Recently I began to sort through the audio files created from a stack of poorly-labeled or unlabeled Digital Audio Tapes (DATs) that I had recorded through the late 1990s and early 2000s. I had given them all, and a stack of fresh blanks, to my friend Darwin Grosse, along with my relatively little-worn TASCAM DA-30 DAT deck. He agreed to rip them all to hard drive for me, in exchange for being gifted the deck itself for his own uses.
Darwin also received a “prosumer” dual-deck TASCAM cassette machine, in exchange for doing a similar and much more difficult job on a collection of some of my most precious old tapes from the 1980s. Some of these gems will surface on future shows, featuring as they do some wonderful music from friends and colleagues that is nearly lost to history… but the DATs are special because they’re all recorded in this studio, and nearly all of their content has lain unheard for decades.
On tonight’s show, I will feature the entirety of Beneath Electric Stars, the farewell concert of Team Metlay, recorded live at the Fiske Planetarium on 2 January 1999, featuring the quintet of Nick Rothwell, Darwin Grosse, John 3 Rossi, David Turner, and the eponyomous Metlay. The show was edited down to a 37-minute collage track and released on 2005’s Beneath Stars CD, but the original tapes were 80 minutes long, and tonight, I will play them in their entirety.
While there were some truly hilarious clams here and there, the original flow of the show was quite charming… much like comparing bootlegs of that 1982 Dominion Theatre show by Tangerine Dream to the Logos album that was officially released from it. I will be commenting on the tracks in real time in Slack chat, and you can learn about what happens if you mix five musicians, multiple carloads of gear, a keyboard with a roving short that randomly turned performances into sizzling fart noises, beta blockers dispensed without a prescription, and truly towering ambitions, and turn them all loose on a planetarium with an audience of hundreds in the middle of a blinding snowstorm.
Speaking of blinding snowstorms, the arrival of Winter has turned RadioSpiral HQ in the Orlov sim in Second Life into a winter wonderland, so bring your avatar ready to ice skate and sip cocoa as I play back this concert and fill in the remaining time with some appropriate extras… possibly a Live Ambient Rant, if the studio cooperates.
Immediately after my show will be a one-hour live performance from Tony Gerber, guest wind player Raymond Ridley, and special guest Giles Reaves, from Tony’s Nashville studio… as of tonight, Tony’s Sunday concerts will be broadcast on https://radiospiral.net after my show every week, making a full 3-hour Ambient Sunday experience. The fun begins at 9/8/7/6 PM E/C/M/PT on RadioSpiral!