Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eckankore - No Symbols Where None Intended

(My hand-written notes about Eckankore from the page)

Remember when was really cool,
before Lars Ulrich and Metallica spoiled it for the rest of us, and musicians could post their music for sale on CD or free download? Well, back around 2000, Ron K. made an Eckankore page and posted this compilation that documented the noise project from its earliest recordings to its most recent (at the time) sound structures.

(My hand-written notes about the tracks from the page)

According to Ron, I'm the only person who has this material, so it's a pleasure to post it here for posterity. Besides, now charges for its "services."

The images and music were uploaded with Ron K.'s full consent. Thank you, Ron!

No Symbols Where None Intended MP3/CDR

Sample tracks:

Why this need of activity?

The confusion of identities

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Goatfish - Noise for Films

(Mr Phreek circa 1998 - Photo by Ackronomicon)

I haven't had much time to post lately, so here's a quick noise "single" to get me back into the groove.

Both these tracks were used for student films.
About the songs:
01. Me & You - I met Stephen Franklin at John's house (where The Gardeners started). He showed us his latest film project, Me & You, where somebody eats a Madagascar cockroach. I was particularly interested because he used Throbbing Gristle as the sound track. At that time, I was looking to expand MPAE, so I approached him about releasing it on video through MPAE. The only thing was, he needed to change the soundtrack because I didn't want to bother getting performance rights for TG. One night he came over to my house, and we recorded this soundtrack on my four-track. Stephen did an excellent job of directing the audio to fit the visuals. The video never happened, of course. This was burned directly from my VHS copy, one of maybe three in existance.

02. Credit Sounds - Ack needed some sound for the credits to one of his student film projects, so he asked me to do some noise. New Room was kind of a music video with a plot. From what I remember, a girl arrives at a house full of dead bodies and the killer (played by me) is running rampant through the house. All this was set to a song by Chavez (I think). That's me in the picture above, covered in blood at the end of the film.

Noise For Films CS


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mr Phreek - Solo Recordings 1998-2001

(Mr Phreek circa 2000 - Photo by Judy Jean Kwon)

Here's a chronological collection of random songs I recorded over a span of about 3 years. I put a lot of time and effort into some of the tracks; others were "of the moment."

The first three songs were recorded at my mom's town house in Northridge. 4 and 5 were done at my mom's house where the first five Books of Pope Goat VII were channeled. 5-9 were recorded in the apartment Ack and I shared in Granada Hills. Track 10 was one of the first songs I recorded when I moved to NY.

The "bonus track" mentioned on the cover art isn't included because I used it on my spacerock album along with two other songs from this CD and that would have put about half the album up here. I'll be posting that spacerock album in the future.

About the songs:
(note: songs that are linked can be downloaded as samples)

01. That Certain Feeling - This was an attempt to do something "industrial" sounding, but it just sounds like something Steve Albini would have done with Big Black. I wanted single note arpeggio, like you'd get from a Moog, as the bass. I didn't have a keyboard yet, so I used a real bass. It was hard keeping time. The guitar line turned out well considering that I played the whole thing through the song. I also incorporated some sampling elements that I had begun with The Goatfish Oratorio. I'm pretty happy with the way this turned out. It ended up on my digital hardcore/industrial album, Luddite Surprise.

02. I Saw You (Crying) - My first stab at psychedelia and spacerock. I tuned my guitar to some strange tuning that went something like E B D A B F#, essentially making power chords out of the three pairs of strings. I spent a lot of time programming the drums, which wasn't easy considering I have a Yamaha RX-11. I actually mic'ed the bass and guitar, too. I think this is one of the best songs I've ever recorded. It opens my spacerock album, Songs About Girls Who Never Existed.

03. Can't Really Complain - I was big into digital hardcore, ie Atari Teenage Riot, and this LA band called Babyland, who were the closest thing to DH that I had heard locally. This was my tribute to both. I recorded the vocals in a friend's (John from The Gardeners) closet. I played an early version for my friend Mark Lovretovich and he said it needed some squeals, so I got our friend Phil, who would become Sir Oedipus Beer in Pope Goat VII, to play a noisy guitar solo over the whole song, which I edited. Many people love this song, which makes me very happy. This is the first track on Luddite Surprise.

