Sunday, March 18, 2007

Naked Rabbit

Naked Rabbit

Naked Rabbit is Los Angeles, California's Tim Maloney. One of my first memories of Naked Rabbit involves a mail order CD and a fistful of homemade comic books, one of which was a spoof of both Cathy and Garfield, arguably two of the most inane strips ever published in the funny papers. His spoof simply and beautifully pointed out that basic fact, and I found it quite entertaining. I'm sure I still have it around here somwhere...

Maloney was also the man behind The Droplift Project. There were lots of people behind that project, but he was the person who stepped up to the plate and got it all organized - and it's worth mentioning that he did a bang-up job. For those of you unfamiliar with The Droplift Project, check out the website, which I believe is still current, although the official Droplift date came and went way back in summer of 2000.

The Droplift Project, in a nutshell: Sound Collage artists from around the country all pitched in and produced a CD packaged, by design, to fit in on shelves at major music outlets such as Musicland and Best Buy. The discs were then split up among the contributing artists and on a specific date, the discs were "droplifted" (yes, the opposite of "shoplifted") onto those major music retailer's shelves, in cities all over the US. It was an eloquent little bit of theater - performance art, if you will. The disc wasn't bad either! I'm pretty sure you can still download all the tracks HERE.

In addition to project coordinator and sound collage artist, Tim Maloney is also a filmmaker and cartoonist. For those of you familiar with Negativland's video work, you may know Maloney as the animator behind their "Gimme The Mermaid" video (2002), which involved a certain famous singing mermaid. A quick search reveals that video is still all over the web... Instead of creating a link which is certain to expire within moments, I'll just advise you to do your own search using the terms "Gimme The Mermaid" and "Negativland." Actually, I think they included the video on their "No Business" release as well, so there's another option.

An obviously multi-talented individual, Tim Maloney fits right in here with the usual suspects on Some Assembly Required. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Naked Rabbit...

*Name: Naked Rabbit

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: That's hard to say. I use a few, including my own name. I've used Naked Rabbit for over 15 years now, so that is the most common, but dozens of others crop up here and there. I recently found there is some band somewhere using my name. They must be terribly disappointed that I have held on to my URL for so long! I' not sure what their music is like, but since they are on the other coast and we don't seem to be appealing to the same people, I'm fairly sure we can stay out of each other's way. Still, for me to use "Naked Rabbit" is one thing - for them it is commercial suicide, so I hope they drop it! Also used: Sensory Homunculus, Monster Grandparents From the Id, Cat Women on the Moon, Density Control, The Naked Rabbit Orchestra, and The Flying Tigers. Most of those are older. Played in a two-then-three-then-two-again piece band called The Happy Shrimp Show while in Chicago.

*Do you use a pseudonym? Sometimes I use names for other members when I think it might help. There are a few extra names, but I'm not giving up who they are.

*Members: Tim Maloney.

*Founding Members: Just me. I tend to work like many do - a loose collection of people moving in and out of the situation contribute to recordings here and there. As such I tend to move into other people's recordings, too. I've been a little silent these days because I've been on everyone else's stuff as of late.

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations:
Digital Deconstructions, definitely. Although I often use real instruments and have been known to mess up quite a bit of tape, I've always been interested in sampling since I saved up for an SK-1. More below, but this is probably because of my background in film sound.

*Another genre descriptor: I try not to use any descriptors! I wish I were more consistent and more regular - so that people could say "Yes, that is the quintessential 'Naked Rabbit' Sound!" If there is one, please let me know. In the meantime, I need to make and release more material.

*Is there a story behind your name? I heard a six year-old say it to annoy his nine year-old sister. They were playing with a stuffed rabbit, and he kept saying "The Naked Rabbit!" She was annoyed, because she knew all rabbits are naked (none of them have little clothes on that I have ever seen, barring someone's cruel and cutesy treatment of his or her pet) but she was still kind of concerned about this "naked" business - something in her told her this was naughty somehow and the boundary of propriety had been seriously breached.

*Location: Los Angeles.

*Original Location:
Originally from the Midwest, chiefly Indiana, then Chicago.

*What is your creative/artistic background: You mean like schooling and stuff? I have an MFA, but it's in Film Production. I studied Film Production at Northwestern in Evanston, IL and then moved out to L.A. to get my MFA at USC's Film production program.

*History: Since I left home, about 20-some years.

*Born: 1966, Urbana Illinois.

Someone asked me this recently and here's what I told her: I think of all creative work as somehow involving brain damage. To be honest, I'm not well known for what I do. I'm very interested in it, and quite passionate about my own creative output, but I'll guarantee you I'm the biggest fan of whatever it is I'm doing. It takes quite a bit of time out of my life - enormous amounts - that I could be using to do ordinary things like rearing children or working a steady job. This is to say nothing for extraordinary things like becoming a financial genius or saving the world, or curing cancer. So I'm wasting my precious life on these fiddly little art things that aren't even blockbuster mass-market appealing... I dunno, the whole thing is just kind of idiotic, isn't it? And yet I am completely unable to stop, because doing this seems like the only thing worthwhile in the world to me. And that must involve brain damage somehow, to be that out of step with the program. Of course I make no apologies, and I'm not about to give up on any of my pursuits - in fact I'm sure I'll just go deeper into them as I get older. But it's not what you'd call - you know - stable. I do what I do because for some reason I fid I am unfit and unable to do anything else. If I could, I really would. It would be nice to be useful and well liked.

*Philosophy: I come from a background in motion picture sound rather than musical training, so I have kind of naturally developed to consider sounds in a manner similar to John Cage - everything can be music, or musical, and every sound can contribute to a composition. In film sound, music is just another element in a developed soundtrack. It may not even appear in the final form. You may record that piece yourself or find it in a library, or discover someone else's recordings. It all has exactly the same currency. Of course, I am drawn to formal manipulations and some kind of ironic juxtaposition in sound art. In 1986, a lovely young woman named Jenny Hopkins did me the greatest favor by introducing me to the radio station, and showing me that yes, you could in fact play all the devices in the studio simultaneously, and the radio station would become like a giant instrument. I became obsessed with the idea of making dissimilar records talk to each other: Helen Gurley Brown and Rob McKuen would seem to answer one another if you hit the faders just right. All genres, all styles, all noises were possible. We were lucky that we had late-night radio slots on a college station - I don’t think this kind of exploration is encouraged under any other circumstances.

*How would you like to be remembered: Oh, I'm sure I won't be. I don't have children and I am not making an impact on the world in any way. This is all perfectly fine with me if I can make a few things that are of interest to me and those around me while we are here - we're all just visitors, you know.

*Web address:

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