Monday, February 27, 2006

Episode 96, Some Assembly Required

Episode 96, Some Assembly Required

01 Akufen – “Wet Floors”
02 DJ Riko – “Whistler's Delight (Full Version)”
03 DJ Babu – “Suckas (Sucka DJ Dis)”
04 John Oswald – “Anon“
05 Myeck Waters - “I love white things”
06 Fat Cougars – “Little ditty about superbike”
07 Jim Allenspach – “People like um”
08 People Like Us – “More Plunderblunders”
09 Eric Vessels – “Limbaugher”
10 Party Ben – “Fischervana (smells like emerge)”
11 Emergency Broadcast Network – “You Have 5 Seconds To Complete This Section”
12 Evolution Control Committee – “Nasha”
13 DJ Shadow – “You Can't Go Home Again”

Use this address, for your pod software:

More information about Some Assembly Required online, at:

Sunday, February 26, 2006

February 27, 2006: Myeck Waters

February 27, 2006: Myeck Waters
The Some Assembly Required Podcast archive continues with Episode 96, in just a few...

I was at a party last night and bumped into someone who showed me how they use their cel phone to download the Some Assembly Required podcast. Apparently some celular phones can be used as mp3 players, and he downloads the podcast to his phone and listens on the go. So that's pretty cool. I've been curious how people listen to the podcast. I just use my computer to listen to music, these days. I don't even have a CD player anymore, let alone an mp3 player. Drop me a line and let me know how you listen to the Some Assembly Required podcast. I'm curious! My contact info is online, at the contact page at the SAR site.

Episode 96 is on the way. This was a pretty good episode, featuring a good mix of styles, including a track by Myeck Waters, who is our featured artist this week, here at the blog. I believe it was Jim Allenspach who sent me this CD, several years ago. Its called "Myeck's Big Waste o' Time."
If you listen to the show, you probably know that I'm a big fan of the manipulated spoken word. I use cut-up text a lot in my own work, and have always been a fan of rearranged speech in sound collage, in general. One of my favorite sound collage compositions is probably CNN Concatenated by Omer Fast, which is basically spoken word, acapella, pieced together from countless hours of CNN news broadcasts (accompanied by a video collage of the anchors who originally spoke the fragmented speech). Another artist I admire is Wayne Butane, who creates long-form strings of free associated spoken-word sound collage. In fact, most of my favorite sound collage compositions contain large sections of rearranged text. Myeck Water's CD, "Myeck's Big Waste o' Time" is one of those compositions...

If I remember correctly (kicking myself for not saving my email correspondence with the artist), the tracks on this disc were originally composed by Mr. Waters and a couple of siblings, as children, based on the records at their disposal, in concert with a Sony reel to reel tape recorder. He's cleaned up and perhaps even reconstructed the tracks for this CD.

The photo is of Myeck Waters, as a child, perhaps with the tape machine they used to create their original compositions?

Myeck Waters also contributed to the Dictionaraoke project, a few years back, where sound artists downloaded sound clips from a few different online dictionaries, and... Well, here - they put it best... this is from the Dictionaraoke website: "Audio clips from online dictionaries sing the hits of yesterday and today. The fun of karaoke meets the word power of the dictionary." I've played some dictionaraoke a couple of times on the show. That might make a good focus one of these days. Anyway, the Myeck Waters track in question, played on this week's podcast, is not a dictionaraoke track, but you can download a variety of examples of his sound collage from the official Myeck Water's website.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Myeck Waters...


*Name: Myeck Waters

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: The project is called myeck's big waste o' time, but in the past I also called it Attack of the 50-Foot Robin Hood.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Myeck is a nickname, my legal name is Michael Waters.

*Members: I work alone.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: "Digital Deconstructions" works for me. When my brothers and I first started messing around with this in the 1970s, of course, it was tape manipulation, or rather tape recorder manipulation.

*Location: New Jersey

*Original Location: I grew up in Wisconsin.

