Monday, 22 May 2017

Tomorrow night: 23 May

Hello...

Tomorrow night, here in Brisbane we will have Chris Corsano in solo mode, with myself and Tony Irving in duo form (LIKE THIS) warming up. 7:30PM.

At THE JUNK BAR, Waterworks Rd, Ashgrove 

Tickets pre-sale are available through OZTIX

They will be available for $25 on the door for workers and $15 for concessions.

See you there.


Friday, 5 May 2017

23 May

23 MAY

Chris Corsano is visiting Australia starting with a gig 23 MAY at

THE JUNK BAR

Ashgrove

BRISBANE

with myself and Tony Irving warming up the night

7:30pm

tickets at door and pre-purchase via OzTix 

DO NOT MISS IT.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

School of Underground Scrape Part 5

This is largely referring to the Quebecois constellation that features killer fiddle instrumentalism of great interest to anyone wishing to take part in strung resistance.

Black Ox Orkestar - Ver Tanzt
This is by no means a fiddle heavy album, but when the fiddle is in - it is HEAVY. There are some fantastically harsh, down-trodden Yiddish violin sounds in here, a cry from a culture and language that was almost eradicated by the horrors of WWII. Indeed, from my understanding, the revival of Yiddish culture is part of Black Ox Orkestar's M.O. Heart-rending punk klezmer from various Godspeed!, Thee Silver Mount Zion etc, associated Qubecers. Get your ears around it ASAP.

HangedUp & Tony Conrad - Transit of Venus
Duo of violist Genevieve Heidek and drummer percussion slapper Eric Craven who has laid his skin bashing to music by Silver Mount Zion et al. Hangedup are great, Tony Conrad was great, that makes for a fantastic combo which Transit of Venus definitely reflects. Literally sounding like interplanetary transit, including the slow pace, this droneathon is useful for shaking off psychic plaque (yes I know I sound like Julian Cope there..GOOD!) and drowning in cosmic sorrow/joy/ecstasy/oblivion. Listen at maximum volume. 

Godspeed You! Black Emperors - whatever, just the vibe of the early stuff
I've actually listened to very little Godspeed (some out there wouldn't believe that, if anyone cares that is, but it's true) but the early albums full of epic string scrape and long pieces swelling with power and melancholy are fantastic, and no doubt the most recent ones are also great. They don't need my attention. So this is all they get.

Thee Silver Mount Zion Band - various releases
Silver Mount Zion has received a bit more of my attention and much of their work and various offshoots are truly great. Albums like He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light... are full of swirling strings and dark epic sounds that take you deep into open rock spaces. Beautiful music and a great example of house some revolutionary strings can squat in the heavy rock combo and bring the beauty of Anarchy up an extra notch. Essential listening.




Tuesday, 28 February 2017

School of Underground Scrape Part 4 - Proto-Scrapers

Heinrich Ignaz von Biber - Various recordings but I can recommend Reinhard Goebel's interpretations of the Rosenkranz Sonaten (Rosary Sonatas) on Harmonia Mundi as a good start.

The original and the best Biber, this 17th century violin virtuoso smashed many of the conventions of the time, making use of harsh-yet-descriptive polytonality (La Battalia is the prime example and I've had the good fortune of playing it with a suitable rag-tag collection of musicians at a series of gigs once held in the former Brisbane Anarchist headquarters of Ahimsa House) and peasant musics in the Austro-Hungarian courts. For the sake of my, as Henry Flynt once dubbed it, "agenda", I chose the scordatura - meaning mistuning or purposeful mistuning more correctly - works such as the Rosenkranz Sonaten which flashing forward to the 1960s so heavily inspired the drone-scrape of the mighty dearly departed Tony Conrad. These mistunings involved tuning the violin's strings away from the conventional GDAE tuning to various more open and resonant tunings allowing for greater resonance and new moods and vibes within the pieces. On a more technical note they made consecutive octave playing and other technical matters that weren't down pat in the violin technique at the time to be achieved with greater ease. Further, these tunings held symbolic significance in line with the Baroque era's obsession with gesture. For instance, in one movement of the deeply spiritual - obviously - Rosary Sonatas, Biber asks the violinist to not only downtune the strings, but also to cross the middle strings over each other, creating a symbolic cross behind the strings in remembrance of the passion - the crucifixion of Christ for those of you like myself who aren't religious/weren't raised Catholic - and the pain associated with it. Add to this the fact that the score is for solo violin and continuo - read: improvised bass line played in the case of the Goebel renditions on harpsichord and viola da gamba, but could be just one bass instrument or keyboard or fretted instrument - this spare style of accompaniment allowing for greater freedom in improvisation for all parties involved. That's right: mistunings, improvisation, wide-open spaces, there's the fucking recipe right there dear readers.

