The Rummage

Tag: Richmond

. issue XXIV : vi .

. artist : radio b .
. album : whole foods .
. year : 2013 .
. label : rayni day entertainment .
. grade : a .

Whole Foods

I have never understood people that claim not to enjoy music in general existence (most importantly the very few who claim to abhor and avoid music), as someone who wants to actively memorize popular top 40’s from 19’s to 20’s on 33 and 45 [CONNOR SEZS: Is it worth it?/ Let me work it/ etc chez mademoisellelliot]. Fascinating, but true, these persons without any enjoyment for any music or any tone, these individuals without a favorite let alone any listenable musician or group, do exist. Musical haters often only reveal this answer to a direct question, which is a loaded query in a short burst of digdug layering toasting the eventual hammer clicking silenced stop of blasts six or eight questions later from a variation of, “What’s your favorite artist?” to the last one which is always the incredulous non-question confirmation “So, you mean you don’t like to listen to any music–any music at all?” The less severe cases of music-aphobia extends outward to include such divided musical politics as people that only care for lyrics but never the music of any musician, orchestra, or collective, people that say they care for music but never quite enjoy lyrics of any artist or band or sextet, and of course the huge everypeople, every human being, every earthling who responds to some sounds, sonics, or singers in instant defensive motions for more so than just primal scary sound alerts [growls, howls, shrieks, creaks, rattles & hums, etc]. Hallucinogen users often suffer from an experience known as a “bad trip” which often reflects the emotional emotisphere of one’s being, only as good as you feel; wait a minute, it also sounds just like everyone I know, every human user within the interface. Everybody suffers and strives toward a high as a goal, longing to have straight A’s or the outstanding high with nary a low point, let alone a downward trending angle, any weakness or loss; life being the ultimate loss, liberty the one we all choose to accept in some loss or another, and the happiness that we are desperate to ever lose a grasp on every second of the existance we have.

While I have loved incarnations of rap throughout my entire life (okay, yeah, sticklers will call me out for my alienation and disillusionment as a twelve year old with the arrival of “gangsta rap” that invaded R&B staples of the early 1990’s as Tony, Toni, Tone, R. Kelly, Naughty By Nature and other Top 40 staples of WPGC and WKYS gave way to Snoop, Dre Ph.d, and bleeped / censored / scratched lyrics), I have always spent more time listening and relistening because there is a LOT to memorize. A joy for me is the ability for playback in my own head, liking memorization of an aural method as I do, I like to have a grasp on crawl running commentary for review and digestion.

So, as the Cheats Movement continued a showcase this year to joyous anniversary at Gallery 5, RVA HotSauce offering tithed to the community a great percentage of beautiful music. This led to my discovery of Radio B from the press release, which served to pique my perusal online which, to my delight, presented free music files to greet me. Not just free music files in blue hyperlink and nonsense numerical and letter listing, but eight full catalogue albums in user friendly, accessible, debonair designed, pattern professional gleam on a site unassociated with a bandcamp or soundcloud template. The artist’s own site gives Radio “a faith in music and artistry which spurs him on in a time where music seems to be fading away,” and that faith is great example of the evolution of mankind in a technodigital aging. Following a span of five years on the site itself and over a hundred songs (CONNOR SEZS: I’m not counting them, don’t call me about this anymore), this kind of portfolio is my favorite overview. All at once, the case for retroactive research seems at least considerate enough to have a birth and a death before digging up the truth, or interviewing the very entity itself before the loss of anyone or anything, any moment that doesn’t return.

