Sunday, June 25, 2006

Episode 83, Some Assembly Required

Episode 83, Some Assembly Required
(featuring an interview with Omer Fast)

01 Antediluvian Rocking Horse - "Convoluted plot machine"
02 The Bran Flakes - "A musical computer"
03 Evolution Control Committee - "Computers"
04 The Tape-beatles - "The human machine"
05 The Tape-beatles - "Byways of ghostland"
06 Omer Fast - "CNN Concatenated (Part 1)"
07 Omer Fast - "CNN Concatenated (Part 2)"
08 Omer Fast - "CNN Concatenated (Part 3)"
09 Omer Fast - "CNN Concatenated (Part 4)"
10 Omer Fast - "CNN Concatenated (Part 5)"
11 Omer Fast - "CNN Concatenated (Part 6)"
12 Omer Fast - "CNN Concatenated (Part 7)"
13 B'O'K and ADMacHine - "Ha'ah'ah Y'aas E'eh"
14 Buttfinger - "Machine five"
15 DJ Pantshead - "Machines dehumanize"
16 Mr. Dibbs – “Machine”

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More information about Some Assembly Required online, at:

June 25, 2006: Omer Fast

June 25, 2006: Omer Fast

The featured artist this week is Omer Fast. Stay tuned for this week's podcast (episode 83) to hear the soundtrack to his video collage composition, "CNN Concatenated," along with my interview with the artist.

[UPDATE: Check out his page at gb agency's website, to see the full video for "CNN Concatenated". Click HERE and then the "Online Preview" link to find the full 18+ minute video collage...]

I found myself experiencing CNN Concatenated one summer afternoon, with Mark Gunderson of all people, on one of his trips to Minneapolis (to perform as The Evolution Control Committee). We'd spent the afternoon bumming around the Twin Cities and wound up at a local art gallery called The Soap Factory. The Soap Factory is like a home away from home for me, and for dozens (if not hundreds) of other local artists, as I've performed there about a half dozen times and even helped to produce a play there one summer. I brought Mark by that afternoon, just to show him the space - completely unaware of what was on display...

We wandered around the space chatting about the work and eventually found ourselves in one of the back galleries, standing in front of a small video monitor which had rapidly flashing bursts of imagery from various (thousands of) CNN broadcasts. We fell silent as we began to absorb. About eighteen minutes later, as the piece began to repeat, we looked around silently for chairs and sat down to watch it again. I think I sat through the whole thing about three times. It was absolutely amazing...

I talked to the gallery attendant that afternoon and began the (often) difficult task of tracking down the artist. Its amazing how often people will tell you that the artist doesn't really do interviews prior to finally doing an interview with the artist. If you're persistent and sincere in your interest, however... well, I've rarely been disappointed anyway. And so, I was granted the very rare opportunity to interview Omer Fast, the creator of the video piece we'd seen that afternoon, who told me afterwards that this was the first and last radio interview he ever plans to do. Not only that, but I convinced him to send me the audio portion of his video, and got his permission to air the soundtrack on Some Assembly Required. I can't tell you how fortunate I feel to be able to present this here for you!

I've got quite a few favorites, but this is in the top 10 for sure. You do not want to miss this week's episode - an interview with Omer Fast, the artist behind "CNN Concatenated," AND the audio portion of that video collage composition. Here's a brief introduction to the phone interview contained in this week's podcast (episode 83), by way of this week's SAR Q&A, with Omer Fast...


*Name: Omer Fast

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

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: I work with digital video in a pretty traditional way: I either shoot the footage myself or collect it from ready made sources, depending on what the project requires. I think that sampling, cutting and remixing are all pretty much standard fare for any artist or musician working today.

*Location: I live and work in Berlin (Germany).

*Original Location: Jerusalem (Israel)

*What is your creative/artistic background: I studied art in the States and have been working as an artist since finishing my studies in 2000.

*Born: I was born in Jerusalem in 1972.

*Philosophy: Video is still a relatively new medium to work in so it feels like there's some freedom still to move around and try out new things, at least within an institutional art context. It is also a medium that is immediately connectable to film, to television and to reality, so it seems both contemporary and natural, at least at the present.

*Web address: I've no website.

[UPDATE (2010): Check out his page at gb agency's website, to see the full video for "CNN Concatenated". Click HERE and then the "Online Preview" link to find the full 18+ minute video collage...]

Thanks to Omer Fast for being the featured artist this week. Be sure to tune in to episode 83 to hear more about CNN Concatenated, as well as to hear CNN Concatenated. Definitely one of my favorite episodes. Check out this week's podcast in just a few...

