Monday, December 19, 2011

Lantern Live at Shea Stadium

The People at Shea Stadium up in Brooklyn do a really cool thing where the record all the live shows that happen there and then post them to their website. The recordings they make are also pristine. We fortunately played the last show of the our tour there and were able to capture ourselves in full tour form. Tight, angry, loud, and fast after 5 weeks of being on the road. This is FULL THROTTLE right from the opening chords of a blistering take of "I Don't Know." I hope you enjoy it and those who haven't seen Lantern live, well I hope it more than inspires you to come on out to see a set.

Best and thank you to the kind folks at Shea Stadium. One of the best DIY venues I have had the pleasure of playing.

Lantern - Live @ Shea Stadium by LiveatSheaStadium

New Lantern/Dirty Beaches Bootleg for Free Download

There is a new live album available for FREE download off of our Bandcamp site. This time it's our collaboration with Dirty Beaches which took place in Brooklyn last spring. We made a tape of the bootleg which we sold out of on tour. Please feel free to spread it around and share it all with your friends - Download it and burn it to a cd to give to one of your friends for the holidays. We are really proud of the results considering how little time we had to prepare. The songs are quasi improvised and the final tune turned out to be a sort of spontaneous cover of Tom Waits' "Going Out West" - it wasn't our intention, it just sounded that way - Alex caught on though.

Spooky Track from Elizabeth Cotton

Spooky track by the immortal Elizabeth Cotten.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lantern Has Just Launced a Kickstarter Campaign

Hello all!

I hope the summer is finding you well. It's been hot here in Philly. Anyways as some of you may know my band Lantern is planning a five week tour this fall all across the United States and up to Canada. We have been working on it since the spring time and things are starting to come together. We feel really proud about Lantern and we really want to take the show on the road. We have been working our asses off this past year to get the gears oiled for a tour. We are taking the big step and jumping in with both feet.

But since we are such a young band and aren't able to be working with guarantees or contracts, what we make is what we make. So this is a little scary so we are asking your help in helping us get from place to place!

Your monies will go to...

GAS, a AAA membership, vehicle and music equipment maintenance, and any necessary lodging expenses. We recently purchased a stationwagon that needs a few minor repairs before leaving. Any contributions help and are sincerely and most fully appreciated!

Watch our video here to see what it is all about!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lantern Gig Tonight!

Tonight at the Hong Kong Garden (Cecil B. Moore & Phillips) Lantern is playing with Hot Guts and Purling Hiss. It is the release show for the new Purling Hiss EP Lounge Lizards appearing on the label Mexican Summer.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Avant-Lard Podcast #2 - That's Not Punk! - 6-12-2011

Welcome to the second installment of the Avant-Lard podcast. As promised last week, this week focus would be punk - loosely defined - more in spirit, which in my opinion is what matters. A lot of the music is made by my friends or has been stuff I have come across recently while booking this Lantern fall tour. Which if anybody out there can help or wants us to play somewhere - please get in touch! zacharyfairbrother (at) gmail (dot) com. Anyways I hope you dig this mix - it goes through a range of moods and is a pretty decent jammer. I think all of these bands are so good and I hope you feel the same.



1. Grand Trine - RFID - Grand Trine/Holy Cobras Split (Bruised Tongue)
2. Aluk Todolo - Obedience - Descension (Public Guilt)
3. Women In Prison - Reaction - Demo (Self Released)
4. Purling Hiss - Passenger Queen - Live on Brian Turner (WFMU)
5. The Friendly Dimension - Executive Koala - Cassette Single (Craft Singles)
6. Kill Squares - Last Time - ROOFTOP GARDEN BBQ PARTY VOL #1(Campaign for Infinity)
7. The People's Temple - Sons of Stone - Sons of Stone (Hozac)
8. Cosmonauts - Neon Kids - Cosmonauts (Burger)
9. The Ether - I Have Seen the Smile - The Ether/Lantern Split (Electric Voice)
10. The Offset: Spectacles - Elements - The Offset: Spectacles EP (Rose Mansion Analog)
11. Hot & Cold - Eat People - Sacred Vacation (Rose Mansion Analog)
12. Ancient Crux - In Teen Dreams - Interracial Coupling EP (Family Time)
13. Tonstartssbandht - Big Day Today - Now I Am Become (Arbutus)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Avant-Lard Podcast #1 - Drums for Sophie - 6-3-2011

So I finally had a moment and I got around to making the first of what will hopefully be a semi- regular podcast series. We'll see what life says.

The need for the podcast came from wanting to return to radio after my experiences in Canada having hosted radio shows in both Halifax and Montreal. I really enjoy talking and playing music for people as I am sure anybody who has met me will say I'll talk their ears off on the subject. So here is a platform that will let me vent some of the musical chatter that goes on in my head. Plus I am just so excited about the music and I want you all to hear it! The podcast is a great format because I can really say and play anything I want and I don't have to play ads or PSAs or read the weather. So it's all about the music. No fancy show id's yet but soon hopefully!

THE FIRST SHOW is largely from a mix I made for the drummer of my band Lantern. I made the mix for her to introduce her to some percussion music that she wasn't familiar with and to show her where I come from musically. It is a wide mix of music from noise, to jazz, to modern classical, rock, and ethnics musics. In some cases the music is exclusively percussion, other times it is in the context of a group. The music though is all music where the percussion has stuck out too me. Often the tracks are just of some of my favorite all time drummers and given the context, I will give you the opportunity of listening the tracks and focusing on the percussion parts - ya dig?