Whole Foods, the most recent release, is my focus here. (CONNOR SEZS: Yer focused, okay. Warm that up, size that ring, wait, you’re writing down everything?) I say to you, and there are very few times I drive readers to a site, but I’m telling you, right now, go here, go here right now. Go to and download and listen to everything. The chance to view and listen to an artist in such depth is heavenly unheard of anymore in such a demand for monetary compensation for any offering. And this site offers you a beautiful interface and gorgeous waiting room interior design (meaning, I’d like to stay there all day like any good home or menu default screen), I bet it looks gorgeous on a smartphone of any platform (CONNOR SEZS: Woah. Okay. Yeah. Droid is sweet.). There are no other instructions, no easter egg to click on or mediafire foray or any other step by step instructions required of you. You get a lot of great songs, and so I give you this gift, readers, of an artist you should listen to deeply. At you get a lot of music to enjoy, and it is a pleasure. I love the entire album of Whole Foods (5 on 5 mixtape may supplant the top spot soon enough in my foreseeable future); the smooth production stays without a single popping skip of thesis, and the producing collaborators are many {Frequent contributor and fellow Rayni Day Entertainment cadre Nickelus F share production duties overture with Cashby, Trac-Qaeda, The Stoop Kid, NameBrand all producing tracks and Conrizzle, Fair, James River, Misterelle, Illa Scorsese, Chance Fischer, Vintage A, Tamir Rock, Noah O, Destiny Da Chef, Lil Lee, Deemize, Nike Nando & J Bizz appearing on tracks to kick out wisdom and jams}. While choosing Cypher in three incarnations to prove my point, (CONNOR SEZS: Wikipedia Says: A cipher is any collection or gathering of rappers, beatboxers, or breakers forming in a circle in order to jam musically together–the term has also in recent years come to mean the crowd which forms around the battles, consisting of spectators and onlookers. This group serves partly to encourage competition and partly to enhance the communal aspect of rap battles. The cipher is known for “making or breaking reputations in the hip hop community; if you are able to step into the cipher and tell your story, demonstrating your uniqueness, you might be more accepted.” These groups also serve as a way for messages about hip hop styles and knowledge to be spread, through word-of-mouth and encouraging trends in other battles) the entire album is something you can play from start to finish without feeling the itch to skip a track or turn a random selection to the playlisting. The battle rap style evokes a sense of improvisation and playfulness regardless of the often heavy subject matter or koan statements, which is no small feat considering the polished sheen all these songs exude.

So, do it already. Go to and start to love a local boy making good into great every single time, and a faith in music and artistry which spurs him on in a time where music seems to be fading away. As Radio’s site says, much better than I can, he “exemplifies the underdog mentality…. The idea is to make positives out of negatives…. Radio B hopes to inspire people through his music and motivate people to reach to the ends of the earth to reach their dreams. Coming from Richmond, a place where there is no major sports team, and local celebrities for the most part are…just that…local. There’s Deangelo and Skillz, and more recently Trey Songz from Petersburg, but the chances are slim for the aspiring artist in the Capital City…. Which makes Radio B and Rayni Day Entertainment’s underdog mentality all the more a reality…. And the world loves an underdog.”

by Perkus Tooth


. issue XXII : v .

. artist : samson trinh and the upper east side big band .
. song : dear prudence .
. year : 2013 .
. label : n/a .
. grade : a plus .


There’s an old joke, (isn’t there always), single person, the opening act is listening to conversational riffs tracking to the four-piece headliners, before a show, who overture, “Must be nice not having to stretch payment around, but what kind of sound does this stick make?” The bass player says, (sometimes the lead singer, I heard it told better as this is one solid heavy metal flute, but like how IS the sound happening on this? & etc.) Another dialogues 100 dollars being a modest price point, “It will be for the fifty of us.” Or the entire joke of first trimester twentieth century modern American big band songbook, which is big bands crowded based on salary, playing first as personal recordings for radio station consumption and then eventually television soundtracks (Gleason would be more so than Goodman, who did the whole Carnegie Conservatory Route). All the other jokes I know are old setups between the bandleader and the emcee of the radio, not classic so much as setup and punchline, delivery quicksilver pun children.

Samson Trinh and the Upper East Side Big Band are not joking around. Trinh himself seems to do all the correct things as a bandleader — and especially as a leader with endless enthusiasm bursting layers of sound that not only seem commanded by him but are marching along as a tight band, a session band, a crew to be wrecked with. Having people follow you is difficult enough — establishing that trust and the follow-through — but keeping those relationships in a positive, constructive state for a decade in such a polygamous collective as a proper big band, with sections and sequential seating sourced, is the kind of awe-inspiring power that is harnessed by few human heads. These arrangements are huge production numbers with a personal touch but professional coverage. And I’m talking obvious archives of interpretation and communities of classic covers and soundtracked depth of brass and, you know, like good news. A while in the making (duh), the entire dynamic has stayed a constant, so says a ten-year anniversary. The website clearly has an administrator and the domain name doesn’t end in a free-service gated-community layout. But who’s counting? (CONNOR SEZS: We talked about Square One references already, dude. Also, I Just Adore Four is missing that announcer on the iTunes cuts, at least from three collections. What’s up with that? NOW DON’T START THAT AGAIN.)

