Dearest E. Cottage Dwellers,
This is a story with a soundtrack that will challenge the sanity of even the most noise-loving listeners in our community. To set this stage, we go back to a sunny Saturday in February, 1982, to a decaying old house located at the corner of Ashby Avenue and Sacramento Street in Berkeley, California. There, C. Goff III and Steve Schaer – the duo leading the project known as "-Ing," made an entire day's worth of absolutely unique reel-to-reel recordings. Goff and Schaer were joined that day by Killr "Mark" Kaswan, who was, in fact, making his debut as a member of the Taped Rugs family of artists. Also present were Steve's friend and punk rock photographer: Raye Santos, as well as some actual residents of the old house, and some of their friends.
The original reels of tape that were recorded at the session have long-since disappeared from the Taped Rugs archives, although a few short bits that were excerpted out years ago have long been passed around to curious listeners. Recently, however, a cassette recording of one entire side of one of the reels, made by Schaer at some undocumented point before he passed from this life in 1998 (RIP), was unearthed by Steve's widow, Dee Ann. She passed this tape and several others that Steve had made over to our long-time Taped Rugs brother, Robert Silverman, who then forwarded the lot to Goff about a month ago.
Before I continue with my story, I must pause a moment here to say that Robert was hospitalized with a massive brain tumor only days after he mailed off the tapes to me. Surgery has helped him some, but his recovery is proving rather uncomfortable. Robert has been making Taped Rugs recordings since before Taped Rugs even came into existence (1980), and is well-known to the world as a founder of Herd Of The Ether Space. I ask any and all readers of this post to focus whatever healing energies that they might possess toward Oakland, California, and to Robert specifically. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated, thanks very much.
Anyway, back to the story… the side of the reel of tape that Steve had recorded was dubbed "Mushroom Showdown" by its creators back on that fateful Saturday in 1982. The sounds on this recording are challenging to the point that I can imagine certain individuals suffering a severe psychotic reaction after listening to all 50-plus minutes of the tape. Certainly the members of the "audience" that day were something more than bewildered by the experience. Here's a link to get YOU started if you are up for this challenge:
And here's some details of how the tape was made:
The recording set-up consisted of two reel-to-reel tape recorders, tilted on their sides to accommodate the sharing of a single reel of tape in a Frippertronics-style audio loop arrangement. (for readers unfamiliar with Frippertronics, a rudimentary explanation is available here.) These two tape recorders, made by different manufacturers, had a tendency to run at different speeds that day, creating variances in the timing of the loops and gaps between recorded segments. At intervals during the recording session, Goff and Schaer also intentionally set the decks to run at very different speeds, causing the playback to sound as if it were being sucked through some sort of recording vortex. They also physically manipulated the reels of tape with their hands during the recordings, punctuating the playback with sudden jumps in speed and pitch.
Goff played a 1950s lap steel guitar and a bass with a warped neck. He also vocalized into a microphone. He modified all of his audio inputs with a wah-wah/volume foot pedal. Schaer played an electronic guitar and an ARP Odyssey synthesizer, modifying both through an analog delay effect box. Kaswan played electrified cello. Bits of a pre-recorded Brian Eno lecture and a field recording of Gibbons howling at the San Francisco Zoo also were occasionally input into the session.
The recordings offered in this archive reflect Schaer's personal interpretation of how the playback speeds of the original tape should be arranged. Any number of playback options would be possible to make from the original reel, although none could represent what the participants actually heard during the session itself. Goff broke up Schaer's hour-long recording into segments, editing out long gaps of silence and occasional bits of muddled babbling.
My congratulations go out to anyone who endures the entire Mushroom Showdown experience. I will be sharing more of Schaer's recently unearthed cassettes with you all soon, if everything goes as planned. None of these other tapes, however, comes close to challenging a listener's sanity in the way that Mushroom Showdown does.
