Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sour Grapes

For several years now I've subscribed to a magazine called Signal To Noise, a publication that bills itself as, “the quarterly journal of improvised, experimental, and unusual music.” They do a fine job covering this terrain, and as far as I know it's a labor of love run by lovely people and filled with the work of lovely people who surely aren't motivated by money. This is all to say, it's a great magazine, and whatever I have to say about it is not meant as a criticism. This essay, like most everything I do, is all about me.

When each issue arrives, I eagerly flip through it. Quickly, I start to get bitter and defensive. I undergo a Kafka-esque transformation and soon resemble a certain fox. It gets harder to flip the pages with furry paws and no thumb, but I'm stubborn and I stick it out until the very last page. Muttering and grumbling over each glossy photo, and every superlative-laden blurb about every unshaven hipster doofus that they gush over for one reason or another. Sour grapes.

At long last, this cycle has been broken! The fall issue arrived in my mailbox this week, and in it there are two lovely features about me. No sour grapes necessary. There's even a glossy photo of me. Me me me. Finally.

Seriously, though... Marc Masters wrote a nice feature story about the DC “experimental scene,” and I'm included as well as many of the other people who, honestly, have a lot more to do with the scene than I do. But I'll happily take some credit. I am a sucker for acknowledgment.

There's also a short review of the DCIC cd included as well... and it's a pretty good review, I think:

DCIC is a guitar/electronics-reeds-drums trio with links to underground rock – guitarist Jonathan Matis recently toured with Fugazi bassist Joe Lally, drummer Ben Azzara was in Delta '72 – as well as jazz – they have performed with Greg Osby. They play in a hybrid language, slipping in the occasional rock chord as easily as they slide through textural explorations. Mike Sebastian's horns, and especially his exotically pitched saxello, are what makes their music stand out. He's as adept at tying knots in his own lines like Roscoe Mitchell as he is at reeling out an imploring, klezmer-tinged lament. At close to an hour, their debut overstays its welcome a bit, but there's enough happening here that I'd be happy to check them out if they came to my town.

-- Bill Meyer

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