04. Torn Apart - This is the original version of "Torn Apart," and to me, it's far superior to the one on the Anubis Rising demo. It's very Slip It In Black Flag with a heavy dose of Hammerhead.

05. Is It Worth It? - I wanted to do something like Flipper, but ended up with this teen angst anthem instead. Features the first extended guitar solo that I ever wrote.

06. Kicking Self - This was a less successful attempt at psychedelia. It's kind of a spacerock version of Flipper. My vocals sound very drugged-up - I probably was.

07. Lady Dragon - Hands down, this is my favorite spacerock song and one of my favorite songs that I've ever recorded, period. It's "Lady Dragon" as in "chasing the dragon," something I was doing heavily at the time until I switched to a much more sordid way of getting high. The song was recorded very Pope Goat-ish - mostly improvised. It came out perfectly. This is also on my spacerock album.

08. Freight Train Baby - I was really big into The Stooges' Funhouse and it shows here. I even programmed a pseudo-funk, Ron Asheton-style drum beat.

09. Highway Driving - I really shouldn't have used the same beat as "Freight Train Baby," but I think I was just trying to get some ideas down as quickly as possible. More Funhouse-infused Stooge-rock.

10. Liz Thinks I'm a Bore - A very trashy garage rocker that marks my transtition to NY. I was using a really shitty Radio Shack mic that was meant for portable tape recorders, which is where all the noise comes from in the middle of the song.

Mr Phreek
Solo Recordings 1998-2001 CDR

Download Solo Recordings 1998-2001 as a .zip file!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pope Goat VII - Book of the Headless Goat

(Original cassette insert.)

It's the first post of the month, which means it's time for another Book from His Holiness Pope Goat VII.

Book of the Headless Goat followed right on the heals of The First Book. It was recorded with the same setup we had in my mom's living room while she was away in NY.

As a joke, we submitted to a local LA film festival in the hopes that we'd get to play live in front of a bunch of industry fuckheads. The best part was going to some office on Hollywood Blvd. to meet the music coordinator of the festival. I made him listen to all of "Acid" and a little bit of "Sleep" while he tried to stifle his laughter. I kept a straight face and acted like we were the best band on the planet. Some lady in an adjacent cubicle complained. Needless to say, we didn't get the gig.

Headless Goat picks up where The First Book left off and bridges well with the unforgiving power-violence of Book of Extreme Measures (which will be posted next month). Again, the music was improvised first and the vocals were improvised later.
Sir Ackronomicon talks about the psalms (with comments by Sir Billy the Phreek):
From the Dungeon of Sir Ackronomicon

A Treatise on the grouping of psalms called
Book of the Headless Goat
as recorded by
The Holy Order of the Knights of Pope Goat VII

01. Acid - After we recorded this psalm, Sir Billy The Phreek named it because he said it reminded him of his LSD trips. Although I had yet to take any heavy hallucinogens (wait for Book of Extreme Measures for evidence), I think my brainwaves & sound were very in sync with “it” on this one. Sir Billy the Phreek began the song with this HUGE noise sound using his pedals and I forget what else. I love how the song “mellows out” with myself on harmonica, then Sir Billy the Phreek's noise dies out and I get super drippy with my slide bass and wah pedal. Sir Billy the Phreek hit the couch with his mic or something and I got into it by being his victim. Holy Goat! we banished some demons somehow with this one. “Are you feeling lost? It’s OK. You’ll never find your way out anyway.” (Negativland and Throbbing Gristle were on my mind while we did this. My repetitive vocals were an attempt at recreating voice samples. Then it turns into S&M at the end. I was hitting the couch with a stick - possibly one of the "Lame Far and Limp Bizkit Drumsticks!" My favorite line is "I juggle clowns for a living!" -Sir BtP)

02. Sleep - After recording Acid, Sir Billy the Phreek really wanted to sleep. I said I wanted to do one more, although I was just as drunk and exhausted. It came out kinda funky. (Perhaps my being tired allowed me to channel the Pope Goat better. -Sir BtP)