Once upon a time, back in 1973, C. Rice Goff III cooked up a couple of the oldest surviving "multi-tracked" productions in the Taped Rugs archives. One of these ancient recordings was a version of the Beatles' When I'm Sixty-Four. It features a very rough jews harp rendition of the song, crudely overdubbed with a young Goff's faux British vocals.
The recording process involved taping the jews harp bit on a portable Panasonic cassette recorder, then playing the tape back through the recorder's built-in 4 inch speaker, while singing along. The "overdub" was captured by recording the in-the-room mix through a cheap microphone, plugged into a portable 1962 Webcor reel-to-reel tape recorder. This embodiment of lo fi experimentation was first revealed to the world in 2017 on a Taped Rugs album entitled: Treasures For Deep Divers.
Since 1973, Taped Rugs Productions has interpreted the music of all sorts of artists in all sorts of original ways. The ever-growing collection of these pieces, which I resist referring to as "cover songs," is huge and, over the years, has become one of the most popular elements in the Taped Rugs catalog. It seemed only fitting for Goff to revisit When I'm Sixty-Four while cooking up material for a Taped Rugs 40th Anniversary album.
So, after sailing through a long and windy brainstorm, Goff set a course to produce a unique version of the song, by adapting its lyrics to the music of the Beatles' Helter Skelter. This scheme took into account some additional inspiration which has been building since 1970, when Goff had been informed by his parents that he was related to one of the Manson family's more notorious members. Oh yeah, and I should add that Goff is actually going to be sixty-four in a couple of years.
The production process for this ambitious endeavor began by creating some punchy music for the piece with MIDI score-writing technology, overdubbed with a smörgåsbord of Korg synthesizer improvisations. This all went down rather smoothly, but when the day came for recording the vocal bits, Goff's neighbors decided it was time to head full bore into working on home improvement projects. (At the time, most of Goff's neighbors were bored out of their minds, quarantined at home due to the Covid 19 epidemic.)
Not wanting to muck up his vocal tracks with the sounds of lawnmowers, hammers, buzzsaws, etc., Goff waited hour after hour for the power tools to shut down. He doesn't like singing on a full stomach, so he also fasted throughout his wait. Four hours into this waiting, Goff's frustration (and hunger) had become so excessive that he decided to go ahead with the vocal recording anyway, figuring that even if he didn't get a good result, the singing itself would be excellent therapy for his mounting nervous tension. While he didn't eat anything during the four-hour wait, he did gulp a rather large portion of Bushmills right before he began recording.
Goff fearlessly gutted out about a half hour of wailing before his voice lost all of its tone and texture. From this recording, he was able to edit together a powerful dose of lead vocals. Of course, this result could not have been produced without the fuel supplied by the frustration that led up to the recording session. The whole event proved once again that taking advantage of difficult life experiences often creates inspired art. I say "once again" because this is just one of many examples in Taped Rugs history where a challenging circumstance was adapted to focus an artistic vision. On reflection, it seems an appropriate element to add to the Taped Rugs 40th Anniversary commemorative.
Days later, Goff found that blending his vociferous concoction with the punchy music tracks that he had recorded earlier produced a host of unsatisfactory results. The urgency of both elements was impossible to showcase simultaneously, creating a mish-mush of blurred, noisy audio, diminishing the artistic qualities of everything involved. So Goff then devoted a few days to re-inventing the music tracks, making them more percussive in some ways, making them more spacey in some ways. Then several tweaks of V.U. were made during a bunch of test mixes. The eventual result of all this modification put the voice right up front, supported by a backing of punch and space that burns a rather dark atmosphere around the whole thing -- satisfaction achieved! Goff has named the resulting recording: Helter, Chuck, And Dave.
There is even more to the story of this recording, somewhat of a coda. Because several of the pieces that Goff has created for the Taped Rugs 40th Anniversary collection contain little references to rugs, Goff wanted this piece to follow suit. Keeping with the "cover version" aspect of this piece, he specifically wanted to include a little slice from an actual song about rugs. The Carpet Crawlers by Genesis fit the need perfectly. Just as the Beatles' Helter Skelter fades and reappears at its end, Helter, Chuck, And Dave fades and reappears -- with a snippet of a Goff interpretation of Carpet Crawlers.
