First off, we have some scintillating photos for use in your esteemed publications.
Also, we have the ASM is the Future of Everything Press One Sheet and ASM is the Future of Everything Radio Track Information for you press types to download.
Now on to the lovefest:
From Chris Romine:
"Do you like trucks? Of course you do. Who doesn't? They're big. They're loud. They're animals ready to go on a rampage. Yep. Big, robotic, gear-driven animals with an appetite for diesel and—in the Monster genus of trucks—ethyl alcohol."
"Anti-Social Music itself is much like a truck. It's big. It's loud. I think they're already starting to rampage back there. And, of course, we all know about Anti-Social Music's love of all things ethyl alcohol. They put it on burgers. (Veggie burgers, mostly.) They put it in their cereal instead of milk. They breast feed their young with it.
"Much the same way Anti-Social Music is about to breast feed you. You, the concertgoer, eagerly anticipating the moment when your Anti-Social mothers whip out their ethyl-filled teat and allow you to suckle, that sweet, sweet mother's milk we call Chamber. Yep, that's the kind of mother Anti-Social Music is. She'll breast feed you til you're 8 and keep you in Pampers until you're 12. But only 12. If you're not poopin' on the big boy potty by then, you're out on your ass."- Chris Romine
Transcript of Dailysonic Podcast Ep. # 127
"Smelly face face" 12/7/2005
[Fracture II by Pat Muchmore playing in background]
I get really worried for people who clap between movements at classical concerts. Don't they know there are rules? Clapping in between movements could break the performer's concentration. You see that stern look in their face? That's called concentration, and to break it would be a very, very terrible thing. Even worse, if you clap in between movements, it clues everyone in to the fact that you don't know shit about shit.
I also get really worried when people don't clap after solos at jazz shows, and when people shot "Gyee-hah!" instead of "Woooooh!" during intense acid trance parties, or when people go to punk shows with paperclips in their pockets instead of safety pins in their body parts. Or when people close their eyes during acoustic coffee house sets. I get worried that the performer might think they're sleeping, not focusing on the music. If you're in view of the performer, you'd better not even blink. All these rules.
Enter Anti-Social Music. A collective of performers and composers who meet at the intersection of the DIY punk ethic, the avant-garde, chamber music, and free jazz. Clap between movements, shout "Gyee-hah!," stick needles in your eyes, do some foofy interpretive dancing, or smash cans of Natty Ice on your forehead. It's all fair game. This is, apparently, rebel music.
Anti-Social Music originally formed in 2001, for a one-off performance. They now put on two shows a year where they play contemporary chamber pieces written by their members and associates. Next week, Anti-Social Music release their debut album: Anti-Social Music Sings the Great American Songbook. The album opens with the piece you're hearing in the background: Fracture II, composed by Pat Muchmore. The Great American Songbook features everything from strange, in-your-face vocal arrangements like on Ken Thomson's Song, to break beats interpreted by solo flute like on Andrea La Rose's breakbeat.
I think what makes this disc, is the context in which it's presented: that contemporary chamber music is socially unacceptable, that it has the power to offend. Is this really rebel, piss-of-your-parents music? Well, I'm not sure rebels are allowed to file for non-profit status. But if it means that I can clap or not clap in between movements as I see fit, then fine, I'm sold. Contemporary chamber music is the new punk. Contemporary chamber music is dead, long live contemporary chamber music.
Here is: breakbeat.
[breakbeat by Andrea La Rose is played]
For more information on Anti-Social Music, check out the links on Dailysonic.com. The Great American Songbook is released December 13th, on Peacock recordings.
"Oh, it's Punk Classical," flutist Andrea LaRose informed me. Sure yet another group polluting the hallowed academy halls with the whims and whiles of the devil's music and expecting me to get excited. A quick listen to her composition "Breakbeat" demonstrated to me that I was out of Naked City territory and into the 21st century. Like the vocalized drum solo on National Health's Of Queues and Cures, it delivers what the title purports, this time rendered by solo flute. It's a kind of theme and variation with the stereotypical breaks immediately recognizable in a post-Varese tonal context, complete with huge pitch leaps, flutter-tonguing and a few Roland Kirk vocalizations thrown in for good measure, not to mention that it bristles with energy.