Track List (artist, track, album)

1. Chris Corsano - The Wreck - Another Dull Dawn (Ultra Eczema)
2. Albert Ayler Trio - Ghosts (First Variation) - Spiritual Unity (ESP)
3. Iannis Xenakis/Hans-Kristian Kjos Sorensen - Rebonds; II. - Open (Bis)
4. The Stooges - L.A. Blues - Fun House (Elektra)
5. Drummers Of The Societe Absolument Guinin - Boumba - Voodoo Drums (Soul Jazz)
6. The Swans - Half Life - Cop
7. Faust - It's a Rainy Day Sunshine Girl - So Far (Polydor)
8. Max Roach - Drums Unlimited - Drums Unlimited
9. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Kandy Korn - Strictly Personal (Blue Thumb)
10. John Coltrane - Jupiter - Interstellar Space (Impulse)
11. Jimi Hendrix Experience - Hey Joe (Live [Winterland, San Francisco, CA, October 12, 1968]) - Voodoo Child- The Jimi Hendrix Collection (MCA)
12. Harry Partch/Ensemble of Unique Instruments - Arrest, Trial And Judgment: Joy In The Marketplace!/Pray For Me Again: A Strange Fear! - Delusion of the Fury (
Innova Recordings)

Xenakis, Iannis - Rebonds Pour Percussion Solo

Linear notes from Delusion of the Fury

The world has caught up with Harry Partch. For almost fifty years in the wilderness, Partch has been doing his own thing and suffering the slings and arrows of outraged musicians and musicologists. But the times they are a-changing, and critics who have called him "the Don Quixote of music" now see him as a "philosopher," a "prophet", a "visionary," an "inspired, stubborn radical."

He has been found. He is no longer the eccentric outsider. Europeans find him surpassingly American; Americans find him transcendental. At the age of 70, Partch marches on.

In his long-awaited masterwork, "Delusion of the Fury", he rises above all attempts at descriptive containment and becomes quite simple heroic. "Delusion of the Fury," proceeding from tragedy to comedy, is nothing less than the full, ritualistic expression, in vocal, instrumental and corporeal terms, of the reconciliation by the living both with death and with life. It is a total Partch statement, incorporating voices, mime, his celebrated instruments, dance, lighting and staging, all working to express this philosophical concept.

"Delusion of the Fury," as is to be expected, is not cast in the common dramatic/musical mold. There is no libretto. All action is danced or mimed. It is performed in four parts that proceed without interruption. (Partch scorns the breaking of a theatrical experience by the intermission.)

Partch's own words, prefacing his elaborate and complicated score, help to establish what he has called "all the information that I thought might be necessary to a performance":

"STATEMENT : Words cannot proxy for the experience of knowing -- of seeing and hearing. The concept of this work inheres in the presence of the instruments on stage, the movements of musicians and chorus, the sounds they produce, the actuality of actors, of singers, of mimes, of lights; in fine, the actuality of truly integrated theater. These introductory pages consist largely of technical data. They contain no argument, no exposition. I feel that the only investigation that has genuine integrity is the seen and heard performance.

SYNOPSIS: It is an olden time, but neither a precise time nor a precise place. The "Exordium" is an overture, and invocation, the beginning of a ritualistic web. Act I, on the recurrent theme of Noh plays, is a music-theater portrayal of release from the wheel of life and death. It opens with a pilgrim in search of a particular shrine, where he may do penance for murder. The murdered man appears as a ghost, sees first the assassin, then his young son looking for a vision of his father's face. Spurred to resentment by his son's presence, he lives again through the ordeal of death, but at the end -- with the supplication "Pray for me!" -- he finds reconciliation.

There is nowhere, from the beginning of the "Exordium" to the end of Act II, a complete cessation of music. The "Sanctus" ties Acts I and II together; it is the Epilogue to the one, the Prologue to the other. Act II involves a reconciliation with life. A young vagabond is cooking a meal over a fire in rocks when an old woman approaches, searching for a lost kid. She finds the kid, but -- due to a misunderstanding caused by the hobo's deafness -- a dispute ensues. Villagers gather and, during a violent dance, fore the quarreling couple to appear before the justice of the peace, who is both deaf and nearsighted.

Following the judge's sentence, the Chorus sings in unison, "Oh, how did we ever get by without justice?" and a voice offstage reverts to the supplication at the end of Act I.

SET: The instruments are the set, with only a cyclorama -- a good sound-reflecting surface -- behind. They must not be pushed back into tight corners. The movements required of the principals and chorus do not call for excessive stage space. In Act (, they are slow and intense; in Act II, vigorous and intense. The vigorous movers of Act II will simply learn to avoid instruments.

PRINCIPALS: The principals in each act must certainly be trained in music. It would be fine if they can be mimes, singers, dancers, simultaneously. However, the parts are essentially those of mimes and dancers, and it would be theatrically acceptable for a musician, or someone stationed among the instruments, to assume the rather slight singing roles of each principal, becoming a somewhat disembodied voice.

CHORUS: Singing -- or, to be more general, sound from the throat -- meaningless in English verbal communication but no meaningless in this music, is rather general. The 18 or 20 musicians (with conductor) are the Chorus in both acts. This was true in "The Bewitched" also, and to my mind the arrangement was effective. The choral voice-sounds were not coming from a body of people appearing just occasionally, but from among the instrument, from musician who were deeply involved throughout.

In the present work, I wish to progress beyond this concept. there are 25 instruments onstage (not counting small hand-instruments), but never do the 25 play simultaneously. In fairly long periods, only a small ensemble is employed. The tacit musicians may thus become actors and dancers, moving from instruments to acting areas as the impetus of the drama requires.

Where necessary, instrumentalist must memorize parts, of know them so well that faint stage light is enough. The effect of stand-lights on white music paper -- onstage -- tends to destroy almost any lighting concept. Actors and singer have always memorized parts, and it is irrational to exempt instrumentalists when they are cast in such a way as to be indispensable to the action.

COSTUMES: the musician must be in costume; they should convey a sense of magic, of an olden time, but never of a precise olden time.

The basic garment is a huge pair of pantaloons, wrapping around the waist in East Indian fashion. in Act I, they also wear a poncho-like garment -- a single, full piece of cloth with a neckhole. It is completely unadorned, without collages or beads or anything that twinkles in the light. The poncho is discarded at the end of the "Sanctus".

