Thursday, April 30, 2009

Second City Risers (Off to New York)

The goal of this coming month was to go out on tour. This has been a bit of a disappointment as we attempted our first trek across the eastern seaboard and were unable to bring it all together. Nonetheless, we stand undaunted and will be taking a short vacation/trip to New York to play a show with two colleagues of mine. We're playing at the Stain Bar in Brooklyn with He Can Jog and Bryan Teoh and plan to do a little recording for a day or two with these dudes as well.

I met Erik Schoster and Bryan Teoh back at Lawrence University and the two of these guys introduced me to electronic music. I've dipped in and out of the world myself, and the great computer crash of '06 brought an abrubt end to anything I was hoping to accomplish with it. Looking back on it and seeing what these guys are doing now, I couldn't have had a better introduction into the whole world of computer music. I've recently stepped back from almost everything digital and/or electronic (though for better or worse I've been known to indulge in loops and gadgets in the past). This is not to say that I'm an acoustic purist or anything like that. I came to the realization that if I was to do anything really monumental with computers I would need a kind of dedication (obsession?) that I really wasn't capable of (needless to say I felt the same way about jazz). Bryan gave me a bunch of software only some of which I was able to make any sense of. He also made a beat to a Braille cover of Smashing Pumpkin's perfect. He was on the verge of world-wide superstardom with his 8 bit Betty among other things. Now he's started channeling his computer skills/aeshtetics into video art. Erik (aka He Can Jog) can turn endless lines of code toss in some discarded scratches and blips of tape hiss and create something that is musical and personal. Here's a track of his that I've always liked. It's minimal, raw, and it moves me. Do yourself a favor and download the albums he's got up for free. Do the world a favor and purchase his latest album. See you when we get back.


09 michael frederick rathbun (nuevamente llego el invierno, y es dificil regresar del sur...).mp3

P.S. I don't want to leave Kimberly Hanging. My opinions regarding feminism and music are continually shaping and folding in on themselves and therefore my contributions to the discussion are usually questions. Specifically the question about the correct male response to these issues. I'm not sure what the correct response is (beyond being mindful and resisting ambivalence), though I put forth evidence that at the very best displays the awkwardness the often accompanies male musicians trying to be pro-feminist and at the very worst reinforces the stereotypes that perpetuate the problem. I give you the newly married Mrs. Ben Lee.

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