| Episode Guide
Year Seven (Episodes 289-339) Year 2003
Episode 339: Council Bluff (12/29/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 + Widget) Weaving, flowing, and sewing a variety of obscure previously aired episodes, some dating back to 1991 when Press The Button was called The Vegetable Kingdom and performed exclusively by every man, and some from 1995 when its name was changed to Transmit-O-Matic performed by every man and Paul Ryan. A few segments contained audio from shows with Uncl Rus, a previous Button member who currently resides in Texas, as well as Dave Monk who is now in Pennsylvania. Callers were certain everything was live and accordingly interacted with "live" voices from the past. One caller near the end of the final hour provided an improvisational collage that was so interesting we decided to let the caller take over for the last 15 minutes. Given last week's transmitter problems, we decided to pack light in case we'd get post-poned again. Alas, one of the heaviest pieces of gear left behind was the recording device, so this program will not be made publicly available.
No Show on (12/22/2003) due to WRUW transmitter problems
Episode 338: Clang, Clatter, and Crash (12/15/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 + Thursday Club) Screeching, looping, strumming, banging, plucking, blowing, bending, and screaming. These are the very instruments used by our guests, Thursday Club. Keyboards plugged into effect pedals, plugged into mixers, plugged into more pedals, more keyboards, more guitars, theremins, flash lights, strobe lights, CD players, FM radios, tape decks, more pedals, and cables, and flutes, and harmonicas, and electronics drums, and MORE pedals . . . and the Button played along with drum machines, effects boxes, police scanners, microphones, CD players, pitch benders . . . and MORE pedals!!! Redefining the re-defined definition of NoIsE, we did. Whether it was mellow, or loud, or slow, or fast, or long and deep, or short and high . . . it was pure structureless static, aimless distortion, and melodies turned into melodon'ts. No one ever took a break, or a breather, or rest, or a moment of contemplative thought, because there would have been a void left behind, and someone would have fallen in, and it would have been our fault for turning someone's paradigm into a paradon't. There was no pattern within the chaos, you meathead, and don't you understand . . . that's the CHALLENGE! It's hard to not make a point, which of course, was the point all along. Audiodada, radio gaga, and art for art's sake. Spicy sauce, man! We're talking XXX, and keep away from children and pets, don't touch anyone with that thing, use with caution, consult a physician before taking more than the recommended dosage, and wash your ears when you're finished listening. Warning: Contents might EXPLODE! don't.
Episode 337: Chosen Few (12/08/2003) (Glacial 23) A playback mix of various field recordings Glacial 23 made at the Sumthin' Fierce festival in Bloomington, IN where The Button happened to be performing that night. Many of the recordings were chock full of delicious experimentations with noise mixed with spectator chit chat and room ambiance. Of course, callers who wanted to make noises of their own were mixed in throughout the entire program. For those who asked yes indeed, a little bit of the Button's live set was played near the end of the last hour. Since this show mostly contained performances of artists other than ourselves, we aren't making it publicly available.
Episode 336: Creative Outpouring of Energy (12/01/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 + Beating Eric) For this entire program, The Button improvises never previously rehearsed "music" while our extremely talented special guest Beating Eric entertained the listeners with his gift of the spoken word . . . offering multitudes of clever poetry, insightful commentary, and surprisingly therapeutic conversations with the callers (some of whom were unprepared for Eric's ability to mix humor with tragedy.) Every hour the music changed, as did Eric's tone. Something you'll never be able to realize by listening to this, is that Eric switched seating positions regularly as well. He'd go from a chair, to the floor, to his knees, to his feet, and then back to the floor again. What this didn't do for sound, it did for perspective. His mannerisms (and The Button's music) would change accordingly. Eric's ability to remain entertaining (and energetic) for three hours is most admirable, and the Button's "music" was not a distraction, as it wasn't noisy or random, but structured, trance-inducing, and melodic; an ideal music bed for the complexity of Eric's stream-of-consciousness. The third hour was deeply moving and introspective, as Eric relates personal tragedies in his life to ease the pain of a caller's inner conflicts. Indeed, this is perhaps ones of our most unique programs. The change in format was refreshing . . . and rather captivating.
Episode 335: Conquering Indiana (11/24/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 & Widget + Evolution Control Committee) Mark Gunderson of the Evolution Control Committee joins us this week to discuss Ohio's potential military response to Indiana's recent acts of terrorism. Should we invade? Should the lives lost in the destruction of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (east building) be lost in vain? What about the Kurds residing in Bloomington? Or what of the Afghanistan refugees who fled to Pakistan, only to flee again to Terre Haute, IN? What are the connections between Osama Bin Laden and Joseph Kernan? Found out the answers (maybe) to these tough questions and more! Also featuring: dadaist video games! And . . . lyrics gone bad, with commentary provided by Grootnik P. Bargelights!
Episode 334: Colorless Copies of Rainbows (11/17/2003) (stAllio!, Dan Serkland, PranterShifter) Playback of various Recycled Rainbow 7 sets, in addition to Dan Serkland's special remix of his field recordings from RR5, and every man's remix of the "dada cassette tape" from the Recycled Rainbow bar.
If you missed this show but want to hear it, you can go to stAllio!'s site to obtain a copy of his RR7 set. However, you'll have to go through us to get in touch with Dan Serkland or PranterShifter, or if you're interested in hearing the Recycled Rainbow dada tape.
Episode 333: Contact Without Neglect (11/10/2003)
Radio Phonik) We once again pay homage to our dear friends
Matt the Prodman and Pimpdaddysupreme who do a very similar radio show
format in Tennessee. We started out with the WRP Recycled
Rainbow 7 set, then moved on to playing hour two of one of their
radio shows, which coincidentally followed them playing
the same set in their previous hour. The Press The
Button callers were interacting with their conversation as though it
was happening in real time, which made this quite a hilarious listening
experience. The WRP guys were playing back various clips from their
older radio shows, but only after giving them lengthy intros and occasionally
taking questions from their callers, which confused
our callers all the more. The third hour consisted of WRP metamixing various
Christmas instrumentals into a truly beautiful and endless symphony,
the likes of which we have never heard before. This is the
very reason we love these guys so much.
