prana crafter and the modern folk live sets from the projection museum

earlier this month, i had the opportunity to play a very special show, opening up for new york shredders elkhorn and olympic peninsula guitar wizard prana crafter at a unique venue here in portland, oregon called the projection museum.

it was a wonderful evening. i took the chance to record the performances, although in my frenzy to get it right i messed up the settings on one microphone, losing a channel in the process. i think it still turned out alright. check out sets by me and prana crafter below.

the modern folk live at the projection museum

prana crafter live at the projection museum

thanks for listening!

midwestern medicine - the winking badge

midwestern medicine is a portland, maine power trio fronted by brock ginther, who i have featured here before in his solo incarnation.

with a capable rhythm section, he is able to let his more stripped down,  frenetic tendencies shine on the three manic indie rock jams that make up 'the winking badge', spewing some caustic wit in the form of heavy freakouts, country rock pastiche and power-pop melodies. highly recommended.

get it here.

bill mackay - esker

bill mackay is a chicago guitarist who has been active for years on the experimental music scene. his new record 'esker' is due out may 5th on drag city records. the album is a deep dive into the possibilities of the guitar, an instrumental voyage through various styles, from spacey psychedelia to blues and ragtime.

most of these compositions are built from layers of guitars that weave in and out of harmony, offering various tones and textures. a few songs celebrate the lone guitar and traditional fingerpicking, such as the intricate but laid-back 'candy'. there is also an expansive range at play with the frequent use of the slide, from a delta blues sound to a more tripped out moan. bits of percussion liven up some jams, a touch that reminds me of sandy bull. all the guitar work on 'esker' is languid and deliberate, it feels effortless. highly recommended. check out the first two tracks below.

pre-order it here.

ohr / sergey kostyrko & alexander zaitsev - split

the split tape between russian ambient noise musicians ohr (side A) and sergey kostyrko and alexander zaitsev (side B) is the latest release from experimental label spina!rec out of st. petersburg, russia.

the tape consists of a couple long-form modular synth drones, full of layered textures, crackling and humming like living things, at times coalescing into subtle, glitchy rhythms. classic meditative drones.

get it here.

tapes & tubes - halloween parade b/w sun:moon:stars

delaware musician tapes & tubes (AKA austin potter) has a side business cutting DIY lathe records for various underground musicians, many of which i have featured here on MFOA, such as pulco, tremolo ghosts, the sioux trails guys, and myself.

his latest release is a lathe-cut 7" of his own, featuring a trio of his atmospheric song/story/poems that invoke a haunted and lonely vision of americana.

the thing about handmade 7" records is, you can't make a lot, so these are already sold out. you can still grab this great music digitally right here.

monte burrows - skua

monte burrows is a los angeles based sound artist. his latest release is called 'skua', out now on french tape label falt. 'skua' is a collection of sound art compositions made from looped and sampled field recordings.

what intrigues me most about this music is the way rhythm can be extracted from the sounds of everyday life. while rhythm is not the only focus on 'skua', which also revels in diverse sonic textures and subtle overtones, the looping technique gives voice to repetitions. i love the interaction between title and content on side B ('false beach'), where a lazy beat of looped noise imitates waves.

get it here.

gregory talbot - recordings on an empty stomach

gregory talbot is a ambient/noise/drone artist based in norway who has released many albums over the past couple decades under various names. his latest album, 'recordings on an empty stomach', is his first under his full name and his first since 2006. it is available now on hand-dubbed cassette from german tape label midnight circles (highly recommended label for lofi drone heads).

'recordings on an empty stomach' was composed using modular synth gear and pitch scrambled field recordings. these are patient, hazy drones that build build to heavy densities, manipulating the sounds of the actual world to create a simulacra of ambient sound. the noise of happenstance by design. accomplished drone.

get it here.

maija sofia - persephone

maija sofia is an irish singer/songwriter. her latest track is 'persephone', a re-recording of a song she wrote in her youth. it features her whispery vocal performance hovering above acoustic guitar, and touches of percussion and synth.

the use of synth bass and some samples of a sylvia plath reading give the song a modern, experimental edge. haunting.

get it here.

elkhorn - the black river

elkhorn is a new york based guitar duo that combines acoustic, american primitive, takoma school style picking with electric, pastoral psych drones and freakouts for a mind warping effect. their new record, 'the black river', is due out in mid april from seattle experimental label debacle records.

