Silber Newsletter – September 6, 2019

Hey Kidz,

Hope you all are well.  Hurricane Dorian came here on the coast of the Carolinas, but seemed to have limited impact on Silber HQ & our allies & we’re thankful for that.  There’s a lot going on at the moment & will probably be a new newsletter pretty shortly, but here’s the news right now.

August Fields 2019 finished up with 35 contributions.  To make things a little easier on everyone, I made a collection of all the pieces that you can grab here at the pay what you want model – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/august-fields-2019-complete-collection

As some of you may know my folks basement has served as Silber’s warehouse for about 20 years (starting the first year I put out 10 releases in a year) & a few years ago they started having flooding issues because of the city approving some new subdivisions that send their storm water onto my parents’ lot.  Well, things on that have finally come to fruition & the city is buying them out & tearing the house down.  I don’t want to just throw the CDs away, so I’m offering a ridiculous special.  12 CDs for $12 including shipping.  Get them here while supplies last – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/merch/12-cd-warehouse-cleaning-special

There was a Remora improv drone rock show recently.  I’m probably going to be able to make the audio into a release or maybe we’ll re-record it.  I’m unsure at the moment.  But here’s the video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW5Z2iSZuWQ

Finally you may have already heard, but there’s a new Aarktica album & you can grab it on Bandcamp https://aarktica.bandcamp.com/ or it is available from all the regular streaming spots.

New music & a new QRD hopefully in about two weeks.  QRD will include a Lycia interview that I am pretty excited about as it is an attempt at doing something new interview wise for me as it’s a new method.  New 5in5s coming from Baptizer & Hyperborean Echoes, the That’s What I Call Silence compilation, the Symphonic Plunderphonic compilation, & albums from Wodwo, Whalt Thisney, & Stoic Automaton.

I’m feeling upbeat at the moment, life’s hard & good here, thanks for your continued interest & support for what I’ve been doing for 25 years.

Hrt
Brian John Mitchell

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Somewhat Relevant – Beyond

beyond 2014
So I would say this maybe should go under “Finally Checking It Out” since it’s five years old, but I’ve never heard of it until now when it was recommended to me on FilmRise, so I’m guessing it’s new to plenty of folks.  So this is kinda in a crossbreed category of film styles I like as a post-apocalyptic sci-fi survival relationship study film.  If you like sci-fi movies like “Primer” & “A Quiet Place” than this is probably a match for you.  Basic plot synopsis without spoilers is a guy who doesn’t really seem to care if he lives or dies ends up in a relationship as a presumed asteroid is discovered to be headed towards the earth.  I feel like saying too much more gives things away, but I will say something with a bit of spoiler beneath the trailer.

 

****SPOILER****

I felt like the end of the movie would’ve been better if it was a little more open ended.  It felt certain that the aliens were all a hallucination/dream, but I would’ve liked it if it was crafted so we weren’t sure of that.  Subsequent rewatches would show, “that guy definitely is the same doctor” & “the number on the ship is the same as in the parking deck” & fans could debate it.  But I get that people like things tied up with a bow.

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August Field Recording Series

Hey Kidz,

Well, there’s stuff going on, lots of stuff waiting in the wings (new 5in5s, new music from Yellow6 & Space Sweeper & Wodwo & Whalt Thisney, a new QRD, a couple comps, bloggy stuff), but today is August 1st & that marks the launch of our August Fields series.  It’s a follow-up to Droneuary in that it’s a release by a different artist everyday, but sonically it’s definitely its own animal.  I asked all the usual suspects about doing some field recordings & either releasing collections of raw sounds they found in the wild or they could manipulate those sounds into more structured pieces, but no musical instruments were used.  About 20 in so far & some promises as well so it may round into the full month, but not into the beast Droneuary was.  Some pieces are long ambient structures & some are only a few seconds long, some are soothing & some are caustic noise.  You can keep up with them daily on the Silber Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com – or Twitter/Facebook or in the next newsletter I’ll have full information for you.  Pretty excited that Attrition took part in this as well as Phil Dole under his Field In Stream incarnation & Phil Zampino’s Signal to BLIND & some names you may recognize like Electric Bird Noise, Small Life Form, remst8, Azalia Snail, Determinist?, Ben Link Collins, Petridisch, Nathan Amundson, The Gribshnobler, Discord, Martin Newman, Ocean in a Bottle, Subscape Annex, Toni Dimitrov, Switchblade Kid, Bryce Eiman, Philip Polk Palmer, Jeremiah Paddock, & fornever.  The inspiration for this was a couple years ago when I did a micro-cassette recording release for Veduin Hiss & had a lot of fun trying to capture random sounds with it.  Anyway, they are all going to be free to stream or download on Bandcamp, so check them out.

