In the last 5 years, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating in various ways with ambient bassist & vocalist CJ Boyd (Joyful Noise Recordings; Obsolete Media Objects). We have a track “Horses” coming out on his yet-to-be-released, mammoth sized “50 states project” (more on that when the time comes!). Back in 2014, I contributed a track to his fundraiser compilation for reproductive rights: Running Up That Hill. When CJ came through town in 2013, it was the impetus for Mine All Mine Records + GrimmusiK Records ambient compilation Colias. I also made an official remix of “slowly by your passing” for his Visions & Revisions remix compilation. The point being, for someone who is on perpetual tour I’ve managed to collaborate with CJ nearly as much as some of my regular bandmates in town! Now multiply that by all of the musicians that he is keeping track of on the road, constantly in a cycle of scheduling tours, booking shows, recording albums (sometimes in our local coffee shop bathrooms!), releasing collaborative projects, etc…. this guy is busy! I am always impressed by the hard work and persistence I see from full time touring musician CJ Boyd.
CJ still finds time to have a voice in matters of social injustice, whether it’s through social media platforms or directly in his music. The timing doesn’t always work out when he is coming through town, but I’m glad it did this year! As always, I am excited to spend some time with CJ before/after the show and to enjoy his ambient music stylings at Madison’s new all ages venue, Communication.
CJ and I are both fans of Taralie Peterson’s musical output, including her solo projects as Tar Pet, Louise Bock, and in the dynamic duo Spires That In The Sunset Rise. A multi-instrumentalist and improviser extraordinaire, Taralie has the rare gift to pull sounds through the void from other dimensions for you to hold momentarily. This will be our first duo collaboration and I am honored to sit next to her on stage this Thursday.
//////////////////////////////THOLLEM (On Tour)
With a synthesizer and a microphone, Thollem’s Hot Pursuit Of Happiness forges elements of Punk Rock, Blue and Psychedelia, among many other influences. Including new songs and solo arrangements of Tsigoti songs, with “fluid keys pulverization” (Brad Cohan, Spin Magazine), Thollem’s work is ”political debauchery and a forward vocal delivery … that comes a-swingin’ right out of the gate” (Chocolate Grinder, Tiny Mix Tapes)
Over the last decade, Thollem’s toured non-stop internationally, recording with over a hundred different musicians from a wide variety of genres resulting in more than 60 albums on 22 different vanguard labels. As a vocalist, Thollem’s been releasing albums the last 10 years with his Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti (5th album soon), Hand To Man Band (Mike Watt, John Dieterich, Tim Barnes) and Andy Kaufman plus his initial solo album ‘Machine in The Ghost’. He’s planning on releasing the first HPOH album later this year.
Thollem has performed and recorded with members of Deerhoof, The Minutemen, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Half Japanese, Wilco, Unwound, Old Time Relijun, Cibo Matto, Jealousy Party, Stars Like Fleas, Tenderizor and more.
Personal Note: Thollem McDonas is one of my favorite perma-tour Experimental artists. He has been very influential to my free improvisation explorations in the last decade. I’m thrilled to share a bill with him once again! Also, I can’t wait to see Angela, I always learn so much from her. It’s been a couple of years, they are beautiful people and there’s much to catch up on. Thollem has collaborated with GrimmusiK Records in the past on both the Colias experimental/ambient compilation, live free-improv collaborations at Dobra Tea, and with a marvelous performance at our Audio For the Arts series (can’t seem to hunt down the live recording for that, unfortunately). Thollem has an overwhelming discography, check out his extensive releases here. < So much wonderful music to explore in his collaboration filled catalog.
////////////////////////////// Brennan Connors & Stray Passage (Madison, WI) is a jazz trio that embraces free and structured improvisation, original compositions, groove based material, and sound exploration. The breadth of a performance ranges from fiery high energy music to focused minimalism, all while maintaining a sense of narrative organization and compelling ensemble interplay. “Emergence” CD (setola di miale) available at the show!
////////////////////////////// Glassmen (Madison, WI) is experimental indie rock with guitar, organ pedals, drums, and vibrato. The sound, sometimes jarring, is fragile, sharp, and reflective — like glass.
Sarah Jennings Evans started Glassmen in 2012 after being diagnosed with a rare joint condition that left her unable to use her arms. She created music with voice, organ pedals, and loops of old recordings. Guitar came back as her arms recovered. Meanwhile, multi-instrumentalist Vivian Lin (TUO TUO) kept busy playing in other people’s side projects (The Party Drug, The Divine Hammers), but was looking for a musical home. She joined Glassmen in 2015 to add drums and vocals.
Personal Note: I’ve been meaning to get on a bill with Glassmen for a couple of years now and it’s finally going down! ^ Check out this live version of Needle, love the sound. Excited to hear their live set!
////////////////////////////// Space Tugboat(Madison, WI)is dark catchy punk rock, with a twist of demented humor of reality.
Personal Note: Big thanks to Dan from Space Tugboat for hooking up the show and taking care of booking. Dan has supported Stray Passage for years and given us opportunities to play. Now we finally get to share a bill together!!