Episode 332: Cedarwheat (11/03/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 + The Weatherman & Richard Lyons) From their home in Seattle, Washington, Negativland founders David Wills (ie. The Weatherman) and Richard Lyons (known as Pastor Dick, Dick Vaughn, and many other aliases) joined us via a high quality internet connection for the entirety of our show. We mixed on top of them, and vice versa. While there was a audio small delay us, we can honestly say we achieved something very rare: content both 100% spontaneous and listenable! David performed with energy and enthusiasm reminiscent of his work with the Over The Edge radio shows done in the early 1980's when David and Richard were much more involved on a regular basis. David was acting as silly as ever while Richard clearly egged him on in the background, putting his dirty fingerprints on David's gear "don't touch that!", getting him nervous "there isn't any dog crap on the front walkway! You're lying to me!", and confusing him "WHAT? That doesn't make any sense at all! What are you talking about? Stop staring at me!" The caller input was more creative than ever, with alarm clock noises, old scratchy records, distorted keyboards, random number generating, and dadaist philosophy lectures. Add all this to various field recordings of David's cat Buddy snarling at a bumble bee while trying to eat his food, various PTB recordings of thunderstorms and wind, and every man on the mic yelling "I'm addicted to stain killers!", and you've got yourself some serious Cedarwheat.
Episode 331: Club Thursday (10/27/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 + Matt of Infinite Numbers of Sound) Mostly a playback show of collected works from Thursday Club, one of Cleveland's most innovative noise collectives. In the first hour, we played a collage of live and preproduced works, some of which we had dramatically altered just a couple hours before the show. The second hour was mostly playback of a live Thursday Club improv set. The final hour featured a full length CD they gave us (marked "session 22"), mixed with unrelated vocal commentary offered by special guest Matt Mansbach of the Infinite Numbers of Sound. All phone lines were active throughout the show, and we suspect at least one call came from the actual Thursday Club themselves, as their mix required a familiarity with the on-air source material. The caller's new sonic layers fit the existing ones in an extraordinary way. As it continued, the mix sounded less like a phone call, and more like an in-studio musician.
If you haven't downloaded the archive of this show from WRUW's website, then we ask that you contact the members of Thursday Club for a copy, as we neglected to record it ourselves.
Episode 330: Culmination of Noise (10/20/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 + WRP + stAllio! + Thursday Club + Connie McCue) An impressively large group of extremely sleep deprived sound sculptors got together at WRUW after a long weekend of surreal mind expanding activities, bearing a ton of electronic instruments in tow. One might consider this to a final tribute to the recent 48 hour euphoria that never officially ended. Lots of surprises here. While one might expect this to be an electronic noise festival, it turns out the majority of the show's cacophony originated from spoken word. It is already known that WRP's Pimpdaddysupreme and Matt the PM possess "the gift of the gab," but we also unexpectedly hear numerous verbal contributions from every man and Glacial 23, who even "rapped (as in hip hop rapping)" freestyle for several minutes! At one point, everyone started singing "Hair of the Dog" by Nazareth with barbershop quartet harmonies. As the show went on, the noise got more intense. We dislike using the word "noise" unless it's being used in the proper context. In this case, it truly is. "Noise" has recently been redefined by the Thursday Club (please make a note of it.) Ultimately, this evolved into the most thick, loud, dense, and noisy performance we've ever done, and we mean that in a good way! every man stripped himself of clothing, and Glacial 23 sang songs. Bonus: Our recording started 15 minutes before the show officially went on the air, including much humorous banter among the guests.
Episode 329: Consoles, Emulators, Arcades, and Virtual Reality (10/13/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 & Widget + Beating Eric + Infinite Numbers of Sound) For three hours straight, each of us took turns playing video games, piping the sounds through the mix, while projecting video of all this action on the large back wall of Studio A! Indeed, this was our very first ever attempt at an A/V format. Microphones were placed around each of us to pick up our emotional reactions as to how well or how badly we were doing. People called in playing us the sounds of their own video games, or they discussed their favorite games, sometimes going into emotional monologues of how disconnected video games have made them feel. A highlight was an 8 year old child who told us he didn't get the point of our show, but loved it because he recognized all the games we were playing. (He immediately recognized the sound of Galaga before we were 5 seconds into playing it!) Beating Eric told us a hilarious 15 minute long story of the very first experience he ever had playing the Atari 2600, which happened to be the first time he has ever seen any kind of video game. Samples of video game sound effects were played in a somewhat musical fashion on top of the already dense sound of five people playing video games simultaneously. The show ended on a highly distorted note with everyone laughing so hard that they couldn't continue speaking normally, reminding us to never ignore our inner child, while at the same time conveying how disconnected we can be . . . when we sit next to someone, staring at a screen, attempting to kill them. . . "virtually."
Episode 328: Cacophony of Poetry (10/6/2003) (every man & Glacial 23) From new poets to beat poets, we mix them all together into a super thick serving of spoken word sounds. For the most part, all of these poems are pieced together in 5 to 10 second fragments of one another, and each piece slowly segued into the next, so as to not give them the impression of being "cut and pasted" together. Instead of sounding harsh and unsettling, the transitions were smooth and natural. The idea here wasn't to focus on the poems themselves, but rather to focus on their sounds. The frequent segues never allow you to hear more than half a sentence at a time, so the best your brain can do is piece 3 words here with another 3 words there, until you forget about trying to understand their meaning. Instead, you get lost in their vibrations. The advanced preparation that had to be done for this program was extremely involved and complicated, but ultimately the live execution was nothing short of trance-inducing. The callers chimed in with their own poetry, and every so often would contribute a musical score to the spoken word. In fact, the final 10 minutes ended with a battle of virtual organs (we were slowly and methodically jiggling Philip Glass records as they played, while mixing in a caller who was pitch bending the sounds of organ sample possibly coming from a synth. It went on for several minutes, and was surprisingly more harmonic than disturbing.) This "battle" slowly fades away, as a poem fades in . . . uninterrupted . . . for the very first time in hours! Our brains snap back to reality from this weird sound we liked to call "normal."
