Preshish Moments – Suddenly Appearing

One of the pieces I did for Alarm Will Sound‘s upcoming shows at Le Poisson Rouge (6:30 and 10:30pm, next Wednesday, 7/22/09) is an arrangement of a piece by Bay Area breakcore artist Preshish Moments called whydobirds. I had been wanting to do a track of his for a while, for a variety of reasons: it’s really good music; we’ve known and worked together a long time; and I had no idea how to, and if I could, pull it off.

What makes his piece even more teh awesomest is that it’s a remix of The Carpenters’ Close to You, which is not only a sick (if totally corny) tune, but it has a personal connection (awww…) – The Carpenters are from Presh and my hometown of Downey, Ca. and went to our high school. Presh has a similarly complex emotional relationship to sappy music (though he prefers yacht rock to my contemporary christian) and it comes out in the track. It displays obvious destructive tendencies – his tunes are pretty splice-arific – but there is clear reverence to (or, should I say, near-erotic obsession with) Karen’s voice. It is without a doubt the most tonal and sentimental track on his ridiculous album, Let’s Be Friends (Listen/Buy), which is probably why it appealed to me.

Here is the track, check it out:

And here’s what I’ve done with it:

BONUS:

I’ve been wanting to blog this video for a while, so what better time than now? Here is Preshish Moments live and in action in Paris.

Kickass:

-See also: https://mattmarksmusic.com/2008/07/02/preshish-moments-album-out-now/

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New site!

So I’ve moved everything from Blogger over here to my new WordPress site and set up some new stuff. The largest addition is the music page. There are a ton of new tracks and recordings up, spanning the last five years or so. If there’s anything I left out that you’d like me to put up, let me know. For the time being they aren’t downloadable, but once I find a player I’m really happy with I’ll hook that up (well, aside from too much of the Little Death stuff, for professional reasons ;) – more on that soon).
Anyway, I’m happy with it so far. It’s simple, clean – hopefully easy to navigate. I don’t really need any of that zany flash stuff going on. I’ve also been waiting for like four years to use the above picture of me at the Pennsylvania farm house (taken by James Hirschfeld). So yeah, enjoy! I’m not exactly the fierce blogger that I once was, but I’m still a Google Reader addict, which means if you’re ever strapped for reading material, hit up this page and check out the Shared Items to your right. You could waste hours, seriously. K, it’s 4am, time for bed. All done WordPressing.

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"The more brutal it is, the better" – David T. Little

Yo, check out this awesome story in the NJ Star-Ledger about badass composer, and friend, David T. Little:

“I grew up very much outside of the classical tradition, not really knowing that it existed, not knowing that composers existed or that people still wrote music,” Little reflects.

At first, classical music, particularly Mozart, felt foreign and false. “It represented this polite, neat, well-packaged culture which I didn’t really relate to. Aside from the musical theater, I was listening to death metal, which was the opposite of that. It was aggressive, messy — brutal is a term that’s used a lot in that genre. The more brutal it is, the better.”

“Classical music struck me as living in denial. You have this music that is so perfect and that’s just not true, that’s not life.”

But as Little searched websites for ways to become a film composer and feverishly tried to follow their instructions, he came across recommendations for certain classical works. He started with Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” Nearly every day for months, he spent hours listening to the composition. He bought himself a score and flipped the pages while listening to his cassette — until he could follow Stravinsky’s challenging notation through the end.

“‘The Rite of Spring’ was huge,” Little remembers. “It was such a visceral piece. It was brutal in the same way that this extreme metal was — it acknowledges the sort of underbelly or the non-enlightenment period sorts of things about humanity.”

Ditto, man. The Rite was a major turning point for me too. It was also the first piece that I didn’t feel ashamed to play for my non-classical musician friends (which vastly out-numbered my classical musician friends). When in doubt I’d try and convince them of how “trippy” it was, especially when in the correct state of mind (ahem…).

