• In review-Radio 104.5 and the Note presented stellarscope

    25 jun 2009, 15:32 av stellarscope

  • Exclusive, FREE download Sponsored by Reverbnation and MS Windows

    24 jun 2009, 15:06 av stellarscope

  • Radio 104.5 FM New Music Night Present Stellarscope

    19 jun 2009, 17:07 av stellarscope

    Radio 104.5 FM
    New Music Night



    The Note
    142 E. Market Street
    West Chester, PA

    Tuesday June 23, 2009

    Doors open 7:00 pm, show starts at 8:00 pm
    $5 cover

  • SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE friday July 31st 2009

    11 jun 2009, 15:02 av stellarscope

    Six Flags Great Adventure and Blastzone Entertainment present:

    SIX FLAGS Loud and Local

    Friday July 31st 2009

    starting at 12 Noon

    Featuring sets by :

    Noon - 12:30- Acoustic (2nd Stage)
    12:45 - 1:30-12 Horse
    1:30 -2:00- Acoustic (2nd Stage)
    2:15-3:00 StellarScope
    3:00 -3:30 Acoustic (2nd Stage)
    3:45 - 4:30 Ruckus at the Zoo
    4:30-5:00 –Acoustic (2nd Stage)
    5:30 -6:15- a thousand gods
    6:30 -7:15 Stellarscope
    7:30 - 8:30-12 Horse

    Stellarscope12 HorseRuckus At The ZooA Thousand Gods
  • NASA/ATX (Astronaut Training Experience) Trip

    20 maj 2009, 19:38 av stellarscope

    I had lunch with an Astronaut- Astronaut John Fabian
    My ATX Trainer- Astronaut Bob Springer

    ATX Core focuses on hands-on aspects of astronaut training, including a mission simulation and training simulators. During this exciting day of astronaut training, you will hear from veteran NASA astronauts and progress through a mission simulation as you experience what it takes to become a NASA astronaut.

    Kennedy Space Center is NASA's launch headquarters, the home of the Space Shuttle program and one of the only places in the world where humans have launched into space – the only place where humans have left to go to the Moon. Today, this is where the Space Shuttle is prepped for flight, launched and landed. Unmanned rockets, whose payloads have included communication satellites, rovers bound for Mars and interplanetary explorers, are also launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

    Kennedy Space Center is one of several NASA centers that perform vital tasks for the space program. Others include Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The responsibilities range from astronaut training to mission operations and important research functions.

    To ensure that these centers are constantly working together, NASA launched the One NASA initiative encompassing how NASA accomplishes challenging projects through all of the centers. A One NASA approach emphasizes a unified strategic plan, a strong commitment to teamwork, and tools and capabilities for greater collaboration across the agency.

    John F. Kennedy Space Center is America's gateway to the universe and NASA's launch headquarters. Just 45 minutes from Orlando, it is a working government facility where more than 10,000 men and women push the limits of scientific knowledge each day.

    But it's also a remarkable place for visitors to explore and make their own discoveries. Celebrating the past, present and future of mankind's accomplishments, Kennedy Space Center is part of any great Florida vacation.

    Launch Programs
    Kennedy Space Center is America's busiest launch and landing facility. Here you can witness the entire process, from the extensive preparation work, to an Earth-shaking launch, to a breathtaking landing. There are three orbiters in the NASA Space Shuttle fleet – Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour.

    Countless communication and surveillance satellites have also been launched from Kennedy Space Center. These unmanned launches aboard Atlas, Delta and Titan rockets are a monthly occurrence. In the summer of 2003, NASA again made a giant leap for mankind by launching a rover to the planet Mars.

    NASA Programs
    Within every building and around every corner at Kennedy Space Center, there is a story to tell about the days of early space exploration. The Mercury Program saw the selection of America's first astronauts, as well as the first manned spacecraft to orbit Earth. During Project Gemini, astronauts walked and worked in space. And the legendary Apollo Program eventually put 12 Americans on the Moon. Currently, Space Shuttles are transporting pieces of the International Space Station to be assembled 200 miles above Earth.

    Legendary Figures
    More than a few legendary astronauts have walked through the halls of NASA and into the pages of history, including John Glenn – the first American to orbit the Earth, Neil Armstrong – the first human to walk on the Moon, and Jim Lovell – the legendary captain of Apollo 13. At the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, vistors can delve into the lives of these great explorers and many others.

    Astronaut John Fabian

    Orbiter flight simulation training

    Space walk training

    Astronaut Bob Springer
  • Sat June 13 Baltimore MD-night of sonic bliss with stellarscope, solar temple…

    8 maj 2009, 18:09 av stellarscope

    Come on out for a night of sonic bliss with
    solar temple suicides
    empty shapes

    SATURDAY JUNE 13 2009

    the side bar
    218 E Lexington St Baltimore, MD 21202 (410) 659-4130

    bring a friend and an open mind!

