Friday, September 15, 2006

Remember that guy?

J-John Somebody?

I've been wanting to post this recording for several days, but I don't really know what to say about it. John Somebody by Scott Johnson was cutting edge experimental music back in the mid-eighties, and it's still pretty interesting today. I'm sure it was an influential recording, but I'm never entirely sure who influenced who and who tried what first. At any rate, this album is a nice snapshot of the early days when musicians started realizing they could stitch together everyday sounds and speech and call it music.

Okay, here's a better description, from the liner notes: "During the late 1970's I collected many tape loops of voice sounds for their similarity to the ostinatos of rock songs, but for the most part they awaited a form until 1980. By that time most of the speech, laughter, and crying themes existed with sketches of their instrumental accompaniment....Technically, I began each section by analyzing the found vocal phrases for approximate pitch and rhythmic content, and then shaped them by editing to bring out the musical regularities which my ear imposed on these spontaneous sounds. These fragments were then looped and layered in synchronization on a..."

No? Well, look the dude recorded a bunch of people talking and laughing and such, and then he tried to play his guitar in a way which both imitated and complimented the "music" he heard in the speech. Look, just listen to it. It's pretty cool.

It's unfortunate that I only have a vinyl recording, though. Due to the restriction of two-sided vinyl, one section had to be divided into two pieces, fading out on side one, fading back in on side two. Sorry. Other than that, I've avoided making cuts that would interupt the flow of the music.

  1. John Somebody (Parts 1 and 2)
  2. John Somebody (Part 3 - Involuntary Songs) (Beginning)
  3. John Somebody (Part 3 - Involuntary Songs) (Conclusion) & Reprise
  4. No Memory
pw = JohnSomeCrap


At 9/25/2006 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I love this crap. So much crap, and just sitting around to be found at the library. Who woulda thunk it? Crap, crap, and more crap.

Anyway, if you like this, please try to listen to René Lussier's 'Le trésor de la langue', info to be found here:

It's a wonder to hear, even if you don't speak French.

At 9/26/2006 9:33 AM, Anonymous oiche said...

once again I find interesting delights at this great site. keep it up amigos.
love and biscuits, oiche

At 9/28/2006 6:14 PM, Anonymous grossmodule said...

Oh boy!
Thanks, you made my day.

At 9/29/2006 12:24 AM, Blogger L. Chupacabra said...

You all are welcome. I will be sure to check out the French thing.

At 10/09/2006 10:08 AM, Blogger J Epstein said...

I'm loving this. Thank you for putting it on the blog.


At 9/18/2007 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember this from my college radio days in teh 80s. Not amazing but not bad.

I think it's been reissued on Tzadik by the way...


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