Cheer-Accident — Putting off Death
(Cuneiform Rune 446, 2017, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2017-07-15
It’s been a few years since we had a new release from the weird and wonderful Cheer-Accident — No Ifs, Ands or Dogs came out in 2011. Multi-instrumentalist Thymme Jones released a solo album called The Goal of Action Is Contemplation in 2014, but I was beginning to wonder what happened to the band. Putting off Death is similar to its predecessor in terms of crazy stylistic variety, impressive musicianship, and beautifully warped artistic sensibility. “Language Is” is the lead-off track, an 11 minute piece that starts with a meditative piano and vocal section lasting a bit over a minute and then adds in drums with unobtrusive bass and (I think) a little guitar. Then suddenly at 3:39 a totally different section cuts in without warning or even being on beat, almost as if a second piece of music was waiting in the wings and could no longer stand being denied. This section is faster and more aggressive, with a complex rhythm and chords that stack up into ambiguous masses of notes. After a couple minutes of that, there’s a section of long tremolo chords that slowly builds with indistinct sounds buried deep in the mix. There’s another section where horns join in. The piece ends with studio trickery, messing with the signals, throwing out white noise and mangling the audio. The other tracks are shorter, but similarly varied in style, rhythm, instrumentation, and mood. Vocals are superbly arranged, with multiple singers tackling difficult parts in a similar way to Thinking Plague, though perhaps more accessible. Jones sings and handles keyboards, drums, guitar, and trumpet, with nine other instrumentalists and three singers contributing. The band seems to consist primarily of Jones and fellow multi-instrumentalist Jeff Libersher (vocals, guitar, keyboards, trumpet) along with all the others filling out the horn section and extra vocals. Their anything-goes attitude provides for a fascinating kaleidoscopic artistic experience, reaffirming their place as one of America’s best art rock bands and contributing another great addition to their impressive discography.
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more