Mike Johnson of Thinking Plague Interviewed

Source: BTRread.

Thinking Plague, from Denver, Colorado, is an absolute delight to the ears–that is, if you enjoy maniacal circus organs and angular post-punk rhythms atop the lava of 20th century classical. The avant-prog band has been redefining what rock is since 1982, with release after release of highly irregular din including 1989’s landmark album “In This Life” (think Cocteau Twins meets Art Bears and you’re sort of close).

AMN Picks of the Week: Tholl, Fogel, Hoff / Romus, Rankin-Parker, Pearce / A Night in the Country / Jason Roebke / Ross Hammond and Vinny Golia

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Tholl / Fogel / Hoff – Conditional Tension (2015)
Romus / Rankin-Parker / Pearce – Live at Vamp Vintage Art Music (2016)
Various Artists – A Night in the Country: The Quietened Bunker (2016)
Jason Roebke Octet – Cinema Spiral (2016)
Ross Hammond and Vinny Golia – Ross Hammond and Vinny Golia (2016)

San Francisco Scene: July 17-22, 2016

USGS Satellite photo of the San Francisco Bay ...

From the Bay Improviser Calendar.

Sunday, July 17

Sun 7/17 3:00 PM Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts [1537 Euclid Ave. Berkeley]
Steve Adams and Scott Walton will be playing pieces from their new CD “Cookies for Cyrano.” They will also play their suite of pieces by Ornette Coleman in tribute to the late jazz giant.

Sun 7/17 7:30 PM Temescal Art Center [511 48th Street Oakland]
Doors That Only Open in Silence (open participation improv workshop)

Monday, July 18

Mon 7/18 9:00 PM The Golden Bull [412 14th St Oakland, CA]
Oxbow // Dälek // Black Spirituals

Tuesday, July 19

Tue 7/19 7:00 PM Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive [2155 Center St. Berkeley]
FULL: VERNACULARS. Electro-acoustic duo Black Spirituals (Zachary James Watkins on guitar and electronics, Marshall Trammell on percussion) creates new, elemental narratives in unexplored realms, forging their own solo and duo vernacular. This interdisciplinary, Oakland-based unit has been gathering experiences on the road in Europe and North America, responding to the particular acoustics of each space, performing the stories of their individual temperaments and of their dynamic relationship. In addition, we welcome back PC Muñoz, percussionist and composer extraordinaire, whose genre-defying projects are stylistically broad and deep. This time around, the sonic explorer brings his latest project: a trio playing a heady mix of funk, poetry, and jazz.

Tue 7/19 7:45 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Saxophonist and composer Jason Robinson returns to the Bay Area to reunite with long time musical collaborator and bassist Scott Walton in two new configurations featuring a stellar lineup. The first will showcase various Robinson compositions and will feature Darren Johnston (trumpet), Steve Adams (alto sax), Robinson (tenor sax), Walton (bass), and John Hanes (drums). The second configuration adds electronics pioneer Tim Perkis for a set of improvised explorations. A Californian by birth, Robinson spent his formative musical years in the Bay Area (1990s) and San Diego (2000s) before moving to western Massachusetts to teach at Amherst College. Now a part of New York’s and Boston’s creative music scenes, Robinson is excited to return to the Bay Area for an evening of exploratory music.

Wednesday, July 20

Wed 7/20 7:00 PM Pro Arts Gallery [150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza]
Pro Arts’ Hybrid Series event blurs the traditional boundaries between artistic disciplines—bringing together writers, poets, musicians and visual artists, revealing to audiences new connections between subject and media. The Hybrid Series #4 includes a performance by Berkeley based musician, Christina Stanley, a video presentation by theater performance company Mugwumpin, and talks by 2×2 curator Samantha Reynolds, and artist Christie Yuri Noh.

Experimental singer/songwriter, Christina Stanley combines acoustic instruments, including piano and violin, with electronic sounds and processing. She has performed and recorded as a member of SFSound and ROVA Saxophone Quartet, as well as with former Bauhaus-member David J, and Bay Area bands Boyskout and Silent Pictures. Christina has been a featured Solo performer for the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, a vocalist for the William Winant percussion ensemble, and has premiered works by George Lewis and Roscoe Mitchell for Mutable Music under conductor Petr Kotik.

Wed 7/20 7:45 PM Second Act [1727 Haight St. SF]
Drummer’s Secret Handshake #2
In an action titled “Economimesis”, tonight’s performance is the newest iteration of Decolonizing the Imagination arts practicum from Music Research Strategies chief investigator Marshall Trammell. Featuring Bay Area percussionists Jacob Felix Heule, Jay Korber, Mark Small & Marshall Trammell, this project documents a mimetic relationship to nature in the production of art, applied technologies of empathetic and cooperative dynamics, and serves as source material for performance analysis and the development of a participatory observation tools.

John Krausbauer & David Kendall
Ritual endurance and trance psychedlia comes to Second Act as Krausbauer and Kendall performing a new composition, PDRM, constructed from a ‘just’ tuned 3 string electric guitar with real time and algorithmic delay/spatialization processing. Slow, spectral tonal movements and a deluge of polyrhythmic beats occur through (de)tunings and altered tempos.