I was enthralled, and the rest of the disc didn't disappoint. For those of us who've studied classical music and its history seriously, there's a lot here that's just plain fun. "Fracture II" by Pat Muchmore is one of the few pieces I've heard recently that truly shocked me. Its spacious grand romantic piano-laden opening convinced me to fasten my seatbelt, as I was entering the Sorabji zone, when a sudden and impeccably timed blast of distorto guitar hurled me unceremoniously into the high-energy folk-driven string deconstructions of Bartok or Univers Zero! The hipness continues with excerpts that can only be described as American Folk, sporting passionately understated vocalizations with appropriately chordal guitar accompaniment. In fact, this is one of the only times that a piece of music that blends "metal" guitar and orchestral timbres actually works, let alone the well-placed processed loops, frantic genre and dynamic juxtapositions that kept me on my toes throughout.
Beyond classical music, Anti-Social Music proves itself able to cope with recorded music's long pan-global history with ease and post-modern creativity, as in the second movement of "Songs of Zen, love and Longing." When the '70s punk scene is referenced, the group comes as close as it can to busting out the power chords! In fact, there are too many references of all sorts to begin a catalog, from the slow atonal burn of late Scriabin to some piquantly charming Ivesian miniatures. If musicologist Leonard Ratner is correct that Mozart was being rhetorically referential in his chamber music, then this 11-piece NY collective is on the right track with a brilliant debut disc of adventurous classical music.By Marc Medwin
[note from the webmaster:
Pat Muchmore is unaware of ever having quoted any commercial, let alone a Delta commercial.]
Written by Joel Dunham
From the single pluck of the so-called "Amplificazioned Akkoustic Guit" (guitar) and ensuing flurry of venomous strings... to the gold-toothed blue horse on the cover, you know you've found Anti-Social Music. A little ridiculously, the promo materials tried to appeal to the punk demographic, claiming that only dissonant chamber music would really piss off your neighbors in the 00's. While most people do not enjoy the qualities of most modern classical music, I would hope that even avant-garde music lovers would choose to love the avant-garde for maximizing their own personal utility, not minimizing the utility of their neighbors! (As if punk kids would like this stuff anyway!) Anti Social Music is a collaboration of various young, classically-trained music who got together in New York City somewhere to record each other's compositions. Like most avant-garde music, this CD has its share of the brilliant and its share of the self-indulgently abrasive and the militantly dissonant.
The opener, "Fracture II", written by Pat Muchmore, is a breathtaking swath of music styles, ranging from the previously-described string section frenzy to some self-consciously facile folk music that for a little while makes its way out of the haze. Later we briefly glimpse the theme to the Delta commercials before it is snatched away (which I know is really a well-respected classical piece, I just don't know what it's called.) This track is very good and also very weird in its blitzkrieg from style to style. I kept asking my wife if we were still on the same track. "Kilter" by Peter Hess, is also very good. The regimented fluttering of the flute and clarinet is wonderfully written and performed. This kind of avant-garde music startles with its creativity; it doesn't smack with the pedantic.
Elsewhere the results are not quite so good. The philosophically titled "Song" by Ken Thomson contains a lot of wordless dissonant singing. By not actually using any lyrics and by having the singers go through complicated arrangements, the end result sounds like a sort of laughable rehearsal, what with all the "ah ah ah ah's." Similarly, the vocals drag down "Seven Songs of Zen, Love, and Longing" by William Brittelle. This time, however, lyrics and melodies are random, volatile, harsh, and melodramatic. "Give me a blue star and I'll give you an amphetamine." William, really. Arnold Schonberg tortured us a century ago with this kind of crap. "Lycanthropy of a Poe Poem" is likewise hokey in its recurrence of "Sweet-Oh" and "my future" in the lyrics.
Andrea La Rose's "Breakbeat," though, takes an interesting tack, trying to imitate the loops of a breakbeat using only her flute.
The final piece, Franz Nicolay's "Each Today Is Yesterday's Tomorrow (For Moondog)" is one of the better compositions. Dedicated to the 20th century avant-garde composer known as Moondog (yes that is his name), Nicolay's foreground moves haltingly, but the background is all steady bongos and shakers. This juxtaposition of the disjointed and the steady provides for an excellent piece.
Don't buy Anti-Social Music because you want to annoy other people at parties. Buy it because you know you're more sophisticated than those idiot kids downstairs who like punk music.
Our album was an "Editor's pick" in Smother magazine:
The new music collective featuring (live and on the album) members of the Hold Steady, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gutbucket, Alarm Will Sound, Gang Gang Dance, World/Inferno Friendship Society, and Ida don't mind if you don't understand. They're not here to explain why on earth a bunch of punks would decide to write a contemporary chamber music album. Since most chamber music is endured by music snobs and elitist pigs it was time for some anti-social clowns to take it back. And they do with experimental classical bravado that would make John Zorn super proud.- J-Sin