Programmed by Sarah Cahill
June 4, 2010
Wobbly (DJ set)
Jon Leidecker performs his own music under the pseudonym Wobbly, but given that much of his music is made out of thousands of samples of recordings of other people’s music, the difference between a live set and a DJ set is only a matter of pacing. Collaborations include recordings with Matmos, People Like Us, Negativland, and Huun-Huur-Tu. In 2009 he was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona to create Variations, an eight-episode podcast on the history of collage and sampling in music.
The Residents: So Long Sam (1945–2006)
At one time or another, almost everyone has a best friend; over the course of a person’s life, they may have several. Some of these relationships are short and some long-term, but seldom are they forgotten. Back in the 1960s, Randy, The Residents’ singer, had a high school buddy whose name was Sam. While Randy was pimple-faced, obsessively read science fiction, and defined the idea of “socially challenged,” Sam was tall, handsome, rich, and the life of the party . . . and Sam went to lots of parties.
On the surface, the two teenagers had little in common, but somehow they clicked. They both loved listening to Bo Diddley, bass fishing on summer afternoons, and eating Southern Maid donuts. On the rare occasions that Randy dated, the two friends went out together in Sam’s Pontiac GTO. Somehow, despite Randy’s reserve and Sam’s partying ways, the two were nearly inseparable.
After graduation, when Sam went to the big state university and Randy got a job in the parts department of a local Ford dealership, their separation was painful. At first Sam’s drunken phone calls to his friend in the middle of the night were a welcome diversion from Randy’s dull, predictable life, but as time went on, Randy stopped answering the 3 a.m. calls. They still enjoyed Sam’s holiday visits, but a subtle distance had crept into their friendship, a distance that only grew over time, as Sam flunked out of college, was drafted, and went to Viet Nam, eventually returning home to work for his father.
In time Randy moved to the West Coast, but he still kept up with his friend from a distance, taking no joy in Sam’s slow decline through divorce, business failures, and alcoholism. Then, one night as the two old friends approached middle age, they ran into each other in a bar. Randy was back in town for a family visit and, while he had long since stopped calling Sam on these infrequent return trips, he was still happy to see his friend again. Rediscovering the connection that had eluded them for the past 20 years, the two former buddies filled the air with the events and feelings of a two-decade separation, but ultimately, it was Sam’s story of his capture and eventual release by the Viet Cong that left Randy stunned and speechless.
The story haunts him to this day.
So Long Sam, as a work in progress, is an excerpt from a longer piece currently being developed by The Residents for performance with an orchestra. The full piece, entitled Sam’s Enchanted Evening, aspires to a UK premier in the summer of 2012.
This performance is dedicated to the memory of Sam.
The Residents wish to thank the following people for their help in making this performance possible:
The Convergenets: Julian Smedley, Julie Egger, Michele McCulloch; Rob Reich, Carla Fabrizio, Jayne Wenger, Jeff Cressman, Joe Alvarez, Chris McGregor; Sarah Cahill, Sean Carson, and the staff at BAM/PFA; Starr Sutherland, Jeffrey Kane/RF Audio, and Reed Kirk Rahlmann.
Sarah Cahill would like to thank Meyer Sound, The Jacqueline Hoefer Fund, John Sanborn, Kevin McKereghan, Black Boxes, BBI Engineering, Inc., Stephen Hahn and Mary Jane Beddow, Joshua Raoul Brody, Dean Santomieri, and Albert Behar.
Icky Flix Remix: Videos by The Residents, 1975–2010
On Wednesday, June 9, a selection of 15 videos by The Residents will be screened at the PFA Theater. Representatives of the Cryptic Corporation in person. For information, visit bampfa.berkeley.edu/film/FN18717.
About the Programmer
Sarah Cahill, recently called “as tenacious and committed an advocate as any composer could dream of” by Joshua Kosman in the San Francisco Chronicle, has commissioned, premiered, and recorded numerous compositions for solo piano. Composers who have dedicated music to her include John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Julia Wolfe, and Evan Ziporyn. Cahill is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory and hosts a weekly music show on KALW. She also curates the annual Garden of Memory summer solstice concert, which she started in 1995, at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland.
Next Week, June 11
Franklin Melendez’s programming series concludes in June with a special homage to the East Bay’s garage band scene, which is at the core of the local DIY ethic. A summer kickoff of sorts, the program will feature a lineup of old-school rock ’n’ roll bands nurtured in our backyard. Come hear the Sic Alps, Bill Orcutt, and The Baths.
The final night of Anne Colvin’s Skank Bloc Bologna Number Four series features the launch of the of the ephemeral paper publication of the same name. Unique to BAM/PFA patrons, in an edition of fifty, the print version of SBB4 will include remnants from the hybrid performance, sound, spoken word, and film experiences that have taken place over the five-night SBB4 L@TE residency. A musical performance by Oxbow, mixing equal parts American blues, musique concrète, and classical formalism, is also on the bill.
The BAM/PFA galleries are open until 9 p.m. on most Fridays, with drinks and DJs in the lobby starting at 6 p.m., and an array of performances and other programs in Gallery B. For information on upcoming events and to buy advance tickets, visit bampfa.berkeley.edu/late.
Check out the L@TE collectible posters, available in the Museum Store.
L@TE is made possible in part by Bank of America, the Tin Man Fund, and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees. Special thanks to our media sponsors, East Bay Express and San Francisco Bay Guardian.