Back to the sound, and I’m not talking the fidelity of furniture speakers and ampule watts stacks, I speak of the vibrations that come from a full public school classroom of human beings. The synapse of “Dear Prudence,” Lennon’s cooing coax to Mia Farrow’s frail fragile counterpart (is it possible) from the time at the Maharaja, where Johnny learned to not believe in Beatles, just to “believe in me,” which Adam Duritz would change to wanna be someone, to believe, to believe, to believe (yeah) talking to a Dylan creation that I hear again and again is the end of this song, where the plaintiff wail is backed by a crescendo of woodwinds, strings, percussion, brass, and voice. And it doesn’t have to beg for a playmate, because it has an entire neighborhood of cooperation and good vibes (lit-er-ally). These layers of noise all mingle and exist together, and with the ability of modern technology, are mixed and occur almost as in their natural environment, an overwhelming natural phenomena. Buddy Rich was a one time thing and that was a toddler memory of traumatic bipolar journey-a-ing, and Samson Trinh’s Upper East Side Big Band is a fantastic machine of humanity in the same regard.

The Beatles-tinged cuts of Trinh’s Abbey Road collection and the newest offering of “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” is fitting and fascinating. There isn’t anything you hear that sounds forced or even slightly outdated. Trinh’s band of merrymaker’s love game old songs brand new again, nurturing the classics and recreating welcome happy wash of these brassy, chic, metropolitan sensible sounds that wall of sound crumbles any listener into smitten status in less than two songs.

by Perkus Tooth

. issue XX : viii .

. artist : anduin .
. album : ww pool mix .
. year : 2013 .
. label : self-released .
. grade : b .


Richmond-based sound artist Anduin refreshes material scraps in this uncanny and resonant mix, the tension between articulated percussion and sustained ambient currents creating a uniquely insecure periphery. This is a temperate ambient stargaze, creeping through its rustic balm and tepid temperature warmed by a verdant flush, and chilled by vigilant drone and saxophone hoopla. Strings and wood wind provide harmonic fibril to enliven the listener, and are more compelling than the strictly-percussion foreground approached used elsewhere. Similarly, tape echo vocals are senselessly nostalgic; sometimes successful, especially when staccato, manipulated to seem performative (“ah hah hah”). The ambience ranges from abyssal to tinny, mechanistic to organic.

WW Pool (who?) seems to be ‘napping’ in some sort of mausoleum doted on by deciduous trees and sundry mosses, in grayscale. It’s not unapt — the listener sinks in with the effortless resignation of just someone locked in the cemetery at night, or better, marooned on an island half-crag and half-foliage. Though it conjures place expertly, remarkably and in spite of the photograph documentation, we don’t know exactly where this sounds like. Perhaps it’s the assortment of material used, Frankensteinian, to propagate the space, but there’s something untethered about WW Pool’s always evoking an uncertainly positive experience. And it is an experience. The dense resin of the space is not always full-bodied, but it always encapsulates, and without affectation, too. Not too arty and not too dark, this mix is just right.

by Brittany Tracy

. issue XX : ii .

. artist : positive no .
. album: via florum .
. year : 2013 .
. label : self-released .
. grade : sweet tunes .

Positive No

Positive No is so playful, the name inspires conundrums for me instantly. Sounding out the systems of an adult to child relationship, overdrafts and coverages fail to attract or even sustain secrecy, sensation or the dreaded and expected surprises. As it is, they are a positive.

“Pocket Park” bares a perfect pop song in the familiarity of regionalism. I adore this band since Style Weekly told me so. “Georgia Purchase Agreement” condenses “Crooked Fingers” (Archers of Loaf) and “Ibi Dreams of Pavement” and “7/4.” I must admit being a sucker for Tracy Wilson’s breathy Skye Edwards command. Pure tone, backed by (I’m guessing) a male falsetto, which I must admit to being a sucker for. And to top my gourmet lollipop, I’m going to admit to loving this overcast rock, rolling grey clouds of season. There are certain chord beds I find fill seasonal surface soundtrack for, this one is suited to the winter we’re to have. I can get pretty lost in these days where the sun doesn’t shine as bright, and the cold gray makes you want to sleep in, or at least stay under cover, for another ten minutes or so. “Power of Ten” isn’t nearly as minor chorded as “Dreamland, VA,” but this shuffle jazz square is a perfect soundtrack for touring Iceland or Greenland in the summertime, when the sun shine between giant cloud formations almost all day, and there are no trees to make shadows, just sculpted stone cliff sides, or piles of lava rock.

