06 July 2011

Revenge of the New

…Aaaannnnd, we're back!

After a brief hiatus, Rule 6 is back with a new focus, a new series of releases, and A New Hope. (Episode IV? Anyone? Moving on.)

Firstly, I'd like to mention that, by hook or by crook, our Bandcamp page is creeping up on 2 motherfucking THOUSAND visits. (As of this writing, 1,682. BAM.) I KNOW that's not one friend visiting 1600 times, so thank you. Thanks for visiting. Thanks for listening. Listen, and perhaps buy.

Next, check out the Invisible City Series. This is a set of jam sessions/recording sessions we're bringing to you from an undisclosed location on the northwest side. Rich Clark is responsible for gathering the players, and I'm doing the recording. The first features Rich and Peter Triolo on guitar, Aaron "Dr. Bracebeats" Brace on drums, and myself playing bass. We're not sure who's going to be involved next, or what the music will sound like, but that's pretty much right to the point of this series. I (& everyone I know) is working on challenging and unique projects that take up much time. Invisible City is about blowing off steam with random musicians; about letting sheer talent and instinct do most of the composition. Granted, if the jams sound like a bunch of butt roped together, we're not going to release them to anyone, so rest assured you're going to hear something interesting no matter when you check in.

SCHWINNTONATION just finished recording an EP over the July 1-5 weekend. We did all the tracking at a brand new recording studio on the far north side of Chicago, not far from where I grew up. I think everyone who hears it is going to be shocked. I can't say much more, you really need to hear it to understand. This improbable project is officially being released as a joint effort between the band and Rule 6 (at least until some moron label wakes up and thinks up a deal for the world's premiere bicycle music ensemble). We couldn't be more proud to be involved with artists of this caliber, doing what I consider to be really important cultural work for the 21st Century. Which kind of leads me to my next point, in my quickly-becoming-signature-tangent-drift-style >>>>.

I've been thinking a lot recently about the century we're living in. (Blame Arthur C. Clarke for that; every time I read something by that dude I'm momentarily overwhelmed with questions of human progress.) I'm wondering when society as a whole will begin to wake up to the fact that we're living in the future we envisioned for ourselves (more or less). I think it's pretty clear that the technology we have, in addition to what's on the horizon, will change human understanding and biological existence as we know it. That said, what is the art that will be relevant to this new era of human development? I don't necessarily think that the media and structures of expression in place are still doing their job. Much the way that new techniques, tools, and structures had to be invented last century in order to keep pace with the development of society, I think artists (in every media) ought to be focusing on that, if we're interested in making work that will have some lasting meaning in decades to come. I don't know about y'all, but that's why I'm in this. I'm thinking specifically about the experiences I had as a teenager when I had the remarkable fortune to witness recording sessions and performances by the electro-acoustic improv players and groups that put Chicago back on the world map of jazz in the 90s & 00s. (My father is a music writer and record producer who worked with many of these musicians.) When I saw and listened (really listened) to what they were attempting and what it actually SOUNDED like, it struck me hard that these people (who seemed like normal folks, pretty much) were responsible for stretching the envelope of what we called music and take for granted. They were taking full control of the very fabric of their medium (rhythm, harmony, melody, vibration) and experimenting to see what triggered that thing, that ultimate trigger that gets pulled in your brain when it encounters Art (as in the successful expression of humanity that we're all supposedly striving towards). That means a lot. In a world where there's little to no money in that kind of fearless experimentation, pushing the envelope pretty much has to be it's own reward.

Until next time; keep your mind free like Stan Lee, true believers!