Michael Vlatkovich: Multitudes Telepathic (PFMCD078)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="541"]
Multitudes Telepathic

Michael Vlatkovich: trombone and percussion
Clyde Reed: electric upright bass
Dave Wayne: drumset and percussion
Mark Weber: poem cycle

(4:16) 1. 2a
(8:47) 2. Poem 2
(3:45) 3. Always
(2:24) 4. Writing
(5:09) 5. Poem 5 is a Dance
(6:04) 6. Cycles
(7:41) 7. Trees
(4:27) 8. Clicking
(2:48) 9. Breathing Pyramid Cyclotron of Watermelon
(3:44) 10. The Circle

Recorded in Santa Fe at the home of Dave Wayne and Cindy Geist, on the afternoon of September 22, 2o12 by Steve Schmidt

Mark Weber’s poems over-dubbed at Newzone, August 10, 2o13
Mixed and mastered by Wayne Peet/Newzone/Los Angeles

Photo by Mark Weber
Artwork by M. Vlatkovich
Layout by Jeff Kaiser

pfMENTUM CD078

PFMCD078

Michael Vlatkovich and Dottie Grossman: Call & Response & Friends (PFMCD060)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="501,503"]
Artists: Los Angeles Recording:
Dottie Grossman: poems
Michael Vlatkovich: trombone
Rich West: drums/percussion
Anders Swanson: bass

L.A. Recording 7/09: Killzone Studio, Los Angeles, CA

Corvallis Recording (indicated by *) 11/05:
Dottie Grossman, poems; Michael Vlatkovich, trombone;
David Storrs, drums/ percussion, toys; Jim Knodle, trumpet

Corvallis Recording: Califas Studio, Corvallis, OR

engineer: Wayne Peet
producers: Michael Vlatkovich, Dottie Grossman
front cover art: Billy Mintz
design: Ted Killian

1. Benjamin Called (1:38)
2. I Wish (1:49)
3. Tumbleweed (:57)*
4. Early Wednesday morning (1:20)*
5. Veterans Hospital (1:18)*
6. Mendocino Coast 1967 (2:21)
7. Merry Christmas, Michael (1:12)*
8. Two Henny Youngman Poems (1:57)
9. This Winter (1:38)
10. Two Appropriations (1:39)*
11. The Two Times I Loved
You The Most In a Car (2:37)
12. Two Poems About Trucks (2:20)
13. Africa (1:29)*
14. Melting Pot (2:35)
15. Zoey Steps Out (1:18)*
16. Quotation (1:56)
17.Little Rock (2:03)*
18.Two More Henny
Youngman Poems (1:48)
19. Helicopter Noise (:50)*
20. This Is What I Do Best (1:33)
21. The People Who Hate Wind (1:22)*
22. Just Before (1:45)
23. Noon Concert (1:36)
24. Another Nose Poem (1:52)*
25. Definition of Happiness/
If I Were Directing This Movie (1:27)*
26. From Iceland (1:36)*
27. Alaska (1:49)
28. What Henny Youngman Loves
Most About America (:47)
29. Vince Salvino (1.16)*
30. Fortune Cookie (3:11)
31. Henny Youngman’s True
Confession (2:06)*
32. Sorry To Disappoint You (1:39)
33. Future Past (1:42)
34. Mark Weber-Type Poem (1:41)

Track 1

Benjamin called
from Long Beach Island,
New Jersey.
I said, “I can hardly hear you;
the ocean’s so noisy.”
He put down the phone
for a second
and screamed,
“Atlantic, will you please
shut up? —
I’m talking to Dottie.”

Track 2

I wish there was a town
called Nirvana
in Nevada.
It would be
a beautiful place,
in a valley,
where the only industry
was happiness.
Wouldn’t it be fun
to send a letter there —
addressed to
“Nirvana, NV”?

Track 3

Something is draped on a fence
until it is time to be tumbleweed.
In this room,
you are heroic,
tasting of summer and vitamins.
Step outside
and the tumbleweed rolls.

Track 4

Early Wednesday morning,
nobody’s kicked up any dust,
nobody’s made a dime, yet.
All the pet dogs
have left-alone faces.

