Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Project-updates, part 2.


I currently have two records and a brand-new live band in the works.

First, the third record from my solo experimental electronic project LeVautourEnsemble is well underway. This one’s called “From the Sketchbook.”

Like the first two (2010’s “…whose wings are a dull reality”, and 2011’s “Machinique Meltdown”, both available for free download [with a whole lot of other neat stuff] on Headhat Records) this one is also a bit of an oddball repurposing of the idea of the “concept-record.” This time around, as the name of the record may imply, I’ve assigned myself the task of navigating a sketchbook where I had been jotting down fragments of transient ideas over the course of several years… and writing songs based on those fragments… even if (or, especially if) I have NO idea what the hell the initial note meant. To throw myself an additional layer of challenge, I’m tracking this record entirely on an ancient Tascam 4-track cassette recorder. (Special thanks to Dan Holmes for loaning me this phenomenally monstrous device).

I’ve nicknamed him “Brutus.” If anyone remembers tracking audio with these things, add about twenty-five years to let Brutus’s physical parts get downright-elderly in electronics-years, and you can begin to imagine how beautifully cantankerous and temperamental he is now. Working with Brutus is much like riding an ornery rodeo-bull; I’m definitely not in charge here. (I’ve always joked that the other members of LeVautourEnsemble’s “Ensemble” are machines and robots… this has never been more true.) By design, this record will sound NOTHING like what I envision it sounding like in my head. (Special thanks for this one are also due to the guy who owns "The Music Connection" in Manchester, NH, for having had the foresight to stock-pile the Type-II cassette-tapes that Brutus requires back when they stopped making them, while everyone else's response when I was trying to track them down was more like "You're looking for what? WHY??")

Some sneak-peak sample of tracks from this record can be heard here-

.. streaming/ download from a recent charity-compilation...

…and here-

Additionally, this album will be the last material I’ll release under the “LeVautourEnsemble” name. My plan is to consider the three records some odd sort of a “trilogy” (maybe even make some sort of limited-edition packaging of them as such available) and retire the moniker. This isn’t to imply that I’m going to stop making this sort of music (who knows), but more that the idea of maintaining false separations between various sorts of solo-content has run its course.

The second record I am working on is a recording of a live-DJ megamix-set of sorts… It’s called “Vulture From The Vaults”… basically, I spin and remix a collection of my back-catalog material from a variety of projects that were never officially released, linked together with improvised live shards of my particular breed of lo-fi indie-electronic music. This is sort of like a bizarro take on a B-sides/ rarities/ out-takes/ greatest (non)hits collection, mashed up with my sort of gadfly take on the “live-mix” records that DJ’s more traditional-style than myself like to release. My plan is to release physical-copies of this disc in such a way that make it very unclear whether it’s more of a CD that comes with a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, or a piece of art that comes with a free CD… or something in between, or both.

My new live-band is called Snazzmobb.

Expect a crazy-high-energy explosion of indie-dance-rock madness. We’re brand-spanking-new (and dealing with an unforeseen early-lineup restructuring issue at the moment) so we’re not playing out yet, but we will be soon. (I’ve already given my band-mates an ultimatum; if this isn’t going anywhere by early spring I’m heading someplace warmer). In the meantime, follow us on Twitter (@Snazzmobb) and “like” us on Facebook… we’ll be dropping plenty of teaser-content soon enough. Peel your eyes.

Snazzmobb is currently a trio; I'm on bass and vocals, Adhesiveslipper (solo-artist/ Headhat Records boss-man) is on electronic-noise-wizardry and vocals, and Alex Hurschman is on drums and vocals. Think high-energy noisy funk meets post-punk? This will be a fun show, I promise.

(the third installment of this update-series will cover visual-art and odds-and-ends, soon.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Project-updates, Part 1.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a collected update here of the assortment of projects I currently have in the works. It seems overdue, since I have a lot going on, and only make passing mentions of various parts of these things in assorted places online. Here, then, is a bit of a catalog of my present endeavors, collected conveniently in one spot (though broken up into three entries to pardon your eyes and attention-spans.)

It might go without saying if you keep tabs on my work at all, but as someone who is rather transfixed with various ideas of “intermediality,” the media and format of most of my projects overlap and intersect with each other by design, concept, and necessity. Regardless, I will attempt to structure these updates by artistic-medium as an attempt at SOME semblance of coherency for those who happen to be outside of my head (you).


I currently maintain four tiers of shorter-than-book-length content in various stages of the publication-submission process. These tiers are short-fiction, poetry, academic/ scholarly, and mainstream-non-fiction. In all of these tiers I try to maintain a sort of “go-big-or-go-home” submission-strategy… My thought is, why sell content to tiny, accessible outlets with extremely limited readership before you know for sure that the biggest fish in the sea don’t want the work… right? In certain tiers, then, I’ve been joking with friends lately that my current “job” as a writer is collecting rejection-letters from The New Yorker.

In addition, I’m currently working on a somewhat-unorthodox book-project. The piece is (at least tentatively) titled “Frantic Overture in Gray Minor: The Neon Sonata.” It’s not exactly a novel, not really a short-story collection, not quite a combination of the two… yet somehow all of that at once… with some additional intermedial, format-blurring twists thrown in.

My idea with this one, in terms of the goal, is self-publication… partly to help myself try to overcome a knee-jerk distaste for that “scene”… largely by allowing myself to think of that format as an experimental way of bypassing the conventional book-market in order to find unconventional sources of eyeballs for experimental works. In other words, this book is intentionally “unpublishable” by traditional “gate-keeper” publishing-industry channels, but possibly marketable to an entirely different sort of readers. (Of course, I’m well aware that this idea is particularly dicey at the moment, in the recent wake of the “50 Shades” phenomenon demonstrating so aptly WHY the traditional “quality-control” gate-keepers are in place- to keep the masses from hand-selecting complete and utter garbage… But I digress. I would be lying if I claimed that the challenge provided by such dicey-ness doesn’t excite me. I tend to like challenges.) This work is deeply connected to and overlapping with my current musical projects... which I'll talk about next.

…to be continued…