    StellarscopeSolar Temple Suicidesempty shapes
  • Two open letters to Simon Reynolds

    7 maj 2009, 21:43 av connect_icut

    Originally published here in October 2005, these pieces represent my earliest (and most confused) writing on UK post-rock. They're worth re-publishing mainly because they take issue with some of Simon's own opinions about what post-rock is/was.


    I know this sounds like a Half Man Half Biscuit song title. But, seriously, I mean it. I have recently been having an email conversation with Simon on the topic of the early-90s UK post-rock scene - which he was single-handedly responsible for pointing-out the existence of, and naming. It stemmed from a mild resurgence of interest in said scene, particularly an article on Pitchfork (of all places!)

    Anyway, seeing as Simon has encouraged me to start blogging again, on a couple of occasions, I though I would post my latest answers in a public forum. I hope he doesn't mind.

    One problem. I actually CAN'T open the last email Simon sent and I can't even seem to open the last one I sent to him! This has never happened to me before. My Yahoo account usually works like a dream. Perhaps this is destined never to happen but I'm pretty determined to get there in the end.

    As far as I remember, the main comment he made in the last email was that UK post-rock was never destined to have widespread popular appeal or commercial success. Maybe he's right. Certainly, the large audience that now exists for "left-field" music wasn't around back then. In fact it was the moment that UKPR represented that created it, to a large extent. Before 90s post-rock, post-techno etc., it wasn't the case that the audience for experimental music largely consisted of people who were weened on indie rock and electronic dance music. I even remember, at the time, giving up on the melody Maker and starting to read The Wire instead. A truly seminal moment for me and one that generally sums up the transformation of the avant audience from being a small enclave of people interested in contemporary composition and free improv to being a rather larger enclave of jaded indie rockers and burnt-out ravers.

    Having said that, post-rock did produce a fair number of catchy pop songs (Disco Inferno's "Sleight of Hand" and Bark Psychosis' "Blue" spring to mind). Certainly, I think the most accessible post-rock songs were a much better, more honest and more compelling commentary on 90s British society than anything produced even by the more intelligent Britpop groups. I guess Moonshake's "Second Hand Clothes" was never going to be a bigger hit than "Common People" but it's still surpising to me that it, and songs like it, didn't garner a substantial cult audience at the time. I suppose the feeling of the nineties was one of surpisingly positive pre-millenial optimism and people didn't want angst-ridden social commentary.

    So I guess Bill Clinton is to blame for the commercial failure of UK post-rock.

    Simon was nice enough to dig out some of the email exchanges that I couldn't access, so I'm able to address a few more of his thoughts on his unloved child UK Post-Rock.

    Last time, I wrote about what I think we all agree was the total and utter commercial failure of UK post-rock. This time, I'm going to address one of his other concerns: post-rock's "contraction to basically what it is now, pleasant instrumental music with a tinge of experimentalism (or eclecticism construed as/mistook for experimentalism)".

    This is a good point up to a point. All it really amounts to, though is that US post-rock sucked. Most of the British acts either dropped off the face of the earth (Hello? Insides?) or moved into more purely electronic forms (Bark Psychosis becoming Boymerang). Not that some of them didn't also start to suck (I'm thinking of Scorn here, mainly). It's also worth pointing out that there was, to a tiny extent, a second generation of UK post-rock that was divided between those who kept the faith with the original scene (Third Eye Foundation...) and those who aped the American style (Fridge...)

    One mistake, I think Simon makes is his association of post-rock with self-conscious futuristicness (if that's a word). I took him up on this and he commented that "well most of the British bands did definitely want to be if not futuristic, then contemporary..." He's both right and wrong here and you have to deconstruct his wording just a tiny bit to know why. His sentence sorta suggests that "futuristic" and " contemporary" mean basically the same thing, which is clearly not true in the literal sense. However, when seen in the context of early-90s experimental rock and dance music, this conflation does make sense, kind of. That is to say, to be self-consciously contemporary in the early 90s was to be de-facto futuristic. It has to do with the birth of the information age and the paradoxical pre-millennial optimism of early 90s life. For Disco Inferno, Bark Psychosis and Moonshake, "giving people something real" inevitably meant embraces recent advances in technology and technology-based music. Other acts, like God and Scorn, were more futuristic per se but still very much within the framework of the early-90s discourse on what "the future" was going to entail. Their brand of Futurism was very much of its time.

    This leads me to my other point. Simon has always seen post-rock as being distinctly anti-rockist but I would say that UK post-rock is specifically an example of what happens when someone applies an extremely rockist attitude to making experimental music. In that sense, I think it fits in with Simon's concept of Neo-Rockism rather nicely.

    Basically, my argument about UK post-rock was that it was not futuristic or iconoclastic so much as it was an attempt to be natural and "real" in a more honest and thoughtful way than is usual in rock music. Simon has suggested that Britpop was a more real reflection of British rock life and music at the time, which is a de facto truth, I suppose. Nevertheless, Britpop was drenched in artifice, irony, retro-referencing and almost entirely overwhelming crapness. It did a bad job of capturing the truth of early-90s British life but provided the white middle class rock consumers with a cosy, matey vision of Britain that made them feel very cosy and not a little proud. I think I covered my feelings about this issue in the last post, so I'll leave it at that.

