Monday, February 20, 2006

February 20, 2006: Jeffrey Sconce

February 20, 2006: Jeffrey Sconce

- Episode 97, on the way... stay tuned! -

Well, I believe I've decided on one thing... I'm not going to try and slip the special mixes in between the regularly scheduled podcasts anymore. My original goals be damned. From now on, there will be one episode per week, including the special mixes every two months, which means (gasp!) we'll finish uploading the second year of Some Assembly Required just a BIT after 2006 has passed. Well, quite a bit (a month or two), but I believe it's necessary.

The reason is that every episode is worth hearing - and I can't help but notice from looking at the stats, that episodes which get a smaller amount of time in the spotlight, get fewer downloads (thanks to the special mixes being uploaded just a few days later). Which is a crying shame, and it's not worth sticking to my original goal of getting the entire second year online by the end of 2006, if that's the cost. The real goal should be to make sure we continue to get something podcast every week - and that we will stick to. So, stay tuned.

Episode 97 is having its numbers crunched as we speak. It takes some time to convert to one file and from there to an mp3, and from there to being uploaded to the server, and etc etc. Usually just enough time to write these little blog entries. I do hope to, eventually, return to the blogging for blogging's sake, by the way, for those of you who are reading every week. I'm just real busy with a big project, and am actually feeling kind of guilty for spending time on this right now, when a major deadline is approaching... but this is a priority as well, so lets continue...

The 97th Episode of Some Assembly Required has a number of really good features, not least of which is a track by an artist by the name of Jeffrey Sconce. He's our featured artist this week, here at the blog. I got my first Jeffrey Sconce CD from an acquaintance here in Minneapolis, who got it from an acquaintance of his, who is also an acquaintance of mine, who got it from an acquaintance of his, who was acquainted with the artist... So, thank goodness for all of those degrees of separation... as it resulted in "Ludic Despair" being dubbed for the Some Assembly Required library.

I've played the disc quite a bit on the show, and about every other time I played it, did an intensive google search using every conceivable combination of words, which I felt would surely lead to some information about the artist, and ALWAYS came up completely dry. In fact, I even mentioned as much on the show, on a couple of occasions, including this episode (97), where I also said that I had downloaded the CD online... which isn't true. The fact is, I couldn't remember where I had gotten it, at the time - but, it is still true that you can't find anything about Ludic Despair on the internet, at present. There is no official website, yet.

Finally, one day I heard from the artist himself, and of course I immediately asked him to fill out the SAR Q&A - and even got him to send some of his other CDs in the mail. So, stay tuned to the regularly scheduled radio broadcasts of Some Assembly Required, in syndication, as we'll soon be playing more Jeffrey Sconce, just as soon as we get it all properly reviewed...

Jeffrey Sconce is an author, and associate professor, currently residing in Chicago. He teaches media studies at the School of Communications at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois. His recorded output, to date, includes Ludic Despair (2003), Stars on High (2004) and Slumber Party Suicide (2000). All sound collage. His work is often dark, funny and occasionally quite musical. Tune in to this week's podcast, to hear one of his shorter tracks, off of Ludic Despair...

Without further ado, here's this week's SAR Q&A...


*Name: Jeffrey Sconce

*Another genre descriptor: I prefer "pop concrète"

*Why you use this descriptor: Drawing from musique concrète, I like the connotations of creating music by manipulating fragments from a pop music soundscape into which none of us asked to be born.

*Location: I've lived in Chicago the past 4 years... 5 years in L.A. before that... 5 years in Madison/Oshkosh before that... 9 years in Austin before that...

*Original Location: See above.

*What is your creative/artistic background: Nothing formal.

*History: Since around 1985.

*Born: 1962: Oklahoma City

*Motivations: I trace it back to discovering many years ago as a kid that pulling out the balance knob on my parents' old Motorola hi-fi somehow dramatically altered the mix, usually by blanking out the vocal track or bringing a background instrument to the front. From that point on, I've always had an interest in the mechanics of recording and the structures/textures of pop music.

*Philosophy: I don't know if there is a philosophy, really. I guess I would say I've always been interested in the usual suspects for my age/taste culture: dada, situationalists, W.S. Burroughs, Warhol, punk/post-punk, no wave, etc. Also, I've always liked the way collage art can bring out new and unexpected subtexts when unlikely fragments are collided.

*How would you like to be remembered: Being remembered at all would be quite nice, thank you...

*Web address: No web address as of yet.


Thanks to Jeffrey Sconce!

I think that's it for this week's entry. As always, I'd love to hear from you - it's been really nice seeing all of the new friends at Myspace, by the way. If you haven't joined us there, yet - check it out, at:
Drop us a line from there, or from the contact page at the Some Assembly Required website. Its always good to hear from you!

Thanks for listening,
Jon Nelson


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