To compensate for this very simple costume, each musician will wear a fantastic headpiece. Each will be different, or frequently different. In contrast, the three principals will wear more imaginative costumes, and imaginative make-up. Wigs, perhaps, but not headpieces."

Part One, the "Exordium", takes the place of an overture. (The term itself is an exact, though unaccustomed, description of the composer's working intentions: to mark "the beginning of a statement." But in its Latin root, which means "to begin a web," lies the deeper significance of why Partch has chose this term and shows how thoroughly and painstakingly the composer has explored his idiom.) The "Exordium," totally instrumental, aims to snare its listeners in the web of Partch's devising and , after a slight pause, to deliver them into the ritual of Act One.

Here, Partch has chosen a celebrated Japanese Noh drama as his musical parable of the reconciliation of the living with the realm of the dead and, because it is a classic ghost story, the reconciliation of the dead with the realm of the living. A prince has made a pilgrimage to a shrine in order to do penance, to pray for the expiation of his sin. In battle, he has killed the prince of another warring royal house. Each time he makes this journey of repentance, he meets the ghost of the man he slew, and , together, they relive the dead man's death. The ghost of the dead man realized that he cannot re-enact the ritual of the moment of his death, that he must come to some reconciliation with the living, as must the living with the dead. The ghost drops his sword and says to his murder, "You are not my enemy." Then he entreats, "Pray for me, oh, pray for me again," and vanishes forever.

Partch's music for this Noh drama reflects its Oriental setting but is far different from any traditional Japanese Noh synthesis. His music holds to the basic Noh characteristic of being an accompaniment to the stage action, but it weaves a complete musical fabric that sustains and fulfills the main visual themes so strongly that the music stands on its own.

In the "Sanctus" that follows the "Exordium", Partch replaces the usual entr'acte with a postlude to Act One that is also a prelude to Act Two, designed to be so filled with compelling sounds that, in the composer's words, "...everybody would be frozen to his seat." Immediately following this fury of sound comes the rollicking West African folk tale that makes up the second act. Thus, Partch walks in the classic tradition of following tragic drama with farce, for the healthy purging of the spirit.

At the opening of Act Two, a deaf hobo -- the hobo is a recurrent character in Partch's work -- is seen trying to cook a meal for himself when an old goat woman comes up to him to ask if he has seen her lost kid. The hobo doesn't understand her and brusquely indicates that she should leave. She interprets the gesture as a direction in which she must go to find the missing kid. She goes, finds the lost kid, and returns to thank the hobo for helping her. He, of course, because he cannot hear, misunderstands her and thinks she has a kid in her arms that she has accused him of stealing.

At this juncture in the misunderstanding, the local villagers force the deaf hobo and the old goat woman to appear before their justice of the peace to settle the matter. However, the judge, unfortunately, is also quite dear and, in addition, very nearsighted, so that all the violent arguments -- done in mime -- finally exasperate him into saying, "Young man, take your beautiful young wife and your charming child and go home and never let me see you in this court again." The villagers fin this judgment utterly hilarious, and only the coming of a storm sobers them. Quickly, the tempest breaks about them, and, then, after the height of the storm has passed, on hears from offstage: "Pray for me, oh, pray from me," followed by the last themes of the "Exordium," and the mime-dance, or music drama, concludes.

As in his other creations, it is difficult to separate the unique sounds of Partch's music from the strange and beautiful instruments that give all his works their special qualities. The Partch instruments are not only performed upon; they, too, perform. Besides being co-conveyors of his music, along with singers and dancers, they are also striking sculptural works employed in the stage design, not only in "Delusion", but also in all of Partch's performed compositions. They are the vehicles of his creativity, around which Partch has designed his own notation system. His very precise and expandable multi-tone scale is painted on the keys of his Chromelodeon in a variety of colors and then numbered, as well, for identification in producing exactly desired musical combinations. All his other instruments are keyed, of fixed pitch only, to his 43-tone scale. his own musical language has frequently only the staff itself in common with other written music. Notation for the Diamond marimba, for instance, is arrange to resemble the shape of the instrument, with the exact position to be played shown at the exact time and place in the music. The luminous Cloud-Chamber Bowls have the numerical value of their precise resonance pained on them and are so indicate in the score. The giant marimba Eroica sends out deep, compelling tones that are felt as well as heard, and so noted.

Throughout, the timbre of all the instruments that Partch has built for his orchestra is mellifluous rather than harsh, consonant rather than unrelated. As a result, the intricate rhythms and harmonies the composer employs to evoke dramatic response, to be emotionally stirring an exciting and deeply moving, never become violent. This, Partch's concept of a "corporeal music", might truly be said to be in the mainstream of a music of love and of peace.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cells 2.0

Finally got this up!

This is the major piece I wrote at my time spent at the residency this winter in Florida. It had been awhile since I wrote a score but it felt good to think of music in a visual sense again - this year has been all rock n roll!

This piece is for three instruments but has the potential to include more. I wrote this piece for the performers that were available at the residency; Nomi Epstein played the piano and Laura Cetillia played the Cello. I tip my hat to them for playing the music beautifully. The music itself is very dreamy and atmospheric. Cells 2.0 is a continuation of the cells series. Cells 1.0 was the first piece I wrote when I got accepted to the composition program at Dalhousie and it tries to focus on the dualities of improvisation and composition - trying to unite the two. The name Cells comes for the idea of using simple musical 'cells' as the basis for your improvisation.

I included the piano page of the score so you can get idea of what it looks like. I really enjoy making graphic scores and have more fun making them then writing the actual music sometimes!

Much thanks to David Berhman for helping me with the piece, and Holland Hopson and Matt Sargent for helping record and setup the show.


Cells 2.0 by zacharyfairbrother

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crazy Week Re-Cap - Lots of Videos

What a crazy week last week was. Lantern had three gigs including one that was a collaboritive set with Dirty Beaches in Brooklyn.

