Saturday, November 20, 2010

Triple CD Release Show 02-21-09

The other night when Secret Message Machine and Kaleidoscope Death were hanging out and listening to some Mystery Pill tapes they had made when Summer Camp Casanova was recently in town, Secret Message Machine mentioned this recording to Kaleidoscope Death, who does not like to listen to live recordings of Kaleidoscope Death until at least a few years later. Then it can be heard without self criticism, which is much much better for Kaleidoscope Death.
This is the recording of three bands (Casual Curious, Summer Camp Casanova, and Kaleidoscope Death) all having a CD release show at the same show. With incestuous line-ups, drunkenness, blood, poor sales, and all.

KD on this recording was Chuck Chambers (guitar, "singing") Michael Barrett (drumming), Andrew Carlisle (guitar, saxxxing, and oh's), Mike Wallace (bass), and Jonathan Moore (theremin, tape loops, and keyboards)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Predeath Tapes Volumes V-VI

Volume V (2005)
This volume is made of outtakes from "F. Scott," same number of tracks and about the same duration. These were definitely cut or re-done for the best. Only one snippet from the never completed sentimental punk rock covers E.P. (reverse Dead Kennedys logo?...get it?), one re-done on "Antiquated Expressions" and never got around to finishing the Naked Raygun cover (I Remember).
These recordings also mark the slow wobbly death of my first 4-Track, as the speed become less consistent and the tracks slowly started giving out, one by one...a kind of slow and sentimental death ala Fitzgerald...

Volume VI (2006-2010)
Most outtakes from this time ended up on "nO." So-so experiments, botched covers, alternate versions/mixes, and incomplete thoughts over 4 years brings back some of the diversity lacking from the albums.
Good thing it'll take several years before Volume VII can amass.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Predeath Tapes Volumes I-IV

Double meaning? Um!
Self indulgent sentimentality that would bore anyone but me? Sounds like typical Kaleidoscope Death...
Dregs? Indeed!

-Volume I (2001-2002)
Embarrassment abounds on this volume made up from school assignments, solo re-recordings of songs from some of my old high school punk rock bands (each labeled parenthetically...meaning if you use i-tunes you'll need to set it to "Albums" to hear it in the correct sequence...why did I do it this way? I have no idea...), random unfinished recordings, getting an idea down on tape before I forgot it, and the building blocks of what was to become Kaleidoscope Death.
24 tracks to hide my face from, but no denying the rushes of sentimentality that no one else will ever hear. I yi yi...

-Volume II (Fall 2002)
Kaleidoscope Death was originally going to be a "pseudo-pretentious art-rock band" for the sole purpose of annoying the shit out of people while getting drunk for free. We came up with the idea because we were spending way too much money in bars. Music didn't really enter into it.
This was the one and only practice, which consisted of my friend Steve Darling (we had been in a few punk rock bands together in high school) on drums, a drumstick held onto one key of a keyboard with a bunjee chord, and me on guitar, getting drunk in my parents' basement and seeing just how far we could stretch out the few parts we'd been playing for the past 30 minutes or so. We had a great time and I'm kind of surprised we never had another "practice." On second thought, not so surprised.
Seems strange now that the only other person on any KD recording would be Steve Darling...somehow makes sense, though. We got trashed, made noise, had a great time doing it, I tried to pick up a girl and failed...KD is born!
Features the only time you'll ever hear KD riffing on Slayer.

-Volume III (2003-2004)
These are out-takes from "The First Two Tapes" era. A friend who was working on a 48 Hour Film Festival project (their theme was "Southern Sci-Fi" or something like that) asked me to record some stuff for them. Of course they finished , turned it in, lost, and moved on without ever hearing a sound I made. I used some of the songs on the second tape, but many just didn't fit the feel I was going for.
More like that from the first tape and others where the fuckings up were just a bit too bad, even by my standards. Some never completed.

-Volume IV (2008)
The only recordings from the Subjective Collective era featured here. These were made to be ambient background noise for the solo acoustic live shows I hated doing so much. Never got used though, oh well. I just stopped doing acoustic shows instead. Just see if you can make it all the way through "Fucked Tape," which is exactly what is sounds like, a fucked up taping of "Sunboint Crotch." Same exact source material.

I really don't see why anyone would ever want to listen to all this...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Split with Secret Message Machine and Summer Camp Casanova (Aug. 2009)

Third time's a charm. Seemed to take Erik (SCC) moving away to get us to actually pull off the split, but at least it finally came together.
It was tough on me because I had wanted to take a break after "Litost," then did the split with the Neon Sea, then had 2 months to get 4 songs together for this split. I was feeling burnt out and apprehensive. But it had to happen and we're very glad it finally did.
We were all in bands together such as Blank_Blank, Mystery Pill, and backing bands for each other's solo projects, so there is some similarity in all of our songs, but still distinguishable.
We mixed it all up and didn't label what song was by what band. If you want to find out you'll have to download SMM and SCC albums from and We're all on myspace, too.
It's strangely hard to write about, so just give it a listen, okay?
Thank You.