*What is your creative/artistic background: I have no artistic training, aside from a year or two or guitar lessons from some totally disinterested geezer in the cellar of a music store. I have always been fond of altering existing things to be funny and/or unsettling, starting when I realized I could erase the text in My Weekly Reader in grade school. In the early 1980s, an older brother, his girlfriend and I made two 3-song singles under the name Vibrant Fiasco. No use of pre-recorded materials though, just instruments and voices and a TEAC 4-track.

*History: I've been messing with recorded sounds since the early 1970s.

*Born: I was born in 1958.

*Philosophy: If there is a philosophy, it's that taking things out of their original context makes them interesting in new ways.

*How would you like to be remembered: As Angelina Jolie.

*Web address:


Thanks to Myeck Waters for being our featured artist this week. Stay tuned for Episode 96 of Some Assembly Required, featuring a track by Myeck Waters, and 12 other appropriation-based sound collage artists...

Until next week - thanks for listening!
Jon Nelson

Monday, February 20, 2006

Episode 97, Some Assembly Required

Episode 97, Some Assembly Required

01 The Kleptones – “Expose”
02 Jeff Sconce – “Sweet emo”
03 The Bran Flakes – “Autumn”
04 Art of Noise – “Kiss (Aon mix)”
05 Dummy Run – “Jolly holiday”
06 IDC – “David Byrne Was Born In Dumbarton”
07 Invisibl Skratch Piklz – “White label edit” 08 Evolution Control Committee - “By the time I get to Arizona”
09 DJ Shadow – “Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt”
10 Unknown - “Rah-Heet”
11 Idiom Creak – “Jet Anymore”
12 Elders of Zion – “Disco Communiste”
13 Avalanches – “Since I left you”

Use this address, for your pod software:

More information about Some Assembly Required online, at:

February 20, 2006: Jeffrey Sconce

February 20, 2006: Jeffrey Sconce

- Episode 97, on the way... stay tuned! -

Well, I believe I've decided on one thing... I'm not going to try and slip the special mixes in between the regularly scheduled podcasts anymore. My original goals be damned. From now on, there will be one episode per week, including the special mixes every two months, which means (gasp!) we'll finish uploading the second year of Some Assembly Required just a BIT after 2006 has passed. Well, quite a bit (a month or two), but I believe it's necessary.

The reason is that every episode is worth hearing - and I can't help but notice from looking at the stats, that episodes which get a smaller amount of time in the spotlight, get fewer downloads (thanks to the special mixes being uploaded just a few days later). Which is a crying shame, and it's not worth sticking to my original goal of getting the entire second year online by the end of 2006, if that's the cost. The real goal should be to make sure we continue to get something podcast every week - and that we will stick to. So, stay tuned.

Episode 97 is having its numbers crunched as we speak. It takes some time to convert to one file and from there to an mp3, and from there to being uploaded to the server, and etc etc. Usually just enough time to write these little blog entries. I do hope to, eventually, return to the blogging for blogging's sake, by the way, for those of you who are reading every week. I'm just real busy with a big project, and am actually feeling kind of guilty for spending time on this right now, when a major deadline is approaching... but this is a priority as well, so lets continue...

The 97th Episode of Some Assembly Required has a number of really good features, not least of which is a track by an artist by the name of Jeffrey Sconce. He's our featured artist this week, here at the blog. I got my first Jeffrey Sconce CD from an acquaintance here in Minneapolis, who got it from an acquaintance of his, who is also an acquaintance of mine, who got it from an acquaintance of his, who was acquainted with the artist... So, thank goodness for all of those degrees of separation... as it resulted in "Ludic Despair" being dubbed for the Some Assembly Required library.

I've played the disc quite a bit on the show, and about every other time I played it, did an intensive google search using every conceivable combination of words, which I felt would surely lead to some information about the artist, and ALWAYS came up completely dry. In fact, I even mentioned as much on the show, on a couple of occasions, including this episode (97), where I also said that I had downloaded the CD online... which isn't true. The fact is, I couldn't remember where I had gotten it, at the time - but, it is still true that you can't find anything about Ludic Despair on the internet, at present. There is no official website, yet.