In addition to all that, we released a new tape on Night People - which can be purchased on their website, still waiting on artist copies - had an interview (a chopped and screwed interview, if you catch my drift) with Vice Magazine , and had a familiy from Louisiana tell me they were huge fans of mine and recorded themselves singing an Omon Ra II song.

Fortunately most of all this was recorded to video so let's start with the Lantern footage from the SOLD OUT first Unitarian show in Philadelphia. We played in the small side chapel, which was a beautiful space with a beautiful crowd - and the whole place seemed appropriate for a rock n' roll sermon. Dirty Beaches definitely excercised some demons.

This video is half our song "Get Out My Mind" and then all of "I Don't Know" both of which appear on our latest Night People release.

The footage was taken by Brent Wingen.

The following footage, also from the same show, is of Dirty Beaches and shows a new direction. Darker with even more of a hip hop influences. Combining the hysterical delivery of Screamin' Jay Hawkins with Alex's own dark, twisted, narritive. Track is called "Black Silk Stalkings"

This next video is of the Torres boys from Louisiana. Their father got in touch with me asking about lyrics to some Omon Ra II songs. He told me he sang Omon Ra II with his kids on the way to school. I couldn't really believe that some family actually listened to Omon Ra II on the way to school, but still I wrote them out the lyrics and explanations and the father replied.

“I really appreciate the lyrics and love the stories surrounding them. And yes my 4 kids (two boys two girls) are big music fans and love noisy rock and roll. I take requests from them on the way to school, this morning the girls wanted Alice Cooper, my youngest son requested Beck and my oldest one wanted to listen to “Those Egyptian Dudes, Omon Ra” (For a ten year-old he thinks he is a regular comedian). I’ll try to sneak a quick recording of them singing and send it to you.”

Well lo and behold the video surfaced. This was the most humbling, grateful things, to have experienced in my brief career - To have kids love your music. This generation is going to have some cool kids! This came at the right time because I was getting a little shell shocked from all the negative comments we recieved from our Vice article. Advice: Never read the comments. Here is the video!

The next stream of footage is from the Dirty Beaches/Lantern collab set in NYC on Friday the 13th! The show took place at Glasslands in Brooklyn. About a month ago Alex approached me about Lantern backing him up for this gig. We conversed a lot through email about the sound we wanted to go for but it was very much in the ether before we got together to see what it would sound like. Fortunately between the Philly and NYC shows we had a day off. We managed to get in a quick rehearsal Wednesday night and another in Friday afternoon in Bushwick. All the riffs we had we written in seconds and the show was a very vesceral experience. The way the songs went was not a typical verse chorus relationship - although that was definitely an archetype for the works. We used those ideas as platforms but let our physical reactions dictate the dynamics. We tried to keep things short - to avoid meandering 20 minute jams and we tried to give each other a lot of space even though we were playing rawkous free-proto punk. We played the four songs we wrote together and then the last, arguably best song, was completely improvised.

After the last song I broke all my strings. The crowd demanded more, so Alex gave me his guitar. While I was tuning the guitar, all of a sudden Emily and Sophie started rocking out. I was tuning up the B string and it had this spooky sound going up to the B It had this gothic western sound and I remember thinkings 'this is very Alex'. So I made that my riff and then Alex jumps into the audience. I thought the crowd might have been angry that Alex wasn't doing his regular gig but from my experience the sold out crowd seemed to love it. Unfortunately the last song from out set, the improvised 'encore', appears to not have surfaced, but there is a wonderful recording of the first songs. It makes a great bootleg. Who wants to put this out??

If that last song turns up, please let us know!

Alex is an extremely hard working musician and I am glad to see his hardwork is paying off. Before and after the show Alex conducted countless interviews, not to mention after we ran out of songs, the crowd still demanded more, so he went back out and performed a solo Dirty Beaches set, despite being extremely exhausted.

Alright I hope you enjoy the videos. Expect a Dirty Beaches/Lantern collab set again in the near future. And yah? Who wants to put out that bootleg???


Friday, April 15, 2011

New Lantern Tape!

The newest Lantern Tape has arrived!

New is a bit of a misnomer as the recording takes place before Lantern was a band and I (Zach) was still playing with ideas. Never-the-less....

The recording was done by Andy March (who plays drums on the track, mixed and produced it, and put it out)
and Christian Simmons (Play Guitar) in Christian's studio in Montreal - The Silver Door. The group really isn't reflective of the current Lantern line up but an ad hoc group formed in my last weeks in Montreal while I was still conceiving Lantern as a project. It interestingly feature's Alex Zhang Hungtai on bass AKA Dirty Beaches. This is a cassette single. The first track is a blistering metallic psych-rocker. The lyrics and much of the music is improvised. I just told the guys to play as hard and as fast as you can and then a little more and I'll come in with the riff. It features some of my most crazy guitar playing you'll ever hear. The second is a cover of an old Willie Dixon blues Standard, "Love To You" largely inspired by the stones version. The recordings were done to tape live through an 8 track. They sound great. Video below by Robert Drisdelle. The tape is being released on Craft Singles.

Also visit our merch page here. You can grab our previous release if you haven't already, only three copies left!

Lantern - Devil's Rope from Robert Drisdelle on Vimeo.

Grip it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A New Lantern Review

Sick Review of Deliver Me From Nowhere - this dude "gets it." He is also a big Omon Ra II fan - this guy has good tastes.

From My Great Machine

Lantern, the brainchild of Zachary Fairbrother (guitarist of the late great OMON RA II ) have just dropped the amazing tape "Deliver Me From Nowhere..." for your ear holes to digest. Its a romp through protopunk blues that will leave you howling at the moon like a woodland maniac.

The opener "Crude Vessels of Sound" is a mind melting tour de force of power guitar pyrotechnics. It builds slowly over a serene Midwestern plain, then doused with gasoline, set on fire, and scorched to cinders, leaving only charred remains to bake in a harsh desert sun. Reminds me of Neil Young's solos for the "
Dead Man"soundtrack mixed with a little early Ash Ra Temple or perhaps Guru Guru and a heavy dose of FUZZ. I'll be listening to this monster when the super volcano explodes in Yosemite. Check out the justifiably, virtuous music video shot and edited in part by Alex Hungtai of Dirty Beaches and Jackie Lachance.