Track 5

Veterans Hospital

The uniform white buildings
shine as pointlessly
as dead men’s teeth.
Here, everything is slower,
even southern,
as they dance to mark
the time between the palm trees
and forget in the clean cut grass.

Track 6

Mendocino Coast, 1967

Inland, where the grasses and grapes lived,
we could not have imagined
the rocks, the cold clouds —
the surf that would surround us
like a headache,
and those long tubes of kelp
like noodles
from another world
where, with the music of foghorns
and wind chimes,
even the kind moon
seemed dangerous.

Track 7

Merry Christmas, Michael

You remind me of a dolphin,
navigating the waves
with your own mysterious sonar
that sounds a lot like a trombone.

Track 8

2 Henny Youngman Poems

Henny Youngman On National Poetry Month

Henny Youngman hates National Poetry Month;
it gives him performance anxiety.

Henny Youngman To His Priest

Forgive me, Father,
for I have sinned.
I’m sexually aroused
by sacred music.

Track 9

This winter feels colder than ever,
or maybe I’m just more sensitive
these days,
when the wind is
a fire engine
and the moon is sinister
and blue.
I’m all bundled up for it,
stamping my feet,
drinking rum,
counting the days
until the yellow flowers.

Track 10

(two appropriations)

Tuna Fishing

“A March 22 “Outdoors” article
about tuna fishing
inadvertently identified an angler
as Rusty Johnson.
His name is Frosty Johnson.”

The Rhythm of Commercials On The Discovery Health Channel

Will a new nose help Wendy
rediscover her self esteem?

Track 11

The Two Times I Loved You the Most In A Car

It was your idea
to park and watch the elephants
swaying among the trees
like royalty
at that make-believe safari
near Laguna.
I didn’t know anything that big
could be so quiet.

And once, you stopped
on a dark desert road,
to show me the stars
climbing over each other
riotously
like insects;
like an orchestra
thrashing its way
through time itself.
I never saw light that way
again.

Track 12

Convoy

Tonight on the road,
the trucks are majestic;
they sashay like elephants
through the turns,
with jewels on their heads
and tails.

Night Convoy

The trucks are wearing rubies in their hair.
They are like beautiful movie stars,
walking carefully in high heeled shoes,
making whooshing noises in the dark.

Track 13

Africa:
its vowels are so seductive,
I get dizzy.
I’ve no wish to deplete
the wildebeest,
I only wish to eat the wildebeest.
Last year’s skeleton crop
set a new record.
The air is succulent
with lions and mahogany.

Track 14

We were sitting around the melting pot
(which is what I call my hairdresser’s):
a Korean, a Vietnamese, and myself (the American)
discussing our homelands calmly
like three women anywhere,
with no mention of bloodshed or memories.
I told them I’d been reading
about Angor Wat
and the Cambodian jungles
where heartless nature
buried the ancient temples
and we all agreed
that could never happen here
in Santa Monica.

Track 15

At eight months old,
Zoey steps out,
wearing a new tooth
and a rose
in her purple hat.

Track 16

“I don’t own an exquisite way to move around in the night.”

Doug Benezra, 9/18/05

It occurs to me that,
when I die,
they might find the necklace
I dropped behind the bed
and wonder
how long it was there,
and whether I’d missed it.
But will they care
about my favorite color,
my long-range plans,
or my habit of searching myself
for signs of rust?

Track 17

“The town has several antique shops and fruit stands, in addition to restaurants and gas stations.“
…from the Little Rock, CA website.

Little Rock

No, not that one —
This one’s in the desert,
about a two hour drive from here
It’s the color of western movies
(blue skies, brown horses).
There’s even a mirage —
rare water and
big Medjool dates,
a fruit stand in the uncomplaining dust
on the way to Valyermo,
to Saint Andrew’s Abbey,
where the dead monks sleep
in the tight-packed earth
of The Holy Land
off the main road.

Track 18

Henny Youngman doesn’t understand
why camping is not permitted
on the cemetery plot
he just paid for.

Henny Youngman On National Public Radio

Once again, I made it through the pledge drive
without contributing a dime.