And now, for the first time in a public forum, here's Helter, Chuck, And Dave. Thanks for your interest. Stay tuned for more Taped Rugs 40th Anniversary news.
Feeling that desperate need to take a trip while you're stuck in quarantine? A new treatment from Taped Rugs Productions may be just what you need. In honor of Taped Rugs 40th Anniversary, and in search of the Department Of Homeland Sanity, Swami Loopynanda is now providing to the public: ETHERapy. Press the "play" arrow below to begin treatment.
ETHERapy is six part, 73 minute program, that is guaranteed to exercise bored brain cells through audio-electronic stimulus. The program features some of the Swami's personal favorite tape loop adventures, undertaken by the crew of Herd Of The Ether Space during the trailblazing 1980s. Observers seeking liberation will experience uniquely exploratory trances induced by Robert Silverman, Killr "Mark" Kaswan, George Gibson, Stuart Sands, Steve Schaer, Will Marston, Matt Lauten, Jeff Easter, and, of course, the Swami himself (aka: C. Goff III).
Participants in the ETHERapy program should be aware that hallucinations and radical thinking are common side affects. These manifestations may be considerably heightened when the program is undertaken while participants are under the influence of stimulating chemicals (purchased either over-the-counter or under-the-counter).
Videographer Chris Camacho of New Tet and Red Flag Enterprises was driven by intense audio-stimulation to visually portray a portion of ETHERapy back in 2010.
ETHERapy can be applied through a specially-activated CDR injector or inhaled directly through an online aerosol. Specific details related to the development of ETHERapy can be accessed at an internet link by clicking the image below.
The Scene: One night back in 1978, at the Berkeley, California, apartment of Gordon Lyon. Here, a couple of college students (Lyon and Charles Goff III) set out to "write a song." Properly prepared to focus their creativity for several hours straight, the two worked out some unorthodox chord sequences and some lyrics that could never be broadcast on commercial radio. Naturally, they rehearsed their new composition several times that night to embed it into their heads (there exist no written notes from this session today). Then, almost magically, a couple of young ladies stopped by for an impromptu visit. Of course, Goff and Lyon were moved to share their new song. The women reacted by exiting the premises very soon after the performance.
The song that Goff and Lyon cooked up that night was entitled Suck On My Nose. Goff has just finished recording a brand new rendition of this ancient song to add to a collection of pieces which will soon be released to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Taped Rugs Productions. A draft mix is presented right here:
Goff and Lyon started playing music together in 1976. They performed publicly a couple of times at their college dormitory in 1977. In 1979, they joined forces with Steve Schaer (RIP) and Robert Silverman to form the band called: "Temporarily KY." A brief history of this group is archived at the link below. A little addendum to this history that might enlighten listeners: all four Temporarily KY band members were devoted fans of Zappa and The Mothers of Invention.
Some very lo fi recordings of a few Temporarily KY songs are presented in the archived post above as well, including an arrangement of Suck On My Nose. By the time this version had come to life, Lyon had added some lyrics and, of course, all the members of the group had worked out instrumental and vocal bits. Below is a Temporarily KY recording of Suck On My Nose.
In 1998, Goff created a solo 4 Track tape version of Suck On My Nose for a Taped Rugs cassette compilation of out takes entitled: Remnants From Magic Carpets. The compilation was co-released by EE Tapes of Belgium. Goff archived a remix of this recording on the internet in 2010:
Thanks for tuning in. There is more 40th Anniversary news to come. Stay tuned.
And now, for all you curious art lovers out there, this month's Swami Loopynanda Report...
As I warned you all last month, Taped Rugs is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a few special releases. Here's a little sample draft mix from one of these commemorative albums-in-progress that's likely to get your carpet shaking. The piece is called Aspect For Red Finger Canons. It re-interprets two old Goff III compositions into one big, brand new, punch in the head.
