Vision Festival 2009 Review

DMG reviews this year’s Vision Fest.

Tuesday, June 9th got off to great start with an Opening Invocation featuring Patricia Nicholson doing voice and dance, William Parker on gimbri (4-string African bass) and Hamid Drake on frame drum. Ms. Nicholson is the Vision Fest’s main organizer and the epicenter of good vibes that flow through every Vision Fest that I’ve attended, which is all of them. This was a perfect opening with a ritualistic vibe. Patricia chanted, “Change is Coming” and this is something we can all agree with.

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Upcoming Bohemian in Exile Shows

From Detroit’s Bohemian Home:

Rescheduled! Tues. 7/14: Le Fanfare du Belgistan
This 7 peice brass band from Belgium performs a mixture of Balkan and gypsy brass music, with some overtones of the music of the middle east. Most of the tempos are fast and true to the music’s roots as a dance genre, but the group also throws in some heady treats for those who just want to rock in their seats.

Date Correction! Thurs. 7/30: Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone
Two of the finest young musicians to come along in recent years, Mary (guitar) and Jessica (violin, viola) run the gamut from performing in Anthony Braxton’s groups to playing soft, original folk music. Their daunting technique and experimental leanings are put to the service of an eclecticism that eschews the divisions of genre and just lets music be music. Mary has been called the most important guitarist of her generation.

8/6: Alasdair Roberts

Glasgow based singer/guitarist Alsadir Roberts started off playing in the experimental leaning group Appendix Out, but these days he mostly plays music inspired by the folk traditions of the British Isles. He has numerous release on the Drag City label and has been a collaborator with Will Oldham, who produced his third solo record, a collection of traditional British ballads.

NEW DATE! 9/28: Huun Huur Tu

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2009 So Far

As opposed to our picks of the week post, the data below was gathered from logs at I’ve culled through them to determine the albums released so far in 2009 that have garnered the most listens. Thus, this list is fairly representative of not just what is appreciated here at AMN Central, but also what we keep listening to. I’m somewhat surprised by the results, as a lot of releases that I liked quite a bit at first blush have received relatively few listens. Need to work on that…

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society – Infernal Machines
Henry Cow – Vol. 1: Beginnings
Nels Cline – Coward
Univers Zero – Relaps: Archives 1984-1986
Quartet Offensive – Carnivore
John Zorn – Filmworks XXII The Last Supper
John Hébert – Byzantine Monkey
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – Winterwood
Land Of Kush – Against the Day
Maurizo Bianchi – A M.B. Lehn Tale
Michaël Attias – Credo
James Blackshaw – The Glass Bead Game
Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone – Thin Air
Gerald Cleaver, William Parker, Craig Taborn – Farmers by Nature
Kayo Dot – Blue Lambency Downward
Alex Cline – Continuation

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Musique Machine Reviews

Cover of "Black Sea"
Cover of Black Sea

From Musique Machine:

Roberto Juan Rodriguez – The First Basket
The First Basket is a rewarding and genre varied soundtrack for a documentary about the history and trails and tribulations of Jewish American basketball players that goes from them playing with trash cans placed on the stoops of brownstones to the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.

Navicon Torture Technologies – The Gospels of the Gash
The Gospels of the Gash is the final release from the apocalyptic and sleazy meeting of power electronics, sick brooding ambience and grim industrial clunking ‘n’ bleak drift that is Navicon Torture Technologies.

Istituzioni Ambienti Naturalismo – Luminamenti
Luminamenti is a wonderful collusion & brain melting sonic stew of musical elements, noise matter and jagged electro-acoustic elements. Through-out the album switchers rather nicely from searing yet playful noise battering down to damaged harmonic wonderings, and everywhere else in-between.

Fennesz – Black Sea
Black Sea finds Fennesz in a contemplative, somewhat more experimental mood than his last two studio albums. His last album, Venice, took the melodic approach of his ground-breaking 2001 album Endless Summer down a notch, while evoking the mystery revolving around the city for which it was named. Despite the fact that many may consider Black Sea a departure for Christian Fennesz because of his choice to employ a less song oriented approach, it still bears his unmistakable hand print. If you listen carefully, and peer into the murky drones, there’s actually a great degree of structure and musicianship hidden within much of the album. As always, his penchant for artful detail and masterful pacing is evident, even more so with repeated exposure.

Themselves – The FREEhoudini deluxe
The FREEhoudini deluxe is the first Themselves full length album since their 02’s The No Music & its surrealistic and dense reinventing of rap & Hip- Hop genre. But instead of pushing the envelope further FREEhoudini sees the collective returning to theirs & Anticon’s roots to make a more straight-up Rap & Hip-hop record; though it still has more than a few creative and classic Anticon twists.

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Umbrella Music Through July 12

Michael Lowenstern playing bass clarinet
Image via Wikipedia

From Chicago’s Umbrella Music:

Wednesday, 1 July 2009
The Hideout
10:00PM | Rempis Percussion Quartet
Dave Rempis – saxophones
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – bass
Tim Daisy – drums
Frank Rosaly – drums
Record Release Concert for “The Disappointment of Parsley” (NOT TWO Records)
two sets
$7 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets: Kent Kessler spins Recent Favorites

Sunday, 5 July 2009
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Keefe Jackson Ensemble
Lineup TBA

Tuesday, 7 July 2009
9:00PM | The Frame Quartet
Ken Vandermark – reeds
Fred Lonberg-Holm – cello
Nate McBride – bass
Tim Daisy – drums
two sets

Wednesday, 8 July 2009
The Hideout
10:00PM | Williams/Levin
Mars Williams – reeds
Daniel Levin – cello
11:00PM | Levin/Kimmel/Riordan
Daniel Levin – cello
Jeff Kimmel – bass
Marc Riordan – drums
$7 cover
PLUS | DJ Sets : John Corbett spins Radio Dada, Side A

Thursday, 9 July 2009
10:00PM | Stein/Baker/Abrams
Jason Stein – bass clarinet
Jim Baker – piano
Josh Abrams – bass
two sets

Sunday, 12 July 2009
The Hungry Brain
10:00PM | Herculaneum
Nick Broste – trombone
Greg Danek – bass
David McDonnell – alto saxophone, clarinet
Patrick Newbery – trumpet
Dylan Ryan – drums, vibraphone
two sets

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