Archive for the Wisconsin Sounds Category

Conjuror- Black Velvet, Dead Flowers

Posted in Wisconsin Sounds with tags on 11/12/2014 by Ian Earbleed


Happy to announce that the second Conjuror album is out on Golden Cloud Tapes! “Black Velvet, Dead Flowers” contains four deep synthesizer drone baths recorded January-February 2014 on my battered Korg Mono/Poly and features cover art by Kjersti Lande. I have a few copies available, $6 +3 s&h via paypal to (ask first about foreign shipping).

You can listen to the first side via soundcloud, but of course they sound better on tape:


Cavernous Tavern Vibes

Posted in EBR updates, Wisconsin Sounds with tags on 06/03/2014 by Ian Earbleed


Yep, playing in another hot little combo, this time with me and Beau Deveraux (Samantha Glass, Victor Portsmouth, etc) on synths and Kathleen Baird (Spires That In the Sunset Rise) providing flute and vocals. Opening for the immer kosmische Bitchin’ Bajas and psych rockers Watch Out! on tour from Chile. Also, it’s free because it’s at the lovely local musical hot-spot, Mickey’s Tavern.

I’m also the creep behind the curtain setting up a couple of shows featuring fabulous lady-type chanteuses at Good Style Shop: Mary Ocher bringing her oddness on March 29th alongside Spires That In the Sunset Rise and one-man-band-and-son Trin-Tran, who has a new record out on Castle Face which you should probably snag, and Julianna Barwick, who will be gracing our presence April 11th.

Still doing the old radio show gig, and might start putting some playlists up on here because Spinitron is a bit of a pain in the ass. Recent themes include the noise couples Valentine’s Day edition, Pandit Pran Nath and students and an AACM Black History Month set.

Winter Time Blooz Outta the Bleak

Posted in EBR updates, Wisconsin Sounds on 21/01/2014 by Ian Earbleed

It’s cold and dark in Madison, but Wisconsinites refuse to let SAD get to them, so there’s still some live music happening around town, though not so many touring folks… Played a fun New Year’s Day improv set with Kathleen Baird of Spires That In the Sunset Rise, Joel Shanahan of Golden Donna and harpist Jeff Stanek. While a challenging one to control at the time (balancing synthesizers and amplified acoustic instruments in a living room on the fly ain’t easy) the end result was very cosmic and a perfect way to start off the year. Hope it can get released one of these days… Also on the bill was local jazzbos Brendan Connors & Stray Passage and former local bassist Ben Willis, who I’ve always enjoyed seeing in his combos the WeatherDuo and The Lovely Socialite Mrs. Thomas W. Phipps, but his solo upright bass work was a true testament of his chops- simple yet physically intense and utterly riveting minimalist exercises that hit you like a perfect 2 minute punk song. He’s currently located in Ann Arbor, so if you’re in that neck of the woods keep an eye out for him if you’re into talented progressive jazz folks.

Also got to see what will probably be one of my top shows of the year this month: Carter Tucci Play Chris & Cosey. I probably could have given them a pass even if it wasn’t good, but they did a long set of reworked classic 80s material that was nowhere close to a nostalgia show. Pretty sure every gal in the place started screaming when they did “October Love Song”, and with good reason; C&C are still the cutest couple in industrial music. John Elliot’s new project Outer Space opened, and was way more minimal dance than I expected, but they also took advantage of the Metro’s giant-ass PA to make the audience’s internal organs wiggle. Some deep competition for that top shows of 2014 coming up though; Charlemagne Palestine is playing a free gig in Chicago on March 14th… not an event to miss!

In other upcoming gig action news, I’m helping to host the very impressive Rene Hell at Good Style Shop February 1st alongside locals Circulation of Light, Noxroy and Victor Portsmouth. Should be a killer night of wide-ranging experimental solo acts, and if you’re a local I’d advise you to not miss this one. Some more good live things in the works too, but we can’t go spoil the surprise, now can we?




Posted in EBR updates, Wisconsin Sounds with tags , , , on 19/11/2013 by Ian Earbleed

I’m setting up a couple shows in Madison in the next month which I’m pretty excited about:

Friday Dec. 13: Ivy Meadows, Itasca, Spires That In the Sunset Rise +1 TBA at Good Style Shop

Saturday Dec. 14: Tatsuya Nakatani, Gastrique!, Sapropelic Pycnic, Conjuror at Shockrasonika

Both should be fantastic shows, hope you can make it.

October Wyrdness

Posted in EBR updates, Reviews, Uneasy Listening, Wisconsin Sounds on 29/10/2013 by Ian Earbleed

Time to do a wrap-up of what’s been happening around Madison in the last month or two and review some records & tapes.

spooky cat

There’s a bandcamp page for Conjuror now, where you can stream/download the new album. Been working on this stuff for three years, it’s very nice to finally be done with it and move on to new projects.

