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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2012 » May » 24

Exclusives : FILTER 48: Everything, (Something), “Nothing”: Between Two Mysteries with Mount Eerie

Delivered... info@filtermmm.com | Scene | Thu 24 May 2012 5:00 pm
FILTER 48: Everything, (Something), “Nothing”: Between Two Mysteries with Mount Eerie

Wander up to the very edge of the Pacific Northwest—deep through forests of trees that breathe in echoing silences, past wooden buildings that burn alight in the dark like inextinguishable flickering ghosts and where the Moon glows bright watching over it all—and you will find the place where Mount Eerie lives. Its curator, a contemplative musician called Phil Elverum, is sewn tightly to the landscapes and ideas of his home; when he creates sounds, he composes in the shapes and sketches of his surroundings.

Elverum grew up in Anacortes (pop. 15,778), a small fishing town in northwest Washington State, and has spent the majority of his 34 years there. However, he first came to prominence in Olympia’s indie music scene 150 miles south of his hometown. Upon Elverum’s arrival in Olympia in 1997, the then-19-year-old began putting out curious, exploring LPs under the moniker “The Microphones” for the revered K Records, the label owned and operated by Beat Happening’s Calvin Johnson. The major recordings spawned during this time include 1999’s Don’t Wake Me Up, 2000’s It Was Hot, We Stayed In the Water and the culminant masterpiece, 2001’s The Glow Pt. 2. Elverum’s highly experimental blend of heavy, sometimes-terrifying drum and amplifier attacks under delicate, thought-provoking vocals and lyrics developed a passionate following in the Washington scene and beyond. 

The Microphones thrived in its community, with Elverum becoming known for inviting other like-minded K artists into the studio—including Johnson, Karl Blau, Khaela Maricich (The Blow), Mirah, and Kyle Field (Little Wings)—producing works that flourished under the guise of fuzzed-out effortlessness while retaining strict, unconventional methods of recording. Elverum toured The Microphones widely, these trips often used to expand his ends further: A long, isolable spell spent in a cabin in Norway during the winter of 2002–2003 provided a large amount of the source material for Elverum’s photo book Mount Eerie, Pts. 6 & 7 and his 2008 album Dawn; a 2004 tour with Little Wings was documented by filmmaker Ryer Banta and became an unofficial rarity called Wise Old Little Man; a series of performances in Japan that same year was released as the last Microphones long-player, unsurprisingly titled Live In Japan.

Around the time that Elverum left Olympia and returned to Anacortes, he aimed his musical conceit at a new direction, drawing off of one of the last Microphones EPs as well as the piece of Skagit County nature that had looked over him since childhood—the Mount Eerie name was born. Elverum began releasing his new output through his own methods, a curatorial label called P.W. Elverum and Sun, founded in 2004. The first LP, “No Flashlight”: Songs of the Fulfilled Night, came in 2005, followed in the subsequent years by no less than 15 various Mount Eerie undertakings.

To call Elverum “prolific” understates the obvious; the catalog of both The Microphones and Mount Eerie stretches beyond long-format albums, incorporating tour CD-Rs, split seven-inches, compilation volumes, a limited series of packing tape in two editions and a bootleg DVD of inclement weather called Fog Movies, in addition to “regular” releases like 2009’s black-metal-inspired Wind’s Poem. (Mount Eerie also collaborated with Fred Squire and Elverum muse Julie Doiron [Eric’s Trip] for 2008’s Lost Wisdom during a chance stay in Anacortes.) It all retains a lasting, albeit elusive feeling—recordings are pressed in limited quantities, and the majority of his works are out-of-print.

To go along with these organic, oftentimes stormy musical compositions and lyrical stories is the artwork of Mount Eerie, Elverum’s detail-attentive, tangible portion of the project. The aforementioned “No Flashlight” has album art that takes up an entire bedroom wall; The Microphones’ Mount Eerie LP has a hand-sewn gatefold; and Elverum nearly always includes handwritten lyrics and liner notes, journal entries and photographs with every physical release. And this is precisely why calling what Phil Elverum does exists beyond “a band”—it’s an art project with no end.

This year sees Elverum releasing two LPs, Clear Moon in May and Ocean Roar to follow in the fall—he has called them the fourth and fifth “real Mount Eerie releases.” Shortly before taking off on a five-week tour of northern Europe, Elverum discussed recording in his new studio called “The Unknown” (a desanctified-church-turned-sail-loft-turned-recording-space in Anacortes), his love for imperfect film development and, despite his noted collaborations, why the musician prefers to create the sounds of Everything, (something) and “nothing” in the solace of the solitary.

