performance. The results are quite cohesive, surprising given the performers’ varied styles; unsurprising given their razor-sharp instincts.

I know I promised the Halloween Extravagana 3 this week. That will have to be bumped to next week. For now, enjoy this very fine live set from some of the best benders in the business.

Tim Kaiser — Tim Kaiser builds experimental musical instruments and creates atmospheric sonic landscapes. He has been featured in Make Magazine, Wired, the AP and New Art Examiner. His video, installation and performance art projects have been presented in Germany, Brazil, Sweden, Hong Kong, Cuba, Canada, Philladelphia, New York and Chicago. His instruments are sought after by artists around the world.

Thriftsore Boratorium — Out of Circuitastrophe Cincinnati 08, Karl the junkyardcatalyst and 1/2 Mang decided to start the Thriftsore Boratorium; a lab where people can come and experiment, work, troubleshoot, record, jam, circuit-bend, modify, design, make robots, etc. Thriftsore Boratorium puts their creations to task in their mind-bending live shows. They’re cooking up something special for the Circuit Benders Ball. Check out this great Robotic Barbie Sing-a-Long bend by Boratorium member 1/2 Mang.

Lola Wilson — Co-founder of the Captain Beefheart/Art Bears-inspired A Parade (with T.I. all-star Cody Bottoms) and the experimental solo project I Am Pazuzu, Lola is a singer and songwriter with individuality, depth, and great talent.

DaveX — a certified and licensed raconteur, DaveX is best-known as providing the real-life inspiration for Artax, the depressive horse featured briefly in the 1984 motion picture, “The Neverending Story.” Following his Emmy-nominated voice work on the animated spinoff series, “Artax’s Diner,” DaveX took full credit from his team at Bell Labs for the pioneering invention of various geometric forms. He is currently living off the royalities for the wildly successful “circle,” which he describes as “something like a curvy square.” Ordinary folks are encouraged to listen to a fifteen-minute looping audio biography of DaveX broadcast weekly at WDBX-FM and WSIU-FM on the programs It’s Too Damn Early and Sounds Like Radio. He also runs the experimental music blog Startling Moniker.

Jeremy Walker — His work focuses on reclaiming process, material, and content. Jeremy Walker creates unconventional instruments by altering found electrical circuits. By manipulating the intended function of the circuit, he’s able to emphasize its hidden, organic qualities. Each work is intended to conjure a certain child-like curiosity to investigate, to touch and to learn. By inviting direct interaction between the viewer and sound, Jeremy enables the participant to take the place of performer. Jeremy graduated from Watkins College of Art & Design and is currently enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University to pursue a BFA in Sculpture.

Oct 172010
 

In keeping with Halloweird! October, we bring you Frankenstein 1986, , a new synth-pop soundtrack to the 1931 horror classic Frankenstein, starring Ken Soper, Lawrence Crow, Tommy Stangroom, Cody Bottoms, and JJ Jones. There are some great moments, such as Cody’s electric guitar samples, Ken’s haunting Hammond organ lines, and Lawrence’s Casio SK1 leads; but listening back, I fear we may have been having a bit too much fun. I had the brilliant idea of incorporating a cheap toy drum machine that wears out its welcome . . . oh. . . after about 5 seconds. That’s not the fault of its wielder JJ Jones (who knocked it out of the park with his vocal work on the episode). I even played the drum machine somewhere in the middle of the show. The blame lies with the machine’s downright annoying timbres, which weren’t apparent to me until playback. Tommy Stangroom, who did various percussion and synth sounds, claims it was apparent to him from the beginning. He elected not to play the infernal drum toy.

There’s enough good material here for a decent 30 minute show. In it’s full hour + run time though, I recommend you only listen in sync with the film. Seeing the classic film with an 80’s synth pop soundtrack is a strange, comical, and not unpleasant experience.

What do you think? Does it stand up to the Dracula or Freaks soundtracks?

Stay tuned next week for the Third Annual Halloween Extravaganza, which will focus on the intersection between fear and arousal.

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Oct 162010
 

Because of a week-long work trip, I wasn’t able to post this episode last Sunday. Never fear though, for another Halloweird! October episode is coming tomorrow evening!

“For the love of beauty is a deep-seated urge which dates back to the beginning of civilization” Freaks opening disclaimer

For episode 36, we created an improvised score to Tod Browning’s 1932 horror film Freaks. The episode stars Ken Soper on Moog synthesizers; Tommy Stangroom on percussion and xylophone; JJ Jones on voice and various toys/chimes; Lawrence Crow on Theremin, Casio SK1, and various toys; Cody Bottoms on laptop, keyboards, and Korg sample pad, and Craig Schenker on saxophone. There are quite a few golden moments in our Freaks soundtrack, and I encourage you to sync the soundtack to the film. Be sure to mute the tv and turn the subtitles on! Syncing instructions in the podcast intro.

We recorded this improv on Thursday, October 7th. Directly after, we recorded an “80’s synth pop” soundtrack to a beloved horror classic. Find out what that film is when we release podcast 37 tomorrow night.

Halloweird October!

Oct 032010
 

Kicking off Theatre Intangible Halloweird! October is the 1st Annual Halloween Extravaganza, a WRVU podcast broadcast around Halloween 2008. To prepare for this show, we sent out cheap digital recorders with T.I. correspondents to capture their Halloween nights. We assembled the recordings and met at WRVU to improv around them. I sprained my ankle pretty fierce right before Halloween; thus, my recording featured me at my house, complaining about not being able to go out. When we taped the show at WRVU, I hobbled around on crutches, in some serious pain but high on the magic going down.

The 1st Annual Halloween Extravaganza features Cody Bottoms, Brey McCoy, Lawrence Crow, and Charlie Rauh. The field correspondents were Paul Cain, Cody Bottoms, Richard Harper, Wes White, and myself.

If you like the show, tell a friend and leave us feedback on iTunes.

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