Guest Mix: M. Sage
Sunday Is Raining

The greenest greens are the colors that make your feet twitch when you think about them on the sofa. There is nowhere to go, because outside it’s dreary and inside it’s cheerful. We’ll stay here two, maybe three groups of hours. We have plenty of time. Sooner than not, it’ll be sunny outside, and we’ll pack a wax and go sloshing about on the streets only to get caught in the loose droplets underneath the trees. The tallest ones always taste the sweetest and the most surprising. It’s raining and it’s Sunday in Washington; what more can you except?

This mix was tastefully donated by experimental Fort Collins-based artist Matthew Sage, who is the proprietor of the Patient Sounds imprint and who likes Tape the band, which is good. It is very good, in fact, because I get very weak-kneed for Tape, and they are impossible to find on the internet. M. Sage’s latest cassette is called Scatter the Cabal, out now on Mirror Universe. Now, enjoy your rainy day. It’s raining right now.

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:05] Thanksgiving - “Welcome”
[04:21] Padang Food Tigers - “Pymers Mead”
[06:53] Six Organs Of Admittance - “Home”
[11:10] Keith Freund - “He Noticed Im Alive…and Other Hopeful Signs”
[13:37] Chihei Hatakeyama - “Towards A Tranquil Marsh”
[18:16] Tape - “Sponge Chorus”
[23:06] Biota - “Life Like Our Own”
[24:55] Fjordne - “After You”
[30:00] Hedia - “Apnoea”
[37:45] Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm - “A2”
[41:45] Panabrite - “Janus”
[46:00] Sacred Harp (Daniel Bachman) - “Rappahannock (jr)”
[50:01] Bexar Bexar - “Oil Thumbprints”
[52:48] Seven Fields Of Aphelion - “Wildflower Woods”
[57:29] Weathering - “Gather Dust”
[60:05] Bonnie “Prince” Billy - untitled (from The Letting Go)

• M. Sage: http://msage.bandcamp.com
• Patient Sounds: http://www.patient-sounds.com

Ben Seretan

“Blues for Ian M. Colletti”

Brooklyn-based songwriter and “long music” improvateur Ben Seretan, who recently organized and played at Silent Barn’s week of predawn performances, brings us a new one from his forthcoming album, slated for next year. Seretan just released some 60 minutes of glacial guitar ambient from Alaska on Standard Issue Press, but “Blues for Ian M. Colletti” reflects his songwriterly side. Flush with a backing band of cello, percussive rattling, flugelhorn, and female vocal foils, the typically solitary guitarist sings and fingerpicks his way through an ode to waking up not alone. Seretan wrote it in the basement of Vaudeville Park, the much-missed BK venue raised by Colletti and felled by “rent and bad neighbors.” Currently, you can hear him as he’s touring the East Coast with the Portland band Alameda, the dates for which can be found here.

• Ben Seretan: http://www.benseretan.com

Possessed By Paul James

“Where Does All The Time Go”

Do you need to take an all-night Greyhound bus trip? Do you need to plow your fields? Do you need cathartic bluegrass punk to accompany your red Marlboro-smoking, angry and lonely whiskey-drinking nights? Do you wish you had more music for your air tambourine? Well, then this is where you thank me (and my pet eagle).

It’s been three years since Konrad Wert — the one-man band behind Possessed By Paul James — released any new material. It appears he’s been spending some time with his family, kids, farming, and teaching — you know, all that truly legit bluegrass-Americana-alt-folk stuff. But he’s finally back (!!!!) and continues to be as emotionally intense as ever. So, I’m gonna go ahead and guess he’s a Leo [Update: I checked. He’s a Leo]. His new track is aptly titled “Where Does All The Time Go,” which will be featured in his upcoming album There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely. And it’s sad music that you can dance to, which is my favorite type.

Possessed By Paul James makes me feel American (even though I’m not). But I believe in America. And my pet eagle is named Lil’ From, which is a mash-up of liberty and freedom. I believe in being Possessed By Paul James.

