Saturday, December 31, 2011

A jewel from the cold land

Sweden seems to contain a wealth of musical talent. Some of my favourite musicians and groups originate from Saab country (ABBA, Girlfriendo, and Love Is All), and yesterday I discovered another band which I'll add to the roster: First Aid Kit. Consisting of sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg, the duo has been kicking around since 2007. Thanks to Radio 6 I have fallen head over heels for their new single (and title track) from their upcoming album, The Lion's Roar, which is scheduled for release 24 January 2012.

The video is a bit naft but it's a damn good tune, me thinks:

The Lion's Roar (2012)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A bit hawk-ish

Spent part of my second day on holiday listening to Lemmy and Simon King's LP debut with the Ladbroke Grove lads (1972's Doremi Fasol Latido), Lemmy's LP finale (1975's Warrior on the Edge of Time), Bowie's The Man Who Sold the World (1970), and Love Is All's Two Thousand and Ten Injuries (2010). Even managed to (so far) avoid the persistent temptation of playing Skyrim (which I flushed away seven hours of my life doing yesterday) and spent time in the studio today. Where's my twelve hour sobriety chip...

Doremi Fasol Latido (1972)

Warrior on the Edge of Time (1975)

The Man Who Sold the World (1970)

Two Thousand and Ten Injuries (2010)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"I would like to thank the academy..."

This past year has been another interesting one, and again within the framework of HIO. It continues to be a metamorphic entity, switching direction and alluding accurate prediction of where we will head next. The year of the ensemble's genesis (2009) was one in which Hentai Improvising Orchestra truly felt like a symphony, as its ranks swelled into the double digits playing cacophonies that sounded like baroque gone horribly wrong. 2010 saw us playing to students, garnering a toehold in the local art community (FWCAC and ArtsGoggle), and steadily "shrinking our waistlines" down to a core of three. Praise be to Captain Horn, the heading of HMS Boing-Boing-Scratch-Scratch-Ping-Ping in 2011 was a surprise, making an unexpected port call in the land of dance.

We were in Denton one Saturday in April for HIO alumni Michael Briggs' Violitionist Sessions podcast. A pit stop at Hooligans for a couple pints after recording led to witnessing people in pastels on the courthouse grounds across the road acting in a manner which, for some reason, conjured visions of the Manson Family... except more colourful and less murder-y. Terry's face-to-face encounter with the performers as we were leaving the pub left him feeling unnerved yet intrigued. The following week he reached out on Facebook and asked if any dancers would be interested in collaborating with our pokey little group. Sarah Gamblin, an Associate Professor of Dance at TWU, warmly responded. Through her we were introduced to the "Manson Family": Big Rig Dance Collective. Thus began a partnership with some of the nicest and most talented people that I had the pleasure of meeting.

From the inaugural collaboration at ArtsGoggle in May to the Black Box Theatre performances this past weekend, JAM! sessions and Houston Fringe Festival with Sarah, it has been a memorable and fun year. Where next, Captain? Silly question...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lamb chops and fringe

A hankering for Elvis on this Sunday, particularly the material from the late Sixties through the early Seventies, which is probably my favourite period of the King's. The TCB Band was one of the tightest and most versatile groups ever to exist, in my opinion, holding within its ranks such legendary talents as Ronnie Tutt (drums), Jerry Scheff (bass), and of course James Burton (guitar). Whoa momma!

*Apparently, the person who made this vid has a "thing" about Linda Thompson...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The week in summary

Barring the bits involving my job (which will continue to be a miserable environment for the next couple weeks as my company tries to complete and ship orders to customers before they close down for the winter hols) it has been a fantastic one, spent with some of my favourite people on earth. The shows with HIO and Big Rig Dance Collective during the middle of the week were a blast; getting the chance to finally(!) witness a JAM! session on Friday was a great experience and quite inspirational, to say the least; last night's "Cavalcade of Unpopular Music 2" was a joy to partake in with some of the nicest musos one could ever hope to know (and the added bonus to be joined on stage by Stone Machine Electric's Mark Kitchens). Huzzah!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Still have some catching up to do regarding this man's output. Just a few:

Metamatic (1980)

"No-One Driving/Glimmer/Mr. No" (1980)

The Garden (1981)

'Tis the season for Hentai

(A loaded header? Yes.)

The HIO trio heads to Denton on Tuesday for "tech/dress" with comrades, Big Rig Dance Collective, and will return Thursday to commence Homing Where I Roam for a private function. On Saturday we're partaking in "Cavalcade of Unpopular Musics 2" along with Drift Era, The Panic Basket, Darrin Kobetich, and Breaking Light at new Doc's Records and Vintage location. HIO will be back in Denton on the 16th and 17th to perform Homing Where I Roam with Big Rig and composer, John Osburn, this time open to the public at The Black Box Theatre.

Next month we'll have a recording session at the bearded scribe's house with Mr. Osburn, Patrick Crossland (who recorded with us a couple years ago), and possibly the fourth permanent Hentai member, Marcus Brunt; a show at the Simone Lounge in Denton; begin our residency at The Cellar at the end of the month for "Improvised Silence".

So there.