Played a monster festival last weekend with good friends Litüus, Endless, Spiral Joy Band, Daniel Wyche, Positive Shadow and others, one of those nice low-key shows with just the musicians and a few friends. And a few Halloween stragglers who wandered in drunk looking for the bluegrass show down the street. Also played a killer house show with the great Weyes Blood a few weeks back, and finally saw the great John Zuma Saint-Pelvyn perform. Not a household name yet, but if you like your Faheyisms more ergot-soaked than smoothly polished you’d be wise to check him out. His set was dedicated to the three-headed deity he dreamt about while sleeping in his car before the set with Sandy Denny’s head on one end, John Fahey on the other and Genesis P-Orridge in the middle! Anyway, he’s a serious ripper of a guitar player from the Twin Cities, who uses a heavy dose of feedback wrasslin’ alongside maniacal finger work. His two tapes Ampex, Stolaroff, Dogwood, Rain and Lost Masters Of The Shortwave Choir come highly recommended from yours truly.

Another sparsely attended show was Circuit Des Yeux kicking off her tour with Spires That In the Sunset Rise (and later on Bill Callahan, Jason Lescaleet and other heavyweights). Picked up a tape of her new album Overdue, which is definitely the most awe-inspiring thing I’ve heard her do. Cave‘s Cooper Crain produced it, and it’s got lush orchestration, synths and freak noise filling in the spaces between Haley’s sparse guitar. And damn can she sing! My roommate referred to it as “that French record you were listening to earlier” so I guess a Francoise Hardy reference isn’t too far outta place, though only a small piece of the puzzle. It just got formally released, so buy it and stick it in your ears- one of the best records of the year.

I set up a great show for Dustin Wong, who played a dizzying set to a totally packed house on enthralled listeners. Got to put old pal Bastardgeist on the bill along with newly transplanted Madison drone artist Aquarelle, both of whom have excellent new records out.

The show that almost got away was Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids playing at the Chazen Art Museum, which had next to no press/promotional coverage (thanks to Scott of Arts Extract Podcast for the tip). They entered like Egyptian priests blowing conch shells down a magnificent stairwell and proceeded to blast off into a long set of high energy classic 70s Afrocentric free jazz. Really fantastic to see talented musicians who love playing music together and have been doing so for decades, a super-inspiring show and they were all super kind & friendly after the gig. The high point was when Rhodessa Jones joined them for a piece based on Ackamoor’s Great-Great Grandmother’s story of her being sold into slavery. I’ve never heard or felt a piece of music so powerful ever.

The new TV Ghost album Disconnect is a really solid moody post-punk/kraut/goth gem. Hadn’t heard these guys in years, and now I’m really kicking myself for missing them play in town a while back. Really fills in the spaces between Wooden Shjips and Bauhaus.


Pelt Part Wild GateHung On Sunday is a new record of members of Pelt, Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides and Gate, aka Michael Morley of Dead C playing gamelan. As always when there’s a gamelan orchestra involved, it’s pretty mesmerizing, but this record also features mastering by Mr. James Plotkin, so it’s also got a shit-ton of bass tones you wouldn’t otherwise hear. Coming out next month on MIE, and it’s a limited edition UK pressing, so I’ll probably never see a copy, but it’s a good one.


It’s been a couple years since ol’ Rhys Chatham put out a new record, and a few decades since he did a six guitar/bass/drums combo, but that’s what we get on the title track of his gorgeous new record Harmonie Du Soir. The B side is for a 70 piece brass band and both are classic Chatham. Big shimmering tones, lots of stretched-out spaces and that signature Chatham drum-thump.

On WORT‘s long-running late-night monstrosity In One End every week now, Sunday nights/Monday mornings 2-5 AM. Lots of weirdness getting spun, some recent highlights include the all-vocalese show, 70s Swedish/90s Japanese psych set, three hours of Kaoru Abe & Masayuki Takayanagi, and last week’s show which includes an hour of upcoming album previews from some heavy-hitters (such as the above Pelt Part Wild Gate & Chatham albums). As always, you can listen to the shows archived for two weeks after airdate here. Please tolerate my tired, sometimes incoherent ramblings, it was the middle of the night and I would rather be asleep. The things we do for experimental music!

The Left Hand Path of the Conjuror

Posted in EBR updates, Wisconsin Sounds with tags , on 21/10/2013 by Ian Earbleed


My good friend and collaborator Troy Schafer (Kinit Her, Spiral Joy Band, Raindrinkers, etc.) has just put out this album of my recordings as Conjuror on his Shifting Sands Congregation label. Nearly three years of working on these deep synth textures and now it’s time to send them off into the world to fend for themselves. Brave Mysteries will probably have this in stock soon, Both me and Troy will be playing Vault Noise Fest this Saturday along side a great line-up including Litüüs, Dan Wyche, Endless and Spiral Joy Band.