This is indie rock you could play over any public address system to be modern and have no worries at being offensive to anyone … or causing any medical condition inflammation irritation. Wait. What do they call speaker setups in commercial venues? Sound systems? (CONNOR SEZS: OKAY ALREADY.) Via Florum is the kind of album that makes Richmond proud and accredited, from the kind of band you want to cozy up with in the winter.

by Perkus Tooth

. issue XIX : iii .

. artist : geometric shapes .
. album : dknphew concerto .
. year : 2013 .
. label : self-released .
. grade : mountain range .


Playing a show with Sacred Teachers, before the recent Nile remodel, a duo’s full presence lit up that second dim building without an element producing light visually (that outletted track lighting barroom causing nice chiaroscuro). A venue is an empty space, and a show usually requires a vaulted rise to command the attention of the viewer and provide psychological safety for the performer. Any stage show for any band, not only from the sight onstage, but what’s doing with the band onstage aside from sound, is often overlooked (not to say it isn’t etched in a momentary monument, that it isn’t a experienced array). A show can extend to the specific details of date, tales of tape at times, and with lineup changes, even personality perforation: showing the ensemble of a group in circumstances of living. This public persona also serves as a rule or guideline for the group and each member, in this mission statement, binds a uniform not different than Epstein ties. The clothing, the ideology, a crisp outer crease to the inner alchemy lining of purpose; the Voltron impact, summing the body of action, lies in a different individual than the body of thought, strives for unison. Archetype populare of a rock band has a lead singer who may attempt charisma, but a reservation and control subdues the personal to the possible gnarl sludge or grunge reverberation in a more nostalgic venerable memoir: a lot of Keith crag posing fitting a Cobain restrain, no Jagger swagger speedometer which stays as archetypical pop (read: dance record capable of being used from the club scene and stapling the mobile dj karaoke requests add ons). Geometric Shapes (Robert Shropshire & Johnny Dutch), tho’, has run my gamut of identification by being two different and mesmerizing acts to watch, or listen. The Nile papered, handed out worksheets of mystery, harnessing crumpled and crushed red, yellow and orange streamers risen from a large rigged fan, in puppetry-styled magma, emitting from a waist deep cardboard volcano, contributing to the distortion they rowed to ripple through in roosts of calm and washing tone tides.

The worship aspect of Geometric Shape’s newest offering, DKnphew, is a predatory strike. “Intro” encounter shaves shapes and states of space midair, folding music over, if not detaching the articulate arm itself for a diagram instaframe without rupture or true trauma. The geometric shape here represents the grid of eternity shown in turn of the century animations (CONNOR SEZS: You’re talking about that Simpson’s Halloween episode where he goes all 3d. I know it), the endless possibilities have been drawn, or set down rather, and explored.

While “Are Hearts Pray For the Future” dirges, “People Like Dat” punctuates steel. These offerings are the poppier aspects of the release, staying within a tighter time length. While the longer pieces are able to traverse, these stick to a schedule. Innate understanding and interpretation abounds as these disparate dimensions multiverse parallel bars, swiftly swirling in wind, streamers of lava shooting from recycled rock. The metronome bends in favor of the unexplored sound natural, ambience as a genre attempts to a formatting of white noise, a chakra bowl hum pitch ended on a single harmonic, flat or sharp, but one pitch, neat nest weave. Physiological philosophic harmonics — CONNOR SEZS: Wait, that’s…THE WORLD: Background Sound: Volume 77. Wait, what was that?

“Cyber Sauna” feels like a sensory deprivation chamber; the swishing of background water gives way to the snowy static of electricity, as the sounds mingle and bleed into other tempos and temporal lobe activity, in a grand rising of the tides. “Core”’s dark sludgy water gives us some clear vocals, close incantation and that religious wasteland abyss of atmosphere that haunts Geometric Shapes sounds. “Serendipshitty” hollers a casiotone beat poetry. “Dingo Nibs” sandstorm tornados reverb and pitch in a speedy spark.

