Friday, December 17, 2010


Thanks to all who came to the last concert. Thanks to the performers for bringing it. Thanks to the Englert for hosting, and thanks to Craig for filming these beauties: 

Christine Augspurger playing David Lang's "Anvil Chorus"

Aphorisms I by Andrew Paul Jackson, performed by Andy H-D and Angela Lickiss

I now must hibernate, but look for more pics, vids, and info about the upcoming shows after the New Year. In the meantime, get to know this
and this.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fame Train

We've now garnered media attention! Read all about it here.

This line, "...while someone plays a wooden board filled with mystery objects, such as a wrench", goes out the wrench-wielders of Lwa*. 

*N.B.: this is a Facebook page. It may require signing away some of your Rights of Privacy if you haven't already done so.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

IHearIC 12.15 Flyer

The Beat

The next IHearIC will be the last of 2010. You can catch it at the Englert Theatre 
on Wednesday, the 15th of December. Show starts at 9PM. 

The Theme for the night will be "The Beat" but will be excluding anything like this:

Kerouac by Palumbo
but may have a little bit of this:

This concert zooms in on Rhythm and calls attention to its importance across genres. It's about many musicks marching to the same (The) Beat.

The line up is:

Chris Reichmeier - music for maracas and tape

Ex-Action Model - music for a synthesizer heart, from drum machine loops, with love

Angela Lickiss & Andy Hanson-Dvoracek - Aphorism I for English Horn & Guitar by Andrew Paul Jackson, a Boston-based composer who is by all accounts a good guy who happens to write good music.

Idris Goodwin - saying words over drums n' bass provided by
Cassius Goens & Karl M.C. respectively

Christine Augspurger - playing Anvil Chorus by the Pulitzer prize winning University of Iowa Alum David Lang. It's Solo percussion music for many pieces of metal.
Like this:

Come and see this. It will be the best hour of your finals week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


It's a show tonight 
at the White Lightning Wherehouse. 
9PM, be there. 

Monday, November 1, 2010


Here are some soundshots of last week's IHearIC: 

This is a piece by Matt Dotson & Jared Fowler on guitar/computer & double bass, respectively. Matt processed the instruments and held aloft several spinning plates to make a jittery, jerky and chirpy soundbed over which a bass harmonic occasionally sung.

For a show comprised entirely of electronic acts this one was free of technical malfunctions, save for the Sound Guy forgetting to press 'Record' for Lwa's set. There is however a video of the performance, and if you indicate your interest in this via comment or email it will be yours.

Closing out the show was Larry & the Belief System who played the blue notes with conviction and bluesiness.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Body is a Wonderman

Alex Body has signed on last minute for next Monday's (25th of October) IHearIC show.
Check this stuff out:

Each act will complement the other better so than in the past, and the whole show will fit nicely under the Electronic Music umbrella. This feels like it is going to be a Thing and/or The Thing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Recently I've been waylaid by a number of things that are even more distracting than the usual distractions.

First of course is the Chilean miners. I won't even bother linking to anything because their story is everywhere the TV or Internet is.

Second is this article about the Insane Clown Posse. They are an easy target, but Jon Ronson doesn't go straight for the juggulo. He doesn't really have to.
This article, the video to their recent single, "Miracles", and the SNL parody have sent me down a wormhole that I don't want to be in. It's days later and I'm still without words.

Third is Blankets. There's nothing like a coming-of-age graphic novel to shift one's priorities. I recommend it if you're needing an excuse to avoid something.

Tomorrow's show at the W/L Wherehouse should be a priority for everyone. At it, you can hear AIDS Wolf through a warm, golden, and pants-shittingly loud PA system. For now you can hear them through your computer speakers:

Now less than two weeks away is the October IHearIC show at the Englert Theatre.
I'll direct you to our man Lawton Hall for a synopsis of what he & Meg gonna do and for a look at some of his stuff. The scores to Dry & Exalted Noise are beautiful, and with them Lawton is turning the sandblock into the next Electric Guitar.

Dry & Exalted Noise Sample Video #1 from Lawton Hall on Vimeo.

Grab a free copy of the latest Little Village magazine and turn to the back to see a picture of Rosalee Motor Revival from the last show. Or see it through the Interweb.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Certainly Not Least

Rosalee Motor Revival's set was watertight. A group's level of preparation is apparent as soon as they step onstage, and RMR looked like they'd been doing this on the road for years. They had this ebullient energy that felt both genuine and totally orchestrated. It was thrilling. This here is one of my favorites:

They are playing Wednesday October 6th at The Mill with Breathe Owl Breathe.
I will be there.

Here too is a set from the last IHearIC. It all comes from the Sacred Harp songbook.

Check out what's going on when they get to "bowels", as in "and in the bowels of Thy love/O Lord remember me". The little skip in the melody stretches "bowels" into a two syllable word and, with the slight shift in harmony, twangs me. This kind of text wrenching happens all over the place in Sacred Harp hymns; it's like a direct thumb-biting to the Proper ways of setting music to text. It's just another one of the curiosities that draws me to this music.

