Good Music We Can Know

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Wind and Surf – Melodrama, Mysticism, Atrocity

Tonight in the Explorers Room we'll be swimming through an evening of surf–furious, dreamy, or exotic, as the case may be–and sounds of melodrama and temptation inspired by Douglas Sirk, Gone with the Wind, and Kenneth Anger.  With a diversion into Native American themes, I think.  So it's a night of some variety and, I hope, much interest.  See you there, don't miss it now.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Los Dinosaurios / Cuando Los Dinosaurios Dominan La Tierra by Personal Mythologies with Art by Yours Truly

Bit of a late announcement as this came out back in April, but better late than never: check out this EP (on Hooded Records) by Personal Mythologies, LOS DINOSAURIOS, for which I did the cover art.  The B-side, "Cuando Los Dinosaurios Dominan La Tierra," is particularly choice, a totally primordial synth landscape creeping with primitive life and dark shapes.  Order a copy and it comes on white 12" vinyl, with that art I did right there, right there on the sleeve.  Pretty cool.  

''We live in a age of dinosaurs. All around us enormous, social, economic, and political behemoths lumber through destroyed environments, casting life threatening shadows over the entire planet. there is a titanic struggle taking place in our communities as Capitalist-Rex and State-asaurus struggle to fill their bellies with more resources and power while fending off the claws of competing species such as the newly savage Pterror-dacyls. The battle between these giants is terrible and rages on, but it cannot last. Evolution is against these doomed tyrants. Already their sun is dimming and the bright eyes of others gleam in the darkness, demanding something else.''

Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs - Technologie und das Unheimliche.

I like doing LP cover art, by the way.  I do it a lot.  Hit me up if you have needs in this department. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Tanganyika Tiger Voodoo Konga (Shipwrecked on Planet X)

Tonight in the Explorers Room, we'll have a classic episode full of adventure stories, voodoo, exotic jazz, bonafide all-time great exotica, and psychedelic weirdness.  Don't miss this one, explorers, because it will be a great deal of fun.


Thursday, June 9, 2016


Tonight, Explorers Room does more than just its regular duty and fills in for The Cool Blue Flame for a total of five hours of teeming radio, dedicated to the works of prolific artist/project Sun Araw.  Containing multitudes and endless experimentation, Sun Araw's music envelopes like a primordial, swirling lake of ancient phantasies and modern anxieties–perhaps the most genuinely, thrillingly psychedelic music of the 21st century so far, shot through with rich veins of exoticism and penetrating avant-gardism.

Tonight's program will feature a great variety of wide-ranging selections from throughout Sun Araw's sprawling body of work, including associated acts emanating from Cameron Stallones, the human who is Sun Araw, and from his Sun Ark studio.  Prepare for an intensive immersion in this sweat lodge of sound, as you will be taken on patrol into heavy jungles of sound-ruins, nightcrawling through pools of danger, and set free-floating like a molecule in an empty room of light.  Bring your heads and also their lids.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room: Bananasmania – Exotic Disco

Tonight in the Explorers Room we'll be taking a bizarre odyssey through exotica and themes of exoticism in disco and dance music, from Lalo Schifrin's disco-jazz Black Widow to more uncategorizable new wave/electrofunk exotic concept albums.  Germany, Italy, France, Philly, LA, San Francisco, Belgium, even South Africa: everybody it's a little disco-fever revival of turn-of-the-century Egyptomania, or 1920s negrophilié.  Let's investigate.  And get funky. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Bibliotheque Exotique: Gérard Levecque & Claude Romat ‎– Africadelic's The Name N° 1&2 (MP2000, 197?)

Posting these by request. While never my favorite of the exotic library LPs that are out there, these two monster jam-filled records by Claude Romat & Gérard Levecque (with "Black Colored Drums" handling percussion on side 2 of volume 2) on the MP2000 label are nonetheless red-hot blasts of wild French Africanesque funky percussive madness and essential to any collection of bibliotheque exotique, if only for their insanely appealing covers (though thankfully, they don't have to rest on that alone). Vol. 1 in 192, unfortunately, Vol. 2 in a much nicer 320.

Africadelic's The Name N° 1

Africadelic's The Name N° 2

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tonight in the Explorers Room–In The World, But Not Of It: An Evening with the Compositions of Moondog

Tonight's episode of Explorers Room will be an all-Moondog affair, with a special emphasis on the composer's multi-part suites, later-period symphonic/saxophonic recordings, and–of course, of course–his exotic themes and motifs.  Moondog is no secret to serious music listeners these days, but that doesn't mean we can't spend an enlightening evening eraptured by his elegant repetitions, now does it? Bring fresh ears; all other senses strictly optional.

Tonight, 7-10, followed by The Cool Blue Flame with Little Danny.

WESTWARD HO! – No, the Wheel Was Never Invented

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Tonight on the Explorers Room: Certain Sounds from the Caribbean Diaspora

Tonight's Explorers Room will be casually curated trip through a bevy of musical styles from the Caribbean diaspora–in this case mostly drawing from Jamaica, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Belize (which is, I should note, by no means a fully representative sampling of the intense multitudinous nature of the Caribbean diaspora)–from Reggae to Mento, Rapso to Calypso, Garifuna to Goombay, and a variety of syncretic overlaps and cultural kriols in between. Tonight, 7-10.

Tonight's program will be immediately followed, I am very pleased to say, by The Cool Blue Flame with Little Danny. 


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tomita has passed, the snowflakes dance on

With the sad news of Isao Tomita's death, I am reposting the May 14, 2015 notice for the Explorers Room Tomita-themed show.  Give it a listen, if you will, and spend some time with some of the greatest music in synthesizer history.  

Explorers Room returns this Thursday, from 7-10, and will be followed by The Cool Blue Flame with Little Danny.

Tonight's program will consist of Isao Tomita's synthesizer renditions of classical compositions, some of the most unusual and sublime music ever recorded.  

"Isao Tomita was nine years old when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. In the years that followed he found himself surrounded by destruction: Half a million men, women, and children–the majority of whom resided in Tomita’s home city of Tokyo–would be killed in air raids or die from starvation.
To know where the bombs would fall next, Tomita and his family would leave the radio on throughout the night tuned to the national military service. One evening toward the end of the war the usual news and propaganda briefly vanished. In its place, through the static, Tomita heard music that would change his life.

Japan had been closed to Western culture throughout Tomita’s childhood. On this night, with U.S. aircraft carriers getting closer, radio crosstalk had caused a trace of Western music to reach Tomita’s ear.

And when Japan surrendered, the strange music proliferated.

“Jazz, pop songs, and classical music was filling the airwaves of Japan” after the war, Tomita recently told Tokyo Weekender. “To me, that music sounded like it was coming from aliens in outer space. That was really what I thought. I thought I was listening to music from outer space. […] I was inspired by those sounds, and this was the catalyst that began the creative spirit within me.”
As a young boy, Western music sounded literally alien to Isao Tomita. So he would spend the majority of his life making Western music sound alien to everyone else."

From Deadelectric's article, Spaceship Japan: An Introduction to Isao Tomita (Part 1)

T O M I T A : listen