• Possessed By Paul James: http://ppjrecords.com
• Hillgrass Bluebilly Records: http://www.hillgrassbluebillyrecords.com

Form A Log

The Two Benji’s

Open up your heart, clear out the sooty atria, and make some room for Log Culture. Your mouth asks, “Who is Form A Log?” Turns out, your ears somehow knew it all along: three men who make music from the playback of 4-track cassette players, having laid out their recursive rhythms, synth-noise abuse, and spoken-word sample fuckery onto individual swathes of magnetic tape. With 12 channels available to mix and match between them, Form A Log performances find Ren Schofield (Container, I Just Live Here), Noah Anthony (Profligate), and Rick Weaver (Dinner Music, Human Conduct) overlaying their streams of technoid chaos into a generative mire that pulses enough to occupy your body as it reconfigures your synapses. Spend time with Form A Log, and designations like “primal” or “underground” or “lo-fi” crumble under your complete certainty that these men are doing everything perfectly right and perfectly wrong, feeling their way through new permutations of improvisation and composition, and conjuring a din unlike any you’ve heard before.

You have questions. “Who are the men that adorn The Two Benji’s with Cup Noodles dangling from mouths and plants covering torsos?” “How can I sink knee- or shoulder- deep into Log Culture before it’s too late?” “What does anything mean anymore at all?” I don’t have the answers you need. Maybe no one does. Though the Log boys maintain a laconic “mum’s the word” policy RE: the details of their burgeoning basement empire, any time spent with their music will nullify your anxieties. Scroll down, stream a few tracks from The Two Benji’s (previously self-released on cassette), come back, and tell me you’re not a little transformed.

“But where can I grip it???” I know the answer to this one: Decoherence Records kicks off its catalog by pressing this first piece of Log wax, and 500 copies hit the street on November 5. Pre-order it now, and when the record arrives, throw some Benjis in celebration:

1. Raise fist.
2. Extend and separate index and middle fingers.
3. Deed done.

• Form A Log: https://soundcloud.com/form-a-log
• Decoherence Records: http://decoherencerecords.com

LiL ≏ JaBBA

“AzTeK.”

Lingering in the apartment parking lot across from the corner of Channel Drive and Shore Road, I’m staking out a mysterious locale in my neighborhood while listening to the new track “AzTeK.” by LiL ≏ JaBBA and “writing” about it here via voice-to-text on my phone. “Why you staking this trap out, yo?” Well, I’m curious ‘cause nobody in my community drives the type of fly-ass whips that usually pop out this traffic light at random. So, the gumshoe in me wanted to finally find out. And “OH!” how perfect does “AzTeK.” fit this situation? If I could only explain without… WAIT, here comes a pair of halogen lights now!

Sorry, I dropped my phone while ducking outta sight. OK, I know “phoning” while driving is a crime against humanity, but my hands are on the wheel and I’m tailing this fucker hardcore as LiL ≏ JaBBA runs that deep rhythm. But as the track starts to soar, so does the car ,and I can’t hit 60 in two seconds. I’m flippin’ a bitch, and WHYYY is a HAIM track directly preceding “AzTeK.” on SoundCloud? Whatever, I’m turning into where I saw them headlights emerge. It’s a garage warehouse that’s FUCKING opening up! I gotta jet, shit. Blocked from behind, WTF? Oh, silhouettes are daunting. Mr P, if I’m not on by 9 AM, edit this and publish my…

[electric whirling] “Who you talking to?” [muffled]

• LiL ≏ JaBBA: https://soundcloud.com/lil-jabba

Sufjan Stevens

“Take Me”

It’s 2 AM in the morning. In the dining room directly outside my office door, a woman is having a conversation with someone who isn’t there. (Don’t worry. There’s no meaningful intervention at the moment. I just have to let it play out.) I’m exhausted and work is exhausting. I wish I was home… in bed… asleep.

Instead, I’ve been online, looking for little distractions. Curiously, my friend (hi, Alain!) just shared a link on Facebook, and it directed me to Sufjan Stevens’ awesome Tumblr. In particular, I was linked to a post in which he [Sufjan] shares the “sloppy lo-fi demo [he] found on an old hard drive” entitled “Take Me.” Yes! This is exactly the distraction I needed.

I love Sufjan Stevens. He’s one of my favorite favorites. Unfortunately, he’s here to tell me that this song “don’t go nowhere so don’t expect nothing.” The quadruple negative is misleading, but I won’t speculate. I’m too tired to speculate. What I can tell you with some authority, though, is that we may have a recording of his Planetarium to look forward to in the future. There are, as Eliot says in a completely different context, hints and guesses. With any luck, Mr P will let me review it when it comes out. I trust that I’ll be more awake by then. Perhaps gainfully employed elsewhere? Only time will tell.

Okay. I really should get back to work. Sigh. Goodnight.

• Sufjan Stevens: http://www.sufjan.com

  

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CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.