Bleeding All Over… Spires That In the Sunset Rise & More

Posted in EBR updates, Reviews, Wisconsin Sounds with tags , , , on 20/08/2013 by Ian Earbleed


It’s been a long, twisted path for Spires That In the Sunset Rise– how many bands from the psych-free-folk boom of yesteryear are still active and/or weird?- but the apocalyptic year of 2012 birthed two beautiful babies from their coven. Ancient Patience Wills It Again Parts 1 and 2 (Hairy Spider Legs) are bleak, dark, and finely whittled to show why Spires are still waving the freak flag when everyone else packed up & went home years ago. Seeing them live every chance I have has shown them to also be a relentlessly erratic and phenomenal live act, whether they’re hammering on a floor, collaborating with free jazz giant Michael Zerang or performing a completely batshit insane adaptation of Italo Calvino’s “Sword of the Sun” opening for Jozef van Wissem which sent at least half of the audience scrambling for shelter.  Their recent house show appearance (opening for a full band line-up of Kinit Her) ventured into some new freaky cosmic jazz territory with Taralie & Kathleen playing mainly looped flute and sax.

Saw Wolf Eyes recently for the first time in 9(!?!?) years and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t absolutely fucking perfect. Fog-drenched and heavy and wayyyy more like what they were doing back in the early 2000s than what I expected. Crazy Jim’s got my vote as a worthy replacement for the Mr. Connelly. Altered banjo maestro Paul Metzger opened and went in real deep. Dude can take you on a gorgeous Fahey-raga journey to the clouds, cover Debussy or flip you upside down and shake your brains out, which is what he focused on doing this night (when in Rome, right?). I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: the dude is a fucking treasure of modern music and one should take it upon oneself to fill ones ears with as much Metzger as possible in one’s short lifetime. Most berserk show I’ve seen since Boy Dirt Car played the same venue for their first Madison show in 20 years- I thought for sure one of them was going to fall over or pass out during their set.

Brute Heart was the first band I saw upon moving to Madison, and setting up a show for them recently only reaffirmed what I liked about them years ago- dark, moody stripped-down violin post-punk in the vein of Raincoats but now ever darker & krautier. Their new album Brute Heart’s Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Moon Glyph) is a soundtrack to the silent German expressionist classic and woven full of amazing tunes, gurgling synths and mesmerizing melodies.

SFB family album
And on the home front, yours truly is truly honored to be on a third of a massive retrospective 3-sided Second Family Band record released by the jaw-dropping Sagittarius A-Star label (run by the same immaculate mind as the late great Qbico). This free-wheeling collective has been freaking deep under the radar since the death of Davenport, and the 2-LP Family Album collects some highlights of esoteric free-psych-communal-freakout cassette releases. Side three is the first session I sat in on with the Family, keeping a moog baseline goin’ under a cosmic bellydancing groove & doing some freeform throat maneuvers… Sides 1 & 2 are essential cuts from some of those super-rare SFB cassettes of days old & are chock full of deep, dirty midwest weirdness. Sagittarius A-Star’s been doing a bunch of other great reissues of ultra-obscure free jazz, psychedelia and lately some under documented early 80s new age music played by free jazz cats. A little pricey for us new world types, but there’s some deluxe limited-edition packaging that’s utterly jaw-dropping.

Other recent releases of note spinning around the old Ear Bleed manor as of late:

Marielle V Jakobsons- Glass Canyon- Perfectly constructed drone orbs of violin & synth from member of Date Palms. Fantastic record, what new age music should have sounded like all along. Polish up yr crystals…

Holy Balm- Holy Balm- Utterly charming Aussies fusing modern underground synth dancedelia with 80s NY stripped down post-whatever a la Y Pants/Liquid Liquid. Wait, I own 3 Not Not Fun records now? Who am I?

Wire- Change Becomes Us- Their best record of the 21st century.

Richard Pinhas- Desolation Row Mr. Pinhas and pals (including Oren Ambarchi) whipping up a frothy noise rock mountain… Pinhas’ best album in a decade or two fer sure. Monster prog, lumbering slow-burners that erupt into drums & electronic squelches, and gigantic feedback drones… hmm, maybe hanging out with Oren, Keiji Haino & Wolf Eyes is rubbing off on Dr. Heldon. From what’s been popping up on his sound cloud page, Pinhas seems to be in fine form these days, especially considering the first Heldon record came out almost 40 years ago. Here’s to 40 more!

Thee Open Sex- s/t Metallic KO Stoogoid psych rawk outta Indiana with some hypnotic Shjips-type smoldering riffage and two feet grounded in that holy testament of midwestern rock & roll, “Raw Power”.

All right, an overdue and highly incomplete wrap-up of the last 8 months, but enough for now. Stick around, there’s a Conjuror album on the way and some other happenings around the corner.