"Feeln' Like I Might End Up Dead" is straight up death row blues, with Zachary murmuring over gentle guitar lines about strange dreams. "Come On Rip Let's Take A Trip" is harmonica laced, Native American drumming, reverb drenched, Appalachian backwoods snake handling, coal miners music. Seriously folks, that harmonica sound is religious magic to warn all non-believers to get their shit together before the second coming.
"Screemin' Dream" is a Bo Diddley party stomper complete with twangy drum smacks/handclaps and chunky guitar riffs. Get down and grungy to the
Hasil Adkins cover of "I'm Happy" recorded in the back of some scuzzy West Virginia redneck bar at 2AM. The closer "In The Night Alone" starts off as a stripped down 50's slow dance, then drops off into Lynchian nightmare territory of doom laden keyboards, complete with rain sound effects. I feel like I should be walking back to my apartment to find my own dead rotting body on my bed ala'"Mulholland Drive".
Dig this
tape hard ya'll. I think you'll be hearing a lot from Mr. Fairbrother in the future and I'm looking forward to see where he's gonna take us next.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Weird Canada Won!

Weird Canada Won the CBC Radio3's search light contest for best Canadian Music Website!!!!

Congratulations to Aaron, Jesse, Marie, Jenni, and all the contributors. You all work so hard to make the site great - And a HUGE thank you to everybody that kept voting, it was not all for nothing.

I hope they offer Aaron a radio show, I think that would be a great decision on the part of CBC.

I wish we could all be together to celebrate - perhaps there will mini celebrations across the land whether it is dancing in your room or out with friends.

Here is the official WORD.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Light Saber Noise

Thank you to my friend Naho for passing along to me this nice exhibition of light saber noise courtesy of mixed media artist Atsuhiro Ito.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weird Canada

So I contribute to a blog called Weird Canada - most of you probably are familiar with that site as I check my stats and a lot of my traffic is directed from there. CBC's radio 3 as had a competition this month to find out what is Canada's best music website. Starting from the bottom 100 or so or whatever we have made it to the final stage of the vote - the top 10. 

We feel that if Weird Canada wins this will be a small cultural victory for Canada. We will have toppled many mainstream industry blogs and will have stricken a wake up call to the CBC that underground music is important to Canadians. That Weird Canada is a strong force for new music in Canada. Many artists that have been featured in Weird Canada in the last year haveseen their music travel far and wide. While I know all these band's work so hard promoting their music and honing their craft - no doubt has Weird Canada's effort helped their cause. 

Artists like D'eon, Grimes, and Dirty Beaches - to name a few have all been covered early in their careers on Weird Canada. These artists music has been released on foreign labels and since been covered in major media outlets and blogs like Pitchfork, Vice, MTV, BBC - even D'eon appearing on Thom Yorke's playlist - but have seldom received support or radio play from the CBC. We feel that we cover the best of Canadian music at Weird Canada and we are always trying to expand our scope. Now I live in the United States and I hear my friend's talk about bands like Gobble Gobble, Make Out Video Tape, and Long Long Long - all of which have been covered early in their starts on Weird Canada. I wondered if they would have known about them if their wasn't a Weird Canada.  

Here are some inspiring words from Weird Canada founder Aaron Levin sure to get your DIY blood flowing - and please vote for Weird Canada HERE


From Weird Canada

CBC Radio 3 is running a pyramidal voting scheme, vetting Weird Canada through a triumvirate of keystrokes, sinusoids, and opinionated minds. A conspiracy of this calibre must be met with deep suspicion and deliberate candor. They pit us against each other – our fellow publishers. They split our fans – those beautiful beings. They place the unbearable suffering of expectation on all who speak their name. Ye wyld typists vie for the last shard of national recognition.

Our radio Narsil has us deep in the trenches, spending weeks at your foot begging for another integer. In the heat of the mud no ideal will last. All succumb to it. Thick. Greasy. Swelling with the rainbows of fallen candidates. In the beginning we shouted “No! This voting scheme shall not stand! Free it all! Let the streets run wild with the multitude of our opinions!” But now, as the blue skies turn black, I face you filled with the adrenaline of conviction. We believe. We want to win. We write these very words to justify our victory grip.

Thanks to your support, the absurd notion that Weird Canada may win has become a reality. We have blown away all the flagpoles and are staring blankly into the void. The Top 10. Why is this important? Why does this matter? Win or not, Weird Canada will remain an exploratory experience for the brazenly adventurous. We will always focus on our northernly kin and enthuse, physically scan, and hyperbolize all the wonderful manifestations of creative potential this country has to offer. Our daily operation will continue, delightedly, into the unheralded cassette oblivion.

However, the Canadian psyche is shifting. Winning this contest may push it further into our camp. The middle ground of indie music is disappearing. The plates are grooving under due pressure from self-recorded geniuses and the industry cannot will not handle it. So we’ve come to you, our people from coast-to-coast, to ask for your vote. A vote along the streams of time. A vote for the only entity proudly bearing the emerging flag of a new northern identity. An identity not born in the offices of minor-majors, but one bursting with the charged, chromatic life festering within tape dubbers, cd burners, pressing plants, and photocopy machines.

We. Are. Northernly.



Aaron Levin
Weird Canada

PS – No sign-up. Two Clicks. Vote daily, every 24 hours, until our star shines ever brighter.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fuzz has changed my life.

The Atlantic just did an amazing article, complete with sound samples, about the history of fuzz. Fuzz has changed my life since I picked up the Zvex fuzz factory a couple years back. Although, I have always been a fan of the fuzz, on the school yard my favorite song was 'Satisfaction' which popularized the use of the fuzz.

Check it out the article here.

