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Jan 052014

Here’s Theatre Intangible podcast #108: Savage Knights artist showcase, recorded in the basement of Noa Noa on April 5th, 2013.

Savage Knights are an avant-jazz and rock n’ roll instrumental band from Raleigh, North Carolina. The band features Mike Isenberg on drums, Joey Chorley on bass, Chris Eubank on cello and Crowmeat Bob on guitar, alto sax, and bass clarinet. On this podcast, they start things out with an experimental improvisation featuring Mike on my Hammond student-model organ and then they perform some of their prepared material. Enjoy!

Jul 062013


Here’s podcast 105: Robert Bond and Regi Wooten Artist Showcase.

We recorded this series of four improvs at The B Room in Nashville on June 18th, 2013. Regi and Robert are two Nashville musicians with long and fruitful careers who have only just recently begun performing together.

Guitarist Regi Wooten is the eldest of the Wooten Brothers, five tremendously talented siblings. Victor Wooten plays bass in Bela Fleck & The Flecktones and other projects. Roy “Future Man” Wooten is a percussionist, instrument designer, and drummer for Bela Fleck & the Flecktones. Joseph Wooten plays keyboards with The Steve Miller Band and other projects. Rudi Wooten played saxophone in Rudy and the Ban of Brathazz, on his brother Victor’s albums and in various other projects. Sadly, he passed away in 2010.

When the Wootens were children, Regi assigned each brother with an instrument and taught them all how to play. The young Wootens toured the country extensively, opening for artists such as Curtis Mayfield, War, and The Temptations.

Regi teaches guitar in Nashville and performs with the other Wooten Brothers Band weekly at Third and Lindsley, a showcase now in it’s 21st year.

Robert Bond is a percussionist, electronic artist, producer and composer. He is a graduate of Indiana University School of Music where he studied both jazz and classical. Robert has worked with The Yardbirds, Bo Diddly, Charlie McCoy, London Symphony Orchestra, Charlie Louvin, Sleepy LaBeef, Chris Stein of Blondie, 3kStatic, Les McCann, jpop star Hitoe and countless others. He has taught at Lavelle School for the Blind in New York, as artist in residence for Fundacio “la Caixa” in Spain, for the Osher Lifelong learning Institute at Vanderbilt University, and as Adjunct Professor at Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt.

Robert also opened the Zeitgiest Indeterminacies series at the new Zeitgeist space.

Regi and Robert took a unique approach to this session. They recorded an initial improv with Regi on electric bass and Robert on electronics. Weeks later — and on the date I was in attendance — they ran back the tape and recorded again with Regi on guitar and Robert on drums and additional electronics. This is essentially a quartet with two players improv-ing with past versions of themselves.

Since we were in his studio (The B Room) and the setup involved multi-tracking, Robert Bond recorded, engineered, and mixed this episode. I did some light mastering and assembled the four improvs.

See below for a video I took during the performance.

Thanks for listening!

May 302013
Photo by A. Howes, Copyright 2009.

Photo by S. Howse, Copyright 2009.

Here’s episode 103: Tim Barnes and William Tyler artist showcase, recorded July 13th, 2012.

Chris Davis organized a fantastic show at the Downtown Presbyterian Church featuring free jazz legends Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston. He also booked Louisville-by-way-of-New-York experimental percussionist Tim Barnes and Nashville guitarist William Tyler to perform that night, and that duet is what you’re about to hear. We released the Weston / Watts recording as episode 92.

Jesse Jarnow at AllMusic writes,

Tim Barnes emerged in the late 1990s, contributing to indie rock staples like the Silver Jews and the Elephant 6-affiliated Essex Green, as well as pop-fancying avant-garde mainstay Jim O’Rourke. . . He hovered on the edge of Sonic Youth’s world, as well, joining the band for their deeply psychedelic Koncertas Stan Brakhage Prisiminimui release and serving as occasional member in Lee Ranaldo’s Text of Light.

As a Louisville resident Tim has played with The For Carnation, MV+EE, Wooden Wand, Jason Ajemian, R Keenan Lawler, Jim Marlowe, Jordan Richardson, and Steve Good.

William Tyler is the founder of the excellent local record label Sebastian Speaks , member of Lambchop and the Silver Jews, and a session guitarist for Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Tim Chad and Sherry, Laura Cantrell and others. He just released his new instrumental album The Impossible Truth on Merge Records, and it’s been getting rave reviews. You can buy it via the Merge records online shop or your local record store.

Incidentally, William is performing a free outdoor show this Sunday, June 2nd, 4pm at Dragon Park. Details here. On Monday, June 3rd, he’ll be introducing the film Heaven’s Gate at the Belcourt Theatre prior to the 7pm screening. Thanks to Sam Smith for tipping me off to these events.

May 082013
Thomas Lehn & John Butcher, St. Louis, 06-08-2012. Photo by Joseph Raglani

Thomas Lehn & John Butcher, St. Louis, 06-08-2012. Photo by Joseph Raglani

For the 100th Theatre Intangible podcast, we’ve been saving a very special performance: the Thomas Lehn and John Butcher artist showcase.

This is a recording of their spectacular June 7th, 2012 performance at Downtown Presbyterian Church. Thomas and John very graciously allowed me to release the recording as a  podcast.

This rare event was organized by Brady Sharp, Chris Davis, and David Maddox.

Here’s an excerpt from my Nashville Scene Critic’s Pick:

“Thomas Lehn and John Butcher are two of the most important players in the European free improv scene. Lehn plays unearthly sounds out of an EMS Synthi A, a unique 1970s analog synthesizer that supplants the Moog-style patch bay for a matrix of Battleship-like resistor pegs. His sputtering, crackling, and at times combative timbres are just as unique as the instrument he plays, and a far cry from the soothing tones of ambient electronic music.

If Evan Parker is the pioneer of extended saxophone technique, John Butcher is the lab scientist. Formerly a theoretical physicist, Butcher meticulously catalogs every sound he discovers on the sax — and I do mean every sound. Where most musical adventurers remain content mapping out the big spaces in the middle, Butcher charts every crack, crevice and blind alley. He’s famous for treating the room as an extension of the instrument (having recorded in caves, oil tanks and underground reservoirs), and you can be sure the amazing acoustics of the chapel at DPC will play a big part in both players’ performances.”

The acoustics of the space did play a big part of the performance. The reverb you hear on the recording is in fact the chapel’s natural room reverb.

This was a very special performance, and I’m indebted to Brady, Chris, and Dave for putting the show together and to Thomas and John for bringing their talents to Nashville.

Also, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the talented performers who have ever appeared on Theatre Intangible. 100 episodes down. Here’s to 100 more.

As always, thanks for listening.