Thursday, February 17, 2011

what i did in alabama

in January 2011 i was in my home state of alabama for a minute.
there was a show at this totally deplorable smoky party coke bar
that i would never want to make money for,
but it was a benefit for a children's hospital.
and as it was a david bowie tribute night, i knew i could get on it and
learn some songs in a day
and severely fuck them up
making my them more mine than bowie's.
5 minutes is all i need for a show.
i did "scream like a baby" and "always crashing in the same car"

i got more handshakes than cups thrown at me
though my performance ellicited some of both
so consider it a success.
i wanted to bring some oakland back to my hometown.

here you may listen to the results.
the amazing roman gabriel todd plays tom drum
"only on the one,
with no frills".

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sissy Fists - Hit Me Car

here is the debut music video from my newest musical project, Sissy Fists. it is becoming more like a pop band, by which i mean there are vocal melodies in many songs. this is a thing i haven't done in a long time. ramon is the drummer. shot in beautiful bleak and bleary oakland:

the other musical still-goings-on are No Babis of course, writing more songs drawing on more composers and getting more musically out-there-- full length coming out in spring; yacob solo stuff which has shifted to performing with pre-recorded tracks so i can jump around-- music ranging from hardcore to electronoiz to free vocal improv to synthpop to bass clarinet art songs. i would still like to record the ten completed TFFW'z songs, but who knows when that will happen. and Sissy Fists is a song writing machine, working on our second tape currently. i am trying to do more scored music, or at least come up with the theories to apply before playing the instruments....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mud Merger

so instead of writing here, i have been scribbling in tiny pocket sized notebooks that served as tour journals (which i shall one day transcribe) and making lots of song fragments for the new sam cooke meets the swans style band i have started. anyway i just found this short story fragment which i enjoy, makes me want to write more and maybe put a zine together:

"Everything about work is terrible. Everything leads up to nothing."

These words could have been hanging up on the drooping banner instead of Happy Tenth Anniversary To The Company, but were certainly spelled out clearly enough on the faces of dejected, be-collared, party-hat-wearing workers who were confined slump-shouldered to folding chairs. Across from Alex sat two of his coworkers. One smiled vacantly, this being the one who always took the attitude of a stern parent correcting the mistakes of a stupid child. The other stared somewhere just above his head, perhaps imagining happier places, better times.

The manager had called them all there to discuss an important merger within the company that would affect all of their furthered careers. Nearly half of their human resources were being downsized, outsourced, and replaced with Mud People, courtesy of MudFuture Industries. They had all watched projected multimedia presentations with poor analogies of how bricks were made from mud and the company was like a house. Everyone feared for their jobs, and the supervisors rejoiced because mud was such a cheap market commodity.

The party took an even more sour turn when a mud person began slopping its feet into the room and gurgling and ruining all of the trail mix in the giant metal bowl.

Alex grew so mad his synethsesia kicked in.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gulf Coast Music Scene, Early 2000's

Someone graciously and wonderfully is documenting most of what I did and remember about our litle music scene in Daphne/Mobile Alabama up until age 19 when I moved away. It has pretty much every band i remember from high school on it and alot of the Devolution Summer bands too...

The Difference Engine was my first band with Sean and later Ricky, started at age 17-- also there is the earliest version of No Babies uploaded-- Conflict Hymens was a means of provoking people for fun by writing songs about them and my first time drumming in a band and was the start of Devolution Summer 2K6-- AC Slater was another band from that period that I recorded the first EP of and still love-- xOrder Upx was a jokey pizza straightedge band that I played drums with for one show & was the other pillar of Devolution Summer, the best part of their shows was seeing how many times they'd cover Barfight-- Bailey Turner was the most popular musician of the entire DEvoSum scene and sent Conflict Hymens hatemail-- Hence the Plagues were best when they had both singers but they were definetly breathing some life into our cold dead scene (I got to do some improv vocals with them a couple times).....

Other bands on this blog were some of the first bands I ever saw (although that honor formally goes to Pain) and were either inspirational, or what I was clearly reacting AGAINST.