Episode 327: Church Organs (9/29/2003) (every man & Glacial 23) A detailed cacophonic timeline documenting when "noise" was first cultivated into "music." We consider whether or not "noise is the opposite of music" or are they one in the same? If they are the same, then noise music (at least for western culture) dates back to the church organ in the 14th century. Its ability to imitate other instruments and natural sounds was the foundation of of something outside the typical, or should I say, "conditioned" system of western music. One might consider the church organ to be the first sampler! Romantic organ music took advantage of the organ's abilities to simulate natural sounds. The show discusses modern noise music, Italian futurism, the writings of Luigi Russolo, the environment of the modern city, and its traffic and factories (i.e. the world transformed by the machine.) We discuss Edgar Varèse' composition called "Ionization", which used drum sets and sirens in 1927. We discussed Russian futurists and noise "orchestras." We discuss John Cage's influence in the 1940's, as well as Pierre Henri and Karl Heinz Stockhausen extending the developments of the futurists. We make sure to cover the dadaists, surrealists, and their contributions to the electronic realm with the help of the tape recorder and vocoder, machines originally built for military purposes. Much is said of Japanese noise artists, such as Merzbow, as well as minimalist "noise" artists from the 1960's and 1970's, such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass. We conclude with examples of modern "sampling artists," such as the Chemical Brothers, Crystal Method, Moby, and KLF.
Episode 326: Couple of Hits Every Hour (9/22/2003)
(every man & Glacial 23) The thematic
challenge this week was to take a conventional instrument and play it
in unique ways (ie. not as intended), with allowances for processing,
post-processing, and layering. Every other piece here was performed
by either every man or Glacial 23. Instruments we used: kettles, an
electric guitar, an acoustic bass guitar, a saxophone, a tin whistle,
a home-made didgeridoo, and a harmonica. The results were extremely
psychedelic. The most time consuming piece was one that deconstructed
an improvisational jazz set that used a bass guitar and sax. The piece
was originally 58 minutes long, but was cut up into 423 seven second
segments, played back in a random order with cross-fades almost as long
as the segments themselves, and randomly post-processed. The final composition
took over 20 hours of advanced preparation, and though this entire show
easily had 3 times that amount among both every man and Glacial 23.
Each hour of the show contained two unrelated 30 minute long compostions.
Caller input was incredibly fitting this week as most understood what
was going on, and managed to transparently blend into the mix. This
is probably one of our top ten best sounding shows ever to this date!
Episode 324: Cleveland Heights in Concert (9/8/2003) (every man & Glacial 23) One day prior to this program, we were asked to perform in between all of the sets by the scheduled stage bands at WRUW's 2003 Studio-A-Rama (an annual outdoor concert held for free, paid for by listener's donations.) There were quite a few bands playing, so we had to prepare an enormous amount of material for this, much of which we're happy to say was well received. However, we recorded none of it. In lieu of that fact, in addition to being asked several times "can I have a recording of your sets at Studio-A-Rama?", we decided to perform (and record) the same sets again during our radio show. We played several bootlegs/mashups/cutups in between several spliced up segments of programming from WTAM (our local owned-by-Clear-Channel talk radio affiliate, who went out of their way to call us and demand we stop it.) Since a lot of this material was meant to air during the daylight hours for a more conventional crowd than the usual PTB listener base, much of this material is more beat-oriented, poppy, catchy, witty, and humorous than the usual sound-scape we deal with. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but we don't wish to mislead you into thinking the entire performance was collage based. You'll hear rapping on top of AC/DC guitar riffs, and the Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive" vocals overlaying the bass line of Michael Jackon's "Billy Jean." Hardly a typical PTB show.
Episode 323: Collision Course of Collage (9/1/2003)
(Glacial 23) This show consisted of two
parts: Part 1: A continuation of the previous week, which also included
a manipulated (well, okay, overdubbed) version of
Episode 322: Calling All Glacials (8/25/2003) (Glacial
23) The first hour opened with a revamped, reversed and resequenced
version of the Data Field manufactured for the previous week. This was
followed by something called Time Dilation I, which hopefully either
resulted in actual time dilation, or at least missing time experiences.
Episode 321: Conduits You Can Taste (8/18/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 & Hetmana) A first attempt in making the "Data Fields" project come to fruition. Says every man: "The idea behind Data fields is to take over where Environments (the record series that began in 1970 and disappeared sometime in the mid-1980's) left off, and take it to new extremes in hopes of liberating the mind's eye." These are lengthy field recordings that could be used for meditative/transcendental purposes, with a good deal of creative mastering and post-production. While the presence of said post-production may be obvious, it doesn't detract from the purity of the original source material. Instead, it acts as an enhancement, acknowledges its beauty, and creates a unique head space for the listener. Avoiding the "nature with a music soundtrack" genre that was well established by most New Age artists between 1985 & 1995, we let the recordings be the conductors, and played the notes they told us to play. There was no added "music," so to speak. There were just a few alterations (or selected combinations of them) that made for an entirely unique listening experience that takes the listener's mind to never explored territories. Glacial 23, every man, and Hetmana each pre-produced their own hour long Data Fields project without ever consulting with one another during the week. We were happy to find they all had completely original approaches, themes, and executions. Glacial 23 creatively manipulated wind chimes, water fountains, bees, and various bird songs. every man took a recording from the base of an oak tree, split it into over 7,000 pieces, reassembled them randomly, reversed several choice sections, and played many of these fragments back into the mix from his sampler-keyboard. Hetmana took several recordings she made in Germany (like trains, chatter, street cars, neighborhood ambiance) and mixed them into a collage of chaos. She manipulated a few deep bass reverberations into lulling rhythm sections that were quite reminiscent of her recent Cat Dreams composition. Note: These recordings were produced during the week of the famous Blackout of 2003.
