I once had a client astutely describe Drake's musical output as "songs that get you hyped, songs that get you in your feelings". I tried to pattern this podcast off of that observation. I also added "songs that blow your miiiiind."

04:05 - Adrian Knight – “Here Come the Blues” – On the Prowl Again (Galtta Media)
07:51 - Cola Necromancy – “Vacation Pamphlets” – Family Vacation (Illuminated Paths)
11:40 - Fenimore – “激怒 __ 謙虚” – ダイヤモンド JIM : 夢を完備 (Illuminated Paths)
17:08 - Koala Bear the Person – “Phantom Limb" - To Panda (Illuminated Paths)
19:33 - Sam Brown – “We Don’t Need Anybody” – Wheel of Fortune (Illuminated Paths)
24:45 - NAH – “May 7th (Feat Moor Mother) – MICHAEL (Self Released)
26:53 - J good. – “Ashenil” – this (Illuminated Paths)

Talk break

33:15 - Hey Exit – “It Lasts a Very Long Time” – Slow Names 4: The Bitter Scent of Light (Of Plants)
35:00 - Bvdub – “04” – Yours are Stories of Sadness (Sound in Silence)
37:44 - Daniel J. McKenzie – “Unser Blauer Morgen” – Every Time Feels Like the Last Time (Eilean Records)
44:10 - Stabilo – “As Well “ – Andrew (Sound in Silence)

Talk break

52:55 - Lung Cycles – “Field of Glass” – On Being Lumpy (Lily Discs and Tapes)
58:20 - Deadman’s Ghost – “Antidote” – Hypocritical Oath ( Ephem-Aural)

Talk break

1:04:33 - Expo 70 – “Village of Forst” – Exquisite Lust (Sonic Meditations)
1:11:10 - Magic Arrows - “Coloured Mallard” – Shortwave Now (Illuminated Paths)
1:16:50 - Darsomba - “From Insects to Aliens” – Polyvision (Sonic Meditations)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 | Add New Comment (0)


This was the first sentence from my 2014 review of Snake Hymns, a tape by bus gas.

"After digesting the news this morning, Snake Hymns seemed like a natural choice to ruminate on those feelings that things probably aren't getting better."

2014. That was 2014. I'm not saying I'm a prophet. But...

TBH anyone remotely sentient could portend about international and domestic developments not getting any better. But even at my most pessimistic couldn't have predicted the shit years of all shit years that 2016 was and the oncoming storm we are watching come in as we contemplate the next four.

The feeling of involuntary stasis while watching something thick and black on the horizon coming at you is the #currentmood of Bus Gas's latest on Spring Break Tapes! Live On Leave Us begins with the sidelong "Top Ten Funerals" which serves to explode the unsettling ache of Snake Hymn's electro-acoustic, semi-improvised compositions and instead moves into the longform piece that surges and eddies with swells of static-surfing guitar drones and washes of clarion-clear sustained tones that ratchet up the tension and suspended dread on each pass. The piece is an exercise in sustained tension. A storm cloud that builds and builds but never quite breaks.

Side B - "Infinity Cymbals" is a propulsive, longitudinal composition that grows out of a slight pulse of a bass line until it accrues more and more audio fragmentation, including the strangled clang of underwater solo line that spirals into an all-is-lost squall. All of this is sustained by some truly effulgent and golden drones, a gilding that suggests wonder and connectedness in defiance and struggle.

A truly mesmerizing fork-in-the-road in one of most undersung but praiseworthy groups putting out music today.

Purchase from Spring Break Tapes!

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 | Add New Comment (0)


Less talk, more rock. For the second episode of the Tome to the Weather Machine Podcast I delve into some of 2016's unsung heroes of Indie Rock. You'll notice the improved audio quality. I produce all of these at the Hamilton County Public Library. Thanks tax payers!