Don't forget: The End Times Film Festival is in motion as we speak - It runs throughout this weekend (June 23, 24 and 25). Get on down to The Turf Club, to check out a variety of experimental, unconventional, intelligent and entertaining music, at this International Underground Music Festival. For a full list of performers, and additional information, you can visit the END TIMES FESTIVAL website, at:

Stay tuned also, for more information about another DJ Night, coming up on July 6th - this time at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. I'll be spinning music along with performances by the bands Beatrix*JAR and Canadian (featuring our friend Catherine Campion). Looking forward to Thursday, July 6!

Until then - enjoy the interview with Omer Fast, and CNN Concatenated - along with tracks by 8 additional sound collage artists, in episode 83 - on its way...

Thanks for listening!
Jon Nelson

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Episode 84, Some Assembly Required

Episode 84, Some Assembly Required

01 Messerchups - "Midnight"
02 Donna Summer - "Heels over head"
03 Alan Friedman - "Breakbeatles"
04 Idiom Creak - "Odysseus"
05 Antediluvian Rocking Horse - "Forward into the furniture"
06 Pop chop - "Comp-Elation"
07 Freelance Hellraiser - "It ain't hard to tell"
08 The Tape-beatles - "Thus"
09 Negativland - "View to the sun"
10 Ros Bobos - "I understand Peter"
11 The Tape-beatles - "Great difficulties"
12 V/VM - "Only you (ba da da da)"
13 Lecture on Nothing - "Memories"
14 The Bran Flakes - "Apples"

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More information about Some Assembly Required online, at:

June 18, 2006: Idiom Creak

June 18, 2006: Idiom Creak

The featured artist this week is Idiom Creak! Stay tuned for episode 84 of Some Assembly Required (for those of you new to this - we're working our way backward through the second year of syndicated episodes of the show, as we archive the program via our podcast). Episode 84 features 14 sound collages, of which one is by Idiom Creak...

A little research turns up the fact that Idiom Creak is Michael Rosen, a one-time economics major at University of California (Davis). He started out actually cutting tape, working very experimentally, and his sound has grown from there. Working with Damian Cohn, as Scatter Shot Theory, Rosen also bears the distinction of having entered and won a Beck remix contest (working with a track off of 1999's Midnight Vultures). First prize, no less. I've always wondered about these contests. Who enters them? Who wins? Well... Idiom Creak, apparently! So, from experimental tape splicer to award winning remix artist - Idiom Creak would seem to fit right in here on Some Assembly Required.

The project currently has two official releases... "Room from another music," put out by Samplistic in 2004, and "Jet powered, monkey navigated," out in 2000, also on Samplistic. One of my favorite tracks by Idiom Creak though, is off of an album they curated, called "The after dinner collection," on which all the artists featured are sampling from the same film: 1981's My Dinner With Andre (with Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory - directed by Louis Malle). I've yet to make it all the way through the film which inspired the album (hey, the last time I tried I was in junior high. I'm sure its worth another try) - but I've enjoyed this release, and both Idiom Creak releases through and through...

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Idiom Creak...


*Name: Idiom Creak

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

*Do you use a pseudonym? Idiom Creak, Idiom Freak, Freak, Ehmie [M.I.], Michael Rosen
*Members: Michael Stephen Rosen

*Founding Member: Michael Stephen Rosen

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Digital deconstructions

*Another genre descriptor: I don’t like to use descriptors but I have to so I try to use whatever’s fun.

*Why you use this descriptor: I use just about any name; and I probably came up with it in another dream world full of totally different things.

*Location: Californial areolas

*Original Location: Penngrove, Ca.

*What is your creative/artistic background: Everything I could get my hands on. Paint, sound, video, pencils, pens, some very annoyed military recruiters.

*History: Idiom Creak was invented in my trailer around 1997, by me: Idiom Creak. But, work had been going strong for many years before that.

*Born: I was born in San Francisco on March 29, 1977.

*Motivations: Is There Anything Else?

*Philosophy: Yes.

*How would you like to be remembered: Maybe.

*Web address:


Thanks to Michael Rosen of Idiom Creak, for being such a good sport. Be sure to check out the Idiom Creak website, and stay tuned for episode 84 of Some Assembly Required, featuring a track by Idiom Creak and 13 other sound collage artists. Up in just a few.

Thanks to those of you who braved some of the worst weather I've seen in a long time around here, and joined us at the first installment of Relay at Rosalux this past Friday. Kevin Beacham, Norton Fortune, Paul Harding and I had a great time "passing the baton." If I haven't made it clear, one of the reasons we're calling it RELAY, is that the DJ sets are deliberately short - We each get on and play as many tracks as we can in about 20-25 minutes and then pass it off to another DJ. We each got two or three turns to spin that night and enjoyed it immensely. Be sure to join us again in July (and August) as the Rosalux Summer Music Series continues, on the third friday of each month, all summer.

