Raleigh Rambles

John Dancy-Jones at large!

MUSA exhibit opens, taintradio features, Raleigh’s post-industrial art scene cooks


MUSA is a “post-industrial art exhibit” whose content will relate more or less directly to the venue: a dormant furniture factory across from Humble Pie in downtown Raleigh.  An art show in this space really resonates for me, because I have such fond memories of the crucial employment and quirky stories that arose from my artist friends’ work there in the 1980s.  The owners made annual trips to Asia for antiques and prints, but the majority of the stock was furniture that was “aged” – whipped with chains and other abuse, or modified otherwise – before wholesaling to Neiman Marcus.  Bill and Otho were enlightened and tolerant employers to several good friends, and I’ve always appreciated it.

Now Otho is offering the space, which ceased business in 2002, to Carter Hubbard and Sarah Botwick, two art entrepreneurs who hope

 to produce an interpretive, visual perspective that will allow patrons to reflect on what it means to be “made” in the USA; a question even more poignant in these current economic times.

mentioned this show in July and bemoaned the Flash software used to present the website, which actually looks quite nice, but presents minor navigation issues and major Google search issues, because all of the info appears to be insulated from the web-crawlers.  Now the site has a large amount of info and lots of artwork examples, most of which present some kind of connection to industrial themes.  The work is also integrated into the factory space, including one series that explores the history of the paint in the room in which it is situated.  The dying pastime of pigeon-keeping, the dying art of hat-making, Latino work portraits, and the use of trees all form a part of a broad set of responses to technological change and its implications for work.

Location: 320 South Harrington Street, Raleigh, NC
Web Address: www.musanc.com

Opening Reception: “First Friday”, October 2, 2009 6-9pm
Reg. Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11-5, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 1-7pm
“Invisible Sounds” – site-specific live music prior to the screening of “With These Hands”  Q&A to follow, Oct. 10, 6pm
Exhibition Dates: October 2-18, 2009



taintradio, poised to survive the “post music industry age,” sends word it will present another feature at Marsh Woodwinds.  The internet radio venture has added several new shows to its weekly cycle, including Philadelphia-based Jeff Duperon’s Congo Square.   Feature info below.

taintradio.org & Marsh Woodwinds presents guitarist/composer Eugene Chadbourne concert & live webcast on October 3rd.
Avant-garde multi-instrumentalist and composer Eugene Chadbourne brings his unique anarchic blend of jazz, punk, country, improv and noise to Marsh Woodwinds, 707 N. Person Street in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, October 3rd at 8pm. The concert is a presentation of the taintradio/Marsh Woodwinds concert series, and will be broadcast live on the Web to listeners worldwide at www.taintradio.org. Tickets are $10 at the door, and free refreshments will be served.
It’s been nearly 5 years since the Greensboro-based Chadbourne has performed in Raleigh, and we are delighted to add this date to his fall touring schedule, which includes Berlin, Vienna and Istanbul.
Chadbourne has been a major presence in improv, punk and jazz circles for over 30 years, including work with John Zorn, Charlie Haden, The Violent Femmes, Billy Bragg, Tony Trischka, The Red Clay Ramblers, Marc Ribot, Jimmy Carl Black and many others. Relentlessly eclectic and experimental, Chadbourne writes and plays a wide range of music, from free jazz interpretations of classic honky-tonk country to transcriptions of Bach for banjo and his infamous invention, the electric rake. Chadbourne’s dozens of solo and collaborative albums add up to one of the most consistently challenging and rewarding bodies of work you’ll find in experimental music.
  This is a rare chance to hear this musical legend in an intimate venue on Saturday, October 3rd.



SparkCon expanded and upgraded its arts event this year, taking over Fayetteville Street with 13 different “…sparks” at 24 venues, intensely focused on the 1st two blocks of Fayetteville.  From Raleigh’s emerging status as the East Coast’s gaming industry hub to the latest creation from uliveandyouburn, this street festival helps to brand Raleigh as a city of designers and 21st century entrepreneurs.


And as a final note, we head toward the “post newspaper industry age” in the company of Raleigh Public Record, whose detailed candidate profiles and “Sunshine” public record posts are demonstrating the validity and value of Charles Pardo’s vision of 21st century journalism.

My nature column at RPR will return as soon as some of my excess pies get cooked!

September 20, 2009 Posted by | art, music, Raleigh downtown | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Web 3.0 weavings


     I have always loved information archives of all types – starting with Sears catalogs as a young child, followed by our Reader’s Digest Condensed book set, then on to specially arranged privileges at the Olivia Raney Library in the basement of the Revenue Building downtown.  Now the universe is at our fingertips, and I find that a whole neural body of outward connections awaits, and I have begun willy-nilly to construct this digital doppelganger – myself fully online – with little knowledge or perspective about the shape of the world to come – or the silhouette I will cast, based on my skills and choices.  It won’t come naturally – I’m a bibliophilic boomer geezer, but I’m so fascinated by the gargantuan pile of possibilities being generated by our technology that I’m game, willing, and more or less already engaged.


