Monday, January 13, 2014

Documentary on the history my studio is coming. and this is the trailer.
w/ commentary by Bill Laswell, Michael Gira, Bob Bert, Jim Thirlwell, Brian Viglione,
me circa 1980 at studio in Gowanus

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The hyper-promoting band next door? Probably not.

my take on how -or how *not*- musical artists are using the much-discussed new resources for promoting music.

me taking a break from promotion
  From decades of dealing with bands and artists as a producer, one thing that has struck me is that there seems to be *less* aggressive promotion going on these days - and certainly less than all the commentary about new-media tools for artists would have one believe.
Could this be an illusion ?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Criminal Art

I contrast "criminal" vs "rebel" art. examples in graffiti, punk and hip hop

“Read” piece in Gowanus Broklyn – 1 block from my
studio – by graffiti artist Read, aka The booker, aka Bookman

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Tape Fetish in Analog recording

my latest blog is about the cult-like obsession some people have with analog tape in music recording. Where does the fad begin and end - why are there retro fads - is tape (vs. digital) definitive of the sound of a recording - is it a powerful tool ?

An analog recording session with the band Flaming Fire at my place - You can see the big tape machine in the back, under the window 

 A musician walks into the control room of the recording studio - where the band listens  back to their 1st performance of the day - and exclaims; OMG ! listen to that TAPE !

Saturday, December 12, 2009

30th anniversary of recording in Brooklyn – through my dark colored glasses the tarnished golden era of independent recording

It's here ! the 30 year time mark of my studio. Where I started making and recording sounds in Dec '79.
Well, even in the best and most memorable of times, things seemed fairly drab and matter of fact. My guess is all the "golden" eras were a good bit more tarnished, for those who lived them.

Bisi - 30 yr studio  
Me, with John Zorn cover in hand. Sonic Youth’s Death Valley ’69 pokin out in the back

 30 seems like one of those unfathomably big numbers for the anniversary of my recording music, in one location.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The petty hierarchies of music - bands and songwriters

... about how various members of bands have a naturally different status, in practice, and in people's perception.. the front man/woman, the songwriter/composer - the person who will do the talking, the person who focuses the identity of the music

Monday, October 5, 2009

Copyright ! Download Nation - Music and Art's Civil War

I entered the fray about copyright issues and music downloading, and how music in general has been affected

The US constitution on COPYRIGHTS – To promote the Progress of Science [includes literature] and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors [..] the exclusive Right to their respective Writings…

So the constitution is clear here -”clear” ? ha, I’m in trouble already. Congress is mandated to promote innovation in knowledge and art.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Irony in music

Irony - Opiate Of The People
On the way to an event last night called “Dances Of Vice,” I was planning this blog post about irony, and trying to define the different possible threads of irony in music.

So the event is themed, with most people in Victorian or fantasy clothing, and all the musical performances involve cellos, violins, and harps – everything very baroque. I walk to the side of the stage and I see a Flying V guitar. I think, OMG, how ironic ! The Flying V is a staple of hard rock/metal

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

History, and the role of art

here I muse on art's relationship to the telling of history:

The grays of history - a place for art

Telling a story about a time in history - Being of a time in history, and telling a story. What does the teller owe society ? Can a small truth about a time in history, contradict the larger, socially progressive, educated truth ?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gentrification In Brooklyn: Turn The Page

This about the state of the gentrification process in Brooklyn, where my studio is located and where I live. Written in 2008 really, an eon ago, and should be read that way. 

 Gentrification in Brooklyn - turn the page.

 The explosion of energy I saw on Brooklyn's streets after the Obama win, recedes into the background. And I feel I'm looking at an economic and social playing field that is now undeniably different .

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Crazy Homicides - Twilight of the old Brooklyn

This is a story I wrote about The Crazy Homicides, a gang in Park Slope, Brooklyn when i started my recording studio there 27 yrs ago, back when the neighborhood was in a major downward spiral.
My studio is still there , and it's now a land of baby strollers, micro-breweries and fancy coffee shops.
Bill Laswell, producer, and then studio partner, is involved in this story. And Africa Bambaataa also got drawn in.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What Is Punk ?

What is Punk ? - Martin Bisi -- with quotes by Lydia Lunch and Legs McNeil

So who am I ?
Let's go where the bio doesn't take us. 1977 - I'm in high school. I ride the subway at night instead of giving 100% to my homework. uhh.. 'Why ?' you ask. Graffiti. Yes that was my empowering activity as a young man. I was contributing to the prodigious chaos that decorated the subway walls and doors of the day. Tellingly, we called this 'bombing' the trains This visual assault of color and seemingly meaningless words, was for the average subway rider, a perfect metaphor for the unhinging of society in the late 70's - the urban blight era that will surely have a mythic place in American history, similar to the Wild West. Well, where does Punk come in ?