I love the sound of old records. Especially ones from the 50’s and 60’s – the golden era of open reel tape recording – often utilizing fewer than 8 tracks. Great musicians made the music (usually all together), great producers coaxed and coerced great performances and brilliant engineers made it sound spectacular – using great rooms, great mics and simple recording paths.
One of those great engineers, Larry Levine has passed away. It was he who invented the Wall of Sound with Phil Spector at the venerable Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles on such hits as The Ronettes, Be My Little Baby and the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling. He who recorded Eddie Cochran’s, Summertime Blues, The Beach Boys’, Pet Sounds, Herp Albert’s, A Taste of Honey and even the Ramone’s, End of the Century.
Strangelet had its first gig last night and we decided to dress up a bit. Jonathan Segel wore a nice steampunk ensemble, Suki O’Kane a santa suit and myself, a gold lame w/ black fringe jumpsuit that Scottie Chapman scored at a clothing swap party last weekend.
‘Case you didn’t know, the Ivy Room has been transformed from the former dive it was. Now it is comfy couches and DJ’s…but on Mondays…wierd gets to take over – and it was cool.
We played a torrid 25 minute set of improv. We were gonna play longer, but it felt over – although we did forget to do the confusing ‘is the set over?’ outro that was planned. Oh well, next time. As is often the case, MZ and Matt Cora recorded it.
The next bunch of players competently jammed around for a bit, sounding like an unorganized Emerson Lake and Palmer meets Bitches Brew era Miles Davis. Their set suddenly took off when this guy came in with a l.e.d. embellished, pedal powered MC bicycle set-up and rapped about being a fool for fuel, pedaling bikes and taking public transit.
Who says experimental can’t be fun, short and sweet?!
Just so you know – A Stranglet is a theoretical particle that could possibly prove to be the realization of the infamous ‘Ice-Nine’ from Kurt Vonnegut’s, Cat’s Cradle. From Wiki:
If the strange matter hypothesis is correct, and a strangelet comes in contact with a lump of ordinary matter such as Earth, it could convert the ordinary matter to strange matter. This “ice-nine” disaster scenario is as follows: one strangelet hits a nucleus, catalyzing its immediate conversion to strange matter. This liberates energy, producing a larger, more stable strangelet, which in turn hits another nucleus, catalyzing its conversion to strange matter. In the end, all the nuclei of all the atoms of Earth are converted, and Earth is reduced to a hot, large lump of strange matter.
Apparently folks are not quite sure whether the giant new Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland will manage to loose a Strangelet (or even a Micro Black Hole) upon us all.