The beginning bit brings back to life a song called Canons For You, which Goff wrote back in 1979. Goff made a lo fi "multi-track" recording of this piece in 1979 with two reel-to-reel tape recorders. The primitive multi-tracking process involved recording sounds on one tape recorder, then playing back the tape loudly through some speakers while performing new material along with it, recording the in-the-room "mix" on a second tape recorder through strategically placed microphones. The final result blended together four performances (two electric guitar and two saxophone). This recording has been archived online at the link below since 2009 for all to hear its endearing charms and faults.
Canons For You was performed for the public only once, for a packed house at Ollie's Radcliffe Hall (nightclub) in Oakland, California, in January of 1983. This event was the first-ever public appearance of the duo called "-Ing," featuring Goff and Steve Schaer (RIP). The interpretation of the song offered to the audience that night was performed using a Frippertronics-style live tape loop. The tape of the performance has not been seen nor heard since Schaer's passing, 22 years ago.
The ending bit of Aspect For Red Finger Canons, as the title sort of implies, interprets a song called Red Finger Aspect, which Goff slow-cooked into existence around 1982/1983. The piece never gelled for –Ing, but in 1987, it was incorporated into a recording for the duo called "Disism," which featured Goff and Killr "Mark" Kaswan.
The Disism recording starts out with a piece that Kaswan wrote, called Space 101, then segues into Red Finger Aspect for a somewhat dramatic conclusion. Disism also performed this mini medley at Oakland's Ohana Cultural Center in April, 1987. Disism's official, lo fi "studio" version of Space 101/Red Finger Aspect (recorded live in the Taped Rugs Studio) is archived online at the link below.
In 2008, Goff experimented with performing solo versions of Red Finger Aspect, employing a digital loop duplicator to create live orchestrations of guitar and synthesizer sounds. Some of these experiments were released through the Taped Rugs Uncooked series of albums and videos.
Up to now, none of the many versions of Red Finger Aspect nor Canons For You that have been offered up for public scrutiny has ever really matched Goff's vision of the potentials that these compositions have to offer. He produced Aspect For Red Finger Canons in the HOPE that it will better show off those potentials. He performed all the instruments and engineered all the recordings for the piece himself. He also incorporated into his mix some of the original screaming samples used to ornament the 1987 Disism recording. The sample bit about the rugs being "the finest in the field" came from a 1950's record produced by the Dictation Disk Company. Samples from this record have appeared in a couple of other Taped Rugs releases over the course of its 40 year history as well, which seems appropriate for the "anniversary" theme of the album on which this piece will later appear.
Thanks for your attention. Stay tuned next month if you are up for enduring another dose of Swami Loopynanda reporting on this year's Rug shaking challenges.
Yes Cottageers! 'Twas in 1980 that the very first official Taped Rugs production was made available to the public. If all goes as planned, Taped Rugs will be celebrating its 40th anniversary with a number of special releases in 2020. Among these will be new interpretations of Goff, Disism, and -Ing compositions that date as far back as the 1970's. Also, a number of cassettes that once belonged to the late Steve Schaer (of –Ing and Herd Of The Ether Space) have recently been unearthed. These tapes contain recordings that have lain undisturbed since the very early 1980's. This year Taped Rugs plans to make much of this material public for the first time.
For now, however, Taped Rugs would like to kick off the next decade of its history by highlighting an album that was released at the very end of the last one. This album, "Treadmilagros," is very much infused with the essence of the Electronic Cottage. I have been told that the FBook ECottage was made aware of this album back in November, but today I'd like to personally plant its seed in the window box of this official ECottage webpage, where it can bloom in some fresh sunlight.
Click the little "play" below to begin the Treadmilagros audio circus.