As a note, I love this dissonance: discord is important in my chambers and hollows, and the controlled tracking of such to meet up for a few blissful harmonics in sync is the pay off. Lending itself to bebop and other improvisational bedrocks, this wind storm guides the very dust particles away from the stiffened hairs of irritation, to lead whatever seeming dissonant elements had populated the song to a safe bedding smooth skin (CONNOR SEZS: Mathematicians said it best, ending that New Orleans v Chicago : Jazz v Bebop early ‘fifties feud. The relative errors are accuracy, because the harmony, however infrequent, always erases absolute error from the equation). For measures at a time, this relief roots rhythmic perfection, sonic samadhi, and all harmonics halo glowing (CONNOR SEZS: ROUNDING THIRD) before juggling the instruments away, anticipating possibilities potion or poison, and subtly settling them in another loomed landmark of pleasing pattern.

(CONNOR SEZS: Geometric Shapes describes themselves on a website as ‘free form musical improvisational rapid collection of abstractions of part covers part universal shapes of sound having a break down.’ They did this waaaaaaayyyyy more concise. Brevity, chap chip c.h.i.p. s.)

The closer, “Nibiru,” listens as a shoegaze classic. Stairway guitar bleeding off a faraway vinyl sets up a silent stage, then a oingo boingo synth and percussive ball pit fills the menagerie of sound stampedes. (CONNOR SEZS: The panflute always leads me toward Xavier Renegade Angel association than subway corridor buskers. Magma meditations not reflecting ripple pool temperates.)

Okay, okay, back to the difference in the time span of the Nile remodel. Geometric Shapes, at a recent show with Ultra Bide and Mutawawa (Strange Matter) brought the forefront of my consciousness into a righted rowboat, from the floor of the space and not the three feet high of the stage. The show, not as props heavy as my trip on the Nile, was a tableau of curated purpose and a solid smooth finding of spotlight. A calm masterful banter between songs dislocated the dissonance in the snap of a world ocean, attempting definition in measure, but infinity in connection and loop without end. Coasts viewed were simultaneous in distance, as all elements brought into being were then formed, evolved, and set to task by two musicians holding only a few instruments, and themselves, accountable for a singular experience and not a setlist. Residency of an artist implies (to me) that someone is home in the inner working, even when the physical and mental selves are allowed complete freedom, to conform to cartoon physics without making a coyote misstep, to lack the judgement of the ever-present universe. Check out this fresh organic experience without a chilly choking frost veneer, before they blast out of your reach and into the stars. I’m sure they’ll still transmit, but you know how much time those years take, in light, without the speed. (CONNOR SEZS: Also, as a close, how did I predict that Reggie Jason thing? Another empty victory of gordon sumner synchronicity. I’d like to send this one out for Lou and Rachel, and all the kids, and P.S. 192, Springfield Estates, Franconia Elementary.)

by Perkus Tooth

. issue XVII : iii .

. artist : dumb waiter .
. album : is this chocolate? .
. year : 2013 .
. label : self-released .
. grade : beyond .

Dumb Waiter

I love a parade.

Okay, wait, let me rivet down here, settled industrial, and I meant to say I love a brass section. Metallurgy swinging trombones, threaded-plumber trumpets, battleaxe caber-wire tubas, spice rack saxophones, ‘setterarar ‘setterarar. (CONNOR SEZS: You edited out flutes, frenchy, and the ranging octave label parts. T.A.S.B. Edition.) A marching band finds field; any additional sectioning a performance space stage could require a bandleader. That’s a space issue with the outer layers of (gleaming curves and shapes and size placement of) any band (puzzle pieces above eight) of just where every piece goes on board. These winded instruments provide a different element to the vibes of sound-washing reverb; a blast punctual, with wider yarping mouth shapes than gamut vocabulary from bowed strings to plucked.

Background music, as a compliment, allows a mood to settle or an environment to grow; a field of fusing connection electric football, lit landscape. Dumb Waiter’s release Is This Chocolate? should forget the question mark and finish making a statement. Even in the distance this stuff from any set of speakers is shiny, scale staircasing, stone fireplace solid rock set percussion. The primal thumpings are energetic, frenetic kinetic sculptures of dynamic volume voyaging; traffic provides the energy but also the heat exchange of molecular mingling.