Split with The Neon Sea (June 2009)

After I finished "Litost" I felt the need for a much needed break from recording. After sending one to my friend Dan in Chicago, he suggested a split. I thought his experimental electronics and my post-punkish splatterings would make an interesting mix. He finished months before me and thanks to his patience I finally got 4 songs together.
The opener, "Pink and Black Cities" is possibly my favorite Neon Sea song. It has gentle ambience and lo-fi harshness in perfect measure. It's an engulfing piece of music.
Then your trance is broken by a completely different sound. It's weird how disturbing the percussion seems. For lack of a better term, KD harshes your mellow (even though that mellow had its share of harshness). Then by the time it seems like it's all KD, the Neon Sea returns to nicely round out the album.
Please check out Dan's blog:
and check out some of his past solo and collaborative work (Miso Skitzo, Invisible, Penfield 88) at

nO (feb. 2008)

This was intended to be a limited edition of 44 copies, but i never had to make that many. This has 3/4 of what was to be my part of the second attempted split with Secret Message Machine and Summer Camp Casanova, and also Freedom Fries and Noise Slough. But it never came to be.
I also had a few out-takes laying around plus some original ideas that had turned into songs on the previous couple of albums, and quickly added an array of experimental jams and what-have-you's and condensed it down into one long ass track (like my copies of "Faust Tapes" and Boredoms "Soul Discharge"). I did this in part to be annoying, but i also thought that this presentation might make the listener approach the album differently.
To my surprise, many of my friends have claimed a fondness for this one, and depending on my mood, so am I.
Let's see if it gets 44 downloads...

(at the time I deleted the download in June 2012, it had 42....almost!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Summer Camp Death (2006?)

This just a little improv piece my buddy Erik (Summer Camp Casanova and I did waiting for our friend Michael ( to get off work before a Mystery Pill "practice." Erik on guitar loops and drums and me on drone guitar. Spacey...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Old Man Brown" & "Songs to Play After You're Asleep" (September 2007)

Much like Guns n' Roses, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Waits, KD also released two separate albums at once. Could they both have been cut and compressed into one, stronger album? Probably so, but i prefer my way.
I wanted to release a more concise song oriented album but continued to record more experimental, improvisational material because I frankly found it to be a lot more fun. Granted there is a fine line between the two finished products, but I think the separation works.
These are my favorites of the dreamy lo-fi haze folk side of KD, each showcasing a different side: more traditionally song oriented and more atmospheric semi-accessible noise. I may like one better one day, and the other the next. Joining them would have muddled the whole thing up.
Can you tell I was listening to too much John Fahey and Sebadoh?

Kaleidoscope Death's Process of Breaking Down (July 2006)

This E.P. is made slightly less embarrassing than "Antiquated Expressions" by its sheer ridiculousness.
I always loved the concept behind the Flaming Lips album, "Zaireeka," but being antisocial I resented that it took making plans with other people to listen to an album. So I did an extremely cut-rate simultaneous play 2 disc, loner friendly version.
The songs are still a bit cheesy, but that is covered by the weirdness of a song played on two stereos (or by a DVD player) that grows farther out of sync as the song progresses. This is where things get interesting to me. It will never sound the same way twice.
since you are downloading one file, you will first need to burn 2 CDs, one for "Part A" and then for "Part B."
And Then:
1) get me on this one
2) on the 2 CD/DVD players, start each disc. Let each play for a few seconds then PAUSE and REWIND to ensure the track starts at the very beginning.
3) start DISC B first. It will give a "1,2,3,4" Press PLAY on DISC A where "5" would come. You may have to try this a few times to get it close to right. My timing isn't perfect, so that unfortunately might work against you.
4) I'm sorry, but you will have to repeat this process for every song.

-get trashed
-place the two sound systems on opposite sides of the room
-changing where you sit or stand is the easiest way to adjust the levels
-try not to use any remote controls, they aren't very precise.
-experiment and do whatever you want

(I did make a mix of the two discs that was included on the original release, but i feel like they fell flat. Therefore i left them off. I prefer the more interesting 2 disc version.)

The Antiquated Expressions of Kaleidoscope Death (March 2006)

Hot off the heals of the "Wasted Again..." E.P., and "written" and recorded in the same fashion, this is KD's mushiest and most embarrassing release. I wanted to have vocals on more of the songs, but had absolutely no ideas for lyrics. Some were just ooh's and ahh's, but the rest were the lowest common denominator of mindless lyrics: love songs. Barf.
Like the two "popular" songs I can't stand on "F. Scott," some of my friends have claimed this as a favorite. Listening to it now, it's not ALL bad.

