Thursday, June 13, 2024

Luke Schneider at the Milwaukee Psych Fest on May 11, 2024

We continue our exploration of this year's Milwaukee Psych Fest with the entrancing ambient space provided by the pedal steel guitar of Luke Schneider.


  

I had previously mostly known about Luke from his tours with William Tyler (most recently documented here at the Cactus Club). This is altogether different -- an ambient exploration of the long tones possible from his pedal steel guitar.



Although sometimes ambient or "new age" music is described as being "soothing," I prefer to think of it as "mindful" -- of the environment, of one's body, and of the present moment. It can be beautiful, but almost always is simply reflecting the reality of the moment.

Purchase his most recent album here.

Purchase the most recent album by the Nashville Ambient Ensemble (featuring Luke Schneider) here.

Recording information:

LUKE SCHNEIDER
2024-05-11
Milwaukee Psych Fest

Luke Schneider: pedal steel guitar

Setlist:
01 Anteludium (10:43)
02 Yosemite (11:18)
03 Unknown Title (7:48)

Total time = 29:49

microphones: Line Audio OM1 omni spaced pair
additional source: soundboard feed
Software: Audacity, Fission, xAct


downloads:

these lossless files can be burned to CDR, if you are into that

highest quality lossy mp3 files possible 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Baba Commandant at Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee on September 27, 2023

Mamadou Sanou -- also known as Baba Commandant -- was the lead singer of this group from Burkina Faso which came to Milwaukee and played a wonderful and energetic set at the Turner Ballroom this past September.
   



Mamadou -- who died unexpectedly of malaria two months after this show -- has been described as eccentric. However I found him to only be graceful and charming on stage as he sang soulfully with a lovely deep growl, and watched the crowd with lively eyes as they danced to his songs.
  



  
The group was well known for mixing traditional music from Burkina Faso with western elements of rock and afrobeat. It is a delightful mix and it is a great shame that we will not be able to see this wonderful band on tour in the US again.
   

  
Recording information:
  
BABA COMMANDANT AND THE MANDINGO BAND
2023-09-27
Milwaukee, WI at Turner Hall

Mamdou Sanou: vocals, ngoni
Issouf Diabate: guitar
Wendeya Jessie Josias Ouedragaogo: bass
Cheick Abbas Kabore: drums

Tracklist:
01 Unknown Title (7:16)
02 Unknown Title (6:57)
03 Unknown Title (6:05)
04 Unknown Title (12:43)
05 Unknown Title (7:26)
06 Unknown Title (8:32)
07 Unknown Title (7:35)
08 Unknown Title (7:56)
09 Unknown Title (14:54)
10 Unknown Title (8:38)

Total time = 88:02

Microphones: Line Audio CM3 in NOS at mixing board
Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre6ii at 32/96
Softare: Audacity, Fission, xAct

Special thanks to Hisham Mayet of the Sublime Frequencies label for helping remove obstacles in the convoluted process of being allowed to tapes concerts at Pabst Theater Group venues, and especially for being pro-taping.


downloads:

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Monday, June 10, 2024

Retroreflector at the Milwaukee Psych Fest on May 10, 2024

Here is a group formed by Milwaukee guitarist Andrew Trim which is at least partly a result of a recent trend of closer cooperation between Chicago and Milwaukee jazz musicians. This trend is fueled by Trim's roots in the Chicago jazz scene and such Milwaukee stalwarts as percussionist Devin Drobka and trumpet maestro Russ Johnson playing often with groups in Chicago.

   


When I first heard Andrew's album last year, I thought its jazzy psychedelia would be a tremendous fit for the Psych Fest and was very glad when I saw that the band would be the first to play inside the Cooperage for this year's festival. This performance included local bassist Barry Paul Clark as well as Chicago jazz stalwarts Daniel Van Duerm and Jeremy Cunningham.

      


Regular readers of this blog will remember our recent recording of Trim's unusual Japan-inspired group Hanami.

Buy the Retroflector album here.

Recording details:

RETROREFLECTOR
2024-05-10
Milwaukee Psych Fest

Andrew Trim: guitar
Daniel Van Duerm: keyboards
Barry Paul Clark: bass
Jeremy Cunningham: drums

Setlist:
01 Retroreflector -> Swirl -> Eclipse Plans (36:09)

Total time = 36:09

microphones: Line Audio OM1 omni pair in spaced A-B
additional source: soundboard feed
Software: Audacity, xAct


downloads:

these lossless files can be burned to CDR, if you are into that

highest quality lossy mp3 files possible 



Saturday, June 8, 2024

Ryley Walker and Bill MacKay at Judson and Moore in Chicago on July 28, 2023

 We've covered several Ryley Walker and Bill MacKay shows here on the blog (going back to our first year of existence), so I was super excited to hear the news that they were reuniting for two gigs at the end of last July at Judson and Moore Distillery in Chicago.


Their two duo albums -- SpiderBeetleBee (2017) and Land of Plenty (2015) have become cult LPs because of their intricate interlocking finger style melodies. I told myself that Ryley returning to Chicago to perform again with Bill was heralding the onset of recording sessions for a third record, but it looks like that is still something for an uncertain future.

  



Judson can be a difficult place to present live music (and record it), given its narrow performance space, high ceiling and hard surfaces everywhere. Fortunately, this concert sounded delightful.

 

Buy their most recent album here.

