Tag Archives: george langford

Javelin at the Tribeca Grand

Once again, I went to a rockin’ Javelin concert at the Tribeca Grand hosted by GrandLife – a free show with an open bar. I stood right up front (even ripped my tights on the edge of the stage) and this is the result…

George Langford on percussion

George Langford on percussion

Tom van Buskirk

Tom van Buskirk

Bonus, GrandLife gave out free “This is New York” CDs with music by assorted New York bands.

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Javelin at Glasslands

Javelin

George Langford and Tom van Buskirk of Javelin

As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent some time with the band Javelin and it just so happened that they were playing at Glasslands in Brooklyn this weekend. The show sold out and as I walked in with Alois Kronschlaeger (holding two large platters of food), we were greeted by Tom van Buskirk, wearing a bright orange jacket. He thanked us for coming and we settled in to hear the opening acts Monster Rally and High Life.

Like most Javelin shows, the atmosphere was super energetic. People were ready to hear the electro-synth music that combines punk, r&b, and latin rhythms into a unique sound that cannot be replicated. In addition to that unique sound, Javelin performs unlike any other band, playing live with a plethora of electronic gear on stage – Tom even wears instruments around his neck and hits pedals with his toes. At this concert, Javelin played some new stuff which reaches the next level of sonic genius with its intense beats, complex synthesis, and fancy layering. I have never seen George Langford rock out so hard on his drum machine and Tom as always jumped around while singing songs like “Soda Popinsky.”

All in all, it was an amazing show. I can’t wait to hear more of their new material.

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Physical vs. Analog: The Experimental Television Center

Experimental Television CenterAlthough I had heard about the Experimental Television Center for a couple years and seen some of the work that was created there, I really had no idea what it was, and so when I got the invitation to spend a couple days there, I jumped at the chance to see what it was really all about.

The Experimental Television Center (ETC) was founded in 1971 with the intention of supporting the creation of work using new electronic media technologies and providing space and time to artists for personal, self-directed creative investigations. Chris Kucinski (my brother) and Owen Osborn of Critter and Guitari had been in residence at ETC three times when they found out that it was closing. When given one last chance to use the tools and freedom to create, they decided to invite some close friends to share the experience with. Those friends included George Langford and Tom van Buskirk of the band Javelin, Bennett Williamson aka Bennett 4 Senate, and Owen’s brother, Ali Osborn.

ETC Entrance

Ali Osborn and the unassuming entrance to the Experimental Television Center

To my surprise, the Experimental Television Center was not a modern building in the forest of upstate New York – no, it was located in a brick building above an antique store downtown in the village of Owego, NY. It was also just one big room overlooking the Susquehanna River that happened to have image processing equipment. The equipment is a “hybrid tool set, permitting the artist to create interactive relationships between older historically important analog instruments and new digital technologies.” Chris and Owen additionally supplied a color video camera, a projector, and instruments including drums, guitars, Pocket Pianos, and Kaleidoloops.

It didn’t take long for the other guys to get settled in, setting up their drum machines, synthesizers, electronic kazoo, and Xaphoon. Bennett also brought a Title Maker and an old school drawing pad that he hooked up to the video equipment. With all the pieces in place, everyone was psyched to create.

Chris Kucinski on the image processing machines

Chris Kucinski on the image processing machines

The guys started making music and twiddling around the video equipment. There was no right or wrong way, there was no “stop” or “hold on” – it all just happened organically and without any rules. What happened happened and it was all recorded. For most of my stay there, I oversaw the visual aspect of the performance (as the self-appointed “creative director”), making sure that we were capturing optimal visuals and a sharp aesthetic however strange the outcome.

George Langford on the Pocket Piano

Geoge Langford on the Pocket Piano

Having no prior video training, the most important thing I learned is that there is a difference from “physical” vs. analog. What they had at the Experimental Television Center was a physical machine made of hundreds of patches that you physically had to plug and unplug. The equipment was created and maintained by an engineer who lives in Owego, so recreating the equipment would be possible, but very difficult to do.

My directorial debut

I designed and directed this set with Owen and Chris

All in all, my stay at the Experimental Television Center was filled with endless sonic and visual possibilities created by very intelligent and talented people.

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