Best Of 2016: JG Thirlwell

Published on January 5th, 2017 in: Best Of Lists, Movies, Music, TV |

2016 was full of personal and professional triumphs and external troubles. Here is my bloated 2016 cultural year-in-review list.

Photo © Tina Schula

JGT’s 25 Albums of 2016 (although not all of them came out in 2016)

David Bowie, Blackstar (Columbia)
Anna Meredith, Varmints (Moshi Moshi)
Bent Knee, Say So (Cuneiform)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Ears (Western Vinyl)
Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, Stranger Things Soundtrack (Lakeshore Records)
Chromb, 1000 (InOuie)
PJ Harvey, The Hope Six Demolition Project (Vagrant)
Swans, The Glowing Man (Young God)
Bon Iver; 22, a million (Jagjaguwar)
Ian William Craig, Centres (FatCat)
Ital Tek, Hollowed (Planet MU)
Maxwell Sterling, Hollywood Medieval (Memory Number 36 recordings)
Jaga Jazzist, Starfire (Ninja Tune)
Elysian Fields, Ghost Of No (Ojet)
Klara Lewis, Too (Editions Mego)
Gnarwhallaby, exhibit A (Populist Records)
Peder Mannerfelt, Controlling Body (Peder Mannerfelt Produktion)
John Zorn, Madrigals / Painted Bird / Commedia Dell’Arte / Sacred Visions (Tzadik)
Vicky Chow, AORTA (New Amsterdam)
Cloud Becomes Your Hand, Rest In Fleas (Northern Spy)
Zwoyld, 200 000 (Bandcamp)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Nonagon Infinity (ATO)
Tristan Perich, Noise Patterns (Physical Editions)
Alessandro Cortini, Risveglio (Hospital)
Nicotina es Primavera, Animal Cerámico (Bandcamp)

Notable Concerts:

I went to dozens of concerts and events in 2016. Here are some of the most notable. All in NYC except where noted.

Jan 8 and Jan 19: Holy Holy at The Highline
Mar 10: Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie at Lincoln Center,
Mar 19: Matmos at National Sawdust
April 1: Magma at Le Poisson Rouge
May 10: Diamanda Galas at the former St. Thomas the Apostle church in Harlem
June 13: Anthony Pateras and Erkki Veltheim for The Inland Concert Series at Church of All Nations in Carlton, Melbourne
July 28: Jaga Jazzist at Le Poisson Rouge
Aug 10: Senyawa at a loft on Bowery for Blank Forms
Aug 14: Kris Davis Quartet play John Zorn’s Bagatelles at the Village Vanguard
Aug 16: PJ Harvey at Terminal 5
Sep 10: Wet Ink present a multi-channel concert at St Peter’s Church in Chelsea
Sep 14: Suzanne Ciani at Roulette
Sep 18: ELO at Radio City Music Hall
Sep 27: Morton Subotnik at Issue Project Room
Oct 8: Glenn Branca at Roulette
Oct 22/ 23: John Zorn at National Sawdust / The Guggenheim
Oct 29: Ghédalia Tazartès at First Unitarian Church, Brooklyn
Nov 3: Mivos Quartet and others play Patrick Higgins at Pioneer Works
Nov 11: Aurélien Bory’s Plexus at BAM’s Harvey Theater.
Dec 4: Ashley Bathgate at Dither Festival, 17 Frost Theater
Dec 11: Vicky Chow at National Sawdust
and Tredici Bacci, everywhere


The Witch
The Neon Demon
A War
A Hijacking
The Tribe


Silicon Valley

I also keep a Tumblr blog where I talk about events I check out and other cultural obsessions.

Find out more on JG Thirlwell on

We reviewed JG Thirlwell’s Venture Bros. Original Score Volume Two on July 21.

Music Review: Matmos, The Marriage of True Minds

Published on February 21st, 2013 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Hanna


One of the best things about Matmos is their enduring sense of the wacky. It’s rare to find truly challenging and avant garde music, but rarer still to find some with a sense of humor. One of the ways that expresses itself is in their penchant for bizarre—almost gimmicky—methods of making music and collecting sounds.

This time this is focused less on the use of weird noises, but on the entire way of making the album. The buzzword for The Marriage of True Minds is telepathy, continuing from The Ganzfeld EP from last year (review). Both works were made using ganzfeld experiments; a pseudoscientific method of tapping into the psychic senses by limiting regular sensory perception and creating a ganzfeld effect; an effect similar to sensory deprivation. It’s characterized by the halved ping pong balls placed over the eyes, like the beginnings of a Crow from MST3K cosplay. By carrying out ganzfeld experiments on their friends over the years and recording the results, the basic structure of this album was formed.


Music Review: Matmos, The Ganzfeld EP

Published on October 30th, 2012 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, New Music Tuesday, Reviews |

By Jemiah Jefferson

the ganzfield ep cover

In their 20-year history of making music together, Drew Daniel and M. C. Schmidt have collaborated on some delightfully weird compositions, unusual instrumentations, and intimate, fun, and often frankly erotic live performances. The intervening years seem not to have blunted the drive towards innovation both in concept and result, even if The Ganzfeld EP contains two of the most straightforwardly danceable tracks Matmos has ever produced. There’s still plenty of experimental oddness and scientific detachment to go around, but the youthful provocation shows signs of approachable mellowing.


MoogFest 2010: If You Build A Synth Fest, They Will Come

Published on September 23rd, 2010 in: Conventions/Expos, Music, Upcoming Events |

By Less Lee Moore

about moogfest

MoogFest 2010 is an extraordinary three-day festival which takes place Halloween weekend (October 29-31) in Asheville, NC. MoogFest will celebrate the innovative spirit of sonic pioneer Robert Moog, who developed the Moog synthesizer in the 1960s.

A Moog (pronounced “mohg”) is actually a series of “modular voltage-controlled analog synthesizer systems,” which has been utilized to create a lot of awesome music by the likes of Perrey & Kingsley, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Hot Butter (of “Popcorn” fame), Giorgio Moroder, Gary Numan, Roger Joseph Manning Jr. and Brian Kehew of The Moog Cookbook, and way more musicians than can be listed in this article.