James Siegfried is better known as James Chance or James White–one of the seminal figures of late-70s/early-80s New York No Wave, along with people like Lydia Lunch and Arto Lindsay. In the early days, he had two groups and personas going on–James Chance & the Contortions and James White & the Blacks. Both were bizarre amalgams of free jazz and R&B, the former a little more funkier, the latter a bit more disco. And so, we found ourselves with a great vault find, the 1982 album from the White & Black side of things called “Sax Maniac.” “James White & the Blacks,” “Sax Maniac,” songs with titles like “Sax Machine” and “Irresistible Impulse”–too good to be true, right? It features, rather than a bunch of No Wave people, some actual R&B session musicians and singers of the time. Compared to his earlier work, it’s a bit less wild, a bit less disorienting, a bit less rough. But don’t worry, it’s still revolutionary and transgressive and all of that good stuff.
from Ryan Jennings, workgroup member:
I found the first four Robbie Basho records in the vault yesterday at vinyl workgroup. It’s sweet to imagine WOBC being sent the records upon release, but who knows how all four stayed intact since they’re pretty rare and expensive on e-bay. Robbie Basho was a cool dude on John Fahey’s Takoma Records, and he and Fahey went to college together (wow, just like us!) And the record’s mostly 12-string solo guitar American Primitivism and, like, folk music I guess, but he studied with Ali Akbar Khan, the #1 sarod master of the world, and changed his name in honor of the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho. He sings on a lot too, but my favorite Basho record, “Falconer’s Arm I,” which is in the vault right now, is a masterpiece and completely instrumental. A very detailed and coherent record, each song represents a unique and beautiful story. “Babs” is a favorite track but I seriously recommend everyone to check out this haunting album on par with any Fahey and more accessible than a long winded raga!
Basho died in a freak chiropractic accident in the 80s.
from Olivia Simuoli, workgroup member:
This semester, I found in the vaults German progressive and space rock group Nektar’s concept album, “Remember the Future.” Recorded in 1973, the album features one song divided into two parts and tells the tale of the evolution of man through the eyes of a bird. The story begins with life originating in the sea and touches on other major milestones, such as man’s discovery of fire and invention of the wheel. The climax of the album occurs when mankind starts to wonder whether he is alone in the world or if there is some “Supreme Being” out there as well. Despite what may seem to be clichéd and at times bizarre subject matter, the album on the whole is pretty unique and interesting and has a good space rock feel with some nice funk undertones.
The Top 30 is a weekly section of the WOBC blog where we highlight the 30 most-played new albums each week. Check out what our DJs are spinning!
1 WIRE Change Becomes Us
2 CAETANO VELOSO Abraçaço
3 THE MEN New Moon Sacred Bones
4 JAMES BLAKE Overgrown
5 OF MONTREAL Daughter Of Cloud
6 PARQUET COURTS Light Up Gold
7 MARNIE STERN The Chronicles Of Marnia
8 GILBERTO GIL Concerto de Cordas & MÃ¡quinas de Ritmo
9 ANDREW BIRD Hands Of Glory
10 DEERHUNTER Monomania
11 THE MEN New Moon Sacred Bones
12 VARIOUS ARTISTS Think And Change
13 MAC DEMARCO 2
14 SONIC YOUTH Smart Bar Chicago 1985
15 GUIDED BY VOICES The Bears For Lunch
16 TIMES NEW VIKING Over And Over [EP]
17 YO LA TENGO Fade
18 GHOSTFACE KILLAH 12 Reasons to Die
19 TAYLOR SWIFT Red
20 LUST FOR YOUTH Growing Seeds
21 DJ RASHAD Rollin EP
22 DEVENDRA BANHART Mala
23 BEE MASK When We Were Eating Unripe Pears
24 NATURAL SNOW BUILDINGS The Snowbringer Cult
25 SUFJAN STEVENS Silver And Gold
26 DAVID BOWIE The Next Day
27 MY BLOODY VALENTINE MBV
28 SHLOHMO Laid Out Friends Of Friends
29 FUSHITSUSHA Mabushii Itazura Na Inori
30 MILK MUSIC Cruise Your Illusion
Keiji Haino’s (b. 1952 in Chiba, Japan) 30-year career has encompassed a dizzying range of approaches from wild, guitar-led ensemble rock and near-Neolithic drumming; live electronics, untutored explorations of lute and flute, to voice experiments and extended performances for gamelan and other percussion.
