Stadiums & Shrines

 

The music of Bill Lee (né Gillim) has changed considerably since the dark devotional tones of his experimental project, Megafortress. If Believer, his last record in 2014, glimpsed a songwriter inching out from the abstract, Lee’s debut under his married name reveals him coming into absolute focus, unflinchingly vulnerable, steeped in family life and Americana’s past. His falsetto has grounded down to his chest; his instrument of choice is the guitar; its immediacy shapes to his schedule as a stay-at-home father. Believer’s psychic searching has now settled quietly in a living room in upstate New York. Lee’s mind hasn’t rested, though.

It’s a natural and charming musical pivot, performed across Songs For The Family, his new collection of finger-picked, band-backed noir folk/country songs “populated by lost fathers, exhausted mothers, wayward children, and fearful lovers.” There is a crucial tenderness — as Lora Mathis coins it, “radical softness” — to these songs. Mathis says, “be close to your friends and make sure they know you love them and will fight for them.” These songs are fighting for love. A 21st-century troubadour’s document of what could and should be championed; narratives about dynamic families accessing diverse emotions, flawed characters embracing failures and learning how to “stick close to (their) tenderness.”

In advance of his release show this weekend, Lee shares a slow-moving picture for the sweet generational hymn “Family.”



He also compiles and presents episode 72:

“These are some of the songs that really struck me during the three years I was making Songs For The Family. I found myself returning to them again and again. As you can see from the names on the list, I wasn’t really digging into the obscure. They’re just some of the most beautiful, melancholy songs by some pretty big names.

There’s Elvis’s ode to his recently departed mother. Sinatra’s tale of a small town husband left alone to raise his two young sons. And Willie Nelson’s phone call to his ex detailing the ruins of the happy family life they once shared. There’s a wonderful, heartbreaking melodrama in many of these songs that, for whatever reason, I can’t seem to get enough of.”

J.J. Cale – Starbound
Elvis Presley – That’s Someone You Never Forget
Bobbie Gentry – Courtyard
Mickey Newbury – I Don’t Think Much About Her Anymore
Waylon Jennings – Dreaming My Dreams With You
Willie Nelson – Little Things
John Prine – Sabu Visits The Twin Cities Alone
Fred Neil – A Little Bit Of Rain
Frank Sinatra – For A While
Etta James – I’d Rather Go Blind
Tammy Wynette – My Arms Stay Open Late
Merle Haggard – Train Of Life
Tom T. Hall – Homecoming
Michael Nesmith – Keep On
Willie Nelson Some Other World
Neil Young – Little Wing
The Neville Brothers – A Change Is Gonna Come

S&S Radio broadcasts every now and then on Newtown Radio.

 

Episode 71 belongs to Brooklyn-based, Barcelona-born artist and film sound designer Gisela Fulla-Silvestre aka NOIA. Last spring saw the Cascine release of Crisàlida, a sprawling four-tracker informed by the myriad styles of her musical heritage (dancehall, tropicalia, R&B) with influence from cultural theory spheres. Sung seamlessly in Spanish, Catalan, and English, Fulla-Silvestre’s vocal work looks skyward, interacting with the unusual patterns of her visceral, textured productions.

Fulla-Silvestre’s entry to S&S Radio elicits a similar sensation in that it pulls from disparate universes while feeling intrinsically connected. The set is decidedly unmixed; its stitched effect resembles a run through the radio dial, with seaside salt jettisoning through a cracked car window. She explains:

“The selection is called Angeles, it’s womxn voices singing tunes that make me feel near the sea. It’s mostly a collection of Catalan, Andalusian, Mallorcan, and Spanish Folk music with inserts of an AI singer and a hidden classic by Elizabeth Fraser.”


Silvia Pérez Cruz – Pena Salada
Yona – Oblivious
Soleá Morente – Por tu querer como un niño
Eartheater – Inclined
María José Llergo – Nana Del Mediterráneo
Cocteau Twins – Circling Girl
Elza Soares – A Mulher Do Fim Do Mundo
Silvia Perez Cruz – Folegandros
Rosalía – Que Se Muere Que Se Muere
Maria Arnal y Marcel Bages – Tú Que Vienes A Rondarme
Maria del Mar Bonet – Alenar

S&S Radio broadcasts every now and then on Newtown Radio.

 

Back in the fall of 2014, Nick Zanca joined us in the Newtown Radio studio, armed with a sophisti-pop-filled mix in advance of his last Mister Lies album, Shadow (Orchid Tapes). In the five years that followed, he put Mister Lies on ice to explore collaborative work with the project Quiet Friend and otherwise settle into a personal hiatus, simply letting life happen in New York.