Recording information:


RYLEY WALKER and BILL MacKAY
2023-07-28 
Chicago, IL
Judson and Moore Distillery

Ryley Walker: guitar
Bill MacKay: guitar

Setlist:
01 Grand Old Trout (9:27)
02 Pretty Weeds Revisited (4:45)
03 It Takes a Quilt -> Dragonfly (10:09)
04 Lonesome Traveler (6:16)
05 Promise Me (3:17)
06 Raga (9:32)

Total Time = 43:26

Source: SBD + Line Audio CM3 in NOS
Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre6ii at 32/96
Software: Audacity + Fission + xAct



downloads:

these lossless files can be burned to CDR, if you are into that

highest quality lossy mp3 files possible 


Thursday, June 6, 2024

Elijah McLaughlin and Caleb Willitz at the Milwaukee Psych Fest on May 11, 202

This year's Psych Fest could be thought of as the year that the festival embraced jazz and jazz-inspired music.  I think that was an excellent idea of the festival’s curator, guitarist Andrew Shelp.  Nothing is more psychedelic than the right kind of jazz.


  

One of the jazz musicians who came into Milwaukee for the Festival was Chicago-based guitarist Elijah McLaughlin, who along with keyboardist/trumpeter Caleb Willitz will be releasing an album on Centripetal Force Records today, June 7.

McLaughlin has also recently released three fine albums (on Astral Spirits and Tomkins Square labels) with the Elijah McLaughlin Ensemble.

This performance was completely improvised, and was memorable for its thoughtful and at time times extremely delicate playing.

Purchase their latest album here.

Recording information:

ELIJAH McLAUGHLIN and CALEB WILLITZ
024-05-11
Milwaukee Psych Fest

Elijah McLaughlin: guitar
Caleb Willitz: keyboards, trumpet
Tommaso Moretti: drums

Tracklist:
01 Improvisation (40:06)

Total time = 40:06

microphones: Line Audio OM1 omni pair in spaced A-B
additional source: soundboard feed
software: Audacity, xAct



downloads:

these lossless files can be burned to CDR, if you are into that

highest quality lossy mp3 files possible 



Monday, June 3, 2024

Kikagaku Moyo at the Empty Bottle in Chicago on November 19, 2021

Here is the first of two nights which Japanese psych legends Kikagaku Moyo performed at the Empty Bottle in Chicago at the tail end of their Fall 2021 US tour.


I was very fortunate to be able to have sound engineer Eric Lemke go out of his way to assist me (he even offered unsuccesfully to help bring my equipment inside the venue when he saw me waiting in line to get in). His live sound was some of the best I have ever heard anywhere at any performance. The only thing his mono soundboard feed needed was a little stereo information from my Beyerdynamic microphones which were on top of a 8-foot stand next to the mixing board in the back.

Purchase their final album here.

Recording information:

Kikagaku Moyo
2021-11-19
Chicago, IL at the Empty Bottle

Go Kurosawa: drums
Tomo Katsurada: guitar
Kotsu Guy: bass
Daoud Popal: guitar
Ryu Kurosawa: sitar

Live sound mix by Eric Lemke

Setlist:
01 Green Sugar
02 Kogarashi
03 Monaka
04 Smoke and Mirrors
05 Kodama
06 Entrance
07 Dripping Sun
08 Streets Of Calcutta
09 Entrance
10 Silver Owl
11 encore break
12 Nazo Nazo - Gatherings

This is a matrix recording
Source 1: mono soundboard feed
Source 2: Beyerdynamic MC 930 stereo pair (ORTF)
Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre 6 at 24/48
Software: Audacity, Fission, xAct

downloads:

these lossless files can be burned to CDR, if you are into that

highest quality lossy mp3 files possible 



Saturday, June 1, 2024

Garcia Peoples at Colectivo Back Room in Milwaukee on January 17, 2020

 In January 2020, the Garcia Peoples had embarked on the midwest leg of a tour to promote One Step Behind, their third album released in the previous year and a half.  Already there were reports coming out of China about lockdowns and Emergency Rooms being filled with sick patients. It would be a few more weeks before these issues became more apparent in the US, leading to concert cancellations and lockdowns.

 

After performing shows in Chicago and Grand Rapids, the Garcias came to Milwaukee to record a session for Hear Here Presents and to play at Colectivo Back Room. This show finds them in good spirits and running like a well-oiled machine during an 85-minute set.

Purchase their most recent album here.

Recording information:


GARCIA PEOPLES
2020-01-17
Milwaukee, WI
Colectivo Coffee Back Room

Tom Malach: guitar and voice
Danny Arakaki: guitar and voice
Andy Cush: bass
Derek Spaldo: bass
Cesar Arakaki:drums

Setlist:
01 Jam > High Noon Violence (13:06)
02 Gliding Through (5:50)
03 Jam > Feel So Great > Heart and Soul (24:27)
04 Total Yang > Hourglass (13:49)
05 One Step Behind > Hanging On (21:42)
06 Show Your Troubles Out (6:17)

Total time = 85:11

microphones: Beyerdynamic MC 930 in ORTF
recorder: Sound Devices MixPre-6
software: Audacity, Fission, xAct

With special thanks to Eric Pier-Hocking and the staff of Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records for helping to remove access obstacles.

downloads:

these lossless files can be burned to CDR, if you are into that

highest quality lossy mp3 files possible