Episode 320: Caverns of Unnatural Metamorphosis (8/11/2003) (every man & Glacial 23) This program was an experimental attempt to compose real music exclusively from the sounds of nature. This is not to say we didn't digitally alter the source material, as doing so was a must to create a structured environment for sequenced rhythms, melodies, and harmonies. To achieve this, we used samplers, keyboards, computers, effects boxes, turntables, and CD players with heavy pitch control. The end result were these 5 mostly improvised compositions which played on for three hours of our show. A cat's purr becomes a drumming earthquake. A bird's chirp becomes a swinging wind chime. A whale's cry becomes an orchestra's horn section. A loon's call turns into a chorus of clarinets. Your ears get drawn in and out of various sonic caverns of unnatural metamorphosis. This entire program was recorded "live" earlier in the week, with minor post-production adjustments.
Episode 319: Closer to Quahogs (8/4/2003) (mostly
pre-recorded) Due to stereo broadcasting issues WRUW has been having
lately, we decided to play some music that listeners could download
later to listen to properly, and at the same time, use this opportunity
to plug a couple good friends of ours (and perhaps even educate them
on some new music movements and terminology.)
In the third hour we proceeded to play some of the same type of music made by Stark Effect. Though Stark Effect didn't invent the concept itself, he is certainly one of the biggest movers if there ever was a mashup "movement." He also is renowned for making music out of "mic-in-tracks," which are recorded bits of personal audio found on file sharing networks, often being shared unintentionally. (The recording software these people use is naming their files "mic-in-track" by default, if they don't pick one themselves.)
Many "mic-in-tracks" are made by people testing their computer microphones, or playing an instrument, or just plain goofing off. Basically, it's like buying a used blank tape at a thrift store, only to find there are home recordings on it. The ethics of sampling these recordings remains in question. Sampling widely distributed art work is one thing, but what of sampling that which was never meant to be shared? The urge to do it is irresistible, and what Stark Effect does with these things never falls short of flattering. Of course, our rant here is purely subjective and you should listen and decide for yourself.
This show won't be for sale.
Episode 318: Can't Stop the NAGGING! (7/28/2003) (every man) A solo improv performance by every man. The audio tools he used were two computers hooked up to the internet, both equipped with NAG (software written by Jason Freeman.) NAG connects itself to file sharing networks and will create audio collage pieces based on specified keywords and preferences set by the performer using the software. It was recently written up in the New York Times for its amazing ability to become its own instrument. It gets into the head of the performer, and takes whatever keywords he or she is thinking of at the time, searches for them, and includes its findings in the performance. Whether the end result is interesting or not is determined by the creativity of the performer. In this case, every man kept slowly changing genres of the search terms throughout the entire show, trying hard to avoid any accidentally unwanted results that would certainly disturb the listener's head space. It went from environmental to sound effects, from opera to piano concertos, from ELO to Chicago, from Tommy Dorsey to Charlie Parker, from Beach Boys to Beatles, from Bob Dylan to Carly Simon, from Dean Martin to Al Martino, and from sitars back to natural sounds. With two computers doing this at the same time, the mix was quiet busy indeed, though never too thick to stomach. A listener wrote us: "tonight's show was ideal background music for studying. Somehow the constantly changing complex mixture of cuts and loops kept my brain engaged on my rather equally complicated reading assignment. For that, I thank you!"
Episode 317: Culminating to a Different Plain II (7/21/2003) (mostly pre-recorded Recycled Rainbow material) Played back some more highlights from Recycled Rainbow 5 & 6, including the sets performed by stAllio!, Quahogs (including his fill-in set for an artist that couldn't make it that night), an edited version of the never-before-heard Open Mic session from Recycled Rainbow 5, and the debut performance by Dirtgoddess and Widget (one of the most impressive sets of the night.) Lots of callers layered on top of the Quahogs sets, and at some point, we started talking to them in extremely juvenile ways. (I'm not sure if we should have done that, but the lo-fi field recording of the Quahogs set demanded a little extra cayenne pepper.) This show isn't for sale, so please contact the artists if interested in their performances.
Episode 316: Culminating to a Different Plain (7/14/2003) (mostly pre-recorded Recycled Rainbow material) Played back some highlights from Recycled Rainbow 6, including the sets performed by Bobby Vomit, Varian Shepherd, and Being Generic. We also played some music composed by artists who couldn't make it to the event (like soporific rum star by The Former Yugoslavia, a tribute to Brian Eno's "ambient" catalog), and some music thrown together by artists at the event! (like 669's 2nd Independence, written by The Button and stAllio!) This show isn't for sale, so please contact the artists if interested in their performances.
Episode 315: Comedy From a Tragedy (7/7/2003) (every man/Glacial 23/Recycled Crayon/Hetmana/Widget + stAllio!)
Suffering from a weekend of heat, sweat, humidity, no air conditioning,
and a blown power supply in every man's audio gear directly caused by
all three of those Midwestern summer curses, we decided to have ourselves
an on-air celebration . . . in a studio that was also hot, sweaty, humid,
with no air conditioning, and with six of us (all of us were
sleep deprived, and one of us was suffering from an allergy attack!)
The Button took over for the next hour with a tightly structured beta-performance of their new composition "Chess Pieces," which compares games with reality. Not much more can be said about it, as it is still a work-in-progress, but we were indeed mostly pleased with its results.