SO GO HERE, check it out, download EVERYTHING....

here's what I was doing at age 17:

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Here is my video for the RURARY song "parthenogenesis". It was written in reaction to the ridiculous woman-hating law recently passed in Utah that deemed that miscarriages "caused my negligence" are prosecutable as murder (for instance in the case of the woman found guilty for falling down the stairs). I suggest that women turn to parthenogenesis as whiptails lizards do, render men unnecessary, and sentence them all to Utah. Watch your favorite male historical figures rampage through the countryside and relegate the expressions of their frustrations to incessant sodomy of each other!

All the men were menaces
now we use parthenogenesis

you might be missed by
anonymous economists

we left them all in utah
to fuck each others pooters

they made miscarriage a crime
so now we don't carry their kind

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


so RURARY is going to have an online version, but instead of ending with two or three older tracks,
it will end with 2 or 3 new ones that i am currently writing. this addenda is to be called the ARLPRIR EP.
I have posted the first track here. influenced mainly by renaissance choral music. this is what i think
mozart sounds like. im hammering that ending tonic like satie in dried embryos!!! also featuring
the G major scale in sequence, in its entirety!!

for lack of better title: "spring" by yacob:

sure will be exfoliated
skin like snakes slip thru the grating
free like worms from hooks they've baited

spring's in the air
and my lymph nodes are swelling
i'm cutting myself into bits
and then mailing
all of the pieces
to you by the handful
with no instructions on
how reassemble

of sinking
my limbs' ends
are leaking

what is it?
bones that fit
bag of skin
and excrement
it's just the element

Saturday, April 10, 2010

INC 2010

Last night I played at the Oakland International Noise Conference and I wanted to write a little bit about the experience (TF set, murder murder set, blandness of most sets).

First, simply concepts: I have a weird hangup about the term noise because I don’t really believe it exists. Noise is something which you do not choose to listen to, which disrupts or overthrows what is predictable in our lives as far as sound goes. Doesn’t a gathering of people somewhere all with the intent to hear “noise” completely negate the validity of the term?

I think from what I saw of the show only a handful of bands genuinely engaged me, maybe enough to put together to make one really good show….The majority of the performers were kind of unexciting stand-in-one-place-and-make-drones-with-crinkle-noises-on-top-of-it-for-a-few-minutes-then-stop types.

If, suspending my unbelief in noise as a generally viable artform, I do allow for a definition of it (the one posited by Luigi Russolo and the futurists seems well thought-out), noise is part of the avante-garde, meant to complete subvert tonal music, push tension and dissonance and extreme timbres to their absolute limits, and to make use of sounds not typically associated with something someone would choose to listen to (machinery, electronics, etc).

By this definition, I think most of the bands wouldn’t even fall in this category. Most of the noise music sounded so similar I would be hard pressed to make a distinction between many of the bands, sometimes wondering if it was another performance or just the house music feebly blurting and buzzing through the amplifiers. There was so much drone I felt like I was in a Krishna temple, which complete eliminates any sort of tension in the music for me. There was no sense of unpredictability in any of the music. No one utilized silence, space, or time as means of organizing the sound. Bands were essentially sound on, sound off, from one to the next. “Noise” is a genre, and all of these people must be drawing from such similar influences, so noise as a concept is dead. No one even seemed influenced by no wave, which I felt would be an easy way out of the chains of pedal effected guitars and electronics and mumblecore vocals. I feel like the majority of people were making it because it is easy to do.

Despite my dissatisfaction with a lot of the music, oftentimes this can be made up for by performance, but almost no acts tried to elicit any emotions either in themselves or in the audience. These are not people who think about what they are doing, these are not people who feel anything in reaction to it, therefore I don’t give a fuck.

To be honest, I was watching videos of Hanatarashi and GISM the other night, where the singer of the latter band turned a flamethrower on the audience causing members to scatter in terror over chairs, and Yamatsuka Eye of the former drove a bulldozer through the wall of the venue then destroyed the stage while screaming into a microphone while a drummer played behind him. I don’t think anyone can top performances like that, nor would I actually want to. In contrast, everything else is basically a pop band. But to view what Hanatarashi were doing as sound is an intense elevation of the audience’s conception of sound as art, and probably as far as noise can go. I digress, but these are things influencing my thinking…..

on the above clip go to about 5:30

Now let me talk about the performances I did like:

Murder Murder: consisting of Paul on sax, microphone, and feedback, Chris on drums (both from Death Sentence: Panda!), someone else on a weird noisemaking tin thing, and misha and me on saxophone and trombone. This was a case where I feel like an ensemble really boosts what is interesting about music. There were many elements of chance to the music, but also a lot of freeassociation as I felt everyone was listening to the other players in the collective improvisation to make a whole sound. Filling in where it seemed appropriate. The plan was 5 or 6 short blastbeats of noise at about 10 seconds long each, then one 5 minute long jam. The flow of ideas had to be just as rapid and I felt like this kept the energy and interest in the music up. I really liked the connecting improvised factor of Paul playing between the different high and low feedbacks of his two amps with me and misha making staccato quiet gurglings into our horns underneath it. We hadn’t planned on playing with murder murder but I’m intensely glad that we got to. Eden recorded it and I’m eager to hear the results.

TFFWz: I know this makes me sounds like an extreme egotist but that’s just how I feel. We got on the show at all because we showed up with our instruments and asked if we could play. We were probably the most rock n roll band of the night, by which I mean we were the only band performing prewritten songs. To quote ricky marler “it’s funny how the bands you play with can make you feel like ac/dc”. We go to set up our stuff in the corer and there is no PA. I think for a brief moment and we say fuck it we’ll go acoustic. Afterwards some people told me a microphone would have helped my vocals, but I think it is liberating for us to declare our independence from electricity, and I felt confident in my projecting abilities after our tour of 24th st in san Francisco a few weeks earlier when we played at a skate park, in front of st francis cafĂ©, and in front of the bart. Since it was a “noise show” misha used his less controllable mouth piece and I think we all felt we could be a bit more free with the arrangements. I screamed at the top of my lungs to announce we were playing, which ended up being louder than everyone talking in the whole warehouse, and we did a really hyper five song set which I think was: snails / lil kid / filmic / mexico / cacophony. I tried this one kudoro move a couple times where you throw yourself backwards to the ground but I don’t quite have it. Lack of any electric instruments makes me feel even more naked as a performer, which is a good state to be in. I ended up doing one move I haven’t done since klacto days, throwin myself onto my head…hurt my arm and knees, as per usual. During the last song I swung misha around by his shirt so he couldn’t even play the saxophone and he threw me into the drums which got throw everywhere at the end. I love that, it always means we’re done. Afterwards everybody kept partially tongue-in-cheek commenting on how all the drummers were biting us by throwing their drums everywhere at the end of their sets. Post Addendum: I don’t mean to sound like an asshole by talking about my own band on here, but I believe in what we are doing, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. I can’t really appraise our set because I was too busy playing it, but people seemed to be feeling it.

Ettrick: both of the people in this band are just amazing musicians, and drummers, with unique styles playing off of each other in a pure form of energy music. I must have missed any of the tenor sax solos, but the alto was doing nothing but playing overtones and altissimo while hitting a squelching noise electro pad periodically. The music had real tension and buildup to it, and it felt like the musicians were really interacting with each other. I think one time I heard someone say the noise scene just takes all the people who aren’t good enough to play jazz, but I feel with Ettrick and murder murder we have some really talented and choppy improvisers in the scene, with a lot of technique and thought put into what they’re doing. (I already ranted on the people who I think don’t).

Seven lies about girls: I watched this cuz it was my friend dave playing. There was some squeally prepared guitar going and a couple of toms and bass drum that made fairly ineffectual backbeat to the music. The drums began to get away from dave and his sheer anger perfectly matched the music, which was propelled by this performance full of, I dunno, things not going right, defeat, ineffectiveness. The mic stand fell over, was kicked away. The microphone was screamed into and swung til the cord snapped. The drums were throw till the heads were busted and came dangerously close to the audience at times, each spare hitting at a breaking open drumhead given voice to the inaudible unamplified screaming of dave. When he lifted the drums above his head onto his back and screamed in all directions at the audience there was real fear that he was gonna throw the whole thing and kill somebody, everybody did a little move behind the person in front of them. The set ended without violence, but the emotion was pure and is what I think noise bands should have.

There were other bands I had some interest in but who didn’t hold it for the entirety of their whole 15 minute sets. So, INC 2010 was a pretty good experience, and maybe I’m just a square who doesn’t get it, but these are some things it made me think. I mean, this kind of music is literally a hundred years old. Do something new with it!

And this is what is what I was singing all night, besides some made up shit about Misha wearin a big woman’s shirt: