Thursday, September 6, 2012

INVISIBLE celebrates John Cage's 100th birthday by playing a cake

Experimental music group, INVISIBLE, celebrated John Cage's 100th birthday yesterday as part of a workshop collaboration with the Elsewhere Artist Collaborative and Weaver Academy. Using an aleatoric method that would've made Cage proud, students were asked to drop candies representing notation onto a musical staff decorated cake.  Guitarist Brian Koenig was then asked to sight-read the piece, as the cake was cut and distributed to the sugar-needy high school students.

This project was made possible by a North Carolina Arts Council Education Grant.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Workday/Schoolnight - Death to Popularity (2011)

Here is the new Workday/Schoolnight album. It follows in the style first debuted on Electronic Trash (2008) and continued on Plastic Ocean (2010). Minimal beats and dark synths mix with thrift store found sound samples and other oddities. All electronic, all second-hand.

Sounds a little like Fad Gadget, Metronomes, League of Nations, and other obscurities from my formative years.

Workday/Schoolnight on Facebook

Self-released in the real world on cassette. Send an email if you want a tape.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

INVISIBLE has a real website

For all your folk science junk yard noise needs,

Casual Curious - self titled (2010)

So, I kind of forgot about this blog for a while... But I'd hate to give the impression that there is nothing going on in Greensboro to post about, because there's always something going on if you know where to look. And in the last year many a cool kid's brain has been overtaken with the sparkly hooks and bombastic beats being blasted from the club or house party where Casual Curious is blowing speakers and smashing Casios.

The lineup for Casual Curious has changed a few times over the years, with only the mastermind/songwriter Lee Gunselman staying the same. This album, which features some of his best work, is from the recent period of playing as a duo. Just electronics, samples, synths, piano, effected vocals, and some really great jazz fueled rock drumming make this a must hear record. There's a touch of Krautrock experimentation that slips in and out tying different tracks together and then just when you need it most, deadly hooks rise from the ashes and for a moment you're lost in a pop song before it all comes crashing down again .

Casual Curious is now playing as a 4-piece, putting on super charged energetic shows in the NC area. See them if you can.


4.duke leto
5.body & air
6.get lost
7.done 4 good
9.she song

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Workday/Schoolnight - Plastic Ocean (2010)

Using roughly 6 different consumer keyboards from the 1980s (casios, yamahas, kawais), a hammond rhythm machine, a bank of drum samples, and dozens of cassette tapes bought from thrift stores (as well as some other stuff), "Plastic Ocean" flows between experimental found sounds and synth-punk songs. Clocking in at over 70 minutes, "Plastic Ocean" keeps the listener tuned in by often times speaking directly to him or her. So, this may not be the best choice of music to listen to while multitasking. Alienation, opression, cyncism about the world's state, and some good ole antiestablishmentarianism are present in the more "punk", or "post-punk" if you would prefer, portions of the album. The songs are put in an unsettling light when juxtaposed with self-hypnotic tapes, daily affirmations,nt tapes, and vocabulary lessons. memory improvement

.Track Listing:
1.Tapes on Tapes 1
2. Be Positive (Subliminal Series)
3. People Crusher
4. Family Security
5. Survivalist's Advice
6. Reset
7. Health Slave
8. Shopping for Poison
9. The Talker
10. Dead Doctors Don't Lie
11. Affordable Living
12. Nervous Illnesses (featuring Rhythm 1001)
13. Humans and Computers
14. My Creation
15. In My Voice, It Sounds Like This
16. Trash Machine
17. Affirmations
18. Major Metropolitan Low Ambition
19. Plastic Ocean
20. Tapes on Tapes 2
21. Words Control


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Casual Curious - Speed, Madness, Flying Saucers (2009)

Combining electronics, synths and samples with a groovy backing band, Casual Curious recorded this ep almost a year ago. The band is now a duo, but is still staying true to the sounds present on this recording. Effected warbling vocals, catchy melodies and a beat you can bob your head to, CC is proving to be one of the best live acts in town.

The creative force behind the band is T. Lee Gunselman whose influences are a little hard to peg down. Talking Heads are certainly present, as well as some post-rock jazz like Tortoise.

The recording here features:
Alex Barbato on bass
Reed Benjamin on drums
Issac Boswell on guitars
and T. Lee Gunselman on everything else

Nowadays when they play live it's just Gunselman on keys, sampler and vocals and drummer James Crosson, together creating a good mix of electronic synth sound with exceptional modern jazz/rock drumming.

visit them at their myspace page to see when they are playing next

Speed, Madness, Flying Saucers (2009):
1. Codes
2. Problems
3. Sea Vermin
4. Bottles
5. Satyrday
6. Homecoming

Download it here

Friday, August 7, 2009

88 Seconds in Greensboro

If you live in Greensboro and are reading this then you probably know about the 1979 Greensboro Massacre. If not, here's a brief brief summary from wikipedia: "The Greensboro massacre took place on November 3, 1979 in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States. Five marchers were shot and killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party while in a protest. It was the culmination of attempts by the Communist Workers Party to organize mostly black industrial workers in the area." It goes on to say that the most fucked up thing about this event was that for some reason there were
no police present. No police present for an event that involved the KKK, Nazis and African Americans? That's more than a little messed up, Greensboro.

A few years ago, a really in-depth documentary was made about not just the massacre, but it's repercussions with the child of one of the protesters. Very disturbing and fascinating stuff. Right in on our backyard. The whole thing is watchable at, here is a preview that does a good job of summarizing the story:

If you want to know more about this unfortunate page in Greensboro's history book, please google it and read read read, cause there's tons of info out there. If you want to know how 80s synth pop group Orchestral Maneouvres in the Dark are involved with all of this, read on.

In 1985, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark released their 6th album, Crush, which features their song "88 Seconds in Greensboro", which is about, you may have guessed, the 1979 Massacre. How a British band came to write a song about Greensboro, I'm not entirely sure. In this video Andy McCluskey says he saw a news reel about it and had to write a song. Okay.

I'm a big OMD fan. So much that I call them OMD. And as all OMD fans will quickly clarify, their first four albums are really where it's at. 85's Crush is good, but most of the awesome late 70s/early 80s new wave acts had blown it by 85. OMD was no exception. The song, "88 Seconds in Greensboro" is kinda bland, but due to the subject matter, I've listened to it so many times that it's grown on me.

All that having been said, this is not a good representation of OMD, but may be the only song featured on a major label release about Greensboro.


If you want a taste of OMD at their best, get their 1981 album, Architecture and Morality here

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kaleidoscope Death - Litost (2009)

Litost is a word we don't have in English. It's Czech and means, amongst other things, a state of torment created by the sudden insight into one's own misery. A feeling that is the synthesis of many others: grief, sympathy, remorse, and an indefinable longing. Pretty heavy. This album, maybe heavy in lyrical content, is anything but miserable. Unlike many of his previous albums, Chuck Chambers has firmly planted himself in the rockus world of punk-rock—experimental noisy punk rock, at that. Chuck lets it all hang out on this one. Scratchy distorted guitar, spazz drums and blistering bass lines drop in and out of these 12 songs in an unexpected, lively, and berserker fashion. Almost unrecognizable, Chuck's voice yells and shouts his frustrations and contempt for all things contemptable. Honestly, I think his vocal chords were meant more for this ferocity, then anything else. Being a big fan of the previous 25 (?) Kaleidoscope Death albums, the energy on this one took me by surprise. Every punk enthusiast in Greensboro should crank this shit up loud and drive around town in your beat up car with your stupid faded high school bumperstickers on the back. Crank it, go a little nuts, get drunk, ditch the car, jay walk, spray-paint some stop signs, bark at some dogs, piss in the woods, then hitch a ride home and try to make out with your housemate(s).

1. on the clock
2. the saddest sadist
3. sender
4. watch it time out
5. unsubst
6. gravel
7. fingers
8. litost
9. mass culture shut in
10. tired
11. #1
12. shitty

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Geezer Lake - King Frost Parade (1997)

Alternative Press magazine said that, “North Carolina’s Geezer Lake pick up the baton from June Of 44, Grifters, Unwound and Sunny Day Real Estate and Parade is a hodgepodge of influences that makes for 11 songs with more cohesion and thematic focus that has been heard in some time. Filled with equal parts beauty and ferocity, King Frost Parade is simply startling.”

This was their 3rd and final album. The band broke up in the late 90s. Scotty Irving, who still lives in Greensboro, now plays as Clang Quartet, a truly crazy/amazing solo electronic/noise/experimental project that is comprised of the father, the son, the holy ghost, and Scotty.   He puts on quite a show. Like the Raymond Brake, Geezer Lake was before my time in Greensboro, so I missed out seeing them play live.  I'm posting this older stuff up here because I think it's important for all the younger Greensboro rockers to get a little bit of a history lesson - and these albums are damn good. Sure, at times you can tell they came from the 90s, but sounding like where your from ain't always a bad thang. 

Get it here

Raymond Brake - Never Work Ever (1996)

So here's something different: Greensboro indie/post-punk from the 90s. The Raymond Brake are definitely one of the better bands to come out of Greensboro. Unfortunately, they existed before my Greensboro time, so I never got to really experience their music.  Lead man, Andy Cabic now lives in California and is the man guy for new folk band Vetiver, which also features members of another 90s indie/post-punk outfit Rebar. Vetiver often collaborates with Devendra Banhart, so I guess they're doing alright.  It would have been interesting though, to see what would have become of them had they kept on with the experimental rock music like what is on this disc from 96.   

And if you like what you hear, and want some Rebar to go with your Brake, check out this post on my brother's blog: Raymond Brake/Rebar Split 7"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Here's a video I put together of footage from INVISIBLE's month long show at the Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, VA.  

Monday, May 18, 2009

INVISIBLE - "Irresponsibly Electric" (2009)

INVISIBLE's post-post-post-punk-rock debut. Recorded in 2008 when they were consistently playing as a four piece with experimental electronicist Dan Kaufman (the Neon Sea, Miso Skitzo).

The first 9 songs on "Irresponsibly Electric" find INVISIBLE playfully at their gnarliest: noise battles & surf rock, death-core & dance-grooves, war screams & dub-reggae. After exorcising their punk rock demons with various genrecidal techniques, INVISIBLE closes the album out on a relaxing long collage of improvisational pieces using instruments found in an elementary school's music room as well as electronic beats, live sampling, and guitars.

This album is available for purchase from the band and some local stores (Greensboro - Maya Gallery). There were only 100 physical copies made and most have found homes. Being that this incarnation of INVISIBLE is no more, there are no plans on making more copies.

Check out INVISIBLE's web page for too many videos and pictures, plus info on upcoming performances.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

America Reads - Humming in the Night Skull (2008)

America Reads is a dark spacey sound collage noise experiment conceived by one R. Lloyd Mason. Released DIY style on tape, the album consists of two tracks: (Side A) and (Side B).  Each side is about 20 minutes long and takes the listener on a journey through the dark matter of space in a lo-fi noiseship held together by jangling glass bottles and cans.  While floating in the void, you pick up a signal from an alien race, but either they are speaking too quickly, or you are hearing too slowly—you can’t quite make it out -- it doesn’t matter anyway, because your radio device, which is controlled by a toy piano, only works half of the time anyway.  In the end, the crumbling church bells lead you home again, only to discover that while you were gone, time turned in on itself, leaving only a negative of where you once lived. 

Download the trip here

visit America Reads at myspace here

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Secret Message Machine - "Giants, Madmen, and Ghosts" (2008)

Shedding much of the lo-fi aesthetic of past releases, Secret Message Machine’s 4th album sparkles and shines with crisp production, airy vocals, and thoughtful arrangements. Michael Barrett has been releasing music as Secret Message Machine for over five years, while at the same time playing in countless Subjective Collective projects, including Blank Blank. In the first few moments of hearing Barret’s deep vocals, you might be tempted to think: “This sounds like that guy from Smog”, or you could go the way of the Go Triad, saying that the vocals “echo Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields) with its organic melancholy tone and reverb”. But I don’t know about all of that. Barrett’s personality (and thus songwriting) is far from the smart-ass, sad clown schitck of Merritt, or the downtrodden slit-your-wrists stylings of Bill Callahan.  “Giants, Madmen, and Ghosts” is a beautiful layered experience, expressing much more complicated thoughts and emtions than just everyone’s old pal melacholia. 