The final hour was a pre-recorded improv session every man performed earlier in the week on Radio Freedom during his internet-only radio show, The Pancultural Medium. The hour was at first mind numbing -- then worked its way to relaxing natural sounds, progressing to frighteningly unnatural sounds, which finally ended in an unforgettably dreamy conclusion.
Episode 313: Colonizing the Desert (6/23/2003) (every man/Glacial 23/Recycled Crayon/Widget/Hetmana) An overview of oil, its history, and its value to the consumers of the United States of America, and to the governments of many eastern countries where the bulk of it has been discovered. We observe Saudi Arabia becoming Americanized by powerful leaders in the United States oil industry, while Martians visit our planet to find that "competition" is the key factor that booms the economical status of oil futures. A brief history lesson teaches us how oil can make a country self-sufficient by supplying their own oil and profiting from exports. Old grade-school documentaries and modern audio news magazines tell us all the things that use oil other than cars, as well as the growth of employment in the oil industry (and its geometric boom in investment and availability for the past century.) Every so often we hear a bone chilling voice tell us, "No, we'll never run out of oil." All the performers were passionate about the subject matter, and while that was evident, this program never preached or patronized. It was like a giant sonic mirror being held above the Earth, so we can all hear what it looks like. In fact, the show had many fun elements, especially its music. Glacial 23 and Hetmana offered outstandingly creative sound beds for this rather complicated theme. We also had some callers discuss the advantages and disadvantages of diesel vs. unleaded fuel.
Episode 312: Cultivating Evil (6/16/2003) (every man & Glacial 23) Coinciding with a Friday the 13th weekend, this show explores Satanism, witchcraft, weapons of mass destruction, road rage, terrorism, diseases, unlucky numbers, horror movies, backwards masking, and of course, "evil." In fact, this show was so evil it plagued us with the stomach flu, soar throats, long lines at the grocery store while trying to buy cough drops, malfunctioning TELOS systems that took nearly an hour to fix, corrupted sound card drivers, masturbating phone callers, dangerously humid production studios, inaudible source material, many wrong buttons pressed, and forgotten gear left at home. Truly evil (I blame this on the fact that Glacial 23 brought the actual "Book of Evil.") It had some good moments, too, which mostly covered up for our losses. A half hour of spooky sound effects made on the fly comes to mind. In that particular section, we sounded like an old fashioned "organ" even though that wasn't our intention. Listening to it afterwards, we found it rather alluring. Also, there were 24 layers of documentaries about "evil" turning into a dance-floor tune near the end of the show. That wasn't so much evil as it was "fun." Will attempt this theme again at a later date.
Episode 311: Chandelier Collective (6/9/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 & Hetmana) A quiet seed is planted in fertilized soil. Soon, it grows into an impressively large tree with countless branches. Like long powerful arms, they grab onto all the other trees within their grasp, allowing their owner to become one with its surrounding. It bears fruit of many colors which it shares with anyone who desires its tempting offer. The sun shines a ray of light through the tree's branches that emphasize their various fruits, which now seem to light up the earth like an enormous chandelier. Its diversity of color looks as beautiful as it sounds . . . as well as its sounds. A strong wind occasionally blows by making the branches slowly sway. Some fruit will drop down, ripe for eating. They regularly get replaced with more organic treasures. Some are even bigger than before. Some are smaller, but always bearing equal magnificence in sight, smell, taste, feel, and sound. It inspired us to compose this three hour laudation to the Chandelier Collective. This is everything we heard. (for fans of The Orb)
Worthy of note: Despite falling asleep at the end of the second hour, Hetmana kept playing her old analog synthesizer until we woke her up 10 minutes later! Her eyes were closed, you could hear her snoring, but her fingers wouldn't stop moving over the keys. You've just got to hear this one.
Episode 310: Courses of Golf (6/2/2003) (every man & Glacial 23) A dreamy dedication to the swinging of clubs, the chirping of birds, the footsteps on freshly mowed grass, the subtle applause of an on looking crowd, and the sound of a tightly wound rubber ball with a plastic shell being successfully putted into a hole. Mixed within are instructional Golf videos for senior citizens, interviews with famous Golfers, Golf humor, Various announcers from the Golf Channel offering their commentary, and historical documentaries. In addition to being packed with all sorts of Golf goodness, this program contains some fantastic musical collaborations between Glacial 23 and every man, as they improvised the game's score. The last half hour gets particularly dense with multiple layers of commentators discussing the game, many of which seem to swirl around your head. Overall, this was an excellent combination of spoken word sampling and musical composition.
Roaring engines, blowing fans, spinning blades, pounding jackhammers, clicking teletypewriters, ringing cash registers, busy photocopiers, booting hard drives, and clanging pinball machines are just a few of the mechanical wonders sampled and layered within this three hour psychedelic tribute to "the machine." The unusual combination of studio trickery with mundane urban noises took our ears places they've never been. Following any one given sound is an impossible task, as it runs away into your other ear, back and forth, back and forth, until it loses you because you can't understand why the pitch of the microwave oven is bending phenomenally high, or why someone is using 5 blenders in their kitchen simultaneously, or why the sound of the amplifier in WRUW's Studio B makes a sound that goes in and out of phase in no predictable manner. Then everything turns interactive, as our callers let us hear the sounds of some of their own home machinery, while other first time callers can't figure out why their voices are on the air: "Before I hang up, I just gotta say that this has been the most bizarre conversation I have had with anyone in my entire life . . . and I'm not even sure I'm having one in the first place." <she disconnects her phone as the sound of a screeching diamond drill bids her farewell.>
Episode 308: Chimerical Goals in Television Broadcasting
(5/19/2003) (every man & Glacial 23
+ Infinite Numbers of Sound)
Special guests David Mansbach and Brent Gummow (of the Infinite
Numbers of Sound) joined us this week in creating a sonic collage
based on the theme of television, which proved to be both entertaining
and educational. Started out covering Television's history, moving on
to combining famous TV themes with the bland dialogue in daytime soap
operas, and finishing off with several thousand snippets of today's
typical bombardment of flashy commercials, movie trailers, entertainment
news, and short-attention-span war coverage.