In the meantime - Some Assembly Required is a proud sponsor of The END TIMES FESTIVAL, June 23rd - June 25th, at The TURF CLUB, in St. Paul, Minnesota. The End Times Festival is an International Underground Music Festival focused on a variety of experimental, unconventional, intelligent and entertaining music... For a full list of performers and additional information, visit their website, at:

We'll see you there! In the meantime, check out episode 84 and have a good week...
Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson

Monday, June 12, 2006

Episode 85, Some Assembly Required

Episode 85, Some Assembly Required
featuring an interview with Christian Marclay

01 Christian Marclay/Gunter Muller – “Love gasoline”
02 Christian Marclay – “Jimi Hendrix”
03 Christian Marclay – “Detroit, December 21, 2002”
04 C. Marclay/G. Muller – “Je Ne Vous Oublierai Jamais”
05 Christian Marclay/Gunter Muller – “pfiff”
06 Christian Marclay – “Don’t stop now”
07 Christian Marclay – “Johann Strauss”
08 Christian Marclay/Gunter Muller – “Vitalium”
09 Christian Marclay – “Annandale-on-Hudson, November 19, 2003”
10 Christian Marclay – “New York, September 17, 2000”
11 Christian Marclay – “One thousand cycles”

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More information about Some Assembly Required online, at:

Sunday, June 11, 2006

June 11, 2006: Christian Marclay

June 11, 2006: Christian Marclay

This week's focus is on Christian Marclay. I got to interview Marclay a couple of years ago, when he was in Minneapolis as an artist in residence at the Walker Art Center. Actually he was kind of shuttling back and forth between here and New York, at the time, and the interview was conducted via telephone during one of his trips home. I did get to meet him though, at the Triple Rock, and seeing him perform there is one of my favorite memories, doing this show. The phone interview is a big part of this week's podcast (episode 85). Stay tuned.

While he was here, he did some excellent work at the Walker, having to do with their collection of Fluxus objects. If you're a fan of Christian Marclay, or Fluxus, you're definitely going to want to tune in to this week's podcast (episode 85) to hear all about it. I was a fan of Fluxus prior to being a fan of Marclay and had never made the connection until seeing his work on display at Franklin Artworks (this was during the Walker's big construction year, so they were using satellite locations for their exhibitions). Marclay was in art school when Fluxus was still going strong, so his perspective on the subject is especially valuable.

The interview originally aired here in Minneapolis on the Saturday afternoon of his evening performance at the Triple Rock Social Club (another of the Walker's satellite locations that year). It was great to see the live collaboration between Christian Marclay and Fog's Andrew Broder on turntables, with saxaphonist George Cartwright, for what I can only assume was a sold out show. I'd never seen the place so crowded, anyway.

Marclay is known for his visual and sonic work. Probably best known as a turntablist, he's also a visual artist who's shown at San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), The St. Louis Art Museum (Missouri), Tokyo's Gallery Koyanagi, The Paula Cooper Gallery (New York), The Margo Leavin Gallery (Los Angeles) and Galerie Jennifer Flay (Paris). His visual work has everything to do with music as well.
(Pictured: "Lip Lock, 2000" -- looking an awful lot like the poster design for our new DJ series! A total coincidence, I swear -- See notes below, for more info on the DJ Night).

Marclay is one of those artists whose work had to grow on me, frankly. Conceptually I'm all but in love with it. Musically... well, you definitely can't dance to it. This is one of those episodes where you'd do well to prepare yourself for ART, not music. The man is renowned for a reason, and you really should check this out (and if you're not predisposed to this kind of work - let it grow on you). I don't mean any disrespect (obviously), when I warn you about the nature of Art vs. Music, etc. - Its just a matter of the power of preconception. Prepare yourself to HEAR some great art, and you will love this episode. I listened to it again before posting, and I have to say, I think its probaby one of my favorite interviews, to date.

Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Christian Marclay, who asked that I fill in the blanks for him...


*Name: Christian Marclay

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: Marclay has released work with many artists, including Gunter Muller, Otomo Yoshihide and Eliot Sharp. He also works with a small group of turntablists, using the name “djTrio.” This (rotating) group is anchored by Christian Marclay, and has included artists such as DJ Olive, Toshio Kajiwara, Erik M, Marina Rosenfeld, Otomo Yoshihide, Pita, and Tom Recchion.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Turntable creations, definitely.