Track 19

When I remember
how quiet you used to be,
the helicopter noise
in my head
disappears.

Track 20

This is what I do best:
I phone you
and say Congratulations,
Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday,
Happy New Year,
How’s your sister?
Are you better?
Is it hot enough for you?
Thanks, I love you, too.

Track 21

The people who hate wind
are insulated, inland;
they wear hats to keep them safe
from
flying poems.

Track 22

Just before I killed that bug,
I had the guilty thought
that it might be you, reincarnated,
but I told myself that,
if you did return,
it would be as a much higher life-form,
maybe a hummingbird.

Track 23

Noon Concert

These frail, white widows
who get their hair done weekly
in tight curls,
like little flowers
bend their heads
until the applause
says it’s time
to be brave, again.

Track 24

If the bridge of the nose
is really the seat of wisdom,
yours is The Britannica,
edited by Einstein,
illustrated by Picasso.

Track 25

Definition of Happiness #302

Yellow plates on a black table,
and my new curtains,
dancing a tango
in the open window.

If I were directing this movie,
we’d be walking through clouds
wet as dogs’ breath.
Just a dot of pink, for excitement,
and no music, just ice where the wind was.

Track 26

Since she was from Iceland
and didn’t know any better,
she said, “I miss the green of the east.
It’s so yellow here.
Of course, at home, we don’t have any trees.
Once, in New Jersey, I could see Manhattan
across the river,
as if it was a picture of Manhattan.”

Track 27

Alaska

Once, I got into a taxi
whose driver wore a turban.
We chatted about traffic and travel
and he said he absolutely loved Alaska,
where he’d worked on the pipeline for five years.
He blushed when he told me, “You know,
I’m a Muslim. We’re supposed to pray
five times a day, facing Mecca.
But sometimes, when nobody’s watching,
I face Alaska.”

Track 28

What Henny Youngman
loves most about America
is that anybody can
grow up to be the Pope.

Track 29

We were all sitting around,
talking about what kind of animal
we’d like to be,
and Vince said, “A gorilla,
because they’re the most like us.”

Track 30

Fortune Cookie

You are going to look exactly
like your father —
one of those draped,
semi-ecstatic old Jews
you see framed
on the mantel
in grandmothers’ houses.
Like him,
you will lapse into Yiddish,
throwing your hands up
in mock surrender.
And your lips will move
when you read,
and your children will
imitate you.

Track 31

Henny Youngman’s True Confession
(thanks to M.B.)

I think that, if I were to talk to a rabbi,
he’d listen and all,
but then we’d just end up
with him asking me
to explain the Internet.
I went to a palm reader,
said, “I’m in love with a straight guy
who can’t love me back.”
She said, “Why would you
want to do that?”
I’m, like, exiled,
all the best people are.

Track 32

Sorry To Disappoint You

As the elder in your Chinese house,
I have almost no wisdom to offer:
A few books, a few poems –
I’m not sure there’s anything else,
except that I once shook John Coltrane’s hand,
and sex in the morning is more fun
than cereal.
The rest you already know.

Track 33

Future Past

If I had stayed asleep
I would have missed
the fun of speaking English,
the quiet satisfaction
of appointments kept,
the way dreams change
when you try to describe them.

Track 34

Mark Weber-Type Poem

So my latest rejection comes from Iowa,
about a week before Christmas:
“Thank you for allowing us
to consider your work…”
I picture the writer
at a desk overlooking a corn field.
There’s a droopy plant
on the windowsill
and a volume of Yeats or Keats
nearby.
It has been a tough day,
and here I come,
galloping into that landscape
with my palm trees and deserts,
coyotes and surfers.

pfMENTUM CD060

PFMCD060

Steuart Liebig / The Mentones: Angel City Dust (PFMCD057)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="482"]
The Mentones

Tony Atherton: alto saxophone
Joseph Berardi: drumset, percussion
Bill Barrett: chromatic harmonica
Steuart Liebig: contrabassguitars

this is an uprising. intonations that the physical world is meaningless tonight and there is no other. liebig with the sound of pianos in his head walks the city creating a logic not to be distinguished from lunacy. his stanzas hang like hives in some fauvist hell where berardi flaps the fire’s bellow, the wind that stokes, the actual bite; where barrett’s flitterings sparkle like eyesight falling to earth, scribbling a primitive astronomy amongst atherton’s groaning expletives, reed as beast of light.