Intro - Fly Ashtray – Coefficient of Haze – We Buy Everything You Have (Old Gold)

019 - Talk Break

03:43 - Fly Ashtray - "Coefficient of Haze" - We Buy Everything You Have (Old Gold)

06:12 -Jerusalem and the Star Baskets - "Golden Green" - L.A. Freeze (Hitt Records)

09:26 - Graham Repulski – "Typhoon Reform" - I’m Even Younger Now (Self-Released)

11:27 -Soda Lillies – "Honey Wire" Love Cemetary (RokLok)

14:08 - pills - "Make U Cry" - sleepy pills (demo) - (Self-Released)

17:01 - Turnip King – "Carsong"Laika (Fire Talk Records)

Talk Break

22:18 - All Your Sisters – "Open Wide"Uncomfortable Skin (The Flenser)

26:27 - Terminus Cursus – "Enthroned" On Of – (Self-Released)

30:41 - Behavior – "New Postures"Split with Maxwell Genders (Squid Records)

Talk Break

34:12 - Silent Tongues – "Painted Blood"Creatures of Habit / Habits of Creatures (Self-Released)

38:16 - Stronger Sex – "K in a Sunbeam"Blight Makes Right (BLIGHT)

44:27 - Supplier – "Birth Daing" Supplier I (Floordoor Records)

47:45 - Graffiti Trials – Excerpt from Side B No Dancing (Split Pursuit Tapes)

Talk Break

55:08 - The Hecks – "The Thaw"S/T – (Trouble in Mind)

57:58 - The Furr – "Aeroplane"Human Too (Fleure Tapes)

1:01:39 - Blueblack – "Don’t Call Me Girl" Destroy (RokLok Records)

1:04:20 - The National Park Service – "Knowing 1"Secret Wind (Lily Discs and Tapes)

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 | Add New Comment (0)

Tome to the Weather Machine Podcast rides again! Welcome to the revamped, reenergized, soon-to-be improved podcast from Tome to the Weather Machine covering a wide variety of experimental releases from around the world. From here on out this will likely be the form of the Tome. This format allows me to cover more releases and not totally exhaust my adjective bank of describing experimental music. Enjoy.

A note on the audio quality. Bear with me on this. Next week I will have access to some higher quality recording equipment. 

0:00 - Lost Trail - "Turning Point, Grassy Gap Fire Trail" - A Retreat More Than a Surrender (Geology Records)

0:31 - Intro

08:10 - Tippy - "Good Communication" - Public Displays of Affection (Self-Released)

13:50 - Hazy Montagnue Mystiques - "Sous le Soliel" - Les Vacanes Psychedeliques (Never Anything Records)
17:26 - Reighnbeau - "Hide" - Hide (Self-Released)
21:20 - Erasurehead - "The Ceremony of Friendship" - Yauhtli (Plume)

24:34 - Talk Break

25:30 - Takhiro Mukai - #9022 - Normcore (Bicephalic)
33:49 - Odd Person - "Basement Acid" - Junk Tropics (Bicephalic)
37:04 - Hylidae - "Variable Speed Control" - Hylidae (Night People)

41:14 - Talk Break

42:02 - The Gate - Rembrandt von Schlippenjov - Live! (Tubapede)
51:44 - Philippe Vandal - "L'Action (Troisième Partie)" - L'Action (Never Anything)
57:00 - Shane Parish and Frank Rosaly - "Hera" - Labrys (Cabin Floor Esoterica)

1:01:35 - Omrr - "The Rise & Fall of Cairo" - Music for the Anxious (Eilean Rec)
1:08:03 - Problems that Fix Themselves - "Clogsvert" - The Mold Will Die (A Giant Fern)
1:13:01 - Interstates, Etc - "Ten of Cups" - Queen of Wands (Jungle Crunk)
1:21:19 - Jeremy Bible - "Centaurus A" - Music for Black Holes (Aole)

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016 | Add New Comment (0)

Sister Grotto - You Don't Have a House to Be Haunted (Self-Released)

As I am writing this, the Denver Police and Fire Department are rooting through the personal detritus of a collective living and art space known as Rhinoceropolis and GLOB in Denver's RINO district. 11 years of artists manifesting their lives into their existing space being blithely ransacked and mocked by the overreach of the State attempting to control culture. The outcasts being cast out again. Being slammed against lockers and having your front door padlocked, the song remains the same.

Madeline Johnston, a resident of Rhinoceroplis for the past year and a half, was displaced as part of this wave of raids. But it seems fitting that, in the wake of violence writ large upon our communities, this album reminds me of how much music is embodied by the people and the spaces it is created in. But even when they take those spaces away it still reverberates through a collective dust and cigarette smoke that clings to our clothes for years to come. A structureless haunting. In 2015 I was made aware how significant music could be in navigating personal tragedy, in 2016... I just want to hug all my friends. Music is all we got.

Nevada Greene/Scott Tuma - Ragged Hollow (Dismal Niche)
A record invariably wrapped up in people and spaces that made 2016 a year in which the people making music seemed just as vital as the art being produced. A split between Columbia, MO collective and the famed post-folk innovator Scott Tuma explores complimentary meditative sidelong pieces that wrap even the most beautiful passages with a sadness wrung out of most exquisite joy. Weeping through a Scott Tuma set...