‘Math Rock,’ as a phrase, raised ink turn of this last century when Kid A was in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and The New Republic. Math Rock has represented fractions to me; I think of crowded decimal points: endless and infinitesimal decimals descending. Infinity’s children, all individual numbers of infinite and every value, multiples of every multiple to be divided evenly over a battered field order. Math Rock always meant how many notes fit into this measure of music, and how many more can I make fit concurrently congruent. (CONNOR SEZS: Or, how to expand organically the limits of time, therefore possibly space, and always the option of other forms.) The word math also implies an amount of education, the forceful presence with each instrument’s introduction confirms.

The little lyricism that allows itself in the music, whether incantation choral or the song titles themselves, make medieval-proven remedies greatest-hits list a scientific method. Humors of blood, bile, phlegm, saliva and other tangible materials serve better. The modernism makes a one man avant garde, overloaded with a responsibility as well as a flag, field glass, musket, and smartphone all alone. (CONNOR SEZS: These are my kinds of musics.)

“Sports Reference” is a deceptive dance tune with a glorious ska break. The dramatic jagged can opener of “Insectaconduit” insectatcons ambient sounds orchestrated to transform into the megazord gundam machine, whirring construction occurring in real time to []. Blasting off and away to “Vegan Mustache Jazz” finds the stringed violin (?) playing off against those naughty horns in an attempt to tame tinged headbanging strum rhythm. Eardrum tenderizeroni is what I like; brush cymbals back to that deceptive muzak re-arrangement experiment, phased faded sunset to stunning kilter: extemporaneous tempo change, foot stomping marathon pacing, orange sherbet and strawberry rose gelato. “Indubitably Dumbfounded” has this same drum fill cresting the wave of the brass section, cresting the bassline for a sea current of washing sound. Each instrument swimming in this ocean, inflating to lifeboat the ear at measure for measure, in almost unrehearsed and surely spontaneous synchronized swim.

“Total Trappist Tragedy” balances all of these songs into perfection for me. Stringy opening contrasts the previous tracks in terms of speed and tone, eventual hitting speed and the ramp for an all beating assault (including Carmina Burana vowels vocals). This illusion of being out of control, a polka exorcism breakdown sound, except the coordination of space within a whirlwind of instrument and musician is an exercise in every sense of the word.

“Rub-a-dub-dub” is a short ocean cruise reminding me of Broken Social Scene’s “Shoreline”: the pacific, rocky cold, difficult and overcast winterized tour on highway one oh one (in binary, also my most classic of crutch lines), without a single word image. The song follows a journey from San Diego all the way up to Vancouver, with Santa Barbara the only clear spot of sun.

“Neologizer” eats the same way. You feel as if the band can taffy stretch jam out a bit more, now relaxed; wearing in a pair of leather shoes and leather underwear since the start of the album.

This fin de siècle jazz band with Satie sensibility says “Noise Band” but the cacophony is tabbed organized and layered, structural perfection in timeless remodel.

by Perkus Tooth

. issue XVI : v .

. artist : the richmond folk festival .
. album : the richmond folk festival .
. year : 2013 .
. label : n/a .
. grade : classic timeless .

The folk festival has been touted with esteem since I saw the logo; this vintage saw such a sobering somber crowd as the audience became a hipster in a flash and rush of intoxication, drunk in the deluge. The slow necrosis of the adolescent mind set sunk into patron pounding feet as the particles of mud spotted shins, sucked at footwear, and provided a topographical typography for another writing of the stages of life aside from MWV, Dominion, Altria et al. Fans of music in search of a concert found one, regardless of the forecast, and the city found solace in a celebration well done.

Paul DiPasquale, a sculptor practitioner introducing a catalogue of the monuments of Richmond discoursing upon the very nature of public art, notes:

“…the feet carry the artwork to the public, for scrutiny, socialization, politicization, enlightenment and/or edification. If these parts all fit, it is successful. The artwork survives long enough for someone to write about it. This is the delight of the task at hand and foot for Bob Layton, now at the head. With benefit of some or much hindsight, he is exposing and bringing to focus the how, why and what of these off-the-beaten-path public art works, memorials and monuments that deserve attention. Ultimately assessing the beauty of these works, the value of the ‘story’ and appreciation of the ‘mark’ is up to us, the art consumers…”


“….Will Paris let the Eiffel Tower fail? Will New York give up the Statue of Liberty? Both will be renewed indefinitely….”