I’m feeling upbeat at the moment, life’s hard & good here, thanks for your continued interest & support for what I’ve been doing for 25 years.  If you want to be taken off the mailing list, please just let me know.

Hrt
Brian John Mitchell
www.silbermedia.com

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New Minimalism & Sound Experiments from Electric Bird Noise, Bryce Eiman, Ocean in a Bottle, & The Day2 Alliance

Hey Starz,

It’s been a while & I hope you’re doing well.  A lot has been going on at Silber, but I’ve been sick with a bronchitis/sinusitis/ear infection that didn’t really respond to antibiotics that has slowed me down the past couple months that I am finally getting over.  Getting older & admitting the slow down is hard, but enough excuses & sob stories, on with all the good things happening.

The Droneuary series (a drone piece by a different artist each day) ended up lasting 80 days & you can hear or download the whole thing on Bandcamp at name your own price.  It was a lot of fun & I’m planning on doing it again in 2020.
https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/droneuary-2019

It’s been about two years somehow, but I got together a new QRD with 27 interviews with artistic dads, guitarists, record label owners, cartoonists, & touring musicians.  Hopefully something for everyone.  Probably another issue fairly soon as this fall marks 25 years since I did the interviews for the first issue.  If you have any words (kind or unkind) to say about the thing let me know, as it’d be nice to have a little letters section or what have you for the anniversary.
http://www.silbermedia.com/qrd

I finally finished a new issue of my original micro-comic Lost Kisses.  It continues the time travel story arc you forgot all about, but has a recap page so it’s easy to walk into.  Meanwhile my three year old drone cub made a comic with an all star cast illustrating it like Jason Young, Nate McDonough, Michael Neno, Bob Corby, Kurt Dinse, Eddie Delaney, JM Hunter, Chelsea Fields, Dan McCloskey, Shawn Atkins, & Jared Catherine called In The Spooky Jungle.  Lost Kisses is $2 with shipping, Spooky Jungle is $4 or get both for $5 Paypal-ing to silberspy@silbermedia.com

The 5in5 EP series has officially re-launched with new EPs from Bryce Eiman, Ocean in a Bottle, & Day2 Alliance.  More info on all of those below & more coming soon from Baptizer, Vlor, & more.  Of course you can listen to the entire 5in5 series on Spotify to hear how everyone has faced the challenge over the years.
https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy/playlist/7ge7yufxSf6IR9Tpu7YIgh

Finally we have a new album from Electric Bird Noise continuing the ambient jazz for art gallery elevators of the last few years, but this time collaborating with drummers.  A little more info below.

Here are a few releases from some of our good allies that you might want to check out:
M is We – https://bst009miswe.bandcamp.com/
Irata – https://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/tower
Nonconnah – https://nonconnahordeath.bandcamp.com/album/dead-roses-digged-up-zombies-broken-pieces-of-diamonds-live-cats

There’s other stuff, but that’s enough news for now.   Probably some more news & new music in a couple weeks.  Thanks for your interest & support, spread the word if you can.

