Sunday, December 28, 2008

mercury rev "All is Dream" and MOTW

I just got Mercury Rev's "All is Dream". Is anyone familiar with this record? I was really surprised to find some startling similarities between this record and Bath/LYBM - am just listening for the first time now, but initial observations about the peripherals:

First of all, the tile "All is Dream". Additionally, its release date was within weeks of Bath/LYBM's release date, and the inlay booklet is peppered with Hebrew letters with symbolic meanings (i.e, chet is used for "fence" in this booklet), guitar mappings, planetary zodiac symbols, and other occult allusions. Has any motW fan ever investigated this?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Just got back from tour and found myself without a job to really rely on for the time being. So while I float at home seeking out medical studies or temp work, and not really able to "go out" due to the unemployment, I have the days and nights available. I have a couple drawing projects on my plate; one is a CD cover for a UK band called The Red Word - the other is some KD vinyl preorder merch for the Hydra Head store. (Please don't ask about it).

Aside from trying to conceptualize some drawings, I've been able to take some time to focus on writing - I mean in several-hours-long sessions instead of the usual one-hour a night after work type of thing. This kind of forced introversion is what I've been missing since I moved to NYC; I had it in 2007 when I was living in CT, hence the massive amount of work that went into Blue Lambency Downward, and here it is again - Preceding every album of mine, there has been such a period, and I'm coming to realize that it's perhaps a necessary step to any new, serious writing, since all of that music is so personally deep.

As probably all the readers of this blog know, the next recording I have planned is the maudlin of the Well project in February. So with my mind in that place, a lot of new writing in a rock-based genre can't help but hearken the mood of motW. I actually noticed recently that all the time the boundary I had been trying to define between what was motW and what is Kayo Dot may have been exaggerated. I had always thought that KD's writing was more deliberate - and it is, in a way. But at the same time, there are these periods of forced introversion like I mentioned above, which are bottomless and out-of-time, which when called back to memory are even hazy and dreamy... and which always result in a record. All of my writing has come out of this state - it's just the post-state that gives the music an identity - the level of involvement in shaping the concept.

So as an anxious music listener, I want to record these new tunes as soon as possible and am tempted to have them become a part of the motW record. To be faithful to the project though, it's really against the rules to bring new songs in from scratch, so I'm not going to do it. I don't think I'd want to leave these new songs alone anyway; basically, what has always been defined as a motW tune to me is music that has come in as an idea and then has been pretty much left as-is, without much shaping or censorship by the conscious mind. And because of this, that music is imbued with the melodic, harmonic, and structural identity of all of my influences... a chord progression or lick manifests itself because it makes sense to the memory, and it appeals easier to many listeners because it makes sense to their memory.

Friday, September 5, 2008

new last minute NYC show!

Rehab (formerly known as Midway) has a monthly Monday night music/film party hosted by Lary 7 and Yuko Sueta - this Monday I and a group of friends will be performing as The Morbid Stripes! Toby Driver - electric bass, Jeremiah Cymerman - woodwinds, Dan Means - woodwinds, Terran Olson - woodwinds

10PM, at Rehab (avenue B between 2nd and 3rd streets).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kayo Dot Aux Unit

I and a few of my frequent collaborators will be performing a new composition September 4th, 8:00 PM at The Stone in NYC's East Village (Corner of Ave. C and 2nd St.). To anyone who's wondering about this, it's a full-length piece that I've been working on since the beginning of the year - I'm very excited about it and this concert is the world premiere and should not be missed!

Toby Driver - electric bass
David Bodie - percussion (drumset and orchestral percussions)
Dan Means - alto sax
Tim Byrnes - trumpet
Terran Olson - piano

Sunday, July 27, 2008

holy shit!

An extremely generous fan Etienne Dube just donated enough for motW to be able to do a full length album.. unbelievable and amazing news! Everyone else can keep donating if you wish, as further donations will help us hire orchestral musicians (cello, etc), and actually press copies instead of having this be an internet release. The recording will start Feb 10.. congratulations to Etienne and to everyone!

Monday, June 30, 2008


Just to let everyone know, I got positives from all the motW dudes.. Greg, Byron, Terran, Nick, Josh, Sam.

We're just about halfway to being able to do one song... !

Saturday, June 28, 2008

going for it!

I was completely overwhelmed and moved by the response to my posting about unreleased motW... thank you to everyone.. wow! I went and asked the other motW guys if they'd be interested in participating in this too and the response was very positive.. so we're going to try this donation thing out and see if it can work! If the money comes in soon, i would ideally like to record in winter '08-'09.

The paypal address is

here's the button:

Here are the details:

•See my notes about average costs in the comments of the below posting.

•We'll record and release as many songs as we can with the funding we receive, up to a full-length album's worth. Any amount received over that will go towards actually having physical copies printed up, whether on vinyl or CD will depend on the funding as well.

•The release will be 100% FREE to the public, funded by the public. This project is completely pro bono and not-for-profit. In the event of hard copy production, the hard copies will be FREE, to the extent that they can continue to be funded by the project. (shipping, for example, might need to be an additional charge later).