This folk festival, 2013, held a difficulty, an already adapted format of commitment; quilted air thick at every tick of the clock, heavy glowing atmosphere or ripples in the still canal running droplets. The water washed away everything but the true believers, sounding out shaky sinking.

Friday night’s memorial maws twilight pause, this slice of the calendar, and the hushed portraiture harvests normally a warm golden palette fire warm with all shading of orange yellow and red. The documented waterworking annal kept an atmosphere of droplets drooping cool mist rather than evaporating sweat, and blue green greys warred with the air while the little bright green undisturbed circles of sod were accented by muddy muddy mud.. Every unfolded tent saw drainage issues, heat lamps were an unexpected wishlist item. Scheduled sunlit seventies fahrenheit soaked and sagged down to the sixties. The seduction is harsher shadows than a candlelit bar would be doing, the acoustics are nice normally and now get that shiver of spring in the water. All accountings show the shake, the spirit of rhythm inculcated and the standing revel conditions of a typical spring thaw which doubled as the slow rot of harvest frost.

Saturday’s saturation has met foot trafficking, and the chemical combo of mud is mashed moon (the Dominion Dance pavilion beat out the Altria stage mud pits by a thousand points; dance floor an island oasis). The bales of hay woefully underfunded in the government shutdown, once quaint and watch out for the dirt poofs southern hospitality doily mode. Muck is inevitable, again, it’s a furlough fortification so onward, spotted. The sun unable to burn through the fog, blighted it like the beach communities; the forcible. Storm brews the tides of wave, the steady pulse keeps the temperature surely hot, sauna.

Even Sunday, until the very six o’clock feed cut off of billable hours, stays a static snow of mist as Richmond overdoes itself on the scene, platinum pedagogy importing portland maine to portland oregon, trailing, but never stopping the show with soaking, just sheen.

I haven’t begun to listen to the material I have collected as both a live audience participant and audiophile (purchases were made; support the gas money for the tour bus, you know) but I saw Khac Chi both Saturday and Sunday and I’m still to-do listing these instruments, seventeen that I don’t know and twenty made out of bamboo. The performance both days held a gorgeous stage presence, established light jokes between a vaudevillian husband and wife duo, (Chi Khac Ho and Ngoc Bic Hoang) who also performed some instruments simultaneously. I don’t mean lets all play a song at the same time I’m talking a flute implicit in some act of mountain mating that counts as my first sighting of a woodwind built for two. Chi also is a pioneering award winning female artist of dan bau, a traditionally male gendered instrument, which utilizes the mouth as a resonance chamber. (The sound is an amplified mouth harp, one with the articulative variation of lip placement.)

My one choice took forever in choose, a chunky Jif gif comedy period of nonsensical James river stream (all apologies to frontrunner and showstopping Rhythm of Rajasthan and Lurrie Bell’s unplugged set), much like Bruno’s Gastropub with their excellent ceviche and Samson Trinh’s Uke and Roll workshop, but the folk festival as a whole wandering provided the greatest pleasure available at a musical venue, true wandering. The Stooges, Chuck Brown’s Tribute Band, Sam McClain and many other bands offered full brass sections shattering the surrounding silences and reverberating into Oregon Hill. Abdoulaye Diabate & Super Mande, Nathalie Pites, Alex Meixner and the Dardenelles offered intimate connection with a crowd with showmanship. The Spanish Harlem Orchestra and the Holmes Brothers, I have been listening to your albums this whole time.

I’ve never been to Isle of Wight or Roskilde. Is a climate and environment?

Nah, I don’t believe in a warm globe. What is that, anyway?

by Perkus Tooth

. issue XV : ii .

. artist : the diamond center .
. album : caraway / 20twin .
. year : 2011 .
. label : self-released .
. grade : o .


