Sunday, June 17, 2018

Dire Wolves Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band at the 6th Annual Milwaukee Psych Fest on May 4, 2018

A few days before the Milwaukee Psych Fest began, I asked my friend Ken who to look out for during the festival. He immediately answered, "Dire Wolves," and this threw me for a bit of a loop. I had that uneasy feeling I get when people are talking about bands or types of music with which I am unfamiliar. 

"With a name like that," I said, "Aren't they a Grateful Dead cover band?"

Apparently not! His withering glance told me all I needed to know. "They're going to be the most psychedelic band there," Ken told me, and I made sure I was outside at the end of the first night to capture this really interesting set. 

And I am so glad I did. This beautiful music on the one hand seemed to have a large improvised quotient, yet there was a flow to it that told me the band knew exactly where they were going with each piece. If they were playing every week in Milwaukee I would be there every week. As it is, I hope they come back soon! 





This set was recorded with explicit artist permission by Richard Hayes using a pair of Beyerdynamic MC930 cardioid microphones mounted in a modified ORTF configuration on a 9 foot stand and a Shure FP24 mixer/preamp fed into a Tascam DR-70D recorder. Audacity and xAct were utilized in mastering.

Set list:
Transmigrations 
Grow Towards The Light
I Control The Weather
And We Bid You Goodnight

Jeffrey Alexander: electric guitar, percussion, clarinet, voice
Sheila Bosco: drums, percussion
Brian Lucas: electric bass
Arjun Mendiratta: violin
Taralie Peterson: voice, saxophone

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



downloads:







Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mdou Moctar at Acme Records and Music Emporium in Milwaukee on June 3, 2018

This was a show I was really looking forward to. Tours of musicians from the Republic of Niger are pretty rare these days, both for practical reasons as well as for the difficulties which musicians encounter when attempting to obtain working visas to be able to tour in the United States.



above photo courtesy of Ken Chrisien


above photo courtesy of Ken Crisien
photos without attribution in this post are by Richard Hayes

The descriptive paragraphs you'll see in almost every article and blurb about Mdou Moctar are here copied from the Sahel Records website:

Mdou Moctar hails from a small village in the Azawagh desert of Niger, a remote region steeped in religious tradition. As a child, he taught himself to play homemade guitars, cobbled together out of planks of wood. It was years later before he found a “real” guitar, teaching himself in secret. In an area where guitar music was all but prohibited, he quickly rose to the status of local celebrity amongst the village youth.

In 2008 he traveled to Nigeria to record his first album "Anar." A psychedelic reworking of the Tuareg sound, the electronic tracks featured innovative pitch bending synths, drum machines, and autotune. In 2010, he teamed up with the label and collective Sahel Sounds, releasing his first international album, “Afelan.” In 2015, he co-wrote and starred in the first ever Tuareg language film, “Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It,” a Saharan remake of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” In 2017, he again shifted gears to another sound with “Sousoume Tamachek,” a mellow blissed out recording evoking the calm desert soundscape, tackling religion, spirituality, and matters of the heart.

The concert was a bit later than originally planned, as this is the holy month of Ramadan and Mdou was observing his fast despite the rigors of traveling. A buffet of food was served at around 8:30pm and the show started about 9:30 lasting almost an hour.

Here is a sample clip: 




The show was recorded with explicit artist and label permission by Richard Hayes using a pair of Beyerdynamic MC930 microphones on a 9-foot pole in the back of this acoustically wonderful room in a modified DIN formation and supplemented by a single Shure SM58 up front (to get a better drum sound into the mix). This was all captured on an Edirol R-44 recorder at 24/96 resolution. The files were converted to 16/44 using Audacity and then converted to ALAC (Apple Lossless format) and mp3 using xAct


The store's PA system was only used for the vocals, which are a little bit buried in the mix -- my understanding is they were having some trouble with feedback on the vocal mic at the soundcheck. Acme is a wonderful acoustic space -- all wooden surfaces everywhere and the exposed rafters in the ceiling disperse the sound and help eliminate echoes. You can get a sense of the room in the pictures above.

It's a solid recording of a great show and I want to thank Sahel Sounds owner Chris Kirkley for helping me to get permission to record this wonderful artist and his band. 

Please support this fine artist and the decent people in his band by going to their shows, buying multiple copies of their merchandise (your friends need the music), and talking to them like they are actual real human beings after shows. If you can.

http://sahelsounds.com/mdou-moctar/
http://mdoumoctar.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/mdoumoctarofficial/

http://www.acmerecordsmke.com
http://www.facebook.com/AcmeRecordsMusicEmporium/


A guide to download formats:
WAV = files which are able to be burned as a CD without any conversion steps. This is the largest size of file on offer here.
ALAC = stands for Apple Lossless Audio Codec, which is a method of making a lossless copy of an audio file with about 60% of the space required with a WAV file. You can play these files on any Apple device (using the Music app) and enjoy the same resolution and sound quality as a WAV file (it just takes up half as much space on your hard drive or device -- a shame, right?). 
mp3 - this is a lossy compression codec which utilizes psycho-acoustic "tricks" and techniques to drop certain audio information which is not noticeable under normal hearing situations. I am not an enthusiastic fan of mp3 but still find it convenient because a high quality mp3 file will take up about 25% of the room on your storage device compared to a WAV file and about half as much as a ALAC file.


downloads:






Friday, June 8, 2018

Wet Tuna at the 6th annual Milwaukee Psych Fest on May 4, 2018

I pretty much knew what to expect from Wet Tuna, as this wonderfully laid back guitar duo has been all over the nyctaper blog during the past year or so. They performed outside on a slightly windy evening around sunset with a troubled live sound mix (check out the very brief snatches of high frequency feedback which I have done my best to eliminate with a notch filter and a positive attitude) and a crowd which was partially distracted by the noisier goings-on inside the main venue.

Despite these challenges, Matt Valentine and PG Six delivered what was one of several peak musical highlights in a festival blessed with musical highlights.







This set was recorded with explicit artist permission by Richard Hayes using a pair of Beyerdynamic MC930 cardioid microphones mounted in a modified ORTF configuration on a 9 foot stand and a Shure FP24 mixer/preamp fed into a Tascam DR-70D recorder. Audacity and xAct were utilized in mastering.

setlist:
01 I Know You Rider
02 Water Train
03 Other Kinds Run




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




downloads:





stream of the Wet Tuna show from Chicago May 3, 2018:
https://logamp.com/3849/music/tracks/19946

stream of the Wet Tuna show in Philadelphia on April 28, 2018:
https://logamp.com/1463/music/tracks/19914

stream of the Wet Tuna show in NYC on April 27, 2018:
https://soundcloud.com/nyctaper/sets/wet-tuna-wonders-of-nature-2018-04-27

That's enough Wet Tuna for now, right? No. Buy their LP! Then that will be enough for now.