03. Monk E - This may have been when we were falling asleep. We did some mumble-chanting. It features more of my bass, with distortion and wah mic’d though a shitty burnt out little amp - I loved the sound! Phreek’s Rhodes had such a strong power though the distortion on his Fender amp. If the Pope Goat built a gothic church as the only place of peace for all of the tortured souls in the middle of Hell, we would be there playing "Monk E" for them. (Meant to be played at a funeral along with "Memento Mori" from The First Book of Pope Goat VII. -Sir BtP)

04. Doughtnuts - For the love of doughnuts, and certainly not cops. (I think we were eating doughnuts while we recorded this. -Sir Btp)

05. Fucking Piece of Shit Cat - Sir Billy the Phreek had this cat that we kept in the dungeon. Sometimes she would escape from her chained existence and sneak into our studio. She would also stick her paw under my bedroom and wake me up in the morning. We had to buy cat food AND feed her. She could never open the fucking can of food, hence the name, "Fucking Piece of Shit Cat." She snuck into our studio during this session and we chased her through the house, screaming while recording. She didn’t like it one bit. We would play this psalm for her really fucking loud whenever she escaped. She was a fucking piece of shit cat! (Yeah, that cat WAS a fucking piece of shit; nothing like Lady Smokey, my FPOS cat who kicks ass! -Sir BtP)

06. Pope Goat VII - Ah, a tribute from the Goat to himself, through us. Phreek could really play like a demon in the Vatican. I grabbed the mic and stood on that soapbox to let the world know what the Goat was all about. The Goat reverted to his primitive state through Sir Billy the Phreek, and said, "Baaaaah!" Amen! (Amen, Brother Ackronomicon! -Sir BtP)

07. Vikings and Pirates and Bears, Oh My! - I think I came up with this title at work and brought it home to Sir Billy the Phreek. Don’t know where it came from but Sir Billy the Phreek and I come from different backgrounds. You see, before we were The Knights of the Holy Order of Pope Goat VII, I was a pirate and he was a viking. The drum machine really sounds like a machine gun. This psalm is long and obnoxious, different from our other psalms, which can be short and obnoxious. I love it like it was my own psalm. (The psalm title came from His Holiness himself, as do all our other psalm titles. It tells the story of how His Holiness Pope Goat VII brought us from two different eras of history into his time in the Middles Ages, then into the future. -Sir BtP)

08. Fish - On top of having the aforementioned "Fucking Piece of Shit Cat," we had a whole mess of fucking piece of shit fish. We went into the minds of the fish, which wasn’t that difficult because fish are really dumb. You see, they were religious fish who really didn’t know about Darwin. Oh, the nerve! And they, like the aforementioned "Fucking Piece of Shit Cat," had to be fed. They probably ate their own shit - I can’t remember. Well, we screamed at them while recording, as usual, because they were fucking piece of shit fish. At least they couldn’t escape. “The Pope Goat commands that everybody eat meat on Friday. Everyone must eat meat every single Friday, including Christmas Friday and people should eat fish every other Sunday of every other January of odd even years.” (The Pope Goat had some serious words with those fish. "Flopping fish/flying fish!" -Sir BtP)

09. Goat 3:16 - Keeping with His philosophy of straddling extreme Good and extreme Evil, The Pope Goat channeled this amazing psalm through us. One of us reads from the Bible, and the other from the Necronomicon. Who’s reading which? (I read the erotic parts of The Song of Solomon. "Your hair is like a flock of goats streaming down the mountains of Galaad...Your breasts are like twin fawns, the young of a gazelle that browse among the lilies." Oh yeah, that's romantic. -Sir Btp)

10. Decapitation - Oh the glory of decapitation! Our favorite method of murder, and also torture, when it’s done meticulously and slow. I like the huge evil note we hit towards the end of the psalm. It’s the audio equivalent of a giant, double-blade ax swinging down upon an unarmed peasant, slicing through his jugular and spine. Pure bliss. (Off with their fucking piece of shit heads! -Sir BtP)

Pope Goat VII
Book of the Headless Goat CS/CDR
(MPAE/Hummer Productions)

note: the .zip file includes booklet and tray-card inserts so you can make your own PG7 CD!

Visit Pope Goat VII on MySpace!