this is an uprising. a kind of elegy found in space, more than an imitation for the ear. it’s in the hues not chosen or chosen quickly in an elemental freedom, flying as insects of fire into a cavern of sound where all have converged upon a common image, illimitable spheres, the law of causation suspended. liebig, brown as bread dreaming of birds. barrett, shrill as glass that will not melt in the heat. berardi, bottles clanking, water fluttering. atherton, a diviner of foam. this is a tour of shifting scenes, voices in the clouds, lion in the lute, articulate fangs, salvation through barbarous chanting. the discord ferments as liebig, a damned universal clock existing in multiple time zones, wields his groove, totemic, a hammock, monolithic. berardi, unrelenting saboteur toppling boats. and listen to that, barrett’s ululation in the city of a burning cloud, where atherton deals in the sweet vertical.

this is an uprising. of metaphysical wailers, crazed rhapsodical sound poets in the hot blast clatter of invention, where liebig, the steward, the sober man still dancing, calls ravens down from the sky.

– scot ray, montana, 3.09

fingeroo – – 1:02
wool – – 5:27
all gone – – 4:10
empty – – 2:48
locustland – – 3:52
fire & ice – – 4:21
lonelyheart – – 7:13
slow burn fever – – 5:30
kingfish – – 4:03
out, down and over – – 5:30
headlock – – 3:12
peach tree – – 2:53
topped off – – 5:32

gear thanks: fodera basses,thomastik-infeld strings,
nordstrand pickups, mike cooper,
rick turner and raven labs; seydel harmonicas, ben bouman and pat missin; paiste cymbals

photos/montages/layout
by steuart liebig
band photos by wayne peet
recorded at newzone studio, 10–11 january 2009, by wayne peet,
assisted by ellington peet; mixed at newzone studio,
by wayne peet and steuart liebig, mar vista, california, 2009

pfMENTUM CD057

PFMCD057

Steuart Liebig / The Mentones: Nowhere Calling (PFMCD039)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="445,443"]
The Mentones
Tony Atherton: alto saxophone
Bill Barrett: chromatic harmonica
Joseph Berardi: drumset, percussion
Steuart Liebig: contrabassguitars

chatterbox – – 4:17
double-blade axe – – 3:58
coal – – 4:41
back seat, white cadillac – – 7:08
hardcase – – 2:30
iodine cream – – 4:10
manchild hustle – – 3:16
way high lonesome – – 4:55
the single-double two-step – – 1:58
rocking chair – – 6:29
angel city dust – – 3:47
daisy man – – 2:00
rooster rocket – -1:53

© 2006, steuart liebig/sisong music (ascap)

photos/montages by steuart liebig;
band photos by amparo fernandez;
inside photo from david witham video, processed by joseph berardi;
layout by steuart liebig
recorded at newzone studio, by wayne peet; mixed at newzone studio, by wayne peet and steuart liebig, mar vista, california, 2006

gear thanks: fodera basses, thomastik-infeld strings, rick turner and raven labs; pat missin; paiste cymbals and attack drums heads