• All the donors will be credited, maybe as executive producers or something similar, in the release.

•If we don't receive enough to do even one song, all the money will be refunded to the donors via paypal.

•The project will get rolling as soon as the funding comes in.. if it looks like we won't make enough, I'll set a deadline until refunds start happening... probably somewhere around October or November 2008.

•All the material will be from 1999-2000 either as full songs that were never recorded, or fragments from the same era that we will develop into full songs now. The main purpose being to preserve the original idea from the relevant state of mind.

•All rights to the recordings and music will be retained by the artist.

Good luck to all of us... Special thanks to Chris Elmore for helping push this idea forward..!

Friday, June 20, 2008

unreleased motW

I'm in the process of writing an essay for an upcoming edition of ARCANA, a series of books that JZ has put together to give composers an opportunity to explain their music (hopefully borne out of the fact that critics always get it wrong.)

Anyway I've spent a good few pages retrospecting maudlin of the Well, which has made a few older and unrecorded songs flood back into my mind... amazingly, the memory of them is very fresh and I'm still able to hear those complete songs in my head.

A lot of the time in motW, some compositional and programming decisions were made based on the music's audience; thus the music that was never heard is like the least rock stuff of all (but it's all from 1998-2000, so is not as pushing of the envelope as our music of today). For example, there's an expanded and further developed version of The Blue Ghost/Shedding Qliphoth with vocals, strings, piano, etc... all the stuff I'm talking about is kind of in that vein.

So I have this serious bug in my ear right now about it; Terran is around again and if we had the resources I think we'd both be eager to put a record together. Actually I already asked Dark Symphonies but they can't do it. But I'm not really interested in label-shopping otherwise because I'm not sure what motW's relevance is to any label. There also doesn't really seem to be a need to release motW commerically since the band is done as an entity, so even a free internet release would be cool; I wonder if we could somehow have a community-funded motW record - funded by donations from fans and then released for free online. Or released for free on CD or vinyl complete with artwork if there was enough fundage.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I now address the question of UK dates

A lot of people have been asking about this.. whether we'll be playing any UK dates when we go to Europe this spring.

The answer is no, the only reason being that we do not have a UK booking agent. A lot of fans and friends have offered via myspace to book one-off shows for us in the UK, which is great and much appreciated, and we may in fact go that route eventually.

We would like to plan to play the UK this coming November, but it's just dependent upon if it can be arranged tightly.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This Fri @ the Jazz Gallery

Premiere of a new Toby song "Dolphin’s Paralimbic Lobe," performed by the Josh Roseman 11-piece ensemble featuring Peter Afpelbaum, Kenny Brooks, Ambrose Akinmusire, Nir Felder, Christian Lightcap, Barnaby McAll, Curtis Hasselbring, Shane Endsley. + me sitting in for "Dolphin’s..."

Friday, February 1, 2008

March shows finalized

Check out Kayo Dot's myspace page for more details.
Unfortunately we had to stop trying for Nashville this time around but will hit it next time.

3/10 Richmond VA
3/11 Asheville NC
3/12 Hattiesburg MS
3/13 Houston TX
3/14 Austin TX
3/15 Austin TX
3/16 Boone NC
3/17 Baltimore MD
3/18 Brooklyn, NY

Monday, January 28, 2008

yesterday's session

We had the D.U.M.E. recording session/concert yesterday at The Hunt Studio in Millstone (which was a really great studio, by the way)... fortunately for us, the other bands that were supposed to participate bailed, so we had the place all to ourselves. Thus allowing us to have more time and freedom to try different configurations of instrumentation, etc. It turned out way better than any of us had expected; what had started off as just a thrown-together outfit just for fun suddenly became something really magical. The metamorphosis was so stark that I feel like we ought to change the band name to something less silly.. the music reflects something much deeper now. I guess when we figure out what the new band name is, I'll make us a new myspace page. :(

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Upcoming Kayo Dot Shows

We have about a week's worth of shows on the path to and from SXSW in March. There are a couple towns that need filling in, but there's now a pretty solid list up at Kayo Dot's myspace page. Nice to be booking again after not playing since '06! As far as lineup details, we have been rehearsing with a few guys:

Patrick Wolff (woodwinds), Daniel Means (woodwinds and guitar), David Bodie (drums from Time of Orchids), and Terran Olson on keyboards and woodwinds (formerly of Kayo Dot and maudlin of the Well - yes!!!!)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


A D.U.M.E. Candle is a black vigil candle with a Black List on it - write the names of those who have wronged you in the black list and burn the candle, bad luck comes upon them.

Add us on myspace:
Viddy the upcoming shows.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

kayo dot shows!

I'm pretty sure KD is going to be playing South by Southwest in March. I'm trying to book a few dates around it now, on the way down and back. This would be something like Richmond, Asheville, Hattiesburg, Austin, Denton, Nashville, Washington DC or Baltimore, and NYC.
Trying to only hit cities we have played several times so that we can draw enough of an audience. If any of my readers are near one of these places and would like to set up a show for Kayo Dot (March 10-18), please email me! (NOT via blog comments! thanks)