Finally, one day I heard from the artist himself, and of course I immediately asked him to fill out the SAR Q&A - and even got him to send some of his other CDs in the mail. So, stay tuned to the regularly scheduled radio broadcasts of Some Assembly Required, in syndication, as we'll soon be playing more Jeffrey Sconce, just as soon as we get it all properly reviewed...

Jeffrey Sconce is an author, and associate professor, currently residing in Chicago. He teaches media studies at the School of Communications at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois. His recorded output, to date, includes Ludic Despair (2003), Stars on High (2004) and Slumber Party Suicide (2000). All sound collage. His work is often dark, funny and occasionally quite musical. Tune in to this week's podcast, to hear one of his shorter tracks, off of Ludic Despair...

Without further ado, here's this week's SAR Q&A...


*Name: Jeffrey Sconce

*Another genre descriptor: I prefer "pop concrète"

*Why you use this descriptor: Drawing from musique concrète, I like the connotations of creating music by manipulating fragments from a pop music soundscape into which none of us asked to be born.

*Location: I've lived in Chicago the past 4 years... 5 years in L.A. before that... 5 years in Madison/Oshkosh before that... 9 years in Austin before that...

*Original Location: See above.

*What is your creative/artistic background: Nothing formal.

*History: Since around 1985.

*Born: 1962: Oklahoma City

*Motivations: I trace it back to discovering many years ago as a kid that pulling out the balance knob on my parents' old Motorola hi-fi somehow dramatically altered the mix, usually by blanking out the vocal track or bringing a background instrument to the front. From that point on, I've always had an interest in the mechanics of recording and the structures/textures of pop music.

*Philosophy: I don't know if there is a philosophy, really. I guess I would say I've always been interested in the usual suspects for my age/taste culture: dada, situationalists, W.S. Burroughs, Warhol, punk/post-punk, no wave, etc. Also, I've always liked the way collage art can bring out new and unexpected subtexts when unlikely fragments are collided.

*How would you like to be remembered: Being remembered at all would be quite nice, thank you...

*Web address: No web address as of yet.


Thanks to Jeffrey Sconce!

I think that's it for this week's entry. As always, I'd love to hear from you - it's been really nice seeing all of the new friends at Myspace, by the way. If you haven't joined us there, yet - check it out, at:
Drop us a line from there, or from the contact page at the Some Assembly Required website. Its always good to hear from you!

Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Episode 98, Some Assembly Required

Episode 98, Some Assembly Required
(featuring a TV theme)

01 The Art of Noise – “Paranoimia”
02 Unknown – “Weakest link”
03 Osymyso – “Pat 'n' Peg (Eastenders remix)”
04 Jabberwocky – “Cosby”
05 Negativland – “I believe its L”
06 The Jams – “Hey hey we are not the Monkees”
07 Omer Fast – “CNN concatenated (Part VII)”
08 People Like Us – “TV dinner”
09 The Bran Flakes – “Turn the channel, its another commercial”
10 Escape Mechanism – “Culture”
11 Steinski and Mass Media – “We’ll be right back”

Use this address, for your pod software:

More information about Some Assembly Required online, at:

February 15, 2006: Jabberwocky

February 15, 2006: Jabberwocky

Valentines Day is all over now and its time to move on with our regularly scheduled goal of podcasting the entire second season of Some Assembly Required, in 2006. Thanks to everyone who downloaded the Special Valentines Day Mix! There were more than twice the usual number of downloads, which was super exciting. In fact, people are still downloading it in record numbers, so I'm going to post this a bit later than forecast. Give you a few extra hours to find that Valentines Day Mix. Not that it disappears when the new podcast is uploaded - I've just noticed that once a new show is podcast, the previous ones stop getting downloaded as much. They're all still there, though - you just have to scroll down a bit to find them.