Also you can watch the documentary Fuzz: The Sound that Changed the World on Dailymotion, below is the first part.

Does anybody want to give me a Univox Super Fuzz?


Uploaded by crazy-fuzz. - See the latest featured music videos.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Buddha Box 2.0

Last year I composed a new piece for Obey Convention IV called Buddha Box 2.0 for four electric guitars and electric bass. The piece is very simple to play and I've uploaded it for all to download and in my dreamy hopes, perhaps in some circumstance, a group of beings might want to play it.

You can listen to the performance here on soundcloud. I think I had more fun making the score than the piece - The score is actually mostly text based. The graphic score exists mostly as an accompaniment to help the performers "get in the vibe" although neither the text or graphic score existed at the time of the performance, I just told them what to do. I am planing on doing some screen printed versions of the score as well.

Thanks to Emily Robb, Ryan Kirk, Jason Eastwood, and Luke Corrigan who all helped realize this piece and a special thanks to Darcy Spidel for programing it and Lukas Pearse for recording it.

You can download all the files you need HERE.

PS. This is Avant-Lard's 100 post! Thank you all for following!


Buddha Box 2.0 by zacharyfairbrother

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kenny G - Songbird Remix

I came upon the term Hypnagogic Pop a few months back while listening to a lecture from The Wire magazine. It is a genre of music very close to the music I create; many of my friend's run small boutique tape labels (I myself release tapes) producing music that is largely dreamy or drenched in nostalgia, revisiting past regions of musical junk and jamming them through a lens of NO-future.

Hypnagogic music should not be simply understood as just music that is dreamy and lulls you into hypnosis, although this is a large part of the music, but also as a music that drifts you into a stream of consciousness where past and lost memories reemerge breaking through the surface of the water and are skewed by the light of your present feeling.

An artist like my college, Dirty Beaches, whose music recalls, a past time or a past life, that is real and comfortable, like a picture of your grandfather as a young man, but at the same time foreign, cold, and gone.

Hypnagogic music is a celebration of low fidelity - the music often recorded to bedroom tape 4 tracks, mutilated to an mp3, then mutated again to tape, before again being ripped again back to mp3's - tp the blogs where you so often find this music. The semblance of music stays the same but gradually at each stage the work becomes, shocked, more foreign cold, and gone. Gradually lost to history and murdered by the technology.

Many of these Hypnagogic artist recycle the junk of the past - new age, soft rock, yacht rock, smooth jazz - stuff that is hopelessly uncool, and through the warble and hiss of the tape, create something new through the decay of the medium. Artists like Ariel Pink, or Oneohtrix Point Never (Check out his version of Chris de Burgh's "Lady in Red").

After a conversation with my friend and music journalist, Elliot Sharp, telling me to check out the music of, out of all people, Kenny G, I decided to dabble in something very deliberately hypnagogic. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the tight, smooth-musicianship, and Casio-beats and tones, I often hear amongst the artist affiliated making hypnagogic pop - it was very "contemporary." So, inspired by the moment, I made a musical doodle, remixing Kenny G's Song Bird. I gave a brief lecture about this hear at the residency.

Hope you enjoy it!


Kenny G - Song Bird (Remix) by zacharyfairbrother

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Omma Cobba

My good friend and past musical collaborator who rescued me from a creative malaise-daze and formed the group Omon Ra with me, Daniel Miller, has just released a new cassette single on brand spanking new Halifax label, Craft Singles. The tape is music from his newest project, Omma Cobba. The single is a track called Police Man - a great rock-soul piece, evoking the Rolling Stone's, funky rhythm guitar, and albeit sometimes grungy, vocal harmonies. The recording - which is done in Hi-Fi - complements this band well showcasing the drummer, Dave Cell's, simple but "fits like a glove" drum splashes, opting for shakers and toms instead of cymbals, and bassists Denis Kierans incredibly inventive and groovy basslines. The real star though is Dan's vocals who come across so well in these recordings - lush and melodic. The hooks are undeniable, do your self a favor and check out this track.


In Florida

Hello all! Currently I am in Florida at the Atlantic Center for the Arts participating as an associate resident. I'll be here for the next three weeks. It is an absolutely beautiful facility and I highly recommend anyone interested to apply to do a residency here. I'll do my best to do some updates, maybe give some samples of some pieces of music I am working on. I am here doing composition - heady, nerdy, music stuff - some of you know, this is what I did for a university degree. There are lots of artists here from all over the globe, writers and painters, as well as musicians. The music's leader is David Behrman an important American electronic music composer who has worked with all the luminaries of the American avant-garde. He was famous for producing a series of albums in the 60's call the Music of our Time series, which realized records from Terry Riley, John Cage, and Morton Subotnick, amongst others. Here is an excerpt of his most famous work, On the Other Ocean.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interview with Scotch Tapes' Al Bjornaa

As some of you might know I contribute occasionally to the blog Weird Canada. Recently I did an interview for them with Scotch Tapes founder Al Bjornaa. You can read the original here or below...



/////////////// AL BJORNAA INFERRED VIEWS ///////////////
Zachary :: I’m into how landscapes and environment influence people’s creativity. Why do you base your label where you do [Batchawana Bay]? How do the often cosmopolitan sounds play out in your environment?

Al :: I base Scotch out of Batchawana Bay because it’s close to my family. I have lived all over the country but this has always been home. There have been some health issues in the Bjornaa family the past few years and its been nice to be able to help out. We run a family fishing business and I have had to take a larger role in that. Plus it’s a beautiful area. I live on the beach! The north shore of Lake Superior is my favourite place on Earth.

I have always been a huge music fan. Both of my parents love music. Although their tastes may differ from mine, they passed on a passion for good music. Most of the people who live in my area think the music I release sounds like a “badger caught in a wood chipper” but most people from the area think its cool that I run a record label in such a small place. Whenever I go for coffee or breakfast at the local diner, everyone always asks how the label is doing.