Drose - Boy Man Machine (Orange Milk)
It’s hard to think of an album that even sounds close to Boy Man Machine. Mic’d floor toms, guitars that seethe and writhe like live wires touching water and Dustin Rose’s voice - an ancient, raspy, pleading thing rising out of some Midwestern sub-basement. In case you had any hope, Boy Man Machine reminded you of how fucked 2016 was. This is saying a lot, but Boy Man Machine is the weirdest thing Orange Milk has ever put out.

Anthene - Permanence (Cathedral Transmissions)
Worried, pensive drones that drift like bracing winds across open tundra. The Toronto based composer has produced something of a high watermark here, an ambient album that creates a definable structure and shell and then imbues it with equal parts wonder, dread and fatigue leading the pack of albums that paired straight-forward ambient records with linear sense of rhythm.

Endurance - City of Signals (Illuminated Paths)
The conceit behind Endurance’s “City of Signals” is a compelling one. Imagining a post-human world, fully automated and running smoothly without its human subjects. Post-vaporwave dystopian dreamscape of self-driving cars navigating empty streets, obeying traffic lights and stopping to let herds of antelope gallop across newly claimed turf. Endurance’s collection of pensive, but placid, soundscapes capture the wonder, dread and eventual ennui of the first 20 minutes of every post-apocalyptic film.


MJ Guider - Precious Systems (Kranky)

On her debut for Kranky, Melissa Guion sets her controls for the heart of a dying sun and creates an incredibly compelling pop record on outmoded bass guitars and drum machines that never quite settle. Forever pulling up to the intersections of unease and blissful release of a reckless drive through a sleeping city.  

HEXA - Factory Photographs (Room40)

A dream collaboration between Australian drone heavyweight (and straight up wonderful human being) Lawrence English and Xiu Xiu frontman Jamie Stewart reimagine and  intepret the dying gasps of the industrial age documented in David Lynch’s series of black and white photographs of post-industrial wastescapes with the clang and suffocating denseness of those monolithic structures that swallowed humanity from 9-5. It’s a driving, abrasive and towering noise record that tells truths about who we are with what we leave behind.

Horse Lords - Interventions (Northern Spy)

A pummeling, marathon-length excursion into sax-led arrangements that blur the line between improvised chaos and tightly composed kraut genius. Self-generating landscapes of propulsive minimalism that warps into a droning raga, entire super-structure movements made out of a billion moving parts. The best of a pack of especially great releases for Northern Spy.

Marielle V Jakobsons - Star Core (Thrill Jockey)

Part of the incredibly exciting cohort of artists surrounding Mills College in Oakland, Star Core is a high-concept electro-acoustic album that bends and folds Jakobson’s synth lines around a variety of arrangements: Japanese fretless electric bass, cinematic violin strings and her airy, holy-space making voice. “Star Core” the eponymous song explodes in highly evocative bowed strings and arpeggiated synths that score the long-awaited return of a spaceship caught in blackhole.

Eluvium - False Readings On (Temporary Residence)

Striking a balance between Eluvium’s inherently emotional ambient works and his highly sentimental composed works, where False Readings On seems like it should dial it back a bit on the colossal heft of, let’s say, an disembodied operatic voice spiriting through crackle of a dead radio or the heavy major chord reverie of sanded-output synthesizer, Eluvium doubles down, charging through any accusations of manipulation and imprinting straight on the emotional map of your brain that leads to the purest sepia-toned memories of Malick-level cinematography.


11. John Bellows - L O N G (Planted Tapes)

12. Public Speaking - Caress, Redact (Floordoor)

13. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - IN SUMMER (Geographic North)

14. North Atlantic Drift - Visitor (Polar Seas Recordings)

15. Claire Cronin - Came Down a Storm (Ba Da Bing!)

16. Black Spirituals - Black Tape (Astral Spirits)

17. Oxherding - The Past is Gone and The Future is Not Yet Here (Self-Released)

18. Insect Factory - Work (Insect Fields)

19. Medina/Walsh - Vault of Angels (Debacle Records)

Honorable Mentions -
Sunday, December 11th, 2016 | Add New Comment (0)

LGBTQ youth make up only 7 % of the entire youth population, but represent 40 % of all reported homeless youth.

Think about that. Almost half of all homeless youth in this country identify as something other than straight.