Hrt
Brian John Mitchell
Silber Records
PO Box 883
Sanford, NC 27331
www.silbermedia.com

 

Ocean in a Bottle - A Simple Case

OCEAN IN A BOTTLE: A Simple Case: I’m sorry… looking at the moon
File Under: Piano, Melancholia, Introspection, Minimalism
Recommended if you like: Brian Eno, Zoviet France, Harold Budd
Following on from his Droneuary release on Silber, “Dawn Chorus”, Manchester based Andy N, aka Ocean in a Bottle, has an entry for the 5 in 5 series. “A Simple Case: I’m sorry… looking at the moon” while still using recorded ambience with live instruments goes further with the five pieces uniting together to tell a fragmented tiny story, taking the listener on a journey across emotions with live rain as bookends of the story & layers of drone like synths & looping piano as symbols of aching sadness & heightened reality stepping into rain building a new reality that one can be more immersed in with more listens.
Listen or download on Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/a-simple-case-im-sorry-looking-at-the-moon
Listen on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWgtn5vR-euF990OphZMzcjaPFnm-vGlz
Listen on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/album/3TgGrw6nMMddRVtR9j77yE

day2-alliance-pardonDAY2 ALLIANCE: Pardon the Interruption (Commercial Themes Volume One)
File Under: Experimental, Drone, Indie
Recommended if you like: Drekka, music by your friends
It’s kind of embarrassing that the idea of a 5in5 as a compilation came from Day2 Alliance instead of Silber. A compilation to sample some of the flavors of the art collective featuring Drekka, 144,000, Porir Georg, Eating Canada. Minute long ambient soundtracks for spooky moments.  Day2 Alliance TV, signing off.
Listen or download on Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/the-day2-alliance-media-network-presents-pardon-the-interruption-commercial-themes-volume-one
Listen on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/album/6iADDTn7AKNh1ftDO2QXHu

Bryce_Eiman-More_thanBRYCE EIMAN: More Than a Second, Less Than a Moment
File Under: Experimental, Noise, Minimalism
Recommended if you like: Nurse with Wound, Nocturnal Emissions, Aube
Silber’s prodigal father Bryce Eiman returns with a new entry in the 5 in 5 series.  For those not in the know, Bryce Eiman has been releasing experimental music since 1989 varying from aggressive & caustic to soothing & ambient to rhythmic & danceable both solo & in various collaborations.  Since 2008 he’s been the curator of 919Noise & it’s monthly series showcasing experimenters from around the world as well as showcasing local talent & giving an outlet for live performance to Silber artists like Electric Bird Noise, Small Life Form, slicnaton, Konbanwa, & countless others.
“More than a second, less than a moment” is minute long electronic meditations on the lyrics of Appalachian folk songs.  Soothing & menacing, just like man’s relationship to both creation & the creator.
Listen or download on Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/more-than-a-second-less-than-a-moment
Listen on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWgtn5vR-euGniVzZZL7RhLapm5ff4CTC
Listen on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/album/3PsZnrMnjbztenZK3piHzE

electric-bird-noise_hearn-roberts-strong_watts
ELECTRIC BIRD NOISE: Hearn-Roberts-Strong-Watts
File Under: Experimental, Ambient Jazz, Outer Space, Minimalism
Recommended if you like: Lubormor Melnyk, Brian Eno
Hailing from America’s party city Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Electric Bird Noise has been Brian Lea McKenzie’s outlet for sound experimentation for 20 years. Varying from prog rock to post rock, new wave to ambient, jazz to noise, Electric Bird Noise has always been uniquely itself.
On Hearn-Roberts-Strong-Watts EBN continues the guitar based ambient jazz experiments for art gallery elevators of the past few years with the addition of percussionists as a natural expansion of the sonic pallet. Shut your eyes and wait for the elevator to let you out in outer space.
Listen or download on Bandcamp – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/hearn-roberts-strong-watts
Listen on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kvov_nQVNbpmo48B2ILdC3Ww4Bzqi8tbQ
Listen on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/album/7Ie4phHPFV82JC9EP7zToj