What has lingered of my Rite-ophilia has been an appreciation for the effective marriage of raw, tribal emotion and extreme precision. For myself, this evolved into a love and appreciation for intense electronica – jungle/drum ‘n’ bass, hardcore, breakcore; for David it seems to have developed into a love for intricate metal – death, speed, math-metal, etc. Even attempting to integrate these styles into concert hall is a daunting task, but luckily for David, it’s less an act of integration than it is a natural fusion. A great example of this is Sweet Light Crude, a piece written for his rock ensemble, Newspeak (you can hear SLC and more here on his website).

Read the whole article, it’s good stuff. And make sure to come check out several of David’s pieces (including excerpts from his upcoming Opera, Dog Days, a collaboration with the wonderful librettist, Royce Vavrek) this coming Friday (7/17/09) at Galapagos Art Space.

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Auto-tune the News 6

I don’t know how to tell you how much I love these guys.

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Rhapsody in Blue Remix

Hey folkies, I’ll be performing a live remix of Rhapsody in Blue tomorrow (Wednesday, July 8th – 6:30) @ The Greene Space in NYC for the 85th anniversary of WNYC. If you’re around please come check it out, tickets are FREE! :)

If for some reason you cannot make it – out of town, in hospital (really the only two acceptable reasons…) – you can listen to it live on wnyc.org. Broadcast begins at 7pm EST.

Now, if there’s one thing I hate it’s a straight-forward remix, so I’m a little notorious for making remixes that eschew the spirit and style of their source material, in favor for something completely different (quite often I’ll take something simple and naive and make it dark and twisted – not too original I know, but I loves it!). With this source material, though, I completely respect and love it. In fact, performing a solo piano version of Rhapsody in Blue as a young teen in a recital was one of my first serious musical experiences. Irony seems a little out of place.

I’ll give you a sample of what you can expect tomorrow. All of the sounds are from various recordings of the piece, with the exception of two: the Amen break, and a few 909 samples.

Enjoy:

It’ll be a great show. Also performing will be Alicia and Jason Moran, Marta Eggerth, and Dave Burrell, performing music by Puccini, Antheill, and Jelly Roll Morton.

Check it out!

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Birds With Arms

Yeah, I haven’t really been blogging too much here of late. It’s for a couple of reasons: 1. I haven’t really been in the rantacular kinda place recently, where a morning’s angst is translated into an epic blogpost either pro or con something on this Earth; and 2. I’ve been doing most of my micro-blogging on Facebook, thus the drastic cutback on the quick posts (YouTube videos, funny pictures, etc.).

But every once in a while, something on the internet is so glorious that I just have to post on it. Often it’s the beginning of a wonderful new meme that will seem old, stupid, and crusty in about 3 weeks time. Well, it’s not then yet, so enjoy!

Birds with arms photoshopped on them:

Looooove it!

-Something Awful

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Birds With Arms

Yeah, I haven’t really been blogging too much here of late. It’s for a couple of reasons: 1. I haven’t really been in the rantacular kinda place recently, where a morning’s angst is translated into an epic blogpost either pro or con something on this Earth; and 2. I’ve been doing most of my micro-blogging on Facebook, thus the drastic cutback on the quick posts (YouTube videos, funny pictures, etc.).

But every once in a while, something on the internet is so glorious that I just have to post on it. Often it’s the beginning of a wonderful new meme that will seem old, stupid, and crusty in about 3 weeks time. Well, it’s not then yet, so enjoy!

Birds with arms photoshopped on them:

Looooove it!

-Something Awful

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The Exaltation of Grace Budd

If you were at the awesomely wonderful New Music Bake Sale in April, you may remember a horror ballad of mine I sang with Ensemble de Sade, called The Exaltation of Grace Budd. Well, thanks to the recording expertise of Amir Khosrowpour (who was also rocking out on piano), you can hear it again (or for the first time!). Here you go:

The Exaltation of Grace Budd by Matt Marks:

The text is from a famous letter by the 1920s serial killer, Albert Fish, to the parents of one of his young victims.

Creeptastic!

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Shave and a Haircut

Two.

Bits.

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Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

Happy Monday!

From Shock Treatment

P.S. I totally have a 70s Jessica Harper crush

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