Stay tuned - I'll be uploading Episode 98 of Some Assembly Required sometime a little later today (Wednesday, 2/15). This week's episode features the track I mentioned back when we did the Osymyso feature (see blog post for 1/23/06) - the infamously edited "Pat 'n Peg." All those beeps (over eighty!) are for the FCC, mind you. And the thing is, I'm SURE I heard someone use the "B" word here on a local public radio station, recently. Beyond that, the theme of Episode 98 is TELEVISION. So, all of the tracks are somewhat about TV...

This week's featured artist is Jabberwocky. I've really only played Jabberwocky a few times, but I've dug what we have played. Jabberwocky is from South Central Virginia, where he runs an experimental art/music center called The Noisehouse/434 Noise. He's also known for his electronic trance-ambient group, Acid Roundtrip and plays in the free-form noise group The Zit Hit Machine. He is also the author of The Spontaneous Tape Series, which is a series of improvised cassette releases put out by FDH Records. Episode 98 features Jabberwocky's track, "Cosby," who is one of my favorite comedians of all time. Can't tell by listening to the track if the source choice is an homage or a critique, but these things aren't always so clear. Nor should they always be!

So, without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Jabberwocky...


*Name: Jabberwocky

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: No

*Members: Just me, but I have collaborated with different artists in different projects.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Tape manipulations at the beginning when I was using cassette as my expressive medium but now I guess I'd consider it digital deconstruction. But now I feel that I've moved on from that with my new CD "Eat S*** & Die" which is an audio collage concept album.

*Is there a story behind your name? I was stoned and was watching a crap movie called After Alice that had a serial killer character named Jabberwocky and I thought it fit good with what I was wanting to create.

*Location: I live in a very small town called Charlotte Court House, in south central Virginia. I also run a small experimental/outsider arts venue down here called The Noisehouse/434 Noise.

*Original Location: I'm originally from Stafford (next to Quantico/Manasass) which is in Northern Virginia.

*What is your creative/artistic background: I used to write short stories as a kid. I started writing poetry/songs when I was 15 (1990) but have had writers block for at least 7 years now.

*History: I started an ambient project back in 1996 called Acid Roundtrip and have put out 2 releases. I've been active with Jabberwocky since 2002 and have put out 6 releases. I have a free form/improv experimental project that I do with Lee Mattox called The Zit Hit Machine. We also use the revolving door method with that because it gives us the freedom to work with alot of different people and constantly changes and constantly evolves.

*Born: February 27, 1975

*Motivations: Cause it's fun. I live for making music.

*Philosophy: Always give 110 % and put your heart, soul and emotion into making music/art. Be true to yourself and f*** the naysayers who doubt you.

*How would you like to be remembered: That what I've done was different and that I was proof of how far anybody can take DIY with the various things that I do. Sorry if it seems like an ego trip.

*Web address:


Thanks to Jabberwocky for being the featured artist this week! He's just one of 11 artists featured this week on the Some Assembly Required podcast. Stay tuned for Episode 98 to be uploaded very shortly...

Thanks again to everyone who downloaded the SAR Valentines Day Mix. It took my mind off of the holiday! Hope you enjoyed it and are back for more. Be sure to check out our new page at Myspace, by the way. Apparently anyone who is anyone has a page at Myspace now, and I was convinced to become one with the crowd. Join me, won't you? I'm trying to make friends - just go to the SAR myspace page and click "add to friends," up on the left, and I'll get an email saying you want to be my friend. How friendly of you! Looking forward to hearing from you...

Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Some Assembly Required: Valentine's Day special MIX

Enjoy the Some Assembly Required Valentine's Day special MIX...

Some Assembly Required: Valentines Day special MIX

...Happy Valentines Day, from Some Assembly Required
(or not)! I'm not personally celebrating this year; but I don't see any reason to rain on anyone else's parade, so... since it's the middle of February, and the TV told me its time to get romantic for no good reason...
I threw together a little Valentine's Day MIX of tracks by artists you could reasonably expect to hear on Some Assembly Required.