In my professional life I work as a case manager for homeless youth at a shelter in Cincinnati, OH. In those statistics I am reminded of some painful anecdotes that illuminate the lives behind those numbers.

I am reminded of when I worked in homeless outreach in Salt Lake City, UT. A young, well-dressed man was dropped off in front of our shelter with a roller backpack and Armani shirt as a black Suburban peeled away from our parking lot. He said to us, in a shaking voice, that he was kicked out of his house today because he came out to his Mormon family.

Currently, a young trans-woman facing dead-end after dead-end from employers in Cincinnati. The anxiety she has that she will lose her apartment once the one month subsidy we were able to secure is palpable.

A young gay client of mine who was tortured - suffering permanent vision problems from having the contents of a ramen noodle spice packet poured in his eyes while held down by his peers.

Trans individuals facing housing barriers. Homeless shelters as unsafe and psychologically triggering places for people with PTSD due to a lifetime of being mis-gendered and physically attacked for who they are. 

These are the most vulnerable and resilient people I've ever met. 

Jason Harris known under his musical moniker Public Speaking has created an album that speaks, in acute detail, to the physical and psychological violence perpetuated against the bodies and identities of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. It is an intensely personal and acutely-aimed political album that ascribes the most intimate violence perpetuated against a person to a culture writ large.

It is with the greatest honor that the Tome is partnering with Public Speaking, Floordoor Records and our longtime friends Already Dead Tapes to premiere this remix album of Public Speaking's 2016 masterpiece "Caress, Redact". All proceeds from this album will go to the NYC organization New Alternative for LGBT Homeless Youth which serves to, "increase the self-sufficiency of homeless LGBT youth and to enable them to transition out of the shelter system and into stable adult lives. We do this by providing case management, education services, life skills training, community-building recreational activities, opportunities for self-expression, and support services for HIV+ youth. Our guiding principles are those of harm reduction, youth development, and empowerment."

The remix album itself explodes the intensely personal and noise-laden compositions by a series of remix collaborators that break and rebuild Harris's tracks from the ground up while keeping his voice at the front and center. Jeremy Bible turns the textural crunch of "Blacksite Blues" into the highly cinematic stabs of a tightly composed string section, the pitch-shifted mutations of More Eaze on "Shifting Weight", the beautiful, operatic rededication of ARIADNE's "Blacksite Blues" weighed against sizzling black noise, to Umin's chopped rendition of "Caress, Redact".

Listen and purchase.

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 | Add New Comment (0)

Grow Horns - Thunderous Fixations (Live God Collective, 2016)

Accustomed to much of Live God's output and Cincinnati/Midwest experimental music in general, I fully expected and braced myself for Thunderous Fixations to be an exercise in analog-fed harsh noise. Being surprised when it wasn't was a lesson in humility and a recognition of the incredibly varied output to come out of the Cincinnati based tape label in general. Miles Uroshevic formerly of Ann Weigel and currently playing along the famed Nelson Slater as part of the name-shifting Illusion Dogs, crafts much of Thunderous Fixations around simple, acoustic melodies and a voice that recalls Chris Weisman on some Oaklandazulasylum-era Why? lo-fi shit. These are earnest and focused song-songs that often push Uroshevic's voice into a falsetto just outside of its natural range. The yearning for something greater in both impetus and delivery - its output buried under magnetic tape hiss or as plaintive as a living room set. The dips into harsh noise, or at least augmented fragments of unfinished songs, are welcome reprieves into abstraction when the mournfulness directness gets too real.


Dura - Oceans of Solaris (Marmara Records, 2016)

Oceans of Solaris, Mattson Ogg's latest under the moniker Dura, begins with a propulsive, driving bass line underneath solar flares of buzzing drone and deep dives of processed output. This mid-game change up serves as a wonderful placeholder in Dura's extensive catalog, mostly known for crafting swelling movements of wisps and shudders, the mass of this record is something you can grasp the contours of. As the propulsion melts into a glacial pool of inky, surging waters of roiling synth and guitar drones open canyon-wide fissures into the onyx black earth that reveal something below the substrate of these tracks something radiant and hidden. A light shining through the most obsidian of all Dura releases. An album that slowly sheds layer after layer darkness to reveal new life under the thick canopy. Highly recommended.