"Wind's Poem LP Collage"

A Conversation with Phil Elverum

In regards to the extensive timeline of your music, are there any significant differences between The Microphones and Mount Eerie, or was it a matter of one thing ending and the new music fitting somewhere else?
There is a difference, but it’s not really intentional. It’s more like I had noticed that I had changed. Because, I mean, who doesn’t change within the body of their work? It’s always fluctuating; the circumstances of my life kind of change how things sound. But they blur into each other. Hopefully, there’s a thread that is consistent through all of it [laughs].

There are recurring themes and imagery that stretch across a decade of both projects, though. Does Clear Moon’s title continue your “moon” series of songs?
No, those other ones are more personal stories about people. The idea with Clear Moon is… [long pause]. I should figure out how to talk about this. I’m still figuring it out myself. I know what it means, I just don’t know how to put it into words. It’s like when you’re walking down the street in the middle of the day and the moon is in the sky. And you catch it out of the corner of your eye, like some kind of weird light, but it’s not really light. It’s some absurd, out-of-place thing that is piercing and alien that wakes you up out of whatever thoughts that you were in. That moment of super-clear realization, and letting it into your life. That’s “clear moon.” So it’s not about the moon, actually.

Do you ever focus on something specific on these bigger records, like a mood or an idea that defines each one?
Yeah, definitely. With all of them there’s a theme to it, or a general feeling I’m trying to create. I’m really into “the album,” obviously. Like “the album” as the work of art, rather than just a collection of disassociated songs.

Continue reading at FILTERmagazine.com

What is a Broadcaster to Do When Approached by an Ad Agency Buying Time for an Undisclosed Political Candidate?

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Thu 24 May 2012 1:26 pm

Does a broadcast station need to book a political ad buy for an agency purporting to be representing a candidate, but refusing to reveal who that candidate is? We’ve recently received this question from a number of broadcast stations in a number of states, as agencies seemingly are jockeying to tie up valuable commercial time in advance of what is likely to be a hotly contested election in November. This seems to be happening particularly with stations that have coverage areas that include parts of certain “swing states” in the Presidential election, or in states with crucial Congressional or Senatorial elections. It seems to us that, unless and until you know that there is a real candidate, there is no obligation for a station to book time for a hypothetical candidate or candidate to be named later.

Booking time for an unknown candidate raises numerous issues for a station. How can a station account for the sale of that time in its political file? If it doesn’t know who the candidate is, it can’t place the required information (which includes the candidate’s name) into the political file. Booking time for a political candidate gives rise to equal opportunities obligations, even outside the 45 and 60 days political windows. How can you determine to whom you owe equal time when the station itself doesn’t even know who the candidate is? And, if the agency even refuses to reveal if it is a Federal or state campaign for which it plans to buy time, making time available to an agency on behalf of an unknown candidate that turns out to be a state candidate may cause the station, through the application of equal opportunities, to have to sell time for a race to which it did not intend to provide access, or to open up dayparts to that state race when it did not intend to offer those dayparts to state candidates. In fact, without knowing the candidate, how can the station assess whether the candidate is legally qualified, or that the time is being purchased by an authorized candidate committee? 

A more difficult question involves giving out rates to agencies that don’t reveal the name of the candidate on whose behalf they are acting. Many stations may be willing to send out their political rate card and disclosure statement to an agency, even if they don’t know who the candidate is, in order to curry favor with the agency when the time actually comes for that agency to buy spots. Other stations may be more reluctant to do so as they don’t want to be sending detailed information about their least expensive rates to just anyone.  Of course, individual lowest unit rates may be available in the station’s public file (and soon, for TV stations, online). But that will reveal only specific rates for specific buys, not all rates for all of the station’s principal classes and dayparts as will be revealed in a full disclosure statement. The Commission has never declared the political rate card or a written political disclosure statement to be public documents that have to be provided to anyone who asks. In fact, the Commission has never even required that they be in writing – though most stations follow good practice and do put them in writing to ensure that they make the same disclosure to all candidates who ask, as required by the Commission.

Neither of these is an easy question, and these thoughts are just for stations to ponder in making decisions on these types of early political season calls. Stations should always check with their own counsel on questions like this – especially if faced with an insistent buyer who refuses to identify the candidate for whom they are buying.

The Spy From Cairo

Delivered... globalnoize | Scene | Thu 24 May 2012 7:57 am

Free Download – Spy From Cairo – ‘Alladin Dub&quot’

The Spy From Cairo aka Zeb, has long been one of our favortie producers and oud players around. Since his days with Organic Grooves up to his recent remixes of Natacha Atlas, Zeb’s productions have always been top notch and mix a perfect blend of organic and electronic elements. On his latest album, “Arabadub” our May 29th on Wonderwheel Records, The Spy once again melds sounds from thee Middle East with Dub Reggae and mid-tempo electronic grooves. The seductive sounds are perfect for drinking, smoking, eating, dancing and philosophizing.

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