Aside from his commitment to free rock titans Fushitsusha, Haino has collaborated with artists as diverse as Rashied Ali, Jim O’Rourke, Peter Evans, Derek Bailey, Boris, Bill Laswell, Tony Conrad, Faust, John Zorn, Sunn O))), Loren Mazzacane Conors, Peter Brötzmann, Merzbow, The Melvins, Yamantaka Eye (of Boredoms), Charles Gayle, Oren Ambarchi, Damo Suzuki (of CAN), Han Bennink, Sachiko M, Thurston Moore, Mike Patton, NON, Ikue Mori, Otomo Yoshihide, Fred Frith, and members of Les Rallizes Dénudés.
Throughout, Haino has retained a visionary focus upon temporary suspension through noise (and silence) whilst refining a mercurial, highly distinctive method and an arrestingly dramatic on-stage presence that borrows the raiments of performance art.
AND HE’S COMING TO OBERLIN TO PLAY TWO CONCERTS THIS WEEKEND!!!
At 8PM on Saturday, April 13th at Fairchild Chapel (50 W. Lorain St.) he will be doing a solo voice performance.
At 10PM (doors at 9) on Sunday, April 14th at the Dionysus Disco he will be playing guitar as well as singing in a duo with percussionist Chris Corsano.
The first show is free to everyone, but the second is free only for people with an Oberlin College ID. For those without an OCID, tickets are $8 (available at http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/homePageSearch.do?method=showPerformanceDetail&performance_id=1713576&search_source=etix), but WOBC is giving away a handful of pairs of tickets over the next few days.
Tune in to the following shows for a chance to win:
Thursday @ 11 AM – 12 PM: Blues For The Red Sun
Thursday @ 2-3 PM: My Vinyl Sugar Daddy
Friday @ 10-11 PM: O-H-10 @10
Saturday @ 12-2 PM: Chameleon Radio
Sunday @ 12-1 AM: Spit
Ryan, engineer: DOCK BOGGS Oh Death Dock Boggs is the epitome of shred. He recorded four sides of gnarly appalachian-style folk music in 1927 but because of the depression they were totally unsuccessful. All out cash, he pawned off his banjo, gave up music and began working in the Virginia cole mines. 30+ years later he was rediscovered by the people at Folkways Records, they tracked him down in Virginia, brought him a banjo and told him he had to relearn his entire repertoire and they were going to record every song he knows. This track is from that first 1964 recording session.
Sivan, vinyl: V3 American Face Jim Shepard was something like the definition of an American punk cult figure until he tragically committed suicide in 1998. He was one of the most important people to come out of the mid-90s scene of my hometown, Columbus, OH, along with bands like Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, New Bomb Turks, Gaunt, and Bassholes. V3 was his main project, and “American Face” was one of his best songs, displaying that typical mix of anger, cynicism, witticism, and a dash of empathy. And it rocks pretty hard, y’know?
Amanda, outreach: KARNATAKA COLLEGE OF PERCUSSION Fisherman i dont know much about this song or what its about – i think a fisherman. i like it very much and have been listening to it in the am and pm both. good for concentration – simultaneously relaxing and upbeat- several complex rhythms that change quickly throughout but holds down a steady beat. beautiful mystery or masters of percussion? the answer is masters of percussion.
Asher, librarian: PARQUET COURTS Borrowed Time My roommate played this song really loud in our room every day from winter term to spring break. At first I thought it was that same kind of bothersome punk rock and roll which is destroying our nation’s youth and which he always plays really loud in our room but one day when he wasn’t around I put it on and did a dance all by myself.