If you want more, they'll be singing as part of the Works in Progress project at the IC Senior Center between 7-930PM on October 14th.

A performance is on tonight at the Warehouse--or Wherehouse--with Alex Body, Lwa, Cocoon and more. It starts after 9PM.

It's a lot of goings on this week.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Post-show Rundown pt. 2

Here are some highlights from the last IHearIC. 

First, "Mittens" by Almost Circle: 

Due to a recording malfunction we lost the first half of his act and the entire preceding one. Luckily this little gem got caught on tape.

I particularly loved Zach Zubow's Answers from Nature, a song cycle set to text by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, written for and performed by Clara Osowski and Casey Rafn.

The music is tonal, ableit of the extended variety--in that it avoids loyalty to one pitch for long enough to label it a tonic--but doesn't leave the singer sounding, or for that matter the audience feeling unmoored. The voice gets these beautiful long lines that drape over and soften the piano's often thorny accompaniment. A lot of it sounds like it could have been part of Ned Rorem's Evidence of Things Not Seen, which is a truly incredible work that everyone should spend a cold Sunday afternoon with.

The October show is shaping up to be a good one. It's gonna be hella hi-tech with some cyborg violin & computer interaction and a piece done live from Appleton WI via Skype. I was worried that a show featuring a lot of electronic gizmos would end up being heavy on spectacular feats of technological prowess and light on good music making, but the woodshed bits of pieces I've heard so far prove me wrong.

October 25th @ the Englert. Be there.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Post-show Rundown pt.1

It's week since the first IHearIC show of the season. Due to out-of-town travel and a bitching Fall flu I've been slow to post the Post-Show Rundown. And to be honest, I'm not even going to do that now. The audio files recorded that night are only now on the computer and will be edited (slightly) and uploaded later this week. 

In short: it was a good show, I liked it.

For now I'll direct your attention to Trio X
They are playing tonight for free at the UCC, aka, the Old Capitol Mall at 7PM.
It's gonna be experimental, avant-garde, and Downtown--so if you spend time in those sections of the record store, be at this show.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Important Events

Get out your Google calendar, because there's some Important Events coming up (or recently passed).

Moving in reverse:

Steve Reich's Pulitzer prize-winning Double Sextet and equally badass 2x5 dropped last week. Whether it got The Prize as an acknowledgment of his life's work or not, it's badass music played beautifully by eight blackbird and Bang on a Can
Go and buy this!

and moving forward:

Alex Ross's new book, Listen to This comes out September 28th 2010.
Buy this, too!

And tomorrow, Monday September 20th, is the first IHearIC show of the season. Some important details about it have been made fuzzy, so I'll try to make it right here.
The show begins at 9PM.
Admission will cost $5. This is a laughably low price to see six groups play in the beautiful intimacy of the Englert Theatre, but for some reason people wanna get they music for free. Don't let that $$ price turn you away! It's good to pay money for music.
The shows have been free in the past and I'm hustling to get them to be free again, but for now, it's 5 bones. Do know them dollars will be going (a lot of it) to the musicians you're watching, and (a little bit of it) to the theatre what has so generously offered to house this show. If I'm harping about this it's only because I heard some grumbling and realized that I too would grumble about something previously free becoming not. Why buy a cow when you used to get the milk for free?..?

You need to see the show tomorrow night. With all different types of songs dangling in the sexiest environment, IHearIC + the Englert = the most exciting show in town. And then immediately after, it's a show at the Warehouse feat. Wet Hair, Grass Widow & Golden Dust, which will be--for the time slot--the most exciting show in town. Look out, Monday night!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Things to come

Though she doesn't know it yet, our friend Meg at Snowblinds is about to be lobbied to do this:

Assuming that she has the time...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pacing and the Horizon

It's good things on the horizon. The first IHearIC show of the 2010-11 season will open Monday night, September 20th @ 8PM. The show is taking place as part of the Englert Theatre's Intimate series.

Let's look at Rosalee Motor Revival.

He's got that Sense of Melody. His are catchy and singable without producing déja vu. And he's got the voice, too. He hits the notes and, when needed, holds them or makes them soft/loud and otherwise draws the listener in to the story he's spinning.

work in progress... by Rosalee Motor Revival

Notice the weird harmonic change at 0:37 and how effectively it paints the sudden "heavy and hard" thoughts that descend upon the narrator. The music walks hand in hand with the scenes being sung, simultaneously suggesting and reacting to the text. More impressive is how long the tension is held before releasing into a chorus that-like the narrator-firmly and finally arrives, proclaiming and promising.

Songwriters take note: this is pacing. It's imperative and (so slippery as to be) impossible to control.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brand New

IHearIC is now christened into existence. The first of many thanks to those of you who (will) read:

Tonight, August 25th, there will be a show at the Warehouse, starting at 930PM.
Check out the event page for more details.