The Diamond Center (Kyle Harris, Brandi Price, Guest Stars, Featuring, &) gets some wicked press in my brain, wood block prints inky and words mouthed (those lip forms, for stats, are: pursed tongue through teeth [for the], vertical horizontal spreads followed by pursed smoke ring vowel closing non visual glottal stop tongue click [for diamond], the toothy hiss air kiss smile following [for center]). Search engines sputter pages up for reviewing Richmonders exalting and documenting connection, and some solid line-up at larger events in denser downtown populations. Press photos and prose from years (& releases) ago scribe a healthy output history in halo’d hallways of online crochet/quet hooks for the group; The Diamond Center has always been sparkling and shimmering in any setting, stone root rock solid carating a healthy vegetable cut in fashionable forsythia facets (CONNOR SEZS: It’s a canary diamond, not topaz knockoff). This canary in the tobacco mines, now lofting out as bricks, chipper engraving in red clay now dust, smoke signals and shapes in the shavings as well as the making marked. Make no mistake of steam, sand or stone, these natural hot springs line natural wonders organically evolved to commune with your rows and patches, producing a spirit animal soundtrack fortified against any of the elements at any point and antipode.

(CONNOR SEZS: Granted, the 3030 drops to Charlottesville this weekend as a far better basis beat to bounce on breakdown Washington, district Columbia. And here at corporate institutional bank of time and the joke that the news was owned by not Apple but the soft cell machine gates keeper, oh, David Cross as MC Paul Barman. Oh, oh, oh, it’s magic a gathering house of cards to shelter from such a storm of settled financial security suicide and proud falling on a sword, keep on turn, rolling down a river with a paddleboat hoisted hangman and our leaders as menagerie. Do not tap on the glass. Frosted great googly moogley.)

The single “California/ Bells” was my first experience with these wide spacious sounds, and seems to be the most recent release (CONNOR SEZS: Maybe, prolly, I think, I dunno, not?). These echo valleys give a western sense of space in the big sky Elysium. In these purple mountain majesty stallions herd buffalo through the Mississippi River. There doesn’t seem to be an ending in the fruited plain, swooping orchards vista, on the right a joshua segura while the left is prairie heart grass and corn weed, roasting the beef bonfire of this. Support of the music lands to ethereal vocal prowl cumulo nimbus flotilla full grey sweeping sea, crowning good dilation of the day into direct diffused ultra violets. When one riff has melted in, bass or percussion line fits nicely and creates a gorgeous finality, the groove of another guitar lick or spitting snare blades portrait and frames around.

(CONNOR SEZS: I just want to get this out here, I predict above average snowfall nationwide this winter. Be safe out there, be good.)

Continuing to this release of a- and b-side: “Caraway,” spell named for the seed, seems instead to be casting the life of cares-away etymology. The music video, featuring Richmond’s party in the park ‘magery, follows the interior house party of a gothic Oregon Hill Overlook exterior shot into James River park leafless skeletal trees. The haunted tea scenes and fanning angular shadows explode to backward looped ice breakers, refreezing cold rose cracks into smooth seamless surface without showing the offending projectile. Belle Isle location backshots enrobe dust velvety horror story ritual in the heavy silent film shading, beautiful contrasts of splinter sharp realism, and a nameless void; when interpretation requires personal input, you can’t help witnessing sinister snippets, abyss echo the dominant characteristic.

These images continue fine with “20Twin” and the west coast calamity jane horseback ride a nice contrast: this video from three years ago forms to Ipanema in grand concept. The bliss builds and swells into currents of emotion (CONNOR SEZS: emotion lotion! I’m a superstar in a superstar machine taking it to the stars!) and displaces the earth, grain of sand by grain, gene by gene, as the tide caresses weeping floors, under pressure, into swirl cosine graph trenched gradients. Seasonal shifts show seismic slouching in this time machine window rubbernecking the vista of what lies beneath with the deep and wide. The oceanic depth and creation of the material put out as far as humanity is concerned is the world ocean itself: something that cannot be segmented or named by one word, but rather holds all identities; an exception of identification by ubiquitous universal membership.

Under the time lapse photography the water hollows out the earth, wearing down the rock and moving it to tinier pieces eroding down, scattering these pebbles of worn material into smaller and smaller motes of life. The pollen count bursts anew while the US government shutdown makes me proud to see the greatest country. In the world. In the ocean.

The Diamond Center is your water element Dalai Lama. Grab on. The world moves some mysterious waves; the current keeps inertia at bay sucking at the shore. The sound of the surf and the wash of the crash never ends; enjoy this nice weekend holiday music of melody memory prize.

by Perkus Tooth