From the mouth of the poet

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  January 28, 2013

waxtabs_robertstillman_main
Robert Stillman

• There's a debate raging in the Wax Tablet offices about which is more colorful: the sunshine-and-lollipops imagery of inaugural poet Richard Blanco's "One Today," or the sparkling new video for JAW GEMS' "Star Visor." It's heated. Some are in thrall to Blanco's lyrical paean to "finishing one more report for the boss on time" and testament to building the "last floor of the Freedom Tower." Others are more passionate about the imaginative stanzas of Tyler Quist and Hassan Muhammad's synth lines. Some quiver at Blanco's rendering of "one moon like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop;" others at the stilted, jittery meter of DJ Moore's drumwork. Some line up to salute the poet's "rhythm of traffic lights, fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arranged like rainbows begging our praise(,)" while others can't pull themselves away from the drippily kaleidoscopic visuals of directors Jay Brown and Paul Mihailoff. While our HQ remains bitterly divided, make sure your personal bureau of creative arts stays well informed. Watch the vid at the psych-jazz group's Vimeo (vimeo.com/57838638) and decide for yourself.

• When the music you make fits no social or historical milieu whatsoever, you know you're on to something. This is the juncture that multi-instrumentalist ROBERT STILLMAN finds himself at upon release of the new long-player Station Wagon Interior Perspective (A Requiem for John Fahey). With the record, the Portland-born musician takes on the specter (or "spectre," perhaps — Stillman's a Briton now) of the American primitive guitarist with many instrumental arrangements — not one of them involving guitar. Why such deviation from the form? Because though it may appear like a parlor trick, such tortuous routes are necessary to charm and seduce a ghost, especially one as famously curmudgeonly as Fahey. The album, issued locally as a 10-inch on APOHADION RECORDS under the name Robert Stillman and the Archaic Future Players, is a fuzzily familiar mix of pre-jazz American folk, lurching brass toots, and skeletal sound-collage. It's a creative retelling of a music legend, and one that won't prompt its spectral muse to emerge from the spiritual plane to issue a corrective. Or so we hope! Unearth this particular wax at theapohadion.wordpress.com.

• We've been meaning to ask: do you drone? Yeah, us too. And lately we've been doing so, in small doses, with INDRE STYRKE, a dark ambient project of Rural Ghosts' frontman Erik Neilson. The demo track "Good Morning Sun" falls somewhere between the meditations of Robert Rich and a psychotically Twin Peaks-y new age bliss. Will Finest Times, the project's promised full-length, follow suit? And when?

  Topics: New England Music News , Paul Mihailoff, Robert Stillman, Robert Stillman,  More more >
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