Episode 307: Chemically Charged Earth (5/12/2003) (Recycled Crayon & Hetmana & Widget) In celebration of earth day, we explored how nature works, and the impact humans are having on the earth. The climate is being altered by pollutants being released into the ground, water and air from farming, chemical dumping, land waste, garbage disposal, the use of herbicides and insecticides, nuclear power, oil drilling, coal burning, CFC's and many other toxins being used everyday. Water and land are being polluted by acid rain and chemical run off. Forests are being changed due to changes in the climate and from human activity. Glaciers are melting and providing a formidable case for the cause of global warming, but whether that is a direct result of humans, a natural cycle of the earth, or a combination of both is yet to be determined. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods all serve as mother nature's warning that we humans are hardly in control of our environment. Mixed within were the sounds of ants and worms crawling underground, crashing thunder, pouring rain, and the voices of various animals. If the pollution and disregard for the environment continues at this rate, will we still be able to hear those sounds 100 years from now? Or will it all be silent? What are you leaving behind for the future generations?
Episode 306: Calculate the Minimum SWR (5/5/2003) (every man & Glacial 23 + Recycled Crayon & Widget) The four of us gave life to the detritus often found in thrift stores, dumpsters, or library sales. This sound heard here is the audio equivalent to a restored bookshelf, or a shiny dinosaur bone, perhaps. From tapes of a college student's psychology class, a family gathering on Christmas morning, someone's piano and singing lessons, someone flipping through the dial on their AM radio, a child playing with his first tape recorder, and a data storage tape for a TI 80 computer . . . we made a collage of their pieces and parts. We glossed them up with improvisational guitars, processors, keyboards, effects pedals, electronic drums, virtual synthesizers, and interactive phone callers (who particularly enjoyed us opening our Christmas presents along with the family on the tape. For awhile, they couldn't tell us apart.) Glacial 23 finished off the program metamixing "The Sounds of Yoga," hosted by WRUW's very own Laura Santoro. Definitely a good show for those who enjoy their loud bursts of noise in small doses, as the program's content was a consistently dynamic psychedelic trip.
Episode 305: Calming Discordia (4/28/2003) (every man & Glacial 23) A first in a series of soundscapes making an attempt to cultivate an environment more suitable for both listening and interacting. While avoiding the sometimes cacophonic format that can often be too attention demanding to compel one's desire to interact, we also made sure to keep the "minimalism" to a minimalism, such that there exists enough layers of sound to remain listenable, but not enough to detour one from adding another. Experimenting with an already experimental experiment. The second hour, for example, was composed from one piano key, looped, pitch bent differently in each channel, and layered several times to create the effect of "piano discord." Add some caller interaction, read a few essays on piano experimentation in the late 1800's, sing some songs, listen to lectures about controlling your stress level, shudder at the sound of creepy demonic voices, and you've got it. I'm afraid no one remembers the third hour, so we'll have to buy the show and listen again.
Episode 304: Channeling Virginia (4/21/2003) (sort of a playback program) Three hours of our chopping, sampling, bending & blending, mixing & remixing the remixes of Dan Serkland. Dan is a Virginian artist who has previously remixed our own work countless times and recently sent us the results. This week, we decided to say "thank you." Interested in hearing more from one of the most prolific audio collage artists in the 21st century? Email Dan, and tell him you're interested in hearing SOUNDWORK.
Episode 303: Counting Clams With The Former Yugoslavia (4/14/2003) (playback program) Featured more material from our "dadaist tape recorder", a clever DJ set from our friend Quahogs (who beatmatched techno with the Iron Butterfly), a religious-esque performance from the Nagoya Math Journal, and noisy circuit bending from The Former Yugoslavia.
Episode 302: Cashing In - Telethon 2003 (4/7/2003) (playback program) Played back a variety of old PTB's and album tracks, offering them up as premiums to those who donate on behalf of WRUW.
Episode 301: Crunch! (3/30/2003) (playback program) Expecting WRUW's "Studio C" to still not be functional, we didn't have enough thematic material prepared this week for a proper show. However, we did another artist spotlight program to keep things interesting, this time focusing on various works from the band Animals Within Animals (AWIA), and their founder, stAllio! We started things off with another George W. Bush cutup, and some indirect collage criticism on the war in Iraq. We then present 45 minutes of a live-cutup-collage-mix stAllio! made from the television series "24." In the second hour, we played AWIA's live performance at Recycled Rainbow 5, which was a constant random volley of distortion, sound effects, a little bit of dark ambience, and spoken word samples (it sounds best when turned up as loud as possible.) In the third hour, we randomly shuffled through tracks on stAllio's new solo album "Maura's Milk Chocolate Bath," and the first AWIA album (released in 1999) entitled "Yard Ape." The DJ on after us showed up late, so we kept this up for quite awhile longer, eventually digging into another album, The Confines of Flesh, from a different AWIA solo artist, Dr. Butcher M.D. The sound of AWIA is a bit difficult to pin down. They are generally more . . . um, "musical" and less message based. They tend to be noisy, but in a creative way. No two songs sound alike, and they are very sample-heavy. They play a lot of rare-find found sound in their work, while they also deconstruct and obliterate other types of sound to unrecognizable forms, making them into far more interesting works of art, in our opinion. stAllio!'s solo album mentioned above is extremely sample-heavy, far less noisy, and far more humorous. Much of it is catchy, and a lot of it contains extremely recognizable samples from various Top 40 hip hop/rap/pop songs. Instead of relying on the original melodies to become the memorable aspects of his work, he'd prefer to make fun of them, and replaces parts of refrains and versus with lyrics from other songs, often making them silly, and exhibiting the predictable dullness of pop music that we are often too blind to pay attention to. It's quite attention demanding, but worth the effort. Dr. Butcher M.D.'s record, on the other hand, cranks out a lot of fun noise, very few spoken word samples, and is filled with an unpredictable dynamic range that will keep you wanting to know what's next throughout the entire CD. Like last week, very little of this show was any of our own material, so we're not selling it. However, if you'd like to obtain any of these works you heard on the air, or reading about them intrigues you, contact stAllio! and let him know!