Liner Notes by Nels Cline:
The Mentones. The name conjures up some preconceptions: a sort of retro outfit, maybe a blues/rock or R&B thing. Dudes. Maybe Texan dudes. Or Oklahomans. The kind of band dudes get rowdy to, or maybe even couples shake their tailfeathers to. Interestingly, although the name is derived from bandleader/composer/bassist Steuart Liebig’s street name in Los Angeles County, there are shards of truth in these preconceptions. But they certainly don’t tell the tale. The Mentones—and yes, they ARE all men— actually do play a kind of blues boogie, though their brand of this is calculatedly skewed in a kind of Bartokian way. This is an all-instrumental thing, so already we’re talking some kind of FUSION band, right? The kind men might dig, since the rumbling roots of the band’s concept are blues, boogie, and some kind of out jazz freakout. HOWEVER: I have watched women groove mightily to The Mentones! I’ve heard them applaud their taut, economical solo workouts! And it’s not because these guys are working the image thing, OK? Not a hipster hat, no sharkskin, no stage presence is in evidence (sorry, cats)! What, then, IS this SoCal combo all about? Why are these hepcats and hepkittens in major DIGULATION MODE?? *** If one follows the prolific and mercurial output of CONTRABASS guitarist Steuart Liebig, one quickly gets dazzled—if not fully bogged down—in the myriad projects he has formed and for which he composes. I have truly lost count of how many bands Steuart is doing concurrently— it’s well over five—and each one operates within tight conceptual parameters. The Mentones is Herr Liebig’s rockingest combo, and it is specifically created to simultaneously refer to and mangle elements of blues, R&B, and, to my mind, surf and the old “instrumental hits” idea, particularly as it played out in the mid-60s. I am also repeatedly reminded of the early quartet music of Ornette Coleman, not stylistically, but in the tight and focused ensemble statements. There are no 5-minute solo forays here. Each piece is highly compressed, and some are over before you even know they’ve started. There appear to be other tightly controlled parameters. For example, it all seems to be about meaty vamps and unison or octave melodies between alto saxophone and harmonica. It’s a thing! I know this because I’ve known Steuart for 30 years! It’s how he thinks and works. His writing for octets, chamber trios, is rife with neo-modernist harmonies. But not in The Mentones. I cherish a fantasy (apologies in advance to Oliver Reed): Lee Marvin, looking for a out-of-the-limelight spot to have a drink or five, stops into a Salvadoran joint like Culver City’s Club Tropical. On the dance floor, The Mentones are at it, pounding out the mighty Liebig salvo, “Hardcase.” Marvin walks right up to the band, his towering, manly frame blocking the view of many of the reverent denizens. As they WHOMP! the song’s abrupt conclusion Marvin, a few Patron Silvers into his evening asks, to no band member in particular, “What are you guys supposed to be, some kind of LOCRIAN BLUES BAND?!” Too bad Lee’s joined his ancestors, but man, he’d be right! With melodies derived from obscure modes (Steuart is positively besotted with flatted fifths) or completely chromatic, the CHUG and CHURN of the bass and drums ram the solar plexus while the peculiar (and totally singular) melodies dance like satyrs in the cerebellum. *** A few words about the men of The Mentones: On alto saxophone is Tony Atherton. Sure, he sounds like he’s sucked up plenty of the toxic stench in Naked City, or perhaps worshipped at the feet of Big Satan. But the maniacal frothing of his playing is totally ROCK ’N ROLL. If he was around in the late 50s, he’d have been the kid in high school who hung out with all the older nighthawks, jamming into the wee hours—or at least as long as the benzedrine in his inhaler lasted. His imposingly tall frame and gentle demeanor barely mask what is obvious: he is a TOTALLY GONE CAT. After negotiating the written material to a tee, he then uncorks the reedy gusher of his horn/psyche. Bill Barrett plays the harmonica. Simply stated, he is one of the most cogent and arresting soloists ON ANY INSTRUMENT playing today. I kid you not. Listen to this shit! He goes from classic blues harp to fucking campfire memories to ghostly shakuhachi rushes without ever losing the moan and shriek of the blues. His playing is consistently haunted. It haunts the music like a spectre, imbuing each moment it inhabits with what David Briggs called “The Spook.” Drummer Joe Berardi has credits longer than the ‘thank yous’ on a Mariah Carey record. I’ve seen him in so many situations spreading his excellence around that it’s dizzying. Do some homework on this man. In The Mentones, Joe really GETS DOWN. Whether playing prepared drums, a tin can, or just laying it down normal-style, this is a BURNER for Joe (and beautifully recorded, I might add). There remains one question: how can a man so consistently well dressed SHRED like that? As for the fearless leader himself, Steuart Liebig here eschews his effects pedal dazzle for a virtuosic though never out-of- the-pocket piledrive through the lexicon of bass and guitar. You see, Steuart bought one of those 6-string basses right when they came out. These things were the fulfillment of a dream, much in the way the MiniMoog was the fulfillment of a dream for Jan Hammer. If only these select individuals were the only ones to bring these instruments to light! Anyway, now Steuart has 3 or 4 of these monster basses. One fretless, one fretted/flatwound, one fretless, one fretted/roundwound, all customized, stickered, slathered with the foam of the mad scientist he is. He plays slide, digs deep into involuntary bowel movement frequencies, and skitters around in the guitar’s range like a musician version of the Manster. AND OH YES, he writes all these neo-Peter Gunn, Locrian, Willie Dixon jams. When The Mentones perform, Steuart name checks his bandmates about 23 times—per set! But I hope that you, the holder of this fine CD, can take a minute to let the names of these men seep into your over-stimulated brain. *** By the way, this disc really starts to ramp up around track 9 (programmers take note!), so all you kids put on your crash helmets and don’t miss the exciting conclusion of Nowhere Calling! Cowabunga!
Nels Cline—Glendale, CA, April 1, 2006

