Re: visual albums

From: Mark Toscano (email suppressed)
Date: Sat May 15 2010 - 10:23:42 PDT

In a radio interview I did with Michael Snow in 2002 or so, he told me that he put together the band that recorded NY Eye & Ear Control from musicians he admired in the underground jazz scene.  Damn!  So I assume the film begat the album, though I don'[t know in what order they were released.

Funny, I was going to mention the Styx thing too - it was fresh on my mind from Roger's visit to my work.  We do indeed have a gorgeous 35mm print (unfaded LPP copy from the original negative) of the 8- or so minute KILROY WAS HERE film which I understand was projected as an opener for the KWH tour, based around the Orwellian/Blade Runner inspired concept of a future where rock music (aka youth rebellion) is supressed.  Production values are surprisingly high and it looks fantastic.

I should've also mentioned before - Kate McCabe's SABBIA was a very interesting attempt to create a sort of audio-visual album with Brant Bjork, with many different techniques and styles, working in interesting complentarity between sound and image.

Mark T

--- On Fri, 5/14/10, Steve Polta <email suppressed> wrote:

From: Steve Polta <email suppressed>
Subject: Re: [FRAMEWORKS] visual albums
To: email suppressed
Date: Friday, May 14, 2010, 9:36 PM

The soundtrack to Michael Snow's NEW YORK EYE AND EAR CONTROL is—I believe—identical to the Albert Ayler album of the same name. (Is it not?) I'm not sure which came first, the album or the film, but someone (Mark Toscano?) will probably have the info up on this by the time I hit "send." And of course there are plenty of film soundtracks which have been released after (Angus MacLise, Jack Smith, e.g.)

There's also Harry Smith's EARLY ABSTRACTIONS which floats MEET THE BEATLES over his abstractions (his early ones, don't you know). I don't think the Beatles were consulted about this collaboration, which, rumor has it was purely opportunistic on Smith's part (as in, "Hey! If I put the world's most popular music in my film, *everyone* will want to see it!"). I think the film had a Fugs sndtk before the fabs and may have something else now.

There's a thing called LEFT OF RECKONING by avant-garde filmmaker James Herbert on a old old old R.E.M. videocassette I have around here somewhere (we're talking VHS) which is a step-printed optical printer thing to which is tracked the second side of R.E.M.'s second full-length RECKONING (you know about "the-second-song-on-the-second-side of-the-second-album" right?). Herbert is/was a filmmaker I used to hear about/read about a bit but haven't seen anything other than his R.E.M. videos (such as "Radio Free Europe").

But really this email just shows my age. There must be "younger" bands that have done this. Radiohead maybe? I think Sonic Youth maybe did a-video-for-every-song deal (probably by different makers) for their album GOO and released it as such.

Curious to see what, is anything, comes up. I'm sure there's some silly prog rock concept album film out there—KILLROY WAS HERE by Styx?—that will soon emerge like a hoary kraken over this thread in short order...

Steve Polta

--- On Fri, 5/14/10, Raymond Salvatore Harmon <email suppressed> wrote:

From: Raymond Salvatore Harmon <email suppressed>
Subject: visual albums
To: email suppressed
Date: Friday, May 14, 2010, 5:23 AM

Working on a new project and wanted to ask for suggestions about "visual albums" or full length music albums that have been made into films. Particularly things that are more rare or obscure. I am looking for films that have been made in collaboration between the band and the filmmaker.

Any suggestions?

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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.