Episode 300: Colorful Sounds of Silence Syndrome (3/23/2003) (playback program) WRUW's "Studio C" was currently nonfunctional, so we had to do a press-play show without taking any callers. Each hour started out with a George W. Bush cutup piece, taken from various "Address to the Nation" speeches. With permission from the artist, this week we presented three lengthy (nearly an hour long) selections from Varian Shepherd (Silence Syndrome.) Varian's music, at least in terms of the selections we picked, can be best described as extremely minimalist and introspective. Always looking to create unique listening atmospheres, Varian has recently been attempting to create new sounds, as in, sounds that have never been heard before. We feel he has been succeeding. The first two selections played were different versions his new composition, "Something Beautiful." It should be noted that each piece is about 12 minutes longer, but due to the time restrictions of our broadcast we had to trim them down. The final hour was audio from his critically acclaimed performance at Recycled Rainbow 5. We aren't selling this program, though you can obtain these works (which we highly recommend) through Varian himself (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please tell him we sent you.
Episode 299: Come to Cleveland (3/16/2003) (Full Staffed with WRP, Quahogs, The Former Yugoslavia, Dirt Goddess, Connie McCue, Your Girlfriend, Nagoya Math Journal and "Widget") Post Recycled Rainbow 5.0 explorations with post-religious interpretation. As always, the first 25 minutes of the program was an exercise in studio recreation. WRP, TFY and Quahogs rebuilt the studio to the satisfaction. Matt the PM was amused by every man's confusion to why the right channel was 6 db lower than the left. TFY performed live data bending whilst feeding massive signal to the WRUW Optimod. Members of the Nagoya Math Journal fed 1.5 volts DC to Pimpdaddysupreme's upholstered kiddy-board much to his dismay. Quahogs enlightened the audience with various readings from assorted tracts. WRP managed to steal the buzzer from "The Family Feud" and every answer during the last 30 minutes was responded with that Dawsonesque "Ehz Ehz...try again" quip. This was the first simulcast of a post Recycled Rainbow show on AM radio (1610 kHz to be exact). Full coverage signal to our friends in Cleveland Heights. One of the most noisy shows in Press The Button history.
Episode 298: Carson's Commentary (3/9/2003) (Full Staffed) A recontextualized critique of the Last Call with Carson Daly show, featured nightly on NBC. Very dense with samples, lots of talking, plenty of humor, and no shortage of calls (one of them got in trouble by his father for making too much noise on the phone.) We hoped the irony of the show's critique would come across to those who are aware that one of his other shows, Carson Daly Most Requested (owned and dictated by Clear Channel), is tailored to local markets by counting down (live) the top ten most requested songs in each one . . . simultaneously! How? Clear Channel created a Carson Daly voice database utilized by audio technicians who construct his intros and background by assembling voice snippets, creating a completely fabricated local Top Ten list. This is done with the hopes of fulfilling a contractual obligation to provide actual local content to each Clear Channel owned station, and making us feel as though Carson Daly cares enough about each individual city to record a separate top ten list for every single one of them. Of course, now you know this is a lie, and that he doesn't really care. Would you expect anything less from a man who is lovingly (financially) embraced by MTV, NBC, Clear Channel, and the E! channel? Would you expect anything less from the first human being to be manipulated . . . not just by cash, but by computer console? Or perhaps we should be asking, would you expect anything less from a robot? It's last call, ladies and gentlemen, and the drinks are on us. May I make a toast? Here's to going to college, paid for by a golf scholarship, and then dropping out after one year. Here's to loving (and leaving) Love Hewitt. Here's to tearing apart Tara Reid's heart. Drink up, Carson. Cheers. Go back to your hard work. Later.
Episode 297: Cycleacoustic (3/2/2003) (Full Staffed) In our many nefarious preparations for an upcoming live performance at Recycled Rainbow 5, we have been wasting perfectly good airtime practicing. We were well armed for the battle, though in Glacial 23's case, he was a little "under-armed", since he had brought more synthesizers and beat boxes than he had hands. Much listenable noise ensued. We would make an attempt along one front line of noise, carefully blending sounds together, rhythms would arise, every man scatted in complicated patterns, and the entire sound scape usually culminated in the subtle appearance of some pirated commercial. The sounds would fade, and the whole process would start again. Over and over, attempting every different combination of sounds we could think of. Some light. Some dark. Some rigid. Some decidedly arrhythmic. In the final hour we mixed in a prerecorded interview with Rex Hamilton, known for starting up the first haunted house in China. He's extremely captivating, has a black sense of humor, and is just such a generally unusual-sounding fellow that we had to invite him to our party. Our lengthy discussion was held in front of a roaring fire of disturbing music and sounds. With St. Patrick's day "marching" its parade nearby, a highbrow irrelevant discussion was, to us, the best way to pay our homage to the holiday.
