…and still all kindsa outdated. But it looks better. The news section will always be current, followed closely by the works section, where you can listen to and purchase music. Despite me easily getting bored with it, everything else at jeffmcleod.net is slowly getting there. Thanks for listening.
Two of the finest practitioners of unsettling and enveloping audioscapes team here for varied takes on drone, noise, and sonic wrangling.
Alabama’s Clawing is a collaboration between the prolific trio of Jeff McLeod (Gezoleen, Saragashum, Bert) Austin Gaines (Calques, Hadals, Japanese Women), and poet / spoken word artist Matt Finney (It Only Gets Worse). Their work here is an expansion on the ghostly world conjured on their masterful debut, Spectral Estate, with an unsettling aura that rests atop a current of anxiety and contemplation.
Offerbeest is one of the many guises for Dutch artist Maurice de Jong, perhaps best known for his work in the twisted black metal / experimental terror that is Gnaw Their Tongues. With Offerbeest, Maurice relies on analog synths to conjure bleak passages through demon haunts. High quality cassettes (edition of 100), digital downloads and streaming courtesy of Portland’s Nailbat Tapes.
This weekend I will be improvising. Every day, moment to moment, I improvise, of course . . . but this weekend is my favorite sort: musical improvisation. And I get to do it on a guitar that makes the experience like playing in a dream . . . the Moog guitar.
The Moog guitar allows me to do many things, but primarily, and most simply, it can sustain notes forever. It’s like being in a permanent sweet spot onstage with loud amps. Of course, it can also be the exact opposite, with its electronics sucking all the energy from the strings until it feels and sounds like playing a fretted-out alien banjo. Improvising on the guitar is such a satisfying and mind-emptying experience. I live for the moments where I can do just that, dropping all thought, just listening to the sounds, the other players and trusting myself. I feel taken-over with no-thought, and I just let whatever happens happen.
This weekend’s show is in Athens, GA (one of my favorite places) with my friends in Baghouse, who are a real telepathic joy to play with. We recently started making music together again for the first time in nearly 12 years, and it felt like we had never stopped, the three of us easily jumping into an improvisation and taking things into the stratosphere with very little discussion–and with more skill now than we had before, in my opinion. The evidence of this get-together is documented here.
I think about improvising as if I’m pulling a human-sized panel up out of the floor. This panel, when fully-exposed, is covered with the most beautiful, intricate, sometimes nightmarish designs . . . some of which I immediately recognize–and many others that I can trace no origins of. On a good night, I can keep this panel up for lengthy periods, adding to it, exposing more depth and detail and, if I’m lucky, amplifying it to the point where it completely obscures me and enters/affects watchers and listeners. I always strive for this, but I can’t say that I’m always successful. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve struggled and failed completely . . . only to hear it back at some later date (I try to record as many improvisational performances as I can) and think that I was completely wrong feeling that way.
The weeks leading up to a live improv performance usually find me down in the basement late at night, tweaking knobs and tones and loops and drones until I am delirious with sound. All in anticipation of pulling that panel into existence as fully as I possibly can. This weekend perhaps it will happen.
First off, thanks to all the fine music lovers in Canada, Germany & Norway who have downloaded and ordered from me lately. It’s so exciting to see music reaching people in far away places. But, I have to ask . . . America where are you? It saddens me that my own country shows very little interest, but the stats I see do not lie.
I’ve recently stopped offering much of my music for free for a variety of reasons . . . the primary being that I pour everything into what I do: my energy, my love, my hate, my thoughts, my feelings, my time and, yes, my money. My favorite artists probably feel much the same way, and I always try to support them as directly as possible, whether that be by paying for downloads, physical media, going to shows when they’re out on the road and even just showing direct interest in where they are going with their work.
But, free or not, I see a real lack of interest from here in the states. I can’t help it . . . it makes me feel bad. Where are people here who are looking for fringe & challenging musics? I certainly understand that what I do isn’t the most palatable thing in the world (most of the time), but damn.
Despite this, I will continue. I’m working on so many things that I hope will see the light of day soon, vibrating your earholes within the year, with any luck. I hope that I can reach someone out there the same way that things reach me.
I am here. Where are you?
Three places to begin listening and supporting:
C’mon. Have you forgotten what it’s like to seek out, find and hear something that really turns you on? Maybe you have.
So I’ve decided to join BlogFest 2013. Who cares? Well . . . me at least. I’ll be sharing music, art & writings, both of my own and of others. Maybe the occasional review. And definitely what’s on my mind as I crawl through this life.
To begin with, I’d like to invite you to visit my website, which is a growing archive of my music, past, present and future. Hopefully, you’ll find something that you enjoy.