Wasted Again: Another Night at Kaleidoscope Death's House (January 2006)

This was to be my part of the first of three attempts at a three way split between KD, Secret Message Machine, and Summer Camp Casanova. We did succeed the third time, but for this one we were supposed to each make our own cover, so when the split didn't come to be, I just kept this as an E.P.
As the title implies, I was not anywhere near sober when i "wrote" and recorded this over three nights. I had just gotten a beginner's banjo for Xmas, but the book of how to tune and play it was left out. So I made up a tuning (which several years later i found out was actually the standard banjo tuning) and just winged it, that and drunkenness are pretty evident on the first track. The rest came together a little better.
Although it may be too personal (seems like you had to be there with me in my wasted brain to fully appreciate), this fucked up little E.P. is not without its charm. Plus it's over by the time it wears too thin.
So why not get wasted yourself and give a few minutes of time you probably won't even remember tomorrow.

F. Scott Kaleidoscope Death (Fall 2005)

F. Scott picks up pretty much where the First Two Tapes left off, but less than a third as long. I figured the 70 minute debut may have been asking a bit too much from the listener and that a 20 minute follow-up was far more reasonable and ultimately more effective in the end.
The bitter-sweet-nostalgic-like acoustic-instrumental style from the second tape is predominate, but vocals were added to three of the songs. Two of which are probably my two least favorite songs in the KD catalog, and ironically they are the two songs people seem to like the most, namely "wrap around" and "a man of many needs." The instrumentals, on the other hand, I am still quite fond of. I can hear the sounds of reading too much Fitzgerald.
The first track was also the first KD song to be made up of non-sober improvising, inspired by a recently formed band in that fashion, Mystery Pill, with my friends Michael and Erik.
Here is KD at probably its most accessible.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The First Two Tapes (May 2004 & Dec. 2004)

When I made these recordings I never intended for anyone else to ever hear them. Even though all of the tracks are instrumental, they seemed far too personal to share. But later i kind of did want to have it heard anonymously. So I left tapes at the local record store (when there was one), some coffee shops, etc. (I never did get around to taping them to boxes of macaroni and cheese at the grocery store like I'd planned...too ambitious an idea, I guess) with an e-mail address. I got two replies, two more than I'd expected, and both were positive.
I was very into feel good, droney, noisey, folky, nostalgic, etc. stuff at the time but was worried about not being able to sing and couldn't write decent lyrics, so everything stayed instrumental by default.
Leaving these tapes around also helped me make friends I'm still making music with and was the beginning of many years of obsessive home recording. That added to the mood of the music does make me a bit nostalgic. The feel good hit of the KD discography.

...Odyssey in Confusion and Contemplation (Jan. 2007)

This is one of my albums that I'm a little indifferent towards, or one that my opinion of it often changes, for better or worse. Depends on my mood going into it, I guess. Then why bother posting it? Why not? Several friends have said that they didn't like it much at first, but in time grew to like it. Besides, it's not like you're BUYING it. I could really care less about your precious hard drive space.
This was an earlier, somewhat subtler, step away from "nice" music. Niceness still exists in the music, but the lyrics took a drearier turn (the title of the album makes it sound like a romp, I know). However, there aren't too many cringe worthy moments for me, despite some not so hot mixing at times. Oh well.
This album does kind of follow a story line, but it's not worth trying to figure out. I guess i knew it at the time by obscuring the lyrics under a swirling mass of lo-fi noise folk.
ahh, fuck it.
Get can't hurt.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Litost (Feb. 2009)

"Litost is a Czech word with no exact translation into any other language. It designates...a feeling that is the synthesis of many others: grief, sympathy, remorse, and an indefinable longing. The first syllable, which is long and stressed, sounds like the wail of an abandoned dog. Litost is a state of torment caused by a sudden insight into one's own miserable self...It is one of the ornaments of youth...first comes a feeling of torment then the desire for revenge...unthinkable without a kind of passionate hypocrisy." -Milan Kundera
After getting entirely burnt out on playing "nice" music, i chose this as the theme of the next album. I was tired of the woozy acoustic ramblings that are so easy to stay at home in your apartment and record late at night...AKA the easy way out (even though traces remain on this album, namely "unsubst" and "shitty"). Seeing all the Fall, Country Teasers, The Rebel, Pere Ubu, etc. records I couldn't stop listening to at the time (and still), the nice soft acoustic approach seemed repulsive. I was sick of it anyway and made a clean(ish) break.
All i knew is what i didn't want it to sound like. The lyrics took a darker turn, i intended them to have a bit of silliness in the amount of negativity but i only recorded vocals when i was incredibly pissed off or confused by some outside factor, and once when i had diarrhea. The silliness was almost entirely lost (plus the phallic joke on the cover went unnoticed). One reviewer said it sounded like Tom Waits meets the Rollins Band. That reviewer was a fucking idiot.