Lovely Socialite is a Madison-based six-piece that combines the aesthetics of modern jazz with contemporary classical, driving rock, and hip hop. Lauded for their bold and intricate compositions, the group often draws comparisons to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. The bands original music combines strict notation with moments of improvisation and maintains a healthy balance of dark and heavy rock grooves with quirky jazz obscurities.
While Lovely Socialites unusual mix of strings, traditional Chinese instruments, brass, and a jazz rhythm section suggest that the group might be a contemporary music ensemble, it is their use of stomp boxes, vocal processors, and other electronics that makes the group a suitable fit for any rock, hip-hop, or jazz bill. In fact, Lovely Socialite has been privileged to share the stage with such artists as Dessa, of Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree, as well as performing live on the UW Madison Terrace with Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes.
This summer Lovely Socialite released their new Rock EP “DoubleShark”, come hear it live at The Shitty Barn!
There he was, this musically lucked child of a once-priest and a near-nun, 12 years old and piled high with a Radio Shack combo stereo, stacks of records, and pockets full of dubbed tapes. It was 1984 and Martin Dosh was orchestrating the soundtracks to his junior high school dances, playing only the choice cuts for the budding romantics and perspiring wallflowers: Run DMC, Prince, Devo, the Cars, New Order… At age 3, Marty had started harassing his folks to bone up for piano lessons (after three years of persistence, they gave in); that he’d developed considerable musical taste before hitting puberty should come as no real surprise.
Call him a one-man band, a virtuoso, a gifted collaborator or a family man, Martin, Marty, Dosh or Dad, our subject has gotten to now by what seems an uncanny path (perhaps call it fate). When they met, Dosh’s father was a Catholic priest with pile of degrees, and his mother was living in a convent in Minneapolis preparing herself for nunhood. They left the fold for marriage; subsequently the elder Dosh found himself blacklisted from local employment, and so they left Minnesota as well. Martin was born in the greater Los Angeles area, but at age 2, his health problems and the city’s endless sprawl delivered the family back into the musically nurturing arms of the Twin Cities.
Returning to the Midwest, Martin was enrolled in a Montessori school (and piano lessons). By comparison high school was, “academically, horseshit” so Dosh seized his destiny at 16 and moved east to study jazz and drums at Simon’s Rock College of Bard in Massachusetts. What followed was a flurry of summer jobs, road trips to see the Grateful Dead, van living around various college outposts in Mass and NY, Zappa-esque noodling in his band Como Zoo, further schooling, the requisite amount of pot, and a little too much partying. But Dosh wanted more for his music and less for his student debt, so he swallowed his pride and returned (at 25) to his parents’ in Minneapolis.
He figured the move would be temporary — he’d save up money and practice drums until he became a self-sustaining virtuoso –but Dosh was going to shows every night and meeting more and more people in the local music-rich scene (a collision of avant jazz, freewheeling rock and progressive hip-hop), quickly realizing that what he needed had been there all along. And throughout his dedicated solo drum-and-keyboard sessions in mom and dad’s basement, he’d record, record, record, accumulating a massive library of sound. Soon he’d be a touring member of Andrew Broder’s Fog, and full-time player in their instrumental counterpart Lateduster.
In 2003 Anticon proudly released Dosh’s virtuoso debut, Dosh, a loop-building collage of shimmering Rhodes, atypical drumming grounded in groove, field recordings and spontaneous performance (much of the album was pieced together using the 100-plus hours of tape he’d recorded at his parents’). By then he’d developed his untouchable live one-man show (swiveling on his drum stool between a kit, his modified Rhodes piano, a few pots and pans, and a simple looping pedal with a 12-second recording limit), and took to the road. Back in Minneapolis, the city he’d finally recognized as home, Dosh had been teaching drum lessons to children and falling in love on the side. He formed a family with his wife Erin (who he’d wooed by handing her a copy a song called “I Think I’m Getting Married”) and her 6-year-old son Tadhg. Soon he’d be composing a track titled “Building a Strange Child,” and so they would. Dosh’s second full-length, Pure Trash was inspired by his life’s most pleasant turns, and though the album was instrumental (minus cameos by Erin, Tadhg, the newborn Naoise, and his students), it emoted all the warmth and anticipation, fear and relief that comes with building a family.
Dosh’s third album, The Lost Take, showcases the man’s unique approach to sound with an expanded musicality and growing guest-list including Andrew Bird and members of Tapes ‘N Tapes.
His Fourth record, Wolves And Wishes, adds to the ever-impressing oeuvre with the explorative wonderment of a debut album. To date Dosh has recorded with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billie, Fog, Jel, Odd Nosdam, Neotropic, Andrew Bird, Redstart, Vicious Vicious, Poor Line Condition, Lateduster, Why?, the Interferents, members of Tapes ‘N Tapes, and just about any Twin Cities band with a collective ear for good taste and experimentation. He has shared the stage with Andrew Bird, Wilco, WHY?, Damo Suzuki, Gary Wilson, Golden Smog, Sole, My Morning Jacket, Tapes ‘n Tapes, cLOUDDEAD, Sage Francis, Devendra Banhart, Kid Dakota, Alias, Themselves, Peanut Butter Wolf, P.O.S., Happy Apple, Joseph Arthur, Pizza Boys, the Bad Plus, The Jayhawks, Atmosphere, DJ Vadim and many more.