Zachary :: I have heard of your beach shows. I hope you will you be doing more of this. Who has played? What was your favorite?

Al :: I haven’t done an actual beach show in ages but I have had a lot of bands pass through here and hang out for a day or two. Its a tough area to get a decent show. I mean I could likely set up a show in Sault Ste. Marie (which is notorious for TERRIBLE shows) or they can hang out here for a night, have some drinks, go swimming and get a good meal. I am hoping that this year with a new space, I can host more bands and maybe do some recordings and send them back on the road with a new tape or lathe. Some of the best times I’ve had drinking/ hanging out/ recording have been with Play Guitar, The Famines, Dirty Beaches, Grown-Ups, Gobble Gobble, Nobunny… There are tons. I am hoping to make Batchawana Bay a “must-stop” for bands touring Canada. Not to play shows but to have a great day off mid-tour where they can do laundry, relax, jump in the lake, maybe practice some new stuff they have been working on. 2011 is already getting booked up at Casa de Al with Bucketseat stopping here in March.

Zachary :: I see that your label is doing some collaborative splits how did this come about?

Al :: Yeah. I wanted to work with a few cool labels. I have a lathe series coming out with No Vacation Records (Brett Wagg from Pink Noise/ Campaign For Infinity) Brett basically just asked if I would be interested and since I love the music he puts out, I was totally in. I also put out a 7″ with No Clear Records from Florida. I imagine if any label contacted me and I liked the band, I would probably be interested. I know that Ben Cook (Fucked Up, Young Guv, etc) and I have a few co-releases lined up for his new label, Marvelous Music, as well. We will be co-releasing the Roommates LP this summer/ fall.

Zachary :: I see you have a vast list of upcoming releases. Are all these going to happen??!

Al :: You bet your sweet buttocks! In the first two years of Scotch, I released almost 200 tapes. I take the label very seriously. Its become more than a hobby. It’s basically a second full-time job. I plan on putting out about 70 tapes, 30 lathes and 10 vinyl releases in 2011. There are times when I get tired and need a break… and those are the times where I just take like 2-3 weeks off, don’t check emails and basically disappear. But when I do that, I normally come back with 4-5 releases at once.

Zachary :: What is up with the lathe series? Does the type of Lathe reflect the artist?

Al :: Well… I have two series going. There is the Scotch/ Young Guv series. Ben Cook [of Young Guv] records all the bands that share his jam space and then we release a song or two from them. So far, I have put flexis out for Huckleberry Friends, Tropics, Bruised Knees & Lonely Wholesome with Actual Water, Dentata, Wyrd Visions and I think 2 more to come. The other series is the aforementioned series with No Vacation. There are some pretty killer bands scheduled for that like FNU Ronnies and Factums (who I LOVE!) The type of lathe really doesn’t come into play. I mean the one I did for We All Inherit The Moon HAD to be a square plexiglass lathe because of the ideas they had for the art but most bands don’t really care that much. They just think lathes are fun.

Zachary :: Do you think there is a Canadian Sound? And what from your perspective are the sounds of the different scenes within Canada?

Al :: I don’t think there is a specific Canadian sound. It’s such a vast area geographically that it’s tough to narrow down one sound. I think Vancouver has a great weirdo punk scene with bands like Shearing Pinx, Nu Sensae, Twin Crystals, etc. who really have their own genre that isn’t like anything else in the country. When you move into the prairies you have bands like Myelin Sheaths, Fist City, Grown-Ups, Moby Dicks… sort of that heavy garage punk stuff. They all totally feed off of each other. Ontario is sort of weird. Toronto is just starting to get a good scene again. I think the bands that Ben and I are releasing on the lathe series are going to get big really fast this year. That jam space is oooozing talent. Montreal always has a great scene. I think that city spawns some of the most creative and unique artists. And the whole Halifax scene… that city reminds me of Portland, Oregon. EVERYONE is in a band and creates visual art and silkscreens t-shirts and makes zines and drinks good beer if they can afford it but will drink shit if that’s all they have and dresses cool without thinking they dress cool. One of my absolute favourite cities on the planet!

Zachary :: What has got you most excited about 2011?

Al :: SUMMER! I hate winter more than anything! That and doing this interview for Weird Canada! Thanks, Zach…

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lee "Scratch" Perry

I have been listening to a lot of this stuff at work, it makes any day instantly better. Just bought a book on him too so I am digging into to his past - Perry is definitely a cosmic warrior.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Captain Foam

The one man band of Captain Foam from Ohio. Released one highly collectable single, super fuzzed out psych rock, for fans of Blue Cheer, Blues Addicts, and Japrock. Doesn't this look fun.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Office Ambience

Here is my office ambience for the 1st two weeks of February. Next week is my last week in Philly then I am off to Florida for 3 weeks to do an artist residency at The Atlantic Center for the Arts. Check out all these recordings - especially the Stockhausen and Xenakis, really fond of those Perry recordings too and the Hot & Cold tape.


My Office Ambience

1. Sun Ra – Space Probe
2. Steve Reich – Early Works
3. Kenny G – Duotones
4. Iannis Xenakis – Electronic Music
5. oOoOO – NoSummer4U
6. Hot & Cold – Sacred Vacation
7. Lee Scratch Perry – Essential Madness from the Scratch Files
8. Karlheinze Stockhausen – Kontakte
9. The Offset: Spectacles – EP
10. Salem – King Night

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rose Mansion Analog

My friend Dirty Beaches put me in contact with Chinese Musician, Vince Li. Vince is a part of the underground music scene in China. He runs an excellent tape label called Rose Mansion Analog and also plays in a band called The Offset:Spectacles.

Check out the infinite BADness from a track by band called Hot & Cold. Apparently recorded live in Beijing. It's groovy, dark, and droned out - dig the throat singing!


Uighur Pop – Hot & Cold by Rose Mansion Analog

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Weird Canada Review and More!

Thanks to Gabriel from Weird Canada for posting the most recent review of the Lantern EP in both French and English.

