Program 646: Experimental | Pop
KALW Broadcast Date: April 2, 2021 | Host: Mark Abramson
On program 646 of Music From Other Minds, we’ll start to explore the intersection between pop and experimental music. We begin with the work of composer Joseph Byrd, a composer and academic who studied under John Cage and Morton Feldman in the early 1960s. He participated in some of the Fluxus art experiments and then decided to form a rock band in the late ’60s which ended up being called The United States of America. We’ll play both his experimental work and a couple pieces from the rock band. After that we’ll play some classic 1960s weirdness by Frank Zappa, music from his albums Freak Out, We’re Only In It For The Money, and Lumpy Gravy. And we’ll listen to a long John Zorn piece called Godard that actually has a lot in common with Zappa’s Lumpy Gravy – in compositional approach if not it’s actual sound. We’ll finish up with some work by the 1970s experimental no-wave artist Lizzy Mercier Descloux, including a collaboration with punk poet Patti Smith.
Here’s that Frank Zappa link I mention during the program. It’s a clip from the The Steve Allen Show, broadcast in 1963.
Track Info & Links
Title: The American Metaphysical Circus, The Garden of Earthly Delights
Composers: Joseph Byrd
Performers: The United States of America – Joseph Byrd, keyboards; Dorothy Moskowitz, vocals; Gordon Marron, violin; Rand Forbes, bass; Craig Woodson, drums; Ed Bogas, keyboards
Recording Title: United States of America (1968)
Record Label: Sundazed Records
Catalog Number: SC11124
Composers: John Zorn
Performers: Anthony Coleman – piano, organ, harpsichord, celeste; Carol Emanuel – harp; Bill Frisell – guitars, banjo; Christian Marclay – turntables; Bobby Previte – drums, percussion; David Weinstein – keyboards, computer; John Zorn – alto saxophone, clarinet, French narration; Luli Shioi – vocal; Wu Shao-Ying – narration; Richard Foreman – English narration
Recording Title: Godard-Spillane (1999)
Record Label: Tzadik Records
Catalogue Number: TZ7324