Do you have memories of “Max Headroom”? Why not call in, and leave a message. It may well end up on the show!
Here is my contribution to the Mail Art Book I mentioned a bit ago. I like the collage, myself. Hopefully something happens with this book someday. There’s some good stuff in there, so far.
My continued friendship with Hal McGee and his Electronic Cottage group of artists has been fruitful yet again, as I had another track included on the most recent compilation, Cheap And Plastic #2. This is a sequel to the 2012 compilation that has a killer line-up in and of itself, so to be included in the follow-up, which again has an incredible playlist, is nothing to sneeze at. And the comp was sequenced by Chris Phinney too, who knows a thing or two about how to sequence a compilation. I’m continually impressed with the kinds of work this group churns out, and it humbles me when I think that I’m occasionally not in the mood to write and record. To see how much material these folks have put out is pretty motivating.
The Cheap And Plastic concept is actually pretty great: sure, it can be easy to make a lot of experimental music when you have a ton of gear, often very expensive, that can accompany you while you perform an instrument that you are playing “live.” So, to cut to the chase: what can you do with the cheapest gear you have? There’s a little more to it than that, but the idea is to be quick, to be cheap, and to find inspiration in the innovation that thrift-store gear can offer you.
To that end, I decided to use a keyboard that M found for me while in a thrift store: a “Beat Bugs” branded toy that is shaped like a skateboard and has a keyboard on one side. While the samples of animated kids characters playing Beatles songs will be LOVELY to bend, there is something very simple about the generic synth sound that I’m really fond of. I’ve used it a few times on different pieces, but usually as an overdub, on top of other stuff I’m recorded. For this piece, I only used this keyboard, and allowed myself to add another take over the previous one, provided I panned it differently.
Using only those two tools (this keyboard and panning), I proceeded to compose something of which I’m really quite fond. There are no samples, and no slowed down loops that I’ve manipulated on the computer first, which then creates a bed of sound for me to mix and chop samples over. None of that. In a way, it’s just me, the keyboard, and the music that came out of me. Some of the simplest sounds I’ve ever made.
While my track is only one of many, it’s not what this is about. You really should check out the whole thing, as the other artists are very excellent, and there’s tons of cool things in this collection. And it’s LONG! I’m still working through it, there is so much excellent music here!
I get to make some cool music, and participate in some cool stuff, and I’m truly humbled by how lucky when I think about it. Hopefully some of you are entertained by some amount of this, because I’m having a very good time.
I bought one of these portfolio folders from the @artdepartmentsupply and put my fave old show fliers in it.
I attended / performed in all of these shows, except the X flier, which I got from an ex many years ago, who has since passed away.
I have twice as many that still need a home, but these are the important ones. At least they won’t rot away in a box somewhere, not being seen or stored well.
Looking at these makes me miss being in Cathead more than I have in years. And it made me miss a period in PDX where Cheryl and I would go to shows several days a week.
And another era, before that, when Sierra and I would go to shows all the time in Eugene.
And even further back, when I wanted more than anything to see live music, and play in bands, because holy shit, these albums are amazing.
Music is the best, and I wish I could put up fliers again.
I fuckin’ miss all of you.
I’ve been very lucky, and have received a few excellent books in the mail lately, which I’m very much looking forward to reviewing.
“This Could Be The Cover” is a book where it is mailed around to different artists, and they each fill a page before mailing it to someone else. (I got it from Hal McGee, and I desperately need to fill a page and send it along.)
“White Screen” was published by my mail-art pen-pal, John M. Bennett, in 1976, one year after I was born!
Formaldehydra’s new CD / Zine is perfect for trying to get work done in the afternoon.
“Medicine For A Nightmare” is a beautiful book / zine that contains art written / drawn / photographed during the pandemic.
Amazing stuff, and I’m very excited to have a change to get stuff like this!
I went to check out the #SalemSnailMailArtSwap at The Art Department today, and it was really excellent! It’s so cool to see an art show like that in Salem, and I couldn’t wait to check it out. Plus, I hadn’t been in since a lot of the new changes have been made, so it was worth the trip. The store looks great, and I picked up a new portfolio so I can hold my old show fliers. I already need another one.
Anyway, not only is the show incredible, and the other entries are very, very cool, I was stoked to see that my entry was prominently on display! How very cool! I don’t think I can do the show justice here, only to say that I was really excited to see so many other people who are local, and also participate in mail art! I am humbled to be included in such an excellent show.
Has anyone named the snail yet? Because it is amazing.
The other artists did incredible work, so you should check it out the next time you’re downtown. I’m looking forward to hearing about the other excellent events that they will put on this year!
It must be March.
This month, Mini-Mutations has a new 30 minute EP that you can only hear via the new postcard that is being mailed out to mailing list subscribers AT THIS VERY MOMENT. This EP, “Five Hundred Thousand,” is a three part exploration of new material, new ideas, and new experiments that is at the heart of all that Mini-Mutations does. I’m excited to have the EP out, and would love to share it with you.
Which brings me to these postcards. Every month, original content that is not available any other way is available for you to enjoy, directly sent to your mailbox. It’s a musical postcard that combines old-fashioned Postcard technology with new-fangled QR-code technology, to offer you new music in the privacy of your own mailbox. Join the mailing list, and receive each new postcard when they are made! These were recently written up by the Eugene Weekly, and are now an international sensation! (Cards have landed in Canada, Germany and Taiwan.) We’ve hit almost 30 states, too, so help me make it all 50, and join the mailing list, today!
As an incentive: this month’s postcard comes with some bonus material, in addition to the new Mini-Mutations EP. On March 21st, a new podcast is launching. 20 Minutes Into The Future: A Max Headroom Podcast is a show where we watch Max Headroom, and talk about it. With this postcard, we offer a chance to hear the first episode before the show officially launches. You can find out more information about the show at 20minutesintothefuture.org. We officially launch on March 21st. Our second episode, where we discuss the UK Telefilm, will coincide with the 36th Anniversary of the original broadcast. Keep your eyes on the website, as we will be hosting a watch party on Zoom, the details of which will be on our site. In the meantime, you can enjoy our first episode via the postcard, before anyone else can hear it.
March is going to be a great month, and. It all starts with this new postcard. Get yours, now!