By the way...Use this link for your pod software:

The Valentines Day mix is fifty-three minutes of pure sound collage - with a definite 'lovey-dovey' theme. This mix won't air on the radio program - I'm right in the middle of a big project and only have the time to throw a mix together for the podcast. So enjoy online or not at all...

Hope y'all are enjoying the podcast, in general - don't let this special valentine's mix distract you from Episode 99, featuring an interview with The Bran Flakes - just scroll down, here at the blog, to find that particular post. Definitely some good stuff there, too. Check it out, and drop me a line - there's contact info at our official website:

Here's a list of the sound collage artists in the Valentine's Day mix, in order:
The Bran Flakes – “Mutual admiration and love” * Dsico – “Love will freak us” * The Doopees – “Love songs (Love is a many razor bladed thing)” * Freelance Hellraiser – “Wonder woman” * Silica-Gel – “I Honestly Love You” * Go Home Productions – “I wanna dance with some Bono” * The Tape-beatles - “Love” * DJ Cal (Calle Hansson) - “Nona Drove All Night” * Escape Mechanism – “Most wonderful” * John Oswald – “Pretender” * Basement Clash – “Magnificent Romeo” * People Like Us – “Nobody loves you” * Tedshred – “Rastars vs. Patsy Cline” * Otis Fodder – “My valentine” * Two Many DJs - “I Was Made For Loving You" * Christian Marclay/G.Muller – “Love Gassoline” * Steinski and Mass Media – “I'm wild about that thing”

Thanks for listening, and have a Happy Valentines Day,
Jon Nelson

Monday, February 06, 2006

Episode 99, Some Assembly Required

Episode 99, Some Assembly Required
(featuring an interview with The Bran Flakes...)

01 The Bran Flakes – “Mutual admiration and love”
02 The Bran Flakes – “Cool fresh apple cider”
03 The Bran Flakes – “Call Me Patches”
04 The Bran Flakes – “Hollerin’ linguistics”
05 The Bran Flakes – “(theme to) the Mickey Mouse Club”
06 The Bran Flakes – “Praise the lord”
07 The Bran Flakes – “Perversion for profit”
08 The Bran Flakes – “A Susie Moppet singtime sing-a-long song”
09 The Bran Flakes – “The magical fairy princess”
10 The Bran Flakes – “Collage collage”
11 The Bran Flakes – “The hello show”
12 The Bran Flakes – “Let us praise him children!”
13 The Bran Flakes – “Funny funny”
14 The Bran Flakes – “Love me happy”
15 The Bran Flakes – “Buttermilk”
16 The Bran Flakes – “Bounces”

More information about Some Assembly Required online, at:

Sunday, February 05, 2006

February 5, 2006: The Bran Flakes

February 5, 2006: The Bran Flakes

This is an experimental couple of weeks - thanks to the success of last December's XMAS mix (12/05), I've taken a friend's advice and decided to produce a special mix like that one, to be uploaded every two months or so, in concert with some coinciding holiday or theme. Since its February, I've decided to do a Valentine's Day Theme, so stay tuned for a special mix with a theme of love, and love lost... probably around Thursday, Feb 9...

BUT FIRST... THIS WEEK's Some Assembly Required PODCAST...
I'll be uploading Episode 99 in just a couple of hours. It's another interview episode - this time with The Bran Flakes. Episode 99 will be the podcast this week, and then sometime later in the week I'll upload the aforementioned special mix. Episode 98 probably won't be uploaded until Feb. 15th, as a result (I'd like to give each podcast a few days to stand alone). So, next week's podcast will be a couple of days late. I'm sure you're all going to lose a lot of sleep over this...