     But the levels of engagement are many and changing at a rapid rate.  And my original quest for information has become entwined into an arena I still don’t fully grasp – social networking, which near as I can see, is pretty quickly turning into this whole partly global Thing – a Social Network that has unwritten rules and value systems different (and yet not) from the world of Reader’s Digest, or graduate school for that matter.  I really like blogging as a way to publish writing and develop projects, and I don’t mind making friends online – though I’m always wanting to meet them in person ASAP.  In many ways I am not a blogger, and certainly not a full-fledged member of the blogosphere.  Again, I know I am indeed part of the blogosphere – just the literary/magazine, non-revenue, slow-blogging corner of it.  I don’t twitter, fark, digg, instant message, facebook or mypage. For all I know, I never will.  So what shape will my elderly online self be, as I watch the world go Web 3.0?


     Web 2.0 denotes the movement of resources from your computer to the Internet.  We don’t download software for blogging – we use the software on distant servers.  Many people use these resources for everything from desktop publishing to large company operations.  Web 3.0 signals the movement of all this to the mobile devices which are proliferating and competing, and to future non-existing IT services in general.  The News and Observer tells me we will all be living and working on our phones in 2020.  The TV ads proclaim it every day – the mobile revolution.  This is a problem for me.  Hell, I will hardly use my cell phone and I’ve had it for years.  I hate the phone!  I guess I will have to fall in love with some future web/Kindle device – if it projects perfectly from my eyeglasses, there’s not much room for complaint, is there?


Getting back to the messages of these media, open access and web publishing are by far the wildest things to happen in intellectual culture for a long time.  Ideas can be connected and developed in truly new ways.  You can follow connections instantly and sometimes rather deeply.  It’s all certainly very stimulating.  Below are my picks for some local trends that rock this new world.



     Netweed, the host of my Paper Plant website, is operated by Clyde Smith, who has worked hard and longer on web enterprises than anyone I know.  He was my blogging mentor and helped me build Raleigh Nature.  Clyde mainly works online professionally at Prohiphop, and scans news reports, reviews and offers business analysis on anything and everything hip hop.  Recently, he launched a news release service for hip hop labels.  Netweed, his online headquarters, is a rich mix of cultural and social resources.  Clyde is able to use Netweed as a unifying platform for his professional hip hop work, his research writings, his dance work, and his social views.  If anyone can swim in the new web waters, it’s him.



     Ibiblio is proclaimed on my favorites website (featured below) as simply “the best website of which I know.”  Paul Jones has been an incredible guru for all this since Al Gore invented it, and he found a way to share with the world.  Ibiblio.org is simply the state’s digital library, with some truly fascinating twists, but the monthly theme and features constitute a marvelous magazine as well.



     Taintradio continues to offer a unique platform and format in the rapidly changing world of radio and music generally.  There are reasons for the website looking, as a local pundit put it to me at party, “like it was put together with tinker toys.”  Taintradio just ain’t having any friggin’ formats, and that goes for website software as well, gosh darn it!  Hey, we all love what Bob is doing, and it will evolve a bit, I’m sure.  This grand web experiment, with all volunteer world-class DJs, and one little donation jar for infrastructure, is enormously worthy of our support.



     The personal web project of which I am most proud is the current incarnation of FARCE.  FARCE has a been a correspondence art series, The Paper Plant bookstore’s newsletter, and now is a website reference for my own and others’ use.  I use it for research, teaching, and providing curious readers sets of websites related to my blogging, such as local artists, book arts, museums and nanotechnology.  I’d consider it an honor if you made my links page one of your favorites.


And have a great new year as we approach our new era!  Best, John


December 24, 2008 Posted by | music, reflection | , , , , , | 2 Comments

taintradio hits the netwaves

Out of Raleigh to the world, indeed.  Do yourself a favor and go to taintradio.org, download itunes if you don’t have it, listen to taintradio for a few hours, and prepare to be transformed.  This is radio as it should be, probably as it never has been.

Welcome to taintradio.org. We are an alliance of independent, unpaid volunteers dedicated to presenting music on the Internet 24/7. There is no format, there is no “target audience.” Each program host presents only what they want to present.

Bob Rogers and Dave Tilley have begun a revolution, and it is going great!  They have a workable infrastructure in place and wonderful, wonderful contributors (including themselves).  I promise you will be amazed – and have not one friggin’ idea as to what might be coming next.  Not to imply it’s a random jumble.  It’s just fascinating revelations, one after another, as to what is out there that you haven’t heard and are so glad to be hearing.

Bob is an old friend whose book, Non-Fiction Poems, I published in 1985.  He has been in and out of professional radio for many decades, though he has been processing word data since arriving in Raleigh over twenty years ago.  He once drove Buck Owen’s Cadillac around for a spell as part of a give-away promotion.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg of his radio industry stories.  Dave Tilley has the substantial tech chops to make this thing work, but also has a broad set of interests and has been running a stage at the (upcoming) Festival for the Eno for a while.  The two of them have been plotting this thing for years.  Bob’s predilection is the midnight to six audience – he volunteered weekend overnight shows at WSHA for years.  Dave has been hosting a roots music radio show for 18 years.  Now the two of then have undertaken what really does amount to a major new format for providing listener supported radio.  Please check it out.

June 29, 2008 Posted by | music | , , | Leave a comment