The new Mister Lies album, released last week, is a self-titled, self-released, and self-assured reset that was shared alongside an essay by Zanca at The Talkhouse. It finds the artist returning to his home-recording roots, embracing the power of memory and the present, and adding depth and subtlety, through dynamic field recordings, to his evocative and fluid late-night pop improvisations.

Like his last mix, Zanca taps into influences, only this time he’s dived below the surface of compositional work, headfirst into the textural and fragmental documentations of audio. Phonography opens with a recording of Pauline Oliveros outlining one of her deep listening exercises and then proceeds to flow through sound and music generated by, as he says, “sculpture, conversation, repetition, improvisation, travelogue, and natural phenomena.” Presented in this format, the mix offers a sprawling opportunity to exercise focused listening techniques, and to find nuances in the tonalites of the world, both here in this encapsulated selection, and in your everyday surroundings. A fascinating and erudite two-hour aural diorama (ending in our favorite lakeside scene), accompanied by a handmade collage cover by Nathaniel Whitcomb. Zanca adds:

“Field recordings and found sounds have always been a fundamental aspect of my musical practice, but I never consciously placed the origins of my interest in capturing the audible illustration of environment until revisiting my solo project after some time away. I found myself immersed in musique concrète and electroacoustic composition in the studio — sonic artworks that generally revolve around and build upon landscapes both natural and invented. This mix is an attempt to gather the fruits of these discoveries, blend excerpts into a dense collage and posit deep listening as an altogether meditative pursuit.”


Pauline Oliveros – Tuning Meditation (The Kitchen, NYC 1979)
Harry Bertoia – Clear Sounds (Sculpture, 1973)
Sarah Hennies – Foragers
David Hykes / The Harmonic Choir – Multiplication des voix au cœur du corps sonore
Costin Miereanu – Musique Climatique
Ernest Hood – From The Bluff
Wendy Carlos – Sonic Seasonings: Fall
Scott Fraser – Communiqué
Hiroshi Yoshimura – 小川にそって (Air In Resort)
Alvin Curran – Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri
Nuno Canavarro – Untitled excerpt from ‘Plux Quba’
Annea Lockwood – Tiger Balm
Koichi Shimizu / Apichatpong Weerasethakul – Reverberation (Syndromes And A Century)
Luc Ferrari – Petite symphonie intuitive pour un paysage de printemps
Pit Piccinelli / Fred Gales / Walter Maioli – Amazonia 6891
Pat Metheny / Lyle Mays – As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
Egberto Gismonti – Maracatu, Sapo, Queimada & Grilo
Joni Mitchell – The Wolf That Lives In Lindsey
Yasuaki Shimizu – このように詠めり (その二)
Carl Stone – Shing Kee
Vanessa Rosetto / Matthew Revert – Everyone Needs A Plan
RIP Hayman – Dreams Of India And China
Tetsu Inoue – Inter Link
Aksak Maboul – Scratch Holiday
Jan Jelinek – Lady Gaga, you once said in an interview that you write music for the fashion industry. Is fashion as important to you as music?
Derek Bailey / Min Tanaka – Rain Dance
Satsuki Shibano / Yoshio Ojima – Caresse (3eme partie)
Holger Czukay / Rolf Dammers – Boat Woman Song
Julius Eastman – Gay Guerrilla
Moniek Darge – Turkish Square
John Martyn – Small Hours

S&S Radio broadcasts every now and then on Newtown Radio.

 

From their home near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Adrian Burns aka Baltic Noise makes escapist music fusing found sounds with washes of static and melody. Released in July, their debut full-length Mourning Shore humbly extends a set of synth and guitar meditations made in the memory of a loved one. Songs perry grief and anxiety with warmth and beauty; for some, catharsis requires an unleashing of aggression or disruption as a way of coping, but as heard here, catharsis can envelop and glow in tranquil solitude, flowing, rather than erupting, in and out like a noticed breath. This new album is the first of a two-part companion record, and soon receives an addendum featuring reworkings by Teen Daze, WMD and more, out August 30th.

Burns’ guest mix for S&S Radio continues down the path of processing loss through placidity. The sequence features three Baltic Noise recordings in seamless company with tracks by a few artists whose work has inspired and comforted them in recent days. Burns adds, “music has been a channel for me to express these emotions and I hope this mix offers others a chance to recontextualize the sounds they hear to fit their own needs of working through something.”



Sarah Davachi – hours in the evening
Dedekind Cut – Equity
Autumn Pool – Love is not Enough
Baltic Noise – Pingvellir dreams
Baltic Noise – 40 winks
Gigi Masin – The Word Love
Baltic Noise – Untitled
Geotic – Troperens

S&S Radio broadcasts every now and then on Newtown Radio.