Episode 296: Conception of Nine (2/24/2003) (Full Staffed) Conception, the beginning, three Song Poems. A song-poem is a set of lyrics to a single song. Song-poem music is that which results when these lyrics, submitted by readers of ads asking for such things, are set to music by studio producers. Despite their inherently prostituted origins, these finished song-poems can be quite intriguing, usually by being so inept in all directions as to defy belief. We go from this to a heavily contrasting talk show "Things that Piss Me Off." We then compose a work which gradually gets more transformative from beginning to end, "Lucid Listening." The first half of this composition slowly deconstructs easy listening with light classical. The second half presents a collage sounds from an eclectic man's apartment, who listens to an intermediate level Italian instruction tape, reggae, and Polish news at the same time while he makes something mysterious in the kitchen. Before we get a chance to find out what it is, we get interrupted by dentist office versions of songs by Guns 'n Roses, Metallica, and the Spice Girls, while callers sing new improvised lyrics (karaoke-style.) This leads to another extremely interactive talk show claiming to appear on "The Clicky Pen Channel." Hundreds of pens get described, and they all click and twist into a thunderous climax which ends in silence. Filling the void, we hear the sound of a car starting up and driving away . . . six of them? Your mind plays evil tricks on you if you listen to closely to the next half hour while layers of soft rumbling sound float around your head, as though you were simultaneously sitting in a half dozen unique cars all driving in different directions at different speeds. Mixed within are callers quietly playing sound effects and instruments over the phone. Then . . . snap back to reality with an odd mid-1970's documentary about circuit breakers (that appears to have been started from the middle, and appropriately never concludes.) It hits you hard in the head with an extremely brief but carefully selected hip-hop snippet interjected near the end. We conclude this program playing an interactive guessing game, called "Dictators or Sitcom Characters."
Episode 295: Careening across the sky, they called it the Hurricane (2/17/2003) (Full Staffed) Or was is a woodchuck? Every year the small town of Punxatawney, Pennsylvania is invaded by 80's-rock-listening, spliff-swapping rowdies [you can almost hear the mullets] intent on riding in schoolbuses and cheering on a large rodent. Our man, Dr. Asbestos was there field recording, for reasons that he explained to no one, and ultimately distilled the madness down to a fine stream. It ultimately discumburgulated into streaks of electronic sounds created in sequence and finely minced. Hour two of this adventure leaped to the fore with the new score for the haunting mental permutations that falls under the Thunderbunnies flag as "The Battle of Britain + 7". New to our listeners is this, the 22nd Century Mix, which hints at the unmeasured violence of the original, looking at it through the dimmed glass of gunsight cameras, digitally expanded and rendered back to life as a holographic theatre' de tete, microcosmic and rich in detail. Produced in two recording studios (half at WRUW, half at Transmit-O-Matic) this newest and deepest rendition of the quasi-ambient original crept into our listeners' minds in ways that don't usually happen; germinating in hours-long accompaniment by guitar and other instruments. The final hour was the most appropriate come-down anthem we could possibly ask for, as it was written and performed by a deaf cat using a computer, and later mixed down and masted by every man. The show was laden with callers playing keyboards and guitars over the telephone, two of which stuck on the line for an entire 90 minute stretch. After the show, one of our fans emailed us a poem they wrote while listening to the last hour, and we found it so fitting we decided to post it here:
By Lee Jared Korchak
Episode 294: Common Carrier (2/10/2003): (Full Staffed) After having spent years training our callers to not say "hello" or to hit the various annoying tones on their touch-tone telephones, we made a serious exception this week by encouraging as much of the cacophonic behavior our callers could possibly muster . . . for tonight, our theme was specifically about telephones, and all the good (and evil) they bring us. As you can imagine, our lines were filled from beginning to end (David Wills from Negativland shows unprecedented eagerness to include the word "telephucker" in all his calls.) Amidst their noisy dialing, chattering, and sampling, every man mixed in the biography of Alexander Graham Bell, a lesson in proper telephone etiquette, weird voice mail calls, the history of the telephone and telegraph, information as to how phones get connected around your neighborhood, interesting telephone commercials from 1970, an explanation of how phones produce sound, and helpful hints for telemarketers. Paul Ryan made some telephones of his own using several cups & tin cans and string. He taped one end to his microphone, while he walked around the studio talking through the other end. In the spirit of telephone history, we replaced one of our telephones with a 1960's style rotary phone. We made significant efforts to live-mic the phone while it rang, and often picked up the receiver and dialed it over the air. Dr. Asbestos mixed in an impressively large collection of telephone songs, deconstructed telephone sound effects, and landscaped any possible dull moments with his old school analog synths. At one point in the show, all three of us called in ourselves to start a silly babble session just so we could bring you more of that 8 kHz telephone fidelity. This one was certainly chatter heavy, but that just fits the nature of the theme.
Episode 293: Coral (2/03/2003): (Full Staffed) This show should not be entirely explained, but we can provide at least some interesting information. It featured The Button's efforts to paint an audio portrait using the colors of every radio program that aired on WRUW the previous day. All but the last 30 minutes were filled with callers, including several 5 second witticisms from our good friend David Wills (of Negativland fame.) This one is also archived, and the performers were fully aware of this. Other than that, all we can tell you is the word "Coral."
Episode 292: Chartreuse (1/27/2003): (Full Staffed) This show should not be explained. All we can tell you is the word "Chartreuse." However, this one is archived. It was being recorded unannounced, providing more candid artistic expression. Worthy of note: The final hour included some telephone interjection from Negativland's David Wills, and a first time listener who thought he didn't finish dialing our number and kept asking someone in his room for assistance.
Episode 291: Cerulean (1/20/2003): (Full Staffed) This show should not be explained. All we can tell you is the word "Cerulean." It is not archived for it was important that the performers psychologically knew their art would appear only once, then disappear forever.
Episode 290: Cerise (1/13/2003): (Full Staffed) This show should not be explained. All we can tell you is the word "Cerise." It is not archived for it was important that the performers psychologically knew their art would appear only once, then disappear forever.
Episode 289: Cyan (1/6/2003): (Full Staffed) This show should not be explained. All we can tell you is the word "Cyan." It is not archived for it was important that the performers psychologically knew their art would appear only once, then disappear forever.