Friday, November 8, 2019

Rob Noyes at Acme Records in Milwaukee on March 30, 2019

In the closing days of 2016, Rob Noyes seemed to come out of nowhere with his stunning debut release on Poon Village entitled "The Feudal Spirit." Please see this post for more information about him.

He returned this past Spring with a pair of guitarists to enliven our little village near the Lake. Since this was recorded, Rob (formerly based outside Boston) has moved to Japan. There won't be as many opportunities in the Midwest to hear him, and that is a shame. 



I have tendency to bemoan the quality of the photos I obtain at Acme shows, but at this gig, also featuring Bill MacKay and Jon Collin, my photos of Rob are completely unusable. I should have taken more but I was focusing on the audio recording. If I can find any shots on Facebook from other members of the audience who were there, I will post them. 

This recording was made with artist permission by Richard Hayes using a stereo pair of Line Audio CM3 cardioid microphones in ORTF configuration and captured with a Sound Devices MixPre-6 recorder. Audacity was used for very gentle EQ. The recording came out nicely despite the challenges of live recording this performance which featured a very wide dynamic range. I must give a shout out to Line Audio, which produces incredibly high quality hand-made microphones in Sweden. The intent of the company is to produce microphones with as straight a frequency response "line" as possible, and for $20 more than a standard SM58, the quality-value ratio is unbelievable. Plus they are only slightly longer than a standard XLR plug.



Please support this fine artist and decent person by going to his shows, buying multiple copies of his merchandise (your friends need the music -- why aren't you buying music for your friends?), and talking to him like he is a real human being after shows. If he doesn't mind.







downloads

(click on the file name to download):

(suitable for burning to CDs)

(lossless compression audio playable on iProducts and computers)

(highest quality mp3 possible)


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Dryhouse Ruins at Acme Records in Milwaukee on July 12, 2019

Here we have a really wonderful set by Dryhouse Ruins, who opened up for the Chris Forsyth Broken Mirrors Band at Acme on July 12 of this year.



The Ruins are an instrumental quartet who are made up of four veterans of the music scene here in Milwaukee -- Jim Warchol (Sometime Sweet Susan, Death Blues) on guitar, Jeff Mitchell (Field Report, Hello Death) also on guitar, Damian Strigens (Testa Rosa, Field Report) on bass and Ben Derickson (Collections of Colonies of Bees, All Tiny Creatures) on drums.

I enjoy the way that the Ruins slowly build up tension and complexity in their pieces. There is a feeling of architecture to each piece which is very satisfying. You can see this structural aspect of the music in the waveform graphic in the Soundcloud streaming box below the next photo.



This recording was made using a stereo pair of Beyerdynamic MC930 cardioid microphones in ORTF configuration about 8 feet from the band, with a Shure SM58 placed a foot above the ground near the kick drum so that the drums would sound like drums.These signals were recorded using a Sound Devices MixPre 6 recorder at 24bit/96kHz and Audacity software was used to mix the channels and provide very gentle EQ. 



I hope to see Dryhouse Ruins again soon. With the members of the band being so busy both musically and with their lives, I can't count on that happening soon -- but I'll be there when the conditions are right for another Ruins show.



downloads

(click on the file name to obtain a direct download -- 

this likely will not work on phones and tablets -- 

if you are on a mobile device the Soundcloud stream above should work):





(suitable for burning to CDs)


(lossless compression audio file playable on iPhones and computers)


(highest quality mp3 possible)


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Chris Forsyth and the Broken Mirrors Hotel Band at Acme Records in Milwaukee on July 12, 2019

I remember a quote I read somewhere of Chris Forsyth saying that he plays the same notes as Neil Young, just in a different order. That's not really the worst way to think of Forsyth, who just like Mr Young has been on a path of change throughout his career, with the sole constant being the intensity and virtuosity of his guitar playing. 





And just like Mr Young, he has several different bands he will perform with. This short midwestern tour (which also went to Chicago and Minneapolis) included Doug McCombs (of Tortoise, Black Duck, and probably other animal-named groups) on bass guitar, Jaime Fennelly (Mind over Mirrors) on synthesizer and Areif Sless-Kitain (who's played with McCombs in Brokeback and has been a member of several Chicago bands I'm not familiar with) on drums. This was truly an all-star band and every person in the room was fortunate to watch it unfold in real time.

The violet lights were turned down low this evening. It was a totally rocking experience, but the iPhone is not really designed to document totally rocking experiences at Acme Records, so I apologize about the photos. 




Of much higher quality is the recording. I used a stereo pair of Beyerdynamic MC930 (cardioid) microphones in ORTF stereo configuration about 10 feet from the stage and a Shure SM58 up near the drums. There was a PA which only contained Chris' vocals and some of Fennelly's synth parts. These were recorded using a Sound Devices MixPre6 and were then mixed with care for your enjoyment using Audacity.

Please support these fine artists and decent people by going to their shows, buying multiple copies of their merchandise (your friends need the music -- why aren't you buying music for your friends?), and talking to them like they are real human beings after shows. If they don't mind.










downloads

(click on the file name to download):



(suitable for burning to CDs)

(lossless compression audio playable on iProducts and computers)


(highest quality mp3 possible)


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Jim Warchol at Acme Records and Music Emporium in Milwaukee on July 8, 2019

Jim Warchol brought his guitar and effects board to Acme Records this evening in support of Derek Monypeny. Jim's solo work is always worthy of attention, but this performance was particularly notable for his addition of samples of short wave radio recordings to his "guitar cloud."

I was talking to Jim recently and we both agreed that it is very difficult to use words to describe music, especially when trying to describe it to someone who has never heard it. That's why I started to use Soundcloud to host files for people to stream the music. 

We are very fortunate to have Jim in Milwaukee. He has a wealth of talent but also a willingness to discuss music and share his candid opinions. A performance with his band Dryhouse Ruins from later in July will soon be up here for general perusal.


Check out the Superlux S502 (ORTF) stereo microphone at the stage lip in this photo. This is a Chinese-made "clone" of the Schoeps MSTC 64G ORTF stereo microphone, but at much less than one-tenth the price. Obviously it is not as impressive as the Schoeps, but it is starting to attract a cult following among some tapers. My experience is that the mic sounds very good at everything up to about 110 dB, after which the low end starts to disappear and the high end crumbles. At normal Acme Records sound pressure levels, it shines. 

The ORTF stereo configuration was invented by the engineers at the French national television and radio system. It is intended to mimic the placement of human ears and does a very good job -- listening on headphones is especially enjoyable. 

I used my Sound Devices MixPre6 to record the show. Sound Devices is a world-renowned digital recorder manufacturer located a few miles outside Madison, WI. If you've seen a Hollywood movie (or an episode of Game of Thrones) you've heard audio recorded on a Sound Devices recorder. Not my model, of course! 





https://www.discogs.com/artist/52246-James-Warchol
https://sigerecords.bandcamp.com/album/non-fiction



downloads (click on the description to download):


suitable for burning to CD



lossless copy of the wav file - can also be burned to CD or played on your iPhone



highest quality version of this lossy-but-popular audio file format




Derek Monypeny at Acme Records and Music Emporium in Milwaukee on July 8, 2019

Derek Monypeny came to Acme Records in July of this year and I must admit I went to see him on faith. Ken Chrisien, the owner of Acme, recommended the show, despite not having any LPs of Monypeny's to sell. Ken told me that there was a release on Bandcamp of Monypeny playing the oud and that it was fantastic, and that was all I needed to hear.

Derek's instrument for this show was a Shahi Baja, which is a sort of electric banjo made in India (see photo). There are 6 "playing" and 10 sympathetic strings on this instrument, although there are other versions with more sympathetic strings. One of the most interesting features of the instrument are the 30 typewriter keys which are used to bend the playing strings.



It goes without saying that the instrument played is irreverent if the musician is not playing interesting music. Luckily, this performance was fascinating. 







Please support this superb musician by seeing his live shows, buying multiple copies of his great merchandise (your friends are starving for music -- why aren't you buying them music?), and talking to him respectfully after shows. Unless he looks tired or something.

https://derekmonypeny.bandcamp.com
https://www.derekmonypeny.com



downloads (click on the description to download):

suitable for burning to CD


lossless copy of the wav file - can also be burned to CD or played on your iPhone


highest quality version of this lossy-but-popular audio file format

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Mdou Moctar at the Cooperage in Milwaukee on April 6, 2019

Please see my previous recording of Mdou Moctar at Acme Records here. In that post, I included his biographical information. He came around again this year to play a Milwaukee Psych Fest warm-up showcase at the Cooperage with three supporting acts. 

This was a lively, exciting show as Moctar toured in support of his new album.





This was recorded from atop a tripod about 10 feet in the air (to try to get above people talking -- mostly successful) using a Superlux S502 stereo ORTF microphone and fed into a Sound Devices MixPre 6. Audacity was utilized for gentle compression and EQ adjustments.

Listen, using headphones or external computer speakers:



Thanks very much to Chris Kirkley, the owner of Sahel Sounds, for helping me acquire the permission to tape, and to Max for doing great room sound.

Please support these superb musicians by seeing their live shows, buying multiple copies of their great merchandise (your friends are starving for great music -- why aren't you buying them music?), and talking to them respectfully after shows. Unless they look tired or something.




downloads (click on the description to download):

suitable for burning to CD


lossless copy of the wav file - can also be burned to CD or played on your iPhone


highest quality version of this lossy-but-popular audio file format



Garcia Peoples at the Milwaukee Psych Fest April 13, 2019

Garcia Peoples is a New Jersey-based band who came to the 7th Milwaukee Psych Fest touring on the strength of their recently-released LP on Beyond Is Beyond Records, "Natural Facts." 

In the meantime they have released another LP, "One Step Behind" -- which makes three full-length LPs in the past year and a half.

They will be touring the midwest again in mid-January 2020 with stops including Grand Rapids, MI, Milwaukee, and Chicago.

I don't have any photos from their set (which conflicted with either the Elkhorn or Dire Wolves set outside in the tent). So here are some random shots of the light show by the crazy wizards at Mad Alchemy.






Setlist:
01 Track One
02 Track Two
03 Track Three
04 Track Four
05 Track Five

Danny Arakaki - guitar
Tom Malach - guitar
Derek Spaldo - bass
Cesar Arakaki - drums

microphones: stereo pair of Audio-technica AT853c
preamp: Church UBB
recorder: Roland R-07 at 16/44 
software: Audacity, xAct

https://garciapeoples.bandcamp.com/album/natural-facts
https://garciapeoples.bandcamp.com
https://beyondbeyondisbeyond.com/garcia-peoples



downloads
click on file description to download the audio file.


(suitable for burning to CDs)


(lossless compression audio file playable on iPhones and computers)


(highest quality mp3 possible)