I first encountered The Bran Flakes... I don't really remember, for sure. Around the same time I first realized that there was a subculture of sound collage artists, I guess. They were one of the first groups which made themselves known to me. In fact, when I was interviewing "Otis Fodder" and "Mildred Pitt," Otis reminded me that the debut Escape Mechanism EP was inducted into a catalog of traded tapes he was running way back when - which would have been around 1997, I guess. So, I've been a fan of The Bran Flakes for almost ten years, then! The catalog was called "M.O.M." which stood for MOFO Outreach Ministry. It included a ton of material - not just sound collage - including John Oswald's Plunderphonics and Negativland's U2, which at the time were very difficult to find. You'd send him some tapes and a couple of bucks for postage and he'd send you the dubs. I took advantage of his generosity on more than one occasion.

But back to The Bran Flakes... At the time, it was just Otis F. Odder (now Otis Fodder), and I'd gotten two of his releases from an online label called Ovenguard Music. The Bran Flakes were an early staple of this label, which released at least two Bran Flakes albums. The band subsequently released an album on Lomo Records, and a followup on their own label - Happi Tyme Records.

Interviewing them was a treat. If I had to break the artists who receive regular airplay on the show into two camps, it would be those who take it very seriously (uppercase V and S), and those who are just having the times of their lives doing it - and refusing to take it all too seriously. I, personally, strive to exist somewhere right smack in the middle, of course - taking it seriously, but having fun doing it - but your perception of that will all depend on when you happen to catch me willing to discuss the matter. The Bran Flakes, however, are firmly in the latter camp. In spite of my (usual) somber approach to the interview, these two hardly stopped laughing throughout the entire conversation.

There have been a handful of SAR interviews which made me laugh (most recently, last month's special on Jason Forrest - aka Donna Summer), but The Bran Flakes currently hold the record for most-fun-had-during-the-course-of-an-interview-hilarity. These two obviously enjoy their work. More power to them!!

I currently have four records by The Bran Flakes, which I believe is a fair representation of their output as a band (although they've each been very busy with solo projects as well). Hey, Won't Somebody Come and Play, was re-released in 2003 on Happi Tyme Records (it was originally put out in 1999 on Ovenguard Music). Bounces was released in 2002, on Happi Tyme Records. I Don't Have a Friend was put out in 2001, on Lomo Records, and I Remember When I Break Down was released in 1998 on Ovenguard Music. Tune into episode 99 of the Some Assembly Required podcast to hear selections from each of these records by The Bran Flakes...

Surprisingly, considering how much fun they had with our phone interview, The Bran Flakes responses to the Q&A were quite subdued. I've had artists completely ignore the request to keep answers brief, I've had some skip over questions completely, and I've had a few like this one - where the answers are super brief and to the point. Probably my fault, for being so clinical in my approach - I take full responsibility! Believe me, if you want to learn more about this group - download episode 99 of the Some Assembly Required podcast - its MUCH more entertaining...

So - without further ado - here's the SAR Q&A with The Bran Flakes!


*Name: The Bran Flakes

*Members: Mildred Pitt, Otis Fodder

*Founding Member: Otis Fodder

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: All of the above.

*Another genre descriptor: Pop Music

*Why you use this descriptor: The Dictionary in 1991.

*Location: Seattle, WA and San Francisco, CA

*Original Location: San Francisco Bay Area

*History: The current sound since 1998 with Otis Fodder and Mildred Pitt. Before 1998, it was Otis solo and the sound was more of a cassette cut and paste feel.

*Motivations: We can't stop and it's fun.

*Philosophy: It's fun.

*How would you like to be remembered: Somewhat like the taste of a strawberry after your first bite.

*Web address:


Short and sweet! For more info on The Bran Flakes - tune into this week's podcast - Episode 99 of Some Assembly Required - available in the very next post... Stay tuned!

The Bran Flakes are just one of the artists featured in the special Valentine's Day Themed mix, by the way, which we'll be uploading later this week - in honor of next week's "holiday." Stay tuned for that. I expect we'll be making it available on Thursday (2/9).

As always - please feel to drop me a line - let me know what you think of the show, and our new podcast. All of the contact info is up at our website:
Just click on the button that says "contact."

Thanks, as always, for listening...
Jon Nelson