Volcano the Bear / La Société des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux — The Shy Volcanic Society at the Bear and Bird Parade
(Beta-lactam Ring mt222, 2009, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01
No, it’s not a collaboration between these two BLR mainstays, it’s a split realease with five VTB tracks and four by La STPO. Volcano the Bear take us on a journey to a farm — I hear cows mooing in the background — where they manage to make music in spite of the lack of instruments. OK, to be fair, there are some actual instruments used, but there are lots of sounds that come from unidentified objects. It’s more abstract than some VTB I’ve heard, wandering around more or less aimlessly, blowing on bottles, humming and mumbling, banging on things found in the barn and garden shed, and wreaking havoc with the odd electronic device. And then the last track comes along and the raggedy community band comes out playing an arrangement contributed by the village’s latest addition, an immigrant from the Middle East, featuring whatever odd collection of instruments the members had laying around.
La STPO begins their section with a violin, presenting a different take on avant-garde music, which features many conventional instruments (often played in unconventional ways) and is much more structured, though equally strange. Bizarre French vocalizing features prominently, as with the other STPO releases I’ve heard, kind of like Christian Décamps having a psychotic episode. In a sense, these two bands tackle the kind of twisted music the Residents are known for, and take it in two different directions.
Related artist(s): Volcano the Bear, La Société des Timides à la Parade des Oiseaux (La STPO)
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more