Medina/Walsh – Vault of Angels (Debacle, 2016)

Embracing the inherent intimacy and wild possibility of the duo arrangement, Joshua Medina and Paurl Walsh enter into hyphenated last name power couple status and create one of the most satisfying of 2016 releases, an auspicious proper debut if there ever was one. PNW experimentalists to their core, Medina’s medium is delicate lines of finger-picked guitar. Not necessarily American Primitivist, but it is hard to completely escape that tag, but it exists in a liminal space more akin to the neo-psychedelic discoveries of 70’s Britain or that delicate bridge of Bridget St. John. Paurl Walsh is a classically trained musician pulling deep synth drones and layered, sonic architecture birthed out of the intersectionality of modern composition and drone. Exploring the interlacing between the two’s contributions to the whole greater than its sums we find moments of unrestrained beauty when the duo-ship is at its most pronounced, where Medina’s pilot fish runs of arpeggiated guitar dart in and out of the supertanker of the duo’s graceful glide through unbroken ocean. It’s a dynamic, textured album that demands several turns before you feel like you can begin to map its terrain – often that terrain is dark and foreboding, aural accumulation of precipitation and dread, other times it is a placid, still and wondrous. Our own braeyden jae adds his characteristic ambient shredding on the eponymous “Vault of Angels” dropping another accordion folder of evidence to the case of making this one of the best albums of the year.


Insect Factory – Work (Insect Fields, 2016)

D.C guitarist Jeff Barsky’s tireless output under the moniker Insect Factory has been an exploration of light-infused drones – like watching those backlit clouds slowly come alive signaling a new morning in a city with high amounts of pollution – with heavy, patiently-placed guitar lines that ring out and through the steady lap of hazy, guitar wash and tape manipulation. There is a somber weight to these compositions, a heavy-lidded, hypnotic motion to the B-side where the rhythmic loop of feedback crests over buried piano notes that feed back into itself to create a narcologue journey when you break through the haze and every sensory feature seems enhanced and locked in with a deeper rhythm. The A-side’s penchant for semi-improvised guitar lines that ring through effulgent clouds until they are suddenly pulled back up through some crooked shoot and ladder is classic Insect Factory: dropping some epic-sounding contemplative guitar line played with the intensity and intentionality knowing that this clarity is ephemeral and fleeting. Rewards for those who listen close and wake up early.


Benjamin Finger - 10 (Sellout! Records)

Benjamin Finger, the shape-shifting Oslo musician, producer and DJ has thrown us for a bit of a loop on his latest LP out on Sellout! Records. Much like the trajectory of Kevin Greenspon, Finger translates the engulfing nature of his ambient and tightly composed experimental works into techno landscapes that retain much of the enveloping nature of previous works. On 10, Finger takes us a guided tour through Techno's (with a capitol T) fractious neighborhoods with the subbass wobble of "Stretchpantz", to the gradual ramping out of the chill-out "Party Corpse" and the distorted arpeggios and high hats recall the best of 90's techno on "Kangaroo Court". Full of in-jokes and deliberate nods to electronic music's dancefloor prophets, Finger keeps a tight 4-4 pulse on tracks that chart a course using linear trajectory and melodic synthesizer lines to create a highly memorable and hard-beat, angular dance record. Much like the co-worker who gets drunk at the party and reveals a much more complicated human than their persona at work, Benjamin Finger lets his club-freak flag fly on 10 and can't help but come out with a highly listenable, highly danceable record centered on propulsion and melody. If you are even more keen to hang out with your co-worker after he/she wears the lampshade, reveals a deep knowledge of Electronic Body Music and pukes in your purse, this record is for you.


Stag Hare - Velvet & Bone (Inner Islands, 2016)

I am sustained and energized in times of darkness by the idea of the album given as a gift to salve fractured psyches. In this sense, the most anodyne of all musical forms is transformed into a political statement simply by its timing and positioning as a tool for those fighting against fascism. Maalox and water are just as important as bricks and stones in the fight against state terrorism. Velvet and Bone is a record that feels delivered just in time. Stag Hare has long created music that feels positioned to heal if one were to give into it. Velvet and Bone explores the ethereality of ambient music, a sense of experiencing the physical world with oven mitts, all senses muted and processed through a thick auger, with the physical sensation of beat bypassing the ear canal and passing through your sternum. On Velvet and Bone, Stag Hare expertly coalesces these two sensations to create something that works within and through the sonic milieu around you and beats right into the core of your body. It's rewarding to see the linear trajectory of artists continuing to drill down on intention and impact while expanding their sonic palate to encompass more possibilities. One of Stag Hare's finest works to date. 

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 | Add New Comment (0)