Danishta Rivero
It’s no longer a question of whether you’re a brain in a jar, but what qualia is the jar made of and is the brain yours alone? Danishta Rivero pokes pitch dark fun at these questions probing an actual jar filled with CSF and surrounding lightforms. Using multivalent circuits and specialized contractions of the laryngopharynx, Rivero agitates rods of Corti, gypsum, superior temporal gyrus, glass, epidermis, and concrete in stochastic sympathy. If during her performance you remain unaware of any jar, continue to row row row, gently.

Thursday, July 21
Thu 7/21 6:00 PM California Academy of Sciences [55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118]
Soundwave ((7)) Biennial returns to celebrate summer nights at the California Academy of Sciences. We have invited artists to activate various locations in the Academy with performances and installations to reinterpret the rapidly shifting cityscape of San Francisco. Yagiz Mungan will showcase a virtual rendering of the city that participants can both navigate and play as an instrument. Using partially immersed VR headsets, Jason Marsh takes audiences through data architectures built by inhabitants of the city and into a new realm. Christopher Willits will be performing new ambient electronic work created with guitar and voice using an 8-channel dimensional audio system in the Piazza.

Thu 7/21 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [1007 Market Street SF]
A night of 2
8:00 pm Lorin Benedict – voice, and Ian Carey- trumpet
9:00 pm Rent Romus – reeds/flutes Alex Cohen – guitar

Friday, July 22
Fri 7/22 7:30 PM The Red Poppy Art House [2698 Folsom St @23rd St SF]
Scott Amendola Trio: Original Music & Sonic Soundscapes
Karl Evangelista – guitar
Jason Hoopes – electric bass
Scott Amendola – drums/electronics

Fri 7/22 8:00 PM Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue Berkeley]
Live Cinema at Berkeley Arts! Thingamajigs Performance Group + viDEO sAVant
Thingamajigs Performance Group
Dylan Bolles (wurlitzer) – Keith Evans (images) – Suki O’Kane (percussion) – Edward Schocker (guitar)
viDEO sAVant
Charles Woodman (video) – Lisa Mezzacappa (bass) – Jason Levis (drums) – Noah Phillips (guitar) – John Finkbeiner (guitar) – Tim Perkis (electronics)

Fri 7/22 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Economimesis: Drummer’s Secret Handshake #3
“Drummer’s Secret Handshake is the newest iteration of Decolonizing the Imagination: Arts Practicum from Music Research Strategies chief investigator Marshall Trammelll. This performance features Bay Area percussionists Nava Dunkelman, Robert Lopez, Jordan Glenn & Marshall Trammell in a in a combination of individual solos, a simultaneous multi-solo and as a quartet. “

Classical Music Listings From The New York Times

Source: The New York Times.

Bargemusic (Friday through Sunday) Evan Shinners, otherwise known as W.T.F. Bach — yes, you read that correctly — will take this floating stage on Friday night, with a variety of keyboard Bach and more recent electronic works. On Saturday and Sunday, the violinist and Bargemusic director Mark Peskanov, together with the pianist Nina Kogan, will cruise past the midpoint of their complete cycle of Beethoven’s violin sonatas, with four of the 10 on the billing for their repeated program. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 4 p.m., Bargemusic, Fulton Ferry Landing, next to the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn, 800-838-3006, bargemusic.org. (David Allen)

Reich/Reverberations (Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday) The Lincoln Center Festival’s homage to Steve Reich culminates in three performances highlighting the breadth and depth of his output. On Saturday, the intrepid So Percussion, joined by additional percussionists, singers and a piccolo player, takes on Mr. Reich’s landmark “Drumming” from 1971. Tuesday’s program, featuring Ensemble Signal and the formidable Jack Quartet, showcases Reich’s serious side, including the Holocaust-themed “Different Trains” and the moving “WTC 9/11.” On Thursday, Ensemble Signal performs the kaleidoscopic “Music for 18 Musicians.” At 8 p.m., Saturday at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Tuesday and Thursday at the Appel Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th Street and Broadway, 212-721-6500, lincolncenterfestival.org. (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

Coming to the ISSUE Project Room

Source: New York’s ISSUE Project Room.


Sat 30 Jul, 2016, 5pm, Pioneer Works: 159 Pioneer St., Brooklyn 11231
ISSUE Project Room and Pioneer Works are pleased to present a high summer marathon performance on July 30th with Daniel Menche, Container, Profligate, Eartheater, Greg Fox, Ben Vida, and Horse Lords live in Red Hook, Brooklyn.


Sat 13 Aug, 2016, 8pm, 22 Boerum Place, Brooklyn
Focusing mainly on the combination of Joe McPhee’s pocket trumpet and Peter Evans’ piccolo trumpet, the pair explores a universe of sound with tiny instruments; noise, melody and silence weave together in an intense yet unhurried conversation Saturday, August 13th at 8pm at ISSUE’s 22 Boerum Place theater.