Ole Bull - A Norwegian Pioneer

My own violin is stamped both on the back, beneath the neck, and within the instrument, with the slogan "Copy Ole Bull, Germany". At the time that my father bought the violin for me - around 2002 when I was getting serious enough in my conservatory studies that I needed an instrument upgrade from the hunk of shit we bought off a mate's sister I was still playing since the age of 8 - I was deep in my studies of Beethoven, Brahms and the like, as well as immersing myself in the raging, icy genius of Norwegian Black Metal. With a dark, rugged tone, the instrument seemed perfect for me, and naturally led me to learn a bit more about its namesake. Bull was one of the 19th century's most famous concert violinists and was part of a movement to push forward a distinctly Norwegian identity in music at a time when Norway was still under Danish rule. Legend has it that ol' Ole lost his shit once while working on an opera in Italy and stormed the Danish embassy in Rome with a Norwegian flag. Bull's technique and compositions were heavily influenced by Norwegian Hardingfiel or Hardanger Fiddle music and by the myths and folklore of his homeland. All in all, from a 21st century perspective, this makes him one of the original grim motherfuckers, a proto-Black Metaller par excellence. While being a troll-obsessed nationalist is problematic in many ways - particularly in light of the fascist piece of shit Americans just voted into the White House - I celebrate Ole Bull, and this rare album 'Ole Bull - A Norwegian Pioneer' I found on a very dodgy Black Metal blog years ago - I don't even know who plays on it - because his violin playing and his music, not to mention his legendarily loose lifestyle, make him a proto-scraper of the highest highness. Ole Bull would no doubt agree when I say: fuck tyranny.

Various Artists - Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow! Vintage Fiddle Music, 1927-1935, Blues, Jazz, Stomps, Shuffles & Rags, (Old Hat)
Various Artists - Violin, Sing the Blues for Me: African-American Fiddlers 1926-1949 (Old Hat)

Anyway, enough of the dead white men. The violin underground is most potent because of the ground-breaking timbres, textures, and of course improvisational techniques, of African-American fiddlers. Even further, as will be discussed in another post (or maybe elsewhere), the fiddle music of West Africa, ancient and extraordinary, and no doubt atavistically inherent in the sounds of some of these fiddlers heard in these compilations, could well be the origin of bowed string instruments if some studies are to be believed, in short, the violin has a black history, remember that. The extraordinary fiddling heard on these two compilations put out by the fantastic Old Hat records shows the forward-thinking genius of hard-working people, marginalised and overlooked, and rediscovered on these great discs. Anyway for a more well informed and well researched look at the history of African-American fiddle music look no further than the work of scholar Jacqueline Cogdell Dje-Dje who is also responsible for a very informative if dry and academic as fuck book on West African fiddle music - indeed it is the book on West African fiddle music - Fiddling in West Africa on University of Indiana Press. And while you're at it listen to Eddie South, lots of Eddie South.

This is just scratching the surface readers...


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

The Scrapes Album Release Ritual in Melbourne 15/1/2017

Upcoming Gig -

15 JAN

Presented by NeuMusak...

The Last Chance Rock n' Roll Bar
North Melbourne,
3PM
The Scrapes/Andrew McCubbin & Mel Pritchard/Justin Cusack
$5

The Songs of Baron Samedi Melbourne Album Launch Ritual is finally upon us.

FAKEBOOK EVENT


I'll be heading down a few days earlier to join Ryan in Melbourne to work on, and record, some new Scrapes pieces for what will hopefully emerge as our so-called Fourth Full-length Album.

Listen out.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Scrapes Brisbane 28/12

If you're in Brisbane over the next couple of weeks then come along to a rare appearance of we Scrapes (myself and Ryan Potter on guitar) live on a Brisbane stage.

The Bearded Lady, Boundary St, West End
The Scrapes
Primitive Motion
Glam Fail

Doors: 8PM
Tickets: $10 (available at the door)

Excellent poster designed by Primitive Motion's Sandra Selig:



 See you there and a happy Yule or whatever it is you may celebrate this time of year.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Bundled & Gone - Live Compilation NEW

I've put together a bit of a compilation of my live performances in recent years, all over the globe including performances in Ghana, Senegal, NYC, Straya. It's cheap and is a live primer for the upcoming BUSH SONGS RELEASE ON SOFT ABUSE Cheers, Adam