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Gear Stories – Mark’s Guitar

marks-guitar
So I acquired this guitar in 1998.  Russell from Vlor had got it when his band broke up & closed down their practice space & it had some bad mojo for him so he traded it to me for an SG with the electronics & hardware ripped out & a bottle opener mounted to it that I’d found in the trash somewhere.  The caveat of the trade was that if the owner ever showed up I’d give it back & I was fine with that.  The owner was a crackhead named Mark who’d been at one jam session at the practice space & caught his apartment on fire & left town a few days later, so I totally understood the feeling of bad mojo & the slim chance of needing to return it.  I was told none of the effects were working & that was technically true, as it needed a new battery.  Also half the neck inlays fell out when I was doing some aggressive bends & I had to glue them back in & finding a nut to hold in one of the output jacks was a real headache.  The thing is a heavy beast that hurts your shoulder when you play it punk rock stage style (the only way I know how) & I think I used it for a couple songs on the last few burMONTER live shows, I know I used it for at least one because my buddy Kirk asked me if it was made for Service Merchandise at one of the shows.  A few months later while it was sitting in my closet, the tailpiece snapped (which I’ve never even heard of happening to anyone else’s guitar, but who knows how rough of a life this thing led) & I was at a point where I was both super broke & into weird tunings, so I kept stringing it with wires instead of guitar strings & I went through a bunch of different types of wire before someone on the Oddmusic Yahoo Group turned me on to taking a clothesline & stripping the vinyl coating off & so I got these weird braided strings on the thing that don’t really sound like a guitar or a banjo that I found interesting, usually tuned with four of the strings to the same note & two a fifth higher.  It ended up the feature instrument as what I look at as the single on Vlor’s A Fire Is Meant For Burning with a song called “Wires”, but it’s generally just sat in my closet or guitar rack for years.  But a few months ago Zach from Nonconnah bought the same guitar & posted a photo of it on Facebook & though I never could figure out what it was before, I guess it’s a Kay Effector & in a couple weeks me & Zach will play both of them at a jam together based on some of their quirks.  I played with it this past week a bit & I was shocked to feel like it actually is a really fun & playable guitar that maybe deserves real strings.

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Slow But Unstoppable

So some of you may have noticed I haven’t been quite as active with certain things lately.  I haven’t been pushing promotions on things as hard.  I’ve been having some troubles getting my 20 year old design software to work properly & that makes the digital booklets & press releases a much bigger headache.  But I’m getting things done.  I got about a third of the way through a new QRD during a useful bout of insomnia.  3 5in5s just went up on Spotify & I’ll hopefully get them & maybe one or two other releases up on Spotify shortly & run promo.  & I’ll get the digital versions of the new comics available.  A lot going on & I’m going to find a way to do it all.

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Somewhat Relevant – All That We Destroy

All That We Destroy

There’s a genre of movie that I like that isn’t necessarily good, but leaves room to breathe & wonder & become immersed in their worlds.  The original Mad Max & Phantasm fit in this category as does Return of the Living Dead Part 3, all of which I would say are good movies though I get the argument that they aren’t.  I’d put All That We Destroy in the same class.  Not really sci-fi or horror or thriller or family dram or slice of life, but with elements of all of those, it’s the story of a brilliant geneticist who has developed illegal cloning technology & is trying to use it to help her son learn how not to kill people.  I’d say the acting leaves something to be desired, except I think they are playing the parts of people meant to be unlikeable & annoying.  This is the first movie I’ve intentionally watched twice in years.  Not for fans of blockbusters, but about perfect for me in a way I can’t articulate.

 

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Surviving

It’s been a rough couple months.  While Droneuary was going, even though it wasn’t successful in certain ways (didn’t draw much attention or revenue), I didn’t have time to reflect on things as I was too busy & that can be good.  Now I’m spun back around to normal & it feels like “what’s the point to all this?”  I think part of it is that I did my annual comic convention & while it was sparsely attended (which is not uncommon) & I made few sales (which is not uncommon), there was an overwhelming of lack of interest.  Maybe it was because lately it’s been bundled with a family trip & usually it’s at the front end & this time it was at the backend after I was already used up from life on the road & it made it feel tedious.  Maybe it was that for various reasons most of the folks I see at the convention that I only run into once a year weren’t there.  Maybe it’s the reality of how tedious & unfulfilling my day job is.  I don’t know, it’s rare I’m excited & hopeful about anything any more & I really need that in life.  I feel like I’m just surviving & simply put, that’s not enough.  I guess that’s enough self-pity.  I’ll try to get back to work for a bit & hopefully the ability to work is joyful enough.

