Chapel Hill musician Michael Holland recently finished recording his follow-up to his Appalachian-influenced solo debut Bootlegger's Dreams. Holland, with twin brother Mark, formed enigmatic blues-rock group Jennyanykind, producing their own work and other artists in their studio, Big John's. This relationship with fellow musicians works well, as Holland elaborates: "Much of it was recorded with the local bluegrass band Big Fat Gap (in exchange for their recording time, I recorded some of their music as well for their own release), using samples I created from having them improvise around a pattern, and the other half of the stuff was just recorded live." The record's working title is Crystal Meth Freak from California and Other American Treasures. Holland plans to release the record on Big John's Records in the fall, but has also had some interest from other labels. Holland and Big Fat Gap play the Shakori Grassroots Festival Thursday, April 21. For more info: www.bigjohnsrecords.com.
Dream weaving, collage radio style
REM sleep, Freudian symbols and the secrets of the subconscious were broached on WXYC recently as a "Dream Collage," but if you missed it, the internet has a solution. With the loose topic of dreams, DJ P.J. Disclafani and associates combined music and sound effects with the dreams of interviewees and callers to a confessional phone number set up as the "dream line." The piece was also submitted to the Chapel Hill Community Art Project, which is sponsored by the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission. To view the playlist and listen to the collage, go to www.wxyc.org/dreams.
Ch-Check it out (at the library)
Snapshot: I was tooling around in the media center of the undergrad library at UNC Chapel Hill, which has been fully renovated and modernized in recent years. In the background, students watched video playback at small monitor stations, headphone-adorned and quiet. The only sound in the air was the occasional small talk between the counter help, swiping of cards, keyboards clacking. I poked through the DVDs, but hit the computer to search more intently. As I approached the desk, out of the corner of my eye I could see through a small window into a room I hadn't known existed. A man held his hand to his ear, growled as he mouthed words, as if miming. A small studio was nestled in the room, young MCs rhyming and laying down tracks over the playback. A foot and a half away, the room was quiet. Modern soundproofing didn't prevent them from becoming performers for a brief moment, whatever the purpose of their project: fun, production class, or, coming soon to a hip-hop label near you... .