pfMENTUM CD039

PFM039

The Alan Lechusza / Christopher Adler Duo: Mineralia (PFMCD032)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="427"]
The Alan Lechusza / Christopher Adler Duo

ALAN LECHUSZA: e-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano and baritone saxophones, ryuteki

CHRISTOPHER ADLER: Piano

1. schist
2. skarn
3. sphene
4. schorl
5. orogeny
6. Orovician
7. karst
8. gneiss
9. flysch
10. xenolith

Alan Lechusza and Christopher Adler first met and established an improvising duo early in 2000, very soon after which they recorded their debut album Pleistocene. Committed to free improvisation that fully explores the musical experiences of both artists, the duo quickly established a musical presence in San Diego. The duo has formed the nucleus of many musical projects over the past half-decade, including the Christopher Adler Trio, Metal with Reeds…Reeds of Metal, Alan Lechusza’s Side A/Side B, The Yellow Chair Ensemble, and Iguana. Performing throughout Southern California, the duo has collaborated with performers including Gustavo Aguilar, Nina Eidsheim, Christopher Garcia, Nathan Hubbard and Scott Walton. For Lechusza and Adler (both active internationally as composers, repertoire performers and scholars) the duo has been an invaluable inspiration. Their collaboration has given rise to works such as Adler’s I Want to Believe and Song for a Form Carved by Water, and Lechusza’s The Underwear Conspiracy and As the Rain Comes.

Recorded January 23, 2003 by Josef Kucera and Nathan Brock
at UCSD Music Center Studios, University of California, San Diego, California
Mastered by Wayne Peet at Newzone Studio, Los Angeles
Musician photos by Lance Nelson
Landscape photos and design by Christopher Adler
©2006 Alan Lechusza and Christopher Adler (ASCAP)

pfMENTUM CD032

PFMCD032

Tiner / Phillips / Schoenbeck Trio: Breathe In, Feed Out (PFMCD014)

Jeff Kaiser

[playlist ids="383"]
“So the voices that seem to originate from objects in a room hurry here,
the way things hurry toward a background made only of motion.”
— Dennis Phillips, Sand

Kris Tiner: trumpet, flugelhorn, piccolo trumpet, reeds
Noah Phillips: electric guitar, electronics
Sara Schoenbeck: bassoon
1. Skujellifeddy (McGranehan) [6:31]
2. A Wind Shift [4:54]
3. Clocks and Maps [6:52]
4. Like Red Flowers [9:38]
5. Winddrone, Water Drying [2:35]
6. Road from Kumasi [9:25]
7. In This Dull City [2:42]
8. They Mistook Time for Line [3:04]
9. Metal Skin [2:36]
10. Force A Smooth Thing [6:48]
Total Playing Time: [55:10]
Tracks 1, 4, and 6 are compositions by Kris Tiner; all other compositions and arrangements by Tiner/Phillips/Schoenbeck
© 2004 Kris Tiner Music, ASCAP

Recorded by Mark Wheaton at Catasonic Studios in Echo Park, CA 11.18.02
Mixed and mastered by Jeff Kaiser
Design and layout by Jeff Kaiser and Kris Tiner
Photos taken in Kumasi, Ghana by Kris Tiner

pfMENTUM CD014

PFMCD014