*Another genre descriptor: Turntablism, Musique Concrete...

*Location: New York

*Original Location: Born in San Rafael, California and raised in Geneva, Switzerland.

*What is your creative/artistic background: Studying sculpture at Massachusetts College of Art, in Boston, an interest in performance art (and the spirit of punk rock) led Marclay to experimental performances, using turntables.

*History: Marclay has been working with turntables since 1979. djTrio was founded in 1996.

*Born: 1955

*Motivations: Marclay has defined himself as an artist, by exploring the connections between audio and visual art. He performs and records imaginative turntablist soundscapes, and creates sculptures which often include references to musical instruments, stereo playback equipment and records.

*Web address:


To learn much more about Christian Marclay, be sure to download this week's podcast (episode 85) which is being spun in to the world wide web, as we speak. Thanks again to Mr. Marclay!

Now about that DJ Night... Rosalux Gallery is proud to present: RELAY@Rosalux... click HERE, to see the poster... featuring some of the Twin Cities Best College, Community and Public Radio Specialty Show Hosts. Its a Summer Music Series, occuring every third Friday in June, July and August, at Rosalux Gallery (in the Open Book complex, on Washington Avenue). Participating DJs include: Kevin Beacham (Redefinition Radio, The Current), Jennifer Downham (Groove Garden, KFAI), Norton Fortune (Strictly Butter, KFAI), Paul Harding (Radio K International, Radio K), Tarik Moody and DJ Don Cuco (The Rhythm Lab, The Current) and myself (Jon Nelson, Some Assembly Required).

This Friday, June 16, I'll be spinning with Kevin Beacham, Paul Harding and Norton Fortune. Hope to see some of you Twin City residents down there! Rosalux is located at 1011 Washington Ave. S. in downtown Minneapolis. The event goes from 9PM to midnight and there is a $3 suggested donation. Its 18+ and you have to be 21+ to drink. What else... Free parking in the Open Book lot, just to the left of the building. Rosalux Gallery is located in the Open Book Complex, just a block down from Grumpy's Bar, also on Washington Avenue.

In other news... Some Assembly Required is a proud sponsor of THE END TIMES FESTIVAL, which will be coming to the Twin Cities at the TURF CLUB, the second to last weekend in June (June 23rd, 24th and 25th). The End Times Festival is an International Underground Music Festival focusing on a variety of experimental, unconventional, intelligent and entertaining music, featuring no ONE genre of music. Its ethos, in fact, is an elimination of looking at music in restrictive terms... For a full list of performers and additional information, visit their website, at:

Oh and don't forget to subscribe to's online journal access + ENGAGE, to see the debut of a brand new Escape Mechanism video (video collage by R Room, sound collage by me)! Click HERE, and then follow the link at the bottom of that page (the one that says "Click to subscribe to access + ENGAGE!"). Its just that simple. The new issue comes out June 15th, so sign up before then...

And that's it for this particularly long post! Hope to see y'all at RELAY @ Rosalux on the 16th. It should be a good time. Until then...

Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Episode 86, Some Assembly Required

Episode 86, Some Assembly Required

01 DJ Danger Mouse - "Public service announcement"
02 John Oswald - "Birth 1"
03 DJ BC - "Sure-Bla-Di Shot-Bla-Da"
04 The Tape-beatles - "A hard hand to hold"
05 John Oswald - "Birth 3"
06 The Beatles - "For the benefit of Mr. Kite"
07 The Beatles - "Revolution #9"
08 DJ Danger Mouse - "Dirt off your shoulder"
09 V/VM - "Untitled"
10 John Oswald - "Birth 2"
11 Go Home Productions - "Beatleg bootles"
12 Allan Friedman - "Breakbeatles"

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More information about Some Assembly Required online, at:

June 4, 2006: DJ BC

June 4, 2006: DJ BC

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Beatrix*Jar CD release party on Friday. I was only able to stay for a little while, but while I was there I saw a LOT of people enjoying themselves. Some Assembly Required will be sponsoring a music festival this month, and participating in a DJ series at Rosalux Gallery all summer, so stay tuned to the Some Assembly Required website for more information about things to do this summer!

This week's SAR Q&A is with dj BC, which is perfect as this week's podcast (episode 86 - uploading as we speak) has a Beatles theme. We did a Beatles theme previously, so this is the 2nd stab, but as we're working backwards through our 2nd year in syndication, at the moment, we have yet to podcast the first one. A special feature this episode is another segment by Dolores Dewberry, who presents a couple of sample-based tracks by The Beatles, right alongside 10 tracks by sound collage artists who are primarily sampling The Beatles.