    That's all for now. Questions and comments are welcomed.
  • Main - "Motion Pool"

    24 mar 2009, 23:46 av connect_icut

    Originally published in October 2007, here:

    Since Fennesz's classic Endless Summer, there seems to have been a not totally insignificant niche market for heavily processed guitar abstraction. Oren Ambarchi's (much deserved) growing profile is currently the most visible manifestation of this trend.

    This puts an interesting perspective on the route that Robert Hampson took after the dissolution of his late-80s trance-rock band Loop. In leaping into droney, beatless soundscapes, Hampson really was ahead of the guitar-reinvention curve. It's only right then, that the Fat Cat label acknowledged Hampson's pioneering spirit by releasing a Fennesz/Loop split 12" a few years back.

    The change from Loop's minimalist rock to the pure drone of Main's later work was actually a smoother transition than I'd realized until recently, when I picked up a couple of early Main records. The Hydra Calm 12", in particular, is basically a cyborg take on Loop's more organic burn and churn.

    But it was with the astonishing triple 12" set Motion Pool that Hampson really added something significant to the UK post-rock canon. As is often the case with bands, Main's music was at its most original and compelling during that awkward "becoming" stage of flux and uncertainty.

    Motion Pool is as physically insistent as anything Loop produced but sounds utterly inorganic - like a skeletal, digitally reanimated version of rock music. Even though this is certainly a guitar-heavy record, Hampson's vocals are the only explicitly human presence and even they sound utterly alienated; drained of humanistic warmth.

    Of course, in the post-human discourse of 90s futurism, this kind of aesthetic was something that could be embraced without fear. Now that we know where digital technology was taking us all along (the hellish tedium of Facebook) it might all seem somewhat gothy and overwrought.

    And yet the power of the music remains. There's nothing else quite like Motion Pool and it's certainly an essential addition to your doubtless-growing UK post-rock collection.
  • Butterfly Child - "Ghetto Speak"

    24 mar 2009, 23:43 av connect_icut

    Originally published in October 2007, here:

    You can't fault Butterfly Child for trying. Between 1991 and 1993 they managed to squeeze out three EPs and they've somehow succeeded in releasing a series of albums since then. They moved from Belfast, to London and finally to California, apparently. They may even still be going as the solo project of singer-songwriter Joe Cassidy.

    All this is fairly amazing given the total critical and public indifference that has always greeted the band's releases. It's also rather puzzling as Cassidy's inspiration actually seemed to run out pretty early on. The first two albums - Onomatopoeia and The Honeymoon Suite - are fine records as far as bookish indie rock goes (they sound rather like The Sea and Cake) but all the real post-rock action is on those early EPs.

    Butterfly Child were best known as proteges of AR Kane, alongside Papa Sprain (who were also from Belfast). This is worth mentioning here as Ghetto Speak sounds distinctly like a pristine, lighter-than-air and highly literate take on the breathless avant electropop of AR Kane's epic I.

    The EP is packed with breezy, intertwining synth tones and digital eruptions but Joe Cassidy's voice is what really takes things to the next level. Cassidy, at his best, has the assured, poetically musical delivery of a good (though extremely fey) rapper. Possibly, that's why he chose to name this EP the way he did. Whatever the case, Ghetto Speak is a cryptic, concise delight.
  • Techno Animal - "Re-Entry"

    24 mar 2009, 23:40 av connect_icut

    Originally published in October 2007, here:

    I recently used this here blog to praise the absurd persistence of Butterfly Child. That band's willingness to just keep going is truly heroic, simply because their time will almost certainly never come. For other UK post-rock movers and shakers, though, persistence has actually paid off, either in terms of finding an audience in a niche market (goth rock, electronic dance music, indie...) or simply by having the rest of the world catch up.

    In these terms Kevin Martin of God, Ice, The Sidewinder, EAR and Techno Animal has pretty much hit the jackpot. Over the years, his various projects have found favour with a whole range of demographics - from goths to ravers to indie rockers. Moreover, his aesthetic - as epitomized in Martin-compiled compilations like Isolationism and Macro Dub Infection - has just recently started to seem very contemporary. Everything from hipster metal to dubstep contains distinctly Kevin Martin-esque overtones.

    To my mind though, he's never topped the work he did in the original UK post-rock era. Re-entry, the second album by Techno Animal (a duo with Godflesh's Justin Broadrick) was released in 1995 on - get this - Virgin Records (who also put out Hex by Bark Psychosis!) It's a mammoth 2CD set of deliberately monotonous beats and narcotized dub textures.

    Again, persistence is the key word here. Just making it through the entirety of Re-entry is something of an endurance test but it's worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears. In particular, the 19-minute "Demodex Invasion" has to be one of the most brutally, intensely hypnotic pieces of music ever recorded.

    Hell, everything Kevin Martin does is intense one way or another and it's usually pretty great too. Fans of his (excellent) recent work are strongly urged to investigate this album (along with God's The Anatomy of Addicition) to witness K Mart at his greatest and his most intense.