De l’amour fraternel de Gabriel Jasmin: Lantern, c’est le duo Zachary Fairbrother et Emily Robb, deux expatriés canadiens partis vers la Ville de l’Amour Fraternel. Mais pardieu, brisons-nous vraiment les règles de Weird Canada ? Oui, peut-être, mais ils ont encore leur passeports canadiens. Aussi faut-il savoir que cette première cassette est trop savoureuse pour rester silencieux. Six compositions qui empruntent au folk et au vieux blues américain, où l’on passe de la solitude désolante à l’harmonica jusqu’au fuzz-wah anéantissant de << Crude Vessels of Sound >>. Carburant à la guitare, c’est un beau retour aux sources du proto-punk et du blues sauce psychédélique, cover de Hasil Adkins inclus.

[translate]From the brotherly love of Gabriel Jasmin: Lantern is the duo of Zachary Fairbrotherand Emily Robb, two recent Canadian expats gone to the City of Brotherly Love. Wait, are we violating Weird Canada rules? Well, I’m sure both still have Canadian passports, and this first offering is too rad to pass up. Six songs taking cues from early American folk and blues, from desolate quietness to a harmonica call and response to the blown-out fuzz-wah meltdown in “Crude Vessels of Sound.” A grand foray into guitar-fueled proto-punk and psychedelic blues, Hasil Adkins cover included.

Also a big thank you goes out A.J. from CKUT. She recently featured the album on her excellent radio show The New Shit. The show has its own eccentric gravity and pulls lots of strange sounds from the atmosphere to its cosmic rock. A.J. works tirelessly promoting local and Canadian music, as well as experimental and weirdo musics. I tell anyone visiting Montreal to go down to CKUT and see the wonderful work she is doing. Here is what she said about the record.

My Buddy Zachary Fairbrother put out a cassette tape at the very tail end of 2010 Dec 30th on Electric Voice. Lantern is a new project with co-conspirators Emilie and Sophie, it's brilliant asi would have expected, Most Definitely caters to the sensibilities of sun record sessions, mystery train comes to mind, both the film and the song, killer tracks, warm tape hiss, listen to the show for a little dose of good volume for what ails you.

And thanks to The Fader Rules radio show out in Austin for playing the tape, Bryan's show features some really cool/underground sounds from around the globe.

Alas we are sold out of the tapes. I will be getting another 15 in a couple weeks or some. Please email me at if you want one we can arrange something.

Best and thanks for your support thus far. Those in Philly I hope to see you tomorrow at our show at The OX.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lantern Reviewed on RSTB

Hopefully this is the FIRST of many good reviews. Andy from the excellent blog, Raven Sings the Blues, dedicated to highlighting some the weirdest, darkest, and coolest corners gave the EP a glowing review.

A few months back we profiled a release from Canadian string shredders Omon Ra II. Since then the band has gone their separate ways but hope lives on in songwriter Zachary Fairbrother's new solo project Lantern. Stripping away a bit of his former band's wall of intimidating fuzz, along with just about everything else, Lantern occupies a barren landscape of tattered blues and high plains dustbowl dirges. It occupies a space that's both personal and lonely, with Fairbrother citing "Beefheart, Bo Diddley, Hasil Adkins, the early Sun recordings, and the Bruce Springsteen album Nebraska" as touchstones for his new batch of songs. Though I'd definitely add touches of Cecil Barfield and overtones of Tetuzi Akiyama's brilliant Don't Forget To Boogie as welcomed references as well. The fuzz rears it's head occasionally but Lantern succeeds in capturing listeners attention with just the simple push of Fairbrother's sparse blues. The Deliver Me From Nowhere cassette is out now on Electric Voice and be sure to check out the video for "Crude Vessels of Sound" shot with the help of Dirty Beaches' Alex Zhang Hungtai.

From Raven Sings The Blues

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Office Ambience

Inspired by The Wire’s office ambience, and seeing how I work in an office. I thought to make my own office ambience for January 2011 and it’s largely ambient. I’ll try and make this monthly.


My Office Ambience

1. Hype Williams – Untitled
2. OmneoTrix Point Never – Betrayed in the Octagon
3. Elaine Radigue – Trilogie De La Mort
4. David Berhman – On The Other Ocean
5. Ariel Pink – Scared Famous
6. Burial – Self Titled
7. Dirty Beaches - Bad Lands (Leaked version)
8. Rhys Chatham – Two Gongs
9. The Moving Star Hall Singers - Been in the Storm to Long
10. John Cale & Terry Riley – Church of Anthrax

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Omon Ra II in Tony Hawk Skate Video

So Tony Hawk's 900 Film's approached me about using a song from my old band, Omon Ra II, in a Tony Hawk video. They gave us the intro, it is pretty fucking rad. Go take a look. My teenage self is very proud. 


Birdhouse in Europe 2010 from Birdhouse on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lantern Merch and more to come

Finally got a merch page up and running so you can order music and merch from me. Just one item is up right now but check my twitter for updates. I'll be adding lots in the upcoming months including Lantern t-shirts and a bunch of releases.



Friday, January 7, 2011

Met Sean Lennon Last Night On The Streets of Fishtown

Met Sean Lennon on the streets of Fishtown last night with my friend Jon. He was in Philly playing a show. Nice guy. We talked about Eraserhead, briefly about Hasil Adkins, and how about the only thing I heard of his was a Soulfly (Max from Sepultura's new metal project) record he produced that I had as a teen. They did a song together that spoke about the loss of a father and a loss of a son. Max's son died, and Sean's father was murdered, obviously, so I guess it was from the heart. It is a pretty bad record, it was a really weird fusion of Nu-Metal, reggae, spirituality, psychedelic pop, and world music, from what I remember. I just listened to the above mention song, it is pretty cheesy, I have cringed thinking of my teenage self listening to these jams with my headphones in the back of my family's van. Anyways here is my bus pass which I got him to sign and the above mentioned song.