the title track, which is currently available as a preview, demonstrates elkhorn's unique guitar alchemy. it begins leaning heavily on a fahey-esque acoustic ramble, with the electric guitar floating like a haze in the background, rounding out the edges of the sound. as the song grows, the acoustic guitar locks in to a repetitive pattern allowing the electric guitar to enter into outer space. at each turn, the tones and riffs, crisp and organic on one hand, warm, electric and psyched out on the other, compliment each other. it sounds like a magic mushroom growing from a hardwood stump. highly recommended.

pre-order it here.

christopher cannon - three days before the shooting

christopher cannon is a cleveland based musician who worked in hip-hop before switching to a more folk-like style. his latest album is called 'three days before the shooting', a beautiful, sad and angry work that showcases christopher's masterful singing and ultramodern sound.

the music is minimal, the guitar and voice expected from a folk singer, but subtle effects used with the guitar give it a raw dynamic edge, matching the edge of protest in the singing. there is a cover of sam cooke's 'a change is gonna come', a test of any singer's ability, that christopher easily passes. highly recommended.

download it for free here.

candidate demo - been human

candidate demo is a harrisonburg, virginia based punk/thrash duo featuring the drum machine and vocal talents of billy brett from buck gooter. the songs are generally uptempo and stripped down, with the guitar work ranging from psychedelic swirls to punk buzzsaws to lofi approximations of hair-metal theatrics (occasional overdubbed guitar harmonies are a treat when you catch them).

the vocals are in chant/yell/sing style of hardcore, but the song structures hew towards traditional rock'n'roll in a way you can trace back to the very roots. protean rock'n'roll cooked up from minimal ingredients. i recommend this whole album but the space-out in the middle of 'been human 2' is a highlight.

get it here digital. tape is on the way.

pulco - o'r tu allen

i am always happy to post about a new pulco album. this one 'o'r tu allen', highly experimental and noisy ('born out of a desperate need to play guitar with a whisk ') and done mostly in welsh, is actually the last pulco album...not that that is any loss, because i cannot imagine the guy behind pulco, ultra-prolific DIY multimedia artist ash cooke, is going to stop making music anytime soon.

we'll just have to find his new identity and catch up with him there, meanwhile, check out 'o'r tu allen' (one of my fav pulco albums yet, i like it when he gets weird) and his massive back catalog...there will be more, even if it is not called pulco.

name your price for it here. fare thee well pulco, hello, next thing.

west texas revival group - half an hour of sitting in a chair

west texas revival group is the recording name of an otherwise unknown ohio singer/songwriter. his latest release, 'half an hour of sitting in a chair', is pretty much what it sounds like.

it's an uninterrupted 30-ish minute track composed of several different songs recorded all at once. mystical, stream of consciousness lyrics over loose, country-blues picking. i recommend giving it a spin.

check out some more stuff on the soundcloud.

francis mckeys - living inside the dome

if you follow MFOA, you might know that some of our true fellow travelers are the members of pennsylvania musical collective sioux trails records. this group of friends is dedicated to making and releasing (for free) relentlessly experimental and beautiful music under the auspices of their own personal mythology. the latest release from STR is 'living under the dome' by guitarist francis mckeys.

'living under the dome' seems to be the story of environmental collapse and slow-creeping apocalypse told with and electric guitar and an amp. i'd venture that this is classic 'guitar soli', just a version that is less noted than the acoustic finger style stuff that phrase generally makes you think of. this is taking a guitar and wrenching from it scenes of destruction, feelings of loss and despair, moments of ecstasy. musically, this is a celebration of a lone guitar, philosophically, i think it is a funeral song for the earth. i hope it is premature.

name your price for it here.

noll griffin - temperance

noll griffin is a singer/songwriter from berlin, germany. his latest album is called 'temperance'. noll specializes in quiet, melancholic folk, accompanying himself on nylon string guitar, with occasional vocal overdubs. his voice is clear and starkly beautiful, making the impact of his intimate lyrical confessions deeper.

this is minimalism at its best, because the singing and playing are so well executed in respect to the material. sad songs for cloudy days, extremely well done. recommended for a listen. best bandcamp bio award contender: 'the body at the bottom of the haunted lake says hello.'

get it here.


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