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N=D Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

Naked Lunch

If you read the last review I did of Junky, you probably know I haven’t read Burroughs in a few decades before listening to Junky at work last month & now I just finished listening to an audio book of Naked Lunch (fun fact – title comes from mis-reading of the phrase “naked lust”).  I imagine I read this book in one or two settings when an intoxicated teen & my memory of it is near lost & blended with the Cronenberg movie & so many of Burroughs other publications that had similar passages re-worked.  But this is of course his most known work & so I feel necessary for me to re-visit.

So for me the best parts of this book are the re-workings of Junky & I had completely forgotten the long bizarre sexual fantasy scenes & even now they are nearly forgotten again because I didn’t find them particularly interesting.  I do feel that this in the end was way more influential to me as a writer & artist than Junky with its stream of consciousness style & lack of characterization or traditional literary devices in favor of creation of surreal & dream-like scenes.  So much of my writing is inspired by my dreams & I really think this might be where that dream obsession started, either here or the origin story of the writing of Frankenstein or the stories of Joseph’s dream interpretations in Genesis – all of which probably became apparent to me in the same era when I was starting my initial attempt at becoming an un-understood experimental writer instead of my current era where the inaccessible nature of my writing to anyone but me is fully satisfying.  So at any rate I guess I do recommend this book to anyone who has ever thought about it, though I’m not sure calling it a novel is accurate as much as an exposure to the inside of another’s mind, a mind of an addict looking for transcendence through new experiences whether drugs or sex or adventures in police states & fears of police states.

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N=D Junky by William S Burroughs

William S Burroughs - Junky

It’s been a long time since I wrote a piece for Nostalgia Equals Distortion or any review in general or even a blog entry at this point.  Life’s been busy & my workload from my jobs (including Siber) has been pretty heavy.  At any rate at one of my jobs I can listen to audiobooks occasionally & generally I listen to old sci-fi radio.  But I’ve been working on & off on some comic scripts inspired by Burroughs & leaving people voicemails doing an impression of him & then my wife re-read Junky last August, so I’ve been thinking about it & when I stumbled on it being read by Burroughs himself I thought that sounded like a match for my life.

So I originally read this when I was 16 or so & generally speaking I haven’t read much Burroughs since my early 20s (hard to believe it’s 20 years ago), but he’s always been dear to me (I actually had sent him a copy of my first book of short stories shortly before his death (never heard back, but that’s okay)).  Since I’d read a lot of his books together in a swoop, I didn’t really have specific memories of this book versus a lot of his other drug addled works, but my wife assured me it was one of his best & I imagine it’s true.  I can’t separate this book from my own drug biography & it’s hard to know how influential it was to me as a teen.

At any rate, on the revisiting there are some things I noticed.  There interestingly seems to be no characterization or development & it just comes across as facts & feels intimately personal, but given that it seems it would only be of interest to someone interested in Burroughs himself (which I am).  It was interesting to note how little somethings have changed in the decades since this was written, like the complaint about selling weed sucks because all the buyers want to be your buddy & smoke with you & who wants to hang out with them?  There were a couple subtle reveal moments that I found interesting, three quarters of the way through the book it’s revealed he’s married (which is hard to fathom with all of the content of the book) & around the same point it’s somewhat revealed that he’s got a significant safety net in life.  But for me the most interesting thing was the final bit where he reveals his junky journey is as a psychonaut on a quest for enlightenment through substance abuse with a hope to find the truth in a drug used by indians in South America & that it’s impossible for him to ever be clean as long as there’s something that offers that hope for transcendence & I think it’s safe to say this was true for him his whole life & maybe would’ve been true for me if I’d had the resources & lack of responsibilities to allow it.

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