Treadmilagros is a compilation of Taped Rugs recordings which were created and/or published through the collaborative efforts of various artists and producers between 2018 and 2019. The collection shows off how the Taped Rugs mold continues to forge recordings with a wide variety of styles and compositional techniques, while maintaining a consistently experimental attitude.
On this album... Four of the pieces were created by Frank Audiffret (aka: FJNA) and C. Goff III, using MIDI score-writing software and self-designed "instruments." John Bennett's poem: "Tornatrueno," is given unique new life with electronically generated voices and electronic toys. Provocative fake news boils up in a concoction co-produced by Goff and veteran recording artist Greg Segal. Goff's contributions to the Electronic Cottage "Rubber Stamp" tape compilation, to Jack Hertz's (Aural Films) Pierre Schaeffer tribute album, to Lasse Jensen's "Stilletid #26" compilation album, and to Thee Instagon's "Complexity 4" compilation album, are all included as well.
More in-depth details about these recordings, artists, labels, etc. are available at the album's post at archive.org: Click here go there, where you can listen to each piece individually, download the album (no cost), download the album art, read the details, etc. Thanks to all involved. Thanks for your attention. Celebrate!
Here's the track list:
1 The Sound Of Falling Tables
3 The Jetsons' Treadmill
4 Reuben Ranzo
5 Remedial Reeding
6 Crab 'Em By The Legs
8 La Fellation Après Le Dîner Est Bonne Pour Le Dos
9 Lulled On The Shores Of Atmosphere
10 Victory To The Proles
Anyone remember that...
On December 16th, 1998, US President William J. Clinton ordered a surprise attack on Iraq which the US military dubbed: "Operation Desert Fox." Over the course of four days, missiles and bombs launched from hundreds of aircrafts and sea vessels rained down on Iraq. Clinton ordered this attack on the eve preceding a scheduled vote to impeach him by the US House Of Representatives. The attack forced the representatives to delay their vote; however, several of them, and several senators as well, refused to back Clinton's deployment of military force in this instance because of its suspicious timing.
That's almost exactly 21 years ago. And back then...
As the news of Desert Fox began to circulate through the media on December 16th, Charles Rice Goff III felt frustrated and angry. He channeled his anger through sound. Using audio mixers, he pumped several feeds of live television reports into a four-track cassette deck, distorting the various spewings of facts, opinions, rationalizations, and advertising sponsorships with sound effects and on-the-fly editing. For much of the night, Goff improvised an angry collage over this bed of media noise, injecting it with a distorted electronic guitar, a Micromoog synthesizer, and a number of oddly-played phonograph records. In early 1999, Goff culled out an hour from this recorded audio tantrum and released it on the Taped Rugs cassette album: "Desert Foxtrot."
The contents of this cassette album might be of interest right now, considering recent developments. The curious are invited to hear:
1 Saddam Votes For Impeachment
2 Rationalizing Bloody Gore
Jerry Kranitz has been writing about and broadcasting unique music for years, but up to now, I have never experienced an interview about him and his activities. Many visitors to the E Cottage are aware of Jerry's talents, but I'm guessing that his legacy and motivations are sketchy mysteries to the majority of us.
The link in the Tube box below goes to an interview that Jerry recently did with Christina Poupoutsi of The Higher Craft – Jerry being the interviewee, Christina the interviewer. He talks about his soon-to-be released book about early cassette culture, as well as about his archiving projects with Harsh Reality and Terry Brooks. If the season allows you to take a time out from whatever you're up to, check this out and get to know this chronicler of our species a little better…
Smiles From Turkey Makes Me Sleepy. Picture above was derived from artwork created by Bela Phinney in 2006. Turducken recorded January 14, 1998. Best wishes to all!
Speakish Spookish Halloween --
Turkey Makes Me "Fear For $20.15"
A Sleepy Nightmare Dream Dream Scream!
I am one of the several alter-egos of Charles Rice Goff III. I am best known as a radio host, although I have had some of my reviews published here and there over the years, and have even been involved in occasional recording projects.