I'm happy to say that I've received the following in trade from PhiBa subscribers: Stale Urine's "The Fourteen Points" cassette from Mike Benedetti, a cassette of a Temple of Bon Matin CD from Charles Cohen, Instrument Panel's "the green fire bull" CD from Michael O'Neill, & a booklet called The Journal of the Society for the Advancement of Anonymity from someone I guess I'll leave anonymous (in the spirit of such things).
I've been thinking of reviewing all of them since it's a way of contributing to the forum here but I probably won't get past the 1st one, so here goes:
Stale Urine's "The Fourteen Points" cassette - a half-hr side
Since I've only heard of Stale Urine thru Mike's mentioning of them here, the only expectations that I had were pretty vague. Maybe rock-oriented improv. As such, I was pleasantly surprised to find the tape to be a particularly wacko combination of history, political satire, radio-play, musical, playfulness, etc that doesn't TOO easily fall into any standard genre (except, perhaps, "television without pictures").
As Mike described it to me in an e-mail message, "The Fourteen Points" is an exploration, through drama and music, of Woodrow Wilson's fourteen points for peace in Europe. It invokes the work of David Mamet, Maya Angelou, Martin Amis, and Warren DeFever. And, it has dozens of pirates.
Structured mostly like a radio play, it begins with the murder of Wilson's "choreographer". Wilson has been working on a musical promoting his "14 Points" with the assistance of a crew of pirates. He gives a press conference to discuss the Points at which he responds to a diplomat's criticism of his peace plan by saying "Well, I've already written 2 songs concerning the Pole's(?) situation & I feel that it wouldn't be right to change them before their premier in 2 weeks. I would be a fool if I allowed foreign powers to dictate my own foreign policy & twice the fool, quite frankly, if I were to allow them to dictate my own song writing." Pirate growls & other crowd sounds dominate the background. This establishes the Stale Urine approach beautifully.
A tie-in to "the extra-atmosphere dirigible" on loan from France to the USA allows SU to range even farther than the plot might seem to be open to. The president is greeted at the dirigible by a military man who decides to investigate the choreographer's death. Aliens arrive & play some "alien music" for Wilson as an audition of sorts for the musical.
I won't give away the whole plot since you might want to go thru it all yourself 1st. Hopefully the above will give you a taste of the kind of variety that such a structure is conducive to. S/F/X & voice styles abound. First stricken by the choreographer's death because he's unsure of how to go on with the musical without him, Wilson realizes that he can make a radioplay instead!
This was written & recorded by Mike, Jon Lange, Michael Radford, Kurt Revis, & Adam Villani in Seattle, WA, October 25-26, 1997.
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Mad Scientist / d composer / Sound Thinker / Thought Collector / As Been
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Ballooning One in the Fructiferous Society
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(National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)
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(Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys
by Experimental Filmmakers)
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