So, why is it perfect that dj BC is the focus of the SAR Q&A this week? Well, because dj BC put out a record called dj BC Presents the Beastles, which is a mashup album combining The Beatles and The Beastie Boys. Looking at his website, I see he's already got a followup to this release, titled Let it Beast, which I can only assume is another Beatles/Beastie Boys Mashup concept record focusing on the Beatles album, Let it Be.

dj BC is Bob Cronin, from Boston, Massachusets. He's done some remixes as well, and together with Luke Enlow (fellow Mashup artist Lenlow) hosts a couple of different Mashup parties every month, in the Boston area. He's gotten positive attention from Newsweek, Rolling Stone and the Boston Globe and the not-so-positive kind of attention which forced him to remove the files for dj BC Presents the Beastles from his website, just like Danger Mouse's Grey album (an album which inspired dj BC to produce the Beastles record). He's also available to spin at your wedding or college party! Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with dj BC...


*Name: dj BC

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: dj BC is my DJ name. The Beastles is the name of my Beasties vs. Beatles project (2 albums) and Glassbreaks is the name of another album (Philip Glass vs. hip-hop) while Mash Ave is the name of the mash-up night I host with compadre Lenlow.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Sort of, not really. I don't try to hide my identity much.

*Members: Just me. Robert M. Cronin Esq.

*Founding Member: The Beatles, The Beastie Boys and me.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Digital reworkings -
ie Mashups!

*Another genre descriptor: Mashes. Mashups. I haven’t thought much about new terminology, to be honest!

*Location: Boston, MA! Slummerville represent.

*Original Location: Mashachusetts.

*What is your creative/artistic background: High School Theatre, show choir and chorus, bass in a punk band, first electronic music studio work in college, about 1993. Started recording pieces using a 4-track about that time and made my first beats using a guitar delay pedal as a sampler/sample trigger/looping mechanism.

*History: About 10-15 years I suppose, though it was pretty horrible at first.

*Born: 7/22/72 Boston, MA.

*Motivations: I love music and I want to mess around with it. I like dancing and I like making people dance. I like collage style art. I like stealing from other artists, I don’t see it as a crime.

*Philosophy: Pop works recontextualized and rebeated can give a new persepective on old or current music, and revitalize it for pop consumption and fun good times. I get a kick out of mashing music and other people seem to like the sounds too, which is why I do it. I love hip-hop and I take some inspiration from the early DJs, trying to work out a nice blend and a fly party with some surprising twists and turns, by trying out neat new approaches to presenting familiar songs and elements of music. I do not see music as only a commodity, for sale or resale. I see it as a vital expression of our times and our personal grooves, and I think that this form of music is a perfectly valid expression of today's fragmented digital experience.

*How would you like to be remembered: As a musical tweaker who looked at music in a new way, and made some good songs for the fun of it, though it was not commercially viable and was often seen as artistic theft by society. Someone who made mixes people enjoy and are inspired by.

*Web address:


Thanks to dj BC for being the featured artist this week. Be sure to check out his website. Stay tuned for this week's podcast (episode 86) to hear Dolores Dewberry's feature on The Beatles, “Sure-Bla-Di Shot-Bla-Da” by dj BC and 10 additional tracks by sound collage artists all sampling The Beatles.

If you haven't already noticed - the Some Assembly Required website has been updated! And thanks to stAllio! I'll be able to update it every day from now on, as necessary. We've implemented the tools which will make it possible to make updates whenever I want, so check out the playlists, news and links pages as they'll be updated on a weekly basis, from now on. I'm especially looking forward to staying on top of the links page - which had gotten away from me these past couple of years, but has recently gotten a much needed update. Feel free, as always, to submit ideas for the links page. Thanks again to stAllio!

In other news: I'll be debuting a brand new video collaboration between myself (Escape Mechanism) and Canadian video artist R Room, in the June edition of's monthly online journal, access + ENGAGE. If you're not currently subscribed, make sure to get signed up this week for the new edition of this monthly focus on Minnesota artists, featuring a brand new video for an as-yet-unreleased track by Escape Mechanism. Go HERE for information on how to subscribe, and click the "subscribe to access + ENGAGE" link near the bottom of that page (I think all it does is send an email to, with the word "subscribe" in the subject line). Don't worry, I'll remind you next week. The June issue goes out on 6/15. Stay tuned!

More news at the newly redesigned SAR site, as it happens. Stay tuned for more info about a monthly DJ Night at Rosalux Gallery (remember to reserve the third fridays of June, July and August this summer). As always, thanks for checking out the show. Episode 86 is coming up in just a few -- thanks for listening!
Jon Nelson