Accompanied by Erik Chaplinsky (Summer Camp Casanova) and Chuck Chambers (Kaliedoscope Death), Barrett’s songs contain the best elements of singer/songwriter indie rock, with no cliches or tired sounds. Each track, although fronted by seemingly forlorn vocals, springs to life with intricately placed layers of bass, acoustic strumming, magical effects and rock guitar coming and going at just the right moments. The songwriting comes off in an extremely natural way, making the transistions from one song to the next easy, smooth, even ghostly—like, hey is this a different song, or a different part of the one before it? This album definitely has flow. Actually it flows so well, I’m always surprised when it’s over. With 11 songs, it clocks in just over 30 mins, proving that there’s never anything wrong with leaving the listener wanting more.  

Highlights include: 

the opener “Insomnia” - busy drums, drone, slide guitar, backwards casio, --”We’re all Guitly! We’re all Crazy!”  so good. 

“Literary Criticism” - mostly acoustic -with some otherworldy effects laden violin playing.

“Ghosts” - haunting vocals, flowing rhythm, casio melody, ghostly.

“Greensboro” - peepy little piano ditty about a donut run. Apparently for Michael, Greensboro and sugar highs go hand in hand. Maybe I need to get with the program and visit Dunkin Donuts. 

There’s not a bad song here.  A must listen for fans of lo-fi, dyi, indie singer/songwriter stuff, in the vein of Sebadoh, Netural Milk Hotel, Summer Camp Casanova and Kaliedoscope Death

Download it here.

Visit Secret Message Machine on myspace, here.

Romancer - Romancer (2008)

I have to start this off by saying that you if you have lived in Greensboro for the past couple of years, love rock music, and haven’t seen Jonathan Moore peform in one of his two bands,Tiger Bear Wolf or Health (r.i.p.), then you have no idea the scope of amazing music this town has to offer.  

I first saw Jon with Tiger Bear Wolf in 2003 - the unlikelypairing of explosive punk ferocity with 70s prog-rock style monster riffs was enough for me to almost run down Lee St. to the nearest tattoo shop and get a TBW heart on my upper arm. Tiger Bear Wolf is still blowing minds in local venues, - not as often as some would like, but see them if you can-- they are not to be missed. Jon, who provides Tiger Bear Wolf with most of the singing, and half of the guitar work - later formed Health, --- a sort of introspective alt-country realization of the Velvet Underground. Group harmonies, epic guitar solos, powerful yet minimal percussion, and on top of it all, Jon’s soulful vocals. 

But enough about the past and onto the present.  

Romancer finds Jon at his most experimental - which isn’t to say this is a weird album—In fact, in his experimenting, he offers up his most abstract and also his most accessible at the same time.  The self-titled album opens and closes with the Fripp/Eno-esque “Wheels Within Wheels”, produced with the almost forgotten technique of recording on reel-to-reel tape then physically cutting it and splicing it together again to produce a geniune tape loop. Creating layers of guitars and keys that echo and delay in the depths of a pulsing ambient drone.  The last thing you’d expect to find inbetween these spacey bookends is the feel good hit of summer (“The World Is Exploding”) - but it’s there—it’s catchy—and it makes me loathe the winter. 

Now, I’m no bible scholar, but  “Moses” seems to be a narrative of Moses, complete with a 3/4 tribal beat and splashed with bursts of horns.  Jon comes off as a deranged preacher, hitting his climax of crazy yelling about blood and snakes. Combining intimate stripped down songs with full blown rockers works really well on this mini-album by multi-instrumentalist riffrocking songsinging Greensboroian.  

Download Romancer’s self-titled album here.  

Hey, it’s really good. 

visit Jon at